Great Clips Helps You with Back to School #GREATLIST

Thanks to Great Clips for sponsoring today’s discussion.

news_greatlistBack to school can be an especially hectic and stressful time for families.  As a mom of three boys I know all too well the expensive this time of year can be.  While I’ve learned a few tricks in the last 6 years of back to school planning that help me manage the financial challenge there are many families who simply aren’t able to provide their children with the proper resources they need for school.  This combined with tightening school budgets leads to a lot of teachers spending a LOT of their own money to purchase things for their classroom.

The need is great, but that’s why companies like Great Clips are stepping up and trying to help out.

  • First of all the Great List contest allows you to submit your school supply list (up to $100) and a randomly selected daily winner will have their list sent directly to them!  Contest ends 9/5/14!
  • Secondly, Great Clips has partnered with to help teachers equip their classrooms.  Watch the video at the #GreatList page to see how they helped one school.  The download the check in app and Great Clips will make a donation to Adopt a Classroom for every app download.
  • If you download the app, which I have used and LOVE for finding a location with no wait for quick and easy last minute cuts (yup I’ve even managed to get all three boys in with no waiting!) and YOU will get a $2 off coupon from Great Clips.  Be sure to check with your local salon to see if they are offering special back to school pricing for even more savings.

Visit the #GreatList site today to find out more about how Great Clips can help You and Your School this back to school season.

Think Gray: 6 Must-Have Pieces for Fall

Content Provided by MakeMeChic

Fall season usually calls for less, vibrant colors. When you want to pile up on suits, heels and bags that are best worn for the season, start with the shade of gray on your canvass. It’s sophisticated and easy to pair with other pieces. Include knee-high riding boots, tote bag and 4 other must-have pieces in gray for fall 2014.



1. Riding Boots. Knee-high riding boots are a staple during fall season, and it’s always the black or tan boots you see everywhere. As a fashionable lady, you want your style to surpass anyone else’s. So if you want to be the center of attention, choose the gray color. For a unique take on riding boots, get a style that infuses two different materials: leatherette and fabric (Nb20049 Buckle Knee Riding Boots, $18).

NM-54FX_mx2. Shimmery Pants. From office wear to late night Friday partying, wear a pair of shimmery pants to highlight a young, yuppie, and fun vibe. These pants are close to the likes of leggings because of the tight-fitting structure. Such pants are seamless and they usually have a hidden side zipper. When picking one, make sure the length is precise on your legs. This should be worn above your ankle without any creases or folds at the hem (Akris Melissa Shimmery Slim Pants, $1,190).

00069313-023. Infinity Scarf. Always get the perfect wrap around your neck with an infinity scarf. Unlike the usual scarf, this one will lessen the time to get the perfect drape. Choose a striped one if you’re working on a casual jeans ensemble and a solid color for a more formal outfit. You’ll get perfect loops around your neck every single time (Striped Infinity Scarf, $9.80).

324. High Heels. Nude heels are great during spring and summer and black heels for all seasons. For fall, find a great canvass in gray high heels. Lots of high heels in gray color are available in various designs. You can either choose strappy ones, ankle straps, almond toe, stiletto heels or chunky heel pumps. To pump up your fashion statement, get a metallic pair (Anne Michelle Rapture-50 Perforated Heels, $28).

25. Tote Bag. Roomy and oversized bags are a thing during fall so use it in your everyday ensemble. It’s easy to put your blazer or a cardigan inside it, plus many other things you might carry. What’s great about having a gray tote is that it’s a great canvass for animal print scarves. Tie a zebra print scarf around the bag straps for a chic and feminine touch (Tory Burch “Emmy” Crossbody Tote, $295).

NM-52HK_mx6. Blazer. A fall wardrobe will be complete if you add a wool blazer to your casual or corporate ensemble. When donning a blazer, make sure you get a tailored-fit piece to flatter your frame. Instead of a plain one, opt for a style that suggests a mixture of vintage and modern feel to it. Plus, opt for a unique fabric design like chevron or swirl prints (Armani Collezioni Chevron-Knit Snap-Front Blazer, $1,245).

Do you have a gray piece for fall? What’s your staple piece during that season?

Are YOU Ready for Some Football?

sbc_logo(1)While this time of year is considered ‘Back to School’ for most, for our family it really only means one thing…FOOTBALL SEASON!
If you’re a fellow lover of the game, you need to check our where you can enter to win 100 gallons of free gas (valued at $350) with the fuel company of your choice.   Enter now as Week One has just started!

It only take a few seconds to enter and there are no strings, nothing to buy, and no registration needed. All you have to do is enter how many points you think will be scored amongst all 16 featured football games.  If you’re correct, you can win the grand prize! It’s fast, easy, and completely free.  Every single week, a new contest and prize package will be announced. It costs nothing but a few seconds to enter your guess and the winning result could be $350 in FREE gas!  Go enter now as a tie will go to the person who entered first!

Show of YOUR football knowledge and WIN!

Visit to enter.


USA Football Heads Up #ProtectionTour at Northwestern University

protectiontour usa football northwestern riddel stadium panaramicLast month Timmy and I got a chance to head to Northwestern University to take part in the USA Football Protection Tour.  Always one for learning about keeping my boys safe while playing the sports they loved I jumped at the chance.  Of course, Timmy will take any chance he can to get to visit Northwestern as he already dreams of attending there.

protectiontour usa football northwestern riddel tunnel

protectiontour usa football northwestern riddel wildcat









We were both surprised to learn that USA Football and the Heads Up Tackling technique was totally different than what he’d been taught his two previous seasons of youth tackle football.  However I was pleased to learn that the new team he’d be joining this season was a member of USA Football and all coaches are taught and teach the Heads Up technique.
I also enjoyed learning about proper helmet fitting directly from the staff of Riddell.  While coaches are certified and should know how to properly fit a helmet it’s helpful to me to know what to look for just to be able to make sure it STAYS fitting properly all season.

protectiontour usa football northwestern riddell heads up tackling

If you’re not familiar with Heads Up football or USA Football check them out online.  You’ll learn that Heads Up is supported by the NFL as well as college football.  It is the hope of USA Football and it’s supporters that as the emphasis on safety spreads injuries will decrease and the sport can continue to flourish.

protectiontour usa football northwestern riddel

Note: This was a free event open to any youth football player and his family. We were not compensated for attending or for sharing this information.







Books for Kids: Sports Illustrated Kids Big Book of Who: ALL-STARS

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own honest, personal feedback.



Sports Illustrated Kids Big Book of Who: ALL-STARS ($17.95, Ages 8 and up) features facts on and statistics for more than 100 of the world’s best athletes that every young sports fan wants to learn more about, including LeBron James, Derek Jeter, and Shaun White. The third title in the Sports Illustrated Kids Big Book Of series, Big Book of Who: ALL–STARS recounts the amazing achievements of these all-star athletes in a broad array of sports, including baseball, basketball, football, golf, hockey, racing, soccer, tennis, as well as Olympic and extreme sports. Readers will find statistics about all-stars and sports legends from Missy Franklin to Larry Bird, and Pelé to Cal Ripken, Jr. along with many, many more.


I’m pretty sure my 11 yr old would read the phone book if it was published by Sports Illustrated, but he wouldn’t learn a ton more sports related info that way.  The boys loves all things sports including stats and stories or all kinds so he is eating this book up.  But even the less enthusiastic sports fan can’t help but be inspired by these stories of the best of the best.  To me, that’s the best part of sports, the hard work and dedication paying off!  I think this is an easy enough read (less a few of the athletes names) for the suggested age and am sure any die hard fan would enjoy it.

Why WE Love Essential Oils

Several months ago I started hearing from friends on Facebook that they were using essential oils. I was especially interested when some friends began talking about the success they were having with treating ADHD with essential oils. I kept planning to order some to try but never getting around to it. Then a local friend hosted a EO class. While I knew I wanted to try oils for ADHD I was blown away by all the other things they said they could be used for. Still I was skeptical. But when they mentioned an oil could remove a skin tag, I stopped dead in my tracks. You see Johnny has had a skin tag right under his eye for awhile now. It has continued to get larger and more noticeable and other kids were pointing it out. But Johnny insisted it didn’t bother him and was much more fearful of having it removed than living with it. But if an oil could take care of it, I HAD to try it. And so my romance with DoTerra began.

No mind you we were instructed to use it twice a day and I couldn’t even manage to remember to do it every day so it took notably longer than the several days it was said to remove the skin tag. But it DID work! With no pain, no doctors and no anxiety.  Unfortunately I never got a great shot of the tag.  But here is a photo from Easter of this year…


And then for the day it fell off.  It was slightly pink for a day or so but now you can’t tell anything was ever there.



And this is a single success in a sea of many. But it’s one of few that can be visibly proven!  We’ve had success with improved sleep, migraine and other pain relief, improved ADHD symptoms, bug bite and sunburn relief.


IMG_20140606_184034These are just a small few of the Essential Oils we have begun to use daily to help lessen our use of RX and OTC medications!

We have been using many of the oils topically but also use our trusty diffuser daily.




Ultra HD in store events happening now at @BestBuy #UHDatBestBuy

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

BBY_UltraHD_CMYK_BlueBest Buy is always the place to go to experience and learn about all things electronic but right now you need to get to Best Buy to experience the latest in HD TV technology!

Experience and learn about Ultra HD TV

Every Saturday 11am-3pm

August 9 – November 1

with experts from LG, Samsung and Sony


Best Buy’s 4K Ultra HD TV’s will bring you:

Stunning Resolution:

  • Get four times the picture resolution of Full HD 1080p.  The increased pixel allows you to sit very close for a fully immersive experience.

Experiences That Feel Real:

  • Experiences that feel breathtakingly lifelike with amazing level of detail

Better Picture For Everything:

  • 4K Ultra HD improves the quality of all current move & TV shows to gorgeous nearly 4k Ultra HD quality


Content is coming as Sony has introduced a 4K Ultra HD Media Player that comes loaded with free 4K content plus, you can download more than 200 4k films.  Find out more about it at Bestbuy.Com/SonyExperience


Make sure to visit a store near you to experience and learn about Ultra HD TV every Saturday 11am – 3pm and enter for a chance to win your own 55” Ultra HD TV (includes installation & Geek Squad Protection)!  Go to for more information.

UHD_InStore_Postcard-page-0 click to enlarge

Books for Kids: TIME For Kids Robots

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own honest, personal feedback.



TIME For Kids Robots ($16.95, Ages 8 and up) will take kids around the world, across the universe, and straight into the future of the world of robots! This book is the first in an exciting new series from TIME For Kids with 96 pages filled with colorful photos and interesting facts, like how robots are being used to help firefighters and how robots can explore where humans can’t go, like the depths of the sea and inside tornadoes and hurricanes!


They aren’t kidding when they say 8 AND UP, because I’m pretty sure I’m learning just as much from the snippets that my son (10 yrs old) shares with me from this book as he is.  This is totally up his robot loving, creation building ally and he is in heaven.  I’m particularly in love with this selection as it helps us fill that non-fiction need that teachers keep asking him to read more often.  Even though he already reads hugely above grade level, he usually sticks with fiction but this is definitely holding his interest.

Books for Kids: TIME For Kids X–Why-Z Animals

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own honest, personal feedback.9781618931061_p0_v1_s260x420

TIME For Kids X–Why-Z Animals ($14.95, Ages 4 to 6) answers all the questions inquisitive young minds might ask about animals. The second TIME For Kids’ X–Why-Z title in the highly successful new series, X-Why-Z Animals provides more than 200 facts in 96 full-color pages with stunning photos and images. Each chapter covers a different family of animals: mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, arachnids, sea animals, birds and dinosaurs, and asks questions like, Why do squirrels bury nuts? Why don’t snakes have ears? Why do dolphins make clicking sounds?

Why? It’s the question parents most dread.  But x-Why-Z makes WHY, fun again with answers to tons of animal related questions.  My six year old ate this book up as he loves animals.  He was able to read it himself with minimal help but just as it’s always more fun to ask WHY to someone else, he preferred sharing this book either by having me read it to him or reading it to some of our younger friends.  With tons of great photos and small readable chunks of info this is a great book for the suggested age range.

August Audio Fest @BestBuy #AudioFest

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free


I LOVE music and I enjoy a wide variety of music. But it needs to sound good.  Even the best song from your favorite artist can be painful to listen to if it’s coming through bad equipment.  But there’s no single best solution for everyone.  Thankfully there’s Best Buy to  help you enhance your home entertainment experience and upgrade your sound with additional components, speakers and headphones.

During August Audio Fest ( 8/3/14 – 8/30/14) , visit Best Buy stores for a month of deals on the best audio products, events & more.  As always, when you go to a Best Buy store you’ll be able to test & try the latest & greatest in audio – from portable Bluetooth speakers and headphones, to home theater solutions and car audio.  And you know that Best Buy has the best selection of audio products –  so come in and let Best Buy teach you how to upgrade your sound; LOVE THE WAY YOU LiSTEN.



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