Thursday, January 28, 2016

Adventures in 2016!

A new year always brings a renewed sense of hope for me.  For my family, it means we're embarking on a new year of adventure!

We've made some logistical changes with our blended family schedule which is very good for all of us.  We've also started making plans for summer--which takes a lot of planning due to kids' schedules with their other parents, marching band schedules, and a work schedule.

We are looking forward to 2016 being a year of adventure for us--as a family and as a couple! Beach trips, back yard camping, fishing, and an amusement park are on our radar!  Family  time sometimes means 4 of us, sometimes it means 5 and sometimes all 6. We are just making the best of it!

We started out 2016 with a family date night {Lily's term for it}--a few hours of playing in the snow, sled riding, and then ice cream before supper!  It was Lily's half birthday and we celebrated the kids' report cards.  Positivity is the 2016  theme in our house.

Netflix is a big part of our family. We are officially now 2 years cable free and have no interest in going back thanks to Netflix!

What have y'all been watching lately? Making a Murderer along with the rest of America? I recently binge watched and finished Nurse Jackie. I loved it!

We can't wait for the new House of Cards...and Fuller House-- TGIF has just become TGIN! (Thank God It's Netflix!!  Netflix just does not disappoint!

As always, the kids have the best shows to watch and I love that it's at my convenience.

The Croods is one of our favorite family movies, so we were very excited about the new Netflix original series Dawn of the Croods --Lily especially!

The Croods' Best Family Adventures

Every step out of the cave is a new adventure for The Croods, but we've compiled a few of our favorites. You can watch all of their pre-hysterical adventures now on Netflix.
Sandy Bugs In Mouth
Ep. 6: When Grug and Ugga go out on a date and leave the kids home alone, Eep throws the first-ever house party.
Grug Cheering
Ep. 11: Grug won't let Eep join his winning team, so she forms her own group to play in history's first sporting event.
Thunk Face Plant
Ep. 12: Because he is so stinky, Thunk pretends to be something he really isn't.
Grug Crying
Ep. 13: When two things go missing in the middle of the night, Eep hunts for clues to solve the first mystery ever.

New on Netflix for Kids, Tweens, Teens and Families

Sofia the First - Season 2 (1/3)
Dragons: Race to the EDGE - Season 2 (1/8)
Degrassi S1 2x sdp
Degrassi: Next Class (1/15)

I hope 2016 brings lots of adventures to you and your family, as well! What are you looking forward to this year?

 Disclosure: As a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam I was provided subscription to Netflix and also exclusive insights or other products. All opinions are my 100% my own and I was already a proud Netflix subscriber prior to this opportunity. Please see my full disclosure.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Finding Ways to Save in 2016! #LiveBrighter #ad

Direct Energy allows residents of Pennsylvania and other states to save more money on their electric bills. I love having choices!

One of the things I love about kids growing up is the excitement of learning.  Lily loves sharing her knowledge and all her tricks of what she thinks.

She is currently reminding everyone in our house about using kind words and what is not kind to say or do to others.

Her other current mission is saving energy.  Turning off lights, turning off the tv, reminding everyone about keeping the refrigerator door closed, unplugging things we don't use...things like that.

It's fun, exciting, and pretty fascinating when your kids are sharing what they learn.

Staying home with my kids and having 6 in our family, we are on a tight budget and look to save money wherever we can. I clip coupons, plan meals, freezer stock, shop consignment sales for my girls' clothes just for examples.

I'm always looking for new ways to save and saving more money on our electric bill is part of our plan for 2016 and  Direct Energy offers ways to save on just that!

1. Direct energy offers a fixed-rate energy plan: your electricity rate won’t fluctuate throughout your contract term.
2. Direct Energy is the only energy provider to be a part of Plenti. You can earn rewards every month with Plenti!
3. Direct Energy offers different savings depending on where you  live – plug in your zipcode on the landing page to learn about the offers available in your area!

With Direct Energy Pennsylvania residents, can save up to 16%* over MetEd’s electricity rate, and up to 12%* over Penn Power’s electricity rate. There’s more! Save up to 10%* over Penelec’s electricity rate!

*All savings refers to the current difference between Direct Energy's fixed rate offer and the Utility’s current Fixed Rate for Basic Service as of January 8, 2016, and does not include any other component of the electricity bill. Utility rates are subject to change and there may be no savings following the respective official utility rate change date.  Direct Energy's fixed rates include electricity supply charges only and excludes delivery/transmission charges, taxes, and all other utility-related charges. Offer is limited and valid for new residential customers only.

How are you looking to saving money in 2016?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Routine is the Secret to our #FormulaForHappiness

When it comes to being a mom, feeding my family is one of my main roles. I mean, don't you always feel like you're either planning meals, preparing meals, or cleaning up from those meals?! Even as babies, life is centered around ensuring the baby is getting the right nutrition. Our routine ensures we are rarely having meals "on the fly."

I'm excited to once again team up with Gerber® Good Start® and be able to share with you that they have been listening to consumers and now all their infant formulas are all GMO free!  

Gerber® Good Start's shift to Non-GMO ingredients is simply based on their desire to meet the evolving preferences of parents who use formula for their babies.  That is incredible!

Our #formulaforhappiness at home has been one that is summed up in a simple phrase:

Consistency = Security = Love and Happiness. 

The routine is what makes life work in our house.  Keeping schedules organized is just one part of running our family and definitely plays a role in our #formulaforhappiness.

My husband and I both feel routines are important for kids and that started for us even when our girls were babies.  Recognizing that early on, made for starting out life with a newborn much easier for us.

Sleep is a huge part of that routine.

Our girls have always been good sleepers even from the beginning.  That is essential for us as parents trying to keep everything running smoothly in our house. None of it would have been possible without our formula for happiness! We were consistent with our scheduling {flexible when needed} so our girls felt secure and happy and loved.

Having a good night's rest and good naps makes for happy babies!    Naps have always been part of our scheduling with our babies and our night time routine has made for happy girls. Bath, books, bed. Simple.  There are songs after they are in bed. Each of my kids have a song that I sing specifically to them that are also part of their routine. We ensure the room is dark, a sound machine soothes and blocks out outside noise. The girls know what to expect and are great sleepers which makes for happy kids and happy parents!

I truly believe that when kids know what to expect, they are more secure and they know they are loved and happy.  Just like adults like to know what's next in their day. Why wouldn't that work for babies and kids also?

What's your #formulaforhappiness in your house?

What do you think about Gerber® Good Start® new non-GMO formulas?