Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Get Ready for August Audio Fest at Best Buy! #AudioFest

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.

We really enjoy listening to music in our home and on the go in the car too. If you enjoy music to any degree, you likely notice the quality or sound (or lack of) your audio equipment puts out. Is it time for an upgrade? I know we're definitely due for something new, and next month is an opportune time to shop for the best in audio.

Best Buy's Audio Fest is about to kick off in stores this Sunday. From August 3-30 you can expect great deals, audio specials, events and more. Best Buy will be offering the best deals on the best audio products on the market today. This is a killer opportunity to upgrade or enhance your home's audio experience with additional components, speakers and headphones.

From portable Bluetooth speakers and headphones, to home theater solutions and car audio, test out an try the latest and greatest in audio during Audio Fest!


You don't have to be an audio pro to have a fantastic sound system in your home. A Samsung SHAPE Wireless Audio System lets you listen to, share and experience music how you live. Whether it’s a single speaker in one room, or a multi room system in two rooms or every room in your home, it’s never been easier to immerse yourself in your favorite sounds. Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® connectivity lets you send music from your library or favorite App straight to your speakers.

Samsung Shape Wireless Audio is an expandable system – now music can follow you anywhere in your house. Play one song in any or all rooms, or different songs in different room from any number of speakers. Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® connectivity lets you send music from your library or favorite App straight to your AC powered speaker.

You can control volume, streaming services and playlists, or switch to a speaker in a different room. However you enjoy your music, Samsung Shape™ Wireless Audio makes it happen.
Top content providers include Rhapsody, iHeartRadio, Pandora, Spotify, tunein, amazon cloudplayer, and tracks.

One of the audio systems I'm excited about trying soon is the Samsung M5 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker. It features a Bluetooth interface and near-field communication technology for easy wireless pairing with compatible iOS and Android devices and select PC and Mac computers also. I love that this system is expandable and allows you to enjoy audio in multiple areas simultaneously when you purchase additional speakers.

I definitely won't need any expertise to set up this speak system with my home network. I can enjoy my favorites like Pandora, Amazon Cloud Player, Rhapsody and other music services through the speaker.

The Samsung Wireless speaker HUB is designed to be compatible with the M5 together to create a whole-home audio solution (that we so desperately have needed to figure out!). It has multiple device capability so I can connect more than 1 device at a time, and of course it has easy set-up for the technical challenged like me.

This August, SHAPE YOUR MUSIC EXPERIENCE with Audio Fest at Best Buy. Check out the best in audio so you can be sure your home entertainment system is the best it can be. After all, good music makes the heart sing.


Baby Shower Invitations from Oubly {Giveaway - Ends 8/13}

If you have a baby on the way, there's no doubt that a lot of planning is taking place. Perhaps you're helping with your own baby shower plans, or maybe your best friend or sister is taking on the role of party planner. Either way, Oubly can help you celebrate life's special moments with stylish personalized stationery, invitations and cards.
This is a sponsored giveaway brought to you by Oubly. All opinions are 100% my own.

Oubly is an online stationery boutique based in Los Angeles, California. This family owned printing company is passionate about print, design, technology, and fine papers. With a focus on social responsibility, affordable pricing and providing a positive experience to their customers, you can shop Oubly's beautiful collection with confidence. Shipping is also free shipping on orders over $49!

Planning a baby shower in itself can be overwhelming, but choosing a invitation doesn't have to be. With over 60 designs of baby shower invitations to choose from at Oubly, the selection is really great but not enormous like other custom stationery online sites.

Your baby shower invitation will set the tone and theme of your baby shower, so enjoy browsing the beautiful, unique designs from Oubly. Here are a few more!

Your baby shower invitations (or any other stationery you choose) from Oubly will arrive in keepsake branded packaging that is sure to put a smile on your face.

Do you need to make a more customized order? Oubly accepts custom designs and custom print requests. Since they've been in the printing business for over 20 years and employ some really neat local indie artists for their designs, Oubly can definitely help you with whatever printing project you have.

Win It!
One winner will receive a set of 30 baby shower invitations from Oubly!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

HOTMilk :: Maternity Lingerie & Nursing Bras {Review}

{Alright, you probably think I'm pregnant. Nope! This is a guest review from my sister!}

Preparing for the arrival of my first this December, I'm finding there's so much to learn and figure out. Where do I even start? The internet and advice from veteran moms is a way to get some great ideas and product recommendations, annnnnnd some not so great advice too. With some research and major review checking, I've figured out what's going on my wishlist, and what's definitely not.

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

For myself, I'm starting to look into nursing bras and apparel, and what the hot brands seem to be. Although December seems so far away, it's going to be here sooner than I think. So, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to review a HOTMilk nursing bra, my first nursing bra, ever. I quickly learned why they're a popular brand for moms!

Although HOTMilk has a lot of really beautiful maternity and nursing bras with embroidery and elegant details, I opted for the simplistic charm of the Eternal Black Nursing Bra.

Similar to a classic t-shirt bra, this wireless style comes with a soft cup for the ultimate in nursing bra comfort. It's stylish but also completely functional and comfortable. Since I'm all about comfort and always have been, that was the main detail that appealed to me with this style. I'm sure it will be a nursing staple when the time comes.

Postpartum comes with lots of bodily changes so the six columns of hook and eye closures will surely come in handy. While the outer material is silky, the inner cups are lined in 100% cotton for breathability.

This bra is really, really supportive and has full coverage on all sides for nursing, and yet is stretchy enough to accommodate the inevitable growth and changes that come with nursing.

Here's a view from the inside of the bra. There is a side sling that allows for optimal skin to skin contact with baby.

The easy one-handed clasp for nursing and stretchy outer material make it easy to pull the whole cup down for nursing.

Overall I'm really happy with the fit of this bra now and the growth room it still provides for when the time comes to put it to use as a nursing bra. If you're looking for a nursing bra that is simple, yet pretty and comfortable, I would definitely look into HOTMilk and they're beautiful selection.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Skip the Dirty Dogs on the BBQ this Summer & Join Applegate for a Wienervention! {Giveaway - Ends 7/30}

Frankly, there are way too many nasty additives in our classic barbeque meats that are just so unnecessary. Forget the fillers, the sodium phosphate, sodium nitrates and other junk. They just don't need to be in there, especially for a delicious, flavorful hot dog. With the help of Applegate, it's time to stage a Wienervention in America. No more dirty dogs!

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

Applegate Natural & Organic Meats sent me an amazing Wienervention Kit filled with everything I needed to enjoy a nice junk-free barbeque with my family! They even sent gluten-free and regular organic hot dog buns from Rudi's, one of my favorite bread companies. Condiments came from Annie's and Rick’s Pick’s and what barbeque is complete without paper straws and napkins from Susty?! There was even an apron, grilling tool set, a fun little cooler, and frisbee.

In Applegate Naturals Beef Hot Dogs, all you'll find is beef (antibiotic-free and hormone-free), water, salt and spices. Dude, why can't other companies do this? A clean dog is a must!

A new survey finds that while 92% of Americans bought hot dogs in the last year, 80% agreed that most hot dogs are low quality and unhealthy. So when it comes to hot dogs, Applegate thinks it’s time for a cleaner wiener and I couldn't agree more.

Mmmmm, a dressed cleaner weiner from trusted natural brands! Leave behind the unhealthy, filler-loaded dogs you're used to and join the Wienervention!

These dogs are simply delicious, and you may have noticed a few extra dogs were on our grill. Well, I enjoy them PLAIN too and now I can enjoy them more often without feeling guilty. I probably hadn't had a hot dog in a couple years until I found Applegate. I'm glad I can join in the summer fun on the barbeque (and around the campfire!) with cleaner wieners from Applegate!
Win It!
One winner will receive a Wienervention Kit from Applegate!

-          Applegate Naturals Beef Hot Dogs
-          Rudi’s Hot Dog Buns (White and Gluten-Free)
-          Annie’s Organic Ketchup and Mustard
-          Rick’s Pick’s Relish
-          Applegate Apron
-          Grilling tool set
-          Frisbee
-          Mini Applegate Cooler
-          Susty paper straws and napkins

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Stay Safe in the Sun with Rocky Mountain Sunscreen

Disclosure: This is a guest post.

Staying safe in the sun is important. The skin needs to be protected from sun damage so that premature aging and skin cancer will not develop. In order to provide ample protection from the harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun, it is imperative to wear a reliable sunscreen.

Savvy individuals who do not want to limit time outdoors but want to have the appropriate protection for their skin will be eager to shop at It is possible to buy Rocky Mountain Sunscreen in bulk so that there will never be any worry about running out while on vacation or during the hot summer months. It is more economical to buy sunscreen in this way, especially when considering that the product has a shelf life of two years.

Gun Safes Protect More than Firearms

Disclosure: This is a guest post.

When manufacturers design and test gun safes, the intended primary use is the protection of guns. These safes are designed to keep unauthorized users from accessing guns and potentially harming others. They are also designed to protect innocent children by securing dangerous firearms so that they are out of sight and out of reach. Luckily, you are never limited to the primary intended use for any item.

Many gun owners use their gun safes to lock up all of their valuables. You can open one of these safes and easily find jewelry, gold, gems and stashes of cash along with firearms. In some cases, the safe is filled with valuable items but no guns at all. There are a few reasons that this type of safe often doubles as a safe for high-dollar items:

Ways to Make Healthcare Services More Efficient

Disclosure: This is a guest post.

With technology advancing a little bit every day, it is becoming easier for healthcare and dental establishments to provide their clients with amazing accommodations. One accommodation that has helped a great deal of patients is the preregistration system. Patients can preregister with their nearest hospitals so that they can obtain immediate care if an accident occurs. Preregistration can save a person time that he or she may not have if a serious injury occurs.

Some doctors’ offices have started using laptops for all of their transactions and appointments. They order prescriptions and set appointments with the click of a mouse. This decreases time for the doctor and the patient. The doctor can spend more time on the patient by using electronic processing, and the patient can receive his or her prescription in approximately 15 minutes instead of standing in line and waiting to turn in a paper form.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Barnana Organic Chewy Banana Bites :: A Healthy Snack Choice

When shopping for healthy snacks, always check the ingredients. The fewer ingredients, the better! Since dried fruit is typically a simple sweet snack, it's a great choice to reach for, and to travel with too. One of my current favorites is from Barnana, the creators of a line of chewy banana bites made from wholesome organic ingredients.

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

Prior to receiving these samples for review, I had already tried the Barnana original and chocolate. So yes, I was thrilled when Barnana recently unveiled their latest flavors, coconut and peanut butter.

My favorite dried fruit is definitely bananas. But texture is so very important! I'm not a hard banana chip fan, but instead I prefer the hard-to-find, soft and chewy dried banana texture so inevitably, Barnana was love at first bite.

These raw, USDA Organic, gluten-free, and Non-GMO Project Verified snacks are not only tasty, but nutritious. Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, and also a good source of fiber. 

Dried bananas are naturally brown, but don't let the look distract you from the delicious flavor! The original is just bananas and nothing else. They are soft, chewy one to two bite pieces that are naturally sweet. They're so good that I ordered a case of twelve, and they're already half way gone after just a couple weeks. They're hard to resist!

It was over 100 degrees when these arrived, so the peanut butter melted pretty good! We just threw them in the fridge and broke apart the pieces and they still tasted great. Typically they're more rounded with a shiny natural glaze.

The peanut butter is a little on the very sweet side, so if you don't have a sweet tooth like me you may not like this flavor. Combined with the banana it may be a bit much for some, but Buddy and I enjoy it.

The coconut is a perfect blend of just organic bananas and organic coconut. I never thought this combo would be good, but I really, really like it. This flavor creates an even softer, chewier texture and the pieces are sized a bit more consistently too. The coconut also makes these extra high in fiber, with 11 grams per serving, or about 27.5 grams per bag.

Remember how I mentioned the importance of a short ingredients list? All that's in the original is 5 bananas and water. The ingredients mention organic bananas and organic banana powder, which helps the pieces to not stick together, but it's all banana.

Between the four flavors, I definitely reach for the original the most but as a family we enjoy them all at different times. I consider the chocolate and peanut butter flavors to be treats, since they taste more sweet and have added organic dried cane syrup. And although any Barnana flavor is a sweet snack, at least the original and coconut are totally free of added sugars and they're such a simple, wholesome snack.

Take Barnana with you on car rides, camping trips, hikes, or enjoy at your office desk. They're a satisfying snack, a great midday pick up, and the texture is fantastic.

Find Barnana by checking the store locator, or shop online at (and use code LIVENATURAL for 15% off your first order!).

Monday, July 21, 2014

Back to School Rules with Umi, Tea Collection and Mabel’s Labels {NEW Sweepstakes} US/CAN

Umi Children's Shoes has partnered with Tea Collection and Mabel’s Labels to run a fun Back to School giveaway!

Three Grand Prize winners will receive a $100 Umi Gift Card, Tea Collection Wardrobe Set ($149 value), and 2 Mabel’s Labels Big Kaboodle™ Combos ($96 value).

To enter, go to Umi's website and complete the tasks on the Rafflecopter form. This sweepstakes ends on August 3, 2014, so enter today!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Beat the Heat with Raging Waters in Sacramento {Our Family's Review}

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

Recently my family had the pleasure of being invited to Raging Waters, a water park in Sacramento, California. We chose a very hot 100+ degree Sunday to cool off! As Sacramento’s largest water park, Raging Waters features more than 25 exciting water attractions for the whole family, so rest assured there's plenty to do for everyone.

Since it had been well over ten years since my last visit to Raging Waters Sacramento, it was nice to receive a personal tour of the park before arriving at our private cabana on Shipwreck Reef - a lovely surprise of generous hospitality that we were not expecting!

Our private cabana on Shipwreck Reef was completely surrounded by the Calypso Cooler Lazy River and accessible from just one pathway. We had a table and chairs, lounge chairs and two inner tubes specifically for cabana rentals only. We returned to our cabana frequently to eat (cabanas include meal service), rest, and reapply sunscreen. We were provided a locker rental for our wallets and valuables, which I still recommend since anyone can technically come into the cabana areas. Actually, after returning to our cabana from our last attraction of the day, someone had snagged our two inner tubes! However, we definitely recommend renting a cabana for the day of your visit. It's worth having a designated shaded area just for you.

Since Buddy is just a couple inches under the 48" minimum height requirement for bigger kid attractions, we mostly stuck around the attractions that Buddy could enjoy. Those were the Treehouse Reef, Calypso Cooler Lazy River, and the Breaker Beach Wave Pool. But I'll show you photos of a few of the larger attractions, some of which Hubby or I went on.

Next stop, the Calypso Cooler Lazy River. This slow-moving, 800-foot river is perfect to start off with to get used to the cold water. We probably went around it a dozen times during our visit, and it turned out to be Buddy's favorite. Later in the day after we found the free life jackets at Treehouse Reef Buddy really felt free to swim and float down the Lazy River without hanging on to mom or dad the whole time. 

Treehouse Reef is perfect for young kids. With several open slides, tunnel slides, and even three big ones (see below), there was plenty of excitement for Buddy. There was also plenty of water shooting out at various places, getting everyone nice and soaked. You do wade around in at least a foot of water in this play area, so that definitely slows down any kids that try and run. This is great for keeping cool, staying safe, and keeping your kiddos within a safe distance. Buddy had tons of fun here!

After testing out the little slides, Buddy couldn't wait to check out the big ones that little kids are still allowed to go on. I was shocked and amazed to see him climb the last flight of stairs to the top all by himself. Totally fearless! He wanted to go on the red one, which I went down first so I could make sure he got out okay. Dad went after Buddy and we did this several times. Buddy was absolutely thrilled with himself!

Also great for the tiniest tots is the Shark Pool, which is only 2 feet deep. We didn't get over here this time since Buddy had enough to do at Treehouse Reef.

Breaker Beach Wave Pool is also little kid friendly, with lots of adult supervision of course. Kids under 48" are required to wear a life jacket within this area. Waves are created about every 5 minutes or so, and it's extra fun floating on an inner tube! Buddy also liked to be able to jump up as each wave came to feel it carry him up and down.

A shot of the Calypso Cooler Lazy River running next to Breaker Beach Wave Pool. Ah yes, how lovely it was to enjoy the cool water on such a hot day.

A peek at the Stingray and Manta Ray slide exits for one rider each. Also in the area are the Mako and Hammerhead which allow two riders together and the Great White which allows one to three riders. Since each of these has the minimum 48" height requirement, that meant that only the Stingray and Manta Ray would work for us since one of us had to stay with Buddy at all times. That's definitely something to keep in mind if your party is just two adults and little kids.

Splashdown launches you out of the slide and down into a 10-foot deep pool. If you enjoy creating a huge splash, this is a fun slide you don't want to miss.

The dare devil Cliffhanger Speed Slide - we definitely didn't have the guts to do this attraction, but I remember the weightless free-fall very well from my last visit years ago!

Other attractions we tried were the Dragon's Den and the Honolulu Half Pipe - I totally screamed on that one. It was a blast!

Forget your sunscreen? Want to find a souvenir? The Big Kahuna Surf Shop has you covered! You'll also find an ATM inside, just in case.

There are two cafes to grab some lunch in the park. They serve your typical park foods like cheeseburgers, hot dogs and chicken tenders. When planning your visit, keep in mind that sealed plastic water bottles, baby formula and special food are the the only outside food or drinks allowed in the park. Since I'm strictly gluten-free with a wheat allergy, I was able to bring a few snacks in for myself without a problem.

As you can see we had a wonderful day at Raging Waters and we're excited to go back. We may not be the most adventurous, thrill-seeking family, but you don't have to be to enjoy this water park. There are so many attractions to keep you busy for hours.

Ready to visit Raging Waters in Sacramento? My family suggests you wear a rashguard top if you burn easily along with lots of sunscreen, and perhaps water shoes since the concrete gets really hot in the afternoon. Enjoy the sun and water safely!

Don't forget to take advantage of this special offer -----> Use code 40128 to get $8 off of the $31.99 General Admission gate price when you purchase your tickets on Raging Water Sac’s online site,!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Stay at Home Mums: An Education

Disclosure: This is a guest post submitted by Kira B.
For stay at home mums, learning new skills is exceptionally rewarding and can facilitate everything from establishing a new career, to learning a new skill, or even starting a business from the ground up.

The world of continued learning can be anything from taking a short course at a local college to delving into the world of online education, and can cover topics ranging from upholstering furniture to growing fruit and veg, to accounting and economics! Here are a few important things to consider when embarking into the exciting world of extended education.

Know Where to Start 
Deciding to take a course of any variety means doing some research prior to enrollment. It’s important to make phone calls and speak to some alumni if possible, to get a first-hand account of the experience and the curriculum.

Take the time to compare a few options and look at everything from costs to accreditation. Sourcing a course that’s right for you takes some time, but is ultimately much more rewarding in the long run.

Take to the Internet 
Web-based learning is a fantastic option for busy mums in need of flexible schedules. Sometimes making it into a class every week just isn’t possible.

Taking courses online offers mums the chance to study something new on their own terms and working within the parameters of their busy home lives. Many online courses offer student support in a variety of forms so mums won’t feel isolated and can easily get answers to questions from professional support staff.

Try Vocational Education 
For a more social approach to learning, technical and vocational education and training ranges from basic diploma courses to post graduate degrees, and can facilitate everything from curious creative pursuits to full blown career conversion.

The decision to learn something new is always going to be a good one; but it’s important to take the time to consider goals, schedules and interests.

Mums are always pursuing new challenges and continuing education, regardless of prior experience, is sure to yield positive and productive results.

Monday, July 14, 2014

GREAT Kids Snacks Box :: All-Natural Snacks Delivered Monthly

Choosing all-natural, nutritious snacks for your kids can often be a challenge. In my house we tend to get stuck in a rut and don't branch out to try anything new. Snacks then get boring and the great hunt for new healthy snacks can get costly and wasteful when anything doesn't get a pass by the kiddos. How 'bout a convenient way to try new snacks without buying a whole box of one type of snack?

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

GREAT Kids Snacks wants to help you take the guesswork out of snacking, especially for the health-conscious, on-the-go mom. Although I wish I could be kitchen extraordinaire and make every snack myself, that's just not practical. Moms, your time and sanity is worth the convenience of pre-packaged, healthy snacks.

As a health-conscious mom, I'm very, very picky. GREAT Kids Snacks vision of providing healthy snacks to kids in a convenient way really resonates with my personal health goals for my family. Yes, fresh snacks are better for anyone, but the truth is that we may not always have the time to prepare everything we eat. GREAT Kids Snacks recognizes this, and even included fresh snack suggestions for when you have time to prepare them at home! Yogurt, cheese, fruit, vegetables and other quick finger foods would be my top picks. 
So, consider this your new monthly delivery service of delicious individually wrapped snacks for your kiddo! Monthly snack boxes come in 3 options: 15 snacks, 30 snacks, or 30 gluten-free snacks. Each box is full of kid-tested, tasty nutrition with nutritionist-approved ingredients. You also get FREE, convenient home delivery and satisfaction is guaranteed.

Buddy received a GREAT Kids Snacks monthly box with thirty snacks inside. Perfect for a new snack each day of the month. It was even addressed to him, which you have the option to do also. I know how fun it is to get mail - can you imagine how thrilling that is for your child?! Buddy was SO excited to dig in and check out his new snacks.

Each month your GREAT Kids Snacks box will vary, but here's what was in Buddy's...

Thirty snacks. What impressed me most is that so many of these snacks are totally new to me. I actually only recognized half of the brands included in the box, which is really saying something since I'm a self-proclaimed product lover and critic. I immediately noticed the wide variety included too.

This box made on-the-go snacking super easy and convenient for me, but even at home it's nice to not have to answer the "I'm hungry, what can I eat?" question at snack time or any time between meals. I typically have a snack bin in the cupboard just for Buddy so these new snacks just went in there and replenished the boring, untouched stash we had. But before I did that, I made sure I get photos of all the snacks for a closer look!

Savory Snacks, Chips + Popcorn: Dried beans and veggies, yes please! KettlePop is always great, and the plaintain chips were a nice change. The ips were quite tasty too (of course I asked for a tiny bite of everything).

A Variety of Bars: Buddy is a granola bar kid! He loved every single one of these. Bars are especially great for eating in the car since they typically aren't too crumbly. Some great new brands here, and I've since bought some 18 Rabbits bars and Earnest Eats bars.

Fruit Leathers + Fruit Snacks: Fruit pouches? Always a hit. Buddy wasn't a fan of the Rawr Bars, but everything else got a good review.

Cookies + Crackers: Late July and Annie's are both Buddy's favorite cracker brands already. Buddy LOVED the Enjoy Life cookie. We're just discovering more of their products which are allergen-free (yay!). Sweet snacks are fine with me, but in great moderation. Glad to see the ones included are some of the most natural kid-friendly ones I've found also.

There were only a few snacks Buddy didn't like, but that wasn't a big deal. The fact that he was adventurous and actually tried so many new snacks (and wholesome at that!) was enough for me! I love that this box of snacks exposed him to new flavors and textures.

While the majority of this box was gluten-free, it's exciting to know that they actually have a  gluten-free snack box option. It's $6 more, but a wonderful option for any gluten-free kiddo.

Overall the snack selections in our box were excellent. There was a great balance between a little sweet and savory, and also lots of organic/vegan/gluten-free snacks. So forget the sugary snacks filled with refined white sugars and little to no nutritional value. Make better choices for your active kids that provide energy and real ingredients. With a subscription to GREAT Kids Snacks, you truly have no excuse. Make snack choices healthy, convenient and FUN!

Subscription Options
Subscriptions are $20.95 (15 snacks), $39.95 (30 snacks), or $45.95 (30 gluten-free snacks) a month and include free shipping. Subscribe today at!

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