Mommy Katie

Friday, December 9, 2016

#Giveaway Cozy up with Target this Weekend and Tune for Toycracker Premiere

This post is part of a sponsored campaign, in collaboration with Target. All opinions are my own.

The cold weather is upon us and in many places such as the Pacific Northwest where I am at, the snow is falling. Like many households across the country do when it is cold and snowing, we are planning on spending much of our weekend indoors where it is nice and warm. And like many who will be indoors this weekend, we will be seeking out those family movies and treats so that we can enjoy the time indoors. One movie that we will be adding to our list this weekend will be the Disney Frozen world broadcast premiere on ABC. We are not only excited to watch this movie with the family, but also excited to watch Target's debut of the mini-musical, The Toycracker!

In this mini musical of The Toycracker, we will get see John Legend who is playing the Rat King and Chrissy Teigen who will be the Nutcracker! Along with the stars, we will also get to see some of the hottest toys of the season and enjoy the musical journey of a little girl who learns what the holidays are all about!

Then when it comes to staying warm and cozy while we watch the Toycracker, we will also be adding some of the delicious snacks, hot cocoa and more that we can get from Target when we make it a family movie night. So as you plan out your weekend, be sure to make it a family movie night this Sunday, December 11th, at 8/7 Central on ABC to see the movie Frozen as well as the debut of the Toycracker and cozy up with Target this weekend! Also be sure to enter below for your chance to win a $25 Target Gift Card!

Holiday Gift Ideas: Find Unique and Fun Gifts at Blue Q

When it comes to finding those gifts to give this holiday season, I like to seek out a range of gifts for the various recipients on my list. I have learned that when it comes to shopping for my teen that finding the gifts that are both unique and useful can be the way to go. So when I was introduced to the selection of products from Blue Q I was excited to check them out and add the products to my list of great gift ideas to give this holiday season!

See when I head to Blue Q to find those gifts to give this holiday season, I can find the gifts that my daughter can use everyday. Such as the pencil bags that have fun designs and logos that are ones that she is sure to love. I can also find the purses and bags that she can use when she heads to school along with a great selection of stocking stuffer ideas such as the fun socks and coin purses!

Then when it comes to the other gifts that I can find at Blue Q, I like that there is a fun variety of gag gifts that make for great stocking stuffers and so much more! Making Blue Q a great choice to go with when you are seeking out a site that has those unique and fun gifts that you are seeking this holiday season!

Product received, thank you to Blue Q as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Holiday Decor from Hammacher Schlemmer: Thomas Kinkade Revolving Christmas Tree Topper

The holiday season is upon us and as we drive around the towns we live in, we can not help but notice and admire all of the beautiful decorations that neighbors have up. Along with adding lights to our house, I also enjoy spending time with my family to pick out, cut and decorate our Christmas tree each year. The thing is, this past year when we took our tree down, the tree topper I had that had been used for several years, broke. So when we were sent the , I was excited to add it to our tree and make it a new part of our holiday decorating tradition.

After we put up our tree and added all of our lights and ornaments, we were very excited to add our new tree topper. It was simple to add, by attaching it with the zip ties that are included to the top of the tree so that it stays in place, then plugging it into the socket that was on the string of lights we have on our tree. I was not sure who was more excited, but once we plugged in the tree and turned on our tree topper, we were all in awe. We found it to be the perfect addition and when we turned the lights in the house off to just have the tree lights on, we really liked that this topper appeared to be magical, making look as if Santa and his sleigh were flying around the star in the air!

The kids love this affect, watching as Santa flies around the lighted star on top of their tree at night. I also found that with this particular topper, that is has so much amazing detail added to every bit of it. From the sleigh itself with the toys and etching, to each of the reindeer which each have beautiful winter scenes painted on both sides of the blankets that are draped on their backs. Which in all, makes the Thomas Kinkade Revolving Christmas Tree Topper from Hammacher Schlemmer a great choice to go with when you are seeking out a tree topper that can add a bit of holiday magic to your tree this holiday season!

Product received, thank you to Hammacher Schlemmer as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

#Giveaway Holiday Gift Ideas: Microsoft Surface Pro + $500 Gift Card

This is a Fashionista Event and a promotional item was provided to me. Hosts for this event are Still Blonde after all these Years and ModlyChic 

With the holiday shopping to be done and many of us seeking out those big gifts that are sure to wow our recipients this year, I find that adding some of the hottest tech items under the tree can be exactly what they wanted. For me, when I head out to find those tech gadgets that are a must have for the holidays, I like to head to places like the Microsoft Store, where I can find the latest and greatest with not only those must have gadgets but also the software as well. I like to keep in mind who I am shopping for, and pick up the products that they will not only enjoy having but that will also come in handy. And like many kids out there, when it comes to my daughter and her school work, we are finding that much of it is done on the computer. So giving her a tablet like the Microsoft Surface Pro, will not only make for a great gift that she will enjoy having but also a item that will help with her when it comes to school work.

See when I add the Microsoft Surface Pro to my holiday shopping list this year, I know that I will be giving my daughter a lightweight and portable tablet that will be perfect for her to use. I like knowing that she will be able to easily take it with her to her friends house when they have their study groups and get together for the group projects. I also like that when I head to the Microsoft Store to purchase the Microsoft Surface Pro that right now, I can save $150 on Microsoft Surface Pro 4 i5 128GB, now through December 24th and that I can shop at ease when I take advantage of the free shipping.

Then when it comes to the shopping experience and the satisfaction I can get when I shop at the Microsoft Store this holiday season, I like knowing that they offer free returns, and a extended Return and Holiday Exchange Policy which is available for those purchases made between November 11th and December 31st of 2016 and allows the policy to be utilized if need be through January 31st 2017! Which makes the choice to add the Microsoft Surface Pro along with other must have tech products from the Microsoft Store this season, one that is sure to help keep those spirits merry and bright! So as you seek out those tech gifts to give this year, be sure to head to the Microsoft Store and also be sure to enter for your chance to win a $500 Microsoft Store Gift Card in the form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Entry Requirements: US ONLY, 18 years and older, Giveaway runs from 12-9, 2016 to 1-6, 2017 11:59 PM EST.  Giveaway will be one $500 Microsoft Store gift card.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Save Your Memories this Season with Upthere

This post is sponsored and written by me on behalf of Upthere and ScanMyPhotos through a campaign managed by their PR. All opinions are my own.

As we prepare for the holidays, I find that the thing I look forward to most is seeing my family. Like many families, mine is spread out across the country, and we find that the holidays is the one time of year where we can get together to catch up and spend that much needed time making memories for years to come. Like most families, we have photos of memories we have made in the past, and along with the photos that have been taken in my lifetime, my parents also have the photos that were given to them by their parents from not only the times they had growing up but also of our ancestors. The thing is, many of the photos both the ones of me growing up and the older photos of my family, we find that they show their age and as time goes on I worry that those photos might not last much longer and that the quality of some is beginning to fade. So as my family and I get together this year, we will be gathering those photos, both the old and the new, and sending them to Upthere, where we can have our photos scanned in to the Upthere cloud like service, allowing us to view, share and preserve those memories for many years to come!

See Upthere is a online service that allows you to send in those photos you have, the ones you want to preserve for years to come, through ScanMyPhotos. And right now when you go to ScanMyPhotos to have your photos scanned in to Upthere, you can send in up to 1000 4 x 6 photos and have them scanned in to your Upthere account then sent back to you for free! This is great for families like my own, where we are spread out around the country, to then go on and view those amazing photos anytime and also add to our collection as we make more memories over the years to come!

The service is simple to use, first you go on here where you can take advantage of the limited time offer to send in your 1000 photos to have scanned into your Upthere account. After you get your confirmation and your scan voucher, you can then follow the instructions which you can get on the offer page when you click on the Photo Preparation Procedure link. From there, be sure to package your photos as instructed, add the return label that you will get after confirming your order, and mail in your photos to the address they provide for you.

Then, once they receive your photos, they will scan those photos to your Upthere account, which can take 5-10 days after they receive the photos and ship your photos back to you! Giving you and your family access to those memories for many years to come and making Upthere the place to utilize when it comes to preserving those holiday and family memories! So as you and your family prepare for the holidays, be sure to gather all of those photos, both the old and the new, head to Upthere and send your photos in so you and your family can preserve and enjoy those precious memories for years to come!

Holiday Gift Ideas from Moose Toys

When it comes to finding those gifts to get the kids this holiday season, I find that my kids seem to know which toys are a must have this year. My daughter and her friends all seem to be in the know when it comes to those fun craft kits and must have collectibles, then for my son and his friends, well they also seem to know what is a must have for boys their age as well. So when we were sent a selection of products from the Moose Toys line up, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were all part of that must have list for this holiday season.

For my daughter and her friends, we found that the Poppit sets are a great gift for the kids who enjoy creating their own toys! With the Poppit creations, my daughter and her friends can create their own miniature clay toys to add to my daughters collection of mini figures. To make the little mini figures, they just add clay to the Popper then pop out the pieces and create a variety of little toys! The figures are not just of little animals either, in fact they can create mini foods like cakes and pies and even create some of those fun must have figures from the Shopkins collection of Poppit figures as well as so much more!

Then for my son, he and his friends can create their own fun figures as well with the Qixels 3D Maker from the Moose Toys line up. With the Qixels, they just add the little pixel bricks to the Qixel 3D Maker, create the design they want, and add water so that the pixel cubes can stick together! The water is added using the Fuse Blaster Water Gun, which allows those creations that my son and his friends come up with, to come together as they vision them to! The kids can create making up their own creatures or by using the templates that are included. We can also add more of the pixels and creation ideas when we add some of the characters from the 6 different themed packs that are available! Making both the Qixels and the Poppit collections from Moose Toys, great choices to go with when you are seeking those must have gifts to give your kids this holiday season!

Product received, thank you to Moose Toys as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Holiday Gift Ideas: PLAYMOBIL Space Rocket with Launch Site

With those holiday lists filled out and the gifts needing to be bought, I find that now is the best time to head out to get those gifts that are a must have this year! For me, I know that when it comes to my kids, that they each have their own likes and dislikes, and with my eldest son, I have learned that if there are building supplies and or anything to do with space, he will enjoy it. So when we were sent the PLAYMOBIL Space Rocket with Launch Site to review from PLAYMOBIL, I was excited to check it out and also add it to my list of great gift ideas for the holidays!

With this play set, my son can get a building set that has a fun rocket and characters incorporated into the set. Once built, my son can begin his countdown and take his rocket on to many journeys in space! There are working lights and sounds that can bring the rocket to life for him, and with the launch site, he can move it around and even take it apart over and over again as the characters which includes a fun robot, go to work to fix it so it is ready to launch!

Then, when he is on a mission in space, he can take the characters that are included to help launch and repair the satellite and more! Making the PLAYMOBIL Space Rocket with Launch Site a great set to go with when it comes to those holiday gifts and also when it comes to finding gifts that are sure to engage your kids imagination!

Product received, thank you to PLAYMOBIL as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Holiday Gift Ideas: Charm U

As we head out to fulfill those holiday wish lists, we find that many kids enjoy those gifts that offer collections for them to collect. With my daughter, she has various collections that she enjoys adding to, especially around the holidays. These collections range from dolls to the grab bag toys as well as various types of jewelry. So when I was sent a pack of the Charm U collectible charm bracelets, I was excited to check it out and add it to my list of gift ideas for the holidays!

I found that with the Charm U products that there are several that my daughter can collect, and with each of the charms, they can be added to the bracelets that come with the Charm U sets. There are over 70 charms that my daughter can collect and trade with her friends with, and along with the pack, she can also get some of those rare charms in the surprise packs. Then when it comes to the various themes that she can go with, I like that we can go with the sports themes, treats, princess and more! Making the Charm U sets from Cepia a great gift to add to those holiday lists this year!

Product received, thank you to Cepia as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Holiday Gift Ideas: Toys from Zing and Zippi Pets

With the holidays quickly approaching and those wish lists to be filled, I find that with 3 kids, that they all have very different Christmas lists this year. I mean, I have a daughter who loves animals, art, and music and a son who also likes music but wants a bow for Christmas this year. So when I head out to do my shopping, I take those lists with me and keep their interests in mind. Recently I was sent a couple of toys that cover some of those items on our lists this year from Zing Toys and Prime Time Toys.

For my son who wants a bow this year, but is still too young for a real bow and arrow set, I found that the Firetek Crossbow from Zing will make for a great gift this year. With this crossbow toy, my son and his friends can take that target practice outside even at night. They can do this because the bow lights up with the LED lights, allowing my son and his friends to get that accuracy both day and night, and I like that it can shoot the arrows at the target for over 45 feet!

Then for my daughter who loves animals, I found the Zippi Pets is a great choice for her. This little bird looks and even flies like a real hummingbird. Giving her a magic type effect when it flies above her hands. I also like that with this adorable bird, that it can also sing to her and tweet as it is in the air! Which in all makes the choice to add the Firetek Crossbow from Zing and the Zippi Pets from Prime Time Toys under the tree this year one that my kids are sure to enjoy!

Product received, thank you to Zing Toys and Prime Time Toys as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Find Your #JoyWorthGiving at JCPenney this Holiday Season

This post is part of a sponsored campaign, in collaboration with JCPenney. All opinions are my own.

When I think of the holidays, I think of my family and the memories we will be making this season. I also find that when it comes to the gift giving over the holidays, that I enjoy finding the gifts that are more than just a gift, but something that will bring joy to those I care about. Like many, I seek out the sales and head out when the deals are too good to pass up, but when I head out, I keep an open mind about what I am looking for, and who I am shopping for. So this year, as I head out to do my holiday shopping, I will be heading to JCPenney, where I can find those gifts that will bring joy that is worth giving this holiday season! Check out this heart warming video below that has been a great inspiration for me when it comes to the holiday shopping.

I found that with the video above, that it hits home with me. It reminds me of my dad, whom is a retired actor and writer, who lived for the stage not only as a actor but as a minister as well. He found joy in writing plays, directing them and even putting on the productions, and a few years ago when he had to say goodbye to the theater that he and my mom spent so many years in, I saw that light start to get dull. So as a daughter, when it comes to the holidays, I look for those gifts that can bring some of that shine and joy back, like when I shop for some of those nostalgia gifts that remind him of the comedy he loves such as gifts with The Three Stooges incorporated, or a vintage popcorn machine that resembles the ones he had in his theater.

See when I shop at JCPenney both in store and online, I can get those So Worth It gifts that can bring smiles to faces this holiday season. I also like that when it comes to shopping for those other gifts like the stocking stuffers, that I can get the affordable deals that I seek, when I seek out those gifts under $5, $10, $15, $20 and $25. I also like knowing that I will be getting the lowest price either while I am in store or even up to 14 days after my purchase with the JCPenney Lowest Price Guarantee. Which in all, makes the holiday shopping at JCPenney not only a shopping experience that allows me to find so much all under one roof, but also a shopping experience that allows me to find those gifts that truly are a joy worth giving!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Personalize Your Holiday Cards and More with Basic Invite

Compensation was provided by Basic Invite. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Basic Invite.

As we get closer to Christmas, and we head to the mailbox, we find that friends and loved ones are filling them up with those adorable holiday greeting cards. Like many, I too enjoy taking the photos of myself with my family, to then create those adorable greetings to send out each year. And with the Christmas countdown on, I find that now is the time to go on and get those holiday cards ordered. So when it comes to creating and sending out those holiday greetings, I will be heading to Basic Invite, where I can find the cards I am looking for and more!

See I found that when I shop at Basic Invite for those various events and occasions, that I can create and personalize the cards, invitations or announcements, as well as add some classy texture to the lettering by adding the custom foil lettering. I like that with the cards, I can pick from the 5 different paper types, which allows me to get that look that I am after without paying those higher boutique style prices when it comes to the custom cards and invitations!

I also like that when I shop for those holiday cards, invites, or announcements over at Basic Invite, that I can pick the layout that I am seeking, personalize the cards with our photos and color preferences then have each of the cards addressed to my recipients so all I have to do is stamp them and put them in the mail! This allows me to really give those holiday cards a personal touch and even have the address's of my recipients printed on the envelopes, taking that time to address each one individually out of my to do list this holiday season. And as I look at completing the looks that I want, I like that I can also have the cards I go with, coordinate with the envelopes, by picking out a envelope from one of the 30 color options that they have available.

Then when it comes to ensuring that I am getting what I was wanting, I like that with Basic Invite, that I can have a sample of my card sent to me before placing my order. Allowing me to shop the line of cards, invitations, and announcement products and get exactly what I am looking for, whether it be for those holiday cards or a birth announcement, all in one place and all at amazing prices. Which in all, makes Basic Invite your one stop shop when it comes to finding those adorable, customizable cards, invites, and announcements that are sure to wow your recipients for any occasion!

#Giveaway Holiday Gift Ideas: Holiday Chocolat Frey + $55 Prize Pack

This is a Fashionista Event and a promotional item was provided to me by Chocolat Frey. Hosts for this event are Still Blonde after all these Years and ModlyChic.

With the holiday season upon us and the end of the first part of the school year coming to a close, I find that aside from the kids having those finals to prepare for that I also like to show our kid's teachers our appreciation. Being the daughter of a teacher, I know how much time and energy teachers put in for each of their students, and with the holidays, kids not only get that holiday break to look forward to, but teachers do as well. So as we prepare for that holiday break, I like to create gift baskets for my kids to give to their teachers, and with the Holiday Chocolat Frey, I can be sure to make those gifts extra sweet this year!

Recently I was sent a large assortment of the selection of Holiday Chocolat Frey to check out and add to my gift baskets this year. I found that in the selection of chocolates and chocolate gifts, that I will have exactly what we will need to ensure that each of my kids teachers receive the premium chocolate treats that they are sure to enjoy.

To get started on creating the gift baskets, I divided the chocolates up and made a list of the teachers that my kids have. I chose to make large baskets for the homeroom teachers, since they tend to spend quite a bit of time with my kids, then I made some smaller baskets to give to each of their other teachers. For both sets of gift baskets I added holiday themed tissue paper to the gift baskets, then added the various chocolate gifts to the baskets, using the different packs of the Chocobloc Mini Bars and Aura™ varieties to the smaller ones and the Holiday Assorted Pralines Boxes to the larger baskets along with the Chocolat Frey® Reindeer and a little of each of the other chocolate goodies.

I found that with both the small and large baskets that they were filled with the delicious varieties of Chocolat Frey, that not only taste amazing with those authentic Swiss Chocolates that I adore, but a variety of chocolates that support sustainable cocoa farming! I can also appreciate that the chocolates from the variety you can get from Chocolat Frey use authentic ingredients that are GMO-free and that include rich cocoa beans, whole roasted nuts and milk!

Then when it comes to where I can find the amazing varieties of the Chocolat Frey, I can like that they can be found at various retailers nation wide as seen in the list above. Chocolat Frey Napsli can be found at Sam’s Clubs across the country. 80 delicious individually wrapped authentically Swiss milk and dark chocolate pieces for only $9.99. Making the selection of Holiday Chocolat Frey a great choice when it comes to gift giving this holiday season! And to help with making your holiday a little sweeter this season, the wonderful people from Chocolat Frey would like to give one of my amazing readers a prize pack filled with chocolate goodies valued at $55!

Twitter:        @ChocolatFreyNA

Also be sure to enter all 25 giveaways! 25 BLOGS +25 $55 GIVEAWAYS = $1375 IN CANDY PRIZES & 25 WINNERS


    An InLinkz Link-up

Friday, December 2, 2016

#Giveaway #ClearYourHead with Sinex this Holiday Season

Compensation was provided by Vicks. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Vicks.

The weather is cooling down and the holiday season is upon us, and with that I find that my to do list seems to grow a little each day. I say that because with the holidays here, I have those lists on what all I need for gift giving and preparing for holiday parties, and when it comes to my schedule and lists I find that they tend to be a little more filled up with what I need to do than any other time of the year. So like many when it comes to having to get things done, I find that I do not have the time to let nasal congestion get in the way, and I have found that taking Vicks Sinex can help me clear my head so that I can focus at the tasks at hand.

I have learned over the years that when it comes to the colder weather, we close the windows and the heaters and fire places are turned on, and with that I find the dust and dry air indoors can cause issues when it comes to my sinuses. I have also found that when I use the Vicks Sinex LiquiCaps when I am having sinus congestion, that it helps to clear my stuffy head so that I can focus on the tasks at hand, allowing me to enjoy my day and not have the issue of having a stuffy nose get in the way.

Then when it comes to getting through the nights with that irritating sinus congestion, I like that I can use the Vicks Sinex Nighttime LiquiCaps. I like that the Vicks Sinex Nighttime lets me sleep without having a stuffy nose interrupt my slumber so I can be rested to take on the tasks that the next day have for me! Making the Vicks Sinex LiquiCaps a great choice to go with so you can clear your head and get the fast relief you need so that you too can enjoy your day! And to help with keeping your head clear of congestion. pressure and pain, the wonderful people from Vicks would like to give 3 of my readers each their own box of the Vicks Sinex Daytime and Nighttime LiquiCaps!

Have you tried Sinex? If you have please go here to leave a rating and review. Also enter for your chance to win a box of the Sinex products in the form below!

Holiday Gift Ideas: Full Size Electric Guitar Set w/ Amp and More from Best Choice Products

With the holiday shopping that we do, I have learned that when it comes to finding some of those deals on the products my kids want, that going online can help me save both time and money. Like many, I turn to sites such as Amazon, where I can take advantage of the deals and free shipping on those must have products for this holiday season. And when it comes to those products that my kids see as a must have, musical instruments such as a electric guitar, are at the top of our list this year. So when I was sent the Full Size Sunburst Electric Guitar Set W/ Amp, Case, Accessories Pack Beginner Starter Package from Best Choice Products through their Amazon store, I was excited to check it out and also add it to my list of must have gifts for this holiday season!

When the guitar arrived, I found that I was very pleased with the quality of the product, and I really like that the guitar is made from wood, giving it that authentic look that I was seeking. It is great for learning on and practicing with as well, since we can use it either sitting down or standing up. The tone that it offers is a smooth tone that my son will be able to use when he is playing some rock or even the blues! I also found that once out of the box, that this guitar was ready to be played, which is a huge plus!

With the amp that is included in this set, I can really appreciate that it is portable, runs on batteries, is of course compatible with the guitar, and offers a great sound quality. With the 10W amp, my son gets that electric guitar kit that he wanted that is perfect for beginners such as himself.

Then when it comes to storing the guitar or packing up to take the show on the road, we found that this set also includes a convenient carrying bag. The nylon bag has zip closures, and allows us to not only store the guitar easily, but can also help to keep it from getting scuffs or scratches so that my son's guitar can last longer! Along with the guitar and the accessories, I found that when I go on Amazon to purchase this guitar, I can get it at a great price and even get free shipping with Prime! Which in all makes the Full Size Sunburst Electric Guitar Set W/ Amp, Case, Accessories Pack Beginner Starter Package from Best Choice Products a great choice to go with when you are seeking out a electric guitar for those on your holiday lists this year.

 Product received, thank you to Best Choice Products as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

#Giveaway 25 Days of Christmas with the Litter-Robot

This post is sponsored and written by me on behalf of Litter-Robot through a campaign managed by their PR. All opinions are my own.

When it comes to the holidays, we tend to go through our homes, de-clutter and clean it from top to bottom so that we can be ready for holiday guests. Like in many homes, we have pets, both dogs and cats, and with that I find that I seek out products that can help to make the cleaning at any time of the year a little easier. When I head to the store with my shopping list, I pick up not only the cleaning products but also the odor eliminators due to us having a cat box in the house. Leaving me having to spend quite a bit extra on the cat litter and the odor eliminators. So when I was sent the Litter-Robot Open Air to review, I was curious to see how it worked and also share my thoughts on it with my readers.

I found that after taking it out of the box that aside from adding the cat litter, it was ready to go. I mean, there was no assembly other than adding the cord to plug in the Litter-Robot. Once I had set it up, I found that my kitten was very curious to check it out, and after she looked at it and approved of it, we plugged it in. I really liked that after my cats use the Litter-Robot, that it then automatically begins to clean the clumps from the cat box because it can sense the fact that the cats have used it. When it cleans itself, it does so by rotating and leaving the mess in the bin below. It sifts out the clumped litter from the litter in the box, helping to save us on not only having to clean the cat box but also on cat litter. You can watch how it rotates for cleaning in the video above.

After it had completed its cleaning cycle, which only took a few short minutes, I noticed that the step that the cats use to get up into their box opened up, giving us a bin with the dirty cat litter in it. This allows us to just bag up the mess and throw it away once it is filled up, making it to where we are not having to scoop anything and also so there is less waste when it comes to the cat litter itself.

Aside from the obvious plus of the self cleaning and litter saving aspects that we love about the Litter-Robot, is that the litter box odor that I have dealt with for years of having cats, is not a issue. This is a huge plus, I mean the elimination of that cat box smell allows me to not be constantly having to clean out the litter box, and with the holidays coming, I can mark the adding of extra odor eliminators and the constant scooping of litter off my to do list.

Then when it comes to knowing when you need to clean out the tray, well there is a light as pointed out in the photo above, that blinks, letting you know that the tray is full and ready to be cleaned out. For the cat litter, you can just add more as needed, and not have to worry about it going to waste! Making the Litter-Robot Open Air a great product to have in any home with cats, and also a must have when it comes to the holiday season!

You can purchase the Litter-Robot Open Air here and also be sure to enter the 25 Days of Christmas Giveaway where you can enter to win one of 30 Litter-Robot Open Air's and more by going here:

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Conception Later in Life: How Egg Donation Gives New Hope to Infertile Women

Being infertile is a study in tumultuous emotions. The anxiety of wanting to know, so badly, whether the next pregnancy test will have a plus sign, paired with the desire to freeze time because the unknown is better than the disappointment of another negative.  The feeling of months slipping away into years, all while knowing that your best chances may have been years ago.

IVF has become so commonplace that people assume most twins nowadays are IVF twins, and women with no men in the picture can use sperm donors with few eyebrows raised. But looking into egg donation may be one tactic that’s been overlooked by women, especially those over age 35, who yearn to overcome infertility.

Here are some reasons using a donor egg may work when other methods have not:

-          Your body does not make eggs throughout your life; you’re born with all the eggs you will ever have. That means your eggs are as old as you are, and older eggs are unfortunately more prone to genetic issues.

-          Your egg stores are also greatly diminished by age 35 and continue to decline through age 40.
-          Even with regular periods, you may not beovulating every month after age 35.
-          It’s next to impossible to get pregnant with your own eggs after age 45.
-          You may have needed medicine, such as a cancer treatment, that adversely affected your egg quantity and quality.

Advanced maternal age can have its challenges; however, women who wait to have children may also be more financially stable and ready to be a parent.

For women who have been through the wringer with infertility, or for those whose maternal instincts kicked in later in life, pregnancy may seem like a mirage, but with donated eggs, women can start their journey anew.

What is the egg donor process like?

Again there are the strong emotions. Many women report needing to grieve that a baby made with donor eggs will not be biologically theirs. It’s hard to accept that conclusion. Yet, the upside is that, unlike other options, donor eggs allow women to experience the miracle of a baby growing inside, to monitor the baby’s development, and even to go through childbirth.

After coming to terms with the emotional and psychological aspects of using donor eggs, the process can usually begin relatively quickly. First, women decide whether to use fresh or frozen donor eggs and who the donor will be.

All egg donors are screened for medical, genetic and psychological issues before being allowed to donate. With frozen donor eggs, the donors have already gone through the process of retrieving the eggs, so prospective moms can simply choose a donor who meets her criteria.  There may be certain physical attributes, a particular ethnicity or a desired level of education that are important to the family.  Fresh donor eggs are a little trickier as women will need to wait for the donor go through the screening process, then to take medications to produce the eggs, and hope that enough quality eggs are retrieved—all while both the donor and the recipient need to sync their menstrual cycles using additional medications.

After the mom selects the donor eggs, using them is nearly identical to traditional IVF. Once the eggs are at the fertility clinic, the doctor fertilizes them. This step allows dads to contribute to the genetic make-up of the baby, which some couples see as a major criteria in their family planning. But a sperm donor is also a wonderful option.  As usual with fertility treatments, the couple of days while the fertilized eggs grow into embryos can be stressful and anxiety-inducing. Will it work this time? How many embryos will start growing? Will they be healthy and robust?

After a few days, the doctor implants the desired number of embryos into the mother, who will have prepped her body with hormones that encourage those little bundles of joy to hang on tight.
And if they do, women who have struggled for so long may finally see that elusive plus sign, that turns into morning sickness, that turns into baby kicks, that turns into the makings of a mother who knows how badly this child was wanted.

Use Advil® Menstrual Pain and Say "What Monthly Pain?"

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Sponsored #WhatMonthlyPain #CollectiveBias

When it comes to being a woman, we find that there are monthly routines that we do in order to make those monthly pains a little more bearable. Like many women, I learned ways to make the days leading up to and during my period a little easier from my mom. I can remember drinking chamomile tea, eating some chocolate and painting nails during that time of the month. We also had heating pads and wrote in journals when it came to emotional aspect that some teen girls my find to be hard to deal with. I found these tactics helped when it came to some of the discomforts that can come with a period, and have found that for me being a mother to a teen, I take some of those tips and tricks that my mom shared with me and my sister with my own daughter. The thing is when it comes to the pains, they might not be in just one particular area of the body, sometimes we get headaches and even back pain that goes along with those menstrual cramps. So along with using some of the tips and tricks my mom used with me growing up, I also include the Advil® Menstrual Pain in the mix with my own teen.

See when we add Advil® Menstrual Pain to help with easing that menstrual pain, we can also relieve the headaches and back pain as well. I like that when it comes to that time of the month, that I can head to my local Walmart, where I can pick up some of the Advil® Menstrual Pain along with other products we might need or want to add to those monthly pain survival kits for that time of the month. The Advil® Menstrual Pain products can be found in the pharmacy department in the pain relief isle.

I found that when it comes to adding the Advil® Menstrual Pain when we are having menstrual pains, back pains, and headaches that can all be associated with that time of the month, that we are using the #1 doctor recommended brand for menstrual pains. I can also appreciate that with the Advil® Menstrual Pain, that it targets the cause of menstrual cramps and discomfort and can help to relieve pain for up to 6 hours! Another plus is that the tablets are easy to swallow, caffeine free and antihistamine free, making so when it is that time of the month and my daughter and I go for the Advil® Menstrual Pain we can say, "What monthly pain?"!

So as you prepare to get your daughter ready to take on her first steps into womanhood, be sure to add Advil® Menstrual Pain to the mix and also check out this fun monthly pain survival kit that I enjoy making for my own daughter!

For the monthly pain kit:
I use products that can help with both comfort and emotions.

  • I like to add a journal for my daughter to write down feelings, thoughts and frustrations to help sort through the emotional aspect that hormones can throw at a girl during that time of the month. 
  • Chamomile tea to help soothe and calm the nerves
  • Nail polish, because a fresh coat can make you feel better. 
  • A bar of chocolate or my daughters favorite candy
  • Pads or tampons
  • Travel size bottle of my daughters favorite lotion 
  • Peppermint rice pack which helps to soothe and also relax you
  •  Advil® Menstrual Pain.

I like to make the rice packs with my daughter. This helps to pass the time, is a fun project for us to do together, and can be relaxing to make. With the peppermint rice packs they are good for giving a soothing and relaxing heating pad that is great for having during that time of the month! You can get the info on making a rice pack with your daughter below: