The door is open, come on in!

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Bestway and BraVoMark. All opinions are mine.

About a year ago my husband and I bought a condo on the water in South Texas. We looked and looked until we found a big 3 bedroom 2 bath condo that would fit our family.

Since our children are all gown and we have three young grandsons, we felt this would be a good size to accommodate them, visitors and extended family when they come to visit.

BOY WERE WE WRONG!!

It wasn’t long till we figured out, we stilled needed an extra bed or two for when everyone comes to visit. So I did a little research on a comfy blow up mattress that can survive multiple uses. That is when I discovered the Fortech Airbed (Queen) with an AlwayzAire Pump from Bestway  this mattress is so comfortable, our guest now end up requesting it over the beds!  Our guest and family are staying longer and we couldn’t be happier!

This is the easiest mattress to blow up and deflate when we need to store it in the closet for the next use. This is the best blow-up mattresses I have tried, they are really durable and comfortable! We are so happy to have found a solution to our “running out of room and beds” issue.

If you would like an opportunity to win a mattress check out their awesome, fun Facebook giveaway:

Check them out on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ BestwayUS/

ABOUT FACEBOOK GIVEAWAY:

• Purchase an ALWAYZAIRE bed from Walmart.com or Walmart (https://www.walmart.com/ip/ Fortech-17-Queen-Airbed-with- Built-in-Alwayzaire-Pump-and- 3-Preset-Comfort-Levels/ 104304279)

• Take a photo of yourself using the bed or next to it. (Be fun and Wacky)

• Post your photo under the comment section of @BestwayUs Facebook page contest post to be entered to win a SaluSpa Miami (retailed at $369.99)

• Bestway will be picking 5 Winners September 15th

Product Information:

Built to last, a Fortech Airbed (Queen) with an AlwayzAire Pump from Bestway is one of the greatest top-tier airbeds you can find. This uniquely engineered airbed provides you the best of two worlds, durability and comfort in one! Made of dense polyester fabric and durable high gauge material, this airbed provides high levels of strength. A Fortech Airbed is 75% more puncture resistant and 150 times more impervious to scratches than a normal PVC airbed. With a built-in AlwayzAire pump, the bed inflates in 150 seconds so it is ready for bed when you are. The pump has an easy, one click operation with 3 options for airbed firmness. The settings are easily displayed, even in a darkened area, with the soft back light. Once you’ve chosen your level of firmness, internal sensors detect air pressure continuously and the silent pump engages to maintain constant firmness throughout the night. With a canvas-feel on the surface and sides plus a sturdy Y-beam construction, this airbed provides the perfect pairing of comfort and support. In addition, the unique top surface and surround frame design offers advanced support and helps to eliminate roll offs. When you are ready to store away, it easily deflates – simply place your flattened bed in the included carrying bag for easy transport and storage. A great night’s sleep is in the air with a Fortech Airbed with an Alwayzaire Pump.
This queen size Fortech airbed measures 80in. x 60in. x 17in. (2.03m x 1.52m x 43cm). Includes built-in 110-120V~ electric AlwayzAire pump (ETL approved) which continuously monitors and maintains air pressure. Inflates in 150 seconds. Clear, user-friendly pump panel. Easy, one click operation. Three options for airbed firmness. Internal sensors constantly detect air pressure and silent pump engages to maintain constant firmness. Soft back light easily displays level settings even in a darkened room. Great for indoor use, with canvas-feel fabric top, sides and bottom. Unique rib and surround frame design offers advanced support and helps to eliminate roll offs. Designed with sturdy Y-beam construction. Includes one airbed and one travel bag.
– Feature 1 Queen size airbed with Fortech material is 75% more puncture resistant and 150 times more impervious to scratches –
– Feature 2 Built-in 110-120V~ electric AlwayzAire pump (ETL approved), continuously monitors and maintains air pressure
– Feature 3 Clear, user-friendly pump panel with easy, one click operation and 3 options for airbed firmness

Get An Easier Home Life By Doing These 4 Things

The family home is more than just a house. It is the center of operations for the family unit, and even the busiest families spend a great deal of time there. But is your home setup to work for you and your family in the best way possible? Or it causing you unnecessary stress? Read on to find out.

Improve safety

One thing that can cause anxiety and stress in family life, which can contribute to frayed tempers and difficulties is concerns about safety in the home.

This can be inside safety, as in any dangers that might be problematic to the residents like steep stairs, scolding hot water, and slip and trip hazards. It can also refer to security issues such as window and door locks, burglar alarms, and the like.

Obviously, each issue needs to be identified and sorted according to what would be most useful. Inside issues can often be resolved by making small changes such as installing corner bumpers to sharp edges. Or laying rug grip to stop slips and trips, especially helpful if you have lots little ones that sometimes forget that they shouldn’t run indoors.

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Security issue can be a little more difficult to resolve, although things are finally getting easier with the many smart systems now on the market.

One thing to consider is installing CCTV that you can monitor from your phone or laptop. Even when you are out of the country for an added layer of a piece of mind. Also, upgrade windows to contain the best anti-tamper security features to ensure you minimize the risk of a break in as much as possible.

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Replace beds and mattresses  

One thing that we all need is sleep, and without enough of it, we can get stressed and ill. But getting the right amount of quality unbroken sleep is something that eludes many of us. This can be due to lots of different reasons that may need our attention such as an uncomfortable bed, too much light, or getting too hot in the night.

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In particular, getting too hot in the night can seriously affect the quality of our sleep, making it hard to nod off and difficult to not wake up throughout the night. But what can be done about this?

Well, one thing you can do is to change your mattress. This is because some mattresses are much worse at retaining the heat from your body during the night than others.

This is an issue that many people find with memory foam mattresses, but luckily there are now products out there like Nectar mattresses that include a cooling effect. Meaning that they will make it a lot easier to get a good night of unbroken sleep, even in the warmest of conditions.

Something that has the knock on effect on improving your mood and health, so you can be ready for any challenge the family and life throws at you the next day.

Eat at the table

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An incredible small change that you can make to get an easier home life is to bring the family together once a day around the dinner table. Eating a meal at the table instead of on our laps on trays can help improve your family life in all sorts of ways.

Firstly, it allows you to take your time over eating, enjoying your food, and even brings added awareness so you can stop eating when you are full.

Secondly, it a great time to devote to family life, where you can have conversations and catch up with each member of the family. Also checking on how they are doing and offering support if necessary.

Also, this will have a positive effect as you will feel more connected with your partner and kids, and the will feel the same. Giving this undivided attention can also really help when you have children, as then they don’t feel they are fighting for your focus.

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Get organized

There are many home and family blogs out there, extolling the avenues of being organized. All with lots of great tips on how to do. However, not many of the actually explain why being organized is going to make your home life easier.

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It’s because when you know where things are, and you have space to actually live in, you and the others around you are going to be less irritable and less stressed. Thus minimizing arguments.

Also, it’s important to remember here, that being organized isn’t an excuse to be regimented and inflexible. Being organized does take some focus and effort, but it should be done in a compassionate and measured way. As if you are spending all of your time and energy getting everything to be perfect, you will likely create more stress and uncomfort for you and you family. Something that negates the benefits of doing it in the first place.

Get on top of the cleaning

 

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By getting on top of the cleaning, I don’t mean that you have to spend your afternoons off on your hands and knees with a scrubbing brush. Yes, they say cleanliness is next to Godliness, but no one wants to grow up in a home that they are terrified to drop a crumb in, or that has plastic on the couch.

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In fact, the same aware but relaxed attitude applies to cleaning as it does to organization. If you hold on too tight, you won’t get the desired result of stress reduction due to living in a pleasant family home.

Instead, set a reasonable schedule that you can set down and pick up according to how busy you are and your energy levels at the time. It can also help to get the rest of the family to help you.

As not only does this get them to appreciate the work that goes into keeping the family home clean, meaning they will be more careful generally. But it also gets them in a great habit for later on in life as they aren’t going to expect that the magical cleaning fairy will come along and do it all for them when they move out.

Tips For A Budget-Friendly Summer

Summer has a way of making us feel carefree; we happily spend more money on treats, family outings, or activities for the kids, only to check our balance in September and realise that we might have taken too much out of the savings account. While it’s true that you can’t put a price on the memories you make with your family, you do still need to have enough put away to make more memories in the future. If you’d like to have your cake and eat it too, here are a few tips so you can have the best summer ever on the lowest budget possible.

Cheap vacations

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It’s tempting to opt for a staycation each summer because this is when flights are usually their most expensive, and you don’t often know if there’s enough in the budget to book in advance. Fortunately, you can still take the family somewhere exotic with a few money-saving hacks. Flights tend to be more expensive from Friday to Sunday because most people want to make the most of the weekend in a foreign country. Since you have the whole summer holiday to choose from, try to book a flight that leaves in the middle of the week to save a few dollars. You can also save if you aim to travel the week before the kids go back to school, as this is when prices might start to drop. Websites such as Skyscanner can help you compare flight prices across a whole month so you’ll know the cheapest days to fly, saving you a potential packet. Going all-inclusive can save you more money, especially if you take full advantage of the breakfast buffets and the hotel swimming pool. Spanish destinations such as Majorca and Tenerife, or Algarve in Portugal, are always a hit with families, so these are good places to start looking for an all-inclusive vacation.

Camping

The great outdoors can be just as engaging as a games console, and it’s usually free. Although some campsite will charge you to pitch your tent, there’s no cost for sleeping in the back garden with your younger kids, or out in the woods with more mature children. Brush up on some simple survival skills and teach them how to survive in the wild, introduce them to the simple thrill of climbing trees, see who can spot the most species of birds, and in the evening you can show them how to make perfect s’mores over the campfire. Not only does this experience get everyone out of their comfort zone and encourage the kids to work together to put up the tent and start a fire, but it will help them appreciate the things they take for granted at home; hot showers and indoor plumbing seems like a luxury after a weekend in the woods. Most importantly, however, spending time outdoors will teach children how to respect nature and the environment.

Rent out your house

You don’t need to have a second home or spare room to make money from a lodger. If you’re planning on spending a few weeks away, and you live in a popular area, you could make some extra money by renting out your house to other holidaymakers. You can sign up to be a host on Airbnb, put out feelers with friends, or by making a website advertising your house to people looking for nice accommodation for their vacation.

Packing for vacations

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Hard as it may be to admit, your little ones aren’t as little as they were last year, and all their clothes from the previous summer no longer fit. Before you start packing for your vacation, you need to make sure you have enough summer clothes that fit them comfortably, not to mention all the other summer essentials you need to buy like sunscreen, allergy medication, and travel sized toiletries. To make sure you still have enough left for vacation spending money, you can go to the stores armed with discounts from Coupon Sherpa and make substantial savings on clothes and other items. It might require you to do a little legwork and shopping at several different stores, but it’s worth it just to save a few dollars.

Active family

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If you’ve been trying to find a way to motivate yourself to do more exercise, there is no bigger encouragement than your children; not just because you want to be healthy, but because they will drive you crazy when they start climbing the walls with boredom and the only solution is to get everyone out of the house. If you have fairly young children, take them to the park and actually play with them; run around to catch them on the slide, push them on the swings, or try getting involved in their game of tag. With slightly older kids, you could get everyone on their bikes and ride down the coast, whip out the water pistols and having an all-out war, or check your local area and see if there are any events that will get them walking. If you show your children the value of getting out of the house and having a good time, they may never catch on that you’re doing this for the exercise.

Rainy day fun

Despite all your best efforts to get the kids away from the electronic devices and out into the fresh air, sometimes the weather will conspire against you. Fortunately, you can still find ways to keep the kids busy without the lure of technology. One way to keep the kids occupied is by teaching them how to cook. Your options are endless; you can have them help you make the family’s favourite dinner, you can choose a new recipe to try together, or you can teach them how to make a really easy dish so they can begin building their cooking skills. If you have them help you with dinner, be sure to compliment them on their contribution and watch their little faces light up with pride.

How To Plan The A Baby Shower For A Friend

Throwing a baby show for a friend is one of the greatest, heartfelt gifts you can give them. It’s a rite of passage for many women, who are pregnant for the first time, and what better way to celebrate an upcoming birth of a baby, than crossing the line into womanhood surrounded by friends. But this in itself, poses a huge challenge for friends and family, as the challenge is to differentiate your party from every other baby-related gathering or celebration. Luckily there are a few common codes of conduct that are flexible enough to give you creative control and allow you to make a truly bespoke baby shower.

 

The location

There is a whole range of differing locations that present contrasting vibes for baby showers. You could rent out a luxury apartment in the city, in a high-rise building so you can sip wine and enjoy the view while your pregnant friend opens presents. You may find renting of a 40×60 steel building cost is less than a hall venue in a grand hotel, yet provides bigger room and more options for facilities, such as a band, outdoor play area for visiting children of other moms, and a large main room for a large guest list. Parallel to the seating arrangement, you could have tables set up with a buffet food offered to the attendees. If you’d rather do it at your own home, that’s a great decision too, because it’s more personal and provides you with a chance to show the mark of a great hostess.

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Setting the tone

It’s pivotal to the select a theme that your friend will relate to and enjoy. It’s got to be expressive of their nature, or perhaps from a childhood memory, and possibly even a theme that’s reflective of their baby’s gender. The easiest way to lose a grip on the overall look and interior design of the party is to move forward with just a vague hint, perpetuating a stride with no clear direction. Set out the day and what you want to achieve. For example, the catering, you could start out with a light brunch, reminiscing about the past with a close, tight-knit bunch of friends. Next onto an afternoon tea or lunch, where each person could swap stories about the first time they had a child and exchange tips and tricks on how to cope with a newborn.

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The plentiful bounty of gifts

Make sure you brief your guests before they come to shower, and inform them well in advance that gifts should be baby proof and practical and something that will be detrimental to raising a baby. Apparatus like a breast pump, advanced guide to the stress calls and crying a baby makes life hacks that will save her time and money with the proper planning advice, clothing for the baby such as hats, mittens, and footwear, etc. These gifts should be given to make the life of the pregnant woman easier and less stressful, so try to steer away from food items and makeup.

 

 

 

 

It’s a Family Thing #wowsummit #blogher17

I have blogged part-time, on and off, for the last 6 years. My first site was Reviewing For You. It crashed when e-rice closed. I was ready for a change anyway and decided to start my new site in November 2014.

My sister Terri @ http://shabbychicboho.com/ has blogged full-time for over 10 years, she was my inspiration. So when I sold my business last year, I decided to blog full-time and I haven’t looked back since!!

Recently, we have enlisted our mom to help be our VA and have since introduced Terri’s daughter Tiffany @ http://www.itstotallytiffany.com/ and my daughter Hannah @ http://beachylady.com to the blogging world.

I love it, I love meeting new people, promoting my page and still get excited when I receive emails about working with a new company. Of course, I didn’t really expect to make money doing it, I was mostly doing it because I have to stay active. The main perk was receiving cool stuff for my three amazing grandsons.

This last month, I decided I would start tracking my income and was surprised at the amount my site is making. I wanted to get a little more organized since we decided to go to two blogging conferences this year #blogher17 and #wowsummit.

Hopefully, I will learn even more at the conferences and plan to do a monthly budget and set goals. I know most people do this to make money, I just wanted something to do to stay busy and find some amazing products, the making money part is just a plus.

I love the flexibility blogging offers me. I can help my daughter to build her blog site and spend time with my grandsons. Mostly I love working by the pool. If you are wondering if you can make money blogging, the answer it yes. If you have patience, work a lot of hours and don’t expect to be rich over night. You have to have a passion for it and enjoy what you do to be successful in anything.

 

Easing The Stress Of Being A Mom Will Help Your Family

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Working comes with a whole host of stress. You’re basically dealing with stress from nine to five, with small glimmers of hope and sunshine dotted about. Working as a mum is 24/7, which kind of gives you some inkling as to the amount of stress that is involved. Thankfully, it i the best kind of stress imaginable. It is fun and unique and amazing, inspiring and worthwhile, totally worthwhile, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t stressful too.

Yes, every single mum situation comes with its very own unique set of circumstances. It comes with the territory. But so does the need for you to constantly place an emphasis on your own health and well-being, and don’t for one second think that is selfish. Your being healthy is the catalyst to your family being healthy too.

So, here are some top tips on how to stay healthy, stress-free and sane as around the clock mum. After all, you deserve it.

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Get A Granny-Nanny

We all have that moment when we search the internet for some help, someone who can assist with the kids for just a couple of mornings a week. That would be enough. Well, why not make that someone a granny-nanny. These are semi-retired women that typically don’t have family close by. Nurturing people that will cherish everything you do. They are people that love baking, gardening, reading, colouring-in, and they know how to ace homework, while also cherishing the wonders of children. They are people that want to be involved with children, that’s the key and, in return, you’ll be relieved of some of the stress. You can do those errands you needed to do or just grab a pinch of personal time.

Schedule Your Personal Time

Yeah, this may sound sad, at least to begin with, but if scheduling in some personal time in the same way you would schedule an appointment is the only way you’ll get it, then do it. Personal time is so important. Seeing friends, getting that soft tissue massage you promised your doctor you would get, seeing friends for a coffee, going for a run, having your nails done, or just sitting in a quiet park. Whatever floats your boat on that day. Don’t feel guilty about this either. We all need a bit of peace and quiet, and your family will thrive if you grant yourself that space. Just make sure your family knows that these are appointments, one’s that you can’t miss.

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Bring A PA Into The Family

This idea of having a personal assistant to help in your personal life can be so rewarding, for everyone, especially if you are a mum that balances working with being a mum. The more you accept them into your family the better it will be too, not least because they will have such an important part to play. The reason we are referring to them as a PA is because that will help you distinguish their role a bit more. In the same way, you would lay out a set of tasks for an assistant at work, do the same for them each morning. Then they will know exactly what you would like doing, what principles you cherish and what is important to you, like the operation #dontforget you are championing. All this can be achieved while they also ensure your kids laugh from the moment they get picked up from school to the moment you get back from work, and you won’t feel stressed about the tasks that haven’t been done because, well, they will have been done. A PA is a right-hand person, someone you can trust no end, so why not have someone like that to help with your children?

Dear Mom, What a Mother really wants for Mother’s Day 2017 #mothersday

First and foremost, I love being a mom. I am a mom to three grown children who are finding their own way.Even more amazing is now I have three adorable grandsons. Knowing they are healthy and happy makes my heart happy. I like most moms would be perfectly happy just spending time with the family for Mother’s Day.  I have come up with a basic Mother’s Day gift list that would make me extremely happy as I am sure it would most mothers.

 

  1. Family time, with no gadgets or technology, maybe even a family game night!
  2. A picture of everyone, they grow and change every day, I would love an updated picture.
  3. A simple Thank You! (Maybe with why you are thanking them, mom’s work hard!)
  4. Okay, so this is my infatuation right now…  Crossbar Necklace  (25% off for mother’s day Kim Kardashian wears this).
  5. A dinner date with my Mr.
  6. Handmade items (my grands make the best)
  7. Bath Bombs
  8. https://www.etsy.com/featured/mothers-day-gifts
  9. Kim Kardashian long Medallion
  10. Lastly, an “I love you”!!

This year will be the first in 20 +years I get to spend with my own mother. I realize turning the big “50” this year, I need to enjoy life every chance I get, I am going to Georgia to spend this mother’s day with her.

So my hubby, children, and grandkids are spending mother’s day the Friday before because they realize the importance of family and spending time together!!

 

I have this elaborate plan for all of us sisters to take our mother out to eat for lunch and spend some quality time with our her. You see my sisters live throughout Georgia, and I live in Texas this will be the first time we all spend mother’s day with our mother in years.

So this mother’s day, keep it simple tell your mother you love her, tell her thank you and mostly just spend time with her.  The truth be told, if I receive only a hug and love you I would be happy!!

So here is mine!!

Dear Mom,

Thank you for always wiping my tears when I cried, thank you for always telling me like it is. Thank you for raising me to be a hard worker and great housekeeper. Thank you for teaching me to be a great mother and thank you for your unconditional love! Mostly thank you for dragging me to church every Sunday!!

For these and many many more reasons, I hope to never allow you to spend mother’s day alone again.

Love, Kathy