Best Buy – Your Holiday Gift Headquarters

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.

HOLIDAY_LOCK_PRIME_1LINE_CMYK_WORKING

I can go to Best Buy and complete 95% of my shopping and get almost everyone on my list something they actually have on their list.  Most of the time people are so worried about crossing someone off their list that they forget to take into consideration what that person is actually wanting.  Even the youngest members of our families have electronics on their lists!  Chances are Gramdma has been asking what those tablet thingies are lately in your phone conversations.

Family_Gifts_5_041115

With Expert Service and Unbeatable Price these top gifts are on my list this Holiday and here’s why they should be on yours:

Xbox One is the place for games.

What is Xbox One?

Xbox One was built by gamers, for gamers. With the best exclusive titles (Halo, Sunset Overdrive), the biggest blockbusters (Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty) the hottest sports franchises (Madden 15, FIFA 15, NBA 2K15) and top family titles (Fantasia: Music Evolved, Just Dance 15, Skylanders) Xbox One takes gaming to a whole new level.

XBOX

In addition to being a great gaming console, Xbox one connects consumers unlike any other device.  Xbox One enables access to the latest TV shows and movies through your favorite apps.  With Xbox One all of your media is at your fingertips when you want it.

Link to XBOX One at Best Buy

JBL:

 

JBL Charge 2- Between the twin passive radiators for deep bass, the massive 6000mAh battery and the hands-free conference speakerphone the key benefit is the Bluetooth Social Mode which allows up to three different users to take their turns to play their own playlists on a single speaker.

JBL_Holiday

JBL Flip 2- Aside from the dual performance-tuned JBL drivers and a built-in bass port, the key benefit of the JBL Flip 2 is the SoundClear echo and noise cancellation combined with the state-of the art microphone system to pick up calls on the speaker.

JBL Reflect Earbud headphones-  Sweat proof ergonomic design.  With a 5 hour rechargeable battery and a reach of about 40 feet, the JBL Reflect BT’s key benefit is the design of the ergonomic eartips along with the built-in magnets which keep your buds on standby without loose cables.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/promo/jbl-holiday-130158

 

Garmin and TomTom

Feauting bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling, traffic and weather updates.  Lane assist, Lifetime traffic and map updates.   Voice Recognition Technology.

·         Garmin 52LM

o   5.0” display

o   Maps of 49 U.S. states, plus lifetime map updates1

o   Lane assist with junction view

o   Displays speed limit and accurate arrival time

o   Easily find addresses and millions of points of interest

o   Spoken turn-by-turn directions

gps best buy

·         Garmin 2597LMT

o   5.0” display

o   Maps of 49 U.S. states, plus lifetime map updates1

o   Lane assist with junction view

o   Displays speed limit and accurate arrival time

o   Easily find addresses and millions of points of interest

o   Spoken turn-by-turn directions

·        TomTom Go 50s

  • Lifetime TomTom Traffic: Drive with TomTom Traffic for the lifetime of your device
  • Lifetime Maps (US, Canada, Mexico): Always drive with the latest map
  • 3D Maps. See buildings and landmarks in stunning 3D
  • 5″ touchscreen with advanced lane guidanceFusion TIFF File

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/promo/gps-holiday

My family would love to receive any of the gifts above!  Well, my girls could probably care less about the GPS but their parents would love those!   My girls would be extactic over and Xbox One or any JBL Speaker!  These girls love to dance and play games!   Best Buy is my Holiday Gift Headquarters.

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.

Christmas with HoneyBaked Ham + Win $25,000 Kitchen Makeover

I received product for free from HoneyBaked Ham for my honest opinion.

Let’s be honest, life an get a bit hectic and unpleasant around Christmas because there’s so much to do and not enough time.  To be honest, this year seems extra hard with only three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  That can make Christmas seem more of a bitter time of year for some instead of sweet.  Thank goodness for HoneyBaked Ham!
 

 

When you have to fit time for gathering with family, shopping for or making gifts and probably
baking up lots of cookies and candies, who has time to cook a meal for 15 ormore people?  Plus, you have to make sure you stay up late enough for the kids to really fall asleep and don’t forget to sprinkle the reindeer food in the yard.  Oh, goodness, did you remember to get carrots for Dasher and Dancer?  What about that darn elf?  Did he forget to move?
It seems like we keep adding fun traditions, which I LOVE!  So, I don’t want to spend the few
hours I have to actually shower or brush my teeth before family comes over, in the kitchen slaving over a hot stove.  Then I have to shower all over again!
phone 512
I had a dinner planned for 20 people and needed to get dinner, right?  What to do?  My two
year old and I run to the HoneyBaked Ham Store in Colerain (Cincinnati, Ohio) after a fun play date with some friends and before our midday nap.  We spent less than 7 minutes inside the store.  We were waited on immediately, even though there were several people in the store, all of whom
were being helped already.  I let them know that we had a gathering with about 20 people, they helped me pick the size ham and turkey.  So, we walked out with:
 
Whole Sliced and
Glazed Turkey Breast;
8 lb. Half Ham;
Sweet Potato Souffle;
Green Bean Casserole;
Turkey Gravy; and
Pecan Pie.

 

The cost of the food was $122 but I used coupons and brought that down to $112.  That’s $112 to
feed 20 people (and an eight month old baby).
phone 499
Of course the Ham took center stage!  We had enough for the dinner with plenty for three families to take home some for the week!  I love the sweet crunchy coating of the HoneyBaked Ham.  Truth be told, my girls wouldn’t eat any ham or turkey until after they finally tried HoneyBaked Ham’s signature dish.  

 

 
“Each HoneyBaked Ham is smoked for over 20 hours for unparralledled tenderness.  Then it is
spiral-sliced to make to make serving a breeze.  Finally, each ham is coated in our signature sweet-crunchy glaze by a Master Glazer right there in your local store for an incredible taste that’s second to none.  Gluten Free.
Bone-In Half Half:  7-11 lbs., Serves 12-20 (Quarter
Ham: 4-5.99 lbs serves 7-10; Half Boneless Ham serves 6-10; Ham slices are
available by the pound).
Nothing is as delicious and full of flavor as our fully-cooked
Sliced & Glazed Turkey Breast.  Available Oven Roasted or Gently
Smoked, 100% breast meat, gluten free and hand finished in-store with our
sweet, crunch glaze (2.6 lbs. serves 6).
My favorite side was the Sweet Potato Souffle!   It is so sweet and savory with different textures, it really explodes with flavor in your mouth!  This little guy loved it also!
QuinnHonestly, my favorite part of the dinner was the Pecan Pie.  I have never had Pecan Pie before so I wanted to give it a shot instead of the familiar Pumpkin Pie.  I love Pumpkin pie but I’ve never had Pecan Pie and I wanted to try something new.  Talk about flavor exploding in my mouth!  Another mom that was there has never been a fan of Pecan Pie.  She described not liking the large pecans that are always on top.  However, the pecans were broken up and smaller on the top, so she got a slice.  She liked it also and so did Mr. Messy, who does not like nuts.  FB loved the pecan pie also.  

From now until 1/11/15 you can enter to win a $25,000 HoneyBaked Kitchen Makeover when you buy a Ham and Turkey Breast bundle.

Check out this limited time coupon for $7.00 off any Sliced and Glazed Whole Turkey and 4lb Quarter Ham (Or Larger) from HoneyBaked Ham to help you make your holiday dinner easy and delicious! (Offer Valid at Participating Retail Locations: Forestville, Silver Spring, Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fields Ertel, Beechmont, Kenwood, Colerain, Florence, Salem, Centerville, Sawmill Road, McNaughten, Louisville, Lexington, Fern Creek, Glendale, Paradise Valley, Superstition, Tucson East, Tucson North, Overland Park, Independence, Barry Road, Norristown, Parma, Willoughby, Rocky River, Strongsville, Maple Heights, Canton, Fairlawn and Chapel Hill.)

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or Services mentioned above for free or monetary compensation in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Best Buy – The Place To Go For Your Holiday Cameras

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.

If you are a mom, chances are you either have a really great camera or have one on your wish list.  Best Buy is the place to go for your holiday camera gifts (for yourself).  ’Tis the season for giving but no one wants to remember the feeling of happiness after giving the perfect gift.  Capture those memories with some of these amazing cameras available at Best Buy!

Print

Best Buy is the ultimate destination for the latest cameras and camcorders to capture your high-stakes memories. These three cameras from Nikon, Sony and Samsung, all come equipped with built-in Wi-Fi so you can share amazing photos with ease. Upgrade your camera in time to capture precious holiday memories.

DI multi Nikon D5300

Nikon D5300 DSLR w/18-55mm VR Lens

·         A DSLR with built-in Wi-Fi so you can capture high quality photos and share them instantly

·         This Nikon D5300 DSLR camera comes with an AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II lens that enables you to capture sharp photos and video footage. Optical image stabilization helps prevent blurring to ensure image clarity

·         Also available in red or gray

·         Product Details

DI multi Nikon D5300back

Sony α6000 Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera

·         A compact system camera with the World’s Fastest Autofocus

·         This Sony Alpha A6000 features a 24.3-megapixel, Exmor APS-C CMOS sensor that makes it easy to shoot scenes in stunning clarity. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you share stored content across devices.

DI Multi Sony a6000

·         Also available in White or silver

·         Product Details

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2

·         A digital camera that allows you to shoot, share, and use Android Apps

·         This Samsung Galaxy 2 digital camera’s 16.3-megapixel, 1/2.3″ BSI CMOS sensor allows you to capture sharp images and high-definition video footage. The 4.8″ touch screen simplifies operation, and built-in Wi-Fi makes sharing stored files easy.

DI multi Sony a6000back

·         Product Details

Visit the Best Buy Holiday Gift Center to see more great cameras, whether you’re giving as a gift or upgrading for yourself.

Never miss a moment again!  I know I’ve had one of these cameras on my wish list for a few years.  It’s always hard to justify spending this kind of money on yourself.  I think I’m going to give in though and justify it by realizing that it’s not money spent on me.  I’m spending this money to preserve memories of my family.

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.

Safety 1st Holidays Car Seat Giveaway

Safety 1st Holidays Car Seat Giveaway
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or Services mentioned above for free or monetary compensation in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
 

Sponsor:  Safety 1st

 elite 65
 
Here are some tips from Safety 1st to help you survive the holidays:
“According to AAAnofollow last year 94.5 million people were on the roads, train tracks or in the skies during the holiday season.  That’s a lot of people! Then add your own kids into the mix of congestion and for some it can mean holiday headaches.  However, Safety 1stnofollow has some tips to help fight some of those headaches this season.
1.      Avoid peak travel days –Try not to fly or drive the days immediately before and after the actual holiday.  Those are the busiest travel days. However, if you fly or take a train you might save money by traveling on the actual holiday, the roads are less congested too.
2.      Prepare your child for the trip – Holiday parties can be overwhelming with sensory overload.  Especially for young children it’s good to talk about the upcoming trip days even weeks in advance.  This will help him or her get excited about the journey.  Show photos of family members or friends your child has not met yet, this way the new face might be a little familiar on arrival.
3.       “Are we there yet?” - To help avoid that dreaded phrase an hour into your six hour trip reserve a bag just for the kids, include books, toys, diapers a change of clothes and snacks.  Pre-load a tablet or smartphone with kid friendly apps or games. If you are driving keep all necessary items such as wipes, hand sanitizer or tissues easy to reach in a second – there are times you may not want to be digging through the bottom of a bag for such items. The Safety 1st Car Door Sanitation Stationnofollow is a great solution.
Get more tips HERE!

One lucky reader will win a Alpha Elite 65 Convertible Car Seat from Safety 1st!

Good Luck – winner must be a resident of the Continental U.S.A. and 18+.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or Services mentioned above for free or monetary compensation in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Surviving the Holidays with Safety 1st

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or Services mentioned above for free or monetary compensation in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

safety1st_logo_trans

I have to admit holidays seems so much better with children but the stress is multiplied by a thousand!  It seems like it gets worse with each child too!  I love to visit family and take trips during the holidays but I worry about safety above everything.  First, the weather worries me most.  I live in the Midwest and it isn’t unheard of to get six inches of snow or for it to be 60 degrees and sunny!  The snow isn’t going to stop me from seeing my family here.  However, when you have out of town guest on your roads that aren’t comfortable with driving in the snow it makes me more nervous.  A lot of my stress though is relieved knowing that my girls are safely in their Safety 1st car seats.  My Safety 1st Car seat of choice is the Elite 80 Air + 3 in 1 car seat.   The main reason is the safety features it offers but it will also protect my girls up to 100 pounds.

elite 80

Here are some tips from Safety 1st to help you survive the holidays:

“According to AAA last year 94.5 million people were on the roads, train tracks or in the skies during the holiday season.  That’s a lot of people! Then add your own kids into the mix of congestion and for some it can mean holiday headaches.  However, Safety 1st has some tips to help fight some of those headaches this season.

1.      Avoid peak travel days –Try not to fly or drive the days immediately before and after the actual holiday.  Those are the busiest travel days. However, if you fly or take a train you might save money by traveling on the actual holiday, the roads are less congested too.

2.      Prepare your child for the trip – Holiday parties can be overwhelming with sensory overload.  Especially for young children it’s good to talk about the upcoming trip days even weeks in advance.  This will help him or her get excited about the journey.  Show photos of family members or friends your child has not met yet, this way the new face might be a little familiar on arrival.

3.       “Are we there yet?” - To help avoid that dreaded phrase an hour into your six hour trip reserve a bag just for the kids, include books, toys, diapers a change of clothes and snacks.  Pre-load a tablet or smartphone with kid friendly apps or games. If you are driving keep all necessary items such as wipes, hand sanitizer or tissues easy to reach in a second – there are times you may not want to be digging through the bottom of a bag for such items. The Safety 1st Car Door Sanitation Station is a great solution.

4.      Car Seats – If you are flying check to make sure your car seat is FAA certified. If it’s not clearly labeled contact the manufacture. For parents with older children the Safety 1st BoostAPack can double as a kid survival kit, it’s FAA certified, and will fit in the plane overhead bin.

If you are driving make sure your car seat is installed correctly. If it’s been awhile since you visited a car seat check, it’s recommended to check your seat with a Certified Child Safety Technician in advance of your trip. Safercar.gov is a great resource.

5.      Prepare the guest room – If your child will be sleeping in a Play Yard during the trip, use that for bed or nap time the entire week before. This will help him or her get used to a new sleep environment.  Also if your infant or child sleeps better in a dark room or tends to wake up early with the morning light, bring garbage bags or dark fabric to tape over windows.”

safety 1st play yard

Most Fire Departments have a certified car seat technician on staff and if there isn’t one at your local department, they will likely be able to direct you to one close.  Take the time to make sure your children are safe and the car seats properly installed.  The holidays are always a rush for families, so chances are the cars on the road will be rushing and not as concerned with your children as you are.    Follow the tips above to relieve some stress and have a more enjoyable holiday with your loved ones.

 

Keeping Stress Out of Thanksgiving With HoneyBaked Ham + Win $500

I don’t know about you but for me it’s hard to be thankful for Thanksgiving each year when you have a house-full of friends and family coming and an endless amount of cooking to do!  I am not the best cook but I am a decent one.  Even with having a little experience in the kitchen, I am still bound to screw something up.  I have a house for of three children, two dogs and an adorable husband to keep me distracted from what’s going on in the kitchen.  honeybaked ham

When I was contact by HoneyBaked Ham to trust them to take all the stress out of my Thanksgiving, of course I was more than thankful!  This year we planned a Friendsgiving and while we are all amazing moms, none of us are chefs.

194

So, my two year old and I ran to the HoneyBaked Ham Store in Colerain (Cincinnati, Ohio) after a fun play date with some friends and before our midday nap.  We spent less than 7 minutes inside the store.  We were waited on immediately, even though there were several people in the store, all of whom were being helped already.  I let them know that we had a gathering with about 20 people, they helped me pick the size ham and turkey.  So, we walked out with:

Whole Sliced and Glazed Turkey Breast;

8 lb. Half Ham;

Sweet Potato Souffle;

Green Bean Casserole;

Turkey Gravy; and

Pecan Pie.

209

As I stated earlier, we expected 20 people for our Friendsgiving.  Since there were going to be so many children very little cleaning was done and even less cooking.  I love the fact that I only had to pop the Ham and Turkey in the oven to heat and then serve.  There was no basting, waking at the crack of Dawn and most importantly, there was no stress!  The cost of the food was $122 but I used coupons and brought that down to $112.  That’s $112 to feed 20 people (and an eight month old baby).

phone 515

Of course the main dishes were the Turkey and Ham.  Everyone loved both and there was so much left over that three families took some home to have for later.  I didn’t want to get to close to the Turkey at the end of the night since one mom already called dibs and she might have stabbed me with a fork if I got to close (disclosure:  Confessions of a Messy Mama and HoneyBaked Ham do not condone stabbing anyone during any meal…or after…or before – am I covered?).

phone 495

“Each HoneyBaked Ham is smoked for over 20 hours for unparralledled tenderness.  Then it is spiral-sliced to make to make serving a breeze.  Finally, each ham is coated in our signature sweet-crunchy glaze by a Master Glazer right there in your local store for an incredible taste that’s second to none.  Gluten Free.

Bone-In Half Half:  7-11 lbs., Serves 12-20 (Quarter Ham: 4-5.99 lbs serves 7-10; Half Boneless Ham serves 6-10; Ham slices are available by the pound).

Nothing is as delicious and full of flavor as our fully-cooked Sliced & Glazed Turkey Breast.  Available Oven Roasted or Gently Smoked, 100% breast meat, gluten free and hand finished in-store with our sweet, crunch glaze (2.6 lbs. serves 6).”

phone 493

 

From now until 1/11/15 you can enter to win a $25,000 HoneyBaked Kitchen Makeover when you buy a Ham and Turkey Breast bundle.

Check out this limited time coupon for $7.00 off any Sliced and Glazed Whole Turkey and 4lb Quarter Ham (Or Larger) from HoneyBaked Ham to help you make your holiday dinner easy and delicious! (Offer Valid at Participating Retail Locations: Forestville, Silver Spring, Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fields Ertel, Beechmont, Kenwood, Colerain, Florence, Salem, Centerville, Sawmill Road, McNaughten, Louisville, Lexington, Fern Creek, Glendale, Paradise Valley, Superstition, Tucson East, Tucson North, Overland Park, Independence, Barry Road, Norristown, Parma, Willoughby, Rocky River, Strongsville, Maple Heights, Canton, Fairlawn and Chapel Hill.)

HoneyBaked Ham is giving away a $500 Gift Card! You can enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or Services mentioned above for free or monetary compensation in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

UrbanHalo Headband Review

UrbanHalo 2

When I was offered an UrbanHalo Headband to review I said yes, of course, or else I wouldn’t be writing this.  I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy it.  I try very hard to exercise on a regular basis and I fail an awful lot.  I do find it easier to stick with my goal when I enjoy the attire I wear when I exercise.  I am not a runner but I so badly want to be.  It is still a goal and I haven’t given up, despite my age youth.  I know that someday I will have the time to dedicate to myself.  For now, I will focus on the souls I am preparing to make the world a more beautiful place and get a run around the block here and there.

UrbanHalo 3

The creator of UrbanHalo Headands was of course looking for a solution to the drab, boring headbands that she would use to keep the sweat out of her face from her workout.  She would come across some stylish ones but they never did their job or some not so stylish ones that would do their job.  The result from her work was the UrbanHalo Headband.

UrbanHalo 4

About:

“UrbanHalo designer, Jen, believes that accessories should be as much functional as they are fashionable. As a runner, stay-at-home mom, and group fitness junkie she was always on the lookout for the perfect headband, one that was stylish enough to take her from the studio to preschool pickup, yet functional enough to stay in place without causing headaches. After much searching and even more disappointment, she sat down in front of her sewing machine with the cutest fabric she could find and the first UrbanHalo was born!

A lot has changed since that first headband was sewn. Jen discovered that the right material is key to the function of a headband. So after endless searching, samples and tests, her persistence paid off with the perfect fabric.  Now, this perfect, buttery soft signature fabric is custom printed {in the fabulous USA} in each season’s hottest prints and colors. As Jen began sharing the “Halo Love” word quickly spread and today UrbanHalos can be found in some of the finest boutiques, studios and salons across the US and Canada!”

I gave it a chance one Saturday morning and broke into a nice sweat.  I jog/walk for my “runs” but it is still more work than sitting around eating donuts, right?  The UrbanHalo Headband stayed put the entire time.  I didn’t have to adjust it once.  I tend to stay away from headbands because most of the time I do have to adjust them, even when I’m not working out.  It didn’t fit too snug on my head either.  I didn’t have sweat running into my eyes either, so it did an excellent job.

UrbanHalo 1

I would most certainly recommend UrbanHalo Headbands for anyone searching for a stylish solution to add to their workouts.  My favorite is the one in the picture above and it doesn’t have a name just yet.  What do you think they should name this one?

Messy signature

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or Services mentioned above for free or monetary compensation in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

 

 

alternaVites Kids Review

Now that everyone is settled back in school and a regular routine we tend to let our guards down a little.  However, with the upcoming cold and flu season on the rise we have to be diligent about making sure our children are healthy.  So I was happy to agree to a review from alternaVites KIDS.  I was sent a box of Strawberry Bubble Gum from alternaVites KIDS to see how my kids liked it.  We also received one sample (one serving) of the Raspberry Cotton Candy flavor.
reviews 001
alternaVites KIDS is for children four years old and older.  I did try to get FB’s opinion on taste by just giving her a tiny sample but she wanted no part of it.  Drama and Diva liked both flavors.  I think they liked the thought of dumping into their mouth like a pixie stick more than anything.  I tried both flavors also, just to see.  I loved the Strawberry Bubble Gum and liked the Raspberry Cotton Candy.  Mr. Messy liked the Raspberry Cotton Candy flavor more than the other but liked the Strawberry Bubble Gum also.
reviews 008
One thing that I really enjoy about alternaVites KIDS is that I can mix it into a drink and give my children the vitamins they need without a fight.  I am lucky and don’t have the kids that fight to take their vitamins.  I have witness events like these and for a parent who struggles in this area alternaVites KIDS would be a life saver!
reviews 011
ABOUT:
“alternaVites Kids has revolutionized the children’s vitamin category as they no longer have to be the chalky chewable we grew up with, or a sugary gummy that’s missing essential nutrients, and can stick in between our children’s teeth.
alternaVites Kids® contains 17 essential vitamins and minerals specially formulated for children ages 4 and up.   Designed with both you and your children in mind, alternaVites Kids is remarkable not only for what it does contain, but also for what it doesn’t.
Unlike many other kids’ vitamin products, alternaVites Kids :
  • Is truly delicious!  Available in two awesome flavors:  strawberry bubble gum and raspberry cotton candy.
  • Contains 0 grams of sugar (free of aspartame and high fructose corn syrup)
  • Gluten- free*
  • No artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Vegetarian
  • No GMO ingredients
  • Contains no egg, milk, peanut, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish or shellfish.*
  • Certified kosher (OU)
  • One per day
  • Endorsed by pediatric dentists
*However, we encourage all parents of children with food allergies or sensitivities to consult with their child’s doctor or pediatrician before use.  MADE IN USA.”

alternaVites 2

alternaVites KIDS can be purchased at alternavites.com or at your local Walmart or Whole Foods Market.
Messy signature
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or Services mentioned above for free or monetary compensation in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Secret Sisters by Sandra Byrd Review

Secret Sisters: (se’-krit sis’-terz) n. Two friends who choose each other to be everything a real sister should be: loyal and loving. They share with and help each other no matter what!
 
I have to disclose that Sandra Byrd sent my daughter, who is seven, the kindle edition of this series to review and give her opinion free of charge.  I also have to inform you that this review is not written by a seven year old but by her mother based on her opinion, actions and reactions. 
 
Secret Sisters is a six volume series of books that are written with girls between eight and 12 years old in mind.  My daughter, Drama, is only seven but reads on a much older level.  She still has the maturity level of a seven year old.
secret sisters
 
She started off with the second book.  We wanted to know if a girl would be confused by not reading the first story.  Drama did not have any issues reading series out of order.  She loves Secret Sisters and has filled me in on the stories many times over.  I hear her talking about which one of her friends will be her Secret Sister.  I have heard all about Tess losing her mother’s jewelry and Drama promises me she will never do that to me.  I know it will happen though, it is almost a right of passage to lose your mother’s jewelry.
Each of the six volumes in this exciting series for girls aged 8-12 contains two complete books. Come along with Tess and Erin and they visit a dude ranch, spend time at the beach, sign up for modeling school and have the surprise of a lifetime at an Indian reservation.
Each volume includes everything tweens want in a book: fun, friends, family, faith and a fast-pace. Go ahead – give them a try! Click links to download a sample read from any volume.”
I don’t think your daughter has to be eight years old in order to read an enjoy the Secret Sisters series.  However, don’t try to throw your kindergartener or first grader in here if she is struggling to read.  You should pay attention to your daughter’s skill level.  There are a few other series by Sandra Byrd that I will be adding to our library since I have three girls in my house.  I don’t think you can have enough books!
Messy signature
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or Services mentioned above for free or monetary compensation in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Link

Or, In Which You See My Messy Kitchen!

By Messy Mama Traci

There are less than 100 days until Christmas! I know I love to savor every season and the holidays they bring, but there is also a lot to be said for planning ahead. If you are looking for a fun and memorable gift for a hard to buy person on your list, I think the Soda Stream could be a great fit. Also, at 25 cents per serving, it could be a fantastic investment if you already enjoy carbonated or flavored drinks on a regular basis.

I am so grateful to the folks at Soda Stream for allowing our little family to enjoy their fantastic product! Since we are not big soda drinkers and only a few of our kids enjoy Sprite some of the time, it was quite a novelty to have a huge amount of flavors we could make in any amount, big or small, on a whim. If we were big soda drinkers to begin with, I could easily see purchasing another down the road both for ourselves and as gifts. I have since noticed Soda Streams available for sale at my Kroger near the other kitchen gadgets.

It is slim, light, easy to handle whether you leave it on your counter or put it away until you are entertaining.

Just so that I can keep my Messy Mama status real here, I will show you where it landed in my kitchen, conveniently shown with the cereal box to give you point of reference as to size and scale. To my credit, Cuddle Bear was home sick with me this particular morning with a pesky virus and my youngest, Wild Cat, not yet in preschool, was happy to have a buddy to “home school” and thus the lovely artwork you see drying on said counter top! Also, this is the only area of my counter that doesn’t have cabinets above, so I did find myself wishing it was a few inches shorter somehow just so that I could keep it in different places, but other than that it really is a very convenient and slim design.

2014 august 045

Extra credit if you spy the little orange inhaler! Ugh that was a Messy Week!

And it hides nicely in one of my lower cabinets when not in use.

Anyhow, we have already brought it along to an afternoon football game gathering with friends as well, which was fun to share, especially since it was easy to transport and set up with the rest of the food and drinks. It just added a festive element that was fun conversation piece and a huge hit with the kids especially.

For me, the most appealing part was not standing at the store debating how many varieties and how many of each variety of drinks to bring along! So much less hassle buying heavy 2 liters at the store since with the Soda Stream, you just set out the flavors and simply use cold tap water or filtered water. This way we only make servings as needed and even at your preferred level of carbonation with three options available. I am really thrilled to be well stocked with drinks for entertaining without having an assortment of heavy 12 to 24 packs or 2 liters in my basement pantry!

They have over 60 flavors way beyond the typical soda flavors (although I really liked their root beer!) including flavored teas, Splash V8 and Crystal Light, just to name a few, here is a link to their flavors page for their whole line up. Flavors can be added either by individual caps per 1 liter of water or by capfuls from their larger Soda Mix bottles that provide flavor for 12 liters of soda. I found both to be very convenient and they are both recyclable.

Their regular flavors contain no high-fructose corn syrup, and are lower in calories than national brands. Diet flavors are sweetened with Splenda® brand sweetener, not aspartame.

Less waste is another thing I really appreciate about the soda stream, both less packaging and less transportation costs in getting the traditional soda options from the store. Our kids keep us very environmentally conscious and I like having another way to make environmentally considerate choices.

Of course water is always the healthiest, cheapest, mostly environmentally friendly option but I would bet that most of us or someone we know does enjoy soda or flavored drinks on even just an occasional basis. I would highly recommend visiting their website if you think you or someone you know would enjoy this product, it is very easy to use and very well designed!