#AD: Keeping Our #GameDayTraditions FUN! @SheSpeaksUp @ProcterGamble @Walmart

sampleDisclaimer: This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/P&G. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.

gamedaytraditions

Game Day in our house means lots of preparation! I’ve got so much to do! There’s the food to prepare… the house to get clean… every little detail must be taken care of… Even down to what toilet paper I’m going to make sure is available for my guests! (I don’t want someone coming over, using my bathroom, and then going home to tell their spouse, “Ugh. That toilet paper was like sandpaper!” No thank you! Only best for my guests! They deserve the ultra strong, yet squeezably soft goodness that only Charmin can provide.) Luckily, I can head to Walmart and grab everything I need to make our traditions for Game Day perfect.

gamedaysetup

Set up is crucial. Spray some Febreze to get the furniture smelling fresh and clean. Then, I need everything laid out just right so my guests can get to it easily. I need the right paper towels to handle clean ups, because with the crew we host on game day, there are sure to be a few spills! Bounty helps me get the counters clean after I’ve slaved in the kitchen all day, and then Bounty paper towels are perfect for clean up during and after the party!

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And then there’s the food. Oh my goodness, the food! Meatballs, sandwiches, chili cheese dip and chips, bread, pasta, desserts galore. I don’t do anything small. I have to make sure there’s plenty of food for everyone, and that there’s no chance of anyone leaving my house hungry!

gamedaypeople

And while I’m going out of my mind, trying so hard to make everything just right, I remember the most important tradition I have when it comes to game day: the people I share game day with.

Even though I have ten people living in my house – and we can make any occasion a party! – when we add family and friends to the mix, it’s always something to remember!

Once the game is over, and everyone has left, that’s when I’m thankful I stocked up at Walmart! It’s time for the real clean up! I find dip under the couch. Stains on *everyone’s* clothes. And the bathroom usually looks like a tornado ran through it. (Did you notice all those kids in the picture above?!) Luckily, I’ve got Bounty to help with the clean up of the house, and Tide to help make laundry easier.

After every game day happening, all I want to do is sleep for a week, but I’m always thankful that I’ve had the fun with family and friends. They make every moment of preparation, frustration, and clean up worth it. It doesn’t even matter who wins the game!

Companies like Walmart and P&G make Game Day even easier. I’m thankful for quality products that make everyone happy, at a price that makes my wallet happy!

Want to read about other bloggers and their #GameDayTraditions? Here are the links that will help you do just that:

Now, tell me about Game Day at your house. Do you have any traditions you follow? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

Moving From the City to the Suburbs

suburbs
If you grew up in the heart of a big city or live in one now, you enjoy many benefits of city life — easy access to public transportation, extensive shopping and social activities, vibrant art and culture. But you might be like many who wonder if raising a family in a large city is a good idea. Many parents and parents to-be worry about the quality of schools, frequency of crime and lack of safe spaces for kids to play. You’ll drive more if you live outside the city, but there are some distinct advantages to ditching your city digs and taking up residence in the suburbs.

Affordability
In the city, an apartment or flat costs more. You pay a premium for sidewalks, cafes and theaters, as well as the shorter commute. But you money simply goes further in the suburbs. In Seattle for example, a one-bedroom apartment might cost $1,500 in a moderately priced city neighborhood, but in a suburb a mile away, the same apartment might be $900.

Less Noise & Less Pollution
Suburbs have the benefit of less crowding and more green space. When people aren’t packed in like sardines, crime is also less frequent. You can check out crime rates of an area before you move to see what your new neighborhood might be like. With less people and less industry comes better air quality too. See where your current city ranks in terms of pollution according to the American Lung Association. Less noise and pollution can lead to less stress and a higher quality of life.

Better Schools
City schools often don’t compare to their suburban counterparts. Part of the reason for this is the lack of tax base to support the school districts financially. Lower incomes correlate to school bonds and measures not being funded. So families choose the  suburbs to help ensure their children get a better education, even though doing so often means paying higher property taxes. Last, homes and apartments in good school districts hold their value which is important even if you don’t have kids. Look up schools ahead of time and compare. Global report card even allows you to compare any town or suburb to locales outside the U.S.

More Kids
While there are plenty of children who live in the city, parents usually find more convenient access to child care centers, parks and recreation facilities in the suburbs.

If you are considering a move to the suburbs, rent first, or rent permanently. The benefits of renting include flexibility to move should the commute turn out to be too long or the neighborhood doesn’t meet your needs. Renting may be a great permanent option for your family. It also might be a place to stay while you look for a larger place or house. Check out some of the hottest suburbs in the country for renters. Many of the suburbs on this list are among the safest places in their broader metro area. In some cases the rents might be higher too, but the benefits might be worth the premium.

#Sponsored: Another @PhotoPad_VG #Giveaway! ($25 OR $100 Amazon GC – Your Choice!)

sampleDisclaimer: This post is sponsored by PhotoPad. Any opinions expressed are 100% my own and have not been influenced in any way.

photopad_logo

Last month, I ran a contest for a $100 Amazon Gift Card, and I have to say, I’m a little baffled. There wasn’t one entry on that giveaway post! That’s just crazy!

So, I approached the owner of photoPAD, and we talked. We want to give you another chance to win! I’ll get to the giveaway in a minute. :)

While I kind of kept a business focus on my last post, I want you to see how great this can be for sharing family photos with those you love most!

Take a look at my family PAD:

Isn’t it cute? And it only took a few minutes to make. Now, I can share my PAD with family and friends on Facebook, twitter, or through email at the click of a button!

It’s like digital scrapbooking without all the headache, expense, and frustration. It’s so easy to create a PAD!

Just in case you’ve forgotten, here are the steps to create your own PAD:

  • First, head to the PhotoPad website.
  • In the top right corner, click on “Start Exploring.”
  • Click on “Join Today.” (Takes 30 seconds to join. SO easy!!)
  • Click on the Plus (+) sign at the top left of the page to create a new pad.
  • Follow the steps to Describe your Pad and get to work using the tools on the right!
  • Now, add pictures and create pages to complete your Pad.

Be sure to save your work at the end, and then you can share your pad by finding the link and sharing through social media. To find the link to your Pad, go to the home page, then click the funnel icon. Just click on “My Pads” and there you have it! SO easy!

I really want to encourage you to try out the new photoPAD for yourself. I think you’re going to love it!

And, to reward you, we’re holding another giveaway. You can win a $25 Amazon Gift Card OR a $100 Amazon Gift Card – your choice. Here’s how it will work:

  • 1. To enter for a $25 Amazon Gift Card, visit the PhotoPad Business Facebook Page. (Because we can’t ask you to “like” the page, according to Facebook rules, we sure would appreciate a “like” if you “like” what you see!)
  • 2. Want to increase your prize to a $100 Amazon Gift Card? Simply create your own Pad, with at least 2 slides, using the PhotoPad creator. (Follow the steps above.)
  • 3. Leave a comment on this post and tell me you did the above. If you created a pad, please leave a link to your PAD in your comment.(You MUST leave a link to your pad in order to win the $100 prize.)

Contest will end Sunday, January 17th at 11:59pm, and winner will be announced and contacted on January 18th.

Winner has been selected…. thanks to all who entered!

photopad_winner

#Sponsored: LeapTV – Educational Fun to Get Your Kids Moving! #Giveaway #LeapFrogMomSquad

sampleDisclaimer: This review and giveaway is made possible through my relationship with LeapFrog and the LeapFrog Mom Squad. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.

leaptv giveaway

Have you heard of LeapTV?

It’s this fantastic little gaming system that gets your little ones up and moving and *learning* all at the same time. My kids love it, and they just can’t get enough of it.

We’ve had our LeapTV for awhile now, and it definitely hasn’t gotten “old.” The kids still ask to play with it all the time, and I’m happy to comply when I know they’re going to be learning while they play. My favorite part is that ALL of my kids love it – from Carly (almost 3) all the way up to Zander and Jace (who are 12 and 11). The bigger ones help the little ones, and a fun time is had by all.

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There are so many games to choose from, and something to make everyone happy. From Blaze to Frozen, Paw Patrol to Sophia the First, all of our favorite characters are part of the kids favorite games. It’s a win-win for everyone!

leaptv_games

LeapFrog has been one of my favorite companies to work with, and product like the LeapTV are why! In their kindness, they sent me 2 LeapTV systems, so I’m sharing one with you! That’s right! You get the chance to win your very own LeapTV system and a Letter Factory Adventure game to go with it! How lucky are you?!

What if you don’t win? That’s OK! The LeapTV system is now retailing for just $59.99. That’s a fantastic price for a great product, and it’s worth every penny! No excuses. Now you can use up those gift cards you got for Christmas and make the kids happy. (Which, in turn, will make YOU happy!)

Use the Rafflecopter Gadget below to enter the giveaway. The contest will end January 19th at 11:59pm.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kids in the Outdoors: The Benefits of Outdoor Playtime

kids outside

Confined within the house or classroom, your kids may become stir-crazy. Make sure they have an outlet for all their energy, and let them run free outside. Outdoor recreation has been scientifically linked to physical and mental health benefits. Nature can also serve as an outdoor classroom that teaches your children about wildlife and plant life. Regardless of where you live or how old your children are, there are many ways you can incorporate outdoor outings into your family’s routine.

Learn the Benefits of Nature
Time outdoors reaps many benefits that bolster mental and physical health. The mere act of frequent nature outings encourages exercise and an active lifestyle. The University of Essex studied the effects of colors in relation to exercise. The study found that the color green produces better results — less mood disturbances and lower feelings of exertion — than any other color. From this study, it was deduced that the greenery within nature provides an ideal setting for exercise.

Nature helps improve brain function and concentration within children. A study conducted by the National Center for Biology Information found that children with ADHD who spend time outdoors have lessened symptoms. Those who engage in the same activities indoors do not show the same increase of concentration.

The summer sun provides an ample amount of vitamin D, which increases your children’s bone and cell growth, increases their immune functions and provides them with energy. Make sure that your family wears sunscreen that is 30 SPF to be protected from skin damage or cancer.

Make It a Habit
Make outdoor recreation a habit for your family. Schedule time when you and your kids can take walks through your local parks, go on weekend hikes or try new outdoor activities. You can incorporate outdoor activity into your daily routine, even if you have smaller children with some simple solutions. For example, install a kid seat on your bicycle for regular rides around the neighborhood after dinner or to and from school.

The habit of outdoor recreation can be implemented in any environment or weather conditions. If you live in the city and nature isn’t as accessible, many cities have interurban trails or arboretums that are abundant in greenery. If you’re in a colder climate, there are a number of cold-weather activities you can take part in. Equip your kids with the right winter gear, and teach them about snow and ice safety so they can fully enjoy the outdoors in the winter.

Fun Activities
There are plenty of outdoor activities that the entire family can enjoy. Excite and engage your kids with a variety of outdoor games that will keep them outside for as long as possible. Take your family to a park or some fields with a soccer ball for a friendly afternoon scrimmage. Purchase some small, multi-colored cones to place around the field for a game of frisbee golf.

Bird watching is an activity that provides your kids with outdoor time as well as an increased knowledge of all the varieties of birds. Research the best spots for bird watching in your area and bring along a picture guide and a journal. You and your child can make a game of how many types of birds you spot.

You can also take nature walks with your children to identify plants, trees, insects and wildlife. A number of handy outdoor apps will assist in your identification of all the life that lies within nature.

The Lessons Every Good Parent Teaches Their Children

As a parent, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to teaching your children the lessons they need to learn. Here are some of the most important ones that you should focus on to begin with.

That Respect for Others is Vital
Your children are not born with the understanding that respecting the other people around them is important. Many parents seem to think that these things should just happen by themselves. But it’s actually up to parents to show their children that being kind and respectful is important. It’s only then that they will begin to understand and believe what you say. So, you need to show them in practical ways why respect is a good thing. You can do this by only giving them something they want when they show you some respect and talk to you in a polite and considerate way. The message will eventually get through.

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Photo Source

That Mistakes Can be Learned From
Everyone makes mistakes, and you don’t want your children to stress over these basic mistakes too much. That’s why it’s so important to show them that even when something bad happens, or they make a mistake, they can learn from it. It’s the perfect way of showing your children that there are positive things to be taken from every situation. This will then help them to develop a positive view of the world, and that can surely only be a good thing. So, when they or you make a mistake, talk to them about how they can learn from it and not make that mistake again in future.

That There is a Range of Different Beliefs in the World
One of the biggest problems that we have in the world come from a lack of understanding and openness. You don’t want you child to grow into the kind of adult that has no knowledge of other cultures and beliefs, do you? That’s why you need to introduce them to diversity and different beliefs as soon as possible. This doesn’t mean that they have to take up a particular religion or set of beliefs. It’s merely about showing them the diversity that there is in the world. You can do this by exposing them to different religious texts, so why not get them a Bible as a gift?

That Telling the Truth is Always Best
This is the one that every parent knows about, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not hard to get across to a child. Children are not stupid. In fact, they’re very clever and a little cunning. They know that they can sometimes escape trouble or get their way if they tell a little lie here and there. That’s what makes it so difficult to show them that lying isn’t a good thing and that telling the truth is always best. But it is a vitally important lesson and one that they need to learn sooner rather than later. So, when they lie, punish them for it and then show them what the negative consequences of lying are.

Here’s How I Help My Toddlers Walk Further

No two kids are the same. Some will pull themselves up to standing at seven months and then not let go of the furniture until eighteen months. Others will just choose to stand up and run off all in the same day! These things aren’t predictable, but there are plenty of things you can do to help them find their feet and use their legs.

Active kids are healthier kids. Usually, children need no encouragement to run around and play. But it doesn’t hurt to get them out and about and walking as much as possible anyway. Pram shoes aren’t any good for walking around outside. It’s best to wait until your little ones are fitted for their first pair of proper shoes, especially if they’re on their feet early.

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Rheuch is the provider of this picture

Start with walking about indoors. You can play Follow The Leader, or become a human choo choo train to get them up and moving. Turn up the music and do some dancing for a while. All these activities help your toddler to develop core strength and balance. Best of all, it gets them active so they will sleep better at nap time!

Once they’re ready for walking about outside, take their hands so you can stop them falling on the hard ground. You might prefer to take them out in the pushchair to the park. Then they will still have enough stamina to walk around the park a little. If it’s cold, be sure to use your pushchair footmuffs, so the legs and feet don’t get too chilly. Little bursts of walking are all a small toddler needs to make big progress with his walking.

Over time, your little one will be more confident and more skilled at walking. You might be ready to let him walk without holding hands. When you are out and about it is essential you still have hold of him, though. Why not try a backpack with a wrist strap? That way you can stop him running off, but his arms are free for balancing.

Head out for a walk every day. Choose a spot to stop that is a little further away from your starting point every day. This will help your child build up his strength and stamina. Some toddlers get bored, though. You might want to have points of interest and things to see and do on the way. And if your little one decides enough is enough, you may have no choice but to carry him all the way home. Heading out for a reason can help motivate him to see the journey through.

All my big kids were different as toddlers, but they all got through those first tentative steps eventually. If you’re worried your little one isn’t walking, you can speak to your child’s doctor. There is rarely anything to worry about before eighteen months. Try to make a game of it, and add a little extra padding to their trousers just in case! And just think, the next big milestones will be jumping and running!

#Sponsored: @PhotoPad_VG Makes Business Better | $100 Amazon GC #Giveaway

sponsoredDisclaimer: This post is sponsored by PhotoPad. Any opinions expressed are 100% my own and have not been influenced in any way.

photopad_logo

When you run a business, it’s so important to “brand” your business. Even with my blog, I’ve tried to brand myself so that when people see my logo or maybe even an anchor, they think of “Blessed Beyond Words.”

Do you own a business or a blog and need to brand yourself? PhotoPad is the best way to brand your business through Photo Stories.

You won’t believe how easy it is to start creating!

  • First, head to the PhotoPad website.
  • In the top right corner, click on “Start Exploring.”
  • Click on “Join Today.” (Takes 30 seconds to join. SO easy!!)
  • Click on the Plus (+) sign at the top left of the page to create a new pad.
  • Follow the steps to Describe your Pad and get to work using the tools on the right!
  • Now, add pictures and create pages to complete your Pad.

Be sure to save your work at the end, and then you can share your pad by finding the link and sharing through social media. To find the link to your Pad, go to the home page, then click the funnel icon. Just click on “My Pads” and there you have it! Easy, right? (Ok, I’ll admit. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to find my finished pad, but I did it!)

Here’s what my finished Pad looks like:

Not too shabby for my first try, right? I love it!

While PhotoPad is still in beta, I have to say, I’m in love with it! This is such a great way to share photos with clients, and even with friends and family!

Don’t run a business? That’s ok! PhotoPad is still the perfect way to show off your beautiful babies! In November, I hired a photographer friend to take photos for my family. Here are the results of that:

Super cute, right? And what a fun, easy way to show off my photos! I just love it! Now, I can quickly and easily share all the latest happenings with my family.

Now, PhotoPad wants YOU to try out their new program, and they’re giving away a $100 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner!

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Create your own Pad using the PhotoPad creator. (Your pad *must* have at least 5 slides.)
  2. Like the PhotoPad Business Facebook Page.
  3. Leave a comment ON THIS BLOG POST letting me know you did both. (Please leave a link to your created Pad in the comment. I want to check them out.)

That’s all you have to do! Remember to leave a link to your Pad as a comment on this post, because that’s how we’ll pick the winner!

Now, go create! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

*Contest Ends January 1st at 11:59pm. Winner will be announced and contacted January 2nd. Facebook is not associated with this giveaway in any way.

The Top 5 Playful Dog Breeds for Young Children

Everyone loves dogs, right?  Well, although your children may be pestering you to adopt a puppy, it’s important to remember that not every kind of dog loves kids.  Some breeds of dogs can be aggressive in general, and some may not think kindly of children who aren’t always particularly delicate when handling them.

So if you’re considering getting a family dog, it’s important to research, and think very carefully about which breed to get.  You want a dog that your kids will love of course, but your dog needs to love them back.

Here are a few ideas to get your research started:
Australian Shepherd
Why consider an Australian Shepherd?  Well, these dogs are very much people dogs.  Hugely friendly in fact. They really want to be (and stay) part of the family, and be involved in everything you do.  Plus they could quite happily fetch, retrieve, fetch, retrieve, fetch, retrieve a ball all day!  In fact, your kids might get bored of the activity before your dog does.

Teddy Bear Shichon
Do little dogs any cuter?  Search Google for pictures and I’m sure you’ll agree they don’t! And just like any dog, you can bring it into your fold as a baby, or perhaps when it’s older.  So if you are looking for little puppies online do a special search for Teddy Bear Shichons.  Deal?

Bernese Mountain Dog
This type of dog is much larger than the others we’ve listed.  But if you’ve got the space, and your kids aren’t scared of such a big animal, then give it some serious thought. And don’t worry about its size.  Bernese Mountain dogs are surprisingly docile and easy going.

Boston Terrier
This small dog can be particularly easy to take care of.  They’re tough, love having fun, but also have huge amounts of personality.  It’s also been said they don’t need much exercise, but you may want to research that further.  Don’t let it be an excuse not to take your dog on walks.

Jack Russell
First things first, Jack Russells often have so much energy they don’t know what to do with it!  To say they have personality is putting it mildly. They come in long haired and short haired varieties.  The longer haired varieties can often have quite a scruffy look, while the short haired breed is much sleeker.  And they often have their tails snipped to just a few inches.  At full length, it’s around a foot.

Jack Russells can sometimes be aggressive against other dogs, but they are wonderfully good natured at home.  If you treat them well, and bring them up well, they’ll be great with kids.

However, it is of course important to remember that even the kindest, friendliest dogs can snarl, and even bite, if treated poorly. So as well as choosing the right dog for the family, you need to teach your children how to handle dogs and understand their personalities.  Of course, every dog is different but there’s some definite baseline characteristics to keep in mind.

Therefore you’ll want to show your children how to safely handle dogs, so the dog feels secure and comfortable, especially if it’s being picked up.  You’ll also want to show your children how to safely play with them, feed them, and make sure they never get bitten by accident.

#Ad: #Momoji by @Luvs for the Times When Parenting Needs More than Just Words & a Giveaway!

sampleDisclaimer: This review and giveaway was made possible by iConnect Influencer Management and Luvs. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.

momoji keyboard

Do you ever have those days when you need more than just mere words to express just how your day is going?

Boy, do I ever.

Take a look at last night’s conversation with my Hubby:

momoji

What a day. I don’t know what it is about December, but the kids all seem to act out. Maybe it’s the shorter days. Or the thought of Christmas presents and a break from school. I don’t know. But about 6pm every night, I’m ready to put all 8 of them to bed, just so I can breathe for a few minutes!

The Luvs Momoji Keyboard is perfect for parents. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words – especially in those parenting moments when you simply have no words. (Like all the time?!) It’s a fun way to express yourself in your favorite way: emojis!

I will admit, I am a huge user of emojis. Sometimes, I use them a little too much. So, when I downloaded the Luvs Momoji Keyboard, I had a little too much fun with it.

momoji

Now, I tend to talk… a lot. So, I switch back and forth from the momojis to the letter keyboard, and that takes a little bit of work. But, it’s totally worth it to get my point across! And I probably drive my husband crazy with all my texts, but he just ignores me and goes about his day. We understand each other. 😉

The other great feature of the Momoji Keyboard is the “Promoji” feature. Luvs is the first brand every to share coupons, deals, and special offers with their customers in a fun new way. Now we busy moms can hunt for diaper deals while we’re out and about. It’s fantastic! I always seem to forget my coupons at home. Doesn’t matter any more, because now I can pull out my phone and see if there are any new deals or promotions for Luvs diapers right in the store!

Want to know the best part? It’s available for Apple AND Android! (As an Android user, this impresses me most! Most companies release the “iPhone” version first, and the Android users have to wait forever for their version – if it ever even comes to fruition. Thanks for thinking of ALL moms, Luvs!)

Hurry and download the Keyboard here:

Once you’ve downloaded and activated the Keyboard, be sure to check out the #Momoji Twitter party with @iConnectIm on December 15, 2015 at 9pm EST. There will be prizes and fun galore!
carly and luvs
To celebrate the launch of the Luvs Momoji Keyboard, and fantastic new Luvs with NightLock, I get to giveaway a fantastic prize to one lucky winner! Use the Rafflecopter below to enter for your chance to win a $100 American Express Gift Card and one package of Luvs diapers (size 1-6, you pick!). Contest Ends December 21st at 11:59pm.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How To Make Your Next Children’s Birthday Party Memorable

Kids birthday parties are one of the joys of having kids. Getting to be there with them on their birthday as they enjoy themselves with their friends is priceless! You want your child to remember their childhood birthday parties forever. Here is how you can make your next children’s birthday party a memorable one, for your child and all those invited!

Pick A Theme
Choosing a theme is a great way to make a kids party memorable! Pirates is a great theme idea, as both boys and girls will enjoy it. As well as having them dress up as little pirates, you can incorporate the theme into your party games. Finding the buried treasure is guaranteed to be exciting! A theme makes a party more personal to your child, as they can involve something that they enjoy. If you are stuck for ideas, there are plenty on the internet!

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Link

Take Photos
The easiest way to make it memorable is to make sure to take lots of photos. Ask your guests moms and dads to take photos as well as you, or hand out some disposable cameras so you definitely get to see them. Alternatively you might want to hire a photographer if you think you’re going to be too busy helping to entertain kids to take photos. The Las Vegas Photographers site tells you how to pick the right one.

Go Big On Food
Make sure you have a wide range of food on offer, as you don’t want your children’s party to be memorable for the wrong reason. Kids can be fussy, and you don’t want them going hungry if they don’t like what you’ve gone on offer. Food can also make the party memorable for a good reason! Consider getting a really memorable cake, perhaps one that is shaped like their favorite cartoon character.

Little Touches
Little touches make a big difference! Make sure to decorate with plenty of banners and balloons to make your child feel important on their special day. A great decoration is a big birthday balloon with their age on it. You could also buy some party poppers, just make sure the kids are supervised with them! Then how about putting photos of them when they were even younger around the house. Older visitors to the party such as family members will appreciate these.

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Link

Choose The Location Wisely
The location is what the kids at the party will remember the most. So choose wisely! There are plenty of options available to you. If you’d rather not have to do the work yourself and run around after kids, you could hire somewhere like a leisure center or a swimming pool. This would also be a great option for kids who like being sporty or active. If you’d rather have something a bit closer to home, why not choose a garden party? You could hire a bouncy castle and arrange party games such as pass the parcel. This is a great option for younger kids, so you are able to keep an eye on them.

Making your child’s next birthday party as memorable as possible is easier than you might think. Try out these tips and see!

#Ad: I’m Happy for You (Sort Of…Not Really) #FLYBY #HydrateForTheHolidays #BookReview

sampleDisclaimer: This post is sponsored by FlyBy Promotions. I received a complimentary copy of the book in order to facilitate my review.

happy for you

Today’s world is full of competition. Do you ever look at Pinterest and get jealous of “those” moms who can do it all? I know I do.

Several weeks ago, I had the chance to hear Kay Wills Wyma’s interview with Focus on the Family. I was so impressed and so moved by the interview that I immediately ordered her book on my Kindle. I get so caught up with feeling like I have to be better than everyone else. Since everyone is comparing their life to mine anyway, I have to give them something that’s worth comparing!

How foolish is that? I can’t imagine Jesus would be very proud of that type of attitude. Nor would He appreciate my coveting the ability of others every time I log into Facebook or Pinterest.

This book is fantastic. A must read for every mom – or woman – who feels like her joy is being robbed by the comparison and competition in her life. Kay shares her own experiences with comparison living and gives her readers simple remedies that helped her family change their perspective and find freedom and joy in every day life.

Right now, we’re in the thick of the holiday season. Boy, that makes comparison an even touchier topic, doesn’t it? Well, I’ve got good news for you! On her blog, Kay is starting to #HydratefortheHolidays, and is helping us all learn how to recapture contentment and joy in our lives. I’m so excited about these posts. You must check them out!

Here are the best ways to check out all the #HydratefortheHolidays posts and interact with Kay:

I truly hope you’ll check out this book. It has truly helped me so much, and I’ve really changed my thought process on comparing my life with the lives of other moms and women, and have started focusing on my own blessings and all God has allowed me to do and have. This book is truly life changing and I will highly recommend it to everyone!

Have you read I’m Happy for You (Sort Of…Not Really): Finding Contentment in a Culture of Comparison? What did you think of it? I’d love to hear if it helped you as much as it did me. Leave me a comment below!

#Sponsored: New DC Super Hero Girls Cartoons & a #Giveaway

sponsoredDisclaimer:This is a sponsored post on behalf of DC Super Hero Girls. They provided the information, but any opinions expressed are my own. They are also sponsoring and controlling the giveaway.

dc super hero girls

In our house, Super Heroes are #1! We all love them. And, now that DC Entertainment has released their new animated series featuring DC Super Hero Girls, we are even more excited! My girls and I are all about a little “girl power” now and then, and this dynamic group of girls are strong, fearless, edgy, and fun! We each have our favorite Super Hero Girl, and even my boys love watching right along with us.

The DC Super Hero Girls YouTube channel makes it easy for our kids to watch their favorite characters, on-demand, and from any device. Thank heavens for wi-fi, because Carly keeps the DC Super Hero Girls channel playing on my Kindle Fire as often as I let her. Take a look at the playlist:

For even more DC Super Hero Girls fun, check out the DC Super Hero Girls website where kids can play games, download free printable activities, and so much more. Head over there now for some *super* fun!

To celebrate the launch of these Super Hero Girls, DC is giving away a $100 Visa Gift Card! Enter below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


How excited are YOU about the DC Super Hero Girls? Tell me in the comments below!

#Sponsored: Top Toy Trends for the Holiday Season from #zulily!

sponsoredDisclaimer:This is a sponsored post on behalf of Zulily. They provided the information, but any opinions expressed are my own.

’Tis the season for gifting little ones the toys they’ve been wanting all year long. This year, it’s not just about play – the most popular toys this season promote learning and creativity!

That said, we’ve tapped zulily’s resident toy expert Kenji Yoshinari for a list of trends to keep in mind as you scour the zulily Toy Shop for the perfect gifts that will both entertain and educate your child this season. Kenji’s tips are:

  • Use the Force to make sure you give the hottest toys! With the upcoming December 18th premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we’re sure Star Wars toys and apparel will be flying off the shelves this holiday season. Make sure to purchase early so you don’t miss out!
  • Look out for open-ended building toys. Giving kids the opportunity to let their imagination run wild and not be constrained by instruction manuals is the heart of this hot trend.
  • Switch from STEM to STEAM. Adding the ART component to STEM gives you more ways to introduce creativity and fun to your children’s world of educated play.
  • Customize Your Play! Make the play experience meet who your child is – from personalized rockers and ride-ons, to a doll that looks just like your child.
  • Retro, classic play remains a top trend. Brands and toys that bring back memories of days gone by are at the top of everyone’s list this season.

zulily toys

In addition, Kenji has pulled together a list of the Breakout Toys of 2015 and I’ve featured a few below:

  • TEGU Classroom Kit – combine art and education for a great gift. zulily toys
  • Green Toys – teach your child to care for the environment with these eco-friendly toys. They are easy to maintain, dishwasher safe and don’t require batteries.
  • Build-Your-Own (Customizable) 18” Dolls from Madame Alexander – Customizable and hands-on building, this toy covers off on two top toy trends!
  • Razor Crazy Cart Spinning Go Kart & JoyBay Pink Swing Car – These toys are perfect for kids on the go.
  • FINIS Mermaid Swim Fin – a fin-tastic choice for kids who love the water!

At online retailer zulily, shoppers have something new to discover each morning including toys, gifts, apparel & accessories, home décor and more. Be sure to check back often on zulily.com or on their mobile app to get the best deals for the whole family this holiday season.

#IC #Ad: #WaterWipes – Amazingly Pure Baby Wipes Now at @Target @WaterWipesUSA

sampleDisclaimer: This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

water wipes

I have two little ones still in diapers, and both of them have extremely sensitive skin. Carly’s skin is so tender that I can only use certain diapers and I have to be extra careful about the type of wipes I use. I used to make my own baby wipes, but that is time consuming and sometimes difficult – especially when you have 8 children and all that entails!

And then I heard about WaterWipes. I had to know more! A wipe that is chemical free and made of 99.9% water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract? I had to know more. I had to try these wipes for myself.

I also love any excuse for a Target run as well, so I hopped in the car and headed to my favorite store to pick up some WaterWipes.

When I got to my local Target store, I knew I was heading right for the baby section. I made a few stops along the way, grabbing a few other items I knew I needed – and some that I didn’t really need – and then finally found myself in the aisle with the baby wipes. 😉 The WaterWipes were easy to find. At my store, they were up on the top shelf and easy to spot. I grabbed a couple of 60 count packs, and a few more “necessities,” and then I headed back home.

waterwipes display

I wanted to be sure I used the WaterWipes for several days so that I could truly test them out, especially on Carly’s ultra sensitive skin. I am pleased to tell you that they worked *great!* If I try to use a “normal” baby wipe on Carly, she would scream loud enough for the neighbors to hear. (And we don’t even have neighbors right now!) But, with WaterWipes, it was like wiping her bottom with straight water. The cloths are soft but strong. They clean effectively, and wipe off gunk easily, but without any irritation at all. So wonderful!

They are fantastic for Sawyer’s sensitive skin as well. Even though his isn’t quite as bad as Carly’s, it’s still quite sensitive. Not to mention all the urologists visits and issues we’ve had with him that have required chemical free wipes. The WaterWipes are perfect for on-the-go and at home diaper changes for Sawyer. (And he doesn’t wince when I come at his runny nose with a WaterWipe either!)

waterwipes

There are a few things that you need to know about WaterWipes:

  • Because WaterWipes are chemical free, there are no preservatives. One package will still be good for up to 15 months before it is opened. Once you’ve opened the package, WaterWipes recommends you use that package within 1 month.
  • WaterWipes are not interfolded like other wipe brands. This keeps the inside of the package a sterile environment. Because of that very reason, WaterWipes recommends you do not move the wipes into any other type of container.

If you have a new baby, a little one with sensitive skin, or if your little one has trouble with diaper rashes, I would highly recommend you try out WaterWipes. I have been so happy with our results after using them, and I will continue to keep a large stash in our home.

Use this link to find a WaterWipes retailer near you now!

Also be sure to connect with WaterWipes in the following ways:

Want a chance to win a $100 Target Gift Card? Now through December 4th, Influence Central is hosting a contest for WaterWipes, and that’s the prize! Enter below by choosing a social media sharing option from the social media amplification tool. It’s so easy!

WaterWipes Target

*I-C will randomly select 1 winner from all program entries and will handle fulfillment of the winning prizes.

Thank you, WaterWipes, for making such a great product. And, thank you, Target, for putting them on your shelves so I can get them any time I need them! I am so thankful to have found these wipes, and I know Carly and Sawyer are too!

#Sponsored: Make it an EPIC Holiday with @LeapFrog #LeapFrogMomSquad

sampleDisclaimer: As a member of the LeapFrog Mom Squad, I receive product in exchange for my honest review. While the products are given to me, the opinions expressed are my own.

epic leapfrog products

Have you started shopping for Christmas yet? Around here, we procrastinate and don’t even get started until probably the week before Christmas. We’re crazy, I know! But, I am constantly adding items to my online Wishlists all year long.

With 8 kids, I need toys that I know are worth the money I’m going to invest in them. That’s why I love LeapFrog products so much!

Our recent shipment from LeapFrog was full of really great items! You are definitely going to want to hear about these and put them on your kids’ wishlists.

LeapFrog Epic

leapfrog epic

First up is the LeapFrog Epic. This tablet is fantastic! There is just so much you can do with it. Because it’s an Android-based tablet, so there’s no need for LeapFrog cartridges anymore. Because I have so many kids, I am all about not needing extra “parts” to make something work. Everything my kids need to have fun is right on this tablet.

While the recommended ages for the tablet are 3 to 9 years old, I’ve caught all of my kids playing on the epic at one time or another. There have been many times when I’ve found my 4 year old showing my 11 year old how the tablet works and all the fun games and videos they can find on there.

epic kid

I love the look and feel of the epic as well. It’s thick and sturdy, and has a larger screen, but the fantastic case makes it easy for even the smallest hands to hold. My two year old has no trouble holding onto the epic and finding her favorite part – the videos!

It’s easy to use, grows with my kids, and is just so much fun! While it retails at $139.99, that price is more than fair, and is quite comparable with other tablets made for kids that don’t do near as much. It’s a great little tablet for the money, and one I know your kids will love!

LeapFrog Number Lovin’ Oven

number lovin' oven

Next up, we have the Number Lovin’ Oven. This is Carly’s absolute favorite toy. It’s the very first thing she plays with when she wakes up in the morning. In fact, she’ll get up and “cook” me an egg and a cupcake every morning for “breakfast.” It’s adorable! I think she loves the songs it sings the most. And, believe me, in no time, you will be singing “Put an Egg on it” too! :) Honestly, I sing that song every time I cook in my real oven now too! It’s one of those songs that sticks in your head.

This little oven comes with 16 pieces to play with including 2 cupcakes, 4 slices of deep dish pizza, an egg, and bread. The pizza and bread come apart to help little ones learn their numbers and how to share. (I love that!)

It really is a lot of fun to play with, and at just $24.99, it’s the perfect price too! It’s perfect for the 2 to 5 year old age range, and it will keep them happy and playing for hours on end. (At least it does in our house!)

Your little one will love serving you up breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday, and they’ll do it with a smile on their face and a song on their lips. This is a must-add product for your preschooler’s wish list!

Scout’s Build & Discover Tool Set

Scout's build & discover tool set

Singing, laughing, counting, matching, measuring, and banging – that’s what you get with Scout’s Build & Discover Tool Set. And it is awesome!

Your child gets all the tools and items they need to build a completely interactive house for your favorite dog, Scout. Your child will count nails, measure the walls of the house, all while they sing along to the number song. While they are doing this, Scout is talking, singing, and cheering them on in their efforts!

This is a great little tool for helping your little one to learn their numbers and how to count. And it’s just a lot of fun! Gage has loved Scout since he was a baby, and so he immediately recognized the voice. He was thrilled to be able to make a little house for his favorite puppy!

The tool set is perfect for ages 2 – 5, and retails for just $19.99. That makes it the perfect gift to give to your favorite little boy, or donate a few to your local women’s shelter and give someone else a Merry Christmas. :)

I am just thrilled to be working with LeapFrog, and getting the chance to share these amazing products with you!

I’ll have more gift ideas and our Holiday Gift Guide coming soon! Be sure to check back.

#Sponsored: Gerber’s #FormulaForHappiness Will Have Everyone Smiling!

sponsoredDisclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Gerber. Information for the post was provided by Gerber and MomSelect, but any opinions expressed are my own.

newborn photograph

Ahhhh… the first few months of life. Full of joy, tears, and absolutely no sleep.

When you become a mom, it seems everyone on Earth has an opinion about how you can get your baby to sleep through the night. Your mom, dear old Aunt Gertie, and even the stranger in the grocery store: they all want to tell you what’s best for you and your baby. (And sometimes their information is so outdated, it’s just not safe!)

What if there were someone you could talk to who was a certified sleep consultant, and her only “job” was to help you learn ways to help baby sleep better, and in turn, help YOU sleep better? Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Sleepy moms, rejoice! I have wonderful news! Gerber® Good Start® now has a certified sleep consultant who is available to talk to you! Her name is Christina Gantcher, and it is so easy to set up an appointment with her through the Gerber Website: gerber.com/experts.

I had the opportunity to speak with Christina yesterday, and she is wonderful! While I am past the newborn baby stage with my crew, we still have sleep issues. I was able to spend some time with Christina discussing the issues I’m still having with my 2 year old.

Christina was such a joy to talk to. She didn’t know me or my two year old, but in just a few minutes, she was able to gather some information about us and give me tips on ways I can encourage Carly to sleep in her own bed all night long.

It was so nice to talk with her. I was able to ask her all my questions, and I didn’t feel like an idiot asking her the questions. She was kind, reassuring, and incredibly helpful. And she was honest. She told me it wasn’t going to be easy to transition Carly back to her own bed. The older the child is, the harder it is. I loved that she was honest, but she still encouraged me that we CAN do it, it just might take a little time.

After we were finished talking about Carly, we discussed a typical phone call with Christina. She talks to moms, dads, and even grandparents of newborn babies up to children around the ages of 3 or 4. We talked about what happens when you rock a baby to sleep and then transfer them into the crib. We discussed sleep cycles, bedtime routines, and schedules. She shared a bedtime process with me that was absolutely brilliant, and something I wish I had known years ago. In fact, I wish I had had this service back when I became a first time mom – or even with my 4th baby who was 2 years old and still hadn’t slept through the night once. (Not once! Do you know what I would have given to have Christina to call back then?!) I remember that back then, the only way I could have any kind of Formula for Happiness was to hand Lucy over to my Mother in Law, (who was living with us at the time), so that I could grab a nice hot shower, or even a few minutes of sleep. Those were tough days, and I know there are many of you who understand.

I would highly encourage you to check out the entire team of experts available through Gerber® Good Start®. Not only will you find Christina their sleep consultant, but also a nutrition consultant and a lactation consultant. So, whether you have questions about getting your baby to eat, sleep, latch on, or whatever else it may be, Gerber® Good Start® has someone you can talk to. They’ll get you on the path to finding your #FormulaForHappiness.

Schedule your appointment today by visiting their website: https://www.gerber.com/experts. Or call 1-800-284-9488 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Thank you, Gerber® Good Start® for your desire to help all moms (and dads, and grandparents!) succeed at this parenting thing! It’s tough to do it alone, but what a joy to know we don’t have to!

So, what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone and call them today, or hurry on over to their website and schedule your phone call now. Get on your way to happiness!

#Sponsored #BBWBabyBash: The Graco Sous Chef™ Seating System

sampleDisclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Graco. I received a sample in order to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.

graco_souschef

As a mom of 8, I’ve gone through many highchairs through the years. Most of them have been Graco highchairs, simply because I know what I like, I know what works, and I trust Graco when it comes to products I use for my kids.

That being said, I already had a bit of a bias toward loving this highchair when Graco asked me to review it for them. Because it was Graco, I knew I would love it. I just had no idea how much!

Let me introduce you to the Graco Sous Chef™ Seating System. This is THE highchair I wish I had had with all of my kids. The one that I would have held on to for 18 years – or until it finally fell apart. This is my favorite highchair I have ever used.

I know what you’re thinking. It’s a high chair! How can be that great?

Let me tell you about this highchair.

First, the highchair can be used from newborn all the way up to “big kids.” Your baby can be in the kitchen with you from day one. (Or two – or whenever – depending on when you get home from the hospital and/or feel like actually being in the kitchen again!)

There are 5 different modes of use for the highchair:

  1. The Elevated Newborn Seat – perfect for wheeling baby into the kitchen in a safe place that’s high enough for you to reach him/her while you’re cooking.
  2. Removable Rocking Chair – THIS IS AWESOME. It’s my favorite feature of the highchair, and it’s the reason I wish I had had this highchair from day one with Sawyer. (Heck, with all my kids!) You simply remove the chair from the stand (without baby in it, for safety reasons, of course!), and put it in any room of the house. This would have made life SO much easier with all my babies. Honestly, this is the BEST feature of the highchair and it’s what makes the entire highchair worth every penny!
  3. Infant Reclining Highchair – perfect for those first feedings and beyond. Allows you to easily reach and interact with baby while they get those first feedings of cereal.
  4. Highchair mode – This is how our highchair stays most of the time. We don’t have enough seating at our table, so this allows me to put Sawyer in his highchair and feed him. The tray and insert are fantastic. The tray can easily be removed with just one hand, and the insert is dishwasher safe, so it allows for super easy clean up. (Even after the first birthday cake fiasco!)
  5. Toddler Booster seat – Another fantastic feature of the highchair! The toddler booster seat attaches right to your kitchen table chair. No extra pieces required, no difficult maneuvers to go through, just buckle it on! We use this all the time at church dinners and when we go to MawMaw and PapPaw’s house for dinner. That way, we still have somewhere to put Sawyer for dinner, but we don’t have to load the entire highchair into the van. The booster seat holds up to 60 pounds, so I have a feeling we’ll be using this for quite some time!

The highchair is so easy to use, and the initial assembly is quite easy as well. I was able to put the entire seat together in about 15 minutes.

graco_souschef2

The entire seat is also easy to wash – which was GREAT after the picture above was taken! Even with the awful mess Sawyer made, I was able to have everything cleaned up in just minutes, and threw most of it in the washing machine for even easier clean up.

If you are about to have a baby, have recently had a baby, or have a toddler at home and you are in the market for a new highchair, let me recommend the Graco Sous Chef™ Seating System. You will not be disappointed! This is one highchair they won’t grow out of too quickly, and you’ll be using it for years. We love our Graco Sous Chef™ Seating System, and we know you will too! You can find the Sous Chef Seating System on the Graco Website or at Babies R Us.

Learn more about the Graco Sous Chef™ Seating System by visiting the Graco website. You can also find Graco on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

#IC #Sponsored: @BGCA_Clubs #TriplePlay10 A Game Plan for the Mind, Body, & Soul

sponsoredDisclaimer: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Boys & Girls Club of America. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

TriplePlay_BCBSGA_Lockup

As most of my readers know, I recently made some serious lifestyle changes and lost over 40 pounds. (Actually, I’m at 50 pounds gone now!) Some of those changes included changing my eating habits and moving more. As a mom of 8, it is so important to me that my kids learn early the need to maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and form meaningful friendships.

bgca_tripleplay

That’s why I am SO excited about the Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s Triple Play program. It’s something I want my kids to know about.

Did you know that nearly 3 out of every 10 kids in the US are either overweight or obese? That breaks my heart! It is so important that we teach our kids and teens to be healthy, active, and to know they can achieve great things – now and in the future!

BGCA has garnished support from partners The Coca-Cola Company and BlueCross BlueShield of Georgia Foundation as well as the Amerigroup Foundation for the Triple Play Program. The clubs provided by BGCA are there to help build the next generation of leaders by motivating today’s kids to be healthy. Some ways they do this are through nutrition and health education, better access to healthy foods, how to avoid risky behaviors, and a lifelong commitment to being fit and active.

Download the Triple Play Parent Game Plan

I recently downloaded the Triple Play Parent Game Plan for my crew, and I’m so glad we did! My kids and I had such a fun afternoon focusing on our minds, bodies, and souls!

The first thing we did was focus on our minds. We did this by talking about making better eating choices and then I asked the kids some questions about what we discussed.

bgca_01

Some of the questions were tough, and the kids really had to think about them. But, they did great for the most part, and I was really proud of them. Since I made my own healthy lifestyle changes, the kids have really picked up on it and understand why we don’t eat the cakes, cookies, doughnuts, chips, and other junk foods we did before.

After we spent some time focusing our minds, we moved on to our bodies. (Get it? We moved on? Ha. I’m so funny!) We got our bodies moving – ALL of us! That’s right, even me! If I’m going to encourage my kids to be healthy and active, I must SHOW them first. This is not a “do as I say, not as I do” type of situation. This is a “let me be your example and show you how to do it” situation.

We started with a rousing game of Frogs in the Pond. Oh my goodness. This was so crazy, it was FUN! Here’s how it works:

First, one person gets to be Kermit. (In our first game, it was Jace.) Everyone else gathers around Kermit, placing one finger on his arms, legs, or back.

bgca_02

On the leader’s signal, all the players become frogs and start jumping. Kermit jumps around, trying to tag a frog. Once you get tagged, you become a prince or a princess and get the power to tag other frogs with a wand.

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Once everyone has been tagged, you start the game over with a new Kermit.

Man, we had FUN! The kids loved watching Mom jump around like a goofball, and that made them laugh and jump even harder and faster!

After several rounds of Frogs in the Pond, we decided to focus on our souls for a little bit to have fun, strengthen relationships, and increase our confidence.

We did this first by playing a game of “Auto Trip.”

bgca_04

It starts like this: All the players but one sit in a circle. Each seated player is assigned a part of an automobile: tires, steering wheel, gas tank, door, dashboard, etc.

The player in the center begins to tell a story about a trip driving the car. Each time a specific part of the car is mentioned, the person assigned to that part gets up and follows the storyteller around. Soon, you have a long line of car parts following the storyteller around.

bgca_05

When the storyteller yells, “BLOWOUT!” each player has to rush to get a seat. The player left without a seat becomes the new storyteller and the old storyteller is assigned that player’s car part.

I loved this game for the fact it made my kids think about the other kids, include them in the story, and they had to work together to make sure there was a new storyteller each time.

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BGCA wants to combat the growing rate of childhood obesity in our nation’s children through the Triple Play program. Every child should participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity that lasts at least 60 minutes every day, yet only about one quarter of kids in the US (between the ages of 12 – 15) are meeting that recommendation. That is a scary statistic, people! We have GOT to do better as parents at keeping our kids active!

The Triple Play Program launched in 2005, and has made close to 10 million connections with kids since then to share the importance of physical activity and proper nutrition through the three components of mind, body, and soul.

Parents, PLEASE read more about the Triple Play program and download the Parent Game Plan. You’ll find all the activities I mentioned in my post and so many more! You won’t regret it, and you might just have as much fun as we did!

I’m looking forward to pulling out the Parent Game Plan again soon and doing some more of the fantastic activities. I hope you’ll do the same.

#Sponsored #BBWBabyBash: Graco Pack ‘n Play® Playard Sport™ #Review

sampleDisclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Graco. Opinions expressed are 100% of my own.

graco Graco Pack 'n Play® Playard Sport™

With kids in sports, church activities, and all the things this crazy family has going on in a given week, this has quickly become one of my favorite products EVER. Honestly. I don’t know how we survived this long without the Graco Pack ‘n Play® Playard Sport™!

There are so many reasons why I love this Pack ‘n Play. Let me list just a few:

  1. The Setup was SUPER easy! I literally pulled it out of the box, took it out of the awesome carrying case it comes with, and set it up. It went from box to complete in less than 2 minutes. (I LOVE that!!)
    graco Graco Pack 'n Play® Playard Sport™
  2. The canopy provides the perfect amount of shade, but I can still see inside the Pack ‘n Play® Playard Sport™ perfectly. Sawyer can see me, I can see him, but he’s protected from the harsh elements of the sun, wind, and/or sprinkling rain.
    graco Graco Pack 'n Play® Playard Sport™
  3. The “doggy door” – as my kids call it – as the absolute BEST feature. We can leave it unzipped, and Sawyer can crawl in and out as he pleases. He loves having the freedom to be in the comfort of the Pack ‘n Play® Playard Sport™ or in my lap. Whoever decided this should be a feature on the Playard is brilliant. It’s fantastic!
    graco Graco Pack 'n Play® Playard Sport™
  4. Sawyer loves it. If your baby loves something, you know it has to be good, right? Kids can be so funny, but when they find something they love, they let you know. Sawyer absolutely loves the Graco Pack ‘n Play® Playard Sport™, and I love that he loves it!
    Graco Pack 'n Play® Playard Sport™
  5. It’s just as fabulous indoors as it is outdoors! When we’re not using the Graco Pack ‘n Play® Playard Sport™ on the go, it’s set up in the middle of my living room. It’s so great on carpeted floors. Sawyer still crawls in and out, goes where he wants to go, and drags his toys into the playard. It’s easy enough to collapse and put away that we do it all the time.

While this is truly the best product ever, there are a few things I want you to be aware of:

  • Do NOT use the playard on hard floors or cement. There is absolutely NO padding on the bottom of the playard at all. None. Stick to grass and plush carpeting for baby’s sake. There have been times when we’ve only had hard, dry ground available, and it worried me to death the entire time Sawyer was in there.
  • I wish there were spikes so I could pin it into the grass when we’re out and about. Not having to worry about the playard blowing off while he’s not in it would be a wonderful thing.

If you are the type who is always on the go, loves to be outdoors, and needs a safe place to put your infant or toddler, I highly recommend the Graco Pack ‘n Play® Playard Sport™. If you need a playpen set up in the middle of your living room (carpeted!), the Playard Sport is a fantastic option. Sawyer just took his first steps inside his playard the other day, and I didn’t have to worry about him hitting his head on anything.

I’m in love with the Graco Pack ‘n Play® Playard Sport™, and I’m confident you will love it too!