Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Stay Well Strategies 4 Kids Twitter Chat RSVP!

If you follow me on any of my social networks or my blog, you are probably already aware of our family's few year adventure with trying to replace everything we eat, clean with, bathe with, anything that goes into our house, bodies and even our pet's bodies, with the healthiest and best options we can find.
There are so many awesome brands out there and I am having the most fun trying their products, shopping, reading, writing and connecting with these brands online.
I actually have a little black book that I keep all of their website links, Twitters, Instagram and Facebook names so I can check in from time to time and check for sales and deals. Oh! and Twitter parties too!!
I have been using, Hyland's for many, many years. (My oldest is 22 but that's as far as I'm gonna go with ages today!) I started with Hyland's Teething Tablets and then went to several of their new products. (They don't just make stuff for children!)
This Twitter party is very cool, why? Because we get to connect with brands who actually care about our family and our children. They make some of the most important products on the market right now and happen to be a few of the brands I trust personally.
I haven't had the opportunity to try products from all of these brands but I am very anxious to learn more about them and what they do so that I can add them to our giant mix of healthier products!
Winter is almost here, (or if you're in PA like me, it feels like it's already here!) and this is a most crucial time to prepare for colds, flu, viruses, being snowed in and all of the other good stuff that comes with the blustery, freezing cold, germy weather. That is what we will be chatting about during our party!
So, after dinner tonight, or in some places, before dinner, take a break and join us for a Twitter chat where you can chat directly with brands and learn all about them and what we can add to our preparations for winter!
Please RSVP here!

You can start following the super awesome brands who will be sponsoring and OOPS! I almost forgot, the prizes!!
There will be 3 gift baskets, filled with all kinds of goodies from our sponsors and these are valued at $200 each!

Do what you have to do, grab your laptop, your cell phone, some wine, some coffee, hide in the bathroom or out in your car or send your husband and kids to the store for some chocolate ice cream and tweet with us!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wubble Ball, Our New Favorite Toy

* Disclosure *
We received a free Wubble Ball in return for our honest review.
Free products, samples and even paid sponsored posts, do not affect or change our opinions in any way.

If your kids are anything like mine, you have probably heard the yelps and shrieks coming from the living room during TV time, when toy commercials come on.
I started hearing about this, Wubble Ball not so long ago and I usually just keep the name in the back of my mind or I am so busy that I just pretend to hear what they are saying... (Yes, I feel guilty about this a LOT, but you know how it is when you are trying to do 25 things at once and you have 3 or 4 that will  kids all yakking all at once??)
One morning we opened the door and Deegan, my youngest acted like he knew there was a toy for him in the box. (I guess it's some sort of radar kids must have!) Well, we opened it up and sure enough, he was right. (He did have to share the Wubble Ball with his siblings though...)

Make sure that you have D batteries in a drawer somewhere if you order one of these! That's where I messed up. I usually have AA, AAA, D and C batteries but we must have run out of D's at some point and I failed to restock.
Right away he was delighted with his new toy and broke out in song over this toy he sees on TV, that same toy that has been in his dreams since seeing it in action!
His brother and sister came home from school and immediately started the dreaded, "OMG MOM! OMG MOM! Can we take this outside?" "MOM! MOM! Can you pump this up?" (I always love how sometimes the simplest of things seem to make kids the happiest.) Not that the Wubble Ball is equivalent to a giant, cardboard box or anything, but, it isn't a video game or a screen that requires internet or a screen!

This brings me to my review of the Wubble Ball...
I actually love the thing! It kept us laughing and I mean, really laughing, straight through even after deflating it to put away and use again the next day. There are so many fun things you can do with this and it is just an amazing toy that is actually fun for the whole family. Even if you are just standing on the porch to watch the fun and excitement!
You can watch a few videos I uploaded on Instagram of our kids having fun!
I like the price, I must say it is fair and it is a decent enough price that you can grab a few so each of your kids or grandkids can have their very own favorite color. I also love the warranty! For $6.99 you can return the valve portion in the enclosed envelope and a new Wubble Ball will be on it's way to you in no time!
The replacement guarantee covers, If (OH NO!) you pop it, period.
However, there are some tips and suggestions how to take proper care of your Wubble Ball. (We haven't had an issue yet and it has been inside, outside, thrown off of heads, hit fall leaves and flew in neighbor's yards), so, I'm more then content with how tough this thing really is!
Most of this is common sense but still needs to be pointed out.
Don't leave your Wubble Ball in direct sunlight on hot days for a long time.
If you are not playing with your Wubble Ball, keep it somewhere safe, preferably inside.
If you get a small hole, you can seal it temporarily with a small piece of duct tape or other strong tape.
If you plan on playing rough with your Wubble Ball, do not inflate past 30 inches!
Sharp objects like tree branches and rough surfaces like gravel can pop and damage your Wubble Ball.
See, pretty easy to comprehend, right?
Again, we have 2 boys and 2 girls and our younger 3 have been fairly rough with this and I am impressed with how it has been holding up!
It has been whacked against the porch, the walls, the deck, it has flown a couple yards away in fall and it is still intact!
I don't know if I mentioned, the Wubble Ball has a lifetime guarantee!
Oh, another thing I happen to love about this is how easy it is to keep clean. You can just deflate, wipe clean with a drop or 2 of dish soap and some water and let it air dry. We lay ours on a dish towel and let it dry and it gets quite clean.
Are you interested yet??
I found this video extremely helpful for inflating our Wubble Ball for the first time:

Here are some more tidbits of info for you, just to make it easier to find for Christmas ;

  • Target selected the Wubble™ Bubble Ball as a 2014 Top Toy for the Holiday Season. It was listed among other popular toys and games that are sure to be on every holiday wish list.
  • Wubble Bubble Ball is a Family Fun Toy Of The Year Award Winner. The 25 winners are featured in the November 2014 issue of Family Fun Magazine. 
  • Inspired by his children's wish for a real bubble to play with, NSI President Frank Landi developed the Wubble™ Bubble Ball to keep children's love for fun, active play alive.
  • Wubble has won numerous toy awards, including an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Toy Award, a National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, a Mr. Dad Approved Award, a Parent's Choice Award and the  Dr. Toy Best 100 Picks Award and more! 
  • Wubble Ball is available at Target, Toys R Us and online at Wubbleball dot com. 
  • You can check them out on Facebook. Or Twitter!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Hair Color Made Simple: A DIY Check List

Coloring your hair yourself can be intimidating — and we’re not pretending otherwise. Many of us leave it to the experts for that reason. It’s also why Madison Reed was started — to demystify at-home hair color, so it’s a cinch to do on your own. Madison Reed's color kit ships with the essentials; plus a few extras to ensure your experience is convenient, relaxing and even a little bit glam.To use a cooking analogy (they’re big food enthusiasts), it’s like having the  vegetables peeled and spices measured before you cook. The prep work is already done for you, so there’s no fumbling. No mess. No learning curve.

Get It Together
 This handy checklist — most of it’s already in the Madison Reed Radiant Color Kit — takes the hard out of hair color for the easiest salon-quality results you can get at home.
 Barrier Cream (Included)
 Some people use vaseline, but Madison Reed includes our own color protection formula. Apply this along the hairline to keep dye off your skin. Don’t forget easy-to-miss spots like the back of your neck and top of your ears.
 Activator Bottle (Included)
 Easy to squeeze? Precise nozzle? Check and check! In soft plastic with a tip applicator, and a screw top, this tool makes anyone a pro.
 Hair Color (Included)
 It’s ammonia-free, and not only safe, but also scent free. No one will know your gorgeous color came from a bottle.
Two Pairs of Gloves (Included)
 Form-fitting, high enough to cover your wrists, and in dye-camoflaging black, our gloves are awesome. You get not one, but two pairs; one set to protect hands while applying color, plus an additional set for rinsing in the shower — so no dirty gloves will ever have to touch and stain your counter.
 Cap (Included)
 Not your finest fashion moment, but if you’re concerned about guarding against stains while hair is processing, this is perfect.
 Cleansing Wipe (Included)
 Residue on your ears is a tell-tale sign you’ve been coloring hair. Use these after to get ride of the evidence. Don’t forget the back of your ears!
Shampoo & Conditioner (Included)
For your final step, wash and nourish hair with Madison Reed’s ultra-mild formulas free of sulfates and parabens.
 Since our formula is cream based and has the consistency of a deep conditioner, we don’t anticipate much dripping. For beginners, it’s still a nice security measure against mess until you get used to the process.
 Four Clips (in Madison Reed Coloring Accessory Kit)
Helpful for securing hair into four sections; you can also use rubber bands or hair ties.
 Wide-tooth Comb (in Madison Reed Coloring Accessory Kit)
 Using a comb or fingers, take color through before putting on a cap.
Button Down Shirt (or smock from Madison Reed Coloring Accessory Kit)
 Short of coloring, ahem, in the buff, this is the next best thing to keep your other clothes dye-free. For super fans, they now have zip-up Madison Reed Salon Smock.
 Glass of Wine (Optional)
 Why not make the wait a happy (half) hour? Good Read This is your ‘me-time’ — dive in!
Visit Madison Reed and Find your perfect hair color now!
 I would love to get feedback on Madison Reed hair color!
 Have you ever tried it?
I am 40 now and a grandma so, it's about time I start coloring my hair! I am not planning on coloring at the salon...(that can be a bit pricey for me), especially when you still have a few little zoo animals running around at home! Ok, they are human children, but some days I can't tell the difference!
 I love this to do list though, even though I think I will trade the wine for some coffee. (Maybe I could add some Bailey's in that? Hmmmmmm..)
 I have always been a beauty product addict. Sunscreen, eye cream, shampoo, hair color, face masks, lip gloss, eye shadow, body butters, nail polish, you name it! (I especially have a mad addiction to all of the beauty subscription boxes! Shhhh!!)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Neil Diamond Melody Road Review

 If you are a fan of Neil Diamond, you may already be aware that he just released his first original studio album in 6 years and first since signing with Capitol Records.
 There will be a special 36-page lyric book with guitar chords included in the packaging of each album. (That's classy and I really wouldn't expect anything less from, Neil Diamond!)
 I am 40, (yes and even a grandma, lol!) but, I remember, Neil Diamond being played on 8 track in my dad's Pinto. I always loved Neil's voice, I don't know what it is, but something in it tells you, "everything is gonna be alright.", when you hear it.
 I think my favorites are, "Sweet Caroline" and "America", of course! Oh and the Monkees song and all of the other soothing songs that Neil has had over the years. This album is no different.
It amazes me how some artists are able to still sound the same after so many years. Maybe it's just me, but, I like that about music. Change may be good in some things, but not everything and definitely not when it's Neil Diamond and your parents listened to him as you were growing up and you heard Neil every time you went to the drive in movies before the movies started!
I shared one of my favorite tracks from Neil's new album, Melody Road, below.
 If you haven't purchased,Melody Road, you can order through iTunes or Amazon.
 Check out Neil's website, here!
and you can follow him on Twitter, Youtube and Facebook.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Dual Ended ChapStick Hydration Lock Moisture and Renew Review

* Disclosure: I received a free product and coupons from ChapStick and Smiley360, in return for my opinions and honest review of this product. Receiving a free sample, product, coupons or payment never sways my opinion or review and I will always disclose exactly what I received in return for my review *

Hi, my name is Brandy, and my drug of choice is, lip products! Glosses, moisturizers, glitters, plumpers, stains, lipsticks and ChapSticks. (Honestly, I should say, "My drugs of choice are beauty products of all shapes and sizes!"
I can't help it, especially since I turned 40 and became a grandma, I am an extra, super, duper beauty junkie. (I'm trying to keep my cute, youthful glow for another 40 years, or um, as much as possible!)
I am notorious for applying glosses and chapsticks, several times a day. After every drink, snack, meal, phone call, teeth brushing, before grabbing the mail, before running errands, at work, before work, after work, in the winter, fall, spring and summer and after every time I bite dead skin from my lips and every time I lick the scented goodness from my lips! (Hey, don't judge! Who doesn't get hungry for cotton candy when you smell it all day?)
Ok, see, I admit I have this problem, sooo, it isn't the same thing, right? Well, it does suck. It is easily hidden with sloppy applications of goopy, pink, glittery, glosses that end up smelling even more like candy apples, pop rocks, cherries, strawberry cheesecakes, peppermint, spearmint, oh my, it's making me hungry just thinking about it!
I have tried everything, well, I thought I did. I mean, I think lip stains and lip sticks are so groovy, but I never get to use them often, unless they are slobbered over with some tasty lip gloss and even then, it doesn't last real long.
I do tend to favor glossy, pinks, bright reds, bright pinks, even whites and usually some sort of glimmer, shimmer or glitter. But, I always loved the look of lip stain, maybe just with some shimmery, white gloss, right in the middle of my lips. (It seems to make them look more plump and juicy!) But, lip stain, no matter the shade, does not look so pretty on bitten up lips.
No, my lips aren't bitten down to a bloody, painful pulp, but there is probably a little sliver of skin that I can rip off my lips with my teeth at any moment. I sometimes have this odd belief that if I rip enough off, I'll make them smooth again, however, this only seems to work for about an hour. (Do not try this at home!)
Anyway, I received a special little goody package from, Smiley360 and ChapStick in the mail and I ripped it out of the pack and tried this snazzy tube of, Dual Ended Hydration Lock Moisture and Renew ChapStick and after making several goofy attempts to open it and twist the end to bring this moisturizing dream come true, up so I could try it out, I realized I was not to twist the bottom at all! (Another, do not try this at home!!)
I realized, "Oh, duh! It's dual ended, so, both sides have to open and both sides need to twist up and both ends have their own little dial to twist, directly beneath it!"
Luckily, the other end wasn't to smooshed up, but it almost hit the cap and there would've went my nice new ChapStick.
I finally had it figured out and was able to use it.....My very first impression was, well, this is ok, but, it doesn't seem to awesome, I mean, it doesn't taste like anything and it doesn't glide on like gloss?? Well, of course it isn't going to and of course it shouldn't, otherwise, it'll defeat it's purpose! (Unless it's just me who has this problem?)
After a few minutes and no tingling or burning, I thought, "Hmmmmm. This can't be so bad, I mean, it definitely felt like it was moisturizing and renewing because, I instantly felt and could see improvement!
I continued to use this a few times a day, for a few days, all by itself!! No, glittery, hot pink glosses, no shimmery, marshmellow scented and tricking me into tasting it and guess what? There were even MORE improvements!
(The only thing that did not improve was me, remembering NOT to twist the bottom of 1 end when trying to bring up the other side!) I really wish there was a better way to package this goodness but, I can't for the life of me, figure out a better way. (Again, is it just me?)
I decided to treat myself to some lip stain and gloss, I don't care for just the matte look but I have to find another way for the shimmery look because I was right at the biting and ripping layers off again.
The good thing was/is, that, ChapSticks Hydration Lock Moisture and Renew actually works. I don't come across this very often with lip products who swear up and down to provide you with some amazing benefits. But, this stuff is like rehab for lip biters, peelers, pickers and even people who live in warmer, humid climates or cold, windy climates and everybody in between.
What else is nice about this product is the price. I have seen it as high as $2.99 but as low as $1.99, regular price.
Just last week a local retailer offered these at a dreamy price, 2 for $3! (Collect some 50 cents off 1 coupons to make an even better deal!)
Have you tried this new product from, ChapStick?
What did you think?
What lip remedies or products have you tried that actually helped with improving the look and feel of your lips?
Are you a member of Smiley360?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mary Lambert's Heart On My Sleeve

*I participated in the Mary Lambert Heart On My Sleeve album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided a free album to review but all opinions are my own.*



I had the chance to review a copy of, Mary Lambert's new album, Heart On My Sleeve, thanks to One2OneNetwork.
 I spent a lot of time reading up on, Mary Lambert and found a lot of very fascinating things about her, which ended up leading me to really find that I liked this chic! I learned that she is just a regular person, much like most of us. She even admits to her, "not so awesome" parts, you know, those little things that aren't always so becoming of us, so we tend to hide them? Well, she writes about hers and she seems to like those things about herself.
 Anybody who promotes acceptance, whether it is of yourself or somebody else, is super awesome in my book! I especially admire how, Mary Lambert, managed to make this type of music, (whatever type that may be. I know they call it, "pop", but it has it's own sound..) her own. and with little effort too! It has a unique, natural flow about it.
Some interesting things about, Mary Lambert, (at least to me!) are, that she seems very modest and seems genuinely happy to be her. She used to be a brunch waitress and a bartender, which I found super cool because I'm a bartender also and I always love hearing stories about people who started out where I did and end up "making it big". She would like to one day have enough money to buy her mom a house, (that is so sweet!), and she wants to be able to tip brunch waitresses with $100 bills.
Mary doesn't have some glorious story behind her success, although, some would see it as a sort of, Cinderella story. She admits to struggling both personally and financially and having regular issues and problems just like any other regular person. The way she views herself and the rest of the world is just, classy. Her
 music is the same, different and maybe not something I would listen to on a regular basis but after knowing her story and appreciating her background and her style, I would! It is an all around good album that will definitely hold your interest and it will be hard to choose a favorite because each track is special in it's own way.
 You can find more about, Mary Lambert, here.
Follow her on Twitter @marylambertsings
 Find her on Youtube! Mary's Facebook!
You can purchase, Heart On My Sleeve through iTunes or Amazon.

#FastAdvil Please!!

* I received a sample and coupons from, Advil and Crowdtap, in exchange for my honest review of this product. My opinions and views are always my own. Free products, samples, affiliates and paid posts  will never change my honest opinion about any product or service.*

As many of you are fully aware, I have RSD. What is RSD, you ask? Well, it is usually pretty hard to explain, but I will try for the gazillionith time....
It is a neurological chronic pain disorder. Many people suffer from this but not all of us have the exact same symptoms, so I will share some of mine.
I have burning pain from my hips down through my toes. This is the most painful part and can last for hours or even days on end when I have an outbreak. Outbreaks are everyday, sometimes they don't seem to end. I also have electrical shock pain and this just comes and goes, as well as regular old soreness, aches, irreversible bone, tissue and muscle damage and rashes, discolorations, welts, hyper sensitive nerves, hyper active senses, hmmm, I actually keep a pain diary and have 43 different layers of pain but I won't force you to read all of that! This isn't school and if I were to list them all with descriptions, I would need an overhead projector and a pointer and I don't, so....
Anyway, on top of my alien like disorder, I was also diagnosed with MS a couple of years ago, after an accident. I can't claim expert on MS because, I really don't know much about what I am dealing with in that realm just yet.
I can tell you that I have had a long history of broken bones in my feet and ankles and some torn tendons, heel spurs and drop foot. All of this finally led to re constructive foot and ankle surgery, which led to this horrific chronic pain disorder.
I have a hard time finding any sort of pain relief, especially after a night of work or even a night at home. (One weird thing about all of my disorders and injuries is that it seems to hurt much, much more if I am resting and then stand up.) I also have a severe problem with swelling. I also can't shave very often due to my skin and nerves being so super sensitive.
I rely on pain medications to help me move, even though they don't work so well. So, I tend to try and find healthier approaches but again, there isn't much out there that alleviates all of this pain. I simply would like to find the perfect combo so that I can keep my pain levels down a bit so I can be a regular person.
(Well, I don't really want to be to regular, that would be super boring!!)
I have found that a good mix of hot water, elevation, no electricity, or at least a small amount of electricity, (I have a strange sensitivity to electricity that becomes very painful as well.) and sometimes heat pads, but most of all, something to make it possible to go to sleep and stay asleep.
I often use, Advil, it has always helped with swelling and made it easier to move and function throughout the day. I do like to have as much help as I can find, to get the edge off a bit.
A lot of people think a pain medication will take all of their pain away... this is not the case. Pain medicines, even prescribed medications, only take away the most brutal, sharp, stinging, excruciating pain that you sometimes deal with, or all the time deal with.
Advil is good for this. I have been a long time, Advil fan, for everything from headaches to after having a baby to migraines to breaks and sprains. Out of everything I have tried over my years on this planet, Advil was already the fastest acting medicine that I could find.
Another reason I always preferred, Advil, over all of the rest, was because of the coating. I have a hard time swallowing pills and can take a few minutes just to down one. This sucks, because, it starts to melt and taste chalky and that is one of the grossest things I have ever tasted.
Advil is coated, which makes it much easier for somebody like me to cope with.
Now, Advil came out with this new product, Fast Acting Advil Film Coated.
First of all, I was pleased with them to begin with and at first I thought, well, maybe it's just me and I won't notice much of a difference. So, I put these heaven sent pills to the ultimate test, after a 9 hour shift bartending.
I have a 30 minute drive home from work and when I get home, I can't get out of my truck very well. I end up sitting there for a while and trying to decide which foot to land on. I usually end up crawling to the porch steps to get into my house since my left foot will not move up at all, I have to use my right leg for support. Well, after a busy Saturday night at the bar, that side isn't even good enough to rely on.
I figured since the old Advil, worked fast enough, I would be able to take 2 of the new Advil, drive home and notice a difference by the time I got home.
(Oh, another form of pain relief for me is music, anything to help me escape.) I drove home listening to the newest 311 CD, screaming along with the lyrics as loud as I can. (That's just another form of therapy I like to use!), got home, parked and wondered how this was going to work....
I did notice the throbbing had calmed down some, I didn't even have the usual problems trying to press the gas and brake pedals and my ankles weren't as inflated as they usually are after work.
I am not going to lie and say, I was pain free! (That doesn't happen) but I will say, I am very impressed with, Fast Acting Advil. I didn't take my prescription medicine before I left for home, just the Advil, so I could have a proper review and the funny thing is that I noticed more of a difference with the swelling and throbbing more then with prescribed medications.
I have one more sample pack left and will be using this in the morning which is when my pain levels are through the roof! Plus, it is supposed to rain all night and day and I have a busy day filled with errands and a Halloween parade.
Would I recommend Fast Acting Advil? Of course. I would recommend this to anybody who has to deal with any amount of pain, no matter how big or small. My husband used a pack of these for his back pain and his headaches he seems to have every morning. He also reported that they helped quite a bit with swelling, which, we all know, leads to less pain!
I would highly suggest that you speak with your doctor regarding any possible allergies, drug interactions or pre existing conditions that would make it that you would not benefit with Advil, as you should do with any medicines.
Will I purchase Fast Acting Advil? Yes, matter of fact, I will be using one of the coupons I received, tomorrow.
I will be adding these with my pain regimen, mainly for weekends at work and for rainy or snowy weather.
I am not a doctor and I do not know the pain you may have, but I hope this review has helped you in some way. Maybe you relate to me or maybe you don't. I would love to read comments about your pain relief regimens, have you tried Fast Acting Advil? Did you notice the difference in the time relief starts? Have you ever thought about adding Advil for fast relief from swelling. headaches or minor pain or even breakthrough pain?