July 31, 2015

Beach Reads + Giveaway

With summer here that means it's time for some great vacation reads. For many of you that means time spent enjoying the beach sun with a good book. In Idaho I'm not quite that lucky, and I'll be thinking of you in all that warmth, but here is an exciting read about a hot vacation spot near me.

In Velvet: A Novel by Burt Weissbourd takes place in the northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park as it is closed for bear management. Rachel, a bear biologist has discovered some very startling behavior from the grizzlies, swans, and elk and also seems to be seeing some horrific mutations among the young. She's off to discover what is really going on. Why is this area of the part closed? Who knows about what is going on here? The adventure is off with this non-stop thriller set in some of North America's wildest country. Open the cover and you'll be on the inside with a local detective and a Chicago cop as they take on the the most evil of  their kind to solve the mystery and restore the natural order to Yellowstone National Park. 

I haven't had a chance to read this book yet but I am very excited to get my copy. After reading the latest interview with Burt Weissbourd and checking out his website I have a feeling I will have another all-nighter on my hands.

Today as part of the Beach Reads hop, I am excited to be giving away a cop of In Velvet to one lucky Kerrific reader. To enter simply use the form below. And once you're done entering here make sure you hop along to the other participating blogs to see what great reads and prizes they have for you. Good luck!

Happy Hopping!

July 28, 2015

Aflac for your Hair

“This post is sponsored by Aflac.  I was compensated for writing it, but all opinions are 100 percent mine.”

Have you ever had a crazy bad hair day? I know I have. Some people really like crazy hair. Me, I prefer it soft, smooth, and flat. So here are a few of the tips that I use to help keep my hair looking nice.
  1. Wash it - I know this may seem simple but for me washing my hair makes a huge difference in how it looks. Part of this is simply because washing my hair gives me a chance to massage my scalp really well which helps with the dandruff problem I seem to always have going on. ICK!
  2. Brush it - I know it may seem old fashioned but there is something to say about brushing your hair 100+ strokes per day. Again, this helps massage your scalp and keep your head and hair healthy and happy. For me, this is also a relaxation technique. Nothing like brushing your hair to help you relax for bed.
  3. Wear it up - nothing makes hair more crazy then the Idaho wind so for me, wearing my hear up makes a huge difference for keeping it under control. Braids and buns are some great ways to keep things secure but there are lots of other great hairstyles for different types of hair that offer the same result.
So, these are my tips. Now are you ready to see the ones from the experts?

Ok, maybe not so expert at hair styling but Aflac does have a lot of other great advantages including my favorite feature that when a policyholder gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fast - in as little as ONE business day with the new One Day Pay promise. This is able to happen because Aflac is built to process and pay to help keep your life on track. Many insurance companies talk about how they will help you save on premiums but we're here to remind you that you're buying insurance so you an get paid when you need to file a claim. Aflac understands that the most important thing is for their policyholders to get money when they need it most. 

We're ready to Aflac. Are you? 
Find them on Facebook, Twitter, and their Website today.

This review and giveaway was made possible by iConnect Influencer Management and AflacI was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.

July 23, 2015

Formula for Happiness this Summer with Baby

It's hot! It's dry! It's summer vacation! YIKES! I can't be the only mom who's starting to feel like maybe it should be time to go back to school. I've decided it's time to reevaluate our summer to keep things rolling smoothly. Here are  a few of the things I've learned really help the happiness level at our house along with a few things we're going to try adding to our formula for happiness.
Sleep - this is the most important thing at our house to keeping everyone happy. Even when we're out and about or on vacation it's important to make sure you and your little ones are getting enough sleep. For us that means that all my kids have nap time every day. It's great because it gives mom some quite time and puts the kids back on tolerable terms with each other. Not sure if you're child is getting enough sleep? A chat with a sleep expert is a great idea! They can help you not only learn how much sleep should be happening but also help make sure you have safe sleeping environments and help you conquer any sleep challenges you may be having.

Keep it simple - having a simple daily plan can help keep everyone on track. If you and your children know what to expect it helps keep everyone happy. At our house this means that we do chores first thing after breakfast and once they are done the kids can play until lunch time. After lunch we have naps and then do one more chore before they are able to play for the rest of the evening. The chores and play activities change but having the basic structure of our day be standard helps everyone's experience be better.

Keep it clean - another part of having a basic schedule is that it helps us keep our home clean make it a more enjoyable place to be. I love looking at a clean house and even the baby loves crawling on a clean floor. Who wouldn't? It's another simple thing that helps keep everyone happy.

Plan meals in advance - I've discussed this one before but I've found it's especially important to plan meals ahead during the summer. With the long hours of light there is nothing worse then having a screaming child before you realize it's way past dinner time. We like to keep meals simple but filling and eat early enough that we have time to enjoy time as a family once we're finished. It's another small step to keeping everyone happy.

Go with the flow - yes, structure is important but sometimes you need a day to just do what you feel like. Go to the park, the zoo, or visit with family or friends. You children will love spending a day relaxing and it's a great way to change things up a bit and keep things moving.
If you like these tips then you'll want to go check out these great ideas for helping to keep you children happy. We'd also love to hear from you. What tips and tricks do you have for us that we can add to our formula for happiness? 

Courtlight Series by Terah Edun + Giveaway x 2

Courtlight Seventeen-year-old Ciardis has grown up in poverty, a cleaner in a small vale on the outskirts of the empire. But beneath her empire’s seemingly idyllic surface lies a hidden secret. Whispers of an inept crown Prince are growing ever louder—intensified by the five year anniversary of the soulbond initiations. Amidst scandalous whispers, Ciardis finds herself chosen to train for the Companions Guild. She leaves her home and sets off on a personal journey to become a Court Companion. A position she’d never thought possible for a lowly servant to obtain, she must prove that she has the skills to attract a Patron. But she must master those skills quickly. If the legends are true, only Ciardis can harness the power to raise a Prince in an Imperial Court sworn to bring him down. This sensational series debut melds intricate storylines with remarkable characters and unforgettable magic. Sworn To Raise is ideal for fans of Kristin Cashore, Michelle Sagara, and Maria Snyder.
Grab your FREE Copy of Books 1-3 Now!

Courtlight 2  Courtlight 1      

Author Terah Edun Terah Edun is a young adult fantasy writer that writes the stories that she always loved to read as a young girl. Her Courtlight and Crown Service series can be seen on the USA Today Happily Ever After blog and together have sold over 100,000 copies.

50_Amazon_Paypal BookBlast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 8/14/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway   Pandora "MY PRINCESS" Ring Giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

July 19, 2015

Summer Must Haves for Baby

There are always great new products out there for your babies and toddlers. Today I'd like to share some products I've recently been introduced to that I thought those of you expecting babies this summer might want to know about.

For Memories:

There is nothing more special then a new little one and there are some great tools out there to help you remember their first days. I highly suggest a baby footprint kit and a baby birthday chronicle. These are both simple ways to save memories that you can hang on the wall or put in a scrapbook that your children will love looking at as they get older.

For Safety:

We always want our homes to be the very safest they can be for our children which is why I suggest every parent invests in U Shaped Edge Guards for all needed surfaces (coffee and end tables are the worst culprits at my house).

For the car a Baby Car Mirror can be a big comfort to both mom and baby. I have the benefit of having older kids that can play with and check on the little ones during our long car trips but if you don't have that advantage then this is a tool you probably won't want to travel without.

For Health:

At our house we also like to use a waterproof crib mattress pad. This is partially a safety thing as it does make sure that our mattresses stay in usable condition but it is also a health thing as this helps us to make sure that baby's bed is always clean and that if baby does get sick I can disinfect properly.

Another of our favorite health things are Amber Teething Necklaces. They work for my kids and myself and if you haven't tried them and are struggling with teething or other pain I highly suggest trying them. You might be surprised at how well they work.

For Feeding:

If you have twins you'll for sure want to check out the Twin Z Pillow. My good friend had the chance to try one out with her little ones and loved it! Hopefully however this is one product I never have the chance to try myself.

If you're nursing then a good hands free pumping bra is a must. I know that this made a huge difference for me. I went from trying to hold everything in place and work on homework or blogging at the same time to being able to comfortably do both without dropping anything. Yes, some of you know exactly what I'm talking about.

For Diapers:

There are a ton of different kinds of diapers out there but recently we were introduced to buttons diapers and they work really well. Although they are not our preferred pocket style buttons diapers did their job and the cute color selection is hard to resist.

For Play Time: 

Have you seen Zubels Yet? If not, you're missing out! They make adorable cotton rattles and more that any baby would love! I know our little one took to hers right away and loves to snuggle and play with it. As a bonus - the rattle is fairly quiet and I can get away taking it places that I wouldn't think of taking some of her other toys.

For Cuteness:

Every baby needs some cuteness in their closet and here we recommend checking out these adorable rock star bodysuits. They have lots of fun colors and styles with phrases and graphics to match every parent's style.

Pacifier clips are another fun way to add style. You can pick boy, girl or gender neutral for any gift giving occasion and most moms are thrilled. It seems you can never have enough of these little buggers and the cuter the better.

Another fun accessory is a bandanna bib. Again, these come in lots of colors but having some of the basics is a great way to accessorize your little one and keep them looking adorable!

Happy Shopping!