Buy Suave Products and Sign Up for Suave Family Rewards!

suave perks 3

 

 

As a family of 5, I’m always on the lookout for ways to save money. We have been using Suave products for years now. I love that they are affordable but still great quality! The Suave Advanced Therapy Lotion is the only lotion we use in our house especially with the dry winter months coming up. My kids love the Watermelon 3-in-1 Body Wash, Shampoo and Conditioner and so do I – it smells so good!

Want to save even more money for buying Suave products? Now, exclusively at Walmart, you can get rewarded for buying the Suave products that your family knows and loves! Sign up for Suave Family Rewards at Suave Family Perks and every time you purchase a Suave product at Walmart, you will earn points that are redeemable for a $5 Walmart gift card!

suave perks 3

It’s so easy to sign up too. Once you’ve connected via Facebook or registered with an email address, just upload a picture of your Walmart receipt. Once the photo is submitted, it will be reviewed and you’ll get a text letting you know how many points you earned. Once you have earned 150 Suave® Family Perks points, visit the Rewards page to trade them for a $5 Walmart eGift Card!

Suave makes quality products for the entire family and at Walmart’s everyday low prices, what can be better than that? Whether it’s Suave Kids detangling spray, Suave Mens 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner, or Suave Naturals Body Lotion- Suave has got the whole family covered! Now, get rewarded for buying it!

Win It!

Enter to win a $50 Gift Card to Walmart through the widget below.

Suave Family Perks – Resourceful Mommy

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Global Influence. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

DIY WildStyle and Emmet Costumes from The Lego Movie

Lego Movie Emmet Costume

 

 

A few months ago, I thought of the perfect costume for Hayden – Emmet from The Lego Movie. I read up on tutorials on how to make a Lego head costume that included spray paint, cement tubes, styrofoam, a hand saw….I’m sure it was really easy but I didn’t have enough time to put something like that together. Instead, when I spotted this Emmet hoodie at Kohl’s, I started thinking I could put something together that was really easy.

Lego Movie Emmet Costume

If you’re looking for a last minute costume for Halloween, snag this Emmet hoodie from Kohl’s and pair with a pair of orange pants.That’s it and he’s instantly recognizable as Emmet from The Lego Movie. We also decided to make the Piece of Resistance which was really easy to make. All we did was spray paint a box red and the top is actually the top of the red spray paint can! You could also fit the box somehow on backpack so he could carry it on his back while trick or treating.

When I saw WildStyle, I knew that this would be an easy costume for me! So Moms, if you’re looking for an EASY costume for Halloween, go as WildStyle. I already had some black yoga pants {who doesn’t} and bought a new black hoodie. You can find electric blue and hot pink duct tape anywhere – Target, Walgreens or Walmart. I also bought some pink and blue colored hair spray to complete the outfit.

I pulled up a picture of WildStyle and then got to work on creating the hoodie. The duct tape sticks to the jacket really well! I still have to add tape to my pants as the picture below was just a test run!

Lego Movie Costumes

Such an easy costume – WildStyle’s costume cost me under $20 and you could get away with doing it for much cheaper if you already own a black hoodie! Now if only I could have the girls be UniKitty and Bad Kitty!

Which characters from The Lego Movie would you want to be?

 

Flu Shots for the Family at the CVS MinuteClinic

Facts About the Flu

 

 

Cold and Flu Season is officially here and it seems to be a little earlier than normal. Last week, my entire family was hit with a pretty bad stomach bug and it was so miserable. I am hoping that sickness might be it for the net few months, but you just never know. Just in case, I’m making sure our whole family gets a flu shot. Now, we can conveniently get our flu shots at the CVS MinuteClinic.

I highly recommend getting a flu shot not just for your kids but for yourself also. There’s a lot of information out there, but here is the lowdown on the flu for you.

Facts About the Flu

Facts About the Flu

 

So, what IS the flu?

The flu is a respiratory infection caused by a virus. It can develop very quickly and with flu, you always have a fever. Other common symptoms include headache, sore throat, dry cough, stuffy or runny nose and muscle aches (ugh). I remember getting the flu one year before I had kids and it just hit me like a truck. It’s definitely not something we want as parents. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

How serious is it?

Certain people are at greater risk for complications with the flu, including seniors, young children, pregnant women and those with certain health conditions like asthma or diabetes. A misdiagnosed flu can lead to complications, so if you are unsure if it’s the flu or a cold, see your doctor or MinuteClinic practitioner.

When is “flu season?”

The timing, severity and length of the annual flu season varies from one season to another, but outbreaks can begin as early as October, and tends to peak around January or later. I heard that it’s already started early this year.

For how long is it contagious?

The flu can be passed on even before someone realizes they’re sick, since most healthy adults can infect others 1 day before and up to 5-7 days after becoming sick. Children or those with weakened immune systems, that period is even longer. That is why I like to make sure all my kids get flu shots PLUS stock up on lots of hand sanitizer.

Flu Shot Options

 

I know when most people think about getting a flu shot, they think of well, a shot. But there are several options now for protecting yourself against the flu.

• Regular seasonal flu shot

• Intradermal shot for those who might be squeamish about needles (approved for adults 18-64; this may or may not be covered by insurance)

• High dose vaccination for customers 65 years and older (provides an elevated level of antigens, which can create a stronger immune response in seniors)

MinuteClinic vaccinates patients 18 months and older. If you have a child between 6 and 18 months, they should receive their vaccination from a pediatrician

Will it be covered by insurance?

Health insurance plans, including Medicare Part B, typically cover the full cost of a flu shot, and MinuteClinic accepts most insurance! We also accept cash payment. And…BONUS! Customers will receive a 20% off CVS/pharmacy Shopping pass when they get a flu shot at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic.

 

Myth Busting about the Flu Vaccination

 

I only need to be vaccinated once. MYTH! A new flu vaccine is developed each year to fight the strains that are most likely to be prevalent for the season, so it’s
important to get your flu shot each year.

People start getting sick once cold weather hits, so it’s too early to get my shot. MYTH! The CDC recommends to get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes
available, ideally by October (outbreaks can happen before Halloween!). It takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in your body to provide protection, so it’s
not too soon.

I’ve heard you can get sick from a flu shot. MYTH! It’s actually impossible, since the vaccine is made from an inactivated (dead!) virus, so it cannot give you the flu. If you get flu-like symptoms after getting your flu shot, it’s likely that you were exposed to the flu after you got vaccinated but before the vaccine took effect, which can be up to two weeks.
(The only real side effect of the flu vaccine might be soreness or redness where the shot was administered!)

 

How to Help Prevent the Flu

 

How can I protect myself and my family?

Vaccination is the first line of defense  against the flu. Eating right, exercising and getting plenty of rest can also help, but  the single most effective way to avoid getting the flu to get a seasonal flu shot!

Who should get the shot?

Since getting a seasonal flu vaccine is the single most  effective way to prevent getting the flu, the CDC recommends that anyone ages six  months or older be vaccinated, including those who were vaccinated last season. (At MinuteClinic, we vaccinate 18 mos. and older.)
Try some of these daily tips to keep healthy and help to prevent cold and flu:

• Wash your hands with soap and water often, especially after you cough or sneeze.

• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze, and discard of the tissue in the trash. Sneeze into your sleeve if a tissue is not  available.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, as germs can spread easily that way.

• Avoid contact with those who are sick. Flu is thought to be mainly spread from person-to-person contact (coughing and sneezing doesn’t help!).

• If you’re sick, stay home from school or work to keep others from getting infected.

 

I’m all about preventing the flu if I can which i why my whole family will be getting flu shots! Ain’t nobody got time to be sick this winter! Learn more about getting a flu shot at the CVS MinuteClinic!

 

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

Get Your Fill of Treats Without Any Tricks: Home Safety Tips For Halloween

Home Safety Tips for Halloween

 

 

It’s the iconic image of October 31st: holiday homes with grinning jack o’lanterns welcome hoards of traveling children decked in the gear of spooky creatures, brave heroes, and pretty princesses. With each step these disguised young ones crackle fallen autumn leaves as they skip around collecting bags and bags full of their favorite candies and treats. While Halloween is a fun and festive holiday full of enjoyment for all, it’s also important to remember that the dark nights and eerie masks of this night set the stage to pose significant health and safety risks to you and your family. To ensure your Halloween is full of treats without any tricks, remember these important health and safety tips.

Home Safety Tips for Halloween

Trick-or-Treating Tips

Halloween is the most fun when it is enjoyed with your loved ones, so always walk in groups with neighbors and friends or choose a trusted adult, to keep the festivities fun and safe for everyone!

Navigating Through the Night

The spooky nights of Halloween add to the eerie enjoyment, but can create serious safety risks especially for small children. Always walk with flashlights, and experiment with incorporating reflective surfaces on adult’s costumes so you’ll always be easy to find for the little ones. Stay on the sidewalks whenever possible, keeping to the far edge opposite traffic, and make sure to walk at a safe speed from house to house.

Creative Costume Construction

Fun and freaky costumes are the staple of Halloween, but make sure to take health and safety precautions to ensure they are enjoyed to the fullest. Test costume makeup on a small area of skin before applying to avoid reactions on young sensitive skin, and make sure to remove all makeup before sleep. If your child’s costume incorporates weapons, opt for flexible and soft-edged varieties to keep everyone involved safe. Also avoid using decorative contact lenses in costumes, especially on young children, to reduce the risk of eye injuries.

Careful Candy Collection

When trick-or-treating, use good judgment in choosing which homes to visit and which treats to accept. Only visit well-lit houses in familiar areas, and never accept invitations inside from strangers. Look through your child’s candy collection before allowing them to scarf down – keeping an eye out for strange looking or non-factory wrapped treats.

Happy Halloween Hosting

If you’re hosting trick-or-treaters rather than accompanying, keep your house safe by placing all candles, luminaries, and lit jack o’lanterns on a stable foundation out of the reach of small children and pets. If traveling out of town during this time consider installing privacy shades and security systems that can raise and lower blinds, and turn on and off lights during key times of the afternoon, to avoid standing out as an empty house to the prying eyes of criminals.

So whether you have a witches brew of candies and treats waiting for the passerby, or you’re decked out in your favorite look and ready to explore the neighborhood for your fill – remembering these key tips will help avoid common tricks and ensure everyone in your group stays happy and healthy this Halloween!

Skylanders Costumes for Halloween + Skylanders Halloween Video

Skylanders Halloween Costumes

 

If my son could tell you what his favorite thing ever is, I’m sure it would be Skylanders. This kid lives and breathes the game – he even had a countdown going on for the release of the latest game that came out earlier this month, Skylanders Trap Team. When I asked Hayden hat he waned o be for Halloween, he knew it was going to be a Skylander – he just didn’t know which one!

Skylanders Halloween Costumes

Jet-Vac Costume can be found at Party City.com and in-stores, Amazon.com, Costume Super Center, Spirit Online, KMART

Transform into the noble Sky Baron with our Deluxe Boys Jet-Vac Costume! Jet-Vac costume includes a blue feather-printed jumpsuit, chest armor, and face mask with white feather accents.

DLX Includes:

  • Vinyl mask
  • jumpsuit
  • chest piece
  • molded gloves
  • belt
  • molded show covers

Trigger Happy Costume can be found at Party City.com and in-stores, BuySeasons Inc, Amazon.com, Costume Super Center, Spirit Online

Blast evildoers in Skyland in our Deluxe Trigger Happy Costume. This video game character costume for boys comes with an orange jumpsuit with a foam tummy that has Trigger Happy’s face printed on it, featuring his large yellow eyes and long red tongue. A soft headpiece is included with protruding large, pointy ears to keep this hero alert.

Boys Deluxe Skylanders Trigger Happy Costume includes:

  • Jumpsuit
  • Headpiece

Spyro Costume can be found at KMART, TARGET.COM, PARTY CITY.com and in-stores, HALLOWEEN CITY, BUYSEASONS, AMAZON.COM, COSTUME SUPER CENTER, SPIRIT ONLINE

Get fired up and charge your enemies to protect Skyland in our Deluxe Spyro Costume for boys. This dynamic Skylanders Spyro Costume comes with a shiny purple jumpsuit with a yellow ribbed tummy. Attached jagged wings, molded gloves resembling dragon hands, and matching molded shoe covers with claw details accent the jumpsuit. The included overhead vinyl Spyro mask features horns and spikes lining the top of the head, big brown eyes, and sharp dragon teeth, making this heroic dragon truly intimidating!

Boys Deluxe Spyro Costume includes:

  • Mask
  • Jumpsuit
  • Attached wings
  • Gloves

Chop Chop: SPIRIT ONLINE, TARGET.COM, PARTYCITY.com and in-stores, HALLOWEEN CITY, BUYSEASONS, AMAZON.COM, COSTUME SUPER CENTER, SPIRIT ONLINE

Slice and dice your way through Skylands in our Chop Chop Costume for boys! Featuring a jumpsuit printed with skeleton bones and armor, this Chop Chop Costume also has attached shoe covers. Top off your undead character with the included vinyl mask for a transformation into the skeleton warrior, Chop Chop!

Boys Chop Chop Costume includes:

  • Jumpsuit
  • Attached shoe covers
  • Mask

Slice and Dice! That’s what my son said when he got the Chop Chop costume in the mail. If you’re not in the know, that is Chop Chop’s catchphrase and I’m sure Hayden will be saying it all Halloween night, along with his joke. I love the quality of the costume and I know it will be great for play once Halloween is over.

Chop Chop Costume

Which Skylander costume would your little one {or you!} want?

 

Disclosure: I received the above costume for review purposes only. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Apps to Help With Cold and Flu Season #VZWBuzz

Apps for Cold and Flu Season

 

 

Cold and Flu season is starting earlier this year. My family has already been hit with a bad stomach bug and my son had strep throat too. While I hope this is all for us this upcoming winter, I’m a little doubtful with little kids in the house. I’ll be doing what I an to fight it. I’m armed with hand sanitizer, Vitamin C and apps. That’s right – apps! Below are some apps to help with cold and flu season!

Apps for Cold and Flu Season

SickWeather

The SickWeather app scans social media networks and then reports what illnesses, viruses and symptoms are popping up around you. You can also self-report to the app and let them know how you’re feeling so they can update appropriately.

iTunesGoogle Play

ZocDoc

Have you ever been sick yet can’t get in to see your doctor?  ZocDoc lets you enter your zip code and insurance plan. Then, a list of doctors with available appointments pop up. You can even book right from the app! ZocDoc will send you alerts for upcoming appointments and has good resources on preventive care too.

iTunesGoogle Play

FluView

The official app of the CDC, you can view trends and see where the flu is popping up across the country.

iTunes

Reader’s Digest Easy Home Remedies

Sometimes natural is the way to go! I know that I have looked for easy DIY natural remedies for my son’s cough before. This app can recommend some home remedies before you head to the doctor.

iTunes

Sleep Apps

Everyone knows what a great healer sleep can be when you’re getting sick or already sick. Download a sleep app that can analyze how you’re sleeping and lets you know with graphs and more.

Sleep Cycle on iTunesSleepBot on Google Play

Do you have any apps you use to help during cold and flu season?

 

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencers, I have received some great items from Verizon Wireless. No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise positive feedback.  All opinions are my own.

 

Affordable and Stylish Clothing from Garanimals at Walmart

Garanimals Clothes

 

 

 

Even before we jumped from one kid to three kids, I was always looking for affordable yet stylish clothing for my son. Kids grow so fast and it seems like you’re always having to update their wardrobe. Then after a few years, your kids start getting picky and want to dress themselves. My solution to finding affordable, stylish and kid-friendly clothes where my kids can dress themselves? Garanimals!

I actually discovered Garanimals a few years ago when I told my Grandma that my son was into a big phase where wanted to dress himself every day. A lot of the outfits would turn out horribly mismatched but it wasn’t worth the fight to make him change. She told me that I needed to get to Walmart and buy Garanimals! Garanimals has been around since 1972 and there is a reason why – they have affordable, stylish and quality clothes for kids.

Tips for Dressing Babies and Toddlers on a Budget

 

Shop End of Season Sales

Right now, there is a ton of summer clothes on clearance at stores now that the fall clothes are coming out. Think ahead to what sizes your kids will be next summer and buy big! You’ll be able to save money by getting a whole summer wardrobe for cheap.

Mix and Match Clothes

I love Garanimals for how you can buy several pieces and they mix and match with each other. Not only does this allow your child to dress themselves and the outfit looks like it goes together but it also allows you to use several pieces together.

Shop Garanimals

Garanimals offers clothing from newborn all the way up to 5T. The clothing is current in style, perfect for play time and school and is affordable. You can get all of the three piece outfits above for $11 and under. With my one year old twins, I’m always buying clothes it seems. Garanimals is the staple of their wardrobe and I love that I can just grab something from their dresser while holding a wiggly baby and they are good to go in a cute outfit!

Garanimals is sold exclusively at Walmart and Walmart.com. The clothing line is carefully designed to provide babies and kids with affordable fashion and comfort while guaranteeing quality, value and ease of shopping for parents!

Kids grow too fast…check out this cute video below!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Garanimals. The opinions and text are all mine.

What To Watch on Netflix for Halloween #StreamTeam

Halloween on Netflix

 

Halloween is my favorite time of year. I love the cooler weather and then snuggling in front of the TV watching a not-so-spooky movie with my family and then after the kids go to bed, watching a scary, sleep with the lights on movie with my husband. If you’re looking to spend the next week watching both scary and family-friendly movies for Halloween, check out my favorite picks on Netflix!

Halloween on Netflix

 

Adults

The Cabin in the Woods: We haven’t seen this one yet but it’s been on the top of my husband’s must-see list for awhile. We definitely will be watching it this week!

Scream: Cheesy, yes. But I sure do love this movie. I think because it came out when I was in high school and it was THE scary movie to go see. I still love it.

American Horror Story: Season 1: You’ll find the first 2 season of AHS on Netflix, but the first season absolutely made me sleep with the lights on. Something about it being set in a house that could be just like yours. With 12 episodes, it’s totally appropriate to binge watch it this week.

Night of the Living Dead: A classic film that is a must watch for Halloween week.

Evil Dead 2: Looking for a funny and silly Halloween movie {but not appropriate for little kids!!}, then check out Evil Dead 2.

Family

The Nightmare Before Christmas – One of my favorite movies to watch with my family! This is Halloween!

The Addams Family: Is it bad to admit I have NEVER seen this movie?! Now that it’s on Netflix, I’m definitely checking it out!

Spooky Buddies: A cute movie for the whole family!

Vampire Dog: We haven’t seen this movie yet, but it looks super cute!

Kids

Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest

-DreamWorks Spooky Stories

Mickey’s House of Villains

Casper’s Scare School

Which movies or shows are you watching on Netflix for Halloween?

 

Disclosure: I am part of the Netflix Stream team and compensation has been received. However, we have loved Netflix for years. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

12 Delicious Apple and Cheese Recipes

Apple and Cheese Recipes

 

Something about fall makes me crave the combination of tart apples and sharp cheese. My go-to apple and cheese combination is a sandwich but I was excited to find some more interesting and delicious recipes out there. Check out my Foodie.com collection below. I’m not sure what I want to try first – maybe the Smoked Gouda and Apple Butter Sandwich?

Apple and Cheese Recipes

 

Check out 12 Delicious Apple and Cheese Recipes

by Melissa Mitchell at Foodie.com

What is your favorite apple and cheese recipe?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with Foodie.com. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

5 Disney Costumes To Wear To Mickey’s-Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Lady and the Tramp Family Costume

 

 

 

Known throughout the kingdom as the best Halloween bash ever, kids and grown-ups alike are eager to attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.  Held on select nights starting September 1st through October 31st, the tone of the party is pure Disney fun and magic with just enough fright to lend extra excitement.

What happens during the Not-So-Scary Part?

  1. Disney Villains Dance Mix and Mingle – Villains from Disney movies put on quite a show in front of Cinderella’s castle several times followed by character meet and greets. Little girls love meeting the Beast and boys are fascinated by Captain Hook’s hook.

 

  1. Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade – Led by the headless horseman, this parade down Main Street USA is a delightful take on all things scary or not-so-scary. The grave diggers from the Haunted Mansion are among crowd favorites but my family prefers the headless horseman and his horse.

 

  1. Happy HalloWishes – Don’t think for one minute that a special party pre-empts fireworks. Disney Villains once again take center stage to bring a loud and slightly ominous Halloween fireworks display sure to please all the kingdom’s spirits.

 

  1. Character Dance Parties – Make sure to wear your dancing shoes and meet characters at Tomorrowland’s Monstrous Scream-O-Ween or Woody’s Happy Harvest Round Up in Liberty Square. Both are great fun.

 

  1. Trick-or-Treating and Attraction Riding – As with any extra event in the Magic Kingdom, 9 or 10 of the top attractions will be open for riding. Scattered throughout the kingdom are generous candy stations for trick-or-treating.

 

What to wear and what not to wear

Part of the fun of this particular event is dressing up so don’t be a fuddy-duddy about it.

Couples or two kids - Costumes like Lady and the Tramp, Simba and Nala, Woody and Jesse or any princess and her prince make excellent costumes.

Lady and the Tramp Family Costume

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 Families – Family oriented costumes are almost endless in choice but my favorites are Mary Poppins or Monster’s Inc. characters.

Goldilocks and Three Bears Costume

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Groups of friends - Any Disney movie makes great costuming for groups but a favorite was seeing an entire dance team in Lion King show style costumes. I have to admit the birds were our personal favorites. They were adorable.  Alice in Wonderland lends itself to excellent group or large family costuming as well.

Alice in Wonderland Costumes

Source

Young children – 101 Dalmations costumes or the Alien toys from Toy Story’s Claw machine make great costumes for little ones.

Alien Costume

Source

Teenagers – Disney Villains are always fun to portray among the teen crowd. Among the easiest to imitate are Snow White’s evil stepmother or Cinderella’s equally evil stepmother and sisters or Scar from The Lion King.

Nemo Costume

Source

 

Note: Your costume doesn’t have to be Disney related.  I wore a Tweety Bird costume one year and took a lot of teasing from Cast Members but they also gave me extra candy.

Be aware:  No costume should be offensive or violent.  Keep in mind you’ll be riding attractions so costumes that are too large or drag the ground will not be appropriate or comfortable.  They should not contain sharp or pointed objects that may harm another guest.  Weapons, even toy weapons (with the exception of flashlight sabers) are not allowed.  Masks may be worn but must not obstruct your eyes.

It’s best to obtain tickets early for this event since it sells out quickly.  We thought we were too late one year after making a last minute trip to Orlando.  We called Disney and were told the event was sold out but the Concierge at our hotel, Hawthorn Lake Buena Vista, was able to arrange Disney tickets at a good price.  In fact, many Disney Good Neighbor Hotels will often have deals you won’t get anywhere else.

If you have a mix of ages from little to teen, consider taking the young ones back to the hotel and allowing the teenagers to enjoy Villain’s Sinister Soiree: A Wicked Takeover of Cinderella’s Castle.

It’s an extra special event where villains party in the castle until the wee hours of the morning.  Attendees must also be present at the Not-So-Scary event prior to joining the party but as a special treat to teens, it can’t be beat.  Call 407-939-5262 or check with your hotel’s concierge.  Have fun and Happy Halloween!

 

 

 

Michelle Rise is a homemaker and Mother of 5 and travel enthusiast. With many years of experience trekking through Disney parks with her Family, Michelle has become Michellean expert on navigating families through Disney. She also enjoys travel to most other destinations worldwide and when not writing about her experiences or teaching her children to drive, Michelle can be found chasing the family dog up rainbow mountain with her husband of over 25 years, Ben. You can follow Michelle on Twitter, @Rise7Up, for all of her latest writings.

 

 

Teaching Your Child Compassion and Other Important Values

Harvest Time Books

 

 

I’ve always felt that I’ve been an overly compassionate person. I’ll cry reading stories online about other people’s misfortunes or when I’m watching something on the news. I can’t pass a homeless person on the street without my heart breaking and I’m usually quick to help someone if I see they are in need. Sometimes it can drive my husband crazy, but I believe that to raise responsible and compassionate adults, you have to lead by example. For the past few years, we have adopted a family at our church during Christmas, donated to local food banks and schools in need and participated in Operation Christmas Child. Each time we do something, Hayden always gets excited about picking out items to help others.

But with kids, you constantly have to be working to instill these types of values in them. Leading by example is great, but it’s always great when you have extra resources to help. That’s why I love The Principles of Our World, a line of children’s books from Harvest Time Partners.

Harvest Time Books

From Teamwork to Compassion, these books are great for parents and teachers to have on hand. They are appropriate for kids ages 4 and up and they take readers through a series of real-life situations and with the help of illustrated characters such as the Principal of Compassion, encourage principal-based decision making as an effective way to resolve everyday challenges.

I enjoyed reading the books to my son and then asking him what he would do in certain situations. It sometimes seems like he has more compassion for people outside of our family, so the story in the Compassion book about an older brother helping out his younger brother was a great example of something I could read to Hayden and he could relate to in real life being a big brother himself. I’m someone that learns from real life situations and I believe that it helps children too. The Principals of Our World books are great for teaching children about some of the most important values in life.

In addition to the books, Harvest Time Partners also has created some board games that not only help kids think on the right thing to do in situations, but also adults!

Harvest Time Games

The Abundant Harvest Game is a fast-moving conversation game that helps families and educators open the door to more productive dialogue. It reinforces the importance of developing strong character traits and encourages good, principle-based decision making. Through this game, players quickly learn the law of the harvest—you reap what you sow. Abundant Harvest is available in two versions for two different age groups.

The Face to Face card game is a new game that is played with a deck of 96 question cards that ask players questions that stimulate lively discussions on real-life issues. It helps build the critically important life skill of “Face to Face” authentic communication that is rapidly being replaced by today’s online chatter. Harvest Time Partners designed the game to encourage a high level of engagement and to reinforce principle-based decision making with the intent of developing and strengthening a person’s character. It’s the perfect conversation starter for road trips, vacations, family time, and small-group get-togethers. Face to Face is available in four versions for four different age groups, including a special Bible Edition.

I love the idea of putting down the electronics and speaking to family and friends FACE TO FACE again. The questions are interesting and thought provoking, sure to let you get to know your family and friends a little bit better.

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Harvest Time Partners has been around for over 20 years and provides a 100% guarantee that you’ll be satisfied with your purchase. I think these books and products are a great resource in helping to raise great kids.

Connect with Harvest Time on their websiteFacebook, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest.

Win It!

Enter below to win your own set of Harvest Time Partners The Principles of Our World books!

Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Harvest Time and I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions in this post are my own.

 

Trapped in the St. Louis City Hall Parking Lot

Photo Source: Google Street View

 

 

For the last few days, our family has been hit hard with the stomach flu. It got so bad for my son that we ended up at our children’s hospital for dehydration. So when my husband was offered tickets to the St. Louis Blues game for tonight {Center Ice, 13 rows back!}, I jumped at the chance to get out of my house and away from the sickness. After saying goodbye to Grandma and the kids, we left the house as soon as my husband arrived home from work and headed to the Scottrade Center in downtown St. Louis. Since we were running a little behind, we pulled into the St. Louis City Hall parking lot instead of waiting to get into the garage. We paid our $20 cash to the person at the entrance and I noticed there was another person taking money for the next lane, plus two additional employees in the guard booth. We parked and then quickly hurried into the game, making it just in time.

Before the 1st period was over though, the stomach flu finally claimed the last person in my family – my husband. It hit him like a truck and after leaving the bathroom, we headed to our car. I’ve parked there before a few times but always during the day. The lighting isn’t the best and there’s actually a part of the parking lot that is complete darkness, so I felt a little uneasy as we got into our car. But we were quickly in our car and headed to one of the exits – there are 4 – but the barrier wouldn’t lift. Since this exit didn’t have a guard booth, I backed up and went to an exit that is directly across from the Scottrade Center. Again, the barrier didn’t lift and there was no one in the guard booth. I got out of the car to see if it would lift – nope. I looked around hoping to find an employee who could tell me how to get out. I then got back into my car to look at our parking ticket, hoping there was a phone number to call. Again, nothing.

I drove and tried the two other exits in the parking lot but again, none of the barriers would lift and the guard booths were completely dark. It baffled me that less than an hour earlier, there were 5 people at one guard booth and I assume the same amount at the other, yet now there was no one. On the outside of the main guard booth {pictured below}, there was a sticker that said “How are we doing? Call the boss at 314-622-4414″. I called the number and an answering machine picked up stating that it was Joe Ryan and I had reached the City of St. Louis Customer Service Parking line. I realize it was after hours, but I started leaving a message. Halfway through my message, I got cut off and was informed my message was canceled. Was this a joke?

Photo Source: Google Street View

Photo Source: Google Street View

Unaware that the St. Louis City Police Headquarters had moved a few months ago, I walked across the street to see if I could get an officer to help me when I discovered they were no longer in the building across the street. I decided to get back into my car and head over to the part of the parking lot closest to Scottrade Center so I could run back in there and find someone.

Before I could do that though, another car was trying to get out of the parking lot also. I decided to get behind them in hopes of MAYBE I was doing something wrong. But the barrier wouldn’t work for them and no one answered the customer service line. The next thing I knew, the passenger of the vehicle in front of us broke the barrier into pieces and jumped in the car. Sorry, I didn’t get the license plate, I just got in my car and finally left too – after 35 minutes of trying to get out. But you know what? I don’t blame him.

I live in St. Louis County so I’m the first to admit that I don’t pay attention to a lot of the happenings in St. Louis City. But What. The. Heck. I’m glad that I paid $20 to park my car in a secure lot. In fact, it’s SO secure that I couldn’t get out. I kept thinking, what if one of my kids were REALLY sick and I needed to get home? What if I was a doctor on call who had to get to a patient? But instead, I was trapped in a car with a sick husband and no way to get out.

Here’s a few things that I think need to happen. And maybe I’m crazy. But when I’m paying $20 for parking, I think someone needs to be guarding the parking lot – in the 2 guard booths that are there. The lighting isn’t the best and after all, armed robbery in downtown St. Louis is up 68 percent and that doesn’t include the fact that there are almost more murders in St. Louis City in 2014 than 2013 – and there’s still 2 months left of the year.

If no one is going to be guarding the parking lot, you need to have someone answer the customer service line. Or there has to be an emergency button to let cars out. You can’t just trap cars in the parking lot, especially at night. According to Parkopedia, this parking lot is manned. But it wasn’t for at least 35 minutes tonight. And for me, that’s 35 minutes too long. I’m just thankful for the guy that was way less patient than me.

Le me know if I’m overreacting. Is this the norm for parking lots during sporting events? As someone who attends several St. Louis Cardinals games a year and parks in different parking lots, I’ve never had this happen to me and not sure if it was because it was a city parking lot.

#TreatThePups with Halloween Goodie Bags + Free Printable

Halloween Treat Bags for Dogs

Post sponsored by Lunchbox but all opinions are my own.

In our household, it’s not just the kids that get into Halloween. It’s one of my favorite holidays and the whole family gets involved – even our dog! Zoey does plenty of tricks for us so she deserves a treat on Halloween night too. We have stocked up on some of her favorite treats like Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Grillers, Pup-Peroni Snacks and MilkBone Biscuits from Walmart. On Halloween night, Zoey loves to walk the neighborhood with us since she just loves people. We usually see a lot of other dogs walking with their owners too. If your neighborhood is like ours and full of pups, put together a treat bag for them too!

Halloween Treat Bags for Dogs

Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Grillers, Pup-Peroni Beef Flavor Snacks and Milk-Bone Dog Snacks are Howlin’ Good Gifts for the pawsome pets in your life! You can head to Walmart.com to see more gift ideas like an edible treat bowl and a Halloween dog treat holder – so creative! You can even print up a door hanger to let others know you treat dogs too.

#treathePups
My son and I had a great time making treat bags for the dogs in our neighborhood. Plus, I have this printable for you to attach to bags for your local pups. Just click on the photo below to enlarge and print!

Halloween Treats for Dogs #TreatThePups

 

Halloween Dog Treats

Halloween Night Safety Tip for Pets

Chocolate is dangerous for both dogs and cats so make sure to keep it all for yourself! I’m sure you won’t mind! :-)

To read more safety tips for pets on Halloween night, head over to Walmart.com to read them!

#TreatThePups Instagram Photo Contest

Treat The Pups Banner 6

Does your dog dress up for Halloween? Snap a photo and upload it to Instagram using the hashtag #TreatThePups! You’ll have the opportunity to win one of the three gift cards. The first prize winner will win one (1) $500 Gift Card, second place will win one (1) $100 Gift Card and third place will win (1) $50 Gift Card.

ZoeyHalloween

Enter the contest below!

 

Treat all the Pawesome pets this Halloween!

Using New Tech Trends for Your Business

Socialech

 

In today’s business world, the competition can often seem cutthroat. The perception may not be about the actual nature of business since these competing industries seem to be in vastly different sectors, but rather about the difficulty of maintaining a successful business in a changing world. Today’s new crop of technology has enabled businesses to flourish like never before, but it has also presented the challenge of adapting and growing in tandem with never-before-seen technology and interactions. The internet and the digital revolution have shaped the way that business operates and profits, and to succeed, you’ll need to take advantage of these sample principles. Here are some of the main things the digital revolution have done to business and how you can apply them with success in your own endeavors.

Socialech

Get the Word Out

Social media is a criminally underused tool in today’s market. It’s pervasive, it’s flourishing and it’s free in the majority of cases. Consumers have turned to websites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook as sources of guidance for their purchases and service options. Using a social media platform effectively can mean more than just interacting with customers. It can lead to the production of a true brand name, and exposure in amounts that were previously unseen in any other medium. By simply putting yourself and your business out into the social media hubs, you garner attention and potential clients without having to do anything beyond posting and chatting. The best social media usage is effortless and relies on the community to do its best in spreading your product. On LinkedIn, you can gather more professional clients, if your particular business is suited to fewer but larger deals. In addition, it obviously makes for a fantastic hiring platform, revealing your company to potential applicants and simultaneously displaying the skill set of applicants.

Take Inspiration

Branching off of the exposure benefits from social media, you can benefit greatly from the information that’s freely available on many of these sites. Using Google’s programs such as AdSense, you can find out exactly what your customers are searching for, where they’re located and how to best market yourself to clients. Many social media sites also shed a light on what trends are currently hot, including visuals and blogging entries for your site. Massive corporations like Google aren’t shy about using the web to make tremendous profit and you should be profiting from this data, too. Hiring companies to place your advertisements around various sites – particularly ones that are likely to be viewed by potential clients – can provide you the best sort of exposure, and is often informed by these market trends.

Follow the example of companies which are in your field by following their online activity and social media interaction and use these principles with your own flourish to create a better brand. Try to figure out where you can offer a better product or service and capitalize on this upgrade. In today’s industries, the difference between having your product sell or losing the sale to another company is in the way that you present your product and demonstrate its value to customers. Take notes!

Diversify Your Checkout

In the modern world, cash is quickly become obsolete. As hyperbolic as that sounds, the trend is definite and the market is moving toward an economy based on accounts and cards at top speed. What can you do to get around this? Buy into it, of course. By keeping your business on a cash-only level, you greatly limit your sales potential and income. In addition, you lose the potential benefits that accompany switching to a sever-based transaction system. Point-of-Sale programs (POS) are designed to allow for maximum control over a business and its pricing models, inventory, and employee management, and can often be integrated into an existing business with minimal hassle. The trick lies in the POS and its automatic recording of transactions and inventory, leaving you more time to focus your attention on worthwhile matters. POS is designed to use a variety of hardware components to make payment simple for customers.

Companies like Shopify have designed POS systems that can utilize card-readers for iPads and open up a new range of possibilities for payment. These card-readers are also more secure than the standard POS terminals, which were hit by a series of hacking strikes this year and in 2013. As the economy grows more dependent on POS systems and ditching some of the more intrusive aspects of a cash-based economy, the need for security and proper terminals will become paramount. The time to start building and optimizing your POS is now, so be sure that you choose the proper system and hardware components for your business.

Although the business world may seem less forgiving than ever, the emergence of new technological trends and Internet marvels provides a high leg-up in the market. Take advantage of these developing industries, particularly the free services, to maximize your operation’s potential and success.

Checklist for Using Bath & Body Product for Babies

Baby Products

 

With a new baby in the house, parents ought to come up with a list of needful items to keep around. Keeping a checklist prepares you for many troubles, enabling you to ensure that basic items are within reach in time of need. Do keep in mind that the delicate skin and overall body condition of babies require a careful consideration on the best products to use for them. Not every ‘baby’ product is fit for use simply because the tag carries the name ‘baby’ on the label. Before any purchase, make sure to check product labels for ingredients that may not be baby friendly.

Baby Products

Baby Clothes

You won’t need to keep a large number of baby clothes during the first year. Babies grow fast and your newborn will change sizes quickly. Keep only a handful of basic clothing, such as: one piece outfits, snap-crotch bodysuits (for easy dressing and diaper changing), stretchable pull-on pants, snap-crotch T-shirts, side snap shirts, sweater, sleepwear, footed sleepers, hat or bonnet, socks and booties, and a wearable blanket sleeper.

Choose fabrics that are dye-free or untreated and that are fragrance and chemical free. Organic clothing is now available for babies. This type of clothing makes use of natural materials like organic linen, cotton, and hemp. You may also opt for pure cotton materials instead of synthetic products like nylon or polyester.

Bath and Cleansing Products

Basic bath and body products to keep in stock are the following: baby bath soap, shampoo, and bottom wash. Bubble bath products may be used, however, be wary about over soaking the baby in bubble bath water. Be careful in patronizing products without a thorough check on ingredients used. One report released by Campaign for Safe Cosmetics revealed that among 48 products tested, according to USA Today, over half had traces of formaldehyde. This is a chemical which is considered by the Environmental Protection Agency as a probable carcinogen, which is released as preservatives break down over time inside of product containers.

Safe Mama lists ingredients parents should watch out for, advising parents to stay away from products that contain such ingredients as Phthalates, Parabens and Sodium Lauryl. Phthalates have been linked to impaired sperm quality and damage in men, genital defects, and reduced testosterone production in boys, testicular cancer, and obesity.  Parabens, preservatives used in cosmetics, have been linked to tumor growths. Sodium Laurel Sulfate, which is found in most shampoos and body washes, toothpaste, detergents and others, is a possible carcinogen and well-known skin irritant. Propylene is derived from glycerin, and though it was declared as “generally safe for use” by the FDA, it raises risks of cancer, and can be toxic to the immune system.

Invest in the products offered by such companies as The Honest Company which use natural or organic ingredients in the manufacturing process. Ideal baby products are non-toxic, pH-balanced, and hypoallergenic. The skin is indeed the body’s largest organ and what gets applied onto a baby’s skin can directly enter the blood stream. That is why ingredients are to be carefully considered when purchasing items for baby use.

Diaper and Skin Care Products

Diapers are a major expense and a very important one. Many babies have suffered greatly because of sub-standard or harmful diapers being used on them. Go for highly absorbent nappies that are eco-friendly, hypoallergenic, and fragrance free.  Plant-based diapers are now available on the market; these are chlorine free and free from various other chemicals. As for baby wipes, use non-irritating ones that are alcohol and scent free.

Diaper rash creams, ointments and baby powders are important supplies, according to Baby Center. Go for talc free products and natural ones that possess anti-bacterial properties. Organic creams act as a barrier and protective layer, helping prevent rashes and itching problems. Some baby friendly products also have probiotics that foster balanced and healthy skin conditions. Change diapers frequently and air the baby’s bottom in between nappy changes. You may wash the diaper area each time, but make sure the baby’s bottom is fully dried before snapping on the diaper.

Other Products

Additional products to keep on hand are sunscreen and rubs. Sunscreen keeps your child protected from the sun’s harmful rays. If you can avoid doing so, do not take the baby for an outside trip during the hottest hours of the day. Take a stroll when it’s cooler so you can spend more time in the shade. If it cannot be avoided, apply sunscreen at least fifteen minutes before leaving the home.

Stick to SPF 15 products; go for non-toxic products and stay away from whitening sunscreens.  As for medical rubs, focus more on organic aromatherapy oils that help soothe and clear the baby’s breathing. Eucalyptus and tea tree oils are baby friendly; these and several others on the market today contain no harsh chemicals and are menthol and petroleum free.

The Book of Life Activity Sheets, New Trailer and Giveaway! #BookOfLife

BookofLife-CharacterArt1

 

 

Last week, I shared with you a trailer for The Book of Life, a new animated movie that is in theaters on October 17th. To get you excited for the release of the movie, I’ve got lots of exciting things to share including activity sheets and a giveaway!

BookofLife-1Sht

THE BOOK OF LIFE, a vibrant fantasy-adventure, tells the legend of Manolo, a conflicted hero and dreamer who sets off on an epic quest through magical, mythical and wondrous worlds in order to rescue his one true love and defend his village.

The movie stars Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, Ron Perlman, Ice Cube, Danny Trejo, and more. Rated PG, it’s in theaters on October 17th.

BookofLife-CharacterArt1

Free Book of Life Activity Sheets!

Want to learn how to make your own Sugar Skulls, Paper flags and more? Download free Book of Life Activity Sheets!

Cost Plus World Market Book of Life Shop

Visit the Book of Life Shop in stores and online! In celebration of the release of the upcoming film, The Book of Life, Cost Plus World Market has developed exclusive Book of Life Toys inspired by the film. Products include a colorful Tin Keepsake Box, Guitar, Maracas, Manolo Rubber Duck Bath Toy, Kaleidoscopes, and more.

Watch the Trailer!

Connect with The #BookOfLife

– Visit the Official Website

– Like ‘The Book of Life’ on Facebook

– Follow on Twitter, Tumblr

Win It!

Enter to win a The Book of Life Prize Pack that includes a $25 Visa Gift Card,  Mini guitar & keepsake box from Cost Plus World Market.

BOL-WorldMarket

Enter the Rafflecopter form below. US only, prizes courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received compensation for this post but all thoughts and opinions are my own.