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.

Monday, July 27, 2015

DIY Baby Wipes!

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Are you a do-it-yourselfer? This easy how-to for baby wipes allows you to control exactly what you put on baby's sensitive skin!

I love making my own household items because I can control exactly what is used in every product. In an era where just about everything has unpronounceable chemical names in the ingredients list, it's nice to be able to look around my house and see a plethora of homemade items that I know are safe.

This DIY idea was actually handed down to me by my mother, and I'm pretty sure she got it from one of the nice Amish ladies we live near. Not only is it inexpensive to make, but you can put the wipes in just about any container you have handy.

To make this recipe, you only need three simple items:

Monday, July 13, 2015

Easy 2 Minute Summer Salad!

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Easy & quick, this colorful salad is a hit whether you're grabbing a quick lunch for yourself or whipping up several batches to feed a crowd.

I love putting fresh ingredients into my meals, and this salad uses two great summer veggies: cucumbers & tomatoes!

Check out the giveaways on our link-up!

Hey there & welcome to our Giveaway Link-Up!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Family Activity Idea: Make movie night special!

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For most families, pizza & a movie is a popular go-to for weekly fun...
With a few tweaks you can turn your regular movie night into the event of the month!

With summer upon us (and the kids all out of school), it can be difficult to keep coming up with fun activities that the whole family can enjoy. Instead of spending money on expensive destinations or new toys, recreate your usual activities to make them seem like an amazing event instead of a typical evening.

Read through the suggestions below to see our simple ideas for recreating movie night.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

5 Pet Peeves Every Good Blogger Has

I loved reading blogs long before I started writing them. When I started blogging myself, my eyes were opened to a whole new world that the average reader never sees.

I learned fast that a high follower count doesn't equal quality writing. A blogger that seems trustworthy is sometimes scamming their face off. And for some writers, a reader is nothing more than a shiny dollar sign.

It was both disheartening and annoying to learn these things, and I quickly discovered I wasn't the only blogger that felt this way! Read through to see the five pet peeves I hear the most often - what you learn may surprise you!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Five Steps to Save the Day During a Power Outage

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We've all been there. It's one in the afternoon.
You're scrambling to feed the kids & get caught up on the housework.
You think you might actually make some headway, but then - power outage.

Summer is a prime-time for brownouts in some neighborhoods, especially in areas where air conditioners are running full-blast all day long. Losing your electricity (regardless of the cause) can seem like the worst possible thing to happen; and a badly-timed power outage can definitely make you feel like you've lost the ability to get anything done. It doesn't have to be that way though!

Check out our suggestions to make your next power outage nothing more than a minor inconvenience:

Chorizo and Kale Soup Recipe

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Yum, I love this chorizo and kale soup when I'm craving comfort food!
It's easy to make and is a good recipe for serving a crowd.

I love throwing together casual dinner parties, especially when my main course is something simple enough to make that I can mingle with my guests while cooking. This particular recipe is great for a group to enjoy because it makes a large amount and can easily be doubled. Add a fresh fruit salad and some hot, crusty french bread and you've got the perfect meal!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Headstrong child? 6 Great Ways to Destroy the Power Struggle

 stubborn kids, how do i get my child to listen to me, how do I get my child to help, my kid keeps telling me no, how do I make my child stop saying no
Do you have a child that always seems to answer "no" when you ask for help?
Check out this awesome list of strategies!

When I was younger I can remember my mom getting very exasperated with me for always going against what she asked. If she asked me to pick up my toys, I would lie on the floor and whine. If she wanted me to wear a blue dress, I'd insist on wearing the green one. If she wanted to put my hair up, I'd take it down. I was a difficult child.

Now that I'm an adult and have kids of my own, I'm in awe of my mother's patience with me. (By all rights, I should have been punished much more than I was!) Unfortunately, one of the biggest reasons I understand what my mother went through is because my son is turning out to be just as headstrong as I was!

My son is pictured in this article wearing a tee from Enjoy Essential that reads "My Mom Needs Caffeine." I was given the tee for free in exchange for my opinion and I thought that it teamed up perfectly with the theme of this article! Check out the photos & ideas listed, then connect with Enjoy Essential via the details at the bottom.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

LOL: Toddler Dictionary - Featuring Tee from @TheTalkingShirt

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Kids are probably one of the best sources of humor there can be.

My favorite thing about little kids is their adorable baby-babble. When my daughter was first learning to talk, my husband would say that she sounded like we downloaded her from The Sims.

After a while you get used to it, and you learn how to communicate with your child using their own personal dictionary. I've kept a log of some of the funnier words my kids have said over the years and it's probably the best journaling I've ever done!

The photos in this post are of my daughter wearing a cute tee from The Talking Shirt. We were given the tee to review & take photos of via instagram, but I really wanted to showcase the photos here in a blog post too! (As a matter of fact, this adorable tee got us so many compliments that we added The Talking Shirt to our M.o.M.my-Must-Haves list!)

Scroll through, have a laugh, then share a favorite memory of your child when they were young! More details on The Talking Shirt can be found below!!

#GetThereSafe Teen Driving Tips! PLUS: @Allstate $1000 Sweepstakes!

This is a part of a sponsored safety campaign with #DiMeMedia and Allstate Foundation.
However, all opinions expressed are my own.
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Did you know car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers?
Allstate doesn't like the statistics, so they're setting out to make a change for the better by educating teens and parents of teens about how to help young people drive safer.

Read through to the bottom to find out how you can enter to win $1000 from the Allstate Foundation just for sharing a safe driving tip!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Will your pet be safe on July 4th?

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Statistics show that July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters
across the country. Are you and your pet prepared for this holiday?

Every year we set off fireworks in a celebration of our country's birth. What we don't realize is that across the nation loving pet owners are unknowingly sending their dogs & cats into a state of fear. Pets that are afraid of loud sounds often act out as they try to escape the strange smell & frightening noises that fireworks can make.

Sometimes dogs that are frightened by the noises will simply be destructive - chewing on things they shouldn't, digging holes, and scratching at floors and walls. Other times they run away in panic, trying to find a place away from the fireworks and end up running so far from home that they become lost.

McDonald's Breakfast Bagel Sauce Copycat Recipe

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Yum! If you love McDonald's breakfast bagels but wish they
were a bit healthier, this recipe is for you!

I love the bagels from McDonald's but I'm also in love with eating organic whenever possible. The breakfast sauce on McDonald's breakfast bagels are what really makes them stand out for me, so I knew I just had to try duplicating it at home.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

5 Easy Ways to Update Your Decor - PLUS: Get your Silk Plants Direct coupon code here!

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Remember back before you had a home or apartment? You probably daydreamed about all the cool decorating you would do and how your keen design sense would shimmer through in every room.

Fast forward to adulthood and - unless you've REALLY got your stuff together! - you are probably falling a bit short of your interior design dreams. I know I am. Between picking up after the kids, making meals, doing laundry and working two jobs, I don't have any time leftover to decorate!

This past month I devoted myself to finding really EASY ideas to add a bit of glam to the house in ways that won't add to my workload (*ahem*, dusty knickknacks anyone?) and that are child-proof. Take a peek and see what you think!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Are your elbows dry & scaly? Make them soft again with Adovia.

Adovia Dead Sea Salt Scrub Review

If I had to define my skin type, it would be "alligator". Although I can joke about my dry skin problems now, it wasn't always so easy. For years I struggled with embarrassment over my eczema, and I worried that some people wouldn't even like me because of it!

Despite finally being comfortable in my own skin (literally), I still do feel the occasional twinge of anxiety when I wear short-sleeves and realize that my dry elbows are showing. (And by dry I mean patched over with dead skin. Yucky, I know, but that's the reality.)

Because I'm a blogger through BrandBacker, goPure Naturals reached out to me to see if I'd like to review their Adovia Dead Sea Salt Scrub for free in exchange for a write-up. I was more than happy to do so, not only because I'm always looking for the next best thing to help my skin along, but because I've been struggling to find a really good body scrub.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Tea Tree Oil: Stop cavities, make your own face cleansers & more!

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Until quite recently, I had absolutely no idea all the incredible uses tea tree oil has. My grandma has always been a big supporter of it, but not until I took a peek at an ebook from Apothecary Extracts did I really understand what she'd been talking about!

The ebook came to me along with a bottle of tea tree oil they sent me to review for them. Let me just say: this was one of the EASIEST products to review ever. If anything, I'm going to have trouble not going overboard talking about it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Create Your Own Summer Backpack Kit! - PLUS: Get your GoMacro coupon code here!

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Ready for fun this summer?
Create your own summer-kit & keep it stocked so you'll be ready to go at a moment's notice!

The Necessities:

  • Sunscreen - Summer means warm weather and beautiful sunshine, but make no mistake, those sunny rays can be harmful to your skin (and especially the skin of your little ones!) Always make sure you keep a tube packed so you can apply it as needed.
  • Bug Spray - Bugs aren't the best part of summer, and they can make a walk through the park feel like a walk in the swamp in just a couple of minutes! I like to use the spray-on kind because it's quick & easy.
  • Water Bottles - Whether you use regular bottled water or reusable water bottles, make sure you keep your backpack stocked! It's easy to get dehydrated while you're having fun, especially if you're out-of-doors where there isn't always access to water fountains.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sapporo Surf and Turf Burger Recipe

Sapporo Surf & Turf Burger Recipe #NationalHamburgerDay

I was recently asked to create a recipe using free samples of Sapporo in honor of #NationalHamburgerDay, and because I love to cook, I jumped at the chance!

After drilling my friends for ideas and finding out what toppings they love best, I finally pulled together this beast of a burger. Special thanks goes out to my good buddy Mike Pinchak for being my sounding board & awesome idea-man on this one.

To be honest, I didn't know how this one would turn out until I took the first bite, but this is hands-down the BEST burger I've ever cooked, and it's the best I can remember having in a long time. (That's including restaurant burgers!)

So fire up the grill and get ready to sink your teeth into burger-heaven.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

How-To Clean Microsuede Furniture

How do I clean microsuede?

I have longed for a red couch my entire life. When my husband and I (FINALLY) got our own apartment (sorry mother-in-law, we couldn't live with you forever!) the first piece of furniture we bought was that couch.

And I immediately regretted it.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Easy Way to Clean Oven Burner Drip Pans

When it comes to cleaning, needing to scrub at oily or baked-on messes probably falls somewhere in the least-favorite category. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean we can just ignore those messes forever. (Well, we could. But then there would be ants.)

Out of all the uck-worthy-baked-on-scrub-chores, cleaning the oven & burners probably irks me the most. I hate using the harsh chemicals (even though they tend to work pretty well) simply because it bothers me to put such a hazardous liquid next to where I'll be cooking my food. (Not to mention that if you miss a spot when you take the chemicals off, it heats up when you start the oven and causes the kind of fumes that'll singe off your nose hairs!)

Thankfully, there still exist a few clever little tricks using good-ole natural ingredients that will take care of problems like this easily & quickly! This method of cleaning oven burner drip pans has been passed down by many of my fellow green-clean loving friends, and I've always had great success with it.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Constantly fatigued? Don't ignore it - seek help!

Falling asleep during the day, diagnosing sleep disorders

When I was in my late teens I started feeling constantly tired. I was involved in a variety of activities and assumed my busy schedule was to blame. As I moved into my twenties, I blamed my usual lack of energy on the fact that I overworked myself at my corporate job. I always managed to stay awake when my mind was active, but as soon as I'd sit down or my workload lulled, I'd start to nod off.

By the time I was 27, I knew that there was no denying I had an underlying problem. I was drinking about a pot of coffee a day, I had alienated some of my closest friends because I was too tired to spend time with them, and it was all I could manage to write a blog post each day and look after my kids. My house was a mess, my life was a mess, and I was the ultimate procrastinator. I knew I should make a doctor's appointment, but even the process of finding out what was wrong seemed like an overwhelming prospect. Everything that I needed to do was continually pushed off for a day when I would have more energy.

Unfortunately, that day never came for me.