Monday, August 31, 2015

Show Your School Support With Walmart & General Mills Box Tops

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills®. The opinions and text are all mine.

As we head back into the new school year, we realize that there is a lot that our schools need. We have fundraisers, help teachers out by purchasing classroom supplies that are on those back to school lists, and also by saving those Box Tops that we can find when we shop the line of products from General Mills which we can get when we shop at our local Walmart. In my home, we save those Box Tops off our General Mills products in a bag, so that when the schools ask to collect them, my kids can show our support by bringing in bags filled with the Box Tops.

When we shop our favorite General Mills products like the various cereals my family eats on a regular basis or even those granola bars we all enjoy, I can not only stock up when we shop at Walmart, but we can also help our kids school. Because with the Box Tops for Education, each Box Top our kids take in will give their school 10 cents, and with the 5 Box Tops that we can get right now at Walmart, for each box top, the schools be able to get use the bonus Box Tops as well!

I like knowing that the Box Tops for Education program has been running since I was in school back in 1996, and in all of the years they have been running they have helped the over 80,000 k-8 schools that participate in the program with over $525 million! I also like that with the money the schools get when we send those Box Tops to our kids schools, they can use the money to purchase whatever they need! Helping to buy those new updated tech products, sports supplies and whatever else is needed so that our kids can have the tools needed when they are at school! Making the Box Tops that can be collected from the General Mills products we purchase when we head to our local Walmart, a great choice when it comes to helping our school!

So as you prepare for the new school year, be sure to save those Box Tops that can find on the General Mills items at your local Walmart. Also, to find the list of products that you can purchase with the Box Tops on them and learn more about the Box Tops, you can go here:

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills®. The opinions and text are all mine.


Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Back to School Lunches with New Juicy Juice Splashers

The back to school season is here, and with the kids heading back to school, I find that when it comes to finding products to put in their lunches while they are at school, I want to ensure they have what they need to help get them through the day. So when we were introduced to the new Juicy Juice Splashers, I was curious to see what my kids thought of them.

With these pouch drinks my kids get a refreshing 50/50 blend of filtered water and fruit juice in a pouch. The Juicy Juice Splashers have 50% less sugar than the leading juice and are perfect for packing in lunch bags as well as having for the kids when we are on the go! Making the new Juicy Juice Splashers a great product to get for your kids when packing those school lunches this new school year!

Product received, thank you to Juicy Juice as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.
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PINCHme Sample Boxes Delivered to Your Door

When we head to the stores and see products on the shelves that we may or may not be familiar with, we find that we might be hesitant to try the products. I am one who enjoys checking out product samples, so I can try the products that I am interested in, and if I like them, I will then purchase the products. So when I was introduced to the PINCHme Box, I was excited to see what it had inside and begin checking out the samples that came with it.
With the PINCHme Box, you get a box filled with samples delivered to your door each month. The samples are catered to your likes and interests when it comes to products, and is packed with the items that you pick out to try.

The boxes are catered to you because when you first sign up, you take a survey, then once the survey is completed, you get a list of products to choose from. The survey you take when you initially sign up asks about your household and shopping habits, so when you go to pick the products for your box each month, you will be getting those products you might be interested in trying out before buying!

Allowing the consumers to get samples on all of those products we see on the shelves and are hesitant to buy delivered to their door, so that once we have tried them, we can decide whether or not we will want to purchase the items later! Making the PINCHme Sample Boxes a great subscription box service to get for anyone who is interested in getting samples of those products they are interested delivered to their door each month!

Product received, thank you to PINCHme  as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.
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Friday, August 28, 2015

The Highs and Lows of Weight Loss with Nutrisystem: Week 7

Nutrisystem is providing my program free of charge in exchange for participation in the Nutrisystem Nation Blogger Program. All opinions are my own.

It is hard to believe that I am already at week 7 with my Nutrisystem Weight Loss Journey! Let me tell you, this journey has been one that I have really enjoyed. I mean, I have tried different diets in the past, and I have not ever had the results like the ones I have had in this short amount of time than what I have had with Nutrisystem. But like so many, I have found that it is not that easy.

For me, when it comes to the lifestyle changes as far as staying clear of certain foods and trying to keep temptation out of reach, it is a lot easier said than done, especially if you live with other people in the home. I do enjoy having healthier products available, not only for when it comes to my snack options in between meals, but also for options to have on hand for my family. I also find that when it comes to going out, which my family likes to do quite often, that temptation can be hard to avoid.

Now this past week, my family and I have been out to eat on a few occasions, and on one particular occasion, I had what I call a low for me. I mean, I went to the restaurant wanting to stick to a plan, but when faced with those favorite menu items that I have adored in the years past, I found myself giving in. At the time I thought, oh no big deal, but once I got home and logged my meal, I realized that I had made a mistake when I thought no big deal. I really got mad at myself for that moment of weakness and for giving in, and I was so worried that I would go backwards in my journey because of my mistake. So when it came to weighing in, I was very scared to get on the scale.

I had not gone off the plan for the 6 weeks prior, and I had starred down temptation so many times. I thought at the time, that the dish I had would not be so bad, but once I saw the numbers I had consumed at the end of the day, I realized that had I stuck with my plan before we left for the restaurant I would have been just fine. I also found that when it comes to those temptations, I need to remind myself that if I truly want that stuffed chicken, I can have it, but I do not need the pasta and bread, and I can eat the dessert from my own selection at home, and I can even go for the stuffed chicken that is available from my menu when I stay with the plan that is set.

Well, to my own surprise, I was pleased that when I got on the scale, that I had not gained any weight, but in that same note, I was sorta upset with myself since I had not lost any either. I found that even with a system that is simple to follow, I can still have both highs and lows. Keeping my total for 7 weeks at 17 pounds, but also reminding myself that just 7 weeks ago, I was 17 pounds heavier than I am now.

Nutrisystem is providing my program free of charge in exchange for participation in the Nutrisystem Nation Blogger Program. All opinions are my own.
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#Giveaway Back to School With the World of Eric Carle

When I think of sending my kids back to school, including when it comes to my toddler who will be going to preschool, I not only want to send them with the supplies they will need in their classrooms, but also have the supplies to continue with the teaching in the home as well. With my toddler, I like knowing that when he is at preschool, he will be able to interact with other kids and learn from the teachers there. I also like to know that when he is home with me after school and on the weekends, we can continue with the learning by using products like the ones we were sent from The World of Eric Carle line!

Each of my kids have enjoyed reading the collection of books from The World or Eric Carle, and with the collection of flash cards along with the Alphabet Floor Puzzle, we can bring the fun we have had from the books to learning in the home.

With the flash cards, I can help my toddler with learning his numbers and counting. I like that with these cards, they have those fun characters that we can remember from the books, and are made to fit in little hands. The cards are also made of sturdy board, so even when my toddler has them in his hands while we play games with them, we can rest easy knowing he can not bend them or tear them up too easily.

Then when it comes to the Alphabet Floor Puzzle, my toddler and I can have fun sitting on the playroom floor, as we build a 10 foot wide puzzle and practice recognizing the various letters of the alphabet! In all, making this line of products from The World of Eric Carle, a great selection to add any home with little ones or even in a classroom, to help with making learning fun for everyone! And to help with your little ones this new school year, the wonderful people from The World of Eric Carle would like to give one of my amazing readers their own set of products like the one I was sent!

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

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#Giveaway Back to School with Products from Ohuhu®

As the kids get back into the routine of the new school year and as we begin to settle into those schedules I find that it is time to not only organize those schedules but also organize our house. In my home, we have a lot of shoes, and with the kids back in school and involved in sporting activities, they tend to need to have their shoes easy to access and find. The thing is, when the kids get home from school and do homework before heading to practice, the first thing they do is kick off their shoes, then when they get back from practice they do the same thing. Leaving us at times, searching for shoes when we should be heading out the door. So when I was sent some products from the Ohuhu® line to review for the new school year, I was pleased to see and begin using the items!

To help us with our dilemma of shoes being lost and ending up under the couch or chairs, I found the Ohuhu® 20 Pair Shoe Rack to be a great item to have in the home. It was very simple to set up and fits perfectly in our hall closet, giving the kids a place to put their shoes so they can easily locate them when we are heading out. I also like that with the 20 pair shoe rack, we can fit everyone's shoes on the rack, allowing everyone to be able to keep their shoes in one place and easily accessible.

Then when it comes to preparing those meals during this new school year, we were sent the very convenient Ohuhu® [2 in 1] Salt & Pepper Grinder Set. I like that with this grinder set I can end up saving time when cooking those meals for my family. Giving me both our salt and pepper mill in one amazing grinder. Helping to cut time when searching for a grinder and also allowing us to have freshly ground salt and pepper not only for when cooking, but also for having on the dinner table! In all, making the products from Ohuhu® a great selection to add to any home when looking to organize and to help make things a little easier for everyone! And to help with preparing your home for the new school year, the wonderful people from Ohuhu® would like to give one of my amazing readers their own set of products like the ones I was sent for review!!!

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

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Some Essential Preparation for Maternity Photos in Los Angeles Ca

Nowadays, everybody seems to want to have maternity photographs taken when they are pregnant. And for good reason, really. It is a unique opportunity to eternalize those special nine months in which you were able to experience the miracle of life. Maternity photography is a really meaningful part of pregnancy nowadays, allowing you to put into picture those raw feelings and emotions you experience during that time.

People also love to look back over the maternity photographs. While people like to have a photo shoot, they often only look at those pictures a few times and then forget about them. With maternity photography, however, the pictures come back out again and again, if they haven’t actually got a permanent place on the wall. On a psychological level, these pictures actually happen to strengthen relationships between partners and children alike. For a child to see a picture of themselves in the womb of their mother, and for a partner to see their significant other growing this child is something truly unique.

What Is Maternity Photography about?

When you take maternityphotos in Los Angeles CA, you will find that you have an opportunity to be truly natural and beautiful. This is not a chance to look like a glossy magazine model. It is a chance to celebrate the natural development of your body. Naturally, a photographer will always make sure that you look your best, but it is important to set your expectations right. This is what you also need to prepare yourself for, both physically and mentally.

How to Prepare Yourself

A lot of women struggle with the psychological element of a maternity photo shoot. They feel as if their privacy is on the line. However, you have to remember that you have to decide how exposed you want to be. You can be anything from completely covered to completely naked. Simply put, you have to know your own limits and stay comfortable. Any discomfort you feel, also on a psychological level, will show up on your photographs. Hence, it is better to have more clothes on and feel comfortable, then to bare it all and end up with a hideous photograph. Also, remember that these photos are not solely about you. They are about building a family. So, make sure you bring other children, your partner, pets and anyone else you care about.

You also have to prepare yourself physically. Think about some of the things you want to wear, makeup you want to have one, poses you like, where you want to be in terms of background and more. Make sure that whatever clothes you wear do not sit tight around your belly, as you don’t want to leave clothes marks on there. Finally, remember that you are carrying a human body inside your own body. This is heavy and a lot of work. So, don’t stay in positions that don’t feel comfortable, rest often and don’t stay on your feet too long.


3 Top Ways To Save Money

Britain has a free economy and research has shown that a saving of £1,200 is made by adults ever year by making use of freebies, special deals and money-off vouchers.

A study conducted by Halifax Home insurance has shown how the downturn in the economy has turned us into a country that is always looking for bargains, with twenty percent of the people claiming that they never buy anything at its full price. The top targets for discounts are deals that you get on meals, with 53% of the people saving on fast food, takeaways and restaurants, while the percentage of people saving on flights and holidays number almost as much.

The national stereotype never bargains, but 12% of people do haggle to get the right price, and just 1% of people find using discounts, embarrassing. This survey says that availing of a good deal is considered a social activity, with a large 44% of people roping in friends to share the discount with.

The result of this has led to twenty five percent of the people finding they can spend as never before, because of vouchers and money-off codes, which makes it cheaper to buy presents for friends and family.

Here are some tips that can help you to get on the bargain hunting bandwagon:

Discount code sites
There are dozens of sites such as,,,, and, as well as the codes sites you will find on this website. All of them offer discounted prices on services and products that are offered by retailers online who sell financial services, fashion, books, gadget, gifts. DVDs, CDs, eating out, travel and hotels.

The offers will include free delivery besides percentage reductions(scaled) or a specific price. You will an explanation on each of the sites, as to how the codes can be redeemed. Generally, once you have arrived at the site of the retailer you have chosen, you then select the services or goods that you want and checkout, where you will be asked for the promotional code which then you have to update. These sites will have vouchers that can be printed and be used to get two-for-one meals or discounts in various high street outlets. Most sites will advice you off codes that are out of date, and will encourage you to register free with them, so that they can send you the latest offers through E mails. People looking for discounts register at a number of sites, as each has its own discounts that can be negotiated.

When you go shopping online, and are asked to input a code when you have to pay for the items,you can open a new tab on your browser and search for this code on the websites that offer discounts. You may not be successful in this effort, if it is a discount that the retailer that the merchant site offers to specific customers. These codes are at times available on sites like and are then available to the general public.

Recycle/giveaway sites

One of the sites that is most famous for recycling is the Freecycle network, that allows you to pickup items that others do not want, and even give away things you have no use for, and the site matches people who can use items that others want to get rid of.

This is an effort that saves landfill, and is an ideal place, where people looking for bargains can pick up things that do not cost them anything. This is a network run by moderators who are local volunteers, and the first such Freecycle group was set up in 2003 in London, and now the membership is almost 2.5 million members distributed in 540 groups all over the country. You can sign up with the group in your area and then post messages which indicate what items you want or can offer, and email is the way you can respond to the postings of other members. The person who has the original item makes the decision about whom the item will go to and sets up a time for its collection, and then one this process is completed, posts a message of "taken" again on the website.

The system works quite well as per experiences listed in the office of Guardian Money. Items offered on the group that I belong too included a bag of paperback thrillers, a sink and toilet that was unused, two sofas, a cage for a dog, TVs, and fridge freezers in working condition.

Freegle is a rival site that operates in the same way and has more than 1.2 million members in 313 groups. There is also a community advertising site for classifieds that lists items for sale, called, which also has a free section and this site has locations all over the United Kingdom. This week the free offers listed included house plants, a piano, free haircuts, and a large trampoline.

Free sample sites

You can get tips on saving money, enter competitions and freebie samples through links on sites that offer free samples of products. The disadvantage here is that you are required to register with these websites, if you want the freebie, and this can result in your inbox being flooded with newsletters. This problem can be solved, by having a separate email account just for sample sites and the newsletters that they will send.

Fantastic freebie sites: latest free stuff, and


Thursday, August 27, 2015

#Giveaway The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Sixth Season & The Originals: The Complete Second Season

Having those fun marathons of our favorite shows is something we love to do on a rainy day. I enjoy collecting the seasons, so we can go through, catch up and remember some of our favorite scenes and get us prepared for the upcoming seasons. And coming out on September 1st, the Complete Sixth Season of the hit series The Vampire Diaries along with the Complete Second Season of that must watch series The Originals will hitting shelves!

With the Vampire Diaries, you get a series that gives you the drama that leaves you thirsty for more! Season 5 left off with a passionate summer as the group was preparing to head off to college. Then following with Season 6. they are all back and picking up where they left off, finding that things can change very quickly!

Then with the series, the Originals, you find the original vampire-werewolf hybrid who learns so much, including drama over a baby mama, plot twists and turns and so much more!

Making both of these series a must have to add to any collection for fans of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals! And to help with celebrating the release of these two series, I will be giving one of my amazing readers their own copy of one of these series! 

Each household is only eligible to win (1) The Vampire Diaries Season 6 or The Originals Season 2 chosen at random via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

I was not compensated for this promotion.
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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Finding Sleep Can Come Easy with Sealy this New School Year

The back to school season can be one that is a hectic time for many of us. We find that we end up stressing out more when the new year starts, trying to get schedules in place and trying to make sure that with those schedules we can all make it work and get back into the swing of things. I have always found that the first few weeks of the new school year come with a lot of sleepless nights. Where we toss and turn, trying to get everyone back on a school sleep schedule and trying to remember the things that we need to do the next day.

I find myself guilty of the tossing and turning and when I look over at my husband come 2 am and see him doing the same thing, I start to think of the fact that maybe it is not our schedules that is keeping me awake, but our bed. I mean, when I really look at the facts behind my sleepless nights, I find that well, I have been tossing and turning even during our more laid back summer months. Leaving me with the fact that maybe it is my bed that is causing the issues when it comes to sleep.

This comes from not only the tossing and turning at night, but also with those facts that when I am tossing around I find that I am trying to get comfortable, and that when my husband and I wake up in the mornings we are both waking up not feeling rested, but exhausted and just taking it as it is. Leaving me with the reality that the reason why we wake up unrested and even having aches and pains in the mornings, is because our bed is not the bed for us and is the cause of our sleepless nights.

Sleepless nights and the tossing and turning is something that many of us face, but it is also something that can be fixed by just getting a different bed to sleep on. And with the new school year just a couple of weeks away, I am thinking that now is the best time to make that choice.

So to get myself and my family on the right track when it comes to those school schedules and sleep, I find that first, we start by getting everyone to bed at the same time. We do this by having everyone fed, bathed, teeth brushed, pajamas on and everyone in their beds by 8 pm, every night. Once we have the kids in bed, we allow our eldest to read quietly in her room until 9 pm, then we also take turns reading to our youngest kids, making lights out by 9 pm.

Another thing that I have realized is also very important is ensuring that everyone, including the kids, have a mattress that is comfortable and that can help with reducing that tossing and turning. For the kids, we bought them new mattress's when we made our move to Washington at the beginning of the summer. But for myself and my husband, we have decided that when we make our mattress upgrade, we will do it with a Sealy Posturepedic.

After researching the brands available, we found that with the Sealy Posturepedic Premier Hybrid, we can have a mattress that will give us the extra core support we need. We can get not only a mattress with springs to give us the support we need, but also one that will give us the body conforming comfort from the memory foam that is on the top! I also like that the memory foam has cooling gel, which is something that I think both myself and my husband will benefit from, along with all of the other amazing features! In all, helping us to start our new school year off right when it comes to sleep by getting back into the school sleep schedules and changing out our mattress for a Sealy Posturepedic Premier Hybrid!

Here are some great survey results along with tips on how to improve sleep in your home!

Topline Parent Survey Stats Sealy® commissioned a survey of 1,000 moms and dads across the U.S. and found the following results:

  • Almost all parents (81 percent) believe their kids are getting enough quality sleep. 
  • Nearly half of parents – 46 percent – say the number of hours of sleep has the most impact on quality sleep. 
  • More than one in ten parents (13 percent) say the quality of the mattress has the biggest impact on quality sleep.   
  • More than two thirds (68 percent) of parents say adjusting the sleep schedule so it’s early to bed and early to rise is the biggest challenge to re-establishing a back to school routine. 
  • Most parents are taking at least a week or two to establish a new sleep routine as they head into the back to school season. More than a third (39 percent) start a couple of weeks before school starts, while nearly as many (32 percent) start a week before school begins. 
  • Forty four percent of parents have their kids eat a healthy breakfast as part of establishing new back to school routines. 
  • Forty percent of parents say they try to limit their kids’ screen time later in the day to help with the back to school sleep routine.     

Tips on how to help American families get Back to School and Back to Sleep:  

As families prepare to send their children back to school, UNC School of Medicine’s Sleep Science Program has provided seven tips to help families transition from those last few moments of summertime fun to a productive, cohesive family sleep schedule.

  • Bedtime Shift – Starting a week or two before school starts, determine the number of hours your child’s bedtime needs to shift and gradually advance the bedtime and wake time to the appropriate time (by no more than 30 minutes per day). 

  • Night Owls No More – No late bedtimes. The recommended number of hours of sleep differs for each age group. According to the National Sleep Foundation, school age (5-10 years) should get 10-11 hours and teens (11-17 years) should get 8.5-9.5 hours.   

  • Boycott Late-Night Electronics: Turning off electronics in the evening two to three hours before bedtime is a good rule of thumb. Any type of electronic device that emits blue light or revs up brain activity counteracts the body’s natural transition to sleep.  

  • The Mattress Matters – To help ensure a comfortable night’s sleep, invest in a mattress that is engineered to fully support the back and align the body. 

  • Break up with Snooze – Don’t allow your child to sleep in. Keep wake times consistent across both school days and weekends. 

  • The Breakfast Benefit – Make breakfast a priority and serve it at a consistent time each morning. Not only will kids be energized for the day, but a nutritious start helps them learn more effectively.   

  • Take Your Cue – There are external cues that help synchronize our sleep/wake rhythm. The sun is by far the most powerful environmental cue, which can be used to help us orient to our desired routine. 

  • Have your child get sunshine in the morning soon after waking.   

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

With the new school year upon us, I find that one of the hardest things I will be doing is sending my toddler off to preschool. This is something that he is really looking forward to, but as a mom and seeing him as my baby, I want to see him happy but I also want to keep him all to myself. So like many parents in my shoes do, we prepare our little ones, get them the back to school items they will need and want to make them feel big, and send them on their way knowing that we have to let them grow up someday.

When it comes to finding the items that my preschooler will need for the new school year, the list is not very big, so I try to make him feel big like his older siblings by getting him things like a fun new backpack to take to school. And to help us with getting started on that list for him, we were sent the very adorable and fun Petsac to review.

The Petsac is a fun soft and snuggly pet, that has a backpack zipped up inside the pet. Once you unzip the tail, you can pull out the attached backpack and put it on your little one! The sack is a great size, allowing little ones to put whatever they might need inside. It is also easy to clean up if needed and is made of the same durable material parachutes are made from! Making the Petsac a great product to add to your back to school supply list when shopping for the preschooler or even elementary school aged child in your home!

Product received, thank you to Accessory Headquarters as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.
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Making Back to School Lunches and After School Snacks Easier with Ziploc®

The new school year is upon us and it is time to get the items needed to help get those lunches and after school snacks together. As a parent, I find that having products that offer features which make those school lunches easier to pack and the after school snacks simple to throw together, help to make things easier on everyone! So I was pleased to see products I was sent from the selection of storage products from the Ziploc® line.

With the various items in the products we were sent from Ziploc®, I found that the Ziploc® brand containers with One Press Seal help to keep foods in and are designed to stay closed with just a press of the lid. I also like that when I am not using the One Press Seal Ziploc® brand containers, I can store them easily since they nest together, helping me to stay organized throughout the school year!

Then when it comes to packing school lunches and after school snacks, I like that I can use the Ziploc® brand bags with Easy Open Tabs. With the easy open tabs, they are easy to grip, open then close back up, which not only makes putting them together simple for me, but also easy for the kids! I also like that with the variety of sizes available, I can have the right bags for the different items I pack away for the kids.

In all making the products from Ziploc®, a great selection to add to your home when preparing your family for the new school year! Also, when it comes to inspiration, you can find great ideas for organizing and storing various items in your home along with some great recipe ideas, when you head to the Ziploc® brand Pinterest page!

Product received, thank you to Ziploc® as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.
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Back to School Shopping with Lands' End

The new school year is upon many of us, and with that I find that I want to ensure my kids are geared up with the clothes and shoes they will need. And one place that we have enjoyed adding to our list of shops when it comes to finding those looks the kids want is Lands' End. So when we were sent some of the products from the Lands' End line to review, my daughter was excited to check the products out!

To get her started off right this year, she was sent a pair of the Kids' Slip-on Shoes. These are great for my daughter to wear on those casual days when heading to school. She likes the style since they can go with just about any of her outfits, and she also likes that they are simple to slip on and off! I like the antimicrobial fiber that these shoes are made from, which help to keep the shoes fresh. I also like the rubber sole and the spot clean that these shoes have.

Then for those rainy days that we get up her in the Pacific Northwest, my daughter can take her Girls' Navigator Solid Packable Rain Jacket with her to school. This jacket will help to keep her dry when she is outside, and when she does not need to use it, she can easily fold it into its own self storing back pocket, then carry it in her backpack!

This jacket has a hood that has elastic sides, so when the weather gets harsh, she can be sure to keep her hood in place on her head. I also like that the fabric is a water resistant and rip resistant nylon, so she can stay dry and not have to replace her jacket until she grows out of it!

In all, making Lands' End a great place to head this year when gearing your kids up for the new school year!

Product received, thank you to Lands' End as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.
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Happy Women's Equality Day

On August 26th, 1920 the United States government accorded women the right to vote. Each year, the President of the United States designates August 26th as Women’s Equality Day to commemorate this landmark decision. 

OPENS October 23rd in NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES Expanding across the country in the following weeks

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How to Help Your Toddler Transition into a Big Bed

There comes a point in every child’s life when he or she needs to make the transition from a cozy cot into a child-sized bed. Most of us sleep better with a number bed and young children are no exception. Cots are great for babies because they keep them safe and secure, but by the time your baby grows into a toddler, he will need a bed all of his own. So if that time has come, here are a few tips to ensure the process is hassle free.

Is Your Toddler Ready to Make the Transition?

Some toddlers are happy to stay in their cot or crib for as long as possible. To them it feels more secure and they don’t want to give up “their” space. But if your toddler is at the point where he is regularly climbing out when nap time is over, then he is definitely ready to transition into a bed. He will also need to make the move if the cot is too small for him and he can’t stretch out properly.

Choose the Right Bed

A full-size single bed is a bit too large for a small toddler. It may also be too high for him, so choose a transitional bed carefully. There are plenty of companies that make smaller toddler beds. These are usually shorter and lower, which for a toddler is perfect.

If you don’t have much money to spend, have a look for a second-hand bed. Since toddler beds are rarely used for more than a few years, there are likely to be plenty of bargains to be had. One thing you should do, however, is buy a new mattress for a second-hand bed because older mattresses may not meet fire regulations. 

Comfortable Bedding

Your toddler will need new bedding when you upgrade to a proper bed. Sheets and blankets are useful for variable climates, but a duvet is easier if you have a restless toddler who starts off at one end of the bed and wakes up at the other. Let your toddler choose their own bedding. If they want a ‘Frozen’ duvet cover or an ‘X-Men’ throw, go with it. The more appealing their new bed is, the more likely they are to stay in it come lights out.

A Cozy Bedroom

By the time a toddler is ready to transition into a bed, it is probably time to give his bedroom a makeover. If you design a more grown up bedroom, it should last him for many years. Since toddlers are fond of tugging on wallpaper, it is a good idea to paint the walls and stay away from decorative borders, but you can use stencils to paint fun designs. Or you could even have a go at creating a freehand mural if you have artistic leanings.

Late Nights, Early Mornings

The most challenging thing about moving a toddler from a cot to a bed is that he probably won’t stay in his new bed once he wakes up. You may also have a problem getting him to stay in bed when it is bedtime. Having a rock solid bed time routine can make evenings easier, but if early morning wakeup calls are a problem, try and encourage your toddler to play quietly in his room when he first wakes up.

Dealing with Sleep Issues

It is important to be consistent when dealing with sleep problems. If your toddler keeps climbing out of bed at night, firmly take him back and tuck him in. Don’t get into a conversation and keep the lights low. It may take a while, but once he realizes that nothing exciting happens once he goes to bed, he should begin to settle down in his new bed.

Sleep Safety

Safety is important since toddlers are used to the protection of a cot and are apt to fall out of bed when they first make the transition. Bed guards can prevent this from happening – these are readily available from parent and baby stores, so invest in one when you buy a new bed. Alternatively, place a thick blanket on the floor next to the bed to provide a safe landing until your toddler gets use to his bed.
Most toddlers soon get used to sleeping in a proper bed, but if he takes a while to settle, be patient and try not to get too annoyed. It is a big step for some children, but the more relaxed you are, the easier it will be for them.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

#AquaphorIt To Help Celebrate Aquaphor's 90th Birthday

When it comes to my families skin and even my own skin, I like to have those products which help to soothe a diaper rash, heal dry skin, and even help with reducing eczema. I do this by having products like the ones from the Aquaphor line on hand to use for the entire family, just as my own mom did when I was younger. Well with that said, the people from Aquaphor are gearing up for a big celebration where they will be celebrating Aquaphor's 90th Birthday!

They will be celebrating in style by giving away a trip to NYC along with VIP tickets to help with celebrating their birthday! To enter for a chance at winning the grand prize trip to NYC along with the VIP tickets to the party, all you have to do is take a picture of how you use Aquaphor by checking out the 8 recommended uses, then share your photo on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtags #contest and #Aquaphorit.

Once you have uploaded and shared your photo on how you and your family use the Aquaphor products, head to the Aquaphor It Contest page and fill out the entry form by going here! The grand prize winner will not only get to go to NYC to celebrate the 90th birthday, but they will also have the chance to have their photo added to a exhibit that will be revealed at the 90th Birthday Party Celebration!

Also, the more submissions they get the more coupon offers they will release, allowing you and your family to save money on those Aquaphor products you love! So hurry and get those submissions in because this contest will end on August 30th, 2015!

Product received, thank you to Aquaphor as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.
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100 days, 100 chances to win a BMW with Shell

With the end of summer approaching and the kids heading back to school, it’s the last chance to fit in a family getaway, road trip or beach escape before the busy fall season comes around: football season, driving the kids around and before you know, it’s the holiday season! Well imagine starting the season right and picture yourself in a brand new 2016 BMW 320i that you won. Sounds like a perfect dream come true, right? Well, you can make that dream a reality with the Shell “100 BMW’s in 100 Days” celebration!

In celebration of Shell’s 100th anniversary of selling products and services in the U.S., Shell not only launched the Shell V-Power NiTRO+ Premium Gasoline - a new breakthrough fuel in the premium category that protects your car from gunk, wear and corrosion - but is also partnering with BMW to give away 100 2016 BMW 320i 3-Series Sedans.

From now until September 8, swipe your Fuel Rewards card at the pump at any Shell station to purchase an eight gallon tank of regular, mid-grade or diesel fuel, to be entered to win. And here’s a tip, if you purchase the new Shell V-Power NiTRO+ Premium gasoline, you will earn 10 additional entries into the BMW giveaway! Shell has already rewarded a few lucky winners from around the country with their very own 2016 BMW 320i, and are looking forward to rewarding more drivers – one of which could be you!

If you aren’t already a Fuel Rewards member, don’t miss out on your chance to win a BMW 320i this summer and save on fuel all year long. Sign up at your local Shell station, online, or by simply texting BEST to 83835 so that you can get swiping. When you sign up for Fuel Rewards, you are automatically set up for a loyalty program that rewards members with three cents off per gallon at the pump every time. Make sure to sign up before September 8 for your chance to win!


Monday, August 24, 2015

#Giveaway Shower Curtains from The Intuitive Learning Company

As we head back to school and get the kids geared up for the new school year, we find that there is a lot to be done. There are tools we want in the home and have in place to help with continuing the encouragement and fun when it comes to learning.

For me, I grew up with a mother who is a English and Drama teacher along with my dad who is a writer and actor, and when it came to various aspects of our home, we found books, quotes, and photos that encouraged their passions around every corner in some way or another. So when I was sent a fun, Top 500 SAT Words shower curtain to review from The Intuitive Learning Company, I found that it was a piece that reminded me of my childhood, and something that I wanted to share with my own family.

I like that with the various shower curtains you can find from The Intuitive Learning Company, that there is a curtain for just about any of those subjects that many find a passion in. From the various languages to Math Concepts and even SAT Prep. Making the shower curtains from The Intuitive Learning Company, a great selection to put in any home when looking for things to have in place this new school year or even a great gift to give that favorite teacher this year! And to help with finding that perfect, fun shower curtain for your home, the wonderful people from The Intuitive Learning Company would like to give one of my amazing readers their own shower curtain!

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

When we think of the new school year, we think of preparing our kids with the supplies and clothing they will need, but one thing that we do not always think about is having tools in the home that can help with encouraging our kids brain development and excitement when it comes to exploring STEM! With the world of today, we find that there are many tools that are literally at our fingertips, ready to be utilized. We can find the apps that are out there are ones that offer challenges for critical thinking and such, so when we were introduced to the Ozobot Bit, we were curious to test it out and learn more about what it can do.

With Ozobot Bit, we get a small robot, that offers so much when it comes to development and critical thinking which helps with building life skills and more. I also like that with this product, it can be used to bring the entire family together on a family game night, or be used by just one player, offering 5 modes of play, from Novice to Master!

Ozobot uses a easy to understand color code language, which makes it an ideal choice when it comes to showing young minds various concepts that will be very important for them to have in the world we live in today! The Ozobot is a little, but amazing program that turns those important concepts of STEM into games and apps that the kids can follow and gain skills from.

The kids can utilize the features which include the light communication, that allows the user to load commands onto the robot using flashing lights. It also helps to build confidence by making what the kids might see as boring or hard when it comes to computer science, a fun learning experience. Teaching the kids how to program, and giving parents tools they can get from the STEM/STREAM lesson plans so the kids can keep going by using the apps, and even teach their Ozobot to dance and create their own apps!

In all, making the Ozobot Bit, not only a great product to have when looking for ways to help your children build those important skills they will need when it comes to STEM, but also a great must have item to add to those back to school must haves to have in the home!

Product received, thank you to Ozobot as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.
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Jurassic World Release Dates for Digital HD, Blu-Ray, and DVD

Like so many others out there, my family and I went and saw the movie Jurassic World in theaters! We went the opening weekend then again during another showing, and find that we can completely agree with the fact that Jurassic World is said to be the #1 movie of the year! So you can imagine the excitement in our home, when we heard that the box office hit movie that we had to see in theaters more than once will be arriving to Blu-Ray and DVD on October 20th! Oh and what makes things even more exciting than the Blu-ray release is the fact that on October 1st, we can watch Jurassic World when it arrives on Digital HD!!!

The movie Jurassic World is one that brings the fascination with dinosaurs back to the big screen and in a whole new movie! And when we bring home our copy on Blu-Ra we will not only get to watch it over and over again, but we will also get to check out the bonus features.

An in-depth take on the creation, look and feel of Jurassic World.  Director Colin Trevorrow and Steven Spielberg discuss how the idea of the film came together and how the casting was decided with actors’ commentary on their roles and filming locations.
JURASSIC WORLD: ALL-ACCESS PASS:  Chris Pratt and Director Colin Trevorrow discuss key moments in the film, supported by behind-the-scenes footage and VFX breakdowns. INNOVATION CENTER TOUR WITH CHRIS PRATT:  Chris Pratt gives a tour of the Innovation Center, a museum/exhibit, built just for the movie.
JURASSIC’S CLOSEST SHAVES: Clips from all films in the franchise showing “near death” or extremely scary encounters with dinosaurs.
BLU-RAYTM AND DVD BONUS FEATURES DELETED SCENES DINOSAURS ROAM ONCE AGAIN:  Behind the scenes look at the making of Jurassic World’s visual effects, how the dinosaurs came to life, and actors filmed scenes.
CHRIS & COLIN TAKE ON THE WORLD:   Chris Pratt and Colin Trevorrow (Director) interview each other and discuss Jurassic World as well as the other Jurassic Park movies.

So be sure to mark your calendars so you too can watch Jurassic World from home when you purchase the Digital HD on October 1st, then bring home your copy on Blu-Ray on October 20th!

This post is sponsored by Universal Home Entertainment along with the PR as part of the Team Jurassic campaign.
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Back to School Skin Care Products from Made From Earth

As we prepare our kids for the new school year, we want to not only have the supplies and clothes they will need in place, but also those bath and body items to help them when it comes to their hygiene as well. In my house, we have the issue of sensitive skin, and when it comes to finding the products that my daughter can use, I like to find products that are chemical free, that are organic, and that are gentle on her skin. So when we were sent some products from the line of products from Made from Earth, I was excited to try them out.

With the Lavender Calm Lotion, you get the deep moisturizing benefits of Aloe Vera, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Nut and Witch Hazel, which are combined in this lotion with calming organic lavender. I like that we get the soothing effects of the lavender as well as a lotion that helps to heal the skin. We also found that the Cucumber Cooling Gel is a product that is great for using as a all over moisturizer, which can also help with soothing after getting a sun burn.

For the shower, we found the Tea Tree + Protein Herbal Shampoo to help with cleansing the scalp while helping to smooth and strengthen the hair, and with the Peppermint Herbal Conditioner, we get a conditioner that cools the scalp as well as restores moisture to the hair.

Then for me, I found the Vitamin C Moisturizer to help with improving my skins elasticity, especially under my eyes. This moisturizer can be worn under sunscreen to help prevent burns and is also great for putting on skin that is exposed to the sun often to keep it from getting any sort of discoloration!

In all, making the line of products we found from Made from Earth a great selection to have in the home, especially when you have family who might have skin sensitivities when it comes to the chemicals found in other products, and to also help with ensuring your family has what they need when it comes to bath and body products for the new school year!

Product received, thank you to Made From Earch as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.
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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Nothing Basic with the Foster Farms All Natural Sliced Turkey

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With our summer coming to an end and those back to school lunch menus to be made, I find that I enjoy creating sandwiches for my family that I can pack away, and that they can enjoy when they eat their lunches. As a parent, I want to find products that are healthier and more natural, so when I was given the chance to participate in a sponsored post for Foster Farms All Natural Sliced Turkey, I was excited to participate and share with my readers.
After heading to our local Safeway to purchase some of the Foster Farms All Natural Sliced Turkey, I found that there was a lot to be excited about with this sandwich meat. First off, I like that this sandwich meat is all natural, that it is 98% fat free, the turkeys are raised without the use of hormones or steroids, and the fact that there are no chemicals or preservatives added to our sliced turkey.  

For me, after seeing what the Foster Farms All Natural Sliced Turkey doesn't have, I realized that this turkey is not your average turkey, and should not be treated as so when preparing sandwiches for the family. In fact, I see it as a super turkey, one that stands out from the rest, and one that parents like myself can not only enjoy for themselves but also enjoy and feel good about serving to their families.

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We have found the Foster Farms All Natural Sliced Turkey has made for a great picnic product, allowing us to take it with us, and the kids create their own delicious sandwiches while we enjoy the remainder of our summer days outdoors. I also know that both my husband and kids will be excited to open their lunches to find Foster Farms All Natural Sliced Turkey on their favorite sandwich combinations. For my husband, who enjoys having his makings for a sandwich put in separate containers so it is fresh and not soggy when he goes to eat lunch giving him that fresh crunch he desires when eating a sandwich, using a whole grain bread, with freshly sliced cheese, turkey breast slices, along with fresh lettuce, tomato, avocado, with a bit of mayonnaise and some freshly mixed honey mustard on the top. Giving him a sandwich that is not basic, and that is fresh to enjoy!
When you prepare your own sandwich using the Foster Farms All Natural Sliced Turkey and realize that there is nothing basic about the turkey, you find that you end up going all out for what you see as the ultimate sandwich. And with this idea of having the ultimate sandwich, the people at Foster Farms have launched a pretty awesome contest. 

The "Don't Call Me Basic" sandwich contest is looking for the most creative turkey sandwich. One grand prize winner will receive their choice of a luxury weekend getaway for two to the gorgeous Napa Valley for the ultimate picnic lunch or $4,000 cash. Also, everyone who enters now through the month of August, which is National Sandwich Month, will also be entered to win prizes for the weekly drawings which include high-end panini presses or gourmet picnic basket sets!

To enter, just follow these simple steps:  

First create a turkey sandwich using Foster Farms All Natural Sliced Turkey lunchmeat and other creative ingredients that you choose to add. 
Then once you have your sandwich, before eating it, snap and post a photo of it to Instagram. In the caption, include the list of ingredients and tag @FosterFarms and #DontCallMeBasic. Make sure your profile is public!

Entries may also be emailed to

For more details on the contest and the official Rules & Regulations, visit

Also, be sure to get your coupon here: so you can save $1.00 on your Foster Farms All Natural Sliced Turkey, which can be found at your local Safeway, Vons, Raley's, and select Albertsons stores.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Foster Farms All Natural Sliced Turkey.
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