Keep Inspiring Your Kids to Be Great #GearUpforSchool

Certain brands know how tough back to school time can be  (probably because they see us A LOT this time of year) & keep encouraging us to inspire our kids to be great. Thanks to Office Depot® OfficeMax® for sponsoring today’s post and giveaway below (as always all thoughts and opinions are 100% our own!) When our kids were tiny being their hero was a pretty simple job. As they grow into older children and teens, our super hero status feels a little more questionable from year to year. With another school year fast approaching and a couple of the kids heading to college, we are caught in this place of reminiscing over how much we’ve learned together and how much there is to be learned.

Gear up for college

As parents we attempt to teach our children to not only be smart but to also develop their character as well. We want them to learn to be loving, caring, independent individuals. Teaching them to be independent thinkers required us to be willing to let them contemplate ideas, think outside the box, and take the road less traveled. Sometimes we have let them make mistakes and while we would always be there to catch them if they fell too hard, we also had to let them stumble to understand in order for them to develop a solid foundation of their own in life.

Our oldest just recently moved to his first apartment, and while it was difficult to let go it was also confirmation that we had succeeded in our goal. As we offered help, he let us know, “Mom, Dad, I’ve got this.” Being a parent isn’t easy, being a parent who teaches their child to become a good adult is even harder.  Success comes everyday when you see your children  make the right decisions based on their ideas becoming reality.

We have certainly learned a few things from having a few years of parenting under our belt but that doesn’t mean we don’t still question EVERYTHING we do as parents. Each child is different and parenting them best requires different techniques. If we are honest, we ask ourselves all the time if we are getting it right. As a parent, you always wonder whether you’re doing your job right. Parenting is a massive responsibility that’s ever evolving as your children age.

Sometimes the best feedback comes directly from our kids. Ever wonder what your kids really think of your parenting? These parents got the chance to find out in this video.

Children of all ages rely heavily on their parents to prepare them for whatever upcoming challenges they may face. That’s why Office Depot OfficeMax offers all of the back to school supplies your children need to succeed in the classroom and beyond. Every little thing you do for your children is noticed and appreciated. Help them grow up to be just like the parents they admire.

Gear up for school

Office Depot® OfficeMax® wants to encourage everyone to have a great back to school time by giving one of you a $25 Office Depot® OfficeMax® gift card! Be sure to watch the video above and leave a comment here telling me what thing you do to inspire your kids to be great.

Celebrating Small Business with The UPS Store #SmallBizSalute #CollectiveBias #giveaway

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SmallBizSalute #CollectiveBias

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At a conference I was at recently one of the speakers asked us to define where were from. To some, it was defined by where we were born. Others referenced a “hometown” location and to some it was the city they currently live in.  Our speaker gave us a new perspective when she asked us “Where do the shopkeepers know your name?”  That’s how you know, where you are really from she said.

#SmallBizSalute

When I think of shopkeepers, I think of local businesses. I think of people of the community serving with dillegence to make the city great. People with  heart and an entrepreneurial spirit. That fresh perspective from our speaker couldn’t have come upon the heels of a better time. I returned home to Austin with a fresh invitation from The UPS Store inviting my husband to network and to get to know more small businesses in our area. The event would help celebrate National Small Business Week and all the hard working small businesses around the country.

The UPS Store #SmallBizSalute

The UPS Store does a great job of supporting small business owners in their endeavors. I believe they are able to do this so effectively because The UPS Store locations are locally owned and operated themselves. The stores are not only run by small business owners, but are there to support local startups, entrepreneurs and other small businesses, help solve their problems and connect with their peers.

The UPS Store Chi'lantro

As small business owners ourselves for many years, we identified with the success and struggles mentioned that night. Jae Kim, local business owner of Chi’Lantro BBQ, spoke to us sharing his story of growing his business from the ground up. The late nights and early mornings he talked about made my husband and I exchange knowing glances, remembering what it like. I can only describe it like becoming new parents again. Everything you do is centered around making your business a success because as a small business owner the health of your business really is dependent upon your dedication and commitment to it.

Avocado Bar

I was so impressed with the event that evening. In addition to networking with other amazing business owners over drinks and an amazing avocado bar, we also heard from representatives from other organizations who provide growth opportunities for small businesses. SCORE, a non-profit organization offers free Small Business Counseling and Resources, low-cost Business Workshops, and special customized services. They know the time of most small business owners is in high demand so there are even online workshops available. The U.S. Small Business Association also spoke to us and offered an open door to all the benefits they provide.

I speak from experience when I say, growing a small business can be one of the toughest most rewarding jobs that exists (outside of parenting, of course). Having these organisations brought together by The UPS Store to share their support and encouragement was so uplifting. It takes drive, resilience, and courage to start and maintain small business success. Hats off to all the small business owners out there- We salute you!!

How often do you shop local? Do the shopkeepers near you know your name? Do you know theirs? I encourage you you to visit a small business near you this week and get to know them. I’m sure if you asked they would have some interesting stories to share about why they choose to start their business. Take the time- I’m sure you wont regret it!

The UPS Store

To help spread the love and celebrate the love of small businesses, we are hosting a giveaway!! We are giving away 4 ($25) GC to The UPS Store. There will be 4 winners total. Open to US residents. Giveaway will end 5/18 at midnight.
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iPhone 6 Mophie Juice Pack GIVEAWAY!! Win now from @ATT #ATTPortland Ends 5/12/15

Mophie

This giveaway is brought to you by the following blogs: All Mommy Wants, Merlot Mommy, Giveaway Train, A Mom’s Paradise, It’s Free At Last, Thrill of the Chases.

Have you ever been out and have your phone die? #ATTPortland wants to help you with that!

Spring is here, and for your readers, that means warmer weather, outdoor activities and vacation travel! If you ask any of them what the three essential items are they grab before leaving the house, my bet is that they would say: keys, wallet and phone. But one of the biggest worries for mobile phone users while being outdoors for an extended time is having their phone battery die from lack of charging. Also, phones are frequently dropped while taking pictures with friends and family.

Fortunately for your readers, AT&T has a win-win solution for both these issues. The Mophie Juice Pack is a lightweight, protective, and stylish battery case provides up to 100% extra battery to your phone, and I would like to offer you one for an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6+ to keep for review or a reader giveaway.

Right now AT&T is offering $10 off all Mophie charging cases at AT&T retail stores until May 28.

Powerful, 2,750 mAh protective battery case made for iPhone 6. Get up to 100% extra battery with the flip of a switch and stay charged through the late nights.

Everyday protection. All day power.

The Juice Pack Air made for iPhone 6.
The ideal case for the everyday 9-5er and for those whose day doesn’t always end when they leave the office. Lighter and thinner than previous generations, but packed with more power to make sure your phone can keep up with your busy lifestyle.

Double your power.
Up to 100% extra battery with the flip of a switch. Turn on the case when your battery runs low to stay fully charged through the late nights.

Reimagined for the iPhone 6.
The refined outer band and smooth finish makes for a comfortable all-day hold while defending from everyday wear and tear. Integrated, pass-through buttons and proprietary mute switch seamlessly blend the design of the case with your iPhone. Recharge both devices together with the included micro-USB cable to make sure you always head out with two fully charged batteries.

Whatever the day brings, do more.
From the dawn patrollers to the parents rushing to get the kids off to school. From the busy day filled with meetings and presentations to the day off filled with errands and friends. The Juice Pack Air ensures you have more than enough power packed into a streamlined, protective case so you’re ready to take on the day.

You can WIN a Mophie Juice Pack for the iPhone 6 (in Black)! Enter below!

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Team Us: Marriage Together – Book Review & Giveaway!!

Product disclosure
“If I get married, I want to be very married” – Audrey Hepburn

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12+ years ago I married my best friend. I can honestly say almost every day of those 12 years has all been wedded bliss. Do we have it all figured out? Umm, no. We have just always decided that we are on the same team. Even when we disagree, our goal is to do life together. It’s not you or me, we are fighting for “us” and we make decisions based on what is best for us together.

Another key to all of this is investing our time into our marriage. Just like a car or home, a marriage requires upkeep and maintenance. It would be silly for someone to purchase a car and never check the oil, purchase new tires, or take time for a tune up. The same is true for keeping your marriage in good working order, especially if you want it to last ( hopefully longer than your car!). Taking time to read the manual can help you know what to do when a warning light comes on.

Recently, I was sent a copy of Team Us: Marriage Together. I find that we study the things that are most important to us. My marriage is the most valuable thing in my life and I want to take care of it that way- I certainly want it to last longer than my car! lol.  This book offers couples practical ways to cultivate and strengthen unity in their marriages. The author, Ashleigh Slater, shares from her own marriage as she presents couples with realistic ideas on how to foster cooperation, deepen commitment, and exercise grace on a daily basis.

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If you are looking for a book to strengthen your marriage, I highly recommend checking this one out with your husband or wife. Maybe try one of you reading a chapter and handing it off for the other. It’s not terribly long (176 pages) but will give you both an opportunity to focus in together. At the end of each chapter are questions that spouses can use for talking points and “us time”.  It got me to thinking…as moms we talk a lot about not getting enough “me time” but are we making “us time” a priority?

Giveaway Time!!! Team Us: Marriage Together Book Giveaway

I’m giving away a copy to one lucky reader! Just Enter below:
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Check out the book trailer HERE & hear from Ashleigh Slater HERE.
 
Check out Ashleigh’s blog HERE
 
Check out the official website HERE (you can read an excerpt here to see if you’d like it!)
Many Thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing the prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners are 100% my own and not influenced by monetary compensation. Samples were provided for the purposes of this review. 

Make a $100 difference in your community! Enter to #win $100 visa gift card -ends 12/30 #LiveOnGiveOn #BakkenInvitation

Thank you to Medtronic for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to give back to my community!

We all want to make a difference in the communities that we live in. We also usually have an excuse for why we aren’t doing it right now. Often it’s a shortage of time or money. Sometimes it’s because we compare the things others are doing and think that what we would do wouldn’t make enough of an impact. It’s important to remember that we all have something valuable to give. Sometimes it is something tangible we give to others and other times it’s the way we inspire others that is the  greater gift.

Medtronic has selected 10 honorees from around the world, each of whom has overcome a life-changing medical challenge, such as heart disease, scoliosis or diabetes, and has realized the true brevity of life. These people had every excuse to give up, leave their troubles at the hospital and try to return to their lives before their crisis. But they didn’t. They realized that they have been granted a second opportunity to live each day to the fullest.  Each of these honorees has contributed their best lesson for overcoming excuses and giving back.

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Embrace What’s Difficult – Samantha Peterson

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One of the lessons that impacted me as I read through this was from Samantha Peterson. Her lesson, Embrace What’s Difficult, stuck out to me because so often we push away the things that don’t come easily to us. It is when we embrace difficulties that we become stronger people and inspire those around us. In the process we all become stronger.  You can read the stories behind all the honorees lessons here.

There are little ways we can all give back and make a difference, starting now. I have so many great friends with generous hearts and big ideas. I know some of you could do something amazing and Medtronic wants to help you. We are partnering to give one lucky reader $100 to make a difference in their community.  Wanna Win? Read on for details.

How do you give back to your community?

Just tell me in a comment below and win a $100 Visa gift card to give back in your community. You are free to use the money to benefit your community any way you choose. Enter now – Giveaway ends 12/30 11:59pm!
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