Jul 012015
 

Moms! Finally a shoe that is TRULY comfy AND stylish. They amaze me, and did I mention they are machine-washable?? You have to check these out!Swoosh. Swoosh. Swoosh.

Oh don’t mind me, friends, that’s just the noise of my feet waving their white flag of surrender to all the insanity I’ve already put them through this summer–and it’s only the first day of July. Truth told, the rest of me might be waving that flag right along with my feet, as these intense days are indeed rather intense and Mommy may be feeling a tad cranky-tired from all the fun together time, but another story for another time…

My feet. You see, as far as seasons go, summer is pretty demanding on the peds. There is the whole no-shoes bit, with bumpy driveway gravel, hot sand and roughed up grass. The constant battle against cracked heels and the endless attempts to pedicure-up toes with a pretty polish. Add up lots of park runs, swing pushing, pool swimming, and the unified commitment my children and the dog make to jumping on my baby toes at least 16 times each hour and you have yourself a summer in the life of feet.

It’s a wonder they haven’t up and walked out on me, really. I feel horrible for them, I do.

So when Bzees introduced their shoes to me, they had me at their tagline, “light feels right.” Something light and refreshing for my tired soles? Yes, please.

And then Bzees explained more, “Filled with magical unicorn down, Bzees Cloud Technology is designed to feel, well, like a cloud…weightless, energized and free.” I laughed at their fun humor, my feet cried in relief, and together, we were completely sold.

Moms! Finally a shoe that is TRULY comfy AND stylish. They amaze me, and did I mention they are machine-washable?? You have to check these out!

What does Cloud Technology actually mean?

The Mom of the Year answer: My Bzees arrived, I put them on and wore them for five minutes. I was so amazed, I took them off and made my 13 yr. old Mother’s Helper put them on. She is the coolest 13 yr. old in the history of the world, so she didn’t bat an eye and fully agreed that they were blissful. Bzees are so incredible they demand to be shared.

The official answer: there is an air-infused outsole (micro-cellular air bubbles trapped within that enables them to be lightweight, extremely soft and bouncy), dynamic stretch uppers (a dynamic fitting stretch upper material over/across the top of your foot that enables your foot to move freely with support),  free-foamTM footbeds (specially blended micro-cellular polymer foam that delivers high resiliency without compacting and creating a low pressure walking experience that’s like walking on a cloud), and THEY ARE MACHINE WASHABLE.

Really. I know. I’ll let that last point sink in. Kids’ dripping ice cream or those horrid melty red ice pops? No match for Bzees. You can wash them, mom!

Moms! Finally a shoe that is TRULY comfy AND stylish. They amaze me, and did I mention they are machine-washable?? You have to check these out!

 

As Bzees explains, their shoes are “the simple and stylish footwear choice to add a spring in your step through your day’s highs and lows. Easy-to-wear and easy-to-wash, they’re your ideal companion for everyday reality: all that’s unexpected, whimsical, and downright messy in life.”

Let me break this down: we moms are horridly rough on our feet. Bzees has created stylish, fun options that feel like a dream and are okay to throw in the wash after our kids work their worst on them. In short, they are a miracle.

Even cooler? One pair is up for grabs to one of YOU, readers. Any in-stock pair of your choice! Enter through the Rafflecopter widget below. As long as you are 18 or older and live in the continental United States, you are eligible! Giveaway will close on 7/8/15 at 5:30am ET.

In the meantime, shop Bzees, friends. Your feet will cease sending you daggers while you press on through the summer frenzy of toddler butterfly-chasing, I promise.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Moms! Finally a shoe that is TRULY comfy AND stylish. They amaze me, and did I mention they are machine-washable?? You have to check these out!
****Thanks to Bzees for sponsoring this post and introducing me to a brand that my feet will love for years to come!****
Jun 282015
 

Well, crap. We’ve been at the beach this whole past week, and when my dear friend Femme Frugality asked me to help her celebrate her four year blogiversary, I was eager, but didn’t have a chance to read her post until right now. And now I’m tearing up.

As I told my sister this week (before I even read Femme’s words), Femme was my first friend in this blogging world. We dove into this online business right about the same time. I have met and hugged her in person, but moreover, the blessing of being able to cheer on and support each other as we have grown has been an incredible blessing. She has such a sweet heart and is wicked smart. If you don’t read her, do.

While I love her blog, above all, I love her. She gets me. Read on, and you’ll see why. And then help me celebrate her four years with this boss giveaway! xo, Femme!

Celebrate the heart of friendship--and the very real coolness of blogging with this sweet anniversary giveaway from this amazing woman!Hi, Mom of the Year readers! I’m Femme Frugality, a personal finance blogger and mother. I know what you’re probably thinking. Personal finance is boring. You’re right. It can be. But it can also be the means to achieving major life goals, the methods for tracking your progress, or figuring out how to afford the little luxuries that you want. (Or your kids are begging for.) In my book, that’s some pretty exciting stuff.

So that’s what I do. I started doing it four years ago yesterday. Very early on in that process, I met Meredith who was also staring out. And I fell in love. While I feel like I’ve got my money in order, I totally don’t feel like I have this whole parenting thing down. Simultaneously, I feel like every other mother around me does.

Or at least I did four years ago. The Mom of the Year was a breath of fresh air. I wasn’t alone in my struggles. I wasn’t alone in the sheer joy that comes with all the small wins. Meredith was with me. As time went on, I started realizing something. The moms who look like they have it all together? Most of them are faking it. The moms who say they have everything together? Most of them are lying. I don’t know that I ever would have gotten over my feelings of isolation in my struggles without Meredith’s honesty, and good humor to boot.

As if that weren’t enough, she’s also been an amazing friend. We’ve worked on navigating this whole blogging thing together over the past years. While we write about different topics, we’ve found that many strategies are similar, and the help she’s provided along the way has been such a propelling force in my growth. We exchanged guest posts at least once. She wrote about some awesome ways to save money as a mother. I wrote about the optionality of hair brushing, and other ways I was screwing up with my first-born.

The past couple of years, I’ve been sharing giveaways with my readers on my blogging birthday. I make some money from my blog, and without readers that doesn’t happen. So giving something back at least annually feels like the right thing to do.

This is one of the many times Meredith’s friendship comes in, and this time I’m not the only beneficiary. She’s always generous enough to take part in my giveaways. When she takes part, she extends the opportunity to enter to all of you, her readers.

This year that opportunity is to enter to win a $75 Target Gift Card. It’s open worldwide. My hope is that it helps someone struggling with their budget this month, or allows someone who’s been keeping their nose to the grindstone to finally go out and splurge. Really it’s the winner’s to use as they wish, and I’m wishing The Mom of the Year readers the best of luck as they enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jun 172015
 

Dying your hair blue? Take it from someone who NEVER does anything crazy or wild--it was so worth it! Completely the right decision and the reason might surprise you!We play it pretty tame around here. Our wildest nights consist of deciding to start an episode of the fantastically addictive Orange is the New Black after 8pm. I’m sadly not joking.

So when I trekked off to BlogU the weekend before last and came home with blue hair, it was of note. Not of note in that my husband was particularly concerned. He asked if this was my version of a midlife crisis, I said “probably”, and we left it at that. We do a pretty decent job of letting each other do our own thing.

No, it was of note in the sense that my hair, depending on the last time I’ve made a pass at one of my at-home highlighting kits, has always remained solidly hued in the blonde-to-light brown spectrum. Blue was definitely something new for me and my strands.

My children captured the seeming lack of logic behind my new color splash best, “But why, Mommy?” I, of course, tried to pacify their questions by lying and telling them I did it because I knew blue was one of their favorite colors. A useless explanation and they knew it: “But why, Mommy?”

Why did I dye my hair blue?

Why not?

I’m 35 and work from home. I’m my own boss in more ways than one. This helps lend sense to my reasoning, but still doesn’t explain, I know.

A week before BlogU, I broke into one of my dye kits in the midst of a very full weekend. In my haste, well…let’s just say it didn’t go well. I posted a spoofy advance apology in our conference group for my wonky color job, and some how the conversation turned to how I should just dye my hair blue and forget about it. And I thought, “why not?”.

I mean if Kelly Ripa can rock her pink, and my beloved People Style Watch reports that vibrant locks are the way to go, why not bandwagon it up and hop in on the trend? Plus, in my book, blue is always prettier than brown.

So I had no reason not to dye my hair, but yet I had a very real reason to dye my hair.

You see, I’ve talked a lot about my mother dying 3 years ago. And while this will never become any less horrible, I do us all a disservice by not talking about the blessings that have come from her death. Screeeeech…hold the phone. What’s that, blessings from her death? Yes, blessings. Changes in family functioning, new friends, discovery of fellow kindred spirits, and most namely, abandonment of fear.

I have written about this before, but since my mom took her exit, the things of this world don’t matter as much. I have no control over what happens and I’m very aware of this. Clinging to a careful protection of what transpires seems pretty useless…and this is very freeing.

Four years ago? This would have been my hair! That which I cared for and styled and presented to the world at large. Now? It’s just hair.

It’s just hair. 

Still, this is only further explanation as to why dying my hair was of no consequence, not what the actual reason was that I did dye my hair.

There was only one reason. Jessica D’Pirate.

Dying your hair blue? Take it from someone who NEVER does anything crazy or wild--it was so worth it! Completely the right decision and the reason might surprise you!

Who is she? Until 10 days ago, I didn’t know aside from the fact that she has a cool blog (seriously, go check out Domestic Pirate, you’ll thank me later) and a fun online presence with a rockin’ Instagram account. Now I know she is a mom of four who loves her family so much. I know she has really boss friends who throw her awesome birthday parties and how incredibly gorgeous the bright shade of her purple hair is when you see it in-person. I know that she can cut a dance move like no one’s business and that she is so easy to laugh and is one of those precious people with whom you can be real.

She was the one who kindly offered to hook me up with the blue in that Facebook thread before the conference. And she’s the one who welcomed me into her dorm room at Blog U without knowing me at all and shared her color-changing magic.

I know that she is kind. That she is nice. That she has a sweet spirit and that I will miss her a ton if I don’t get to meet up with her again.

I know that she is a fellow soul on this earth and that if I had been precious about maintaining my ill-highlighted blondeness, I would have totally missed the chance to connect with her. What a loss. What a colossal, colossal loss.

The gift of sharing a moment with someone else? It’s a gift. Meeting someone as boss as Jessica and bonding over hair dye? Worth it–whatever the result looked like.

She was worth it. She was the reason dyeing my hair was a good idea. She was my why.

That I really, really love my blue streak? It’s only a bonus.

Go find your own blue, friends, it might be far, far more valuable than the color of your hair.

Jun 122015
 
Sometimes the very best gift we can give ourselves is LETTING GO. How one night out reminded me of so much of who I used to be--and why it was so incredibly freeing! You'll lkaugh over the memories of jelly shoes and neon t-shirts--along with a few other throw-back gems!

Binkies and Briefcases wears braces like boss!

Last weekend I had one of those Experiences-of-a-Lifetime-You-Will-Never-Forget. That’s perfect because I don’t want to forget it. Ever.

After a year’s worth of endless behind the scenes planning and four days worth of running like a mad woman lifting boxes heavier than my Jillian Michael DVD-trained muscles should ever be allowed, WE DID IT. We pulled off an amazing Blog U 2015 Conference.

It was boss.

Really, there is no other way to put it. It might be important to note that my hair is now dyed blue, but more on that later.

For now, let’s just focus on the fact that BlogU was incredible. Full of hard-hitting blog how-to that you need to know and tons of co-blogger bonding, it was, in short, EPIC.

I could go on and on about the pride that soared through my soul reflecting in the heart-bursting moments when the Term Paper of the Year awards were read (really, this ended me) or when the faculty showed off their savvy brilliance schooling us during sessions. It was beautiful, the kind of beautiful that words don’t accommodate.

But let me focus on the highlight of the weekend–the #MiddleSchoolAwkward Night sponsored by Nickelodeon. It was aces. A gorgeous mix of poignant ungainly pre-teen memories coupled with the extreme coolness of ginormous scrunchies. The chance to throw-back to these years was a gift. A really, really fun gift.

Sometimes the very best gift we can give ourselves is LETTING GO. How one night out reminded me of so much of who I used to be--and why it was so incredibly freeing! You'll lkaugh over the memories of jelly shoes and neon t-shirts--along with a few other throw-back gems!

The thing is, back when we were in Middle School, we were awesome. We were fearlessly committed to our hideous neon accents and off-center ponytails/t-shirts. It was a Lifestyle of Awkward and we were its spokeswomen. It was fabulous in its tragedy.

We were a mess and we didn’t know it. God knows if our mothers actually knew it or they were just too traumatized by our appearance to give us a polite head’s up. Either way, we were rocking it. We were rocking it in the way that we so passionately believed in our NKOTB paraphanelia, we wouldn’t have believed any naysaying anyway.

Sometimes the very best gift we can give ourselves is LETTING GO. How one night out reminded me of so much of who I used to be--and why it was so incredibly freeing! You'll lkaugh over the memories of jelly shoes and neon t-shirts--along with a few other throw-back gems!

You see, we were cool back then.

There was an intrinsic beauty in the awkward. There was a full sold-out dedication to ugly neon hues and our staunch refusal to recognize their hideousness. We were a culture, an age, a generation committed to our flashy colors and acid-washed denim.

I don’t believe teens and preteens today experience the same level of anti-fantasticness we did in our early years. Today’s generation nails it–they actually look human when they leave the house. Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms explains this perfectly. We did not look enjoy this level of refinement. Back in the 80s and 90s, it was dicey. For two decades, middle schoolers existed solely on a continuum of awkward appearance.

Every generation has their tangible components, their jelly shoes and glitter-filled snap bracelets that are unique to their place in history. Ours were just far more ugly than those of today. In today’s world, the girls actually look pretty. In my day, we said, “screw pretty as long as our trainer bra straps hang out abundantly from our off-the shoulder tees”. Let’s be honest; no one ever looked good in neon. Ever. 

But do you know what I saw when I looked around at the Nickelodeon #MiddleSchoolAwkward dance at Blog U on Saturday night? I saw a sea of happiness, a sea of people who didn’t care.  As the beats of Mickey throbbed through the crowd, I saw a celebration of all that our younger years held, however ghastly they were. And this, this willingness to give it up and go with it regardless, is what side ponytails and t-shirt clips left behind.

And for one night, Nickelodeon allowed me and my fab middle-age homies to travel back to our age of neon innocence and live it up–live it up despite the modern siren call to abandon awkward. Live it up with all our clashing colors and too-large tops and too-tight bottoms. Live it up in the fabulousness of our Middle School selves–side ponies and t-shirt clips most definitely included.

Sometimes the very best gift we can give ourselves is LETTING GO. How one night out reminded me of so much of who I used to be--and why it was so incredibly freeing! You'll lkaugh over the memories of jelly shoes and neon t-shirts--along with a few other throw-back gems!

Being tulle twinsies with Christi Campbell? Rocked!

For one night, we were our stunning awkward selves, and this is why Blog U has captured my heart. It’s a chance to embrace yourself for whatever and whoever you are–poofy tulle skirts included. See you in 2016, friends?

****I wrote this post as part of Nickelodeon’s® sponsorship of The Blog University. The series “100 Things to Do Before High School” premiered on June 6 @ 8pm on Nickelodeon.”****

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. *****

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