Complete Your Family Tree with! #SurnameProject

Thank you to for sponsoring today’s post.

Family is a really important part of my life, and I am proud to be raising my daughter with the same central focus that I was raised with. As much as I know about the past few generations of our family tree, our family is so big and so spread out that it can be difficult to trace back a family tree of the generations to find out where we really came from.


My grandfather and grandmother on my father’s side of the family have a very detailed history, but on my mother’s side…not so much. We know a lot about my grandfather’s family, thanks to a Nana that was really involved with her family. But my maternal grandmother was raised in foster care after her mother passed away at a young age and we know relatively nothing about her origins, aside from the fact that she came from Cuba.


This lack of information, and the issues faced with trying to track down history that began in a communist country with little access to people or records there, well it’s made me focus on my father’s side – because I can get somewhere with that information!

Like that my great grandfather, the man behind the huge family dynamic that I grew up with, was Henry Pridmore.

Henry Pridmore

Ancestry is the world’s largest online resource for family history. Ancestry strives to fill the fundamental desire people have to understand who they are and where they came from. We all want to know where we came from, don’t we?

It’s why adopted children go to great lengths to track down their birth families, it’s why people go on pilgrimages to see where their family’s began – we all want to know where our story began, in the most basic of ways.

Pridmore Family

With a unique collection of billions of historical records, including handwritten historical documents and state and local government archives, Ancestry is the perfect place to learn fun and interesting facts about your family’s tree!






A Fitter Attitude With Your Raw Lifestyle

As you recline on the sofa, vacantly chowing down on fistfuls of generic oil-encrusted maize, rounding on that second bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, it might occur to you that it’s time to reappraise the life choices that led to this moment. While we have certainly all been there, that does not make it okay to stay there!

The primary motivations for getting fit are, of course, looking good and feeling better, but developing a strong sense of self-discipline is also a worthy goal. If you choose to gradually introduce a fitter attitude into your lifestyle, the fight against temptation will be won a whole lot easier.

Take it up a gear

If you live within 5 miles of your place of work, why not consider cycling? There are many different styles available from convenient fold up bikes to style forward Amsterdam models. Bicycles are an exhilarating mode of transport, cheap to run, and good for the environment. True, it’s not the easiest mode of transport to tackle in a pencil skirt and stilettos, so you might have to get changed when you arrive at the office! However, your healthy glow, toned thighs and pert derriere should be sufficient testament to pedal power to get you back in the saddle.

Track your progress

Consider investing in a monitor system such as a fitness tracker or pedometer, and set yourself a daily step goal. For the best results, wear your new device on a typical day, without making any extra effort. Note the step count, and increase your weekly target incrementally. If you make your weekly goal, reward yourself with a small treat, which will be more enjoyable because you have earned it!

Find your focus

Yoga might not offer the blast of high-intensity cardio required to shift those stubborn pounds, but it will bring the focus and discipline you need to pursue your fitness routine. Over time it will also benefit your mental endurance, posture and strength. Smooth out that forehead frown, tone trouble zone and sleep like a stone!

No amount of exercise will eradicate the effects of an unbalanced, erratic diet, so fuel all this positive work with a sensible attitude to nutrition. Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it. Make sure it’s the latter!

Getting A Little Help Along The Way

It’s so important to surround yourself with people that uplift, encourage and support you at an early stage in life. I have mentioned before that Chris and I married young, and while marrying in your early 20′s does have its challenges, I think that for us, having a partner from the very get-go in our adult years has allowed us both to grow into pretty successful and happy people. I’ve always had Chris’s support in my professional endeavors, and I’ve done the same for him – it’s like we have had not only a business partner, but a cheerleader in our corner every step of the way as we climbed the corporate ladder!

crane beach in barbados

While Chris continues to climb, I jumped off the corporate ladder a few years ago, kicked it aside and said “ENOUGH. I am ready to pave my own way.” Of course this wasn’t an easy decision, and it certainly wasn’t one that I came to without lengthy discussions with Chris. I essentially asked his permission to leave my job security, a 401(k) plan (with a heck of a match), stock options and the best health insurance plan I’ve ever heard of – I asked his permission because while I am my own person, we are a team, and every financial decision either of us makes affects the other, as well as our family unit as a whole. I asked him to support me in my midlife crisis-esque “I want to quit my job and rediscover myself” dream and his answer was simple, and exactly what I needed to hear to feel less guilty and secure in walking away from a healthy paycheck and a great benefits package:

I just want you to be happy. 

In our 13 years together, Chris and I have had many ups and downs. But that moment (one that really, really mattered) was an example of the support I have had from Chris over the years, and a telltale sign of what kind of man I married: he supports me. He has my back when it comes to carrying the family finances while I tried to figure out what it was I wanted to do, he encourages me to write about things that make me happy, he supports the crazy amount of travel I do on a regular basis for my blog – and even when it’s a personal trip with girlfriends, he always tells me to go for it.

Banana Boat

Travel has always been a passion of mine, back before I ever began blogging. When I first began blogging and saw that some of my friends did travel for their blogs, I was astounded! I dreamt of one day doing travel for my own blog, actually making a job out of it. I am writing this blog post on my balcony from an Alaskan cruise…which is a work trip. Angeline and I just spent six days sailing through Alaska, spotting Humpback and Orca whales, Harbor seals, and American Bald Eagles with some of my closest blogging friends while Chris is at home working and holding down the fort. That fort includes MY three dogs and four cats…I tell you, the man’s a saint!

He supports me whenever I want to take a trip like this because he knows how happy it makes me, and how fulfilling these experiences are for me both professionally and on a more personal level.

The truth is, I would never be able to travel like I do without Chris’s complete support. And I would have never reached the point where I had the opportunity to travel if it weren’t for his support and encouragement along the way!





Like a good neighbor State Farm is there.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by State Farm via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of State Farm.


Get Social with State Farm:

Like State Farm on Facebook / Follow @StateFarm on Twitter and Instagram!

Take the Magnum Ice Cream Personality Quiz!

It’s August and the summer is winding down. The back to school season is upon us and things can get hectic! Remember to stop and breathe, give yourself credit for hard work and celebrate your victories. You deserve to indulge now and then, you’ve earned it! Soak in a hot bath, read your favorite book, or grab a delicious sweet treat.

Indulgences never felt or tasted so good. You love enjoying your sweets, especially when you look so good eating them! Magnum is the most premium, sophisticated and indulgent chocolate and ice cream experience imaginable, made with Belgian Chocolate, created with pleasure seekers in mind.

Safeway and Magnum Ice Cream want you to Discover your Chocolaty Bliss! Have a toast to blissful, chocolaty pleasure and head into a Safeway and grab a participating box of Magnum for $1 off! (Offer valid in-store.)


Discover your Chocolaty Bliss, by taking the Magnum personality quiz. Answer questions to reveal your Magnum flavor profile, then enter for a chance to win a variety of prizes. I took the quiz and got Gold as my result.

When you want a luscious
caramel swirl with a hint of sea salt, grab a golden chocolatey bar that’s
as bright and exciting as you are.

Gold Bright and Exciting

I can tell you whatever my result was, I could easily eat any of the varieties as my indulgence! Magnum ice cream bars are a truly decadent way to treat yourself.

Go take the quiz and get your coupon here:

Now it’s your turn – share a link to your e-card result in the comments below!


Muppets Most Wanted Is on Blu-ray!

Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted is coming to Blu-ray Combo Pack, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on August 12th!

The Muppets are back in the globe-trotting, star-studded musical comedy adventure Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted,” available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Digital HD, DVD, Disney Movies Anywhere, and On-Demand August 12th, 2014, from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. Starring Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, and Tina Fey, this must-own family film makes its in-home debut with THREE versions of the film: The Original Theatrical Cut, the Statler and Waldorf Cut,  and The Unnecessarily Extended Cut, featuring hilarious bonus content, plus more music, more mayhem, and more Muppets!

Muppets Most Wanted Blu-ray Combo Pack

The #1 comedy in America three weeks in a row, “Muppets Most Wanted” picks up immediately following the events of the smash hit “The Muppets,” as Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Animal and the entire Muppet gang head out on a world tour. But mayhem follows, as the Muppets find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine – the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit the Frog!

Now Muppet fans can experience this laugh and song-filled caper like never before on Blu-ray Combo Pack in an all-new “Unnecessarily Extended Edition,” featuring 12 minutes of exclusive scenes not seen in theaters! Also included on Blu-ray and Digital HD are additional hilarious bonus features, including Statler and Waldorf’s version of the movie, and the laugh-out-loud gag reel, “The Longer, Longest Blooper Reel in Muppets History.”

This most sensational, inspirational, celebrational home entertainment release also includes the featurette “Rizzo’s Biggest Fan” and music video “I Can Give You What You Want,” performed by Bret McKenzie.

Starring Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, The Great Gonzo, Animal, Ricky Gervais (“The Office”) as Dominic Badguy, Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”) as Jean Pierre Napoleon and Tina Fey (“30 Rock”) as Nadya the Prison Guard, “Muppets Most Wanted” also features very special guest appearances by                     Tony Bennett, Sean Combs, Rob Corddry, Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Salma Hayek, Ray Liotta, Ross Lynch, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christoph Waltz, and more!

“Muppets Most Wanted” was directed by James Bobin (“The Muppets,” “Flight of the Conchords”), written by Bobin and Nicholas Stoller (“The Muppets,” “Get Him To The Greek”), and produced by David Hoberman (“The Muppets,” “Beverly Hills Chihuahua”) and Todd Lieberman (“The Muppets,” “The Fighter”).

Don’t miss the most fun, most wanted Muppet movie ever when “Muppets Most Wanted” debuts in the following formats with bonus features as listed:

Bonus Materials Overview for These Products:

Blu-ray Combo Pack (BD + DVD + Digital Copy)


  • The Unnecessarily Extended Cut

Bonus Materials Overview for These Products:

Blu-ray Combo Pack (BD + DVD + Digital Copy)

Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere*


  • The Statler and Waldorf Cut
  • The Longer Longest Blooper Reel in Muppets History
  • Rizzo’s Biggest Fan
  • “I’ll Get You What You Want” Music Video Performed by Bret McKenzie

Bonus Materials Overview for These Products:

Disney Movies Anywhere


  • Frog-E-Oke: I’m Number One
  • And more!

*Digital bonus offerings will vary per retailer

Bonus Materials for These Products:

Digital SD

1-Disc DVD


  • “I’ll Get You What You Want” Music Video Performed by Bret McKenzie

Get Social With Muppets Most Wanted!

Like Muppets Most Wanted on Facebook and Follow @TheMuppets on Twitter!
Two Frogs! One Pig! Intrigue! Music! Mayhem! Muppets! There’s plenty of fun for the whole family as Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Animal and the entire Muppets gang head out on a world tour. But mayhem follows the Muppets, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper. Now Kermit is behind bars at the mercy of prison warden Nadya (Tina Fey), and the World’s Number One Criminal, Constantine—a dead ringer for Kermit—has taken his place.

As Constantine and his dastardly sidekick Dominic (Ricky Gervais) plot the robbery of the century, they are pursued by Sam Eagle and Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell). Will Constantine get away with his nefarious scheme? Will Kermit escape in time to save the day? Packed with dozens of guest cameos, new songs and the most extended, most exclusive scenes not in theaters, Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted is the most hilarious, most wanted Muppet movie ever!

Did You Have a Honeymoon Mishap? #CystexBurningLove

This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. I received Cystex® PLUS Urinary Pain Relief Tablets and Cystex® Liquid Cranberry Complex for my own personal use.  All opinions, text and experiences are my own.
I think I know more people with honeymoon horror stories than I do without, and my own was no exception! Our honeymoon was so anticlimactic that we try to recreate a little honeymoon magic every time our wedding anniversary rolls around, and last year no exception! We booked a cozy room with a fireplace at a secluded mountaintop resort and guess what? It rained the entire time.


I mean, really – the entire time.
There were gorgeous views all around us, which usually lends to romance. But it’s almost impossible to foster romance around a campfire when…you can’t make a campfire because it won’t stop raining. It literally rained all the way from Florida to North Carolina (we drove up) and didn’t stop once while we were there – and we were there for seven days!


We tried to make the best of a bad situation and do some sightseeing. We drove around in the SUV and explored roads that we had never taken befor. We sought out waterfalls that were overflowing due to the steady rains. We even got out of the truck and checked out a few spots that we wanted to come back to – if it ever stopped raining.


At one point we thought it might clear up because it hadn’t rained hard in a few hours, so we set out to explore the nearby Fontana Lake, a resevoir created in 1942 during the costruction of Fontana Dam. I was a gorgeous place, and when it’s not raining, they offer fishing, sunset cruises. Of course, as soon as we arrived and took a few photos, it started raining really hard again.


And then we were stranded in our gorgeous mountaintop resort due to flash flood warnings.
I would have never thought that my attempt to recreate our honeymoon would end in such disaster!
All I can say is thank goodness we had a family vacation month before, with plenty of sunshine on a Caribbean cruise! We had adventure and romance that was enough to make up for the sorry state of affairs in North Carolina.


Many women deal with a different kind of honeymoon mishap, aka Honeymoon Cystitis. It’s not fun!
If you have never experienced the awful burning sensation associated with a urinary tract infection, count yourself among the lucky ones! Many women develop a UTI during their honeymoon due to frequent…um, romantic encounters.

Hey, that’s what honeymoons are for! Romantic encounters, not UTIs.

Have you seen the Cystex Burning Love video? You can watch it here: I think that this pretty much sums it up!

UTIs are serious business, did you know that 8 to 10 million people in the U.S. develop UTIs each year? 1 in 5 women will contract a UTI in their lifetime and 20% of women with UTIs develop reoccurring infections. One of the leading causes of UTIs is intercourse, and of course, that’s what honeymoons are all about – thus, the “Honeymoon Cystitis” nickname.

Fortunately, there is help out there for honeymooners (and non honeymooners as well, because let’s face it, it happens more often than we’d like to admit)! Cystex® PLUS Urinary Pain Relief Tablets help numb the pain and burning sensation with an analgesic so that youre UTI doesn’t ruin your entire honeymoon or romantic getaway experience.


And they are the only OTC UTI medication with an antibacterial agent that helps to contain the progression of the infection while easing the pain and discomfort while you wait to see your physician! Because who wants to end a honeymoon early for a doctor’s visit? That’s certainly not very romantic!

I have used Cystex myself for years now. Cystex is easy to take: for adults and children 12 years and older, take two tablets with a full glass of water three times per day.  It is also recommended to drink plenty of water during the course of therapy to help flush everything out of your system. Of course, you should ALWAYS drink plenty of water, especially during heavy romantic spells.

Cystex® Liquid Cranberry Complexis a great-tasting, drug-free, daily supplement that is clinically proven to promote urinary health. It delivers the benefit of cranberry juice in its unique, convenient Proantinox® cranberry formula containing vitamin C – and is sugar- free! I just started using this and while it took a bit to get used to, you only need a tiny bit each day so it’s not bad at all! If you suffer from frequent UTIs, you can take just one tablespoon a day to decrease the frequency of urinary tract infections.

Please note that Cystex® PLUS Urinary Pain Relief Tablets and Cystex® Liquid Cranberry Complex are not meant to cure a urinary tract infection or to replace a doctor’s care. These items are to help you deal with them while you try to see a doctor and of course, the liquid is to try and help prevent a UTI from happening in the first place.


You can buy Cystex products in in mass market retailers nationwide including, Walmart, Rite Aid, Duane Reade, as well as online retailers. Visit the Where to Buy section here to find a specific listing for your area.

You can find out more information about the relationship between intercourse and UTIs here. Don’t forget to like the Cystex Facebook Page to hear about other honeymoon mishaps too!

While you’re on Facebook…enter to win the Cystex® Romantic Night In! It ends on August 21st, so you only have a week or so to enter!

One winner (three winners total) will be randomly chosen and announced on the Cystex Facebook page at around 12:30 P.M. EST on Thursday, August 7, 14, and 21 to receive a gift certificate for a “Romance Dining Dinner for Two” gift card from, one (1) $150 Victoria’s Secret gift card, one (1) box of Cystex® PLUS Urinary Pain Relief Tablets and one (1) bottle of Cystex® Liquid Cranberry Complex.

Enter the Cystex® Romantic Night In Giveaway at!


For more information about Cystex® and to learn more about burning love visit 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cystex®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Drop Your Pants for Underwareness Movement #DropYourPants #Underwareness

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Depend.

Have you seen the Drop Your Pants for Underwareness movement and charitable cause taking Twitter by storm? I know that incontinence protection is a touchy subject and one that people don’t want to discuss publicly, but Depend is trying to help ease the social stigma and make it a little lighter of a subject!

Depend will be donate $1, up to $3 million, over the next three years to charities that advance the research, education and awareness of bladder leakage for:

Every pant drop, photo and video shared Using #Underwareness and #DropYourPants; and
Every personal video made about what Underwareness means to you that is uploaded to YouTube and tagged #Underwareness and #DropYourPants


You can even score a free sample of Depend to give it a try yourself and join the movement to help raise Underwareness!

Now, I thank my lucky stars that I am not in need of Depends yet – but if my grandmother’s need for incontinence protection is any indication, I will likely need them as the years creep up on me. I watched as she slowly began skipping out on social events, didn’t want to enjoy cake at birthday parties, skipped her treasured tea at events…it became such an issue for her towards the end of her life that she stopped traveling to North Carolina with my parents because she couldn’t be stuck in a car for hours without access to the bathroom. I know that she was prideful, but I really think that using something like Depend for incontinence protection could have make her life much more enjoyable!

Depend provides a variety of discreet products that help people regain their freedom and get their lives back, including:

Depend Real Fit for Men and Silhouette for Women briefs: Look, fit and feel like real underwear and feature a cloth-like fabric for a sleek, ultra-smooth fit.

Depend Underwear with Fit-Flex protection: Features more Lycra stands for a smooth and comfortable close-to-the-body fit.


You can find out more about Depend underwear and the Drop Your Pants for Underwareness movement here and don’t forget to sign up for your free sample!

August is Device Theft Awareness Month! #AbsoluteUncovered

I was compensated for this post but all opinions are my own.

Have you ever lost a smartphone? Well, you aren’t alone! Over 3.1 million Americans were the unfortunate victim of smartphone theft in 2013, and at least 1.4 million smartphones are lost and never found! That’s a combined 4.5 million lost and stolen smartphones in 2013, and as Angeline was one of those numbers when her iPhone was stolen from her book bag in school last year, we know firsthand the feelings of violation and desperation that come along with the theft of a mobile device. It stinks, to say the least. If only we had Absolute LoJack when it happened, we would have been able to recover her stolen smartphone!


Absolute LoJack Uncovered has declared August Device Theft Awareness month to help increase awareness of these kinds of theft! I know firsthand how devastating and stressful it can be to have your smartphone stolen, so I have teamed up with Absolute LoJack to share crime prevention information and stories throughout the month of August in hopes that these numbers (Remember 4. MILLION?!) go down in 2014 and beyond!


A lost or stolen smartphone isn’t just about the cost of replacement, and I think that’s why the theft elicits such an emotional reaction. When Angeline’s smartphone was stolen, she lost photos from her 16th birthday cruise with her two best friends, photos from her first trip to Europe, as well as countless photos of dear friends and family. There was also the issue of her privacy being violated – she had no idea who had access to her information or personal messages with friends and family. What a horrible feeling!

For adults, the theft of a smartphone can have disastrous financial repercussions: how much financial data is on your smartphone? Without Lojack for smartphones I know that I would be in deep, deep trouble because every bank account and credit card is on my phones…along with many parts of my business! When your smartphone is stolen, you aren’t just losing your photos and text messages – the criminals may be able to access your most private information, including bank account and credit card information, passwords and other sensitive information. If you aren’t able to recover stolen smartphones, it’s downright terrifying!


Now, there are a few things that can help protect you, should your device be stolen.

Back up your smartphone! Use iCloud, OneDrive, etc – so that if your device is lost or stolen, you don’t lose your valuable information.

Create a login password! If your smartphone is stolen, you want as many barriers in between your information and the criminals as possible. Likewise, you should not save login usernames, passwords or credit card information in any of your apps.

Install Absolute Lojack for smartphones to remotely delete data on stolen devices and recover stolen smartphones!

Exclusive Offer for my readers: Get 30% off a 1- yr. Absolute LoJack Standard or Premium Subscription! Just use the promo code UNCOVER30 at checkout. This offer is valid through Aug 31st, so you still have plenty of time to take advantage of it – and make sure to tell your friends and family too!

Have you ever had a smartphone, or any other type of device, go missing or be stolen?

Make One Thing SIMPLR™ & Win a $150 Amazon GC #Giveaway #SIMPLRPlan

Tracking Pixel

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf SIMPLR™.

Have you heard about the SIMPLR™ Product Protection Plan? I just heard about it rather recently, and having replaced a hot water heater, washer, dryer and refrigerator within the last six years, I wish I had heard about it sooner!

About six years ago, I had a dryer melt down. This was before we owned the house we were renting, and I didn’t want to invest in a new dryer unless I absolutely had no choice. It’s incredibly humid in Miami during the summer, so hanging a clothesline outside would have meant that our laundry would take ages to dry, and would end up being mildewed when they finally did. I had a long bar in my bedroom so I hung my clothes on hangers, put a fan in the room and shut the door. It took a few hours and the clothes were a little crisp when dry, but it worked until I could get a new dryer. The dryer was followed by a dying washer, hot water heater, and last but not least: our refrigerator.

Just in case you’ve never been on the receiving end of a bunch of dead home appliances, I will let you in on a little secret: they are EXPENSIVE to replace.

If I had been using a service like SIMPLR™ Product Protection Plan, I might not have used my bar/fan method as long as I did when the dryer gave out, and saved a ton of money when the rest of the appliances started dying on us. With the SIMPLR™ Product Protection Plan, I could have easily had my dryer repaired or replaced without interrupting our busy lives, or breaking the bank! I could have also had laundry cleaning service charges (up to $25) reimbursed as well, now that’s coverage!

Life’s complicated enough, why not make repairing and replacing our home appliances easier with SIMPLR™, a product protection plan you’ll be proud to own!


So often product protection plans are complicated with fine print you have to get out a magnifying glass to see and a dictionary to understand. SIMPLR™ is just that, simple. They have taken the guess work out of protecting your stuff and written the coverage details in plain, understandable language.

The SIMPLR™ Product Protection Plan is as EASY as 1-2-3!

2. FILE an online claim.
3. PACK & SHIP your product or schedule your in-home repair.

Say “Yes” to “No” with SIMPLR™ because there are NO additional fees, NO deductibles and NO repair costs.

Then – SMILE – when you receive your replacement, repair, or reimbursement. Yeah, it really is that easy!

I like that the SIMPLR™ product protection plan covers a wide variety of products. They cover much more than your home appliances; coverage includes portable electronics, desktop computers, tables, laptops, jewelry and watches, general merchandise, sporting goods and of course, televisions!


I know a certain teenager that guards their cell phone and tablet like it’s their most valuable possession…which, at 16, I guess it is!

No matter how careful Angeline is with her phone and other electronic gadgets, things happen. Things get spilled on or dropped on occasion – especially her tablet and laptop, because she’s often snacking while working on homework or watching Netflix or browsing Instagram. Most often, the items are ok, but cracked screens and other damage does happen and I would rather be safe than sorry! SIMPLR™ makes those incidents easy to repair or replace and keep the teen drama to a minimum.

Buying a SIMPLR™ plan is convenient and it’s even sold by trusted retailers. I travel a great deal and I was impressed to learn that even my luggage can be covered by SIMPLR™. It’s nice to know that the laptop, camera or other electronics are covered as well!

simplr 1

Have a peek at the video below to see how tough Young Pirates can be on their tablets and how SIMPLR™ can help!

Have you ever had a mishap that would have been made simple with the SIMPLR™ Product Protection Plan? Perhaps you should enter to win a $150.00 gift card to help replace something that you should have had a SIMPLR™ Product Protection Plan on!

SIMPLR™ $150 Gift Card Giveaway

30 individual winners will win a $150 Amazon Gift card! This giveaway ends on September 4th and is sponsored by Sway Group. Sway Group will select 30 winners on/or about September  5th. is not responsible for fulfillment of prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf SIMPLR™.

JOHNSON’S® Makes a #PromiseToBaby

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in #partner with JOHNSON’S® Baby and The Motherhood. I received compensation and free product in exchange for providing this post. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

The moment your little one is born your heart swells with unconditional love. Instantly you become this tiny little person’s protector and from the first day, you begin making promises that you’ll spend your lifetime upholding. From the first “boo boo” to the first bicycle ride without training wheels, the first day of school to the first school dance and everything in between, we promise our children that we will be behind them 100%.

Promises of support and encouragement as well as discipline and guidance continue as your children grow, especially in the teen years, like my daughter. Your patience and resolve will be tested time and again – such as on our recent 14 hour road trip – as you fulfill these promises. Keeping these promises isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it. Repeat after me: it’s always worth it!

Promises are important in my family and we expect that they are kept when made. That is why I’m impressed when companies do the same. Johnson’s Baby products have always been a favorite of mine. There’s something very simple, yet soothing about the shampoo and the lotions. I can reach for a bottle now and the scent brings back memories of when my daughter was little, splashing in the bathtub, warbling like a mermaid and playing with her rubber duckies. I knew these were products I could feel safe using because my mom used them with me, and my daughter will likely use them with her babies!

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that there are people behind big companies. They are Moms, Dads, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents and just like us they want the best for their families. When Johnson’s Baby heard the concerns of their customers about formaldehyde-releasing preservatives and traces of 1,4 dioxane in their baby products, they made the promise and commitment to remove them.

Johnson’s Baby even removed parabens (ahead of their 2015 commitment schedule) from most of their new and improved baby products.


The JOHNSON’S® Baby Family is excited to introduce you to their seven newly reformulated products:

JOHNSON’S® Baby Lotion
JOHNSON’S® Baby Shampoo
JOHNSON’S® Baby Shampoo & Conditioner for Thick and Curly Hair
JOHNSON’S® Baby Shampoo & Conditioner for Thin and Straight Hair
JOHNSON’S® Baby Shampoo with Calming Lavender

In Japanese legend, folding 1,000 origami cranes will result in a wish granted and a promise fulfilled. #JOHNSONSBaby, inspired by this legend, asked employees and their families to help build 1,000 origami storks to symbolize the delivery of their #PromiseToBaby to always listen to Moms. Watch the video “Our Promise” below to see the storks being folded and hung.

My Top 10 Summer Survival Pieces

Summer in Miami means light, loose and airy clothing because let’s face it: it’s incredibly hot and humid and who wants to be any hotter than we have to be? There are certain fashion staples that we all need so that we can look our best without wilting in the summer heat. I have a top 10 summer survival pieces list to make sure that I am prepared for any day, any function, any activity, because no matter what you are doing this summer (or anytime, for that matter), you want to look great!

Top 10 Summer Survival Pieces

Everyone needs a basic summer wardrobe. Living in South Florida, mine is made up of lots of sundresses, comfortable and breathable shoes, and of course…bathing suits!

Your Basic Shorts and Tee

When I travel, it’s necessary to dig through the drawers to find the perfect outfit for my trip, not only because I want to look good, but I want to be dressed appropriately as well. While I mostly wear sundresses, you can’t exactly go horseback riding and zip lining in a dress, can you? I only own a few pairs of shorts, but I make sure that they are comfortable, lightweight and flattering so that I feel confident when I do wear them. Your basic khaki shorts and fitted (not tight) tee are perfect for outdoor activities, a stroll in the park, fishing, etc. Invest in a high quality pair of shorts that won’t fall apart, shrink or unravel once it goes through the wash a few times.

shorts and tee shirt

A Causal Romper

It took me quite a while before I was comfortable with the idea of wearing a romper. When they first became stylish, I thought they were cute, but it’s hard to justify wearing a fashion piece that your teenage daughter is also wearing…

I finally gave in this summer and bought my first romper and now I want more! A romper is a great way to get dressed quickly and look put together! They’re also very lightweight so you won’t be too hot, and some even have pockets! This is really like wearing a dress – throw on one item of clothing and add shoes and accessories and you’re all set for your day, whether it’s hanging out at a poolside bar, a casual lunch with friends or visiting the farmer’s market with your hubby on Sunday afternoon.

jumpsuit romper

If you’re feeling a little self conscious about your body, you can even throw on a Maidenform Weightless Comfort Shortie Slimmer underneath! And don’t forget the bandeau top, it’s  more comfortable than a regular strapless bra and it’s okay if it shows!

This Maidenform Weightless Comfort Shortie is super thin and breathable, so while you are adding an extra layer, it’s so light that it doesn’t make you uncomfortable. I love that it kind of slims and smooths me in all the right places so I don’t have to worry about looking frumpy in my romper!

PicMonkey Collage

Cute and Comfy Sandals

We wear sandals year-round in Miami, but everyone needs a really cute and comfortable pair of trendy sandals during the summer! I like a pair of simple but fashionable sandals that I can wear from day to night…looking adorable in Instagram #WhereIStand photos is a bonus!

Toe rings are optional but highly encouraged. 


The Summer Sundress

I practically live in sundresses year round, but during the summer months, I wear them nonstop! A pretty sundress not only keeps you nice and cool when the temperatures rise, but they come in so many different shapes, colors and designs that you are sure to find a few killer looks with this fashion staple!


This is another one of those fashion items that make some women uncomfortable. Hello, chaffing much?

Shapewear is Your Best Friend 

The Maidenform Weightless Comfort Shortie is a great idea for wearing beneath sundresses or flirty skirts to not only help slim and shape for a more flattering figure, but help keep our thighs from rubbing together and causing all kinds of not-so-great moments while we are outside in the heat! This material is Maidenform’s lightest to date and the short hemline means that you can wear it beneath almost anything!

I love wearing a Maidenform Comfort Devotion slip with some of my sundresses. If I am going to have to wear a slip anyway, it might as well do double duty and keep the bulges at bay, right? This slip smooths and defines all of my problem areas: the tummy, waist and hips, with a built in comfort bodysuit with a a hook and eye closure, so using the bathroom is easy!

shapewear slip

Comfy Kicks

I am on my feet A LOT during the summer, as we travel so much. Invest in a really comfortable, breathable pair of shoes that you can wear anywhere! Sure, sneakers and tennis shoes are comfortable, but they’re not so cute. I love TOMS because they come in so many different styles and they are seriously the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn in my life!


A Bathing Suit Cover Up

The only thing more important than a comfortable, flattering bathing suit this summer is what you put on top of it! There are so many options for bathing suit cover ups, from sundresses to tunics to good old fashioned resort wear. My favorite cover ups are super lightweight so that not only are they nice and airy while I’m outside, but they dry quickly after I’ve worn them.


A Floppy Hat

No day at the beach is complete with a little extra protection from the sun. They’re also a super cute fashion accessory!

floppy hat

A Great Day to Night Dress

As much as I love sundresses, they’re not exactly appropriate for most evening functions. Every women needs at least one great dress that she can wear from day to night.

Wear comfortable shoes during the day, then change into a pair of heels and add some jewelry in the evening and save time – and valuable packing space in your luggage – with one dress that does it all!

Nice dress

A Bathing Suit that You Actually LIKE

There is no escaping wearing a bathing suit during the summer. Whether it’s on a cruise, taking the kids to the pool, heading to the beach with friends and family: you need a good bathing suit.

My suggestion is to skip the mass market retailers and head to a swim shop or department store and invest in a good quality, flattering bathing suit. There are bikinis, one pieces, tankinis, suits with skirts attached, you name it! If you really can’t find something that you feel comfortable and happy in, go ahead and get that cover up and throw it on top.

crane beach in barbados

Are there any must-have wardrobe items that you rely upon to look and feel your best during the hot summer months?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Maidenform. The opinions and text are all mine.

Exploring Madrid

Madrid is one of Europe’s great cities when it comes to culture, and the Spanish capital is renowned for its museums, architecture and theatres. Whether it’s for a weekend trip or a few days away, Madrid city breaks can also be very affordable.

The Golden Triangle of Art

This area of Madrid, on the Paseo del Prado, consists of three impressive art museums. The Prado Museum, the most famous of the three, displays art from great classic Spanish artists Goya and Velazquez. Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, often considered to be the most powerful anti-war piece of art ever created, is among the paintings that can be seen at the Reina Sofía Museum, while the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum possesses a variety of important work from German, Dutch, English, and American artists.

History And Science-Related Museums

Madrid’s National Archaeological Museum has a notable collection of artefacts from the past few millennia, including Celtic, Greek, and Roman, and impressive examples of work by Visigothic goldsmiths. Reflecting Spain’s prominent role in the colonization of the Americas is the Museum of the Americas, which includes items from prehistory to the present day. The major science-related museum in Madrid is the National Museum of Natural Sciences, which has six different departments ranging from Biodiversity to Geology.

Shopping And Entertainment in Madrid

Madrid has a wide range of department stores, but it’s also a city with many family-run shops, too. Salamanca is the upmarket shopping district of Madrid, while the city’s Rastro Flea Market is one of the biggest flea markets in Europe with an amazing 3,500 stalls. For fans of the theatre, Grand Via is the place to visit and found in this area are many opera houses and theatres. Significant venues in Madrid include the National Madrid Theatre and the Royal Theatre.

La Plaza de Espana and The Royal Palace

La Plaza de Espana is the most important avenue in Madrid, and notable features include a monument dedicated to Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote, and its large fountain. Nearby is the Royal Palace, which is the biggest royal palace in Western Europe, and this is open to the public most days. Inside the Palace are important works of art, and a collection of furniture, ceramics, and tapestries. The Palace gardens are open to visitors, and guided tours are also available.

Abundant in captivating culture, Madrid is a city-sized museum, waiting to be explored.

Embrace the Summer Fun Without Worrying about the Summer Sun!

I participated in an Ambassador Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Banana Boat® Sun Care. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

So far this summer, I’ve been to the Florida Keys, Napa Valley, an eight day Caribbean cruise and Costa Rica…and the summer isn’t even over yet! I am nice and tan, but you know what? I haven’t burned! My secret to enjoying all that summertime has to offer without turning into a painful lobster is sunscreen!

Banana Boat 2

Banana Boat® Sport Performance® Clear UltraMist® Sunscreen with Powerstay Technology™ was specifically designed for the sport enthusiast and active individual who doesn’t want to be slowed down while out in the sun. Well, we all know that I am not a fan of sports, but I am pretty active when it comes to the outdoors! I love snorkeling, fishing, and of course zip lining!

All that time in the hot Costa Rican sun could have left me sunburnt and blistered, but I came home with a nice golden glow without any hint of a sunburn.

Zip Lining

Powerstay Technology™ is the latest innovation by Banana Boat and it helps your sunscreen stay on strong through whatever you are doing outside this summer!

The new formula was designed to provide better application aesthetics, including a light-weight feel compared to the original formula, because of course we want sunscreen that feels good on our skin. Banana Boat® Sport Performance® Clear UltraMist® Sunscreen with Powerstay Technology™ is available in SPF 15, 30, 50+ and 100, so rest assured, there’s a coverage option for everyone!

Banana Boat® Sport Performance® Clear UltraMist® Sunscreen with Powerstay Technology™ provides powerful protection that absorbs quickly and won’t run into eyes. This was especially helpful while I was in Turks and Caicos last month, because it was so hot, I started sweating as soon as I sat down on the beach! It’s important to apply your sunscreen as soon as possible once you get to where you are going this summer so that your skin is protected before the sun has a chance to do any damage!

Banana Boat 4

Banana Boat® Sport Performance® Clear UltraMist® Sunscreen with Powerstay Technology™ was specifically designed for those of us who are too busy having fun to be slowed down when out in the sun!

The Benefits of Banana Boat® Sport Performance® Clear UltraMist® Sunscreen with Powerstay Technology™

Available in SPF 15, SPF 30, SPF 50, and SPF 100
Broad Spectrum UVA and UVB Protection
Water Resistant (80 Minutes)
Lightweight, non-greasy, quick-absorbing formula
Won’t run into eyes
Clean, fresh scent
6oz. UltraMist® spray can
Twist ‘n Lock Spray, No Cap!
SPF 100 blocks against 96% of UVA/UVB rays
Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation

When summer fun is calling, I don’t have time to worry about getting a sunburn. I need a great sunscreen that protects me, no matter what I am doing! Whether I am laying on a beach in Grand Turk or flying through the canopy in the forests of Guanacaste, I know that Banana Boat has me covered!

Banana Boat


Banana Boat® sunscreen is teaming up with actress and mother of two, Busy Philipps, to bring moms and their families the tips, tools and fun prizes they need to have the Best Summer Ever! Visit and enter the Best Summer Ever sweepstakes! the Best Summer Ever Sweepstakes gives families a chance to win summer fun prizes, including the grand prize – a family trip to a Treehouse Resort. Hurry and enter now because it ends on July 31st!

banana boat block party

Get social with Banana Boat! Like the Banana Boat Facebook page and follow @BananaBoat on Instagram for summertime inspiration!