Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Back To School with Taste Of Nature! #Review #FoodBlogger #MomLife #HealthyEating #PR

One thing that is really going to take a lot of getting used to for me about my boys going back to school this year is snacks. I have really gotten used to them being here with me, and that means that when we want a snack, I can just whip something up in the kitchen. Now, I am going to have to start paying attention to our snacks and making sure that what I buy for the boys is something quick and portable, and something they will be able to eat on the go, since we are going to be super busy now. Thankfully, Taste Of Nature swooped in to help me save the day!

The folks at Taste of Nature make some awesome organic snack bars, and they agreed to send us a few to try out to see how we liked them! Oh, and like them we did! First of all, most of you know that we have been trying to eat better lately. Well, Taste Of Nature makes that super easy. Their snack bars are 100% certified organic, gluten free, and non GMO project certified. I love that they contain nothing artificial, no added sugars, and no chemicals of any kind. That makes me feel good about feeding Taste Of Nature snack bars to my guys!

Another great thing about Taste Of Nature snack bars is that they are easy to take with you on the go. I can easily stick them in lunchboxes, or the boys can take them with them in the car, no worries, no mess. The boys (and me!) really enjoyed these bars a lot. I like that the packaging is clear, so you can see just what you are getting. They come in some awesome flavors, and with eleven to choose from, there is definitely something for everyone! My personal favorite was Canadian Maple Forest, so sweet and yummy! The boys really loved Himalayan Goji Summit, which surprised me, since it wasn't something I thought they would choose. I guess that just goes to show you, when you let your kids make their own choices, they might really surprise you.

We really enjoyed these bars, and I am sure that we will be buying more of them in the very near future to stuff our lunchboxes with! At only around $1.99 per bar, these are a great deal too! You can find them at your local natural foods store. In my area, Whole Foods carries all of the flavors and they are easy to find. If you want to see what stores in your area carry Taste Of Nature bars, check here: http://www.tasteofnature.ca/where-to-buy/. Thanks Taste Of Nature for introducing us to these wonderful snacks! Make sure to join them on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date as well! 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Best Hotel In Pigeon Forge: EconoLodge Riverside #Review #TravelBlogger #PR #PF #Smokies #PigeonForge #Gatlinburg #EconoLodge #ChoiceHotels

It's hard to believe that it has been a year since we visited our friends at the Econo Lodge Riverside in Pigeon Forge. (Check out all the fun we had on that trip HERE and HERE!). We had so much fun there last year, and my boys have been begging to go back since the day we left!! Lucky for them (and me!) we will be heading back to Pigeon Forge in October and visiting the Econo Lodge once again, but, in the meantime, we wanted to catch up with all that has been going on at our favorite hotel! 
photo credit: Econo Lodge Riverside

Let's just say that the folks at Econo Lodge Riverside have NOT been enjoying a summer vacation! They have been keeping themselves super busy, fixing things up and making their hotel even better for their guests. So, what have they been up to? Oh, not much, just constructing a $500,000 river walk on the Econo Lodge property! It is so gorgeous, I can not wait to check it out! 
Photo Credit: Econo Lodge Riverside 
The new river walk includes benches, fire pits for hanging out outside,picnic tables, a paved walkway path, and more. It is so beautiful, adding to a already beautiful hotel and making it even more fun to hang out outside and feed the ducks! 
Photo credit Econo Lodge Riverside 
Photo Credit: Econo Lodge Riverside 
We are also super excited about the addition of the beautiful pavilion to the Econo Lodge property out back! This is going to be great! The pavilion will include seating for over 100 and some extra large BBQ grills for everyone to enjoy. This is a really great addition to the property and is going to make things even better for guests of the Econo Lodge Riverside! I am sure that bigger groups are going to really make use of the 1000 square foot pavilion, and I know that personally, my family is going to love having the ability to grill out and eat under that pavilion. Talk about a great way to save money on your vacation while still spending quality time with family! 
Photo Credit: Econo Lodge Riverside

The pavilion is not finished quite yet, but it will be very soon! We can't wait to check it out! But, in the meantime, check out the progress: 
Photo Credit: Econo Lodge Riverside

I know that all of the great additions to the outside of the Econo Lodge Riverside property are probably enough to make you want to stay, but don't forget about the complimentary hot breakfast, the amazing indoor pool, the game room, the immaculately clean rooms and the wonderful customer service. Honestly, for my family, there is no place we'd rather stay, and in a place with as many hotel options as Pigeon Forge, that is saying a lot. If you are ready to make your reservations, here's where you need to go: http://www.econolodge-pigeonforge.com/. Make sure to check out Econo Lodge Riverside on Facebook too, so you can stay updated with all of their amazing updates: https://www.facebook.com/EconolodgeRiverside

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book Review: Divorce: Think Financially, Not Emotionally by Jeff Landers #BookReview #Divorce #MomLife #Finance

We recently got the chance to review a great book for all women who are going through a divorce. Jeff Landers' new book "Divorce: Think Financially, Not Emotionally" is a must read for any woman who is going through a divorce or even thinking about a divorce. The truth of the matter is divorce happens to lots of couples, and women especially tend to be much more emotional when it comes to divorce, instead of thinking things through sensibly. 

This book touches on a ton of different subjects relating to divorce and finances, but they are all very easy to understand and Jeff does a great job of explaining things that could otherwise be very complicated. Jeff really does a good job of getting down to the nitty gritty and discussing things that don't usually come up in daily conversation. I would hate that any woman would have a NEED for this book, but the reality is that many women DO need this book. If you are in a situation where divorce is happening or even a possibility, you should give it a read so that you can be prepared and know what to do. 

The fact is that divorce is messy, and no matter how "smart" you are, or how "financially savvy" you are, things are just different when it's your emotions that are wrapped up in it. You have to keep your wits about you and keep the emotional side out of it (as much as possible, anyway). This book does a great job of helping with that and it is a must read for any woman dealing with a divorce. You can check out Jeff Forbes' blog, website, and YouTube channel for even more helpful information on divorce. Don't forget to buy a copy of the book for yourself on Amazon! With the Kindle version under $10 and the Paperback under $15, you really have no excuse not to get a copy! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hapari Swimwear Review and $100 Gift Card Giveaway!!! #Swimwear #FunInTheSun #Giveaway #Fashion #Review #Blogger

*I received a sample product in order to conduct this review, however, all opinions are my own. 

Today's review and giveaway is for something we all have to have, but probably not many of us actually ENJOY shopping for! Yep, we're talking swimsuits, and while swimsuit shopping was one of my favorite things to do in my younger (skinnier) days, let's just say it is NOT one of my favorite things now. It's so hard to find a suit that is flattering, and well, COVERS all the parts I need it to cover. 

That is where Hapari Swimwear comes in. Hapari is a great swimwear company that focuses on cute, yet modest swimwear. They have SUCH cute suits! I chose a few of my favorites to showcase for you guys: 

From the Hapari site: 

Distinctive and beautiful, Hapari swimwear is designed to enhance a woman's natural beauty — no matter her shape.

At Hapari, we believe that every woman deserves a fit that will flatter her figure because you should look and feel great while having fun in the sun. And that is why our swimwear is created from the finest fabrics and with body-shaping features to help you feel comfortable and confident!

Whether you're looking for a tankini, bikini, one-piece or plus size swimwear, we believe you should never sacrifice style for comfort and coverage. And with Hapari, you'll never have to!

I'm telling you guys, I absolutely love these suits! I got the chance to pick out any suit I wanted from Hapari's site! It was such a hard choice, I only decided and then undecided, and then redecided only about, oh, a thousand times! But, as you guys know, I am always looking for a good deal, and that is exactly what I did! When I checked out Hapari's "sale" section, my heart went pitter-patter! Oh so many great suits and all at wonderful prices- I was in heaven!  I actually ended up getting TWO tops and one pair of bottoms that could coordinate between the two suits, so it was like getting two suits for the price of one! 
Here are the two tops I chose, along with the brown tummy tuk bottoms- they all go together perfectly and I couldn't be happier! Sorry folks, but you are not going to see a picture of me in my swimsuit, not this year haha! I am not ready for that just yet! I am so happy with these two tops plus my one pair of bottoms. This will be perfect for when we go on vacation, I can just pack these three pieces and it will be like having two brand new suits! Love it! 

Here's a picture of the suits, so you can see how great they look together and how perfectly everything matches! I love that Hapari has designed their site so that everything is able to be "mixed and matched", that takes all the guesswork out of swim suit buying, you just pick two pieces that you like,and you're done! Let me tell you guys, these are really great quality swimsuits, too. I am used to buying cheapie swimsuits every year, and I am now in love with the quality of Hapari's suits. I guess you really do get what you pay for! 

As you guys can see, I am super duper in love with Hapari and I am  definitely never going anywhere else to buy my swimsuits again! And... now for the best part...... Hapari Swimwear is so awesome, they are giving one lucky Flip Out Mama reader a $100 gift code of their own to pick out their own amazing swimwear and experience the Hapari difference! How exciting is that?! We're going to run the giveaway until 7/20/14, so hurry and get your entries in! Good Luck Guys! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fun In The Sun With Oriental Trading Company! #Birthday #OrientalTrading #OTC #Review #MomBlog #Camping #SummerFun

*We received the products mentioned in this review free of charge in order to conduct this review. All opinions are 100% our own.*

If you have been following this blog for any amount of time, you probably already know that we are HUGE fans of  Oriental Trading Company. I turn to them not only when I need party supplies, but for Christmas stocking stuffers, treats for Trick or Treaters at Halloween, school supplies for our homeschooling adventures, and any craft supplies that I might need, when I am feeling crafty. (Which is not too often!) Well, once again, Oriental Trading has saved the day for me and the boys! Earlier this month, my little man turned FOUR! Can you believe it? He decided that instead of having a big party for his birthday, he wanted to take a camping trip with me, his brother, his daddy, his aunt and uncle and his older cousin. Sounds easy enough, right? What I didn't anticipate was all of the stuff I would need to do a birthday-party-while-camping! Fortunately, Oriental Trading had everything we needed! 

You guys probably already know that we love Ninja Turtles around here, so naturally, we had to have a Ninja Turtles birthday party! We picked up a TMNT table cover, some plates and napkins, and of course, some green silverware. I also picked out some really great TMNT candles for Bean's cake and a few streamers to decorate. My favorite purchase, though, were the TMNT face masks that I picked up to wear to the party! Everything, as usual, was super affordable from Oriental Trading! 

Because of how affordable Oriental Trading is, I was even able to pick up some extras to make our camping trip a bit more fun! I got a whole pack of giant bubbles, which all the kids LOVED! Even the grown ups got in on the fun with these! Another great purchase were the grenade shaped water bombs (turtle bombs, according to Bean!), they were so much fun! We just set up a big bucket of water, and the kiddos went crazy on each other! It was so much fun, and a cheap and easy addition to our camping trip! I have to say, however, the best thing that we got this time around from Oriental Trading were a set of small fish shaped water games. You probably remember these games from when you were a kid.. They are filled with water, and you press the buttons to get all the rings on the post? Oh my goodness, the entire family has had a great time with these, even the grown ups! I even caught my 15 year old niece playing with them, and NOT her cell phone! Come on, what's not to love about that!? These were definitely a great purchase, and we will be playing with them for a long time to come! 

As usual, I have absolutely no complaints about our order from Oriental Trading. Even when I wait until the last minute to order, my order arrives super quickly. The packing is always great, and I have never had a problem with things missing or being broken. I always feel like I am getting a good value for my money when I order from Oriental Trading, and I feel like my money goes further than it would otherwise. I will continue to highly recommend this company forever!  They have come through for me once again, and makes being a "fun mom" effortless!! What more could I ask for? 

Thanks again, Oriental Trading Company! If you want to check out their amazing deals, visit them at http://www.orientaltrading.com/. They are always offering great promotions, like free shipping or other discounts, so you are gonna want to check them out! Also, make sure to like them on Facebook and follow them on Pinterest

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summer Game Time With Educational Insights: Diggity Dogs and Kitten Caboodle Game Review! #Homeschool #GameNight #FamilyFun #Blogger #Review

We received a sample product in order to conduct this review. All opinions are our own. 
If you are a mom, you probably already know all too well about the summertime blues and the boredom that kicks in about halfway through the summer. Lucky for us, Educational Insights sent us a couple of great games to kick that boredom's butt this summer! We got the chance to review both the Diggity Dogs and the Kitten Caboodle Games, and they are so much fun for our preschooler!
 We have had so much fun checking out these games! My boys love dogs, so I knew the Diggity Dog Game would be fun, but since we have two cats, they were much more interested in checking out the Kitten Caboodle game to see if they could find out "kinds" of cats in the game. In case you are wondering, Kitten Caboodle is a card game that helps kids with matching, taking turns, counting and more.

It's sort of like a "go fish" game for cats, and it is really fun. It's easy for even the smallest players to understand, which is great! The point of the game is to collect the most "matches" of what your cat needs in order to "adopt" it. Once you have collected all of the things needed for your cat, you can adopt it and it's yours! The person who adopts the most cats, wins!!!
This is such a good game, and easy for little ones to understand! It's also quick to play, which is key for little ones. If a game goes on too long, my littles are bored and instantly done. Meltdown mode. Not with this game though, which is great!
If you are not into cats, don't worry. Diggity Dogs is the same type of game, only with cute puppies to adopt instead of cats. Still fun and easy for everyone to understand, which is great. Educational Insights makes some of our very favorite products, and these two new games are going on our "favorites" list for sure! If you want to check out Kitten Caboodle, Diggity Dogs, or any of Educational Insights other great products, visit them at http://www.educationalinsights.com/.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Perfect For Summer: Minute Maid Juice Bars! #Blogger #Review #MomLife #FunInTheSun #FoodBlogger #PR

I received a sample product in order to conduct this review, and all opinions are my own. 

We are smack dab in the middle of summer time and that means hot hot hot days!!! My boys love to be outside and they love popsicles, ice cream and other frozen treats.. (What kid doesn't?) But, I am always really concerned about what they are eating and what all those sugary frozen snacks actually have in them.  
Lucky for me, these new Minute Maid Juice Bars are a yummy frozen treat that I can actually feel good about giving to my babies. They are 100% juice, which I love! They come in three different flavors: Orange, Grape and Cherry, and they are delicious! The boys have been gobbling them up left and right, and I can't blame them! I tried one too, and they really hit the spot on a hot day! 

 Each box comes with 12 bars, which is a great deal! That is enough to last my boys at least a week or so, and that is if they have one almost every single day! I love that they are only 40 calories per bar, so I don't have to feel guilty if I want one too! I really love these little pouches too, much less messy than an ice cream cone or ice cream on a stick! These Minute Maid Juice Bars have definitely been a hit around our house this summer, and the boys are already begging me for more when our boxes run out! I would love to see some more flavors added in the future, just to switch it up a bit, but these three are great classics!

Make sure to grab some of these yummy treats the next time you are at your grocery store. You can click HERE to check out all of the other great treats that J&J Snack Foods have to offer! We love these juice bars, and I am sure that you will too! 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Get Great Summer Hair With Alberto V05!! #Blogger #Review #VO5 #Hair #BeautyBlogger #PR #Makeup

We received a sample product in order to conduct this review. All opinions are our own. 

It's summer time,and when it's summer time, we sometimes neglect our hair. Long days on the beach or in the pool can really take their toll on on hair, causing it to break, dry out and just not look it's best. Well, that is a thing of the past thanks to Alberto V05! We were lucky enough to get a whole summer hair "care package" from V05 to try out this summer, and I am really glad we did! 
 We got a chance to try out the Essentials Body Wash, the Simply Stunning Leave In Conditioner, VO5 Salon Series Color Shield + Radiance Shampoo and Conditioner, and V05 Hot Oil Therapy Intense Moisturizing Treatment. All of these products were great, and I was really surprised how much I liked them!

VO5’s Hot Oil Treatment, moisturizes and conditions hair from roots to ends, helping to restore shine, strength and silky softness. It is definitely what I would call a hair care staple, and I have been using it since my early teens. I usually try to do a hot oil treatment about once a month on my hair. There is really nothing better than the silky softness of your hair the first time you rinse the hot oil out of it! Ahhh, bliss!!!

VO5 Salon Series Color Shield + Radiance Shampoo and Conditioner is really great for the summertime too. It helps to prevent color from fading. I don't know about you, but I really feel like my hair fades MUCH faster in the summertime. I guess it is from the pool and all the chlorine, and washing and drying my hair way more than usual. I really liked this shampoo and conditioner, it really has a great scent that lasted all day as well.

My favorite product in this summer care package was definitely the  VO5 Salon Series Simply Stunning Leave-In Conditioner. A good leave in conditioner is a must for me. My hair is dry and curly, so having a good conditioner is something I have to do daily. I really liked this conditioner, it smells great, and I like that it is also protecting my hair from breakage and split ends.

The final product in the package was an added bonus. I have always thought of V05 as primarily a hair c are brand. Honestly, I didn't even know they made body wash. But, boy, do I know now! The Essentials Body Wash is great! I received the Creamy Mango and Hibiscus scent. I love it, it is so fresh and citrus-y smelling!

What's not to love about Alberto V05 and their wonderful hair care (and now body!) products? Nothing! We love them in my house and you seriously can not beat the price! Check out V05's great offerings at your local drug store or grocery store, or check them out online at http://www.vo5haircare.com/

Must Have Monday: Biore Blemish Fighting Skin Care Products! #Biore #SkinCare #BeautyBlogger #Review #MomLife #Tweens #Teens

We received a sample product in order to conduct this review. All opinions are our own. 

It's that time again! Today's Must Have Monday comes to us courtesy of Biore! I have been a long time fan of Biore and their wonderful skin care products, so I am always happy to help promote them and share the lastest and greatest with y'all! 

We recently got a chance to try out some of Biore's newest products, and as usual, I was impressed! 

The first item we tried was the Blemish Fighting Ice Cleanser, which I love because it is oil free. It contains 2% salicylic acid, so it is effective without being "too much". I love, love LOVE the fresh clean smell and for my combination/oily skin, it's perfect. It didn't dry my skin out too much. After using it, I used my normal moisturizer and there were no problems at all.

Next, we tried the Acne Clearing Scrub. I think this product was my favorite of the three that we got to try. I think I am just partial to any product that has any kind of "scrubbing" ability, it just makes me feel like my skin is cleaner. The scent is a mandarin mint, which is really uplifting and energizing, especially when you use it in the morning. My skin really felt a lot cleaner after using this scrub for a few days.

The final Biore product we tried out was the Blemish Fighting Astringent. I absolutely love astringent/toner. I feel like it is one of the very few things that really gets down deep into my pores to clean them out. I really like this one in particular!

I am already a big fan of Biore fan , but these awesome products have sold me on the brand even more! The best part is that these products are super affordable, and available at almost every single local drugstore for under $7! Love it!  Make sure to check out Biore products at your local store and you can learn more online at http://www.biore.com/

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fun and Learning With Educational Insights: Design and Drill Socket To Me Review! #MomLife #Reviews #Toys #Homeschool #PreK #Blogger

We received a sample product in order to conduct this review. All opinions are my own. 

If you guys have been following our blog for any length of time, you probably already know how much we love Educational Insights. They are definitely one of our very favorite brands, and every time we get the chance to work with them, we jump at it. I know that no matter what products they send us to check out, they are going to be great, and that my boys are definitely going to enjoy them. This time was no exception! 

We received the Educational Insights Design and Drill: Socket To Me to review. This toy is so cute! It actually comes with four different things to "build": a rocket, a race car, a boat and a robot. Kids can use the colorful plastic bolts and the real working socket wrench to "build" their own creations. Then they can play with them!
 The recommended age range for this toy is 3-6, so our little guy was perfect to try it out! I absolutely love that this toy encourages creativity and helps him to work on his fine motor skills. We are getting ready for preschool in the fall, so anything I can do to help him be ready for that is great! It has taken him a little while to get the hang of this toy, but he loves it now!

The cutest part is that he really thinks he is "building" something, and he is so proud of his creations! I am glad for him to have something to build and create with other than his wooden blocks and mega blocks. He gets really bored with those sometimes, so it is nice to have something else to add to his collection.

I would definitely recommend this toy if you have little ones ages 3-6 at home. It is a very cute toy, takes no batteries, and like all Educational Insights toys, is really built to last. No cheaply made junk here! Another great thing is that if you have some of the other Design and Drill sets from Educational Insights, they are all interchangeable and can be used together. You're definitely going to want to add this one to your collection. Check out more from Educational Insights at http://www.educationalinsights.com/home.do


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