Lifestyle * Travel * Food

Dec 29, 2015

Laugh, Play and Live in Freedom Again & Win a $25 Prize (CLOSED)


I have mentioned a few times before on the blog about a sensitive subject that affects so many women (1 in 3!)... Light bladder leakage (LBL). Not a sexy thing, I know. It is however a fact. Some women leak a tiny bit of urine when doing simple things like laughing, exercising, coughing or sneezing. Most people would think this only happens to old ladies, pregnant ladies, or those who have had several children. This is false! Even women in their early 20's can have LBL. 1 in 3 means there are so many women out there with this very problem who are likely to stay quiet about it, and with good reason. I sure as heck don't want to talk about it. My daughters often tell me funny stories and I immediately feel like I have to cross my legs. They make little jokes asking if I need one of those "Poise things". Insert the full side eye here.


Using Poise liners is a simple and discreet way to help deal with LBL and no one has to know. Poise Very Light Absorbency Liners are the perfect solution and absorb 3 times more than the average liner made for periods. They are very comfortable and keep you feeling fresh and confident all day long.


Now you can cough, laugh, sneeze or play with no worries. I never thought I would need a product like this, but I'm sure no woman would. You can save $4.00 when you purchase Poise Liners from Sam's Club. It really is a great value and the best part is you won't have to buy them very often. The club pack contains 132 liners for only $11.68 (9 cents each!), so you won't run out quickly. You can beat feeling confident to simply LIVE.

If you aren't a Sam's Club member, I highly recommend you become one. I love buying in bulk and getting more bang for my buck. Want some great news? One lucky Mom Files reader will win a $25 Sam's Club gift card OR $25 PayPal cash (reader's choice) to help stock up on Poise Liners. Enter below...
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only and will close on January 25, 2016. One winner will be chosen and will be contacted via email to claim prize. Please follow rules in Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!
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Dec 27, 2015

Happy New Year 2016

Here's to growth, happiness and good health. From our family to yours, Happy New Year! xo


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Dec 22, 2015

Not All Kids Eat Like Kids

I haven't posted about anything personal in so long, so I thought I'd post about my favorite 70-year-old son. Yes, I said seventy. William has such an old soul so I always say he is a 70-year-old man in a 7-year-old body. I wanted to share some things about William's eating habits. He is a very good eater. He exclusively likes foodie-food, meaning NO snacks. When I say no snacks, this means no cookies, chips, fruit, crackers, ice-cream or any candy.. at all. 


Any time we attend parties or functions where there will be food, I panic. You see, William likes home-cooked food-- rice, beans, chicken, veggies and pasta. If you gave him rice with any type of meat, veggie or beans for every meal, he would be so happy. When we are at a party where there will be pizza, cake and ice-cream this means he will not be eating. He may have a couple bites of pizza, but that's it. For his birthday we don't bother with cake because he simply doesn't like it. He recently started to enjoy Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Cinnabon cinnamon rolls. That is the extent of his tolerance for any sweets. When he gets Halloween candy, he gives it to his big sisters. He won't have anything to do with it. The kid doesn't even eat chicken nuggets, tacos or any normal kid food. I think the only exception is mac & cheese. He started taking a lot of interest in what goes into his food and likes to help in the kitchen. He loves to help season food and calls himself a "Tony Chachere's man". His thing is as long as food has flavor, he will eat it. He informed me that maybe when he is 13, he will like snacks and sweets.

People are often stunned to find out that he only eats real food and tell me how lucky we are to have a healthy eater. They are right about that, but it sure would be nice if he could eat regular stuff on occasion to make life easier. Some may call him a picky eater, but the truth is, he's a particular eater. He knows exactly what he likes and doesn't like. I guess for now he will continue to be a foodie as he calls himself. Life with a 70 year old kid, gotta love it!

Do your kids have any odd eating habits?
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Learn About SUI and How Poise Impressa Can Help

This post brought to you by Poise. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Mom Files.

Today I am going to talk about a subject that is particularly embarrassing for most women. Have you ever laughed so hard you felt like you had to pee? Or maybe you were at the gym doing your workout and felt like you were about to tinkle? Or maybe you have to cross your legs when you have to sneeze? This is a reality for so many women and I'm sure most of us don't want to admit it. I've had 3 children and I'm over 40. This has really become a problem for me in recent years. When you have to beg someone ahead of time to not be too funny or you have to avoid certain activities for fear of the inevitable leak, you have a problem. Thirty-five million women experience stress urinary incontinence (SUI), a common type of bladder leakage, which can be triggered by coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting or even exercise.
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Now there's a great product that can help you get your freedom back. Poise has introduced the revolutionary new Poise Impressa Bladder Supports, the first and only over-the-counter internal product designed to help stop leaks before they happen.
They are used like you would a tampon and last up to 8 hours. It is best to start off with their sizing kit to know which size will work best for you.
I actually tried it myself and I will say that if you are comfortable wearing a tampon and you suffer from SUI, this product may be the solution you need. They do actually work from the time frame I used it. I think that they will come in handy when I am involved in activities away from home to prevent any embarrassing leaks. The best thing is only YOU know what's going on!

Are you still unsure if Poise Impressa Bladder Supports are right for you? Visit Impressa.com for more information and also grab a Poise Impressa coupon for your future purchase. Also, don't be afraid to consult with your doctor before using this product. This is a relatively inexpensive and discreet way to help save yourself from an embarrassing moment and really give you the freedom to go out and enjoy life!

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Dec 14, 2015

DIY Spoiled Pup 'Howliday' Gift #TreatThePups

Today's post is sponsored by Lunchbox

It is the holiday season and the days are going fast! Like me, you have probably finished all of your shopping or are hopefully close to it. The one family member we make certain to include is our dog, Rocco. He spends his days protecting our home and keeping me company during the day, so I make sure I treat him extra special during the holidays.

This year I wanted to give him the gift of treats and toys. I decided that instead of putting everything in a basket or bag, I'd use an inexpensive dog bed instead. What dog wouldn't love having an extra comfy space to lounge?


The thing I love most about this little DIY gift is that you don't have to have any special talent to do it. All you will need is a few toys, a blanket, a dog bed or basket, a glass jar, festive stickers, ribbon, and of course, TREATS! I used Rocco's favorites including: Milk-Bone, Pup-Peroni and Milo’s Kitchen from Walmart.


I found some cute chalkboard adhesive labels and snowflake stickers in the craft store to personalize a plain glass jar to keep treats in.  This would be a simple thing to do for the neighbor's dogs- just add treats and a festive ribbon. I used mini Milk-Bones in Rocco's jar because they are wholesome and delicious treats I feel good about giving. Isn't it cute?


I put all of the items together in the little dog bed and it really came together nicely. You see, you don't need to have any special talent to make a thoughtful gift for your dog. I used some festive ribbon to make the whole thing look holiday-ish. I'm pretty sure that Rocco will sniff these treats out when Christmas morning rolls around. Pup-Peroni is his top favorite and Real Meat is the #1 ingredient, along with a mouthwatering aroma that dogs simply can't resist. I like to get the 2-pound bag from Walmart so we have plenty on hand to share with the neighbor's dogs at the fence each day. 


You can get more great ideas and inspiration for DIY crafts you can make for your dog this holiday season. And don't forget to stock up on Milk-Bone, Pup-Peroni and Milo's Kitchen treats from Walmart. They are the perfect gift addition for any dog.

So how do you plan to #TreatThePups this year?
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Dec 12, 2015

Howliday Gifting For Your Pup (Giveaway) #TreatThePups

CLOSED- Winner is Adrian H. 
Can you believe we are almost halfway through the month of December? It has been so hectic around here getting our shopping done and attending holiday parties. We tend to always remember our family, friends, neighbors and coworkers when it comes to giving gifts. Don't forget your most loyal family member, your dog! They are actually the easiest ones to make happy during the holiday season when you give the gift of treats.

This Christmas, Rocco will be receiving a yummy gift basket filled with his favorite toys, a blanket and of course, treats! Milk-Bone, Milo's Kitchen and Pup-Peroni are his favorites. It turns out that I'm not the only pet mama to spoil her pup during this time of year.  That's why I love this super cute website called TheNosePrint.com from Big Heart Pet Brands (the makers of Milk-Bone, Pup-Peroni, Canine Carry Outs, and Milo's Kitchen).  They really know how to celebrate the holidays with your pup!


On TheNosePrint.com, check out some of the fun doggy do-it-yourself ideas. You can make some of the most adorable gifts that don't take a lot of items to make and are actually simple to do. We give our neighbor's dogs treats as gifts each year and this year I will be making personalized treat jars for both of them. Of course, they will be filled with yummy treats!  Be sure to check out the great articles on a variety of dog-related topics on the NosePrint. 

Finally, want to know which states have the most spoiled pups?

The 2015 TheNosePrint.com Santa Dog Index ranks states based on how much, on average, dog parents will spend on their furry kids:

Top 10 States That Spend the Most on Holiday Gifts for Dogs:

 1. New Jersey: $29.61 (average gift spending per dog for state residents)
 2. New York: $28.95
 3. Pennsylvania: $28.75
 4. Utah: $27.75
 5. Georgia: $27.04
 6. California: $26.07
 7. Washington: $25.81
 8. Florida: $25.13
 9. Illinois: $24.98
 10. Virginia: $24.58

Apparently, it's good to be a dog in the New York tri-state area.  You can find the complete rankings of all 50 states at www.TheNosePrint.com.


The folks at TheNosePrint.com have generously offered to give away a FREE Christmas doggy care package filled with some of the most delicious stocking stuffer treats for your pup.

To be entered to win the care package, enter in the Rafflecopter widget below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends on December 21, 2015 and one winner will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email to claim prize. Please read and follow giveaway rules in Rafflecopter. Good luck!

I received a prize pack in exchange for sharing information about how you can treat your pups for the holidays. All opinions are my own as always. 
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Dec 8, 2015

6 Efficient Cleaning Tips for the Holiday Season

The holidays are a wonderful time of year. It's the season for family, food, friends and high spirits. Maybe you're planning to host a few overnight guests during the winter, or perhaps you're throwing a holiday party. Either way, it's likely that you'd prefer a sparkling clean home for everyone to enjoy in time for the celebrations. Here are a few tips to follow to have the holiday cleaning process be an easy, stress-free, and cheerful part of your festivities.


Preemptive Strike - Clear the Clutter

Before you get started cleaning, we recommend taking this opportunity to rid your house of unwanted items that have accumulated over the years. If you can make time for this, take an extra day before you dive into the cleaning process and clear your home of any excess clutter. You probably have a closet with some unwanted possessions that no longer serve you or a box or two or items you've been meaning to drop off at the donation center. Purging junk is an easy way to reduce the stress of cleaning while providing you with a more orderly, elegant home. According to a study done by the Princeton University Neuroscience Department*, evidence suggests that the nature of our environment (i.e. cluttered versus uncluttered) directly affects our ability to focus. A messy environment can hinder our ability to concentrate, process information, and can cause susceptibility to distraction. On the other hand, a clean, organized environment can promote brain function, increase our focus, and help reduce stress.

If you aren't ready to start taking stuff down to the Goodwill just yet, then you can at least begin organizing your home. This can be as simple as going through your house and putting things back where they belong; if something doesn't have a designated spot, go ahead and make one. These actions will help prep and clear your mind for the cleaning tasks ahead.

Make a Plan of Action

Preparing your home for guests or parties can be an overwhelming process, especially if you leave everything to the last minute. If you take a few extra moments and plan your cleaning assault in advance, it can save you loads of stress and time. Rather than diving in and mindlessly scrubbing without a game plan, set aside a couple of minutes to strategize your attack. It's an investment that pays off with more efficient progress down the line.

Step 1 - Perform a quick walk through of your home. Take note of all the things you notice that you want to wash or spruce up. Next, begin visualizing all the places you'd like to be clean and the extent of their desired cleanliness. Write down all the different areas and rooms of your project and their individual cleaning tasks.

Step 2 - Depending on how many days you have before guests arrive, break up the chores by area, then break down the areas into their separate tasks. Afterward, assign each area and their task a day to get cleaned. We recommend starting this at least a couple of days and up to a week before your holiday shindigs begin.

Step 3 - Schedule the tough projects and the things that don't need frequent attention, such as deep cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, or washing window and shower curtains, for the early days in your plan. Schedule the tasks that require more consistent attention, such as mopping the floor, vacuuming, and cleaning the toilet bowl, for the later days on your timeline.

Create a Backup Plan

Things don't always go as smoothly as we hope, and sometimes, we just run out of time to do everything we set out to. While you're creating your action plan, highlight the areas and tasks that can be on your 'essential list,' things that are critical for you to accomplish. This list serves as a resource if you do run out of time and only can get to a few, necessary items. This way, when you reach the 11th hour before the holidays, you can revert to your crucial items and clean those most important areas, without any extra panic or wasted effort.

For your priority list, think of where your guests are likely to gather or spend significant time. For example, when preparing to host people over the holidays, you'll remember that folks tend to congregate around the food. A few key things to clean in your kitchen will likely be essentials. So, create your list of areas and then highlight the imperative tasks. Using the same example, if you wanted to cleanse your oven, but you’ll only be using it for baking a few items, it likely won't make the cut. In contrast, the refrigerator will be something often accessed by guests and anyone who's using the kitchen, so it’s reasonable it will be on the priority list.

Recruit Helpers

One of the most effective ways to get cleaning done fast and efficiently is to enroll the others around you in assisting. Your family is a great place to start. Another benefit of having a gameplan, in this case, is you can easily assign different tasks to family members for each day and split up the work in an organized fashion. Another option is to get a maid service to help out at home. Sometimes we just don't have the time or energy to clean and need all the help we can get.

Maintain Your Environment

Once you begin executing your cleaning plan, it will be much easier to keep your home clean. The challenge is to make upkeep a habit. For example, if you've thoroughly cleaned your kitchen, but continue to create crowded, untidy countertops every time you use it, without putting things away, this can accumulate and make the room feel sloppy. Make it a habit to clear your counters immediately after they get cluttered, not to mention any other messes you create. Rather than letting things build up and create an additional big cleaning project, this practice will maintain cleanliness with minimal effort.

Invest in Some Quality Green Cleaning Products

Creating a spotless home doesn't require a lot of fancy products to get started, you only need a few things. In fact, you could probably get away with just one or two. Invest in a couple of quality green cleaning products. Not only are you helping the environment but you're eliminating any harsh chemical residues leftover from standard cleaning products. Your guests and family will appreciate knowing their health and well-being is taken care of at your home. Mrs. Meyers makes an eco-friendly countertop spray and an all purpose cleaner, both in a lovely range of scents. But don't let a lack of ingredients stop you from getting started on cleaning. A solution of water and vinegar can work wonders with efforts such as mopping floors, wiping countertops and even creating streak-free, clear windows.

With the holidays fast approaching and everything to do to prepare, a thorough house cleaning can easily get overlooked. If you can remember to follow this plan in advance, it will help you manage your tasks efficiently and accurately, while significantly reducing the stress of the job. If you need some extra assistance, visit our for a green, house cleaning service. Lotus Cleaning Services is an eco-friendly maid service, and we would love to give your home the care it deserves to get it sparkling clean in time for the holidays.

This guest post was provided by: 
Author: Lotus Cleaning Team
Author/ Company Bio: Lotus Cleaning Services is made up of dedicated home and office cleaning professionals, that have used green practices to serve San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and their surrounding areas since 2006.
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Dec 2, 2015

Give The Gift Of Spices To The Foodie In Your Life #HolidayGiftGuide

Do you have a foodie coworker, friend or family member you are shopping for this holiday season? If you are short on ideas of what to give them, I'd like to suggest a monthly subscription box of gourmet spices from RawSpiceBar. What makes RawSpiceBar's spices so unique? They offer a different theme each month of  3 premium ground spices and blends that are specific to certain countries/regions, and include recipes as well as some background on where the spices are from.

I received November’s Ethiopian Spice Box to test out. The foodie in me was super excited to try it since I love experimenting with different types of ethnic dishes. This Spice Box had Pumpkin Pie Spice, Berbere and Ethiopian Mitmita. First, I will say that pumpkin spice was nothing new until I took a whiff of this one. It was so deep and earthy and was the perfect addition to my candied yams at Thanksgiving dinner. My family commented that there was something different about the yams, but it was a good different.

The Berbere and Mitmita were completely new to me. I opened each packet to smell the aroma and was WOWED. I immediately was hit with what I could tell was a peppery, spicy blend along with a hint of cardamom. I decided to use both spices in a stewed chicken dish. I'm very glad that I decided not to go too heavy with either spice blend because they were crazy hot! Thankfully we all love spicy, so it was not a problem. I loved the unique flavors. It has me excited to see what's in December's box. You know what the best part is? It costs only $6 a month to experience new flavors and have access to recipes for dishes you may have never thought to make. This makes the perfect foodie gift for the holidays!
You really can see and taste the quality in each flavor-packed packet. I was viewing some of the past boxes this year and want them all! They've had Persian, Japanese, Jamaican, Punjabi and more. You have to check out RawSpiceBar on their website as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
I received products samples in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own as always. 
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