Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I can't Believe I was #Noseblind All This Time!

*This post and giveaway were made possible by Double Duty Divas and Febreze. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.*

Over Valentine's weekend our family went out of town for a mini vacation. We were visiting my husband's parents and his aunt, who are visiting Florida from New Jersey where they live. We only get to see his parents a few times a year, so seeing them is always special. The fact that he has not seen his aunt in over 12 years and that the kids and I have never met her, made this visit extra special.

We only stayed for one night(two days), but we had such a wonderful time. The kids loves seeing their grandparents and fell in love with their great aunt immediately. The whole trip was just a fun getaway and, while short, full of lifelong memories.

Everything about the trip was great...until we got home. It was late, the kids had fallen asleep, we were exhausted(in the best possible way) and were glad to be home after the long drive. The trouble came when I stepped in the house. That is when I noticed the horrible smell of our cat throughout the entire home. It hit me as soon as I stepped inside.

Not only was I mad that I had to smell that after such a nice little vacation, but I was embarrassed that my house could smell that way, and even more embarrassed that I was so clueless. I thought back to every time I had a guest in my home and realized what they must have thought. I had gone noseblind and never realized it.

If you don't know what  noseblind means, or how it happens, you might be surprised how common it is(as I was.) Noseblindness is when one has become so used to the odor in your home(or wherever) that you literally no longer notice it. You think everything smells fine, even when you leave for short amounts of time and come back. You need to be away for awhile, for your nose to get used to the odorless air for awhile, before you can notice it.

The problem is, that anyone not exposed to the odor daily as you are is not used to it, and smells every foul stench when the enter your home. I was always worried that my home is too cluttered or a bit messy when I have visitors and never realized that was the least of my problems. I needed to take my house back, and I needed to do it fast.

I immediately sprayed air freshener and lit candles, but I knew it was all just masking the smell, because I use such scented products all the time, and if that worked, my house would not have this kind of smell. I had to take real action, so the next day I bought Febreze(as we had ran out awhile back and I was so noseblind I didn't realize how much we needed it.)

The reason that Febreze works so much better than candles and (ordinary) room spray is because Febreze Fabric Refresher actually captures and eliminates the odors from fabric and Febreze Air Effects actually traps and removes the odors from the air. Febreze even has Car Vent Clips, which are activated by your car's air conditioning to freshen the air in your car. Much better than a cardboard tree, huh?
I used Febreze Fabric Refresher on my couch, loveseat, carpets, and all 4 of our giant bean bags as well as our beds and even on the clothes in our closets. I did not want to miss anything that could have absorbed the odor.

I used Febreze Air Effects in every room. I love how I could smell the wonderful scent while knowing the real odors would disappear.


I put the vent clip in our car. I did not even think the car really needed it, but I was not taking any chances, besides just because something does not smell bad, doesn't mean it smells good, and now the car smells amazing.

I am so glad that Febreze could help me rid my home of the pet odor that I was noseblind to for far too long. Our cat is like a member of the family(especially to our daughter, who is practically attached to him at all times), and I could never imagine having to get rid of him, but it meant a never-ending odor in my home, that would have been a problem.

It looks like Baby(the cat) can rest easy knowing that no matter how smelly he is, Febreze will pick up the slack to make sure we can keep Baby in a loving and odor free home.

Someone else seems to be happy about that too. With those two sweet faces, how could I ever want Baby anywhere but in our home?


Thankfully, not only do Febreze products really work, but they also meet the standard to appear on the ASPCA's Pet Friendly Living List, so you can be sure your pets are safe. Safety is so important to me, not only for Baby, but for my own babies(children). I am so glad I can trust Febreze to protect them for odor and from harmful ingredients.

I wish I read realized how common noseblindness was much sooner. A global survey from Atomik Research in 2014 indicated that 49 percent of Americans say that they dread visiting homes with pets due to the smell. With help from Jane Lynch and the ASPCA, Febreze is prompting pet lovers nationwide to talk about what guests really smell. And I am definitely listening. Are you?

If you have a pet that you love in spite of them being a #Stinkface, you can show off one of their stinkiest moments(no poop pics) on Instagram with the hastags #Stinkface, #Noseblind and #Febreze(and tag @toastmeetsworld). Doing so will enter you into the Double Duty Divas giveaway for the chance to win a $400 grand prize. Full details can be found HERE

You can also enter the Rafflecopter form below for the chance to win $25 worth of Febreze product, A universal smart phone camera lens kit ($90 value), and a $100 gift card to PetCo. And be sure to follow the Febreze #Noseblind page on Facebook and the Febreze page on Facebook and Twitter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Homemade Without The Hassle

*This post was sponsored by Bear Creek Soups. All opinions are my own.*

I try my best to be supermom, I really do. I always have plans that I am going to make this and do that and cook this, and I am always foolish enough to think nothing will come up to get in the way. Then life happens. The kids destroy something that takes hours to clean or fix. I forget to buy or run out of a vital ingredient(while my husband is at work and I have no way to the store), I just lose track of time, and it get's too late to cook a real meal.

Whatever the reason, I end up feeling awful and end up cooking a frozen dinner or ordering pizza, which is fine sometimes, but I just want to be the mom that makes hearty, homemade dinners for her family. I just wish sometimes, there was a way to do that without spending hours peeling, slicing, chopping, cooking, etc.

That is why I was so happy to discover Bear Creek. Bear Creek began in simple country kitchen using homemade recipes and the finest ingredients to create soups and dishes that people adored. Word spread and people wanted to buy the dry mixes, so Bear Creek Country Kitchens was formed. Today, that same passion is used to bring these amazing home-style recipes to kitchens all over America, via your local store or delivered to your home with online ordering
 
I recently had the opportunity to try several Bear Creek products, and they more than exceeded my expectations for such a convenient product. I tried three products, and they were all delicious. I had Cheddar Broccoli Rice Mix, New White Cheddar Soup Mix and New Chicken With Pasta Soup Mix.

I know what you are probably thinking, I just went on about wanting to make homemade dinners for my family and here I am talking about dry mixes. Well I am, but these Bear Creek products are homemade, just not my home. The real, premium, ingredients, home-style recipes, and superior care that go into every Bear Creek product ensures that these products are home-made, only better.

Bear Creek dry mixes are so easy to prepare. All you have to do is add water and cook. They cook in under 20 minutes, and are rich, hearty and satisfying as a side dish, as a base for a recipe, or all on their own. Now, no matter how short on time I am, I can have an amazing meal for my family, right from the pantry. Since all I need is water, I will never have to worry about a missing ingredient.

Better yet, if I do want something that is more homemade, I can add my own ingredients to create a new recipe. Which is what I did for all of these delicious mixes.

For the Chicken With Pasta soup. This soup is so creamy and has spiral noodles and veggies. It has a really rich flavor that I love. I added rotisserie chicken. It made the soup much more filling, so it could be a hearty meal. I served it with yeast rolls, and it was delicious. My husband had 3 bowls full and asked for more, but between myself and the kids, there was none left. It was a huge hit and I will definitely make it again.

With the Cheddar Broccoli Rice, I made a casserole. I added cooked turkey breast, fresh broccoli, cauliflower and cheddar cheese, it was incredible. It is one of my new favorite meals. I love rice, and usually only serve it as a side dish, but making it the main course like this was great, such a good meal and it tasted like I made it all from scratch. 

With the White Cheddar Soup, I went for a loaded potato kind of thing. The soup already contains potatoes, but I added some rustic diced red potatoes and some cooked bacon. I topped it with shredded white cheddar and sour cream, it was so creamy, rich and indulgent. My husband said it was the best potato soup he has ever had, so I was very pleased.

I love being able to make real, delicious food for my family, even when I am short on time and ingredients, and even inspiration for that matter. I am so glad that I found Bear Creek products. Bear Creek does all the work and you get all the credit, what could be better than that?

If you are looking for great homemade meals and side dishes without all the work, you must give Bear Creek a try. If my picky family loves it, it really is amazing. You won't be sorry, not unless you dislike having more "free" time and being less stressed. Let Bear Creek make your like easier(and more delicious.)

Follow Bear Creek on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on all the delicious happenings.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

BODYARMOR Premium Sports Drink Review

As a mother, I obviously want the very best for my family. I am always looking for ways to improve our daily lives and make us happier and healthier. In so doing, I look for products that will help us fuel, perform and recover.

I say "us" because while my number one priority will always be my family(and not myself), I need to be at my very best to be able to properly care for my two very active young children. Not to mention the grown "child" I have the pleasure of being married to.

I cannot be lagging behind because my body is lacking vital components like vitamins and electrolytes. My kids cannot be stuck in the house all day because it is way too hot in Florida to go outside and be active without proper hydration, and my husband cannot be in danger at work because he is outside, on his feet and driving(while standing up) at work for sometimes 14 hours a day in the heat.

We all need a way to get the things our bodies need to not just thrive, but to even survive the demands of our daily lives. With kids, nothing can ever be easy, especially nutrition, so there has been some real struggles in that department. And as I mentioned, sometimes my husband can be a big kid, especially when it comes to trying new things.

I was worried I would never find a way to make proper hydration a daily occurrence, or at least not a easily attainable one. Thankfully, that was before I discovered BODYARMOR Premium Sports Drink.
Upon learning that BODYARMOR Premium Sports Drink is made with coconut water and natural ingredients, I had very high hopes for its performance. I was a bit worried that my family might not like the taste though, which is especially a problem when it comes to my son, whose autism makes him very selective, to the point he will make himself sick to avoid certain tastes/textures.

To my delight, he actually posed no hesitation in trying it. I assume the attractive, colorful packaging had something to do with that. Even more amazing, he LOVES it. My son devoured the first bottle in just minutes, and he immediately asked for more. I am so thrilled that he not only will drink, but actually craves something that is actually better for him.

BODYARMOR Premium Sports Drink contains nothing artificial, which is so refreshing to me. My son's old favorites are so completely artificial that I felt guilty every time I let him drink them, even though he would just not drink otherwise.

My daughter, being 3, idolizes her big brother, so what he eats/drinks, so does she, so when he drinks artificial junk, she does as well(although she drank other things too). Now I am thrilled that they both love BODYARMOR Premium Sports Drink, and she asks for it(independently) just as much as he does.

As for my other picky "child", he was the most reluctant to try BODYARMOR, but once he did, he fell in love with it too. He used to get terrible leg cramps from a lack of potassium and electrolytes. He would also feel faint at times and nearly pass out from dehydration at work, a very dangerous thing for him and for others(since he drives a huge truck).

He now drinks BODYARMOR at work every day and has told me how much his endurance has improved and told me he very rarely gets cramps anymore. He also loves the taste and said he will never got back to just the plain water he used to drink.

While I was barely able to try the BODYARMOR Premium Sports Drink before the rest of my family finished it all, I was able to try some, and it tastes fantastic. I too tend to get dehydrated very easily, and I have actually passed out from it more than once, which cannot happen when I can trying to care for my children, so I am so glad we discovered BODYARMOR Premium Sports Drink, and that now my whole family can stay hydrated and healthy using the same delicious product.

BODYARMOR Premium Sports Drink comes in a variety of flavors, all of which taste wonderful.
We tried Fruit Punch as well, but the children finished that one before I even had a chance to take a picture. Mixed Berry and Orange Mango are my favorites, but they all taste amazing. I am so glad that BODYARMOR Premium Sports Drink not only met, but far exceeded my expectations.

Best of all, I can get the benefits of BODYARMOR Premium Sports Drink for less money with this amazing coupon. Save $1 on 2 bottles of BODYARMOR Premium Sports Drink. BODYARMOR can be purchased at Publix and Target stores. I am so glad that BODYARMOR is available at the stores I already shop at.

Great benefits, great savings. What are you waiting for? Try BODYARMOR Premium Sports Drink today.

*Although this is a compensated post for an item I received at no cost to facilitate a review, all opinions are 100% my own.*

Thursday, January 8, 2015

BayB Brand Bean Bag Chairs - Save $20

I have always loved bean bags. I have 4 VERY large beanbags in my home, and my kids love them, but they are a bit too large(way too large actually) for the littler kids, and I am always too worried someone will wall or not be supported properly. Thankfully I found BayB Brand Bean Bags. What a great product.

BayB Brand Bean Bags is the concept of two friends, two dads looking to make a better life for their families by bringing high quality products to yours! They come from different backgrounds, different parts of the couBayB Brand Bean Bags is the concept of two friends, two dads looking to make a better life for their families by bringing high quality products to yours! They come from different backgrounds, different parts of the country, brought together through a common goal to start their own business and be independent of the daily 9-5 grind.

http://www.usfamilyguide.com/blogpromos/478/baybbrand_pinkpink.jpg

All products are sourced, tested and hand assembled and filled in our facilities in Minneapolis, MN and Portland, OR. BayB ships direct to our customers using USPS or FedEx to guarantee a timely delivery. All orders ship out within 24 hours.

I will have the pleasure of reviwing one of BayB Brand's wonderful bean bags in the near future. I cannot wait to try it out and let you know just how fabulous it actually is. Be sure to stay tuned for that review.

Better yet, check out BayB right now. My readers Save $20 now on BayB Brand Bean Bag Chairs on Amazon!

*Although I will receive a BayB Bean Bag in return for this post, all opinions are 100% my own.*

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year, New Me Thanks to WWE Fit Series Stephanie McMahon

In 2013, I dedicated nearly the entire year to loosing weight. I was fairly successful and lost over 40lbs. I did that almost exclusively through diet. I have never really had luck finding or sticking to a fitness plan.

I am very busy as a mother of 2 young children(one with special needs). Additionally, I am in terrible shape. Not just aesthetically, but physically. I have basically no conditioning. I get out of breath easily(underlying respiratory issues in addition to being out of shape). All in all, I had a lot of obstacles and even more excuses.

In 2014, my eating habits were not where they should have been and, therefore, I gained all the weight back. I am determined to make 2015 the year that I make a permanent change. I have already corrected my diet to where it needs to be, and I know I will begin to lose weight from that. I am not stopping there this time though.

I just began a fitness plan, and this time, I am going to stick to it no matter what. I am really confidant this time though, unlike in the past. This time is truly different. Why? Because I now I have discovered the perfect fitness DVD. With the WWE Fit Series Stephanie McMahon DVD, I know I have the tools to succeed.


Before I even started the plan, I knew that this DVD would be perfect for me. I knew that there was no way I could make an excuse about being "too busy" for these workouts. Stephanie McMahon is probably one of the busiest moms on the planet and she makes time to work out(and look fabulous all the time). If she can make the time, anyone can.

I have looked up to Stephanie since she was just starting out, and now that she is a mom and a principle owner of a global company in WWE and still has time to give back and do so much, I just look up to her even more. I would love to be like her in any way, even if it is only by (in time) mastering her workouts.


Once I tried the workouts, I loved the plan even more. The workouts are very efficient. They give you great results in area-specific workouts that are only 7-17 minutes each. Even I could never excuse not taking 20 minutes to get a workout in.

In addition to the DVD workouts, there is also a 4 week workout calender. It makes it so easy to not only know what the workouts are and how to do them, but also to know when to do them for maximum results. As I mentioned, I am a novice in the workout department, so I need as much help as I can get.


I was worried that the workouts would be too intense for me starting out, and I'll admit, they did wear me out a bit, but I was able to complete them, and the exhaustion actually made me feel great, knowing that I accomplished a great workout, that in the past I would have avoided.

I have been using the program for about a week, and I love it so far. I feel batter and am already seeing results. I am getting more motivated every day, and I know that I cannot quit, because if Stephanie McMahon can be a supermom, I can at least be a mom who does a short workout.

I am so excited to see how well this DVD continues to work for me. I know that 2015 will be my rebirth. I will get into shape and I will stick with it, not only this year, but from now on. I will do it, I have to, and I now know that I can.

If you are looking for a great workout plan, created for moms(and all ladies) by a mom(and elite athlete), then WWE Fit Series Stephanie McMahon is perfect for you. If you are a WWE fan, this DVD will be even more perfect for you, because learning form someone you admire is always a fantastic motivator.

*Although I am a #WWEMom and I received this DVD at no cost to facilitate a review, all opinions are 100% my own.*

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Exciting Educational Apps from Kids Academy

With my daughter being tested for learning delays and being recommended to start preschool early, I have been looking for the best educational apps that will be beneficial, fun, and most importantly, free. These three from Kids Academy are awesome.

prekkindergarten

The songs are so much fun. My daughter loves this app, and I actually love watching her sing along to the learning songs. She is so proud that she knows the words. It's good for her education and her self esteem. The books are great too. My daughter loves books, but is only 3 and cannot really read herself. She likes me reading to her, but really enjoys being able to have the app read to her.

Get Preschool & Kindergarten Books, Songs & Early Reading Games App on iTunes

montessori

My little girl loves tracing the letters and numbers with this app. She gets so excited when she is able to do it herself. She is still learning, so this app is perfect for challenging her with attainable goals. There are fun math puzzles as well, which are just a bit more advanced, and I love that she can grow with this app. I love having something that s fun for her, but that is also helping her get a head start on the knowledge she will need for preschool.

Get Alphabet Tracing & Montessori App on iTunes

kids academy
  
This is my daughter's favorite app. She just loves catching fireflies ans she learns to trace numbers. She loves to count them as she goes, and is always so proud when she masters a new skill. I love how perfect this app fits her needs. While she is very good at verbal counting, she is unable to write numbers. This app offers the fine motor skills that will serve as the foundation for her to master writing. The best part is she is building self-esteem while she learns and has fun.

Get Preschool and Kindergarten Games App on iTunes

Android users can also find Kids Academy Apps on Google Play!

Also be sure to visit Kids Academy on social media!

Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

This post was created in partnership with Mom Buzz Media and Kids Academy. All opinions expressed are my own.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Get the Hottest Cameras and Camcoders This Holiday at Best Buy

'Tis the season to capture family memories. To do that, a great camera is vital. Thankfully, Best Buy has you covered with that. Best Buy is the ultimate destination for latest cameras and camcorders to capture your high-stakes memories.

Whether you are specifically looking for a Nikon, Sony or Samsung or even if you don't know what camera is right for you, Best Buy has the perfect camera for you. Because their associate are so knowledgeable and willing to help, they can ensure you get a camera that exceeds all your expectations.

The Nikon D5300 DSLR w/18-55mm VR Lens is a DSLR with built-in Wi-Fi so not only can you capture sharp photos and video footage with optical image stabilization that helps prevent blurring to ensure image clarity, you can share them instantly like you can with your (lower quality) cell phone camera. Never loose quality to gain convenience again.


The Sony α6000 Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera is a compact system camera with the World’s Fastest Autofocus. I used to own a Sony DSLR and It was my favorite camera ever. I could take amazing photos with the easy of a point and shoot because of the incredible autofocus. The only minor drawback was it's cumbersome size. The a6000 is so much more compact, with even more features than my old Sony.

The a6000 boasts 24.3 megapixels for outstanding image quality. The Exmor APS-C CMOS sensor that makes it easy to shoot scenes in stunning clarity. With the built-in Wi-Fi allows you to share your stunning pictures and videos across all your devices.



The Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 is a 16.3 megapixel digital camera that comes with 1/2.3" BSI CMOS sensor, which allows you to capture sharp photographs and HD video footage. The 4.8" touch screen makes operation incredibly simple and makes sharing content via the Wi-Fi capabilities a breeze. It also makes it possible to use Android apps right from the camera.


You can check out all the incredible gifts that Best Buy has to offer in the Best Buy Holiday Gift Center. With Best Buy's superior service, guaranteed low prices and huge selection of this season's hottest products, you are sure to find the perfect gift at the best price and without all the stress that normally comes with holiday shopping.


After Best Buy helps you find the perfect gift, I want to wish you and your loved ones a very happy holiday and a fantastic New Year. I hope all your holiday wishes come true, and I don't just material gifts.

*The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.*