This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of White Cloud for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Kids are messy, there's no doubt about that. After raising five kids I know a thing or two about messes. Some of my favorite memories are those made with my kids that made a mess of the house and their clothes. I've always said, "The Dirtier the Clothes, The Bigger the Memory".
Now that I'm a grandmother, I'm having fun making messy memories with my grandchildren. One of the benefits of being a grandmother is leaving the messes for the parents. LOL! My daughter is learning a thing or two about just how much messy children can be. I'll let her tell you her messy story.
As a new mom I never realized how messy having a kid was…easy peasy I used to say! …that is until feeding my newborn baby food for the first time. I knew when that first stain hit his white onesie that I was going to have a rough time with keeping his clothes like new.
As a mom of a messy kid, I soon realized that there are going to be plenty of messy clothes that you will be washing for a long, long time. Clothes with stains from paint to markers, to home made dirt pies that every kid loves making from the ground outside, and of course the dreaded food stains. While there is no way to keep the stains off their clothes there is a way to get them gone! With the new 3-1 Micro Clean Technology Laundry Detergent from White Cloud.
The new 3-1 Micro Clean Technology contains an enzyme-based formula to get out your toughest stains. You get three products in one. It contains a pre-treater, stain remover and color booster all in one. Love this!
The White Cloud Laundry Care and family of products is a premium brand available at Walmart at an affordable price. This means I'll save money by having to buy just one product for all my laundry needs. I also love that it comes in three scents – Blooming Lavender, Summer Breeze, and Tropical Fiesta – which allows a mom to find a scent as unique as her family.
Now I no longer have to worry about all the messiness when having messy fun with my kids. With the White Cloud Laundry Care that comes with 3-in-1 Micro Clean Technology I'll be able to get out the toughest stains. Also, I can choose from the White Cloud Laundry Care in liquid sizes 100 or 150-ounce sizes or powder form in a 156-ounce box.
White Cloud which is well known for their family of soft and strong Bath Tissue, Facial Tissue and Paper Towels and they are now excited to introduce shoppers to discover their new line of Laundry Care products. Store Locator
They are offering fans of White Cloud on Facebook a high-value coupon to print off so that you can try out the new 3-1 micro technology too. There is a limited quantity and you are limited to one coupon print per customer. Like White Cloud on Facebook so you grab your coupon today.
If you share the coupon on your social media channel of your choice (Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest), you'll receive a ($2 off coupon). If you don't won't to share, no worries. You can print off a $1 off coupon. One coupon is available per customer.
White Cloud Laundry Care offers Pure Comfort as only White Cloud can, helping moms preserve memories, without sacrificing their budget. Using White Cloud can help you save on your budget, and your kid’s clothes.
Now that I've discovered the White Cloud 3-1 Micro Technology Laundry detergent, I can focus more on making happy messy memories without worrying about the stains.
I would love to hear about one of your favorite happy messy moments or the grossiest because as parents we know there are a lot of those.
Limit one coupon per purchase on product specified. No cash back if coupon value is higher than purchase price. Void if reproduced, transferred, used to purchase products for resale or where prohibited/regulated by law. Not valid on trial sizes. Consumer pays sales tax. Redeemable at participating retail stores. Valid only in the U.S.
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As scary as it is to talk to your kids about personal safety and self-defense, making those conversations happen can have benefits that extend past the most obvious one of helping to keep your kids safe.
Line of Communication: Uncomfortable, awkward, uneasy, unsure, nervous. These are all adjectives you might use to describe how you might feel bringing important self-defense topics up with your child. From an early age, through their teen years and beyond, you want your child to feel comfortable coming to you with anything, no matter how difficult to talk about. Think of how hard it is for you, the adult, to bring up tricky topics with your kid. It’s infinitely harder for them to bring hard topics up with you. Finding the motivation and courage to have hard and potentially scary conversations with your kid, no matter how much fear you have doing so, will open up the line of communication between you and your child, allowing them to feel comfortable enough to bring up difficult topics as they occur.
Life Skills: What’s unique about the teachings of self-defense is that much of the preventative skills we teach happen to be extremely important life skills for kids as well. Having and exhibiting confidence both mentally and physically, establishing and communicating personal boundaries through voice and body language, being observant, listening to and trusting intuition, and taking a stand against someone who wishes them harm, are just some of the incredible life skills you stand to instill in your child through the self-defense lessons and conversations you have with them.
Having conversations with your kids about personal safety and self-defense, in addition to the above benefits, is the number one tool you have to keep them safe from harm. Don’t let the common excuses (you don’t want to scare them, you don’t know what to teach them) stand in your way.
Components of successful self-defense conversations:
1) Energy: Of course you’re going to be nervous. This is scary stuff. But your nerves will definitely make your kids anxious. Set aside time for the initial conversations so you won’t feel rushed. Take a few minutes before the talk to breathe deeply and remind yourself how important these lessons are. One of the reasons why you so successfully teach them other safety skills (like wearing a seat-belt in the car) is because you’re calm and matter of fact about it.
2) Information: Gone are the days when self-defense lessons were only about strangers offering candy and puppies. Child victimization takes many forms now (bullying, cyberbullying, molestation, just to name a few). 93% of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker (www.rainn.org), and 1 out of every 4 American kids has reported being bullied on a regular basis (www.bullyingstatistics.org), so if you’re still stopping at stranger danger, you’re missing a huge piece of the puzzle. Learn, learn, learn. There are many great websites, books, and videos on the topic. My blog has tons of articles written specifically for parents.
3) Age Appropriate Modifications: Not all lessons and topics are suitable for all ages. But kids as young as 3 can begin to get exposed to ideas and behaviors that will help them develop solid personal safety skills. Again, there is a lot of great information out there in regards to what to teach kids at different ages.
4) Consistency: Imagine how fantastic your kids grades would be if you only reminded them to do their homework one time. Ever. People (adults included) need continuous reinforcement to learn and apply new skills and lessons, and
your kids are no different with self-defense knowledge. If you stay on them about academics, extracurricular activities, social interactions, cleaning their room, hobbies, and personal care, you can surely add personal safety skills to the mix. It’s absolutely as important as the others.
5) Safe Zone: These topics have the potential to be pretty scary. Make sure your conversations are 100% free from judgement and limitations. Let your child ask any questions they want to on this topic. If they ask you a question you don’t know the answer to, simply be honest. Let them know that you’ll research the answer and let them know as you soon as you discover it.
6) Game Plan: You and your child will get a lot more out of conversations that you’re prepared for. Jot down some specific questions, topics, and situations that you’d like to cover before you begin. Writing answers down on a piece of paper and keeping the answers somewhere visible, like on the fridge, or kitchen table, can keep the conversation going and fresh. Here are a few ideas to get you going, along with some suggested talking points. Keep in mind that these are geared to slightly older children, so age-appropriate modifications may be in order:
How To Talk To Your Kids About Self-Defense
Self-defense means keeping yourself safe and protecting yourself from someone who might want to hurt, harm, scare, or take you.
Explain the difference between self-defense and fighting:
Fighting is a choice you can make. Self-defense is not a choice, it’s not a mutually desired outcome, it’s something you don’t want. We feel angry when we fight, we feel scared if we need to use self-defense. Fighting is unacceptable. Using self-defense to keep ourselves safe in an emergency is essential.
When are you allowed to use self-defense techniques?
Whenever you feel that you are in danger and using your voice, running away, finding an adult to help either didn’t work or isn’t possible. If an adult puts their hands on you in a way that is scary, painful, or unwanted.
List 3 habits you practice daily that keep you safe:
You wear a seat-belt. You look both ways before crossing the road. You pay attention to your surroundings.
List 3 physical characteristics of a confident person:
They walk with their shoulder up and back. They look up and around them. They make eye contact.
List 3 strategies you can use to avoid a potential confrontation:
Use your voice to tell someone to leave you alone. Tell an adult. Run to safety.
List 3 “command” words you can use to set personal boundaries:
Stop! Get away! Don’t touch me!
List 3 “action” words or phrases you can yell to draw attention to yourself:
Help! He’s not my Dad/she’s not my mom! I don’t know this person!
List the 4 best places to strike on someone in self-defense:
Eyes. Nose. Throat. Groin.
What’s the golden rule of safety?
Always tell your parents if someone has made you uncomfortable, scared, or hurt you. You will never, ever get in trouble for taking self-defense actions.
For more information about Teaching Your Child How To Protect Themselves visit Jarrett Arthur. Jarrett Arthur¹s passion is helping others transform through self-defense training and education, with a particular focus on women, mothers and children. One of the highest ranking female Krav Maga black belts in the U.S., Jarrett comes armed with years of teaching experience and has taught hundreds of men, women, and children over the course of her 10 year career. Jarrett has been featured as an expert on national television shows including Ellen, Access Hollywood and Good Day LA, as well as in numerous publications including Fitness Magazine and The New York Times.
About Don¹t Mess With M.A.M.A. – The Foundation DVD:
M.A.M.A. stands for Mothers Against Malicious Acts, and is the first self-defense system of its kind. This DVD is designed exclusively for mothers as well as all women responsible for the care of children. It chronicles: effective skills against any size assailant, how to successfully defend your infant or toddler, easy to implement safety tips and strategies, realistic,straightforward striking techniques, and fun, positive safety games to play with your child.
Connect With Jarrett Arthur:
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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kmart Share the Word for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
One of the worst feelings in the world is feeling out of control when it comes to your money. I experienced this myself years ago before I learned how to budget my money. It was during those times that I felt frustration and fear worrying day to day how I was going to pay all my bills and still have enough money to put food on my table. Then one day I decided to take back control of money by learning how to start a budget and stick with it.
Since that day, I now know exactly where my money is going and have a spending plan that is helping me to stay on tract and not overspend. You to can take control of your finances and I’m excited to share with you a resource that will help you do just that.
Kmart is teaming up with Glinda Bridgforth, author of, Girl, Get Your Money Straight to offer some tangible ways to get control of your finances.
During Black History Month, you will find coach Bridgforth on the Kmart website at Share the Word, providing financial tips and stories that will help you to gain your financial freedom. The Share The Word Financial Empowerment platform was created to honor the African-American legacy and provide valuable resources to enhance the lives of Kmart customers.
Kmart wants to help you by growing your financial health so that you will discover the emotional peace we are all seeking in a world of consumption. Be sure to visit every week to learn how to empower not only yourself, but your friends & family.
Kmart also helps by providing services like their Shop Your Way Rewards. When you sign up for Shop Your Way, as a member you will receive personalized deals, earn rewards points to use toward our purchases in-store, online and via mobile.
Kmart also provides in-store and on-line layaway. Their layaway plans will allow you to pay weekly or bi-weekly for the products your family needs. This is especially helpful for those big purchases like TVs and computers. Kmart is the only mass retailer offering layaway to its customers 365 days a year both in-store and online. Plus, if you’re a Shop Your Way member you can earn points on your layaway purchases.
From family budgeting and savings advice to useful templates and money savings tips, Glinda’s guide has it all. In addition, she’ll help you make your money go further with Kmart programs such as Layaway and Shop Your Way Rewards benefits.
Are you ready to take your budget by the reigns?
The first step to becoming a Kmart Smart and financially savvy shopper is downloading this guide.
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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of ALPO® Brand Dog Food for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
As you can see, my dog Lucy loved the ALPO’s® Chop House Wet Dog Food! She’s a very happy and satisfied dog! I loved the compact size it came in. Just the perfect size for my small dog.
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When I was growing up in the 70′s we didn’t have the technology that we have today. Games were a such a huge part of my childhood and Hasbro, The Game of Life was one of my favorite games.
I loved spinning the wheel and driving my car around the board and filling it up with more of those colored stick people as I got married and had children. So many happy memories. I kind of miss those times when things were a little more slow and families spent more time together around the table then they did apart.
If you miss those days or you’re searching for ways to get the kids off their gaming devices and cel phones, try starting a game night. The Game of Life is the perfect game to start with.
The newest Game of Life Board game comes with a Game Guide that will help you set up your Game of Life in only just a few minutes so your family can jump right in the game and start playing.
Introduce your children to a game that has been around for years and that will give your family hours of fun laughing and playing just like the good old days. And for one lucky reader, I am offering The Game of Life as a giveaway.
THE GAME OF LIFE
Age: 8+; Players: 2-4; Available: Now; Approximate Retail Price: $19.99
Where will your choices take you? You made it through high school, so now what’s next? Go to college or start a career – it’s your choice. Think the family life is for you? Take that path and see how many kids you’ll have! Will you venture down the risky road where fortunes can be won…and lost? Do whatever it takes to retire in style with the most wealth at the end of the game. Spin the wheel of fate and take a drive along the twisting roads families have enjoyed for more than 50 years! Do good deeds as you go through the game to earn Life Tiles and more money down the road!
The Game of Life Giveaway
Just enter below by commenting on what was your favorite childhood board game. You can also enter for each share on any social media. Just leave a comment for each share.
Giveaway ends Feb. 20 at midnight.
Disclosure: I received The Game of Life in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% my own and objective.
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Tricia Goyer, popular christian author and homeschooling mom of six kids knows a thing or two about balancing family and work. In her book Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom, she shares her experiences and wisdom from a Christian perspective with tips for finding balance in your life without giving up your hopes and dreams.
The book is presented in a conversational style that will make you feel as though you are sitting in your living room conversing with a good friend. The book will move you to tears and laughter as you follow along with Tricia as she bares her soul and opens up about our own life as a working mom trying to balance it all.
The book includes tips on:
—how to create focus themes for your family
—how to prioritize your schedule
—how to utilize your job so it also benefits your kids
—how to keep yourself out of the comparison game
—how to make working at home work for you
—and much more!
You will also find practical tips on how to follow your God-given dreams and still manage to be the mom everyone needs in the family, the wife your husband needs, without neglecting your own needs as a woman. There are no perfect solutions that will tell you do this or do that, but it is filled with practical wisdom that will help guide you in your own life of trying to balance it all.
For me the underlying message is that God’s grace is sufficient to meet my needs even in the midst of the busyness of my life as a working mom. The one message I uncovered from the wealth of wisdom in this book, is that it’s okay to take care of my needs and follow my dreams too.
When I allow God to ordain my day, the rhythm of working, following my God-given dream, and meeting the needs of my family, everything seems to just fall into place.
The first practical thing I’ve learned to do is to spend time with the Lord every morning before the day starts and gets away from me. I have grown to cherish this quiet time in the morning while the house sleeps around me and the darkness outside is slowing fading to light. I go to God and grasp his grace anew every morning, pulling it on like a well-worn and loved sweater.
I then present my priority list for the day as an offering to God and ask his guidance and blessing on the things I need to do and want to do. That way, when the ebb and flow of the day has begun, I can let go of the impossible expectations that I tend to place on myself. And just by releasing this pressure of performance and perfection, then I can relax into the day enjoying each and every moment as a gift of God. Even the interruptions that throw me off my schedule.
I have learned by putting God first and giving myself permission to take care of myself along with my families needs, my day feels more satisfying. I don’t feel like I’m carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders anymore. I can let go of the impossible expectations that I put on myself and allow myself to be human in the same way I allow my family to be. I too have feelings and needs and there’s nothing wrong with meeting those God-given needs in the same way that I meet my families needs.
I’m still human and some days I can barely keep my head above water, but that’s okay. Tomorrow is a new day. God can take the ashes of our lives and still make something beautiful from it.
I think most moms and women in general put themselves last and by the end of a very long day they have nothing left to give themselves. They wearily throw themselves into bed because they just don’t have any energy left. And they repeat this cycle day after day, night after night. And as result, they begin to feel bitter, resentful, neglected and sometimes depressed. This needs to stop. It’s okay to give yourself permission to spend time on your hopes and dreams. It’s okay to take a long hot bath, read a book or just visit a friend. I believe God wants us to take care of ourselves in the same way we take care of our families.
Even Jesus took time to draw away from the crowds to rest, to eat and to pray.
If you’re having a hard time finding the right balance in your life to meet everyone’s needs and still have time left for yourself, I highly recommend you read this book Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom by Tricia Goyer. I think it will help guide you in the wisdom of God to find the balance you are longing and searching for in your life.
Disclosure: I received a digital copy of the book Balanced in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% my own and objective.
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Eco-Friendly and Budget Conscious Tips for the Home
By Sarah Pleuthner
We’re a few weeks into the new year, and you might be wondering how you can make some improvements around the home and maybe get some savings in at the same time. Most American homeowners consider a remodeling project at some point in their lives, and many of these folks are on the lookout for ways to be more environmentally friendly as well as cost efficient.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which you can revamp your home and be eco-friendly at the same time.
Consider a Metal Roof
Metal roofs have been around for long time, but lately they have been getting some well-deserved attention. Traditionally thought of as unattractive, today’s metal roofs are not the industrial-looking vertical slats of tin that you might see on a barn. Instead, as one Dallas roofing company points out, they are now available in an array of styles, materials, and colors to complement all styles of architecture.
While the cost of metal roofing is greater than that of the traditional asphalt shingle roof, metal roofs are lightweight with greater durability. They have better resilience to weather conditions than asphalt roofs, which helps to increase their longevity. And what about the environmental factor? Asphalt shingles are a petroleum product with a negative impact on our environment. Also, asphalt roofs need to be replaced every 15 to 20 years. Compare this with metal roofing that can last four or five decades and is often constructed from recycled materials. That’s a big difference. And the best part? Metal roofs are energy-efficient reducing both your cooling costs in the summer months and your heating costs in the winter months.
The combined savings from the durability of the metal roof to the savings it will help accrue on utility bills will offset the increase in expense over an asphalt roof. Our vote is definitely with the metal roof.
Low Maintenance Lawns
One third of Americans’ water usage goes toward maintaining lush, green lawns. Having a
beautiful lawn is of course pleasing to the eye, but are there less expensive alternatives that
don’t make you pause each month as you prepare to open the water bill? Yes, there are
definitely cost efficient ways to have beautiful landscaping without wreaking havoc on your
finances. Let’s take a look at some of those ways:
● Try a different breed of grass. Most varieties of Zoysia, Bermuda, and Buffalo grasses are
drought tolerant and require less water than some other types of grasses, though Bermuda
requires more water than the other two.
● Grow a prairie meadow. Prairie meadows are a blend of wildflowers and native grasses that
grow easily in the grasslands of North America, typically in the Midwest. They do not require
watering and make for a very pretty landscape.
● Clover is a hearty alternative to lawn. It grows easily, overpowers weeds, and needs little to no
watering. It also thrives in the sun and doesn’t need fertilizing. Visually, it is very attractive with
its charming four-leaf clovers. The downside: it doesn’t handle foot traffic well, so you might
want to plant it as a “bed” or maybe create a pathway of some sort through it so that the leaves
can avoid being crushed.
● Any number of ground covers can add greenery to your yard. There are plants that spread
outwards but do not grow very tall—these make optimal ground coverings. You can choose
plants with flowers or plants that are edible, such as strawberries or various herbs. Just make
sure to do your research so that you are choosing plants that require a minimum amount of
water for the area that you live in. One thing your ground cover will need is some type of wood
or brick border to contain the plants in the area that you want them to stay in.
Save on Hot Water
According to Consumer Reports, heating water can take up one-third of a home’s energy consumption. So what’s the best way to tackle this problem? There are a couple of options.
Some people opt to replace their conventional water heaters with tankless ones. The unique aspect of tankless water heaters is that they only heat as much water as is needed. This efficiency means you can see up to a 40 percent savings on your utility bill. They are definitely eco-friendly as they help to reduce carbon emissions. There is, however, a drawback to these units, and that drawback is the cost. Most tankless units are two to five times more expensive than conventional ones. This cost may be worth it to you since tankless heaters last nearly twice as long as regular water heaters, and of course provide savings every month on your utility bill.
Another step you can take toward reducing your hot water consumption is to install low-flow, aerating faucets and shower-heads. For the best efficiency, select a shower-head with a flow rate of less than 2.5 gpm (gallons per minute). You can run a simple test at home to see how your shower-head rates. Turn on the shower, have a bucket that is marked off in increments of gallons, and catch the water flow. If the water reaches the “one gallon” mark in less than 20 seconds, than you could stand to use a more efficient shower-head.
A Few More Tips
Here are a few more ways to be energy-efficient and eco-friendly at home:
● Check to see that the seal around your refrigerator door is in good shape by feeling for cold air
around the closed-door.
● Dry two or more loads in the dryer at a time. This way your dryer doesn’t have to cool down and
heat up repeatedly.
● Clean the dryer lint filter!
● Make sure the size of the stove burner matches the size of the pot you are using to avoid
● Use CFL light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs are more energy-efficient than regular
bulbs and give off the same amount of light.
● Use a laptop instead of a desktop—they use less energy.
● Unplug your battery chargers when you’re not using them. Many chargers continue to draw
power even when there is no device connected to them.
● Change your air conditioner’s air filters once a month to keep the system running well.
Saving energy and being environmentally friendly can be done in big and small ways. We hope that some of the tips suggested here can help you maximize your home efficiency while being eco-friendly at the same time.
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