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Product Reviews, Book Reviews, Fun Giveaways, And Life As A Mama! Supporting Our Troops And Veterans!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

#GetawayWithExpedia Giveaway

 
Tuesday, May 22nd at 12:00 AM ET to Monday, May 28th at 11:59 PM ET.
Five (5) winners will receive a $100 gift card from Expedia.
Users enter the giveaway by heading to the Expedia page on Savings.com and submitting their email address on the form at the top of the page.
The winners will be chosen through a lottery drawing and notified on Tuesday (5/29) via the email address they used to enter.
 

#BrightlySummerFun Giveaway

 
 Brightly and Melissa & Doug have teamed up to offer the chance to win the ultimate summer fun pack. The family fun prize pack includes 50 brand-new books and $1,000 worth of Melissa & Doug toys!

Giveaway starts on Monday, May 21st at 12:00 AM ET Giveaway ends on Friday, June 22nd at 11:59 PM ET.

 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

What You Should Do If You Come Home to Signs of a Break-In

Break-ins are a terribly traumatic event. If you come home and find evidence of a break-in, you are likely in a heightened emotional state. This can make it difficult to process what has happened and take the necessary steps to report the incident. A break-in is something that nobody should have to experience, but an event that we should all prepare for. Here’s a step-by-step list of what you should do if you come home and find that your house was burglarized.

Contact Your Local Police Department

The first thing that you should do is call the police and file a report. This puts the break-in incident on record, which is crucial for both insurance claims and recovering stolen belongings. Do not touch anything in your home until the police arrive. When the authorities do arrive to your house, make a list of every item that was stolen and be sure to include a description and the price of each item. You will also want to make a copy of this list so that you can provide it to your insurance company. If you have not entered the home but you can tell that your home has been burglarized, do not enter the home. Keep your kids and yourself out of harm's way by staying out of the house and making the call to the police from a safe place.

Call Your Insurance Company

Make a call to your insurance company within 24 hours of the break-in, whether you have renter’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance. It is likely that your insurance company will send a claims adjuster to your home to assess the claim in person. If your insurance company plans to do this, you will want to make arrangements for your family to stay somewhere else, like with a family member, close friend or hotel close to work and your children's school, so that you do not disturb or accidentally clean up any valuable evidence.

Clean Up All Signs of the Incident

Once the authorities and your insurance company have all of the necessary information, you can start to pick up the pieces and clean up all signs of the break-in. The quicker you can get your back to normal, the sooner you will be able to move on from this traumatic event. Depending on the severity of the break-in and the amount of damage that occurred you may want to consider contacting a professional service to help clean up. And, for broken windows, doors, locks or other damage, a handyman may be required.

Safeguard Your Home

Most burglars break-in through the front or back doors. You can immediately increase the safety of your home by changing and upgrading your locks. Motion-sensor lights can also be installed as a criminal deterrent. However, the most effective way to safeguard your home is by installing a security camera system. Lorex, a DIY leader in home security, offers easy-to-install home security monitoring systems with unrivaled video performance. These home security systems offer high-definition picture and remote viewing so you can see what’s happening in or around your home, wherever you are.

Nobody should have to experience a break-in, but we should all take the steps to safeguard our homes and families.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

#WinMalinAndGoetz Giveaway

 
MALIN+GOETZ creates Simple Skincare Solutions. The company makes skincare easy, starting with sensitive skin. Their treatments are meant to be gentle and effective, and every product is formulated with trusted natural ingredients and proven advanced technologies to perform without sacrificing luxury.

Wednesday, May 2nd at 12:00 AM ET to Tuesday, May 8th at 11:59 PM ET.
Five (5) winners will receive a $75 gift card to Malin + Goetz.
Users enter the giveaway by heading to the Malin + Goetz page on Savings.com and submitting their email address on the form at the top of the page.
The winners will be chosen through a lottery drawing and notified on Wednesday (5/9) via the email address they used to enter.
 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Great Books To Give Mom #MothersDay2018

A Beginner's Guide to Essential Oils: Recipes and Practices for a Natural Lifestyle and Holistic Health by Hayley Hobson - Homeopathic medicine and alternative medicines are gaining in popularity daily. A Beginner's Guide to Essential Oils by Hayley Hobson can become your first step to a healthier life - your first step to holistic health. Hayley is an internationally known author and inspirational speaker. She presents uplifting and educational programs in over 50 countries and promotes a holistic path to wellness by incorporating the use of essential oils with a regimen of exercise, healthy eating, and mental and emotional wellness practices. As a coach, she passionately empowers others to live their dreams and create lifestyle transformations by supporting them in becoming the best possible whole versions of themselves. In her book, you will find real life stories and natural lifestyle principles. You’ll discover why we get out of balance in the first place - and find out how to fix it. You'll learn about Hayley’s signature recipes and their specific purposes, helpful remedies, and daily changes, safe handling and usage, and much more. View this book on Amazon!
The Book of Awesome Women: Boundary Breakers, Freedom Fighters, Sheroes and Female Firsts by Becca Anderson - Women hold up half the sky and, most days, do even more of the heavy lifting including childbearing and child-rearing. All after a long day at the office. Women have always been strong, true heroes - sheroes, oftentimes unacknowledged. As we shake off the last traces of a major patriarchal hangover, women are coming into their own. In the 21st Century, all women can fully embrace their fiery fempower and celebrate their no-holds-barred individuality. It is time to acknowledge the successful women of the world. From the foremothers who blazed trails and broke barriers, to today's women warriors from sports, science, cyberspace, city hall, the lecture hall, and the silver screen, The Book of Awesome Women paints 200 portraits of powerful and inspiring role models for women and girls poised to become super women of the future. View this book on Amazon!
Badass Women Give the Best Advice: Everything You Need to Know About Life and Love by Becca Anderson - Women’s Studies scholar Becca Anderson has gathered the wisdom from a chorus of fabulous femmes for this one-of-a-kind advice book. From housewives to Hollywood starlets, from stand-up comedians to startup entrepreneurs, from feminists to Facebook queens, these badass women offer unvarnished and unabashed opinions about love, life, word, men, and sex; and share their very frank and forthright thinking on the wild world of relationships. This delightfully dishy gathering of gal pals is like having a heart-to-heart with 200 of your closest friends. Garrulous girls and loquacious ladies of from every walk of life unleash their wicked wit in this humorous and enlightening compilation and tell it like it is. Topics include What the World Needs Now, Love Hurts, Lost Love, and Are Men Really Necessary, and covers sex, personal ads, blind dates, break ups, weddings, and the prerequisites for the perfect kiss. Sidebars include quizzes, love and sex bucket lists, and topics like “Size Really Does Matter,” and “Cry Me a River, The Weepiest Romantic Movies Ever.” Wait, there's more - true tales about wild women of yore that entertain as much as they enlighten. From Anais Nin to Lily Tomlin, from Amy Bloom to Dorothy Allison, from Drew Barrymore to Chrissy Teigan and beyond, there's no shortage of sass, sarcasm, sizzle, and a few shocks along the way! View this book on Amazon!
 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Personalized Gifts - Graduation, Mom Day, Dad Day

Ok, so Easter has come and gone. Though, you wouldn't really know it, as Spring really has yet to arrive. Grrrr. But GiftsForYouNow.com had such cute Easter things, as we got Callan the personalized Bunny. GiftsForYouNow.com has gifts that can be personalized or customized specifically for loves ones, making each present unique and unforgettable.
The Somebunny Loves Me Bunny - This adorable personalized bunny was the perfect gift for Easter, though it will be cherished by your child long after the holiday is over. The t-shirt worn by these plush personalized Easter bunnies may be customized with any name in your choice of pink and purple or green and blue lettering. He loved it. It's something special just for him, with his name, which you don't commonly find on things that have names - key chains, bike plates, all the cool things with names on them. So personalize it. Make it special for them!

Check out all the great gifts for Grads, and Mother's Day is coming, soon followed by Dad's Day!

 

Best Neighborhoods In Jacksonville

  Jacksonville, Florida is one of the most underrated cities in Florida, but it shouldn’t be. Aside from being the most populated city in Florida, Jacksonville is also one of the most beautiful. From breathtaking beaches to a bustling downtown area, Jacksonville is undoubtedly one of the coolest U.S. cities. Homes for sale in Jacksonville, FL are relatively inexpensive compared to other nearby cities, making it a great choice for people who want to live near the water without it costing an arm and a leg. While Jacksonville as a whole is a great city, there are several neighborhoods that stand out from the rest. Here are some of the best neighborhoods in Jacksonville.

The Beaches
Jacksonville’s beaches are arguably the city’s biggest draws, and tourists continue to flock to the city annually for this reason. Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville Beach, and Ponte Vedra Beach are all part of the Jacksonville Beaches area, and attract tourists and locals alike. The Beaches are popular among many different demographics, including young professionals, families, and retired folks. One of the biggest reasons many people enjoy living in the Jacksonville beach community is because of the thriving local scene. Residents have been known to enjoy biking, surfing, and running on weekends, and most residents enjoy being active and participating in community events. The Jacksonville Beaches are a great option for active and social people who want to live near the water.

Mandarin
Mandarin is one of the most beautiful Jacksonville neighborhoods, and for good reason. The average summer temperature in Mandarin hovers around a balmy 82 degrees, and the neighborhood has an extremely low crime rate. Mandarin was once referred to as a “tropical paradise” by author Harriet Beecher Stowe, and the sentiment remains true to this day. Mandarin continues to be a popular vacation destination for tourists, and locals can’t get enough of the quaint neighborhood. If you’re looking for a quiet and safe area to live in, Mandarin is definitely one to look at.

Five Points
Five Points is one of the coolest and hippest neighborhoods in Jacksonville, and the area continues to attract a young crowd. Five Points boasts many trendy shops and restaurants, and visitors are often attracted to the neighborhood’s vintage feel. Being that Five Points is a more urban area of Jacksonville, it is a popular neighborhood among millennials and a younger demographic. Many people enjoy living in Five Points because there is always something to do, between the neighborhood’s many bars, restaurants, and shops. Five Points is a great neighborhood for people who want to experience the best of both the beach and the city.

San Marco
San Marco is another interesting and dynamic Jacksonville neighborhood, and the streets are lined with quaint restaurants and cafes for both locals and tourists to enjoy. In the center of San Marco is San Marco Square, the neighborhood’s downtown district. On any given night, locals can find something fun to do, and the San Marco Theater continues to be a popular local spot. Whether you’re looking to catch a movie, grab a bite to eat, or simply relax near the famous lion fountain, there is truly something for everybody in San Marco.
 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Donate Life Blue & Green Day

During this day, the public is encouraged to wear blue and green, hold events and fundraisers, and partner with local restaurants, malls, media, and community organizations in an effort to promote the success of organ, eye and tissue transplantation and the extreme need for registered donors.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Three Reasons To Hire A Professional Cleaning Service

Spring cleaning and social gatherings are great reasons to roll up your sleeves and make your home shine. You can handle mopping the floors, vacuuming the upholstery and wiping the counters, but there comes a time when you need help cleaning your home. Factors such as an injury, illness or a busy schedule keeps you from giving your home the cleaning it deserves.

When you need a little help cleaning your home, you can always hire a maid service Silver Spring MD. You may be tempted to work through your schedule or ailment and clean your own home, but here are three reasons to hire a professional cleaning service.

Cleaners Bring Their Own Equipment
A professional cleaner brings their own equipment to your cleaning session. They use high-quality products that work better than the products found in stores. If you run an eco-friendly home, you can ask your cleaner to only use chemical-free products. Hiring a professional cleaner reduces the stress of stocking up on certain products for your home.

Professional Cleaners Are Experienced
There are different methods for cleaning every area of your home, and a professional cleaner is an expert in all of them. They know what cleaners to use on your shower walls, and they know how to wipe your windows without leaving streaks. A professional cleaner also knows how to clean high spots such as ceiling fans and tight spots such as nooks and crannies. You know your home is going to sparkle from top to bottom when you hire a professional cleaner.

Your Home Is Cleaned On A Schedule
It is hard to get your home on a regular cleaning schedule when you are busy with errands or work. You can work with the company to create a regular cleaning schedule, such as twice a week or three times a month. A regular cleaning schedule reduces your stress because you know the cleaning is going to get done at a certain time.

You can hire a company such as Lilly's Cleaning Service for a one-time, weekly or monthly home cleaning.
 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

#SaveAtPaperMart + New Customers Deal

Monday, April 9th at 12:00 AM ET to Sunday, April 15th at 11:59 PM ET.
Ten (10) winners will receive a $20 gift card to PaperMart.
Users enter the giveaway by heading to the PaperMart page on Savings.com and submitting their email address on the form at the top of the page.
The winners will be chosen through a lottery drawing and notified on Monday (4/16) via the email address they used to enter.

New customers get 5% off their first order!
Promo Code: SAVINGS5
Some exclusions apply.
Valid through 4/30/18
 

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Cannabliss

Your skin is the largest organ of your body, so it deserves some love! Cannabliss Organic skincare is made with naturally rich hemp oil to provide numerous healing benefits. The full spectrum hemp oil is grown organically in Colorado and has been shown to work wonders on dry skin, acne, wrinkles, scars, sunspots, eczema, and psoriasis. Their chemists start with an organic natural carrier oil as a base and add powerful hemp and essential oils for the perfect formulation. These nourishing formulas are also infused with ancient Korean herbs like Mulberry Bark and Panax Ginseng to enhance the effectiveness of the products and breathe new life into your skin. They do not dilute our skincare with water or harmful chemicals. The organic, natural ingredients nurture and heal – unlike conventional chemical-based ingredients that are harsh and cause aging. Be kind to your skin…and it will thank you!
Cannabliss Organic uses solvent-free, pesticide-free, non-gmo hemp oil in accordance with the state laws where the products are sold. Cannabliss skincare is legal in all 50 states. This all purpose healing salve works with full spectrum hemp oil and healing herbs, such as mulberry, goji berry, and ginseng, to sooth and ease irritated skin, eases muscle and joint aches, gentle enough for all skin types. A little goes a long way! This salve literally melts into the skin quickly leaving your skin feeling hydrated and nourished.

Check it all out at Cannabliss on Facebook, as well as Cannabliss on Twitter.
 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Muuna

Muuna has just introduced new delicious and creamy fruit-on-the-bottom flavors including black cherry, raspberry, and vanilla that offer consumers tasty and healthy option with only 9 grams of sugar and 120-130 calories per 5.3-ounce cup. Black cherry and vanilla are new to the cottage cheese market, as these flavors have only previously been seen in yogurt.
Unlike many guilty pleasures, you’ll be proud to bring your new love home. That’s because Muuna cottage cheese is not only rich and creamy, it’s also rich in protein. Muuna contains zero artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners. All that goodness and yet the heart wants more…the heart wants passion. Just one spoonful of our ridiculous creaminess married with the orchard fresh taste of the fruit and you’ll wonder where have they been all your life. Muuna, the new way to cottage.

Check it all out at Muuna on Facebook, as well as Muuna on Twitter.
 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

How Important Are Toys For Child's Development?

Many parents tend to neglect positive impact of toys on their children. Some of us believe that toys are nothing more than items that are meant to keep kids occupied. We pay them no regard in terms of their actual value and impact on brain. Instead, we tend to buy toys which are “the best” or in other words; the most expensive thinking that price equal value. However, toys are much trickier than you would actually think as this article from Guardian suggests. There is no real reason why you would pay for expensive toys if they serve no purpose. In most cases, by simply surrounding your child with various patterns and colors, your child will likely to progress. It is important to know what toys are ideal and for what age range. Some toys are extremely expensive without doing anything for child’s mental and physical development. So instead of going to a shop and purchasing toys at random better read this article and learn more about the most beneficial toys!

Toys for newborns (0 to 3 months)
Great things about newborns and afterwards small babies is that they don’t need too much to be entertained. In fact, when it comes to toys, they are not that dependent on them although most people may think otherwise. Still, if you’re thinking of buying some toys, I recommend you to read this article from babycenter.com, it’s very useful! Kids are color blind until the third month so you won’t have to do much in that regard. However, the toys have to be stimulating. One of the main exercises would be placing a child in the center of the room (you can use activity mat for this although it’s not necessary) and surrounding it with various items. Have in mind that during this period, you don’t even need toys. Still, you should find some items in different shapes and patterns so you could force child to reach out, develop its muscles and basic functions. At one point you might introduce grabbing toys. These toys are very important for movement and some of them, such as rattles, also help develop their hearing.

Toys for small babies (from 3 to 6 months)
From 3rd month on out you should start developing other senses such as sight. You should start buying toys that are colorful and if possible create sounds. Another good thing you can do is buy toys which help develop baby’s understanding of shapes and sizes. Stackable cups and even some basic cubes can help with that.

Toys from 6 to 12 months
If everything went good so far, your baby should’ve develop basic senses and motoric functions. Now you need to work on its creativity and you need to teach it about the surrounding world. Picture books are great way to stimulate them and keep them intrigued. Brain needs to work overtime as any simulation can be beneficial.

Toys from 12 months onwards
Most kids start walking when they reach 12 months. You might consider purchasing a car or some other object that will allow child to move around and stimulate exploration. It’s important for child to get some autonomy as it will serve it well later on in life. By this time, child will also change its preferences regarding toys. Simple things such as plain cubes will become dull so you will likely have to provide more complex products such as cars or reborn babies. The latter are actually not that hard to find, one of the most popular stores is Reborn-dolls-for-sale.com. At the point in time, baby should start learning how to take care of its belonging and start being introduced to its first responsibilities (primarily cleaning behind itself).

Now you know what works and what doesn’t! Just be careful when purchasing toys as most expensive doesn’t always translate into most beneficial!
 

#BookConVIP Giveaway

Enter the BookCon VIP Giveaway!  
 Enter to win a trip to New York City for the ultimate BookCon VIP experience from Penguin Random House. One lucky winner and a guest will receive the full BookCon VIP treatment, including: 
(2) VIP passes to BookCon June 2nd & 3rd (which means you get a private autographing session with two authors and more!)
(2) round-trip flights to New York City
A two-night hotel stay
(2) BookCon swag bags with advanced reader copies & more
Dinner at Becco, a Lidia Bastianich restaurant

Please note that air travel/full voucher is NOT included for New York residents.

    

Sunday, April 1, 2018

April Is National Donate Life Month #MasonsMission

For the 2018 National Donate Life Month artwork, Donate Life America was inspired by the image of a rainbow and Maya Angelou’s quote, “Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” Often following a storm, the presence of a rainbow provides optimism and motivates us to endure through dark times. Similarly, organ, eye and tissue donation is the bridge of comfort and hope between one family’s mourning and another’s healing - turning tragedy into renewed life. The vibrant Donate Life rainbow in the National Donate Life Month artwork rises from stormy clouds, recognizing that it takes both rain and light to create the gift of a rainbow. Maya Angelou’s message applies to all of us, no matter our background or experiences. We all know rainbows - people that have helped carry us through life and its challenges. In turn, we may also have the opportunity to be rainbows in other people’s clouds through the gift of organ, eye and tissue donation.

This April, I encourage you to reflect on the lives of those touched by donation and transplantation, and to share its prismatic effect. By registering to be a donor or considering living donation, you can change one ray of light into a spectrum of healing and compassion. I wish you a Happy National Donate Life Month. 
 

Friday, March 30, 2018

5 Tips To Pouring Acrylic For The First Time

As a first timer, pouring acrylic paint can be very frustrating if you don’t have a single idea of how to do it right. Acrylic pouring is an artistic expression that has been there for a while but still, mistakes after mistakes are done when trying to come up with one. Before getting down to work, carry out a proper studio preparation; dusting, making sure temperatures are right, getting the ideal pouring medium and ensuring your canvas is tight. Then, get your fingers dirty using these simple techniques!  

1. Straight Pour 
 Pour the first color on your canvas and allow it to pool, then pour the second one in the middle. You will begin to notice how the one you poured first starts to move outwards after the second pour. Repeat the same process until the end and tilt the canvas if need be. The more paint you pour, the larger the rings so if you want them thin, pour little amounts. Tip: Start with the deep colors before moving to the light ones. After you are done, put it on a leveled and dust-free place for it to dry up.

2. Dirty Pour
In a cup, layer all your desired colors and slowly run a stick through. Remember, you are not trying to get a single solid hue so do not mix completely, just combine them slightly. Once done, carefully and slowly pour your mixture on your canvas then give it time to settle and integrate. To dry up, place the canvas on the level, dust-free zone you had prepared earlier.

3. Flip Cup Method 
For each acrylic paint you intend to use, get as many cups. In each cup prepare each acrylic by mixing it with water and/or with pouring medium depending on the density. What you want to achieve here is a viscous mixture with the right fluid consistency. Similar to the dirty pour, layer the colors in one cup then quickly flip it on your canvas. Do it gently to avoid spillages. Lift your cup and let the colors drip over, then place it in then leveled are for it to dry up.

4. Thinned And Solid Color Pours 
With the thinned color washes, interaction and movement is easy and they are high flow hence ready to be used. They can be mixed with mediums with at least 10% water composition: the more the water the more the surface tension. Acrylic flow release helps to cut down surface tension but does not improve the flow of the paint so do not overuse them. It is okay to use solid colors on the entire surface of your canvas but however, be careful not to dam up the edges when drying.

5. Experiment More 
The more you experiment and practice, the more you get good at it. Immediately getting needed results may be close to impossible and frustrations are more. If you want to be expert at it, always take notes and don’t be discouraged by the outcomes. To get more consistent results do it more often and if you find yourself at crossroads, get informative insights found on acrylic pouring.com.