Mommy Katie: January 2014

Friday, January 31, 2014

#ad Finding Happiness In Customer Service

This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.



When you hear the term customer service, what do you think? For me, it means a service that is out there, specifically for me, the consumer. When I think of the term, "customer service", I think of a department within a company that exists for the sole purpose of listening to and being there for customers. However, it seems that this is not always the case anymore. If I need to contact a customer service department, I have full intentions to speak to a customer service representative on the other line. I expect that person to listen to my needs and concerns, and for that person to help me find a solution. If they cannot find a solution, I expect them to help me get in touch with a person who can. I, like many other consumers out there, do not want to call a company’s customer service line and only get an automated system that may or may not connect me to the person or department I need to talk to, and then be placed on a long and tiring hold. Even worse is when that tiring hold turns into “call back in 24 hours,” and you never hear back, leaving your issue unsolved. 


I’m not alone in dreading customer service calls, but there are certainly companies out there that do put their customers first. Read on for some tips to handle your next customer service call!

With the rise in social media, more companies can be reached by communicating on social media. One tip to keep in mind before making the call is to reach out to the company directly through its social media pages like Facebook or Twitter. I have even found that by looking at other comments made by customers, my questions were sometimes answered. Another benefit to reaching out to companies through their social media sites is avoiding run-arounds and being connected directly, instead of trying to figure out which number to press on the automated system. 

Another trick to assure I get to the bottom of the issue is documenting everything. This can help me and the customer service rep. This includes receipts, letters, and prior ticket numbers. Having everything organized ahead of time will save a lot of time and frustration on the call. 

I find these tips to be very helpful, and when it comes to credit card customer service in particular, I like knowing that I can have a very pleasant experience. One credit card company that has excellent customer service is Discover. They have been recognized for being a leader in consumer loyalty for 17 straight years according to the 2013 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index. When I call the customer service department at Discover, I am connected to a live, U.S.-based agent who is friendly and there to help me, the consumer! 

The next time you need to make a call to a customer service department, take the tips I shared with you and use them, and remember that customer service is there for you, not the other way around! 




This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. This post is sponsored by Discover since I am a member of the Discover Preferred Blogger Program. Thank you to Discover for sponsoring this post!
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

#Giveaway Nicholas Sparks Limited Edition DVD Collection! The Perfect Gift For Valentines Day

Product reviewed in previous review post found here!
In a recent post, I reviewed a great collection of love stories on DVD, which also happen to be some of my favorite romance movies to watch! I had been sent the Nicholas Sparks Limited Edition DVD Collection for review and you can find the review that I did by going here! Well, since Valentines Day is just around the corner, the wonderful people from Warner Bros, would like to send one of my amazing readers their own Nicholas Sparks Limited Edition DVD Collection!


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#Giveaway Getting The House Ready For Valentines Day With Glue Dots!

Product Received

With Valentines Day coming up, the kids and I decided it was time to get out the Valentines crafts and start decorating the house to prepare for Valentines Day! To help us with our day of craft making, we were sent a great pack of Glue Dots products! We found these to be very fitting for the many different projects we decided to take on for this Valentines Day, and for mom, the Glue Dots made it not only easy for the kids to use, but there was no mess or sticky hands afterwards! For this year, the kids wanted to start out by first decorating their own Valentines Day Mail Boxes. I found some cute metal mail boxes then pulled out some of our decals and crafting supplies for the task. With Robert, he found the Glue Dots to really come in handy since he wanted to wrap his mail box in tissue paper. For Estrella and Wyatt, they both found some punch out foam decals and the Glue Dots were perfect to making those little decals stick to their boxes in the places they chose to put them. The kids also pointed out that they did not have to wait for the glue to dry, so there was no glue mess on their boxes and the items they glued to the metal mail boxes stayed in place and did not slide around!

After we finished the mail boxes the kids decided, it was time to get some other decorations together for the house. They made some really adorable, kissy faced, paper bag puppets to hang up for everyone to see, they also made some paper heart garlands to hang above the door. We found the inspiration for the garland on the Glue Dots Pinterest page.

Aside from these great decorations, the kids found some foam hearts, and decided to make homemade Valentines Day cards for their teachers at school. With all of our crafts we made, the kids took full advantage of the Glue Dots and were able to come up with some crafty and creative items this year! Well to help with any projects you might want to conquer that involves glue, take the mess out of the equation and add Glue Dots to your project! To get you started the wonderful people from Glue Dots would like to send one of my amazing readers a variety of Glue Dots products to try out!



This was not a paid post and honest/original opinions were used and they are my own. Thank you to the company and/or pr agency who supplied the product for review.
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Stars Make E-Cigarettes Seem Glamorous By Dr. Michael Popkin (Guest Post)

Parents, guard your TVs. Decades after cigarette advertising was kicked off the airwaves, it’s back but with a new twist—the advertising is for e-cigarettes. For those of you unfamiliar with the product, e-cigarettes heat liquid nicotine into a vapor. The result is there is no smoke or smell associated with the cigarettes. However, it’s not yet clear what the health effects are and if they parallel that of traditional cigarettes.

Unfortunately, many kids may already consider the e-cigs to be healthier or “safe” as compared to regular cigarettes. Initial studies show the popularity of “e-cigs” or “vapors” rising among teens, especially when the e-cigarettes come in kid-tempting flavors like mocha mist. There’s even a term that sounds cool for smoking e-cigarettes: “vaping.”

As always, it’s our job as the guardians of our childrens’ health to be on the front lines and talk to them about the potential dangers of e-smoking. The fact that well-known actors, musicians and public figures are now being photographed “vaping” only reinforces the message to our youth that this is a cool new trend. This makes it all the more imperative that you as a parent educate yourself about e-cigarettes so you can communicate the potential dangers to your kids.

Educate yourself about this new health threat and then talk to your kids to find out what they know, what they don’t know, and how the two of you will work together to keep everyone smoke—and vapor—free.

About Dr. Michael Popkin
For nearly 10 years, Dr. Michael Popkin has served as the spokesperson for the Youth Smoking Prevention Program “Real Parents. Real Answers.”  Popkin is the founder of Active Parenting publishers and the author of many award-winning, video-based parenting education programs.  “Real Parents. Real Answers.” is anchored by the website www.realparentsrealanswers.com, where parents can find a variety of tools and materials to assist them in raising happy, healthy kids that make good choices, including not smoking.


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Super Bowl Party Ideas – For the Ladies! (Guest Post)

It’s getting to be that time of year ladies. It’s the biggest game of the year, where the two best teams in all of football get together and slug it out for the right to hold the Lombardi trophy to the masses, and 4-5 hours of the biggest stage in television – and I could not care less. The Super Bowl is more of a social event than anything. Sure the game is part of it, but the advertisements and showy music performances are also a large part of Super Bowl Sunday. While some ladies enjoy tagging along (or even enjoying) this particular Sunday each year, many certainly don’t. That’s why ladies should think about throwing a party of their own! Anti-Super Bowl party is way too snarky, so let’s call it the ASB – alternative to Super Bowl.
Finger Foods without the Dudes
While fried chicken wings, onion rings, and sausages are always a tasty treat sometimes those fatty or fried foods aren’t so compatible with our New Year’s health-related resolutions. Leave that to the guys. For the ladies, here are some ideas that are no less mouth-watering but much better for our bodies. The two dips are better served as appetizers but the bottom three are more of an entrée-appetizer hybrid which can be used either way:
Flicks just for us Chicks

  • How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. It’s just too hilarious to exclude!
  • 13 Going on 30. Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo are wonderful together.
  • Moulin Rouge. The music is great and can be used as background music while crafting!
  • Pitch Perfect. Corny and charming doesn’t even begin to capture this entertaining film!
  • Bridesmaids. It’s like the ladies version of The Hangover.
Creative Crafts and Simple Laughs
Eating tasty foodstuffs and watching comical films are both staples of a fun party for the ladies. But throwing in a little production can help prevent this little get-together from being one of those ‘Need to check my Facebook every 5 minutes’ types of parties. Get your hands dirty and try some of these cutesy ideas that can be used as a future present or as a temporary throw-away. Here are a few fun ideas, get in touch with me if you’d like to learn how I did mine!

Since Valentine’s Day is close to Super Bowl Sunday, use a ladies’ party as an opportunity to do a little bit of work so that by Thursday night the 13th, you won’t be scrambling and worrying about what you’re doing for your significant other. Plus since many of us are in sort of a gray area when it comes to watching the Big Game (don’t hate football, just aren’t that into it), organize a fun-filled fiesta that utilizes your creativity to the max!




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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

From Cot to Big Bed: How to Smoothen the Transition (Guest Post)

At some point, every toddler outgrows their crib. This can be a very difficult time for both the child and their parents, as both try to adjust to the big changes ahead. Here are some top tips to help you all deal with the change.

Make Sure Your Child is Ready

You don't want to force your toddler into his or her first 'big-kid bed' until it's the right time to do so. Most toddlers will be ready for the transition from the crib between the ages of 18 months and 3 years. If they start to climb over the rail of the crib or if they're already potty trained and show a keenness for their own bog bed, then it's time.

Choose the Right Bed

Getting a bed that your toddler will love is very important as moving into the big persons world can be slightly daunting, however keen they may have been to escape the crib. So choose bedding that has their favourite colours or designs on it. Practicality is crucial here as well. Are you expecting another little one in the coming months as well? If so, perhaps a bunk bed might be a more financially sensible option. In truth, you'll probably not want to spend ridiculous amounts on their bed (though don't buy something really cheap), as they will undoubtably outgrow it in the not too distant future. Bedzrus is a good place to start when shopping for children's beds.

Time It Just Right

Because moving into a big kid bed is such a big step for your child, you really want to time the transition as best you can. For example, don't have them move into their new bed in the same week as other big events in their life occur, such as their first day of pre-school. Instead, wait for a time in which they are generally at ease and therefore, much more likely to handle the transition smoothly and without too much fuss.

Discipline Yourself

Naturally the transition from crib to big bed is not just a big event in the life of the child; it's very significant for the mother as well. After all, your child is no longer a baby and with that reality comes certain sacrifices. For example, you'll more than likely be very tempted to want to lie down with your toddler as they fall asleep. Though this would be nice, it's a very difficult habit to break once started. In order to ensure a quicker transition into new sleeping arrangement, try not to weaken.

As Smooth as Possible

The transition from crib to big bed can be stressful for all concerned. But with these key tips, you have a good understanding of what to expect and how to make the move as smooth as possible.







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Keeping Your Home Clean(ish) with Young Kids (Guest Post)

Aren't young kids great? They're full of life, full of energy and just bursting with enthusiasm for excitement and totally new experiences. However, they are of course also incredibly messy, but then again you can't have everything. And fortunately there are ways of keeping all that mess to a minimum. Here are some great tips.

Be Realistic

Kids make mess. It's a fact of life. And why shouldn't they? After all their first few years are a time of great discovery. So don't take that away from them by expecting that they'll never create extra housework for you. That's not to suggest of course that you should simply let your kids run rampant, causing chaos in every room. But rather, you should be aware that your idea of clean might not be synonymous with having kids, at least for the first few years of their life. If you can learn to accept 'tidy' as meaning that the house is in one piece and you can all function happily, then that is far more important than fighting for a level of cleanliness that might not be very realistic.

Work With Your Kids

As a mother, its is very easy to become personally offended when your kids make a total mess of your home. You might even wonder whether they are doing it on purpose just to annoy you. But the chances are that they're not. So try not to fight your kids too much. Let them throw their toys around whilst playing. And when they've finished playing, clean up the toys together. It is a little unrealistic to expect young kids to be self-aware enough to completely clean up after themselves. But if you make it a joint effort, you'll be instilling good values in your children from an early age.

Prepare for the Mess

The mess that your children will make during their early years is inevitable and you can't really help that. What you can do though, is to prepare yourself and your home for these inevitabilities. One of the chief culprits in a home with small children? Dirty fingerprints on the windows and glass doors. These are aggravating to say the least and they can take a long time to clean off properly, particularly if your children have greasy hands (they often do). So safe yourself the aggravation and have your windows and doors covered with a protective coating from Barriers Components. These shields work absolute wonders for your windows and they'll put an end to any potential stress on your part.

The Best Approach

Keeping your home clean with young children running about isn't easy. But the best way to approach it is to have realistic expectations and to prepare for the inevitable.





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Using Fairy Lights in Your Home All Year Round (Guest Post)

The twinkle of a well-positioned string of fairy lights is utterly irresistible, regardless of the season or the weather outside. Too many people take down their fairy lights with their Christmas trees and fail to receive the year-round benefits of using fairly lights to decorate their homes. Whether your decorating style is more bohemian or sleek and contemporary, there are ways to effectively incorporate fairy lights into your home.

Living Rooms

If you’re lucky enough to have a real fireplace in your living room, you can save on the cost of gas or wood, and pile fairy lights into an empty grate. This is an effective and budget-friendly way of making use of a hearth that hasn’t been fitted with a gas or electric fire. You can also hang a long string of fairy lights, preferably in a warm colour, from the top of the chimney breast to create a sense of height and space in your living room. Draping fairy lights along the windowsills of any room in the house will create a stylish effect, but remember to switch off fairy lights and let them cool before allowing them to come into contact with curtain fabric.

Kitchens

Try filling a large glass bowl with fairy lights and placing it on the kitchen table for an unusual and eye-catching centre piece. You can also do this with old glass jars. If you have planters stocked with herbs on the kitchen windowsill, edging the rims of these containers with fairy lights will create a pleasing display.

Children’s Bedrooms

Stringing fairy lights around the headboard or bedframe is a popular bedroom feature, although this might not be appropriate for young children. When decorating a child’s bedroom with fairy lights, it’s recommended that they are placed out of easy reach. Examples of this include making a fairy light picture rail, or edging the top of a large mirror with lights. Fairy lights around the headboard of a child’s bed might prove tempting to fiddle with and this can potentially be dangerous. Remember to unplug your child’s fairy lights before they go to sleep.

Gardens


Fairy lights can look equally effective in the garden, so try decorating trees by winding fairy lights around the trunk and draping them over the branches. You can also wind these lights over patio furniture, including deckchairs and picnic tables. If you’re planning to use fairy lights in the garden, make sure you look for high quality LED bulbs, like those available from Bright Lightz

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Cooking For Your Kids: The Essentials (Guest Post)

In the past few years, there has been a much stronger focus on the importance of quality food. For this, we largely have TV chefs such as Jamie Oliver to thank. And thank him we should. For the food we eat is far more important than some parents realise. Seeing young moms flooding out of the supermarket with stacks of frozen pizzas and fast foods is shocking. As responsible parents, we have to see to it that our kids get the very best where food is concerned.

Quality

It's amazing how many moms think that ordering a massive bucket of fried chicken from KFC is treating them. Treating them to high cholesterol and saturated fats, yes. But your children need real nutrients to grow up fit and healthy. And don't for a second believe that the vegetables you're getting from the supermarket are chock full of vitamins. Sadly, much of the vegetables in supermarkets (the big chains at least) are grown quickly and under very poor conditions, often with pesticides and preservatives used to keep them looking ripe for longer. In truth though, if you want to do the best by your kids, get real vegetables from a greengrocer and quality meat products from a trusted local butcher.

Diversity

Good food is an experience to be savoured. And for this reason you should try to show your family just how diverse and exciting the various tastes and textures of the world can be. Why on earth would you want to settle for a frozen pizza, when your family can adventure into the realms of Indian, Moroccan, Spanish, French, Italian, African, Chinese, Jamaican or Mexican?

A Good Stove is a Must

It's almost sacrilegious to invest your hard-earned money in top quality ingredients, only to to ruin them through the use of an inferior stove. Cheap stoves or electric ovens simply do not cut it. We should all be going back to the traditional ideal of food being a bonding experience between families, a moment of togetherness and a time to reflect on the day. And such time together warrants a spread of food that has been lovingly prepared using good quality ingredients and good quality cooking equipment to do the moment justice. Forget microwaves. Forget cheap stoves. Treat your family to a top quality cooker from Better Kitchens.

An Important Part of Family Life


Thanks to individuals such as Jamie Oliver, food is once again becoming a more important part in the lives of everyday families. To see that your family gets the most out of the experience, quality ingredients, a diverse range of dishes and a top quality oven are essential.  

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

#Giveaway Build-A-Bear Workshop Tons Of Love Elephant

Product Received
Valentines Day is just around the corner, and for me, I like finding products for the kids to enjoy. One place that we love going to and having fun together while we are there is Build-A-Bear Workshop. I find that when we go there, not only are my kids enjoying being able to create their own new stuffed animal friend, but we all have fun doing this together. Picking out that new friend, then finding that outfit that reflects this new friends sense of style and personality. With the thoughts of the fun we have together in mind, and Valentines Day coming up, I see it to be natural to find my kids Valentines Day gifts from the Build-A-Bear Workshop. Recently I was sent a new friend to share with Estrella. I was sent Tons Of Love Elephant to review.

Estrella's favorite animal is a elephant, so when I was given the chance to pick out a Build-A-Bear Workshop friend to review for Valentines Day, I found this adorable elephant to be the one! Aside from being Estrella's favorite animal, Tons of Love Elephant is pink, which is also among the faves with Estrella! Tons of Love Elephant is soft and cuddly, fitting right in with the rest of Estrella's adorable Build-A-Bear collection of soft, lovable and cuddly friends! The adorable elephant I was sent for this Valentines Day also came fully dressed with a very cute sequined heart antenna, a pair of red sparkle bow flats, red heart sequin purse, and a very adorable Valentines Day shirt and skirt combo! Over at Build-A-Bear Workshop, I can find a great selection of friends to choose from for each of my kids, and with the many accessories, I can personalize their friends as well and ready them to be great gifts to give this Valentines Day! So this year, if you are looking for a stuffed animal friend to give your kids or the loves on your list, be sure to check out the very soft, cuddly, and very adorable friends from the Build-A-Bear Workshop! Well, since Valentines Day is coming up, the wonderful people from Build-A-Bear Workshop would like to give one of my readers a $25 gift card!




This was not a paid post and honest/original opinions were used and they are my own. Thank you to the company and/or pr agency who supplied the product for review.
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Sharing The Nicholas Sparks Limited Edition DVD Collection This Valentines Day

Product Received
Whether it is for Valentines Day or just one of those days where I want to relax, and eat a box of chocolates while watching some of my favorite love stories, having the Nicholas Sparks collection on hand is a must have! Recently I was sent the Nicholas Sparks Limited Edition DVD Collection to review for this Valentines Day. I found this collection to be a perfect gift to give this Valentines Day, and it is one that can definitely win some brownie points with the lady in your life! This amazing collection of love stories is a set of movies that were based on the best selling novel collection from Nicholas Sparks. In this collection you will get Safe Haven, The Lucky One, Dear John, Nights in Rodanthe, A Walk To Remember, Message In A Bottle, and The Notebook! I am a huge fan of all of these movies, and setting aside a day where I can sit in my pj's with a box of tissue on hand to have my own love story marathon, is a good day for me. With the movie Dear John, you get the story of a soldier with a past and a skeleton in his closet, who falls in love with a free spirited conservative college student. Then in another one of my all time favorite love stories, The Notebook, you get the elderly couple, who overcome many obstacles, who have a love story unlike any other, one that is their own, and one, each time it is told, brings the love back, even if it is for a moment. In all, I adore all of these movies in this collection, and this collection would make for a great gift to give or even get for yourself, this Valentines Day. So head out today, and bring home the Nicholas Sparks Limited Edition DVD Collection!


This was not a paid post and honest/original opinions were used and they are my own. Thank you to the company and/or pr agency who supplied the product for review.
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Monday, January 27, 2014

#ad #Giveaway $50 Gift Card Saving Money On Date Night

This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.



With the holidays come and gone, a lot of us are trying hard to save money so we can pay our recent holiday bills. Now for me, that doesn’t mean that I have to stop enjoying things, it just means that I need to be a savvy consumer when the New Year gets rolling and new activities arise.

One thing that my husband and I enjoy is our date nights. We look forward to these, and even though we have cut back on expenses so we can get over that holiday hump, we still take advantage of a night out now and then. Instead of going to a bar or dance hall and spending way too much on drinks, we instead enjoy a very nice night out going to dinner and a movie. With several big movies up for awards showing in theaters, my husband and I look forward to this time of year when we can get out and enjoy a movie together! To ensure we save some money on our date, I like to research the restaurant, join their mailing list and Facebook page, as well as join the VIP club at our local movie theater. That way, I can get their deals or coupons and know when they will be running specials! I also enjoy taking full advantage of sites like Groupon, where I can get a great dinner and a movie deal and not have to worry about overspending.

Another way I try to save is by earning cash rewards with a credit card. One way I do this is by taking advantage of Discover’s rewards program, like the 5% Cashback Bonus program. Now through March 31, Discover cardmembers can sign up to earn 5% Cashback Bonus on up to $1,500 in restaurant and movie purchases. Knowing that I can get up to $75 back just by using my Discover card when my husband and I are out makes the date even more exciting! I can also turn my rewards into extra cash by redeeming my Cashback Bonus rewards for gift cards to several of our favorite restaurants like Outback Steakhouse and Red Lobster. You can also redeem your Cashback Bonus for gift cards to movie theaters, including AMC!





Another big perk of being a Discover cardmember is the current Valentine’s Day promotion through ShopDiscover.com, the company’s exclusive online shopping portal featuring more than 200 popular online retailers. Now through February 14, more than 20 retailers have increased Cashback Bonus amounts just in time for the holiday. We can save on sites like Fandango (10% Cashback Bonus) and Restaurant.com (20% Cashback Bonus), so my husband and I can really enjoy our night out!

So this New Year, make smart choices when it comes to your spending habits and take advantage of all the perks you can get from being a Discover cardmember. To help you pay for your next date night, I will be giving one of my amazing readers a $50 Discover gift card to use on their next night out! Comment below and tell me what perk you like best about being a Discover cardmember!


This giveaway is open to U.S. residents over 18 years of age. I will use a random generator through the giveaway form for a winner.




This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. This post is sponsored by Discover since I am a member of the Discover Preferred Blogger Program. Thank you to Discover for sponsoring this post!
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Sunday, January 26, 2014

#FamilyBreakfast #PlatefullCoOp #spon Getting The Family Together At Breakfast With Cheerios

Product Received
In my home, breakfast is a big deal, and I see breakfast as being the most important meal of the day. With kids in school, and even a husband in school, starting the day off right is what I aim for. Now mornings may be somewhat chaotic at times, but somehow we can still find the time to take a moment to sit at the table, and enjoy a well balanced meal before we start the day. One thing that is fast and easy to put out in the mornings for the family to enjoy together is cereal. Recently my family and I were sent a box of Cheerios, a bowl and a shirt for the Cheerios Family Breakfast Project to encourage myself and my family to take seven minutes a day for seven days to enjoy breakfast together. I must admit, there are some mornings where we find that not everyone is able to get to the table at the same time to eat together, so I was worried that we could run into some issues, but when I told my family what I wanted to do, they all agreed that they would assure we ate our breakfasts together every morning, at the same time and for at least seven minutes!


We found that this was easy to accomplish, and we also found, that like at dinner, we can discuss things together. Instead of asking how our days went, we talked about what we had planned for the day and set personal goals each day. The kids set personal goals by getting good behavior and citizenship marks at school each day, as well as paying attention and doing well in class each day. My husband set his goals to ask more questions in class so that he can better understand some of the subjects he is studying, and so he can better understand the objective of assignments and projects from his professors. I set my goals for putting in time for walking each day, as well as some goals towards work. In all, having Cheerios at the table in the mornings for the whole family to enjoy and share as we prepared for our days and ate our breakfast, really made a difference and helped each of us start our days off right! So challenge your family to a seven day seven minute breakfast challenge, where you can eat at the table together each morning and start your days off right, and be sure to add Cheerios to the menu!




Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.
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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Skin Care Products For Mom And Baby From Noodle And Boo

Product Received
For me, I like to find products that are gentle for both babies skin and my own skin. I am one who looks for the natural products that are safe, and when I can find a brand that can be used for both baby and mommy, I not only will give it a try, but if I like it, I will share it! Well recently I was sent some products from Noodle & Boo to try for myself and to also try on Wyatt.


For me, the mama, I was sent a bottle of the Noodle & Boo The Balm to test out. I found The Balm to be great for my hands and feet. It helps relieve the dryness on my hands and feet. I can really appreciate that The Balm absorbs quickly, it is long lasting and it is also non greasy, and the scent is very nice as well. I also like that it has been clinically tested for sensitive skin, and that it is hypoallergenic. I found it to be a great balm to put on my hands and feet before bedtime, so I can wake up with with soft and smooth skin in the mornings! Then with the Super Soft Baby Lotion for my Wyatt, he can enjoy a nice massage after bath time. I love how soft and silky the Super Soft Baby Lotion leaves my babies skin feeling after putting it on his skin. I also like that it is mild enough, so I can put it on him daily and not have to worry about any irritations, oh and the best part is the sweet baby smell it has, leaving my Wyatt soft and extra snuggly after applying it to his skin! In all, I found the products for both mom and baby from Noodle & Boo to be some great products and if you are looking for some great products for you and baby or to give to a new mom and her baby, then check out the products from Noodle & Boo today!




This was not a paid post and honest/original opinions were used and they are my own. Thank you to the company and/or pr agency who supplied the product for review.
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Reducing The Appearance Of Wrinkles With The Silk'n FaceFX

Product Received
As a woman, we go through a lot to try to maintain our youth, but it does not all have to be painful. I myself, did not realize what it would be like to get my first wrinkle, but after this past year, when that first line appeared, I found myself trying to find products that could reduce the appearance and cover it up. It was not until recently, when I was sent a Silk'n FaceFX to review, that I realized I could do more than just cover it up and hope no one notices it.


The Silk'n FaceFX, diminishes the appearance of wrinkles! It also helps improve your skins texture, reduces the size of pores, and another big one for me is, it brightens your skins color. I was very impressed on how easy it is to use, and with the mineral cream that came with my Silk'n FaceFX, my face was so much softer! I also liked that I could get professional results, without having to pay those professional fees, and I could treat my face from the privacy and comfort of my home! One thing I had a friend of mine ask when she was looking at my Silk'n FaceFX was, if the results would last? Well after using it for the past few weeks, I can say that yes, the results do last, and it seems that even with my issue with a everlasting "pregnancy mask" that I have, I am seeing the uneven tones on my face start to clear up. So the next question one might have would be, how does the Silk'n FaceFX work? They use something called the Home Fractional Technology, that is a combination of fractional red light therapy and deep thermal heating, which helps stimulate the collagen production in the skin. It is safe to use and has been tested by dermatologists. And the results speak for themselves, after 8 weeks of use, you can see the age-defying results! So if you are looking for a way to reduce the wrinkles on your face, and also improve the texture and appearance of your skin, then get the Silk'n FaceFX today!


This was not a paid post and honest/original opinions were used and they are my own. Thank you to the company and/or pr agency who supplied the product for review.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Adding Some Fun To Your Daughters Birthday Party

Product Received
When it comes to planning for a birthday party, Estrella is a girl who knows exactly what she wants. Over the years, I have given Estrella the chance to have her ears pierced, but she has decided against it, so when we were going over items to add to her and her guests party favors, she wanted to do something fun. She enjoys putting on the clip on earrings, and when we were introduced to the Poppy Drops, she right away knew that these were a must have for her party this year.


Not only are the Poppy Drops available in a variety of designs for girls to choose from, but we can both appreciate that they are made from vegetable dyes and do not contain any harsh chemicals. The Poppy Drops are temporary tattoo earrings, and they are perfect for girls to add to their birthday party favor packs as well as add to their dress up collections! They are 100% safe and worry free, making them a great choice for any parent to give to their little girl. So if you have a little girl, who does not have her ears pierced, or if you are planning a birthday party and you are looking for some great party favors, check out the Poppy Drops and add them to your list!

This was not a paid post and honest/original opinions were used and they are my own. Thank you to the company and/or pr agency who supplied the product for review.
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Wake Up To Variety With Crazy K-cups

Product Received

I am a person who has to have her coffee in the mornings. I enjoy using my Keurig every morning, so I can choose how many cups I will brew, and also change up the flavors if I want. Like many others who are Keurig lovers, I have many boxes of the different flavors I enjoy. The thing is, I enjoy finding and trying rare and unique flavors, and when it really comes down to it, I find holiday flavors to be my first choice. I usually end up going to the local coffee shops to get those holiday blends, then when they are out, I end up sucking it up and waiting until the next year to enjoy my favorite blends. Well recently I was introduced to a coffee company called Crazy Cups, where I can not only get those unique blends that I crave, but I can get them in K-cups so I can enjoy a cup of my favorite holiday blends from the comfort of my own home!


With the Crazy Cups Holiday Sampler, I got 35 K-cups, each with a unique, holiday inspired blend! When I got the box, I noticed that it is not like your average K-cup package, instead, it is a larger box with each K-cup in its own slot, making it so I can have a different flavor every day if I wanted! There are 6 different flavors, which include those faves of mine from the local coffee houses like the Pumpkin Vanilla Creme and Spiced Gingerbread. The other flavors are just as amazing, and they include White Christmas, Jamaican Me Crazy, Italian Chocolate Cheesecake, and Peppermint Chocolate Mocha. I can really appreciate the variety, and that I can have my holiday flavors that I enjoy, on hand, all year round! Aside from the unique flavor assortment, I also like that there is 35% more coffee in each of the capsules, and when I am done with the K-cup, I can recycle it! With the Crazy Cups, there are different varieties to choose from, like the Travel The World Premium Sampler. You can also enjoy that every few months, there will be a new sampler pack to choose from with new flavors available, so you can truly enjoy a variety of coffees from the comfort of your own home, and not have to spend a fortune buying the different boxes with one flavor in each, in order to get a variety to choose from. So if you are a coffee lover like me, and you use a Keurig coffee machine, then check out the amazing variety of bold flavored coffees from Crazy Cups!

This was not a paid post and honest/original opinions were used and they are my own. Thank you to the company and/or pr agency who supplied the product for review.
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How To Save Money On Wedding Jewelry (Guest Post)


After reading this article, you will never set foot in your local jewelers again, which is a bad thing for them, but a great thing for you, because you can get any type of jewelry you can imagine for less than half the regular retail price, if you know where to look.

The first and most obvious way to find a bargain ring, watch, necklace, or anything like that is to buy it secondhand. You only need to take a trip to your local pawn shop, and you get a choice of many varied items for somewhere around half the price of what it would be if you had bought it new.

They pay the original seller about a quarter of the price, so they can make a decent profit when they sell it for half.. There is almost always nothing wrong with their jewelry items because with expensive items, they go over any flaws literally with a magnifying glass.

Buying An Engagement Ring Online

Depending on how much you plan to spend, it might make you a little uncomfortable buying such an expensive item without having seen it in person first.

The thing is, you save so much from buying online in the right place that you could buy more than one if you wanted to, even a handful of them.

There is obviously eBay, which is probably the best place to look for a good bargain on a secondhand ring if you have the time to try to get the winning bid at an auction.

eBay is trustworthy to a degree, because there are small amounts of customer protection such as the rating system, and the same with Amazon, but you might be better off buying direct from the factory.

Factory Outlets

You can save large amounts on the price of jewelry products, (and anything else), by going directly to the source where it was made, so long as they sell directly to the public.

You can get amazing discounts on diamond jewelry from a site like It's Hot.com, a New York based factory outlet who sells tens of thousands of different products at up to 80% off the price you might find the same thing for in any other jewelry store, (who they sell to).

The prices are amazing already, but you can also get a further 5% off by liking and sharing their Facebook page. For a $10,000 ring, that's an extra five hundred dollars off the already discounted price, just for clicking a couple of buttons on Facebook. Crazy isn't it?

Due to the fact that diamonds and gold pretty much cost the same amount no matter where in the world you buy them, based on their weight, the only way you could possibly get a cheaper price is if you found a huge jewelry manufacturer in China.

There is a site I sometimes use to buy things in bulk from China, and that's Ali Baba, but I wouldn't buy diamonds there, it's just too much of a risk, because they have different standards for verifying the authenticity of jewels in China compared to the US.

Conclusion

So in conclusion, the best ways to get an engagement ring for your partner are to go to a pawn store, or check out eBay, (which is like an online pawn store), or to go to a factory outlet site like It's Hot.com.

One of the rings I saw on their site was worth seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars! Another was worth sixty nine dollars, so they have a very wide range available.

The other issue, (if it is an issue at all), is whether you should be thinking about saving money on such an important day as your wedding day. Some women might take it as a sign of being cheap if you took her to a pawn store to try on rings.

To be honest, if you do need to think about saving money, and you're with a woman who expects diamonds at full price and would make you fell bad if you can't get them, then you don't belong together.

A diamond ring is a diamond ring, and so why not get the same thing, in the same size, for less than half the price? Those thousands of dollars would be better spent on saving for your children's college funds.





About The Author

Rowan Casey runs a site called Professional Social Promotion (dot com), which sells social media marketing services such as the promotion of a Facebook page.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

#ad #GetMotivated Put Some Rhythm Into Your Steps This Year With Best Buy And Yurbuds

This post was sponsored by Best Buy, all opinions are my own.
The new year is here, and with that comes all of those new years resolutions. For me, I did not really make any resolutions, instead I decided to set goals, goals for me to achieve this year. One of my main goals is to become more fit and continue to loose weight. I do have to admit, I hit that plateau, and after seeing no decrease in my weight for a while, I realized it was time to step it up. So this year, I have decided my goal is to push myself to walk a little farther and a little longer each time I go out in the mornings with Wyatt. To help me out this year with tracking my own progress I am using my Jawbone Up. I have found that seeing my stats each day, not only helps me see where I can use some improvement and see how far I have come, but it also helps to motivate me so that I am setting that next goal for tomorrow and so on. Now I have many things that motivate me, from seeing my actual real time health stats with my Jawbone Up, to seeing the number I have written down in my notebook. The number I aim to achieve, and seeing myself get closer to that number, no matter what my weekly numbers show, is a huge motivation. Well, when I think about motivation, I also think of ways to keep me motivated while I am out walking, what can keep me pumped up to go a little farther. One thing that I enjoy doing while I am out on the trails is listen to music. I find that when I have music playing in my ears from my iPod, it makes the whole exercise thing a lot more bearable, and actually makes it enjoyable! To get a crisp, clear sound, that keeps me going, and that does not hurt my ears while I am on a walk, I find using earbuds like the Yurbuds to be the earbuds of choice while working out!
I can really appreciate the water resistant, sweat proof design, and I also like that I can use the Yurbuds on both my iPod and my phone if I wanted to while I am out working up a sweat! Aside from the basic Yurbuds that offer the comfort as well as the water proof and sweat proof features, I can also really appreciate the new Yurbuds Limited Edition Bluetooth Wireless Earbud Headphones, which will really come in handy when I get to where I can really step up my routine and start the running phase. I am hoping I can get in a good steady run each time I go out by Spring, and having a set of headphones that are wireless and also water proof and sweat proof as well as having a great ergonomic design, that is meant for using while you work out, will really come in handy! Knowing that studies have shown that when you listen to music during your workout music can increase your duration and intensity by as much as 15% makes me feel good and also knowing that when I use the the earbuds from Yurbuds, I am using the earbuds that were founded by a Ironman Triathlete, and that the Yurbuds are the #1 selling sports earphone company, makes the Yurbuds earbuds my #1 choice! So while you are out there working on your own fitness goals for this year, be sure to get some Yurbuds from your local Best Buy today so you can enjoy some music and increase your workout duration and intensity! Well to help you with your fitness goals, the wonderful people from Best Buy would like to offer some great coupons for my readers to use towards some Yurbuds and some of the health and fitness products from Best Buy!

1. Enjoy a special bloggers promotion 20% OFF ALL yubuds coupon valid both in stores and online, online coupon code is yurbuds20off: http://www.wolfatbestbuy.com/20-off-yurbuds 

2. Also enjoy a $5 Best Buy Gift Card when you purchase a qualifying Health and Fitness product at a Best Buy Mobile Specialty Store: http://www.wolfatbestbuy.com/best-buy-mobile-specialty-stores-5-best-buy-gift-card



The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.
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What to look for in an Engagement Ring (Guest Post)

Statistics can sometimes be misleading, and even extremely depressing upon in some circumstances! This is especially true when it comes to the grand institution of marriage, which seems to constantly be the subject of media scrutiny or an intriguing piece of new data. According to recent statistics, for example, nearly 40% of all existing marriages are expected to end in divorce, with the majority of this earmarked for failure before their 20th year.

This should not put anyone off the idea of marriage, however, as it remains an incredible institution that has delivered happiness to hundreds and thousands people across the globe.

What to Look for in an Engagement Ring

One of the most enjoyable aspects of getting married is shopping for an engagement ring, as this comes at a time when the idea of marriage is still fresh and exciting. So what exactly should you look for in an engagement ring, and how can you choose between the numerous options available? Consider the following: -

The Quality of your Jeweller

Jewellers come in all shapes and sizes, from nationally renowned chains to independent family outlets that have been sustained for generations. The latter are often the best for finding unique and high quality engagement rings, however, while they are also renowned for offering far better value for your money. Online resources such as Diamonds and Rings also provide a huge range of choice and affordable credits, while they are also accredited to sell industry standard goods.

Which Stone Would you Like to Feature in your Ring?

Although the vast majority of jewellers will sell you a pre-set ring with a stone already included, you can often save money by choosing a diamond separately. Whether the recipient would prefer a rounded solitaire shape or a marquis design, you can select the ideal stone and include this is a separately purchased band. The next step is to appraise the clarity, cut and the colour of the stone, as this will enable you to select a product of the highest possible calibre.

What is the Preferred Setting for your Stone?


One you have selected your preferred stone, the next step is to place it in the ideal setting. This process begins with the selection of either gold, while gold, platinum or titanium, which is the colour that will adorn your engagement ring band. Then the fun starts, as you will be given the opportunity to experiment with the overall design of your ring! Regardless of whether you want to add filigree or additional stones, you will be given the scope to create your dream piece of jewellery.

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Unique Ideas for Valentine’s Day (Guest Post)

Valentine’s Day can either be a source of great pleasure or great frustration. And believe it or not, but this is just as true for couples as it is for single people. People in relationships often feel like they’re under a lot of pressure to give the perfect present on Valentine’s Day, and many feel worried that what they choose won’t be up to scratch.
One of the most difficult things about choosing a Valentine’s Day gift, which is equally true for gift-giving on other special occasions, is that we’d all like to give a gift which is totally unique. But if your significant other is hard to shop for this is easier said than done.
Researching Gift Ideas

As always, the best place to start when research unique gift ideas is on the internet. But don’t just go to the usual gift websites. Branch out a little; watch some YouTube videos, search on Pinterest and even read the newspapers to find out what amazing things other people have done for their Valentine’s Days. You don’t have to copy what’s gone before, but you might find the inspiration you’ve been looking for to plan your own special gift.

Special Gifts for Particular People

There’s one tried-and-tested way to come up with the perfect present idea, and that’s to find out what your partner particularly likes. If they have any out-there interests, this will be hugely beneficial for you when planning your gift. For example:
  • If your partner has a spiritual side, you might want to give them the gift of a professional psychic reading from a Kooma clairvoyant
  • If your partner has a sweet tooth, take them for a day out at a chocolatiers. Not only will they get to make their own sweets, but they’ll get to eat them too.
  • If your partner has a favourite author, try to get a signed copy of one of their books. If possible, get it signed to them – this is a gift which will work on many levels.
Avoid the Last Minute Panic

If you still haven’t found a unique gift by the time Valentine’s Day comes around, don’t panic. Sometimes the most unique gift of all is that of an experience, so planning a perfect day together can serve equally as well as a gift they can hold. The unique element will be the memories you make together.



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Natural Ways to Soothe Teething (Guest Post)

Every baby teethes, but some have a harder time of it than others. It usually starts at around 6 months of age, with the bottom front teeth coming through first. There are many different ways to treat the pain and discomfort, and you may go through a few before you find one that really works well for your baby. If you want to stay away from chemical solutions, then take a look at our short guide to natural remedies for your baby.

Chamomile

Chamomile is perfect for when a child is feeling irritable and restless. It will bring relief and calm your baby, but it must be administered in the right way.
For a teething baby, dip part of a washcloth in chamomile tea and place it in the freezer. Your baby will enjoy the cold on their gums and the chamomile will help calm them. You could also give them a cooled chamomile tea bag.

Food

Add frozen fruit and vegetables to a muslin bag and let your child explore. The flavours will be tasty, the food itself cold and soothing. The hardness will also help your child relieve the pressure on their gums. If your child is a bit older, then there may not be a necessity for the mesh or muslin bag, but be cautious of the risk of choking.

Rosehip Syrup

Rosehip syrup is glycerine based, made with rosehips. Rich in vitamin C, it will aid immunity as well as soothe symptoms of teething. Made properly, it isn’t made with any honey products, which should generally be avoided for young infants. It tastes good too so there won’t be any problem getting your little one to take the syrup.

Amber

It is said that amber has healing properties, and jewellery for teething children made of amber has grown in popularity in the past few years. While some mothers swear by it, others are not so sure, but even if it doesn’t appear to work, they are very pretty. Amber Pumpkin offers amber bracelets for teething children, though you must be wary of the choking hazard that it may pose to young babies.

Your Finger


Finally, the most convenient way to ease your baby’s pain is to simply rub your finger on their gums. Whilst the easiest way to relieve the pressure, it is often not practical for you to have your finger in your baby’s mouth. It may also confuse your child when their teeth appear and it starts to hurt when they chew on your finger.

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