Today, Wednesday, July 22 is ‪#‎BumpDay‬. #BumpDay is a national campaign to bring awareness of the struggles women globally face trying to give their babies the best possible start. Invite your friends, mothers-to-be or former mothers-to-be to share their photos. Use the hashtag #BumpDay to share.

To learn more about the campaign please visit the link below.


How to Pick the Perfect Daycare Center

It is hard to believe that four years ago I was waddling around Dalton looking at daycare centers for my son Tallen. It was an exciting time, yet, a stressful time. Will he be safe? Can we afford this? Decisions, decisions, decisions. My head was spinning.

To help you make this decision and to minimize your head spinning here are tips to get you started.

1. Research the daycare facilities in your area. In the state of Georgia, you can go to the website Bright from the Start. http://decal.ga.gov/. This is a great source to research licensed daycare centers, get overviews and read state reports. I’m sure other states have similar resources.

2. Once you have pinpointed a few daycare centers to visit, call and schedule a tour. While visiting, pay attention to how the staff interacts with the children. Are they warm, loving and responsive?

3. Check the policies. Are the proper ratios being followed? Are there age appropriate items in the designated rooms? How are children disciplined? Is there a lot of turnover? Children need consistency. Are the rooms clean, child proofed? Are meals prepared? Where are the meals prepared? Are the teachers certified in first aid/cpr? Have they met their criminal clearances? Is there a curriculum? What is the payment policy?

4. Pop Call, what I have dubbed “popping up and not calling.” Drop in unexpectedly and check things out.

5. Word of mouth is great. When I was pregnant, I asked fellow moms and local Daltonian’s what daycare centers they recommend. They were very candid and told me what daycare centers to steer clear of.

6. Last, but certainly not least, go with your gut. You will know either way if you want to leave your child at the daycare center or not.

After you have chosen a daycare center, I would also recommend keeping open lines of communication with your child’s caregiver/teacher and always be open to change.

Pleasant Ways to Spend Your Anniversary

My husband and I are embarking on our wedding anniversary this weekend. Typically, we like to keep things pretty low-key. A gift, steak, some dessert and I am one happy Mama! I realize not every couple or individual is the same. You may want to relax at the spa, sip wine or go out for that steak. Either way, below are some lovely places I have visited that are worthy of an anniversary celebration!

Barnsley Resort,  located in Bartow County, offers fine, luxurious, Southern living: extraordinary cuisine, golf, spa and massage services, sporting clays, horseback riding and pool and fitness.

Barnsley Resort

Hamilton’s Food and Spirits is located in Dalton’s historic downtown district. Hamilton’s offers fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere. Hamilton’s has an extensive wine list, as well as your favorite beers and cocktails.

Cocktails and Spirits

Hamilton’s Dining

The Georgia Winery and Vineyards is the only winery in the North Georgia area (Ringgold) and first farm winery in the state of Georgia. Specializing in flavorful fruit wines, the winery offers wine tastings and tours.

Wine Tasting

Georgia Winery

From steak to trout, St.  John’s Restaurant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, offers seasonal and local flavor main courses, in addition to an extensive wine list.

Steak Dinner

St. John’s Restaurant, Chattanooga

Rain Gear: 5 Under $25

Today is a total wash out! As the rain came down and the thunder shook the house, I thought back to two Valentine’s ago when my husband purchased me a darling, plaid NorthFace rain jacket. At first I couldn’t imagine why I would need a rain jacket. Wouldn’t an umbrella suffice? Trust me, lugging two toddlers in and out of daycare holding an umbrella did not cut it. I love throwing on my rain jacket, pulling up my hood and making a mad dash to the entrance. I took it a little further and got the T’s rain jackets and rain boots as well. I use their rain gear often, but, you hate to break the bank on items you use sparingly.

Below are five rain gear finds for under $25 dollars.

Best Items to Buy at the Dollar Tree

Oftentimes stores like the Dollar General, Family Dollar and the Dollar Tree get bad reputations. I certainly can understand that. I probably would not trust sunscreen, diapers, or an ovulation predictor kit, but to each his own. However, if you commit to looking, you will find some brand name items and the Dollar Tree does accept manufacturing coupons – double bonus!

Below are a handful of items I like to pick up from our local Dollar Tree.

  1. Scottie Facial Tissue – With two children in daycare, one can never keep enough tissues.Scotties Facial Tissue
  1. Pamper Wipes – These small packs are great to keep in your diaper bag or in the glove compartment of your vehicle.Pamper
  1. Dawn Dish Detergent (Proctor & Gamble) – Although trial size, I typically run our dishes through the dishwasher. This size is perfect to use when I don’t have a full load. Dawn
  1. Bounty Paper Towels- Again, with two small children, these are great for all of their spills. Bounty Towels
  1. Fabuloso (Colgate Palmolive) – Great for mopping the kitchen and “the missed toilet spots” in the bathroom. Fabuloso

Other items I like to pick up also include; Charmin Freshmates To Go, Lysol To Go Disinfecting Wipes, Always Thin Panty Liners, and Softsoap Liquid Hand Soap.

Do you shop at the Dollar Tree? What are your favorite things to buy?

Girls Getaway: Find Your Perfect Swimsuit

This September I will be headed to Clearwater, Florida, for a 4 day, 3 night Girls Trip! It will be a much-needed break from the norm. No husband, no children, no pet or work; just sun, sand, my favorite cousins and bikinis! I’ll be honest, I cannot wait to get away, but putting on a bikini scares me, considering I have not worn one in over three years! I don’t even know where to begin. I love InStyle Magazine. Typically they are my “go to” for all things fashion & style. I came across their swimsuit guide in hope of finding something that may work for my body type which is tall, athletic & curvy. Oy!

Below is the link to their magazine. Check out their guide and find your perfect suit.

Find Your Perfect Suit

Source: InStyle Magazine