Orlando Mom Collective Presents ChristmasLand Drive-Thru!

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ChristmasLand Drive-Thru Event

CLICK HERE to get your ticket!

SO DON’T FORGET!

1. Your letter to Santa for our North Pole delivery driver!
2. An unwrapped toy for the toy drive!
3. A car full of fun!

Limited Vendor opportunities available. Email [email protected] for details.

Virtual Valentine’s Day Party GIVEAWAYS!

We have SO MANY giveaways for our Virtual Valentine’s Day party, that we decided to give them their separate blog post! If you want more information about our Virtual Valentine’s Day Party and how you can get tickets, click HERE!

REMINDER! VIP attendees have a 50% chance to win a giveaway!!!

Do you have your ticket?
ONE TICKET PER HOUSEHOLD,
GET YOUR TICKET HERE!

Giveaways are listed in no particular order!

We are literally adding in giveaways DAILY! So check back often, or be sure you’re following our Facebook and Instagram pages!

VIRTUAL VALENTINE'S DAY PARTY GIVEAWAYS!

GIVEAWAY Collection

15 Minute Zoom Call from Ever After Character Events

Winner receives a 15-minute zoom call with a character of your choice from Ever After Character Events, Orlando’s PREMIER Princess Company!

4-PACK of Hot Chocolate Bombs!

You receive a 4-pack of Valentine’s Hot Chocolate Bomb from S3Creationz!  Place in a mug, pour hot milk into mug, watch the chocolate melt and magically release heart shaped marshmallows and cocoa hiding inside! Try their newest delicious creamy flavor – Strawberry Chocolate Bomb!

value – $20

Valentine's Day Smash Cake!

Show your Smashin Love this Valentine’s Day! S3Creationz  chocolate hearts are the perfect and fun way to send an explosion of love to your significant others, besties, children, parents and more! Filled with chocolates and candies inside, you can even add a personalize message to include.

S3Creationz Stackin' Creationz books

S3Creationz Stackin’ Creationz books, a perfect addition to your home decor and makes for great unique gifts too. Create a beautiful display by stacking multiple books.

These can also make great Valentines Day gifts. Whether it’s the start of your love story, or an anniversary, show your love with some customized Stackin’ Creationz.

Value $20

My Gym Waterford Lakes

3 winners for Gift certificates to My Gym Waterford Lakes

2 giveaways – Free Parents’ Night Out OR camp ($40  value each)

1 giveaway – Free 4 Weeks of Classes ($74 value)

Sweet Petes Cookies

10″ cookie cake from Sweet Petes Cookies

*pre-event giveaway! Watch our social media pages for details!

value – $25

GoSili

GoSili Cup and Straw Gift Set

GoSili designs and manufactures silicone tableware products for the whole family.  The excessive use and waste of disposable paper and plastic inspired the GoSili founders to create a modern line incorporating all the practical benefits that silicone has to offer.  GoSili products make the basics better by bringing an alternative to plastic, bridging the gap between great design and affordability while improving the way we live! A win-win for all!  For more information visit www.gosili.com.

Winner will be mailed cup set

Value – $20

pediped outlet

choice of girl or boy

Award-Winning Shoes for Baby | Toddler | Big Kids! Family-owned and operated out of sunny Las Vegas. Since its founding in 2004, pediped® has become a favorite of moms, editors and celebrities alike for their extremely comfortable fit and their adorable styling. pediped® has earned the prestigious seal of approval from the American Podiatric Medical Association.

value – $35.95

igloo

Disney Playmate Pal Daisy Duck 7 Qt Cooler

Best friends are meant to have your back, make you laugh and even better, they are ready to tackle adventures with you. In honor of this friendship, Igloo has created special edition Mickey & Friends inspired Playmates perfect for you and all of your friends. Keep your snacks and drinks chilled and handy with a new Disney Pal Playmate.

A tried-and-true favorite around the world, this versatile 9-can cooler features our iconic tent-top design in a go-anywhere size perfect for average-sized lunch appetites at work or at play.

value – $39.99

Manuka Honey

Three Peaks is a premium UMF certified Manuka Honey from the central plateau of New Zealand We have over 14,000 hives and have a completely transparent supply chain as we go straight from our own beehives to our extracting facility to jar.

Most importantly we are UMF certified which is so critical as that ensures a third party tests for the “unique manuka factor” to ensure what we say is in the jar is actually in the jar.

What makes Manuka Honey so special?

Manuka Honey contains over 200 compounds not found in other honeys. The UMF rating on each pack represents the proportion of unique signature compounds characterizing Manuka Honey that are present in each batch- In particular the medicinal trilogy of Leptosperin, dihydroxyacetone (DHA) and Methylglyoxal (MGO) help make up the UMF rating  and the higher the UMF rating the higher concentration of the all the good stuff and is often even medical grade. More information can be found regarding UMF at   www.umf.org.nz

Value – $84.99

Saro for Kalenkom - Flamingo!

Check out these adorable plush toys! The Kalenkom plush toys from the boutique brand SARO; they’re all natural, safe, and high quality.

PLUSH TOY – FLAMINGO – $12.99

Saro for Kalenkom - Monkey!

Check out these adorable plush toys! The Kalenkom plush toys from the boutique brand SARO; they’re all natural, safe, and high quality.

PLUSH TOY – MONKEY – $12.99

Saro for Kalenkom - Octopus!

Check out these adorable plush toys! The Kalenkom plush toys from the boutique brand SARO; they’re all natural, safe, and high quality.

PLUSH TOY – OCTOPUS – $12.99

ergoPouch

Winner will receive CHOICE of 2-piece pajama set from ergoPouch! Mix and match our TOG-rated Layers, designed to be worn as pajamas underneath any of our swaddles, sleeping bags, sleep suits or sleep onesies.  They’re so sweet, we guarantee you’ll want extra for daywear too! Our Pajamas are made from a deliciously soft, stretchy organic jersey cotton for comfort and warmth during sleep. The slim-fit designs prevents bunching underneath your child’s pouch, and the breathable, natural fibers help regulate body temperature and prevent overheating.

Value – $24.99-34.99

Sophie & Trey

$50 Sophie & Trey Gift Certificate!

Winner will receive a $50 gift certificate to Sophie & Trey plus personal styling session!

Sophie & Trey offers:

  • FREE Personal Stylist appointments!
  • FREE Virtual Fitting Rooms!
  • FREE In-Store Pick Up!

We are literally adding in giveaways DAILY! So check back often, or be sure you’re following our Facebook and Instagram pages!

Businesses, want to submit a giveaway for the event?

Would you like to share your product or business with Orlando families? Partnering with Orlando Mom Collective allows your business greater visibility with a large targeted market of local families. Email [email protected] for details!

Orlando Couple Opens Doggy Day Care, Central Bark Canine Enrichment = Play, Rest, Learning, Love

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Last month a dream came true for Mike and Lisa Roth when they opened Central Bark in Orlando. This weekend they’ll celebrate with grand opening festivities including free tours, discounted grooming, food trucks, information on rescue and pet adoption, free dog dentistry and veterinary consultations, and free enrichment activities like snuffle mats, colored ball pools, puzzles and other games.

Central Bark’s grand opening is open to the public (COVID protocols observed) and will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 23 in the facility’s 10,000 square feet of space at 5221 Young Pine Road.

“We’d always dreamed of working with and caring for dogs and personally we understand strong ties to all pets,” Lisa said. “We got our beautiful Roxy Marie, an English bulldog/boxer mix, at only six weeks old. She was the queen of our house but we lost her just five days before Mike and I were expecting our first son a few years ago.”

Because the Roths have experienced the ups and downs of pet ownership, they understand that pets are family and family deserves the best. At their new Central Bark facility, the Roths provide personalized pet care, outstanding customer service and Central Bark’s signature enrichment doggy day care. System-wide the brand believes a dog requires a healthy mix of play/exercise, rest, learning and love to be a happy, calm, and well-rounded dog at home and away.

Exercise through play helps dogs maintain healthy weight and muscle tone, improves mood and provides an outlet for energy. With small and large playgroups in 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, dogs can enjoy the social environment that’s right for their age, personality, and comfort level.

After exercise, rest is important to prevent overstimulation so there’s a special canine nap room complete with calming toys, classical music and aromatherapy. Learning is the next critical component of canine socialization and, with guidance from Central Bark, dogs are always teaching each other what is and isn’t appropriate social behavior. Highly trained staff use positive reinforcement training techniques to promote safe play and help cultivate healthy social behaviors.

Finally, love. The Roths welcome each dog into their own family to provide all the love and attention they need while pet parents are away. Through Central Bark’s deep system of training and vigilance, and with regular attendance, each dog’s personality, needs, and preferences shines through and all dogs are accepted and loved for their uniqueness. 

Mike and Lisa are so on board with the “whole dog care” approach at Central Bark because it supports a dog’s physical, mental, and emotional health and happiness. Services include salon and spa, sleepovers, training and enrichment. And now this former retail manager and his wife, a former medical coder, have come full circle. 

Now, not only does three-year-old Brandon have a new baby brother, Nicholas, he’s got a new puppy sister as well as all the other doggy family members at Central Bark.

“It wasn’t easy, but we waited for just the perfect time to welcome our next four-legged family member,” Lisa said. “Just as we were opening Central Bark, Nymeria came into our lives and this three-month-old, energetic pitbull mix has already made herself known. She pretty much rules the roost and has been the most welcomed addition to our Central Bark family.”

To meet Mike and Lisa or schedule grooming, sleepover, enrichment training or day care, call 407-440-4057 or visit Central Bark Orlando. 

The facility is located at 5221 Young Pine Road and open Monday – Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The grand opening will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 23.

Join our Virtual Valentine’s Day Party!

Mamas! We are bringing the Valentine’s Day Party to YOU!

This year you have adapted like never before, and we truly believe you are rockin’ this pandemic life as best as you can, but we’d like to take some stress off of your Valentine’s Day plate.

We are so excited to announce our 1st VIRTUAL VALENTINE’S DAY party! Here’s how it works:

FIRST, for those who purchase one of our party boxes, your party box will arrive between Feb 9-10, and will include a plethora of goodies to make your Valentine’s Day party on point (see below)! Then, all attendees will join the virtual party, February 12-14th on our platform. All activities will be geared to children ages 2 – 12 and available on our private, secure party page for the whole family to enjoy. (We will also have a “For Parents Only” section with information from local businesses who would like to share some love with you this Valentine’s Day season.) No need to attend “live” – the activities can be enjoyed anytime between February 12th – 14th. Come and go as you please, re-watch your favorite segments, and enjoy all the fun from the comfort of your own home!

See our sponsor lineup below, and check back as we are daily adding more!

ONE TICKET PER HOUSEHOLD, GET YOUR TICKET HERE!


Party Color Palate!

First things first… every party needs a color palate, right!? As you scroll through what’s all in your party box, you’ll see that we went with Wine, Rose Gold Confetti, White, Blush, and Rose Gold! So start looking now for your perfect outfit for you… and the babies!


We have 3 ticket options!

1. Go BIG with our Virtual Party Pass + VIP Party Box!

In addition to the virtual online party, your VIP Party Box will be sent to your home by February 9th and includes:

  • Virtual Valentine’s Day Party Access (including appearances from Orlando Princess Parties – Ever After Character Events, activities from My Gym Waterford Lakes, story time with Social Bridges, fashion show from Sophie & Trey, and MORE!)
  • 5 envelopes and coloring pages for your kid(s) to decorate and deliver to neighbors, friends & siblings!
  • You receive 1 Valentine’s Hot Chocolate Bomb from S3Creationz! (Have you seen how cool these are? You can watch our video here!) Place in a mug, pour hot milk into mug, watch the chocolate melt and magically release heart shaped marshmallows and cocoa hiding inside! Try their newest delicious creamy flavor – Strawberry Chocolate Bomb! Email [email protected] if you would like to add more hot chocolate bombs to your box!
  • “LOVELY” Sticker Pack from Lofty Co. Spread love this holiday season with inspirational stickers. You can stick them to your thermos, laptop case or give as a gift to encourage that special someone in your life!
  • VIPs get 1 Valentine’s themed LippyClip. We are love-struck with these adorable designs, and can’t wait to see which ones you grab for all of your galentines! (Be sure you tag @orlandomomcollective and @LippyClip on social so that we can share your photos!)
  • All VIP’s receive 1 hand protector from Ghluv. Wear discreetly on your wrist and pull down over your hand to avoid touching potentially contaminated surfaces! You’re going to luv Ghluv!
  • Board game for MOM (ages 18 & up)! You’ll receive one game for your next galentine’s party! Friend or Faux, In May Cause Side Effects, or OK Boomer! (Again, a game for adults, not kids!)
  • EIGHT (8) Sweet! by Holly cupcake coupons! Before the party, stop by Sweet! by Holly and pick up (2) 4-packs for the Virtual Valentine’s Party! Then, during the party, hop on Instagram and show which flavors you picked! (Be sure you tag @orlandomomcollective and @sweetbyholly so that we can share your photos!)
  • Large 8ft Balloon Garland kit! We’ll supply the kit, all you have to do is blow up the balloons! VIPs receive 40 balloons! We are swooning over the color palate! Rose Gold Confetti, White, Blush, and Rose Gold Latex Balloons. (Roses not included, but get creative and personalize yours! We can’t wait to see your final project – again TAG US!)
  • ALL VIPs receive a waffle cookie pack from Sweet Petes Cookies!
  • You’ll receive several activity & coloring pages for the kids
  • One FREE class to My Gym Waterford Lakes
  • 3 raffle tickets for giveaways (Giveaways will be announced THIS WEEK!)
  • this is just the start… hang tight, this list might increase!

ONE TICKET PER HOUSEHOLD, GET YOUR TICKET HERE!

VIP tickets are $50, and you HAVE A 50/50 chance to win a giveaway!
SET YOUR ALARM! We have VERY limited VIP tickets! Once we’re out… we’re out!


OPTION #2. Virtual Party Pass + BASIC Party Box!

In addition to the virtual online party, your BASIC Party Box will be sent to your home by February 9th and includes:

  • Virtual Valentine’s Day Party Access (including appearances from Orlando Princess Parties – Ever After Character Events, activities from My Gym Waterford Lakes, story time with Social Bridges, fashion show from Sophie & Trey, and MORE!)
  • 5 envelopes and coloring pages for your kid(s) to decorate and deliver to neighbors, friends & siblings!
  • FOUR Sweet! by Holly cupcake coupons! Before the party, stop by Sweet! by Holly and pick up (1) 4-pack for the Virtual Valentine’s Party! Then, during the party, hop on Instagram and show which flavors you picked! (Be sure you tag @orlandomomcollective and @sweetbyholly so that we can share your photos!)
  • MINI 4ft Balloon Garland kit! We’ll supply the kit, all you have to do is blow up the balloons! Basic Box includes 15 balloons – Rose Gold Confetti, White, Blush, and Rose Gold Latex Balloons! (We can’t wait to see your decor! Be sure to TAG US so that we can share yours!)
  • Activity & coloring pages
  • One FREE class to My Gym Waterford Lakes
  • 2 raffle tickets for giveaways

ONE TICKET PER HOUSEHOLD, GET YOUR TICKET HERE!

BASIC Box tickets are $20.
SET YOUR ALARM! We have VERY limited basic tickets! Once we’re out… we’re out!


OPTION #3. Virtual Pass Only. Tickets are $12 for your entire household to attend!

ONE TICKET PER HOUSEHOLD, GET YOUR TICKET HERE!

Virtual Pass Only tickets are only $12.

You must purchase a ticket to be eligible for a giveaway. *Select giveaways will be mailed to the address provided when you purchase your ticket.

*Select giveaways will be announced during our Virtual Valentine’s Day Party. These winners will be announced on February 15th, for those who attend the Virtual Valentine’s Day Party.


SEE FULL LIST OF GIVEAWAYS HERE


Who will be at the Virtual Valentine’s Day Party?

Well… YOU and…

  1. Our Event Sponsor, AdventHealth for Children!
  2. Ever After Character Events
  3. My Gym, Waterford Lakes
  4. Social District
  5. Sophie & Trey

(More info about each business soon!)


ONE TICKET PER HOUSEHOLD, GET YOUR TICKET HERE!

CURRENTLY ACCEPTING VENDORS

Are you a local business and you’d like more info about how you can partner with us? Email [email protected] for more info!

Moving to Orlando

Moving to Orlando? We’ve compiled some posts to help you navigate the City Beautiful. From neighborhoods, to favorite restaurants, coffee shops, parks and more!

10 Steps to Becoming a "Florida Mom"

Moving to Florida is a welcome change, especially for many people coming from the super snowy winter regions. If you’re a new Orlando mom, here’s a quick guide to becoming a true “Floridian.”

Located In the heart of downtown Orlando, you can find locally owned businesses for all your needs. Fancy an afternoon at the park (we have several) and then a stroll up to grab ice cream (or a milk shake!) on the main street? Sure. You can do that because it’s College Park. I love my neighborhood, can you tell?

Orlando can seem huge, so we’ve created a way to make it feel a little smaller. Whether you’re a new mom, new to the city, or just want to meet new friends, the Village is the perfect way to connect with moms in Orlando.

Get to know other moms in Orlando! Mommy and Me classes are a great way to enjoy time with your baby in a supportive environment, all while meeting other new moms.

Windermere Winter Garden Florida

Are you thinking of moving to the Winter Garden or Windermere, Florida area? This post features places to enjoy the outdoors, playgrounds, sweet spots, local history, date night spots, places to meet moms, and places to hang out with kids in Windermere and Winter Garden! 

I seem to always be “on the look out” for fun and unique things within the Orlando area. Here are some fun activities to do with children that doesn’t involve a trip to a theme park.

Orlando is chock full of great parks! We polled some of our readers & friends and asked them for their favorite parks in Central Florida. Here’s our list of park favorites around Central Florida.

Winter Park, FL

Whether you are a tourist or a local, if you are looking to experience elegant “Old Florida” charm, look no further than Winter Park, Florida, a city just north of downtown Orlando.

I spent the better part of a day driving from St. Cloud to Winter Park, tasting doughnuts (donuts?) from some amazing bakeries. I have a headache, my stomach hurts, and I need a nap.

Every parent loves the word “free”, even more so when used together with the word “kids.” Here’s a list of restaurants in the greater Orlando area that offer ‘kids eat free’, or almost free!

My Maitland

A little over 2 years ago my family relocated to Central Florida. Little did we know that we would find the perfect neighborhood in Maitland. From the parks to restaurants, I’ve listed some of my favorite things about Maitland!

Favorite Coffee Shops

Hell hath no furry like a mama in need of a good cup of morning Joe. We’ve compiled a list of favorite coffee shops in and around Central Florida!

Weather in Florida

The weather in Florida can be confusing. Rain every day? Seriously?

Here’s a quick explanation if you are visiting Florida to understand our weather!

Dr. Phillips Windermere

Are you considering a move to the Dr. Phillips/Windermere area? OR, perhaps you want to know more about the restaurants along “Restaurant Row”, you’re looking for mommy & me activities, or you’ve heard about the boutiques in the area? Take a peek at this post highlighting Dr. Phillips and Windermere!

Want to be a part of our Moving to Orlando Guide?

You can submit your business any time!

Partnering with us allows your business greater visibility with a large targeted market of local families. Join us and help enrich the lives of Orlando Moms! Contact us at [email protected]

Introducing the OMC Book Club!

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I’m so thrilled to announce the launch of the OMC Book Club, an online community where moms connect through reading, sharing, and growing — together. Our community members will be guided through reading a book with thought-provoking weekly topics to discuss and share with each other. Our mission is to curate a positive community for moms who feel that deep desire for connection with others, and to encourage thoughtful discussion that weaves our unique experiences together, creating a strong, supportive community as we all navigate through motherhood.

The OMC Book Club will officially launch on Monday, February 15th!

Intrigued? Read on to learn more!

Repeat after me: moms have time to read. 

If you rolled your eyes at that, don’t worry — I used to, as well. But now it’s a core belief of mine and part of the inspiration for OMC starting a community book club. My first couple years of motherhood, I operated under the assumption that, since I was a mom, all of my personal needs went to the wayside and I had no time to do anything for myself. As a result, I developed a deep sense of loneliness and alienation – and ended up developing an addiction to scrolling on my phone and consuming mindless content. I knew I felt unbalanced, yet it took some time for me to realize that motherhood doesn’t mean giving up your sense of self. I also realized that suppressing my need for growth and stimulation was the cause of my off-kilter feeling. I started to take little pockets of time each day to do things that were only for me, and I started to feel whole and human again.

The OMC Book Club is an opportunity for moms not only to connect with a community of other moms, it’s a chance to reconnect with yourself by doing something just for you.

Nervous about joining a book club? I’ve got you! We’ll work through books at a reasonable pace and I’ll guide you the whole way. Whether you’re an avid reader or you’re someone who hasn’t picked up a book since high school, the OMC Book Club is a place for all mom kind.

Here’s how to get involved!

1. Join the OMC Book Club Facebook group.

This is where it’ll all happen! I’ll post the weekly reading selection, along with the discussion question. Midweek, I’ll post again, sharing my own reflection and encouraging club members to share their own reflections, as well. We’ll also be sharing other special opportunities to share and connect here, such as monthly Zoom book club get-togethers.

Click on this link to join the OMC Book Club FB group!

2. Get the book.

This is a pretty important part of the book club experience, of course! For each book selection, you’re welcome to choose any format in which it’s available: traditional hardcover or paperback, audiobook, or an e-format, such as the Kindle version. It’s up to you, but having a copy of the book is essential so that you can participate in the reading and discussions.

(Wondering what the first book pick will be? More on that below!)

3. Read and share!

This is the best part! Of course, it’s not required that you share your thoughts on each discussion topic — some questions might speak to you more than others, and that’s totally normal — but the discussion is the heart of a book club and I hope as many people as possible share and discuss different topics. Remember, your unique views and experiences are invaluable to any group discussion because you’re the only one who has your one-of-a-kind story!

4. Follow the community guidelines to ensure a positive experience for all.

Of course, and as always, OMC cares deeply about its community, and therefore all book club members should always be respectful to others and their opinions. Let’s work together to form a strong, supportive environment for all moms and celebrate our similarities and differences.

 

That’s it! Simple, right? Follow these steps and you’ll be a part of a growing community of women all navigating through motherhood together while also satisfying a deep desire for growth and connection.

February’s Book Club Selection

I am so excited to share with you our first book club pick: Share Your Stuff. I’ll Go First.: 10 Questions to Take Your Friendships to the Next Level by Laura Tremaine

This book is brand new and is available for purchase on February 2, 2021, but you can also pre-order it if you’re too excited to wait (like I did!). I’m so excited about this book pick because it’s literally geared toward sharing our experiences and connecting in more effective ways to make stronger friendships with others!

Questions?

No worries! I’ll be on the OMC Instagram page today talking all things book club and answering any questions you may have.

I am thrilled to be a part of a vibrant community of moms, all wanting to read, learn and grow together. Can’t wait for the official launch of the OMC Book Club on Monday, February 15th!

DIY Laundry Room Makeover

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If you follow our Instagram takeovers on Orlando Moms Collective’s Instagram, you might remember I’m a sucker for a DIY project. My house is an ongoing renovation, fixer upper, DIY project, and I recently decided to tackle a DIY makeover of my laundry room. This is phase one, as I have grand plans for the overall room but my budget isn’t as vast as my imagination.

My goals for this room: light and airy feel, functional and budget friendly. 

Before

This laundry room is a blessing and a curse. It’s actually a fairly large room and a blank canvas which has been more of a challenge than I anticipated. We moved in, purchased a used washer and dryer but this room had zero storage. It didn’t have shelves or cabinets. About 2 months ago, the washer and dryer bit the dust and now with a new shiny washer and dryer, I was desperate to make the space more functional. I don’t know about you, but I spend a lot of time doing laundry. Is it so much to ask to want to enjoy the space when you’re not a fan of the task?!

After


Oh happy day! I was super excited to get this project wrapped up in less than 2 days and less than $100. This laundry room makeover was one of the most satisfying DIY projects I’ve done. It took very little time but made a huge impact immediately. I still have some additional things I’d like to change in the future, getting the giant eye sore of a water heater out would be lovely. Finally committing to a drying rack would be great. A folding table would be divine. But, I’m so happy with how it turned out and it’s exactly what I had in my head.

The details

Behind the Washer/Dryer Shelving

Many hours were spent searching Pinterest for the best storage solutions. Open shelving always captures my attention. I toyed with the idea during my kitchen renovation but I just couldn’t commit to open shelving in such a well used space. This makeover was my chance!

My super handy husband helped me with a behind the washer/dryer shelf that we painted white with some left over paint we had from painting molding in the kitchen. It’s just 4 pieces of wood, three legs and a top. We painted it white to help it blend in with the space around it. This is for the frequently used items such as detergent, stain treatment spray and dryer sheets/dryer balls. But we needed more.

More Shelving!

My needs in this room were:

  1. storage for excess paper goods and mason jars,
  2. storage for rags and cleaning supplies
  3. and a space saving place to hang dry delicates.

We accomplished almost all of this. We bought and cut down boards to 9.5 inches wide and 4 feet long. I wanted them to fit inside of the width of the washer and dryer, while not jetting out too far and feeling obtrusive in the space. I sanded and stained them with 2 layers of Miniwax stains for a slightly darker than driftwood but still a hint of grey, look. First, I used Early American and allowed it to dry before adding Classic Grey.

For shelf brackets I considered piping (for an industrial look) but the round piping just didn’t feel secure enough to me. Off to Etsy I went and found the perfect black iron brackets. The cost of wood came out to about $40 and the brackets were only $34 total!

Decorating

On to the fun stuff! I’ve mentioned that functionality was key for this makeover. The first white shelf is for easy to grab items, used most often. I bought a white basket from Five Below a few months ago, for my daughter’s room. It didn’t work in her room. I was secretly excited and it goes perfectly in my laundry room! I use it to wrangle the detergent, stain spray and dryer sheets. I’ve been trying to make the push to reduce the amount of chemicals we use. I purchased some dryer dryer balls from Grove Collaborative. Storing them in a glass jar helps make them easily accessible. I added a picture frame to bring in color and hide the ugly cord and washer dryer connections. And finally, my favorite essential oils that I use on the dryer sheets; lavender and sweet orange.

On the second shelf, I folded some of our all-white rags. The others I stored in a canvas bin. I also added my cleaning caddy, also from Grove Collabrative and a grey basket that holds ironing things, from JoAnn Fabrics. I was looking for strategic places to put essentials. I used a grey basket from JoAnn’s to hold ironing essentials.

The top shelf is for items I don’t need every day, paper good storage and extra mason jars. I’ve acquired quite the collection in my attempt to move away from plastic and over to glass.

[easy-image-collage id=28118]

Little Changes that make a big impact

If you’re not ready for a full laundry room makeover but want to make a big impact, here are some ideas. My favorite Instagram vlogger, Farmhouse on Boone, shared a tip during her laundry room makeover. She switched out detergents and stain removers from their plastic bottles and adds them to glass containers. It’s genius. You can choose containers that match your color scheme and it instantly feels like a cleaner look.

Baskets are my favorite! Just ask my husband, he constantly finds new baskets on reserve from my visits to HomeGoods. The best part, they hide non-matching items while still adding style. If your look is more modern or farmhouse, they’ve got a basket for that.

[easy-image-collage id=28119]

Have you completed a laundry room makeover? What’s your must have laundry room essential?

 

 

 

 

How Online College Costs Vary in the US and Europe

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The accelerated global shift towards online and hybrid learning models has changed the way many students approach higher education, and how to budget for it. There are many different ways to calculate college costs, but the financial aggregate varies based on a number of factors. Every institution that offers a higher education degree online has a cost structure, depending on the type of degree and the manner by which it is obtained. The cost of acquiring a college degree online is calculated differently than the cost of acquiring an education offline. Likewise, there are differences in American and European educational costs. Understanding the differences across options can help prospective students make informed decisions about attaining quality education at a reasonable price
in a virtual setting.

Calculating Costs for Online College in the US vs. in Europe

The price of higher education in the United States is typically based on the cost of educational materials, such as textbooks, the costs of maintaining the learning environment or space, and the educators’ fees or faculty salaries. In the US, students frequently have the option of taking an online course and acquiring the same credits they would from attending in-person classes. As such, they may have more access to virtual materials instead of physical textbooks, and can study at their own pace without leaving the comfort of their homes. The main benefit of studying online is that there are no transportation expenses such as gas or parking, no cost of renting physical space such as classrooms and learning facilities, and fewer overhead costs in general. 

In Europe, college costs are largely based on various cost-of-living expenses, such as commuting to and from school and paying rent. The cost of living tends to run high in Europe. Students might save money on transportation if they attend classes virtually, but they still have to pay for everyday expenses in addition to educational materials, even if they’re participating in classes online only. This means that the cost of education does not fluctuate as much from in-person to online. Attending college online affordably is certainly possible in Europe, but costs are calculated differently. 

Private vs. Public Institutions and Tuition Costs

In the US, an increasing number of private and public universities have started offering more online courses. Some can be taken for credit to achieve graduate degrees, while others are designed for bachelor’s degrees only. Domestic institutions of higher education typically offer courses at a “b” average in the context of online studies.

Students who want to get their master’s degree have an option of attending hybrid online programs at affordable colleges. Hybrid programs combine traditional classroom lectures with virtual learning platforms and resources. Hybrid courses can sometimes cost more in tuition than the traditional online classes. However, students can take advantage of career counseling services offered along with their online courses, which is an added bonus.

The American higher education system offers two types of colleges: public and private. Public colleges are non-profit institutions that are funded by taxpayers and federal grants. While private colleges tend to be more expensive and more prestigious by reputation, local community colleges and state universities also offer online college courses that are more affordable. The cost of education varies greatly, which is why it is important to understand how online college costs differ in the United States. 

In Europe, the cost of education does not vary as much between schools, whether students choose distance learning programs or in-person. The cost of educating students online is less expensive, but tuitions are often offered for free, and students allocate their budgets towards other academic resources and costs of living. In general, the cost of attending a university in a European country is much less expensive than it is in the US. In some countries and for some EU nationals, it’s free altogether. These European countries include:

  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Denmark
  • Austria
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Finland

Additional Services and Costs

Many colleges in the US offer a variety of extracurricular services and support to remote and virtually-based students. These online services may include chat rooms, discussion boards, virtual classrooms, and faculty support such as advising and tutoring services. Online resources aren’t always included by general tuition, and can cost extra. 

In some cases, online college courses have a higher success rate of completion than the equivalent courses in a traditional classroom setting. However, this doesn’t mean that online courses are easier to complete than other courses. Students who struggle with time management and exam preparation might need additional academic and extracurricular support from faculty members. It really depends on the student’s individual learning style. 

Challenges with Distance Learning

Distance learning is becoming increasingly popular in areas that are remotely secluded, and distant from metropolitan areas where there are more academic resources and physical proximity to universities. However, the challenge with distance learning in rural areas where there’s less infrastructure and urban development is having reliable internet to access online academia. 


Students need to have the proper technology to participate in classes remotely, including computers and other hardware, software, and internet access. If they don’t have this at home and can’t afford to acquire it, online college-level courses aren’t an option. 

University Scholarships

Higher education systems and business models in the US and European countries may differ and vary, but European colleges and universities are frequently more generous with scholarships. The European scholarship culture has outpaced the US by leaps and bounds over the past few decades. In an effort to encourage young adults to pursue their academic ambitions, many schools offer online courses to students at discounted prices, or on full scholarship. These opportunities are typically intended for nationals, but foreigners can still sometimes benefit from taking online courses in another country at a comparable cost to domestic courses.

Some online programs may require students to live and work in the country for a duration of time, even if they attend virtual classes, partly for the sake of cultural immersion. Foreign students might find this challenging for various reasons. In general, one of the greatest advantages of distance learning models is that students can attend classes online from any location, provided they have the necessary equipment and internet access.

When applying for a scholarship in the US, it’s important to remember that many do not cover all of the costs of studying. In addition to tuition, there’s also the cost of housing and other living essentials. Many students prefer and seek scholarships that can offer stipends to cover these costs. 

Types of Degrees

The types of degrees offered online vary, depending on what students aspire towards. For example, business courses and law school usually correlate with each other in most European countries. The primary difference occurs with doctorate programs. You can get these at any number of universities in Europe, but they typically involve longer academic tenure and level of commitment.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you can often study in more than one country. Europe has open doors for students who want to earn a master’s degree, but the standards are often higher. However, there are many universities in the US and Australia that also offer these types of advanced degrees. They may be slightly fewer in numbers, but they’re available and worth looking into if your goal is to obtain an advanced education the most reasonable way possible.

University Grants

What’s the difference between a scholarship and a grant? Scholarships require you to invest a specific amount of effort as well as demonstrate a need for financial assistance. Most scholarships involve a lengthy application process, and getting awarded any amount of money isn’t guaranteed. Grants, on the other hand, don’t require any special credit or effort on your part. There are some grant programs that give cash directly to low-income families, but there are no scholarships available for this type of subsidized funding.

The US Department of Education now offers both scholarship programs and grant funding for those who want to take courses online in the US. They may partially or fully subsidize eligible students based on financial need and academic performance. For students who qualify for a Federal Pell Grant, they can apply for up to eight scholarship programs each year. These programs cover tuition, educational materials, and equipment, and may even subsidize living expenses during online attendance. 

Catalogues for Online Courses

If you are considering taking an online class, you should explore course catalogues offered by the institution of preference. Some colleges use their catalogues to provide a breakdown of costs for each course, allowing you to compare costs side-by-side before you decide on which college to choose. Be aware that some student loans or financial aid programs will require that you pay at least part of your course fees whether or not you attend online classes, so be sure to read the fine print on any agreement you sign before you borrow and matriculate.

If you are looking for a reputable and legitimate online college anywhere in the world, one of the best things to consider is academic accreditation. While there’s no government-imposed mandate that online colleges be fully accredited, some schools are not very transparent about their status. In fact, some institutions have been forced to shut down online programs due to failure to fully inform students. Online educational programs often don’t adhere to the same rules as traditional collegiate programs.

School Accreditation

For those thinking of attending college courses online, it’s important to understand the difference between traditional and online college accreditation. For a degree from a traditional school to be considered fully accredited, it must pass what is called a “secondary accreditation” exam. These exams measure the level of knowledge, skills, and abilities that the institution has provided and pass four different tests.

This is the type of accreditation most students think they should look for when finding a good online college. However, not all online colleges are officially accredited or legitimized by the US Department of Education or relevant governing entity. In order to get an official degree from an unrecognized college, students should conduct extensive and conclusive research on the accreditation procedures in place to ensure they receive the level of education they intend to.

Conclusion

When navigating online degree options, it’s also important to research the accrediting body for the specific online program you are enrolling in to reach your academic goals. Some colleges work with one or two accreditation agencies, while others are accredited by several different accreditation agencies. The main reason for this is to prevent students from being misled into enrolling in a program that does not offer a certain level of academic quality or one that may end up wasting time and money. For example, online colleges that are accredited by one or two accrediting agencies will usually cost less money than online colleges that are accredited by multiple agencies. 

In addition, some online programs will offer substantial financial aid to prospective students in order to help them afford the tuition. It’s important and to your advantage to check out how these financial aid opportunities are described on each school’s website, and if you meet the requirements for eligibility. 

Upon finding an online college program that meets your criteria of expectations and needs, it’s important to follow up with further research and investigate all your options for taking online courses. Take the time to check out the school’s online curriculum and learn as much as you can about their background, reputation, overarching mission, and what kind of educational experience and opportunities they can offer you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if something is unclear. Online college programs are not the right choice for every aspiring student, but they can be a great option for many people, especially during an ongoing global pandemic. 

If you take the time to find a quality online college accreditation, you can improve your chances of attaining a high-quality advanced education and navigating the career of your choice, wherever you live and originate from.

 

How Messenger Kids is Saving the Holidays!

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We have proudly partnered with Messenger Kids to share this amazing app and how it can help kids connect with friends and family during a socially-distanced holiday season.

If you’re worried about what the upcoming holidays will look like, you’re not alone. As moms, we want the holidays to be full of special memories with our loved ones. But…how do we do that in the middle of a pandemic?

I’ve discovered a fantastic way for my son to connect with his family members this holiday season – the Messenger Kids app! We’ve been using it for a little while now and the number of smiles it’s produced so far is countless. He can even chat with the big ol’ jolly guy himself this holiday season. (Yes, I’m talking about SANTA! More on that below!) 

Messenger Kids

My son is just getting interested in using devices to communicate with others, and this app is the perfect parent-supervised way for him to message and video chat with his Grammie Sue or his Auntie Jen this holiday season and coming years. We’re super excited – and so are our family members!

How Messenger Kids is Saving the Holidays!

This holiday season simply isn’t going to be the same as years past, but with Messenger Kids, my son gets a whole new way of experiencing the holidays!

I have to start with my favorite holiday feature: Messenger Kids allows my son to chat with Santa himself! Well, okay. Santa is technically *me* – but my son doesn’t know that! That’s right: parents can opt-in to be able to send their child messages that will appear on their app as coming from jolly old St. Nick. Your child can have a direct line to the North Pole this holiday season! How cool?! I love being able to give my son this Santa Experience when so many other experiences have been put on hold this year.

Messenger Kids

The Messenger Kids app also has a ton of kid-appropriate holiday frames, stickers, GIFs, and more to help make this socially-distanced holiday season extra bright. Parents can even send their own child a holiday card!

Messenger Kids

Want to know another way we plan to use Messenger Kids to ring in this socially-distanced holiday season? Oh, I’m excited about this one. On top of all the other holiday features, we plan to use the video chat feature to…(drum roll, please!), go caroling! Oh yes, my son is super excited to use this app to call up his grandparents and other family members and sing a little holiday cheer into their hearts and homes this holiday season. We can’t be physically together, but Messenger Kids allows my son to still spread cheer from afar. This warms my heart to no end.

I love Messenger Kids so much because it’s the best of both worlds: parents have control over their child’s app experience, while kids control all the fun!  I’m someone who is very particular and cautious about how I let my little one use apps, but I continue to be extremely impressed by the level of control I have as a parent on my end of the Messenger Kids app. When you create a Messenger Kids account for your child, the account is linked to the parent’s Facebook account, and you have access to the Parent Dashboard. Here, you can manage your child’s contact list (only close family members for us!) and their activity. With parental controls in place, my son gets to explore awesome games, and enhance his messages and video chats with family members with kid-appropriate GIFs, stickers, filters, and more.

This is the Parent Dashboard, which I can easily access from my Facebook app on my phone! It allows me to supervise my son’s activity and manage his contact list.

Messenger Kids is the perfect solution for kids, ages 6-12, to communicate during this holiday season.

Downloading the Messenger Kids app is simple!

  • Download the Messenger kids app to your child’s phone or tablet. (You can visit the Messenger Kids website for more information on the app, and install on the Apple App Store/Google Play/Amazon.)
  • Authenticate your child’s device using your Facebook login. (This does not create a Facebook account for your child.)
  • Create an account for your child by adding their name. (At this point, your child can begin safely chatting with friends and family on their device.)
  • Parent controls are available in the Parent Dashboard on your main Facebook app.
  • Use the Parent Dashboard to manage your child’s contact list by adding and approving contacts and setting on and off times through the Sleep Mode feature.

Want to access the Santa Experience and send messages from the North Pole to your child? After setting up your child’s Messenger Kids account, go to your Parent Dashboard on your Facebook app. From there, click on the Controls tab and then on Santa Experience! Here, you’ll be able to opt-in to the special messaging feature. 

Through the Messenger Kids app, a socially-distanced holiday season doesn’t mean we have to forgo connecting with our loved ones. Our kids can read a book with grandma, send a sweet card to an aunt, or chat with a cousin, all in a parent-supervised environment. My son will still get to see his Grammie Sue and her Christmas tree, share a laugh with his cousin in Connecticut, and get a direct connection to Santa Claus this holiday season – and we can’t forget our video chat caroling! – all through Messenger Kids.

Distance has got nothing on us this holiday season. 

5 Fun Ways To Say Goodbye To Your Elf On The Shelf

He’s been a part of your life (sometimes in the same spot for more than a day) for several weeks now. He’s just like one of the family, and he’ll be missed on Christmas morning and every day until the day after Thanksgiving next year. Don’t you think your Elf on the Shelf deserves a proper send off? Here are a few ideas we love.

5 Fun Ways To Say Goodbye To Your Elf On The Shelf
Images via Pinterest

5 Fun Ways To
Say Goodbye To Your Elf On The Shelf

1. Leave a note!

One popular way to bid farewell is to have your elf leave a special, personal message for your kid, whether it’s a typewritten note or a message spelled out in candy or plastic letters on the fridge or on snow-painted window or mirror.

2. Snap an Elfie Selfie

Holding a peace sign with the message “peace out” on Instagram. Show your kids when you “discover” this Christmas Day.

3. Let them snuggle!

At my house it’s just torture to NOT touch Elvin and Elvis. So much so, that I caught one kid in the act. The result: Elvin didn’t move for two days because the touch drained his magic and he had to recharge for his trip back to the North Pole. Well, this year we’re breaking the “elf” rules and letting the kids cuddle and play with their elves on Christmas Eve. You see, Santa gave elves extra magic for Christmas Eve snuggles, and they’ll return next year as long as you put them back in the same place you found them. (Thanks to balancinghome.com for the idea! And seriously, how cute is this cuddly elf moment with her son Quinn?)

5 Fun Ways To Say Goodbye To Your Elf On The Shelf

4. Throw your Elf On The Shelf a going-away party!

Have your child leave an invitation with his elf, and then decorate a spot in your house on Christmas Eve Eve and put out snacks and games. On Christmas Eve Day, have your elf “land” at the party and pose him accordingly (maybe he’s dancing under a tiny disco ball, face-first in a bowl of chips, or spinning records). I particularly love the scene above, which was created by blogger Amy Locurto. Score the free printable photobooth props at her blog.

5 Fun Ways To Say Goodbye To Your Elf On The Shelf

5. Going away gift!

Have your children wrap a little present (a tiny scarf, a marshmallow, or tiny elf doughnuts) for their elf and place it under the tree on Christmas Eve. Leave behind some kind of “evidence” crumbs, sprinkles, thank you note, etc.) for the kids to find Christmas morning.

5 Fun Ways To Say Goodbye To Your Elf On The Shelf
Image courtesy of http://www.thelondoner.me

Find these ideas and more on our Goodbye Elf on the Shelf Pinterest board.

What about you? How do your kids say goodbye to their Elf On The Shelf?

by Kim Hays
former OMB contributor

Last Minute Christmas Letter to Santa {PRINTABLE}

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Originally posted December 2019, updated December 2020

Last Minute Christmas Letter to Santa {PRINTABLE}

Ladies we are hitting crunch time. Hanukkah is in full swing, Christmas is just around the corner, and that special spot filled with packages and wrapping paper is overflowing and getting harder to keep secret.

You’ve piled into the minivan decked out in matching PJs, Christmas Carols blaring, and hot cocoa with marshmallows in your favorite to go mug to look at the neighborhood lights. Pictures have been taken for holiday cards and appearances were made at your work Christmas party.

The kids have been drooling over Nintendo Switch’s, Squishes, slime, and poop emoji EVERYTHING…

…but have they written their letter to Santa? No?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Check out this PRINTABLE Dear Santa Letter that is simple enough for a pre-schooler yet simple enough to contain your upper elementary kid’s list. Letter to Santa

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Pair this letter with our favorite cookies, truffles and some delicious hot cocoa {or one of these drinks!} and we are sure that Santa will be super happy!

Letter to Santa {PRINTABLE}

Simple Holiday Hostess Gift Ideas

Originally posted December 2019, updated December 2020

It’s the last weekend before Christmas, and we want to know, are you headed to any Christmas parties or gatherings?  If so, we think we can all agree, those events take a lot of planning and preparation for the one(s) who are making them happen. That’s why it’s important to show your appreciation for the one who brings it all together. But maybe you’re not sure what to bring? So, today we are sharing some simple holiday hostess gift ideas that will help you express your gratitude for your favorite #hostesswiththemostest this season.

brunette woman holding hostess gift green christmas tree candle and black and white kitchen towel

CANDLE + KITCHEN TOWEL

balsam fir candle in amber jar sitting next to sugar cookie printed kitchen towel on wood cutting board

Keep it simple with a festive candle and kitchen towel your host can use right away. Wrap them together with a simple ribbon or piece of baker’s twine, and you’re good to go!

DRESSED UP BOTTLE OF WINE

Wine bottle wrapped with holiday dinner napkin in front of christmas tree

Go traditional with a bottle of wine (or two) and dress it up with a holiday dinner napkin and silk floral. It’s a party favorite that will help your hostess stock the bar.

HANDY HOSTESS GIFT SET

hostess gift set with dish soap dish scrubber brush holiday kitchen towels and candles

Step it up a notch with a hostess gift set that will make cleaning the mess a little more fun. Combine a holiday dish soap, scrubber brush and dish towel(s) and display them in an open gift box tied with ribbon. So fun to give, and so fun to receive!

Do you have any simple holiday hostess gift ideas you’d love to share? If so, please share in the comments below. Happy hostess gifting!

Need more gift ideas? Be sure to search Orlando Mom Collective.

Need more hosting tips and tricks? Be sure to check out The Busy Bee.

Quit Hating on the Elf

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Originally posted December 2018, updated December 2020

Full swing, it’s Elf on the Shelf season, aka the Holidays. The usual vibe leans towards copious amounts of Pinterest worthy Elf posts. However, this year the vibe is leaning toward Elf hatred. Including passionate posts from parents who have never even delved into the Elf on the Shelf tradition. I’m here to say, quit hating on the Elf!

My household is on its 4th year with the Elf and I can honestly say that no where in the Elf on the Shelf books or movie does it state that you are obligated to participate any ridiculously over the top shenanigans to enjoy the Elf on the Shelf tradition. Let’s debunk some of the Elf on the Shelf myths.

MYTH: The Elf has to Make a Mess/Cause Mischief

I don’t know where this concept started but this is 100% not mandatory. I refuse to make a mess that I have to clean up. Therefore, our Elf has remained tidy and well behaved. I mean, he’s “watching” behavior so it’s counter intuitive that he would misbehave and make a mess. My kids don’t really know any different because they don’t have an expectation other than our elfin friend likes to hide in random places.

MYTH: They are Disturbing Peeping Toms

I’ve heard people complain about how terrifying this Elf must be for children because parents are telling them, “The elf is watching you.” or “He knows when you’ve been sleeping, he knows when you’re awake.” Listen, parents have been using “Santa is watching” to make it through December since the beginning of time. No one grew up any less adjusted than they would have been because of that little white lie. We had way bigger influences on our psyche. These kids will be just fine. If you make it creepy it will be. 

MYTH: It’s So Much Parenting Pressure

Pressure? From who? I’ve never seen one parent tell another, “that’s what your Elf did? Lame!” or anything of the sort. Parents, no one is competing, no one wins anything except memories with their kids. There’s no Elf Patrol out there to tell you aren’t doing it right. It’s just you and whatever your own head is telling you. Even when we miss moving our Elf one day, he’s just being silly and seeing if anyone notices! Boom, crisis averted.

The Point

It’s a tradition we adopted in our house. We love it. Each year my kids are inching closer to no longer believing in magic. If I can give them just one more moment of magic during this very short season of childhood, I’m going to do it. Some days we are super creative but most days, Elfie (super original, I know) just sits on a new shelf. Nothing crazy, just moves around the house. Every morning, my kids get immensely excited to look for Elfie and love seeing what silly place he’s landed. Those memories are the only point. Before long we will say goodbye to the elf for another year. Drama over.

Every house has a different way of celebrating their traditions. In my humble opinion, someone else’s tradition really shouldn’t elicit hatred just because it’s not one you partake in. Give the Elf on the Shelf a break, quit hating on the Elf!

7 Effective Ways To Protect Your Classic Car From Rodents  

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All classic car owners have to go through storing their vehicles to protect them from the elements outside. Unfortunately, sometimes when keeping your vehicle, you’ll face another element you have to protect your car from: rodents. If left unprotected, the rodent can damage all of the hard work you’ve done on the cushioning, the car ducts, and other parts that will be completely ruined. Here are some tips that will help protect your valuable classic vehicle from being damaged by rodents. 

1. Keep your garage secure 

The first line of defense when it comes to protecting your car from rodents is the area you’re storing it in. Whether it’s a shop or a garage, you need to make sure your walls are sealed to prevent any rodents from gaining access to the vehicle. Familiar places you should seal up include gaps around wiring, vents, doors, or pipes. Additionally, you should make use of an under-door seal for the garage doors. One of the more drastic measures you can take is installing rat guards around the exterior walls to prevent rats from getting in through under the walls. 

2. Dryer sheets 

Dryer sheets can be an effective and inexpensive way to deal with mice. Take some dryer sheets and lay them in the trunk, under the hood, in the exhaust pipe, on top of the tires, and all over the interior. When it’s the start of spring, you can remove all of the dryer sheets. Not only will there likely be no mice around, but your car will smell really well too. The reason dryer sheets are useful is that mice don’t like the smell of them. They’ll generally avoid anything that has the scent of dryer sheets. Rodents are creatures that primarily navigate the world through their noses, sniffing out predators and food before spotting them. When they notice your human scent has dispersed from the car, that gives them the security to try making a home out of your classic vehicle. With multiple sheets in and outside the car, you’ll have a high chance of keeping them away from your classic vehicle. If you find the dryer sheets aren’t as effective, other scents that are good pest deterrents include cayenne pepper, cedar wood, and peppermint oil.   

3. Traps 

The traditional option that most people will usually go with traps. You can put a small smear of peanut butter in the center of your snap trap. It doesn’t need to be much, as a small amount will be enough to give off a scent that attracts the rodents. Though useful in eliminating mice, this method does have its downsides. If the trap sits too long without a rodent going towards the bait, small bugs like crickets may eat the bait without setting off the trap since they’re light. You want to keep the mines around the car. A good place to put them is at the top of the tires, as that area is a shared space where mice can enter your vehicle. It’s not wise to put them in the vehicle, as it may be challenging to get the smell out. 

4. Sulfur 

Sulfur is another item that gives off a scent that mice, roaches, and other pests don’t like. You can find powdered sulfur sold at most garden stores. When you’ve purchased the powdered sulfur, take an old pillowcase, and cut it into 8” x 8” squares. Then, take a spoonful of sulfur and put it in the center. Gather the ends and tie them into a small pouch. You can place it around your car areas that have mouse and bug problems, and the pests should be kept away. 

5. Take the wheels off 

As mentioned earlier, the area near the tires can be an entryway for rodents. The soft rubber and blocky treads of tires make for an easy climbing surface for mice. If you’ll be storing away your classic vehicle for the winter, or you’re going to leave your current restoration project idle, removing the tires can make it more difficult for rodents to get in your classic vehicle. When you get back to work on it, you might have an interest in using a coyote swap kit. You can learn more about it at this link: https://shop.revologycars.com/collections/coyote-swap-kit.  

6. Pop the hood off 

You would think it’s counterproductive to leave your hood open, as that would seem to make it easier for rodents to enter your car. In actuality, a closed hood is more inviting, as most rodents enter a vehicle as a means of shelter. A secure hood offers a roof for the animals, and heat can be retained in the engine bay. By leaving your hood open overnight, the engine heat can dissipate, the hood won’t provide much cover, and it’ll be less attractive for pests to consider making a home. 

7. Regularly inspect the vehicle and its surroundings 

It’s important to check under the hood of your classic car often, as mice tend to make nests there. You should also examine the mechanical system and wiring for any signs of fraying or chewing. Any chewed wires or belts should be repaired as soon as possible. Be sure to scan your engine and driveway for any leaks. Believe it or not, rodents like the taste of gasoline, oil, and other automotive fluids. It’s a good idea to consistently clean up any leaks to reduce any chances of attracting pests and reduce the risk of any flammable debris being ignited. Be sure to listen for rattles as well. Flame-retardant materials are usually between the floorboards and the exhaust systems. If you hear any rattling, a rodent might have loosened your vehicle’s materials, and you may want to consider having a professional look into it. 

It’s important to take every measure possible to protect your classic vehicle from rodents. Not taking the necessary precautions could leave you with hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs to make. Following these tips will help you keep your classic car protected from rodents invading it.

 

10 Gifts for Mamas-To-Be

originally posted December, 2019
updated December, 2020

I don’t do well with Christmas lists – I’m one of those people who gets things for myself throughout the year, so when the holidays roll around, I’m fresh out of ideas! Seeing that I’m currently 36 weeks pregnant with baby number four and have been asked by family and friends to provide them with a few ideas, I started making a list of things I’d appreciate both pre and post baby. I’m also trying to focus on not adding more clutter to our house as we get ready to transition to a family of SIX! ‘Tis the season to be pregnant, so here are my 10 gifts for mamas-to-be.

10 gifts for mamas-to-be1. Manicure/Pedicure

I actually didn’t get my first mani/pedi until I was out of college and I don’t know what took me so long! These are especially great in the third trimester when I can hardly bend down to tie my shoes. Gift cards to a specific spa or salon work great, or better yet – offer to go with her! One of my local favorites,  M.C. Spa & Nail Bar, even offers pedicures WITH massages. (Even the lowest package offers a 15 minute massage!).

2. Maternity Photos

I took plenty of weekly belly photos, but professional maternity photos were something I never wanted to splurge on for myself. Since this is most likely our last baby, I decided to treat myself to a maternity session with local photographer, Jessica Morelli. Most photographers will offer gift cards or money towards a future session, so that the mama-to-be can pick the date that works best for her. Some (like Jessica!) even offer dresses to wear for the sessions, which was wonderful because I didn’t need to go shopping for anything extra!

3. House Cleaning

There’s nothing like the feeling of your entire house being clean, especially when you just want to put your feet up and relax! This gift is great for pre or postnatal mamas. I found a mom that came highly recommended in my Winter Garden Moms group. She cleans my house from top to bottom, twice a month and it’s been one of the best investments I could have made.

Tip: Ask around to find a recommended and local favorite (don’t forget to check Groupon and Amazon Home Services)!

4. Postpartum Doula Services

I use a doula during delivery, but didn’t actually know about the postpartum services offered until having my second baby. There’s a wide range of services that can be included, but they often include breastfeeding help, sibling care, light housekeeping, sleeping solutions, care for baby when parents want to shower/nap/spend time with older children, prepare pump supplies or bottles, caring for mama as she recovers from birth, errands and overall support during the transition time. Most doulas will cater to the specific needs of each new mom. Childbirth Concierge in Winter Garden offers a wide range of these services, as well as my doula, Ohana Mama Birth Services.

5. Food Delivery Services

One of my favorite things to do is bring meals to new moms after they have their babies. I remember that I didn’t feel like leaving my house with a newborn – ESPECIALLY to go grocery shopping. Dropping off home cooked meals isn’t always feasible, but there are all kinds of delivery services that would make incredible gifts for new moms: Instacart, Shipt, AmazonFresh, or even Uber Eats for something quick and already prepared!

Tip: Set up an ongoing meal train using Take them a Meal or Mealtrain.

6. Massage (Pre OR Post-natal)

I’ve gotten a few prenatal massages that have been absolutely incredible! Now that I’m towards the end of this pregnancy, everything is aching and sore, my ankles are swollen and I’m just feeling generally uncomfortable. I’d take a massage once a week until delivery if anyone was offering! I had a few friends say that post-natal massages, within the first 12 weeks after having baby, were also equally relaxing and needed. There are some massage places that even offer monthly memberships, which could be nice to get a mama through pregnancy and beyond!

Tip: If you are giving a prenatal massage, be sure the location offers that service.

7. Newborn Photography

These photos are best taken in the first 7-10 days and most photographers will pencil in the due date and work around mom and baby. Tip: Find a photographer that will come to the house and do a lifestyle session! There’s something about capturing those first precious memories at home that are worth holding onto! 10 gifts for mamas-to-be

8. Pajamas/Lounge Wear

I don’t care what anyone says, clothes just fit weird after having a baby. You’re stuck in between the maternity clothes being a little too big and your regular clothes not fitting. When you’re recovering from birth, you want stretchy, comfortable and cozy. If mom is breastfeeding, make sure any tops are nursing friendly! Some of my favorite brands are Gilligan & O’Malley and Kindred Bravely.

9. The Gift of Downtime

Sometimes we just want a night off (from cooking, taking care of other children, running errands, whatever it may be). You could put together a basket that includes an essential oil diffuser, spa/bath products, candles, comfy pajamas, a Redbox rental code, and a sleep mask. Don’t forget babysitting services if there are older kids – give her the house to herself!

10. Hair Salon Services

This could be a variety of things: a new cut, color, even just a blow out! I always feel SO good after getting my hair done and once baby is here, it’s so much harder to find the time.

Tip: You could combine a few of these ideas to put together a pamper day for the new mom! 


 

Share your favorite gift ideas in the comments below! What sort of things did you enjoy, or looking back, what do you WISH you would have asked Santa for?

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Guide To Orlando

Moving to Orlando

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Moving to Orlando? We’ve compiled some posts to help you navigate the City Beautiful. From neighborhoods, to favorite restaurants, coffee shops, parks and more!