#Spon: Cotidea – A Less Awkward Way to Shave Your Legs

sampleDisclaimer: I received a sample of the Cotidea Shower Sidekick in order to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own and have not been influenced in any way.

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Shaving your legs in the shower is one of those things you hate to do, but you know you have to do it. If your shower is like mine, this task can sometimes look as ridiculous as a circus clown act. You throw your leg up on the wall and hope it stays, as you start shaving your leg, your leg slides down the wall, and before you know it, you’ve got a great big gash on your leg.

Every time my husband would walk into the bathroom and I was shaving my legs, he would chuckle and let me know that he’s glad he’s not a girl.

It’s tough sometimes! I totally get it!

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So, when I got the chance to review the Cotidea Shower Sidekick, I jumped on it! This is just what I need. I’ve been using the Shower Sidekick since I got it, and I have to say: I love it! It has made shaving in the shower so much easier! My shower looks much like the one pictured above, and there’s nowhere to put my foot to shave. The Shower Sidekick makes a perfect shelf for me to put my foot and easily reach my whole leg. No more gashes out of my shins. No more circus acts. Just an easy-peasy way to shave my legs.

The Cotidea Shower Sidekick would make a great gift for any woman in your life – whether she travels, is in a college dorm, or just needs a way to safely and easily shave her legs. She’ll be thrilled that you took the time to really think about her needs – because I think every woman needs one of these in her shower! It’s portable, adjustable, easy to set up, easy to use, and overall a fantastic product I wish I had gotten a hold of a long time ago. It’s designed for safety with non-rust aluminum, high grade plastic, and special non-slip rubber grips. Perfect for using at home, in a dorm, in a hotel room shower, or even at the gym.

(Note: The Shower Sidekick is NOT for use in a tub-shower combo. It’s designed for 3 wall showers.)

The Cotidea is available to purchase on Amazon for $29.95. You’ll love the Cotidea Shower Sidekick. Hurry on over and grab one for yourself and one for every woman on your list!

#Spon: #LaserX Real-Life Gaming Experience #Review #Giveaway @LaserX_game

sampleDisclaimer: I received a sample of the Laser-X Gaming Experience in order to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Laser X

Living in a home filled with boys, I am always looking for toys and products that will get my boys up off the couch and outside playing. So, when the opportunity to review LaserX came up, I jumped on it! This set is perfect for my 12 and 13 year old boys. (Although, my 6 & 7 year olds like playing it just as much.)

First, let me tell you what I love about this system:

  • It gets my boys up and moving. They are off the couch, outside in the fresh air, playing, laughing, and having a great time. They both love video games, but this is an even better way for them to play together.

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  • The complete set retails for just $49.99 and comes with everything you need for 2 plays to start playing right away (minus the batteries, but living in a house with 8 children, I have learned to always have batteries on hand). Open the box, put in the batteries, and BAM! You’re on your way to fun! Also, you can stock up on additional sets for 1 ($24.99) or 2 ($49.99) players that can all be linked together. You can get the whole neighborhood in on the fun!

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  • Play on Team Red, Team Blue, or go Rogue and blast anyone! It really is easy to connect new sets to the original set and get lots of players on board!

 

  • It blasts up to 200′ away. That, my friends, is awesome! It means one boy can be up on the deck while the other is hiding in the yard. My boys are all over the place wearing their vests, and I love it!

 

  • This isn’t a cheap toy. I’m really impressed with the quality of the laser blasters. Normally, I worry about bringing anything into our home, because if it can be broken, my boys will break it. They usually get to use something 2 or 3 times before it’s no good anymore. But, not this set! My boys have played with this dozens of times in the past 2 weeks, and it still looks like new. It is absolutely worth every penny of the cost.

I can’t tell you of anything that I’d like to change, because my boys and I all really love everything about it. This would make a great Christmas or birthday gift if you have a tween or teen boy in your house.

For more information about the LaserX Gaming Experience, check out www.GetLaserX.com. You can also find LaserX sets at your local Target stores and other retailers.

Be sure to follow LaserX on their social media accounts:

Want to win a LaserX set for 2 players? Enter through the Rafflecopter gadget below! Best of luck to my readers!

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#AD: @TheQueensTreas: @LHPrairie Laura Ingalls 18″ Doll #LittleHouseMoment #Review & #Giveaway

sampleDisclaimer: I received a sample of the Laura Ingalls doll from The Queen’s Treasures. Opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own and have not been influenced in any way.

When I was a little girl, I had an obsession with Little House on the Prairie. It started with the books. I loved reading, and the Little House book set was the first set of books I ever read. I loved them so much, I probably read the entire set through 5 or 6 times. I also loved the television show. I couldn’t get enough of it, and I watched it every chance I got. In fact, I still watch it whenever I get the opportunity to sit down. (Which isn’t as often as I’d like any more! 😉 )

So, when The Queen’s Treasures offered me the chance to review their exclusive 18″ Laura Ingalls doll, I had to jump on it. What a sweet way to pass my love and memories of Little House on to my girls.

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My girls often watch Little House reruns with me, so they know exactly who Laura Ingalls is. And, it made my heart leap with joy when Carly, (my 3 year old), recognized her when I opened the box. (I think the sweet little nightgown and cap set is what Carly recognized first.)

This gorgeous doll typically sits on my dresser, proudly displaying how beautiful she is. (See the photo above.) But, every so often, I will happen up this scene in my bedroom:

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Carly will sneak into my room, carefully climb up to my dresser, and take the doll onto my bed, where she will gently cover her, play with her, and enjoy the doll for a few minutes. She always gets caught, and while she knows she’s not supposed to play with the doll, I can’t bring myself to get onto her about it. I think it’s sweet.

If Little House had a significant impact in your life, I know you’re going to love this doll! Want some even better news? You’ll have a chance to win the complete collection of Little House products! It’s valued at over $700! You could also win the Little House on the Prairie DVD Set, ($100+ value), or the Laura Ingalls Wilder documentary ($20+ value). See the rafflecopter gadget below.

If you’re ready to purchase this gorgeous doll and all the accessories she needs, she can be purchased through The Queen’s Treasures Website or on Target.com. She’s available for just $99.99, so grab one today.

I also want to encourage you to check out www.LittleHouseonthePrairie.com where you can find tops of helpful and educational details all about Little House on the Prairie. You’ll find a historical timeline, history articles, fun crafts, recipes, and so much more.

Also, be sure to follow The Queen’s Treasures and Little House on the Prairie on the following social media accounts:

Now, be sure to enter the awesome giveaway here:

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#Sponsored: Current Catalog Makes Everything Prettier #Review #Affiliate

sampleDisclaimer: I received a samples of Current Catalog products in order to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed are 100% my own and have not been influenced in any way. Links in this post are affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Blessed Beyond Words.

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Christmas is just around the corner, and if you’re anything like me, you’re already trying to figure out how to make everything perfect.

I’ve found something that can help! Current Catalog is a great way to get everything you need for the perfect holiday.

Let me share an example.

A friend asked me to make a “Santa Cam” ornament for her kids. She wanted something to hang in her tree to encourage her kids to make better choices this season, and maybe even go above and beyond.

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It turned out GREAT! But, in order to convince her kids that this really came from Santa, I had to wrap it to make everything look like it came straight from the North Pole. That’s where the Current Catalog came in. They sent me everything I needed to make this package perfect.

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The Jumbo Roll of Kraft Paper was perfect for wrapping the box. The Red & White Jute Cord was just what I wanted to tie things all together and give it a little more of a professional touch. And the Candy Cane Curly Bows are the best topper I could have ever imagined. The Gift Tags added a special touch to personalize it all. And, the Plaid Tree Gift Top is a soft, fun way to add a little extra detail. Put it all together, and it really looks like Santa’s elves packaged it up and sent it from the North Pole. Each of these products and more can be found on the Current Catalog website.

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Isn’t it perfect? I love absolutely everything about it. I did add one last tiny detail, though….

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Because this isn’t really going through the mail, I still needed to make it look that way. One quick label printed off, and it’s ready for me to secretly hand deliver. 🙂 I asked my friend to record her kids’ reactions, and I just know they’re going to love this!

Thank you, Current Catalog for making this project amazing. I love the way it turned out, and I know it exceeded the expectations of my friend. I couldn’t have done it so beautifully without the products Current offers.

Right now, my readers can save BIG on the items in the Current Catalog. Check out these amazing deals:

Start shopping – and saving – now! You won’t believe all the different items you’ll find on the Current website. Be sure to share your creations with me. I’d love to see them!

Current Catalog Offer

#Sponsored: Inspired by Happiness: Gluten Free Made Amazing @IBHappiness #Review

sampleDisclaimer: I received a sample of Inspired by Happiness products in order to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed are 100% my own and have not been influenced in any way.

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Do you see that cake pictured above? Do you see how absolutely delicious it looks? How perfectly put together and decadent it must be? Oh, my dear readers, let me tell you: IT IS.

I recently received a shipment of cakes from Inspired by Happiness. If you have not heard of this company yet, you are missing out!

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Inspired by Happiness offers cakes that are Gluten Free, contain only natural flavors, no artificial colors, and have no artificial trans fat. They use simple, honest, high-quality ingredients such as Belgian chocolate and real strawberries to inspire your snacking and make life a little happier.

I wish there were words that I could type to convey how amazing these cakes are. We sampled all 3 flavors, “Dreamin’ of Strawberries,” “Dreamin’ of Chocolate,” and “Cravin’ for Cookies & Cream.” Y’all, when I tasted them, I did NOT believe they were gluten free! There’s no way. They taste too good! If we’re being honest, it is hard to find gluten free food products that actually taste good. I promise, these really, really do!

I have a son who is gluten intolerant, and he hates it, because all of the snacks and goodies he loves contain gluten. Now that he’s had a taste of Inspired by Happiness cakes, it has completely changed his mind. I’m certain they have found new customers for life!

Inspired by Happiness has gone above and beyond my expectations for gluten free food. They have smashed the competition with their flavors, decadence, and quality. I am a convert to Inspired by Happiness products, and I will proudly serve their desserts in my home from now on. I can make everyone happy, and my son no longer has to feel left out because everyone else gets the goodies!

To learn more about Inspired by Happiness products and where to buy them, I want to encourage you to connect with them in the following ways:

And, to my Canada-based friends, I have more good news! Inspired by Happiness is available in your area!! Check out their website to learn more.

Can I make one suggestion, Inspired by Happiness? You all need an Instagram account! That’s one account I would love to follow and drool over any time I get the chance. 😉

I am super impressed with how great these cakes taste. If you have been searching for a gluten free dessert that actually tastes great, let me encourage you to try these cakes. You won’t be disappointed!

#Sponsored: Entenmann’s Harvest Products #Facebook #Giveaway & #Review

sampleDisclaimer: I received a sample of Entenmann Products in order to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed are 100% my own and have not been influenced in any way.

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Fall is my absolute favorite season, and even though I am deathly allergic to pumpkin, I still love all the other fun things Fall brings, including all the fun food choices!

Entenmann’s contacted me recently and wanted to me to share with my readers all of their fun fall offerings. You can find things like:

  • Entenmann’s® Pumpkin Pop’ems – these are my husband’s favorite. Even though I can’t enjoy them like everyone else, they are still a staple in our house this fall. 🙂 Check out this cute little video:

  • Entenmann’s® Little Bites® Apple Cinnamon Muffins – Now, these?! I absolutely love! They remind me of years ago when we’d go to the apple orchard. These are so soft and moist and YUMMY. There’s just no other way to describe them. (Also, this month, you can find Butter Cookie Muffins. Don’t those sound divine? That’s what I’m trying next!)
  • Entenmann’s single serve coffee selections – These are such a great option. With classic, dessert, and harvest flavor choices, you are certain to find something you love. (We received the vanilla flavor, and it smells like vanilla cake – and it tastes even better!

Entenmann’s offers some of the most amazing fall harvest choices you can find anywhere. They all taste great and are good to the last bite. (Just ask my kids!)

If you’d like to win the prize pack listed above, head on over to our Facebook page and learn how to enter and win!

Hurry, the giveaway ends 11/13 at 9pm Eastern Time. Don’t delay… enter right now!

Why It Isn’t Just Another #WorldSeries to Me

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Many years ago, I was born in Ohio. My dad was a die-hard Indians fan. No matter how bad they were losing, he never stopped rooting them on. He’d make me watch the games with him, and I grew up loving baseball.

When I was 11, we moved to Chicago. That’s where I really “grew up,” where I became a teenager, and where everything around me helped mold me into the woman I am today.

cubslogoWe went to Cubs games. A lot. Daddy loved Wrigley Field. When I think about all the Cubs games we went to, I think about the fun we had. We would go to watch Mark Grace and Ryne Sandberg play. And we would laugh. Oh, how we would laugh. I remember sitting in pouring down rain having the absolute best time. Or the nights when we would freeze under our blankets, but we weren’t giving up on our Cubbies. I remember singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” under the sound of Harry Caray’s voice during the 7th Inning Stretch.

indianslogoBut, we didn’t just go to Cubs games growing up in Chicago. Whenever the Indians came to play the White Sox, we would be there. In the South Side of Chicago, dressed in full Indians garb, we would be there. Daddy probably knew that alone could have gotten us killed, but he persevered. We’d walk proudly into the stadium and be the only ones rooting for the Indians. Oh, the memories that were made. As I became a teenager, I thought my Daddy was crazy for going into White Sox territory in Indians gear, but I went with it, even when I protested.

In 1997, my Daddy was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and that fall, the Indians made it to the World Series. We thought they were going to do it. We cheered and we hoped and we held our breath. But, they fell to the Florida Marlins in the 11th inning of Game 7. Our hopes we dashed, but we never gave up. There was always next season.

In 1998, my Daddy passed away halfway through the baseball season. My world was crushed. I had lost all my hope in the Indians and in everything else.

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As time went on, I continued to love baseball, and I would cheer for both the Indians and the Cubs. It was my way of holding onto my Daddy. I passed my love for baseball, the Indians, and the Cubs onto my kids, and baseball is the favorite sport in our house.

So, this year, when we found out the Cubs AND the Indians were going to the World Series, it became so much more to me than just another game. This was what Daddy and I talked about. This is what we dreamed of. All those years ago, we decided that Daddy would root for the Indians and I would root for the Cubs, but we’d really be happy no matter who won.

Y’all, for these few games, it’s not just baseball. I’ve got my Daddy here with me again. I can watch these games with my kids and relive my childhood. I can share my Daddy with my kids in a way that I never could before.

This isn’t just another World Series for me. This is everything I’ve ever dreamed of, wrapped in a best of 7 series of games. I can’t pick a favorite. I don’t care who wins. I just want to enjoy every game that comes on and make memories with my kids so that some day when my kids are grown and have families of their own, a baseball game will come on and they’ll know I’m still watching it, cheering right beside them.

#Spon: Gift Guide Pick: @Philips Wake Up Light #Review

sampleDisclaimer: I received a sample of the Philips Wake Up Light in order to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed are 100% my own and have not been influenced in any way.

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I’m going to make a confession: I do NOT like getting up in the morning. When I finally fall asleep at night, whatever time that may be, it never seems like much time passes before I hear the annoying sound of the alarm clock. Whomever it was that decided such an awful sound was a good way to wake people up was an idiot. Seriously? Who likes hearing that dreadful noise and then gets excited about getting out of bed? Not me! My head hurts, I’m still tired, and my day is off to a miserable start.

So, when Philips contacted me and told me there was a better way I could wake up in the mornings, I wanted to try it for myself.

Y’all, let me tell you… this little circular clock is amazing. It has made drastic changes in my mornings! I cannot get over it.

Let me share with you some of the awesome benefits this Wake Up Light offers:

  • Colored Sunrise Simulation – This is my favorite feature. Over the course of 30 minutes, the light gradually changes from soft red to orange and then to bright yellow at wake up time. Because of this change in light, your body wakes up naturally, rather than being jerked awake by an alarm.
  • Choice of 5 Wake Up Sounds – At your set wake up time, your selected wake up sound will start to play. This completes the wake up experience and it makes sure you are actually awake. The sound gradually increases in volume to your selected level within a minute and a half. You have 5 different sounds to choose from including a bird song, birds in the forest, a zen garden, gentle piano music, and seaside sounds. (My personal favorite is the gentle piano music, but that’s only because I have an unnatural fear of birds, and it totally freaked me out the first morning when it sounded like a flock of birds were flying around my bedroom. 😉 ) You also have the option to wake up to the sound an FM radio if you prefer.

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  • Easy Snooze – Some days, you just don’t want to get out of bed. That’s ok! Just put your hand on the front of the Wake Up Light to Snooze a little longer. It’s so easy! (And, yes, I still woke up refreshed.)
  • Sunset Option Also Available – You can also set a sunset option to help you drift off to sleep at night. So far, this hasn’t worked for me, but I have 8 kids and falling asleep is one of the hardest things I have to do. It’s a great feature, though, and my husband loves it, so we do utilize it every night.

If there were anything I would change about the wake up light, though, it would be two little things:

  • I’d add more sounds without birds. I really, really, really hate birds, but I love the sound of the ocean. If there were an ocean sound without seagulls, it would be absolutely perfect!
  • The power cord on the back of the unit unplugs too easily. My two year old’s favorite thing to do is walk into my bedroom and pull the cord out of the back. That means I’m resetting the clock a thousand times a day. It can be frustrating.

Overall, I love this light, and I’m still in awe over the changes I’ve experienced in the mornings since I’ve had it. I’m ready to jump out of bed and start my day, and with a smile on my face. I think my family is glad I got the light, too! 😉

So, if you (or someone you love) tend(s) to wake up grumpy, consider the Philips Wake Up Light. It’s made a difference in our home, and I know you’ll love it too!

You can find this gift and many more in our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide!

5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for a New Child

Many prospective parents know welcoming a child into their home will bring change, but they don’t realize their lives are going to do a total 180. It’s an amazingly wonderful change, but when you’re in the middle of it all the change can feel overwhelming. You have to start preparing yourself mentally, emotionally and physically before your family expands.

No matter how you expand your family, whether it be through natural birth, adoption, fostering or surrogacy, preparing your home ahead of time helps you ease into your new role as a parent. It’s so important organizations like SurrogateAlternatives.com provide their surrogate parents with guidance leading up to the delivery.

After having eight kids, we’ve learned a thing or two about getting our home ready for a new family member. Here are five pieces of advice I’d give any new parent.

Prioritize Based on Age
How you prepare depends on the age of the child. If you are having a baby there’s no need to baby-proof the house just yet since they won’t be crawling or walking for 9-12 months. However, if you’re adopting a two-year-old you’ll need to secure everything from top to bottom. Before fostering a tween or teen you’ll want to make sure they have some sort of private area they can make their own.

Divide and Conquer Your To-Do List
Now that you’ve prioritized the to-dos and come up with a list of chores that need to get done ASAP, it’s time to assign them. Taking a divide and conquer approach will help you get more done in less time. It also ensures no one will get burned out and exhausted.

Sit down with your significant other, and older kids if you have them, and go over the task list. Each person should pick chores they don’t mind doing. If there’s something no one wants to do you’ll need to find a fair way decide, like flipping a coin.

Organize Your Family
We have mastered the art of organizing a family. With a family as large as ours, you have to have tight organization or chaos will ensue. But even if it’s your first child, adding another person to the mix means there’s someone else to account for each and every day. There will be new responsibilities, commitments, appointments, etc.

How you stay organized will be unique to your family members and situation. However, the one essential is good communication. As long as you communicate frequently and clearly everyone will be on the same page and less stressed. Come up with a communication plan that highlights the various ways you’ll communicate information. For example:

  • ·  Designate cell phones as the primary contact method for emergencies.
  • ·  Put a daily calendar on the fridge with color-coded days that dictate which family member has something going on.
  • ·  Have a family touch-base once a week to keep everybody updated.

It’s also important to take time to communicate with each other leisurely. Family dinners are a great opportunity for everyone to talk with one another and simply discuss how their day was or what their plans are in the coming days.

Make Enough Space
Even a newborn needs space in your home – actually they need a lot of space. Newborns need to have a crib, a changing station or dresser with a changing table on top, hamper and toy chest among other things. You’ll need to really assess how much room will be needed to accommodate the new family member. It might mean rearranging a few of the rooms or converting a living space into a bedroom.

Let’s be honest – a family can always use a little extra space. That’s why you have to be really strategic with space when the family grows larger.

Stock Up on Supplies
The best time to stock up on supplies is before you have a child in tow (or another child). If you have the financial means and storage space buy everything you can in bulk. You’ll save money in most instances and avoid wasting more time than necessary shopping. Those precious hours can be used for sleep instead.

If you’re having a child you’ll want to overstock every essential baby supply. New parents of a newborn are some of the most fatigued people on the planet. Do what you can to avoid having to shop in the first few weeks.

Reasons to Play Puzzle Games With Your Children

Over the years, many parents have developed the notion that games are mindless and nothing more than a waste of time. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Some games, especially puzzle games, can be enormously beneficial for parents and children. These games channel the child to utilize their problem solving skills, while working to put all of the pieces in the correct location. As a parent, it is truly in your best interest to get your child involved in puzzles. Reasons for doing so will be examined in greater depth below.

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Improves Problem Solving
Children and adults are required to solve problems each and every day. Problems must be solved at home, at school, and within the workplace. By solving puzzles frequently, the child will develop and hone their skills. Allowing the child to develop his or her skills at home with the use of puzzle games will help them develop their own personal techniques for making the best choice for any situation they face. This skill will prove to be very helpful later in life. So, it is a good idea to get your child involved in jigsaw puzzles online at a very young age.

Bonding And Teamwork Skills
As a busy parent, it is highly likely that you’ll find it difficult to take time out of your day to sit down and play with your child. Nonetheless, you will need to do so as much as possible! Bonding with your child is truly a necessity and will give you the ability to strengthen your relationship with your offspring. At the same time, solving puzzles with your child will help develop teamwork skills. Everyone needs to know how to work effectively in a team. By working puzzles with your child, you’ll bond and teach your child how to work in a team environment without becoming overzealous.

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Builds Confidence
It is truly impossible to achieve anything in life without having any confidence. With a high level of confidence, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. This is why it is important to get your children interested in puzzle games as early as possible. Start with simple puzzles, which can be solved within a matter of minutes. As your child begins to solve the puzzles, they’ll feel great about this accomplishment and this will lead to a boost in self-esteem and confidence. As the puzzles grow in difficulty, the child’s confidence will swell.

With patience and persistence, your child will beam with confidence and they’ll be able to accomplish anything they set their mind to.

Create Unforgettable Moments
At the end of the day, puzzle games are just that. They’re games. Although they can be beneficial and practical, it is also important to have fun with your child. Use the opportunity to create lasting memories with your child. No matter how old your child becomes, he or she will always long for his father and mother. Use this playtime to strengthen that bond, while also developing memories, which will last for the rest of your life!

#Ad: #SuperWubble Bubble Ball #Review & #Giveaway

sampleDisclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Super Wubble Bubble Ball & NSI. All opinions are 100% my own and have not been influenced in any way.

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Right now is the perfect time for outdoor activities with the kids. The days are getting shorter, yes, but they are also getting cooler. We love spending as much time as possible outside as a family, and I am always looking for activities and things we can do outside.

When I was asked to do a review of the Super Wubble Bubble Ball, I jumped on it! THIS was perfect. What a great way to get my kids outside, moving, and having fun together. The boys were all very excited to receive the blue ball, and the girls didn’t care what color it was, they just wanted to play!

Jace begged me to let him blow up the Super Wubble Bubble Ball, so we read the instructions together, and I let him go for it.

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I think he went a little overboard. It’s hard to gauge what is 36″ or 30″, and so he just guessed. I think his estimate was a little off, but I really don’t think he cared. After it was blown up, they headed out to the yard to play.

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They had so much fun playing in the yard together. Before I knew it, all 7 of the younger kids were outside playing with the Super Wubble Bubble Ball. It did pop in the first half an hour of play, but I think that’s because it was filled too full. No worries, though! The Super Wubble Bubble Ball comes with patches, so they were right back to playing after a quick fix. (And we made sure to let some air out.)

We love the Super Wubble Bubble Ball. The kids can’t get enough of it! It’s the perfect outdoor toy to get kids moving, playing, and having fun!

Want to learn more about the Super Wubble Bubble Ball and their top secret Xpandium™ material that makes it up to four times stronger and more tear-resistant than the original Wubble Bubble Ball? Visit their website at http://wubbleball.com/ to learn more and purchase now!

If you’d like to try to win your own Super Wubble Bubble Ball, enter with the rafflecopter gadget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#Ad: US Flag #3DCoinArt Set #Review & #Giveaway

sampleDisclaimer: This is a sponsored post for 3D Coin Art & NSI. All opinions are 100% my own and have not been influenced in any way.

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If there is one thing our home is never lacking, it’s spare change. Usually, it falls out of my husband’s pockets and ends up in the couch, although we do have a jar where it’s supposed to go.

I’m always looking for a fun, unique way for my kids to pass the time, and this 3D Coin Art set is perfect! My kids were thrilled to see that we got the US Flag Set, and they couldn’t wait to attack our spare change jar and start putting the coins into the flag.

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I loved watching them work together. And, while the spare change from our jar (and our couch!) didn’t quite fill up the set, they boys had so much fun working on this project. I do wish the flag held quarters, though, because we were left with lots of quarters after the boys were done. But, at the same time, it’s probably a good thing it doesn’t hold quarters, just because my kids and my husband would be much more likely to break into the flag to get the quarters out. 😉

We’ve decided we’re going to take our quarters to the bank and exchange them for pennies, dimes, and nickles so the boys can finish filling up the flag puzzle. They’re really excited about it, and I’d love for them to have something to display that they’re proud of.

Here’s how far they got:

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Look how proud they are!

We still have a long way to go, but we’ll get there! Zander, the older boy in this picture, has decided they’re not putting any stickers on the base until they’ve got it all filled in and can display it.

I love that this brought some of my kids together for a project. They’ve both had so much fun with it, and they can’t wait to finish it so they can display it. What a simple, easy project that anyone can do – whether they are just a kid or an avid coin collector.

If you’d like to purchase your own 3D Coin Art Set, head to http://www.3dcoinart.com/ right now! You can learn more about how the sets work and what sets are available.

Also, for a chance to win your own 3D Coin Art Set, use the rafflecopter gadget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Managing Your Child’s Allergies

If your child suffers from allergies and sensitivities, you understand the challenges of everyday life. From planning outings and activities to preparing a simple meal, managing your child’s allergies isn’t always easy. Thankfully, there are ways to reduce the risk of reaction, without adding to your own stress. Keep reading to learn more!

Is Your Child Taking the Right Medications?
For some children, keeping antihistamines on hand is enough to address the occasional reaction. For others, especially children with seasonal allergies, daily medications are often necessary. For children with more severe and varied allergies, allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy, can reduce the risk of reaction and help children lead more active, normal lives. Talk to an allergist to see if your child is taking the right medications and in the right dosages. Also, since allergies can develop, worsen and disappear over time, regular appointments with an allergist are essential in keeping your child safe and healthy.

Eliminating Triggers
Once you or an allergist have identified your child’s triggers, eliminating them, at least in the home, is the easy part. For example, if you know your child reacts to wool and other itchy fabrics, you can make a point to buy only soft clothes for sensitive skin; or, if your child is allergic to cat dander, you can avoid contact with felines.

Identifying triggers, on the other hand, can get tricky. Kids are exposed to so many substances, it can be difficult to pin down the exact cause of a reaction. Short of allergy testing, you can watch for reactions like the following, then eliminate possible causes until the exact trigger is determined:

  • Hives or welts.
  • Skin that itches or burns.
  • Itchy, watery eyes.
  • Sneezing.
  • Swelling of the face, tongue or throat.
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath.

It’s important to note that, while sneezing, itching and other mild allergy symptoms are usually benign, swelling of the face, throat and tongue, as well as wheezing and shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, are signs of anaphylaxis, and should always be treated as an emergency.

Protecting Your Child at School
Reducing the risk of an allergic reaction while your child is at school or away from home is often challenging. For children with severe food allergies, for example, even secondhand contact with a trigger can be life-threatening. Thankfully, tips like the following can go a long way in keeping your child safe at school.

  • Communication. Be sure your child’s teachers, the school nurse and administrators are aware of your child’s situation. Ask about policies regarding allergies, and make sure everyone is up-to-date on your child’s medication and dosing instructions.
  • Planning. Prior to the school year, make sure your child has all the necessary prescriptions, including those for emergencies, like epinephrine or an asthma inhaler. If your child is old enough, make sure he or she knows the proper dosing procedures, and can administer emergency medications.
  • Paperwork. Some school’s require medication authorization forms, which need to be signed by parents, doctors, and school administrators. Ask your child’s principal about any additional paperwork, and make sure everything is signed and completed before the first day of school.
  • Education. Educating your child on allergies and the risk of reaction is often helpful. In simple terms, explain to your child what he or she must avoid in order to stay healthy. Make sure they know not to share food, and make sure they’re comfortable discussing their concerns with teachers and administrators.

Although childhood allergies can be dangerous, there are steps you can take in protecting your child, without added stress and anxiety. With the tips provided here, you can help avoid a reaction, whether your child is home or at school.

#Ad: Check out the @jfshome Spider-Man Collection #JFShome #Review #Giveaway

sampleDisclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Jay Franco & Sons. All opinions are 100% my own and have not been influenced in any way.

spiderman zippy sack

It’s no secret that we love superheroes in our house. In fact, we love them so much, that each family member actually has their own superhero. One of those superheroes happens to be Spider-Man. We love Spider-Man! 🙂 Our son, Parker, was even named after Spider-Man, that’s how much we love him! (Peter Parker = Spider-Man. Our boys picked out his name, and we went with it!) So, when the opportunity arose to review the new Jay Franco & Sons Spider-Man collection, I jumped on it! I just knew Parker would be giddy when this box arrived in the mail.

I wasn’t wrong! 🙂 Parker couldn’t wait to get his hands on everything in the box, and the first thing he did was put the Marvel Spider-Man Zippy Sack on his bed. (Don’t worry! He had help!) Here’s why I love the Zippy Sack:

  • It’s super easy to put on the bed. We just put it right over his sheet, and it was ready to go! Less than 2 minutes from bag to bed. Love that!
  • Parker can make his own bed every morning. I hate fighting with my kids about making their beds. With the Zippy Sack, he gets out of bed, zips it closed, and his bed looks fantastic all day long. Bam!
  • It is super soft! I don’t have to worry about him getting to hot or cold or itchy during the night. The incredibly soft material keeps him comfortable all night long.

He also absolutely loves the Spider-Man Plush Snuggle Pillow Buddy. So much fun in one crazy little character. He’s perfect to snuggle with every night, he uses him as a pillow to watch movies in the living room, and he loves playing with him. Parker is a rough and tumble kind of kid, and the pillow buddy has held up to countless pillow fights already. 😉

spiderman pillow buddy

The last item we received is the Spider-Man Hooded Bath/Beach Poncho Towel. While Parker loves this, the baby won’t let him use it. It’s hysterical. For some reason, Sawyer has claimed this towel as his own, and he freaks out if Parker uses it. Parker totally understands, though, and he’s been good to share the towel with Sawyer without complaint. This towel is soft, dries quickly, and makes anyone who is wearing it feel like a superhero.

spiderman hooded towel

If your kids love superheroes like we do, I encourage you to check out the Spider-Man collection from Jay Franco & Sons. You will not be disappointed! While I posted the links to the items on Amazon, you can also find them in your local Walmart store. Be sure to look the next time you go shopping, and stock up now for Christmas gifts your kids are sure to love.

I also want to encourage you to follow Jay Franco & Sons on Social Media. Here’s how:

Want the chance to win the Jay Franco Spider-Man Collection for yourself? (It’s valued at $75!) Enter through the easy-peasy Rafflecopter gadget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#Ad: #LetsPowerTheirDreams Together with @SheSpeaksUp, @Walmart, & @AussieHair

sampleDisclaimer: This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/P&G. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

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Is your family as obsessed with the Olympic Games as my family is? Once the Opening Ceremony starts, our TV is set to absolutely nothing else besides Rio 2016. My family absolutely loves all the different sports, and we all love cheering on the USA! My kids are all at the ages where they start to want to think about what they want to do with their lives, and my son, Jace, has big dreams of making it to the Olympic Games one way or another. 🙂

A big way to support Team USA is to shop for Proctor & Gamble brand products at your local Walmart store. For this review, we received a sample of Aussie® 3 Minute Miracle Smooth Treatment. Oh. My. Goodness. This is one way I can easily support Team USA by buying this at Walmart.

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I also let my daughter try the Aussie® 3 Minute Miracle Smooth Treatment, and she loved it as much as I did. In fact, I think her exact words after using it were, “Wow! Look how amazing my hair looks now,” after she did her hair that day. It truly is amazing the difference after just one use. She was even able to leave her hair wavy, and there was no frizz, no static, just gorgeous waves all throughout her hair. One treatment each week, that’s all it takes, and you’ll instantly have gorgeous frizz-free hair thanks to a touch of Olive Oil and Australian Ginseng. It smells amazing, works fast, and lasts all week long.

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Now, let’s get back to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. One of our very favorite sports is beach volleyball. We love, love, love the sport of volleyball. My daughter, Ashley, has admired April Ross since London 2012, and she absolutely refuses to miss a match when April plays.

I also loved volleyball as a teenager, and I even played in high school. I passed on that love to Ashley, and I always hoped she’d go far with volleyball. Unfortunately, the school system in our county doesn’t have a volleyball team, and so Ashley could never pursue volleyball with the passion that she has. It’s never stopped her, though, and she’s found ways to continue playing the sport she loves. I just wish we could have done more to help her go farther. I’m so proud of her for never giving up, and I hope some day, she achieves every goal she’s set for herself.

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I can’t wait to see how Team USA does throughout the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and you can bet, my whole family will be cheering them on from our living room. Not only that, but we will also be supporting Team USA by stocking up on Proctor & Gamble (P&G) products from Walmart. Products we use every day anyway, and now they’re helping to make a difference in the lives of the Olympians.

I’m also going to keep cheering my own children on and encouraging them to Power their Dreams. Who knows? Maybe one day, I might get to watch one of my own children or grandchildren in a future Olympic Games.

Do you and your family watch the Olympic Games? What’s your favorite sport? Tell me in the comments below!

#Sponsored: #TastingGrace: A Mentoring in the Kitchen Bible Study

sampleDisclaimer: I received a copy of the Tasting Grace book in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.
Tasting Grace
If you are a regular reader around here, you are probably aware that I am not a whiz in the kitchen. In fact, while I have several recipes here on the blog, that’s not what this blog is about. And, it’s for good reason.

Growing up, my mom worked. A lot. And she traveled. A lot. While I did spend time with several women who did know how to cook and were amazing homemakers, I never really learned how to work in the kitchen. I knew how to order from a menu, and I knew what my favorite dishes were at every restaurant we frequented. Meals around the table at our house were basically non-existent, though I do recall a few… many after Daddy became sick and mom spent more time at home.

I will never forget my Home Ec class my junior year. Our assignment was to make biscuits. Easy, right? HA. My biscuits turned out like hockey pucks, and they were inedible. Not only did I get a “D” on the assignment, but the teacher also felt the need to tell me that I would never be able to make biscuits, and that I should just learn the proper way to order from a menu like my mom did. OUCH. From that moment on, I didn’t even want to try in the kitchen. I didn’t care.

After I had my daughter, Ashley, I learned how to make the basics: mac ‘n cheese, grilled cheese, ramen… we could survive. And, then I got married. And started having kids. LOTS of kids. Over the years, my ability in the kitchen has grown, but I have never felt like I knew what I was doing.

Then I met Leah Adams. Y’all. I wish you could meet this woman in real life. What a heart she has for Jesus!

Leah started her Tasting Grace ministry, and Ashley and I attended one of her sessions. Wow, wow, wow! We made chicken and dumplings and pound cake, and she also taught us the proper way to make biscuits. While the food cooked, and after we had cleaned up, Leah held a short Bible study. What an amazing opportunity for Ashley and I to spend the afternoon together, to learn how to make a meal our family would enjoy, AND hear the word of God surrounded by new friends. It was truly one of the best days of my life, and it’s something I will never forget.

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Several weeks later, Carly and I made biscuits together. They came out golden and flaky. Absolutely perfect, and a far cry from my Home Ec class all those years ago. Before Tasting Grace, I never would have had the confidence to even try to make biscuits again. Because of Leah and her ministry, I am so much more confident in the kitchen, and now I want to learn to make all the things!

So, when I found out Leah would be releasing a book called Tasting Grace, and that it would be a Bible Study, I knew it was something I had to share on my blog.

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You all know how I feel about Titus 2 women, and I believe Leah and her ministry are the perfect example of ways older women can mentor and teach the younger women. I know there are many women in my generation and younger who don’t know how to do anything in the kitchen, and it’s because there wasn’t someone there to teach us. I am in no way tearing down my mother for not being home, she did what she did to take care of us. I just wish I had been a little more experienced before I got married and started a family of my own.

I highly recommend that every woman on earth have a copy of Tasting Grace in her kitchen. Whether you are an older woman who has a desire to mentor the younger women, or you are a younger woman who wants to learn and grow spiritually and in the kitchen, this book is just right for you! Maybe you’re like me – somewhere right in the middle, who has a desire to teach her own children and younger women around her how to live for Jesus and how to make a meal their family will love, but you still feel like you have so much to learn. This book is excellent for us as well! I promise you will love Leah’s book as much as I do. It will touch your heart and have you excited to be in the kitchen. And just wait until you see all the wonderful things you can make!

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Tasting Grace is now available for purchase on Amazon for just $14.99. It is truly worth every penny, because it may just change your life – or the life of someone you love!

I also want to encourage you to learn more about Leah Adams and all of her ministries and books. She is a wonderful woman who is sold out for Jesus, and I just know you’ll want to know all about her. Learn more about her on her website, www.leahadams.org. You can also learn more about Tasting Grace the book by visiting the publisher’s website: tastinggrace.warnerpress.org.

#Sponsored: My #Video #Review of the #Havahart Wireless Dog Fence


sampleDisclaimer: I received a sample of the Havahart Wireless Dog Fence System in order to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed are 100% my own and have not been influenced in any way.

I decided to do a video review this time around. Check out my video and see my thoughts on the Havahart Wireless Dog Fence. (Note to self: Video reviews are hard enough, and I even thought video reviews with kids were hard – but, add a dog in there, and you never know what you’ll get! I should have made an outtake video, because Scout made this an unforgettable experience!)

Enjoy the video!

Have you tried the Havahart Wireless Fence? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks to Havahart Wireless for a GREAT experience. I am totally impressed and will recommend this wireless fence system to anyone who asks.

#Spon: @ParasolCo and MOPs Help Welcome New Babies into the World

sampleDisclaimer: I received a sample of Parasol Diapers in order to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed are 100% my own and have not been influenced in any way.

best baby diapers

I don’t know if I’ve talked about it on here much or not, but I am blessed to be a co-leader of my local MOPs group. (Mothers of Preschoolers) I absolutely love my position, and I’m even more blessed to have the most amazing co-leader ever.

At MOPs, we love to serve. We are all about community, and helping new moms (and seasoned moms) find friends, find Jesus, and feel loved. (And, we give them time off without kids and a hot meal! Win-win for all of us!)

One way that we find new moms is through “diaper packets.” Every year, for as many years as I can remember, we put together little diaper packets to take to the hospital and give to the new mamas. We’ve always just grabbed a bunch of diapers at the store and used those, but this year, we did something different. Because I’ve worked with Parasol Co. in the past, and loved their diapers so much, I asked them if they would like to be a part of our diaper packets. It’s a great way to get the word out about them, give moms an amazingly wonderful diaper to try, AND spread the word about MOPs.

Parasol Co. agreed, and sent me boxes and boxes of diaper packs filled with samples of their diapers and wipes. They were AWESOME. These moms at the hospital are getting spoiled! 🙂

So, at our last meeting, we dropped in some information about MOPs, tied the packs together with a bow, added our label to the front, and they were ready to deliver to the hospital!

Here’s the finished product:

parasol_diaperpacks

And some of my favorite pictures from the meeting:

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As you can see, we had a GREAT time! And the diaper kits were a hit with ALL of our mamas! 🙂 I dropped a few boxes off at the hospital, and they’ll call me when they need more. I’m praying for good things for our MOPs group AND for Parasol for their participation in this.

HUGE thanks to Parasol Co. for their overwhelming generosity. Folks, THIS is a company I want to stand behind and promote! They are so giving, so kind, and have a heart for MOMs! Isn’t that what we as moms want? A company who loves us as much as we love our products?!

Remember. You can still get $20 off your first box by using code BLESSED16. You are going to *love* these diapers! Hurry on over to the Parasol Co. website, and use code BLESSED16 on your first box. You’ll thank me later. 🙂

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#Spon: My #Review of #Focus Shampoo & Conditioner


sampleDisclaimer: I received a sample of the Focus Rejuvenating Shampoo and Conditioner at a deeply discounted price in order to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed are completely my own.
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After 8 pregnancies and a hysterectomy, my hair has been through a tremendous amount of stress. It’s always been thin. That’s just what I was born with. During pregnancy, it would get thicker and fuller, longer and stronger. And then, as soon as those pregnancy hormones were gone, all the extra hair that had come in would fall out. Imagine this 8 times over. My hair is really thin now. And then I had my hysterectomy, and it got even worse. My hair started falling out in clumps. I would take a shower and just get out and cry. I could hardly stand to look in the mirror because the front of my hair is thinning so badly.

So, it’s no wonder why I was excited to try out the Focus Rejuvenating Shampoo and Conditioner!

I’ve been using it for a little over a week now, and I’m already starting to see some change!

I have little wispy hairs where new hair is starting to grow. (How exciting!!)

My hair doesn’t look as thin. I can pull it back in a headband without wanting to cry. (That’s great, right?!)

My hair no longer comes out in clumps, and my hairbrush is no longer full of hair each time I brush my hair.

My hair is no longer the reason the shower drain is always clogged.

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There are a few drawbacks, and I need to share those with you.

The shampoo smells VERY medicine-y. It’s a very strong smell, and it took me about 4 days before I could stand the smell. After those 4 days, I hardly even noticed the smell, though.

The conditioner doesn’t smell badly at all. In fact, I really like the smell of the conditioner. However, the conditioner doesn’t really “condition” my hair, though. Because I have very long, thin, stringy, naturally curly hair, my hair tangles VERY easily. This conditioner does nothing to help with the tangles, so I was still pulling out a ton of hair with each brushing. I started mixing the conditioner with my regular every day conditioner, though, and that made a world of difference. Of course, now I’m spending twice the money because I still have to buy my regular conditioner too…

Overall, I do like the shampoo. I would probably buy the shampoo by itself again. The conditioner isn’t my favorite, and I think the only thing it’s doing is counter-acting the smell of the shampoo.

I am thankful that I am no longer losing clumps of hair, so for me, it’s worth the price to buy both the shampoo and conditioner if I can’t get them separately.

#Spon: My Final Weigh In on the @Medifast Plan

sampleDisclaimer: I received a sample of the Medifast products in order to facilitate my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

Today marks my final weigh in on the Medifast Program. My goal was to break 160 pounds and be back in the 150s. Before I get to my weigh in, though, let me tell you about this past week.

This week has been one of the most stressful weeks of my life. My oldest daughter graduated High School on Friday night, we had a party for her on Saturday, Sunday we had TWO church services (one with food – and dessert!) to celebrate her, and then Monday was Memorial Day. Boy, did I ever pick the **wrong** week to have as my last week on the Medifast plan.

I was sure I was setting myself up for failure. It was a lot of eating on the go, and a *lot* of temptation. Luckily, I had planned it all just right, and I always had a Medifast meal I could take with me. (I also had a few “lean and green” meals to take a long too.)

Remember – my last weigh in was 162. I only had to lose a little bit in order to break 160.

Check out what I saw when I hopped on the scale this morning:

week4_weighin

I DID IT!!!

I didn’t do it by much, but I still met my goal! I broke 160 and am back in the 150s. I’m just 10 pounds away from my final goal.

Take a look at my starting weight and my ending weight on this journey:

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There’s one other thing I want you to see. Take a look at my picture from day one next to today’s photo:

week4_beforeandafter

Ignore the sweaty post-workout hair, the fact that I have no makeup on, and how terrible I look, but look closely – especially at the hip area. I lost 5 inches *just in my hips!* Yes, I’ve been working out in addition to the Medifast program, but when you commit to eating right AND exercising, the results are obvious! After birthing 8 kids, I’ve always hated my thighs, but now? Man, I’m just giddy! My muscles are toning up nicely, but I’m not done. I’m committing to reaching my goals both on the scale and off.

Thank you, Medifast, for helping me reach this first goal! I am excited to see how much further I can go, but you gave me the very best start.

Have you enjoyed watching my results each week on the Medifast progam? Remember: If you use the code Blessed25 on the Medifast website, you will receive $25 off your order of $250 or more, as well as free shipping! It’s a great way to get you started on your own journey.

Also, be sure to follow Medifast every way you can in order to learn more about them:

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