I recently received a few free samples of Emergen-C to try out, click here to learn more. They have a variety of flavors and formulas and it’s a great excuse to get in an extra glass of water.

With the crazy, cold weather and keeping up with a preschooler and a baby, I can use all the extra vitamins and minerals I can.

You can try it for free, too. Just visit Emergen-C online and request a free sample right to your front door!


*I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are my own.


I Survived the First Day of Preschool

My 3 year old baby, Kelsey, had her first day of preschool today. A few months ago we found out that the school district we live in has an early education program. It’s only 10 hours a week and there is a fee for it but it is very affordable and right around the corner.


We decided it would be good for Kelsey to start getting the idea of how it function in a classroom setting. So far everything she’s been to has been minimally structured and she could come and go from what interested her. Unfortunately, she’s the kid standing in the front of the librarian at story time. We think she needs to start experiencing listening to other authority figures, stopping and starting activities as directed, and getting a little bit more formal learning environment.

In addition, it gives me a little one on one time with Aubrey. When I was pregnant I was concerned that Aubrey may not get some of the experiences that Kelsey got being our only child at the time. I’ll have a little scheduled time to do some Mommy and Me activities in addition to getting some errands done.

We couldn’t put her paperwork in until she actually turned 3 at the beginning of January then we had to wait to see if a slot opened up. We finally got word that she had an AM preschool spot and we got to prepping. We bought her a backpack and had her name embroidered onto it. I made labels to sew into her coats for school (directions from Ever Clever Mom). We met with her teacher and bought the items on the supply list.


All we had to do was wait and see what the weather would be like come Monday morning. With all the freezing temperatures and snow, if the district calls a 2 hour delay then there is no AM preschool. It was freezing that morning, but no delays. So, I got everyone dressed and we headed out the door.

I had to get a pass to walk her in for her first day and then we got buzzed in to the preschool area. She walked in like she owned the place and teachers already knew her name. She stood where she was told to by her teacher and after a few minutes, her teacher told her “OK, say goodbye to Mommy.” I guess that was my cue it was time for me to leave.


I got Aubrey back to the car and sat in drivers and it hit me. My baby was a little girl now. I’ve left her at daycare for much longer in a day. She goes to child watch at the Y regularly. So why was this so different? This is going to be regular. This is the start of the long run towards kindergarten, elementary, middle, high school, clubs, competitions, sports, etc. and, even though I have been looking forward to her getting to do new things, I just wanted time to stop for a minute and I didn’t want her to get any older anymore.

She has her first field trip in a few weeks. Of everything, this makes me the most nervous. It’s one thing to leave her inside a locked building for a few hours. It’s another to let strangers take your child somewhere out into the world. A lot more baby steps for me then for Kelsey. When I left today, she just said “Bye, Mommy!”

She had a great time and did very well. She was all smiles when I picked her up. I love that they send home the lesson plan for the week so I know what she’s learning about and can reinforce it at home. I am happy that they have opportunities to go on field trips and have class parties. In the long run, I still believe this will be great for Kelsey. Now, how will I be? It may take me a few weeks (I’ll just be driving up and dropping her off tomorrow) but I think it will be good for me, too.

Exploring Some Inside Fun

With the freezing temperatures and snow still going on, we haven’t been getting out of the house as often as usual. After a couple days at home in a row we tend to get a bit of cabin fever. Thankfully, the roads are passable, at least after the initial snow and wind, so we’ve been checking out a few new-to-us places.

Tiny Thursdays

This week, we finally checked out Tiny Thursdays at the Dayton Art Institute. We started our Museum Kids Club card this past summer taking advantage of the free admission thru the Blue Star Museums program. This was a nice little program, $8 for non-members and $6 for members for a 2-5 year old and their caregiver. It’s basically the same as if you took your child for the day since regular admission is $8 for adults and free for children.

The majority of the program took place in the Experiencenter, kid friendly exhibit, where Kelsey was able to run around and play with musical instruments and blocks before and after. We began with storytime, reading books incorporating the theme of the month (in this case, shapes). We were then guided into a few rooms of the museum and each child was given a card with a shape that they had to try to find around the room. We then went back to the studio room and each child got to decorate a mask, cut out to resemble African masks, with shape foam stickers.

I suppose we could have stayed in the room or the museum as long as we wanted, but I did feel like there could have been a bit more to the art activity. I expected the kids to do something with paints or, I don’t know, some sort of artistic medium. I mistakenly said something about painting on our way to the museum so I still owe her a painting project that I told her we’d do when we got home.


Roller Skating

We took advantage of Kids Skate Free to get free admission to a local roller skating rink and take Kelsey roller skating for the first time. It was $3 to rent skates and $5 to rent a “walker” on wheels for her. Turns out we didn’t need it because she didn’t really want to use it. She also didn’t really want to skate in the wood after our first lap around but she was all about skating on the carpet.

We do have a pair of snap on over sneakers skates that we’ll take with us next time. We’ll also likely take some quarters for the arcade since, overall, it’s not a bad way to get out of the house for a while.


Free Indoor Playground

Local Mommy Facebook groups are a great way to find hidden gems in your city. There are two churches not too far from us that have indoor playgrounds. After hearing about one of them, I decided to check one out in Centerville at Fairhaven Church. This is a nice place. They have a coffee shop, Common Grounds, with affordable and yummy lattes. They also had a few snacks and bottled drinks. I think they know they have a captive audience.

I took my coffee and Kelsey took her cheese stick and we checked the place out a bit. The children’s area has gorgeous, bright murals all over. There is also an open area with tables and seating areas for people to chat as well as have a snack or lunch. The play area is enclosed with the wall facing the eating/seating area all windows. There are only 2 doors so it’s pretty easy to keep tabs on the kiddos.

There is a flat, soft-structures area for the 0-2 set to crawl and climb on. For the 3-6 year olds there is a fairly large play structure where they can climb, and slide, and push balls around to there hearts content. Or, until they get hungry enough to stop and eat. Either way, they’ll likely pass out in the car on the way home.


Activities at Stores

I love these year round but today we trekked out to our local Barnes & Nobel to play with LEGOs at their LEGO Movie event. While we were there, Kelsey read some books, played with the train set, and the hubby and I enjoyed some lattes. We might head back later this week for a storytime. Next week we’ll likely hit the Home Depot race car build. Between Lowe’s and Home Depot we have a truck, plane, and sailboat so why not add race car to the collection?!


What activities has your family been up to?

Getting through Winter by Playing with Snow

Apparently, Dayton, Ohio had been having very mild winters the three years we were living in Tampa. Well, Mother Nature decided to make up for it and give us a grand welcome this year! No trick-or-treating due to rainy, windy weather and it has been snowing off and on since early December. After a slight thawing out from the Polar Vortex, it’s been snowing again the past three days.


While I am pretty much over it, Kelsey has been loving it. Who knew my little Florida born baby would be such a snow bunny! At least a couple days a week she has been out playing in the snow. Unfortunately, when the baby takes a nap, by the time I get Kelsey bundled up and ready to go out, she wakes up. So glad I came across a bunch of pins on Pintrest and got the idea to bring the snow indoors.

She loves playing with sand and loves filling and dumping water in the bathtub so it’s nice to give her the chance to play with the snow without risking frostbite. It’s pretty simple, just get a big bin or underbed storage bin without the top and scoop a bunch of snow into it. Put a blanket or towels down and give them a bunch of things to play with. I’ve seen themed ones with ice cream sets or winter animal toys but I just give Kelsey a bunch of cups, spoons, shovel, pail, ice cube trays or any mix of them and she’ll play for a good long while which is great while I’m trying to nurse Aubrey. Aubrey also found Kelsey playing with it fascinating.


We had a little fun putting water outside to freeze it and play with it like blocks. We tossed boiling hot water into the cold air and watched it turn into a cloud of snow. We’ve had lots of talks about ice, ice melting, snow, and cold.

We’ve also been getting out in the snow. We’ve taken little walks here and there. We took Kelsey sledding for the first time. We’ve made some snowballs. I still haven’t figured out getting a snowman started, though. Also, Kelsey doesn’t get making snow angels. We still have plenty to do next year. I’m thankful that my husband plays along with my requests to take Kelsey outside because I can’t be out there nearly as much as I’d like.


It’s only January so winter isn’t going away any time soon. We’ll get through it. For those of you not in Florida, what has your family been up to in the snow?

**Be sure to check out all the giveaways  going on right now!**

My Chickadee Mini Carrier Giveaway!

Welcome to the My Chickadee Designs Giveaway! 
Sponsored By: My Chickadee Designs
My Chickadee has lots of customers whom baby-wear and they thought it would
be nice for little ones to have their own carrier just like their
parents. The Mini Carrier is made of 100% cotton fabric and is lined
with a soft leatherette, with hook and loop adjustable straps that cross
and close. The Mini Carrier also features My Chickadee’s signature
front pocket and this can be worn as a front or back carry. These Mini
Carriers fit children from 18 months old up to 5 years old. Not only is
it easy to clean as it is machine washable, it is also compliant with
CPSIA standards as well as lead and phthalate free.

Read Mami’s 3 Little Monkeys full review here. 

I know that this is something Kelsey would love so your little baby wearer in training would love it, too!
One lucky reader will win a My Chickadee Mini Carrier ($22ARV) of their choice!
Open to US only
Giveaway ends at 11:59pm CST on January 29th
Winners entries will be verified. Winner will have 48hrs to respond to email notification or a new winner will be chosen. For your chance to win, simply complete entries through the Giveaway Tools entry form below. Good luck!
Disclosure: Domesticating Michelle was not compensated for this publication nor am I responsible for the fulfillment of this prize. This event was organized by Mami’s 3 Little Monkeys, please contact Sarh at mamis3littlemonkeys@yahoo.com if you have any questions.

Paradise is Waiting: Florida Vacation Giveaway Event

3 days/2 nights of accommodations for 2 in FLORIDA! 

 Location Choices:

Cocoa Beach, Daytona Beach, Ft. Lauderdale,

Key West, Miami Beach, New Smyrna,

Orlando, Palm Beach, St.

Augustine or St. Petersburg.

 Must be at least 21 years old. 

With all this winter weather, I’ve really been missing living in Tampa. What better way to look forward to spring and summer than with a vacation giveaway!

I’ve teamed up with Lauren Paints | a beautiful life

& AliceonVacation.com 

to giveaway an awesome Florida Vacation,

this giveaway will provide one lucky winner with

3 days and 2 nights worth of accommodations in Florida.

{Picture taken in St Petersburg, FL}

Florida is paradise, each location has it’s own local charm

and all kinds of entertaining activities to partake in!

Theme Parks, Beaches, World Famous Restaurants and Clubs,

a little something for everyone!

Where would you like to visit?

What kind of fun do you enjoy having on the beach?

Imagine parasailing or maybe visiting Disney…

Picture your feet in the sand and days full of tanning…

Maybe you’ll play a game of volleyball

or enjoy a Daquiri while lounging in a hammock….

One lucky winner will have the luxury of knowing your hotel stay is taken care of by

Lauren Paints | a beautiful life and Alice on Vacation.com!

Enter to win this amazing giveaway with the form below:

{entries will be verified —  Giveaway runs:1/15/2014-2/15/2014}


Paradise is waiting…

Disclosure: Domesticating Michelle is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. Please contact Alice Kingsleigh

with questions! This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by,

or associated with Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. You must be 21+ to win.

Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival Ticket Giveaway! (Dayton, OH)


Congratulations Amber D. on winning the tickets!

Mickey Mouse and friends rock the world with the stars from The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story in Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival. Disney hits are remixed to the hottest sounds of today featuring hip hop, pop, swing, reggae, rock, country and much more! The irresistible lineup of performers, including Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy; Ariel, Sebastian and Ursula; Jasmine, Aladdin and Genie; and Woody, Buzz and Jessie; are among the more than 25 Disney stars featured in this jam session fit for the entire family! You can’t resist dancing, singing, playing your air-guitar and laughing with this band of characters! Come join them at Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival for a lively concert experience guaranteed to deliver enough rockin’ memories to last a lifetime.

Mickey and the gang are coming to the Nutter Center on February 14, 2014. Purchase tickets here today!

There are four different Disney Live productions. Find out when one is coming to your town!

Follow Disney Live on Facebook and Twitter.

If you are in Dayton, Ohio, you could win four (4) tickets to the February 14, 2014, 4pm show at The Nutter Center. Enter below.

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