Mother's Day Gift Guide: Zooper Stroller Review & Hook-On Chair Giveaway

The review and giveaway were written by Danielle Harper from The Happenings of the Harper Household! Luckily, we'll be reviewing a Zooper stroller this summer on Children Teaching Mama!

If you have ever heard someone say that all strollers are the same I have two things to say. Number one – they are wrong, hehe. And number two – they have never used a Zooper stroller. I have used many strollers…. more than my hubby would probably like and I know an awesome stroller when I see one. I absolutely love our Zooper Tango which is Zooper’s double side by side stroller and wondered what I would think of one of their single strollers. Then I got the chance to find out!
boleroWhen the Zooper Bolero arrived in Canyon Red I was beyond excited and after a quick set up we were ready to roll. The first place we decided to take the Bolero for a test drive was to a local walking path that surrounds a lake. This path is rather uneven with gravel in some areas and a few hills so I knew it would definitely put the Bolero to the test. Dustin and I got the girls all ready to go and then I folded down the stroller. For some time Dustin has said that the perfect full size stroller would have the capability to fold like an umbrella stroller so that it would take up less space in the car. Well guess what? Let’s just say he was rather impressed to see that the Zooper BoleroIMG_0827 does just that! When you release the extra strong die-cast handle bar release it folds inwards allowing for the umbrella fold. So the Bolero takes up less room in the car, is easy to carry and can be stored standing up right. All of these features make it super easy to transport wherever you need to go with less complaining from the hubby that the stroller takes up the whole back of the car, hehe.
I previously mentioned that the walking path I decided to test the Zooper Bolero out on is uneven and has patches of thick gravel, wooden bridges, and more. This was no problem for the Bolero because it is equipped with four independent wheel suspensions so we were able to walk the entire path without getting stuck or hung up once. I do wish the wheels were a tad bigger, but other than that no complaints!
Sugar enjoyed riding in style and there were a few other things that made our walk much simpler than with other strollers. I love how the horizontal handlebar allows for single handed pushing. This was if Dustin needed to answer the phone or hand Dilly her cup he could just keep pushing which will be even more convenient when there is a newborn on board because most momma’s know what happens when you stop the motion of a stroller with a newborn…. it’s not good, hehe.
Something else that is a huge deal is having a large snack tray with a deep cup holder. A few of the other strollers we have had either just didn’t have a sIMG_0815nack tray or if they did while going over bumpy terrain Dilly and Sugar’s cups would bounce right out of the cup holder. We lost quite a few cups that way because some little girls either didn’t notice their cups bounced on out or didn’t care to inform momma. Luckily Zooper has taken care of this problem. As you can see the snack tray is very generously sized and the cup holder is deep so no worries about a cup bouncing out – yay!! Sugar didn’t have any snacks on the tray for this trip because we were going out to dinner after our walk, but that small bowl like indent where her left hand is will be perfect for goldfish crackers or cheerios.


Mother's Day Gift Guide: LUSH Cosmetics Mamma Mia Wrapped Gift

A few months ago I was searching online for shampoo bars and luckily stumbled across LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. Their products are made from fresh, organic fruits and veggies along with the finest essential oils. LUSH has created the most amazing products and fragrances that I dare you to try them and not get completely hooked! This is exactly what happened to me. For Valentine's Day I reviewed the Lots of Love Gift Box, which included a variety of bath time goodies, perfume and lotions. After using one bath bomb, I was in love. Only a week later, I discovered the LUSH store in Atlanta! It was like a dream come true.

For Mother's Day, we received the Mamma Mia Wrapped Gift to review. I could barely wait to get home and open the package because I could smell the luscious scent of flowers from the outside of the box! Once we got home, I ripped open the outer cardboard box to discover the most beautifully wrapped present I've seen in a very long time. I hesitated to unwrap the bright, colorful packaging, but that hesitation was only momentary! 
The Mamma Mia also includes a variety of LUSH goodies that would make any Mama smile! The treats are to make showers just as luxurious as bath time. It comes complete with:
  • The Olive Branch Shower Gel
  • Sultana of Soap
  • Buffy
  • Ro's Argan Body Conditioner
  • Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter
I don't think I've ever been so ready to hop in the shower. The Olive Branch is a Mediterranean inspired shower gel with hints of mandarin and sea salt. Loaded with antioxidants, olive oil and
more, this shower gel with delight the senses and moisturize skin. I think The Olive Branch has a slightly manly scent, which I actually love. It's not a strong smell and makes my skin feel nice and soft. My son also loves this because he says it smells like Papa.

My other favorite item I'd never tried before is Buffy. Made with ground rice, almonds and beans to exfoliate skin along with cocoa and shea butters to moisturize skin and keep it so soft! I love Buffy and am now hooked. This is one heavy-duty exfoliating bar. I love using this on my legs because it makes them extra smooth and shiny. No need for lotion when Buffy is around.

The other items make the Mamma Mia even sweeter, with Sultana of Soap to leave skin smelling fruity, Lemony Flutter to keep your hands soft and, well, lemony, and the Ro's Argan to top it all of and moisturize like nobody's business!

You can purchase the Mamma Mia for only $39.95 and, believe me, this makes for the perfect Mother's Day present! Want something just for you? Try A French Kiss Bubble Bar. It's my all-time favorite and makes fills the entire bath with lavender scent and bubbles!



Mother's Day Gifts For Couples From EdenFantasys

Express your love with Vroom! Sex toys from EdenFantasys. Shop now! 
*This post contains adult material regarding EdenFantasys.com and is for adult eyes only!*

Mother's Day is the time of year we celebrate moms and everything they do for us. It's a fun day for the entire family and a time to be showered with love. Every year my children and husband take me out for a special dinner somewhere nice. Not only do my kids make me a cute card and give me a gift, but my husband always does something special for me, too.

Husbands and partners out there, if you are reading this: get your significant other a Mother's Day gift! I always look forward to a gift from my husband and it shows me how much he cares, too. I particularly like when he gets me something that is just for me or for us. EdenFantasys has some great gift ideas for Mama from Papa, so be sure to take a look.
Yes, EdenFantasys is known for it's huge selection of sex toys that Papa can give Mama, but what you may not know is that they have many, many other amazing products, too. A few months ago, I bought several of the Not Soap Radio Bubble Baths and gave them as Valentine's Day presents. I kept "The stuff that cupid dips his arrows in' scented bubble bath and am completely addicted. It smells delicious!
What other great products do they carry? Everything from lotions and candles, to belly balm for pregnant Mamas and massage oils. I love getting massages, so their massage candles are one of my favorite items. No matter what you order, the items are descretely packaged and their customer service is awesome. That's why I personally recommend EdenFantasys. Take a look and find what you'd love to get from your husband or partner. Then, start dropping a few hints. There's still time to order before Mother's Day. For added incentive, use code XOXO to receive 20% off your order!


Mother's Day Gift Guide: LUGZ Shoes and Boots Review & Giveaway

My husband is the type of guy who will not get a new pair of shoes until his are falling apart. One of the pairs of sneakers I donated recently were from the 90s and he would still be wearing them if I hadn't kicked them to the curb. I knew it was time to upgrade his wardrobe, especially his shoes! LUGZ has fashionable shoes and boots for both men and women. They even have a great line of work boots so you can look great on the job.

About LUGZ
The Lugz brand came into the world in October of 1993. A family owned company who has over 63 years of experience in making shoes! Lugz was endorsed by key players from the world of hip hop, including Def Squad's own Erick Sermon, Snoop, Outkast, Kid Capri and Master P, to name just a few. Shock jock Howard Stern has also promoted the brand on his radio show.
 Lugz product is aggressively styled using the highest quality materials for maximum durability and superior comfort. Our footwear features premium leathers and durable construction. Everything is designed with the fashion forward customer in mind.

My Thoughts
I wanted to get my husband a pair of shoes that looked good, but would also be very comfortable. It took me a while to decide, but I finally picked out the Men's Strider Suede! The Lugz Strider Suede is a light-weight sneaker with a suede upper and hand sewn moccasin construction. Just looking at these shoes I could tell they were comfortable.
As soon as these arrived, my husband was ready to give them a try. All week long he wears dress shoes for work, so on the weekend he needs to wear some relaxing shoes and these are absolutely perfect. We received the Driftwood (brown) Strider Suede shoes. They are laid back, comfortable and pretty much match just about anything you wear.

How To Get the Most Our Of Your Family Portrait Experience At JCPenney

I never took the time to have portraits taken until we had Josiah. Then I found myself at JCPenney every few months getting adorable photos. They always took the time to put the kids in several different positions and photos, taking the time to make sure we got some very good ones. In fact, most of the time the pictures were TOO good. I ended up spending more money on them because I couldn't resist. This April JCP Portraits has an awesome promotion. Pay only $20 for 6 traditional portrait sheets. You can mix and match the sizes/images, too. Plus, the sitting fee of $9 is absolutely FREE! This promo ends on April 30th, so be sure to book a sitting for this weekend. Believe me, you will not be disappointed with the quality of portraits you receive. Click here to find the coupon along with other offers. Just use the JCPenney Portrait Studio near you by the location finder by entering your zip code after click on the link above. Easy! If you can't make it this month, they almost always have a great deal going on, so check back for more coupons and sales for May, too!

So, along the way, we have definitely picked up some tricks and tips for getting the best family portraits when taking the boys. If you have kids then you probably know just how frustrating and stressful portrait sittings can be, especially when the kids hit their limit of sitting still and smiling.
From Liam's first portrait sitting!
 Here are my top 5 tips for getting the best family portraits!

1. Bring something familiar for the kids. For us, we always bring something each child is attached to. They are almost always in our family portraits, but I think it is cute and it's great to look back and remember what the stuffed animal they used to sleep with or the toy they would never leave behind. My kids have their babies they take with them, which is a fox in socks and a little beaver stuffed animal Liam carries around.

2. Bring something silly along and surprise them. The photographer can hold the item or you can hold it behind the photographer. I always make silly faces and bring a toy to hold above the photographer's head. This way they are smiling and looking straight towards the camera!
We should have gotten a pregnancy portrait!
3. Make sure they have a nap ahead of time. I like scheduling ours either in the morning right after breakfast when the kids are wide awake OR later in the afternoon after they have taken a good nap. This way you are more likely to have them in good spirits and ready for some photo-taking!

4. Pick a place you know will take the time to get a great picture and that has employees that are good with children. This completely makes all the difference in the world. If your child likes the photographer, then you are set! Even if you are having the worst sitting ever and the kids are acting horrible, a good photographer can somehow squeeze a good photo in there. This is why we love JCPenney Portrait Studio and keep going back.

5. Take the kids to do something fun afterwards. Let them know that if they are good, there will be a great reward. I'm not one for bribing my children, but I do think it is only fair that after they spend so long in dress clothes and sitting quietly that I do something fun with them. It may just be going out for pizza or to play in an arcade! That will give them incentive to be on their best behavior.

It seems like there are always special occasions and reasons to celebrate. The best way to remember them is with portraits. Be sure to take a look at my Pinterest Board with all of my Inspiration with jcpportraits! Repin some ideas if you love Pinterest as much as me! When do you plan to schedule your next portrait sitting? What's the occasion?

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of jcpenney Portrait Studio. I was asked to create a Pinterest Board and pin at least five (5) pins. I give jcpenney the right to repin any or all images/original content from this board. I received a promotional item as a thanks for my participation.

$30 Burger King Flash Giveaway (Or Cash)

Who doesn't love a delicious Whopper every now and then? Take the night off with this Burger King $30 Giveaway!  Giveaway ends on 4/29 and is open worldwide*. Just use the Rafflecopter form below!
*Winner can opt for a cash prize instead of a Burger King Gift Card.
Good Luck!


Mother's Day Gift Guide: Vera Bradley Summer Frame Bag & Straighten Up and Curl Review

 When I was pregnant with Josiah almost 5 years ago, someone bought me my very first Vera Bradley bag. I was immediately hooked and bought the matching purse to go with my diaper bag! Since then, my collection has grown and so has Vera Bradley. They continue to release new style bags with unique and fun colors. They recently released their Summer 2012 line and I couldn't wait to receive my review items!

It's so fun to receive my Vera Bradley items because I never know what I'll get, but I know I will love it regardless, so it's an exciting surprise every time. This year I received the Frame Bag in Doodle Daisy as well as the Straighten Up and Curl in Doodle Daisy.

The Frame Bag is a good-sized bag and plenty of room for all of your items. I have an oversize wallet and always carrier a diaper with wipes. Still, there is plenty of room! It's amazing how much can really fit in this purse. Plus, it's pretty light-weight. The Doodle Daisy print is the perfect floral print to carry around for the summer months with the beautiful sky blue and grass green colors. It has quickly become my favorite purse. It also magnetically shuts, which I love, because I don't have to deal with zipping or snapping anything.
I honestly had never seen the Straighten Up and Curl before, but it is the cutest carrier for your styling tools you will ever see. We went to the beach a few weeks ago and I easily fit in my straightener and curling iron. I usually just throw them in a bag, which ends in a messy tangle of cords, but not any more! My mom had a fit over this and wants one for herself! I can't blame her. It's adorable and makes taking your styling tools so much easier.
Mother's Day is coming up soon and it's the perfect time to purchase these two items! Believe me, your Mama will love to receive either. My mom is expecting a Straighten Up and Curl, so I better not disappoint. What's your favorite Vera Bradley bag?

$40 RalphLauren.com Flash Giveaway Sign-Ups Now Open

Children Teaching Mama and Mama Chocolate are excited to be hosting a $40 RalphLauren.com Gift Code Flash Giveaway Event! The event will begin on Sunday, May 20th at 12:01am and ends on May 23rd at 11:59pm.  Just click here for all of the details and to sign-up! Also, if you are participating and want to put the button on your blog, just copy from the box above.
  • $2 for first link, (choose from Facebook or Twitter) and $1 for each additional extra link (up to 4 total)
    Ideas include: Facebook, Twitter, GFC, Pinterest, Email/RSS Subscriptions, etc. (No affiliate/program/deal site sign-up links)
  • Send payment via Paypal to childrenteachingmama@gmail.com as a gift BEFORE submitting the form.
  • Details, post HTML, and Rafflecopter code will be emailed to you at least 24 hours before the event and posted in the Mama Chocolate Events Facebook group.
    (joining is optional, but encouraged: https://www.facebook.com/groups/125396294234357
  • Giveaway will be open for entries from 12:01am May 7th to 11:59pm May 10th, EST.  Facebook and Twitter entries will be linked to separate pages on the hostess’s blogs for entrants to click over to from the Rafflecopter form. All other links will be directly on the Rafflecopter form separately. No entries will be mandatory.
  • If the Rafflecopter form is not live on your blog by 10am EST on May 7th, your links will be deleted from the giveaway (no refunds).
  • Please email Roxanne at childrenteachingmama@gmail.com or Johanna at info@mamachocolateblog.com with any questions.
  • Feel free to invite others to join and spread the word about this event coming up to your fans by using the button code above!


Mother's Day Gift Guide: Havaianas Review & Giveaway

Danielle's Havaianas Review & Giveaway for the Mother's Day Gift Guide Event! 

What woman doesn’t like shoes? I know before I had kiddos shoe shopping was one of the things I indulged in all the time – probably more than I should have, hehe. But now that the girls are here it’s rare that I get a new pair of shoes instead I’m constantly buying shoes for their ever growing feet! But I found some shoes and sandals that are just awesome and would make a great Mother’s Day gift for that momma in your life who may not be able to splurge on shoes for herself all the time anymore.
Those shoes and sandals are made by Havaianas. Havaianas stands for style, comfort, affordable luxury, and positive energy. As a part of this positive energy Havaianas believes in social and environmental responsibility and so they participate in many programs and contribute to organizations ensuring they do their part to support society and our planet.
And now to the IMG_0794shoes!! As I mentioned they sell both the Havaianas womens sandals collection as well as shoes, but I decided to go with the Origine Eco Espadrille in acqua. I will be honest with you I hate my toes… absolutely despise them and so I don’t really like to wear open toe shoes, but finding a comfy casual pair of summery shoes with closed toes is near impossible. That is until I found these shoes. And oh my gosh – I L.O.V.E. these shoes. I decided to go with these specific shoes because they are eco-friendly being made of jute which is grown along side the Amazonian River. And so they don’t require any fertilizer or pesticides to make. I absolutely adore the stitching that holds the fabric to the sole and they are just so stinkin comfy. I seriously wear these shoes constantly. I don’t even care if they match my outfit, hehe. Unlike many slip on shoes these stay on even when chasing after my crazy kiddos when out at the park or playing in the yard at home. Plus even when my feet are a lil pudgy and my ankles start to swell – thank you pregnancy – they still feel great! In my Origine Eco Espadrille’s I can be trendy, environmentally conscious, and I won’t break the bank – perfection for a momma.
Now for those of you who like to show off your tootsies Havaianas has a huge selection of sandals in different styles, colors, ect. You can even design your very own custom sandals so you can be truly unique! Or perhaps design a pair as a Mother’s Day gift in your momma’s favorite color!
mamaOf course I had to play around with the customization tool and designed a pair of sandals that would be for me from my Dilly and Sugar…. since they call me Mama. Awwww, too cute!!
An interesting fact: Did you notice the textured rice pattern on the foot-bed? This is the same on all Havaianas and is one of their unmistakable features which dates back to the first pair of Havaianas that were made in 1962. They were inspired by the Zori, typical Japanese sandals which are made of fabric straps and rice straw soles. Bet ya didn’t know that!
So if you are looking for a comfy pair of shoes or sandals I suggest heading on over to the Havaianas website where you can snag up some super cute shoes at great prices too – don’t forget mom on Mother’s Day! And guess what?
You can win sandals for summer here! 
 Simply enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Zooper Giveaway On Facebook!

We love Zooper strollers, so we HAD to tell about this awesome contest going on! Zooper is giving away a stroller for part of their Win It Wednesday promotion! Click HERE to go enter! Good Luck!!

Improve Your Home: From Countertops to Driveways

When my parents moved into their new house, it needed a lot of work done. Yes, they got a good deal, one that they could not pass up, but it definitely cost them some time to get it all finished. One of my mom's main concerns was the kitchen. She spends a great deal of time in there cooking, after all. So, she put my dad to work getting it ready.

We all did a great deal of research for the best products for the jobs. She wanted new flooring put in as well as a new countertop. My dad did most of the work with the help of some friends and learned a lot in the process. I think we all did! For instance, did you know how important it is the purchase a countertop sealer? You can purchase kits to do it at home and that's exactly what we did. My Mom wanted the counter to be shiny, so we picked a glossy coating!

The kitchen looked absolutely amazing by the time it was finished. She had us all over for a delicious meal to celebrate. We were all, of course, completely jealous. My dad was happy for it the be over, but that was not the end of his worries because they still needed a driveway! Their old home had a driveway, but this one was just a gravel area in the front yard that looked horrible. Driveways also have to be sealed, which is all new to me, but I can see why. The harsh weather where they live can cause all types of damage to the concrete they put  in, but with the sealer, it still looks as good as new and it is now 2 years old.

I can't wait to get my own home and start working on the improvements. I'm just like my mom and will be heading straight to the kitchen and updating everything. Are you planning to improve your kitchen or home in the near future? If so, leave a comment below and let me know what the big plans are!

$30 Wal-Mart Gift Card Flash Giveaway Ends 4/28

Enter to win a $30 Walmart gift card! Open worldwide and ends on April 28th at 12:01AM! Just use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. :) Good Luck!!

Meeting The One For You

As I get older, I get more and more sentimental. I love listening to my great aunts talk about their childhood and the amazing lives they lead, but my most favorite stories are of how couples met. Every story is unique and special in its own way. While some of my friends and relatives have met randomly in person, others have gone through an Online Dating Agency to meet that special someone. Either way, the fates intervened to bring two people together!

My husband and I actually met at a university library! On my first day I was introduced to him and my desk was actually connected to his. It wasn't love at first site and, at first, he drove me crazy, always playing jokes and being silly. A few months later, while putting some books on a bottom shelf, I got knocked on the head with a book. I look up and there he is, putting a book on a higher shelf and, of course, he dropped one right on me.  He apologized profusely and insisted on taking me to lunch one afternoon the following week. I reluctantly agreed and the next week we went to eat at a gyro restaurant downtown. To my surprise, we actually had a great time and, as I have learned, opposites often attract! We kept dating and within a year we were not only married, but then expecting our first baby.
One of my close high school friends actually met his wife while Dating in London. They met through the an internet dating service, exchanged emails and eventually got up the nerve to meet each other. In this case, they definitely experienced love at first sight. It didn't take long before my friend was planning his move to London. Only a few months later they got married and now they have a beautiful baby boy!

After our experiences, I have to believe in fate. How did you and your partner meet? Leave a comment below because I would love to hear your story!


Papa Murphy's Pizza $30 GC Giveaway

Do you pizza? Welcome to the Papa Murphy’s Gift Card Giveaway! Giveaway ends on 4/26 and is open worldwide*. Good luck!
 *Winner can opt for a cash prize instead of a Paper Murphy’s Gift Card.
Good Luck!!!


Glad Black Bag Art Auction & Beautiful Art Mosaics

Since we moved to the mountains, we've tried to cut down on our waste and the amount of garbage we create not only because we want to be eco-friendly, but also because we now have to take out trash to the dump. That means we have to pay $3 per bag we bring in, but recycled goods are completely free. For our trash, we need a strong, reliable trash bag, which is why we absolutely love Glad Black Bag! We've tried the off-brand before and let's just say it was a horrible decision. We ended up with leaks and tears! The Glad Black Bag is tear-resistant, strong and durable. They are also big enough to handle a great deal of garbage. I love Glad products and the Glad Black Bag is no exception! It's a must-have for our home and something we always have stocked under the sink. 

We just finished our Spring Cleaning and I'm not sure what I would have done with out my Glad Black Bag! I had all types of items to throw away that other bags couldn't handle, such as broken wire hangers. I'm happy to say that I was able to complete my Spring Cleaning and had no issues with tears or leaks all thanks to Glad! 

Glad is a partner of  Keep America Beautiful, doing their part to help clean up communities. April is Earth Month and to celebrate, Glad Black Bag is turning trash into works of art for the Glad Black Bag Art Auction. Yes, you read that right! Glad has teamed up with the Picker Sisters and amazing artist, Jason Mecier, to create one-of-a-kind artwork from the trash of celebrities! The Picker Sisters believe that one person's trash can be another person's treasure and Jason Mecier proves this to be very true! He created some amazing art that is up for auction right now and the trash came from several Hollywood celebrities. Who? Megan Mullally, Ed Begley, Jr., Amy Smart and many, many more! 

Right now you can bid on this beautiful artwork on eBay, which will benefit Keep America Beautiful's Great America Cleanup! This auction is live from April 16th until April 26th, so don't delay. Take a look at the art of Jason Mecier and be sure to zoom in on the pictures. Plus, you can watch a video of how the artwork was created. It completely blew me away!This is such a wonderful cause and a beautiful way to celebrate Earth Month.

Also, be sure to check out Glad's latest contest and promo, The Wild Life. Watch as real life becomes the wild life with a unique family of animals. Each of the animals inspired the art created for the art auction! The contest? Visitors can participate by creating sharable trailers for a chance to win $25,000 and other prizes and coupons! You can also follow on Twitter @GladWildLife!

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

Kiddie Academy Child Care Learning Centers : Cory & Summer's Kiddie Academy Franchise Success


Cory and Summer Bullock opened their Kiddie Academy franchise, located at 2010 East League City Parkway in League City, Texas, on August 18, 2008, at ages 27 and 24. The Bullocks have achieved tremendous success, and as the youngest franchisees in the system, it proves that age is no barrier when owning a Kiddie Academy franchise. They have reaped the rewards of owning a business and watching children grow in front of them.

Background: With his commitment to the Navy coming to an end, Cory Bullock and his wife, Summer, began looking at opportunities to start their own business. During their search, they researched various franchise industries, including tanning and food, before settling on child care. After about six months of looking, they came across Kiddie Academy through an Internet search and inquired for more information. Shortly after, they came to Kiddie Academy’s headquarters to meet with the corporate staff. Unlike other franchise companies who closed doors in their faces due to their young age, Kiddie Academy opened their doors to Cory and Summer with warm, welcoming attitudes. They knew then that they had made the right choice with a company that could bring their passion for children and dream of being business owners together.

Goals: The Bullock’s main goal since day one has been to operate a successful, well-run business that provides parents and children with the best care possible. They aim to do so by upholding the Kiddie Academy brand image, as well as their personal image within the community. Looking down the road, Cory and Summer continue to work on expanding their current academy with the possibility of opening another location in the future.

Challenges: When opening their Kiddie Academy location, Cory and Summer were faced with the challenge of building brand awareness and establishing themselves in their local community. However, the Bullocks accepted the challenge head-on and relished the idea of starting a business that was new to the area. They were determined to set themselves apart from their competitors by promoting the fact that their location was not a typical “day care.”

Results: Despite the fact that they were new to their community and surrounded by competitors, the Bullocks have achieved monumental success - both from a business and personal standpoint. They have consistently maintained high enrollment numbers, created a well recognized and respected brand presence in their community and formed many solid relationships with the families they serve. Cory and Summer have had the pleasure of seeing the results of their hard work in the many children they serve. They have seen the quality of the product first-hand with the children’s advancements and accomplishments.

*The information above was taken from this document.*

Disclosure:  I received a promotional item from Kiddie Academy Franchising for posting this information.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Gourmet Gift Baskets Brownies Sampler Bakery Gift Review & Giveaway

I love receiving a basket full of delicious edible treats for special occasions, so when we had the opportunity to receive a Brownies Sampler Bakery Gift from Gourmet Gift Baskets, I was so excited! We have reviewed several gift baskets from them, but never have tried their brownies before.

About the Brownies Sampler

The amazing flavors packed into this gourmet brownie gift are sure to please anyone's palate. When you're searching for gourmet brownie gifts, you want to feel confident that your gift is of the utmost quality and that is the comfort we are providing you with this gourmet brownie sampler.

Includes 2 of Each Flavor:

· Belgian Chocolate Chunk
· White Chocolate Macadamia Blonde
· Butterscotch Blonde
· Cheesecake
· Peanut Butter
· Fudge Walnut

Mother's Day Gift Guide Event Now Live! Time For Some Great Giveaways!

Happy Monday, everyone. I just wanted to let you know that the Annual Mother's Day Gift Guide is now live on Children Teaching Mama! We will be kicking off today with an delicious giveaway, so keep yours eyes peeled for the giveaway this afternoon. Take a look at the Mother's Day Gift Guide to see what is in store from now until May 13th. We have lots of goodies planned for everyone. Plus, we are pairing up with Happenings of the Harper Household to bring you even more giveaways. Hope you enjoy the fun!


Blast Zone Misty Kingdom Bounce House & Water Slide Review & Video

We received the Blast Zone Misty Kingdom Bounce House & Water Park a few months ago and I had to write about it because we absolutely love it!! The kids have had so much fun playing on it. They want to play on it every day and, after much usage, it is still in amazing shape. There are no holes, no tears or anything, which means this is one durable bounce house!

I wanted to get this bounce house for two reasons. The first was because we rented one for a birthday party last year and it cost us $200 for a day. Secondly, I saw that it is really two-in-one entertainment! Yes, it is a bounce house and has a slide, but it can also be hooked up to a water hose to turn it into a water slide. We've had it during the winter and spring months so far, so we've not used it with water yet, but I have a feeling we'll be using it like crazy this summer. Be sure to check out all the awesome bounce houses you can purchase by clicking HERE!

Take a look at the video of the boys below! You can tell they are having such an awesome time. :)  I love that the bounce house is not only fun, but provides them with much needed physical activity and exercise.

This is such an awesome bounce house and we love it! Here's Liam going down the little slide and having a blast. 

Bright Starts Ultimate Baby Shower Event FREE Sign-Ups

Bright StartsMom to Bed by 8 and Iowa-Mom are hosting the Baby Shower Event from May 7th to May 28th. This is a FREE blogger event, so sign up today. We are signing up right now and would love to have you sign up, too!
Click on the link to join the Bright Starts Ultimate Baby Shower Giveaway event today, gain some new followers and offer one amazing baby shower gifts giveaway! Canadian Bloggers can also participate as long as you have a strong US following. :)
Let me know if you sign up!!

MaxClarity Foam Acne Treatment Final Review : We Zapped Out The Acne!

About a month ago, I wrote a post telling everyone I was reviewing MaxClarity, a unique foam acne medication that targets skin from the inside out to relieve skin of acne once and for all! I was excited to try it since I have always suffered from acne and so was my nephew. He is just now starting to break out and doesn't like it one bit. He was ready to give it a try to see how well it really works!

Michael is entering the teenage years and, if his experience is anything like mine, he will have a rough go of it with acne. At least he can start treating it now to hopefully prevent it later. That is my plan with MaxClarity! So, here is a picture of Michael the day he started using MaxClarity. For some reason I couldn't get the camera to pick up the acne very well, so I put arrows where you can find some of the spots, which are much more visible in person! He also has some on his arm and on his back, which are places MaxClarity can also be used.


McCormick Spring Pin-Spiration Recipe Contest & The Delicious McCormick Recipe We Tried

Right now until Sunday, April 22nd, McCormick is hosting a deliciously fun contest through Pinterest. We just got into Pinterest recently, so we just had to tell everyone about the McCormick's Spring Pin-Spiration Recipe Contest!

Do you have a Pinterest account? If not, you need to make one to participate! Then, follow McCormick's Pinterest page! After you do that, create a "Board" in your Pinterest Account named “McCormick Pin-spiration” . Next comes the really fun part. Look around McCormick.com for some delicious Spring-time recipes and pin 5 of your favorites. Then, pick your very favorite and make it at home. Take a picture of the finished product in all its glory for your 6th and final pin on Pinterest! After that, email your board to: mccormickpinterest@webershandwick.com! Click HERE for all of the info about the contest or click on the image below:
 How easy is that? This is such a fun contest that we decided to join the fun and bake our own favorite recipe from McCormick.com! Growing up, my Mama always, always used McCormick products for all her baking needs. She absolutely loved to bake, especially around the holidays. Any time a holiday rolled around, I knew we'd be in for something delicious. Now that I am older, I also use McCormick products. They are the best and I only buy the best for my family, of course! For our recipe, we made the Vanilla-Rich Chocolate Chip Cookies we found from the McCormick's Pinterest Page & their website. There are some great recipes on their Pinterest page, so take a look!

So, here's the recipe to the recipe we tried (from the McCormick website:

Vanilla-Rich Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 5 dozen or 30 (2 cookie) servings.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 to 10 minutes per batch
3 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
4 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
1 package (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
2. Drop by rounded tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

We cut the recipe in half to make enough for our family, which was a big mistake because this went extremely fast! I almost missed out on taking a picture, but luckily there were a few left! We did one thing different to make our cookies more "Springy". How? We used pastel color chocolate chips along with the usual brown ones! I was worried they wouldn't work as well, but they ended up being just as good! They didn't show up as much as the brown ones, though. We could also use the McCormick Food Coloring to color the cookies in Spring colors next time, too! The boys love watching batter change colors!

Here's our finished Vanilla-Rich Chocolate Chip Cookies:
Here's Josiah, who made me take a picture of him with "his" cookies. As you can tell in the above picture, he'd already taken a bite out of another cookie after eating 2 others before I caught the little cookie monster! Obviously he approves!

Don't they look delicious? I have a feeling we'll be making these again. They are easy to make and a little different from the usual chocolate chip cookies. I love the stronger vanilla taste that is not overwhelming. It just makes the cookies irresistible!
Here are the boys eating the cookies "all gone", as Liam says! Now that you've seen our recipe, take a look at our Pinterest Board full of Spring Recipe ideas!

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for McCormick. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for participating