Monday’s Bento Box Idea

These bento box ideas submitted by Summer are intended to inspire you to find fun ways to get your kids to eat healthy either as a school lunch or a power snack for a sport.



Top left clockwise to bottom left: spinach strawberry chicken salad, blueberry fig bar cookies, Colby Jack cheese cubes (on toothpicks because my kids will eat anything off a toothpick)

Anjou Aromatherapy Essential Oils & Diffuser

samples received


We received the Complete Anjou Essential Oils Gift Set with an Anjou diffuser and it’s got me hooked on essential oils. Before I give you my review I want to give you a discount code for 20% off all Anjou products that are sold on Amazon:  USE YC9LTJWQ

I’m so glad they sent this to me because I’m back on in more ways than one. I’ve been inspired to get back into my diet and using the oils to curb my appetite and my sweet cravings. And I can see a difference in the mirror. Even my husband  could see a difference. So even if the weight isn’t falling off we can see a size difference and the only thing I did was start using different oils in different ways. 001

First we started using Lavender to help the kids fall asleep. It works like a charm. Zoe loves the smell of lavender as she is falling asleep. Miles not so much but it makes him relax so I love it as a mom.

anjou lights

The diffuser thankfully came with directions on how much water to use to how much oil and then it had lights too. The lights are our entire families favorite feature on the diffuser. We have so much fun every night picking the color.

The Anjou Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Features include:

  • Huge capacity. The diffuser has a huge 300 ml capacity for up to eight hours of use.
  • 100% safety. An auto shut-off when the water runs low, providing peace of mind.
  • Forever décor. Seven color changing LED lights (each with a bright and dim mode) that can both blend into and accentuate your home, office, yoga studio, gym, or patio.
  • Therapeutic grade quality. The Anjou Essential Oils are GC/MS tested to ensure 100% certified pure therapeutic grade quality. There are no pesticides, herbicides, fillers, GMO, or additives. The oils are stored in temperature controlled rooms, with minimal light, to ensure that therapeutic properties are not compromised.
  • Variety—the essential oils set features six authentic essential oil flavors cultivated and produced from around the world.

anjou eucal

The benefits of the diffuser & essential oils are many:

  • Lift your mood. Fill the air with the lovely fragrance of the sweet essential oils, uplift your spirit and relieve stress.
  • Bury unpleasant smells. Cigarette smoke, pet odors and dirty laundry odors go away.
  • Cleanse your life. Ultra-quiet ultrasonic humidifier keeps your living space clean and properly moisturized. Prevent dry air and flu/cold germs from infecting you and your loved ones.

Relaxation. The essential oils are great for aromatherapy and relaxation, usable in fragrance diffusers, oil burners, massage oil, shower gel, shampoo, bath water, etc.

What To Do On A Moms Day Off Win Some Crocs #MomsDayOffContest

This post is brought to you by Crocs

I’ll be honest, I haven’t had a moms day off yet, I haven’t had the time to and won’t until tonight and a little bit on Sunday which I am looking forward to. But I did take a little time with myself while Zoe was working and Miles was playing at the park. I sat at the duck pond and had a little me time which is so necessary.



Crocs understands that moms need time to recharge. We spend so much time thinking about our kids and our families and hardly any time on ourselves. Well, I can see a difference when I’m only there for the kids. I get tired, I get grumpy and things sometimes just get well ugly. It’s because I forget. I forget that it’s ok to need me time. It’s ok for me to want me time.


So after my little recharge at the duck pond I walked around the park.


Lithia Park in Ashland Oregon has this amazing river running through it. It’s so relaxing to just stand there and listen to the water running. I think water makes my favorite sounds, the rain, the ocean the river. I just love how peaceful it is.



Crocs is running the #MomDaysOffContest across the blogs participating for the chance to win some really great prizes. Prizes include: ten first placed winners will receive $50 voucher for Crocs and $100 cash and fifty runners up who will receive $50 vouchers. There will be a total of 60 winners! I’m guessing your chances to win will be really good. Crocs will be choosing the winners.



To enter the #MomsDayOffContest you have to follow @Crocs on either Instagram or Twitter. Then you need to share a photo of yourself having a moms day off using the hashtag #MomsDayOffContest and tagging them.

For official rules see The contest ends May 6, 2016 at 11:59:59 p.m. EST.

Keeping Kids Healthy and Busy


Parents often worry about keeping children away from drugs. One of the hard truths many parents need to realize is that some of the main medications typically abused can be found in their own home. Children and teenagers can end up raiding the medicine cabinet because the prescriptions in there are easy to obtain and they may think no one will notice. Powerful medications such as Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, and even Ritalin are popular medications to abuse among children. 

As parents, it’s important to keep your children busy so they stay away from drugs.

Talk to Them About Dangers of Abusing Prescriptions

Children and teenagers might not fully see the risk involved in taking medication that’s not prescribed to them. Some may think that because the medication was prescribed by a doctor it must be safe. Parents should make it a priority to educate their children about the dangers of abusing prescription medications. Some topics you can discuss with them can include:

·  Side effects of commonly abused drugs

·  Addiction

·  Possible death

It’s also important to let them know that just because they’re prescribed something doesn’t mean it will be safe for them. Many factors determine the medication and dosage that a doctor gives to their patient. Taking too much of a medication can cause overdose and even death. If you feel like your child might already have a problem with abusing prescription medications, it’s important to figure out the next steps to take, such as finding a rehabilitation program for them.


One way to keep children away from drugs is to keep them busy with sports. Having them join a team will give them an opportunity to go out and do something rather than experiment with prescription medications. Coaches usually have high expectations for members of the team, so it will be less likely for your child to become distracted by alcohol or drugs. If you’re thinking about enrolling your child in organized sports, educate yourself and your child on all the ways they can remain safe while playing.

Family Time

Children and teenagers that have parents actively involved in their lives are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. Be someone your children will trust if they ever want to talk about important matters such as drugs and alcohol. Do fun things with them such as taking them to play miniature golf, going on a nice walk, cooking a meal with them, or doing crafts together.

Help Them Get a Job

If they are still too young to get a real job, you can give them things to do to keep them busy and earn money. When young teens have a job, they learn responsibility and independence. They’ll also become proud every time they’re able to spend money they earned by working. Having them busy and learning responsibility may keep their minds away from drugs and alcohol.

Most parents want their children to stay young and innocent forever. The reality is that they all grow up and soon learn about the harsh realities of the world. Don’t let them enter adulthood unprepared. Spend time with them teaching them ways to avoid drugs and alcohol even when they become adults and move out on their own. Keep your own children safe by cleaning out the medicine cabinet and locking away prescription medications. Be a positive role model to your children and always remain active in their life.


The Benefits of Grape Seed Oil #FitnessFriday

A company based in Chile that produces superior quality oils and cosmetics, announced its brand VALLES DE CHILE is now available on This is a grape seed oil and I’ve heard grape seed oil is very good for you.

“A larger audience of people can now start reaping the incredible benefits of VALLES DE CHILE grape seed oil with it now available on Amazon,” said company Business Manager Luis Ruiz. “Research is constantly uncovering more health benefits of the oil and the flavor is second to none.”

According to, Grape Seed Oil has been found to have numerous medicinal properties including being an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-histamine, anti-aging, anti-allergic, antimicrobial, and adaptogenic activity. It has been found to be beneficial in the treatment of several health and skin issues including arthritis, edema, dermatitis, acne, wrinkles, dry and itchy skin, age spots, sun burns and stretch marks.

The oil may reduce the appearance of wrinkles, stretch marks and saggy skin through its skin treating properties and trace-minerals. The antioxidants in Grape seed oil may reduce the damage of skin cells and enhance the production of collagen and elastin, which make skin strong and healthy. It has astringent properties and therefore, can tighten the skin. The linoleic acid found in grape seed oil can be very beneficial in skin conditions like, acne, dermatitis and eczema.

Chapped lips, wounds, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, chronic venous insufficiency, premature aging, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), weight loss, stress, dandruff, hair loss, warts, cardiovascular diseases especially atherosclerosis, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, visual impairment, cataract, and macular degeneration are additional conditions grape seed oil has been found to treat.

Grape seed oil has a clean, light taste that holds flavors well and is ideal for stir-frying, sautéing and baking. It is a great substitute for virgin olive oil and other oils. The high smoke point (450 degrees F) makes this product a very good alternative when a consumer is looking for frying and cooking oil.

“Finally there is a healthier alterative to conventional cooking oils with VALLES DE CHILE available on Amazon,” Ruiz said. “While enjoying food with the oil you are also benefiting the body.”

For more information about Grape seed oil Exports visit the company’s website,

Chococurb: A Chocolate Monthly Subscription Box

What better way to discover new chocolates than to receive a monthly shipment of different kids. OH MAN…

This is the best monthly delivery service I’ve ever seen and that’s probably because I love chocolate. These chocolates…all of them were so so so good.


So I was trying to do something different and I posted my unboxing on Snapchat…you can follow me at momstartlouise.

Then I realized that I needed all of that sharing on my blog so I uploaded all the videos to Google Plus where I could then embed it all here..

Chococurb is a chocolate discovery experience. They’re helping people discover extraordinary chocolate with their monthly subscription boxes and through their shop, where you can find some truly incredible products. Here is how they got started….

You can select a subscription box and be surprised or pick out your own chocolate and this is an amazing selection on their site!! Go check it out, the chocolate is from everywhere all over the world. 

GE Appliances with Premium Slate Finish @BestBuy @GEAppliances #geslate

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

What makes a great kitchen?

To me a great kitchen must first function well.

Be designed well

Easy to clean

And look amazing and these new Premium Slate Finish GE Appliances look fantastic don’t you think?


Now at Best Buy you will find GE’s New Slate Finish on some of their appliances. To really enjoy this look, I’m not sure that a picture is going to be enough. I recommend going into the store and looking for yourself. I love looking at appliances for some crazy reason. Even if I don’t currently need one I just like looking at them. I think Refrigerators are my favorite.


We had this fridge for a while, the three door, well not this one because it didn’t have the Premium Slate Finish so this one kind of makes me drool. Plus this one you can put magnets on. I love letting kids have magnets for the fridge. It also resists fingerprints, easily complements other appliances, attractive color looks unique and stylish, easy to clean and keep looking great, finished with bold, brushed metal touch points.


I’m sure if I’ve mentioned that I want a double stove the thought of being able to cook two things at once just sounds so good to me. And that fact that these are so easy to clean while also looking good. Ahhhh. These new Premium Slate Finish appliances are inspired by stone….. this slate finish provides an elegant, modern and easy-to clean surface as an alternative to stainless steel.

This new look blends impeccably with today’s materials and colors. The dark matte appearance also naturally hides fingerprints, smudges and dirt, so it’s delightfully easy to maintain. You can pair a Slate finish with virtually anything. From sleek granites and composites to organic glass and wood, Slate perfectly harmonizes with today’s materials and colors. With such a broad palette of complementary finishes, Slate can appeal to every taste.

And if you are in need of new appliances you should act fast and take advantage of the Great American Kitchen Event.  You can receive up to $1500 back from GE via mail when you purchase 2 or more GE Profile Collection Appliances.



Disclaimer: Requires purchase of select GE Profile appliances from the following categories: Refrigerators, Ranges, Wall Ovens, Microwaves, Cooktops, Dishwashers, Rangehoods, Washers and Dryers. Rebate has maximum value of $1500 and minimum of $100. Value determined by number of eligible appliances purchased. See to submit online and for full details on manufacturer’s incentive. Redemption value received via mail in form of Prepaid Visa Card. Offer valid 3/30/16 – 4/26/16.

Why You Should Consider Camp Invention #CampInvention #SummerCamp #SummerSlide AD

This post is brought to you by Camp Invention and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

My kids have to take a test at the beginning of every year and at the end of every year. This test is to measure how much they learn in the year and it also measures how much they lose over the summer. I drive my kids crazy because I make them do “school” during the summer so they don’t suffer from the “summer slide” and do well on their tests. I buy workbooks and make them work through their worksheets. We read books and then do book reports and they find it boring. I always have good intentions of having them do science projects and computer programming with their dad but between everything else we do all summer long we run out of time. I do this so they don’t slide….  The Summer Slide is described as the time in between school where children lose a percentage of what they learned because they are not keeping their minds active. There are ways to break that without being boring and doing “school” like I have in the past. For example you could send them to Camp Invention. A fun way to keep away from the “summer slide”


BY THE WAY…the first 20 of you that sign up and say you heard about this from me will get a $25 refund. 

Register your child for Camp Invention today. The first 20 people to forward their registration confirmation email, along with the name of my blog, to will get a $25 refund.

Camp Invention has nearly nearly 1,400 camps across the country and serves more than 94,000 students every year. The local programs are facilitated by educators who reside and teach in the community. For additional information or to find the nearest location for registration, visit


Register your child for an exciting summer of Camp Invention before May 10 and receive $15 off by using the promo code “SPRING.” Families registering three or more siblings living in the same household earn $50 off per child all season long!

This camp is nationally recognized as a summer program focused on creativity, innovatons, real-world problem solving and the spirit of invention. You’ve probably heard of STEM. I’m a huge rand of hands-on problem solving using science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). For students entering grades one through six, Camp Invention is a weeklong adventure that will turn the summer from ordinary to extraordinary using STEM. The activities change every year. This year’s Camp Invention curriculum is called Epic™, inspired by some of our nation’s most brilliant minds including experienced educators, Inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and members of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Epic™ features hands-on modules like CrickoBot™, where Campers construct and personalize a DIY solar-powered cricket with a unique habitat; Epic Park ™, where Campers work in teams to design an eco-adventure park; I Can Invent: Maker Studio™, where Campers brainstorm product ideas and build original prototypes using real tools and components found in everyday devices; and The Lab: Where Pigs Fly™, where children can discover the science of slime, demolition, electronic sound, giant squid and coding. Learn more about this year’s curriculum here.

Join Us 4 the May Sleep Better Chat 4/28 8 PM CT #SNSweepstakes #AD

I love May, it’s my birthday month and mother’s day and now we’re going to be partying. We are so excited to once again be working with SleepNumber. This time we’re talking about Mother’s Day and Sleeping Better in May.

So bring your questions and be ready to talk about how much moms need sleep and what kinds of things you might want for Mother’s Day……like a good night’s sleep maybe?P5_FT_0713_04r

So Join us April 28th 8 PM Central (9 PM ET, 6 PM PT)

Follow @SleepNumber, @SleepGeekPete & @MomStart


Prize: Queen Sleep Number p5 bed with SleepIQ technology

Hashtags: #SNSweepstakes and a little bit of #MothersDay