Wednesday, February 29, 2012
My husband is always recording shows that I don’t want to watch on television. With our old cable television service we were always in an argument about what we were going to watch because he wanted to watch his programs in the den where everyone else wanted to watch something else. But ever since we got satellite television service through www.tvbydirect.com, he is able to record a show in the den and then watch it in another room in the house. This has probably kept us from having a lot more arguments. I mean really I don’t understand how a man his age can like watching shows like Dancing with the Stars. He can’t even dance a step. Maybe he is just living vicariously through the people on the show. Whatever his deal is, I don’t have to participate in his vicarious fantasy. So if there are more people than just me wanting to watch something in the den, then my husband goes to another room. Now if it is just the two of us, then we take turns. I know I have a lot of programs that he doesn’t like to watch either. So to be fair, I take my turn elsewhere to keep the peace.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
There are a number of reasons why I adore personalized stationery. It allows you to make a statement, be more professional, and cause the recipients to “ooh” and “aah”. I enjoy playing around with designs and the personalization details to see what I can create.
I have had the pleasure of reviewing a number of different paper products over the past year and a half, including business cards, thank you cards, invitations, note cards, etc. I recently had the opportunity to review personalized stationery cards from Babadoo Designs. Babadoo Designs is a company that really stands out to me. The designs available are directly taken from original watercolor paintings and will not be found on any other site. I really love finding unique products and the fact that these designs are unique to Babadoo Designs is a plus for me. The designs are adorable and clever. There are so many that I would love to own. Frankly, I wish I could say, “I’ll take one of each please!” Another wonderful fact about Babadoo Designs is that 100% of recycled card stock is used. How awesome – I love finding “green” companies!
I was sent four “Magnolia” Personalized Stationery Cards to review. These cards are simply lovely and I look forward to giving them to friends. I was struck by the quality of the paper. The color is beautiful and the paper itself isn’t flimsy. I was so impressed overall.
The cards measure 4.25” x 5.5” and can be purchased in varying increments. You are given numerous font and ink colors from which to choose in order to personalize your stationery completely to your wishes. In addition to the note cards that I reviewed, you may also purchase invitations, announcements, photo cards, and personalized shirts.
Check out some of the adorable designs that I found below:
I have the pleasure of hosting a giveaway for Babadoo Designs! Babadoo Designs has offered to sponsor a giveaway for 12 Personalized Stationery Cards! Please fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.
Monday, February 27, 2012
My husband and I have been really trying to cut down our grocery bill, but frankly, it has not been going very well. I have read posts about couponing, watched videos, read circulars, visited numerous coupon sites (catching computer viruses along the way ) and we haven’t made a significant dent in our bill. There are different factors that play in to why, but I won’t bore you with the details here.
I dread the weeks when I need to buy laundry detergent. I think that I could definitely decrease the number of loads that I wash in a week by letting the piles build up a little bit. However, I really try to stay on top of the wash so that I am not overwhelmed and spending my entire Saturday doing laundry. Because I run more washes, I am using more laundry detergent than I like. I was intrigued when I heard about the Robby Wash Laundry Ball – a little laundry ball that can last up to one year or 120 loads of washes. Needless to say, I was eager to review it!
When I received the ball, I have to admit, I was a little bit skeptical. How can this little ball last so long? Would it truly clean my clothes? Would it irritate my children’s skin? I would just have to test it out and see for myself.
I used the ball with a load of towels for the initial test. It was pretty nice just tossing the ball into the washer with the towels and not having to measure any liquid. When both the washing cycle was over and the towels were dry, I was pleasantly surprised. I was also pleased when no rashes appeared on anyone in my family.
I began washing my husband’s and my clothes with the ball and then lastly, my children’s clothes. Our clothes are clean, smell nice, and I haven’t needed to purchase laundry detergent. Aahhh…saving money. It feels good!
More about the Oransi Robby Wash Ball:
- 10 ounces of Robby Wash ball replaces 75 lbs. of traditional laundry detergent - environmentally friendly.
- One Robby Wash ball lasts up to 12 months. The ball itself will last 3 years.
- One Robby Wash ball will save more than $100+ over 120 washes.
- One RobbyWash ball is only $32.95 and lasts one year. This includes refills.
- It is eco-friendly, hypoallergenic and safe - commonly used in Europe with baby laundry (as well as adults' laundry).
- Third party tested, proven and guaranteed to clean better than traditional powder laundry detergent.
I am pleased to be able to host a giveaway for the Robby Wash Ball! One Tidbits From A Mom reader will win a Robby Wash Ball pack. Please fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Web Hosting Geeks provides people with reviews and ratings of the best website hosting providers. They provide information about plan prices, features, and customer feedback. Instead of searching the web and trying to compare and analyze the information you find, Web Hosting Geeks lays all the information out in front of you. This will certainly help make the decision process easier!
In addition to the above, Web Hosting Geeks also provides awards for numerous "Best" categories. For example, an award is given for Best Budget Hosting, Best Ecommerce Hosting, and Best Blog Hosting, to name a few. In visiting each of these pages, I learned a great deal about the sites that are out there. I have a great deal more to read in order to make my informed decision. However, I have significantly less anxiety than I did when I first began to consider making this transition.
*Disclaimer: I received monetary compensation for this post. However, the opinions expressed here are my own and have not been swayed by compensation.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
In addition to the tangerine scent, this hand sanitizer is also available in fragrance free. It retails for $6.99 (250ml) and can be purchased online at www.babyganics.com and nationwide at all Babies R Us, Bed Bath & Beyond and Buy Buy Baby locations.
The hop will take place on Thursdays. To join the hop, you need to add the hosts to one of your circles, then we will add you back. Add your Google + personal or blog page (on your home screen you will see an option to start a page) to the linky below. Your hosts for this hop are The Spring Mount 6 Pack, Tidbits From A Mom,and Show Me The Prizes.
Add others who have linked up to the hop to your Google + circles. You do not need to write on their Google + wall, but can if you like. It is appreciated if you help spread the word of this hop by adding the hop button. This is a great way to connect since the changes with Google Friend Connect.
When you +1 a post, page, article etc you will have the chose to decide who you share it with. Anyone in the circle you share with will see what you +1ed.
Monday, February 20, 2012
Until recently, I was the epitome of “burnout”. Working full-time, taking care of the kids, cooking, cleaning, etc. became too much. My husband came to my rescue with the cooking and has been tremendous, but that was still only one piece. I needed to recover my energy and take life “by the horns” again.
My husband and I are now on a determined mission to get our bodies and our minds as healthy as possible. We have been eating healthy for some time now, but the exercise department was completely lacking. I often excused myself from exercising because I didn’t “have the time” or “it’s too late to exercise after the kids go to bed”. I had to come to the realization that this time after the kids go to bed is the only time that I can exercise and I need to embrace that time. However, I need to make the most of the short period of time.
It must have been divine intervention that I was approached to do a review for “Fit Moms for Life: How to Have Endless Energy to Outplay your Kids”. This review could not have come at a better time. Written by Dustin Maher, “Fit Moms for Life” showcases the success stories for over thirty mothers that have lost weight and gotten fit by following Dustin Maher’s advice. This book discusses the do’s and don’ts of dieting and exercise but also some major points that many people are not aware of, such as:
Traditional Cardio Doesn’t Lose Fat
- You Can’t Work Out to Compensate for Poor Eating
- See Results 9 Times Faster With Burst Training
- Learn ONE Exercise That Shrinks a Waistline WITHOUT diet changes
- Burn Fat While You Sleep
- A Healthy Environment Equals A More Fit Family
I like the fact that the success stories of so many women are incorporated throughout the book. These ordinary women were able to achieve amazing goals, so why can't I? I know that I don't need to lose weight, but I do have my own health and fitness goals. I do have the goal of toning my muscles more and gaining overall strength and I believe this program can help me achieve this goal. Whatever your goal may be, I think this book is certainly worth the read.
More about the Author:
Dustin Maher is a speaker, blogger, boot camp owner, and personal trainer. He has appeared almost 100 times on TV and has helped transform over 5,000 moms both in persona and through his 28 workout DVDs. He is the creator of Fit Moms for Life communities that are being formed around the world. Dustin’s mission is to empower and build up a community of one million moms by the end of 2015.
I am pleased to be able to host a giveaway for one Tidbits From A Mom reader to win a copy of Fit Moms for Life. Please complete the Rafflecopter form below to enter.
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Welcome to the $700 Winter Blast of Cash Giveaway hosted by Giveaway Promote.
A fantastic group of bloggers have gotten together to give away $700 in cash to one lucky person. Check out the list of participating blogs at the end of this post. Complete the tasks below to earn entries into this giveaway. One winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
Bloggers, join us in an upcoming event! Sign up for Giveaway Promote's event mailing list to receive information via email about their future events.
It will end at 11:59pm EST on March 4th, 2012.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is brought to you by:
Sunday, February 19, 2012
- The Grand Event Cash Giveaway will run from Saturday, March 17th (12:00AM) to Saturday, March 31st (11:59PM).
The Grand Event Grand Prize
- The GOAL for this event is a $1000 prize
- The actual prize will depend upon participation!
- Grand Prize amount will be announced on 2/8!!
BLOGGER REFERRAL CONTESTFor an added incentive to spread the word, we’ve added a blogger prize! There are TONS of ways to enter, and I’ve tried to make it as easy for you as possible!
- ONE WINNER- will receive $50 Paypal Cash
- ONE WINNER- will participate in the event for FREE!
Find out complete details and sign up HERE!!
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Hi Kimberly and Moms!
I hope my happiness idea for the day can add a little optimism to your life. It’s based on my new book Bright Side Up: 100 Ways to Be Happier Right Now. See, the way I look at it, happiness isn’t about the situation we’re in, but how we see and feel about the situation we’re in. So if we can see our situation from a more positive perspective, we can be happier right now without really having to change a single thing!
And because Moms could use help seeing the bright side of life sometimes more than ever, here’s one idea from the book that might change how you see your day:
Do the can-can. Here’s what I mean. There are so many things on your To-Do list that by the end of the day, looking at all the things you “can’t” squeeze in, it’s easy to start focusing on the negative: You can’t find the time, can’t stick to the diet, can’t find the energy, can’t find your keys, and now you can’t stop thinking about all the things you can’t do! And we all know that once you’re making that list, it can start to overwhelm you. It's natural for us to think about what we can't do. But what if you flipped the list? Because you'll have an entirely different experience when you ask, instead what you can do. Do the can-can. And marvel when you realize this: the list of what you can do is so much bigger than what you can’t!
You can’t find the time to make homemade applesauce this week? Well, you can find the time to give the kids apples…and pears and oranges and bananas. You can’t do the diet every day, but you can do it five days this week, which is better than none at all! You can get a lot done, you can give your family what they need, and you can be proud of surviving a crazy week with all the little cans you’ve accomplished along the way. The next time you hear yourself talking about the “can’ts” do the can-can again, and dance your way to a more positive perspective.
I hope this helps you see your next challenging situation Bright Side Up! And hopefully, you’re already feeling a little happier right now.
If you want more ideas on how to see the positive, check out BRIGHT SIDE UP: 100 Ways to Be Happier Right Now (Perigee), full of practical strategies for seeing our everyday challenging experiences from a more positive place. To read free chapter excerpts from the book and watch the one-minute book trailer, go to brightsideup.com. For positivity on the go, get the companion iPhone and iPad app BRIGHT SIDE APP! And follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/datingoptimist.
Here is a FREE eCookbook from RecipeLion called "Frugal Recipes: 26 Easy Ground Beef Recipe for Dinner" and it features 42 pages of great cheap meals and easy ground beef recipes.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
I know that I am not yet the “fashionista” I aspire to be someday, but I do love fashion and the thrill of finding the perfect eye-catching outfits and accessories. I know that it’s only mid-February, but I am already eager to ditch my winter sweaters and corduroys. I am ready for vacation, so I have been keeping close watch on the new spring fashions. I want to shed the winter colors and replace them with bright fun colors!
J3LL Watches are an accessory that meets all the above criteria. They are eye-catching and they have numerous bright colors from which to choose. J3LL Watches have interchangeable bands and faces; therefore, you can be creative in matching your outfits! They are made from ionoized silicone rubber, which allows a comfortable fit. No hard plastic or metal band digging into your wrist.
I was a bit struck by the size of the watched when I unwrapped them. They are larger than I expected. However, when I tried them on, I thought, "Oh, yeah...these are cool!" Talk about eye-catching and fun! They remind me of the jelly watches from when I was younger :) I love the fact that these watches are so colorful, different from what I am accustomed to wearing, and the fact that you can change the watch faces to accessorize your outfit.
J3LL would like you to know that if you click their Facebook like button, Tweet button, and Plus 1
I have awesome news! J3LL Watches has generously offered to sponsor a giveaway for two Tidbits From A Mom readers to win a J3LL Watch! Simply complete the Rafflecopter form below to enter.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
1. Pay utilities on time.
Thanks to the ability to self-enroll into the Payment Reporting Builds Creditmonitoring bureau, any and all of your utility bills and even your phone and Internet bills can count towards credit building. Just make sure to make your payments on time every month or else this will do little to improve your credit score.
2. Use prepaid cards as much as possible.
Several prepaid credit cards still help you build credit, so use these options as much as possible. Care needs to be taken to find out which ones help build credit and which ones don't, since chances are you would rather not be wasting your time.
3. Pay off balances at the end of the month.
There's nothing unwise about using credit cards to build credit on a modest income, so long as you do so responsibly. Since the point is to avoid borrowing, make it your mission to pay off the balance at the end of every month. In addition, opt for offers such as credit cards with rewards no annual fee included that put more pressure on you to pay the bill in full every time.
4. Borrow from yourself with a CD and a secured loan.
It's a bit of a hacker way to build credit, but borrowing from yourself is not only possible and legal, it's effective. Here is what you do: take a four figure sum of money and take out a CD with it. Then turn around and take out a secured loan with your CD as collateral. Take the loan and deposit it into a high yield savings account you can manipulate (unlike a CD) and make payments with the loan itself till it's paid off. If all goes well, the high yield should cover the loan interest, and you'll have cashing out a CD to look forward to at a later date.
Building credit is tough when you barely make enough to make ends meet. But burying yourself in debt is not the only way your credit score can improve. If you can manage charge cards responsibly and take advantage of the few loopholes and advantages that exist, just about anyone on any budget can improve their credit rating and score.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Thursday, February 9, 2012
St. Patrick's Day will be here in a little over a month. I have never owned any St. Patrick's clothing or jewelry - nothing festive! How boring! I have seen people wear funny Irish t-shirts in the past and I was definitely happy to have the opportunity to review one.
I recently received the "I'm Irish, Do I Get A Free Beer?" t-shirt (as seen in the photo above) from Foul Mouth Shirts to review. The t-shirt I received is black. The t-shirt fit fine and the quality of the t-shirt is good. In checking out the Foul Mouth Shirts website, I was a little shocked at the language, but I guess that's why they named it "Foul Mouth Shirts!" It makes sense :) I guess I'm a bit more conservative than these shirts. Considering I have young children, my husband and I wouldn't be customers here. However, people who are younger and single may be a better fit of clientele.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
After working a full day, helping with homework, cooking dinner, doing daily chores, putting the kids to bed, and blogging, I do not have a lot of extra time on my hands. If I do, I do not want to spend it on the Internet looking for good deals. I am certainly all about saving money, but I just do not have the time to compare prices online.
dealnews is a site that gives you the best deals on all the hottest electronics, clothing, footwear, travel, etc. on a daily basis. They search over 2,000 retailers and thousands of product and service deals in order to tell you about the best deals that are happening. dealnews caught my attention because they are doing all the work for me and saving me time, which is a definite plus. With dealnews, you are able to learn about deals that are typically only available on Black Friday!
The deals in which I am most interested in hearing about are clothing deals. My family and I are going away on vacation and we all need spring clothes. I have lost weight and need new shorts. My son and daughter need both shorts and shirts. My husband needs shirts. These new clothes could cost us a small fortune if we do not pay attention to current deals and I need to make sure I take advantage of the ones I hear about! For example, as I was searching today, I found a great deal for clothes from Carter’s for my son. 40% off clothing online and at retailer locations plus $10 off your order of $50 or more! This is an awesome deal!
I would love to hear from you what you think of dealnews. Check them out and let me know what awesome deal(s) you found!
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
I am no different than any other mother raising a daughter. I hope and pray that my daughter will grow up to be a strong, independent, well-adjusted woman. There are so many days when she the things she does and the comments she makes bring me back to my own childhood. Times are drastically different nowadays, but then again, many things are the same. For example, the whole world of technology instantly changes the manner in which children experience the world and shape who they are. However, in talking to my students everyday, they often complain about the same exact things I complained about so many years ago.
Since I am so interested in learning about other people and why people are the way they are, I was really interested in reading Girl Land, written by Caitlin Flanagan. Flanagan defines Girl Land as the period of time when a girl leaves childhood and enters womanhood. Girls experience tremendous physical, emotional, and social changes that shape who they become as women. Flanagan discusses how Girl Land has vastly differed from generation to generation. She discusses the following in detail in terms of what girls face: dating, menstruation, diaries, sexual initiation, and proms.
I found this book fascinating. I really enjoyed reading about the history behind dating in our culture, how menstruation was taught over the years, the social-emotional purpose of diaries for girls, and how proms came to be a custom. Sexual initiation is a topic that I knew more about with respect to our culture and how sexual behavior has been viewed in the past and how it is viewed presently. I felt this book was engaging - Flanagan discusses events from her own life that bring the reader in.
Girl Land has given me a great deal to think about with respect to my own daughter. I know that my daughter is going to be entering the most confusing, emotional time of her life and I want to be able to help her through it and provide support. Obviously there will be mistakes along the way because no parent is perfect, but I want to be able to understand her world and how she views it. I imagine this can only help. I strongly recommend reading Girl Land if you are the mother, grandmother, or aunt of a young girl.
I am very pleased to have the opportunity to host a giveaway for Girl Land. Three lucky Tidbits From A Mom readers will win their own coy of Girl Land. Simply complete the Rafflecopter form below to enter.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Winter Blast of Cash Giveaway sign-ups are open at Giveaway Promote. I’ve signed up and will be participating! JOIN ME! The event will be held from February 20th-March 4th. There is an increasing cash prize, currently at $350. When you sign up, tell them that I sent you!
Monday, February 6, 2012
I am dying to go to a blogging conference. Each year, I read other bloggers’ posts and see all their wonderful pictures and I am so jealous. I think it would be wonderful to get together with other people who are as interested in the blogging world as I am. I do not have business cards yet for Tidbits From A Mom. I have different cards for my small jewelry business, but have yet to design them for my blog.
If I can have my way, I would like to attend BlogHer this summer. I know I have to have plenty of business cards on hand and I need to make a lasting impression with the people I meet. Even if I have a great conversation with someone, I need my business card to be memorable as well. They need to be able to look at my card and have our conversation stand out of the crowd. Tiny Prints has so many beautiful business card designs from which to choose – it’s hard to make a decision. Tiny Prints has a variety of ways to personalize your card, including the shape, color, design, paper type, and size.
Tiny Prints has an easy to use website. I have had fun creating all sorts of business cards that are “in the running” as my business card of choice. I have created cards with my logo and without the logo. I like simple cards that are classy. I imagine there are many bloggers out there who have advice for me and I would love to hear it! Should I choose bright colors or more subdued colors?
Here are a few of the designs I like the most:
*Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation for this post. I have written this post in partnership with Tiny Prints and I am receiving free business cards as compensation. The opinions expressed here are my own and are not altered by compensation.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
My family has a wicked sweet tooth. We don’t discriminate – cookies, cakes, pies, candy…we love them all. We balance our love of sweets with a healthy diet so that when we do indulge, we don’t feel as guilty and we can maintain our weight. We were given the opportunity to review Valentine’s Day Cookies from Smiley Cookie last week. I had never tried cookies from Smiley Cookie before and I was pretty excited. I have read so many positive comments on others’ blogs, but I certainly wanted to taste for myself.
When I first opened the adorable box, my daughter and I both said “WOW!” The cookies were huge! I was certainly impressed, but would their taste live up to my expectations? Absolutely!! Yes! They were delicious! I was pleasantly surprised at how soft the cookies were. I thought they were going to be harder. My daughter and I both loved the frosting as well. The remaining cookies were scarfed down my neighbors that same evening with rave reviews!
What is wonderful about these heart shaped cookies is that they are not seasonal items on the Smiley Cookie website. They are available year round! Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and Smiley Cookie has a Valentine’s Day Gift Basket available for your loved one. This would be such a nice surprise for anyone :)
Discount Code: Smiley Cookie is offering you 10% off your cookie gifts when you use the coupon code "BLOG10" at checkout!
Follow Smiley Cookie on Facebook!
In retrospect, the people that I have forgiven throughout my life have shown remorse. They have been truly sorry – not just saying it to move through the problem. They have also shown me they are sorry through their behavior. They change the way they act or at least show me that they are trying. However, with this particular family member, she does not see how she hurt those around her. She doesn’t accept responsibility. She doesn’t show remorse. So….how can I forgive that? How can I just pretend that she didn’t hurt us? Do I just sit at the Thanksgiving dinner table and make idle chit chat. I can’t...So, does that mean that I am an awful person? I think I’m a pretty good person and I want to surround myself with people that treat us well.
We only live once. One time to get it right. I don’t want to live my life second guessing this person and waiting for @%#^ to hit the fan again. It is inevitable that it will again. I can’t afford to have toxicity around me. Maybe in time, we will be on speaking terms with this family member. That will be a baby step. Then, in time, maybe there will be another baby step. But, really - who knows?
As far as forgiving myself, I think I will have to take one issue at a time. Even though I am young, I have many regrets. Regrets about things I have done and things I didn’t have the guts to do. I have tried to live my life honestly and be true to myself. I think that I will forgive myself in time. I need to keep in mind that I have always tried to make the right decisions and that I had the best intentions at heart. I guess that's the best I can do for now.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
sneakpeeq is giving all NEW members 2 FREE Badges of Friendship Bracelets! Plus, it gets better - NEW members also get $10 FREE to use on their first sneakpeeq find!