Friday, May 29, 2015

Summer and Dress-Up Fun from Aeromax {Fly and Play Prize Pack Giveaway!}

 Aeromax logo
Now that the warm weather is (mostly) here for good and summer is right around the corner, my girls have been having a good time riding their bikes up and down the sidewalk, digging in our sand table, and in general enjoying spending time outdoors. There's just something about the fresh air and sunshine that does wonders for their energy levels and moods (and mine, as well).

However, while they can typically manage to keep themselves entertained with nothing more than a few sticks and rocks, the times when their imaginations stall and they need a little inspiration are when it's no problem for me to step in (and keep the peace).

Besides, it is easy to turn a regular day outside into a creative, fun-filled time when we know that there is always entertainment, laughter and smiles to be had thanks to the one and only Aeromax.


Started well over a decade ago with only one toy, today Aeromax has a product line that boasts more than 300 items and recognition from having received every top toy industry award. With incredible toys, dress up clothes and gear available for both boys and girls in baby options all the way up to adult, Aeromax makes it easy and affordable to encourage pretend play and boost imaginations in all ages.

Having always adored every product we have had the chance to see from Aeromax, I was thrilled to hear that they had debuted even more new items that were sure to bring enjoyment and fun just in time for summer. Let's get out and play!

Aeromax summer 2015

One of the main things that I have always appreciated about Aeromax career gear is the way that they pay attention to every detail, from head to toe. These dress-up clothes are far from the cheap, flimsy outfits that are often sold for kids, these are much more like scaled-down replicas of the real thing!

Case in point, this adorable, high quality, durable Jr. Police Officer Suit and Police Officer Accessory Set!

Aeromax Police Officer

Could this one-piece outfit be any cuter (and more authoritative, of course)? From the cap to the arm badges to the belt with carrying loops, there really isn't much more that could have been included to complete the look.

I love that Aeromax made the buttons down the front so easy to pop in and out so that a child can easily pull this on over their clothes themselves (there is also a small strip of Velcro instead of a zipper). No waiting or struggle to transform into a young police officer just about anytime!

We added the handcuffs, radio, baton and badge from the Accessory Set and it really hasn't been any wonder that every child who has visited our house recently has wanted to take a turn dressing up in this great outfit!

Aeromax Jr Police Officer

If there is a child that doesn't love to dress up, I haven't met them yet. But instead of picking up the cheap costumes that end up falling apart or causing itching from the scratchy fabric, Aeromax career gear is fun, comfortable and truly a great way for any child to have a great time stepping into the role of their favorite hero, job or more!

As a bonus, even though we still have a few more months until October, Big Sister E has already declared her love for the Jr. Police Officer Suit so much that she is set on wearing it for Halloween. I love that this outfit will get so much use for play while also checking one thing off of a future to-do list!

police officer costume

At the same time that my girls have been having a blast arresting the bad guys, calling out speeding violations, and helping anyone and everyone who needs assistance, they have also been spending plenty of time running, throwing, giggling, and ooohhhhing in amazement at their new collection of outdoor summer toys from Aeromax.

Aeromax outdoor toys

It took zero instruction before the Aerobatic Foam Flyer and Parachute were soaring through the air...

Aeromax parachute foam flyer

...and only one demonstration of pulling the cords for the Sky Scraper and Alien Invasion before they were being launched from one side of the yard to the other and up to incredible heights.

Aeromax Sky Scraper Alien Invasion

While the kids are highly impressed by the lights and colors included on the Alien Invasion, it has been the Sky Scraper that consistently receives the highest praise due to the way that the little orange discs can shoot straight up well over 100 feet!

Aeromax Sky Scrapers review

In between marveling at the way that the Sky Scraper and Alien Invasion can send their discs ascending in every different direction, the kids and their friends have also had fun practicing sending their Sky Blaster zooming from one place to another.

This combination rocket and launcher in one is used similar to the way that I used to shoot rubber bands back when I was young (something that kids don't do these days), simply pull it back on your thumb and let it fly!

Aeromax Sky Blaster

From takeoff to landing, this great collection of new outdoor toys from Aeromax have proved to be an entertaining, durable, fun addition to any yard or park. The unique designs and the ease of use all come together for a way for a child to be able to pick up just about any one and be able to jump right in to the action, energy and delight!

At the same time, for any child that enjoys pretend play, the Jr. Police Officer Suit and Police Officer Accessory Set (or any of Aeromax's high quality career gear) are sure to bring imaginative, creative, giggling for hours on end for years to come. I'm looking forward to this summer and long beyond being filled with two happy police officers thanks to this great outfit!

To find out much more about these and all of the items that Aeromax has to offer for the children in your life, be sure to head over to and connect with them on Facebook and YouTube.

Finally, thanks to their generosity, one person will soon get to see just how much fun Aeromax can provide outdoors this season and more as well, because...

One lucky person will win a Fly and Play Prize Pack* from Aeromax!

Aeromax giveaway
*Prize Pack includes one of each of the following toys: Foam Flyer, Sky Scraper, Sky Blaster, Alien Invasion and Parachute (total ARV $36+)!

A big thank you to Aeromax for providing products for me to review as well as a Fly and Play Prize Pack for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

It is Time to Embrace Our Curls with Dove Hair's Love Your Curls Campaign! {#LoveYourCurls}

Dove logo
After spending so many years using a variety of tools and products to attempt to tame my thick curly hair, when I hear that a company claims that they understand the unique concerns of all kinds of curly hair... I have to admit that I'm skeptical. How have they managed to figure out the secret that has caused so many struggles for those of us with waves, curls, ringlets and more?

However, I've long been familiar with (and a fan of) Dove Hair products, so of course I wanted to see just how much their passion for making individuals feel their most beautiful could translate over to making women and girls of all ages love and celebrate their curls.

It's time for Dove Hair's Love Your Curls campaign!

Dove Hair Love Your Curls

Did you know that only four in 10 little girls with curly hair think their hair is beautiful? Or that while one in three women in the U.S. have curly hair, only 10% of them actually feel proud of their hair? It really isn't any wonder that Dove Hair launched the Love Your Curls campaign to encourage women to celebrate their curls and inspire future generations to do the same!

First up, Dove Hair's Love Your Curls book!

Dove Love Your Curls book

A poetic tribute to curly hair, the new Love Your Curls book came about when Dove Hair was inspired by thousands of stories from women with curly hair. In fact, it was these real stories that were the background for the poems in the book by best-selling author, Taiye Selasi (gorgeous illustrations are by Annick Poirier).

Whether you have a head of curls yourself or you have a family member or friend that could use a little encouragement to embrace their locks, this beautiful book is the perfect gift for just about anyone. While I have been adoring turning the pages in the hardcover version...

Love Your Curls book

...the eBook of Love Your Curls is available to anyone and everyone for FREE!

Simply visit and you are not only able to download and share this book, but in a few easy steps you are able to create a personalized eBook with a custom dedication and illustration for the special curly girl in your life.

Love Your Curls dedication

Along with personalizing, downloading and enjoying Love Your Curls, Dove Hair has also set out to help women and girls with curly hair feel more confident with the introduction of their Dove Quench Absolute products.

Dove Quench products

Naturally curly hair is physically different to other hair types and requires a higher degree of nourishment. Therefore, Dove created Quench Absolute as their most deeply nourishing range for 4X more defined, natural curls.

This three part system makes it possible to finally embrace the natural beauty of our curly hair and get more nourished, bouncy curls with every wash!

Dove Quench Absolute products

Dove Quench Absolute Ultra Nourishing Shampoo gently cleanses curly hair, leaving it feeling soft and smooth and strengthened from the core. At the same time, Dove Quench Absolute Ultra Nourishing Conditioner absorbs effortlessly into the hair to increase manageability of curls and result in a smooth finish.

Or, after reviving your naturally curly hair and strengthening it from the core with the shampoo, the Dove Quench Absolute Intensive Restoration Mask can take things even further by enveloping each curl to deliver intense nourishment for ultimate smoothness. This deep conditioner can be used twice a week after shampooing for best results!

Finally, the Dove Quench Absolute Supreme Crème Serum is a fast absorbing, lightweight curl leave-in nourishing treatment that contains high levels of glycerine to penetrate and nourish hair. Whether used on wet or dry hair, this serum has been fantastic at taming frizz and providing a sleek, smooth finish for me.

In fact, this entire line has been providing great results for me — from the soft feel to the fantastic smell to the overall way that my hair feels smoother and more manageable! Dove Hair has actually made me love my curls so much more!

Dove Quench results

Whether you have tight ringlets or a soft wave, Dove Quench Absolute products can help give you a healthy, frizz-free, easy-to-manage solution for your curly hair lifestyle. The formulas, infused with protein, nutrients and Buriti Oil, help provide soft, touchable, beautiful-looking curls and who doesn't want that?

To find out more about Dove Hair's impressive products as well as their Love Your Curls book (remember, it's free to personalize and download!), visit and connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

This post is part of a sponsored campaign with The Motherhood and Dove and I have been compensated and provided product in exchange for my participation. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tasting is Believing with Weight Watchers Sweet Baked Goods! {#TasteAndBelieve}

weight watchers sweet baked goods logo
I participated in a In-Home Party Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Weight Watchers Sweet Baked Goods. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

As much as I would like to say that I always make the healthiest choices when it comes to snacking, I can't help but scoff at how far that is from the truth. Is there anyone that can make that claim? If so, how in the world can they stand some of those low-calorie options that say they taste great... but instead resemble a lightly sweetened piece of cardboard?

In fact, from salty snacks to savory desserts, it has always seemed to me to be near impossible to truly enjoy portion-controlled offerings. Will I simply just always have to give up flavor in order to reduce calories?

The answer is a resounding NO! Thanks to the arrival of Weight Watchers Sweet Baked Goods, it is now 100% possible for me to indulge my sweet tooth without going overboard in calories! Skeptical? I was, too! But I'm telling you, Tasting Is Believing!

tasting is believing

Words can't accurately portray the incredible taste of the Weight Watchers Sweet Baked Goods Salted Caramel Brownie Bliss, a sweet and salty decadent treat that delivers the perfect combination of rich chocolate brownie and real caramel at only 90 calories.

But again, the lower calories wouldn't really matter to me if these individually wrapped little brownies tasted like pretty much every other low-cal dessert that I've ever tried (which tend to leave my cravings less than satisfied). However, in this case Weight Watchers Sweet Baked Goods has actually done it! The Salted Caramel Brownie Bliss is really truly bliss!

However, If you don't want to take my word for it (take my word for it! I LOVE THESE!), then you still have no excuse to not try Weight Watchers Sweet Baked Goods right now due to their Tasting Is Believing Challenge.

weight watchers free rebate

Easy as that. Simply purchase Weight Watchers Sweet Baked Goods treats until May 31st and, if you aren't in love, you'll get a full refund (complete details and full customer reactions can be found at

If you ask me, there isn't a chance that a single rebate will be issued after people try the Salted Caramel Brownie Bliss. Instead, they're going to take one bite and will join me in shouting from the rooftops that they are fantastic! Amazing! Delectable! Delicious!

In fact, that is just what happened when I had the opportunity to host a "Try and Reveal Tasting Party" recently with these magnificent treats. I had no doubt that my family and friends would be just as infatuated with the Salted Caramel Brownie Bliss as I am, not to mention that they would never guess that they were from Weight Watchers Sweet Baked Goods.

Weight Watchers brownie bliss

After removing the Salted Caramel Brownie Bliss treats from their packaging and arranging them on a platter, it was time to put the blind taste test into effect.

My mouth was watering even before my guests were anywhere around!

Salted Caramel Brownie Bliss

Alas, it was time to (reluctantly) share.

WW Salted Caramel Brownies

Without question, eyes lit up around the room as soon as people took a look at these little bites of perfection. And then when they bit into the Weight Watchers Sweet Baked Goods Salted Caramel Brownie Bliss the reactions were just as positive — I knew that they would love these!

Weight Watchers Salted Caramel Brownie Bliss

After everyone had the chance to eat their Salted Caramel Brownie Bliss (and lick their plate clean), it was time to let them guess the brand they thought was behind the divine treats.

Once all of the guesses were made and the cards were in the jar, it was time to reveal that the treats were in fact Weight Watchers Sweet Baked Goods!

Weight Watchers surprise

Complete shock, I tell you! How could this sweet and salty treat deliver such flavor yet only have a Weight Watchers PointsPlus value of 2 points? (I'm pretty sure the answer contains some sort of magic.)

What are you waiting for? Weight Watchers Sweet Baked Goods Salted Caramel Brownie Bliss are available at grocery stores now for a suggested retail price beginning at $3.29 per box. Or, if chocolate and caramel isn't your thing, other Weight Watchers Sweet Baked Goods products include Red Velvet Crème Cake, Peanut Butter Brownie Bliss, Mint Chocolate Brownie Bliss, Carrot Crème Cake and more.

weight watchers sweet baked goods

Find out much more about all of the delicious Weight Watchers Sweet Baked Goods products, where to purchase them, the Love It Or It's Free refund, and more at You can also connect with all things Weight Watchers on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Brighten Up Spring and Summer with FabKids Children's Clothing {Review}

Even though it is a bit sad that it took until May for all of our winter gear to finally be packed away for good (you just never know when it might still snow here in the Midwest!), there is no doubt that the arrival of spring and the impending summer has everyone happy.

The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and the ability to throw open our closets and pick from the bright, cheery, warm weather clothing (and not layer it under five other items) always brings a smile. Where have you been all winter, bright yellows, pizazz-filled pinks and bold turquoises?

Around here, there is no doubt that all of these colors and more have been on display even more lately thanks to the arrival of our newest high quality apparel from FabKids.

FabKids May

We were thrilled to join the FabKids team last month and, without a doubt, Little Sister B couldn't wait to see the colors, styles and fashions that were going to be introduced for May. Would there be more high quality fabrics, age-appropriate designs, and comfortable-yet-chic looks?

Yes, yes and yes!

FabKids girls clothing

I wasn't surprised when Little Sister B chose the Rainbow Hearts Outfit as her favorite and, with the arrival of this dress and leggings set, I could tell that she was over the moon with her choice. But I really couldn't blame her, as does it get much more fun than this?

The Rainbow Heart Skater Dress is not only adorably appealing with all of the bright hearts in varying colors, but the durable, stretchy fabric feels smooth and soft on your skin. The little pleats along the waistband give form and shape to the dress while the bold pink zipper down the back is lined for safety and ensures a quick and easy fit.

Add in the classic (ultra soft!) Fab Soft Legging in pretty much any color and this outfit comes together just right.

FabKids quality

Little Sister B has adored wearing her new FabKids clothing to school (and has received multiple compliments) and comes home each time telling me about the new friends or teachers that have commented on its cuteness. Who doesn't love hearing that?

In fact, she has already declared how excited she is to to head into Memorial Day weekend in this great outfit!

Our plans include spending time with family, heading to a major league baseball game and more, and all my stylish little fashionista needs to do is bring along a light sweater in case the wind picks up or for when the sun goes down and she will be all set to soak up the fun and sun of the holiday!

FabKids review

Once again FabKids has shown that they are the place to go for kids that love fashion and for parents that love quality, style and comfort!

Every outfit they offer is age-appropriate and colorful, while being designed to work at home, at school, on the playground and more. And remember that while pricing for Regular Members starts at $42, once you sign up as a VIP Member (which is free and can be canceled at any time), you'll receive outfits for $29.95, with items that start at $14.95 and shoes from $16.95. VIP Members also rack up reward points, earn special savings, and more!

FabKids childrens clothing

To find out more about FabKids and the ways that they can effortlessly style the children in your life from head to toe, visit their website at and connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Other than the Rainbow Hearts Outfit that we received from FabKids in order to facilitate this review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this post in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion about this site and their products.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Green Mountain Summer Sunrise Blend Limited Edition K-Cup Coffee {Review}

Green Mountain Coffee logo
For decades manufacturers and artists have tried to capture the essence of nature to put it into products for consumers' enjoyment. Paintings of bolts of lightening or the wonders of outer space, candles with the aroma of ocean waves or tropical jungle mists, sound machines depicting a bubbling stream or the croak of a bullfrog, and more.

But what about the taste of nature — in particular a sunrise? We can close our eyes and imagine the beautiful colors, hear the early morning crickets or even smell the warming of the dew on the grass, but taste? How what sort of flavor would that early morning scene provide?

There's no doubt in my mind that Green Mountain Coffee has accomplished it spot on with their Green Mountain Summer Sunrise Blend limited edition K-cup coffee!

Summer Sunrise Blend

A limited edition, fair trade certified coffee, Green Mountain Summer Sunrise Blend is a seasonal roast that only makes an appearance in late spring. We all know the feeling of fresh, bright sunshine to start the day, so why not embrace the same cheerful warmth in our favorite mug?

I was intrigued to try Summer Sunrise Blend simply after hearing the name, but then when I saw that it is medium roast, is made from 100% Arabica beans, and that it contains citrus notes and provides a sweet, clean finish, I was even more excited to start brewing.

Green Mountain Summer Sunrise Blend coffee

I'm the first to admit that I'm not always the most cheery person in the morning, so taking a deep breath of this aromatic, seasonal blend has been a great way to make me feel a little more sunny.

I love that Green Mountain Coffee created this special coffee to reflect the best aspect of the season and that the essence of summer is found in each sip!

Green Mountain Summer Sunrise Blend k-cups

Mmm, mmmm! Full-bodied, medium roast, rich aroma, and a smooth, almost-creamy flavor with the tiniest hint of sweetness? I really couldn't ask for much more and am looking forward to waking up to these K-cups for as long as they are available!

If you're already a fan of Green Mountain Coffee (who isn't?), make sure to pick up some Summer Sunrise Blend delectable K-cup coffee (head over to the fabulous Cross Country Cafe for a great deal!) for easy and delicious brewing in your Keurig. I'm telling you, it's like a slice of uplifting sunshine right in your mug every morning!

As a Cross Country Cafe Ambassador, I have been provided with products in exchange for my continued work with their company and affiliate links are included in the above post. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Huggies Wipes with Triple Clean Layers have an Endless Number of Uses!

I know for a fact that I'm not alone in feeling as though I blinked and my kids went from babies to big kids. Where does the time go?

However, even though our house has long been purged of the crib, burp clothes, diapers, adorable little onesies, swaddling blankets, high chairs, swings, bouncy seats, and more, there is one product that has shown its versatility long beyond infancy.

Because even though I may have first started using baby wipes for gently cleaning tiny rear ends, it wasn't long before I realized that they are useful in SO many more situations. Forget only cleaning up baby's messes, Huggies Wipes (my favorite of all baby wipes) are a great way to clean up any family messes!

Walmart Huggies Wipes

Huggies has declared that wipes are necessary "Because Kids Outgrow Diapers, Not Messes*" and I have to agree... with the addendum of my own stating that LIFE is messy! Spills, germs, drops, pets, just about anything out in public, restrooms, parks, schools — the list is endless!

Fortunately, Huggies Wipes come in a variety of fun, convenient sized packages from Walmart, so whether you keep them stashed in your living room, bag or car, there is a size and design that will suit your needs. Even better, Huggies Wipes are able to clean better than other national brand's sensitive wipes as their new and improved Triple Clean technology provides quality unlike any other!

So, let's get to the list of uses! There aren't many times that a baby wipe wouldn't come in handy, but here is a compilation of 25 of my favorites...

uses for baby wipes
  1. Dirty faces!
  2. Cleaning a pet's dirty paws.
  3. Wiping down a dirty table after a meal.
  4. Cleaning off hands or faces before and after on-the-go snacking.
  5. Cleaning germs off of toys (and knowing you aren't exposing your kids to harmful chemicals).
  6. All sorts of house cleaning: kitchen counters, bathroom sinks, inside the refrigerator, etc.
  7. Freshening up after a workout or on a hot day.
  8. Makeup removal.
  9. Use in place of a tissue on a sore nose.
  10. Cleaning marks and dirt off of shoes.
  11. Removing unexpected "artwork" (e.g. crayon, markers) off of the walls.
  12. Decreasing germs on shopping carts, restaurant tables, at the gym, in public restrooms and more before use.
  13. Removing dust and dirt from your dashboard, cup holders, and other areas inside your vehicle.
  14. Eliminating annoying deodorant marks from your clothing!
  15. Removing static from your hair or clothing.
  16. Easily cleaning hands during craft projects to remove paint, glue, glitter, etc.
  17. Giving your leather furniture a quick wipe down for a fast and easy shine.
  18. Removing sticky spots or fingerprints from your collection of CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs for less chance of skipping or stopping.
  19. Removing marks from dry erase boards.
  20. Quick cleanup of your hands after using the gas pump.
  21. Cleaning your computer screen, keyboard and more, as well as a wide variety of gadgets and devices.
  22. Removing scuff marks from walls, floors, baseboards, appliances and more.
  23. Removing stains from carpet, clothing, and upholstery.
  24. Temporarily cooling a sunburn by gently patting the area with a baby wipe.
  25. Changing a diaper, of course!
Have you put Huggies Wipes to use in these ways before? Do you have your own favorite times and ways to reach for them to make your own life easier (and cleaner)? From the unexpected messes to simply being prepared for everything, cleaning can be a snap thanks to Huggies Triple Clean technology!

Ready to check out even more fun and creative ways to use Huggies wipes? Then you'll want to see these great videos on the Walmart website while finding out about purchasing this must-have product.

Take a look at each of these...

Huggies 101
The Explorers
Pasta Baby
Playtime clean-up

...and now tell me: which is your favorite?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Power Up & Read with the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge! {#SummerReading}

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge logo
This post is part of a sponsored collaboration with Scholastic. All thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.

While children everywhere are preparing to celebrate the end of school and the arrival of summer, we all know that doesn't mean that everything and anything educational can be completely ignored until the next academic year begins.

But did you know that studies show that an increase in summer learning opportunities leads to improved grades, higher graduation rates, and better preparation for college? We've all heard of the "Summer Slide," but how many parents take active steps to prevent it?

This summer, as well as ensuring that your child's skills don't experience a setback, ensuring easy and continued access to books for summer reading is even easier (and much more fun) thanks to Scholastic's Summer Reading Challenge.

Scholastic Summer Reading Program

Now in its 9th year, the Summer Reading Challenge program is a free, online/mobile reading program that helps prepare kids for back-to-school by encouraging them to read every day all summer long.

Kids simply keep track and log their reading minutes (online and via mobile) and, along with their peers, see if the cumulative amount can beat the world record! In 2014, Scholastic inspired hundreds of thousands of kids to set a new record for summer reading of 304,749,861 minutes!

How cool is that? This year Scholastic has added a unique twist to the Summer Reading Challenge by partnering with Energizer and giving it a theme of "Power Up & Read" Powered by Energizer®, encouraging families everywhere to find innovative ways to discover the power and joy of reading.

Throughout the summer, kids will unlock 12 original short stories by bestselling children's authors as they reach reading milestones, enter monthly sweepstakes to win fabulous prizes, and earn digital rewards when they complete weekly reading challenges. Sign up began earlier this month and the Challenge runs through September 4, 2015, so head over and get involved with Scholastic and the Energizer Bunny today!

Energizer Bunny Back to School

Need one more incentive?

Energizer and Scholastic have also extended their partnership to create their "Power the Possibilities" campaign, which gives parents the tools they need to unlock their child's talents, fuel their ambitions and set them up for future success. Right now when you buy any specially marked pack of Energizer brand batteries, you'll find an instant win scratch-off game for a chance to win one of thousands of prizes that will power discovery and learning.

Prizes include a family trip to New York City, a Scholastic Study Corner Makeover, a tablet with Scholastic apps, a library of Scholastic books and more! Everyone who plays can also download free digital stories for their family, so it's pretty much a win-win for all!

Energizer Batteries

Both of my children absolutely love reading, so it was a no-brainer that we headed right over to Summer Reading Challenge website and couldn't wait to sign up.

Right off the bat, I appreciated the way that Scholastic has divided their site into three clear categories for kids, educators and parents. Whether you are visiting to log reading minutes, discover book lists, track reading progress or more, it's all only a click or two away.

Scholastic categories

You'll also find great information from parenting expert, Maggie McGuire (VP of Scholastic Parents Channel –, who provides info and book choices for all ages this summer in support of the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge.

Looking for just the right way to get your own kids clamoring to read this summer? Check out Maggie's unique tips!
  • Find books that makes kids laugh
  • Introduce kids to STEM and science through reading
  • Ways to get crafty with your kid's favorite summer reads
  • Tips for reading-on-the-go during summer vacation
  • Rainy day reading activities

In addition, Scholastic Parents has an extensive collection of additional activities and ideas to help kids discover the power and joy of reading and will help you encourage them to continue all summer long!

Are you ready to read with us? My girls are thrilled to be adding up the minutes that they spend immersed in their books and are even more excited thanks to the reading lists, certificates, activities, and more that we received from Scholastic. They have both been reading at least 15-20 minutes minimum per day during the school year, so our goal is to continue (and hopefully increase) that this summer as well!

Scholastic summer reading

What parent wouldn't be thrilled knowing that their children can't wait to take things even further in upcoming months as we find even more ways to Power Up & Read? Hooray for reading! Stay tuned!

In the meantime, head over to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge and amp up the excitement by following Scholastic on Twitter, Liking the Energizer Bunny on Facebook and Scholastic on Facebook, and following the #SummerReading hashtag throughout social media. Now let's get reading!

Friday, May 15, 2015

6 Summer Shape Up Tips from Balance Bar {Prize Pack Giveaway!}

Balance Bar logo
Remember last month when I introduced you to The Balance Project and told you that 98% of Americans believe achieving and maintaining balance in their life is important, yet only 14% report that they always feel balanced?

Well, guess what? According to that recent survey by Balance Bar, the time of year that most Americans do feel balanced is during the summer! So, as we're approaching June 21st and the official start of the season, it's the perfect time to get outside, enjoy the beautiful weather and start feeling more balanced!


Wondering how to best achieve balance? Here are some awesome tips from Gabby Reece, a worldwide celebrity fitness icon and wellness role model, entrepreneur, wife, and mother of three. Who else would know better about smart eating and staying active to help feel more balanced? Try some of them at home to feel good inside and out as we get ready for summer!

• Make it your own: There is not one right way to get it done. There is the right way that works for you. When it comes to eating healthy, find the foods you like and implement those into your daily diet. The same goes for exercise. If you hate the gym then find something outside that is manageable for you. This is not about torture; this is about creating a lifestyle that you can do week after week.

Gabby Reece• Watch the calendar: Use summer for motivation to shape up but don’t wait for June 21st. If you wait until summer actually starts, you’ll feel rushed and end up crash dieting or doing a crazy workout schedule. I personally like to keep a calendar in my kitchen and cross off the days as I countdown to bikini weather. The visual reminder – right where you eat – is helpful in keeping you on track.

• Sign up a friend: We tend to be more successful at accomplishing some type of exercise if we have an accountability partner. Solicit a friend and maybe use this as your time to connect. You can train for a 5k together or join an outdoor boot camp; there are a lot more options now that the weather is improving.

• Plan to snack: Take snacks (like fruit, nuts or a Balance Bar) wherever you go to prevent mindless eating. If I have an afternoon or early evening workout planned, I make sure to have one of these handy an hour or so before so that I have plenty of energy to get in a good workout.

• Variety is key: Make as many meals as you can at home so you can control your nutrition. These are some of my favorite recipes – fresh and full of veggies for springtime! To keep things interesting and fresh at my house, I try to rotate foods. One night I may go for something heavier with veggies and grains, and then the next night focus on proteins. I really try to change up the food and create a great deal of variety.

• Each day is a new chance and it's never too late: If you fall out of your summer shape up routine one day, don’t sweat it. Forgive yourself and move on – and just keep moving!

Be sure to also check out some of Gabby's favorite fitness moves as well as more of her great tips for balancing fitness and a busy schedule. You can even chat with Gabby herself when she joins @BalanceBar for a #SummerShapeUp Twitter Chat on Tuesday, May 19th at 4pm EST!

ways to improve health

Head over to visit (and connect with Balance Bar on Facebook and Twitter) to find out more about the huge variety of flavors of these power-packed bars and see how they can help keep you feeling balanced and healthy this summer. As well as at your local grocery store and health food store, you can also find Balance Bars at and on Amazon.

Plus, thanks to their generosity, one person will soon be on their way to getting their life more balanced as well, because...

One lucky person will win a prize pack including a selection of Balance Bar bare bars and a Balance Bar headband!

balance bar giveaway

A big thank you to Balance Bar for providing product for me as well as a prize pack for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.