I never knew I needed a mobile hotspot.

I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Sprint. I received a mobile hotspot product sample to facilitate my review.

Sprint Ambassador Badge

I really never did know I needed a mobile hotspot…until I had one.  Holy moly, I’d like to know why I didn’t do this sooner!  Having wi-fi wherever I go means I can get work done on the fly…and I’m on MY network, not a public or borrowed one, so I can feel more secure in using it.  Just yesterday, I was at the airport waiting (and waiting…waiting some more) for a delayed flight update and I sat down to work on a few posts- I had time, I had no kids to be with…why not, right? I turned on my NETGEAR Zing Mobile Hotspot that Sprint sent and once again was thanking my lucky stars that I have my own hotspot now.

mobile-hotspot-at-airport

Within 10 seconds I had my own wi-fi, wasn’t on the airport wi-fi with I don’t know how many others (no one was leaving who was supposed to be travelling to Cleveland, Washington DC or Chicago anytime soon, so there were many people in my situation) and I didn’t have to share bandwidth or airtime…just little old me on the floor by the outlet I found.   I had no worries about my security because I know that this device is equipped with the latest wireless encryption technology.  (Yes, this is the airport floor.  I’ll be disinfecting the pants I wore before they are worn again, rest assured!)

Having a mobile hotspot has been helpful in other avenues of life besides being a blogger. We were able to use my laptop in a meeting with the kids to be able to do some quick research for a Girl Scout meeting, something I couldn’t do with just my phone- simply not feasible with 18 kids and 3 adults.  Having the ability to set up my laptop and let the girls or leaders be able to look things up or search on my laptop has been and will continue to be a huge help.  We’re going to be talking about internet safety later this year and I absolutely will be using a hotspot for this (our school doesn’t have wi-fi accessible for non staff and we meet in the school) so the kids can actually be ON the internet and see what we’re talking about during the meetings when we discuss.

mobile-hotspot-working

Of course, I can also use the hotspot for fun things like shopping, checking Facebook or Pinterest, or (truth be told) checking Pinterest, getting ideas, and ordering supplies right then and there….. and I can set up evites, chat with friends, even Skype with family and friends who aren’t close by.  All with the security of having it be my own hotspot, no one else’s. We’ve been using the hotspot (me, and fellow dance/gymnastics parents) to look things up and plan things.  Fun stuff. Not just work-y stuff.  It’s been grand.

Do you have a mobile hotspot?  Have you considered one if you don’t? 

 

 

Who left the lights on (again)?

 I participated in a campaign about “who left the lights on”on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Lutron. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.

If you live with someone- anyone, chances are, like me, you’ve asked “Who left the lights on?” a time or two.  Or in my case, one hundred and eleventy billion times (each week).  If you have small children, you might ask it as much as me.  It’s pretty amazing just how often kids can leave lights on, given the number of hours they do not spend in the house when they are playing outside or at school. (It’s equally amazing how infrequently they flush toilets, but that’s a conversation we can have another day). To say this is frustrating, not to mention costly, is an understatement. 

I spend a lot of time asking “Who left the lights on” (and really, it’s always in a pleasant, even-toned manner. You know).  and following my littles around turning lights off after them.  Why?  If you know kids, you know that their immediate answer is “not me!”

Well, NOT ME doesn’t live here. I’m sure he (or she) is fun to play with, but all this little friend does is leave lights on, doors open, packaging open and never flush the toilet. So I’m not sure I’d want NOT ME to live here even if I did find a way to see the magical elfin being for myself.

Given that this little stinker “Not Me” doesn’t exist except to take the blame for things done all around the world, I’m taking matters into my own hands.

I guess you could say I already did, when I turned off lights left on.

lutron-occupancy-sensor-switch

But I’m going a step further. I’ve installed a motion sensor light switch.

Works with all  kinds of light bulbs (which is good since we have one of every kind ever produced, like ever, in the basement)

Senses daylight and only turns on when needed.

Now, I was going to put this into my son’s room because he’s the worst turning-the-light-off remember-er in the house.  But then I remembered, his light is also a ceiling fan and if the light shuts off, the fan shuts off, and he could be hot in his room.  Not fair.  So I went with the next light with the highest frequency of being left on.  The light in the dining room above the table.

The Maestro Occupancy Switch is also available with as the Maestro Occupancy Sensor CL Dimmer (which we don’t have, but maybe someday?)

This is a GREAT product concept. People forget to turn lights off, they go off automatically.  People walk into the room, light goes on automatically.  Imagine all of the dollars you can save if you have this in the rooms you find lights left on the most?  I’m thinking the bathrooms and living room in our house, and also the hallway light upstairs.  That’ll be a big help, especially if the kids get up in the middle of the night.  One of them isn’t too much a fan of the dark, so having that light go on as you step into the hallway will be really great (and safe) for everyone!

It’s just that I probably should wait a week or so before I ask my husband to HELP me re-install the Maestro where  it won’t be on a 3 way switch.  Thankfully he agrees with me that it’s a great idea and we’re both looking forward to seeing how it works.
A few notes about installation:
1.  Read the instructions.

light-switch-no-sensor-occupancy-switch

Read the instructions again to make sure that you are not Brett Martin and you aren’t trying to install this on a 3-way-switch.  It won’t work.  I mean, the light will work, and YAY! but the whole 3 way thing won’t work and chances are, your spouse won’t be too happy at having to fix that 3 way light switch in your 75+ year old house…

2. After you’ve read the instructions and NOT done what I did, you can make sure you have all of the tools required to finish the job, a flashlight for just in case, and all of your parts for the switch laid out in front of you. You’re going to need a screwdriver, electrical tape, and some needle nose pliers.

light-switch-lutron-sensor-switch

3. Proceed to follow the instructions carefully.

I was pretty impressed both with how easy the instructions were to understand AND how easily I could follow along.  That says something because I am clearly not an electrical genius (if you missed why, see above) and also, our house is 75+ years old with the 75+ year old wiring still in place in some areas…including this switch. I could still successfully connect the wires all by myself.  It took less than half an hour from start to finish.  (I did them correctly, I just sort of didn’t  stop to think about  notice  the whole “3 way switch” detail). I was pretty proud of my handiwork. I still kind of am.

4. Watch your savings grow.

I think the Lutron line can also double a little bit as a security measure- if someone’s trying to sneak into  your house, a light going on when they walk into a room is definitely going to stop them in their tracks and make them think twice about staying!  Mostly, Lutron switches offer a great way to help you to ensure that your hard earned dollars aren’t being spent on lights left on when not in use!  Practical and ingenius- as soon as I’m out of the doghouse I plan to get a few more for some other lights in the house.

Lutron-survey-infographic FNL (2)

Want to check out a Maestro Occupancy/Vacancy Sensor Switch for your house?

25% off Maestro occupancy/vacancy sensor dimmers and switches on LutronStore.com PLUS one free Claro single-gang wallplate ($4.90 suggested list price) with each qualifying item.

Promo Code: wholeftthelightson

          Code expiration date: Sunday, Oct. 31, 2013(subject to change)

You may be wondering why I decided to share what really happened during the installation process.  I don’t want nor intend to lie to anyone on this site. I’m real. This is me, for good and for bad.  I screwed up.  Had I not been sick over the weekend, we might have had time to re-install this switch, but no one felt superb in this house and I had a fever for almost the whole weekend. SO…it got delayed until today. Since my husband took the switch OUT for me to get the dining room light working properly (and safely, I might add) I wasn’t able to get a video review of the whole process. The few minutes I enjoyed it, it was fabulous.  But I’ll be updating again in a month or two and I’ll give you a much less OOPS report on how things are going and what we’ve noticed about leaving lights on.

**Update***

Video of install!! It’s here!

 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pretzels and Avocado Recipe

Chocolate chip cookies are a favorite in our family, and sometimes, no matter how much we love the classics, it’s fun to change things up a bit.  Part of my Ambassadorship with Avocados from Mexico was a promise to create an avocado recipe each month over the summer, and today I’m sharing a new one with you- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with Avocado and Pretzel Crisps!

avocado-recipe-oatmeal-chocolate-chip-cookie-with-pretzels

These cookies are fairly easy to make and much healthier for you with avocado in place of butter.  I actually didn’t tell my husband I did anything except add some crushed up pretzels to the recipe, and had no idea I’d done avocado instead.  That’s a win for me.  My son declared them delicious and asked for more!  Score for mom!  I think you could use any kind of pretzel- Pretzel Crisps recently sent my family a box of flavors to try since we are so stuck on the Buffalo flavor and I decided to use the Original Pretzel Crisps in this recipe.

oatmeal-chocolate-chip-cookies-with-avocado-pretzel-crisps-recipe

 

 

 

4.8 from 16 reviews
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with Avocado and Pretzel Crisps
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies using avocado in place of butter
Author:
Recipe type: Cookie
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2 dozen cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup avocado, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla (If using imitation vanilla extract, go up to 2 tsp)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 cups quick cook oats
  • 1¼ c all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ c chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
  • ½ to 1 c crushed pretzels (I use Pretzel Crisps Original)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In large bowl:
  3. Combine avocado, brown sugar, and sugar
  4. Beat in eggs one at a time
  5. Add vanilla
  6. In separate bowl:combine the flour, baking soda, and salt
  7. Mix avocado mixture into dry ingredients until just blended.
  8. Stir in oats, crushed pretzels and chocolate chips.
  9. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
  10. Let cookies sit 2 full minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.

My first blogging conference was a blast #blogherfood #afmpitcrew #iloveavocados

Last month I attended the BlogHer Food Conference in Austin Texas.  I’ve not been to a blogging conference before- I did get one day squeezed in last summer in NYC at BlogHer but honestly, there wasn’t much “conference” in my day and it was such a blur I don’t remember.  This year, Avocados from Mexico asked me to be part of their Pit Crew Team and were nice enough to fly me down the day before the conference started, and home the day after it ended so that I could enjoy the full experience of the conference.

blogging conference badge

The BlogHer Food conference was held at the Austin Hilton, a quick (and hot!) ride from the airport.  Great accommodations, friendly, helpful staff and really nice sheets (I have this thing about hotel sheets and I love them).  Of course, I didn’t get to spend much time in my room but that’s ok.  The time I did spend, I was able to get some sound sleep (no noise from adjoining rooms), enjoy the views of Austin at night (so pretty) and even make myself some coffee in the morning while getting ready.  Definitely recommend visiting them!

I was really excited about the conference because I got to see a blogging friend I’ve met a few times on trips, and also meet several bloggers I’ve been friends with online for a while but since we live all over, never met in person before! It was awesome. I also met some of the PR folks I’ve worked with in different ways over the years…as well as many new ones.  This was a really nicely sized conference so I was able to visit booths and actually have meaningful conversations with people and chat with them about their brands, their products, and get to know them a bit in person.  Of course, being a food blogging conference, there were also many delightfully delicious snacks, beverages and goodies to sample at almost every booth and- well, if you go to a food blogging conference, wear loose fitting pants.

meeting-online-friends-at-blogging-conferences

Not the best quality photo but we were having oh so much fun!!

While in Austin, I got to enjoy some amazing Italian food at The Backspace with Michael Angelo’s Gourmet Foods- we actually got to meet and chat with Michael and his mom, who create each recipe for their brand themselves.  It’s a very family oriented business and they are really quite dedicated to what their product is and how they produce it.

italian-meatballs-the-backspace-austin-texas

 

I should also mention here, since the above photo was taken with my iPhone, that two of the sessions I attended at BlogHer Food were about mobile photography and also editing with a smartphone.  The above photo was taken with my iPhone 5 and edited with the Snapseed app (avail. at the app store).  Not too shabby for a mobile phone pic, right?  In all seriousness, learning more about mobile photography and how it can really work and be used as a real tool for photography was really interesting and I loved learning more about it.

Brew Over Ice with Keurig- this was a booth I visited time and time again.  We’ve loved our Keurig for a while now, but it never even occurred to me that I could put ice in a cup and have fresh brewed lemonade, iced tea, iced coffee, energy drinks and more…it’s marvelous.  Plus, they gave out bendy straws with the cups….which had lids.  I was carrying many things and this was helpful to clumsy me.  I can’t even explain how I have brewed over ice since June.  Nor can I admit to you how many packages of the Snapple Lemon Iced Tea K-cups I’ve purchased.

keurig-brew-over-ice-collage

(Food) Photography- learned a whole lot about food photography, photography editing, and mobile photograph and editing.  I can’t believe I’m admitting this but I had the Snapseed app for almost 2 full years and kind of hated it, and then sat in a session where they showed us step by step what they did to edit a few photos on a screen and oh my gosh.  What a whole new world! I’m loving Snapseed.  (There really are a lot of great apps out there to help you edit photos on the go with your phone or tablet if you aren’t able to sit down and access your full editing software….and if you don’t have the budget for a fancy camera or fancy editing software, this is a really affordable alternative).

Parties- Apparently, blogging conferences include many parties.  Fun parties.  Parties in different places- I think I got to visit at least 10 different restaurants in Austin- something I’d never have done otherwise- and walking from location to location gave us a chance to really see how vibrant and fun the city is- always moving, and music everywhere you turn.  I’ve never been to Texas before, so every single part of this trip was new, fun and exciting to me.

Food- Big name brands, smaller brands, vegan, gourmet, mainstream, all kinds of brands and products were represented at BlogHer Food.  You will not walk far at a conference like this without some tempting food morsels calling out to you.  From basic to gourmet and everything in between,  we were able to sample things like Lentil Burritos (with bacon), Greek Yogurt Dips, Breakfast Sandwiches, Parfait desserts, main dishes, side dishes, hors d’oeuvres and more.

Live music is everywhere in Austin.  You can literally walk up and down a street and hear about 10 genres of live music playing.  For this not-very-well-traveled girl from Connecticut, this was just really awesome and so enjoyable.  I wish I’d gotten a photo of a guy we saw playing drums on 5 gallon buckets- it was amazing.  Just a ton of fun. I could spend a few weeks just wandering around enjoying the sights and eats of this city!

I also got to sit in on a session about blogger-brand-pr relationships which was just a really great conversation for ALL sides to have.  I think for those of us who are a blogger, a brand who works with bloggers, or a pr rep working with bloggers, it’s a good idea to hear the perspective from the others’ sides, and not just that of our peers.  I think we all often forget  in this day and age of email and digital media that there are actual people on the other end of the communication- people who may have some amazing ideas and suggestions to offer.

BlogHer Food is also where I took the #bingiton challenge and, I won’t lie, shockingly preferred Bing OVER Google 4/5 times…. and started my journey of breaking up with Google for my search engine.  If you hear me tell you to “Just Bing It,” now you know why. (If you take it, I’m curious to know what your result is- so please drop a note and let me know!)

I got to experience so many wonderful sights, sounds, dishes and interact with some amazing people thanks to my sponsor, Avocados from Mexico- and also got some ideas on different ways to incorporate avocado into my own dishes here at home- one particular recipe is coming next week, so be on the lookout!

Have you attended any blogging conferences? Which ones? How was your experience?

 

 

 

Chocolate Avocado Brownies Recipe

This recipe for chocolate avocado brownies is sponsored as part of my Ambassadorship with Avocados from Mexico. Opinions are my own.  I love brownies. They love me too.  It’s a long, rocky road for us (and another brownie flavor I can’t seem to say no to) and it usually ends with the brownie being devoured and me…well, being me at the end of the day. But as we all know, traditional brownies don’t always have the healthy ingredients.  Thankfully, there are ways to make them just as delicious with better for you ingredient options and  my new favorite ingredient to add to my baked goods is none other than the avocado.

Yes, the avocado.

Avocados can be used to substitute butter or oil in baking.  They often make the baked goods softer and chewier.  (I should be careful using them, because what if people start to think I’m really good at baking? Will they expect that I”ll be baking for them regularly? That’s a lot of pressure.  Better I keep this to myself. So we’ll just keep this between us, ok?)

When using an avocado in place of butter, use a 1:1 ratio.  For those of you who aren’t sure: that means if your recipe calls for 5 Tablespoons of butter, you’ll use 5 Tablespoons of avocado.  If you are using it in place of oil you may need a little bit more liquid because that avocado won’t be quite as thin as a liquid, but not much.

Avocados in baked goods add vitamins, polynutrients and minerals to your goodies. That means they make your baked goods better for you.  (Just a note: This does not mean you can eat an entire pan in a sitting.  That’s not ever a good idea, not ever).

chocolate avocado brownies

So now I’m going to share an EASY recipe for Chocolate Avocado Brownies (and if you don’t want to make them from scratch, which I may not ever fully understand but won’t judge, go ahead and use the box mix with the avocado. It’ll bring them to an entirely new level).

 

 

4.9 from 15 reviews
Chocolate Avocado Brownies Recipe #ILoveAvocados #AFMPitCrew
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Healthier fats in this recipe for brownies- using avocado
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • ½ cup avocado, mashed
  • 1cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½c all purpose flour
  • ⅓ c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
Instructions
  1. Oven to 350
  2. Beat together avocado and sugar in mixing bowl.
  3. Add in remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Spread into greased and floured 8x8 baking dish
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes
  6. Do NOT cut until all the way cool!
  7. Brownies will be much chewier if you wait until they cool.

I’m co-authoring the Be Out There ebook! #BeOutThere

This post announcing my participation in the creation of the Be Out There e-book is part of an ongoing relationship with The Motherhood and the National Wildlife Federation.  We’ll be talking a lot about getting families and kids outdoors and ways to make it fun so that kids WANT to Be Out There.

be out there

The launch of the e-book (coming later this summer), will help parents find solutions for getting outdoors with the kids during the summer. My theme is “Celebrating Special Occasions in the Great Outdoors” – how you can take events like birthday parties, family reunions and holidays into the outdoors and make them fun for kids. Think about outdoor games you could play in the backyard or a local park; suggestions for fun, nature-themed goody bags; kid-friendly finger foods that would be easy to eat outdoors; etc.  If you have any thoughts or suggestions for me I’d LOVE to hear them!!

be out there pledge image

Don’t want to wait for the ebook launch for your family to  Be Out There? Here’s a great place to start at the National Wildlife Federation.

I’m an Avocados from Mexico Pit Crew Ambassador #AFMPitCrew

This post about my partnership with Avocados from Mexico is part of an ongoing series that I will be sharing over the next several months. Late last year, I decided I really wanted to focus more on recipes and being more adventurous in the kitchen. I’ve had many new opportunities and challenges along the way and I think you all have enjoyed them-it seems like you have by your comments, “likes” and pins. So I thank you. Apparently, others have noticed this too because I got an email a few weeks back asking me if I’d be interested in going to the BlogHer Food Conference in Austin, Texas to be part of the “Pit Crew” for Avocados from Mexico. It took me all of four seconds to say YES PLEASE!! and another 5 minutes to call my husband to make sure the travel dates would work for my family.

avocados from mexico

What does the Pit Crew Ambassador do? Well, I’ll be attending the conference and I’ll be there just like every other attendee, visiting sponsors and checking out the latest and greatest in food and gadgets relating to food. I’ll also be going to the sessions (which I’m so excited about), during which I’ll be able to learn new things about blogging, blogging about food, and photography. Three passions in one place! Between sessions, I’ll be offering Pit Stops to my fellow conference attendees, and I will be, along with 2 other Pit Crew Ambassadors, tweeting out my location a few times each day using the #AFMPitCrew hashtag and I’ll have everything conference-goers may need for a pit stop- pens, pencils, breath mints, blank business cards, chapstick….a power strip so you can charge your device and more surprises! Watch for the hashtag, and you’ll know me because you’ll see me in this shirt!
avocados from mexico pit crew #AFMPitCrew

I will be sharing some delicious avocado recipes in the coming months and I hope you’ll check them out! If you are going to be at BlogHer Food, please come find me, I’d love to meet you!

Avocados from Mexico is paying for my conference expenses. All opinions are my own.

Why on earth do I need life insurance?

Why on earth do *I* need life insurance, when I’ve been a stay home mom for just about 8 years now? I haven’t been a source of income for our family, so why would life insurance be something we need? Thanks to my Ambassadorship with Genworth, who sponsors this series of posts,  I’ve been learning more and more about important financial issues (long term care, mortgage insurance, caregivers, women and finances and more), I’ve learned that just because I haven’t been a “breadwinner” in our family doesn’t mean I should not have  a life insurance policy.

3 kids are 3 good reasons to get life insurance

Photo credit: Jennifer Mirock Photography www.mirockphotography.com

This is another one of the conversations that we need to have with our loved ones that isn’t going to be full of warm fuzzies, fun, or necessarily comfortable to have.  There are many articles that speak specifically about having stay at home parents carry life insurance policies. I won’t lie, I had no idea.  Obviously I am well aware of the contributions made by the parent who stays home full time.  I’ve been that parent. But it never occurred to me that those contributions, when gone, would have such a huge impact.

If something were to happen to me, all of the things I do would be left for my husband to do- which means more time doing things, more stress, for HIM. It would also mean he’d have even less time to be with our children.  Obviously, in the likelihood that something did happen to me, there would be grief and shock and mourning for my husband and all three of the kids- which to us, is what he’d want to be focusing on- trying to help the kids learn to live with the changes in their lives, and to learn to be a family of four without me there. It’s not pretty to think about. It’s not fun. I get very anxious when I think about it- but that’s why it’s important to have plans made and life insurance in place. Then the costs of a funeral, childcare, housekeeping, etc. are at least in part taken care of so that it’s not an additional burden on what will likely be a very overstressed family.

As a mom, I feel like my job is to work myself out of a job (paraphrased by a very wise mom named Laurie I know)…if I do my mom job right, I’ll get my kids to be strong, independent adults who can function without me by their side.  Part of that “job” has to be to take care of everything that I’m able to do- and that does include the not fun parts of life.  The sad, the scary.  The unknown.  Be prepared, and hopefully never use the life insurance.  The alternative scares me because I’ll be leaving my family unprepared.  Now that I know how important my contributions are on a financial level, I feel like it’s my responsibility to have that life insurance in place to cover those contributions so I don’t leave my family in a mess.

Do you have life insurance? Do you agree that stay home parent should have life insurance as well?

This post is brought to you by our friends at Genworth.  Opinions are my own.

It’s time to replace our compost bin #DigIn

This is the first  sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Home Depot as part of a series about outdoor DIY projects  in the yard.  We have composted for almost 8 years now, since moving to our current home.  For years, we’ve just used pallets to kind of frame an area  for the compost bin, which is not aesthetically pleasing but quite functional.  Having the open front means we can easy access the compost to turn it with the pitchfork or to grab shovels full for whatever we are planting.   Having the front open means also that the kids can bring worms they find around the yard to the compost and help the process along- and hey, whatever it takes to keep them from bringing worms inside my house and putting them on the table! But, the pallets aren’t made for this and are falling apart.  Part of the compost bin was also hit by falling trees and branches a few times during the nasty storms we’ve had here in Connecticut.  It’s time to replace and get something more substantial.

compost bin made with pallets

 

I have seen many different kinds of compost bins that you can purchase in stores and online.  I’ve seen fancy compost crocks that you keep in your kitchen and use to tote the food waste back and forth to the compost bins.  For us, it seems kind of strange to buy a container to tote our food scraps to the compost- we have a bowl we use and run through the dishwasher.  The kids take turns bringing the bowl down to the compost bin.  I’m sure the store bought composters are great but we’re DIY folks and I don’t think my husband would want a purchased bin.  He likes to make things and repurpose them (like the pallets). So we’ll be going with the DIY compost bin this time around.

I found really simple, clear instructions and a shopping list for supplies for how to make a compost bin over at The Home Depot website and was able to go to the store sans husband, get the items I needed and return home with a van full of wood.  The only thing I wasn’t able to do from the instructions was to purchase cedar posts or boards- apparently, these are special orders and not available for purchase off the shelves in most stores.  We will find a safe product to seal what I did purchase and I think we’ll find it to be a great alternative.  (If you really want to do the cedar, which I wasn’t able to wait, plan ahead and place the order ahead of time).

home depot employee

With my list in hand, my littlest one and I headed to The Home Depot on a Friday morning.  We were greeted with friendly smiles and Jamie was quite willing to offer his assistance so that I could find what I needed without pushing the humongous carts around the store in circles.  If you are ever shopping in Manchester, Connecticut,  ask for Jamie!! He was really helpful and more importantly, knowledgeable about both his department and where to direct me for assistance in other departments.  He’s also clearly a good sport, letting me take his photo for a blog post!!

Now that we have all of the supplies we need and plans for how to build a compost bin, we’ll be sharing the results of that project  after it’s complete.

shopping for compost bin materials

 

Maybe I’ll even show you pictures of the plants and flowers my shopping assistant convinced me to buy before we even met up with Jamie.  It’s hard to say no when she wants to help garden!

It’s home improvement time, and The Home Depot has everything you need to #DigIn for Spring. No matter what projects you want to tackle, they have great values on all you need. They’re ready to help you with renovation ideas and expert advice, too.

Get over $300 in email exclusive savings each year, sneak peeks on new products, monthly lawn & garden ideas for your region and access to The Home Depot’s gardening experts. Click here to join the world’s largest garden community today! Or go to homedepot.com/gardenclub to see some of the many benefits of membership.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Home Depot.

Huggies Snug and Dry Diapers for Moms on the Move!

Spring is in the air and our family is on the move everyday! We love to take advantage of the beautiful weather to get up and out of the house. Whether it be exploring a new park, shopping, or just playing at a friends house, we are constantly on the go. With a toddler

in tow, this means that a well packed diaper bag is ESSENTIAL. Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at Huggies as part of the Huggies Tester Program we are part of. huggies snug and dry huggiestester

Here are some of my diaper bag

essentials for any mom on the go.

  • A great snack cup. Don’t underestimate the value of this crucial diaper bag essential. We have all experienced disaster in the car when the top falls off a snack cup and you arrive at your destination only to find a back seat covered in crushed snacks. Find one with a well fitting lid and a special top, so that your toddler can grab one snack at a time.

huggies snug and dry diapers

 

  • A change of clothes for each child. This one goes without saying. You just never know when you will need a wardrobe change, and you certainly don’t want to be caught unprepared. Keep a seasonal outfit in your diaper bag at all times, and make sure to keep it current!

 

huggies snug and dry

  • Small package of Huggies Changing Pads. These things are a LIFESAVER for those diaper changes on the go. Nobody wants to place their baby on the ground, or on a dirty changing table. The changing pads are large enough to allow your to change your baby, but small and compact enough to fit easily into your bag.
  • Sophie the Giraffe teething toy. Keep a spare one in your diaper bag. I have yet to meet any baby or toddler who didn’t love this toy!
  • Several Huggies Snug and Dry Diapers. After years (and years and years) of diapering, I have tried all types of brands. But no diaper compares in comfort and absorbency to Huggies Snug and Dry Diapers. They are my go-to diaper for a toddler on the move. Not only do these diapers move with your active toddler, but they are absorbent enough to last for several hours while on an outing without worrying about leaks. Huggies Snug and Dry diapers are super soft and comfy too. A diaper bag essential for any mom! Hey, I even carry a few different sizes just in case a friend needs one for their baby!

huggies snug and dry

The ultimate test for Huggies® diapers & wipes is in real life – from messy first birthday parties to playground playdates. Put the new and improved products, including Huggies® Snug & Dry Diapers with NEW SureFit Design and Huggies Natural Care® Wipes with Triple Clean Layers, to the test in and out of the nursery. Become an Official Huggies® Tester at Huggies.com/Tester. Huggies-Tester-Badge What are YOUR essential items for Moms on the Move? “Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Huggies® via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Huggies®.”