Love Cupcakes? Have a creative way to use them in a new design for Duck Tape? If so, you could win $5,000!
To learn more, and to get started, visit duckbrand.com/kidsinneed today.
While you’re at it, be sure to follow them on Social Media too!
Love Cupcakes? Have a creative way to use them in a new design for Duck Tape? If so, you could win $5,000!
To learn more, and to get started, visit duckbrand.com/kidsinneed today.
While you’re at it, be sure to follow them on Social Media too!
Right now, you can make a difference in the life of a child, just by purchasing items you already use from the store you already visit.
Walmart believes that every child deserves the chance at a better life, so they’ve teamed up with other favorite brands, (like Pampers), to donate $200,000 in the month of June to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. In addition to that, when you purchase products like Pampers Swaddlers at your local Walmart store, a portion of the proceeds will go to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals provide treatment and hope to millions of sick kids. In fact, one in every ten kids in North America are treated by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals each year. It doesn’t matter if it’s a common childhood affliction such as asthma or a broken bone, or a bigger challenge like birth defects or cancer, Children’s Miracle Network provides treatment for it all.
You can learn more about the partnership and even make your own donation by visiting this link: Walmart.com/cmnh.
Take a moment and look at this infographic to understand why they need your support:
They do so much good for so many children. They deserve our support!
I want to share the story of Will, a sweet little boy at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. At just 6 years old, Will is battling Stage 3 Liver Cancer (Hepatoblastoma). Here’s his story:
Dozens of vacuum cleaners line the walls of Will’s home, and he’ll impress you by rattling off the make and model of each one. But his unlikely passion for the household appliance is less surprising than the fact that he beat a grim diagnosis with a 5 percent survival rate.
Will was only 2 years old when a large mass was discovered on his liver, triggering several rounds of intense chemotherapy and the removal of 75 percent of the organ. It was a happy day when doctors declared he was in remission, but Will is still facing aftereffects — both physical and emotional — of the disease.
Medications caused numbness in Will’s hands, legs and feet, forcing him to relearn how to walk. He also had to overcome fears that everyone he encountered would inflict pain. With the love and support of his family, Will is tackling one obstacle at a time. He looks forward to a bright future that, hopefully, includes running his own vacuum shop one day.
CMN Hospitals funds helped cover Will’s pharmacy bills and also paid for a pediatric hematology oncology research laboratory that will benefit kids like him for many years to come.
What a sweet spirit that little boy has! And you can help kids just like Will by purchasing items like Pampers Swaddlers at your local Walmart store, or by clicking here to make a donation.
To help encourage you to head to Walmart and stock up on items like Pampers Swaddlers, P&G wants to give one of my readers the chance to win a $25 Walmart Gift Card. To enter, use the Rafflecopter Gadget below.
Giveaway ends July 15th at 12:00am.
Disclaimer: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for P&G. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. All opinions and reviews are my own.
With 10 people in our home, I do a lot of laundry. There are times when I feel like I’m doing laundry all day long! In fact, as I’m typing this post, I’ve got a load in the wash, a load in the dryer, and two baskets sitting in front of me that need folded and put away. Yep. With all these kids, my life usually revolves around laundry.
That being said, when it comes to laundry time in our house, I need products that work for the entire family. I need something that can take care of tough stains, but also be gentle enough for the several little ones I have that have incredibly sensitive skin.
That’s why I love P&G’s line of Free & Gentle products. The Tide Pods are perfect for getting even the dirtiest clothes clean. My kids can make some serious messes! But take a look at the before and after of this shirt:
All I did was throw the shirt in the wash with a Free & Gentle Tide Pod:
Filled the softener cup with Downy Free & Gentle:
Washed, and then dried it all with a Bounce Free & Gentle Dryer Sheet:
And it came out beautifully!
No more stains! It’s clean, fresh, and ready to take on my 4 year old again!
I love that one line of detergents takes care of all our laundry needs. And, in the long run, it saves us money. I don’t have to buy several different types of detergents for the family’s needs, and I’m not constantly needing to buy new clothes because the stains won’t come out.
But, even more than that, I love that I can use these products as a form of a “Second Skincare” for Gage and Sawyer. Because P&G Free & Gentle products are hypoallergenic, dye and perfume free, they keep Gage and Sawyer from breaking out in rashes or being itchy all day. Because they come in brands like Tide, Downy, and Bounce, I can trust them to be the best for my large family.
I know we’re not alone in our sensitive skin woes, either. Did you know that nearly half of all US adults say they have sensitive skin? When we think of sensitive skin, we’re always careful about the types of facial and body care products we buy, but the clothes that we put on, our “second skin,” are every bit as important.
I recently discovered that 87% of the people that use free detergent use scented fabric softener and/or dryer sheets. Those product undo everything the free detergent has done to help their second skin. If you want to keep your skin looking and feeling its best, it’s important to follow a completely dye and perfume free laundry regimen to clean, protect, and enhance your second skin.
The good news is that the P&G Free & Gentle regimen offers dye and perfume free products throughout. Every product is hypoallergenic and gentle on skin. All of the Free & Gentle products are dermatologist recommended.
The line of Free & Gentle products consists of the following:
If you, or someone in your family has sensitive skin, I encourage you to consider changing your laundry routine. It has made a huge difference around here for us!
To learn more about any of these products, I encourage you to check out the brands on social media:
Have you tried the P&G line of Free & Gentle Products? I’d love to hear about your experience!
Have you seen the amazing new videos from DCKids and Warner Bros’ new Youtube channels? There are lots of favorites like Batman Unlimited, DC Super Friends, and even Scooby-Doo! In our house, we are Superhero obsessed, so these are great for my boys! I may not get them off of Youtube this summer!
Here’s a video playlist from Batman Unlimited – just to wet your appetite:
Want the chance to win while you’re here? Use the rafflecopter gadget below and enter for your chance to win one of FIVE mystery toy gift baskets! Each basket is worth a minimum of $50 and will be picked by the staff of Warner Bros. & DC Kids. I wanna win! Good luck to all who enter!
This post and the giveaway are sponsored by Warner Bros.
Disclaimer: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Beech-Nut. I received a free coupon to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
As a mom, I want to know the food my kids eat is the best food possible. While I wish I had the time to simply make every meal for Sawyer myself, there are so many times that’s just not possible. That’s when I turn to Beech-Nut. Their organic line of baby food is packed full of flavor – just like the food I make for Sawyer, when I have time. It’s fresh, easy to transport, and I don’t have to worry about artificial ingredients or preservatives. With Beech-Nut, I get what I want for Sawyer: delicious food that’s as close to homemade as possible, but it’s convenient enough for on-the-go feeding.
For this review, I received a coupon and was asked to use it to purchase a jar of food from Beech-Nut’s organic line. I chose to have Sawyer test out the Mango, Pineapple, and Granola Stage 3 jar. We were running late for church this morning, (big surprise!), and I didn’t have time to feed him before we left. That meant I had to feed him in the nursery, and I prayed this baby food would go over well. It’s not always easy to feed Sawyer in the nursery. There are so many distractions in there, sometimes it’s hard to get him to focus on his food.
As you can clearly see, he *loved* it. I had nothing to worry about! I just recently started Sawyer on Stage 3 foods, and the one thing I love most about the Beech-Nut Organic Line is the fact the Stage 3 jars have just enough texture in them to get him ready for table food, but not so much they choke and gag him. The color, the smell, the texture, everything was just perfect. Sawyer gobbled the entire jar down in a matter of minutes. I’m pretty sure if he could talk, he’d let us know he was quite impressed.
Beech-Nut wants to make sure moms only feed their babies food they would eat themselves. It’s so much more than just baby food. They call it “real food for babies™.” The only items in their new inspired-by-homemade organic line are simply fruits, veggies, and sometimes ancient grains and beans. Nothing else. No preservatives. No artificial anything. And that makes this mom feel good.
Some of the flavors you can find in the organic line include organic banana, cinnamon, & granola, organic butternut squash, black bean, & cumin, organic apple, raspberry, & avacado, and many other combinations inspired by real moms.
The Beech-Nut organic line is cooked with a unique gentle process, similar to how we moms make food at home. The process doesn’t add anything to the food, no excess water, no preservatives, and it won’t cook the nutrients away. All your baby tastes are the delicious fruits and vegetables. Each transparent honeypot glass jar features the USDA-certified organic seal to indicate it is a GMO-free food.
This year, Beech-Nut received Product of the Year in the baby category for its 100% natural and organic lines. This was decided in a national survey by Taylor Nelson Sofres by more than 40,000 consumers.
You can find the Beech-Nut organic line in the following stores:
I also want to encourage you to learn more about Beech-Nut and their new organic line. There are lots of ways to do just this:
Contest entrants are only eligible to win once per sweepstake, per household as part of a campaign sponsored by Influence Central and must reside in the United States. Contest ends May 20th, 2015 at 11:59pm. Winner will be contacted May 21st, and must claim their prize by May 22nd.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to make my perfect sandwich at a local McDonald’s with their new Create Your Taste experience. Hubby and I loaded up the 3 youngest kids, and we headed down to our Gainesville, GA McDonald’s.
Amber was our hostess, and she was the bomb! I really think she made the experience so much better. She was so kind, and she quickly and easily walked us through making the perfect burger.
Even with a squirming baby in my arms, I was still able to design my perfect burger with ease. (Do you know how much I love that?!)
Once my order was finished, I had the option to pay with a card at the kiosk, or I could pay with cash at the register. I never ever have cash on hand, so I opted to pay with a card at the kiosk. So easy!
We then headed to our table and had a seat. A few minutes later, there was Amber again, with our order in hand!
I didn’t have to stand at the counter with 3 kids and wait for my food. They delivered it right to my table. I loved how fancy they made it too. Wire baskets for the burgers, and even a little wire fry basket for my super tasty fries! McDonald’s has really added a touch of class to their restaurants with the Create Your Taste experience.
And look how good my burger looked….
It came out exactly like I ordered it! 3 slices of cheese, (with no extra charge!), bacon (reasonable upcharge), lettuce, extra pickle, ketchup, and mustard, all on a tasty artisan roll.
It tasted even better than it looked, too! It was so good, and it was exactly what I had been craving.
I had such a great time trying out the Create Your Taste experience, and I want to encourage you to head out to McDonald’s and do the same. If you are craving the perfect burger, now’s your chance to go for it!
I want to thank the kind staff at McDonald’s who made my visit a real pleasure. I had so much fun learning about the Create Your Taste experience and sharing it with my family. Thank you for making my perfect sandwich a reality! You all did a fantastic job! And, Amber, keep that beautiful smile, and share it with the world! You were such a pleasure, and I’m glad I got to share this experience with you.
(To see the video of Amber helping me create my burger, head on over to instagram. You’ll find the video here.)
So, tell me…. Have you tried the new Create Your Taste experience at McDonald’s? If not, what are you waiting for?
“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”
What will you be doing this Saturday night at 8/7c?
I will be on the couch, tuning into the new season of When Calls the Heart on the Hallmark Channel with my oldest daughter.
This is one premiere that has had me giddy with anticipation.
In order to create this post, I did receive the opportunity to view the Season Premier before it airs thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC.
I can’t give away any details, but OH.MY.GOODNESS. You cannot miss this premier! My daughter has been anxiously awaiting the return of When Calls the Heart, and it has been SO difficult to keep the details from her. But, I must. If for no other reason than I can’t wait to see her reaction as she watches it.
I love When Calls the Heart, because it is good, clean, family friendly, and fun. In my opinion, this is one of the best shows on television, and it’s something I don’t have to worry about my children watching. It’s perfect for the whole family!
In case you don’t know what When Calls the Heart is about, here’s a brief summary of the series:
The series is inspired by Janette Oke’s bestselling book series about the Canadian West. “When Calls the Heart” tells the captivating story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young teacher accustomed to her high society life, who receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coalmining town where life is simple, but often fraught with challenges. Lori Loughlin plays Abigail Stanton, a wife and mother whose husband, the foreman of the mine, along with a dozen other miners, has just been killed in an explosion. The newly widowed women find their faith is tested when they must go to work in the mines to keep a roof over their heads. Elizabeth charms most everyone in Coal Valley, except Constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) who believes Thatcher’s wealthy father has doomed the lawman’s career by insisting he be assigned in town to protect the shipping magnate’s daughter. Living in a turn of the century coal town, Elizabeth will have to learn the ways of the frontier if she wishes to thrive in the rural west on her own.
Remember, the new season starts this Saturday, April 25th at 8/7c.
To get you excited about this week’s premier, World Films has offered up a set of When Calls The Heart Season 1 on DVD ($60 value!!).
To enter, use the Rafflecopter gadget below:
Contest ends May 1st.
I also want to encourage you to get social with other #Hearties in the following way:
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I shop at Save-a-Lot a lot. I can always find exactly what I need at a price I can afford. I can’t tell you how much money I save by shopping at Save-a-Lot.
But, let me tell you something I never, ever realized in all my trips to Save-a-Lot:
They sell beauty products!
Apparently I have missed the beauty aisle every time I’ve walked into Save-a-Lot. I don’t know. Maybe I just assumed they wouldn’t have what I need, or I wouldn’t be familiar with the brands, so I just skipped over it.
The amazing folks at Save-a-Lot sent me a gift card and told me to check out their Suave beauty products.
That’s what I already buy! You mean to tell me I could have saved even more by buying the items I use every day at Save-a-Lot?!
Hand, meet Forehead.
When I headed back to my local Save-a-Lot, the first place I stopped was the Health and Beauty aisle. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There, right in front of me, were all the products I use every single day. From my toothpaste to the body wash I prefer for the kids.
The day I went to my local Save a Lot to check out their beauty products, I had already planned to stock up on snacks for our recent vacation. I knew we had a long drive ahead of us, and my kids were going to need plenty of snacks to keep them happy. I had no idea that I would be able to stock up on every single item I needed for our vacation all in one place!
I was so excited to find everything I needed! Razors, shaving cream, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, body wash – they had it all!
For this post, though, I was asked to purchase items from a specific list. The best part is, those items were on my vacation list, so it worked out perfectly!
The items I purchased specifically for this post were the following:
I had no idea all of these products were available at my local Save a Lot store, but now that I know, I’m not keeping it a secret! I want everyone to know that they can get the health and beauty products they need when they stock up on their groceries.
I hope the next time you’re in Save a Lot, you’ll make a stop down the Health and Beauty aisle.
Also, for the chance to win a $25 Save-A-Lot gift card, check out the Smart Shopper Sweepstakes on the Save-A-Lot Facebook page.
And if you’re looking for more great reviews from other bloggers, be sure to search the #SaveALotInsiders hashtag on all your favorite social media outlets.
I know stress. With 8 kids, a husband, a dog, a business, and life in general, stress and I go way back. So, when Social Moms and RESCUE asked me to share a sponsored post about how I handle stress and a new product that’s available to help me stress less, I jumped at the chance.
Before I get too far into this post, I want to share my top 5 ways to relieve stress:
I also want to make sure you know about RESCUE products. RESCUE products are completely natural, and are a great way to help you calm down – naturally – and relieve that stress you feel inside.
I can’t wait to give their products a try! They have something for everyone in my family – even my dog!
Right now, you can download a coupon and get a free product when you purchase one. Also, when you download the coupon, you’ll be entered to win fantastic products from Bose and GoPro in the RESCUE #StressLess2BeMyBest Sweepstakes. We all want less stress in our lives, so why not take a minute to learn more, try these products for yourself, AND have the chance to win some awesome prizes! Click on the image below to download your coupon and enter to win today!
What tips do you have for others to help relieve stress? I’d love to hear them. Leave your comment below!
Disclaimer: This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and RESCUE blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.
I recently posted about UNICEF here on the blog, and how they have provided more than 6 decades of service for children and mothers. This is a cause that I can proudly stand behind, and one that I support wholeheartedly. Donating to UNICEF is an easy way to help keep this amazing cause going.
But now, there is a better, easier way to donate to UNICEF, and it’s by doing one of my very favorite things: SHOPPING! The UNICEF Market is now open, and you can quickly and easily support their talented artists as well has help UNICEF save and protect children.
The wonderful people behind the UNICEF Market contacted me and asked me to review their new website and spend $50 on their site. Happy to support this cause in any way that I can, I jumped on the chance, and then jumped on the site.
I was truly blown away!
There were so many amazing items! From earrings to furniture and totes to ponchos, they had everything I could even imagine. And every single item was so beautiful and handmade by the most incredible artists.
After browsing the site for what seemed like forever, I narrowed my choices down to two items:
(Please note: I also ordered several other items, but they are gifts for others, and went above the $50 gift card I received in order to do this review, so I will not be sharing them here.)
Knowing the items were shipping from overseas, I expected to have to wait awhile for them to arrive. Imagine my surprise when about a week after placing my order, the items were at my door!
The items were even more beautiful than pictured on the website. I wear the anchor earrings almost every single day now. They are the perfect size and weight and go with almost everything – casual or dressy.
I also use the elephant mug everyday. I’ve started drinking a special tea to help aid in weight loss, and the mug is the perfect size for what I need. Not to mention, it’s just so pretty to look at.
And while I cannot post about the other items I ordered here, I do want to tell you that I love every one of them as well. The UNICEF gift wrap is also a perfect touch so the recipients will know their item helped support saving children. It doesn’t get much better than that.
I am super impressed with the UNICEF Market, and I have already bookmarked several more items for Christmas and Anniversary presents. This may be my favorite new place to shop online, especially knowing my purchase can help make a difference in the lives of others.
The UNICEF Market has also graciously offered up another $50 Gift Certificate to one of my readers. Use the Rafflecopter gadget to enter below. Giveaway Ends April 14th at 12:00am. (Gift code will expire April 30th, so you must shop quickly.)
Thank you for supporting the UNICEF Market!
Keeping my family hydrated during cold and flu season is of the utmost importance to me. There are so many options out there. How do you know which one is right for you and your family? I want the best. I want what is going to get my kids hydrated again and back to playing in no time.
For this review, SheSpeaks and DripDrop sent me samples of DripDrop Hydration Powder along with a fantastic water bottle. They couldn’t have timed it better.
As you can see in the photo above, we recently had a real need for DripDrop Hydration Powder. My son Parker ended up with a severe toothache. It was so bad, I couldn’t get him to eat or drink anything. He laid around all day and just cried. (Of course it was a Saturday, and there were no dental offices open.) I was so worried about him getting dehydrated. He quickly became weak from not eating or drinking, and I had to do something.
The only option I had was to offer him a bottle of water with the DripDrop Hydration Powder. I had to get it to room temperature because his tooth was so sensitive, but once I did, it was a hit! He tried both the lemon and the berry flavors, and he couldn’t pick a favorite. He loved them both. (Honestly, I think he loved the fact that he was the only one that got to drink the “special” juice.) (Please note: I did put in a call to the doctor’s after hour line and made sure his pediatrician was alright with me giving him the DripDrop powder. She agreed that I had to get something in him and thought the DripDrop powder was a great way to go.)
What impresses me most about DripDrop is that it’s the first hydration solution developed by a Mayo Clinic trained physician to save lives. It delivers 2 – 3 times the electrolytes of sports drinks and 25% more than the pediatric drink options. It is patented and clinically proven to hydrate better than the other available options.
I also love that there are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
DripDrop is a product I can feel good about giving my entire family. The next time we have the flu cycle through our household, I can be prepared and have DripDrop on hand. (And with 10 people in our house, you can only imagine what a nightmare the flu is for all of us. It is usually a month long battle with everyone just passing it back and forth.)
I am so thankful for products like DripDrop that are made to help me keep my family safe and healthy when the worst strikes.
Let me encourage you to learn more about DripDrop in the following ways:
Also, please check out the following links for more really great info:
You can read about more moms’ experiences with DripDrop by searching the hashtag #DrinkDripDrop on your favorite social media channels.
Ready to stock up on DripDrop and keep your family hydrated when colds or the flu strike? Head to your local DVS, Walgreens, or HEB store and grab some right now!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Evenflo. I received a gift pack in order to facilitate my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
So, when I found out about the release of several new products, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them and test them out. Evenflo sent me the fantastic Milk & Cookies gift pack pictured above. The items included the following:
This was such a great gift pack. The cookies were amazing. They satisfied my sweet tooth, and tasted fantastic! And everything was packaged so beautifully.
Now, let me take a moment and tell you what I love about each of the Evenflo products I received.
Made from highly durable military-grade material, these bags are made with 30% less material for a quicker freeze and thaw. I noticed a huge difference when it came time to thaw the milk for feeding. And with the uniquely shaped top, pouring into bottles is so much easier. These are definitely on my list for items all breastfeeding moms must have.
This cup is tilted to help make the transition from bottle to cup easier. I also love that the rubber stopper inside has several different flow speeds, making the transition that much easier. While Sawyer doesn’t quite understand the concept of the cup, I think this will be a great item to have on hand once he’s ready for the transition.
These bottles are beautiful. Available in two different colors, teal and lavender, the bottles also have a gorgeous styling to them. Evenflo took a classic bottle and made it even classier. The bottles each come with a Proflow™ Integrated Venting Nipple. These special silicone nipples direct air bubbles into the bottle instead of into baby’s tummy. What makes these nipples even better is their one-piece design. There are no extra parts to clean or worry about losing.
While I love how beautiful these bottles are, there are a few things I would consider changing to improve them even more.
For starters, the bottles are *perfect* for breastfeeding babies. I had absolutely no issues at all getting the milk from the storage bag into the bottle. It’s almost like the storage bags were made just for these bottles. But, if I used formula at all, things got a little trickier. The opening of the bottle is very small, and it was difficult to get formula from the scoop or the travel container into the bottle without making a mess. I do wish the bottles had an opening that was just a little bigger for that reason.
The nipples collapse fairly quickly and fairly often, so I am constantly pulling the bottle out of Sawyers mouth to let the nipple fill back up with air. Sawyer doesn’t like when you take the bottle out of his mouth, so he gets frustrated. I’ve tried different stages of nipples, so I’m not sure what could be causing them to collapse like that each time. This is the only bottle we’ve used that has this problem, so I’m thinking it is unique to the special nipple. It doesn’t stop Sawyer from eating, though, and this is one of the few nipples/bottles he will take, so it’s not all bad.
The last thing is that one of the bottles broke really easily. Actually, it about scared me to death. I sterilized the bottle before the first use, but when I took it out of the water and put it on the counter to dry completely, it burst into a dozen pieces. Absolutely none of the other bottles did this, so I can’t figure out what happened. Because they are glass, you’ll just have to take extra precautions when taking them out of the heat.
The bottles are available exclusively at Babies”R”Us and retail for $11.99 for a 3 pack of either the 4 or 8 ounce size. It’s a great value for great bottles. We use our bottles almost every day. Even though there are a few things I might change, I still really love these bottles and every other product Evenflo sent us.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes and learn more about these fantastic products by visiting the Evenflo Feeding website.
My kids love Build-A-Bear Workshop.
Ok. Ok. We all do. On our first Valentine’s Day, my hubby bought both me and Ashley our own Build-A-Bear friends. We both still have them, even all these years later.
We still frequent Build-A-BearWorkshop as often as we can: birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and even “just because.” These cuddly friends are a fantastic way to share your heart with the ones you love.
And, now through March 31, 2015, you can also “Share Your Heart” and helping create special days for the children who need it most by making a donation to Make-A-Wish. Guests who visit their local Build-A-Bear store will have the opportunity to purchase a satin heart with a donation of $1 or more. When you make a donation, you will be asked to sign a Valentine greeting for a child in a local hospital.
Want to know the best part? 100% of the donations and proceeds from the satin hearts collected will go directly to benefit Make-A-Wish.
Last year, Build-A-Bear Workshop donated more than $440,000 to Make-A-Wish through their Share Your Heart partnership. With your help, we can make that number even bigger! You can help Build-A-Bear make more life-changing wishes come true. Every wish come true helps empower children with life-threatening medical conditions to fight harder against their illness. Your donation of $1 or more can make a true difference in the life of a child. Learn more by visiting www.buildabear.com/wish.
My readers may or may not know that we recently adopted a new four-legged friend from our local animal shelter. Scout has quickly become one of the family, and we can’t imagine not having him here. He is so good with all of the kids, and he is always so well behaved.
A good dog like that deserves a special reward! So, I’m excited that Milkbone wants to give dogs their own Valentine’s Day, and they have declared February 13th “Valentine’s for Dogs” Day! It’s a special day where we can show our four legged favorites how much we love them.
The good folks at Milk-Bone, Pup-Peroni, Milo’s Kitchen, and Canine Carry Outs have made it easy for you this year with a doggie Valentine’s Day card. Get yours today. Just click here: [https://www.bigheartpetvalentines.com/]
I also want you to take a moment and check out this infographic. It’s special Valentine’s Day survey of U.S. Dog Parents:
So, tell me. How will YOU show your dog you love him/her this February 13th? For us, it’s easy. The kids are off school on Friday, so there will be someone here to show him extra love and attention all day long. If the weather’s nice, we’re also hoping to take a family hike and bring Scout along. He *loves* to be outside, so this will be perfect for him!
We’ll be celebrating our furry friend Scout this Valentine’s for Dogs Day with extra love and special treats courtesy of Milk-Bone, Pup-Peroni, Milo’s Kitchen, and Canine Carry Outs. And I’ll be sure to tag all of our pictures of the fun we have with #ValentinesforDogs. I hope you’ll head on over to [https://www.bigheartpetvalentines.com/], print out your cards, then tag YOUR pictures of fun with #ValentinesforDogs as well! Can’t wait to see what fun, creative ideas you come up with!
I love reading. I’ve loved it since I was a little girl. If I could get my hands on a book, I would read it. I’d even sit with a flashlight under my covers, reading until late into the night.
As I got older, and life took over, it became much harder to find the time to read.
Since Sawyer was born in September, and he nurses all.the.time, I’m finding I have lots of time to read now. I’d almost forgotten how much I love it.
Because I’m usually nursing while I’m reading, I can’t sit and hold an actual book. Kindle books work great, though, because I can access them from my phone and read every chance I get.
A few months ago, I found out that the sister of one of my very dear friends from high school wrote a book. I had to read it, just because I knew Sally, and I had always admired her.
Little did I know, this book would blow away every other book I’ve ever read. Honestly. I couldn’t put it down.
The book is called “Kept.” And let me tell you, it “kept” my attention from the beginning to the very end. And I didn’t want it to end!
Kept is not your typical Christian romance novel. There’s romance and relationships, yes. But this book is about so much more than that. It’s about one woman’s struggle with life, failed romances, awful men, and finding a Savior that can make her whole.
I don’t want to divulge too much, but if you’d like to read more about the story, check out Sally Bradley’s website.
Right now, the kindle edition of Kept is available on Amazon for just $4.99. That is a fantastic deal that you don’t want to miss!
There are few books that I consider “must reads,” but this is definitely one of them. I’ve told everyone I know to read this book, and I figured I’d better share it with my favorite blog readers as well.
If you read the book, I’d love to know what you think of it. Were you as mesmerized as I was? Did you find it hard to put it down?
With so many kids, I need toys that are going to keep my kids happy and entertained. Zhu Zhu pets are always a hit. So, when I heard about The Happy’s from Cepia – the makers of Zhu Zhu pets, I jumped at the chance to review them.
For this review, we received a sweet Lulu Happy, an interactive treat, and a yellow ball for her to chase.
Let me tell you, I cannot get Carly to leave this pet alone! I’m pretty sure it’s a good thing that we don’t have a real dog this size. Carly would drive it up a wall!
When Lulu is in the “ON” mode, she is seriously the most fun toy we have! I love the way that even my 3 year old can get her to do tricks for a Happy Treat. It’s awesome!
When Lulu starts chasing her ball, the whole house erupts in laughter. The ball rolls all over the room, and there goes Lulu chasing after it… followed closely by anywhere from 1 – 5 children! I love the sounds of their laughter ringing through the house, and this is a sure fire way to make them all happy.
I guess that’s why these pets are called The Happy’s!
There are several things I love:
Normally when I do a review, I like to give some constructive criticism; something I wish I could change or add. But with this toy, I can’t think of a thing! I might say that if I had been the one purchasing it, I most likely would have purchased a dog that was a little more unisex. Lulu is *very* girly. BUT, at the same time, her name is Lulu – and that’s what we call our 8 year old, Lucy. We have since she was born. So, I guess I would say that if I were to buy another one of these toys, I would buy a more gender neutral one, and would just give Lulu to Lucy…. that’s if I can get Carly to give her up!
Overall, I am SUPER impressed with The Happy’s, and highly recommend you put these on your toy list for the holidays!
You can find The Happy’s on Amazon for a *very* reasonable price, and they’re even available with Prime Shipping, so you’ll have them in time for Christmas!
What are you waiting for? Check out The Happy’s fun, interactive website, and grab your kids their own Happy pet today!
Disclaimer: I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Proactiv+. I received samples of Proactiv+ to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.
When I was a teenager, I would have a few breakouts here and there. Usually, the worst was on my forehead, so I could easily hide it with bangs. My Junior and Senior year, my skin was flawless. Never had to wear makeup. There was nothing to cover up.
Then, I became a mom. All those hormones made my skin crazy, and I started having breakouts all the time. It was awful. I tried everything: Dermatologists, skin care “experts”, every face wash and anti-acne product I could find on the shelves. Nothing made any difference, and I actually ended up with some scarring because of the treatment one “expert” gave me.
And then someone told me to try Proactiv. I did, and it worked – almost instantly! But, as the months and years flew by, and more kids were added to the family, my skin care regimen was put on the back burner.
For the past few years, my breakouts have returned, and the acne scars have become even more noticeable. I’ve had to gob on makeup to hide all of my flaws. I hate it, but I just couldn’t make it a priority.
So, when I had the chance to test out and review the Proactiv+ 3 Step System, I jumped at it! I remembered how well the original Proactiv had worked for me, and I just knew this would be the answer to my skin care problems!
Boy, oh boy, was I right!
First, take a second a watch this quick video:
Now, take a look at this picture:
HOLY COW, right?!
Those photos have NOT been doctored in any way. No filters, no anything. Those are straight from the phone on my camera. I just combined them together and added the dates.
By the way, did you notice those dates? ONE WEEK. One week to younger, healthier, more vibrant looking skin. While I do have eyeliner on in the second picture, that is the ONLY makeup I have on. I no longer have to spend 30+ minutes putting makeup on. A little bit of eyeliner, eyeshadow, and mascara, and I’m done in less than 5 minutes.
I honestly cannot get over the difference in my skin. I’ve been using it for over a month now, and my skin still looks just like it does in the picture above – on the right.
I love the changes Proactiv+ has brought. I am so much more confident now. And I love that people are noticing the changes in my skin. I used to have people tell me all the time that I don’t look my age. I always just assumed it was because of all the acne. But now? I know it’s because my skin looks great! I don’t have all those trouble spots that I had before, and even the acne scars I had are diminishing. I can’t stop smiling because of the changes Proactiv+ has made.
The easy 3 Step Program is so easy to use. Once in the morning, once and night, and I’m good to go!
The kit includes the following products:
I love how my skin looks and feels now, and I will definitely keep using the Proactiv+ 3 Step System. If you are having trouble with your skin, and you’ve tried everything out there, I want to encourage you to try Proactiv+. Learn more and purchase your kit on the Proactiv+ website.
If you try out Proactiv+, I’d love to hear how it worked for you!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Evenflo. I received a sample ExerSaucer as well as compensation for this post. However, thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own and have not been influenced in any way.
As a mom of 8, I am always drawn to toys that are designed to meet the needs of children of different ages. I want them to be educational, good for different levels of learning, and FUN. So, when Evenflo approached me about trying out their new Exersaucer – World Explorer Triple Fun Plus+, (available at Babies R Us), I jumped at the chance to check it out. It sounded like it was right up my alley.
The ExerSaucer arrived quickly, and I couldn’t wait to set it up. My husband had promised me that he would put it together, but I was having none of that. This is my review, so *I* was going to do it. Alone.
And then I opened the box.
I wish I had taken a picture of all the “parts” all over my living room. I kept pulling pieces out of the box, and thinking to myself, “What have I gotten myself into?” It was definitely not a “snap-it-together and let’s go” project. It was a “read EVERY WORD of the instruction booklet and follow it to a t” project.
Stage 1 setup was easy. In just a few minutes, I had a very happy baby on my hands.
Sawyer loves the lights and sounds that come from the bar overhead. He can’t do them by himself yet, but there is always someone nearby that can help him out. The mat that he lays on is soft, so even tummy time is more fun. I love the bright colors and unique toys that are attached to the bar. We can trade them out, and the possibilities are endless. He definitely doesn’t get bored.
Sawyer plays on his mat all the time. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t use it. I think we’re both huge fans of Stage 1 of the ExerSaucer.
Then, I went to work at putting together Stage 2.
This was far more complicated. It took me over an hour to have all the different parts assembled and ready for play time. It was a lot of work.
But, it was so worth it.
Carly absolutely loves it! And while she should technically be in Stage 3, she meets all the weight and height restrictions for Stage 2. And, I have to say, she absolutely LOVES bouncing in the ExerSaucer. I can’t get her out of it.
When I attempted to take the ExerSaucer apart and change it to Stage 3, I got extremely confused by the directions and had to wait for my husband to come home and help me figure it out. It took us another 20 minutes to get it to Stage 3, so I decided we would just put it back in Stage 2 and leave it there. Sawyer will be ready for Stage 2 very soon, and Carly actually preferred Stage 2, so it’s better for us to leave it there for awhile.
While putting the ExerSaucer is time consuming to put together, it really is a great product, and my kids love it.
Here are some of my favorite things about the ExerSaucer:
Here are a few of the things that I would change, or didn’t really care for:
So, as you can see, the good obviously outweighs the bad. And once you get past the original assembly, the ExerSaucer is a fantastic learning toy. I would definitely invest in it, I just wish I had known ahead of time and had been prepared for what I was getting into.
I would call this toy an investment – it’s not a toy that your child will quickly grow out of. It will grow with them, and it will last for years to come. Rather than buying several different toys (that can be expensive), you invest one time in a toy that you’ll get tons of use out of.
Right now you can get a great deal on the ExerSaucer at Babies R Us! With this downloadable in-store coupon, you can save 20% from December 5 – 24, 2014. That’s a great deal on a great product! (Just find the product on page 18, scroll over the image, and a box will pop up that will allow you to download the coupon.)
Hurry on over, download your coupon, and grab your Evenflo ExerSaucer today!
Disclaimer: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for The Salvation Army. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
The holidays are here, and you have probably already noticed that the Red Kettles are back out. Those special kettles belong to The Salvation Army, and they go to help those in your community that need it most.
The Salvation Army is a faith-based ministry that has been in America for over 130 years. They are set up to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. In fact, last year, The Salvation Army’s 3,600 officers, 59,000 employees, and 3.4 million volunteers served almost 30 million Americans in need. If you add that up, it comes to about one person, every second, every day. That’s amazing!
And their money really goes where it says. The Better Business Bureau set a guideline of 65% of every dollar spent going toward support, yet The Salvation Army blows that out of the water. They spend nearly 82 cents of every dollar donated to support community service programs.
The best part? All donations remain in the community where they originate. So, if you give in your community, it goes to help someone in your community. I love that!
This year, to celebrate the 124th National Red Kettle campaign, The Salvation Army is encouraging you to share YOUR reasons for giving by using the hashtag #RedKettleReason. When you post using that hashtag, you can view other posts focused on giving. You can also check out RedKettleReason.org to learn why the rest of America is giving.
Now, I want to share our #RedKettleReason with you.
As a mom of 8, there have been times when my family has needed help. Somehow, this help has always been provided, though most of the time, we never even know who our “helpers” are. An anonymous card will show up in the mail with just enough money to pull us though the week. Bags of groceries mysteriously appear on our doorstep, just when we need them most.
Because of how much others have helped us out, it is so important to me to teach my children how to give back. So, every year in December, when my husband gets his bonus, we sit down as a family and decide how we want to give back. We budget some of his bonus to go toward helping others in need. It gets the kids excited about the thought of giving to others, and allows them the chance to help someone else just like they have been helped.
My kids don’t have the best of everything. They don’t get new ipads, fancy clothes, or the most expensive gadgets available. But they are loved, and they have all of their needs supplied. By giving back to organizations like The Salvation Army, I’m trying to instill a spirit of giving in each of my kids. That way, they’ll grow up thinking of others during the holiday season instead of the “gimme, gimme, gimme” attitude that seems to run rampant. And you can bet, every time we pass a Red Kettle this holiday season, our spare change (and then some) will be given to help someone in need.
I want to encourage you to share your own #RedKettleReason and consider donating to The Salvation Army. You’ll spread a little holiday cheer, and you will make the difference in the life of someone who needs it.
Please connect with The Salvation Army in the following ways:
Please share your #RedKettleReason and let us know why you’re giving this year!
Disclaimer: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for CaringBridge. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
‘Tis the Season for giving back. What better way to do that, than by donating to CaringBridge?
CaringBridge has kicked off their WonderFull themed year-end giving campaign, and they want you to help them raise $1.2 million. Because they are a non-profit, CaringBridge relies on donations to help those facing health journeys the ability to gather up support. Did you know that nearly 95% of all funding comes from people who use CaringBridge? The WonderFull themed campaign features match contributions from 3 incredibly generous donors ranging from 10,000 to 25,000.
This holiday season, as you gather together and decide which non-profit you want to donate to, please consider making a tax-deductible donation so that families can always get the support they need.
Please visit https://www.caringbridge.org/give to find out how you can donate and make a difference in someone’s life today.