Help Wipe Out #DiaperNeed


Having a new baby is one of the biggest transitions your life can take.  Emotionally, physically... and especially financially.  A newborn goes through approximately ten diapers a day for their first month of life.  That's 300 diapers!  It adds up quick, and with all the other expenses you already have, plus the other expenses that come with having a new baby, it's easy to see why some parents struggle to afford to keep their little one's bottom covered.  That's why I'm working with AWHONN (Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric & Neonatal Nurses) and Mom It Forward for this sponsored post to drive awareness to diaper need and how you can help.

When my son was first born, my fiance was the only one working.  After rent, bills, formula... the essentials... we were completely broke.  I remember counting pennies a couple of times to make sure that my baby would have a dry bottom, but then sometimes that wasn't even enough.  It's heart-wrenching, embarrassing, and terrifying to be in that situation.  Luckily, one day I found a food bank that provided diapers to moms in need, and I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I was to not have to worry that week about diapers.  It was a complete blessing.


My story isn't an original one.  1 in 3 moms report experiencing diaper need - the lack of an adequate supply of diapers to keep a baby clean, dry and healthy.   5.3 million babies and toddlers living in low-income families are affected by diaper need.  Without clean diapers, babies are more prone to rashes, infections, extra visits to the pediatrician’s office, and in the most extreme cases, hospitalization.  Healthy Mom&Baby magazine, the nurses of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, Kimberly-Clark, and the National Diaper Bank Network are partnering for Diaper Need Awareness Week and asking that you donate diapers to families in need in your community from now through October 4.

Now that we're financially better off than we were those almost 5 years ago, I pay it forward by donating diapers to help another mom who may be in that situation.  You can donate diapers too, by visiting DiaperDrive.org.

What are the health risks of diaper need?
  • Not having enough clean diapers means parents may change their baby’s diapers less frequently than needed or worse, dry out diapers for reuse.
  • Health experts recommend that parents use disposable diapers. They can better protect baby’s skin by wicking away moisture.
  • Children can’t attend childcare without a sufficient supply of disposable diapers. (Most childcare facilities and laundromats won’t accept cloth diapers.)
  • Without enough diapers to enter childcare, parents may be forced to leave work and forgo paycheck to care for their baby.
  • Diaper need affects not only a child’s health, but the overall well-being of the entire family.

Please make a difference and go to DiaperDrive.org to donate TODAY.

This post was made possible through a partnership with Mom It Forward and AWHONN.

Aquaphor Gift Basket Giveaway #AquaphorIt



Aquaphor Gift Basket Giveaway
9/25 to 10/09
Open to US 

Sponsored by: Aquaphor
Hosted By: 
Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews

One Lucky Winner will receive an Aquaphor Gift Basket including: 
1 Aquaphor Diaper Rash Cream, 
1 Aquaphor Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo, 
1 Aquaphor Baby healing Ointment Jar,
 2 Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment .35oz tubes

1 Aquaphor Baby Brag Book

This is a great package for any baby in your life, perfect to start your changing table/diaper bag necessities stash. You can see Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews complete review, CLICK HERE

A very special thank you to my awesome co-host.


Thank you so much to all of the bloggers participating in this giveaway. Without you, it wouldn't be quite as much fun.

Now for the fun stuff. This giveaway is open to US. There are daily bonus entries for sharing this giveaway on your social media channels. I can't ask you to "Like" our pages but, if you see something you like, let us know so we can bring you more of it. We LOVE it when you LIKE our pages. 



a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you for taking the time out to enter into the giveaway. If you have any questions please feel free to email Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews at [email protected] 

Winner will be mailed prize directly from the company. No Bloggers Participating in this giveaway are responsible for shipping the prize.

Fun for Everyone

When you are planning a vacation with your family or friends, you want to make sure that everyone has a good time. With innovative companies like TradeWinds Blue Green Resorts or the Disney Vacation Club to choose from, travelers can plan fun activities in addition to booking a hotel room.

Games
If you are looking for a nice way to relax, find out what types of games are available for guests. You may be surprised to find out there are mini-golf courses, volleyball nets, and many other game choices for guests located right on a quality hotel's site. Instead of having to leave to find fun activities, many good hotels have plenty of thrilling options to offer all ages.

Creative Activities
If you are looking for ways to express your creativity, many hotels offer activities that can help you do just that. You can learn how to make seaglass jewelry or seashell night lights. There are sure to be unique options depending on where you stay.

Pet Playgrounds
Instead of choosing to stay at a hotel that does not allow you to bring along your favorite pet, choose a hotel that offers pet amenities that will make sure your dog has as much fun as you do. There are hotels that have pet playgrounds on their premises. You can appreciate a grassy area with fire hydrants and pet water fountains. You can enjoy sitting down in the shade cooling off, or you can play fetch with your furry friend for as long as you want. Some resorts also offer special services like a pet menu and room service for your dog too.

Water Parks
A lot of hotels offer swimming pools, but there are some resorts that take things to a whole new level. You can have fun on an inflatable water park, or go down a huge water slide right on the beach.

Relaxation
Some resorts offer unique ways for guests to relax. It can be fun to take a nap in a hammock overlooking the beach, or imagine listening to the waves while you get a beachfront massage. A Yoga class on the beach can be exhilarating too. There are many ways to rejuvenate yourself while you are on vacation, so be sure to find out what special activities your hotel offers to make sure that you feel calm and peaceful during your stay.

Romantic
Imagine having a beach side picnic with some great foods that you can find right at your hotel, or you can plan on dancing the night away with your loved one thanks to live music right on the beach. There are many ways to enjoy a romantic vacation when you choose the right hotel to stay at.

Family Fun
If you are traveling with children, be sure to stay at a resort that will provide them with plenty of fun activities. Some resorts have mascots that will tuck your children to sleep on certain nights, or your children can enjoy watching a movie poolside.

As long as you are staying at a quality resort, you can be sure that you will be able to make lasting memories. There are many exciting activities that are sure to please you and anyone you are traveling with.

VW Camper Van Kid Play Tent Giveaway #VDUBbus65


Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews
is so happy to be hosting the

VW Camper Van Kid Play Tent Giveaway
9/17 to 10/08
Open to US & Canada

One Lucky Winner will receive 1 VW Camper Van Kid Play Tent, 1 Lunch Bag, and 1 Pencil Case; valued at $95.98.

This is a great package for any kid in your life, perfect to start that stock pile for Christmas gift giving. You can see Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews complete review, CLICK HERE

A very special thank you to all of my awesome co-hosts.

Thank you so much to all of the bloggers participating in this giveaway. Without you, it wouldn't be quite as much fun.

Now for the fun stuff. This giveaway is open to US & Canada. There are daily bonus entries for sharing this giveaway on your social media channels. I can't ask you to "Like" our pages but, if you see something you like, let us know so we can bring you more of it. We LOVE it when you LIKE our pages. 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for taking the time out to enter into the giveaway. If you have any questions please feel free to email Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews [email protected] 

Winner will be mailed prize directly from The Monster Factory. No Bloggers Participating in this giveaway are responsible for shipping the prize.

6 Simple Ideas For Random Acts Of Kindness

Everyone’s been there. A day where you’re down in the dumps and nothing seems to make it right. On those days, we could all use a little happy injection, and spreading some joy may be an easier task than you think. It’s easy to turn even a complete stranger’s day around with an unexpected act of kindness, and taking just an hour out of your normal routine could mean the difference between a frown and a smile for one lucky person.

The cycle of gratitude and generosity is unstoppable once it starts, and you may find your life improving just as you help improve the lives of those in your community. We owe it to our kids and to each other to make the world a better place, and by paying it forward every chance we can, happiness will spread in leaps and bounds.

1. Chef Of The Day
Spend an afternoon preparing a hearty meal for someone in need and drop it off. Is there a family you know going through a hard time? Or possibly an elderly couple who may find it hard to get all the cooking done? Make a simple and delicious casserole, and feed the soul along with some hungry mouths. This unexpected delivery can mean all the difference, and you can hone your kitchen skills while filling the stomachs of grateful folks. Plus, your family will love the added bonus of any chance of leftovers.

2. Make School That Much Sweeter
With school starting back up for children across the country, head into your local elementary school or your own child’s classroom with a cookie bouquet. The smiles you get will light up the room, and no doubt a busy teacher will be more than grateful for your effort. Who can deny the allure of a delicious treat? You may be inspired to bring one home for yourself—I won’t tell.

3. Coffee On Me
Who doesn’t benefit from a morning coffee run? Head to your local drive-thru coffee shop and pay it forward by footing the bill of the person behind you. This selfless act of kindness could give that driver some extra pep in their step for the rest of the day—beyond the necessary jolt of caffeine.  

4. The Power Of Wise Words
Don’t underestimate the power of a well-written book. If you have a friend going through a rough patch or needing some encouragement, send them a book that will inspire them or help change their perspective. This may provide words of comfort in the times that you can’t. This simple, inexpensive gift will let them know you’re thinking about them. As an added bonus, the words of wisdom they may find within its pages might just give them an entirely new outlook on a hard situation.

5. Teddy Bear Visitor
Purchase some stuffed animals at a toy store and head into your local children’s hospital. This simple gift will give the children and their parents a moment of reprieve from difficult times, and bring some sunshine into their lives. For an extra bit of fun, tie a balloon around the wrist of each bear, and see the difference a bit of colorful helium can have on a child’s smile!

6. Coins For Kindness
If you’ve got lots of loose change lying around, take it to a convenient Coinstar and donate the funds to a charity of your choice. To help get the kids involved in this one, tell them with every kind thing they do, you’ll donate a coin to a “happiness jar” set up in your living room. Your kids will love watching their acts turn into a pile of money for those in need. You can even send them on a scavenger hunt throughout the house to find coins that may have slipped into couch cushions or under the coffee table. Once you’ve got a hefty pile set up, head to a local grocery store with a Coinstar machine. Trust me when I say the jingle of coins sliding into the Coinstar kiosk is probably more entertaining than it should be, especially for little ones.

If you’re like me, you may find yourself feeling a bit down with constant negative news that comes from the media these days. Turn some of that negativity into positivity and spread it to others. A little bit of effort may change a person’s entire day, and make you feel even better about yours. Kindness is truly infectious, so get out there and spread some joy with these easy random acts of kindness. Take an hour out of your day to do something for someone who won’t ever forget it, and teach your kids generosity through your example. You never know when someone might pay it forward to you in the future!

Tips on Creating an Organized Crafting Area

Your personal crafting area is a welcomed respite where you may create to your heart’s desire. However, keeping this area organized can prove difficult without the proper methods in place. Fortunately, this infographic offers an abundance of common sense organizational tips that will ensure your most treasured items always remain accessible.

In many cases, everyday items can be used to help organize your craft supplies. Take wine corks, for instance. These are perfect as makeshift spools for things like yarn or twine, and will help keep fabric and other materials from unraveling during use.

When it comes to ribbons, clothing racks can offer an attractive storage option. Swinging arm skirt racks work beautifully in this respect because they can be hung virtually anywhere and can accommodate a multitude of ribbons. Similarly, keeping pretty wrapping paper organized and looking good only requires a few dowels and cup hooks. This is especially important during holidays when you may find yourself knee-deep in presents.

A well-organized craft space is essential to creating those items sure to bring smiles to the faces of loved ones. Not only can the above tips help you retain access to important supplies, they can also help you maintain a more aesthetically pleasing space overall. Accordingly, you are sure to find the act of creating that much more satisfying no matter what type of project you are working on.


5 Clever Crafting Storage Ideas

Squeezing Health into our Back-to-School Routine

This post is sponsored by Nature's Bounty®, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


Now that the new school year has started, it stays hectic around here.  Daddy gets up at 4am for work, the kids start getting up around 6am, and then we have to rush out the door by 7:30.  After school, it's rush rush rush to get homework finished, baths over with, tummies fed, and then bedtime by 8pm. Keeping my family healthy is very important, so these are the ways that we squeeze health into our weekday routine.


Eating Healthy


I try to make a balanced, nutritious meal for my family every night.  It's the only time all week that we're able to all sit down together, as a family.  By serving healthy foods, I know that they are getting the nutrients that they need - even if they haven't had the most healthy foods throughout the day.


Exercise


It can be difficult to find the time to exercise when you have three kids.  It seems like the most exercise I get most days is chasing around the two year old.  It's important to make exercise fun for kids, so I'll turn on some music and we'll dance while I'm cleaning and cooking - just to make sure they get up and are active.


Relaxation


Lavender essential oil in their bath, cuddles, and reading are ways that we use to help the kids settle down and start to relax before bedtime.  It helps them get sleepy and makes sending them to bed much easier.  


Plenty of Sleep


This one might sound like a joke to parents, but if your kids sleep good then you're bound to get better sleep.  Sleep is important to keep up your energy, stay focused, and for overall health in general.  Because Daddy has to leave so early in the morning, he's started going to bed earlier - while it's still light outside.  To help him sleep better, he takes Nature's Bounty® Melatonin.*




Some studies show that the use of melatonin is helpful in shortening the time it takes to fall asleep and reducing the number of awakenings.*  This is really helpful for night shift work and for people with weird sleeping schedules.  It's really seemed to help Daddy improve the quality of his sleep!*


Melatonin may be appropriate for people experiencing occasional sleeplessness, those with jet lag or anyone wanting to promote sound, quality sleep.* Super Strength Melatonin 5mg is perfect for those who may need a higher level of sleep support.*


*   These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Want to try Nature's Bounty?  Nature’s Bounty is offering a $1.00 off digital coupon, exclusively for Walmart shoppers.  Click here to download the coupon.

Giveaway: Win one of five $100 Amazon Gift Cards

Dropprice Logo     Dropprice is an innovative startup that rewards moms for being social. Essentially, they empower moms to drop prices of kids & baby products with a click. The price continues dropping as more moms click “Drop the price”. Every week new promotions are launched and moms drop prices by sharing them on social media. See the chart below to understand the power moms have and how important it is to share with other moms.
  Price Chart    

In today’s promotion for the Fisher-Price Kick and Play Piano, it started out at $26.99 and for each mom that clicks, the price drops a bit. The price will continue to drop for each mom that participates until it reaches $12.00 (56% off).
  Featured Product      You can choose to share on social media to get more moms to click “Drop the price”, or you can “Buy Now” at the current price. Keep in mind that when the price gets low, they usually sell out and you will no longer have the chance to buy that item. As an added bonus every item on Dropprice ships for free!   Do you want to give it a try? This is such a fun and exciting way for moms to save lots of money by collaborating with each other. If you would like to have a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card, you can experience dropping the price by following the instructions below.  

Giveaway: Win one of five $100 Amazon Gift Cards


All you have to do is help moms drop the price of this Play Piano and you will be entered to win one of five $100 Amazon gift cards. Just click “Drop the price” on the entry form below for a chance to win. For even more entries, share it on your social media networks via the entry form — every time one of your friends also clicks to drop the price, you’ll automatically receive additional giveaway entries! Please click on the red sentence on the form to follow and get more entries. This Giveaway is valid in the United States Only and Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway event will end at 11:59 PM (EST) 9/23/15. The sponsors are each responsible for shipping of the above prizes and will contact the winners. No blog associated with this contests are responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site.

 

Apple Cinnamon Buttercream Whoopie Pie Recipe

Apple Whoopie Pies with Cinnamon Buttercream Filling

Apple Whoopie Pies with Cinnamon Buttercream Filling

Since school has started my mind has shifted to fall. I love fall activities and baking. I decided that I wanted to make an apple cake and went to Pinterest as usual to look for inspiration. As I searched I didn't find anything that really spoke to me. For some reason I was in the mood for whoopie pies (the Mainer in me!) so I went in search for a recipe and didn't find anything that was "apple-y" enough. I pulled out my trusty Whoopie Pie cookbook (everyone has one of these right??) and referenced the basic vanilla recipe and the banana recipe. This lead to the creation of the of Apple Whoopie Pies with Cinnamon Buttercream Filling. The printable recipe is found at the end of the post.

Apple Cake Ingredients:

  • 2-1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 apple diced

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • In stand mixer cream butter and shortening
  • Add sugars - mix on medium for 2 minutes until fluffy
  • Scrap sides of bowl
  • Add eggs and vanilla - mix on medium for 1 minute
  • Scrap sides of bowl
  • Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder , and salt in separate bowl
  • Alternately add flour mixture and apple sauce
  • Mix until fully integrated
  • Add diced apples and mix
Apple Whoopie Pies with Cinnamon Buttercream Filling
  • Using a cookie scoop place batter on cookie sheets
  • Bake 10-12 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched
  • While cakes are baking - make filling
Apple Whoopie Pies with Cinnamon Buttercream Filling

Cinnamon Buttercream Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter (room temperature
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  • Cream butter, shortening and vanilla.
  • Slowly add the powdered sugar
  • Add the whipping cream and 1/2 tsp cinnamon on low speed - once the whipping cream is integrated increase the speed to medium and mix for two minutes until creamy

Assembly Directions:

  • When the cakes have finished baking allow to cool fully
  • Once cool flip half of the cakes upside down
  • Using a cookie scoop place one scoop of filling on the upside down cakes
  • Sandwich the filling with another cookie
  • Wrap the whoopie pies individually (otherwise they will stick together!)
Apple Whoopie Pies with Cinnamon Buttercream Filling My family enjoyed the apple whoopie pies - they turned out really yummy! I had never made cinnamon buttercream before but will definitely be making it again! Enjoy this small taste of fall!

Shannon is a stay at home mom to two children who loves to bake and enjoys planning activities for the kids.  You can find her at Crafty Mama in ME.  Be sure to follow her on Facebook for more awesome recipes! 



Four High-Energy Group Workouts to Get You Into Shape

If you enjoy exercising, but sometimes find it difficult to get motivated, then you aren’t alone. A great motivator can be to associate with other people with similar fitness goals and one of the best ways to do this is to attend a group exercise class. Many classes offer high-energy, music-pumping group settings that are sure to get your heart rate up and strengthen your motivation along with your muscles. Here are some of the best high-energy group workouts available today.



Group Cycling

Although this class takes place in a room filled with stationary bikes, you’ll find that the group dynamic turns this practice session into an adventure. Enjoy freedom from bugs and car fumes as you workout with a group in an intense session. You’ll work through sprints and cool-downs and anything else that your instructor has in mind. One of the best parts about this workout is the atmosphere and music. Be prepared for some of your old favorites and popular new tunes to keep the energy level high.

Fitness Boot Camp

Fitness boot camps are held both indoors and outdoors. They are based on weight-bearing exercises such as:

·         Jogging in place
·         Leaps
·         Lunges
·         Pushups
·         Sit ups
·         Squat jumps

Your instructor will lead all participants through the high-intensity movements, giving support when needed. This type of workout is very flexible as exercises can be varied depending on the participant’s fitness level and previous injuries.

Martial Arts Workouts

Kickboxing has gained a lot of popularity; along with mixtures of boxing and aerobics. Kickboxing classes might involve exercises such as:

·         Boxer’s shuffles
·         Front kicks
·         Jump roping
·         Punches
·         Side kicks

The instructors choreograph the moves until they have a blend of footwork and upper body movement that will get your heart pumping and your blood flowing.

Zumba

Aerobics classes used to be one of the most popular exercise classes available and could be found pretty much anywhere that group classes were offered. Today, getting a cardiovascular workout is still important, but aerobics classes are now frequently styled after a dance-based platform; one of these classes is Zumba. Zumba can burn between 500 and 900 calories in just one hour. Weight loss is just one of the many benefits of Zumba; it also provides toning, stress relief, improved coordination and mood, and increased confidence.

Turn to a Group for Renewed Interest


Working out together with a group of friends, old or new, is a great way to boost your enjoyment of exercise, plus, you’ll likely meet a lot of new likeminded people with similar fitness goals. If you’ve found yourself struggling to keep up your workout momentum, try out a group class. There’s a good chance you’ll discover renewed inspiration!

Save Time and Money with Sam's Club

This post was sponsored by Sam’s Club, however, the text and opinions are all my own.

In our home, we are regular people that just try to live, make ends meet and be happy. We have life expenses just like everyone else but we try make it cost as least as possible. We have came across a few things that might be able to help you in your budgeting.



One thing that really helps?  Sam's Club!! There are great ways to save by buying in bulk. It's amazing to think of the savings with only a $45 membership fee. How we like to look at it - We already buy these items at other stores but, by choosing to shop at Sam's Club, we can buy in bulk at a better purchase price, without coupons!



Surviving mommy-hood is a task sometimes. Running all the way in to town with an extremely talkative tween, inquisitive pre-schooler, and a singing, dancing, strapped-in toddler isn't exactly like a nice stroll in the park.  It's a Wipe-Out obstacle course with me as the contestant; Just to grab one 32 pack of diapers.

Sam's Club makes it simple.  Their baby aisle has everything we need - buying enough to last a month turns out to be a lot cheaper than running back and forth to the smaller stores every week.

I love being able to get everything I need at one time, during school hours; I can get my Huggies, Diaper Genie, Aveeno Baby Wash, Desitin Diaper Rash Cream, Johnson and Johnson Baby Wash and Lotion, all at one time!

I love being able to plan my buying options and trips to the store. Want to know what is even most convenient? Being able to order online through SamsClub.com and only having standard shipping. But, it gets better, Club Pick Up! I can easily shop for the things I need from the comfort of my own home, without having to drag the whole crew out, then when I get a text alert, go pick it up when it is ready to go.

Having a baby opens a whole new world of beautiful things and some stinky things too. With the Diaper Genie Elite Ultimate Odor Lock System, a double-lock design seals away odors each time you drop in a dirty diaper, for a fresh-smelling nursery. A safe, natural  activated carbon filter absorbs strong diaper odors and built-in antimicrobial inhibits odors caused by bacteria on the pail.  It even holds up to 270 Diapers! Although you may not want to collect over 270 dirty diapers, it’s nice to know you can! The Diaper Genie Refill can hold up to 270 newborn diapers, which means less trips to the trash bin.


I am sure that all of you know how much time it takes to get ready to go anywhere, plus the time spent in the store, then getting home... It is an adventure going shopping. Having the luxury of getting what I need for my family just by being a member is something I really appreciate.


Sam's Club doesn't cover just baby food and supplies. I can go there and get the paper products I need, the household stuff like cleaning supplies, storage bags, an amazing assortment of fresh food like fruit, vegetables, meat (awesome meats), snacks, and frozen foods, food including all of the condiments. I can even get all of the other house hold stuff like appliances, bedding, clothes, I love Sam's Club!!

Sam's Club provides big savings for growing families, join and get $80 in special savings on baby basics.   You must sign up through this link to receive the special savings!



This post was sponsored by Sam’s Club, however, the text and opinions are all my own.


Sam's Club provides big savings for growing families, join now and get $80 in special savings on baby basics.
This post was sponsored by Sam’s Club, however, the text and opinions are all my own.

Baby Safety Month: Car Seat Safety Infographic

Did you know that according to the CDC motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the United States?

From pregnancy, birth, back-to-school, and beyond, September is an especially busy time of year for parents. And when your mind is spinning from the amount of after-school activities and carpooling that needs to be done, taking some extra time to make sure your newborn or toddler is safe while on the road may be a necessity.

What better time to ensure our kids are safe than during September’s Baby Safety Month. With the below infographic from Diono, you help can ensure your child’s safety is your top priority.


Travel Safer with Allianz Global Assistance Travel Insurance

Today’s post is sponsored by Allianz Travel Insurance through the Bloggy Moms Network.


We live by Murphy's Law.  You know the one, if anything can go wrong, it will?  Yeah, somehow anytime we make plans, something will happen.  Sound familiar?  If you’re going on a trip, consider protecting your travel investment with travel insurance.  Allianz Global Assistance Travel Insurance can help.

There's always so many questions that go into planning a family vacation. Where do we want to take our family? What would we like to do?  Now for the number one question I am usually wondering, Can we afford it if we can't stick to the original plan? Yes we can, because we travel with Allianz Global Assistance!

Traveling with family isn't always the easiest thing especially when you are on a budget. That's why Allianz Travel Insurance is so important to our family. Knowing we have exactly what we need when we need it, is  a comfort that can't be bought. On top of that, the peace of mind that we need while we are on our vacation.


Allianz Global Assistance is a leading travel insurance company. They offer us 24/7 travel assistance and financial protection. I have always worried about making plans too far ahead because there are the "What If's". What if I miss my flight? What if something comes up and I have to work? What happens if I can't make it to the motel and I need a different one but I already paid for a different one? There are so many reasons that plans get changed and all together canceled.

That's where Allianz Global Assistance takes over and lets me take care of what I have to take care of and they handle all of the discomforts of traveling. It doesn't get much better than that.

Have you ever had to deal with a family medical emergency  while on vacation? In an unfamiliar place, in a serious time of need, Allianz Global Assistance Travel Insurance makes sure that we can be seen when we need it without the painful waiting for approval. They really understand that it's up to me to decide what is an emergency in our family. I have had to deal with companies that tell me that I have to wait and schedule with my primary during normal business hours.



Check them out on Social Media:


When the Whole Family Needs to Get in on the Action

Name your sport. Whether you love hockey, baseball, basketball, or football, there is probably a team that gets your heart pounding every season. Better yet, you may follow a different sport all year round. That means plenty of viewing parties and gatherings with friends as you cheer on your team. You could head to the stadium to catch the action live or sit in the comfort of your own living room. No matter where you are, everyone in the family needs to dress for the part of a major fan. That includes the baby! With a little help from BabyFans.com, you can find a wide selection of baby sports apparel to make sure that your little one is decked out for the next, big game.


Hats, Bibs, and More
Pick your team and browse the selection. Your little guy or girl can be decked out to root for the team. Choose from bodysuits, bibs, hats, coveralls, shorts, bathrobes, and more. You'll fall in love with the sports apparel that has been lined up by BabyFans.com to help you all get in the spirit for each sporting event. When you're tuning in to the World Series or you're getting ready for Super Bowl Sunday, your little tyke needs to join in the excitement. Get decked out and show that team spirit together!

Perfect for Gifts
Browse the selection at BabyFans.com when you are looking for Father's Day gifts, a birthday gift, a Christmas gift, or a baby shower gift. Everyone is always picking out a baby gift for the expectant mother. What's better than giving sports apparel for the baby to the expectant father? Include everyone in the fun and excitement that comes with the thrill of any type of game.

Start the Baby Off on the Right Foot
If you want your baby to become a fan of your favorite team, there's no time like the present to get started with sports apparel that is specifically designed for little ones. You won't be able to stand the cuteness when you see your infant dressed for the occasion on game day. BabyFans.com knows the perfect formula for loads of fun each time you get together for your favorite sport. Make it a family affair or get together with friends. Your baby will be ready to cheer on your favorite with you.

Design An Awesome Family Bathroom With These Tips And Ideas

When you have young children, your whole world revolves around them, and so should your home. If you want to make life as free of stress for yourself as possible, the key it to make your home childproof.


Of all the rooms in the house, the potentially most dangerous, and most used, is the bathroom. If you set your water temperatures too hot, the children could scold themselves. If the bath doesn’t have an anti-slip surface, the kids could slip and hit their heads. When you have little ones, you need to ensure that your bathroom is a safety conscious space.


As well as from the safety side of things, it’s also important to design a fun bathroom that your kids are happy to spend time in. Many children have aversions to bath time, and the best way to get them out of that is by creating a bathroom that they’ll love.


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There are so many reasons why you need to design a bathroom that is family friendly and safe for your little ones. To help you create the perfect space, I have put together some useful tips:


Be safety conscious


The most important factor when it comes to creating a child-friendly bathroom is safety. A family bathroom should always focus on safety first, and style second.


One of the most dangerous things in bathrooms is the temperature of the hot water - it can be boiling. However, by turning down the water heater, you can reduce it to a safe temperature.


The type of lighting that you have doesn’t matter, although the Designer Lighting By Quorum International is worth taking a look at. What’s important is that you have a pull down light switch so that you reduce the risk of electrocution. Everyone knows that wet hands and light switches don’t mix. That’s why it’s essential to have a pull-down light in your bathroom.  


Don’t make the room too childish


While you want to create a bathroom that your little ones will love, what you don’t want to do is make it too childish. It’s all well and good decorating the walls with pirate ships and mermaids, but this will remove all sophisticated style from the room.


Add features that your kids will love, but don’t make them permanent. Paint the walls in a neutral or pastel shade - white, cream, duck egg or mint green, and then use accessories to make the room more fun.


Play figures positioned on shelves; mermaid or pirate-themed artwork and bright towels are ideal for adding a touch of fun style. Painted walls, pirate wallpaper and brightly colored features, on the other hand, are not the best idea.


Opt for child-friendly features


Children, especially young kids, often need help in the bathroom. So it’s important that things like the shower cubicle are large enough for that. Make sure to choose a shower that is easy to access - a sliding door is a good option so that you can help your little ones, if they need a hand.


Kids like to splash in the bath, so it makes sense to opt for a large bath. That way, they can splash around to their heart’s content, but won’t cause too much mess for you.


Top tip: Make sure that both your bath and shower have built in safety grips, to prevent slipping. Falling over in the bath or shower can lead to a nasty injury, and can easily put kids off of bath time for life.


Make it cozy


No one, and I mean no one, likes to get undressed in a cold room, especially not a child. If your bathroom is always cold, this will put your kids off of using it.


To make sure that your kids enjoy bath time, make sure that your bathroom has lots of heating. This can include a heated towel rail for warming their bath towels, a radiator and underfloor heating.


Follow these tips above, and you can create an awesome family bathroom that your kids will love. Just remember that when creating a family space, it’s crucial that safety comes first, and style, second.







4 Tips for Giving Back to Your Community

Communities are nothing without the people who live within them. Even if you're interested in helping out your fellow man, however, it can be difficult to know where or how to proceed. What organizations need your help? What kind of charity work should you do in the first place? If you're ready to make the world a better place, here are just four tips for getting started.



1. Find Your Passion

While volunteering at a soup kitchen is always worthwhile, it probably won't become a long-term activity for you unless you're committed to helping the homeless. Generally speaking, it's best to devote your energies to causes that inspire your fire. For example, if you're a music major, you might volunteer with an organization that promotes the arts with pop up pianos in New York.


2. Know Your Limits

It's very common for newbies to get so excited about their causes that they overextend themselves and wind up burning out a few months later. To avoid this, make sure you're approaching your charitable efforts with a sense of moderation. Don't volunteer for events more than six months in advance; don't donate any money that you can't afford to lose; don't work so hard that you forget to take days off.


3. Make Friends in Your Field

Who else is trying to build homes for the poor? Who else is running a literacy program for at-risk youth? These people are your greatest allies in the fight to improve your community. Not only can you use them as springboards for your own ideas, but you can also lend a hand to their projects, creating a cycle of charity work that benefits everyone.


4. Stay Motivated

Never forget why you're doing what you do. If necessary, collect keepsakes or make scrapbooks to document your journey of generosity. For example, you might take pictures of all the children you've fed or hold onto a ribbon from a breast cancer walk that you completed. These things will keep you in touch with the "why"s of your charity work even when you're struggling with the "how"s.


These are just a few tips for giving back to your community. Whether you're housing abandoned dogs or painting fences for the elderly, every little bit of charitable work will have a ripple effect on your friends and neighbors, and one day it will turn into a wave.

My Guide to Getting Your Child Started with Horse Riding

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Owning a horse or pony is a dream for many little girls and boys. Unfortunately for them, the answer to their pleas is usually a firm no. However, if your child is truly interested in horses, there are other things they can do. Learning to ride can provide them with many benefits. They range from helping them to keep fit to having empathy for animals. Horse riding lessons can be more expensive than other hobbies. But it's often worth it to see your child happy. If you want to offer them the chance to try it out, here's how they can get started with learning to ride.

Benefits of Learning to Ride

You might already have heard a lot of reasons for allowing your child to have horse riding lessons. However, what a child thinks a good reason and what you think is one aren't necessarily the same thing. There are several fantastic benefits to letting your kids have lessons. Apart from getting them out of your hair for a couple of hours a week, of course! For one thing, it encourages children to keep fit. They'll get out into the fresh air and feel enthusiastic about remaining active. It can improve their coordination and balance. And it can even help them with their social skills. They can gain more confidence, and they'll develop a love of and respect for horses for life.

Consider the Cost

The price of horse riding lessons is going to be a concern for any parent. It might be a lot cheaper than owning a horse, but it's still not inexpensive. When you're thinking about how much the lessons will cost, consider the outcomes and experiences your child will get out of it. You can check prices at a few different riding schools, although you may pick the one closest to you. Check with the school about how payment works and whether you have to book a whole course. It would be a waste of money to pay for ten weeks if your child could only attend for six of them.

Book a Taster Session

Both you and your child might be tempted to jump right in and book a run of lessons right away. But if they haven't ever been on a horse before, it's best to try it out first. Many riding schools will allow you to book a taster session so that your child can see if they like it. You could even do one too if you're interested in lessons for yourself. The session could last an hour or two. It will let your child get a feel for being on a horse and decide if it's something that they want to pursue.

Look for Lessons

Once your child has tried it out and decided they want to continue, you can book some lessons for them. Most of the time, you will be looking at booking a run of lessons on consecutive weeks. Some places might have looser lessons you can book into on a weekly basis. Pick a course when you know that your child will be available for every lesson so that they never miss out. If you have holidays and family events planned, it might be best to wait for a later date. You don't have to choose lessons at the school where your child had a taster session. However, if it was a good experience, you might want to go with the same place again.

Buy the Kit

The riding school should provide hats and, for smaller children, body protectors. However, if your child is planning to keep learning, you might want to invest some money in their equipment. Don't rush out any buy anything right away, as you may find they're bored after their first lessons. But if they want to continue, you can buy some items that fit them well. You may want them to have some one-on-one lessons after having done a group course. Buying a hat and some other bits and pieces will make the dedication to learning more stable.

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Hire a Horse

So, your child has been learning to ride for a few years. Perhaps they have even started competing or going on longer trips. Is it time to get them a horse of their own? There's a lot to think about before buying a horse, and the cost is only a small part of it. Instead of jumping into buying a horse, you might consider hiring one on a few different occasions. This gives you the opportunity to experience what it's like to care for a horse for longer periods. You can even hire a horse or pony on a more permanent basis. If you to give your child the chance to learn how to look after a horse, this is a good way to do it. Teenagers could also look for jobs or volunteering opportunities in stables.

Buy a Horse

There might come a time when you decide it's time to purchase a horse. If this day arrives, you need to consider it very carefully. There are several expenses you have to keep in mind, beyond the initial cost for the horse. Your horse will need somewhere to stay, food and bedding, and will have veterinary costs. They will have everyday expenses for their care, from Equest wormer to hoof trimming. Horses also require a lot of time and attention. Your child (not just you) needs to be prepared to put a lot of their spare time into caring for their horse. They have to groom them, make sure they get plenty of exercise and watch out for their health.

Owning a horse can be an excellent opportunity to teach your child responsibility and help them develop their knowledge of the animals. But you need to ensure that they're prepared to step up and prove they can follow through on their promises.

Your child's first horse riding lessons could lead to much more. From one lesson, they could grow a lifelong passion that takes them to high places.