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 waterless pond 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!****

Mar 062015
 

***Click HERE to check out Depend’s newest, the kind products which are allowing me to keep it real for another day at The Mom of the Year!****

We all need help! Bladder leakage? Incontinence? You aren't alone, REALLY! Find out while it's so common--and how you can find an easy-peasy protection solution that will keep you running through your busy days with no sweat! Trust me, this will work!After a week like this week, it seems pretty perfect to acknowledge that in the low points of life, you’ve got company. Whether it’s the really hard stuff of life or the fact that your daughter crapped her pants in the middle of your doctor’s appointment, you aren’t alone, REALLY.

Even in those rough post-baby moments when your bladder isn’t cooperating? You aren’t alone. We’ve all been there, really. And on those days when Jillian Michaels is being especially cruel and demanding more repetitive impossible jumps, I’m still there.

And I know that as I continue to do through life, future ages and stages will only bring new challenges, challenges that make things like staying dry tricky. The truth of it? Whatever comes your way, you really aren’t the only one.

Go Depend for normalizing the whole bladder leakage experience. Through their uber-popular #underwareness movement, people are recognizing that needing a little help with incontinence is a pretty common thing. REALLY.

Depend encourages people hop in with the #dropyourpants campaign, joining the millions who use leakage protection. Their products help people regain their freedom and get their lives back, including:

Depend Real Fit for Men and Silhouette for Women briefs: Look, fit and feel like real underwear and feature a cloth-like fabric for a sleek, ultra-smooth fit.

Depend Underwear with Fit-Flex protection: Features more Lycra stands for a smooth and comfortable close-to-the-body fit.

Bladder leakage? Incontinence? You aren't alone, REALLY! Find out while it's so common--and how you can find an easy-peasy protection solution that will keep you running through your busy days with no sweat! Trust me, this will work!

Want to give them a try? Claim your free samples today by visiting the Depend landing page and clicking on the “Get a Sample” button located at the top right-hand side of the screen. Then, select which sample you would like to receive and wait for them to arrive. Easy-peasy, and gives you a chance to see if this is the right product to help you.

I totally get it; your life is busy, it’s full, and dealing with struggles like this in life is not fun, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Grab onto some #Underwareness and make it easy, knowing you are in good company. You aren’t alone!

*****Many thanks to Depend for sponsoring today’s story and encouraging people to #dropyourpants for #underwareness.*****

First image credit: depositphotos.com, image ID:22990434, copyright:AntonioGuillemF

Feb 182015
 

This brilliant no-pedal bike solution to teaching your kids to ride a bicycle comes in 7 different colors. Find the one that is the right match for your family and get to the fun part--riding your way into Spring! Score a free one here!Every now and again, I look out the window at the endless, tedious landscape of frozen tundra and fantasize about things like flowers. And grass. And anything green versus endless sluggish grayish-white.  Surely in some world, this must exist??

But it’s coming, really. I know Spring is on it’s way. I see prompts of it’s arrival on my calendar and in the pile of sweet pretty dresses hanging in my daughter’s closet. We will get there.

In the meantime, as we await daffodils and warm rain showers, we’re hanging out with another fun reminder of warmer days with our shiny new Strider Bike.

When Strider first contacted me, I asked my husband what he thought of these bikes. He said, “If we don’t get a Strider bike this year, I’m cutting the pedals off one of our bikes so the kids can learn properly.”

Okay then…

He knew that Strider is onto an important concept: their 12 Sport’s simple, no-pedal design builds confidence and eliminates fear by allowing kids to have their feet on the ground and progress at their own pace. This unique design teaches young children balance on two wheels right from the start, avoiding developmental delays typical with tricycles and training-wheel bikes.

The age range? Perfect for toddler up to age 5.

This brilliant no-pedal bike solution to teaching your kids to ride a bicycle comes in 7 different colors. Find the one that is the right match for your family and get to the fun part--riding your way into Spring!

Huh. Apparently Strider’s no-pedal design was a super idea for my 3 and 5 year old, who are still learning to ride, especially as my son’s leg break issues have made this trickier for us. Strider’s 12 Sport model offers a bunch of features that make getting the hang of bike-riding easy and fun: there are custom grips, a padded saddle, handlebar pads, and quick release clamps (no-tool adjustment). A perfect balance of performance, options, and value.

This brilliant no-pedal bike solution to teaching your kids to ride a bicycle comes in 7 different colors. Find the one that is the right match for your family and get to the fun part--riding your way into Spring!

So we snatched up the green model (it comes in a choice of seven colors) and gave it lots of test runs in our basement--we’ll tackle the driveway when it’s a tad less snow-covered.

The thing is, my kids love it. They love the challenge it presents, but more they love that they feel capable in navigating this bike. I love that is growing their skills and improving their balance.

We’re all delighted with this bike. Also, we’re insanely ready for Spring. The good news for you? YOU can get hyped up for the warmer temps with us as I’m giving away one Strider Bike here, in the color of your choice! As long as you are 18 or above and live in the Continental United States, you are eligible to enter. Giveaway will close on 2/26/15 at 5am ET.

This is only open to my readers, so hop in on this giveaway and get ready to win! I can’t wait to share this genius, Spring-ready bike with one of you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This brilliant no-pedal bike solution to teaching your kids to ride a bicycle comes in 7 different colors. Find the one that is the right match for your family and get to the fun part--riding your way into Spring! Score a free one here!****Strider provided bikes for review and giveaway purposes for this post, but my family’s delight in our new bike is 100% genuine!*****

2/27/15 UPDATE: Congrats to winner Diane B.!

Feb 172015
 

Dude, no one loved that Jimmy Fallon Saved by the Bell throw-back more than me–go Zack Morris! But this trip down Memory Lane sparked a few reflections–most notably, how dramatically technology has changed and become such a significant part of our kids’ lives.

How is a parent to responsibly handle this shift? Check the savvy new OurPact app–helpful, smart, and a teensy more modern than what Zack was rocking. I’ll let OurPact introduce themselves below; I’m thrilled to have a company committed to helping us parenting navigate the challenge of this modern, sadly Zack Morris-lest world…

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Zack Morris and the gang recently made an appearance on the Jimmy Fallon Show, a throwback meant to transport us to the early 1990’s, when Saved by the Bell was a favorite for all of us Gen Y’ers. You know what else made an appearance in that all-too-brief 8-minute clip? Zack’s old school cell phone; the one that included no screen and was bigger (and probably ten times heavier) than the Kindles most people read their books off of today.

It was a stark reminder of how much technology has changed in just the last 20 years. While most of us grew up with an ancient computer shared by the family in the living room, kids today are equipped with iPads and devices of their own from a young age. And often, they take full advantage of the unlimited freedom they are afforded with those devices.

In so many ways, that technology has been extremely beneficial to the way we manage our lives. Staying connected is no longer a burden or chore anymore; it is a simple part of day-to-day life. Your kids can Skype with Grandma and Grandpa from thousands of miles away, and you can work from home whenever one of your little ones gets sick with the flu. Plus, our phones are now good for so much more than just making calls.

But there are drawbacks to that technology as well. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no more than 2 hours of screen time a day for kids. But most American kids are extending far beyond that limit, averaging 50 hours a week, which doesn’t count the screen time they are getting in school. You might be wondering what the problem with that is. After all, we want our kids to be proficient with technology so that they can grow to be successful in this ever-changing landscape, right? Well, of course we do. But we also know that moderation is key with screen time, and that too much exposure has actually been linked to a slew of negative consequences; including increases in obesity, as well as behavioral and sleep problems.

Which means that as parents, our job duties have extended to now also helping our children navigate the use of this technology responsibly. The problem is that up to this point, there haven’t been a lot of great tools for helping you to do that. Most parents have been flying blind in the management of their children’s tech time.

Not anymore, though.

Recently released by ParentsWare, OurPact is a new app that provides the tools you need to safely and effectively manage your child’s tech use. It provides you the tools you need to regain control over the technology in your home.

Download the app, and you will be able to schedule internet and app use for your kids directly from your own iPhone. Want them to focus on schoolwork between the hours of 5 and 7? You make their screens completely inaccessible – which is great, because while previous apps have only allowed you to control internet usage, this gives you control over everything.

You can set a daily time limit on the screen time they do have, block internet and apps with just at a touch, and start a dialogue with your kids about the importance of managing their own screen time responsibly.

Everything about this new app is intuitive and built with the average parent in mind. Best of all? It’s free.

So why not take control back in your own home? OurPact is here to help!

****Thanks to OurPact for sponsoring this post about their helpful app!

My opinion of it’s benefit is 100% my own.****

Oct 232014
 

Looking for a fun family fall treat? Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster has it all, or check out a similar amusement in your area--this truly was the perfect fall outing for our young family!

Remember that sweet place in Lancaster County where we love to hang out, Dutch Wonderland?

We are kind of totally in love with it.

So when they invited my family back to check out their Halloween Happy Hauntings, there wasn’t a whole lot of arm-twisting that had to happen to get us there. In fact, there was none.

We excitedly packed our daypack and costumes (yes, the park encourages guests to delight in the season and dress-up!), and headed off. Factor in a few temper tantrums and about 10 trips back to the house for things we forgot, and you’ll get the accurate picture of what goes down when my so-together family decides on a day out.

I like visiting Dutch Wonderland in the fall because all of the rides and attractions, excepting those with water, are still open.  Granted, my kids love the water park, but there is still loads to do on the drier side of the fun. This also allows for a cheaper admission price and a slightly less packed agenda–more time to simply explore and play always works for us!

Dutch Wonderland’s Happy Hauntings is perfect fit for young ones. The rides are still smaller-kid friendly as they always are, and the park does an excellent job of embracing the season–without being too scary. Pumpkins, costumes, and cobwebs galore adorn the park, but there are no horrifying super-spooky ghosts or goblins. This works for us–my children battle fears of the dark without any extra reasons for nightmares.

The smaller-kid friendly rides and attractions at Dutch Wonderland are a young family's dream come true! Visit next time you're in Lancaster County, PA, or check out a kid-friendly amusement park in your area!

The highlight of our visit was the Trick or Treat trail.  Crossing over the bridge into the back of the park, we found Exploration Island transformed into a Halloween wonderland! At each dinosaur exhibit, the kids were treated to some yummy candy by the very creatively costumed-employees. I won’t spoil all the fun in case you are planning to visit (Happy Hauntings is open both this weekend, 10/25-26, and next, 11/2-3), but my favorite dinosaur exhibit themes were the Dr. Seuss and the Crayola crayon box–you haven’t really lived until you’ve seen a dinosaur dressed as a pink crayon…

The Trick or Treat Trail was the perfect way for some safe trick-or-treating fun with a lot at some of the coolest costumes themes around!

 

I can’t say how fun it was to let the kids run around in their costumes and have a blast in a family-friendly environment. I even felt sort of vindicated when the hood of my son’s knight costume started to tear a bit after some very active sliding board fun. “See!”, I plead to my husband, “They DO get enough wear out of their costumes!” I may have slight obsession with gearing my children up in adorable coordinated costume themes each year.

The coordinated costume at mention, our little knight and princess combo couldn’t have been more perfect for the royalty theme that Dutch Wonderland is known for year round.  Now if they just start letting us bring in our dog dressed as the dragon, we’ll be all set…

Dutch Wonderland Happy Hauntings @meredithspidel

Head out to Dutch Wonderland, friends.  In a season when there are so many options for fall fun, this is the one that truly brings it all together and creates a whole autumn-full of special memories!

****Thanks to Dutch Wonderland for hosting my family for the day. All opinions expressed remain 100% my own.****

Oct 222014
 

Call it the cooler fall temps and the fewer sit-outdoors-and-do-nothing kind of nights, but I got busy with my books recently.  And I fell in love with them.

I read A LOT, no question, but the recent crop of books that have come my way have been so fun to cozy up with. Check out my favorites below, and then enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to win your very own copy of some of these books!

And remember, I always love people to read along with me on Goodreads and Pinterest (I have a specific board there for the books I’m crushing on!).

 

Curling up with these cozy good books is the perfect way to spend this fall! Go beef up your reading list!

People I Want to Punch in the Throat’s Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scrouges by Jen Mann. In short, by reading this book of essays about motherhood in suburbia, I felt more normal and laughed harder than I had in ages.  Each time I picked it up, my world seemed less crazy and I fell more head over heels for Mann.

I Heart My Little A-Holes: A bunch of holy-crap moments no one ever told you about parenting by Karen Alpert. There is a reason this book keeps hitting the New York Times bestseller list.  The accounting of a mom’s day-to-day is so real, it’s funny.  Alpert is so hysterical, you will cry.  It’s the kind of book I am gifting with abandon to all the new mothers I know–the perfect way to magically make the 3am feedings funny.

Mom of the Year by Denise Pischinger. Not a bad title, huh? ;) This book was so fun. The setting was too relatable, and it was a delight to see I read a lot @meredithspidel #booksthe worst of what “being an involved mom” can spiral into. I eagerly snuck in a few pages in the pick-up line or after kids were in bed, and found myself delighting in all the perfect chaos Pischinger offered. She’s got talent!

The Seduction of Miriam Cross (A Delilah Percy Powers Mystery) by W.A. Tyson. This book was truly a thriller! I had no idea how the mystery of Miriam Cross’ murder would resolve. Tyson kept the pages flying by, allowing the reader to escape into a wild, unfamiliar world.  Looking forward to reading more of her work ASAP!

My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Losing and Leaving Friends edited by Jessica Smock and Stephanie Sprenger. Wow. This is something most of us have experienced, but so rarely discuss. The courage these gifted authors have in openly sharing their stories is an encouragement that helps bite away the sting that the hurt of losing a friend often leaves. I applaud their bravery and honesty!

Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness: Funny Stories by Sleepy Moms edited by Lisa Nolan. I have often wondered if I should see a doctor about the fact that I am perpetually exhausted. Then I read this book and remembered I’m a mom. I love the way these ladies made the reality of motherhood laugh-worthy while also clearly showing how deeply they love their kids. I also love that the next morning while I was falling asleep over my cup of coffee, I didn’t feel like a spaaz.  Thanks, ladies!

My Gentle Barn by Ellie Laks. I had never heard of The Gentle Barn before, but am now understanding what a tremendous movement Laks has started.  Through her endless compassion towards animals, the hope packed into every page of this book is inspiring.

The Realm of Possibility by Dan Dalmonte. I had the pleasure of meeting Dan in person and was delighted with his enthusiasm for the art of writing. His dedication to his work is so evident in the detail and creativity in this novel, the story of a man who meets a world wildly open with possibilities–and all the complications they bring. An incredibly captivating and engaging read.

Totlandia by Josie Brown. I love escaping with a good frothy fun novel, and the Totlandia series fits this bill so well! The world Brown created with The Pacific Heights Moms & Tots Club, and uber-exclusive children’s playgroup in San Francisco is indeed packed full of “Friendship. Lies. Seduction. Betrayal.” Too much fun and so full of the drama of motherhood!  I can’t wait to read all four of these soapy treats.

Georgetown Academy by Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz. It’s fascinating how these two authors spin the intrigue of high school with high stakes political drama by sharing the stories of the students at Georgetown Academy, Washington D.C.’s most elite prep school.  These books were entirely entertaining and keep you eagerly reaching for the next. Unique and very cool look into a different world!

And don’t forget to follow along with our very own virtual book club!  Dig into Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed and get ready to discuss on 11/7/14! We are so excited about this book.

Enter below to win these books!

Fall Book Giveaway--win and cozy-up with some reading this fall! @meredithspidel

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First Image Credit: depositphotos.com, ID:35081345, copyright:belchonock

Second Image Credit: depositphotos.com, ID:19328007, copyright:phodopus

Third Image Credit: depositphotos.com, ID:40954271, copyright:gdolgikh

Oct 172014
 

For me, having polished nails is important, so I was more than eager to test run the new products from Sally and see if the time and effort was really worth the finished product of this DIY gel manicureMy daughter is adorably into “Ladies’ Time”. What is Ladies’ Time? It involves the two of doing anything together one-on-one.  This can range from not-fun, “The ladies love to grocery shopping in the rain together!” to the very fun, “Ladies are so excited to troll through sale papers on the weekends!”. Sometimes she will walk around the house singing, “Ladies! Ladies!” because she is so delighted with the idea of our time together. I know, it kills me too.

When Sally Hansen asked me to check out some of their new nail products on the market, I knew this would definitely qualify as “very fun” Ladies’ Time. I’ve shared before about how much I enjoy dolling up my nails through at-home gel manis–allows me to still feel a bit fancy while scrubbing dishes, but without the crazy cost of salon visits.

So casing out their at-home gel manicure kit? And their new Miracle Gel product and some pretty sparkly nail polishes?  Yes, please!

I was thrilled with the Wine Not shade of gel polish I chose. I have used several other brands previously, and the glossiness and vibrancy of this color was unique!  Using the three tips I follow with at-home gel manicures, I enjoyed a long-lasting shiny manicure without a single chip:

Do DIY gel manicures ever really work? Some tips and tricks I've found for making them last!

1) Always use a base and top coat (the Sally Hansen kits come with both).

2) Cure each step for 2 minutes total under the UV light. Yes, this takes time, but it means your manicure LASTS.

3) Take the time to fully clean (using the kit cleanser) and buff your nails ahead of time.

If you follow these steps, the manicure actually lasts for the full two weeks, which makes it well worth the time expenditure for me!

Does the New Sally Hansen Miracle Gel really work? For the promise of a at-home gel mani without the need for a UV light, I was willing to try!Knowing how much I enjoy my gel manis and the classy look of finished nails, I was beyond eager to give Sally Hansen’s new Miracle Gel product a go.  The same long-lasting power as gel without the UV light curing? Able to take it off with regular polish-remover? Sign me up!

This polish definitely lasted longer than regular non-gel polish, and I love that I don’t have to soak my nails in acetone to get it off (regular polish remover works fine!).  It didn’t seem quite as glossy as a traditional gel manicure, but it lasts far longer than a non-gel polish. It’s perfect for my toes too–what mom has time to constantly be up-keeping her feet? After 10 days it looks as good as when I first put it on.  I also love that there are over 45 color choices availableIt is terribly hard work to stop myself from snatching up ALL of them.

 

I also received some NYC New York Color glitter polishes and THIS was it.  This was the Ladies Time I knew my daughter would squee over.  The sparkly polishes are perfect for her little piggies.

 

Painting toddler girl toenails @meredithspidel

The only problem? Choosing which shade to go with!

Good news, these polishes are so cheap ($1.99/piece!), you can snag up a bunch and have easy girls’ weekend fun for a song.  They made her day and it made my day watching her enjoy them so much!

Make a little girl's day! Paint her nails with these cheap, sparkly finds. And hey, she won't judge any smudges!

 

Bottom line: I love doing my nails. In my days as mom when so much is so chaotic, glancing down at my fingers and seeing them look pretty helps center me a teeny bit and allows me to feel a little sane.

I love that Sally Hansen and NYC New York Color works so hard to provide economical and long-lasting solutions to make the time I invest in my nails not only worth-while, but fun!

Now you’ll excuse me, friends, I’ve got some polishing to do.  It’s Ladies’ Time, after all…

These new nail products are rolling out all these new nail products and polishes and I decided to give them a try! My thoughts on what works for a busy mom in caring for her nails

 

****Thank you to Sally Hansen and NYC New York Color for providing me with all products to review for this post!  All opinions remain 100% my own.****

Sep 262014
 

Caring for your self with chiropractic adjustment and massage? Wonders for pain reduction and muscle relaxation!I have lived most of my adult life with pain.  Neck pain, back pain, headaches–all too familiar.  Yuck.  It hurts.

Yet I remain very wary of any medication that might tax the liver.  I’ve become invested in alternative pain-reduction methods.  Chiropractic care and massage?  Right up my alley.

When I saw the Groupon deal for Tri-County Chiropractic, I Googled it right up.  It got superb reviews.  It was close to our home.  Why not?  I decided to give it a go and snatched up the deal.

This deal-grabbing happened a year ago.  Since my first visit, I have fallen head over heals for Dr. Kennedy and her staff.  Dr. Kennedy and the rest of the Tri-County Chiropractic of Exton staff are committed to providing chiropractic solutions to address your unique needs, whether you are experiencing back pain, neck pain, headaches, or even muscular tightness and tension.

She’s so excellent at meeting you where you are and helping you attain improved wellness and health.  But it’s not only her extreme competence and skill with adjusting my spine, it’s the fact that she’s nice.

That she has young kids of her own, is so easy to chat with and gets it.

That the office looks so pretty and smells relaxing.

Tri County Chiropractic Treatment Room @DrKennedyTCC @meredithspidel

That her massage staff have tackled the knots in my neck with incredible expertise.

Tri County Chiropractic Massage Room @DrKennedyTCC @meredithspidel

That each chiropractic adjustment includes heat therapy, muscle stimulation (if needed), and a mini-massage to loosen things up.  Yes, this means I lie with my head face-down for 20 minutes and am forced to do nothing.  It totally sucks, I know.

But listen, don’t just take my word for it, read this testimonial (and read many more glowing reviews) on their website:

“Dr. Kennedy and her staff are the BEST. I can’t say enough good things about them. They treat you like family when you come in. They are attentive to your needs and I do not rush the adjustment process. Starting with the massage, heat, and electrical muscle stimulation…I feel like I am at a spa instead of a doctor’s office. I would highly recommend Tri-County Chiropractic in Exton. They will take amazing care of you.”
–Carrie G

I am incredibly impressed with Tri-County Chiropractic of Exton and am very grateful to have connected with them as a patient.  Check out all that they have to offer and follow along with Dr. Kennedy’s savvy on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Pinterest.

And then…enter below to win a massage!  That’s right, a free 1/2 hour massage is up for grabs!  While I sit here and try to figure out ways to unethically win my own giveaway, throw your name in the hat and get ready for the most relaxing and healing 30 minutes of your life…yes, it’s that awesome, truly.

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Go snag your own wellness and health, friends.  Pain doesn’t have to be a way of life.  There are wonderfully talented people like Dr. Kennedy who can help get you back in shape and feeling better.

*****Thank you to the staff of Tri-County Chiropractic of Exton for sponsoring this post and giveaway.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my very positive experience!****

Sep 152014
 

myCharge Giveaway

The kids are back to school, but Moms know that’s only the beginning! Now that the school year is in full swing, there’s no slowing down. In fact, things can start getting pretty hectic this time of year between your work and your kid’s homework, after-school clubs and sports, music lessons and carpools, birthday parties and play dates…the list goes on and on!

Even the most organized Mom will tell you things can change at the last minute, and Moms of all people can’t afford to run out of power…we mean for your phone or tablet, of course! myCharge knows how important it is for you to stay charged and connected all day – and all school year – long, so they’re giving the gift of portable power so you’re never left in the red!

To keep you charged and connected myCharge is giving 3 lucky winners each an iPad mini with a myCharge HUB 6000 portable charger! The amazingly compact Hub 6000 features built-in cables and connectors for smartphones, tablets, e-readers and more. Get up to 27 hours of additional talk time for your devices, as well as integrated, quick-charge wall prongs. The Hub series is commonly known as the “Swiss Army Knife of portable power devices.

myCharge HUB6000 @meredithspidel

 

Additionally, 40 winners will each receive an Energy Shot compact portable charger for their smartphones that delivers an additional boost when you need it most. They come in a variety of styles and can give you up to 10 hours of talk time! (Please note, smart phone not included in giveaway).

 

myCharge Energy Shot

So Moms, stay out of the red this school year! myCharge is here to keep you charged and connected! For more information on products visit the myCharge website or follow them on Facebook. You can find myCharge products available at retailers such as Target and Kohl’s.

Fill out the entry form below September 15, 2014 – October 15, 2014 for your chance to be one of 40 winners to receive an Energy Shot Charger (10 winners randomly selected each week) and one of 3 grand prize winners randomly selected on October 15, 2014 to receive one iPad Mini with a myCharge HUB 6000 portable charger. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age or older, must live in the United States and have a valid shipping address. See giveaway form for complete list of rules and details.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post from myCharge.

Aug 062014
 

Clothes Mentor West Chester @meredithspidelMy husband has adapted very well, with a general acceptance, to my endless string of crushes.  These crushes range in subject from Jesse Pinkman to new TV shows (Orange is the New Black, anyone??) to an incredibly pretty shade of Urban Decay lipstick.  Most recently, my fashion obsessions have been raging, finding exciting territory in StitchFix, maxi skirts and collectively, anything found in People Style Watch.

The only slightly sticky wicket of all my fascinations is that they cost money. Snap! It just feels like rocking out sweet styles should be a given freebie or something, right?

Mmhhh…sadly, looking gorgeous isn’t necessarily an easy no-cost-given on this earth.  Enter Clothes Mentor.  Self-advertised as “a huge walk-in closet for fashionable women”, I started swooning immediately upon learning of this local shop.  I have long been in love with consignment and re-sale.  The truth?  I like brand-names and adorable stuff, but our still-paying-endless-school-debt/WAHM salary doesn’t allow for a lot of first-pass Kate Spade and Micheal Kors.

I like Kate Spade and Michael Kors.

A lot.

So it was time for a Clothes Mentor-intervention.  Could my budget really meet my high-brow taste?

Shopping at Clothes Mentor @meredithspidelI grabbed my friend Sara for the Christmas in July sale and we were off to discover the depths of money-saving/brand-name snagging glory at the West Chester location of Clothes Mentor.

And…Holy Cow!

I was wowed by how huge the store was and how very-filled the racks were.  Throw in a brand-new Free People dress in my size? I was swooning. It wasn’t entirely pretty.  When the Ann Taylor new-with-tags dress entered the scene, the drooling got rather intense.

This store was HUGE and packed to the gills with sweet finds.  Moreover?  The staff was so very friendly and helpful.

In Main Line suburbia, there are a boatload of excellent consignment shop finds, but the pleasure of uncovering a store that not only has so many nifty items but also excels in customer service?  I’m a goner.

Check out this sweet staff...ready to help you! Carrie, Juli & Aly...at your service!

Check out this sweet staff…ready to help you! Carrie, Juli & Aly…at your service!

I have already scheduled my return to Clothes Mentor in my personal calendar and am counting down the days to my next visit.  I’m also sort-of crushing on an adorable brown leather clutch I saw in the shop, but don’t tell my husband this; cool?

Clothes Mentor @meredithspidel

As the Clothes Mentor website says, “Clothes Mentor is a resale store like you’ve never seen before.  At 70% off mall prices, we carry current women’s fashions in sizes 0-4x, plus athletic wear, petites and maternity–with thousands of better name-brand clothes under one roof. We also carry jewelry, handbags, shoes, wallets, belts and so much more! You’ll find a huge designer selection, from handbags to jewelry.”

Clothes Mentor is also a great place to sell any extra items you may have: “How do we build our fabulous inventory of like-new women’s fashions? By paying our customers CASH-on-the-spot all day, EVERY day for their items…We understand that life changes–so bring those fashions that no longer fit, whether they are the wrong size or just don’t fit your personality any more.”

The selection was endless...

The selection was endless…

Ready to try Clothes Mentor for yourself?  Locally, they have shops in both West Chester and Springfield, but check out their shops nationally.  And the owner of the local stores, Chris, is so very cool.  She is offering one of my readers a free retail therapy party.  What is a retail therapy party and why is it such a neat event?

Local shop owner Chris explains her philosophy, “Clothes Mentor is a store based on a community of women.  Women who support each other and who empower each other—no matter how big your budget or how important your job, everyone is on a level playing field in our store and our team makes you feel like royalty even if you are not.  Women do not spend enough time building each other up.  We need a place to celebrate and throw “attaboys” at each other—with a high-five and a butt bump or two!  Here is what the give-away of a retail therapy party for 6 or more includes:

  1.  Appetizers and beverages of choice
  2. Personal stylist assigned to the party to help with outfit/clothing selection and to help with party set up.  This stylist will support the entire party at the dressing rooms to make trying on clothes easier and will take photos to share with the hostess after the party.
  3. 20% discount for everyone who attends the party—but there is no requirement to shop or to buy, just come and have a fun evening out with girlfriends.
  4. If the party (at either the Springfield or West Chester store) is scheduled before September 1, the hostess also receives a $25 shopping credit to use during the party.”

I love the way this party is set-up as a way for women to celebrate each other and enjoy some fun with fashion!  Are you also swayed? Ready to check out Clothes Mentor for yourself?  Enter to win this retail therapy package!  Pop in the Rafflecopter below.*  

Another great reason to head to Clothes Mentor soon?  Chris is also offering all my readers a 20% discount through September 1 if you mention “The Mom of the Year” at checkout!

Friends, when isn’t it time to update your wardrobe?  Having some fun, new, affordable cool clothes and accessories is within reach.  Go find your inner-fashionista at Clothes Mentor.  Fall in love with a new item…or two or a bunch.  I’ll be here cheering on all of your adventurous money-saving shopping from the comfort of my jazzy new leopard-print pants!

Appalling, I know.  But I really like that consignment-pricing afforded me the chance to rock these pants that I would never have otherwise-looked at...

Love that consignment-pricing afforded me the chance to snag these pants that I otherwise wouldn’t have even tried on!

And make sure to follow Clothes Mentor on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to stay tuned on the latest store items and events!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*E-mail addresses entered in Rafflecopter will be added to Clothes Mentor’s mailing list.

Our total haul? 7 (yes, SEVEN!) dresses (tags still on Ann Taylor and Free People), 2 pair of shoes, 2 pair of earrings, and a pair of jeans and a pair of pants for $119!

Our total brand-name haul? 7 (yes, SEVEN!) dresses (tags still on Ann Taylor and Free People), 2 pair of shoes, 2 pair of earrings, a pair of jeans and a pair of pants for $119!

****Clothes Mentor has compensated me for reviewing their store, but my awe of their business remains 100% genuine!****

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