Friends turns 20: Central Perk Roast #8OClockCoffee #Friends20

I still miss Friends. I do. I know it’s been gone a long time but I loved that show, I loved the cast and the characters and I kind of came into my own as an adult while watching Phoebe, Chandler, Monica and the gang. I grew to love coffee while watching Friends. Plus, it was a comedy, and that’s my favorite kind of show to watch. Thursday nights were friends of mine- so many great shows, and so many laughs. I am being compensated by Eight O’Clock Coffee for my participation in this campaign with the Mom It Forward Blogger Network.

FRIENDS-20-YEARS

And hairdos! How many of us wanted The Rachel? I know I did! Ok wanted and had. I won’t lie. Maybe more than once. But it was a rockin’ do.

rachel hair

I can’t even BELIEVE it’s been 20 years since the debut of Friends! (Does that mean I have been an adult for 20 years? Surely not!) And 10 since it went off the air…. I keep hoping for a reunion of sorts, but that hope grows dimmer as the years pass.  Thank goodness for reruns and DVD/BluRay to get my fix!!

I do have one fun ‘perk’ to share- remember how Joey, Ross, Rachel and the gang hung out at Central Perk? And how approximately tons of our favorite scenes took place in that awesome coffee shop with the orange couch …

central perk couch

How cool would it be to VISIT Central Perk? You can! For a while, anyway…Located in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood at 199 Lafayette Street (at the corner of Broome Street), the Central Perk commemorative pop-up shop will serve free cups of Eight O’ Clock Coffee. Central Perk opened September 17th and will remain open through October 18th.  Eight O’Clock Coffee is running what may be the coolest campaign EVER right now, because they actually made a mock up OF Central Perk and it even has Friends memorabilia, like Joey’s Soap Opera Digest cover, Smelly Cat Litter, Monica’s engagement ring and tons of other cool stuff.  Gunther himself was there for the opening day and is purported to be making a few other appearances. Smelly Cat performances will also be held at times.

While at Central Perk,  you can enjoy Limited Edition Central Perk Roast created by Eight O’Clock Coffee and Warner Bros. – a variety also available at grocery and mass merchandise stores nationwide and online at EightOClock.com/friends for approximately $6.99. (Guess what my new favorite coffee is? Drinking it right now!)  The Limited Edition Eight O’Clock Central Perk Roast is a medium coffee house roast made with carefully selected, high quality, 100% Arabica beans, for which the Eight O’Clock brand is known. Eight O’Clock Coffee is made with 100% Arabica beans, the Eight O’Clock Coffee portfolio features a full line of great tasting gourmet coffees in whole bean and ground form. The brand offers fourteen varieties and blends ranging from light to dark roasts.

Eight O’Clock Coffee is continuing the celebration of the Friends 20th anniversary with a variety of fun activities and giveaways at the pop-up shop in New York City on September 29, National Coffee Day, an annual celebration of consumer’s favorite morning beverage, coffee!

Eight O’Clock Coffee fans throughout the country looking to join in on the National Coffee Day celebration can visit Eight O’Clock Coffee’s Facebook page for a chance to win coffee prizes and a trip to LA to visit the Warner Brothers studios! Could that BE any more fun???

friends-central-perk-roast-20-years

Special Offers Available Now!
• Save $3 when one Eight O’Clock Coffee bag (11oz. or larger) and one complete season of Friends on DVD are purchased together.
• Purchase any three bags of Eight O’Clock Coffee and receive a FREE special limited edition Eight O’Clock Coffee Central Perk mug

eight-oclock-coffee

What’s YOUR favorite Friends memory? I think mine is a tie- the episode when Monica has the turkey on her head… and when Ross is trying to move the couch on the stairs and yells “PIVOT” 18343 times!

 

Follow Eight O’Clock Coffee on Facebook and Twitter 

 

 

Norwich Spa at Foxwoods


Sometimes it’s nice to do a little something special for yourself. A little spa time, for example. Now, I have gotten pedicures every now and then for several years.  My friend Lisa and I were invited to the Norwich Spa at Foxwoods to enjoy their Pedi-Colada experience.  I think we’re both absolutely ruined for other pedicures now. Ruined.

foxwoods spa

The Norwich Spa is settled into the Grand Pequot Tower. I’m not big into gambling so I think if you hear I’m going to Foxwoods, you’ll likely just look for me at the spa.  It’s beautiful, it’s peaceful, serene, and there are a wealth of options for you to pamper yourself with. Manis, pedis, hair color, massage… it’s all there, in all price ranges and service levels.  You can go for a whole day and indulge in all of the services or just pop in for one. The Pedi-Colada is an 50 minute pedicure experience. I don’t know how else to describe it. Sure, it’s a pedicure, but you’re in a luxurious pedicure seat, handed a delightful Malibu Cocktail that’s made with Pineapple Juice and Coconut rum (for those of us over 21, of course!) Pedi Colada!  Offered Sunday through Wednesday (September 7th-10th); subject to availability. Includes Pineapple Soak, Almond Scrub, Mango Coconut Lotion and Paraffin.

The Pedi-Colada isn’t available all the time at the Spa.  There are other similar options to immerse yourself in a themed pedicure- I have my heart set on the Chocolate Overload pedicure for my next trip (and there WILL be another trip, that’s what’s high on my Christmas wish list!) There are other seasonal and limited time pedi experiences available and I think you’ll be delighted with any option you choose.

To start your pedicure, you’re invited to sit and soak your feet for a while.  This is when the staff head over to grab your cocktail for you, should you be so inclined (and of age).

pedi colada

After your soak, your feet will become smooth as butter.  I can’t even believe I forgot a photo but I was so distracted by the Malibu Cocktail, I forgot.  I have awful feet.  Dry, cracked spots all over the place.  I hate my feet!! The Norwich Spa has these things that look like hair dryers and they have almost like a skin-safe sandpaper type of thing on them- which gets all of that dry skin OFF.  Like off, off.  So your feet feel smooth. And fresh. Like a baby’s feet. I touched my feet all day long after the pedi!

pedi colada malibu cocktail

So instead of seeing the awesome dry skin remover, you can look at my Malibu Cocktail. Which is what I did anyway.

Once your feet are soaked, lotioned and polished, you’ll have your cuticules and nails shaped, trimmed, etc. and polish applied (if desired).

pedi colada 3

Once you’ve had your feet prettified, you get my favorite part of the pedicure.  A paraffin soak.  This is unlike the other paraffin experiences I have had.  Norwich Spa takes the paraffin to you and pours some of it into a baggie, which then goes all around your foot much like a boot would… and that entire bag is then covered by a terrycloth towel bootie.  It’s quite warm but not HOT, but the effect on your feet? Ohmygosh it’s just amazing. I could have sat with my feet in those booties all day long.

pedi colada paraffin

 

I can’t wait to go back to the Norwich Spa. Lisa and I have already discussed this and we’ve both decided we’re going first thing in the morning and getting a package with multiple services.  Worth every penny! We headed down to the David Burke Prime restaurant after our pedis.

Here’s a REALLY fun part of my day. One of my readers will WIN an  overnight stay at Foxwoods, $100 Food & Beverage credit and a spa service to one lucky winner! For the spa service, the winner would have the choice of the PediColada service from Norwich Spa at Foxwoods OR a spa service from the G Spa service menu!

Thanks to Norwich Spa and Foxwoods for inviting us for the Pedi-Colada. We can’t wait to go back! 

Fisher Price Smart Stages Laugh &Learn Chair


This post brought to you by Fisher-Price. All opinions are 100% mine.

Recently I received a Fisher-Price Smart Stages Laugh & Learn Chair for my boys to try out.  One thing I can say for sure is that there has been a lot of laughing and learning in our house these last few days!

Fisher-Price Smart Stages Chair

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn products reward curiosity and encourage experiential learning through play. Your baby develops dramatically in the first two years of life, so this fall Fisher-Price is introducing Smart Stages, the first line of toys that evolves with age-appropriate learning con-tent as your baby grows. The Fisher-Price Smart Stages technology enables you to easily in-put your child’s age for automatic content updates in certain toys or you can manually change the learning stage with a switch. Smart Stages keeps your baby engaged as they develop, and offers longevity of play value.

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Setting up the chair for my child’s age was easy!  Just a few simple buttons to push and we had it ready to go.  We were able to easily determine the right level of play for Orin using the cards that come with the chair.  He’s a pretty sharp little guy and knows his alphabet and numbers and is all about pretend play.  It’s such a fun stage!

Smart Stages Chair Level 3

Once we determined his level, it was simple to set the chair to the level that is appropriate.

Levels on the chair

With so much to explore on the Smart Stages chair, it keeps Orin engaged for long periods of time.  In just a short time I have seen him develop more and he’s learning new things as he plays.

Orin Plays

You can set up the chair for different children when more than one might be playing and learning.  Essian is Orin’s brother and is a year younger.  He isn’t quite at level 3 but plays and learns more at level 2.  Setting it for him is easy to do!

essian level 2

I love that there is as much for little Essian to learn as there is his big brother.  They take turns (not always so willingly) playing and learning and Orin loves to show his brother new things as they continue to explore.  I can tell there is a long life for this toy.  With our little guys all at different stages they are getting a lot of play out of it now but I can see it will grow with them for some time.

Essian Plays

Our older kids are back in school all day now and while they are learning so much at school, it’s easy to underestimate the importance of the toddlers needing to learn at home.  Your baby develops dramatically within the first two years of life, and while older kids are back in school, it’s never too early to introduce your younger kid(s) to learning content during these key years of development.

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Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages products can be purchased from major retailers like Walmart, Amazon, Target and Toys R Us. Visit Coupons.com to print a money saving coupon for the Smart Stages products!

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Pull-Ups and Potty Training

I recently returned from a quick trip to beautiful Wisconsin and the first ever on-site event at the Kimberly Clark headquarters.  Kimberly Clark is located in Neenah, Wisconsin and the great people at KC make Pull-Ups training pants as well as many other products we all know and love.  I was so fortunate to travel to Kimberly Clark and meet with the Pull-Ups team as well as other mom bloggers and the extremely knowledgeable Dr. Heather Wittenburg, developer of BabyShrink and mom of four.  I participated in this event on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Pull-Ups Big Kid Academy.  In return for my participation, I received free samples and a promotional item. #PullUpsAcademy

pull ups meeting

The other mom bloggers, the Pull-Ups team, and Dr. Heather were a wealth of information and we all spent a lot of time talking about kids, potty training, and being moms in general.  We learned and talked about signs of potty training readiness, different potty training personalities, tips for successful potty training, and products for making potty training easier.  Here is a photo of our group after getting a behind the scenes look at Pull-Ups.

pull ups moms and team

I have 5 little ones, 2 of which are big kids and mastered the potty training thing years ago.  Two of the three little boys are now at the age where we are ready to tackle the potty training process again.  We’ve determined that they are physically ready and emotionally ready (or independent) and we’ve stocked up on the right gear to get started.

I learned some really great tips and ideas during my visit to Pull-Ups and I’m not only excited to share them with you all now, I’m excited to have some of my potty training mom friends over for a play date soon and share these thoughts with them as well!

Potty Training Is As Unique As Your Child

Potty training is a unique experience with every child, one that is as different as their personality.  While there are some basics that work or apply to every child, it is never exactly the same from one to the next.  Potty training might happen quick for one child and take months for another.

Give Your Child The Right Tools Feel Confident

Potty training is a huge milestone in your child’s life, one of the biggest but it isn’t the only big change happening to your toddler.  They learn and experience so many new things every day and sometimes this can be really scary.  Stock up on all the things you and your toddler need to make this a fun and exciting experience that will help them feel secure.

A potty seat that’s just the right size or designed with one of their favorite characters is a great thing to invest in.  If your toddler has to go potty on a grown up size toilet it may be a scary and intimidating experience.  A potty chair that made just for them will make them feel safe and their favorite characters will give them something familiar to associate with.

While a potty chair that’s designed for them is important, it isn’t the only important item for helping the feel secure during this new adventure.  Accidents will happen and while some children won’t seem to be at all upset by and accident, others will feel frustration and fear from the experience of having wet or messy pants.  Pull-Ups has a great line of training pants that help your child feel like a big kid but protect them from embarrassing accidents.  The Pull-Ups training pants are designed specifically for boys and girls with extra protection in just the right spots for your little man or little miss.  They off glow in the dark pants for night time training and a cool alert product that helps your child be more aware and uncomfortable when an accident has happened.  Again, the Pull-Ups products are designed with many familiar characters your children know and love.  They’ll be excited to put on their new big boy/girl pants!

pull ups for boys

 

Pull Ups for Girls

Tips For Potty Training Success

Don’t start potty training unless your toddler is showing signs of readiness and you are ready.  Remember that potty training isn’t convenient and it isn’t easy.  It takes a lot of effort and time on your part.  When you decide you’re ready to start training be prepared for frustration and accidents.  That means having someone to turn to with questions or websites to turn to for ideas.  It also means being prepared for accidents when you’re away from home.  Put together a “potty pouch” and fill it with a change of clothes, an extra Pull-Up, wipes, and other things you may need in the event of an accident.  You and your toddler will both be happy that an accident can be handled without a lot of extra stress.

Rewarding your child for success and for trying can be an effective way to help your child get the hang of potty training.  Whether rewards are in the form of a little treat, a special prize, or great big hugs and high fives.  Research shows rewards are a big part of successful training.

Build body awareness with your child.  Help them learn to connect how their body feels inside when they have to go potty.  Teach them to place a hand on their belly and think about what they might be feeling inside when it’s time to go.  Getting them to listen to their body helps them become better planners and makes getting to the potty without an accident more likely.

Make it fun!  My husband always tells me that no matter how old a boy is, farts are always funny.  I’m not sure how I feel about this but the fact is that potty training needs to be fun and funny.  It will make the experience better for everyone.  Tell some jokes and have fun activities for your child to do when they potty.  Speaking of activities for your child to do….

The “Time To Potty” App & Big Kid Academy 

There  is now an app for just about everything and potty training is no exception.  The Pull-Ups Time To Potty app is a great tool for moms and dads and a fun tool for your toddler.  The app allows you to customize information about your child (or children) and lets you set a timer that will remind you to have your child use the potty at regular intervals.  When your child is successful, whether that means having dry pants when it’s “time to potty” or successful at using the potty, they unlock a fun activity on your phone or tablet as a reward.  The activities feature familiar characters your child will be excited to see.

Time to Potty App

The Big Kid Academy is a great tool filled with information on products, tips and advice, activities for parents and toddlers, and special offers.  Speaking of the Big Kid Academy, have you seen the advertising for this?  Big boys and big girls are excited to show toddlers and newly potty training kids the ropes of becoming a big kid.  I LOVE this.  My 8 and 10 year old get so excited when it’s time to help their little brothers go potty.  They are so encouraging and this makes the experience fun, exciting, and will help our little guys be successful.

Big Kid Acadamey

 

Remember when potty training that doing it right vs. doing it fast is what’s most important!

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on Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/pull_ups/

on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pull-ups

on twitter https://twitter.com/PullUpsBigKid

#PullUpsAcademy

 

Fun ways to spark conversation with your kids

How many of you have asked your kids a question and gotten a one word answer?

 

How many of you have carefully worded your question so that the response will clearly need more than a one word answer?

 

How many of you have kids who can still turn any question into a one word answer?

 

That happens here far more often than I care to admit.  It used to be that I could ask 2-3 questions and it would almost breeze into them sharing detail for a moment or two about their school day.  Like ” Who did you sit with at lunch today? What were you playing at recess?” and quickly I’d know a good amount of information about how at least part of their day played out.

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My kids are, however, smarter than I am and I have to really work to get them to talk (to me) at times.  Sure, they talk incessantly, but often it’s to one another (in talk or screaming, or both), but to mom and dad?  Not always.

kidq screenshot

 

Well, I found an app to help with that.  An app from our friends at Scholastic that offers fun ways to spark conversation with your kids.

kidq q

What I like about this app is that it’s FUN stuff about things that kids and adults can be and often are curious about or want to know more about.  Little factoids, answers to those questions that pop up in the middle of nowhere that are relating to something mom and dad haven’t ever studied not for one single second of their lives. Stuff like that.

kidq answer

Questions and facts to ward off boredom, to spark conversation, or further dialogue. Sadly for some of us (me), you won’t find answers like “Hair turns grey when kids don’t listen” and you may find many parenting myths dispelled.  I’m so sorry. 😉

 

Scholastic Parent & Child believes that one of the best ways to connect with your child is through conversation. The KidQ app for iPhone and Android facilitates conversation via fun Q&A’s about the things that kids (and parents!) are the most curious about, like Why is the sky blue? And Why do we say “ears” of corn? Each day, users are notified of a new playful question that serves as a conversation starter along with the official answer. Families will have a blast as they compare their explanations to the facts!

 

Download the free KidQ app from Scholastic Parent & Child by visiting http://www.scholastic.com/apps/#/kidq and see where your conversations go now!

 

What are your favorite ways to spark conversation with your kids?

 

I received compensation from Scholastic Parent & Child in return for your agreement to post on behalf of this program

 

A Historic Chocolate Tour of Monticello

Fall is by far my favorite time of year and fall in America means harvest time.  This past weekend, as part of a paid SocialMoms and American Heritage Chocolate blogging program, I had the opportunity to visit Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, and attend the annual Heritage Harvest Festival.  We celebrated the harvest and the legacy of revolutionary gardener Thomas Jefferson, tasted heirloom fruits and vegetables, visited with artisan crafters, and learned so much about our history. Thomas Jefferson's Monticello As guests of American Heritage Chocolate, we had the privilege of a complete guided tour of Jefferson’s home.  We were able to step back into history and see Monticello as it existed during Jefferson’s life.  I had no idea that Thomas Jefferson was such an incredible architect.  As a former interior designer with an education in architecture, this experience was fascinating to me.  Photos cannot do justice to the detail and design of this home. The Stairway at Monticello This is the stairway looking from the top floor of Monticello to the basement level.  Narrow and steep and hidden.  Unlike most homes built in this period, Jefferson did not have a grandiose staircase upon entry to the home.  He also chose to design Monticello in a fashion that would conceal the true size of the home.  Monticello is an incredible 11,000 square feet while Mount Vernon is 8000 square feet and appears much larger. Dome at MonticelloThe inside of the dome shaped room at the top of Monticello. During our tour we were introduced to not only facts about Jefferson and his life but also to the origin of chocolate in America.  This is a men’s travel grooming kit from Jefferson’s day.  Inside you can see grooming necessities, drafting tools, and everything needed to enjoy chocolate while traveling! Men's Grooming Kit After our special tour of Monticello Friday evening, we attended the Chef’s Harvest Dinner atop Montalto.  Monticello means hillock or “little mountain” while Montalto is Italian for “high mountain”.  From one side of Montalto the city and University of Virginia is visible below, from the other Monticello.  The panoramic views from the harvest dinner were breathtaking.  We sampled rich foods from local and regional chefs, tasted Virginia wines, and had the opportunity to talk with one of our hosts from American Heritage Chocolate, Rodney Snyder. Heritage Harvest Dinner Rodney is the Chocolate history Research Director for Mars Chocolate North America.  His passion is educating people about the fascinating journey of chocolate throughout human history and culture.  He’s the author of “From Stone Metates to Steel Mills: The Evolution of Chocolate Manufacture” as well as part of the chocolate history book “Chocolate: Culture, Heritage, and History”.  He guided the development of American Heritage Chocolate which is a historic chocolate based on the recipes from Colonial America.  American Heritage Chocolate lets us taste and experience chocolate as it was enjoyed by our founding fathers.  We learned so much about the history of chocolate and how it has been woven into American culture for centuries. During Saturday’s Heritage Harvest Festival we spent some time with the Chocolate History Ambassadors from Mars as they demonstrated how chocolate was historically made and enjoyed.  These ambassadors volunteer their time to share the chocolate-making experience at historic sites across the country.  It was a so interesting to see the authentic tools in use as chocolate was made before our eyes. Chocolate making The Chocolate History Ambassadors make delicious hot chocolate for all to sample.  They introduced us to true hot chocolate, the way founding fathers like Jefferson enjoyed chocolate.  Hot chocolate is a rich and creamy drink made from melted historic chocolate and hot water.  The servings may look small but it is the perfect amount of this sweet drink. chocolate drink In addition to tasting the chocolate drink while visiting the wonderful people from American Heritage Chocolate, we sampled delicious baked goods created with this rich historic chocolate.  American Heritage Chocolate is exclusively sold at gift shops at historic sites, museums, and historic inns.  The employees at these fine locations have a passion for creating recipes like these from the chocolate sticks, bites, and chocolate baking blocks from American Heritage Chocolates. Chocolate Recipes I couldn’t wait to get home from my trip and prepare the delicious hot chocolate I’d learned to make for my family.  I feel good about creating recipes from this chocolate because I know it’s made with all natural ingredients and no preservatives.  I’m looking forward to using the product in new recipes and improving some family favorites. American Heritage Chocolate

This weekend Brett is traveling to George Washington’s Mount Vernon to explore our amazing heritage and learn more about chocolate’s journey through time.  I cannot wait to hear all about it!

Have you tried American Heritage Historic Chocolate

This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and American Heritage blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this subject, click here.

Hello, love. #HelloKeurig #Giveaway

Ask my kids what happens before mommy has coffee in the morning.  All three will tell you that NOTHING happens before mommy has coffee.  I’ve often heard whispered conversations trying to figure out if I have indeed had any or all of my first cup of coffee, or if the question is better left unasked until later.

I wasn’t always this way.

keurig-20-love

But 9 years of crappy sleep cycles will wear on you. My kids aren’t good sleepers, I work from home and am often working late after the family goes to bed.  Now, I’m working on the set hours for blog work thing and am trying to NOT work at night once the kids are home from school or in bed. Not always possible, but I’m finding I can do it- and ENJOY it- more and more often than not as we settle into our new school and work routines.

 

But I still love my coffee.  Oh, and tea.  And quick hot water, at the perfect temperature for the kids’ oatmeal in the morning.  Just hot enough to cook the oatmeal, just cool enough to eat right away.

And now I have a new way to get my coffee, my tea, hot cocoa, and hot water.

Look! You can see me about to have my coffee!!

keurig-reflection

With the touch of a button.

keurig-carafe

Well, a new version of an old love. But the love’s been redirected almost all the way into this new Keurig. The 2.0. Why?
It’s the carafe. If I have friends over, or want to indulge in a pot of, say, tea, while curled up with a fabulous book, I can fill the carafe and have multiple servings from the fab new Keurig.

The only reason the new Keurig 2.0 hasn’t pulled me all the way over to full on obsession is that is currently no way at all to have a reusable KCup for this machine.  We do buy KCups in many varieties, but the coffee my husband drinks is not available in KCups and he’s not able to enjoy his brew from the new machine. I also like the ability to reuse the cups and not send so much to recycling each week. I really miss that ability in the new 2.0 and am quite hopeful that the reusable cups will not only be OUT before Christmastime, but that there will be one or two in my stocking on Christmas morning.

keurig-sorry

 

It’s not just the carafe feature that’s new on the Keurig 2.0.  There’s a lot new!

Product Features:

  • Keurig 2.0 system brews a single K-cup or a 4-cup K-carafe pack.
  • Keurig 2.0 Brewing Technology reads the lid to deliver a perfect beverage every time.
  • Strength Control setting lets you brew a stronger cup.
  • Removable 80-ounce water reservoir offers easy filling and cleaning.
  • K-Cup Portion Pack allows you to enjoy a single serving.
  • K-Carafe Portion Pack brews a 4-cup pot.
  • Hot Water On Demand function is perfect for tea, soup, oatmeal and more.
  • Large 2.8-in. color touch display makes it easy to customize settings.
  • Programmable digital clock lends convenience.
  • Customizable night light in the water reservoir adds stylish appeal.
  • Energy-saver mode and brewer maintenance alerts ensure long-lasting use.

What’s Included:

  • Keurig 4-cup carafe
  • 6 K-Cup packs
  • 4 K-Carafe packs
  • Water filter handle
  • Water filter cartridge

Win Free Coffee for a Year When You Say Hello to Keurig 2.0!

Customers who purchase a Keurig 2.0 brewer at Kohl’s / Kohls.com can enter to win free coffee for a year!  (There is a no purchase necessary mail-in form of entry as well) Contest site goes live on Aug. 24 and the contest ends Sept. 17. Enter: kohls.com/keurig/sweeps.shtml

 

Also? One lucky reader will win a $200 Kohls Gift Card to use towards a fabulous Keurig 2.0! 

 

5 Ways to Save on Kids Clothes

The thing about kids is they never stop growing. Ever. As soon as you get them all stocked up with the clothes they need, they either choose that moment to have a growth spurt or the seasons change. Either way, the conclusion is you end up buying more clothes. And more. Maybe even more again. With three kids to dress, I’ve found a few parenting hacks to keep them dressed in style and in season without breaking the bank.

5 Ways to Save on Kid Clothes

ways-to-save-kid-clothes

Shop Off Season:

 

Once clothes are out of season, you’ll notice the prices drop dramatically. Take this opportunity to stock up on clothes your children will need for that season, in a size or two bigger than their current size. If you’re having a hard time estimating what size to buy for the next season, try sticking with things like shoes and coats that don’t usually get outgrown as quickly. (If the kids aren’t in that size, you can always sell or consign those steals!)

 

Pair Coupons With Sales:

 

Have coupons? Take an extra moment to match them with the sales advertisements, before you stick them in the recycle bin. I’m not saying you need to go extreme couponing or anything (although I’m all for it if you’d like to), but that extra few minutes of glancing it over can save you some serious cash in the long run. End of season sales paired with coupons make THIS mama very, very happy. ( I really get giddy when I find steals on winter pajamas and outerwear).

 

Consignment:

 

Consignment is a great way to score new items, while making money off your current ones. Packing your things up and taking them to a consignment store can be a major hassle, I know. Try going an online consignment store, like Moxie Jean. They add hundreds of new outfits every Monday and Thursday and are a great avenue for purchasing high-quality gently used kids clothes. Their postage-free prepaid mailer bag included with your order will allow you to easily send back clothes that your kids have outgrown, and make some money from those!

I love that this is a company run by two mothers who totally understand the struggle, with 5 kids between them. They believe in the reduce, reuse, and recycle philosophy and I’m right there with them. “Waste not, want not,” my grandma used to say. Moxie Jean is an upscale resale site for kids clothes that features a ton of great brands like Gymboree, Gap, Tea Collection, Hanna Andersson, Mini Boden, Baby Lulu and Ralph Lauren, plus designer brands like Oilily, Mayoral, DKNY, Burberry, and Juicy Couture, all at 75% or more off retail prices. PLUS, and this is one my favorite things about the awesome that is Moxie Jean, unsold items are donated to Kid’s Pantry in Chicago.

You can also find the brands and styles kids WANT to wear, at a fraction of store prices. Who doesn’t want to maximize their hard earned dollars? And… the best part?

wait for it…

a little more….

you don’t have to go INTO a store. You don’t have to get in the car or on a bus, nor hop a plane or catch a train. Gosh, you could even shop from the ‘loo if you want. I won’t judge. I would recommend popping in to Moxie Jean on Monday and Thursdays because that’s when you’ll find the new selections available for purchase. :)

moxie-jean-justice-shrug

 

 

Swap With Friends:

 

You can find some pretty awesome deals swapping with friends. Especially when your pink loving daughter who’s refused to wear denim for five years decides one morning she hates pink and only wants jeans. That’s definitely a good time to talk to friends!

moxie-jean-gymnastics-pose

If you don’t have friends with children that fall into your range, check social media for groups in your area that promote selling/exchanging children’s clothes. My area has a mom’s group where you can easily post your items for sale or trade with other mom’s in the near area. As always, err on caution and use your best judgment went meeting up with strangers.

Repurpose/Accessorize:

 

Before you completely write off an item of clothing in your child’s closet, get a little creative. Stop and determine whether the outfit can be repurposed or spruced up with accessories to change it up a bit. Jeans, for instance, can often be cropped to make some adorable capris. Favorite short sleeve shirts that are getting short can sometimes be layered over a long sleeve shirt in the cooler months to create a completely new look! Got an adorable sundress that still fits? Grab a cute shrug or sweater and poof!

moxie-jean-gymboree-dress

You’re into the next season. Dollars stretched. (Seriously, I LOVE this dress. Clearly she does too!) Also? It was new with tags at Moxie Jean. I bet a parent like me fell in LOVE with the fun colors and the circle print and grabbed it for a steal- only to find their former dress wearer no longer had interest in dresses and refused to wear it. Their could-have-been loss turns into b

moxie-jean-heartstrings-gymbore

 

Do you have your own method of saving money when it comes to clothing your children? Share in the comments below!

From this year’s press release from the National Retail Federation about Back to School spending: “shoppers will spend an average of $231.30 on clothes, up from $230.85, and $124.46 on shoes, up from $114.39 in 2013.” That’s $355 each family will spend on Back to School clothes! We will be giving away a Back to School Wardrobe gift card for $177.50 – the winner will be able to get a full back to school wardrobe for HALF of what it would cost new – even with all the BTS sales.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Moxie Jean. The opinions and text are all mine.

WeatherTech Floor Liners to Keep My Car Clean

It was so exciting to return from a beach trip to find my new floor liners and cargo liner from WeatherTech.  We spend a lot of time on the car going from school to practice and taking road trips.  I wanted liners that would stand up to the use and sandy feet.  WeatherTech offers an extensive line of floor liners, cargo liners and more.

WeatherTech floor liners

 

From WeatherTech

The WeatherTech® FloorLinerDigitalFit® accurately and completely lines the interior carpet giving “absolute interior protection“! Digital laser measurements of interior surfaces offer a consistently perfect fit! A patent pending High-Density Tri-Extruded (HDTE) material allows for a rigid core for strength while offering surface friction to the carpet, as well as tactile feel to the surface! Advanced surfacing creates channels that carry fluids and debris to a lower reservoir with further channeling to help minimize fluid movement while driving! Once fluids become trapped in the reservoir, away from shoes and clothing, they are easily removed from the WeatherTech® FloorLinerDigitalFit®over the door sill…no muss-no fuss!

WeatherTech Front floor liner mini countryman

As you can see in this photo, the driver side from liner has an auger retentions hook to keep it in place.  These took seconds to install and I love that the liner does not slip. Go to the WeatherTech website to see what products they offer for your vehicle.  A few days ago I took a car full of kids outdoor rock climbing.  It was a long, dirty, fun filled day.  BOY, was I glad to have WeatherTech mats protecting my car. The WeatherTech FloorLiner DigitalFit sell for $169.90 and come in black, tan or grey.

WeatherTech floor mats

I also received the Cargo Liner for Cars, SUV’s and Minivans that retails for $109.95 and comes in black, tan and grey also.  It fits wonderfully in the back and protects the cargo space from spills, dog fur and cleats!

A set of floor mats was provided to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

 

 Do you use floor liners in your vehicles?

Back to school learning, memories and lunch!

The house is quiet, and I can actually hear myself think. You know what that means? School is now in session. I had mixed feelings about my children heading off to school this year. On one hand, summer was awesome and I hated to see it end. On the other hand, it’s nice to get back into the groove of the school year. For the first time, I have 3 kids in full day school.  My children have already buckled down and hit the books. The three things that pop into my head when I think of back to school are; learning, memories, and lunch.  Luckily, I have all three bases covered!

 Back to school learning, memories and lunch!

back-school-learning-memories-lunch

Learning:

sphero-teachable-robot

Have you heard of Sphero? By fusing technology with robotics, Sphero toys teach and inspire children to be innovative and inventive. Sphero is a teachable robot that is app-controlled! The SPRK (Schools, Parents, Robots, Kids) allows children to use Sphero as an educational tool, whether in the classroom or at home. No matter what their current skill level is, Sphero gives children an introduction to programming and robotics, while strengthening their skills in math and science. Simple download SPRK (a free app) and get to learning!

sphero-pet

I’d really like to find a way to incorporate Sphero into one of my Junior Girl Scout meetings.  We’re really trying to make a concerted effort to include STEM concepts in the next few years with the girls!!  I think they’ll have a lot of fun with it but also learn and grow with their math and science skills.

sphero-pet-close

Memories:

lyve-home

The second thought that back to school brings to mind is memories. Children grow so quickly, and I find myself struggling sometimes to keep up with all the memories. Every parent knows that any given moment is a photo-opp, and it’s pertinent to stay prepared! Because of this, I find myself with pictures spread out across all of my devices. Lyve, an app that helps you rediscover photos that live across all of your devices, helps me stay organized. My photos are stored safely in LyveHome and automatically organized, making it easy to whip out my kids photos and show them off, no matter what device they were taken on!

lyve-connect

Lunch:

nut-free-frosted-cookies-richs

Last but not least, back to school brings the age-old stressor of what to pack for lunch. The stress of this task is dramatically heightened if your child has food allergies. Even if YOUR child isn’t the one with food allergies, someone in their class may have them. One if four moms were stopped by school administrators from providing snacks at school events because of the dangers of nuts and other food allergies. This doesn’t have to be you.

nut-free-frosted-sugar-cookies

Rich Products has committed to becoming a leading provider of peanut-and-tree nut free cookies with it’s line of classic and nut free cookies! Rich spent nearly two years developing their line of tree-nut and peanut free cookies. Each package is clearly labeled to provide an added peace of mind, and is a GREAT options for class snacks and lunches. Rich’s Nut-Free cookies are available in many varieties including Oatmeal Raisin, Fudge Brownie, Snicker doodle, Frosted Sugar cookies, Chocolate Chip, and two new varieties coming soon; Red Velvet and Chocolate Frosted Cookies. You can find information on  Rich’s products on their website: www.Richs.com or www.ourspeciality.com.

 

Each of these products has helped me to get my children off to a seamless and smooth school year.

Check out PTPA’s Back to School Book!

What pops into mind when you think of back to school?

 

One person will win a back to school prize pack including: one (1) LyveHome, one (1) Sphero and one (1) package of Rich Product’s Our Specialty Nut-Free Frosted Cookies!

 PTPA Back to School Contest!

“Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Back to School Brand Ambassador Program with Sphero, Lyve and Rich Products. I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”