LISTERINE 21 Day Challenge Wrap-Up

My family and I participated in the 2013 LISTERINE 21 Day Challenge for better oral health for the past, well, 21 days. At the beginning of this challenge, I didn’t really think a lot about our daily habits and routines – we just did what we could, when we could. After participating in this challenge, I’ve noticed a remarkable difference in the way that we approach our oral health:

  • My daughter loves to wash, floss, and rinse her teeth, and likes to look in the mirror at her “sparkly teeth” when she is all finished. She has more confidence in her smile, and is developing wonderful habits early on. 
  • My husband has noticed more issues with his teeth than he did before. He has more discomfort, and accepts the fact that he needs to see the dentist, even if that means he has to take an afternoon off of work. 
  • I make more of an effort to always have a convenient kit nearby to ensure that my teeth not only look healthy, but stay healthy. I stash a toothbrush in my bag along with floss, toothpaste, and a small bottle of LISTERINE mouthwash so that I am always prepared to smile with confidence. 

Another thing to note: I’ve noticed that my gums do not hurt or bleed anymore from flossing and using mouthwash twice daily. My gums were fairly sensitive before I started the LISTERINE 21 Day Challenge, but now I have no trouble.

If you would like to challenge yourself to develop better oral health habits with your own family, I encourage you to sign up on the LISTERINE Facebook page. The challenge has made a huge difference in the way my family and I approach our oral health – and it could help you to foster healthy habits for your family, as well.

My favorite LISTERINE mouthwash is the Orange Citrus flavor, which is very refreshing in the morning and right before bed. Do you have a favorite flavor of mouthwash? 

I received products from Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc. and The Motherhood as part of my participation in the LISTERINE 21 Day Challenge. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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Sesame Street, Anyone? Insta-Palette Week 2 #ww

instapalette-sesame-streetI’m starting a new #ww series where I choose my favorite Instagram-worthy pic and create a color palette inspired by the image: Insta-palette. This is week #2. 

My birthday was last weekend. Pretty much everyone forgot (that’s ok – I’m pushing 30, so birthdays aren’t supposed to be a big deal anymore, right?) but I did have the opportunity to celebrate with a giant cookie cake at my best friends’ apartment. That was pretty much the perfect evening.

My parents most certainly did not forget my birthday. In fact, they purchased this vintage Sesame Street Little People set on a recent thrifting trip as a special birthday gift for me. Yes, a toy. For an adult. 🙂

You see, I had this set when I was a child. I can remember playing with it in our garage, as my parents were hosting a yard sale. That’s the last time I ever saw this little gem, as it was sold by accident to some very lucky family. I have teased my mom relentlessly about this over the years, and when she came across the Sesame Street Little People set, she grabbed it up like it was a piece of treasure. It was a sincere gesture of a mother wanting to set things right and make her little girl happy.

No matter how old I get, I will always be my mommy’s baby girl. I see that now with my own daughter. And no matter how much I’ve grown, I will always need my mom and dad to help me navigate through life’s crazy twists and turns. After all, a parent’s job is never done.

Would you be interested in joining me in a weekly Insta-Palette linky? I will add a linky if there is enough interest. :) 

 

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Our Home Away From Home: Country Inn & Suites At Calypso Cay #VisitKiss

My family and I recently traveled to sunny Kissimmee, Florida for a family vacation, and it was a week that I will not soon forget. We visited Disney World’s Magic Kingdom theme park, SeaWorld Orlando, Downtown Disney, local beaches, and more! It was an exciting and action-packed week of adventure and discovery.

Upon arriving in Kissimmee, we decided to check in to our hotel and unload all of our luggage before checking out the area’s attractions. I knew that I would be impressed with our hotel the moment that we pulled into the parking lot. The Country Inn & Suites Orlando Maingate at Calypso Cay Resort (say that five times fast!) was beautiful, clean, and very welcoming – and that was just what I determined from the parking lot!

country-inn-calypso

The desk managers were all so very friendly. They welcomed us in, explained the free shuttle service to Disney theme parks and SeaWorld, as well as the resort amenities and planned activities. Throughout the week, I called down to the desk a few times to ask questions, and I received the same cheerful service every single time.

Our suite was truly a home away from home for the week. Danger had her own little nook, almost a separate room, with bunk beds and a television to occupy her downtime. My husband and I had a king-sized bed, flatscreen television, reading chair, and a desk in our part of the suite. We were very comfortable, and never felt like we needed a break from each other during our vacation because we each had our own “zones.”

country-inn-suite-calypso

The room also came equipped with a microwave, mini fridge, and coffee maker to aid us with mealtime and snacks. While we could have walked downstairs to fill up on coffee, I will admit that it was so nice to wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee in our own room (thanks, Andrè!)

We also enjoyed having other amenities at our disposal, like an iron and ironing board, hair dryer, and Pantene hair products. The Country Inn & Suites did not cut any corners, and really made us feel at home.

country-inn-calypso-home

The Be Our Guest breakfast was so diverse, and we filled up on lots of healthy options each morning before starting our daily exploration. Breakfast choices ranged from freshly made waffles to muffins, cereals, doughnuts, fruit, yogurt, and more! There was a little something for everyone at the breakfast buffet, and we were always very impressed with the selection. We opted to sit outside on the patio each morning for breakfast. I cannot think of a better way to have started our days!

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Other amenities that we enjoyed were the two swimming pools, playgrounds, Read and Return library, mini golf course, and outdoor picnic areas. There was always something fun to see and do around our resort, and it fast became a favorite Kissimmee attraction.

country-inn-amenities

At the end of our trip, my husband commented that the Country Inn & Suites hotels are very nice. While our first overnight stay at a Country Inn & Suites was last October during the #MomCountry event, we now have a favorite hotel chain that we will seek out in future trips, especially the Calypso Cay location in Kissimmee.

Where is your favorite family vacation destination? 

I was provided with a special media rate during our weeklong stay at the Country Inn & Suites Orlando Maingate at Calypso Cay Resort. All opinions come from my personal experiences at the resort. 

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Happy Birthday, Imagine It!

Imagine It! Children’s Museum of Atlanta is turning TEN! That’s right – the Museum has provided Atlanta-area families with a fun and safe place to learn and play for 10 years, and they want to mark this special occasion with a weekend of celebration! 

On Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3, the Museum will offer all visitors $10 admission. Several activities are planned to commemorate this very special occasion, such as a party hat decoration station, face painting, birthday games, crafts, cake, and a dance party with the Imaginators – PLUS all of the exhibits and play areas that make this Museum the  place to bring children to play and learn!

We recently visited the Museum, and only have good things to say about our visit. But why tell you, when I can show you:

_MG_6507Learning together…

_MG_6268Making new discoveries…

_MG_6977Trying something new…

The Museum offers so many ways for families to learn and discover together!

Make sure to follow Imagine It! Children’s Museum on social media channels so that you can stay up-to-date with all of the exiting learning opportunities throughout the year. Follow on facebook, twitter, and pinterest for event information, special offers, and Museum happenings.

If you’d like more information about the Body Carnival, make sure to check out my review about this new exhibit that explores the human body!

What’s your favorite birthday tradition? Personally, I get pretty excited about cake.

Special thanks to Imagine It! Children’s Museum for providing the above images from our time exploring the new Body Carnival exhibit. Danger and I made our modeling debut 🙂 

 

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Insta-Palette #ww

Insta-Palette-WWI’m starting a new #ww series where I choose my favorite Instagram-worthy pic and create a color palette inspired by the image: Insta-palette. 

The image above was taken at Jacksonville Beach in Florida. It was warm and sunny – until we walked out onto the beach. Then the storm clouds rolled in, darkened the sky, and joined the mighty breeze that whipped our hair across our faces. It was still a very pleasant family outing, and we took the opportunity to snuggle up with Danger just a little bit tighter.

Would you be interested in joining me in a weekly Insta-Palette linky? I will add a linky if there is enough interest. 🙂 

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So THIS Is Four

“I HATE MY MOMMY!”

Those four little words echoed off the walls of our tiny living room and instantly shattered me like glass.

“You apologize to your mother RIGHT NOW!” Andrè tried to help, but the damage had already been done.

I sat in the corner, jaw dropped open, sweater pulled up over my mouth – not sure whether to laugh hysterically or sob.

So this is four.

so-this-is-four

My mother tried to warn me that this is the age where children begin to separate themselves and establish their independence, sometimes aggressively. I thought this would happen to anyone else, and certainly not to my sweet little Danger, but obviously I was wrong.

The baby days are simply gone.

“Mommy, I have more applesauce, please?” has been replaced with, “I do it myself.” Sometimes it seems like I have to bark orders at a teenager instead of a darling four year old girl. This is different. This is new. This is scary.

So today, while I try to soak up every ounce of babyness that my little Danger has left, I will continue to encourage her independence – even if it means that I have to get my feelings hurt in the process.

This is four, and this sucks.

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Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey Presents Dragons: Recap

My family and I visited several of Atlanta’s attractions to get to know our city a little bit better. I’m not sure if you could call the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey performance at Philips Arena an Atlanta attraction, per se, but for the second year in a row, my family and I have watched the animals and daredevils on the edge of our seats at this much-anticipated annual event.

The pre-show events were entertaining, and got the audience ready for the action ahead. They offered clown noses, dance parties, a parade of animals, and even a bouncy house (extra charge) for children to participate in. Danger even dressed up as a clown in costume from a previous performance.

sad-clown

My husband seemed to enjoy the motorcyclist and his two lovely ladies:

motorcycle-babes

Our daughter, Danger, enjoyed the acrobatic antics of a large group on the floor:

acrobatic-antics-ringlign

And I enjoyed watching the lions and tigers (and bears! Oh my! Wait, no bears…) perform in the cage with a fearless tamer:

lions-tigers-bears-ringling

It was such a fun evening, and I was so happy to share in these moments with my little family. For more information about the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Dragons show, make sure to check out the showtimes and locations listed in my previous circus announcement!

What is your favorite circus act? 

I was provided with media passes so that I could write an honest review of our experiences at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey performance. All opinions come from my own personal experiences. 

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