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How to Buy a Memory Foam Mattress [& 5 Reasons Why You Should!]


Ready to upgrade your traditional mattress? Here are tips on how to buy a memory foam mattress and 5 reasons you SHOULD upgrade today!

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

I knew I wanted a new mattress but I had no idea where to start. How did I know I needed a new mattress? Well, when you wake up in the morning and you hurt all over and your back won’t even straighten when you try to walk away from the bed… it’s a big sign. I’m just 34 years old and I’m NOT ready to feel like that every single morning.

So I knew I needed a new mattress, but that was as far as I had gotten into my decision. A quick search of Google let me know that memory foam mattresses were very highly recommended so I went straight to the top reviewed companies which is where I found Yogabed. I knew I couldn’t go smaller than our traditional king size spring mattress so when Yogabed agreed to send a king size mattress for review I was extremely excited and ready to see if I could sleep comfortably once again!

Our Yogabed arrived in just about a week. The FedEx driver put the box in our garage but I had to wait until my husband came home to get it upstairs. The king size mattress box is very heavy so be sure to have some help. I wanted to do the unboxing myself, but I definitely advise you to get some help as you’ll see in the unboxing video below I could have used some myself! All in all, though, unboxing our Yogabed wasn’t that hard and was totally worth it in the end.

During my research I read two things to expect after unboxing a memory foam mattress. One was that there could be some odor with the mattress and the second was the fact that you shouldn’t sleep on the mattress for 48 hours so it can full expand and decompress. This is NOT TRUE with Yogabed and was a huge plus for me. There was no way I wanted to wait two full days before I slept on our new mattress!

The Yogabed is made up of 4 layers: 1″ Yoga Instant Response Foam™, 2″ YogaGel™ Cooling Memory Foam, 5″ Breathable High Density Foam Base, and a 2″ Super Support Foam Base making it a 10 inch memory foam mattress. I took this picture within 10 minutes of fully removing all the plastic. Within 10 minutes it was already within 1/2 inch of the full height!

As far as smell, I did notice a bit but it was definitely not overwhelming. I set up the mattress in the morning and with my Venta Airwasher running all day in my bedroom, the smell was gone by the time we were ready to go to sleep.

I know you want to know why I think you’ll not only want to upgrade your traditional spring mattress, but why you need to upgrade your mattress to a Yogabed memory foam mattress. Here are 5 reasons why!

If you experience Costochondritis or other health issues related to laying or sleeping.

I started experiencing chest pain and back/shoulder pain about 2 years ago. I immediately ruled out heart related issues with my doctor but could not find the root of the problem. Thankfully after lots of tests and exams she diagnosed me with Costochondritis. I learned that sleeping positions and mattress support definitely affected my health during this whole period and vowed to make lifestyle changes to help deal with the issue.

I’m SO happy to report that I have been waking up with no pain at all – in my shoulder, back or chest. Now, I’m not saying a mattress can cure health issues, but the support that the Yogabed provides is so much better than our traditional spring mattress provided.

If you want better sleep.

And really, who doesn’t? Did you know that you’ll spend about 26 years of your life sleeping?!? You really want that time to be comfortable to make the other 2/3 of your life better. The Yogabed is made up of cooling memory foam and instant response foam that completely conforms to your body and provides the support just where you need it. When you find the right mattress for you, you will sleep better. I know because I am now!

If you have a squeaking bed.

Oh my goodness the amount of creaks and squeaks we have in our house is unreal. We live in a 1920’s Queen Anne home with original hardwood floors that make it absolutely impossible to tiptoe anywhere. While those squeaks are annoying, there’s no squeak that annoys me more than a spring mattress and box springs. I love the quietness of the Yogabed. There’s no squeaking at all which leads me to…

If you’re constantly waking up your partner.

Between the squeaking and movement of the mattress every time we rolled over, one of us was constantly waking up the other. Any time my husband tossed, I would toss. And we tossed a lot because our spring mattress was uncomfortable. Now I don’t feel him move in the bed at all!

If you need new pillows.

I didn’t think we needed new pillows, but now that I have experienced the Yogabed memory foam pillows, I’ll never use any others. They are incredibly supportive and work great for me as I sleep on both my my back and side. Each full size Yogabed or larger comes with 2 FREE memory foam pillows worth $190 for the pair!

While I didn’t know much about how to buy a memory foam mattress in the beginning, I learned a lot through the process and I want to share some of those tips with you!

How to Buy a Memory Foam Mattress

The first step in buying a memory foam mattress is to decide if you’ll buy in store or online.

I tend to find the best deals online. I find that brands and mattresses are easier to research and I can find reviews from consumers just like me. Plus, in a store laying on a bed for maybe 2 minutes doesn’t really tell you much, does it?!

I also love the fact that when you buy online, your mattress is delivered. This can be a huge pro depending on what type of car you have as our king size Yogabed box would have been too large to fit into a small trunk. Plus they offer free shipping to your door on that huge box too!

Know your size and what height you want your bed to be.

You’ll definitely want to know what size of mattress you prefer. After sleeping on a king size mattress for 8 years, I knew I didn’t want to go back down to a queen. It was also important to look at the height of a mattress compared to the platform bed you choose. While you can use a memory foam mattress on traditional box springs, we decided to upgrade to a wood platform.

Wood Platform Bed for Memory Foam Mattress

I purchased this platform bed frame from Amazon for two reasons – the reviews were great and the height was just what we wanted to compliment our 10 inch Yogabed memory foam mattress.

You’ll also want to know what firmness you prefer in a mattress.

Memory foam is a material that compresses in reaction to pressure and distributes that weight across its surface. The key benefits of memory foam include pressure relief, support for natural alignment, and very importantly… durability. While Yogabed and most companies don’t offer different types of firmness within their brand, some beds are known to be more firm than others. Be sure to do your research.

Know the differences in companies and mattresses.

You’ll also want to research other things about brands, whether it’s online or in store and know what differences there are between companies. A couple of things to keep in mind about Yogabed is their memory foam mattress are made in the USA.

Another significant difference with Yogabed is their removable, machine-washable mattress cover. While I haven’t had to take mine off yet, it does look very simple to remove with the easy-glide zipper.

One last thing to consider when buying a memory foam mattress is a company’s warranties and trial periods.

Yogabed offers a 10 year warranty on their memory foam mattresses and an amazing 365 day trial period.

We’ve been sleeping on our Yogabed king size memory foam mattress for just about 3 weeks now and my only regret is that I didn’t get one sooner! Stay tuned as I’ll be sharing another post on our experience with Yogabed in the next few months to see how it’s holding up and if we’re still as happy with it as we are within the first month!

Yogabed memory foam mattresses are available on their website right now as well as on Amazon.com. The King size mattress retails for $974. Be sure to follow Yogabed on Facebook and instagram to be in the know about all sales and discounts.

Join This Safeway Panel & Earn Amazon Gift Cards


This is a sponsored post. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

 

This is a sponsored post. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

If you purchase the majority of your households groceries, Safeway wants to hear from you! Those who qualify for membership will be invited to join this exclusive virtual community as Safeway Advisors.

See if you qualify today: http://bit.ly/2qpb3qV

Safeway has partnered with C Space to create a private online community, for people like you, to give feedback and influence their product and service decisions. The goal of the this Safeway community is for Safeway to gain a greater understanding of the needs and challenges consumers face and to help them decide where improvements can be made to enhance the purchasing experience for consumers.

Selected members will be asked to give their opinions and impressions on a variety of interesting lifestyle and food topics. Your feedback will be heard by Safeway executives and will make a difference!

Grocery Store

BENEFITS FOR MEMBERS:

  • Fast and Easy – Share your opinions in just 5-10 minutes a week
  • Influence – Your ideas will inspire change and new service developments. How cool is that?
  • Learn New Things – Tips & tricks and more with other people as excited about food as you are
  • Earn Rewards – Make your opinions worth something and earn rewards Amazon gift codes

Membership is by invitation only and spots are filling up fast for the Safeway community, so take this quick survey today to see if you qualify: http://bit.ly/2qpb3qV

5 Reasons I Buy Organic Foods at Walmart


While the super store might not be the first to come to your mind when it comes to shopping organic, it definitely should be and here’s the reasons I buy organic foods at Walmart.

5 reasons I buy organic food at Walmart

This post has been sponsored by Stonyfield Organic. All opinions are my own.

It’s no secret that I live in a very rural area of East Tennessee. I’ve shared that fact quite a few times and it always comes up when I talk about choosing green and organic options for my family. It’s true that most of our grocery stores are just now starting to carry organic products and alternative food choices like gluten and vegan options.

While I’ve been aware of the foods my family should and shouldn’t be eating for awhile now, it seems that a lot of people in my small town are just now starting to have the non-GMO conversation. It’s just not talked about here, or didn’t used to be, like in larger cities. In fact, I didn’t really know anything about the subject myself until I saw the documentary Food Inc. I shared in my post, 14 Surprising Things that I Learned on My First Organic Farm Tour, that Mr. Gary Hirshberg [co-founder of Stonyfield Organic] was, in fact, the main reason I decided to go mainstream green with my family’s food and product choices.

Stonyfield YoKids Collage

While shopping at specialty health stores is great for some, most of America [believe it or not] do not always have those resources. Today I’m here to say that you can totally join the green lifestyle without shopping at those types of stores and here are the 5 main reasons that I buy my family’s organic foods at Walmart.

Availability

The closest specialty grocery store to me is about an hour drive. The closest Whole Foods is closer to 2 hours. That’s just not a possibility for us on a regular basis when our local Walmart is just 5 minutes away. I actually prefer our Walmart to other local grocery stores because of their organic selection, which leads me to reason number two…

Choices

We haven’t always had lots of organic choices at our local Walmart. As I said, it seems to really have started to happen in just the last year or two. But I am SO glad it has and that our community is starting to regularly buy these products so they are re-stocked often and with even more choices.

Stonyfield Organic yogurt choices at Walmart

Our selection of Stonyfield Organic yogurts has continued to grow this past year as well, even outside the usual YoKids line.

Organic Store Brands

I am SO excited about that Walmart has been creating their own line of organic products. When I’m sticking with a fairly strict budget, I often buy store brands like Walmart’s Great Value brand and to have organic options like this is a great way to stick to a budget while still choosing organic for my family.

Coupons

Walmart is definitely open to coupons and even price matching. This is a great way for saving money on organic food. You can find some great coupon resources in my How to Buy Organic post. Here’s a hint for getting great savings on Stonyfield… be sure to sign up for their newsletter to receive coupons sent straight to your inbox!

Price

Let’s face it – price often drives the products we choose. While it’s easy to say “organic is better for you” there are families that simply think they can’t afford organic products. Companies like Stonyfield are working to change that perception. As I said, that’s one of the main reasons that I started buying Stonyfield products years ago. I remember seeing Mr. Hirshberg’s interview and how important it was that every family have access to his premium brand. That in itself is the main basis of my blog… making green easy and accessible to everyone!

20 July 4th Snack Ideas Everyone Will Love


Are you throwing a Freedom Fiesta? In the mood for red, white, and blue treats? These July 4th snack ideas are perfectly patriotic for any kind of party or celebration!

Red White and Blue Snacks and Treats for July 4th Party

I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Summer is right around the corner and one of my favorite things to do during the warmer months of the year is entertain. I love inviting family and friends over for back yard cookouts and BBQs. Even better is when you are celebrating something special like Independence Day! Of course these July 4th snack ideas are good for showing patriotic pride any time of the year too!

I’ve got 20 fun snack ideas that all your party guests will love – no matter their age. Plus it’s easy to decorate your outdoor festivities with patriotic party supplies from DollarTree.com. I love to shop online for supplies because it’s so much easier than shopping with kids in tow, plus you can get fabulous deals on bulk orders at Dollar Tree.

These red and blue star plates would be perfect for serving these July 4th snacks on and what better centerpiece could you find than these!?

20 July 4th Snack Ideas

Patriotic Chocolate Chip Cookies from Kleinworth & Co.

Red, White, and Blue Cake Pops from Craft Create Cook

Red White and Blue Popsicles

Check out my fun Red White and Blue Popsicles made with fresh, frozen fruit and yogurt. These are so yummy and so festive!

Patriotic Candy Bark from Amanda’s Cookin’

4th of July Fruit Kabobs from Eating on a Dime

 July 4th Oreo Pops

Patriotic Oreo Pops from Happiness is Homemade

No Bake Flag Dessert from The Country Chic Cottage

American Flag Donuts from The First Year

Fireworks Jello Cups from Oh My! Creative

Red White and Blue July 4th Snack Ideas

Patriotic Easy Fudge from Peas & Peonies

Easy Peasy Patriotic Snack Mix from Teaspoon of Goodness

Patriotic Popcorn from Somewhat Simple

Firecracker Patriotic Cutout Cookies from Tikkido

Red, White, and Blue Mousse Parfait from The Jenny Evolution

Firecracker Cupcakes - July 4th Snack Ideas

Patriotic Firecracker Cupcakes from Mom Endeavors

4th of July Marshmallow Pinwheels from Home Cooking Memories

Patriotic Rice Krispie Treat Pops from Baking Beauty

Novelty Patriotic SunglassesNovelty Patriotic SunglassesSquare Patriotic Paper Plates, 9 in., 14-ct. PacksSquare Patriotic Paper Plates, 9 in., 14-ct. PacksStar-Shaped Patriotic Paper Plates, 12-ct. PacksStar-Shaped Patriotic Paper Plates, 12-ct. PacksPlastic Patriotic Flag Banners & BuntingsPlastic Patriotic Flag Banners & Buntings

Star Spangled Ice Cream Sandwiches from Savvy Sassy Moms

No Bake Patriotic Hot Fudge Cheesecake Trifles from Recipe Girl

Patriotic Pretzel Rods from Scrappy Geek

Snack and Treats for July 4th

Get Ready for Summer with a Backyard Discovery Swing Set Giveaway


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This post may contain affiliate links.

With summer right around the corner, it’s time to get outdoors with the whole family! Need some motivation to get those kids off the couch and into the backyard? Look no further than Backyard Discovery’s wooden swing sets. Amber at Viva Veltoro recently shared how their new swing set is bringing her family together and building her kids’ relationship with each other. We’ve teamed up with some of our favorite bloggers to give away a Mount McKinley Wooden Swing Set from Backyard Discovery!

Here are some details about the swing set from Backyard Discovery’s website:

A towering tribute constructed for the most daring of little tike climbers: the Mount McKinley. Whether they scale the rock climbing wall, scramble up the step ladder, or pull themselves up the rope ladder, your kids will feel like they reached the highest peaks on the deck of this play set. You don’t need an off-road vehicle to feel like you’re cruising along the Rockies — the open wooden plank structure of the upper outdoor playhouse, along with its bright green tarp roof, telescope and steering wheel, transport every imagination to a mountain range oasis. Taking a quick slide back down from the summit, you’ll store your nature souvenirs in the toy storage box and then finish your adventure on the belt swings or swing trapeze bar.

Backyard Discovery Montpelier All Cedar Wood Playset Swing SetBackyard Discovery Montpelier All Cedar Wood Playset Swing SetKids Outdoor Playground Includes Trampoline, Swings and SlideKids Outdoor Playground Includes Trampoline, Swings and SlideCedar Wood Swingset, Climbing Wall, Sand Box. 2 Swings, Chalk Wall & MoreCedar Wood Swingset, Climbing Wall, Sand Box. 2 Swings, Chalk Wall & MoreBackyard Discovery Prairie Ridge All Cedar Wood Playset Swing SetBackyard Discovery Prairie Ridge All Cedar Wood Playset Swing Set

The Mount McKinley is made from 100% cedar. With small, tight knot structure, your lumber will be less likely to develop small cracks emanating from knots.

Features:

  • Airy upper discovery kid fort covered by colorful green tarp with telescope and steering wheel
  • 8’ kids slide
  • Two belt swings and one swing trapeze bar
  • Rock climbing wall, step ladder and rope ladder
  • Assembled dimensions: 15-‘6″ L x 12′-6″ D x 9’-11″ H
  • Maximum children: 9
  • Lumber pre-cut, pre-drilled, pre-stained, and tested for durability
  • Instruction manual included
  • Includes all wood, hardware, swings, slide, as shown in picture
  • Provide a six-foot perimeter around the swing set as a safety zone

Assembly is not included. Our lucky winner can choose to install it or can hire someone to build it. We suggest getting a quote for installation from GoConfigure.

Open to the continental US only, ages 18 and up. Ends on May 23rd at 11:59 PM EST.
Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below. Good Luck!

Disclosure: One winner will be randomly selected using the Giveaway Tools random selector and notified via email. Once notified, the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Google. Void where prohibited. Amazon links are affiliate links. Assembly not included.

Everything You Need to Know About Dollywood Season Passes


Are you visiting Dollywood soon and can’t decide on what type of ticket or pass to buy? Here’s the scoop on everything you need to know about Dollywood Season Passes!

Everything You Need to know about Dollywood Season Passes

It’s a question that I often get asked as a Dollywood Insider – should I invest in buying a season pass? Locals know that a season pass is always the way to go, but what if you’re just visiting for a few days? Is it still worth buying a season pass? Today I’m going to tell you everything you need to know!

What types of Dollywood Season Passes are there?

There are a few different types of Dollywood season passes, which might confuse you at first glance, but don’t let it. They keep things super simple.

  • Dollywood Season Pass – This pass will get you into Dollywood as many times as you’d like for the entire season [this year Dollywood was open from March 17th and will close January 1st.]
  • Dollywood’s Splash Country Season Pass – This pass will get you into Splash Country as many times as you’d like for the entire water park season [May 13th – September 4th].
  • Super Pass – This type of season pass gets the passholder into BOTH parks unlimited amount of times throughout the season.
  • Gold Pass [can be for Dollywood, Splash Country, or Super Pass] – The gold standard of season passes. This gets you unlimited visits to the park of your choice or both with the Gold Super Pass and comes with an array of extra benefits that we’ll discuss below.

Benefits of Dollywood Season Passes:

In addition to unlimited visits to the parks for the entire season, there are many other great benefits of purchasing Dollywood season passes that include:

  • Exclusive ride times on select attractions – Every Saturday season pass holders can get into the park one hour early and one attraction will be open for exclusive ride access.
  • Friends & Family Discount – $5 off regular 1-Day admission for friends to the Season Pass’ respective Park; Passholder must be present and purchase.
  • 20% off Dollywood Cabins overnight accommodations (Passholder only); Subject to availability; for reservations, call Dollywood at 866-857-2123.

Exclusive Benefits to Gold Season Passes:

  • FREE Parking every operating day for either park. This is a HUGE benefit as it costs $12 to park at Dollywood.
  • 20% Off Food, Merchandise, and select Rentals at the Gold Pass’ respective Park. Another benefit that can really add up on meals and souvenirs purchased at the park.

Dollywood Food Collage

Dollywood Insider Expert Tip: Have Mom [or the person who will always be with your family visiting the park] purchase a Dollywood Gold Pass to take advantage of FREE parking and the 20% food discount. All the members of your family do NOT need a Gold Pass to get these great benefits.

Extra Benefits [outside of Dollywood]:

You may not be aware, but being a Dollywood season passholder can get you some great savings outside of Dollywood also. Be sure to check the Dollywood website for exact details on extra savings for visits to:

Biltmore, Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, Ripley’s Attractions, Stone Mountain Park, Zoo Knoxville, and MORE!

Dollywood Season Pass Prices:

Now here’s the information that everyone wants to know, right? Here’s the easiest breakdown of Dollywood Season Pass prices:

  • Dollywood Season Passes:
    • Regular [ages 12-59] – $108
    • Child [4-11] – $96
    • Senior [ages 60+] – $98
  • Dollywood Splash Country Passes:
    • Regular [ages 12+] – $99
    • Child [ages 4-11] – $87
  • Super Pass [unlimited visits to both parks]:
    • Regular [ages 12+] – $157
    • Child [ages 4-11] – $145
  • Gold Pass [this can be added to ANY of the season pass options] for just $52 more.

Things to keep in mind when purchasing Dollywood Season Passes:

  • Children under the age of 4 do NOT need a pass or ticket. They are FREE!
  • Only 1 person in your family needs to have a Gold Pass to use it’s benefits, but they MUST be present at the park.
  • You can save even $5 per pass purchase when you buy 4+ passes in the same transaction.

Girls at Dollywood

Best Time to Buy:

This section is twofold as there is definitely a few best times in the season to buy. If you purchase before the park opens in March, you’ll get a “Bring-a-friend Free”. You’ll also be able to take advantage of a long 9 month season.

One of my favorite season pass options is to buy during the Smoky Mountain Christmas festival. If you don’t have a season pass for the current year, you can buy one for the next year in November and you’ll get the remainder of the current year FREE!

But more importantly, any time is a good time to buy a Dollywood season pass. One day Dollywood tickets cost $67 for a regular adult ticket. Purchasing a regular price Dollywood season pass is only $108. Even if you only visit twice, you’ve saved enough to justify buying season passes!

Dollywood Insider Expert Tip: I definitely recommend buying your season passes BEFORE you get to the park. It will save you time and money, especially if you purchase a Gold season pass. Otherwise you’ll have to pay to park on your first visit.

I hope this has helped you understand buying Dollywood season passes a little better. While I think the benefits speak for themselves, if you want my opinion, I always encourage visitors to upgrade to season passes. At a cost of less than 2 days to the park, with ALL the extra benefits, you definitely get your money’s worth.

Visit Dollywood.com to purchase your Dollywood Season Passes today.

Want to know even more about Dollywood? Check out some of my other posts here:

Things You Didn't Know About Dollywood   6 Reasons Why Dollywood Should be Your Next Family Vacation

Healthy Afternoon Snack Ideas for Moms


We all know how important afternoon snacks are for kids, but what about us Moms? Don’t get caught in an after school slump, here’s healthy afternoon snack ideas for Moms!

This post has been sponsored by Arla. All opinions are my own.

One of the toughest times of the day for me is the afternoon. It’s time to start get in the 2nd school pick-up line of the day, time to start planning dinner, and getting ready to deal with two hungry kids who just want a snack and a break from school work. While I always am trying to come up with afternoon snack ideas for the kids, I realized that when I don’t have a snack, my afternoon attitude leaves something to be desired!

That’s one reason I’ve been stocking the pantry and refrigerator with healthy snack ideas for me. While the girls are totally welcome to dig into my organic blueberries, pretzels, and Arla Cream Cheese Spread, I totally picked it for myself.

Not only is the Arla Blueberry Cream Cheese Spread delicious [it also makes the perfect bagel topping in the morning!], even more important is that Arla products are free of artificial flavors, preservatives and added hormones*.

Now I not only make it a point to read the back of the label of foods I choose for myself and my family, but I’ve also started sharing that information with my girls. Sophia loves to tout “Mom, buy the organic version! It’s healthier!” and while that sentence makes my heart happy, I try to stop and explain to her exactly why it’s healthier and compare ingredients on the labels right there in the grocery store aisles.

Arla is encouraging families to Live Unprocessed and get the conversation going with your family too! Check out this fun video of how to explain this idea to your kids.

As you’ll see in the video, for this campaign, Arla asked a group of children to imagine and draw ingredients that are commonly found in dairy products, like Xanthan, rBST and Sorbic Acid. So I decided to do the same. I gave both of my girls a piece of paper and colored pencils and told them that some dairy products contain Sorbic Acid. Of course the first thing out of their mouth was “What’s that Mom”?!

I kept it open ended and asked them to draw what they thought Sorbic Acid would look like. I was amazed that they immediately thought it was bad. So bad, in fact, that Sophia thought it would have multiple eyes, fangs, a snake tongue, and lots and lots of hair.

Honestly, sometimes I think it helps to take a step back from the foods that we want to eat, or usually grab when we’re starting to get that hangry feeling in the afternoon and think about them like our kids would. If it’s an ingredient that you can’t pronounce or just sounds bad, we should probably avoid it!

Who wants a shipment of Arla Cheese sent to their home? Enter this EASY, 1 comment entry giveaway!

Head to the Arla website to watch the behind-the-scenes video, then leave a comment on this blog post with your favorite part of the video. I’ll choose 2 random winners [one will get a Cream Cheese Spread shipment and one will get a Slices shipment] to receive a shipment of Arla cheese!!! Winners will be chosen at random and emailed to claim their prize on May 17th. Giveaway is open to US residents, 18+ only.

  1. Watch the Video.

  2. Leave a Comment on the Post with your favorite part of the video.

  3. Win!

*No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST treated and non-rBST treated cows.

6 Benefits of Taking Probiotics Daily That Might Surprise You


There are many benefits of taking probiotics daily including aiding digestion, but did you realize there are even more benefits to this healthy habit?

You may remember that I shared last month that I started taking a probioitic daily to help with some health issues that are starting to surface. While I don’t want to admit that I’m getting older, I am, and with that comes the need for some help along the way.

Probiotics don’t just come in capsule form to take with your breakfast. The bacteria is in your gut from the time you were born. The problem is, we don’t often have enough of these good bacteria in our body. Because of refrigeration and dangerous agricultural practices, our common foods contain little to no probiotics.

And if you don’t have enough probiotics in your gut, it’s likely that you’ll see side effects that can include digestive disorders, skin issues, autoimmune disease, and even frequent colds and the flu*.

I’ve often read that taking a probiotic can really improve some areas of your health, but I really wondered WHAT benefits I would see myself.

Aiding Digestion

It’s one of the most widely known benefits, but I have to add it to this list because… probiotics really do help with digestion issues. While I’m totally open to talking cloth diapers on this blog [and what all goes in them], I don’t want to go TMI with my digestion processes with you. Let’s just say that my stomach is loving the regularity of taking a daily probiotic capsule.

Absorption of Vitamins

That’s right by adopting this healthy, daily habit you’ll be doing your body a favor and making it easier to absorb vitamins from foods you eat.

Boosts Immune System

Did you know that 60 percent of your entire immune system is located in your digestive tract!?!? I didn’t, but it totally makes sense that to heal yourself, you have to heal your gut.

Manage and Prevent Eczema

My Mom just came to me with this one as she learned it from her doctor just recently. Improving skin issues are definitely benefits of taking probiotics daily. Her doctor even called out the fact that children who have dairy sensitivities and also suffer from eczema can see great skin benefits of a daily probiotic.

Preventing and Treating UTI’s

This benefit was brought to light by my father’s doctor who encouraged him to take a daily probiotic because of kidney stone issues. If you’ve ever had either kidney stones or a UTI, you know that anything you can do to prevent them from happening is worth a try!

Lose Weight

It definitely makes sense that when your gut is healthier, your body will be healthier. It’s often suggested to eat fermented foods like plain unflavored yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, kefir and even pickles to help aid in digestion and weight loss. Probiotics contain the same good bacteria, but in an easy to swallow capsule form.

PB 8 Probiotics have been sold for more than 25 years so I definitely feel like I’m choosing a brand that has longevity behind it’s products. The newest PB 8 probiotic capsule is easy to swallow and free of dairy, gluten and soy. There are 10 Billion beneficial bacteria in a single PB 8™ vegetarian capsule. Ⱶ PB 8 is specially formulated with probiotic strains that help support your immune and digestive system.* Want to join me in seeing the benefits of taking probiotics daily? PB 8™Probiotic that helps support the immune system can be purchased online at Amazon, Vitacost, and Puritan’s pride. You can even get $1 Off with this PB8 coupon!

PB8 Probiotics Giveaway

One lucky reader is going to win 2 bottles of PB8 Probiotic Capsules to jump start their digestive health with me!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Get FREE Knoxville Zoo Tickets [& 140 other Zoos too!]


Do your kids love visiting the zoo? I’ve got the scoop on how to get free Knoxville Zoo tickets [+ 140 other Zoos!] this Summer.

This post has been sponsored by Stonyfield. All opinions are my own.

Did you watch April the Giraffe on Facebook Live at all over the past couple of months? I admit I was just as intrigued as the rest of the world and would check up on the famous giraffe every few days. I made sure to include the girls in the conversation too as they love animals, like most kiddos do.

They even had an up close and personal encounter with a couple of giraffes at a local zoo a couple of years ago. We enjoy visiting the zoo because it’s such a learning experience. While it’s great to be able to see these lovely animals on your phone at home, there’s a whole other experience seeing them up close and in person.

Speaking of animals, did you know that today, April 25th is World Penguin Day? To commemorate World Penguin Day, Stonyfield and AZA are hosting a Facebook Live for kids and their parents to get a firsthand look at these majestic seabirds, as well as the conservation work being done to save them. You can see the recording of a Facebook Live broadcast here.

I know what you’re wondering… So what do penguins and zoos and organic yogurt have in common? And how do I get free Knoxville Zoo tickets?!

First, you’ll see the lovable African Penguin on Stonyfield YoKids products this year. You’ll also find an on-pack offer to get families out to visit any of the 131 participating AZA accredited member zoos and aquariums in their own communities (click here for a list). Now through the end of September families who buy two specially-marked YoKids yogurt multipacks will receive a FREE kid’s admission to their local AZA-accredited zoo or aquarium when they also buy an adult ticket.

By encouraging more kids and families to visit their local participating zoo or aquarium and experience endangered species firsthand, Stonyfield hopes to inspire a lifelong appreciation of our planet and commitment to animal conservation in the next generation.

We’ll be visiting our local AZA accredited zoo, Zoo Knoxville, in the coming weeks and the girls are so excited! Sophia can’t wait to see the elephants while all Moreaya can talk about is the zebras.

What is your child’s favorite animal to see at the Zoo?

Be sure to grab a specially marked pack of Stonyfield YoKids organic yogurt to head to the zoo for free this Summer!

Save Money and the Earth By Shopping Online Consignment Websites


This post has been sponsored by Swap.com. All opinions are my own.

We all know that shopping consignment is better for our wallet and the environment, but have you started shopping online consignment websites yet? You’ll find large selections and great prices no matter where you live.

I have to admit that I didn’t start shopping regularly at consignment stores or sales until I became a Mom. The first glance at baby gear made me realize real fast that I had to find a better way to buy it, especially when you know you’ll only use certain products for a limited amount of time. When you realize just how much you can save when you purchase gently used items, you do it.

But I also quickly realized how much of an impact that shopping at consignment stores could impact our Earth. The only problem? I don’t always find the best selection of items at our local stores. That’s when I started wondering if there were online consignment websites that could offer the same benefits, but with more selection.

I found just that in Swap.com, the largest online consignment shop! Swap.com is stocked with new and gently used items for women, men, children and maternity items as well. Not only do they offer clothes, shoes and accessories, but you can also find toys, books, movies, games and baby gear.

I was amazed at just how many items are brand new, many with tags or in original packaging, for just a fraction of the retail price.

Each item listed on Swap.com is described in detail down to the condition, material, size, and brand name. Speaking of brand names, you’ll find lots of names that you recognize on this online consignment website.

Some of the brands on Swap.com include:

  • Nike
  • Adidas
  • BCBG
  • J. Crew
  • Polo Ralf Lauren
  • The GAP
  • ZARA
  • J.Brand

I love browsing Swap.com’s selection any time of the year, but I especially find it helpful during back-to-school time when it seems like there’s just so much to buy! It’s also a great way to get sports equipment at great prices and where we found Sophia’s soccer cleats this year at a fraction of the price if we had bought them brand new.

While shopping online consignment websites like Swap.com is a great choice any day, it’s especially a great choice to keep in mind around this time of the year. This Earth Day, Swap.com not only wants to help you save money on some of the best fashion staples and brands, but also encourage you to remember to help support our planet and keep clothes out of landfills.

Save even more this Earth Day by using the discount code 25SPRING when you shop at Swap.com.

You’ll save up to 25% off your order. Keeping in mind that some exclusions do apply. The discount will be applied to purchases at check-out and it expires May 31st – so get shopping!

Remember: It’s our Earth. Don’t wear it out!

7 Tips for Saving Money on Organic Food


When you decide to buy organic products for your family, you may think it will sacrifice your budget. Read these seven tips for saving money on organic food to stay on budget while going organic.

This post is sponsored by Acorn Influencers. All opinions are my own.

I remember when I first started buying organic products for my family. I also remember the sticker shock I experienced in the beginning. At first glance it can seem that buying organic foods will completely throw your budget off course, but if you follow these tips you’ll stay right on track!

Buy in Season

One of the first food groups that consumers choose to switch to organic is fruits and vegetables. It can also be one of the most expensive switches depending on different times of the year. To save money on organic produce, you’ll want to focus on buying items that are in season in your area.

Freeze Items that are on Sale

Going right along with the idea above, another great way to stay on budget when buying organic is to freeze foods that are on sale. You might not need multiple pounds of organic blueberries, but believe me, if you find them at a great price while they’re “in season”, buy more and freeze them for smoothies and muffins.

Buy Shelf-Stable Natural and Organic Products

While so many start with buying organic produce, when you’re on a budget a great place to start is with shelf-stable foods. Not only will you be able to buy when items are on sale, you don’t have to worry about a short shelf life.

One of the easiest ways to shop when you’re new to buying organic is to look for the USDA organic seal. It’s the green and white label at the top right of the Annie’s Organic Double Chocolate Brownie Mix above. That seal lets you know that the product is 100% organic and non-GMO.

Shop at Your Local Store

I live in rural east Tennessee and specialty health stores aren’t on every corner. Honestly I’m not too disappointed in that fact because with those specialty stores often comes higher prices. I love that I can shop at my local Publix and find lots of options of organic products at great prices.

Buy Store Brands

What’s even better than shopping at your favorite local market? Saving money by buying their store brands. Publix offers lines of their own organic products including their line of Greenwise Organic Milk. Buying store brand organic products can definitely make a huge impact on your receipt.

Use Coupons

If you thought you can’t find coupons for organic products, think again! They are definitely out there both in store form and manufacturer coupons. You can find some options for manufacturer coupons listed in this How to Buy Organic post.

Meal Plan

I always, always find that when I meal plan I stick to my budget much better. On Sunday nights I sit down and plan out our menu for the week along with a shopping list. This eliminates the practice of walking up and down the grocery aisles trying to decide what to serve and always over buying. It’s also a great idea to use store’s circular ads to plan your meals around organic items that are on sale!

Switching your family to a more organic lifestyle is definitely doable on any budget. It’s important to think about when foods are in season, take advantage of your favorite store’s coupons, and follow my other tips for saving money on organic foods.

Join this Hasbro Community to Share Opinions & Earn Monthly Amazon Gift Cards


This is a sponsored post. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Are you a Mom of a child 12 years old or younger? Hasbro, a familiar brand in our homes and a leading brand in the toy, game and entertainment industry, has created a private online community of Moms to serve as advisors to their brand.

Join today and start sharing your opinions and earning monthly Amazon Gift Cards!

Hasbro knows the products they create can inspire your children and encourage imagination, play and creativity. Knowing this, they are relying on this special group of Mom advisors to help them gain a greater understanding of the lifestyle and needs of their consumers as it relates back to their children’s entertainment, and is opening up this invitation to you.

As a member you’ll be part of an exclusive group that provides Hasbro with feedback and perspective on games, toys and entertainment as well as what inspires your child’s creative spirt when it comes to the products you purchase. You’ll also get to interact with other Moms of children 0-12 years old to share stories, similarities and advise along the way.

 

Benefits for Hasbro Family HotSpot Members include:

Rewards: Monthly $10 Amazon gift codes for your participation

Impact: Help inspire what comes next for a leading brand in the industry

Connect: Make connection with other Moms living the same life experiences as you

Are you a mom and interested in joining? Don’t miss out on your chance to advise a brand you care about.

See if you qualify today as spots are filling up quickly: http://bit.ly/2osXkP3