Disclosure: Some posts on this blog are sponsored, meaning that I received goods, services, or monetary payment for my writing. My opinions however, are not 'purchased' and are always 100% my own. Posts contain affiliate links that I earn a commission on. This disclosure is done in accordance with the FTC 10 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Did you get a chance to read about Kinderfeets?

I found out about the Kinderfeets bike from fellow blogger Elitemama when she received one to review. I was so impressed with it that I took the time to post a few of my thoughts about the item here.

The Kinderfeets bike is a great 'green' gift, and an incredible way to teach smaller children to hold their balance on a two-wheeled object. Plus, you can't beat the fact that it's painted with a chalkboard surface that will allow your child to create a cool design over and over again!

To help you better understand what Kinderfeets is all about, check out this video of their product in action:

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post, and as always, my opinions are purely my own.

(The blogger opp that was associated with this post has expired, please check out our blogger opps tab for a list of available opportunities!)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Emergency Trip!

On Sunday I was busy packing for a long trip when my husband frantically called me from work.

"You're gonna have to leave early on Monday instead," he told me, "I just found out we owe money for something and it's about to be overdue."

To make a long story short, the money had to be delivered by end of business on Monday, and the office was all the way in Georgia. Because I was headed through that area anyway, I got stuck with the task of hand-delivering it.

I ended up packing in a frenzy; I had planned on having another few days to pack, and I was suddenly laying out my traveling clothes to wear the next day!

My posts will be resuming tomorrow, but if you've commented on my blog, sent me email or messages on Twitter, I apologize for not responding right away. Everything on our end should be back to normal by tomorrow, thanks for your patience!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

I LOVE Coffee (Expired)

Thank you to everyone that helped to make this giveaway a great success! Unfortunately, this giveaway has ended, but make sure that you check out our Giveaways tab at the top of the page for a list of our currently running giveaways! Your next win could be just a click away...


I LOVE Coffee Giveaway Event

Hosted by MasterofMom.com and Co-Hosted by McMom-ents
Thank you to our sponsor: Rogers Family Coffee

And a big thank you to all the bloggers out there who have made this giveaway a success! You guys are great!

Is there anything quite so wonderful as a hot cup of coffee? How about four bags of organic coffee beans, for free?! You could win them in this giveaway sponsored by Rogers Family Company! To top it off, Alicia over at MasterofMom.com is throwing in a Krups Fast Touch Grinder to help the winner get those beans ground to the perfect consistency. You can check out what she had to say about the organic coffees she received from Rogers by reading her reviews here.

Rogers Family Company has been making coffee since 1979 and they are a 100% family-run company that's committed to sustainability through their Community Aid Program. You can connect with them through the giveaway below, or by visiting their website here.

So what are you waiting for? Get to entering in this giveaway and you could be sipping freshly-ground organic coffee in no time!

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. If you have questions regarding this giveaway, or if you would like to see your business featured in a giveaway like this one, please email masterofmom@gmail.com!

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Organic Coffee Co. Review

I love coffee. I adore it. I drink it not just in the mornings, but in the evenings as a favored beverage. I can trace my coffee drinking fondness all the way back to being a five year old child. My grandpa Keith used to take me on short road-trips with him when I was small, and I have no idea where we went, but I know it was always early and there was always coffee involved. As a little girl, just smelling that coffee fill the cab of the truck, and listening to my grandpa's low voice rumble as the two of us crossed the quiet and darkened countryside, was enough to make me think coffee was the most special drink in the world. I didn't have to drink it to know I was going to love it, I could just smell it.

When I was eight, I finally snatched a cup of coffee when no one was looking at a church pot-luck dinner. My first thought was, "Whoa! Why doesn't this stuff taste like it smells?" I put it up, thinking that I had been oh-so-wrong about coffee altogether, but half an hour later I sneaked another cup away (and after copious amounts of added sugar) I drank it all. By the time I was sixteen, I had learned to appreciate the deep flavor and was drinking the stuff with just a packet of sugar and a few drops of cream.

Now I love to explore new coffees and find new blends that are somehow even better than the last. My favorites this month come to me from The Organic Coffee Co, owned by Rogers Family Company (a producer of teas and coffees). And although they gave me these samples to try for free, there is nothing sugar-coated about my review. When I saw these coffees are awesome, I mean they are awesome.

First off, I just want to thank Rogers for sending me this coffee, and for being a "green" supplier. The push is hard these days to substitute quality for a cheaper overhead, and it is difficult to remain organic, green, kosher, fair-trade, etc., without having someone offer you a cheaper way of doing business. Those cheaper ways are rarely better for the consumer, so thanks for sticking to your values!

Now to get to the reviews! I was sent four bags of organic coffee to try - in the bean form. For those of you who have never tried bean form before, I strongly urge you to at least test it out in your kitchen using a blender, the flavor is amazing. I'll have a blog post later on next week about different grinding techniques and how you can grind beans in your home without purchasing a coffee grinder. I was sent the Stellar Brew, the Zen Blend, the French Roast and Hurricane Espresso. Below are my thoughts (and my family's thoughts) on them in no particular order.

French Roast

This coffee is dark, smoky, and delicious. My husband's family is Puerto Rican, and although none of them have lived in Puerto Rico for over 50 years, they have kept up the cultural tradition of dropping by in the evening for a meal or a cup of coffee. Our family almost always has guests on the weekends, anywhere from church friends and extended family, to a new acquaintance or old friends. On these nights, only strong coffee will do, and this has been a favorite of ours for serving to our family. Everyone that has come to our house so far has this French Roast, and it goes great with the leche that my mother-in-law steams old-fashioned-style in a pot on the stove. I will warn - this has a strong coffee taste and really does taste "smoky" to boot. Smoky coffee isn't for everyone. Even I don't care to drink it straight, but I do love it with a bit of sugar and a slice of ham on the side. Yes, ham. I don't know why, but if I'm drinking dark, smoky coffee, my thoughts hit cowboys-on-the-range mode and I want pork, beans, and marshmallows... (Somewhere at some point, I probably had a smoky-type of coffee while camping out.) I recommend this coffee to anyone who has a fondness for a hot drink around a crackling fire, or thick bacon in the early dark of morning. That's when I drink it anyhow, it fits the mood to a tee and the coffee is always hot, smooth, and excellent.

Stellar Brew

Even as I write this I'm drinking a cup of the Stellar Brew. This is another dark blend, but not so dark that I save it for special occasions or to go with my breakfasts. This is my favorite "working" coffee. It's strong, with hints of smokiness, perfectly blended together to create a coffee that needs no cream or sugar - it's deliciously rich all on it's own. There is hardly any aftertaste to this coffee, and what is there is enticing enough to take another sip of my drink. I like to pour myself a cup of this when I'm sitting down to the computer for a long day of work, and it reminds me of the type of coffee I'd drink if I were in a snazzy café somewhere, working to my heart's content like the budding-author-artist-actress-wannabe I once was. It makes me feel young by reminding me of my youth, and yet makes me feel accomplished by fitting into my dreams of writer-drinking-coffee-at-a-desk-at-home. All that's missing is a large bay window and a turtleneck as I sip this smooth coffee down.

Zen Blend

The Zen blend. What can I say about it that can possibly come close to what drinking it is actually like? It's rich, mellow, smooth, and tangy. Tangy? Yes, that is the word I would use to describe it. Somehow this blend incorporates a rich tang that manages to go down without any of the bitterness I would usually find accompanying a "tangy" coffee. This is a coffee that I love to have with brunch, and it goes just as well with a fried egg as it does with a cruller or fruit plate. The label describes it as being a "perfect balance of Central American coffees", which is true enough in my opinion, and this is one even my husband is able to drink without cream or sugar. (He is one of those that needs a healthy amount of either to get through any coffee, so the fact that he can drink it without really says something.) If you're planning on having the girls over, or just hosting friends for the morning or afternoon, this is the coffee I would serve. It appeals to just about everyone, is light enough to drink as a day-time coffee, and holds a flavor that is delicate and strong at the same time.

Hurricane Espresso

Oh how I wish I had an espresso machine. Although this coffee was delicious on it's own, I can only imagine how very intriguing it would have been if I had made an espresso with it. This is the type of coffee that makes you think of chocolate as soon as it hits your lips. I was lucky enough to have a chocolate bar in the house, and I sat back and consumed it while I drank my second cup. This is, in my opinion, a coffee for the evenings. It's dark, it's rich, it's strong, and yet I would not go so far as to call it "bold". Somehow, this coffee presents the attitude of relaxation. My favorite thing to do with this coffee is add some frothy milk and drizzle a bit of chocolate sauce across the top, then serve it with pastries or strawberries. The coffee bites, and the sweetness of the dessert smooths it back over to create the perfect after-supper feeling. This isn't a coffee I would drink black, not because it is too strong for me, but because I think some coffees are meant to be had in tandem with a bite of this or a pour of that. It makes an excellent social coffee, and I plan to serve it at my next evening gathering on the coffee bar.

Wish you could have some of these coffees for yourself? You can! We'll have a giveaway live from  6/22/2013 at 5 pm EST until midnight on 7/10/13 where one lucky winner will receive each of the four coffees above, complete with a Krups Fast Touch Grinder so they can grind these coffees at home and then drink to their heart's content! So come back tomorrow and make sure you get your entries in!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Maggie Bags (Expired)

Ready to snag a new handbag? Check out Army Wife & Mommy's Campus Tote product review HEREThese bags are stylish and would make a great new accessory for any outfit.

This giveaway has already ended, but make sure to check out the Giveaways tab at the top of the page! We have a link-up that is continuously updated with some of the latest and greatest contests from around the internet, you never know what you'll find - and your next win could be here!

The Campus Tote By Maggie Bags Giveaway was hosted by: Army Wife & Mommy and sponsored by: Maggie Bags

This giveaway ran from June 19, 2013 until July 5, 2013 at 11:59pm CST. 
Winner received a Campus Tote by Maggie Bags of their color choice!


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

gfreely Subscription Box (Expired)

Have you wondered what the recent big fuss about gluten-free foods is? It's actually a lot worse than you might think! Gluten sounds like "glue" for a reason, because it's basically a sort of wheat glue that is added to foods for textural purposes. While it may give us a nice spongy-feel to our bread, it isn't necessary, and consumers and doctors are just now starting to see the effects of long-term gluten consumption. Bad digestive problems, allergy difficulties, even cancer can all be traced back to gluten - and that's just to name a few troubling things.

When we went to cut out gluten from our diets, we were appalled at how many of the name brand foods we ate listed gluten in the ingredients! In the time since we've switched to gluten-free, we've not only felt better, but we have had way more energy. Gluten blocks certain nutrients from being properly absorbed, which means you feel more sluggish and less able to get the stuff in your life done. Want to try some gluten-free products out before committing to a new way of eating? Check out the subscription boxes from gfreely! Not only are they full of gluten-free goodies, but it allows you to figure out which ones are to your liking before you shell out money on your next shopping trip!

Today, gfreely makes a healthy, sustainable gluten-free lifestyle simple, accessible and fun for consumers all over the world. From our monthly subscription boxes and online shop to our popular recipes and tips, we’re always on the hunt to find the best in gluten free and share it with you!

By helping you discover and purchase delicious gluten free products, the gluten free diet can be one that you will enjoy. Read more about gfreely in the Product Review by The Herban Couponer.

The giveaway for a gfreely subscription box has ended, but don't go just yet! We have lots of currently running giveaways featured on our Giveaways tab at the top of this page!


The gfreely Giveaway was hosted by: The Herban Couponer

One Winner received a gfreely Gluten Free subscription box

This giveaway ended July 1, 2013
Congratulations to the winner!

(Expired) Saffron Road Foods

Have you ever been so tired when it comes to making dinner that you feel like busting open one of those meal helpers, even after you've decided to eat healthy? I do that all the time, and I frequently think how much easier it would be to stay on the health-wagon if everyone had organic or natural meal helpers! Never heard of a "healthy" meal helper before? Check out the simmer sauces from Saffron Road! You could be on your way to a new food plan just as easy as discovering a new product.

The giveaway below has ended, but make sure that you check out our Giveaways tab at the top of this page for a list of currently running giveaways from around the 'net!

This giveaway was hosted by: The Herban Couponer

Saffron Road celebrates the memorable meals and mutual values families and friends of all cultures share around the dinner table. Read more about Saffron Road in the Herban Couponer's Product Review. 

This giveaway ended July 1, 2013

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

First off, I'd just like to say Happy Father's Day to all you great dads out there! We women like to tease our men about how they "father" throughout the year, but the truth is that behind every tease is an extreme amount of gratefulness for the men in our lives.

Growing up, I remember my Granny would tell me on a very regular basis, "You have a really good daddy, you know that?" When I was really small, I just agreed with her because I thought that he was pretty good. When I got to that in-between stage, I knew I liked him a lot, but I figured my Granny just said that a bunch because she was his mom. When I got to high school, I knew that he was special compared to some of my friends' dads, but I still didn't realize how much.

When I finally grew up and moved out of the house I hit a pretty bad rough spot. That's when I really found out how great my dad was, although I didn't know it at the time. He was there for me through it all, in his own way. Now that I'm older and I can turn around and think back on all the things my dad has done for me over the years in comparison to what I know about grown men, I'm moved to tears over the incredible love he has for us kids.

He's the dad that picked out each of our going-home outfits from the hospital. He's the dad that insisted on carrying each of his babies into church for the first time (and usually for many Sundays after that). He's the dad that used to sit us in boxes (back before they had Bumbos) and pull us around inside like we were in a car. He's the dad that gave in and got us multiple pets - despite the fact that he really didn't want anymore cats.

He's the dad that would punish us for being naughty, then sit us down on his lap and tell us how much he loved us instead of being angry. He's the dad that taught us how to be excited about learning new things. He's the dad that played pranks on us (still does) and never got upset at us for goofing around. He's the dad that loves to laugh more than he loves to be serious. He's the dad that makes sure we know our mistakes are noted, but not held against us. 

He's the dad that doesn't stop defending us to the world, but makes sure in private that we know right from wrong. He's the dad that drops everything to help us fix a bike or a broken toy, regardless of all the things he has to do. He's the dad that picked time with his kids over time with his career. He's the dad that devotes countless unknown hours to our 4-H projects, baseball games, after-school events, and driver's training.

He's the dad that isn't afraid to talk about God, to talk to us about Christianity, and helps us find the way to Salvation. He's the dad that dances with his little girls at the Daddy-Daughter dances, even with his oldest daughter who isn't so little anymore. He's the dad that teaches his sons that real men love Jesus. He's the dad that doesn't laugh at dirty jokes, but tells clean ones that are hilarious.

He's the dad that hugged me and held me and told me I was still his baby girl, even though I'd spent all of my 19th year messing up in the way that only a teenager can. He's not just my dad - he's my protector, my teacher, my friend, my secret keeper, the giver of hugs and the finder of kittens. He has been all these things to me and more, and still is.

So here's to all the great fathers out there - the ones that separate themselves from the rest by being a spectacular dad, not by doing any one spectacular thing, but by being a loving dad every single day.

I love you daddy <3

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Have a Spa Day at home in 5 quick steps!

This post has been sponsored, but these words are my own! Please see my full disclosure policy for more information on the ways I may be reimbursed during the course of my blogging.

Every girl loves going to the spa. Not every girl has the kind of cash to shell out for going on a regular basis though. I'm definitely a not-enough-cash kind of girl! My spa-trips used to be quite frequent, but after having kids, they've dwindled down to a mere three or four trips a year (Birthday, Valentine's, Christmas, and Mother's Day)... and that's if I get the gift certificates I've been asking about! However, I still treat myself as often as once a week to a spa-like experience at home. Here's how I do it:

1) Prepare your supplies ahead of time.

Regardless of what treatment you give yourself, make sure that you have all your supplies set up ahead of time. You can't relax if you have to jump up and down thirty times just to get what you need. If you end up rummaging around for a nail file while you have wet fingernails or something like that, you're just going to end up more stressed than when you started. (Especially if you never find what you're looking for. Don't you just hate that?)

2) Set the mood.

Ask your husband (or bestie, mom, sister, neighbor, etc.) to watch your kids (for free preferably) for just an hour or two. Grab a few candles in relaxing scents, a robe that is decadently luxurious, and soft music for the background. I like to find something to play online that has soft notes mixed with nature sounds. This will all give you that spa feel, especially if you close your eyes and relax for a little while.

3) Give yourself spa "perks".

Does your spa give you a complimentary glass of champagne when you come in? Pour yourself a glass at home. Do they have hot coffee waiting? Chilled cucumbers to put on your eyes while your nail polish dries? The latest & greatest magazines to read? If there is something your spa does that you love to do while you are getting treatments, get if for yourself at home! One of my spas always brought over a salad from the fancy restaurant next door, complete with cloth napkin, glass plate and crystal goblet with a small serving of wine. So you know what I do? I make it myself at home. I only spend about $4.00 each time grabbing salad mix and fancy toppings. I make it ahead of time and then sit down to it sometime during the course of my at-home spa session.

4) Research your treatment.

Thank you, God, for the internet! A quick peek through just about any search engine will usually show you a ridiculous amount of ideas for just about any at-home treatment you want to do. For instance, if you Google at-home foot soak, you'll see that the first things that pop up are recipes for foot soaks you can make with common household ingredients. No need to shell out for fancy foot-soaps, just see what sort of foot bath you can make with what you have in your kitchen. Don't limit yourself to things you think you can do on your own either - research any fancy treatment that you love to have. Even massage! There's nothing wrong with inviting a friend now and then to help you with your spa day - as long as she (or he) gets to get the same TLC from you in return at some point. And you'd be amazed what you can learn about giving yourself mini-massages on your hands, face, feet, etc.

5) Set a timer and close your eyes.

When you're done with your treatment, find a cozy spot in the house to rest and close your eyes for a while. You don't need to sleep, but it's best if you enter a state of deep relaxation. If you do fall asleep, there's a good chance that you'll want to keep sleeping, and if you have to force yourself to wake up, you might end up just feeling tired. I usually have a little bit of coffee or right before this I relax so that by the time I'm done with my rest, I'm feeling perky and refreshed instead of ready for nap-time!

So find a luxury spa robe and light some candles! Then go test this out and tell me how it worked for you!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

(Expired) Love organic?

As a lot of my readers know, we're in a big-time organic kick in this house. I'm running a bit behind in my garden planting (if only there wasn't so much great stuff to do everyday) but next week I'm hoping to get the whole yard done. Growing a kitchen garden is a doubly healthy way to get good foods into your diet. Not only are you eating vegetables - usually full of nutrients and vitamins that you need to feel good - but it also reduces the amount of chemicals going into your body.

For instance, many people don't realize that the corporation called Monsanto has been genetically modifying our foods. They never tested this for human consumption to see the long-term effects, we ARE the test. They've fed pregnant women uranium, they're responsible for the rBGH that has been shown to increase breast cancer risk, they make vegetable seeds that already have their own form of pesticide growing in the plants. And stop me if you think I'm crazy, but I don't want to eat a plant that can survive through heavy doses of Round-Up, a key selling feature of the plants. As a side note: not at all coincidentally, Monsanto also makes Round-Up. Hmmm.

This isn't me being a political, crazy, liberal, hippie or anything like that. I have no irrational fear of the FBI or other government entities. I don't think that there is a cover-up in the making around every turn. But I am a smart enough person to realize when a corporation is getting free license from the government to destroy the health of consumers in the name of money. If it wasn't true - the fancy restaurants that our politicians eat at would be using vegetables grown from Monsanto seeds. If it was just as good, it would be just as expensive as non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) foods. Do yourselves a favor and buy organic, it is not just more tasty, it is much, much healthier. Try eating all organic for a week, you won't believe the difference in taste and you will feel a lot better.

Not sure you want to invest in a week's worth of organic foods? The giveaway for the organic food package below has ended, but make sure you stop by our Giveaways tab at the top of this page. We frequently feature great organic & green giveaways from around the internet, and your next win could be waiting! After you've entered a few, make sure to stop by the Happy Family website and check out their selection of organics!

The Happy Family Organic SuperFoods Giveaway was hosted by: Army Wife & Mommy

This giveaway ran from June 12, 2013 until June 30, 2013 at 11:59pm CST.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Oh my poor color-blind husband...

Last night as my husband was going over preparations for a big job interview he has today, he asked my opinion on some "gray" pants he was thinking of wearing.

"Sweetie," I told him, "For the last time, those pants are green."

"They are not green," he said, "They're gray, they're just a lighter gray."

This led to a frequent discussion we've had over the past few years regarding the fact that my husband might be color-blind.

"Well," he finally stated, "Maybe you're the one that's color-blind."

Of course, I decided then and there that I would prove him wrong. I knew I wasn't color-blind, and he most certainly was. How very color-blind he actually turned out to be, even I never would have guessed.

I had thought that at most my husband perhaps had a slight deficiency when it came to seeing the difference between the colors gray and green. I was shocked to find that he was only able to get 2 out of 15 plates right in the video below! I could see the difference between all of the colors quite easily, and never even had to strain to discern any of the numbers. He told me several times that there was nothing to see on a few of the plates, and I couldn't understand how he could have gone this long without knowing that he was colorblind!

So what about you guys? I linked the same video that my husband used to test out if he was color-blind, check it out and see if you've been looking at the world with a color-deficiency. After reading the YouTube comments under the video, it definitely looks like a lot of people are shocked when they realize they can't see certain colors! I'm not certain how "official" the test is, but the sheer fact that I could see all the numbers while he could only see two of them definitely seems to prove that there is something to it.

And as a side note, now that I know how color-blind he is, I don't feel like rubbing it in anymore. Poor guy!

Monday, June 3, 2013

First day of "school"

So I just have to share that today is the first day I home-schooled my son. He just turned three, so I got him a preschool kit to do activities with him.

Here is what my son learned today:

1. Mommy isn't a preschool teacher. (Not yet anyhow.)

Here is what mommy learned today:

1. Old dry-erase markers don't always erase off of what they are supposed to.

2. When your three-year-old draws a picture, the appropriate response is "Oooh, that's so wonderful!", not "What did you draw?" Asking the second question will get strange explanations about sharks eating the faces off of caterpillars - and trying to figure out a preschooler's mind is like peeking inside Wonderland.

3. Logic has no place in preschool. If you doubt that, see #2.

4. Ask a silly question, you'll get a silly answer. ("What happens in the meadow when it gets dark outside?" "You yell at daddy to quit snoring!")

5. Painting is more fun when you try to taste the paint. Repeatedly.

6. Glue will come out so slow that you have to squeeze it with all of your strength to get even a little to come out. Suddenly it will decide to come out on it's own and you will have glue everywhere. Everywhere.

7. Snack time is as good a reason as any to take off your underwear and dance around the house.

8. If you're not quiet during toddler-led pretend-time, bears will eat you.

9. It's funny to tell daddy that today you learned that the letter on your painting is a B. Even though it's really an A, and you know that.

10. At the end of the school-day, mommy might be so exhausted that she falls asleep on the couch, only to wake up and discover that she somehow rolled on an art project and now has a painting of a caterpillar on her butt.

11. Mommy isn't a preschool teacher... yet.