Lifestyle * Travel * Food

Aug 25, 2014

Beauty and the Bees Real Beer Shampoo & Conditioner Bar Review

I received products samples in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own as always. 

For most of my life, my hair has been very healthy and pretty. I have noticed that in the last 2 years or so, something changed. My guess is it has something to do with hormones and getting older. ((SIGH)) I was very curious about the Real Beer shampoo and conditioner bars from Beauty and the Bees. They claim they will give your hair natural gloss and shine. Also, I confess, they had me at beer! I couldn't wait to put it to the test. 
I received some instructions and tips to learn how to properly use these products. Having shampoo and conditioner in a bar form is really different from traditional bottles of the liquid type. One bit of advice that stuck out to me was to be careful not to use too much of the conditioner since it is very concentrated. I wet my hair as usual and applied the shampoo bar evenly. It had a very minimal fragrance and lathered fairly well. It rinsed out really well and I then carefully applied the conditioner. I concentrated more in the ends of my hair since my hair is not overly dry. I was afraid of over-conditioning my roots which would make my hair appear greasy. I could feel how rich the conditioner was and it was a good thing to go easy! After rinsing it out, towel drying, blow drying and curling, my hair was luxuriously soft and shiny. I am so pleased with the results and have used the products three times so far. You should have a better understanding of how much to use by your third use according to the tip sheet. 

About the Beer Shampoo + Conditioner Bars:
Beauty & the Bees handmade, solid beer shampoo and beer conditioner bars are rich in plant and nut oils, hops and beer. Beer has been famed for generations for its ability to leave hair bouncy, shiny and full of body, and these bars are chockablock with it - brewed naturally by small, local breweries in Tasmania. The bars follow an entirely sulfate and chemical-free recipe that has been traditionally handmade for centuries, using the finest natural conditioning plant oils such as castor, olive and coconut.

Where to purchase:
Beauty & the Bees handmade skin and hair care products are as special as the island they come from: Tasmania, Australia. The pioneer of all-natural beauty line from Tasmania has launched its U.S. division now available on Etsy, BeautyandtheBees.net and Amazon.

My overall opinion:
I love that there is nothing to throw away once the bars are used up. No waste and no harm to our earth. My husband keeps commenting on how gorgeous my hair has been looking. I recommend giving these products a try if you are looking for a natural alternative. I am very satisfied! Be sure to connect with Beauty and the Bees on Facebook for product updates and promotions.
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Aug 22, 2014

VTech Kidizoom® Smartwatch Review & Giveaway

**CLOSED** Winner is The Attic Girl- Congratulations! 

The VTech product, gift card, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by VTech. All opinions are my own as always. 
I am continually amazed at how far technology has come and continues to go. Kids in this day and age have so many advantages with this technology. I received the brand new VTech Kidizoom® Smartwatch for my son to test out. The Kidizoom Smartwatch offers so many amazing features all available on your child's wrist.
William was thrilled to play around with his new watch. The first thing that stood out to me is how flexible and comfortable the watch band felt. It was easy to get on and just as easy to take off. William didn't complain about it hurting his wrist or pinching it like he has with other watches he has tried. He wore it to registration night at his school and all of his friends quickly surrounded him to check out his super cool watch. All you could hear was, "Oooh and ahhh".

Kidizoom Smartwatch (Ages 4 years and up; MSRP: $59.99) features include:

·         1.4 inch color touch screen
·         Camera for taking photos and recording videos
·         Voice recorder with 5 voice changing effects
·         Special effects including customized photo frames, color filters and distortion effects; fun video frames
·         4 fun games, included
·         Kid-durable design to withstand drops and bumps
·         Splash proof and sweat proof
·         Alarm clock with fun tones and animation
·         Timer and stopwatch in kid-friendly themes
·         50+ digital and traditional analog displays
·         Rechargeable battery
·         4 vibrant colors: blue, pink, white and green
·         Micro USB cable for data transfer and battery recharging
·         Access to Learning Lodge app store to download more games and watch displays

What we liked about the VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch:

  • Makes your kid feel like they have a grown-up watch.
  • A great way to spark imagination.
  • The 3-minute stopwatch is great for timing chores or teeth brushing. 
  • My son enjoys making videos and listening to himself over and over. 
  • A great tool for parents to record reminders for kids. 
  • Very comfortable to wear and excellent to take on the go. 
  • Fairly long battery-life and we LOVE that it is rechargeable. 
Overall, this watch is really neat and my son loves it. He wants to take it to school for show and tell. I am sure his friends will all want one! Be sure to check out the VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch on the Vtechkids.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter for product promotions and updates. 

Giveaway: How would you like to win one for your child? Enter below: a Rafflecopter giveaway  

This giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on September 3, 2014. Please follow giveaway rules in Rafflecopter widget. One winner will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!
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Aug 18, 2014

Provost Academy #MyUnVirtualSchoolIdea

This post brought to you by Provost Academy. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Mom Files.
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It appears that more and more families are turning to home or online school options for their children. The world is certainly way more different than when I was growing up and going to traditional public school. With one last child at home, I am entertaining the idea of non-tradtional schooling. The question that comes up is, "Will my child have any friends?" I think the social aspect of not attending public or private school physically makes parents get a bit nervous. Provost Academy in South Carolina might have the answer -- Provost Academy in an online public school incorporating social interaction into virtual learning known as My UnVirtual School Idea. They have thousands of students with a common goal. They are like most teens who want to do their personal best, build friendships and explore their dreams together.
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Provost Academy strongly believes that relationships matter as much as academics. They believe that learning is best done together instead of alone. In life, you can't go wrong with the team work approach. I don't think successful adults became that way all alone. The UnVirtual Online School works hard to connect students with other students who have shared goals and dreams, while being an inspiration and support to one another.  They seek out ways for students to engage with professionals in their fields of interest to talk with and learn from over something as simple as a cup of coffee. They try to match up students with opportunities to help them expand their potential and prepare them for some of life's many challenges. Learning can happen anywhere and they want to expand the definition of anywhere. 
All of this is why they like to think of themselves as The UnVirtual Online School. They’re a school built on relationships.
Other fun facts from #MyUnVirtualSchool
· They are accredited. This means the diplomas students receive when they graduate from Provost Academy are real and they are recognized by colleges and the military.
· There is no cost to enroll since they are a public school. Fortunately the value of a Provost education far exceeds the cost, and they work hard to increase that value each and every day.
· Their teachers, advisors and administrators work to build one-to-one relationships with  students. They are a dedicated group challenging each student to go beyond what they think possible and to care deeply about the learning process, not just the outcome.
· They know that learning is unique to each of their students, and flexibility is required. They believe by working together they can create a distinctive learning experience for each student. In honor of this, they invite our readers and followers to help launch the UnVirtual revolution by sharing their ideas, thoughts and suggestions on ways in which an online school can be more social.
The three Provost states are South Carolina, Colorado and Ohio.
I believe the way an online school can be more social is to have a girls' (or guys') night out for dinner and chit chat. Even if you can't be there physically, a Google hangout will suffice! 

Visit Sponsor's Site

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Aug 12, 2014

What Makes Me Great #GreatGrains #ad

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Post Great Grains Cereal for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Do you ever think to yourself, "Hey self, you're GREAT!"? Well I let way too many years go by without fully embracing my awesomeness. I believe that life really gets so much better when you hit your 40's. I now look in the mirror and love the woman in the reflection. She's warm, compassionate, patient and beautiful. Why did I wait so long to see just how great I am? Even on my less than perfect days, I manage to channel my inner light and it comes out as a smile. Smiling really makes me feel good and can turn any day into a great day!

Great Grains is the cereal that shows the ingredients you put inside can help you feel and look great on the outside. Great Grains surveyed 1,000 women Nationally to ask “what makes you great.” The results were very interesting. A few results that I fell into the same category were: 73 percent of women have reinvented themselves after turning 40. In fact, 80 percent of women love themselves more now than they did 10 years ago, according to a survey by Wakefield Research for Post Great Grains Cereal. 83 percent of women think the greatest obstacle to reaching their full potential is what they think of themselves, rather than what others think of them. Women have learned a lot over the years, but there are some things they wish they’d absorbed just a little bit sooner. Ten years ago, ladies wish they’d known that saying “no” takes courage (40 percent) and people treat you the way you allow them to (40 percent).

About Post Great Grains Cereal :
Post Great Grains brings whole foods from the field to your bowl for a nutritious breakfast you have to see to believe.
• Less processed ingredients like whole grain flakes from actual wheat berries, as well as real fruit and nuts, come together in this tasty and nutritious morning favorite.
• Rather than grinding our wheat into flour and then stamping it into uniform flakes, Great Grains carefully cracks or steams the whole wheat berry, which helps to lock in full flavor and nutrients.
• All of the varieties of Great Grains have at least 30g of whole grains per serving and are a heart healthy way to start the day. 
Great Grains has nutrition you can see!
There are eight varieties of Great Grains cereals including: - Great Grains Digestive Blend Berry Medley - Digestive Blend Vanilla Graham - Protein Blend Honey, Oats & Seeds - Protein Blend Cinnamon Crunch - Cranberry Almond Crunch -Crunchy Pecans -  Raisins, Dates & Pecans and  Banana Nut Crunch. For more information, please visit www.greatgrains.com and Great Grains on Facebook.
Now it's your turn-- What makes YOU great? 
Visit Sponsor's Site

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Aug 11, 2014

Fruit Vines Bites - Perfect for road trips

Although the summer is almost over, there is still time to fit in some day trips before back-to-school. We traditionally sneak away right before school starts just to refresh our minds for the non-stop weekdays ahead. We always pack snacks, drinks and food to take with us. One of our new favorite is Fruit Vines Bites by the makers of Red Vines. 

They come in 2 flavors- Strawberry and Cherry. I received a box filled with both varieties in 3 sizes-- resealable 10 oz. stand-up bag allows for portion control,  2 oz. single-servings for quick trips and 5 oz. bags for sharing. 

Honestly, I don't know about sharing. These bite-size candies are irresistibly soft, chewy and fruity. I think the 10 ounce stand-up bags are good for portion control. We can easily eat more than our share! Fruit Vines are also low-fat and preservative-free for guilt-free snacking. They would be perfect in school lunch boxes too. 
These are going with us when we take a little road trip later this week. You can find Fruit Vines Bites at many retailers including Target, Walmart, Walgreens and more. I saw them at Target today and think they would make a nice "just because" treat for my little one's teacher. Check out Fruit Vines Bites on the web, Facebook and Twitter for product promotions and updates. 

I received complimentary samples in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own as always. 
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Aug 9, 2014

Backyard Adventures with Fruit Shoot #stunthunt #ad

Thank you to Fruit Shoot for sponsoring today’s post, but my love for their juice and endorsing children’s imaginations is all my own!

Fruit Shoot is looking to families across the U.S. to share videos of your kids doing amazingly active stunts. Here's the trick: Your submission has to feature a Fruit Shoot bottle and a ball of your choice. The best of your videos will get the Hollywood treatment with special effects added to bring your kids' imagination to life! You'll instantly receive a coupon for a free bottle of Fruit Shoot just for registering! Need a cool ball to shoot your video with? Any time you buy 6 bottles of Fruit Shoot in-store, you can send away for a FREE Waboba ball, the ball that bounces on water!

The video can simply be done on your smartphone and uploaded straight to the Fruit Shoot site. Share your video with friends and family and encourage them to vote for your video. 

Check out my little guy's video below...

Some great things about Fruit Shoot-- It has a new no-spill cap, perfect for children of all ages, and contains no fructose corn syrup, making it a much better option than other flavored drinks.

This fun hydration drink is perfect for energetic, independent kids who desire fun on the go. It contains real fruit juice, natural flavors, no high-fructose corn syrup, and no added sugar.

Fruit Shoot lets moms balance the hydration their kids need with the taste that they love, making hydration fun for kids and easy for moms.

Fruit Shoot also features an innovative no-spill cap (no more juice stains in the car!) making it easy for kids to be independent while on the go. These vibrant fun colored bottles come in tasty flavors of Orange, Apple, Berry Burst and Strawberry/Raspberry. All of the flavors are available in both the regular and low sugar varieties.
William loves Fruit Shoot!

Be sure to check out the Fruit Shoot Stunt Hunt site for full details. 
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Aug 6, 2014

Belli Skin Care Products Review

I received product samples in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own as always. 
Belli skin and body care products are made especially for pregnant women or those planning pregnancy. This is why Belli is "Picky for a purpose". Doesn't every mom-to-be deserve the absolute best? Although I am not pregnant or plan on having any more children, I still treat my body well. Skin care is very important to me.  
I have been using Belli Fresh Start Pre-Treatment Scrub and Anti-Blemish Facial Wash for two weeks now. The scrub is really gentle on my face and I really like the subtle peppermint scent it has. It's very refreshing. After rinsing the scrub off, I cleanse with the Anti-Blemish Facial Wash. Although the tube says green tea and cucumber, I smelled fresh lemon. I checked out the ingredients list and it contains lemon peel oil. That made me wonder if this facial wash would be drying. It turns out that it cleaned my skin and left it feeling soft and smooth. I swear my skin glows after using it.
I am really very pleased with both products and plan to purchase the moisturizer to complete my skin care regimen. I highly recommend these products to anyone looking for gentle cleansing that is very effective. Whether you are an expectant mother or not, these products are excellent. They would make a great gift too. 

Connect with Belli on their website, Facebook and Twitter to get more information on their products. 
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Salba Chia Seeds-- Where have you been all my life?

For some time now, I have been really curious about chia seeds. I know, I know-- I'm so late. Seriously though, I have been wanting to try them since I have been hearing so many good things about them. I received a fabulous box of samples from Salba Smart to try out. 
Salba chia comes both in whole seeds and ground. I read some material that was enclosed in my package and was blown away by the healthy benefits chia seeds provide. Salba is gluten free, raw, vegetarian/vegan, non-GMO, non allergenic, and has a neutral flavor profile. Salba can be easily incorporated into any recipe to boost the nutrition, which is especially beneficial in more specialized diets. Salba's water absorption properties and high fiber make it excellent for increasing satiety, which is important to maintaining healthy weight. Salba also increases your energy, makes your nails, hair, and skin healthier, and improves regularity.
We tried Salba whole seeds on salad first. I love the fact that chia seeds are practically flavorless. This makes adding a super healthy punch to foods much easier. Me and my husband absolutely love Salba on our salads. Seriously, we have been missing out for so long. The amazing part is staying full longer from eating a salad. This was a first for both of us. I have been adding some seeds on top of my cereal and even our six year old has been asking for them on his oatmeal. This is really good since school starts back in exactly two weeks. I worry about him staying full until lunch time. Looks like we have found a new pantry staple in our household. I love the fact that you can purchase single serving packets. This makes it easy for me to send in my husbands lunch box. 

I plan to incorporate Salba chia seeds into breakfast muffins, yogurt, smoothies and more. To find out more about Salba Smart chia products, check out their website. They have a recipes tab and such great tips on how to use them in general. These tips were very useful to me. Check them out:

Have you tried chia seeds? What is your favorite way to have them?
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Aug 3, 2014

IHOP's New World Scrambles (Review)


Last week I visited my local IHOP to check out the latest World Scrambles menu offerings with my younger daughter. I think everyone else had the same idea to visit IHOP at the exact same time so the restaurant was slammed! I decided to go with the Californian Scramble and my daughter went with the All-American Bacon Scramble.
Each World Scramble is made to order and perfectly paired with golden hash browns and your choice of a warm flour tortilla, toast, or two of IHOP restaurant’s classic buttermilk pancakes. You can also add bacon or sausage for an additional cost. We both when with the famous IHOP pancakes. 

When my entree came, I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of salsa that was on top of my eggs. You can't really tell from the photo, but there was fresh avocado slices underneath the salsa that made it look like it was way more. The whole combination of the eggs, cheese, salsa and avocado screamed California! My mouth was happy. I did not leave a single bite on my plate. I was very satisfied and really enjoyed the Californian Scramble. 
My daughter kept things simple with the All-American Bacon Scramble. She was pleased with how much bacon was incorporated in the eggs and liked the fresh bite of tomatoes as well. I think she said she would be full for the next three days after she finished her meal! 
Overall, we were very pleased with our meals and recommend you try them, but hurry, they are only available until September 7. For more information or to find an IHOP restaurant near you, please visit www.IHOP.com.  Follow IHOP on Facebook and Twitter.

I received a gift card from IHOP to try out the latest menu offerings. All opinions expressed are my own as always. 
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