Together Counts Encourages Families To Become More Healthy & Active + 5 Fun Outdoor Activities

This year we've been very lucky with the weather here in Georgia. Spring arrived very early this year and at the beginning of March we've had highs in the 80s already! I'm so happy because we are an outdoor kind of family. We love being outside and, since we live in the mountains, there is always something fun to do. It's so important to stay active as a family, especially for children. Why? Being active benefits children in may ways, including promoting healthy growth and development, building strong bones and muscles, and improving self-esteem! I notice my children are much happier after spending time outside and I think we parents also benefit from getting some fresh air and letting the children burn off some of that extra energy!

There are many ways we stay active with this kids and I highly recommend as a family. Here are 5 ways to stay active outdoors with children this Spring and Summer!

1. Plan a visit to a national or state park! We live close to the Amicalola Falls State Park because there are several hiking trails, beautiful scenery and you can even hike to see the amazing falls. They even have a hike-inn where you hike up part of the mountain and spend the night.

2. Plant a garden! We plant a garden every year. The boys love digging in the dirt and it's great exercise! This year I bought them their own above-ground garden, which is an 8x8 area. They can dig in it, plan flowers and vegetables, etc. Not only is it fun for them, but they learn something from the experience and get to enjoy the results! We have already planted our flowers and have one tomato plant that has several tomatoes already forming.

3. Go fishing! Older kids may actually love to go fishing. We go out to our creek and walk along the rocks. Josiah enjoys casting his reel, but more than anything he just likes playing in the water. Encourage children to look for the fish and find other creatures in the water. We always find clam shells, crayfish and other goodies to tote home with us.
4. Backyard Water Games - We have 2 water tables and the kids go wild with them. You can also get cheap little pools or even just water guns and let them chase each other around. Kids love water!


Our Fun Family Holidays : Planning For A Fun Getaway

It's about that time a year again when we begin to plan our next vacation. Summer is the time of year when we actually get to spend time together as a family, so it's important to start planning early to find the best deals on all the possible travel locations! Each summer we go on family holidays, so it's like a tradition for us and something we look forward to each year.

Mostly we take our holidays to the coast. The children love going to the beach and so do I. Last year we went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, but this year we are going to Florida! The gulf coast water is so incredibly crystal clear and a brilliant blue color. When we go on vacation, we don't just sit on the beach all day. It's important to get out and see what the area has to offer. That's why we always plan ahead of time.
After finding the perfect hotel, I start looking for kid-friendly entertainment around the area. What can be found at the beach? Fun activities like putt-putt and even amusement parks with roller coasters and other rides! We always go to an outdoor arcade, too. Sometimes we find historical landmarks or a museum to visit as well.

Have you started planning your family holiday yet? Where are you going this year? Just remember, don't wait too long to start planning. There are some awesome deals right now that you don't want to miss!


Rubbermaid Hidden Recycler Review & Giveaway

Since we moved to our new house, we've taken our recycling habits to a new level! We don't have trash pick-up here in the mountains and must haul our trash to the dump. This has definitely given us more insight into how much trash we create each week and inspired us to start recycling more often. At our local dump it is completely free to recycle, but we must pay $1 per bag of trash, so that has been great encouragement, too! We don't have any recycle bins minus the huge storage bin we have been using. It's a complete mess and a sight for sore eyes, for sure. We can't even put it outside because the bears and other animals will get it, so it sits in my kitchen looking horrible! This is why I couldn't wait to try out the Rubbermaid Hidden Recycler.

About the Hidden Recycler

The Hidden Recycler attaches to the inside of a cabinet door to collect recyclables out of sight and keeps your counters clear. The bag is durable, machine washable, and made of recycled material. Collect your recyclables and then easily lift the bag from the lid and cabinet by the handle to take them out to your recycle bin.
Hidden Recycler is easy to empty
  • Hinged lid attaches to cabinet door with over the door hooks or screws
  • Bag is made from 65% post-consumer resin
  • Bag is machine washable
  • Comfortable handle for transport
  • 5 gallon bag holds 36 uncrushed cans and is large enough to fit 1 gallon milk jugs
  • Great for single stream recyclers
  • Great for apartment living

My Thoughts
I sat down this morning to put together our Hidden Recycler from Rubbermaid and realized I had to actually read the directions. Once I did that, assembly was simple! The package before was very compact, so if you ever need to store the item when not in use, it will not take up much room at all. Here's a picture of how small it was:


RSV Awareness & Tips For Protecting Baby From RSV

I remember bring my first son, Josiah, home from the hospital. It was such an exciting time in our lives, though we seriously had no idea what to expect. We were sent home with copious amounts of antibacterial hand gel and told to make everyone wash hands before touching the baby. I knew to keep baby away from germs and that he was more susceptible to sickness in the first few weeks of life , but beyond that I was completely clueless about how serious it is. I honestly was not at all educated about respiratory syncytial virus(RSV).
The day Liam was born. He was so tiny and needed help breathing.
Two years later little Liam arrived in this world 5 weeks early. His lungs were unfortunately underdeveloped, so he was intubated and kept in the hospital for about two weeks until he was strong enough to breath on his own. During this time, both my husband and I were required to take several parenting classes before bringing him home. This is when we first really learned about RSV and how dangerous it can be for babies and especially preemies. It is such a common and dangerous virus that spreads easily and can live pretty much everywhere and spreads through contact. Because of this, almost 100% of children contract RSV by their second birthday! One of the preemies already had RSV, too, which made it even more important for us to take all the precautions. In older children the symptoms of RSV are similar to a cold or flu, so not as dangerous, but for young babies, preemies and those with certain lung and heart diseases it can lead to extremely serious respiratory infections.

For this reason, we were given advice on several different occasions, including during the parenting classes about taking precautions against germs and RSV for our preemie. There are many easy ways to keep those germs to a minimum during those first weeks and it is of utmost importance to heed this advice for the sake of your own baby. Seeing a baby in the hospital with RSV was heartbreaking because you could see and hear just how sick they were. Believe me, you do NOT want this for your own baby, so without further ado, here are some suggestions for proper baby etiquette when bringing baby home from the hospital!
Our little man at home and growing strong!
A few tips to remember when a loved one has a new baby:
  • Call before you visit. New parents need time to set up a routine and bond. By giving them time to do so before you visit, you are respecting the new family.
  • Postpone a visit if you feel that you may be getting sick, have recently been ill or exposed to illness.
  • Remember that parents know best. If you feel they are being overprotective or overly cautious, just consider that only they know what’s best for the health of their new son or daughter.
  • Offer to do something to ease their responsibilities as they spend time as a family, such as laundry, cooking or dishes. Sleep-deprived moms and dads will appreciate your help!

If you do schedule a visit with a new baby: 
  • Wash your hands frequently—upon entering the home and especially prior to holding the baby. Parents, and the new baby, will appreciate it.
  • Leave toddlers at home, especially during the winter months. Young children, especially if they attend day care or preschool, often carry germs and viruses, like RSV, that are easily spread.
A few facts about RSV that all parents, caregivers and loved ones should know:  
  • Almost every baby will contract RSV by age 2, but only 1/3 of moms say they’ve heard of the virus.
  • Serious RSV infection is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, responsible for more than 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 500 infant deaths each year.
  • RSV occurs in epidemics each fall through spring. The CDC has defined “RSV season” as beginning in November and lasting through March for most parts of North America.
  • There is no treatment for RSV, so it’s important for parents to take preventive steps to help protect their child (e.g., wash hands, toys, bedding frequently; avoid crowds and cigarette smoke).
  • Certain babies are at an increased risk of developing serious RSV infection, so it’s important to speak with a pediatrician to determine if a baby may be at high risk for RSV, and discuss preventive measures.
  • Symptoms of serious RSV infection include: persistent coughing or wheezing; rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths; blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails; high fever; extreme fatigue; and difficulty feeding. Parents should contact a medical professional immediately upon signs of these symptoms.

To learn more about RSV, visit www.rsvprotection.com.  

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


Umi Shoes Review & $60 Gift Card Giveaway

There is only one thing better than buying shoes for myself... buying them for my kids! I love buying clothes and shoes for my boys, but I am super-picky about the shoes I buy for them. I want the shoes to be cute and fit their personalities, but I also want them to be durable and comfortable, of course. My boys love playtime, so they always put their shoes to the test every single day. I had the opportunity to work with Umi Shoes and had to tell you all about them because they are great shoes for babies, girls and boys!

About Umi (from website)
We are Umi Children's Shoes and around here, happy little feet begin with our gentle hands. Hands that meticulously craft each and every shoe for teh utmost in comfort and fit. Hands that simply know how to make a better children's shoe. So: what makes a better children's shoe? Years or experience working with age-appropriate lasts, patterns and buttersoft leathers give Umi a step up over everyone else. At Umi, all we make are children's shoes, and we believe every step your child takes is as important as their very first.
Shoes are made for much more than walking. Umi shoes are specially designed for the littlest and hardes working feet in mind. At Umi, our focus is on quality, comfort and style. From years and years of hand crafting shoes for babies, boys and girls we've developed a deep understanding of materials, patterns, footbeds -- the building blocks of creating the most comfortable shoes around.

Kigo Footwear Flit Shoes Review & 20% Off Coupon

Even when I lived in the city, I took my lunch break in the University Gardens. It was the part of the day I could take off my shoes and feel the grass tickle my toes as I ate my sandwich and enjoyed the view. I've always preferred comfortable shoes, though I have pretty high standards in footwear. Yes, I want something comfortable, durable and eco-friendly. When I stumbled upon kigo Footwear last year, I was in awe and knew I just had to own a pair... or two!

About kigo

Stylish enough for everyday. Sturdy enough for athletics. Lightweight and flexible. kigo is footwear for the barefoot lifestyle. kigo was born on a mountainside at the end of a long day of skiing. Sore feet, tucked inside heavy boots stopped us from enjoying apr├Ęs ski. The day ended, but the plans were in place for a durable, lightweight shoe. Since then, kigo footwear has worked with customers, doctors, biomechanics specialists, athletes and some other really sharp people to create stylish minimalist shoes that are good for the body and for the Earth. As a company, we never lose sight of having fun and making a positive impact through our shoes. 
kigo curv
My Thoughts
I was sent my very favorite kigo shoes to review, kigo flit! This is the absolute perfect shoe for me and my personality. The flit is a Mary Jane design (my favorite) that is, as the website says, the quintessential barefoot lifestyle shoe for women. I completely agree, as this shoe is so light-weight at around 4 oz. per shoe and form-fitting.

I received the black flits to review, though they also come in grey. The timeless Mary Jane style means these shoes can pretty much go with any outfit! I have seriously worn them every day since they arrived. We live up in the mountains and are constantly outside playing, hiking or walking along the creek. For all of these activities, the flit shoes have been great! I love being barefoot, but this is just not possible since we live on a gravel road on a mountainside. The kigo shoes are the next best thing to being barefoot and I've even noticed myself wearing them indoors. I simply forget they are on! Usually I pop off my shoes as soon as I am in the front door, but now I seem to wear my flits more and more.

Besides the fact that these shoes are adorable and amazingly comfortable, kigo footwear, as a company, is committed to environmental awareness. Their business philosophy, avoid, reuse/recycle, reduce, is simple, yet effective in that it helps them take stock of what items can be avoided (extra paper usage, traveling, etc.), reused (many parts of the shoes are made of recycled goods) and reduced (unnecessary paper stuffed in boxes before shipping)! More companies should follow their example, that's for sure.

Check out the kigo footwear website and let me know which pair of shoes is your favorite! If you find a pair you just can't live without, no problem! They have provided Children Teaching Mama readers with an awesome 20% off coupon code! Use code: KIGOMAMA from now until April 3rd to receive 20% off your order from kigofootwear.com
I love these shoes!



We Are Putting MaxClarity's Acne-Fighting System To The Test

When I was a teenager, my acne issues were beyond terrible! I feel like I tried everything my dermatologist suggested, but still ended up with more acne, especially in the spring and winter months. Looking back, I remember how much my acne affected self-esteem and made me want to stay home, away from others. I was very embarrassed each time I had a major breakout. My nephew is just starting to get acne and, if he experiences anything like I did, the first few years will be the worst.

To counteract the attack, I jumped on the chance to try out MaxClarity, an acne solution like no others on the market. It is the world's very first acne-fighting foam system and, with the MaxClarity Difference Promise, you will receive these amazing products with the promise that they are uniquely different from any other products and you can tell a difference much more quickly. The VersaFoam quickly absorbs into your skin and goes directly to the problem. It actually heals your skin from the inside out. By using the system twice daily, which includes the MaxClarity Cleanser and Advanced Acne Treatment when you wake and the MaxClarity Deep Cleanser and Rejuvenating Toner at night before bed, you can began your journey to healthy acne-free skin. The kit also includes an awesome Foaming Body Wash to clean other acne-prone areas like your chest, back and arms.

The MaxClarity Difference Team is very committed to researching and testing these acne-fighting products to provide customers with an amazing product that works like no others! We just received our kit and are going to put MaxClarity to the test for my nephew and on my own acne-prone skin to see just how well it works. I am optimistic and excited about this new system and concept, so we are hoping to have some beautiful, clear skin just in time for summer! Take a look back soon for our follow-up post with more info, thoughts and a review.

Be sure to follow MaxClarity on Twitter and "like" them on Facebook to keep up with all the latest MaxClarity news!

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

Tropicana Pure Perfect Pick Sweepstakes #TropFloridaOJ

As a child, I always looked forward to a delicious breakfast every Saturday morning with my my family. During the week, we were always on the go and my dad worked from before sun-up until sundown. However, on the weekends, my dad was home and it was the time we could always spend together. My mom went all out for our family, making the weekend a time we all looked forward to. She was always making all the southern breakfast fare you could imagine. Each weekend there was something new to eat (ham, bacon, fresh tomatoes, toast, pancakes, sausave,ect.), but there was one thing always set on the table - Tropicana Orange Juice. It was what she always had on the table when she was a child, so she did the same for her family. I grew up on Tropicana and now, at 32 years old, I still love it and buy it today! Now that I have my own family, we like to start the day off right with a delicious breakfast, too. It is the most important meal of the day, but it is also a great way to spend time with my boys before they head off to school. The boys have a long, fun day ahead of them and need a great start to their day, which always includes Tropicana Orange Juice, too.  I've noticed how happy it makes them to sit together and eat breakfast before heading to school, so it's one of those things we all look forward to! Plus, on the weekends, we still have a huge breakfast for the entire family. It's funny how some things never change. They are traditions passed down from generation to generation.

Tropicana Pure Premium is 100% Pure Florida Orange Juice, so I know my family is getting the best of the best! They grow in several different areas of Florida, which allows them to produce delicious, ripe oranges throughout the entire year. That means we are ensured quality orange juice every time we pour a glass of Tropicana! My boys love orange juice! One glass gives them a great deal of Vitamin C and, this is always important for our health.

As you well know, I love a good sweepstakes and any way to save some money, so I had to tell my readers about the new Tropicana Perfect Pick Sweepstakes. You have a chance to win 100 Florida prizes, including a one-year-supplies of Tropicana (in the form of twelve 59oz. Tropicana Pure Premium Containers) AND a trip to Florida to visit an actual orange grove! How cool would that be? One lucky winner will win a trip to the Florida orange grove with three guests, which includes: Round-trip airfare for four to Florida, a three-night stay at a Florida hotel!! Who wouldn't love to do this?! For all the official rules/regulations, visit the "sweeps" tab on Tropicana's Facebook page. Also, use the box below to easily "Like" Tropicana on Facebook!

Disclosure: “I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Tropicana blogging program, to earn My SocialMoms Rewards Points. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic, click here.”


Buy & Sell Children's Clothing At Loobalee Review & $30 Giveaway

As a Mom I have learned first-hand just how quickly kids outgrow their clothes. By the time you buy them one size, they seem to sprout overnight to the next size! Shoes that fit the day before become snug the next afternoon. It's possible to spend a great deal of money buying new clothes and shoes for your children, but Loobalee was created to help you sell gently used clothes to make some money and to save money by purchasing clothes others have listed!

About Loobalee
Moms have been purchasing and selling clothes online since the early 2000s, but Loobalee offers something other venues fail to provide. It is free and secure, offering a great place for Moms to sell clothes/buy clothes without all of the hidden fees.

You don't have to worry about spam or excessive listing fees. Loobalee is moderated to provide a buying/selling community for Moms that they can trust and depend upon. They connect Moms in a unique, like-minded community to share in something they all love -- dressing their kids!

My Thoughts
I have tried other selling/buying venues in the past to get rid of some clothes and purchase some items that fit, but end up being a bit disappointed at all the fees tacked on. $1 here and another $1 there really start to add up after a while and I began wondering how much I was really saving by purchasing online after all. When I read about Loobalee, I was hooked! Not only are they dedicated to saving Moms money, but they are also eco-conscious.

Loobalee is much more than the usual impersonal sell/buy site where you don't know if you can trust the seller/buyer. The items listed are all nice, quality clothing, shoes and accessories. I found several of my favorite brands for the boys, including Gymboree, Ralph Lauren and Mini Boden all at amazing prices. You just use the search bar on the left side to customize your search (clothing for girls, boys or neutral, along with size, etc.) to find exactly what you are looking for! I ended up purchasing 2 Ralph Lauren polo Shirts (3T) that were brand NEW with tags and guess how much they cost? I paid only $18 for both shirts and the shipping!!! I am just blown away with how much money I saved. One Ralph Lauren shirt costs more than that!

There is a huge selection of clothing already and I know this website will continue to grow and grow! Go ahead and sign up for your Loobalee account today and check out all the great clothes for sale. Have some nice clothes around that your child has outgrown? List them for free today!

Check Out The Clorox Lounge For A Good Laugh, Giveaways, Coupons and More For Moms!

I've learned first hand that children say the funniest things! I never know what will come out of my son's mouth and most of the time. The Clorox Family of Toilet Products recently launched a new website called "The Clorox Lounge", which celebrates the most-used and underrated rooms in our homes.... the bathroom, of course! Hosted by one of my favorite comedians, Sherri Shepherd, The Clorox Lounge is turning the bathroom into a laughroom! The community is designed to be a mom's go-to-place for comedy. As a mom, Sherri Shepherd has had her fair share of silly mom moments, so you will find some hilarious anecdotes, contests, coupons and giveaways. If you need a good laugh, The Clorox Lounge is definitely the place to go.

As we all know, going to the potty is the way we moms get a break. I have to lock the door to keep the kids out and I keep magazines in there so I can read. It's the only time during the day I can enjoy the silence and secretly listen to my husband getting pummeled by the kids in the next room. The bathroom has inspired many hilarious moments for the genre of comedy, especially for moms. We've had so many potty training experience, accidents and other happenings that go on each day. You never know what will happen with kids around!

What's my funny bathroom moment with my kids? Well, it wasn't funny at the time, but now that I look back I can smile and laugh about it. When my oldest son was about 1.5 years old, we were at home one day and I noticed how quiet it was... too quiet, especially with a kiddo in the house. I went to check on him and found him in the bathroom. Josiah was completely covered in baby powder and so was the entire bathroom! It took me forever to clean up and there are still spots I find occasionally with a bit of powder. Makes me laugh every time! What is your funny bathroom moment with your child(ren)?

So, remember I mentioned fun giveaways are included on The Clorox Lounge website? Right now you can win $10,000!!! All you need to do is join TheCloroxLounge.com community and register your info! This automatically enters you for a chance to win $10,000! In addition, you can gain more entries each day by logging in AND leaving a comment on a story, photo or blog post. Easy!

There is also a Last Comic Sitting contest going on right now. Over 8 weeks, the 10 funniest moms and dads selected will go head-to-head in a stand-up competition for a chance to sit on the thrown and be crowned the Last Comic Sitting! Each week they will face new challenges and, based on consumer voting, one will be eliminated! The grand prize winner will receive $10,000. For four weeks you will have the opportunity to vote for your favorite comics until there is only one winner left! Believe me, you won't want to miss the hilarious videos.

$30 Weekend Amazon Flash Giveaway

Welcome to the Weekend Amazon Flash Giveaway! One lucky shopaholic will win a $30 Amazon gift card to add to their Amazon fund. Kindle Fire anyone?
Lots of chances to win -- just use the Rafflecopter form below and complete as many entries as you’d like. Giveaway ends on 3/25 and is open to worldwide. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Renew Your Skin With On-In Beauty

My skin used to be incredibly oily as a teenager and I had problems with acne, but after having my children, I now have the exact opposite issue! My skin is always dry and always screaming out for moisture. I can't seem to keep it happy and, for this reason, I end up with red patches, itchy skin and a blotchy face. A friend of mine introduced me to a brand new product on the market called the On-In Beauty System and I'm so excited to not only tell you about it, but to also review it!

What is On-In Beauty? This revolutionary skincare system helps you regain and maintain the beautiful glow 
and tone of younger-looking skin! It works from the outside and inside to bring your skin back to life with a nutrient rich On-the-skin cream and an all-natural In-your-skin dietary supplement! I've used plain topical creams in the past, but this is truly a unique system that utilizes your body as well as your skin to heal and moisturize. The result? The topical cream and supplement boost skin elasticity, hydration and also UV protection to make your skin healthy and keep it that way.

As a huge believer in the power of supplements, I was excited to find out the secret ingredient, which consists of Marigolds, those beautiful summer flowers we see all around Georgia. Marigolds have been clinically proven to improve the overall health of skin because it contains Lutein, a natural antioxidant! This amazing ingredient remarkably improves the overall health of skin in only two weeks. 

I just received my sample of the topical cream and will post my review as soon I've had a chance to thoroughly test it out. Want a chance to try this out for yourself? The On-In Beauty System retails for $29.99 and hits the market on May 1st. However, if you choose to reserve your product now, you will receive the On-In Beauty System for only $19.99. That's a great deal! Plus, to reserve the product, you only have to pay $1 up front and the rest will be billed when the system ships.

Help On-In Beauty Get On The Shelf
Click HERE to vote for On-In Beauty so they can have a chance to be sold at Walmart! 

Keep up with all the latest On-In Beauty news by liking them on Facebook!
Don't forget to check back soon for my review.

This is a sponsored post written for On-In Beauty. All opinions included are my own. 

Hello Spring! $800 Cash Giveaway Event

Welcome to Hello Spring! Cash Giveaway hosted by Diva Fabulosa andThe Freebie Junkie !
Spring is here and it's out with the old and in with the new! We have some awesome bloggers lined up to bring you a grand prize of $800!!! What will you buy if you win? This amazing prize could pay for a dream vacation and more!  
Enter this giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below. Open to residents WORLDWIDE; 18+. Winner must have a PayPal account in order to claim the cash prize.
Only the first 3 entries are mandatory and the rest are optional, but of course the more entries you complete, the greater your chance you have of winning the prize! This giveaway will end on April 21, 2012 @ 11:59PM (EST).


Find Great Coupons Via A New Coupon Facebook App

I often mention we are on quite a tight budget. Our family does what we can to save money! Over the past 2 years I have learned that you never buy items at retail price and most of the time a coupon can be found. There are many ways to find deals, including searching online and even cutting coupons from your Sunday paper. However, with the new Coupons Facebook App

You install the app just like any other on Facebook, which takes all of 30 seconds. I just installed it on my computer and was able to customize my deals. I clicked which stores were my favorites, such as Target, Kohl's and Amazon. All of the latest and popular brands can be found. Plus, I can even set it to post on my wall when great deals. New deals are posted weekly, so you know you are getting the best and most recently coupons and sales delivered straight to your Facebook page!

The Coupons by Answers App is easily accessed over on the left-side of your Facebook page under "Apps", so you can click any time to see the deals posted. Today I found a $20 off $100 purchase at Babies "R" Us coupon code. What I also like is that the deals are user verified. Over to the side you can see the success rate for other user who have tried the coupon, so there is no guessing involved! You can pick a coupon and deal with confidence that it will work. It really doesn't get any easier than that.

Finally we can add an app to Facebook that will actually save us money! I'm so excited to see all the deals that are posted each week. Click the link above to find out more about the app and to install it on your Facebook page. Let me know what you think!


Cindy Crawford's Meaningful Beauty 5-Step Treatment Final Review #MomCentral

I was so excited to announce Children Teaching Mama was reviewing Cindy Crawford's Meaningful Beauty  in a February post. I've followed the routine for the 5-step system for a little over a month now and also received a kit to share with my mother-in-law. I have to admit I pretty much had no skincare routine before reviewing Meaningful Beauty because I just wasn't satisfied with the results, but the first time I tried this system, I knew it was different.

The kit I received from Meaningful Beauty contained:
  • Skin Softening Cleanser
  • Creme de Serum
  • Lifting Eye Creme – Advanced Formula
  • Skin Brightening Decollete and Neck Treatment SPF 15
  • Antioxidant Day Creme SPF 20 UVA/UVB
  • Glowing Serum
  • Glycolic Treatment Pads
I always start out my routine by washing my face with the Skin Softening Cleanser, which I really love. It is gentle and really does make my skin feel soft, unlike other facial cleansers that seem to dry my face out. My very favorite item in the box was the Creme de Serum, which you put on at night and can also add during the day, too. This made my skin feel immediately revived and moisturized. The Lifting Eye Creme also felt great around my eyes. The Skin Brightening Decollete and Neck Treatment along with the Antioxidant Day Creme were perfect for the day part of the routine, protecting my skin from the sun and not making my skin feel oily. It immediately is absorbed into my skin and is perfect base before adding make-up. The Glowing Serum and Glycolic Treatment Pads were sample sizes and although the pads dried out my skin a bit much, the Glowing Serum really did make my skin sparkle. 

After using the Meaningful Beauty 5-Step Treatment for about a week, I could already tell my skin was much more moisturized. By two weeks I could tell a definite improvement on the health of my skin. I always have red patches and they were drastically decreased. After four weeks, my skin feels absolutely amazing. I usually have the driest skin that just doesn't look very healthy. This system has changed the way my skin looks and feel, which, in turn, has made me feel more confident, too. Even the fine lines I noticed around my mouth have diminished. My skin tone was much more even and my face even felt softer. I posted my embarrassing no-make-up photo with my first post and here is my not-so embarrassing after-photos without makeup. Even from just these 2 photos you can see a huge difference.
You cannot even see redness around my mouth where it usually shows the most! This makes putting on make-up so much easier with even-toned skin. I've even found myself not wearing make-up as much because I don't feel the need to cover up my skin. 

Are you looking for an easy anti-aging skincare regimen? I highly recommend Meaningful Beauty and think you will be pleased with the results. Plus, the prices right now start at only $39.95 for the 5-Step 30-Day Supply, which is much cheaper than many others on the market! Have you tried Meaningful Beauty or are you interested in giving it a try? If so, let me know your results! 

I wrote this review while participating in a test drive campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Meaningful Beauty and received a 5-step treatment kit to facilitate my review, a second 5-step treatment kit to giveaway, and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

$30 Starbucks Flash Giveaway Event

Welcome to the Starbucks Gift Card Flash Giveaway! One lucky coffee lover will win a $30 Starbucks card to help offset the costs of their caffeine addiction (for a few days anyway).
Lots of chances to win — just use the Rafflecopter form below and complete as many entries as you’d like. Giveaway ends on 3/22 and is open to the US only. Good luck!

Leading Lady Nursing Bras, Camis and Sleepwear Review & Giveaway

When I was pregnant with my first, I knew I wanted to breastfeed when he was born. I started looking at nursing-friendly clothing and nursing bras and was so surprised at how inornate and plain they were. Plus, most of them were also pricey. I'm a fashionable woman and just because I am breastfeeding, I don't want to start dressing like an old lady! I want something comfortable,stylish and that makes me feel beautiful. This is what Leading Lady is all about.

More About Leading Lady
Leading Lady is a premiere intimate apparel company dedicated to creating comfortably functional, remarkably affordable, stylish and easy-to-wear bras, camis and sleepwear. A family owned and operated business, Leading Lady has been expertly tailoring nursing and full figure bras for top brands and retailers across North America for more than 70 years. For the first time, Leading Lady’s comprehensive line of nursing and full figure intimates – including sexy stretch lace wire-free and underwire bras, supportive and seamless sport and yoga bras, and cozy sleep and leisure bras – can be purchased directly on LeadingLady.com.

Leading Lady is proud to celebrate “Leading Ladies” everywhere through its products, programs and philanthropic activities. Leading Lady is dedicated to arming new moms with the support – physically, intellectually and emotionally – they need to nurture their babies through breastfeeding and committed to supporting a variety of organizations and issues relevant to women across the country.


Comforts For Baby Diaper Bag Gift Set Giveaway

As a Mama on a budget, I always try store brand products instead of buying expensive name brands. Some have proven to be just as good and one is my absolute favorite. Comforts For Baby is a brand found at Kroger (and related chain stores) and offers an entire line of products for baby. We have tried just about all of the Comforts For Baby line and have always been impressed by the quality. My son especially loves the Little Puffs and Little Munchers snacks for toddlers.

Children Teaching Mama was recently invited to join the Comforts For Baby Community and I am so excited! To celebrate, we get to give away an awesome Comforts For Baby Diaper Bag Gift Set. So, if you haven't had the opportunity to try out Comforts For Baby products before, here's your chance. Or, if you have and love them like me, here is your chance to win more goodies! For those of you who love a good deal and use coupons, click here to find coupons for Comforts For Baby products at your local store.

So, ready for the giveaway? 

Lucky Clover St. Patrick's Day Event

Welcome, everyone! So sorry for the delay in getting up my giveaway for the event. We had some technical difficulties, but all is well again. I am so excited to be a part of this fun event, hosted by Anderson's Angels and Joy of Mama Joyner. Since St. Patrick's Day is all about green, all of the items in this giveaway and event will be eco-conscious and relate to green living.
There are many other participating bloggers, so once you enter my giveaway, hop on to the next using the linky at the bottom of the post. This giveaway will end at 11:59pm on Friday, March 23rd, so good luck and have fun!
Oh, there is also a Grand Prize Cash Giveaway!! One person will win $80 via Paypal, so don't forget to click HERE to enter that giveaway, too.

Ready to hear about our awesome giveaway package? 


DimensionU Offers Fun Educational Games & Incentive For Kids To Learn Mathematics

I have to admit, I am a teacher at heart and the thought of having children was so exciting for many reasons, including being able to teach them about life. As the name of my blog states, my children have ended up teaching me just as much. There are some subjects my children enjoy more than others. Josiah loves arts and science, but does not seem to like math at all. It just so happens that math is not only my least favorite subject, but I am horrible at it. This is why I was so excited to hear about DimensionU!

In today's world of video games and electronic entertainment, it's so nice and rare to find games with educational value that encourage children to learn and succeed. This is exactly what DimensionU is about. Parents sign up for an account and then children, from Grades 3 and up, can readily play from the computer. The games are fun and similar to other games on the market, but they teach math as you go along. To go from one level to the next, you must answer math questions correctly. So, kids play fun games and learn at the same time.

Need to give your kids more incentive to play DimensionU games? No problem because you can set up an educational allowance account for each child. Basically, the parent signs up for the educational allowance plan and can pledge a certain amount for each week. For example, if Josiah completes a certain amount of levels and questions, he will earn $5 each week in EdCredits! The more he does, the more money can save up to buy fun items. The EdCredits are then exchanged for gift cards, which can be Amazon, GameStop or Best Buy!

Receive The Help You Need With North Carolina Bankruptcy Attorneys

This is a tough subject for me to talk about, but all of it is true. When my husband was still in law school, I became pregnant with our first son. This was about the time the economy plummeted, too, so all I could find was part-time work. I'd never been in a situation like this and had no idea what to do or how to handle it. Month after month the bills piled up and we owed more and more money. By the time my husband graduated, we owed an obscene amount of money, not even counting his law school loans.

It took us quite a while to admit we had a problem and that we needed to do something about it. We were stubborn at first and wanted to pay off all our bills over time, but we eventually realized it was time to get help. The hardest part of the entire ordeal was coming to the point where we admitted we needed help. North Carolina Bankruptcy Attorneys do all the work to help you file for bankruptcy and get back on track.

Once we filed, we seriously felt like a huge weight had been lifted from our shoulders. It was such a feeling of relief and we owed it all to our lawyer's help and advice. It's been about 3 years since we filed for bankruptcy and we are now able to stay on top of our bills and save money each month, which is something we could never do before. We have already started working on our credit and both have great jobs now. Plus, our little family continues to grow and we live in an amazing house! I know firsthand how depressing it can be to owe so much money, but there is no reason to let the bills keep adding up. Call an attorney today to schedule an appointment and get the help you need. It was the best decision for us and completely changed our lives.

I am participating in a blogger campaign by Bucks2Blog and was compensated. However, the views and opinions are my own. 

Finding Goodies Under Car Floor Mats

When I was in college, I luckily had the HOPE Scholarship to pay for my classes, but I was on my own for other expenses like food, gas and my rent. I went to school and then went straight to work at night as a waitress to earn enough money for my bills, but I was always on a budget. Somehow I earned just enough money to make it through each month.

Sometimes I got myself into binds and let's just say my car floor mats saved me time and again. Yes, I said floor mats! As a college student I found that the value of a car mat extends beyond keeping the floors clean. There were several times I found myself without money in the bank, but needed some money for a drink or some gas. I'd search at home, raid my piggy bank and look under couch cushions, but the one place that never failed to produced some extra coins was under my car floor mat! There were always a few spare coins.

Even today, 10 years later, I find myself searching under car floor mats when I need some change. It's really amazing the things you can find under car mats. I've even found a necklace that I'd lost! What have you found under your car mats? Have you ever searched for some extra change underneath your mats?

I am participating in a blogger campaign by Bucks2Blog and was compensated. However, the views and opinions are my own.

Mama's Mental Health & Postpartum Disorder Symptoms

Bringing home baby for the first time is such an exciting time, but also stressful! I remember being so happy, yet scared out of my mind that I would do something wrong. For some moms, this life-changing event is just too overwhelming and can cause emotional distress. It's normal to feel some anxiety, but when you feel like it's too much, you may be suffering from a postpartum disorder. There are 3 different categories of postpartum disorders, including postpartum blues, postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis. It is important to recognize the symptoms and find a psychiatrist who can further help you treat the issues.

Postpartum blues is the most mild form and experience in up to 85% of women, so this is very common! This usually peaks around the 4th day after pregnancy and lasts no longer than 2 weeks. I am pretty sure this is what I experienced since I was so anxious and a bit down on myself, but it subsided once I was a bit more comfortable and confident.

Lenovo ThinkVision LT1421: The Must-Have Mobile LCD Monitor

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

Last year I was invited to my first blogging conference and had to give a small presentation. I was so nervous and had no idea how to prepare or what to bring with me. I had so many items with me on that trip that I could barely hold everything, which is why it was my goal to not only cut back on things I bring with me when traveling and going to conferences, but finding more compact and travel-friendly products to use. 

Flat Panel - 14

I was so excited to learn about the Lenovo ThinkVision LT1421 LCD monitor that I just had to share it with you. For those of you who participate in blogging conferences, meetings, give presentations, pitches or impromptu meetings, this is something you should definitely own. 

Flat Panel - 14Weighing in at less than 2 pounds and less than an inch thick, this 14-inch mobile monitor is perfect for meetings. Designed to fit the ThinkPad family of laptops, you just connect via USB plug and you are ready to go.  This amazing little piece of technology allows for an extra screen of workspace and helps you present your spreadsheets and other information in a simple, yet impressive way. Prop it up on its own photo stand, tilt to the proper angle and even adjust the brightness (16 levels from which to choose) for an presentation display that will not soon be forgotten.

Flat Panel - 14

Tested and held to high standards just as the ThinkPad, the Lenovo ThinkVision is not only reliable, but durable for travel. This is an item you will never want to leave home without! I am pretty sure this will be one of my next major purchases and, at only $199, it's quite affordable. Plus, if you purchase online between 3/1-3/31, you can receive 10% off the ThinkVision LCD monitor (part number:1452DS6) by using code: LENOVOMONITOR10. What a great deal!

Visit Sponsor's Site

March Extreme Cash Giveaway Event

We are giving away:
$450 Paypal Cash


20 Ways to Save Money While Living Alone

Living alone can be a liberating experience. As a solo dweller, you can enjoy free reign over every couch, bed, and chair. And, if you have obnoxious household habits, the person in the mirror calls all the shots. But when you're young, the temptation to spend money abounds.  Whether you've just moved into your first apartment or have been on your own for years, the road to financial freedom can seem to move further away as the bills and expenses mount.
Consider these tips to save money on daily expenses and to better cope with mounting financial responsibilities.

1.      Make shopping lists and stick to them. Make lists for everything—not just groceries. This will ensure that you stick with a plan and resist the temptation to buy surplus items.
2.      Don't go with your gut. Shop for groceries on a full stomach. As you probably know, you're more likely to splurge when you're hungry and staring down aisles of food.
3.      Keep your thermostat down. Minimize your use of heating and air conditioning when you're out of the house. According to the Department of Energy, "You can save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat back 10°–15° for eight hours."[1] 
4.      Buy used. You can save a lot of money by buying used clothing, furniture, electronics, and—of course—cars.
5.      Never pay for water. Buy a water filtration pitcher or faucet filter so you don't have to buy bottled water. For fill-ups, purchase a large plastic or metal water bottle to keep yourself hydrated on purified tap water.
6.      Brew your own coffee. Unless you're paying for the atmosphere and company, skip out on coffee shops and brew your own cups of Joe.
7.      Get a health savings account. Set up a health savings account with your company. These accounts enable individuals covered by high-deductible health plans to deposit a small, tax-free portion of their paychecks into a medical expense account. 
8.      Enroll in a retirement plan.  Retirement should always be a priority, no matter what your goals may be. Enroll in your company's 401k or Roth IRA plan to start building a foundation for your retirement.
9.      Use nature's gym. Ditch the gym membership and head outdoors. Many public parks and high schools have equipment available for area residents. If you do opt for a gym membership, stick to community recreation centers.
10.   Buy monthly transit passes. Ride the bus to save money on gas while cutting back on your carbon footprint. As an added bonus, you can catch up on your to-do lists as you ride.
11.   Get a roommate. Why not cut your bills in half? You could save a lot of money over the course of a year.
12.   Dog sit for friends and neighbors. Offer to take care of pets for a small fee. It's a nice way to make a few extra bucks, while letting loose with a furry friend.
13.   Attend free events. Peruse your local arts and media newspapers. You're bound to find a few free events every month.
14.   Pack your lunch. Pack your lunch to save $100 or more every month. If you want to avoid making lunch every day, make family-sized meals on the weekends and store them for the week ahead.
15.   Skip on the bar. Host a party and have each guest bring a food or drink item. It shouldn't cost you a thing as long as everyone follows through.
16.   Ignore your Impulses. Impulsive purchasing can be very counterproductive to budget spending. If you find something you like, hold off until you have time to think it through.
17.   Sell your clothes. Sell your clothes at your nearest consignment shop or used clothing retailer. Gently used seasonal items can bring in more than a few dollars each.
18.   Buy a pay-as-you-go phone. Unless you're spending countless hours talking, texting, and browsing the web, prepaid cards should suffice.
19.   Talk to your pharmacist. If you're not feeling well, but don't want to fork over co-pay, consult your pharmacist. They may be able to recommend over-the-counter drugs to get you back in the swing of things.
20.   Rent out your apartment. Heading out of town for the weekend? You could break even on your trip if you rent out your apartment. Just be sure to conduct some sort of background check on your visitors.

[1] "Energy Savers: Thermostats and Control Systems." EERE: Energy Savers Home Page. Web. 22 Dec. 2011. <http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12720.
[2] Bachelor, Lisa. "How to Cut the Costs of Living Alone | Money | The Observer." Latest News, Sport and Comment from the Guardian | The Guardian. 24 July 2010. Web. 22 Dec. 2011. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/jul/25/single-people-save-money-bills>.

Our Successful Water Heater Replacement Experience

Ever since I was a child, I love taking very hot baths and showers. I remember several years ago when still living with my parents that the water was unusually hot, but had no idea why. The next morning I woke up and noticed the air was humid and stuff. As I walked towards the kitchen, there was steam in the air, so I knew something was up. Then I noticed the water running across the floor. What was going on?

I ran to get my parents and that's when we found out the hot water heater had busted. Water shot all over the   the kitchen and the linoleum! What's more, the linoleum actually melted. I couldn't believe it. My dad called up the plumber immediately and he was at our house in no time. It didn't take him long to assess that we were in need of Water Heater Replacement.

I was amazed at how quickly he got our old water heater out and the new one in place! In no time we were back to having hot water like nothing ever happened. However, the linoleum was another story. My mom had been asking my dad for new flooring in the kitchen for months, but he wouldn't give in. Guess what? After this event, we not only got a new water heater, but my mom got to choose a new kitchen floor to replace the melted mess. Our disaster was easily fixed and was a blessing in disguise!

I am participating in a blogger campaign by Bucks2Blog and was compensated. However, the views and opinions are my own. 


Spring Mix Up KitchenAid Giveaway Event


Mama Chocolate has teamed up with a group of great bloggers to bring you this awesome giveaway! I've always wanted my own KitchenAid Mixer, so I knew we HAD to participate in this giveaway. The KitchenAid Mixer is a workhorse that just about everyone wants in their kitchen!

Use the super easy Rafflecopter form below to enter. Remember to come back every day for the daily tweet entry option to increase your odds of having this beauty delivered to your door!

Important Giveaway Details:

  • This giveaway is open to US and Canada. Canadian residents will be given a $300 amazon.ca gift card in place of the actual mixer.
  • Winner chooses style and color, up to $300 value. If the winner prefers a more expensive style/color, they can choose to be given a $300 Amazon gift code to put towards the mixer of their choice.
  • Giveaway ends Wednesday, March 28th at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be randomly chosen and notified by email and must reply within 48 hours to claim prize, after which prize is forfeited and a new winner will be drawn.
  • This giveaway is entirely sponsored by Mama Chocolate and the participating bloggers.
  • KitchenAid and Facebook are in no way associated with this giveaway.


Women, Children and Debt

In today's world, it is so easy for bills to pile up and debt to become overwhelming. Do you ever feel this way? You don't have to feel this way anymore because CareOne Debt Relief Services can help manage your debt and get all your bills paid off.