A Fun & Delicious Halloween With Hershey's #HersheysHalloween #sponsored

My favorite spooky time of year is finally here and our family could not be more excited! I love Halloween and so do my kids. They love everything about the holiday and all the fun activities that come along with it. Each year we do something a little different in October to celebrate Halloween, but there is one thing that is a must-have every single time: Hershey's chocolate. Okay, we have it in our house pretty much year-round, but Halloween gives us an even better excuse to buy more. Plus, they have all kinds of special Halloween-themed candy that is available for a limited time.

What are you doing this year to celebrate Halloween? 
You don't have to spend a bundle to have a good time and, as a family on a budget, we've come up with a fun list of great ways to have some spooky family fun!

1. Pumpkin Carving - Just this weekend we bought a pumpkin carving kit and two pumpkins for the kids. They were so excited to help out and couldn't wait to get their hands on the pumpkin seeds. The boys helped scoop out the "pumpkin brains" and then continued to plant a pumpkin patch while I carved up the pumpkins. My kids are just a little too young to carve, but we found some other ways for them to participate. We got out finger paints and markers so they could create their own masterpiece.

2. Trick-Or-Treating- As we learned this year, when Halloween falls on a weekday, you may find several different places to trick-or-treat in October. Many churches have fall festivals and trunk-or-treat, which are open to the public. My sis-in-law's neighborhood actually celebrated Halloween this past weekend. On Halloween, Publix is having an in-store trick-or-treat and several neighborhoods around the area are, too.
3. Decorating your home - The kids really enjoyed helping decorate. Most of our decorations came from the $1 store and others were leftovers from last year. We have light-up pumpkins, carved pumpkins, Halloween cut-outs, skeletons, ghosts, spider webs and, most importantly, candy!

4. Creating spooky treats & crafts - We checked out the Hershey's website for some Halloween recipe ideas using the candy we our Hershey's products, Reese's Pumpkin Spiders. Little hands may need some help, but this is great fun. Plus, you don't have to follow the recipe to a tee. For example, the recipe uses Reese's Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups, but my husband had already eaten all of ours, so we used York Peppermint Patties, another of our favorite candies! The Reese's Peanut Butter cups are bigger and probably easier for smaller hands, though.

Here's the Hershey's version of the recipe with a little tweeking to make it more kid-friendly:

  • REESE’S Peanut Butter Pumpkins (1.2 oz. ea.) OR York Peppermint Pumpkin Patties.
  • Large pretzel twists 
  • 1/4 cup HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate Chips, HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips*
  • YORK PIECES Candies (White or colored)
  • Pumpkin Spice Hershey's Kisses
  • Line tray or cookie sheet with waxed paper. Remove wrappers and set out your desired amount of Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkins (or York Peppermint Pumpkin Patties). For each spider, pull apart the curved sections of pretzels, which will be the legs for your spiders. cut 8 matching curved sections from pretzels which will form the legs. They really don't have to be so exact. Set aside the pretzels pieces.
  • Place milk chocolate chips in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and smooth when stirred.
  • For each spider, place peanut butter pumpkin on prepared tray. Dip the pretzel legs, one at a time, into the chocolate and attach them to the peanut butter pumpkins. Then, add the candy eyes. We used York Pieces Candies and eatable food coloring markers to paint them red! You can use a dot of melted chocolate to dot the eyes if you want.  Allow chocolate to set before moving spiders.
  • Cut Pumpkin Spice Hershey's Kisses in half and add one half to each spider. This is not in the original recipe, but we like this tasty addition. 
We've had such a fun-filled October and we still have more to come on Halloween day! I'll be sad when the month is over, but then we have some other holidays coming, so that means more sweets and treats. We hope you had a great October and will have a Happy Halloween filled with Hershey's candies!!!

Disclosure: This post was written for Hershey's in conjunction with Global Influence. Product was received for the writing of this post along with payment. All opinions written are my own. 


Save Your Season QB Challenge & $20 Target Gift Card Giveaway #TargetNCAA

Our family gets so excited each fall because that signals the beginning of football season. I remember listening to football games with my grandfather on AM radio and watching on tv with my parents, who would often scream, yell and get so excited during each game. That's part of the reason I am such a huge football and NCAA fan today. My husband and I both graduated from the University of Georgia and are Georgia Bulldogs through and through. As students, we often went to games and experienced the excitement of sitting in the stands. We still go to games occasionally, but most often we watch on tv as a family.

During games you can often hear cheering, shouting, laughter and, of course, the little ones saying, "GO DOGS"! Our big game each season is when UGA plays Florida, our biggest rival! They are such huge rivals that each year the game is not played at either of the university stadiums. In fact, the big game is coming up next weekend and I can't wait. We look forward to this game each year. 

Save Your Season QB Challenge
This football season you have a chance to win an Xbox One with the Save Your Season QB Challenge! Target, one of our favorite stores, is teaming with Dove Men+Care, Axe, Dregree Men and the NCAA not only to keep guys smelling great, but to put your skills to the test. The Save Your Season QB Challenge is YOUR chance to win an Xbox One and you can even recruit friends to play against you. This is such a fun way to celebrate the football season and you also have a chance to win. You can talk smack to your friends via e-cards and show why your own team is the best. 

Save Money At Target
Shop at Target from 10/20-11/9 and receive a $5 Target gift card when you buy any three participating Dove Men+Care, Axe or Degree Men products. 

Twitter Party Fun
Be sure to join the fun Twitter party with Resourceful Mom and Target NCAA on 11/4 at 8pm ET! Follow @ResourcefulMom and use the hashtag #TargetNCAA We hope to see you there. 

Ready For A Giveaway
To help celebrate this football season, the NCAA and the great Target deals, we have an awesome giveaway. 
One Children Teaching Mama Reader Will Receive a $20 Target Gift Card!


I'm Taking The Pledge Challenge With Pledge FloorCare Wood Products #Pledge #sponsored

I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Pledge. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and promotional item as a thank you for participating.
I'm not sure what it is about hardwood floors, but I love them. Every house we've rented and lived in has had hardwood. I just love the way they look and especially the way they shine when clean. Growing up with a mom who loved to clean, she taught me everything there is to know about properly dusting and cleaning house. She always, always used Pledge when dusting, so imagine my excitement when I was asked to work with Mom Central and be a Pledge Ambassador for their new Pledge FloorCare Wood products!

In our last home, a cabin in the mountains, everything was made of wood and I really had my work cut out for me. In our current home, we have hardwood in our kitchen and living areas and the three bedrooms are carpeted.  The hardwood flooring is about 6 years old now, but in pretty good condition. The flooring does, however, lack the shine it used to have when brand new and my children definitely gives it a run for its money. I have no idea how they do it, but by Friday each week the floor is so dirty and in great need of cleaning. Even though the boys are older, we have company over every weekend, including my little nephews who are two years-old. All of the kids play on the floor, roll around and spend a lot of time building blocks in the living room, so we have to keep the floor clean for them. Plus, you never know when someone might have another baby! Friday is our weekly cleaning day and are going to put Pledge FloorCare Wood products to the test for the Pledge Challenge. Over the next 30 days we will use the new FloorCare Wood products, take photos and will then share our experience with our readers. You'll get to see the complete transformation of our floors and I honestly can't wait to give all the products a try! Be sure to check back soon for our next post! Also, be sure to Like Pledge on Facebook to keep up with all the latest products, coupons and other promotions!

Here's a little more info about the Pledge products we received and will be trying out:

  • Pledge® FloorCare Wood Concentrated Cleaner gently removes dirt and grime while restoring floor’s natural shine. It’s made with almond oil to moisturize wood and restore its natural beauty, and it leaves a fresh scent behind. The concentrated formula makes up to 16 gallons of cleaning solution.
  • Pledge® FloorCare Wood Squirt & Mop is a ready-to-use formula requiring no dilution before use. Its advanced formula removing dirt and grime that builds up over time to maintain a floor’s natural finish with no dull residue. It reveals wood’s natural beauty and leaves a fresh citrus scent behind. Also available in gallon size.
  • Pledge® FloorCare Wood Trigger is a ready-to-use formula designed specifically for spot cleaning. Its advanced formula cleans, shines, restores and protects—with no dulling, oily residue—leaving a fresh citrus scent behind.
  • Pledge® FloorCare Wood Finish goes beyond what you get from other floor cleaning products—this premium finish provides a beautiful, transparent, long-lasting shine and stands up to the wear of heavy traffic without yellowing. It can protect hardwood floors and help prevent dirt from getting trapped in floor grooves and indentations, making cleaning much easier. 

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


The Contours Bliss 4-in-1 Baby Stroller System: A Must-Have For Parents & $100 Babies 'R Us Gift Card

As first-time parents, we are unprepared for many things to come, but one thing I never expected was the need for a quality stroller and how much it would be used. I've admittedly spent too much money over the years on strollers and I've learned that you definitely get what you pay for. When Josiah was a baby, he went through three strollers! Some strollers just don't make the grade, but the worst waste of money is having to purchase a new stroller when the other is outgrown. If only I had known what I know now! The Contours Bliss 4-in-1 Stroller System is all you need for your baby all the way up to 40 pounds, so there is no need to purchase a new stroller every few months. We all know babies grow so quickly and, unlike clothing, strollers can be super expensive. Now you can save yourself from the daunting task of stroller shopping and also save money!

About the Bliss
This all-in-one stroller is an innovative system and the first of its kind. It is a stroller, pram and on-the-go carrycot. In addition, the system includes an infant car seat adapter that fits over 20 different car seats, so you can easily use for your travel system when on the go.
I absolutely love the pram feature of this stroller system. I can imagine my little baby napping comfortably as I walk go on a walk or even as I fold clothes at the house because the carrycot can be removed! The seat has 3 reclining positions and there is a removable padding on the seat, which makes it soft like a mattress and is the softest I've ever felt on a stroller.

As baby grows, the stroller changes, too. You can adjust the 5-point safety straps to different levels as the baby gets older. So, from birth all the way to 40 pounds, your child will be comfortably safe in the Bliss! In addition, there are front wheel locks, which are very useful when walking in hilly areas. Other features include an adjustable cup holder and a storage basket underneath the seat.

Our Review
On the 14th of September, my family had the opportunity to visit Disney World through Make A Wish Foundation. We'd never been on such a huge a family vacation and for entire week! A few days ahead of time, I made my lists and began to pack everything we needed. Luckily, we received the Contours Bliss 4-in-1 Baby Stroller System to review because we needed a sturdy stroller for the trip and knew it would come in handy, but we didn't realize just how much we would appreciate it!

Before leaving for our trip, my husband and I assembled the stroller in no time. Seriously, it was one of the easiest strollers we've had to put together. The instructions were straightforward and showed via photos how to transition the stroller to the different positions. Before we knew it, we were strapping in Liam and adjusting everything to fit him perfectly.

Our first stop was the airport and we decided to keep our stroller and check it at the gate. We immediately learned why it's important to have a good stroller when traveling. Since the stroller has extra room underneath for carrying items, we were able to keep our carry-on luggage there instead of hauling it down all the different halls and trams while trying to keep up with the kids at the same time. Considering we had to take off shoes and go through security with two kids, the stroller actually ended up being extremely helpful for lugging things. When entering the airplane, we easily folded the stroller and hopped on the plane. When we got to Orlando and off the plane, our stroller was waiting right outside for us, so the others who stored it under the plane also figured out how to close and open the stroller with ease.
We spent an entire week in Orlando, visiting 3 of the Disney Parks, SeaWorld and Universal Studios. The stroller fit perfectly in our trunk each day and was ready to use when we got there just by the touch of a button and a pull of the handle. The parks allowed the Bliss to double as Liam's wheelchair the entire time we were there. Let me just say, this was really a blessing because Liam would be unable to walk very long without having a stroller. Plus, with the wheelchair pass, we were able to push him right up to a ride, put him in and the stroller was there right when we got out. Not all strollers can double as a wheelchair at parks, but the employees inspected the stroller and were quite impressed with not only the features, but how sturdy it was. I cannot imagine carrying a small child or baby around such a big park for miles and miles. The Bliss was seriously an amazing stroller that made each day easy, fun and exciting for Liam.

A few of my favorite Contours Bliss Features:

1. Liam is on the bigger side of the spectrum for this stroller, weighing in around 34 pounds. Luckily, the 5-point harness has three points in which you can adjust the straps to fit around your child or baby's shoulders. I also feel like Liam is very secure in his stroller with this sturdy harness and think this makes it perfect for smaller children as well.
Strapping Liam in!
2. The stroller is very easy to fold and break down for storage. We could easily fold and place in our trunk. Plus, when parking at the Disney parks, we'd have to ride trams occasionally. There is a side handle so we could lift up the stroller and haul it just like a piece of luggage. It's not light-weight, but it's not extremely heavy or hard to lift either. I had no problem folding, lifting and placing the stroller each time we needed to.

3. Brakes are a must-have for strollers, especially when you live in the mountains like us. The first time I pulled the Bliss out of our trunk and placed it, in folded form, on the ground, the stroller shot down the hill and I went screaming and running after it like a crazy person. That's when I learned to always put the brakes on when not pushing, especially when Liam is in it!

4. I never knew how much I'd appreciate the extra storage underneath the Contours Bliss stroller system. There was more than enough room for a diaper bag, jackets, a purse, and more. In the airport, we were able to place two carry-ons, a pillow and 2 stuffed animals in it with room to spare!
Look at all the storage room!
5. A shade is great for babies, especially in the summertime when the sun is hot, hot, hot. We used this often when on our trip and Liam highly enjoyed the comfort of it. What I liked about it was the little window, which allowed me to peek through at him while pushing the stroller so I could continue pushing while checking on him instead of having to pull over and stop.

6. When outdoors I, more often than not, have a drink with me. This cup holder is not your typical holder. Some clip on loosely and other strollers have holders built into the top of the handles. This cup holder snaps securely into place, so I know it isn't moving. The cup holder is down on the side of the handles and is at a much better place for reaching it when needed.

The Contours Bliss is available in Wilshire Black (the one we reviewed) or Valencia Gold color options and has a suggested retail price of $399.99. It can be found in select retail and online stores. The Bliss is not your typical stroller and, as a well-built 4-in-1 system, you can expect it to last a very long time. From birth to preschool age, the Bliss is sure to provide everything your baby needs and more. I honestly cannot say enough about the Contours Bliss 4-in-1 Baby Stroller System. This system will be put to good use for many years to come.

Liam wants to send a special thank you to Contours for this wonderful stroller! He had such a wonderful trip and it would not have been the same without the Bliss! 
Sleepy & relaxing on our last day of fun!

Wouldn't you love to own one of these beautiful strollers? Contours wants to help out our readers on the purchase of their very own Contours Bliss! So...

Are You Ready For A Giveaway?
Thanks to Contours Baby, One Lucky Children Teaching Mama Reader Will Receive a $100 Babies 'R Us Gift Card! 
This giveaway is open to US readers, 18+ years of age and will end on Sunday, November 10th at 11:59pm. To enter, use the GiveawayTools form below. Good Luck!

Disclosure: A giveaway and Bliss stroller was provided from Contours for the writing of this post. No other compensation was provided and all opinions written are my own.


Fall Fun In Pigeon Forge, Tennessee With The Family Part One #PFTitanicFAM

I wrote a post a little over a week ago about our upcoming weekend getaway to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. We love the area and, in fact, that is where my husband and I got married almost 7 years ago this December! We were excited to take the boys and knew they would have a great time. We arrived at our hotel, the Music Road Hotel, a little late due to Friday traffic, but as soon as we went inside, the kids were very impressed not only that they had a pool, but an entire outdoor water park that was still open since the weather is was warm. We checked into our room and happily got some rest for the next days of fun.
The Music Road Hotel
That morning I went down to the breakfast buffet and they actually had a tray so I could carry food back up to our room for everyone. That was so nice and made it easy to get everyone ready to go. Before leaving, we went for a walk on the back porch of the hotel and noticed it sat beautifully on the river and had the most amazing view, so we had to take some pictures of the boys. Here's a picture of them ready for our fun day to begin:

Our first stop of the day was at the Titanic Attraction, something Josiah has been learning about and something in which he is very interested.

About the Titanic Attraction
Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge is a celebration of the ship, passengers and crew!  It is said that the best way to respect and honor those who gave their lives is to simply tell their stories.    
We stepped inside the boat as a passenger and received our tickets upon entry. We were given a device so we could listen to educational information as we moved through the ship. The great thing about this was the ability for kids to participate, too. When kids saw certain numbers, they punched in the code and could learn about the children of the titanic or other interesting details like how many pets were on board the Titanic!
Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photos inside the attraction because it was absolutely wonderful and something I recommend for all families visiting Pigeon Forge. We all learned so much about the ship, its trip and the passengers. We also had a chance to walk through different parts of the ship and experience life as a 1st class, 2nd class and 3rd class passenger. There were special items created for all the different classes, of course the 1st class being the most elaborate and beautiful. 
My initial worry was whether or not the kids would stay interested, but as we went through each part of the ship, their eyes got wider and they were asking more questions. Liam did not even want to leave. Josiah especially liked getting to touch an iceberg and feel how cold the 28 degree water was the night the Titanic sunk. I loved the beautiful Grand Staircase, created to look just like the one on the Titanic, which is featured in the photo below. We were able to walk up and down as part of the tour. After going through the ship, you really get a feel for what it was like onboard the luxury liner and how tragic the accident was. 

After our tour of the Titanic, we decided to head back to the hotel and relax for a few hours. We ordered pizza from a local pizzeria and had to delivered straight to our room, which was so delicious and relaxing. Around 4pm, we headed to our next stop, the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show

About the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show
I was really excited about this part of our trip because I knew this would be a hilarious show for the kids. The feuding Hatfield and McCoy families are at it again and we are right in the middle of the fight while they try to settle their differences in a way that only mountain folk can do. 

We were seated on the Hatfield side of the room and became part of the family. Our "cousin" served us food as soon as we sat down. First we got our sweet tea, a southern staple for all families and something Liam loves. For dinner the food was never-ending! Then, he brought a creamy vegetable soup that everyone loved. The great thing was that we could purchase it in the gift shop after the show and that's exactly what we did. We received a bucket of delicious fried chicken, country pulled pork shoulder, which was Josiah's favorite, mashed taters, cole slaw, bread and corn on the cob. 

Soon after getting our food, the entertainment began! A great group came out and played country music and the award-winning yodeler showed us just how good she was. Afterwards, the Hatfield and McCoy families came out and began the hilarious show.
We had a great time watching the show and even had dessert during it! Afterwards, we took a stroll around the gift shop and outdoors. There were many props set up outside and the kids had to check them all out.

Those hilarious boys had a great time and even wanted to go back the next day. However, the fun was not over yet. We still had more attractions to see, which will be featured in our next post!

Have you ever been to Pigeon Forge? Now's a great time for a family trip and with fall school vacation time coming up, you can get some great deals at The Music Road Hotel. Our next post is coming up soon!

Disclosure: This post was written in conjunction with the U.S. Family Guide. A trip was provide in exchange for a review of Pigeon Forge. No other compensation was provided and all opinions written are my own. 


Giving Comfort Shares Special Kits & Care For Cancer Patients #GivingComfort #spon

This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Giving Comfort blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. A little over a year ago we learned that Liam's diagnosis of Neurofibromatosis was causing brain tumors to form. Shortly after he had his port placed and was ready to begin chemotherapy. 
Liam getting his port placed for chemotherapy.
Now on his second round of chemo since the first did not work, we go to his doctor for chemo every Thursday and he is such a brave little man. Some days are great, some are good and others are just plain horrible. Some days his little smile shines so bright and uplifts everyone's spirit while other days he feels tired and sick, making all worry and feel down.
At the doctor with Ralph the dog!
Treatments can be such a scary time for cancer patients, especially when just beginning, not knowing what to expect and experiencing the worst of the side effects. I remember that feeling all too well and sometimes still feel that way. I know Liam does, too, because there are some days he just doesn't want to go to his appointments and I really can't blame him. It's so important for all cancer patients to feel supported, loved and to know they are not ever alone in the fight. With that in mind, Giving Comfort, a nonprofit program of the McKesson Foundation, was created.

Giving Comfort gift kids are made to provide special comfort for your loved one when they need it the most. The kits come with a variety of items from socks and blankets to books and lip balm. All of these items help not only pass the time during chemo treatments, but to also ease the side effects. You can choose from so many different kits depending on what you think your loved one would enjoy the most. Taking a look on the Giving Comfort website, there are some amazing kits not only for children, but also for teens, men and women.
The Women's Essentials Kit
Nothing makes me feel as great as when I see Liam smile and hear is adorable laugh. His happiness is infectious and that's why I choose a Giving Comfort kit just for him. There is a Younger Boy's Essential Kit, which includes a custom pillowcase, blanket, sleep cap, socks, a coloring book with crayons and more. However, I decided on the Teen Boy Kit because it contained items that would be great for Liam and his brother, Josiah. Josiah acts as Liam's guard and protector, sitting patiently by his side during treatment and taking care of him at home. They are always playing with each other and are best friends, so I knew they could enjoy the kit together. It contains:

  • 365 Brain Games Book
  • $10 iTunes Gift Card
  • Ear Buds
  • Striped Beanie
  • Black Cinch Bag
  • Grey Plush Rolled Blanket
  • Queasy Pops
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Burt's Bees Lip Balm
  • Blue Aluminum Water Bottle
  • Blueberry Bissinger's Gummies

I couldn't wait to receive the kit and love the idea behind Giving Comfort. All cancer patients should receive one of these kits. When the kit arrived, it was already in a Giving Comfort gift box and ready for someone to open as a gift. The boys were so excited, especially Liam! We always take an iPad to treatment to help pass the time, so he was very excited to have some credit for new games. Plus, he can use the earphones to keep the volume down in the waiting room. Lollipops are his favorite type of candy, so he also loved the Queasy Pops, something I enjoyed while pregnant with him, too. The blanket is another favorite item because it is super soft and snugly. It can get cold at the hospital and having a soft, warm blanket with us is perfect. Josiah was excited about the 365 Brain Games Book, something else we can do together during treatment times. We are at the doctor for hours at a time, so many of these items will be perfect for us to enjoy and to make the appointments bearable. 
Liam's infectious smile & happiness!
Giving Comfort Care Kits are such a great idea and really brightened Liam's day. Not to mention, we can use the items for many, many more days in the future. Seeing that smile spread across his face every time we get another treat out of the box just makes this kit priceless, in my opinion. Watch the video below to see how it brightens the day of an adorable little girl.

Do you know a friend or family member that has cancer and is receiving treatment? 
Giving Comfort has kits for everyone and each kit contains unique items for your loved one. Be sure to take a moment to look at this amazing care kits. They make for a perfect and thoughtful gifts that will not only be used, but appreciated and remembered forever. 

"Like" Giving Comfort on Facebook by clicking below to help support them and to keep up with the latest news!


Find A Great Doctor & Manage Appointments With Healthgrades #Sponsored #MC

I participated in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Healthgrades. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Only a few years ago we learned that Liam had Neurofibromatosis and we had to find a variety of doctors, including an ophthalmologist, oncologist and neurologist. This is when I stumbled across the Healthgrades website and was amazed all of the great information it provided for me. Now you can download the Healthgrades app onto your iPad for even more helpful support.

How is the Healthgrades app  and website so helpful and important? You can search for doctors in your area. You can narrow down by specialty and you can even see which types of insurance are accepted. In addition, other people can write their own reviews from experiences with the doctor, so you can find a doctor that not only meets your needs, but that also comes highly recommended. There are over a million reviews by other consumers and patients! Since I often pick doctors based on word of mouth, I really love this feature.
A search for pediatricians in my area!

The Healthgrades app also allows you to manage doctor's appointments. You can set reminders so you never forget another appointment. I have unfortunately missed an appointment in the past because we have so many scheduled and it is always a hassle. Sometimes you have to pay a fee and other times you will have to wait another month to be seen.

Be sure to check out the Healthgrades App and download it today for your family! 

I participated in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Healthgrades. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating


MikaRose Fashionably Modest Clothing For Women Review & Giveaway

When we were unpacking after our move, I looked through some old boxes that have followed us around for years, but never made it back into my closet. One thing was very clear: my fashion tastes have changed greatly over the years! Many of the items were short summer dresses and tank tops, clothing I just wouldn't wear now. It's not that I don't like those types of clothing, I just feel much more comfortable in dresses that are knee length and cover up more than I used to. Even though I am older, I'm not an old woman and do NOT want to dress like one. I still love fashion and stay in the know about the latest styles. That's why I was so excited to find Mikarose, a clothing company that specializes in modest yet fashionable dresses!

I searched modest clothing for quite a while before finding Mikarose and was always unimpressed with what I found. Like I said, I want my dresses to be a bit longer and cover up on top, but I don't want to dress like I live on a prairie! You never have to sacrifice style thanks to Mikarose. You can find beautiful and fashionable dresses, shirts and skirts that are also modest and can be worn for many different occasions. In fact, picking an item for review was actually very difficult and took me two days to decide!

Just recently I had a business meeting in Atlanta and was so excited to receive my first Mikarose dress for review. After much deliberation, I chose the Isabel dress because it just looked so cute with the short cap sleeves and the beautiful lace detail across the top. There is a wide waist band which then leads to a chiffon gathered skirt that is not only comfortable, but multi-functional. 
Although also available in Coral, I chose the Sapphire Blue, which I thought would be a beautiful color for any season, especially this fall. Here in the south, we have very mild fall and winter weather, so I knew this dress would be great for upcoming meetings and gatherings.

The dress ended up being everything I expected and more. It's so comfortable that I can see myself wearing it all the time. I can wear it when we have company over, to church, to dinner and to work. That's the great thing about Mikarose- many of their outfits and dresses are multi-functional, so you can really get your money's worth out of everything you buy. Plus, you can be comfortable while looking beautiful! I absolutely love my dress and can't wait to buy another. A Mikarose dress will be perfect for my husband's upcoming holiday party at work. Since they have long-sleeved dresses and short-sleeved, I can get dresses for every season!

Ready For A Giveaway?
One Lucky Children Teaching Mama Reader Will Win a $50 Mikarose Gift Credit To Use Towards Their Beautiful Outfits! 
To enter, use the GiveawayTools Form below. This giveaway is open to US residents, 18+ years of age and ends on Sunday, November 3rd. Good Luck!


Disclosure: This review was written for Mikarose in exchange for a dress. No other compensation was provided and all opinions written are my own. 


Tiny Prints: Beautiful and Unique Holiday Cards Review & $50 Giveaway #TinyPrintsCheer

Several years ago, I stumbled across Tiny Prints and the rest is history! I love their cards and have purchased them every holiday season. We've also bought invitations for birthday parties. Every single time we have been so impressed with the cards and always, always get compliments about them. I can't believe it, but as of today we have 76 days until Christmas. Once again, the seasons have swept past us and December will be here before I know it. This year I am determined not to procrastinate and have already chosen some of my favorite holiday cards.

I think holiday cards should not only be pretty, but should tell a story. We experience so much each and every year that it's hard to share everything with friends and family. Photo holiday cards are the perfect way to share all of those special moments with others. I love that on Tiny Prints you can narrow down your card search by how many photos you would like included on your cards. I always pick 2 different types of cards. The first includes maybe 1-2 photos and is more for friends who live nearby and with whom we communicate often. My top two in this category have to be Frosted Foliage and Sheer Confetti! The first has more subtle colors of silver and grey while the other is bright and merry. When looking at these two cards I noticed something different about photo card options this year on Tiny Prints. You can now choose your own trim options for your cards, which include square, rounded, bracket, ticket & scallop trim! Below is the Sheer Confetti card with a bracket trim.
The new trims definitely add something to the look of the cards and I love the choices! 

The second type of card I like to pick out for the holidays includes 6+ photos and allows me to not only tell friends and family members all about our great year, but to show them through great photos. So much happens in a year and, as a parent, I am constantly snapping photos of the kids. These cards give me a chance to show off my children and the best photos of the year.

When searching for these cards, I also realized all of the new design options available for 2013 on Tiny Prints: Contemporary, Classic, Vintage, Full bleed photos, All That Glitters, Bold Expressions, Simply Chic, Woodland Wonder & The New Tradition. So, if there is a certain style you prefer, you can narrow down your options this way. I choose to narrow my search for this type of card by format. You can choose from flat, folded, postcard, circle or tri-fold cards. My favorites just happen to be the tri-folds because they are larger and allow more space for photos. My top two for this type of card this year are Happy Highlights and Dotted Timeline. Both break out of the traditional holiday card style, offering unique colors and the ability to pinpoint the best parts of your year. Dotted Timeline comes in Tangerine, Wild Strawberry and Hazelnut colors schemes while Happy Highlights is available in Meadow green and Watermelon.
I am pretty sure we will end up purchasing the Happy Highlights tri-fold holiday card in Meadow because I like the colors and I can include 10 photos! Plus, I love the matching address labels and envelope liners for them.

Some people may think picking out holiday cards is a chore, but I have so much fun each year creating a new card for the holidays. I love that Tiny Prints has so many different choices so I can find cards that are unique and fit our personalities. Besides holiday photo cards, did you know there are also several different photo gifts on Tiny Prints that are perfect for the upcoming holidays? I think the personalized iPad cases are just beautiful and would be a perfect gift for my husband while the grandmas in our family would love the photo ornaments!
The photo above is of the Dots and Joy: Bright Red personalized photo ornament! Isn't this adorable?

So, now that you've heard about many of the new holiday photo cards and gifts from Tiny Prints, how about a giveaway?

Giveaway Time
One Lucky Winner Will Receive a $50 Gift Code + Free Shipping To Use at TinyPrints.com


Share Your Special Family Moments Contest With Welch's #Sharewhatsgood #MC #Sponsored

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

As a busy family, it always seems like there is not enough time each day to do everything I want to do. In the morning, I pack Josiah's lunchbox, which always contains a peanut butter and Welch's Grape Jelly sandwich, and get him ready to go. He gets out of school at 2:30pm each day and, by the time he gets home, we have just enough time to finish up homework, have bath time and eat dinner! It goes by so quickly. If I had an extra hour each day, I would take that time to just have fun with the kids, do crafts, go outdoors or something special they would like to do. That's why we've started actually making and eating dinner at home lately. It gives us that extra time to spend as a family, share our day and have some time to relax together.

Josiah eating a snack and drinking Welch's 100% Grape Juice!
As I mentioned above, we love our Welch's and that's why we were excited to learn about their new movement called "Share what's good", which is all about sharing special moments that occur each day with family, friends and loved ones! It can be anytime, anywhere, and with anyone as long as it is special a special moment you cherish. To me, a special family moment means a special moment in time you get to spend together as a family that leaves a lasting impression on us, especially our children.
My Special Moment
My cherished memories of childhood mostly come from our annual 4th of July trips to the beach and all the fun things we did together. In fact, we still go each year with my parents! During the week, we try to make our dinner time special by making favorite foods, letting the kids cook with me or just relaxing and being a family, but just recently, we had some special moments that really made it to the top of my favorites list. Thanks to Make A Wish Foundation, we had an amazing Disney trip earlier this month that will never be forgotten. With everything my son, Liam, has been through over the past year, it felt so great to give him something special for an entire week and he wore a smile the entire time. All the laughter, smiles and time together made us cherish each other even more and the time we have together. Honestly, none of us were ready to come home, which is why we've decided to make this an annual trip! So, our newest tradition will be an annual fall trip to Disney World.

Welch's Share Your Moments Photo Contest
What is your favorite family memory? As someone who takes many pictures (over 600 during our trip!), I was so excited to hear about the Welch's Share Your Moments Contest! Get those special photos out, take a look through them and pick one to share for a chance to win prizes. From 9/16 until 10/25, you can upload a photo of your favorite family moment for a chance to win $5,000! In addition, everyone who enters will receive either a  $1.50 or $2.00 coupon for Welch's 100% Grape Juice when you share the news! All you need to do is visit ShareWhatsGood.com to find out more and to enter! You can also add your great photos to Twitter and Instagram with hashtag #Sharewhatsgood.

Be sure to "Like" Welch's on Facebook, follow on Twitter and on Instagram to keep up with the latest news, contests and coupons!

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

Publix & Produce For Kids Team Up To Raise Money!

We love our local Publix and had to share this with readers! Produce for Kids is teaming up with Publix stores for the second annual Healthy Families, Helping Kids campaign to raise money for local health and nutrition-based classroom projects through DonorsChoose.org. 

Beginning September 27th through October 4th, the joint campaign will help raise money for classroom projects that encourage healthy relationships with food.  The more produce Publix shoppers add to their shopping lists, the more hope they can give to local children. All participating fresh fruit and vegetable suppliers at Publix stores will make a consumption-based donation DonorsChoose.org. Last year, the campaign raised more than $169,000 and supported 652 classroom projects throughout the country.

Shoppers should be on the lookout for Produce for Kids signage, featuring characters from the popular Sprout® television show,The Chica Show, in the produce section of local Publix stores. There, they will be directed to visit www.produceforkids.com for even more Ideal Meals recipes, tips and solutions to help shoppers keep their families healthy for back-to-school and year-round.

Below are some nutritious and delicious brand new fall inspired PFK recipes that will keep the whole family nutritiously fed from breakfast to dessert:  

Fruity Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Serves 4
Preparation Time: 5 minutes


1 cup canned pumpkin purée
2 cups lowfat vanilla yogurt
1 cup spinach, loosely packed
½ cup pomegranate juice
1 medium banana
1 medium mango, chopped
1 tsp. cinnamon
⅛ tsp. cloves

  1. Place pumpkin, yogurt, spinach, juice, banana, mango, cinnamon and cloves into blender. Blend until smooth.

Suggested Sides for a Complete Meal:
       1 slice whole wheat toast with 1 Tbsp. nut butter

Recipe by Christine Pittman of Cook the Story

Hearty Turkey & Kale Chili
Serves 8
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours


1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1½ Tbsp. chili powder
1½ Tbsp. cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cans (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
1 can (15 oz.) low-sodium black beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (15 oz.) no salt added corn, drained
¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups kale, tough stems removed, chopped
1 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
1 cup unsalted tortilla chips, crushed

  1. Add turkey, onion, pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, tomato paste, tomatoes, black beans, corn, broth and kale to slow cooker, and cook on low 8 hours.
  2. Top with Greek yogurt and tortilla chips.

Pear-Stuffed Baked Apples
Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes


4 large apples
2 pears, peeled, chopped
½ lemon, juiced
¼ cup pecans, finely chopped
¼ cup dried cranberries
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
⅓ cup light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. caramel dip

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Remove tops from apples and core, leaving apples whole. Sprinkle inside with lemon juice.
  3. Mix pear, pecans, cranberries, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar in bowl.
  4. Tightly pack apples with pear mixture. Place in baking dish and add water to fill pan ½-inch. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until apples are soft.
  5. Drizzle with caramel dip.

This post was written in conjunction with Publix. A gift bag was sent as compensation. All written opinions are my own. 

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