ALDI is Helping Parents Save with Little Journey


Having a new baby can be expensive, especially if you don't know the tips and tricks to saving as much as possible. I partnered with ALDI to show you how they're helping relieve some of that cost to make parenting a little easier.

Everyone loves ALDI, right? I mean, according to a survey of US consumers conducted in 2016 by Market Force Information, ALDI is one of America's favorite grocery stores - and for good reason! Not only do they pride themselves on being able to provide low prices on high quality items, they understand the joy, love and excitement of being a parent - and how action-packed our days are with little ones. That's why they rolled out their brand-new Little Journey line - more than 50 baby items available at the grocery store you were going to stop by anyway!


As a parent, you’ve got enough things on your mind. With high-quality ALDI products moms and dads can trust, they’re crossing shopping for baby essentials off your list. The Little Journey product line features nearly 50 high-quality affordably-priced feeding and changing essentials parents and little ones need. ALDI is known for bringing shoppers the highest quality products at the lowest prices possible, and that holds true for their new Little Journey brand, too. Like all ALDI exclusive brands, every Little Journey product is the same caliber (or higher!) as the national name brands on quality, durability, taste and price. 


The Little Journey product line has all the products the littlest ALDI fans need – from infants to toddlers. The Little Journey line includes products for every smile, coo, milestone (and diaper blowout) along the way:

  • Diaper time: The dirty truth: parenting and stinky diapers go hand in hand. ALDI has parents and little ones covered with the Little Journey full line of diapering products: from their gentle Little Journey Wipes, diapers and training pants.
  • Formula: Every little tummy is different and a baby's nutritional needs evolve over time. That's why Little Journey includes four different baby powder formulas and one toddler formula to provide expert-recommended nutrition for little tummies, comparable to the big brand names.
  • Toddler nummies: The Little Journey infant-to-toddler snacks make healthy eating easy with yummy foods that little ones will love, made from ingredients parents will feel good about, including infant cereals, organic puree pouches, Little Munchers® baked whole grain corn snacks, Yogurt Bites and whole grain Puffs. 



About ALDI Inc
A leader in the grocery retailing industry, ALDI operates more than 1,500 US stores in 34 states. ALDI sells the most frequently purchased grocery and household items, primarily under its exclusive brands, which must meet or exceed the national name brands on taste and quality. ALDI is so confident in the quality of its products, the company offers a Double Guarantee: If for any reason a customer is not 100 percent satisfied with any ALDI food product, ALDI will gladly replace the product and refund the purchase price. ALDI was honored with the 2015 Supermarket News Retail Achievement Award, recognizing the company for its ongoing business expansion and product evolution.

For more information about the complete line of Little Journey products and pricing, visit ALDI on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest or the ALDI website.

Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by ALDI via Momtrends.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of ALDI or Momtrends. 

Back to School with Five Star®

I received the following products solely for review purposes.

Two more weeks until school starts back here. Two more long, boring, whining-filled weeks. Little Miss Priss, the 10-year-old, goes into 5th grade this year and has just decided that she needs to be this trendy fashion-forward popular kid this year. Thanks to Mead and Five Star, she'll at least be armed with some pretty cool back-to-school supplies to help her focus on her education while she's trying out her newly-discovered sense of self.

The Five Star® Big Mouth Backpack with silver and berry accents is Lexi's new favorite thing in the world. She loves that the main compartment is big enough to carry her zipper binder and her 2-inch ring binders, and with the new patent-pending "big mouth" zipper, she's able to find all her supplies without having to basically crawl into her backpack and dig at the bottom. 

Features:
• Dual zippers for easy open and close.
• Handle on the top to hang backpack in a locker.
• Patent-pending main compartment opens wide to quickly and easily find supplies
• Padded front panel provides extra protection for tablets or other digital devices
• Super big main compartment can hold textbooks, binders, notebooks and more
• Interior pockets provide convenient storage for smaller items to keep pens, pencils and more easily accessible
• Side, exterior pocket is perfect for holding a water bottle
• Padded backpack back and straps provide better support when carrying heavy loads. Adjustable for comfort
• Backpack overall dimensions: 13" x 18" x 8"

We also received a couple of their Five Star Flex® Hybrid NoteBinder® notebooks. These are easily the coolest notebooks I've ever used. That's right, I had to swipe one for my own personal use. One thing that has always bothered me about binders is that there's really no way to bend the front back to make it easier to take notes. This new design has the flexibility of a notebook, but the rings of a binder. Even better, their patented TechLock® rings won't break or misalign - another huge pet peeve of mine.


Features:
• Patented TechLock® ring won't break or misalign
• Rings open easily to add paper and dividers (like a binder)
• Durable plastic cover folds over to lie flat (like a notebook)
• Includes: NotePocket® dividers, NoteProtector® dividers and 8.5” x 11" paper (college and quad ruled)
• 6 color options

Five Star® also offers Reinforced Filler Paper, which we tested out too. The triangle-shaped holes and stronger reinforcement tape help to resist tearing, perfect in the Flex Notebinder.


This year, Lexi may be worrying about boys and making friends, but I know she won't worry about staying organized and on top of her school work with these awesome Five Star® products.

Can Stretching Help to Relieve Back Pain?

You have probably heard that staying active can help you relieve your back pain while maintaining good flexibility and mobility. But can stretching, in particular, help to relieve your back pain? The simple answer to this question is a resounding ‘yes’. Check out the information below to learn more about how stretching can help you feel better, particularly when done consistently. 


The Facts on the Benefits of Stretching


Just about anyone can truly benefit from regularly stretching out the body, with particular focus on the back. When you stretch out the backs of the legs, the buttocks, and the muscles surrounding the spine, you’re essentially stretching out all of the soft tissues, which include the ligaments, tendons, and muscles, that can tense up without enough movement. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle as a result of having a desk job, stretching is imperative. This is because all of the tendons, ligaments, and muscles along the spinal column are designed to move. Limitations in movement will result in back pain, but stretching will help undo that pain while increasing range of motion, particularly when combined with a product like the Spinal Back Rack, which you can use right at home to further increase mobility and flexibility while relieving pain naturally.  

A Few Helpful Pointers


Before you start a stretching routine for your back, you should know how to do so in a safe and effective manner. After all, you don’t want to go about it incorrectly and cause more pain than you’re already dealing with. 

Always wear clothing that is comfortable and non-restrictive so that you can move your body freely as you stretch. Also, whenever you perform a stretch, don’t go past your limits, as that could result in injuries. Every stretch should be pain-free. Never force your body into a position. 

Also, always move into every stretch slowly and steadily, and breathe through the process. Avoid bouncing while you stretch, as that could cause tears in the muscles. Perform your stretches on a flat and clean surface, and hold your stretches for about 20 seconds to let the joints and muscles loosen. 

The Stretches That Work Best


When stretching to relieve back pain, focus on stretching various muscle groups, rather than just folding forward to stretch your spine. For example, stretch your hamstrings because, when they become tight, they can cause back pain. Also focus on stretching the hips, which help to keep the spine in proper alignment, and stretch out your neck and shoulders to help release tension throughout the upper back. 

You can perform a variety of stretches every day, but consistency will be the key to your success in relieving your back pain. You may even decide to start a yoga practice, which includes various poses that are designed to lengthen the spine and release tension from the body. 

Stretching for a few minutes every day will allow your body to open up gradually. Over time, you should notice that your back is more mobile and you suffer from less pain.

5 Places Where Bacteria Commonly Thrive In Your Kitchen



You’ve got a little one running around the house now, and you don’t want them to be picking up bacteria! However, the kitchen is a place that we commonly associate with rotting food and dirty hands. So, we need to protect against bacteria by being proactive and learning where germs love to live. Take a gander at the following tips for a few helpful hints.

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Kitchen Sink

We’ll start with the most obvious one of them all. We use the kitchen sink for all sorts of reasons, from cleaning to washing our hands. It’s inevitable that they’ll get coated with bacteria, and the kitchen sink is a great place for them to thrive. Believe it or not, the kitchen sink is even worse than the toilet for this! Every now and again, make sure you give your sink a thorough clean to get rid of those nasty germs.

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Coffee Maker

Wait...what did I just say?! The coffee maker?! You might think that coffee makers would be prone to bacteria and kill it off with their high heat levels. Unfortunately, it’s actually the heat and humidity that are inside it that help it to thrive. The best way to protect against this is to follow your coffee maker’s manual correctly. You can find these online at websites like www.krupsusa.com. Find out how to carry out regular maintenance, and make sure you’re cleaning on a regular basis. That’s all you need to do.

Cutting Board

You’re using your cutting board to handle raw food, so it makes sense that it will harbor bacteria. Still, it’s amazing how many of us don’t take the time to wash it regularly. As mentioned at www.knifeista.com, “the boards should be properly sanitized to eliminate the growth of bacteria in it.” Also, be careful to prevent against cross-contamination when handling different foods. Buy separate cutting boards for different uses.

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Dish Sponge & Towels

Many, many studies have found that the dish sponge is the dirtiest, grimiest thing in the entire home. Yes, it’s even worse than your toilet and your kitchen sink! Does it come as a surprise to anyone?! This IS the thing we’re using to clean all of our dirty stuff. You want to be changing that sponge every week-or-two. If you want to wash your sponge, put it in the dishwasher. For dish towels, put them in the washing machine.

Knobs & Buttons

There are a variety of knobs and buttons in the kitchen that will undoubtedly get coated with bacteria. Unfortunately, the risk is even worse in the kitchen, where you might have been handling raw food in the process. Firstly, you want to watch out for switches. Give them a gentle clean every now and again. Also, stove knobs are a common place for bacteria to thrive. Normally, you can pop this right off to give them a thorough clean. Be careful with any buttons and knobs in your kitchen - clean them as regularly as you can.



It’s unrealistic to think that you can live in a totally germ-free home. With my tips, however, you’ll hopefully be able to reduce them on a grand scale!

Take Your Kids on an Adventure This Summer

The summer is the perfect time of year to head off on an exciting adventure with the kids so that the entire family can experience brand new things and see new places. Even if you don’t have the cash on hand to pay for an expensive trip, rest assured that you could always take out a personal loan from a lender like ukhomeandpersonalloans.co.uk in order to make your dreams of adventure a reality. So continue reading to learn about a few of the best ways that you can take your kids on an unforgettable trip this summer.

Explore Yellowstone National Park

Yosemite National Park is massive, and it is one of the most sought-after adventure destinations in the United States. While there, you can get outside with the kids and get active while exploring the beauty of the natural world that surrounds you. Some of the many landmarks throughout the park include Old Faithful and other geysers, Yellowstone Lake, and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Along the way, look for impressive waterfalls, take in the mountain scenery, and keep an eye out for an array of wildlife.

Go on a Wildlife Safari

Head to Africa to go on an unforgettable wildlife safari that will prove to your kids that animals belong in the wild and are at their best in their native habitats. Just be sure that you opt to go on a safari with an eco-friendly company that promotes sustainability and education. You can check out Zambia if you are searching for a place where there will be smaller crowds, or you can opt for one of the many other popular safari destinations, such as Tanzania, Kenya, and Namibia.

Check Out Volcanoes in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country that is made for adventurous families, with plenty of hiking trails to enjoy and beaches to relax on in between your outdoor excursions. Stick with exploring the northwest part of the country, however, where you will be able to get up close and personal with active volcanoes and really get a thrill. Arenal Volcano National Park is a must-see, as the views are amazing by day and by night. Your family can go on a guided hike, cross lava fields, see wildlife, go zip lining, and even windsurf at Lake Arenal or go whitewater rafting on the Rio Sarapiqui.

Visit the Villages of Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre is a unique and truly beautiful spot in Italy that most tourists don’t know about. All of the villages in this area are linked by footpaths, as well as by trail, rail, and boat. This means that you can take in the lovely Italian Riviera, go hiking, and go paddling with the family in the Ligurian Sea.  

These are just a few of the many places all over the world that are perfect for family adventures. Remember to book your trip in advance, as the summer is considered the high tourist season in many popular places. Then pack your things and head off to make memories.

Should You Become An Egg Donor? [Infographic]

If you’re the kind of person who likes to help others, and perhaps even wants to make a little money at the same time, egg donation could be something that has entered your mind. However, egg donation isn’t necessarily suitable for everybody. While there are benefits, there are risks and downsides too.

Egg donation can give you a great feeling, as you know you’re helping people out who really need it. You will then also have the finances to do things you want, whether that’s to see the world or put a deposit down on a property. However, you need to make sure you’re OK with everything else it entails. You’ll need to be prepared to keep up appointments, have injections, and listen to doctors so they can extract your eggs with ease. You also need to be OK with having a biological child you may never meet or even know about. If your eggs aren’t used, then they may be used for other things, such as tests.

If you feel good about doing this kind of thing and you’re not just doing it for the money, it could be a good choice for you. You’ll need to contact a clinic so they can assess whether you are a good candidate. This infographic can tell you even more about the process.



Infographic Credit To egg donation

#CraveFreely with Balance Bars

It's the middle of the day, and you're hungry and craving something sweet. You're also trying to lose a few pounds and that sweet craving makes you feel guilty, but you really want something sweet. What do you do? I have an answer that's a win/win answer, Balance Bars.



I recently had the chance to work with Balance Bar, and they're awesome. Balance Bars are one of America's original nutritional/energy bars (founded in 1992). They are formulated to give your body the balance it needs and to satisfy what your body wants.

I received 3 of the 4 new flavors for a review. Dulce De Leche & Caramel, Chocolate Peppermint Patty, & Dark Chocolate Pecan Turtle. They are all so good!

For so long we have been told that to be healthy and slim to avoid those sweet cravings, which makes it so hard to stick to a rigid diet. Now I'm not saying to run to the cabinet and grab a king size candy bar that's going to leave you feeling drained after the sugar rush is over. What I'm saying is there is a well-balanced way to allow yourself to indulge your craving for something sweet while fueling your body with the fiber and vitamins your body needs. Now we can crave freely, enjoy the sweetness we crave without guilt.

Balance helps satisfy your hunger with steady sustained energy, and slow glycemic response and supports muscle recovery. All of this for under 200 calories, and it's packed with lean protein and an excellent source of fiber.

Available in four yummy flavors, Chocolate Caramel Peanut Nougat, Chocolate Peppermint Patty, Dark Chocolate Pecan Turtle, and Dulce De Leche & Caramel (my personal favorite). Balance is available at retailers nationwide including WalMart and Amazon.

How would you like to win your own box of Balance Bars?

Pests Begone! Don't Let Unwelcome Intruders Push You Out

There are few things more dispiriting on moving into a house than finding that it's got issues that weren't clear when you moved. Equally, if you've been living there for a while and a new issue develops, it's hard to deal with. An extensive issue in your home can cost money to solve and cause logistical problems. For the duration of the problem, it can flat-out ruin your life.
The worst thing about living in a home is finding out you're not alone. Obviously, this doesn't mean your family. Most of the time you'll want them there. It's the unwelcome co-tenants that you didn't realize you were sharing roof-space with. When you find your prize home has an infestation, it's hard to feel comfortable there. It can happen even in clean homes, but it feels like the whole place is dirty when it happens.
The Intruders Are Small, But Make Their Presence Felt
An infestation of what we'll call "creepy crawlies" can be very stressful to deal with. Termites, for example, can be present in your home for a while without you knowing. You may blame the previous tenant or the surveyor for not disclosing their presence, but sometimes it's not easy to know.
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If you see signs of termite activity (this may be small piles of wings, a visible swarm or evidence of nests), you need to act. They can do real structural damage to your house, your health, and your children’s health. A call to the professionals like MightyMite Termite Services or similar and the invaders can be gone. No need for the big tent over your house or harsh chemicals. No need to move out. Freedom.
The Intruders Are Larger, And They Squeak
Among the most unsettling things to find out about your home is that it has rats or mice. Keeping the place clean and tidy should keep them at bay, but it's not 100% certain. You'll know you've got them because they're not quiet. They'll scramble behind baseboards and they'll squeak their presence night and day. Mostly night.
Photo taken by Erika Stockenhofen
If it's just mice, setting traps and cleaning up should do a lot of the work. A motivated cat can do much of the rest. But if it's a rat or rats, then it's unfair to expect much from your cat. Some of them are almost the size of a cat, and they've got sharp teeth. Let Mittens sit this one out and call a rat control service. They can remove the intruders humanely and for good.
The Intruders Aren't Intruders, They're Mold
An organism doesn't need to have a brain or a central nervous system to make your home uncomfortable. If you see signs of mildew or mold after moving in, it's got to go. Letting it develop can damage your home structurally. If it gets airborne, it can make you very ill.
Fortunately, with bleach and water, the mold can be removed without the need for intervention. Tea tree oil is also good. But if it has gone too far for you to remove, call in the professionals. That stuff needs to be gone ASAP, for the good of everyone.

Once these unwelcome intruders are gone, you can sit back and relax in your home, and even have visitors around. But bear in mind, when they outstay their welcome you'll need to reason with them. There's noone you can call for that.

Bring Your Wife And Kids To A Rustic Log Cabin Adventure

If you are looking for a safe, fun-filled outdoor adventure for you and your family to embark on, we've got just the place for you. If you live in or near the great state of Oklahoma, there's a place you can go to get away from the stress and pollution of the big city. You can take your wife and kids on an exciting adventure into the very heart of the calm, peaceful Oklahoma woods. Best of all, it won't cost you an arm and a leg to book your vacation.



There's Something Special About The Woods In Oklahoma 

Year after year, people journey out into the woods of Oklahoma. There's a special feeling of restfulness, peace, and relaxation that you can only get by venturing deep into the majestic heart of nature itself. Perhaps it's the clean, fresh air, or the sounds of frolicking birds and other wildlife that brings such a feeling of peace to the human soul. One thing is for sure: There is no lack of opportunities to find that peace in the Oklahoma woods, and there is no time like the present to book your vacation.

Beavers Bend Log Cabins Has An Excellent Vacation Deal For You

Beavers Bend Log Cabins is the proud owner and sponsor of the excellent new series of Broken Bow Cabins. Located in a quiet, peaceful, and secluded location deep in the heart of the Oklahoma woods, these amazing cabins are a place to find the tranquility you've been searching for. And it doesn't have to be all about rest and relaxation. You'll never be at a loss for simple pleasure. There are ample opportunities for all kinds of family fun. You can choose from hiking, fishing, camping, boating, and a slew of other outdoor activities to keep you busy.

The Woods Of Oklahoma Are The Place To Find Peace 

When it comes to planning the perfect Oklahoma vacation for your family, keep in mind that the woods are the perfect place to stay. If you are really searching for the peace of mind that eludes you during your busy work week in the city, it makes sense to look for it in the place where it never leaves. There's something magic in the air around the forests of Oklahoma, and these excellent new cabins are the place to find it.

Could a Landline Be Your Lifeline? 3 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe This Summer

Picture this:  It's the beginning of August—smack in the middle of summer.  Your kids are at home with a caretaker while you toil away at your 9 to 5.  Then, disaster strikes.  There's an emergency at home, and your kids have to call 911 for help. 

Are your children calling from a cell phone or a landline?  And does it make any difference? Surprisingly, the answer is yes.  According to the latest data, if you don't have a landline in your home, it could be putting your children in grave danger. 

Here's a shocking fact:  According to an investigation by the USA Today, the chances of 911 dispatchers being able to find you based on your cell phone's GPS can be as low as 10% in some parts of the country.  With a significant share of cell phone-to-911 calls being placed from within residences—and 45% of Americans opting out of landline coverage at home—countless people are left vulnerable in emergencies.  The question then becomes not why you should have a landline in the home, but why haven't you gotten one yet?

In the spirit of keeping you and your family safe, I recently partnered with Ooma leading Internet home phone service with reliable E911 technology—to deliver three tips for keeping your home safe this summer in addition to owning a landline. 

TIP #1:  KEEP A FIRST AID KIT AT THE READY 

Whether it's for a small scrape or something far worse, it's always a good idea to have a first aid kit handy.  People who call 911 from their cell phone are often surprised at how long emergency workers take to arrive on scene.  According to the recent Ooma.com 911 Emergency Response Study, more than one in five cell phone callers feel it takes too long—that's seven times higher than for people who call from a landline.  If you're often in situations when only a cell phone is available, consider keeping a first aid kit nearby.  

TIP #2:  WRITE AN EMERGENCY CONTACT LIST 

Make sure that no matter where you are, it's easy for the people around you to call your emergency contacts. Consider posting your own number, as well as first response numbers, on your fridge so your kids know how to reach you and your family, family members who live close by, or the authorities.  Post the name and number of a trusted friend or neighbor, too.  With Ooma's home phone system, up to three of these contacts can be notified by text message automatically when a 911 call is placed.  In situations when every second counts, this reliable Internet-based technology could save tens of thousands of lives. 

TIP #3: RECOGNIZE THE FIRST SIGNS OF DANGER 

Educate your kids about the sights, smells, and sounds of danger.  If they hear a smoke alarm or see an appliance overheating, advise your children to get outside as quickly as possible.  Planning an exit strategy is key to getting a safe distance away from the house so you can alert a neighbor and have them call the fire department.  Consider making a detailed fire plan with multiple escape routes and keeping a printed copy of your fire plan on visible walls around your house.

For many people, money is understandably a legitimate concern—but when it comes down to it, we really can't put a price on ensuring that the people we love are safe.  Luckily, first aid kits are both lightweight and budget-friendly, while the price of a secure Ooma landline pays for itself in just three months and costs less than a Netflix subscription on a monthly basis.  

Got any 911 emergency stories of your own?  I wouldn't be surprised.  In the past five years alone, over a quarter of Americans have called 911 with a cell phone, and in that group, there were many dissatisfied callers.  If you've got a story you'd feel comfortable sharing, I'd love to hear about them!  Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below.