Monday, June 30, 2014

Taking Time For Our Furbaby :: The 28 Day Challenge

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Purina One, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #ONEDifference

Since welcoming Gavin into our family last summer, our priorities, routine and overall lifestyle has changed quite a bit. None of us were really ready for the changes, but we all adapted. Perhaps the member of our family who was affected the most is Riley. She went from being the center of attention and only "baby" in our house, to being a "pet." Don't get me wrong, we love Riley. She is the perfect furry companion. Loyal, gentle and sweet. She loves us and she adores her new little brother. Watching her grow into her new role has been a joy, and we still try to spoil her here and there. Just not as much as we used to!

Diet wise, Riley has always been a little finicky. She typically eats twice a day, and nibbles on Gavin's scraps any chance she gets. When she was younger, we had to switch her food several times because her stomach was sensitive and she was getting sick often. She was skipping meals and her energy wasn't the same. I wanted to find a solution that would have her feeling good and looking forward to her meals. 

Participating in the Purina 28-Day Challenge was such a blessing for our little fur baby. In just a few days, Riley went from skipping her breakfast to eating every last bit of her meal as soon as it was placed in front of her. I noticed her energy level increased and I felt so much better knowing she was getting a full meal twice a day. 

I love the combination of real ingredients and the fact that this food contains glucosamine, as labs are prone to hip problems. I know that Riley is getting a good source of nutrition and I feel confidant serving Purina One to her. Over the course of the 28 Day Challenge, we have had a happy and thriving pup on our hands, and it makes me so happy to do something a little something special for our first baby.

Your pets can try the 28 Day Challenge, too! Right now, when you sign up for the Purina One 28 Day Challenge, you will get the $3 off coupon to put towards a bag of food. You can shop for Purina One at your local Target, PetSmart of Walmart, and the coupon is valid at all three locations. 

Join us in the Purina One 28 Day Challenge and keep your pet healthy and thriving!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Family Vacation :: Fenwick Island

Summer is here and that means we are jetting off to the beach every chance we get. This past week, we got to host my family in Fenwick Island at my in-laws house. It is not very often that my entire immediate family gets together, especially for a vacation, so we were excited for the time away.

It has always been my family's style to grocery shop and eat at home for most of our meals while on vacation. It is a nice way to save money and we typically split up the cooking responsibilities so everyone gets a break.

B and I volunteered to take care of dinner the first night we were all together. We went the light and healthy route and prepared a bunch of grilled chicken, grilled veggies and a huge salad with lots of fixin's.The salad wasn't fancy, but it has become a favorite of ours. We simply wash and prep a large batch of spring mix and top it with fresh cut veggies (usually broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and mushrooms). I also prepped shredded cheese, dried cranberries, sliced avacado and croutons as toppings. One of my favorite things to do is to top my salad with the grilled chicken and veggies and mix it all together. The warm chicken and vegetables add extra flavor and protein to this staple meal. 

Of course, no vacation meal would be complete without the perfect drink pairing(s). Because we had eight adults on this trip, I made sure to offer a little bit of everything. Did you know that CK Mondavi is the only American made/grown wine in the “supermarket wine under $10” category? CK Mondavi is the perfect summer/4th of July wine. Not only is it the only wine in this price point to be 100% American made & grown, but a percentage of sales goes to supporting veterans. CK Mondavi wine is sold nationwide in every US state. Established in the 1940s, CK Mondavi remains a family- owned business that has thrived for four generations to produce fine wines.

I love that a percentage of each bottle sold between May - August is donated to Intrepid Fallen Heroes (up to $50,000). Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF), an organization that supports the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families. Funded entirely by public donations, IFHF serves U.S. military personnel wounded or killed in service to our nation and their families.

We have been enjoying the sun, the bean, the pool and lots of time to catch up and relax. And B and I absolutely love all of the extra help with Gavin! He is such a spoiled boy this week. At this rate, we may never go home. 

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

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Celebrating the Daddy In Our House

This year is B's first Father's Day. I don't have anything grand planned, but my husband isn't into that anyway. We bought him a few presents and plan to shower him with love and plenty of relaxation time. Even if some of that time will be spent in the car traveling home from NY.

Watching B become a father has been one of the greatest joys. For the first month of Gavin's little life, I was pretty caught up in my own emotions and how to handle a tiny baby. But he was with me every step of the way. He calmed me when I was freaking out, helped me make tough decisions, and humored me when all I really needed was a stiff drink and some adult conversation after a day home by myself with an infant. He has been my rock, and I don't know where I would be without him. 

Being "Daddy" is  a whole new role for him, but he took to it almost effortlessly. He has good instincts, and the ability to keep cool in most situations. He is also hilarious and full of fun, and now that Gavin is at the age where he is constantly interacting with us, him and B fall into a pit of laughter at least once every evening. I would be lying if I didn't say I look forward to those moments every evening before bedtime.

Most people will tell you Gavin looks almost just like me, but when I see him laugh and smile, it always reminds me of his Daddy. They have the same jovial spirit and they just light up around each other. It is a gift I never expected, and now I can't imagine my life without it.

Just look at those sweet smiles! Does the Dad in your house bring out the smiles, too? Well, Oral-B at Target is hosting the Power Dad’s Smile Everyday Sweepstakes with over $1,000 in prizes starting June 2! Oral-B is the #1 dentist-recommended toothbrush brand worldwide. You could win the Father’s Day Power Bundle which includes the Oral-B Black ProfessionalCare 1000 Rechargeable Toothbrush, the Braun Series 7 760 shaver and a $250 Target GiftCard! The Braun Series 7 760 shaver includes the most innovative features for Braun’s most advanced shave, contour adaptability for improved skin contact, shaving technology for a close and comfortable shave and cleansing technology for a hygienic and fresh shave every day!

To enter simply share a photo of you and your Dad on Twitter or Instagram using #oralbsweeps between June 2 and June 15. 

Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's!

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

Monday, June 9, 2014

Operation Summer Slimdown

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Slimfast, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #14daystoslim

Last summer I was majorly pregnant and felt as big as a house. So on the off chance that we did get down to the beach house, I stayed pretty covered up. Then I dealt with my post-baby body for the remainder of the warmer months. No bathing suits in sight. 

The first time I put on a bathing suit, I was seven months postpartum and still not 100% comfortable showing much skin. Having a baby just does things to your body. And although I am proud to bare the after effects of carrying and birthing my son, the warmer months are here again, and I want to get a little piece of my confidence back.

A few months ago, I started working out more often (I've talked about that here several times before). I started to feel better about myself and I was finding confidence enough to try some old clothes on, and to add some fun new pieces to my wardrobe. With our beach vacation coming up, I wanted to shred a few more pounds and do a little more prep work. In addition to my workouts, I decided to take on an ab challenge, and to give the Slimfast 14-Day Slimdown a try.

The Slimfast Protein Meal Bars come in a variety of flavors, and offer up to four hours of hunger control. If you're anything like me, you snack on and off all day when you're at home. These bars were the perfect alternative for me so that I could grab a snack and fight off hunger for a few hours. They also travel really well in my diaper bag. After my workout, I am always hungry and thirsty, so I love to pack an extra water bottle and a snack bar. 

Slimfast® just came out with new meal bars in the delicious Have Your Cake™ flavor! Each Meal Bar contains 180 calories, and is made of delicious vanilla cake and frosting, combined with fun sprinkles. Slimfast® Have Your Cake…™ Meal Bars are available in 5-count boxes and sold at Target and other stores for around $5. The Slimfast 14-Day Slimdown is a delicious and easy way to lose up to 6 pounds in the first two weeks. 

I am not exactly where I want to be yet, but a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, water and the Slimfast 14-Day Slimdown are helping me get closer to my goal every day.