Category Archives for "Review"

April 21, 2017

Save Big on Pampers, the #1 choice of hospitals

This post was made possible by iConnect and Pampers. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.

Save Big on Pampers, the #1 choice of hospitals

I have shared how awesome Pampers Easy Ups helped get my daughter potty trained. Now it’s my son’s turn. Though training a boy is a big difference for sure! My son just turned two, and I learned with my daughter that it is a waiting game. When they are ready, they will do it! With some encouragement from you and with the help of Pampers. Early potty training is great but can be more challenging. Well on him own, my son told me he wanted to go on the potty just recently. So we grabbed his Pampers Easy Ups and began the journey.Continue reading

April 17, 2017

How to Buy Musical Instruments with Affirm

Thanks to Affirm for sponsoring this post! I was paid for my review, but it reflects my genuine opinion.

Affirm Review

Thinking of learning something new, like a musical instrument? For us, the cost of new musical instruments for hobby that may or may not stick with our kids was a bit of a deterrent. Until someone told us about Affirm! I am a frugal person by nature and necessity. Making a large investment all in one month goes against a lot of our set budget. We really felt like it was an investment that we were ready to commit to, but there wasn’t necessarily wiggle room in our budget to get started. Thankfully, Affirm is an accepted form of payment at stores online including Reverb where we eventually found our new instruments. It is also a transparent payment system so that you can see right off the bat exactly how much you will pay every month and with the interest rates are. It is laid out in clear terms that make using it simple, straightforward, easy to use, and easy to work into a budget. Using Affirm for online purchases makes using credit to buy a big ticket item not so scary because you know the terms upfront with no surprise fees or hidden costs.

Here is some history as to how I got to the idea of buying new instruments for our family. Spring break is now over, so that means one thing for moms: start searching for ways to survive summer. The preview of “what may be” that it is spring break is a great way to get yourself motivated to plan ahead and make summer more enjoyable and productive for everyone. Recently asked my friends on social media what could I do over the summer to keep my kids on the right path and not develop a “summer backslide”. My daughter is a high achieving student and specifically I was nervous what I could do to keep her brain engaged over the summer but offer for something that was fun as well. A friend offered me a solution in the form of a pop-culture reference. He said that he was not familiar with most of the long list of computer programs that other friends suggested, but that most of what he had learned about being a grown-up and a parent came from the TV show The Simpsons. The character Lisa on The Simpsons is also very smart and he suggested that music would be the way to go to keep her brain engaged while having fun, just like Lisa.

Affirm Review

Getting three kids started on a musical path is not as easy as it seems. We had a lot of debate over instruments. I played the violin and my husband played trombone, but both were frowned upon as uncool. My five year old son wanted drums and was vetoed immediately. My daughter wanted piano, but not a keyboard and there is no way I was buying a piano on a whim. The baby just doesn’t care but will inevitably be grandfathered into the instruments, so he still needed to be considered. We settled on guitars. Thankfully we had a great selection of affordable options on the website Reverb. There was something for every level of musician and budget. We chose two 3/4 guitars and a full size for us to play with them. The plan is to get a DVD series and learn together.

The process of purchasing using Affirm could not be more simple. You can find a list of stores that accept Affirm as a payment on the Affirm website. Once you have chosen the store you want to shop from click the link to take you there. We chose to purchase our guitars from Reverb.com.

Affirm Review

Once you found the items that you wish to purchase make sure to check that they accept Affirm as a form of payment. If they do (on Reverb some did not because they were personal sellers using the site as a third-party) then add to cart and move onto your next step.

Affirm personal loans review

In the image above I underlined where it said “as low as $14/a month” In the image above I underlined where it said “as low as $14/month”. Another great feature I wanted to mention is that you can choose the terms of your financing as far as the links of the loan. You can either choose a three-month, six-month, or 12 month payment term. Isn’t that amazing?

Affirm loans review

When you get to your cart, make sure you choose “Affirm” as your form of payment before you proceed to checkout.

Affirm Review

I am sure there was another way to do check out that would’ve made it so that I didn’t have to purchase each item individually, but I did not do it that way. When I was checking out I had to check out with each item and process three separate Affirm loans. It was super easy, so it really didn’t make me feel a need to look for a better way to do (though I am sure there is!).

Affirm Review

Affirm makes a (real-time) credit decision each loan and all three went through quickly.

Affirm Review

After you’ve been approved you can either choose to enter your financial details for automatic deductions or you can choose to wait to set this up another time through your Affirm account. Review and agree to the terms and click to confirm the loan and you are all set!

Affirm loan review

Once my husband and I started looking into this genius summer idea, we quickly realized that the cost of this idea adds up fast. Also there was no guarantee that the kids would have more than a passing interest in this idea, so throwing our budget to the wind over it is daunting. I really dislike the idea of having extra guilt about using a credit card on an idea that may not prove fruitful. This way of paying for the instruments takes the guilt out of buying. Have any of you taken on a new hobby for your kids? How do you jump into the risk of spending a lot of start up money on something that you were not sure they will love?

How to Buy Musical Instruments

Know more about Affirm, click here for more information and frequently asked questions.

Also check out Affirm on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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

March 10, 2017

How to Deal with Hunger?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Balance. All opinions are my own.

How to Deal with Hunger?

This morning I got out of bed. I stepped on something. I was too tired to identify what it was I stepped on until I heard, “MOM!, you broke my toy.” Yes, I broke a toy with my Godzilla foot. The better question was why was the toy where I could step on it? I was only awake for a matter of minutes when the collateral collapse of all things toys occurred. I jumped in the shower only to be met with lukewarm water since the water heater fought a good fight but couldn’t handle three rounds of children before my shower. I will assume my daughter used the majority because my body wash is still lingering in the air like a dense fog on a warm morning. I get out of the shower and low and behold there is no towel anywhere to be seen. I consider my options. Toilet paper? Tissues? Washcloth? Oh, how about the PJs I just took off. I use those. I do believe I am at a seven on the annoying scale by now.

Will my number rise and will there be defeat in my house?

I then make my way to the linen closet to react just in time to towels that were crammed in there falling at a record pace. I select the last towel to fall and complete my attempt to wipe off warm careful to not balance on the foot that was injured by the rogue toy.

Then something else happened that raised my level to an eight. Eight is not okay. It isn’t good at 7:00 am, but yet I am at the eight.

I get dressed in something to work out. I put on my socks. Yes, they are both pink, one happens to be my daughters and one is mine. I try again only to find my socks are not in my sock drawer. They are in my son’s drawer. I am successfully dressed, but the question remains are the children?

Yes, they are dressed if it was summer and not late winter. There is one in shorts. Yes, shorts. It is 34 degrees out. The fight over the shorts ensues. I go into battle like a warrior knowing their last day is near. I win. He cries. He is in pants, and I am grateful to not be the mom this time with the kid in shorts in 34-degree weather.

I heard someone around here makes breakfast. I realize that someone is me.

We have cereal. I consider that making breakfast all seems to be good in the world until this happens.

He called her a name. It wasn’t a beautiful name. He implied she wasn’t smart and something about a donkey butt. The dialogue escalates to a rapid pace with some screeches that resemble an old hollowed door on its crooked hinge. It opens since it is slightly ajar and then it is closed so quickly the noise pierces your ear. She is soon quieted by marshmallows and grain.

Balance Energy Bar

I do what every parent should. I reach for a Balance Bar. I close my eyes. I may have closed my eyes while hiding in the laundry room with the door shut and all the machines on. They may or may not have had anything to them. I didn’t check. I just wanted the opportunity to achieve Balance. I wanted to enjoy the creamy caramel over the roasted peanuts. I wanted to indulge in quiet and in my favorite bar.Continue reading

March 10, 2017

Building Websites with GoDaddy GoCentral Website Builder

Disclosure: A promotional item was provided to me for today’s discussion. The host for this event is Still Blonde after all these Years.

Building Websites Made Easy

Want to build a website but have no idea where to start? GoDaddy has you covered!

Have you ever wanted to build a website but had no idea where to start? I have had a daydream about building a website as a resource for parents to enjoy Disney just as much as their kids rolling around in my head FOR YEARS. And as many times as I have had other bloggers explain to me exactly how to build a website, my brain just does not seem to understand how any of the tech behind building a site works. I have had my domain name for years through GoDaddy.com and have tried in the past to put together and launch the site using my domain name but got frustrated and gave up. Now that they are offering one month free trial of GoDaddy’s GoCentral Website Builder there was really no reason not to give it a shot!

Building Websites with GoDaddy GoCentral Website BuilderContinue reading

March 7, 2017

I Don’t Know Why I Remember This, But I Do

Disclosure: So happy to share this blog post I created as a Suave Kids partner. The Disney, Frozen and Star Wars trademarks are used by Unilever pursuant to a license agreement with The Walt Disney Company. All rights reserved.

Things to make bath time fun

Things to make bath time fun

I don’t know why I remember this, but I do. I remember the first time I gave my son a bath. I was so scared I could barely hold him. He was so little, warm, and pink. He was sweet and happy until he was unwrapped from his sleeper. His hat was removed. I kissed his sweet face as my husband attempted to warm the water. We were both unsure as to what temperature you wash a baby at.Continue reading

February 28, 2017

5 reasons why Project Based Learning helps our students

Disclosure: This review was made possible by iConnect Influencer Management and Future City was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.

Being a blogger can be one of the most rewarding jobs, and last week is a prime example of why I love what I do. I was invited to attend the 25th Annual Future City Competition and share with our readers more information about the competition.

To say I was blown away by this competition is an understatement. I left fired up to start my own team of homeschoolers to compete next year! Let me tell you why I went from knowing nothing about this competition to being all in to coach my own team in just one day.

One of my favorite cities at the Future City Competition was based on the city of Pompeii

What is the Future City Competition?

Future City starts with a question—how can we make the world a better place? To answer it, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future that showcase their solution to a citywide sustainability issue.Why is Project Based Learning so great!

This is one of the awesome model cities at the Future City Competition

Why is Project Based Learning so Incredible?

  1. Project Based Learning (PBL) gives students opportunities to use and interact with technology. Kids love technology and chances are they know more than their adult coaches about how to use digital tools and platforms. I was impressed to learn that many of the teams at the Future City Competition used various online tools to track progress against deadlines and to coordinate teams as large as 25 students. That is a lot of moving parts to keep organized.

2. Project Based Learning answers the age old question when are we ever going to need to know or use this knowledge in the real world. Many projects directly connect the students with their communities and ask students to solve real world problems and viable solutions that don’t just work in the classroom. Future City sets the standard high for real world and community interaction as students work to solve problems and create cities that also build community.

Future City is an incredible project based learning opportunity

3. Project Based Learning improves learning, plain and simple. There is no doubt about it when you get to create with your hands, communicate your ideas in both writing, video, and live presentation, and most importantly have fun you will remember what you have learned. With so many ways to interact with what they have been taught, student are able to apply their knowledge in other situations as well.

4. Project Based Learning builds the skills needed for students to be successful in the future. Whether it is college, career, or life, students will build the skills they need through PBL including taking initiative, confidence, responsibility, time and team management, and communication.

5. Project Based Learning makes school more engaging and teaching more enjoyable. Students and teachers rediscover the joy of learning together as they work on meaningful solutions to real problems.

Live presentation by one of the teams at the Future City Competition

More about the Future City Competition:

Students present their solutions via a virtual city design (using SimCity); a 1,500-word city essay; a scale model; a project plan, and a presentation to judges at Regional Competitions in January. Regional winners represent their region at the National Finals in Washington, DC in February.

The competition is open to public, private, and homeschool students.

Registration is only $25 per team and teams are limited to a $100 budget for materials to keep the competition affordable so that more students can participate.

Through participation in the competitions students will:

  • Develop writing, public speaking, problem solving, and time management skills
  • Research and propose solutions to engineering challenges
  • Apply math and science concepts to real-world issues
  • Discover different types of engineering and explore careers options
  • Learn how their communities work and become better citizens
  • Develop strong time management and project management skills
  • Experience synergy

We loved checking out all of the creative cities at the 25th annual Future City Competition

 

To learn more please visit the Future City Competition Website. After attending the competition and learning more about project based learning I am inspired to form a team and volunteer as their coach in next year’s competition. Hopefully, you will be inspired to lead students in your community as well.

 The Future City Competition is project based learning at its best