Wednesday, June 29, 2016

How to Get Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth : FOREO ISSA mikro

I can't be the only one. Every morning and every night I had to force my son to brush his teeth.  The conversation went something like this:

Mom - "Time to brush your teeth."
Preschooler - "Noooooo"
Mom - "Yes, let's go."
Preschooler - "But I don't want to!"

And so on.  Sound familiar? If so, I found something that may help. I've tried in the past to let my son pick out a "cool" toothbrush -- One that featured whatever television or movie character he happened to be into at the moment. But as soon as we got home and it was time to use the new toothbrush, the novelty had already worn off.  Back to square one. And back to our usual "brush your teeth" discussion.

The FOREO ISSA mikro, however, has ended that dreaded back and forth. FOREO is the same company that created my most loved skin care product -- the Foreo Luna Mini.  So when I found out about the ISSA mikro, I instantly wanted to try it out.  And, as you can probably tell by the title of this post, my son absolutely loves it.  He now willingly brushes his teeth and even looks forward to it. No more chasing a 3 year old around the house to make sure those pearly whites get clean. Obviously, this is my number one reason for loving the ISSA mikro. But there are many more.  See them below!

Bright, Fun Colors and an Attractive Design

The ISSA mikro does look different than the typical a great way. Its smooth, contoured design and beautiful colors give it a very modern look that allow it to prettily sit on the bathroom counter top.

Sonic & Silicone

Using a delicate sonic pulse technology and BPA-free, medical grade silicone, the ISSA mikro provides a much gentler feel for the little ones. It's also a much more hygienic option to the "brush and rinse" cleaning method practiced with the standard toothbrush.  Instead of just rinsing with water, I wash the ISSA mikro with a gentle dish soap after each use.  Much less germy.

Safe and Saves Money

The brush head on the ISSA mikro is not detachable. This is not only safer for kids to use, but it also saves time and money that would normally be spent on replacing brush heads. The Foreo ISSA mikro also comes with a 2-year limited warranty.  Not only that, this product is even safe enough to be used on infants. While the ISSA mikro is perfect for cleaning the teeth of young children, it can also be used to massage and soothe the gums of a teething baby.

So... What do you think? Are you ready to end the "brush your teeth" fight? 

Use this link to get the secret perk of $30 off of the ISSA mikro now.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Summer Style: An Easy, Breezy Summer Look with COVERGIRL

Summer is officially here! Warm weather, barbecues, fun in the sun, and maybe even a beach trip or two are in our near futures. But with those lovely sunny days come heat. And with the heat comes a whole mess of things that can interfere with your look. One of the first things to melt away in the summer sun? Makeup.  And, really, who wants to wear layers and layers of makeup when it's hot (and possibly humid) outside? Not I! So I've come up with the perfect everyday summer look that doesn't require a ton of products or time. Best of all, all of the products used are affordable and easy to find near you. So what do you need to get a fresh-faced, done-in-a-snap look perfect for summer? Take a look below to find out!

1.  COVERGIRL Clean Matte BB Cream

I LOVE this BB cream because even though it feels very light on the skin, it provides quite a bit of coverage. Most importantly, it doesn't cause breakouts on my sensitive skin. I simply apply a dime size amount to my face, blending with my fingertips. It literally takes about 15 seconds to apply/blend and leaves my skin tone looking naturally even (no streaks, no caking in the creases, no shiny, greasy effect).

2. COVERGIRL truBlend Fixstick

Next, I use the fix stick to quickly cover my under eye area (I naturally have dark circles -- even when well rested.) and any blemishes that weren't completely covered by the BB cream. I blend with my fingertips once more.  This, again, takes seconds to do.

3. COVERGIRL truBlend Blush

I then use, you guessed it, my fingers to apply and blend just a little bit of the trueBlend Blush.  During the summer months, I like to apply a tiny bit of blush to the bridge of my nose in addition to my cheeks for a sun-kissed look.

(If you're in a hurry and want a very natural look, you can stop here.)

4. COVERGIRL truBlend Eyeshadow Palette in Roses

To give my eyes a more "finished" look, I apply the lightest shade in this palette to my eyelids. By now, you know we're being ultra professional and not using brushes in this tutorial. Fingertips all the way.

5. COVERGIRL The Super Sizer Fibers Mascara

This mascara is awesome. I've tried the two step fiber mascaras in the past and, while I liked the look, they always made my eyelashes feel so heavy. This one step fiber mascara is easier to apply and gives a much lighter look and feel. Spider lashes can still be achieved with several coats, but you have to pretty much be trying to achieve that look.

6. COVERGIRL Oh Sugar! Tinted Lip Balm

This is the summer lip product to beat, in my opinion.  And I don't just mean for drugstore makeup. I mean overall. I love how comfortable and moisturizing this balm feels.  But this is so much more than your typical lip balm.  These beauties also have a good amount of pigmentation that can be a bit subtle with just one application or full-on with two or three. They also come in a ton of fun shades. My favorite for summer is Spice.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Quick Last Minute Father's Day Gift Ideas

Alright! So it's Friday and you're running out of time to get that perfect Father's Day gift. So let's cut the chit-chat and get to the ideas, right? Here we go!

Basket Based on Interests

My best example for this one is the "basket" I made for my dad. He's a car guy so instead of using a regular gift basket to hold the goodies, I used a personalized car washing bucket. I purchased it at an affordable rate from a local vendor.  But if you're crafty (I am not), you could make your own. Other basket ideas include:

BBQ/beer/liquor goodies in a cooler

Outdoorsy goodies in a backpack

Business attire/nice pens/office supplies in a brief case

Music items such as headphones, earbuds, itunes gift cards, CDs, vinyls, etc. in an old record carrier

Sports memorabilia or workout clothing/equipment/supplements in a gym bag

Tickets to Events

Something that's always a fun, personal gift? Tickets to an event you know he will love whether it's a concert, game, convention, or show. You can set up a date night for the event or let him choose if he wants to make it a boys night.

Crafts From the Kids

Even if you're not the arts and crafts type, cute crafts made by the kids are great gifts. (Especially for those sentimental dads out there.) Buy some blank picture frames at Michael's and have the kids decorate them before putting a picture of dad and the kids in the frame. Personalize a coffee mug (Michael's carries a really quick and easy paint a coffee mug kit) or travel thermos and buy dad's favorite coffee or tea to go with it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Lazy Girl's Guide to Laundry: Downy Fabric Conditioner

Now, I don't normally consider myself "lazy." (I mean, really, is any mom lazy?) But when it comes to cleaning, I suddenly find myself... a bit sluggish. And when it comes to laundry?  Hello, slow-mo mom! But I have found one product that makes doing laundry just a little bit easier. Downy Fabric Conditioner can be found for a low, low price at Walmart and does a ton of work without requiring a lot of effort out of me.

It's no secret that I buy a lot of gently used clothing.  After all, it's the best way to get designer brands for less. But one thing that can be a problem with gently used clothing is wash wear.  Because the clothing has been previously loved by others, wash wear tends to show up a little quicker than expected at times. Downy Fabric Conditioner prevents the dreaded wash wear.  Not only that, it also reduces wrinkles.  And we all know this girl is not into ironing! Plus... that clean laundry smell fills the entire house leaving an overall fresh feeling without having to light a scented candle or use fragrance plug-ins.

So how does this happen? How can pouring one little liquid into the washing machine do so much?  Downy Fabric Conditioner lubricates and strengthens clothing while conditioning.  This way the rumble and tumble of the washing machine doesn't stretch and pull the fabrics as much as it normally would: Leaving you with clothing that still looks like new even after many washes.

So want have your clothes look and smell fresher for longer? Stop by your local Walmart and pick up this magic little potion. And spend that time you had set aside for ironing doing something a little more fun this summer.

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/P&G. The opinions are my own.

Monday, June 13, 2016

One Pulse: A Florida Mom's Perspective

Being a mom definitely has a way of completely changing your perspective on absolutely everything. Every action, every sight, every decision, every single detail of life - whether within your control or not-  is now centered around how it will affect that little bundle of joy. At least that's the way it is for me. I'm not saying my perspective as a mother is better or worse than the perspective of my former-self...It's just very different.

Every senseless act of not only a terrifying event of the present world but now a horrific path of what there may be more of in the future. Every person killed is someone's baby. Every person taking someone's baby.

It's no longer worrying about my safety in my day to day travels. (Although, that worry is still very much there.)  But it's a much more prevalent heavy, aching feeling of distress.  Distress over the kind of world my son will have to navigate.  The kind of world he will have to go out into.  The kind of world he will be facing, at times, without me by his side to protect him. The kind of world he will have to be a part of.  The kind of world he will have to learn to grow and thrive in.

There is so much hate. So much hate that we all wish we could just make disappear. And what's worse than hate?  Action fostered out of hate.

I know the reaction of many is to get angry.  (It's an almost automatic response, isn't it?) Point their fingers at something or someone. Direct their own feelings of distress towards something or someone else. And attack.  Attack verbally. But we all know this blame game we play a little too well.  This blame game that leads to arguing and destroying any unification we had built.  It almost never leads to a grand solution that solves the bigger problem.  Because anger, fear, and hate...they all come from the same place.  They all circle back into resulting in only...anger, fear, and hate.

So what can we do? What can parents do? How can we prevent this dark path of destruction our children seem to be trapped into walking on?

We can teach them to be the light. We can teach them love. We can teach them acceptance. Or at the very least, tolerance. We can teach them that different beliefs, different cultures, and differences, in general, don't mean wrong. Or right.  That different is simply different.

We can teach them it doesn't have to be "us" versus "them."  That there is no "them." We are all "us."

We can teach them actions out of hate are never the right actions.  No matter how deeply they may feel the need to pursue them at that moment. We can teach them to care about other human lives, feelings, and situations - whether they know them personally or not.

We can start by teaching them not to judge the homeless they may see passing by on the street...but to instead see a person in an undesirable situation who needs help.  We can teach them to be a voice for those bullied.  We can teach them to be confident in themselves without needing others to agree with who they are.  And without needing others to be "like them"... Without fearing or looking down on others who are "not like them."

We can teach them that it's ultimately not our place as human beings to decide how someone lives his/her life - as long as he/she is not hurting anyone in the process. We can teach them not to blanket label members of a race, religion, ethnicity, gender, etc.

We can teach them that with love there is hope. We can make a point not to lose the stories of "the helpers" when we retell history.  We can tell them that although one man walked into a building filled with hate, THOUSANDS in that same city dropped what they were doing to help with LOVE. Love outnumbers hate every time.

We can teach them that while they may never be able to make hate disappear, they can choose not to add to its numbers or fan its fire. They, instead, can smother hate with love.  We can teach them that actions of love will allow them to set a brighter path for their own children to walk. And we can teach them, that with love, they can light this dark path we mothers see.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Father's Day Gift Guide Part 1: Favorite Father's Day Gifts - Books

I personally find it so much easier to buy for women.  Maybe it's because I am a woman, maybe it's because my husband typically really doesn't want material items.  Or maybe it's because there is SO MUCH marketing for Mother's Day (As there should be. We deserve it, right?!) but not so much for Father's Day (Come on, now.  The dads deserve it too.) Either way, I've decided to go ahead and do a Father's Day Gift Guide Series to give the guys a little love and recognition too.

Now books may not be at the top of your list of gift ideas for dad (that is, unless dad happens to be a bit of a book worm). But books can be some of the cutest gifts to give.  Especially if it's a gift coming from a child.  Here are a few of my favorite reads to gift to those wonderful dads out there.

My Amazing Dad
 This book is ADORABLE.  It's about a dad who may not be so great at the typical "dad duties," but he is an amazing, loving father in so many other ways that are much more important than, say, mowing the lawn.  It's great to see a dad/child centered book that celebrates dads for being fun, loving, and involved.  This is also a sweet book for dad to read to the kids at bedtime.

My Grandpa is a Dinosaur

This silly book shows what a child might imagine when they take a common saying literally.  Super fun and colorfully illustrated, this book has become one of my son's favorites.  It's also one of those rare children's books that is entertaining for the parents as well.

The Ultimate Book of Dad Jokes

For the dad who appreciates a cleverly punny joke, this book will seemingly provide unlimited joke ammunition.  Jokes like "A watermelon and a honeydew wanted to get married right away, but they cantaloupe,"  and "After Humpty Dumpty recovered from his fall, he was just a shell of his former self," will have you smiling...even if you don't mean to.