Save Money With Amazing Coupon Codes This Holiday Season

When I was younger, I remember struggling to get each member of our family a present. As a student, I didn't have much money, but I also paid retail price for items. Now that I'm a bit older and wiser, I can let you in on a secret! You should never pay full price for any items! Why? Because you can find a variety of coupon codes on CouponCodes.ca. It's very easy to find codes and discounts you are looking for! Just search through the site's 2,844 active coupons and deals to find the right coupons for you.

Why pay retail when you can find amazing codes and even printable coupons to save so much money? This year will be a Christmas to remember for our family because we were able to purchase much more now that I know how to save money. I found some amazing coupons that I've never even seen anywhere else. Remember the dress I reviewed for eShakti? Well, I found a coupon code for $20 off any purchase on CouponCodes.ca!! Considering I've found dresses for $50 or less, that's a great deal, especially for a custom-made dress!

I also love that you can go straight to the more popular coupons by clicking Top 50 Deals! For those of us on a budget this holiday season, these deals really come in handy. I found a coupon for 1/2 off baby products at Toys R Us, which is something we will definitely use considering how many new nieces and nephews I have. I never knew how easy it could be to save money, but with the gifts already piling up beneath our Christmas tree this year, I can safely say we have 3 times more presents for the same amount of money we spent last year.
How much will you save this holiday season? What's your favorite coupon code on CouponCodes.ca?

Recent Winners

Okay, I really do stink at announcing winners! Rest assured, all winners have been contacted and most have responded. If they don't, I will pick others. Here are all of the recent winners from the past 30 days. Congrats to all the winners!! If you didn't win, no worries! We have 2 events beginning at midnight AND our Holiday Gift Guide has just begun.


- Kim D.
-Tess C.
-Tara F.

Just Kids Gifts Personalized Book
- Debbie J.

Wee Squeak Shoes
- Judy H.

Planet Wise
-Carolyn H.

Stanley Window Cleaner
-Jill C.

Carla Daly Art Print
-Laura D.

Thirsties Duo Diaper
-Rachel N.

-Amy M.

Under The Tree Package
-Ashley S.

Baby Magic Patty Cake
-Sherry S.

Announcement: 2 Awesome Events Beginning At Midnight!!

Hi, everyone! I have been meaning to post about our newest events going on. We have our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide currently in motion and will be going through Christmas. We hit a snag in our plans (the kids got sickly), but they are on the mend, so that means at least 1-2 giveaways posted per day until Christmas from this point forward!!!

Also, we have 2 huge events beginning at midnight. The first is:


One winner will win $400 Cash via Paypal!! Woo! This giveaway will go from December 1st - December 18th! We will pick a winner and, once verified, the money will be sent! It will be a nice little Christmas present. :)

The second event:

Merry Fluffy Christmas! We participated in this one last year and had a blast! There are many bloggers participating AND each prize package must be worth at least $50 AND is all cloth diaper themed! You can definitely fluff your cloth diaper stash during this event! Our prize has been kept a secret and will be revealed at 12:01AM, when the giveaway event officially begins.

Have fun entering all of the great giveaways!


Save Money On Eyewear This Holiday Season At Zenni Optical

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Zenni Optical for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Since I was twenty years old I have worn eyeglasses. I remember, as a college student, shelling out $400 on one pair of glasses and was broke for several months afterwards. Now, my husband and I both wear glasses and the cost can add up very quickly. However, I found a place where we can all save money for quality eyewear: Zenni Optical!

I knew I needed a new pair of glasses, but I also didn't want to spend money I would otherwise spend for Christmas presents. I want both of my boys to have a memorable holiday season, but if I had to pay $400 for another pair of glasses, there was no way this could happen. Zenni Optical has cheap eyeglasses to fit anyone's personal style, which is why I love it so much. I found a cute pair of blue glasses for only $9.95! Not only did I purchase a new pair of glasses, I purchased another two to match other outfits!

With the money I saved, we bought the boys several amazing Christmas presents, including a Power Wheels Police Car and a water and sand table! I cannot wait to see their faces as they come downstairs Christmas morning. With today's economy, we need all the help we can get with bills and other expenses. Having a place where I know I can buy quality eyeglasses at amazing prices really helps us with expected yearly costs since two of us require new glasses each year. I've heard of so many others needing glasses, but not being able to afford them, but Zenni Optical provides glasses for any budget. Thanks to them, I have new glasses and can give our family a holiday season to remember!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Gyro Bowl Review & Giveaway

With a 4 year-old and a 2 year-old in our home, I'm sure you can imagine how many messes I clean up on a daily basis. It's frustrating for me and I just keep the vacuum out all day since I know it will be used. We saw the infomercial about Gyro Bowl and knew we had to try one out. Even Josiah was interested in trying it because it looks like a toy. Luckily, we were able to receive one to review!

About Gyro Bowl
The Gyro Bowl is an amazing bowl that is spill-proof. Put in a snack and watch as your child holds on to the handles and never spills any of it! The inner bowl is able to rotate 360 degrees, which means no spills. It's great for usage around the home and on-the-go. The Gyro Bowl is BPA-Free and top rack dishwasher safe. This virtually indestructible bowl is something all parents need!

My Thoughts
I seriously couldn't wait to put the Gyro Bowl to the test. I put Liam's yogurt bites inside and watched and he shook the bowl and even dropped it a few times. The bowl managed to keep every bit of the snack inside. Then, Josiah decided he would try to make it spill out the contents by dropping it, jumping up and down with it and shaking it... still not a drop came out!


Hickory Farms Brings Delicious & Memorable Holiday Traditions Again This Year

I remember getting so excited every holiday season when we'd receive gift boxes and baskets from friends and relatives. My very favorite gifts we'd get were from Hickory Farms. I just loved trying all the different cheeses, crackers and sausages! At a very early age, I discovered my love of the Hickory Farms Smoked Gouda. It's so delicious. Every year, without fail, we would have Hickory Farms around the house during the holidays and it's something I looked forward to. This is why I was so excited to work with Mom Central and Hickory Farms this year to review one of their Gift Boxes.

I received the Party Planner Gift Box to review and couldn't wait until Thanksgiving to try it all out. In fact, we didn't. I had to try some of the Summer Sausage and Smoked Gouda. It just melts in your mouth. Here's a list of all the products included in the Hickory Farms Party Planner Gift Box:

  • Our Signature Beef Summer Sausage 7 oz.
  • Italian Style Beef Summer Sausage 5 oz.
  • Turkey Summer Sausage 5 oz.
  • Smoked Gouda 6 oz.
  • Farmhouse Cheddar 4 oz.
  • Smoked Cheddar Blend 4 oz.
  • Mission Jack Blend 4 oz.
  • Creamy Swiss Blend 4 oz. 
  • Sesame, Caraway & Sea Salt Crackers 1.5 oz.
  • Sweet Hot Mustard 2.25 oz.
  • Cranberry Mustard 2.5 oz.
It's true, this box is all you need to start your party right with delicious appetizers and Hors D'Oeurvres! I arranged all of these treats on two platters around the room and let the guests dig in as the rest of dinner was finished and ready to be served. Needless to say, most of these goodies were eaten up by the time the dinner party concluded. What was left has now been devoured by all the boys who just loved all of the sausages. My husband especially liked the Turkey Summer Sausage.

You can purchase the Hickory Farms Party Planner Gift Box for only $45! Plus, check out their $3 - 3 Day Shipping! What a great deal. You can even get the gift box wrapped to make it an extra special surprise. Also, for ever gift box sold from now until 1/31/2011, Hickory Farms will donate $5 to the No Kid Hungry Campaign!

 I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Hickory Farms and received a product sample to facilitate my review.

Family Movie Night Presents: Game of Your Life on NBC Friday, Dec. 2nd at 8pm ET/ 7pm CT

Just like most families, we look forward to Friday nights at home. The weekend is beginning and that means quality time together as a family without the interference of work and other obligations! NBC's Family Movie Night, sponsored by P&G and Walmart, provides quality family movies for the entire family. We wrote about Game Time in September and now it's time for the next Family Movie Night. This coming Friday, December 2nd, Family Movie Night debuts Game of Your Life. The boys loved watching the last movie, so I can't wait to watch this one with them, too!

On December 2nd at 8pm ET/ 7pm CT, turn your TV over to NBC, pop some popcorn and sit around on the couch as a family for a great movie everyone will enjoy. The movie's plot focuses on Zach Taylor, a recent high school graduate who has been accepted to the prestigious Digital Institute of Game Design. He must make high marks on his freshman project, but it's not so easy! His dad is having some financial issues back home and Zach's taken on a secret project on the side. It's too much for a college student to balance and something must eventually give. The story is a great lesson on decision making, trusting others and loyalty.

Game of Your Life is a movie that will not only entertain and hold your interest, but something you can talk about after. The entire movie centers around important lessons that all kids and teens must eventually learn. I had the privilege of watching a pre-screening of the movie and thoroughly enjoyed it! I was invested in the characters and couldn't wait to see how it all played out. Game of Your Life is absolutely a family-friendly movie and I highly suggest checking it out this Friday night (Dec. 2nd) on NBC at 8pm ET/7pm CT!

Be sure to follow Family Movie Night on Facebook to keep up with all of the upcoming movies and related info!
I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of P&G and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.


GFC Will No Longer Be Available For Non-Blogger Blogs! Thoughts?

This does not affect Children Teaching Mama, but many of my blogging friends are using Wordpress to host their blog. Apparently, Google has decided that Google Friend Connect will only be available for Blogger hosted blogs starting next year!! For those of you who love entering giveaways, this may end up changing the format of giveaways! I'm not sure what will happen or if anything will be drastic. What do you think? Does this affect your blog? I would be upset if I were on Wordpress, which is something we were planning to do for 2012. :(


Holiday Gift Guide: GlowCrazy Glow Glove Review & Giveaway

Josiah is getting to the age where he really loves glow-in-the-dark items and enjoys playing in his room with the flashlight. I've been looking for fun Christmas presents he could play with in the dark, but was at a loss. I bought him some of those glow-in-the-dark stars to put on his ceiling,but those were only interesting for the first 20 minutes. Then we saw the commercial about GlowCrazy products! His eyes lit up and he wanted it immediately!

We received the GlowCrazy Glow Glove to review and I couldn't wait to see him play with it.
The Glow Glove attaches to your hand as a glove and has special beams of light that emit from the fingertips. The glove comes with a special glow-in-the-dark wall cling that must be placed on the wall for the glove to work its magic. Just put in your 3 AAA batteries and let the imagination soar. The kids will also have fun finding other everyday objects that will light-up. Have any other glow-in-the day items? These will usually work with the Glow Glove, too!

My son has had so much fun with the Glow Glove, watching shapes appear and then fade away before drawing something different. It's the perfect addition to his room! This makes for a great holiday present along with all of the other GlowCrazy products. Click here to buy! The Glow Glove can be purchased by contacting glow@glowcrazy.com or calling 888-524-GLOW(4569) for only $19.99.


Holiday Gift Guide: LevAqua 720 OneTouch Digital Eco Showerhead Review & Giveaway

When we moved into our new home in August, I was so excited and couldn't wait to get moved in. I'd bought many items to redecorate and thought everything was absolutely perfect... until I took a shower. Our master bathroom has a jacuzzi tub and a shower, but I prefer taking a shower because they waste less water and are faster. I hopped in and immediately remembered what we completely forgot- showerheads. The one installed was obviously very old, leaked water on the sides and had one stray spray of water that, of course, always aimed straight for my eye. Needless to say, I started taking baths more often until we got our new showerhead by Levaqua!

About the Levaqua HH720 Showerhead
Featuring nine digitally controlled settings and maximum water flow optimization, the Levaqua HH720 OneTouch Spray Selection with 9 Digital Settingss lets consumers enjoy the pleasure of a comprehensive home-spa feel. Its built-in digital technology allows consumers to choose from four invigorating spray settings, two timer settings, and two pre-programmed spa settings - “relax” and “refresh.” Each program uses a variety of spray patterns to create a luxurious spa experience. Consumers can also choose between “pause,” “timer” or “eco” settings, all of which are designed to encourage water conservation.

My Thoughts
I couldn't wait to install our new Levaqua showerhead, so as soon as it arrived I decided to install. I'm not the most handy person in the household, but it said easy to install, so I thought I'd give it a try. Sure enough, it was quite simple to install and fit perfectly in our shower. Since it is a digital showerhead, it requires batteries, but the box says they should last for at least 2 years! When I took my shower, I played around with all of the settings and found my favorite to be the Eco setting, which is a faster-flow in a more centralized area of the spray.

I've been known to take showers for much longer than I should. When I lived in Germany, I could easily shut off the water and turn it right back on without worrying about cold water coming out, but not in the U.S. I would love to be more eco-conscious about conserving water and this has been a good start. I was most excited that the Levaqua OneTouch offers a pause button. When I am lathering my hair or shaving, I can click the "pause" button to conserve water and turn it right back on when needed. I love this feature and it's worked wonderfully. Plus, I can set the timer for 5 or 10 minutes, so a signal goes off when your time limit is reached. What a great way to keep up with how much time is spent in the shower. My husband has benefited from this, too, as he has almost fallen asleep while showering in the morning.

Once again I look forward to taking a shower because it's like having a nice little spa right in the bathroom. I can escape from the kids and relax! We chose the Levaqua 720 also because it is a handheld and, on busy nights when I need to give Josiah a quick bath, I can easily wash his hair and spray him off, which he thinks is so much fun. I love this showerhead and, since it retails at about $79.99, it's also affordable. I highly recommend trying a Levaqua showerhead because you deserve a nice spa-like shower to help you relax and energize, especially after a long day with the kids.

Now that you've heard all about this amazing showerhead, are you ready to win one? I bet so! Levaqua has offered the same Levaqua 720 One Touch Digital Showerhead to one lucky Children Teaching Mama! Thanks, Levaqua!! The giveaway is just below on the Rafflecopter form. Complete each option for more entries to win.

Winter Fun With Online Bingo

When I was a child, we went to the beach every year with our entire family. Ten of us would pile into our condo and have the time of our life for the week. There's so much to do at the beach, but there was one thing my grandma and mom were sure to do every single time- Beach BINGO! At night we'd go to a little plaza, get our BINGO cards and get ready for the fun to begin.My Grandma would get so excited and was always hoping to hit the big jackpot. Although I don't get to go to the beach much anymore and it's freezing outdoors, I can sit comfortably on my couch and play from the Online Bingo site!

One thing I always despised about beach BINGO was the amount of smoke in the room and how crowded the small areas were. There was a cloud of smoke and you left smelling awful. Playing Online BINGO is so superior than actually going to a live BINGO game. Not only can you avoid the crowds of people and smoke, but you can win some great cash prizes. You can be a high roller and bet $1 or you can practice and play the free games. There's so much more to do and the games go at a much faster pace.

Now that I've found Online BINGO, I'm never bored! It's like having Vegas right at my fingertips. If I can't sleep, I just play a few games or if I have some spare minutes during the day, I play a quick game, too! Playing online BINGO is fun and I know these winter months that usually drag on slowly will go by much more quickly now. I've also suggested to several friends and family members, so now we can play against each other. It reminds me of those beach BINGO games because we are still able to play together, chat and have a great time. Plus, my son loves to watch and help me when the letters and numbers are called out. Just like my own mom teaching me how to play, I can now teach him!

Friendly Debates with the Danielles Weekly Link-Up : Circumcision: Yay or Nay?

Happenings of the Harper Household

Each Sunday evening Danielle from “We Don’t Have It All Together, But Together We Have It All” and Danielle from Happenings with the Harper Household will host this awesome meme. There will be a question each week that will require you to think about how you feel about a certain topic and to decide where you stand regarding that topic, then of course share those thoughts!

Click HERE for all of the rules and regulations!

This week's topic:

“Circumcision: Yay or Nay? What do YOU say?”

I say NAY to circumcision! I had this done to my first son and saw what a barbaric practice this really is. It's not necessary and puts baby in so much pain. Every time they use the bathroom, they scream. Every time you give them a bath, they cry. It's hard to watch and I learned my lesson. I couldn't stand to ever see my little boys in so much pain again due to my own decisions.

When Liam was born he was not circumcised. Family members asked repeatedly when we would get the deed done and I kept telling them we weren't going to do it. Questions and more questions, but we stood with our convictions and Liam is not circumcised. At two years old, he is a happy healthy boy. We've never had any infections like they all said we would. He's never had any issues and never had to be in needless pain either. My husband didn't need much convincing of this, as he knew the facts, too... and medical evidence points to the same thing I believe- there's no evidence that circumcision is needed.

So, what do you think?

Holiday Gift Guide: Tonka Road Crew Tool Truck Review & Giveaway

I always ask the boys what they want for Christmas and every single year there is one thing that never changes from the list: cars/trucks! No matter how many they have, they always want more. Well, Funrise Toys has a new line of trucks this year called the Tonka Road Crew Tool Trucks, which make for perfect holiday gifts. We received the Tool Truck Fire Truck with the Jaws Of Life to review.

About the Tonka Road Crew Tool Truck Fire Truck
Take on the toughest jobs with the toughest tools! The Tonka Tools Fire Truck features an opening rear hatch that reveals a cool motorized jaws-of-life tool! Use the tool for your rescue missions and activate the flashing lights and realistic sounds feature with the push of a button. Now you’re a real Tonka Hero! 
Recommended for Ages 3+.
Check out the Tonka Tool Trucks and Roadway Rigs in Action!

My Thoughts
I knew my boys would love this truck and, sure enough, as soon as we received it, Liam was all over the box. He loves fire trucks and we recently watched a video about the life firemen, so this was more than exciting for him. I was trying to figure out how to make the sounds work and it was like he knew right away what to push. Although the toy is recommended for 3 and up, he is 2 and absolutely loves it. His brother, at 4 years old, is also in love with his Tonka Road Crew Tool Truck Fire Truck.

What I, personally, like about Tonka is the durability of their products. I know the boys can be rough, take this truck outdoors, play with it indoors and it will still have tons of life left. We have Tonka Trucks from 4 years ago that still work just as well as the day we bought them. I also love that they encourage imagination and creativity. The boys pretend they are firemen going to save people and have played for hours on end with this truck.

I think any child who loves cars and trucks would be thrilled to receive a Tonka Road Crew Tool Truck for Christmas. In addition to the fire truck, Funrise also features a utility truck with a jackhammer.

Ready to win this amazing gift for a special boy or girl?
One Lucky CTM Reader Will Win the Tonka Road Crew Tool Truck Fire Truck courtesy of Funrise Toys! Thanks, Funrise!! Just enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck, Everyone! Happy Holidays!


Kicking off the Holiday Gift Guide Event

Hi everyone! I just wanted to write an announcement that the Holiday Gift Guide, hosted by myself and Happenings Of The Harper Household has officially begun! This means over 50 reviews and giveaways will be posted from now until December 25th! You'll have plenty of chances to win some amazing prizes. Please take a look at the actual gift guide to see what's in store. I will be adding several more this week as prizes are confirmed.

I'm about to start writing up a giveaway now and Happenings of the Harper Household has already written one, too. Click here to enter to win a $35 gc to Pairendipity.

Kashi TLC Layered Peanutty Dark Chocolate Granola Bars Review

I am always looking for delicious snacks for the kids that are also nutritious, but sometimes this can be difficult, especially with picky eaters. I struggle to find items both kids like and have to try different ideas each week. We were sent Kashi TLC Granola Bars to sample and I couldn't wait to give them a try. We are big fans of Kashi. Here's a little about them...

Made with whole grain goodness and layers of tasty ingredients, our TLC® Layered Granola Bars are delicious indulgence you can feel good about.
Each bar starts with our signature blend of 7 whole grains for a hearty, natural wholesomeness. The chewy granola base is then topped with real fruit spread and hearty nuts. And with 4g of fiber, 4g of protein and real fruit, they're as nutritious as they are tasty.

My Thoughts
I was so excited to receive a big reusable tote full of Kashi TLC Layered Peantty Dark Chocolate Granola bars for our family to try out. It just so happened that our snack week at Josiah's school was also scheduled the week after they were delivered. *Ding!* a lightbulb went off in my head- what better way to review Kashi TLC Granola Bars than by hearing the opinions of kids? They most certainly tell it like it is and will let you know if they don't like them. We saved a few for ourselves, especially because they were a hit with Josiah and the hubs, both chocolate addicts. Finally, we found a bar that both satisfies that need for chocolate and is nutritious! 

So, we took the other granola bars to school (after checking to make sure no one had peanut allergies) and the bars were a hit! So they usually don't allow chocolate as a snack, but as a granola bar it's totally acceptable. The kids were not only excited, but gobbled them down with enthusiasm. Only a few uttered words of dislike while the rest wanted more! Now, if that's not a great review, I don't know what is. 

I love the Kashi brand and have tried many of their products in the past. Once again, I was impressed with the quality and deliciousness of the foods. Made of natural ingredients, no artificial flavors and preservatives and kid-approved means Kashi TLC Granola Bars will always be a snack in our pantry as well as others. Plus, it has 7 grams of fiber, which is great for those of us who need more in our diet. I highly recommend trying these out! Yum!

Thankful $250 Turkey Money WINNER

Congrats to Our Winner: # 33651 -  Sarah D.


Hearthsong Folding Trampoline Review

 With the winter months finally here and snow fast approaching, we spend more and more time indoors! This means two little boys with a ton of energy, trapped indoors and one Mama going insane. That's why I have been searching for great toys that can be used indoors and that help kids burn off some of that energy. We love Hearthsong and all of their fun, educational and artistic. We received the Folding Trampoline to review and I couldn't wait to try this one out!

About the Folding Trampoline
A great outlet for kids' energy, this space-saving trampoline can be folded up and hidden under a bed. Just fold the legs into the heavy-duty nylon mesh base, attach the bungee cords and tuck it away.

One of the safest trampolines around, with slip-proof feet; padded covers protect little feet from sliding into the bungee cord openings, and the padded handle adds an extra measure of security.

Use it indoors or out; both bounce mat and finish are waterproof

Weight up to 60 pounds. Adult Supervision is recommended while this item is in use. Sorry, gift wrap is not available.
For ages 3 and up. 

My Thoughts
As soon as the boys saw this trampoline, they couldn't wait to give it a try. In fact, this is something Josiah has wanted for quite a while. As soon as I quickly assembled the item, they were ready to expend some of that energy!

You know how some toys lose their excitement after a day or so? The Folding Trampoline is definitely not in that category! This toy is something they come back to every single day not only once, but usually twice or more. We do arts & crafts each day as well as imaginative play, but they get the most exercise from their Folding Trampoline. I tried a fun workout routine for the kids, but they never got into it. Luckily, we have the Folding Trampoline!

You can purchase the Folding Trampoline on Hearthsong for only $79.98! This is a gift any child would love to receive as a holiday present. Let us know if you purchase one!

Check back soon for our Hearthsong Gift Credit Giveaway for the Holiday Gift Guide!


Sign Up For Your First Event Of 2012! All For Love: Valentine's Day Event

Some of our blogging buddies, Real Mom Reviews and Mama Chocolate, are hosting an awesome event for Valentine's Day and we just signed up! All For Love will be our first event for 2012.  This event is a blog hop giveaway event with packages that must be worth at least $25, so you know many will be worth much more! You can win some great Valentine's Gifts for yourself or a loved one.

Do you have a blog or website? Interested in participating, too? There are still spots available and just a few simple rules:

  • You must have a prize pack totaling $25 or more for one person to win.
  • You must display the event button in your sidebar from now until event ends.
  • BEFORE adding yourself to the linky on Real Mom Reviews or Mama Chocolate’s blog, you must either:
  • a.) blog about this event using the button, encouraging bloggers to sign up &  email the link to your blog post to Skye OR
  • b.)  send $5.00 (gift) via Paypal to Skye at skyecaitlin8@yahoo.com.
If you have any questions feel free to email Skye at  skyecaitlin88@yahoo.com or Johanna at jccchocolate@gmail.com.

Let me know if you are participating! This event is sure to be fun and bring lots of traffic to your blog. Hope to see you on the list! :)

Thankful $250 Turkey Money Official Event Post (Nov. 1st - Nov. 18th)


We are Thankful for our Readers
and we would love for you to win $250
The Freebie Junkie and 24 other bloggers are offering you the chance to win $250 Cash in our Thankful Cash Giveaway
The cash giveaway is open to all worldwide and will be paid directly into your paypal account
What would you do with $250? 
Put it towards your Thanksgiving Feast?
Donate it to your favorite charity?
Put it towards your holiday spending?
Splurge on a weekend getaway? 


RSV Prevention and Preemie Awareness Day Is November 17th

When my first son was born, it was June, he was almost 9 pounds, perfectly healthy and, to my dismay, a week late. We were, of course, still careful about germs, but probably not as much as we should have been. I knew very little about premature delivery and was not at all prepared when our next birth went awry. Liam was born during an emergency cesarean section on September 27, 2009. The fall season had just begun, the weather had changed to constant coldness and rain, and we knew this would mark the beginning of a new experience for our family.
Liam only a few hours old.

Liam was born 5 weeks early and was in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) for 2 weeks until his lungs were fully developed. We went through many medical interventions including feeding tubes, breathing tubes and things you'd never want for your baby. This is why it's so important to be educated about premature birth and the complications that can arise. Preemies are at risk for many, many more complications, so we made sure we learned as much as possible while still at the hospital. We took preemie preparation classes and attended classes with other parents of preemies. We learned CPR for infants and about other possibilities like RSV, too. I think these are things ALL parents should know before taking a baby home, preemie or not, because we, as 2nd time parents, didn't even know half of the things we learned the second time around.With World Prematurity Day coming up on November 17th, I want to tell you all about our experiences, how you can prevent RSV and how you can help spread awareness.

Tubes to force air into lungs
What is RSV?
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a virus many children catch at least once before the age of 2. It can cause moderate and/or severe cold symptoms for many, but for some babies RSV disease can lead to other more serious complications and lung infection. RSV is especially dangerous for infants and even more so for preemies born before 36 weeks.

What are the Symptoms of RSV?
  • Coughing or wheezing that does not stop
  • Fast breathing or gasping for breath
  • Spread-out nostrils and/or a caved-in chest when trying to breathe
  • A bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
  • A fever (in infants under 3 months of age, a fever greater than 100.4°F rectal is a cause for concern)

How To Prevent RSV

There are a few precautions you can take to help protect your baby. These are something all parents and family members should do and are very easy! 
  • Make sure you always wash your hands before holding/touching baby. Don't be afraid to ask others to do the same. (We always keep hand sanitizer in every room, too, as well as our diaper bag for when out in public places, which have many more germs!)
  • Do NOT allow anyone to smoke in your home or near the baby. 
  • Keep toys santized. Many can be washed in the dishwasher to sanitize thoroughly.
  • Keep clothing and bedding clean by washing often.
  • Try to limit the amount of exposure to crowded areas and young children. Being out in public exposes babies and infants to many more germs, so be careful to also keep away from people with colds.
  • Educate yourself about RSV and talk with your pediatrician.
When Liam was born, we didn't take him out in public much at all and most of the time friends and family came to visit at our home. We wanted to take as many precautions as possible because we had spoken with parents of a preemie who knew all about RSV from first-hand experience. Their baby was currently going through treatment and was having trouble breathing due to coughing and congestion.

Liam finally coming home!
Bringing baby home is something that should be a fun and amazing experience. You will go through so many ups and downs, learning so much in a short period of time. Just by taking a few preventative steps, you can limit your baby's risk of contracting RSV. Also RSV is very contagious, so if you know someone has it, stay away!!

Please educate yourself and others about the risks associated with premature birth and RSV. I know these aren't subjects we enjoy discussing, but it's imperative for your own baby's health. To learn more about RSV, please visit https://www.rsvprotection.com/. For more information on World Prematurity Day, please visit the March of Dimes website.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.


Build-A-Bear Workshop Great Holiday Gift Idea & $10 OFF Code

Have you ever seen the Build-A-Bear Workshop at the mall? It is usually packed full of people and very frustrating. Why not just purchase online? It's so much easier and now you can save $10 on your purchase of $50 or more.  Just use Code: 96685 at checkout! They have a variety of cute gifts for boys and girls. Click HERE to shop.


&200 Target Gift Card Giveaway

It's time for another big giveaway and this time we are giving away a $200 Target gift card! This gift card is sure to come in handy with Christmas shopping.
To enter, simply follow each of us on Facebook and Twitter using the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway starts 11/11 at 12:00 am EST and ends 11/25 at 11:59 pm EST. This giveaway is open to US residents only.

Note regarding double entries: We know that many of our readers enter multiple giveaways a day and sometimes lose track of which ones they've entered. If you should happen to enter twice by accident or on separate blogs, this will NOT disqualify you. At the end of the giveaway all double entries are deleted so that each person has only one set of entries. This is to ensure that all entrants have a fair chance at being chosen as the winner. 

Ready to enter? 
Just use the form below! Good luck! Don't forget that there are several daily entry opportunities as well, so bookmark this giveaway and come back every day to claim yours!


Make Money & Save Money on Gift Cards At Cardpool.com This Holiday Season

With the holiday season fast approaching, it's time to start finding great deals on presents for friends and family. I've been searching like crazy for good deals, but this year they seem few and far between. It's so frustrating because I want to purchase something they will like, but I also don't want to break the bank. After looking around endlessly, I remembered there is one thing people always love receiving- gift cards! This is when I found Cardpool.

Cardpool.com offers a huge variety of gift cards at up to 35% off retail price. You can get gifts everyone will like and save money! In addition to purchasing discount gift cards, they also offer gift card exchange for cash. That's right, you can actually make money at Cardpool, too. When selling your gift cards, you receive up to 92% of your cash back. Plus, you make money quickly because they will send out your money within 24 hours of receiving the gift card(s)!

Purchasing and selling through Cardpool is safe, easy and fast. Now you have two methods of selling your gift cards. You can mail in the gift card and receive a check once it is received OR you can submit the gift card code electronically. The latter is fast even faster and requires no mailing at all. Several gift cards found on Cardpool can be submitted electronically, including Target, Gap and many more.

Who are you shopping for this holiday season? What kind of gift card would they love to receive?


Winter Safety for Children

Winter is a perfect time of the year to stay warm and cozy indoors. But for many people, staying cooped in doors is not the ideal situation, and cabin fever often leads to what the medical profession is now calling SAD –Seasonal Affective Disorder, a form of depression that correlates with the winter season. However, you don’t have to wait for spring to have some outdoor fun. Opportunities for outdoor fun abound in winter if you are ready for it! 

Sledding, snowmobiling, snowboarding are just a few of the fun things you can do as a family. Even shoveling snow can be made into a fun game that gets the adrenaline pumping! Are you ready to kick those winter blues and get outside for some fun? Here are a few safety issues to consider before you step outdoors with the kids. After all, snow and ice can be as dangerous as they are fun.

Dressing for the cold: Before stepping outside, make sure that everyone is bundled up to be warm. Dressing in layers is always helpful, especially when playing in the snow. Thermal long johns, turtlenecks, sweaters, coats, mittens and hats along with a layer or two of shirts should keep them warm enough. Warm socks and boots are also an important part of the ensemble. Waterproof pants and jackets make great outer layers as they do not allow wetness to seep into the rest of the layers. 

While there is no fixed amount of time to allow your kids to play outside, it helps to keep an eye out for frostbite. At the first signs of frost bite, bring them in doors and administer first aid or seek medical help. An aching pain or numbness in the hands, feet, ears or face, sometimes accompanied by waxy, hard skin that is turning white or grayish yellow in color, is the first sign that frost bite has set in. Very often, all it takes is an extra pair of gloves either tucked into their pockets or stowed away in your car, to ensure that frost bite can be avoided. And not to forget, it is still important to use sunscreen as snow can reflect up to 85% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Winter sports safety: Winter sports, while lots of fun, can often lead to serious accidents, many of which involve kids. ER’s are now seeing more cases of abdominal, head and neck injuries related to snowboarding and skiing. Neither of these activities should be attempted on slopes not specifically assigned for the purpose. Running into trees and rocks is often the cause of dangerous and sometimes fatal accidents while snowboarding and skiing. For sledding, make sure that the slope is covered in snow and not ice. Young children should always be supervised by an adult while skiing, snowboarding and sledding. Snowmobiling is not a recommended activity for younger children. It is important to travel at safe speeds and stay on marked trails while snowmobiling. If ice skating is the thing for your child, make sure they are skating only on approved surfaces. Also, ensure that they have on protective gear and properly fitted skates to avoid sports injury. 

For all of these activities, it is necessary that kids be taught the importance of wearing a helmet at all times while engaging in the chosen activity. Although shoveling is not technically a sport, it can be lots of fun as a family activity. However, it is not advisable for younger children to engage in this activity as it could lead to muscle strain.

Apart from outdoor safety issues, there are other things to consider during the winter months, to keep children safe.

Indoor safety: The winter months see a huge jump in respiratory illnesses. While most people believe that going out in the cold is what brings on these respiratory problems, the truth is that most respiratory issues are caused by being exposed to airborne germs that are trapped indoors. To ensure a healthy indoor environment, make sure that all family members wash their hands frequently, especially after playing with toys, coughing or sneezing, to prevent the spread of viruses. Change air filters on time and ensure that kids are getting a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables. It is important to consult a physician about increasing Vitamin D intake during the winter months as researchers are now linking this deficiency to the lack of sun exposure in the winter months.

What to do in an emergency: Exposure to the elements in winter pose a greater risk for frostbite among kids than adults. An aching pain or numbness in the extremities or their skin turning hard and white is an indication that frost bite is setting in. Bring the child indoors immediately and remove all wet clothing as this tends to draw heat away from the body. Immerse the affected parts in warm (not hot) water that is 104⁰ to 108⁰ F, until sensation returns. Separate the frost-bitten fingers and toes with cotton balls and wrap with clean bandages to prevent refreezing. Do not rub frost bitten parts or apply dry heat to these parts. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be administered for the pain. If a body part or area of the skin is white and hard due to frost bite, seek medical attention immediately.

Make sure that your kids have had a healthy snack before heading outdoors. They will need those extra calories not only to stay warm, but also because all of these activities tend to burn calories very fast!

GlassesUSA.com Quality Glasses At Amazing Prices

The first time I had to buy glasses, it set me back over $400! As a college student with little income and no insurance, I was flabbergasted! How was I supposed to pay for that? Now, as a parent, I still cannot believe I paid so much for glasses, especially when they are much more affordable at GlassesUSA.com.

Taking a look around their website at the variety of glasses for men and women, I was more than impressed. For those of us who love designer brands, such as Tommy Hilfiger, Armani and Lacoste, there is a designer boutique with over 100 different eyeglasses from which to choose. For those on a budget, you can still find fashionable glasses that will not break the bank. Right now GlassesUSA has a great sale that offers deals as low as $19! Incredible, right? I absolutely love the Fiesta Ink glasses in blue, which are a bargain at $48, especially with the 50% code at the bottom.

Not only is the website easy to navigate, but you can narrow down your glasses choices by the types of frames you prefer to wear, lens type, material and more! With a 110% lowest price guarantee and 100% satisfaction guarantee, why not give them a try? Plus, if you get friends to purchase through the GlassesUSA refer-a-friend program, you can actually earn $30 store credit for yourself and your friends!

Fall Sale: Save 50%
 Use the coupon code FALL50 to receive 50% off the entire eyeglasses collection (basic single-vision lenses included)! This code expires 11/13, so order glasses now. You don't want to miss out on this deal. (You may upgrade lenses for an additional cost.)

Free Shipping Code
When purchasing your glasses online at GlassesUSA, use coupon code FS10 to receive free shipping. Only one code can be used per purchase, so use this one after 11/13!

10% Off
You can also use code BLOG10 for 10% off your purchase.

Stay up-to-date on all GlassesUSA happenings through their Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/
glassesusa) and their Twitter feed (@GlassesUSA).
GlassesUSA.com sponsored this post in exchange for my honest opinions. All opinions expressed are uniquely my own.


Shutterfly Holliday Cards Review & Giveaway 3 Winners

Finding the right holiday cards for your family can sometimes be difficult. We all want something unique that most closely represents our family. Before I had children, I often just bought cheap cards at the store, but now that we are a growing family, I take the holiday cards as a chance to show off the boys and what they've accomplished throughout the year. Shutterfly has a huge variety of holiday cards from which to choose. There really is something to fit everyone's own tastes. Plus, card prices start as low as $.32, they are amazingly affordable, too.

I can never decide on one card, so we usually get 2 different Christmas cards. For family we don't see often, I send cards that allow several pictures. This way, they can see things the children have done over the year- their big events and milestones. For example, Josiah started school this year and Liam started walking and rode a choo choo for the first time. We take pictures of everything we do with the boys, so they are perfect for holiday cards. My two favorite cards that allow for multiple pictures are the  Pictures Everywhere card and the Monogram Snowman Card. They are both holiday themed with a modern twist.

Under The Tree Event Official Post- $35 Children's Prize Package #UnderTreeEvent


Well, another event has begun and I'm so sorry I didn't mention it earlier. We thought it was tomorrow! The Under The Tree event has officially begun. The event features 65 blogs and each has a giveaway package worth at least $20! All of the giveaways are for children, too, so you can win some fun prizes for the kids!

So, what is the Children Teaching Mama prize package? Good question! I am sponsoring this event with my own prizes I think the kids will love. Here they are:

This package is worth $35!

Ready to Enter? Just use the Rafflecopter Form to Enter! Easy. :)

Made With Love Official Event Giveaway Post - Win A Tend-A-Tot Premiere

 Welcome to the Made With Love Event hosted by The Reynolds Mom and Seventeen Sirens! This event features at least $25 or more in handmade prizes on each of the participating blogs. Be sure to go through the linky below and enter for your chance to win! This event will close on November 13th at Midnight EST.

Good Luck!

Last night I finally revealed our amazing Made With Love sponsor....


Made With Love Sponsor Spotlight: Tend-A-Tot Premiere 6 -In- One Magical Shape Shifter Baby Tote

I was so excited to win a Tend-A-Tot giveaway during Blog Bash. It's something I'd wanted to try for so very long and finally had one! This amazing little contraption comes all folded up and looks almost like a baby blanket, but it's so much more than that. As soon as you take it out, you can immediately see all of the uses and, if you are like me, you won't be able to resist giving it a try right away!

About the Tend-A-Tot
A sophisticated baby bag with a true sense of style and function. The Tend-A-Tot™ 6-in-1 childcare product provides Nurture, Safety, Comfort, Security, Mobility, Ease of Care and privacy while feeding, plus keeps baby off surfaces in public places. Surround your child with a familiar pattern and "fragrance", right from the start! The Tend-A-Tot™ creates a comfort zone in that strange or new environment, when shopping, dining, visiting or traveling!

What can the Tend-A-Tot do?
As a 6-In-One product, it provides many of the things all parents need, including:
1. Diaper Bag
2. Child Carrier
3. Insta-Chair (an on-the-go instant high-chair that safely straps baby in)
4. Stroller Upgrade
5. Shopping Cart Cover
6. Highchair Comfort

My Thoughts
Southwest Folk A
I received my Tend-A-Tot Premiere just before going to the beach and boy was I excited. There are so many different fabrics from which to choose that I had a hard time picking just one. I finally decided on the Southwest Folk Art print. We usually fill our car with baby items- high chair, baby carrier, baby wrap, diaper bag, etc., etc. Since the Tend-A-Tot actually magically turns into several of these items, we really cut down on all the junk piled into the trunk, which meant I could actually see out of the window while driving.

The first thing we used the Tend-A-Tot for was as the Insta-Chair. It's so incredibly easy to hook around the chair and POOF, an instant highchair. It's soft and, when we have company over, I can easily take it off the chair. Liam seems to like the insta-chair better than his old highchair, so it's been put in the basement. He loves being able to be a part of the family at the dinner table instead of being higher up in his chair, on the edge of the table. This was especially helpful when we moved into our new house in August and everything was still in boxes.

At the beach, we also used the baby carrier. I needed a little help with this one since I'm used to a different kind, but once we figured it out, it became easier and easier. It's very soft for babies. In fact, it's almost like they are in a big blanket bag, which is great when baby gets sleepy. The Tend-A-Tot baby carrier feature would be great in cooler weather and I plan on trying it out again very soon since the weather is finally starting to act like fall.

We have also used the baby bag feature, which is amazingly huge! I can fit so much stuff in there. It made for a perfect trip bag and I've also used it as an overnight bag with the kids go over to Grandma's house. I'm able to stuff everything in that they will need.

I have a feeling we will be using our Tend-A-Tot for many years to come.... and many babies! My first thought when I received ours was that it was not only super-soft, but made to last. With all of the babies in our extended family, we'll all be using the Tend-A-Tot and making the most of it. I highly recommend one for all parents and think it's a worthwhile investment. You may think it's a little steep in price, but when you think about all it does and how much you would be paying in total for all 6 of the items, this is a money-saver in addition to a space-saver! We love our Tend-A-Tot!!

Buy It
Purchase a Tend-A-Tot Premier for $195 in a variety of designs!

Win It
Tend-A-Tot is our Made With Love Sponsor! This event begins at 9am in the morning (Tuesday, Nov 8th)! We are participating with over 100 other bloggers, so come back and win some amazing prizes.