Did you know that YouTube is AMAZING?! Well, I just discovered that YouTube can be a magical place. My hubby was always watching goofy videos on YouTube and I assumed that YouTube was just a giant void full of pointless videos. Until one day when I discovered beauty videos on YouTube. There is a whole WEALTH of knowledge there my friends! While watching a few different beauty vloggers I learned about a site called Influenster where you can use your social influence to get rewarded. Basically they send you products to review and then share your opinions with others about them.
I quickly filled out my forms and waited with baited breath to see if I would be one of the lucky few to make the cut for one of their much coveted VoxBoxes. Then one day my inbox had an exciting email in store for me! I had been chosen, I made the cut. They like me, they really like me! Once you receive your box there are a few tasks to complete. You have to check in your box, take a few surveys and tasks then wait until next VoxBox and hope they still like you.
There were some really amazing products included in my Spring Fever VoxBox. Here's the run down.
Secret Outlast Clear Gel Antiperspirant/Deodorant
Their claim: Leaves fewer white marks on clothes than the next leading invisible solid. And, with 48 hour odor and wetness protection at such a low price, why pay more. (retail around $4.59)
My opinion: This was by far my FAVORITE product in the box. We were in the process of moving and I used this and was lugging around boxes and felt like it kept me dry and smelling great the whole day. Not sure if it was 48 hours since I did shower after less than 24 but it was by far the best I've ever used. It was very smooth of an application and I appreciated that it was clear and didn't leave white clumps under my arms. I could literally feel that my underarms had a layer of protection on them. Even after showering it still felt like it was there although I did apply more for sanity sake.
NYC New York Color Applelicious Glossy Lip Balm
Their claim: Delivers color, shine and moisture in one single swipe! The unique apple-shaped core is filled with Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E and Avocado Oil to give lips a healthy, irresistible look (retail around $2.99)
My opinion: I don't typically like the look of red products on my lips. Not red lip liner, lip gloss or even red chapstick. I feel like it looks terrible on me, I know it's probably all in my head, but I can't help how I feel. Now while this product was apple red (hence the name) it was a very sheer wash of red color and it is the only red that I have used more than once and felt like I might use it more. The sheerness of the red was a plus to me but the downside was that it didn't seem to have the long lasting qualities of a lipstick or stain but was still a nice product. My favorite part was the smell- apple heaven with a sweet taste.
Broadway Nails imPress Press-on Manicure
Their claim: Features advanced nail technology, so you can get a salon-perfect manicure in seconds - simply peel off, press on, and you're done. There's no drying, a killer shine and a manicure that lasts up to a week. (retail around $5.99-$7.99)
My opinion: I love painting my nails but have always hated press on nails. Being completely honest, I've been so bust unpacking boxes that my nails have suffered and I haven't tried these yet. One a plus side, the style and pattern on the nails is really cute.
Schwarzkopf Professional OSiS Gelastic
Their claim: An ultra strong flex gel that provides all day definition and control and dries with a firm finish. (retail around $18.00)
My opinion: I don't use gel on my hair, but I do use it on my boys. So I experimented with it on my 8 year old son's hair. Our problem was that he kept messing with it and it made small white-ish flecks on his strands of hair. Now, while he left it alone it did seem to have very strong staying abilities. It seemed like a very strong hold gel, but I know there are other less expensive products out there that do the job just as well.
Tastykake Kandy Bar Kakes
Their claim: Light and fluffy chocolate enrobed cakes with a delicious creme filling in a unique kandy bar shape. Available in S'mores, Peppermint and Peanut Butter (retail around $4.49 per box)
My opinion: The flavor I received was S'mores. I personally am a big fan of s'mores. I enjoy hanging onto Peeps at Easter time and then roasting them in the summer so that they get a nice crunchy sugar shell. S'more making is a science, folks! This Kandy Bar Kake did have a faint roasted marshmallow taste that I enjoyed, but the cake part of the snack seemed a little overly dry and crumbly to me. While if you gave me a box of these I would probably eat it, I wouldn't go out and buy them for myself.
So, do you want to be an Influenster too? Let me know! I have 5 invites to share, but you have to do the work if you want to be a part of my team, ok? Are you a part of Influenster? Have you done a VoxBox before?
Disclosure: Influenster provided free samples of these products so I could review them. But this post and opinions are my own and not paid for or influenced by the item provided.
Halloween is full of freebie both for kids and adults alike. We've compiled our list of best freebies that we know of before and after Halloween.
- A Boo-rito at Chipotle. Show up in costume at Chipotle between 4 p.m. and closing time on Halloween will get a Chipotle burrito, bowl or salad for only $2.
- Kids eat free at Outback. Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entree. This is for dine-in only and, Outback says, while supplies last. Be sure to look for another freebie hidden inside the drink menu. It’s a coupon for a free steak dinner, which you can redeem on your next visit to Outback between November 1 and November 29, 2012.
- Free donut at Krispy Kreme. Stop into Krispy Kreme in costume on Halloween, and you can get a free Halloween or pumpkin spice doughnut. No purchase is necessary. One doughnut per customer and at participating Krispy Kreme locations only.
- Free trick or treat bag at Subway. Kids will receive a Frankenweenie reusable bag and a glow stick, while supplies last.
- Halloween Spooktacular at Town and Country. On Oct 31 from 6-8pm trick or treat throughout the shopping center (bring your own bag!), play games and win prizes, guess the pumpkin weight and number of candy in the bowl! Balloon artist, face painting, refreshments, and fun!
- Corn dogs at Sonic. Sonic will be selling corn dogs on Halloween for 50 cents all day.
- Free kid’s meal at Chili’s. Bring your little ones any time between October 29 and October 31 for a free kids meal with adult entree and this printable coupon. This free meal is good for children age 12 or younger and at participating locations only.
- Free kid's meal at Bob Evans. Bring your littles in between Oct 24- Oct 31 in costume and this coupon (or ask for the coupon in store according to their FB page) for a free kids meal with adult entree.
- Italian food at Piada. Come to Piada dressed in costume on Oct 31 and receive a Free Piada.
- Be crafty at Michaels. Michaels stores are featuring crafts activities, Halloween parades and face painting for kids ages three and up on Saturday, Oct. 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m
- HalloWING at Quaker Steak and Lube. Kids Halloween Nite Monday October 29 from 4-8pm Join them for a pumpkin hunt, Cookie Decorating, & FREE tokens for the games!
- AFTER HALLOWEEN- Trade your sweets at The Filling Station- Nov 2- Bring in your unopened candy to the fall Festival at the Filling Station & you could earn $1 per pound (up to 5 lbs) or tokens for the game room, a bag filled with goodies and a chance to win something extra special.
- AFTER HALLOWEEN- Dr. McConnell D.D.S (at the Greene)- Will pay $1.00 per pound (up to 5 lbs per child) for your unopened candy! Candy can be dropped off: November 1st 8:15 am- 5:00 pm, November 2nd 8:15 am- 4:00 pm
If you know of any others please feel free to let us know!
There are still a few weeks of summer left and in our family that means there is still time for those last few cookouts with family and friends. I don't know about your family but with ours there are always chips at the table whenever the grill is fired up. We snack on them while we are getting ready for dinner and then we eat them with dinner. My personal favorite is Mikesell's Honey Barbeque- I honestly think I could eat the entire bag by myself. I recently had the opportunity to get a sneak peek taste at Mikesell's two newest flavors, Tuscan Spice and Sweet Chili and Sour Cream. Not only are there new flavor but there is also new packaging and a new logo. It's been several years since they've released a new flavor and I really think that people are going to enjoy the new variety being added to the already stellar Mikesell's family.
Our first flavor was Tuscan Spice, it was a lightly rosemary and herb seasoned chip. I liked how the Tuscan Spice chip reminded me of bruschetta and make me wish I had a good meatball sub to eat with it! To make the chips even better they were reduced fat with 30% less fat than regular chips. Happily I didn't feel as if it affected the flavor or quality of the chip, like I feel reduced fat items typically do. The Sweet Chili and Sour Cream had a completely different flavor. It was a wavy chip with a distinct sour cream flavor and quite a zippy chili kick after bite. I think it would have been delicious with a little guacamole on the side. It was a bit spicier than I expected, but there was also a touch of sweetness.
When my hubby and I had our taste test we might have eaten ALL the chips a tad too quickly and then wished we had been sent a larger bag! But ONE lucky reader will win a six-pack of full size 10oz bags of Mikesell's new chips (three bags of Sweet Chili and Sour Cream and three bags of Tuscan Spice). And because Mikesell's is the official snack food of the Cincinnati Zoo, the prize pack will also include 4 tickets to the Cincinnati Zoo.
How To Enter: 3 entries
- Leave a separate comment here telling us which chip you think sounds yummy or your favorite Mikesell's flavor already.
- Like Mikesell's on Facebook. Leave a comment here saying you've done so.
- Mikesell's is more than 100 years old, leave a comment and tell us a favorite Mikesell's memory
This contest ends Friday, August 17, at midnight EST. We will use Random.org to pick our winner.
Mikesell's was established in 1910 and is one of the oldest potato chip companies in the country and it's located right here in Dayton, OH. It manufactures and distributes potato chips, pretzels, puffcorn, popcorn, cheese curls and tortilla chips in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois.
Disclosure: Mikesell's provided free samples of their products so I could review them. But this post and opinions are my own and not paid for or influenced by the item provided.
It must have something to do with getting older but the older you get the faster time seems to fly by. I'm pretty sure I just got married only a few years ago or at least JUST gave birth to my sons. But somehow I'm already celebrating my 10 year wedding anniversary with my sweetheart and wishing a happy birthday to my 3 and 7 year old boys. Although I really enjoy how as your children grow up their skills and personality develops too. And one thing never seems to change, little kids (especially 2-3 year olds) enjoying being independent. That is the case with my now 3 year old. It's amazing, interesting and sometimes humorous to watch his mind work and see how he figures things out. Sometimes simple thing like opening and closing a latch or a filling up a bottle with tiny objects can fascinate him for almost 30 minutes. And with a 3 year old- almost 30 minutes is GOLD!
So, here's what happened a few weeks ago. The doorbell rang and both my boys ran to the door and quickly informed me that there was a HUGE BOX outside! Upon further inspection they inform me that it's an Ohio State wagon from Step2, and as my 7 year old told me, "we like Ohio State AND we live in Ohio!" (He has even told a few strangers when we are on vacation when they asked him where he is from, "I'm from Ohio State." Not quite buddy, but close.) A few minutes later the wagon contents of the box are strewn across the living room and my 3 year old tells me at this point, "don't worry Mama, I help you make it." Thank goodness, crisis averted, I won't have to put together this easy to assemble wagon by myself. Instead it will now take 2 times as long now because he will promptly carry pieces off as he tries to help. At least his heart is in the right place and he's willing to help. After about 45 minutes and a hunt for a hidden wheel the wagon was completed and my helper now had decided to sit in the wagon.. inside the house.. in the hallway... where it won't turn the corner because of how he has it wedged in.
Being completely honest, we had a wagon already, but when Step2 asked me to review their Ohio State wagon I just couldn't turn down the chance to review an OHIO STATE wagon! I already had my opinion of our current Radio Flyer wagon. It has two little seats and buckles, it's simple but that didn't bother me and I honestly liked it. Well, after several minutes of watching my "helper" easily open the door, close the door, sit down, hide his cup in the cubbie, then use the cup holder I realized how much better I LOVED this new wagon. First, the door; it has a DOOR; our Radio Flyer wagon has no door so there is always my fear that some child will flip the wagon trying to get in or out because they have to climb over the side to get it. It opens and closes easily and that alone was fascinating to my son. Then there are 2 cup holders. Not just 1, so the two kids inside have to fight over it- TWO cup holders- everyone gets their own. And the little storage compartment in one of the seats is just the right size for a diaper or wipes so that you don't have to worry about carrying them or even worse- forgetting them! And the "best" part? it's scarlet with a cute little grey door and the official Ohio State logo right on the front! To be an Ohio State fan with a wagon that gets people to cheer OH-IO or GO BUCKS what could be more fun?!
Oh and the HUGE box, if you have kids you know how much fun they can have with any box. Well the box had it's few day in the sun - until trash day. But my boys did play pirate hideout in it and my youngest even tried to convince me that it was his new Ohio State bed. Hmm, an Ohio State bed.. maybe that's something else new that Step2 could work on. I'll keep you posted if I hear anything about that next!
Disclosure: Step2 sent me the Ohio State wagon and box that my kids played in to review. But this post and the opinions belong to me and were not paid or influenced by their product.
2. Head to your local bowling alley and play a few free games, be sure to register at KidsBowlFree.com for your passes.
4. Get your Kids Summer Fest fun on at The Greene on July 28.
6. Take a walk on the crafty side and make something fun at Michaels in store events (most are free!)
7. Cool off indoors at the Air Force Museum and participate in monthly Family Days events.
8. Visit one of Kettering's newly redesigned parks.
9. Enjoy the outdoors at one of the many local festivals and fairs this summer.
10. Don your summer swimwear and splash around outside at one of the many local splash pads.
11. Become a Junior Ranger and earn a badge for your efforts.
12. Have fun at a free festival at the Fraze Pavilion.
13. Search the wealth of knowledge on Pinterest for ideas for games, crafts and fun activities to do with kids.
14. Particpate in a free Story On-Line Story Time at Barnes and Noble.
15. Discover something new at a local farmers market be sure to check LocalHarvest.org for help discovering new ones.
17. Try a new restaurant and be sure to check out our list of Kids Eat Free places.
18. Get something free with those final grades from school.
19. Find a VBS to attend at your local church.
I hope this helps keep you and your families busy this summer. Do you know of any others? Please feel free to share them with us!
Head to any of the area Rave Theaters and enjoy FREE movies this summer. Every week they are playing a different G or PG movie starting at 10am. Tickets are first-come first-served, and limited to theater capacity, door open 9:30. Just show up and get your ticket! I love how there is so much FREE stuff going on this summer, and with the fountain at the Greene to play in after- that is CHEAP summer fun!
Beavercreek, The Greene 14 + IMAX
Huber Heights, Huber Heights 16
West Carrollton, Dayton South 16
Here is the movie line up for this summer- please be sure to check their site for exact dates as each theater is playing each film on a different week.
Cats and Dogs The Revenge of Kitty Galore
Legend of the Guardians
Happy Feet Two
Journey 2 The Mysterious Island
Don't forget you can always call your location to see what movie is playing that week.
Most of these splash parks are open from Memorial Day until Labor Day and close at dusk. If you know of a pool or splash park in the Miami Valley that's open to the public but has not been included, please share feel free to share it with is. We'd love to hear your personal opinion on any of the local pools and splash parks listed below.
221 N. Main St. (Centerville)
Info: The park includes an all-access playground area with wide ramps, large swings, belt swings, infant swings, and benches that sway. Children of all abilities can play side by side on the play equipment. The sprayground is a zero depth splash pad with fun features that spray or dump water. The shelter has restrooms and picnic tables and can be reserved for groups of thirty or fewer for a fee.
2900 Glengarry Dr (Kettering)
Cost: Admission charged
Info: Interactive splash pad, leisure pool with large water playground, the highest and fastest slides in Montgomery County, two water slides with their own splash pool, a waterfall pool, a sun-bathing area, a bathhouse with lockers, showers and restrooms, and a concession stand and patio
51 Plum St (Beavercreek)
Info: Interactive fountain with various spray patterns
101 E. Helena Street (Dayton)
Info: A visit with children to Island MetroPark is not complete unless you stop and enjoy the water play feature, open daily 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Check out the newly installed surface under the fountains at Island MetroPark that is made from 100% recycled Ohio tires -- good for the Earth and good for active kids!
5073 Bigger Road (Kettering)
Info: Newly redesigned park features a Farm Themed playground and splash park. Picnic table seating is very limited.
Germantown at Burwood (Dayton)
Info: Features a Splash Pad
Riverview at Edwin C. Moses Boulevard (Dayton)
Info: Features a flower themed splash pad
Wonderly Ave and Delanie Ave
Info: Located in the southeast section of the city, Orchardly Park includes a playground for small children, a spray pool, a full basketball court, two tennis courts, and a small ball diamond. The shelter house is reservable for groups; restrooms are available on site. Orchardly Park is located in the block between Wonderly Avenue and Orchard Drive on Delaine Avenue.
111 E. Monument Ave (Dayton)
Info: Features an interactive splash fountain
238 Baltimore St. (Dayton)
Info: Features a splash pad
Brandt Pike & Harshman Road (Dayton)
Info: Features a splash pad
2300 Block of Wayne Ave (Dayton)
Info: Features a splash pad
East Second Street at Garland Avenue (Dayton)
Info: Features a splash pad
1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave (Dayton)
Info: The Children’s Discovery Garden is a child-friendly place to discover, experience and love our world through gardening. Divided into three main areas, the garden offers opportunities to play among interesting and whimsical plant displays, learn about Ohio habitats, and grow vegetables and other backyard plants.
Spring is here and it brings sunshine, flowers. gardening, rainy days and all play-dates on the sunny days. I enjoy fresh produce and have honestly been trying to be more conscious of what I feed my family. So the idea is having a vegetable garden sounds great, but the actuality of keeping it up is often more work that I feel like dealing with. You can always buy organic produce at the grocery store or at the farmer's market so that you get that homegrown feeling without having to put in the work yourself. The problem is that although I enjoy Farmer's Market I never get there in time especially since I have to bring a very curious almost 3 year old along with me.
I recently learned about a new company called Green B.E.A.N. Ohio. Last year my friend Celia and I went in on the Fulton Farms Happy Box for their summer season. While I enjoyed the new fruits and vegetables that it introduced our family to I often felt like I threw away or gave away almost 1/2 of the produce some weeks just because I had no idea what to do with it before it went bad.
This year when I learned about Green B.E.A.N. Ohio I was excited because this was the perfect solution for our family. It is organic, local, fresh and delivered right to my doorstep weekly or biweekly plus they deliver to Dayton, CIncinnati and Columbus area year round!
"Green B.E.A.N. Delivery sources from local farmers and artisans whenever possible. The company also provides all natural products that consumers cannot get locally. Green B.E.A.N. Delivery has to stay commercially viable, so it needs to provide products like bananas, etc. The service is year-round, so they source closer to home in the summer than in the winter. During the winter, they source certified organic U.S.-grown produce."
There is a base $35 box but you can easily upgrade each week. Now here is the part that I like the most:
"Members can customize their Orders between Thursday at 3 p.m. and Monday at noon the weekend before their delivery. On your Customize Order page you can add groceries and change the contents of your produce bin."
That right there is GOLD to me. You are able to go to their site each week and see exactly what you are going to get in your delivery that week. If you are a weekly meal planner this is great for any meal planning ahead of time.
Now breaking down the price it can be about $10 more to do any CSA than going to the grocery store and picking out the produce yourself. But I did notice how much longer my Green B.E.A.N. produce kept than what I typically buy at the grocery store (almost 3 weeks longer on some items!). That plus not having to run from store to store or trying to make it to the Farmer's Market on time with my kiddos is worth the price difference to me.
If you are interested in Green B.E.A.N. Ohio there is a special code for 50% off your first produce bin coupon code for all our lovely readers. Plus if you mention me as your referral (Amy Wells) they will give me a small discount too for any future boxes I purchase. When you checkout be sure to use the coupon code DFDmlBR this coupon expires on 4/23/12.
Have you done a CSA in the past? Or maybe you're thinking about doing a new one this year. We'd love to hear what other ones are out there.
Disclosure: Green B.E.A.N. Ohio did provide me with a produce box to try and to base my post upon and I do earn a discount on my order if you mention my name. But this post is all my opinion and was not affected by their product.
Here is a list of all the other local blog sites that I know of. If you are planning on going out of town you might find some of these other sites to be a great resource!
http://www.510families.com (Bay Area)
http://ColoradoMoms.com (Denver Metro, but serves all of Colorado)
http://www.pensacolawithkids.com (Pensacola, FL)
http://www.CummingLocal.com (Metro/ North Atlanta)
http://www.gowestyoungmom.com/ (Far western suburbs of Chicago)
http://mykidlist.com (near west suburbs of Chicago)
http://www.ArlingtonHeightsMoms.com (Northwest Suburbs of Chicago)
http://way2goodlife.com (Chicago NW burbs)
http://www.supersuburbs.com/ (NW Chicago 'burbs - Elk Grove, Itasca, and Schaumburg, specifically)
http://www.littlelakecounty.com (Lake County - North Suburbs of Chicago)
http://www.chitowncheapskate.com (Chicagoland in general but specifically Lake County/Northern Suburbs)
www.indianapoliswithkids.com (Indianapolis and surrounding areas)
www.midmittenkids.com (Greater Lansing area)
http://albanykid.com/ (Northeast NY)
http://www.soundsfunmom.com/ Covers the South Puget Sound
I found this super awesome deal on Keurig K-cups and I HAD to share it! This deal is HOT and won't last long.
Right now Kohls is offering the Keurig K-Cup Green Mountain Holiday Coffee Collection 48-Pack for the in-cart price of $24.99. The price goes down once you put it in your cart. Be sure to use the coupon code "SMS295" from RetailMeNot.com and it cuts it to only $19.99 plus free shipping. It brings it down to only $0.42 per K-Cup and that's the cheapest I've ever seen. Sales tax is added where applicable. The box is an assortment of spicy eggnog, french toast, and gingerbread flavors. This deal ends today.