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Motherhood

Being a Sports Mom Can Suck! 8 Tips to Use to Help Time Go By Faster

I’m a former track star. I ran in middle and high school. However, I stopped running in the 12th grade when I fell hard for this boy.
 
I could’ve had a scholarship or went to the Olympics, if it weren’t for this boy! Okay, I’m really exaggerating, but still, the quick lesson here is don’t stop doing what you love for a boy. Let them wait or tell them to come cheer you on.
 
Anyway, being that I was a track star and loved track, I’ve never paid attention to how long track meets were. 
 
As a youth, I ran, chatted with my friends and had a ball. I enjoyed looking into the stands to see my mom and brothers scream for me as I rounded that corner in the 200-meter dash. Pure Bliss!
 
Fast forward umpteen years, now I’m the mom and could only imagine what my mom was going through. 
 
My two oldest children have run track for the last 4 years. This year my son finally confessed his heart wasn’t into track anymore and has left the sport for soccer (which he is amazing at btw).
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My daughter still loves the sport and although I love to watch her, she’s on the field for a total of about 2 to 3 minutes, which is the total sum of 3 races.
 
It’s those 8 to 9 hours that she’s not on the field that I do not like.
 
You read right, these Georgia and Florida track meets last 8 to 9 hours and it’s exhausting. The first track meet of this season actually lasted 12 hours, which prompted me to write this post!!
 
My daughter’s first track meet of this season started at 8 a.m. but they wanted her there at 7 a.m. for warmups. She did not run her first race until 1:13pm.
 
Her 1st race was 6 hours later than the start of the meet!! Her second race was two hours later and her third race was two hours after that. We left that field after 8 p.m and she was on the field for a total of maybe 3 to 4 minutes the entire day.
 
Like I said, she is having a ball with her crew, but me, not so much. I’m also here with an 11 & 4 year old that I have to entertain during this time. 
 
If you’re like me or thinking about getting your child into track or any sport that last all day here are 8 tips to keep your mind sane while waiting.
  1. Bring food. Concession stand food is not healthy, which is ironic because we’re at a sporting event and many of the athletes are eating that food. 12 hours is a very long time, so pack fruits, vegetables, water and anything you would like to snack on.
  2. Bring Electronics. Like I said, I have a 11 & 4 year old and although they make friends and will play with the other kids, they are just some times that they want to watch or play on my iPad. I might want to read something on my Kindle, or look on social media.
  3. Extra batteries. You already know that your phone will not last 12 hours, so charge up your extra batteries for your tablet, computers, or any electronic device so you are not caught off guard if you want to entertain yourself or just talk on the phone.
  4. Bring books and games. Sure electronics are fun but books and games can be just as entertaining, especially if you don’t want to have your child sit in front of the tablet for another 8 to 9 hours. They can have their little toys, crossword puzzles, and coloring books. There are so many options.
  5. Bring comfortable chairs. If you plan on sitting in the stands, with no cushion  you butt will hate you at the end of the day. If you’re sitting on the ground, bring the tent and bring comfortable chairs. You might even want to bring an umbrella if you don’t have a tent, because the Sun is hot as it beams down on you.
  6. Comfortable clothes. A track meet is not a place for heels and your best dress suit. You’ll want to have something where you can walk around comfortably in. You might have to jump around and cheer for your child. A comfortable jogging suit or a comfy pair of jeans because you’re going to be there for a long time.
  7. Be ready to talk. 8 – 9 hours is a long time to just sit there and talk to your child. Be ready to talk to the other parents. Get to know them, talk to the other children and the coaches. It’s like a party all day you and don’t want to be antisocial. Being in your own little world, reading your book or head in the phone for eight and nine hours will isolate you.  Talking also makes the time go by faster with good laughs and stories.
  8. Bring Extra cash. I know that I said the concession stand is unhealthy but sometimes you just want a slushy or sometimes your kids just want to order french fries. 8 to 12 hours at a track meet makes you do some crazy things, so you never know when you’re going to need extra cash for unexpected things. 

As a parent I love seeing my baby run and be happy. It just sucks that people or the powers-that-be haven’t figured out a way to make a 12-hour day just a 4 hour event at the maximum.

Is there any other sport that goes this long? Maybe baseball? Please tell me how you parents deal with that!

Don’t get me wrong, I know the title was being a track mom sucks and it just mainly sucks because of the time it takes to be there. My daughter is on the field probably a total of 3 minutes and I’m there 8 to 9 hours to watch her 3 minutes. 

I just wish you was a quicker way to see her perform, but in the meantime I will always be there cheering her on, screaming at the top of my lungs for the 30 seconds she’s running the 50 yard dash!
 
I will always be there but I pray that one day before her track career is over they find a quicker way. 
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Again, Is there any other sport that goes this long? Please tell me how you parents deal with that!
Event Recap Motherhood

My First Time at SeaWorld

Living in Florida has taught me, there is no shortage of fun places to visit with your family.

As a child who grew up in FL, my husband visited SeaWorld many times. He would often share with myself and the kids his memories he had experienced there. 

Recently, I was given a couple of passes to SeaWorld. I didn’t have enough for my children so I contemplated not going. My husband secured a sitter and said, “We will take them next time! We’re going to SeaWorld.”

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From a first timers perspective, it was an enjoyable experience. When you get to the entrance, you can either buy your tickets at the gate or a machine. What a great way to beat the lines. 

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What’s Different at SeaWorld?

Roller Coasters

We rode Manta and Kraken. They’re both were fun smooth roller coasters. I didn’t feel jerked around like most roller coasters (you know, like a bobble head) but the stomach drop is real! If you like an adrenaline rush, you’ll enjoy these. On the Manta, you’re actually riding face down like your flying. So you have to secure your things in a locker because its easy for everything to fall out of your pockets. 

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We didn’t ride every coaster or see every attraction because:

  1. We were on a time crunch.
  2. We wanted to save some things to experience with the kids.

They have more rides that we didn’t catch this time:

Journey to Atlantis
Mako
Sky Tower
Paddle Boats
Wild Arctic Ride
Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. 

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Animals

I felt like a kid seeing these Whales jump and do amazing tricks. I was ooohhhing and aaahhhing with the crowd. My husband and I agreed that when we bring our children next time, we’ll sit down in the front and get wet! My children are going to love it.

SeaWorld is all about sea life. We were blown away when we entered the penguin habitat. It was a cold 32 degrees in this area. These penguins enjoyed swimming and eating without a care in the world. 

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Meal Plan

If you plan to stay at an amusement park all day, you have to eat. We decided to purchase the SeaWorld all inclusive meal plan. It was $35 and you get an entree, drink and desert EVERY HOUR! So, as you can guess – every hour we were trying a new restaurant. The food was great. It was prepared in front of you and the variety is huge.  

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Featured Event | Seven Seas Food Festival 2/11 – 5/13

Enjoy local craft beers as you discover exciting new Asian, Latin, European, Polynesian and Middle Eastern flavors. And the fun goes beyond the food with live performances from top country, rock and Latin music artist. It’s a flavor celebration at SeaWorld’s Seven Seas Food Festival.

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Come sip and sample your way around the world of international street food traditions. Enjoy local craft beers while you explore culinary marketplaces throughout the park. Surprise your taste buds as you discover exciting new Asian, Latin, European, Polynesian and Middle Eastern flavors.

And the fun goes beyond the food with live performances every Saturday from top country, rock and Latin music artists. It’s a flavor celebration at SeaWorld’s Seven Seas Food Festival. Fun has a whole new flavor. Source

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If you are in Florida or plan to make a trip here soon, SeaWorld is definitely a place to visit. They have roller coasters, great shows, great places to eat, and animal attractions. We definitely needed more time, but that only gives us a great excuse to come back soon.




Have you ever been to SeaWorld? What was your favorite attraction?

Motherhood

Do You Know My Sister?

“Dad? Do you have any other children?”

Pause. Silence.

“Yes. A daughter.”

What did he just say, as I am driving down Peachtree Rd. in Atlanta holding the phone to my ear? Did he just say he had another daughter!?

“Dad! I’ve always wanted a sister and you tell me this 30+ years into my life that I have a sister!”

I was pissed! Why didn’t he ever say a word?

I was excited! Where is she? I’m going to find my sister!

I was scared! What if I can’t find her? What if she doesn’t want to meet us? What if she isn’t alive?

So immediately the tears flowed down my eyes . . .

The questions started flowing; what this, where, why? 

Guess what? He didn’t want to talk about it! 

This was now around 3 years ago. Since then, I’ve did what I personally could to find her but with limited information – I haven’t gotten far. My father has given me all the information that he remembers. 

My prayer is that I can find her soon. My father’s health isn’t 100% and I would love for him to lay his eyes on her at least once before anything happens. It took me 5 years to find my brothers father, and he died (my brother was murdered) one year later. I am so glad, I didn’t give up on that search. I will not give up on this one either. 

Here’s What I Have: 

He told me he was about 19/20 when “SHE” was born which means, she was born 1970/1971 ish

She was born at Cook County Hospital.
Her mother was around 15 years old and was a freshman at Crane High School 

They (the mother) lived on the Westside of Chicago when she (my sister) was born. 

My father does not know her Birthday
My father did not sign the Birth Certificate 

 

My father does not remember the mother’s name ( sad I know)

He remembers the daughter’s being something like Mystique, Misty, Missy ??

This is all I have to go on. This is All. I. Have.

I’ve even tried to call Troy the Locator, the private investigator TV program. My information was sold/given away and I received another call from someone else instead. They said they wanted to help & I thought my prayers were being answered until she wanted my credit card and $1600 confirmation to get started. 

So, if you have detective skills and/or know someone who might fit this description . . . let me know. 

I did post this on my personal FB page, and received a lot of great ideas on my search in addition to people offering help. It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack, however, I will not give up. 

I want to find my sister. Do you know her?

Motherhood

Don’t Wear a Dress to Your Mammogram Appointment

As you grow up there are certain things that are required at certain age milestones. Being a woman, we all know that the big 4.0. means we have to get a mammogram. 

I actually had a mammogram a few years ago because I found a lump in my breast in my late 20s. It took years for the doctor to finally approve me getting a mammogram, and when I finally did get one – it was a lymph node. I am grateful that’s all it was, but it also gave me a sense of peace.

Now that I am in the 40 club, it’s time again to get an official insurance mandated mammogram. 

Some women treat mammograms like men treat prostate exams – they just don’t want it. 

Today, as I went into the office I actually felt excited to get the exam on the books. Recently, I have felt a lump on the side on my breast, followed by striking pain. 

The tech said she didn’t see anything but to also remember she is not the doctor. In her opinion it’s just fatty tissue. So, let’s say a prayer. 

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Here are a few tips when getting a mammogram:

  • Have your referrals & paperwork ready. Depending on your insurance, you need a doctors referral. Be sure to have a copy handy just incase it’s not in their system yet. You don’t want to be turned away for your mammogram or have to reschedule. As for paperwork, have a list of past mammograms because they will want to collect those other x-rays to compare.
  • Schedule a time when your breast aren’t tender. Usually the week of your period, your breast are tender. In a mammogram, they squeeze or flatten your breast – so if they are tender it will feel worse and very uncomfortable.
  • Don’t have anything on your skin before your mammogram. Avoid using deodorants, antiperspirants, powders, lotions, creams or perfumes under your arms or on your breasts. Metallic particles in powders and deodorants could be visible on your mammogram and cause confusion.
  • Don’t wear a DRESS! The cover up usually just covers the chest, so unless you want to stand at the mammogram in your panties or covering your bottom with your own dress wrapped around you like me (feeling crazy) – just wear pants! 
  • STAY POSITIVE! Remember that only 2 to 4 screening mammograms in 1,000 lead to a diagnosis of breast cancer.

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My experience today was easy peasy. The actual time spent with the tech was around 15 minutes. She took 4 pictures, 2 on each side and we were done. She explained what she was doing and was gentle with my lady parts. 

Now the waiting begins. Usually if you don’t hear anything in 10 days, you should call your healthcare provider. Mammography clinics also must mail women an easy-to-understand summary of their mammogram results within 30 days—or “as quickly as possible” if the results suggest cancer is present. This means you could get the results before your provider calls you. Source




Have you ever had a mammogram? Are you afraid? What is holding you back from getting it done?

 

Event Recap Motherhood

8 Amazing Experiences on My First Disney Cruise

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Have you ever been on a cruise before? What about a Disney cruise? I can tell you right now, that they are two very different experiences.

My first cruise was actually my honeymoon trip. It was a 7-day adventure with 3 stops in 3 different countries. Over the last 13 years, I’ve cruised 5 more times but our dream was to always do a Disney Cruise. 

Last week, I was given the opportunity with Disney Social Media Moms to experience their first Land and Sea Adventure. It’s an invitation only conference, and this year for the first time we spent 2 days at the Disney Resort Port Orleans and 3 days at sea on the Disney Wonder.

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Please come back soon because I have more to tell you about what’s new at Disney for 2017, but right now I just can’t hold back my excitement for the Disney cruise.

One thing I have come to learn about Disney, is that they don’t do anything halfway. It’s done in excellence, or not at all. 

As I think back to my experience, here are 8 things that no matter what I say – you will have to experience them for yourself.

1. The Greeting – getting on the ship was very easy. If you have all of your paperwork and/or documents ready, you’re good to go. As you walk down the long walk-way to enter the ship, you’re greeted by a crew member who ask your name.

Honestly, inside I wondered why does she want to know our last name, we already registered! Out of nowhere, we walked into this beautiful ship and we heard over the loud speaker, “Disney Wonder, please welcome The Knighten Family!” 

Everyone started to scream and clap. I felt like they were expecting us. It’s such a great way to start off your vacation. 

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2. The Decor – When you first walk onto the Disney Wonder, your neck may start to hurt. You will not be able to stop looking up and around at the amazing decor. It felt like I was in a fancy hotel. The entire ship is simply art in motion, with no detail left out.

3. Kids Clubs – Not only did my children not want to leave the kids club, I wondered if I could stay and play awhile. They have different clubs for different ages and don’t close until midnight. Club Odyssey was a 6 room kids adventure. Each room was different, equipped with tablets, games, slides and more.

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My 11 year old found his new tribe in Club Edge. It was for tween & teens ages 11-14 which made him feel like a “big boy” with independence. He didn’t want to spend any more time with us after he experienced Edge on day 1. 

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4. Shows – Each night on the cruise we experienced a show after dinner in the Walt Disney Theatre. The 3 shows were:

  • The Golden Mickeys – all the big Disney Stars come out to welcome you with great singing and story telling.
  • Disney Dreams – An Enchanted Classic – a young girl learns to make her dream come true if she just believes, as she revisits her favorite Disney movies at the same time.
  • Frozen, A Musical Spectacular  an amazing re-enactment of the movie. You will be singing along and experience a big COLD surprise at end! 

5. Restaurants– On most cruises you eat at the same place every night. On the Disney Wonder, each night we dined at a new place on the ship, but always had our same staff. We are a family of 5, and dined with another (same) family of 5 each night & became fast friends!

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  • Tiana’s Place – If you ever seen Princess & the Frog, you definitely get that New Orleans feel. It’s a live band playing & singing while you eat. Princess Tiana visits each table and has a big party in the middle of dinner. You will find yourself dancing around the dining room toward the end of the night. disney_wonder_bernettastyle
  • Tritons (Pirate Night) was a tad bit upscale. It was pirate night so we were all dressed up in our pirate attire. 
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  • Animator’s Palace – the most amazing themed restaurant I’ve ever experienced. It cost 4 million to actually create. The entire restaurant is black and white with portraits all over of the Disney Characters as pencil sketches that come to life while you eat. AP

6 .The Adult Area– that’s right, Disney Cruises are not just for children. I saw many children-less couples enjoying the perks of the Adult Only area. This included it’s own pool, hot tub, sun bathing area, restaurant, beach area, and club! It’s a beautiful transition because the decor goes from fun to mature. 

7. Castaway Cay(pronounced KEY) – We learned that a CAY is an island 3 miles or less. It’s pronounced KEY because it’s Spanish for Small Island. Castaway Cay is Disney’s Private Island in the Bahamas.  Disney’s Castaway Cay was recognized as the Best Cruise Line Private Island in Cruise Critics Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards.

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The island had fun things to do for children – the clubs came to the island too! Restaurants in the island were ready to serve! We even did an excursion on a glass water bottom boat and fed the fish in the ocean. 

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8. Picture Kiosk – Inside of going to a deck and standing around trying to find your picture on a wall in between hundreds of others, Disney has a Kiosk location where all your pictures are digitally housed! AMAZING! You scan your key card and your pictures appear. This way they save money by not having to print paper when people don’t buy their pictures. GENIUS! 

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Here are a few things that made a great difference for me (attention to detail)

1. Clean, super clean: With flu season being a top priority nationwide, Disney made sure we washed our hands before entering the buffet area. There was an actual hand washing station. In other areas on the ship, staff gave you wipes for your hands as you entered a restaurant. Even the kids club had a state of the art hand washing machine that did all the washing. I would love to have that in my house. With a ship that has over 3,000 guest, its important to keep the germ spreading to a minimum.

2. The Staff – every single staff we came across treated us like Royalty. They remembered our names and spoke to us daily like we were old friends. By the end of the cruise, you feel like you really are friends! 

3. Food/Drink – there were great food choices on the ship, as well as gluten free if you so desired. There were also around the clock room service, ice cream, hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, gyros & chicken tenders. They had their own smoothie shop that made healthy juices! 

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4. Our room – Cruise rooms are not necessarily the biggest spaces. On our cruise, they made sure our children each had their own bed when it was time to sleep. However, during the day, they made it look like a suite.  

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They also got creative on the infamous towel decor and used something different than a white towel. Disney, I tell ya!! Can you guess what this is? A snake.

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If you like to cruise and have never experienced a Disney Cruise, you have to put one on your list.

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They have 4 boats:

  1. Disney Wonder
  2. Fantasy
  3. Dream
  4. Magic

Pick one and enjoy a grand experience! 

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Motherhood Product Reviews

Family Time vs. Me Time in the 2016 Mazda CX-5

When I first moved to my new city, the first thing I wanted to do was explore. I wanted to know where the great restaurants were, the family friendly parks were and the best places to shop. 

I am grateful I was given the opportunity to test drive the 2016 Mazda CX-5 to explore my new (Tampa) & old (Atlanta) city for a week. 

The first thing I noticed about this car was that it seats 5. It was roomy enough for my children which made a big difference. 

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When are you a big family like mine, you need space for luggage and travel needs. With this Mazda CX-5, we had enough trunk space for all of our luggage, and a few surprises for me from my husband.

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This car has a lot of get up and go. It literally zips through traffic with ease. I love the safety features (blind spot detector, lane control & more) which gave me comfort while driving through new parts of the city. 

With our family traveling on the highway during the review, it was refreshing that the Mazda lived up to it’s promises of more power with ultra-low emissions and low fuel consumption as well, offering up to an EPA-estimated 33 highway MPG2

On our 7 hour road trip, I only had to get gas one time. While riding through the city, I didn’t have to gas up at all. In the long run, that’s more money in my pocket.

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Why Moms Need this Car

I will give you two reasons why I loved this car from a mother’s perspective. 

  1. Leather seats – when you have kids and you let them eat in the car, spills are going to happen. It’s just life. This car allowed me to feel like I was in a luxury car, but still prepared if my children made a mistake.
  2. Keyless entry – all you have to do is press the door button, twice if you’re opening up all the doors. Many times, I am holding my 3 year olds hand, so not having to dig in my purse for a key is great. 

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Mazda 2016 CX-5 Benefits & Features:

  • Halogen headlights with auto off and Daytime Running Lights
  • Dual body-colored side mirrors with integrated turn signals
  • Air conditioning with pollen filter
  • Push button start
  • Steering wheel-mounted audio, phone and cruise controls
  • Dual 12-volt power outlets (front and cargo area)
  • SMS text message audio delivery and reply
  • E911 automatic emergency notification
  • & many more

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I love this picture of my husband. He was so handsome in this shot (to me of course). Who knew all the things he had planned for me during the week we experienced this car. 

First, we dropped the kids off at my mother’s house and headed to a stay-cation downtown. He booked a restaurant 2 nights in a row and we dined with our friends. The musical “Love Jones” was playing at the Fox Theatre, and imagine my surprise when we pulled up in the Mazda CX-5!

He created a weekend of relaxation, and fun with no mommy worries. 

I am happy that I was able to drive in style with the kids & enjoy me time without the kids! 

Mazda Gives Back

Mazda gave me a $25 Mazda Drive For Good Charitable Giving Card that allowed me to donate to a non-profit organization. With the holiday’s in full effect, I plan on donating to a local women’s shelter. 

To learn more about the 2016 Mazda CX-6, including specs, and to find a dealer near you head to MazdaUSA.com

Motherhood

21 Real Women Reveal Why Mothers Must DREAM Big!

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Do me a favor, please share this post because another MOM just might need to see this! 

I believe I’ve always been a dreamer. However, as I became a mother and my circle grew wider – I’ve meet mothers on both ends the spectrum. Some women are content with marriage and raising their kids (which is TOTALLY fine!) & some women want a husband, children and to run the world!

I fall somewhere in between. I had goals before I had children and while some were honestly put on hold or altered – I’ve never stop dreaming or goal setting.

When my children see me making my dreams come true, they’re not only supporting me but they now know it’s possible for them.

One day, I decided to ask this question on my personal FB & IG page, “Why should moms dream big?” The response was wonderful! Women shared their reasons why we as mothers must continue to follow our dreams. Enjoy.

21 Women Share Why MOMS Must Follow Their Dreams!

1.”To shift the paradigm for our children. They can’t be what they can’t see.
Also, because your purpose provides beyond what we can ask or think. Our children, and WE, deserve the lifestyle (peace AND prosperity) that walking in purpose provides.” Yah’Zahra

2.”It’s important because we set the precedent for our kids. Our kids look to us to fathom what the possibilities of life are.” Rochelle

3.”To encourage their children. Especially if what they wanted to do seemed impossible and they were successful at reaching it.” Winnie

4.”I don’t believe in being a hypocritical parent. Kids learned by action, not words. If I tell my girls they can be anything and everything and I don’t try then what am I really telling them?” Aaronica

5.”You should never forget who you are, where you are going, and who God created you to be in a very purposeful and intentional way for the benefit of not only yourself and your children. One of my favorite quotes is to teach your children to dream with their eyes wide open. I believe that the only way they can achieve that goal is by leading example and seeing you as the mother. Also, I give homage to Langston Hughes to a dream deferred is one of my favorite poems. I often ask myself is that what I want to shrivel up like a raisin or rise to my divine assignment and achieve Gods plan!” Toiia

6.”Kids follow our actions more than our verbal direction. If we pursue our dreams we find happiness because we are living authentically. I’m sure that’s what we all want for our kids so once they see us having enough courage to do that, they tap into their own courage.” Martine

7.”I feel like I’m a better mom and woman, in general, when I stay in pursuit of my dreams. Not only does it give my girls a roadmap on how to do the same, it gives me something to hold onto once they’re grown. My kids are my everything, but not my only thing.” Amber

8.”Ummmm so they don’t go batshit crazy” Danielle

9.”Be a good example for their children, if they see mom reaching for her dreams they won’t be afraid to do the same later in life. Do it for yourself because after the kids grow up and on their own you still have to live your life, it shouldn’t be be filled with I wish coulda-woulda even then it’s not too late! Still pursue your dreams!” Roodlyne

10.”Because their lives and the lives of their children will be better when they are doing what they enjoy. Assuming it is done responsibly.” Breakfast_with_tiffani

11.”Because I am filled with so much purpose and I am the light for my children.” TheMommyGlowUp

12.”Because there is purpose outside of kids.” Nakishawynn

13.”Because we are worth it and we are individuals before we are moms.” Keshay

14.”It is not only our responsibility, but we were created on purpose for purpose. We are to be a primary example to the little lives trusted in our care…so that they too will know their identity.” Britishaaliyah 

15.”Kids just make you want the dream even more!” Richelle.mphotos

16.”Because we have them! How can we teach our children to follow theirs if we don’t follow ours.” Itsreallykita 

17.”Because our babies are watching, and will do as we do not as we say. Tho they’re our dreams they help our lil ones craft & follow their own. Win win”  Therealbossmom

18.”Because why not?? It shows my kids that I can do hard things too.” Talex

19.”I think it is very important for moms (and of course dad’s) to follow their dreams; however, I believe there should be an understanding of the entire process. I’m going to try my best to explain…. so following your dreams helps your children understand the concept of setting goals, working towards them, reaching them, and building more goals. It highlights drive and determination. The only challenge and there is allows challenge (with every success, there has been failure) is teaching that balance…that though you have dreams sometimes you have to adjust your dreams for the better good. You may have to work while you pursue your acting career, you may have to open a smaller business than you expected until something comes through. It is not that you give up on your dreams but that you adjust to the circumstances. Adjusting to your circumstances can make a positive impact and teach your children other skills, too. One that makes them a well-rounded person. We also have to look at the reality of it all. Not everyone reaches their dream… we probably couldn’t imagine the number of inspiring actors, artists, business owner, motivational speaker, etc that we walk pass every day without knowing. This notion should not withhold you from striving and believing in your dreams. Your dreams help you LIVE, make you Happy and we ALL deserve that. There is never a short answer to th is question.” Angela

20.”Because they can love and give more if they have also taken care of themselves.”   Julietjoie

21. “So you won’t hurt the babies!!! Lol😂😂😂but I’m serious. Moms need to keep something for themselves. You have to live your purpose!!! christoffdavisart

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My Big Dream for 2016 will Help You DREAM Big for 2017!!

One of my biggest dreams for 2016 was to create a DREAM PLANNER for other mothers like me. We have goals, dreams & big plans but we also need something to hold ourselves accountable.

Well, after months of creating this planner, 4 revisions, and walking away from producing this twice. I completed it. It’s here. It’s ready!! Dream manifested!

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You can check out all the details about the planner HERE ..

As a mom (or not) why do you think it’s important for you to dream big or follow your dreams? Are you dreaming? Do you still have personal goals?

Do me a favor, please share this post because another MOM just might need to see this!

Motherhood

Hello Fresh Kept Us Full & Healthy! $35 Off Your First Box

Hello Fresh

I recently moved to a new state. It’s totally different than moving to a new city within your same area. Moving to a new state brings a whole set of new challenges and adventures.

One of the challenges I faced moving to my new state was finding a place to shop for healthy food. Don’t get me wrong, Florida is full of fruit and veggie stands but I still need to know I am getting the best value for my money.

When I lived in Georgia, I had a system & my favorite stores. I knew where to shop for meat, produce & organic favorites. It’s like starting from scratch when you move.

In the meantime, my family still had to eat everyday and as parents, healthy eating for our children is a priority.

Until I get my new system in place and learn about what my area has to offer, we were able to try Hello Fresh! We enjoyed it so much, that we will probably continue to use them long after we learn our way around.

Hello Fresh delivers full meals to your door & you pick the recipes. Each week there are new recipes to choose from, so you can always cook something different. The recipes are curated by chefs with recipes based on seasonal farm fresh ingredients.

Hello fresh

They have three plans: Classic, Veggie, Family and you can feed a family of 2 – 4. Hello Fresh

We ordered the Classic Box that feeds 4 and received 3 full meals in our box. The box included the meat, fruit, veggies, sauce, and seasonings. The monthly prices vary depending on the box & how many people you want to include.

Hello Fresh

I tried Salmon and Coucous, Chicken & Pasta with a special sauce, and even a Ciabatta Burger! Talk about taking me out of my comfort zone. I’ve never had coucous before, but now it’s a new favorite.

The recipe called for me to zest a lemon and orange – I’ve never zested anything before! Hello Fresh had me zesting! I laugh when I think about that!

Hello Fresh

I even learned the secret to making caramelized onions, add sugar!

All 3 meals were very good and opened me up to recipes I would’ve not tried on my own.

Here’s a quick 16 second video on how it actually works:

Here’s the good news for you!!

Would you like to try a Hello Fresh Box? Well, if you use the code BERNETTA35 – you will get $35 off your first box! So please, try them and come back and share your experience!

 

Motherhood Motivation

3 Ways I Keep My Daughter Motivated to Keep Playing #LikeAGirl

“Mommy, I’m a beast!”

“That’s right! Mommy is too!”

This is a typical conversation when we talk about our athletic ability. I am super competitive and it has fully rubbed off on all of my children.

We like to go hard with games around these parts, which includes sports and we’re always in competing mode.

It’s actually fun to see them with so much confidence in their abilities, especially on their sports teams.

I am especially proud of my daughter, Bailee. She loves painting nails, doing hair, wearing dresses, boots & bows. But Bailee will get down and dirty with the best of them.

Bailee rides bikes, scooters, & horses. She loves gymnastics & is a state track champion. She always been an active child and I don’t see any signs of her slowing down.

She calls herself a risk taker and proud to play #LikeAGirl

Keeping Her Motivated

Although the Olympics Games have come and gone, I still desire to keep my daughter active and competitive. Keeping my daughter motivated is not hard if you know a few easy steps:

  1. Letting her know I will always support her. I teach her that it’s not about winning (all the time) but it’s how you perform. If you did your best, you can always be proud of yourself.
  2. Allowing her to try new things when she expresses an interest. Recently, my daughter expressed an interest in horseback riding after watching a summer of movies on Netflix. I found a ranch in the area that offers lessons and she starts this week.
  3. Continue to be an example in front of her with positive language, actions & discipline.  In my house, our children see us working out to stay fit, cooking good foods to stay healthy & loving on them with tons of hugs & kisses!

Playing #LikeAGirl is just who she is!

Growing up, I danced & ran track from 4th – 12th grade. I continued to be active throughout adulthood with a variety of things, which include our children. Which makes it a no brainer that my daughter would be just as active.

If you watch closely (video below), you will see that Bailee’s confidence can be contagious as she shares her thoughts on these 4 topics:

  • Why she likes playing sports
  • Why girls should stay active in sports
  • What does it mean to play #LIKEAGIRL
  • What would she do in the Olympics Games

Olympic GIRLS

Gabby Douglas is to my daughter, what Jackie Joyner Kersee was to me back in the 80’s. Bailee’s been fortunate enough to see her in two years of the Olympics Games and follow her career at a young age. She even has Gabby Douglas on her vision board with hopes of meeting her one day.

Outside of mommy motivation, she gets to see other women/girls doing great things in sports & following their dreams. Research tells us that girls have limited role models to inspire them to play sports.

This year, we watched the Olympic Games together and she wanted to watch every sport a girl was active in. Although, she loves Gabby she was able to watch some new favorites as well. I believe it motivated her to work harder in her current sport and understand that greatness starts young.

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Always #LikeAGirl Keep Playing

Watch the new video Always #LikeAGirl – Keep Playing which shows why keeping girls active is so important.

I recently learned that by the age 17, at the end of puberty, more than half of girls (51%) will have quit sports! That is a sad fact and my daughter is at the half way mark. When I was a senior in high school, I stopped running track. It’s one of my biggest regrets because I could have possibly received a scholarship if I would have finished the year. I wished my mother would’ve pushed me to finish especially after putting in so many years.

I love the Always #LikeAGirl Keep Playing Campaign, because it recognizes the need for girls to stay active beyond puberty. My daughter hasn’t started puberty yet, but she has started asking questions. I will however, be her #1 supporter and cheerleader as I teach her that puberty is natural part of life and doesn’t stop any activity she wants to do.

A few important facts about girls:

  • 7 out of 10 girls ages 16-24 felt they did not belong in sports, especially during puberty
  • 67% of girls feel that society does not encourage them to play sports
  • Two-thirds of girls agree that sports bring them increased confidence

It’s encouraging when a great brand like Always wants to encourage girls all over the world to stay in sports and Keep Playing #LikeAGirl because sports help girls build and maintain confidence.

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As a mother of a daughter that is a major risk taker, I look forward to seeing her grow in to a woman. I love cheering her on and will always be her #1 cheerleader!

GOOOO Bailee!!!!

This post is sponsored by Always #LikeAGirl Campaign but all thoughts are 100% my own.

Motherhood

WIN 1 Years Worth of Family Flora – Probiotic, Good Gut Health Review

family flora

I enjoy working out. It makes me feel good on the inside and look good from the inside out. Although I put in the work to make my body look & feel good, there are levels to optimal health.

Recently, I was given a product to try that works on “my gut” health. Yes, good health starts in the gut.

Good gut health is essential to proper digestion, vitamin and nutrient absorption, and a strong immune system. The body’s microbiome is made up of over 1 trillion cells. These “good bacteria” are a part of our overall defense against illness. The foods we eat and drink and our lifestyle can interrupt this inner harmony. Source

The older I get, the more I wish that this information was given to me at a young age. Now, I try to make sure my children definitely know what is good for them before they eat or drink it.

Have You Heard of PROBIOTICS?

Honestly, the first time I have ever heard of probiotics was during an episode of the Tia & Tamera reality show. Tia is really into eating right and she was in the kitchen explaining to a friend about why she takes probiotics for good health. I was intrigued.

The word “probiotic” literally means “for life”.

After doing more research, I learned that our bodies largest immune system is our gut. When your gut is in good health, it will absorb vitamins better. The right probiotics will go to work directly in your intestines to help digest your food and purge wastes from the body. Source

Unfortunately, we (as a nation) eat food that is over processed or unnaturally processed. Our food is covered in pesticides or drowned in high fructose corn syrup. Then you wonder why even when you try to do right, you can’t.

FAMILY FLORA

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Family Flora offers 7 probiotics & prebiotics that support good gut health. I tried the Daily Balance for almost 30 days. It comes in a powder form that I added to my water in the morning. For the most part, it was tasteless. Although, I usually add lime & mint to my water.

*Note: Add the supplement to anything cold; water, juice, yogurt, salad, etc.. If you add it to hot things, it will kill off the active prebiotic and you will get no benefits.

Why powder? Tablets & pills can be hard to swallow & are also made with an ingredient to house the nutrients you need that actually may upset your stomach. The probiotic cultures in the stick packets are protection for the heat-sensitive cultures and organic fiber. Each stick also contains their perfect dose and allows for easy body saturation and absorption.

Over the next few weeks, I can stay I felt regular. Everyone will feel different, but you should be able to tell your digestion of food has gotten better.

1 YEARS WORTH OF FAMILY FLORA

family flora

You read that right? How would you like to treat your gut to some good stuff for 1 full year?  I have partnered with Family Flora to give one lucky reader a full year’s supply. All you have to do is comment below & tell me what you know about probiotics & why you want to win this?

Or … Buy it with a discount?

You can now buy Family Flora at your local Target store. Click on the image below to print out a $3 off coupon. It retails for $22 at Target.

family flora

Have you tried a probiotic already? What are you thoughts? Have you seen a difference in your regularity?

Motherhood

Family Date Night at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Image source: Disney

I love surprises. I love getting surprised (if it’s a good one of course) & I love surprising people. The reactions are priceless.

This Friday, I surprised my two oldest children with an evening at Disney World. We didn’t tell them until we pulled up and they saw the famous Magic Kingdom entryway.

It was a very cool moment that I tried to capture on camera, but it didn’t work out. They screamed and both couldn’t believe that is what we were doing on our Friday Night.

Disney Not-so-scary

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

We were invited out to experience Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween. The last time we were at Disney was in May for Mother’s Day, so you can imagine the scenery was completely different.

As we approached the gate, we noticed that many people were dressed in costumes. It was hilarious. There we so many cool costumes & people went all in with their creativity.

The event started at 7pm and goes to around 1am. It’s called not-so-scary Halloween because it allows children of every age to enjoy the event. The decor resembles a cross between Thanksgiving and Halloween which is enjoyable and festive.

Not-so-scary

Here are 5 Things Your Children (& You) Will Enjoy:

  1. Candy – It’s everywhere. There are “treat” balloons all over the park. When you see a balloon, you can get a handful of candy. If you want more, just get back in line. My children got enough candy for a few Halloweens. I told them that they are not going trick or treating this year. Disney took care of that. not-so-scary
  2. Rides – The lines for the rides were non-existent. We basically walked on to Space Mountain with no line. Oh! I am not getting on that again. I screamed the entire time. They didn’t allow for fast passes because the crowd was light. We were able to go from ride to ride with ease. The kids loved that!
  3. HalloWishes Fireworks – Who doesn’t love a good firework show? They do the firework display 2 times that evening, so if you miss the first one – you can catch the second one. They light up the sky with Halloween colors too!
  4. Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade – Have you ever been to a Disney Parade? It’s magical. The parade is a great display of Disney’s Villains singing and dancing. Show times 8:30pm & 11:15pm unnamed-6
  5. Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular – this is a stage show directly in front of the castle! Get there early because it’s a show stopper! Times are 9:15pm & 10:40pm

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party requires a separate ticket (a party specific ticket) that can be purchased here and is available for the following dates.

  • September – 2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 29, 30
  • October – 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31

Have you ever been to this event before? How did your kids like it? What was your favorite part? I knooooowwww, the candy!! 

 

 

Motherhood

R & R Ranch Offers More than Just Horse Riding Lessons for Children!

“Mom, I want to ride horses!”

I heard this phrase all summer as my daughter watched horse movies on Netflix. Usually your children say they want to try something but they half way mean it. Well, the desire for her to ride horses kept coming up and I have decided to give in to her request.

When we moved to Florida, I quickly went into research mode for local ranches that not only gave lessons, but catered to the needs of children.

I found a few but the reviews of R & R Ranch sold me. My daughter & I went to check out the ranch and were in for a surprise!

From the moment we got out of our car, we could tell animals were not only loved but called the shots! Ok, not really but there were ducks that came up to us like they were used to people.

R and R ranch

There was also a beautiful goat that took a special liking to my daughter. The goat allowed my daughter to pet it and I was so afraid she was going to ask for a pet goat next.

What’s different & new about R and R Ranch?

Different. They not only offer lessons for children to ride horses, they are a petting zoo! On our tour we got to meet chickens, rabbits, goats, a pig, and ducks. They offer pony parties,  trail riding lessons, horse boarding, playgroups and horse camps. All of the animals were welcoming and let my daughter get close without making her afraid. That was very important to me.

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New. R and R Ranch has a walk in program on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am – 5pm. It’s only $10 per child & adults are free! Yes, mom you are free! The walk in program includes a pony ride and the petting zoo (includes bunnies, guinea pigs, goats, ducks and pigs.)

In addition to their new walk-in program, they are having a fall festival October 29th 10am-3pm. The cost is $10 per child and $5 per adult.

r and r ranch

A petting zoo is the perfect way to introduce your children to animals. They are allowed to enjoy friendly animals which builds confidence and will surely bring a smile to their face.

Who is R & R Ranch?

R & R Ranch is a family owned and operated horse ranch in Lithia, Fl, with the R’s standing for “Rest” & “Relaxation”. If you live in central Florida, it’s closest to Plant City, Tampa, Brandon & Riverview.

 Their motto is, riding is supposed to be fun which is why they keep their lessons affordable & their horses are perfect for beginners.

r and r ranch

My daughter left the ranch with the biggest smile on her face. She kept talking about that darn goat & the horse she will get to ride on her next visit. You guessed it, we are going back. Her lessons start this week.

Come back in a few weeks to see how she like them or if it’s just a fad or something for the long haul!

Pray!

Visit the R & R Ranch:

9805 Bryant Rd
Lithia, FL 33547
Barn numbers:  (813) 653-3819 / (813) 661-1481

Website: http://rrranchlithia.com/