Become a Toxin Freedom Fighter with Seventh Generation #FightToxins

Disclaimer: This post is a part of a sponsored awareness program and campaign by Seventh Generation and in conjunction with Mom Bloggers For Social Good to raise awareness and demand change to the Toxic Substances Control Act.  Research  for this post was provided by Seventh Generation, but all written opinions are my own.

When I was pregnant with Josiah, I read an article on the Seventh Generation website about the types of toxic chemicals often found in common household products and was completely taken aback. Upon searching my house, I found that I had many of the same products with those hazardous and toxic ingredients! As a future mom, this was a wake-up call and I decided that day to read labels and educate myself on the products I purchased. Those toxic products were disposed of and we've never looked back. Since then, we've been huge Seventh Generation fans and have not only used their products, but stood by their campaigns to fight toxins and educate others about chemicals.

We are joining Mom Bloggers For Social Good to become Toxin Freedom Fighters and spread the word about the need to update and reform the Toxic Chemicals Control Act of 1976.

What is the Toxic Substances Control Act & why is this reform necessary?
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was passed in 1976, which included 60,000 chemicals and it has NEVER been updated. Since then, 20,000 new chemicals have been added, but fewer than 10,000 have ever been tested. It's been over 35 years since that act was passed and we've made barely any headway with testing chemicals and finding out conclusive evidence as to whether or not they are safe. The goal of the act was to ensure safety, but it has failed to do so and left the Environmental Protection Agency unable to adequately test chemicals that may be unsafe.

As a mom, all of this is completely disconcerting and alarming. There are 62,000 chemicals remaining on the market that have NOT been tested and guess what? These chemicals are found in a variety of products, including toys and other children's items, cleaning and personal care items, furniture, electronics, food and beverage containers, building materials, fabrics, and car interiors. Imagine the impact this can have on our own health and our environment.

As many of you know, my son has brain tumors and receives chemotherapy. He was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis, though the cause remains unknown. To think that certain chemicals in our environment could possibly be the cause is disturbing to say the least. Could this have been avoided if our government adequately tested chemicals? Even exposure to low doses of certain chemicals, especially in the womb or in early childhood, can effect hormonal, reproductive, and immune systems. Imagine the possible harm exposure to multiple chemicals could cause. Cancer, as in my son's case, learning disabilities (which are also linked to NF), asthma, and birth defects are all associated, in some way, to exposure to toxic chemicals. It's a scary fact and something we have the ability to fight!
My brave little Liam... one of the many reasons we signed the petition!

How Can You Fight Toxic Chemicals?
This is such an important subject and something I believe all people, especially parents, should take special interest. Seventh Generation is calling for all concerned citizens to sign a petition on FightToxins.com that will be sent to Congress on April 30th, 2014. The petition calls for a re-evaluation of the Toxic Chemicals Control Act for the very first time since 1976. We need YOUR help to gain the 100,000 signatures needed to make a difference. You have the ability to really make a difference for yourself, for others and for the future of your own children. Please take a moment to sign the petition and join us as a toxin freedom fighter!

Disclaimer: This post is a part of a sponsored awareness program and campaign by Seventh Generation and in conjunction with Mom Bloggers For Social Good to raise awareness and demand change to the Toxic Substances Control Act.  Research  for this post was provided by Seventh Generation, but all written opinions are my own.


Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries At The Fox Theatre Atlanta, Georgia & Ticket Package Giveaway

If your kids are anything like mine, they LOVE Scooby Doo. My 6 year-old has watched them since he was about two and my four year-old says the Hex Girls are his girlfriends. Just today they were having a conversation with each other about how silly Scooby and Shaggy are. This is why I was so excited to hear about Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries and their current tour, which is coming to The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia this coming Saturday, March 29th at 2pm and 5pm!

About Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries
In this exciting new production, Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. Gang have been called upon to help solve an epic mystery.  A trouble-making ghost is haunting a local theatre and Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Scooby-Doo are on their way in the Mystery Machine to crack the case.  With crazy ghosts, perplexing puzzles, and an abundance of Scooby Snacks, it’s Scooby-Doo and friends at their best, travelling across the country, solving mysteries wherever they go. 
SCOOBY-DOO LIVE! MUSICAL MYSTERIES features big musical numbers including the evergreen Scooby-Doo theme song, “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?,” alongside original groovy tunes including “Round Every Corner” and “We’re Mystery Inc.”  Filled with wacky new characters and uproarious antics, SCOOBY-DOO LIVE! MUSICAL MYSTERIES has young audiences on the edge of their seats in traditional Scooby-Doo fashion from the moment the lights go down.
Ticket Information
Ready to get your tickets for Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries? Tickets range from $18.00-$45.00 and are available on The Fox Theatre website, by calling 855-285-8499 or at the Fox Theatre Office. Group discounts are also available (for groups of 10 or more) by calling 404-881-2000. Want the VIP experience? You can also purchase VIP tickets for $75, which includes a pre-show meet and greet, a photo with Scooby-Doo and a large poster that has activities and drawings!
We are so excited to give our readers a chance to win & attend the show!
Ready For A Giveaway?
One reader will win 2 tickets to Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries!!

Kohl's Spring Fashion Google Hangout : Great Fashion Tips & Trends #sponsored #SpringAtKohls

I participated in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Kohl’s. I received a gift card as a thank you for participating.
Our family shops at Kohl's every season for new outfits and, since Spring is finally here, it's time to go shopping once again. For my birthday I asked my husband for some new clothes, so I've been checking out all the latest fashion trends on the Kohl's Spring Fashion Hangout. I love their clothing for women and cannot wait to go shopping this weekend.
Casual Pink Elle Shirt

Guess what? Pink is definitely "in" this season and many of the beautiful outfits at Kohl's include different pink tones and patterns. I'm going to take advantage of this fashion trend because I love pink, especially when paired with blue! The Spring Fashion Experts suggested several different ideas for creating different looks with the same outfit just by adding a jacket or piece of jewelry! Denim jackets are also back in style and, just like my niece, I have to have one! Pairing a denim jacket with a dress is a very cute casual look and keeps you warm on cooler spring days.
Same cute shirt paired with an equally adorable jacket!
Take a look at the Kohl's Spring Fashion Google Hangout to check out all of the great fashion tips! What's your favorite fashion trend for this spring season? Will you dress to impress with pink like me?
Love this beautiful emerald green dress by Elle, too!

I participated in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Kohl’s. I received a gift card as a thank you for participating.


Quick Affordable Care At the Walgreens Healthcare Clinic #HealthcareClinic #CollectiveBias #shop

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. #HealthcareClinic #CollectiveBias
I consider myself relatively healthy, but I have to admit that I always put my children first. This winter has been especially trying and my boys have been sick multiple times with a variety of illnesses. First, they both had strep throat, then the flu hit and now they are suffering from allergies.

Our busy, on-the-go family!
For this reason, I've put my healthcare aside and focused on keeping my boys well and this abruptly came to a halt two weeks ago when I came down a stomach bug that completely bombed my entire body. I was officially down for the count and in need of some kind of healthcare, but, as a mom, I'm always on the go and don't really have much downtime for myself. This makes it very difficult to schedule appointments for myself and, as you know, this time of year so many other people are sick that you have to take appointments if/when they are available. That doesn't work for me when I am driving the kids to school, picking them up and taking them around to other activities. I need something fast, efficient and reliable.
When I found out about our Walgreens Healthcare Clinic Atlanta, I was so excited because it is my favorite neighborhood drugstore. We go often for anything from getting a quick snack and picking up some shampoo to visiting the pharmacy for medications and getting photos developed. Why not also visit the doctor or nurse practitioner while there? This is such an ingenious idea and we happily obliged a visit... or three. We've been there multiple times over the past months and, as you can tell, have always been very happy with our service!

For our most recent visit, Mama had her turn for a wellness visit. Thankfully, my stomach bug was well in the past, but I really wanted to check in with a healthcare professional to make sure I was doing all I can do to be healthy and stay healthy. Since my stomach bug, I'd been experiencing heartburn like nobody's business, which is something new for me and I definitely did NOT like it. Getting checked out was just what I needed.
As soon as we got there, I checked in via their computer system. From there, I entered my information and why I was visiting. The first screen asked if I needed to be seen for prevention & wellness, treatment and monitoring & managing.

I choose prevention & wellness since I wanted to be checked out and to get a physical to get me back to full health. Then, there were several choices to narrow down why I wanted to be seen that day.

In only a few minutes, I was ready to be seen and, after about 10 minutes I was seen by a nurse practitioner, which was amazing! When seeing other healthcare providers, I end up waiting for at least 30 minutes and I've even waited up to two hours in the past, which is just ridiculous, especially when you have children. She immediately started her evaluation by asking me questions about my daily life and current health. By the end of the visit, I was feeling much better about my health and had a plan set for becoming healthier and staying that way!
An entire aisle of vitamins, probiotics & other supplements!
She recommended an over-the-counter medication for my heartburn, a women's daily vitamin and a new probiotic since I was unhappy with my current one. She even took me over to the vitamins and pointed out the ones she thought I should try, which I thought was above and beyond as a healthcare provider. She took her time to talk to me, answer questions and never once hurried me like other doctors have.

Being able to be seen by a healthcare provider, purchase my medication and pick up some other items was great! Plus, I was in and out of there in about 30-40 minutes! I had a great visit and highly recommend this for your family's healthcare needs.

Have you visited a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic? If so, leave a comment and tell us about your visit!

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. #HealthcareClinic #CollectiveBias


Educational Fun At School With Scrabble Clubs Review & Scrabble Board Game #Giveaway

When I was in the 8th grade, our English teacher allowed us to have "board game Fridays" a few times a month and there was one game I always brought.... SCRABBLE! It has been, for years, one of my favorite games besides Monopoly. I have played since I was about six years-old and would get completely schooled by my parents. While kids were partying in high school, I'd have SCRABBLE parties with my friends. By college, I'd gotten pretty good at the game and learned a few tricks and now my husband gets so mad when we play because I'm the one doing the schooling!

When I was in middle school, my friends and I started an unofficial SCRABBLE club. We'd meet every other week and play some great Scrabble games that got pretty competitive. There are so many benefits to playing SCRABBLE regularly, especially as a student because it is very educational. It greatly helps develop vocabulary and spelling skills. I'm still learning new words as I play and try to find new ways to earn points. Using a Q or Z are ways to really rack up points, so I've learned so many new words by studying a dictionary. SCRABBLE is also a fun way to engage with friends and also work on math skills when adding points. Getting a double or triple word score just adds the challenge and is always exciting as a player when you get massive points.

Because teachers and community leaders also see the educational benefits of using SCRABBLE in the classroom, they have teamed up with Hasbro to create School SCRABBLE Clubs! The clubs are designed for 4th through 8th grade kiddos and can be established in a classroom, after-school or through other community organizations, such as the library! When I was in elementary school, we had a library club and often played SCRABBLE there, too. Playing the game is a fun, social way to learn and we fully support School SCRABBLE Clubs!

Would you be interested in starting or supporting a School SCRABBLE Club? Establishing a club is very easy and you can easily find more information on the Hasbro website about starting a club and how to do so. There are also some informative videos!

Need another reason to support School SCRABBLE Clubs? All the clubs from across the U.S. are invited to compete against other schools and complete for the title of National School SCRABBLE champions! Can you imagine how much fun that would be for students? This years' competition will be held at the new Hasbro facility in Providence, Rhode Island on April 25-27! The date is coming up soon and we want to celebrate!

We received SCRABBLE board game for review and it had an extra awesome surprise! The "new" version can be played as always OR you can mix it up with Power Tiles, which several new ways to play the game and stump other players. I was excited to get this board since you could say I collect SCRABBLE games. I have my original vintage board from the 70s, an ultimate board that swivels, a travel SCRABBLE game and SLAM, so this is a great addition to my collection and we couldn't wait to play it, so that's exactly what we did.
Josiah is almost 7 years old and, SCRABBLE is recommended for ages 8+, so he understands the concept enough to form some words with the help of my husband. In 1st grade, he already has weekly spelling tests, so this is a great way to brush up on his vocabulary skills and he enjoys playing, just like his mama! I have a feeling this will become a fast family game night favorite as the boys get older.
Josiah ended up with 121 points, but Papa won with 191! It was a great game and Josiah has already been asking when we can play again. You bet it will be soon!

To celebrate the National School SCRABBLE Competition, Hasbro has a great surprise for our readers....

Ready For A Giveaway?
One Lucky Reader Will Win Their Own Scrabble Board Game From Hasbro!

Winnie The Pooh: Springtime With Roo Blu-Ray Giveaway 4 WINNERS

Just a few months ago we visited Disney and we were able to meet some of our favorite Disney characters, including Winnie the Pooh and Rabbit! The boys had to give hugs to both of them and it was so sweet.

We also had a chance to visit the tree house and write a letter to Winnie the Pooh, too!

If you can't tell, we are huge Winnie The Pooh fans. I grew up reading Winnie The Pooh stories. In fact, Josiah's baby room was decorated with Classic Pooh. I was so excited to hear that Winnie The Pooh:Springtime With Roo just came out for the first time on Blu-ray and Digital Hi-Def!

About the movie:
Each year, Rabbit plays Easter Bunny, but this year, he's decided it's "Spring Cleaning Day" and he orders everyone to hop to it: scrubbing, dusting, and mopping. All his pals are very disappointed, especially little Roo, until Rabbit learns that putting others first and showing friends how much you care turns every day into a precious gift! Sparkling with unforgettable songs and a never-before-seen bonus treat, this delightful egg-stravaganza" shows why love, hope and friendship are always in full bloom in the Hundred Acre Wood!

This is a perfect gift just in time for spring and would be great as an Easter present, too! That's why we are so excited to run this great giveaway just for our readers.

Ready For A Giveaway?
FOUR Lucky Readers Will Win Their Very Own Copy of Winnie The Pooh: Springtime With Roo on Blu-Ray & Digital Hi-Def!


Living Heart Healthy: Campbell's Soup Address Your Heart Campaign & Delicious #Recipes #HeartHealthy

As a mom on the go, it is so easy to fall into risky and unhealthy eating habits. I am, admittedly, guilty of eating fast food and other things I shouldn't, but 2014 is a new start for our family! My downfall is sugar and I cannot resist a gummy worm. However, we've decided to be a much healthier family all around. To begin, our entire family now takes vitamins, supplements and probiotics. We've also greatly changed our eating habits. We used to eat later at night than we should, we'd  eat unhealthy foods with too much grease and also eat out at restaurants too often. My husband and I made a promise to each other that we would start eating at home more often and that we'd eat healthier. Now that we hold each other accountable, it has been much easier staying with our heart healthy choices!

How does your family stay heart healthy? We eat mostly white meats and always include at least two veggies with each meal. In fact, while reading up on the Campbell's Soup Address Your Heart website, I read that research shows that eating 2.5 cups a day of veggies can greatly reduce risks of cardiovascular disease and cancers. Josiah and I love vegetables, but it has been quite a change for my husband and Liam. The Campbell's Kitchen website has some great Heart Healthy tips, delicious recipes and much more. In fact, we will be sharing some with you below. Eating three healthy meals a day is so important to our bodies. When you have picky eaters like we do, you have to experiment with foods often to find things they like and that is exactly what we do. Now that my husband eating more veggies, this has opened us up to trying all kinds of new recipes! We will be posting weekly recipes that we've tried. Speaking of great recipes, here are some photos and links to our favorites we want to try from the Campbell's website.

Broccoli Cheddar Rice

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

Creamy Turkey & Vegetable Lasagna

Pork Medallions with Spinach & Barley

Tilapia & Vegetable Casserole

If you are ready to start cooking, be sure to visit the Campbell's Kitchen website for not only great recipes, but for money-saving coupons! If you try some of the recipes above or have a healthy treat to share, leave us a comment. We'd love to hear about it.

Disclosure: This post was written Campbell's Address Your Heart Campaign in conjunction with PartnersHub. Compensation was provided for writing the post. All opinions and thoughts included are my own.

One Smiling Mama: Listerine 21-Day Challenge Update #Listerine #sponsored

Disclosure: I received a Target gift card to purchase Listerine brand products from Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc. and The Motherhood as part of my participation in the Listerine 21-Day Challenge. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.
As many of you already know, we've been part of the Listerine 21-Day Challenge for the past few weeks and it is time for an update. Okay, when we first began, we were all in need of a change in our oral routines. I, in particular, am very bad about brushing my teeth at night. I make sure the kiddos get theirs brushed and get to bed, but sometimes I fall asleep, too, before brushing mine. Yes, I know it is gross and a very, very bad habit to develop, which is why I was so excited to join the challenge.

What did the challenge involve?
Well, for 21 days we've been using Listerine Whitening Toothpaste along with Cool Mint Listerine Antiseptic Mouthwash and Reach Dental Floss. The boys have always used Listerine Smart Rinse Anticavity, so they continued using that after brushing each day, too! My goal was to establish a great routine as a family and to stay on track every day and night. Our days are so busy, especially with Josiah in school, so when he gets home at 3pm we want to make the most of our time together. First, he finishes school work and then we have playtime together. They go to bed by 8pm, so we decided to brush our teeth together at 7:30pm every single night. This routine has been working really well because I'm usually the one getting them to brush and off to bed, often leaving me forgetting about my own teeth. Now we can brush together and hold each other accountable for staying on track. I think that has been the key to successfully changing up our routine.

What changes have I noticed?
When I started the challenge, I noticed my teeth were starting to look a little yellow, they weren't as shiny as they used to be and my mouth didn't feel very clean, even after brushing. The first time I flossed and then brushed my teeth with Listerine Whitening Toothpaste, my mouth immediately felt cool and fresh. Brushing my teeth was actually enjoyable for once! After brushing I thought to myself just how clean my mouth felt. Seriously, it had been a long time since I felt that fresh, cool feeling in my mouth after brushing.

Before the challenge, I always smiled with my mouth closed because I knew my teeth weren't as white as I would like and my mouth wasn't as healthy as it should be.
Before the challenge began!
After about a week I noticed something different happening. My teeth were actually squeaking. They were, as they say, squeaky clean, and that was something very new to me! Since my first day, I've also noticed my gums are healthier. I didn't always floss like I should or use mouthwash often either, which caused redness and irritation, especially when flossing. Well, now I can floss like a champ without the bleeding or redness. That's how I can tell my gums have changed and become stronger
After the challenge, I am smiling wide and very happy with the results!
After smile!
Although my teeth already feel clean after brushing and flossing, I top it all off with a swish of Listerine Antiseptic, which gives that final burst of freshness. Okay, it burns a little, but is totally worth it because, afterwards my mouth feels amazing.

After 21 days of my new routine, I can honestly say my mouth feels healthy, my teeth are whiter than ever and it just makes me want to smile all the time. My only thought was why didn't I do this earlier? I guess I needed the extra push to change my oral routine and am so glad that I got it thanks to the challenge.

Swish, swish, swish!
Did you take the challenge? Or are you ready to begin? This is your call to take the Listerine 21-Day Challenge because it can also help children in need! For each person who posts a "Swish Selfie" to the Listerine Facebook page, Listerine will donate $5 to Oral Health America's Smiles Across America program, up to $85,000. Their goal is to connect 210,000 children with oral health services in 2014 that would otherwise not be able to receive them. This wonderful cause can really help change the lives of children and YOU can be a part of it, so please do!

Disclosure: I received a Target gift card to purchase Listerine brand products from Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc. and The Motherhood as part of my participation in the Listerine 21-Day Challenge. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.


Good News Thursday - Our Good News For The Week

I was so excited to see that two of my good blogging friends from The More the Merrier, Joy of Momma Joyner and Anderson's Angels started a new meme called Good News Thursday. It gives us all a chance to share good news with others and to be positive. We all know bad things happen and usually news focuses on the bad and negative, so this is a place where we can smile, be happy and be positive for each other! We've had some great news lately and I couldn't wait to share it all.
First of all, we are settled in our new home. After a long and exhaustive search, we found a place of our own here in Canton, Georgia and absolutely love not only our home, but the wonderful neighborhood. They are so child-friendly and have events especially for them, so the kids are very excited. There is also a pool and lake, which will be perfect this spring and summer!

Being silly boys in their tent!
Secondly, I've been invited to the Atlanta Parenting Blogger Expo later this month. I've honestly never attended a conference before and am so excited to attend. Not only will I have a chance to see some of my blogging friends and meet new bloggers, but I'll also meet some new businesses, so that may mean more reviews and giveaways for you! Plus, my birthday is this month, so my husband and I are going to make a weekend of the expo and go away together. I can't wait!

I love my two boys, but can't wait for a trip away with Papa!
In other good news, we are finally germ free at our home. We went through two rough weeks of sickness thanks to the good old southern weather. One day it was 70 degrees and the next we went below zero. Spring is nearing, though, and the weather is finally warming for good. I don't think I've ever been as happy to see the blooming flowers. I can't wait to start planting our garden here at our new home. We have the perfect spot for flowers and some yummy tomato plants.

Do you have some good news to share?
We'd love to hear it. Leave a comment below and let us know. If you have a blog, be sure to link up and share your good news each week, too, by clicking a link above to one of the hosts.  Have a great day!


Delicious Dish Tuesday Link-Up : Spinach Almond & Raisin Poppy Seed Salad Recipe

Full Time Mama
Some of my friends run this great weekly meme called Delicious Dish Tuesday and I've wanted to participate for so long. Luckily, I finally found the time to do it and have a great salad for everyone to try out.

For this dish, here is everything you need to purchase at the grocery store:
  • Baby Spinach
  • Honey Roasted Chopped Almonds
  • Raisins
  • Poppy Seed Dressing (we used Brianna's Home Style Poppy Seed Dressing, but there are other brands, too. Kroger also has their own Poppy Seed dressing that tastes great.)
Place spinach in a large bowl. We used the bag spinach, so it was just enough to fill up our mixing bowl. Then throw in a handful of almonds (to your liking) and 1/4 cup of raisins. Next, add in the poppy seed dressing. We include 2 Tablespoons (because I love the dressing), but you can add as much or as little as you want. It honestly doesn't take much! Lastly, lightly toss it all together to mix all the ingredients (if you don't mix thoroughly, the almonds will fall to the bottom, but once mixed, the dressing will hold them in place)!
This is such an easy salad to create and definitely makes an impression. A friend made it for me years ago and, to this day, it is my go-to salad when throwing a dinner party. It's pretty, delicious and a favorite for our family. Even my boys, who don't usually eat salad, go crazy for this one.

Be sure to link up your own delicious recipes with Coping With Frugality and Full Time Mama!

Ultimate Baby Shower Event - $1500 Prize Package Giveaway


Amy from This Mamas Life is expecting a little bundle of joy! What a better way to celebrate than to offer a great Baby Shower Prize Package to our readers!
Value: Over $1500.00 in Prizes! (We are still adding prizes) Lullaby Earth Mattress - $199 Value Super Baby Food Book - $19 Value Pretty Pushers - Labor & Delivery Gown, Postpartum Undies & Nursing Pads - $90 Value Glow Bugs Diapers - 1 Diaper Boy/Girl/Neutral - $12.50 Value AuraWeavers - Swaddle Blanket - $20 Value Buttons Diapers - 5 Covers, 5 Liners and Large Wet Bag - $90 Value Aveeno Gift Set - $ 29 Value Fair Haven Health - Doppler & DreamBelly Butter & Cream - $61 Value Bada Boum - Sleep Sack - $47 Value Tommee Tippee -3 Pack of Bottles - $20 Value Project Pomona - Your choice of Item upto a $34 Value Itty bitty BabyBundle - $30 Value The Children's Place - Gift Card - $50 Value MAM Feed and Soothe Gift Set - $25 Value Pediped Shoes - $30 Value Tortle - $20 Value Kushies - Layette Set - $15 Value Svan Totseat - $35 Value Avent Comfort Double Electric Breast Pump - $204 Value Glamourmom Nursing Bra Nightgown - $69 Value Joovy Nook Highchair - $149 Value Crane Humidifier - Either the Drop or Adorable Animal Style - $45 Value Ubbi Diaper Pail - Diaper Pail in your choice of color - $80 Value Wink Shapeware - $54 Value Miracle Blanket - $30 Value Baby Breeza - Original Processor - $99 Value **More Sponsors May Be Added **
Ready For The Giveaway?
*One Lucky Reader will receive the items shown above ( $1500.00 Value) *Giveaway starts March 1, 2014 at Noon est. *Giveaway will end at 11:59pm est on March 22, 2014 *Giveaway is open to US only * You must be 18 or over to enter * Winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter * Winners will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be chosen. * The lucky winner will be notified by email at the end of the Giveaway. * MI Savings Mama and the other participating blogs are not responsible for prize shipment or fulfillment. Good Luck!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Disclosure: MI Savings Mama received the items above in exchange for review. This blog did not receive financial compensation or product in exchange for this giveaway. Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest are in no way associated with this giveaway. Prize fulfillment and shipping will be handled by the Sponsors.


Achieving The American Dream With MassMutual #Sponsored #MC

I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for MassMutual. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Before having children, I have to admit I didn't think about money very often and pretty much lived paycheck to paycheck. However, that has completely changed now that I have a family. According to MassMutual's State of the American Family Study, two-thirds of parents are constantly thinking about what would be best for their immediate family and I definitely fall into that category. Just as my own parents, my husband and I have goals set for our future and we want to make sure we succeed not only for ourselves, but for our children. Just like many others, we follow our own American dream and hope for a better future.

Our little family!
MassMutual is dedicated to helping families achieve their American Dream, an idea that is different for all families, but the basis behind this national ethos is to achieve financial stability through hard work. Both of my parents are from families that definitely worked hard in textile mills, but unfortunately made little money. They went without much as children and both wanted more in life. For this reason, they both left home in pursuit of the American Dream. My dad joined the Marines, traveled the world and, upon returning to the States, he found a job that would soon provide him the financial means to attend college. As a child I remember him coming home exhausted because he would work all day and go straight to class after work. He never gave up on his dreams, eventually received a Masters in Business. Through his hard work, he achieved his dreams and provided a better financially stable life for all of us.

Our inspiration
My parents taught me to set goals and never give up, which is why I so badly want to make an even better life for my own children. Through MassMutual's study, I found out that half of the households who participated intended on paying for their children to attend college. I can completely relate to this statistic because one of our top priorities is to do the same for the boys. My husband and I were fortunate enough to attend college, but we both worked jobs to pay for our expenses and will be paying off student loans for many, many years. We graduated school with thousands of dollars in debt and do not want that for our own children.

My husband dreamed of becoming a lawyer and opening his own law firm for many years, so finally being able to open his firm last year was just amazing. The business is doing well so far and, though it is just now taking off, we have hopes of a strong financial future. Since we are just starting out, budgeting is key to not only paying our bills, but saving for the future. I was not at all surprised to see in MassMutual's study that our generation (those born from 1980-1987), who are just starting out, state their top goal as identifying a monthly budget and buying a home. We just recently moved into a new house (a rental), but we eventually want to buy our own house with a nice yard the kids can enjoy. I think we will get to a point where we can do this as long as we stay focused and continue budgeting.
My husband hard at work at our new home!

I can only imagine what the future will bring, but I'm hoping for financial security, happiness and health! My husband and I met each other 8 years ago while working at the UGA library, making less than 15k a year and without plans for the future. So much has changed, for the better, during those 8 years and I believe with love, hard work and dedication, we will continue to succeed! Our children are great inspirations to us, too, because somehow just put everything in perspective. Many years from now they will fill our shoes and I want them to know they can fulfill their own American Dream just like us.

7 out of 10 people want to be more actively involved in their own financial decisions and, if you are one of those 7 people like us, you definitely need to check out MassMutual's Family Finances Study. Their website is a great informational resource and can help you can for the future.

I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for MassMutual. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.