May 242015
 

Got curls? Learn to love them and wear them proudly! The new Dove Quench Absolute products and Love Your Curls campaign/book, helps girls of all ages keep their hair healthy and wear their ringlets proudly!As I child, I remember my mother endlessly oohing and ahhing over my curls. I thought they were ridiculous and she was insane. They curled up and made my hair shorter; I looked like a boy.

Then I got a little older and started showing those curls who was boss, wielding mad power with over-sized barrel curling irons and massive amounts of hairspray and poofy scrunchies (I grew up in the 90s, you know). My mother cried, “I don’t know why you can’t just let your hair go!” But she was my mother, you see; she knew nothing.

Then my mom went and took an early exit from this earth, long while I was still gripping tightly to my flat iron, yet some where in the back of my mind her voice stuck. Last summer, fully in the midst of running after two active kiddos through a relentless humidity, I gave up one day and let my hair air dry. A friend saw me and said how much she liked it when my hair was curly. That voice of my mother started echoing, “Let your hair go…just let it go.”

So you know what? I did. About one year ago, I stashed the flatiron and hairdryer under the sink and haven’t really looked back. Three cheers for a far simplier and shorter morning routine. While I still battle to properly apply eyeliner without looking like an enthusiastic raccoon, my hair has become a relatively easy-peasy matter of wash-and-go.

Except for one sticky-wicket: what products am I supposed to use with this free-for-all going on top of my head? I might have very little time to fancy-up in my world of busy days and young kids, but I would still like to look my best. I want to embrace my curls, but feel lost with the stymeing variety and amount of products in the hair care aisle. Where do I even start? What do I use to help my curls keep their shape? To help them stay smooth and not dry-out?

Got curls? Learn to love them and wear them proudly! The new Dove Quench Absolute products and Love Your Curls campaign/book, helps girls of all ages keep their hair healthy and wear their ringlets proudly!

Enter Dove to the rescue! Dove recently came out with a whole line of products just for us curly girls. The new Dove Hair Quench Absolute products provides four times more defined, natural curls while nourishing hair with protein, nutrients and Buriti Oil to provide a nourished, smooth finish.

What products are available?

  • Dove Quench Absolute Ultra Nourishing Shampoo
    • Gently cleanses curly hair, leaving it feeling soft and smooth
    • Nourishing formula leaves hair strengthened from the core
  • Dove Quench Absolute Ultra Nourishing Conditioner
    • Absorbs effortlessly into the hair
    • Increases manageability of curls for a smooth finish
    • Naturally curly hair is revived and strengthened from the core
  • Dove Quench Absolute Intensive Restoration Mask
    • A rich, creamy formula
    • Envelopes each curl to deliver intense nourishment for ultimate smoothness and hydration
  • Dove Quench Absolute Supreme Crème Serum
    • Dove’s first curl leave-in nourishing treatment
    • A fast absorbing, lightweight and creamy serum
    • Contains high levels of glycerine to penetrate and nourish hair
    • Can be used on wet or dry hair

After using these products for a week, I’m thrilled that they work. I’m thrilled to have all that I need to keep my curls healthy and looking their best this summer.

I’m even more thrilled that Dove hasn’t just introduced a cool new line of products, but that they have launched a whole “Love Your Curls” campaign to encourage women to celebrate their curls and inspire future generations to do the same. Did you know that only 4 in 10 little girls with curly hair think their hair is beautiful, and only 10% of women in the U.S. with curly hair feel proud of their hair? My mother would be rolling over in her grave if she heard this; she thought curls were beautiful and were to be worn with pride.

Dove does too. Believing that girls are more likely to feel beautiful and proud of their hair if people around them do, in addition to the campaign and new product line, Dove has created a gorgeous book celebrating curls in all their beauty. The new Love Your Curls book is a poetic tribute to curly hair, inspired by the thousands of stories from women with curly hair. Written by best-selling author, Taiye Selasi and illustrated by Annick Poirier, it is intended to represent and inspire curly girls of all ages.

Download and the free e-book to inspire a curly girl in your life. Personalize it with a custom dedication and illustration for a curly girl in your life, and share it with your friends on social media. It’s such a sweet gift with such a lovely purpose; make yours now!

As for me, I’m going to be holing up with my new products, loving on my curls, and doing my best to make sure my daughter crushes on her own curls. I tell her every day how pretty her curls are. Who knows if she’s listening, but you know we moms can’t stop trying when it comes to getting girls to love their curls!

****Thanks to Dove for sponsoring this post. My delight in their new products and campaign is 100% original.****

May 142015
 

Snag this deal to promo your website and get your business underway! If you're looking for a way to kick off your business or get things underway, this is a great deal!! Take advantage of it now!I love The Mom of the Year and its vitality of over 26,000 social media followers! Make it work for you too this summer by scooping up this 30% off advertising deal!

To score 30% off a month of ad space, enter code MOTY30 at check out and reap the savings while enjoying all the sweet benefits of advertising on The Mom of the Year.

My goal is always to work hard for small businesses and help them grow to the potential I know they have. Let me work to help you reach your goal.

Snag the saving to advertise your business and let’s promote your site. I want to work for you!

Image credit: depositphotos.com, image ID:41554471, copyright:ohmega1982

 

May 132015
 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Turkey Hill Dairy. All opinions are my own.

Turkey Hill Dairy's All Natural Gelato is DELICIOUS! You've gotta check this out--a healthy win for the whole family. Trust me!I remember a day, a day long ago in the magical land of Before Kids. A day during a business trip to the far-off land of angelic California with my husband. I spent a gorgeous afternoon bargain shopping, then treated myself to a gelato at a little local cafe. The gelato was perfectly smooth, and my bohemian no-care-in-the-world mood was blissful as I indulgently sat and people-watched. I know, the stuff of dreams.

Fast-forward a few years into suburbian parenting fantastic, and there is little to no hope of sweet solo afternoons–EVER. But hey, no sweat, right? Because we parents rock our superhero endless energy (read: crash into bed at 8pm after stashing the kids in their beds) and sneakily treat ourselves on the side when we can.

How can we treat ourselves? Enter Turkey Hill Dairy’s All Natural Gelato made with simple ingredients. You see, we love our ice cream around these parts, and last summer, we fell for All Natural products. Despite not being a family with specific food allergies or dietary concerns, the natural products captivated our taste buds. They were, simply, good.

When Turkey Hill introduced their new All Natural Gelato product this summer, we were stoked! Gelato and all-natural goodness in one product? Count us in!

Since my husband and I don’t ever actually leave the house, I decided to make the most out of one of our deck nights and stage a sweet simple taste-testing. The needed ingredients? Kids tucked in for the night, a deliciously breezy summer night, some yummy All Natural Gelato and a couple of spoons.

We went for it.

Turkey Hill Dairy's All Natural Gelato is DELICIOUS! You've gotta check this out--a healthy win for the whole family. Trust me!

Turkey Hill Dairy's All Natural Gelato is DELICIOUS! You've gotta check this out--a healthy win for the whole family. Trust me!

And we enjoyed it.

Turkey Hill Dairy's All Natural Gelato is DELICIOUS! You've gotta check this out--a healthy win for the whole family. Trust me!

We tried the Sea Salted Caramel, Purely Vanilla, and Chocolate Peanut Butter. All were delicious, but the Sea Salted Caramel was especially tricky for me to stop spooning up–yum! My husband loved the Purely Vanilla for its sweet simplicity.

I love that our local brand was the first major ice cream brand to offer an all natural gelato. Made with simple ingredients like milk, cream, sugar and vanilla, All Natural Gelato, with its denser, richer texture than ice cream (less air) is available in eight flavors:

Chocolate Chocolate Chip

Hazelnut

Purely Vanilla

Chocolate Peanut Butter

Mint Chocolate Chip

Sea Salted Caramel

Coffee Chip

Peach Mango

Available at select retailers wherever Turkey Hill products are sold, you can hop in on the goodness too. Snatch up a spoon and the flavor that most tempts you and dig in!

Make sure to follow along with Turkey Hill on Facebook and Twitter for brand updates. And then serve up a summer of simple sweetness to your family. Hey, taste-testing some yummy gelato as a date night is always a win of an idea!

May 082015
 

I want to win this giveaway! Scoring a swag bag gifted to celebrities is a dream-come-true with this giveaway! Enter this easy-peasy giveaway for a boatload of fun goodies and loot for Mother's Day worth over $1700!Do you ever swoon a little when you hear about the incredible swag celebs score at events? Well, here’s your chance to stop swooning and start scoring the loot for yourself!

When Distinctive Assets (est. in 1999 and producer of gift bags and backstage gift lounges for practically every major award show) contacted me about the fabulous gift bags they would be gifting twenty-five famous mommy stars (Jennifer Love Hewitt, Hayden Panettiere, Zoe Saldana, and Carrie Underwood among the lot), I was all, “Why are you telling me this!?” Not that I was jealous or anything…I mean, sure I’m thrilled to know that Tinseltown’s most famous maternal stars would be getting over $8,000 worth of innovative, unique, useful and fabulous products, but…

But then I found out that Distinctive Assets is going to be giving away ten of the featured products to one of YOU! Yup, that’s right. This Mother’s Day one The Mom of the Year reader is banking the goods, Hollywood-style. Read the full list of products up for grabs below and get pretty excited, because the total haul is worth $1,749.24!

How do you enter to win? As long as you live in the continental U.S. and are 18 or older, you are eligible to enter through the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. The giveaway will close on Friday, May 15, 2015 at 5:30amET. The randomly selected winner will be contacted by e-mail and have 48 hrs. to respond before another winner is chosen.

Got it? Yay! Now read all about the loot and then throw your name in the hat and school this Mother’s Day like a Hollywood celeb!

I want to win this giveaway! Scoring a swag bag gifted to celebrities is a dream-come-true with this giveaway! Enter this easy-peasy giveaway for a boatload of fun goodies and loot for Mother's Day worth over $1700!

Polar A300 is a 24/7 activity tracker that measures steps, calorie burn, sleep patterns as well as overall fitness activity, and gives instant feedback and provides inactivity alerts to the Polar Flow app. It is also the first waterproof and heart rate compatible activity tracker.($159.95)

An Adri and Sara Italian made scarf with signature hand-stitched border and cotton/canvas backpack from the Sasek Collection.($203)

Dermabrilliance is an at-home cosmetic skin resurfacing system that combines a revolutionary random orbit skin care device with a diamond and garnet infused resurfacing cream that polishes away visible signs of aging. The gift set includes the cleansing/exfoliating device, interchangeable heads (cleaning, exfoliating and massaging), the charging stand, Jewel Resurfacing Cream, Apple Cleanser, Day Nourish Moisturizer and Eye Recovery cream. ($199.99)

Gift certificate, tote bag and hoodie from TAGS Boutique. ($100)

Sheec is a distinctive footwear solution for chic women, men and kids. ($200)

D’Milikah is a luxurious beachwear brand that caters to every body type while maintaining its very Brazilian flair. The pieces carry the brand’s trademark beading and embroidery. ($120)

Soft Star Shoes offers handcrafted soft leather shoes, made in the USA for the entire family. ($234)

What are Starlettos? They are tiny, discreet heel protectors that are almost invisible when worn on grass. Slip them onto a pair of heels and wear them anywhere. Prevent them from sinking in soft ground, getting stuck in decking or sliding on wooden floors. Confidence from the ground up! ($54.30)

UE BOOM by Ultimate Ears is a 360-degree wireless Bluetooth speaker that is water and stain resistant with a 15-hour battery life. It’s up for anything you want to do! ($199.99)

Piper is a device that lets you manage and connect with your home in an entirely new way. It’s the perfect balance of security, video monitoring, and automation that will make life safer and more convenient for you and your family. ($279.00)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*****Many thanks to Distinctive Assets for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway!*****

Complete list and pic of what the celebs are getting in case you want to drool more!: 

Who wouldn't swoon over scoring all of this Hollywood loot? The celeb recipients have got it all this Mother's Day!

Adoratherapy mood-boosting spray, Haze Dual Vaporizers, Arts&Scents young fresh and different perfumes, Cheeki underwear, SWAG Laundry Detergent, Purely Inspired plant-based protein shakes, Adri & Sara scarves, Ibiza Soul flip flops, Coal and Canary soy candles, XO Mints, Ruma Organics vegan plant-based personal care products, Helen & Harold’s rompers, Polar A300 24/7 activity tracker, The Veggie Republic veggie bracelet, Harry’s Garden Koolee, Penguin Young Readers children’s book bundle, Damsel in Defense personal safety products, Lat & Lo handcrafted jewelry, Sheec distinctive socks, TAGS Boutique, Skinfix luxurious lotions, Nolables reusable customizable bottles + cup labels, PuraBela crème natural deodorant and body scrub, Golden Door Artisan Food, D’Milikah luxurious swimwear, Healthy Mama Brand all-natural OTC health remedies, Sizers shoe sizing insert cushions, DermaWand in-home radio frequency beauty device, DermaBrilliance at home skin resurfacing system, Violet iodine daily supplement, Rejuvel microgravity anti-aging serum, Rivulet Artisan Pecan Liqueur, Gleener ultimate fuzz remover, Nest Designs Bamboo Blankies and Bib Bandanas, Mysti Taylor clutch, Wellness 360 “healing through science” luminosity package from Dr. Jane, Krystal Klear Water Filtration, Archibald’s Next Big Thing illustrated children’s book by Emmy-winner Tony Hale, POND’S Rejuveness Anti-Wrinkle Cream, Garden of Life non-GMO/organic/vegan supplements, Teeth Fairies interactive book+doll set, Cockblocked: a novel by J.T. Willow, LeSportsac diaper bag, MY M&M’s Mom Gift Box, LaCroix Sparkling Water, Big Cat Rescue calendar, down etc’s Wash Me Tender premium wash mitt and towel set, Slimware portion control plates, Shama Jade Brazilian yoga jumpsuits, Earth’s Best diapers and wipes, Starlettos heel protectors, UE BOOM by Ultimate Ears, Piper all-in-one home security system, handcrafted leather Soft Star Shoes, and a Logitech tech lovers gift bundle.

Second image credit: depositphotos.com, vector ID:3676473, copyright:-Aqua-

5/17/15 UPDATE: Congrats to Julie R. for winning and claiming this prize!

May 072015
 

Flower bouquets are a gorgeous way to say "I love you" and "Thank you" to the special mom, friend, or girl in your life. Every woman loves flowers and what a perfect thank-you gift!I love my husband. He is a good man, a really good man. But sadly, his bent on being logical doesn’t allow him to understand flowers, “They cost so much and just die. You can’t keep them.”

Exactly. This is exactly the point. Ladies want to be special enough to be spoiled with something pretty, even if it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. And flowers for me do make sense: the gorgeousness they add to my home is worth their expense.

You see, 9 times out of 10 (okay, fine, ALL OF THE TIMES), I’m racing around my house in a hurry. Whether it’s trying madly to shove kiddos out the door, find a missing shoe, or pop off a quick e-mail, there aren’t a lot of calm moments in my day-to-day. But when my eyes land on a vase of beautiful flowers, it’s a little way to stop and visually smell the roses, amidst the craziness.

Even if dishes are piled up and mountains of laundry mock me, if some pretty blooms are thrown into the mix, I feel a little less panicky, like at least something in my life is ordered and looks sweet.

I like flowers a lot. And when ProFlowers asked if I’d like to help them #CelebrateEveryMom by sending bouquets to a couple other moms in my life, I jumped at the chance. I may not be able to shower these women with mountains of gifts to say how much I appreciate them, but with ProFlowers, I could send some floral sunshine their way.

Flower bouquets are a gorgeous way to say "I love you" and "Thank you" to the special mom, friend, or girl in your life. Every woman loves flowers and what a perfect thank-you gift!

I can think of no better way #CelebrateEveryMom than to say, “Hello! I think you’re really special and hope these bring a smile to your day! Thanks for being you, and know that I love you.” with a bouquet of flowers.

To my sister, my love, “I am so, so proud of how you are rocking out new motherhood. Life, especially with kids on board, is so full of ups, downs and curve balls, but one thing is certain: your daughter will always know how very much you love her. Thank you for being a rockstar mom to my niece.”

Flower bouquets are a gorgeous way to say "I love you" and "Thank you" to the special mom, friend, or girl in your life. Every woman loves flowers and what a perfect thank-you gift!

To our dear family friend who has loved my family for ages, in more ways than I could ever count, “Thank you for being who you are, the perfect balance and addition to our lives. From your laughs to your pure loving heart, we appreciate you so much!”

Flower bouquets are a gorgeous way to say "I love you" and "Thank you" to the special mom, friend, or girl in your life. Every woman loves flowers and what a perfect thank-you gift!

To my mom, who’s not here. “I got you an orchid this year, Mom. Most of the buds aren’t open yet, but I feel like that’s pretty perfect. Because that’s kind of how I feel about life without you. Most of the buds of wonderful things still have yet to blossom, but I believe they will someday. And I’m going to let them bloom in your honor. I still love you very much.”

Flower bouquets are a gorgeous way to say "I love you" and "Thank you" to the special mom, friend, or girl in your life. Every woman loves flowers and what a perfect thank-you gift!

And for myself, just because ProFlowers was generous and kind, and I really like pretty things. I chose a bouquet of orchid stems; so, like my mom’s flowers, but a teensy bit my own.

Flower bouquets are a gorgeous way to say "I love you" and "Thank you" to the special mom, friend, or girl in your life. Every woman loves flowers and what a perfect thank-you gift!

 

Flower bouquets are a gorgeous way to say "I love you" and "Thank you" to the special mom, friend, or girl in your life. Every woman loves flowers and what a perfect thank-you gift!

Every Mom in your life should be celebrated, and there’s no better time to do it than on Mother’s Day. Go #CelebrateEveryMom with a gorgeous bouquet from ProFlowers. They have a tremendous selection of flowers to choose from and allow you to customize your order to your specifications. Bonus: head over now and there’s a promo for 15% off your order. Sweet!

Go make a mom’s day with some flowers. It’s a smile you won’t regret!

*****Thank you to ProFlowers for providing me with flowers to share with the special ladies in my life for the purpose of this post–and for making my kitchen table look gorgeous! My delight in these flowers is 100% genuine*****

First image credit: depositphotos.com, image ID:21384461, copyright:Yaruta

Apr 242015
 

Shopping for Mother's Day? Teacher Gifts? Graduation or Father's Day? A Summer Birthday gift? The perfect gift solutions are here in this ultimate summertime product buying guide! Snatch up all the hot items of the season and be a hit with everyone on your list!With Mother’s Day, the end of school, Father’s Day and summer birthdays coming our way, it almost feels like this season is as gift-giving busy as the holidays! It’s no secret that I love to shop, but our tight budget is always a concern. I really like to make sure that the items I purchase are fantastic and well worth our hard-earned pennies.

So I dove into some dedicated hands-on shopping research, friends (it was so tough 😉 ), and came up with a list of items that are rocking my list this Spring and Summer. The super-fun news? A whole bunch of these products are being given away to one lucky winner in the giveaway below. So read up, then throw your name in the hat to score big. Warm weather gifting is in the bag!

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For the grown-up:

Last year I was trolling a shop at the shore, when I saw one of these insanely gorgeous JORD watches. I was a goner; I’ve been crushing on it ever since and now couldn’t be more thrilled to to offer the chance to win one to YOU. There is a $139 gift certificate to JORD up for grabs! JORD has options for ladies and men, so it would be a wonderful gift for anyone on your list, but honestly, after seeing the intricately-crafted beautiful woodwork, you’d better just plan on making room on your own dresser for this gem. It’s that stunning.

I cannot stop crushing on this gorgeous wooden watch! There are so many choices and colors to choose from--shop now for the perfect gift!

The only thing sweeter about this pic than the one above it? The JORD watch is actually on my wrist!

Watch Gift Ideas

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Who couldn’t use a pick-me-up of a new phone case? You know one that isn’t all heavily coated with kid stains and scratch-marks from dropping it on the pavement while trying to carry a million things. The uber-customizable options from The Case Studio are the perfect gift! With loads of cool designer patterns to choose from or the option to create your own, the site is user-friendly and delivery is quick. Plus, with this unique $25 off promo code, you can score a case for half off! Type in: 25TOSPEND at check-out and use the extra savings to snag one for yourself!

 

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Do you ever take a really cool picture on your phone and want to display it as wall art, but not sure how? Enter SwitchArt, a genius solution. TheSwitchArt™ App for iPhone allows users to simply download the app, buy a pack, and begin uploading personal photos from their camera roll, Instagram feed or Facebook page. Each pack includes a SwitchArt™ Magnetic Frame in the color and size of your choice, and a number of prints you select. Your new and personalized artwork will arrive by mail in a few days. Then, you can create and order the rest of the prints in your pack whenever you want with free shipping. Enter below to win a 24 x 24 magnetic frame (color black, brown, or white your choice) with two personal photo prints!

All the easy-peasy changing of wall heart is yours for the taking with this genius solution! Take your pics and display them for everyone to see--until you take the next great shot!

All the easy-peasy changing of wall art is yours for the taking with this genius solution! Take your pics and display them for everyone to see–until you take the next great shot!

I’m excited to gift my husband this for Father’s Day, partly because the app was so easy to use, I was able to figure it out myself without bugging him, and partly because the fact that I have officially integrated his beekeeping obsession into our home decor is a surprise (at least until he reads this post). Either, way, SwitchArt has allowed the bees to find a way in!

Yup, I actually ordered this first print for my husband as a homage to his hardwork with his bees. My jury's still out on the buzzers, but with SwitchArt, my commitment doesn't have to be 100%--I can just switch it out to a print honoring another one of his hobbies (growing hops for home brewing!)

Yup, I actually ordered this first print for my husband as a homage to his hardwork with his bees. My jury’s still out on the buzzers, but with SwitchArt, my commitment doesn’t have to be 100%–I can just switch it out to a print showcasing another one of his hobbies (growing hops for home brewing!)

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Looking for a one-of-a-kind gift? I know one of these precious pencil drawings from Artist Elizabeth Smith would be so appreciated by Grandma or a graduate in your life! Elizabeth transforms a photograph you send her into a beautiful, original piece of art, perfect for home decor or meaningful keepsake. This artist pours so much time and talent into each one of her creations, I promise you will be awed by your order! And she is giving away a $50 giftcard to her shop in the giveaway below, so enter now! Two very sweet examples of her work: A one-of-a-kind pencil drawing is the PERFECT GIFT for Grandma or someone else going through a special time in their lives. Snatch up this amazing artistry at these sweet prices and make it a memory to last a lifetime! A one-of-a-kind pencil drawing is the PERFECT GIFT for Grandma or someone else going through a special time in their lives. Snatch up this amazing artistry at these sweet prices and make it a memory to last a lifetime!

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For the chic gal: Ladies love bags. Tote bags, clutches, purses, cross-body, satchels…you name it, throwing all the random kleenex packs and lollipops to bribe the kids into a new bag is enough to make any gal’s day. When Olivia + Joy/Tutilo sent me their new Spring/Summer line-up, I swooned. Affordable and chic, olivia + joy’s summer styles feature fashionable twists on classic silhouettes. Tutilo’s summer collection offers a versatile selection of stylish, utilitarian tote bags that are designed for the everyday woman. These collections include an array of bags, available in a variety of materials and colors. From classic and neutral shades or to making a statement with pops of color, there are so many choices! With convenient online ordering and a customer-friendly return policy, you can’t go wrong snagging one of these bags for the lady in your life!

Looking for the perfect chic summer bag? Search no further! All the quality, trend-friendly bags you need are right here! Check out the finds!

My dream summer bag

 

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The one gift that is sure to be a hit with any mom on your list? Wine! Trust me, Mommy needs a break. Keep it classy with this sweet packaging from Little Black Dress Wines. Little Black Dress wines are accessorized with fruit-forward aromas, hints of dazzle, an impeccable sense of balance and a body to die for. Great taste is mom’s best accessory. Little Black Dress Wines cover every mood from spirited to sophisticated and turning heads along the way. Grab a much-needed bottle for mom now!  

 

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While I’m typically a large roomy tote kind of gal, once in while, I need a small chic clutch for popping out errands or attending a soiree. Finding one that allows me to keep charged and connected? Bliss! True story: since ChicBuds send me this sweet Clutchette Power, I haven’t left home without it. I think my social media addiction may have a lot to do with my constant need to recharge, but a lot of it is just keeping up with my responsibilites as Mom in this modern-day world. Being able to do that in the form of super-soft vegan leather clutch in a boss hip shade? I’m sold! Grab one of these for the lady in your life and she’ll be delighted!

A gorgeously soft vegan-leather clutch that allows me to feel fashion-forward and charge up at the same time? I'm a goner! Check out the sweet find here!

A gorgeously soft vegan-leather clutch that allows me to feel fashion-forward and charge up at the same time? I’m a goner!

 

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Looking fabulous on the outside always makes a gal feel fabulous on the inside too. I love that with Belli skincare products, an upscale skincare line for pregnant/post-natal mommies, the guesswork of ingredient safety is removed and replaced with effective and luxurious formulations. With Belli, you can rest assured that you aren’t using anything that could be harmful to you or your baby-to-be. Every Belli product is allergy tested, free of paraben preservatives, phthalates, and artificial dyes or fragrances, and made in the USA. After you’re done checking out these terrific products, go enjoy Belli’s HUGE “Belli Celebrate Mom” event for the entire month of May! From May 1-31, make a daily visit to www.belliskincare.com for a chance to win an item from the featured brand partner of the day. On May 31, you can register for the Grand Prize (valued at over $1500), which will include a prize from all the featured brands!  You can also go to Belli’s Facebook page to compete for a matching Grand Prize package by posting a comment or uploading a photo or video of your mom. The post with the most likes wins!

 

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For the boys: We spend most of our summer splashing around in the pool, so quality swimwear is a must! Tom & Teddy makes it too adorable for my guys with their line of matching trunks for dads and little dudes! Tom & Teddy is all about friendship, shared experiences and that special bond between father and son. It captures the spirit of the great Australian outdoors and the perfect summer’s day by the water. Each individual piece is made to an exceptionally high standard – quality and durability are at the core of the brand. The quick-drying microfibre is salt water and chlorine resistant; this signature fabric is combined with UV protection, providing a soft finish for superb comfort. There is no better Father’s Day gift for the man and little guy in your life! And in the giveaway below you can score your own matching Daddy-son set and soak up all the cuteness for your own family! These sweet matching Father-Son swimsuit sets are the perfect Father's day gift! Snag one now and get summertime kicked off of the right pool-time foot!

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For the little readers: When we first read The Spoiled Pink book by Laura Sidsworth, my daughter was captivated. “Mommy,” she whispered in the most serious tone, “Can I please keep this book forever?” She loves it and the super-cool news is that Sidsworth also has a second book out, The Treehouse Treasury. I can’t wait to read this one with my kids so we can enjoy many happy night-night story times! Grab a copies of both books for the kiddo on your list and enter below to win free ones! This sweet book is full of pink, princesses, and puppies--everything the little girl in your life could want! Grab a copy as the perfect gift now & happy reading!

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We are also eager to read Even Superheroes Have to Sleep by Sara Crow when it comes out this summer! Crow has such a dedicated heart for this rhyming book (and the knowledge that getting kids to sleep is no easy task!) that she is Kickstarting the funding of the inital printing. As she describes, “The more money we raise = more books printed = more children sleeping better at night = a happier world (it’s science).” Go support her mission and make a plan to snatch up this book for the readers in your life come summer and throw your name in the hat to win a copy for free! (Please note, book will be mailed to winner when published. Estimated publication is August 2015) This rhyming book not only helps your little one with important literary and verbal skills but helps them with the too-important task of SLEEPING. Grab it up now, Momma! You know you need it!  

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Now that all the sweet summer finds have been revealed, go win them for yourself and get your gifting settled and in the bag! And happy shopping, friends! As long as you are 18 or older and live in the continental United States, you are eligible to enter the giveaway below, which will close on 5/1/15 at 5:30am ET. Thank you for entering! a Rafflecopter giveaway

5/4/15 UPDATE: Congrats to Heather M. for winning and claiming the package of goodies!

****Products received from above companies for review purposes, but my delight in each of these items is 100% genuine. *****

Apr 202015
 

It’s time to get ready for summer, friends! That means FINALLY bidding adieu to those nasty cracked heels and yucky feet. Just think of the sweetness of staring down at some pretty polished toes while chilling with a margarita in the fresh summer sunshine. Bliss, I know. Good news for you? We’ve got the tools you need to make this a dream-come-true.

I’m teaming up with The Invention Brothers to give you a chance to win a fabulous new beauty exfoliator called The Skoother® Skin Smoother, as well as an iPad Mini!

If you suffer from dry, cracked heels, the 'Get Ready for Summer Giveaway' is for you! Enter today for your chance to win an iPad Mini, a Skoother Skin Smoother to help cure your cracked heels, or a Margarator giant party blender. With 25 prizes to be won, you don't want to miss out!

Have you heard of the Skoother?

It’s the most effective way to quickly and easily smooth rough skin and calluses on your feet, heels, elbows and hands, and it’s unique design makes it much more effective than pumice stones, emery pads, metal graters (ouch!), motorized sanders, and other skin-smoothing gimmicks.

If you suffer from dry, cracked heels, the 'Get Ready for Summer Giveaway' is for you! Enter today for your chance to win an iPad Mini, a Skoother Skin Smoother to help cure your cracked heels, or a Margarator giant party blender. With 25 prizes to be won, you don't want to miss out!

It’s easy to hold.

It conforms to your body, making it quick and easy to use.

It doesn’t require batteries.

The Micro-Abrasive Screen is rough enough to remove stubborn calluses on your heels, but gentle enough also lightly smooth the skin on more delicate areas like your hands and knees.

It has been medically-tested by a team of doctors at the University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor.

It’s easy to clean.

And by entering the Rafflecopter form below, you will have a chance to win one (1) of 20 Skoothers to get your skin ready for summer.

But wait – it gets better!

We’re also giving away 4 Margarators® (1 Gallon Party Blender) and one (1) grand prize of an iPad Mini!

What a great way to kick off the warm weather!

All you have to do is complete the form below to enter between April 20, 2015 at 12:00 am EST and April 30, 2015 at 11:59 pm EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if you don’t win but would still like to be one of the first to experience the Skoother, simply sign up using THIS FORM between May 1, 2015 and June 14, 2015. The Launch Day Special for a Skoother is only $12 + free shipping. We will contact you through your email sign-up to give you more details!

Good luck!

For complete contest rules and regulations, CLICK HERE.

The Mom of the Year received no compensation for sponsoring this event, and is not responsible for the delivery of the prize. Prize delivery is the sole responsibility of The Invention Brothers / Comstock Studios Inc. Twenty-five (25) winners will be drawn randomly and notified by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond in order to claim their prize. If they do not respond within the 48 hours, they will forfeit the prize and an alternate winner will be chosen. This post may contain affiliate links.

Apr 172015
 

Creating a space of calm and serenity in your yard is easier than it sounds! Check out this easy help to make the soothing happen in your yard!So, a bit ago my husband began this crazy beekeeping hobby. Yeah, that’s still happening.

While largely the bees do their thing and I do mine, they started hanging out a bit too much around our pool last summer.  Somehow the concerns I voiced regarding this translated into my husband’s pressing need to build a pond in our front yard. The logic is beyond me; just go with it.

I did all the things, friends. I made the sideways glares, passive-aggressively tisked disapproval over diagrams of his plans and remained certain that such an endeavor was way too far out of our grasping-at-straws-to-maintain-sanity-with-young-kids existence.

Still, as Dr. J tends to do, he persevered.

He was determined for this pond–for the bees, for our yard, for the sheer value of creating something beautiful at our home. Whatever his motivation, it was happening. And God bless Practical Garden Ponds because they allowed it to be a feasible task that did not slay us with its enormity.

What is Practical Garden Ponds?

If you are local, this company can create a one-of-a-kind pond feature at your home and then take care of servicing it as needed. If you live a bit further away, Practical Garden Ponds is still something you want to check out. They not only sell pond equipment and accessories at incredibly reasonable prices, but they offer individualized, dedicated recommendations and inspiration.

It was a delight to work with Nate, the proprietor, in creating our pond. Practical Garden Ponds will happily do all of the work for you, or help you do it yourself, as preferred (my ambitious husband wanted to tackle a lot of it by himself). Personally, I preferred to cheer the process on from the front porch 😉 

Why is a pond a good thing?

Aside from all the ecological benefits, which my husband would love to hash out in detail if you’re interested, I’ll speak to the beauty and serenity of our pond. We chose a pondless water feature, which in our case, basically means a pretty pile of rocks water repeatedly circulates over (without a pool of water at the bottom).

Could it get more peaceful??

For me, no. Our pond is set on a timer, so from when I get up in the morning to when we settle in for the evening, the water soothingly runs in the background of our days. I work from our dining room table, with the windows open in the warmer months. I can’t say how calming it is to hear the water flow; even when the events and endless emails of our lives rage on, at least this one peaceful thing is a gentle constant.

Creating a space of calm and serenity in your yard is easier than it sounds! Check out this easy help to make the soothing happen in your yard!

I love our pond, and in short: my husband was right. This was the right choice for us. While too many times I roll my eyes over Dr. J’s tenacity, in this case, I’m thankful for it. Thankful for it in the way that leaves me feeling gorgeously serene listening to the sound of the water repeatedly rolling over itself–in this crazed Mom of the Year‘s lifestyle, this is a blessing of no small proportion.

So take a leap with your own home–let Practical Garden Ponds use their gift on your yard for a fraction of the cost you’d pay elsewhere. Your sanity will thank you, I promise.

Now you’ll excuse me–I’ve got a pond to go bliss out over.

****Thank you to Practical Garden Ponds for their help in creating our pond feature! Our appreciation of their services remains 100% genuine!****

Apr 102015
 

Healthy, delicious, & affordable meals the whole family will love really CAN happen, Mom! And it's easy-peasy! Trust me, get this food on the table and call it a win!One of my favorite parts of blogging is being able to work with other moms to share their small businesses. Through this, I am able to find so many cool new products while being blown away with the commitment and hard work these ladies pour into supporting their families. How incredibly boss!

Recently, when my friend Barbara shared her heart behind why Wildtree and its products have become so important to her and her family, I was so impressed. When she gave me some of the items to sample, I was a goner–the stuff was yummy, my kids ate it happily, and my husband asked if I could get more of it!

What is Wildtree

It is a company who is committed to offering quality, healthy, easy-to-prepare food at an affordable price. As their mission statement reads: Wildtree offers the highest quality herbs, spices and culinary blends that are free of preservatives, additives, fillers and promote a healthier lifestyle. We believe in the value of making cooking a quicker, easier, more healthful project for those who are short on time. Wildtree also offers a fun adventure for those who wish to be more creative in the kitchen.”

Wildtree offers the highest quality herbs, spices and culinary blends that are free of preservatives, additives, fillers and promote a healthier lifestyle. We believe in the value of making cooking a quicker, easier, more healthful project for those who are short on time. Wildtree also offers a fun adventure for those who wish to be more creative in the kitchen

With items such as beer breads, sauces, drink mixes and desserts, they have everything you need to make your family a delicious healthy dinner–without a pricey cost and a ton of effort!

Why is Barbara committed to Wildtree?

As she describes, “I have a son with severe dietary restrictions and have had to make all of his food from scratch since he started eating solids. I took food every.single.place we went. I am the mom that pulls a cupcake, slice of pizza, and a bottle of water from her purse at the ChuckECheese birthday parties! When I found Wildtree and discovered a company that is founded on the premise that healthy food should be delicious AND affordable I was thrilled. I used the products pretty much daily for a year and then realized I should really hook myself up with a discount! And here I am, a year later, using the products daily and sharing their goodness with others – both those with dietary restrictions and with those that just want to eat a little better but still have delicious food.

I am proud to represent a company that never backs away from its founding ideals – to provide healthy food that is both delicious AND affordable!”

The beautiful family Barbara works hard to take care of--dying over these three adorable Wildtree fans!

Interested in checking Wildtree out?

Here is a link to the online catalog so you can browse the full catalog. Trust me, you’ll find loads of thing to spruce up your meals in a hurry!

http://mywildtree.com/lovetoeatWant to learn even more about ways you can help take care of Barbara also offers tasting parties and super-helpful freezer meal workshops to help you get organized. Be in touch with her to book a session or to learn more.

And then go ahead and order a few of the items that you are most crushing on! My family has honestly loved every item we’ve tried, so you really can’t go wrong. And keep in mind that these food items make wonderful hostess or Mother’s Day gifts. Giving a fellow busy mom an easy healthy meal for her family? There’s nothing more appreciated!

Snag your selections on her website and check out choosing the host as First Name: Mom of the, Last Name: Year Barbara and I are eager for you to give them a try!

And as bonus for my readers, Barbara is giving away a $25 Wildtree gift certificate below! As long as you are 18 or older, you are eligible to enter, and a bunch of healthy family eating is in reach! Contest ends 4/17/15 at 5:30am ET.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here’s to healthy, easy, affordable meals friends–it can happen!

 

First image credit: depositphotos.com, Image ID:43825341Copyright:Roxana

 

Apr 012015
 

These sweet eco-friendly duds from Elisabethan are the PERFECT Mother's Day or teacher gifts. But, let's be honest, at this level of adorableness, I want these skirts, tunics, scarves and headbands for myself! Score some NOW!Last summer I was trolling a consignment shop at the beach with my sister, when my eyes landed on the most fabulous skirt of all time. It was from a brand I’d never heard of before, Elisabethan. As my knees buckled from its magnificence, even my sister, a decided non-shopper (I know–I have no idea why I like her either), conceded, “That is really, really cute.”

So basically, the skirt then went on and didn’t come off for the rest of the summer. It was insanely comfortable and soft. Of course, silly summer things like kids with drippy popsicles and sweaty walks to the park meant it got washed–a lot. But you know what? This only made me love it more. Because as I wore and washed it hard, I realized how incredibly well made it was. The colors didn’t fade, stitches didn’t pull, and the shape wasn’t lost.

And I did mention how adorable it was? I was in love. I researched the company, and fell more in love. You see, Elisabethan has a firm commitment to creating NEW, not MORE. Founder Elisabeth Delehaunty and her small team of skilled artists work together to create gorgeous clothing from “experienced textiles” (post-consumer fabric). Each item is one-of-a-kind and eco-friendly.

As described on their site:

“Bags and bales of cast-off t-shirts, cashmere & lambswool sweaters and other second-hand textiles arrive at the Elisabethan studio. The team culls and low-impact launders what Elisabethan can use, then donates what’s left to local thrift stores. White t-shirts & sweaters are dyed to increase the availability of the yummiest, most-desired colors.  The team hand-cuts each piece from Delehaunty’s original patterns, then combine (by deciding EACH cut piece that will go in a garment), stitch and finish with appliqués and other accents. Phew! Fabulous, one-of-a-kind, eco-friendly garments are born.”

In short, it’s one very cool operation. Equally cool to how the clothes are made? The clothes themselves. Let me break it down for you: I have spent countless hours drooling over the items in their shop, stalking semi-local stores that sell the goods, and fantasizing about chancing on another amazing consigned skirt find. My husband is thrilled.

These sweet eco-friendly duds from Elisabethan are the PERFECT Mother's Day or teacher gifts. But, let's be honest, at this level of adorableness, I want these skirts, tunics, scarves and headbands for myself! Score some NOW!

I was so obsessed, I begged and pleaded with the staff of Elisabethan to let me share their work with you. Being as they are so very wonderful, they not only agreed, but gave me a sweet promo code to offer to YOU, readers. Through the month of April, enter code TMOTY15 at check-out to receive 15% off your entire purchase. This is a really fabulous deal.

What should you do with it? Obviously, snag some gifts for Mother’s Day, teachers and summer birthdays on your list, but here is one other wild suggestion: buy something for yourself. Like, no really, you can do it.

These sweet eco-friendly duds from Elisabethan are the PERFECT Mother's Day or teacher gifts. But, let's be honest, at this level of adorableness, I want these skirts, tunics, scarves and headbands for myself! Score some NOW!

Here’s the thing: as moms we give and give, but it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to take care of yourself once in a while. Getting yourself an uber-comfy piece of clothing that will allow you to play hard with your kids this summer? Worth it. And, it’s a bit of a money-saver too. I’ll be honest: these skirts cost more than I would pay for a skater skirt at Target, but they last. Really, truly last. That consigned skirt I found at the beginning of last summer? I have every intention of rocking it overtime again this summer–and it is still looks fantastic.

So get shopping with Elisabethan. You’ll thank me! 

This sweet eco-friendly repurposed fabric scarf from Elisabethan is the PERFECT Mother's Day or teacher gift. But, let's be honest, at this level of adorableness, I'd keep it for myself! Win it NOW!

And while you are swooning over your new purchases? Enter below to win one of their adorable Ruffle Pippi Long Scarves. This item will get you more compliments than you know what to do with. Seriously, it is that amazingly cute. As long as you are 18 or older and live in the continental U.S. you are eligible to enter. Giveaway closes 4/8/15 at 5:30am ET.

Go get your eco-friendly, one-of-a-kind Elisabethan on, friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***Elisabethan is a brand I am proud to promote and I am thankful they sent products for me to wear and enjoy so I could share my love of them with you, readers!****

****4/10/15 UPDATE: Congrats to Valerie W. for winning this gorgeous scarf****

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