Diaper Need Awareness Week + Win a Month’s Worth of Free Diapers #diaperneed

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Huggies. All opinions are my own. You can read my full disclosure here.
diaper need

Recently, I shared with you that we have a new baby girl on the way due in November. So, we have lots of diapers in our future. I couldn’t believe it when I heard that 1 in 3 US moms suffer from diaper need? I can’t even imagine. Although, diapers will be an added expense to our budget, I know that we can provide diapers for our baby girl. States across the US have taken notice of this growing problem, and 14 states have issued official proclamations in support of Diaper Need Awareness Week September 8-12. No parent should have to worry about the next time their baby will have a clean diaper to wear.

diaper need awareness week

In honor of this, Huggies is donating diapers to babies in need for every use of the hashtag #diaperneed. How can you help?  For every tweet or RT using #DiaperNeed, Huggies will donate diapers to babies in need! Simply, click HERE to tweet and spread the word and tweet about diaper need.  You can also help by donating your Huggies rewards points to The National Diaper Bank Network HERE.
Additionally, Huggies is sponsoring a giveaway on Time 2 $ave! Huggies will also make a donation of a one-month supply of diapers to a diaper bank in the giveaway winner’s local community. Make sure to follow the directions to enter below and win a months worth of FREE diapers from Huggies!

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Cooking with Kids

cooking with kids ub
When I was little, my grandparents kept me during the day while my parents worked. They had a huge garden we spent a large part of our summer days. As you could imagine, we enjoyed our time in the garden and preparing meals using the produce we had grown. I’ve been cooking as long as I can remember, or as we say it in the south since I was knee high to a grasshopper.

I remember sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen, smelling lunch cooking all morning and not being able to wait to taste test her famous green beans or Lima beans. My friends were always shocked at all the vegetables I loved, but that is what I grew up eating and cooking with my grandmother. I remember my aunt picking me and my cousin up from school and asking if we wanted to stop at Wendy’s for french fries on the way home. My response? “No thank you Aunt Orlyene, when I get to Mama Knight’s house I’m going to eat some fresh collards.” I know, what kid prefers collards over french fries? Seriously!

As I got older I realized what a gift I had been given. Not only did I know how to cook, but I loved vegetables and other healthy foods. Now that I am a mom, I really enjoy cooking with my kids. In fact they like to call it “kitchen chemistry.” You won’t find us doing very many craft projects, science experiments, or art projects around here. Instead, you’ll find us in the kitchen cooking together. Besides everyday meals we always celebrate a new season, holiday, or birthday by whipping up something special in the kitchen together.

According to University of Michigan’s Project EAT, kids that learn to prepare healthy meals with their parents form healthier eating habits compared to those who are not taught cooking skills. I have found this true in my family, as we cook together we talk about what kinds of foods fuel our bodies and how important it is to eat healthy meals.

Many times, if people didn’t grow up with this skill taught to them, they may not know where to begin with their own kids. This may seem intimidating at first, but just know that it is never too late to start. If you want your kids to eat healthier, but haven’t included them in helping prepare meals, you can start tonight. In fact, I’ve included a quick list of tips below to guide you along the way. I understand that cooking with kids can be stressful, especially if the proper preparation and expectations, so this list of tips can help ease that stress.

So what benefits are there to cooking with your kids? Well, I have found that cooking together opens the door for great communication and connecting. Not only do they share their hearts with me, but I a can also sneak in a math lesson or two without them realizing. Such skills include measurement, fractions, addition, reading comprehension, and sequencing. Additionally, when they are older they will know how to cook and won’t resort to quick fixes like fast food as easily.

If that isn’t incentive enough, why not use this chance to cook with your kids to enter the The Ben’s Beginners ™ Cooking Contest? After all, everyone loves a fun challenge! You can read details here for a chance to win $15,000 and a cafeteria makeover to your child’s school (homeschoolers are also eligible) and be the star of your household!

So are you ready to begin? Before you get started make sure to check out my helpful tips below!

Cooking with Kids - 10 Helpful Tips


  • 1. First, decide on a kid friendly recipe together.
  • 2. Next, have your kids gather all the ingredients that they can easily reach, while you get out the rest if needed.
  • 3. Make sure you've got the necessary tools handy such as measuring bowls, measuring spoons, cutting boards, etc.
  • 4. Know your limits and allow your kids to help in a way that is age appropriate.
  • 5. Make cleaning up part of the process by teaching kids to clean up as they go. For example, put ingredients away as soon as you are finished with them and dirty dishes and silverware in the sink.Otherwise, you'll have a huge mess to clean up all by yourself, plus you are helping to teach lifelong habits.
  • 6. Expect a bigger mess than if you were cooking by yourself.
  • 7. Decide what will drive you crazy in advance and avoid it at all cost. I've tried letting my kids crack eggs, however for this season it's going to be my job. Digging out egg shells and cleaning slimy eggs off the floor sends me over the edge, so in my family I'm the one in charge of eggs.
  • 8. Celebrate your kid's accomplishments. Let's all agree that if you've got little ones helping in the kitchen, then whatever you are cooking is going to look like they've helped. You might not win the most beautifully plated award, but the smiles on their face for a job well done is well worth it.
  • 9. Don't cook together on days when you've lost all your patience by 10am. You know those days, we all have them! Use good judgment, wisdom goes a long way.
  • 10. Enjoy! Relish every moment connecting with the incredible children that you get to do life with.

Cooking with your children makes for a great beginning! Visit www.unclebens.com and click on The Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest page to learn more!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Uncle Ben’s. The opinions and text are all mine.

Kuddles: New Baby Line at BI-LO + Enter to Win a Year of FREE Diapers (Signal Mountain BI-LO)

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BI-LO. As always all opinions are my own.
kuddles logo

Recently, BI-LO announced Kuddles, its new line of quality, affordable formula, diapers and baby essentials, now available in store. Backed by the line’s 100 percent happiness guarantee, parents can rest assured that Kuddles will keep their babies smiling, making more time for what matters most.

kuddles baby line

Last weekend I had the opportunity to check out the new baby line at a baby event at the Signal Mountain BI-LO. I was really impressed at the quality and variety of offerings. Until September 2nd, drop by the customer service desk at the Signal Mountain BI-LO in Signal Mountain, TN to register to win a years worth of FREE DIAPERS!! Whoa! Free diapers for a year could really come in handy!

In case you missed my earlier announcement, we are expecting a new baby girl to our family in November. My kids are older, so we are starting completely over with this baby. It’s been years since I had to buy baby items and so much has changed! I’m thankful for the opportunity to check out Kuddles baby line at BI-LO. We’ve got so much to do before our baby gets here!

Join Me at the Making Happy Happen for Mom Bi-Lo in Store Event on 8/17 #KuddlesMom

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BI-LO. As always all opinions are my own.
kuddles logo

Recently, BI-LO announced Kuddles, its new line of quality, affordable formula, diapers and baby essentials, now available in store. Backed by the line’s 100 percent happiness guarantee, parents can rest assured that Kuddles will keep their babies smiling, making more time for what matters most. On August 17th from 2-4 p.m. I’ll be at the Making Happy Happen for Mom in store event at store 3515, located at 703 Signal Mountain Rd. I’d love for you to join me for the super fun event. Bi-Lo will have Kuddles products on display, refreshments, plus great giveaways including Kuddles product, BI-LO gift cards, floral arrangements and the chance to win free diapers for a year. Whoa! Free diapers for a year could really come in handy!

In case you missed my earlier announcement, we are expecting a new baby girl to our family in November. My kids are older, so we are starting completely over with this baby. It’s been years since I had to buy baby items and so much has changed in. I can’t wait to find out more about the new Kuddles product line at BI-LO at this in store event. Grab your girlfriends, and lets have a fabulous afternoon. Can’t wait to see you there! (Kasey)

Shell Fuel Rewards Network Program‏ and $25 Gas Card Giveaway

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by my on behalf of the Fuel Rewards Network. All opinions and text are my own.

Recently, I told you that I was currently in a season where I haven’t been couponing very much lately. Pregnant with a broken foot, I’ve been on crutches the past eight weeks which makes grocery shopping very difficult. As a result I’ve really had to slow down and depend on my husband to help me things I usually take care of. Not wanting to add anything else to his plate we’ve just put coupons on the backburner. But, that doesn’t mean that we stop saving money or making wise financial choices instead we focus on other areas. I was super excited to find Shell’s fuel rewards network, especially since I drive a gas guzzler. It’s so simple to use and can really help you save money on gas. Who wouldn’t agree that saving money on gas is FABULOUS??  As always our goal is to simplify the money process of saving money for you, so I have outlined the most important aspects of the Shell fuel rewards network below. Also, I am giving away a $25 Shell gas card!

The Fuel Rewards Network™ program offers you real savings at participating Shell stations:

  • Simply earn Fuel Rewards savings when you purchase the items you normally buy like groceries, clothing and household goods and redeem them for cents per gallon savings at participating Shell stations.
  • For a limited time, new members of the Fuels Rewards Network program can get a 25c/gal sign-up bonus when they join the program.
  • To qualify, you must purchase at least 8 gallons of fuel on your first fill-up using your Fuel Rewards Network Card, while enjoying at least 3c/gal savings. Then, the 25c/gal will be credited to your account for your next fill up.
  • Signing up is simple! You can request your free Fuel Rewards Network Card online at FUEL REWARDS DOT COM or pick one up at any participating Shell.
  • Savings can be redeemed on any grade of Shell Nitrogen Enriched Gasoline including Shell V-Power Premium Gasoline as well as Shell Diesel, up to 20 gallons per purchase! Simply swipe your Fuel Rewards Network Card at the pump before you pay and watch your price drop instantly before your eyes.

 How to earn Fuel Rewards savings:

  • Shop online with your favorite online brands through the online mall at Fuelrewards.com. More than 700 online merchants offer at least 5 cents per gallon for every 50 dollars spent.
  • Earn rewards from dining out and purchasing groceries
  • Earn rewards at select Shell stations on items like your morning coffee or weekly car wash.

 Also, you can receive an additional 5c/gal every time you refer a friend or family member to join the Fuel Rewards Network program!

How would you like to win a $25 Shell Gas Card? Follow instructions below to enter! Most importantly, don’t forget to sign up for Fuel Rewards Savings, go here to get started!

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Summer Fun with a Great Deal on a Nerf N-Strike Elite Stongarm Blaster! “#KmartSummerFun

“This is a sponsored post, I am a Kmart blogger, though all opinions are my own.”

NERF GUN "#KmartSummerFun

I don’t know about your kids, but I want my kids to have an incredible summer. I want us to make memories and have fun together. Unfortunately three days into our summer break I broke my foot and have been on crutches ever since. So, we have had to adjust our summer fun a bit. I usually take the kids to the Y to swim a couple of days a week, but I’ve been looking for a good deal on outdoor toys that will keep their attention for a while on days we don’t make it to the pool.

Kmart has a great deal for outdoor Summer fun with your family! TODAY ONLY 25% Off a Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster and Dart Refill Pack Bundle. Originally $13.99, now you can get it for only $10.49. Plus, you can pick it up at the store and save on shipping. I’m super excited about being able to order online and pick up at the store. After walking on crutches for 6 weeks I am super thankful not to have to walk around in the store to shop! 

Head on over to “#KmartSummerFun and take a peek at this deal!

Mall of America: Favorite Stop on our RV Trip

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Mall of America. All opinions and text are my own.
Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America

A couple of weeks ago, my family and I participated in the All America RV Blogger tour along with 16 other bloggers and their families. We traveled across country from Indiana all the way to Utah.  My kids favorite stop on the entire trip was at Mall of America in Bloomington, MN. After traveling 14+ hours the day before, a day of fun was exactly what we needed! Since then, my kids have asked 50 times if we can go back.  I think we will plan a return trip, maybe a weekend getaway. In case you aren’t aware of all that Mall of America and Bloomington, MN has to offer I thought I would share a couple of highlights.

Facts about Mall of America:

  • Since opening in 1992 it has changed America’s shopping experience by combining amazing retail stores with entertainment and attractions.
  • 4.2 million square feet, the largest shopping mall in the U.S.
  • Over 500 retail stores, if you spent just 10 minutes in each store it would take you 86 hours to experience them all.
  • Houses amazing attractions, fun for the entire family.

Mall of America Attractions:

  • Nickelodeon Universe®
  • SEA LIFE Minnesota® Aquarium
  • LEGO
  • Theatres at MOA
  • American Girl
  • Barbie The Dreamhouse Experience
  • Star Trek The Exhibition
  • CSI: The Experience
  • House of Comedy



First up, Mall of America, graciously gave us unlimited ride tickets for Nickelodeon Universe. Getting my kids to stand still for this photo while surrounded with amazing rides was no easy feat. We also received complimentary passes to all the attractions the mall had to offer such as SEA LIFE® Minnesota Aquarium, Moose Mountain Adventure Golf, and the Ghostly Gangplank high ropes course. My kids were absolutely enthralled with Nickelodeon Universe, the Lego Store and Moose Mountain Adventure Golf. Even though I couldn’t personally experience any of the rides due to my pregnancy I had so much fun enjoying the day through my children’s eyes. It was so easy and relaxing to follow them around from ride to ride and watch them squeal with joy.


I could barely watch my babies riding the Sponge Bob Squarepants Rock Bottom Plunge. My daughter and one of her friends rode it over and over. I just had to look away.


My husband and son happen to be a little scared of heights. So, we stuck to all the amusement park rides and skipped the Ghostly Gangplank high ropes course. Non-pregnant me would have definitely been up for the challenge.


My husband and son had a fantastic time playing Moose Mountain Adventure Golf while my daughter and her friend rode roller coasters over and over and over and over.

Water Park of America

The biggest question for us in considering going back to Bloomington for a weekend getaway is are there other things to do in the city. My favorite attraction is the Water Park of America! Located close-by it is connected to the Radisson Hotel Bloomington. I was happy to find out that the Radisson offers bunk beds for families. In addition to Mall of America and Water Park of America Bloomington has many other attractions that my family would love. In fact, to make it more affordable, Bloomington even offers the Big Ticket, a 3-day bundled attractions pass much like a Disney Park Hopper Pass with a 30% savings on the top six Twin Cities attractions. You can’t beat this deal. You can choose from the following attractions:

  • Nickelodeon Universe®
  • SEA LIFE Minnesota® Aquarium
  • Water Park of America
  • Science Museum of Minnesota®
  • Minnesota Zoo
  • Great Clips® IMAX® Theatre at the
  • Minnesota Zoo

All in all, we loved Mall of America. It’s the only stop on our RV trip that our kids have continued to ask when we can go back and visit.


The House We Didn’t Buy……..Thankfully

Home sweet home

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a story with you about that time our realtor assisted us in selling two spec homes. If you recall, this realtor did nothing short of saving us our sanity during a very difficult season in our family. On the flip side of that, over the past 17 years my husband and I have purchased three homes, all with the help of our realtor. And so today, I would like to come full circle and share with you the story of the house we didn’t buy, thanks to our realtor.

Last year, we found a home in foreclosure that we thought was perfect for our family. It was in a great neighborhood, had four bedrooms, a partially finished basement, and even a swimming pool. We thought we had found the perfect home for our family at a great price. Although it needed lots of work, we weren’t bothered at all. We had experience with putting elbow grease into our homes, since we completely remodeled the house we live in now upon purchase.

Since we had built spec homes before we had a great list of contractors, we knew we were more than capable for the job. As we walked through the house full of excitement, our realtor began to point out things that in our excitement we were blinded to. With years of experience, he quickly recognized areas of concern that warranted our attention. Evidence of a previously flooded basement, mold on the wall, and a cracked foundation were just a few of the issues mentioned. Even though the house was priced considerably lower than market value, the needed improvements just to make sure that the home was safe for our family were significant. Thankfully our realtor had our best interest at heart; it wasn’t just about selling another house to him. He suggested we get bids from professionals to give us a better idea of how much the repairs would cost.


We knew that waiting for estimates to determine the  cost of the needed repairs could potentially cost us this house, but we trusted our realtor. Turns out, the needed repairs would have cost us close to $50,000! That didn’t even count the cosmetic upgrades we wanted to make; this was just to make sure the house was safe for our family to live. Nevertheless, had we not trusted our realtor’s professional opinion and years of experience, we could have gotten ourselves into a very difficult financial bind. This wasn’t our dream house after all; in all reality it was a huge money pit. In this case, we are thankful for our realtor’s expertise in a real estate transaction that didn’t come to pass. We love our home and are very content staying right where we are.

Besides our personal experience in buying and selling homes, my husband Gary is a Mortgage Loan officer who works with home buyers on a daily basis. Because of his line of work, he understands how much smoother the entire process can go when a real estate professional is involved. Now that you have heard our personal experience in home buying, he is going to share from his professional expertise.

As a professional who works in the real estate market every day, I have seen and come to appreciate the importance that realtors play in working through a real estate transaction. My job is to help families find the right mortgage that will allow them to purchase a home. I have worked with clients who did not have a realtor representing them when they initially came to me for a mortgage. In many of those cases, the client was asking me questions that I am just not qualified to answer. I had to complete many hours of class work and pass a state and national exam, as well as be licensed with credit and background checks. The State of Tennessee says that I am qualified to answer questions that deal with acquiring a mortgage on a home, NOT the process of selling or buying a home. Yes, I have sold and bought many houses through the years, but that does not make me an expert in the field of real estate.

So what can a realtor offer you? The realtor is an extra layer of protection for you. Your realtor will be out in front of your transaction speaking with the mortgage broker, title company and listing agent (as well as many others), ensuring that the transaction is moving along and on schedule. Typically, the realtor has relationships with all of the involved parties and can communicate effectively to ensure the closing is on target. By enlisting the help of a realtor, you can rest assured knowing you have a trained professional who knows what they are doing and can proactively navigate the buying or selling process.

Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make in your lifetime. I don’t know about you, but if I am dealing with a legally binding transaction, I don’t want the best opinion of someone not trained in the business. I want a professional who deals with this every day! Using a real estate professional can be the difference in selling your home or purchasing your dream home. They serve as the protective and helpful barrier between you and the other party. Let a licensed professional represent you, and thus ensure that your transaction will run smoother.

Now that you have heard both our personal and professional experiences, the next step is finding a fabulous real estate professional. Dave Ramsey offers an Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program. The ELP program is a super simple to use, trusted program. You can even find recommendations specific to your local area across the country. Rest assured that those included in Dave Ramsey’s ELP program have passed stringent guidelines to be included in the program. In fact, each real estate ELP professional is evaluated monthly based on their performance. Having that extra layer of accountability can make a huge difference between finding an average real estate agent and getting matched with the best real estate agent in your area.