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Aug 30, 2016

The Fresh Market supports No Kid Hungry this September to fight childhood hunger in U.S.

This September, The Fresh Market will continue its national partnership with No Kid Hungry® during the fourth annual Cupcakes for a Cause campaign. The event will raise funds and awareness for No Kid Hungry, the campaign from the nonprofit Share Our Strength dedicated to ending childhood hunger in America by connecting children to healthy food where they live, learn and play.

September is National Hunger Awareness Month, and No Kid Hungry is rallying its community of supporters and partners, including The Fresh Market, to take action for the one in five kids who struggles with hunger.

In support of making no kid hungry a reality, The Fresh Market will host its Cupcakes for a Cause campaign from August 31 through September 20. The Fresh Market guests can support the fight against childhood hunger by purchasing paper cupcakes at store checkout counters for as little as $1, which connects a child to 10 healthy meals through No Kid Hungry’s programs and partnerships. One hundred percent of the paper cupcake dollar donations will benefit the cause.

Beginning Wednesday, September 14 through Tuesday, September 20, The Fresh Market stores will also host an in-store Cupcake Bakery Sale to benefit No Kid Hungry. Guests may purchase a single gourmet cupcake or a four-pack of cupcakes found in the store’s bakery. The Fresh Market will donate $1 from each gourmet cupcake purchase and $2 from each four-pack cupcake purchase to No Kid Hungry.

With the support of our customers, The Fresh Market has committed to contribute a minimum of $150,000 to No Kid Hungry during its Cupcakes for a Cause campaign this year. To date, the company has raised over $1 million to support the campaign’s effort to connect children in need with nutritious food, while teaching their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals.

About No Kid Hungry

No child should go hungry in America, but 1 in 5 kids will face hunger this year. Using proven, practical solutions, No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger today by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast and families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget. When we all work together, we can make sure kids get the healthy food they need. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength. Join us at


Fabulous Fall Beauty Finds For Back-To-School

Today we will be talking about hair care. I have a lot of hair and have to wash/dry/style way more often than I care to. Having such long hair takes so much time to care for and it has become a chore that I wish I could avoid. The part that takes me over the edge is blow drying. It takes approximately 35-40 minutes to get my hair completely dry. Well thankfully I have a solution. I found the BEST blow dryer that has changed everything for me. The Hot Tools® Turbo IONIC® Dryer is perfect for anyone looking for something small, fast, and effective!

This dryer is so powerful and brought my drying time from 35 minutes down to 10 minutes! That is a HUGE time saver and I no longer dread hair wash days. What makes it so great? This modern dryer with a narrow, European nozzle packs an impressive airflow with quiet operation. Its PRO-MOISTURE SYSTEM™ with ION TECHNOLOGY® is supplemented with Tourmaline to deliver a hydrating “spa treatment” for your hair — while fighting frizz and locking in moisture for supremely soft, manageable hair. The contemporary dryer also includes a concentrator with a narrow opening for precise drying. 

I am so impressed with how sleek and straight my hair comes out with no frizz. My younger daughter borrows it and loves how much drying time has been cut out for her. She has biracial hair and noticed how less poufy her hair was after drying. With the super compact design, this dryer is perfect for dorm rooms. I will warn you though, roommates will want to borrow it! You can find the Hot Tools® Turbo IONIC® Dryer at Ulta stores for $70. It is worth every penny if you are looking for professional quality at home.

Not enough time on shampoo days? No problem! Simply wash and go in one easy step with Pert Plus Classic Clean. I know the guys benefit most with this type of product since they don't spend nearly as much time on hair like the ladies do. I absolutely love the clean scent and how soft it makes my hair. You can find Pert Plus at drugstores nationwide for around $3.39 (13.5oz), $5.49 (25.4oz).

For hair that needs a little more help, consider the Infusium23 Moisture Replenisher Collection ($6.99 – $8.99, Target)
Designed for moisture-deprived hair, the Infusium 23 Moisture Replenisher Collection is perfect to replenish your hair as you leave the beach and head back to school (or the carpool line). It is formulated with an exclusive blend of avocado and olive oil to lock in moisture and enhance shine, restoring dry and sun damaged hair in preparation for the fall. A unique i-23 Complex, enriched with provitamins, antioxidants, proteins and amino acids, instantly transforms dry, damaged tresses into soft, healthy-looking, more manageable hair, making it an essential collection to keep in your shower caddy. The collection includes Shampoo, Conditioner and Leave-In Treatment.

I received product samples to facilitate an honest review. All opinions are my own as always. 

Aug 28, 2016

$100 Amazon GC or PayPal Giveaway

Hi everyone! I hope back-to-school is going well for your family. Although we home-school, we still had to adjust to the school routine. I am so excited to announce that we are doing another great giveaway along with 9 fabulous bloggers. The prize is your choice of $100 Amazon GC or PayPal Cash. Who wouldn't want to win that? 
Leave us a comment and tell us what you would do with prize if you are our lucky winner. Enter below and good luck! 
This giveaway starts August, 29 at 12:00 AM EST and ends September 12, at 12:00 AM EST. USA, 18+. One winner will be randomly selected from all qualifying entries and contacted via the email they provide. The winner has 48 hours to respond or new winner will be chosen. The winner will be announced on the Rafflecopter after they have responded.

Aug 25, 2016

Protect Your Family with These Vital Tips

Most parents have a strong urge to protect their family. Even if you don't have children, you probably feel protective over your family. We all want to care for the ones we love and make sure no harm can come to them. Although you can't protect others against everything, there are some ways you can help them avoid danger. If you want to protect your family, there are lots of things you can do. However, at the same time, you could be concerned about being too protective. Make sure your family is cared for without being a helicopter mom with these methods.
Via Eric Ward
Secure Your Home

Your home is your family's safe haven. You don't ever want anyone to feel unsafe there or to come to any harm. While someone breaking into your home is more likely to do when you're not there, you don't want to take the risk. One of the most sensible ways to protect your home and family is to set up a security system. For example, have a look at to read about how a monitored security system could help you. Your system could have motion detectors, cameras, alarms, and more. Even just having motion-sensor lights can deter potential intruders.

Know Where They Are

Everyone will have varying requirements for keeping track of their family. You might want to know exactly where they are at all times. Other parents might take a more relaxed approach. As long as they have an idea of where their children are and who they're with, they're not as bothered about the details. If you want to keep track of everyone, there could be a few things you decide to do. Some parents use phone apps so they can see exactly where everyone is. You might also just give your child a phone so you can call them if you need to. Other parents just trust that kids are responsible and will be where they say they will be.

Via Evil Erin
Give Them the Skills to Protect Themselves

Part of protecting your family is setting them up to look after themselves. Your kids need self-preservation skills, which they won't get if someone is always looking out for them. They need to learn how to watch out for certain dangers and how to avoid them. Some of the skills they need involve things like crossing the road safely. You might also provide them with tools that could be helpful, like a cell phone. Some parents prepare for certain scenarios. For example, some give their children a "password" to be used by anyone picking them up from school. There are lots of ways you can help your family protect themselves.

Protect Them Online

Sometimes, the online world can seem more dangerous than the real world. Just referring to the offline world as "real" can make it seem like when you're online, it's not real life. But things that happen online can be very real and come with real dangers. Teaching your kids to be safe online is essential in the modern world. Supervising internet use is important, but you need to decide how far you should go. Find ways to protect your kids online at

You can protect your family using a variety of methods. Just make sure that you have a balance between protecting them and allowing them freedom.

Aug 22, 2016

Meet Our New Family Member, Bob #bobsweep

A couple weeks ago, we welcomed a new addition to our family. I can't even begin to tell you how happy and proud we are. He is perfect in every way!

Introducing, Bob. Bob came into my life to make my homemaking duties a whole lot easier. He sweeps, mops and vacuums on demand. This gives me fewer household chores to have to do which means more quality family time or even "me time". Moms need a break too!

bObsweep robotic vacuums are so easy to use. I received the bObsweep PetHair in the color rouge to test out in my home. This was a perfect choice since we have a dog who sheds everywhere. I find myself having to vacuum and sweep daily, and it gets tiring lugging a traditional vacuum all over the place. Bob comes packaged perfectly in a neat box with everything you need to get started. It comes with a remote control, accessories, charging unit, and instructions. I suggest you take a few moments to read the instructions and let your bObsweep charge fully before you attempt to use it.

I found that Bob bumped into the furniture a whole lot when I first used him. As time has gone on, he seems to be a lot smarter maneuvering around spaces. I love the remote control function for when I need to have Bob clean areas where I need to avoid certain spots. It is very important to be sure the floors are clear of loose cords and objects that you don't want to get sucked in. Bob is strong and can pick up toys and pens (ask me how I know). It is very easy to empty the dirt receptacle and I am always so shocked at how much it picks up!
Pretty impressive and disgusting at the same time, huh? 
Let me tell you, Bob is powerful. I must warn you if you have little ones to monitor them when Bob is in operation. We don't want itty-bitty finger or toes getting run over just in case they get a little too curious. It is recommended to clean the rotary brush (cleaning tool is provided) for any excessive hair or stringy items that can easily wrap around it. Also be sure to keep an eye on the filter to make sure it's not clogged. There is a nifty side brush that is so good for cleaning along walls and furniture. The bumper on Bob is really effective in protecting your furniture from getting damaged. I also love that it easily adjusts to different flooring types and heights with ease.

I really love how you can command Bob to return to his charging station when it is in range. My guests are so jealous of entertained by him. My son is even learning how to use the remote so he can guide Bob safely through different rooms. This is probably because he doesn't want any of his LEGO pieces to go missing :)

You can "adopt" your very own bObsweep PetHair and other bObsweep products through their website as well as on Amazon. This compact machine is sure to become a very important member of your family! We love the difference he has made in our busy lives. Be sure to follow bObsweep on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for product updates and promotions.

I received a bObsweep unit in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own as always. 

Aug 18, 2016

Maintaining A Superb Relationship With Your Parents

photo credit
When you were growing up, your parents were your constant companions. Your relationship was filled with love, trust and fun. Even though you annoyed each other from time to time, it’s a bond unlike any other. But now you’ve grown up and have your own family to look after, maintaining this relationship can be difficult. You’re both facing new challenges from health concerns to changes in career. So it’s vital that your relationship adapts to this change in dynamic to help keep it in a strong and healthy condition. Here are some simple ideas you should consider to make you and your parents closer than ever.

Call each other regularly

Instead of making excuses for your lack of communication, do something about it. Schedule a suitable time each week where you can call and talk to each other. Even if it’s only for five minutes, your conversations can assist you in maintaining a good relationship. You can update each other on what’s going on in your lives and plan days out together. You can also use these conversations to find out about their health conditions and whether they need more help. Without these conversations, you might be unaware that your Father has hired senior care companions. Or that your Mother needs to have a hip replacement. Take an interest in their lives to stay fully involved.

photo credit
Ask for their help

Many parents feel they lose their purpose and feel insignificant once their children have grown up. But there is still a lot you and your family can learn from them. If you've always wanted to bake like your Mom, ask her to give you some lessons and share her tips. Your Dad could show you how to change the tyres on your car or how to start saving money more efficiently. If something goes wrong in your life, whether small or large, turn to them for support. This will make them feel important and that you appreciate their advice and wisdom. They then might feel more inclined to ask for your help whenever they need it too.

Let them know how you feel

As children, we don’t like to think of our parents no longer being here. But sadly, this is a harsh reality we all have to face. So make the most of every second you have with your parents.  Let them know how much they mean to you and how important they are to your family. You can do this by writing a letter or sending them a video via email. Surprise visits where you can both talk face to face also provide this opportunity too. They may even return your feelings of gratitude with their own and tell you how proud they are of you. This is a conversation will be one that neither of you ever forget, and it can instantly strengthen your relationship.

While these ideas can help you to maintain a healthy relationship with your parents, they all require two key ingredients. Time and effort. Making the time and effort to spend time or to communicate with each other is essential to preserve this special bond.


Aug 17, 2016

How to Create Your Own Dixie Deadzone Diners

Dixie, the leader in disposable tableware, has launched ”Deadzone Diners,” a campaign inspiring people to disconnect from their mobile devices and connect over a meal.  The initiative will transform the negative perception of cellular dead zones into unique opportunities for people to “Be More Here.”  To help families better connect over the dinner table, the company had a created a set of tips to help them create their own “Deadzone Diners” and foster conversation and interaction.

With a focus on family, friends and mealtimes, Dixie is committed to promoting environments where meaningful interaction can occur in the absence of distractions such as phone calls, social media and text messages. 

​1. ​Put your phone away during mealtime.  Establish a guideline that everyone must put their phones on airplane mode and leave them in another room. This will allow families to focus solely on having meaningful face-to-face conversation with the people around them.

​2. Have dinner in unique location with no cell signal.  Make dinner more fun, compelling and unique by finding a change of atmosphere.  See if you can find a cellular dead zone to have a meal, such as your basement, a park or an isolated spot in the backyard. A change of scenery with “no bars” will encourage engaging conversation.

3. Come to the dinner table with one topic to discuss.  Everyone in the family should come prepared with a conversation topic.  It can be as simple as the best thing that happened to you that day.  A shared meal is an important opportunity to have your family's full attention to talk about the things that matter most. 

4. Make sure everyone is involved.  Make sure everyone at dinner has a role, whether it’s helping in the kitchen, setting the table or cleaning up.  If everyone has a responsibility, it will limit the time they can spend on the phone and create a shared experience. 

5. Try a new recipe, but keep it simple.  Introducing a new recipe could be the start of great conversation.  A home-made meal doesn’t have to take hours and it can be fun to prepare.  Cooking will bring the family together, while avoiding the distraction of cell phones.


Aug 9, 2016

Costco Offers More Than Just Buying In Bulk (Giveaway)

CLOSED- Winner is Naima G. Congratulations!! 
The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the name Costco, is bulk shopping. After all, it is a warehouse store filled with a variety of items for home and business. I was beyond thrilled to learn that my local area is FINALLY getting a warehouse! I have watched the documentary on TV before about the Costco Craze and have been obsessed intrigued ever since. I will be taking a tour of the new Costco and will report back with the details. I do want to share a few things in advance. Of course, Costco offers an array of well known brand names of food, household, health and beauty items as well as their very own brand, Kirkland Signature. I have to say that I am very impressed with the selection I have seen so far. Their signature line of products even include organics. I have tried out several of the food products and the quality has exceeded my expectations.

Those dried blueberries are great for snacking or adding to oatmeal, cereal, trail mix or even in pancakes or muffins. The fruit snacks are so yummy and are perfect for lunch boxes. 
Costco has a pharmacy and offers health and wellness clinics on scheduled dates/times. They have delivery service too. Planning a trip? Costco can help with their travel services to help you find the perfect destination for a cruise, rental car, hotel and more. You can even shop their different areas of service including phone services, auto program, bottled water delivery, mortgage services, and even life insurance. Needless to say, Costco seems to have most areas covered! They have different membership levels so take a look and see which one suits you best. I am so happy that I can finally experience Costco for myself. I'm looking forward to checking out their fresh produce, meats, and wine selection.

I am so thrilled to be able to offer a HUGE giveaway to my loyal readers. Enter below to win a Costco gift bag filled with a variety of Kirkland Signature products and more.

Here's what's included (KS= Kirkland Signature):

KS Cooking Spray- $4.99
KS Bacon Crumbles- $10.99
KS Protein Bars- $17.99
KS AAA Batteries- $18.99
KS Cashews- $13.99
KS Minced Garlic- $4.39
KS Organic Salsa- $7.69
KS Cashew Clusters- $11.99
KS Pepper Grinder- $5.69
KS Balsamic Vinegar- $10.99
KS Chocolate Covered Almonds- $11.99
KS Wild Pink Salmon- $11.99
KS Dried Steak Strips- $9.99
KS Trail Mix- $12.99
KS Crushed Red Pepper- $3.19
Charisma White Bath Towel- $6.99
Charisma Gun Metal Bath Towel- $6.99
Charisma 4 pack small towel set- $9.99
Costco Keep Cool Bag- $6.99
Total value: $188.81

Enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to US Residents only and will close on August 22, 2016. One winner will be selected at random and will be contacted via email to claim prize. Be sure to follow rules in Rafflecopter for entries to count. Good luck!

I received products samples and information from Costco in partnership with them to share the latest about their brands/products. All opinions are my own as always. 

Aug 4, 2016

How to Light Your Home Like Hitchcock Would

When you walk into a room, what is the first thing you notice? For me, it’s the lighting. My mood instantly changes for the worse when I walk into a poorly lit space. It feels unwelcoming, even lazy. It’s as though the house doesn’t care anymore, its proverbial light has burnt out.

I get it, it does come off as a little odd that I have assigned a sort of humanness to space, but don’t we all do that? We appreciate space based on our experiences and conceptions. I associate the darkness with depression dereliction, and if you’re still reading, I’m going to venture a guess and say that you do too. So, what can we do to make our rooms more appealing. One way to go (and my personal favorite) is to highlight the architectural intricacies of my home with light, much like Hitchcock elevated feeling in his films using light.

Lights, Camera, Action!
Every area of the house is designated for a particular use, be it to eat, sleep, relax or bathe. We know what a room is used for based on the furniture and appliances stationed in the space, along with how the light is used in the space.

Kitchens are bright because we need to be able to calculate seasoning to tablespoon and chicken grease to counter space. It’s a functional space where we cook and eat and must keep clean. The living room is often warmly lit. This way we may sit comfortably in the space and enjoy playing a game of Yahtzee with our family or catching up on the piling Last Week Tonight episodes in our DVR. The bedroom is a little a more dimly lit, helping us to get cozy and ready for bed.

How does lighting design come into the feeling of our home? Isn’t it the furniture pieces that tell us how the space is used? Architectural lighting, such as with recessed, track and dimmers help us to create atmosphere. Alfred Hitchcock understood what lighting design could do in a space, and he knew how to change an audience’s perception of a character or a scenario in seconds. Let’s examine three of Hitchcock’s films and discuss how we can bring his lighting mastery into our own homes.

Rear Window, 1954
Hitchcock is known for creating menacing, suspenseful moments in his films through light manipulation. Movie buffs are quick to forget the scenes in which we’re first introduced to the protagonist of the story. The lighting is (to use an overused description) warm and inviting. The lighting gets us into the headspace of the character, into his emotional state. This is probably why the beginning of Hitchcock’s films are usually so engaging. In Rear Window, we are introduced to a man named Jeffrey, a news photographer stuck at home with a broken leg. When we first see Jeffrey in his apartment the interior is naturally lit. To get the “natural” look, Houzz suggests layering multiple light sources. Layering will bring attention to your furniture, wainscoting and other elements of the home. We can layer using recessed lighting (to provide the overhead light) floor lamps, (to provide the task lighting) and table lamps (to provide accent lighting). Layers of light create a “natural” looking light source, seemingly bringing daylight into a dark house.

Vertigo, 1958
In this Hitchcock film, the director focused on bringing a vivid and saturated color scheme to the forefront. In Midge’s apartment, in the flower shop and out at dinner, color permeates the space. To fill your living space with bursts of color, highlight a mustard, teal or sienna accent wall with a table lamp. Using an accent lighting source will bring the user’s attention to the space around them. You can also accessorize your space with colorful throw pillows or a rug to bring in texture and create mood.

Marnie, 1964
We are shown two different housing interiors in this film. One is the title character Marnie’s mother’s home, and the other is her husband’s family’s home. We see the societal differences between Marnie and her husband in the way the family homes are lit. The mother’s house is dark and sepia-toned, while her husband’s is bright and enchanting. Light and color can trick us into feeling particular moods. The darker somber home will make us quiet and reflective, while the brighter, cheerier home will enliven our spirits and bring out good energy. For a “positive vibes” space, layer task and accent lighting. This will create a mood of contentment and put you in a positive head space. If you have dimmer technology, use it! Using a dimmer gives you complete control of the lighting without needing to fill up your home with lamps.

It’s astonishing what a little light and color can do for a home. All it takes is a coat of paint and some new light fixtures to make it happen.
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