Family

Six Facts You Should Know Before Moving to Florida

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

Are you thinking about moving to the Sunshine State? Florida has so much to offer, from unspoilt beaches and ocean-facing houses to great schools and an immersive culture that’s ideal for families and retirees alike.

Discover the facts you need to know before you make the move to the Sunshine State: 

Luxury properties mean you’ll be spoilt for choice

Whether you have a generous budget and are considering Vero Beach luxury homes, or you’re moving with retirement in mind and the famous golf courses of the Gulf Coast are at the top of your wish list, when you search for properties in Florida, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Whether you see yourself overlooking miles of unspoilt beach in a family home, or you’re searching for a property with nightlife, restaurants and glamour in mind, you’ll find famous landmarks, gated communities, great schools and ocean-facing properties in abundance throughout the Sunshine State. If you’re unsure of which region you want to reside in, start with a list of your essentials and factors that are important to your chosen lifestyle and begin your search from there.

Tourists are part of the culture

Living in a state that is famous for its landmarks, landscapes, beaches, theme parks and persistent sunshine and heat, doesn’t just attract homeowners and families looking for a better life. Tourism is a huge part of life in Florida and moving to the Sunshine State means dealing with large numbers of visitors throughout the year. Florida is renowned for being a friendly, welcoming state so make sure you keep up appearances!

Southern Florida and its hurricanes

Although Florida is famous for its heat, it’s just as infamous for its severe weather conditions, particularly in the South of the state where hurricanes are prevalent during the aptly named “Hurricane Season”, which typically lasts between June and November each year. Before moving to Florida, it’s worth reading up on hurricane safety and the precautions that many residents take every year to protect their homes.

Be ready for election fever

Florida is a swing state, which means casting votes here carries a lot of weight and influence. As a major swing state, residents can expect election fever to sweep their locality in the run-up to presidential elections every four years. This means flyers, ads, knocks at your door, TV crews, and even heated debates with friends, family and colleagues during this dramatic period. Something worth keeping in mind if you’re not currently politically minded!

It’s not all for retirees

Retirees and seniors are everywhere in Florida, after all, wouldn’t you like to retire somewhere warm, friendly, and tax-friendly? However, don’t let this demographic put you off moving to the Sunshine State. While seniors might be in abundance, Florida is a diverse and captivating location, with something for all ages, families, singletons and couples alike.

And finally, the cost of living is low

Thanks to its generous stance on income tax, and its utilities coming in cheaper than the national average, Florida can certainly mean a cheaper cost of living, allowing you to enjoy the life you want for yourself and your family, without breaking the bank.

3 Tips on How to Promote Good Humor in Your Children

This post is sponsored by Community Care Plan. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

While the past year has definitely been one of challenges and uncertainties, my family and I decided that we were going to make the most of every situation. One of the ways that we have learned to deal with unfortunate circumstances is by finding humor. I firmly believe that laughter and good humor truly are the best medicine for the soul. Good humor and laughter not only provide a great way for us to connect as a family, but it also provides a sense of positive self-esteem and makes life more enjoyable overall.

Did you know that April is National Humor Month? National Humor Month is meant to bring awareness to humor and to showcase how it can bring therapeutic value in our everyday lives. In fact, the creator of National Humor Month, Larry Wilde, stated, “The idea of laughing and the use of humor as a tool to lift ailing spirits is growing. Scientific research now indicates that the curative power of laughter and its ability to relieve debilitating stress and burnout may indeed be one of the great medical discoveries of our times.”

The people at Community Care Plan appreciate how good humor, particularly in children, promotes a positive impact on the health and wellness of those around them. There’s a reason that Community Care Plan is known as the health plan with a heart.

Speaking of getting healthy, did you know that scientific research has proven that humor is a tool to relieve stress while helping us to heal emotionally and physically? When it comes to humor in children, I think it is important for them to realize that laughing and good humor is not only good for the soul, but it can make them feel good physically as well. There is just something about a good old-fashioned laugh that makes your entire body feel good!

Statistics have shown that children are believed to laugh 10 as much daily as the average adult. Therefore, good humor should be a vital part of their life! Here are several ways that we can help to promote and encourage good humor in children:

  1. Create an environment that promotes humor in children.

It’s true that laughter improves your mood and makes you feel better. This is why good humor inside the home is so important. Create a positive environment and teach your children that even in the midst of difficult circumstances you can still laugh, have a good time, and be happy. Our children will look back at our time together at home and remember the laughs that they had as a family. They will especially remember those challenging times and how we as parents tried to promote a positive view of the situation. Laughter is so very good for the soul.

  1. Teach children that it is okay to be funny and to have humor.

My husband and I want our boys to know that laughing and having good humor is a vital part of our lives. If our boys see us laughing and having good humor, then they are more likely to follow suit. We want them to realize that people want to be around those who are happy and have a good sense of humor. Laughter is contagious. The ability to laugh and to have good humor shows our personality. The more we laugh, the more that others will want to be around us. In fact, one of the qualities that I admire in most people is their ability to laugh and to have a good sense of humor.

It is okay to be funny.

It is okay to laugh.

It is okay to be silly.

I guarantee that our children will remember the memories that are made of laughter and silliness more than any other in their lives. Let’s teach them that laughter is good for our relationships, both in-home and out in the world.

  1. Be a good role model and showcase good humor in your life.

Not only am I a parent, but I am a Paraprofessional Educator as well. Being an educator allows me to be a good role model to those children that I come in contact with each week. One of the ways that I can be a good role model is to promote good humor among my students. I want them to see that I am funny and witty, and that even though things may not always go as planned, that I can still have a good attitude and humor about the situation before me. I can’t tell you how many times that I have said something, and it came out the wrong way. I just laughed about it and did not get flustered. This, in turn, made my students laugh. I have learned to laugh at the little annoyances that may take place in the classroom, and to not take myself so seriously.

Happy National Humor Month! Don’t forget to take some extra time today to laugh with your children and those around you! I love this quote from Charles Dickens, “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” Spread joy today and remember that laughter is medicine for the soul!

Be sure to check out Community Care Plan on Facebook, Instagram and You Tube for more details on benefits, coverage, and more. They also offer several resources to help you make self-care a priority. The health plan with a heart serves the health of their community through access to a high standard of health care and community resources. Their health plans cover a wide range of local medical services, offering an excellent choice of physicians and benefits that help members get and stay healthy. Put your health in good hands with Community Care Plan.

It’s Open Enrollment with Florida Prepaid College Plans + Promo Code!

This post is sponsored by Florida Prepaid College Plans. Use Florida Prepaid College Plans promo code SWEET2021 to save $25 off your application fee. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure policy

The past year has been one of uncertainty for so many. When I look back at 2020, it is amazing to reflect on just how much that has happened. In the midst of physical and financial loss, to political and social unrest, one thing that I am thankful for is the bond that our family has. We have learned so much about one another, and our love is stronger than ever before.

While it seems that many families may not have saving for college at the top of their to-do list during these difficult times, you just might be surprised! In a recent survey conducted by the Florida Prepaid College Board, statistics show that 60% of Florida families have maintained saving during the pandemic and 24% increased their college savings. Those statistics are amazing! Now, more than ever, Florida families are realizing that saving for college is a top priority.

Bright days are ahead for our boys, and we are so excited to see what their future holds! Drew has dreamed of working for NASA or Space-X since he was very little, and Brady has huge aspirations to become an airplane pilot. Whether our boys decide to attend a college/university, or vocational school of their choice to pursue their dreams, we can rest assured and be financially prepared thanks to help from Florida Prepaid College Plans!

While it seems that many families may not have saving for college at the top of their to-do list during these difficult times, you may actually be surprised! In a recent survey conducted by the Florida Prepaid College Board, statistics show that 60% of Florida families have maintained saving during the pandemic and 24% increased their college savings. I was honestly surprised by those statistics! Now, more than ever, Florida families are realizing that saving for college is a top priority.

I am excited to let you know that you too, can start saving for your child’s future college education! 2021 Florida Prepaid Open Enrollment is happening now! Use promo code SWEET2021 through April 30, to save 50% off your enrollment fee. NOW is the time to prepare, plan and save for your child’s future education!

  1. Prepare for the future by opening a Florida 529 Prepaid College Plan

Since 1988, Florida Prepaid College Plans has been offering Florida residents an affordable and stress-free way to save for their child’s college education. In fact, Florida Prepaid is the longest running prepaid program in the nation! Fun fact: To date, there have been over 1.8 million Prepaid College Plans sold! (We are thrilled to be included in that number!)

Our family appreciates that Florida 529 Prepaid College Plans, allow us the flexibility to prepay for our boy’s future college savings on a monthly basis. This really helps us to take the guesswork out of planning, and we know exactly how much that we are setting aside each month for their college education. You can even opt to pay a lump sum amount if that is a better option for your family. Either way, saving for college has never been easier!

You will also be happy to know that there are several plan options to choose from, including a 2-year prepaid plan to a 4-year plan. They even offer a 1-year University plan, which is the most flexible option. The 1-year University plan is actually what we have, and I love that this plan allows for us to add years as we choose, and family members can even purchase additional years if they opt to do so. If you are looking to start small, this is the plan for you! It is important to remember that saving something for your child’s future education is definitely better than nothing at all!

529 Prepaid College Savings Plans are guaranteed by the state of Florida and allows you the ability to lock in future college costs for less. Since these 529 Prepaid College Plans are guaranteed by the state of Florida, you can rest assured in knowing that you will never lose your investment. This is a risk-free investment that you don’t have to worry about. These were huge deciding factors for our family and gives us such peace of mind!

 2. Plan for the future with Florida Prepaid College Plans

What if your child decides that they want to attend an out-of-state college, vocational school, or private school? No problem! Florida Prepaid makes it super easy! Their plan will travel with them and will pay the same amount that it would have paid at a public university or college in Florida. Florida Prepaid will apply funds to other schools what would have been paid to a Florida school. Just another reason why we love these plans- they are very flexible!

What if your child decides that they want to wait a few years after graduation to attend college? Can you still use their 529 Prepaid College Savings Plan? The answer is YES! In fact, a Prepaid Plan locks in coverage for up to 10 years AFTER their projected high school graduation/college enrollment! If your child decides that they don’t want to attend college, you can transfer the funds to another family member or request a refund. It is that simple.

What if your child receives a scholarship or Bright Futures?

I was excited to find out that 529 College Savings Plans can be used in conjunction with scholarships and Bright Futures. These scholarships can help to cover even more college costs like dormitory housing, books, fees and more. I am going to encourage my boys to apply for as many scholarships as possible.

How does my Child use their Florida 529 Prepaid College Plan?
Florida Prepaid simply takes care of everything! They will send the student a First Time in College notification in the spring of their college enrollment year. This will provide the basic information on how the Prepaid Plan is used. Payments are automatic from Florida Prepaid directly to the school, so you don’t have to worry about a thing!

     3. Save for the future with Florida Prepaid College Plans

Are you ready to start saving for the future with Florida Prepaid College Plans? Simply pick the best plan that fits your family’s budget and let the saving begin! Plan options start at $45 a month, so there is an affordable college plan for every budget. You can even get personalized monthly payment pricing and estimates for each plan based on your child’s birth date HERE.  Prepare now and plan for the future. Your child’s future. Your child’s dreams and goals.

In less than 15 minutes, you can be on the way to a brighter tomorrow for your children. Open Enrollment is happening through April 30, and you can use Florida Prepaid promo code SWEET2021 to save 50% off your enrollment fee. Sign up HERE to start saving today.

Give your children the best gift of all, the gift of debt-free college!

We can’t wait to see where the future will take our boys! They are going to do great things and I am so thankful that we have Florida Prepaid College Plans to help us along this journey.
Be sure to follow Florida Prepaid College Plans on FacebookTwitterInstagram and  YouTube to stay up to date with information on open enrollment, tips and promotional offers.

Sea World/Aquatica: Free 2021 Preschool Card for Kids 5 & Under!

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

This awesome deal is back for 2021! Sea World and Aquatica are offering a Free 2021 Preschool Card! Kids 5 and younger can enjoy visits to SeaWorld and Aquatica Orlando for FREE, now through December 31, 2021. 

Online registration required by February 3, 2021 and make first visit by February 28, 2021. (not available at the park) 
• Valid for Florida residents only 
• Does not include free parking, separately ticketed events, or other discounts

Offer valid for Florida residents only. Valid only at SeaWorld and Aquatica Orlando for children 5 years old and younger at time of first visit. Verification of age via birth certificate or travel passport will be requested upon entry. Unlimited admission through 12/31/2021 with no blockout dates. Must register online by 2/3/2021. The SeaWorld and Aquatica Orlando Preschool Card offer is not available at the park. Advance online registration is required. Only the child’s parent or guardian may register online. Parent/guardian does not have to be present to redeem card. Not valid for student groups or field trips. Offer valid for a limited time and subject to change and/or cancellation without notice.

You can see more details of this offer HERE.

15+ Adorable Crafts for Autumn

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

Are you looking for some fun craft ideas for the kiddos? The weekend is a great time to get together as a family and spend some quality time together. These 15+ Adorable Autumn Craft Ideas are sure to be hours of fun for everyone!

  1.  Chestnut Animal Art by Kennary
  2. Scarecrow Jars by The Country Chic Cottage
  3. Paper Plate Scarecrow by Paper Plate Fun
  4. Clay Leaf Bowls by Make Life Lovely
  5. Fall Leaf Books by West Coast Mommy
  6. 3D Pumpkins by Confessions of an Overworked Mom
  7. Turkey Treats by 5 Minutes for Mom
  8. Decorated Walking Sticks by Imaginative Homeschooling
  9. Apple Pinch Pots by Red Ted Art
  10. Nature Window Clings by Aileen Cooks
  11. Paper Plate Apples by Mom Wife Busy Life
  12. Candy Corn Craft by Cook Eat Go
  13. Leaf Vein Art by Go Science Kids
  14. Torn Paper Pumpkins by Not So Crafty Mama
  15. Craft Stick Scarecrow by Messy Little Monster

Dream Big with Florida Prepaid College Plans

Help your children dream big with Florida Prepaid College Plans! Use promo code DREAMBIG20 to save on your application fee. This post is sponsored by Florida Prepaid College Plans. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure policy.

While National College Savings Month may almost be over, Florida Prepaid College Plans still wants to encourage us to be pro-active and to prepare for our children’s future education! As a parent, when I hear the words college and savings together, it can be rather overwhelming. My oldest son Drew started high school this year so that means college will be here before we know it. Brady, my youngest son, is only in third grade, but now is the best time for my husband and I to prepare, plan, and take action for our boys’ future. We like to think that college isn’t just another expense; it is an investment.

I understand that the past few months have been challenging on so many different levels, but particularly financially. Many families, including mine, are trying to save where we can, while others have had to dig into their savings to pay for everyday necessities and living. This has caused us to re-evaluate our finances. There is so much uncertainty, and for many, they don’t know when it will end. In the midst of these uncertain times, my family and I are thankful for the certainty and stability that Florida Prepaid Plans continues to provide. If there is one thing that I am certain of, it is that my boys have brighter, happier days ahead of them and that they will be able to pursue all of their dreams and goals because of the investment that we have made with Florida Prepaid College Plans.

Even in the midst of uncertain times, you too, can help your children plan for their future. Did you know that by starting small and saving just a few dollars each month, you can be financially prepared for a college education for your children? With a Florida Prepaid Plan, you don’t have to worry about the ups and downs of the stock market or college costs; Florida Prepaid will handle it all!

Florida Prepaid College Plans Are Affordable, Flexible and Risk-Free:

Affordable

Since the beginning over 30 years ago, Florida Prepaid has been helping families to affordably save for college. I would encourage you to look at your family’s budget and to see which plan will work best for you. What works for my family may not be the best plan for you and vice-versa. Educate yourself, look at the different investment options, and then go from there. A Florida Prepaid Plan will allow your family to lock in future college costs for less so that your child’s tuition is ready and waiting for them! Enroll today and gain the peace of mind knowing that your child’s future will be taken care of! I am so thankful that we did! Plans start at just $44 a month.

Flexible

Don’t stress about the future, do what you can now and start planning ahead today. Florida Prepaid Plans are very flexible. In fact, they are designed to work where, how and when you need them. Even if your child doesn’t know where they want to attend college, that is no problem. Maybe your child will decide not to attend college at all.  I am happy to tell you that your child has up to 10 years after high school graduation to use a Prepaid Plan. It is also important to note that Prepaid Plans can be transferred to another child or family member, or you can receive a full refund for the amount you paid into it.

If your child decides to attend college outside of Florida, the plan value can be applied to the cost of college in that state. And, if your child receives a scholarship, their Prepaid Plan can be used alongside it. I am going to encourage my boys to apply for as many scholarships as possible!

Risk-Free

Peace of mind is so important especially during these times. You will be happy to know that Florida Prepaid Plans are risk-free, and you will never lose your investment, even if your child decides not to go to college. Florida Prepaid Plans are guaranteed by the state of Florida. The benefit you receive from a plan will never be less than the price you pay for it – you cannot lose money. This is one of the most important factors to our family, and risk-free investments are hard-to-come by! I can tell you that this is a decision you will not regret.

Are you ready to take the next step towards this risk-free investment?

For 30 years, more than 1 million families like mine have chosen Florida Prepaid as their college savings partner, making them the largest, most successful Prepaid Program in the nation! I am proud to tell you that 50,000 Florida residents have enrolled in a Florida Prepaid Plan this year! These families know just how important education is for their children and have taken this risk-free investment. After all, there is nothing to lose!

I share with you my heart not only as a parent, but also as a teacher. I have had the wonderful opportunity this fall to be back in the classroom after taking several years off to raise my boys. I have such a passion for education and being a part of Florida Prepaid College Plans these past several years has made me realize just how much that I have missed teaching. A good education is so important and something that you will never regret giving your children. I love educating and being a part of changing a child’s life forever. As parents, we also have the opportunity to make an investment into our children thanks to help from Florida Prepaid College Plans. Let’s give our children one of greatest gifts ever- the gift of education! The gift to pursue all of their dreams, desires, goals, intents and purposes. I am so proud to be a part of education and to help shape our children into future leaders.

If you enroll in a Florida Prepaid Plan from now through October 31, your $50 application fee will be waived with promo code DREAMBIG20. Saving for college today, will help your children unfold all their dreams and goals tomorrow!

GO HERE to get started now and to enroll using promo code DREAMBIG20. Join my family in making the investment of a lifetime for your children. You will be so glad that you did!

Be sure to follow Florida Prepaid College Plans on FacebookTwitterInstagram and  YouTube to stay up to date with information on open enrollment, tips and promotional offers.

Walgreens Photo: 6 FREE 5×7 Premium Photo Cards!

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

Wow! Through September 12, 2020, Walgreens Photo is offering a set of 6 FREE 5×7 Premium Photo Cards with promo code 6PREMIUM at checkout.

Be sure to choose  free in-store pickup to avoid shipping costs.

GO HERE to create your photo cards. The holidays will be here before you know it, so this is a great time to get a few cards for Free!

15 + Fall Leaf Crafts for Kids

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

Looking for something fun to do with the kids? Check out these 15+ Fall Leaf Crafts for Kids. There is something for everyone, and these crafts will keep the kids busy for hours! These would also be great if you are a teacher and looking for fall craft ideas!

Fall Leaf Sewing Cards by Kids Activities Blog
Leaf Fox Family by Sweet Silly Sara
Clay Leaf Bowls by Make Life Lovely
Watercolor Leaf Garland by
Stained Glass Fall Leaf Craft by Ginger Casa
Watercolor Leaf Wreath by Happiness is Homemade
Crayon Shaving Leaves by Meaningful Mama
Yarn Wrapped Leaves by Paper and Glue
Leaf People by Fantastic Fun and Learning
Pretty Leaf Garland by Paper and Glue
Thankful Tree Craft by Meaningful Mama
Leaf Peg Dolls by In the Playroom
Paper Leaf Wreath by Polka  Dot Chair
Scrapbook Paper Leaf by Cutesy Crafts
Leaf Rubbings by KC Edventures

Back to School with the New Crayola Colors of the World Crayons!

Disclosure: I was provided with product to facilitate this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.  Please see my disclosure policy)

School is in full swing for our family! Whether your kids are attending a brick and mortar building for school, or you choose to teach them at home virtually, you will more than likely need school supplies. One of my favorite products to shop for every year is crayons. Of course, only the best will do, and hands down, Crayola  wins every year!

This year, Crayola is excited to announce their new Crayola Colors of the World Crayons. With Colors of the World Crayons, children can fully and accurately represent themselves and the world around them through creativity, imagination and self-expression! The 24 newly formulated colors reflect more than 40 global skin tone shades encompassing three undertones – Rose, Almond & Golden – and range in skin tone colors from Extra Light to Deepest. Colors of the World packaging features color panels and authentic color names to help kids find the shade that best represents themselves. Each crayon is wrapped in a gradient skin tone label, with the color name in English, Spanish and French.

Colors of the World Crayons (32 count): In addition to featuring the 24 new skin tone colors, the Colors of the World 32 count crayon pack features four hair and four eye color crayons – perfect for creating a complete self-portrait.

The 24 count is available on Crayola.com for $2.49, and the 32 count is available exclusively at Walmart for $1.77.

In addition to the Crayola Colors of the World Crayons, you can find other Crayola favorites at retailers nationwide. My son Brady loves the Crayola Sketchpads to create his own unique creations!

See Why Our Family Loves Baby Magic Products + Enter to Win $100!

This post is sponsored by Sivan Social. All comments and opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure policy)

I have a little secret for you. My youngest son Brady is 8 years old, and to this day, I still use Baby Magic products on him! When I brought both of my boys home from the hospital, I began using Baby Magic products and instantly fell in love with them. In fact, I love this brand so much that I use the products as well! There is a reason that this brand has been loved by protective parents for over 65 years. 

Baby Magic nourishes baby’s skin with wholesome ingredients and is Dermatologist recommended for a baby’s delicate skin. I also appreciate that Baby Magic products are free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates & dyes. Oh, and did I mention the smell? When you combine things like calendula, coconut oil, and aloe you are sure to have a scent that the entire family will love! When I smell Baby Magic products, it also takes me on a trip down memory lane and to when my boys were tiny babies. The smell of a baby is unlike any other, and I love that Baby Magic allows me to keep those memories alive. 

I encourage you to see for yourself why our family loves Baby Magic products so much, and to check out all of the fabulous products that they have to offer on Amazon. There are lots of options to choose from, but our family favorites are the Baby Magic 2 in-1 Wash and the Baby Magic Calming Lotion.

The Baby Magic 2 in-1 Wash is a tear-free and sulfate-free formula that is enriched with nourishing Calendula and Coconut Oil. It nourishes and cleanses at the same time while being gentle on the skin. My son Brady still hates to get soap in his eyes so this is the perfect solution for him. I love when he gets out of the bathtub and smells so fresh and clean! 

My personal favorite Baby Magic Product is the Calming Body Lotion. If you love the soothing scent of lavender and chammomile, this product is for you. Not only does it smell amazing, but your skin stays super soft and subtle all day long! I also appreciate that the Calming Body Lotion is vitamin-enhanced and hypoallergenic.

As someone who is always trying to find ways to save for my family, I appreciate that Baby Magic Products are budget-friendly. Right now you can sweeten the deal by saving $1 off any Baby Magic Product with the printable coupon HERE.  In addition, select households will receive an additional $1 off Baby Magic coupon from Valpak, so be sure to check your envelope! 

How would you like to win some extra cash? I have an easy way for you to win $100! Savings.com is giving away 10 $100 Visa e-gift cards on behalf of Baby Magic! Just click on the image above to enter! 

Giveaway Details

  • Tuesday, September 1st at 12:00 AM PT to Wednesday, September 30th at 11:59 PM PT.
  • Ten (10) winners will receive a $100 Visa e-gift card.
  • Users enter the giveaway by heading to the Grocery page on Savings.com and submitting their email address on the form on the page.
  • The winners will be chosen through a lottery drawing and notified on Thursday, October 1st via the email address they used to enter.
  • See complete Official Rules for entry instructions, full prize descriptions, restrictions and other important details.