A Cordskinz Video Review

I was given the opportunity to try the new headphone/ear bud accessory, Cordskinz, and am sharing my thoughts with you!

Cordskinz video review

Cordskinz are basically removable, flexible tubes that you put over the cords of your headphones to jazz them up and keep them from getting tangled. They come in 11 different colors, and as you can see from the video below, once you get the hang of them, they’re super easy to put on (even my seven year old can do it!).

So whether you’re trying to prevent the tangling of your own cords or are tired of untangling your kids’, these are a great solution.

Check them out at Cordskinz.com.

I received free Cordskinz to try out and review, but I was not compensated and all opinions are 100% my own.

Jord Wood Watches Review and Giveaway!

I’ve always been a fan of fun accessories and jewelry, and my fall and winter wardrobes include both to add a little extra something to the neutrals and layers that I wear so often when the weather turns colder. Scarves, bracelets, earrings and watches especially make me feel pulled together and add some color or sparkle to all of my gray and black clothing. I was recently contacted to try a brand of watches that I was not so familiar with but are beautiful and unique, and I’m really excited to be able to give one of you a chance to win your own.

Jord Wood Watches are gorgeous, high quality, stylish watches made out of (you guessed it) wood! I have the Fieldcrest watch in black, and not only does it go with everything in my wardrobe, but it’s fun, very lightweight, and has just enough flash to dress up or down.

I like to stack bracelets and watches, especially in the colder months when I’m all covered up in layers, and this one goes perfectly with my simple and more elaborate bangles and cuffs.

I used the Fieldcrest watch to dress up my “last day of holiday travel” ensemble (skinny jeans, black booties, a long sleeve black t-shirt and a scarf thrown on to add a pop of color), and I think the super cute accessories take some of the attention off of the second-day hair and lack of sleep look I was sporting.

Jord Wood Watches Giveaway

I added the watch and bracelets to an already-dressed-up look, too, with a sheer black and white top, a pair of teal boyfriend trousers and the same black booties.

 

 

Jord Wood Watch giveaway

Jord Wood Watch giveaway

Cute, right?! Now it’s your turn for a chance to win your own Jord wood watch. One lucky reader will win a $120 gift certificate to put toward their own choice of wood watch, from Jord’s women’s or men’s watches selection, plus free shipping.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Getting Organized with Thirty-One Gifts

I don’t know about you, but getting organized and staying organized in my home office is a full-time job. I’ve shared tips and resources for maintaining a clean, organized home and office, but when my work gets hectic or I need to leave the house for my job and take it with me, it can get a little out of control again. Does that happen to you?

I had the opportunity to try out a couple of products from Thirty-One Gifts, designed to maintain order and organization.

Getting organized with thirty-one gifts

The Fold N’ File and Zip Top Organizing Utility Tote are made to fit together, so you can easily pack away your files, forms, information, etc and take them with you. My job is such that I work from home most of the time, but make visits to local high schools for testing, enrollment, and things like that. So, I have booklets, forms, files and paperwork to carry with me sometimes that I need to have easy access to as soon as I get home and can enter data into the computer.

The two fit perfectly together…I can fill the Fold N’ File and slip it into the tote to take with me. It zips right over the top so I don’t have to worry about anything spilling out in the car, and the tote has pockets all around the outside for my pens, keys, phone, and whatever else I need to take along.

Getting organized with thirty-one gifts

Getting organized with thirty-one gifts

What I love most about Thirty-One Gifts products is that not only can you personalize and customize them with colors, prints, and embroidery, but they’re made to last. I will never worry about a strap breaking as I’m carrying my tote into a school, because they’re so durable and well-made.

Along with the Fold N’ File and Organizing Totes, there are a lot of products available for travel, organization, the kitchen, laundry room…anything you need, you can find something that fits the bill.

I also received a super fun tote for Halloween, featuring glow in the dark embroidery and an adorable owl. I chose the hot pink zip-top tote from the Spirit Collection, but there are several other products (available only through October 31!) that you can design with the special Owl-loween embroidery, including the perfect trick-or-treat bags to last for years. Did I mention it glows in the dark?

Getting organized with thirty-one gifts

 

Getting organized with thirty-one gifts

I’ll be taking mine to the school Halloween parties to carry all of my games and treats, and as my purse when we trick-or-treat. But…I’ll keep using it after October because it’s so darn cute.

Thirty-One Gifts not only offers great products, but they also have an amazing work-at-home opportunity available for women…a complete $400+ enrollment kit is only $99 to get a business started, and consultants make up to four times more than the average direct seller.

They also give back to the community through Thirty-One Gives. If you’ve ever placed an order, you’ve seen the chance to round up your total to the next dollar for charity. I love that, because it’s so easy and doesn’t take a lot out of my budget, but it helps.

Check out Thirty-One Gifts on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and browse their site to see the amazing products and opportunity they offer.

I received the Fold N’ File, Zip Top Organizing Utility Tote and Owl-loween Zip Top Organizing Utility Tote for review, but received no compensation. All opinions are 100% my own.

Non-Toxic Cleaning With Bona

I received products for review, but no compensation. And as always, all opinions are 100% my own. 

The more I learn about the amount of toxic chemicals in our cleaning products and the instances of cancer and other diseases in the people I know and love, the more I associate one with the other. I personally don’t want to fill my home, clean my floors, and wash my dishes and clothes with chemicals that could actually be making my family sick rather than healthier. So when I went to the BlogHer blogging conference this summer, I was very excited to stop and talk with a representative from Bona, a line of more natural cleaning products and hardwood floor systems.

bona products

I’d already been using several of Bona’s cleaners in my home, and love them. The hardwood floor mop is the tool I use to clean all of our floors (we don’t have any carpet here), with its washable microfiber cloth and spray bottle attachment. Just like those other brands you see in every store, the Bona mop is easy and convenient to pull out of the closet and clean the floors with, quickly and effectively. Unlike those other mop systems, the Bona cleaner doesn’t use harsh chemicals to do so.

The only thing that would make the mop system more convenient is disposable pads to stick on the bottom of the mop and toss when you’re done. So imagine my delight when the Bona representative at the conference told me about their new cleaning pads for the mop! Again, the cleaning pads are just as convenient as the “regular” brand at the store, but they contain Bona’s non-toxic cleaning solution AND they contain 75% less plastic for the landfill. Awesome, right? When I tested a disposable pad out on my mop, I’ll be honest….my floors hadn’t been cleaned in a while. But one pad cleaned the floors of our three most high traffic rooms (kitchen, living room, and dining room) and it cleaned them well. I didn’t hurt my back scrubbing the spots off the floors (you know what I’m talking about). When I don’t have time to do a super thorough whole-house floor cleaning with the spray, these cleaning pads absolutely will do.

I also had the opportunity to try out the Wood Furniture Polish. Again, I’m just going to be honest here. Our dining room table has seen better days. Like, before-we-had-four-kids days. Our table is used for eating (obviously), but it’s also used for crafts, homework, LEGO building, glitter-gluing, etc etc etc. Usually, it looks, shall we say….not so pretty. It’s often dull and covered with breakfast crumbs, glue spots, stuck paper pieces, glitter globs, and marker marks. Like this:

bona before

bona before2

But the furniture polish (again, non-toxic, no harsh chemicals to ruin this wood that has been in the family for years and years) was able to remove all of the paper and glue and shine it up like new. It couldn’t remove the Sharpie marker marks, but I’m not sure anything could:

bona 1bona 2

Bona’s cleaners are GREENGUARD Gold Certified, meaning that they have been tested for their environmental impact and will not harm the air we breathe with toxic chemicals or particulates. In other words, they’ve gotten a third party seal of approval for being low on the scale of harmful to the environment as a whole, and especially the air. I don’t want my kids and pets to be walking around our house and getting toxins through their bare feet from the “clean” floor, or breathing in harmful fumes. Do you?

I’m a Bona for customer for life now.

 

You can find Bona cleaning products and professionals by entering your zip code here. And by going to the Bona website, you can sign up for special coupons.

The Secret Society Hidden Mystery Game

I became a stay-at-home-mom almost nine years ago when my oldest was born, and having been working freelance writing jobs and keeping up with two websites since then. But I recently started a part time job, mostly from home, that involves coordinating a lot of people and juggling a lot of balls in the air. I need to be able to focus in order to not drop any balls, not miss any deadlines or forget about what I should be asking and answering of everyone, but after days of doing that, I also need to be able to turn my mind off and relax. A game I recently discovered, called The Secret Society Hidden Mystery game from G5 Entertainment, is helping me do both of those things.

In the game, you play as the nephew of a man that has disappeared in order to protect the “Seekers.” The story goes that he was part of a Secret Society called the Order of the Seekers that can do magic. He took pictures but had to destroy them so whomever he was trying to disappear from wouldn’t find the pictures and discover clues to his whereabouts. But, your job as his nephew is to take his place in the Order and put those pictures back together to figure out where he is.

Basically, the game is a series of puzzles. You earn coins, experience points, tools, and energy from solving the puzzles, which give you clues and unlock other puzzles.

Secret Society: helping moms relax

For example, there’s a picture of a Christmas scene. You can unlock it after you’ve found specific objects in other puzzles and earned a certain number of coins. The first thing you have to do is put the picture back together that your uncle has torn apart.

Secret Society: helping moms relax

Secret Society: Helping moms relax

Once you’ve done that, you can “Research” the scene to find hidden objects and earn goodies. The more you play a certain scene or puzzle, the more you earn and the further you advance in the game.

Secret Society:helping moms relax

 

There are also other puzzles, like matching games and brain teasers, and those are my favorite. This isn’t a game that I would normally ever even look for, let alone download. I didn’t even have games on my phone until now….I would normally just kill time on Facebook or Instagram. But I find myself relaxing at the end of the day by playing Secret Society for a few minutes at a time, looking for hidden binoculars or trying to turn the pipes so they line up or matching cards to each other. It actually feels really good to use my brain in this way, and I’m finding that when I am working my job during the day, I’m better able to remember things and stay focused on what I’m doing.

The game is free to download, and you can earn tools and other helpful things by playing solving puzzles or making in-app purchases of coins and crystals to speed up your progress. I’ve become hooked on the hidden object adventure game and look forward to spending a few minutes on it here and there every day.

The Secret Society – Hidden Mystery is available to download for iOS, Android, Kindle/Kindle Fire, Windows 8, and Mac.

I received credits for in-app purchases in the game, but was not compensated otherwise for my review. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

 

Hannah, Delivered Book Review

When I picked up Hannah, Delivered, I didn’t know what I was getting into. I thought the book, about a woman who works in a hospital and decides to start assisting births and eventually become a midwife, might be a little dry or a little too historical. I was so wrong. The author, Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew, took me into this new world along with Hannah, and we both learned so much about the politics, finances and emotions surrounding natural, home-based childbirths.

Hannah, Delivered: A review

The book’s description, from the publisher:

Late one night in a busy St. Paul hospital, a nurse midwife drags Hannah Larson out from behind her reception desk to assist with a birth. When Hannah witnesses that baby tumble into the world, her secure, conventional life is upended by a fierce desire to deliver babies. So begins Hannah’s journey away from her comfort zone. In a midwifery apprenticeship in New Mexico, she befriends a male midwife, defends a teenage mom, and learns to trust women’s bodies, then moves back to Minnesota to start her own birth practice. Hannah’s need to stay safe proves both an asset and a liability: homebirth isn’t legal in Minnesota in the 1990’s. To deliver healthy babies, Hannah risks jail time, her community’s respect, and her career. The key to unlocking her fear rests in one birth—her own.

Hannah, Delivered tells the story of how inexplicable passion, buried strength, and professional skill deliver one woman from fear into a rich and risk-filled life.

I was pulled into Hannah’s story, the stories of her mentors, and the stories of the mothers she assisted in birth. I ended up investing in these women (and a few men) more than I expected, and by the end of the book, I wished (after a labor including an epidural, and three c-sections) that I could have another baby just to experience the magic, the adrenaline, and the intensity that is a natural childbirth.

I loved this book much more than I expected to, because honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. Pick up your own copy of Hannah, Delivered, and read about the love, excitement, and exhaustion that a mother and midwife feel with the birth of a brand new baby…at home.

Links are affiliate links. I received a copy of the book to review, but all opinions are 100% my own.

Smile Brilliant LED Teeth Whitening System Review and #Giveaway

I’m always wishing my teeth were whiter (I mean, who doesn’t unless you spend a load of money on professional whitening regularly?). The drugstore strips and polishes always work okay, but they’re kind of a hassle and nothing compared to getting a (pricey) kit from the dentist.

I was excited to try the Smile Brilliant LED Teeth Whitening kit, because it comes with an LED light, just like the dentists use, to accelerate the whitening process and bring it up a notch.

Smile Brilliant LED Teeth Whitening giveaway and review

The instructions say that you should see the maximum whitening/stain removing in 5-7 days. (It will not change the color of your teeth but it will remove stains that have accumulated from coffee drinking, wine, aging, etc). I used it for the full seven days, and I do feel like my teeth are quite a bit brighter. It’s hard to tell exactly how much whiter they are (without those handy shade guides the dentists use) but I am really happy with the way my smile looks after using the system.

You only need to shine the LED light on your teeth (that you’ve put the whitening gel on) for 20-45 minutes, and if you want, you can keep the teeth protectors and gel on for several additional hours. I never did that…I rinsed the gel off and brushed my teeth as soon as the LED time was up, because I started to get that extra saliva in my mouth and I wanted to spit it out.

I did all of the applications in the evening after the kids went to bed. You’re supposed to brush the gel on your teeth with the pen (I just did my front few teeth, the ones you can see when I smile), put the plastic protector over the teeth and under the lips, then turn on the LED light and stick that under your lips over the protector.

The first night, I held the light in my mouth with my hand for 20 minutes and after that, I was ready to take it out. By the third night, I was able to stick it under my lips and walk around wthout using my hands to hold it in, making lunches and getting ready for the next day without it bothering me a bit. And most of those subsequent days, I left it in for the full 45 minutes.

The whole system actually is pretty easy to use. Like I said, it took a day or so to get used to having the light plus the gel in my mouth, but after that, I hardly noticed it (and I’m not exagerrating when I say I’ve always had a pretty bad gag reflex).

Compared to even just a teeth cleaning at the dentist (let alone a professional whitening kit), the price of the system is really reasonable. I didn’t even use an entire gel pen for the week, though the instructions say that you’ll need more.

The only thing difficult about the system was that the LED light was sometimes a little hard to turn off. But, with some hard pressing on the button, it always shut off after I few tries. Nothing I couldn’t deal with.

Smile Brilliant LED Teeth Whitening kit review and giveaway

 

You can find the LED system, plus other kits at the Smile Brilliant website.

But, I also have a Smile Brilliant LED Teeth Whitening kit (with one gel pen included) to giveaway to a lucky reader! The giveaway will be open for seven days, and it is open to US, UK, AU, and Canadian residents.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received an LED Teeth Whitening Kit to review but was given no other compensation. All opinions/experiences are 100% my own.

The Good Mother Myth Book Review

The Internet has brought me so many new friends: bloggers, people with similar interests, etc. But, it also has a way of making me feel “less than” especially as a mother. Every day, there’s a new list or headline about things that you SHOULD be doing for your kids, or SHOULD NOT be doing for them. And behind the cloak of social media, it’s easy to be judged by other mothers (or non-mothers) who read something, out of context, and think they could be doing it (parenting your kids) better. Or, only sharing the good stuff and neglecting to mention the “real stuff”, making it seem as though they have it all together. Because of all of this, I was thrilled to open up The Good Mother Myth, because reading the book, I instantly felt like I was “good enough” as a mom….there were others just like me, sometimes struggling to get through the day and successfully past bedtime.

The Good Mother Myth book review

The Good Mother Myth is a collection of essays that takes a “realistic look at motherhood” and provides “a platform for diverse voices and raw stories.” They are meant to take apart the idea of this fairy tale “good mother”….reflecting on “stereotypes and expectations and offers some truth about what it means to be a mother today.”

One area that is hot with contention is food allergies….parents whose kids don’t have them sometimes think that they shouldn’t have to work around the kids that do. Parents whose kids do have them feel like their kids aren’t safe at school during parties, or are exhausted from making sure that their kids do have safe foods there. One story, called Parenting Without A Rope, is told by a mom whose daughter has a severe milk allergy and almost died from her mistakes more than once. It shows just how stressful, exhausting, and precarious an allergy like that can be.

No More Fakebook shows a real Saturday in the life of a mother vs a “Facebook Saturday”… a hilarious play by play of real life not seen in Facebook statuses. My favorite line from the essay “Instead of pretending that everything is hunky-freaking-dory, let’s be real: Parenting is ridiculously hard.” Amen to that…it’s easy to wrap up your life in a happy little bow for all of your “friends” online, but it’s another to show what’s really going on.

Failure To Launch tells the story of the first days with a newborn without that blissful bonding feeling, an effect of postpartum depression, and a mother’s struggle to claw her way out of it and really see her sweet son for the deliciously lovable bundle that he really was.

The book, compiled and edited by Avital Norman Nathman, also shares stories from single mothers, lesbian mothers, teen mothers, adoptive mothers, mentally ill mothers, and the one thing they all have in common is that they are, in fact, good mothers.

Pick up a copy of The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood to Fit Reality on Amazon, or check out more information on goodmothermyth.com.

Amazon link is an affiliate. I was given a copy of the book to review but received no other compensation. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Mini Pig Lovers, Love PigGear

logo

Mini pig lovers, love PigGear.  I am a Mommy to a wonderful mini pig named Ernest.  He has been part of our family for several years now but he is still our baby, which means I spoil him rotten. 

Recently I stumbled upon this amazing small business that truly is a one women show.  Brenda Dupler is an Owner/Designer/Seamstress of PigGear.  PigGear is a website where you can go to spoil your pet.  Handmade Harnesses, Blankets, Cover-Ups, Jewelry and more.  Along with tons of links, blogs, and information on training and caring for your pet. 

  Ernie Harness2

Over the years I have bought several harnesses for Ernie but they would slip off or dig into the skin under his arms, basically they never fit right.  And it was always a fight to get him into them.  With PigGear I was able to get a customized leash and harness that was made for him, not for a dog.  Made with layers of soft flannel the harness is strong but doesn’t cut into him like the nylon did.   

And through PigGear I was able to find an amazing instructional video on how to harness train your pig.  When I first saw the video I didn’t believe it could be that easy.  But it only took 15 minutes of training and Ernie was running around in his new harness with out a care in the world.  He has even been taking naps with it on.  

  Ernie Harness

I enjoy shopping small business.  Finding someone who is skilled in there trade and who take’s pride and enjoys what they do.  So if you or someone you know has or plans on having a mini pig, PigGear is where its at.

Disclosure ~ Today’s Work at Home Mom received products to facilitate a review. All opinions and thoughts on these products are 100% ours.

A Prize in Every Candle

prizecandle1

An amazing smelling and burning candle is what most people want when they spend money on candles, but when you get that, and a prize to boot then that means you have one heck of a product on your hands.

Prize Candles are all of the above.

Being a candle maker myself I am very picky about how a candle burns, the scent throw, and the type of wax it is made out of.  Well, I have to say on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best I give these candles an 8.  The only reason I didn’t give them a full 10 is because the only part I am not fully sold on is the prize. All the candles have rings in them, and the rings are supposed to be worth anywhere from $10 and up.  Well, once you retrieve the ring from the candle you go to the website and input your code that you find with the ring and then you find out what the ring is worth.

So, the first ring I dug out was only valued at $10 according to the website appraisal page.
It was a cute ring, but the picture is fuzzy. This candle is the Orange Blossom.

20130517_111750 20130517_112033

So,  even though I was not impressed with the ring, the candle burned good and smelled good and that is more what I care about.

So, onto candle number 2.  This was a French Brulee, and smelled so good!!  Here is the ring from this candle.  It is not my taste at all in rings, and according to the site it is valued at $100.   Well, I find that very hard to believe because I couldn’t get $1 for it at a garage sale. So, I am not sure how they figure out what the rings are worth.   To me, both rings looked the same, like costume jewelery.

prizecandle2

Just because I don’t really get the whole “jewelery in a candle” concept doesn’t mean others don’t. Non the less, it is a great candle so if you like to find fun goodies in your candles I do recommend them.

Or, you can enter my giveaway and win yourself one.

PC_IslandParadise_1_grande

Enter to win an Island Paradise candle.

Giveaway Ends July 18, 2013 at 11:59 pm central time.

Disclaimer ~ Today’s Work at Home Mom received product to facilitate a review.
All opinions are 100% Today’s Work at Home Mom’s.