NMEDA: Providing Assistance & Freedom For Those With Disabilities

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

My cousin's little girl, Anna Kate, was diagnosed with something called Rett Syndrome, a diagnosis that would change their lives greatly over the next years. She is in the 50% category of those who cannot walk well and rely on a wheelchair to get her from place to place. As she gets older, she will need specialized  transportation to get from place to place. When I read about National Mobility Equipment Dealer Association, or NMEDA, I immediately thought of Anna Kate and how much their services could help her in the future.

NMEDA is a non-profit trade associated of over 600 mobility equipment dealers, manufacturers, driver rehab specialists and other professionals. Their mission is to provide and improve transportation options with people who have disabilities.  The members collaborate to modify and improve vehicles with specialized mobility equipment, such as hand controls, wheelchair ramps, lifts and much more! The ability to be mobile and to get around can greatly change someone's life! Can you imagine not being able to go shopping or even to the grocery store? NMEDA makes this possible for many people. visit a NMEDA QAP (Quality Assurance Program) Dealer for mobility solutions.

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In order to promote quality, safety and reliability within the mobility equipment industry, the Quality Assurance Program (QAP) was created. NMEDA dealers are required to earn and maintain their accredidation through QAP to ensure all vehicle conversions always meet specific quality and safety standards because they want to help people not only become mobile, but to also keep them safe. They follow the highest guidelines available in the industry regarding modification and installation.

To further help others, NMEDA QAP dealers also offer 24 hour local emergency assistance, on-site sales and support. They also offer in-person individual evaluations to assist others with their specific needs and to choose what services and modifications will be most suitable for them. Going through a non-NMEDA dealers means you will more than likely not receive this kind of quality service. 


You can visit the NMEDA website to learn more about them and to locate a QAP certified dealer nearby! If you know anyone who could benefit from these services, be sure to tell them about NMEDA, too. Having a wheelchair accessible vehicle allows people with disabilities the freedom they would otherwise not have. They can more easily lead a happy, healthy and active lifestyle. NMEDA is such an amazing trade associated and makes it possible for many people, including little Anna Kate to have the freedom and life they want and deserve!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! Get The Sillies Out 2013 Tour Atlanta Review

Two years ago, I took my son and niece to see Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. They had a great time dancing around and singing to the music. That was when I knew, for certain, we would definitely see Yo Gabba Gabba again. Sure enough, we had the pleasure of attending the Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! Get The Sillies Out show in Atlanta last Thursday. I took my 5 year-old, Josiah, and my 3 year-old, Liam, to the show this time. Liam had never been to anything like this before, so he had no idea what he was in for!

This show was at the Cobb Energy Center, somewhere I'd never been before, but I loved the venue. It was very open, clean and had more space to move around. We easily located the box office to get our tickets and even met up with some friends to enjoy the show! Since we got there early, we had time to look at all the activities set up around the place, too. In addition to the t-shirt booth with toys and other fun Yo Gabba Gabba gear, there was a drumming area with all sorts of hand drums for little ones to bang on and enjoy.
They boys love instruments, so we spent some time over in that area first. Someone walking around even gave them a Tootie stamp on their hands.

The show began at 3pm, so we hurried back to our seats as not to miss anything. The lights went down low and the music began, just like at the beginning of each Yo Gabba Gabba! tv show. The boys knew exactly what this meant... DJ Lance Rock would soon walk on stage and introduce the entire gang- Brobee, Muno, Foofa, Toodee and Plex. The crowd was going wild as confetti fell down from the sky.
A few months ago, I bought the boys a Yo Gabba Gabba! CD for our long car rides and, during the concert, they hit all of the favorites, including Get The Sillies Out, Party In My Tummy, Go Crazy and many, many more.
They performed so long that there was even an intermission. As you can see, we were having a blast!
I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that Biz Markie was not there, but there was an awesome guest, Leslie Hall, who was quite the beatboxer herself! Just like last time, they gathered children up to the stage to test their beatbox skills and guess who went up? Our friend, Soleil! She did an awesome job. Here she is on stage:
The boys were singing along to There's a Party In My Tummy, of course! 
When the Goodbye song came on, we knew the show was just about over, but this was not the end of our day.

Goodbye Song!
After the concert we attended the VIP Party! The boys were so excited to meet the Yo Gabba Gabba! gang, especially Brobee, Liam's favorite. We had just enough time to stand in line and get pictures with each of the characters before they had to leave and get ready for their next show. The lines were super fast and you should have seen how excited all of the kids were.

Drinks and snacks were provided at the party, as well as games for the kiddos. There were balloons everywhere, too, so the boys had to take time to play with those. They also had beanbag toss games and a station where they could color. Near the end of the party, after most of the people had gone home, someone came out and announced that there would be a special visit! Who would it be?

DJ Lance Rock came out to party along with his beatboxing friend. The boys could not have been more excited. They both adore DJ Lance Rock! He was going to read a story, but everyone opted to meet him and take pictures instead, so we all got in line to meet the man himself. True to his character, DJ Lance was so nice, playful and full of energy. When it was our turn, he automatically picked up Liam and started playing with him. We took several pictures before he moved on to the next family.
I told DJ Lance about Liam's condition, how much he loves Yo Gabba Gabba! and how excited he has been about this concert. Then, he told me to wait until he was finished visiting with everyone because he wanted to give something special to Liam!! DJ Lance came over after finishing and handed Liam and Josiah autographed photos, each with a special message to them.
Then, he picked up Liam again and started playing with him for quite a while, spinning him and making him laugh.
Boy, I love that little laugh. He did NOT want to leave and who could really blame him?
On the way out, Josiah picked out a t-shirt (with DJ Lance's face, of course) since he didn't have a Yo Gabba Gabba t-shirt. Then, it was time to go home. The boys have not stopped talking about the show and keep asking when we can go back. I didn't know how they would top the show we saw two years ago, but they did more than I could have ever imagined. We will definitely be back to see them in the future!

Want to see Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! like us? Click Here to see if they are coming to a city near you for their 2013 tour!

Disclosure: We were provided tickets to the show for review purposes. All opinions written are my own.


The Bible Series Premiere On March 3rd & $15 Walmart Gift Card Giveaway #BibleSeries

We are huge History Channel fans at our house and watch the programming often. I am excited to find out that The Bible Series is premiering on the History Channel on Sunday, March 3rd! This epic 10-part miniseries retells the stories from the Scriptures for a whole new generation. Brought to you by executive producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, The Bible features powerful performances and portrayals with amazing visual effects. With dramatic tales of faith and courage from Genesis through Revelation, this historic television event will definitely entertain and inspire the entire family!

Want to test your bible skills? Take the Bible-Scene Quiz and get scored on your Bible smarts! I am not telling my results because I didn't do so well, but my husband got 100%. What did you score?

Through the blog app above you can also view a new clip from The Bible unlocked every day until the premiere! Where will YOU be on 3.3.13? We will definitely be watching!

The help celebrate the premiere of The Bible, we are giving away a $15 Walmart Gift Card!


5 Stylish Window Dressings & Blinds

Windows are often the focal point of a room. How you dress them can affect their visual impact. These five stylish ideas take on traditional window dressings and give them a contemporary face-lift.

1.) Extreme Cornices Cornices are window toppers that are traditionally made from a wood frame that’s upholstered in fabric. They are designed to conceal underlying window treatment hardware and add visual impact. Most cornices are rectangular with a few simple details like piping, buttons or ties. However, there’s nothing to say that your cornice can’t make an extreme statement! Add some pop to a traditional cornice by adding extra height. By expanding the cornice to fit most of the space between the top of the window and the ceiling, you’ve increased its presence and drawn the eye upwards. Pair this with a unique shape such as an arch and add some bold details like overlarge buttons or piping to finish the effect.

2.) Sheers with a Past Sheers are some of the most common window treatments available, and rightfully so. Sheers add privacy while still allowing us to see out and let filtered sunlight into the room. Dress up traditional sheers with elements from the past. For a wonderful shabby chic look, stitch a variety of vintage doilies to the lower portion of the panels. The effect is one of delicate, Old World charm.

3.) Track Panels If sleek and modern is your style, track panels will give you the clean lines and bold look you crave. Also consider bottom up blinds with track panels Track panels are perfect for large expanses of windows common in modern homes. There are two major styles of panels: sliding and folding. In both cases, panels of fabric slide along a track to cover your window. To open them, you either slide them out of the way or angle them to the side. Folding track panels essentially create the look of very wide vertical blinds. You can create track panels in almost any fabric or even natural materials such as woven grasses. Track panels are unique in that they can easily accommodate curves and corners.

4.) Interior Solar Shades If you live in a sunny climate, consider interior solar shades. These shades are made of a woven material that cuts down on the glare of the sun while still allowing you to see out. How much sun (and view) you retain depends on the density of the fabric’s weave. While I prefer to buy gold or white solar shades, the fact is that they come in a variety of colors to fit most interiors and design preferences. They can be used alone or with other window treatments.

5.) Interior Awnings Most people think of awnings as an outdoor window treatment. But bring an awning indoors and dress it up a bit and you have a striking window feature. For a transitional room, use classic awning spears as the side supports for an elegantly draped, shallow awning. The effect is similar to a swag but with more dimension as the fabric balloons down between the spears.

CrazyDogTshirts.com Recycle T-Shirt Review & Shirt Giveaway

There are many things that my sister and I agree on during pregnancy, one of the main things being that comfy clothes are a MUST! We often see each other walking around the house is stretchy pants and t-shirts. Now that I think of it, my husband and I both agree on a couple things when it comes to clothing, I dress him better than he dresses himself and if a t-shirt isn't comfortable, it's not worth wearing or even buying.

With all of that being said I want to introduce you to my newest comfy shirt from CrazyDogTshirts.com.
Things have grown on my body making it a little more difficult to take a picture without parts of words missing, it says "Yes... I wore this shirt yesterday!" Love it! Plus, the women's Recycle t-shirt is only $16.99

I know my family had a wonderful time joking about whether or not I'd done laundry or showered in a while. (And I do laundry & shower every day just so you know!)

CrazyDogTshirts.com was started in 2004 in a dorm room! (Love it!) They "specialize in funny and vintage apparel, printed on ultra soft tshirts."  

My thoughts
I loved searching through their site to find a t-shirt and spent a lot of time smiling and laughing. The shirt I finally decided on is so cute and, above all, super comfortable! It fits me very well, too. I don't mean just the size, but I feel like I was able to find something that fits my personality! I know deep down everyone wants the shirt that says "Spooning leads to Forking" or the "hairy chest" shirt, but would rather play it safe. Now you can find the shirt that fits your personality at CrazyDogTshirts.com! 

Do you wear Tshirts with sayings on them, or find yourself wanting to get a tshirt from CrazyDogTshirts.com? Well you're in luck because it is...

Giveaway Time
One Lucky CTM Reader Will Receive Their Choice of T-Shirt ($16.99 or less) from CrazyDogTshirts.com! This giveaway is open to US Residents, 18+ Years of age and will end on Sunday, March 24th at 11:59pm. Good Luck!

Stompeez Comfy Fun Slippers Review & Giveaway

We may have pretty mild winters here in Georgia, but to us, 40 degrees is just too cold! The boys wear their long sleeves and pajama pants at night along with socks, but our hardwood floors get so cold that bedroom shoes are a must. However, my boys never want to wear bedroom shoes and end up kicking them off shortly after putting them on. When we saw a commercial for Stompeez, the boys immediately said, "OHHH! I want that! Please!" and I thought to myself that this may be the answer to keeping the boys in their bedroom shoes!

The Stompeez jingle definitely stuck in this household and the kids constantly told me they wanted a pair, so when they finally arrived in our mailbox, the kids could not have been more excited! Josiah, my five year-old, picked out the Sir One-Eyed Monster Stompeez and Liam picked out the Peek-A-Boo Bunny Stompeez. I was worried the sizing would not work since each of the size choices (Small, Medium, Large) fit such a wide range of foot sizes, but they fit perfectly and the boys were stomping around in their Stompeez immediately.

I'd read about the Stompeez not working well or performing the way they should, such as eyes opening or ears lifting, but this was definitely NOT the case with us. Even Liam, at three years old, could get his bunny Stompeez to open and play Peek-A-Boo just by walking. After watching them play for a while, it made me wish they had adult sizes so I could join in on the fun. Not only are they practical and fun, but very soft and padded on the bottom, too. Not to mention, Stompeez can be used for imaginative play. The boys often wear their Stompeez while pretending to be the bunny and monster, chasing each other around, laughing along the way. 

As you can tell, Stompeez are a huge hit in our home and the boys love theirs! That is why we are so excited to offer this awesome giveaway!
One Lucky Children Teaching Mama Reader Will Receive Their Choice Of Stompeez!
Just use the Giveaway Tools form below to enter. This giveaway is open to US Residents, 18+ years of age and will end on Saturday, March 23rd at 11:59pm. Good Luck!!


Chichanella Bella Vintage Inspired Swimwear Free Shipping Coupon Code #usfamilyblogger

Chichanella Bella is a Vintage Inspired Swimwear Company for babies and children. This collection reflects influences of the 1920's through the 1970's. Ruffles, flowers, polka dots and stripes give this vintage inspired swimwear line for babies and children a nostalgic feel. Paired with matching bonnets adorned with ruffles, flowers and bows, the swimsuits carry such whimsical names as Rowboat Rosie, Cotton Candy, Lifeguard Lu Lu and Diving Daisy. Thoughtful touches such as snap bottoms, hand rolled rosettes and UPF 50+ rated fabrics are just some of the details that make this collection distinct. 
For a limited time, receive FREE Shipping On Your Order with Code: FREE SHIPFG
For more information click on the link below.
All Suits Made in the U.S.A.

Harlem Globetrotters Coming to Georgia - Save $7 Off Tickets!

Looking for an awesome event the whole family will enjoy?  Get your tickets to the Harlem Globetrotters brand new "You Write the Rules" tour.  Your family's smiles will start before you even get to the game as the Globetrotters take kid participation to a whole NEW level.  Your family can vote at harlemglobetrotters.com and decide rules for the game that could affect the final outcome.  With rules like double the points for every basket, and two balls in play at the same time, there's an exciting rule that every kid will enjoy.  After the game, Globetrotter stars will stay on court to sign autographs and take photographs with your kids. 

The only thing better than finding an awesome event for the whole family, is getting a great deal on it.  Use the promo code "USFAMILY" when you buy tickets for your family to save $7 on each ticket purchased http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/tickets*.  Get ready to experience the show your family will remember for a lifetime!

You can get your tickets here http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/tickets and don't forget to use the promo code USFAMILY to save $7 on every ticket!
*Discount available on select seating levels 
Click Here to Watch An Awesome Video of the Harlem Globetrotters in action!


Pajanimals Play Date DVD Review & Giveaway (US & Canada)

Finding a show that is interesting and fun for both Liam and Josiah is near impossible. However, we caught a few episodes of Jim Henson's  Pajanimals on Sprout® and it was an absolute hit! This is why I was so excited to receive the newest Pajanimals DVD, Play Date, to review with the kids.

Of course, as soon as we received the DVD, the kids had to watch it. If you haven't watched Pajanimals with your kids before, this is a must! The Pajanimals consist of the awesome puppet characters Cowbella, Apollo, Sweetpea Sue and Squacky. They use their imagination, go on adventures and sing songs as they go along.

Pajanimals Play Date DVD includes 5 stories:
  • I'm Sorry, Really Sorry
  • A Colorful Problem
  • Game Day
  • The Rocket Ride
  • Share Day
Pajanimals Play Date DVD, for ages 0-6, is available from NCircle Entertainment and retail value is at $9.99. You can also purchase on Amazon.com for only $8.99.

Our Thoughts
We stumbled across Pajanimals within the past few months and we didn't come across it much on tv, so it's great to now have a DVD we can watch anytime. I popped it in when the boys were settling down for bedtime and they immediately snuggled into bed to watch. My oldest is 5 years old and he was thinking he was too big for such a show, but the next night he was asking to watch it again! Obviously, he loved the Play Date DVD and can't get enough of it. I never thought we would find a show that is actually appropriate for bedtime and helps kids wind down and get ready for sleep, but Panjanimals is the show! We've probably watched it five times since it came in the mail two weeks ago!
Watching the Pajanimals with the boys, I had to give the puppets some credit for being educational and fun. I love that the show is not only creative, but includes life lessons in a way children can understand and helps them understand how to deal with those situations. Sharing is something my boys are really working on, so Share Day was an episode I really enjoyed. It's great that the puppets present such lessons in a way that makes kids also want to share or apologize or say thank you. These are things even young children can grasp and, as they grow older, they can come to appreciate these ideas.

In addition to DVDs and episodes on television there are some great free activities and games available on the Sprout website. There is also a Pajanimals App, letting children "join in the fun with their favorite Pajanimals characters". The 3D app will extend the reach of the TV series onto iPhone, iPad and iPod touch! Be sure to check it all out! If your child is too grown up for the Play Date DVD or any others you may have, then help the environment by recycling them at musicMagpie.

Giveaway Time!
One Lucky Children Teaching Mama Reader Will Receive A Jim Henson's Pajanimals Play Date DVD! 
Just use the Giveaway Tools form below to enter! This giveaway is open to US & Canadian Residents, ages 18+ and ends on Wednesday, March 13th at 11:59pm. Good Luck!

Kranich's Jewelers Review & Beautiful Diamond Knot Ring/Necklace Giveaway

If there is one thing my mom has passed on to me, it has to be her love of beautiful jewelry. While my mom prefers gold, I absolutely love platinum and silver. As for the type of stones, my favorites are, of course, diamonds, but I also think opals and aquamarine (my birthstone) stones are beautiful, too. Sounds like I am open to many pieces of jewelry, but I have to admit I am a bit picky and want quality jewelry that I can one day pass along to my children and they can keep as family heirlooms. This is why I was so excited to hear about Kranich's Jewelers for the first time.

Kranich's Jewelers originally opened in 1903 and, over the years, has become known for their specialization in fine diamond jewelry and engagement rings. They also specialize in fine timepieces, gemstones, pearls, gold and platinum jewelry. Taking a look through their website jewelry selection, I could immediately see why people choose Kranich's when purchasing jewelry for loved ones because they have such a vast variety of items to fit just about anyone's tastes and preferences.

My husband and I just celebrated our sixth anniversary and we were reminiscing about our beautiful wedding in a secluded cabin up in the woods. Surrounded by all of our closest family members, we exchanged vows and were married. Kranich's happens to have some of the most beautiful engagement rings I've seen. I wear my engagement ring along with my wedding ring proudly every day and love showing them off.

Giveaway Time!
Do you love jewelry as much as I do? Well, thanks to Kranich's Jewelers, we have an amazing giveaway! One lucky reader can win their choice of either:

Everlon Diamond Knot Pendant Sterling Silver Necklace ($115 RV)

Everlon Diamond Knot Sterling Silver Ring ($109 RV)
Just use the Giveaway Tools Form below to enter. This giveaway is open to US residents, 18+ years of age and ends on Tuesday, March 19th at 11:59pm. Good Luck!


Personalized Kids Table & Chairs Set Giveaway ($120 Value)

We love personalized items for our kids, so imagine our surprise and delight when we found out about this awesome giveaway! Baby Gifts & Gift Baskets has a great giveaway going on now. One very lucky winner will receive a Personalized Kids Table & Chairs Set designed just for them. This cute round table comes complete with two chairs and retails at $120. The chairs can each be personalized with a different name for your little ones!
As a homeschooling mom, we use our table often for just about everything from lunch and reading to crafts and pretend play. Liam loves tea time with his tea set and Josiah loves painting. This table is the perfect place for your little ones to do all of the above. Plus, the table and chairs can be handpainted with your choice of over 60 designs so you can make it special for your child or children. Some of the designs include ladybugs, ballerinas and jungle animals, so there are choices for both boys and girls! See for yourself below.

Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. This giveaway is open to Continental US Residents, 18+ years of age and ends on Sunday, March 3rd! Good Luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Benefits Of Insception Lifebank Cord Blood Service

Having a child is such a special moment in your life and one we have experienced twice. With our first, Josiah, he was born without issue, was happy, healthy and came home from the hospital shortly after delivery. Liam's birth, on the other hand, was a little more complicated. He was born 5 weeks early and his lungs were not fully developed. This caused a variety of issues and set the scene for what was to come in his life. Since then he has been diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis, brain tumors and may cause a variety of other issues in his future.

Of course, you never expect anything like this to happen to your own family. Before this, we'd never thought about banking cord blood, but now that Liam has gone through so much, this is definitely a consideration when having our next child. The viable stem cells found in cord blood can be used to treat 75 conditions and medical experts are working to find more ways cord blood can be used to help families like our own. 

Yes, banking cord blood can get expensive, but it doesn't have to be. Doing our research, we found that Insception Lifebank is offering a $100 off coupon for cord blood services for Canadian residents. The amazing thing about the cord blood service is that you can reserve your spot just by entering your baby's due date and your name. Then, when your baby is born you have 10 days to use the coupon and save the cord blood with Insception. 

If you are wondering about how this effects your baby, there is nothing to worry about. This is a noninvasive procedure, which in no way effects the birth or health of your baby. However, the cord blood is there if ever needed in the future. For example, cord blood has been used to treat a variety of issues, from autism and diabetes to spinal cord injuries and cerebral palsy. 

Of course, we hope nothing like this will ever be needed, but wouldn't you rather take this step now than wish you had later on? We never knew what we would go through with our little Liam and, with all of the new treatments using cord blood, we are positive this may be able to help his diagnosis in the future. 

Have you used a cord banking service or do you plan to after having your child?

Disclosure: I was compensated for this sponsored post made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own. Coupons for this promotion are available to Canadian residents only. American registrations are welcome but unfortunately do not qualify for the coupons. 


Guard Yourself Against Tax-Time Identity Theft

It's tax season again, a time of the year my husband and I never look forward to... unless we actually get money back, of course. Some of the companies I work with send electronic copies of the 1099 forms via email and others arrive in our mailbox. As we've learned, identity theft is at an all-time high, which means we need to guard ourselves against the possibility and do what we can to keep safe from potential predators.

Where do you keep and compile your tax forms? Tax forms contain a great deal of our own personal information and it is very, very important to keep these private and safe. When I was younger, I never took much care putting away my tax forms and just put them in a drawer in my room, but now I know better. When I receive the forms via email, I print them out and make sure the email is completely deleted and erased not only from my inbox, but also from trash. Why? Because I've had my email hacked before and no telling what kind of information they could have retrieved. Tax forms not only include information about income, but also has social security numbers and birth dates. When attempting to guard against Tax-Time Identity Theft, it is important to keep this in mind and be safe with your forms.

Once the forms are printed out and received in our mailbox, we keep them filed in folders to keep them nice and neat, but, as an extra precaution, we keep them stored in our lock box, which we keep hidden in our home. All of our important information, from passports and birth certificates to taxes and car papers, are stored in a lock box to which only my husband and I have a key.

We've written about Child Identity Theft in the past and I believe this time of year is the time to start guarding not only yourself, but your children against identity theft. Billions of dollars are given out to people who have used fraudulent social security numbers. Even worse, these social security numbers usually belong to children. They are less likely to be discovered for many years and, by then, the perpetrator is usually long gone, leaving a financial disaster for the child.

We recommend Identity Guard because they have been protecting people from the threat of identity theft for over a decade. They also offer a new program, kID Sure, which helps guard children, so the entire family can be better protected from the risk of identity theft. Do you guard yourself against identity theft? If not, now may be the time to do so!

Disclosure: This service was provided to me for review at no charge. In addition, I received monetary compensation. All opinions written are my own.

February $400 Extreme Cash Giveaway

Welcome to the February Extreme Cash Giveaway! Children Teaching Mama has teamed up with Oh My Gosh Beck! and other fabulous blogs to give our readers the chance to win an awesomely extreme $400 prize!
The February Extreme Cash Giveaway will run for a total of four week, which will give you plenty of time to complete any entries you choose to do. Remember, all entries are OPTIONAL. There are many daily entries for you to take advantage of as well, so don’t forget to bookmark this giveaway and come back everyday for more chances to win!
Giveaway is open worldwide and ends March 14th  at 11:59 PM EST. Good luck!

Umi Shoes Deal Of The Month : Boys Torrance Shoes 40% Off

This month the adorable Torrance shoes by Umi are on sale for 40% off! Regularly priced at $60,  you can pick them up for only $36! What a great deal. They come in black, brown and navy blue!


Capturing Beautiful Baby Pictures With SanDisk & Erin Manning

When I was growing up, my mom always took pictures of big moments, vacations and holidays. I love looking at all of the picture albums she made for me over the years and, now that I have children, I want to do the same for them! From the moment my boys were born, my husband and I were snapping photos left and right. I love taking photos with my Canon Rebel and have always used SanDisk memory cards for my pictures because I want my pictures to be safely stored for many years and it is a brand I trust. 

Need some ideas and tips for taking great pictures of your baby? 
Well, SanDisk and photographer, author, and educator Erin Manning are here to help! In the video below, Erin Manning shares her Top 3 Tips for capturing some great baby photos. The advice she gives is very helpful, including how to set the scene, how to get beautiful up-close pictures of baby, and why she uses a SanDisk Ultra SDHC card to be sure she never misses a shot.

What tips do you have for taking great baby photos? Give the tips above a try and let me know how it goes! We will definitely give them a try and share the pictures with everyone.

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for SanDisk. I received a product sample to thank me for participating.


EdenFantasys Has Perfect Gifts For Your Valentine!

Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store
I love getting presents for others, but my husband is not the easiest person to buy for. In fact, I usually save his gifts until last because I have no idea what to get. This Valentine's Day the opposite occurred. I remembered how much I love EdenFantasys and started looking around for Valentine's presents we could both enjoy.

Last Christmas I found the best bubble bath for gifts and they were such a hit. I went to buy more and they were all gone, but I found so many other kids in their place. My husband would never admit it, but he loves things like this. Bubble bath and bath salts are among his favorites when he has a chance to take a bath and relax. EdenFantasys has a great variety of products that are sure to please in the bath and shower.
Kama Sutra Massage Candle
I am planning on taking my husband away soon and also found a fun gift we can both enjoy... a massage candle! I love candles and massages, so finding something that includes both is just amazing! The massage candles can provide a romantic setting and, after melting, they provide the perfect warm oil for a wonderful massage! Luckily, they have many massage candles from which to choose on EdenFantasys.

Want to make some money from purchases? Join the EdenFantasys affiliate program today and earn money every time one of your friends makes a purchase! It's so easy, especially if you have a blog. Also, be sure to use code: HOT4U to receive 25% off any purchase from now until 2/15, so it is not too late to get your loved one a Valentine gift at a great price!

To help celebrate Valentine's Day, EdenFantasys has a great giveaway for Children Teaching Mama Readers!

One Reader Will Win a $25 Gift Code To use on EdenFantasys.com! 

Yo Gabba Gabba! Hello Friends! App Review & $10 Amazon or iTunes Gift Card Giveaway

My kids are actually pretty picky about the types of shows they watch on tv. They like Caillou and a few other animated shows, but they absolutely love Yo Gabba Gabba because it is so interactive, fast paced and just pure fun. This is why we were so excited to find out about the new Yo Gabba Gabba! Hello Friends! App and couldn't wait to give it a try.

My kids enjoy stealing my iPad from me on a daily basis, so I've tried to load it down with quite a few apps to keep them happy. This helps so much when we are at the doctor, waiting in line or just stuck inside on a rainy day. I downloaded the Hello Friends! app on via iTunes and, shortly after, the kids were ready to play.

Many apps just focus on one game or activity, but not this one! There are many activities to keep little ones happy, including music videos and songs that fans will recognize from the hit show. Liam favorites are the stickers. You can put them on the Yo Gabba Gabba characters and decorate a scene the way you want it. He just laughs and laughs at his creations.

Josiah, my 5 year old, is also a fan, but needs a bit more to keep him occupied. He loves the games included in the Hello Friends! app and especially likes Brobee Jump, which is similar to another game he has played.

I love that there are so many different activities packed into this app and, for only $3.99 from iTunes, it's quite a bargain! It is also available for Android devices. Plus, there will be even more activities added to the app, so there is no end to the possibilities! Check your updates every week because you never know when something new may pop up!

Because we love Yo Gabba Gabba so much and we are excited about their upcoming visit to Atlanta (we will write about this shortly), we have a great giveaway!

One Lucky CTM Reader Will Receive a $10 Amazon.com GC OR $10 iTunes GC! Winner's Choice!

Four-Wheeled Wonders: Shopping Cart History

You probably use one day without really thinking about it. All of your necessities find their way into it, your children ride in it, and it adds convenience to your life unheard of just a century ago. And it’s not your car.

Shopping trolley, shopping carriage, bascart, barrae, buggie – no matter what you call your shopping cart, without it, your daily errands would be entirely more daunting. Do you take the time to appreciate that four-wheeled wonder? Well, maybe it’s about time you do.

The invention of the shopping cart
Let’s take a trip back in time to Oklahoma City, 1936. Before the days of Black Friday and Walmart coupons. The owner of a local supermarket chain, Piggly Wiggly, is sitting in his office, scratching his head. How could he enable his customers to get more groceries, he wonders. While looking around the room, his eyes fall on a wooden folding chair, and he’s struck with an idea that will revolutionize the way people shop forever. What if, Sylvan Goldman wonders, I put a basket on the seat and wheels on the feet?  Not only would grocery shopping become far less of a hassle, but customers would be able to purchase more. It was a win-win situation – and there’s nothing better than that.

Goldman brought this rough idea to one of his employees, a mechanic, and they set out to streamline the new contraption. Replace the wooden chair with a metal frame, add a couple of baskets, and they had themselves the first shopping cart – or as Goldman called it, “the folding basket carrier.” Not as catchy, we know.

The folding basket carriage is born
Eventually, Goldman found another mechanic to mass-produce his new invention. He applied in 1938, and, after a two-year wait, was awarded the patent for the “Folding Basket Carriage for Self-Service Stores.” Now Goldman was ready to bring his creation to the public. Advertising them as part of a “no-basket carrying plan,” he brought the carts to his market and introduced them to his customers.
But his folding basket carrier did not receive a warm welcome (people are always resistant to change, aren’t they?). The carriers were deemed too effeminate for men, and women were initially dissuaded by their resemblance to baby carriages. So the public turned a cold shoulder to Goldman’s shiny new carriers, but he wasn’t about to give up. He hired male and female models to push the carts around his stores and animate just how helpful the carriers truly were. And that was really all it took. Soon enough, everyone was using the basket carriers and Goldman had changed grocery and retail shopping forever. Now shopping carts are ubiquitous, a mainstay of the modern consumer experience.

And to think, some people just abandon their carts in an empty lot. Next time you’re shopping, take some time to thank Sylvan Goldman and appreciate the wheeled wizardry of the shopping cart. And buy yourself a little present while you’re at it.


Coupon Chief Helps You Save Money & $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

As a family on a budget, I am always trying to save money in any way possible. That doesn't mean I have to sacrifice quality, though. When I am in need of something, I do my research to not only find the best deal, but to also find any relevant coupons. A few years ago, when we moved to a rural area, I began shopping online more and this is when I realized I could actually save even more money this way! Just like in-store purchases, I can find deals and stack coupons on top of them! Sometimes I can even find better sales and clearance sections online than in-store, which is something I really love!

When I first started couponing, I honestly had no idea what I was doing, but I feel like a deal-finding pro now that I've found Coupon Chief! Just recently I had to purchase new clothes for Liam. There is no way I am going to pay full price, especially when there are so many end-of-the-season sales going on now.  In fact, Coupon Chief coupon codes saved me a bundle just this week. Gap is one of my favorite clothing brands, but it can be pricey. I found a 30% off coupon and, combined with the website sales and clearance section, I saved over $100 on my purchase! My husband was very impressed with my shopping skills, so he wants me to update his wardrobe, too. I cannot wait to do that.

Ready to go shopping for a new wardrobe? Here is a giveaway that will help fund your online shopping excursion! 
Thanks to Coupon Chief, One Lucky Children Teaching Mama Reader Will Win a $50 Amazon.com Gift Card!


Spread RSV Awareness & Keep Our Babies Healthy #RSVProtection

Before Liam was born, I knew very little about RSV and, although I knew to keep hands clean and babies away from germs, I did not know just how important those things can be. Liam was born 5 weeks early and was in the hospital for two weeks until his lungs had fully developed. During this time, my husband and I were lucky enough to take some classes offered by the hospital, which prepared us for taking our little preemie home with us. One of the things we talked about at length was Respiratory Synctial Virus.
Liam on the day he was born. He was very much at risk for RSV during this time.
What is RSV? 
It is a virus that infects the lungs and most children will catch RSV by the age of two, but 2/3 of moms have never even heard of RSV! However, RSV is especially dangerous for babies and preemies. It is very contagious and can take up to three weeks to fully recover and stop spreading the virus! This is why the doctors kept such a close eye on Liam. Since his lungs were not fully developed and he was on breathing tubes for a few days, he was at a very high risk for contracting RSV from other babies in the NICU area. If he were to get RSV, this could lead to a very serious lung infection and further hospitalization. One of the other preemies had RSV and they had to keep him away from all the other babies and take extra precautions so the other babies did not catch it.
The day we finally brought Liam home sweet home!
Winter time is when RSV is at its peak and children are more at risk for catching it. In Georgia, RSV season typically goes from November until April. This is why we must do what we can to keep our babies and children healthy and germ free, especially when in school. Teachers do what they can to keep sickness in the classroom to a minimum, but some viruses still manage to get in. When Josiah is in school, he often brings home colds and viruses, which eventually pass on to the entire family. There are some great ways to help prevent this from happening and to help prevent RSV, which you can find on the RSV Prevention website and below!
Here are some tips:

1. Keep hands clean! We not only keep antibacterial wipes and gel in our diaper bag, but always go straight to the bathroom for hand washing before we eat and when we get home from being in town or outside playtime. This is such an important tip and we've definitely noticed a difference in viruses in our home since we've started paying more attention to clean hands.
2. Keep baby away from large crowds! We didn't take Liam out anywhere until he was a few weeks old because when you go out in crowds, you never know who is sick, who could be smoking nearby and what other germs are around. We actually bought a breathable mesh cloth to put over Josiah's stroller for when we went walking to keep others from touching him, which was very helpful!
Instead of taking the boys out on the weekends, we invite family over and cookout!
3. Never let people smoke around your baby and children. It is bad for their lungs, health and increases the risk for RSV. Plus, it just stinks! If only my mom knew just how bad smoke was when I was a baby, she never would have smoked around me.

4. Keep toys, bedding, clothing, and touchable items clean! Anything your babies or children touch can potentially have germs attached! This is why we keep antibacterial wipes nearby. My son's school actually sent home a list of items they needed for the classroom and I saw antibacterial wipes on the list. I went straight to the store and bought several containers for them because they can definitely use them on a daily basis to keep the classroom clean.

How do you help prevent RSV? 

For our home, I want to keep everything clean. This means, if Liam and Josiah can possibly get their hands on something, then it needs to be cleaned often! That's why we have a cleaning day once a week. I can go through and even get the kids to help out so they learn good cleaning skills, too. They actually enjoy cleaning day (wonder how long this will last?), so this has been great help for me. Plus, getting them to wash their hands is a must. Since their little hands touch everything in sight, I know they could have germs all over them, so we wash often!
Liam is always happy to wash his hands!
Like I said, before having Liam, I knew very little about RSV, but know that I do know, I feel like it is my mission to help spread the word, encourage other parents to learn about RSV and how they can prevent it in their own homes. Please help spread RSV Awareness and let other parents know what they can do to prevent it!

I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.


Keep Up With Love, Life & Happiness With The New Twyxt App

Being a mom means staying on the go pretty much all the time. My husband is a lawyer and works a great deal of the day, so this does not leave much time for us to be together. Together alone? That's even less likely! Keeping up with our weekly schedule has become quite a problem and we often cannot remember what is going on with each other's schedules. It's simply and utterly frustrating. Well, it was, but now we have the situation under control with Twyxt, an app currently available at the iTunes App Store.

What is Twyxt? It is a modern and fun way to keep up with your partner! Twyxt a unique private network allowing couples to share information with each other. You don't have to deal with text messages that mysteriously disappear in cyberspace. With Twyxt you can message, share moods, photos, schedules and much more.

Our Thoughts
I cannot tell you how many times I've tried to text message my husband and never get a reply. I end up getting so angry at him and he didn't even do anything wrong... he was in court or meeting with a client. I just totally forgot! I love that Twyxt offers such an awesome way for us to keep in touch and share our schedules with each other through our couples calendar.
Couples Calendar
Since I am homeschooling the kids now, we participate in many fun activities and go on field trips often. With Twyxt I have been able to take nice pictures and send them to my husband so he can experience them with us. I can document our days and it's like he is there with us and can experience everything, too. He loves this feature!
Photo Album
Twyxt also allows couples to open up a bit to each other by sharing moods. Having a bad day? Need a hug? Just let your loved one know and maybe they will surprise you with something! My husband doesn't share his feelings aloud often, something I think many men do, but in the app they can do so without feeling embarrassed or like they are sharing too much. Knowing my husband had a long, tiring day is actually refreshing to me because I feel the same way sometimes. Plus, I can do something extra special for him when he gets home.

With Valentine's Day nearing, romance is definitely in the air and, after 6 years our love continues to grow. With Twyxt, we are, once again, able to keep up with our hectic schedules, send love notes to each other and have private conversations! Twyxt has been so helpful, romantic, and fun because it's something just for us, which is rare when you have children! Be sure to click the link above and give Twyxt a try with your partner to spice things up a bit and have some fun.

Disclosure: This post was written for Twyxt in exchange for compensation. All opinions written are my own.