Saturday, July 5, 2014

Graco Stroller Review

With summer in full swing and kids out of school, it's a great time to get out with the kids and go places.  Let me tell you just how excited I was to hear that Graco just introduced a few new strollers!  These strollers are amazing and make the busy lives we lead a whole lot easier. 
We were even more excited to review two of their newest strollers.  Between the four of us sisters, we have quite a few kids, so these strollers have really been tested and proved to be reliable and absolutely wonderful!
Let's start out with the
ModesTM Sport Click ConnectTM Travel System
Displaying Modes Sport.jpg

First, here are the specs from Graco:
"The Graco Modes Sport Click Connect Travel System truly grows with your child from infant to toddler. It is 3 stylish
strollers in 1 and provides 10 versatile riding options, and it includes the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car
Seat, holding your infant from 4 - 35 lbs. The reversible stroller seat allows your little one to face you, reclines flat to
create an infant carriage and then converts to a forward-facing toddler seat. Convenience and comfort features include
a lockable front-swivel wheel for increased maneuverability, one-handed standing fold, parent’s storage tray and
adjustable canopy with UV50 protection."
MSRP: $329.99 (Stroller), $429.99 (Travel System with SnugRide® Click ConnectTM 35)
I absolutely love this stroller!  There are so many things I love about it!  I have to first mention all of the riding options.  I like how there are so many different options.   And the ease of folding up the stroller is great!  I have kept this stroller in my van and I'm so glad to have it! Sometimes I make an excuse to go somewhere just so I can use the stroller!

 I have loved having this at the park and at the store! 

This stroller has so many options.  You can create a "new stroller" with the many different ways to move the seat around.  Here is what the "bassinet" looks like.  It is completely enclosed.  There is no way your sleeping infant can fall out.  I love this!
 It comes with a car seat.  
Now I just have to add this in...I have eight children. I have gone through a lot of car seats and tried so many different styles and brands.  But when my husband saw and tested this car seat out, he said that it is way better than any of the car seats we have used in the past. And that is saying a lot! It is light and easy to carry!
You can completely take off the seat, which is super easy to do, and attach the car seat onto the stroller.
Or you can just attach it into the stroller in addition to the normal seat that the stroller comes with.
You can move the seat to face forward, or to face backward.  I love this feature! My kids love this feature! Great move Graco!

It is great for kids and babies alike!  All my younger are always begging to be the one to sit in the stroller.

It folds up easy and has little "legs" to hold the stroller up. And you can really fold it up with one hand!  I love that!
And here is the black clip that holds the stroller closed.
And I love the room that the basket underneath has!  It can hold a ton of stuff!  And I always have a lot of "stuff" to put in it!
Now onto the Jogging Stroller...

Displaying Relay_Panther.jpg
RelayTM Click ConnectTM Performance Jogging Stroller
First, here are the specs from Graco:
"Graco’s Relay Click Connect Jogging Stroller is the ultimate performance jogger –the only one with all accessories
included, allowing you to include your child in your active lifestyle. Designed for avid joggers, it features air-filled rubber
tires, a locking front-swivel wheel with tracking, premium suspension and a lightweight frame. Reflective, tech-fabric
helps keep you visible in low light and the UV50 canopy gives your child sun protection. This stroller is compatible with
all Graco Click Connect infant car seats to create a custom travel system. It’s just what moms – who need to go the extra
mile – need!"
MSRP: $329.99 (Stroller)
This stroller is amazing!  I use it all the time! I actually keep it in my house and my daughter crawls into it all the time wanting to go on a walk or a jog.  It has been used for many, many miles of "runs".  
I have used it with my one year old, my three year old and my five year old and it has pushed so nice no matter what child I was taking.  I absolutely love this stroller and will get many more miles of use from it!

I really love how far down the canopy goes down.  It's perfect to keep the sun out of the little one's eyes!  And both of the strollers have a  UV protection of 50!

The brakes are really easy to use and take a look at those shocks and tires!  This stroller was my husbands favorite and I think this might just be the reason! It just looks tough! And is very sturdy!

There is a little flap so you can keep an eye on your little one.  And I always put my phone and keys in the little pockets right under the handle.

And what's really great about Graco, is the interchangeability of the car seats and strollers.  The car seat from the Sport Click Connect can be used for the jogging stroller effortlessly. 

You just have to flip up the flap and the car seat snaps right into place and there are no worries of the car seat popping out of the stroller!

And the canopies completely shade the baby from the sun!

Overall, I have loved everything about these strollers! They are both absolutely amazing!  They both serve their purpose and I would strongly suggest both of them to anyone who is stroller shopping.  You cannot go wrong with either one of these strollers!

Disclaimer: Graco sent us these products to review.  All the opinions stated are our own.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Easy Trampoline PVC Sprinkler

My kids LOVE to jump on our trampoline with the sprinklers on during the summer. But I get tired of setting the sprinkler in the center of the tramp then having to move it to water other parts of the lawn, then resetting it. So we came up with a great plan. This is our original idea and haven't seen it anywhere else.
This is so simple to make all you need is:
2- 10ft sticks of 3/4" PVC Pipe
1- 3/4" PVC End Cap
1- 3/4" PVC Coupling
1- PVC Hose Connector
PVC All Purpose Glue
10-15 Zip Ties
Drill with 1/8" drill bit
PVC Cutting Tool/Saw
You need to connect and glue the 2 long PVC sticks with the coupling. On one end glue on the PVC Hose Connector. From here, find the best place that is closest to the water hose so that you aren't connecting the hose in an awkward area. You will zip tie the hose connector and PVC pipe to the trampoline at that spot. Then move around about 4 ft and put another zip tie there, and so on until you get to the end. Once you have gone around the whole tramp and secured it with zip ties you should be back to the hose connector. Cut the pipe and glue the end cap on here. Next, take the drill and drill holes slightly slanted to the center of the tramp every 2-3 feet. The closer the holes are the lower it will spray, the farther apart the hole the higher the water will spray. Make sure the glue is dry before you turn on the hose. Have fun and always supervise kids when they are jumping on a trampoline and are around water.
Happy Summer!! 

Sunday, May 11, 2014


I was reflecting on Motherhood this afternoon.  I woke up this morning to one of my sons bringing me a chocolate chip cookie that we made the day before on a plate with a cup of water.  It was really sweet, he is always so thoughtful and he wanted to make the day extra special.

My children
My husband was still at work from the day before.  He started his shift at 6 or 7 am Saturday morning and was scheduled for a 24 hour shift at the hospital in Labor and Delivery.  When he works these types of shifts, it really isn't a 24 hour shift, but more like a 27 hour shift.  The hours that residents works are crazy, but that's a whole other topic.  He emailed me and sent me a sweet text wishing me Happy Mother's Day.  And he was so thoughtful to buy me airline gift certificates so I could visit my sisters and schedule a fun trip with them since I live a couple states away from them.  This was totally unexpected because I have only been on an airplane one other time in the past 30 years.  Crazy, huh?

So I got out of bed and made my daughter's favorite bread, banana bread, with her.  Which ended up being a baking session with all of my daughters, and I absolutely love it!  Then I taught one of my sons how to make meatloaf.  He made it entirely by himself.  He was so excited to eat it for dinner.  

How people see my boys
The day went on.  I opened hand made gifts from my children.  Gifts like bookmarks, homemade soap, coasters, cards, coupons to do chores without complaining.  (I love everyone of them!)  I got ready for church as one son cut various fruits to put in drinking water for the women at church and another son washed and wrapped baked potatoes in foil for dinner.  I taught one son how to tie a tie as he got ready for church.  He was so excited that he did it all by himself!

My husband came home...exhausted.  He said good morning to everyone and then went to bed.

How I see my boys
We all finished getting ready for church and hopped in my van.  We arrived early...yeah!  And I listened to my son give a I wrestled, and I mean wrestle, a couple of kids trying to get them to sit still and be quiet. (Talk are similar to a mini sermon that the youth in our church prepare and give to the congregation.)  He did an amazing job!  If fact, he made me cry from all the sweet words he said.  And let me tell you, it wasn't a pretty cry.  It was a pretty ugly cry.  And it didn't help the situation when my 3 year old daughter kept asking "Mom, why are you crying?" over and over again.  And I couldn't answer her...because I was crying too hard.

So after all that, I just sat there and reflected on Motherhood.  Isn't it amazing!?  It's hard work...really, really hard work.  It's exhausting and tiring and exhausting all over again.  We shed tears of joy, sadness, frustration, and sometimes tears and we don't even know why. We cook and clean and wipe faces and walls and windows.  We survive on little to no sleep.  We laugh and love, we give hugs and get hugs.  We smile when they accomplish something big, we smile when they accomplish something little.  We rejoice in the good that we see in them.  Isn't Motherhood great!  It's a noble and wonderful thing!  As hard as it may be, as demanding as it may seem, the rewards are immeasurable.

Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful Moms! 


Friday, May 9, 2014

Homemade Lavender Oatmeal Soap

This past week, I taught my daughter's Preschool group and decided to get the girls together (it is a sweet little class of only girls) and make a Mother's Day present.  I decided that homemade soap would be fun and easy!

So I gather together a few ingredients and we went to work melting and stirring, and then ended the project with wrapping and tying.  It was fun and the girls loved every part of the project! 

This is a neat project to experiment with, so give it a try.  It's not an exact science, just hands on and lots of fun!
 I just want to add a little disclaimer. I am not a professional soap maker, just a Mom who likes to mix things together and have fun! My kids love to make their own different versions and experiments.

Homemade Lavender Oatmeal Soap

Ingredients and Supplies
Blocks of glycerin soap (I bought mine at Hobby Lobby.  
It came in a bag.  When I melted it down, I used about 1 1/4 cup.)
1/4 Coconut oil (not necessary, but great for moisturizing)
Food coloring (optional)
Fragrance (I used a couple drops of DoTerra's Lavender Essential Oil)
Handful of Oatmeal
Bread Pan
Cooking Spray
Wax Paper
Wrapping Material (for cuteness)
Start out by preparing the bread pans.  You can use whatever type of mold you want the soap to take shape into.  I used two small loaf pans and cut three blocks of soap from each pan.  Line the pans with wax paper the best you can and then spray with cooking spray.

Melt the blocks of soap in the microwave for 30 seconds intervals, stirring between times.  After melted, add the coconut oil, food coloring, and fragrance.  If needed, put in the microwave again to keep the liquid form. After all ingredients are mixed, pour into pans.  Add a sprinkle of oatmeal, I pushed the oatmeal into the soap with a spoon, and allow to cool. 

After the soap is back in it's solid form, lift out of the pan with the wax paper and cut into pieces.  We made 6 bars of soap with this recipe.  Wrap and enjoy the luxury of homemade soap!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Smile Brillant Giveaway Winner!

We have a winner to the Smile Brillant GIVEAWAY!!!  And the winner is...
Kristin Corbin

Congrats Kristin!

Thanks for tweeting about the giveaway!  Now you are the big winner! YEA!!
We sent you an email.  
You will need to respond to the email within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen.
Thanks for everyone who entered!

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