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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

5 Reasons you and your baby NEED a DockATot #sponsored

Disclosure: We were provided with a DockATot in exchange for our honest review. 

Four month sleep regression is real, but now manageable after the DockATot made its way into my sister's home.  After her success, we wanted to share 5 reasons that you and your baby NEED a DockATot!

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Before I jump into our list, I want to tell you a bit about my sister and nephew's story.  When my nephew was born he was the perfect baby.  He slept great, only woke to ate and went straight back to sleep.  He woke infrequently and was hardly ever fussy.  In fact, the only time that I remember in his short life of him ever being inconsolable was when I was babysitting him and I took off my coat to get comfortable before giving him a bottle, and he was not having that bottle because he thought I was going to nurse him.  Like I said, he is just a perfect baby. 

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At almost 4 months, my sister went back to work and shortly there after, my nephew began the dreaded 4 month sleep regression.  It was awful for her.  He would wake every 30-40 minutes and scream and then finally sleep for a short period and repeat.  He has always been a cat napper, so making up that sleep for mom, dad and baby during nap time was not happening and my sister and her husband were exhausted and burning the candle at both ends.  They tried to transition my nephew out of the rock n' play that he had been sleeping in and into his crib, and it was a mess.  Nothing was working...until the DockATot came into their lives. 

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This was a game changer.  My nephew was so used to sleeping in a conforming little space that the wide open crib was too much for him.  He was too big for the rock n' play and uncomfortable in it, yet too small to feel secure in the crib.  Placing the DockATot in the crib and allowing him to sleep in it, made the transition from cradle to crib much easier on both parents and baby.  In addition, he finally started sleeping a normal stretch within just a couple days of using the DockATot.  Life is so much better, sleep is so much better and that happy little nephew nugget is back!

So onto our list of WHY you NEED a DockATot!

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1. The fabric is amazing. It is strong and soft at the same time.  In addition, DockATot has worked to ensure that the fabric is 100% breathable and safe for use in cribs.  The material that it is made out of allows air to pass through and keeps baby at a comfortable temperature which is relaxing and helps them sleep better.  My sister definitely agrees that this is a wonderful feature!

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2. The material is washable!  No seriously, in the short 4 year span since I had a tiny baby to now, you would not believe how many baby items were so difficult to take apart and wash.  The DockATot is so simple to take apart, and wash in the washer.  As a mom, you know how blowouts and messes happen and how important it is to get that in the washer quickly.  We love that you can easily take everything apart and get it in the laundry fast.

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3. Safe Secure Sleeping.  Look, babies like to be snuggled and held tight.  We all know a baby who only wanted to sleep in your arms and woke up as soon as you put them down.  The DockATot reinvents the womb providing a snug and soothing environment for babies which helps them sleep well.
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4. Hugely versatile.  Not only does the DockATot provide a great sleeping environment, but you can use the DockATot for playtime under a kick-mat, or for safe co-sleeping, or even to promote tummy time and head control!  This is truly a wonderful baby product and something that we believe is really a game changer.

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5. Eases cradle to crib transitions.  This is one of the best features for my sister.  She really feels that my nephews sleep patterns nearly returned to normal once the DockATot arrived.  Their transition was much easier for everyone and particularly gave my nephew a secure and comfortable place to snooze with ease.

We wanted to show you some more features and I wanted to show off this cute baby some more, so here is our video review of the DockATot.  Let us know if you have any questions!



If you want more information on the DockATot, please check out their website, which is full of sleep safety and strategies for all parents.  Also you can contact them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Monday, February 13, 2017

Sunglasses Valentine Printable

I am that last minute mom.  As in, I need quick and easy, but I also want creativity.  If you are that last minute mom that wants something cute and easy to hand out, this Sunglasses Valentine Printable is for you!

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First gather your supplies.  You will need the printable, card stock, scissors, tape and plastic sunglasses (found mine at Target for $3.00)

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Cut out each printable and fold on the marked line.  Then lay the sunglasses on the paper and center them.
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Tape down the flap of paper

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Then flip over the glasses and look at the adorable and easy NON CANDY Valentine's that you just created.  Now wait for the kids and other parents to swoon, because these are going to be a hit at your kids party!

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Looking for the printable?  You can click here or on on the photo below to access the google file!  I also made sure these were ink friendly, to save some time there.  These print out super quick and detailed.


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My kids are very excited to share these with their friends tomorrow, and I am excited too!  I had to make 32 of them total and it took me all of 10 minutes.  Tonight my kids will write their names on them at the pink arrow at the bottom and then they will be ready to hand out.

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Are you ready for Valentine's Day celebrations?

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Canvas On Sale Review

Disclosure: I was provided with a free canvas in exchange for my honest review

I am just starting to get into making a focus wall in my house and with that, I wanted to include canvas.  It is going to take me some time to put the entire wall together, but I did want to share with you this awesome company and the quality of their canvas.


Canvas On Sale is an affordable photo printing canvas company offering new customers a free 12 x 8 canvas just to try them out!  Interested in saving money and making a focal wall in our house, I jumped all over this!  

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The canvas shipped quickly and was great quality.  I really inspected every angle out because I truly wanted to make sure that this was a quality canvas before I committed to purchasing any more.  The seams were perfect and very strong.

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I was worried that the canvas would make my photos look to pixilated and honestly the print turned out wonderful!  Although close up it does look a little pixilated, hanging on a wall the photo looks stunning. 

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Speaking of hanging on the wall, the canvas is so light that you can hang it with a simple thumb tack. I love that because I am one that likes to put small holes into the walls and use little effort to hang decor.
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I am really happy with the quality and the quick shipping and will definitely be ordering more in the future.  I cannot wait to get my focal family wall up and feature our family photos over the past several years!

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If you want to try Canvas On Sale and get your free 12 x 8 canvas print (just pay shipping), make sure to check out the website now!


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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Cancer Update on Our Dog

I have been a bit quiet on social media this last week.  Two reasons for this.  First, I am sick.  With that comes exhaustion.  Second, I am nursing our sweet pup back to health after her leg amputation.

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If you have not been following along, you can learn more about our diagnosis here and the turning point and choice to amputate here.

Our Mia has been in our lives since she was 5 weeks old.  I was clinging to hope for a miracle and 2 weeks ago, I felt like we got one.  The vet told us that her cancer had not metastasized and that it was likely we were dealing with a much less aggressive type of cancer.  The option we had was amputation, then pathology testing on the removed tumor.  We decided to go for it.  

Last Thursday my husband took our girl in and they did blood work to ensure she was ready for surgery.  All was clear and we were hopeful!  Her leg was removed without a hitch and within hours she was ready to come home and already feeling completely better without that horrible cancerous tumor hanging off her.

Recovery so far has been going ok.  She is hard to contain and back to being ornery and playful.  She refuses to stay still and is already a pro on 3 legs.  We had a minor hiccup on Saturday when we woke up to the side of her face being full of a surface infection.  I rushed her back to the vet and they ended up shaving her face and cleaning the infection.  

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The infection was from her having to wear a cone and drooling all over in the cone and then laying in it.  It was pretty irritated and it smelled to high heavens.  It took 3 people to hold her still while the vet shaved and cleaned up her face which with 3 legs and only being about 48 hours post-surgery, tells you how strong she is. 

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With animals everything is a waiting game.  We had to wait and see what the tumor did, we had to wait for the amputation, we had to wait for pathology to tell us exactly what type of cancer we had removed. 

Yesterday, the pathology report came and it was NOT the news we were hoping for.  Mia's cancer was the highly aggressive osteosarcoma.  We are not sure if it has metastasized microscopically or not and we won't know until we see changes in her breathing and behavior.  It was heartbreaking but at the same time we would not change our current treatment plans for her. 

Her quality of life is a million times better than it was, she is back to being our happy girl and the pain for her even as she recovers is very minimal and she does not seem to be bothered that there is a missing leg.

Just keep sending love and prayers and good thoughts that there is no metastasis for a very long time and that she is able to live a few more years with our little family.  That is the best we can hope for. 

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Monday, February 6, 2017

Stock Up on Snapple 64 Oz. Peach, Diet Peach, and Kiwi Strawberry- Buy 3/$5 on Rollback at Walmart #SnappleRollback #ad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SnappleRollback #Walmart
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Take a break with Snapple. Stock up on Snapple 64 oz. Peach, Diet Peach, and Kiwi Strawberry!
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Friday, February 3, 2017

Score Sweet Rewards at Walmart with Diet Dr Pepper #ColorMeSweet #ad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ColorMeSweet
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Earn a $5 Walmart eGift Card when you buy $10 worth of Diet Dr Pepper®! Simply upload an image of your Walmart receipt at DrPepper.com/Walmart showing purchase of $10 worth of Diet Dr Pepper in a single transaction.
Need a break from earning all those sweet rewards? Check out Lil’ Sweet’s FREE digital adult coloring book and show off those sassy art skills!
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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Winning Money and Learning More about Health Insurance Options with #UnitedHealthcare #Ad


Last year, my husband went part time at work for a short period and we lost health insurance.  We scrambled to learn as much as we could about options out there and we found one that would work temporarily.  Recently, we were introduced to UnitedHealthcare® and looking back on our experience last year, I really wish we would have learned about their services earlier.

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I am a huge proponent for educating yourself (that is the teacher in me), and UnitedHealthcare® has so many resources available on their site to help you learn about your insurance options with them. The website is so easy to use and offers a variety of options for you to browse.  Looking back on our time without insurance, I am so bummed that I did not know about this site. 

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I spent a lot of time learning about the different plans out there during our search.  It is so important for consumers to know the nuts and bolts of insurance currently.  There is a lot of information and misinformation out there and utilizing a reliable source is really helpful in learning about what will best suit your needs and your families needs.

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UnitedHealthcare® is making this easier for consumers by offering some interactive games to help you learn more about health insurance options and what you can do to provide the best for you and your family.  They have 3 quick and easy games to play; Look & Learn, Health Facts and Perfect Match.  I decided to give them a try and see if what I have learned has stuck!

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I started with Perfect Match, which had me match the health care terms to their definitions.  I did awesome on this one.  That made me feel pretty good.  I had a good understanding of the differences between deductibles, out of pocket expenses and benefits. 

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The next interactive game was the Look and Learn.  It had a short video to watch about coverage and doctors and then a little question after. This one was very easy.  I have experience with using doctors outside of our network and so this was just a review for me. 

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The last game I played was Health Facts.  Three simple and quick questions made this game an easy entry.  Oh yeah, did I mention that when you play these easy interactive games, you can enter for your chance to win $500.00 monthly prize and a $100.00 weekly prize!  Each game you complete has an entry form and it is simple to fill out!

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Be sure to take the time and learn more about common healthcare questions with UnitedHealthcare®, and do not forget to enter to win those weekly and monthly giveaways!  You can also sign up now!


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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Colorado Changes to Testing #SAT

If you have been around for a while, you know that I am a high school science teacher.  I have been teaching for 8 years and I mostly teach Biology, however, I have taught most every other science.  In the state of Colorado, you have to have a degree in your content and then your teaching certificate to teach.  In addition, science teachers are hired to just teach science, regardless of their degree, so in reality, even though my Bachelor's degree is in Biology, I can be assigned to teach whatever the need of my building is.



Colorado is my home and will probably always be.  I love what I do, but just like most educators, I know there is always more work to do and more changes coming down the pipeline.  One of the big changes in the state of Colorado is that we are shifting from the ACT to the SAT.  For the first time in 15 years, our state will administer the SAT instead of the ACT to our Junior classes.

Our building has been aware of the change since last year and although we know the tests are different, not much as far as our building focus and strategies have changed.  Our building tends to do very well on standardized tests regardless of the format, so we are just going to keep pushing our kids to do their very best and pushing ourselves to give them the very best as well.

However, with the shift from the ACT to the SAT there are some slight changes in our test preparation plans.  Our school does run after school test prep groups and will be focusing on the SAT this year for obvious reasons.  I know that many students cannot attend due to jobs, extracurriculars and family commitments.  Which is why I am writing this post today.

I was contacted by Testive to share with my Colorado (and Illinois) readers that they are ready to help you prep for the SAT and they are offering their SAT and ACT prep courses for free until February 28, 2017! This is a great resource for those parents and students hoping to earn great scores and get into the colleges of their choosing.

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I thought it would be great to share with you all that there is a resource out there that is free and will help with this shift.  Hope you found it useful!


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Monday, January 30, 2017

Beauty and The Beast Character Posters

Our house is ready for the biggest premier this year!  Disney's Beauty and The Beast hits theaters on March 17th and we are already giddy in anticipation for this release!  The character posters were just released are are seriously beautiful.  Take a peek below!

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Emma Watson already looks stunning and from what I have seen on the internet and from Disney, she is the perfect Belle!

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I love that they did a poster of Dan Stevens as both The Beast and the Prince.  Wonderful way to portray his "two-faces"

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Luke Evans looks exactly like Gaston from the animated feature.  Seriously, perfection!

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I am really excited to see Josh Gad in this part as Lefou.

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Kevin Kline did not immediately strike me as a perfect fit for Maurice, but the more that I look at his poster, the more I am convinced that he will be great!

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Our youngest daughter was supposed to be a boy (doctor initially told us that), his name would have been Ewan after the amazing Ewan McGregor.  Obviously I am eager to see him as Lumiere!

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Mrs. Potts is my absolute favorite character from the original Beauty and the Beast.  I was hoping that Angela Lansbury would reprise her role, however finding out that Emma Thompson was casted as Mrs. Potts was awesome!  We have enjoyed several of her movies and I am sure she will be awesome. 

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Ian McKellen.  Yes, Period.  He is amazing in anything, so casting him as Cogsworth was a genius idea.  

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I know very little about GuGu Mbatha Raw.  She looks stunning.

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I am a slight Broadway fanatic.  I watch anything having to do with Broadway and although I have never watched Audra McDonald on stage in person, I have seen her in so many different roles that she is one of my top favorites!  Cannot wait to see how she plays the Garderobe. 

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Stanley Tucci, is an amazing actor and brings so much to the screen.  I also love his poster and characters look! 

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This casting list and character posters are phenomenal!  If you are looking for a little more, take a peek at the trailer below.  March 17th is only about 6 weeks away!



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