Money…

Tomorrow I will post my tentative schedule for the new year! I plan on posting 3-4 days a week, and I’m hoping to be real, honest, and enjoyable for all of you!Money is such a hard topic to approach. Some people are firm believers that money is a personal venture, and I absolutely agree- however sometimes I think when advice is needed, putting yourself out there is best.

I’m sure by now everyone had heard of Dave Ramsey. I feel like you have to be living under a rock if you haven’t. Has anyone done his program? My husband and I sat down to do some financing and it hit us hard… “How did we get here”? I borrowed the book The Total Money Makeover, read it in two days and I feel like it can be a HUGE game changer. Not only for my family but for so many. I will be tracking my experience here (of course, not with actual numbers), and would love for you all the take the journey with us. ANY advice, tips or tricks would be fabulous!

Let’s do this 2019… Here we come!

New Year, New…

I dislike the saying “New Year, New me…” but it is true. I am trying to focus on making things clearer, cleaner and REFRESH!! Therefore, welcome to my new blog! Over the next week or so, I will be changing a lot of the way my blog looks and feels. I hope you join me for my adventures! I can’t wait to share some new ideas I have, reviews, and much more!

xoxo,

Alena

My greatest gift in 2018

My greatest gift in 2018 was…. 

My baby boy Evan! Never in a million years would I of thought I would have another baby. Almost 8 years later, it happened. My family is now complete. 2018 hasn’t been all up’s but this up was the best. 

Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year. We will be back with new content next week! 
Xoxo, 
Alena 

Busy Parent’s Formula Tips for the Holidays & Giveaway! #Sponsored #Giveaway

“This post has been sponsored by Store Brand Formula. All thoughts and reviews are my own.”
Please consult the FTC Endorsement and Testimonial Guides and their FTC Endorsement Guides FAQ, or let us know if you have any questions. 

The Holiday season is here and in FULL swing. I can’t believe Christmas is next week. Having a baby around this time is not only time consuming but extremely busy! I also have an 8 year old and I have to make sure I have things super prepared and ready to go, especially because she’s in a bunch of different activities.

The journey of parenthood is exhausting, but I always try to look at the positive and laugh a lot!  I formula feed, and I want to share THREE easy tips for formula feeding for the busy holiday season! 



Tip #1: Make sure you have a formula dispenser {we use THIS} and a bottle of water in your diaper bag at all times. You never know when you will need it. Oh, and make sure its actually filled. I cant tell you how many times I have pulled it out to make bottle and it only had one compartment filled {insert mom guilt emoji here}. Thankfully everything we are involved in is close to my house or a store!! Don’t worry he always gets his baba!! 

Tip #2:Have bottles washed and ready to go in the morning and in the evening. I find; especially around this time of year I have a hard time keeping up with my dirty dishes! I DO however make sure every morning I wash the bottles from the night before and every night I was the bottles from the day. This makes my life easier when I need to feed the baby. Taking the time is such a chore but its worth it in the end. 

Tip #3: Have your formula mixed and ready to go for easy pouring, especially in the evening! I use a formula mixer so its ready to pour. You can leave it in your fridge for up to 24 hours


You can find more tips and hacks over on the Parent’s Newsfeed page on Storebrand.com.

Oh, and Im going to add a Tip #4: HAVE FUN! Enjoy the holidays with your children. Laugh and look at the lights. Find the Elf and let the MAGIC guide you! 

Make sure to go check out The Parents’ NewsFEED on Storebrand.com. It provides a resource for parents to get informed and have a laugh while sharing the journey of parenthood. 

Store Brand Formula is nutritionally comparable to nationally advertised brands but costs up to 50% less. It’s called formula for a reason. Infant formula is regulated by the FDA, which means that all ingredients need to meet specific standards- that means that all formula brands contain comparable essential nutrients to make sure baby stays healthy and receives nutrients to grow.

Here are some Important links to check out and make sure to download the Store Brand Formula E-Book! This provides some really awesome information for Formula Feeding! 

Oh right… The Giveaway!! StoreBrand.com is kind enough to provide us with a giveaway! Please head over to my INSTAGRAM page for more details!

Rilakkuma Pop-Up store- NYC

Hello and Happy 10 days until Christmas! How in the world did that happen? If you are in NYC and need a Gift idea, head over to the Rilakkuma store!! This pop up store is only open until January and it’s worth a stop! Molly and I got to visit on Wednesday and boy was it fun! 

If you don’t know what Rilakkuma is, it’s a Japanese brand that has not yet made its way to the US. The products are sold here but there are no actual

Stores!  The products are just SO cute!! 


We got that little green guy for Evan! 

We also go to meet Rilakkuma himself!! 

Thank you so much for inviting us! We really had a great time!!

*This was a hosted event. I was not paid for this, but did get some free products.* 

YouTube Kids & HGTV’s The Property Brothers: DIY Playlist

Who doesn’t love the Scott Brothers? I know I absolutely do! HGTV’s Property Brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott have the magic touch when it comes to making a house into a home.  Now, they are about to make the holidays magical for little fans with a holiday DIY playlist compiled especially for YouTube Kids.  The duo is sharing some of the best projects for kids and parents to do in order to deck the halls, kitchen, living room…or even baby brother’s room this Yuletide Season.  The playlist just launched today and you can check it out here  {if you are not viewing from a tablet or phone, you can watch it here}. 


Drew and Jonathan Scott said, “We ❤[love]️ the holidays—the magic of the season creates the perfect opportunity to get crafting and building. We hope our playlist on the YouTube Kids app puts your imagination in motion to make it the most wonderful time of the year!”

Some of the cool projects families will be able to check out include how to make a reindeer door warmer, DIY foam ball wreaths, Christmas Tree Paper Squishy, and tea light reindeers!

 

Drew and Jonathan also have a  a new book called BUILDER BROTHERS: Big Plans. Below is some info on the book, which look adorable!! 

Drew and Jonathan Scott, New York Times bestselling authors and hosts of the Emmy-nominated hit HGTV showProperty Brothers, bring their winning blend of imagination, humor, and can-do know-how to their first picture book.

It all begins when Drew and Jonathan are doing what they do best—thinking up big plans for even bigger projects.  Will they build a treehouse? A castle? A catapult? They have a whole lot of big ideas, but no one thinks they can do any of them! The twins brainstorm, scribble, and tinker until they have the perfect big plan.  They’ll save every last penny, sketch out some designs, and make a whole lot of noise—builders aren’t known for being quiet—because they know that little kids can do big things.

But what will Drew and Jonathan do when their big plans don’t go the way they’d hoped? Find out in this heartwarming new story from everyone’s favorite twins. And the book comes complete with an original, do-it-yourself building project that parents and kids can tackle together at home. Everyone knows that every big plan starts with a dream!

*The YouTube Kids app is the first Google product built from the ground up with kids in mind. The app makes it easier for children to find videos on topics they want to explore and is available for free on Google Play and the App store. YouTube Kids continues to put parents in the driver’s seat with additional parental controls that allow parents to choose what is right for their family.*

More Holiday Gift Ideas from MindWare

Have you heard of MindWare? It’s an Oriental Trading company with amazing products for kids of all ages. I recently got the catalog in the mail And I ordered some things for my kids for a Christmas! There is some really neat chemistry kits, putty kits and much more!! I was thrilled when speaking to a MindWare Rep. to be able to review some items! {They sent the following items for review purposes only. All opinions and thoughts are my Own.}


Stocking stuffers:

Putty Scents: http://www.mindware.orientaltrading.com/web/search/searchMain?keyword=Putty+scents

Putty Scents is an exciting line of putty containing unique colors and scents that are great for kneading, molding and stretching!

Ages 3+; SRP $9.95 – $10.95


This was ( of course) our favorite. We are huge slime/putty family. This putty scents is actually really cool! It comes in two different packages and you mix them together! We got the cake mash up, and this smells JUST like cake. I mean SUPER sweet! I went ahead and ordered some more for her stocking because she loved it so much. Shhhhh.  

For the infant:

BABU rollers: http://www.mindware.orientaltrading.com/babu-rollers-a2-13819048.fltr  

This modular car set has 3 bases and 6 tops so little ones can turn a car into a camper or a pickup into a tow truck! Sleek, simple and stackable, babu Rollers are a modern twist on toy cars for toddlers that offer pure and simple creative play options.

Ages 18 months+; SRP $24.95 


These are some of the cutest cars I have seen! Since these photos were taken we have played with these a bunch. When Evan gets older I am sure they will get much more use! They are amazing wood quality and go super fast (for real… really fast)! I love that you can make them into different looks!! 

Resolve to keep a diary:

Doodles Diary: https://www.mindware.orientaltrading.com/doodles-diary-a2-6002.fltr

Dream and doodle your private thoughts, secrets and wishes, then keep them safe under lock and key! Hardcover diaries include 208 pages, 1 lock, 2 keys and a key-keeper necklace with skull charm.

Ages 6+; SRP $11.95


This is a fun diary to keep your thoughts and ideas in. Molly opened this and started writing in it right away. It comes with a neat necklace to keep the key in, and of course I have no idea where it is because… it’s her diary, I can’t read it!! I’m in for it aren’t I? 



Gifts to DIY (or keep for yourself!):

Paint Your Own Stepping Stone: Unicorn: https://www.mindware.orientaltrading.com/paint-your-own-stepping-stone-unicorn-a2-13818689.fltr

This all-weather stepping stone is ready to paint right out of the box – simply paint, bake and display!

Ages 8+; SRP $24.95

This fun craft can be to keep for yourself or to give to a family Member! We are opting to keep for ourselves for our garden! You do have you bake this and let dry for quite some time, but this is a perfect gift for a art lover. 



Thank you so much to MindWare for sending us these awesome items. Go check them out. You won’t be sorry! I know I will be using them for gifts now and in the future!!