July 26, 2011

Teething Bling - Jewelry to Drool Over

When you become a mom you naturally give up a lot of things. I remember after Ben started teething, I had to put all of my jewelry away. I wasn't sure that it could hold up to a toddler's tugs and pulls, not to mention the inevitable drool. It seems like everything goes straight into a baby's mouth, especially when he's teething.

Fast-forward a few months - A mom in my MOPS group had on a really neat piece of jewelry. Her little one was gnawing away on it without a worry in the world. This was the first I'd ever heard of teething jewelry, but it really is a brilliant idea.

Teething Bling pendants and bangles are made out of non-toxic, BPA, PVC, Latex free materials. It's essentially the same FDA approved stuff that teething toys are made out of. The icing on the cake - they're really cute. I plan on wearing mine even after my little guy gets out of the teething phase. They come in a variety of colors and patterns. They just recently released shimmer pendants for you glam moms out there. Plus, since they're only between $20-25, they are definitely affordable.

I have the Zebra pendant and I was very impressed. It looks as if it is your standard, hard, jewelry pendant, but upon closer inspection it is a semi-flexible silicone. And to make things even cooler - these pendants can be washed to keep them clean and sanitary.

These would make a fantastic shower gift (something for both mom AND baby). You can find Teething Bling online at Smart Mom Jewelry's website. Check out their assortment of jewelry! Smart Mom Jewelry was founded by two stay-at-home moms and is fully-staffed by moms.

You can also find out more about about Teething Bling by connecting with them on Facebook or Twitter


I received a complimentary product to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed are my honest thoughts of the product. Images are taken from www.smartmomjewelry.com

July 14, 2011

"What's in the Bible" DVD Review and Giveaway (Part 2)

I love, love, love the "What's in the Bible" series from Tyndale and Phil Vischer. They are so exceptionally well done! I think I find them just as entertaining as the kids do. In fact, the boys and I recently entered their video contest and came in second place. Wooo-hooo! Thanks to all who voted. If you want to see our entry you can check it out here.

The super cool news is that we are going to appear in Vol. #7 which will be released in the spring. How crazy is that!! I still don't have all the details yet, but I'll be sure to let you know once I do!

If you haven't seen the DVDs yet, here's your chance. I am giving away a certificate for a free DVD of Vol. #5 which covers the books of 1 & 2 Samuel. My little boy LOVES this DVD. They are super entertaining and also theologically sound. They are a great way to get kids to learn more about God's Word. I'm a huge fan. You can check out their website http://www.jellytelly.com to check out videos and tons of great content for kids and their families. You can also connect with them on Facebook (that's how I heard about and entered the video contest - they also seem to giveaway stuff on a regular basis)

I'm trying out a new giveaway method. If you entered on the previous post, I will add your entries here. I'd love to hear your feedback on this method of giveaway!

Best of luck! This giveaway will end at midnight EST on 7/22. Winner selected by Random.org. Winner has 24 hours to respond to e-mail notification or an alternate winner will be selected.

July 13, 2011

Ten Tips for Making Your Life Easier and More Efficient on the Go

I used to think I was busy . . . and then I had kids. The word busy now takes on a whole new meaning. That's why it's essential that I take any possible steps to make life a bit easier and more efficient as I go about my day. These don't have to be dramatic changes, but these ten simple steps can help lighten your mothering load.

  • Clear out clutter. Some people are hoarders. I'm the opposite. I get a thrill out of throwing stuff away. I think cleaning out closets is good for the soul. If it's been sitting unnoticed and unneeded in the dark recesses of your house, chances are, you don't have to keep it. It's amazing how much cleaner your house (and car) will become and how much lighter your spirit will be when you get rid of unnecessary belongings. 
  • Get organized. Rather than having things scattered all across the room try to group like items together. In my living room I keep the remote controls for all our different electronic devices in the same little box. I keep all of my power/computer cords stored together. That way, if I'm looking for something specific, I have a good idea of where it is located. The same is true when you're on the go. Try to keep your car organized  so that it's easy to find what you're looking for - whether that's a map (does anyone use those anymore) or your insurance card.
  •   Clean out your purse. I am terrible about throwing a bazillion and one things into a bag and then never cleaning it out. It's so much easier to find things on the go if you make a  habit of cleaning out your favorite handbag at least once a week. And who knows . . .you might find some treasures hidden in your bags. There's nothing better than finding forgotten money!
  • Have a plan. This is especially important if you are traveling with children. "Failing to plan is planning to fail." If you are traveling with young children, chart out necessary bathroom and food breaks along the way. This prevents you from "emergencies," which may be memorable, but certainly don't make your life easier.
  • Enlist help when needed. There's nothing wrong with enlisting a friend or family member to help you when you're on the go. My hubby helps get my little ones in and out of the car when we go to church. Although I could probably manage it on my own, it's so much easier to get  a two-year-old and two-month-old in and out of the car safely with an extra set of eyes and hands.
  • Pre-packaged Snacks - You can either buy these pre-portioned snacks at the grocery store or you can save a little cash and go ahead an divvy out your snacks into smaller snack bags. This way when you need to be out the door, you can just grab a baggie and get on your way.
  • If you don't need it, don't take it. This one may seem a bit redundant, but I've learned what is essential and what is not. Sure, I should probably take an extra outfit for my kiddos, but they probably don't need two. It's trial and error for you to determine what your family really needs. 
  • Do what you can ahead of time. If I'm going on a trip, I like to load up the stroller and accessories the night before.
  • Get a planner. Keep track of your appointments and plans so that you're not having to rush about at the last minute.
  • Download helpful apps for your smart phone. There is a plethora of helpful tools and apps that can help you when you're on the go. This can include everything from finding gas stations to finding clean, family-friendly restrooms. Take advantage of technology.
What are your tips for making life easier on the go? 


“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Seattle’s Best Coffee blogging program for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

July 11, 2011

Ten Reasons I'd Like to Visit Virginia Beach

It's hard to believe that summer vacation is almost halfway over! When did July get here? My family just got back from visiting family in Texas last week. It was a fantastic time, but this warm weather has me wishing for a watery destination. Virginia Beach seems like a winner to me. Here are ten reasons I'd like to visit Virginia Beach:

1. My children have never seen the ocean. I'm surrounded by sand, unfortunately, it's because I live near the desert. We have the grit and the sand, but no ocean views. I'd loved for my land-locked kiddos to enjoy the beauty of the ocean.
2. I could use a romantic get-away. Everyone loves a romantic stroll on a beach. As the busy mom of two toddlers nothing sounds more appealing than sitting on a quiet beach with the husb. Ah, ocean sunsets. I think a girl could get used to that.
3. Can we build it? Yes, we can! Beaches are the perfect place to build a sandcastle. I would love to watch my family build a fantastic, sandy house. Of course, pretending to be a giant and knocking down a sandy city can be equally fun.
4. From Sand to Strawberries. You can visit Pungo and pick some yummy strawberries. This has definitely been on my to-do list. Too bad they don't have chocolate on hand. Chocolate and strawberries is one of my favorite food combinations.
5. Surrey Rentals - I did this once when I visited the Gulf of Mexico. It's fun to peddle this little Surrey around town. I think older kids would definitely get a kick out of being able to "drive" around town with the family.
6. Soaring above it all. My parents went parasailing in Hawaii a few years ago and said it was fantastic. I would love to give it a try. I'm not totally sure I can handle flying nearly 1,000 feet in the air, but it'd be worth a shot. I'm sure the views would be just beautiful.
7. Visit the Virginia Aquarium. My son loves all things fish-related. I would love to give him the opportunity to see his fishy friends up close. They also have an IMAX theater on site.
8. Expand Your Artistic Horizons - The Contemporary Art Center of Virginia offers instructional art classes for ages 2 - adult. I don't have a lot of skill in this department, but it'd be fun to admire the creative work of others!
9. Tons of Parks - The Virginia Beach area features several different parks. They'd be perfect for a picnic lunch or an afternoon of outdoor activities.
10. Food. Food. Food. I love fresh food. I'd love to sample some fresh seafood. Mmmm. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. I'd love to just stroll along the Boardwalk sampling coastal cuisine.

I can't make it out there this year, but it seems like a great place to visit.

What are some of your favorite places to visit with your family?


“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Virginia Beach Tourism blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

July 5, 2011

You're not in this alone

There is nothing more powerful than moms living in community. I have loved being a part of Social Moms. It has been a great way to promote my blog and connect with other moms and great companies. They currently have over 32,000 moms involved.

When I first started my blog a year and a half ago, I wasn't completely sure where to begin. I know that I wanted to create a site that would be relevant to other moms, but I also wanted to learn how to connect with companies to learn/share about new products. Social Moms has given me the ability to earn a little extra income through blogging opportunities. In fact, I've had more opportunities through them than through any other site.

Whether you're just getting started, or your a social media pro, Social Moms is a great resource! All you need is a blog and a twitter account and you're good to go! Click here for more information!

Social Moms Social Media Toolkit


July 4, 2011

Parent's Choice Infant Formula Sweepstakes

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

Raising a kid is expensive, especially when you begin considering the cost of a college education. The folks at Parent's Choice Infant Formula, in partnership with PBM Products, LLC, a Perrigo Company, are offering a scholarship sweepstakes in the amount of $10,000. The money will be placed in a College Savings 529 plan.

I am all for scholarship money! As the mother of two boys less than two years apart, I know it will be a challenge to pay for their college educations as they get older.

The Parent’s Choice Infant Formula Savings Sweepstakes was officially launched on June 15th and will run through 11:59 PM on August 1, 2011.

Parent's Choice is the private brand formula of Walmart and is available at Walmart locations nationwide and online at www.walmart.com For the last 13 years, Parent's Choice Infant Formula has provided families with affordable,  quality infant nutrition. It's good to know that families on a budget can still afford to provide their baby with the formula they need to get off to a great start.

For a complete list of rules, information, and an entry form, visit Parent’s Choice Infant Formula Savings Sweepstakes

Best of luck to you and your family in the sweepstakes!

Visit Sponsor's Site