Entertaining with Aladdin

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on April 14, 2014

I love a good party, and everyone who knows me knows this is true. Lately, however, the pressure of achieving entertaining perfection makes cuddling up with my kiddos and hubby to watch a good movie sound like the better choice! This is where the Aladdin Mason Entertaining Collection comes in incredibly handy for at least one crazy busy mama. The super cute, mix & match assortment of durable and dishwasher-safe beverage containers can turn any ol’ occasion into a great one in a snap.

Entertaining with Aladdin

Because Aladdin makes it so easy to create the perfect party environment, I decided to have a party to welcome Spring! Of course, the colorful mason cups, tumblers, pitchers, and dispenser were on full display for all to see. Each of my guests went home with a bag full of their very own Aladdin goodies, too.

Never again will I host a party without the help of Aladdin. Set up was fun, socializing with my friends and neighbors free of distraction, and clean up a breeze.

Our Welcome Spring Party with Aladdin

Disclosure: I was compensated for the creation of this post. All Aladdin products pictured were received for the purpose of sharing.

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#Disconnect2Reconnect :: Unplugging at the Table

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on March 27, 2014

Do you ever feel like technology and online social networks are taking over, robbing you of precious time with your spouse and kids? Even though being online is our livlihood, it also tends to suck the very life out of our family, on occasion. But it doesn’t have to be that way, which is why we decided that our family would commit to being technology-free during every evening meal AND all day on Sundays, allowing our family to reconnect.

Of course, when I heard of the Disconnect to Reconnect movement, I jumped on board. This movement is dedicated to getting families to unplug at the table for at least one meal, once a week. Re-create a family tradition, create a new one, or simply just enjoy each other’s company.

Disconnect to Reconnect

There’s no social network more important or engaging than your family. And there’s no better place to disconnect from devices and reconnect with each other than at the dinner table. That’s why we’re encouraging families to pledge to share at least one technology-free meal each week. Let’s help family mealtime go viral.

Will you commit with us to unplug for at least one meal, once a week? There is a virtual pledge on PowerofFamilyMeals.com that I would like to encourage you to print and sign, as family, as a commitment to unplugging for at least one family meal a week.

Perhaps the meal you decide to dedicate to family time, free of distractions, is Sunday brunch. Or how about breakfast for dinner? To help kick start your commitment, I’d like to offer a chance to win a breakfast for dinner kit, valued at approx. $125.

Disconnect to Reconnect Giveaway

The Breakfast for Dinner giveaway includes:

Presto Jumbo Cool Touch electric griddle (1)
7-piece kitchen utensil set with stand (1)
Family Talk conversation game (1)
Smucker’s Strawberry Natural Squeeze jam (1)
JIF Creamy Peanut Butter (1)
JIF Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (1)
Folger’s Classic Roast (1)
Hungry Jack Breakfast Syrup (1)
Hungry Jack Complete Pancake and Waffle Mix (2)
Martha White Banana Nut Muffin Mix (2)
Crisco No-Stick Cooking Spray (1)
Martha White All-Purpose Flour (1)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I have been compensated for this post and giveaway. All opinions and thoughts are my own, of course.

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Spring Wardrobe Staples at Walmart

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on March 22, 2014

To be honest, Walmart isn’t the first place that comes to mind when planning a shopping trip to find clothing for myself. I’m one who loves to find fashionable items at small boutique shops, and I tend to look for items that are fresh and different.

BUT, when shopping for wardrobe staples, Walmart IS my first stop shop. Especially in the Spring, when I am updating my tanks, tees, and leggings. In fact, you just can’t beat the $3.96 price tag on the Faded Glory tanks, especially since they carry 27 colors and designs.

With just 3 Faded Glory Ribbed Tanks from Walmart I have created 5 fun outfits.

5 ways to wear a tank

1. A Night Out with the Girls
Black leggings, red tank, black jacket, a great necklace, and fab heels.

2. Running Errands
My favorite jeans, cream tank, mustard sweater, silver and gold necklace, and leapord print flats

3. An Afternoon at the Park
Grey leggings, blue camo tank, and my fave Texas pendant. A pair of flip flops would complete this outfit, but I end up taking my shoes off at the park. Don’t you?

4. Blog Conference Time
George pencil skirt, cream tank, thick black belt, fab necklace, and black heels. I’ll grab my black jacket, too, since it’s always cold in conference rooms.

5. Lunch with the Family
My favorite jeans (rolled a few times), red tank, the owl necklace Timmy got me for Christmas, and a great pair of black sandals.

Now, as you can see, I wear tanks with just about everything. You just can’t wrong with them, whether you want a casual or dressy look. It doesn’t matter if you are sporting jeans, skirts, or shorts. I wear them under tees, jackets, and sweaters. I have one in just about every color, more than one in black, and several in white. I even like to layer colors, add some accesories, and voila! A great outfit is born.

Walmart even has some items your guy may like. Their men’s polos (by George) are only $9.94, and come in 30 different colors.

George polos

Walmart-Moms-Disclaimer-2014

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Cruisin’ on Royal Carribean #SeasTheDay

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on March 21, 2014

I am blessed with some amazing blogging friends, experiences, and opportunities. A few years ago, Ray and I went to New Orleans on one of the very first Brandcations – #BOBNOLA. While I had a great time, I was 7 months pregnant and it was oh-so-hot and sticky. I am very much looking forward to my next Brandcation adventure – A cruise on Royal Carribean with 39 old and new blogging buddies!

#SeasTheDay

We set sail in a little over a week, and I have tons to do before then. In fact, I still need to make it to the passport office, do some shopping, pack my bags, and make a quick trip to Cali!

But, let’s not get distracted… On this 5 day/4 night cruise, we will be going to Cozumel, Mexico and will get to see and experience all that the Liberty of the Seas has to offer. I can’t wait to explore the ship and share with you all it has to offer, from ice skating to surfing, and more! We’ll also be getting a behind the scenes tour of the ship, so stay tuned for lots of photos and info.

Liberty of the Seas

Follow along on our adventures – on the ship and in Cozumel – with the hashtag #SeasTheDay. And be sure to keep an eye on my Facebook page and Instagram stream!

Is there anything you’d like to know about cruising on Royal Carribean, or about the Liberty of the Seas ship? MAybe I’ll get a chance to find an answer for you!

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Letting Go

February 25, 2014

It’s incredible, this parenting gig, right from the start. Flitters of movement, seeing my precious babies for the first time, giggling and cooing, cuddling and snuggling, silly faces and goofy grins. Having heart to heart conversations late at night, hearing “mama” from my three year old right on up to my 13 year old, being a [...]

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Read Across America with Dr. Seuss

February 23, 2014

Dr. Seuss books are some of my all-time favorites. In fact, if I remember correctly, Hop on Pop and Green Eggs and Ham were among the very first books I ever read all by myself. When Ray graduated from UCLA, his aunt gave him Oh, the Places You’ll Go! with a beautiful sentiment written inside. [...]

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I Have Not the Patience to be Crafty

February 13, 2014

I have a confession. I am not crafty. No, that’s not true. I could be, if I wanted to be. But, I really don’t want to be. Actually, I do want to be crafty and make all of these cute hand-made gifts around this time of year (and at Christmas… and Easter… and well, any [...]

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Look At That Smile! {what Invisalign can do for a teen’s confidence level}

February 12, 2014

Ethan and Zach officially began their Invisalign treatment last April when they had their very first scans done. We were told they would need to wear the aligners for 18 months, and we were all anxious to see the results. Little did we know how quickly we would see a difference. Not only did we [...]

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A Real Look at an Afternoon Outing

February 10, 2014

Yesterday was one of those days in the Texas hill country that made me think that Spring was on it’s way. With temperatures in the low 70s, it was a perfect day for soaking in some sunshine. So, after church we drove down to Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin. It’s looks like we had [...]

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Benefits of Grapefruit and Lemon Essential Oils

February 7, 2014

Every time I open Facebook, I see another friend mention that they or their children are sick. It just makes my heart hurt to see people I know and love sick and miserable. While we’ve certainly been there – there is no magic cure, after all – we have been doing lots to build our [...]

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Make it a Wine Night with Mad Housewife

January 30, 2014

Most often these days I am pitched toys, games, or some other item for the whole family. Which is way cool, but every now and then an offer will show up in my email inbox that is something just for me. An offer that I have to accept, simply because I don’t have to share [...]

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Keep Your Dog Healthy with Pure Balance

January 29, 2014

Have you met Caesar? He’s the lovable, crazy, gangly teenage doggy we have running through our house, causing  all kinds of trouble. Constantly. We love him, though. Aside from wanting desperately to make.him.stop.whining, we really do love him. And because we love him so, we want him to stay healthy and strong. Which is why I [...]

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Great Valentine’s Day Ideas for the Whole Family

January 28, 2014

Valentine’s Day can be a day to celebrate your love for each other as an entire family. There are so many great activities and goodies that everyone can enjoy together. Here are some great ideas. (Most of them incredibly easy for this craft-challenged mama!) Follow Christine Young’s board Valentine Ideas For Kiddos on Pinterest. Ray [...]

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Another “Snow” Day Means Movie Day

January 28, 2014

The weather here in Texas is so strange in the winter. Although the temps are falling way lower than a typical winter, I’m told it’s pretty normal for it to drop or rise in temperature almost 30 degrees overnight. I saw the following image yesterday on a friend’s Facebook page and giggled. With snow fall [...]

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Keep Your Floors Clean with Swiffer

January 27, 2014

Keeping the floors clean with kiddos in the house is not easy. There always seems to be a mess, especially with so much wood… The Swiffer Sweep & Trap has become one of my newest must-have tools. We use it every day. It has soft, rotating blades to pick up large pieces of food and trash [...]

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A Day in the Life of an Oiler {Our Typical Monday}

January 20, 2014

Are you here from The Pennington Point? Well, Welcome!! Now that I’ve shared a bit about my journey using Young Living essential oils, I’m sure you’re wondering what it looks like on a daily basis, right? Well, many people are curious about what it looks like to use essential oils regularly and so my friend [...]

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#Safety1st Travel Safety #Giveaway

January 19, 2014

It is super important to travel safely with your kiddos. With the help of Safety 1st, we have always been well prepared for a quick trip to the grocery store or a long day trip. The Elite 80 3-in-1 car seat is one of the best on the market, in my opinion. With it’s super-extended weight [...]

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#SiennaDiaries Entry #5: Saying Goodbye

January 18, 2014

So, I knew that we had to say goodbye to our Sienna, at some point. But, before she was collected, I noticed on the nav map that there were little white dots along each road we had travelled. Some roads, like those from home to the kids’ schools, were most covered. While others, had just [...]

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My Life List {or 99 Things I Want to do Before I Die}

January 16, 2014

I began a Life List years ago. This list contained all of the things – big and small – that I would like to do in my lifetime. In fact, last Spring I chose forty of these “things” and put together a list of those I wanted to accomplish before I turn the big 4-0. I [...]

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Our Visit to Mormon Island at Folsom Lake

January 14, 2014

While in California, my family and I spent an afternoon at Folsom Lake. Or what’s left of it anyway. It is the lowest it has been in 60 years. And boy, is it sad… -photo source It may be a sad sight to see the lake so low, but it’s a well-visited area, even now [...]

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#SiennaDiaries Entry #4: All the Comforts and Conveniences

January 12, 2014

The Toyota Sienna was quite the posh ride. All of us were very comfortable any time we drove that vehicle anywhere. Here are some of the resaons why – Heated Seats – Need I say more?! Automatic Doors – With just a simple touch of a button, the automatic doors make loading and unloading super [...]

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Conquering Anxiety and Depression {with Young Living Essential Oils}

January 9, 2014

{{Read Part One, Part Two, & Part Three}} Being a mom is no easy task and the stress that comes along with it can be overwhelming, even without a formal diagnosis of anything. Along with all of the stress of being a mom of seven, owning my own business, and our pending move halfway across the country, I [...]

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