Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thomas & Friends®: Spills & Thrills {DVD Giveaway Ends 3/11}

Thomas & Friends®: Spills & Thrills is arriving on March 4th with six never-before-seen adventures for your Thomas & Friends fans! This new program will be available on DVD, Digital HD and Video On Demand from HIT Entertainment and Lionsgate.

Buddy has probably seen every Thomas episode that exists so I should note his uncontainable excitement when I let him know this DVD was coming! He is practically an expert on all things Thomas, so the anticipation of seeing SIX new episodes was like winning the lottery, 5 year-old style! Of course viewing the DVD was no disappointment, and he's already working on reinventing his favorite scenes with his own trains and tracks. With Easter around the corner, I highly suggest giving this non-candy gift to your Thomas fan!

I received a Thomas & Friends®: Spills & Thrills DVD for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.



All aboard for Spills & Thrills with Thomas and his friends! The Island of Sodor is always bustling with activity, yet when the engines try to be "Really Useful" they often find themselves in some messy muddles!  James tries to prove he's not afraid of the dark, or too vain to haul smelly fish, but when he pulls the night time Kipper Express he gets more than he bargained for! Stephen's need for speed, and Salty's need to impress, sends them both into some sticky, slippery situations. Hiro shows Diesel that nice engines do finish first and Sir Topham Hatt shows you can't cry over spilled milk...twice! It’s full steam ahead for Spills & Thrills on Sodor!

· “Away From the Sea”
· “The Smelly Kipper”
· “No More Mr. Nice Engine”
· “Gone Fishing”
· “Thomas’ Shortcut”
· “The Afternoon Tea Express”

DVD Bonus Features
· Biff Bash Bosh Game
· Go Go Thomas Karaoke Music Video
· Guess Who? Puzzles

Thomas & Friends®: Spills & Thrills will be available on DVD with an SRP of $14.98.
Win It!
One winner will receive a Thomas & Friends®: Spills & Thrills DVD courtesy of Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Optimize Your Workout With a Heart Rate Monitor

Disclosure: This guest post is brought to you by

How Heart Rate Monitors Help Optimize Your Workouts

If you feel like your workouts are lacking in intensity, you can probably benefit from using a heart rate monitor. Monitors are a great tool that help you find your perfect exercise sweet spot. Use your monitor to track your heart rate; when you know your heart rate, you can make sure that your exercise routine is giving you a good workout without getting into dangerous intensity levels.
Heart rate monitors are useful and fun; they help people track their workouts while they learn to listen to their body.

Why Do You Need A Heart Rate Monitor?

Beginners can use heart rate monitors to find the perfect workout intensity, and seasoned pros can use them to make sure that they are hitting their workout goals. It's worth getting a heart rate monitor to make sure that all your workouts are effective and safe. When you make sure that you are exercising in your target heart rate zone, you burn the perfect amount of calories without risking injury from pushing your body too hard.
Monitoring your heart helps you hit different fitness goals. Different exercises fall into different heart rate categories. If you want to burn fat, you need to exercise at about 50 percent of your heart rate max; aerobic training is best at about 75 percent.

How To Plan Your Routine

A quality heart rate monitor from a place like is simple to use. First, you need to figure out what your target heart rate is; this rate is between 50 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. If you want to calculate your maximum heart rate, you subtract your age from 220. Once you've figured out your target heart rate, you simply check your monitor to see if you need to lighten up or exercise a little harder.

Most modern heart rate monitors come with nifty extras. You can track your speed, calories and distance when running; some models even plug into your computer to analyze your workout for you. They give you a good idea of what you are doing right and wrong; they are a perfect tool to help you fine tune your workouts.

Heart rate monitors are super useful for anyone who likes to stay active; when you wear one, you always know that you are exercising at the right intensity level. A good monitor helps you listen to your body; this leads to higher quality workouts, less injuries and extra motivation when your workouts are lagging.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Baby Hip Hugger Eco Plus Giveaway {Ends 3/15}

Baby Nari Eco Plus Giveaway Event 
Hosted by: Easy Green Mama
Co-hosted by: bloggieaway
Sponsored by: Baby Nari

Babywearing is an easy way to hold your baby and still have two hands free. With Buddy, I frequently held him on my hip (without a carrier) because he loved to be held and I loved to hold him. That honestly made the first year pretty difficult though! Easy Green Mama recently had the opportunity to review the Baby Hip Hugger Eco Plus Set. Check out Easy Green Mama's Review Here. I wish this product was around five years ago!

Baby Nari's Baby Hip hugger is The PERFECT SOLUTION for holding your baby! It allows our babies to walk, get picked up and put down to walk again seamlessly! The Baby Hip Hugger is an easier, more comfortable way to carry your child. It is an essential product for a mother or anyone else that carries a child for a long period of time. It is recommended for babies 4 months – 36 months of age and they must be able to sit on their own, up to 40lbs. For a hands free option for the Baby Hip Hugger you can add the Eco Plus straps! This is sold separately. Features:
  • Fast and Easy to use.
  • Designed for Comfort.
  • Durable wide Velcro straps with safety buckles.
  • Multiple sitting options.
  • Durable light weight material with soft padded foam for comfort.
  • Non slip heart shaped material and raised back to help your child stay in place.
Baby Nari Hip Hugger Eco Plus

To learn more or purchase visit Baby Nari's website.
Connect with Baby Nari on Facebook.

Win It!
One winner will receive a Baby Hip Hugger Eco Plus in their choice of color, valued at $139.99!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery :: 2014 "Happy Camper" Gluten-Free Camp Scholarship Contest

Rudi’s Gluten-Free is excited to announce their second round of the “Happy Camper” Facebook Contest!

Through March 18th, Rudi’s Gluten-Free fans are encouraged to submit a 100-word essay from their child explaining, “what makes them special” for a chance to win a one-week scholarship to attend a gluten-free overnight camp. Based on the essays, Rudi’s will select 10 winners, ages 8-17, to have a camp experience they’ll always remember. 

I received free product coupons in exchange for posting. All opinions are 100% my own. 

For kids that can't eat gluten, this is an amazing opportunity for them to truly enjoy being kids at summer camp. So many wonderful memories are waiting! 

As a gluten-free adult, I can't imagine the struggles that gluten-free kids deal with when eating anywhere out of the home. Thank you to Rudi's Gluten-Free for recognizing the needs of gluten-free kiddos. Good luck to the entrants!


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Florsheim Kids :: The Spring Shoe Collection Has Arrived! {Giveaway - Ends 3/4}

 I received complimentary product for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.

Florsheim Kids recently unveiled their latest Spring collection which boasts vibrant colors and old-school inspired, modern styles for boys. Home of your classic wing-tip and oxford dress shoe styles for men, Florsheim has been around since 1892, but their boys shoe line is a relatively new addition in recent years.

With Buddy's absolute favorite color being orange, I was thrilled to see a somewhat casual shoe with bright orange trim (we don't often get super dressed up around here). I ultimately let Buddy choose which shoes he wanted me to request, but I certainly wasn't surprised when he chose the Hifi Plain Slip Jr. in Dark Grey!

The Hifi Plain Slip Jr. features a genuine leather suede upper, an EVA sole, double elastic gores, and suedetech lining. The contrasting white stitching just adds so much personality and fun in these shoes!

The outside heel offers extra details with a uniquely fashioned cut and more sleek stitching. The inside heel is reinforced for extra durability and includes a little loop tab on top to aid in putting these on. 

With the elastic gores and heel tab, Buddy has no problem slipping these on by himself. In fact he says they're pretty comfy and he wants to wear them all the time! They're slightly too big at this point so I'm having him wear thick socks with them for now.

The bright orange sole is made of EVA foam that makes this shoe very lightweight overall. It's not a super squishy foam you might imagine, but if is somewhat flexible while still providing plenty of support underfoot. I'm not sure how well the soles will hold up and wear since they're still pretty new, but Buddy has already managed to dirty them up on the sides and I can't get them 100% clean. He just loves that they're orange so it doesn't bug me too much!

I love the loafer/boat-shoe/slip-on style of these. They're easy to dress up and give any outfit a lot of pizazz without too much effort. A t-shirt and jeans for running around town is easy to pull off and still look put together. It's a fabulous style!

The Hifi Plain Slip Jr. is available in three color combinations, with each one featuring a fun, bright sole and a neutral upper. Let your son's personality shine through with the unique colors and classic styles from Florsheim Kids!

Price: Hifi Plain Slip Jr. - Boys sizes 10-6 - $60
Buy It: Order at or find a location near you!
Win It!
One winner will receive a $60 gift card!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Disney On Ice presents Rockin' Ever After {Sacramento Show #Review}

I received tickets to our local show for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.  

Creating memories with family is always easy when it involves Disney! Last night I had the opportunity to take Buddy, my mom and kid sister to the Sacramento opening night of Disney On Ice presents Rockin' Ever After. Having already experienced a Disney on Ice production in October (read my review), I knew we were in for a magical evening of fun!

Disney On Ice presents Rockin' Ever After features four main segments of Disney tales which include The Little Mermaid, Tangled, Brave, and Beauty and the Beast. Demonstrating incredible ice skating skill and excellent choreography, this is a wonderful show for Disney fans of all ages.

Although costumes were elaborate and detailed throughout the production, The Little Mermaid sea creatures took the prize for 'most fun.' They were bright, colorful representation of the deep sea. The most important scenes of this classic were portrayed, including Ursula taking Ariel's voice at which point Ariel transformed into having human legs and performed a beautiful aerialist solo. This was breathtaking to watch, especially while suspended high above the ice on a rope without a safety line, and wearing skates too! With a kiss, Ariel gets her voice back. I like that the dramatic ending with Ursula was skipped.

Next up was Merida and her mother from Brave. Buddy loved the archery contest aspect of this one (he didn't remember the movie, but what boy doesn't love a shooting apparatus??). All the hilarious Scottish men characters were included too, with some kilt-raising I noticed....but it was a a great segment regardless with lots of prop details and a fitting background.

My favorite was Tangled! Rapunzel escapes her tower, goes on an adventure to see the lanterns with Flynn, and ends up discovering they are really for her. Flynn Rider's horse, Maximus, was made into fabulous costume that required two skaters! I also love how the lanterns were well incorporated into the segment and filled the area above the ice. The townspeople skated a whole scene with flags to welcome Rapunzel home, which I thought was very well done too.

To end the night, Beauty and the Beast took to the ice. The selected scenes and pieces of this classic were just perfect, and included a 'be our guest' number and the Beast giving his book collection to Belle. Real fire torches were used as Gaston led the townsmen through the forest to find the Beast, and for a dramatic end to the entire show, the Beast turns into a man with a bit of lightening and special effects!

Rockin' Ever After is full of your favorite Disney songs, spectacular special effects, elaborate sets, and theatrical performances by very talented ice skaters. I love that this show includes two older Disney classics, and two more recent ones. With the younger crowd growing up with Brave and Tangled, this was an excellent show for everyone. I don't think there is really a bad seat in the house, but I do wish we were on the lower tier of the arena so we could see the skaters and details a little closer. This may be a factor to consider when you go to buy your tickets!

Disney On Ice presents Rockin' Ever After will be in Sacramento at Sleep Train Arena through February 17th. For tickets, times and show information, click here.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Umi’s Valentine’s Day “A Little Love For Little Feet” Sweepstakes {Ends 2/16}

In the next couple weeks I'll be posting a new shoe review from Umi's spring collection! In the meantime, be sure to enter this new sweepstakes from Umi to celebrate Valentine's Day this week! Good Luck!

"At Umi, all we make are children’s shoes, and we believe every step your child takes is as important as their very first. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with us and enter for your chance to win 1 of 3 $100 Umi gift cards!"

**Please claim the entry that asks what blog you entered on, and mention that you entered on The Reynolds Mom! THANK YOU!**

Win It!
Three winners will receive a $100 Umi Gift Card!!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

What Animals Live the Longest?

Disclosure: This is a guest post submitted by Kira B.

Yes, wouldn’t it be just wonderful to say that the longest living animal is us? It’s not so difficult to imagine really, when you think about it, after all many humans now live until they’re over a hundred – if they take care of themselves.

Make a will, no matter how long you intend living

As you can imagine it’s important to make sure you’ve written a will, no matter how hold you think you’re going to live for – and make sure it’s clear. Secondly, if you’re disputing a will and you’re worried about the outcome go to the disputing wills blog where you may find some helpful advice.

In the meantime, wouldn’t it be rather good to find out exactly which animals live the longest.

Ocean Quahog

If you thought that humans were pretty special living until they’re 100 then beat this, the ocean quahog lives until it’s at least 400 years old. It’s a cockle shaped little devil that lives inside a shell. Their home is in a muddy and sandy little hole. Some people eat them, but that’s just plain mean really, perhaps they’re hoping they’ll inherit the quahogs ability to live longer.

Giant Tortoise

The giant tortoise isn’t far behind, living until it’s at least 255 years old, that’s a long time. They can vary in size and although they may not move fast they certainly know how to live, well they know how to live for a very long time, put it that way.


A little less impressive, but a life lived well is the elephant, which lives for about 70 years in the wild. That’s a long time for a large animal. In captivity they don’t live as long, surviving for less than half the time they’d live if they were in the wild.

Bowhead Whale

A bowhead Whale can live up to 200 years old and lives in the waters of the Arctic. They can grow to nearly 60 feet long, what’s more scientists found a new organ in the bowhead whales in 2013 which is in the roof of their mouths; it’s used to regulate heat and detect prey.

So there we are, we can live as long as an elephant, but nowhere near as long as Tortoise or a bowhead Whale, I guess we must be thankful for what we can get, being mere humans.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Outdoor Seating & Storage Solutions from Keter :: Eden Garden Bench Box {Review}

 I received complimentary product for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.

Storage seems to always be an issue when it comes time for spring cleaning or any sort of meaningful organization. There's just never enough storage area throughout the house where useful possessions can be hidden out of view. Our garage is one area that we're diligently working on cleaning up and creating more useable space (and perhaps even fit a car in too!).

With a lack of specific storage space in our garage, I was thrilled with the opportunity to work with Keter again, the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of resin-based household and garden consumer products. Not only does our new Eden Garden Bench Box work great as a seating area to take off shoes before entering our home, but it's also stores odds and ends inside too. Our garage is part at-home gym also, so having a seating area is a must-have for Buddy to hang out and watch Dad workout in the evenings. We don't have a real mudroom, so this is the next best thing! Now I'm on the hunt for some shelving that will bring it all together to create a warm and cozy garage entry.

The Eden Garden Bench features absolutely gorgeous styling and seats two adults very comfortably. Buddy can even fit on it with us too! This sturdy bench measures 54.6" by 23.4" and is 33" high. The all-weather plastic resin will not rust, dent, or peel, making this another fantastic maintenance-free product from Keter. If you choose to put your Eden Garden Bench outside, it's UV-resistant to prevent fading and whitening too. This bench is lockable with the additional (included) parts.

Whether it's seat cushions or patio supplies, the Eden Garden Bench stores whatever you need out of sight. We had several items in our Borneo Deck Box that we moved to this one since I felt they fit better. Our Borneo now holds ALL the outdoor toys we have!

As our second storage box from Keter (see my Borneo Deck Box review), I have several observations to note in case you are debating which one is best for you. First, the Borneo Deck Box was easier to assemble by a long shot. There were more screws and building required with the Eden Garden Bench when compared to the mostly "clickable" Borneo. Secondly, size may be something for you to consider, depending on the purpose your storage box will serve. The Borneo boasts a 105-gallon capacity while the Eden only has a 70-gallon capacity. While both boxes are nearly identical in width, the Eden's main purpose is as a bench, and thus the seat has a lower, more normal height. This would account for the lesser capacity, but the cuter design and appeal.

The Eden Garden Bench is the perfect addition to our garage entryway! Along with seating, this box provides an decent amount of storage underneath. I couldn't be happier to have found a solution that is so stylish and matches our neutral colors too. Be sure to check out Keter for more outdoor storage solutions for your home!
Buy It: The Eden Garden Bench Box is available at for $109