November 26, 2013

Apples of Gold Jewelry

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Even though I don't have an extensive collection of it, I like jewelry and I love to look at all the pretty things available, even if I can't buy them right now (see also: will have 2 kids in college at the same time). I especially like bracelets and silver stuff, but if anyone ever wanted to give me anything, I'd certainly take it!

While I don't often have time to peruse the stores at my leisure, I do like to "window shop" online for lots of different things. Apples of Gold is an online jewelry store dedicated to providing high-end, quality jewelry at much lower prices than traditional jewelers in brick-an-mortar stores by minimizing mark-up as much as possible while providing great customer service.

They are passionate about what they do. With a 100% satisfaction guarantee, free shipping and a 45-day return policy, Apples of Gold wants their customers to be satisfied and they make shopping for jewelry online as easy as possible.

Also, of note is that they take pride in their ethics. In fact, the company name, "Apples of Gold" is derived from the Bible and their name "embodies integrity, reliability, and honesty in all modes of business": “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold, in settings of silver …” (Proverbs 25:11).

wedding_band.jpgApples of Gold sells all types of jewelry. You can find bracelets, chains, earrings, pendants, gemstone rings, diamond rings, personalized items and more.

With the holidays coming up, it's a great time to consider that special someone with an engagement ring (note: this does not apply to any of my kids at this time, just sayin') or even a white gold wedding band just in time for a New Year's wedding.

So check out Apples of Gold and tell them I sent you!

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Apples of Gold. All words and opinions are mine, I really like shiny, pretty things!




September 27, 2013

Home security cameras

Our house is a bit out in the country and we don't have any neighbors terribly close by, so home security is something we think about a lot. We have 2 dogs that can, on occasion, scare people off, but we've not been successful in teaching them to call us when something's amiss.

We've thought off and on about installing security cameras such as a system from CCTV Cameras. We could even find out more about how to use the cameras from 123CCTV.

You can't be too careful these days when it comes to protecting your home and some insurances companies even give a discount on their rates if you have a home security system. It might be worth checking out!

March 25, 2013

Ashley Sleep Dual-Sided Memory Foam Pillow

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We are famous late adopters of a lot things, after all, if what you have works, then why do you need a new one?

Slowly, over the years, I've learned that there can be improvement even in everyday items you may take for granted such as pillows. Growing up, I used the same feather pillows for years, it's just what you did, and I'm not even sure I would have recognized a worn out pillow.

As I got older, allergies dictated a pillow switch and I have to say I've bought mostly cheap cotton/polyester models. I'm a side sleeper, so if they didn't provide enough support, I'd just fold them and flip them until I got comfortable and eventually fall asleep. Why spend all that money when a cheap one works just as well?

A few back problems and a good bit of insomnia later, I started to wonder if maybe a quality pillow might be a good idea after all. I looked around, but never really did anything about it because I couldn't figure out the right one to get.

So, when the good folks at Ashley Sleep offered me a dual sided memory foam pillow, I jumped at the chance to try it out.

I don't know if the picture does it justice or not, but the first thing I noticed was how pretty the pillow is. I love the gray trim, and the covering is so soft I almost hated to cover it with a pillow case!

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It is indeed 2 sided, and it's a great thickness (6"), not to thin or too deep for me. One side is firm, supportive memory foam (for side sleepers) and the other side is more cushioned and "squishy". I love it, but it took a little getting used to the first couple of nights when I'd flip it in the night and lie back down with an entirely different effect!

Now, I've discovered that a quality pillow really does makes a difference in how I sleep! Neck and back alignment is a big deal, so it turns out. I never realized quite how ratty my pillow had become until I saw that this one is firm enough to quickly spring back to it's original shape.

I've also noticed that I no longer have to rest my head on my arm (and wake up with a numb arm) to get support because the pillow is enough.

I am really glad to have this pillow and have noticed a difference in the quality of my sleep, I should have done something about this a long time ago!

Ashley Sleep prides themselves on making environmentally responsible, state-of-the-art, affordable products. Here's some more information about the Ashley Sleep Advantage:

Disclosure: Ashley Sleep gave me the pillow to check out. No additional payment or compensation was received. I liked the pillow and I thought you might, too.

December 6, 2012

Power a Bright Future for a school with Clorox

Power-a-Bright-Future.jpgSchool funding/tution/whatever doesn't begin to cover everything schools need, much less the things that would enrich kids' experiences there. Things that are viewed as "extras" are often cut or ignored.

Unfortunately, that often includes physical education.

Sports and activities have always been a big part of our lives. We've been fortunate that our kids have been able to play soccer, basketball, volleyball, rugby, bowling, baseball, track and more with great instruction and proper facilities. But, not all kids have that and they depend on hard work and the kindness of others to get the physical education equipment and facilities they need.

That's why I’m working with Clorox’s Power A Bright Future K-12 school grant program to get parents and their teens (13 and older) to vote and help schools win grants of up to $50,000 to help fund new or ongoing initiatives that provide kids with the opportunity to learn and grow.

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Nominations are in and this year Clorox will award seven grants totaling $200,000 including:

• One Grand-prize $50,000 grant
• Three $25,000 Category winner grants (One winner will be selected by popular vote in each
category; Play, Create and Explore)
• Three $25,000 Judge’s pick grants (A panel of Clorox judges will select one winner based on
merit in each category)

Get out there and vote!

One of the great things about this program is that teenagers can vote, too! What a great way for your older kids to help their peers!

From November 12-December 19, 2012, anyone 13 and older can vote online and via text:

• Visit www.powerabrightfuture.com from a computer or mobile phone to do it, or visit the site to find your favorite school’s text to vote code. You can vote once online and once by text every day.

• Voting ends on December 19, 2012 and the winners will be announced later this year.

Y.O.L.O. You Only Learn Once!

To encourage teens to vote, Disney's Bella Thorne of "Shake it Up" is sharing her photos on Instagram (@bellathornelovesyou), and kids 13 can share photos showing how a grant would make a difference for their school and community at a special Power A Bright Future! Instagram Contest (Photos must be tagged #yolopabf to be eligible for consideration).

Be sure to check out Clorox on Facebook and Clorox on Twitter!

Disclosure: I am being compensated by The Clorox Company to talk about the Power A Bright Future school grant program.. All opinions are mine, and I am happy to be a part of something to help schools.

November 27, 2012

Zip Car Coupon - Join and get $25 free driving!

Imma give you $25: Join Zipcar and get $25 in free driving

Check it out!

November 21, 2012

Givit Video Editing App and $50 Visa gift card giveaway

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Givit is a video and editing app. Rather than sharing an entire video, Givit lets users easily edit their videos down to "highlights" of the footage by simply tapping the screen. After you choose the frames to feature, you can choose from a variety of effects. You can even put your own music to it, or choose from the themed music right in the app.

Be sure to check out Givit on Tumblr, Givit on Twitter, and Givit on Facebook. Don't forget to Download Givit from iTunes, it's free!

I've played around with it, and it's quick and easy to use. You can create a highlight video of the video on your phone, or you can shoot a new one.

Givit is also hosting a Thanks Givit Contest in honor of the holidays for a chance to win an iPad mini. It runs from November 12 to December 7, 2012 All you have to do is submit videos that show off what you’re most thankful for. Official rules here.


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The Giveaway

Prize: One (1) winner will receive One (1) $50 Visa gift card

1. (Required): Visit Givit, come back and tell us (leave a comment below) your favorite feature of the app.

2. For an extra entry: Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter (I'm @busymom).

Be sure to leave a separate comment telling me you've done so.

3. One (1) winner will be picked randomly via Random.org from the comments.

4. Contest is open to all U.S. and Canada residents 18 years or older

5. Winner has 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise another winner will be drawn.

6. Hurry! Ends December 3, 2012 at 10 pm CST.

Disclosure: I received a $50 Visa gift card as well.

Tyson Any’tizers and Surviving the School year

Even though the holidays are upon us, it's still important to maintain the school-year routine. In fact, it may even be harder now than it was at the beginning of the school year. People are tired, school isn't new anymore, and exams are coming up.

A few weeks ago, I wrote some school year survival tips that are important to us because we have 3 kids in different stages, and we're on the go a lot.

I really do believe in each of these, and I find that I struggle the most with keeping up with the laundry and dishes. It's tough, but these are really essential for us to keep the week running smoothly, and to keep us from getting overwhelmed with chores on the weekend.

Since I work out of the house full-time, sometimes the only time I have to do laundry and dishes is right when I get home. However, that's also dinner time.

It's nice to have discovered Tyson Any'tizers because a hearty snack for the kids can buy me a little time to get the house organized in the evenings before dinner.

Tyson Any'tizers

With lots of varieties to choose from, Tyson Any'tizers help your school kids get a good, fulfilling snack even with exams coming up and the busy-ness of the holidays (hint: keep some around for unexpected visitors and study partners, they're quick to prepare).

Tyson has created the Tyson Any'tizers Snacks School Year Survival Guide where you can find all kinds of helpful hints from things such as managing time and developing good study habits to community fundraising efforts and ideas for snacks for the whole family.

What is the most important chore or task you have to do to keep the school week running smoothly? Share in the comments below!

Disclosure: This post is part of a compensated campaign with Tyson® Any’tizers® Snacks, but we really do enjoy snacks and my thoughts are my own.

Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice for the holidays

If you've been around here before, it's pretty well established that we drink a lot of orange juice in our house. In fact, my youngest child is probably a significant percentage of orange juice.

With the holidays upon us, we enjoy orange juice for many things. It's always a part of our holiday breakfasts, and you can even find it in a recipe or two.

My daughter is home from college, and has really enjoyed baking since she was very young and took a cooking class. In that class, they learned to make pound cake with an orange glaze, and she still makes it for holidays.

Cooking with Tropicana orang juice

While I make my pound cake from the grocery, either way, it's made more awesome with orange juice:

Orange Glaze

1/2 c. confectioner's sugar
1-2 tbsp. orange juice
(You can add some grated orange peel if you want to be fancy)

Mix until smooth and heat and drizzle over warm pound cake

Using really good orange juice makes a big difference in recipes and especially for drinking. That's why we enjoy Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice, it's worth it. One taste, and there's no doubt that it's made from fresh oranges.

*********************

Did you know that Tropicana Pure Premium is 100% pure and natural orange juice made from fresh Florida oranges? Yep, it comes from oranges from hard working growers in Florida.

In fact, Tropicana is the single largest buyer of Florida fruit, purchasing approximately 11.6 billion oranges from Florida each year.

Other facts about Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice:

At about 50 cents per 8-ounce glass, Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice has no added sugar and provides:

- Two fruit servings*

- A day’s supply of vitamin C to help support a healthy immune system

- As much potassium as a medium banana, which plays an important role in heart health

- A natural source of the B-vitamin folate, which helps with cell development (especially important for pregnant women).

- A good source of thiamin, which is essential in energy metabolism, and plays an important role in nerve and muscle function

*USDA 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommend a majority of your fruit servings come from whole fruit.

Be sure to check out Tropicana on Facebook!

Disclosure: I am a Tropicana Pure Premium as a “TropiMomma” blogger. I was compensated for this post. All opinions remain 100% my own. And? We really like orange juice around here.


Give the gift of Sports Illustrated Kids

Need a Christmas gift idea for the young athlete in your life? Around here, Busy D. can't get enough of reading about sports, so this will make a great gift.

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Kids is THE magazine for boys and girls who love sports. It presents sports the way kids want to read about them: with great action photos, easy-to-read stories about star athletes, helpful instructional tips from the pros, and humor, comics, and activities.

SI Kids is a great way to encourage kids to read, and it has won highest honors from the Association of Educational Publishers and the Parents' Choice Award.

Right now, there's even a special offer: Receive an entire year of SI Kids in print and on tablet for only $19.95!

Need more reasons to give the gift of SI Kids this season?

Reason #1: It’s the perfect stocking stuffer.

Reason #2: It promotes reading for children who are reluctant readers.

Reason #3: Each issue is full of exciting stories, photos and games that are a perfect distraction while traveling.

Reason #4: No gift wrapping – it’s delivered straight to your door.

Reason #5: It’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year through.

Don't forget to like SI Kids on Facebook!

Disclosure: I will receive a subscription to Si Kids and some promotional items.All the opinions are mine, and I think the subscription is a great gift idea.

November 18, 2012

Help Power a Brght Future for a school

Power-a-Bright-Future.jpgAs the wife of a teacher, I know how hard teachers and schools work to make the school environment safe, stimulating and up-to-date for our children. However, the needs nearly always exceed the funds available.

From books, art supplies and musical instruments to athletic equipments and playgrounds, things that used to be considered fundamental to school, are now often "extras" that teachers even pay for out of their own pockets. School communities raise funds and seek grants to give their kids the best and they come together to do it any way they can.

Through the generosity of grants, my kids' schools have been able to become a Weather Bug site to study the climate and they've even been able to work with scientists in the Arctic via the Internet.

photo.JPG As a mother of 2 teens (and a teen-to-be), I know how important school programs are to child’s experience. That’s why I’m working with Clorox’s Power A Bright Future K-12 school grant program to get parents and their teens (13 and older) to vote and help schools win grants of up to $50,000 to help fund new or ongoing initiatives that provide kids with the opportunity to learn and grow.

Nominations are in and this year Clorox will award seven grants totaling $200,000 including:

• One Grand-prize $50,000 grant
• Three $25,000 Category winner grants (One winner will be selected by popular vote in each
category; Play, Create and Explore)
• Three $25,000 Judge’s pick grants (A panel of Clorox judges will select one winner based on
merit in each category)

Get out there and vote!

One of the great things about this program is that teenagers can vote, too! What a great way for your older kids to help their peers!

From November 12-December 19, 2012, anyone 13 and older can vote online and via text:

• Visit www.powerabrightfuture.com from a computer or mobile phone to do it, or visit the site to find your favorite school’s text to vote code. You can vote once online and once by text every day.

• Voting ends on December 19, 2012 and the winners will be announced later this year.

Y.O.L.O. You Only Learn Once!

To encourage teens to vote, Disney's Bella Thorne of "Shake it Up" is sharing her photos on Instagram (@bellathornelovesyou), and kids 13 can share photos showing how a grant would make a difference for their school and community at a special Power A Bright Future! Instagram Contest (Photos must be tagged #yolopabf to be eligible for consideration).

Be sure to check out Clorox on Facebook and Clorox on Twitter!

Disclosure: I am being compensated by The Clorox Company to talk about the Power A Bright Future school grant program.. All opinions are mine, and I am happy to be a part of something to help schools.

November 9, 2012

School Year Survival Tips

Obviously, the school year is well underway, but it's this time of year that we have to make a real effort to maintain our routines and keep up the organizational momentum lie we had when the school year began.

These are some of our school year tips:

1. Commit to keeping the family calendar updated - We write things on a monthly calendar as they come up, and each Sunday I transcribe the upcoming week to a larger M-F format and the whole family meets briefly about it for any updates. I’ve also started maintaining it online so we can have it on our phones as well.

2. Keep up with the laundry and the dishes each night - After a long day at work, I can easily talk myself into dealing with those “tomorrow”, and then they somehow reach critical mass. I may not do laundry each night, but I try to gather dirty clothes each night and sort them to make sure there’s nothing we need to clean for the next day.

3. Have kids do homework in the same place at the same time when possible - Our evening routine gets in trouble when we change up the homework routine. Even if it’s a late night with sports practices, things always go better when we do things in the same order.

4. Prepare books, lunches and clothes the night before -It's tough, but no matter how late it is, I try very hard to make myself prepare lunches, get out clothes and supervise the kids packing backpacks before bed. It makes a big difference when it’s time to get out the door in the mornings.

5. Deal with clutter spots each day - Our kitchen counter is a clutter magnet, and I find I'm less stressed if I keep it weeded out and we can find what we need.

With a teen and a tween in the house and another off at college, we are pulled in lots of directions. As they get older, there are more activities to juggle along with school work and they can often make for later-than-I'd-like nights. So, after school snacks can be really important because it may be a while until dinner.

We've tried out some Tyson Any’tizers Snacks for a substantial snack before sports practices, and they've been a hit. They're quick to make and serve and they've tided the boys over until dinner. Popcorn Chicken is always a hit and we've recently tried Chicken Cordon Bleu mins:

Tyson

To help out busy families like ours, Tyson has created the Tyson Any'tizers Snacks School Year Survival Guide where you can find all kinds of helpful hints from things such as managing time and developing good study habits to community fundraising efforts and ideas for snacks for the whole family.

Do you have any school-year tips that help keep your family going? Share in the comments below!

Disclosure: This post is part of a compensated campaign with Tyson® Any’tizers® Snacks, but we really do enjoy snacks and my thoughts are my own.

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My name is Elizabeth and I am Busy Mom.
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