Showing posts with label Florida. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Florida. Show all posts

May 24, 2020

Staying Safe & Rejuvenating Your Soul This Summer with Alba Botanica

 This post is sponsored by Alba Botanica but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Life has been extra interesting lately, adjusting to the new normal in Florida has been a whirlwind. I'm sure it feels somewhat similarly everywhere, in some ways. We all are learning and adapting. Here in Clearwater, Florida, now that beaches and many businesses are opening up again, it really feels as though life is "starting again", which is so refreshing and almost inspiring.

Don't get me wrong, we've still been practicing social distancing and embracing the convenience of Walmart grocery delivery. It's a werid, in-between stage for us Floridians right now - it's all so new, yet all very much still the same... and that's so nice and oddly comforting.

As we were in the midst of the chaos, other than our dear family, one of the things I looked forward to seeing again the most was the ocean. So we knew we had to take a little drive to the beach once it opened and we finally had the chance to sneak away earlier this week.

It was beyond rejuvenating to feel the salty air and let the cool ocean water hit our feet. I embraced every second playing tag and giggling with my sweet baby girl as we soaked up the sun... it truly was just what my soul needed and it was done safely, with plenty of space for everyone to share a little slice of tropical paradise. This is what life is all about, in my opinion. Life is meant for moments with your people, in a place of peace and contentment.

Which got me thinking, we should probably be spending more time outdoors, cherishing the time with each other, and less time tuned in - not just in this strange time of ending quarantine, but for the rest of our lives.

I mean, since Delainey came into our lives, we've always kind of had this type of mindset anyways, but this time spent in reflection over the last few months was a good reminder that we truly need to cherish our time together and embrace life and the great outdoors.

With that said, spending time outdoors means we are exposed to some harmful stuff... and I'm not talking about germs or viruses, either. As we all know, the sun is so powerful and in some ways can be beautifully healing, but it also is super strong down here in Florida. Our UV index is usually through the roof, and in turn, I'm constantly applying sunscreen to my little family to try and keep our bodies and our skin as healthy as possible.

This likely isn't a surprise, but I don't just buy and apply any sunscreen... because frankly, they aren't all made the same. I'm truly pretty dang picky since sunscreen is a product we use ALL THE TIME. We've always preferred all-natural sunscreen, but once we tried Alba Botanica there truly is nothing that compared.

I mean, it's hard to compete with a sunscreen that is all-natural, organic, vegetarian, reef-safe, and affordable... and did I mention, I just stocked up on all our favorite Alba Botanica Sunscreens via

It was so easy to order -  I decided we needed to go to the beach, then realized we were running low on sunscreen, so I clicked on over to Walmart, did a few click-a-roos, added the Alba Botanica Hawaiian Coconut Clear Spray Sunscreen to my cart, as well as 4 other amazing Alba Botanica sunscreens, submitted my order, and drifted off to sleep. Shockingly, my order arrived the very next morning. I'm talking less than 12 hours after I placed my order, either has upped their delivery capabilities or the Sun Gods were looking out, because fate was on my side and we had the most epic stash of sunscreen to prove it.

Why do I love Alba Botanica so much? Let's look past the obvious, I adore the fact that it's all natural and environmentally friendly... and we'll start with the amazing smell. From the fruity amazing-ness of the Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunscreen for Kids to the delicious scent of coconut from the Alba Botanica Hawaiian Coconut Clear Spray Sunscreen, I'm just gaga over their sunscreen.

Not only does it smell amazing, I also love the fact that it goes on smooth - which is HUGE when trying to apply sunscreen to a wiggly, excited kiddo. The lotions are creamy and rub in quickly and the spray sunscreens like the Alba Botanica Sensitive Fragrance Free Clear Spray Sunscreen go on easily and evenly, just what we need for sun-soaked beach days.

We don't just use Alba Botanica at the beach, though... it's something I always have in our "adventuring" satchel and we usually apply a quick layer before heading out to explore anywhere. Whether we are hiking in the nature parks or trekking into "the great unknown" that is our backyard, I love knowing that I'm keeping our skin healthy and protected with Alba Botanica. Want to try it for yourself? Add Alba Botanica Hawaiian Coconut Clear Spray Sunscreen SPF 50 or maybe the Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunscreen Kids SPF 45 to your next Walmart order!

Beyond sunscreen, this summer I'll be trying to keep our family safe and healthy, while still exploring and learning together. How do you plan to spend your summer?

November 13, 2018

Encourage Imagination with Disney - Easy and FUN DIY Mickey Mouse Ears Craft for a Toddler in honor of Make-A-Wish's Share Your Ears Campaign

This post is sponsored by Make-A-Wish Foundation but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

We're definitely big fans of Mickey & the whole Disney crew in this house... let me rephrase, we are HUGE fans of Disney and all things magical. I mean, Delainey's first visit to the Disney Parks was nearly a year ago when she was just one year old and we are so eager to go again we talk about it almost daily.

Unfortunately, we have to adult and get things done so we can't visit the parks every day, but I'm doing my best to encourage her imagination at home and I hope our love for all things magical will live on through her. From the excitement I hear in her voice when she talks about the "fiya- woks" at the start of every Disney movie, to the way she exclaims "that my disney duck" when she sees the Donald Duck stuffed animal she picked out during our last visit, it's truly wonderful to see her love for something I loved so dearly as a child too - dare I say, it's magical.

Disney isn't just the parks and the movies for us though, it's really about a dream coming true. It's about following your passion and making something happen with hard work and determination, Walt Disney really did something inspirational. While I'm still learning the ropes in life too, one thing I know for certain is he accomplished great things with his creative, innovative thinking. I hope to foster that same love for dreaming & creativity within my daughter - and that's the magic of Disney, in my mind!

Then, when you combine that Disney Magic, that pure creative joy, with the Make-A-Wish foundation... well - that's pretty much the most heart warming combination, most of us can agree on that!

With that said, Disney & Make-A-Wish have partnered up and we all want you to help save the day for kids with Disney wishes, yet again!

How can you do that?
It doesn't take much - 

Just "Share Your Ears"!

From now through November 17th, 2018, Walt Disney Parks will donate US $5 for each social share on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using the hashtag "#ShareYourEars", up to US $2 million in donations - all of this in celebration of 90 years of Mickey Mouse & Thanks to Disney Team of Heroes!

That means, all you have to do to help those brave Make-A-Wish kids is share a photo rocking your favorite ears! Don't have a pair? I've got you covered! This DIY Mickey Mouse Ears project is so easy - it's a great way to spend time with your kiddo while encouraging them to use their "disney" magic level of creativity and imagination!

Want to get creative with your imaginative toddler? Here's how we made these EPIC watercolor ears, in just minutes!

For this project you will need:

1 sheet of cardstock
a plain headband
white crayon
a watercolor paint palette & the works [brushes, water, etc]
pair of scissors
hot glue & a hot glue gun

First, you'll want to print off this template I've created. Be sure to hit the "fit to page" when printing!

Next, let your kiddo scribble willy-nilly all over the cardstock with the white crayon. While you won't be able to see the markings now, they look so nifty once water color is applied.

Which brings us to our next step, painting with watercolors. This part is easily Delainey's favorite. She loves showing off her epic painting skills... and honestly, I don't blame her - she is pretty talented!

Now let your painted ear template lie flat until it's dry to the touch. Then using the scissors cut as close to within the template you can, removing the black edges.

Once cut, glue the two circle parts of each ear together, allowing the length of the ears to remain attached, then slide the headband through the opening. Position the ears where you would prefer on the headband and then flatten the bottom so the opening on the ear is attached to the headband - apply a liberal amount of hot glue and let dry.

Now add your favorite bow like this one, or rock with another fun accessory, if you so desire and get ready to show off in your ears!

October 12, 2018

Embracing Fall in Florida with these Fun Halloween Foods: Jack-O'-Lantern Snacks & Batty Bite Sweet Potato Fries

This post is sponsored by Bel Brands USA & Mini Babybel® Cheese, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

So... let's get real for a moment. Living in Florida has its advantages, sure - we all know the beach is great and palm trees are gorgeous. I don't take that for granted for even a second. I love it here...

We don't have Fall in Florida, but that isn't stopping me from embracing all things autumn! Go ahead, indulge yourself with these delicious & kooky appetizers and get ready for this fabulous fall season!

Which is why I never thought I'd say this, but I kind of miss "home" - which to me really is just the midwest as a whole. Having lived in both Missouri and Oklahoma, I just feel connected to those center states and all their glory... It's probably a mixture of missing family & looking over old pictures and reflecting on fond memories, but the midwest really is & always will be "home" to me and I'm missing it tonight. Ironically, one of the things I miss the most about my home and my childhood spent in the midwest is FALL.

I mean, not just fall, I miss good ol' trees-changin'-color, boot-and-North-Face-wearin', crisp-fresh-air, running-wild-through-a-pumpkin-patch type of fall. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore Florida, but I certainly do miss certain aspects of "home".

Since we likely aren't relocating to the midwest anytime soon, we are doing our best to at least pretend it's fall here in Florida so Delainey gets a taste of all things amazingly autumn. So this weekend we turned our a/c down a little lower, made a little bonfire out back, and embraced what felt like a little breeze outside - we even have plans to set up a tent at some point and teach her about camping. Another way we are trying to bring out that fall feeling is to decorate & even eat fall themed foods.  So... along with our apple cider, we also decided to get festive with some appetizers and these little batty bites & jack-o'-lantern snacks were just too cute!

We don't have Fall in Florida, but that isn't stopping me from embracing all things autumn! Go ahead, indulge yourself with these delicious & kooky appetizers and get ready for this fabulous fall season!

Since we're huge fans of cheese in this house, when we saw the adorable Fall/Halloween themed Mini Babybel® at Target, we knew we had made some new "friends".

Delainey is obsessed with the little faces on these guys and I'm obsessed with how delicious they are *and the fact that are 100% real cheese with no artificial growth hormones* - so it's a total win-win!

So... Whether you are having a little shin-dig or you just want to show your toddler what fall is about, you have to give these recipes a try (and you should most definitely snag the adorable Halloween Mini Babybel® from Target while you're at it)!

We don't have Fall in Florida, but that isn't stopping me from embracing all things autumn! Go ahead, indulge yourself with these delicious & kooky appetizers and get ready for this fabulous fall season!

The best part is these delicious snacks are so easy to make, not to mention SO fun! So go ahead and add these two Sweet Potato fry recipes to your must try pins, because although they are simple both of these yummy dishes are sure to wow your fall loving friends, no matter where you are:

We don't have Fall in Florida, but that isn't stopping me from embracing all things autumn! Go ahead, indulge yourself with these delicious & kooky appetizers and get ready for this fabulous fall season!

To create both of these recipes you will need:

One pack of the Mini Babybel® cheeses - You can find these adorable Halloween packaged Mini Babybels at Target!
2 sweet potatoes
Black olives
¾ cup all purpose flour (I used gluten free, you can use whatever works for your family!)
¼ cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
High temperature Frying oil (corn, peanut, or vegetable)
Black pepper
Sea salt
Red pepper
Pumpkin spice

Slice potatoes. One should be cut horizontally to form circular shapes resembling pumpkins. The other should be cut vertically to make the bat wings.

Now detail the potato slices by carving faces into the circular shapes and carving bat wings out of the longer sliced potatoes. Use half a long slice per wing for small wings or one full slice per wing for larger wings.

PREP FOR Jack-O'-Lanterns Snacks: (after carving their faces):
Place on tray lined with aluminum foil and set oven to 425. Rub each slice and each side with olive oil. Sprinkle on the salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika onto one side then flip it and sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic, and pumpkin spice onto the other. Put in oven for 15 minutes flipping half way through or until browned on the edges. Serve with Mini Babybel® and use the jack-o'-lantern as a delicious substitute for crackers!

PREP FOR Batty Bites:

Wings: Mix the flour, breadcrumbs and herbs (1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp paprika, ½ tsp red pepper flakes, 2 tsp garlic, ½ tsp parsley) together in one shallow dish. Beat the egg and milk together in another shallow dish. 

Dip “bat wings” into flour, then egg mixture, then flour again. Place them on a tray lined with parchment paper after being battered to wait for your frying oil to heat up to 375 degrees (I used a corn and peanut oil blend). 

Drop the sweet potato wings one at a time into the hot oil and cook for approximately 7 minutes or until they look done, then take them out and place them on a paper towel and/or rack to allow oil to drain and for the wings to cool.

Presentation: Slide a toothpick through one side of your Mini Babybel® Cheese and out the other. Attach wings onto the toothpick. Place sliced olive pieces onto cheese to make kooky eyeballs. Add a red sauce to make teeth if you want. We used a chipotle apricot sauce which was a delicious extra touch on all of the sweet potato goodness!

So tell me, what do you miss about your hometown? What parts of fall are your favorite about the area you live in? I'm excited to hear! I also would love to hear what you think about these kooky & delicious recipes, leave me some love when you give them a try and in case you aren't stalking Cartwheel already, I wanted to mention you can score 10% off Mini Babybel Cartwheel offer that runs 10/7 through early November.

May 9, 2018

Easily Make Your Home Feel Like a Beachy Paradise in Just One Step: Start Cleaning with Clorox Scentiva

This post is sponsored Clorox®.

As you likely know, we live near the beach... and we love it here. Although... If I could choose any place in the world to live, it would be ON the beach with the ocean breeze and sea mist billowing through the windows - but I'm definitely not complaining about being a few miles away either, I just like to find ways to make our little place feel a bit more beachy when I can.

From white washed walls and shabby chic furniture in our living room, to a mermaid themed bathroom - we are all about keeping this little shack of ours beachy and cozy. I have a thing for blue tones and I pretty much would call Delainey's room a shine to mermaids... so it's safe to say every inch of our house is a bit beachy...

Enough about our house though, are you looking for ways to bring the beach to your home? Here's one way I bet you haven't tried yet --- CLEANING!

That's right, you can start cleaning with a bit of Pacific Breeze & Coconuts. One of the most creative ways to bring the beach to your home is to sanitize and disinfect with THE BEST smelling products. Not only will your house be clean, but you'll always feel like you're taking a refreshing deep breath by the sea.

If you're like me, coconut is your go-to scent when thinking of beach days. Maybe it's a mixture of the thought of a pina coloda or a little bit of reminiscing on how amazing sunscreen smells- but this paradise scented line of cleaners makes me feel like I'm at the beach, even when I'm at home having to do chores!

Not only does this amazing CLOROX® Scentiva line smell like paradise, it leaves my bathroom glistening like a little piece of sea glass while also killing 99.9% of bacteria and viruses! So I'm fully on-board with a little coconut cleaning, do you want to give this coconut paradise line of cleaners a try, you can find the entire Clorox Scentiva line at Target - get the details here!

The best part is, you can clean every inch of your bathroom with this line - using the Clorox Scentiva Multi-Purpose cleaner to wipe down the sink, the Toilet Cleaning Gel to sanitize your throne, and the Foam Cleaner to clean your tub, your whole bathroom will be refreshingly clean and smell refreshing as well!

So tell me, are you ready to clean with coconuts and bring a piece of the beach to your home with Clorox Scentiva? Do you have any other creative ways to bring the beach indoors? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!

January 25, 2018

Improve The Future For Your Children While Enjoying Your Morning Coffee!

This post is sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Board, through my role as a Believer Blogger. All thoughts are my own.

Every single day is BUSY for us lately. With changing up our lifestyle to be a tad bit healthier and trying to squeeze in time for the blog, my blooms, and my babes, I feel like I never have enough time to do... well, anything.

If you're in the same boat as me... well, more like "treading water" like me. You may not have much time to do much of anything, especially something as time consuming as planning for the future.

So, I took a break from our hectic schedules to compile 4 ways you can improve the future for your children over your morning coffee:

1. Proper Nourishment - Step one in changing the future for your children is making sure you provide their body's with the best possible food selections you can. Choose organic, offer tons of fruits and veggies, and provide plenty of variety. Being properly fed will ensure your child's health is always optimal.

2. College Tuition - With Student Loan debt reaching $1 Trillion among Americans this year, it's a no brainer to start your kiddo's college fun now. Whether your little wild child is 16 months or 16 years old, NOW is the time to start planning for their college years.

It's tough to imagine now, but I know I'm going to blink and it'll be time to take Delainey off to college. I don't want to saddle her with debt for years to come or have to stress about paying for tuition as one lump sum, so I'm trying to do everything I can to plan ahead and help her succeed!

With a Florida Prepaid Plan you (and others in your family) can start to gather funds to help provide a college education for your child, at a reasonable rate per month. Interested in signing up, check out all the Florida Prepaid Plans available here and be sure to use the code LAUREN1718 to save $25 off your application fee... but go ahead & fill it out now, open enrollment ends in

You can literally fill this baby out in minutes while sipping your coffee and then you'll have things sorted out for your baby's college years. Trust me, this is the easiest way to make sure your kiddo can get the college education they deserve! Learn more about Florida Prepaid and how it'll work for your family.

3. Recycle - The next way I think every single family should plan for the future is recycling! Making sure your kiddo has a healthy, happy world to live in means keeping unnecessary trash out of landfills! Take a second and sort your recycling, reuse materials and do you part in keeping our planet clean! In many counties you can find public recycling bins or have your recycling picked up on the curb... and the best part is, you can teach your kiddos about recycling so they continue the tradition.

4. Smile - The last way you can ensure your child has a happy future is probably the easiest, you just need to smile more. Whether it's forced through some frustration or a genuine smile, sometimes you just gotta grin to show your kiddo that everything is okay.

Instead of stressing about all that needs to be done, take a deep breath, listen to your kiddo tell you about their Barbie's and smile.

So tell me, are you prepared for the future? If not, don't stress... Today is the day to start planning and you can get the college funds thing sorted out now - just click here & be sure to use our code - Lauren1718 to save some cash!