Monday, June 29, 2015

Thank You, Proud of You, I Love You

Thank You, Proud of You, I Love You
By Renee Arbia

Thank you Xavier for always being you and for choosing us to be your parents.

 There are billions of “should” and “should not” do’s when you have children. It is hard, as a parent to always know what to do. We just are not always running at hundred percent energy twenty four hours a day. When we stumble or wonder what to do, it is hard to know where to turn. I frequently turn to articles and books.

When I was pregnant I was always nauseated and not feeling well so I read a lot of books, some informative, some spiritual and some just for fun. A book that was just for fun ended up being a lot more. I read the book The Help a novel by Kathryn Stockett. It is also a movie. I highly recommend both the novel and movie if you have time to see or read it. In the story there is a nanny named, Abilene, she cares for a young girl around the age of three, everyday of the week. Abilene makes a point to say to the girl at least once a day, if not more, these three phrases; “You is kind. You is smart. You is important”. In the book she talks about how she has been a nanny for many children and she really always wants them all to appreciate themselves and be happy. It is an amazing message, and I’m sure you can imagine as a hormonal pregnant woman I was deeply moved. I thought about what phrases I would want to say to my child.

Fast forward three years and remembrance of those three phrases were gone alone with sleep and part of my brain that I lost and never got back from pregnancy. Until I heard three phrases repeated the other day and my mind jolted back to that message. Xavier and I were playing in his room. I told him he had to give me a hug and kiss and I wanted to talk to him.

We are so proud of you and the big boy you are becoming!

He had been behaving so well. He has been using the potty lately, and growing up so fast before our eyes. I wanted to be sure to thank him for doing so good with all the transitions he has had to go through lately. I wanted to tell him that I was so proud of him for mastering so many things in such a short time. Most of all I wanted to tell him that I loved him so very much. It is not that I do not tell him this stuff every chance I get. I do all the time, but for some reason that day seemed so extra special to me as we were playing on the floor with cars together that I wanted to make sure it was extra special for him.

When I asked Xavier to come give me a hug and a kiss he of course gave me the typical three year old response “why?” knowing my child who cannot resist a conversation, I replied with “because I want to talk to you”. He came slowly to me and then hugged me tightly and said “I know you want to thank me, and you are proud of me, and you love me lots and lots”. Suddenly, I felt that heartstring pull and my eyes swelled up with tears. I realized that I had been saying three phrases to my son all along. He is three and apparently already knows what I say to him. He hears “Thank you, I’m proud of you, and I love you” multiple times a day from both my husband and I. It is no wonder he repeats what he hears.

We love you with all our heart!

I am so happy with what he hears. Children do not miss anything; they catch every single look, every single syllable of a word, every single gesture and every single eye roll. All along we had been telling our son, “Thank you, We are proud of you, We love you”. They say that what you say to your children is what they will hear in their head for the rest of their life. I hope that is true, because I hope my son always knows how thankful we are for him, how proud of him we are and how much we love you, Xavier. 

#nextgenerationsahm, #nextgenerationsahmlifestyle, #reneearbia, #thankyouproudofyouiloveyou, #thehelp, #parenting, #preschoolers, #buildingupyourchildfromwithin


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Time to Get Fit Grandparents

Time to Get Fit Grandparents
Written by Renee Arbia

The time to get healthy is now, and more than ever people are living longer and longer. It is proven that with exercise and a healthy diet you can easily not only prolong your life, but enhance it as well. A big excuse many people use is that they are too old and they are unsure where to even begin.

There is also a generation of adults who are proving just how amazing life can be when you are healthy and your body is working at it’s utmost potential. Many of those adults who are healthy are grandparents. Grandparents that want to be able to be there and play with their grandchildren, they really want to be part of their grandchildren’s lives.

Fit Grandparents stay active with their grandchildren. If you want to get into better shape and are between the ages of 18 and 80 you are welcome to join the Fit Grandparents program.

Meet Bruce and Marge Brown, they have hearts of gold and laughter that light up the room. I know them personally and have experienced their infectious joy of life. The way they have transformed not only their physical bodies, but their entire lives into a passion spurred on by the pure love of their grandchildren is certainly a heartwarming way to start a company.

Bruce and Marge have been married for forty-five years and have four grandchildren that range from the ages of two to six. Since their grandchildren live far away from them they do have some great ideas of how they stay connected to them. They said some of the best ways they have found are to talk to them on the phone, Skype and Facetime with them, send them videos of themselves and send cards and gifts for special and surprise occasions. They spend the holidays together and visit each other about once a quarter. When they visit their grandchildren they go to their schools and extracurricular activities, such as dance classes and sporting events. They also occasionally babysit when the parents want to take a trip.

Bruce and Marge have always had a passion for helping people succeed at their goals and for team building. They joined Team Beachbody in 2011. In the four years they have been coaches their fitness and health have improved significantly with their business.

Last year they chose to run their fitness business specifically for grandparents. Being grandparents themselves they met many who wanted to have the energy and stamina to travel to see their grandkids, pick them up and play with them. Now with a personal customer base of over 1500 and more than 100 coaches on their team they are spread throughout the United States and Canada and are looking to expand worldwide.

Anyone anywhere can use Fit Grandparents, even though you may not be a grandparent if you are between 18 and 80 you are eligible. Fit Grandparents is a virtual fitness program that focuses on overall fitness and health. Their winning formula is Fitness, Nutrition, Rewards and Support. You can get a program specifically programmed to you or you can even join a challenge group.

Those that choose the Challenge Pack get a home workout program and a month’s supply of Shakeology. They then join a private Facebook group. Everyone checks in everyday for the month to keep them accountable for the program. You are also assigned an accountability partner to help you and support you when you need it. Different coaches are enrolled from around the world to help you and support you. 

The Fit Grandparents works with Team Beachbody which is a world class home workout program that is made for all fitness levels such as; P90X and 21 Day Fix. Those who are in the challenge program can compete in a rewards program to help them stay on track. Free virtual coaching is also offered. The most important part is that they match their clients to the best program for their fitness level and goals.

For the nutrition portion of the program Fit Grandparents work with the Beachbody nutritional programs, including its premier superfood health shake, Shakeology, in both Vegan, and non Vegan flavors.

When I asked Bruce and Marge Brown why they decided to start the Fit Grandparents program I think what they said pretty much summed up everything.

“We know we are not the only grandparents who work at building long-distance relationships with their grandchildren. We want to help others see the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle so they can enjoy quality of life for as long as possible with their grandchildren. We also think it is important to leave a legacy of healthy living for our family”

Grandparents are so very important in children’s lives. Now more than ever we need to be sure that families are together and spending quality time together.

You can check out this link and receive a free download link to their grandparenting success book, Tips for Grandparents (Click link for the free PDF version of the book)

You can sign up and find out more about Fit Grandparents by visiting their website
Visit their Facebook
Visit their YouTube

View their welcome video here!

#nextgenerationsahm, #nextgenerationsahmspotlight, #fitgrandparents, #grandparenting, #healthyliving, #beachbody

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sponsored: Laughter Never Stops with Happy Motion Bubble Train

Sponsored: Laughter Never Stops with Happy Motion Bubble Train
Written By Renee Arbia

I wrote this post while participating in a campaign by Tomoson and received a gift and or payment to thank me for my time. All views and opinions with regard to the products or company itself are my own and were not influenced or reviewed by the company prior to posting. I am disclosing this according to the FTC guidelines.

When you have a little one at home entertaining them outside can sometimes be challenging. As much as I love playing with my son outside, it is also nice to have him play by himself outside while I sit and watch him play especially while the weather is getting hotter.

Although I love when my son entertains himself with nature, he also loves a good outside toy. Balls are popular, sidewalk chalk is a staple, and of course some sort of slide/swing combination is a definite bonus. The last outside must have for little ones is a bubble machine.

Kids LOVE bubbles. They cannot get enough of them. Almost every mom who has a young child also has a bubble machine. Bubble machines mostly have the same pluses and minuses. They usually are made of easily breakable plastic; you usually have to screw in 3 AA batteries with a tiny screwdriver and most are also loud with no volume button.

Happy Motion BubbleTrain has took the bubble machine to the next level and now has a steam train engine car that blows bubbles, has flashing lights, music and it changes directions automatically when hitting an object. The Happy Motion Bubble Train comes with a bottle of bubble liquid. Although the directions recommend using the entire bottle for one use, I found I could only use half of the bottle, but it still made plenty of little bubbles. When it starts to run low on bubble liquid a big bubble will build up so you can realize to put more liquid in. The flashing lights and music were cute and my son who is three absolutely loved it.

There is no doubt about it; this is the bubble machine that tops all other bubble machines. It does have the cons of a normal bubble machine, but it is so much more fun. Children go crazy for it and run after it like magnets. It is great for birthday parties, or picnics. My son Xavier loves to play with it everyday. It is a great price for how great the Happy Motion Bubble Train works and entertains. I would highly recommend when you get your bubble machine you try out the Happy Motion Bubble Train.

You can purchase the Happy Motion Bubble Train on Amazon

See our son's first reaction to the Happy Motion Bubble Train!
#sponsored, #ad, #tomoson, #review, #nextgenerationsahmreviews, #nextgenerationsahm, #bubbletrain, #bubblemachines, #outsidebubblefun

Friday, June 19, 2015

Father's Day Friday Faves

It is Father's Day weekend. The day of the year where we get to celebrate the wonderful men in our lives. Father's are amazing to have. I have been very blessed, I had a wonderful grandfather, I have a wonderful father and I am married to a wonderful father.

To the father's in our lives thank you for your humor, your patience, your easy to forgive and forget attitude, your ways of teaching us so many different things and most of all for your love.

I would like to wish a special Father's day to my dad. I love you tons and I would never be the person or mom I am today without having a wonderful dad like you in my life.

To my husband and the father of our son, thank you for being a wonderful father for our son to follow in his footsteps. Your humor and patience are the biggest driving force behind the strong loving family bonds that we have.

Happy Father's Day I love you both!

I hope you all have a great weekend and here are some Father's Day Friday Faves just for our dad's!

Are you A New Dad?

Find out what you can learn from Lessons From Dads

Make dad a beautiful book of your life together with Blurb Beautiful Books Made By You

If your man likes to heat things up in the kitchen try out some Tonguespank Spices

Have a technology guy on your hands? Get him a Subtech Sports Dryskin he will appreciate keeping his phone and tablets protected from anything!

Get your outdoors man a Grand Trunk Hammock all of their camping gear is made of parachute material and fits into a small bag.

Make him a delicious and easy breakfast of Almond French Toast

Give him a delicious and healthy dinner of Beef and Bean Enchiladas

Make some delicious cookies for dad with your kids, try out these easy recipes for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies and Chocolate Macaroons

#nextgenerationsahm, #nextgenerationsahmfridayfaves, #nextgenerationsahmfathersday,

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Infusion Water

Infusion Water
By Renee Arbia

We completely have cut out soda from our house. Once in a while at a restaurant or if we have a birthday party we have some around, but it is hardly ever used. We have been going with out it for a few years now. First, we switched to Seltzer Water, with no added ingredients it was great because it still had the carbonation that made you feel like you were drinking something refreshing.

However, Seltzer Water is not good as you age, as the phosphorous from the carbonation can lead to bone deterioration. So we had been looking into other alternatives. Once while we were all sick I had read it was healthy to drink lemon water.

The lemon water was a huge success. Slice up three lemons and put them in a pitcher of water over night and you have a deliciously refreshing drink. After a couple months of lemon water and with summer on its way I started looking for some more refreshing drinks. I wanted to find drinks that were healthy and also taste good that would be fun to drink at parties and on the beach. I always especially want to make sure we stay hydrated in the summer as it is so hot in the south when you are in the sun all day.

It does not take long to look on the internet and find multiple ideas online. It was online I found out more about infusion water and how beneficial it is for you. Infusion water is water that has fresh washed fruit, cut up and soaked in it. Typically recipes are for a pitcher of water around (32 ounces). We have found you can usually refill the water around four times and still have a fresh fruit taste. So you have a refreshing, healthy and easy to make drink that is all natural and hydrating.

You can make infusion water from any fresh fruit or vegetables, but obviously some combinations are much better than others. Typically the desired fruits and vegetables are cucumbers, oranges, lemons, limes, watermelons, grapefruit, strawberries, kiwi and blueberries. Some herbs that are commonly used in infusion water are cilantro, mint, lavender and Basil.You may want to strain seeds after the 24hour sit in the fridge. We just strain while pouring over a glass.

Besides infusion water being a refreshing drink there are a plethora of reasons to drink it; it reduces heartburn, it offers good immune defense, it is a good source of Vitamin C, it aids in digestion, it is good for cardiovascular health, it regulates blood sugar, it hydrates, controls your appetite, reduces bloating, removes water weight, helps you burn fat, eases congestion and is a natural breath freshener.

Here are some of our favorite combinations. Try them out and let us know what your favorites are!

Cucumber, oranges and lemon (mint optional)

Blueberries and oranges

Green Tea, mint, and lime

Cucumber, lime and lemon

Strawberry and kiwi

Lemon, lime and orange


#nextgenerationsahm, #nextgenerationsahmrecipes, #nextgenerationsahmdrinkrecipes, #nextgenerationsahminfusionwater, #infusionwater, #benefitsofinfusionwater, #infusionwaterrecipes

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Garden Project 2015

  Since it is springtime and we have been making sure to take advantage of the beautiful weather as much as possible I have taken up gardening. I used to love gardening and be fairly decent at it, however, that was up north in the country with extremely rich soil. Now we live near the beach in the hot south. There is not too much that grows here, or so I thought.

One family fair day my husband, Xavier and I went out where they were giving away free plants. We took home one small pepper plant and one small tomato plant. I had seen people be able to grow peppers and tomatoes around here so I assumed there may be a way I could. I decided to transplant them into larger pots. I wanted to leave them in containers rather than put them in the ground, as everything I tried to garden before had died except the Irises in the ground.

Every day I went out and watered and cared for the pepper and the tomato plant. One day I noticed a pepper growing and it kept getting bigger and bigger. Finally it came off at around the size of my fist. Which I was told is pretty normal for a small pepper plant.

 I took the seeds and am now doing a greenhouse effect on them so that they sprout and then I can replant them into more pepper plants. We ate the rest of the pepper and it tasted so amazing. I forgot how great it is to grow your own food. A couple days later my tomato plant started growing not one, but two tomatoes. The pepper plant started growing another pepper. We got some more tomato seeds to try to sprout along with the peppers and a couple of herbs to sprout from seeds which are Basil, Cilantro and Parsley.

At the moment I saw the first sign of the first pepper I knew I loved gardening and I wanted to do more. I ordered a bulb mix specifically designed for our zone and to be planted at the time it was delivered. It is made to be at full bloom in early September. My sweet husband, hand plowed the garden for me and I planted all the bulbs in different sections. Of course, they did not all fit so I ended up putting some in pots. We also decided to try to grow some marigolds as they are good to have around your porch, because they keep mosquitoes away.

 Needless to say our backyard now looks like a greenhouse. However, I could not be happier. We all had so much fun setting up the garden and plants. It was so wonderful to show Xavier how plants grow and how we take care of them. He even has his own little pot of marigolds. It was a great thing to do as a family and it is fun to check on the progress everyday.

#nextgenerationsahm, #nextgenerationsahmlifestyle, #nextgenerationstayathomemomgardening, #gardening, #growingpeppers, #growingtomatoes, #plantingbulbs, #bulbmix, #zone8gardening

Monday, June 15, 2015

Bye-Bye Pacifier

Bye-Bye Pacifier
By Renee Arbia

We have been celebrating June as a healthy month; a month for running and playing outside, a month for starting new things, planting new seeds and starting the summer fun off on the right foot. Right before our eyes without any effort at all our little family just conquered a huge hurtle. For us that meant so much more because it was instantaneous and completely natural. Xavier stopped using his pacifier all on his own.

It is funny we have accomplished a lot this year. We have affectionately since new years named this year “Our Year”. We had a lot we wanted to do this year and we decided that we were going to buckle down and get what we wanted done. We have had to prove ourselves many times this year. There were times when “Our Year” seemed like “Our Year of Struggle”. Yet we have climbed and helped each other through each step and been there side by side. We have made each other a better person. By sharing our goals with each other, we have helped accomplish them together.

Even though my son Xavier is only three he has goals. Goals he makes for himself and goals we make for him. Xavier is a big part of “Our Year” because much of our lives revolve around him and he is going through a lot of changes this year. Three is a tough age. They are too old for toddlers and too young for preschoolers. Most four and five year olds do not care to converse with him, as they cannot understand why he is so small and not as coordinated as them. Most toddlers are not enough stimulation for him. Adults actually help him a lot. We have made a point to really be there for Xavier this year. He is going to change beds a couple times, potties a few times, go through favorite toys, and find a lot of disappointments this year.

As a parent you know you get tons of advice. One advice both my husband and myself never bothered to listen to was about the pacifier. Quite frankly we both could care less about the pacifier issue and I am not even sure why it is even an issue? Here is the way we see it, if your child does better, and is happier with a pacifier let them have a pacifier. If your child is not happy with the pacifier, do not give them a pacifier. To prepare for my son we received two pacifiers as gifts. One was a red Elmo pacifier meant for very young babies. The second was a green dental type for older children with teeth. I kept them, just in case. We never intended to introduce our child to a pacifier unless they seemed like they would want one.

I did not give my son a pacifier in the hospital, as he seemed fine to me with out it. It was not until the fourth day when my milk had still not come in, and he was very upset, and hungry that I got out the pacifier to soothe him. I then, let him have it every time he was sleeping. Next, it stayed in his cradle, crib and finally toddler bed. He only ever had his pacifier in his bed. He never asked or seemed like he cared to have it anywhere else.

He did like it to sleep with it, so we did bring it places with us, and it was super helpful on long car rides. However, for the most part, we let our son do whatever he wanted to with his pacifier. Honestly, I did not care if he still slept with it in his dorm room in college. It would be his problem, not mine. Meaning of course, that eventually he will realize how ridiculous it is and move on.

Just when we were wrapped up in the many things of “Our Year” that we are trying to make happen, Xavier had bitten through the first red pacifier, so much in one night that I would not let him put it in his mouth, for fear he might choke on a piece. I told him he had to throw it away. He was pretty upset, and he was also battling a stomach bug at that time. He knew we had the second pacifier and he asked for it. I gave it to him.

For the next month Xavier slept with the second pacifier. Second pacifier drove me nuts as he had a specific way of sucking on it that drove me nuts, because it made a lot of noise. However, I never said a thing about it. One day when we were busy in the potty business mode, I went to wash his pacifier for the night and noticed that he had chewed right threw it again at naptime. A little nervous this time, knowing there was no back up pacifier and it was bedtime I decided to break the news to him before his nighttime shower. He loves his shower so I figured if it was horrible news perhaps the shower will help him feel better.  I told him his pacifier was ruined and broken, because he chewed it and that he was not able to use it anymore, and it must be thrown away. I said it in a kind and matter of fact manner. I tried to feel bad, but not make a big “thing” out of it. He threw it away and then said “we can go buy another one”. My husband and I informed him that we do not need to because he is a big boy now and he does not have to have one. He said okay and got in the shower.

After reading a book for bedtime, I sang him a lullaby while he finished his milk and he went right to sleep without any problems. I cannot believe that right before our eyes our little man is growing and making milestones all on his own. We never made him take a pacifier, we never rejected it when he wanted it, and he ended up being okay when he realized he had ruined it. It is an amazing thing to witness. Plus, it is the best reminder that milestones simply cannot be pushed, they must happen when the time is right. We must remember to stop rushing through our lives and rushing our children through theirs and start living ours and doing things when the time feels right.

#nextgenerationsahm, #nextgenerationsahmlifestyle, #pacifier, #gettingridofpacifiers, #paci, #binkie, #pacifairy, #parenting, #baby, #toddler, #preschooler

Friday, June 12, 2015

Splish Splash Summer Fun

 With the temperatures heating up outside we decided it was time to bring out the water sports. We took out our small kid pool, sprinkler, a pool boat race track, and a pirate ship water play table and made a fun play day of it.

The kids had a blast splashing in the pool, playing on the slides, playing ball, jumping through the sprinkler and even "mowing" the lawn! It is a great way to let the kids run around and entertain each other and let the parents have some fun as well. I hope you all have a great weekend full of fun, love and laughter!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sponsored: Find the Right Pregnancy Test with First Response

Sponsored: Find the Right Pregnancy Test with First Response
By Renee Arbia

I participated in a Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for First Response. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

For many moms the first step of their journey is finding the right pregnancy test to take. You never think about it until you are there at the store in the aisle overwhelmed by the plethora of choices staring back at you. You already have enough going on in your mind without having to worry about which pregnancy test is the right one to choose.

In most recent years pregnancy tests have drastically changed. How you tested with your first child may be drastically different than testing for your next. Tests have gone from analog to digital and from detection after your missed period to now up to six days before your missed period. First Response has redesigned their advanced Early Detection Pregnancy Test. The tester now has a much longer handle with a wider tip, it is even curved so it fits much better in your hand and gives you much more length. The longer handle and wider tip certainly make peeing on a stick so much easier than it was before!

The First Response Advance Early Detection Pregnancy Test is FDA Approved and detects all levels of pregnancy throughout. You can even use this test to detect your pregnancy as early as six days before your missed period. In just three minutes you have very clear results. In fact it is 99% accurate from the day of your expected period.  It has the standard two pink lines you are pregnant, one you are not. What I liked about this test besides the new design, was the fact that you can use it anytime of the day. When I tested when I was pregnant with our son, I waited two weeks after my missed period and then, I had to make sure to use the test first thing in the morning. By that time we had already assumed I was pregnant as I already had morning sickness.

I am looking forward to the day when I use the First Response Advance Early Detection Pregnancy Test and those two little lines pop up on the digital screen. It will be so much easier to use, less stressful, I can get great results sooner, and I can use it anytime of day that I need. That makes taking the test a much more pleasant event and something that I can celebrate or just move on from.

If you are unsure of what pregnancy test to get, try out First Response they have a wide array of lines of pregnancy products along with the First Response Advance Early Detection Pregnancy Test. First Response Pregnancy tests are available at all major drugstores, mass and grocery stores. The First Response Advance Early Detection Pregnancy Test comes with two tests in a box.

To learn more visit

#sponsored, #review, #IC, #ad, #FirstResponse, #pregnancytest, #firstresponsepregnancytest, #earlydetectionpregnancytests, #nextgenerationsahm, #nextgenerationsahmreviews


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