The Importance of Being Reese: 2017

DIY Water Jug Baby Travel Case

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias and its advertiser Gerber® Pure®. All opinions are mine alone. #GerberPureWater


Upcycled water jug baby travel case





We've all been there. You're running late for a doctor's appointment/ play date/ meeting when you realize you just left your baby bag at the house, and Murphy's Law being what it is, your new babe just went potty in the only diaper you have. What do you do?

I've been in this situation too many times to count. It happens. Then I started getting wiser and carrying a travel case with me in my purse, just in case I somehow managed to find myself with a poopy baby and a MIA diaper bag.

Peach Glazed Pork Chops

Tracking Pixel This post is sponsored by Luck's, however, all thoughts, opinions and this delicious recipe belong to me. Bon Appétit.


Peach Glazed Pork Chops


These peach glazed pork chops are slow-cooked to perfection and topped with an authentically Southern can of Luck's Fried Peaches.

I love a good pork chop. And when you live in the South, peaches are basically a food group of their own. Add them both together, and you have a tender, fruity flavored dish that is sure to please every member of the family.

This week I decided to switch up my regular menu and add a bit of flavor to our table-- Peach Glazed Pork Chops. Not only are they pretty to look at, but according to Little J they are "the best chops ever!" Which in kid terms, means your food is worthy of a Michelin star. And since my kiddo doesn't hand those out very often, it's pretty safe to say these chops are pretty darn good.

Pumpkin Patch Rice Krispies Treats

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Kellogs. All opinions are mine alone. #SnackItAndPackIt #SeasonalSolutions #CollectiveBias


Pumpkin Patch Rice Krispies Treats
These Pumpkin Patch Rice Krispies Treats take less than 10 minutes, and they look as good as they taste. 

We're 14 days away from Halloween and I'm still putting together a few fun recipes to make your "spooky day" even spookier. Since my kiddo is still a bit on the young side, I tend to create kid-friendly Halloween Treats and leave the scary stuff for the older kids.

This week I've partnered with Kellogs and I'm featuring a super simple and adorable Halloween Treat for your upcoming Halloween festivities. Though I didn't necessarily need all the Kellogs Snack Packs pictured below for the recipe itself, I try to keep our house stocked with treats for Little J and her friends around this time of the year. And if we're being honest, I'm a big fan of Rice Krispies Treats®. They've been making memories for kids and parents alike for generations, and it's nice to be able to share that with my own kiddo.

A Bit of Love to the World Today



This morning I randomly woke up at 2:00 AM. I suppose that's not exactly unusual when you're 4 month pregnant. I opened up my phone and saw the latest news alert about the shooting in Las Vegas. At that time, the death toll was only at 2. I went back to sleep praying it wouldn't go any higher.

When I woke up this morning to get Little J ready for school, the toll had jumped to 50. By the end of the day that number will likely climb again.

Preparing for Torrential Weather with the Toyota Prius Prime Advanced


A/N: This post is sponsored by Toyota & DriveShop, however, all thoughts and opinions about how amazing this vehicle is, belong solely to me.

This year the weather has been unseasonably tumultuous. Within a one month span, we've experienced multiple historic Hurricanes that have claimed hundreds of lives and destroyed billions in property.  And it's showing no sign of slowing down soon. Like the rest of the nation, watching these events unfold have been unsettling, but also eye-opening about how unprepared for disaster my family is.

Freebie Friday: Trick or Treat Printable




Happy Friday,

I'm celebrating the official begining of fall by sharing a fun Halloween themed printable. These are fun if you're into dressing up your home for Halloween, which I most definetly am. They make fun table decor, or you can even hang it on the wall if you so please.

To download, simply click THIS LINK. From here, you'll be taken to a seperate page where you can print. If you love this printable, feel free to REPIN on Pinterest. After all, sharing is caring. And be sure to visit next Friday for another spooky printable to help you take your Halloween decor up a notch.

Until next time,



Coming Soon to a Crib Near You




I just wanted to share a bit of good news with you. Our family of three will be growing to a family of four. We're so excited to share that we'll be adding a baby boy to our family early next year. So now Mr. A can finally stop complaining about being outnumberd, Little J will have a playmate, and I will have a tiny person to love on again.


I'm looking forward to sharing more as the pregnancy progresses.

 Until next time,

5 Tips to Survive Your First Month with a Newborn

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, NUK Simple Natural Bottles. All opinions are mine alone. #SimplyBonding #CollectiveBias



Breastfeeding is hard.

Before Little J was born, I was under the impression that breastfeeding was something that just came naturally to mothers. I truly believed that immediately after birth, my maternal instincts would automatically kick in, and I would instantly know how to do all the things, including breastfeeding. But I also thought that within a week of giving birth, life would return to normal.

I know, you can stop laughing now...


How to Design a Halloween Display on a Budget #AtHomeStores

This post has been #sponsored by At Home and MomSelect. However, all thoughts, images and awesome decorating skills belong to me. Enjoy! #AtHomeStores #AtHomeFinds

Can you believe that Halloween is right around the corner? I'll admit, for a 30-something-year-old I get pretty excited about Halloween. And by pretty excited, I mean ridiculously excited.

This year I started decorating for Halloween a bit early. We have a tenancy to get incredibly busy once the new school year starts, and I wanted to make sure that I got my Halloween decor before it was gone. Luckily, At Home believes in kicking off the spooky season early as well so I was able to get all of my Halloween decorating essentials in one trip. Unlike the previous years, this year I focused on the inside of our house--specifically the hallway table as it tends to get the most through traffic. Perfect for a festive Halloween display!

4 Things I'm No Longer Going To Do as a First Grade Mom



School is back in session and this year I've decided to take a different approach to the school year. Admittedly I took my role as a kindergarten mom a bit seriously. And by bit seriously, i mean completely extra. The stress of sending my little one off to be around someone other than me all day, coupled with the Pinterest perfect moms ideas left me feeling like I was failing a bit in the kindergarten mom department. And so I took it upon myself to go the extra, glitter covered, PTA volunteering, bake sale making mile. Much to my detriment.

But this year, I’m not going to do that. Instead, here’s what I’m going to do:

20 Deliciously Simple Light Summer Appetizers



Still looking for the perfect appetizer for your upcoming dinner? Check out this list of 20 mouthwateringly delicious light summer appetizers to get the party started! 

 Summer may be coming to a close calendar wise, but in the South, Summer has been known to stick around much longer than August. Which is great if you're like me and LOVE summer foods. Check out the list below for some deliciously simple light summer appetizers to help get you through the final few weeks of summer!

Summer Family Road Trip Survival Guide with Walmart Family Mobile

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #SummerIsForSavings #CollectiveBias #WFM3


Summer may be winding down, but there's still time for a few quick road trips. See how our latest road trip was made even simpler with Walmart Family Mobile Plus Plan + take away some useful information from my summer family road trip survival guide!

On average, our family takes at least 12 road trips per year. Though taking a quick flight seems more efficient time wise, we actually prefer the ride. Call us crazy, but there's something special about spending time in a car with family, taking in the sights, and enjoying the journey. Especially if you have unlimited data and the ability to turn your phone into a hotspot. Because, let's face it, there's only so much enjoyment you can get out of each others company before you start to get restless.

I'm an O Mag Insider #OMagInsiders



You know that email you get every once and a while that makes your heart burst through your chest and your eyes well up with tears of happiness? Last week, I received THAT email.

It came unexpectedly. Mr. A and I were doing a last minute showdown for his upcoming drill weekend and my phone let out an unassuming buzz. I took a quick cursory look at my inbox and noticed there was a new message titled, "Welcome to O's Inner Circle." I shrugged it off, thinking that perhaps it was time for me to renew my nook subscription to O, The Oprah Magazine. But then I realized that my account was set to auto renew, so I opened the email and went in for a closer look.

This is what I saw...

"Since founding the O Mag Insiders group in early 2017, we’ve received thousands of submissions and selected the most influential, engaged, and enthusiastic fans of O, The Oprah Magazine to join – and we think you’re one of them."

My mind instantly went into a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions...

"Wait, what?" 
"This has got to be a mistake."
"Did I really submit an application for this?"
"Wait, what?"

After reading through the email several times, and checking the name half a dozen times to ensure that it was addressed to me, it sank in. I had just been invited to join an ellite team of ambassadors for O, The Oprah Magazine.

The next few hours were spent obsessively stalking researching my fellow #OMagInsiders, looking for more information about what to expect. The gist of it is, in the coming months I'll be acting as an extension of The O, The Oprah Magazine, testing out new products, attending some exciting events, and (hopefully) will have the opportunity to give valuable input. Which basically means me and Oprah are now besties  (kidding). But most importantly, I'll continue to put out as much love and kindness into the universe as I possibly can. And let's face it, this universe could deal with a bit of extra kindness and love these days.

Be sure to keep up with me and my fellow insiders by following our hastag #OMagInsiders and stay tuned for more news from O!

Until Next Time!

How to Have the Ultimate Water Fight Date Night with your Spouse

This shop/post has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #SummerRefreshment #Publix #CollectiveBias



Step One: Stock up on water gun paraphernalia. Bonus points if you snag a super sweet end of the season sale.
Step Two: Stock up on refreshments and goodies (FYI, Publix currently has an awesome sale on Minute Maid Lemonade & FUZE® tea, but more on that later)
Step Three: Set up an adorable refreshment stand before the craziness ensues
Step Four: Leave him a note to let him know what's in store.
Step Five: Instantly regret your decision to encourage a water fight date night with someone who has military training.
Step Six: Lose horribly
Step Seven: End your water gun fight with a truce because you're both hungry and thirsty
Step Eight: Eat, drink and be merry.

The Curious Case of the Overly Vigilant Neighbor



I was sitting on the park bench halfheartedly flipping through a magazine  and intermittently looking up to make sure Little J wasn't reenacting scenes from Cliffhanger when she pipped up.

"She can't be more than 10. Do you see her parents? I think she came here alone."

I looked up confused.

The park was basically empty.  Which was strange for this time of  year. The question had come from the only other adult at the park, sitting at the bench next to me. At first I thought she was talking about my daughter, but after a cursory glance around the nearly empty park, I spotted the "target."

She was a young girl, blonde hair, and definitely much older than 10 years old.

I sighed internally, knowing where this conversation was heading.

Pandora-World of Avatar Expedition Travel Guide

What to See, Ride, Eat and Drink at Pandora-World of Avatar


A/N: This post is sponsored by DisneyWorld and SheKnows Media, however, all words, thoughts and pictures belong to me. 

Last month, I was invited by Disney and She Knows Media to experience the magic of Pandora- World of Avatar. It's been a while since I've been to Animal Kingdom, and quite a bit has changed, most notably the addition of Pandora. If you've been a longtime reader, you know that we are Disney fanatics. In fact, we visited Disney World in April and JUST missed the grand opening of Pandora by a few weeks. So you can imagine my excitement when I received my magical invitation from Disney World to come check out Pandora-World of Avatar.

Thrilled doesn't even begin to cover it.

Verizon Wireless is Giving Away Free Backpacks FULL of School Supplies



Your back-to-school shopping just got easier! On Sunday, July 23rd, Verizon Wireless Zones will be giving away free backpacks with school supplies from 1-4 PM. The backpacks will be given out on a first-come, first serve basis and a child must be present to claim their free backpack - no purchases necessary, just good community fun!

Why the giveaway? Wireless Zone stores are locally owned and operated Verizon Franchisors.  Actively being part of and giving back to the communities in which they exist and serve is a part of their core values!

How can you help?  After you get your free backpack, share your photos using#WZGivesBack on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to spread the goodwill! 

Get more details, including a list of participating location at: www.wzgivesback.com

Unforgettable DVD Release and Giveaway


A/N: This post is sponsored Warner Brothers, however, all thoughts and opinion are truly my own.

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to attend a Girls Night Out screening of Unforgettable. I can honestly say I was completely unprepared for the intensity. Not only was the cast amazing, but there were a few scenes where I literally found myself talking to the screen and cheering on the characters. It was perfect for a Girls Night Out.

8 Key BlogHer17 Takeaways and Tips

BlogHer17 welcome

I'm finally winding down from BlogHer17, and WOW, what an incredible (and exhausting) 4.5 days. Normally every year around the same time, I spend an hour or two a day perusing the BlogHer hastag and seeing what my favorite bloggers are up to at the conference. Having done this for several years in a row, I can tell you, following the conference hastag is nothing like actually attending the conference. At all.

Three weeks later I'm finally just processing everything and downloading all of my photos. Now that things are mostly back on track, I wanted to take the time to share a few of my most important takeaways from BlogHer17.

4th of July Cake Batter Donuts


Celebrate 4th of July with a dozen or two of these adorably delectable 4th of July Cake Batter Donuts

 We're a few short days away from 4th of July and I'm celebrating by sharing these cute and delectable 4th of July Cake Batter Donuts for your family to try this week! Not only are these donuts incredibly delicious, but they're the perfect showpiece for your 4th of July festivities. Not to mention, they're so simple, even your tiniest bakers can join in on the fun!

Being an Army Brat, the 4th of July has always been a big deal in our family. As a kid, I spent most of my 4th's on post BBQing with friends and family and watching the firework show the Army puts on every year.

25 years later and not much has changed. Except now I'm the one in charge of the food and dessert making. So every year I attempt to put a fun twist of a patriotic dessert for all of us to enjoy.

Enter these yummy patriotic cake batter donuts.

Where to Stay, Play, Eat and Drink in Fayetteville, North Carolina


Question of the Day: What do you get when you let loose 8 military wives in the city of Fayetteville, North Carolina

 Answer: A fabulously good time.

A few weeks ago, I was invited by SoFluential and The Fayetteville Areas Convention and Visitors Bureau to take a tour of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Fayetteville holds many good memories for me. It was the place where I met Mr. A, where I graduated with my first degree, and it is currently where my parents have planted their roots.

Still, on the surface, Fayetteville can be mistaken as one of the many other military towns whose reputations sometimes precedes itself. But once you take a closer look, you'll see that Fayetteville has some serious small town charm and rich history. You just have to know where to go to unlock all that Fayetteville has to offer.


Work from Home Style with Phonetic Eyewear + A Giveaway


A/N: This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Phonetics Eyewear, however all thoughts and opinions are provided by me. Dress provided courtesy of Angela Roy LulaRoe.

I've worn glasses since I was a kid. I suppose my inevitable journey into wearing glasses started with my insatiable need to read. Most of the time, at night, in the dark, with a flashlight. This was, of course, pre-e-reader days, so my eyes paid the price.

Since I work from home, I'm pretty much on some form of electronic device 24/7, which puts a serious strain on my already strained eyes. So you can imagine my surprise (and pure delight) when I discovered that Phonetic Eyewear helps to alleviate digital eyestrain by using a special coating to deflect harmful blue light caused by computer screens and most electronic devices.

Cars 3 Candy Popcorn


Head to the theaters to check out Cars 3, the latest action-packed movie by Disney Pixar!

It's no secret that we are a Disney loving family. Every time a new Disney movie comes out, we're typically front-and-center in the theater to check it out. Since Mr. A is quite the car aficionado, you can imagine that our entire family was excited about the release of Cars 3. So much so that I celebrated by creating a fun, and super easy Cars 3 snack to celebrate.

Bright, colorful, and fun, this Cars 3 Candy Popcorn is the perfect snack for a Cars themed party or Cars moving watching marathon! It's 50% sweet, 50% salty, and 100% delicious. Which makes it the perfect treat for EVERYONE in the family.

5 Easy Ways to Stay Safe While Working From Home

Tracking Pixel

A/N: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Iris by Lowe’s, however, all thoughts, and opinions truly belong to me.

 Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. This is a rule I have always lived by. It can be applied to every aspect of my life. Parenting. Work. Writing. And, of course, personal safety.

Last year, I remember watching the news in horror as a stay-at-home-mom was attacked by a home intruder. The thing that truly struck me was the timing of the attack. It was broad daylight. She lived in a seemingly safe suburban neighborhood. And she even had a security camera. What scared me the most is that I found that I could check off every single item on that list as well.

Watching that incident unfold left me feeling incredibly uneasy. As a work-at-home-mom, I had always assumed that working from within the confines of my home was somewhat safer. Watching that 45 second clip of a woman fighting for her life made me realize just how easily that could have been me.

Summer Ravioli Pasta Salad

Summer Ravioli Pasta Salad

Cheesy ravioli and fresh veggies marinated in a deliciously healthy Italian dressing-- this Summer Ravioli Pasta Salad is the perfect side for picnics, BBQ's and summer gatherings. 

During the Summer months, there's always something going on at our house. We're serial entertainers. While Mr. A typically mans the grill, the side dishes and decor typically fall on my plate. Which is why I find it helpful to serve dishes that can be whipped up in no time.

Summer Learning: Slide It



In any other circumstance, sliding playing cards along a table might not seem like a learning activity, but this game is! Take turns sliding cards, measuring their distance from the edge using a ruler, and adding up the total to find your score. Practice makes perfect! Try sliding the cards so they just touch the edge, if you're successful you're almost guaranteed to walk away the winner.


Giveaway: Win Two Zoёs Kitchen Entrees




You may have noticed that I'm a bit of a foodie. In fact, I'm the original foodie. Which is why I am beyond excited that there's a new Zoёs Kitchen coming to my neck of the woods.

I have long since been a fan of Zoёs Kitchen. It basically meets all of the qualifications necessary to be a go-to for me and the A Team. It's quick. It's healthy. And it's delicious. Basically it's the closest you'll come to experiencing Mediterranean food without hopping on a plane.

Because the folks at Zoёs Kitchen are so awesome and excited about launching their new restaurant, they're giving away one thousand entrees for their opening day. For your chance to win, simply click on the link below to sign up AND leave a comment below to let me know you've signed up.

SIGN UP HERE

The Giveaway ends at 9 AM on Thursday, May 25th. Good luck! And if you win, feel free to split an entree with me at the Rivergate Grand Opening!

Until next time,


Freebie Friday: Try to Be a Rainbow In Someone Else's Cloud




It's been so long since I've done a Freebie Friday, and these quote have been on my mind a lot. When I wrote the post, " The Day My Daughter Rejected my Blackness," I had no clue it would go viral. When something you write goes viral, there's this incredible sense of accomplishment. You've written something that has touched so many hearts. But the problem with going viral, is that you've essentially invited millions of people with varying opinions into your life.

For the past few days, I've been blocking and ignoring the overly obnoxious people sending me hate mail, and have been focusing on the good. And there's a lot of it. So many kind people who read what I had to say and found solace in my words. They're the reason I'm still going. They're the reason I'll keep going.

But today, I'm sending out a little extra love into the universe with these printables. I hope they serve as a reminder to someone who needs it.

To download, simply click on the links below.

Try to be the Rainbow in Someone Else's Cloud
We Rise By Lifting Others

Peace, love and happy thoughts. And remember, today, be kind to those who need it the most.




5 Cheap Ways to Help your Kids Defeat the Summer Slide

5 ways to defeat the summer slide


Days are getting longer. The weather is getting warmer. Summer is nearly here, and our kiddos are probably anticipating the joy and adventure that summer brings. But as many of us in the Parenthood club know, summer isn't just all kicks, giggles and mudpies.

With summer rapidly approaching, educators are beginning to remind parents of the dreaded summer slide--the drop-off in academic skills during the summer months that most school-aged children experience. Research shows that many students lose anywhere between two to three months of math skills during the summer months. Once school resumes in the fall, it typically takes teachers more than a month to get students back on track. If that's not enough to scare you consider this: over a 12 year period, kids can lose more than a year and a half of academic skills due to the Summer Slide.

Which is why I'm sharing a few easy ways to help keep your kiddos learning on track during the summer months. The best thing about these tips, us they won't cost you a second mortgage to keep your kids entertained this summer ( I'm looking at you STEM Camps).

Sephora Mother's Day Gift Guide



A/N: I received a box full of Sephora goodies in order to facilitate this gift guide, however all thoughts, and opinions belong to me. 

Mother's Day is just around the corner, and today I'm sharing some of my favorite Sephora picks in this exclusive Sephora Mother's Day Gift Guide.

Moms rock 365 days out of the year. I know, I'm a bit biased, but motherhood isn't for the faint of heart, and I've got the scars and sleepless night to prove it. That's why this year I'm devoting my Mother's Day Gift Guide to the one present that sure to pamper, soothe and rejuvenate the special lady in your life. This simple gift guide with help you pair up some products to help pamper the special lady in your life the way she deserves.

Enjoy. And for all the moms reading, I wish you a happy and relaxing Mother's Day. You've earned it!

FOR THE FACE
FOR THE BODY
FOR THE LIPS
FOR THE EYES
FOR THE FINAL TOUCH
FOR THE TRAVELER


Join Jane Park, Founder and CEO of Julep, for a Master Class and Beauty Event



Beauty aficionados, prepare to pamper yourselves! Stock up on some of your favorite beauty products, discover new products, learn the secrets of radiant skin, and chat with Julep's "Chief Girlfriend" (AKA Founder & CEO) Jane Park on Saturday, May 20th.

Come hang with the Jane and Ulta gang in Gastonia and learn how to pamper your skin during the Morning Master Class lead by Jane herself! During the class, learn all about the Korean beauty secrets that have propelled Jane to the top of the beauty industry, including a simple 3 step routine for achieving and maintain radiant skin all season long.

20 Fun Coding Games for Kids of All Ages

Teach your kids to love and master coding with these 20 fun coding games for kids of all ages


Teach your kids how to code with these 20 Coding Games for Kids of All Ages.

In our house, computers are life. I remember how adamant I was about ensuring that our daughter spend more time outside with nature, and less time in front technology. This was obviously before she was born. Oh, how naive I was.

My daughter belongs to the "generation of tech." A generation that will never know life without cellphones or tablets, and a generation that gets to play with robots. Frankly, I'm a bit jealous.  So instead of shying away from technology, I'm teaching my daughter in hopes that one day she'll grow to love it. Since I believe that sharing is caring, today I'm sharing 10 of my favorite Coding Games for kids of All Ages.

Where to Stay, Play, Eat and Drink At Disney World


A/N: This post is sponsored by Visit Orlando and Disney World however, all thoughts, opinions, and photos about our incredibly awesome time in Orlando are truly my own. Enjoy!

Hola everybody,

I'm just getting back into the swing of things around here. If you keep up with me on Instagram and Twitter, you know by now we were down in Orlando last week. This vacation was LONG overdue. After 5 months apart, our family needed some time together to reconnect. What better way to do that than at Disney?

It's been a while since I've been to Disney World, and things have changed A LOT. But one thing about Disney World remains the same-- it truly is one of the most family friendly places to visit. So if you're in the process of planning your upcoming Disney World vacay, be sure to pay close attention.

I've Been Selected as a Voice of the Year Honoree for BlogHer 2017


A few weeks ago, on a sunny runway in Orlando, I opened my email to find a very unexpected, but incredibly exciting email waiting for me. In the interest of getting straight to the point (but mostly because the title and cute little badge at the top of my post pretty much says it all) I'm pleased to announce that I've been selected as a BlogHer Voices of the Year Honoree.

The shock of discovering that I'm being honored at BlogHer, which will be hosted in Orlando this year, while deplaning in Orlando was so overwhelming that I literally had to ask Mr. A to read the email  just to make sure the altitude hadn't fried my brain.

Turns out my brain is in perfect health.

On a whim a few months ago I submitted a short piece to the open call for submission for Blog Her Voices of the Year, and then in true mom form, completely forgot about it. Luckily, the judges in charge of making the VOTY selections at BlogHer 2017 didn't forget about it.

So right now I'm sending a huge congratulations to all the insanely talented creatives that I get to share the honor with this year, and saying thank you to the powers that be at BlogHer who decided my post: The Day My Daughter Rejected My Blackness, was worth sharing and honoring.

I can't wait to see some of your beautiful faces in Orlando this June.

P.S. This is my first time attending BlogHer, so if you have some tips, or recaps, feel free to drop them in the comments below.

Until next time,





How to Create a Fire and Safety Plan for your Family

Having a safety plan in place could save your life, and the life of your loved one. Here's how to create a simple safety plan for your family

This topic has been on my mind quite a bit lately. I guess this is to be expected with the rise of popular television shows such as The Walking Dead and Revolution. As much as I wish I could say that this epiphany struck after an attending a conference about safety awareness, in all honestly, watching these shows is really what has spurred my thinking. What would we do if an emergency situation arose and we didn't have a way to contact each other? Where would we meet? Where would we go? How would we communicate?

By no means have I become so paranoid that I've begun making plans to install a fallout shelter in our backyard stocked with canned goods, but at the same time, I don't feel comfortable sitting around, patiently waiting for disaster to strike. I'm a big believer in being prepared, and although you can't prepare for everything, there are certain things that you can discuss that may come in handy one day. Here's a few safety tips that may very well save your life one day:

Charlotte Happenings: County Fair Open for the Season at Carowinds

A/N: I was given free entry into Carowinds and a food pass in exchange for sharing my recap with you all, but as always, all thoughts, opinions and photos belong to me unless stated otherwise. Enjoy!


Last weekend, Little J and I took to Carowinds to check out four thrilling new rides at the much anticipated Carowinds County Fair. Apparently, the wait was well worth it, because that particular section of Carowinds was packed all day. And after checking out this recap, you'll understand why.

We arrived at the park around 1:00 PM. Since we were a bit late arriving, we decided to stay until closing, which is pretty easy to do if you've ever visited Carowinds because there is plenty to do and eat. It truly is an all day affair.

16 Deliciously Simple Peanut Butter and Jelly Recipes

Easy peanut butter recipes


In my house, Peanut Butter and Jelly is basically a food group. Neatly sandwiched between vegetables and starch, Peanut Butter and Jelly is the best of both worlds. It's quick, and technically, since it involves peanuts and grapes, it's sorta healthy. Okay, so that last part is a bit of a stretch. But if your family is as big of a fan of the Almighty PB&J as mine, here are 16 deliciously simple Peanut Butter and Jelly recipes for you to try.

 Enjoy!

How to Road Trip with Kids, Without Going Crazy

Simple tips on how to road trip this season without losing your mind in the process



The days are getting longer. The weather is getting warmer. Summer is just around the corner. If you're anything like my family, that means the season of road-trips is rapidly approaching. Which means if you want to survive the summer with your sanity intact, it's time to get started planning your next family road trip now.

Living in North Carolina presents plenty of road-tripping opportunities. Between the beaches and the mountains, there's plenty to see, and we often try. During the summer months, we typically spend at least one weekend a month on the road. Still, no matter how many road trips we take, road-tripping with a kid, is considerably more difficult, than road tripping with adults. Which is why before we leave, I take extra measures to ensure that our road-trip doesn't deprive me of my sanity.

WeMo Mini Smart Plug by Belkin Review and Giveaway

It's week two of my Smart Moms, Smart Homes series, and today, we're talking about the WeMo Mini Smart Plug. Be sure to check out my review on YouTube for more information about this smart plug. This post is sponsored by Belkin, however all thoughts and opinions belong solely to me.

WeMo Mini Smart Plug

You know that feeling of annoyance you get when it's too warm and your A/C just isn't doing the trick, but you know your fan will get the job done. Only your fan is on the other side of the room, and you're in a comfy position on your couch? Turns out, there's a fix for that-- The WeMo Mini Smart Plug by Belkin.

This tiny little plug packs a powerful punch. With one flick of the button, or a simple voice command, you can control electronic devices throughout your home, even if you're on the other side of the world.

Moana Movie Viewing Party + Moana Inspired Snack Ideas

Thank you to Disney for providing us with some awesome Moana swag and a gift card to help make our movie viewing party extra special! 

Tips and treats for hosting a Moana styled party


8 is the number of times my daughter has watched Moana since our movie viewing party last weekend. Not that I'm upset, because Moana is so good we can literally watch it over and over again, and love it every single time.

If you keep up with me on Twitter, you know that last week we celebrated the upcoming release of Disney's Moana with a few pint-sized friends and tons of goodies. Since Mr. A was out of town, it was truly a ladies night, complete with some serious yummies, and a movie that introduces a new kind of Disney Princess. As the mother of a strong-willed daughter, I LOVE the tone that this Moana sets, which is why it was literally the perfect choice for a ladies night in. My family has a rich history of strong, independent women, so watching this movie with my daughter, was especially important.