Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - American Babies!

We hope everyone had a great Memorial Day and weekend.  We had a great weekend that was spent 90% with just us 4!!  It was WONDERFUL not to have to be at 500 places in 10 minutes!

These pictures were taken during Brynnleigh's SnapMe Swimwear photo shoot a few weekends ago...but I saved them for today since they had the flag.  My kids LOVE the American flag, which makes me happy!


A huge Thank You to all those who have served, are serving, and will serve.  We appreciate all that you do, and your sacrifice!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

SnapMe Swimwear Review - Summer Splash Sponsor

To say I love this bathing suit is an understatement....this is a must have suit for any Momma who has a little girl!! 

SnapMe Swimwear  offers super cute bathing suits for little girls that allow the dreaded diaper change or potty break to be a breeze!  They have snaps in the crotch so you do not have to remove the ENTIRE wet and/or sandy suit, just to use the restroom or change a diaper.

See what I mean when I say super cute?  ; )  You cannot even tell there are snaps down there.  I cannot wait to be the envy of everyone at the beach with this suit!!

It fits true to size - I ordered Brynnleigh the 3T since she is soo tall.  It has a bit of room to grow, which is perfect since our beach trip is in late August.  I typically have to buy her 2 sets of suits every summer - this year I won't!  I am just going to alter the straps a bit and it will be PERFECT!

To make this bathing suit even better - Brynnleigh did not want to take it off when we were done with our review - so I just threw her dress overtop!  That in itself is an accomplishment - at 2, this child is PICKY and getting dressed is a nightmare, she knows what she wants to wear, and how she wants to wear it!

We picked the Navy Polka Dot suit since I'm a sucker for navy and polka dots, but there are a TON of choices to pick from.  They even off the rashguard suits as well! 

The suits themselves even have UV protection built in!! Here are the facts for the Navy Polka Dot suit that we have...

Features:• UVP 50+
• 2 rows of snaps for adjusting
• fully lined throughout suit

I am always concerned that my kids suits will shift or stretch during the day to open up fresh skin that has not been protected, or worried that the sun can get through their suit!

To find out more about SnapMe Swimwear you can visit their Website, Facebook Page, or Twitter.

Even better - SnapMe Swimwear is sponsoring a giveaway on my blog, that ends TODAY - so hurry on over to enter HERE.

And now, more photos of my little princess in her awesome new suit!! 




Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Spiderman

We recently let the kids run in the CASA Superhero Run and I snapped these pictures beforehand......O was perfectly positioned as any Spiderman would!


Then Spidergirl came to help out....

I have a lot more pictures about this event and hope to blog more about it in the next week or two.  This event was a blast and I would recommend looking to see if there is one in your area!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Guest Post - Top 5 "Pack Light" Tips for Kid-Friendly Travel by Kendra Thornton

This weekend starts the official start of summer, bbq's and family trips (at least in my book it does).  Traveling with kids is fun, but can be stressful which is why I was ecstatic when Kendra Thornton contacted me to do a guest post with some tips to make it easier!

Here is a brief introduction from Kendra:

"My name is Kendra and I'm 37 and a mother of 3. Before being promoted to the full time position of mom, I was the former Orbitz Director of Communications where I was able to travel all around the world.  I believe I have some great tips for traveling with kids that will certainly come in handy this summer!

 Personally, I’ve been to 28 countries on 6 continents, and have been quoted in the news about seasonal travel trends and destinations all over the United States. I have now stepped out of the corporate world to take on the role of being number one wife and mom to my family."

And now, what you have been waiting for:

Top 5 "Pack Light" Tips for Kid-Friendly Travel

If your world is full of bag lunches and rushed kisses on the way out the door, you may yearn to get away from it all as soon as possible. Just think. All your kids in one place - one wonderful place - having the time of their lives and giving you the chance to have yours too! Family vacation time. If you're not careful, you run the risk of bringing along just as much baggage as your every day hurried world back home. Be prepared and pack light with these top five tips for kid-friendly travel.

1. Plan What You Pack and Put Your Foot Down 

There's one last 'mean Mom' moment before you whisk the family on the vacation trip. Whether you're traveling by car or airplane, space is at a premium. Plan with your kids what they can and cannot bring and help them make good choices. If you have older children, give them each their own carryon so they can stay occupied. Make sure each kid knows they will be carrying their own bag if possible. 

2. Blend the Old and New for Comfort and Fun

A favorite toy may bring comfort on a long trip. But will it hold your child's attention long enough to give you some peace while driving? Buy some new toys or games and a special vacation-only bag as well. The surprise at new things will keep them busy for a good part of the trip.  My kids really enjoy arts and crafts - I am amazed at how much enjoyment (and peace and quiet) comes from just a new box of crayons. Crayola has thousands of printouts for your little one as well if you want to avoid bringing an entire coloring book.

3. Keep Important Stuff Accessible

All the usual things such as medication, paperwork and a change of underwear need to be kept close at hand on vacation. Traveling with kids expands the important stuff list to include a favorite toy or a baby's pacifier. Snacks and drinks should be readily available too. If you are leaving the U.S. or traveling by air without both parents, make sure to check what documentation is required for each child.

4.  Picking your Home Away from Home 

As much as you’re looking forward to spending quality time with your family on your trip, vacations can definitely take a toll on everyone.  Whether its jetlag or cramped legs in the backseat, it is crucial to have a relaxing place to crash at the end of the day.  Make sure you are picking the accommodations that make the most sense for your family.  Use your Internet skills by researching your options – take into account proximity, amenities, and price when choosing your hotel.  On a recent trip to Hawaii, I was able to find a kid-friendly hotel just by reading up on the best hotels in Honolulu. Taking full advantage of recommendations and reviews from your peers is a sure fire way to ensure a soft pillow and restful sleep for your family after a long vacation day.

5. Avoid the "Are We There Yet?" Blues 

Have you found yourself desperately wanting to get away but dreading the inevitable question?  Get the kids involved with the journey itself. Older kids may enjoy following along on a map or GPS. Consider using Google Earth and looking up interesting facts about the towns or cities you go through. Even younger children can join in the fun of plotting a course and playing travel games as you go. The more involved everyone is in the vacation adventure, the more likely it will be an exciting and relaxing time.

You can follow Kendra on Twitter to find more of her knowledgeable information or ask her a question!!




Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - 4 Generations

This was taken on Sunday, Mother's Day (and my Dad's Birthday)....I know I will cherish this picture for many years to come!  I am so lucky that I get to see my Mom almost every day, and my grandmother often as well. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

2nd Annual Summer Splash Blog Hop Giveaway!!

Welcome to the 2nd Annual Summer Splash Event hosted by Life With Two Boys and With Our Best!

A bunch of great blogs have come together to bring you some amazing prizes to help you kick off your summer... with a SPLASH! Each blog is giving away at least $25 worth of prizes, plus we have an awesome grand prize for one very lucky winner. Be sure to hop along to each of the participating blogs because the more giveaways you enter, the more chances you have at winning the Grand Prize!

Before we talk about the Grand Prize, let's talk about The BOAT's prize, a swimsuit from SnapMe Swimwear.  You can find out more about this great company and product by reading my Sponsor Spotlight.

These adorable suits come with snaps in the crotch to make diaper changing, or potty breaks super easy and quick!  Brynnleigh tried out the Navy Polka Dot suite, and to say we were in love is an understatement.

Stay tuned for our detailed review and lots more pictures of my princess and her new favorite bathing suit.

You can enter to win a SnapMe Suit using the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of this post.

So what's this Grand Prize we're talking about? Thanks to Trex Outdoor Furniture, one very lucky winner is going to win a Yacht Club 3-Piece Rocker Set valued at $1,317! Made in the USA and constructed of durable HDPE recycled lumber, this Rocker Set is sure to help you slow down and relax this Summer and for many years to come!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Please note that the Summer Splash hosts and participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prize. We have represented each sponsor with the expectation that they will fulfill their prize in a timely manner. While we are not responsible, we will make every effort to assist the winner in obtaining their prize.

Monday, May 13, 2013

SnapMe Swimwear Sponsor Spotlight (Summer Splash Blog Hop)

When I discovered SnapMe Swimwear I about died.  How many of us struggle to change the diaper of a wet and possibly sandy baby?  It's a pain!  I had gotten to the point that I would take an extra suit every time we went to the pool or beach so once I had to change her, I could just put on a nice dry suit that was easy to maneuver.  I also hated to completely have to undress her just to change her diaper, and to say I wasn't a fan of 2 pieces for little ones would be an understatement.

So, how does SnapMe Swimwear make this oh so annoying process easier?  It's the simplest of concepts, but it saves your sanity in more ways then one!  SnapMe Swimsuits have snaps in the crotch of their suits so you do not have to remove the suit for a simple diaper change, or potty break.  There is even an extra row of snaps so you can get a little more wear out of your suit!

These suits are adorable as is, and then the added convenience they provide is like a bonus.  I could not pick just one of these suits!

They even offer rash guard suits for the ultimate protection and convenience.

I was ecstatic when SnapMe Swimwear agreed to Sponsor The BOAT in the Summer Splash Giveaway Blog Hop.  Renee has been a dream to work with!

So lets find out a bit more about Renee and SnapMe Swimwear....

1) So tell us a little bit about your self: Mother of a 3 and 6 yr old girl. Studied photography in Philadelphia where I earned my BFA. Gave up work to become a full time mom.

2) Can you tell us more about SnapMe Swimwear and how it got started?
Hi, I’m Renee. Let me tell you about a typical Saturday during the summer with my family. We have a 2 daughters that love the beach, so we go as often as possible. We all get up in the morning, make breakfast, and then pack a ton of things that we need to bring. Before we know it, an hour has gone by. We get in the car and realize we forgot something. Another 5 minutes and we are finally on our way! It only takes us 10 minutes to get to the beach, and go figure, there is NO PLACE TO PARK!
Now it’s time to unload the car and drag all of my daughter’s toys, her bag, the umbrella, chairs, cooler, etc. onto the beach. We set up our little area and finally it’s time to sit down and relax. As fate would have it….SHE HAS A DIRTY DIAPER!!!
While I am trying to get her suit off she squirms and sand sticks to her. The suit is wet and I struggle trying to get it back on.
After too many experiences like this, I thought there has to be a better way! You know what they say, “Necessity is the mother of invention”. So I invented SnapMe!
Not only is SnapMe Swimwear good for diaper changing, but when your daughter shows signs that she wants to be a big girl and start to potty train you can easily pull off the snaps in no time!
Also, I am sure moms agree with me there is nothing more disgusting than a public restroom at the beach…ugh! You can use the SnapMe Suits for your older girl (sizes up to 4T) so she doesn’t have to drop her bathing suit on that nasty floor ever again!
If you can relate to a day like this, you need this bathing suit!
SnapMe Swimwear. Finally, bathing suit changing that’s a SNAP!

3) What is your favorite item and why? Hibiscus Stamp. I just love the style with the skirt. It's is very fashionable and functional.


4) How can I order? Visit and place your order there. Take advantage of the $2.99 shipping! We use paypal for secure payment so make sure you have an account.

Stay tuned to The BOAT for Brynnleigh's review of the suit and a giveaway!  The giveaway event starts tonight at Midnight!!!

Here's a sneak peak at B's photo shoot rocking out her SnapMe Swimsuit in Navy Polka Dot!

You can also follow SnapMe Swimwear on Facebook and Twitter!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ring the Bell DVD Review & Giveaway!

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Ring the Bell is such a great family friendly movie that I am sure anyone can relate to.  Unfortunately I watched this movie by myself, Troy was catching up on sports, and the kids were in bed.  I do try to watch a movie first, before I let the kids watch, just in case there is something that I do not want them to see.  There is nothing in this movie that should be shielded from young eyes, and it is a great family friendly movie that the whole family will enjoy!

About Ring the Bell: Ring The Bell shares the story of a slick, big city sports agent Rob Decker who seems to have it all. But on his latest mission to sign a high school baseball superstar, Rob becomes stranded in a small town where the simplicity of life—and the faith of the people—stand in stark contrast to his own fast-paced, win-at-all-costs mindset. Torn between these two worlds, will Rob have the courage to let faith transform his life? This heartwarming story of redemption is sure to entertain and inspire the whole family.

Ring The Bell features a host of well-known Christian music artists, such as Mark Hall along with his band Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Matthew West, all who play a role in this inspirational drama. Several former and current Major League Baseball all-stars are also featured in the film: ESPN analysts John Kruk and Rick Sutcliffe (a former Cy Young Award winner), along with Ben Zobrist.

This family-friendly movie was produced by Mark Miller, Beach Street Records' founder and Casting Crowns’ producer. Miller, who is also the lead singer and founder of country music group Sawyer Brown, co-wrote the script with Thomas Weber and Weber directed the production.

Ring the Bell is available on DVD for only $19.99    

DVD Special Features:
The Heart of "Ring the Bell"
Casting Crowns “The Well” Music Video

On Set with Casting Crowns
Famous Faces

A Very Special Movie

Ringing the Bell

The Artists and Music of "Ring The Bell"

As I stated above, I really enjoyed this movie.  There are elements of this movie that everyone can relate too.  I cannot wait to watch this as a family and I know the kids will enjoy it just as much as I did.  I laughed, I cried, and I'm pretty sure I "rang the bell" with them.    You can find out more about this movie by visiting the Website or their Facebook Page!   Great news - I have one copy to giveaway to one of my readers - enter via the Rafflecopter form below!!  Good Luck!   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - May Soccer & Bitter Cold?

These pictures were taken from Owen's soccer game on May 5th....

Yes, on May 5th, 2013 we were FREEZING while watching O play soccer with gloves and a hat!  This weather is just crazy!!

I hope it's a bit warmer at this weekends game!! ; )

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Hey God, I've Got Some Guy Named Jonah in my Stomach and I Think I'm Going to Throw Up! - Book Review and Giveaway

My kids LOVE books...and it's one of those things, I love for them to have so we were very excited to be able to review this new book, "Hey God, I've Got Some Guy Named Jonah In My Stomach And I Think I'm Going to Throw Up!" by Troy Schmidt.

Even the cover of this book screams FUN.  The kids ripped it out of my hand when it came in the mail.  It caught my attention too, we all wanted to read it right away.

About the Book:
Oh sure, we've all heard the story of Jonah and the Whale a hundred times. But have we heard it from the perspective of the whale who experienced that history-making event?
Hey God, I've Got Some Guy Named Jonah in My Stomach and I Think I'm Gonna Throw Up! imagines how that great sea creature from the incident might tell his side of the story, helping kids ages 4 to 8 discover a creative way of learning about that guy who was supposed to go to Ninevah.

The "Parent Connection" feature (inside the book) will help moms and dads take the story further with scripture references and tips on how to talk with their children about what really happened.

Owen reading.
 About the Author:
Troy Schmidt has writing and video production credits ranging from assignments with Disney (The Mickey Mouse Club) and Nickelodeon to Max Lucado's Hermie franchise. He is currently the lead writer for The American Bible Challenge hosted by Jeff Foxworthy on the Game Show Network. Troy and his wife have three sons.

Brynnleigh "reading"
The series: This is just the first in a series! Other books available include Hey God, Can You Stop the Rain so I Can Get off Noah's Smelly Ark? and Hey God, I'm Having an Awful Vacation in Egypt Thanks to Moses!

Our opinion - this book is awesome. It's a light, funny way which engages your kids, and teaches them a different perspective of the same story in an easy to relate to form.  Owen thought it was hilarious that the whale swallowed a man.  Brynnleigh just enjoyed seeing all the fish, and LOVED Dr. Crab.  Owen is 6, and Brynnleigh is 2, and this book was perfect for them both.

The pictures inside are bright and colorful and demand your attention.

I won't lie, I re-read this book after the kids were in bed, and I found myself chuckling at times.

After reading this book, I definitely want to get the other two books for the kids (and maybe me too!).

Want to know more about this book or purchase it online?  Check out the following sites:


Author's Facebook Page

B&H Publishing Facebook Page


Still not sure how you feel about this book - take a look at this video:

Remember the Giveaway part of the title?  Yes, that is right, they are giving one lucky BOAT reader their very own copy of "Hey God, I've Got Some Guy Named Jonah In My Stomach And I Think I'm Going To Throw Up!"  Enter using the Rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wordless Wednesday - Happy Birthday to Me!

Yesterday (Tuesday) was my birthday, and on Monday evening we celebrated with my parents.  Owen was so excited to put the candles on the cake, and insisted on putting 34 candles on the cake!!  Which I'm not sure WHY he wanted 34 candles since it was only my 21st Birthday!  hee hee.

Somehow the candles over took the cake, which of course Troy made sure to post on FB for all to see just how old I was.

Owen and Brynnleigh could not wait to blow out the candles...and luckily I was able to snap these next two pictures which look like B is throwing fire from her fingers and O is breathing fire!

My favorite part about my birthday - was watching how excited my babies were to celebrate my would think it was their birthday!  I love these two munchkins so much!!