Sweet Tiny Blessings

Month: May 2015

Prepare Your Children For College With Florida Prepaid

Disclosure: I wrote this post on behalf of Florida Prepaid  and Bloggin’ Mamas and received compensation to thank me for my time.  All opinions regarding Florida Prepaid and the 529 Plan are my own and were not influenced by other sources.

What do you want to be when you grow up?  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know the answer to this question.  I always wanted to be a teacher.  I remember playing school outside the bottom steps of my childhood home, using a stick as my pointer.  I wanted to be just like my teachers.

As I grew older, that passion became stronger and stronger.  And as time came closer to graduating high school, my mind was set on finding the perfect college for a degree in Education.  I couldn’t wait to dive in and learn what it really meant to be an educator.

I was blessed that my grandparents created a Florida Prepaid Savings Plan for me and my brothers at a young age.  With the plan, I was not only able to pay for tuition, I could use the investment towards textbooks and room and board, as well.  This was a huge weight off my shoulders.

Thank you Florida Prepaid for helping my little girl dreams come true (left: preschool graduation, right: college graduation)

Florida Prepaid is the largest, longest running and most successful program in the nation.  They offer two types of saving options: Prepaid Plans and 529 savings plans.  There are five different types of Prepaid Plans and they can only be purchased during open enrollment (usually October through February).

The Florida 529 Savings Plan can be started at any time and only requires a $25 initial deposit to open.  Even if you can’t save for your child’s entire college education, this gives you the option to support them within your means.

The Florida 529 Savings Plan offers you ultimate flexibility.  Simply choose from the investment options, then contribute as much or as often as you would like to suit your budget and goals.  Each investment option is independently run by professional investment managers.  There are 11 investment options that allow you to invest in any way you feel comfortable.  As the years go by, you are free to change contribution amounts and how they are allocated at any time.

May 29th is National 529 day and there is no better time to learn more about how you can save for your child’s future.  Learn more and sign up today at My Florida Prepaid!

Hillsong United’s New Album: Empires + Giveaway

Disclosure:  I wrote this post on behalf of Propeller Consulting, LLC and received a promotional item to thank me for my time.  All views and opinions regarding Hillsong United and their album Empires are my own and were not influenced by other sources.

I tempered the storm
Though your faith was small
I prayed while you slept
And the night waged war
We stood in the fire
And we walked on sea
And we drank of the wine
That was made of Me . . .
Lift up your eyes and see
Heaven is closer than you know
Lift up your voice and sing
Know that My love won’t let you go
And I won’t forsake you
These are some of the beautiful lyrics you’ll find on Hillsong United’s new album, Empires! UNITED are committed to writing songs that speak truth, create a unique sound and connect people everywhere with God.  UNITED serve in church as a part of the wider Hillsong Worship and Creative team when they are home.  When on tour, they are accompanied by the whole Hillsong team’s support and prayers that their ministry would arrest hearts and point to Jesus, impacting individuals, local youth groups and local churches.  
EMPIRES was released on May 26th!  Check them out on tour this summer or see their performance from the TODAY show last month.  Stay connected with Hillsong United on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Want a chance to win a copy of EMPIRE?  Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor, Propeller/FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win.

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First Dance Recital + Dance Teacher Gift Ideas

This past semester, Big C joined Acro Dance.  This has been the first class she has taken without her mommy.  I thought I would be able to watch her classes from the side line, but they have been in a room where I know Little M would only get in the way.

So I had no idea what was going on in the classes except for the little bit of info Big C and her teacher would share with me each day.  Some days Big C loved class and other days she wouldn’t be as excited.

I had no idea what to expect when it came to her recital.  I know she had been practicing hard and I would see her do some moves in the living room while watching tv.  But when she hit the stage, my mommy heart could not have been any prouder.  It wasn’t precise, but it was so perfect in my eyes.  I could tell she worked so hard.

When I picked her up at the end, she was glowing with excitement and was so proud of herself.  She absolutely loved the stage.  She was invited up to the next level in the Fall.  So we’ll try it out again and see if she continues to enjoy it.

With all the love and hard work her teacher gave, we wanted to give her something special.  What would I do without Pinterest?  It didn’t come out perfect and I thought for sure it would be another “Nailed It” Pinterest fail, but I think we did okay.

The first one is a dance costume with tutu fingerprints.  I used Sandra M Designs as inspiration.  We used a canvas, finger paint, ribbon and sticker jewels.  Big C chose blue because that’s her favorite color.

I also found this cute idea and free printout tags from Love The Day!
Does your child take up a special activity?

What’s In Your Sandwich?

Disclosure: I wrote this post on behalf Applegate and received promotional items to thank me for my time.  All opinions regarding Applegate and their products are my own were not influenced by other sources.

We were so excited that we were going to receive everything we needed to have a fun and yummy picnic from Applegate . . . bread, meat, cheese, mayo, mustard, picnic blanket, ring toss, napkins and even recipes!

Unfortunately, when the package arrived, I was stuck in bed with one of the worst colds I’d had in a long time.  I was so bummed!  My husband took on the kid duties and took really good care of me. Instead of going on a picnic for lunch we paired our yummy sandwich with chicken noodle soup.

I chose ham and american cheese on Rudi’s gluten free multigrain bread, with Sir Kensington’s mayo. It was one of the best homemade sandwiches I had in a long time.  And the best part, it’s antibiotic free and all natural.

What’s in your sandwich?

Bye Bye Baby

I tossed the last baby bottle a couple of weeks ago.  THE. LAST. BOTTLE.  I didn’t think it would be so hard to say good bye to the baby years.  But as I start to sort through, donate and get rid of all the baby stuff, my momma heart is having trouble letting go.

We knew even before Little M was conceived, we only wanted two children.  And I still feel and know that this is it.  But sometimes I wish I could rewind knowing all that I know now.  Maybe not. Maybe there is nothing I would do differently.  Except have more confidence in myself as a mom. Especially in the infant years.

Now Little M is considered a toddler.  That’s crazy to me.  It seems like it happened so quickly, yet so dreadfully slow.  There have been many parts of Little M’s infancy that made it very hard for me to enjoy.  Reflux, colic, sleep issues, to name a few.

Big C and Little M have very different personalities.  When Big C was a baby, I often wondered if she even knew I was her mommy.  She was so independent, did not like to be cuddled and thrived around being with others.  Little M, on the other hand, has been one that needs his mommy or daddy’s touch constantly.  His unpredictability and slow to reach milestones have been tough for this mama’s heart.

Despite the fact that the infant years were extremely hard for me.  It’s hard to say bye bye to my babies.  But I know that I’m beyond blessed to have survived them (wink).  I’m looking forward to Big C attending half days of school in the Fall (sort of, I’m going to miss her), so that I can have some much needed one on one time with my busy boy.

Did you know when you were done having children?  Was it hard to make that decision?

Daddy Loves You So Much Children’s Book + Giveaway

Disclosure:  I wrote this post on behalf of Tommy Nelson and received a promotional item to thank me for my time.  All opinions regarding Tommy Nelson and this book are my own and were not influenced by other sources.

With Father’s Day just around the corner, I knew my little guy and his daddy would appreciate this book, Daddy Loves You So Much!  It’s such a sweet book for daddy to read to Little M before bedtime.  The padded board book is perfect for any little one.  It features little animals doing many things with their daddies, just like children do with their fathers.

You can purchase the same book Little M has for $9.99 from TommyNelson.com or choose from a variety of other faith products.  Stay connected with Tommy Nelson on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
Tommy Nelson is giving away one Daddy Loves You So Much children’s book to one blessed reader!  Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  This giveaway is open to US residents only.

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EXHALE Album Review + Giveaway

Disclosure: I wrote this post on behalf of Propeller Consulting, LLC and received a promotional item to thank me for my time.  All opinions regarding this album are my own and were not influenced by other sources.

The only thing I usually listen to on the radio is contemporary christian.  Both of my kids enjoy it too. When I popped in PLUMB’s new album, EXHALE, Big C immediately recognized some of the songs from the radio.

Tiffany Arbuckle Lee is better known by her stage name, Plumb.  She’s a songwriter, recording artist, performer and author.  Plumb has sold more then 500,000 albums and co-wrote songs for other artists, including Michelle Branch, Mandisa, Mandy Moore, Jaci Valasquez and Natalie Grant. Originally, Plumb was signed as a Christian Contemporary Music artist in 1997, but is also known for alternative rock, electronic dance music and music in movies and television.

The album, EXHALE, expresses a new focus and vision.  After the runaway success of NEED YOU NOW, which coincided with her own moving story of brokenness and healing, Exhale brims with worshipful songs of gratitude and hope.

I’m absolutely in love with this album.  I feel like anyone who has been through pain will be able to relate to this beautiful album, as well.  Stay connected to Plumb on her website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all her latest songs and tours.  You can pre-order EXHALE on itunes for $9.99.

Propeller Consulting, LLC is giving away one copy of EXHALE to one blessed reader.  Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  Open to US residents only.  One entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor in the last 30 days or won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win.

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A Weekend Getaway

My husband and I rarely get to have time to ourselves.  But since moving back to Florida, we’ve had more opportunities to do so.  This past weekend, we traveled to Orlando for my cousin’s beautiful wedding.  We were able to stay out as late as we wanted because we wouldn’t have kids climbing in our bed at wee hours of the morning.  And we got to sleep in!

The next day, Big C’s aunt, uncle and cousins brought her up to our Disney hotel and we all went swimming.  We enjoyed a yummy dinner, then headed back to our room for a good night sleep.  The next day, we met up with family again and had a great time at Epcot!

We have one more Disney pass to use and hope to go to Hollywood Studios!

What is your favorite Disney theme park?