Category Archives: Sponsored

Custom Birthday Invitations Made Easy with Basic Invite

My older son’s birthday is right around the corner, which means it’s time for me to start looking at party invitations! I love to make them myself, but it’s not always easy coming up with the right graphics, font, and design for the theme I’ve chosen.

This year, I will be checking out the party invitation maker Basic Invite!

With Basic Invite, it couldn’t be easier to make the perfect party invitation for birthdays or any event.  No matter what event you need an invitation for, there are hundreds of choices!

Here are a few of my favorites.

 

I think my big boy, a guitar player, would love this one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hands down, the best thing about making birthday party invitations with Basic Invite is the fact that almost all of the work is done for you, but you still have complete control over the final product.  Let’s say you find a style you like, but you don’t like the colors of the graphic.  You can change it! With just a couple of clicks you can choose from over 180 color variations for any part of the design.  I also love that the wording of the invitation is already done to match with the theme you’ve chosen–no more having to come up with witty, rhyming quotes to make your invite cute 🙂

If you’re still not 100 percent sure you’re happy with the invitation you’ve created, Basic Invite will send you a printed sample of the finished product before you place an order.  They want you completely satisfied before you get ready to send those invites out!

Basic Invite is the best place to choose and design everything from birth announcements, to save the date cards for your upcoming wedding, to totally unique quinceanera invitations.  Don’t forget that the Holidays are coming up on us fast–and yep, they’ve got designs for that too! Get a head start on your personalized cards with Basic Invite.

Advertisements

Campus Book Rentals–Making Students and Kids Smile

When I was in college, everybody would line up at one of our two tiny bookstores on campus and practically kill each other in a mad rush to get to the limited number of used books we needed for our classes.  Even when we did find them, buying used textbooks instead of brand new ones only saved on average about $15 per book.  If you haven’t had the need to buy a college textbook, you will probably be shocked to learn that the majority of them can cost upwards of $100.  When you have 5 or 6 courses you need books for, it’s not unusual to spend $800 or more on one semester’s books.

Needless to say, I totally wish I would have known about renting textbooks while I was in college!  You pay a MUCH lower fee, and then you don’t have to worry about selling back your books at the end of the semester.  Oh yeah, did I mention most of the time when you try to sell your book back to the store, they won’t take it because a new edition will be coming out for the next year?!  ARGGGGGGHHHHHH.

So, today I’d like to share with you the awesome Campus Book Rentals.  What are the benefits for you?  Check it out:

-save 40-90% off of bookstore prices

-free shipping both ways

-you can highlight in the textbooks

-flexible renting periods

divider

Let me give you an example of how much you can save by renting a book instead of buying it!

Taking Psych 101?  The book you need will probably be something like this:

http://www.campusbookrentals.com/textbook/psychology/myers-david-g/worth-publishers-incorporated/9781429261784

As you can see, the cost to rent that book for one semester is only $32.26!! Or, you can buy it on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/1429261781/ref=sr_1_2_olp?ie=UTF8&qid=1386818352&sr=8-2&keywords=psychology+david+myers&condition=new

For upwards of $150.  I wasn’t a math major (I was Criminal Justice, with a double minor in English and Spanish, if you were wondering.  I know you were.), but I’m pretty sure that’s a huge percentage difference.  Yeah…I think that’s a no-brainer.

Need more info?  Here’s a video telling you more!

Campus Book Rentals has also started a new program called RentBack, where you can make money by lending your fellow students your own textbooks!  This is awesome because using RentBack can make you 2-4 times more money than you would get by just selling your books back to the bookstore at the end of the semester.

Check it out:


But, I still haven’t gotten to the best thing about using Campus Book Rentals.  For every book rental, Campus Book Rentals will make a donation to Operation Smile!  Operation Smile is an awesome organization that performs life changing cleft lip surgeries on children whose families could not otherwise afford it.

So, saving money on books you need and helping change children’s lives in the process?  It’s a win-win situation!  Check out Campus Book Rentals for all your textbook needs.

*DISCLAIMER:  I was compensated for this post by Campus Book Rentals, but I fully stand behind the company and would not endorse any service I wouldn’t use myself.  My thoughts and the text are my own.

Old Guys Rule

 

Don’t you just love it when an old guy or an old gal comes back at something and teaches the youngsters a thing or two? This often happens in sports and, obviously, happens much more in some sports than others, but it’s always fun to see.

One of the sports where this hardly ever happens is in tennis. There have been a few great names of the past who have done amazing things at relatively advanced years. Illinois’ own Jimmy Connors was something of an evergreen player – with a career spanning two decades. In fact, Jimbo carried on competing really well against far younger players, staging one of the most remarkable come-backs in any sport ever when reaching the semi-finals of the US Open in 1991 at the ripe old age of 39.
Things like this just don’t happen in tennis! It’s a young guy’s game.

But the same might be happening right now. Roger Federer is surely the greatest male player in the history of the game and in the modern era when it’s all about power, few guys go on much beyond 30. So at 32, Roger is no spring chicken any more. But this is a man with record-breaking 17 Grand Slam wins under his belt.

And although Roger has been sliding down the rankings over the last 12 months in particular, he clearly isn’t done yet. He’s reportedly been working very hard on his fitness and the next year will be fascinating. At the time of writing, he’s reached the Australian Open quarter-finals where he’ll play Wimbledon winner Andy Murray.

He’s a 12-1 shot with Betfair, the world’s biggest betting exchange, to win the whole tournament. This probably accurately reflects his chances of winning. And a small bet on Federer to win in Melbourne might be a good fun punt.

With Betfair, you can also lay bets back, so if he beats Murray, you could lock in a profit whatever happens next. But it’s not just about this game so much as the rest of the season. To see him get back to anything like his imperious best would be wonderful, and if Jimbo could get close at 39 – the best ever can get a lot closer at 32-33. Watch this space!

REVIEW: November 2013 Citrus Lane Kids Subscription Box

I’m definitely in love with subscription boxes, so I was really thrilled to find out that there are fun sub box options for kids!  I got the opportunity to receive a box from Citrus Lane for my 5 year old.

Citrus Lane sends a box filled with snacks, toys, and crafts for children from newborn up to five years of age.  When you start your subscription, you put in your child’s age, and each month they send a box picked especially for your child’s age and ability level.  I like that the boxes are chosen by age in MONTHS, because every mom knows that a few months can make a big difference in the things a young child can do.

divider

My son was really excited to get a package in the mail!  The box was nicely decorated and when I opened it, we were greeted by a bright yellow tissue paper.  It was kind of like opening a gift!

100_0278

In this box, we received five products.

100_0280

Good Boy Organics OrganicaSaurus Cheddar Cheese Corn Snacks

Retail Value: Not Sure

These are organic, gluten free, non-GMO low fat snacks shaped like dinosaurs!  They are really cute, and a good size.

100_0285

They have a light texture and big crunch.  N wasn’t too crazy about them, though, but he is an exceptionally picky kid.

100_0281

Bumkins Bags Reusable Lunch Bag

Retail Value: $12.95

This is super adorable with the little alligator print!  It’s also quite roomy.  I wish my son was able to pack his own lunch for school so we could use this every day.  But it’s great for all day road trips, which is what I’m sure will be its’ primary use.

100_0282

Green Toys Build-a-Burger

Retail value: $8.50

This is a really cute toy that lets kids’ creativity shine through.  N loved taking mine and his dad’s orders and then building the burgers with what we wanted on them.

100_0283

100_0284

The parts of the burger are made from 100% recycled milk cartons, so I thought that was pretty awesome.

Faber-Castell Jumbo Beeswax Crayons and Doodling Pad

Combined Retail Value: $7.50

IMAG1040

The box of crayons comes with 12 colors.  We had never used beeswax crayons before, so this was a new experience for us.  N liked using the crayons, but we will probably be passing them on to a younger cousin because he already can use normal sized crayons pretty well.  We will for sure be using the notepad, though!  N would much rather free color and draw than stay within the lines of a color book.

divider

Altogether, the products were valued at approximately $28.95.  The box costs $25 monthly, so the value of the products was a bit more than the cost of the box!

Check out Citrus Lane for a special offer to get your own subscription!

*DISCLAIMER: I received a box for reviewing purposes.  This does not affect my review in any way, and my thoughts, words, and photos are my own.

SAHMS: Take time some time off online

Image by Jinx!

For most moms, the idea of staying home with the kids is an idyll, and for those moms who are able to stay at home, they know that they are blessed – most of the time! Some days, though, you can feel impatient and irritable and yearn for a little escape from the daily routine that forms around little ones. You don’t always want to be ‘mom’ all the time.

It’s reasonable enough to feel like this – you’d have to be some kind of superhuman not to. But when you’ve had a few minutes to relax by yourself and unwind, ask yourself, would you really trade places with the many women who have to drop their child at the crèche on the way to work and don’t get to see them again until the evening? Not likely!

The key to being a good stay at home mom is to allow yourself some time for you during the day. People who go out to work in an office get that – even if it’s just a short lunch break, or during the time that they’re commuting to and from the office. It allows them to clear their heads and then when they go back to their desks, they’re refreshed and ready to go again. Just because you have the luxury of being at home doesn’t mean you should be denied a little ‘me’ time now and then. And the break benefits are just as important for a SAHM as they are for people in an office environment.

Of course, the breaks a SAHM can take are fleeting. You have to work around your child’s routine, and time your rests with theirs. When they’re napping or watching their favourite TV show, this is a great time for you to put your feet up too. So what can you do in such brief periods? The internet is a great source of diversions, of course, for any time of day. You can catch up on the news headlines, see what’s going on on Facebook or Twitter, or check your emails. You can also do some gaming – which can be a great way to clear your head. If you don’t know what to play, take a look at online bingo – one of the most popular online games around.

Online bingo is entertaining and with games only costing a few pennies at a time, it’s great value entertainment. There’s nothing you need to learn to play bingo, it’s an easy game that doesn’t really need a player to do more than buy a ticket. And you don’t even have to do that. Free games and attractive promotions are on offer from many big names in the industry. For example, once you’ve made a deposit you can play Costa Bingo’s free bingo games every half hour without paying for the privilege. And with jackpots of up to £50 that’s a free game you don’t want to miss out on.

It doesn’t really matter how you choose to spend your little time out breaks; the important thing is to make sure you have them – at least once or twice during the course of the day. That way, you can carry on being a great mom for the other 23 hours in the day!

REVIEW: La Fresh Travel Wipes

I am the mom of a 5 year old, so that means I am on the go a ton.  I always carry multipurpose wipes in my purse and my car, because you just never know what my boy will get into. So, I was very enthused about trying a selection of travel wipes from La Fresh!

La Fresh offers a wide variety of different beauty, travel, and pet wipes for almost anything you could think of!

Here is a bit more about the company:

WHAT WE DO

La Fresh makes a difference in people’s lives through its performance, convenience and conscientiousness.

Our products are designed with exceptional ingredients and packaged to deliver chic style with less substance making the world better, brighter and more beautiful for all of us.

WHAT WE PROMISE

  • To offer every human [and friend of human] the freshest experience possible
  • To make great products with great design at a great value
  • To fulfill the need for modern-day convenience
  • To treat every resource like a precious commodity
  • To deliver better products with better design at a better value for a better world

 

 I was lucky enough to get to try a little of everything.

 

100_0331

 

Some of the types pictured: Nail Polish Remover, Antiperspirant for Men & Women, Lens Cleaning, Shoe Shine, and Insect Repellent wipes.

divider

 

Though the wipes are neatly folded into small, easily portable packages, they are still a very nice size.  One wipe covered my hand and then some.

100_0332

 

Let me tell you about my fave La Fresh wipes!

–Lens & Screen Cleaning Wipes

 

I wear glasses on occasion, and I am also always glued to my Nexus tablet or computer screen, so these were the first wipes I used.  They are some of the best screen cleaning wipes I’ve ever used.  The wipes clean in one wipe and leave no streaks or lint.  I used one wipe to clean my glasses, then also used it on my Nexus!

 

–Nail Polish Remover Pads

 

No one likes taking their nail polish off, but this wipes is a great alternative to the traditional bottle of remover and cotton ball method.  There is no danger of spilling, and though these wipes do contain acetone, the smell seemed less severe to me than that of bottled polish remover.  Plus, isn’t it great to have these in your purse for polish emergencies?

 

–Antibacterial Wipes

 

As I mentioned, I have a boy and that means being ready to clean him up at a moment’s notice.  I love antibacterial wipes because I know he is getting clean even when we don’t have access to soap and water.  He loves fishing and baseball, and I know we will be using a lot of antibacterial wipes come this spring!

divider 

Visit La Fresh to see all varieties of wipes offered, and to learn more about the company’s eco-conscious methods!

You can also see more on their Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages.

 

 

**DISCLAIMER: I was offered free products in exchange for this review.  Nevertheless, this does not affect my opinion, and the thoughts, words, and pictures in this post are my own.

REVIEW: Ozeri Digital Bath Scale

Happy New Year’s Eve!

I know with 2014 staring tomorrow, many folks’ resolutions will be to lose weight.  The Ozeri Digital Bath Scale is a great product to help you keep track of your progress!

Before I tell you my thoughts, here is some more info about the Ozeri scale:

  • Synchronized electro-mechanical Dial and LCD automatically illuminate and instantly point to your weight in lbs and kg, for easy-to read results in all light conditions and from any angle.
  • Visually stunning design incorporates a huge 5.5 inch dial and integrated digital display with stylish chrome accents to create a distinctive retro look with the accuracy of modern technology.
  • Uses 4 high precision GX sensors that weigh up to 400 lbs (180 kg) in 0.2 lbs or 0.1 kg increments, with StepOn technology that captures precise weight measurements upon contact.
  • Professional quality scale features and an oversized platform made of impact-resistant tempered glass for ideal stability, and a new built-in alarm that reminds you to measure your weight at the same time each day.
  • Auto-calibrated and automatically turns off to conserve battery life. Runs on 3 AAA batteries with a Low Battery Indicator (batteries included). Satisfaction guaranteed.

divider

 

100_0272

 

The scale was a cinch to take out of the packaging and set up.  Within a couple of minutes, it was ready to use.

Some of the things I appreciated the most about this scale:

1.  The size.  I liked that it had a rather large platform to step on.  My husband’s feet are a size 12 and his toes are often hanging off the edges of scales.  The Ozeri scale is bigger and allows you to get your entire body weight on it.

2.  The ease of storage.  While the Ozeri scale is wide, it’s very thin compared to traditional scales, and I found it easy to just slip under a cabinet on my bathroom.

3.  The large, LCD backlit number screen.  You don’t have to struggle to see which number the needle is on.  The digits are displayed brightly and are over 1 inch tall, so you can see them clearly.

100_0274

(This is my son’s weight…not mine!)

4.  Speed of weighing.  With the Ozeri Digital Scale, there is no need to tap a foot on the platform then wait for the scale to calibrate.  After the initial setup, you can then step right on the scale, even when it’s off, and get your weight within seconds.

The only slightly negative thought I had about the scale was that it is glass!  To me, it was a bit heavy.  Also, you must be very careful no to step on the scale while you are even slightly wet from the shower.

I love my Ozeri Digital Bath Scale and I know you will too if you give it a try!

**DISCLAIMER: I received a free product to test in exchange for this review.  This fact does not affect my opinion in any way, and my thoughts are text are my own.

Prepare for All Your Formal Occasions with DressFirst.com!

As a woman in her late twenties, I have been a part of every formal event one could imagine.  Prom, bridesmaid, getting married–I’ve been there.  Worrying about a dress for each of these events was pretty much one of the top problems.  I wish I would have known about a site to make choosing your formal gown easy…because now there is dressfirst.com!

Not only does Dress First offer thousands of dresses for any formal event or holiday you could think of–wedding, prom, quincenera, Christmas–but they also have any accessory you may need to complete your look.  From veils, to gloves to handbags and shoes, Dress First is your one stop shop for dressing up!

divider

I am the type of girl who made picking out her wedding dress an EVENT.  I knew the look I wanted head to toe, and I wouldn’t stop until I got what I wanted.

In fact, I kind of wish I could have another wedding (to the same man!) so I could pick everything all over again!  I loved being a princess in white for the day.

If i had to do it all over again, I’d pick this stuff…which you can of course find on Dress First:

This gorgeous ball gown with a moderate train is only $289.  I’m not sure how many of my readers know this, but that is an absolute STEAL for a wedding gown.

The veil for my own wedding was very much like this…I loved the visual effect of my veil trailing behind me (this is called a Cathedral veil), but I also wanted to have the romantic and classic idea of my husband lifting up my veil to kiss me when it was time.  I myself had to buy two separate veils to get this effect, but this veil combines both into one piece for only $46.99.

And for the finishing touch, I think these shoes are perfect!  They are dainty and feminine with the little ballerina bow detail.  I needed to wear flats because my hubs and I are about the same height, and I didn’t want to look taller than him in pictures!  These are adorable and only $67.99.

divider

I was so happy to introduce you to all the options DressFirst.com has for you! Check out the site to pick your perfect gown. Until December 29, you can even get free shipping on any dress 🙂

**DISCLAIMER: I was compensated for this post by Leqee, Inc.  But that in no way affects my thoughts.  I would never endorse a product or site I wouldn’t use myself.

REVIEW: Natural Home Rugs Anti Fatigue Comfort Mat

When you are in the kitchen, you are usually on your feet, right?  Cooking, doing dishes, prepping food, etc.  And kitchen floors are not the most forgiving of surfaces.

So needless to say I was really excited to receive this Anti Fatigue Comfort Mat from Natural Home Rugs!

100_0310

Here’s a bit more about the product:

  • Made from durable 100% PVC vinyl surface and polyurethane foam backing
  • Dimension: 20″ x 36″ Thickness: 5/8″ – Basketweave design
  • Reduces back discomfort and helps feet and joints
  • Looks great anywhere
  • Very safe with non-slip undersides
  • Durable and stain resistant
  • Skillfully protects your floor surfaces
  • Easy to clean with water and mild detergent

I put mine in front of my stove, and move it a few feet over to in front of my sink when I need to.  I have foot pain from plantar fasciitis,  so I truly love having this soft support under my feet when I need to stand for long periods.

100_0311

The mat features a basket weave texture, and mine came in a toffee color that goes well with my kitchen table.  Any drips are spills are wiped off easily.

I also love that the mat does not skid and slip around my my linoleum floor–this is a big plus for a home with a 5 year old boy and a new puppy!

100_0315

In this photo you can see just how the foam responds to your body weight!  As soon as you step on this mat, your feet will go, “Aaaah.”

I’m so glad I got to try this Anti Fatigue Comfort Mat from Natural Home Rugs.  Visit this link to get your own, and check out the hundreds of other beautiful rugs on the site!

**DISCLAIMER: I received compensation for this post in the form of a free product.  Nevertheless I would never recommend a product I do not believe in.  All thoughts and words are my own.

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Crunchmaster Crisps & Crackers

I am excited to share with you my thoughts on a healthy, gluten free way to enjoy your crackers!  Crunchmaster offers nutritious whole grain and multi-seed snacks the whole family will love.  Let me tell you about their products.

The Crunchmaster baking facility is certified by the Gluten Free Certification Organization. This signifies that they meet the strictest standards for gluten free products.

The select high quality ingredients for our Crunchmaster crackers and bake them just right for an incredible, satisfying crunch.

Best of all, they’re a nutritious choice – 100% whole grain, cholesterol free, low in sodium, low in saturated fat and with 0 grams of trans fat.

divider

I received a selection of Crunchmaster products to try!  Here are my faves.

100_0210

Multi-Grain Crackers in White Cheddar Flavor

I loved that these crackers were extra crunchy and had just as much cheesy flavor as more fattening snacks!  To me, these are good enough to eat on their own, but I bet they would also be great topped with a grainy mustard and thin sliced ham.

100_0212

Rice Crackers in Artisan Four Cheese Flavor

These are light and perfectly crispy, and I had a hard time making myself stop popping them once I started 🙂  I liked these alone, and also topped with a bit of bean dip.  They would also be perfect to dip in hummus.

100_0207

Cheesy Crisps and Grammy Crisps

My five year old loved munching on these, and I was only too happy to serve him these cheddar crackers in place of the Cheez-Its he usually wants.  I was more partial to the sweet Grammy Crisps, myself.  These are the perfect size for tiny hands, and kids will love taking them on the road–I can see these as part of healthy homemade trail mix!

I’m happy to say these yummy snacks from Crunchmaster are going to be a part of our pantry from now on!

sshgiveaway

Want a chance to try Crunchmaster’s delectable, wholesome treats for yourself?  You can enter to win a 6 pack of snacks!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

*DISCLAIMER:  I was compensated for this post in the form of free products, but I fully stand behind the company and would not endorse any product I wouldn’t use myself.  My thoughts and the text are my own.