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Help alleviate Back to School stress with a little help from Fruit of the Loom’s Bonus Bonus Contest

 

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There are four words in the English language that can bring chills down the spines of both parents and children – Back to School Shopping.

When I was a child I hated to hear those words because I knew going back to school was right around the corner. I actually enjoyed the shopping part. I still remember how I would perfectly label all of my items and everything was in pristine condition. About a week after school started things were doodled on, pages were missing and I lost most of my pencils.

As a parent, back to school shopping can be very stressful. You have to run all over time trying to catch the best deals and weekly sales. You also have to keep up with the latest trends because you know your child is going to want the “must have” characters on their backpacks, lunch boxes and school supplies.

My kids are teenagers, but I remember all too well how they had to have specific characters on all of their supplies.

I won’t even get started on back to school clothes shopping. That in itself is a nightmare, especially when your children get older and have to have the most trendy outfits and expensive shoes. Our daughter went from wanting a Barbie backpack to a Michael Korrs backpack practically overnight.

Another stressful thing parents think about when it’s back to school time is keeping on top of all of your child’s (or children’s) after school activities. You have to be able to juggle a lot of things at one time. It can be very overwhelming.

Here are some tips that I personally use to help alleviate back to school stress.

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Stock up on supplies

Whenever we come across a great sale on school supplies we always stock up on them. We intentionally buy more than we need so that we have it throughout the year and when the next school year starts again. Such supplies include pencils, loose leaf paper, spiral notebooks, pens, highlighters and markers. These are items you can use for many school years (elementary through high school).

Because we stock up we rarely need to buy more supplies before school starts. It’s a great way to avoid the back to school crowds and lines.

Re-purpose School Supplies

At the end of each school year I always take stock of what my children have left over. When it comes to binders I have the kids reuse them for the next school year. Most of the time they are in decent shape. Sometimes they just need to be wiped down a bit with a wet cloth. Kids can even decorate them to give them a new look using permanent markers, stickers and even colorful duct tape.

Hold off buying a new wardrobe

If you want to save money on back to school outfits, wait to go shopping until October.

Kids always want a brand new outfit for the first day of school, which is fine. After the first day or two kids go back to wearing what they have in their closets.

If you wait until October you can take advantage of great sales. It also gives kids (and parents) a chance to see what are the “in styles” to wear.

But we always buy the essentials before school starts, like new underwear, socks and undergarments (tank tops, undershirts…). In fact, we stock up on them. You can never have too many underwear and socks.

Fruit of the Loom is offering “Bonus Packs” of kids underwear, just in time for back to school shopping. The Bonus Packs come with three extra underwear. That is a great bonus! Fruit of the Loom was kind enough to send us a package.

Underwear

The Fruit of the Loom Bonus Packs with +3 extra underwear are available at Target or Walmart.

Fruit of the Loom is also hosting a contest called Fruit of the Loom Bonus Bonus Contest.

The contest gives moms and dads the opportunity to win a variety of prizes including:

  • 1 free month of Hello Fresh prepackaged meals
  • Movie Night out at AMC Theaters
  • Pampering from a national massage company
  • Dinner at your favorite restaurant
  • New beauty looks from a beauty-box subscription

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 or older. Enter by 11:59 p.m. ET 8/14/16.  For Official Rules, including prize descriptions and how to enter without purchase, visit http://bit.ly/29M9wo9. Void where prohibited.

Entering the contest is super easy.

  1. Follow @FruitOfTheLoom on Twitter or Instagram;
  2. Tweet or Post a photograph of any Fruit of the Loom® underwear product and/or package, opened or unopened, along with a caption telling your most humorous stress-related story from the back to school shopping season.
  3. You MUST also include the hashtag #BonusBonusContest.

I received one of the Fruit of the Loom Bonus Bonus Packs with one of the prizes you could possibly win if you enter. Mine came with a AMC movie theater gift card. You can read more about it below.

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Invest in a good calendar

I cannot stress enough how having a good calendar to help you keep track of things and stay organized is a MUST. I update ours weekly (usually on the weekend for the following week). That way I can see the upcoming week in advance and know what I have to do and where I have to go. Without it I would be totally frazzled not knowing from one day to the next what I have to do.

Take some “me” time

It’s OK to take some time to yourself. As a parent we have a lot of pressure put on us to ensure our kids are totally prepared for the new school year. There are things to buy, forms to fill out, haircuts to schedule for… it can be a lot. I think the more kids you have the more stressful it can be too. There is a lot you have to juggle. Therefore it’s essential that you take some time for yourself to focus on the things that you enjoy and/or find relaxing. Don’t worry… your kids will start off the new school year just fine.

If you can find at least 30 minutes per day to do something that YOU enjoy and/or something JUST FOR YOU, that would be the best way to alleviate the stress that surrounds back to school time.

Something else I love to do (great “me” time or a fun time with a friend or loved one) is going to the movies. I love the movie going experience. Watching movies at home is fine, but nothing beats seeing a film on the big screen. Some movies are especially better on the big screen.

Movie Night

One of the Fruit of the Loom Bonus Bonus Contest prizes is a Movie Night out at AMC Theaters. The prize is an AMC gift card that can be used at AMC theaters across the country.

I LOVE going to the movie theater. I have even gone to see movies on my own, but nothing beats going to see a movie with my husband (aka “Date Night”). We try to get out to the movies at least every other month, usually a few times during the summer because so many great movies come out in the summer months.

Here is my hubby and me enjoying The Secret Life of Pets at our local AMC theater with the super comfortable and relaxing reclining seats. Talk about relaxing. I wasn’t stressing over a thing.

Theater

 

Are YOU ready for back to school time? Have you started back to school shopping yet?

What do you think about Fruit of the Loom Bonus Packs and the fun contest? Will you be on the lookout for the Bonus Packs? Will you be entering the contest?

What do you do personally do to ensure that you don’t get too stressed during the start of the new school year?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

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Kimberly

*I have partnered with Fruit of the Loom to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Beautiful, colorful, gem jewelry from Biographie (giveaway ends 7/31/16)

 

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Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am a simple person. I have a few main staples in my life that I stick with. That doesn’t meant that I don’t enjoy mixing things up a bit – I do! After all, I’m a Gemini and we tend to get bored with things easily. Just ask my husband and how many time I’ve asked him to re-paint rooms and move furniture and wall art around.

When I was a teen/young adult I used to go all out with my jewelry. I had jewelry is all different color and styles. I even have three holes in each ear and would wear different earrings all the time.

I never left the house without my hair perfectly coiffed, my make-up looking great and not wearing jewelry to match my ensemble (earrings, necklace, bracelet – often rings).

These days I go by the “less is more” ideology. Less make up (a lot less – as in just mascara for the most part), my hair up in a ponytail and usually just my wedding ring. I do however have other pieces of jewelry that I tend to wear often.

When I turned 16 my mom gave me the most beautiful opal ring. I still have it but it’s buried in my father’s basement in my old jewelry box. I loved that ring, but sadly she bought the wrong size and I could only wear it on my pinky.

That was the first time I ever saw an opal. I love how it had a rainbow effect to it. It was constantly changing color depending on how the light hit it. From that moment on I loved opals.

I would have to say my top three favorite gem stones are diamonds (I only own one real one – my engagement ring), emeralds (my birthstone – I also love the color green) and opals.

If you are a fan of colorful gem stones you might want to check out the website Biographie. Biographie offers stunning, colorful, and unique jewelry designs.

I love how Biographie uses colored gems to add a pop of color to their beautiful jewelry designs. Here are just a few gorgeous examples.

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long-opal-earrings__93671.1468569494

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rose-cut-labradorite-ring__94877.1463240555

turquoise-amethyst-bracelet__22953.1466720656

It was hard for me to find some pieces to showcase in this post. There are way too many beautiful pieces to choose from.

I was fortunate that Biographie wanted to send me a piece of jewelry to review. I was sent to review an opal bracelet. I was so excited to receive it that I stalked our delivery guys every day.

This opal bracelet would be the second opal jewelry I’ve ever owned (aside from my Sweet 16 ring). This time I knew it was going to fit me, unlike the ring.

The bracelet took my breath away! It’s more beautiful in person than it appears in photos. It’s very colorful! These opals truly shine in the light – especially the sunlight! In hindsight I should have taken a photo in the sunlight to really show off how colorful these opals are.

opal 1

opal 2

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If you look at the close up photo (above) you can see the variety of colors the opals give off – from neon green to hot pink and from sky blue to orange and just about every color on the rainbow.

The bracelet is beautifully made. I always have some hesitation when I wear fine jewelry that it’s going to snap and break and I’ll lose all the gems. I didn’t feel that way with this bracelet. You can see and feel how well made it is.

I love that this bracelet can go from something casual, like running errands, to a fancy dinner or night on the town. It’s a very versatile bracelet that you can wear all day long. It’s also comfortable to wear too. I don’t even realize it’s on my write most of the time.

This has quickly become one of my favorite pieces of jewelry to wear. As I mentioned earlier I tend to be more of a minimalist. This bracelet fits right in to that way of thinking because it’s lightweight, it can go from day to night and I hardly feel that I am wearing it.

I won’t wear this to work only because I work with little kids and I often come home with glue, paint or other sticky things on my person. I don’t want to take a chance of getting something on my bracelet from Biographie. I wear my bracelet outside of work (I just take it off and put it back one before/after work).

If you would like to learn more about Biographie, or check out the beautiful gem jewelry, visit Biographie.com. The brand is also found on social media. All of their links are found on the bottom left of their homepage.

Necklace

Biographie has generously offered to give a lucky reader a lovely opal necklace valued at $150. The necklace is gold with a 16″ chain. If the chain is too small you could always move the opal charms to a longer chain.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on July 31, 2016 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator. The winner will be contacted via email will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this prize package and/or what is your favorite gem stone?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Happy 15th Anniversary Legally Blonde

 

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Are you familiar with the funny Reese Witherspoon comedy, Legally Blonde?

Today is the film’s 15 Anniversary. WOW! I can’t believe the film came out so long ago. My son was a year and a half old back then.

The film is still just as funny and entertaining as it was the first time I saw it.

If you have never seen the film, Legally Blonde is about a sorority girl Elle Woods (Witherspoon), who comes from a very well off family. She’s going to college for fashion and is hoping her boyfriend Warner will pop the question.

Warner has no intention of marrying Elle. He plans on going to law school and become a partner in a law firm and he feels like he needs to have a better, more educated, girlfriend by his side. He in turn breaks up with Elle.

Not willing to give up on Warner that easily, Elle has the crazy idea of going to Harvard Law School where Warner attends in hopes of winning him back. Little does she know at that time Warner has moved on and has a new fiancee.

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No one at Harvard Law School takes Elle seriously with her Barbie doll appearance and little Chihuahua Buster always in tow.

Elle manages to prove herself after all and ends up being selected as an intern to work with a law firm on a really big case. She ends up having to work along side Warner and his fiancee on the case.

Will she prove herself as a great lawyer? Will she win back Warner? You’ll just have to pick up a copy of the film to find out.

Elle had some pretty wardrobe ensembles throughout the film.

To help celebrate, T.J.Maxx and Marshalls created the below looks from Elle’s most notable outfits from the movie.

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LB2

LB3

What do you think of these looks? Do you think T.J. Maxx/Marshalls did a good job re-creating them with pieces that can be found at T.J. Maxx/Marshall stores?

Which is your favorite look? I think the middle one is great for the summer and the top one is good look for both work and play during the summer. I think the bottom look would be better suited for back to school time.

Elle was also all about her shoes. I can tell you from experience that T.J. Maxx/Marshalls has a great shoe selection. I know this because my teenage daughter LOVES shoes and bags and we can’t go anywhere near a T.J Maxx and/or Marshalls store without her wanting to go in and check out the shoes and bags.

Here are just a few examples.

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Elle would be proud. Personally I am a sneaker or barefoot kind of girl. I do think some of the styles shown above are really nice (I love the colors).

To find a TJ Maxx or Marshalls location near you visit TJMaxx.com and/or MarshallsOnline.com. Both brands can also be found on social media. Link are found on their websites.

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Kimberly

*I have partnered with T.J. Maxx/Marshalls to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Enjoy your music on the go with Wraps – wearable ear buds

 

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Do you enjoy listening to music? Most people do. Some people more than others.

I love listening to music when I drive, or when I am at home either working or cleaning. My kids on the other hand always have ear buds in their ears listening to their music on Spotify or Pandora.

I’m not a fan of ear buds. I don’t like how they feel in my ear. I prefer the over the head type of headphones. They may be bigger and more cumbersome, but I find them more comfortable to use.

My kids love ear buds and won’t use anything else.

I seem to be constantly buying new ear buds for my kids. Either they leave them lying around and the cats chew on them, or they misplace them. They have also left them in their pant pockets and have been washed, left in their friend’s cars and dropped on the bus. We can never seem to keep them around my home. Something is always happening to them.

My son is currently using ear buds that he has not lost as of yet. That is because when not in use the ear buds are worn on his wrist like a bracelet. The ear buds are from a company called Wraps.

Wraps are ear buds that wrap around your wrist when not in use and double as a fashionable bracelet for both men and women, boys and girls.

Wraps ear buds are used the same way as any other ear bud. You pop one end into your music source and the buds into your ears. When you are finished using them simply wrap them around your wrist and you have yourself a nice bracelet.

Here is my son’s Wraps ear buds wrapped on his wrist.

My Wraps ear buds

The ear buds are made very well. Unlike other ear buds that are made out of thin wires that can easily break, the Wraps ear bud are  made with a thicker material, making them withstand daily use and hold up much better.

They are also less likely to get tangled, which is a pet peeve of my kids.

These eye-catching headphones – tuned by world-renowned British Audio sound engineers – deliver crystal-clear, high-quality sound. When you’re not jamming out, wrap them around your wrist and wear it as a stylish bracelet to give your outfit a little something extra.

My son tells me that they are comfortable to wear.

When worn on the wrist, the unique patented slider system keeps the lightweight matte heads, slider and jack plug all connected together for a secure compact fit. The cables are kept in perfect alignment which is how they remain tangle-free.

Wraps

Celebs give Wraps a thumbs up too! Wraps was recently featured the Grammy Awards! They were also at the MTV European Music Awards last year and singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran has been sporting them at the airport and during jam sessions ever since.

These are great for listening to your music on-the-go. You don’t have to worry about misplacing or breaking your ear buds. And when not in use you have a stylish bracelet to go with whatever you are wearing.

Here are some additional images of Wraps in use taken from the Wraps website.

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Wraps are available in a variety of colors and styles. They range in price from $21.99 for the basic Wrap to $38.99 for leather and beaded Wraps.

I love this idea. My son has not lost these nor have they broken. They have probably lasted longer than any other ear bud he’s ever used. He is also very pleased with them. My teen daughter has even requested that we get her a pair for her birthday.

If you would like to learn more about Wraps ear buds you can visit their official website, MyWraps.com.

What do you think about Wraps? Do they look like something you’d like to own?

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Kimberly

*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Take a Walk on the Wild Side with Wearable Art That Benefits Animals

 

Pets

I am a big time animal lover. Not only do we have a mini-zoo at home (five cats, a dog and a Goldfish), but I grew up around animals (horses, dogs, cats, birds, fish…). I love all kinds of animals, big and small, domestic and wild.

All of our pets are adopted, except our Goldfish – we won him at the country fair. I believe that all animals in the shelter deserve loving, caring homes. I also feel that animals world wide deserve to be treated well and with respect. For that reason I am always happy to support companies that help animals in some degree.

Animal lover and artist Amy Pugh has combined her passion for painting and her love for animals to create stunning one-of-a-kind vegan bags and accessories – backpacks, pencil bags, wristlets, totes and more – that feature her unique paintings. The name of her company is Salvador Kitti, named after her art appreciation cat by the same name.

Amy donates some of the proceeds from the sale of her products to animal welfare charities. Currently she is donating a portion of the sale of her Purr-fect Cheetah Tote to the Cheetah Conservation Fund.

Cheetah Tote

I absolutely LOVE this tote bag. The Cheetah painting is breathtaking.

In addition, she has a “green” company, meaning they do what they can to reduce their “carbon footprint.”

I like the backstory as to how the company name came to be.

When artist Amy Pugh rescued a stray cat she never thought that animal would change her life’s purpose in such a huge way. That cat had 5 kittens inside her Atlanta, GA home, one of them being Salvador, who immediately stood out for his curiosity with her artwork. Soon, Salvador started painting himself, dipping his paws in the paint and walking across the canvas. From here, Salvador Kitti was born.

Too cute!

I was sent a few Salvador Kitty products to check out for myself. I was sent a wristlet, wristlet/coin purse and keychain “charm.”

If you look at the larger wristlet, at first glance you might notice just a colorful pattern. But when you look at it some more you realize it’s the image of a cat looking at it’s self in the mirror. What is looking back at the cat is a majestic lion. I believe the cat featured in this painting is Salvador, Amy’s cat whom the company was named after.

Salvador Kitty 1

The wristlet is very roomy featuring one large inner pocket and two side pockets (on the inside). This lightweight wristlet is roomy enough to carry your wallet, car keys, cellphone and some make up.

The smaller wrislet could double as a coin purse. It features a mother and baby giraffe. There is only one pocket on the inside.

The smaller wristle could hold a small wallet and/or cellphone and car keys.

Both wristlets are sold. I’m not sure what kind of material they are made from.

Light from the window is reflecting off the giraffes. The detail is sharper in person.

Light from the window is reflecting off the giraffes. The detail is sharper in person.

Each one also features a very well made strap.

I don’t have a picture of the keychain charm. I have no idea where it went! I seemed to have misplaced it.

The keychain charms can also be used to adorn your Salvador Kitti bag (or any other bag you would like to clip it to).

Each bag also come with a logo charm (paw print) on the zipper pull. The paw print is made out of a series of hearts.

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For me, the Salvador Kitti bags are a win-win-win situation. Win #1 – A beautiful bag. Win #2 – They feature animals and I love animals. Win #3 – a portion of the sales goes to help animal charities.

Salvador Kitti currently has a KickStarter campaign going on worth checking out. There is also a brief video on the KickStarter page that features Amy’s cat Salvador, whom the business was named after.

Here is the link to the KickStarter campaign – Salvador Kitti on KickStarter.

Salvador Kitti also carries other products including watches, aprons, backpacks and more.

You can see more of Salvador Kitti’s work here – www.SalvadorKitti.com. You can also check them out on Facebook.

What do you think about the bags? Has any of Salvador Kitti’s designs caught your eye? If so, which one/ones?

Salvador Kitti Logo

Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Invisibobble introduces a new collection – Secret Garden

 

Invisibobble

A while back I introduced readers to a hair accessory called invisibobble (lower case “i”). Invisibobble are plastic/elastic type hair bands the can be used similar to a rubber brand with the exception that they don’t damage your hair. The also make colorful bracelet when not in use.

You can read my original review here – Introducing invisibobble – a hair ring, bracelet and styling tool all in one.

I was sent a few to review. I still use them. I also keep them all over the place so I always have something available to me to pull my hair up if I want to/need to. I keep one in each of the purses I use most frequently, one in my car, one in my car’s glove compartment (just in case) and one in my husband’s car. I also have a couple of my desk and several in the bathroom.

invisibobbles can be worn as fashionable bracelets

invisibobbles can be worn as fashionable bracelets

The invisibobble bands are easy to use. Simply use them in your hair the same way you would an rubber hair band. The difference is that they don’t damage your hair like traditional rubber hair bands too.

They don’t leave marks in your hair and don’t make your hair feel like it’s being pulled too hard (which can cause headaches as well as damage your hair).

I have thick, heavy hair and they work well in my hair. I just have to wrap them around my hair a few times to make sure it’s holding it all together.

When not in use invisibobbles double as a fashion statement. They are fun and colorful bracelets.

Invisibobble recently introduced a new collected called Secret Garden. The Secret Garden Collection includes the following new colors;

invisibobble colors

 

Lucky Fountain (a light blue/gray color)

Sweet Clementine (soft, bright orange)

Forbidden Fruit (light, bright soft green)

Cherry Blossom (baby soft pink)

Forbidden Fruit is my favorite because I love the color green.

Each pack includes 3 hair rings.

Invisibobble are available in a variety of colors. The new colors are ideal for Spring/Summer (and beyond).

For more information about invisibobble visit their official website, invisibobble.com. The new colors are listed under Secret Garden.

Invisibobbles are available at Urband Outfitters and Top Shop. The Secret Garden colors will only be available until September 2016.

What do you think about invisibobble? Do you like the new colors?

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Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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