Sister helps make home decisions

Guest post written by Jeramy Sparks

My sister is a blessing to me. There are times in our adult lives that I regret picking on her all those years of our youth. I don’t know what I would do without her in my life. I recently made a big change in my life and bought a new house, which has been my dream. I thought I was the most prepared I could be. I researched everything I thought was important: kitchen layouts, front porches, closets. It never occurred to me to research actually living in the house. I was completely clueless, but my sister was more than willing to help me. She gave me the names of different companies to use for my utilities. She showed me how easy websites like were to sign up for installations. She told me all her recommendations for various things I never thought of and she even helped me with my mortgage questions. She saved me from making some big errors and did it all without picking on me and for that I am very lucky.

Cheers For The Holidays

This post brought to you by Sprint. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's coming, Christmas is almost here!  There's no better time for the entire family to gather together, enjoy a nice festive dinner and open everybody's presents on Christmas day.  Surely it is the day when kids and kids at heart are all excited to unwrap those presents while sipping  hot cup of chocolate by the fireplace.

It's never too late for your Christmas shopping that way you can guarantee to deliver holiday cheers to all.  Though gift giving isn't always an easy task having to think of what to give, it's always safer to choose practical gifts over others.  Practical gifts like things they can use than just collecting or displaying can really be handy for the recipient.

One of the latest from Sprint, the Android™ powered EVO 4G devices can be one of the best gifts your loved ones can receive this Christmas.  This will surely make the lucky recipient jump for joy upon opening his or her present.  What's best is that you didn't have to pay for the unit and activation to for new lines.  Sweet!  Make sure you get it before the offer ends, such a great deal for you to miss. 

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Gravy Master

This post brought to you by GravyMaster. All opinions are 100% mine.

Another holiday is about to come and with that great foods are expected on the table for  a great family feast.  It's the perfect time for a family to sit down all together and eat their meals.  It doesn't matter is not extra ordinarily special, what matters is that everybody takes the time to take a pause and enjoy some togetherness.

Cooking and preparing foods can really keep anybody busy during the holidays.  Trying to prepare more special meals means making something with a touch of your secret ingredients.  Try using GravyMaster  to make a difference in your holiday dishes.  It is great for any meats even fish for that extra flavor and color for a more appetizing dish.  Give your veggies and sauces a whole new flavor for that special holiday feast.  There's no way you can't Master the meal when you use GravyMaster to your cooking. 


Since pot roasts is a favorite in our family, adding up some more flavor will certainly make it twice a hit!  How about you?  Can you think of any dish you'd want to prepare using GravyMaster?  Feel free to share your thoughts, we can all share a great number of meals to dish about!

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Stand Up For Family

This post brought to you by American Family Insurance. All opinions are 100% mine.

The Street Lights act caught my attention, mom used to be so strict when it's time to be home.  Whenever me and my brother go out to play we make sure not to do overtime or else mom would be walking around the neighborhood looking for us. As soon as the sun was about to set we'll rush home and get ourselves cleaned up and ready for supper.  We didn't wear watch to know it was time to go home, our body clock tells us when we had to head back home though there were faulty times that our body clock didn't work.  We'll realize we missed our time once we hear mom calling out for our names, there was no escaping mom at all.

It's rare that there's a stand up comedy which doesn't include dirty jokes and restricted languages for the young ones.  Stand Up For Family is an ideal skit for the entire family because of the realistic scenarios brought by the comedian.  It showed greatly how things happen within certain families and how memories are created by everyone.  It's amazing how AmFam thought of this approach for their American Family Insurance advertisements.  This is quite unique and shows gentler approach to viewers than those non-sense commercials of no value.  The skits are good and entertaining enough for the entire family.

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Puppies vs Babies

This post brought to you by Puppies vs. Babies. All opinions are 100% mine.

We all know babies are adorable but same thing goes with some puppies.  As much as I am a baby lover the moment I saw Dexter, he won over my heart in this contest.  No offense to mommies and babies who joined this contest, perhaps me being a mom too makes me feel a little biased about babies.  Of course for me who's the best and cutest baby of all will be my very own son. 


If I have known about the contest early enough  could've joined in an entry of my son.  Too bad the Puppies vs. Babies online contest  entries is now closed.  Though it's never too late to participate because you can still send in you votes for  Puppies vs. Babies.  If you can't get enough of your favorite pup or baby keep voting and it can make  a difference.  Don't forget to join in the comment section and express your thoughts for your choice.

Babies and puppies are can make you want to cuddle them.  Why not, they are simply irresistible!  I can't wait to know who will be the crowned champion for this contest, may the best candidate win!

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Mommy Prefers Packed Meals

This post brought to you by PackIt. All opinions are 100% mine.

As a mom I make sure we eat healthy and not take junk foods frequently.  This helped me and my husband lose and maintain our desired weight.  As we all know junk foods not only contribute extra calories and fats but also can pose health risks if consumed regularly.  There are so many healthier variety of foods to replace junkies which can even help boost energy and keep you on the right track. 

I pack lunch for my husband twice a week and even for me and our little boy whenever we go out.  There are many occasions when a microwave is not accessible and bringing a cooler can be quite bulky to keep foods either warm or cold.  I myself wouldn't want to eat something that doesn't taste freshly done, it's not being picky but I want my foods like it's freshly served regardless where and when I'm eating it. 

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Making use of insulated lunch boxes is a great alternative compared to coolers which take up much space and not as easy to carry around.  Of course if it's packed meals for a person or two it's a lot more convenient just to carry a small lunch box or bag.  PackIt lunch boxes are great for keeping your foods fresh as it stays cold longer than other lunch bags.  I can make use of it when I'm packing fruits, desserts or salads whenever we're on the go.

PackIt is a clever invention of Jeannette and Melissa who wanted a better solution to keep their kids' lunch cool.  To know more if PackIt can work for you and your food packing needs check out the video below and feel free to visit their website.  If you're convinced enough to purchase a bag or two don't lose your time. for a limited time offer you can have PackIt plus a free one for only $19.95.


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Needed a Roommate

I finally found a roommate. I thought I would love living in a two bedroom apartment alone, but it is super expensive. When you have to pay for the entire rent and all the utilities, it adds up very quickly. I didn’t start out living alone, but when my last roommate decided to drop out of school, I was left alone in the apartment. I had to cancel the landline phone and the directstartv in order to pay rent. I was only eating noodles and hotdogs and leaving the lights off as long as I could. While the privacy and space was nice, it was not a good lifestyle to live. After only two weeks of living like this, I started the search for a new roommate to help pay the bills. It has been super difficult to find someone in the middle of the school year, but I got very lucky. My current roommate is a super, sweet girl who was living with her boyfriend, but they broke up. While I am sad for her, I am glad I am able to get everything back to normal.

Guest post written by my buddy Bernardo Graham

Post Break: Hill's Healthy Mobility Challenge

This post brought to you by Hills Pet Nutrition. All opinions are 100% mine.

Not everybody wants to have a child of their own and some people would prefer to have a pet to take care of.  There's nothing wrong with it because every person is entitled for their own choices in life.  Having a child or a pet requires almost the same amount of attention, love and affection.  Both have needs and are not self-sufficient to do things for themselves.  It requires great responsibility for people to make sure the well-being of their kid and or pet is always checked and supported.

For all my dear readers who have pet dogs feel free to check out "Hill's Mobility Challenge" and take the opportunity to register in order to receive $30 Hill's Healthy Mobility Coupon offer.  Registrants will automatically be entered to the sweepstakes and lucky 30 winners will be awarded to receive free pet food for a year.  A year's supply of Hill's Pet Nutrition science diet formulated to enhance mobility and improve joint flexibility of dogs is something any pet owner would want to have.

You can see more information about Hill's Science Diet dog food by visiting or simply log on and look for Hill's Pet Nutrition on Facebook at  Keep your dogs healthier with the best nutrition only you can give together with the right amount of love and care, surely your dogs will be better than ever.

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Post Break: Straight For Savings

This post brought to you by Straight Talk. All opinions are 100% mine.

No matter how good you are in budgeting if the allowance is barely enough to buy you life's luxuries then it's really impossible to do it.  Nowadays having extra things like cable, phone line contract, subscription here and there can eat up your hard earned money for nothing.  Most moms go through the toughest budget to make family living decent enough to have everything the family needs.  Same thing goes for managing the household matters and the financial aspect of living.  To get more from your money we have to be extra careful with the spending and be wiser with the choices. 

Take for instance a mobile subscription service, it can be good or bad depending on what kind of plan you are in.  But if you're after for more practical service without having to be in long term binding contracts, see if the witch to Straight Talk can make a difference.  They have the total Hook, line and sinker deal with guaranteed excellent reception and connectivity for a price you won't believe.  Maybe if I were to get such savings then I can spoil my baby a bit more  with some toys that he needs right now, as we all know those things are quite pricey.

Speaking of plans, the "All You Need Plan" are ideal for heavy phone users as it comes with 1,000 minutes & texts plus 30mb of we data.  Their unlimited service starts at $45 with all you can text, call or surf the net for such amount.  Even better get the $499 deal for a year-long service with free 411 calls, free activation, reactivation and termination fees.  International connection is also a breeze, you can Call a friend abroad as fast as 1,2,3.

Straight Talk offers wide selection of cellular phone models from LG, Motorola, Kyocera, Nokia and Samsung.  The Android on Straight Talk is something comparable to a bigger luxury but less the price.  The basic models are as low as $10 and smartphone models range from $45 and higher.  Not convinced enough?  Feel free to see the testimonials and other information from people who made the switch by watching the videos below:

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Family Travel Time

Having a baby surely is an excuse to travel around due to the inconvenience of moving and transporting.  This is absolutely acceptable most especially during the earlier months of the baby but there's really no big threat on babies to be traveling around even on such early age.  Starting with shorter travels can be an ideal family travel time instead of long tiring roadtrips.  Flying is way more feasible to support baby's needs with the added comfort of the facilities they can use on board.

Going to Canada for instance can be a great trip destination for the entire family.  There are so much to see and explore there even if the main destination is Calgary.  There are a lot of downtown calgary apartments conveniently located within the metro which can house tourists looking for a places to stay.  The downtown is within reach to shopping, dining and other recreational activities the family can enjoy.

Take the kids to the nearby museum or go to the Devonian gardens for an urban garden adventure.  If looking for tasty treats and fine souvenirs, the Chinatown is a definite place to go to.  Parks are always fun and kids never seize to resist its charm.  Simple places but good enough to keep the whole family entertained provided all the comfort of carrying a baby around.  No marathons here and there to see far reach places, in downtown Calgary there are so many places to see.

Practical Spending With Tracfone

This post brought to you by TracFone. All opinions are 100% mine.

Summer's the time when the whole family gets the chance to be together since school is off.  Sometimes kids have to go to summer camps or stay over somebody else's place, finding the need to get easier contact with them is very important for parents.  This kind of gives parents a breather knowing they can easily check their kids. 

Tracfone offers reasonable value for your budget for your kids' cell phone needs.  You won't be tied with any contract and miscellaneous charges, you only pay for genuine mobile service you need.  Easy activation without any charges and when you feel like there's no need to continue with the service, deactivation is also free.  You and your kids can choose from different cell phone brands like Nokia, Motorola, LG, Kyocera and Samsung for as low as $10 (basic phones) to $30 (feature phones).

Real TracFone customers are so happy with the economical service deals they availed.  For as low as $9.99 you can already have 50 minutes and up to 200 minutes for under $30.00.  No binding contract plan needed to get the monthly plan you desire, it's conveniently available pay-as-you-go.  But if you are thinking for a year long plan without having to worry about monthly refills simply purchase the $119.00 value to even double your minutes.

So many features for an affordable service!  Not to forget Tracfone's International neighbors program for those who love to travel in Mexico or Canada. Want to know more?  Check out the videos below for more information on the features and to hear what Tracfone Customers have to say.


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Mommy Time

Having intimate mommy time strengthens the bond of mommy and baby. Baby gets more connected with mommy making communication between them easier. They get to develop special fun activities which stimulates baby's skills. Of course daddy time is equally important though during the infancy stage babies tend to seek for the motherly care more. Babies will only be babies for a short period of time, you'll never notice how fast time will fly only for you to realize they all have grown. Enjoy the most time with your babies, they will grow up remembering such precious times you've shared.

Precious Moments For Keeps

This post brought to you by Carbonite. All opinions are 100% mine.

Precious moments come and go that's why I take all the time in the world to document my little boy's moments since the time he was born. Keeping digital images is so convenient now and as long as I have computer backup for all the images I've taken, I can always come back to it to view or have it printed anytime I want.  I have encountered accidental hard drive formatting, bad sector and my hard drive simply crashed and lost everything before.  I wouldn't want to happen that anymore so I make sure I have several backup files.

Since we have images from time to time making a backup copy seems to be a little inconvenient that's why we are planning to have a server station which will automatically backup the files.  Almost the same concept as Carbonite, it automatically does backup works whenever the computer's connected online.  Though it doesn't backup software programs, and files saved on external hard drive, all the files the system has backed up can be accessed anywhere and anytime.  You may use your PC, MAC or even your smartphones and iPads as long as you ahve the free Carbonite app installed.

Carbonite Online Backup

Why worry over your files being lost if you can securely and automatically back it up with Carbonite?  For as much as $59 a year, guaranteed your files get unlimited backup with anytime and anywhere access.  Check out if this system can work for you, visit Carbonite's site and get to try their 15 days free trial offer.  If you feel like purchasing their service simply mention the offer code BLOGAD to get two months free.

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Smart Mommies Are Thrifty

This post brought to you by Straight Talk. All opinions are 100% mine.

Everything nowadays is expensive and if moms who work on the budget won't opt for the cheaper picks it's not going to be so easy to get everything.  Of course we always want to get the best of what we can give to our family most especially our babies and kids, being practical still is an option.  There are many ways on how to cut down costs and still get the same old things we love and need to have.  A mom knows best that's why I try to make ends meet to survive in this recession time and still be able to provide well for the family.

Living by the basics is one good way of cutting down costs but sometimes we really have to get things like mobile phone service, in which can be a big drainer if you get hooked on expensive monthly bills and long term contracts.  I find it more practical to use pay as you go than fixed contracts but in any case that a good offer like what Straight Talk has, there's no reason not to grab that chance for a switch.  

Imagine how much savings you can have with the "All You Need Plan" or Unlimited monthly which only costs $45 for unlimited calls, texts, mms and web.  A whole year's unlimited service can only cost you $499.00 with free activation, reactivation and termination fees,  everything you need including 411 calls at no extra charge and international long distance services at low rates.  With Straight Talk you won't feel the hold back to call a friend because of the high phone charges that will go with it.  Phones come in basic features for as low as $10.00 and smart phones from trusted phone manufacturers like LG, Motorola, Kyocera, Nokia and Samsung for a higher price but still more affordable than others.

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Tracfone For The Kids

This post brought to you by TracFone. All opinions are 100% mine.

What does real TracFone customers have about Tracfone?  Check out these videos and see for yourself!  

When considering a phone you normally look for so many features but not all phones and service providers fulfill this part.    TracFone on the other hand is very ideal for the kids because there are no contracts, no credit checks needed, no activation charges and not even cancellation fees.  It has more affordable rates for kids to be able to keep in touch with their parents.  TracFone guarantees excellent connectivity and reception nationwide.  Your kids might be out and about for their Summer Camp activities but they are like close to home with Tracfone.  You can always check on them or the kids can always keep you posted whatever's happening from afar.  They can also enjoy cellphone units from leading mobile manufacturers like Motorola, LG< Kyocera, Samsung or Nokia.  Basic or Smart phone, it's all in TracFone.

Since there are no fixed contracts, it's very easy and convenient to refill minutes with the use of pay as you go cards available almost everywhere in the country.  More practical choice is the 1yr service card which is loaded with 800 minutes, double minutes for only $119.00.  DO you know what real TracFone customers love the most?  International calls are charged just like the regular call rate.  NO extra cost to call internationally with Tracfone.   Isn't it worth the savings?


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5 Tips for Introducing Babies to Solid Foods

1. You can start introducing solid foods between 4 and 6 months.
2. The first food you should introduce should be rice cereal.
3. Begin with once a day feedings.
4. Give your baby plenty of time to swallow food.
5. Introduce other solids gradually. Wait 3 days in between each new food.

Total Equipment Protection

This post brought to you by Sprint. All opinions are 100% mine.

Have you noticed how babies and toddlers love to mess with our techie gadgets? It's like magnet for them, remote controls, cellphones, laptops, car key remote, all those they love to fiddle with. There are times when we don't get to pay much attention with what our kids grabbed and later on misplace or lose it. It happens a lot with mobile phones, little tots love to grab it and just go play somewhere else then leave it when they tire of it. Sometimes I have to ring the phone just to locate it.

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If you're a Sprint customer you might not mind so much about losing or misplacing your mobile phone with their new Sprint Total Equipment Protection App. The app is available for Android, Blackberry and other select feature phones. So what does this simple app can do for you? Many things! You can feel more secure than ever in any case your phone has been misplaced, you need not fear of having your information being stolen or losing your phone for good. With this app, phones can easily be located, syn contacts, remotely wipe and or lock phone plus equip it with sound alarm. Who says only cars or homes can have sound alarm?

Check out this youtube video for more info!

Take advantage to download the app to be able to add features to your phone until August 30. Open enrollment for TEP runs from August 1-30 at $8.00 per month. That little for added protection in case your phone is lost, stolen , damaged or malfunctions after the warranty has expired. TEP secures a quick and easy replacement procedure if any of the unfortunate event happens to your phone. You'll never know when an unexpected happens so better hurry and visit to enroll or learn more about this one of a kind app.

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Welcoming Baby

I have some really great news: my husband and I are about to welcome our first baby! I can’t wait to be a mom for the first time and I love the idea that we’re going to get to raise her out here on the farm my husband grew up on…I need to get this place child proofed before she gets here, though. I already went to to look into satellite internet and talked to the guys down the street about adding a gate to our fence for security but we’ll deal with all that when the time comes. I’ve got the nursery all ready to go and we’ve been taking Lamaze classes for about 6 weeks now so I really think we’ll be ready when baby Jones decides to finally grace us with her presence! I like being pregnant and I’m going to miss it but I know it will all be worth it once that sweet little girl gets here in my arms and I can hold her.

The Author of this post is Solomon Dejesus

Family Downtime In Branson

This post brought to you by Hiltons of Branson. All opinions are 100% mine.

Quality family time is very important, this builds better relationship between parents and their children. Finding the right place to go to is equally important because this can male the experience very memorable and special for all. We can all get too busy on day to day basis sometimes forgetting to have some downtime with the family. Kids need to have great attention from parents to further help their development and boost their confidence. Though things may get too hectic, making sure to sit down and spend quiet time with our kids can make a big difference in their well-being.

From Drop Box

Branson is a great place to visit for the entire family. There are many possible things to do there like enjoying the race tracks, mini golf, visit to the fun factory, museum and the bets of all watching the Waltzing Waters. So many attractions to see but of course the kind of fun every family can go to depends on the ages of their kids. That's why the Waltzing Waters can be a great pick above all other fun activities, for sure kids of all ages and even parents will definitely enjoy such marvelous show. You can't get to see this anywhere else in the city.

Of course staying in Branson means having to book for a hotel accommodation, Hiltons of Branson have affordable packages for both Hilton Promenade and Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel. The Branson Best Value Vacation Package gives you the opportunity to have a free third night stay if you book with them for 2 nights. This is great for long weekend holidays! Aside from the accommodations, it includes 2 adult and 2 children's tickets to Legends of Kung Fu Show at the White House Theater with 2 day passes to Silver Dollar City. Imagine just booking in Hiltons practically gives you back what you paid for. On top of that you'll be given a $25 shopping gift card and $25 food credit for Level 2 Steakhouse. What else could be better than this? From lodging to dining, all the way to shopping and entertainment all in.

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Safety On Baby Carriers

What to look for:

  • The carrier should have straps that prevent your baby from falling or crawling out. Look for firm, padded head support. Try to match your baby's size and weight and make sure there is enough depth to support the back and that the leg openings are small enough to prevent your baby from slipping out.
  • Check for ease of use. Some of the soft ones are difficult to put on because of numerous straps.
  • A framed carrier should have a kickstand that locks in the open position. The folding mechanism should be free of pinch points that could catch your baby's fingers. Look for padding on the metal frame around the infant's face.
  • Try the pack on for comfort, both with the baby in it and without.
  • Ideally, the fabric should be durable with strong stitching or large heavy fasteners to prevent slippage.
  • Pockets or zippered compartments are handy for storing frequently needed items.


  • Never use a framed carrier before your infant is 4 to 5 months old, and don't use it as an infant seat. It can tip over without warning.
  • Use restraining straps at all times if your carrier has them.
  • If you need to lean over, bend from the knees rather than the waist to prevent the baby from falling out of the carrier.
  • Check the carrier periodically to look for loose fasteners or ripped seams.
c/o kidshealth

Practical Schooling

This post brought to you by Zenni Optical. All opinions are 100% mine.

Summer's almost over and kids need to go back to school once again. Back to school means back to shopping for supplies and all. Spending is inevitable but it's possible to get the things every student needs without making so big of a damage to one's budget. Couponing is one way of getting big discounts, looking out for sale items is another great way to save and lastly going to the wholesale retailers guarantees better prices than other places.

Being up to date with the season's fashion is also something to consider when kids go back to school. Clothes, shoes, bags and other accessories are easier to find better deals in certain stores but not prescription glasses. Though some might just wear glasses as part of their fashion statement, others really do need to have specs to aid their blurry vision. Have you heard of Zenni Optical? Ever tried ordering prescription glasses there?

Specs have always been on the heavier side of the budget but with Zenni Optical you can actually save money on prescription glasses. The prices are ridiculously low but the frames are very nice looking. You certainly can save a lot getting your child's glasses from Zenni. Imagine getting a new pair of glasses in half the price of other optical shops? how much savings could that be!

Check out their cool site where you can even virtually try on the glasses of your choice to make sure you have the right style and design for your face. See it to believe, has good article to prove how much savings you can have with Zenni.

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How Much Should My Child Grow?

During this second year of life, your toddler may gain between 3 and 5 pounds (1.4 to 2.26 kilograms). An average 15-month-old girl weighs about 22 pounds (about 10 kilograms) and stands 31 inches (79 centimeters) tall. Boys tend to be about a pound heavier at 15 months but about the same height.

By age 2, both will stand about 34 inches tall (86 centimeters) and weigh about 27 to 28 pounds (12.25 to 12.7 kilograms) on average. Your toddler's head size also will not change as dramatically this year, with about 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) added to head circumference.

What you will notice more than actual growth are changes in a toddler's appearance. Instead of sporting the rounded belly and soft arms and legs suited to crawling on all fours, toddlers start to trim down, become more muscular because of increased activity, and begin to look more like preschoolers than babies.

c/o kidshealth

Mobility For All

This post brought to you by NMEDA. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's fun to be free and being able to move without the need of any help from others.  Not all though are able and capable of being on their own most especially those who are disabled and in need of wheelchairs to get back to mobility.  In life you cannot depend on people being on your side always to take care of you and do things for you.  It's always better to be able to get yourself on the move without having to rely much on others.

NMEDA helps people who are in need of such mobility.  As a non-profit trade organization, NMEDA educates consumers on buying to their qualified dealers.  They care for the disabled people that's why they promote safe driving and equipment for the disabled.  NMEDA makes sure the vans and other vehicle systems for the disabled safely follow the safety standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  They however do not sell anything but regulates the standards for the equipment from certified dealers.

NMEDA dealers aim to help the elderly and disabled to be back in motion, to be mobile again.  The NMEDA dealers will help assess your needs to suit the right and proper vessel for you.  They also have the QAP or Quality Assurance Program which is a nationally recognized accreditation program for such industry.  

Help people with disability to get back on the road again.  Help spread the word about NMEDA by checking the qualified dealers near you,  Feel free to leave a comment stating the location to further direct people to the right place. 

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Keep Them Moving

Babies need to be free to move and explore, this helps their development and coordination. Playtime is a very important time for growing kids because through this they move and exercise. This doesn't help the body alone but also the mind. Just make sure you keep an eye on your little one and keep them away from possible danger. Not all babies are well coordinated yet and can easily fall, tumble or hurt themselves.

Go For The Straight Talk

This post brought to you by Straight Talk. All opinions are 100% mine.

Before people lived in a world without phones, internet and other mobile connectivity.  They get by and lived well though communication is way too hard those days.  Right now we are living in a very interactive world.  A world where everybody's connected even if you live on different side of the world.  I do admit that I am very thankful for having this kind of opportunity to be able to talk and even see people I love despite our distance.  I can remember how good I felt after hearing my mom's voice when I was in the delivery room and about to start my labor.  If not because of the technology nowadays then I would have been feeling alone.  We had the luxury of updating each other through text messages and calls from time to time. 

Given that it's very easy to communicate with people these days it also comes with a price.  While some pay too much and way over just to have good talk, text and data package, some people go for Straight Talk.  What could be better than no contract mobile service with everything you need for only as much as $45?  Imagine your savings if you make the switch to Straight Talk.  Cutting the bill in half could really save big bucks and with that I can buy a new smartphone which I can use to maximize my mobile web browsing capability.  What's best is that you won't be tied with expensive contract plans and no surprise bills.  This means more freedom with texting, web surfing and you can call a friend without having to worry much about finishing up your minutes.

Straight's deal is like a hook, line and sinker in one.  You can get everything you can ever wish for your mobile provider.  They carry good and reliable mobiile phone units for as low as $10 (reconditioned and basic camera phones) and their amazing smartphone lines from well known and very much trusted phone manufacturers like LG, Motorola, Kyocera, Nokia and Samsung.  All you need is to choose which ever plan suits your needs and it's free from activation, reactivation and even termination fees.  For optimum phone usage you can go for their "All You Need Plan" or if you don't want to worry refilling your account for the entire year, you may opt for the unlimited everything for only $499.00.  Sweet deal right?  Plus 411 calls are of no charge and flexible long distance services.

Feel free to check out here for more information on phone offers and see what Straight Talk subscribers have to say.


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Kids Need To Be Free

I firmly believe that kids need to be free, free to move and explore. Given the right freedom kids will learn from such experiences and know their inner self. Of course us parents should always be on the watch to correct them and protect them but not to hinder them from doing things that can actually contribute to their development.

My Coke Rewards School Programs

This post brought to you by My Coke Rewards. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's a given fact that drinking soda is really not good for our health so make sure to drink it in moderation.  As a mother I wouldn't want my son to indulge with such drinks but that doesn't mean he's never ever going to taste or know what soda is.  I believe if we further educate them about healthy drinking and eating habits they will carry it with them as they grow.

Speaking of soda, Coca-Cola products has launched My Coke rewards for schools which aims to help provide rewards to participating schools like classroom supplies, athletic and sports equipment, books and more.  There's nothing fancy in this campaign, all that's needed is for a school to register to be able to participate through an appointed school coordinator who will be in-charge of managing the school's account.  It's as simple as going to

MCR_School_Blogger_0706[1].pdf (page 3 of 3)
and filling out the registration form.  How hard can that be? 

Everybody's encouraged to contribute points for their school of choice.  All parents, teachers and community member will be very much needed for the success of this campaign.  Feel free to sign up for the My Coke Rewards Program to be able to contribute or donate points to help schools get more rewards.  This is a simple way of helping schools with things that they need to support the children's education. 

To all my blogger friends and readers kindly give a little time to check out to see what you can possibly do to help.  The economy has been tough and still on the downside, many schools are closing and not having enough funds to provide materials for the students.  The more rewards points a school gets, the more items it can claim from My Coke Rewards catalog.  The benefits will not just be for one single student but for most or all if possible.

There's also a special sweepstakes courtesy of

MCR_School_Blogger_0706[1].pdf (page 3 of 3)
wherein 25 playgrounds will be given away to lucky school participants.  A $25,000 worth of prizes to bring more cheer and joy to the little ones.  All codes can be found in Sprite/Sprite Zero packages.  One point put all together can make a big difference so do the move and join to support our local school communities.

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Stages of Labor

Stage 1

The cervix dilates to 10 cm (4 inches) so it is wide enough for the baby's head to pass. This can take many hours.

Stage 2

As the 2nd stage approaches, you may feel the urge to push. If the skin and muscles around the vagina (perineum) are not opened wide enough, the doctor may ask you to wait. the doctor can also make a small cut in the perineum (episiotomy) to make more room and prevent your skin from tearing. When you are able to push, it may take several pushes before your baby's born.

Stage 3

After your baby's born you will still feel contractions until the placenta is delivered. If you had episiotomy the doctor will stitch up the cut. Sometimes the baby must be delivered surgically known as C-section or cesarian. A cut is made in the abdomen and then through the uterus. There are many reasons why a C-section can be done:
  • the baby is too large to pass the pelvis
  • the baby's arms or legs are down instead of the head (breech)
  • there are signs that the baby may be having problems during labor
  • the mother or baby has a condition that may make labor or a vaginal delivery unsafe
Whether you have a vaginal delivery or a C-section, you will have some pain. There are many ways to deal with this pain.
  • practice breathing and relaxation exercises
  • gentle massage can help you relax
  • pain medicines (ask your doctor)
  • epidural (medicine given to you with a shot in your spine) makes you feel numb, you may or may not feel contractions depending on the dosage of the medicine

Post Break: Parent’s Choice Infant Formula Savings Sweepstakes

This post brought to you by PBM Products. All opinions are 100% mine.

Nutrition is very important to our babies and Parent's Choice Infant Formula understands the needs of every baby.  Getting the right nutrition doesn't mean we have to spend so much for it, you can keep your baby healthy at an affordable price.  Walmart has bridged the gap between affordability and nutrition through Parent's Choice Infant Formula.  It is a private brand formula exclusively available at Walmart locations or online at

Every parent would want the best for their child but not all has the means to provide for their children's future.  As we all know, education is one of the best thing a parent can give to their child.  Indeed it takes a hefty price to send one to school that's why Walmart's Parent's Choice Infant Formula has launched a sweepstakes to give hope and help a lucky student and a family a college scholarship in a form of a College Savings 529 Plan.

The Parent’s Choice Infant Formula Savings Sweepstakes officially launched last June 15 and will run through August 1, 2011.  Every family is welcome to enter the sweepstakes just make sure to understand the riles and  fill out the entry form.  More details can be found at

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Mommy and Girls Bonding Time

This post brought to you by Monte Carlo. All opinions are 100% mine.

Having kids can be so much fun but every mom needs a break too.  That's why they say "All work and no play" isn't good.  A little "me" time or fun time with the girls can be great for moms who want to give their girls some movie treat.  There are so many summer movies to check out but for something light and  just for the girls adventure type of movie, go see Monte Carlo.  It's great to have some bonding time with the kids most especially to growing girls. 

This isn't the same old princess story but it will take you far far and away to the enchanting Paris!  Surely after the movie, moms can discuss some major points as the moral of the story.  Your girls can easily understand as they relate the values and lessons from the movie.

Monte Carlo will be out this Friday so take a step ahead and get your tickets as early as June 29  at Fandango.  Check out the Monte Carlo movie trailer for a little sneak preview and if you enjoy that surely you will like the official Monte Carlo Facebook  page.  

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Be Well With Walgreens

This post brought to you by Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.

Keeping a healthy habit is good for but that doesn't mean we have to spend so much to be well.  Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products is a great way to be well without hurting our budget.  Say for instance the Walgreens Brand Mouth Rinse which I tried worked just as good as other brand mouthwash.  It leaves the mouth a certain freshness keeping it feeling cleaner for the rest of the day.  The minty taste is just right and not so strong, you'll definitely feel refreshed after every wash.

The walgreens brand products most especially medicines are pharmacist recommended, just like all other over the counter medicines we can get.  Name brand products can cost twice as much compared to the Walgreens brand products so why not choose something that saves you more?

Did you know that buying Walgreens brand products can also help provide preventive health and wellness services to local communities through the Walgreens Way to Well Fund™?  Yes, it doesn't help your budget alone but also others.  It doesn't take so much to be well, with the right help from budget friendly products and healthy lifestyle it is more than possible.  

Check the Walgreens Gift Cards giveaways and start shopping your way to wellness!



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Safe Toys Tips For All

Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when toy-shopping:
  • Toys made of fabric should be labeled as flame resistant or flame retardant.
  • Stuffed toys should be washable.
  • Painted toys should be covered with lead-free paint.
  • Art materials should say nontoxic.
  • Crayons and paints should say ASTM D-4236 on the package, which means that they've been evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials.

Your Baby's Future Is in Your Hands

This post brought to you by CryoCell International. All opinions are 100% mine.

Every expectant mother gets so anxious for her little one's arrival.  Every single moment the anticipation for the stork's delivery gets more and more exciting and scary in a way.  Will the baby be okay, will the delivery be hard, will the labor take so long, and all other questions can be pretty much stressful for the mom-to-be.   

With the great anticipation for your baby's coming, have you ever asked yourself if you're more than ready for it?  Once the baby comes, it's not about your life anymore but his or hers.  Babies deserve all the love and care any parent could ever give.  This serves as the foundation of his or her well being in which will be carried on as he or she grows.

Learn more what you can do for your precious one.  Check out or to see what the future holds for your baby.   All expectant moms are encouraged to request information packet with free bellybag & get the chance to consult with an advisor to know how you can save your baby's cord blood.  You'll never know what science can do for you in the future.


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Stages of Parenthood

After 25 years of high school graduation, you’re in to a reunion, try looking at pictures. Do you not wonder why your high school teachers look only a little older than you or sometimes even younger? It is not only because of the many wonders of cosmetics and doctors who seem to be the progenitors of the font of Venus – the stages of parenthood has something to do with it.

The stages of parenthood are intertwined with several aspects of man’s life: economic, emotional, physical and even spiritual. The first stage usually on the first 6 years is the most taxing, physically dilapidating, mind-draining and mind-boggling because it is the stage where the couple is preparing for a comfortable life, adjusting to the married life especially with the so many attitudes and behaviours once hidden during the courtship period.

The second stage, usually on the 7th to the 15th year may be a little problematic in all aspects: having more expenses for the schooling of the kids, dealing with adolescents, competing with work schedules and schedules of kids, a rat-race career because it is at this stage when you have to really establish your roots in your work for the sake of the kids and getting down to your adulthood and finally retirement, being amidst all the temptations because your circle of friends has definitely gone wider so there are more temptations around – so family troubles start to crop up.

Finally, kids graduated, some have worked, others got married, you are now more relax and confident that you have given back to your parents what they have done to you. Economically, you are more secured; emotionally you have a feeling of achievement and a feeling of fulfilment; physically, you have time to enjoy outdoor activities, the gym and others not nursing and running after kids and going to and fro the school to fetch them especially during inclement weather; and spiritually – your mind is vent more to the church activities.

How can one not look young and still fresh after 25 years from the time kids were adolescents when these mentors have already surpassed the tests of time, the challenges of the future, the economic constraints, the agonies of uncertainties and the tiresome labours of motherhood and fatherhood?

Just wait for the time when the same look sheens on you – but be sure you have done your great homework from the Lord.


Post Break: Winter in Hickory, NC

While the snow is falling in New York, my favorite place to be is Hickory, North Carolina.

Why Hickory? Hickory has cold days, even some that are below freezing with occasional snow. Snow accumulation is usually less than 6 inches. Enjoy watching the peaceful snow fall from the comfort of your home. If you do need to drive, the roads may be a bit slippery, but are quickly cleaned by the road crews.

A few days later the snow will have melted and the daytime temperature is 60 degrees. Perfect spring-like weather for bike riding, hiking or walking your dog.

I try to pack as light as possible when travelling. My goal is to use a carry on bag - no waiting for luggage; no lost luggage. Since I am the type of person who always wonders if I've forgotten something, I have a routine for closing up my New York house. Unplug the electronics, set timers and lock the windows and doors. For added peace of mind, I set my Home Alarm Systems before embarking on the trip.

Spending a month during the winter in Hickory gives you a blend of winter and spring. It's a perfect getaway from the frigid north east weather.

Guest written by our friend Mason Abbott

Baked Rice Crackers

What do you give your baby for snack? Have you tried some Japanese Rice Crackers? I personally love these crunchy crackers and I am not surprised that my little boy loves it too. As much as possible we try to avoid giving salty and sweet foods to baby so that he won't be inclined to tasty foods right away.

Sometimes parents would think their kids are way too hard to feed so they have to give just anything they want and those tasty and savory treats. We have to be more careful feeding our kids because they will end up liking those foods and disliking other healthier options. It's still best if we can get our kids to eat fruits and vegetables. These foods will ensure a healthier life ahead of them.

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