A Quick, Delicious & Nutritious Breakfast For Moms: belVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits #Sponsored @belVita

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for belVita. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

I am not a morning person at all and never have been. For that reason, I often skipped breakfast when I was younger and had to get up in the early hours for school. This definitely had negative effects on my school work and I now realize this was not the smartest move on my part! Well, Josiah began 1st grade this year and it has been an adjustment for all of us, especially since we homeschooled last year. I'd like to say we stay on schedule and get up on time every morning, but that isn't quite true. Some days none of us want to get up and, for that reason, I sometime skip breakfast so I have time to feed the boys and get Josiah to school on time. When we have time, I make a breakfast for all of us, but when in a hurry, I just eat later. I have to admit it all has been a bit stressful and fast-paced. Lifestyle Mom, Dana Hilmer, partnered with belVita to provide tips to help ease the stress of back to school season and one of the tips she suggested really resonated with me: It's just as important for you, as parents, to have a tasty and nutritious breakfast. This is exactly why I was excited to try out belVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits.
Just last weekend our local grocery store was handing out samples of belVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits both Josiah and I gave them a try. They were absolutely delicious, so when I had a chance to review them, I was all for it. At the time, I just thought they were tasty, but what I didn't realize was how nutritious they really are.

I received belVita Soft Baked Mixed Berry Biscuits and Oats & Chocolate Biscuits. Josiah loves chocolate, so he loves the Oats & Chocolate ones, which contain rolled oats and rye. In fact, he has claimed most of them for himself. However, my favorites are the Mixed Berry Biscuits. They are so soft and almost melt in your mouth. Plus, they are made of delicious whole grains (11 grams per each 50 gram serving) and berries like blueberries and raspberries. The belVita Soft Baked Biscuits also contain 20% of your daily value of fiber. Another thing I love about the biscuits is that they do not contain any artificial flavoring or sweeteners or coloring. Not to mention, no high fructose syrups or partially hydrogenated oils are used.

I try to eat nutritious foods, but when it comes to quick snacks and breakfast, this type of food is hard to find. I am so happy to find a breakfast food I can eat on the go, whether in the car, driving Josiah to school or running around the house getting all of his things together before leaving! Not only does this make for a nutritious breakfast for me, but it doesn't make a mess and is easy to clean up, so I don't have to worry about making a mess in the car with crumbs.

Have you tried belVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits yet? Don't forget it is just as important for YOU to eat breakfast, even if it is on the go! Be sure to keep up with the latest belVita news by "liking" them on Facebook.

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for belVita. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.


Boys & Girls Club Back To School Supply Initiative & Tips #Tools4BTS #sponsored

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
School is back in full swing here in Georgia and Josiah is officially a first grade student. This has definitely been an adjustment for him and we've learned some great ideas to get ready for back to school and to be prepared. As a mom who wants my kids to have everything they need to be successful in school, I tried to do what I could do have them ready to go and as prepared as possible. How? Here are some of my tips for successfully getting ready for going back to school:

1. Keep working during the summer. It's important to continue working during the summer so kids can retain all of the important information they learned during the previous school year. We went over sight word cards, played phonics games and also practiced math problems.

2. Get your school supply list early. We were able to get Josiah's school list a few weeks early and were able to go ahead and start planning for what was needed. Not only was it helpful at the store so we didn't get items he wouldn't need, but it made planning fun for him. He was so excited to pick out his own book bag and lunch box. Plus, when the first day of school came around, he was ready to go!

3. Get extra supplies! After one day of school, Josiah came home and told me he had lost his scissors. I figured he would lose things occasionally, so I got a few extras just in case. This way he is prepared in this situation.

4. Make back to school time fun for kids. It's fun for kids to pick out their supplies and new clothes for school, but it also makes them feel more at ease to know some of the things to expect during the new school year like fun field trips, recess time and what ever else you think would get him/her excited.

5. Go to Open House Day/Night! Before school starts, they will have an open house, giving students a chance to learn the lay of the land. They get to explore the school and meet their new teachers. This was a great opportunity for Josiah to get a first-hand look at what was to come. Not only did he learn where to go when he came to school on his first day, but he got to see his lunchroom and library, too.

6. Start your back to school schedule a few weeks early. Most kids and families will stay up later during the summer months, so you can get back on track by going to bed earlier a few weeks ahead of time and getting up early, too. This way it isn't so much of a shock to the system when they go back to school.

What are some of your back to school tips for kids? 

We are excited to be a Boys & Girls Club (BGCA) Back-To-School Ambassador this year and we want all of our children to be successful, enjoy school, and get the most out of it. Did you know that 1 million students fail to graduate each year? This is why it is so important to support our youth, encourage them and help them succeed. This is what Boys & Girls Club is all about and that's why BGCA and Disney are partnering this back to school time for an online school supply drive!

Do your part to support our youth!
Thanks to BGCA and Disney, you can help donate school supplies to local BGCA locations by simply playing a pop-quiz style game online. For every 5 correct answers, donations will be made! How easy is that? Just by taking a short quiz, you can really help other children and your local Boys & Girls Club! Just go to the BGCA Back to School webpage and click on "Donate Supplies" to learn more about this initiative.

In addition to this great cause, the BGCA website is a great resource for children and parents, especially when preparing for children to go back to school. Be sure to check it out for some great back to school tips just like ours. In fact, they also recommend practicing schoolwork during the summertime!

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Dingy, Dirty Clothes Be Gone! OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover Is Here!

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for OxiClean. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and promotional item as a thank you for participating.

For those of us with children, we know just how many messes can be made in one day's time. From toys and markers on the wall to spilling drinks and dropping food. I couldn't tell you how many shirts have been ruined from ketchup and other dark foods/juice! Not to mention, Josiah's school/outdoor clothes getting dirty from the playground. Clothes are expensive and I can't just throw things away when they get super dirty. That's why I love OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover.
Josiah just started first grade and I knew it would be quite a change for him since we homeschooled last year. He was resistant in the beginning, but there was one part of school that he always talked about and liked: play time! During this time he runs around with friends, plays in the dirt, slides down the dirty slides and has a blast. I had no idea what I would have to contend with until he came home from school the very first day. I knew I had my work cut out for me. He had not only gotten dirty on the playground, but he had spilled some of his grape juice at lunch along with a mystery smudge.

I immediately thought of OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover for our next load of laundry. Let me just say I have tried other stain removers in the past and sometimes they remove stains, but none actually worked to brighten the entire load of laundry at the same time. I can throw in my children's dirty clothes along with my husband's dingy once-white t-shirts he wears under dress shirts at work and all of them come out clean, bright and ready for another day.

Here is a before picture of the dirtiest clothes in our wash today. Josiah had dirt and mud from outdoors, Papa had grease from the lawnmower and Liam had pizza sauce on his outfit. 

All I had to do was start the washing machine and fill it up with water before adding in OxiClean along with my regular detergent. I washed as usual and then dried the clothes:

So, what were the results? See for yourself!
The clothes were not only clean and stain-free, but brighter than they have been in quite a while. See how white the shirts are? They looked as good as new!

Did you know OxiClean can be used on other items such as carpet stains? Just recently, someone tracked mud on our carpet. On the very same day, Liam got into Josiah's markers and manged to get it all over the carpet in his room. I tried getting it clean, but no luck until I tried OxiClean. I mixed it with a little water, let it sit on the stain for about 5 minutes and scrubbed with a sponge. The stain is gone now and my carpet looks great! Now I know what I can use the next time the boys spill juice, spaghetti or some other item that is bound to hit the floor eventually.

As you can tell, OxiClean is one of the most useful items to keep stocked, especially when you have kids around. With two very active boys and school back in session, I have a feeling we will be using it more than ever. We actually have 3 tubs of OxiClean in the laundry room because we go through it so quickly.

Do you use OxiClean? If so, what do you use it for most often?

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for OxiClean. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and promotional item as a thank you for participating.


K'NEX Angry Birds Space Hogs On Mars Building Set Review

If my youngest sees your your cell phone, his first question is, "Do you have Angry Birds?" Both of my kids love Angry Birds and they also love K'NEX, so when you put together both of them, it has to be a winner, right? Right! As soon as we received the K'NEX Space Angry Birds Hogs On Mars Building Set, Josiah (my 6 year old) couldn't wait to build the set.

We have Angry Birds Space on our iPad and the really cool thing about this set is that it is actually taken from one of the levels on the game! The game comes with 165 pieces, including Incredible Terence, Space Egg, and Lightning Bird to launch and destroy the two evil Space pigs along with the other structures, including a Mars Rover.

This set is recommended for ages 7+, but, with some help, Josiah put it together. It probably took us a little bit longer, but he was determined to set it up exactly like the directions. He did a great job and was so proud!

After our hard work, I almost hated to tear it all down, but the boys couldn't wait to defeat the pigs. How? The launcher we built worked like a pro to fling the birds across at the pigs!
Ready to launch!

 The boys love the big, fat green bird because it can really do some damage to the structures and piggies! Here's Josiah mid-air launch:
 and the destruction caused: 

Luckily, once the pieces were in place, they were really easy to repair after the kids launched the birds at them. I say luckily because they play with this set for an hour at a time and Mama has to sit nearby to help with the smaller parts. This is such a great addition to our K'NEX collections and any fan of building sets would have a blast with this one. The fun isn't over after building the set, after all! You can play with this one continually and the possibilities are endless.

The Angry Birds Space Hogs On Mars Set is available on the K'NEX website for only $29.99 and is well worth it. The kiddos give this one 2 thumbs up and love playing with the set!
Be sure to "Like" K'NEX on Facebook to keep up with all the latest news. 

Disclosure: This review was written for K'NEX. Items were received for review purposes and no other compensation was received. All opinions written are my own. 


Summer Fun In The Sun With Banana Boat Sunscreen Lotion #BananaBoatBrand #MC #Sponsored

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Banana Boat. I received product samples and promotional item as a thank you for participating.
Each spring we get so excited when the flowers start to grow, we can plant our garden and the weather gets warmer. By the time summer rolls around, we are spending almost every day outdoors. Every summer we seem to have more and more planned. This summer we went to the beach twice and, when not at the beach, we were cooking out with the family, celebrating birthdays, at baseball games or just hanging out in our pool. When it wasn't raining, you could most frequently find us outdoors, that's for sure! We love making the most out of summer vacation and being out in the sun, but we also know sunscreen is a must.
Josiah and Ethan having a great  time outdoors this summer with their Banana Boat sunscreen. 
 My oldest, Josiah, red hair and the fair skin to match, so we have to put sunscreen on before he gets out in the sun or he will burn very easily. My favorite sunscreen is Banana Boat, so I was excited to try out four of their great sunscreens this summer: Banana Boat Protect & Hydrate Sunscreen Lotion, Sport Performance Coolzone Continuous Spray, Banana Boat Kids Tear-Free Sting-Free sunscreen lotion and Banana Boat Natural Reflect Baby Lotion.

I'd actually purchased the Sport Performance Coolzone Continuous Spray (30SPF) about a month ago because it was a great price and I was curious about the cool feeling it was supposed to have. Since it gets so hot here, a nice cooling sensation is always welcome while out in the Georgia sun. Our entire family has used it, including myself and grandma, and all of us love it. It's easy to spray on, works well to protect skin in the sun and we love the cool feeling it produces when spraying it on. It's a refreshing feeling after being outside a while and also works regardless of sweat. This is a great on-the-go sunscreen, so it often goes in my purse or bag!

The Banana Boat Protect & Hydrate Sunscreen Lotion (SPF 15) is definitely my favorite. Why? Because I suffer from dry skin all season. This sunscreen not only protects skin, but hydrates it when skin needs it most! When putting on the sunscreen, it really does feel like a lotion and I could feel it actually soaking into my leg and renewing the dry skin. It felt great!
 Josiah is always super-cautious about me putting sunscreen on him. He is not a fan of sitting still and is most afraid that I will get it in his eyes due to a prior mishap that left him in tears and pain. I was excited to show him the Banana Boat Kids Tear-Free Sting-Free sunscreen lotion (50SPF) because I knew he would love it. I already have to be careful about putting sunscreen on his face and, because of this, I have missed places near his eyes and this has caused him to get a bit red. Now I don't have to worry as much and neither does he. Knowing that this sunscreen was tear-free and sting-free, he was much more relaxed when I had to put sunscreen on him and didn't flinch when putting it on his face. I was able to get him to close his eyes, wipe it around his face evenly and protect his skin just like I should. Plus, he didn't cry and, if he did get any in his eyes, he was none the wiser! This was a great change to the usual process of putting on sunscreen.
Lastly, we received the Banana Boat Natural Reflect Baby Lotion (50SPF) Sunscreen. I have mentioned before that Liam has very sensitive skin and, as a baby, he had eczema. For these reasons, we have to be very careful about the products we put on his skin and mostly use natural items. Last year I had a Natural Reflect sunscreen party during Josiah's 5th birthday and was able to share it with many other moms, so I was happy to receive more this year because it worked perfectly for Liam and did not cause any breakouts at all. This is one of the only lotions/sunscreens that doesn't cause some sort of redness or rash, which is amazing, so we always keep this stocked in our home.
Liam met Tim Hudson at a Braves Game this summer & was definitely wearing Banana Boat on this sunny day!
Before purchasing your Banana Boat sunscreen, be sure to print out this great $1off coupon on their Facebook Page and be sure to "Like" them, too! As huge Banana Boat fans, this is my go-to sunscreen for each summer and every vacation. It's a trusted name that I remember my own parents purchasing when I was a child, so it's something I know will work well on my own children and keep their skin safe from the sun. This summer we found that Banana Boat really has sunscreens for every family member and their unique tastes and needs. We had such a wonderful summer and continue to enjoy the great weather outside, so Banana Boat is still sitting on our deck as a reminder to put it on before stepping into the sun.  Be sure to check out Banana Boat sunscreen at your local retailers.

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Banana Boat. I received product samples and promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Pop for Sight Words Games from Learning Resources Review & Giveaway

Disclosure: This review was written for Learning Resources. Items were received for review purpose only and no other compensation was provided. All opinions written are my own.
We are back to school and, only two weeks in, we are in full homework mode. Josiah is in first grade and, in kindergarten, had some issues with phonics. We practiced sight words and reading over the summer, but it just wasn't going anywhere. As soon as he began school, the teacher started sending home more sight word flash cards, so I knew we had to mix things up, especially since he will soon have his very first spelling test! Learning Resources Pop for Sight Words Games are not only educational, but a fun way for kids to learn, so we were excited to try them out.

About Pop For Sight Words Bundle (includes Pop for Sight Words 1 and 2)
These games make sight word practice fun! They pick, recognize and read aloud almost 200 high-frequency words, but look out for the POP cards. Players pick a card, say the word and, if read correctly, they keep it. However, if a POP card is accidently picked, the player must put back ALL of their words. This game is recommended for ages 5-7 and 2-4 players can play at a time.

Our Thoughts
Josiah has been so nervous about all of the new words he has to learn, but was getting frustrated with the flash cards. We received both Pop for Sight Words and Pop for Sight Words 2. I couldn't wait to get POP for Sight Words out this weekend to see what Josiah thought. We are starting with the 1st set of flash cards and, upon open up the game, I found that these were perfect for his reading level and for first grade. Many of the words were the same high-frequency words on his current list and others were words he either has learned or will learn in the near future. I knew this would be a great way for him to get some extra practice in!
Josiah picking out his next word.
As soon as we started playing, Josiah was sounding out the letter sounds, putting them together and reading the words like a pro. The more he sounded out the letters, the better he got at even figuring out words he had not practiced yet. I noticed immediately that this game was giving him the encouragement and reassurance he has needed to succeed with learning words and reading. He is often unsure of himself and doesn't want to say words incorrectly, so Pop for Sight Words was great practice and he would get so excited every time he got one right.
Learning -sh words has been tough, but he got this one right and was so proud!
There were so words that he still got wrong, but that's okay because those go back in the box to be picked in the future, which gives him another change and more practice, too.

Pop Cards
Mama was the first to draw one of the POP! cards and had to put all cards back into the box! Josiah thought that was hilarious until he picked one, too. That definitely evens the field as time goes on, but then I picked another POP card. We played this game for close the 45 minutes before he started losing interest, which is really a record. He was so into this game that we have already played it several times since the first time. Sometimes I go through and pick our specific words I know we should focus on and other times we just play with all of them to help add to his vocabulary.

Josiah was not only surprised, but beyond happy to win the game. I think this is the beginning of a very successful first grade and the more we practice and play Pop for Sight Words, the more he will improve and gain confidence in himself. I think this is a great game for all kids who need practice with phonics. We homeschooled last year and this would have been perfect as an add-in with the curriculum. The words are great for kindergarten and first grade.
Josiah was all smiles when he won the game!
Ready For a Giveaway?
Thanks to Learning Resources,  One Lucky Reader Will Receive Their Own Pop For Sight Words Bundle! 


My Shopping Trip To Famous Footwear & New Reebok Running Shoes #ReebokMom #sponsored

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Reebok. I received a Famous Footwear gift card to purchase a pair of Reebok shoes to facilitate my review and to thank me for participating.

We recently moved to a new county and much closer to civilization! Up in the mountains we were pretty secluded from stores, but now we have so much to do and see. I love shopping and have a love of buying shoes. I love all kinds of shoes, but mostly look for shoes that are comfortable and serve a purpose. Recently, we went to Famous Footwear to purchase shoes for the entire family. I remembered shopping there a few years ago when we lived in town and knew we would save a great deal of money! They have some outstanding prices, clearance racks and their Buy 1 Get 1 1/2 off sale is going on right now, too.

The running shoes I had were getting older and the soles were worn down a bit. Even though I am not an avid runner, I do exercise on a daily basis and we hike almost every weekend. We also spend time outdoors every day and, with two kids, you know that alone is a workout! I knew it was time to put those to rest and buy some that was not only comfortable, but would last a long time.

When I was in high school, I had the most comfortable Reebok shoes and absolutely loved them. I wore them until they fell apart, so I asked my mom what she thought. She knows all about Reebok and is a huge fan. In fact, she has them in several different colors and wears her Reebok shoes all the time. I knew she'd be able to help me learn more about them. She doesn't wear their running shoes, but had tried them on before and said they were very comfortable, so I couldn't wait to try them out.

Thanks to Mom Central, Famous Footwear and Reebok, I was sent a $100 gift card to Famous Footwear for Reebok shoe shopping! This was more than enough money to get myself a great pair of shoes and I couldn't wait to go. Last week I rounded up the boys and we headed to Famous Footwear for our big purchase. Both of the boys needed new tennis shoes and so did I, so I was hoping we'd find some great buys. First things first- I went straight to find my shoes and found a few pairs of Reebok running shoes in the Women's section. Some were found on the top row (pictured above) and then I found another (pictured below) on the bottom row! 
My old shoes were  pink, so imagine my surprise when I found the coolest pair of black and pink Reebok Running Shoes! I also liked the blue pair, but I have a huge foot (9.5) and unfortunately, they did not have my size in those. However, I probably would have picked the black and pink shoes anyway. They are just my style, fit true to size and I fell in love with them as soon as they were on my feet. I didn't want to take them off because they were so comfortable! My new shoes are Women's Reebok Zig Running Shoes in black, white and pink. Aren't they nice?
I am always buying items for my kids, so it has been almost two years since I treated myself to a near pair of running shoes. It felt so nice to go shopping for myself and I got such a great deal that I had extra money to purchase shoes for the boys. I planned on buying them back to school shoes, but had no idea there would still be money leftover, so that made for a nice treat, too! After I picked my shoes, it was Josiah's turn to find a pair and guess what? After looking closely over 3 aisles of shoes, the only pair he wanted was a cool pair of Reebok shoes! I have to admit, they are some awesome shoes and they fit him perfectly. He has worn them to school almost every day and said they are perfect for his P.E. classes! Then, Liam picked a cute pair of light-up Cars shoes.
I have to say, this ended up being a great shopping trip and we all left with smiles on our faces. All three of us couldn't wait to show off our new shoes. Have you treated yourself to a new pair of shoes lately? You should check out Famous Footwear for their great deals. You may find a pair of Reeboks you just can't resist!

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Reebok. I received a Famous Footwear gift card to purchase a pair of Reebok shoes to facilitate my review and to thank me for participating.

JCPenney Optical Back To School Sale Review & $25 Gift Card Giveaway #sponsored

I received a JCPenney Gift Card in return for this post. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.

Most moms probably dread going shopping for back to school gear, but I still get excited, just like I did as a kid. We go out for the day and search for great deals on everything we need, from book bags and clothes to new shoes and lunch boxes. One of my most favorite places to shop is JCPenney and we have saved so much money over the years by shopping there.

There are many things we must do before school begins and I always make a list so we don't forget anything. We always go for check-ups at the doctor, go to the dentist and get eye exams during summertime. This way I know they are healthy and completely ready for the new school year.
This is why I was so excited to see yet another amazing deal this back to school season at JCPenney Optical. They have a special promotion from now until August 31st, which includes a complete pair of kids' designer eyeglasses for only $25!! This offer includes any kids' frame up to $120, FREE impact and scratch-resistant polycarbonate lenses (a must for all kids), FREE UV protection and FREE eyeglass protection plan for any school-aged child 16 & under. This is such a great deal and we just had to take advantage of it and share with our readers.

A few years ago, we noticed that Michael was having some problems with seeing the chalkboard in his class. His teacher contacted us and suggested getting his eyes checked again. Surely enough, his vision was definitely impaired and he needed glasses. I had no idea how much this would effect his classroom performance and grades. We just assumed he wasn't paying attention in class and his grades suffered because of it, but now we know vision played an important role in his classroom performance and participation. He is now a straight A student and has been placed in advanced classes. We are so proud of him and make sure to get his vision tested at least once or twice a year.

We went to our local JCPenney Optical to look for new frames and Michael was so excited. Last year, he picked out some fashionable black frames at JCPenney, but Liam managed to get his hands on them and snapped the side like a twig.
Michael's old glasses!
This time he wanted "cool" glasses  and I wanted to find glasses that would last longer and withstand active play of a child. JCPenney had many different pairs from which to choose, so it was hard for Michael to decide, but he finally found his favorite pair and we were set to order. 
Michael's new metal frames!
He loves his new frames and can't wait to show them off when school starts in a few weeks! He says they are comfortable and he sometimes even forgets they are on. Plus, I know he will be able to see well and perform well in school and on the field during his soccer games. Does your child need new glasses? You can find a JCPenney Optical near you and get them for only $25 during the back to school promotion.

Ready For A Giveaway?
Thanks to JCPenney Optical we have an awesome giveaway for our readers. 
One Lucky Reader Will Win A $25 JCPenney Gift Card for you to use on any purchases in-store or online! 


Why Our Kids Love L'il Critters Gummy Vites #sponsored

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for L’il Critters. I received a product sample and promotional item as a thank you for participating.
I have two very picky eaters who would choose pizza or chicken nuggets for every meal if I let them! We try to get them to eat a balanced meal and always have at least one or two vegetables with our meals, but this doesn't mean they will eat them. That is why I think it is so important to supplement their diet with vitamins for many, many reasons.

My son, Liam, started his chemotherapy treatments last fall, so at that time I purchased our first L'il Critters Gummy Vites and also the L'il Critters Immune C (with Echinacea and Zinc). We'd tried other types of vitamins before and both of the boys were not fans, so this was our first try with gummies and the boys loved them! For once they were asking every day if they could have their vitamins! Not only am I impressed with the taste and how much my children like them, but we also made it through flu season with only minor colds that lasted a day or two!
We recently received L'il Critters Gummy Vites just in time since our most recent container of them was nearing empty. The boys were so excited to receive these in the mail and, of course, wanted to "try" them immediately. Seriously, how could I say no to a taste test and, once again, they passed with flying colors. When I asked Josiah, my 6 year-old, what he liked the most about L'il Critters Gummy Vites, he replied, "I love how the red ones taste. They are my favorite!" Liam also told me he loves the flavor of all of them and then asked if he could have more. Liam also carries his stuffed animal bear, Peanut Butter, around with him everywhere, so he immediately noticed the gummies were bear shaped and was very excited!
L'il Critters Gummy Vites are naturally flavored cherry, citrus and berry! Yummy!
It's easy to get into a routine of taking vitamins, especially when your kids love them so much and actually request them daily. I have them sitting out on our kitchen counter near our breakfast food area, so each morning the boys eat their breakfast and take their vitamins! Having them out helps me remember to give them out each morning, but most of the time the boys are the ones reminding me! This has become an everyday occurrence and it makes me feel like they are starting the day off right because L'il Critters Gummy Vites contains essential vitamins and minerals, which support and maintain healthy growth and development. As someone who has given them to my kiddos for almost a year, I am so impressed and happy about how well they really have supported their growth and helped them not only maintain a balanced diet, but also how they have also helped keep them healthy overall.
Eating their gummies and getting ready for the day!
Now that Josiah is back in school and has begun 1st grade, it is more important than ever for him to stay healthy and to be prepared each day! Although I can support Josiah by going over homework with him, helping him get to sleep early and making sure he is ready to go in the morning, I cannot make them always eat a balanced diet with all the vitamins in minerals I would like them to have. L'il Critters Gummy Vites has definitely helped out with this and, for that, I am forever grateful, especially since they love them so much.

Be sure to check out the L'il Critters Facebook page, too, and "Like" them to keep up with the latest news and promotions! You never know when a great coupon will come out or even a new type of gummy.

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for L’il Critters. I received a product sample and promotional item as a thank you for participating.


6 Great Uses For Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar & Recipes #HeinzVinegar #Sponsored

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Heinz Vinegar. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and as a thank you for participating.
As a natural parenting mom and blogger, I am have found many ways around the house to go green and get rid of anything non-toxic. In addition, I've become more of a cook, staying away from fast foods and other unhealthy items. One natural ingredient we always keep stocked in our kitchen and laundry room is Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar. I've used not only the brand, but their Apple Cider Vinegar for years now and am constantly learning of new great ways to put it to use. Who knew something so inexpensive could have so many uses? I was shocked when I found out and urge you to give it a try, too.

Heinz has been making , all-natural vinegar since 1869, so they definitely know a thing or two about the process. Apple cider vinegar is made from the fermentation of apple juice to hard apple cider, which is them fermented into apple cider vinegar. What a process! Heinz Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar is the "mother of vinegar" and the most natural form of vinegar while apple cider vinegar has been filtered and further processed. It looks clearer and cleaner, but the unfiltered version of vinegar has more health benefits.

How do I most often use Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar?
As I mentioned, there are many, many ways to use Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar and we definitely take advantage of them.  Here are some of my favorite ways to use it:

1. Cloth Diapers & Yeast Infections- Apple cider vinegar helps fight yeast and, if you have a baby, you know how often little babies can get yeast rashes on their bottoms. Not only can baby take a bath with apple cider vinegar, but you can wash cloth diapers with it to help out with the yeast monster!

2. Cleaning- Apple cider vinegar is perfect for a non-toxic cleaning spray! I like combining half acv, half water and a couple drops of tea tree oil as a disinfectant.

3. Hair Washing - Yes, apple cider vinegar is great for restoring a natural shine to hair and is a great way to rid hair of all the chemicals other harsh shampoos leave behind. Use one part water, one part apple unfiltered apple cider vinegar as a rinse for shiny, soft hair!

4. Relieving Heartburn - While pregnant with Liam, I had the worst heartburn of my life! I asked friends for a natural way to relieve my pain and they suggested a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. It worked like a charm. Now if I feel it coming on, I immediately head to the acv.

5. Improving Complexion - I wish I had known this when younger, but unfiltered apple cider vinegar is great for skin. It restores the pH balance of skin and is a great way to kill bacteria in acne. It can also soften skin as well as reduce the appearance of blemishes! You can blot areas with a cotton ball or use 1 part vinegar, 2 parts water to use as a toner.

6. Cooking - Besides all of the ways to use apple cider vinegar around the house, I also use it often in the kitchen! Here in the south, we are all about tasty, zesty foods and apple cider vinegar often gives foods that extra kick they need to stand out and taste delicious. Heinz Vinegar Recipes also has some great ideas for future cooking and meal ideas!

My Favorite Recipe with Apple Cider Vinegar
A few months ago I was experimenting with green beans from grandma's garden, which honestly tasted a little bland. Don't tell her I said that! I added flavoring, but it just wasn't enough, so I looked in my pantry and saw the Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar. I added a few teaspoons to the pot and these were the best green beans I'd ever made. Everyone, my boys included, ate everything on their plate. That is saying a lot since my husband is not a bean fan!
Southern Style Green Beans

-Salt & Pepper to taste
- 2 cubes bullion (I prefer beef, but you could use vegetable as a vegetarian option)
- 2 teaspoons Sugar
- 1.5 Tablespoons Unfiltered or filtered Apple Cider Vinegar (I prefer unfiltered and think it has a zestier taste to it!)
-2 Pounds Freshly Trimmed Green Beans

  • Put the beans in a pot and fill with water just over the top of the beans. 
  • Add all the other ingredients in the pot and boil for about 20-30 minutes until the beans are are soft, yet still crisp. (You don't want to overcook, so I always taste test around this time.)
What are your favorite uses for apple cider vinegar? I encourage you to buy some the next time you go shopping and start trying out all the great recipes and other ideas you can find on the internet. The possibilities are endless and I've really had a great time trying them out over the years. I've yet to be disappointed and that's why I always have my Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar stocked and ready to go! For some other great ideas, be sure to check out the all new Heinz Pinterest page and give them a follow. We've already pinned several of their delicious recipes, which include everything from entrees to smoothies! Yummy!

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Heinz Vinegar. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and as a thank you for participating.

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MakIt Make A Plate Art Project Kit 30% Off Discount For Our Readers

I’ve just been given the opportunity to review the Make A Plate Art Project and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you. If you want to follow along, my readers save 30% on their Prepaid Art Plate Kit (that’s a savings of over $5!) - USE PROMO CODE: USFAMILY at http://www.makit.com/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductCode=K1100PP

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We will also review this project, so come back and look for our post in a few weeks!!

Disclosure: I was given a product for review in exchange for posting about the discount. No other compensation was received and all opinions written are my own.

Trending Authors Of Summer iPad Mini Free Blogger Event Sign-Ups

Welcome to the Trending Authors of Summer iPad Mini Event sign-ups sponsored by Reader Spoils. This is the last of our three iPad Mini giveaway events this summer and we'd love for you to sign up and join the fun. The past two events gained over 100,000 combined entries, so you will definitely receive many new followers for your social media.

This giveaway will begin on Thursday, August 29th at 12:01am and ends on Thursday, September 12th at 11:59pm. One winner will be randomly selected from all valid entries to receive a 16GB white iPad Mini valued at $329.99!

  • Each blogger receives 1 free link of choice (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram).
  • Additional Links can be purchased at $4 each. These links can be Twitter, Instagram and/or Pinterest.
  • We have 4 co-host spots available for $15 each. This includes your choice of links (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Pinterest) and you get to host one of the pages (Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook) during the event!
  • The giveaway html will be sent out by Monday, August 26th and posts must be live by noon on Saturday, August 31st. We will send out reminder emails for those who forget to post.
  • Payments can be made via Paypal to childrenteachingmama@gmail.com
(YOU can win prizes, too!!)
  • The blogger who refers the most bloggers to sign up will win a $15 Amazon gift card! Announcements are not mandatory, but are a great way to increase sign-ups so you can win. If you'd like, feel free to cut/paste the event details above as your own announcement post with a link here or to the sign-up form. 
  • An additional $15 Amazon gift card winner will be chosen from the bloggers who post an announcement. So, post an announcement on your blog and you have another chance to win!

This is going to be such a great giveaway and we hope you will be a part of it! Below I have included the button along with html for you to cut and paste into a post or to include on your sidebar. This is not mandatory, but we would love for you to use it and spread the word. You can also share the post with your friends and followers via Facebook and Twitter with the widget at the top of the post. This is a good way to increase sign-ups, which also increases your change to win a gift card!

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at childrenteachingmama@gmail.com.