Mommy Katie: September 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017

Holiday Gift Ideas from Luxe by Mr. Bubble


It is hard to believe that the summer is over and behind us, that the fall season is upon us, and in just a few short months, we will be celebrating the holidays but it us true. And like many, I like to get a head start on the holiday shopping by seeking out some of the gifting ideas and products that will be available this year. That way, I can add them to my list and as we get closer to the holidays, I can be more prepared when it comes to the gift giving. So when I was sent a selection of bath products from the line of Luxe by Mr. Bubble which can be found at my local Target and Ulta stores, I was curious to check them out and also excited to add them to this years list of great holiday gift giving ideas!

In this collection of bath and body products I found that they are perfect for giving this holiday season. The products are designed to be very cute and fun, and offering bath products that give you a selection of retro design luxury bath and body items. These include the Bubbletini Bath Bombs that come in a fun martini like shaker container that is filled with mini bath bombs that are perfect for using at the end of a long day when you want to take a bath and relax. Along with that same line of fun home spa like products, I found the Give me Some Sugar, Sugar Scrub and the On the Rocks Sea Salt Body Soak to be great for adding to a fun retro themed gift basket this holiday season.

Then when it comes to the gift sets that are already put together and are ready to give this year, I found the Milk and Cookies Tub Time Retreat to be a great choice to go with. Giving you not just a selection of gift ideas but bath products that offer a luxurious spa like experience from home and giving your recipients a gift that they are sure to enjoy and appreciate! Making the choice to go with the various products from the Luxe by Mr. Bubble collection of bath and body products available at Target and at Ulta, a choice that can help make the coming holiday season for you and your recipients, one that is merry and bright!



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

Pick the Best Mattress for Your Sleeping Position



Most of us have a favorite sleeping position which is the most comfortable or helps us fall asleep the quickest. Have you ever considered that you may be sleeping on a wrong kind of a mattress for your sleeping position?
If you are having problems sleeping, or you wake up tired or broken, there can be a lot of reasons for that. Sometimes, what you eat can affect that; read the full story here https://mattressmakers.com/eat-affects-quality-sleep/. However, there are other reasons, too. One of those is that your mattress isn’t suited to your preferred sleeping position.

Side Sleepers

Sleeping on your side is said to be the healthies sleeping position. The blood circulates better, and there’s less pressure on your lungs. However, this position creates just two key pressure points on your mattress – your shoulder region and your hip region. What that means in practical terms is that those areas bear the majority of your weight.
This sleeping position may result in neck and hip region pain. Over a longer period of time, sleeping on an improper mattress can start affecting the sleeper’s spine as well.
A suitable mattress for side sleepers is a memory foam mattress, preferably one with additional support for the hips and shoulder areas. The softness of the mattress is not important health-wise, so you can choose based on your own personal preferences.

Back Sleepers

People who sleep on their backs are much more susceptible to back and spinal problems. This happens due to the strain on the spine during the sleep. This sleeping position is also very commonly associated with sleep apnea and snoring.
The mattress you choose as a back sleeper needs to provide you more support, especially in the lower back region. That means that mattresses which are plush and too soft aren’t ideal for you. At first, you may thing a spring coil mattress is a good idea. However, during the night, this kind of mattress stops giving you the support you need, so it’s not great. Memory foam or latex mattresses work much better in this situation. However, try not to get a mattress with a very thick top layer, because it will lose its support abilities during the night and you are back where you started – with a backache and not well-rested.

Stomach Sleepers

Many people claim that this is the most comfortable position to sleep in. However, doctors and sleep experts say it is by far the worst sleeping position of the three. The main reason is that when you sleep on your stomach, all of your weight is under you, which puts a strain on your spine. The only good thing about this sleeping position is that it prevents you from snoring. However, it is unlikely that you are willing to change your sleeping position, or even that you can, because we tend to return to the position we are the most comfortable in.
That’s why you should at least try to make it as comfortable as possible. Is your mattress providing enough support? If you have a spring coil mattress, chances are that you wake up aching and uncomfortable at least once a week. You need a softer mattress than the old-fashioned coil mattresses, but you cannot make it too soft because it will cause your spine to arch too far and cause even more pain. In essence, you’re looking for a ‘Goldilocks’ mattress.

Picking a new mattress may seem like a hassle and a tedious task. However, you should always give yourself enough time to pick the right mattress for yourself; your health and good night sleep depend on that.





Thursday, September 28, 2017

Goodwill Washington: Career Training, Shopping and So Much More!

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

When I think of places that I donate to, I typically turn to the various places that are suited for what it might be that I am donating to. And like many who pack up the car a few times a year to drop off those donations at my local Goodwill, I was one who did not really think about where those donations went. I mean, I did know a little about how it worked, and how those donations are then sold in Goodwill stores to fund programs like retail training and help those in need. But what I did not know until recently, was that Goodwill does that and so much more, more than I had ever imagined, and more than I can say in just one blog post. I know this because recently, alongside a group of other online influencers, I was given the opportunity to explore, question and learn what Goodwill Washington does not just in their stores, but for our community.


See when I was given the chance to learn more about what my local Goodwill does for my community, I was not prepared to see what all was shown to me. I say this because, to start off with, I was unaware that in Tacoma, Washington, there is a school that is free to attend, and that offers job training, GED classes, distance learning for those who do not live near the campus, and more for those in the community who want to do more with their lives, to take full advantage of.

This school is called the Goodwill Milgard Work Opportunity Center, and there, people from the community can take any of the 30+ training and educational programs that are available and designed to prepare them to enter the job world! The classes include computer courses, barista training, Zumba classes, retail training, culinary training and so much more!!! Giving those in our community options and also giving those who donate insight to seeing exactly where those donations go towards. Oh, and if you are in the neighborhood and need to get a coffee or want to grab lunch, well you can stop in at the Milgard Center to purchase your morning coffee at the Starbucks located in the building or meet friends for a lunch cooked by a team of students who are led by a professional chef. They have daily specials and offer meals that you can find at five star restaurants, at burger stand prices and just like the stores, the proceeds from that morning coffee and that gourmet lunch you can purchase at the school go to help keep the doors open so students can continue to learn and further themselves in the community when it comes to job placement!


From there, I was able to see even more into what Goodwill has to offer, which includes not just the donating and shopping at a local Goodwill store, but the online shopping that is available! That's right, online shopping!!! The items that are sold can be found at ShopGoodwill.com, giving bargain and treasure hunters even more reasons to shop Goodwill, without even having to leave your home. There you can find deals on a large variety of home goods, collectibles, clothing, and more, where the sales go to help fund the learning facilities and help Goodwill give back to the communities!

Then when it comes to the seasonal treasures such as finding that perfect costume for Halloween or those who are always on the lookout for the next Cosplay outfit, Goodwill has you covered! Because in Spanaway, Washington you can find the Goodwill Halloween Headquarters, where you have wall to wall Halloween warehouse available to the public at thrift store prices!


This Halloween store has it all, from the huge assortment of costumes and accessories for adults and children to the decorations for the home. They even have shopping assistants on hand, who are not only there to help you find your next costume, but who enjoy Cosplay and can help inspire you even when you have no idea what you are looking for! Which when you take it all in, really changes how I now see Goodwill and also gives me a whole new appreciation for what they are doing by not just offering options to shop when I am looking for a great deal, but also by making a difference in the lives of those who are in our communities every day!


You can find out more about the career training and educational opportunities along with the online shopping options and more by heading to https://www.goodwillwa.org/

Also be sure to follow Goodwill Washington on their various social networks:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Pinterest
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Pumpkin Spice Mug Cake with SweetLeaf Pumpkin Spice Sweet Drops



Fall is upon us and for many like myself that means it is officially pumpkin everything season!!!! I admit, I look forward to the fall weather but even more so the pumpkin spice flavor in just about everything I eat and drink. So when we were sent some of the Pumpkin Spice Sweet Drops from SweetLeaf to check out, I was not only excited to add some to my morning coffee but also make some delicious treats as well.


The Sweet Drops give us a plant-based sweetener that is free of sugars, calories, carbs, gluten, and artificial ingredients, making it an ideal choice for fans of the fall favorite seeking an alternative to the abundance of sugar-laden pumpkin spice snacks. I also like that with the Sweet Drops, they can be used in a variety of ways, allowing me to add some drops to sweeten and flavor both coffee and tea drinks with a pumpkin spice flavoring as well as bake with the drops. And after trying the Sweet Drops I decided to make a simple Pumpkin Spice Mug Cake that can be mixed in a coffee mug and cooked right in the microwave!

INGREDIENTS: 
4 tbsp (2 oz) canned pumpkin puree
1.5 fl oz heavy cream
3 tbsp SweetLeaf Pumpkin Spice Sweet Drops 
1 tbsp whisked egg
1 tbsp butter, melted
4 1/2 tbsp crushed crumbs of graham crackers

DIRECTIONS: 
Get a little butter on a paper towel or use non stick cooking spray to grease the inside of a 8 oz coffee mug. Take the melted butter and cookie crumbs and mix until crumbs are completely coated in a separate bowl then pour the cookie crust into the coffee mug, pressing it down at the bottom to create a crust. In another bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well until there are no clumps lefts, then pour the pumpkin mixture into mug. Before placing in the microwave, cover the mug with a paper towel. Cook on high for 4 minutes or until cake mix is firm and no longer sticking to mug. After done cooking, let the cake cool a few minutes before adding any toppings or serving, then serve and enjoy!


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

Monday, September 25, 2017

Halloween Parties with Oriental Trading


It is that time of year again, the time to put away the summer clothes and decorations and ready the home for the fall and winter celebrations. For me this means I can finally begin prepping my home for Halloween! I mean, I enjoy the summer and all, but the fall and winter holidays are something I look forward to and enjoy decorating for. So like many who are preparing their homes for Halloween, I like to head to Oriental Trading, where I can find not just the Halloween decorations I will be needing but also the goodies to have in the home and to give out to the trick or treaters this year!


To get started with spooking out my house, I like to seek out those fun Halloween props for both inside and outside the home. And after looking over the amazing selection of decorations from the Halloween Store at Oriental Trading, I was able to find some fun animated props along with others like creepy eyeballs, hands, and other body parts that are great for hanging up in our haunted house this year!


From there I was then able to find other items to help bring our Halloween parties and night of trick or treating together by getting some Halloween Candy, cups to add to this years haunted house to add the candy to for visitors, along with some fun crafts for our visitors to do as well while visiting our haunted house!


Then when it came to finding some of those must have finishing touches to help bring our haunted house theme together, I of course found plenty of the Super Glow Spider Webs to add to the mix. Allowing me to then add some fun plastic spiders and more to the webs as we hang them up around our house, and helping to bring the ideas I initially had thought up when I went to shop at Oriental Trading, a spooky reality! Which in all, made the choice to shop the line of Halloween treats and decorations from Oriental Trading, a choice that I am glad I made!




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

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales on Blu-ray


Family movie night is a night that we look forward to in my house. It allows us to each select shows and movies we are interested in and share them with everyone and also allows us to add those new must see releases to the list as well. And like many Disney fans out there, we find that when there are new additions to add from the movies from Disney, that they are a must watch in our house. So when we were sent the new Blu-Ray, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales to review, we were excited to add it to our family movie night line up and also add it to our Pirates of the Caribbean collection!



In this movie, you see some familiar faces as well as some new ones. One such face is that drunken pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow, who finds that another one of his debtors is coming to collect on what he owes them. You also come across some new faces, ones who are part of some of the familiar faces from the Pirates of the Caribbean series, and who find that they must put their trust in the pirate known as Jack Sparrow in order to find answers that they are seeking.

We found this edition to be a great one to go along with the other movies from the series, filled with humor, adventure and those elements of the fantasy that has enticed fans everywhere! Along with the movie that we enjoyed we also found the bonus materials to be a great addition to the story. The bonus materials that can be found when you get a Blu-Ray copy include the following:

Bonus features include*: 
BLU-RAY & DIGITAL in HD:
  • Dead Men Tell More Tales: The Making of a New Adventure – Get unique access into the making of this exciting new “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie with this collection of revealing and entertaining stories that you can view individually or as a “play all.” 
    • A Return to the Sea – Two talented filmmakers, Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, team up to bring “Pirates of the Caribbean” back to the screen. Hear how this new chapter of the tale was developed.
    • Telling Tales: A Sit-down with Brenton & Kaya – Meet Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario, the young actors behind Henry and Carina. The two sit down together for a revealing conversation on becoming a part of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise and its continuing legacy.
    • The Matador & The Bull: Secrets of Salazar & The Silent Mary – Oscar-winner Javier Bardem reveals more about his menacing new character and the foreboding ship he helms.
    • First Mate Confidential – Go on-set along with Kevin McNally, the affable actor behind the feisty Mr. Gibbs, Captain Jack’s reliable first mate from all five movies.
    • Deconstructing the Ghost Sharks – Peer below the depths at how these ferocious, mythical monsters were designed and brought to life.    
    • Wings Over the Caribbean – Captain Jack has a memorable encounter with Sir Paul McCartney – rock 'n' roll royalty.
    • An Enduring Legacy – Take one more look at the “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” experience and the impact of “Pirates of the Caribbean” -- the movies, the ride and beyond.
  • Bloopers of the Caribbean
  • Jerry Bruckheimer Photo Diary
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Highwayman
    • Henry Turner Learns a Lesson from Captain Jack
    • A Whale in Poseidon’s Tomb
    • Alternate Coda: Murtogg & Mullroy “Flogging”


Which in all makes the choice to add Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales on Blu-Ray to our family movie night, a choice that we all appreciated and one you can too when you bring home your copy on October 3, 2017!!




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.

Arrow: The Complete Fifth Season

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.



When it comes to the movies and shows we enjoy in the home, we like to have a variety on hand. This allows us to not only have a selection to enjoy on our family movie nights but also have some on hand that my husband and I can enjoy watching after the kids go to bed. And like many, we have enjoyed the various shows that come on The CW. So when we were sent Arrow: The Complete Fifth Season to review, I was excited to check it out and add to our collection of shows that my husband and I enjoy watching together!

In this season, you pick up where Season 4 left off, giving Arrow fans the storyline continuation that we all enjoy following. You find Oliver Queen, as the new mayor not only fighting to create a better city but also against the evil that lurks over Star City. He and his team soon learn that they are not the only vigilantes in the town either, and find that after his public defeat of Damien Darhk, a whole new league of masked heroes have stepped up to help defend the city. Though their intentions are good, this new group of heroes find that their inexperience can cause a lot of issues, and also causes the Green Arrow to have to find ways to work around the mayhem they are creating. Oliver also finds himself facing a new evil, which is one that makes him rethink everything and question who he is. We found this season to be a great addition to our Arrow collection and also a great way to recap Arrow anytime we want! Making Arrow: The Complete Fifth Season a great choice to go with to add to your Arrow collection and to get any Arrow fans out there!




5 Tips For Encouraging Kids To Choose Healthy Drinks


A child’s dislike for nutritious foods will have negative effects on their health. If their diet does not cover the essential food groups for children, your kids will be missing out on a lot of important nutrients that play a crucial role in their growth and development.

Aside from various foods, kids can get the right amount of nutrients they require from the beverages they drink. It is important that even at an early age, children know how to make smart decisions regarding the beverages they drink.

Helping Kids Make Healthy Beverage Choices


You can help your kids get the nutrients they need from healthy beverages and avoid the unhealthy ingredients that a lot of carbonated, high-calorie and sugary drinks have through the following ways:

1.     Be a role model


Kids, especially toddlers, love imitating all the actions of their heroes – their parents. As such, use this to your advantage to get your children to drink more healthy beverages.

This means taking the lead in drinking more water and making healthy beverages choices at home, in restaurants, and whenever you go shopping. When they see you ask for a glass of water or buy milk instead of a can of a soda, your kids will likely follow suit. If you just made a fruit smoothie, ask your kids if they want one, too. It’s very likely they will say yes, especially if you make a show of how much you like the healthy concoction you just made.

2.     Stock your fridge and pantry with only healthy drinks


The most effective way to prevent kids from drinking carbonated, sugary drinks is to stop buying them altogether. Instead of keeping a stash of canned fizzy drinks and sweet artificial juices, stock up the pantry and fridge with healthy options only.

Make sure you have bottles of mineral water, milk, a pitcher of lemonade (made from fresh lemons and some honey), and jugs of fresh, homemade fruit juice. Even if your kids are not fond of these beverages, they can soon develop a liking to them, especially if you take the lead in drinking these healthier options.

3.     Encourage your kids to drink more milk


Nutrition advisors always remind everyone that milk is still the most nutritious drink around for both children and adults. It is rich in vitamin D, calcium, protein and magnesium – nutrients that help build healthy bones and teeth. Milk also provides the nutrients kids need when they don’t get them from the foods or meals they eat.

Aside from encouraging your kids to drink a glass of milk at breakfast or bedtime, you can also add it to the foods or dishes they eat so that you can increase their consumption. For instance, you can use milk instead of water if you’re making tomato or pumpkin soup. Don’t forget to add milk to smoothies so that you can get them to consume fresh fruits and increase their calcium and protein intake at the same time.

4.     Teach your kids to read labels and be aware of the unhealthy ingredients certain beverages contain


If your children can read, let them go over the labels of the fizzy or sugary drinks they like. Explain to them that the artificial ingredients are not good for their body. When they know the ill effects of these drinks, your kids will understand the importance of making healthy beverage choices.

Your child’s pediatrician and dentist can also help you with encouraging kids to avoid unhealthy drinks. When you take your little ones for a checkup, ask the doctor or dentist to explain the bad effects of carbonated and high-fructose drinks and how making better beverage choices can benefit their health.

5.     Give your kids rewards when they make the right choices


Lastly, positive reinforcements always work great in encouraging kids to try nutritious foods, and this will work as well in improving their beverage choices. When you give your children incentives to make healthy choices, they will be encouraged to change their habits.

You can give the reward immediately if your kids choose a healthy beverage or you can let them accumulate points so that they can get a grander prize. For instance, if they get the number of stars you require from drinking water and other healthier beverages instead of unhealthy ones all week, the family can have dinner at their restaurant of choice or watch a movie at the local theater.

It can be tricky to get kids to go for healthy beverages instead of extremely sweet and unhealthy ones. Your children, though, will gain more health benefits by choosing water, milk and other natural, nutritious drinks. And the sooner they learn to make the right choices, the better it will be for their growth and development and overall health.


Why Work with Rover

Written by Casey Dickson, Rover.com community member. Rover is the nation's largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.

The Four-Legged Side Hustle

When you think of ways to make extra cash, you probably didn’t figure that there’s a job out there that enables you to determine your own schedule and take care of sweet dogs and cats. But lo and behold, there’s a place that makes that happen, and it’s Rover.com. Here’s what you can expect from this site that’s dedicated to keeping pets well cared-for and giving pet lovers great opportunities to make extra money.

Work how you want to. It’s not just pet boarding. You can provide a whole slew of Rover services — or just one. Whether it’s dog walking, pet daycare, pet boarding or watching furry friends in their own digs for the weekend, Rover offers all manner of pet-related jobs.

Only take clients you’re comfortable with. If you’re a dog lover but only comfortable with certain breeds and sizes, that’s no problem! There are all kinds of prospective Rover clients perfect for care experience.

Work when you want to. As a Rover sitter, you take jobs when it’s convenient for you. If you know you have a vacation coming up, you can block out those dates on your calendar.

Like we said, it’s pretty much a dream scenario for the pet-loving, side-hustle set. And if you don’t believe us, the sweet furry friends you’ll get to hang out with once you sign up will convince you that this is a great decision.

6 Simple Tips for Lonely Moms


Many single moms feel stressful and lonely raising their child. In this article we will give some useful tips for single moms. If you want to read more interesting articles about parenting and raising children, visit our blog termpaper.help. Of course, it's not so easy to be a single parent, but you should manage your life and look forward for better. Most of the lonely moms feel stressful about two main things: money and making decisions. Women can feel guilty they didn't make a family they wanted to have, and they also are worried about their future is undefined. Needless to say it's normal to feel anxious about these things, but you shouldn't be involved in the problems all time. Here are some good tips each single mom can read and apply to feel better:
  1. Take care of yourself: eat healthy food, make exercising, rest and sleep enough. Your child needs a happy and healthy mom, but not a stressful and nervous woman that is getting angry every minute because she is not able to do all things she planned for today. Relax and focus on your child, send time together and play. You can take a nap while your baby is sleeping, and there is nothing bad in that you will clean the kitchen later.
  2. Manage your time correctly: don't plan too much for the day, but make sure you have planned your every hour. You will be able to finish all planned things in time and go to bed early. This simple idea will also help to discipline your child.
  3. If you are a working single mom, it means you don't have a lot of time to cook on weekdays. Prepare meals on weekend and freeze them, it will be easy to warm up the food in the microwave.
  4. You may start to think that if you are a single mom, you should do everything alone. But it's not true because you can't do it all yourself. Don't hesitate to ask for help your family and close friends; they will be glad to babysit your child while you are having time on your own making something you enjoy. You deserve for a break and you shouldn't be a full-time mom.
  5. Don't try to focus on things you can't control: for example, if the child's dad says he wants to see a baby, but he doesn't show up, it's not your problem. You shouldn't blame yourself because it's his issues and you wouldn't be able to force him to visit a child. Focus on other things you keep under control.
  6. Be honest and open with a child: you are not alone going through this problem, but your little son/ daughter is doing this too. Try to talk to your child honestly, explain things simple and answer his or her questions. Your child will discover there are a lot of children who live in full families, but there are some children who have only a mom or a dad.



Sunday, September 24, 2017

Managing Your Pet's Weight 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.


When it comes to raising a puppy or kitten into healthy dogs and cats, I find that it all starts with their diets. Like many pet parents, I seek out the foods and treats that they not only enjoy but that they also benefit from with the various nutrients and vitamins that are suited for their growing bodies. I also seek out the products that offer healthy choices that fit into the busy lives of growing puppies and kittens. And like many who want the best for their fur babies, I turn to the brand that has proven to us on how their foods can make a difference by choosing foods from the line up at Petcurean!


See a couple years ago when we first made the change to Petcurean with our very overweight, senior dog Chloe, we saw the difference within the first month. Chloe began to loose weight, she gained a little more pep in her step, her health has greatly improved and over the last couple of years, those changes have continued to keep Chloe healthy and happy as she enjoys her life as a senior dog. So much that when we introduced a new member to the family back in the spring, Chloe was able to be excited about a new puppy and has enjoyed playing with Nakoma over the past few months. We also found that by starting Nakoma out right with the pet foods and treats from the Petcurean line up, that she is growing into a very healthy and happy puppy who is very active and enjoys playing with her Chloe when we go out for walks. So when we given information on how we can help to keep our pets happy and healthy by first focusing on their weight from the experts at Petcurean, I was excited to read over the info as well as share with my readers! You can read the information provided by the experts at Petcurean below:

Did you know that 22-44% of pets weigh more than their ideal body weight? Obesity can contribute to major health problems for your pet including diabetes in cats and decreasing the lifespan of your dog. The negative side effects of being overweight can start to appear within just a few weeks of the onset of obesity. As pet parents, it’s our job to keep our furry kids happy and healthy, especially if that means helping Fido shed a few pounds. Here are some helpful tips from Petcurean on how to manage your pet’s weight.

  • Evaluate your pet’s current weight: Weigh your pet at the vet’s office or with your home bathroom scale and check it against this Body Score chart to help you determine the current status of your pet’s weight.
  • Diet: An important rule you should keep in mind when managing your pet’s weight is restricting treats and resisting the urge to give them table scraps. These items make it hard for you to regulate what your pet is eating. For dogs, you can feed them a weight loss recipe with reduced calories. This option allows your pup to eat the same volume of food they’re used to eating, but with less calories. Petcurean’s GO! Fit + Free makes a great diet feeding option with a protein-rich, lower carb recipe. Alternatively, you can simply cut back on the amount of food you’re currently feeding. To ensure your dog still feels full after these smaller meals, you can add canned pumpkin or green beans as a fiber-rich and healthy topper. Cats do the best on low carb canned recipes since the wet food not only promotes weight reduction, but also helps cats feel fuller. GO! Fit + Free also offers canned recipes for cats.  
  • Physical activity: Decreased food intake should be accompanied by increased physical activity. Track your pet’s weight through weekly weigh ins. A rapid decline in weight can be harmful to your pet. As you monitor their progress, continue to check them against the body score chart. That will tell you when your pet’s weight goals have been reached! 
Managing your pet’s weight is an essential part of loving your furry friends. If you’d like help in developing a weight loss plan for your pet, I’d also be happy to coordinate an interview with Petcurean’s pet health specialist Dr. Jennifer Adolphe or Michele Dixon to speak on this health issue further.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Destiny 2 Collector's Edition for XBOX ONE


When it comes to gaming and finding the latest and greatest for my husband and his friends to enjoy, I like to seek out the ones that offer adventure. And like many gamers, who enjoy the game play that they got with the game of Destiny, my husband had been anticipating the release of the new game that is now available for console play, Destiny 2! So when we were sent the Destiny 2 Collector's Edition for XBOX ONE to review, I was very excited to share it with my husband and he was excited to check out what was all included in this limited edition collectors pack!


The packaging comes ready to be gifted for Destiny fans. Once opened, we found the box was filled with a great selection of Destiny 2 exclusives that are the perfect selection of must have collectible gear. This includes some very cool gear along with the Destiny 2 Game for the XBOX ONE and extras that can be used within the game.


The items in the Destiny 2 Collector's Edition set for the XBOX ONE comes with the following collectibles and gaming products:

Includes:

  • Destiny 2 base game
  • Destiny 2 Expansion Pass: Get access to both Expansion I and Expansion II, offering brand new story missions, cooperative activities, competitive multiplayer, and a wealth of new weapons, armor, and gear.
  • Premium digital content:
    • Legendary Sword
    • Legendary Player Emote
    • Cabal Empire Themed Emblem
  • Destiny 2 - Frontier Bag
    • Customizable bag that can be worn as a backpack or messenger bag
    • 15" Laptop/Tablet Sleeve with protective pocket slip
  • Frontier Kit, featuring:
  • Solar panel USB charger with built-in light
  • Paracord
  • Solar blanket
  • Limited Edition Steelbook® Case
  • Cabal-themed Collector's Box, containing;
    • Booklet with secrets into the Cabal Empire
    • Cabal Schematic
    • Collectible Postcard Images
    • Cabal Military Pawns
Then when it comes to the game of Destiny 2, it takes players on a epic journey to help keep humanity from being annihilated. Players create their "Guardian" avatars then embark on a adventure that takes them across the universe as they fight battles alongside those who have been devoted to the universe since the beginning! Players find that the last city on Earth which offered a safe haven has fallen, and now taken over by new occupants who are part of a very powerful army of enemies. And as players gain and master new abilities and weapons they acquire, they find that must help to reunite forces in the city so together they can fight back and take back their home! We found both Destiny 2 the game along with this amazing Destiny 2 Collector's Edition for the XBOX ONE to be the perfect gift to get any gamer who is a Destiny fan and find that it will make for the perfect gift to give this coming holiday season!



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

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

#Giveaway Monogrammed Backpacks from August Lane


With the kids back in school and the routines back in place, we find that aside from the schedules we keep that we also need the gear on hand to help make this new school year a successful one for everyone. For me, I have found that with a teen in school that when it comes to her gear that fashion is a not a question it is life. And when it comes to her backpacks, she likes to have a selection on hand that she can use throughout the school year. So when we were given the chance to review a backpack from the line of backpacks at August Lane, my daughter was excited to pick one out and have it personalized by having it monogrammed as well!

When shopping at August Lane, I found that with the backpack selection that they had designs to suit each of my kids, allowing us to find backpacks that we could customize as well. I also found the other items from the list of school supplies available at August Lane to offer us ways to add coordinating pieces which include lunch totes, notebooks and more. And after looking over the selection, my daughter found the Navy Seersucker Backpack to be perfect for her! She liked the color and the leather like trim, along with the space and padded laptop compartment.

Then when it came to adding a personal touch, she liked that she could choose from the selection of thread and the embroidered monogram options. Giving her options on how to make her backpack unique to her and making the choice to shop the line of backpacks from August Lane a great choice to go with when seeking out trendy backpacks for your kids that you can have monogrammed and even coordinate with other pieces from the August Lane line! And to help with getting your kids that backpack that they are sure to adore, the wonderful people from August Lane would like to give one of my amazing readers their own backpack from the August Lane line up!


 



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

Capturing Moments with Hello Canvas

With the summer come and gone and the fall approaching quickly, like many families, we find that we like to look back on those memories we made over the summer. For my family, this means looking back on the special occasions like the birthdays, anniversaries and holidays we celebrated together, along with the adventures we went on and the time my kids spend with their grandparents each summer. We look back on these memories by looking over the photos we took while making the memories together, saving some of those photos to put in albums and by even having prints made to hang up for all to see. So when we were given the chance to set up a review on a framed print from Hello Canvas, I knew that it would be a great way to display a photo of my kids with my parents from the summer break.

I found the process of setting up a print to have framed was a very simple one when shopping at Hello Canvas. I also found the print options to be a great selection, allowing us to choose from wood and metal prints to the traditional framed prints like I went with for this review. After choosing the way I wanted my print to be displayed, I was then able to upload my photo, choose the frame I wanted to go with, along with the size, effects and more! Allowing me to not just get prints made without the hassle of going to a print shop or framing store, but also customize my choice as well.

Then when it came to the finished product, I was pleased to see that it did not take long for my framed photo to arrive, and I was very pleased to see the quality of the framed print. Giving me a completed project that was ready to be hung up for all to see, and also giving my family a great framed memory that we can all look back on each time we see it! Making the choice to head to Hello Canvas for your print needs when it comes to those photos you want to have displayed nicely to be viewed and cherished for years to come, a choice that you are sure to appreciate!




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

Make Work Easier with the Epson EcoTank ET-2650 All in One Printer

When it comes to working from home and having kids in school, I have learned that aside from having a great WiFi signal in the home along with various security devices protecting our home network, that the printers are also a huge part of the home office space. In my house, I use my printers daily, and with the kids, when they have projects due or when they want to print off activity sheets, we find that the printers in our home get quite a bit of use out of them. And like many who have printers that are used regularly by multiple users in the home, the ink issue seems to be something that we were unable to avoid, that is until recently. I say that because recently we were able to upgrade the home office space and also come up with a solution to the ink issue when we were sent the Epson EcoTank ET-2650 All In One Printer to review from Epson.



With the EcoTank line of printers that you can find from the products at Epson, you get a selection of cartridge free printers which feature a revolutionary ink replacement technology that you can not find anywhere else! The ET-2650 is one of the printers available in this line, and is designed to be able to handle high capacity projects where we can print up to 4,000 pages in black and color without having to constantly replace the ink. In fact, when it comes to the ink that is included, I like that it can last for up to 2 years, allowing us to print without worrying about a whole lot other than ensuring we have plenty of paper on hand.



Then when it comes to the set up and the filling of the ink, well that is also made to be very simple too. I say that because I was able to simply take the printer from the box, take off all of the tape and protective plastic, place the printer on the desk, plug it in and set it up on our home WiFi network. Once it was set up, I then opened the ink tank, and filled each compartment using the ink in the bottles that were provided with our printer. After everything was set up on the network and the printer was ready, I was able to then go on my computer, locate the printer, and begin printing right away! We also found that we could print from our phones and tablets, allowing anyone in our home on our network, to print what they needed without any hassles! Which for us, has made the choice to add the Epson EcoTank ET-2650 All in One Printer from the line of EcoTank printers at Epson to our home office, a choice that everyone in my home can appreciate!




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

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

7 Useful Tips For Introducing Solid Foods To Your Baby

Once your baby reaches six months, be prepared to go through another exciting phase: feeding your baby solid foods.

According to nutritional advisors, when your baby can hold his head up, opens his mouth when food comes his way, and can swallow small amounts of soft food, then it’s time to expand your child’s diet to solid foods.

Starting Your Child on Solid Foods


Introducing solid foods to your child is an important stage in the whole baby development process. However, it can sometimes be one of the most daunting or challenging processes you and your child will have to go through.

To help you have a fruitful, less stressful, and more enjoyable time introducing solid foods to your baby, here are some tips that you can follow:

1.     Don’t rush the whole process


If you’re new to motherhood, getting your child to eat solid foods means more than simply preparing a bowl of pureed vegetables or fruits and feeding your child until he finishes everything. For the first six months, you have been solely breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your baby; as such, he doesn’t know any other type of food yet. Take things one step at a time.

If it’s your first time to feed your baby something solid, you can help him become more receptive by giving him a little breast milk or formula first then switching to small or half spoonfuls of food. After a while, breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby again. Follow this technique until your baby becomes more interested in solid foods. This strategy will also help prevent your baby from getting frustrated when he becomes really hungry.

In case your child cries or turns away when you bring a spoonful of food near his mouth, stop feeding him. Breastfeed or bottle-feed him exclusively for some time first before trying again.

You need to make sure your child perceives mealtimes as something fun and you won’t get to do this if you keep feeding your baby when it is clear he doesn’t want to eat at all.

2.     Introduce only one type of food at a time


Single-grain cereals are usually introduced to babies first. However, there is nothing wrong with giving him other types of foods first. If you choose to go with baby cereals, make sure you get ones that are made for babies and iron-fortified.

Once your child learns to eat and appreciate one food, gradually give him other foods. However, give him only one new food at a time. You can start by giving him mashed potatoes or bananas, then move on to pureed carrots and other fruits and vegetables. You can introduce meat, fish, eggs, and legumes and fresh veggies (carrot sticks, celery, etc.) as well.

Keep in mind that meats and vegetables contain more nutrients per serving than fruits and cereals so it will also be great if they develop a liking for these foods early on.

3.     Allow your child to set the pace of his meals


Regardless of the type of food you give your baby, let him decide how quickly and how much food he can eat. This is something that is easier to do if your baby is eating finger foods.

If you are spoon-feeding your child, be on the lookout for cues that he wants more before pushing the spoon into his mouth. If he leans forward and opens his mouth when you put up the spoon, this means he’s ready for the next bite.

4.     Include your baby during family meals


Once your baby can sit safely in a high chair, feed him during family mealtimes. You can still give him mashed potatoes, avocadoes, and other typical baby foods. However, you can start giving your child other baby-safe finger foods as well such as steamed fish and veggies and fresh fruits. But make sure you give your child foods that are easy to swallow and are not too salty, since babies’ kidneys will have problems processing excessive salt.

5.     Be a role model


Even if your child is just several months old, he will always look up to you and will soon follow and mimic things you do. As such, if you’re still in the initial stages of introducing solid foods to your child, you will encourage him to try them more when he sees you tasting and enjoying these dishes.

Don’t forget to smile and show that you appreciate every bite your child takes, even if he doesn’t swallow everything you put in his mouth.

6.     Make your baby’s food interesting


Introducing solid foods to your baby means helping him explore and learn new things, too. As such, make sure your baby tries different textures and flavors. You don’t have to keep giving your child mashed or pureed veggies and fruits.

He can handle some natural spices and crunchy foods so include these in his meals every now and then.

7.     Expect some mess


Lastly, teaching your child to eat solid foods will be messy. The earlier you learn to accept this, the better it will be for you and your child. The important thing is that your child gets to try and eat new and more nutritious foods, so a few drops or splashes on the floor and table shouldn’t be a huge problem. You can easily clean up afterward anyway.

There is nothing easy about introducing solid foods to babies. But by following the right techniques and tips, mealtimes with your baby can be fun (even if they still get messy).



Lunch Box Notes with NABISCO Multipacks + Giveaway

This post was sponsored by Nabisco as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.


With the kids back in school and routines back in play, we are finding that things are starting to run a little smoother than they did that first week back. For me, I enjoy being able to get through the week without a lot of surprises. Where we know the schedules, have times set for certain activities, and menus ready to go each week. And when it comes to the menus, especially the school lunches, I find that I like to ensure that my kids get a lunch that they will enjoy. I do this by seeking out the foods that I know they appreciate seeing in their lunches, like the different cookies we get with the NABISCO Multipacks, and by also offering a fun note of inspiration to help them get through their days. 


This is because lunch time at the schools is like the half way mark for the kids school day, and like many kids, mine are not only hungry and anticipating what I have packed for them, but they also enjoy the little things too. Like the little notes I pack in their lunches, that let them know I am always thinking of them, and offer a little inspiration to help them get through the rest of their busy days at school. And when they see those little notes as they enjoy some of their favorite cookies from the NABISCO Multipacks 12-pack which include the Oreo minis, Nutter Butter bites, and mini Chips Ahoy, it can help to bring a smile to their faces!


As a parent with a busy schedule, I like that I can pick up those items I need to pack in the lunches when I head to my local Walmart and find what I have on my lists, very easily! I also like that when it comes to the snacks the kids like in their lunches and for after school, that I can locate the NABISCO Multipacks in the Cookies and Crackers isle alongside other favorites of ours from the NABISCO line up.


Then when it comes to those lunch box notes that offer a little midday inspiration for the kids while they are at school, I like to create printables that I can print off and cut out each week like the printable above. This allows me to find fun and inspiring quotes to put in the lunches, and also gives the kids something different to read each day! So as you go to pack those school lunches and stock the pantry with after school snacks, be sure to head to your local Walmart where you can pick up the NABISCO Multipacks 12-pack which include the Oreo minis, Nutter Butter bites, and mini Chips Ahoy, and feel free to download the free printable above to add a little midday inspiration to your kids lunches that is sure to bring a smile to their faces!

Also be sure to enter below now through September 29th, 2017 for your chance to win one of 2 grand prize $200 Walmart Gift Cards or one of 12 $50 Walmart Gift Cards!

Nabisco Snacktime Sweepstakes

I-C will randomly select 14 winners from all program entries and will facilitate fulfillment of the winning prizes.