Friday, December 5, 2014

ditch the milk - santa isn't thirsty!


This time of year is the time for us all to be closer to our families and really spend time cherishing what we have a little more. So many families unfortunately don't get to do things or give gifts to one another like we do and even the simplest little things to us are huge to them. Such as a glass of milk. Yep, one glass of milk. Think of how many glasses of milk are set out each year on Christmas Eve for Santa, along with a few cookies - and 9 times out of 10 that milk is either left out all night and then trashed in the morning or a little is drank and the rest is pourn out. Am I right?

 
Now go think of all the children that are throughout the world and how that one glass of milk would be the absolute highlight of their day and bring such joy to their lives. Families that depend on Feeding America food banks receive less than one gallon of milk per person, per year. Can you believe that? Milk is such an essential for our little ones for strong bones and a great calcium source and they receive so little.
 



On average, food bank clients receive the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year, leaving many families with limited access to milk’s essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality protein per serving and three of the top nutrients most likely to be missing in the American diet – calcium, vitamin D and potassium.
  • To date, 194,000 gallons have been donated as part of the industry’s ongoing commitment to helping families get much-desired nutrient-rich milk.
  • This holiday season, you can help make the season brighter for hungry families with the gift of milk by donating at www.MilkLife.com/give
  • By entering your zip code, you can ensure that milk is delivered to a local food bank to help nourish children in your own community.
 



Holiday Impact: Gallons are Gifts
During the holidays – a time when one third of annual giving happens – we can help make the season brighter for hungry families in our communities with the gift of nutrient-rich milk. While you give thanks for what you have this year, take action against the issue of hunger:
  1. Make a donation online. Starting Giving Tuesday (December 2) through December 31, America’s dairy farmers and milk companies will match all donations made at http://clvr.li/1xDDJdX making milk gallons multiply at your local food bank this holiday season. By entering your zip code, you can ensure that milk is delivered to a local food bank to help nourish children in your own community.
  2. Spread the word. For every share of this Great American Milk Drive video (below), a one-gallon donation will be made to one of the more than 200 food banks served by Feeding America.


 
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

keeping a financial mind around the holidays #important


Black Friday - the day we all drop some serious cash, am I right? Well, I'm finding it's so incredibly important to keep a responsible, sound mind while shopping for the holiday because well, even though we all love to give great gifts, it's important for your financial sound mind. I always try to set a budget for myself, whether it be equivalent to one paycheck for everyone or something similar and do my best not to break that budget!
 
Capital One is offering some great deals right now specifically for those of us that want to stick to a budget, including opening a 360 checking account and earning $100.00, yes $100.00 or $1,250.00 in your pocket if you refit your home through Capital One. Sounds like a Black Friday gift to yourself, don't you think?
 
I know personally I've been looking to swap banks for my checking out and I already have my savings account through Capital One, so it just makes since to swap my checking over and there's no time like the present, especially with that $100.00 gift in mind! Right?
 
In addition to taking advantage of deals on banking, brokerage and mortgage products yourself, you can give your friends and family the gift of financial peace of mind by encouraging them to take advantage of the deals and refer them to the sale. If they sign up, you may be eligible for a $40 referral bonus.
 
So, while you may have gifts, greetings and get-togethers on the brain, it's important not to lose sight of your financial goals. All of Capital One 360's Black Friday Sale deals are designed to encourage consumers to keep their finances top of mind.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Monday, November 24, 2014

it's the time of year again!




The time has come - are you ready for it? BLACK FRIDAY .. the time everyone acts like a bunch of animals to save some cash. hahaha. I love it though, really. It's so much fun to people watch on Black Friday, plus - heck I'm one of those people that are out shopping at like 4:00am. You can get some great deals!!
 
 
Survival of Black Friday is the most important factor, besides the amazing deals though and I feel like there are so many tips to this! Here are a few of mine:
 
1.) Carry a bottle of water in your purse. You may get thirsty and the line's will be outrageous just to grab a drink. I also suggest throwing an extra bottle in your trunk, just in case.
 
2.) Dress in layers. Usually it's chilly, being it's late November, however, once you've been running around in stores filled with people you are going to probably be pretty steamy - so be sure that you have a short sleeved shirt underneath that sweater and scarf!
 
3.) Make a plan. Go through all of the Black Friday ads and map out which stores you want to visit and decide on what order to visit them in. If one particular store has a large item that quite a few people may be purchasing, I suggest hitting that one first and then going from there. Be sure to check out Office Depot too - they have some steals on great laptops, printing needs, and more! You might avoid the large crowd going to stores like this too, as not everyone thinks about popping into their local Office Depot. So plan well!
 
4.) Remember you are shopping for the holidays - don't be a grouch! Have fun, enjoy your shopping trip - not everyone gets to do this and you're purchasing items for a loved one - show some holiday spirit!
 
I hope some of those help! I know I always remind myself of each and every one of them!
 
Also, before Black Friday go ELF yourself! Hahaha. I absolutely love this little program. You can make yourself or a family member into a dancing Elf! :)



I was selected for this opportunity as member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Putting a "helicopter mom" at ease!



Many have told me that I'm a "helicopter mom" and you know what? They may be right, but is that really such a bad thing? I give her breathing room, I just watch her like a hawk :) So in total following of me being a "helicopter mom" I was a bit nervous when we moved into our new house, knowing that I would quite possibly be downstairs in the living room or kitchen while Blake sleeps upstairs in her room. Sure, she's almost 4, and sleeps just fine throughout the night, but I check-in on "average" on her about 4-5 times a night before I even go to bed and then if I wake up in the middle of the night I check-in on her again! Yeah, yeah maybe I'm crazy, but oh well :)
 
"motorola baby monitor" "baby monitor" "pink childs room" "video baby monitors" "best video baby montior"Well, we were given a solution - the Motorola MBP36S video baby monitor. I seriously could not have been more thrilled. This monitor isn't just a simple little monitor, it's totally amazing! The monitor itself provides crystal clear two-way communication and showcases a full color LCD screen. Plus, you can remotely pan, tilt and zoom. You can even peek in at night with the infrared night vision and use the picture- in-picture feature to keep an eye on multiple rooms if you need to. I think my favorite feature of all is that you can set up the monitor to actually show on your living room TV!
 
I found the perfect spot within Blake's room to place the actual baby unit to give the most ideal picture of her while she sleeps. Also, not only is it a great spot to see her when she is sleeping, but also when she is playing in her room with her dolls and I'm cleaning or whatever it might be. Sometimes she yells for me and I don't hear her from her room, so she'll come trumping through the house looking for me telling me she had been calling for me, with the Motorola video baby monitor we never have this issue anymore!
 
 
Go check out Diapers.com to order yours today! With this monitor, you can be sure your baby is safe and sound, giving you the peace of mind you deserve. I promise you'll love it just as much as I do :)

 
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

a little milestone ..

Well, I officially made it through our first sleepover (at our house!) last weekend! Phew! I will totally admit I was super nervous to have two kids vs one. Who would've thought it would be 10x easier? Not me! Ha! I actually was able to do the dishes and clean the kitchen uninterrupted for the first time in 3+ years - it's the little things I tell ya.
 
Since we were going to have Blake's cousin, Allie, over for the majority of the day I decided I needed to get a few little projects for them to do to avoid them getting bored of playing Barbies and whatever else they might've gotten into so what's a mom to do? Duh! Go to Pinterest and find a craft project. (PINTEREST TO THE RESCUE! ::insert some cool music here::). I found some adorable little turkey's the girls could easily create, since Thanksgiving is right around the corner - and not only were they adorable but the supplies were inexpensive as well. #winning.

 
Besides our crafting project, we made blue cupcakes adorned with fish and princess sprinkles, played zebras (I was the momma zebra), made obstacle courses for them to jump over, ate pizza and watched WALL-E. Once the night came to a close the girls asked me to lay with them while they slept and I must say my heart grew about 300 sizes just watching how happy my sweet girl was and seeing how much fun the girls had that day. We all giggled in bed (me and Allie especially) as Blake tossed and turned, kept blabbering about everything and anything and wouldn't go to sleep. It was truly special. I think I may have possibly enjoyed the entire experience more than them. Honestly.
 
It's so funny to look back at how life was before I had Blake and to see just how different my life is today. Even talking to Allie's mom briefly, she mentioned just how much I've changed and how much more calm and just together I am these days. I don't think I'll ever begin to truly express what it means to be a mother or how it just does something to you that's unexplainable - but I am thankful each and every day for being given the opportunity to be blessed with such a beautiful, intelligent, healthy little girl. I wouldn't give up my bumpy path for anything in the world. She's my light and drives me to continue growing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Recycling AND Crafting!


I'm always trying to find fun things to do around the house for Blake, whether it be projects, games or helping out with chores in a fun manner so when we were given the opportunity to watch Amazon's show Annedroids on Amazon Prime Instant Video, I thought about a potential recyclable project for her to do and came up with not only a fun project to keep her occupied but also a fun holiday project.
 
If you are saying - Annedroids what is that? It's a fun show on Amazon created by Emmy-nominated J.J. Johnson (Dino Dan) and Sinking Ship Entertainment, Annedroids is a live-action adventure series about "Anne," a young female scientist, her human friends and their android assistants, and the amazing scientific discoveries they make while undertaking the biggest experiment of them all: growing up. The series spotlights, through trial and error, how science, technology, engineering, the arts and math (STEAM) can inspire children to do great things.
 
Anne uses things found in her junkyard to create new inventions, so we are helping celebrate National Recycling Week by creating our own fun experiments and projects using recyclable treasures found around our home! We decided to create a Christmas decoration (don't shame me for doing it before Thanksgiving! ;) we made Turkeys over the weekend so we were "turkeyed" out lol).

 Our supplies:

(didn't end up using all of the cans, I just wasn't sure how many
or what sizes we needed)
 
Additional Supplies
Scissors
Hot Glue
Hammer
Small Wall Hanging Nail
Craft Spray Glue
Garland / Yarn
Wooden Snowflake
Wooden Dollie Rod (small, thin)
Glitter 

 
From here it's real simple - each can we removed the labels, washed and made sure there were no sharp edges, placed on some newspaper outside and sprayed them green. It took a good two coats, as I didn't use a primer (if you use a primer it will probably only take you one coat).
 
While your cans are drying spray your craft adhesive to the snowflake and sprinkle heavily with glitter to create your tree topper.
 
Once the cans are completely dry take a hammer and your wall hanging nail and place a hole in the center of your top can, be sure to make the hole large enough for your dollie rod, but not too large so it falls through. After you have created your hole, begin to hot glue the rims of the cans to the bases, stacking them, starting with the largest to the smallest, assuring to add enough glue that the cans would be very sturdy but not overfill onto the actual base. Next was the fun decorating part the Blake was able to really join in on. :) Take your hot glue and place a small dot on the backside of a pom pom and gently, but firmly stick it to the tin can and hold briefly. Add your garland/yarn, bows, even some glitter if you want from here!
 
Last but not least it's time to hot glue your sparkly snowflake to the dollie rod and insert it in the hole you created. WAH - LAH! A beautiful RECYCLED Christmas Tree! Ha! We had an absolute blast creating this tree and may even make another one similar but as a snowman! (check back later for that one!)
 
Be sure you watch a few episodes of Annedroids on Amazon Prime Instant Video for some project ideas of your own! Your kids are bound to love this show, I know Blake does :) 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

animal hair = no more!



My Swiffer Big Green Box!!
Anyone that has pets knows first hand that cleaning your home can sometimes be quite the task due to animal hair, am I right? With having 4, yes 4 dogs at the house the dog hair can run pretty rampaid and truthfully it drives me crazy! I love the fur babies (Sebastian, Nolan, Sweets and Henny) but their fur on the floors and furniture? Not so much.

Me and Sebastian cleaning and painting the new house :)

Recently I received a Swiffer Big Green Box and oh my goodness, can I say amazing? Everything one could possibly need to clean their home with or without pets is included! I was especially happy considering I just moved into a new home as well, so it needed that nice *sparkle* to it :) Even my daughter made a comment about how clean the house was!
 
According to the Swiffer Cleaning Index, half of Americans say that concerns about pet hair and shedding in their home is one of the top reasons they worry about getting a pet, wouldn’t get a pet or don’t have one. More than one third (38 percent) of pet owners also say the leading source of “pet cleaning tensions” in their home is hair, dust bunnies and/or shedding. Whether you already have a pet or are considering a new one, Swiffer can help with the every day cleaning challenges.
 
Additionally, Swiffer® is supporting the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA) in a year-long effort to help find homes for animals in need and help make the challenges of cleaning up after a pet less of a concern after adoption. The brand will donate Big Green Boxes just like yours to more than 100 shelters nationwide and will gift each of an estimated 7,000 pet adopters with a free Swiffer Sweeper during the ASPCA Mega-Match-A-Thon the weekend of October 17-19.

On top of receiving my very own Swiffer Big Green Box, I received an additional one to give to a friend that has furry friends of their own. I selected a friend of mine that has 8, yes, 8 cats. She is always mentioning how she has to clean her counters at least once a day to ensure that there is no cat hair that will get into her food, as well as her fans once a week because you can see the cat on hair on them otherwise! You can't imagine how happy she was when I passed this box along to her! 
Billie, Splash, Beau and Roo - fishing in the bathtub
I have to say I believe one of my favorite items in the Swiffer Big Green Box had to be the Swiffer Wet Mopping pads. These pads made my wood floors so crystal clean and when I went to remove the pads you could physically see the dog hair, as well as the dirt that had been tracked in from all of the moving. What makes me enjoy them so much, besides how clean my floor is, is the fact that you can actually SEE what comes off of your floor vs a regular mop where the dirt just soaks into the mop pad.  You also don't truly know if you're ever getting all of that dirt out of your mop pad, where with a Swiffer Mopping pad you simply throw it away with no worries when you're done!
 
I'm so excited to not only be able to try out Swiffer products that I haven't tried before as well as be a part of such an incredible cause in supporting the ASPCA. All of my dogs are rescue dogs, except one, and the one that isn't is a mixed breed that was given to us at a local Walmart by a lady whose dog ended up pregnant before fixing her. So with that said the ASPCA holds true to my heart and I'm always looking for ways to support the cause!

#SwifferEffect #ASPCA

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


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