Mommy Katie: October 2015

Saturday, October 31, 2015

#Giveaway Give Your Daughter a Room Makeover with RoomLookz

As the mom of a preteen, I find that when it comes to style, what I had once thought was style, is no where close to what my daughter considers style. I mean, just a couple of years ago, I could go and find the pretty pink things to put in her room, to decorate with, and she loved the way it looked. But over the past year or so, when it comes to how my daughter wants things from her room to the way she dresses, she has her own sense of what she likes. This is a good thing, and when it comes to letting her choose what she wants in her room, I like that we can go to RoomLookz and allow her to shop! 

To get us started when it comes to my daughter personalizing her room, we were given the chance to review some of the products from the RoomLookz line.


When we went on the RoomLookz site, my daughter was able to view it from her phone, then go and begin designing her room. This design style is the same as she had enjoyed when we have shopped the LockerLookz line up, and when she went on, she right away found that the looks she wanted were right at her fingertips! My daughter found a great selection of wallpapers to choose from, and from there was able to also look at the various pieces that she could add to create her room look with.


Then once she was done with completing her room, she was able to hand it over for me to look over and shop the look that she had created! We both found that being able to use the virtual designer made the process both fun and simple, and when it came to the selection, my daughter said that she really liked the colors and designs she found, allowing her to really create a personal look for her room!
From a parents perspective, I found that this was a great tool to use when shopping, allowing my daughter to find her look the way she wanted it. And when it comes to the pricing, I can also appreciate that the RoomLookz are made to be affordable, allowing kids to go on and design their rooms without digging too far in their parents wallets! In all, making RoomLookz a great line up to shop when you or your daughter are wanting to change up their room and let them give it a personal touch, and to help with updating your daughters room look, the wonderful people from RoomLookz would like to give one of my amazing readers 2 of their own accessories from the RoomLookz line!




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

Harvest Trail Bars from Atkins

When it comes to snacking, like many I head to my pantry and grab whatever I might find. A lot of times this can be a bag of chips, some snack cakes and such, and like many, after I go for those options, I end up regretting my choice. I regret it not only knowing that I consumed calories and carbs that I was not looking forward to seeing on my rear, but I also feel sluggish after eating them as well. So for me, knowing that when it comes to snacking for not only myself but my family, I like to find products that have both that sweet and that crunch we might be looking for when we go for a snack. And when we were sent some of the new Harvest Trail Bars from Atkins, I was curious to see how I liked them and also see what my family thought as well.


When I went to try the Dark Chocolate Cherry and Nuts Bar, I was very surprised by the taste. I mean, when I went for this bar, I got a bar that gave me that sweet and crunch I was seeking, but without the extra sugars and with just 150 calories! In fact, with these bars I found that they give me not only a tasty low calorie snack, but also a snack that gives me a good source of protein, an excellent source of fiber, and does not have any artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or sugar alcohols and that gives me a low carb option.


Well after I went for my initial taste test of the bars, I decided to get the opinions of others by having my family try them out as well. I found that my family enjoyed them as much as I did, and with my kids they said that they liked them because it was like I was giving them a candy bar as a snack. Making the Harvest Trail Bars from Atkins a great selection of bars that are not only great to have on hand for when you want to go for a great tasting snack, but also a selection to have in the house for the whole family to enjoy as well!

So if you are looking for a great low carb snack that tastes great, that gives you that sweet and crunch you might be after, that your entire family can enjoy, head out and pick up some of the Harvest Trail Bars from Atkins today!


This post was sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer's Network.

Friday, October 30, 2015

#Giveaway Keeping Baby Happy with the Ultimate Swaddle from Swaddle Designs


As parents, when we add new babies to the family, we want to ensure that baby is happy and comfortable. I have found over the years that when it comes to comfort for baby, having those soft blankets to swaddle baby in is ideal. So when we were sent the new Ultimate Swaddle from Swaddle Designs to review, I was excited to check it out! 


With this swaddle blanket, you get that large blanket that is made of soft material. The Ultimate Swaddle is made up of a super soft, premium, cotton flannel, that makes for a great swaddle to have with the cooler weather! Aside from the feel of this blanket, I also like that it is made to be light weight and breathable, which helps in keeping baby comfortable while they are swaddled. The size is also one that is made to be perfect for swaddling baby in.


Then aside from the material, I like that the swaddle process is made to be a simple one for parents and caregivers, by either following the steps that are marked on the tag, or by scanning the steps onto your phone and following from there. Allowing both parents and caregivers to properly swaddle baby every time they use the Swaddle Designs blankets! And in all, making the Ultimate Swaddle, the perfect blanket for baby to use this fall!

So if you or someone you know is preparing for a new baby, be sure to check out the selection of designs you can find when you shop the Ultimate Swaddle from Swaddle Designs! And to help with keeping baby happy and comfortable when it comes to swaddling, the wonderful people from Swaddle Designs would like to give one of my amazing readers their own Ultimate Swaddle!




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

Edit Photos Like a Pro with Adobe PhotoShop Elements + Premiere Elements 14


Like so many out there, I find that I enjoy taking photos and videos. I do it from my phone, from my camera and even from my tablet. And as a parent, I find that I am always wanting to capture the moments as they happen with my kids. The thing is, when I go to share these photos and videos, print them off to put in albums, upload them to make discs, I find that they may not have the quality I was looking for when I took them, or there might be extras in the photos or videos that I would rather not have there. So as a casual photographer, I was very excited to download and try out the Adobe PhotoShop Elements and the Premiere Elements 14!

To get started, I found the download process to be very simple. I was able to put my key code in, then begin the download process. Once it was loaded onto my computer, I went through the step by step tutorial, which allowed me to learn more about the various photo editing features and tools that are available.

After I had my little run through, I was then prompted to start adding photos, and start with the organizing and editing! The upload of my photos and videos was simple, in fact I was able to upload all of the photo and video files I had on my computer then organize them as well.


I found that with the organization process, I was really able to put a personal touch to my various photos and videos. Allowing me to not only put in the people who are in the shots, but also add where I was when the photos and videos were taken!

After I went through and organized my files, I found it was time to start editing my photos and videos so I could make them share worthy. I was very impressed with the editing tools, which allowed me to not only remove red eye, blemishes, and enhance the photo quality, but also remove any shake, remove objects or photo bombers, create fun effects and so much more!!!!!


In fact, when it comes to the effects that I have at my fingertips with Adobe PhotoShop Elements and the Premiere Elements 14, I found that I could take people and objects out of certain photos, then add them into another. I also liked with the effects, I could add the illusion of movement, erase little extras in the shots that I don't want there by using the Guided and Expert Edits! Then once I have completed my projects, I like that I can then share them to Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and more!

I found that I can also hook up my computer or put my creations on discs, and watch them on my Smart TV's and get a high quality view! Making the Adobe PhotoShop Elements + Premiere Elements 14 not only great programs to have on your own personal computer, but also great for giving as a gift this year!

So this year, as you prepare for the holidays and find that you want to be able to create and share those memories the way you want to, or if you are looking for a great gift to give, be sure to check out the Adobe PhotoShop Elements + Premiere Elements 14 at Best Buy today!





The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

ExpressVPN’s Halloween #Giveaway


Are you looking for a spooktacular way to unblock any blocked content without any scary consequences? Well right now through November 4th, ExpressVPN is giving away 10 free annual subscriptions!

This contest is open to both new subscribers and current ones, allowing those who already have a subscription to win a added 12 free months to their existing subscription! Or for those who are not yet subscribers, they will win a 1 year subscription, which is worth $99.99!!!

So why enter this scarily amazing contest? Well with the ExpressVPN, you can unblock those movies you want to watch. And with the ExpressVPN, you get a VPN that is fast, secure, and reliable and that can be used on platforms like Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, and with servers available in over 78 countries across the world, they are the most reliable and popular VPN services! Making the ExpressVPN's Halloween Giveaway one that you just can not miss! To enter this giveaway head here: https://www.expressvpn.com/blog/halloween-giveaway-free-vpn/







This post was made possible by ExpressVPN

Find Your Purrfect Friend with Zoomer Kitty


When it comes to the holidays, I enjoy finding those toys that are sure to be perfect for the kids to play with. I like finding fun toys, and ones that offer interactive play. So when we were sent the Zoomer Kitty to review, we were very excited to check it out and add it to our list of must have items for the holidays!

With the Zoomer Kitty, you get a kitty that does everything like a real cat and more! She can chase and play with her toys, purr when you pet her, and meow as well. When she plays, she can not only play with her toy, but in Play Mode she can sing and dance as well as do tricks! And as long as you keep her happy with attention, she will continue to play and entertain, but once you stop giving her attention, she will loose interest and go on to do her own thing.
When it comes to being like a real cat, Zoomer Kitty likes to pounce, and when she is going to pounce, she changes her eye color to yellow, then gets low right before she pounces! Another fun feature that resembles a real cat is that Zoomer Kitty loves to be petted, and when you pet her on her head, ears and cheeks, she knows you are petting her and she purrs when she is in Cuddle Mode!

In fact, when it comes to Zoomer Kitty, kids can enjoy hours of fun with this adorable robotic cat, and make the Zoomer Kitty a part of the family! Making Zoomer Kitty, a must have gift to get this holiday season when you are looking for a fun and interactive toy to get your kids!


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

Limited Edition School Supplies from Yoobi


With Halloween tomorrow, I find that sending the kids to school with the hottest must have designs on their supplies is something I enjoy doing. So when we were sent the Limited Edition Halloween Stationary from Yoobi, my kids were excited to pack them in the bags!

These new products include the 3 pack Printed Notebooks and the Black and White Striped Journals. When you purchase these products for your kids to use, they not only get to go to school in style, but Yoobi will also a product to a classroom in need! Helping to make this Halloween a happy one for everyone!


Product received, thank you to Yoobi  as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.
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Thursday, October 29, 2015

#Giveaway Celebrate The Holidays with the JUMBiES

The holidays are coming and with that it is time to seek out the gifts that the kids are sure to love this year. Over the years I have found that when it comes to the gifts that make an impression, the kids like those that resemble creatures and goofy animals, and one line of toys that does just that is the JUMBiES. So when we were sent some of the JUMBiES to review, we were excited to check them out and add them to our list of must have gifts for the holiday season!



With the JUMBiES you find a group of animals that are two mixed in one. The story that makes up the JUMBiES is simple, they were created when silly storks collided during the delivery of animal babies, creating what we know as the JUMBiES! And with each of the JUMBiES you can find, you find a fun and unique combination of 2 animals in one that have their story on their tags, telling you what they are mixed with and how they came to be! Making the JUMBiES a selection of plush toys that are perfect for giving this holiday season, and to help with bringing your holidays together, the wonderful people from the JUMBiES family would like to give one of my readers 2 of their own JUMBiES!




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

Add Some Klondike Fun To Your Halloween Fun

With Halloween just a couple of days away, I find that getting all of those last minute prep items for the parties can be quite a chore. For me, I enjoy having a variety of snacks, drinks, and treats available. And when it comes to the treats, I like having ones that give have that sweetness but are not your average candy. So when we were sent some Klondike Bars to add to our Halloween, we were excited to add them to our list of tasty treats!

See when it comes to Halloween, we not only enjoy the fun with the kids, but we also enjoy having fun with friends as well. And with the varieties of Klondike products that we can add to our party, we can have fun by changing up what treats we have!

With the Klondike Kandy Bars we can add the ice cream bars that give us that thick chocolate candy shell that we want, but with a creamy ice cream inside! You can get the Klondike Kandy Line in four flavors which include Caramel & Peanuts, Fudge Krunch, Cookies & Cream and Mint Fudge Cookie. For those who want a bar that is like those classic candy bars we seek out over Halloween, we can get the Klondike Bars and can find them in 2 candy flavors which include the Reese’s and Heath giving us a new take on the typical candy treat. Then when it comes to shaking it up at our Halloween party, we can just pick our favorite Klondike Bar and blend with ice and milk to craft a fun frozen beverage.

Making the Klondike Kandy Bars and Klondike Bars a great selection of ice cream goodies to add to any Halloween celebrations this year! So as you head out to put together some of those last minute party treats, be sure to pick up some of the Klondike varieties!




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

Treat Your Puppies This Halloween With Treats From Big Heart Pet Brands

As we fill those candy bowls, ensure our porch lights are working, and dress the family up for the big night of Halloween, I find that I like to not only have plenty of treats on hand for the kids who come by, but also treats for the four legged trick or treaters as well. So when we were sent a selection of treats from the Big Heart Pet Brands line to add to our line up of Halloween treats, we were excited to add them to the mix!

With the various dog treats from Big Heart Pet Brands, I can be sure to have the right treats ready that are sure to please the pups that come by this year. I like that with the Milk Bones, we can give the dogs that come by a treat that they can enjoy when they get back home. With the Canine Carry Outs, the pups are sure to get a meaty treat. The Milo's Kitchen Grilled Burger Bites are ones that my own dogs prefer, giving them a grilled burger taste and treat that they adore. Then with the Pup-Peroni sticks, my dogs can share a fun treat with their four legged friends that they also find as one of their favorite treats to be had.

Making it so when it comes to eating the treats after the kids get done with their night of trick or treating the four legged trick or treaters can enjoy a treat as well, helping to make sure that their Halloween is a happy one as well! So this year, as you go out to stock up on the treats for the trick or treaters, be sure to stock up on the treats for the four legged trick or treaters as well from the Big Heart Pet Brands line!

For a chance to see your dog's Halloween photo in the Milk-Bone Halloween website and social channels, tag it on FB, Instagram or Twitter with #TreatsForAll.

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

My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games



In my house when it comes to the shows my kids enjoy watching, my daughter finds the various My Little Pony and My Little Pony Equestria Girls shows to be a favorite of hers and her friends. So when we were sent the DVD, My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games, to review they were very excited to watch and share it on our family movie night!



The Equestria Girls are back and in this DVD, Canterlot High meets its rival school, Crystal Prep Academy. They are in a competition which is called The Friendship Games, a series of games that the two schools have competed in, in the past. This series of exciting games includes archery, motocross, and rollerskating! You find that Sunset Shimmer is tasked with keeping magic out of the games to keep things fair while she and her friends compete against Crystal Prep’s top students led by someone with an equal amount of interest in Equestrian magic – this world’s Twilight Sparkle. Find out what happens and who wins the games when you bring your copy home today!

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

Regular Show The Movie on DVD


It's here, the movie many have been waiting for, and right now you can head out and purchase your copy on DVD! The movie I am speaking of is Regular Show The Movie, which is one that my kids have been waiting to see and share with the family on family movie night. Recently we were sent a copy to review, and with that we not only got the movie but the special features as well.

In this movie, you find Mordecai who accidentally creates a timenado, and in order to save the universe and his friendship, he must go back in time and battle a volleyball coach. This all comes to play when a spaceship crashes in front of them at the park and a the guy in the ship warns them of the timenado and that it can destroy the universe.



With this DVD you not only get the full length movie but the special features when include more than one hour of exclusive bonus materials original storyboard pitches, animatics, art galleries, movie trailer and commentary! Making the Regular Show The Movie a great movie to bring home and share with your kids today!




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

Showing My Support through the Marie Callender's Comforts from Home Project


As we look outside, we are noticing a change in the leaves, the weather getting cooler, and those smells that remind us of the approaching holidays filling the air. In my house, we enjoy the fall for many reasons. We enjoy spending those evening walks with the family, going to the park, watching our eldest son at football practice and wearing those hoodies with the team logo to show our support. Then we head home where dinner will be ready soon, and where we can all gather around the fireplace with the fresh smell of wood burning as we warm up and prepare for bed.


The thing is, like so many, we lose sight of the fact that we do those things not thinking of the sacrifices our military make everyday. Like head out for a walk without worries, watch our kids play sports and support their teams. Taking for granted that we are free to then head home and warm up with our families, knowing that there are brave men and women, who also have families, who are defending our freedoms so we can be with, and enjoy our own families. So when I think of the holiday season that is approaching, I like knowing that I can show my appreciation and support to those service men and women who are sacrificing their own time with their families, by supporting the Marie Callender's Comforts from Home Project.

The Marie Callender's Comforts from Home Project is a program that is dedicated to helping those men and women who are serving and brings some of those comforts of home to those who are overseas. Along with the Comforts from Home Project, Marie Callender's is teaming up with the USO to support USO Operation Celebration™, which is a program that helps to share a bit of home with our troops and helps them celebrate the holidays year round.

To help show your support you can help in a couple of ways. One way is to head to your local store and pick up any of the specially-marked packages of Marie Callender's meals or desserts. Once you get home, enter the code that is on the back of the package on the Marie Callender's Comforts from Home Project page, and Marie Callender's will make a donation to the USO to support USO Operation Celebration™.

You can also join in and show your support with the chance of seeing your photos on television by submitting your photos on social media, in support of the USO, using #comfortsfromhome. When it comes to choosing the right photo, find one that you feel is a good way of explaining what home means to you. For each photo that is submitted, Scripps Network will donate $1 to the USO (up to $10K) Then you can watch the following shows to see if your photos get featured! The shows and air times where photos might be seen include: Kitchen Crashers on DIYNetwork & HGTV – Airing 11/9 and 11/14, Hello/Goodbye on Travel Channel – Airing 11/9, Guy's Grocery Games on Food Network & Cooking Channel -- Airing 12/15 and 12/19!

To learn more about how you can help, show your support with Marie Callender's and helpbring some of those comforts from home to our U.S. service men and women serving stateside and overseas, visit ComfortsfromHome.com!


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Marie Callender's. The opinions and text are all mine.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

#Giveaway Wake Up With Amy's Blend From Caribou Coffee (Prize Pack)

In my house, coffee is not just another drink, it is how we start our days, and for me and my husband, we enjoy finding and trying various blends. Aside from the fact that coffee is a necessity in my life, I also find that supporting a cause such as CancerCare®, is something we enjoy doing, especially when it comes to being able to support the cause by buying the products we already use. So when we were sent some of the Amy's Blend products from Caribou Coffee, we were not only excited to try the blends, but also share the support that is behind this line of products from Caribou Coffee!

With the Amy's Blend of products, you can find the coffees that come in two roasts that include the Amy's Blend Original Roast and the Amy's Blend Dark Roast. Along with the coffees you can also find various products that are part of the Amy's Blend line up, and with each of the products that you purchase from the Amy's Blend line, the people from Caribou Coffee will donate 10% of the proceeds to CancerCare®!

CancerCare® is a nonprofit organization that is committed to helping those with cancer through support, education and financial assistance. And you can find the products that will go to supporting CancerCare® from Amy's Blend through the month of October at Caribou Coffee!

Also, along with the products you can find from Amy's Blend at Caribou Coffee this month, you can enter to win the Ultimate Coffee Break! With this contest caregivers from across the country can enter to win a $1,000 grant to cover anything from travel expenses to a day of pampering in recognition of their ongoing efforts. To enter, caregivers can share their caring tip on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtags #20WaystoCare & #contest and tagging @CaribouCoffee. There will be 20 participants who will be randomly selected throughout October to win the Ultimate Coffee Break!

And to help with giving you a coffee break at home, the wonderful people from Caribou Coffee would like to give one of my amazing readers their own Amy's Blend prize pack which will include the same products I reviewed along with a $10 Caribou Coffee gift card!!





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

Feed Little Minds with the Toys from LeapFrog

It is hard to believe it, but the holiday season is just around the corner, and for me that means it is time to seek out and find those must have toys for the kids. When it comes to finding gifts for the kids in my house, we have various ages in the home. Due to the ages I like to find brands that have the products for the various ages, and one brand that we adore is LeapFrog. So when we were sent a selection of products to review from the LeapFrog line up from the LeapFrog Mom Squad we were excited to check out the selection!
To get started, my toddler found two toys that were calling his name! He found the Number Lovin' Oven to be perfect for not only cooking up some dishes but also perfect for learning fun he can have with counting, sharing and more! When he goes to press the chef hat, he can sing along to the songs and also listen to the fun phrases. And with the over 30 phrases and songs, he can enjoy hours of fun. Aside from the what his oven says and sings about, he also gets 16 ingredients to work with, allowing him to cook up a variety of dishes to share with me and his older siblings. From a moms perspective I can appreciate that this toy teaches counting and number recognition. My little ones can also build those math skills by learning the number settings, and dividing up the dishes.

With the Scout's Build and Discover Tool Set, my toddler can work alongside his dad on some fun handy man projects. He can build and take apart Scout's Doghouse, where he can use measure and piece together the parts using the 5 tools that are included. This toy gives him play that includes color matching and counting, helping to bring together fun and learning!


Then with the LeapFrog Epic, I can give my 7 year old a tablet that is made with him in mind. This tablet is perfect for giving kids age 3-9, allowing them to explore apps and games that are perfect for allowing them to explore and learn! The homescreen itself is a one of kind, allowing the kids create and interact in the world they can create on the playable homescreen, When they go to access the exclusive content they can get, they can go on and play the games and apps as well as read the eBooks that are at their fingertips! With the games, they adjust as your kids play, since it remembers the progress they achieve in each game they interact with.

I like that aside from the preloaded content, we can also go on and purchase more learning apps like the Fruit Ninja Academy: Math Master and more. I also can appreciate that when it comes to the apps we put on the LeapFrog Epic, they are all LeapFrog certified and do not allow any in app purchases.

When it comes to the safety features and parental controls, I like that there is only pre-selected kid safe browsing, and we can add sites if we want to the LeapSearch Browser, as well as unlock or lock any restricted content. We can also manage time on when and how long our kids play, giving parental controls for up to 3 profiles! Along with the one of a kind features that you find with the LeapFrog Epic, you also get the Android 4.4, a quad core processor, a 7" screen and more! Making the LeapFrog Epic along with the other toys we were sent, perfect toys for adding to your holiday shopping lists this year!


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

#Giveaway Fall in Love with Pediped this Season


The Fall season is here, and in the Pacific Northwest, we not only have the cold weather but we also have the rainy season. With that we have found that having the proper footwear is a must, and like many other kids in the area, my kids have found that boots are a necessity to have when we go out. So when we were sent a pair of the girls pediped Flex Naomi boots to review, we were excited to add them to our Fall wardrobe!

These boots are not only incredibly stylish when it comes to the look you get, but with the rubber soles you get flexible rubber soles that are great for wearing in any weather! With the design, there are zippers on the inside of the boots, which help with making it simple to pull on and take off the boots! And with the breathable leather and fabric lining, it can help to allow air to flow in and keep little feet comfortable while they are on.

Then when it comes Flex Fit System, you get shoes that come with inserts that provide a comfortable fit, and can be changed out as your child grows, allowing the boots to grow with your child! In all, making the Flex Naomi Boots from Pediped, boos that are sure to make you fall in love this season! And to help with preparing your kids for fall, the wonderful people from Pediped would like to give one of my amazing readers their own pair of Pediped shoes!





Product received, thank you to Pediped as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review. All opinions are my own.
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Show Your Support with the Lands' End Pink Thread Project

The month of October is a month to remember and raise awareness. We are reminded of those yearly exams and the importance of them, we are reminded of those we know who have fought, are still fighting, or even those who have lost the battle against breast cancer. And when it comes to raising awareness, we find that the month of October can be a month that gives us the time to dedicate time and raise money to help raise awareness for others as well. So for me when it comes to showing my support, I like to turn to the companies I adore, that help by donating money to breast cancer research when I shop for the products I can wear that help to keep that awareness going, and one such company is Lands' End.

Right now when I go to shop at Lands' End and shop the products that I can have monogrammed through the Pink Thread Project. I like that 75% of every pink thread monogram or embroidery I purchase, the proceeds will go to help funding the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. With the products that you can choose from for this initiative, you can find a great selection of those must have stylish products you already adore. Then once you find that item you want to have monogrammed, you then choose the monogram style and thread color, then place your order!



In all, you find that by shopping the Lands' End products and choosing to support the Pink Thread Project, you not only find some stylish products, but you are also helping to support those whose lives have been touched by breast cancer, and help to stand by their sides in finding a cure!



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.

Why Pizza and Family go Together like Pepperoni and Mushroom



A family ritual—no matter how stressful or busy the day may have been—has a unique way to put a smile on our face.

When the kids come home and the sun fades away and everyone’s tummy begins to rumble, what’s more fun than picking up the phone to call for a pizza delivery? This great American family tradition has been a part us since the early 60s, and is still going strong today. Although the birth of the 21-century has changed the pizza delivery industry just a tad though innovations like Paypal pizza, the nostalgia of family love, cheesy, tomato and crusty goodness remains the same.

Whether you flip on the tube, crack open a bottle of wine, plug in the music or get in your pajamas, what doesn’t change is that this (on the surface) minimal family routine has a big impact on us.

May be yours is on Friday or Football Sunday, may be it’s the Fourth of July or every Tuesday—whenever it is—a family never forgets when to anticipate that knock on the door of the deliveryman.

The significance of a family tradition

It isn’t costly or complicated, it requires virtually no planning and never fails to disappoint—pizza is just one of the few thing the whole family can agree on and always look forward to. But why is it important? Why do flour, water, salt, a little sugar and a splash of soy oil with some cheese and corn syrup have such a profound influence within our family’s livelihood?

Well for one thing, kids certainly love the taste. But kids also love the comfort and happiness that comes with a family tradition. Not to mention, kids also thrive on consistency and harmony, and a routine pizza-day only adds to their cheesy adornment of family bond.

However, what you may have not considered is that a family tradition is one the first memories a kid can have. Childhood memories are profound and emotionally charged. If you go back into your childhood, there is strong possibility that family and pizza is somewhere computed in your personal database of memories.

So, who says you need to spend all day in the kitchen cooking up an expensive storm of culinary craftsmanship? A simple ask of the question “who’s hungry for pizza,” is enough to send the whole family into a pepperoni and pineapple bliss that they’ll never soon forget.  

How to plan your family’s pizza tradition

  •     Make it a regular event: It will make simple a more memorable experience.
  •     Make it an electronic free zone: If there is one thing you probably don’t remember as a child it’s using an Ipad or Smartphone. Tell you kids (and yourself) to leave the electronics behind and focus on being together.
  •     Combine it with something: May be it’s a scary movie or slapstick comedy. May be it’s followed by a game of charades or hide and go seek. Whatever it is, you can make it more memorable than just the having the pie.
  •     Include everyone: If one your kid’s or other family members is busy or is not going to be able to attend, postpone it. A family tradition should be as such.



Why We Should All Take Inspiration from Leading Philanthropists

Many people see leading philanthropists such as Bill and Melinda Gates, Bob Geldof, and Aubrey Chernick as people who have earned enough money to be able to give some to charity without missing it and still being able to enjoy a privileged life. And whilst this may be true, there are a lot of valuable lessons that we can take from these leaders in philanthropy, regardless of how much money we have available to commit to giving. If the subject of philanthropic leaders is not one that you have given much consideration to in the past, we’ve put together a list of great lessons that you can learn from these people.

Generosity

One thing that each of these people have in common with each other is generosity. Although they may work in widely different industries or have earned their fortunes in a number of different ways, each of the leading figures in philanthropy understands how much more useful their money is when it is given to a good cause rather than staying in their pocket. Although many may argue that these people are billionaires – so what is a million given to charity when there are hundreds more millions in the bank - the principle is the same. Next time you are out and see a charity donation box, ask yourself are your two or three cents going to do more good in that box or in your wallet?

Commitment

Another quality that each of the leading philanthropists have in common is that they are all committed to their charity work. So much so that many have even pledged to give at least half of their fortune to charity by becoming part of the Giving Pledge, set up in 2010 by Bill and Melinda Gates. Amongst the pledgers is Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wifePriscilla Chan. Again, even if your income is significantly lower than that of these philanthropists, you can still commit to helping a good cause. Whether you commit to donating a few dollars a month to your favorite charity or even commit your time by helping out at a homeless shelter for a few hours each week, committing to helping those in need is another valuable example to follow.

Putting Others First

Many of these philanthropists put the needs of others first before their own. When Bill Gates retired from his position as CEO of Microsoft in 2000, rather than retire and enjoy his fortune, he vowed to dedicate the rest of his life to philanthropy and raising money for good causes. So far, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is worth billions of dollars, and has helped to fund a number of high-profile cases such as research for the eradication of malaria. Putting others first and being unselfish is a valuable lesson that can be applied to a number of different circumstances. Many people still see charity and those in need as being a nuisance – for example those who walk past the homeless on the street.
What have you learned from the leading philanthropists?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

#Giveaway The Flavor of the Season with R.W. Knudsen Cider & Spice


The Fall is upon us and with that we find that it is time to pull out the hoodies and relax by a warm fire in the evenings while sipping on some hot cider! Hot apple cider is pretty much a staple in our home, from the time it starts to get cold out through the end of the winter. So when we were introduced to the Cider & Spice from R.W. Knudsen, we were excited to try it out and make it our cider for the season!

When it comes to hot apple cider, we enjoy making enough on the stove top, for everyone to get a cup of when we sit down at the end of the day. I also find that adding a fresh cinnamon stick to the cup gives it that same seasonal feeling I got as a child when my own mom would serve hot apple cider!


We not only found that adding the Cider & Spice from the R.W. Knudsen line of juices was exactly what we needed for the season, but we also love the fresh flavor we get with each sip. As a parent, I can appreciate that the juice that is used to make this cider is 100% juice that comes from ripe whole apples. Then when it comes to the other flavors that you get in each jar of juice you find the same spices that mom might have added to her apple cider each year, giving my family those same flavors I can remember, and also making the Cider & Spice a new family tradition!

So this season, if you are looking for a apple cider that has a fresh cider taste with those same spices you might have remembered from your childhood, be sure to check out the Cider & Spice from R.W. Knudsen! And to help with bringing the flavors of fall into your home this season, the wonderful people from R.W. Knudsen would like to give 2 of my readers 2 of their own jars of the Cider & Spice!





Product received, thank you to R.W. Knudsen as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review. This post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

Help Save Lives with Samahope

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for the Cigna Foundation, in partnership with Samahope. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.


When we find out that we are expecting, as moms to be, we begin setting up our prenatal appointments and also begin creating a birthing plan. We eat healthier, take the vitamins our doctors recommend, and take care of ourselves by staying on top of our health while we are pregnant. For me, I also liked to see the birthing rooms by going on a tour of where I would be delivering, knowing that the delivery would be done in a controlled and sterile environment, but also wanting to see the beds and meet the staff as well. This might seem to be a given for most of us, but in places where the healthcare, prenatal care, and childbirth resources are limited or non existent, the prenatal health and childbirth can be hazardous for both babies and moms.

The reality of it is that in places around the world, the resources are not there. So when it comes to the question on how I can make a difference so other women have the same chance at a safe pregnancy and delivery, I like knowing that I can help by supporting Samahope through the Cigna Foundation.


With Samahope, they help to make it possible to allow anyone, anywhere to directly fund doctors when it comes to the much needed life saving and life changing medical treatments for women and children who are in need. And with the support of the Cigna Foundation, they aim to help those in need get the help they need regardless of ethnicity, race, gender, age, geography or economics. The aim for this year’s Cigna Foundation World of Difference grant to Samahope is to help by going in to train the nurses as well as get the doctors the money they need for supplies, in India, so together they can provide treatment and surgery for people in need.


This year, with their campaign, they have a goal to save 10,000 lives, by helping the lives of 5,000 babies and 5,000 moms in need! They aim to do this by providing the moms in need with birth kits, so they too can have a chance at having safe deliveries when it comes to bringing their precious babies into this world!

So now that you know what Samahope can do, and what the goal is for this year alone, the question would be, how can you help. The answer is simple, because with just a $5 donation, Samahope can fund a birth kit that will have sterile tools to give to a Skilled Birth Attendant, allowing them to help protect both the mother and baby from any life threatening complications that can occur during childbirth. In all, making the partnership with the Cigna Foundation and Samahope, one that will save the lives of so many! To donate, go here.









Sheriff Callie's Wild West on DVD


In my house, Disney Junior is a channel that we adore, and on the channel there are several shows that we enjoy watching. One show that my kids enjoy is Sheriff Callie! So when we were sent the DVD, Sheriff Callie's Wild West to review, we found that it would make for a great addition to our family movie night!

This DVD is packed with 5 great episodes that have those friendly characters that include Callie, her deputy woodpecker Peck and their sidekick cactus friend, Toby! The group go about their business, ensuring that everyone in town follows the rules and sticks to the Cowpoke Code.

Along with the DVD that is filled with fun episodes, my kids also found the fun pop-up play set to be a great surprise. Making Sheriff Callie's Wild West on DVD a great DVD to bring home and share with your kids! You can bring your copy home today when you head out and purchase your copy!



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

Monday, October 26, 2015

Holiday Gifts from Origami Owl Custom Jewelry

When it comes to the holidays, we like to find gifts that will make a statement and leave an impression. For me, when I think of those gifts that are sure to leave an impression, I think of gifts that can have a personal touch to them. And one company that I have adored over the years that not only allows me to find beautiful pieces for myself, but also pieces I can put together when it comes to gifts is Origami Owl.

With Origami Owl Custom Jewelry, I like that I can create pieces that have meaning and that can tell a story by hosting a party with friends and family or by going online and finding the pieces I am looking for. The pieces are put together by choosing one of the base pieces like a living locket. Once the locket is picked out I can then choose a plate to go with it or leave it clear.


Then once I have picked out my base piece, I can begin telling a story, by choosing the charms that will bring that story together. For the one I chose for this review, I chose to go with a theme for my daughter, starting with a E for Estrella. Then going from there by adding charms that appeal to her likes and passions. Making the story I chose to go with a story about my daughter!

So this holiday season if you are looking for a gift that is eye catching, one that is personal, and one that can tell a story, then check out the gifts you can create at Origami Owl Custom Jewelry!


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

Dinner is Served with Blake's


Dinner time is a time where families gather around the table to eat their meals and discuss their days with one another. The thing is, in a home where there are busy schedules, we might not find the time to prepare and cook a wholesome home cooked meal. So as a mom who has a busy schedule and a house filled with others who also have busy schedules, I like to be able to turn to companies like Blake's when it comes to finding those meals that are fast, easy, and tasty to my family!

With the Blake's All Natural frozen meals, I can find a variety of frozen dinners to heat up and serve to my family on those busy nights! I like knowing that the varieties will not only fill everyone up with the dish they choose, but I am giving my family dishes that are made with all natural ingredients! Making the Blake's All Natural Frozen Meals a great selection of frozen dinners to have on hand to serve the family on those busy nights!


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

Breast Cancer and Open Enrollment: Know Your Options




When we think of Breast Cancer, many think of awareness and raising money to help fund the research, but with so many others the words are more than that. They are life changing, they are words that no person, man or woman, wants to hear their doctor say, and with those 2 words, life as many once knew it can change in an instant. In my family, the words Breast Cancer are ones that still cause a lot of pain and heartache, because with those words, with that diagnosis, we lost my mother in law.


A few years have passed since she left us, but in the years prior to her leaving us, the words breast cancer were words that many in our family tried to look past, and were words that many had a hard time wrapping their heads around. See my mother in law was a woman who touched the lives of so many. She and my father in law had 3 kids of their own, then adopted my husband, 3 of his younger biological siblings, along with 2 other boys who were brothers. Bringing their family of 5 to a family of 11, and opening their hearts to not only the kids they adopted and made their own, but to so many others they fostered and helped over the years. So when the words, "Breast Cancer" were said, many who saw my mother in law as a mighty super woman with powers to heal and touch the lives of so many, found themselves at a loss for words, and having to really grasp the situation.

We found that when it comes to breast cancer, there is a lot to take in. The person who is affected not only finds that they will have to undergo treatments and really have to fight to continue, but they also find that they need support when it comes to emotions and finding that inner strength they need so they can continue the fight. And with October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, I find that I not only support calls to action and fundraisers, but I also like to share those along with the information to help others when it comes to breast cancer.


See breast cancer does not pick and choose, in fact it can affect anyone, women and men, and when it comes to the age, well that is also something that is not a given either. Shortly after my mother in law had lost her battle, my sister who was in her early 20's found mini tumors in her breasts that were immediately removed. Leaving myself and my family more aware of the facts and realities when it comes to breast cancer, like that 1 in 8 women in the US will get breast cancer at some point in their lives. And we also became very aware that when it comes to Breast Cancer, getting those yearly screenings and performing regular self exams are key, because early detection can make a difference.

And along with the information we received and learned with our own family being touched, we also found that having cancer policies like Aflac's Cancer Policy, can help to take financial issues off of the table when it comes to all that patients along with their families have to deal with. The fact is, when it comes to the costs of out of pocket fees that employer-sponsored health insurance does not cover, the average out of pocket costs is $6,553. So knowing that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and that we also have Fall Open Enrollment, I find that these can help to remind us when we go to select various policies. And when we choose Aflac Cancer Insurance, we can get Aflac’s cash benefits which are there to help policyholders pay the out-of-pocket costs associated with costly cancer treatments. Also, these expenses can range from childcare, transportation, groceries and more, making the focus put on the road to recovery and not on how things will get paid. Making Aflac Cancer Insurance something that everyone should consider during this Fall's Open Enrollment.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

#Giveaway Add My Friend Teddy to Your Holiday Celebrations


Being a parent we find that there is so much out there, especially when we start looking at the gifts for the holidays. And believe it or not, the holidays are coming and will be here before we know it. So for me as a parent, I like to research the products that are out there, those must have items, and find the gifts that are sure to be a hit with my family. To get us started when it comes to the toddler in our home, we were sent the My Friend Teddy to review.

Now like in many homes with kids, we see those commercials that come on and the kids let you know that they have to have whatever it is they see on TV. Well with my toddler, he thinks he needs everything he sees both on TV and in the stores, so as the mom of a toddler I find myself checking out the products that I see as something that he will not only enjoy, but also give him a interaction that can prove to be beneficial in his learning development. And when our My Friend Teddy arrived, I found that this a toy that not only interacts with my toddler, but also offers some learning fun with the interaction!

In fact, when it comes to the interaction that we can get with the My Friend Teddy, I find that this toy takes that interaction above and beyond the expectations I had when I was first told about this toy. My Friend Teddy interacts and can remember things you tell him so he can become a great friend to play with when it comes to your toddler or preschooler!



My Friend Teddy is great for enhancing both motor skills and language, and when you add the app to the mix, he can be brought to bed for cuddles and story time! He can also engage your child in counting games, and as your child learns more, My Friend Teddy can increase the challenge levels, making him a fun toy that is also a great friend to have!

We have found the My Friend Teddy to be not only a great toy to have for our toddler, but also a great gift that will be perfect for giving to the toddler or preschooler in your life this holiday season! And to help with finding that perfect gift to give your toddler or preschooler, the wonderful people from Genesis Toys would like to give one of my amazing readers their own My Friend Teddy.






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

Ladies Black Cocktail Dresses

Hi new season, we are very prepared to attempt new things on. Layer that easygoing dress with a sew and you're prepared for the following season. For a more glitz event, attempt a ladies black cocktail dress. Whether you keep it short or long, layer up with cardigans for chillier nights. Looking great, women.

The key part to each style expert's closet. Dresses are a definitive go-to piece, whether it's for a day at the workplace in a chic dress, a glitz bodycon dress to hit the move floor, or an agreeable pullover dress for that Sunday chill variable. Find our broad scope of ladies black cocktail dresses and locate the ideal style to suit any event.

Ladies black cocktail dresses are a definitive in extravagance clothing. From ball outfits to occasion gowns, every year flourishes with chances to venture out in another dress intended for semi-formal or formal issues.


Ladies black cocktail dresses for specific events, for example, dark tie occasions, sit in the middle of tea and ballet performer length. Gowns in black cocktailknee-length stitches are a chic and coy decision. A gathering of choices gives a woman a feeling of elegant prosperity.

Be the princess in the occasion in a stunning fantastic black cocktail dress.  A genuine encapsulation of style, your dress can affect, whether you choose a vintage roused trim dress or an a great deal more extravagant silk dress with globules or metal embellishments.

A sexy chiffon black cocktail dress is a perfect decision for a party. Try our best quality dresses today.
  

Make The Go a Bit Easier with Charmin Ultra Strong


In my house, we have a large family, and with that there is a lot of "the go" when it comes to the bathroom. We have times where we might get back from a game, and everyone will make a bee line for the bathroom, leaving a line of us waiting as patiently as we can for our turn, and also making the go something that has to be done quickly so the next person can go as well. So with that in mind, as a mom I want to ensure that when my family has to go, especially when we all get home and have to go at the same time, we have toilet tissue that is strong, yet soft on our bottoms. And recently we were introduced to such a toilet tissue when we were sent some Charmin Ultra Strong!

With the Charmin Ultra Strong, my toddler pointed out that it does not tear when he wipes his tush, and after wiping his bottom gets clean and does not feel sore from any wiping after like he might get with a regular bathroom tissue. This feeling is mutual for our 7 year old as well, who says that when he gets home from a game, he usually has to go bad, and tries to hurry and clean his tush quickly so others can use the restroom as well. He finds that his bottom gets clean, and when he uses the Charmin Ultra Strong, he not only feels clean after going, but his underpants are clean as well, giving him a bit more confidence.

For me, I like the washcloth like texture, which has proven to help give my family a better clean on our undersides. I also like that when it comes to comparing the Charmin Ultra Strong to other bathroom tissues, there is no comparison as my kids have pointed out. The tissue is softer to the touch and feel when used to clean bottoms, it is stronger and does not fall apart when they use it, and I like those features along with the fact that my kids are not using as much tissue as they might use with other brands. Making the Charmin Ultra Strong not only a good choice when it comes to cleaning bottoms after we go to the bathroom, but also a great tissue when it comes to saving money since we are not going through it like we have done with other toilet tissue brands in the past!





This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Charmin, I was sent product to facilitate this review as well. Thank you to the PR and Charmin for sponsoring this post.