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.

Friday, August 30, 2013

My Preschool Solution? FunShine Express!

"Mommy, I want to go skoo."

Those were the words that I heard about half a year ago that prompted me to start researching at-home schooling options for younger children. I had always planned to homeschool, but I didn't exactly have a standard plan in place. I had a vague idea of what to do when my son was older, thanks to the fact that seven of my younger eight siblings were homeschooled, but I didn't really remember my mom ever using anything for the smaller kids other than a few cardboard books and lined children's writing paper.

Luckily, I used to work in a daycare that used the FunShine line, and I remembered a relative had gotten me a kit from them a couple of years back. My son had been too young to use it then, so I'd had it sitting on a shelf - just one of those things I'd tucked away for a rainy day. I took the kit out and began looking over the materials. I was pleased with what I saw and decided to place an order for a kit that was more season-appropriate.

We started getting our son excited about his impending schooling as soon as we'd placed the order. "Only ten more days 'til school!", we would tell him. "You're going to have so much fun!"

By the time the first of the month rolled around and we were ready to start, my son was thoroughly ready for preschool. He knew we'd be learning about colors, numbers, letters, and shapes and told our whole family that he was getting ready to start school. We ended up having an awesome, albeit shaky, first day in our homeschool-preschool. As it turns out, he was more ready than I was! I had a terrible time with some of the older supplies I had on hand (my glue wouldn't come out for anything, then all fell out in a sudden gush), and I was tired out by the end of the day from hopping up and down to run and grab things I'd forgotten. As a matter of fact, I was so tired I accidentally fell asleep next to my son's freshly painted artwork and woke up with a finger-painted caterpillar transferred onto my rear!

After some needed reviewing of the teacher's monthly guidebook (shame on this mommy!), I was much better prepared for the following days. We got new glue, we made a "chalkboard" out of an area of the house that was no longer being used, and possibly most importantly - mommy read up on the lesson plans and laid out school supplies the night before! We took trips outside to inspect leaves and look for bugs. We pretended that grandma's floral bed covers were a meadow for deer to prance in. We looked for frogs and made "ribbit" noises in hopes of attracting them. My son started drawing letters, numbers, shapes - all things that he had never done before. He filled out a summer journal and colored the pictures with bright greens, oranges, and purples (his favorite colors). We made a giant caterpillar out of paper plates and strung it through the living room.

Sometime into my second month with FunShine, I was asked to review the kits and I was thrilled! I was given a free month's worth of the Fireflies program in exchange for an honest review on my site, and I couldn't have been more happy with the trade! I already knew that I loved the FunShine program, and I was excited to be blogging for them. Because I've already been through the program, I know I enjoy it. The kit they sent to me was for the month of September, and I have big plans for it. I want everyone to see how great their program works, so I hope that you will follow along with me as I outline the types of activities, crafts, games, learning tools, and teacher resources you can expect to find in a typical month! Each day that we work on our September kit, I'll be posting pictures, uploading videos, and writing about some of the cool adventures we had thanks to FunShine! I hope that this will inspire some of you to purchase a kit, or at least grab one of their sample kits to see how you like it for yourselves.

These kits are not only great for homeschooling moms though, they also work wonderfully for daycare! I was an assistant in an at-home daycare a few years ago, and we found the kits to be extremely helpful. In addition to the flexibility of ordering for a particular number of students, FunShine provides free parent-teacher resources, such as take home sheets, certificates, and newsletters. There are even free enrichment activities (think educational coloring pages) available to print off for as many children as you need!

I hope that you will all come back and read our daily posts about what you can expect in your FunShine kits! These are truly an awesome product, and any parent (homeschooling or not) that has preschoolers can get some enjoyment out of the bonding time that the FunShine kits are sure to promote.

BONUS! We have a coupon code for you! Enter the coupon code NC8BL at checkout for any purchase made with FunShine Express to get FREE shipping on your order!! Click here to go to their site!

Check out this awesome #giveaway sponsored by FunShine Express!

I know some of the mommies out there sent their little ones off to school this year, while still others decided to keep their munchkins home for just one more year. Our little guy isn't quite old enough for "school" yet, but that doesn't mean we haven't already started in on his learning!

I recently received the opportunity to review the program offered by FunShine Express and they sent me a month's worth of their activities for free in exchange for my honest review. Don't think that this is the only reason I'm writing about them though - I was actually a customer of theirs before they ever asked!

I'm excited to be able to offer this giveaway to my readers, and I hope that those of you who are looking for a children's program will find what you need in FunShine! Whether you are a daycare provider, a home-schooling mom or maybe just a mom who is looking to do a few preschool activities one on one with her kids, this is a great company to check out!

You can read my review of FunShine in the link below, and I'd love for you to follow along throughout the giveaway period as I give an up close and personal review of the September kit! You'll be able to see what sort of activities and crafts my son does, how they work for him, and how we're able to fit the kits into our busy schedule!

So without further comment...

Welcome to the Get Ready for Preschool Giveaway!



This giveaway is hosted by MasterofMom.com...

...and sponsored by Funshine Express!


A big thanks goes out to our co-hosts over at NY Saving Specials and Army Wife & Mommy, and to all the other bloggers who came together to make this giveaway possible!


Now on to the good stuff! FunShine Express is a company that specializes in providing activity & learning kits that are tailored specifically for little minds. Each kit comes with a monthly guide to help moms & daycare providers easily choose the lesson plan for the day and pick & choose which activities would be best for their little learners. Check out MasterofMom.com's full review of their activity kits here, and follow along throughout the giveaway period as she takes you through the September kit!

  • One lucky entrant will receive one Fireflies kit good for up to four children for a month's worth of activities.
  • Five entrants will be chosen in the weekly drawing linked in the giveaway form below to receive a Sample Kit.
  • Five entrants will be chosen in the weekly drawing linked in the giveaway form below to receive a Faith  Lessons Kit.

This giveaway is open to residents of the USA & Canada, 18 years of age or older. Giveaway starts at 5PM EST on 8/30/13 and ends at 11:59PM EST on 10/4/13. Please see the giveaway entry form for full terms & conditions.


Disclosure: MasterofMom.com is not responsible for prize shipment. If you have questions regarding this giveaway, or you are a company that would like to see your product featured in a contest like this one, please email Alicia Figueroa at MasterofMom@gmail.com.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dear U.S. Officials: Please don't drag The People into another mess #NoMoreWar

I don't usually write in this blog about anything that is considered a true "hot-button" issue. I avoid writing about such topics not because it may cause some friction, and not because I have no true opinions, but because it doesn't usually have too much to do with moms, parenting, or raising kids.

However, with everything that's been happening lately with Syria, Russia and China, I feel a need to speak out because what happens in the long-run could impact how I raise my kids and my children's future.

First off, dear Government (this means anyone "in charge" who is talking about our need to do something), you must surely realize by now that the majority of American people don't want another war. We are tired of war. No, we aren't stupid. We know that there are bad things happening in other places around the world. It makes us sad. It makes us feel for those who are in the Middle East. It makes us give our kids hugs a little more often and causes us to be grateful for the opportunity to raise our children in a safer place. It makes us open our hearts, our pocketbooks, our homes, our lives and more. We feel for them, we really do. But we are also scared for us.

The U.S. is a unique country built on unique standards and values. We are a country like no other. We can't go around policing everybody because they won't come up to our standards. Do you know what will happen if we do? Someone is going to slap us back into our place, and it will eventually be more than just a slap on the wrists. When you continually talk about war and threaten to intervene in the Middle East, you aren't being a hero, you are playing Russian Roulette with our country. As I said before, the People here aren't just worried and concerned for people in the Middle East, we are concerned for the People here. If we would happen to lose one of these battles before us, this could all go away. This unique, awesome, wonderfully free country - where we can love Jesus, where we can sing and dance, where our children can play in the yard without worrying about an attack or a military invasion, where we can choose where to live and work, where we can decide what to believe, where we can get on the internet to look up pretty much whatever we want - this could all go away if you make a bad move.

Don't get me wrong - it's great that you want to help. It's wonderful that we live in a country with morals and standards. But you are playing against an area where the people in charge don't exactly always go by the rules. Do you really want to gamble our country and get into the middle of the Middle East's business... again?

Let's review the possible problems, shall we? China will most likely get involved, and lets not forget that we owe them a lot of money. The U.S. is dangerously close to making Russia angry - a country that took us a long time to get on semi-friendly terms with - and they've obviously chosen sides as they are sending arms to our would-be targets in the Middle East. And now they've sent warships to meet up with our ships in the Mediterranean (lovely). Top that off with the fact that to save a few bucks, lots of corporations are now out-sourcing massive amounts of products and material. I may be "just a mom", but it seems to me that during a war it would be massively inconvenient to be counting on supplies that we can only get from overseas. Supplies that our enemies could target and destroy before they got to us.

We've spent enough of our time and money in the Middle East trying to make things "right", and mostly all we've done is stir up a hornet's nest. Look at all the chaos there now! We started that. We have spent enough resources trying to fix it and see it through to the end, but it isn't our business to end it. Can't it be enough that we got the ball rolling? Why can't we just quietly step back and let them sort things out for themselves?

"Because they crossed the line. They used chemical weapons." Le gasp! Not chemical weapons?! You mean like the chemical weapons that the U.S. used in the Vietnam War, aka Agent Orange? The same Agent Orange that fell onto lots of our own troops? The same Agent Orange that was sprayed over civilian and military personnel alike? (There goes the "civilian" excuse and the "their own people" excuse.) Or how about when the U.S. was behind Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war and Iraq used sarin gas on the Iranian troops four different times throughout the war? Wait - it gets better, the U.S. helped with satellite imagery to give the Iraqis the exact locations of the Iranian troops. (There goes the "unfair" excuse.) So why the big concern now? Why is it that we feel a terrible need to intervene at this point?

We get it. Chemical weapons are scary. No one is denying that part. We know. It's sad. And horrible. We really do get it. We see the disturbing pictures, we know that it's something to be concerned with and we know that help is necessary - when it's possible. But we also know that we don't want that kind of thing to come here, and most of us don't think that getting in the middle of someone else's civil war is going to prevent that type of thing from coming here, and I don't see a whole lot of people saying that our involvement would be for the greater good. As a matter of fact, if you Google around, it appears that most of us think that our involvement will only make the evils in this world get here faster. It can't be a good thing to make China and Russia angry, and the People of America are tired of war and military involvement. We know it's admirable to fight for those who can't fight for themselves, but we've been doing it for a long time, and like I said before, all we've managed to do is stir up the hornet's nest.

Do you remember a long time ago when the U.S. had its own civil war? There were some pretty horrible and disgusting things happening here back then, both sides played dirty from time to time, and people were slaughtered. If we were able to view our own civil war in the here and now, through our massive social media and vivid pictures and public outcry - we'd be just as disturbed. Do you remember all the countries that came in and helped us to sort out our mess? According to FindtheData.org, it was the United States of America, and the Confederacy of America. Not France, not the Middle East, not Canada or the U.K. or anywhere else. America vs. America. That's what a civil war is. And you're about to get in the middle of it, which will make others follow. That makes it a world war, not a civil war. And world wars are worse, in case you didn't know.

Plus, can you imagine if other countries had intervened in our civil war? Can you imagine if we had been occupied and had to put up with some other country policing and babysitting us and making sure that both sides played nicely for a while? What sort of making up is that? That's like a mother standing around to make sure that both of her kids get along. Sure, they'll get along while mom is in the room, but what about after she has to leave to go do the dishes or head off to work? Are they going to get along then? No. They won't. They'll go back to trying to destroy each other over who gets to watch TV first, or some other petty thing. I'm not saying that parents (and countries) shouldn't try to intervene when they can. I'm saying that intervening isn't a solution for long-term peace. Any parent worth their salt knows that in the long-run, the best lasting peace in the house is when the children come to terms between themselves. Mom can force them to share the TV remote now and again, but if they work out a system together and plan to stick to it, that is what is going to provide true peace in the family.

So why are we sticking our nose in? Uncle Sam, sit down and behave. You and your buddies are not the real life Justice League, and all you're doing is making messes that dear Ms. Liberty will have to babysit for years. You need to come home, take that towel off your shoulders (stop pretending it's a cape), and clean up your own house. After all, when you went outside to "save the world", you left your People with poverty problems, a battered housing market, escalating violence, difficulties with medical insurance, and educational issues. Here's a true mom-ism for you - it applies in the fullest sense, and you should heed it now: "Clean up this mess before you make a new one."

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Safety Net for Bedwetting - GoodNites Underwear Review

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of GoodNites for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

As some of my readers may know, I went to visit my parents for the summer. I had a blast, and because my parents were a bit short on space (my sister-in-law was visiting with her kids too), I slept on a make-shift bed on the floor. I didn't mind this since it was like having a slumber party every night with my kids & my younger siblings. Some nights we had four or five of us camped out in the living room, and we had a blast!
There was one little problem though... I was sharing this make-shift bed with my three-year-old, who only finished potty-training a few months ago. It wasn't long before I met with my first (wet) night-time surprise. My son had wet his bed before at home (not a pleasant experience regardless of where you are), but he had never wet my bed before. Let me tell you, there is a big difference between changing your kid's sheets and going back to bed and having to change the sheets and then take a shower. After the shower, you're pretty much awake, which means you are completely zoned out the next day.

After the second time this happened, I was setting alarms every three hours just to make sure that I took him to the toilet frequently throughout the night. Again, this made for a very tired mommy the next day, and it wasn't much fun for my little guy to wake up so often either.

Thankfully (I just love it when things work out like this), I had been contacted by one of the reps over at SocialSpark about possibly working with them on a campaign they had going. The rep asked if I would like to try out some GoodNites Underwear made especially to help with the problem of night-time wetting. Oh boy did I ever want to try them!
When I first looked at the underwear in the package, I thought they seemed like they might be a little big for my son. However, after putting them on him, they fit just right and he really enjoyed them. He was so excited the first time he woke up without wet bedsheets even though he'd had a small accident in the night! The GoodNites came with cool designs to make them look more like everyday underwear, and they pulled up just like a pair of underwear too. My son liked the designs so well that he started picking out his "fravrites" from the package each night. The GoodNites Underwear are thin enough to look like your child is wearing regular underwear underneath, but padded enough that any accidents won't leak through to the bed or your child's clothes. Even in the photo below, you can see that there is no "fringe" like a typical diaper has to poke up past the clothing.



We didn't need the GoodNites Underwear every night, but on the nights that we needed them, I was so glad that my son was wearing them! It's much better to be safe than sorry, and we were especially happy to not need to wake up in the middle of the night!

On the nights that my son did have an accident, sometimes he woke me up to change him, and sometimes he didn't. On the nights that he didn't wake me up, I was pleased to see that the underwear was absorbent enough that his skin didn't have any rash in the morning - my little guy has sensitive skin, so diaper rash was always an issue with us when he was a baby.

I would completely recommend the GoodNites Underwear to anyone that is dealing with night-time bedwetting. These underwear are very discreet, but your child may love them enough (like mine did) to quite loudly insist in front of everyone that it is time for the "night underpants". These are great to keep your child on track for becoming potty-trained and help to alleviate the concern that a child will want to revert back to diapers at night. The only thing that would give me pause would be if you are putting these on an older child for a sleepover. They had a slight rustling noise when my little guy was running around (which could have been due to the looseness of my son's pajamas), so I would suggest buying a package and testing them out prior to taking them into a social situation.

And the true test of what I thought of them? When I ran out, I bought more, and I'll keep buying them until my little guy doesn't need them anymore. These keep him dry at night, help me (and him) to get more sleep, and allow him a little safety net without giving up the freedom and confidence of getting to wear undies at night.

Want to snag a package of these for your own? Check out these awesome night-time undies at the GoodNites Facebook page or go to the GoodNites website for special offers and information on where to buy.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Monday, August 26, 2013

Who Wants a Samsung Chromebook? (#Giveaway)

So who wants to win a Chrroooomeboook?? I wish I could be like Oprah and give everyone one of these awesome laptops, but unfortunately I don't have the resources or the big TV-network backing to do so. (Darn, right?) But... there is a chance for one person to win the Samsung Chromebook shown below just for entering this giveaway!! All you have to do is fill out any of the entries on the Rafflecopter form shown below, and boom! - you're entered!! All entries are optional, but the more you do, the better your chances of winning, so enter away!

Good luck to my awesome readers!


Samsung Chromebook Giveaway 8/26 - 9/16


Hosted by: One Punky Mama


Co-Hosted by: Ceva de umplut timpul, Joans 5 Star Reviews, Oh My Heartsie Girl, A Little Bit of Everything


One lucky winner will win (1) 11.6" Samsung Chromebook with WiFi
Details: - US Only - Ages 18+ - Date August 26 12:01am to September 16 11:59pm - All entries are optional

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: MasterofMom.com is not responsible for prize. If you have any question please send an email to nicole@onepunkymama.com. All entries are optional, if you do any of the tasks you can collect the entries, but if the winner task is a task you did not complete, a second winner will be chosen.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Keep Calm & enter for a chance to #win a unique #candle!

Welcome to the Keep Calm Candle Giveaway!


Keep Calm Candles saw a drop in people doing things that they truly loved doing during the economical hard-times, so they created the Keep Calm Candles as a message of encouragement to everyone. "Keep doing what you love" so the love of doing it will follow. Keep Calm Candles truly believes that with hope and positive thinking, there is light at the end of every tunnel and they want to help light up that tunnel with their Keep Calm Candles.

Keep Calm Candles are made right here in the US and are of high quality. Every single candle is hand poured using quality soy wax and high end fragrances that smell amazing! These candles are also unique to their competitors because of the simple fact that you can actually choose which fragrance you want in your candle, which allows you to have your favorite keep calm saying as well as your favorite fragrance. A win-win so you know you will love your candle! Keep Calm Candles are available in 15 different scents and you can choose from 45 different Keep Calm phrases.

Alicia at MasterofMom.com says: I am a candle sort of girl, so these would be just up my alley. I love finding new and quirky candles that allow me to display my personality. These would make a great gift for someone special in your life, and they would make a great self-gift too! (Love self-gifts, I'm always so thoughtful and get me just what I want!) Are you ready to Keep Calm? Read on for details and then enter using the form below!

Giveaway Details!
One lucky reader will have the chance to win their very own Keep Calm Candle, choose your own scent and Keep Calm phrase! This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents whom are at least 18 years of age at time of entrance. The giveaway will end on September 2nd at 11:59p.m. CST. To enter for your chance to win, simply complete one, two, three or all of the entries in the Giveaway Tools form below. There is only one mandatory entry and the rest are optional. A winner will be chosen at random, emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. 
 GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF YOU!

Disclosure: MasterofMom.com and all other participating blogs are not responsible for the fulfillment of this prize. The sponsor holds full responsibility. I received no form of compensation for this publication. If you have any questions, comments or concerns or if your a brand/company and would like to see your product(s) in a similar post, please contact Sarh at mamis3littlemonkeys(at)yahoo(dot)com .

Hey #Moms, check out this WipesWraps #Giveaway!

cleverrellish

Welcome to the WipesWraps Giveaway!

 

Hosted by: Mama's Mission

 

Sponsored by: CleverRelish

 

Co-hosted by: Jenn's Blah Blah Blog & Reel Mama

Special Co-host: Barbara's Beat

wipeswraps small

From Alicia at MasterofMom.com: If you're like me, you are always looking for something cute and unusual to give as a gift. If you are really like me, you're also looking for stuff to "gift" to yourself. When I was younger I had my head full of ideas about how I would decorate. I was going to have white rooms with white carpet - the kind that had the confetti look to it to hide dirt - and I was going to let the items in my room be the main focus of color and theme in my decorating. So it probably comes as no surprise that even as a young girl I had big plans for my wipes tub. I was going to cover it in contact paper to match whatever "theme" I had going on at the time. Somehow or other though, as generally happens, life got in the way of my schemes and dreams, and I just don't have time to contact paper my stuff to be matchy. I don't even have those white walls I wanted! When I first heard of these WipesWraps and the giveaway being done, I'll admit, I was a bit skeptical. But after taking a look at their website and seeing what they do, how well-made they appear to be, and all the cool designs they come in ... well, let's just say now I want some too!

Have a baby shower coming up? Are you a decorate-aholic? Check out the review below to see what WipesWraps are all about, and then get to entering this giveaway for your chance to get some of your own! 

The folks over at CleverRelish, the creators of WipesWraps want to brighten up your decor! Mama's Mission received a few of these awesome baby wipes tub cover ups and was so pleased with them that we've organized a giveaway so you can have some of your very own! So read on because 4 people have a chance to win a pair of WipesWraps to #BanishTheUnsightlyTub!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Review: Dr. Scholl's For Her High Heel Insoles


Summer is over, but the memory remains... this summer I was lucky enough to receive a VoxBox full of goodies from this great site called Influenster. I received the package of Dr. Scholl's insoles shown here for free, just for giving my opinion in return! As always, my opinion is always honest, and my own. If you have more information about me and my disclosures, please see the tab at the top of the page for a personal letter from me to my readers! Now on to this review!!!

So what did I think of these insoles?

Well at first I thought, "My gosh, where am I going to get a pair of heels? When was the last time I even wore heels?" Sadly enough, I used to own tons and tons of heels. I spent my shopping time looking for pairs of the most interesting heels I could find. I had ones made of denim, I had ones that matched every fancy dress I owned, I had ones that had glitter, rhinestones, bows, flowers, and appliques. The more unique they looked, the better. So what happened? Kids happened. Weight happened. Foot pains happened. When you weigh around 120 lbs, yeah sure, that's not a whole lot of weight to put on your feet in some pinchy shoes that just so happen to tilt your ankle four inches in the air. But fast forward that to oh say... 100 and something a whole lot more than 20 lbs... you've got a recipe for disaster. I think the last time I wore heels was to a fancy date with my husband, sometime either right before or right after the birth of our daughter. Having to run after my kids is enough to do without having to do it with sore feet!

I have thought about trying shoe insoles or inserts before, but I've always associated them with the type of things you see lurking in the back of closets, unused, gathering dust. Add that to the fact that I didn't realize they made these for high heels, and of course I didn't think to go pick up a pair!
These insoles were not only inconspicuous, they were clear. So even if a part did happen to peek out from under my foot, who would know that they were in there other than me?

I happily bought my first pair of heels in what is probably years, and took them out for a turn around the town.

I loved that I could feel them under my feet, but not feel them so much that I wanted to wiggle around. I'm one of those people that sees a thread and has to pull on it, so I was really glad that the sensation of having the gel-like soles under my feet didn't disturb my normal walking pattern.

After wearing the heels for a while, my feet still felt relaxed, and I could definitely notice the absence of my usual sharp, stinging sensation in the arch of my foot. Even better, my heels didn't go numb, and although I did have a toe go numb, that had more to do with me trying to wear a size 7-1/2 (hey, they were the last pair close to my size!) than it did the insoles themselves.

I do have one little thing I'd like to see in these though. I foresee that I may be wearing a lot more heels again (love the way they make my legs look, and if it doesn't hurt, why not?), and a lot of my favorites have T-straps. I didn't test these out on a pair with T-straps, but I would love to know if it can be used with them. I just have a bit of worry that they wouldn't fit properly inside and I would have to slide the gel area farther back than I wanted it.

So there you have it. I personally would recommend these as they worked for me, but try them out in a pair of shoes that you think they will work easily in before experimenting with any odd cut-out shoes.

Want to buy a pair of these for yourself? Check out http://www.drscholls.com/Brand/ForHer where you can snag a coupon and where-to-buy information! 





Movie Review for the Mindful Parent: Mr. Bean's Holiday

In this day and age, it's hard to know what is okay for your kids to watch, and what isn't. The problem mainly lies in the fact that each family varies as far as tastes, moral codes, and lifestyles. What is permissible in one household could be taboo in the next, and when you factor in the maturity level of individual children, it makes the rating system for TV and movies nearly ineffective. That's why I started cataloging the movies I watch. Not only do I look at things from a parental perspective, but I include detailed information that may be helpful in deciding whether a movie is appropriate for your child. It is my hope that this information will help others to make informed decisions the next time they are renting or buying a movie.

Mr. Bean's Holiday is a movie starring Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean, a man headed out on a holiday with the intention of spending time on the beach in Cannes. Mr. Bean finds that getting to Cannes isn't quite as easy as he'd hoped, and he ends up making a mess of his travel plans. Fortunately he meets some friends along the way, and they all journey to Cannes together.

My opinion of the movie, pre-kids: This is a movie I would have found pretty funny before children, but it wouldn't have struck me as exceptional in any particular way. I would have laughed, I would have enjoyed, and that would have been the end of it. The acting is good and reminded me a of a Mr. Magoo or Get Smart type of show.

My opinion of the movie, post-kids: This movie is awesome. What makes it so awesome? As a parent, it stands out in stark contrast to most other movies due to the facts that 1: There was nothing in it that I personally wouldn't want my kids to see. 2: It was funny. 3: It's one of the few "safe" movies that I genuinely enjoyed watching. There really wasn't anything about this movie that bothered me, but I still included some notes on the movie below to help out parents who are looking to screen out certain concepts and situations.

Swearing: There was no swearing in this movie as far as I can tell, but if you look it up the wiki on the movie, it will say that there is a point in the movie where "damn" is said in French, and again in Russian. I didn't notice either instance, but I do recall a point where the captioning said "darn".

Issues of Note (These are for parents who have not discussed certain aspects of life with their children, and are not ready to broach these subjects yet.): There is a point in the movie where Mr. Bean puts on a sweater on his head to look like a "wig" and he lip syncs the woman's part in opera, and another part later where Mr. Bean dresses like an old woman and a young boy dresses up to pretend to be someone's daughter so they can get past the police.

Other (This is for anything else that I feel has the potential to become a discussion or a point of contention.): Some minor themes that appear in this movie are: absurdity, making mistakes and not admitting to them, ruining/taking other people's things, lack of road-safety, and trespassing. None of these things are done with an air of maliciousness, but with a sense of the ridiculous. There is also a scene where a man is assumed to be in the middle of committing suicide when he receives a phone call, doesn't like what he hears, and jumps off the bridge into the river. This is done for comedy's sake and the man does not appear to be hurt, but it may bother some people so I chose to include it.

I understand that not all of these issues are "hot-buttons" for some families, and for others, this type of information is just the sort of thing they look for when they are trying to grab a movie on a Friday night. My intent is not to tell any of you which issues you should screen out, but rather to highlight them to everyone so that each person can make an informed decision.

Questions, comments, suggestions? Let me know what you think in the comment area below, I love chatting with my readers!

End of #Summer #Giveaway featuring a $100 Walmart #GiftCard!

Welcome to the "End of Summer Giveaway Event" sponsored by Tip Hero and featuring some wonderful bloggers. With summer soon drawing to a close (unfortunately), we thought a great big giveaway event would be the perfect pick-me-up!

I know that I feel like this summer was half-work, half-vacation. Because I was at my parents' house, it was easy for mom and I to slip back into the role of parent & child. Believe it or not, she had me jumping to do laundry and dishes! - And by that I don't mean that she was forcing me to do it, I mean that when I heard her telling the other kids to do their chores, some natural instinct in me caused me to get up and do chores with them!! On the other hand, I got to see a few friends that I hadn't met with in a while, eat at all my favorite local places, and monkey around with my brothers and sisters. That part felt like vacation. Now that the summer is over though, I'm checking out my budget and realizing that I may have over-spent a little. After talking to a few of my friends, I know I'm not the only one! Hopefully this $100 Walmart Gift Card will go to someone who could really use it! (And really, who couldn't use an extra hundred or so to spend at Walmart???)

So get to entering using the form below, and good luck to you all!



There are some great opportunities to score deals at the end of the summer. One lucky winner will win a $100 Walmart gift card to potentially use while shopping those end of the season sales.

This giveaway begins on August 15th and will run until August 29th at 11:59pm US Eastern time. It will be open to residents of the US only, 18+. Use the PromoSimple form below to enter, and make sure that you take advantage of the many entries you can gain. Also, be sure to come back daily for more chances to win. Best of luck!
$100 Walmart Gift Card
Disclosure: MasterofMom.com is not responsible for prize distribution. If you have any questions or concerns, please send an email to kira@tiphero.com. All entries are optional, but if the winner task is a task that you did not complete, a second winner will be chosen. Winners will be notified via email. If a winner does not respond within 48 hours of the time when the email is sent, another winner will be chosen.

Wow! Check out this Chicco Travel System #Giveaway! ARV $349

Welcome to the Chicco Cortina Travel System Giveaway!

chicco


Chicco-logo

Baby products are getting better and better all the time aren't they? I can remember being a child and seeing a great many small babies wheeled in strollers with blankets all around them for reinforcement! This was no fun for the mother, of course, who continually had to check on the baby to make sure that their little head wasn't tilting to the wrong side, that their little faces weren't being covered up by a stray blanket corner, and that the sun wasn't in their eyes. It's no wonder that strollers finally started coming out with the handy option of leaving baby in his or her carseat! Wish you could snag one of these for your baby, or as a gift for someone you know?

A great group of bloggers has come together to offer you this great giveaway for baby! The Chicco (pronounced Kee-ko) Cortina Stroller is a full-size stroller with simple features for convenience, comfort, and safety.

ChiccoCollage

The Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat fits infants from 4-30 lbs, rear facing. The Chicco Keyfit 30 is the number one ranked Infant Car Seat. It is also easy to install and moves very easily between the base in your car to the stroller.

Check out this in depth Chicco Cortina Travel System Review for more information.

Chicco is offering our fans the chance to win a Chicco Cortina Travel System, valued at $349!!! US Residents, 18 and up only. All winning entries will be verified. Winner will be randomly chosen and emailed, they will have 48 hours to claim their prize before a new winner is chosen. Giveaway begins 8/15/2013 at 12am EST and ends 9/5/2013 at 11:59pm EST.

Disclosure: This blog, Fun With Four, and Everything Mommyhood are not responsible for prize shipment, as this is a sponsored prize from Chicco. We were not compensated in any way for promotion of this giveaway. Everything Mommyhood/Fun With Four received the above mentioned item, in exchange for an honest review. Our opinions are not influenced in any way. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and any other social media are not affiliated with this giveaway. If you have any questions please contact the host of this giveaway at EverythingMommyhood@gmail.com.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

#Bloggers, check out this event featuring Keep Calm #Candles! #Bloggeropp

Hey there bloggers! Do your readers like candles? I know mine do! As a matter of fact, candle giveaways are some of my favorites! I love to find new scents, and these quirky Keep Calm Candles seem like a great prize!

You can sign up below using the link at the bottom of this form. Joining this event is free with an announcement post. If you do sign up, please remember to say that Alicia from MasterofMom.com sent you!


Sign-up and offer your readers the chance to win a Keep Calm Candle ($28ARV)! Winner gets to choose their scent. Open to US and Canadian residents. Run Dates: August 19th through September 2nd, Sign-ups close on August 17th. 

Bloggers!
Receive 2 free links w/Announcement post for posting and promoting this giveaway or pay small fee.
2 additional links are available for a small fee.

Co-Host Referral Program!
The Blogger to refer the most sign-ups will receive 2 additional links as well as 2 follow pages.
If we can recruit enough bloggers, additional Co-Host spots may be open for $5 and include the same as stated above. 

SIGN UP HERE!

Movie Review for the Mindful Parent: 13 Going On 30

In this day and age, it's hard to know what is okay for your kids to watch, and what isn't. The problem mainly lies in the fact that each family varies as far as tastes, moral codes, and lifestyles. What is permissible in one household could be taboo in the next, and when you factor in the maturity level of individual children, it makes the rating system for TV and movies nearly ineffective. That's why I started cataloging the movies I watch. Not only do I look at things from a parental perspective, but I include detailed information that may be helpful in deciding whether a movie is appropriate for your child. It is my hope that this information will help others to make informed decisions the next time they are renting or buying a movie.

13 Going on 30 is a movie starring Jennifer Garner as an awkward teen who wishes she was older, beautiful, and making her way in the world. Much to her surprise (and horror), her wish comes true and she is transformed into her future self upon waking. This of course leads to new insights both for her and those around her, some odd moments, and the occasional faux pas in her new world. As she goes along, she starts to realize what has mattered all along is not so much what you can attain, but what you are and can become.

My opinion of the movie, pre-kids: Before children, I can honestly say that I didn't see too much wrong with this movie. I actually would have used the word "tame" if I had been asked to describe it's suitability for children. I liked this movie a lot, not just because of the concept (which was interesting) but because I find it to be funny with the sort of ending I like to see.

My opinion of the movie, post-kids: I cringed when the first line of the movie was the main character taking God's name in vain. Not a delightful start, and I cringed further still as the movie continued, talking about borderline adult themes and tossing in words like "orgasm" every so often. I still like the movie, still think it's worth watching, but also think that certain developmental milestones need to be passed before this movie is viewed by children. This movie is rated PG-13. I would say that this movie is probably alright for a 13-year-old, but in my personal opinion, I would try to wait at least until 14 or 15 to let my kids view this. I included some notes on the movie below to help out parents who are looking to screen out certain concepts and situations.

Swearing: There are about twelve instances of swearing in this movie, none of which is the dreaded F-Bomb.* Add that to the eight or so words that made me cringe a little to hear them (such as orgasm), and I'm getting around one cringe every five minutes. Depending on your child's maturity level, this can make for a very uncomfortable time. *Please note that there is an instance in the movie where the main character screams out for a "fluffy pillow". This sounds quite close to the f-word, but if you turn on the closed captioning you will see that she is indeed saying "fluffy".

God's Name in Vain: I put this one in a category on it's own because there were more instances of this than of swearing and taboo-ish words combined.

Issues of Note (These are for parents who have not discussed certain aspects of life with their children, and are not ready to broach these subjects yet.): Sexual references such as alluding to sex, alluding to premarital sex, and party games that are geared toward foreplay, i.e. Seven Minutes in Heaven. Talking about drugs, talking about drinking, and drinking on screen. Three minor references to sexual orientation and several on-screen moments where at least one person is in a state of undress before or after sexual activity.

Other (This is for anything else that I feel has the potential to become a discussion or a point of contention.): Bullying makes an appearance in this video, which includes name-calling, teasing, and using other people to get what you want. There is a large emphasis on the importance of having breasts and issues surrounding self-image at the beginning of the movie, which includes "bra-stuffing" scenes. There is also an aspect of "magic" in this film, as in the type that makes wishes come true.

I understand that not all of these issues are "hot-buttons" for some families, and for others, this type of information is just the sort of thing they look for when they are trying to grab a movie on a Friday night. My intent is not to tell any of you which issues you should screen out, but rather to highlight them to everyone so that each person can make an informed decision.

Questions, comments, suggestions? Let me know what you think in the comment area below, I love chatting with my readers!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

#Bloggers! Check out this Get Ready for Preschool Giveaway #BloggerOpp featuring over $200 in prizes!

Hey there bloggers! Some of us have already started the school year off, and some of us are still dragging our feet a little. (That would be me!) My mom home-schools, so I was quite surprised to see that she woke the kids all up early - the day before public school started - and announced that their summer vacation was over! Luckily, I had my little guy's preschool stuff with me and was able to give him his lessons too! FunShine is an awesome company that specializes in preschool kits, faith lessons, and even kits for small children that are perfectly suited for daycare. They have generously offered to supply the products listed below for a giveaway, and I think this is a great opp! More and more, parents are turning to homeschooling as a way of teaching their children, and what better time to start them off than preschool? If you're looking to increase your readership and bring your current readers a great giveaway, please sign up using the link below.

Thanks for joining this event!!


This giveaway is organized by MasterofMom.com and sponsored by Funshine Express.

Prizes:
One Fireflies Preschool Kit for 4 children, with a Music & Movement CD, valued at over $80.
Five Faith Lessons Kits, one to be given away each week, valued at $10 each.
Five Sample Kits, one to be given away each week, valued at $15 each.

Host pages are available for this giveaway, and the blogger with the most referrals will receive a co-host spot.

Want to have your blog or business close to the top of the Rafflecopter form? No problem! Make sure you refer other bloggers to this blogger opp, the more referrals you get, the higher your name will be on the giveaway forms!

This blogger opp is FREE to join with the announcement post, found here. All participants will receive one free Facebook or Twitter link, and extra link options are available.

Sign-ups close 8/28 at midnight.

Click HERE to SIGN UP!

Enter this #Giveaway for the chance to #win a #food dehydrator!

Way back, when my brother moved away, I knew that our relationship would change. I figured I wouldn't see him as much anymore, and that there wouldn't be a lot that we could have left in common since we'd be so far apart. The years have gone by and, although I was right that we wouldn't see each other as much anymore, old habits die hard and he's still pretty much my same little brother. (If you can count towering over me by at least a foot as "little".) Things are always a little awkward at first when we see each other, but there is one thing that has bonded us together since we were small, and continues to break the ice time and again: Beef jerky. Yes, beef jerky. Those chewy, flavored, dried bits of meat that can be found at just about every check-out counter in America. When we were younger, my dad used to buy us the long strips (if we behaved) and we thought they were the best things on Earth. Now that I'm older, I still love beef jerky, but my tastes have changed. I am no longer content to go for the plain-old, "original" flavors that are offered. I want spicy... I want BBQ... I want teriyaki. A couple of years ago, I was even fortunate enough to try something extra special - deer jerky, made at home by one of my friends. Since then, I've tried to find commercial deer jerky, but it isn't exactly one of those highly available items. I am starting to think that I might want to invest in a food dehydrator and experiment with making my own jerky too. I'd love to see the look on my brother's face if the next time he came home I handed him a bag of homemade jerky!

Ever been interested in dehydrating food? You have a chance to win a food dehydrator just by entering this giveaway! And these things don't just make jerky, they are good for drying all sorts of goodies like fruits & vegetables. Want to try making your own veggie chips or dried apricots? This is the way to do it! So check out the Rafflecopter form below and get to enterin'!


A Lucky Ladybug
Prize:
Nesco Gardenmaster Digital Pro Food Dehydrator
ARV $170
Hosted by:

"New Digitally Controlled" unit! Top mounted fan eliminates liquids dripping into the heater chamber. Expands to a giant 20 trays so you can dry large quantities all at once! 1000 watts of drying power means you can dry more, faster. Patented Converga-Flow® forces heated air down the exterior pressurized chamber, then horizontally across each individual tray, converging in the center, for fast, even and nutritious drying.

Movie Review for the Mindful Parent: Liar Liar

Okay, so recently my mom and I were talking about movies, and how a lot of the ratings don't tell a parent enough to make an accurate decision regarding whether or not the movie is okay for their kid to watch. This is because we all parent differently, and all kids mature at a different pace. What might be okay for one thirteen-year-old to watch may not be considered "appropriate" by another mother until her child is much older. In light of this, I decided to start watching movies and posting reviews up about them, the kind that my mom would want to see. Hopefully this will help families to determine what is okay for their kids to watch, without any "surprise" moments in the middle of the movie!

This review is about Liar Liar, a movie starring Jim Carrey and Maura Tierney. In the movie, the main character, played by Jim Carrey, finds himself suddenly unable to lie due to a birthday wish made by his five-year-old son - a bad predicament for a lawyer to be in. With his career and his son's trust on the line, he has to find a way to win his case and convince his ex-wife that he can be a good father before it's too late.

My opinion of the movie, pre-kids: I loved this movie. It's always made me laugh, and I enjoy watching Jim Carrey tell it just like it is. The idea of not being able to tell even a little white lie is already ridiculous, combine that with his actor-personality and you've got a great movie. While the relationship story of this film adds the bit of drama that was a necessity for the 90's, the sorta-sappy ending seems a bit much, even though I'm rooting for the happy-ending the whole time.

My opinion of the movie, post-kids: Whooooaaa! I forgot just how much swearing there is in this movie! I remembered this as one of those films that was safe enough to let my siblings watch, at the least. After re-watching it from a parent's perspective, I can safely say that this is a film I wouldn't want any of my youngest six siblings to see, and two of them are within the age range given by the rating. The rating for this movie was PG-13, but if I had to pick a random age for kid-watching, I would say take it closer to 16 or 17. That can vary from parent-to-parent and from child-to-child of course, depending on morals, maturity, personal family values, and more. So just to cover everything, I included some notes on the movie below to help out parents who are looking to screen out certain concepts and situations.

Sexual References: Not only are there sexual references in this movie, but there is some rather vivid sexual phrasing, fondling and mentions of fondling, a tape playing sounds and conversation of two people having intercourse, crude joking about sex, direct talk about sex, undressing for sex, pillow-talk after sex, and two people in their underclothes after having sex.

Swearing: There were almost 40 instances of swearing and/or words I wouldn't want my kids to repeat (like slut or prick) in this movie, although the dreaded F-Bomb was not one of them. There were repeated instances of taking God's name in vain, and random bouts of name-calling and insults that are peppered with some interesting words and phrases.

Crudity: There is a crude reference to the main character's penis, crude sexual language, a couple of fart jokes, and a joke about "bending over" and taking it (although they never directly mention where).

Issues of Note (These are for parents who have not discussed certain aspects of life with their children, and are not ready to broach these subjects yet.): This movie contains a theme surrounding a broken home, divorce, and relationship infidelity. Some tough issues may include parents dating other people post-divorce, adultery, illegitimacy, remarrying, separation, and custody battles.

Other (This is for anything else that I feel has the potential to become a discussion or a point of contention.): A couple of mentions regarding alcohol, a scene with someone drinking alcohol, "magic" as in a wish coming true, issues regarding morality and lying, issues regarding the possible immoralities of the legal system, a mention of spousal abuse, and an implied sense that divorced parents sometimes get back together for a "happy ending".

I understand that not all of these issues are "hot-buttons" for some families, and for others, this type of information is just the sort of thing they look for when they are trying to grab a movie on a Friday night. My intent is not to tell any of you which issues you should screen out, but rather to highlight them to everyone so that each person can make an informed decision.

Questions, comments, suggestions? Let me know what you think in the comment area below, I love chatting with my readers!

#SinfulShine Nail Polish Review

I spent the summer with my family back home, and the very first week I was there my sister mentioned that she would give me a pedicure. She isn't a professional, but cosmetology-type things just happen to be one of those things that she is naturally good at. When I saw that I had received a free bottle of SinfulShine nail polish in my Sunkissed VoxBox from Influenster, I took it as the perfect moment to remind her of our plans. I received the bottle for free in exchange for my opinion, something I love to give. If you want to read more on my disclosure policy, please click the Let Me Disclose To You tab at the top of this page. Now on to the review!

The polish I was given has something called Gel Tech™ in it. My sister was a bit doubtful as to the claims that it was "5x shinier than a patent leather shoe", and so was I.

After a lovely foot soak and lotion, she began carefully applying the nail polish. At first she commented that it wasn't quite as dense as she'd like it to be, and that the result after the first coat seemed transparent. She finished the first coats on both feet, and (after they dried) applied the second. When she sat back to survey her handiwork she told me that she had been wrong about the density.

"I think I wiped too much off onto the side of the bottle the first time," she told me, pointing at my feet, "The gel stuff that is in there made is seem really thick, so I was only putting on a thin coat, which made it seem transparent. The second time I didn't wipe as much off because you mentioned that it was supposed to be a gel, and the second foot looks much better."

Perfectionist that she is, she quickly put a bit more polish on my "offending" toe nails, and her work was complete. We inspected my toes, trying to decide if they were really more shiny than a patent leather shoe.

"I don't know," she finally told me, "Why don't you go find one?"

So that's just what I did. And my polish job did look shiner than the shoe. You can see here in the picture for yourself. Is it 5x shiner though? I really don't have a clue. Unfortunately, being only a blogger, I have to guesstimate at what 5x shinier would look like, and I'm not really certain. I don't think I have the tools to measure something like that. If we're just talking about shinier though, that I can give a thumbs up to.

As far as colors go, they have quite the selection of eye-popping shades. As a matter of fact, my sister already had several in her arsenal of nail-polishes. None of them had the Gel Tech but they were certainly catchy. My littlest sisters and I even made a trip out to Walgreen's to peruse the selection (which is where you can find the SinfulShine polishes). Here they are posing with the display like little up and coming game show hostesses. What I loved best about the display? The 2 for $3 sale sign next to it. $1.50 for a bottle of nail polish is what I call a steal.

So there you have it. Shiny? Check. Shinier than a patent leather shoe? Double check. Good price? Absolutely. Amazing display of colors? Definitely. This polish made my nails stand out and look great. I loved the color and how the end-result looked just like a salon-job.

Interested in grabbing some of this polish for yourself? Check out Walgreen's website for details!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Goody Ouchless Ribbon Elastics Review

Goody Ouchless Ribbon Ties ReviewDuring the summer of 2013, I went home to visit my family and I had a blast. However, between eating a bunch of fried food at the fair, taste-testing my mom and my grandma's home-cooking, and spending a big chunk of my time sitting on the couch watching movies with my siblings... I put on a teensy bit of weight. (Only like. you know... twenty pounds. Teensy.)

I finally decided I'd had enough of my lazy summer days and busted out my running clothes. I decided a jogging session seemed like a pretty good way to test out the Goody hair ribbons I'd received in a recent VoxBox from Influenster. (I received the box for free in exchange for my opinion, but this review is completely my own.)

I really hate it when I'm taking a jog and my hair starts to come apart. Not only does the movement of a bouncy ponytail against my head really annoy me, but when you jog and your hair is bouncing around behind your head, all those little tugs can make your head sore.

Am I Done Yet? Please let me be done.

As I ran like the wind (ha, ha) I was pleased to see that my ponytail didn't begin to sag or fall down.

I finished my jog (after what seemed like foreeeever) and I was glad when I got back to the house and my hair still looked pretty much the same as when I'd headed out the door. (Well, you know, besides the halo-o-frizz around my head.)

And Now For Something Girly...

Now that I knew these cute little hair ribbons were pretty darn sturdy, I wanted to do something stylish with them.

First I scrounged around the internet until I found a hairstyle I wanted to try. I couldn't find a video of exactly what I wanted, so my sister and I just fiddled with my hair until we had it right.

Finally, I'm A Bootiful Butterfly.

All we did was twist both sides of my hair into itself, but instead of making the ends meet in the middle, she made them meet on the side and then tied the remaining hair into a ponytail. Here was the end result:

Double Braid Hairstyle with Goody Ribbon Ouchless Hair Ties

You Can Take the Girl Out of the Country...

I added my cowgirl hat, and 'tadaa!' - just the look I wanted. I have country roots that go a mile deep, and although I don't think I'd wear a real ribbon in my hair anymore, these hair-ties gave my braid a ribbon-y effect that is just right for me.

Cowgirl Hairstyle using Goody Ouchless Hair Ribbons

Connect:

Want to snag some of these cute little hair ties for yourself? You can visit Goody's website at www.goody.com! Or, connect with them via social media on Google+, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook.

Have you used any ribbon ties? What brand makes your favorite?
Chat with me in the comments below, I love hearing from my readers!

Follow Me on Social Media!

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post. Although I did receive the item listed above for free, I was not required to write about it on my site. All opinions are, as always, completely my own.

Friday, August 9, 2013

My #Review of the #BBcream from the Olay @FreshEffects Line

So, I've never been that big a fan of moisturizer, partly because it is one more thing for me to buy, and partly because I'm always afraid that I'm going to break out. (And really, isn't that like the number one reason we ladies don't put more balms and lotions and whatever else on our faces?)

Because of this, I kind of got skipped over by the whole "BB Cream" phase, and wasn't even sure what it was until recently. I was chosen by Influenster to receive a free bottle of this as part of their Sunkissed VoxBox promotion for summer. Unfortunately, I didn't get to use it until just recently since my box didn't arrive at my house until after I left for another state on a half-emergency, half-vacation trip to see my family. I kept thinking that I would be home any day. Any day. But as it turned out, my return trip kept getting postponed, and I finally just had my brother-in-law send it to me! Between travel prep to go back home and all the crazy stuff that's been going on here, I am just now getting to it. Better late than never though, so here's what I thought. Remember folks, I got it for free to give my opinion, and that's what you're gonna get. To see more about my disclosure policy, check out the tab at the top of this page!

First off, BB Cream - what is it? "BB" stands for Beauty Balm. Not only does it contain a moisturizer for your face, but it also provides tint that will cover up blemishes and even your skin tone. They provide a good foundation for any make-up you want to wear and protect your skin from harmful UV rays. The type I got to try out is from Olay Fresh Effects, and they claim to be a six-in-one solution that refreshes, brightens, evens tone, hydrates, smoothes, and protects.

After I found that out, the product seemed to make a lot more sense to me. I try to use a lot of 2-in-1 products just to keep myself from having to buy one more item - because these types of creams claim to do four, five, even six of the jobs a regular beauty regimen might contain, that makes them a really great steal. Well, that is... if they work.

So do they work? Well, I'll be perfectly honest - I'm not 100% positive. My problem is that my skin tone is already pretty even, and I don't usually wear make-up. Oh sure, I have blemishes. Some days I have enough little red bumps on my face that I could probably create a dot-to-dot picture. But when I held the pictures of my face before and after side by side, I couldn't really see a difference as far as a change in my complexion. Because I rarely use foundation, this wouldn't be all that helpful to me in replacing my current foundation. Like I said, I don't wear a lot of make-up, and who needs foundation if you aren't even going to wear make-up?

I do however, get incredibly dry skin on my face from time to time. And although I like to brag that I never sunburn because I have some Native American in me, it's just not true. I also have some Irish and French in me and although it is rare, I do tend to sunburn on my face. This is usually followed by freckles (which my husband snickers at) and a peeling nose (which leads to even worse dry skin). Have you ever tried to put make-up on to cover a peeling nose? It sort of just turns into a great big mess. This is why I try to avoid getting sun on my face unless I have a sunscreen on.

So if I'm going to put something on my face that this BB Cream would be replacing, it would definitely be the moisturizer and sunscreen combined. I use both of those, although I will admit that I use moisturizer very sparingly. Although my skin is dry, it seems to break out quite easily, and so I usually don't have a fair idea as to whether I'm breaking out from a particular product or just because my skin felt like breaking out that day.

So far, I haven't had any break-outs since I put on the BB Cream (always a good starting sign), and I feel like my face is much softer than usual.

At first the BB Cream felt a bit heavy. I don't attribute this to the actual heaviness of the product. It seems to be quite light actually, but because I'm so unused to wearing a moisturizer over my entire face, it was a bit obvious at first. Now I can't even tell I have it on.

Also, it smells great, but doesn't taste so well, an unfortunate fact I found out when I accidentally licked my lips. (Oops.) So try not to smear any across your pretty red kissers, or the man of your life may have a funny look on his face the next time he gives you a smooch.

A quick internet search will show you that this product costs around $12.99 to purchase, and is available in two different shades (fair/light and light/medium). To me, that already boasts of a good deal, considering that a product solely for sunscreen that is the same amount of SPF will cost you the same, or more, to purchase. So if you need it for sunscreen plus one other thing (any other thing really), you are already getting your money back. For me, the sunscreen that I purchase for my face is $19.99. The moisturizer that I purchase is around $20. So at 12.99, it's really a steal doing double duty. And because I only have to put one product on my face, instead of two (or more), it decreases the risk that I'll break out.

So is it for everyone? That depends. If you're already using one or more products on your face per day, and the BB Cream claims to help, you should give it a try and see if you can't reduce your beauty regimen. If you're like me however, and don't do a whole lot with your face to pretty it up before you head out on the town, you might want to wait a bit. Decide if you're really going to use the item if you buy it, look for coupons, ask for a sample. That way, if you decide against it, you aren't out the entire purchase amount. As for me, I believe that this is something I will get some use out of. Is it going to be a product I use every day? Probably not. But on the days that I do use it I know I'm going to get some protection for my dry face that won't make me feel like I'm wearing a mask of make-up, or a heavy coat of lotion. And that's pretty good in my book.

Want to buy some BB Cream from Olay Fresh Effects to try out for yourself? You can check them out at their site to find the cream in a store near you, or head over to Amazon to purchase at this link.