Our Playskool In-Home Birthday Party with The New Let's Imagine Elmo #MC #sponsored #ImagineWithElmo

I wrote this review while participating in a campaign forMom Central Consulting on behalf of Playskool. I received product samples to facilitate my party and review, and a promotional item to thank me for participating.
Liam just turned 5 years old and we wanted to throw him the biggest, best birthday party ever, especially after all of the medical issues he's gone through. Well, he decided on a Nightmare Before Christmas birthday party and that's what we set out to create. In addition, Playskool sent an amazing package of party gear to make the day even more amazing for not only Liam, but all of the guests as well. Liam invited his preschool class for the event and we ended up with about 10 kids in all, along with family members and parents, attending the party. We set up two huge tables right at the front door, so kids could take a look at all of the goodies as soon as they walked in. The first table had assorted Halloween snacks and treats. The other table was dedicated to Playskool, with all of the toys and the new Let's Imagine Elmo!

Now, this party was a bit different than most birthdays because each guest got to pick a toy from the Playskool table. The Let's Imagine Elmo was the centerpiece and something the kids could play with throughout the party. They could choose between:

Stack N' Spin Monkey Gears

Transformers Mixable, Mashable Heroes

But the real star of the party was the new Let's Imagine Elmo!

As a Nightmare Before Christmas party, of course we had to decorate the house from head to toe! Here are some of the treats and crafts we made to make Liam's party extra spooky!

Now for the fun! We also set up a bounce house for the kids and had someone come in to paint faces! In addition, we had a witch hat game and some delicious pizza (Liam's favorite food).

After playing and eating outdoors, we came inside for cake and presents.

As I mentioned earlier, the best part about the party was that everyone got a gift, not just Liam. Thanks to Playskool, all the boys and girls took turns picking out their favorite toy to take home with them. This way, they also had something to play with after gifts were opened.

I wrote this review while participating in a campaign forMom Central Consulting on behalf of Playskool. I received product samples to facilitate my party and review, and a promotional item to thank me for participating.


Jif To Go Dippers Makes The Perfect Snack #MC #Sponsored #GetGoing

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Jif To Go Dippers. I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.

I wrote about Jif in a previous post and their awesome #GetGoing photo challenge, which has since ended and we hope you had a chance to enter. Now that the contest is over, we want to share some additional Jif fun with our readers. Over the past month, we've had a chance to try out Jif To Go Dippers even more and I wanted to share all of our thoughts about these delicious snacks.
As huge Jif peanut butter fans, I couldn't wait to give Jif To Go Dippers a try. We only use Jif peanut butter and we use it on a daily basis because Josiah wants a PB&J sandwich for lunch every single day. So, when I found out about Jif To Go Dippers, I knew these would be perfect for him.

Since he is now in 2nd grade, they have a snack time each morning to help tide them over for lunch. Of course, teachers do not appreciate parents sending in candy and other sugary items that cause our kids to bounce off the walls. Instead, they prefer us to send a balanced snack that our kids will eat, but that are also nutritious. Jif To Go Dippers are already packaged and ready to place in your child's lunch box or backpack. How easy can it get? No messing with snack bags or other containers. Everything is all in one pack and no other prep is involved.

The great thing about Jif To Go Dippers is that they come in two different varieties:
Chocolate Silk Peanut Butter With Pretzels & Creamy Peanut Butter With Pretzels

This means I can alternate the dippers for on different days and change it up a bit for him. Plus, some days he may want one for a snack after school. I can pop them into my purse and have them handy whenever we are on the go, too. They are well packaged and, since toting them around in our bags, we've never had one open unintentionally or make a mess. The Jif To Go Dippers will be a constant snack staple at our house from now on and I definitely will not forget them when traveling, too. The holidays are coming up quickly, which means huge road trips for our family. Taking a snack with us means less stopping and I'm all for that, so Jif To Go Dippers will be making the trips with us! Don't forget summer vacations, too. I know that's in the distant future, but these will be perfect for the beach, too. Throw them in the cooler or beach bag and you are good to go.

Have you given Jif To Go Dippers a try yet? Josiah is quite taken with them and has asked for nothing else each night when we pack his snack. He loves both, but, when I asked him which is his favorite, he proudly answered the Chocolate Silk Peanut Butter With Pretzels. The sweetness goes perfectly with the salty pretzels!

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Jif To Go Dippers. I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.

Baby Mantra Natural Products Are Perfect For Sensitive Skin #MC #Sponsored #BabyMantra

I participated in Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Baby Mantra. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.
When my first son was born, my husband and I made the decision to become more eco-conscious and to also try more natural products. Cloth diapering, essential oils and homemade detergents became a part of our lives and we felt great about reducing our carbon footprint. Two years later, my second son Liam was born and this began a time of even bigger change for our family. Liam was a preemie, born 5 weeks early, and while in the NICU we began to see just how sensitive he was (and still is) to his entire environment. The diaper creams, soaps, vitamin supplements added to breast milk, and disposable diapers all caused reactions both inside and outside of his body. From the moment we brought him home, experiments began with baby products to find the ones that were perfect for his sensitive skin.

Liam has very dry skin, which cannot be moisturized with just any baby lotion. The wrong ingredients not only dry out the skin even more, but cause him to break out, become uncomfortable, fussy, and itchy. He also has eczema, another easily irritated skin condition that still flares up often and caused him to itch even more. We realized immediately that our safest bet was natural baby products, so I was very excited to learn more about Baby Mantra!

Baby Mantra is a wonderful certified natural, cruelty-free, gluten-free baby skincare line created by two sisters. Their mission is to provide baby products with safe, environmentally conscious ingredients and packaging! All products are made here in the U.S. and are inspired by all-natural remedies with essential oils.

We received a package of Baby Mantra products to try, including these:
Detangling Conditioner, Calming Lotion, 3-in-1 Bubble Bath, Shampoo +Wash, and Newborn Shampoo + Body Wash. 

All of the products contain soothing and moisturizing natural ingredients along with essential oils, so they not only smell amazing, but also keep the skin baby soft! The boys were so excited to see bubble bath and made sure we tried it that night. As soon as I opened up the bottle, I could smell the lavender, one of my favorite scents that is also known for its calming properties and perfect for babies/children before bedtime. Just putting a bit in the water produced plenty of bath time fun for the kiddos and they also loved the scent.
I love that the 3-in-1 bubble bath, shampoo + wash has multiple purposes! I can wash my babies from head to toe, get them squeaky clean, and smelling yummy. Both of my boys also have dry scalp issues and Josiah's red hair is prone to tangles, so I was happy to see the detangling conditioner. It contains coconut and lavender oil, instantly making Josiah's hair feel silky smooth while not drying the scalp as other products can and have.

After bath time is when the calming lotion comes in and is the perfect touch for keeping skin soft. The shea butter moisturizes along with the lavender oil, which also calms baby for bedtime. This also makes for a great massage lotion, further soothing baby fast asleep.
My silly boys love bubbles!
We have thoroughly enjoyed trying Baby Mantra products and they have been perfect for Liam's sensitive skin. We will definitely continue using them, especially when baby #3 comes along! Are you ready to try Baby Mantra? Their products are available at select Walgreens/Duane Reade stores, Walgreens.com, BabiesRUs.com, and Amazon.com.

I participated in Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Baby Mantra. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.


Jif To Go Dippers & The #GetGoing Photo Challenge #MC #sponsored

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Jif To Go Dippers. I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.

There are two things I do each morning before my kids go to school. First, I make Josiah a Jif Peanut Butter and jelly sandwich. Second, I pack him a snack. I've failed to hold his interest with most snacks I pack and have tried to find healthy alternatives he will enjoy. When I heard about Jif To Go Dippers, I was so excited because we are huge Jif fans and, just like my mom, it is the only peanut butter I ever use. Of course, Josiah's teacher requires snacks to be nutritious and encourages parents to pack items that aren't packed in sugar. Jif To Go Dippers are absolutely perfect for snack time at home and at school.
As soon as the Jif To Go Dippers arrived at our home, Josiah couldn't wait to open and try them, so we had a special snack that night after dinner. There are two different choices: Chocolate Silk Peanut Butter with Pretzels or Creamy Peanut Butter with Pretzels. Josiah loves peanut butter and pretzels, so putting them together is just genius! He sat staring at the packages trying to decide which to try first, but finally decide on the Chocolate Silk with Pretzels.
Check out how creamy the chocolate dip is:

The Jif To Go Dippers #GetGoing Photo Challenge
I've learned over the years that peanut butter can be used for many creative recipes and Jif wants to inspire fans to have fun and be adventurous with their #GetGoing Photo Competition! There are many ways to enter. All you have to do is submit a photo depicting how you get going and tag it with #GetGoing for your entry to count. Your photo(s) can be submitted via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Iconosquare. For all of the info on how to enter, just click here. The contest ends on October 1st, so act fast to get those entries in. You can win $1,000 to put towards a dream vacation.
From our Easter vacation to Florida! The beach was beautiful!
As someone who loves to travel, this would be perfect for our family. I've been to many places around the world, but my husband and children have never been outside of the United States. They don't even have passports yet, but they will have them in the near future. Where will we go for our next adventure? My kids both want to visit England. Josiah wants to see real castles and Liam wants to go to Peppa Pig Land. Since we have friends there, that just makes the idea of a trip even more fun. Of course, it isn't cheap for an entire family to fly over to England, so $1,000 would really help with the expenses.

What is your dream vacation? Where would you love to visit? We want to know! 

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Jif To Go Dippers. I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.


Cascade Makes A Shining Impression #CascadeShiningReviews #DDDivas #sponsored @MyCascade

Disclosure:This post was written for Cascade in conjunction with Double Duty Divas. The post was compensated in exchange for in-home parties and honest reviews of the products. All opinions written are my own and those of party guests.

When I was a child, my mom kept her house beautiful and clean from top to bottom. In fact, we had a cleaning day when we scrubbed everything perfectly each week.  Washing dishes was just as important to her and she wanted them to be spotless. She always, always used Cascade and still does, which is probably why, as soon as I moved out on my own, I bought my very first Cascade, too. At 34 years old, I am still a Cascade fan and there are many reasons why. It's a brand I trust and know will not only clean my dishes, but also keep them shiny and looking new. I guess you could say using Cascade is a family tradition because it's something we all continue to use and I'm sure my kids will, too, one of these days.

Because we love Cascade so much, I was beyond excited when asked to be a part of the Cascade campaign with Double Duty Divas and host my very own Cascade at-home parties. Just a few weeks ago, I threw my first party with friends and family members. We had so much fun getting together and I had a chance to show them first-hand just how well Cascade works!

I received a huge box full of Cascade Platinum Pacs and Cascade Rinse Aid to give out to our guests!
In addition, I also got a Pyrex container and brownie mix to make a delicious treats for our guests. Of course, my boys had to help bake brownies with me and boy did they want to eat some as soon as they were done, but I had to save them for the next afternoon. Talk about torture for the little ones and for mama, too! They looked absolutely delicious!
So, the next day we headed to my sister-in-law's house! She graciously allowed us to party at her house and show off the wonders of Cascade. We had a house full of people there for dinner, dessert, and Cascade fun! I had the table set up with all of the Cascade goodies to hand out to everyone, so they were already excited as soon as they came in the house.
After we stuffed ourselves silly with food and brownies, I stuck the Pyrex container into the dishwasher without pre-washing, scrubbing or soaking per my instructions. As someone who usually does all of these when cooking brownies, I couldn't wait to see the final result and was hoping for the best! I stuck the Cascade Platinum Pac inside with the Pyrex dish and also included the Rinse Aid before starting it up!

The result? A beautifully clean and shiny dish, free of any remaining baked on brownies or oil! In fact, it looked brand new and, after several uses, still looks just as shiny! As usual, Cascade really came to the rescue and made a powerful impact not only on the dishes, but on my guests. My mother-in-law remarked, "I was really shocked at just how clean the dish was after washing!" My friend Holly said, "Wow, I always pre-wash and sometimes soak, but I can save time with Cascade Platinum."
Many of our guests were parents, so they, just like myself, are always on the go. I usually leave dishes until last at night and now I don't have to worry about them having residue or not getting clean because Cascade Platinum really packs a punch. In fact, I wouldn't feel so bad about leaving them overnight if I'm too tired, which is something I normally wouldn't do. As I spoke with guests, they all seemed to feel the same way. They were all excited about taking home samples and putting Cascade Platinum Pacs to the test on their own dishes.

So, now that you've seen Cascade in action, give it a try and let us know what you think! We'll be throwing another party on October 4th, so check back for our next post. This party will be even bigger and we'll have about 30 guests, so I can't wait to show them the power of Cascade.
Disclosure:This post was written for Cascade in conjunction with Double Duty Divas. The post was compensated in exchange for in-home parties and honest reviews of the products. All opinions written are my own and those of party guests.


Suave Split End Rescue On Rollback At Walmart for $2.50 #sponsored

Disclosure: This sponsored post was written for Global Influence in conjunction with Suave Split End Rescue products available at Walmart. 
As the daughter of a cosmetologist, my hair has been every length and every color possible. In high school, my hair was either brown or blonde, but when I began college, my hairstyle pretty much changed every single season. As a student at UGA, I even went through a bright Georgia red. As you can imagine, my hair suffered from all the different hair coloring along with daily use of a hairdryer and curling iron. My biggest hair mistake was when I decided to go from the bright red to blonde. Oh boy! After that, my hair was in need of intense hydration. My hair was a brittle split end tragedy.

I don't dye my hair quite as often these days, but I do like styling and straightening it when going out. Split ends have always been a bit of an issue for me and, I've learned over the years that the types of shampoos and conditioners I use are very important to hair health. As a family, we've used Suave shampoos, conditioners, and body washes for many years now. I love all the different scents and the price is perfect for our budget. When I heard about Suave Split End Rescue Shampoo and Conditioner, I couldn't wait to give them a try!
Along with the knowledge of hair care I've accumulated over the years, I've also learned that the quality of a product is not determined my high price. The fact that Suave Split End Rescue is salon proven to strengthen just as well as Paul Mitchell products is not at all surprising to me considering the quality of all of their other great items. Knowing that you could experience up to a 70% reduction in split ends isn't the only reason to give it a try. Right now, you can purchase Suave Split End Rescue Shampoo and Conditioner on Rollback at Walmart for only $2.50! These products gently cleanse and repair normal to dry hair with its PEC Complex. Your hair will be happy and so will your wallet!


BabyShowersByMail.com 6 Months Diaper & Wipe Delivery Giveaway

How many new time parents think about all the diapers they need? I know I didn't have a CLUE how many we would use. With two boys, I couldn't tell you how many thousands of diapers we have used over the years. Even parents that have had more than one child remember the hundreds and hundreds of diapers they need while your little one is growing up. Do you have diapers on your list grocery list constantly or perhaps you are planning on a new edition to your family soon? Just imagine NOT having to pick up diapers every single time you visit the store. Thanks to BabyShowersByMail.com, this is now possible!

Home of the "Year Supply of Diapers", BabyShowersByMail.com offers an amazing service that actually delivers diapers and wipes to your house! You have the options to get the diapers for 3, 6, 9, and 12 months! BabyShowersByMail also has lists and lists of different baby gift ideas for any family! This company has thought of EVERYTHING!

Are you one of those people who have a hard time thinking about what gift you want. Or are do you hate going to the store to do your shopping? Well head on over to BabyShowersByMail! They have everything for little girls and little boys! Ordering is pain free, shipping is quick. Life made simple! BabyShowersByMail offers products that will keep Mother and baby happy forever. They have an amazingly simple diaper and wipe monthly delivery service that has every brand and size a mother could want. Mom's time is precious give her the gift of time and have those diapers delivered!

One winner will receive a 6 month diaper and wipe delivery package.

Giveaway ends September 12th at 11:59pm, open to US, ages 18+. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck!

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact teri@mompoweredmedia.com if you have any additional questions or comments.


Putting Viva Vantage Paper Towels To The Test @VIVATowels #sp

There are many things I never knew before becoming a parent and even though each child is different, one thing is universally true: children are messy! I'm not sure how this innate ability is instilled, but it comes perfectly bundled up in my two energetic boys who go 100% all day long, playing, running, eating, and being silly. It's just a fact that, at some point during the day, there will be something for me to clean up. No plain old paper towel can keep up with our family. We need something that will clean up messes easily, quickly, and without using an entire roll. That's why I said good-bye to my old paper towels and said hello to Viva Vantage®!

As a stay-at-home-mom, I pretty much come to the kitchen for paper towels several times a day. I need a paper towel that can do it all, be it spills on our kitchen floor, couch, or carpet. I also use paper towels to clean off the dinner table each night, wipe up the bathroom counter, and clean windows/mirrors. Viva Vantage® is a must-have in our home and something that is always at the top of my shopping list.
We put Viva Vantage to the test this week so we could show our readers how well it cleans and absorbs messes. Unlike my old brand, I don't have to use several sheets, which means I spend less money and can get the most bang for my buck, too. As a mom on a budget, I love that you can purchase a 6-pack of Viva Vantage for $6.97 at Wal-Mart. That's where I purchased our paper towels this week. You can also purchase them on Walmart.com for the same price!

Disclosure: This sponsored post was written for Linqia in conjunction with Viva Vantage. Compensation was provided for my honest review. All opinions written are my own.

Let's Celebrate Snuggle Bear's 30th Birthday & Prize Package Giveaway #LetsSnuggle

As a child, I would get so excited when the dryer beeped because I knew that meant my mom would be coming soon with her arms full of warm, soft, fresh-smelling clothes. I'd snuggle up in them, sniff them, and help her fold them. Mmmm.... I still love the fresh, clean smell of clean clothes and towels after using Snuggle. That's why I was so excited to be a part of Snuggle Bear's 30th birthday celebration!

As soon as I picked up this package, I could smell the Snuggle products and couldn't wait to open it. When we got home, Liam was basically jumping up and down, ready to open the box, so that's what we did. Imagine his surprise when I pulled out Snuggle Bear, complete with a cupcake and 30th birthday shirt! Liam asked me excitedly, "how did Snuggle Bear know about MY birthday?" Talk about perfect timing. Liam's 5th birthday is coming up in only a few weeks! Besides being extra cute and smelling just like Snuggle, Liam's new bear is super cuddly. He is exactly what I have always imagined Snuggle Bear to be and now we have our very own!
Making The World A Softer Place
Just the other night Liam was getting sleepy and asked me, "Mama, can you please snuggle me tonight? I'll snuggle you, too." That little man completely made my entire day. For Snuggle Bear's birthday celebration, Snuggle wants to know what we all do to make the world a softer place. Besides using Snuggle every single day when washing clothes, we, as a family, try to pay it forward whenever possible. I teach my children that there is beauty in everything and everyone, to be respectful, and to have an open mind. I have to admit they have taught me just as much, if not more, by seeing the world through their eyes. My youngest son, Liam, is a "greeter" and has to speak to almost everyone around him. When out in public, he always asks if he can make new friends. He loves meeting new people, wants to talk to them, and is such a curious little boy. My oldest son, Josiah, completely melted my heart when he decided to use his birthday money to buy an additional xbox controller for his brother just so they could play Minecraft together. Seeing them in action, out in the world giving to others and completing selfless acts reassures me as a mother that I'm doing something right.

How do you make the world a softer place? 

Are You Ready For A Giveaway?
Thanks to Snuggle, One Lucky Reader Will Receive A Snuggle Bear Birthday Package Just Like We Did, Which Includes:
  • Build A Bear Birthday Snuggle Bear
  • Snuggle Scent Boosters (20 ct.)
  • 2 Snuggle Dryer Sheet Packages (70-80 ct.)
  • Ultra Snuggle (40 loads)
  • Snuggle Exhilarations (32 Loads)
  • Gift Bag & Tissue Paper
  • Candles


Make Bold Choices with Chili’s® at Home Meals & Coupon Savings #chilisathome #sp

Every once and a while life gets a little too boring and routine. That's when I know it's time to try something different and fun. This summer, just as July was getting monotonous and we'd already gone on our yearly vacation, we were surprised by an email inviting Liam and our family to release the balloons at the beginning of a 5k race called Bend Your Knees For Collins, which raises money for children with brain tumors and for cancer research! Liam was beyond excited and we really had no idea what to expect, but we knew it would be great fun.

A photographer snapped some great photos of us before the race and while we were on stage. Liam has NF, brain tumors, and doesn't have a shy bone in his body, so he got up on stage like a champ and spoke into the microphone, telling the crowd to finish strong before releasing the balloons high into the sky. We had an amazing day that will never be forgotten!

There are many bold ways to make life more exciting and now you can do so from your own home. As much as I love to eat out at restaurants, we just can't do that very often, especially during the week. One of my favorite restaurants is Chili's, so imagine my surprise when I found out about Chili's® at Home meals. Bellisio Foods partnered with Chili’s® Grill & Bar this year to introduce a new line of Chili’s®-inspired frozen meals! They are available at a variety of major retailers, including Walmart, which is where we went shopping yesterday. An entire freezer at the end of an aisle was dedicated to many of the single-serve entrees and multi-serve meals. I decided on the Cajun-Style Chicken Alfredo for my husband and I to try. He was so happy to see it when I got home that he wanted to make dinner early, so, for the first time in weeks, my husband made dinner!

Dinner seriously could not be any easier than Chili’s® at Home meals. Within minutes of opening the package and throwing it in a pan, dinner was ready and smelled absolutely delicious.
Have you tried Chili’s® at Home meals yet? We were so impressed with the Cajun-Style Chicken Alfredo that we can't wait to try another. Next time I'd like to try the Chicken Fajita Rice since I love the fajita's at Chili’s®. Click the link above to see all of the delicious meal choices to experience Chili’s® in your own home!

Which of those would you like to try the most? We found them at Walmart for only $7.95, but you can also find them at many other retailers, including Kroger, Safeway, Food Lion, H-E-B, Meijer, Giant Eagle, and Schnucks! Before your next shopping trip, be sure to print out a your coupon to save $1 off of your Chili’s® at Home Meals purchase!

Disclosure: This post was written for Linqia for a Chili’s® at Home Meals campaign. Compensation will be provided in exchange for the review. All opinions included are my own.