Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Growing with Grammar Giveaway

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Are you looking for a complete set of Growing with Grammar, Winning with Writing or Soaring with Spelling?  Well then you are in to the right place!  This is a great curriculum choice and I am sure you will not be disappointed. It will really help your child learn and take some stress off of you in terms of prep work.

Growing with Grammar level colors


This curriculum comes as a complete set and requires no prep work on the part of the student or teacher. You just pull the workbooks out and go! They can be used one-on-one or independently. Each level is color coded, making it super easy for me as a parent to know who left their books lying around! If you would like to read more about the spelling and writing programs, then you should definitely check out my Growing with Grammar review.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Try the World {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Back in the day, between graduating high school and graduating college I had the chance to see some incredible places – Spain, France, England, Jamaica & Namibia to name a few.  Each place I got to visit was amazing and even the European countries, that seem so close together, each had a unique culture.  Getting to step outside my everyday and experience some of these places was absolutely fantastic, and getting to relive some of those moments when I look at pictures or read my trip journals still amazes me. In fact here is a picture of me petting a Cheetah in Keetmanshoop, Namibia which is totally one of my life achievements. Another life achievement is me stepping up and eating a fried caterpillar – which our Namibian friends ate like popcorn. (Don’t worry, I’m fairly confident Try The World is not going to be sending fried caterpillars, but I’m getting ahead of myself…)

Anyway, I grew up, got married, graduated college, had a career, moved across the country, and had a baby. My options to experience some of these amazing cultures first hand have been put on the back burner for the time being, something about having a young child at home and a husband drowning in course work…

Then I saw Try The World, which is an amazing service that brings the world to you!

Try the World is a subscription service where you can get a curated box sent to your door every other month with all sorts of food from a specific country.  Great idea right?  I mean doesn’t the thought of having some of those delicious and exotic foods sent to you sounds interesting? I thought so.

When I started looking into Try the World, I was curious but also a little bit dubious…  the price tag seemed a bit high for someone in grad school ($45/box), but the concept was so interesting that I had to know more.

I was sent a Try The World sampler box to review, which is a little different than what you would get if you signed up for the service but it gives you a great idea about what it is without giving away all the fun.  What I realized is, each box is so much more than just food! I mean this box is great because they’ve got food (of course) but they’ve also got an incredible ideas for an exotic date night or girls/guys night built into the box.

Each box comes with a booklet about the country you are touring, and this book contains all sorts of goodies.  It starts with a short explanation of what a day might be like touring that specific country, for the Turkey Culture Guide it started off “Wake up to the sound of prayer accompanied by a small but intense cup of Turkish coffee, so dark and rich it leaves sediments used to tell fortunes.”  Then it walks you through what a day touring the city might be, giving you great tidbits about the culture and tourist spots that really bring it to life.

The booklet also has playlist of Turkish music (that you can find on the Trytheworld.com website) a list of Turkish movies you can look into, poems, cultural info, and recipes you can make at home of some Turkish dishes!  Honestly I think the little booklets is nearly as amazing the food, and it gives you so many options to explore the culture from your home (or to build the perfect date/girls/guys night).

Now for the food part (again I was sent a sampler box, which had a little bit of a lot of cultures).  It was such a fun surprise to be able to sample the different food.  I don’t speak french and we didn’t know what many of the items we were sent actually were, or how they were suppose to be used, but it was a blast opening each container and taking a sniff of it, or tasting a little bit of them and figuring out what the food would be best paired with.

I’m a sucker for chocolate, especially rich dark chocolate, so the cookies and the French hot coco were especially divine!

In short, I’m sold.  And if you are looking for a great way to spice up date night, experience something new, or travel without leaving your home you’ve got to check out Try The World.  For 30% off your subscription use code: DANDY30 durning check out.

Learn More and Check Them Out:

Online / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

MaternitySale.com.au {Review & Discount}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Well, this baby keeps a-growin’ and I keep finding myself going through my maternity box of clothes and thinking, “I wore THIS?!”  I know that the first time I was pregnant four and a half years ago, I was willing to take almost anything ‘maternity’, but I have higher standards this time around!  I’m on the hunt for cute, versatile, and comfortable classics that I’ll want to wear all 9 months, after baby, and even with the next pregnancy!  I’ve found some great maternity clothes at a site called MaternitySale.com.au, and if you’re also in the belly-growing stage of motherhood, look no further for some great finds!


This time around, I’ve really been looking for staples, like this white shirt and jeans.  This is the Ruched White Maternity T-shirt and Straight Dusty Blue Maternity Jeans.  I was instantly pleased with this shirt from the moment I put it on.  It is not thin or transparent in the least, and I love not having to wear a cami underneath it.  The V-neck is flattering and not too low-cut, and as with any good maternity shirt, it has great length to allow for a belly of all sizes.  The side ruching is a subtle detail, but is great at showing off the bump while creating some interest visually.  The cap sleeves are comfortable, and the shirt feels very breathable, due to the 95% cotton component.  It is also available in black, charcoal, and purple-toned stripes.  This is a size 6 (AUS 10), and I think it is a perfect fit.  I’ll be wearing the heck out of this!


The jeans are also a favorite.  These are also a size 6 (AUS 10), and as you can see, they are a little baggy and very long, so perhaps going a size smaller would be a good recommendation.  They are still as comfortable as ever, and I love the wash.  Now, the reason I wanted these exact jeans are because they do NOT have a panel.  I’m a jeans-panel hater.  I can’t stand that huge spandex wrap that squishes all your insides even more and is supposed to keep your pants up at the same time.  No way.  Hate em.  I needed to find something under-belly with a very adjustable width, and these are just what I was hoping for.

2As you can see, there are THREE areas for adjustment that will keep these jeans close fitting, but comfortable, body hugging, and extremely adjustable.  Music to my ears!


Lastly, I’m excited to show you this killer Blue Striped Nursing Dress!  Yes, its true.  Its not just a maternity dress, and I’ll be wearing this throughout this pregnancy, and for much of the upcoming Spring/Summer as strictly a nursing dress!  Like I keep saying, you gotta love the versatility of these clothes.  This I ordered in a size 8 (AUS 12), and the larger size felt great.  Since it is so elastic and will shrink back to its original shape after washing, you don’t have to worry about your belly stretching it out, or the dress keeping its shape post-baby.


Besides being flattering, extremely comfortable, cute for Fall/Winter/Spring, and so easy to accessorize, could you even tell from the look of it that it has these ‘secret’ overlapping areas, where you can have easy access when breastfeeding?!  I’m so tickled about an outfit where I’ll be able to stay warm, concealed, and decently covered while nursing.

Buy it:

Ruched White Maternity T-shirt ($37)

Straight Dusty Blue Maternity Jeans ($73)

Blue Striped Nursing Dress ($63)

Be sure to check out their HUGE selection of adorable dresses, tops, leggings, skirts, swimwear, evening wear, nursing bras, belly bands, etc…




And now its time for that discount, as promised!  You can use the code DANDY2014 to receive a $10 discount on orders over $60.  It will expire Dec. 31st, 2014, and is one use per customer.

Make sure you follow Maternity Sale in order to keep up on sales and news!

Online Store / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.  

Anatomie Travel Clothes {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

When I’m getting ready for a trip, I start packing a full week ahead of time!  I just get so excited about the vacation, and I want to be prepared!  Often, I’m so worried about bringing the right earrings for this outfit and the right shoes for that outfit, that I don’t even think about which clothes are going to wrinkle too easily, and I have to hunt down an iron, which can be hard to do, depending on where you’ve gone, believe me!  There is nothing worse than trying to feel your best at an event with important people while wearing something horribly wrinkled!


If I could even further tailor my list of important qualities of travel clothes, it would include being extremely lightweight, fashionable, and easy to care for.  Good thing Anatomie carries travel clothing that embodies all of these!


I’m thrilled to show you two favorites from Anatomie’s collection: the Monte Carlo Top and Serena Top, sold for $175 and $195 and respectively.  Both are exquisite in design, fabric, and functionality.  Below is the Monte Carlo Top.  It is made with different layers of silky opaque and sheer layers along the front torso and long sleeves.  It is airy, breathable, high fashion, and it looks fantastic!  I wore this out on a chilly summer night and it was the perfect item: enough to keep my arms warm, without feeling too thick in the humidity.  The key is in its high-performance European textiles.  This would be an excellent travel piece to almost anywhere you want to go.  It could even be a gorgeous cover up over a swimsuit that you could take to a fancy resort or cruise.  Its easy to see why this is a best seller.  It comes in six different combinations of navy, white, black, and red.  And then, to address the obvious belly and ultrasound pictures, guess what Dandies, I’m pregnant!  Family of five, here we come!


The Serena Top is so elegant!  Does it look like I’m wearing $195?  Because it definitely feels like it.  They’ve taken the common front-lace look, and tailored it a bit at the sides, creating a slimmer silhouette, even with this baby bump.  Again, it must be the  high-performance European textiles that make this feel so smooth and breathable, yet sturdy and durable.  I love how the front is lined with a skin-tone tan, which makes it easy to pair with any color.  It is so easy to dress this up, but it could even be part of a more casual look with jeans and sunglasses.  I envision this is something that celebrities go shopping in.


I love these tops!  I’m so impressed with the fabric, style, and wearability and will be quick to give all my compliments to Anatomie.  Be sure to check out Anatomies full collection of tops, dresses, pants, and jackets, especially if you’re planning any upcoming vacations!  Be prepared with a suitcase full of things you know won’t wrinkle and will always look terrific on you!

Online Store / Facebook / Twitter

*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.  

Sprint Sound Session with Jermaine Paul and the new HTC One Device! #sponsored #MC #SprintMusic #SprintMom

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

“I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Sprint Sound Session. I received a sample of the HTC One to facilitate this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.”

You guys!  I just had a blast in NYC last weekend!  I was totally jazzed to hear about the latest new devices when it comes to music and audio with Sprint.  A few of us bloggers were wined and dined at the ritzy Lamb’s Club right off Times Square.  We had a private room where we were completely enveloped with crystal clear music and some hands-on demos with the latest and greatest from Sprint!


A few weeks ago, my toddler jammed some coins into our car’s cd player and totally fried the system.  Since then, we’ve been driving around in silence and it was absolutely killing me!!  I tried to pump up the volume on my phone to get some Pandora flowing through the car, but it just wasn’t cutting it.  I never realized how music plays a HUGE role in my life, and not only that, but excellent quality music.

With these frustrations on my mind, I was even more enthralled, sold, smitten and wooed by the new Harman Kardon speaker!  What you see below is the Harman/Kardon Onyx Studio, which is a companion to all Bluetooth devices.  It is portable, lightweight, powerful, and offers the most crystal clear music I’ve ever heard from a speaker this size.  The same technology that went into this speaker has been incorporated into the HTC One Hardman Kardon edition, which I’ve had a chance to play with over the last week!  I received this phone at no cost to facilitate this review, along with the opportunity to try out Spotify, which is just a part of the portfolio of music services that Sprint offers, including Sprint Sound Sessions, Sprint Music Plus, and NextRadio.  Visit the Sprint Music Page to learn more!


Since I’ve had this hot little phone in my hands, I’ve been taking it anywhere I can to enjoy music on the go.  Its been playing in our car replacing the lame radio stations we used to listen to, and since we live just a block from the beach, you can bet we’ve taking it to the sandy beaches a couple times already.  The sound!!  10x better than any phone I’ve used or seen.  The key is in the duo speakers (on both sides) and on the front of the phone.  The audio sound is unreal!  It can fill. the. room.  You’d never believe this kind of sound was coming from a phone.  I play this in the car and it sounds like its coming from the car speakers.  Spotify is new favorite way to get my music.  I can listen to it on any device, I can download music and still listen when I’m offline, there are no ads like Pandora, and the sound quality is supreme.  You’ve got 20 MILLION songs at your disposal.  You can visit Sprint.com/Spotify to learn more about that and how you can a few months for free!


More about the phone: This phone is valued at $679.99.  My husband can’t keep his hands off it.  He keeps saying “this is such a sexy phone”.  The gold plating and the dual speakers really get me too.  We love the premium headphones (which are priced at around $80 on their own), but have found that you really have to jam them into your ears to enjoy the sound at its fullest potential with the rich base and crisp high frequencies.  The screen is clear, bright, and rich in color with full-HD resolution.

This is my kind of phone and I will be 100% recommending this phone to my friends, specifically those who take their music seriously.

Now surely you’ve seen those odd and memorable Sprint commercials about the Framily Plan.  The hamster?  The animated birds?  Gordon?  Of course you’ve seen them.  I think the Framily Plan is a genius idea.  We’ve already played that “family plan shuffle” where we hunt for family members or friends with that 5th wheel slot open.  Currently, my husband and I are on two different family plans with other in-laws.  The Framily Plan doesn’t limit your family size to 5 for the best deal, and lets you customize your plan.  Bills are separate; everyone’s happy.  I’D be happy to be on that plan.


Ok, the cherry on top of the already fantastic day was getting to hear Jermaine Paul live!  Jermaine was Season 2 winner of The Voice, and oh does he have a voice.  Like butter.  He was literally less than 5 feet away from me, serenading us all with his original songs and charm!  What a voice!  I came home and downloaded one of his songs he sang, “Next to You”.  Current ringtone?  Maybe so.


I appreciated getting to spend time chatting with HTC and Sprint representatives at the Sound Session Event.  I loved how family-friendly the team was, how excited they were about the products, and that they all had extensive experience with them in their homes.  Sprint, you have wooed me, and I can’t get enough of this HTC One!  Thanks Sprint and Mom Central for such a great event!


Soybu {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

We’ve chatted a little bit about exercising and being healthy. Now, let’s chat about what you wear when you put that Richard Simmons tape in and sweat it out to the Oldies. What are your go to items in your closet when you’re planning to do some yoga for that day? I’ll be straight with you, because let’s face it I like sharing totally embarrassing things with you in hopes of finding someone out there who does what I do, I grab my over sized t-shirt and those oh-so-saggy-lost-their-shape-during-my-last-pregnancy pants. Maybe you feel the same, but I don’t usually feel happy, cute, or pumped when I’m dressed like that. It’s not my style, and heaven forbid I have to go to the grocery store right after a run. No one wants to see me in those work out clothes buying cookies! I was really looking for some work out clothes that made me feel like 1) working out and 2) like I didn’t have to duck and cover if I had to stop anywhere on the way home. Enter Soybu and their amazing active fashion clothing. I’m so excited to tell you about them and share with you some of their products so you can jazz up your work out too!


I really love doing yoga! I can’t do those amazing tripod headstands by any means, but I like the stretching and time to reflect it gives me. I decided to put the pieces to the test during a mini yoga session I did. I completely love the leggings! These are the Allergro Legging in Raffia. They have reinforced stitching and the waist band is wide and supportive. I always struggle with active pants because it seems most  have that super skinny elastic in the waistband and it just cuts into my waist, that is not the case here. Also, I love how I could put these under a  jean skirt any day and not a single person would know they fall into the “active wear” category.

soybucollegeI’m just in love with this top! It is the Lanai Tunic Tank in Raffia. Aside from the comfort, color, and all over cuteness (look at those straps!) I love how long the tank is and how high up the side of the tank comes under my arms. I can do these amazing stretches with out my back showing or feeling the need to pull it down. The tank stays where I put it. I feel like because the sides come up so high I have great support and coverage!


I love the straps of this tank top! Just that added bit of detail does so much. The fabric on both the top and leggings is a bit thicker than I imagined. It’s not silky like most active clothing. It is extremely stretchy; I never felt restricted during my work out. The fabric also gives me a good hold. I think it will give me enough warmth for any fall activity especially a nice bike ride too!


This jacket is the cutest! It is the Maura Pullover in Zinnia. It’s has more of the silky athletic wear feel but not quite.  Once again the detail got me! There are flowers and other cute details sewn into the top. It’s warm so I could wear it on a chilly day with any outfit and it makes for a fantastic layering piece too! There are holes on the cuff for your thumbs, which once again helps me not struggle with my clothing while I’m trying to concentrate on my peaceful time.


The founders of Soybu set out to create clothing for the “Everywoman.” They wanted to create clothing that “would transition with her throughout her day… Soybu’s versatile active wear and lifestyle pieces help women exude beauty, strength, and balance in all they do- whether they’re enjoying a solitary moment of reflection, chasing a toddler, fitting in a hardcore workout, running to catch a flight, or meeting friends for happy hour… The company creates functional, stylish clothing so the Everywoman can get ready and stay ready all day.” I whole heartedly feel this company lived up to their mission!


As soon as I tried these pieces on I immediately felt covered, comfortable, and cute! I told My Man J that I felt like I should go on a run! I never want to work out if I feel frumpy. I think it is a super important thing to feel happy and beautiful even before you walk into that ‘spinning class’ or bust a move during Zumba. These pieces help me feel that way instantly. We should get to feel beautiful all the time, right? Why not while we work out too! Not to mention that all of the pieces are additions to your wardrobe. Soybu’s new line is filled with amazing pieces like this. I know I’d feel just as amazing in all of them as I do in these. What are your thoughts on feeling good about yourself even before you exercise? I’d love to know what you think!

You should pop over and see what other fantastic pieces they have in their store!

Soybu Website/ Facebook/ Twitter

*The products in the review were provided to me free of cost for the purpose of writing this review. All opinions expressed in thie review are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.*


Picnic Time Beach Tent {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

I don’t know about you but a struggle I have these days is to find ways to beat the heat! The season for going to the beach has arrived! Well, okay it’s been here for a little while now thankfully.   Before my days as a mom I would go to the beach without a care in the world. Just show up and hang out, swim, and bask in the rays. Now, however, I can’t do that as easily. With two kiddos in tow I have to take into account their needs, and having a break from the sun is definitely one of them. This is one of the reasons I haven’t made it to the beach as often as I’d like this summer. When my kiddos face’s start turning red and need a break I need to get them out of the heat. The only trouble is that not all of the beaches around our home have pavilions to give them that break. So what’s a mom to do? Well I think Picnic Time came up with a pretty good solution, The Cove Sun Shelter!


This is what Picnic Time has to say about the Cove Sun Shelter. “The Cove Sun Shelter is portable and compact. Designed to set up in minutes, this open-front tent can be used wherever you might need protection against the sun or wind and has a UPF 50+ rating. It also has a heavy-duty floor to act as barrier to the sand, hot cement, or wet grass. A zippered mesh window allows cross-ventilation. Bring the Cove to the beach, the park, or the lake. You’ll be glad you did!” I don’t think I could’ve said it any better! The case it comes in is compact. The whole thing breaks down into a 2ft by 4 inch bag. Its light and can easily be added to your beach gear without adding bulk or weight.


I struggled with the set up a little bit. The directions consist of a couple pictures. You don’t need anymore than that, but it was just a bit awkward to set up. It’s basically a half tent. The frame is made up of two poles consisting of 7 and 8 segments. They piece together easily. My Man J was watching the boys while I gave it a go but we ended up switching jobs and he didn’t seem to have a problem with it. Once I saw how it all went together I think I’ll be able to set it up with no problem.


Once it’s all set up the dimensions of the Cove are 7 ft 10in long and 3 ft 11in deep. I’m not sure exactly how tall it was but I would guess about 4+ft. It definitely provides the coverage and the cross breeze vent is awesome! The floor is thick and sturdy. It did really well on the hot sand. I couldn’t feel the heat at all. Baby cakes came in and sat with me for a while. I’m not sure if he was trying to get out of the sun or eat the watermelon. Ha! Either way it gave us both plenty of protection.


I was really pleased with how easy it was to take down. Sometimes I feel like when you take down a tent it seems impossible to get it back into the tiny bag it came in. That was not the case at all with this. It folded up easily and went back into the case with no problem.



So let’s do a fast recap!


It gave us lots of protection from the sun.

It’s big enough for 4 of us.

The cross breeze vent let’s the breeze in (if you’re lucky enough to have a breeze).

The case is compact and light.

Take down was fast and simple.

I love the yellow color!


Set up was a bit tricky the first time, but once you get the hang of it I think it’s just fine.

All in all I really like this shelter a lot! I feel like it gives me more options on ways to beat the heat. Let’s face it I’d rather be out with these cuties taking fun pictures than inside because it’s just too hot.

Picnic Time Collage

Do you love going to the beach? Are there any beaches near your home? Or do you have to make day trips to get to your nearest one?


Connect with Picnic Time

Website/ Facebook/ Twitter

*The products in this review were provided to me free of cost for the purpose of writing this review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.*


Joovy theBabaSling {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Remember how I told you there would be an upcoming review from Joovy?  Well, well, well.  Now is the time.  First I have to take you back to the beginning of May…  If you follow us at all on Facebook then you will remember that we were vacationing in WDW at that time.  (Yes, we busted Banjo out of school to hit Disney before the crowds got crazy.)  Joovy sent us theBabaSling before we left on our trip.


I’ve always liked to do the whole baby wearing thing, so was ecstatic to take it with us on our pre summer vacation.  Plus, theBabaSling is uber chic looking, so I’d be styling.  But then I got to thinking that I wouldn’t use it all that much, because we were after all taking our Joovy Caboose stroller.  Cache would just sleep in the main seat of the stroller, Ruby would sit/stand on the platform, and Banjo would walk.  That was the plan.  And all went according to plan…


For about half of our first day in the magical world of mouse.

At first all was right in the world.  Baby Cache just road along sleeping, Ruby was more entertained by jumping off of her seat on the “train” and running around before getting back “all aboard”, and Banjo was quite content to walk along with his cousins.  Then EVERYTHING deviated from the plan!

Ruby became a hot mess and didn’t want to ride on the platform any longer.


She wanted to SLEEP.

Need I remind you that this was our very first day in the most magical kingdom on earth?  And Banjo?  Well, he grew tired of walking.  He grew tired very fast.

What happened?  Where did we go wrong?  Well, for starters we should have purchased a Joovy Big Caboose Triple stroller before heading Orlando.  That would have been the solution.  However already being in Florida when we made this discovery… We didn’t have that option.  We will definitely know for next time.  But since I had the handy, dandy BabaSling all was right again in the world!


The hammock style of the sling was perfect for carrying tiny Cache and the  comfort padding… perfect for my bum shoulder.  The shoulder I’ve had surgery on twice and I’m now a candidate for a total shoulder replacement.  What?  I’ve never told you about that before?  Yeah.  Remind me to tell you sometime all about my shoulder problem.  😉

This sling carried Cache all over the parks.

He was able to meet all the characters just like the big kids.


Can you believe that Stitch actually sports a Dandy Giveaway logo???  😉

TheBabaSling comes in sooooo many beautiful and vibrant colors.


As you can see from our vacation photos we have it in Scarlet Red.  I can’t tell you how many compliments I received on it while at WDW.  Too many to count.  One stranger just came up to me to say, “That’s a nice looking sling!”  Why, yes.  Yes it is.  🙂

Since Disney I’ve been using the BabaSling all over the place.  Particularly on the 4th of July at the lake.


It was a long day.  The BabaSling put Cache right to sleep.


It’s my hero.

*This posting and review are sponsored by Joovy, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Portable Pilates Studio from Empower {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

I feel like every day is either an “I’m really motivated to go to the gym today” or a “There’s no way I want to drag myself and the kids to the gym today” kind of day.  For days that sound more like the latter, I’m all about home gym type equipment, especially things that don’t take up prime real estate in tight quarters.  I also love equipment that comes with dvds or other instruction because if you just handed me a barbell and said “exercise”, I wouldn’t know the first thing to do, and I would get bored.


Add all this together and you can see why the Portable Pilates Studio and I are a good team.  This ‘kit’ comes from Empower, who supplies all sorts of work out equipment along with videos, many of which I’ve reviewed and all loved.

With that, here is the Portable Pilates Studio, sold for $24.99, which contains one bar with bungees and attached foot straps:


The two pieces of bar fit together very snug, and I highly doubt I’ll ever be able to get them apart again, though I think that is what the white circles are intended to help you do.  The seal is so tight and so strong that I’m not going to bother.  The contraption is very well-constructed and I don’t have a sliver of fear that this will ever come apart while in use.  The bungee cords are thick and very well secured at both ends, and the straps are large enough to fit any tennis shoe while also being totally comfortable with bare feet, which is how I’ve been using it.


For the most part, I really like this workout.  Pilates, by nature, isn’t very sweaty or aerobic from the get-go, but if you’re doing it right, a few minutes into it you’ll really feel the burn and start to sweat.  This video workout does just that.  My first time through, I found myself bugged by all the time spent sitting and listening to explanations, but I can see how the next time, I can jump straight to the exercises and get more toning in the same amount of time.


The instructor, Gin, is helpful and kind and easy to understand.  There are four different sections to this workout video, each focusing on a slightly different area.  The actions are simple and easy to follow, and provide much more of an arm workout than I anticipated.  IMG_0485If you’re a home-gymer, this is a great set!  You can purchase this on the Empower website for $24.99, along with MANY other products for all sorts of toning and exercise.

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*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.  




Tinkerbell Costumes {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

All the world’s a stage. At least in Ruby’s world it is.  She loves to dress up and do performances.  The girl dances.  She sings.  Shouts out phrases from her favorites cartoons.  All in front of an audience.  In fact our back patio is often transformed into her own personal stage.  We have a short, decorative wall just beyond our patio.  It separates the patio space from the flower bed.  Ruby climbs up onto that short wall (she learned this from her older brother) and puts on quite the show.  Notice that I keep emphasizing that it’s a short wall.  *wink*    It is.  A very short wall.  No  worries about injuries resulting from the very short wall.  Whew.  Glad I got that out of the way.  *wink* Again.

And here is Ruby performing in Tinkerbell’s Disney debut!

tink4 See what I mean?  The girl even knows when to take a bow.

Definitely thinking we need to start saving for dance lessons now!

Even the back of this Tinkerbell costume is spectacular.


As you can see Ruby also just plays dress up as the little fairy:


Yep, she’s definitely a costume fanatic.

Sometimes costumes for toddlers are difficult to find, but not at Costume Supercenter.  This dandy shop sent our Ruby the Tinkerbell costume and she has been playing dress up in it a lot.  Ruby loves Tinkerbell.  Obviously.

Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 6.43.02 PM

There are so many different costumes to choose from.  Several Tinkerbells, but also other toddler favorites:  Superheroes, animals, and a variety of cartoon characters.  It’s never too early to start shopping for Halloween, so be sure to take a look at all that Costume Supercenter has to offer.

We sure do love our little Tink.


*This posting and review are sponsored by CostumeSupercenter.com, but all opinions are strictly my own.



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