It’s that time of year again, for Goldfish Swim School to roll out their amazing holiday gift baskets. These baskets are always a perfect way to give your family the gift of experiences for the holiday season. This year’s offer is better than ever!

If you are local to the Columbus area… you will love this!

This year’s basket includes:

$200 in Family Credit at Goldfish Swim School 
Aaron Taylor Photography – 1 $100 Gift Certificate
Arnold SportsWorld Expo for Kids & Teens: 2 adult admission ticket ($40.00 value)
Art Garden Studios: 1 Free Class + Sketch Book ($40.00 value)
Barre3 Powell: 1 single class pass ($24.00 value)
Charleys Philly Steaks: 1 small-size Philly sandwich ($7.14 value)
Crazy Richards: Pure Peanut Butter Powder ($5.25)
FIT4MOM Free Week Pass ($35.00 value)
Friendship Crossfit: 3-classes and 30min goal setting & consultation ($85.00 value)
Goldfish Swim School pencil pouch 
Goldfish Swim School branded tote bag
Goldfish Swim School family swim passes ($30.00 value)
Gymboree Play & Music: 1 preview class ($18.00 value)
Jets Pizza: 1 large one-topping pizza ($11.49 value)
Lazer Kraze: 1 free inflatables admission ($8.00 value)
Magic Mountain Fun Center: 1 attraction pass for KidsGym Climbing Playland ($6.50 value)
Menchies: First 5 ounces free ($2.75 value)
Mutts & Co.: 1 Dog Wash ($15.00 value)
North Orange Family Dentistry: Free Whitening Tray for new customers ($360.00 value)
Northepointe Dance Academy 2 free dance classes ($35.00 value)
Nothing Bundt Cakes: 1 Bundlet  ($3.99 value)
Pinnell Dance Centre: $20 off registration 
Recreations Outlet: 3 Visit Play passes ($24.00 value)
Sky Zone: 1 – 30 minute pass ($4.50 value)
Sportsclips: MVP Haircut ($25.00 value)
Star Legacy Dental: $100 credit
Sweet and Sassy: Free nail polish ($7.00 value)
Sweet E’s Cookies: 1 free cookie ($3.00 value)
Texas Roadhouse – Polaris: Free Kids Meal ($7.00 value)
ZipZone Outdoor Adventures: 2 kids park admission tickets ($36.00 value) 
WOW!! Convinced? This is a $2,100 value priced at only $210!!!
Call today to order your holiday gift basket from Goldfish Swim School: 614-407-3473.
*This post is sponsored by Goldfish Swim School. All opinions are my own.*
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Disclosure:  This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TrustinGentle #ChooseGentle #CollectiveBias

When you enter motherhood for the very first time, you are whisked away into unfamiliar territory. I faced fears that I didn’t even know were possible. I doubted my ability to be a mom…what if I’m incapable of keeping a small human alive?! Something I stressed about with the arrival of my first child was being properly armed with all of the necessary items for our survival.

A very wise nurse at L&D told me the only things my baby needed were food, a safe place to sleep, and a clean environment. SO. TRUE. I’ve actually used that bit of advice as more children entered our lives and expanded the limbs of our family tree.

One brand I have loved and trusted since I started my motherhood journey is JOHNSON’S®. I remember my mother using the distinctive sweet-smelling JOHNSON’S® head-to-toe baby wash and shampoo with me, the aroma still takes me back to safe place in my childhood. JOHNSON’S® was a brand I grew up loving and trusting, so it was only natural I embarked in a similar relationship when our first came home from the hospital.

For 5 years now, JOHNSON’S® has been a staple product in our home. The soft yellow bottle of JOHNSON’S® head-to-toe wash and shampoo has a permanent place on the side of our family’s bath tubs. I am a firm believer in the 3-step night-time routine using JOHNSON’S® bedtime lotion. It’s the only routine proven to help improve baby’s sleep!

  1. Warm Bath
  2. Gentle Massage
  3. Quiet Time

The awesome thing about JOHNSON’S® products, my older children know exactly where to find the line when we walk into our local Walgreens.

I admit, there are times I have forgotten to pick up baby lotion or shampoo until the final hour. Ugh, mom brain. We are so lucky to have a 24-hour Walgreens so close to our home. It’s a store we frequent, because of convenience but even more so, because of the customer care.

I can’t even tell you how many times I have visited our Walgreens pharmacy and asked (what I consider) silly questions. The customer service from the patient cashiers to the knowledgable pharmacists is unlike any other retailer. It’s no wonder why Walgreens and JOHNSON’S® are both brands we love and trust, especially for this busy mom of three who is always forgetting something and rushing to the store for help.

A recent stroll down the baby care aisle at Walgreens revealed something that really caught my eye! JOHNSON’S® has launched a *NEW and improved* baby product line. I couldn’t help myself, and snatched up almost every item on the shelf, including the reformulated JOHNSON’S® soothing vapor bath, JOHNSON’S® bedtime lotion, JOHNSON’S®head-to-toe wash & shampoo, and JOHNSON’S® no more tangles spray.

The new & improved product line has so many positives…way too many to mention them all, but here are some ones that really hit home for me. Did you know baby’s skin is 30% thinner than an adults? So it needs the best gentle care possible.

  • JOHNSON’S® is 100% gentle (great for our youngest baby’s sensitive skin), it’s free of parabens and phthalates.
  • There are 50% fewer ingredients in the new and improved line of skin care. Johnson’s uses only purposeful ingredients. The products are dye free, and sulfate free. YAY!
  • Enhanced functionality of adding the pump top to the bottles to make it easier for mom to utilize when she has her hands full. *this is a BIG one for me, oftentimes I have my 5 or 4-year-old help out with the baby when my hands are full!

I’ve been a mom now for 5, going on 6 years, and while I may not be an expert in all things parenting I do know the brands that I love and trust. JOHNSON’S® and Walgreens top the list for me!

Have you tried the NEW & improved line of JOHNSON’S® baby products? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

BONUS! From 7/29- 8/25 JOHNSON’S® Baby products are buy 1 get 1 50% off with your Walgreens balance rewards card! Here is the link to this incredible offer: http://cbi.as/a27dm

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Bath time is our youngest baby’s favorite time.

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JOHNSON’S® products are 100% gentle.

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“The Brand You Trust, Now More Gentle Than Ever”

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New & improved JOHNSON’S® Baby line at our local 24-hour Walgreens.

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I couldn’t stop with one!

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Super happy when his sister joins him in the tub.

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JOHNSON’S® and Walgreens are brands we love and trust.

I feel as though you’re either a Bloody Mary fan or not. Frankly speaking, I am a fan. Which is why I was extremely excited to test out Cameron Mitchell’s newly developed cocktail recipes for Double Comfort featuring their blends and spices.

The recipes are incredible….but we’ll get to that later.

One of the reasons I was super excited to partner with Double Comfort was because of their mission. 100% of the profits from their sales benefits local food pantries. To date, Double Comfort has funded over one hundred thousand meals. AMAZING!

The recipes I made were developed by Andrea Hoover, Beverage Operations Manager at Cameron Mitchell Restaurants. All 3 are delicious!

 BLOODY MEMPHIS (Bloody Mary)

Prep Glass: Service Glass

Garnish: Soul of the South Spice Rim, Celery Stalk

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Grey Goose Vodka
  • 1/4 oz. Salted Lemon Cordial (2 oz. lemon juice, 1/4 oz. Saline {20% salt, 80% water})
  • 5 oz. House Bloody Mary Mix
  • 1 dash Memphis Heat

PREPARATION:

  1. Combine all ingredients in service glass.
  2. Add ice to glass.
  3. Stir to combine.

MEMPHIS MARIA

Prep Glass: Service Glass

Garnish: Soul of the South Spice Rim, Celery Stalk

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Patron Tequila
  • 1/4 oz. Salted Lemon Cordial (2 oz. lemon juice, 1/4 oz. Saline {20% salt, 80% water})
  • 5 oz. House Bloody Mary Mix
  • 1 dash Memphis Heat

PREPARATION:

  1. Combine all ingredients in service glass.
  2. Add ice to glass.
  3. Stir to combine.

BLOODY MEMPHIS MIX

  • 1 qt. Pureed San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 7 oz. Beef Bouillon (2 tsp./7 oz.)
  • 7 oz. Water
  • 2 oz. Demitri’s Horseradish Bloody Mary Mix

PREPARATION:

  1. Combine all ingredients in service glass.
  2. Add ice to glass.
  3. Stir to combine.

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Double Comfort Foods

Not really the “buddies” I had in mind…

*this post is sponsored by Double Comfort Foods — all opinions are my own.*

This past weekend was by far our favorite weekend in Columbus. Every year, thousands of people descend upon central Ohio for ONE GOAL. END CANCER. Pelotonia is much more than a weekend ride, it’s joining a team… a team we consider to be the Greatest Team Ever.

This year marked the 10th year of the organization’s powerful fundraising event. It also marked our family’s 4th year of participation. My husband did the first ever Sunday ride, which was great considering the crowds were significantly smaller, and he ended in our home town!

But first, a little about the organization. Pelotonia is a grass roots organization that’s raised more than $117 million for cancer research. The model of the 3-day event is simple: Pelotonia’s operating expenses are covered by generous funding partners so that 100% of every dollar raised by riders, virtual riders, and volunteers goes directly to fund cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center—Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

I know that’s a lot of jargon to really say, we are big supporters of this amazing cause. Not to mention, there is a shift in the air in the entire city with all of the surrounding communities who participate in Pelotonia. The weekend is filled with love and support. You meet so many kind strangers, volunteers, riders, and people who just want to come out and witness the powerful movement.

The kids look forward to watching their daddy cross the finish line every year, this year they wore previous year’s riding jerseys. With cow bells in tow, we cheered rider after rider rolling across the finish line with ONE GOAL. END CANCER.

If you happen to be in the Columbus area the first weekend of August, or would like to learn more about this amazing event… I encourage you to check out Pelotonia’s website!

http://pelotonia.org/

Here are some photos from the weekend!

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I fulfilled a dream last week that I didn’t think would ever be possible. I single handedly organized and planned an event that raised almost $2,000 for Nationwide Children’s Hospital Infectious Disease Center.

The event was magical, and went smoother than I could have ever imagined. Friends, family and a few people I’ve never met before joined me at NOAH’s Event Venue in New Albany for one special evening.

We laughed, we cried, we laughed some more as I stood in front of nearly 100 women talking about my past life in news, the things I struggle with and some of my most embarrassing moments, and how I’m able to “Juggle It All”. You know, the career, the kids, the husband, the house, the friends and attempting to keep my sanity. It’s no surprise to many of you, juggling it all is hard work!

My main objective for the evening was to raise money for RSV research — which is a VERY important cause to our family. If you’re not familiar with our experience with RSV, you can read about it here.

It wasn’t all about the fundraising though. I wanted to share some personal stories to encourage ladies that I don’t have it all together either. I think it’s so important to give ourselves some grace when it comes to attempting to Juggle It All. To understand we are all IMPERFECT.

The algorithm outlines the steps I attempt to take on a daily basis while Juggling It All.

I- Instill Confidence– kill negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. 

M- Make a Calendar– the best way to stay organized when juggling so many things. 

P- Prioritize– knowing full well that priorities shift with different life cycles. 

E- Eliminate the Guilt– oh, the mom guilt. Y’all, it’s real and it needs to stop! 

R- Ready to go with the Flow– life throws you tantrums, I mean curveballs, I think it’s critical to be able to go with the flow. 

F- Find your Army– finding mom friends is hard. But when you find them, you must nurture them without judgement and always have their backs. 

E- Eliminate Comparisons– the ONLY person you should ever compare yourself to is yesterday’s version of yourself. 

C- Create Me Time — it’s not easy. But when you take time for yourself, you will feel recharged, refreshed and have a new lease on your chaotic life. 

T- The JOY — Finding the joy is simple. CHOOSE IT. Choose to be happy, choose to smile, choose to laugh. Choose JOY. 

So, let’s chat about the location! NOAH’s Event Venue was incredible. From the moment you step into the facility, it’s all first class. The interior is a beautiful grey with gorgeous wood floors. We had full access to the entire event space, including a prep kitchen, game room and the ball room — where the majority of my event took place.

Upon arrival, NOAH’s staff had the entire place ready with tables, linens and chairs. They were extremely helpful with my audio and visual components. I had so many people comment on the beauty of the space. I highly recommend NOAH’s Event Venue to anyone planning a party or event.

A special thank you to everyone who joined us last Thursday. Especially to my amazing sponsors. Thank you to Big Sky Express, Zest Juice Co. and Customized Girl for designing and supplying the amazing totes! Thank you to COOLA for the organic sunblock, Bliss Tans for supplying spray tan giveaways, We Make Up & Go for the hydrating skin masks and makeup, and Goldfish Swim School for the free swim passes!

My cup runneth over. You all will never know what kind of impact you had on my life by supporting my first ever fundraiser. I’d love to make this an annual event!

*Thank you to NOAH’s Event Venue for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.*

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