Category - Mom

Back to School Routine Must Haves for Mom

This is a sponsored post in partnership with The Motherhood.

The kids are in school, now what?? After months of unscheduled days and silly fun, both my girls are in school and that means it’s time for schedules and routines. If you’re Type-A like me these words are like music to your ears, but if it’s not your personality to be scheduled it doesn’t have to be a scary word. Here are some great tips for refreshing and re-energizing your routine in preparation for this new school year, or Back to School Routine Must Haves for Mom.

Back to School Routine Must Haves for Moms #moms4jnjconsumer MommyB

Here are some of my favorite tips and products to help me stay in the routine of taking better care of myself now that my kiddos are in school.

1. Get to bed sleepy head! I’m still working on this. Being more rested doesn’t only benefit your children {think not having to deal with grouchy mom all day}, but it has so many health benefits it’s definitely at the top of my list.

2. Drink more water. You knew this was coming didn’t you?!? Hydration is so important, and I’m looking at myself when I say this, busy moms need to make sure we’re not neglecting ourselves, which means drinking water throughout the day. Drink More Water #moms4jnjconsumer 3. Create or rejuvenate your skin care regime. If you’re like me you get a little lax in the Summer months with skin care. These amazing new products help reviatlize your skin and make it easy and affordable too.

Find a great face wash/scrub that you love and be sure to wash your face before bed. I heart AVEENO® POSITIVELY RADIANT® Skin Brightening Daily Scrub. This scrub’s microbeads are not super abrasive but strong enough to even out my skin tone and helps my skin feel more fresh.

As a family we use LUBRIDERM® Daily Moisture Lotion to stay moisturized all over. I personally love it because it’s Fragrance-Free and does a really great job moisturizing my dry skin. Plus, it’s clinically shown to moisturize for 24 hours, so a great tip would be to apply this to rough patches AND feet before bed and enjoy “round the clock” moisturizing.

Let’s take care of those wrinkles with RoC® Deep Wrinkle Night Cream. If you haven’t heard of RoC® products I’d be pretty surprised. They’ve made quite the name for themselves in the beauty industry. The results that come from RoC® are clinically proven and the results speak for themselves visibly reducing even deep wrinkles after 12 weeks’ use.

Healthy Essentials for Back to School Routine Must Haves for Moms #moms4jnjconsumer

4. Surround yourself with people who will be supportive. Create or help create a scheduled mom’s night with friends, and moms from your child’s class. These nights out may provide sanity for you and if nothing else you’re getting away and able to share your challenges, and successes.

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5. Save some money on things you already buy and use the extra to pamper yourself. Head over to the Healthy Essentials website and find more than $40 in savings on great products featured on the site: HealthyEssentials.com

While you’re there, check out some of these great savings:

• Save on some of the following: JOHNSON’S® Baby NO MORE TANGLES® or Extra Conditioning hair care products, AVEENO® products, RoC® Anti-Aging products, NEUTROGENA® Cleansing, Moisture, or Acne products, SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener products, VISINE® products, LISTERINE® products, or

 

What are some of your favorite tips for getting into a back to school routine and taking care of yourself?

 

This post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are all my own.

Toaster Strudel Celebrates MORE Fruit with Fruit Ninja

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Toaster Strudel

School has just started four our family and we’re waking up bright and early to get ready for Miss A to go to school. Soon Lil C will start school and we’re super excited for both of them, but also realizing more school means less snuggles in the morning. I don’t know about you, but our family could always use more quiet, special time, especially while our girls are still little.

Who wouldn’t want more of this?!?!

 

Need more snuggle time MommyB

 

Toaster Strudel Fruit Ninja Logo Lock UpTo celebrate families getting more good stuff in the mornings, Toaster Strudel now has even MORE delicious fruit in every warm, gooey pastry. If you can’t tell from our photos we also love being silly and having fun too. Toaster Strudel teamed up with the popular Fruit Ninja app to host the first-ever “in real life” spectacle. During this one-of-a-kind event, fans watched as world-renowned swordsman Isao Machii sliced apples, berries and watermelons tossed his way.

 

Check out Isao Machii’s Fruit Ninja Style: 



How cool right?? You can complete a Fruit Ninja in-app mission and be awarded with incentives brought to you by Toaster Strudel. Check out Toaster Strudel’s Facebook page for more information on more fruit, app missions, and ways to add more to your mornings {maybe even some extra snuggles!}.

What do you wish your family had more of in the mornings??

 

 

This is a sponsored post, any opinions or thoughts expressed in this post are my own. Your opinions may vary.

Back to School – 10 Reasons to Use Kindle Fire HD Tablet for Independent Reading

Are you in Back to School mode? Miss A has already started 2nd grade and Lil’ C is getting ready to start Pre-K for the first time this week. Though we encourage our girls to read with us and read independently throughout the Summer we often find that schools recommend or require a form of reading throughout the school year, which, being a book-worm, I love. We recently received a Kindle Fire HD from Staples to work on Summer reading lists to challenge our kiddos and keep their brains going through the Summer. We also realized it’s coming in handy for the school year for Independent Reading.

Here are 10 Reasons to Use Kindle Fire for Independent Reading:

10 Reasons to Use Kindle Fire HD Tablet for Independent Reading on MommyB

 

1. Set a time limit for reading/use. While I don’t ever want to stop Miss A from reading, sometimes it’s necessary to move on to our next task or work on another piece of school work. The Kindle Fire allows us to create profiles for each child and set time limits with Kindle FreeTime.

2. Technology encourages reading. While we have our own library and occasionally check physical books out from our local library, often times our girls want “screen-time” aka to play on technology. We have noticed that even though books are often the same on the Kindle Fire, the novelty of having the book in electronic version makes it more appealing, and however we can get our girls excited about reading we’ll take.

3. Easy access to books. Another great thing about the Kindle Fire are no last minute trips to the library and books are never out of stock like bookstores or libraries. We love heading to storytime and the bookstore, but we also enjoy the Kindle Fire’s easy access to a variety of books.

4. Features to personalize their reading experience. Kindle Fire HD offers your child adjustable fonts, line spacing, text-to-speech, built-in reference and dictionary. Students can also add their own notes, highlights, and bookmarks that they can access from their Kindle or any device with the free Kindle app, personalizing their reading experience and making an even more enjoyable experience.

5. Reading incentives made easy. Recently, we decided that we would offer Miss A even more incentives to read {aside from her school work} and give her the opportunity to earn screen-time through reading. The Kindle Fire is an easy way for her to transition from her reading time to her screen-time and has a number of free and paid apps including educational games and fun apps alike.

Miss A Independent Reading with Kindle Fire HD MommyB

 

6. No returns necessary. Have you ever forgotten to return a book by the due date? Kindle Fire allows you to skip the process of returning a book even when you’re just e-borrowing a book.

7. Teach new vocabulary. With some books Kindle Fire can read content with their Text-to-Speech feature. This feature isn’t meant to replace reading for your children, however in some cases it can help your child learn how to pronounce words and read along with books that are above their reading skill.

8. Find a good fit. Sometimes it’s hard to find a book that fits both Miss A’s reading level AND maturity. If you’ve ever been in the same situation you’ll understand that having the option of choosing a new book immediately is a huge relief. I love that Kindle Fire allows us to make that change without having to research, go to the library or store and get a new book, it’s an easy swap.

9. Read on-the-go. Of course you can take a book with you wherever you go, but Kindle Fire HD allows you to take up to 6,000 books* with you, that’s a lot of choices and a lighter load than a bag of books.

10. Shared classroom content. Kindle now allows classrooms/schools to share content using Whispercast. Whispercast allows schools to centrally manage Kindles, provide internet access, control settings, and meet the unique needs of students.

Do your children use Kindle Fire HD for Independent Reading? What are your favorite benefits?

Check out the Kindle Fire HD at Staples.com for more specs and details, protection plans, financing, free ship-to-store, and if you’re not a member already, check out their Rewards Member program for possible discounts. Also

College students – Save up to 80% when you rent and up to 50% when you buy Kindle eTextbooks.

*Kindle Fire HD can hold up to 6,000 books alone or less when you add apps, music, or movies. Wi-fi is needed to upload new books to your Kindle Fire HD.

 

I received a Kindle Fire HD from Staples in order to test out and review the product. I did not receive compensation and any and all opinions expressed in this post are my own honest thoughts. Yours may vary.

Fall Footwear Trends – Models Wanted

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Rack Room Shoes, all opinions are my own.

If you’ve started Back to School shopping you may have noticed some of the fun trends that are out this Fall. It really seems like each season is so different and this Fall has a lot of fun looks especially when it comes to footwear.

Some trends you’ll see and that your kids may have already asked for include:

For the Girls

  • Canvas – bright solid colors or patterned canvas are both in this season
  • Cowboy Boots & Western Styles – though there are some parts of the country these never go out of style, they’re extra hot right now
  • Combat Boots – these can be seen in traditional colors, bright colors and even patterns too

For the Boys

  • Boat Shoes – come in easy to slip-on styles
  • Converse – even more new styles and colors this season
  • Low-Rise Boots – for a dressier look

Now that your mind is on the recent trends, maybe you’re thinking of your trendy family, and if not trendy then surely good looking family!

Rack Room Shoes is looking for models in their Models Wanted contest. That means you and your family!

 

Fall Footwear Trends and Model Search

About Models Wanted

As part of its popular Models Wanted contest, Rack Room Shoes has spotlighted real customers – instead of professional models – in all of its seasonal advertisements over the past decade.

Every year, the family footwear retailer hosts the much-anticipated Models Wanted contest, inviting families to enter for a chance to participate in a glamorous photo shoot and be featured on the retailer’s website, advertising inserts and display signage in more than 385 stores nationwide.

All Models Wanted winners receive five-star treatment, including professional hair and makeup and chauffer services at the photo shoot.

Throwback

To commemorate the program’s 10th anniversary, Rack Room Shoes brought back participating individuals and families from the last 10 years to return to the set as Rack Room Shoes models.

Rack Room Shoes reached out to former Models Wanted families and individuals last year through emails and social media posts and invited them to enter its “Models Wanted 2014: Anniversary Edition Contest” for the chance to be selected as models again. Fans on Rack Room Shoes’ Facebook page then voted for the families they’d like to see featured for a second time.

Each winning family was also given $5,000 from Rack Room Shoes to donate to the charity of their choice.

Enter your family

Rack Room Shoes is currently in search of families to be the next Models Wanted participants. Winners’ photos will be showcased throughout the retailer’s 2015 seasonal advertising campaigns, displayed on the website and social media channels, in newspaper ads and in-store signage!

For 2015, Rack Room Shoes is inviting Rewards Members to enter at rackroomshoes.com/modelswanted

Here’s how to become a Rack Room Rewards® member: rewards.rackroomshoes.com/dashboard

The Model Swag Bag:

• Professional photo & video shoot with experienced photographers

• Spa-like hair, make-up & wardrobe treatments

• Rack Room Shoes gift cards

• Commemorative book & DVD of your family’s experience

• Shoes from the shoot

Now accepting entries through September 8, 2014.

Enter the Rack Room Shoes Models Wanted contest today!

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Rack Room Shoes. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own, yours may vary.

10 Surefire Ways to Get Me To Smile

I don’t know about you, but I’m a naturally smiley person. I proudly wear my “smile wrinkles” as a badge that I have lots to smile about. Though I’m smiling more than half the time, here are 10 Sure Fire Ways to Get Me to Smile {perhaps some of these work for you too}.

  1. Sweet letters from my husband
  2. Hugs from my kids
  3. Hanging out with fun friends
  4. Having deep conversations with family. The ones where I learn more about them or find a connection that we have never had are the best.
  5. Almost any Adam Sandler movie
  6. Thinking about all the exciting adventures we will have in our new home
  7. A delicious icy coffee drink
  8. Thinking about how blessed I am and being able to bless others through giving back
  9. Organizing almost anything {especially closets and drawers}
  10. Knowing my teeth look great and my breath is fresh

Now that my removable dental appliances are correcting my smile my teeth look and feel great but cleaning them isn’t always easy.

I was so excited to hear about Fresh Guard™ products because I’ve been struggling with keeping my removable dental appliances smelling fresh and feeling clean.

NEW Fresh Guard By Efferdent Removable Dental Appliance Cleaner MommyB

Fresh Guard is specially formulated for retainers, mouthguards and removable braces. It delivers a Complete Clean – 1) prevents the build-up of mouth film for a clean feel, 2) removes odor-causing bacteria for a fresh and clean smell, and 3) reduces yellowing and helps remove stains for a clean look.

I was able to try out both Fresh Guard™ products; Fresh Guard™ by Efferdent Soak, and Fresh Guard™​ by Efferdent Wipes.

I have to say I really like both products.

I used the Fresh Guard™​ by Efferdent Wipes when I was on-the-go with my girls and it saved me from having to put my removeable dental appliance in with dirty teeth. I loved the minty taste and the discrete size of the wipe package.

The Fresh Guard™ by Efferdent Soak is GREAT for times when my removable dental appliance needs a deep cleaning. I love that the soak changes color to signify they are clean (after about 5 minutes of soaking). The soak does have a slight chemical smell, but really does the trick of cleaning otherwise filmy and smelly removable dental appliances.

Check out this video to see why Fresh Guard by Efferdent Soak is great for removable dental appliances.

Make sure you get your savings HERE.

Fresh Guard™ is specially formulated to clean mouth guards, retainers, and clear braces. Fresh Guard™ Soak kills 99.9% of odor-causing bacteria in just 5 minutes while Fresh Guard™  Wipes offer a convenient on-the-go cleaning solution with no water needed. Visit Fresh Guard™ for more information, store locator and coupons!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Fresh Guard™. I received promotional items and Fresh Guard™ products in exchange for my participation. The opinions and text are mine.

To Fairy or Not to Fairy

Lil’ C, who in my opinion is MUCH too young to be losing baby teeth {4 years 5 months}, lost her first baby tooth today. My heart dropped a couple of months ago when the dental hygienist said she had two wiggly teeth. My baby, growing up, and this is one of the major physical milestones. I couldn’t believe it.

 

Lil C Lost Tooth

 

Even though Miss A has lost several teeth hers didn’t come out quite so soon. Then again do we ever really feel comfortable with our kids growing up?!?

For the first lost tooth in our house we celebrate, the Tooth Fairy brings a small gift instead of money, because it’s a big deal you know?!

 

The big questions is: To Fairy or not to Fairy.

To Fairy or Not to Fairy - Teaching your child about holidays

 

While Miss A knew the Tooth Fairy wasn’t real we haven’t told Lil’ C about her true identity yet mostly because we didn’t realize she would lose a tooth this soon, plus we want to make sure she can keep that secret from other kiddos whose parents want them to believe.

 

We have several friends on both sides of the fairy fence. Some friends get really creative, some do not celebrate at all, some celebrate but in a unique way, and then some fall in the middle like we do with playing make-believe but the kids know in the end it’s us helping them celebrate in what we feel a fun way.

If you haven’t decided how you want to approach this with your kiddos, here’s our point of view only and be sure to take all into consideration.

We often play make believe and dress up in our home, and by often I mean on a 20-minute cycle, these girls ADORE dress up! So when deciding if we wanted to do the tooth fairy it really fell into that category.

When it comes to other holidays  like Christmas, we tell the girls about how Saint Nick was a real man and we focus on that story of the spirit of giving. At Christmas they get a few meaningful gifts from us, but we ultimately celebrate Christmas as Jesus’ Birthday, same with Easter, we don’t do Easter baskets or bunny, but we do have a few fun faith-based activities coming next Spring to celebrate and honor what Easter means for us.

When do the girls REALLY get to celebrate??? Lots of times, including missing teeth, we celebrate them on their birthdays’ that’s totally their day, we also celebrate milestones like first day/last days of school, and have impromptu glow stick parties and dates with our kiddos, trust me, these girls {and their parents} know how to make some awesome memories.

So if you ever feel that telling your kiddos the truth about the Tooth Fairy and other holidays will spoil the fun for them, it really doesn’t have to. And if you don’t tell your kiddos that’s fine too. There are so many great ways to celebrate special occasions and the day-to-day as well.  Let’s make our family time together the best it can be!!

 

Consider sharing how you and your family celebrate to give other new families, or families trying to decide their traditions ideas.

 

Why I Will Never Flush My Toilet Again

Why I will NEVER Flush My Toilet Again MommyB

 

A momentous occasion is upon us, the moment I realized I never want to flush my toilet again. Seriously. I’m tired of grabbing the germy handle and flushing, tired of thinking what kinds of viruses et al. may be on the “flusher” {and yes I am a stage 1 germaphobe.}

All of my life I never knew the joys of not flushing until I was introduced to Kohler. Two words: Game changer. Game changer folks!

Recently Kohler sent me some of their newest technologies for toilets {bet you didn’t know toilets had technology right?!?!} and I got to test it out in our new home. How cool!

 

Kohler Touchless Flush Kit

 

Kohler’s Touchless Toilet Flush Kit was so easy to install. I followed the convenient video on their website using my iPad and had it installed in around 20 minutes. Our toilet cover was a little different than the one featured in the video, but was very easy to figure out how to install. I ended up making a minor adjustment to the height of the no touch sensor that is mounted inside the toilet bowl and voila!

I really love this product because:

  • The sensor makes cleaning a little easier since I’m not having to disinfect the handle.
  • The kids love the novelty and I love that their hands are staying that much cleaner! I seriously wish these were in every toilet I come across, I’m ruined.
  • I also don’t have to worry as much about maintenance because there’s no handle to loosen as time goes by with all the flushing we do.

We’ve only confused a couple of guests so far, but the hand sticker that is provided in the kit gives guests the gist.

Kohler Flushless Toilet Kit

The kit comes with the no touch sensor, a pull chain, a handle plug, a no touch indicator sticker, pad stickers for toilet lid, 4 AA batteries, and a sensor mount. You don’t need to purchase anything extra because the kit has everything you need, however the kit isn’t compatible with all toilets, so be sure to check and see if your model works with the Touchless Flush Kit, if it is head to the Kohler website for install videos and see how easy it is to install for yourself.

 

Kohler Touchless Flush Kit Toilet Types

 

Pricing and Availability

The kit is $99.97 is listed for purchase on Kohler.com, you can find a store near you with their “Where to Buy” link. Kohler also sells toilet bowls with the touchless technology as well if you are in the market for a brand new toilet.

Now this isn’t something I think every family needs, but if you have the extra money and are wondering where to spend it, just for the cleanliness and potentially lower rate of illness in your home I would spend it on this kit. It’s a great product that you can tell will hold up with time and is super low maintenance {changing the batteries maybe 1 time a year on average} once the kit is installed.

Other Game Changing Kohler Products

Kohler also has a seat with nightlight technology and a seat perfect for transitioning little kids to the big potty with a built-in child-size potty seat. Plus their seats feature technology that prevents slamming the seats, my favorite feature of all!

 

I would definitely recommend this kit and after some other home projects have been tackled would love to install this product in each of our toilets in our new home.

How about you? What technologies could you use in your home?

 

I received product from Kohler in order to provide a hands-on review. I was not compensated or obligated to write this post and all opinions and thoughts are my own honest words. 

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Video

I am a member of the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Parent Council and receive admission to cover media events.

Enjoy our video of SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord:

 

 

For more information on SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord check out these links:
• Website: www.VisitSEALIFE.com/Charlotte-Concord
• Facebook: www.facebook/SEALIFECharlotteConcord
• Twitter: @SEALIFECC
• Instagram: instagram.com/SEALIFECC
• YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/SEALIFECC

 

Have you visited SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord? What’s your family’s favorite part??

 

It is SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord’s goal to provide a memorable experience at the best value possible. If you would like to share your feedback with their management team, please contact them at sealifecharlotteconcord@gmail.com

 

As a member of the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Parent Council I receive admission in return for writing about events and reviewing the aquarium. As always, any opinions expressed in this post are the honest thoughts of myself and my family. Your opinions may vary.

Shoes that Fit – Giving Back Locally

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Rack Room Shoes, all opinions are my own.

While our kiddos may be worried about buying the trendiest backpacks and having the coolest new outfits for school, there are many children who are headed back to school with shoes that are old and worn or that just don’t fit well, or even worse they have no shoes at all.

This Back to School season, Rack Room Shoes is proud to partner with Shoes That Fit, a national non-profit organization that provides shoes to disadvantaged children. This program helps children in your community start the school year off on the right foot.

The more money that is raised, the more resources available to purchase shoes for needy students in your area.

 

ShoesThatFit_logo

 

How you can participate:

  • Shop at your local Rack Room Shoes store for your family’s Back to School shoe needs.
  • Donate $5 or more in-store to the Shoes That Fit campaign to benefit disadvantaged children in your local community, or donate online.
  • If there’s not a Rack Room Shoes store near you and you would like to help another community click the link above to donate online as well.

In exchange for your donation, you will receive a special colorable Shoes That Fit tote bag. Color your tote bag with your children for a fun family activity and support your local community at the same time. This also provides your family with a great opportunity to talk about serving the community and helping others.

Miss A, Lil’ C, and I worked on their bags, had a chance to talk about children who are in need of good shoes for the school year. The girls decided to donate some of their own money to the Shoes That Fit Campaign to help other kids.

Here are their creations:

Rack Room Shoes - Shoes That Fit MommyB

 

Be sure to share your Shoes That Fit tote bag creations on social media and let others know about this great program that will offer children the opportunity to focus on their studies and not worry about what’s on their feet.

For more information on Rack Room Shoes and the Shoes That Fit program, check out their website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

 

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Rack Room Shoes. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own, yours may vary.

Why Your Family Should Care Whether Brands offer Guarantees

As an ambassador for Rayovac I have been compensated for this blog post. All thoughts and opinions on the products are my own.

Has anyone ever made a promise to you and not kept it with the end result letting you down? Of course they have, we’re all human and it happens every day. I’ve let people down and been let down and know just how unpleasant it is. No one wants to be left with that yucky feeling.

Whether it’s a friend saying they’ll meet up and changing plans last minute, an experience you sign up for that doesn’t live up to what you thought it would be, or a purchase you make that ends up as money “flushed down the drain”. Even this month, I’ve been there. How about you?

Though this happens in life we want our family to believe in promises and keeping them and we want to put time and money into those we feel have the same characteristics. That’s why we rely on Rayovac’s quality products. Our girls learn that there are brands that they can depend on and affordable prices, and companies that will back their products up.

 

Why Your Family Should Care whether Brands Offer Guarantees MommyB

 

As a brand, Rayovac doesn’t want to be the brand that lets their customers down, they aim to be trustworthy. They keep you in mind when they create their products. They don’t want to break their promise of quality products, they want to value your time and money. Because Rayovac stands behind their products, they are able to offer their Rayovac Guarantee, a guarantee like no other in the battery industry.

Not only is this the best practice {in my opinion}, but it’s also the best protection for your most important tech devices. Check out the True Meaning of the Word Guarantee when it comes to Rayovac’s product promise.

You and your family will benefit from a brand’s quality guarantee and you won’t feel like you’re wasting money or time, because both of those things are important to busy families.

I personally love that Rayovac offers warranties on their products as fewer and fewer brands are these days. For more information on this guarantee and what is covered, visit Rayovac’s website: rayovac.com

 

How do you teach your family to be trustworthy and promise keepers?

What do you think of brand warranties?

 

This is a sponsored post on behalf of my partnership with Rayovac. All opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are my own, yours may vary.