Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Swaddle Your Baby with Summer Infant

When I was pregnant with Mabry I hadn't been pregnant for nearly five years. It was almost like being pregnant for the first time all over again. So much changes in five years. SO MUCH!

Want to know what else I forgot about? How much sleep you lose when you have a newborn.
As I am sure you can believe, parents with newborns ages 0-5 months often sleep on average two hours less than usual per night. From age 6 months through age two, parents are getting one less hour of sleep per night. That means that moms of babies are losing upward of 875 hours of sleep by the time their child’s second birthday rolls around!    

Summer Infant, the maker of the #1 swaddle wrap, the SwaddleMe, is expanding its swaddle collection to help soothe babies as they transition out of swaddles.  This in turn, puts parents' minds at ease and helps mom get some well-deserved ZZZs. You may already be familiar with the SwaddlePod and SwaddleMe wraps, used to help soothe crying babies, while also keeping babies on their backs (and hence helping to reduce the risk of SIDS) - all while ensuring they're warm and comfy.  

Now Summer Infant has added two new swaddling products to the line – the SwaddleMe WrapSack and the ComfortMe wearable blanket – which extends the progression of stages of swaddling beyond the SwaddleMe.  The SwaddleMe WrapSack provides growing babies with additional legroom and can be worn with babies’ arms in or out, while the ComfortMe blanket provides large arm openings allowing for breathability and airflow, and a bottom zipper for easier nighttime changing. 
The new additions complete an easy-to-understand swaddling system designed to replace loose bedding in the crib and aiding in a calmer sleep for all.  Plus, the cute colors and patterns bring out the personality in any little one.

Thirteen years ago, there were only square blankets to wrap babies up like burritos. Five years ago, I had the baby burrito wrapping DOWN. When Mabry came along I literally had a moment in the hospital because I could not swaddle her. I felt like a complete failure. You better believe I ran to the nearest baby store for a SwaddlePod. For real.

Look at how cute and cuddly {and snuggly} she is. She slept like a dream in that thing. It was a life saver for the first few weeks. Once she grew out of it, we got the next step, the SwaddleMe. Life saver. Or, should I say sleep saver? The Summer Infant Swaddling System is a must for new moms and babies.Sweet dreams.
Once Mabry got a little older and didn't much like to have her arms tucked inside we discovered the SwaddleMe WrapSack. Not only does it keep Mabry comfy throughout the night but, it also zips completely open on the bottom for easy diaper changes. No more undressing baby in the middle of the night to change a diaper. She gets cold when that happens! 

mabry summer infant

Next time you need a baby gift I absolutely recommend Summer Infant Swaddle pieces. The new momma you're buying for will thank you for the quality sleep she'll be getting through the first year! Or, maybe YOU'RE having a new baby. These pieces are going to save your sanity! At the very least, you'll get a few extra hours of sleep!



***There are affiliate links within this post. That means that if you click through and make a purchase, you'll be helping this momma of five support her family. :o)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that Jonah started playing football at a local park. What began as a way for him to get out and exercise a couple of times a week with friends turned into a passion for him. When he started in the Spring it was a training camp type thing. Once he decided he loved it, we signed him up for the full-fledged game practicing. Jonah eats, breaths and sleeps FOOTBALL!

A while back, I read on Twitter that the Jacksonville Jaguars opened up 13 practices to the public. All I needed to do was go online and sign up for the dates we wanted. We went to two.

A couple of weeks ago Jonah and I went to EverBank Field to experience the Jacksonville Jaguars first Training Camp of the 2014 NFL football season.

Before heading towards the stadium we stopped at WalMart for a football. Jonah was so excited to be able to get autographs from a bunch of the players. And boy, did he get a LOT of autographs!! {as a momma, I was super bummed for him when the ONE player he waited for wouldn't stop to sign a football card because his family was with him. Chad Henne, Jonah was super upset but, he looks forward to getting your autograph really soon!}

On the days that we went to the practices, the temperatures were in the 90's and the heat index was near or over 100 degrees. It was HOT! I have no idea how those football players practice in that heat. It was sure fun to see it all happen, though. Living in Jacksonville, in a city with an NFL football is so cool. Never before were we really football fans. We certainly weren't Jaguars fans. But, now having a football player, our family has a new appreciation for what's right in our backyard. We LOVE our Jaguars!!

{Here's a BUNCH of pictures from the first practice and of Jonah getting autographs. Enjoy!}

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

As Seen on Blissfully Domestic {June/July}

Blissfully Domestic is ALWAYS on fire but, MY favorite time to write is End-of-Summer/Back-to-School season! With four kids in school full-time this year, I feel like these topics speak volumes for me. The last few weeks have been especially fun for me! I've gathered a bunch of ideas and recipes for Blissfully Domestic readers AND myself!

Here are a few of my most recent posts.

As seen on Blissfully Domestic

as seen on blissfully domestic

Which of these posts are your favorite? What would you like to see me write about next? Tell me in the comments.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Eleven Months.

mabry mae hutchins

Our Mabry Mae Hutchins is eleven months old. There's a sting in my heart to know that she's growing up and becoming less of a baby, my last baby, everyday. Yet, I love to watch her grow and learn and become a little person.

Mabry has such a bright personality and she's sweet, yet fierce. When one of her siblings takes her toy from her hands she screams out at them. Since she isn't talking yet this is her way of saying, "give that back to me NOW!" When she's sleepy she will lay her head on your shoulder. She's a lover.

She's walking now. There's no holding her back. She sees where she wants to go and her little legs take her. My favorite is when she grips the carpet with her tiny toes. I pray I never forget these details.

At eleven months old, she already has 6 teeth. I don't remember my other kids having so many teeth at this age. Maybe they did? Having Mabry nearly 5 years after McKinley is like being a first-time parent all over again. I'm having to re-learn all of the things that babies do. Like, teething. Oh, the drool. And the endless crying because it hurts her so badly. And the fevers and late nights. Teething is for the birds!

We don't watch much TV in our house. We haven't had cable in 3 or 4 years. I thought, at first, that I'd miss it. I don't. We do have Netflix. But, even with that the TV doesn't get turned on too often. Here's why I'm even telling you this...I've noticed when we do turn the TV on and it's an animated show, Mabry LOVES it! She gets really excited and dances with the songs. She "talks" to whichever character is on at the moment. It's so fun to watch her!

Mabry Mae Hutchins, you are so much fun! I love being your mommy. I'm excited to watch you grow and see who you will become. What will you accomplish? Who do you want to be? Will your sister be your best friend? I pray I see all of these questions answered. I love you.




Tuesday, July 22, 2014

5 Back-to-School Shopping Tips

5 Back to School Shopping Tips

Last week a postcard showed up in my mailbox informing me that Middle School Orientation is in 3 weeks. THREE weeks, people! Didn't Summer just begin??

While I'm sad for the Summer to be coming to a close, I'm equally excited {if not more so} for the kids to go back to school. When I was a kid growing up, back-to-school season was my most favorite! Freshly sharpened pencils, crisp notebook paper, and a Trapper Keeper {!!}. Kids these days have NO idea what a Trapper Keeper is...only the greatest notebook of all time! Children of the 80's, am I right??

I'll have four kids in school full-time this year. While I'm no expert in what's right and wrong in back-to-school shopping, I have learned a few things along the way. After all, Jake will be starting 7th grade this school year. Including preschool and VPK, that's like 8 years of solid experience.

Today I'm sharing 5 Back-to-School Shopping Tips that I've learned along the way.

/1/ Start Shopping NOW! - Back-to-School supplies sales begin to pop up the weekend after the 4th of July. For real. It seems early but, it's great for a multitude of reasons. Keep reading. Each week, pick up a Sunday paper and scour the ads for the best deals.

/2/ Shop Often - Every week each store will have different school supplies on sale. This week you can buy pencils for next to nothing and next week might be 1-inch binders. The more often you go, the less money you'll spend and the less crowds you'll have to fight when it gets closer to the first day of school.

/3/ Shop Tax Free - Check and see if your state offers a tax-free weekend for back-to-school shopping. If it isn't offered in your state, drive to a neighboring state {if gas cost is significantly lower than the tax savings} or contact your local state representative to see if he/she can get the wheels in motion on bringing that savings to you for following years!

On top of the store's sale prices, saving your state's tax percentage is an added bonus! Since I like to shop for supplies each week as the sale ads come out, I usually take advantage of tax-free weekend for the kid's clothes. After all, the clothing is the most expensive part of the shopping list. Also, tax-free weekend is a great time to buy the supplies that are "wants". You know the ones, the FROZEN folders or the more expensive mechanical pencils that they insist are far better than the ones you bought for $0.48 or the fancy-schmancy pens. Basically, anything not on the "official" supply list is generally bought during this time for an added savings.

/4/ Know Before You Go - I noticed this past school year that my kids' school puts a supply list in their end-of-year report card. Genius! This way I'm armed with a supply list weeks before the sales begin and I can make a plan. I can buy more than I need, if the price is right. If I didn't have my list I might wind up buying 3 folders at that amazing sale price when the kids actually need 4...and then I might end up paying full price for the 4th. It's nice to have a list!

/5/ Price Match - This is my most recent back-to-school shopping, "ah-ha moment" tip. In years past I would check out Sunday's paper, make a plan to go to each store that had what I needed at the best price, and go to each store. {let's not even think about the amount of gas was used in this school shopping adventure...} This year is different. I check my Sunday paper each week, gather the sale ads with the items circled that I plan to purchase, and then head to my local WalMart and utilize their Price Match Policy. It's a one-stop shop. Best of all, if the item is Buy One, Get One Free then it's 9 times out of 10 going to be cheaper on the Buy One. For instance, XYZ store had Crayola markers on sale BOGO for $2.98. WalMart's price was $1.27. This means, I was able to get the BOGO offer at $1.27 instead of $2.98. Make sense? {I was able to get each item for 64 cents, instead of $1.49.} It's truly easy and saves SO MUCH MONEY!

Are you ready for Back-to-School? What shopping tip would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments.







Monday, July 21, 2014

Aladdin Mason Tumblers {a Summer Essential}

Aladdin Summer

I live in the South. I wear flip-flops, eat fried chicken, and drink sweet tea...from a mason jar. This summer I discovered Aladdin Mason Tumblers. They are everything I've grown to love from the traditional canning jars, only in a non-breakable version.

Sold at Walmart and on Amazon, these tumblers are perfect for everyday.

Hosting an outdoor BBQ? Serve your guests with Aladdin Mason's.

Aladdin Summer
Need to increase your water intake? Add fresh sliced lemon to a pitcher of ice cold H2O and serve it in an Aladdin Mason Pitcher. Or, make a refreshing batch of lemonade. {Available in multiple colors, at WalMart}

Aladdin Summer
My most favorite, well, one of my most favorite features of these tumblers is that they have lids and straws {sold separately}. Never again will I go to take a sip of my drink and there be a pesky fly floating on top. 

Aladdin Summer

This pitcher comes in a multitude of fun colors. Clear is good for everyday but, I think I need a pink one for Mabry's 1st birthday shindig! {which is coming way sooner than I'd like. Where'd my baby go?}

Aladdin Summer

Now, when I'm outside with the kids on a hot summer's day, I fill up the Aladdin Pitcher with a fruit-infused water, get everyone an Aladdin Tumbler of their own and set up a beverage table. Everyone stays hydrated and looks cute while doing so. 

What's your favorite beverage to drink from a mason jar??

Disclosure: The Aladdin products shown in this post were sent to me from Aladdin but, as always, the opinions are my own. Also, affiliate links are used within this post.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Disney's PLANES: Fire & Rescue

planes-fire-and-rescue-logo-636-220

Planes: Fire & Rescue is flying into theaters everywhere this weekend!

A small town crop duster turned racing champion, Dusty Crophopper {Dane Cook}, makes a small mistake that has him step up and make a huge sacrifice. After learning that his gearbox is damaged and no longer in production, Dusty thinks that racing is soon to be a thing of the past. Little does he know that while he may not be racing for trophies and accolades any longer, he'll be racing into the fire when everyone else is racing out.

Follow Dusty from Propwash Junction Airport to Piston Peak National Park as he meets Blade Ranger {Ed Harris}, Dipper {Julie Bowen}, Windlifter {Wes Studi}, Cabbie {Captain Dale Dye}, and the Smoke Jumpers to train to become a certified firefighting plane to help his friend, Mayday {Hal Holbrook}.

The humor in this movie is spot on. A one-liner directed at a pretty gal at a honky tonk from a "pickup truck" to a joke about a Hybrid that "he didn't hear coming", kids and adults alike will enjoy this animated film.

You'll experience moments of sadness for the Dusty. You'll see him fail {and overcome}. You'll fall in love with Dipper's quirky personality. You'll listen to the wisdom {?} from Windlifter. Oh, and you'll long for a love as deep as Harvey and Winnie's.

I totally give this film a thumbs up! Disney has done it once again with this must-see movie for the entire family.