Some of our recent posts

  • Essential Tips to Reduce Stress This Holiday Season with Uncle Bud’s

    Essential Tips to Reduce Stress This Holiday Season with Uncle Bud's

    The holidays are often touted as being “the most wonderful time of the year,” but some people are left feeling stressed out, burned-out, and counting the days until the holidays are over and life goes back to normal.

    No, you’re not a grinch–you’re just stressed.

    The number one way we stress ourselves out is by overthinking. There are a lot of decisions to make during the holidays, whether it’s planning meals, accommodating family members from out of town, or shopping for gifts. What are some things you can do to simplify your to-do list?

    With shopping lists to check off, food to prepare, budgets to keep, and people to please, we often get so caught up in the details of trying to make everything perfect that we forget to take care of ourselves. The holidays can and should be enjoyable to you too! There are plenty of ways to increase the zen and decrease the anxiety during this year’s holiday season. Uncle Bud’s products are a big help when it comes to decreasing holiday stress. Get 20% off your purchase at unclebudshemp.com using code: IG20.

    Here are some big areas where you can infuse some simplicity and reduce stress this holiday season:

    1. Events: Overscheduling is one of the main things that can quickly lead to burnout during the holiday season. You don’t need to schedule a bunch of complicated, holiday-themed outings to have fun. Plan simple activities for your family that are close to home. Cuddling up on the couch for a Christmas movie, or blasting holiday music and taking a drive around town to look at the lights can be just as fun.

    Uncle Bud’s CBD Moisturizing Lip Balm Gift Set

    2. Gifts: When it comes to buying gifts for neighbors, acquaintances, teachers, and distant family, buy the same thing, and buy it in bulk. A small candle, a simple ornament, a festive hand-soap are great options to stock up on for simple, yet thoughtful gifts. You can also go for a CBD gift set that will not only take the stress out of the gift recipients day but also provide a gift that offers a variety of items for them to enjoy.

    3. Gift Wrapping: If you don’t want to spend time on gift-wrapping…don’t! Whether you buy gifts on the internet or in a store, most places will gladly wrap your gifts for a small fee. You can also buy nice-looking but affordable gift bags and tissue paper, which makes the process foolproof, quick, and still looking festive.

    4. Food: If you are in charge of preparing a lot of food, ask for help. If that’s not a possibility, consider buying food from a bakery or restaurant. If you must cook, find easy, beginner-level recipes that won’t take up your entire day to prepare. You don’t need to slave away over complicated, fancy recipes to make great-tasting food.

    Uncle Bud’s Hemp Body Wash to wash away the holiday stress

    5. Free Time: We are so quick to schedule time for others, but rarely do we clear a block of time for ourselves. At the beginning of each week during this holiday season, sit down with your planner or calendar and see where you can fit in some time to relax at home and enjoy yourself. Take a long relaxing shower with Uncle Bud’s Hemp Body Wash to wash away the holiday stress. Whether it’s sitting by the tree, reading a book, taking a bath, or having some one-on-one time with a family member, scheduling downtime on your calendar is a great way to make sure you have time to slow down and enjoy the holidays.

    The holidays go by in a flash, but a little mindfulness can help you live in the moment and enjoy this special time of year. Take time this season to slow down. You deserve to enjoy the holidays and make happy, stress-free memories with your loved ones. It’s nice to give to others during the holiday season, but we shouldn’t forget to give ourselves the gift of time and relaxation. If you take good care of yourself, your holidays will be less stressful and more fun. After all, you deserve to enjoy some silent nights!

  • How to Care for a Sprained Ankle

    How to Care for a Sprained Ankle

    A sprained ankle is a common type of injury that occurs if your ankle suddenly rolls in or out, causing the ankle joint to move out of place. There are two types of ankle sprains: inward and outward. Inward sprains are known as an eversion sprain and impact the ligaments and tendons on the inner ankle that help to support your foot arch. On the other hand, an inversion sprain occurs when your ankle rolls outwards and affects the outer ligaments of the ankle. If you think you may have sprained your ankle, here’s what to do.

    Get Medical Attention

    It is worth getting your ankle checked by a professional to ensure it is sprained rather than broken, especially if you are experiencing a lot of pain. Urgent care is the best option for a sprain or broken bone, as the linked post explains. You should consider seeing a doctor if you have sprained your ankle and are experiencing symptoms such as extreme pain, severe swelling, an odd shape, a limited range of motion, or if you are unable to walk for more than a few steps. 

    RICE Method

    A mild ankle sprain is usually easy to treat at home with the RICE method, which involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The RICE method, which highlights the importance of protecting your ankle while following the RICE steps, is recommended for this kind of injury. Make sure to protect the injured area and keep it as still as possible immediately after the injury, ideally for around a day or two to help it heal faster. Apply an ice pack to your ankle for around fifteen to twenty minutes at a time, every 2-3 hours, for the first two to three days, and apply a compression bandage to the area to decrease swelling. You can also elevate your foot above your waist or heart level to reduce the swelling further. 

    Anti-Inflammatory Medication

    In the first forty-eight hours after spraining your ankle, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be effective. You may consider taking pills such as ibuprofen or naproxen or get a topical cream or gel that you can apply directly to the swollen, sprained ankle for some relief of your symptoms. A topical gel or cream can be an ideal option to consider if NSAID pills give you side effects like an upset stomach, and they can be just as effective. 

    Gentle Exercise

    Some studies have found that after using the RICE method for the first few days, some gentle exercise can help you get on a faster road to recovery. Conduct exercises that strengthen the muscles in the ankle and calf, which can improve stability and balance and reduce the risk of further injury to your ankle. You should immediately stop any exercise that seems to make your symptoms worse. 

    A sprained ankle can easily happen to anybody, from playing sports, losing your balance, falling over, and other accidents. The good news is that with the right strategies, you can heal the injury quickly and start to feel like yourself again.

  • Top Reasons Every Student Needs to Take A Gap Year

    Top Reasons Every Student Needs to Take A Gap Year

    LifestyleTeri Hatland

    You’re young, you’re void of responsibilities, and you’re enjoying studying before you finally settle down to the often daunting prospect of becoming employed. It’s safe to say that now is the perfect time to take a gap year and experience new cultures, different climates, unique gastronomy and all the other unforgettable memories traveling the world creates.

    A gap year, which essentially refers to a period a student ‘takes out’ between college or university, brings a multitude of advantages to students.

    If you’re thinking about taking some time away from your studies, take a look at the following top reasons every student needs to take a gap year.

    Learn a New Language

    Even if you’re not studying a language, spending time in a foreign country and interacting with the locals is one of the most effective ways to learn a new language.

    From making you smarter to improving decision-making skills and your ability to multitask, learning another language brings several health benefits, not to mention creating more diverse employment opportunities when you finish university.

    Experience New Cultures and Develop Life Skills

    Traveling around the world on a gap year presents the ideal time to experience new cultures and broaden your horizon. By living amongst locals for a longer period than an average two-week holiday, you’ll get to learn how other civilizations live and become fully immersed in new cultures.

    Collaborating with other cultures and speaking different languages can develop life skills, improving the way you communicate with others and your ability to adapt to different situations, skills that can be resonated in the workforce.

    Accelerated Maturity

    Another benefit of taking a gap year is that spending time in the ‘great outdoors’ and interacting with new people and new cultures, being independent and having to take on more responsibility, can prepare young people for adulthood and effectively accelerate learning.

    Improve Your Job Prospects

    Traveling the world on a gap year displays a number of positive personal traits to employers, such as showing independence, demonstrating that you’re a well-rounded and cultured individual and that you are confident and not afraid to stand out from the crowd.  

    The life-skills you will learn by traveling during a gap year can also have positive implications when you start work, such as being able to take the initiative, being a good communicator, an effective listener and having good decision-making skills.

    Such qualities could have a positive impact when you graduate from university or college and start applying for jobs.

    Make Life-Long Friendships

    No matter where you travel to on your gap year, you’re likely to meet people and make new friends. Whether it’s with friendly locals or fellow travelers, gap year students often make the best, life-long friends when traveling during this exciting stage of their life.

    With modern communication technology and social media, it’s easy to stay in contact and communicate with the friends you make in different corners of the world.

    The Opportunity to Reenergize and Refocus

    If you’re beginning to find your studies a tad laborious and feel you lack the energy and focus to study at your optimum, taking a gap year could be the perfect solution to reenergizing and refocusing yourself so you can do your best when it comes to your final year at college or university.

    Having experienced a year of traveling and witnessing different ways of life, can leave you brimming with a refreshed sense of energy and ready to take on the challenges of university and then working life.

    Time for Reflection

    Being at college and university can go by in the blink of an eye and before you know it, you’ve graduated and it’s time to start applying for jobs.

    Taking time out of studying to go traveling abroad can provide some important respite from the fast-paced world of university.

    If you’re not completely sure about what career path you want to go down when you graduate, a gap year can be a fantastic time for contemplation and reflection. Spending time traveling and relaxing in foreign lands can give you the mental space you need to help decide what you really want to do when you finish studying.

    Gain Independence

    Going to college or university can help young people become significantly more independent but there’s nothing quite like traveling to the far corners of the world and experiencing different people and cultures without the comfort of Mom and Dad being just a train journey away, to help you take complete responsibility of yourself.

    Taking a gap year provides the perfect opportunity to develop independence and get to know yourself and feel comfortable with yourself outside of the comforts that you have become accustomed to.

    Independence can also help nurture confidence, self-esteem and self-belief, making you rightly believe you are capable of achieving anything you want to.

    How to Finance Your Gap Year?

    Traveling to some wonderful, remote destinations around the world costs money and students aren’t typically renowned for having an abundance of money!

    Working as you travel by taking jobs such as fruit picking and bar work can be a good way to being able to afford a gap year. As can saving up for your travels by getting a part-time job as you study.

    If you need a quick cash advance for your gap year travels, taking out a loan or credit card for bad credit with no deposit through the likes of Bonsai Finance, can mean you can get your hands on money to pay for flights, accommodation, food and more when traveling abroad, even if you don’t have a particularly good credit score.

    Though before you commit to borrowing money, you’ll need to be sure you can pay the loan back quickly and without putting unrealistic financial pressure on yourself.

    When done correctly and with enough finances in place, taking a gap year provides an unforgettable experience that can leave you in good stead to finish your studies with greater knowledge and vitality and ultimately make you more employable.

  • Tips to Save Time, Money and Energy in the Kitchen

    As the country reopens, family schedules are inching toward their pre-lockdown levels of busyness. Sports, extracurricular activities, school, work and social commitments all leave families looking for ways to save time, money and energy in the kitchen.

    Make your family mealtime more efficient and enjoyable with these tips:

    Plan Meals in Advance

    Scheduling meals eliminates the stress of pulling something together at the last minute or wasting precious time figuring out what you have on hand to make. Planning ahead can also help ensure you’re preparing nutritious, well-rounded meals instead of making last-minute decisions that often include less healthy choices. When you plan a week at a time, you can take into account how to use ingredients across multiple meals to save money and preparation time. When planning out meals, keep in mind that leftovers from a protein main dish can be repurposed to top an entree salad or incorporated into a pasta or casserole dish later in the week.

    Shop Smarter

    Limiting your meal prep time can actually start at the store if you shop for budget-friendly prepared ingredients that do some of the work for you. You can find side dishes that are ready to heat and serve, along with shortcuts like meats that come marinated and require minimal preparation to assemble a meal. Affordable and time-saving options like Tyson Seasoned & Marinated Proteins are already seasoned and marinated so you can skip trimming and prepping the meat and get straight to cooking. For example, the Sweet Teriyaki Seasoned Pork Loin Filets let you create dishes with international flair while options like the Garlic & Parmesan or Steakhouse Seasoned Pork Loin Filets are versatile enough for a wide range of meals on busy weeknights.

    Find Easy Yet Enjoyable Recipes

    Prepared ingredients are also an easy way to get out of a mealtime rut and explore new recipes or a style of cuisine that might be unfamiliar to your family. All the seasonings are already perfectly blended, so you can skip the guesswork and be confident your dish will turn out as expected. Recipes that involve ready-to-make ingredients are also typically budget-friendly since you don’t have to invest in seasonings and spices separately. Fewer ingredients also typically add up to more efficient preparation and less time in the kitchen.

    Tips to Save Time, Money and Energy in the Kitchen

    Recruit Help

    Rather than asking one family member to shoulder meal preparation responsibilities alone, delegate age-appropriate tasks to the rest of your family. Even the littlest members of the household can help with jobs like setting the table. Older kids can assist with meal prep and getting drinks ready. If cooperation is lacking, consider creating contests to have the kids racing to complete their tasks first. Even if your time around the table is brief, bringing the family together in the kitchen can help maximize your quality time together.

    Limit Cleanup Time

    Shop for ingredients that can be used in numerous timesaving ways and think in terms of the entire meal preparation process, including cleanup. For example, versatile Tyson Seasoned & Marinated Proteins can be cooked using quick-prep appliances like an air fryer or with a grill that requires minimal cleaning after you’re done cooking. You can also choose simple recipes and one-dish meals to cut down on dirty dishes. Stir-fry, stews and sheet pan meals are all options that help limit the amount of time you have to spend cleaning up when dinner is over.

    Find more kitchen solutions to save time, money and energy at Tyson.com.  

  • Inside the Largest and Fastest COVID-19 Vaccine Operation

    By plane, boat and foot, 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines are making their way to some of the most remote corners of the globe as part of the largest and fastest vaccine operation in history.

    To help ensure an equitable global vaccine distribution and end the pandemic as quickly as possible, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and partners have been called upon by GAVI, the global vaccine alliance, to lead procurement and distribution efforts for the COVAX Facility, helping vaccines reach 180 countries by the end of 2021.

    The largest vaccine buyer in the world, UNICEF reaches almost half the population of children with routine immunizations every year and has 75 years of experience responding to public health emergencies around the globe. Before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, the organization was already providing support, and has delivered more than 200 million masks to more than 100 countries.

    Inside the Largest and Fastest COVID-19 Vaccine Operation

    From Warehouse to Health Facility
    From its humanitarian warehouse that can deliver supplies anywhere within 72 hours, UNICEF is expected to transport up to 850 tons of COVID-19 vaccines per month in 2021, more than double its average vaccine shipment. To support this increase, the organization established the Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative where more than 10 leading airlines have committed to prioritizing shipments of COVID-19 vaccines, essential medicines, medical devices and other critical supplies.

    The organization is also working with governments, helping prepare their infrastructures to rapidly receive vaccines. To store and preserve doses, 70,000 cold-chain fridges, including solar fridges, will be installed in health facilities mainly in Africa by end of year.

    Protecting Communities
    To promote safe vaccinations, health care workers are partaking in training on COVID-19 vaccine storage, handling and administration. The organization expects to provide 1 billion syringes for injections and 5 million safety boxes for proper needle disposal. Each safety box carries 100 syringes and helps prevent accidental needle injuries that could potentially transmit blood borne diseases.

    A Long Road to Recovery
    For children and families around the world, this recovery effort is crucial. According to UNICEF data, this is the first year that poverty rates are expected to increase in 25 years. Additionally, 6.7 million children are at risk of severe malnutrition due to food insecurity caused by COVID-19, and over 1 billion children were forced out of school since lockdowns began.

    Equitable access to a vaccine helps mitigate public health and economic impacts of the pandemic. Only once the spread slows and stops can people begin to reimagine and build a better future for children and families. This mission takes a joint effort, starting in laboratories and warehouses and ending in local communities.

    To learn more about keeping safe or help fund the operation, visit unicefusa.org/COVIDvaccines.

  • Social Security System Was Doomed From the Start

    Shortly after the Reagan Administration took charge in Washington D.C., professional investor and author of the book “Roadway to Prosperity” (www.roadwaytoprosperity.com) Al Jacobs essentially opted out of the Social Security System. From that time on Jacobs has contributed only minimally to the system, while retaining a vested interest in both Social Security and accompanying Medicare benefits from the U.S. Government. “Social Security provides necessary security for those who have worked until they are 65 and not accumulated enough savings to live on,” says Jacobs, “but for those who have accumulated the means to do without Social Security income, they’d be wise to extract themselves if they are able.” Jacobs says there are many reasons that the U.S. Social Security System was in trouble from the start. Here’s a look at the Social Security System past, present and future: • The current Social Security System was part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal that came to fruition in 1935. The measure, meant to implement social insurance for the elderly and unemployed, was enacted as a result of the Great Depression of the 1930s, which wiped out the savings and income of many elderly and retirees. • Initial payments, limited to $30 per year, were made into the system only by employees. If the U.S. Government had a crystal ball, it might have foreseen the problems Social Security would cause. In 1940, life expectancy for all Americans was 63 years of age, thus the government didn’t expect to pay benefits to its citizens very long. Ida May Fuller was the first to receive a monthly Social Security check. She paid $24.75 into the system, lived to be 100-years-old and collected $22,882.92 during her retirement years. • Not all beneficiaries were as lucky as Ida May, but it was an ominous beginning for the system. Throughout the next 70-plus years, amendments were added, employers were forced to pay in and optimism that the system could roll on as it had always done continued well into the 1980s. • As one century faded into another, Americans began to live longer for many different reasons, and as they did, Social Security began to show signs that it couldn’t last. The system soon became a hot item on the political trail, even prompting Donald Trump to tell everyone he didn’t need the $2,663 a month. He even encouraged his fellow billionaires – and those less fortunate millionaires – to stop taking the payment. The message didn’t seem to resonate, however, as these groups of earners are collectively taking in more than $1.4 billion a year in Social Security benefits. • According to a Pew Research Study, since 2010 Social Security’s cash expenses have exceeded its cash receipts. By 2019 the US Treasury will start dipping into its reserves and according to the study Social Security by 2034 will only be able to pay out 75 percent of benefits owed if something doesn’t change. • Today the full benefit age for Social Security is 66 for people born in 1943-1954, and it will gradually rise to 67for those born in 1960 or later. The average lifespan for citizens is 78 years.

    About Al Jacobs

    A professional investor for nearly five decades, Al Jacobs holds a degree in civil engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Real Estate Certificate from the University of California and a Certified Property Manager designation (CPM) from the Institute of Real Estate Management. He organized his own investment firm in 1968 and has since specialized in development and management of real estate, and has a deep involvement in corporate securities. His written works can be found in the book “Roadway to Prosperity” and also in several newspapers near his hometown of Monarch Beach in Orange County, Calif. Jacobs writes a weekly column for his website (www.roadwaytoprosperity.com) as well.
  • Healthy Schools Create Healthy Communities

    Growing up as an immigrant in Hell’s Kitchen, on the West Side of New York City, the odds of Jaime Casap making it out of his hometown alive, much less being successful in life, were long. Born in Argentina to a single mother, he wasn’t exactly living the American Dream between the days spent on welfare and those in which he was either witnessing violence on the streets or attending the funeral of a friend. Casap, like millions of children trapped in communities of poverty and crime, needed a vehicle to get to a better life. He found the keys to that ride in education. Healthy Schools Create Healthy CommunitiesCasap’s story is one of many stories of hope in the book “Humanizing the Education Machine,” co-authored by Bill Latham, CEO of MeTEOR Education (https://meteoreducation.com). Among other key themes, the book explores beating odds often created by a child’s ZIP code  in the American education system. Not only did Casap escape Hell’s Kitchen, he has gone on to become Google’s Global Education Evangelist, where he has been a consummate advocate for leveling the playing field in communities through an education that leverages digital technologies. It is no small task to set someone on a different path that comes from this kind of background.  It takes a spirit of connection between students, faculty and teachers, and a shift in attitude to help other students overcome their ZIP codes. However, as changes  begin in the schools, the entire community benefits from the transformation. Gone are the days that schools are simply a place to go and receive content that prepares a student for life.
    “If school officials want to be relevant in a world that has rapidly moved from Gutenberg to Google, they will have to ask themselves what their value proposition will be in a content abundant world,” Latham notes. “They are going to have to transform their practices If they are going to continue to receive future permission from parents to educate their children.”
    Some of the keys to laddering up schools into thriving community schools are presented through the research and journey of the K-12 Mindshift team that produced the “Humanize” book.  A few of the major themes the book explores are:
    Setting cultures and strategies that align with the particular needs of learning communities. More than 15 million children in the United States are living below the poverty line, often told they don’t have a chance.  Latham points to the tremendous mindshare these students devote to basic needs, safety and security.  Strategies that focus on their social and emotional literacy as well as resilience help such children persevere and emerge from such conditions with a brighter future. • Working to re-engage social capital with teachers, parents and the community at large. The resources needed for transformative learning experiences for students are often found sitting on the sidelines in communities because of falling trust in the effectiveness of the school’s current strategies. Schools must become intentional about engaging their community and giving them clear insight into how they are going to ensure students are succeeding. • Understanding the direct connection between engaging learning experiences and the student having a hopeful view of the future. Because of the environment that they live in, many kids show up to school each day without a chance of learning a thing.  Because they are homeless, their parents sell drugs or they are constantly faced with violence, their brains are on survival mode – fight or flight. They are always on alert, thus the brain has shut down all non-essential functions like learning.

    “Teachers learn that kids bring their pain to class,” Latham says. “They also realize that nothing in their training prepares them for the pain. By understanding and embracing the relational role of the teachers, we will create a safe environment for their students, and begin to lay the foundation for a more resilient, hopeful learner as they emerge into their future.”

    About Bill Latham

    Bill Latham is the CEO of MeTEOR Education (https://meteoreducation.com), and co-author of the book “Humanizing the Education Machine.” He works alongside community members and their students in creating transformational learning experiences and supportive high-impact environments.
  • Celebrate in May with Free Museums, Gardens & More

    From rich cultural history to tourism and stunning photography, bank credit and debit cardholders receive free general admission to select cultural attractions on Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7. The Bank of America Museums on Us program offers free weekend general admission to Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust credit and debit cardholders, at top cultural attractions across the country. 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the program! Bank of America Museums on UsGoing out of town the first weekend of May? Celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week! Visit the Bank of America Museums on Us Location Finder, to search for a cultural institution nearby – from among more than 175 Museums on Us partners in 109 cities across the US. (see the full list here) Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with these partners:
    • Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience – Seattle
    • Portland Japanese Garden – Portland
    • The Sacramento Museum – Sacramento
    • The Art Institute of Chicago – Chicago
    Celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month with these partners:
    • Contemporary Jewish Museum – San Francisco
    • National Museum of Jewish American History – Philadelphia
    • Skirball Cultural Center – Los Angeles
    • The Florida Holocaust Museum – St. Petersburg
    Celebrate National Photo Month with these partners:
    • Museum of Photographic Arts – San Diego
    • Newseum – Washington, D.C.
    • Frist Center for the Visual Arts – Nashville
    • Albuquerque Museum of Art – Albuquerque
    Bank of America believes the arts have a unique ability to connect people and communities, and help local economies thrive. Through Museums on Us, Bank of America is able to provide its customers with free access to artistic and cultural experiences across the United States at celebrated institutions ranging from art, children’s and history museums to aquariums, botanical gardens, zoos and science centers. How to get in free: Simply present your Bank of America, Merrill Lynch or U.S. Trust credit or debit card along with a photo ID to gain free general admission to any participating institution, the first full weekend (Saturday and Sunday) of each month. Cardholders only; guests are not eligible for free admission. Program excludes fundraising events, special exhibitions and ticketed shows. Not to be combined with other offers.   Bank of America offers customers a way to take cultural adventures this spring, with free admission to local museums with Museums on Us. The program, now in its 20th anniversary season, provides bank credit and debit cardholders free general admission to some of America’s favorite museums and cultural institutions. As part of Museums on Us, more than 175 of the country’s most prominent cultural institutions, across 109 cities in 33 states, welcome bank cardholders in for free on the first full weekend of each month. For more information about Museums on Us, including access to a full list and locations of participating museums while on-the-go, visit:http://museums.bankofamerica.com.
  • Finding the Best Web Hosting Firm

    Web hosting firms provide services to websites that allow them to publish to the Internet. Host firms make the website clients accessible to World Wide Web users. Web hosting businesses buy and lease servers maintained in a data center. Servers are connected to the Internet. The host sells space on one or more of its servers if offering shared web host services. A shared host service is a cost-effective way for users to pay a low monthly cost for hosted space because costs of maintaining services in the data center are shared by other sites using the business’s services. Web hosts typically offer more than just server space to the client. Some offer web hosting and design packages to provide the site owner with tools he or she needs to manage the website. Some shared host plans offer an easy-to-use control panel to give the site owner the option to arrange email addresses, backups, e-commerce shopping carts, databases, scripts such as WordPress blogging tools, or content management services (CMS). Some host services provide free bonuses as well, including a free domain or advertising credits to promote the site. Technical Support Many people are reluctant to try an all-inclusive hosting package because they need professional tech support or a full-time system administrator. Some of the best web host services provide you with these services as part of the monthly web hosting fee. That’s why buying web hosting services aren’t just about buying server space. Web Design Packages The cost of putting up an attractive and user-friendly site prevents some people from having a website. In today’s digital economy, every business should have an Internet-accessible site. Regardless of the business type, customers, vendors, and future employees want to know the business has a web address. Paying a web developer and designer can be cost-prohibitive. Look for a web host service that offers free design tools if site development and design aren’t in the budget. In most cases, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the professional-looking end results. Because you can adjust the site at will, you aren’t restricted to waiting for a designer to make design changes. Choosing a Web Host Service To select the right web host service, consider your budget, space needs, and need for domain names. Brand name web hosts are typically able to offer services at a lower cost than newer businesses. A younger web hosting service can be more expensive on all counts. Avoid doing business with a web host that’s primarily doing business in a country other than your own. If in doubt, ask the web host firm how long they’ve been in business. Ask about reliability and uptime issues. Know how long the company has been in business. Read feedback from users. Learn what other users say about technical support, site uptime, or control panel issues. Look for an easy-to-use control panel. You won’t use a web host service that’s difficult to use.
  • Are SEO Services Essential To Your Small Business Website?

    If you have recently gone into business for yourself and are planning to launch an official company website, the time is now for you to learn everything you can about SEO. In case you were not previously aware, SEO stands for search engine optimization. This is the practice of maximizing the visibility of your official website by strategically loading it with key words and phrases that the public uses to search for sites and businesses such as yours. SEO Why Are SEO Key Words And Phrases So Important For Your Website? Major search engines compile lists of the most common key words and phrases. They then use them to calculate how many people are searching for them. This, in turn, determines the ranking of your website in the search results. For example, if your website contains enough of these currently most popular key words and phrases, you may well come in first in the rankings (i.e., at the top of the list of search results) when people punch in a search for terms that relate to businesses in your industry. How Can You Optimize Your Social Media Presence For Your Business? In addition to your corporate presence on the Internet via your official website, you will also need to make use of modern social media optimization techniques in order to stay ahead of the curve. You can accomplish this by learning how to best utilize your additional pages on social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and the like. By loading all of your posts on these additional pages with plenty of high ranking SEO key words and phrases, you can keep visitation to your various outlets on the Internet at a very high level. This, in turn, drives traffic straight to your official company site. It’s Important To Work With A Reputable Provider Of SEO Services When attempting to optimize your social media presence for your business, it’s important to keep a few key strategic elements in mind. To begin with, it’s important to work closely with a reputable provider of web hosting and SEO services who can help you craft an online advertising campaign that uses these important techniques to the fullest degree. Doing so will enable you to quickly maximize the productivity and profitability of your business by furnishing you with exponentially increasing traffic to your official company website. The Ultimate Purpose Of SEO Is Increased Traffic To Your Website The ultimate purpose of SEO is increased traffic to your website. Anything and everything you post on the Internet should be dedicated to this objective. By keeping this ultimate principle firmly in mind, you will be able to focus strategically on your objective. By using SEO techniques to increase your visibility on the Internet, you will also be branding your company in the eyes of the public. It’s important to use these techniques wisely so that your public image will remain an attractive and credible one throughout the years to come.
  • Bank of America’s 19th Season of Museums on Us

    Bank of America has announced the 2016 Museums on Us program roster, featuring many of the nation’s favorite arts, cultural and historical institutions. Museums on Us provides a cultural benefit to Bank of America and Merrill Lynch debit and credit cardholders across the U.S by providing each cardholder free admission to 150 prominent cultural institutions across 101 cities in 33 states on the first full weekend of every month. “These cultural institutions help local economies thrive,” said Rena De Sisto, Bank of America global arts and culture executive. “We’re thrilled to make these unique cultural experiences accessible to our customers for the 19th year.” Bank of America has partnerships with a variety of cultural institutions in the United States including museums, science centers, botanical gardens and aquariums. New members of the program in 2016 include the Nevada Museum of Art, Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, the Hudson River Museum and the National Museum of Mexican Art (full list below). Notable institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia continue to participate in the program.

    2016 museum roster additions:

    · Heard Museum – Phoenix, Ariz.

    · Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History – New Haven, Conn.

    · Coral Gables Museum – Miami, Fla.

    · HistoryMiami Museum – Miami, Fla.

    · Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Museum of Art – Savannah, Ga.

    · Boise Art Museum – Boise, Idaho

    · DuSable Museum of African American History – Chicago, Ill.

    · National Hellenic Museum – Chicago, Ill.

    · National Museum of Mexican Art – Chicago, Ill.

    · Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture – Baltimore, Md.

    · Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate – Boston, Mass.

    · Nevada Museum of Art – Reno, Nev.

    · Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum – New York, N.Y.

    · Museum of Arts and Design – New York, N.Y.

    · Museum of the Moving Image – New York, N.Y.

    · Hudson River Museum – Yonkers, N.Y.

    · Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts – Philadelphia, Penn.

    · International Tennis Hall of Fame – Newport, R.I.

    · Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage – Nashville, Tenn.

    · Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture – Spokane, Wash.

    To take advantage of or to benefit from the Museums on Us program, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch customers simply present their credit or debit card and a valid photo ID to gain one free general admission to any participating institution. Admission is limited to the cardholder and excludes fundraising events, special exhibitions and ticketed shows, and is not to be combined with other offers. For more information about Museums on Us and to view a full list of institutions, visit http://museums.bankofamerica.com. Through programs like Museums on Us, sharing art, funding art conservation and global sponsorships of a wide range of world-class organizations, Bank of America aims to make an impact on economies and societies throughout the world and remains one of the world’s leading corporate supporters of arts organizations globally.
  • Five Obsolete Business Tools Saved By The Internet

    Many businesses used to thrive because of the tools and equipment that they had available. Some of the tools are obsolete because of the advanced level of technology that exists now. However, some of the tools that used to be responsible for carrying businesses are still alive and well because of today’s technology. The Internet keeps such tools alive today by providing business customers the ability to use them in a different way. The following is a list of five obsolete business tools that the Internet keeps alive to this day and these tools will most likely live for a long time because of the Internet:

    1. Fax Machines

    Fax machines used to be crucial members of a business’ operational team. Business employees would stay in touch with business partners and customers by using a huge physical fax machine to send facsimiles of original documents. Fax machines were amazing because they allowed people to send documents without visiting the local Post Office. Hardly any business use fax machines anymore. However, the Internet has saved this business tool by offering business owners products that allow them to send and receive faxes by email. Many of these programs save money for businesses. Business owners no longer have to worry about purchasing expensive fax machines or the maintenance that one needs to keep the machines running efficiently.

    2. Switchboards

    Businesses like hotels, casinos, and hospitals use to rely heavily on physical switchboard equipment. They used to have to hire employees who were familiar with all the buttons that connected a caller to the appropriate department. The equipment that most of these places had was huge and expensive. Such equipment is now obsolete, but the service is not. The Internet keeps it alive. Businesses can now purchase PBX software that replaces the equipment that they used to have to purchase. The software has a variety of features that provide the businesses with a high level of convenience.

    3. Floppy Disks

    Floppy disks used to reign supreme. Nowadays, everything goes to the cloud. Even memory cards and USB sticks are becoming obsolete because of the cloud. Cloud storage is taking over as the proprietary place of storage for all business information and consumers data. Cloud storage helps businesses to run efficiently, and it is quite cost effective.

    4. Time Punch Cards and Machines

    The days of the old-fashioned time punch cards and machines are just about done because of the Internet. Employees used to have cards that they would have to stick into a metal machine that punched a hole in it. Today’s software and technology allows employees to use their mobile phones and fingerprints to establish their presence at their place of employment. The new improvements allow employer and employees to keep more precise records. They also eliminate the cost of purchasing fallible machinery. Internet-friendly software has removed many of the old duties of the payroll department. Such software has saved consumers a great deal of money over the years.

    5. Rolodex

    The old-fashioned Rolodex is obsolete and has been obsolete for many years. The Rolodex used to be a physical piece of equipment that held the names, numbers and address information of the business’s contacts. Internet address books and mobile phone contact lists have replaced the Rolodex over time, but they have not replaced the concept of such equipment.

    The Internet has saved quite a few business tools over the years and still continues to do such. The biggest benefit of these Internet services is that they end up saving money for businesses.

    Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Faxage, a leading company that provide internet fax services for individuals and businesses.

  • “Five Alarm Blaze” featuring guest Joe Manganiello premiering March 4

    Five Alarm Blaze It’s Blaze to the rescue in Nickelodeon’s Blaze and the Monster Machines “Five Alarm Blaze” featuring guest Joe Manganiello (True Blood) as the voice of the Fire Chief, premiering Friday, March 4, at 12 p.m. (ET/PT). The Fire Chief of Axle City’s firefighting brigade calls Blaze for help with an emergency when the Chief and his team cannot take out a huge fire. Blaze and the Monster Machines follows the adventures of the amazing monster truck Blaze and his eight-year-old driver AJ, and it’s the first preschool show on TV to comprehensively cover all areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) in every episode. The series currently ranks #1 in its timeslot and airs regularly weekdays at 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon, which is the top network for preschoolers and kids 2-11. In “Five Alarm Blaze,” there’s a fire on the bridge and it’s too much for the Fire Chief and his team to handle. With time running out, Blaze races across town to make it to the fire on time. When the team runs out of water, it’s up to Blaze to determine the amount of water needed to put out the flames. Leading up to the premiere, NickJr.com and the Nick Jr. App will feature exclusive content, including a first-look at the episode starting Feb. 26, as well as two original pieces of short-form content featuring Blaze completing challenges using unique STEM concepts temperature and potential energy. About Blaze and the Monster Machines In Blaze and the Monster Machines, the amazing monster truck Blaze and his eight-year-old driver AJ have adventures that explore the physics of how things move; tackle problems through scientific inquiry and mathematics; and discover the parts needed to make everyday technologies work.   Each action-packed episode is filled with monster trucks, physical humor and upbeat original songs with lyrics that highlight a STEM concept such as adhesion, friction, force, trajectory and magnetism.  The series is created by Jeff Borkin (Team Umizoomi head writer) and Ellen Martin (Bubble Guppies supervising producer).
  • BLING available on Google Play for Free starting March 3, 2016

    February 25, 2016 – (Mountain View, CA) – Rock out to a superhero adventure for the whole family with the exclusive debut ofBLING on Google Play. Featuring the voice talents of Taylor Kitsch (“Friday Night Lights,” John Carter), Carla Gugino (“The Brink,” Spy Kids) andJames Woods  (“Justice League Action,” Hercules) and distributed by Momentum Pictures and produced by DigiArt in association with Digital Idea and Celsius Entertainment. BLING follows the tale of lowly theme park mechanic Sam whose plan to marry the girl of his dreams is thwarted by a super villain. It is up to him and his team of superhero robots to save the city. Can this accident-prone amusement park mechanic get back his ring, stop the villain, and win the girl before it’s too late? Bling Get Ready To Rock This family-friendly, feature-length animated adventure will be available exclusively for free for a limited time* on Google Play starting March 3rd before it hits theaters. *Available for free until April 10, 2016  on Google Play to residents in U.S., Canada U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Botswana, Cambodia, Fiji, Iceland, Jamaica, Macedonia, Malta, Namibia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  BLING is also part of Google Play’s family-friendly discovery experience that is designed to help parents find apps, games, movies & TV shows and books that are appropriate for their kids.  Simply tap the “Family” button on the Apps, Games andMovies & TV homepages or the “Children’s Books” button on the Books homepage to find recommendations by age and interests.
  • Top 10 Countdown of Most Downloaded Apps

    MyRealGames Winds Up 2015 with Top 10 Countdown of Most Downloaded Titles As America’s number one platform for FREE game downloads, MyRealGames has its finger on the pulse of the most popular titles on the planet. To celebrate the end of 2015, the site has released a countdown of this year’s most popular games. Exciting, action packed and characteristically diverse, the countdown features 10 terrific titles. From Match 3, Shooting and Arcade to Kids, Cars and Cards, the countdown caters for every gamer. “We’ve had a hugely successful year, welcoming legions of new MyRealGames fans, as well as introducing a plethora of exciting new titles. On the cusp of 2016, we’re celebrating a fantastic 12 months by releasing a countdown of the most popular titles that had gamers hooked,” says Nikolai Veselov from MyRealGames. For those craving adventure, Around the World in 80 Days takes players on a whirlwind journey to four continents and 81 levels. With an outstanding storyline, beautiful animation and challenging puzzles, it’s a marvellous adaptation of the Jules Verne Victorian travelogue. Players caught up in the Star Wars excitement will fall cloak over light saber for Space Bubbles and its 200 levels of intergalactic exploration. As a blend of Match 3, Puzzle and Kids, Amazon Adventure sees gamers plunge into the depths of the jungle. A must download title for all Zuma/Luxor fans. History buffs won’t be able to drag themselves away from The Rise of Atlantis, a brain bending Match 3/Puzzle game that calls on players to restore the honour and might of the legendary continent of Atlantis. Jewel Quest II Dazzling and dangerous, Jewel Quest II takes players on the ultimate jewel matching adventure across the world’s richest continent. With authentic African settings, gorgeous graphics and safari animals galore, it’s definitely one for thrill-seeking gamers. As a fast paced shooter, Supercow is a kid friendly title that takes on the evil professor Duriarti in an effort to save the kidnapped residents of Sunny Valley. Those with a need for speed will love Nuclear Bike, a turbocharged Arcade title that’s packed full of breathtaking gameplay and amazing physics. Jewel Quest is another hugely popular 2015 title, taking players into the midst of ancient Mayan ruins to discover hidden treasures and priceless artefacts. Fishdom 3 is action packed, with colourful gameplay and plenty of 3D fun. Players in search of something a little more serious will enjoy the sharp graphics of Billiard Masters, a US 8-ball pool game featuring an advanced 3D aerial view of the table. In 2016, MyRealGames fans can expect to see even more titles added to the ever expanding inventory of titles. To find out more about MyRealGames, download the top 10 titles and browse the huge range of additional games currently available on the platform, visit http://www.myrealgames.com. No registration is required.
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens Instagram’s New Landscape Orientation Exclusive

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    Today, Instagram announced that – in addition to square posts – you can now share photos and videos in both portrait and landscape orientation on their platform. With this update, Instagram users can upload widescreen video which will be more cinematic than ever. This morning, @StarWars released an exclusive look at their upcoming film, The Force Awakens, using Instagram’s new landscape orientation. As part of this collaboration, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the very first video content to be showcased in this new format for the Instagram community.

    There has been an awakening… #StarWars #TheForceAwakens

    A video posted by Star Wars (@starwars) on

    About “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Lucasfilm and visionary director J.J. Abrams join forces to take you back again to a galaxy far, far away as “Star Wars” returns to the big screen with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The film stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by J.J. Abrams & Lawrence Kasdan. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” releases in U.S. theaters on December 18, 2015. For more information on the new landscape orientation, visit: http://blog.instagram.com/post/127722429412/150827-portrait-and-landscape
  • Tips for Having a Successful Online Business

    With all of the online businesses on the World Wide Web these days, what is the secret to having a successful one? Why do some websites catch on with the public and become incredibly popular, while others simply fade away into oblivion? There is not a simple answer to this question. There have been countless articles written on this topic with many differing theories. However, there are several things that most successful websites have in common. It you can focus on these things and make sure your own site has them, you have a better chance of creating an online business with some staying power. Here are some helpful tips for having a successful online business. 1. Sell a product or service that is in high demand If you want your online business to flourish, you need to make sure that the product or service you are marketing to the masses is actually something they want or need. Many online business have gone under because the owner chose poorly regarding what product the business sold. Ideally, you should try to get into an industry that is not overly competitive. This will give you a better chance of gaining loyal customers during the early days of your business when every sale is so important. If you try to start your online business by selling a product or service where you will have many competitors, your business might not be around for very long. 2. Price your products properly This is a very important subject that you must spend a lot of time figuring out before your site goes live. Many people will only buy a product from the site that sells it for the lowest price. Since this is the case, you need to take a look at what your competition is selling their products for. Using this information, you must price your inventory accordingly. You will gain sales by pricing your items the same or below what your competitors are charging. If you try to make a bigger profit by pricing your items higher, you might never gain the loyal customer following you are trying to obtain. 3. Choose a great web developer If your website looks bad or does not function properly, your online business will be over before it ever begins. This is why it is so vitally important to find a skilled web developer who has many years of experience in the industry. If you hire a web developer who just started a month ago, you could have a difficult time getting the site you desire. The look and functionality of a site can determine whether it succeeds or fails. Because of this, there is no reason you shouldn’t hire a web development Sydney company like Magicdust. Find out more about their services at www.magicdust.com.au. 4. Use social media We are living in a world that is dominated by social media. Therefore, you need to take advantage of this remarkable technology to market your online business. Not only are there over one billion Facebook users in the world today, it will not cost you anything to reach them. There are hundreds of millions of Twitter uses as well, so you should also use this platform. Online businesses that do not embrace social media for marketing purposes are destined to fail.
  • Getting the best E Commerce Web Design

    If you surf the Internet, you will find a wide variety of websites. Some are for large corporations, with dozens of people responsible for their maintenance. Others are tiny blogs, maintained by only one person living in a studio apartment. The contrasts can be quite extreme. When you are going to design a site for your online business, you need to consider how other people are going to perceive your site. Image is very important in the business world, even if your business is very small. If people visit your site intending to buy something and they get the wrong vibe from your site design, this could cause them to leave. What your site says about you is an important detail to consider. This is because the public’s perception of your site literally has the power to help or destroy your business. 1. The look of your site The first time a person visits your website, what they see will play a large role regarding whether they stay and browse, or leave immediately. Nowadays, people make the decision to stay or leave in a matter of seconds. Therefore, you only have that long to catch their attention and make them realize they have come to the right place. If your site looks like something from the dawn of the Internet, you will not be impressing too many customers. You will be turning them off in droves. People will wonder how you can be so out of touch with what is going on today in terms of web design. They will not want to shop at a website that is not cool. Just like that, you have lost sales simply because of how your site looks. This should demonstrate how important e commerce web design really is to the success or failure of a site. 2. The functionality of your site How smoothly do the pages on your site transition from one to the next? Does it take forever to navigate around your site? If your site gives users the experience of a dial-up connection, they are not very likely to continue visiting your site in the future. People have limited time, so they value speed. They can’t afford to spend all day waiting for pages on your site to load. Having too many graphics is a prime cause of slow page load times. You must realize that not every person visiting your site will have a fast connection. Therefore, you must make sure that these people are not penalized for this. Limit the amount of graphics on your site to ensure all users have a quality experience. 3. Mobile compatibility Nowadays, people will think you are not with the times if your site is not designed to be used by people trying to access it using a smartphone. If you do not take this step during the design process of your site, you will be losing a large amount of business. This is because millions of people use mobile devices to go online.
  • Summer TLC for Your Feet

    If you are anything like me, you spend as much time soaking up the summer as possible even when pregnant. During that special time in your life, do you ever notice the effects of summer heat and humidity on your body? Your feet probably do! I often find that mine are swollen, and sometimes I experience an increase of aches and pains. Never fear, as there’s a lot you can do to care and pamper your feet and help ease the summer baby blues. Summer TLC for Your Feet Tips from Dr. Jackie Sutera – Summer TLC for Your Feet Don’t Go Barefoot. Being barefoot at home for long periods of time can lead to foot pain especially during pregnancy when feet tend to spread and widen. Closed supportive slippers with PROFOOT’s Triad Orthotic insole for extra cushioning, shock absorption and arch support are a mom’s best bet. PROFOOT’s Triad Orthotic is a triple threat, with three zone support providing relief to the balls-of-feet, arches and heels, helping moms-to-be keep their knees, legs and back in top shape during the discomfort of pregnancy. Support Your Feet. Supporting your feet is vital and can prevent and also relieve painful conditions such as arch and heel pain/plantar fasciitis and tendonitis. PROFOOT’s Plantar Fasciitis orthotic is clinically proven to fight these symptoms, with a patented arch designed to specifically support the entire plantar fascia and transfer pressure off painful heels. Additionally, its deep heel cup provides support and stability that helps distribute weight during movement, making it easier for women to stay on their feet and active during pregnancy. Make Room For Swelling. Feet, ankles and legs will become swollen during pregnancy so it’s important to gently stretch out shoes to accommodate for swollen toes. PROFOOT’s Shoe Stretchers expand shoes for ultimate comfort, allowing moms-to-be to not only continue to wear the shoes they love during pregnancy, but also stay active which helps reduce swelling. Massage, Rest, Elevate and Ice. These are all great ways to reduce swelling and aches. Using PROFOOT’s Heel Rescue Foot Cream to moisturize your feet, coupled with a foot massage, is just what the doctor ordered. And let’s face it, there’s no one more deserving of a foot massage than a pregnant woman!
  • MINIONS – In Theaters July 10

    The story of Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s Minions begins at the dawn of time. Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. Continuously unsuccessful at keeping these masters—from T. rex to Napoleon—the Minions find themselves without someone to serve and fall into a deep depression. But one Minion named Kevin has a plan, and he—alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob—ventures out into the world to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow. The trio embarks upon a thrilling journey that ultimately leads them to their next potential master, Scarlet Overkill (Academy Award® winner Sandra Bullock), the world’s first-ever female super-villain. They travel from frigid Antarctica to 1960s New York City, ending in mod London, where they must face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minionkind…from annihilation. Featuring a soundtrack of hit music from the ’60s that still permeates our culture today, Minions is produced by Illumination’s Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy, and is directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda. Brian Lynch has written the screenplay for the 3D-CG comedy adventure, and Chris Renaud serves as executive producer of the film. www.minionsmovie.com
  • Finding Mom and My American Identity

    As we celebrate our nation’s birth on the 4th of July, I can’t help but reflect on how I came to my belief in what makes us truly American. It happened when I was eighteen in a foreign country, as the lone American in a sea of non-Americans, holding and hugging an old woman I did not really know. I had reached the end of a very long, twisting trail of extremely unlikely events. It had started when I had been placed into international adoption from Korea when I was nearly seven by a destitute mother who scraped by as a prostitute to American GIs. Through a series of improbable clues and coincidences, I had tracked down my birth mother and she was supposed to be waiting for me here. I had just cleared Customs at the ferry terminal in Busan, Korea. I was met by a sea of black hair and Asian faces, so very different than what I was used to seeing, growing up in Minnesota. She’s not here. I felt literally crushed, hollow and numb. As time wasted by, I stood blank and alone, not knowing what to do. Suddenly, I heard a shout that contained a name that I had not heard in more than a dozen years. People turned in the direction of the sound, including me. Pushing past a knot of people, a tiny old woman came hobble-running toward me. I immediately recognized her. Her face was much more weathered, wrinkled, and lined; but it was definitely her. It was my birth mother. She had been my whole universe when I was a tiny, frightened, desperately poor, starving child. She had been my air, my water, my sun. Before I could respond or react, she was on me and hugging me tightly. Maniacally. She kept saying my Korean name, over and over, as if it were some sort of mantra. Or prayer. I was struck by how small she was. In my memories, she had been a towering person, a figure who loomed larger than anything in my world. It was shocking to now see her as she really was. A simple, small peasant woman; limited, human and real. I felt triumph in completing the long path of clues and steps to actually find her. And there were the feelings that I had crammed down for all those years, forcing myself to only feel in the present, never the past. My yearning for her when I was so small came roaring back. I threw my arms around her tiny shoulders and held her tight. Unbidden and forgotten until now, the name, in Korean, that I had known her by popped into my head and through my lips. “Omma!” Mommy! It was the only word, the only name that I had known her by. And the two of us held each other, swaying back and forth and calling each other’s names. My mother finally stepped back and looked at her son and I looked at her. And I realized that I was seeing her in two separate ways simultaneously. There was a lens in my perception that still saw her through my six-year-old’s eyes; she was my mommy. The emotions tied to that were surging fully through my being. However, at the same time, I was seeing her as a stranger and a foreigner, as an American would perceive a small, wrinkled elderly Asian woman whom he had never met. There was a part of my mind that told me that I knew nothing of who this woman really was. I didn’t know her favorite color, her preferred food, her friendships, her family, her humor, her beliefs—nothing. As I looked at my birth mother, I knew that a small boy with a Korean name still loved his mother with all his heart. The desperate need and love I had felt for her as a small child still was within me. But in a shocking, utterly unexpected flash of revelation, I suddenly understood a simple truth with every part of my reasoning, heart, and eternal soul. I was no longer that little boy. The child who left on a jet plane twelve years ago, never landed. The beginnings of who I was now had landed and had been met by a family and a world that was American and would become…mine. “To other people, you are who you are based on what they see you do. Remember, you are what you do.” I recalled these words, often repeated to me by my American mother as I stood looking at my Korean mother; and I realized that I was truly and fully a part of an American world. And I felt with a rare certainty and profoundness what made me truly American. We are Americans because of what we do. We are not tied by national genetics, or an original patch of dirt in a faraway place, or a particular God or gods or a faith. It is our actions that define us as Americans, not the accident of our births, or our thoughts, our secret hearts, or even our words. Americans may be equal, but we are not all the same. It is the willingness of one American to defend the right of another to be different – to think, to believe, to live in ways and to say things that one may vehemently dislike. But we will act to defend this differentness, this right to be free and unique – even at risk of death. It was a stunning revelation for me. Through all the years I’d struggled with who I was – as a biracial, adopted, outcast product of commercial lust and economic desperation and the daily differentness of my American family – I finally knew my identity. I was an American. With this revelation, holding my birth mother, I suddenly knew who I was. And something else: that I had been given life; that I had been given love. But I had never been given up. This 4th of July, as I join in celebrating our Founding Fathers’ creation of America, I am grateful for my American life and I celebrate the courage of my two mothers – women who loved outside themselves and far beyond their own horizons. Joel Peterson Photo (3) About the author: Joel L. A. Peterson was born a biracial, impoverished boy to a destitute Korean prostitute and was placed for adoption at age 6. Raised by a Swedish-American family in Minnesota, he rose to become a top executive at a global venture of AT&T and British Telecom. The book deeply touches and engages readers, offering new insights into critical social issues through the topic of transnational and transracial adoption. Although a rare, niche slice of human experience, it contains within it all the most relevant, timeless, and deeply felt – and held – human themes, passions, values, insecurities, tragedies, and judgments. And loves. Dreams of My Mothers is available in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle editions online and in bookstores everywhere. Learn more at www.dreamsofmymothers.com.
  • Come Alive by Igniting Your Spark!

    by Celicia Theys

    “May I have the courage today
    To live the life that I would love,
    To postpone my dream no longer
    But do at last what I came here for
    And waste my heart on fear no more.”
    ~ John O’Donohue ~

    Talent for Humanity

    We all carry a secret knowledge deep within us. A secret that weaves its way within and between us: there is more to life!

    As we grow up in this world, often the possibilities presented to us feel narrow and empty, devoid of the flesh and shiver of real life. What, then, would “real life” be? Something like what Charles Eisenstein calls “a more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.”

    We are born with it, with this knowledge of the true brilliance, depth, breadth (or breath) of our human nature, of our experience as living beings on this planet! Somehow the stories we are being told about the world today seem out of tune with this intimate knowledge. War. Crisis. Life equals Born + Go to School + Work for Money + Get Married + Climb The Ladder + Reproduce the Cycle. There is no alternative.

    Professionally, we often find ourselves turning into, what David Brooks called in The Road to Character, “meritocratic materialists who have streamlined [our] inner humanity to make [our] ascent more aerodynamic”, showing up to work with only the part of ourselves that we deem fit for that environment.

    Wait a minute!

    If I streamline my humanity, what is left of me? Isn’t there more to life? More to life than doing as we’re told, fitting in, reproducing past trends and conforming to a norm that is no longer in tune with the world, and certainly not in tune with our profound aspirations? More to life then stepping on others’ toes to make it to “the top”, the heights of which often bring more loneliness, bitterness and dissatisfaction?

    Surely, being alive is something fresh, vibrant, and colorful, something that beckons our hearts to break open, and causes our souls to dance and wriggle with glee! Surely being alive as a human being on this planet brings deep connection to self and other?

    How can we snap out of the current world narrative and write a new story for ourselves?
    And as we grow, some of us may decide we want to have children. How do we break the cycle of the old narratives, bringing our children hope and breathing oxygen into their hearts and lives?

    One way is by telling different stories, stories of people who have come alive and, by doing so, splashed the lives of countless others in positive ripple effects. Such people do exist, and their lives are re-crafting our horizons, inspiring us to look within and find our own calling, that place deep inside that is crying for attention and begging to come into the world.

    What their stories tell us is that we are born with it. We are born with this sacred place within that, when we can connect to it, reminds us of our importance in the walk of life, the walk for life. Of course we can change the world, though that is never the initial intention. The initial intention is to reconnect with what feels alive in us right now. When we are truly connected to that place inside, commitment follows suit, naturally, effortlessly. We discover that being grateful, generous, kind, creative, compassionate actors of our lives, our communities and our world comes easy to us! And we pass this knowledge on to others simply by, as Gandhi said, “being the change [we] wish to see in the world.”

    This is my invitation to you today. Connect to what is burning inside you at this present moment and stay with it. Feel it, recognize it, and commit to it. Musician Just Jack sings it this way, “We are all embers from the same fire.”

    How do we tend to the fire, to keep our common humanity burning? What is the oxygen? Who is the wood? What are the flames? What is the heat, and how do we make sure it warms as many hearts as possible?

    Celicia TheysWe are all born with the power to imagine what does not yet exist. When you connect to your own inner fire, what do you envision for our common destiny as human beings? Maybe you could write it down as a letter, a ‘letter to humanity!”’ How would you put into words your wishes for the world and your aspiration to do something to bring change and make use of the talent that we all have in our hearts? Write whatever you like to the rest of your human family and imagine ‘a million new friends’ just waiting to hear from you. If you like, share your deepest hopes and yearnings. Feel free to reveal your insights—and don’t forget some thoughts about what you are going to do.

    I have done this exercise myself. Through reconnecting with my inner flame, I have ignited a spark that has danced into real life, birthing opportunities and projects that tied together my intuition of the importance of culture as a tool for personal and social transformation and my desire to create spaces for youth of radically different backgrounds to connect, explore their differences and discover their common humanity.

    There is more to Life.

    “Talent” is “Latent” unscrambled. So, are you ready to ignite the spark of your own talent and step into the bonfire of Life?

    Once it is written, feel free to join ‘a million new friends’ by uploading your letter on the Talent for Humanity website.

    Celicia Theys is the spokesperson for the book, Talent for Humanity, and a team member at the organization by the same name, an international non-profit that recognizes, celebrates, and supports individuals whose talents had, and still have, a positive impact on humanity and serve as a source of inspiration to others. It was conceived by a group of people drawn together by a single vision of serving humanity and by the idea that it is possible to create a better world through entertainment and the performing arts. For more information, visit www.talentforhumanity.org.

  • This display of the power of makeup will blow you away!

    The art of pallet beauty has been an active discussion for women around the world since makeup was introduced eons ago. An individual can literally change their entire look within minutes with the use of creative makeup tools. Recently NikkieTutorials, a popular YouTube personality, took the comments from fans that her natural face look was in no way the same person seen in her videos. Like many of us, she simply proved them all wrong and this display of the power of makeup will blow you away.
  • Tiggy Launches It’s First Literacy System & Expansion to Target Stores Nationwide

    TIGGLY LAUNCHES ITS FIRST LITERACY SYSTEM AND ANNOUNCES NATIONWIDE EXPANSION TO TARGET Along with new product launch, Tiggly onboards new retailers bringing the number of stores that Tiggly products are available in to 1,585 retailers throughout US and Canada Tiggly Words_lifstyle_2 New York, NY — Today, Tiggly (www.tiggly.com), makers of the educator-designed, learning platform consisting of tablet toys for children, announces the launch of their third learning system, Tiggly Words. Tiggly’s previous products, Tiggly Shapes and Tiggly Math, pioneered a new play experience combining the best aspects of physical and digital play to offer an optimal learning experience for children. To coincide with the launch of Tiggly Words, Tiggly is also expanding the sale of its products throughout the United States and Canada reaching 1,585 retail locations with new distribution in Target and Best Buy Canada stores. Tiggly products can continue to be found in other premium retailers including FAO Schwarz. Designed for children aged 4-to-8 years old, Tiggly Words is the company’s first learning system for early literacy. Tiggly Words is a set of five vowel toys (a, e, i, o, u) designed by educators to interact with Tiggly’s three new iPad apps: Tiggly Submarine, Tiggly Tales and Tiggly Doctor. Learning language skills is an exciting milestone for every child, and Tiggly Words focuses on helping preschoolers recognize phonemes, construct sounds and learn words. “All of Tiggly’s learning systems are designed from the ground up based on the first principles of play and learning research,” said Dr. Azadeh Jamalian, Chief Learning Officer and Co-Founder of Tiggly. “We know physical play is an integral part of children’s development and with the launch of Tiggly Words, we now have three products that bring that physical play into children’s digital sandbox.” Tiggly provides children with ways to interactively learn spatial reasoning, motor skills, language and creativity by combining physical toys with the tablets children love. Tiggly’s math learning system has already proven to improve educational outcomes in preschoolers. A recent study by PlayCollective, an independent research firm specializing in early childhood development, showed increases in early number skills of up to 71% for kids who played with Tiggly Math for only 2 weeks. “We are delighted that more and more retail buyers are putting our learning products on their shelves – a sign that our products form part of the future of play,” said Phyl Georgiou, CEO and Co-Founder of Tiggly. “We are excited to partner with Target and Best Buy Canada to bring our three products to more stores which allows us to reach new customers and expand the Tiggly community.” For photos of Tiggly in play and screengrabs of the apps, please visit this Dropbox. Tiggly’s learning products are available for $29.95 each. Each product includes a set of toys and 3 free apps that are compatible with the toys. For more information about Tiggly, visit: http://tiggly.com. About Tiggly Tiggly is a New York-based company that’s developed a learning platform of interactive toys and apps for the digital generation. Tiggly enables parents to bring physical play, a critical component of early learning, to the “digital sandbox” today’s kids inhabit. Tiggly was founded in 2012 by Harvard Business School graduates Phyl Georgiou and Bart Clareman, and Dr. Azi Jamalian, an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Cognitive Studies in Education at Columbia University. Tiggly’s learning journey includes three products – Tiggly Shapes, Tiggly Math and Tiggly Words, which are available in over 1,585 retailers in more than 20 countries.
  • 12 Insider Tips for Disney Lovers

    12 Insider Tips for Disney Lovers

    Excited for an upcoming trip to Walt Disney World or Disneyland? Prepare more than most travelers by tuning into the following insider tips.

    1. At the Be Our Guest restaurant, there’s a secret dish that’s not even listed on the menu. In the movie Beauty and the Beast,  there’s a line in a song that goes, “The grey stuff is delicious.” You can order that grey stuff at the restaurant. Plus, knowing Disney, it really is delicious!

    2. The Pirates of the Caribbean ride was originally built in 1967. The Imagineers, Disney’s engineers, weren’t happy with how the faux skeletons looked. Thanks to help from the medical school at UCLA, they were able to use human skeletons in various parts of the attraction. Many of those original, real skeletons have been removed, but there is a skull and crossbones on a headboard that are still entirely real.

    3. When approaching Animal Kingdom, take a close look at the signage. There’s a dragon among the other, non-fictional animals. Originally, there was going to be a part of Animal Kingdom called Beastly Kingdom, which was intended to be dedicated to mythical creatures.

    4. When the Magic Kingdom opens first thing in the morning, pay a visit to the Main Street Station and request a reservation in the Lily Belle train car. This luxe car was named after Walt Disney’s wife. Seats are limited!

    5. You can’t visit, but you can gaze at the second floor of the Main Street firehouse, where there’s an apartment where the Disney family used to stay.

    6. At the Disneyland Fire Department, there’s a lamp in the window that used to be turned on whenever Walt would be in the park. Once he died, the light remained on as homage to Walt’s spirit, which is always around.

    7. Originally, Epcot was meant to be a model community that could accommodate approximately 20,000 residents. The diorama of that community is still viewable from the PeopleMover ride. Since you’ll need to stay in actual lodging during your trip, check out Orlando hotels.

    8. There’s an amazing suite in Cinderella’s castle that is impossible to book. The only way to score a stay there is to win it in a contest.

    9. When waiting on line at The Haunted Mansion, look for a wedding ring that’s embedded in the ground. This wedding ring is rumored to have belonged to the hanging bride, who you see during the ride.

    10. Love the Jungle Cruise? Ask for a free map, which you can keep as a souvenir.

    11. Look for the paintbrushes that are hidden around Tom Sawyer Island. If you find one, bring it to the barge driver. They’ll give you and your guests a free Fast Pass for a ride.

    12. At Cinderella Fountain, you have to be a child to get the right view. To adults, the statue may seem sad, because Cinderella is looking down and her face isn’t viewable. However, from the perspective of a child, you can see that not only is she happy, but that a crown also sits on her head.

    Impress your friends and anyone you’re standing near in line with your Disney trivia!

    This post was provided by Fiona Moriarty of Hipmunk, a travel website that helps you to locate the best deals on transportation, accommodations, and more.

  • Mom’s The Word Grand Prize Giveaway

    Welcome to the Mom’s The Word, Mother’s Day Giveaway Hop!

    MothersDayGiveawayHop Mother’s Day is just around the corner, Sunday May 10th! Whether you’re wanting some new jewelry, cash, gift cards, home decor, clothing, or something else, we have it in this amazing giveaway hop from over 60 fabulous bloggers! Each participating blog below is hosting their own unique giveaway with a value of at least $30. Some feature gift cards to your favorite stores while others have high value giveaways from companies you know and love! Mom Powered Media is also hosting a Grand Prize Giveaway Package valued at $700+! MomGrandPrizePackage Included in the Grand Prize Package for ONE lucky winner: Hallmark – Card Pack ($55) Jamberry – Ruby & Rose Gift Set ($45) Vitabath – Pineapple Sunset AND Raspberry Vanilla Velvet Carrier Set ($30) Epson – Ribbon Label Maker ($70) Housewives Jewelry – 3-Heart Swarovski Earrings ($75) Cariloha – Resort Bamboo Sheet Set ($260) PacaPod – Idaho ‘Lite’ bag ($150) Pink Zebra – Simmer Pot and a jar of Sprinkles ($30) Here’s a bit about these great products and sponsors – Hallmark – We all know who Hallmark is. They’ve been around forever. Show all the moms you know and love just how special they really are by choosing Hallmark. Place your order for Mother’s Day gifts and cards by Monday, May 4th for standard shipping and delivery. For Mother’s Day, Hallmark is offering a pack of cards for one recipient. These include new designs from the Signature and Shoebox collections as well. #PutYourHeartToPaper with Hallmark. Head on over to check out some of these cards more in depth by Everything Mommyhood – Mother’s Day Hallmark Cards. HallmarkCollage Jamberry – You’ve seen the online parties and you’ve wondered what Jamberry is! Jamberry are nail wraps and are the latest trend in fashion. They are super easy to apply and you can do so right in your home. They last much longer than polish, and they don’t chip. You can get several manicure and pedicures off of one sheet of Jamberry nail wraps. Manicures can last 2+ weeks, and pedicures around 4 weeks. They even have them in junior sizes for children. Jamberry is sold by individual representatives, and you can purchase them here. One winner will receive the Mother’s Day Special, the Ruby & Rose Gift Set. This includes exclusive Ruby lacquer, exclusive Rose, Delight, and Dearest nail wraps, pumice stone and brush, toe separators, peppermint taffy, Mother’s Day postcard, nail file and orange stick packaged in the Ruby & Rose gift box. This is valued at $45.00. redroseVitabath – Vitabath has been around for more than 55 years for unparalleled skin cleansing and conditioning. They use only quality ingredients with rich fragrances that invigorate your senses while nourishing that skin to give you that at home spa feeling. Vitabath Fragrance Collection Fruit Fanatic – Made with real fruit and flower extracts, Vitabath’s Fruit Fanatic line is a delectable fusion of fresh, flavorful fruits – cherries, apples, oranges and grapefruit – with warm vanilla and lily. This Spring they introduced two new fragrances to this line, Pineapple Sunset and Raspberry Vanilla Velvet. Stop by and check out Motherhood Defined’s Vitabath Fruit Fanatic Raspberry Vanilla Velvet Review and Everything Mommyhood’s Fruit Fanatic Pineapple Sunset Review. You can pick up either of these scents in their Body Wash and Mist Carrier for just $14.95. VitabathCollage Epson – Print personalized satin ribbons for crafts, scrapbooks, decorations, gifts and more — all with the fun and easy-to-use LabelWorks Printable Ribbon Kit from Epson. Delight your kids with birthday party favors that have their very own name on them. Give the bride and groom something extra special for their wedding with customized bookmarks, wine glass name markers and creative centerpieces. Gifts for any occasion are cherished even more when wrapped with personalized ribbon. You can even get creative and brighten up your own homemade crafts. Customize your ribbons using a wide variety of fonts, symbols and frames. Then instantly print and cut them at just the right size using Epson’s LW-300 printer. You get beautiful ribbons that will charm friends and family alike. And up to 30 of your favorite ribbon designs can be stored and used again. Retail is $69.99. Epson Housewives Jewelry – Reflect a life that’s big and bold with fabulous designs from Housewives Jewelry’s celebrity jewelry designer, Nancy Rosen. Whether you’re “real” or a little desperate, you deserve great style! Inspired by the dynamic personalities of the celebrity Housewives featured on television, each piece features a fresh and exciting look of ageless style. Whether you’re interested in channeling the playful elegance of the Housewives of Beverly Hills, the boldness of Atlanta’s Housewives, or the sophistication of the style of New York, we have the look for you that will transform your wardrobe. The Swarovski Irresistable Heart Earrings are gorgeous! Triple silver hearts accented with Swarovski Crystals create these Irresistable Triple Heart earrings. Hangs 1.75″ Rhodium lifetime plating. Add some sparkle to your face with these modern yet girly earrings. Swarovski crystals that shine like diamonds are nestled in silver hearts, making these irresistible for day or night. Swarovski Crystal Elements. Silver with rhodium plating for lifetime platinum shine. Retail price $75. 20110705_0845Cariloha – You know that feeling when you are staying at a luxury resort on vacation and you don’t want to leave? Not just because it’s relaxing, but because you are so comfortable? Cariloha Bamboo does, and they began creating quality, bamboo luxury products sure to remind you of that last vacation that just wasn’t long enough. This Mother’s Day, Cariloha is giving you a chance to win a set of Resort Bamboo Bed Sheets {winner chooses size and color}. Made from luxurious 320 thread count bamboo sateen using 100% viscose from bamboo, the softness of these sheets is enhanced by a Sateen finish that provides for an exquisitely soft and smooth feel. Check out Our Piece of Earth’s review here. cariloha PacaPod – As a mom having a stylish diaper bag is a must. PacaPod makes this easy with all of it’s convenient features. No matter where you wander, everything’s in place with PacaPod, the only baby changing bag on the market with a unique and ingenious 3- in-1 organization system. Inside every PacaPod is the brain behind the bag, a Feeder and Changer pod to hygienically separate feeding from changing. PacaPod’s award-winning bags work as a designer baby bag, cool bag, mini changing bag and changing mat all rolled into one. Founded by mom and clothing designer Jacqueline Waggett, U.K.-based PacaPod offers more than 15 bag styles in four collections with bags ranging in price from $120-$520. PacaPod can be currently found globally in 13 countries. For more information visit www.pacapod.com. pacapodcollage Pink Zebra – Change your fragrance. Change your life. That’s what Pink Zebra is all about with their soaks, sprinkles, simmering lights, simmer pots, glimmer candles, reed diffusers, and soaps & lotions. From Amaretto Cream to Cinnamon Spice to Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, you’re sure to find a fragrance to fit any mood. For our Mom’s the Word giveaway, an independent consultant at Pink Zebra is offering any jar of sprinkles and one simmer pot for this giveaway, winner’s choice! If you’re interested in hearing more and seeing what they have to offer head on over to Pink Zebra. pink zebra collage You can find all of the giveaways to all the blogs involved below our grand prize event! Hop around and enter each one, and don’t forget to enter the grand prize giveaway! This giveaway hop ends on May 10th, 2015 at 11:59pm Eastern time. The MPM Blogging Network is not responsible for prize fulfillment and associated bloggers are responsible for their own giveaways. Good luck everyone and happy Mother’s Day! Now for the Giveaway! One lucky winner will win the Grand Prize Package valued at approximately $700. Hallmark – Card Pack ($55) Jamberry – Ruby & Rose Gift Set ($45) Vitabath – Pineapple Sunset AND Raspberry Vanilla Velvet Carrier Set ($30) Epson – Ribbon Label Maker ($70) Housewives Jewelry – 3-Heart Swarovski Earrings ($75) Cariloha – Resort Bamboo Sheet Set ($260) PacaPod – Idaho ‘Lite’ bag ($150) Pink Zebra – Simmer Pot and a jar of Sprinkles ($30) Open to US only, 18 and up. Void where prohibited. One entrant per household/IP Address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Giveaway ends 5/10/2015 at 11:59pm Eastern
  • Enter to win 1 of 5 Innovee Home Lemon Squeezers!

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    Sponsor: Innovee Home

    Host: Mom Powered Media

    Innovee Home offer two Lemon Squeezer styles:

    • Innovee Home Lemon Squeezer with Stainless Steel Handle.
    • Innovee Home Lemon Squeezer with Silicone Handle
    Both of their Lemon Squeezers are professional, jumbo size commercial grade, made from the highest quality 18/10 stainless steel! They are incredibly comfortable and simple to use which makes squeezing lemons, limes and oranges effortless! For those of you that use dishwashers, these amazing squeezers are safe and easy to clean and dishwasher safe, stainless steel ring for hanging, made to last, will not peel or rust. Buy with confidence! Innovee Home products come with a 100% money back guarantee, hassle-free lifetime replacement guaranteed, and personal world class costumer service! Click this link to claim your 20% off coupon code! *Only available through this event and for a limited time!* Five winners will each receive a Lemon Squeezer with a stainless steel handle from Innovee Home! Rules:
    • Open to USA ONLY
    • Ends April 6, 15
    • Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner will be chosen.
    • One person per household can enter.
    Innovee Home Lemon Lemon Squeezer Giveaway
  • Enter to win 1 of 2 pairs of Grill Armor Gloves!

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    Sponsor: Grill Armor Gloves

    Host: Mom Powered Media

    Grill Armor Gloves have 3 awesome colors red, black and blue. And 3 different sizes: one size fits most, women small size and one size fits most with extra long cuff.
    • Made of the highest quality materials, Thick but lightweight and flexible, so even the hottest items are a breeze to handle
    • A great fit that covers up to wrist, Non-slip silicone super grip gives complete control and safety, Say goodbye to nasty burns
    • A vast improvement over mitts and potholders with much better functionality, Enjoy great success in the kitchen or outdoor grill
    • Machine washable with handy hook for hanging, a must in your kitchen and patio grilling
    • When you order today, you’re protected by a 100% money back guarantee, hassle-free lifetime replacement warranty and world class customer service
    Grill Armor Gloves Anti Steam – One size fits most. One color: Black gloves with red silicone
    • Made of the highest quality materials, Thick but lightweight and flexible, With triple protection so even the hottest items are a breeze to handle
    • A great fit that covers up to wrist, Non-slip silicone super grip gives complete control and safety
    • A vast improvement over mitts and potholders with much better functionality
    • Machine washable with handy hook for hanging,
    Grill Armor Gloves Silicone – Two sizes: One size fits most and XL
    • All in one Gloves, Mitts and Pot Holders
    • Oven, Grill, Microwave, Fireplace and Campfire, Heat resistant and insulated to 425F degrees
    • FDA Approved, BPA-Free top quality waterproof silicone, No-Slip super grip
    • Easy to clean dishwasher safe, No staining or smell
    These amazing gloves are great for anyone who LOVES to bbq and with the different colors and the fact that one size fits most, these gloves are great for anyone! Grill Armor Gloves has offered YOU 20% off discount code (Which will only work for the Grill Armor Gloves RED)! Click this link FAST before the code runs out! Three winners will each receive one pair of Red Grill Armor Gloves! Giveaway Rules
    • Open to USA only.
    • Ends April 6, 2015.
    • One person per household may enter.
    • Winner has 48 hours to claim before a new winner will be selected.
    Grill Armor Gloves Giveaway
  • 9 Secrets to an Amazingly Successful Etsy Shop

    Setting up shop on Etsy is super simple! Making your shop successful? Not so much. Use these 9 Secrets to an Amazingly Successful Etsy Shop to help increase your earnings from the get-go. 9 Secrets to an Amazingly Successful Etsy Shop Do some market research. Check out not only other successful Etsy shops, but other stores and shops in your niche. Be amazingly creative. Now, it’s time to create your username. This is your time to shine. Please, for the love of all things handmade, do not name your shop “craftsbymomofthreekids” or “stuffidoinmysparetimetomakemoney”. Use your creative side to come up with something that will be perfect. Tip: Don’t be too specific, just in case you want to expand your shop in the future. If you name your shop something-jewelry but decide to expand to paintings, you’re going to have a mess on your hands. etsy ranks Get involved on the boards. Even before you start selling, join the Etsy boards and be active! Offer advice, answer questions, and “heart” other sellers items. Be careful, though – the boards can turn on you if you express opinions that aren’t popular… and that could affect your sales. Take amazing photos. If you don’t have photography skills, it’s time to learn them or hire a photographer. Even if you hire the photographer and pay them in trade, amazing photos are a must, so get it figured out! Tell your story. Everyone has a story. Tell yours in an interesting way, and your shop just might go viral! Your customers want to know more about you, and they’re going to be more inclined to share your shop with others if there is an intriguing story behind your shop name, shop, etc. etsy shops Be a customer service rock star. Be honest about your turn-around and shipping time. Ship like you’re sending each item to a celebrity. Answer convos as quickly as possible. Be polite, and treat your customers how you would like to be treated. List like a pro. Good tags and SEO will increase your search rankings and visibility of your products on Etsy. You have 13 tags – USE THEM! Start with basics (jewelry, earrings, handmade), then more specifics (silver earrings, silver heart earrings). Fill those 13 tags! This is the best way to market your shop without breaking the bank (because it’s FREE!). Tip: Still have some tags left? Use your shop name as a tag. Once you get even a small following, people will start searching your shop name and then they’ll be able to find you. Time it just right. What’s trending? Etsy has e-mail newsletters that highlight things that are trending. Use this to your advantage! Spread your listings out, and make sure you list daily. Consistency is key. Watch your stats to see when potential buyers are browsing and shopping. etsy time Tip: Try listing 24 hours a day – one at 7AM, one at noon, one at 7PM, and one at 3AM. See which one gets the best results. You might discover customers from other parts of the world! Use social media to your advantage. Tell your story, use inspirational words, and make people want to buy from you. Social media is FREE, so use it!

    What’s your best tip for a successful Etsy shop?

  • Get Fit with LightStep Giveaway

    Welcome to the Get Fit with LightStep Giveaway

    Sponsored by: Light Step

    Co-Sponsored by: Heart Felt Natural

    Hosted by: Mom Powered Media

    Get Fit with LightStep Giveaway LightStep Orthotics, Insoles and Compression Wear are designed to boost your performance, recovery and comfort. Whether training, working on your feet all day or in recovery mode after exercise or an injury we have the ideal products to help you get back on your feet. Their specialty is feet, ankle and calf support and our premium products are made with advanced materials to optimize your performance and recovery. Achieve the best performance or recovery you can and trust LightStep will have you back up on your feet in no time! Six Wool Dryer Balls By Heart Felt
    • 100% Natural Wool balls are handmade with pure New Zealand wool to the core
    • A PERFECT BABY GIFT- Essential for cloth diaper drying and a perfect gift set idea for a new mom or at a baby shower. Helps busy moms save time and money and naturally soften cloth diapers
    • Hypoallernenic – Durable for 1500+ washes.
    • Naturally softens laundry with no cost or synthetic chemicals from PVC dryer balls, fabric softener or dryer sheets
    • Eco-Friendly , so cost-effective.Reduce drying time by 30-40%- saving you time, money and the environment.
    Calf Compression Sleeve By Lightstep:
    • True Graduated Pressure massages fluid back up to the heart for best oxygenation for top performance
    • Helps ease the pain and prevent shin splints, varicose veins and swelling.
    • Pregnant women, running and other sports people need these to keep going longer and boost results
    • Faster recovery means a more ambitious training schedule and better results, less injuries and fatigue
    • If sedentary, immobile, travelling or commuting a lot, these help keep circulation flowing to avoid DVT and clots.
    Shock Absorption Sports Insoles for Women
    • Get More Bounce- Run and Train Harder and Faster When you know your feet are protected
    • Trim to fit your favorite shoes perfectly- can go in any shoe or boot.
    • Support for heel and heavy duty shock absorption across the foot helps reduce fatigue and prevent injury.
    • When out and about on your feet all day these are perfect to give you a boost
    • Designed for Women, this insole is lightweight and helps align ankles, knees and hips to reduce strain and injury risk.
    LightStep Orthopedic Cushion
    • Medical grade foam for OPTIMAL back support. Correct alignment means less aches and pains!
    • Ideal for sciatica, haemorrhoids, lower back pain as your hips and lumbar region are perfectly positions on the chair. Excellent for arthritis. Many pregnant women find it helps lower back pain.
    • It’s very versatile:Ideal for desk, office, wheelchair cushion, plane or other travel, car seat cushion, church pew and more.
    • Soft grey washable cover is perfect on any style of chair.
    • Takes pressure of coccyx and tailbone. Also improves posture and circulation to limbs so many health benefits to sedentary workers and the elderly.
    HeartFeltFam-Twitter-Party As an extra bonus Mom Powered Media wanted to remind you about Heart Felt Natural’s Twitter party coming up March 20! Click HERE for more details. ($300+ IN PRIZES!!!) Join us for a #HeartFeltFam Twitter Party to celebrate green, healthy living with Heart Felt Naturals and MPM! Date: Friday, March 20th 2015 Time: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm EST Brand Expert: @HeartFeltNatura Hosts: @MomPoweredMedia & @MDefined Co-Hosts: @darcibean, @CanNUSAWinNSave, @determineddiary, @ourpieceofearth Hashtag: #HeartFeltFam Prizes: • Grand Prize: Heart Felt Prize Package worth $300+ • Additional Prizes: Four Heart Felt Prize Packages containing Wool Dryer Balls + Squish Delish Thanks to LightStep and Heart Felt Naturals, one fan will be receiving all of the products stated above (including: Six Wool Dryer Balls By Heart Felt, Calf Compression Sleeve By Lightstep, Shock Absorption Sports Insoles for Women, LightStep Orthopedic Cushion – RV $97.91) Giveaway Rules:
    • Open to US only
    • Ends April 2, 15
    • Ene person per household can enter
    • Winner has 48 HOURS to claim prize or a new winner will be chosen
    Get Fit with LightStep Sweepstakes
  • Gift Ideas for Earth-Conscious Friends

    Unique and thoughtful eco-friendly gifts are sure to put a smile on the face of your most earth-conscious friends. From jewelry and cosmetics to more practical items, the possibilities are endless. Here are some great gift ideas for the people in your life with a passion for sustainability. Gift Ideas for Earth-Conscious Friends

    Water Bottles

    It might not sound like the most extravagant purchase, but a water bottle made from reusable and recyclable materials is the perfect gift for an earth-conscious friend. Plastic water bottles manufactured with hazardous chemicals are causing the ecosystem serious damage, due to their non-biodegradable qualities. Reusing the same bottle is one of the simplest ways to help the environment and, with such a variety of bottles to choose from, picking a design to suit your friend’s style should be easy. Browse a retailer of sustainable goods, such as Biome, to discover a range of eco water bottles made from safe and reusable materials, such as glass, stainless steel, and BPA-free plastic.

    Stationery

    Who could possibly resist stylish and eco-friendly stationery? Your earth-conscious friends can keep track of their appointments in a journal manufactured from recycled paper, using a pen made with responsibly harvested timber. Other popular stationery items include biodegradable coloring books, wood-bound notepads, and sustainable staplers.

    Cosmetics

    Many cosmetics contain chemicals that can be absorbed into skin, exposing the human body to synthetic and potentially harmful chemicals. Makeup produced with natural components is a safe alternative, making it a great choice for an earth-conscious friend. Mineral makeup is especially popular for its sustainable properties, as it can be produced using entirely natural ingredients but still achieves high quality results. If your earth-conscious friend already owns eco-friendly makeup, simply give them some brushes to apply it with. Makeup brushes made from bamboo with soft, cruelty-free thistles will have them looking and feeling their best.

    Gardening

    Earth-conscious people love organic vegetables, so why not give them the chance to grow their own? Creating a garden is easy and rewarding; all you need to do is provide a do-it-yourself veggie garden kit that includes a few seeds and some basic instructions. Throw in a selection of gardening accessories, such as a watering can and some organic pest repellent, and your friend’s vegetables will be sprouting before you know it. Maybe they’ll even cook a meal or two for you – everyone wins!

    Jewelry

    Wooden watches are one of the latest trends in eco-fashion jewelry. Handmade from salvaged timber, these timepieces are unique and environmentally friendly. Completely free of artificial particles, wooden watches are very light and can be adjusted to size by adding or removing links. Timber is one of the most sustainable products used in the manufacture of jewelry, with many pieces made from either recovered wood or ethically harvested trees. Whether painted in bright colors or stripped back to reveal the timber’s natural pattern, there is much to love about wooden pieces of jewelry.

    Which of these ideas would best suit your earth-conscious friends? If you can think of any other eco-friendly gifts, please share them in the comments below.

  • Heart Felt Naturals Baby Giveaway

    Heart Felt Natural Baby Giveaway

    Sponsor: Heart Felt Natural

    Host: Mom Powered Media

    Heart Felt Naturals is a company that wants to bring organic, and natural products back to your household! They use products such as Pure Wool, Bamboo, etc to make sure that the products are as comfortable for your family as much as their own. Check out a few of Heart Felt Natural Products below.

    6 Pack of Heart Felt Dryer Balls:

    • 100% Pure New Zealand Wool
    • 100% NATURAL WOOL balls are handmade with pure New Zealand wool to the core
    • Hypoallergenic
    • Naturally softens laundry with no cost or synthetic chemicals from PVC dryer balls, fabric softener or dryer sheets
    • ECO-FRIENDLY, so cost-effective and a step towards a chemical free, sustainable household. Reduce drying time by 30-40%- saving you time, money and the environment

    Diaper Pail Liner Waterproof

    • 40 x 66 cm zippered bag
    • Don’t let your home smell of diapers, zip in odors, moisture and leaks. No wasted space with bulky bins
    • Less bulky than ugly diaper pails, can be washed in warm cycle in washing machine with diapers Hang on the bag of doors for discrete and minimalist storage. Handy hanging loop for hook or door handle and can be used inside bin.
    • Versatile- can be used for wet swimming gear, other laundry, underwear etc

    Diaper Wet Bag:

    • Bird Print Wet Bag for Diapers- keep smells and moisture contained and make washing at home much
      easier.
    • Could be used as sandwich or snack bag, or for wet swimming gear
    • Double zippers mean clean and dirty diapers, or wipes, can be kept together by but separate for easy bag organizing and washing.
    • Quality construction and no leaks. 60 Day money back guarantee if not 100% satisfied

    Heart Felt 100% Bamboo Baby Cloth Wipes:

    • 100% Pure Organic Bamboo
    • 20x26cm is ideal size for reusable wipes, wash cloth, face cloth, flannel or just to have handy.
    • SUPER VERSATILE- you’ll find a million and one uses for these from make-up removal, dusters, a spare hanky in the handbag or glovebox etc.

    Heart Felt Bamboo Cloth Diaper Liners:

    • BAMBOO is natural, soft and gentle against baby’s delicate skin so less irritation
    • MINIMIZE WORK LOAD- Busy moms have better things to do that soak stained diapers. That means all the laundry can be done in the same load- less sorting and storing pongy diapers.
    • ECO-FRIENDLY product that supports you using your cloth diapers, and extends the life of the diapers
    • CLOTH DIAPER LINERS work by stopping solids while letting liquid soak into diaper. The liner and poop can be flushed away- mess gone!
    • FLUSH AWAY for less mess, smell and hassle (but not into septic tanks)

    Squish Delish 5 pack:

    • Squish Delish Side Spouts are popular and easy to fill and clean. Some children prefer to hold a pouch with the spout at the top so we have just relelased this new design for you and your family to enjoy home cooked food
    • STURDY HIGH QUALITY PRODUCT- tough zipper, won’t leak or spill. Save time and money and start healthy eating habits at a young age.
    • DISHWASHER and FREEZER Safe. BPA, Phthalate Free.

    Also make sure you keep your eyes peeled! March 20th Heart Felt Naturals is having a twitter party and Mom Powered Media is hosting it too!

    HeartFeltFam-Twitter-Party

    Join us for a #HeartFeltFam Twitter Party to celebrate green, healthy
    living with Heart Felt Naturals and MPM!

    Date: Friday, March 20th 2015

    Time: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm EST

    Brand Expert: @HeartFeltNatura

    Hosts: @MomPoweredMedia & @MDefined

    Co-Hosts: @darcibean, @CanNUSAWinNSave, @determineddiary, @ourpieceofearth

    Hashtag: #HeartFeltFam

    Prizes:
    • Grand Prize: Heart Felt Prize Package worth $300+
    • Additional Prizes: Four Heart Felt Prize Packages containing Wool Dryer Balls + Squish Delish US only

    Make sure you go HERE to RSVP for the twitter party!!

    One winner will be receive every product above which is a total of 95.63! Prize package includes: Six Wool Dryer Balls By Heart Felt, Diaper Pail Liner Waterproof, Diaper Wet Bag, Heart Felt 100% Bamboo Baby Cloth Wipes, Heart Felt Bamboo Cloth Diaper Liners, Squish Delish 5 pack.

    Giveaway rules:

    • Open to US only
    • Ends March 27, 2015
    • One person per household can enter
    • Winner has 48 hours to claim or a new winner will be chosen

    Heart Felt Natural Baby Giveaway

  • Tips for Planning Your Spring Family Portraits

    Planning your spring family portraits is a great way to get creative with your family portraits because there is so much more color, more options for settings and endless creative ideas that don’t revolve around a lot of the same themes that get used during the holidays. Family portraits during this time of year can be taken in a studio, home or other indoor setting, or outdoors, where the bright yellows and greens are blazing to life. With the slightly longer, but quickly changing light, sporadic rain, colors that change by the day and so many other factors, it is important that a spring family portrait session is well planned out. Use these tips to help plan your own spring family portrait session that you can set up with a skilled photographer. When you only have once chance to get all your photos in you need to make sure you are ready and prepared for any necessary changes or alternate ideas. Tips for Planning Your Spring Family Portraits Scout Out Photographers & Studios Before you even begin thinking about where you are going to get your photos taken or what everyone is going to wear, find yourself a photographer. Photographers and studios have regular times of the year that they are incredibly busy, and spring happens to be one of those times with the increasing popularity of family portraits taken at this time of the year being booked along prom, graduation and wedding photo sessions. Get an idea of the type of portraits photographers are capable of creating by going through their portfolios of work and then make sure that they have some flexibility with dates that work for you. Start Scouting Locations Whether you want your spring portraits to be taken indoors or outdoors, begin scouting out locations for a family photo as soon as you know you want one taken. A lot of photographers have places that they regularly use for portraits, but if there is a specific place that better fits you and your family make sure to check out angles, lighting and then mention it to the photographer that you hire so that they can check it out. Plan for Outfit Changes With the way spring backgrounds change, or if you are forced to move your portrait session indoors, you may need to do some quick outfit changes. Think about the colors that will best standout against the backdrop you are setting yourself against. Bright colors of spring work great, as do stripes, nautical colors and muted tones when there is already a lot of color in the background. Remember, not everyone in the family has to be matching or in the same color, but you can have fun with ideas and outfit themes as well as coordinating by color. Try colors in the same family, so the family does not appear flat when you try and match everyone up in the same shade. Busy Background, Simple Sitting The busier your background is, the simpler you should keep the setup for your portraits. Keep everyone on a blanket, or sitting around a campfire or outdoor bench. Use what is already in the setting you are using to help set up your positioning instead of bringing in a lot of props. Think about taking a casual photograph that involves the entire family being active and engaging in an activity that they all enjoy. This type of shot is harder to set up, but with a limited number of individuals it can actually be a great lifestyle portrait of everyone interacting and look more natural than a traditional posed shot.
  • #HeartFeltFam Twitter Party, March 20th

    HeartFeltFam-Twitter-Party

    Join us for a #HeartFeltFam Twitter Party to celebrate green, healthy living with Heart Felt Naturals and MPM!

    Date: Friday, March 20th 2015

    Time: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm EST

    Brand Expert: @HeartFeltNatura

    Hosts: @MomPoweredMedia & @MDefined

    Co-Hosts: @darcibean, @CanNUSAWinNSave, @determineddiary, @ourpieceofearth

    Hashtag: #HeartFeltFam

    Prizes:
    • Grand Prize: Heart Felt Prize Package worth $300+
    • Additional Prizes: Four Heart Felt Prize Packages containing Wool Dryer Balls + Squish Delish

    CLICK HERE TO TWEET the twitter party announcement for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

    MPM was founded by online moms striving for a greater community. One that would support each other not only in our career but also in our strive for family balance. In doing that, we found a love for the greener things in life. Especially companies that offer solutions to a sustainable living without bringing burden.

    Our gracious twitter party sponsor, Heart Felt is just that. They offer a variety of products for eco-friendly families from cloth diaper liners to insoles.

    You can checkout the Heart Felt product line on Amazon and also follow them on Twitter and Facebook for availability, announcements and more.

  • Five Ways to Save Money Around the House This Month

    Five Ways to Save Money Around the House This Month

    Saving money on a monthly basis may sound like a chore. But what it actually becomes, if you do it every month, is a good money habit. Good money habits are worth a little effort to implement and preserve. A great way to start developing these habits is to find ways to save money around the house this month. Begin with some of the money saving tips below.

    1. Make Your Own Household Cleaner

    Believe it or not, this is quite easy to do. There are a variety of recipes you can use and most use ingredients you already have around the house, like vinegar and bi-carb soda. The good thing about homemade cleaners is you can use them for quite a range of cleaning tasks, including the kitchen, bathroom, doors, windows… just about any surface you have in your home. Squeeze in some lemon if you’d like your place to smell great too.

    2. Turn Off the Lights

    We all have a friend or relative who compulsively turns off the lights as people leave the room, even if they’re turned right back on again in a few moments. The money saved from turning out the lights once you leave the room or head out for the evening adds up over time and can significantly reduce your utility bill.

    3. Remember to Unplug

    Actually unplugging ‘standing’ appliances is another small change which will save you money in the long term. If there are any electrical items you’re not using in your house at the moment, like the computer or the kettle, unplug them. Only plug them in when you actually need them. The TV is not usually needed during the day and neither is the DVD player. Start with those. Perhaps the bar fridge is empty during winter? Unplug that too.

    4. Rediscover the Library

    Your local library is likely to have loads of DVDs and even video games you can borrow. There is no need to run up expensive hire fees or data usage charges for movies and TV series from the local video store or via a download service. It’s free to join your library and then you can access a range of entertainment options for very little outlay.

    5. Take Action Against Your Debt

    The more debt you have, the more money you’re losing to the interest on your repayments. A great initiative to take this month is to look seriously at reducing your debt. One way to d this is through refinancing or consolidating you debt. You can learn more about debt consolidation and refinancing at Debt Rescue .

    Good money habits lead to good money management and can allow you to get on top of your debt. You can start by making small changes to your lifestyle and doing little things around the house to make a big difference over time.

    What are your top tips for saving money around the house on a monthly basis? Share your wisdom in the comments below.

  • 3 Ways To Bring Your Friends To Your Blog

    Do you ever wish your friends and family members would actually read what you are writing? Maybe they are curious about what you do as a blogger but they don’t really “get it”. It’s nice when strangers and other bloggers interact with your posts, but there’s just something special about getting feedback from your friends. Here are 3 ways to bring your friends to your blog. Try them and see what happens!

    3 Ways To Bring Your Friends To Your Blog

    1. Talk about things your friends know

    Chances are good that your friends don’t know much about SEO, blogging or social media. But they probably do care about recipes, snacks, crafts or your kids. So create at least two posts a month that you know will appeal to your friends. Use strong pictures and write the story with your friends in mind. Don’t focus these posts on SEO or use sponsored content. Just write something that will be interesting to your friends and family.

    2. Tag them on Facebook and Instagram

    Think about where your friends spend their time online. Are they on Instagram? Facebook? Twitter? Once you have the post ready that you wrote for them, then tag them! Make it very clear how to get to your blog article. Don’t promote the same way you do for your sponsored content. Use a conversational tone. Try something that directly relates to them and shows why they want to click the link.

    Hey [insert friend name here], I just made an amazing dessert for the party we’re going to tomorrow night. Want to see how I used your recipe? Click [blog link here]!

    Many times our non-blogging friends don’t realize that you write these great recipes/crafts/tutorials and need to be pointed out and invited to see your latest post.

    3. Don’t spam them

    This technique doesn’t work if you do it all the time. If you’re not careful, then your friends will feel like they are being spammed. Remember that they care more about you personally than they do about your blog. If your friend becomes a fan, then you’ve scored something big. But remember, that the majority of your friends will not become regular readers. Invite them. Encourage them. Show them how to find you then let it be a natural progression.

    Do your friends and family members read your blog regularly? I’d love to hear how you get them to engage with your blog?

  • Things you should never blog about

    Being a blogger is a wonderful experience. There are so many reasons that people begin to blog. Whether you blog about your kids, deals, recipes, craft or travel, there are some basic rules that encompass all of blogging. There are some definite things that should be off limits for all bloggers – no matter what their style or topic. Here are 3 things you should never blog about.

    1. Other People’s Ideas

    It is never ok to copy and paste another person’s ideas. If you find something amazing on another site, then there are appropriate ways to link back and give them credit. But it is never ok to simply take their ideas and paste them on your blog. If you are inspired, then mention them and give a link back, but don’t use another person’s hard work to try to boost your own site. Not only is this unethical, but it is also illegal and can cause some serious problems.

    2. Other People’s Problems

    If you are a Mom and want to blog about your kids and your family, then do so with their permission. Be careful about posting information that could cause embarrassment or problems when the kids get older. Remember that everything that is posted online is permanent – even if you try to delete it. Ask permission before you post pictures of people and make sure that what you post online is not going to cause them issues.

    Having problems with another person? Think carefully before you air the dirty laundry on a public blog.

    3. False Claims about products

    Bloggers need to be aware of claims they make about products they review or receive for payment. Not only can false information lead to a lack of trust from the readers, but can also lead to serious legal issues with brands. If you are posting medical or nutritional information, check your facts. Consult with the brand before listing benefits or results.

    It is always good to be honest about a product or service, but bloggers need to be aware of what can and cannot be claimed.

    Being a blogger is a different experience than it was 10 years ago. Be aware of what you post and think about the long term reach and influence your post will have on readers.

    Do you agree with these three things? Do you think I should have added something else? I’d love to hear!

  • Blogging to a Successful Year – Organizational Tips

    Blogging To A Successful Year
      It’s that time of year again, the first of the year, time to start being organized. Whether you made it a new year’s resolution or not (I did), as a blogger, organization is something that you must do. You will thank me for writing this post (and of course you reading it) once it comes time next year to file your taxes, or even next quarter if you’re paying taxes quarterly. You may also have to look back at your records for something for the year too, so it’s definitely good to keep documentation and be organized with it. Do you always aspire to be one of those bloggers who continuously seem to be on top of everything? You know the ones who never forget a deadline, are always up to date with their emails, and their bookkeeping for the month? I have a few tips and tricks to help you out. Now I’m sure you’re asking, what do I need to buy to be organized and how do I stay organized? Have a clean workspace with no distractions A clean workspace should be common sense, but it really allows for better work to be done without distractions around. No TV, no kids running around, no mess that has you thinking you should be getting up to clean instead of blog, etc. Make yourself an office with a desk, a nice desk lamp, and area to blog, write, and more. A small notebook to keep track of mileage You will definitely want to keep a small notebook to keep track of mileage. I keep mine in my purse so it’s with me at all times. Obviously another great place to keep it would actually be in your car. Keep track of mileage when you do things for blogging such as going to the post office to mail a blog related item, going to an office supply store to make copies to fax something to a PR company, going to dinner or a show for a blogger review, going to an amusement park that you’re reviewing, and much more. Those are just a few examples of why you’d keep track of mileage, there are plenty more. You’ll need these figures when it comes to tax time for a deduction. Notebook A desk size planner or a dry erase board Whether you use a monthly desk size planner or a large dry erase board, it’s so very important to keep track of what you need to do that week or month. Try not to put too much on yourself for one day, and try to at least take a day or even a weekend for yourself. Don’t burn yourself out by blogging every single day of the week. With a desk planner or dry erase board you can easily keep track and see what day you need to do what, as well as any deadlines you may have. I personally like a weekly desk size planner for what I have to do for the week, that way I don’t get completely overwhelmed by looking at a monthly calendar that may be full. Seeing week by week helps me get through the week with ease. Desk Planner A planner that you can easily take on the go I actually use a smaller planner that I keep in my purse, I also keep track of my mileage in that as well, as shown above, instead of a separate notebook. The planner I have shows month by month and also has notes sections, and week by week sections. I like that it’s a lot packed into a small planner, as I tend to like them better than the bigger and bulkier planners. It’s totally up to your preference though on what you’d rather use. I usually email myself with what I need to write down on what dates at the end of the day, then I fill it out in the morning. If I have a conference to go to, I will fill that in, well in advance too. I like having a smaller one as I always have it with me in case something comes up like getting a phone call for a blog event or a Twitter party or something of the sort. A planner is good to have to write down important dates like domain renewals, hosting renewals, bills that need to be paid like email services, WordPress plugins, and more. A file folder with at least 13 different sections You will want a file folder that has AT LEAST 13 sections, that way you can have a section for each month as well as an extra section too. My file folder is big enough to hold normal 8.5″x 11″ sheets of paper, that way when I get contracts or anything important that I need to print off, that they will fit in my folder. I keep all of my receipts in each monthly section, and I keep all contracts or any important papers in the 13th section in the back. I staple them together and write a date on the top to help keep them organized. File Folder Google Drive Docs Spreadsheet, so you can access anywhere It’s important to keep track of two different things via spreadsheets. The first one of course is your blogging items/money received. Date, review item, review value, sponsored content, and money received. Make sure you do a sheet for each month so it doesn’t get too cluttered. That way you can easily see what you have review value wise each month, as well as money received that month too. I have included a VERY simple example below. Blogger Spreadsheet Secondly, you will want to keep track of your statistics for each month. That way you can see your growth, you can see what you may need to work more on growing whether it be your Facebook fans, Twitter followers, page views, unique monthly views, etc. I actually didn’t do this last year, and I really wish I would have so I could have seen the growth my blog took. You can even keep track of other information like top blog posts for the month. A lot of this will help you keep an eye on what you need to focus on each month on your blog. I made another simple example that you can see below. Blogger Growth PayPal Account or Bank Account to keep business separate from personal This is something you will just want to do, it’s easier to keep track of everything incoming and outgoing. It’s also easier come tax time to prepare your taxes or for your accountant. You can also acquire a debit card for PayPal or Bank and use that for blogger related expenses as well. Make sure if you use PayPal to keep track of all of your fees you pay out if you receive a payment as well, as those are tax deductible.   Now I know this isn’t EVERYTHING you need to know, but these are some great starter tips. You will be on the right track if you’re following the above. If you have any more suggestions or thoughts, make sure to comment below and let me know! I hope you found this post informative!
  • Tips for Taking Creative Self Portraits

    So many family photographers, of every skill level, are hesitant about taking their own self portraits, because they feel awkward or unsure of just how to get a shot done right. Self portraits require us to study ourselves in much the same way we study the living and nonliving subjects we photograph on a daily basis, and its this self examination that can lead to hesitation. The great thing about good self portraiture, is that it can either expose a side of us to others that they might not already know, or reveal the favorite features that you are already aware of in the best light. Use these tips to get comfortable with self portraits, help you take better self portraits, and then get you started taking portraits that are more and more creative. Creative Self Portraits Tell Your Present Story We always want to look forward and back, but portraiture is all about telling the story of our lives that is happening now. Look at your present story and think about what people see of you now, what you are interested in and doing now, and what you want everyone to remember about you in this moment. Use these ideas to set up your setting for a photo that expresses and narrates your present story. Think About Composition Just like you would set up any other shot, it is important that you consider composition with a self portrait. Maybe you don’t want a portrait of your face, but just some of yourself included. This is perfectly acceptable and gives the viewer another way to look at you, your life and your work. Consider the location of the photo, the lighting and then position yourself alone or with props that tell the story about yourself that you are trying to convey. Plan Out the Shot and Come Equipped Not every self portrait is going to be spontaneous, and if you look at some of the most famous ones, they were all planned out well ahead of time and the photographers were equipped and ready for them. Prepare to snap the perfect shot in much the same way you would any other.  Observe locations, watch the light and ensure that you have all the equipment necessary to take the best shot you can. Think of things like remote triggers, timers and additional lights when necessary. Even having someone there to help you get in the best position or manage other equipment is totally acceptable. Edit and Enhance Finally, edit and enhance your portrait with photography editing tools to get your shot just the way you want it. This is your photo and an example of your work, so feel free to use the tools you normally use to set yourself up in the best way possible. Just be sure to keep the photo as true to its subject as possible, but changing to black and white, adding contrast or cropping photographs will help you create the story you are trying to tell without compromising anything.
  • 15 Tech Geek Gifts Everyone Will Love

    15 tech geek gift guide

    15 Tech Geek Gifts Everyone Will Love

    If you’re like me, it’s always hard trying to find the perfect or unique gift for the Tech Geek friends and family members! Well, I decided I had enough and put together this amazing gift guide list of 15 Tech Geek Gifts that I know that they are going to absolutely love! I hand picked every item on the list, and I think I might have ordered half the things on it! Seriously, wait until you see what I’m talking about when you read the list. There’s everything for your favorite Retro video game geek and the passionate Star Wars lovers alike! There is something for everyone in here, including a few that you just might want to have for yourself! portable retro bit core edition red  

    Retro Bit RDP Portable Handheld Console V2.0: CORE Edition – Red.

    This is portable version of the Retro Duo NES/SNES system. So now you can take your 8-bit NES and 16-bit SNES games on the road! This is one of my favorite things to start with! Of course, I absolutely had to purchase this for myself. I am just so tired of having to blow air and tap my vintage Nintendo machine! The Retro Duo Portable Game System is pretty much the dream configuration for any retro gamer. Not only can you play solo, but it also hooks up to full-sized televisions as well. Use the included port adapter to connect two SNES (or equivalent) controllers. Product Specifications • Portable Game Console Plays Old Nintendo SNES and NES Games • Connects to television for big screen gaming • Up to 8 hours of game play on a single charge • Also compatible with Sega Genesis with additional RetroGen Adapter (Not Included) • System Includes:
    • Retro Duo Portable Main Unit
    • Stand Up Dock
    • AC power adapter: 100-240v input
    • Standard AV Cable
    • Dual Controller Port Adapter
    • Rechargeable lithium-ion batter
    • RetroPORT Adapter for NES Games
    mac keyboard super hero skin

    Macbook Keyboard Super Hero Skin

    These are vinyl laminated skins, individually cut for each key. Not to be confused with silicon or rubber skins, although a clear silicone skin / cover will work over top of our skins/ decals. Decals for your Apple Keyboards. Modeled after some of the greatest heroes and villains of all time. Apple Wireless and Macbook keyboard Skin. Fits all Macbook keyboards, with the exception of the Mackbook 11″ Air. Does not interfere with the backlit keys that some Macbooks have. If you have a Super Hero lover, then they are going to LOVE this! This makes a great Stocking stuffer, BTW! wireless photo printer

    Canon SELPHY CP910 Black Portable Wireless Compact Photo Color Printer

    With the Selphy CP910 Wireless Compact Photo Printer, celebrating your special memories has never been more convenient. Lightweight and compact in size, the Selphy CP910 is easy to take just about anywhere. But it’s more than just portable; it’s also loaded with features, like Portrait Image Optimize, which allows you to relive those cherished moments with beautiful and long-lasting borderless 4” x 6” photo prints. What’s more, it’s AirPrint enabled, making wireless printing from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch almost effortless. No drivers are needed! And Mobile Device Printing allows images on compatible Windows RT devices to be sent directly to the printer as well. Plus, with its new Access Point Mode, the Selphy CP910 allows you to directly connect your wireless camera or smart device without the need of a network.Windows 7 SP1, Windows Vista SP2, Windows XP SP3, and Mac OS X v10.6.8 to v10.9 (Wi-Fi Connection supported in Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, and Mac OS X v10.6.8 – v10.9). I squealed a little bit with this find! I am in love with the concept of being able to print from my different wireless devices that I have! novation music pad

    Novation Launchpad Mini USB Midi Controller for Performing and Producing Music with iPad, Mac and PC

    Launchpad Mini is the compact version of the celebrated Novation Launchpad performance controller. Designed for the iPad generation, Launchpad Mini features 64 three-color launch pads that let you play loops, sounds, effects and more to produce and perform music immediately with your iPad, PC or Mac. Designed to get you making music right out of the box, Launchpad Mini is entirely bus-powered from your iPad, PC, or Mac. It comes with a suite of software, including Ableton Live Lite, for your Mac or PC, plus the Launchpad App for iPad. Launchpad for iPad includes a pre-loaded professional sound library that you can use instantly to create unique performances, turning Launchpad Mini into an integrated performance instrument. In addition to the built-in sounds, you can import additional sound packs or even your own sounds when you need them. Complete your performance with filters and DJ style effects, and then share your creations with the world. wireless charging station

    Bluelounge Sanctuary4 – 4-amp Charging Station – White

    Sanctuary4 A power nap for your devices! More powerful than ever. With exponentially more power, Sanctuary4 has been completely reengineered with a 4-amp charger to give you enough juice to quickly charge up to four devices at once. Tablets welcome. Broad-spectrum chargers often leave tablets out to charge on their own. Sanctuary4 is designed with a discreet, angle-adjustable tablet stand built in, giving you a dedicated space to charge your tablet alongside your other devices, all in one place. Customizable connectivity. BYOC -meaning you Bring Your Own Cables. Sanctuary4 includes 4 USB ports for your choice of connector configurations. One Micro USB cable comes with each Sanctuary4 for your convenience. Timeless. As devices and their associated charging cables come and go, Sanctuary4 can be updated with a simple switch of the cords to keep up with your charging needs. evoMouse

    Celluon evoMouse; USB Gesture Mouse

    The Celluon evoMouse for Windows/Mac OS X is easy and convenient. Setting up evoMouse is quick and simple and requires very little space. It connects via standard USB port without installing software. In addition to common mouse operations, evoMouse recognizes multiple gestures when connected to supported devices. It allows natural movements and doesn’t require pushing around a physical object, evoMouse may help reduce repetitive stress injuries. evoMouse works on any flat surface, requiring very little space. No more pushing around a bulky mouse. motion controller

    Leap Motion Controller, Gesture Motion Control for PC or MAC

    The Leap Motion Controller senses your hands and fingers and follows their every move. It lets them move in all that wide-open space between you and your computer. So you can do almost anything without touching anything. It’s the tiny device that just might change the way you use technology! It’s a super-wide 150° field of view and a Z-axis for depth. That means you can move your hands in 3D, just like you do in the real world. The Leap Motion Controller can track your movements at a rate of over 200 frames per second. Now THAT’S pretty amazing! storm troopers

    Storm Trooper Head Cufflinks and Money Clip Gift Set

    This set is official and fully licensed! This is sure to please any hard core (or as I like to call them…passionate) Star Wars fan. Your cost could be $55.00 instead of $95.00! Get the Amazon.com Store Card and you’ll automatically get $40.00 off instantly as a gift card! Learn More! doctor who tardis clock

    Doctor Who TARDIS Projection Alarm Clock

    This amazing Doctor Who TARDIS Projection Alarm Clock for fans of the hit BBC show Doctor Who projects the time and the Doctor Who logo onto your ceiling via a projector hole situated on the back. When the alarm goes off, the light flashes and it makes TARDIS sounds! This is one awesome alarm clock that all Whovians should own! Requires 3x “AAA” batteries, not included. The Doctor Who TARDIS Projection Alarm Clock stands approximately 4 1/2-inches tall. muse

    Muse: The Brain Sensing Headband

    What is Muse? Take your meditation and yoga practice to the next level with Muse: the brain sensing headband. Muse is a tool to enhance your wellness by helping you to train your brain. It’s designed to build on the healthy body and mind you are already working on by providing you with real-time feedback during daily guided training sessions. Muse uses sensors to detect and measure your brain signals from outside your body the same way a heart monitor measures your heart rate. Real-time audio and visual feedback plus long-term tracking so you can monitor your progress. Guided training sessions designed to build the skill of focused attention to help manage stress.Portable – works with smart phone or tablet via Bluetooth. nicee shop retro flip clock

    Niceeshop Retro Flip Down Clock – Internal Gear Operated

    If you have a person in your life that loves a good piece of retro functionality art in their office or bedroom, then this is the perfect time piece! It’s a 12 Hour AM/ PM Clock Flip Down Minute and Hour Display Gear Operated;Time Adjustment Dimensions: 165mm x 205mm x 70mm (L x W x D Power Source: 1 x D Battery (not included). quadcopter

    Hubsan H107L X4 Mini RTF RC Quadcopter

    This amazing little Quadcopter from Hubsan may be small, but is powerful and very agile. Its sleek, fully enclosed fuselage houses all the clever stuff as well as the powerful 240mah LiPo battery pack. The X4 is an ultra stable flight platform that will outperform vehicles much bigger than itself and, on calm days, will hover outdoors. tripod with telephoto lens for iphone 5

    12X Magnifier Zoom Aluminum Camera Telephoto Lens w/ Tripod for Apple iPhone 5

    This is a zoom lens set compatible with Apple iPhone 5. Each lens set contains a zoom iPhone lens attachment for 12x the zoom, a sleek, matte black back case that allows you to firmly fix the lens on your iPhone 5, and a mini ball-socket tripod that help you get clear photos or aim the iPhone at yourself. samsung smart watch

    Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch- Retail Packaging – Jet Black

    Atooma is a contextually aware horizontal intelligence platform that makes Galaxy Gear smarter. Banjo gives you the power to see what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world. Evernote watch app makes it easy to remember things by quickly capturing images and memories and bringing important reminders right to Galaxy Gear. POWERQUBE

    POWERQUBE Desktop Chargers for Smartphones and Tablets – Retail Packaging – White

    POWERQUBE Smart Charging Station for Smart Devices. The POWERQUBE is your total charging solution for all of your Smart Devices, with the ability to charge 9 smart devices simultaneously through 3 Smart USB ports and 6 AC outlets. The POWERQUBE is engineered with patent-pending SP Technology, with the ability to negotiate and appropriately charge ANY smart device (phone, tablet, smart-watch, e-reader, etc.) on the market today. The POWERQUBE is your TOTAL charging solution that is sleek enough to be placed on your desk, nightstand, kitchen counter, etc., anywhere you need charging solutions for your smart devices. POWERQUBE – JOIN THE REVOLUTION! Do you have any ideas or suggestions that I can add to the list? Let me know! I’m always on the lookout for fabulous gifts like these!
  • Chillafish BMXie Balance Bike Review & Giveaway

    As a mom of seven, I am often grateful and ecstatic to test out the newest kid’s products. Though it is rare that one really impresses me with design and quality. I found just that and more when Chillafish introduced my home to the BMXie during the MPMHGG.
    The BMXie balance bike from Chillafish is the perfect first bike for preschoolers. With a BMX-styled bicycle frame and oversized tubing, kids can ride in style as they master their balance and coordination skills without having to worry about pedals. The bike features an adjustable seat and removable footrest (no tools required!). Made for ages 2-5 years old, BMXie comes in 5 colors: red, blue, lime, pink and yellow.
    BMXie 2   The BMXie balance bike doesn’t compromise! Those words have become extremely important in the bike world especially for parents whom are buying their child’s first bike or continuing on the no petal track. Be prepared to have to put a few pieces together upon opening the box. Everything included the only tool you need to create this product is included in the box. One of the things you will notice right away is the weight and beauty of BMXie parts. Everything is smooth and precise. Even the lime green stands to attention against the black and white color pallet. Box parts The BMXie comes with a real BMX-styled bicycle frame providing the same look and feel as big brother’s bike. The thoughtful design gives meaning to the statement from Chillafish, “the coolest balance bike in the world.” In fact my older son has even said that Low’s new ride is way cooler than the bike he is sporting now and has demanded a redo for the holiday season. The tire tread is really something you can be in awe of. This gives the impression of an all terrain bike. While it is pretty cold in the Midwest, I cannot wait to get the Chillafish BMXie out to the hillside this spring. tire tread The unit sports oversized tubing that is extremely lightweight. Even my four year old son can carry the BMXie around with ease. That is a nice benefit when they are still in the learning to ride stage and for those parents who teach their children to cleanup after themselves after playtime. The large grip on the handle bars is one of my favorite features. These are ideally sizes for little hands to fit perfectly around. This helps keep them steady when turning and in playmode. Elliot on bike The seat is thoughtfully, adjustable seat and requires now tools to move. BMXie even has a removable footrest for those youngsters that prefer not to have one in the way. The size also seems appropriate for 2-5 year old crowd. The BMX design process continues to shine through with a detachable front number plate. The box contains size stickers for you to select from? I suggest saving them as well. So in the event the one on the bike becomes damaged, you can replace it with a new sticker. All in all when considering your child’s first bike or perhaps even a new one, I definitely suggest giving Chillafish’s balance bike line a look. ChillafishFiveawayBanner

    One winner will receive a Bunzi and an additional winner will receive a BMXie.

    Giveaway ends December 1st at 11:59pm, open to US residents, ages 18+. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway   Disclosure: All opinions seen in this publication are those of the writer and may differ from your own. For questions or to have your product featured on Mom Powered Media, email Teri at teri@mompoweredmedia.com.
  • Reasons to Start Your Own Business

    If you are organized and like to be in charge of situations, then you might enjoy owning your own business. Many people own small businesses that are based off of simple ideas. You will often find that when you start small, you will be able to climb the business ladder in a short amount of time. When you own a business, you are in charge of where you go in the company. You don’t have to answer to managers, you set your own hours, and you decide who you want to hire if you need someone to work with you. It’s up to you to make all of the decisions that will affect the business whether they are good or bad. One of the benefits of owning your own business is that you can set a balance between your business life and your personal life. The hours are up to you as to when the store will be open and the various holidays that you will take. It Starts With You If you work at home, then you don’t even have to change your clothes to go to work. You can wear your pajamas and drink coffee all day if you want. If there are times you need to take off to get the kids at school or take the pets to the veterinarian, then you can take the time off without asking anyone else. Owning a business is beneficial to those who have young children because they won’t have to rely on a sitter as much. The children can be taken to the store, or they can stay in a play area at home. Working with someone you don’t get along with can affect your job. When you are the owner, you can choose who you want to work with you if you want anyone at all. You can hire family members or close friends who you know will help get you to the next level in your business. If you have a small business, then you can be as picky as you want when selecting who to come aboard. There is a risk in starting a business. However, if that risk is a success, then you will be rewarded. You can begin making a profit with the business if you set your mind to what you are doing. You will start to see what opportunities are good and which ones should be avoided so that you can have the best business possible. There are challenges that you will see each day, and when you overcome these challenges, it will give you the motivation to go further in your company. Starting a business is a way to take control of a passion. Whether it’s baking cakes or making decorations for the home, you can turn just about anything into a business. If you have an idea for a business venture, start small so that you can get a feel as to whether people would buy from you. Once you see that the services is something people want, then the sky is the limit. You can gather information from people like Sukanto Tanoto who have corporate offices after starting at the ground level.
  • Space Scouts Review & One Year Subscription Giveaway

    Being married to a science nerd with a fond love for astronomy has had an amazing effect on my life and those of my children. I have learned so much by just listening to my husband ramble on about this and that. Even more importantly, my children have begun to follow in his footsteps with the how, why, when and wow effect. If for no other reason than our love for all things astronomical, I will say thank you to Space Scouts for providing a way to share the magic with younger children. box Let’s start with the box arrival. Space Scouts is displayed in their full color logo sticker and can begin the excitement before even opening the package. Space ships bring smiles, right? Lunch Box Contents ROXY and JETT will guide your child on a scouting expedition through the solar system, with focus on a specific place in space each month. Begin the adventure with the Space Scouts lunchbox to use as a backdrop and storage for the monthly magnet collection, the Space Scouts solar system poster to map and mark with the monthly exploration sticker, and the Space Scouts constellation card startup kit to hold the monthly constellation card collection. Your child’s adventure begins with: Introduction to the Space Scouts Program Space Scouts Lunchbox Space Scouts Solar System Poster Space Scouts Activity Sheet Space Scouts Sticker Scramble Space Scouts Souvenir Toy Space Scouts Constellation Card Startup Kit (cover & ring) Introduction to Space Scouts Constellation Cards The lunchbox time is not allow adorable but also good quality. It is perfect for storing all of the constellation cards, paperwork and even the map that comes in the packet. If you are anything like me, you value the ability to organize items without having to buy anything additional. However this is also a funny functional lunchbox if your child decides to take it along on another type of adventure. Month 2 Kit Each monthly packet will include a Space Scouts exploration plan describing the place to be scouted, a Space Scouts magnet to add to the Space Scouts lunchbox, a Space Scouts sticker to add to the Space Scouts solar system poster, a Space Scouts activity sheet loaded with puzzles, games, and activities, a Space Scouts sticker scramble (unscramble the numbered stickers to reveal a surprise!), a Space Scouts souvenir toy to use in learning activities, a Space Scouts constellation card, and a Space Scouts constellation activity sheet that includes the mythological stories and other learning activities to help your child identify the constellation in the night sky. Each month your child will receive: Space Scouts Exploration Plan Space Scouts Magnet Space Scouts Sticker Space Scouts Activity Sheet Space Scouts Sticker Scramble Space Scouts Souvenir Toy Space Scouts Constellation Card Space Scouts Constellation Activity Sheet The claw With each month, there is something new and exciting with Space Scouts. My children adore getting mail, especially when it involves things they are interested in like space and toys. Take the claw contained in the month #2 packet. It has many uses including moving game pieces from place to place and is an excellent too in creating a fun clean up game when playtime is over. One thing I want to bring notice to is that the Space Scouts kit comes with both a boy and girl character. In a world where most scientific kits are geared to our young men, it is nice to see companies start to bring attention to the fact that our daughters are just as interested in this field as our sons. Bravo!

    One winner will receive a one year subscription to Space Scouts (a $174 value).

    Giveaway ends December 7th at 11:59pm, open to US residents, ages 18+. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck! space-scouts-sweepstakes-button   Disclosure: All opinions seen in this publication are those of the writer and may differ from your own. MomtoBedby8.com may have receive product or payment as a condition of this publication. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment and shipment to the winner. This sweepstakes is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network. For questions or to have your product featured on Mom to Bed by 8, email Teri at teri@momtobedby8.com.
  • Preserve your holiday memories with BooksTo.Me

    Instagram has become a place where we document our lives in pictures everyday; whether it’s a nephew’s second birthday, cheering at the game with friends, or the tuna rolls at that fancy sushi restaurant. BooksTo.Me makes these memories permanent on the pages of a beautifully bound book. We lovingly pull your images from Instagram every month and place them in an 8”x8” book which is shipped straight to you. The best part is, you don’t have to do a thing!
    Memories, no matter the season are extremely important in my home. With seven children and a busy life, I feel like I miss much and am always looking for ways to preserve those milestones of our lives. I want to thank BooksTo.Me for introducing me to their easy solution to the photobook. outer picture 2 BooksTo.Me offers a very simple sign-up process. Complete the questions to create your account, select your plan, enter payment details and connect your Instagram account. They offer two plans to choice from: one book every month, or one book every three months. They will automatically pull every image you post during that period of time, and print them in a hardbound book that is shipped directly to you. BooksTo.Me is the fixed price you see in the plan and there is no extra charge for number of images. Even shipping and handling is included in your plan fee, so there is no hidden cost with their service. As a consumer, BooksTo.Me is a great monthly solution for taking your Instagram memories and placing them in a keepsake book. This takes the hardwork out of making a photobook and if you have created a few in your time, you know that the process can sometimes be a headache. The finished book makes and excellent gift idea or even memory books to store for when you need a little reminder of the days that came before. inner 1 The book itself is a nice hardback with soft feeling cover. The pages though are a basic paper and for that, you need to take great care with them. When sharing with younger children, keep in mind the pages are as easy to tear as an everyday book. However with a bit of watching over, BooksTo.Me can become a wee ones favorite picture book in no time. Keep in mind that the photo quality is exactly as what you upload. So for the best printed photos, take care to check lighting and angle for the best results. As you can see in the two examples above and below, the clearer the Instagram upload, the better the result. In the event that you are just looking for a book showcasing a special event such as a wedding or even a birthday, it is important that you plan your Instagram photos ahead. This in my opinion is the downside of the BooksTo.Me process. Each photo you do not want seen in your photo book must be tagged with #noBTM. Inner Picture Now in my previous experience, once a status is on Instagram there is no changing it. So you need to already have made the decision that you want to document on these photos or all of them not tagged with #noBTM during that month or three month period will be placed in the book. For someone like myself who also posts photos for my job on my Instagram account, this can lead to disappointment. However if you are someone whom is the everyday consumer or only adds photos of meaning to your Instagram profile, you should not be effected by this issue. There is no harm in giving BooksTo.Me a go during the holiday season if for no other reason than to preserve those important moments that can be overlooked and even forgotten over time. A one month subscription book can hold up to 320 photos. That is a lot and for many of us enough to capture every smile!
  • Try Biofreeze Perform to soothe sore and aching muscles

    Do you suffer from sore and aching muscles? I know I sure do. I have tried over the counter pain relievers, heated patches, and heating pads. However it seemed as though these products only offered temporary pain relief. I was excited to be given the opportunity to try Biofreeze Perform products, to see how they could handle my muscle aches and pains. I had seen Biofreeze products before, but never took the leap to try them. Here are my results with this product. All opinions expressed are my own. I received three Biofreeze Perform products for review. These products included the Biofreeze 360͒ Spray, Biofreeze On The Go Singles, and the Perform Biofreeze Foot Pain Therapy Pack. Biofreeze offers a variety of products to designed to meet your pain relief needs and well as lifestyle. perform review 2 (1) Before I begin by review, let me tell you a bit about what Biofreeze was up against. My husband and I are in our late thirties and mid forties. We like to think we are active, but we still find ourselves suffering from aches and pains. These can be more painful after a long day of work such as yard work or housework. Since we also have two young children, so it is important that any pain relief products we use have as little side effects as possible. We don’t need to experience any drowsiness or other side effects that can keep us from doing our job as parents. Here is how the Biofreeze Perform products worked for us. perfrom review The first product I put right to use was the Foot Pain Therapy Kit that advertises it “delivers temporary pain relief for sore and tired feet, heels, and arches.” So right there I am in! As a work at home mom I am either on the go somewhere or at the stove, kitchen sink, or in the laundry room-back and forth. Not wearing shoes with proper support also doesn’t help. My feet hurt in the morning and at night so I needed an intervention and was excited to give this product a test run. The box comes with a roll on applicator-bonus, so this means no touching the gel with your hands. It also makes it easier when applying the gel on another person. The box also contains a Thera-Band Foot Roller and Instructions for various exercises for stretching your foot muscles to relax and limber them up I like how the product doesn’t just include the pain reliever, but these tips on how to lessen and prevent pain in the future. I followed all of them after applying gel and felt a noticeable difference in my feet immediately, even more so after doing it several days in a row. The gel is cool and feels great. This is a product that you could benefit from using weekly, especially if you are in an occupation where you are on your feet for long periods of time. perform review The next item was Biofreeze 360 spray. Now normally you have to hold cans at a certain angle or it won’t spray. Using a spray can such as this makes it difficult to get spots like your own shoulder, or the back of your knee, etc.  My husband tried this product and the first thing he noticed was this easy spray feature, followed by a nice even spray that covered well. You can hold the can at any angle and get great coverage without spray jams. You also don’t have to encounter touching the product, which means cleaner hands and easier application. This spray is ideal for back pain, leg pain, or arm pain. There is no Last is the Biofreeze On the Go Single. where you need it. Who doesn’t want pain relief on the run? These small packets are easy to toss in a purse, wallet, or glove compartment. Whenever you find yourself with muscle aches and pains, all you need to do is open a pack and apply. Great for travel, these packets can fit just about anywhere and leave you with more confidence should soreness or pain pop up. I was able to throw one in my purse and in the car should pain happen. Because the odor is low and application isn’t messy, it is easy to apply it to a sore neck or shoulders discreetly. I If you are looking for quick pain relief-give the line of Biofreeze products a try. You will find that there is a product that easily fits your lifestyle and pain management needs.
  • Sleep Training with the Kid’Sleep Moon Review & Giveaway

    The Kid’Sleep Moon is part of a line of sleep training and time teaching/time organization products invented by a father of 6! classens kids review The Kid’Sleep Moon has many benefits, as a sleep trainer and night light for young children and an alarm clock for older children. It helps young children have an understanding of when it is time to get out of bed and when it is not. It is a great tool for nighttime self regulation, and the result is that both parents and children get more sleep. The Kid’Sleep Moon helps kids stay in bed until it is time to get up. If the sleeping animal is lit, kids know to stay in bed. When the awake animal is illuminated, it is okay to get out of bed and start the day. Kids naturally relate to the sleeping or awake animal. Color recognition is not required. The Kid’Sleep Moon has 3 settings for nighttime, nap and weekend, 4 choices of alarm sounds (or the choice of no alarm), and 4 levels of brightness to choose from. The Kid’Sleep Moon helps children fall asleep with 4 different choices of lullabies. The Kid’Sleep Moon also offers the Smart Sunset “Go To Sleep” function and the Smart Moonset “Wake-Up Process”, which gives kids a 10 minute warning for sleep time and get up time! The Kid’Sleep Moon has a new menu for very easy setting! classens kids review 3 Bedtime and staying in bed are a constant battle in my house.  We have co slept for years and now that my daughter is 3 1.2 it is definitely time for her to transition to her own bed.  The problem is that she is not even slightly interested in being in there-despite a big girl bed, big girl bedding, and even allowing her to watch a little TV in bed before lights out doesn’t keep her down for longer than 5 minutes.  The problem being that watching TV is not conducive to sleeping, their little mind is racing, the overly stimulating colors and sounds do not allow their bodies and minds to settle and drift off.  So eventually I just give in, I know I shouldn’t, but there it is I am a mom of two who gives in for the sake of some sleep myself-which translates to a little elbow jammed in my ribs and a foot in my ear so…. not really good sleep. classens kids review 2 We knew we had to do something and I received my Kids Sleep Moon right about the time we came to this conclusion so I was pretty anxious to give it a try. I opened the package to  take a better look and saw just a simple device with muted colors and graphics-which is the idea I believe to soothe instead of simulate.   I was worried that since was not covered in bright, well known cartoon characters that she would not be interested but she loved it and couldn’t wait for it to be set up in her room. We gave it a try after explaining what it was for, how it worked, etc. I told her that she must stay in bed when the bunny was in bed (lit up) and when he was up she could get up and come out of her room. The first night she still wound up in our bed by 10 am. The several nights were variations of the first but are getting a little better. She loves having her own alarm clock, and while we are definitely not there yet, I can see that with continued use and consistency I can use this to get her in her own bed for the whole night. I would recommend this as a tool for sleep training your child from birth to preschool years. Kid'Sleep Moon Giveaway

    Two winners will receive a Kid’Sleep Moon.

    Giveaway ends December 3rd at 11:59pm, open to US residents, ages 18+. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway
  • Kyocera 8″ Professional Chef’s Knife Review & Giveaway

    The Kyocera 8″ Professional Chef’s Knife is a recent addition to the wonderful Kyocera ceramic knives line and we were so thrilled to test one in the kitchen for review. Most of their knives had 5 1/2″ or 6″ blades, this new ceramic chef’s knife has a larger blade and is a more typical size used by most people. kyocera knife The Kyocera ceramic chef’s knife is available in a white or black blade, this is the white blade version. Kyocera ceramic knives are a terrific alternative to metal knives, especially for those who don’t sharpen their knives. This ceramic knife blade is close to a diamond in hardness, so the blade holds its sharpness for a very long time, at least 10 times longer than a traditional blade. Ceramic is also pure and doesn’t react with acid, lettuce and other foods, nor will it rust. The knife is also lighter than a metal equivalent, so during long cutting tasks there is less fatigue. Ceramic knives are great for slicing and chopping fruits, vegetables and boneless meats. A ceramic knife is not recommended for cutting hard foods, carving, prying, flexing scraping or boning. kyocera knife 3 I am a serious foodie, and so I literally spend most of my days; chopping, slicing, dicing, shredding, sautéing, reducing and so on. I have a couple of key items in my kitchen that get a workout more than once a day, every day- a great kitchen knife being one of them. From breakfast to dinner I have a collection of knives to be used for everything from toast to roasts. I have to say I was skeptical when I opened this knife it appeared to be plastic and I did not think it would cut well. Thankfully, I was mistaken, I have found my new favorite knife and not only is the knife made from ceramic, it is also surprisingly sharp. kyocera knife 2 The first thing I noticed after I picked up this knife was how light and comfortable it was in my grip. I tried cutting bread, usually you cut bread with a serrated edge knife as a straight edge knife will crush it, but this knife sliced right through it beautifully.  I thinly sliced tomatoes and it was like cutting through hot butter.  Dinner time rolled around and my husband grabbed it to give it a try, he cut fat off a big pork roast- again the blade required very little pressure to get it to slide right through the meat (they do not recommend this knife for carving, especially around bone). Chopping onions? Fast and easy, like cutting with a razor blade. I would definitely recommend this knife if you are looking for a good all around kitchen knife.  One that can be used for more than one purpose, cuts like a razor blade, is light and comfortable in your hand, wipes clean, and will not rust. Kyocera Giveaway

    One winner will receive a Kyocera 8″ Professional Chef’s Knife.

    Giveaway ends November 29th at 11:59pm, open to US residents, ages 18+. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck!
  • Mighty Leaf Tea Holiday Giveaway

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    This is for you tea lovers! Have you ever wanted to sample what loose leaf tea tastes like but have the tea provided in pouches you can steep? Well look no further than Mighty Leaf Tea.

    Mighty Leaf Tea began in 1996 as a result of a shared passion and dream envisioned by husband-and-wife team Gary Shinner and Jill Portman.

    Their passion is for creating the most incredible handcrafted tea blends found anywhere, globally sourcing the finest ingredients available. Paralleling the highest standards of quality at Mighty Leaf Tea is ongoing creative innovation.

    Mighty Leaf Tea is offering to one lucky reader the Mighty Leaf Master Tea Pouch Sampler and a Tea Top Brew Mug so you can experience what really great tea is like.

    About the Prizes:

    Mighty Leaf Master Tea Pouch Sampler

    Mighty Leaf

    The perfect gift for any tea aficionado, this assortment of 108 Tea Pouches wraps our best selling and most unique teas in a luxurious gift box.

    WHAT’S INSIDE:

    Black Tea – Organic Darjeeling Estate (10), Organic Earl Grey (10), Orange Dulce (10) Green & White Tea – Green Tea Tropical (9), Organic Spring Jasmine (10), Organic Hojicha Green Tea (10), White Orchard (10) Herbal Infusions – Organic African Nectar (10), Organic Detox Infusion (10), Chamomile Citrus (9), Organic Mint Mélange (10)

    TeaTop Brew Mug

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    Our insulated “traveling tea pot” is perfect for enjoying Mighty Leaf whole leaf tea on the go. Say goodbye to over-steeping! Pull the string through the patented lid and your tea pouch is in a special holding area, away from your tea.

    Mighty Leaf Tea Giveaway

    Sponsor: Mighty Leaf Tea

    Organized by: Mom Powered Media

    Giveaway is Open to U.S. residents. Giveaway ends 11/17/2014 at 11:59 PM EST

    Sign up for Mighty Leaf email newsletters and receive a coupon for 15% off tea

    For your chance to win, enter on the Rafflecopter Below:

    a Rafflecopter giveaway   Disclosure: All opinions seen in this publication are those of the writer and may differ from your own. For questions or to have your product featured on Mom to Bed by 8, email Teri at teri@mompoweredmedia.com.
  • Cariloha Bamboo Sheet Set Giveaway

    Cariloha Sweepstakes There is a chill in the air and Cariloha wants to make sure you are cozy and comfortable! Enjoy the softest bedding on the planet made from naturally luxurious bamboo. These odor-resistant sheets are softer than 1,000-thread-count Egyptian cotton, making them a must-have favorite for the entire household. Did you know that Cariloha isn’t just known for their Bamboo Sheets, they also make Blankets, Towels and Bath Mats in their home line. CPillowshotLg Cariloha also has a clothing line for men and women with a special section called Bamboo Fit for Women! The Bamboo Fit is flexible, breathable and versatile.You can choose from an assortment of styles and colors. Each piece of clothing is made of viscose from bamboo, is hypoallergenic, and keeps you 3 degrees cooler than cotton. Cariloha’s men’s and women’s wear also keeps you cooler than cotton. The accessories Cariloha carries are unbelievable! Here are just some of what that line carries: Handbags, Scarves, Headbands, Belts, Sandals and more! I want to try so many of their products and their flip-flops are just so cute and cozy looking. womens-bamboo-fit_2
    Driven by a comfort, health and eco-conscious lifestyle, Cariloha joins the Style of the Caribbean with the Spirit of Aloha to provide the best in natural luxury. Since 2007, the brand has grown to become the only multi-store retailer in the world to provide an entire store experience that’s completely merchandised with products made from eco-friendly bamboo. By turning self-replenishing bamboo fields into crazy-soft bamboo fabrics, Cariloha offers an exclusive collection of bedding, apparel, active wear, bath goods, and accessories made from soft, cool, clean and green bamboo. Inspired by the essence and energy of the islands, Cariloha blends style and self-expression into every piece of clothing and bedding it makes. Special care is taken to drape customers in soft, comfortable, naturally breathable bamboo fabrics that leave them experiencing tranquil days in paradise time and time again. Thanks to an ever-growing, rich supply of bamboo, Cariloha has a growing fleet of stores in 13 countries offering its proprietary bamboo apparel, bedding and bath goods and enjoying the quality, soft touch, and green ‘footprint’ of this renewable resource.

    One winner will receive a 1 Cariloha Bamboo Sheet Set, their choice of size and color provided by Cariloha, value up to $199.

    Organized by: Mom Powered Media. Giveaway ends October 28th at 11:59pm, open to US residents, ages 18+. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway   Disclosure: All opinions seen in this publication are those of the writer and may differ from your own. MomPoweredMedia.com may have receive product or payment as a condition of this publication. For questions or to have your product featured, email teri@mompoweredmedia.com.
  • Lakota $150 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

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    Today we’re thrilled to bring you a one of our very favorite types of giveaways – a chance for you to win a $150 Amazon Gift Card from the awesome folks at Lakota.

    GIVEAWAY DETAILS

    The prize: A 150.00 gift card to Amazon.com (one winner). Giveaway ends Oct 13, 2014. Open to both USA and Canada This giveaway is VOID in Quebec, and anywhere else it is prohibited Open to age 18+

    And now the fun part – your chance to win! Just enter in the Rafflecopter widget below!

    Good luck!

    Amazingly Soothing Lakota $150.00 Amazon GC Sweepstakes   Disclosure: All opinions seen in this publication are those of the writer and may differ from your own. MomPoweredMedia.com may have receive product or payment as a condition of this publication. For questions or to have your product featured, email teri@mompoweredmedia.com.
  • $200 YumEarth Organic Candy Halloween Giveaway

    YUMEARTH-2

    Sponsor: YumEarth Organics

    Organized by: Mom Powered Media

    About the Company:

    Two dads founded YumEarth out of their commitment for their families to eat delicious healthful foods free of high fructose corn syrup and artificial dyes. They began making Organic Candies with real fruit extracts and planet friendly ingredients grown on sustainable family farms to sweeten their products. Now we can have healthy flavorful Organic Candies from YumEarth! YumEarth treats are made with all-natural ingredients, no artificial colors or artificial dyes, no gluten, no peanuts, and no tree-nuts. YumEarth organic lollipops and organic drops are kosher parve as well. The following graph shows just about everything you may have a question on: YUMTABLE

    $100 YumEarth Organic Candy Giveaway for 2 Winners:

    YumEarth is giving away TWO (2) $100 Organic Candy Gift Packs! Contents of Gift Packs may be different than the items shown in photo. This Giveaway is open to US only and ends October 27, 2014 at 11:59PM. For your chance to win one of TWO YumEarth $100 Gift Packs enter on the Rafflecopter below: a Rafflecopter giveaway   Disclosure: All opinions seen in this publication are those of the writer and may differ from your own. MomPoweredMedia.com may have receive product or payment as a condition of this publication. For questions or to have your product featured, email teri@mompoweredmedia.com.
  • Why Nobody Reads Your Blog Posts

    Do you ever finish writing your blog post, push publish, sit back and then wonder why nobody reads your blog posts? Maybe you have written an amazing article, and people stop by for a quick visit but leave within seconds, leaving you to wonder why they didn’t stay and read your post. There are 3 things that may be keeping readers from reading your blog posts. Why Nobody Reads your Blog Posts

    1. The post is full of mistakes.

    This is one problem that many beginning bloggers face. They are not seasoned writers and may have poor editing skills. The concept for the post may be strong but the execution is poor. If readers have to wade through incorrect grammar or misspelled words, they won’t stick around and they definitely won’t share your post.
    Fix this: If you feel that you may have grammatical errors, ask a trusted friend or more experienced blogger. Have them correct your spelling errors and offer suggestions on cleaning up your grammar.

    2. The content is weak.

    Before you hit publish on your post, think about what you have said. Is it worth promoting? Do you have something new to bring to the table? Why did you write the post? If it doesn’t stand on its own, then you may want to save it till you can add more meat to the post.
    Fix this: Look at your topic and then find a new perspective. Read other blogs, books, magazines and other columns in your field. The more you read about your topic, the better you will be able to discuss it. Share the content from your experience using your own expertise so people will need to read it.

    3. The colors and font are distracting.

    Have you ever visited a post that has a fancy font for the post that is hard to read? Maybe the whole post is written using italics or too many capital letters. If your font is hard to read or blends into the background, you will quickly lose some readers. If you enjoy the design aspect of blogging, then focus on changing the colors and fonts of your header image – not your body text.
    Fix this: Look at your text and background color. Can you see a distinct contrast? Is the text easy to read with a clear font choice. Is it standard so that readers can read it on any of the various browsers? Do a test on other browsers or devices to make sure it is easy to read.
    Have you been making any of these three common mistakes? These are easy fixes to make and should make it easier for readers to enjoy reading your posts.
  • 7 Mistakes to Avoid in Ecommerce

    Are you having trouble with sales in your ecommerce store? Or maybe you’re starting a brand new site and hoping to avoid the mistakes of your predecessors. Whatever your reasons for research, here are just seven pitfalls to avoid after your grand opening. 7 Mistakes to Avoid in Ecommerce

    1. Low-Quality Images

    All product images should be crystal clear and available at a variety of angles. Their colors should reflect reality; their size should be clearly measured; there shouldn’t be any pixelization or motion blurs.

    2. Poor Product Descriptions

    Try to avoid flowery product descriptions. Customers are looking for things like sizes, ingredients and thread counts, not purple prose about how great the item is or how nice it will look in their dining room. Let them decide that for themselves.

    3. Complicated Carts

    If it’s too much of a hassle for customers to check out, there’s a good chance that they won’t even bother. This is why it’s crucial that your checkout process is streamlined for speed and convenience. Get help from companies like 1 Shopping Cart if your checkout needs a change.

    4. Not Enough Payment Options

    More than 40 percent of online transactions are completed with “alternative” payment options like PayPal. The use of traditional credit cards is on the decline. You’ll need to accept this changing market if you want to stay ahead of the curve.

    5. Shipping Confusion

    How much will it cost to get their items to them? These prices should be clearly stated in several places, including the FAQ and the checkout page. If a customer goes to order and suddenly realizes that shipping is $50, you’ve just lost a sale.

    6. Inadequate Customer Service

    All questions should be answered within 24 hours. All returns should be processed within 3-4 business days. These are the standards of the industry, and it’s important that your business meets the mark; customers will expect it from you as a matter of course.

    7. Forced Registration

    This is the cardinal sin of ecommerce. It’s all right to encourage users to sign up for rewards and loyalty programs, but when you try to force them to register just to check out, they’ll get aggravated and take their business elsewhere.

    These are just seven mistakes commonly made by ecommerce retailers. While you can’t guarantee profit in any industry, avoiding these errors will give you a much greater shot at success.
  • Join us for the #FallAsleepPure Twitter Party!

    Do you have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep? Are allergies getting in the way of giving   you restful sleep? If so, you are in luck! The makers of Pure Crafted Beds have an innovative technology in each of their mattress’ called EcoShield. It protects against pesky allergen  producing bed bugs, dust mites, mosquitoes, and moths, giving you a pure night’s sleep. So join us as we strike up a conversation with the knowledge folks at Pure Crafted Beds to discuss allergies, and other things that can affect our nighttime rest. We spend a big portion of our life in bed, so why not #FallAsleepPure? FallAsleepPure Where: Twitter. When: Thursday, September 25 8pm-9pm EST Hashtag: #FallAsleepPure Who to Follow: @PureCraftedbeds, @Mom Powered Media, @Conservamome, @Mamasmission, @MomToBedBy8   Prizes: • Grand Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card • Additional Prizes: Four $25 Amazon Gift Cards • Pre-Event Tweet Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card CLICK HERE TO TWEET the twitter party announcement for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!   Rules: You must RSVP, follow @PureCraftedbeds on Twitter and attend the #FallAsleepPure Twitter Party to be eligible to win!. Example for RSVP form below:
    • Name: Twitter Handle (@conservamome)
    • Website: Twitter URL (https://twitter.com/ConservamomE)
    • Email: email address (example@123.com)
  • SEO Content For Every Business Website

    SEO services are needed for every business that wants to increase its customer base. Customers do not randomly find websites by chance. Customers must be found through a number of means that attract them through their web searches. SEO helps customers find the business by using the content on the website to cause the website to appear in more website search returns. The writer follows a number of the steps, and the business must work with the writer to get best results. SEO
    The Keywords

    Every business must choose keywords that work best for their business, industry and products. The keywords for many businesses will overlap because they share purposes or are in the same industry. However, the unique keywords for a business must be carefully considered. The business can choose keywords that make their business stand out, and the writer can help choose keywords that they know will provide better SEO results.

    The Content

    The content must be in every corner of the website. The website begins by providing the reader with information that they can read. However, the content must be attached to the biographies of the company staff, descriptions of products on the website and the mission statement of the company. 

    Every part of the website that require prose must bear the keywords that the business uses. These keywords should not be shoved into every sentence, but these keywords should appear in two to four percent of the content. These keywords will show up on search engine results that potential customers make, the potential customers will discover the business with a simple click of the mouse.

    Making Adjustments

    Every business that hires an SEO company must be willing to make adjustments to their content. The content on the site will work in some places, and there will be other parts of the site that are ineffective. The writer can alter their writing to match the needs of the business. The tracking will show which keywords need to be used more often, and the keywords that are no longer working can be removed from the site. Each change will make the website more popular, and the business will see its profits increase.
  • Cattleboyz BBQ Starter Prize Package Giveaway

    catt A Little About Cattleboyz:

    CattleBoyZ Manufactures a line of Award Winning Gourmet BBQ Sauces that are meticulously mass produced and are being shipped to a variety of North American, and Other Global Destinations. The sauces come in many flavors; can be purchased at Retail Outlets, On-line, in Branded Gift Boxes, Private Labelled, or can even be Custom Labelled for Corporate Events and Promotional Items.

    Joe Ternes, CEO and member of the Ternes Family who founded CattleBoyZ Barbecue Sauce says: “Our family has been raising prime Alberta beef for over 70 years so we know a thing or two about Barbecue and BBQ Sauce. When we started bottling Grilling Sauce in our own family kitchen and selling it at the family butcher shop in Calgary, we never dreamed that later it would be named as the nation’s favorite!”

    CattleBoyZ produces Gluten Free Barbecue Sauces, BBQ Seasonings, and Barbecue Rubs that appeal to modern diets and to bring the unique Alberta savory Sauce sensation to a wider audience. Many known CFIA identified allergens have been removed from our secret ingredient blend to make CattleBoyZ the superior, nutritionally sound Gluten Free BBQ Sauce solution for any meal.

    CattleBoyZ recently added a line of Premium Quality Pellet BBQ Smoker Grills and Other High Quality Barbecue Products To Our Award Winning Product Line.

    CattleBoyZ BBQ Sauce is incredibly versatile and has proven to be the perfect condiment. Our BBQ sauces use only the finest all-natural ingredients to create a sweet, tangy barbeque sauce with a spicy kick. EXCITING news for everyone in USA Cattleboyz BBQ Sauce is being listed with Safeway And THEY are a 30+ times award winning sauce company coming to 1400 Safeway locations in August” ONE lucky fan has a chance to WIN – 100$ gift certificate, bbq starter kit and latest bbq sauce! RULES to enter!
    • Open to USA/CAN 18+
    • void where prohibited (no quebec)
    • ends august 9 at Noon EST
    • ONE entry per household!
    • You will have 2 days from when name is drawn to email be back or a new winner will be chosen.a Rafflecopter giveaway  

      Disclosure: All opinions seen in this publication are those of the writer and may differ from your own. A MomPoweredMedia.com team member may have received product or payment as a condition of this publication. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment and shipment to the winner. This sweepstakes is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. For questions or to have your product featured on Mom to Bed by 8, email Teri at teri@mompoweredmedia.com.

  • Wedding Ring Shopping Tips

    The concept of exchanging wedding rings is a tradition that goes back generations. Its origins were from ancient Roman civilizations and have been carried on to the present day. The process of acquiring a ring has certainly changed over time, along with the style and look that wedding rings have today, but the symbol remains the same. A man or woman wearing a wedding ring is showing that he or she is married to another person and is unavailable. It also symbolizes the love and commitment a married person has for his or her spouse. Selecting the right wedding rings before the big day is an exciting and exhausting prospect. Take some time to do your homework before stepping foot inside the jewelry store doors. This ensures you make the most out of your time and your budget. Setting a Budget One of the wisest pieces of advice you can heed is to set a budget. Most men and women would love to have an unlimited amount of money to spend on the rings their sweethearts will be wearing for the rest of their lives, but the reality is that not many have that luxury. The good news is that there are a variety of rings to choose from that fit within virtually any budget. Experts in the diamond industry suggest that an engagement ring should cost at least two months’ salary, but if you’re not able to fork out nearly 20% of your annual income on a ring rest assured that there are affordable diamond rings in almost any price point. The goal is to find something that is as long lasting as it is beautiful. How to Make it a Surprise If you want to present your gal with an engagement ring but make the occasion a surprise you have to pay attention to the details. Look at the kind of jewelry she wears on a daily basis. Is it flashy? What color is the metal? Does she wear jewelry occasionally or on a regular basis? The answers to these questions can help you select a unique piece that is truly hers. A reputable jeweler who has had years of experience can help guide you to the perfect ring once you can supply answers to those questions. hatlandwedding-036-1024x680 Selecting the Stone Finding the right stone to go into a wedding ring is just as important as the ring itself. When checking out diamonds, a jeweler may educate you on the four C’s: color, cut, clarity, and carat. These four elements largely determine the price of the diamond. Some recommend buying diamonds with high color and cut, but with clarity that is slightly lower. This can help stretch your dollars while providing your intended with a beautiful diamond. Selecting the Setting The diamond is generally center stage in a wedding ring, but the setting is crucial in its overall style and design. There are lots of choices to make when it comes time to purchase a diamond, and there are also lots of choices when it comes time to select a setting. The kind of precious metal to be used is important—platinum, white gold, and yellow gold are all options that can be considered. You may also want to think about wedding sets. They provide the couple with complimentary pieces that will be beautiful for a lifetime of love. Article courtesy of ShaneCo.com
  • Beginner’s Guide to Business English Infographic

    The art of proper English can mean the difference in a successful meeting and a disastrous one. How will you begin? business_english_1000

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