Fall Lawn Care Tips With Lush Lawn

Lush LawnThe post below is sponsored by Lush Lawn. Opinions expressed are my own.

There’s one thing these cooler temps mean: Time to wind down for the winter by pulling out the dead stuff and raking leaves off the lawn! Since taking care of the health of our lawn is not my favorite task, I am happy to have Lush Lawn help us out by prepping our lawn for cooler temps and nicer grass heading into 2015.

And let’s not even talk about the creepy crawly things starting to find their way indoors…ICK. Definitely not my favorite part of fall either. Thankfully, Lush Lawn can spray for those, too!

I received these tips from Lush Lawn to serve as a great reminder of what we all should be proactively be doing in the fall:

Fall Lawn Care Tips

1. FERTILIZE. Fertilizing in fall is great for the grass because the lower temperatures and increased rain cause the grass to thrive, and with that, the grass uses up a lot of nutrients, so replenishing those nutrients through fertilization is very important.

2. SEEDINGS. Doing seedings this time of year are great because of the weather conditions, too. Sometimes young grass is killed by intense summer heat when planted in the spring because it hasn’t had enough time to develop. If you seed in fall, you have fall and spring for the grass to grow and develop before summertime, so it tends to be stronger and more resilient.

3. SPRAY FOR BUGS. Right now is one of the most important times to spray for insects around your home and for bug proofing your home. As the temperatures dip, a lot of bugs will seek refuge in your home because it is much warmer than outside. This time of year in Michigan brings spiders indoors. Getting a good perimeter pest spray around the home will stop this problem.

4. CUT GRASS APPROPRIATELY. The last time you cut your grass in preparation for winter, it should be cut at 2 inches and not higher. Most the year, 3 to 4 inches length is great, but going into the dormant season, you want the grass to be cut shorter in order to reduce winter snow mold and other diseases that develop easier in long matted down grasses over the winter.

Lush Lawn is a family owned company based in Michigan that specializes in lawn care, pest control and tree services. They have offices in Brighton, Grand Blanc and Rochester Hills and offer services in those surrounding areas. Visit this link for a FREE quote and tell them I sent you!

How are your prepping your lawn for fall?

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12 Tips for Natural Childbirth {One Mom’s Experience}

“Birth sticks with a woman, remaining in her bone and her flesh as an embodied memory long after the baby has left her womb.” – Pamela E. Klassen

When I posted on my Facebook that Miles was born, I contemplated whether or not I should add that it was a drug-free birth. I went back and forth, hoping it wouldn’t come across as bragging, since lord knows us moms need to feel inferior about something else.

I asked the husband, and he said after all I went through during my first two labors, I deserved to brag. So I did it. Because you know what? I am damn proud. Proud my body, heart and head finally aligned for our third and final baby.

After two births that were traumatic to me, I finally have the story I am proud to share.

Before this, when I thought of my births, I had a bit of hostility…Why didn’t my body just allow birth to happen? Why did an epidural not provide me relief? Why did I need the vacuum during my first birth, pitocin during my second, and painful episiotomies both times when I didn’t have many friends who experienced these medical interventions? Of course, I was elated when my girls arrived healthy, but thinking of the entire process, I felt bitter, especially as I grew more educated about birth.

These factors are one of the reasons I chose a midwife for my third baby {in a hospital setting}. After studying what they do different, I knew that would be the route I should go to avoid having a repeat of my first two births where I didn’t feel in control at all.

During my first meeting with my midwife, I spoke nervously to her about my past birth experiences and she suggested I had postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder and should consider talking to a therapist. I am not above seeking help when needed, but I knew I could overcome my birthing fears on my own if I educated myself more.

Having a natural birth was such a healing process for me, so I want to share 12 things I did differently this time around.
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Baby Week + New mPerks Features for Meijer Shoppers

Attention Meijer shoppers! There are some BIG changes happening over in Meijer land today that just may officially make me a forever loyal Meijer shopper.

First, if you don’t use mPerks and shop at Meijer, go get it now. You can register by visiting mperks.meijer.com or by downloading the mPerks app for free in the iTunes App Store and in the Google Play Android app store. I love having it on my phone because I can easily scan through and grab savings while in the car before heading into to store. There’s also the ability to make a list, which makes it easier to shop.

mPerks personalized rewards First, if you log into your account TODAY, you will notice that mPerks is launching a Personalized Rewards update which includes:

  • Rolling start dates which give customers four weeks to earn after they clip their reward {with that said, don’t clip the reward until you are about to go to the store!}
  • Ability to earn towards any or all rewards at the same time — in the categories of your choosing {produce, paper products, health/beauty, etc.}
  • No waiting until the next month—when customers complete a reward, they can start a new one {This is helpful because I always would forget otherwise!}

new rewards 2

Once a reward is earned and clipped, they are located in a new ‘earned rewards’ section of the site, which makes it easy to keep track of all the savings. Updates are available at mPerks.com and on the Meijer mobile app. If you already have the app, be sure to download the update to gain access to mPerks Rewards 2.0.

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Calm Preschool Anxiety With These Books

The post below contains Amazon affiliate links. When you make purchases through my links, it helps my family.

Calm Preschool Anxiety With These 7 Books

Something nobody warned me about when we starting approaching 4 years old…ANXIETY.

My daughter has always been the shy and cautious type. There’s no way around it — if she’s uncomfortable in a situation, she will let us know. Otherwise, she can be very loud, opinionated and sing…a lot. This makes waking up each day interesting because we never know which Kinley we’re going to get!

When we started chatting about what was going to happen at school this fall, she went into worry mode. With her being an October birthday, we already know she won’t attend kindergarten until she’s 6. We did a 2-year-old program last year {despite her being 3 most of the year}, where it was structured like preschool, but I was there to help if she needed me.

This year, she will be going alone. And she is SO worried about it. Even though she did great on her own last year, will have the same teacher and some of the same kids in her class.

There’s only so much I can tell her to calm her fears, so I have turned to books to help explain how much fun school can really be. We have read LOTS and LOTS of books, and these are the ones I felt resonated with her the best. Of course, these can apply to any child heading to school, but since I have a preschooler, I focused on ones that were most suitable for her age group {3-5}.

Help calm preschool anxiety with these books! Here’s my list of 7 great reads perfect for showing your preschool-aged child there’s nothing to fear at school:

I Love You All Day Long

I Love You All Day Long

Owen’s anxious question prompts this heartwarming, comforting tale of how a parent’s love stays with a child whether they are together or apart — all day long.

{I already plan to use this concept when dropping her off at school those first nerve-wracking days!}
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Think Walgreens for Back-To-School Immunizations + Tips for Anxiety! #GiveaShot #CollectiveBias

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Disclosure:  This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias

Back-to-School time means back to the doctor in every mom’s world for vaccinations. Not sure about you all, but we spend SO much time at the doctor these days for check-ups between me and my three kiddos. Unfortunately this time of year means I have to fight for good appointment times since the pediatrician is flooded with physicals for school age kids.

Walgreens Give A Shot

Enter Walgreens. I am so thankful places that are a convenient spot for moms to go for immunizations. They make it quick, easy and painless since NO appointment is needed {soooo awesome since only YOU know when your kid is in the best mood for a shot!}. Additionally, most insurances are accepted and I love that they will report back to your primary care physician to let them know your child’s immunization record has been updated.

Walgreens Pharmacy for Immunizations

Working with doctors for my job, I have truly learned the importance of vaccinations and yes, I am one of those moms who shout from the rooftops their importance. I believe everyone should have the right to choose as a parent, but I encourage you to get educated by reading medical journal articles and not just a random blog post or from a “doctor” who isn’t backed up by trusted organizations like the CDC.
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Disney On Ice Princesses & Heroes Presale Code {In Auburn Hills Oct. 16-19}

Disney On Ice is one of our favorite shows to attend each year. I just received the special pre-sale code for the Disney On Ice presents Princesses & Heroes show, coming to The Palace of Auburn Hills October 16-19, 2014. {See image below}

Many of you will be thrilled to know that this show now features the beloved characters from FROZEN!

Get tickets here at Ticketmaster.

Disney On Ice Princesses & Heroes - Palace of Auburn Hills

Enjoy! I hope to share more about the show in the months ahead, so stay tuned :)

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Sibling Preparation: Getting Kids Ready For a New Baby

Getting Kids Ready for A New Baby

Nothing has been consuming my mind more over these past few weeks than how my girls, Karina – age 2 {in 17 days} and Kinley – 3.5, are going to react to their new baby brother, who is due to arrive in 3 weeks+/-.

Kinley has been there, done that, and I know she will be helpful. At the same time, she’s stuck between that age of needing a bit of independence yet also still needy herself at times. Overall, I think it should be OK for her, but I’ve been doing everything I can to help her prepare for the changes ahead.

Karina is another story. She IS needy. She’s at that fun age that will throw a temper tantrum at the first notion of not getting her way. I’d be lying if I wasn’t a bit nervous to see what a baby will do to her temperament. I seem to often mis-judge what my kids can handle, so I am holding out hope it goes smoother than I think it will!

Here’s some tips for getting kids ready for a new baby that have seemed to help me so far:

  • Rent LOTS of kid-friendly books from the library about new babies and pregnancy. Books can be incredibly helpful — especially with older kids. Books have helped teach my kids that babies sleep a lot at first, and will need lots of my attention. One that is well-loved in our house is The New Baby from the Little Critter series.
  • Let them help clean and prepare baby items. With each item I’ve gotten out and put away, I’ve talked to them about how we will use it. For example, the baby will need the swing for short naps, and you can rock him in it gently if you’d like. I will use the Boppy while I nurse, which will be several times a day at first. I want them familiar with all the tools so they can help me when needed and begin to understand that those items are for him and mommy.
  • Make a visual of when baby is coming. I get constant questions from my big girl about when baby is arriving, so we made a paper chain to count down the approximate days until he comes. It has been a GREAT visual for her to see how much longer it will be. She tears off a piece of the chain every day.
  • Allow your children to pick out baby’s coming home outfit. Although our little outfit keeps disappearing from my hospital bag because my girls like to “show” him daily. Baby's Coming Home Outfit
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Shaving Tips to #SummerizeYourLegs #shop

Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. The hashtags #SummerizeYourLegs and #CollectiveBias can be followed to view other blog posts included in this campaign.

The best part about summer for me? LAKE TIME! {Which also means summer legs!}

Seriously…Is there a better reason to live in Michigan? I think not! In fact, I just learned a few awesome Michigan lake factoids thanks to a coloring book my daughters received:

  • No point in Michigan is further than 85 miles from any one of the Great Lakes.
  • The Great Lakes supply more than 80% of North America’s and 20% of the world’s surface fresh water supply.
  • There are 11,037 inland lakes which are 10 acres or more in size.

…and unrelated, but kids look SO cute in bathing suits, AmIRight? Couldn’t resist sharing these shots from our vacay earlier this year…

Beach Babies

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Springtime Lawn Care Tips from Lush Lawn

The post below is sponsored by Lush Lawn. I am receiving complimentary lawn services in exchange for blog posts and social shares this summer. Opinions expressed are my own.

Lush Lawn

Taken last month after our first lawn application. Our lawn is much greener these days!

Tis the season, ya’ll! Time for grass cutting {and the delightful smell that follows}, raking, planting and more. I will admit — taking care of the lawn is not my favorite task, so I am absolutely ecstatic to have Lush Lawn help us out this year. Our subdivision is looking mighty green these days and it makes me SO happy to drive through!

In our 6 years of home ownership, my husband and I have learned a lot about lawn maintenance. Though I’ll admit he does all the laborious tasks of cutting and trimming, I am the planting, weed pulling and watering gal. It takes time, but we love having a beautiful lawn and some color around our house in the form of flowers.

I received these fun tips from Lush Lawn that serve as a great reminder of what all of us should be doing this spring.

Springtime Lawn Care Tips from Lush Lawn

Hairdressing 101 For Your Lawn

Comb

After a long winter’s nap, it’s a good idea to comb your lawn with a light raking to improve air flow and break up any matting caused by snow piles or snow mold formation. This will also get rid of unwanted debris. Viola! No more bed head.

Prep For The First Haircut

Dull scissors help to create split ends. Make sure that before you cut your lawn the first time in the spring, that your mower blades are sharpened. You will avoid tearing the grass and opening the lawn up to disease invasion. Also, split ends on the lawn will make it look dull in color.

Style From Short to Long

Grass, like hair, continues to grow out over time. In spring, your first few cuts should be shorter than your regular mowing height in summer. Think of men’s hair styles in the early 1960’s as spring and the late 1960’s as summer. The second lowest setting on the mower is fine if your lawn is perfectly flat, use a middle setting if you have dips in the lawn to avoid scalping areas (ouch!). After the initial cut, raise your mower deck one notch every other cut until it is at its highest level when summer heat hit’s (3 1/2″ – 4″). Never cut off more than 1/3 of the grass-blade, so mow the lawn every 6-7 days until growth slows in the summer. A taller lawn in summer will help to reduce weed invasion, you will need to water less often, it will stay green longer and it will also help to keep damage from insects to a minimum. It’s a groovy look!

Wash In The Morning

While some us enjoy washing our hair in the evening, this should never occur with your lawn as it welcomes disease activity. Always water in the early morning when possible (between 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.). Only water as needed in the spring in lieu of rainfall. Lawns need about 1″-2″ of water weekly depending on your soil type.

Accessorize

Most lawns look their best when they receive regular fertilization and weed control treatments. You can also add soil conditioners like Lime, gypsum and organic fertilizer to help improve results. Serious disease and insect issues should be addressed with specific control measures. Consult with a professional on these issues.

Lush Lawn is a family owned company based in Michigan that specializes in lawn care, pest control and tree services. They have offices in Brighton, Grand Blanc and Rochester Hills and offer services in those surrounding areas. Visit this link for a FREE quote and tell them I sent you!

How are your prepping your lawn this spring?

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10 Items To Repurpose For Kid’s Entertainment

10 Items To Repurpose For Kid's Entertainment

It’s EARTH DAY! To celebrate, I thought I’d make a fun list of ideas on how to take items you have around the house and repurpose them for the sake of our little ones and their creativity.

Whether you have kids or not, there is one thought that is universal: Kids can be very expensive! From craft supplies to clothing, toys and more, there are LOTS of ways to reduce, reuse and recycle for kids to save money, and Mother Earth. Here are some ideas:

1. Re-use popcorn tins as toy holders. We use ours from Christmas for all of our Play-Doh pieces, but these could be great for blocks, LEGOS, plastic toys or more.

2. Keep wrapping paper for crafts. Use the back of the paper as an “art canvas.” Because dude — special finger painting paper is expensive and this works just the same. It can be great for sticker artwork as well because what kid doesn’t like sticking stickers everywhere just for fun?!

3. Cookie cutters can provide hours of entertainment! Use them for tracing, Play-Doh and more.

4. Re-use yogurt cups for all kinds of kid-friendly reasons. Our preschool uses them for paint cups, but I love using them for color sorting activities, too!

5. Egg cartons make the perfect paint palette. Just plop in your colors and go to town. If you’re kids are like mine, they will mix them until they all turn brown, but that’s OK ;)

6. Use your postpartum bucket for sensory activities, or activities with a lot of little pieces. {Or, just a tupperware container.} I just love this little bucket for so many reasons. But kid crafting is the best. IDEA: Let your child take an old golf ball and cover it in paint. Tape paper to the bottom of the bucket and let the child roll the ball around to make some fun, abstract art!

10 Items To Repurpose For Kid's Entertainment

Kinley “painting” snow with drops of food coloring in my postpartum bucket from the hospital

7. Re-use those big, decorative boxes from Jo-Ann’s for books. I have a few of these from presents I’ve received. We used to have a bookcase in Kinley’s room and it drove me crazy because she loved to pull all the books out and my organizational-freak self hated it {I love them arranged by size — cut me some slack!}. Now, she can pull them out all she wants and it makes for easier clean-up — I just throw them in the bin at the end of the day.

8. Baby wipe containers ROCK. We use ours for craft supplies and things like crayons and puzzles, but I’ve even caught Kinley using them as a bed for her small plastic junks. IDEA: Use one for all the little items us parents all like to keep in the car: Napkins, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, sunscreen samples, etc.

9. Use old curtains/shower curtains them as a crafting tablecloth or as a big canvas for your kids. Or, make a road on it for them to drive their toys with wheels on.

10. Boxes can make ANY craft. Seriously, give your kid an empty diaper box and see what they can create. We used one awhile back to make Kinley a robot costume, which was very well-loved when it finally went into the recycling bin for good! We’ve also made candy shops and a pet shop for all our stuffed animals. The options are endless.

10 Items To Repurpose For Kid's Entertainment

What are your favorite items to repurpose for kid’s entertainment?

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My Ode To Flip Flops

Reef Logo
The post below is sponsored by Reef.com. All opinions expressed are my own.

Here in Michigan, we are just now being blessed with above-freezing days {with the exception of today’s snowy randomness!}. With the help of this blog, I try to give you all the reasons to move here and why I love it so much, but really, our temps aren’t the most enticing.

Still, the second those 50 degree+ days start to hit consistently, I am busting out my flip-flops. Because really, what is more comfortable and easy-to-wear than a great pair of flippy-floppies? {Cue “I’m On A Boat” by The Lonely Island}

I have a confession: I don’t like shoes. Apparently I missed that woman gene that is drawn to pretty pumps and knee-high boots. I prefer going barefoot, but that’s not always an option. So I settle for the best pair of shoes a shoe-hating woman can own: comfortable flats and flip flops. And boy, do I love those!

Give me your poor tired feet, and cover them in flip flops covered with sparkles and embellishments, or keep them plain and simple. I’ll wear them shopping. I’ll wear them to the zoo. I’ll wear them at the lake.

I’ve declared May 1st as the day I will officially bust out my flip-flops for good — no matter what Michigan weather throws my way.

Even though I have a bucket o’ flops {literally}, I am still dreaming about my next pair because a girl can never have too many, right?

I especially love the brand Reef because they are durable and oh-so-comfy. For me, it’s worth it to spend a few extra bucks for a pair that will last me and get me through chasing kids all summer long!

Lucky for me, Reef has tons of fab styles for guys and girls of all ages! Personally, I am loving these Guatemalan Stargazer ones:

Guatemalan Stargazer from Reef.com

Also, these Reef Dreams Glitter ones. Fun with a little bit of sparkle, yet practical at the same time – totally my style.

Reef Dreams Glitter from Reef.com

For the husband, these Reef Playa Cervesa ones, complete with a bottle opener on the bottom, would do. Perfect for enjoying a few “pops” while boating or playing by the lake. {Seriously, how functional are those? Awesome for enjoying a Michigan made Oberon!}

Reef Flip Flops with Bottle Opener – Reef Playa Cervesa from Reef.com

So, when will you be busting out the flip flops for good? Maybe if enough of us join forces, Mother Nature will listen to us!

See more fab styles by visiting Reef.com.

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Changes I’m Making To My Tech Life in 2014

2014 is going to be a huge year for our house…A year where we go from two kids {manageable} to three {meaning way outnumbered.} I have no doubt this will add a whole new list of challenges to my work-from-home life, so until this baby comes, I am working on getting my life in better working order. For me, a tech addict, this means cutting the tech clutter in my life so I can be the best parent and social media manager as possible.

These are the adjustments I am currently working on:

  • Decluttering my personal email. I used Unroll.Me, which helps to unsubscribe from lists and “roll” those email subscriptions you want but don’t really need daily, into one email. I can quickly glance through this email to determine if there’s anything I can’t live without.
  • Getting rid of apps that take away from my kids. For example, I’ve stopped using Foursquare. I love it, but taking time to check-in when I’m with my kids is just pure chaos. Plus, ya’ll don’t need to know how often we go to our favorite pizza joint.
  • Turning off nearly ALL Facebook notifications. I was getting a ridiculous amount of notifications for groups I am in. I turned them all off. If I need something, I will seek out those groups.
  • Hiding people who bring me down on Facebook. You know those friends that post negativity all the time? Yeah, I have a few of those. I truly love those folks, I just couldn’t handle the doom and gloom on a daily basis, so I hid them…and deleted a few folks, too.
  • Trying not to insert my opinion on Facebook. This is a hard one for me because I am super opinionated and an emotional Facebook user {I get very worked up over silly things like politics and mommy ignorance}. What I’ve learned though, is that whatever I say typically doesn’t matter. So why try to offer my perspective to a stranger unless it truly is something that will help them? I’d rather invest my words in people I know care or just private message them. This one has been a hard habit to break because I like feeling helpful, and I just FEEL so much.
  • Turning off all phone notifications. I don’t get any notifications on my phone for emails or social networks. I don’t need another distraction while I’m out. With kids, I’m usually only gone from my home for a couple of hours. Unless I am attending a social media event, anything to do with being “online” can wait until I get home.
  • Putting the phone away — period. There’s no excuse unless you are alone with nobody to talk to. Nothing is THAT important.
  • Ignoring all tech between 5-8 p.m. Unless it’s a client emergency, or I know it’s going to be a quick conversation, it can wait until the kids are in bed. That is our family time and the time our kids are the most needy. I need to be present.
  • When I am online, trying to make the best use of my time. Stay on task — for example, finish drafting client content before starting a blog post or moving on to my next task. Avoid getting distracted by the rabbit hole of the Internet…and only have a few tabs open at once {another HARD one for me!}.

I have to say, just making these small changes has made me feel worlds better. I want to truly be present for my kids and these are simple fixes for me. I am excited for a more productive 2014!

What techy decluttering tips do you have?

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