Archives for 2019

Back-to-School Must-Haves!

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. Images were also provided.

I know! School started late August for most of us here in sunny So Cal but September will always mean back-to-school to me! I was still in Summer mode until very recently so here are some of my favorite things for back-to-school this year!

This first one will make going back to school more fun! New from Big G Creative, the Trapper Keeper® Game is a fun and nostalgic game that brings back all the memories of stashing homework, class notes and quizzes in an authentic Trapper Keeper® folder.

One of the most revolutionary school supply products of its time, the Trapper Keeper® has come back to life in this new card game that celebrates the best of the ‘80s and ‘90s school days and the need to keep your papers trapped in one place.

The game challenges players to school the competition by collecting cards with the most points and stashing them in their Trapper Keeper® folders. Cards include homework, quizzes, parent signatures, report cards, detention slips, notes from classmates, and field trip slips. After the last bell card is played by the assigned Teacher’s Pet, the players tally up doodles and points to determine the winner. Players will enjoy reading the humorous student notes and clever content on the cards.

This one is fun for kids of all ages! The Trapper Keeper® Game includes 81 school paper cards, 11 bell cards, five mini Trapper Keeper® folders, a teacher’s pet marker, score pad and pencil. For ages eight and up, the game takes approximately twenty-five minutes to play. Available exclusively at Target stores nationwide, the Trapper Keeper® Game sells for SRP $16.99.

These next ones are great for lunches!

Lunchbox Essentials for Back-to-School Season

  • Welch’s Fruit Snacks: Available in a variety of delicious summer flavors, think Mixed Fruit, Berries n’ Cherries, Fruit Punch, SuperFruit Mix and more, these snacks contain Fruit as the First Ingredient and are made with REAL fruit, no preservatives and fat-free. Available at major retailers including Target, Walmart, Boxed.com, Amazon and more. (MSRP: $2.99 / 10ct Box with 0.9oz. Pouches)
  • Welch’s Fruit n’ Yogurt: Made with real fruit and surrounded by creamy yogurt for a melt in your mouth taste, Welch’s Fruit ‘n Yogurt are uniquely delicious and kids will love them! Available at major retailers including Walmart, Kroger, and Amazon. (MSRP: $2.99/ 8ct Box with 0.8oz. Pouches)
Lance Minis

12-count Multipack SRP $5.99

Available at retailers including Walmart, Amazon.com, Harris Teeter, ShopRite, Wegmans, all Kroger-Owned Stores and more

The brand new line of Lance Minis Sandwich Crackers is fueling families with the classic peanut butter sandwich crackers this school season and beyond.

Available in the classic ToastChee Peanut Butter and Whole Grain Peanut Butter, Lance Minis are made with real peanut butter, no high-fructose corn syrup, and no artificial flavors or preservatives. According to a recent survey from Lance Minis, the average parent surveyed spends 86 hours a year prepping snacks for the family with 62% saying their top tip for snack packing is stocking up on grab-and-go snacks to help save time.

These are quite tasty!

These next snacks will be a hit and are great for after school!

Kip’s Allergy-Friendly Snacks

Make room for a delicious, allergen-free snack in your lunchbox! Baked with integrity & packed with goodness, Kip’s Granola Bark is a versatile and tasty snack that can be enjoyed anywhere!

  • The Granola Bark comes in two mouthwatering flavors, Cinnamon Crunch and Cocoa Crunch, and can be topped with your child’s favorite seed butter or dipped into chocolate or yogurt!
  • Kip’s is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and offers a great source of fiber from flaxseeds and gluten-free oats.
  • Most importantly, Kip’s Allergy-Friendly Snacks are free of the top 8 allergens, including Peanuts, Nuts, Wheat, Dairy, Soy & Egg. Certified Gluten-Free, Vegan and Kosher.
  • Kip’s Allergy-Friendly Snacks can be purchased online at www.lovekips.com and on Amazon.com. $7.99

Back-to-school often means more laundry especially if you have any kids that play sports! I love this laundry detergent!

No Sweat’s liquid sports wash is an industry leading laundry detergent made for those hard to clean athletic and sports clothes. No Sweat’s proprietary bio-based enzyme blend was developed to dissolve odor-causing bacteria and mold while maintaining the quality of your athletic gear. It contains no harsh chemicals, no artificial perfumes, and leaves no residue. Check out this link to the website for information https://nosweatlife.com

I love these next ones because they are perfect for Pre-Teens, Teens and College students!

SlitIt
Wrap Rage is a real thing. The struggle to open clamshell and other hard plastic packaging. Back to School means online shopping for supplies, dorm necessities and all the new technology products for the student headed back to class! 
 

Slitit by Raeco is a simple, safe and hassle-free opener that will tackle any tough packaging in seconds! Great for dorm dwellers who order online and/or receive care packages and student home dwellers whose parents will need this. Slitit has a ground cutting edge that maximizes performance and cuts through the most challenging plastic in seconds-the more you use it the sharper it gets. This school season stop struggling and glide through tough packages. I love how easy this is to use! Available on https://slitit.comor or The Grommet. Price: $9.95

EKC Natural Deodorant-The Stink is Real.

How to make friends and influence teachers-HYGIENE! It’s your growing child’s best friend as he/she heads back to school. Naturally take the “stink” out of the student, as their bodies begin to change. EKC Natural Deodorant is the answer. This non-profit company is devoted to educating and donating safe deodorant (1 tube sold=1 tube donated).  Over 60% of the ingredients found in deodorants and antiperspirants are so toxic that they are banned throughout the world, but NOT in the US?  That is why Dr. Jessica Benningfield decided to make her own line of safe deodorants for her daughters in her kitchen. EKC Natural Deodorant is organic, all natural and made in the USA . It contains no harmful chemicals like aluminum, glycols, parabens, sulfates or zinc salts-some of these have been found in breast tumors!  You can’t stop them from growing, but you can guide them to use healthy products as they mature. There are two scents available (lavender and original-coconut).  Available on Amazon.com or https://www.ekcdeodorant.com Price: $13/1 tube lasts 3-4 months.

This is a real favorite of mine! NoteTower-Note to self

Get the revolutionary NoteTower Monitor Mount and keep your student de-cluttered, organized and highly productive! In a world of information overload, it’s impossible to keep all in one place. Like the” high-tech” Cloud storage the “low tech” NoteTower physically holds paper stragglers (sticky notes, photographs, flyers, invitations, etc) in one place while giving easy access and visibility to all.  With its innovative ergonomic extending arms, it can support most paper notes/documents in both portrait and landscape.. The NoteTower’s clamp makes it easy to mount to laptops, tablets and thin monitors (includes a bracket for thicker monitors).  Keep your student organized this year with the NoteTower Monitor Mount on www.NoteTower.com. Also available on Amazon. Price: $17.99

This next one is great for your iPhone or your iPad!

Made in the U.S.A., the deceptively simple GoDonut is a universal stand for Apple and Android smartphones and tablets that holds everyone’s favorite gadget at the perfect angle for comfortable viewing.

This one is a must-buy and I love the one I tried out! It even works if the device is in a case! GoDonut is available nationwide at Walmart for just $9.88.  It’s also available for purchase online at either BuyGoDonut.com or Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Universal-Smartphone-GoDonut-Compatible-Samsung/dp/B07VTM4PMD

SMARTY Backpack will be a hit with the older kids!

SMARTY CO’s Clear Backpack, which has earned the reputation as the most durable clear backpack available. This backpack was designed from months of research and development and learning from customer reviews. SMARTY Transparent Backpack is the perfect combination of comfort, durability, convenience and style.

Feature Highlights:

-Reinforced bottom with double layered clear plastic & 1680D nylon
-Additional Criss Cross stitching for durability of straps
-One side pocket made with heavy duty 1680D fabric on bottom and stretchable mesh on top to withstand heavy liquids and allow easy access to bottle. -Other side pocket with zipper for security
-Laptop or notebook sleeve in main compartment
-Mesh organizer pocket for pen, pencils, calculator, or phone
-Quality, smooth zippers

Have a child that gets tangles in their hair and it takes too long to get them ready in the mornings? This next one will make mornings go smoothly!

ROCK THE LOCKS Conditioning Detangler

Make morning routines easier with eco-friendly ROCK THE LOCKS conditioning detangler! 
Tames the toughest tangles while conditioning & adding body and moisture. 
Infused with essential oils & super fruit complex for shine.
Contains no parabens, phthlates, or alcohol.
Available in two scents kids love, including Pineapple Banana and Green Apple.
$9.99

As a Homeschool Mom, this next one was a real hit with me! I recommend for homeschoolers and for all students!

Academic Planner by Order Out of Chaos

I have to admit there are a lot of planners out there but this was is really unique! I like how it also helps you to learn how to manage time! More info:

  • This award-winning academic planner gives students an easy way to SEE time so they can learn to MANAGE it.
  • Originally invented for a mom’s ADHD son but is amazing for all students.
  • Patented layout allows students to see when assignments are due and tests scheduled alongside after-school commitments and free blocks of time.
  • No filler. No fluff. No word of the day. It’s a planner that does what it says it does. Plan time.
  • All planners come with a workbook giving students the tools they need to be successful in school. Letter Size – $18.99

Stay tuned! Next week there will be more back-to-school must-haves and also Back-to-school book suggestions! Have a happy school year!

Aquarium of the Pacific Hosts 18th Annual Baja Splash Cultural Festival September 28th and 29th, 2019 Giveaway Opportunity!

Photo Credit: The Aquarium of the Pacific

Aquarium’s festival celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month and features dance and music performances, bilingual environmental programs, arts and crafts, and a special annual award ceremony.

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which honors Latino and Hispanic cultures, the Aquarium of the Pacific will host its eighteenth annual Baja Splash Cultural Festival on Saturday and Sunday, September 28 and 29, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This event will feature bilingual environmental educational programs, including films and underwater presentations with divers, and traditional dance, crafts, music, and interactive children’s programs.

Latin American folk dancers, Aztec dancers, mariachi musicians, and other entertainers will perform in front of the Aquarium’s tallest exhibit, the Honda Blue Cavern—home to giant sea bass, rays, and other inhabitants of local kelp forests. Guests can witness colorful dances representing various Latino and Hispanic cultures. The Aquarium will feature interactive Central and South American music programs for all ages, and hands-on activities for attendees include children’s crafts. Younger guests and their families are invited to visit The Bernadett Family Early Childhood Education Open House to engage with activities specifically designed for preschool students. The festival will also include an award ceremony.

Baja Splash highlights Mexico’s Gulf of California, which is one of the most important wildlife havens in the world. Visitors can learn more about this important ecosystem, the threats it faces, and how people can help by exploring the Aquarium’s Gulf of California exhibition created with World Wildlife Fund Mexico. Guests can also learn about the critically endangered vaquita, a porpoise found only in Baja’s upper Gulf of California, through film screenings and an interactive station.

For a $10 off Adult Admission ticket go to http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/offer/fest2

Find out more about the event here.

We have teamed up for a Family 4 -Pack ticket giveaway! In the comments below, tell us why you would like to go or your favorite thing about the Aquarium. One winner will be randomly selected and will receive tickets for either day. Deadline to enter is September 25th, 2019.

More about The Aquarium of the Pacific:

The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and where important challenges facing our planet are explored by scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders in search of sustainable solutions. The Aquarium is dedicated to conserving and building nature and nature’s services by building the interactions between and among peoples. Home to more than 12,000 animals, Aquarium exhibits include the new Pacific Visions wing, Ocean Science Center, Molina Animal Care Center, and the Tentacles and Ink and FROGS: Dazzling & Disappearing exhibits. Beyond its animal exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages, from hands-on activities to lectures by leading scientists. Field trips for schoolchildren are offered at a heavily discounted rate, from $7 to $8.50 per student. The Aquarium offers memberships with unlimited FREE admission for 12 months, VIP Entrance, and other special benefits. Convenient parking is available for $8 with Aquarium validation.

Princess, Sept. 19th Pet of the Week!

Well, yes—they’re all princes and princesses, but there’s only one Princess. She’s an affectionate indoor royale who’s only 3 years old. Our lady was surrendered to the shelter along with her male companion because the owner was moving. The young fellow was adopted recently, but Princess is still waiting for her heroes to take her to their castle. Meet her on the shelter side of the Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A573363.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Credit: Courtesy of the Companion Animal Village.

Looking for a Handbag? Love the Sales is the website to check out!

Kate Spade purse

I just love all the different brands of purses, handbags and even wallets you can find at https://www.lovethesales.com

Personally I love all the Kate Spade handbags! But, they have a wide variety from Michael Kors to Armani. This site hosts the biggest number of discounted bags on the web, in one place. The average saving a shopper will find when they buy a bag is over $130. Brands range from Radley, Michael Kors to Gucci & Prada. The highest discounts you can get on the page is currently 82% off. You can also view full price bags and if you sign up, you can wishlist them and we will notify you as soon as they drop in price. And a crazy 85% of all products online, drop in price at some point!

Now, how cool is that?! It sounds pretty cool to me! I’m sure you will find one that catches your eye….or maybe more than one!

I love this Armani one!

Check this amazing sale out at https://www.lovethesales.com/womens-handbag-sale

Aquarium course will address new opportunities from increasing longevity, life after full time work, and how to design and build a more fulfilling life on your terms

Image by: Aquarium of the Pacific

Experts on longevity, including researchers from Stanford University’s Center on Longevity, will share secrets to successful senior years as well as changing the narrative of a longer, more fulfilling, and perhaps somewhat less predictable life during a special series at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

The Aquarium of the Pacific in partnership with Halbert Hargrove is announcing its fall 2019 Aquatic Academy course, Longevity: Changing the Narrative. People are living longer, healthier, more fulfilling lives. Learn the secrets to successful working years, more fulfilling senior years, and how to afford living on less than full time work from four experts. Speakers will include researchers from Stanford University’s Center on Longevity and experts on investment and retirement.

This course is a reflection of the Aquarium’s vision statement: to create an Aquarium dedicated to building natural capital, nature and nature’s services, by building social capital, the connections between and among people. When people and communities are well connected, healthy, and productive, they have the capacity for positive change that benefits the environment.

WHEN:           October 2, 10, 17, and 24, 2019, 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

COST:            $40 for the four-course series, $25 for Aquarium members and students, $10 fee for CEU credit in conjunction with CSULB CCPE. Fee includes parking in the Aquarium structure. Sign up by September 15 and receive a complimentary book for each session you attend.

WHERE:         Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA, 90802

INFO/RSVP:   (562) 590-3100, ext. 0, or aquariumofpacific.org/aquaticacademy

Credit: The Aquarium of the Pacific.


Want a snack that isn’t Pumpkin Spice this Fall? Try Loacker Hazelnut Quadratini!

Hazelnut Quadratini from the #1 global wafer cookie and confection brand, Loacker

The weather in sunny So Cal may seem like summer but Fall is almost here and all the pumpkin spice muffins, lattes, and donuts are already out! But, maybe you would like a break from the Pumpkin flavor treats! I’m all for a pumpkin spice latte and a pumpkin scone but I was quite thrilled to have the opportunity to try something with a Hazelnut flavor! Made with 100% Italian hazelnuts from the Italian Alps, the Hazelnut Quadratini features delicious hazelnut flavor in a delectable cube-shaped snack. With four layers of the smoothest cream filling, held by five light, crispy wafers, it’s the ultimate fall snack with real hazelnut flavor.

I like that they are bite-size and have such flavor! These were even a hit with my teenage son who can be very particular even about those pumpkin flavors. They were basically a hit with my whole family and I love eating them with a cup of tea!

Find out more and where to purchase here.

I even found them at one of our local 7-11’s!

Self Disclosure: I received a free sample to facilitate this post. Images were also provided.

6 Ways to Get a Cheap Divorce

When it comes to getting a divorce, you might have visions of it being incredibly expensive. And, yes, you are right. Traditionally, divorce was extremely expensive. But living in this day and age means that you have options. Getting a divorce doesn’t have to be costly. Getting a divorce is emotionally difficult, the last thing you need is financial burdens, draining your pockets.

Here are 6 ways to get a cheap divorce.

  1. File for an uncontested divorce

If you can, aim for an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce means that you and your spouse agree to all the terms and conditions of the divorce. For example, you agree on how to split your assets and debts. If you have an uncontested divorce, you can also get a divorce without an attorney. Having an uncontested divorce is usually faster and cheaper than a contested divorce. You can go to this link to learn more about uncontested divorce.

A contested divorce usually requires a trial before a judge which is extremely costly. If you have a contested divorce, you will probably also need to hire a lawyer. Lawyers charge per hour, which can be extremely expensive. Therefore, if you can, keep things during your divorce amicable, so that you do not have to go to trial. If you don’t have children, your divorce procedure will be straightforward. You can also apply for a simplified divorce as well. You will need to meet a few requirements though to qualify for a simplified divorce. For example:

  • You will have to have no minor children under the age of 18.
  • Both spouses must want a divorce.
  • Neither spouse wants alimony
  • You and your spouse do not any property together
  • Neither spouse should be going through bankruptcy.

If you meet the following criteria you can obtain a simplified divorce, which will really save you money. The average cost of an uncontested divorce is about $300. Which is a massive difference in comparison to the average contested divorce which is about $15 000 per person. Another reason why an uncontested divorce will help you save money because you won’t need a lawyer to help you fill out any paperwork. You can even get your divorce papers online. Follow this website to learn more about quick and cheap divorce.

2.  Make a list of all your questions and keep communication with your lawyer low.

If you feel that your divorce might be a bit more complicated than you expected, and you might need a lawyer, make sure to make a list of everything that you want to ask them. If you do this, it will limit the amount of time that you will need with your lawyer. Therefore, saving you time, which in turn will save you money. You could also hire a lawyer only for certain parts of your case and not for the entire procedure. This is called “unbundled” legal services. Ask your lawyer if they will consider this. Try only contact your lawyer if there is a really serious problem. Some lawyers even charge for emails that are sent, or for call-out fees.

3. Compare prices

When it comes to getting a cheap divorce, you should also compare lawyer fees. You don’t have to go with the most expensive lawyer. If they are expensive, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the best. You can interview multiple lawyers. Ask what their costs are and make sure that there are no hidden costs. You could also ask a younger lawyer to help you. They might charge less. Even though they are less experienced, they will be obligated to ask a more experienced lawyer for help, if there is anything that they do not understand. Another option is to ask people you know of any affordable divorce lawyers in the area.

Go here to know more about prices for divorce costs.

4. Consider mediation

Mediation is a great way to save money during a divorce. Rather than going to trial, seek mediation. Mediation can be at most $2,000 a day, and most mediations, last no more than two days. Whereas going to trial can be much more expensive. So if you would like to get a cheap divorce, opt for mediation rather than going to trial.

5. Have a DIY divorce.

Another option is to do everything yourself. This will definitely make sure that your divorce will be cheap. When it comes to a DIY divorce, these are the steps that you will need to follow:

  • Find the court that will have jurisdiction over your case. You will have to prepare the divorce proceedings in the family court in the area where you and your spouse live. You and your spouse should have lived in your state for at least 6 months before you can file for a divorce.
  • Prepare your petition for divorce and pay the appropriate fees. You can get your divorce papers online, or at your local clerk’s office. Hand in or mail your documentation.
  • You have to let your spouse know that you will be filing for a divorce. You can do this by hiring a process server to hand-deliver the divorce decree to your spouse. They will need to sign the documentation.
  • Agree on the terms of the divorce with your spouse.
  • Prepare the final decree of divorce.
  • Schedule a final hearing to complete the divorce process. You can contact the clerk’s office to set up a date for your final hearing.

Therefore, it is possible to file for divorce on your own, but it can be complicated if you are unsure of what to do.

6. Get an online divorce

The cheapest and fastest way to get a divorce is to get an online divorce. There are many online divorce companies that offer amazing service throughout the entire divorce process. They can send you divorce papers within 24 hours and file your papers for you. They also have online support teams, who will be happy to answer any questions that you might have. An online divorce costs, on average, between $300 and $500. How’s that for savings? When it comes to choosing an online divorce company, go with a reputable company that has great reviews.

In Conclusion

There are many ways to save money and get a cheap divorce. If you follow these 6 steps, you can be sure that going through a divorce will not break the bank. Rather use the money that you save for a much needed holiday.

How to Style Convertible Bridesmaid Dresses

Convertible dresses are perfect for bridal parties that celebrate different shapes and sizes. This compromise between form and function allows brides to get the cohesive look they desire without forcing any bridesmaids to wear a style in which they’re uncomfortable.

With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to decide which style to wear. Here are a few fan-favorite ways to rock a convertible dress.

One Shoulder

According to the fashion experts at Azazie, one-shoulder dresses have made a comeback in the wedding industry in recent years. This elegant look is reminiscent of a Greek Goddess and provides some support while still looking fun and sexy. 

To invoke your inner Aphrodite, place both straps over your right shoulder. Adjust the fabric to ensure you get the frontal coverage you desire. Twist the straps together, pulling them toward the left side of your body. Once you reach your waistline, pull the ends of the straps around the respective sides of your body. Tie in the front and, you’re done!

For a fun twist on this look that adds an element of sophistication, try the one-shoulder knot. Start by putting your straps over one shoulder as before. Then, instead of twisting, tie the straps in a knot. If you’ve chosen your right shoulder, bring the right strap under your arm to the front and the left strap across your back and pull to the front. Cross under the bust line and have one of your fellow bridesmaids tie in the back.

Strapless

For bridesmaids who favor the strapless look, this convertible dress style is one of the easiest to wear. Start with both straps over the respective shoulders. Then, place the left strap over the right side of your chest and pull through the back. 

Repeat on the opposite side using the other strap. Cross the straps at the back, around the front, and to the back again to secure. It’s that easy.

Simple Straps

For a sultry, backless look that still provides support, create simple straps with your convertible dress. Place each strap over the corresponding shoulder and twist individually. 

Continue to twist each strap until the twisted portion reaches your shoulder blade. From there, wrap each strap under the corresponding arm and cross under the bustline for added support. Tie the straps on your lower back, using a pin to secure if needed.

Sleeves

Some women feel more comfortable with their shoulders covered. To do this with a convertible dress, place the straps over the corresponding shoulders. Make sure they are flat and wide for maximum coverage. Cross the straps in the back and bring them through to the front. Cross again at the front and secure at the back for simple-yet-elegant shoulder coverage.

You can adjust this look for cap sleeves by adding a simple twist in each strap at the armpit. Instead of a simple cross at the back, overlap the straps and pull back toward the original side to loop the straps through one another and add support. 

If you’re wearing a convertible dress, try a few styles to see what works for you. The style you choose might surprise you. Practice the style a few times so that you’re ready to go on the big day.