Category - Reviews

Protect Your Smile and Enamel Health as You Age

This is a sponsored post on behalf of CVS/pharmacy and Colgate Enamel Health all opinions are my own.

It’s a fact that adult oral care and protecting our enamel is vital for a healthy smile.

There are so many abrasive foods and drinks that wear down our tooth enamel on a daily basis that it’s really important to be mindful of how to maintain our clean, strong smiles.

How to Protect Your Smile and Enamel Health MommyB #healthyteeth #colgatehealthyenamel

 

As a coffee and soda drinker I love the NEW Colgate Enamel Health toothpaste and toothbrush because together, they help to replenish natural calcium and polish tooth enamel. Healthy enamel doesn’t just look good, it also helps create a smoother surface so germs are less likely to stick as well.

Being an adult undergoing teeth straightening treatment my teeth have also been subject to a lot of wear, so anything I can do to whiten and protect my teeth during and after treatment you can count me in.

Colgate Enamel Health at CVSpharmacy MommyB #healthyteeth #colgateenamelhealth

 

It’s easy to shopping for essentials like toothbrushes and toothpaste at my local CVS/pharmacy. I love that it’s not only a convenient one-stop shop for everything my family needs, but CVS also makes it easy to save money just by using your ExtraCare Card. With ExtraCare, you’ll earn 2% back on your purchases, {paid out quarterly in the form of ExtraBucks}.

If you’ve been a long-time reader you’ll know I’m someone who loves to write about oral health and saving money, both important things to keep our homes and families healthy and happy.

I’d love for one lucky MommyBKnowsBest.com reader to win their own Colgate Enamel Health prize pack featuring the 360 Enamel Health Toothbrush and Colgate Enamel Health Toothpaste.

 

Enter here to win:

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Disclosure: I’m proud to partner with CVS/pharmacy and Colgate Enamel Health for this oral health campaign. All opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturer.

How to Take the Spooky Out of October

Let’s face it, some families just do not like the spooky aspect of October. My girls aren’t into the skeletons or creepy zombies {one more than the other} and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting older, but as the years go by the more I’m turned off by scary things too. {I used to enjoy horror films growing up, now not so much.}

We have tons of friends, neighbors, and family who don’t mind a little spooky and some who totally love it, but for those of you who are like us, not fans, here are some ways to “Take the spooky out of October“.

How to Take the Spooky out of October MommyB

Celebrate Fall – Below are some ways your family can focus on Autumn and the Harvest.

  • Pick pumpkins at a local farm, it’s a fun activity and provide great decorations.
  • Leaf Art. Whether you’re making a banner from paper leaves or you’re using leaves for a leaf rubbing collage, there are a lot of things that you can make using one of Fall’s most beautiful gifts. {I pinned a bunch on my Holiday Themes pinterest board.}
  • Talk to your children about harvest, what it means for farmers, and the importance of it.
  • Host a Fall celebration with bobbing for apples, warm cinnamon donuts, and pumpkin painting.
  • Decorate your home with leaves, pumpkins, hay bales, maize corn, and other fall favorites.
  • Buy deliciously scented Fall candles. October is a great start to an awesome smelling home, in my opinion.
  • Enjoy warm drinks including hot cocoa, apple cider, and pumpkin spice anything.
  • Host a pie night with friends and create awesome Fall flavors, half the fun is baking and the other is eating.
  • Have a Fall family photo shoot. Make sure you choose a location that will highlight the weather and Fall changes.

Non Spooky Fall MommyB

What are some of the ways your family celebrates October in a non spooky way?

In honor of an un-scary October, I’m giving away a great book by Tommy Nelson, “Good Night, Little Pumpkin”. This adorable, not terrifying board book is great for children ages 1 to 4 years. It’s a sweet story that talks about the sounds, and smells of Fall that your kiddos will love to sit with you and read.

Good Night Little Pumpkin Giveaway

I’m giving away a copy to one lucky reader! Enter here to win:

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This is not a sponsored post. I received a copy of Good Night, Little Pumpkin to review and all prize fulfillment is the responsibility of the brand hosting the giveaway. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, honest thoughts, your experiences may vary.

PodKeeper’s New and Improved Website and Twitter Party

As a proactive mom I’ve always felt that being scheduled and organized, while allowing for some flexibility has really helped me manage the busy-ness of parenting. As my girls get older, they have more responsibilities and activities that I need to handle and without a way to track it all, I’m often found missing out on an event or forgetting items.

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Of course I have several Facebook groups, email threads, group text messages, newsletters, {and the list goes on} for each activity and event, but to be honest, that in itself can be a little overwhelming. I find myself wondering, did I post the thread? did I write that down in my calendar? and racking my brain just as much as if I had no system in place.

When I heard about PodKeeper I was super excited about a website that could handle my groups, events, forums, calendar all in one central location. My excitement drove me to offering social media services to PodKeeper and I currently work with a great brand, that helps me as a parent, and one that’s product I use and love.

Because I heart PodKeeper, I want you to try this free, online website, not for me, but so you can see how the site can revolutionize your definition of organizing your family.

To learn more about PodKeeper, and some great NEW features, I encourage you to join me for our upcoming Twitter Party. Susan from 5minutesformom.com will be joining us as well!

 

PodKeeper Twitter Invitation

 

Have any questions or comments? Feel free to comment here.

Hope to see you at the party!

 

PodKeeper is a client that I love and hope that you will too. All opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are my own.

Celebrating Fall Food in Charlotte North Carolina

With current temps around the low 60’s {and even cooler at night}, Charlotte, North Carolina sure feels like Fall. While we just kicked off the Autumnal Equinox there’s no hesitating ringing it in with some great food festivals to celebrate harvest time!

Two local venues I have to brag about are celebrating the next two weekends.

7th Street Public Market

First up, this Saturday, September 27th, one of my favorite uptown spots, 7th Street Market is hosting Harvest Fest. From 12:00 noon to 7:00pm you’ll be able to partake in a variety of events.

12:00pm – 3:00pm Daytime events include activities for the entire family: hayrides, pumpkin carving, corn shucking another fun Fall activities.

4:00pm – 7:00pm Get your tickets for Harvest Fest Taste of the Market where you’ll be able to sample Fall fare and drinks from local vendors and enjoy a private concert. Tickets sold HERE at $25 a piece.

Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

Olde Mecklenburg Brewery MommyB

Next weekend Charlotte’s authentic German beer haus; Olde Mecklenburg Brewery {OMB} is hosting their annual Mecktober Fest event. This year’s event will be a two-day event on October 3rd & 4th from 11:00am to midnight.

Come enjoy German beer, food, and music in OMB’s signature authentic style and new, larger location. I can tell you from first-hand experience their beer AND food are awesome, {Though I have yet to try Mecktoberfest}.

There is a $10 entry fee for those ages 21 and up, and $5 entry for designated drivers and those under 21 years old.

 

Make Dinner Easy for You, Yummy for Them, and Healthy for Your Family

This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.

 

Now that school and extracurricular activities have begun, I often find myself at a loss for dinners. I either forget to put ingredients into my slow cooker, don’t have the right ingredients for my dishes, or end up only having a few minutes to fix something quick.

While my girls are pretty good about being thankful for the food they have they’re still kids, there are times when they don’t love what I’ve put on their plate.

I don’t know about you but some nights I really wish I had it together, so I’m always on the lookout for tips and recipes to make my weeknight dinners easy for me, tasty for them, and healthy for our family.

 

Tips to get your kids to LOVE Dinner MommyB

 

Green Giant Frozen Steamers to the rescue! Green Giant is kicking off the, “Fresh Take on What to Make” campaign in partnership with celebrity chef and TV host Gina Neely, Celebrity Chef and TV Host from “Down Home with the Neelys”.

This program offers expert tips and recipes to make back-to-school, weeknight dinners easier on parents. Gina developed 5 tips for conquering hectic weeknight dinners while making meals that are nutritious and delicious, including “one-pot wonders,” grocery list must-haves and her favorite ways to get kids involved in the kitchen.

In a Green Giant Frozen Survey, they found that more than a third of parents surveyed admitted to forgetting about, or even purposely cutting out, vegetables when crunched for time at the end of the day, leaving them out of meals an average of twice a week. This is despite four-out-of-five (83%) parents agreeing no dinner is complete without a vegetable.

Whether you’re like us and usually get a few veggies in but could always use more or end up missing out on the veggies, you won’t want to miss Gina’s ideas like Quick ‘n Easy Chicken Pot Pies and more. You can get more recipes and chat live with Gina and other parents just like us by joining tomorrow’s Google Hangout.

If you can use some ideas and inspiration come join me – Green Giant and Gina Neely are hosting a Google+ hangout tomorrow, Tuesday, September 23 at 8pm ET. Head here: http://bit.ly/1pkEbnY to RSVP and join me, can’t wait to hear your questions, and suggestions.

 

Green Giant Google Hangout

 

Comment here letting me know if you RSVPed and I can expect to see you! Also visit greengiant.com/easymeals for more meal ideas if you miss us.

 

 

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Green Giant, a brand that our family already loves and trusts and uses. We know the importance of healthy eating and want our friends to get their daily dose of vegetables as well. All opinions and thoughts in this post are my own, yours may vary.

Dining at Bonefish Grill with a Shellfish Allergy

For those of you who don’t know I have a shellfish allergy. I didn’t know I was allergic until I had a pretty severe reaction after eating shrimp at a hibachi grill {twice}. I say twice because the first time we thought it was the oil the grill used, but later found out that the culprit was indeed shellfish.

To be fair, I probably should have known this a little sooner, I have only eaten shrimp in my life once before (when I was in high school) but every time I would peel shrimp to cook for my husband my hands would itch and turn a little red.

For a while I was very cautious of dining out, especially when it came to seafood restaurants, because, well hellloooo. I know sometimes when I ask for my dish a little different at restaurants I’ve had to send them back and eating shellfish contaminated food isn’t something I’ve been willing to risk.

Luckily, Bonefish Grill takes shellfish and other allergies VERY seriously. **Please be sure to tell your waiter if you have allergies before you order.

Dining at Bonefish Grill with a Shellfish Allergy MommyB

 

Your table is “flagged” to ensure that your dishes are safe for you to eat. The staff was very respectful of my allergy and helpful to suggest dishes. Our waiter, who was amazingly friendly, also told us that the pesto dipping oil for the table bread is made from pumpkin seeds rather than pine nuts due to the increase in diners with tree nut allergies. In my opinion, that is very thoughtful of a restaurant to make that concession.

Not only was our wait staff excellent regarding my allergies and recommendations, but the food during this visit was delicious.

If I can give you some recommendations:

Start with the Fresh Watermelon Martini because it’s light and sweet and a great drink that won’t make you feel full.

Next, if you’re in the sharing mood, the Wagyu Beef & Ginger Potstickers are delicious. The sauce and crispy onions help finish off a yummy bite. Kristen from The Playful Mom and I may or may not have devoured these.

For my entree I ordered the NEW 13 oz Rib Eye steak, I HIGHLY suggest the white truffle butter. This steak melted in my mouth, it was cooked to perfection and the truffle butter completed the savory flavor. My sides were equally amazing as I could barely put my fork down for the mushroom ravioli.

Of course we had to try out the desserts, I opted for the creme brulee and Kristin tried the NEW S’mores Flatbread which is all the rage. I actually wish I had swiped some from her when she wasn’t looking. Though in all honest the creme brulee was very creamy and the fresh berries topped this dish off nicely.

I did not have any issues with allergic reactions, our food was outstanding, service was polite and prompt, and my dinner date was pretty fun too.

Bonefish Grill Review MommyB
Even though I can’t eat shellfish, I encourage you to check out some of the great NEW Bonefish Grill menu items as well as their standard favorites: bonefishgrill.com/menu

 

Do you have any food allergies??

Have you been to a Bonefish Grill? Tried any NEW menu items? What are your favorite dishes?

 

 

I received a complimentary meal in order to give you opinions about my experience. This is not a paid post and all opinions are my own honest thoughts as usual. Your opinions and experiences may vary.

Tips for Parenting a Fearful Child

There are many reasons that children are fearful. Some reasons are based on their age, some reasons are a reaction to an event, some reasons are learned, and some are just a part of that child’s personality.

God gives us the exact child(ren) that we are supposed to parent. He knows us and He knows that child and He doesn’t make mistakes.

I remember when my children were full of worry and had fears about bugs, animals, the day ahead of them, I asked their pediatrician if their fears were normal. Each time I asked he assured that it was okay and normal for them to feel the way they did.

Some part of me however felt like I needed to fix them, to take away their fears, and I found myself praying that I could find a solution to calm their anxiety.

God had a solution for me, it wasn’t what I expected though.

God reminded me that He made my children JUST THE WAY THEY ARE for a purpose. I don’t need to “fix” my kids, I don’t need to do anything other than pray for them, thank God for their strengths and realize what I might consider weakness God will bring blessings to His name through every part of them if they allow Him to.

My biggest piece of advice to parents of fearful children would be to remember God is in control and your child His child is exactly as they are meant to be.

There are ways to not change, but helping your kiddos through tough situations. Tools that can be helpful for them and you to use to calm down or remind them also to trust in God include:

Prayer – Help them create a prayer or elements of a prayer that they can say when they are worried or scared.

Communicate – Often times your fearful child may not want to talk when they are afraid, but remind them that you are available to listen and help if they feel comfortable in that moment.

Read – Grab your Bible and find verses on fear and print them out on an index card and post them where your child (and you) will see them.

Online websites, and books have a wealth of knowledge to help you parent and help your child. I especially like God is Always Good, this book is perfect for children ages 4-8 and helps to comfort children through showing different situations where they may be scared as well. I love that each situation also has a corresponding Bible verse that you can remind your child of.

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This is a really sweet book, and I really enjoyed reading it to my girls, but also the communication and questions that came up as we were reading were invaluable. Kids can even read to each other!

 

Tips for Parenting Fearful Children

{Read a few pages HERE and Buy your copy HERE}

 

Also enter here to win your copy:

 

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TommyMommy-new1

 

As a Tommy Mommy I received a copy of this book. I am not compensated and all opinions expressed in this post are, as usual, my own.

Fresh Footwear Style for Back to School for the Whole Family

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

 

While DaddyB and I admittedly aren’t returning to school {props to parents who do!!}, we tell our girls that school is their job and well, our jobs keep us pretty busy too.

Just because the four of us are busy doesn’t mean we don’t want to have a fresh look for our whole family.

My childhood memories of Back to School shopping always included a couple of pairs of shoes if we were able to afford it.With my girls I like to buy them one pair of dress shoes and one pair of sneakers to start the school year off right.

We headed to Rack Room Shoes to take a look at what they had available, knowing they always carry really fun sneakers, great Fall boots, and cute dress shoes too.

(It’s safe to say they had a very fun, stylish first day of school. Shoes by Rack Room Shoes.)

First Day of School Shoes MommyB

Back to School Shoe Shopping for Kids

After several very methodical rounds of “eenie-meenie” we were able to land on these adorable, light-up sneakers (they even have an on/off button!)

Our dress shoe search didn’t end up quite the same, however Rack Room Shoes delivered, literally.

We chose a great ballet flat style, but unfortunately none were in stock in the store. With Rack Room’s Ship2Home service, we were guaranteed that the style and size shoes we were looking for would be delivered right to our front door, no having to return to the store or drive to another store.

Unfortunately, the shoe style didn’t fit my girls long and narrow feet, but the return policy at Rack Room Shoes made it super easy (and not stressful) for me to take the girls back in and start our dress shoe search again. During that trip we were able to find two pairs of mary jane type dress shoes in the exact sizes we needed, {maybe these were the shoes we should have picked out all along.}

At the end of our search we ended up with two great pairs of shoes for the girls {in the same brand and style} and a happy mom too!

Back to School Shoes Girls MommyB

Back to School Work Shoe Shopping for Mom and Dad

Following that same note, I wanted in on freshening up my footwear for my job too. I decided I would get a pair of dress shoes for meetings and events and a pair of fun sneakers for my job as mommy and errands.

 

Back to School Mom Job Shoes

 

DaddyB got the dress shoes memo but since he spends a large portion of his time at work, fittingly so, he freshened up his look with a couple of pairs of dress shoes.

The styles and prices at Rack Room Shoes made it really easy and affordable for our family of four to buy several pairs of quality shoes. We really enjoyed our experience shopping with Rack Room Shoes. The store was clean, associates were helpful and friendly, the return policy and Ship2Home are Ah-mazing, and the styles and discounts are pretty awesome too.

Next time our family makes a shoe purchase I know where we are headed… Rack Room Shoes.

Fresh Footwear Style for Back to School for the Whole Family @myrackroom MommyB

 

Have you ever shopped at Rack Room Shoes?? 

 

For more information on Rack Room Shoes locations, discounts, and styles head to their website: rackroomshoes.com, also follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

 

Be sure to enter my Back to School Must Haves Giveaway featuring a $50 Rack Room Shoes gift card!

Looking for what’s hot in Fall Footwear Fashion?

or

Want to find out how to give back to your community with Rack Room Shoes?

 

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.

Rayovac Mobile Battery Power Pack Review

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

As a busy on-the-go mom with a million things on my to-do list there are often things I forget like picking up bread at the grocery store or charging my cell phone.

Having an uncharged cell phone at home is okay, easy fix, however having an uncharged cell phone when I’m out of the house and not able to charge for various reasons can be a problem.

 

Flat Tire MommyB

 

Some of you know from my Facebook thread that last week one of my tires was flat. {Thanks to those of you who gave support and advice.} When I went inside to call my insurance company for roadside assistance I realized my phone was completely dead and I had to charge it before I could even make the call.

The thing that kept running through my head was how thankful I was that we were not stranded on the side of the road, with no cell phone.

That’s where Rayovac‘s newly released Mobile Battery Power Pack comes in handy. I could have easily charged my phone not needing to worry about being at home, near a charging station, or worrying about if I brought my car charger and in some instances {thankfully not mine} whether or not your car battery is working.

Rayovac Mobile Battery Power Pack Review #rayovacpowerblogger

Power Packs feature:

  • Availability for Apple and Android smart phones.
  • Small size for portability.
  • Reasonably priced at under $30
  • Holds enough power to recharge your mobile phone for 150 minutes of talk time
  • Ability to recharge the Phone Boost power pack 500+ times by using a USB charger
  • Holds charge for up to 6 months
  • Has 4 LED battery gauge indicators show charge and discharge status
  • Provices instant power once your device is plugged in
  • Has push button switch turns charger on – if the device inactive for 30 seconds, charger will automatically turn off to save battery power
  • Comes with a limited product warranty

You can see why this product is a must have, and potentially a life saver depending on the situation.

In my video you can see how easy to attach, charge, and detach to your own phone:

 

What are your favorite features of this Rayovac product??

I know for me, I won’t ever leave home without my Mobile Battery Power Pack because I’d rather be prepared and proactive.

For more information on Mobile Battery Power Packs visit Rayovac’s website: Rayovac.com

 

 

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.

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.