Mommy Katie: June 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014

#VTechSafeandSound Don't Miss a thing with the VTech Safe & Sound Baby Monitor

I am being compensated by VTech for my participation in this campaign through Mom it Forward. All opinions are my own.
With little ones in the house, I have learned that it all goes by too quickly, another thing I have learned is that if it is too quiet, well then they are probably up to no good. With that being said I am one who always has a watchful eye over my kids while they play and while they sleep. I not only want to ensure that they are safe, but since they grow so fast, I do not want to miss those moments, that come and go so quickly! Now I know that if I am constantly following them around through out the day, I will never get anything else done, so having cameras up in the kids rooms and playroom is ideal.

Recently I was sent the VTech Safe & Sound Baby Monitor to review. There are many great features on this monitor, but one that I really like and can appreciate, especially when the kids are playing, is the pan, tilt and zoom, which allow me to keep track of my little ones, even when they are running around playing. The camera can pan around the room, up to 270 degrees from side to side, then up to 124 degrees up and down! And say if my little Wyatt is playing in a corner and I need to get a closer look to see what he might be up to, I can use the zoom feature, and zoom in up to 2x!
Then with the talk back intercom, I can interact with my kids as they play, or if they have a interrupted nap and need to hear my voice to soothe them back to sleep, this system can allow me to look, listen, and even check in on my kids as they sleep and play!

Other features include the temperature indicator, which is great so I know if I need to adjust the temperature. I also can appreciate the full motion video, which gives 25 frames per second, allowing me to watch as my kids move around. I can add more cameras to my system, so I can have one in the kids rooms as well as the playroom, having up to 4 cameras with my 1 video monitor!

The large screen is also a plus, and makes a difference when you compare it to other baby monitoring systems, making it so you can see more. Then with the vibrating sound alert that comes over the parental unit of this system, I can be notified, quietly, when there is noise in the room when the kids are sleeping! Making the VTech Safe & Sound Baby Monitor, not only a great system to have in my home so that I can keep an eye on my little ones while they sleep and play, but also a great system to get any expecting parent!


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#Giveaway Invisalign: Discussing the Options when it Comes to Braces vs Invisalign for your Teen

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


As a parent, I know that with kids, they will grow, and that at one time I was a kid as well. I know that when it comes to their smiles, we will want to keep them bright and help make their teeth straight. With Estrella getting older, and her adult teeth making their presence known, we have noticed that not all of her teeth have come in straight. So as many parents have done and will do in the future, is look at the options that are available when it comes to straightening the teeth.

I mean, when I was a kid, there was one option, and that usually meant the option of the braces. This option was one that we did not look forward to, and aside from the initial pain that comes along with putting the braces on, you also had the rubbing on the gums and cheeks, then those monthly adjustments. You also have the fear of playing sports, and getting hit in the mouth with those braces on, causing more injury. Then there are the other kids in school, which we all know, not all kids are nice, and having a mouth full of metal can be something that is terrifying for kids on more than one level.

One option that my husband and I have discussed and we have even asked our orthodontist about is Invisalign Teen. With the Invisalign option, Estrella finds that she will not have the worries of those wires in her mouth, nor the worry of other kids picking on her for having a mouth full of metal. Another plus that my husband and I like about the Invisalign Teen is that we will not have to worry about any of those emergency Orthodontist visits like when a wire comes loose, and in fact, if we go with the Invisalign Teen, we will have a lot less appointments, since the aligner sets will be given to us in advance!

Other things that we can put on the list when it comes to making the decision to use the Invisalign Teen when the time comes in the near future is, Estrella will not be restricted from eating certain foods, and when it comes to her oral hygiene, she will be able to brush and floss easily, since the Invisalign is removable! Which also keeps those options open when it comes to other activities like playing an instrument, cheer leading, volleyball and more!

I like that the Invisalign Teen is just as effective as the traditional braces, and that as Estrella begins to hit those vulnerable pre-teen and teenage years in her life, her smile will be one less thing to worry about when it comes to her confidence!

So if you are like the many parents out there, who are in the same boat as we are, knowing that the need for a teeth alignment solution is in the near future, ask your Orthodontist for information on Invisalign Teen, and look at the difference it can make for your teen! Also, if your Orthodontist is not specialized with Invisalign, you can go to the Invisalign page, and go to the search for a doctor, to find a Doctor who is experienced with Invisalign and Invisalign Teen near you!



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Taking Snacking to a New Level with Snackeez

Product Received

In my house, like many other houses, snacking is a daily routine. We have our meals at given times, then in between the meals we have our snacks. With the summer here, and the kids out of school, they seem to always have something to do, and prefer to take their snacks and drinks to go. The kids want something that is a all in one, so they do not have to keep up with a cup or a bag with their snack in it, and a drink as well, so when we were sent the Snackeez to review, I figured that it would make for a great summer review!

With the Snackeez, you can have both the drink and snack all in one cup, which is not only great to have when the kids are constantly on the go with their friends during the summer, but it is also great to have in the car when we head out on those summer road trips!

I like that once I fill up the 16 oz compartment with a drink for the kids, then put the snack in the top, the kids can easily snack while being able to drink at the same time, and all with one hand and one container! The straw fits right on the side of the snack container compartment and reaches all the way to the bottom of the drink container. And when the kids are not snacking, they can keep the snacks from falling out by just closing the lid of the container! I also like that the container comes apart easily, so it is not only easy to fill but also easy to clean and put away for the next snack break!

So this summer if you are looking for a great and easy way to get the kids their snacks and drinks, that will make the process easier for everyone, or if you are looking for ways to make those road trips easier on everyone, then get some Snackeez!


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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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Finding Safe & Environmentally Cleaning Products from the Ology Line at Walgreens

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.


Finding household cleaners that are both safe for my family and the environment are things that I look for, but also finding these products that are wallet friendly is a extra bonus! Recently I was given the chance to review such line of products, when I was sent some products from the Ology line of cleaning products which can be found at Walgreens!

For me, I enjoy being able to head to my local Walgreens for those times I need to run and get some diapers and such, so knowing that I can also find cleaning products as well, makes my love for Walgreens even greater! In the box of products that I was sent for review, I was able to sample the Ology Laundry Detergent, the Ology All-Purpose Cleaner, and some of the Ology Ultra Absorbent Paper Towels!

To start with, one of the things that really stood out when looking at the Ology Paper Towels is that they are 100% tree free, and they whiten the towels with H2O2, which is a non chlorine based bleach! The paper towels are made from sugar cane husks and quick growing bamboo, which both can regenerate in as little as 6 months. Each roll has 65 2-ply sheets in them, and each pack comes with 2 rolls in them. Making these towels ones that I can feel good about using in my home, knowing that my family and I are reducing our carbon footprints, even if it is just by switching the towels we use!

With the Ology All-Purpose cleaner, I like that it is safe to use on the different surfaces in my kitchen like the counters and the stove, as well as other household surfaces like the highchair! The cleaner is free of any harmful chemicals and does not contain any harsh solvents, dyes, ammonia, or artificial fragrances! Instead, the ingredients are plant based and the cleaner effectively cuts through grease and household grime, making this all-purpose cleaner a new favorite on my list of household cleaners!
Then when it comes to the laundry in my house, well I have 3 kids and a husband. My kids are kids, they love to play outdoors and by the end of the day, they are dirty, which includes them coming in with clothes that are ready to be washed. Aside from the obvious endless need to do laundry, I also have the issue of sensitive skin in my home, so finding detergents that are both gentle on the clothes and on skin, and give me that cleaning power I need in a detergent is something I aim for. And after using the Ology Laundry Detergent in my home for the past couple of weeks, I have become hooked! I like, that not only does it do the job of getting those tough stains out, but it is also safe on the skin, which are both huge pluses, and a little bit can go a long way! Also, like the other products in the Ology line, I can really appreciate that the ingredients are derived from using only all natural ingredients and having nothing artificial in them!

So if you are like me, and you want to use only safe and environmentally friendly products in your home, that are also affordable, then head to your local Walgreens today, and check out the Ology line of products!




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#Giveaway Pirate's Booty Prize Pack & The Cheesiest Joke Contest

I participated in this event on behalf of Wendy's Bloggers for Pirate's Booty. I received Pirate's Booty products to facilitate my review.

In my house, my kids may not always agree on the foods they eat or like everything that I cook them, but one thing that they can agree on is macaroni and cheese. So when my kids and I were sent a treasure chest packed with fun loot and some Pirate's Booty Mac & Cheese, they were excited to give it a try!

I find that adding a macaroni and cheese side dish to a meal, can make it more complete, so when we made some meatloaf the other night, we found it to be a great opportunity to make some Pirate's Booty Mac & Cheese to add to our meal.


The kids found the Anchors and Cheese to be a lot of fun, and I like that when we serve the Pirate's Booty Mac & Cheese Dinners, there are not artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors, and they are a good source of calcium and protein!
Aside from the great loot that included some aprons, eye patches, Pirate's Booty Mac & Cheese, and much more, we were also told about the fun contest that is running right now. The contest is Mac and Cheesy Joke, where the people from Pirate's Booty, want to hear your cheesiest jokes. The winner of the Pirate's Booty Cheesiest Joke Contest will win a family vacation for 4 to Wisconsin Dells, which will include round trip coach flights, transportation, and a hotel for 4 days and 3 nights, as well as 4 amusement park tickets! To enter, just upload your cheesiest joke, and either follow the instructions which can be found on the Pirate's Booty Cheesy Joke Website, or enter through their Facebook Page!

Well, to help get you geared up with some great Pirate Booty goodies of your own, the wonderful people from Pirate's Booty would like to give one of my amazing readers their own prize pack which will have coupons valued at $50!








One winner per household, email address or home address. If you have won this prize on another blog you are ineligible to win again. Winners must have a U.S.-based address to receive their prize. 



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Friday, June 27, 2014

Breakfast Made Easy with GoPicnic

Product Received 
With the summer here, the kids find that as soon as they are up, there are adventures to be had. Sure there are plenty of mornings where I will get up and have a nice breakfast waiting for them, but on mornings where they just want to eat and catch up with their friends, having some great grab and go meals on hand is ideal. Recently I was sent such a solution, that is a healthy one for the whole family when I was sent some of the GoPicnic Ready to Eat Breakfasts to review!

With these grab and go breakfasts, the kids can get a healthy breakfast right from the pantry, that is ready for them to eat and go. Making it so they do not have to wait on me to get breakfast ready for them, and also making for a great way to grab breakfast on the days the kids have day camps over the summer! So if you are looking for a great, healthy, grab and go breakfast that the whole family can enjoy, then get some of the new GoPicnic Ready to Eat Breakfasts!!


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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Food Safety Tips for Summer Cookouts #FoodSafe4th

This post was made possible through the support of USDA. All opinions are my own.

The summer is upon us and like many, I rather spend my time outdoors than in. This includes spending family meal times outside, with friends and relatives, enjoying the nice weather and one another's company. With that said, like many out there, there will be a lot of meat handling, and since we will not be cooking in our oven, as to avoid bringing the temperature inside the house up, I want to ensure the foods we serve are cooked through, and that we do not accidentally make anyone sick.

When it comes to cooking foods properly, nearly 64% of families do not use a food thermometer to check meats and poultry regularly, and when it comes to food prep, 33%  do not use freshly cleaned cutting boards to prevent cross contamination or meats and produce, which can result in causing illness.

Recently, I was given some great steps from the USDA, to share with my readers for all of those 4th of July cookouts and any other summer cookouts! You can find the 4 steps to food safety in the infographic below.


The tips above are ones that everyone should take, and to add to it, one thing that myself and others in my house use when it comes to handling foods like raw meats, is not only to wash hands, and anything that gets touched, but to also wear gloves while preparing the foods, as to ensure we do not contaminate any other foods or surfaces during the food prep process.

We also have steps that we take when we are prepping foods for our cookouts. Like not prepping the meats for the grill at the same time that we prep the other foods, like potato salad, fruit salads, and dips for the chip. I also put out trays, ones to put the raw meats on that we take out to the grill, then separate ones that I will take out to put the cooked foods on for serving. I keep these trays separate, so that they do not touch at any point, and once we have taken the meats off of the raw meats trays, I take them in to wash right away.

When it comes to the cooking, we always use a meat thermometer, and ensure that the different kinds of meat are cooked properly, as marked on the meat thermometer. Also, when it comes to using a meat thermometer, in order to cook meats properly, do not take a reading that is touching the bone, like when cooking ribs, and do not push all the way through the meats, instead, push about halfway through, so that you get a proper meat temperature reading from the middle of the meats. If you are unsure of what temps are the right ones when it comes to cooking meats, you can find a food temperature chart here. Remember, just because the outside may look cooked, it does not mean that the inside is cooked through, so always check your meats!

Then, when it comes to storing the meats and such, we always ensure that they are cooled, and not left out for more than two hours, so they do not begin to spoil. Remember, with the warmer weather upon us, bacteria can spread a lot quicker, so always be sure to wash hands and surfaces when handling foods, and enjoy your fourth of July and any other summer cookouts you might have!


  • Visit FoodSafety.gov to learn about best food safety practices, utilize “Ask Karen,” an online database with nearly 1,500 answers to specific questions related to preventing foodborne illnesses, in both English and Spanish, or to call the USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline.
  • Link: Check out USDA’s tips for Safe Grilling
Join our Twitter Party on June 30th at 1 PM EST using hashtag #FoodSafe4th. Hosts include: @martieparty @buzzmommy @usdafoodsafety


This post was made possible through the support of USDA. All opinions are my own.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Duracell Sharing the Importance of Lithium Coin Battery Safety in the Home

I was given a gift card in exchange for this post. The infographic below was provided by the sponsor, all opinions in the post itself are my own.

Being a parent, I know that in the home, there are many items that can be dangerous for children. From the outlets on the walls, to the cleaning supplies under the sink. With having the responsibility of taking care of my children, and ensuring their safety, it is up to me to make sure that I keep them from being hurt by potentially dangerous household hazards. From the time I had my first child, I knew that covering the outlets throughout the home was one way that I could keep my baby safe from being shocked. Then adding latches to the cabinets where I had the cleaning supplies also helped to insure that my kids do not ingest any harmful chemicals. But the lists of household hazards do not end there. In fact there are so many other things, like the insecticides that my husband stores in the garage that I have put up high, out of reach of any small hands, and even the batteries in the house, which are stored in a battery drawer that is locked in our office.

When it comes to the batteries, it is hard to imagine that something so simple can be so dangerous, but after working in the medical field for many years, I saw and learned the dangers of what can happen if something as simple as a battery is ingested. There are many types and shapes of batteries out there, but the ones that I see as the most dangerous, and the ones that are found in many homes, are those small Lithium Coin Batteries. They might be small, but they are also something that a toddler, like my Wyatt, might find to be enticing, which can lead to the accidental ingestion of a battery. So to help with keeping kids safe when it comes to the Lithium Coin Batteries, the wonderful people from Duracell have shared some great tips in the below infographic!





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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

#Giveaway Lalaloopsy Babies 1 Hour Special 6/28

No product or compensation was received for this post. This is a post for my readers enjoyment, all opinions are my own!

When it comes the shows that we enjoy watching with our kids, one that we like on Nick Jr., is Lalaloopsy! Then when it comes to Nick Jr., we enjoy tuning in and watching some of our favorite shows on Satur-Yays! Well this Satur-Yay, June 28, on Nick Jr. there will be a 1 hour special of Lalaloopsy Babies! This show will air at 1:30 pm, so be sure to get the kids and tune in!



To help get you and your little ones excited about Satur-Yays on Nick Jr., and the premier of Lalaloopsy Babies, the wonderful people from MGA Entertainment, would like to send one of my amazing readers their own Lalaloopsy Babies!!!


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Teaching Your Kids How to Use Credit Cards

This is a guest post.

Even if you kids are still young, every child should be developing an understanding of credit. That way, they will be able to responsibly use it in the future to gain wealth and good financial standing. They might also be able to avoid some of the financial mistakes you made when you were their age by teaching them about what you did wrong and what you had to do to fix it.

Teaching kids about credit is not commonly discussed in the school system, which means that parents have a lot of responsibility if they want their kids to become financially responsible. When you are ready to start teaching your children about credit cards, here are some tips to help you explain to them the best ways to use credit cards.

Explain to them what credit means

It is important that your children understand how credit in general works. They need to know that credit is not free money, and they do have to pay it back in a timely fashion. You can also give them examples of when credit cards are necessary to build the life you want, such as paying for student loans, so they can get a better idea of when it is appropriate to use it.

Stress the importance of credit card information safety

“Helping your kids choose a safe and secure credit card is simple now, but they still need to be aware of the precautions they need to take to avoid identity theft,” says Chris Mettler of CompareCards.com.
Just as you have taught them to protect their identity when using the internet, they also need to know how to use their credit card safely. Give them a list of don’t and explain the consequences of each one.

Help them understand how payments work

Give them the tools to understand why on-time payments are important and how to make payments to keep their spending on track. Explain how interest is earned and how it will affect them if they do not make their payments on time. Show them how to make their payments online so they can responsibly take care of it themselves. This will give your child a good financial start and get them on the right track towards financial responsibility.

Show them the consequences of misusing a credit card

However much to explain to your child the dangers of misusing a credit card, many children will still be tempted to overcharge or otherwise misuse their credit card at first. It is important that you explain to them specific consequences that they could suffer from if they choose to do this. Many parents have also found it effective to have their children use their own money to pay off their credit cards without help from either parent. That way, they will see how quickly payments add up.

Help them devise a plan for using their credit card

Help you child create his or her first budget that includes credit card payments. Once they lay out all their income and their expenses, you can help them decide what the best ways are to use that money and how they can keep up with their credit card payments.



Image: http://jewishworldreview.com/0512/credit_card_kids.php3#.U6MBOPldWSo

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Estrella's Interview with "“Kid President®: Declaration of Awesome." Star, Robby Novak on Hub Network's What's the Hubbub

I was given the opportunity to do the interview in the video below, by the wonderful people at the Hub Network, as I am a Hub Club Member! All opinions are my own.


This post is one that I am very proud of and am happy to share with the world! Yesterday, Estrella got her chance to interview the star of the new kids show, "Kid President", Robby Novak from the Hub Network! She was beyond excited when I told her she could do the interview, and I seem to have sparked something in her, because now she can not wait until the next interview or big opportunity to do something just as fun!

After I had told Estrella about the interview, she began to prep, by deciding that she would appoint herself to run for VP of Kid President, lol. I mean, she not only decided to create some fun drawings of a, "Super Corn Dog", but she also created her own campaign material, that she kept showing during the interview.

Aside from coming up with her own campaign materials for the interview, Estrella also came up with a whole list of questions that she wanted to ask. I had to let her know to pick 2 or 3 out of those questions that she wanted to ask, which she took very seriously.

Then, when it came time for the interview, she decided that she wanted to be the only one on screen, and asked that I let her do her thing. So, I let my Estrella, "Do her thing", and lets just say, she did very well! So before I go on any farther, I want you to watch the interview, which I have embedded below, and tell me, would you vote for Estrella, to be a female VP? Check out the video below, and also be sure to tune in on Saturday, for a all new episode of, Kid President, on the Hub Network, (7pm ET/4pm PT)!


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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hot 4th of July Looks for the Whole Family at Kohl's

I was given a gift card in exchange for the review. Thank you to the sponsor, all opinion are my own.


Being a mother, I not only like for my family to be dressed nicely, but I also want to find the seasons hottest looks for everyone in one place, and for a great price. One place that I enjoy shopping at is Kohl's. I find that I can find clothing for myself, the kids, and even my husband, all under one roof, and all at amazing deals.

Well with the Fourth of July coming up, like many others, I head out to find the hottest patriotic looks for the whole family to wear, as we celebrate our nation's Independence Day! Recently I was given the chance to find the looks I was in search of, at my local Kohl's store.

While there, I was able to score some pretty awesome shorts and a fashion top that has one of those retro plastic t-shirt rings on it. I was also able to find a great selection of shorts, shirts and dresses for both older girls and little girls, ensuring that I could find the look that was suiting for Estrella this July 4th!

Then for my boys, I found some great shirts and shorts to match, at amazing prices, from the Jumping Beans summer collection! For Wyatt, aside from the great selection of clothes from Jumping Beans, I also came across a selection of Mickey Mouse clothes, that added a fun patriotic look to his summer wardrobe!

With the Disney collection from the Jumping Beans line of clothes, I like that we can incorporate the kids favorite characters at an amazing price, and find a great selection of products for both boys and girls!


Then when it comes to shopping for the older boys, like my son Robert, I like that I can find some great patriotic looks from Chaps, Levi, Shaun White and more, keeping him looking sharp while we celebrate the 4th! Making my shopping trip to Kohl's one that not only saves me time because I can find clothes for the whole family under one roof, but I can also save money on my purchases and when applicable, I can score that highly sought after, Kohl's Cash to spend on a later date!

So this summer, as you prep for those barbecues and picnics for your Fourth of July celebrations, be sure to dress the family is fashionable patriotic looks, and save time and money, by getting those looks at Kohl's!

I was given a gift card in exchange for the review. Thank you to the sponsor, all opinion are my own.
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Monday, June 23, 2014

Cutting Boards from Surpahs that Hold up in the Kitchen

Product Received 
Cooking is something we do almost daily in my house, and when we are cooking, we tend to have a lot of prep work. In our home, we enjoy finding fresh ingredients, and cooking from scratch, so having the proper items in our kitchen to help us when we are chopping and cutting up ingredients is ideal. Recently I was sent a great selection of cutting boards from Surpahs to try out and review!

I think one of the biggest issues we have had to deal with over the years when it comes to cutting boards is the cracking and warping of the boards, so when we received the Surpass Arc Juice Groove 3 Layer Overlapping Joins Bamboo Cutting Board, I was curious to see how durable this cutting board was.

One thing I really like, that even after several uses, using both produce, meats, and washing in between each use, seeing that there are no cracks, or warping of the board. I really like how thick it is, and even when we are chopping up produce, it stays together, unlike other boards we have used in the past. I like that it is also made to resist odors and bacteria, making this cutting board a great one to have in any kitchen!


Then with the Surpahs 3-Layer Overlapping Joins Bamboo Cutting Board 3 Piece Set, I can have a great set of cutting boards that are not only durable, but also help to keep the blades of my knives from getting too dull. I also like how solid the boards are, and are made from eco-friendly bamboo, which is solid and keeps the boards from warping, cracking, or splitting! Making the bamboo cutting boards from Surpahs a great selection of products to have in your kitchen!


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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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Finding Fashionable Diaper Bags from Skip Hop

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Being a mom, I may have a million and one things that I need to have on my person at all times, and I may be one who always has a diaper bag on hand. With that said, I am also a mom who does have a sense of fashion, and when it comes to carrying a diaper bag, I like to have a variety available to me, just like my purses, so I can have diaper bags for different occasions and different wardrobes. One company that I have adored and also own several of their diaper bags is Skip Hop.

With the Skip Hop diaper bags, I can find bags that are available in a variety of styles and colors, and that also offer me the space I need in a diaper bag so that I can carry all of those must have items for baby while I am out. Well to add to my hoard of my diaper bags, I was sent the new Skip Hop Duo Signature Diaper Bag in Chevron to review!!!


The first thing I will point out is the casual, fashionable look that this bag offers! I mean, the design itself is great for both mom and dad to carry both on the shoulder or attach to the stroller when on the go! I also like that aside from he Chevron design, there are several other patterns and colors to choose from, so say if the Chevron is not for you, or say if you are one who has to accessorize with just about everything, then having the color option choices is a plus!

Aside from the look and the fabric choices when it comes to the outside look, this bag also offers a lot of space and storage options, for those, like myself, who carry everything in the diaper bag, making it my purse when I am out with baby.

Looking at the storage choices, you get a total of 10 pockets. There are two large pockets in the front, which are great for putting the cell phone, keys, tissue, crackers and much more in! Above those two pouches you have a large zippered storage pouch, then a smaller one just above that, that is hidden in the very top seam, which both offer extra storage, and are great for carrying a wallet, lip gloss, nail clippers, etc. On each side, you have mesh drink storage, so on one side I can carry a bottle or sippy cup, then on the other, I can carry a bottle of water for myself.

When you turn the bag around, there is another large pocket that comes with a changing pad, and also offers extra storage in the pouch for disposable changing pads and whatever else you might want to put in there. Then when it comes to the inside, well there is a whole list of possibilities, with 2 inside pockets, and one large storage space, like room for diapers, wipes, clothes, food for baby and so much more, making this diaper bag great for taking on the go, or like I did, on vacation!

So if you are in the market for a great diaper bag that has both a fashionable and very functional design that is available in a variety of colors and designs for fabric choices, then take a look at the Skip Hop Duo Signature Diaper Bag!

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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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer Safety Tips from Pop-A-Lock

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


Summer has officially kicked off, and with that means taking extra safety precautions when it comes to the summer heat. There are many concerns that parents have and take extra precautions with, like ensuring that the kids have the sunscreen on when they are outdoors, and keeping the bugs at bay with bug repellent. These are things that we keep in mind and try to stay on top of as we are enjoying the summer vacation time. But aside from the dangers of the sun on the skin and the dangers that can come from a bug bite, there are other dangers that lurk, and that parents and caregivers alike need to be aware of. The dangers are of the heat that the summer brings, and the dangers of leaving kids in unattended vehicles during these hot summer days.

Now many parents out there might think, I would never leave my child in the car unattended, especially during the hot summers, but it happens, and it is not always the parents that leave the child in the car, that may lead to the life threatening and even deadly consequences of heat exposure. Due to the summer weather upon us and those dangers of heat exposure being a reality, the wonderful people from Pop-A-Lock have decided to share important information that both parents and caregivers should know to keep children safe this summer!



It has been reported that there have been about 606 heatstroke deaths among children in cars since 1998, and in the report it shows that 18% of those deaths were caused by a child being left intentionally by an adult. So to help with keeping kids safe this summer, Pop-A-Lock wants to share the "PALSaves 1-2-3", which is a call to action.

Now kids, as we all know, like to play outdoors, and one thing that I know my kids like to play with their friends is hide and go seek. With outdoor play and games as innocent as hide and go seek, as well as children just having natural curiosity to explore and get into cars, 29% of those accidental heatstroke deaths are caused by kids, playing in unattended vehicles. And one of the precautions that is part of the "PALSaves 1-2-3" is to keep unattended vehicles locked at all times, to keep children from getting inside of them during the hot summer days. This is not just for vehicles that are in a driveway, they urge that any unattended vehicle remained locked, even ones in the garage, as to avoid accidental heat exposure and even death that can occur if a child were to get inside.

Along with the 29% of deaths that were caused by children playing in unattended vehicles, the highest amount of deaths were caused by a child who was forgotten by a caregiver, which lead to 59% of child deaths due to heatstroke. To avoid ever leaving a child you are taking care of or even your own child, "PALSaves 1-2-3" suggests that you leave something important on the floorboard in the backseat, like your cellphone, purse, employee ID or anything else you know you will need.

Another tip is to always have a large stuffed animal in your car, and when the child is not in their seat, leave the stuffed animal in their seat. Then when the child is in their car seat, place that stuffed animal in the front passenger seat, to remind you of the child that is in the car.

Aside from taking extra precautions to ensure that a child does not get stuck in a vehicle on a hot summer day, remember that if it were to happen or if you notice a child in a unattended vehicle, act fast, so that you can save a life. Also, remember to call 9-1-1 right away and then call 1-800-POP-A-LOCK.

So as you prepare for the summer break, keep these precautions in mind, also be sure to educate any caregivers, sitters and others, so you and everyone you know, can be sure to keep children safe so everyone can enjoy the summer! Also be sure to take the same precautions when it comes to the four legged fur babies during the heat of the hot summer.



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

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Personalized Rolling Luggage for the Kids from Lillian Vernon

Product Received

Summer is officially here, and those summer travel plans are in full force! On top of the summer travel that many of us have planned this year, there are also those summer camps that the kids look forward to attending each year. So this year, as we prepare for what the summer has to hold for us with travel and camps, I want to be prepared, by not only labeling all of the kids clothes and items that they might take on vacation and to camp, but also by getting them luggage that will hold all of their items and hold up through out the summer. For me, yes I do like to label everything, so that the kids do not loose anything while on vacation and at summer camp, so having luggage that stands out is ideal, but having personalized luggage is even better!

Well to help kick off our summer, we were sent some personalized rolling luggage from Lillian Vernon to review! With Estrella, she is one who has her own sense of fashion, so when we saw that very chic, hot pink and zebra print designed rolling luggage, we knew that we had found the luggage that would be perfect for Estrella to use this year!

Aside from the design that is right up Estrella's alley, we also liked that we were able to personalize it, so that when we are away from home this summer, Estrella can be sure to keep up with her luggage! Another plus about the kids rolling luggage from Lillian Vernon is the durability, which is something that I know many parents look for when shopping for products for their kids. Estrella can easily access the handle, so she can roll her luggage through the airports, hotel lobbies and more. I also like the room and the pockets, so we can make sure that Estrella has what she needs, packed away in her personalized luggage, making the personalized rolling luggage we were sent from Lillian Vernon exactly what we needed for our summer travel and summer camp plans!

So this summer, as you make your vacation and summer camp plans, help the kids out when it comes to keeping up with their luggage, and check out the selection of kids rolling luggage that you can have personalized for them, at Lillian Vernon!


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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Finding Fun Summer Toys with AirForce Blowguns

Product Received
As the seasons come and go, I like to have products on hand that will equip me and my family to ensure we beat any boredom that could possibly happen. With that said, one way that I know when it comes to beating that summer boredom, is having toys on hand that are ready to play with! Recently I was sent a AirForce Blowgun to review and add to our outdoor summer toys for the kids!

With the AirForce Blowgun, Robert and his sister Estrella can play together with this fun toy while they are outdoors. It is easy to load and use. They just add a foam dart to the end, then blow through the attached mouthpiece, and aim at the targets, like those zombies that they are always pretending to hunt with their friends.
As a parent, I like that the darts that are used are foam, and that they do not hurt, so like say if Robert decides to play target practice on his sister, I know she will not be hurt. I also like that the darts, if we run low on the ammo, are ones that I can purchase in packs of 50 on Amazon, so I can ensure that Robert has plenty of ammo.

Then for the nostalgic factor that both my husband and I like about this fun blowgun is that it reminds us of those fun marshmallow blowguns that we used to play with when we were kids, with a cool upgraded look! So if you are in the market for some fun toys to get the kids this summer to beat that dreaded summer boredom, then get the kids some AirForce Blowguns, and have fun zombie hunting and fun with the target practice!


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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Friday, June 20, 2014

Take a Walk on the Wild Side at the Los Angeles Zoo

We were given admission to the L.A. Zoo in exchange for this review, all opinions are my own!

During our time in L.A., the kids and I wanted to explore, and one of the things Wyatt loves, is animals, so when we were planning our trip to L.A., we added a trip to the Los Angeles Zoo on the itinerary! We found this to be a great spot to spend our afternoon. Not only were we able to explore and learn, but we got to see so many great animals.

As we began our trek into the zoo, one of the stops the kids and I decided to check out was the Meerkat's, and as Robert pointed out, they looked just like the Meerkat's from Meerkat Manor! We liked watching them as they went in and out of the burrows, and interacted with one another, occasionally looking up at the crowd of spectators, as to say, "Hi people, we are the meerkat's!"


After doing some exploring, the kids decided they wanted to take the shuttle, to get down to the monkeys and other animals they wanted to see. We found the zoo shuttle to be great, because the park is fairly large, and with little legs, they were tired and the shuttle was ideal for getting through the rest of the park! We got off at the monkey park, which was filled with various species of monkeys, and was the part of the Zoo that Wyatt found to be his personal favorite. I mean, even after leaving the zoo, he continued to mimic the different monkeys he saw, so I see the monkeys as being his fave!

In all, the kids and I enjoyed our time at the Los Angeles Zoo, and found it to be a great addition to our vacation, as well as a great addition to the memories we made while out in California! So if you are planning a trip to L.A., be sure to add the L.A. Zoo to your list, and take a walk on the wild side with all of the adorable animals that can be seen during your visit!!


Thank you to the L.A. Zoo for providing us with passes for this review!
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