Summertime And The Living’s Easy… So Are The Accidents

Mother and SonWe love summer, so very much.  The heat and humidity aside, we enjoy spending a lot of time outside doing various things – and sometimes nothing at all.  We’ve spent time at the pool, baseball games and we’re heading to the beach in a few weeks.  We’ve spent time inside too.  Believe it or not, our only summer injury so far has been a sprained ankle for my daughter, and that happened inside at a fast food play place.  Go figure.  It’s funny how accidents happen in the least expected places.

We had several near misses at the ballpark.  There were the flying foul balls, the multitude of concrete stairs and the bounce houses and slides they had for the kids to enjoy.  Why my kid feels the need to fling himself down the bouncy slides, I will never know.  The kids got the chance to walk around the field the last time we were at a baseball game, and despite being told not to run a hundred times, 90% of the kids on the field were doing just that.  I was waiting on my boy to bite the dust the entire time.

Boy at Baseball GameCullen is all boy, and while I have no desire to repeat our emergency room adventure from March, I’m also not going to stop him from exploring and doing the things boys do. Climbing on rocks? Yep. Crazy jumping into the pool? Yep. Those are just fun parts of growing up, even if they scare the pants off of the adults. What’s more scary than the rocks climbing, running and general disregard for their own health? The bill that shows up after a trip to the ER.

Boy Jumping Off RockOur little adventure back in March, the one where the boy fell over the dog and up the stairs, left him with 4 stitches, 2 scars, and a healthy respect for what an ER trip at 2 am is like.  For me, it left me with a $1400 bill I had to figure out how to cover and still pay my rent.  If only we’d had accident insurance.  Yes, we have health insurance, but as our luck would have it, we were no where near our deductible for the year.  Aflac’s voluntary products, which supplement major medical plans, are designed to pay policyholders directly for costs associated with a covered serious illness, injury or loss. In addition, the cash benefits can be used for rent, gas, groceries, child care or any other out-of-pocket expenses a worker may have.  It would’ve been nice not to have to worry about taking an unpaid vacation day because I spent all night in the ER.

Boy on SwingThrough its trailblazing One Day Pay ℠ initiative, Aflac U.S. can receive process, approve and disburse payment for eligible claims in one business day.  It takes me that long just to get someone on the phone at my insurance company.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 2.6 million kids under the age of 19 old are treated in the ER each year for sports and recreation-related injuries.  As you can imagine, the likelihood of an accident is higher in the summer.

If you have an accident-prone kid, check out this info from Aflac on the policies they offer and how you can benefit from things like One Day Pay ℠ and all of the supplemental policies Aflac has to offer.

Boy Jumping In PoolDo you have an accident prone kid in your house?  What types of injuries have you suffered through with your kiddos and what did you learn from the experiences?  Tell us your story!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Posted in Health/Wellness, Life in General | Leave a comment

Make A Back-To-School Lunch Your Kids Will Want To Eat

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Rubbermaid through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about LunchBlox, all opinions are my own.

Packing The Perfect Kid Approved Lunch

Back To School strikes fear into the hearts of parents everywhere.  There are teacher assignments to contend with, school supplies to shop for, clothes to buy and children to convince that the world is not ending.  Where do we start?  Perhaps the last thing on our minds is packing a lunch our kids will want to eat.  We fall back on boring sandwiches and bags of chips.  Why?

Lunch Blox RubbermaidPacking a back to school lunch that is fun, enticing and healthy isn’t as hard as we make it out to be.  Rubbermaid is making it even easier with LunchBlox.  LunchBlox are perfectly sized for your kid’s lunch box, keeps things sorted into neat, easy to open, spill-proof containers that snap into a Blue Ice Block to keep everything cold through the day.  Take your typical sandwich, add a little creativity, step up your sides and you’ve got a great lunch no kid could pass up!

Sandwich Roll Ups For The Perfect LunchDitch the crust.  There’s not a kid on the planet that likes the crust, plus for our purpose, it gets in the way.  My dog enjoys being on the receiving end of this little treat.  You can also save your crust scraps to feed to your favorite neighborhood birds.

Making Sandwich Roll UpsUsing a rolling pin or the side of a heavy glass, roll your bread into a thin sheet.  Doing this makes it easier to roll.  Add a slice of ham or turkey, some shredded cheese and roll it up.  For my kids, I do this twice.  Two roll-ups are more fun than one!  Place the rolls-ups, seam side down, on a microwave safe plate and heat them for 15 seconds.  This helps seal the roll-ups and keeps everything together.

Sandwich Roll UpsThe ham and cheese roll-ups are way more fun than a sandwich.  Your kids can eat them with one hand and they only take a few minutes to put together.  You can also do the same thing with peanut butter and jelly or any other sandwich combo your kids enjoy.

Variety For Kids LunchPaired with a drinkable yogurt, a colorful fruit salad and some delicious vanilla cookies for dessert, this is a lunch any kid would want to eat!  My kids like to scoop up the fruit with the cookies.  With the Blue Ice Block that comes with the LunchBlox set, you could even add a little whipped cream to the top of your fruit salad without worrying about it getting too warm.

Lunch Packed with Lunch Blox By RubbermaidNeat, tidy and all ready for back to school!  What are your kids’ favorite back to school lunch treats?  Is a new lunch box on your shopping list for back to school?  Don’t forget to add LunchBlox and let your kids get in on the fun of packing their own lunches!


Posted in Food, Reviews | 8 Comments

A Busy Life Full Of Beautiful Imperfections

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Aveeno through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Aveeno® all opinions are my own.

Lake Norman

It’s beautiful, isn’t it?  I am lucky enough to live not only within a 4 hour drive to the beach and a 2 hour drive to the mountains, but also in the immediate area of the gorgeous Lake Norman.  It’s a beautiful lake.  Where the bridges on I-77 cross the waterway, it’s so captivating that it literally stops traffic.  Having lived here my whole life though, where everyone else sees the perfect place to relax, I see the little imperfections.  I see the traffic headaches, the boating accidents and higher cost of living.  It’s much like how we see ourselves in the mirror everyday and see the little imperfections that no one else sees.

Mom and Daughter My life is full of little imperfections, beautiful imperfections that extend far beyond what I see in the mirror.  I’m divorced.  That would be a flaw to some, and while it is, there’s also beauty in it.  My children get the added bonus of having extra wonderful people in their lives as their daddy and I move on with our lives.  There’s beauty in knowing myself enough to not only realize my marriage wasn’t working, but to also do something about it.

Beautiful Imperfections When I look at my 8 year old daughter, I see a gorgeous little girl that has a lot of her mama’s flaws.  She’s high strung, anxious and speaks her mind.  She’s perfect.  My son, a goofy 6 year old, is a mama’s boy all the way.  He and his dad are finally developing a relationship now that I am not always available.  It’s not the perfect situation, but there is beauty in it.

Aveeno Positively Radiant Makeup Removing Wipes

While my life is much busier in many aspects than it ever has been before, I am spending more time taking care of myself.  I’m making more of an effort in my personal appearance, and not in the “I’m trying to impress people way”, but in the “I feel better about myself when I’m taking care of myself” sort of way.  I don’t wear a full face of make up every day, but I do usually at least put on my AVEENO® CLEAR COMPLEXION BB CREAM BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 30.  And at night, I make sure to take it off either by showering or using AVEENO® POSITIVELY RADIANT® MAKEUP REMOVING WIPES.  I love them because they are a quick and convenient way to do a little something to take care of myself, and avoid some of the not-so-beautiful imperfections that life throws at us.  I have a pack in my gym bag too, as they are a great way to clean up my face after a run.

Make Up Remover WipesI don’t mind my imperfections.  Life is full of them.  I try to make the best of them though.  As long as I’m taking care of myself, and taking care of my kids, everything else will fall into place.  In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the summer, take care of my skin and spend some time enjoying the lake.

Let Me Take A Selfie

Posted in Beauty & Fashion, Life in General | 8 Comments

FREE Admission to SEA LIFE Aquarium July 10th!

SLCH01_30mm_1aef988As a member of the SEA LIFE Parents Council (yes, we get free admission), I wanted to make sure my fellow Charlotte-area residents had the opportunity to check out SEA LIFE for FREE too!

Only July 10th, SEA LIFE will be hosting its second annual American Red Cross blood drive from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Concord Mills. All presenting blood donors will receive a free Red Cross T-shirt, a regular admission ticket to SEA LIFE and a $10 Visa gift card, courtesy of Suburban Propane, while supplies last.

“Partnering with the Red Cross for our second blood drive is a great opportunity for SEA LIFE to help give back to the local community,” said Dalia Goldgor, general manager at SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord. “Last year’s event was a huge success for both SEA LIFE and the Red Cross, and we hope to welcome lots of donors through our doors again this year.”

The community can make an impact for patients in need this summer and help send worries of a summer blood shortage out with the tide. Vacations and summer activities often result in a decline in blood donations during the summer.

During the months of June, July and August, approximately two fewer donors schedule an appointment to give blood at each Red Cross blood drive than what patients need. This can add up to more than 100,000 fewer donations during the summer. This seasonal challenge can be overcome if just two people above what’s expected give blood at each drive this summer.

Donate blood at Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium:

Friday, July 10
10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Concord Mills, Entrance 7
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC 28027

To schedule an appointment, visit and enter the sponsor code Sea Life, call 1-800-RED CROSS or download the Red Cross Blood Donor App available through the App StoreSM and Google PlayTM.

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The 15 Best Shows On Netflix For Summer

This post is sponsored by Netflix.  As a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam, I receive complimentary Netflix streaming.  We were Netflix customers for years before becoming members of the #StreamTeam.  All opinions are mine and mine alone.

What To Watch On NetflixIt is hot.  H-O-T  I’m not going to lie… For the next 2 months, you will find me parked inside in the air conditioning quite frequently.  Now, I can tolerate the heat to some degree.  My kids, they cannot.  We will spend some time at the pool, but we will spend a lot of time inside doing other things – crafts, movies, games and yes, some screen time with their Kindles and Xbox.

Once the littles go to bed, I’ll be binge watching some older shows on Netflix.  I’ve put together a little list of what I think are the best 15 shows to binge watch on Netflix.  Some I’ve already blown through myself and some are on my list to get through during this insane heat wave we’ve already started experiencing (and it’s only June!).

Dexter – A serial killer with a conscience? Yes!  It’s dark, it’s mysterious and its definitely not kid-friendly.  You need to watch this though, start to finish!

Sons of Anarchy – I’m currently watching te 7th and final season.  This is another dark, can’t watch with the kids up, kind of show.  It’s intense, emotionally twisted and will make you question your family ties.

Breaking Bad – I haven’t watched it yet, but from what I’ve heard, it’s a can’t miss and one that’s definitely on my list for the summer.

Orange Is The New Black – I have ony heard good things about OITNB and I can’t wait to dive in.

The Wonder Years – If I have to tell you about The Wonder Years, you obviously aren’t from around here.  I watched it as a kid, but I’m going to watch it again as an adult.  I think I will have a new found love for the show.

The Walking Dead – A little gorey, but a ton of walking dead fun!  How can you not love zombies?  And if I just spolied it by telling you there are zombies, well… I’m just sorry.

Pretty Little Liars – Another show that I hear great things about.  It’s on my list!

House of Cards – Kevin Spacey.  Enough said.  How could you not watch this show?

The West Wing – I love this show when it was on the air and I still love it.  Politics, drama…it’s almost like reality tv!

Lost – I don’t know why I never watched Lost when it was on the air.  I tried to watch it once, and just couldn’t get past the first episode.  I don’t know why, but I gave it a second go and I was SO hooked.  Lost was one of those shows that literally left me reeling at the end.  There *needs* to be more!

One Tree Hill – It may have a little to do with it being filmed in one of my favorite areas of my state, or maybe it’s just because it’s all young, angsty, love/hate filled life.  I always felt like I could relate.

Blue Bloods – I’ve caught bits and pieces of Blue Bloods and it’s been enough to make me know that I want to watch the show from the beginning.  It’s a cop drama, but is about so much more… family.

Cheers – Who doesn’t love a show about a bar?  It’s just good, classic comedy.

Saved By The Bell – This one, I can feel good about watching this one with my kids around.  They don’t need to know that Screech lost his mind later or about all the behind the scenes drama that has come out through the years.

Family Ties – I had NO idea Family Ties was on Netflix!  I loved this show growing up.  It was a good, wholesome, clean show.  Another one that I can feel good about watching with the kids around.

MacGyver – If you’ve never watched MacGyver, you should give it a go.  It’s drama, suspense and problem solving at it’s finest.  The stuff that man could do with a paper clip… If onl!

How many of these shows have you watched, start to finish?  What did you think of the ones you’ve watched?  Any that you particularly love or hate?  Which is your favorite?

Posted in Entertainment | 2 Comments

Writers Wanted – PAID

Writers Wanted

So, you like to write?  Maybe you’ve even thought about (or have) started a blog.  Maybe you just have a burning topic you’re passionate about and would like to share your view point with others.  we have a job for you, and it’s paid!

We are always looking to share interesting and fresh content with our readers.  If you have a passion for writing, photography, crafting, cooking or anything else that you think would be interesting to our over 50K visitors a month, email  we’d love to have you write for us.  We will pay on a per article basis (Paypal) and rates will vary depending on what you’re providing (photography, etc).

This would be a great way for a stay at home mom who loves to write to earn a little money while feeding a hobby or passion, and it gives our readers interesting and varied content.  If you’re interested, please shoot us an email!

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June Beauty Favorites and an OOTD

*This post may contain affiliate links.

June Beauty FavoritesI don’t share much with you guys as far as beauty and fashion, mostly because I’m a jeans (ok – yoga pants) and t-shirt kinda girl.  Somehow I don’t think you’d be very impressed with my “outfit of the day” on a regular basis.  $4 flip flops from Walmart?  Sign me up!  I do have a few indulgences though.  I did wear a really cute outfit earlier this wee.  The skirt was from Ten Thousand Villages in Asheville, NC (amazing store!  Check them out), the tank was from Old Navy and the necklace is from Premier Jewelry.

Ten Thousand Villages SkirtFrom time to time, I really get hung up on my nails.  For a while, it was Jamberry nail wraps.  And while I do still love my nail wraps, most recently I’ve been in love with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polish.  It goes on smooth, shiny and last longer than any polish I’ve ever used at home.  It’s a little on the expensive side… Each color will run you $7.99 and you need the top coat (also $7.99 – but a bottle of that lasts a long time!)  When you think about what you could spend getting your nails painted at a salon though, it really isn’t bad at all!  I’ve been grabbing a new color to try about every other week.  So far, I have pink, blue, purple and a gorgeous gold.  You can pick this polish up just about everywhere cosmetics are sold.

Next up, mascara.  I don’t wear it often (I was blessed with some pretty killer lashes), but when I do, I love my Mary Kay Lash Love mascara.  It’s not too thick, not clumpy at all and coats and separates my lashes so well!.  It’s not flaky and stays put – both super important since I wear contact lenses.  You can’t buy this in retail stores, but you can order it online at

My biggest indulgence comes in the form of my $10 Ipsy Glam Bag every month.  I get to try so many new products that I wouldn’t otherwise buy.  My June bag is on the way and I am itching to see what fun things will be inside it.  I’ve tried lots of subscription services, and for the value, it is by far my favorite!  Plus, your goodies come in a really cute bag each month.  I’m currently carrying this one as a little clutch!


Lord and Berry’s eyeliner is my new favorite!  It goes on so smooth!  It was an Ispy win!  Both the Olive lip balm and the NYX Butter lipstick were total wins too!  The Butter lipstick is my new go-to fav.  Between the full-size lip balm and lipstick, my Ipsy bag more than paid for itself.  Oh, and the polish in that pic above… more Sally Hansen Miracle Gel awesomeness!

What are you loving right now?  Any favorite products I *need* to check out?


Posted in Beauty & Fashion | 6 Comments

50 First Dates? I Think I’ll Just Watch A Movie.

This post is sponsored by Netflix.  As a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam, I receive complimentary Netflix streaming.  We were Netflix customers for years before becoming members of the #StreamTeam.  All opinions are mine and mine alone.

Being single, it’s been…interesting. Dating?  Even more interesting.  I’m nearly 35 years old and I’m going out to dinner, or out for drinks about every other night (on average – I don’t go out when I have my kids).  I’ve learned a few things through this process.  First, I don’t know how the girls on The Bachelorette do it.  Men are jealous creatures.  Tell them you’re not settling down with one person and then they really get jealous.  Second, I am not 21 anymore.  I am old.  I cannot hang.  Third, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince.  <sigh>  I’m still looking.

At the end of a busy week of dating, I am exhausted.  EXHAUSTED.  And I really, really just need to spend some time alone and decompress.  One of my dates last week equated it to the Bachelorette taking some time to think about who would get a rose before the ceremony.  At least that one has a sense of humor about my dating life.

Seriously though, I do have to take some down time to give my brain a break.  My current task – Catch up on my Netflix watchlist!  The last season of Sons of Anarchy is up, I’m still behind on The Walking Dead and I’m always in need of a laugh from a good comedy!  Laughter makes the bad dates a lot more tolerable (and there have been a LOT of bad dates!)  Maybe I’ll just start dating Netflix?  Can I do that?

Are there any other single moms out there like me?  Navigating the dating world and debating the merits of just giving up and having a monogamous relationship with your couch and Netflix instead?  I’d love to hear your dating stories… and hear about what you’re watching on Netflix!

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How To Plan An Epic Night Out With Friends (And A Quick Evite Tutorial!)

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BuffaloWingsAndRings #CollectiveBias

Quick and Easy Evite

My girlfriends and I, we seriously do not get enough time together.  Not even close.  With all of us being working moms and living spread out a bit (trust me, 20 miles in Charlotte traffic is a lot!), it’s hard for us to find time to get together as a group.  Coffee and one on one chatting is nice, but sometimes you just want to go to dinner with a group of friends!

Over the years, I’ve figured out that it is next to impossible to make plans that work for everyone, but there are a few tips I can share to help get the best attendance when you try to get friends together for dinner.


1 – Before you set anything in stone, throw some feelers out there!  Fire off a quick email or Facebook message to those you’d love to have attend and get an idea of their availability over the next few weeks, days that are better than others, etc.  Use the responses you get back to gauge interest, choose a location, date and time.

2 – When choosing a location, don’t pick a place just because it’s the most convenient for you!  Pick something appealing and convenient for the group!  While we are all spread out pretty far, there is a large concentration of us on the south side of Charlotte.  I live and work on the north side of town.  Oh well, south side it is!

3 – Keep in mind the ages of your friends’ children.  If there are a lot of babies or particularly young children, will your event be “family” friendly or is it an adults only event.  Make it clear up front which is the case.

4 – Reminders, reminders, reminders!  Two weeks before, a week before, two days before, and morning of.  We are BUSY MOMS and our brains get a little “full” sometimes.

For our group, Buffalo Wings and Rings was a perfect choice for dinner.  First, the location was great for our group.  Second, the food is ah-mazing! (More on that in a minute)  Third, the atmosphere is perfect for getting together a group of friends.  It’s not so quiet that you feel like your bothering other people with your group, but also not so loud that you can’t have a conversation.

When I sent out my “feeler” message on Facebook, I asked specifically about interest in dinner at Buffalo Wings and Rings and what days would work best for everyone.  After getting some feedback, I sent a date and sent official Evites. (I’ll show you how to make a cute, quick Evite graphic below).  We ended up with a group of 6 (which is pretty good for us!) and we had a great time!


Back to the ah-mazing food… First, did you know that Buffalo Wings and Rings makes all of their food using fresh ingredients?  They do!  Fresh, not frozen, and they have a chef on staff in the kitchen to ensure quality.  Here’s some of our amazing food… it was all SO GOOD!

PicMonkey Collage

As promised, here’s a quick tutorial on making your on Evite image using PicMonkey.  You can email out your invite, upload it to a Facebook event or even go old-school and print/mail them!  For this, I’m using PicMonkey.  It’s a great, and free, resource!  Check out the FlipAGram below for a visual guide to making your own Evite.

1 – Choose *Design* and pick a size

2 – Rotate your design if you want a landscape layout

3 – Choose a Background

4 – Add Text and Graphics

5 – Save and Share your finished Evite

How do you manage finding time to get together with friends?  Do you have a set day/time you meet each month or is it as hard for you to find time to get together with your friends as it is for me?  Any tips and tricks to share?


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Get Great Publix Coupons! (And a $15 Paypal Giveaway)


IMG_2137I am always looking for something quick I can make for a dinner side, but I need it to be something my kiddos will eat.  Suddenly Salad Pasta Salad has always been one of those things.  It’s a great side for sandwiches, burgers, grilled chicken or anything else you might serve for dinner this summer!

Right now, Publix has a great $0.50 off coupon for Suddenly Salad (among other fantastic coupons too!).  You can grab those coupons by clicking HERE.

IMG_2138I love that you can not only make Suddenly Salad ahead of time, but you can also add a protein, veggies or other mix-ins to make a great side an amazing main dish!  My DIY Frozen Grilled Chicken Breast Strips make an excellent protein mix-in and this time of year is perfect for plucking fresh veggies from the garden.

There is also a Suddenly Salad recipe page you can check out by clicking HERE.

After you grab your coupons, simply leave a comment below to enter to win $15 Paypal CASH!

Posted in Food | 14 Comments