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What Makes a Lennar Home Mommy Certified?

I discovered some very interesting facts during my time as a Mommy Certified Blogger for Lennar Tampa. Going into this campaign, I already had an idea of what makes a house a home, however, when I delved deeper and investigated Lennar homes, I discovered what sets Lennar homes apart from other builders. Through a working relationship with Lennar, I now have a more tailored list based on some of the typical criteria included in a Lennar home.

Lennar MommyCertified What Makes a Lennar Home Mommy Certified?


From the bonus rooms to the pantry, Lennar homes utilize space efficiently, which makes it usable for families. An oversized kitchen overlooking the family room and a study nook nestled in the kitchen allows families to stay connected without feeling cramped. While mom, dad or both parents cook dinner there is still plenty of room for the rest of the family to work on multiple tasks at the same time in the same space.

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With growing families, storage is critical. Many of the Lennar floorplans offer large bedrooms with walk-in closets. Since many families are involved in extracurricular activities and sports, large closets house the toys, games, sporting goods and books kids need to store while spacious bedrooms offer enough room for furniture and living space for active children.


With every home, Lennar not only meets the standards for a basic home inspection but goes beyond it. The Lennar Quality passed my husband’s inspection making Lennar Homes “Daddy Certified” too. The piles of R-30 insulation blown into the attic, the R 4.1 insulation in the walls and the 1.4 pressure-treated floorboards for added support along the baseboards were some of the items my husband appreciated in a Lennar home.

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With the eco-friendly features, Lennar offers quality and a means to help families save money. Lennar’s cutting-edge green building features such as Low-E glass windows and energy efficient appliances greatly enhance the quality of your home, while decreasing a family’s monthly utility bills.

 What Makes a Lennar Home Mommy Certified?

Everything’s Included

From the tiled floors to the recessed lightning in the ceiling, the luxury standards you see are what you get with a Lennar home. Since Lennar homes include upgrades such as rounded walls, granite counters and large 42” cabinets, no upgrades are necessary for the homebuyer.

By offering well-built homes and safety standards surpassing other homebuilders as well as the Nexia™ Home Automation system, Lennar provides a secure home for families.  Lennar hand delivers your dream home but all the marvelous features help you sleep more comfortably at night.

 What Makes a Lennar Home Mommy Certified?


Lennar communities are built in some of the most beautiful areas of Tampa Bay.  Among any of the Lennar Tampa communities, active families will find themselves surrounded by gorgeous conservation homesites and happy Lennar homeowners. Community amenities such as playgrounds and pools bring families together to help create a pleasant “Mommy Certified” community and lifestyle.

 What Makes a Lennar Home Mommy Certified?

For more insight as to what makes Lennar homes Mommy Certified, visit my Fellow #MommyCertified Lennar Tampa bloggers, Calley the The Eco Chic and Tracy of Having Fun Saving. Learn more Mommy Certified features at

What standard features makes a Lennar home Mommy Certified for you?

 What Makes a Lennar Home Mommy Certified?

Disclosure: This #MommyCertified post has been compensated by Lennar Tampa. The opinions shared are my 100% own.

Five Things That Make a House a Home

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lennar Tampa. The opinions shared are my own.

When my husband and I bought our first home, we were singletons making the transition into life as a couple. As a young couple, we didn’t think about building a family and how a growing family would fit, or not fit in our modest, quaint home.

After one child (never mind the three we now have fifteen years later), we quickly learned some valuable lessons which led to essential features that we now look for in a home.  Office space, functional living space, reasonably-sized bedrooms and a large kitchen that offers space for two amateur chefs who regularly entertain guests, are all basic features we now expect in a home to fit our family of five and extended family and friends.

For me, this breaks down into a nice little list.

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Five Things That Make a House a Home

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1.  Location, Location, Location!

Deciding where to hang your hat starts with selecting the right homesite. Before you decide on a homesite, drive through the adjacent communities at different times of the day and on different days of the week. If you commute, time the distance to work and notice traffic patterns on the major roads to understand how it will impact your drive to work.

Also, research the schools nearby. Even if you don’t have kids at the moment, check out the neighborhood schools for when you decide to build your family. Utilize online tools such as and FL DOE to learn how the schools perform. Thankfully, the schools in our area are excellent.

We love our neighborhood, but we always toy with the idea of buying a new home.  For our next home, I would love a slightly larger floor plan and to live on a caudle sac with a conservation view relatively close to where we currently reside.

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2. Community Amenities 

As much as I would love a home with a pool, the reality of building a pool just isn’t in the cards for us financially. However, we are an active family and we love to be outdoors.  Therefore, it is important that the community we live in offers a playground, trails, tennis courts, pool and a clubhouse.

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3. Selecting the Right Floor Plan

Confession: I have no spatial awareness. I will look at a floor plan and the measurements mean nothing to me. Although online virtual tours help, I still need to walk through the home to visualize how my couch would look in the family room. Can I picture my family noshing on meals in this breakfast nook?

Having lived in two homes now, I pay close attention to how the rooms are decorated in model homes.  Is there a twin bed or full in the bedroom?  How much furniture is in the room? Can you move around in the room? Unless you can afford buying all new bedroom sets for your entire family, you need to make sure that the furniture you will move in will fit the rooms.

To help take the guesswork out of visualizing how you and your furniture will fit in a home, Lennar offers an interactive tool, the Interactive Room Planner. With a large assortment of furniture options that can adjust to specific measurements, the Interactive Room Planner beautifully helps illustrate how all your furniture and family will fit in a home.

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4. Storage

As your family grows, so will your belongings. It’s amazing how much stuff one family will accumulate.  Not to mention, there are a ridiculous amount of holiday items like Christmas trees (Yes, we have more than one.) and other miscellaneous decorations. My family and I declutter only to make more room for more stuff.

For us, a two-car garage just doesn’t fit two cars and all our storage bins, bikes a second fridge and my husband’s carpentry and automotive workshop. We need a three-car garage just to store stuff and then maybe we could actually park a car in the garage.

But three kids also means three times as many things and a family of five means five mouths to feed. Storage space inside the house is also a must! We have bundles of board games, piles of shoes and stacks of jackets and clothes.  Each child needs their own place to store their belongings. As for my husband and I, we don’t share well. Therefore, his and hers closets are a necessity in the Master Suite.

Also, with two cooks in the kitchen, we need plenty of large cabinets. For years, I have longed for a walk-in pantry to store our dry-goods, entertaining dishes, platters and small kitchen appliances.

As for the laundry room, it should have a set of cabinets to hide detergent. The laundry room should also provide plenty of space to sort dirty laundry, fold clothes as they come out of the dryer and room to hang drip-dry clothing, as well as discarded shoes and backpacks.

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5. What’s Included?

It’s the next natural question when looking for a home. Upgrades are expensive. Once you start adding in granite counters, large maple cabinets, fixtures and flooring the basic price of the home quickly starts to climb. When you start to factor in window treatments such as blinds, it can be an unforeseen cost. When upgrades and even functional items like window treatments are included, you are offered a more realistic price for a home and can avoid newspaper shades.

As a Mommy Certified Blogger for Lennar, follow me as I discover how a Lennar Tampa community fits my criteria for making a house a home.

mommy certified Lennar Five Things That Make a House a Home 

I Want A Maid (And You Do Too!) – Housecleaning Review & Giveaway

Disclosure: I received a six hour cleaning service in exchange for my review.  The opinions shared are my own.

For the past twelve years, I have been a SAHM. I left my career to raise my children and tend to household chores.  The idea of a housekeeper always appealed to me but it seemed like a luxury item when I had no income to support that added expense.

However, when I started blogging full time and growing a business, I had less time to tend to the housework.  With trying to juggle my life as a mother blogger on the run, my house became more and more neglected.

As business grew, the laundry and dust bunnies grew.  My floors were sticky.  Our two and a half bathrooms began growing science experiments. The household chores would pile up and I couldn’t figure out how to get it under-control or how to tackle it all.  Things were beyond the FlyLady or chore charts for my kids.

My family needed an intervention and FAST!  After all, my husband hired someone to take care of our lawn. It only seemed fair to find some to help with cleaning the house since we were both working now.

Then as if someone heard my cry for help, a cleaning service reached out to me and offered a four hour housecleaning in exchange for a review (valued at $50 an hour).  Basically, she “maid” me an offer I couldn’t refuse and I swept up that opportunity.

The cleaning began with a quick tour of my home.  For this first visit, Christina IWantaMaid owner, assessed the rooms and targeted my specific needs, which was the dust and mildew in my shower.  I barely have enough time to maintain a level of tidiness and with my allergies, I simply can’t dust or handle mildew at all.

The two person team divided and conquered my bi-level home.  As they cleaned, I hid away in our office, the only room not being cleaned, to avoid the dust in the air. My sinuses couldn’t take it.

One housekeeper cleaned the master bathroom shower (the most tedious and most serious troublesome spot in the house), while the other dusted and wiped all the surfaces in my home.

 I Want A Maid (And You Do Too!)   Housecleaning Review & Giveaway

To clean the entire house, they used the same earth-friendly solution, a mixture of water, vinegar (the ultimate cure all), baking soda and essential oils and a steam mop. I loved that that used the very same cleaning agents that I use!

They cleaned each room (our four bedrooms, living room, dining room, family room and kitchen) from the skirting board to the ceiling fans and even tackled the dust bunnies behind the couch and entertainment unit!  Christina even cleaned, tidied and organized my laundry room which was a lovely surprise.

This first cleaning was only supposed to take four hours, but given the filthy state of my home, the process took nearly six hours.  And the results were incredible!  I loved that they removed my hard water stains from my shower glass doors.

Shower I Want A Maid (And You Do Too!)   Housecleaning Review & Giveaway

 I Want A Maid (And You Do Too!)   Housecleaning Review & Giveaway

Even my kids were impressed!

“I’ve never seen our house so clean! It’s so shiny!” Eight year old Emmalynn exclaimed.

“My room is so tidy and organized! Will they come back and when?! Twelve year old Allana asked.

The housekeepers were definitely a hit!  And just like my kids, I hope they can come back again.  Next time, we’ll be better prepared with a few tips from

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IWantAMaid serves the greater Tampa Bay area and wants one Run DMT reader to experience this phenomenal, earth-friendly cleaning service.  One lucky Run DMT fan will win a TWO-HOUR cleaning service from  To enter, leave a comment below and follow the Rafflecopter directions for additional entries.

What are the troublesome spots in your home?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Soup du Jour Vlog: I Hate LG Appliances

soupdujour blogbutton Soup du Jour Vlog: I Hate LG AppliancesFor this week’s Soup du Jour Vlog, I’m serving up a few f-bombs, so it the f-word makes your cringed, be warned.  If you knew how much I loathed my LG appliances, then you would understand why a few foul expletives adjective are necessary.   Once you watch the vlog, it will all become clear.

This week, we tour my home and I explain the dysfunction of each appliance.  In a nutshell, my appliances are only seven years old and have been repaired numerous times.  I will never buy LG appliances again.  There are truly the worst appliances known to mankind.

Thanks for stopping by for today’s Soup du Jour.  Is anything in your life causing you to drop a few f-bombs?

By the way, if you subscribe to my YouTube channel, you can watch each segment of the “I Hate LG Appliances” series.

My Grocery Bag Dispenser

I am becoming way too co-dependent on Pinterest.  I honestly don’t know how I functioned before without it.

Some might say I’m on Pinterest too much.  But here’s the thing.  It’s adding value to my life.

Yes, most social networks suck me in and have me wasting time chatting, tweeting and responding to stuff, but Pinterest is different.  It pulls me and is helping me become a better person.

It motivates me.

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It helps me organize.

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It helps me plan menus for my family.

 My Grocery Bag Dispenser

It helps generate decorating ideas for my house.

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And as creative and ingenious as I think I am, there are people on Pinterest far more ingenious and creative than me.

For example, I would have NEVER thought to store grocery bags in a wipe container before Pinterest.

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That’s green ingenuity at its finest, folks!  And if you were already sitting on this gem of a green idea, then you should have shared pinned it.

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You could have gone viral on Pinterest.

As for my adaptation to the grocery bag dispenser, I didn’t have an empty Wet Ones or Clorox wipes container to use, but I have tons of empty baby wipes containers laying about my house.  So, I recreated this creativeness with one of those.  Viola!

 My Grocery Bag Dispenser

I’m sure someone will share some cute, creative way to cover the Luvs label or the wipe container with fabric or scrapbook paper and some Mod Podge. I’m sure it’s out there on Pinterest.  I just haven’t looked for it yet.  Until then, I’m fine with this happy little Luvs baby handing me grocery bags for to dispose of dirty diapers.

And she tucks away nicely in Little Lion Man’s changing table dresser drawer.

 My Grocery Bag Dispenser

Thank you, Pinterest, for my handy-dandy dirty diaper bag dispenser tip.

Now, I just need to learn understand how to make the bags pop out of the container.

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The Gallery: Orange

 The Gallery: OrangeLiving in Florida, we rarely experience seasons which can make fall feel anything but autumn, especially when your Facebook friends and blogging buddies share lovely photos of leaves turning colors.  We do our best in these parts to experience fall, but takes a whole lot of pumpkin lattes to feel it.

To get the fall ball rolling, we decorate our house for Halloween after September 11.  With light up pumpkins and orange string bulbs, our house will begin to have an orange glow about it.  But it’s the fuzzy pumpkin throw pillows on the couch that steal the orange spotlight and make my children grin like jack-o-lanterns.

While thrift shopping for Halloween costumes last week, we stumbled upon a pumpkin pillow similar to ours.  For $2.07, my oldest daughter insisted I splurge on the pillow, because Jack looked like he needed some pumpkin friends.  Being the sucker for a bargain, we brought Jack home.  A quick toss into the dryer to kill the dust mites and Jack was as good as new.

Once he found a patch for himself on the couch, I do believe his grin grew a bit wider.

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Within these booger-stain walls our humble home, we embrace life and suck the nectar out of it, which may explain all the teeth marks on the furniture.

But all those bite marks, scratches and hammered dents in the furniture add character.  Some would pay good money for a weathered look whereas my children offer their handiwork for free.

The walls may be lacking color or needing another coat of paint, but the fingerprints and artworks on the walls display signs of real masterpieces: my beautiful, creative and spirited children.

What appears as piles of clutter to guests are my pride possessions and cherished memories.

Our yard may not be the most manicured, but it looks well traveled.

My home is an honest reflection of my life.

It may not be perfect.

Occasionally it looks tired and shows signs of wear, but I do my best to maintain it.

And I love every inch of it.

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A Place to Call Home

dscn4230 A Place to Call HomeWhen Allan and I thought about selling our first home, I felt a small pang in my heart.  Allan proposed to me in that cozy little home in sleepy Spring Hill.  He carried me over the threshold after we were married.  Years later, I carried two little infants through that very same door.


My oldest daughter, Allana, still speaks highly of that little home.  She fondly remembers her old bedroom walls covered with playful bunnies hiding in garden print paper.  She also recalls a huge lantana bush and several old shady oaks trees in the backyard. 


Eventually, our small family of four outgrew and overpowered our quaint little home.  The coziness was no longer cute, but rather cramped our style.


While we lived in Spring Hill, my DH’s commute to Clearwater took over 3 hours round trip.  Allan wanted to invest in more quality family time rather commute time.  With that, we sold our home and purchased a home a bit further south. 


Within a month, we sold our old home, but we sat in limbo for a few weeks until our new home was ready.  We turned to family members for a place to stay, but no one had room for our small family.


Then, a dear friend offered her vacant home hidden in the woods of Brooksville for us to stay rent free until our new home was completed.  Although we had all the comforts of home, I felt very isolated and alone due to the distance from my old friends in Spring Hill.  Those few weeks in Brooksville were the hardest for me.  


img 9750 A Place to Call HomeOnce we settled into our new home in a new town, I started a moms group.  With the aid of an amazing moms group, I slowly began to build new friendships, but still kept ties to all my old friends in Spring Hill.  However, as my family and I began spending more and more time with our new friends, they quickly became our extended family and their smiling faces felt like home.  


Home is more than a shelter or a place to hang your hat or a step with a welcome to wipe your feet.  A true home transforms into a warm place when you are surrounded by people who love you and with those precious people, you create many cherished memories.


With my friend, Lori, moving away, I know that where ever she settles will be another home for me because a loving, warm home awaits me there.  The same will be true if and when our other friends decide to choose uproot and move away.


If my husband lost his job tomorrow and we became homeless overnight, I know I would still have a home in my heart because of the foundation my friends and family laid there.


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What does home mean to you?  Tell your story to TwitterMoms

 Focus Features and TwitterMoms have teamed up to create a fun contest around their new movie premiering this month called “Away We Go.” A heartfelt comedy directed by Sam Mendes and written by Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, Away We Go follows one couple’s quest to find a place they can call home 

To participate, simply write a post on your own blog sharing what “home” means to you!  For more information, click here.



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