Save up to 78% off with Zulily’s Thrill Fest


I purchased this plus size “cold shoulder” top for only $9.99!

I am an avid shopper when it comes to Zulily. I love Zulily!

I am a plus size lady. Until I started shopping on Zulily I had to either pay outrageous prices for plus size clothing, or settle for boring or unattractive pieces. With Zulily, not only am I able to shop from a plethora of gorgeous, trendy, plus size clothing, but I also get to save money. Most of the the clothing I buy from Zulily are $20 or less. I’ve picked up beautiful tops for as little as $7.99. This is brand new clothing too.

I also shop on Zulily for home decor, gifts, toys and games for my “work kids” and seasonal items. There is literally something for everyone on Zulily!

I recently made some purchases from Zulily (a few tops, some decor for our balcony and toys I am gifting to someone).

Right now there is the Zulily Thrill Fest going on, and during Zulily Thrill Fest, you can find AMAZING deals, up to 78% off! 

Zulily launches new stores every day (which is why I use their app and I check their site every day – year round). There are thousands of products at brag-worthy prices, but during the second annual Zulily Thrill Fest, they are amping it up so you’ll l find amazing deals for yourself, your family, and your home. Shop and save from these different categories:

  • Kitchen – up to 60% off
  • Toys – up to 56% off
  • Women’s – up to 78% off
  • Home – up to 70% off
  • Men’s – up to 77% off
  • Baby Gear – up to 60% off

There are plenty of great finds from popular brands including KitchenAid, NYDJ, Crayola, Ergobaby and more.

But wait! There’s more!

The fun doesn’t stop there, thrill-seekers will have the opportunity to shop:

  • Dash for the Thrills: Unbelievable offers only available for a few short hours (including some items for only 99 cents!)
  • 24-Hour Thrills: “Say what?!” steals available for that day only
  • Social Exclusive Deals: For-the-thrill-of-it items only available to Zulily social media fans

In addition to saving money and finding great products during Thrill Fest, shoppers can also win great prizes, such as a $5,000 Zulily Shopping Spree or a Cuisinart 18-Bottle Compressor Wine Cellar, valued at $1,170, through Zulily’s App-Only Sweepstakes. The sweepstakes is new this year.

Thrills Fest is from June 18th – June 20th.

To learn more about Zulily Thrill Fest, download the Zulily app on iOS and Android, or visit zulily.com/thrillfest and Zulily’s social pages: FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

Be sure to check Zulily daily, as they are always featuring new shops.

Are you a fan of Zulily? What are your favorite things to shop for on Zulily? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.


*I will be receiving a Zulily credit in exchange for my participation. There is no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. I literally do shop at Zulily often with my own money. 

It’s time to take action and protect our children from tobacco!

  • This post was sponsored by Tobacco Free New York State as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.


When I was growing up, I was surrounded by smokers. My father smoked many cigarettes every single day. He actually started smoking when he was only 15 years old! To this day that boggles my mind. I don’t know how he kept that from my grandparents for so many years. I’m sure his clothes must have smelled of cigarette smoke. I’m also curious as to how he was able to afford cigarettes at such a young age.

I guess that is not so unheard of considering the average age of a new smoker in New York State is 13 years old. Thirteen! Shouldn’t these children be playing video games or playing sports?

I was raised by my paternal grandparents (as well as my father). My grandfather was never without a cigar. He loved to smoke them all the time. I never could stand the smell of them.

I also had aunts and uncles that smoked. You would think being around smokers would have prompted me to become a smoker too. I honestly never had an interest. I never did like the smell. Plus I know how unhealthy smoking can be.

Smoking around children during family get togethers back when I was a child was not uncommon.

When I became a parent I knew that teaching my children about the health issues surrounding smoking was a priority. Just like under aged drinking and drugs, I wanted my kids to know how strongly my husband and I felt about smoking.

When our children were old enough to understand, we talked to them about the health risks of smoking. I think we may have talked about the dangers of smoking a bit too much because every time they saw their grandfather, and he went outside to smoke, they would get on him about why he needed to stop smoking. Thankfully he eventually did stop smoking and he has been “smoke free” for years.

When our kids got older, and went into high school, smoking became just as much of an issue as under age drinking. In fact, it was MORE of a problem. Both of my kids knew too many peers who were smoking. Some were so bad that they would sneak outside for a smoke, or skip class just to have a cigarette.

About the time my kids started high school, e-cigarettes became popular. In fact, from 2014-2018 e-cigarette use grew 160% among high school students.

My kids promised us from a very young age that they would never smoke. They are now 22 and almost 20 and they are still smoke free.

E-cigarettes are NOT a healthier alternative. They contain nicotine, just like regular cigarettes. They can make someone become addicted to smoking just as much as cigarettes.

What REALLY bothers me is that e-cigarettes seem to be marked towards teens and young adults. I have seen e-cigarettes available at local stores here in New York, most especially convenient stores and gas stations. Normally the e-cigarettes are found on the wall or counter behind the cashier. There you can find flavors for the e-cigarettes like Gummie Bear, SweeTarts, Laffy Taffy or Sour Patch. How can you tell me that the makers of e-cigarettes are NOT marking these things towards teens and young adults. Grown ups are not interested in Sour Patch flavored e-cigarettes – CHILDREN ARE!


One of the biggest advertisers of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and chew is a gas station/convenience store/coffee spot down the street (WALKING DISTANCE!) from our high school. I see kids in that store every time I’m there (getting coffee). I find it interesting that one of the biggest offenders of advertising this stuff to kids is down the street from the high school. Obviously it’s a prime location for tobacco companies.

The below image is a good representation of what I see when I enter the convenience store mentioned above. I’m sure many stores across the country have similar set ups. This is NOT just a New York State problem.

My kids tell me that their peers think it’s OK to smoke e-cigarettes because they are not as harmful as actual cigarettes. Sadly, these children are VERY misinformed.

Our kids have seen enough. It’s time to take action and protect kids from being exposed to tobacco products in stores – sign the pledge today!

Tobacco Free New York is working hard to educate children and parents on the dangers of smoking (cigarettes, e-cigarettes).  According to Tobacco Free New York;

Here in New York State, tobacco companies spend more than a half a million dollars every day to place promotions in stores where kids can see them. And the more they see, the more likely they are to start smoking.

I totally agree with that statement. I see it almost every day.

On their site you can also take a pledge to support their efforts to educate children and adults about the adverse results of smoking are.

The website also provides a lot of valuable resources in regards to smoking policies, the harm that comes from second hand smoke, and more. If you were interested in checking that out, please visit TobaccoFreeNYS.org. You also don’t need to be a New York State resident to check out the site. The information they provide is valuable no matter where you live. Smoking and underage smoking is a nation wide problem, not just in New York State.

You can also visit Tobacco Free New York on social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also join in on the conversation using the hashtag #SeenEnoughTobacco.

What have YOU done to discourage your child from smoking?

Are YOU a smoker? If so, why did you start and do you have plans on quitting?

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


Best Summer Activities For Kid’s Growth & Development

** This is a guest post. The opinions expressed are that of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect my own. 

Summer is known as that lazy, relaxing time of year. While all kids deserve a break, they still need structure and stimulating activities that nurture their growth and development. What are some pro tips to keep in mind when it comes to your kids this summer?

Vinay Saranga M.D. is a child psychiatrist and founder of Saranga Comprehensive Psychiatry offers this advice:

Create A Summer Schedule: You don’t have to schedule something for every second of the day. The idea is to develop a predictable but flexible daily schedule that can help children thrive. Remember, sometimes boredom can be a trigger for bad behavior. The idea is to still have a routine and agenda, but know that it’s okay to be a little laid back when it comes to sticking to it.

Create A Calendar: Make it visible to your entire family. Write down daily activities and include a chore/activity chart. This helps children understand what’s expected of them. It also helps enrich their sense of responsibility and integrity all while building their confidence.

Don’t Skip Reading: Reading should be part of their everyday routine this summer. Whether in the morning or before bed (or both), make it a priority to read with your kids. Of course, the goal of reading is to make it enjoyed. Get your child involved by going to a local library and scouting out the latest book by their favorite author.

Sleep Is Still Essential: Sleep, especially at a young age, is essential for healthy growth and brain development. We all benefit from a good night’s rest! Even if you extend bedtime during the summer, make sure your child is getting the recommended amount of sleep each night. Try not to get too far off of their school routine because it will be back in session before you know it! 

Cut Back On Screen Time: Sometimes it’s too easy just to turn on the TV. When they’re not swimming or riding bikes, find something productive for them to do. Stock up on fun and educational activities that will help your kids continue to grow and learn over the summer break. Coloring books, crosswords, puzzles and board games are all great ideas.

Some Downtime Is Good: Remember that long days at the pool/beach can cause exhaustion which leads to frustration and overwhelm. Figure out what the right amount of activity is to stimulate your child and incorporate enjoyable activities into their summer routine. 

Keep them social. Summer camps, group play and trips to the local playground are all ways to entertain children without screen time. Social settings often encourage imaginary play and creativity all while developing social skills that are essential for a child’s development.

Incorporate nature. Let nature be your inspiration this summer! Get your children outdoors for some fresh air. Plan a game of hide-and-seek or set up a nature scavenger hunt that will keep them entertained in a healthy way.

Make time for family: Our kids grow up so quickly, so make time to enjoy the summer as a family no matter how old your kids are. Whether planning a vacation out of state or simply a day trip to the beach, the best activities are enjoyed together.

Do you have any other tips? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.


5 Fun Activities To Make Lasting Memories in Summer Camp


Simply put, summer camps are absolutely amazing. With the amount of fun that goes on in summer camps, you leave with some of the best memories that will last a lifetime. From camping outside, swimming, crafts, and so much more, there is an endless amount of ways to create these special memories. What’s even better is that camps now accommodate kids with special needs, chronic illnesses, and other disabilities. No matter what background you come from, everyone is having fun at summer camp. There are specific camps, such as a Christian special needs summer camp, that invite people from all walks of life to enjoy a new experience. With this in mind, let’s talk about some of the many ways to create these memories at summer camp. Here are five fun activities to make lasting memories in summer camp.

Activity #1: Summer Camp Talent Show

Out of the many great memories to make at summer camp, one of the best is getting to know and learn about new people. Well, one of the best ways to do that is by having a summer camp talent show. With kids sometimes coming from all over the world to enjoy a summer camp, taking part in a talent show is the best way to bring out culture and community with everyone involved. Plus, it’s also a great way to see who has the best of a certain skill when it comes to picking people for a friendly competitive game.

Activity #2: Taking A Dive

You can’t have summer camp without swimming. In fact, this is basically a mandatory activity for many people considering how hot it can get in some places. Given that swimming is already a fun activity in the first place, summer camp takes that fun and multiplies it. With diving boards, jet skies and other fun swimming tools to use, camps are really the best way to get the most out of swimming.

Activity #3: Nature Scavenger Hunt/Hide & Seek

One of the best ways to explore the outdoors in summer camp is by having a nature scavenger hunt. Considering beautiful and open the outdoors is, mixing in a game is a great way to allow people to take in the beauty while creating a fun memory. Also, when it comes to a game like hide and seek, there is virtually an endless amount of places to hide outdoors. How fun would that be? Worth mentioning, we need to be careful to not get lost. Some outdoor areas can get pretty dense.

Activity #4: Summer Camp Concert

Another great activity that would bring people together and create memories at the same time is to enjoy or take part in a summer camp concert. First of all, everyone loves music. Secondly, being able to take part in the concert will be a way to allow expression for anyone willing to participate. All around, it’s an amazing experience for everyone.

Activity #5: Summer Camp Dinner

Out of all the activities that summer camp has to offer, perhaps having a summer camp dinner with everybody involved is the best way show togetherness. This allows people to talk and share with one another, meet someone new, and much more. As a matter of fact, the best ability that this type of dinner has is that it brings out the family aspect of summer camp. This is one of the characteristics that make summer camp so special to people and keeps them coming back year after year.

Summer Camp & Life-Long Memories

Summer camp memories are some of the most memorable ones of all. The amount of fun and excitement that these camps have is like no other. To find another place that brings out the same kind of emotions that summer camp brings out is a tall order. That being said, we have to remember that we only have one life to live. We need to make the most out of every second we have on this earth. As we can see, experiencing a summer camp is one of the best ways to do just that. Everyone always remembers at least one memory from summer camp.

Child Identity Theft, the Fasted Growing Crime in the US

*This is a sponsored guest post. The opinions expressed is that of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect my own. 

Have you ever thought about the importance of having some kind of identity theft protection? It seems like news reports are constantly reporting on corporate data breaches, such as 2018’s Panera, Facebook, Orbitz, Lord & Taylor and Saks. These breaches might have prompted you to think about getting protected. Exactly how many digital gates have been left open exposing personal, private information?

Even more startling, children may be at an even greater risk of identity theft. Most parents don’t think about protecting their child’s social security number. Often it’s because a child’s social security number (SSN) cannot be “legally” used until they are old enough to get a job, or when they are 18 and applying for college loans and/or credit cards.

“Legally” being the important word here. Hackers are always one step ahead. They are now creating “synthetic” identities using a child’s real SSN, along with a fake name and date of birth.  A hackers illegal use of a child’s SSN can go undetected for years!

How is this illegal activity going undetected? It’s because most parents don’t think about having to keep any eye on a child’s SSN because legally there should not be any activity associated with it.

Another thing to think about is in the other ways a child’s personal personal information is exposed. Such examples include when a child starts school, camp, and sports. Parents are filling out form after form with all their personal information including social security numbers. Have you ever thought about where this information is being stored? In a milk crate in the back of the coach’s car? In a filing cabinet at the school? The truth is, we have no idea!

There is a company called Identity Protection Planning LLC, that can help protect not only you, but also your child.

Identity Protection Planning LLC was founded by Dana Mantilia Coady. Dana is a business woman with three of her own children and four step children. Protecting children is very near and dear to her heart. Identity Protection Planning was developed to focus on educating, organizing, and protecting families from identity theft. There is a real need to help educate parents on the risks associated with both adult and child identity theft.

Identity Protection Planning’s family focus  is why they offer IDENTRON identity theft protection plans. Read why IDENTRON is different from other identity theft protection companies here – IDENTRON.com/Why-IDENTRON

IDENTRON provides the most comprehensive family identity theft protection available on the market today. The IDENTRON Parent Plan provides complete protection for one (1) adult and up to four (4) children for roughly 80¢ a day.

With everything busy parents have to deal with, they don’t have extra time to deal with cleaning up an identity theft mess for themselves, let alone their child. That is why you should take a few minutes to check out which IDENTRON plan would suit your family needs. You can learn more about their pans here – Identron.com/Plans.

For more information about IDENTRON, visit Identron.com.

Have you ever given any thought to your child’s identity being stolen?

Have you ever been the victim of a stolen identity?

About the author: 

Dana Mantilia lives in Connecticut. She is a Mom, wife and business entrepreneur. Dana has earned status as a Certified Identification Protection Advisor from the Identity Management Institute. While researching and educating herself on the increasing risks associated with identity theft, she realized how prevalent child identity theft. After speaking with hundreds of everyday parents Dana recognized a lack of child identity theft awareness. She developed Identity Protection Planning LLC. A company that focuses on educating, organizing and protecting all family members (including minor children) from identity theft.

*According to the Federal Trade Commission

Tips For Planning A Kid’s Birthday Party


Planning a kid’s birthday party can be one of the most difficult tasks to pull off.  You may think you know exactly what your child wants, but even the most attentive parents can run into difficulties when throwing a kid’s birthday party.  To make the process a little easier, here are a few tips for planning a birthday party your child will love.

Plan the Menu

Kids can be picky when it comes to the food they like and dislike, so make sure to keep this in mind when planning the menu for your kid’s birthday party.  A good rule of thumb is to keep it classic and simple, with easy-to-eat foods like pizza, hot dogs, and hamburgers.  These are foods that most kids enjoy, and you’ll save yourself the hassle of having the prepare an elaborate meal. Depending on the size of the guest list for your kid’s birthday party, you may want to consider ordering food or having the party catered.  You should also reach out to the parents of the children who will be attending and ask if there are any food allergies or dietary preferences you should know about beforehand.

Hire Entertainment

Hiring some sort of entertainment for your kid’s birthday party is essential in ensuring your child and their guests have a great time.  Your choice in entertainment can vary depending on what your child is interested in. For example, if your child is crazy about a certain cartoon or kids movie, consider hiring a character performer to show up and entertain the party.  Other kid-friendly performers, such as Disney princesses and even Christian comedians, can be great options when it comes to figuring out the kind of entertainment you want to book for your kid’s party.

Plan Activities

It’s no secret that kids can get bored easily, so make sure your child’s birthday party is full of fun and exciting games and activities.  If you’re having the party at a public place, such as a roller skating rink or an indoor recreational center, the staff may already have an itinerary planned.  However, if you’re throwing the party at home or at a private venue, you may need to get a bit more creative. Depending on how old your child is and what their interests are, you should choose games and activities based around those factors.  Things like relay races, musical chairs, and treasure hunts are all great options for kids parties, and your child’s guests will have a blast!

Additional Efforts

While food, entertainment, and activities are the main factors in planning a great birthday party for your child, there are additional things you should take into consideration to ensure your child and their guests have a great time.  When it comes to purchasing decorations, try shopping online or at discount stores to get the most bang for your buck. If you’re feeling crafty, you can also make your own decorations using materials you probably already have around the house, like construction paper, magazine clippings, and glitter.  Instead of purchasing a birthday cake from your local bakery, try your hand at making your own!  You can customize it any way you’d like, and you’ll save a chunk of money you’d otherwise be spending on an expensive store-bought cake.