Lifestyle * Travel * Food

Nov 15, 2018

Winner's Choice $25 Gift Card Giveaway

The holiday season is here, and I wanted to give you all the opportunity to win a little something for yourself. After all, it is the season of giving! One winner will have the choice of one $25 digital gift card from Amazon, Sephora, Starbucks or PayPal cash. Enter below, and good luck! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is open to everyone worldwide since gift card will be delivered digitally, and ends on December 7, 2018. Must follow rules in Rafflecopter. One winner will be chosen randomly. Mom Files is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!
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Nov 6, 2018

Is Your Home as Energy Efficient as it Could Be?

If you've never considered an energy audit for your home, you might be surprised to find that it's well worth your time and effort. After all, drafts and air leaks cost the average American homeowner hundreds of dollars every year.  Finding out how your home uses energy is one way to find out if you need upgrades to your heating and cooling system or elsewhere in your home. Check out these three tips for learning more about your home's energy efficiency. 

Check for Faulty Insulation

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Image via Flickr by ryochiji

Insulation can deteriorate over time, leaving gaps that cause air loss. If the insulation in your attic is below the level of the floor joists, add insulation to compensate. Check the insulation's depth with a measuring tape to find out if it meets the manufacturer's recommended levels. 

Check wall insulation by turning off the electrical breaker in each section of your house. Remove the electrical outlet cover to probe the interior wall using a screw driver. If you don't feel resistance, consider installing more insulation.

Seek Out Air Leaks

Air leaks pull air out of your home, causing your HVAC system to work harder in the summer and winter. The incense test is one of the easiest ways to locate problem areas that can drain your wallet. To do this test, close all doors and windows. Turn off appliances, water heaters, and exhaust fans to reduce the airflow in the home. This will help to identify the pesky leaks that you want to plug.

Burn the incense in areas that you suspect are drafty, including near fireplace dampers, outlets, baseboards, foundation seals, and windows. The incense will waver or disappear into leaky areas. Seal these areas to ensure that your home's warm or cool air stays inside.
Photo by Daniel von Appen on Unsplash
Leaks often occur through windows and doors, so you'll want to make sure that your windows are airtight. Installing energy-efficient windows can save you a lot of money in heating and cooling costs. If the incense test reveals air leaks around the doors, adjusting the door on the hinges will ensure a tighter seal.

Inspect and Maintain Appliances

Your home's appliances and systems can also cause serious efficiency issues. Analyze your home's energy usage with an energy calculator. Many online calculators help homeowners perform DIY audits for refrigerators, lighting systems, dishwashers, and other appliances. Schedule maintenance for appliances that are wasting energy or take advantage of tax credits by installing energy-efficient machines.

Regularly inspect your outdoor HVAC unit to make sure that it is free of plants, weeds, and other debris. Call your local heating and air conditioning technician for annual tuneups and efficiency checks.

If your current HVAC system isn't efficient enough, consider an upgrade. A ductless system can help you save energy while still keeping your family comfortable, no matter the season.

These easy steps for improving your home's energy efficiency can make a world of difference when it's time to pay the bills. Small changes and a little effort can decrease your household energy consumption and save you money.
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‘Tis the Season for Great Wolf Lodge’s Snowland Extravaganza

Great Wolf Lodge rings in the holiday season with its annual Snowland celebration from November 24, 2018 to January 4, 2019. The Lodge is spreading cheer to families this year with daily snow showers in the Grand Lobby, and visits from Santa Claus along with a life-sized Gingerbread House and more. Families will get into the spirit of Christmas, splash in the 84-degree waterpark, and create memories together that will last a lifetime.


Adults and children alike will be merry and bright as they arrive at Great Wolf Lodge’s winter wonderland complete with hundreds of twinkling lights, Christmas trees, and other jolly decorations in the Grand Lobby. The centerpiece of the Snowland celebration is the life-sized Gingerbread House constructed from more than 600 pounds of gingerbread dough, 1,300 pounds of sugar and hundreds of candies. For a truly delectable experience, guests can also dine in the life-sized gingerbread house with a small donation to the Ronald McDonald House. For reservations, visit GreatWolf.com/Snowland.


Snowland returns this year with guests favorite complimentary activities including Hot Cocoa with a Great Wolf Kid, the weather outside might be frightful, but the Lodge’s delicious hot cocoa bar will warm even the chilliest of guests up; Cookies with Mrs. Claus, where children have the opportunity to decorate cookies in the Gingerbread House with Santa’s leading lady; the Polar Wolf Walk, a tour of the lobby that teaches children about polar bears penguins and more. Families can wind the night down by cozying up to watch a holiday movie in the Grand Lobby during Festive Family Flicks.


Snowland’s most popular offerings are available including visits from Santa Claus; Santa’s Letter Depot, where kids can mail a letter to Santa in the Grand Lobby; and North Pole University, where kids complete fun, holiday-themed assignments around the resort for the chance to earn a Snowploma. During the howl-iday season, children’s activities such as Story Time, Yoga Tails and Paws on Projects will also get dash of Christmas cheer.


In addition to two days of play in the water park for each night stayed at Great Wolf Lodge, all of the Snowland activities are included complimentary as part of an overnight stay. Activities vary daily and based on location.  A complete listing of daily activities and times can be found in the Lodge Life event schedule provided to guests upon check-in, or verified in advance by calling the location directly.

For more information on Great Wolf Resorts and its brands of indoor water park resorts, visit greatwolf.com.
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Nov 5, 2018

The 2018 Holiday Hess Toy Truck Is Now Available For Purchase

Hess Toy Truck has launched its annual, highly anticipated, Holiday Hess Toy Truck. The brand new model, a Hess RV with an ATV and Motorbike, is a three-in-one toy that features a sleek and modern recreational transport loaded with lights, and a dynamic wheelie-popping pair of team mates, eager for on and off-road action.

For over 50 years, Hess Toy Trucks have remained one of America's favorite Christmas traditions. Each year, a new and unique design is revealed, which is collected and gifted by families throughout the U.S. The Hess Toy Truck is known for selling out before Christmas every year, so hurry and get yours while you can.

The 2018 Hess RV with ATV and Motorbike is now available for purchase exclusively online for $33.99 with free standard shipping and 8 Energizer® batteries included.
The sleek and modern RV, loaded with 60 LED lights, comes equipped with three ramp doors that fold down for access to the ATV and Motorbike inside.  The oversized ATV and touring-style Motorbike are both designed with wheelie popping racing motors.  The 3-in-1 toy features green and chrome accents with a total of 73 brilliant lights, the most ever on a holiday Hess Toy Truck.



Hess also has made available for free download a new science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum with 8 lessons featuring the 2018 Hess Toy Truck. The curriculum can be used by teachers and parents as a learning tool to help teach core STEM concepts

The Hess Toy Truck, offered exclusively online, remains a highly sought-after collectible and treasured holiday tradition that has been shared among families for generations. To stay up to date, sign up for alerts online and follow Hess Toy Truck on Facebook and Instagram. For more information on Hess STEM, visit www.hesstoytruck.com/stem.
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