This Is How I Keep My Home Safe For My Kid

Avid readers of my blog will know how much I love DIY and home improvements. I’d say I work on a big home improvement task at least once every six months. You’d be surprised how much of it I can complete myself as well. I’ll get back to that a little further down. But what you guys might not realise is the biggest improvement I made to my home was making sure it was safe for my son. Now, you might think that your home is already safe enough for your children. That’s what I believed too, until I really started to think about the dangers I’d never noticed before.

Home Safety

Image Source

Water Source

I admit I used to let my kid drink water from the tap all the time. After all, it’s water, how harmful could it be. Then I found an article that changed my perspective completely. Apparently. water from taps often has high levels of fluoride in it. That name might sound familiar because it’s used to make toothpaste. But toothpaste isn’t meant to be consumed and it’s one of the reasons why you spit and don’t swallow. In large doses, fluoride can be harmful and has been linked to low IQ as well as tumours. Needless to say, I immediately bought a high quality water filter for my kitchen.

DIY Safety

I’ve already mentioned I love DIY and you’ve probably already realised that anyway. But I think you’d probably be surprised by the type of DIY jobs I complete in my own home. For instance, I have welded materials in the past. I was having a plumbing problem and rather than call a professional I decided to fix the job myself. It took a little work but I’m proud to say the job was a success. However, at that time I wasn’t using the right equipment. This meant that harmful fumes and substances were escaping into the air. It could have easily polluted my home and made it dangerous for my son. That’s why I’m thinking about buying one of the downdraft tables for welding. If I complete any more big DIY jobs it will keep the room safe for my child and myself.

Home Security

Again, you probably think your home is quite safe and secure and could easily prevent a break in or a robbery. But, you should reconsider this viewpoint. Even if you live in a safe neighbourhood, your house could still be the subject of break in. None of us like to consider it but it is a possibility and we must be prepared. I’ve actually thought about installing CCTV on to my home. But there are few legal issues to work around if you want to do this. Instead, I’ve installed some of the most up to date alarm systems that you can buy. As well as this, I’ve got a smart lock on my front door. If you haven’t heard of this a smart lock is electronic. You can even use your fingerprint to open it and it’s very secure.

I hope you have found this information helpful. Remember there is no such thing as over thinking when it comes to keeping your children safe at home.

Road Trippin’ With the kids!

On my bucket list has always been to go on a road trip– and I really thought I was going to have to wait until Caleb was older to go, but he is such a great baby when my mom and I talked about it- we decided that of the two kids, Colton would be the tough one and so we went.

We had a condo booked in Ormond Beach, Florida that we knew we would stay in for a week on the beach- but the real adventure was how would we get there?  So we packed up mom’s car and the kids- factored in 12-14 days worth of clothes and everything we would need for that time for 2 kids… and we were off- Three Generations, Two Single moms, One car… and 3000+ miles ahead of us.

In a nut shell… this is what we did:

First Stop!  Cave City, Kentucky:  We arrived a little later than we had hoped- with two kids, that was expected though.  We made it to our destination, checked into the hotel- dropped what we needed to get out the door and headed to Mammoth Cave National Park.  Unfortunately we were too late to get in on a cave tour that first night, but we got our tickets for the next morning.  And we did not waste that day at all.  There are plenty of surface trails that we were able to hike. Mammoth Cave Surface

The next morning we woke up bright and early and headed to our 2 hour cave tour.  During this tour we went down 150 feet underground and into Mammoth Cave.  This was a first for all of us- none of us had ever been inside a real cave.  It was really cool and something I would love to do again!

Inside mammoth Cave

Stop #2: Memphis, Tennessee

That day we were back in the car and headed toward Memphis- we got there around the same time in the evening, went to the hotel and headed to Beale Street for dinner.  This is something we were told we HAD to do in Memphis.  Beale Street is definitely a hang out spot, during the day and early evening definitely okay for families, but as we were leaving we could tell it got a little more party-like at night.

Mom and I shared a King’s Feast of Southern food at Kings Palace Cafe.  The food was DELICIOUS and we enjoyed having the opportunity to try a variety of southern, cajun foods.  If you go to Beale Street- definitely stop in here and try the Kings Feast Sampler- it was really delicious and affordable, and the music was good too- they had live music on the patio so sitting inside, it wasn’t too loud, but we could hear what was going on out there.

We decided to go back to the hotel early, go swimming, and get to bed early so we could wake up and do some touring.


The first tour we did was Graceland, The home of Elvis Presley.  There are many tours available, but since we were on a time crunch to get to another scheduled tour, we only toured the mansion.  This was really educational for all of us and visiting his home helped me to understand more about him, his love for music, and his family.  His home and the property is beautiful and I am very glad that the Presley family opened his home for tours.


Up next was a really great tour- and one I HIGHLY recommend- Backbeats Tours We did the 90 minute Mojo Tour.  This was a ride through history, on a bus, lead by singing musician.  They handed out shakers and tambourines and it wouldn’t be Memphis without music.  The guide was funny, told some fun facts, and sang some really good memphis songs.

The Backbeats Tour is definitely one I recommend going on if you want to know ALL about the history of Memphis.  We got to check out Leavitt Shell, the first place Elvis performed, drove by Sun Studio, see the early homes of Elvis, B. B. King, and Johnny Cash, and many other locations- with lots of fun facts along the way.

After this we headed to Atlanta, GA for an evening of rest at the Wingate by Wyndham.  My mom and I still say this was the best night’s sleep and most comfortable bed we slept in during the entire trip.  Colton’s favorite part, free breakfast the next morning.  They really took good care of us here, and helped with anything we needed.  As an added plus, we could have walked to Six Flags from this hotel if we wanted to (although we did drive because we didn’t realize how close it was).

And the next morning we headed to Six Flags Over Georgia for a fun filled Halloween adventure.  Caleb got to ride his first ride, and Colton enjoyed all the fun roller coasters (that he was tall enough for).  Since it was Halloween, they had everything decorated for Halloween and had trick-or-treat stops and other fun fall activities for the kids.  We definitely had a great time, Colton says his favorite ride was the Great American Scream Machine.

Sunrise on Daytona Beach

Last stop was our destination- Ormond Beach, Florida- Plantation Island.  AKA BEACH FRONT RESORT FOR A WEEK.

legoland 2015

While we were in Ormond beach, we did take two days away from the beach, one to spend the day at Legoland Florida– SO MUCH FUN.  Colton and I have been here a few times, and one thing is always the same, we always have a good time.  Even my mom said she was surprised at how much fun SHE had at Legoland.

daytona victory lane

We also got to go to a behind the scenes tour of Daytona International Speedway.  This was really cool.  We got to learn a lot of Nascar history, see the driver’s meeting room, the pits up close and personal, took a visit to victory lane, and see the new developments of the track (ladies MORE restrooms!).  We also got to learn some cool Nascar facts, like did you know you have to go 70 MPH around the embankments to stay on them– otherwise, gravity takes it course and your vehicle will fall down them.

Lady and Sons Savannah

And on the way home- we only made one stop in Savannah, GA.  We ate at Lady and Son’s (Paula Dean’s Restaurant) and walked to check out some popular historical buildings.  The town was very historical and we enjoyed learning everything we could.

We had originally planned to stop two more times on the way home, but both kids were sleeping and we decided to take advantage of that and drive more so we cut our trip a little short and got home a day early.  I think all of us were tired after 12 days on away from home.  :-)

Be on the look out for more posts!  I will zoom into some of these attractions for tips and more info- and I will be doing a TIPS FOR A ROAD TRIP WITH KIDS post I know you will love :-)

Your Guide to a Special Baby’s First Christmas

Your baby’s first Christmas is coming up, and you want to make it special. Sure, they’re not going to remember it, but you are and you can all still have fun together. It’s also a great opportunity to create some memories you can look back on when your little one is older. There are lots of fun ways you can make this Christmas different now that there’s someone in your family who wasn’t around last year. You can do whatever you want to mark the occasion and start or continue some new traditions. Try doing some of the things below to make this Christmas an extra special one.




You probably normally decorate your home, but this year you can go the extra mile. Your baby’s first Christmas is a great excuse to buy some new decorations and start using them every year. Creating a personalized decoration is an excellent idea, and you can use it again and again. Have an ornament made with your baby’s name and birthday or perhaps even a photo of them. Then you can get out again next year, and for subsequent years. You could also decorate the nursery – as long as everything is safely out of reach of little fingers. Your baby is sure to love some twinkling lights and sparkly tinsel.


Of course, Christmas is the perfect time to shower your little one with gifts. However, during the first year of their life they can end up collecting an awful lot of stuff. You might feel like there’s nothing left to give them. But even if you have enough toys, there will always be things they need. They’re constantly growing, so you can never have too many clothes in different sizes. Look at custom gifts for babies to find something unique that you can personalize. You could get them a pair of pajamas for Christmas Eve or make them a stocking with a few gifts, like books or snacks.

Baby's First Christmas
via Flickr

Recording Memories

Your baby’s first Christmas is a great time to preserve some memories. There are so many fun ways you can do it, apart from just taking photo and recording video. One idea is to make a time capsule, which could have some mementos from the day. You could also take a special photo, which could be a serious one or it could be a silly one with Christmas sweaters. You could make a painting or a clay imprint of your baby’s hands and feet and turn them into a decoration.

Starting Traditions

If you want to start some family traditions, now is a great time to do it. There are lots of things you could do. It could be going to see your town’s Christmas lights turned on, visiting Santa or having a family photo shoot. Maybe you have a childhood tradition that you remember fondly that you want to introduce to your kids. There are all kinds of possibilities.

Your baby’s first Christmas is exciting and can be so special. Make some plans before it arrives to create some wonderful memories.

How to Get Adventurous with Your Family

My family and I love planning all of the adventures we can have. However, we are at risk of staying indoors all day long due to the dreary winter and cold spring. But there is always plenty to do in and out of the house throughout the winter and well into the spring. Here are a few of my suggestions for things you can do as a family.


Ok, so it is a lot harder to get adventurous in the winter months if you hate the wet weather. However, you can still have indoor adventures…


If you live near a big town or city, you will find at least one museum, if not more. Find out if your local museums are child-friendly and take the whole family out for a day of education. They will be having so much fun, they won’t even notice that they are learning!


So spending your time in the library doesn’t sound like a big adventure, but hear me out. Firstly, it is great way to spend a wet day, if the weather isn’t fantastic. Secondly, it teaches your kids about responsibility – returning books on time takes good planning. And thirdly, many people would argue that reading is an adventure. You can lose yourself in a book and be transported to different worlds. Getting your kids interested in reading at a young age is great for them.


Spring Family Travel
Image by Pixabay


In my mind, the work hiking always conjures up images of scaling a mountain with ropes and pick axes. That doesn’t sound like much fun with a family! However, in reality, hiking is whatever you want it to be as long as you are walking somewhere. If you live in the countryside, you will be lucky enough to probably have some great walking paths around you. If you live in a town however, you may have to look a bit harder, or travel a bit further. Find your hiking spot and made sure that it is appropriate for your children. Kit yourself out with sturdy shoes and lots of water and you will be ready to go. You can make it fun for the kids too by putting them in charge of navigation or spotting wildlife as you walk.

Theme Parks

My family and I love theme park adventures. It is a whole day out filled with fun and excitement. I recommend taking your family to a theme park in the spring. That is the best time for it. It isn’t as busy as the summer when all the kids are on their school holidays. Most theme parks have a good mix of rides for younger and older kids. Therefore, no matter what ages your children are, you should be able to find something everyone will enjoy.  

Get sporty

Signing your kids up to a sports team can be a great way to help them find their competitive side. On top of this, it will also get them fit and active, whilst allowing them to stay social. There are so many sports for children to play, try to find one that suits their personalities. Listen to your child’s suggestions and see what preferences, if any, they have.

Moms Meet WOW Summit is just weeks away! Don’t miss it!

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The last 2 years I have attended Moms Meet WOW Summit, a moms conference for moms to meet, attend sessions, check out some awesome products in the expo hall, get tips on parenting, and recharge and refresh!  Every year I attend Moms Meet, I come out feeling like I have a better handle on this whole parenting thing.

This year’s Wow Summit will be in sunny San Diego, California from October 23–24, 2015.  So if you live nearby, or you need a little mommy break, this is a great way to getaway and I am sure your husband would not oppose trying to improve your parenting skills :-)

Here are 5 reasons to attend Moms Meet WOW Summit: 

1. Bring your family and stay at the beautiful Town and Country Resort, located in the heart of San Diego’s Mission Valley and just minutes from the famous San Diego Zoo.

2. Get great advice from top-notch healthy living and parenting experts and immerse yourself in interactive workshops.

3. Walk away with lots of goodies! We’re giving away tons of prizes throughout the event, plus everyone will receive an amazing gift bag stuffed with healthy and natural products.

4. Connect and bond with hundreds of like-minded moms throughout the conference.

5. Try tons of great products at our exhibit hall where you’ll meet our fabulous sponsors and fill your goody bag with even more samples.

And to add 1 more… socialize with other moms :-)  I will be there with Caleb, be sure to find us (I’ll be  wearing my Sea Glass Tula I am sure!)

moms meet t-shirt

You can go too- there is still time to get tickets!!  But don’t delay, the last moms conference I waited to get a ticket for SOLD OUT!!  So use promo code WOW30 to save 30% on your ticket and purchase it HERE.

moms meet

There are tons of great sponsors lined up so I am sure there will be some goodies in the expo hall again too!  :-)

You can check out the full schedule HERE.  But here are a few highlights that I am looking forward too:

Lunch Lessons: Changing the way we feed our children
Get Smarter About Food and Fitness
The Mom’s Guide to Present Moment Awareness: Unlocking your untapped loving power


With one kid on the hand and luggage on the other, you can surely miss something before a big trip. It can be some small and insignificant things, but it can turn out to be quite important as soon as you begin your trip. To help you out here, bellow you will see a short list of most important stuff you just can’t miss. I really hope it will help you to remember everything and have a pleasant journey with your little ones. Have a great time!

Take your kids to the beach

First aid kit

For some, it might look like a thing which is not so necessary. But in fact, first aid kit is essential during your trips! You will never know when you or your kids can get sick and it might be really hard to find proper medications abroad. So before any trip, pack your own personal first aid kit and pack it firstly. You may won’t use it at all, but it can also be a pretty handy sometimes as well.

Stuff kids can do during the trip

Bored children are the worst thing that can happen to everyone. And not only you! For other people as well. Especially if you are traveling by plane or another kind of public transport. So to keep your kids busy, prepare some activities your kids can do while traveling. It can be everything they love and you can imagine. Books, DVD’s, MP3 players or even table games can work perfectly to keep children happy and busy. Also, don’t forget to pack headphones, so while kids watching movies won’t irritate others around them.

Ear plugs

Ear plugs are probably the best invention for all travelers and especially the ones with kids! It can help everyone in the family relax and just take a rest. Pack a pair of two of it for every member of your gang and definitely don’t forget your children! Ear plugs can help them get through long flights or other noisy environments. Especially if it is their nap time coming. So some ear plugs won’t take too much space in your bag and it really works magically.

Hand sanitizer

If you are really going for a long trip, there might not always be places where kids can wash their hands before meals. And so here comes hand sanitizer! It will kill all microbes instantly and let children enjoy healthy meals without a problem. And it won’t take space in your bag either.


Forget about taking pictures with your smartphones! Cameras are the ones which should do that for you, not your iPhones! A great camera can capture the most beautiful moments perfectly good and it would be a pleasure to watch it after the trip as well. You can also pack some Polaroid for kids to make them contribute taking pictures too. It can be quite a fun way to occupy kids and it will be a lot of fun to go through pictures afterward.

Final word

Since now you have a list of the stuff you just can’t forget, I can recommend you to check these coupons I got at It will let you, as well as your little bunches of joy travel everywhere in the world a lot cheaper and stay there a lot cheaper too. So use this amazing opportunity and gift your kids the best gift ever – the whole wide world.


How to Ensure Your Elderly Loved One is Safe in a Nursing Home

Entrusting the care of an elderly loved one to a nursing home facility is never an easy decision to make, and if you’ve decided that your loved one will be better in the care of nursing home staff, you may be worried about their safety. Although the majority of nursing homes are caring and loving places for the elderly to spend their remaining days, there have been a number of incidents of elder abuse in nursing homes making headline news – and it is understandable why relatives of older people in nursing homes may have cause for concern. If you are worried about the safety of your elderly loved one in a nursing home, we’ve put together a list of the best things that you can do in order to keep them safe.

old person

Visit Often

It goes without saying that you should pay regular visits to your elderly relative once you have entrusted their care to a nursing home. Regularly visiting does not only ensure that your loved one does not feel neglected or forgotten about, but visiting on a regular, unscheduled, and unpredictable basis also gives you a better opportunity to look out for any signs of abuse or upset that your relative may be showing.

Know the Signs

When visiting your elderly loved one, you will be aware that their health may be deteriorating, but it’s important to be able to differentiate the signs of poor health and old age from the signs of abuse. Generally, you should be looking out for any signs of unexplained weight loss or stress, and naturally you will also be keeping an eye out for any unexplained physical injuries or a seemingly suspicious increase in the amount of accidents such as falls that your loved one has had. You should also look out for any dramatic changes in mood or personality – do they seem more fearful, nervous, or even depressed? Although many of these symptoms could easily have other explanations, it’s important that you still make sure they are investigated thoroughly.

Know the Law

With the help of elder abuse lawyers, you can increase your knowledge of Garcia Law and other laws surrounding nursing home abuse so that you are better prepared in the event of anything adverse happening to your elderly loved one whilst they are placed in the care of the nursing home staff. Knowing yours and your loved one’s rights is important in any case, even if you do not suspect that any abuse has taken place. Being aware of the laws regarding nursing home and elder abuse will also put you in a better and more knowledgeable position to act should your relative ever accuse a member of staff of acting in an abusive or hostile manner towards them.

Have you ever dealt with a case of elder abuse? Or, do you have an elderly relative in a nursing home? How do you ensure that they stay safe? We’d love to hear from you – leave your response in the comments.

Just Between Friends Sale is in the Mahoning Valley THIS WEEK!

The Just Between Friends consignment sale will be in the Austintown Plaza THIS WEEK.  Yes- that is correct- Starting Thursday if you have a pre-sale pass, you can shop one of the biggest consignment sales in this area.

October 2-4, 2015 in the Austintown Plaza (6000 Mahoning Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44515).

Pre-Sale starts on Thursday, but you must have a pre-sale pass to shop on Thursday evening.

The sale officially starts Friday at 10 AM, be there early to get the best deals and the best stuff!

Friday and Saturday 10/2 & 10/3 10 AM- 8PM
Sunday, 10/4 10 AM – 2PM

Sunday, you can find many items half off, so if you are really looking for a deal, stop in on Sunday :-)


This sale is pretty new to our area, but is welcomed with open arms from moms, dads, and grandparents.

There is still a *LITTLE* time left if you want to get your items together to consign.  Drop off is Wednesday and Thursday, so if you want to make some money, get your items together ASAP!  You can earn up to 70% by volunteering a shift during the sale.  If you are interested in consigning, stop by their website to sign up.

Check out Just Between Friend Mahoning Valley on Facebook for updates and information!

Le Méridien Chicago Neiman Marcus Shopping Package

The Le Meridien Chicago- Oakbrook Center has partnered with Neiman Marcus to offer an exclusive Neiman Marcus Shopping Package.   This exclusive package is prices at just $1059 and encompasses all things luxury!

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With this package you will receive a one-night stay in one of the Le Méridien‘s chic rooms, private access to the Executive Club and Club Lounge, a $1000 Neiman Marcus Gift Card, and you will also enjoy a personalized experience with a stylist and Beauty Insider.

With the access to Executive Club and Club Lounge, you will receive a free breakfast and access to the snack bar.  So if you are hungry at night, you can stop up for a refreshing beverage or snack.  There is also a very nice lounge to work in if you want to get some work done, but don’t want to stay in your hotel room.

Neiman Marcus Store

Oh- but the fun and luxury doesn’t stop there!  You will be hungry from all the shopping, so you can stop in to the her NM Cafe for lunch for two.

NM Cafe

I had the opportunity to stay at the Le Méridien.  It is VERY luxurious and I only hope I have the opportunity to stay again and enjoy another fabulous day.  You can read about my experience, complete with a review of the Le Méridien hotel here.

Disclosure:  I had to opportunity to stay at Le Meridien and enjoy some of the services mentioned.  All opinions are my own, honest opinions.  This is not a paid post.  

Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center is a great place to stay and shop

I had the pleasure of staying at the Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center when my family made a trip over to Chicago last month.  This was a great place for us to stay, relax, and shop before our big day in Chicago.

Le Méridien is right off the main highway, very easy to get to and about 20-30 minutes outside Chicago, so close enough that we took a cab and far enough that we weren’t in the hustle and bustle of the big city.

NM CafeThe day we got there we had a luxurious lunch at NM Cafe.  If there is one thing I could get used to- that is delicious food and elegant taste.  Everything down to the presentation is perfect and the service was exceptional.  My favorite thing was the bread and strawberry butter, I was a little apprehensive about it, but it was delicious.  Colton said his peanut butter and jelly was the best peanut butter and jelly he ever ate.


After the delicious lunch, I had a beauty consultation with Make Up Artist Ashley from Kevyn Aucoin.  Ashley is a true artist and the Kevyn Aucoin makeup helped this tired mom feel human again.  I think this was my favorite part of the whole trip.  To have just a half hour to focus on me and after Ashley was done, I felt like a million dollars.  The Kevyn Aucoin make up made my skin feel absolutely amazing too.  A little skin care goes a long way!



And I am sure you want to see my after photo, right :-)
Kevyn Aucoin

The Le Méridien room was a luxurious place to call home for the night.  When you walk in, it is beautiful, tastefully decorated, and very modern.  Since I stay in hotels a lot, the comfort of the bed is really important for me and I can give the Le Méridien a 10 out of 10 for comfort of the bed.  There is a firm pillow and a soft pillow for each person and when we got back after the big day in Chicago, I slept very well!

Le Meridian

At the Le Méridien Oakbrook there is also a spa and many other amenities.  If you are club level you have access to a free breakfast and a snack and beverage lounge.  The snack and beverage lounge was really nice, especially since we were traveling with kids, we stopped and got drinks and apples so that was a really nice thing for us.

I would love to go back to the Le Méridien to spend a day there, no kids, by myself to enjoy the spa and do some shopping at the mall that is right behind the hotel.

Disclosure: I stayed one night complimentary at the Le Méridien.  All opinions are my own, honest opinions.  This is not a paid post.