The State of Education: Micorosft’s Youthspark ImagineCup

Youthspark is area of Microsoft that focuses on educating children to understand what the tech field is, to become excited about the tech field and to encourage growth in the tech field. It’s an umbrella for many different programs. They have employees that volunteer to teach programming classes, they partner with teachers that aren’t able to teach it and then teach the teacher how to teach it and within two years that teacher is supposed to be able to teach computer programming.

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They have programs for just girls, they have computer camps that are run out of Microsoft Stores and they are free camps. Then they also have this thing called Imagine Cup. I just attended Imagine Cup while staying in Seattle with Microsoft and it was eye opening what I learned about students all over the world. In one way it made me sad because I don’t feel like kids in the United States are learning as much. I feel like we need to do more in the United States to improve education or our kids are going to fall behind.

Imagine Cup is a technology competition for students ages 16 and up to develop a technology application in one of three categories (citizenship, games and innovation) and create a business plan to bring the technology to market. One team in each category will win $50,000 and business acceleration training. The students first had to compete against students in their own countries and the projects that I saw were amazing. One team created an app that would determine if someone had sickle cell and if they did then it would allow people in that community to request medicine. Most people that die from it do not even know that they had it. So raising awareness is key. Another team created this glove that helps stroke patience move their hand after they have lost mobility. Seeing that made me super excited because I have arthritis and imagine needing help with mobility in my hands one day. Another team created software that made your computer completely usable from your facial expressions and voice.

Theses kids are future world leaders and I want kids in our country to be world leaders too. What has to happen to raise the bar for education and the requirements for graduation.

GoodNites* TRU-FIT* launch in Walmart #TRUFITWALMART #AD

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf GoodNites* TRU-FIT*.

Bedwetting happens and it’s not that big of a deal. According to a GoodNites® brand study, it’s estimated that 1 in 6 children between the ages of 4-12 in the United States suffer from nocturnal enuresis, more commonly known as bedwetting. goodnites

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I mean, in the middle of the night having to get up and change the sheets, yeah, honestly that is annoying to have to deal with as a parent, but to the child it’s quite embarrassing. My son was so embarrassed that for the longest time when he had an accident he wouldn’t even tell me. Then I felt bad for him because he was sleeping in a stinking bed. GoodNites® brand is introducing a completely new kind of bedtime protection: GoodNites* TRU-FIT* Underwear. GoodNites* TRU-FIT* is machine-washable, real underwear with disposable, absorbent inserts that help keep sheets and PJs dry all night. They look like underwear and work like something much much more.

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GoodNites* TRU-FIT* offers a new choice for parents and children looking for a superior bedwetting product to help families have a better night, every night. GoodNites* TRU-FIT* is available in Walmart and Walmart.com as always at a low competitive price for boys and girls in sizes S/M and L/XL with colors and patterns for each size.

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GoodNites* TRU-FIT* Underwear is accompanied by a disposable, absorbent insert – designed to protect sheets and PJs all night. The disposable, absorbent insert should be discarded after each night’s use. But the underwear can be washed.

 

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Research from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that psychologically, children who wet the bed do not want to participate in fun activities, such as sleepovers, because of their fear and embarrassment. This is something that is really hard for parents and children. A lot of parents have kids that feel like they are too old to need something to keep them dry but withGoodNites* TRU-FIT* Underwear kids can feel more confident.

GoodNites* TRU-FIT* Underwear with GoodNites* TRU-FIT* Absorbent Insert = Outstanding Nighttime Protection.

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Visit the Better Night Network at www.GoodNites.com and the GoodNites Facebook page for more information on bedwetting solutions and advice from trusted experts.

The Long Drive Through Texas Snacking with NatureBox

By Lindsey

Being a large state, Texas is no stranger to a host of road trips. One of the most frequent ones I take is a four hour drive or more due north drive to visit my family in North Texas. Recently my husband and I went up there to celebrate my cousins wedding, and added bonus we welcomed a new member of our dog family in with an Australian shepherd puppy named Merida. I have several preferred places to stop along the drive, but none of them are particularly healthy.

In trying out some online grocery options I came across Naturebox™. They deliver nutritionist-approved snacks direct to your door with no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors. I am a grazer by nature so munching on little bits of things all day is totally the way to go for me. They send you five different bagged snacks each month on a subscription service, you can choose your own or let them surprise you. Their list of snacks is epic, and you can even set some filters at the top of their website for your dietary needs- gluten/soy/nut free, vegan, low carb ect.

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All this is fine well and good however sometimes these ‘super healthy’ snacks taste a lot like the hay pellets I feed my rabbit. I let the Naturebox™ geniuses decide and my box arrived with big island pineapple, peppery pistachios, blueberry almond bites, baked sweet potato fries, and coconut date bites. Good heavens all my snacks were delicious…every…single…one. First off, I would like to take a second to discuss the bid island pineapple:

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Hands down the BEST dried pineapple I have EVER had. Like EVER. And I live next to some of the major organic type grocers. It wasn’t coated in that sugary powder stuff, you opened the bag and it smelled like you just cut open a fresh pineapple. It was very difficult to resist eating all of it instantly; in fact maybe my next box should be all pineapple…

All of the snacks were over the top yummy, and you felt good eating them too. Naturebox™ went up with us to North Texas making our only stops for coffee and potty breaks. We arrived alert and not at all sluggish from eating fast food nonsense. Naturebox™ is an awesome grab on the go, much at home, post gym, or midnight snack. Naturebox™ for the win!

Surviving Pregnancy Sea-Band Mama #SeaBandMamaMorningSicknessRelief

Many women say that they love being pregnant. The feelings they had, the cravings they had the mentality they had was amazing and wonderful. I am here to tell you that not all pregnancies are created alike and you need to know it’s ok if you hate being pregnant. I hated it both times.

I went through one pregnancy where all I wanted to eat was chocolate chip cookies. Someone told me that craving chocolate chip cookies meant that I was low on iron and what I actually needed was more protein. For me that was easy to believe but working at a local retail store it was hard to accomplish. Because it was so easy for me to go to the coffee shop and buy chocolate chip cookies instead of protein. Or at least I can say that 7 years ago I had no idea what I was doing.

I became pregnant with my second child when my daughter was only six months old and I was still breast feeding her while being pregnant. Let’s just say my body could not get enough food. There was nothing I could do I was always feeling sick with my second child s we would do whatever it took to not feel sick. Now at that time I wasn’t a blogger, I had no idea what resources where at my hand. All I was told was that having ginger would help and so would eating little meals but feeding two kids at one time and myself, I was sick all the time and that made it even harder to eat.. SO I did what I could and it helped some but there are more options than just that. There is also Sea-Band Mama®.

Half of all pregnant women will experience morning sickness and eating small meals throughout the day is one of the key tips in helping with the issue. In addition, the new Sea-Band Mama line, from the maker of popular motion sickness line of Sea-Band products, was developed for pregnant women, including drug-free morning sickness wrist bands and anti-nausea ginger lozenges – now available at CVS and select Target stores.

Sea-Band Mama New Mommy Sweeps for a chance to win around $500 in prizes, including a $250 gift card to CVS for new baby essentials, an adorable Petunia Pickle Bottom designer diaper bag and the top-selling Mommy MD Guide books The Mommy MD Guide to Pregnancy & Birth and The Mommy MD Guide to Your Baby’s First Year.

For more information about Sea-Band® Mama and to learn more about morning sickness visit http://www.sea-band.com/mama

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sea-Band Mama. The opinions and text are all mine.

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory The Process of The Production @Schoola #clothes4school

This post is brought to you by Schoola, the best place to buy discounted kids clothes all while give back to schools in need. Click here to learn more about Schoola. Click here to see what people are saying.

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They did it! Miles and Zoe spent two weeks at camp studying Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. At their camp they learned the entire process of what it takes to create a production. This includes making costumes, doing a little bit of set design and of course learning their lines, singing and dancing. Zoe was Grandma Josephine and Miles was an Oompa Loompa.

imageThey were brave, and confident and amazing. I just couldn’t believe how they ran on and off the stage and finished all of it. I’m so proud and feel so blessed that my kids have opportunities like this one. There are schools out there that do not have enough money for their arts programs and Schoola is out there to help these schools. I’ve teamed up with them and picked a school to help support. I really think it’s important for kids to experience the arts, theater, music, all of them which is why I’ve decided to team up with Schoola and picked a school from a list they provided to help raise money for. I picked Yick Wo Elementary and their Goal: $25,000 to fund an art program.

 

 

Schoola is an online consignment store dedicated to recycling brand-name children’s clothes, with a portion of the proceeds going to schools in need. The innovative new program – which saves parents money and gives back at the same time – has been heralded by Fox News, the LA Times, Forbes and Parenting Magazine.

Feel free to shop on Schoola. For every transaction that is tracked via my referral code, Schoola will donate $1 to the school you selected to support.

Donating to Schoola is quite easy. For every person who requests a Schoola donation bag via my unique referral code, Schoola will donate $1 to the school I selected to support.. PLUS – when you donate clothes and fill out your school information, $2 of every $5 made will go back to the school you chose to support. Win/win for our featured schools and for your readers’ schools!

Shopping From The Couch: Walmart’s P&G On-line Delivery Service Giveaway

The Walmart gift cards and information have been provided by P&G.

Online shopping has truly put the world at your fingertips. Instead of being locked into what you have available locally, you can now get products from all around the world. Online shopping has made a big move into our daily lives with moving from specialty items to our day to day needs with groceries. Walmart.com took it to the next level not only with online shopping, but also with the Walmart smartphone app. Multitasking just went pro.

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I thought I would give it a go with some of our regular bi-weekly grocery shopping for some household items and toiletries. Once you log in at Walmart.com you have the entire store-Walmart Supercenter style at your fingertips. All the aisles you know and love are located at the side of the page:

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By simply mousing over them you open up all the categories of items you have come to know from Walmart. Our regular grocery shopping just got a whole lot more fun, all my favorite products were there just a click away added to the cart, even the discounts and Walmart low prices, just like in their stores. I went through the categories just like I would the shopping aisles, and did about an hour’s worth of shopping in about 10 minutes. You can sort by item type, brand, category, or just type in the product name at the top. Just about instantly from one or two clicks the item was in your cart ready to go.

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The best part was orders over $50 have free shipping! 20lbs of kitty litter? Yes, free shipping no problem. Checkout was a breeze, and they even have a PayPal option. No lines to wait in, no lugging my own 20lbs of kitty litter around-just click and done!

I ordered my items on 7/17, and was a bit dismayed when the shipping estimate was between 7/28-7/29. I am not always the best planner, and when go grocery shopping I pretty much need my purchased item then. However, much to my surprise some of my items came early on 7/19! I wasn’t expecting the shipment to be broken up, so I wasn’t quite sure when each product was going to come until Walmart sends you their shipping and tracking information. The remainder of my order came 7/26.

The shopping experience on Walmart.com was awesome, a definite time saver and made regular shopping fun. I might need to be a better stocked planner before I order again, because in my house if toilet paper is on the grocery list we pretty much need it within the next few days.

Enter to Win:

$25 Walmart Gift Card

To Enter:

Tell me how it would simplify your life to have a regular delivery

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Use the rafflecopter

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More Than a Dish Soap: 25 Ways to Use Palmolive #Palmolive25Ways and #cbias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

This is our last week at home before school starts I’m not sure where summer went. While we still have a week left we want to get as much out of the outdoors as possible. It’s going to be super hot today and I thought since we’re getting some energy out and playing outside we should do some water events. Bubbles is always a hit, but did you know that bubble mix actually goes bad. So we don’t buy pre-made bubbles anymore because they usually go bad before we use them. So now we like to make home made bubbles. You want to know what we use?  We use Dish soap.

25 Ways to use Palmolive

palmoliveThat’s right, we use Palmolive Dish Soap and I was out, so I had to run to Walmart and pick some up at a great low price. Dish soap can be used for more than just washing the dishes.

In fact, Palmolive is running a campaign called Palmolive 25 Ways, where they are showing you just how versatile Palmolive Dish Soap is. And not only is it versatile but no matter how much you use it it’s gentle on your hands, tough on grease soft on hands. On their facebook page you will find 25 uses for soap. And as part of the campaign you can win. Palmolive is hosting a Sweepstakes where you can enter to win a $2,000 Walmart gift card and weekly prizes.

I wanted to also share with you how I like to use soap. Here are a few ways we use our soap around the house. We use it to clean the car by hand. I’m not really in the mood to wash the car today but I was into the bubble making. But before we made bubbles Zoe had something else in mind.

My parents came to town today and Zoe talked my sister and step-mom to all get manicures.IMG_2201

They soaked their nails and painted them.

 

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And of course we had to do the bubbles.  IMG_2194

And it made really good bubble mix.

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Did you know that you can also use dish soap to prevent your glasses from defogging? Yep it’s true! So clean your glasses with some dish soap and you will have fog proof glasses.

Follow along socially

#Palmolive25Ways and #CollectiveBias

Find Activities and Capture the Fun in Your City #VZWBuzz #MoreSeattle

I have more apps for you to learn about for the Windows Phone. These will help you find the activities you need to have fun in your city and help you capture them.

Go Forth and Conquer

clip_image002Want to try something new? Download Living Social on your Windows Phone to access daily deals on fresh activities in your city. If you’re traveling, outfit yourself with GuidePal on Windows, which gives you an inside look at hidden gems and popular local hotspots, and HERE Drive+ with Windows Phone, which offers offline, turn-by-turn, voice guided navigation. At home for a bit of a staycation? Be sure to arm yourself with Stubhub on Windows and Windows Phone to bring the ticket marketplace to you, making it easy to get into every event this summer. Or, kick back, relax, and indulge yourself in faraway places and stories on your couch or at the beach with Nook on Windows. Download Bing Rewards app for Windows Phone and you can earn credits when you search on Bing, which can be redeemed for a variety of things from Amazon gift cards to gas points for your summer road trip.

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Capture the Memories

Make sure this summer is one that is not soon forgotten by capturing every moment in new and unique ways. Use the GoPro app on Windows and Windows Phone to watch other GoPro videos and control your GoPro camera remotely to share all the action from a new perspective. Once you get the perfect shot, use Adobe Photoshop Express on Windows and Phototastic Pro on both Windows and Windows Phone to apply effects, create collages and edit them to your liking. Can’t pick just one picture? Flipagram on Windows Phone lets you create amazing videos from all of your favorite vacation photos, sets it to your favorite song, and makes it easy to share.

MomStart Site Changes Come Have A Look

We’re super excited and this is long overdue. I’ve been wanting to revamp the site for three years now. The old site still had a picture of my son from when he was 18 months old. A lot of people look at that picture and think I have two girls.

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I haven’t changed the byline yet. I just can’t figure out what I want to say. And we haven’t created a new logo yet either because I haven’t had time to yet. I really want to use this picture

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But that photo is a little old as well; and we’re more than just about me now. We have about 10 contributors that take turns writing reviews. And we’re working towards being an on-line Lifestyle magazine. So we will be tweeking things here and there as life settles down. We have three weeks of summer left and we’re going on vacation so I’m going to be in and out.

Anwyway, what do you think of the new site layout? I LOVE IT!

 

What do you think the new byline should be?

 

What should be our logo?

Solving a Flower Addiction: The Bouqs Company

By Lindsey

If there was a 12 step program for flower addiction would have already been through it…twice… and scheduled to go again this fall. I have loved flowers since I could walk, which was about when I started picking them. I had no scruples about it either; I picked flowers from back alleys or sweet little old ladies well-tended gardens. My addiction was so frequent that when I came in from playing and had brought my mom flowers her first question was “where did you get those?”, and I often had to return the picked flowers and apologize to those same sweet little old ladies. Flowers and I didn’t stop there, as fate would have it I actually dated a florist for a few years, which took me from flower addicted to well-educated flower snob. Emma Goldman gets it:

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Being a full tilt diva flower snob makes it difficult to order flowers online or send flowers to others. I’m not a fan of all those cookie cutter online arrangements that come with a silly balloon in a teddy bear shaped vase. Not only is the flower quality usually lower, but I think it is the beautiful flowers themselves that should send the message of love and joy to our loved ones… not the teddy bear vase. Secondly, you can pay quite a pretty penny for like 6 sad roses and a bunch of greenery, not the message I am looking to send.

It is a bit of an understatement to say that the bar was pretty high when I heard of this new online flower company The Bouqs Co. I had heard that their flowers were grown on an active volcano in South America, and come directly to them, cutting out the big flower industry middle man. All their flowers are from eco-friendly, sustainable farms .Now you are talking my language. I popped over to their website www.thebouqs.com to give it a go. Let’s just say their website rocks, their approach is warm and inviting not “add a box of 6 cheap chocolates for $.99!”. Once over to the flowers themselves I was pleasantly surprised-not a teddy bear vase in sight! All the flowers are pictured in wrapped in parchment paper all Miss America style, showcasing the flowers themselves, as it should be. All the bouquets had fun names like “Awesomeness” and “Marshmallow”, and all for great prices. The best part for me was the lack of dumb green flower filler-none of them were 6 blooms and a small bush, these bouquets were all flower, just the way I like them! I decided to go with the Rise N’ Shine Bouq, not just because I liked the contrast but also because I was really wanting to test them out with both rose quality and their beautify calla lilies. The flower snob in me couldn’t resist. I even upgraded my order so I could get more flowers.

They came packaged up with a lovely note and flower care instructions- not just the put in water kind, the real ones about trimming the stems, removing leaves and showing your blooms love. I love the ‘choose your own adventure’ approach to the arrangement of your flowers. The roses still had their outer petals on them, not over plucked to trick you into thinking you have fresh buds when in fact your flowers are already half dead.

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Here is my Bouq as shown on the website, and then the flowers I received after I arranged them:

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How great is it to order flowers and receive them exactly as shown! I mean you can’t even do that at restaurants.

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So if you are looking for quality flowers at a great price without all the filler, flower industry nonsense, and silly animal shaped vases and gimmicks The Bouqs Co is for you. Honest, beautiful, no nonsense flowers.