Thursday, April 30, 2015

Month of the Military Child

*I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for the MetLife TRICARE Dental Program. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

As this month draws to a close, I was reminded recently that it's "The Month of the Military Child." The thought causes me to reflect and it sparks so many emotions. First, perhaps, is the thought that while both military members and their spouses choose to make the sacrifice asked of them, their children don't really get that choice. All they know is that their parent can be gone for days, weeks, months, even.

It requires a strength that military children must develop. Looking at my own children, their down-turned mouths and words of sadness as Mostly Together Dad packs up his seabag once again for his flight tomorrow, it hits me hard that these children of mine are sacrificing so much. This time, it's just for a few days, but he'll be missing our daughter's birthday - again.

While he's gone, I try my best to keep to a routine. School, church, homeschool co-op on Fridays, etc. It keeps the stress of him being gone down to a manageable level. It also really helps that I don't have to worry about extra expenses like doctor visits and dental care, because I have TRICARE in my life.

Because my children and I are considered military "dependents," we are all eligible for the TRICARE Dental program (it applies to us even though Mostly Together Dad is a reservist). The program is a very good one, including two cleanings per year, per person, at no cost, sealants on permanent molars, orthodontic coverage, space maintainers, two fluoride applications, athletic mouth guard, and even $1,200 accidental dental coverage. All this is available to dependents for a much lower cost than most typical dental insurgence companies. For an active duty family, the cost is only $33.88 per month for the entire family - regardless of how many children are in the family!

While they may be sad that their dad is away, TRICARE makes sure that they can be all smiles when he returns! How do you protect your children's smiles?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Present that will Make Him say WOW!

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Best Buy has long been known as the number one source of highly rated technology. That's why, this past Christmas, when I was looking for a new laptop for Mostly Together Dad, I purchased the perfect laptop for at Best Buy. The people who work on their sales floor are always so helpful and knowledgeable about all the products there, that it makes me feel like I can really trust the advice they give. 

The one we ended up leaving with is the HP Envy Touchsmart. We chose this one because when Mostly Together Dad is traveling, it can serve as his primary computer, his television, and even his gaming laptop. This laptop provides extreme performance of AMD’s most powerful mobile processer to deliver exceptional Gaming and Entertainment experience the AMD FX Special Edition APU, meaning it can also easily handle his requirements for taking online classes, which was very important to him!

One thing that we thought was really neat is the touchscreen. We have touchscreens for our tablets and phones, so why not his laptop? He has found it to be helpful in multitasking - finding what he needs quickly and efficiently, managing schedules or even just watching videos on YouTube. The screen is 15.6", so it's a good size for any of his needs.

Exclusive at Best Buy, the AMD FX Special Edition APU introduces mobile systems with AMD’s highest performing APUs. When you are looking for a notebook, the AMD FX Special Edition APU will provide you with unbelievable performance, gaming and productivity. Plus, with the new FX APU powered notebook, be unbeatable and experience the processing power of 10 compute cores (4 CPU + 6 GPU)**!

If you're in the market for a new laptop for yourself or a loved one, you should definitely check out the HP Envy Touchsmart. Why? Because:

  • Unbelievable PC Performance
  • Exceptional Gaming and Entertainment Experience
  • Mega-Multitasking
  • Award Winning Graphics
If you don't live near a Best Buy, have no fear! Best Buy offers free shipping on orders over $35 or free in store pickup, where you can pick up your order in as little as 45 minutes. 

Who would you buy this laptop for?

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Top 5 UK Kids’ Fashion Blogs that US moms will love

The kids’ fashion scene is thriving in the UK, with high street stores, leading designers and celebrity children providing endless inspiration. However, it isn’t just the rich and famous leading the way. Thanks to social media and the rise of blogging, there are plenty of online resources for those working to a tight budget. Here are the top five kids’ fashion blogs and online resources to help take your child’s wardrobe to the next level, competing with the likes of Prince George and Suri Cruise. 

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Smudgetikka is the UK’s leading kids’ fashion blog. The writer, Linda McLean, works as a fashion editor for a family travel magazine, and has worked within the children’s fashion industry for a number of years. This provides her with a unique insight and plenty of insider knowledge, which she used to give her readers the very best fashion advice for their little ones.

Style My Baby London

Style My Baby London is home to another fantastic blog written by someone with inside industry knowledge. Kari started her career as a Showroom Assistant for a wholesale fashion company, before progressing into the world of personal styling. Through this line of work, she quickly realised her passion for kids’ fashion, when her clients’ children began to command more of her attention. She now exclusively acts as a personal stylist for children, creating full wardrobes as well as finding the perfect outfit for any occasion. She blogs about her adventureson her website, providing innovative and stylish ideas for anyone interested in transforming their own child’s wardrobe.

Katie and the Kids

Katie and theKids is a great blog and parenting resource, written by Kate, a 32-year-old mum of two from the UK. This blog differs from the rest, as it focuses on family life in general, including regular posts on the topic of grown up fashion, as well as posts for the kids. This is a down to earth blog, and contains lots of money saving ideas – perfect for those of you who want to find style on a budget! We absolutely loved Kate’s guide for thisDIY Halloween costume.

Kid Style Junkie

Kid Style Junkie is another leading online voice when it comes to children’s fashion in the UK. Suki, the author of the blog, has been passionate about kids’ style since she first became a parent. She’s always loved shopping and fashion, and loves finding the latest trends for her two girls. The blog contains everything from Outfit of the Day (OOTD) posts, to in-depth coverage of NewYork Kids’ Fashion Week. If you’re looking for fantastic coverage of the latest fashion trends, with fantastic imagery and witty personality, Kid Style Junkie is the blog for you.

Little Bou’s Guide to Kids’ Fashion

Little Bou are one of the UK’s leading boutiques when it comes to children’s clothing. They have an ethical approach to kids’ fashion, providing high quality clothing made from sustainable and safe materials. They have recently published their definitive guide to kids’fashion, which highlights the best of the resources from across the Internet, as well as the top celebrities to watch. This fantastic resource leaves no stone unturned, providing endless inspiration when it comes to the latest in kids’ fashion.