Saturday, March 28, 2015

Keeping It Cool with Cotton

*I was provided a complimentary product in exchange for sharing my thoughts with you. Regardless, my opinion is 100% my own.

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you'll probably know by now that I have traveled quite a bit. This has led to many nights spent in hotels, motels, and even friends houses. One of the things that I have learned on my travels is that I hate polyester, particularly polyester that is used in bedding. For me, there is nothing worse that crawling between the sheets and then laying there sweating all night.


Don't get me wrong, I've been drawn in by polyester before! The promise of "Wrinkle-Free" shirts and "No-Iron" pants was enticing, until I realized that it wasn't necessarily true and it would ratchet up my body heat to an unbearable level (think pit-stains that made me look like I'd just come from the gym). Since then, I've made it my mission to keep polyester out of my life.

This is actually easier said than done, because it's not always immediately apparent and it's present in far more fabrics than you might realize. My quest of the past few months has been to find a set of 100% cotton sheets that I would actually like on my bed. I started with my favorite local stores, searching high and low. I found lots of promises of "Wrinkle Free" sheets (who really cares if your sheets are wrinkly anyway?!), but very few sheets that were plain and simple cotton.

So, I turned my search to the internet. What I found was a bit overwhelming, to be honest. There was an over-abundance of solutions to my problems, so much so, that I quit looking. That is, until I found a set of 700 Thread Count Luxury Soft Cotton Silky Sateen King Sheet Set sheets for only $89.99. In the world of comfortable bedding, that is very reasonably priced for the quality!


These sheets made me want to climb in bed, pass out and then stay there for the next 10 hours. The fabric is nice and thick, with a nice smooth feel to the fabric. Lying my head down on a pillow encased in these made me fall in love with my pillow all over again. The sateen feel kept the fabric feeling cool, which is perfect for someone who needs it cool to sleep.

As for the fit of the sheets, I was pretty impressed. I have a pillow-top mattress, which can be difficult to find sheets for. They are usually just barely able to go over the corners, let alone last all night still being held securely. However, I was able to fit these over all four corners, without difficulty and in the morning, they were still as secure as when I first put them on.

We've been enjoying this set for almost a month now, and I haven't been disappointed once. Right now, you can find them on Amazon for just $89.99 + FREE shipping. They are available in 25 amazing colors. I think I'll need to add the Cool Aqua color to my collection next!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

BOX4BLOX Lego Sorter and Storage Compartment Review and GIVEAWAY!

Have you ever had the misfortune of stepping on a pile of Lego's at 3 a.m.? I have and I can tell you that it doesn't give you a warm, fuzzy feeling towards the makers of Lego or your beautiful children. Regardless, Lego's are probably one of my favorite toys for my kids for learning imaginative play and eye-hand coordination skills and even younger children can learn colors, organization and even patience with them.


Over the past ten years, my son has amassed a large collection of the blocks, but we haven't ever found a great solution for containing them. They've either ended up in a large plastic ziploc baggie that tends to get holes in it, or a bin that get knocked over and gets other toys mixed into it. Neither solution has been great for us, which is why I was so excited to work with BOX4BLOX on their Lego sorter and storage box.

The box consists of four compartments, each with progressively smaller holes in the bottom. In this way, by placing all the Lego's in the top and shaking the box, the blocks are sorted into each compartment based on size. It's the fastest way I've seen to sort them, and once sorted, the blocks can be stored in the compartments until the next time comes to play with them. Large flat pieces can be placed in any compartment where you have room for them and then you simply close it up again!


My son was excited to receive this box, because he knows that I am always on him to keep his room clean and the fact that he is always dragging his Lego's out to play can seriously interfere with that. With the BOX4BLOX, he now has a place to put all of his blocks (it fits up to 1600 pieces! - WOW!) and it looks much neater than simply having a bag of Lego's sitting in the corner.

Whereas this award-winning storage device usually sells for $42.99 with FREE shipping on Amazon, one lucky winner will be able to take home a BOX4BLOX Lego sorter and storage compartment for free! To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter form below. Entrants must be in the U.S. and 18 or older. This giveaway ends April 7th at midnight CST. Good luck, everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I was sent an organizer to facilitate this review. No other compensation was received.  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring has Arrived at Carter's + Grab a Coupon!

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Carter's. I received a complementary gift card to facilitate my review and thank me for my participation.

Whew! It would appear that winter is finally OVER! I'm so happy about that fact, I feel like I could shout it from the rooftops! I am so ready for Spring and all that comes with it, I'm practically giddy. It's time to plan my garden, get some outdoor projects going and last, but certainly not least, do some Spring shopping! I'm ready for fun colors, light fabrics, and adorable patterns.

I was so excited when I was asked to participate in a campaign for Carter's. They are one of my favorite children's brands, because their clothes hold up well, but they don't break the bank, either. It's totally worth the hour and a half drive for me.


As soon as we arrived and walked in the door, the first thing that caught my eye were the doorbuster deals:  Tees and Shorts are only $6 for two or more or $8 for just one. That makes a whole lot of bang for my buck! I must have stood their mixing and matching separates for at least a half hour finding the perfect play clothes for my little ones.

Ready for a family photo!
Then I moved on to the Easter dresses and fell in love with this adorable eyelet lace dress for my little Sophia! I had to drag her away from the Lego station to try it on,  but once it was on, she was dancing and twirling and I knew that she was as happy about it as I! Shari loves to shop with me, so while the other two were taking over the Lego station, she was by my side picking out  her own dress. She found her favorite in a peach lace dress that she kept running her fingers over.

While I was hoping to find matching Easter dresses for the girls, they are very different sizes, so I wasn't surprised when I couldn't find something that would work. It made it all the better when I was able to find two matching dresses in an fun Spring style. The look is chic, the fabric is soft and my girls were happy. What more could this mama ask for?!


Flip Flops, that's what! My two year old loves shoes, but she always seems to lose them everywhere and we can't always find them again. The fact that I was able to by two pairs for just $6 meant that we will (hopefully) be well stocked this year!

My older daughter was happy to find that Carter's now stocks sizes 7-12 in swimwear, so she was able to choose a new suit and even a coverup to match. I'm absolutely loving the anchors on everything and I knew Mostly Together Dad would love the nautical theme as well, as a member of the Navy Reserves. I was really impressed with the fact that the swimwear now has UPF 50+, which makes me feel a whole lot better about the amount of time they will want to spend at the water park this year!

These sales won't last long, I'm afraid! They only run from March 11 - March 25, so now is the time to shop! Grab the coupon below to get an extra 25% off your purchase!


Monday, March 2, 2015

Low Carb and Gluten Free Cheese Filled Giant Meatballs

Trying to eat healthier doesn't mean that your favorite foods have to be a thing of the past. Spaghetti and meatballs are one of my favorite dishes, but they certainly aren't low carb and are chock full of gluten. As it's also one of my kids favorites, I wanted to find a way that we could still enjoy it. So, I came up with the Low Carb and Gluten Free Giant Meatballs. My kids can enjoy theirs with spaghetti and I can enjoy my giant meatball guilt free!

Ingredients:


2 lbs. ground beef
2 eggs
1/2 onion
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, cubed
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cooking oil

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 1 Tbsp. cooking oil (Coconut is a great option!)

 Combine ground beef, eggs, onion, 1 cup of cheese, and seasonings in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly until well blended. Divide mixture into six equal portions.
Add a cubed piece of mozzarella cheese to the inside of the meatball and form meat mixture so that the cheese is in the center.

 Place each meatball in the heated skillet and brown the outside edges of each meatball.
After each meatball is properly browned, place in a deep baking dish and cover with marinara sauce. Add a sheet of foil over the top and place in the oven for 40 minutes.


Upon removal from the oven, top meatballs with remaining cheese.
These meatballs are guaranteed to impress! Spaghetti and meatball night never tasted so good!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday Savings

From the best free stuff  and giveaways each week, to the best deals on fashion, educational materials and more, you'll find it here each week for Saturday Savings!

Freebies



My Little Pony Printable - This can go along with the new movie release of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic:  Adventures of the Cutie Mark Crusaders (click the image above)

Freebie February - Last day to enter some great giveaways and get some great FREE resources!

Free Diabetes Awareness Braclet -  Get a free Diabetes Awareness wristband!

BookBub - Free eBooks and Bargains

24Hour Fitness - Free Pass

LocalSaver.com - Free Local Coupons

Free Magic Eraser Sample - Lifescript

 Giveaways

2 in 1 Potette Plus Travel Potty - Ends March 11, 2015

Baby Björn Kitchen Items - Review your Baby Björn items for a chance to win - 10 winners each month

Deals For Mommy - Win a Year's Worth of Diapers

Nikon Digital Camera - Ends March 1, 2015

Fashion

Crazy 8 - Online only, get 25% off swim at Crazy 8 & markdowns starting at $2.99

Reebok - Skyscape Harmony 40% off, today only, PROMO CODE:  SKY40

Gymboree -  Get 30% off your entire purchase at Gymboree! (Ends 3/1)

Tea Collection - Save 20% on boy, girls, baby and newborn styles during Tea Collection's Friends & Family Event (Ends 3/21)

GlassesUSA.com - Free Lenses With Every Frame

Learning/Education


Educents - Learn coding with Minecraft!

Blub - Save 25% when you purchase three or more books @ Blurb. PROMO CODE: TAKE3 (Ends 2/28)

Learn with Homer - Email Submit

Miscellaneous 


Craftsy - Craftsy Flash Sale: Up to 70% off all Yarn, Fabric, Sewing Supplies & Kits (Ends 3/1)

Wedding Paper Divas - 15% off Address Labels when you purchase wedding announcements or moving announcements (Ends 3/3)

Tiny Prints - Enjoy 30% off all Tiny Prints Business Orders! (Ends 3/3)

Shutterfly - NEW customers qualify for an additional 20% off sitewide sales with PROMO CODE: TWENTYMORE (Ends 3/4)


Friday, February 27, 2015

Be a Trendsetter with LUNO

Would you classify yourself as a trendsetter among your friends? Or are you more of the "wear what's comfortable and looks good" type? Either way, you'll be interested to hear about the brand new company called LUNO.

watches, jewelry, fashion, trendy,
LUNO produces a unique watch made out of genuine leather and real bamboo and ebony wood. Whether you prefer something fun and funky or something more down to earth, you'll find it at LUNO. Mens and Womens watches start at $55.

LunoWear started out as just two guys and an idea. They have now gotten their product up and running have a goal of sharing beautiful watches at an affordable price.


So, I know you're all wondering where you can get a LUNO watch. Well, they are so new, they haven't officially launched yet, so you're getting a sneak peak! Woo Hoo! They will be officially launching on April 13, at 9:00 a.m.


The earlier you order, the bigger discount you'll get. Keep on top of the latest news and savings by signing up for the email newsletter.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Traveling with Toddlers

Traveling with a toddler is an adventure all in itself, regardless of where you are going. If this is something you are planning on attempting, good luck and may God have mercy on your soul! As a mom who has taken toddlers on planes, trains, and automobile trips, I know firsthand that it can be a daunting task. You can be exhausted before you even get out your front door!

With these tips, you'll be prepared... well as much as one can be.


When traveling overnight, it is imperative that you bring a good travel crib (Check out my review on the Baby Björn Travel Crib Light). Some hotels will have one, but in my experience they aren't very nice and your little one won't be a fan of sleeping somewhere they aren't already familiar with. Make sure you let your little one get comfortable with it in the days and weeks leading up to your trip. After a long day taking in the sights, you'll both be glad to be able to get your toddler to sleep easily and quickly.

Traveling with toddlers who are potty training is going to be a special challenge all by themselves. Leaving the house for even five minutes when your little one is busy learning how to use the potty can be a nerve wracking challenge, much less driving a few hours away. You might be tempted to put a diaper on them, but I urge you to reconsider. You'll end up making the whole "learning how to be a big kid and use the potty" thing a lot more difficult. Instead, invest in a travel potty (Read my review of the Pottete Plus here). With a travel potty, you can pull over to the side of the road when your toddler is shrieking that they need to go, NOW, regardless of the fact that you are in the middle of nowhere and there isn't another rest stop for 150 miles. That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach will quickly fade when you remember that you've got your backup nestled in amongst your other necessities.

The magic word while traveling is snacks! Toddlers cry for many unexplained reasons, but a great snack can fix most of their woes. Make sure you opt for snacks that can be easily cleaned up. No crackers or chocolate chip cookies, or you'll be finding crumbs for weeks to come. Instead opt for bite size things like dry cereal, Plum Organics Puffs (Target has them for just $2.99), or pre-sliced fruit.

 As caring parents, we never want our children to be cold, so we tend to pile on the layers and crank up the heat. That's all well and good when it's cold outside, but your toddler can quickly get too hot. An overheated toddler is not only an angry toddler, but they're also in danger of getting dehydrated and facing heat illnesses. Make sure to buckle your toddler into their seat without their coat, but place a blanket over them. When they are warm, you better believe that they can and will shed that blanket so fast your head will spin!

They say that boredom is the mother of invention. Well, it's true for toddlers too, though you probably won't like what they come up with. Toddlers are easily bored and staring endlessly out a car or plane window is only going to cut it for so long. Go armed with books, games like ISpy, or sing-a-longs. One of my favorite things to do before a long trip is make a trip to the dollar store and buy several cheap new toys. They will probably be destroyed by the end of your trip, but a new toy can provide a much longer distraction than an old favorite.

What would you add? Are you planning on making any trips with your little ones soon?