Monday, August 31, 2015

5 Ways to Use Stone as Part of Your Decor

Stone can have a lot of purposes when it comes to decorating the house. From collecting the perfect paving stones for your walkways to accentuating the bathtub, different types of Earth can add an elegant and unique look to any home. One of the most profound aspects to using this medium to decorate your living space is the fact that each natural piece is one of a kind.

Accentuating the Bathroom

Some designers utilize natural stone in the bathroom in order to give it an "enchanted grotto" type of feel. You could take this process a step further and build the shower as if it were an indoor waterfall complete with plastic plants along the edges. Perhaps you could emulate the falls and pools of places such as Hawaii within the bathroom.


There are a variety of stones that can be used to accentuate the walls within any living space. This can help the room seem more like a part of the great outdoors opening the possibilities for plant life, imagery and even furniture.


Instead of installing tile, stone can offer a superb look while being incredibly durable. As long as you have proper support for the added weight of natural stone, virtually any room can offer the same sensation of being outside. This could be especially true if you install a skylight in the same room.

Floor Mat

Using various kinds of adhesive with rocks from your own yard, you can make stone floor mats for the home. These can offer a unique appearance when guests arrive as no two will ever be quite the same. A rock floor mat is also incredibly easy to clean by taking it outside and simply hosing it off.

Stone Fire Pits

You don't have to restrict your eye for decor to focus on the indoor aspect of living. Building a stone fire pit on your property can add an amazing place to relax in the evenings with friends and family. It brings the togetherness and comfort of the campfire to the backyard.

When it comes to decoration, there are several organizations that can help you get the most out of your area. Reading through comments such as Balsam Hill reviews can give you a sense of how each can help you achieve a greater sense of individuality. Choose the right stones for your purposes, and create a spectacular look that will be remembered by everyone visiting you.

Driven to Distraction: Sanity Saving Strategies When Kids Are in the Car

Whether it’s your own kids or someone else’s, sooner or later you’ll have to drive with children in the car. So, here’s how to cope with the crying, screaming, arguing, food tossing, and ‘are we there yet?’s.

Prepare For The Trip

Preparing for your trip is probably the most important thing you can do. For example, if you want to protect your vehicle’s interior, you should buy good quality car seat covers, lay down old blankets to keep mud and dirt off your seats, and not give the kids things like crayons and markers, or food, which they can (and probably will) use to mess up the back seat.

Plan out fun activities that engage your child while on the trip. For example, instead of giving your kids “assignments” or distractions, talk to them, or give them music to listen to or listen to music together. This works especially well for short trips. On longer trips, you might need to be more creative.

Plan Short Trips During The Day

If you can, plan short trips during the day. This prevents boredom from sinking in and makes the trip more enjoyable for everyone. If it’s  longer trip, see if you can plan an overnight travel schedule so that your child sleeps through the whole thing (or most of it).

Acknowledge The Child Without Causing Problems

According to psychologist Haim Ginott, many parents do more harm than good when their children become upset. Ginott recommends that parents:

        Not invite dependence
        Not correct facts
        Not violate privacy
        Avoid cliches
        Avoid talking too much
        Avoid labeling
        Avoid using reverse psychology
        Avoid contradictory messages
        Avoid “futurizing”

What does this mean for your road trip? It means that, when your child is screaming, you shouldn’t be looking for ways to shut down a child’s emotional state without understanding it first. When a child screams, it’s usually because something is happening to the child.

For example, if your child is screaming, or another child in the car (not your own) is screaming, what happened leading up to that event? Did the child make a comment which you ignored or minimized?

Sometimes, a child might say something like “I’m hungry,” and if a parent ignores or minimizes it, the child feels unheard and will repeat, louder and often much more emotionally, “I’m hungry now, now now now now!” Children can’t control their emotional states like adults, so parents often see this as a “temper tantrum,” but it was sparked by ignoring the child’s initial feelings.

In situations like this, it’s best to acknowledge the child’s hunger, and either stop to get something to eat or explain that you can’t stop to eat right now because it will make the family late but that the child will get something to eat at a certain point (if you can be specific, all the better).

If you practice understanding your child, without labeling him or her (i.e. “you’re a brat”), using reverse psychology (“go ahead, keep crying”), inviting dependence (“if you’re good, I’ll give you some candy”), and cliches (“a good child is a quiet one”), then you’ll find that your trip is much more enjoyable, even when the occasional outbreak occurs.

John Anderson has been providing commercial valet services for a number of years and likes to share his ideas and tips online. He has already posted on a variety of different websites

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Create and Inspire with Build & Imagine StoryWalls

As my kids and I grow, I find we both are looking for something a little different when it comes to play time. And that is exactly what we found in Build & Imagine StoryWall play-sets. 

Build & Imagine StoryWall play-sets are the ultimate in construction sets engineered by girl power! They go above and beyond your average construction set and even doll houses. They’re magnetic construction sets, packed with STEAM learning and enhanced for endless hours of imaginative play. I was surprised how captivated my daughter was by the Build & Imagine Day at the Beach set that we reviewed. I imagined she would enjoy it, but there was something in the simple yet creative way she was able to construct the play set to her liking that really kept her thoroughly engaged.

Each Build & Imagine StoryWalls play-set is made of colorfully illustrated magnetic panels that a child joins together any way she likes. This allows your child to construct a scene inspired by their own imagination without a ton of little pieces to lose, or worse step on! Each set is also complete with the little touches; dress-up dolls and more than 40 magnetic costumes and props.

With Build & Imagine toys your child is the architect and storyteller, taking these sets one step ahead. Girls can create and construct their adventurous female characters. Each set inspires beyond pink and princesses. These sets appeal to a girls creativity, imagination, inspiring open end play and experimentation. The set is also neatly packed inside a box that is travel friendly and has helped my daughter to keep the pieces in one spot and organize cleanup better.

You can find Build & Imagine Play-Sets available in the following three fun sets:

Malia’s Beach House • $59.99 • Ages 4+

  • Dr. Toy’s 2015 Best Classic Toys
  • PAL Top 10 Language Learning Toys
  • Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winner
  • The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval
Marine Rescue Center • $49.99 • Ages 4+
  • Creative Child Building Toy of the Year
  • The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval
  • Parent’s Choice Gold Award
Day At The Beach • $49.99 • Ages 4+
  • Mr. Dad Seal of Approval
  • Parent’s Choice Gold Award
  • The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval
Each set sis available for purchase online and in stores at retailers such as: Amazon, Kohl’s, Fat Brain Toys, Zulily and of course, at Build & Imagine’s website.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Cheerios Snack Mix #Recipe ( + Coupon and Paypal Giveaway) #Cheeriosfunflavors

School is back in session and providing my children with breakfast is always a priority, but I fully admit it’s a rushed one. There are days when getting five children up, dressed, fed and out the door in a timely fashion can be quite a challenge. And it’s on these days I am grateful for Cheerios, their many tasty varieties and all that whole grain goodness.

With Cheerios our mornings aren't just brighter, but snack time is too! For us back to school also means back to snacking. My kids arrive off the bus with a stack of homework and some appetite! A snack I love to have on-hand is a salty and sweet snack mix, made with our favorite Frosted Cheerios.


  • 1 cup white cheddar popcorn
  • 1 small bag M&Ms
  • 1/3 cup pretzels
  • 1/3 cup gold fish crackers
  • 1/3 cup Frosted Cheerios
  • 1/3 cup Cocoa Puffs
Amounts used as a guide. Adjust as desired.

Combine the ingredients into a large bowl and mix. Store in airtight container.

This tasty treat, is a simple snack that lets my kids refuel while getting their homework done, without the distraction of a rumbling tummy. It's also a great anytime snack for family movie night, or even in a little sandwich baggie for an in school snack. It’s also an extremely versatile snack. Don't like an ingredient? Replace it! Try raisins, peanuts, marshmallows or incorporate your favorite variety of Cheerios like: Honey Nut, Original, Banana Nut, Frosted, Multi-Grain, Multi-Grain Peanut Butter, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios. 

Some of my favorite combinations include banana nut with dried fruits and Multi-Grain Peanut Butter with some pretzels and chocolate! MMM! There are so many possibilities, why not try them all?! 

BOGO Cheerios

Starting August 15th, while supplies last, you can grab yourself a Buy One, Get One (BOGO) Cheerios coupon! Then you can visit your local Publix supermarket to pick up your favorite box of Cheerios and try a second flavor for free! So, hurry and grab your BOGO coupon here before the offer ends.

Paypal Giveaway

Show your love for Cheerios by visiting their recipe section and telling me your favorite Cheerios inspired recipe in the comment section below. Once you do so you'll be entered for a chance to win $10 in Paypal cash! Don't forget to leave your email address for winning notification as well.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Back to School Styling with OshKosh B'Gosh #BacktoBgosh (+ coupon) #IC

“I participated in a Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for OshKosh B’Gosh. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

Back to school shopping for five can be quite overwhelming, and that’s why I am happy to have places like OshKosh Bgosh that I can always count out on for good prices and quality clothing, in the styles my kids love. And while B'gosh blue jeans are always at the top of our purchase list, B'gosh has a variety of pieces for the active, expressive, and trendy child.

Since we are in S. Florida one thing we can count on is the heat sticking around well into the first few months of school, so for my daughter staying cool is just as important as looking cool. This year OskKosh B'gosh is sporting the must-haves of the season paired with modern heritage. So beyond the basic blue jeans (which we stocked up on) we also incorporated some fresh styles like the woven romper, TLC Tunics, twill and pleated skirts along with classic uniform style polo’s.

As you may know, I am a mom to 4 boys and 1 girl, and I have to admit it always brings a smile to my face seeing my daughter organize her back to school outfits and debate what she will wear the first day. My boys are more if you handed it to them they’ll wear it kind of kids. This back to school season OshKosh B'gosh has made that first day choice even tougher on my daughter, as she loves all her OshKosh styles so much. I even over heard her telling her brother her clothes were so cool she’s like a high school kid – too funny and cute!

OshKosh B'gosh, has all the back to school styles you’ve come to love, like B’gosh overalls and denim, mixed with new trends, like their Black, White & Indigo Collection and glow-in-the-dark graphic tees, that will leave your kids styling and smiling.  

Check out your local OshKosk B’gosh or visit OshKosh online to start your stylish back-to-school checklist. And save even more by printing this 25% off coupon!

 B’gosh Jeanius Campaign

OshKosh Bgosh wants all kids to have what they need for school, from blue jeans to books! The B’gosh Jeanius Campaign, in partnership with K.I.D.S./ Fashion Delivers, Inc., and will give customers the opportunity to donate a new pair of jeans or make a cash donation to a students in need this school year. All jeans donated from July 28 through September 16th, 2015 will be delivered to local children in need, with cash donation being dispersed to local Additionally, the Carters Charitable foundation will match all cash donations up to $50,000.

Head to your local OshKosh to save with your 25% off coupon and don’t forget your denim to donate! Find your local OshKosh B’gosh store here.