Wednesday, June 21, 2017

We Are Moving!

All week long on YouTube, we've dropped the BIG news... we have a BIG change ahead.... we are MOVING!



And yes, yes... we have moved a number of times in the past. So the moving itself isn't the newest thing - however this move is something all new for us because we will be moving some place we have never lived before, and my husband also took a job with a brand new company to him after working directly or indirectly for the same company for the past decade.

This change came at a time when it was much needed in our lives. The emotional ups and downs of the past year had taken their toll and my husband was in a stressful position at his previous job, just because of the type of demands of that career field. After talking about it a number of times, we decided that maybe a change was in store and initially he was looking at opening up his resume to find a position in the metro Detroit area, just with a different company in the area.

However an interesting thing happened. Early on after he opened his resume up, he was found by a head hunter (basically person trying to fill a specific position for a specific company) in the southern region of the United States that thought he would be the perfect fit a position located in the South. At first we were skeptical, this surely couldn't be for us? We had moved eight times in the previous 11 years of marriage. We were tired of moving! We were ready to put down roots! The kids were getting older!

My husband looked into the position and new company, and the more information he found out - the more interested he became. The company deals in a segment that my husband is VERY interested in, and previously has had a lot of fun past times dealing with it as a hobby, so he knew their subject matter well. Then came the interesting fact that when we started comparing to our northern home in north metro Detroit - we realized that the cost of living in the new location would be significantly less, to buy a home and maintain it, than our current home here. And also that we could downsize a bit as well to save more money and make the most of it.



The company flew him down for an interview and all of the stars started aligning. He was offered the position and we did dwell over it for a few days to make sure we were making the right move. After weighing all of the pros and cons, we decided to take a leap of faith - and make the change.

The exciting things about this move, are that we will be closer to family - our new location is only 4 hours away from where my mom and stepdad live in the southern part of Illinois, the weather will be MUCH better down there (no more harsh winters! yay!), the lifestyle would lend itself to more of an outdoor lifestyle which we had been missing, there were lots of fun day trip adventures within driving distance of our new location, and, drumroll.... we would be closer to Walt Disney World!

Check out some of our thoughts and how we announced the move HERE:



All of these things combined with the fact that we felt like if we did this move it would help us to further along our financial goals made us to decide to take that leap of faith and give it a go.

So now on YouTube, moving vlogs are in full swing! Follow along on YouTube as we move from southeast Michigan to the southern part of the United States!

WHERE are we going?? Check out this vlog to find out!!



So exciting things are in store for us! I'll be sharing it all along on YouTube and on my blog! As always with moving, I've learned from previous moves that sometimes uploading on a regular schedule can be tough when you're right in the middle of it, due to staying at places with slower Internet speeds, travel days, and just plain being busy in the middle of a bunch of boxes! However I will do my best to keep at least a few videos a week scheduled, you may see me using the "LIVE" feature a bit more often when it is the best option for me to film an update, and also be sure to follow me in Instagram (@beingmommywithstyle) and Facebook, because I try to update regularly at those places as well!

More moving updates coming up this week and the next include a video with the girls and what they thing about moving! A look at how I staged our home to put it on the market, a weekend in the life moving edition vlog, and more!

Join us on our greatest adventure yet! Being Mommy with Style... goes South!



**This is not sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Father's Day Gift Giving Ideas!

Father's Day 2017 is fast approaching and in case you're still searching for the perfect gift, I've come up with a few ideas to share! Mr. BeingDaddywithStyle also has a summer birthday, so it is a season of gift giving for the man in my life, and to be honest - while I think I have shopping for girls nailed, I find that shopping for men can be quite hard sometimes! I've come up with three categories to make gift giving easier!

Three simple gift giving categories: The personalized, the utilitarian, and the practical!


The Personalized


I recently partnered with SprezzaBox to unbox one of their men's fashion boxes, which can be a monthly subscription box service or one time purchase box - and I thought these were a great way to get a number of items that go well together at one time through a quick and easy online purchase! Each box is uniquely tailored to suit a certain personality and vibe. I opened "The Belmont" box, which was the box of the month for May 2017.




Check out my SprezzaBox unboxing here:



Personalized items could also be related to their favorite sports team, a hobby, or upcoming vacation plans! Mr. BeingDaddywithStyle doesn't have particular teams he follows, so I usually steer away from sports related gifts, but when we have upcoming vacations planned, items he can use on vacation are always great!

The Utilitarian


So let's just say... I'm not the most handy around the house - that's why I married a man that IS. He already has a full line of tools in a massive tool box around our house, so getting more tools would not be an option for gift giving for me. (Like I would know what he was lacking anyways, am I right ladies?) However, for the man in your life that likes to work on things in the garage, I've found a quick and simple gift idea could be getting a gift card to a store like Harbor Freight (a giant tool warehouse store that I refer to as "the Sephora for men" to hubby), and that way they can go pick out something for an upcoming project that they might have in mind already!

Click pic for product info on Polyvore, most products from Harbor Freight.

The Practical


One essential gift giving category that I always go to for the men closest to me in life is practical! Who does love a practical gift you know will get tons of use out of it?!? Hanes is one of my husband's favorite undergarment brands, which I talked about in our Disney SMMC Hanes unboxing video. He has worn their socks and undershirts for years - basically since I first met him! These are items that I love to add in his wardrobe because I know they are going to be comfortable, they are going to last, and they are something he will get a lot of use out of over the year!

Hanes was awesome and sent Mr. BeingDaddywithStyle a surprise Father's Day gift, shown below - to try out some of their Superior Softness ComfortBlend tees. They want to share the softness with you as well!! As a part of the Hanes Father's Day Big Softy Giveaway!



You could win a chance to try Hanes Superior Soft T-shirts! Or even win a $50 Hanes Visa Gift Card!

Enter to win below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you have a wonderful Father's Day and a great start to summer!



** Items shown in this post were received complimentary. All opinions are my own. All giveaway items are being supplied by a third company and BeingMommywithStyle is not responsible for shipment or transfer for these items. If you win, you agree to the terms of the giveaway and that your address information will be forwarded to Hanes to have your giveaway items sent to your mailing address. See giveway link for more details.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Spring & Summer Style

Spring is finally in full effect here in Michigan, which seems funny to say since it will technically summer soon! With the kids still in school for another week, and the weather just now starting to warm up consistently... it feels like spring is a very short season here! I'm welcoming the warmer weather, along with the style changes that come along with it! Check out some of the Spring and early Summer style picks I'm liking right now!

Spring & Summer Style Picks

Home Style

For home style, I've enjoyed adding in more faux greenery around the house that gives the room a fresh feeling and brighten the rooms up when you chose a light colored or green accent floral. I've gravitated towards white floral pieces or all greenery pieces and added them into rooms like the family room, kitchen - and even the master bathroom! It gives the room a subtle calming feeling and I think it helps the room feel more put together!

Some faux greenery I've added around the house - on entry way table is from Hobby Lobby.


Check out some my favorite faux greenery finds in my Home Decor Haul video and take a tour around our house to see some of my favorite greenery accents:



I've also been adding in some REAL greenery here and there as well. Fresh flowers are one of my favorite Spring treats to myself. I tend to pick them up at Trader Joe's, based on convenience (it's located near our house) and also selection. I think they have a great range of florals in my favorite colors for decorating.

Some fresh flowers on the kitchen table freshen up the space!


Kid Style

Warmer weather means more sundresses! Picture taken at Detroit Zoo.

The girls are of course growing as quickly as the greenery outside, and the change of seasons is always a great time to stock up on items for the new size they are going in to! This season, Isabella is going into some size 7 clothing, and still in size 6 for some items - Natalie is in a size 5 top, and size 4 bottom. For dresses, we are sticking in the 4/5, 5/6, and 6/7 ranges. Recently, I have tried a number of dresses from the clothing company Eleanor Rose, which makes classic style children's clothing which has more of a handmade or more customized feel to it than box store clothing. We are loving the dresses we have added in and shared some of the first ones we purchased in a recent girls' clothing haul:



I've also added to that since then, so I'll have to share what we've added in an upcoming haul video! And we are still loving clothing staples for kid's from Gymboree and Target! I just recently put in a Gymboree order to pick out some items from their mermaid line, and we've also found some great Tsum Tsum pajamas at Target.

Natalie in a dress by Eleanor Rose


We're still loving shoes from companies like Livie & Luca, that we've been purchasing for a number of years! I've added a few new pairs in each of the girls new respective shoe sizes, as they both recently jumped into new shoe sizes as well!

Natalie's preschool graduation outfit was an Eleanor Rose dress paired with Livie & Luca petals shoes!

Mom Style


I also like to freshen up my own wardrobe when the seasons change and add in some great pieces that I can mix and match with my functional wardrobe basics that I use from season to season. I might use the same pair of Apt 9 jeans (that are actually capris, but can be double duty if rolled down since I'm short!) in winter that I would use in Spring, and just change the tops and accessories that I would wear with it.

Screenshot from a video - wearing one of my infamous long cardigans!
Long flowy cardigans from Nordstrom have been one of my wardrobe staples the past few years, I particularly like the Bobeau brand and can alawys usually find pieces when I stop in that will work great for me. Over the years, I've collected the Bobeau long cardigans in a rainbow of colors and I use those over printed tanks to interchange with different looks. I find this works really well for me, because I feel polished and the outfit is still fun, while working with the demands (read: running after a child) of mom life!

Here were some of my early Spring finds in this haul video:



And I will have another late spring clothing haul coming up soon! I've been finding lots of great shirts at Marshall's this season. (On Rae Dunn hunting runs, if we have to be honest.) And I've also been finding some great wardrobe pieces for really affordable prices at - Charming Charlie!! Of all places!! So more on that in my upcoming haul (part 2) video!

New sign I purchased on Etsy from SouthernDunn.

Overall, the warmer weather and the prospect of summer ahead to be able to spend more quality time with the girls is exciting!! What are you loving for home style, kid style, and mom style this Spring?



** This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Toledo Zoo for Kids

We went to Toledo Zoo on Mother's Day 2017, which was a short drive from the metro Detroit area and only took about an hour drive despite some ongoing construction along the usual route to get there. (I-75 South is current closed for the next year while being rebuilt, and you will have to use a detour to get there from the metro Detroit area at the current time. The northbound route is still open at the time of writing this.)



Toledo Zoo Lights Before Christmas


During the Toledo Zoo Lights Before Christmas celebration on a rare "warmer" (warm being used relative here) day in November. It was a great time and we loved getting a chance to look around the zoo for the first time. Some of the exhibits were closed and some animals were moved inside since it was still the middle of winter- so we knew we wanted to stop by in the warmer months to see it again!


The zoo becomes a winter wonderland in November and December!


Mother's Day at the Toledo Zoo


On Mother's Day, the weather was finally nice here in the metro Detroit area, so we thought a trip down to Toledo Zoo would be a great outing for our special day! We didn't know it when we planned the trip - but a nice bonus we found out about after arriving was that mothers actually got into the zoo free that day too!

Panda statues at Toledo Zoo


We had a great time checking out the polar bear exhibit, which is always a favorite of mine when we visit zoos. The polar bears at Toledo Zoo seem to be especially playful and like to play with toys in the water. The giraffe area was closed off on that weekend, so we grabbed a Dip'N'Dots ice cream treat since it was a fairly warm day and headed across the bridge to the other side of the zoo.

Mother's Day Treats!

What the other side of the bridge looks like in warmer months!

Toledo Zoo Aquarium


Toledo Zoo received funds a few years to do improvements to the zoo, including an all new aquarium area. We had seen this one our trip to Zoo Lights, but I knew we wanted to check it out again. The aquarium is well laid out with a wide variety of species and sizes of fish life!





Lots to do at Toledo Zoo for Kids


One of our favorite parts of the Toledo Zoo actually has few animal exhibits in its area - but is especially designed for kids! Nature's Neighborhood is an area especially designed for little ones to play, explore, and learn! My girls loved this area and we spent the last few hours at the zoo doing different activities here!



There is a great climbing and play structure that the girls can slide and climb on, adjacent to that is an area that was closed in the winter, but we had a chance to try out on our Mother's Day trip to play... the Stream! This was a hit because the girls took off their shoes and socks to play in the water and build mini dams with stones and sticks provided.

Climb, run, jump, and play!
The Stream ended up being a quick favorite!









We stopped for a snack at the snack bar area there in Nature's Neighborhood, and then went into the Home Sweet Home and Forest areas to explore animal life there.


There's even a special area for babies!


 Natalie enjoyed being a bee!


Playing in "the woods"!





It was a fun day and as Detroit Zoo members we received a discount off of admission of the tickets we purchased that day. (Which only turned out to be 1 adult and 2 children since moms were free!) It was around $25 after our Detroit Zoo Association discount and a great day trip! Check out more about Toledo Zoo's hours and special summer activities here: https://www.toledozoo.org/



** This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Our Week Long Spring Break Road Trip Adventure



A majority of families tend to take a week or less of vacation according to a recent survey by Alamo Rent A Car. I thought the results of their 2017 Family Vacation Survey were interesting and a number of them reflected our own personal vacation choices as well! We typically take a week or less of vacation ourselves, and then opt to take a few vacations over the course of the year, a week-long vacation is also what we did for Spring Break this year.

Spring Break is the perfect time to get away as the weather is warming up and this year we decided to hit the road to go on the first road trip we had done with the girls in a long while! We visited my mom and stepdad in southern Illinois which was around a 9 hour drive from our house. Before the trip, I had looked into plane flight prices, but the costs for flights were high since it was Spring Break week and we would have needed to drive an additional 2 hours travel time from St. Louis airport to get to where my mom's house is located... so we opted instead to hit the road and go on a 9 hour road trip journey to southern Illinois!

All packed and ready to go! 

Hitting the Road

We left Michigan on Friday night after the girls were done with school and my husband was off of work, and split the trip into two parts, stopping just north of Indianapolis to spend the night at a hotel before making our way into Illinois the following morning. I had a number of entertainment items on hand for the girls, in addition to our car DVD players and iPad activities, which worked great for them to have something to do in the car!

Road Trip Boredum Busters


Check out our Kid's Road Trip Boredom Busters Road Trip Entertainment in this video:



Sights around southern Illinois

The girls had a great time visiting with family, checking out local playgrounds, and seeing some local foliage we don't have in Michigan!




It was a relaxing Spring Break and we even took time to have professional photos done of the girls while we were there! We had a great time exploring and taking time out for play as well.


A week long family vacation

Since we spent a part of two days traveling on both the trip down to Illinois and back to Michigan, it did take a day off of our vacation time we could spend with family while there, but we still had lots of fun and it made the driving less tiring for the adults! All total, our trip was 7 days, and we arrived home on a Thursday afternoon in Michigan after splitting the return lag again on a Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, so that my husband could be back in the office on Friday morning.

Traveling all day is tiring!


As I have talked about in previous vacation videos, our family prefers to take a week or less of vacation on our own vacations. This time length works well for our family to be able to get vacation time off from my husband's work for our family to get away, yet not miss too much that goes on at work while he is away.  Also, with the kid's school schedules it usually tends to be easiest to take shorter vacations as well. It was interesting to find out that a majority of respondents to the 2017 Alamo Rent A Car Family Vacation Survey also prefer to take a week or less of vacation at a time.

In fact, of those who responded to the Alamo Rent A Car Family Vacation Survey, 36% of families take an average of three to five days of vacation at a time, while 38% of families take a six to seven day vacation. Married households and households with an annual income above $75K are also significantly more likely to take a six to seven day vacation.

For many families a week tends to be the optimal time length for vacations, as I've seen reflected in our own family life. I feel like a week is the longest we can be away from our "regular" lives, my husband's work, school commitments, my regular YouTube editing routine, without it being difficult to get caught up after returning from vacation. We also like being able to take vacations throughout the year, and because of the amount of vacation time my husband is allotted, it makes more sense for us to take a few week long vacations as opposed to one single long vacation.

It was wonderful to get away on our Spring Break Road Trip Adventure and get recharged for a few days! I'm looking forward to our next family getaway! Learn more about the Alamo Rent A Car Family Vacation Survey results and be sure to check out Alamo Rent A Car's Scenic Route for tips, tricks, and inspiration to plan your next family vacation!





Sources: 2017 Alamo Rent A Car Family Vacation Survey

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

#DisneyKids Preschool Playdate Party: The Magic is Endless

We received a box of fun goodies from Walt Disney World to host our own #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate to celebrate Natalie's preschool class graduating from Pre-K4 this year and heading to kindergarten next school year! We had a great time celebrating with her friends and we had lots of endless magical fun!



Check out our unboxing of the box that Disney sent us!



On party day, Natalie was so excited to host her friends, she wore one of her favorite Disney customs - that we routinely wear on our Walt Disney World vacations - and picked one that had multiple princesses on it, because she just couldn't chose one! I wore one of my favorite princess shirts that also had multiple princesses on it, so we had a more the merrier theme for characters this year!





I kept things simple with food this year, and served light snack and finger foods. We've been cutting down on sugar for our own girls, so I did serve cookies but cut out serving cupcakes this year. There were chicken and swiss rolls from Costco, Mickey inspired fruit, pretzels, and cheese!





At the party, the kids were able to dress up as their favorite Disney character, we had plenty of Disney toys for them to play with, and we also played fun games like Disney Character Charades, Disney Fab Fortune Teller, and find the Hidden Mickeys! I had 8 Hidden Mickeys around the house it was adorable watching the kids run around trying to find them all!



We also made a few fun crafts - a Solo cup Enchanted Rose, inspired by Disney's Beauty and the Beast - and some Michael's foam character crafts!


Watch our #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate on YouTube!




All in all, it was a wonderful time spent with friends and we thank Disney for the extra magic they provided us for the playdate! Disney magic is truly endless even when it is inspiring fun at home!

If you're looking for more party planning ideas, check out our Disney Playdates from previous years as well!!

2016 #DisneyKids Playdate - Princess Theme!

2015 Disney Side @Home Celebration - Princess & Pals Theme!




** We were sent complimentary items from Walt Disney World for purposes of hosting a Disney Kids playdate. All opinions are my own.