Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Who Doesn't Love Diaper Coupons?



Which diaper is the best? 

I don't know about you guys, but Pampers have always been our number one choice for diapers. Especially for new babies, the Swaddlers just can't be beat! I have recently found a great resource for printable Pampers coupons for 2012! Everybody knows how expensive diapers are these days, especially if you prefer a good name brand like Pampers. 


If you are new to buying diapers or just new to the Pampers brand, this site also has tons of Pampers diaper reviews so you can find out what other people think! You can sign up to receive an email each time they post a new coupon, and you can also find a list of all the Gifts 2 Grow points on this site! I highly recommend Gifts 2 Grow, it is a great way to get freebies!

Good luck on your diaper journey! 

Tot Bargains helps parents find the best baby deals!


Babies are expensive. Common knowledge, but seriously! My babies aren't really even babies anymore, and I still can't believe how much money they are costing me! I am always trying to find the best deals on baby and kids products, so I can get the most bang for my buck! Enter Tot Bargains. 

Tot Bargains is a great site for finding deals on baby and kids stuff! They started in 2008, and have been going strong finding the best online baby and toddler deals ever since! Their deals are not just cheap prices on cheap products, these are really awesome deals from great companies that make quality products! 

I have been checking out the Tot Bargains site for a few days now, and I have seen some really great deals! A few of my favorites: The Fisher Price Cradle 'N Swing in My Little Lamb for only $85 with free shipping (it's usually $155!), and aden + anais swaddling wrap 4 pack for only $25! That is a super good deal! I am really excited about this site, I wish I would have found it when my boys were younger, but even now, I am finding so much stuff for my friend's babies! YAY!

This is a great resource for moms, grandmas, and, well, anyone who loves to spoil babies for less! If you would like to get up to date deal news, be sure to join Tot Bargains on Facebook!

I am really digging this website! Besides all these wonderful deals, they also have a place for recalls so you can make sure to stay up to date with that info, plus a place for readers to share any great bargains that they have found! I'm telling you guys, you need to check out Tot Bargains today, especially before you make any big purchases! You won't be disappointed!



Friday, January 27, 2012

Review: Organo Gold Organic Coffee


Yall know that I love my coffee! I am really excited to tell you guys about a new type of coffee that I just discovered today. It is called Organo Gold Coffee, and it is coffee that is 100% organic! It is mixed with the reishi mushroom, which has been an important part of Chinese healthcare for over 4000 years! This famous mushroom has been proven to help build the immune system! 

I must admit I was really skeptical when I heard about healthy coffee. I mean, could that really be true? But, it seems the folks at Organo Gold have really done it! If you would like to learn more about Organo Gold, visit there website today! 


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Loving The Samsung Galaxy Nexus!


Well, we are just finishing up our trial of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and I have to say, we have really loved having this phone! It's not always that I hate having to send the phone back to the PR company that we are working with, but this time, it hurt a little bit! I really loved this phone! 
Isn't it pretty? This is the first smartphone to run on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich for those of you following along!), and it also has Verizon 4G LTE. What does this mean? Fast. Really Fast. 

How fast, you might be wondering... Well, listen to this folks. This phone's internet was faster than our house internet. Seriously. It was averaging around 40 megabytes a second. Our house internet is around.. ummm.. three... that's right.. THREE! I couldn't believe it. I just wanted to cancel our internet and use this phone forever! 

The screen is so crisp, and the colors are super bright! It also has face recognition, in order to keep unwanted people from unlocking it! I thought that was pretty cool! The phone is big, but not too big! It is actually kind of hand sized, which I really like. I thought at first that it would be too big, but by the end of the second day, I really liked it!

As most of you guys know, I am not that technologically advanced. I usually have a hard time trying to navigate new phones, and learn my way around. However, the Galaxy Nexus was really easy to learn, I really like the new operating system. Things were really very seamless, and I was able to go from app to app really easily. 

I had read a bit about possible battery life issues, but I didn't have a problem with it at all! I charge my phone at night and again on my way to work about 3 or 4 pm, so there was no issue for me with that. I love the camera, it has absolutely no shutter lag, which was really nice for taking pics of two very active boys! 

All in all, we were really impressed and happy with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus! I can't believe how fast it was, and it was an overall really beautiful phone! 

We received free phone service while preforming a review of this phone. Although we received free phone service, no monetary compensation was received and the phone was sent back to the PR company at the end of our review period.




The Best Valentine's Gift Ever.



I have been looking at Valentines Day Cards online for Tater's party at school, and my mind goes back to my younger days. Making Valentine's boxes out of shoe boxes, covering them in construction paper and waiting for classmates to drop their cards in. Back then, we had regular old paper cards, these days all the kids give out cards with pencils, toys or candy. Crazy!

But, anyways, I also got to thinking about the best Valentine's gift ever. For me, actually, it was the same gift every year. When I got home from school, every year without fail, there would be a shiny gold gift bag hanging from the mailbox. Inside, would be a big box of chocolates and a single rose. It would say "from your secret admirer." Every year I would be so excited, wondering who had left them there!

As I got older, I realized that the gifts WERE in fact from my secret admirer, my daddy! My daddy never showed his sweetness, so it was  fitting that he left my Valentine's present as a secret admirer. I miss my daddy every day, and when I think back to those days, it makes me smile!

Now, I have an idea to find some Valentine's Day Greeting Cards and some secret gifts to give to my boys... I would love to bring the same joy to my boys as my dad brought to me!

Do you have any Valentine's Traditions that you do with your kids? Please share them in the comments, I would love to start some special ones with my boys!

If you are looking for some adorable Valentine's cards for your kids, be sure to check out my friends at Tiny Prints! Follow them on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date with all their latest promotions! Oh, and if you're on Pinterest, be sure to follow their boards here!

disclosure: I wrote this post in conjunction with Tiny Prints for their Valentine's day campaign. I will be compensated with Valentine's Cards of my own as a thank you for my time.

Looking For A Unique Valentine's Day Gift?


Well guys, it is hard to believe it, but Valentine's Day is almost here already! If you are looking for a last minute gift that doesn't come from the drugstore, I have found something really great for you! I have found a lady that will write your message in seashells on the beach for only $5.00! This is such a cute idea! You can frame the picture and give it as a gift, or send it via email. This makes a great gift that your special someone can treasure forever! 

Take a look at some of the examples of her work: 

How cute are these? I love the fact that this is an affordable gift that will last forever! Not like flowers that will die, or chocolates that will go straight to your hips! This lady can have your order ready in around two days, which is amazingly fast! If you are interested in ordering one of these messages for your loved one, just click here!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The ABC's of Baby #2!



Okay, you guys know how I do. I find a product or company way too late, and I always ask myself "where was this years ago?" Well, today is no exception! I found a great e-book about having your second child. 


I seriously wish I would have had this e-book a couple of years ago, when I was pregnant with Bean. I was so worried. I was totally confident about being a mom, just not a mom of two! I was so afraid that I wouldn't be able to handle it, to juggle it all. How in the world was I supposed to love someone as much as I did Tater? It just didn't seem possible.
 
I wish I would have had a book like this! This e-book was written by two sisters, both with two kids each, and both 17 months apart! Come on, who else could you want to tell you about having your second baby?? 

Here are some of the topics that they cover: 

 • Prepare your older child for the leap from "only child" to "big sibling"
• Ease the jealousy
• Make Dad a shining star
• Conquer sleep issues
• Achieve balance (Be a first rate mom without putting yourself last!)
• Stay organized
• Get over the GUILT (Stop worrying and start enjoying your children!) 

What a great resource! I totally recommend this e-book for any mom who is getting ready to be a mom of two! It is such an exciting time! Just click here to check out this book! 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Britax Car Seats are stylish and safe!



We are buying a new car this year. Along with buying a new car, we will have to buy new car seats so we can have seats in each car. I have been researching car seats for awhile now, and I think I have settled on Britax. This company has a great reputation, and their car seats are so fashionable!What more could a parent want from a car seat than safety and style?!?



The Britax Frontier 85 is probably my favorite! It is designed for bigger kids too, instead of just infants, which I love. It has a variety of safety features to ensure your child's safety in case of a crash! And, my personal favorite part? The seat covers can be removed and changed, so when your kid gets older, you can switch! This also makes this the perfect car seat to use for multiple children! That is definitely a money saver, and who doesn't like that?

I also really like the Britax Advocate 70 CS for my kids. It has something called SafeCell Technology which acts as a safety feature during a crash, and lowers the center of gravity. I also like the integrated steel bars. It also has cushions on both sides, and an infant body pillow cushion. The cushions can reduce the impact of a side crash up to 45%, and this seat can be used on kids up to 70 lbs! I also love that it comes in some really fun prints, such as this cow :
Isn't it the cutest? All of the reasons are valid reasons why I think we are getting Britax car seats this year!

What kind of car seat do you have for your kids?

Friday, January 20, 2012

House Plans for Spring!

Wow guys! I can't believe that January is almost over! Where did the time go! I am really excited about redoing our house this Spring! It is almost time, and we are starting to gather materials and make plans! Yay! 

Some of the things we are doing this year are: 

  • Making Tater his own room! (FINALLY!)
  • Redoing all floors
  • Repainting all rooms
  • New bedding, curtains, etc. 
  • Landscaping outside.. new flowers, plants, etc.. 


Like I said, I am really excited that is finally almost time !!!

Do any of you have big home plans this year!?
(I just found the most amazing website that has great information about how to lose weight and gain muscle quickly and safely at www.4hourbodygirl.com. She also talks about and incredible product that gives you instant energy and lots of greens, just what every mom needs.
Check it out now at: http://tracking.humanperformance.net/aff_c?offer_id=4&aff_id=1019)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Teach Your Baby Spanish With Reading Amigo!



I really want for my boys to learn Spanish! I am really regretting that with Tater, I didn't try to teach him one when he was a baby. I think he would have picked up on it so much easier. Now, he will just have to learn when he gets older, and we all know that's no fun!

Now, for my little Bean, it is not too late! He is just becoming a real talker, and I think he would really benefit from a foreign language program right now! I recently heard about a program called Kid Start Spanish, and I am thinking about giving it a try!


Kid Start Spanish was created by a mother of three fully bilingual children. She knows first hand how beneficial it is for kids to learn a foreign language! When she became a first time grandmother, she realized there were no really great programs out there to teach kids Spanish. So, she made one!


I love the fact that Kid Start Spanish teaches children to learn Spanish from Spanish speaking children! That just makes sense!

I am very interested in this program and I am thinking about ordering it for my little guy! Have any of you ever taught your child a foreign language? If so, how did it work for you?



Wonderful Halloween Costumes!


I know, I know, it's January! But, you guys know me, I am always thinking about holidays, and I am already thinking of what the boys are going to be THIS year for Halloween! 

I found this great site called Costume Works, and they had a really great Halloween Costume Contest last year. I have been looking around their site, and I can't get over how great some of these costumes are! I just wanted to share a few with you guys: 

This is THE FAMILY FARM! I have never seen anything so cute! 


Here are a few of my other favorites; 

Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne! Love it!
These costumes are so great!! I am really getting inspired for this year! Make sure to check out this site to get some ideas for your next costume too!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Charter Schools In Kentucky? What Do You Think?



So, this morning, I'm minding my own business, watching the Today show, and this commercial came on: 





It totally stopped me in my tracks. Were those facts for real? I was shocked and alarmed by what I saw. So, I decided to check out the site that was sponsoring the commercial, and read a little more about Charter Schools. 


Would a charter school help my children? 

I know that I for one, love the small town atmosphere of my kid's public school. My son is in kindergarten, but all the teachers and staff know him by name. They talk to him in the hall, and they know me as soon as I walk through the door. I feel welcome there, and I like that. But, I went to high school in the same school district that my boys attend now, and I know for a fact that it was a sub par experience. I know that high school did not prepare me for life the way that it should have. 


So, I was excited to do a bit of research and see if this could be a good option for my kids. 

Pretty much, what I get is that a charter school is in between a public school and a private school. I like the fact that the charter schools have more freedom and independence than a regular public school. I like that charter schools are usually small schools (not that that would matter in our small town). I found it shocking to learn that 38 states have charter schools, but Kentucky doesn't even have laws in place to open charter schools. 

They are apparently pretty popular. California has 500, Arizona has 491, and Florida has 258. Obviously, something is working right for them. I would like to explore the option a bit more and learn more about charter schools. 

Some things have happened this year that have led me to be a bit disappointed in our public school system. When school started back, Tater's kindergarten teacher had just had a baby and was on maternity leave. The long term sub was an older lady (60+) who was extremely stern and liked to put her hands on children. (On numerous occasions, I was told that she would drag someone by the arm, or pull them and jerk them around). Tater had a horrible time, getting in trouble each and every day. He had NEVER had a problem in preschool, so I knew the problem had to be this teacher. I complained to the school, who agreed that many other parents had the same concerns. Also, the three kindergarten classes were overcrowded, with around 30 kids each. So, they took about 6 kids from each class and moved them to a new kindergarten class. The teacher was wonderful. However, she was only hired on as a part time basis, making $12/per hour. And she was 7 months pregnant. 

Tater thrived in her classroom. Did exceptionally well, making better progress than everyone else in the class. I was so happy. Then the teacher went on her maternity leave. The long term sub, a young guy in his early 20's, was perfect for Tater. They bonded immediately, and he cried for a week when it was over and his regular teacher came back. Fast forward to yesterday: Christmas break is over, and he heads back to school, complete with a bag of candy and hand drawn picture for his teacher. He comes home with a note. Since she was never hired on full time, his teacher has quit. Taken another job in another county, and won't be back. No warning, nothing. Again, Tater is crushed. He has had four different teachers during the first half of kindergarten. And now, the answer? They are going to move the kids back to their original classes. Back to a teacher that Tater has never met (The one that was on maternity leave at the beginning of the year!)So, all of his friends and him, will be split up once again. And he will have to get used to yet another teacher. This really bothers me. So, I am very interested in charter schools if they would provide more stability. 


This is still a work in progress for me, I am still researching, and not sure if Charter Schools would be the best choice or not.


Do any of you guys have experience with Charter Schools? Please share in the comments!

(On a side note, if anyone is interested in checking out a review of the Sitter City Babysitter review service, click here!)

Easy Switch To My Own Domain? So Scary!



As many of you know, I have been going back and forth (and back and forth... and back and forth...) about whether or not I should switch to my own domain. I know that I should, but I just don't know if I am ready. I am really nervous about the whole process. If I was starting over, I would never have started on Blogger in the first place.. But I did, and now it's done.. I have been looking into switching over a little bit more and trying to figure out what the best option would be. 

I recently found out about a hosting company called IPXcore. They are a rapidly growing web hosting company based out of Phoenix, Arizona. They are specially skilled in helping to make the switch from Blogger, LiveJournal, Typepad, etc. to your very own self hosted blog! They can even move your site for you for free! This sounds spectacular to me, since I would not be able to do it by myself! 

I love, love, LOVE their prices. Domain registration is only $9.95 PER YEAR and their hosting plans start at $3.95 per month! Even a cheapo like me can handle that! I love that there are no contracts, and no hidden fees. I also really liked the fact that they have real, trained people who are available to help you 24/7. Because, we all know I am going to really need some help!

I am really considering making the switch soon, and I am really considering having IPXcore being the ones to help me do it! 

Anyone have any tips for me about making the big switch? 

(While you're at it, check out an awesome Halloween costume contest!)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I SO Need A Maid.


If there is one thing I get sick of, it's cleaning. It's all I do, all day, every day. I swear, I start at one side of my house, and by the time I get back to the other side, it's trashed again. I guess having two little boys running around just isn't very productive to cleaning! The great thing is, that maid service is available everywhere! Whether you need Maid Service Centreville VA, Maid Service in Texas, or Maid Service in New York, you can find what you need!

No matter what your needs are, you can get maid service that will fit! Whether you need Spring Cleaning, or a little dusting here and there, there is a cleaning service for you! I am going to hit my hubs up for a maid service, maybe for my birthday? What do you guys think? I would love to have a little help around the house!

What are the worst jobs in your house? Mine, would have to be the bathrooms! I have too many boys in this house, and you know how boys are about making bathroom messes! I would LOVE not to have to clean up after them for even one day! Also, my next most hated task would be dishes! We don't have a dishwasher, so I have to wash them all by hand, and it takes FOREVER! 

Have you ever hired a maid service? What was your experience?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Love Fiverr? Wanna Find The Best Stuff??



Do you love Fiverr? I know I do!! Sometimes I have a hard time digging through all the stuff on Fiverr to find the best offers on there, you know what I mean? I know, that as a blogger, Fiverr has some really valuable resources there, from advertising to marketing my blog. The question for me is, which ones are worth the time and trouble and which ones are just going to be a bust? 

That's where this great blog called "Best Of Fiverr" comes in. They don't just tell you about the most popular Fiverr gigs, they actually try them out and tell which ones work the best! 

This is a really great resource for entrepreneurs! I am really glad that I have discovered it, because I can really see myself going back to it time and time again. I really never knew that Fiverr could be such a valuable asset to a company or blogger!! 

One of the coolest things I found while checking out Best Of Fiverr was a gig where you can have a rap song written for you by talented musician and rapper Tyler Barks. Whatever you want him to rap about, he can do it! 

My other favorite gig that I found was one where you can get a fantastic watercolor poster made. All you have to do is send in a high-res photo and he will do the rest! These posters look amazing, and I would love to have one done of my boys! Here is a sample of one : 

Pretty cool, eh? 

So, bottom line here, check out Best of Fiverr if you are looking for the best Fiverr gigs out there!


Got An App Question? The iMum has your answer!



If you are even a little familiar with technology, you know that there are TONS of apps out there, and some of them are great.. However, some of them are.. C.R.A.P! It is so hard to determine which ones are which, without having to filter through tons of them! 

Tater just got an iPod Touch for Christmas and he is now App-Obsessive.. However, I am so tired of downloading (and paying for!) what I think is going to be a great app, and then five minutes later he says "this is horrible, delete it!".. If only there was a place to find out which apps were worth my time, and money! 

Oh Wait! There already is! 
The iMum is a great blog dedicated to reviewing apps and telling you all about them! Here is a little info from her site: 

"The Australian-based blog ‘The iMum’, founded by an Apple enthusiast and mother of three, is a fresh and exciting new site dedicated to reviews on apps and products created for Apple devices such as the iPod, iPhone, iPad and Mac computer and offers helpful articles and interesting interviews, as well as free apps and regular product and promo code giveaways."
 
This site is great! I love the fact that all the app reviews I have been looking for are right here in one place! Now, I can just have a quick look at the iMum Site, and determine  whether or not I want to spend my money and time on yet another app! Love it! 
 
Click here to check out iMum today!  

Rubbbermaid Introduces Give The Gift Of Organization Contest!



Do you know a deserving individual that spends their time helping others? Do you know someone who would be a great candidate for a organization makeover so that they could devote more time with helping others?

Rubbermaid has just launched its "Give The Gift Of Organization" contest. Simply share your story of someone who has touched your life and is deserving of a organization makeover. One lucky winner will win a prize package valued at $5000 from Rubbermaid and a Professional Organizer!! 

To enter, just click here!


Mr. Chewy takes the pain out of buying for your pet! (PLUS $25 GC GIVEAWAY!!)


As many of you know, me and my dog Tucker have somewhat of a love/hate relationship. Most of the time, I will be honest, he is a pain in my ass. Whether he is eating the pizza off the counter, busting out the windows because he saw a bird (THREE TIMES NOW!), growling at the door for hours on end, or peeling paint off the walls when the sun shines on them and he just HAS to catch it, he is almost always annoying. But at the end of the day, when he crawls into bed with me, or when one of the boys wraps their arms around his big giant neck, I have to say, he's pretty cute, and he is family. 

I really hate buying him dog food though. I know, that sounds horrible! But, I hate lugging the giant bags to the car, up the driveway, to the porch, inside the house, etc.. It takes forever and by the time it's over, my back is aching! 

But I recently found a great company who is making it easier to get the pet food products that you (and I!) need! 

Mr. Chewy is an online retailer that sells pet food, treats, toys and other supplies for your furry friend.They have over 70(!) popular and high quality brands to choose from.  The best part of Mr. Chewy? You can get the products you need delivered right to your door! That's right! No more breaking your back with giant bags of dog food! 

I was so excited when we got to do a review for Mr. Chewy!

Tucker was really pumped to receive TWO giant bags of Pedigree Large Breed Dog Food! This will last him for a while, and I am so glad not to have to worry about buying food!The 20 lb. bag was only $21.99, and that is even cheaper than my local store! Impressive!

I was also feeling extra nice that day, and I ordered Tuck a giant bone and a giant rawhide chew! He was sooo happy to get these, and hasn't put them down since!

I was super impressed with the shipping service from Mr. Chewy. First of all, any order over $50.00 is eligible for free shipping, which is great in and of itself. But, they use Fed Ex, which was really impressive to me! My stuff showed up two days later, first thing in the morning, from my friendly Fed Ex driver! My order was in three separate boxes, one for each giant bag of food, and then the treats were in a smaller box. Everything was in great condition, no rips, tears, etc..

I mean really, what more can you ask for? Convenience of not having to go to the store and lug around pet supplies, free and exceptionally fast shipping, great prices and outstanding customer service?! Mr. Chewy's has got it all! I especially like that they can set you up on a delivery schedule if you (like me!) sometimes forget that you need to get pet food! I absolutely love that idea! 

Mr. Chewy's is so sweet, they are even letting you guys get in on the fun! One lucky Flip Out Mama reader will win a $25 gift code to use on their site! Now, start thinking about what your furry friend would like from Mr. Chewy! 


Here's how to enter!

Mandatory Entry: 

Leave a comment below and tell me who you would order pet supplies for if you are chosen as the winner!

Extra Entries:

These are worth one extra entry each. Please leave a separate comment for each entry (example: I liked you on facebook, I follow you on Twitter, etc...) 

+1 Follow Mr. Chewy on Facebook here and leave a comment telling me you do!

+1 Follow Flip Out Mama on Facebook here and leave a comment telling me you do! 

+1 Follow Flip Out Mama on Twitter here!

+1 Follow Mr. Chewy on Twitter here!

+1 Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect (right sidebar) 

+5 share this giveaway with your Facebook friends, Twitter followers, or on your blog! Leave me a link to where you shared! 


This giveaway will end on 1/20/2012 at approx 11pm est. I will use random.org to draw the winner and the winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize. I was given a credit to the Mr. Chewy site in order to conduct this review. All opinions are my own and I received no monetary compensation. 




Making Yummy Meals With Kikkoman!


Meals are always so stressful for me. Really. I don't think it should be this way. But between working nights, and two picky boys (and an even pickier husband!), and grocery costs being higher than they have ever been, it seems like mealtime is just about one of the biggest stressors for me! It seems that no matter how well I plan, we always come back to pizza, tacos, or spaghetti. I was ready for a change! 

Enter the lovely folks at Kikkoman. They sent me a wonderful package filled with enough great products to keep me and my boys happy and well fed for a long time! Here is what they sent us: 
  • 2 boxes of Kikkoman Panko
  • 2 boxes of Kikkoman’s new item – Kara-age
  • 2 bottles of Kikkoman Lime Ponzu
  • Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • Kikkoman Rice Vinegar
  • Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce
  • Kikkoman brush for basting
  • A Kikkoman apron
  • A Kikko Duckie
I was so happy with this wonderful package! I was totally inspired when I opened it up and saw all the goodies! Now, what to cook?? Even though I had some of the ingredients, I had no idea how to put them all together to make something yummy. So, I turned to Kikkoman's website for some recipes and tips! 

The first product we decided to use was the Panko. If you have never heard of Panko, it is kind of like bread crumbs, but better! Now, we have used Panko breading in the past for simple things like onion rings and homemade chicken nuggets (SO yummy!),  but I was reading online that Panko can be used for sweet recipes as well.  Being a mommy with one hell of  a sweet tooth, I thought I should check this out! So, I decided to try a recipe called Apple-Cranberry Crisp. It was super easy to make. Apples, cranberries, sugar, flour, panko, cinnamon and butter. Combine and bake. It turned out so great! The boys even ate it up, which is saying a lot for a dish that contains fruit! ;) Here is a photo of the crisp from the site (you guys know I am still suffering from camera withdrawal..don't worry, it's almost tax time and mommy is getting a new camera!)
Okay.. so now I covered a sweet recipe, what in the world was I going to make with all this other stuff? I was really intrigued by the Kara-Age, so it was my next stop. 

The Kara-Age coating mix is a new one for Kikkoman! It's a soy-ginger seasoned coating mix. We decided to go with our old standby of homemade chicken nuggets with this one. When I was using the coating mix, I was really surprised with the ginger smell. It was really strong, even tickling my nose a few times! I was a little wary with this coating mix. How would the boys eat something that tasted like soy and ginger if it was even tickling my nose? But not to worry! Once the chicken was fried, the ginger taste was not prevalent anymore! The chicken nuggets we made were so good, and the boys ate them right up (dipped in ketchup, of course!). 

I have really been having a great time with all of these Kikkoman products! We made some yummy grilled shrimp with the Ponzu Lime sauce, some Teriyaki wings to eat on football nights, and of course, some chicken fried rice with our soy sauce! I was so glad to get these wonderful products to try! I have found a new love for cooking with these products, and using new products in the kitchen has really motivated me to try new recipes that I usually wouldn't try !

I totally recommend stepping out of your comfort zone and trying some of these Kikkoman products that you wouldn't normally try! If you feel like doing just that, the fine folks at Kikkoman are offering a coupon for you guys available here at their site!

So, what are you waiting for?? Get off of this blog and get to cooking! 

I received a sample product in order to conduct this review. Although a sample product was received, all opinions are my own and no monetary compensation was received.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Who's Got Junk?



I don't know about you guys, but if there is one thing I have, it is a lot of JUNK! I mean, just plain old, "why is this still here??" junk. I never even realize how much of it there is until it is too late, and it begins to take over! Yuck! 

If you are like me and have an over abundance of junk, you might be interested in hiring a junk removal service. If you have ever watched the super addicting (and kinda creepy!) TV show "Hoarders", you might recognize 1-800-GOT-JUNK from that show. They are the world's largest junk removal service, and they can haul away anything! Whether it be appliances, mattresses, tires, carpet, or just regular old trash, they've got you covered!

They have tons of locations all across the country, and there is most likely one in your area. For example, if you are in Katy, Texas, just search for "Katy Junk Removal" and I am sure you will find them! I love the fact that with 1800-Got-Junk, you get an all inclusive price before they touch anything, so you know what to expect. And, I love the fact that they donate or recycle as much of your junk as they possibly can. They don't just dump it all in a landfill somewhere! Check these guys out for all your junk needs! 


We Heart Arts sells beautiful shirts, donates profits to charity!



I wanted to share this wonderful story with you. We Heart Arts is a UK based non profit organization that works to raise money for young people's creative arts programs all around the world. 

I love this concept! 

Take a look at their mission statement: 
The goals of We Heart Arts are rooted in the belief that young people should be given the opportunity to express themselves creatively from an early age.
We believe that:
  1. Creative arts teaches young people the value of lifelong active personal expressionism
  2. Creative arts teaches young people to question the world they live in
  3. Creative arts teaches young people that thinking outside of the box is an important mental function in life
  4. Creative arts teaches young people to engage in a social network of proactive young people invested in a community built on meaningful, sustained ideas and expressionism
  5. Creative arts opens up a world of opportunities for young people to grow and help others through arts therapy
  6. Creative arts can open up an avenue of communication for young people with learning difficulties
  7. Creative arts can help young people process and work through traumatic experiences
  8. Creative arts can provide peer interaction and a sense of community, independence and feelings of control

WHAT WE WANT TO DO

  1. We want to raise money for young person’s creative arts through the selling of our t-shirts, prints and charity singles.
  2. We want to publish books that everyone young and old can enjoy. We also want to give away a copy of our books for free for every ten copies that we sell.
  3. We want to raise awareness for the need for young person’s creative arts programs and workshops with the help, love and endorsement of our favourite bands
 
 
What a great cause! This is definitely an organization that I could get behind! 

Right now the folks at We Heart Arts are selling this beautiful tee shirt, with a portion of the proceeds going to The Unit, a great youth arts organization in the UK. If you would like to check out these awesome shirts, you can do so here! Check it out today and help support a great cause!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Heal Wounds Faster, The Natural Way with Manuka Honey!



Confession: I have the world's clumsiest kid.

I am not proud to say this. My sweet little Bean has GOT to take the title for world's clumsiest kid. I swear, in his 18 months of life I have spent twice as much time in the ER with him as I have with Tater, who is almost six. I really don't know what it is, but this kid is a mess! 

It's almost constant! Example: Right now, he has three (yes, THREE!) different scrapes/bumps on his face, all from DIFFERENT times. Plus a scratch on his hand and a scraped knee, both also different times. And then last night, he's laying in my bed, and somehow headbutts the wall as hard as he could! Now, add another goose egg to the top of his head! I swear, I am going to have to stop taking him out in public, I look like a child beater! 

I am always looking for something new, different and better to help treat his cuts, scrapes, all around boo-boos in general, so when I heard about Manuka Honey, I was pretty excited. 

Never heard of it? Neither had I, but I am going to enlighten you! 

Here is a little info about what exactly Manuka Honey is: 

Manuka honey is made from the New Zealand native Leptospermum Scoparium or Manuka (Manuka is the Maori name for the shrub). The beekeepers set up their hives in wild uncultivated areas in which Manuka bushes grow. The bees gather nectar from the flowers of the Manuka bush. The honey making process is enriched by the pollution free environment for New Zealand. The manuka honey can be measured for its antibacterial activity and is used for health benefits both topically and internally.
Sounds pretty cool huh? You can use Manuka Honey either orally or topically, which I thought was pretty cool. It can be used as an antiseptic for cuts, burns, scrapes, etc, and it can prevent any bacteria from infecting the wound. This can make healing quicker and more effective, which is really important to me when my kids get hurt. I love the fact that this Manuka Honey is 100% pure and natural. I am really careful when it comes to what I put in my kid's bodies, so anything pure and natural is a major plus. 
If you would like to find out more about Manuka Honey, click here.

Have any of you guys ever used Manuka Honey? Did you like it?


Leave your responses in the comments below and let me know! 


Too Much To Do, Never Enough Time!



Before I had my kids, I worked full time, 40+ hours a week. I enjoyed working, so it wasn't that big of a deal. Now that I am a mom of two, I find it so hard to juggle it all. 

I was really excited when I found part time work at night when my hubs can be with the boys. I am here all day long, to do the stay-at-home mom thing: cleaning, cooking, bills, laundry, playing, etc. and then at night I transform into Super Working Mom. Just for a few hours, anyway! :)

I just find it so hard to fit all of the demands of one day into a single day. There is all the household stuff, and trying to play and spend quality time with the boys, along with blogging (which often gets neglected and pushed to the back, even though I don't want it to), then my "real" job and all that entails. Add on trying to find time for myself and trying to actually have a conversation with my hubs, it's nearly impossible!

My goal for this new year is to try to incorporate some time management techniques that will help me to do all the things I need and want to do. I am so tired of feeling like something has to suffer. I am really glad that I was able to find decent part time work, because there is no way that I could even try to work a full time job right now. Not with Tater in school, and Bean home all day... Too much juggling babysitters and daycare, work and home, shew.. exhausting just to think about it!

So my question for you guys is : 

Do you have any secret tips or tricks to help manage your time? 

I would love to hear them! Share them in the comments below so we can all learn!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How Much Do You Think About Your Eyeglass Lenses?



Do you think about your eyeglass lenses? Ever, at all? The fact is that most people just wear their glasses, and don't really think about whether or not they have the right lenses. But, perhaps we should be paying more attention. The right lenses are critical for seeing and making sure you can enjoy life the way you should! 

The fine folks at Zeiss Lenses are trying to help people understand the importance of the right eyeglass lenses, and they have created some great educational tools to help people make the right choices. You can check out more about those great educational tools here, and I am also going to tell you a little bit about them here!

The first step is to understand some important facts about vision and lenses. The first thing to know is that eye exams are extremely important for everyone. I will be completely honest, it has been years (since I was in elementary school!) since I had an eye exam. Tater has had several, but without having health insurance, it is simply a luxury that I can not afford right now. But I do know how important these are! It is recommended for children to have eye exams at six months, three years, and when beginning school. After that, kids should have eye exams every two years, even with no signs of vision problems! As for adults, they should have vision exams every two years, and then every year after age 40, when vision problems tend to develop.


Another important thing to learn is the difference between all of the "O's" that are in eye care: 

Here are the three "O's":
  1. An Optometrist performs eye examinations and writes prescriptions for corrective lenses.  Most Optometrists can diagnose and treat many medical eye conditions and prescribe certain medications.
  2. An Ophthalmologist is a medical doctor treating the full range of eye diseases and conditions.  Ophthalmologists perform surgery for cataracts and other eye conditions.
  3. An Optician fills the prescription from the optometrist or ophthalmologist and specializes in fitting eyeglasses and providing lenses to correct vision problems. 

And, now you know! 


It is also important to select a good eye doctor. You should always do your research to make sure you are choosing the right doctor for you, and that they have the right technology and quality equipment to make sure to help you. 

And, don't just sit quietly at the eye doctor!! This should always be a two way street! The fine folks at Zeiss have come up with a list of questions that you should ask at your eye appointment! 

Here are a few of those questions: 
  1. Are all eyeglass lenses the same?
  2. Is there a difference in quality of lenses?
  3. What are the best lenses for my vision needs?
  4. Why are these lenses best for my vision needs?
  5. Can customized eyeglasses improve my vision quality and comfort?
  6. Will one pair of glasses meet all of my vision needs?
  7. Are there different methods to perform an eye exam?  What method do you use and why?
  8. What do you check for in an eye exam besides my prescription?
Specific Questions Around Prescription Lenses:
  1. What is a “coating” and what does it do?
  2. How do I avoid reflections on my eyeglasses?
  3. How do self-tinting (photochromic) lenses work? What brands of self-tinting lenses are available?
  4. Does my prescription limit the type of frame I can wear?
  5. What are “computer lenses”?
  6. Do I need special lenses for playing sports?
  7. What lenses are ideal to reduce sensitivity to light and reflections?
  8. If I have difficulty driving at night, what type of lens is recommended?
  9. How can I prolong the life of my eyeglasses?

And for you folks that are over forty (not me yet, getting closer!), you have a few additonal things to consider, since the eyes start to change around that age. You can check out some educational tools designed just for you here!

I am so glad that I got the chance to tell everyone a little bit more about taking care of your eyes and choosing the right lenses for you! Take care of your eyes, yall! 

I wrote this post in participation with MomSelect. I will be compensated for my time.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Resolutions Extraordinare.



So yeah, it's 2012. Twenty Twelve. The year we all die? Or not? Who really knows? 

Oh well, guess we have a few months til that happens (or doesn't happen), so for now we all shall prepare our resolutions to be broken soon. 

I usually don't make resolutions, but I always have goals, and it just seems right to make those goals around the start of a new year. (So,... those would be resolutions, right? LOL) This year, the goals seem to be taking over, and I have this sense of urgency (end of the world, perhaps?) that I have all these things that I need to get done, and fast. 

I am not sure, perhaps it is that legendary biological clock that we hear about all the time. I feel like I am getting older (almost twenty-six, yowzers!), and I have this striking need to accomplish something, and fast. I am not sure what it is, but it has only come about in the last few weeks. Hopefully I can make something good at least happen this year. 

There are so many goals (resolutions, if you prefer) that I am going to be working towards this year. I am not really sure if having more resolutions is better, or worse. In my opinion, if I make twenty, at least I have a better chance of keeping one than if I only make one. right? 

Maybe if I post them here, it will be easier for me to hold myself accountable. Some of these things are a little bit out of the realm of my control, but hopefully I can find a way to get them accomplished anyhow... 

So, without further ado, let's list those bitches! 

Resolutions 2012! 

  1.  Find a way to get my ablation surgery for my heart condition. 
  2. Have above mentioned surgery. 
  3. Go back to school. (attempt it, at least)
  4. Do more personal blogging, instead of reviews and giveaways
  5. Find Freelance writing or blogging work 
  6. Try to improve my credit score
  7. Get approved for a loan and buy a house! 
  8. Finally get house organized
  9. Buy a more dependable car
  10. Recycle! 
  11. Try to be truer to who I am, instead of who people want me to be
  12. Be a better mom, wife, housekeeper, etc. 
  13. Learn to love my job, or find one that I love
  14. Spend more time with people that I truly enjoy being with
  15. Take at least one vacation this year with my boys
  16. Go to the zoo
  17. Go camping
  18. Go to a museum with dinosaur bones (for Tater) 
  19. Organize boy's scrapbooks, print out all digital photos
  20. Do more cooking from scratch
  21. Go back to couponing 
  22. Get some tattoos :) (embrace my inner bad ass!) 

So, there you have it, my twenty two resolutions for twenty twelve. Let's see how I can do. Most of them seem to be easily accomplished (go to the zoo, go camping, organize scrapbooks, etc..) but a lot of them are pretty much life changers (heart surgery, buying a house, etc). I am feeling really optimistic, but that could all change in the blink of an eye. Wish me luck, yall! 

So I am curious to know, what are your resolutions this year?

Next Year, Christmas My Way!


Well, yall.. Christmas is over. I don't know about you guys, but as much as I love it, I am always happy to see it go. There's just so much pressure, you know? I really do enjoy the season and all that goes along with it, but it's the damn pressure that gets to me every year. 

My dear hubs and I have come to a consenus this year that NEXT year, we are going to do things differently. You would think that for people that have like ZERO family, this would be a low key time of the year. 

What made me really happy this year was that I got to stay home all day on Christmas day with my boys. The running back and forth from place to place finally stopped! That was something I was extremely grateful for!

Things I am tired of about Christmas, in no particular order:

  • Trying to cram a year's worth of visits with people into one, maybe two days during Christmas.
  • Spending the majority of the time with people I know for a  fact don't care about me or my kids, instead of the people who I know do. 
  • The awkward silences of being around said people
  • Buying thoughtful gifts for other people and their children and never hearing a genuine thank you. 
  • Constant incessant worrying about how I can juggle all of these commitments in the small amount of allotted time. 
  •  Realizing after Christmas is over that the people I truly do care about, I never got around to seeing. 
  • Negativity, excessive complaining and bitching, and all around horrible attitudes at any function that I attend. 
So folks, next year, here's the deal!

We are doing Christmas MY way! I am guess what, a GROWN UP now, and I have my own family! So, it's going to be MY rules!

We can have a get together, or open-house type day at OUR house. IF you wanna see me or my kids, you can stop by. If not, that's cool too. If you wanna spend the whole day with us, great! This way we will be able to see all of our favorite people!

We can have a low key meal, snack type stuff, or chili, etc.. The kids can play and watch Christmas movies. We can exchange gifts. Or not. That part is not important. I am going to actually enjoy myself next year, and not worry about everyone else!

How was your Christmas this year?
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