iPad Mini Giveaway

Welcome to the iPad Mini Back to School Giveaway hosted by This Lil PigletSober Julie and Simply Stacie, along with several other bloggers who made this giveaway possible! One lucky reader will win a 16GB iPad Mini valued at $329.


This giveaway is open to US and Canada Sept 6th to October 4th at 11:59 pm EST. Come back everyday for more chances to win by completing our daily entries!

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Press Release: ChromaGen lenses life changing aid for students with reading problems

This post is brought to you by our friends at ChromaGen.  I’m sharing it because I think these lenses could help a lot of children and that’s always a good thing.

30% Of Returning Student Population Suffer From Vision Related Learning Disabilities That Could Be Aided By The Use Of FDA Cleared ChromaGen Lenses


Photo Credit: ChromaGen

Studies show that many students  suffer from vision related learning disabilities such as dyslexia, binocular vision issues and light sensitivity issues.Chromagen has  developed a simple ten-minute screening process that can help identify these students that need further evaluation and fitting with
life-changing ChromaGen lenses.

Kennett Square, PA (Aug. 29, 2013) – Words that move from left to right or up and down, words that are blurry or come in and out of focus or words that appear to float on the page, seeing double words or double sentences, re-reading the same lines – these are a few of the reading difficulties that up to 30 percent of the student population will face as they return to school this month. These symptoms can cause headaches, nausea, and fatigue, loss of concentration and even avoidance of reading all together. Now there is hope with the new, patented and FDA cleared ChromaGen lenses. These lenses are a life-changing aid for people with dyslexia and other reading disorders including  binocular vision and light sensitivity issues.

The ChromaGen lenses were developed by Dr. David Harris, who has concluded after years of studying dyslexia,that the majority of people who have dyslexia see words that appear to be moving on the page in some way.


Photo Credit: Chromagen

“Approximately 90 percent of these people who see words moving will benefit fromChromaGen lenses,” said Harris, who has a PhD in Neurological Implications and Assistance for Reading Disability from Marylebone University in London. “Individuals that useChromaGen lenses will experience instantaneous symptom relief. The patient will see an immediate improvement in reading speed, comprehension and even an improvement in handwriting.”

ChromaGen lenses have also have been shown to be effective in treating binocular vision issues and light sensitivity issues. Binocular vision issues can be described as “how the eyes work together” (or more importantly what happens when they don’t work together) and can have a negative impact on a student’s ability to read effectively.

Light sensitivity issues refer to the eye discomfort, that occurs when viewing repetitive striped patterns such as the printed page. Light sensitivity manifests as eyestrain, headaches, or the illusion of colors, shapes and motion on the printed page or computer monitor.


Photo Credit: ChromaGen

ChromaGen technology is an optical treatment option that employs sixteen different filtered lenses. The lenses modify light’s wavelength as it passes into each eye, which dynamically balances the speed of the information traveling along the neurological pathways to the brain. The result is that people are now seeing words and text that are clear and in focus and enjoy reading free of headaches, nausea and fatigue.

Dr. Edward Huggett, D.O. and Chief Optometric Advisor for ChromaGen Vision, LLC says, “I am prescribing the ChromaGen technology because it provides relief for those patients who have experienced ‘word movement’ while reading for so long that they have lost hope. Now these chronic sufferers have options.”

Huggett, who specializes in the treatment of low vision and binocular vision, is the founder and director of the Low Vision Clinic at St. Luke’s Cataract & Laser Institute in Tarpon Springs, Florida and the Children’s Specialty Vision Clinic in Dunedin, Florida.

ChromaGen lenses are available through a nationwide network of specially trained optometrists or ophthalmologists. Each eye is tested separately to find the best combination of lenses for the patient. The results are instantaneous and the patients will know immediately before leaving the doctor’s office if ChromaGen is an effective solution for them. ChromaGen lenses come with a 100 percent money back guarantee.

Available as eyeglasses, contact lenses and clip-ons, ChromaGen has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are patented. To learn more aboutChromaGen or find a Doctor in your area, visit www.IReadBetterNow.com.  For media or news information, visit www.ChromaGenPressKit.com.

Hectic Schedule? Some tips to stay organized #GetFresh

This is a sponsored post about tips to stay organized with a hectic schedule.  I will receive promotional items to thank me for sharing. So we’re back to school.  We’re almost fully started with all activities.  Almost.  Boy Scouts sign up is next week, my Brownies won’t start meeting until October, and preschool soccer is not yet decided on a start date.  Soccer is 1 night and 1 weekend day/week for my 3rd grader…Gymnastics after school one day, dance following that for another kid.  I’m a Sunday School teacher (shared position thankfully) at church, and fall soccer will start soon for my 1st grader (maybe 1 night plus a weekend game, maybe just a weekend game).  This, and we’re remodeling our breezeway, which is kind of like a mudroom.  I know that for many this may not seem like a lot but for us it’s a LOT and it’s hectic.


Here are some tips to stay organized with a hectic schedule- it might help you to keep from feeling overwhelmed like it’s helping me.

1. Have a calendar and use it.  I have a nice big desk calendar I’ve started- each kid has their own COLOR and activities and specials for school and activities are written for them in that color.  Appointments, parties, playdates also.

2. Delegate.  My kids are 8, 6 and 4.  Not so big, but not so little.  They are fully able to chip in and help me to keep this house running smoothly.  One kid opens the curtains each morning, and closes them each night.  The other 2 either feed the dog or the kittens before breakfast and before dinner.  Maybe not a huge thing, but that’s 3 tasks I don’t have to worry about.

3. Shared tasks.  Laundry takes time. It’s something we all have to do.  My littlest one is a really great napkin (we use all cloth)  and kitchen towel folder.  My 6 and 8 year olds are really great at sorting folded laundry into piles for each family member. (They are also able to earn money if they help to put everyone’s laundry away where it belongs).  Often, the kids are upstairs sorting laundry while I’m making dinner.  They are helping, contributing to the family, but they are also helping to keep the sanity level where it needs to be in the house.

4. Plan your meals in advance.  Even better? Cook once, eat twice (or thrice!)

Anyone that knows me knows that I don’t mind cooking, nor do I mind shopping for the food to DO the cooking.  But the planning of the meals to cook and shop for? HATE it.

I do.  Confessions of a meal plan hater.

Except I don’t hate meal planning. Or planners. I just hate having to DO the planning.

I’ve also seen all kinds of meal planning sites and programs but none really ever jumped out at me.  Then I discovered the Fresh20.

Something felt different, and I wanted to know more.

Now, I’m not going to tell you that I love every single recipe. I don’t.  I’m quite frankly too picky to like any full meal plan.  But what I am finding is that even if I don’t like PART of a recipe, almost everything is something I can modify to my family taste or we can simply figure out our own meal for a night or two.

I’m in love.

This is a meal plan that works for my family.  Or rather, with my family. It’s pretty straightforward for preparation and cooking- no fancy skills needed, and I don’t need to hit eleven stores to get all ingredients.


Classic, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Kosher, For One, Lunch and Dairy Free menu plans are all available on the Fresh20.  This is something else that makes this so appealing- we have friends who are Gluten free (and some quite recent, so it’s a big adjustment in their family for meals and shopping.  Having this resource can help them with shopping lists and meal ideas). We also have friends who are dairy free- some due to allergies in their home, but some friends are nursing moms who can’t have dairy right now.  The membership includes all of the menu options, so if you are temporarily dairy free, or have guests coming to visit who are dairy free, meal planning is still easy-peasy.




New U By Kotex Products Now at Walmart

This post about the new U By Kotex products available at Walmart is brought to you by our friends at Lunchbox.  I have written several times about the U By Kotex line (check the posts out). I’d much rather carry around something like U By Kotex than what my mom used (and therefore, I had to use for years) I hated having to bring the necessary supplies needed to school or out with me when I had my period.  NOT fun.  You know, because having to deal with your period is so much fun already.

U By Kotex offers seriously great protection for any occasion. Period. Pun absolutely intended. Now, exclusively at Walmart, are 2 new styles of U By Kotex.


U by Kotex® Extra MAXI Pads

  • Fast absorbency for a dry, clean feel
  • Channels for reliable protection
  • Tru-fit® wings help keep this baby in place
  • Bold, edgy aesthetics on Pad
  • Heavy Duty Protection
  • Folded and wrapped – easy open wrapper in fun, bold colors
  • More absorbent that our U by Kotex® CleanWear Pads
  • Soft covers keeps you clean and fresh or Soft film cover for a clean and fresh feeling

U by Kotex® Thong Liners (exclusive to Walmart)

  • Specifically designed for thong style underwear

  • Individually folded and wrapped for on-the-go convenience

  • So comfortable you’ll barely know it’s there

  • Totally thin

  • Totally fresh

  • Barely there

The secret to a successful adventure is feeling great. And feeling good starts with making sure you’re ready for anything—from pimples, to sun burn, to a period that shows up unfashionably early.

Visit Walmart.com and to check out the U By Kotex® Survival Kits! From Girls Night Out to Bridesmaid Duty, these survival kits will help to stop any beauty mishaps that may come your way!


**Coming soon***When you pin your favorite survival kit to Pinterest, you will immediately receive a $1 coupon for U by Kotex® products! I’ll pin for 2 reasons.  #1, I’m almost never prepared. I mean, I try to be. But I always find (too late) that my tampons or pads are in the van, and I’m in a store, or I changed bags and my supplies are in the bag I changed from, or I have hubby’s truck and not my van). So maybe a cute survival kit will keep me prepared, because I’ll want to make sure I have it on me at all times!? #2 I hate spending money on feminine products.  A lot.  It annoys me that I am dealing with my period and then I have to buy all the things that go along with it. 29 years and counting I’ve dealt with this annoyance and it’s not lessened at all.


SO.  Here’s my question: What’s in YOUR ultimate period survival kit? Which U By Kotex Kit is your fave?

I believe that all period survival and emergency kits should include chocolate.

How to Get Your Kids to Share What’s Good #ShareWhatsGood

I participated in a campaign for Share What’s Good on behalf of Mom Central Consultingfor Welch’s. I received product samples to facilitate my review, a gift code to giveaway, and a promotional item as a thank you for participating. 

My kids are back to school.  That means they are spending hours and hours away from me, and I don’t know a lot of what goes on during their days.  But I WANT them to talk to me, to share what’s good- and even what’s bad. So at dinnertime, I work hard to get information from my mini-Martins.  Which isn’t always easy.  I mean, sometimes, they talk my ear off, or all three talk my ear off, but never actually say much about what happened.  I WANT to hear about their days.


She shared her excitement about her award from school

Something I learned long ago when I was earning my Bachelor’s degree- don’t ask kids yes or no questions.  Don’t ask questions that can be answered with “fine.”

So today, I thought I’d share with you some of MY questions I ask to try to get my kids to talk – even just a little- to share what’s good (and bad) about their days. If your kids are older, you’ll want to adjust your wording for them.  Maybe add a few “like” and LOL’s in there?!

Use these basic question ideas to get information

Who – Who did you sit with at lunch? Who did you play with/swing with/jump rope with at recess? Who said something kind to you?

What – What kind of story did the teacher read this morning?  What did you do in (math) class today? What was the funniest thing that happened this afternoon?

Where- Where did you sit for lunch? Where did you go at recess?

When- When did you feel happy today? When did you do/see/feel/hear something special? When did you laugh today?

Why- Why do you think that math is so much fun?  What is it about art that you like so much? Why did you laugh today


My little one had a really crummy day- some family time at the park and an ice cream (guess what flavor!) turned her frown upside down

This can easily be adjusted for home, camp, sports activities.  Honestly, my husband isn’t a big talker (which is probably good with me the chatterbox for a wife, and 2 little girls who are trying their best to make me look like a quiet girl) and sometimes I feel like I need to ask him some of this to find out about his day!

There are also other times, especially after we’ve done something special,  that we play “My favorite” to share what’s good in our lives.  I will pick a name and say ” What was your favorite thing we did today?”  Sometimes, especially if we’re grumpy or the kids aren’t getting along, we all say three nice things about each other.  We’ll all take turns saying 3 things we like about mommy, daddy, brother, and both of the girls.  Usually by the time we get to the last person, we’re saying silly stuff and everyone is giggling.

Finding ways to share what’s good doesn’t have to be hard, or serious. It’s something important to me because I feel like if my kids are learning to share what’s good with me, they’ll also learn to share what’s bad with me when that happens too.  Sharing life’s little joys can really teach all of us to appreciate so many of the gifts we are given each and every day, you know?


Welch’s believes in the magic of “kitchen table” moments, and has been helping families enjoy them for generations. In the time it takes to drink a glass of juice or share a sandwich, a special moment can happen. That’s why Welch’s has just launched a new movement called “Share what’s good™” It’s all about sharing those special moments that occur each day with family, friends and loved ones – whether it’s at home or on the go. At Sharewhatsgood.com you’ll find a variety of great content from fun family ideas to delicious recipes. You can share photos of your every-day moments and see how others are doing the same. Just use the hashtag #Sharewhatsgood on Twitter or Instagram and it will show up in the feed. Keep in touch by bookmarking the site – there will always be something fun to learn from Welch’s, or other people in the community.

Welch’s Facebook page:www.facebook.com/welchsgrapes

Follow Welch’s on Twitter: @Welchs

Follow Welch’s on Instagram: @Welchs

How do YOU Share What’s Good in your house?

1 lucky winner will receive a $50 photo gift card towards a popular Online Photo Service where you can share your own moment through Photo Books, Cards & Stationery, Prints, Calendars, Photo Gifts and more!


I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Welch’s. I received product samples to facilitate my review, a gift code to giveaway, and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Photo books made easy with Shutterfly Photo Story iPad app #Giveaway

This is a sponsored post about photobooks made easy thanks to my affiliation with Global Influence and Shutterfly.  I am the first person to admit to anyone that I take hundreds- maybe thousands of photos each year, but that’s it.  They are sorted into month folders and I’m just awful about actually doing anything with them.  When I heard Shutterfly had a new photo app called Photo Story, I decided to view it as a kick in my pants to DO SOMETHING with the eleventy billion photos that I have stored on my iPad.


Mind you, I can’t fit all of my photos into one book. But I am off to a good start.  Obviously I had to download the app (I think we all know how to do that at this point, right?), open it, remember my password. That took a while. Don’t worry, four tries later I remembered.


Then I had to peruse the photo book options. I went with an 8×8.  Mostly because it’s a cute size and my kids adore looking through photo books, so the smaller size is easy for them to handle. Maybe just a tiny bit because that was what I was asked to order for my review.  There aren’t a ton of layout and design options that you will find within the app but for me, that was better. While I adore my iPad and other devices, it’s not always easy to move images around and place things – my attention span wanders…so having fewer options for ME was a great thing. It made it easier for me to settle on a design layout and start to create my book.  In total I think it took about an hour and 45 minutes to create my book….but it was while I was watching tv and discussing paint colors with my husband.  So I probably could have finished it in less time.  Lazy photo people of the world, Shutterfly knows us well, and has found a way to allow us to be lazy and semi-productive!


Making this book was fun.  Now that I’ve got my first one made, I have every intention of making books using my photos shared on Instagram and Facebook…plus I have more photos saved on my iPad to add to a book or 2.  That’s the cool thing about this app, and what I love most about it (aside from the ability to create the book when I’m on the couch watching TV and don’t have a 932432 degree laptop on my lap because I’m using my iPad!) because like I said, I’m good about taking the pictures. I’m NOT good about printing the pictures.  I am good about sharing them on social networks….so now I can preserve them for my family to enjoy! A bonus? There’s a share-able digital version of the book when you create it so you can share on Facebook or email to family and friends.


I’m challenging myself to create a book a month for the next 6 months.  Care to join me? I’m really kind of excited about this challenge.  With the app, I can get all of the photos I want to create saved onto my iPad and then I can create the book with or without internet connection- so when I’m a little early for pre-k pickup or someplace without service and some down time, I can work to meet my challenge.


Now, just like “regular” photo books, you can add captions and lettering to your photo books created with Photo Story. I opted NOT to include anything but images in this first book I created, because I made it mostly for my kids to enjoy, and I thought they would have fun captioning themselves.  Plus, down the road, they can look back at their own captions and see what their handwriting looked like, etc.

With Photo Story, you can  add 30 second audio messages on each page.  You can also include a QR code for printed books that, when scanned, brings the viewer to the digital version and they can enjoy the audio messages along with the book.  Pretty cool, right?  It’s like a regular photo book but kicked up a few notches. (Tip: You can use talk to text to create your captions!!)  You can add photos as you like or you can use the Smart Autofill feature and let Shutterfly do the work. This app is quite user friendly- enough that I have promised my 8 year old SHE can design a photo book all by herself.  She’s got a pretty nice selection of photos of her friends and I think it would be a really fun keepsake for her to enjoy- plus she can share it with all of them via email to their parents!!

shutterfly-photobook-app-download-here-freeReady to download this FREE app?  I’m sure you are- especially because one of you is going to WIN a code for an 8×8 photo book to be ordered through the Photo Story app!  


Coach Legacy Mini Tanner Crossbody #Giveaway

Welcome to the Coach Giveaway! One lucky reader will win a gorgeous Coach handbag!

coach giveaway

Prize: Coach Legacy Mini Tanner Crossbody in Signature Fabric ($228 ARV)


Sponsors: [oomph.]This Mama LovesDisney Contests and SweepstakesLife’s Cheap ThrillsBlog by DonnaLibby’s LibraryThis Mommy Saves MoneyPink Coupon Cafe


Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Besides the mandatory blog comment entry, all other entries are optional. Oh My Gosh Beck! is responsible for prize fulfillment. Giveaway ends 9/23 and is open to the US only.
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Foreign Language Learning is fun and easy with Little Pim

This review post about foreign language learning with Little Pim is made possible by product samples received.  In this day and age, it’s hard to not encounter different languages no matter where you live.  Even scanning radio stations, we hear all kinds of music- sung in all different languages.  My kids seem to have inherited their mama’s love of learning new languages. They’ve all been asking to learn Spanish and Chinese, and since I don’t speak a word of Chinese, we thought we’d start with some Spanish.  Little Pim was where we headed, because the adorable Panda pal, Little Pim, speaks 11 languages himself and loves to teach kids ages 1-6 (and maybe older) all kinds of fun and practical things from each of the languages he speaks.
Little Pim teaches languages using videos, apps, music, books, flash cards and more. Each video is segmented into 5 minute episodes to accompany a young child’s (age 0-6) attention span and encourage pausing for parent interaction. Don’t worry too much if this isn’t a language you speak or just aren’t familiar with- the series is set up so that parents can easily pick up and interact along with their children.


My kids have a lot of fun with Little Pim.  The actual Little Pim stuffed friend we received actually lives on my 4 year old’s bed amongst her eleventy billion other stuffed friends, but she’s always making sure that Pim is tucked in and whenever she’s wanting to practice some Spanish words, she runs off to find him to talk to.  The earlier videos in the series seem a bit young for my older kids (but they are 6 and 8 so I’d expect that) but really?  The kids all enjoy them.  I love the pace that the program goes- not too fast, not too slow. My 3rd grader is learning Spanish in school this year and was beaming that she knew several words that the teacher had taught them in class the first few days.  I’m waiting for her to come home singing “A mi burro” like I did when I learned it in school!

The music  “bop” CD seems to have the kids’ attention and enjoyment the more we get into the videos — I think at first it just sounded kind of strange to them.  The more we listen to it, the more we like it.  It’s in the van so I have to say we.  I’m listening too!  The flashcards are well loved in the van (and are in the van with my husband at Home Depot right now)– the kids like to “quiz” each other and practice their Spanish vocabulary with them.

What are your thoughts on foreign language learning for kids? Have you tried any programs? Or Little Pim?

iPad Mini #Giveaway

When it comes to summer reading indie authors offer a refreshing alternative to predictable plots from big name writers. Here’s a list of ten titles from trending indie authors.
In a time of uncertainty, Nova Rose created a fantasy epic of high adventure spanning 1500 years with its unique mythology and characters–of which Galdin is the final book–where the lowliest of people overcome impossible odds to save the land they love.
time killer

A fast-paced thriller centered on a brutal, time-obsessed serial killer.

edge of a dream
Lee Fishman has written an action-packed thriller that’s a story for our times, a story of America the hard way! What’s it like to be on your own in a new country? While Rija, a young wife and mother, confronts the challenges of her new life in America with gritty determination, her husband, the charming Josef, takes off. Falling into a life of crime, he hooks up with the Russian mafia and turns up with piles of cash and trouble at just the wrong time.


reluctant gods 3
If you don’t like just plain old vanilla and want something different, read Reluctant Gods III – Reset from the series that transcends fiction fantasy by crossing genres into romance, humor, science fiction, and mystery and is sure to entertain while you enjoy the best of summer.
Slum is a page-turner that’s been called an intoxicating love story and a tale of hope for a dying child, played out by a wealthy New Yorker and a poor ex-stripper from a Caribbean slum.
mormon candidate
“Powerful novel … extraordinary magic in making his readers as eager as his protagonist in uncovering the truth and thus effectively creating pervasive fear and suspense … sure to keep you up late against your better judgment – don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Norm Goldman, Bookpleasures/The Examiner


The Big Empty
For the first mystery from Ritch Gaiti he has attained some excellent reviews on a socially significant mystery that is far more than a casual read. (Amazon 4.7 –23 reviews)


being go to tech
The book provides much needed insight into how to manage a long and successful career in the Information Technology field from an author who has spent twenty-four years working as an IT tech in many environments.


night chill

In his debut novel for adults, bestselling MG/YA author Jeff Gunhus (known for his Jack Templar Monster Hunter books) has won outstanding reviews for his supernatural thriller which has drawn comparisons to Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Come see why this novel is consistently on the Amazon horror bestseller lists.


up up and away
When Richard Corbett bought a modest flight school at the Modesto, California airport in 2007, he thought his dreams had come true. This from a man who’d made a career out of fulfilling his life’s admittedly lofty ambitions.

Now that you’ve ready about these wonderful authors, make sure to place your vote today for a chance to win an iPad Mini from Reader Spoils!

Ready For Your Chance To Win?
Children Teaching Mama is excited to offer you a chance to win this amazing prize thanks to Reader Spoils
Enter To Win An iPad Mini

One winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries to receive a 16GB white iPad Mini valued at $339.99! To enter, complete the tasks on the Rafflecopter form below. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite book AND come back for daily entries! Good Luck!
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Blueberry Dark Chocolate Milkshake Recipe

This dark chocolate milkshake recipe is made possible thanks to product coupons sent to us by Stonyfield.  I wanted to try to make a healthier version of a favorite beverage using natural and organic ingredients.  This recipe is simple, refreshing and delicious and is sweet enough to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth! Instead of ice cream, I chose Stonyfield’s After Dark Chocolate Frozen Yogurt and used their organic 1% low fat milk. We actually have our own blueberry bushes outside that are organic and I just grabbed some from the freezer.

5.0 from 9 reviews
Blueberry Dark Chocolate Milkshake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Healthier version of the classic chocolate milkshake using organic and low fat ingredients
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2
  • Stonyfield Organic 1% milk 1 cup
  • Stonyfield Organic Dark Chocolate Frozen Yogurt 2 scoops
  • Frozen Blueberries (we used ¼ c)
  1. Toss all ingredients into blender
  2. Frappe until blended
  3. Enjoy

My family loves to find ways to make traditional recipes easier and/or healthier!  Using organic products like Stonyfield makes me happy, especially because I find they are one of the more affordable brands of organic products, and very easy to find in stores.  My kids often bring the YoKids Smoothies or Squeezers in their lunchboxes for snack and lunchtime- and a family favorite for breakfast is the Banilla with some granola or Grape Nuts sprinkled on top.
enjoying-dark-chocolate-blueberry-milkshakeWe are thinking about using the Gotta Have Java or Creme Caramel to make a few other milkshake varieties.  Which would you try first? 

One lucky reader will win (4) FREE 6-packs of YoKids sMOOthies coupons and a deck of “52 Fun Things to do in the Car” cards.