The Mommyhood Life – Travel, Crafts, Food, and Florida Family Fun

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5 Great Products and Tips to Make This Thanksgiving Extra Fun and Easy!

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com all opinions are my own.

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is this week!  This year is certainly flying by, but I’m excited to share some great products and tips to make this Thanksgiving extra fun.

Let someone else take care of the centerpiece this year, and let it double as a dessert!  Order one of these awesome fall arrangements from Edible Arrangements.  I love sending Edible Arrangements as a way to say thank you or for special occasions like birthdays, but ordering one as a centerpiece for my family is a great way to cross some decorating off my to-do list and I get to enjoy the beautiful yumminess!  They can be ordered up till 11/22, the day before Thanksgiving!


We received the Salted Caramel Harvest Bouquet™ with Orange Swizzle Berries® which includes Salted caramel apple wedges, Chocolate dipped strawberries with festive orange Swizzle®, Playful pineapple leaves, Chocolate covered pineapple “apple”, and additional grapes, strawberries, cantaloupe in a keepsake pumpkin container that can be used again.

You can use one of these awesome coupon codes to save this holiday season:
Code: THANK17
$10 OFF $39+ ($49 for CA) valid 11/13 – 11/22, unlimited use, for fulfillment any time.
Code: FEAST
$20 OFF $99+, valid 11/13-11/22, unlimited use, fulfillment any time.

Skip the dirty dishes and get some canned beverages everyone will love.   Sipp Sparkling Organics has an amazing line of refreshing sparkling beverages that everyone in your party is sure to love.  I received a couple of these to try, and immediately went out and purchased more for myself, they are so delicious!  There are 6 flavors to select from and these are delicious chilled on their own or mixed with other juices or cocktails.  Created with a blend of fruits, herbs and agave into a lightly sweetened sparkling beverage.

For alcoholic beverages, choose a signature beverage or two for the day, to keep the bar stocked up easily.  Clean Cocktails for the Modern Mixologist from Blue Barn Publishing has countless ideas for excellent low calorie cocktails.  Holistic health coaches Beth Ritter Nydick and Tara Roscioli bring a clean-living mindset to craft mixology. Their recipes use low-calorie spirits, fresh juices, clean sweeteners like honey and maple syrup, and anti-inflammatory spices.  Plus many of the recipes have pitcher sizes, which is perfect for holiday entertaining!  I can’t wait to create the Strawberry Limeade for my family and friends, this is one of my favorite cocktails ever!

Don’t forget your four legged family members!  Get them some extra yummy and nutritious snacks from Solid Gold!  Just in time for Thanksgiving, Solid Gold has came out with a new line of cat and dog treats featuring the flavors of your holiday dinner.  Brady loved these superfood chewy dog treats that combine flavors of turkey, sweet potatoes, and cinnamon!  They deliver a texture, smell, and taste in nutrient dense reward for dogs of all sizes.  Brady has been eating these up, and it looks like we found his new favorite treat.

Put the giving back in Thanksgiving with Petlanthropy.org a unique way to help animals in need!  The Petlanthropy Foundation was founded with only one goal, to help give all homeless cats and dogs a loving forever home.  This is a great cause to donate to during the holiday season, and all year long.

 

All these products awed certain to help you entertain your guests with ease, so that you can focus on giving thanks, making memories, and gathering around the dinner table!

AMERICAN GIRL’S NEW BEFOREVER DOLL NANEA Mitchell

Disclosure:  American Girl sent us a doll to help facilitate this review, all opinions are 100% my own.

American Girl BeForever Doll Nanea Mitchell

It is always an exciting time for Lilly and I when American Girl comes out with a new doll, but when they come out with a new BeForever doll it’s extra special.  Lilly has several “Doll of the Year” characters and one of the new contemporary dolls, and she absolutely adores them all!  However, there is something extra special to me about the BeForever line.  The stories from the past, the accessories from different time periods, they really take you back in time and teach our girls about the lifestyle of different generations.  


Her efforts to help and heal her friends and neighbors during wartime are all driven by her spirit of aloha: the understanding that everyone is connected, and that joy and pain are shared.

This is an incredible story with so much educational value packed in, and I can’t wait to read through all Nanea’s books with Lilly!

Along with her beautiful features, stylish outfit and storyline, like other American
Girl Dolls, Nanea has an amazing accessory line including a Family Market.  To help ensure the historical accuracy and cultural authenticity of Nanea’s story and products, American Girl worked closely with a five-member advisory board who provided their expertise in Hawaiian culture, language, and history to help bring together all aspects of Nanea’s development.

Giving Back!

To support Nanea’s inspiring message, from August 21 until the end of 2017, American Girl will be collecting donations for the American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) program to help provide comfort and care to the members of the military, veterans, and their families. American Girl will match every dollar donation made at americangirl.com or at any American Girl store in the U.S. up to a maximum total donation of $75,000.

American Girl is also giving $575,000 worth of its signature 18-inch dolls to the American Red Cross to provide a bit of cheer to children in times of crisis.

Learn More about Nanea’s World

To engage girls in Nanea’s world and her inspirational message, American Girl is offering a free, downloadable teacher’s guide, which explores themes and issues covered in the Nanea book series.  This is available for download at americangirl.com/corporate/parents-and-teachers.

Nanea

Nanea comes with the “Growing Up with Aloha” book, to help you learn more about Nanea’s life.  Plus, a fun island style outfit:

  • A button-front pake blouse with an island graphic
  • Sailor-style moku shorts
  • Shoes with crisscross straps
  • A faux-hibiscus flower hair clip

Where to Buy
Nanea Mitchell is available online and at all American Girl Stores.
Retail Price: $115

How You Can Make HIV History!

Thank you Johnson & Johnson for sponsoring this post. Help make HIV history by clicking here.

Make HIV History!

HIV seems like it should be a thing of the past.  I remember as a child born in the 80’s, the fear people had of the unknown.  People feared contracting the disease from sitting on toilet seats and even being in the same room as an HIV positive person.  Looking back, I can’t imagine how these people must have felt, it’s heart breaking.
I was part of the generation who learned as a young teenager, what living with HIV was like from watching Pedro Zamora on Th Real World.  He put a face and many facts to a disease that had our parents scared of something we couldn’t quit understand.  However, decades have passed since that strange and scary period in time, we know so much about the disease, and yet according to UNAIDS 7,000 young women still contract HIV every week!

After over 30 years HIV is still here, it may not be on TV everyday or the topic at the dinner table, but it is still here and taking lives at a staggering rate.  In 2016, 1 million people died of HIV-related illnesses globally according to the World Health Organization.

Some of the Facts according to the CDC and UNAIDS:

Young people make up 20% of HIV/AIDS cases in the United States.

People between the ages of 13 and 24 accounts for over 1 in 5 HIV diagnoses.

400 children contract HIV everyday globally with 290 children dying of AIDS related illnesses every day.

30% of people globally who are HIV positive don’t know it.  The vast majority of people living with HIV are located in low and middle-income countries.

Visit the Johnson and Johnson Make HIV History page to learn more and create your own video for HIV awareness!

Learn more about the facts about HIV at:
https://www.jnj.com
http://www.jnj.com/progress
http://www.amfar.org

These facts are scary, luckily, treatments for HIV have improved, and are continuing to get better.  At this year’s Global Citizens Festival Johnson & Johnson announced a possible HIV vaccine that they are developing!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Celebrate National Cheese Curd Day at Culver’s on October 15th!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Culver’s. The opinions and text are all mine.

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October 15th is National Cheese Curd Day!

Have you tried cheese curds before?  Cheese curds are bite sized chunk of yellow and white cheddar cheese that are breaded and cooked.  Leaving you with a tasteful combination of crunchy with a gooey inside.

I recently had the opportunity to taste my first Wisconsin Cheese Curd at Culver’s and I am now hooked!  I didn’t know what I was missing, these little bite size pieces of yumminess are delicious.  Plus, the kids loved them too!

Culvers-national-cheese-curd-day-giveaway-october

This was my first trip to Culver’s since moving south, and I was not disappointed.  My husband and I gave their signature butter burgers a try and they were so flavorful, they went perfectly with our crispy cheese curds.

Culvers-national-cheese-curd-day-giveaway-butterburger

Have you tried cheese curds before?  Well let me turn you into a Curd Nerd with these fun facts:

  • Culver’s cheese is made using farm fresh dairy from Wisconsin family farms.
  • Every Culver’s Cheese Curd comes from La Grander Hillside Dairy in Stanley, Wisconsin, a Culver’s partner for nearly 20 years.
  • A Culver’s Wisconsin Cheese Curd contains one of two types of fresh, cheese: white or yellow cheddar.
  • Culver’s Cheese Curds are breaded with a signature blend of herbs and spices.
  • Finding a heart-shaped Cheese Curd means you’ll have good luck (at least that’s what we believe!).
  • Menu Hack: get a side of Cheese Curds and pile them in your ButterBurger for a taste that’s nothing short of magical.

Make sure you head over to Culver’s on October 15th to celebrate National Cheese Curd Day and enjoy the yumminess.  Plus, make sure to rake a cheese pull photo to share using the hashtag #CheeseCurdDay!

Culvers-national-cheese-curd-day-giveaway-cheese-pull

Now for some Giveaway Fun!

Enter to win 4 coupons for a free order of regular sized cheese curds.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get ready to celebrate!  At which Culver’s location are you going to celebrate National Cheese Curd Day?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Culver’s. The opinions and text are all mine.

9 Tips for Saving Money as a Sports Mom On The Go!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shell, in which I was compensated. The opinions and text are all mine.

9 top tips

9 Tips for Saving Money as a Sports Mom

It’s that time of year again, back to school and back to practice! My biggest struggle with this time of year is transforming from a road tripping, laid back, adventure seeking mom, into a sports mom. It’s the time to buckle down on routines and unpack my suitcases and fill my trunk with sports equipment and bleacher chairs. However, even with traveling cut way back, everyday life still forces us to budget and find savings everywhere we can.

Sports-mom-saving-tips

With three children, I have been a soccer mom, a dance mom, an archery mom, and a baseball mom over the years. While all these roles have meant a lot of driving and time restraints, I had no idea how busy a sports mom’s life could be until this year when I became a football and cheer mom.

Sports-mom-saving-tips-football

I am at a practice field for hours at least four nights out of the week, and games take up most of my Saturdays, and that’s just time. Between registration, equipment, and fuel costs, these sports have also taken a huge chunk of my budget. Plus, my oldest has decided to switch to golf lessons and sign up for science club, so that is added to the schedule.

Like most sports moms, I am constantly on the go while also trying to save money.

Here are my top money saving tips for sports moms!

  1. Ask about sibling discounts. I have 2 children registered in the youth football league, even though one is in cheerleading and one is in football, I was surprised when I learned I was eligible for a discount. Remember it never hurts to ask.
  2. Sell old equipment before you buy new sports equipment. By the end of each sports season, we have a basket of out-grown shoes and cleats, pads and clothing for sports the kids have opted out of for the next season, and lots of practice items like nets and ball throwers. In-between each season, I go through our storage area and sell off the items that are no longer needed or out grown. I list them on yard sale sites, team Facebook groups, or bring them to sporting goods consignment shops.
  3. Buy used equipment or borrow it. We have already gone through a pair of cleats this season and football started only 6 weeks ago. You never know when a growth spurt is going to happen. Plus, all the pads can add up even with team coupons. Look for used sporting goods stores in your area, I have paid less than half of retail price on most of this year’s items.
  4. Make sure everything is labeled and organized. I know how easily things can get lost or mistakenly taken by another kid when a team full of tired sweaty kids are throwing their helmets, pads, and water bottles in a pile. This sometimes equals having to buy the same thing twice and basically throwing money away. Keeping everything labeled with a colorful name tag makes it easy for your child to know exactly which items are his at the end of practice.
  5. Get out your crockpot. I leave my house to pick up the kids from school and then we are in the car or on the field until the sun goes down. When we get home, the last thing I want to think about is cooking dinner, plus I am already concentrating on bed time within 30 minutes of stepping in the door. For the first week, I was taken back at how busy our schedule had become and found myself at the drive-thru constantly. This was not only expensive for a family of five, but also effecting my waist line. That’s when I started planning crockpot meals for all our practice nights. This way a warm dinner is ready for us as soon as we get home.
  6. Pack snacks and drinks. The first week of practices, I not only found myself at the drive-thru for dinner, I was also driving thru before practices for an ice coffee for myself, and even running in convenient stores for snacks and water. At the end of the week, I realized if that continued I would be shelling out more than the registration fee on waters alone. I now make sure that a soft cooler is packed with drinks for myself and snacks for the kids to have in-between practices or while they watch each other’s games.
  7. Get a large water bottle for each sports player. The kids are out in the sun for hours every afternoon and here in Florida it is still 90 degrees outside on most days. I want them to drink as much water as possible, and they get thirsty out there. Instead of packing several small water bottles, I found the big sports thermoses to be best. I fill them up at home with filtered water and ice, which saves me money, plus the water jugs stay cold all day so they aren’t asking for a cold one out of the vending machines.
  8. Pack a supply bag. Over the years, I have learned that if I don’t have it on me they will end up needing it. Thus, I have spent a lot of time and money running into pharmacies while the kids are on the field. Now, I have a tote bag that stays in the back of the car most of the time and is filled with all my essentials. I keep bug spray, sunblock, a towel, baby wipes, a single use ice pack, band aids, hair ties, small scissors, ibuprofen, and a change of clothes, in it always.
  9. Use your *Fuel Rewards® card! As sports moms, we spend a lot of time on the road. Between running from one activity to another and driving to games and competitions, we are constantly refueling. Last week was our first game, which was an hour drive away, luckily, I saved money on the fuel fill up just by using my Fuel Rewards® card.

Sports-mom-saving-money-tips-at-the-pump-gas

I joined the Fuel Rewards® program at the beginning of the summer and in past posts I have shared with you how I saved on our Orlando road trip and our beach vacation. Now that travel season has ended, I am still using the Fuel Rewards® program to save during our everyday life.

The easiest way to save right now is by taking advantage of their limited time offer: Instant Gold Status. This savings has helped me stay on budget during every fuel up. With the Instant Gold Status promotion, everyone who joins gets a 5c/gal savings (up to 20 gallons per visit) every time you fuel up at a Shell location for at least the first 6 months from signup.

Plus, there are additional ways to save on fuel with the Fuel Rewards® program. When you link your debit or credit card to your Fuel Rewards® account you can earn additional saving each time you shop or dine with participating merchants.

Do you still have a list of things to buy for back to school? Two of my favorite stores for back to school shopping are currently offering 10c/gal rewards (up to 20 gallons) for every $50 spent while shopping online through the Fuel Rewards® website. You can also earn an additional 10c/gal reward for every $50 spent by dining at participating restaurants that are listed on the Fuel Rewards® app or website.

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By stacking all these potential rewards, you can really save at the pump and keep your family going while staying on budget! Best of all it’s free to sign up!

shell 6

 

Make sure to head over and sign up for the Fuel Rewards® program and start saving at the pump now!

After signing up send your referral link to friends and family so they can join the Fuel Rewards program. The first time a friend uses the program by earning a reward or using their card at a participating Shell station after registering with your link, you will instantly earn 25¢/gal (up to 20 gal). There’s not limit to how much you can save!

Sports-mom-saving-tips-football-cheer-money

These are the top ways I save as a busy sports mom. What is your top money saving tip?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shell. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

*Restrictions apply. To qualify for the Gold/Silver Status offers, you must be a Fuel Rewards®member and swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID when you fuel at a participating Shell station. With Gold Status, you will receive 5¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings on every fill-up. The 5¢/gal reward for Gold Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. If you are an existing Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status from 6/5/2017 through 12/31/17, the “Existing Member Introductory Period”. If you are a new Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status for the initial month you join through the last day of the month, 6 full calendar months later, the “New Member Introductory Period”. The last 3 months of the Existing Member Introductory Period or the New Member Introductory Period (collectively the “Introductory Period”) is the “Qualification Period”. You will retain your Gold Status during the Qualification Period, but you must make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to qualify for Gold Status for the next 3 months, the “Benefit Period”. During the Benefit Period, you must continue to make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to maintain your Gold Status for the next 3-month Benefit Period. A qualifying fuel purchase is any fuel purchase at a participating Shell station in which you swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID and fill up with at least 5-gallons of any grade of fuel. For example, if you are a new Fuel Rewards® member and register on 6/15/2017, you will receive Gold Status through the New Member Introductory Period (i.e., 12/31/2017). You will need to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the Qualification Period (i.e., 10/1/2017 and 12/31/2017) to maintain Gold Status during the Benefit Period (i.e., from 1/1/2018 to 3/31/2018). Thereafter, if you continue to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the successive 3 consecutive month Benefit Periods, you will retain your Gold Status. If you do not maintain your Gold Status, you will receive Silver Status. With Silver Status, you will receive 3¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings. The 3¢/gal reward for Silver Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. Redeem Fuel Rewards® savings with your Fuel Rewards® card or Alt ID at participating Shell stations. Fuel Rewards® savings are limited to 20 gallons of fuel per purchase, per vehicle, or fraud limits placed by Shell and/or limits placed on your financial card by your financial institution, each of which may be lower. Fuel Rewards® savings must be redeemed in a single transaction. Once you begin to dispense fuel using your Fuel Rewards® savings, you must dispense to the 20-gallon limit or you forfeit any remaining discounted gallons of fuel. For example, if you only pump fifteen (15) gallons of fuel, you would abandon the remaining five (5) gallons of discounted fuel. If you have a rewards balance greater than the current per-gallon price of fuel, the price will roll down to the maximum capability of the fuel equipment, and your remaining rewards will be saved for a future fuel purchase. Dispenser may require a price of up to 10.9¢/gal. It may not be possible to combine multiple discounts and/or rewards in a single transaction. For purchases of $75 or more, please go inside to pay. Unbranded diesel and alternative fuels may not be eligible. The Fuel Rewards® program is owned and operated by Excentus Corporation. Offer may be modified or discontinued at any time without notice. Not valid where prohibited by law. Please see fuelrewards.com for complete Fuel Rewards®program details and Terms and Conditions. Other restrictions may apply. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. To learn more, visit fuelrewards.com/gold or call (888) 603-0473. This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shell. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

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