Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kohl's Cares with Little Critter - Review

I received products for review from Kohl's. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.
When I walk into our local Kohl's store one of the first things I notice is the Kohl's Cares merchandise display. I'm drawn to it because the products are very affordable and monies from the sale of the collection supports children's health and education initiatives nationwide. It's a win, win!

The newest collection for Kohl's Cares is Little Critter. From now until September 20, Kohl's Department stores is offering exclusive merchandise from Mercer Mayer's Little Critter for just $5 each.

Through the Kohl’s Cares program, 100 percent of the net profit from the sale of this collection supports children’s health and education initiatives nationwide.

The Kohl’s Cares collection includes the following merchandise:
· Books: Little Critter's Bedtime Storybook, Little Critter Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Critter Little Red Riding Hood, Little Critter Hansel and Gretel and Little Critter 3 pack Board Book Set
· Plush: Little Critter, Little Sister, Bear and Wolf
· Etc: Zoo Matching Game, 2 pack Doodle Book
· Online Exclusives: Little Critter Where's My Sneaker? (a lift-the-flap-book) and Mouse plush

Plus, for adults, The Mom 100 Cookbook and Good Housekeeping Stain Rescue! are available for just $5 each.

I received two of the Little Critter plush and two of the books from the Kohl's Cares collection. The plush are simply adorable and look just like the characters from the books. Both of the books are hardback, with Little Critter Jack and the Beanstalk being a lif-the-flap book. The storybooks are a fun read all on their own, but the plush give an added touch. The books and plush would make wonderful gifts for little ones. I'll be making a trip to Kohl's in the near future to purchase more merchandise from the Kohl's Cares collection to give as gifts for birthdays and Christmas.

Have you ever purchased anything from the Kohl's Cares collection? Are you a fan of Little Critter?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

adidas Moves Pulse - Fragrance Review

I received products for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

Two of my teens tend to purchase (or ask me to purchase) products and apparel that are sports branded, with Adidas being one of them. I'm sure it's because they're into sports and want to portray that persona. Adidas Moves Pulse for Him and Adidas Moves Pulse for Her are perfect scents for Logan and Juliann because they smell good, come from a brand that's well liked, and are affordable.

Adidas Moves Pulse for Him is a scent most suitable as a daytime fragrance. It has a combination of woodsy and fruity smells. Although there are notes of pineapple and lavender that are more associated with a fragrance for women, they aren't overly noticeable. It has a "sporty guy" smell.

Adidas Moves Pulse for Her includes notes of watermelon, grenadine, orange, water lily, sugar, musk, cedar and amber. It makes for a nice balance of fruity and floral. This fragrance is also most suitable for daytime wear.

A brand label is neither here nor there for me and my kids aren't label snobs but I think they are persuaded an inkling by the fact that adidas is touted on the packaging and bottles. With these particular fragrances, I don't mind because they smell good and I can purchase them without breaking the bank. Both adidas Moves Pulse fragrances are available at drugstores nationwide.

Cell Phone Etiquette - #HelloBetter

I received compensation for this post. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

July is National Cellphone Courtesy month and U.S. Cellular is celebrating by promoting positive cell phone etiquette. Although the month is almost over, it's proper and courteous to display decorum when it comes to cell phones.

Technology can enable better moments through simplifying and enhancing your life. For instance, the reliability of U.S. Cellular's 4G LTE network can both simplify and enhance. But, whether you use an Apple iPhone 5s or a Samsung Galaxy S5, proper cellphone etiquette can make life easier both for the person who owns the phone and the people around them.

A Pew Research survey found that 67 percent of cellphone owners find themselves checking their phones for messages, alerts or calls – even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating. That means a lot of people are checking devices at any given time or place.

According to a recent U.S. Cellular survey, 37 percent of users say others get upset with them for phone use, while 63 percent say they get upset at others for phone use.[Between Nov. 15 and Dec. 2, 2013, 500 nationally representative online interviews were conducted among smartphone users in partnership with Maritz Research.]

As may be expected, smartphone owners who are over the age of 54 have stronger etiquette beliefs than younger users. Among adults 55-64, 82 percent think it is rude to check your phone while talking with someone else, and 80 percent think it is rude to check while dining.

63 percent of users 18-34 think it is rude to be on your phone while talking to someone else, while 57 percent think it is rude to check while dining.

Women are more likely to prefer texting over men. They are also more likely to have checked or used their phone to avoid conversations.

63 percent of people believe that no one gets upset at them for their phone use. This is the same proportion that sometimes gets upset with others for using their phone or tablet.

Here are some tips for improving courtesy with cellphone usage:

Set the ground rules. If you have plans to meet a relative for dinner or spend happy hour with a group of friends, discuss expectations for phone use. By determining technology use before the gathering, everyone is able to enjoy the occasion.

Seek to understand. Focus on similarities instead of differences and set a goal to understand those around you. By understanding other’s wireless device use, you’ll be more courteous of their expectations.

Don’t be a buzz kill. Putting a phone on vibrate during a meeting or event can be a good idea, as vibration mode is meant to alert only you. However, it can distract others if the phone is placed on a table in a meeting or meal. Put the phone in a pocket, where it can alert you to a call but isn’t disturbing others. If you forget to turn off the ringer and get an unexpected call, phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 stop ringing by simply flipping over the device.

Avoid being blinded by the light. Adjust screen brightness prior to entering a dimly lit space, such as a restaurant, recital or school play. This allows you to use the device to take photos or use social media without disturbing those around you.

Since July is National Cellphone Courtesy Month it is the perfect time to talk about the expectations and practices of wireless device users of all ages. I encourage you to view the Parent / Child Agreement and go over it with your child to open conversation and set guidelines.

Do you try to practice cell phone etiquette? What are some cell phone pet peeves you have?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga Classics - DVD Review and Giveaway

I received DVD for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

Break out the pizza and relive America’s favorite turtle-action as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga Classics comes out of its shell and onto DVD July 29 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Fun for the whole family, the collection includes the “Top 10” rated episodes by fans as found on Perfectly timed to the new theatrical release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the 30th anniversary of the entire TMNT saga, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga Classics DVD is complete with bodacious bonus features and is available for the suggested retail price of $14.98. Also, back by popular demand is the exclusive collectible Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection Party Van featuring all 10 classic seasons on 23 DVDs available for the suggested retail price of $99.98.

Multiple dimensions, and formidable foes – the shell-busting “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” were always ready with their green-machine justice! Relive 10 classic fan-favorite episodes featuring Raphael™, Donatello™, Michelangelo™ and Leonardo™ as they battle archenemies from this dimension and beyond in their continuing mission to keep the world safe. Grab a slice of “Cowabunga” and travel back to the sewers of this mutant-packed series!

· Planet of the Turtleoids – Season 5
· Night of the Rogues – Season 7
· Cowabunga Shredhead – Season 3
· Superhero for a Day – Season 4
· Turtles at the Earth’s Core – Season 3
· Curse of the Evil Eye – Season 2
· The Turtles and the Hare – Season 4
· The Big Blow Out – Season 3
· My Brother, The Bad Guy – Season 5
· Shredder & Splintered – Season 1
· The Turtles: A Ninjatastic Look Back
· Exclusive Artist Interviews
· A Shellabration of Fan-Nomenon Sensation: Devoted and Die-Hard TMNT Fans Speak!

My Review:

Back in the day, I'd sit in front of the TV and watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with my brother. It's one of the few shows we could agree on. Of course, we argued about which Turtle was cooler (I say Donatello). Being able to bring back memories of yesteryear and watch fan-favorite episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on this DVD that captures classics was a great joy.

With almost four hours of viewing pleasure, TMNT fans can watch animated action and tomfoolery. The episodes come from different seasons of the show. Although Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has a more mass appeal from boys, I think this DVD would be a great addition for a fan, any age or gender, who likes the show.

Win It!

One person will win Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga Classics on DVD.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I See Me! - Personalized Lunch Box Review and Giveaway

I received product for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

I've always been drawn to personalized items. I feel something is more exclusive and special if it's personalized and made just for that person. I'm a grown woman and still get giddy when something is made especially for me.

Most of my kids have common names and it's not too hard to go to a general store and buy something that has their name on it. However, a couple of the kids have names where the chances are slim to none they will find their name sticking out in a display of personalized products.

That is one of the reasons I am a fan of I See Me! , an online site where you can purchase personalized books and gifts. Now there's no reason for anyone to feel left out in the world of personalization.

Eek, school will be here before we know it! Although I'm not ready for summer vacation to be over, I admit I enjoy shopping for school supplies. I tend to shop for and purchase merchandise that stands out. After all, who wants what every other kid has!

With ten designs available, I personalized the Dreamy Day personalized lunch box from I See Me! for my step-daughter, Emma. She takes her lunch to school most days.

Emma's name shows up more than once on the lunch box, and the whimsical design is on the front and sides. There's no mistaking who it belongs to. The lunch box itself is made of tin, and it's functional and sturdy. On the inside lid is a chalkboard section where you can write notes with chalk. Emma is excited to take the lunch box to school and she's happy to have something specifically made for her with a design to suit her personality.

I found it helpful that consumers can preview what a product will look like before ordering. By typing in your child's name next to a product, you are able to see what it will look like before placing an order. This can be done with any of the personalized books and gifts.

Win It!

One person will win a personalized lunch box of choice from I See Me!

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Random Tuesday Thoughts - License and Hospital Stay

Random Tuesday Thoughts, hosted by Stacy Uncorked, is a weekly link-up to round up your random thoughts and share them with the world. Here's my randomness for this week:
Emma is fourth from left.
Emma, along with other members of her Girl Scouts troop, were recognized and received a Silver Award during the local county fair. All the girls built a sign for the entrance of the fairgrounds, earning them the award.

My oldest daughter, Shelby, is going out on her own this week. She was living with us for a while but has secured herself a place. It's an apartment above a restaurant. Nothing grand or great, but works as a first-time place. I hate to see her go but we'll see each other often, between roller derby practice and her coming back to do her laundry.
Pain Dispatcher - 911 is my derby guise.

Right now our team, DRDC is 5-0. Undefeated, baby!

After several months of practice and pain, I finally got to officially ref during a derby game. I made up my mind beforehand that I wasn't going to get all nervous and stuff. For the most part, the mind game worked. It was fast-paced and exhilarating, and I can't wait to do it again next month!

Only in roller derby can a ref get mean looks and sarcastic remarks during a game, then get bombarded with hugs and compliments afterwards.

Logan got his license last week. By the looks of it, you'd think he got his mug shot! I swear, that kid makes it his mission not to smile. After all, none of the cool kids do.

Logan is one of the very few kids that has not made me scared to ride with. He's very attentive to his surroundings and is focused when driving.
My mom darn near gave me a heart attack Thursday night. She was sent into the hospital by my sister because she was on the brink of unconsciousness. After a gazillion tests, it was determined that mom needed to be admitted. Already having a diagnosis of COPD, her oxygen levels were really low and she had pneumonia. All that combined made for a bad few nights.

I spent the night at the hospital with mom Thursday night but sleep was a daydream away. Between her and the other patient in the room, it was a full night of Snore Wars. They both slept good; I didn't!

I know my mom's getting up in age and down in health, but she gave me enough scares to last a while.

What have you been up to the past week?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Spellbinders Celebra'tion Collection - #Spellbinders Review

I received products for review from Spellbinders Celebra'tion Collection. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may difer.

Several years ago I was big into making homemade cards using inks, embellishments, and colorful papers. I really enjoyed taking the time to make a card by hand, and it seemed to be a little more personal than a card bought at the store.

I was given the chance recently to create a card and a treat bag using the Spellbinders Celebra'tion Collection. It brought back fond memories of the times when I used to paper craft, and it reignited the fun in a hobby I used to love.

Spellbinders Celebra'tion by Richard Garay is a complete collection of dies, stamps, paper, inks and embellishments all coordinated to work together. Using the collection, you can create one-of-a-kind cards, gifts, and scrapbook layouts.

As with most any hobby, amassing a stockpile for paper crafts can be costly. The Spellbinders Celebra'tion collection is about on par for other paper crafts in the same category.

I made two projects using items from the Spellbinders Celebra'tion Collection. One was a Best Day Ever Treat Bag and the other was a Celebrate Party Hat Card. Although instructions are not included on how to create specific cards or other paper crafts when you purchase products from Spellbinders, you can look on their web page for how-to info and an Idea Gallery that shows paper crafts made by others, along with a list of the supplies used.

The treat bag and party hat card I created were super cute and fairly easy to put together. The overall aesthetic look of them makes them stand out from the ordinary.