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July 17, 2014

Huggies Snug & Dry Plus

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Huggies® Brand. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participatingI am happy to announce my participation in Huggies Costco Ambassador Program.  We are trying to spread the word about Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes, only at Costco.  These exclusive Huggies® products at Costco help you Plus Up your baby care! You can’t get them anywhere else!

Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers have a SnugFit* waistband and unique Grip Tabs for a secure fit. Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers are extra absorbent for day and night protection....that's a plus exclusive to Costco! They also come with the trusted Leak Lock® system. 

Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes come in a new pack with 2 kinds of refillable dispensers, plus 1160 refill wipes to keep you stocked at home or on the go.  One of those refillable dispensers is the NEW Huggies® Clutch ‘n’ Clean* pouch, which comes in every pack of Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes. They tackle messes stylishly while out and about and it comes with a fun strap making it accessible anywhere.

We currently have THREE kids under age 3 in diapers in our house, so I consider myself a diaper machine at this point, but not all diapers are created equal. Over the past 2 years we've tried almost every brand out there: Earth's Best, Target, BJ's, Luvs, Pampers & Huggies and they each had their good and bad qualities. Some had more success for our girls, others worked better for our son. I had a chance to try the Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes, and am happy to report that not only did the diapers last all night for our son (which means 7pm to 8am) without leakage, but the wipes were softer and gentler than any other brands I've used in the past. When your child has up to 6 diaper changes a day, all that wiping can make their skin raw, but these wipes were so gentle. I'm a fan (and apparently so is my son - see photo)!

Purchase Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes at their nearest Costco Warehouse, but if you aren't convinced, request a free sample of Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes (while supplies last). Costco Members - Click HERE to register for a FREE sample of the Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes. Hurry and register now, there will be a limited number of samples each day starting today July 17, 2014 through July 26, 2014 so try back tomorrow if you aren’t able get a sample today! You must be a Costco member to get a sample and limit 1 sample.  

To learn more and a chance to win some great prizes come out and join the #SnugandDryPlus Twitter Party this Friday, July 18, 2014 from 1-2pm Eastern time!!! Be sure to Follow Huggies and Costco on Twitter.

July 08, 2014

Keep Momming

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Shire. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating. 

As an actress, a public health advocate and former journalist, Holly Robinson Peete has seen it all. And as a mother of four, she’s encountered just about every parenting challenge you can imagine. One of her biggest challenges as mom is building and maintaining a close relationship with her teenage daughter, Ryan. 

The mother-daughter relationship is a unique one, and that dynamic can be even trickier during the tween years. Yet sometimes, people dismiss certain behaviors as “typical tween girl behavior” when those behaviors can be symptoms of something more serious. Research suggests that girls are more likely than boys to report having mostly inattentive Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms. Since inattentive symptoms can be less noticeable than hyperactive and impulsive symptoms, it is important that moms know what to look for. 

I’m proud to be joining forces with Shire, CHADD and Holly Robinson Peete to announce the launch of keep momming, a new public service initiative geared towards the moms of tween girls to raise awareness of ADHD. The campaign is anchored within a new digital hub,, where you’ll find tips, tools and other go-to resources for moms, including a checklist to help recognize the symptoms of ADHD – inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity – and then encourages moms to talk to their daughter’s doctor. The keep momming initiative can help moms learn about ADHD and provide ideas on how to spark a conversation and stay connected with their tween. 

Don’t miss Holly’s message about the keep momming initiative, and be sure to check out the website at

July 07, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Spartan Race Code

If you aren't familiar with Spartan Race, it’s been voted the #1 obstacle race by Outside Magazine and focuses on building a healthy and active community of adults and children. Every Spartan Race has a Junior and Varsity Spartan Kids Race to allow children to share in the thrill of an obstacle race.

What is it? Check out this video to see for yourself: 


Want to try it???

WIN IT:  a free race code good for any US 2014 Spartan Race

HOW TO ENTER: a Rafflecopter giveaway

June 29, 2014

Great Books for Young Girls

Time Home Entertainment Inc. has launched an all-new Poster-A-Page book series for kids ages 4-12, that delivers children’s most popular Disney characters, stories, and memorable moments in a unique visual format, children theopportunity to bring their favorite friends and stories into their homes, onto their walls, and become part of their world.

The first two books, Sofia the First: Practice Makes Princess and Disney Princess: Fairy Tale Moments, are available NOW online and wherever books are sold for $12.95 each.

Both books bring to life the worlds of 12 princesses who receive the royal treatment in these must-have collectibles. Perfect for girls ages 6 and up, each book features a poster on every page, plus nine supersize pull-out posters that can function as fantastic door signs, room decorations, or background to a little girl’s princess fantasy life.  

Sofia the First: Practice Makes Princess includes sweet images of Sofia, her family and friends, as well as lots of wisdom from the Princess herself, while Disney Princess boasts more than 100 glossy, full-color illustrations from some of Disney’s most beloved princesses, including Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, Rapunzel, Ariel, Mulan, Tiana, Aurora, Jasmine, Merida, and Pocahantas.

We have had a foster  daughter for about 2 months and I thought she would really enjoy these. She's almost 3, but sadly, she is still too young for them. She's still in the "rip and pull" stage with books. Most of our gently loved books have had to be retired since she came to stay with us, but I'll tuck these away for when she's older, or when another foster daughter joins our family. 

The books are a good idea because what little girl doesn't love to hang posters in her room with her favorite characters all over them? I know I did when I was younger! Check them out for yourself today!

June 23, 2014

Quoquos Coconut Oils

At last, enjoy the full health-giving benefits of the only extra virgin coconut oil blend to support digestion through our unique sunflower lecithin formulation. Quoquos is perfect as a daily supplement in nutritional shakes or an addition to your pre or post workout drink to boost energy and feel satisfied. 

Quoquos Coco Lecithin Boost imparts also a rich flavor to smoothies, and is wonderful for stir fries and to sauté vegetables. Add it to rice, pasta and soups for a luscious, coco-nutty taste or anywhere you use olive oil or butter, including for baking.

Quoquos coco choco boost is the perfect addition to your pre or post workout drink to boost energy and feel satisfied. 

This coconut oil comes with the addition of lecithin to support digestion and great tasting organic cocoa flavor. With the added organic unsweetened cocoa you can also create velvety smoothies, and infuse a yummy chocolate-coconut taste into any dessert, from puddings to brownies.

I was excited to try these. For one thing, we have been using coconut oil on my son's skin because it is so dry, but now that our dog has discovered that baby tastes like coconut, we can't use it anymore as it all gets licked off, lol. Yes, this really happens. Since then we've been trying to use coconut oil in more recipes, like this tasty chocolate square recipe below:

  • 1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/3 cup + 1 T coconut oil, warmed
  • 3 tablespoons fruit juice concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons finely shredded coconut (optional topping)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts (optional topping)

In a small bowl, warm coconut oil and stir in cocoa. Add fruit juice concentrate (or concentrate mixture) and stir to complete intense flavor blend and to create a smooth texture. Pour mixture into a flat bowl lined with wax paper (press a sheet of wax paper between two bowls), then sprinkle on toppings if desired.
Turn the second bowl upside down to create a temporary cover and refrigerate for several hours. When firm in the center (chilled, but not completely hardened), slice into squares and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

YUM! There is so much more you can do with coconut, so try it for yourself today!

June 18, 2014

GIVEAWAY: The Lego Movie

About The Lego Movie

The LEGO® Movie, the first-ever, full-length theatrical LEGO® adventure, directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller is an original 3D computer animated story that follows Emmet, an ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average LEGO minifigure who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. He is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared.
Chris Pratt (Moneyball) stars as the voice of Emmet. Will Ferrell (The Campaign) stars as the voice of his primary adversary, President Business, an erudite, anal-retentive CEO who has a hard time balancing world domination with micro-managing his own life; while Liam Neeson (Taken) voices the president's powerful henchman, known as Bad Cop, who will stop at nothing to catch Emmet.
Starring as Emmet's fellow travelers are Oscar® winner Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby), as Vitruvius, an old mystic; Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games, Emmy nominee for 30 Rock), as tough-as-nails Lucy, who mistakes Emmet for the savior of the world and guides him on his quest; Will Arnett (Emmy nominee, 30 Rock), as the mysterious Batman, a LEGO minifigure with whom Lucy shares a history; Nick Offerman (NBC's Parks and Recreation) as a craggy, swaggering pirate, obsessed with revenge on President Business; and Alison Brie (Community) as a sweet, loveable member of the team, with a powerful secret.

Why you will LOVE The LEGO Movie App:
• Move your mouse across the GIFs to control the action and play "EVERYTHING IS AWESOME" at the same time to really get crazy with it!
• Press the "record" button and make a mini 6 second LEGO GIF video that can be shared to Twitter and Facebook. Videos instantly get posted to YouTube for everybody to enjoy!
Head over to Youtube to make your video now!
WIN IT: Lego Movie

a Rafflecopter giveaway

June 17, 2014

Candi Factory now has little underwear for little people

little underwear for little people

They finally have our little boys and little girls undies for sale on our website.
Your little one will laugh with joy all day long (or at least long enough for a photo:)
little boy briefs are bamboo/cotton and are $11
little girl underpants are organic cotton and are $8
My husband and I have both been a fan of the Candi Factory for awhile now, ever since we tried our first pairs, and I'm happy that they now carry little boy and little girls undies. The prints and patterns are fun, and DURABLE! I think a pair would last me years, and I bet the kids will grow out of theirs before they've worn out. Thats says a lot about the quality.

June 11, 2014

Rachel & the TreeSchoolers- Too Educational for TV?

The problem is that only 1 in 8 kids shows is highly educational, and recent studies show that kids watch an average of 3-5 hours of TV a day. While my kids barely watch 30 minutes a day, I know many families who do. If they are going to spend all this time, shouldn't it have an educational aspect? This was Rachel's dilemma and why she decided to create the TreeSchoolers.

Rachel & the TreeSchools is different from other kids programming. It uses whole body learning with music, sight, singing, movement and even American Sign Language.

Check out the first three episodes here: Ep. 1: A Rainy Day Ep. 2: Plants & Flowers Ep. 3: Incredible Insects Ep 4: (preview) My Amazing Body

As of this moment, Rachel has raised nearly $115,000 of her $200,000 goal and she has 3 days to go (the kickstarter ends THIS Saturday, June 14 at 10:00 p.m. MST). 

If they don't reach full funding, these episodes will not come to fruition, so please pledge and help them reach their goal! Find out more and/or pledge here:

June 09, 2014

Educational App!!!

iPhone Screenshot 1

Preschool Kids Games & Kid' Puzzles for curious girls and boys: Learn Interactive ABC Alphabet Phonics tracing with educational app based on Montessori match letter quiz and logical math game for toddler, kindergarten children iPad free by Kids Academy.

iPhone Screenshot 3

While I am not the type of parent to hand my phone over to my son, I do appreciate that there are educational apps out there so that if my child is using my phone for entertainment, he's learning something useful. 

They offer three main screens to show letters and corresponding items (B-Bee, Bridge, Building etc), on another screen it teaches kids to trace letters, and finally a page for numbers.

So while I like what this app has to offer, the ad for more workbooks popped up several times while I was using this app, and I'm not sure kids would know what to do with this. I also saw "over arrows" but couldn't get them to do anything, so that was confusing. Perhaps it's user error, or maybe it's an app issue, I'm not sure.

Download from itunes today!!!

GIVEAWAY: Jamberry Nail Wraps

About a month ago I first heard about Jamberry Nail Wraps, and it's changed the way I care for my nails FOREVER! First let me tell you a bit about this great company.

Jamberry was started with three sisters, Keri, Christy and Lyndsey, who are best friends and became business partners in 2010. They launched Jamberry Nails for women just like themselves who want perfectly manicured nails while running from the gym to school drop offs to work and back again. “It had to be doable for people that don’t necessarily do “girly” stuff, “explains Lyndsey, the youngest of the Jamberry Sisters, “It had to be easy to follow, last a long time and of course be stylish and personal in a way that would speak to a woman’s personal tastes.” 

After lots of trial and error, the proprietary nail wraps of Jamberry Nails launched in late 2010. The DIY, at-home application and incredible variety of designs caught on quickly and sales soared. A new era of nail art was born. 

Thanks to Meaghan's generosity, I had a chance to try Jamberry and review it on my blog. For those of you who know me I'm always experimenting with nail designs, colors, textures etc, so I was very excited about this. In the past I've used Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Strips, and as you can see from the photo they didn't work out well. They didn't lay right along my cuticles and sides of my nails (#1). They were so curved that it left blank spots on my nails (#3), and started fading/peeling almost instantly (#2). They also had expiration dates...if they were out of their pressure sealed bag, they would no longer stick. I was not a fan, so I was skeptical about how well Jamberry would work.

So if you think that Jamberry is like all the other "stick on nails", get that thought out of your head right now, because it is not!  Only 8 steps to having beautiful fashion-forward nails, and you don't need much - wraps, cuticle stick, nail file, nail cutters/scissors, rubbing alcohol and a heat source (space heater, heating pad, iron, curling iron etc). Tweezers are helpful with placing on nails but not essential.

Step 1: Clean nails with nail polish remover or alcohol.
Step 2: Cut and file nails to desired length and shape.
Step 3: Buff top of the nail, clean once more with nail polish remover or alcohol, and push back cuticle.
Step 4: Match nail (finger or toe) to the nail shield that best fits.
Step 5: Peel off nail shield and warm with a blow-dryer 10-15 seconds or until soft and flexible.
Step 6: When warm, press the shield onto the nail.  Apply firm pressure around edges to adhere the shield to the nail.  Use cuticle pusher to seal the shield around the cuticle.

Step 7:  Trim the top with scissors and file off remaining shield using a downward motion to remove excess.
Step 8: Apply heat and pressure to the shield again until it is sealed to the nail. (Repeating this step several times helps create a tight seal to the nail surface and increases wear time)

I started with an accent nail to get the hang of things. As you can see my nails are badly discolored from years of polish use. This is just one advantage of using Jamberry wraps, they don't discolor your nails!

Most of my nails are very curved and wide so I had to use the wider wraps to cover my nails. The only wrap I had to trip to fit better was my thumb. It has a square base, so I just trimmed away the curved bottom and it fit perfectly!

It was pretty simple to apply these. I just cut the strip in half, picked up the non-curved end with my tweezers, placed by heat source for a few seconds, put on nail and smoothed down. As you can see, I did get some bubbling/wrinkling, but since doing this I've looked up some tips. Some say to smooth the center of the nail first before doing the edges. On a few of these i lined up the edges first, so that may have been the issue. Another person on YouTube said to use a heated tweezers or heated metal spoon to tamp down the bubbles and seal the wrap to your nail in those issue spots. I tried it, and it did help! I even used my hair straightener to seal the nail tips and that's worked really well!

As of today my accent nail has been on for 8 days, and the tan (flourish) has been on for 5.  The problems I had with the Sally Hansen wraps I didn't have with Jamberry. Jamberry nails were easy to match up and trim when needed. They also don't "expire". You can use half a sheet and use it years later and it'll still stick. I love this! They also don't fade. If you use your hands a lot, you may start to see some lifting at the tips, but you can use nail glue or reheat and try to re-seal, but they're not indestructible. They definitely last longer than polish, that's for sure!

Check out the instruction video for an idea of how to apply these wraps to see how easy it is:

Today, Meaghan is giving away FREE samples to all of my blog followers PLUS a sheet of nail wraps of your choosing to one winner! Each sheet will give you between 2-4 manicures and pedicures, depending on the length of your nails and will last up to 2 weeks on your fingernails and 6 weeks on your toes. Choose from over 450 designs at a value of $15.00. For everyone who wants to redeem a FREE Sample, complete the form at the URL below requesting the design of your choice. 

WIN IT: One reader will win a sheet of Jamberry nail wraps of your choosing


Today's giveaway is from Meaghan Vandeloo, a consultant with Jamberry Nails.

June 08, 2014

Yale Real Living - Keyless Entry System. I'm sold!

How many parents out there HATE the hassle of trying to find the right key to lock the door with babies in your arms and toddlers grabbing you by the legs? I know I do. 

Or how about the dilemma of needing to give a spare key to your kids, or grandparents, the pet-sitter, or the contractor? You have to remember who has your keys and remember to get them back. This keyless lock solves that problem. You can program this lock with up to 25 codes, so you can give them out and track which codes are being used and when. Know when family members or friends come and go and have the ability to remotely lock or unlock your doors. This is especially great for knowing when your kids come home from school, if coming home to an empty home. 

These reasons were why I was thrilled to learn about this Keyless entry system and have a chance to try it out.

Keyless entry might seem like just a modern way to open your home’s door, but its value to your family extends far beyond that. Simply put, Yale Real Living locks give you peace of mind. Yale Real Living locks give you a level of security and control that’s just not possible with conventional locks. Have a toddler running around at home? Feel secure knowing that the deadbolts automatically lock so she can’t leave the house. Should someone unlock a door, you’ll get a text message letting you know. Have a teenager with a curfew? The system’s audit trail allows you to see if he comes home late. Kids arrive home from school while you’re at work? You can automatically receive a text message when they unlock the door so you know they’re home.

Having been home owners for about 5 years now we are used to assembling furniture, doing home reno's, and tackling DIY projects, but we'd never tackled changing out a deadbolt lock, so we were worried it would be beyond our skill level, but I'm happy to report, it wasn't. Removing the old deadbolt was as easy as unscrewing a few screws, and installing the new one wasn't much more difficult than that. We did have one hang up with getting the bolt to extend further to fit our door hole size, and then we read the manual advising there was a way to extend this. Had we read that sooner, it would have been that much easier. Only a few steps, and it was installed within 20-30 minutes.

We have been using our keyless entry system now for about 3 weeks and we love it. My husband is thrilled to have 2 less keys on his key ring, and I'm ecstatic about not needing to juggle 2 kids, diaper bag, purse and KEYS when trying to lock up the house. 

You may be asking, what happens if the battery dies and I need to get in my house; I know this was my biggest concern. Well, all you need to do is get a 9v battery to jump the lock long enough to enter your code and then change the lock batteries once you're inside. Easy!

They come in three options and they are oil-rubbed bronze, polished brass or satin nickel. They can be viewed and ordered here:

Paperback Swap!!! (get rid of old books and get new ones)

Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap.

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