Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Save Now with Kellogg's® Eggo® Star Wars Galaxy Adventure™ Buttermilk Pancakes ibotta Offer!

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

A galaxy far, far away is now at your breakfast table with Kellogg's® Eggo® Star Wars Galaxy Adventure Buttermilk Pancakes, featuring six different Star Wars designs! While supplies last, enjoy extra savings into the new year by earning $0.50 cash back on Ibotta with the purchase of ONE (1) Eggo® product (select varieties only) at Walmart!

What a fun way to enjoy your extra time with the family during the winter break with Eggo®! Bring these home for a fun breakfast or snack before heading out to watch the new movie! Follow #EggoStarWarsPancakes to find more recipe inspiration and try these toasted for a delicious treat!


Saturday, December 23, 2017

Holiday Guide: Last Minute Stocking Stuffer Ideas

As the hours begin to count down, I find that like many I am in search of some of those last minute ideas for both the stockings and for giving to the holiday hostess's this year. With that I find that when it comes to the stockings for the adults on my list along with the hostess to give a gift to, that I like to seek out the drinks that everyone can enjoy. So when we were sent a selection of the 7 oz Brooklyn Crafted Ginger Beer varieties and a bottle of the Santa Margherita Pinto Grigio, we found them to be a perfect selection of last minute gift ideas to add to your holiday line up!

With both of these selections we get drinks that those who enjoy a tasty beer or a good bottle of wine are sure to enjoy seeing in those stockings this year.

For the Drink Enthusiasts:
  • Cased in 7 fluid ounce bottles, Brooklyn Crafted's small but mighty ginger beers are the perfect size for Christmas stockings and great for enjoying on their own or incorporating into cocktails this holiday season. Made with 100% fresh ginger pieces you can actually SEE in each bottle, the craft ginger beers are available in four trendy flavors.

  • Santa Margherita's Pinot Grigio, which comes in a 375ml bottle, is the perfect stocking stuffer for wine lovers! It's cute and conveniently portable—making it easy to take almost anywhere. Get creative and include the mid-sized Pinot Grigio in a chef-themed, wine & charcuterie, or movie-night stocking.​
Making the choice to head out and pick up the Brooklyn Crafted Ginger Beer in the 7 oz bottles along with the Santa Margherita's Pinot Grigio, one that is sure to please those you gift them to and also sure to help complete that holiday shopping this season!

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

Graco 4Ever® 4-in-1 Car Seat featuring TrueShield Technology

When it comes to the holidays and finding those gifts to get everyone on our lists, we find that some might be a little harder to shop for than others. For instance, when we look at those gifts to get baby for their first or even second Christmas, depending on the babies age, I have learned that gifting the gear items that parents can use for baby can be exactly what they want. This includes those items such as the baby carriers, strollers and the car seats, that parents can use and that can be very appreciated, especially when you have little ones who are growing and ready to upgrade to the next stage when it comes to certain gear items. So when we were sent the 4Ever® 4-in-1 Car Seat featuring TrueShield Technology from Graco to review, I knew that Heather would find it to be the perfect gift for giving to Zoey who is ready to upgrade from a infant car seat to one that will grow with her, as she celebrates her first Christmas with her family this year!

If you are like me and looking for the next stage car seat after the infant seat, the 4Ever 4 in 1 car seat with TrueShield Technology is the way to go. This seat is one that grows with your baby, and is made to fit little ones from 4-120 pounds!! I know Zoey will be comfortable and safe when we are out and about around town or on longer trips to visit family and friends this holiday season. With the TrueShield Technology, I know that Zoey will be protected from head to hip in the event of a side impact. This seat has a ton of features, adjustments, padding, and it is super easy to adjust to your babies needs and gives us 4 stages that we can adjust to as needed as Zoey gets older:

Rear-facing infant car seat (4–40 lb)
Forward-facing 5-point harness seat (22–65 lb)
Highback belt-positioning booster (40–100 lb)
Backless belt-positioning booster (40–120 lb)

For me, I really like that this seat will last you 10 years! Which gives us a car seat that will be the last seat Zoey will need until she can sit in the the seat without a car seat. I was surprised at how easy this is to put in the car and level it, and I like that you can easily adjust the positions with one hand. Some additional features are:

  • TrueShield Advanced Side-Impact Protection from head to hips
  • 4-in-1 seat grows with your child, so you can enjoy 10 years of use, from 4 - 120 lb
  • 6-position recline adjust to fit and keep your growing child; it's comfy for them and convenient for you
  • Simply Safe Adjust™ Harness System headrest and Harness adjust together
  • One-hand, 10-position adjustable headrest easily adapts for your growing child
  • Washable seat cover is easy to remove without removing the harness
  • InRight™ LATCH system for an easy, one-second LATCH attachment
  • Steel-reinforced frame provides strength and durability
  • Integrated harness storage compartment holds unused harness straps while in the belt positioning booster mode
  • 2 integrated cupholders keeps your child's drinks or snacks close at hand
  • Plush inserts keep your child comfortable
  • Easy-to-read level indicator helps eliminate rear-facing installation guesswork
  • Be sure to check your local and state laws, as well as AAP and NHTSA recommendations, for car seat usage.
  • Engineered & crash tested to meet or exceed US standard FMVSS 213
So if you have family or friends expecting a baby or are close to the toddler stage, the 4Ever® 4-in-1 Car Seat featuring TrueShield Technology from Graco would make an excellent Christmas gift! Trust me, they will thank you for the next 10 years!

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

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Top 5 Reasons Leading to Dangerous Distracted Driving

For most of us, our everyday life includes driving—so much so, that it becomes almost mundane. In fact, many who commute to and from work every day will admit that there are times they arrive at work or home with virtually no memory of the actual drive. Driving on congested roadways is an inherently dangerous task, and those dangers are not only on the outside, from the other drivers, but also exist in the interior of the vehicle. Distracted driving has quickly moved up the list as a factor in auto accidents, and, some believe is the number one cause of collisions.

Conservative estimates are that at least one-fourth of all car collisions are the result of distractions, although this number is likely much higher—after all, how many people involved in an accident want to admit their distraction caused a serious accident? Distractions inside the vehicle significantly impact the ability of the driver to keep his or her attention and focus on the road, and drive safely—so much so, that AAA studied the situation, looking at a number of potentially hazardous distractions which divert the attention of drivers.

In this particular study, participants were asked to perform tasks while not driving, while driving in a simulator, and while driving a car in a real-world situation.  Brake reaction times, following distances, brainwave activities and eye and head movements were used to measure the levels of distraction for the drivers. The drivers were first asked to listen to the radio, however the volume and station had to be set prior to the driver actually driving. The study found that listening to the radio—if you are not fiddling with dials—is not a significant distraction, although listening to an audiobook was found to be more distracting than listening to music only.

Top Five Causes of Dangerous Distracted Driving
Driver distraction increased when the test participants talked to passengers in the vehicle. Even though the drivers were not allowed to turn their heads to look at the passenger they were listening to and speaking to, the distraction levels were about halfway between “not that distracting,” and “severely distracting.” The top five distractions for drivers turned out to be:

1.      Talking on a cell phone is moderately distracting for drivers, whether the cell phone is hand-held, or hands-free. Although the use of handheld cellphones has been banned in many states, a significant number of studies have found that hands-free cellphone conversations do not significantly lessen the distractions. Hand-free does not prevent cognitive distraction, and, according to some, cognitive distraction is the most dangerous (visual and manual distraction are the other two types of distractions). Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of AAA, stated that “Increased mental workload and cognitive distractions can lead to a type of tunnel vision or inattention blindness where motorists don’t see potential hazards right in front of them.” Texting is even more dangerous than talking on your cell phone, as it combines all three types of distractions—cognitive, manual and visual. Texting is a particular problem for teens, who already have extremely high crash rates due to inexperience.
2.      Another primary cause of distracted driving is being “lost in thought.” Far too many of us drive while thinking about what we will cook for dinner, what happened at work, what the children are doing—in other words, our minds are on everything except the task at hand, which is driving. Some research concludes that being lost in thought is probably the number one cause of distracted driving accidents, even ahead of cell phone use, but in truth, being lost in thought, probably accompanies other distractions much of the time. If your mind often wanders while you are driving, make a concerted effort to concentrate on your driving and the other drivers around you.
3.      Outside persons, objects or events account for at least 7 percent of all distracted driving crashes. Sometimes known as the “looky-loo” syndrome, many of us will gawk at accidents or people in other cars instead of focusing on the road in front of us and drivers around us. Many drivers are also guilty of reading advertisement signs instead of paying attention to their driving.
4.      Having another person in your vehicle accounts for at least 5 percent of all distracted driving accidents, particularly if those “people” are children. In an Australian study, researchers found that having children in the vehicle is a staggering 12 times more distracting to the driver than talking on a cell phone. Further, the average parent takes his or her eyes off the road for three minutes and 22 seconds during a short, 16-minute trip. Parents find themselves breaking up fights between squabbling siblings, calming a fussy baby, picking up dropped toys, bottles and juice cups, and watching the children in the rear-view mirror for long periods of time.
5.      Eating and drinking is considered to be the fifth most dangerous reason for distracted driving accidents. Many of us use our vehicle as a restaurant, as we are constantly on the go, and do not want to take the time to stop and eat. We drink our coffee on the way to work, and eat our lunch with one hand as we fly down the freeway at 70 mph.

Other typical causes of distracted driving include adjusting audio or climate controls, using devices and controls to operate the vehicle, moving objects in the vehicle (insects and pets, primarily), and smoking, are all causes of dangerous distracted driving accidents. To avoid a serious accident, it is imperative that you focus on your driving only when you are behind the wheel. 


Holiday Guide: Last Minute Gifts with Puzzingo Kids Puzzles

This post was sponsored by 77Sparx through a campaign managed by their PR, and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

The time for the last minute gift shopping is now, and like so many who are rushing around to find those gifts to give, I have learned that it can all be a lot easier when we turn to virtual gifts. These include those gifts cards we can print out or email to our recipients that they enjoy getting along with the apps that the kids enjoy seeing on their devices on Christmas morning. For my kids, I have found that when we gift them apps, tokens to use in their apps, or money to add to their games, they find those gifts to be ones that they enjoy engaging in both at home during their screen times or when we are on the go. So when we were given the chance to check out the new items that have been added to the fun kids app, Puzzingo Kids Puzzles, we were not only excited to begin checking out the new games but also add Puzzingo Kids Puzzles to our list of great last minute gift ideas to give the kids this holiday season!

See when you add Puzzingo Kids Puzzles to your holiday line up of gifts to give the kids, you get one of the top ranking puzzle apps for kids out there that was inspired by those beloved Melissa & Doug wooden puzzles that the kids enjoy playing with. And the kids get over 100 hand-crafted puzzles, where they can also gain vocabulary skills in one of the 5 languages that the app has available! Giving parents who are bilingual or wanting their children to learn English, an app that is a great tool to utilize. Along with the array of puzzles that keep the kids engaged, there are also over 60 mini-games that complement the “fantasies of play” for many of the puzzles. Which are created for kids 5 and younger as well as for kids with special needs and cover the some of the kids favorite themes like pirates, dinosaurs, fairies and more.

Then when it comes to some of the new additions to the app, we found the new Trucks Puzzle Packs to be perfect for my little guy who loves all sorts of trucks. These include those awesome monster trucks, fire trucks, construction vehicles and more that are a must for any little one who likes trucks. Along with the new Trucks Puzzle Pack, we also found the Toys Puzzle Pack to be a favorite in our house, especially with it being the holiday season, as well as the Classics Puzzle Pack which brings back some of those favorites like the bugs, train and jets. Which in all, makes the Puzzingo Kids Puzzles App a great choice to go with when seeking out those last minute gift ideas as well as when seeking out an engaging app that the kids are sure to enjoy! 

You can download Puzzingo Kids Puzzles on the following platforms:




Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Celebrating those First's for Over 30 Years with ONESIES® Brand

This post was sponsored by ONESIES® Brand through their PR, and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

When it comes to baby and all of the milestones they go through in that first year, as parents it seems that it all goes by way too quickly. From that first smile and coo to the first time they roll over then begin taking those first steps and every moment in between, we find that the first year of  babies life holds so much to cherish and celebrate. Like many who are celebrating their first Christmas with baby this year, Heather and her family find it to be a bitter sweet moment. Where Zoey has changed so much since she was born just 9 short months ago, and where this will be the only first Christmas as all other firsts that Heather has celebrated with her family when it comes to little Zoey. So like many who celebrate all of those firsts with baby, Heather enjoys doing so in the mix and match outfits that she can find at Walmart from the ONESIES® Brand line of essentials!

Over the years as Heather and her husband have raised their kids, they have found that by turning to the ONESIES® Brand of mix and match outfits that they can celebrate all firsts with each one of their babies in style and comfort. From their eldest kids who are now in their 20's to the youngest who is now 9 months old, like many families they have found the ONESIES® Brand to be a must have when it comes to their little ones wardrobes. This is because for over 30 years, ONESIES® Brand has been a staple in many households which include my own when my babies were little. Giving families options that are affordable, comfortable, easy to care for and of course, very adorable. Which in all, makes the ONESIES® Brand not just another line of clothing for baby but a line that has been used and trusted by families as they celebrate all of the first's with their babies for over 30 years!


Choosing the Right Screening Trees for Your Garden

We all love our gardens. They are our own little slice of paradise. A private space in which we can relax and enjoy what nature has to offer.

At least they should be. The problem is that not all gardens are completely private. This is especially the case in urban settings. Often, we are overlooked by neighbors or part of our garden can be seen from the street. If that is the case for you and you want to change that situation, investing in some screen trees could well be the best approach. Below, is a summary of the types of trees that can easily be used for screening.

Leyland Cypress

The best screening trees are evergreen, which means that they provide year-round protection from prying eyes and noise. One of the fastest growing is the Leyland Cypress. It typically grows at a rate of three feet per year.

You can easily buy Leyland Cypress from The Tree Center. They deliver countrywide and do so for free when you order more than $100 worth of trees from them.

However, it is important to understand that these trees can easily reach 35 to 40 feet. This means that they are not suitable for all gardens. It is important to consider the impact they are going to have on the way your garden and that of adjoining neighbors’ looks, once they are mature.

Thuja Green Giant

If you want something that grows at a slightly slower rate the Thuja Green Giant is a potentially good choice. They are still quite tall when mature, but not as tall as the Leyland Cypress. Typically, they reach just 30 feet. Plus the tips are pointed, which allows more light through. This reduces the chances of you or your neighbors experiencing problems as a result of the shadow that they cast. You can also plant these further apart, which you need fewer individual trees to create an effective screen.

Emerald Green Arborvitae

Emerald Green Arborvitae is a beautiful tree. They are tall and slender with a sharp pointy top, which means that they make a beautiful looking screen. Once mature each tree is between 3 and 4 feet wide, so you need to plant quite a few to form an effective screen. However, they are typically cheaper than other popular screening trees. Plus, once they are mature they will only be between 12 and 14 feet tall. This means that they are ideal for small gardens.

A living willow screen

If you only want to create a thin screen, using willow is an excellent way to do it. Potentially, you can grow one by taking some cuttings from a friend´s trees and simply planting them in a row. But, a faster way to do it is to buy more mature willows from a nursery and plant those. There are plenty of suppliers online who sell them for a very low cost.

Caring for your trees

Once you have bought and planted your trees you need to maintain them. You can learn how to do this by reading the articles on this site.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

#Giveaway Home Alone 2: Lost in New York Prize Pack from Ovation Brands

Family night is a night that we enjoy heading out with the kids to eat dinner, and enjoy the time out as a family. Like many families with young children, we like to go to the restaurants that offer a kid friendly environment and even family friendly entertainment. So like many, we make Thursday nights a family night out when we head to our local Ovation Brands restaurant.

See when we head to our local Ovation Brands restaurant, we can not only find a variety to choose from when it comes to the food selections, but on Thursday evenings from 5-8 we can join in on the family fun they offer! Where each Thursday, from December 14th through January 25th between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., kids may participate in different interactive and educational activities in Ovation Brands’ restaurants and Furr’s Fresh Buffet locations. PLUS kids eat for $1.99 from 4 p.m. to close with the purchase of a regular-priced adult or senior meal.

The featured activities are as follows:
  • December 21 – Two Turtle Doves
  • December 28 – Ringing In the New Year
  • January 4 – Movie Night
  • January 11 – Bandits Beware
  • January 18 – Going to the Birds
  • January 25 – You're a Star

Which for us makes the choice to head out on Thursday nights with the family for dinner to our local Ovation Brands restaurant, one that we can all enjoy! And to help with your next family night out, the wonderful people from Ovation Brands would like to give one of our amazing readers their own Ovation Brands Home Alone 2 Prize Pack which includes 4 meal passes and one copy of Home Alone 2 Lost in New York on DVD!

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

#Giveaway Holiday Guide: Jack & Roo Mag Builders 104-Piece Magnetic Tiles with Storage Case

When it comes to seeking those last minute holiday gifts to give this year, I have found that shopping the gift ideas on Amazon can be the way to go. This is because when I shop using my Amazon Prime account, I can find gifts that can be delivered in about 2 days, giving last minute shoppers options even with the online ordering. Well like many who have kids and are seeking out those gifts that are sure to keep the kids entertained, we have found that toys that inspire creativity with building and magnets can be a great choice to go with. So when we were sent the Jack & Roo Mag Builders 104-Piece Magnetic Tiles with Storage Case (which can be found on Amazon) to review, I knew that Heather would enjoy checking them out and adding her review to this years holiday guide!

The Jack and Roo building set is one of the best building sets out there. The magnetic pieces easily stick to one another making it easy to build just about anything you want, which is perfect for inspiring young minds and imaginations. Allowing my kids to build anything from houses to trains and cars to villages. Not only is it fun to play with, but I like that my kids also learn math skills, colors, geometry, counting, and creativity just to name a few. The pieces are durable and with the storage case they come in, they will be around for the younger kids when the older kids out grow them. As a mom with a house filled with kids, I like that the clean up is easy since they magnetize to each other making it easier to keep track of the pieces. This kit includes:

8x Large Squares (6 x 6) 
50 x Small Squares (3 x 3) 
18 x Equilateral Triangles (3 x 3 x 3) 
12 x Right Triangles (3 x 3 x 4) 
12 x Isosceles Triangles (3 x 5.5 x 5.5) 
4 x Magnetic Cars

There is plenty of pieces for more than one builder at a time, which is perfect since my kids love to play together and see who can build the biggest house or the fastest car. Making the Jack & Roo Mag Builders 104-Piece Magnetic Tiles with Storage Case, a great choice to go with when seeking out those gifts to give and also a great last minute gift idea since you can get it right now on Amazon with Free One Day Shipping for Prime Members!!

EXCLUSIVE COUPON CODE!!!! 20% Off Today Only!!! Use code RT5AJZOD  will expire at 11:59pm on 12/20.

Also enter to win a Jack & Roo Mag Builders 104-Piece Magnetic Tiles with Storage Case below!

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

Holiday Guide: Organizing Made Easier with WUZZY Baby Diaper Caddy

With the holiday season in full swing, and the last minute shoppers rushing to get those gifts, I find that I like to head to places like Amazon, where I can avoid the crowds and take advantage of the Prime One Day Delivery they are currently offering. See, as I go over those last minute gift ideas, I find that they are usually for the ones who are a bit harder to shop for where I might not have any idea on what to get my recipient. And of those, would be the new or expecting parents, where many like myself, might have a hard time trying to figure out what to get them for either babies first Christmas or for using once baby arrives. So when we were sent the WUZZY Baby Diaper Caddy to review, I found it to not only be a great item for Heather to check out, but also a great gift idea to get for the new or expecting parents that can be delivered in time for Christmas!

First off let me just say, oh how I wish I had gotten this sooner!! After having Zoey, I made my own diaper caddy of sorts by cutting the flaps off a medium sized box but it doesn’t compare to the Wuzzy baby diaper organizer. With my version the diapers were always falling over, the rash creams would get lost in the diapers, and the wipes would wind up under the diapers making it a pain to find quickly mid diaper change. With this diaper organizer, you can customize the space inside with the movable dividers. Making it to where now the diapers stay where they should and the wipes are easy to get out and put back.

With the 8 pockets on the outside, I know I can find the rash cream, baby lotion, teething gel, and extra pacifiers easily and even in mid diaper change! This organizer is light weight and easy to place in one room and move to another. You could also get a second one to keep in your car for on the go car diaper changes. I have found this as a must have and would recommend that you put this on your shower registry or your holiday list for any expecting mom or anyone with a little in diapers. You will be happy you did when they fall in love with this WUZZY Baby Diaper Caddy!

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

Holiday Guide: Orb Molecules at Michaels

Looking for those last minute gifts that are sure to spark some creativity in the kids this year? Well head to your local Michaels where you can find a great selection of the Orbs Molecules kits like the one we were sent for review. You can read Heather's review on the Orbs Molecules below and add them to your last minute holiday shopping list today!

I remember a toy similar to this one when my adult kids were little. This clearly isn’t even remotely the same toy, because this one is much better. After looking over the kit, I found that there are two huge advantages 1: Easy clean up/no mess 2: Never drys out!!! Which means they can create a dog, a cat, a dragon, a dinosaur, and elephant, or whatever their hearts desire over and over again. My favorite has to be no mess like the old similar ones that use to get in the carpets and wouldn’t come out no matter what I used or how hard I scrubbed. These soft squishy orbs don’t lose their shape and stick only to each other and nothing else. You get thousands of orb molecules, all different sizes and colors in each set.

They also come with a storage tray for when they are not being played with which in my house isn’t often. I like that they are great for kids of all ages and I’m sure like myself, you will find yourself making masterpieces with your kiddo. Or you will find your kiddos getting along and competing against each other to see who can build the most unique monster! There are several sets to choose from, and if you are like me, I have a feeling you will have multiple sets rather quickly. Making the Orb Molecules not just a lot of fun, but a must have for the kiddos this Christmas!

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

#Giveaway Holiday Guide: CogniToys Dino

As we look into those last minute gift ideas and seek out the gifts for the kids, as a parent I find that I like to seek out the gifts that engage little minds. Ones that offer interaction, and that the kids are sure to enjoy playing with over and over again. So when we were sent the very adorable Dino from the line of interactive toys from CogniToys, I knew that Heather would enjoy checking it out and sharing her thoughts with our readers!

Do you have a kiddo who asks 100+ questions a day? Well like many, the answer for me is yes. I have a very inquisitive 5 yr old and we found the Dino to be a toy that sure helps for those days he has a lot of questions as we do our homeschooling lessons and we are assisting the older kids with their work. Once you install the app on your phone, the set up is simple to get your Dino on the internet. After the setup is complete, you just press and hold his tummy to ask questions, tell stories, play games, or even hear some jokes. I know this has quickly become a favorite for my curious 5 year old and my daughter, who is 10, likes to join in on the fun as well. Which makes the Dino a toy that can interact with various ages and grow with the kids as their minds grow!

Key Features:
  • Games and Stories Galore - CogniToys are designed to engage kids in educational play. Kids can ask their Dino thousands of questions, practice vocabulary, listen to stories and so much more.
  • Easy Set Up - Parents must use the CogniToys App to connect the Dino to Wi-Fi. Once connected, the Dino no longer requires the use of a smartphone for playtime.
  • Emotional Intelligence - Dinos don’t just respond, they respond intelligently. If a child says they are scared, the Dino encourages them to speak to an adult they trust. Or, if a child tells the Dino they’re sad, the toy may suggest meditation or listening to a funny joke.
  • Personalized - CogniToys try to personalize interactions and can remember what a child shares - such as their name, favorite food or animal, etc. - to customize learning and future conversations.
  • Constantly Evolving - CogniToys are cloud-connected, Wi-Fi enabled smart toys, allowing for the play experience to constantly improve and automatically update as new content becomes available.
Making the choice to add the Dino from CogniToys to your last minute shopping list a must when seeking fun interactive toys to give this holiday season! And to help with bringing the interactive Dino fun home, the wonderful people from CogniToys would like to give one of our amazing readers their own Dino!

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

Holiday Guide: Last Minute Gift for Baby with the Munch Mitt

The clock is ticking and that last minute shopping has started, where many are in search of those perfect gifts to give everyone on their lists this year. Like many, when we look over those lists, we find that there can be a range of those to shop for, from our friends to the kids and even babies, we find that the gifts can definitely vary from person to person. And like many who find themselves at a loss when it comes to seeking out those gifts to get baby this holiday season, I find that seeking the gifts that can offer both fun and relief for teething babies can be the way to go. So when we were sent the Munch Mitt to review, I saw it as not only a great item for Heather to review for little Zoey but also a great item to add to babies stocking this year as we seek out those last minute gifts to give!

If you have a little one who is cutting little teeth, then this Munch Mitt is a must have! For me, my poor Zoey is cutting 3 teeth at the same time and this sure helps to sooth her sore gums. She loves to chew on her Munch Mitt and the different textures feel good on her gums. You can put this mitt on either hand and it helps protect them from all the drool. And for the times when Zoey doesn’t want to wear it, she can just hold it and chew, chew, chew. Along with the basic use of the Munch Mitt, we found that we can offer even more relief when we have stuck the Munch Mitt in the fridge to cool it, which Zoey seems to really like when her gums are extra irritated. As a mom, I like that it is easy to wash and keep clean for the next use. And after having this on hand for little Zoey, I found that this would have been very handy to have around for my older kiddos when they went through their teething stages. Which in all, I find that the Munch Mitt is a great item to have for any teething baby, and would make an amazing stocking stuffer this holiday season!!

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

Holiday Guide: Last Minute Gift Idea with AiroSpa™ Pillow

After a long day, many of us find that we look forward to our beds, laying our heads on our pillow and letting go of any stress the day might have brought us. The thing is, for those who find relaxation in sleeping on their stomachs, enjoy a good massage after a long day, or want to lay out in the sun to relax, we might not find a way to position our head just right to really get comfortable. So when we were sent the AiroSpa™ Pillow to review, I knew that Heather would enjoy sharing her experience with our readers and also enjoy adding it as a great last minute gift idea for this years holiday guide!

Do you enjoy having a spa day and being able to relax but the costs add up? Well, now you can have a spa day any time you want with this AiroSpa™ Pillow. The pillow is super simple to set up and use and also small enough to take with you on the go. The set we received came with essential oils that help sooth and relax and a mini fan that we can place inside that helps circulate the fragrance and air flow. 

The AiroSpa™ Pillow and its patented fan disperses a relaxing aroma from each of the inclusive pure-essential oils that produces;
  • Stress Relief
  • A Calming Effect
  • Reduction of Neck and Shoulder Pain
  • Positioning for Improved Posture
  • A Reduction or Resolution to Snoring
  • A fantastic massage experience
  • Enhanced Breathing
  • Better positioning for those who prefer sleeping or napping face-down
  • More complete rest
  • A healthful and relaxing aromatherapy session
After checking out this amazing pillow, I found that it would be a perfect last minute gift for my daughter who works 2 jobs, because I knew she would find many benefits from this pillow. Along with the load of work she has taken on, she is also a belly sleeper so this makes it more comfortable for her neck and shoulders to sleep at night. Allowing her to wake up more refreshed then she has in a long time. Making the AiroSpa™ Pillow one that you can really treat yourself to this holiday season when looking for the gift that keeps on giving.

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

Monday, December 18, 2017

Holiday Guide: Celebrating the Holidays and Staying Warm with Petcurean

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

It is hard to believe that we are just counting down to the final days before Christmas, but it is true. And like many households we find that aside from the holiday preparations, that we also prepare the home for the cold weather since we like to stay indoors to stay warm as well. With that said, when it comes to this time of year in my home, we not only get excited to celebrate with our family and friends but also our fur babies. We like to ensure they get treats over the holidays that they enjoy and that are from our favorite line of pet food, Petcurean. Along with the treats we add for our fur babies, we also like to ensure that with the cold weather that they stay warm and cozy. So when we were sent some treats and winter tips from the people at Petcurean, we were excited to share the holiday treats with our fur babies and also share the information from the experts at Petcurean with our readers!

Use a humidifier

Cooler weather usually brings dry air, so using a humidifier will help to keep the noses and throats of our dogs and cats from drying out. It’s the same for their coat and skin.

Use pet-friendly snow melters

Choose pet-friendly ice and snow melters that won’t irritate paws or stomachs, especially if your dog or cat licks its paws after being outside.

Show them extra love with Tasty Treats

The holidays are all about showing love and appreciation so give your cat or dog some extra belly rubs and treats to make up for the chilly weather and any cold shoulders you may receive due to holiday travel. Petcurean’s SPIKE treats for dogs are great because their packed with superfoods like Chia Seeds, Pomegranate and Kale, plus they’re portable. For Cats, try Petcurean’s new NOW FRESH Stews and Pates, you can feed these as a complete meal, but they’re also perfect as a topper or served as an extra treat. Added bonus – they’re made with 100% human grade, fresh ingredients including turkey bone broth, sweet potatoes, peas and carrots, and feature zero grains, gluten, wheat, beef, corn or soy.

Paw protection

Protect your dog’s paws with a wax product designed for this purpose that forms a dense, breathable bond, which helps prevent snow buildup during outdoor exercise. After walks, wipe away any snow or ice from your dog’s feet, legs and belly.

For extended periods outside, you can purchase boots for your pup’s paws. The first time you put them on your dog, there may be a comical reaction. Some dogs decide they simply can’t move with those things on their feet. Others walk around lifting their feet up exceptionally high like a prancing pony. But don’t worry, it doesn’t take long to get used to the boots! Distract your dog with treats or a fun activity while he is wearing his boots and soon he will forget all about them. You could also try putting socks on your dog before you introduce the booties so he feels comfortable with something on his feet. Make sure the boots don’t fit too tightly so as to cut off the circulation and invite frostbite.

Be safe and alert when walking at night

Poor weather and decreased daylight may cause limited visibility for drivers at night, so take extra precautions when walking your pets and make sure you use a leash. Nowadays there are all kinds of reflective aids to help drivers see you in the dark. Reflective collars, leashes, harnesses and vests for both you and your dog are great ways to stay visible.

Coat or no coat?

If you live in a particularly frigid zone, you may want to consider a jacket for an extra layer of warmth for your pup while outside. Cats generally don’t fare well in jackets but dogs who don’t have a ‘double coat’ may benefit from wearing a jacket while outside for their walks. There is a huge variety available, from a simple sweater to a full-blown waterproof jacket with hood. However, do reserve the wearing of such warm apparel only for when you are outside.

Provide shelter

Some pets spend a lot of time outside, either by their own choice or by necessity. I used to have a border collie whom I would find outside in the worst weather, soaking wet or covered in snow, despite the fact he had several warm cozy places to choose from! His preference was to always be outside, regardless of the weather. No matter what the reason, a warm, dry, cozy shelter is a must for dogs who are outside on their own in frigid temperatures, rain or snow.

Place the shelter out of the wind, under shelter if possible, and up off the ground. Provide some type of bedding; old blankets or even a deep layer of straw will help insulate. It is key to check the bedding in the shelter daily. Wet bedding will only make your pet colder. Fresh water is also necessary and if the water freezes where you live, inexpensive water bowl heaters are available.

Keep them inside

Lastly, if it is cold enough outside that YOU don’t want to be out in it, you should assume the same for your pet, especially the very old, the very young, or the sick. Keep them inside with you.

It doesn’t take much to prep your pets for cooler weather. But thinking a little ahead and getting ready for Old Man Winter in good time will ensure you don’t get ‘caught out in the cold’, and neither will your pet!

So as you make those final preparations for the holidays and even for the cold weather, be sure to add Petcurean to your list and stock up on the treats and foods for your fur babies!


#Giveaway Holiday Guide: Ducktales: Woo-oo!

With the kids home for the holiday break, the last minute shopping to be done and those family movie nights to look forward to, we find in my home that it is the perfect time to seek out new and old titles to share during our movie nights. For me, when it comes to some of the older titles I enjoy sharing with my kids, I not only enjoy sharing some of those movies I adored when I was little, but also the shows I enjoyed as well. So when we were sent Ducktales: Woo-oo! on DVD to review, I was excited to share it with my kids and also add it to this years holiday guide.

Download DuckTales Woo-oo! Activities

In this series we get those adorable mischief making duckling brothers who are the nephews of Donald Duck, ready to take on the adventures ahead. The triplets find themselves at the home of their Great-Uncle, Scrooge McDuck, who was once a great explorer. The boys uncover secrets of their uncles past, taking them on a adventure like no other as they go in search of the lost city of Atlantis! Along with this adventure that brings me back to when my sister and I used to tune in to watch Ducktales, we also get some fun bonus features which include the following:

Six “Welcome to Duckburg!” Shorts:

·         Donald
·         Scrooge
·         Huey
·         Webby
·         Launchpad
·         Beakley

Making the choice to add Ducktales: Woo-oo! to your last minute shopping list for great stocking stuffer ideas as well as to your next family movie night, a choice you and your family are sure to enjoy! And to help with bringing some of the adventure home, we will be giving one of our readers their own copy of Ducktales: Woo-oo! on DVD!

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

#Giveaway Holiday Guide: Tangled the Series: Queen for a Day

The holidays are upon us, and in many homes the kids are either getting close to the holiday break or already home for the holidays. With that we find that in my home, we like to have a great selection of family shows and movies to watch during our family movie nights and in the evenings as we relax by the warm fire together. So when we were sent the new DVD, Tangled the Series: Queen for a Day to review, we were excited to add it to our holiday movie line up and also add it to this years holiday guide as a great last minute gift to give this year!

In this DVD you get that adored Tangled group of friends who must help Rapunzel navigate her way as she becomes queen for a day. This all leaves her kingdom of Corona in her hands where as her parents leave town she must not only step up as ruling queen for the day, but do so as a blizzard comes to town, threatening the kingdom. Along with the feature we also got to enjoy some fun bonus features which include:

4 “Inside the Journal” Shorts
·         First Entry
·         Cassandra
·         Queen Arianna

·         King Frederic

Making the choice to bring home the new DVD, Tangled the Series: Queen for a Day to put under the tree for your family a choice that everyone is sure to enjoy! And to help with bringing some of that Tangled fun home for your next family movie night, we will be giving one of our amazing readers their own copy of Tangled the Series: Queen for a Day on DVD!

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

Unusual Places for Family Vacations

As the days add up, leading to the holidays for the festive season, I am certain that you would have been receiving emails and texts from the retail stores, providing reminders of the forthcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, thus signaling the time where you should probably order the perfect gifts for your friends and loved ones, to let them know how much you love them. For some of us, it is also a period to take the time off, possibly from the routine 9–to –5 daily work hours. The holiday season can be a great time, not only to unwind, but to plan to spend more time with the family and loved ones. If you aren’t looking to spend the holidays indoors, you might be considering a visit to one of your favorite vacation locations. And while the Disney Theme Parks might not be an ideal for those who do not like crowds, noises and waiting in queues, I have put up some fun places, in some cases if the finances is not a restriction, where you can go and rekindled the bond with your loved ones and members of the family.

Castries, Saint Lucia
Capital city of Saint Lucia, Castries would remind you, in a striking manner, of the attractions in Costa Rica and Ecuador, however without the crowds of tourists and expats that don these places. An absolutely beautiful location, Castries boasts of an impressive run of beaches, mountains, snorkels and scuba diving, very tall palm trees, enviable landscape and awe-inspiring waterfalls with much, much desirable sunlight. You can visit the Marigot Bay, the Maria Islands Nature Reserve, or even the Pigeon Island National Park, while having a family togetherness that is like no other.
Castries also has a sea port and is a recipient of a volcano that happened years or decades ago. These are places you can also visit during your stay in this admirable location. The Castries market is also close by, a market where food and other items are sold in the open.
A population of less than 10,000, you would be blessed to have a great family time, without the hassle of being around a lot of people.

Prince Edward Island, Canada
On the North border of the United States lies Canada and its vast expanse of lands. You must have heard of places like Calgary, Alberta or even Vancouver Island. However, in Canada resides a small place called Prince Edwards Island. Though a minute part of Canada, Prince Edwards Island is renowned for its beaches, stunning landscapes, and aura of community which serves as icing to such a beautiful location.
There are also other features that would trigger the pull toward visiting this small island. The island is also home to amusement parks, lighthouses as well as golf courses spread across different luscious locations. You can visit the Confederation trail or sit by the seaside to a feast of freshly caught lobsters. If you do schedule your visit timely, you might get to take part in the Cavendish Beach Music Festival.
It does add to the attraction that vacationing on Prince Edwards Island is affordable, compared to more exclusive locations. It truly is a home away from home experience.

Butrint, Albania
Located in the south-eastern part of Albania is the little town called Butrint. One of Albania’s invaluable locations, Butrint is an ancient city with one of its primary attractions being the archaeological remains evident of the historical Roman Empire – the public baths, the theater, the basilica etc.
The city is awash with different places to visit and lots of experiences to have. When visiting, you do have several accommodation facilities you can opt for. You can select the inns, the hotels, the motels or probably, the resorts. Once you are done and settled, unless you are on the trip with a tour guide service, you can then plan your vacation according to the sights the city has to offer.
The Butrint National Park is known for possessing remains from an earlier era where a mixture of the Greek and the Romans lived. Resident on the environs of the National Park is the Butrint Lake. The Castle of Ali Pasha Tepelena is another location you can visit. There are also museums, castles, national parks, beaches and other monuments that are accessible from Butrint. Just after the city is the Butrint Monastery.
Butrint is mostly visited for its historical value - this is evident from the day-trippers who flood the location to view the different historical and cultural artifacts. Also, if you are one to go local while on your vacations, you can try out the restaurants to sample the Butrint traditional dishes. Also, vacation to Butrint is relatively an affordable venture.

Corfu Island, Greece
One of my favorite vacation destinations, I happened to visit Corfu while collaborating with a friend who is involved with a admission essay writing service. Booking adjoining rooms in the Marbella Corfu hotel, she proceeded to inform me of the processes that go into the development of an all in one essay.
Located on the grounds of Albania’s close neighbor, Greece, Corfu is another location resplendent with beaches, monuments and beautiful laid out landscape. An overwhelmingly attractive location, you might experience crowds when you go down to the beaches, nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you cannot locate some of the beaches with lesser crowds. You probably would have to go toward the northeast areas, where the sites are not really in the open. It should add to the novelty to discover some of these beaches.
Other areas of interest would include Corfu Town, the Corfu museum of Asian Arts, the vineyards, the resorts, and the archaeological sites. The Greeks are also known for their culinary prowess. You could use this opportunity to savor some of their popular dishes.
Corfu Town is also a heritage site for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. So get ready to see some strongholds that served in the wars that occurred in these locations, hundreds of years ago.

Ephesus, Turkey
Ephesus in Turkey is another place you can plan a truly memorable family vacation. In the above locations that I suggested, you would notice that most of these places were notable for their open air, outdoor sights, i.e. beaches, parks etc. However, what if, having had your fill of the outdoor and sunlight, you simply want to immerse yourself in the novelty of the place? If one of your piqued interests lie in uncovering the past and the activities that happened during those periods, then Ephesus might be the place for you.
Though there are outdoor attractions in Ephesus, the main lure of Ephesus lies in its archeological remains with its own share of splendidly laid out landscape with panoramic views. Here, you would also get to see the remains of the Temple of Artemis - one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Ephesus Museum, the basilica of one of the apostles, St. John i.e. the place where he was buried, and the Gladiator’s Graveyard. Notably referred to in the Bible, Ephesus has its own share of Christian origins
If you do wear out from learning about the past, you can go with the family to visit the resorts, the beaches and the hotels. Ephesus offers diverse interests, while you enjoy the time spent with the family.

Pinawa, Manitoba, Canada
Taking us back to Canada, Pinawa, located in Manitoba, is another place you might just like to spend your vacation. An attractive yet reserved location, Pinawa also holds its own interesting sights which might cause you to want to take the family there.
Firstly, the town is located close to the Winnipeg River, which adds to the all-surround natural beauty that it possesses. As a result of its proximity, most recreational activities offered in Pinawa – swimming, diving, going on trips by boat, canoes etc. involves the Winnipeg River. However, that is not the only sights that Pinawa offers. Similar to Prince Edwards Islands, Pinawa town has its own golf course as well as parks for those who are eternally drawn to the outdoors. You can also go down to the beach, visit the hockey arena as well as get to play in the tennis courts.
Pinawa is sparsely populated so offers the attraction and security of a lovingly preserved community.

Margarita Island, Venezuela
Having places such as Angel Falls - recognized as the largest waterfall in the world and Caracas, in Venezuela; Margarita Island sometimes goes under the radar as a place to visit. Generally, Venezuela is very popular for its lovely beaches, gorgeous landscape and several tourist attractions, notably, as mentioned, Angel Falls. However, Margarita Island holds its head high among these more famous locations.
Margarita has its own share of beaches – you get to select from a large number of them, mountains, and areas you can go for a swim. You can also go scuba diving, jet skiing or other water sports that might be of interest. The Restinga Lagoon National Park is also within sight, and should be somewhere you put on the list of places to go. You could visit the capital Asuncion which is also close by. There are shopping, lots of entertainment and you could even book additional tours to get a more expansive view of the island. The locals are very welcoming, notably depending on the way you approach them.
Probably due to the affordable cost of living in Venezuela, planning a vacation to the island is quite cheap, even if you are going with the family. It is also important to know that the Island is recognized for the large amount of crime that occurs there. Thus, it probably might be more convenient, for safety purposes, to hire a travel agency or a tour service, to plan your vacation and get your accommodations. The occurrence of crime might and would deter some. However, as long as you err on the safe side, you are going to have a largely memorable family vacation.

I have quickly put up this list so you can timely plan on your vacation during this period, or put up a schedule for the coming year. While making plans, you should be able to locate travel agencies which would help you desirably plan your trip.

Do have a memorable vacation. And drop me a note on your experience in these places.

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