Family

8 Budget-Friendly Ideas for a Summer Birthday Party

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

Summer birthday parties are usually accompanied by great weather and holiday vibes. There are lots of great ways you can create exciting and fun parties on a budget for kids and adults alike, so here are a few ideas to take inspiration from:

Kids Parties:

1)    Choosing a Theme

Having a theme makes it easier to take inspiration, so consider what your kid enjoys. Nintendo’s game Animal Crossing is currently a great fun choice for themed parties, as it is a game that’s loved by both kids and adults. Many people enjoy throwing virtual parties in the game itself, but the cute art style and elements within the game give plenty of inspiration for a real-life party.

2)    Entertainment

When it comes to entertaining kids, there needs to be lots of things to do. Take into consideration their hobbies and interests to generate a theme but keep the activities all-inclusive. Scavenger hunts and treasure hunts are great fun, and you can incorporate their interests to create a themed hunt. You can DIY some clue cards and hide ‘gift bags’ for kids to find.

3)    Fun Place Settings and Decor

Characters from their favorite games or tv shows can be used as markers, or even as table place settings. You could use some of their toys, or even models or figures of their favorite characters. Nendoroids are very popular collectible figures, and you can even buy them online, but they also make ideal place markers, scavenger hunt markers, or even gifts. In fact, you could even use one as a fun cake-topper!

Food and Drinks:

4)    Barbeque

BBQs always make for great parties, but if you needed a good excuse to get the BBQ out, a Birthday celebration is definitely the perfect one. Owning a decently sized barbeque and purchasing some ingredients is the only big expense. You can also make this a daytime or evening event, whichever you prefer.

5)    Tropical Party

Fitting perfectly in the theme of Summer, hosting a Hawaiian or tropical themed party can be great fun. Make sure you have plenty of fruit like pineapples, mangoes, and coconuts and set up a cocktail bar too. Just make sure everyone wears their best Hawaiian shirt!

Evening Parties:

6)    Movie Night

The perfect way to celebrate when the sun starts to set is by setting up a screen and projector outside. Having an outdoor, backyard movie night can be great fun. Simply set up your projector and screen, some string lights or candle lanterns, and bring out the comfy blankets and cushions. You should also make sure to get lots of popcorn!

7)    Camping and S’mores

If your backyard is big enough, a great party idea is for everyone to bring along their tents. For an outdoor version of a pajama party, set up a small campfire and roast some s’mores. This is a great way to enjoy a group camping trip in your own backyard. Lots of stores sell campfire kits, but you can also DIY one too!

Summertime Fun:

8)    Pool Party

If you have your own pool, a pool-party is a no-brainer. The perfect thing to go with hot weather is a dip in the pool, so start blowing up your favorite pool inflatables and picking out your swimwear. Some iced drinks and sun chairs and a fun music playlist make a pool party fun and relaxing. If you’re throwing a pool party for kids, make sure everyone can swim and that someone can supervise at all times!

The summer weather means there are plenty of great options available to throw a fun birthday party, even on a small budget. Just don’t forget to wear sun lotion!

7 Reasons Why You Should Open a 529 Florida Prepaid Savings Plan

Are you considering opening a Florida 529 Savings Plan? Be sure to check out this Florida 529 Savings Promo where you can earn up to $50! This post is sponsored by Florida Prepaid College Savings Plans. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure policy)

Things may look a lot differently for us than they did this time last year, but one thing remains: the unconditional love that we have for our children and knowing that brighter days are ahead for them.

Florida Prepaid College Savings Plans knows that the past few months have been challenging for so many of us, and they are once again here to help us navigate these difficult times. Now more than ever, it is a great time to think about saving for college! Even the smallest amounts of money can add up to so many possibilities for our children!

Through August 16, when you open a Florida 529 Savings Plan and contribute $25, Florida Prepaid will contribute another $25! In addition, for plans set up with an automatic monthly contribution of $25 or more, Florida Prepaid will contribute another $25. Current customers that have not yet enrolled in automatic monthly contributions can also earn $25 if they set up automatic contributions through their online account. That is up to $50 toward your child’s future college education!

As someone who loves to save money, I can’t think of a better way to get my summer started than to save for my boys’ college education. I know that $25 may not sound like a lot, but I am here to tell you that $25 a month saved into a Florida 529 Savings Plan can grow into thousands of dollars for my boys by the time they head off to college. Doesn’t that put a huge smile on your face knowing that just $25 a month can go toward helping your children fulfill all of their future dreams and goals?

7 Reasons Why You Should Open a Florida 529 Savings Plan with Florida Prepaid:

  1. It is Free and easy to sign up.

You had me at Free! Simply choose your investment options and start saving. It is that simple! There is no family income limit, and it is super easy to set up monthly contributions and change them at any time. I also appreciate that you can invite family and friends to contribute toward your college savings goals with Florida Prepaid eGift portal! It takes less than 10 minutes to sign up and get started saving.

  1. Florida 529 Savings Plans are tax-free.

Unlike a savings account or mutual fund that is going to get hit with income taxes, your contributions toward your 529 Savings Plan will earn interest and will not be taxed when the money is taken out to pay for college. Investment earnings are not taxed as long as they are used for qualified education expenses, including tuition, fees, room, board, books and supplies.

  1. Florida 529 Savings Plans can be used in conjunction with your Florida Prepaid College Plan.

These two plans work very well together! While your Prepaid Plan can only be used to pay for tuition and other fees, the Florida 529 Savings Plan can be used to help cover fees, room and board, the cost of books, supplies and equipment.

  1. You don’t have to attend a Florida school to use your Florida 529 Savings Plan.

Despite the name, this plan can be used anywhere in the U.S. to pay for qualified educational expenses. In addition, if you move out of state, your plan travels with you and can be used at most colleges, universities, technical and trade schools and more.

    5. Florida 529 Savings Plans are very FLEXIBLE.

Flexibility is a key factor and one of the things that draws my family and I to this type of plan. It allows us to save for our boys’ college education at any time and we can contribute as much or as little as we want to. There are currently 14 investment options available; you can build your own portfolio or choose the most popular option, the Age-Based Portfolio, which automatically adjusts over time as your child grows closer to college age.

    6. You can use a Florida 529 Savings Plan even if your child doesn’t attend college.

    We know that kids can change their minds on so many things even college! You can close the Plan and withdraw the remaining balance, or the Plan can be transferred to another family member. How awesome is that?

    7. A Florida 529 Savings Plan can also be used toward qualified K-12 expenses.

    Many people don’t realize this, but your 529 Savings Plan can also be used on up to $10,000 annually in qualified K-12 expenses such as tuition and mandatory fees associated with enrollment or attendance at an elementary or secondary public, private, or religious schools.

    Do you still have questions about the Florida 529 Savings Plan? Florida Prepaid College Plans is hosting a 10-minute Webinar on July 23 at 12 Noon EST where they will be answering lots of college savings questions. You can register for the free webinar HERE: https://bit.ly/31BUGKz

    What are you waiting for? Make a splash this a summer and start saving for college today! Remember, you can get up to $50 for FREE when you sign up for a Florida 529 Savings Plan. You have to HURRY though as this promo is only good through August 16!

    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.

    The Home Depot is Offering Free Kids Workshop Kits!

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

    You may have heard that The Home Depot has cancelled their Kid’s Workshops due to the current pandemic. They recently announced that in place of these workshops, many stores will be handing out Workshop Kits for FREE! You can GO HERE to find a Home Depot location near you, or I would suggest that you give them a call to see if they are participating. 

    Reach for the Stars with Florida Prepaid College Plans and Scholastic!

    This post is sponsored by Florida Prepaid College Plans. Use Florida Prepaid College Plans promo code SWEET1920 for your application fee to be waived. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure policy. 

    Isn’t it amazing how life can change in an instant? If you would have told me at the beginning of 2020 that I would be teaching my boys at home I probably would have laughed at you. We were so busy in the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives of school, sports, and extra-curricular activities that when we were required to stop and be at home all of the time, life definitely took an unexpected turn that I was not prepared for.

    Life certainly hasn’t been easy these past few months and there have been some tears along the way. In the midst of our circumstances, I have chosen to be positive and to find happiness in the situation. This has actually been a much-needed time of refreshment, reflection, and family bonding. Sometimes we need to slow down so that we can reflect on all that we have been blessed with. One day when the boys are gone, I will look back and cherish the memories that we made while we were together. I have loved the long walks, talks with my boys, and just the extra time that we have had together as a family.

    Drew is heading off to high school next year and before I know it, he will be college bound. Brady will be in 3rd grade, and that certainly doesn’t seem possible! Didn’t I just bring him home from the hospital? I am certainly excited for both of my boys and know that they have a bright future ahead. I am so thankful that they can attain their future dreams and goals and reach for the stars! Thanks to help from Florida Prepaid College Plans, these dreams and goals will one day become a reality.

    Florida Prepaid understands this is an unprecedented and challenging time for families, and they are here to help us through it! I am so excited to announce that they have teamed up with Scholastic to offer at-home-learning resources! For the past few months, Scholastic has been working hard to create a wide variety of at-home learning resources, and this new joint effort with Florida Prepaid is specifically designed to help young children develop their math and social studies skills to learn about jobs, money and their future. As a parent, I can use all the help that I can get these days, and I can’t think of a better way to enhance my children’s learning than with Scholastic resources. We personally have loved Scholastic books for years, so I am thrilled to use their online learning resources to help keep my boy’s minds active while at home. There are fun, step-by-step activities for PreK through 2nd Grade. Visit http://www.scholastic.com/icanbeanything/ to download worksheets, activities and more!

    Speaking of the future, did you know that Florida Prepaid College Plans has extended Open Enrollment through May 31? Use promo code SWEET1920 for your $50 application fee to be waived!

    Now, more than ever, it is a great time to stop and think about your children’s future education. For as little as $44 a month your child can be on the way to a brighter tomorrow! I love the hope that Florida Prepaid continues to provide to families so that we can rest assured that our children’s college education is safe, secure, and guaranteed by the state of Florida. Join the over 1 million Florida families who have said yes and invested in their children’s future education. With the waived enrollment fee, there really is nothing to lose!

    In addition, I wanted to remind you that Florida Prepaid has deferred Prepaid Plan dates until July 2020 to provide flexibility to families as they navigate the challenges related to COVID-19. The Board is also deferring all payments for April, May and June for current customers. All payments will resume July 2020, and payment schedules will be extended by three months. Families can continue to make payments as previously scheduled if they choose to do so. For 24/7 account access, please login to your account at myfloridaprepaid.com. Routine account functions can be completed online, including making one-time payments, adjusting recurring payments and adding new Plans. If you prefer, you can call the wonderful customer service team at 1-800-552-4723 and they will be happy to assist with any questions or concerns that you may have about your plan(s).

    I am so excited for my boys and their future aspirations, dreams and goals! What about you? Why not help your children reach for the stars and to dream big! Sign up today for a Florida Prepaid College Plan. You will be so glad that you did! Use promo code SWEET1920 to waive your application fee. Also, don’t forget to check out http://www.scholastic.com/icanbeanything/ to download worksheets, activities and more. These resources are perfect for families at home, and they will give you the extra confidence that you need as you continue to teach your children. High-five to all of you awesome parents! We’ve got this!

    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.

    Easy Canvas Prints: 16 x 20 Canvas Print only $17.99 Shipped! (reg. $156)

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

    We absolutely love canvas prints in our house, and I even have an entire family wall of canvas prints dedicated to some of our favorite memories! Right now, Easy Canvas Prints is offering a 16 x 20 canvas print for only $17.99 + Free Shipping! They have deals on the other sizes as well, but this is one of the most popular options. Canvas prints are such a great way to enhance your photos into memories that will last a lifetime!

    GO HERE to check it out!

    Have Fun at Home with DIY Dunkin’ Donut Kits!

    (I was provided with a gift card to facilitate this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. All posts may contain affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

    The past several months have been challenging for many of us. From schooling our children at home and cooking endless meals, to keeping the kiddos entertained for hours on end, and so much more, the reality of it all has set in. We could all use some extra joy in our lives right now, and Dunkin’ is here to bring some happiness to your family!

    Dunkin’ recently introduced DIY Donut Kits in several markets across the United States. These DIY Dunkin’ Donut Kits are complete with donut rings, different types of frosting and a variety of sprinkles, giving kids the opportunity to decorate their own donut creations right at home! 

    I recently had the opportunity to brighten the day of several families here in the Tampa Bay area with these DIY Donut Kits. As you can see from the smiles on the kid’s faces, the DIY Donut Kits were a huge success! It gives me such great joy to bring just a little bit of happiness and smiles to people’s faces during these difficult times. I want to give a huge thank you to manager Garnett and her team at the Dunkin’ at Countryway in Tampa for providing me with these kits to share. I had so much fun spreading the Dunkin’ love!

    If you want to bring some happiness to your family, or perhaps you would like to brighten someone’s day, be sure to check your local Dunkin’ to see if these kits are available. You can GO HERE for more details. These kits are a great way to gather the family around the table and spend some time together!

    Be sure to follow Dunkin’ on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on all the latest Dunkin’ news and promotional offers!

    Florida Prepaid College Plans Open Enrollment Extension & Payment Deferral

    This post is sponsored by Florida Prepaid College Plans. Use Florida Prepaid College Plans promo code SWEET1920 for your application fee to be waived. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure policy. 

    Life has changed a lot this past month. From homeschooling my boys to the endless amounts of laundry and cooking, and everything in between, I often feel overwhelmed. Am I doing a good job? Are my boys learning? Are we making the most of this time at home? It is during these moments of defeat, that I stop and realize that all of this is temporary. Happier days are ahead, but for now, I am living in the moment and treasuring these times that we have at home. Instead of complaining, I am choosing happiness! I am choosing to enjoy the extra baking and cooking, the daily bike rides and walks, and yes, even the extra piles of laundry.

    Before I know it, my precious boys are going to be leaving and heading off to pursue their own dreams and goals. I want them to look back on these times and to treasure the moments that we have had together as a family. I know that the challenges and circumstances we are currently facing will prepare them for what is to come. They will be strong, courageous young men and for that I am thankful.

    As I sit at the table and watch my boys do their schoolwork, I often ponder on all that I have to be thankful for. Honestly, I am overwhelmed with the blessings in my life and never want to take those for granted. I am also thankful for the peace of mind that I have in knowing that Florida Prepaid College Plans is here for us.

    Florida Prepaid College Plans knows what families are going through and they are committed to their mission of making college savings attainable and affordable for Florida families while providing flexibility and financial relief during this time. In fact, earlier this year Florida Prepaid announced a huge rollback in Florida Prepaid Plans pricing! Pricing is the lowest that it has been in 5 years! Now, more than ever, it is a great time to start thinking about your children’s future education.

    Florida Prepaid College Plans Deferral

    I have some other good news! To help in this time of uncertainty, Florida Prepaid College Plans is deferring Prepaid Plan payment due dates until July 2020 to provide flexibility to families as they navigate the challenges related to COVID-19. The Board is also deferring all payments for April, May and June for current customers. All payments will resume July 2020, and payment schedules will be extended by three months. Families can continue to make payments as previously scheduled if they choose to do so. For 24/7 account access, please login to your account at myfloridaprepaid.com. Routine account functions can be completed online, including making one-time payments, adjusting recurring payments and adding new Plans. If you prefer, you can call the wonderful customer service team at 1-800-552-4723 and they will be happy to assist with any questions or concerns that you may have about your plan(s).

    Florida Prepaid College Plans Open Enrollment Has Been Extended

    As I mentioned previously, today is the perfect time to start thinking about your children’s future education. In addition to Prepaid College Plans payment deferral, Open Enrollment has been extended through May 31, and they are waiving the $50 application fee with promo code SWEET1920! This is exciting news!

    What does extended Open Enrollment mean for you? With plan pricing the lowest that it has been in five years, you can open up a Florida Prepaid College Plan for as low as $44 a month! At pricing this low, and the waived application fee, there is nothing to lose. I love the hope that Florida Prepaid continues to provide to families so that we can know our children’s college education is safe, secure and guaranteed by the state of Florida.

    As a parent, I invest in my boy’s lives on a daily basis. Investing in their future education on a long-term basis is something that I want to plan for now. Even though times may be uncertain, I cannot put a price tag on my boy’s education. Now is the time to invest. You too can invest in your children’s future plans and dreams with a Florida Prepaid College Plan. Lock in future college costs today and sign up using promo code SWEET1920 for your application fee to be waived. Join the over 1 million Florida families who have said yes to Florida Prepaid and have invested in their children’s future education.

    Take a deep breath, friends. We will get through these days of uncertainty TOGETHER! In the meantime, will you join me in being joyful about the little things?

    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.

    15 Games Under $10!

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

    We are in uncertain time right now, but I firmly believe that we need to try and live our lives as normal as possible. I love to play games with the boys as it really is a great time to bond and to have fun in the midst of all that may be happening in our world. Here is a huge list of 15 games that I found on Amazon for under $10 each shipped to your door with Amazon Prime! (please note that these prices are current at the time of this post and prime shipping may take longer than the regular 2 day shipping period for this time)

    Hasbro Jenga Octagon Game $7.78

    Hasbro Connect 4 Game $7.88

    Yahtzee $5.99

    Jenga Mini $3.99

    Clue $7.88

    Guess Who? Classic Game $9.97

    Sorry! Game $9.99

    Connect Four $7.88

    Trouble Game $7.88

    Orangutwang Kids Game $9.99

    Ants in the Pants $9.21

    Don’t Spill the Beans $9.26

    Boggle Classic Game $9.99

    Like Ducks to Water $8.99

    Let’s Go Fishin $9.99

    + so much more HERE!

    Planning for the Future with Florida Prepaid College Plans

    This post is sponsored by Florida Prepaid College Plans. Use Florida Prepaid College Plans promo code SWEET1920 to save on your application fee. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure policy.

    March is here, and that means spring is in the air! While many kids and parents are preparing for spring break, this is also a great time to think about opening a Florida Prepaid College Plan. Don’t forget that Open Enrollment is now through April 30, and you can use promo code SWEET1920 to save $25 off your enrollment fee!

    With Florida Prepaid College Plans, you can start saving for your child’s college education early. In fact, did you know that many parents open a Florida Prepaid College Plan for their child when they are born? Not only is this a wise decision that will help your child to attend college with little or no cost, but it will also keep your child from going into debt with college loans. The average student loan debt is over $31,000. Think of how long that would take your child to pay off that debt! Wouldn’t it be amazing if your child could graduate from college debt free? It can be done thanks to help from Florida Prepaid College Plans!

    I have decided that there are things in life I am willing to sacrifice so that my children can have a good education. Just think, if you gave up a cup of coffee or snack at your favorite coffee shop several times per week you could be putting that money towards a Florida Prepaid College Plan for your child! In fact, Florida Prepaid College Plans are the lowest price that they have been in over 5 years with plans starting at just $44 per month!

    Florida Prepaid College Plans allows you to plan for your child’s future education without stressing and worrying about the details. They do it all for you! Simply pick the plan that fits into your savings goals and lock in the cost of college for less! You will get such peace of mind in knowing that your child’s future is covered. In addition, Florida Prepaid College Plans are  guaranteed by the State of Florida — you will never lose your investment.

    Which Schools Accept Florida Prepaid College Plans?

    One of the biggest concerns that I hear from many parents is not knowing which Florida Schools accept Florida Prepaid College Plans. The answer to this question is almost all of them! While Florida Prepaid Plans were designed to be used at in-state public institutions, the amount covered by the plan can also be used at technical and vocational schools. Both Florida Prepaid College Plans and Florida 529 Savings Plans benefits may be applied to any eligible educational institution, as defined in s. 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. See the entire list of schools by using the Federal School Code search through the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Office. I have the entire list for you below as to which Florida Colleges and Universities that accept Florida Prepaid Plans.

    Florida Colleges and Universities that Accept Florida Prepaid College Plans:

    1. Broward College – Fort Lauderdale
    2. Chipola College – Marianna
    3. College of Central Florida – Ocala
    4. Daytona State College – Daytona Beach
    5. Eastern Florida State College – Cocoa
    6. Florida Gateway College – Lake City
    7. Florida Keys Community College – Key West
    8. Florida SouthWestern State College – Fort Myers
    9. Florida State College at Jacksonville – Jacksonville
    10. Gulf Coast State College – Panama City
    11. Hillsborough Community College – Tampa
    12. Indian River State College – Fort Pierce
    13. Lake-Sumter State College – Sumterville
    14. Miami Dade College – Miami
    15. North Florida Community College – Madison
    16. Northwest Florida State College – Niceville
    17. Palm Beach State College – Lake Worth
    18. Pasco-Hernando State College – New Port Richey
    19. Pensacola State College – Pensacola
    20. Polk State College – Winter Haven
    21. Santa Fe College – Gainesville
    22. Seminole State College – Sanford
    23. South Florida State College – Avon Park
    24. St. Petersburg College – St. Petersburg
    25. St. Johns River State College – Palatka
    26. State College of Florida – Manatee-Sarasota
    27. Tallahassee Community College – Tallahassee
    28. Valencia College – Orlando
    29. Florida A&M University – Tallahassee
    30. Florida Atlantic University – Boca Raton
    31. Florida Gulf Coast University – Fort Myers
    32. Florida International University – Miami
    33. Florida Polytechnic University – Lakeland
    34. Florida State University – Tallahassee
    35. New College of Florida – Sarasota
    36. University of Central Florida – Orlando
    37. University of Florida – Gainesville
    38. University of North Florida – Jacksonville
    39. University of South Florida – Tampa
    40. University of West Florida – Pensacola

    Do Private Schools Accept Florida Prepaid College Plans?

    The answer is YES! With your Florida Prepaid Plan, the value that you pay to the other schools is the same as they would have paid to a Florida school. Even if you save with a traditional Prepaid Plan and your child decides to attend private school, you can still use your plan, you are just responsible for the difference. This is so great to know! I think most people are under the impression that their child has to attend a state school with Florida Prepaid and that is simply not the case.

    Can My Child Attend an Out of State School?

    I have good news! Your Florida Prepaid College Plan travels too! The plan will pay the same amount as it would pay at a public college or university in Florida. Plus, if your child returns to a Florida school, the Plan qualifies them for in-state tuition. I would encourage you to check out the full list of these schools by using the Federal School Code Search through the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Office.

    How Do I Get Started With Florida Prepaid College Plans?

    Now that you know a little bit about which colleges and universities accept Florida Prepaid College Plans, you are ready to start saving for your child’s future! I realize that many people such as myself may be on a strict budget and don’t feel that they have the extra money to set aside towards a college fund for their children. Think again! My husband I personally love Florida Prepaid because they make saving for college easy, affordable and stress free! Florida Prepaid has plans for every budget.

    I would suggest that you use the Florida Prepaid Pricing Tool. This tool is a fantastic resource that will help you calculate exactly how much your monthly payments will be for each plan. You simply enter the child’s date of birth and it will give you the monthly cost for each plan! See, I  told you that they make it super easy! There is NO reason to not invest!

    When it comes to plan options, there are many different options available. May I suggest that if you are looking for a budget-friendly option that you start small with the 1-Year University Plan? This is the plan that we enrolled Brady with last year and I could not be more pleased. It is such a flexible option and even allows for different family members to purchase an additional year if they want to, adding up to 4 years! It is better to start small than not have anything at all. You can see the entire list of plans available HERE.

    So, what are you waiting for? Join my family and the over 1 million other Florida families who have already invested with Florida Prepaid! When you invest in the gift of education, you are giving your children to the opportunity to be the leaders of tomorrow! I am so thankful for Florida Prepaid and we know that Brady has a wonderful future ahead of him thanks to help from our Florida Prepaid College Plan! Use promo code SWEET1920 to save $25 off your application fee. Open Enrollment is now through April 30.

    Do you still have questions? Be sure to visit the Florida Prepaid College Plans FAQ question page HERE. In addition, I have several other posts HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE that may also help answer your questions!

    Creating the Perfect Nursery

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

    Creating a nursery is so much fun, but no matter how prepared you feel, it’s hard knowing where to start. When I was creating Brady’s nursery, I had no idea where to start. There are so many things that you are supposed to buy, so many things that you are supposed to do, and it can be very overwhelming. If you are in the same boat when it comes to creating a nursery for your bundle of joy that is on the way, keep reading. Here are a few ways that you can create a special and perfect nursery for your bundle:

    Consider Your Space

    First of all, you absolutely need to consider your space. What do you have room for? When it comes to creating a nursery (especially if it is your first one), it is very important to crawl before you can walk, no pun intended. Make sure you are not getting too carried away with all of the crazy things that you see on Pinterest and instead, focus on what is practical and what you can fit in your space.

    The first thing you need to consider, like I mentioned, is the amount of available space that you have. You do not want the room to look too cluttered, so you might have to cut back on some of the non-essentials and only choose essential items, such as a crib, a recliner or rocker, and a dresser/changing table.

    My favorite way to help yourself out with this process is by creating a tentative floor plan. Draw a rough outline of the room and then pencil in each piece of furniture. Of course, sizing will probably be off, but this gives you a great start before you actually take the time to measure.

    However, you do not have to consider your space if you are moving, which a lot of couples choose to do when finding out that they are having a baby. If this sounds like your situation, make sure that you are making sure that the home works for you now and in the future, as well. So, look at the nursery size, consider the number of bathrooms and what is in the bathrooms (is the tub safe, etc.), will the home have a playroom, etc. Tell your real estate agent that you are expecting and need a home that is safe for your baby-to-be. The reason why you need to be so specific with your wants and needs is because “purchasing a property is most likely the biggest financial decision you will ever make. Whether this is your first purchase or you are an experienced buyer, this decision must be made carefully,” according to Erin King with Jax Historic Realty. “Erin, who previously worked in financial services and holds an MBA with an economics focus, brings a deep understanding of buying and selling historic homes. He enjoys sharing that knowledge with clients, from how to fit a 21st century lifestyle into a historic home and where to seek financing for renovation with a home purchase, to accurately pricing homes in Historic Districts such as Riverside, Avondale, Ortega, Springfield, Murray Hill, and San Marco. Erin, who prides himself on close attention to detail and quick response to clients, has put together a support team of contractors and other professionals who help transactions go smoothly.” So, no matter if you are looking for old homes for sale in San Marco, or a new build, talk with Erin, or your personal real estate agent to make sure that you are getting what you need for your growing family.

    Choose A Color Palette

    Next up: choose a color palette! This is a really fun part. Do you know that you are having a girl? Maybe you will go with a blush pink color, or periwinkle blue with a hint of purple in it. If you are having a boy, consider a gorgeous light blue color, or maybe an emerald green accent wall. There are so many colors to choose from and this just makes the process very real and fun. When you do choose a color palette, consider the nursery furniture, your flooring, and any ‘unchangeable’ items first. Then, you can choose all of the colors for the walls and decor options. My friend, Alex, chose to go with all neutrals: white, cream, and light beige, with just a few pops of light blush. I think that is a beautiful color palette for her first baby girl. Plus, it is simple enough to last a while.

    Know Your Needs vs. Wants

    Any new mom or dad is going to go a little crazy and that is okay, but definitely take the time to consider what is a need and what is a want, or you will end up with a very cluttered room, which is not so great or practical and it will only make your life harder in the long run. Diapers? Obviously that is a need. Wipes? Same. A cute unicorn jumpy house? Uhhh… maybe that is not so practical, especially not for a newborn. You get the point! What is a need vs. a want is somewhat similar for everyone, but it is also based on what will make your life easier as a parent. There is no right or wrong way to parent and you just need to see what works best for you! 

    Add Personalized Touches

    Last but not least, add personalized touches. Have you picked out a name yet? Maybe consider adding it above her or his crib. Do you have a special blanket picked out? Maybe embroider his or her name on the blanket. This is not only a cute touch, but also a great keepsake to have in the future. There are so many ways to add personalized touches to a nursery and in my opinion, it is the best part, so have fun with it.