Friday, December 19, 2014

Need a Family Gift Idea? Capture Memories with Canon at Best Buy #HintingSeason

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

I've had a Canon point and shoot camera for six years now, and I've loved it. It's been used to death so it's literally almost falling apart, so I'm hoping to upgrade and perhaps even find a new Canon under my tree this Christmas! I'm still doing some research but I'm pretty sure I'll be sticking with Canon which has not let me down.

Since Best Buy has all the latest cameras, I've been comparing what they have. I really like the features of the Canon EOS Rebel T5i, which is one of the best-selling DSLRs (although I'm so intimidated by learning to use a DSLR!). This camera makes advanced photography easy and fun, and gives you exceptional image quality, along with a host of features to enhance your creative expression. It would be great for capturing holiday memories too if you need a new camera right now.

Canon EOS Rebel T5i

• Capture Hollywood caliber full HD video
• Continuous autofocus while taking HD video
• Features an 18.0-megapixel CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 5 image processor to ensure vivid, crystal-clear images.
• The 3" vari-angle touch screen simplifies navigation.

Save $150 on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i at Best Buy, valid 12/7-12/20. Visit Best Buy to learn more.

Do you own a Canon camera? We'll see what Santa brings me on the 25th, okie dokie? :)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Drunk Driving and the Holidays

Disclosure: This is a guest post.

The holiday season is the perfect time to get together with friends, family, and loved ones to celebrate, but too much overindulgence in alcohol can be a recipe for disaster. Experts and law enforcement know that there are a few times each year that drunk drivers are out on the roads in force, and Christmas time is one of them.

Above the Legal Limit

Drinking more than you should is not just bad for your health; it can be bad for those around you. Getting behind the wheel with any amount of alcohol in your system can significantly impair your ability to drive. Any blood alcohol level about .08 is illegal, and if you are pulled over you could face serious legal consequences.

The Deadliest Holiday

Once Christmas is over, New Year’s Eve is right around the corner, and it is a holiday well-known for alcohol consumption. This is the holiday with the highest percentage of fatalities due to drunk driving, thanks to a combination of increased pedestrians out on the street, bad winter weather, and sleepy drivers. When combined with too much to drink, it can be dangerous to be out on the roads.

The following infographic provides detailed statistics about drunk driving and the holidays, as well as steps you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones safe so that you are around for next year’s holiday celebrations.

Drinking and Driving on the Holidays Statistics

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lighting Up Your Home

Lighting is a crucial decor element for every home. Providing the right type of lighting is important as it can set the ambiance and mood of your space. 

This past year Hubby and I have been working diligently to update the entire interior of our home, complete with new paint, carpet, furniture and lighting throughout. Just recently we chose new recessed lighting in our kitchen, which has made a world of difference to the normally dark, central area of our home. We have a new chandelier all picked out for over the kitchen table too.

Consider Your Space

When choosing which type of ceiling lights are best for your home, consider the space. A light fixture that is too large in a smaller area will look out of place. But one that is too small in a large area will not provide adequate light. It's also necessary to consider the height of your ceilings, and even the color of the ceiling lights you choose. Be sure to not mix chrome and bronze within the same room for instance, especially for such a large room accent.

Types of Ceiling Lights

From chandeliers to pendants, choosing the right type of ceiling lights for your home can make the difference between dull and awkward to modern and warm. Tracking lighting may be what you need for an elongated office space or dining room. Perhaps a flush ceiling light is appropriate for your bathroom.

Coordinate With Your Decor

It may be tempting to go with the first ceiling fixture you find, but I assure you that proper research is required to ensure your room decor flows. This is especially true when considering a chandelier for a formal space. Choose a chandelier that compliments with your existing decor and doesn't clash due to color, style, or size. Don't choose something too modern for your space either. Instead, choose ceiling lights that mesh well with your existing decor and will give a timeless appearance.

Lighting your home properly can make it a warm, inviting place for your family. With extra time spent looking into ceiling lights options, you can assure your lighting investment is the best choice for your home.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Safety 1st :: Holiday Travel Safety Tips & Advance 65 Air+ Convertible Car Seat Giveaway {Ends 12/31}

{The following post was written by LeahSay's Views.}
Advance Se 65 Air + Safety 1st Car Seat

With the Holiday fast approaching that means many of us will take to the roads to travel to see loved ones. Safety 1st would like to pass along travel safety tips on "How to Survive the Holidays with Kids". 

I've been blessed, my immediate family are all with in an hours drive, which helps reduce this grandma's anxiety level.

According to the AAA last year 94.5 million people were on the roads, train tracks or in the skies during the holiday season. Wow, that a lot of people! Then add your own kids into the mix of congestion and for some it can mean holiday headaches. However Safety 1st has some tips to help fight some of those headaches this holiday season (no these suggestions won't help you deal with Uncle Bob who has a tendency to be a bit to loud). :)

Safety 1st granddaughter leahsays views
Let me tell you, I snapped at least a dozen photos of the princess in the new Advanced SE 65 Air+ Convertible Car Seat. They were each and everyone a bit fuzzy because she's officially a mover and a shaker!

top car seat safety 1st
1. Avoid peak travel days: Try not to fly or drive the days immediately before and after the actual holiday. Those are the busiest travel days. However, if you fly or take a train you might save money by traveling on the actual holiday, the roads are less congested too.

2. Prepare your child for the trip: Holiday parties can be overwhelming with sensory overload. Especially for young children its good to talk about the upcoming trip days even weeks in advance. This will help him or her get excited about the journey. Show photos of family members or friends your child has not met yet, this way the new faces might be a little familiar upon arrival.

3. "Are we there yet?" To help avoid that dreaded phrase and amour into your six hour trip reserve a bag just for the kids, include books, toys, diapers a change of clothes and snacks. Pre-load a tablet or smartphone with kid friendly apps or games. If you are driving keep all necessary items such as wipes, hand sanitizer or tissues easy to reach in a moment, there are times you may not want to be digging through the bottom of a bag for such items. The Safety 1st Car Door Sanitation Station is a great solution.

4. Car Seats: if you are flying check to make sure your car seat is FAA certified. If it's not clearly labeled contact the manufacture. For parents with older children the Safety 1st BoostAPak can double as a kid survival kit, it's FAA certified , and will fit in the plane overhead bin area.

If you are driving make sure your car seat is installed correctly. If it's been awhile side you visited a car seat check, it's recommended to check your seat with a Certified Child Safety Technician in prior to your trip. is a great resource.

5. Prepare the guest room: If your child will be sleeping in a Play Yard during the trip, use that for a bed or nap the entire week prior to your trip, thus allowing your child to adjust and feel more comfortable in a new environment. Also if your infant or child sleeps better in a dark room or tends to wake up early with the morning light, bring a dark sheet to place over the window, with the same effect as room darkening curtains.

car seat safety 1st
Safety 1st introduces the latest car seat featuring Air Protect + technology.

The Advance 65 Air+ Convertible Car Seat features Air Protect + to keep children form 5-65 pounds safer in the car.

Air Protect + combines the advanced protection of Air Protect® fusion system with patented GCell HX™ foam designed with hexagonal shapes for superior protection around the torso. TOGETHER they provide full body side impact protection.

In addition to Air Protect+, the Advance 65 Air + uses a STEEL-REINFORCED metal frame for extra stability and includes a 4-position recline for an optimal fit to your vehicle. They've also included color-coded belts paths and installation labels to help you install it quickly and correctly, which means less time getting it into your car and more time to enjoy the ride.

Super-extended weight range
Rear-facing 5-40 pounds
Forward-facing 22-65 pounds
Featuring Air Protect +
Air Protect® advanced fusions system protects your child's head, where it's needed most
GCell HX™ patented foam with hexagonal shapes inside the seat provides superior body protection
10-position headrest grows with your child
No re-thread harness
4-position recline for optimal fit to your car
LATCH equipped
Integrated cup holder
Meets or exceed Federal and ASTM Safety Standards

Win It!
Safety 1st is Giving One Of YOU The Opportunity To WIN the Advance 65 Air+ Convertible Car Seat

Eating Out Doesn't Have to be Daunting

Disclosure: This is a guest post.

When maintaining a healthy lifestyle is priority, going out to eat can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. You can keep a few basic tips in mind to make sure that the food you have on your plate is beneficial to your health. Keep your plate colorful for optimal amounts of power packed vitamins and nutrients. If you expect a high calorie item to come along with your order, ask to substitute steamed or raw vegetables when you can. Take a minute to ask the server how they are prepared to avoid veggies that are prepared in non-healthy fats or fried. 

Be sure to get plenty of protein with your meal. If possible, avoid the red meats, which have been correlated with a slew of health concerns. Instead, find your protein sources via legumes, soy based dishes, lean white meats or seafood. Calcium can make its way onto your plate without going too heavy on the cheese and other high fat ingredients. Add it in with nutty additions such as with dishes like almond-encrusted fish and various high-calcium produce such as broccoli. Rice and coconut milks are other alternatives while remaining dairy-free. 

As for bread, you don’t have to avoid it completely to keep a healthy plate. Just make sure you opt for whole grain options. To ensure you order a meal that is balanced and doesn't interfere with any health goals you may have, check out the following infographic for tips on dining out healthy. 

10 Ways to Eat Out Right 
Presented By Gardein


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Savers Thrift Stores :: An Opportunity to Organize the Home + Give Back & The Best Way to Dress The Family For Winter

Have you rotated your wardrobe for the cold winter ahead? Is your home as clutter-free as you'd like? 'Tis the season to be jolly and give what you don't need. I can't think of a better time to do some home organizing and give away the clutter that someone else could surely use. 

I received Savers gift certificates for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.

Savers Thrift Stores is celebrating this holiday season by inviting everybody to “gift back” this December! Donating your gently used clothing, books, and other household goods at Savers is an easy way to keep that holiday spirit alive. Every donation helps benefit the community by providing jobs at your local Savers, and by supporting a local nonprofit partner such as Big Brothers Big Sisters or the Epilepsy Foundation of America.

Donate NOW
It's a great time to donate your unwanted items in preparation for your next Savers haul of winter clothes. And with Christmas in just over a week, your home may likely acquire a few more treasures then too. NOW is the time to purge!

Need another reason to donate? We're nearing the end of the year so it's the perfect time to donate and get a last-second tax refund credit before the end of year cut off.

I'm cleaning house and helping nonprofits at the same time! It's beginning to feel like winter here, complete with the cold bite of clear evenings. I just finished rotating Buddy's outgrown clothes, along with some random clothing of mine and hubby's. And then I donated a nice full bag to Vacaville, Ca Savers location during our trip last week. I'm also still prepping baby girl's closet so a few odd things I discovered were also donated. I love purging what we don't need and now is a perfect time to do it with the change of seasons.

You know what? A lot of good people I know wish they could help others in need, but don't have any extra cash themselves. We often fall in that category as a family too. However, there are always several ways that anyone can give back including volunteering your time, or by donating usable things you don't need anymore. Those in need get help and you get a more organized home. It's a win-win, right?

While at Savers I scored a lot of gently used clothing to dress my family this winter. We needed a few things after our purge! Not only did I find kid's tops starting at just $1.99, but I found beautiful name brand pieces from GAP, Ralph Lauren, Old Navy, The Children's Place and Carters at very reasonable prices. It's not unreasonable to completely outfit your child for the winter season for under $100.

Savers was stocked with jackets, long-sleeved tops, sweaters, scarves, hats, jeans, and pants in every size. I even found a lots of amazing deals for baby girl for next fall and winter that I simply could not pass up. There was plenty to choose from for Hubby, with many name brands at great prices like J. Crew, Banana Republic, Levi's, and GAP. He's quite hard to shop for so I have to plan another day to take him in to Savers with me soon. There was a even small maternity section with hardly worn pieces from Motherhood Maternity and Liz Lange Maternity. I was so happy to find these!

Our shopping trip to Savers in Vacaville was a total success! Along with plenty o winter finds for Buddy, baby girl and myself, I also found a rack of brand new socks and even leggings which I'm hoping will work nicely in the postpartum months when I just want to be comfy. We purged, gave back, and scored with Savers!

“Gifting Back” Savers Holiday Contest
Head on over to Savers on Facebook to enter! Click on the “Gifting Back” Savers Holiday Contest tab to share how you're #GiftingBack to your community during the holidays. Enter with a photo, a story or both, or by using the hashtag #GiftingBack on Instagram or Twitter by January 3rd for the chance to win a $1,000 Visa Gift Card. To spread the cheer event further, Savers will donate $1,000 to the nonprofit of your choice! Two runners up will receive $500 Visa gift cards and Savers will donate $500 to the charity of their choice.

While you're on Saver's Facebook page, I encourage you to check out the “12 Days of Giving” stories from December 1-12. Savers has been highlighting the unique story of one of their nonprofit partners each day!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

More Great Gift Ideas for Under The Tree from Best Buy #HintingSeason

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

What's going to be under your tree this Christmas? I'm back with a few more gift ideas for you from Best Buy - your destination for the latest technology and electronics this season.

Best Buy is known for their expert service and unbeatable prices, so shop with confidence this Christmas! There are several easy-to-please gifts that you simply can't go wrong with this year. Anyone would love one of these gifts, so check them out!

How 'bout an Xbox One? Xbox One is the place for games. My brothers all have an Xbox One now, and hubby really, really wants one too but we'll see. All I know if you can't go wrong gifting an Xbox One this Christmas!

Xbox One was built by gamers, for gamers. With the best exclusive titles (Halo, Sunset Overdrive), the biggest blockbusters (Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty) the hottest sports franchises (Madden 15, FIFA 15, NBA 2K15) and top family titles (Fantasia: Music Evolved, Just Dance 15, Skylanders) Xbox One takes gaming to a whole new level.

In addition to being a great gaming console, Xbox one connects consumers unlike any other device.  Xbox One enables access to the latest TV shows and movies through your favorite apps.  With Xbox One all of your media is at your fingertips when you want it.

Give JBL Bluetooth Speaker or Headphones - superior sound and portability for everyone!

JBL Charge 2- Between the twin passive radiators for deep bass, the massive 6000mAh battery and the hands-free conference speakerphone the key benefit is the Bluetooth Social Mode which allows up to three different users to take their turns to play their own playlists on a single speaker.

JBL Flip 2- Aside from the dual performance-tuned JBL drivers and a built-in bass port, the key benefit of the JBL Flip 2 is the SoundClear echo and noise cancellation combined with the state-of the art microphone system to pick up calls on the speaker.

JBL Reflect Earbud headphones-  Sweat proof ergonomic design.  With a 5 hour rechargeable battery and a reach of about 40 feet, the JBL Reflect BT’s key benefit is the design of the ergonomic eartips along with the built-in magnets which keep your buds on standby without loose cables.

Give the gift of clear direction with a new GPS from Garmin or TomTom! Featuring bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling, traffic and weather updates, lane assist, lifetime traffic and map updates, and voice recognition technology. 

Garmin 52LM

  • 5.0” display 
  • Maps of 49 U.S. states, plus lifetime map updates 
  • Lane assist with junction view 
  • Displays speed limit and accurate arrival time 
  • Easily find addresses and millions of points of interest 
  • Spoken turn-by-turn directions
Garmin 2597LMT

  • 5.0” display 
  • Maps of 49 U.S. states, plus lifetime map updates 
  • Lane assist with junction view 
  • Displays speed limit and accurate arrival time 
  • Easily find addresses and millions of points of interest 
  • Spoken turn-by-turn directions

TomTom Go 50s

  • Lifetime TomTom Traffic: Drive with TomTom Traffic for the lifetime of your device
  • Lifetime Maps (US, Canada, Mexico): Always drive with the latest map
  • 3D Maps. See buildings and landmarks in stunning 3D
  • 5" touchscreen with advanced lane guidance

Best Buy - Great gifts for all this Christmas! Which of these would you LOVE to give or receive?