no more bellyaching

Forget complaining. Find joy in every moment.

Leave a comment



Leave a comment

What Do You Have to Say about That?

I love getting great deals. Samples, coupons, subscription boxes that give you wayyyy more value for your $$. For instance, Birchbox consistently delivers $20-30 worth of products for $10. BeautyArmy lets you pick 6 high quality samples for $12/month, and if you don’t like the samples they’re offering that month, you can skip it. My most recent box of love is the FabFitFun VIP Box. Holy Moly! You get one every season, so four boxes/year, and for $49.95 (for spring) I got more than $175 worth of products. That’s my kind of a deal.

You know what I love even more? Getting things for free. Seriously. There are sites that will give you free products in return for sharing your opinion on social media. That’s it. Try, tweet, post a coupon, that’s it. A few FB friends might get annoyed, but let’s be real: Sharing info about great products is being a good friend. And they can always unfollow 🙂

I wanted to share a few of my favorites because people often ask me how I find these products:

BzzAgent is a great site that rewards you for taking surveys, trying products and sharing with your friends. I just joined a few months ago and have all ready gotten to try Quaker Warm & Crunchy Granola–which is my new breakfast favorite, btw–and delicious new Special K Coffeehouse Breakfast protein shakes. After you try the FREE products, you talk about your experiences, share coupons and reviews with friends on social media and in person. Easy, right?

Smiley360 is one of my favorites. You take a quick survey to see if you’re a good candidate, try the products, and share through super easy tools on their site. You don’t even have to make up your own tweets! I have been fortunate to discover some amazing new products through Smiley360 “missions” including OxiClean Extreme Power Crystals™ Dishwasher Detergent, Centrum Flavor Burst multi-vitamin chews, Fiber Choice Fruity bites, Arm & Hammer Clump and Seal Cat litter, Bic Mark-It Permanent markers, my new favorite obsession: Nature’s Bounty® Hair, Skin, & Nail Gummies, and MORE. Honestly, that’s a lot of free stuff just for sharing my opinion, which is something I all ready love to do. For Free. Ask my husband and kids.

ExpoTV is a little bit different. If you love making vines, then this is for you. You can upload reviews of products you use and earn points. Or, when you are part of their Tryology program, they send you a product, you try it and upload a video review. While, I’m no celebrity spokesperson, I wrangle my favorite 13-year-old, a smartphone, and talk for 1-2 minutes about the products I’ve tested. And I’ve gotten to test some great products from: L’Oreal, AirWick, Crayola, Clear Care, and even some new products that aren’t on the market yet.

If you love a great deal, getting free stuff, and sharing your opinion, check these sites out! Questions? Ask away. I’ve got one for you: Where do you find your favorite deals?


Leave a comment

About that Eczema…

Awhile ago, I wrote about curing my 7-year-old’s eczema using the probiotic Florax DS. If you missed that post you can read it here.

Perhaps when I first mentioned this miracle eczema cure, you (and I) surmised that it might have been the Florax DS, but it might have been something else. I also told you, I have used creams, oils, butters, wax and many external interventions that didn’t work. I have read often–and if you or your child suffers from eczema, I’m sure you have too–that eczema comes from internal causes: food, allergies, gut imbalances and more so it makes sense that an internal cure would work better than external remedy; right?

Now, sometimes life gets busy, and people get complacent, and mamas might muse, “Maybe it just went away on its own…” I started using it because it worked, but then I kind of forgot that it was working or at the very least took it for granted. Several few weeks ago, I got a sample of another probiotic for kids and thought, perhaps, it would work the same. Plus, it was free, and Florax DS is not. Unfortunately, within two weeks, my little girl’s skin was itchy, rashy, bumpy, scratchy, and I sadly realized: S#$T!! All probiotics are not created equally.

Fortunately, I can get Florax DS at Walgreens, and within a day or two her skin will be back to normal, but I wish she didn’t have to suffer through that. Admittedly, she liked the taste of the other probiotic better, but Florax DS works. And through trial and error, we’ve learned that if she opens her mouth really wide I can shoot it in with a medicine syringe and she doesn’t even taste it. (This is her Shake It and Take It face).wpid-IMG_20140303_120425.jpg

While, I have zero interest in the different strains of bacteria and cell count and other lingo that probiotic companies throw out at consumers, I do know that Florax DS is made from brewer’s yeast unlike others, including the brand I tried, which are bacteria-based.

This issue just came to the forefront again recently, as I discussed eczema remedies with friends, and I stand by my initial assertion that Florax DS works. But I thought I should write about it again since now, I can back that up with another fact: Not all probiotics do.

Want to try it for yourself? Head to your nearest Walgreens, or order today at

Do you or your child suffer from eczema? I would love to hear your story!


That Crazy Wrap Thing

Last week I had the opportunity to try an It Works body wrap from the lovely Gina at Wrap and Slim You. I saw some posts about these wraps and was intrigued by the amazing before and after pictures of flatter, toned bellies, vanished double chins, and thinner, cellulite-free legs. So you can imagine HOW EXCITED I was to try them for myself!

The wrap arrived in a suprisingly small package–I guess for all that hope I was putting into the thing, I imagined it would be bigger. Gina gave me extensive instructions, and I couldn’t wait to try it.

My immediate observations: Measuring and taking before pictures was pretty discouraging. I eat healthy and work out pretty regularly, but it seems like since I hit 40 the weight just keeps creeping on.

Back to the wrap. It is very thin and kind of slippery as it’s covered with this miracle cream, but it was easy to apply. While the saran wrapping was kind of awkward, it worked out. It might be easier if you did this with a friend and wrapped each other. Although, having done it once, I’m confident I’ll be able to wrap myself just fine the next time.

I first noticed the scent, which was pleasant, kind of menthol-y. And when I applied the wrap, it felt warm and tingly–as, I imagined, it was melting the fat away.

The directions advise leaving the wrap on for 45 minutes the first time, I showered, applied the wrap, did my hair and makeup and then read for a little bit. While it says that you can do normal activities while wearing the wrap, but I felt mine was a bit precarious and opted to stay relatively still. Future wraps you can leave on up to 8 hours.

When I removed the wrap, there was a lot of cream still left that I massaged into my stomach and legs (as the directions suggest) and immediately noticed my stomach looked and felt flatter. When I remeasured, I had lost an inch and a half from my waist! Now, I’ll be perfectly honest, I don’t really know what is considered the waist these days, but I measured the narrowest part of my midsection–the smallest part of the hourglass, if you will. I figured as long as I measured the same place both times, the results would be accurate.

While I wrapped my stomach, you can use it on any area you choose: legs, but, arms, even cut it into smaller strips and use for your neck/chin. I can’t wait to wrap my neck–you all ready know how I feel about this waddle.

I know, I know, you want to see before and after pictures; here’s the deal: I was so excited with the results of ONE wrap, I decided to try the full regimen (4 wraps). So, I will show after pictures then. Intrigued? Message me if you want to try too!wpid-PSE25.jpg

Leave a comment

Subscription boxes aren’t just for Grown-ups!

Hello, friends! I took a break from blogging to spend time with my three little lovelies who were home for Christmas break–and extended Arctic freeze break due to the frigid temperatures in Ohio. Hope you all had a great holiday and ready for an exciting 2014!

As you know, one of my favorite inventions is the subscription box. I love my Birchbox, adore the Box of Happies, and am LOVING my newest indulgence: Beauty Army. My college sophomore gets a Birchbox and Bonjour Jolie box every month–mama love can come wrapped in brown paper–and this month, my littlest love joined in on the fun, when her elf surprised her with a Kiwi Crate!

I, er, the elf checked into lots of different kids subscription boxes before settling on this one–decided by virtue of an awesome promo that gave me one box free!

Although from order to receipt was a looooonnnnngggg wait, I attribute that to December being way backed up with Christmas shipments. It arrived in perfect time, though, on a day she was feeling ill, and gave us plenty of fun activities.

Her box theme was Polar Expedition and had several different snowy crafts included as well as a booklet containing more ideas. She made a polar bear headband, two little polar bear gloves with a ball (sticky with velcro) to play catch, and some window clings. Additionally, she got an adorable snowflake cookie cutter and a very nice pair of scissors, which she loved. I might add, they cut very well, unlike some kid scissors.

While she is 7 and probably at the top of the age range for a box like this, she really enjoyed it. The headband and gloves she made completely on her own. The window clings–which employed 3D paint and glue–required some mama-assistance, but they worked and she was OVERJOYED.

Although we didn’t utilize this (my 13-year-old son did play sticky ball catch with his sister) a nice feature for those with little ones close in age is the option to add an extra set of materials for a sibling.

Overall, we were thrilled with our first Kiwi Crate. At $20/month, for a 3-month subscription, it’s cheaper than a trip to Chuck E. Cheese, and the fun lasts much longer.

Do you have a favorite subscription box? Do you want to read about a WHOLE bunch of them? Check out my friend KW’s AMAZING blog!wpid-IMG_20131219_123533.jpg

Leave a comment

Sisterhood Magazine–Review and Giveaway

If you are a teen, have raised a teen, or just remember what it was like to be one, you know what a tumultuous time it is. Young men and women face so many obstacles physically, emotionally, and now those obstacles are compounded through social media.

Sisterhood Magazine offers teen girls hope, encouragement, and inspiration by sharing stories of young women like them who are living out their faith–and their dreams–every day. Additionally, Sisterhood addresses tough issues and gives young women an outlet and forum to discuss their thoughts, questions, fears and hopes with like-minded individuals.

As the mother of three–including two teens–I try to give my children every tool available to help them navigate these difficult years, and Sisterhood is definitely a great tool.

If you have a teen or tween girl on your Christmas list this year, instead of body wash and lip gloss, why not give a gift that touches her soul and invigorates her spirit. You might just ignite a passion that spurs a life change!

Check out Sisterhood today for a great Cyber Monday deal–and the best savings you’ll find all year!

Sisterhood is social: Find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

Click HERE for your chance to win a FREE subscription to Sisterhood Magazine

Leave a comment

Lancome DreamTone

lancomeI was excited for the opportunity to try and review Lancome’s DreamTone product. Although, I don’t have a huge problem with dark spots, not using sunscreen for my first 25 years did leave me with a few.

While I don’t normally use Lancome products, DreamTone definitely provided the promised results making my skin look more even and glowing. The dark (and red) spots have definitely have faded, and I’m really happy with the results. If dark spots are an issue for you, I would highly recommend this product.


About Lancôme DreamTone: DreamTone is the next generation in dark spot correction. This customized skin tone correcting serum is so powerful, 72% of women dare to bare their skin.* The new DreamTone is 3 barely-tinted serums formulated to visibly correct dark spots, color imperfections and give you a more even-looking skin tone. It comes in 3 serums customized for your skin tone: 1- Fair, 2 – Medium, 3 – Dark.

The results:

• 74% saw glowing skin*

• 70% noticed a more even skin tone*

• 69% saw the appearance of dark spots reduced*

• 78% saw color imperfections reduced*

*All results based on global self-assessments of women of multiple ethnicities in an 8-week study. 72% reflects 8 weeks of use.

How to Use: For best results, apply the product twice per day, in the morning and evening under your moisturizer.

Purchase Information: LancĂ´me DreamTone retails for $98 for a 1.3 fl oz. bottle and is available for purchase at LancĂ´ and department stores nationwide.

Please note: SheSpeaks provided me with a free sample of DreamTone to review: The opinions are fully my own.