It’s Joovy Tuesday!

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Joovy is a wonderful children’s company that I have come to love, really, really love!

I (or my children, rather) previously had the opportunity to test out the Joovy Bicycoo BMX balance bike and it has been a hit with them as well as all of their friends.

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More recently, however, Joovy has given me the chance to test out one of their most amazing products and we are having  ball with it! We’ve gone nearly everywhere with it and I am SUPER excited to be able to tell you all about it…. soon.

For today, how does a giveaway sound?

Yessiree! A Joovy Tuesday giveaway, in fact! Joovy is giving THREE winners (yes, three!) the chance to win Joovy shopping sprees! So here is your shot at gold (or greenie and orangie!). With three prizes ranging from $100 to $300, your chances of winning are stellar! What are you waiting for?!

Click here —> a Rafflecopter giveaway

And be sure to keep an eye out for the newest Joovy post coming very, very soon – here, and on the Eighty MPH Mom website as well!

Happy Joovy Tuesday, everyone! And good luck!

Car Seat Safety Tips and Britax Giveaway

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As many of you already know, I recently had the opportunity to review the Britax Frontier 85 SICT Harness-2-Booster seat for the Eighty MPH Mom website. It is, by far, my favorite seat on the market for our little one’s age and size. Check out the full review here for all of the details and a chance to win your very own!

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Now, as promised, this is the long-awaited “Part 2” follow-up to the original post. Child passenger safety is at the forefront of my mind the second we set foot out of our door and into any vehicle. I could, very likely, go on for days rambling off all of the car seat world’s faux-pas as well as positive points. However, had I touched on these in the original post, it would have made for quite the lengthy read. Alas, “Part 2” has finally arrived.

Below is a quick compilation of some of the most necessary car seat tips as well as current recommendations and/or laws that will help keep your child safer while traveling.

1. Choose the right seat!

                 Right Seat - NHTSA

*Photo credit: National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration

2. Never buy a used car seat!
Unless you’re doing so from a very close family member or friend, there is no way to tell if a seat has been involved in a car accident, thus making it unsafe for use. Also, car seats DO have expiration dates that need to be taken into account. Expired seats need to be disposed of properly and are not adequate for use after its expiry date.

3. Read the manual!
The most common problem with car seats is the simple misuse by parents. Be sure to read your seat’s (and vehicle’s) manual to insure proper installation before ever getting your little one into the car.

4. No jackets!
Winter coats are a big no-no because they do not allow for the correct tension of the straps on your child. Instead of risking your child’s safety, take the few extra minutes to warm up the vehicle before getting in.

5. Fit your child correctly!
If the harness and straps are not positioned correctly on your child, the seat is not able to fully do its job in protecting your precious passenger.

6. Extended rear-facing!
Do NOT turn your child forward-facing prior to their second birthday. The old recommendation was one-year-old AND a minimum of twenty pounds but studies have shown that extended rear-faced riding greatly benefits the child where safety is concerned. The current recommendation is to keep your child in the rear-faced position until they outgrow the seat’s limits or are, at least, two-years-old and twenty pounds.

7. Boostering is still a necessary step!
Many parents are forgoing the boostering step because they believe that their child is old and/or big enough to ride with just the vehicle’s seat belt. Most children, however, do not meet the requirements for this until closer to the early teenage years. For a reference point – I, as well as many women I know, could still (technically) ride boostered.

8. Wear your own seat belt!
Not only will you be setting a good example for your child but you will also be protecting them further in the event of a crash. Unbelted passengers, when involved in an accident, can become projectiles themselves and cause injury to accompanying passengers, including children in car seats.

9. Keep your vehicle clean!
To touch again on projectiles in the car, if your vehicle is clean, there are less (if any) objects that could cause injury to you and/or your passengers during a crash. Everything from your cell phone to your child’s sippy cup is a possible danger.

10. No after-market products!
There are a slew of after-market products designed to, both, entertain and create extra comfort for your child. Just about all of these products are unsafe! Please, do your research before purchasing anything that did not come with your child’s seat.

BECOME KNOWLEDGEABLE!
Knowing what is best for your child comes with the territory of parenthood but, as much as we’d hate to admit it, we don’t always know it all. Fix that. Make yourself knowledgeable about passenger safety for, both, your child as well as yourself. Then, share that knowledge with others in an effort to keep children everywhere safe.

Make a Resolution that You Can Keep with Toby Keith’s Wild Shot Mezcal

Now, while it may be true that my little ones have a love for Toby Keith’s “Red Solo Cup,” some things are strictly meant to be for Mommy and Daddy. I’ll happily sing along with them and Toby but after bed time stories are read, kids and stuffed animals are tucked gently into bed, and hugs and kisses goodnight have been given and had, the ever so needed adult time begins. It’s true that most nights consist of us heading to bed shortly thereafter because, as we all know, parenting can be quite tiring. The typical routine is bath, story, and bed followed by laundry, cleaning, and bed. Sounds fun, eh? Thankfully there’s at least one night a year that we parents can count on that allows us to be, well, us – New Year’s Eve.

Shortly after having my children I coined the phrase “mom-me” because “Mom” I may become but “me” I always am. That is a motto that I live by. Becoming a parent is a whirlwind of an adventure and gives you an entirely new perspective on life but you cannot allow yourself to lose sight of who you were. If anything, the ringing in of a New Year is a yearly reminder of that. Sure, we stay up until midnight playing silly games and making as much noise as possible, but once the kids go to bed we can celebrate us. We can enjoy one another’s company and that of our friends. We can reminisce about our days of staying out all night and sleeping in until noon. We can finally change the lyrics back to “red Solo cup” as opposed to our dubbed version using “red sippy cup!”

Toby Keith - Red Solo Cup

The New Year holiday means a lot of different things for everyone but instead of just a chance for new beginnings, I like to see it as also a chance to rejoice in the years passed. It is also often celebrated with immense amounts of alcohol and dancing. However, my tolerance levels have nearly completely diminished since having the little ones so instead of stocking the refrigerator and pantry full of too many bottles and brands to count we’ve narrowed it down to only the best (with a little help from Toby, of course).

Wild Shot

Bottle

Wild Shot Mezcal is our drink of choice and definitely made its after-bed-time appearance for our New Year’s Eve festivities. Wild Shot was founded in 2011 and quickly gained a following thanks to the already very well established Toby Keith fan base. I grew up listening to Toby’s music and can clearly remember singing along to “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” while in elementary school. Ever since then, he has never let me down. Adolescent rebellion went perfectly along with “How Do You Like Me Now?” and teenage love with “You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This.” Toby’s “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue” perfectly put into words what we, as a country, were feeling after 9/11. His “Whiskey Girl” fit me well some time ago but these days the lyrics within “As Good As I Once Was” may be a bit more fitting. Now, for the sake of name (or song) dropping, Toby has traded in the “Beer for my Horses” for his Mezcal for the Masses. After topping the music charts for nearly three decades he’s now sitting atop the list of top shelf liquor brands. However, unlike its cousin tequila, Wild Shot Mezcal will not “Put A Boot in Your Ass.”

Toby Keith - Wild Shot Mezcal

For those of you that do not have any experience with the spirit, mezcal is the enjoyable alternative to tequila. It is meant to be sipped slowly and enjoyed, much like scotch. However, according to Toby, he doesn’t care if you sip it or shoot it, as long as you blame it on the worm.  So, who is with us on starting a new tradition this year?  As opposed to setting ourselves up for failure by creating absurd resolutions, how about we officially welcome 2013 in style by kissing 2012 goodbye? Yesterday, today, and tomorrow – blame it all on the worm! We can drink, cheer, and toast to the good and blame all of the bad on that pesky little larva lounging at the bottom. If you’re really brave, you can even volunteer to become a Worm Warrior and chomp down on the little bugger; the worm is known to bring good fortune to those who eat it. Not into eating bugs? No worries. Now, while I’ve personally had a few Fear Factor style events in my day, I can do you one better – Wild Shot Mezcal-mocha-misu anyone?

For a new twist on the traditional tiramisu dessert, simply replace the tequila with Wild Shot Mezcal! The original recipe is a Chef De Laurentiis creation but I took it to the next level by giving it a smoky mezcal flavoring. It is absolutely to die for! And, coming from a parent who despises coffee, that is saying a lot!

Wild Shot Mezcal Mocha Misu

Wild Shot Mezcal-Mocha-Misu
Serves Twelve

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 2/3 c. whipping cream
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 2 ½ c. warm espresso coffee
  • 24 ladyfinger cookies
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder, for garnish
  • Dark chocolate shavings, for garnish
  • Chocolate zabaglione (recipe follows)
    • 2 tbsp. whipping cream
    • ¼ c. semisweet chocolate chips
    • 4 large egg yolks
    • 1/3 c. sugar
    • ¼ c. Wild Shot Mezcal
    • 1 pinch of salt
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder, for garnish
  • Dark chocolate shavings, for garnish

Directions:

Mix 2 tablespoons of whipping cream and chocolate chips into a small saucepan over medium heat. Be sure to stir often to ensure that the chocolate chips melt smoothly and cook through thoroughly. Set aside and keep warm. Next, whisk the egg yolks, 1/3 cup of sugar, Wild Shot Mezcal, and salt in a large glass bowl until blended. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water for 4-5 minutes or until it gains a thick and creamy consistency. Remove from heat and fold into previously melted chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate.

Beat together 2/3 cup of whipping cream and ¼ cup of sugar in a medium-large bowl. Slowly fold the whipped cream mixture into the mascarpone followed by the chocolate zabaglione. Cover the mixture and refrigerate.

In a separate bowl, whisk the coffee with the remaining ¼ cup of sugar until evenly blended. Line a 9×5 metal loaf pan with plastic cling wrap, allowing the plastic to drape over the edges. Now, working with one cookie at a time, soak 8 cookies into the coffee mixture and arrange them in a single layer across the bottom of the pan. Cover this layer by spooning 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture over the cookies. Repeat the soaking, arranging, and covering procedure two more times. Place the last 8 cookies on top and press down slightly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6-8 hours.

After refrigeration, unwrap and place a platter atop the pan. Invert the entire dessert onto the platter and remove the original base plastic wrap. Garnish with cocoa powder and dark chocolate shavings. Voilà!

Now, for those of you that have already made a cliché resolution regarding some sort of dieting, no worries, I have a tasty recipe for you as well! Fruit!

Very Merry Wild Shot Mezcal Berry

Very Merry Wild Shot Mezcal Berry
Serves Twelve

Ingredients:

  • 12 egg yolks
  • 1 ½ c. heavy cream
  • ¾ c. tequila
  • ¾ c. Wild Shot Mezcal
  • 12 c. assorted berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.)
  • 1 ½ sprigs mint

Directions:

Whisk together egg yolks in a saucepan over low-medium heat until evenly beaten. Slowly add in the Wild Shot Mezcal, stirring constantly, and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until it thickens. Do NOT boil! Place saucepan on ice and allow for cooling until chilled (about 30 minutes). While mixture is cooling, beat the heavy cream until it peaks. After the mezcal mixture has chilled completely, gently fold the whipped cream until evenly blended.

Arrange the berries on a platter or in individual serving dished and top with the mezcal cream. Garnish with mint and serve immediately.

I bet you’re all wondering where the actual drinks come into play, right? Well, I’m going to let Toby and the Wild Shot Mezcal crew take care of that one for you. Toby Keith’s signature cocktail, the Blue Mezcalita is the PERFECT addition to any adult celebration regardless of your reason to party.

Blue Mezcalita

Wild Shot Mezcal – Blue Mezcalita

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Wild Shot Silver Mezcal
  • 1 oz. orange liqueur
  • 9 oz. margarita mix
  • 1 splash of blue curacao

Directions:

Blend with ice or serve on the rocks – you pick! Salt the rim, add a lime wedge and you’re good to go!

Create

Everyday

Sweat

Work Hard

Now, there is no way that you can tell me that that doesn’t sound like one heck of a celebration menu. From the music to the drinks and, now, to the food, Toby Keith’s Wild Shot Mezcal certainly has you covered for any extravaganza, can help you get your New Year started off right, and can keep the party going any day, any time. So, again, I challenge you to switch up the rules a bit. Celebrate not only the year ahead but all of the years passed. And hey, if all else fails just remember to blame it on the worm!

Blame It on the Worm

Blame the Worm

In addition to the delicious recipes listed here, the Wild Shot website features a huge array of creative cocktails that you can try. If you’re feeling like a crafty, culinary mixologist, yourself, you can submit your very own Wild Shot recipe here. Browse www.WildShot.com and be sure to keep up with the worm via Facebook and Twitter for news, fun, and amazing opportunities throughout the year.

My friends over at Wild Shot Mezcal would also like to help you get your 2013 started off right. Can you say giveaway?! In honor of the New Year, our new mission to enjoy every single day, and the Wild Shot promise to continue bringing excellence to you in every bottle, one lucky Son-kissed reader will win a Wild Shot prize pack that is sure to bring a smile to your face for today, tomorrow, and all of those to come.

Enter here! –> a Rafflecopter giveaway

Son-kissed, Wild Shot, and Toby Keith encourage you to drink and enjoy responsibly. Always.

Bounce Your Way into the New Year with a Giveaway!

Alright, who is up for an amazingly awesome giveaway? Raise your hands! Boy, do I have something in store for you!

Last month, I was given the opportunity to review a product for a pretty great shop. Not only did doing so turn me onto their company but it also provided my children with an extra holiday gift. Unbeknownst to me, this gift turned into a life saver throughout the frigid weather and then some. As the mother of two boys, time spent cooped up indoors is an experience that can, at times, nearly make me want to pull my hair out or scream at the top of my lungs. Both actions, of course, being big “no-no’s” in our home. Boys, or at least my boys, very rarely sit still. Playing with cars becomes a destruction derby event, blocks get repeatedly knocked down, and the kids are still trying to comprehend the fact that, despite their best efforts, they cannot actually fly. Getting them to play nicely, peacefully, and quietly together is a task that is much easier said than done. Thankfully, that is where Magic Cabin comes in.

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We were given the opportunity to review the Magic Cabin Spiro Bouncer. As a new-age seesaw that combines bouncing and spinning into the mix of the classic up-and-down motion toy. The thing that hooked me is its ease of use and its ability to be used anywhere that it will adequately fit. In the midst of winter and with the cool temperatures upon us, we set ours up indoors. The kids absolutely LOVE it! It’s great that it allows them to play safely and warmly inside while burning their pent up, winter-blues energy.

Spiro Bouncer 2

Check out my full review over on the Eighty MPH Mom website to read in depth and don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a Spiro Bouncer of your very own! A $99 value, yours for free! The contest runs through the weekend and one lucky winner will be chosen to start their New Year off magically with Magic Cabin!

GelaSkins Has You Covered

Re-blog!

So, who remembers my previous post featuring GelaSkins? Well… they’re baaack! And just in time for the holidays!

GelaSkins has recently launched the addition of skins for the iPad mini along with skins and HardCases for the iPhone5 to their already stellar line of products. I got so many compliments after reviewing and using their HardCase for the iPhone4 that they’ve graciously granted me the opportunity to share their newest deals with you!

My favorite would have to be their Buy Three, Get One Free deal. It is good for, both, skins and HardCases and allows you to get something for everyone without spending a fortune. Needless to say, we’ve filled our Christmas stockings with GelaSkins this year and even managed to snag a gift for ourselves. Look familiar?

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My site’s photo came out wonderfully and is a stunning design for our iPad. The skin fit perfectly around every feature and, even after being used by two children, is very durable. I have never been a fan of skins due to the fact that most brands’ adhesive ends up getting left behind. However, GelaSkins is different. One of the gift pieces that I picked up was for Daddy’s phone. He is one of those guys that do not feel the need to read directions and, of course, this resulted in him placing, removing, and re-placing his new skin a number of times. And, get this – it still worked! No matter how times he repeated this process the skin still came out perfectly with no bubbles, creases, scratches, rips, or tears! See for yourself…

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Now, as I am sure you all know well, GelaSkins has everything and everyone covered, literally. From phones and iPads to iPods, laptops, gaming, and everything else you can certainly find something that is right for you.

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iPad3

iPod1

Laptop3

EverythingElse

And if, by some chance, you cannot – no worries! You can create your own! Using photos of your children, loved ones, and pets or even your very own artwork, you can create your own masterpiece to cover whatever item your little heart desires. It’s a win-win! Speaking of – wait for it! – we, here at Son-kissed, are offering you a chance to do exactly that!

GelaSkins - Protection with Style. Not Bulk.

One lucky reader will win a gift certificate just in time to pick out or create a brand new GelaSkins to start off your New Year right!

Enter here! –> a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have You Forgotten?

I enjoyed my Thanksgiving holiday (and Black Friday) with family. Only in America do we wait in line for hours on end and run through stores like bulls in a china shop to buy new things mere hours after celebrating and being thankful for the things that we already have. The time spent with my family is certainly worth way more than any amount of money I would or could save. These days, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have most folks covered – or do they? Children, husband, wife, parents, in-laws, siblings, nieces and nephews, grandparents… forget anyone? Now, don’t get me wrong, the shopping and saving are great but the holidays are so much more than that. One particular group of people that oftentimes gets left off of our shopping lists is the one that should be atop that very list – our service members. If it weren’t for them, we would not have the freedom to celebrate the holidays.

Luckily, thanks to them, we can and we do. Now shouldn’t that, at the very least, grant them the right to make it onto your precious gift list? Our service members go without so that we don’t have to. What if you could change that? What if you could bring home and the holidays to them? Would you?

“Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”
-Unknown

It is the simplest things – the things that we take for granted – that mean the most to them. They deserve so much more thanks and gratitude than they’re ever given. That is why I am honored to be able to share this with all of you.

MissYourVoice is a company that was started by the wife of a service member. Growing up as an Army brat, Amanda was brought up with a heightened sense of respect and admiration for our troops, as we all should have. After marrying into the military life and being on the front lines here at home she launched MissYourVoice as a way to help bring joy to those stationed overseas. I know firsthand that mail call is one of the most looked forward to parts of the day for a deployed service member. Letters are lovely to receive but being handed a care package is equivalent to a child opening a holiday gift. Many donation care packages are sent out in bulk, but MissYourVoice goes above and beyond. These packages are gifts. Every single package is hand crafted and personalized for its recipient from you. Photographs of loved ones, favorite snacks, letters – it is all designed specifically with your service member in mind. It may not seem like much, but a little creativity goes a long way.

Over the past three years, Amanda has single-handedly designed, put together, and shipped over 1,200 care packages to deployed service members all over the world. That being a remarkable feat on its own, she still makes sure to cater to your needs and to make each and every package unique for its recipient. Having fun with the packaging and the décor allows the service members to have fun with it as well. I believe that the presentation of a gift is a gift in itself. MissYourVoice offers a fun, innovative way to get people involved in supporting our troops. By adding an aspect of excitement to what is, otherwise, just a normal piece of mail, it is easy to get people interested and involved. MissYourVoice has made quite an impact on social media (Facebook and Twitter) as well as military support pages where Amanda educates others on fun and unique ways to support our service members.

“Not only does it help mend the gap between families separated by duty; it also allows supporters to help support other service members in the same fashion.”
– Amanda Farrell, MissYourVoice

Aside from helping to reach our loved ones overseas, MissYourVoice offers their Sponsorship Program for those that do not have any deployed service members in their lives. This allows civilians to thank and help brighten the day of service members in need. As a child, I remember writing many letters addressed to “Any Soldier” and the MissYourVoice Sponsorship Program is basically the same idea but on a grander scale. The contents usually don’t seem to matter. All that really matters is that they are getting something, anything, to make them feel a little closer to home.

I have been a huge fan of MissYourVoice for quite some time but was recently granted the opportunity to have a deployed friend of mine review these wonderful care packages. Offering a wide range of designs, MissYourVoice has something for everyone. Matthew, a U.S. service member, received the Thanksgiving package, and in perfect timing might I add! He is scheduled to be deployed for quite some time so this gift, filled with tons of goodies, has definitely put a smile on his face.

      

MissYourVoice is currently offering Christmas, winter, and New Year themed packages along with numerous designs for special occasions and “just because” moments. The “Thank You” package is a favorite that can be sent year round.

Whether it is a loved one, a friend, or simply a stranger, all of our service members need to know that we are thinking about them, that we care about them, and that we are here for them. They are the backbone of our country. So for all of you that thought your holiday shopping lists were complete, I’ll ask you again. Have you forgotten anyone?

MissYourVoice is, once again, helping to spread the joy by giving one Son-kissed reader the chance to brighten the day of a service member. One of you will win a large MissYourVoice package just in time for the winter holidays!

Enter here! –> a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Dedicated to every single service member that I have had the honor to meet, know, and love. United States Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy, Army, and Coast Guard – this is for you. Thank you. My sincerest gratitude always, because freedom isn’t free.

Give Your Children the World with Little Passports

Let’s face it; we all want to give our children the world. While that may mean gumdrops, lollipops and an infinite amount of toys for some, I on the other hand cannot and will not hand my children the glitz and glam on a silver platter. Life is difficult and there is a corresponding down for every up. Now, while I cannot explain the laws of physics or the basics of psychology to a preschooler I can teach him the basic principles of life.

Since finding out about their impending arrivals we began a collection of items for them. It does not include matchbox cars or stuffed animals, though they have accumulated quite a collection of those as well. I wanted to compile a gathering of items that had much more value that was, both, meaningful and educational. This is where our “traveling” began. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to jet set around the world but we did and do have many friends and family members across the country and abroad. Enlisting their help in gathering native items has sent our collection through the roof and thus began our journey around the world – from the comfort of our own home.

Our children have become enamored with our globe from each and every state to every single continent. Making geography interesting for children is much easier said than done but, thankfully, that is where Little Passports comes in. Little Passports is a global adventure subscription package that brings the world to your child’s fingertips.

          

“Inspire a love and understanding of the world as your child learns about geography, history, culture, and language in a fun and memorable way.”

Our Little Passports suitcase has already been packed full of our favorite goodies from abroad to go along with the passport, world map, and letter from Sam and Sofia. In the letter, they explain that they are about to embark on a grand adventure. Throughout their adventure they send back monthly – yes, monthly – souvenirs, activity sheets, and letters about each country. Little Passports really is that proverbial gift that keeps on giving and, more importantly, it is educational.

Offering, both, World Edition and USA Edition subscription plans ($10.95 and up), your little one will surely develop a love for the world around them. Not only does it open up the door for learning but it will take you on a whirlwind adventure that is full of excitement and countless opportunities to celebrate. The world is so much more than what is just outside of our windows and allowing our children to gain an understanding of that at a young age is one of the greatest gifts that you could ever give.

               

Speaking of…

How would you like to win one for yourself? Little Passports is giving one Son-kissed reader a World Edition 3-Month Explorer plan, a $41.85 ARV! As always, make sure that you keep up with them through social media – Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest – for more chances to win.

Click here –> a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Randi received the above product(s), free of charge, to facilitate this review. All opinions are those of reviewer only.

Are You a “Tomboy?”

Tomboy noun /tom·boy/: a girl who behaves in a manner usually considered boyish

Is that such a bad thing? Growing up in Jersey, I learned to be “tough” at a very young age. We all did. The whole lot of us – athletes, musicians, bookworms, beauty queens, it didn’t matter. New Jerseyans get stereotyped, a LOT. From Godfather nods to the, ever so infamous, Jersey Shore gang but none of it ever truly hits the nail on the head. Jersey girls are much, much more than that but the bottom line is that we will never back down. We were born tough and, in a way, we are all tomboys.

As I am sure you are all aware, New Jersey and much of the East coast was recently torn to shreds during last month’s Hurricane Sandy. Thankfully, our “tough guy” (or girl) persona has made things that much easier on us despite the surrounding devastation. We are Jersey strong and we will rebuild. Now, as trivial as it may sound, in my home the act of building or fixing anything poses a slight problem. I’m lucky enough to have my very own, personal mechanic but that means that our garage is a disaster area in itself. Finding a screwdriver is comparable to going on a three-day scavenger hunt in the Amazon. When a tool is eventually found it is almost guaranteed to be covered in oil and grease thus making it near impossible to even consider bringing it indoors to use.

Not too long ago, I came across a company that solves everything. It’s stylish enough to meet the expectations of a Jersey girl, it’s pink so the guys will feel that it is “too girly” for them, and it’s tough enough to fix – or rebuild – anything. Tomboy Tools just solidifies the fact that it is more than okay to be dubbed a “tomboy.” After being founded in 2001, Tomboy Tools has continuously brought opportunities for women to learn, share ideas, and simply have fun. It gives women the tools, literally, to take on tackle every issue from basic home improvement projects and auto repairs to helping restore an entire community.

“Our tools offer something for everyone – whether you are a hobbyist, crafter, painter, gardener, antique dealer, junk aficionado, organizational goddess, or simply need to beautify and maintain your living space – inside or out – Tomboy Tools has products to fit every project need”

Aside from helping to build women’s confidence and allowing them to become their very own Mrs. Fix-It, Tomboy Tools also offers the opportunity for financial gain as well. By partnering with them and joining their already thriving team of direct sales consultants, women can share the greatness of Tomboy Tools and all that it entails while empowering other women, building and gaining confidence, and becoming financially independent.

Tomboy Tools is also a very generous company that is, in fact, Pink for a Purpose. Pink is oftentimes used in conjunction with breast cancer awareness and you can certainly add Tomboy Tools to the list of supporters. However, they go above and beyond the call for action by celebrating and supporting women of all walks of life. A portion of their sales goes directly to a number of charitable organization across the country to support them in their efforts to bring forth awareness and education; prevention and research; and access to treatment, shelter, and support services.

“From shelters to breast cancer research, to skills development and support services Tomboy Tools is committed to being part of the solution.”

Tomboy Tools granted me the opportunity to review their Tomboy Traveler Tool-Kit, and the timing could not have been better. From hurricane preparedness to the aftermath cleanup efforts this kit has all of the basics that you could need including:

  • Wide Mouth Canvas Bag
  • 13 oz. Magnetic Head Hammer
  • 16’ Fractionalized Tape Measure
  • Multi-Bit Ratchet Screwdriver
  • Slip-Joint Pliers
  • Mini Razor Scraper
  • Torpedo Level
  • Rubber Grip Gloves
  • CE Certified Safety Glasses
  • Sanding Block
  • Carpenter’s Pencil

        

(My son tossed in his own Allen Hex Key so that it could be stored safely in Mommy’s Tool-Kit Bag)

Much like this company, I, too, am adamant about making a difference. A big part about raising children is teaching them to, not only, be good people but to be of good moral character. You can easily judge the character of a person by how they treat those that can do nothing for them. While we were left without power, many have lost their homes completely. Opening our children’s eyes to such a disaster and allowing them the opportunity to help has bettered them, and us. New Jersey shaped who and what I am and, for that, I am darn proud. These days, getting down and dirty and being dubbed “tomboy” is more of an honor than it is an insult.

The Tomboy Tools definition…
Tomboy noun /tom·boy/: a girl who determines her own destiny

I will proudly hold that title if it means helping to restore the shore and put back together the shattered pieces of our neighborhoods. The boardwalk may be in shambles and it is true that the ocean has claimed an entire pier as its own but we are New Jersey and we are strong. We will rebuild, together – and with pink Tomboy Tools in hand.



Son-kissed and Tomboy Tools want YOU to do your part in helping to make our world a better place and we are going to kick start your do-good spirit by giving you the tools to make it all possible – literally. One lucky Son-kissed reader will win the Tomboy Traveler Tool-Kit (ARV of $79!) to get started on your next project, big or small.

Click here to win your very own Tomboy Tools Tomboy Traveler Tool-Kit! –> a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, keep up with them via social media on Facebook and Twitter for more chances to win! And if you are in a generous mood, yourself, you can speak with your local consultant to talk about hosting your very own Fundraiser Tool Party to benefit the American Red Cross: Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund or any charitable organization of your choice!

Scars Can Be Joovy, Too

As a Jersey girl, it was very hard to see Hurricane Sandy rip through and nearly wipe out the entirety that is the Jersey shore. While it has certainly been a heartbreaking experience, I think it may have been hardest on the kids. Toddlers do not understand nor comprehend the severity of natural disasters but simply recognize their inability to play. Rain means you cannot go outside. No electricity means that we get to use flashlights but our pet fish die. Their innocence leaves them unaware of the world aside from what is outside of our windows. Sometimes that may be a good thing.

Building blocks, playing toys, riding bikes; these are all a child’s way of having fun. Unfortunately, you cannot build blocks in the dark, most toys these days require batteries (which we needed to borrow for flashlights), and bicycle rides are darn near impossible when your street has become the ocean.

Luckily, just before the storm hit I, in partnership with Eighty MPH Mom, was granted the opportunity to review the Joovy Bicycoo BMX Balance Bike. And here is a little secret, it works just as perfectly indoors as it does outside! The idea of balance bikes has taken off recently and I am proud to say that I am completely on board as a fan and, now, a Joovy Mom (though I have always thought of myself as quite “joovy”)!

The Bicycoo BMX is, by far, the best balance bike on the market. Traditionally, children learn to ride tricycles before moving onto a bicycle featuring training wheels. It is not until they master four wheels that we even begin teaching them about balance. We all learned how to stand before walking and began to walk before running. Perhaps we have been so set in our ways that we never stopped to realize that we were teaching and learning about bicycling the wrong way all along. Balance should come first, not last. Joovy allows us to start over and fresh, free from any preconceived notions.

Our little one was getting quite frustrated with his decision to have Daddy remove his training wheels. After one too many bumps and bruises he nearly gave up all hope. After only a week or so of riding his new Joovy BMX Balance Bike (indoors and in the dark) he has nearly gotten the hang of his big kid bicycle! I, truly, cannot say enough about this bike and am absolutely thrilled that we finally found the answer to our bicycle troubles. You definitely need to check out my full review on Eighty MPH Mom. There is even a nice, Joovy surprise in store for you just in time for Black Friday (*wink wink*)!

Thankfully, the skies have rejoiced, the sun has come out, and the water has receded just in time. Although many of our towns are still in ruins, we can now better enjoy our family bike rides. And family, after all, is the most important thing. A bike ride may seem trivial to some but, in times like this, having one’s family and friends make it through a natural disaster physically unscathed is a blessing that I will forever be grateful for. A simple bicycle ride and time spent together is something that no one can ever take for granted, especially now.

“Scars are not injuries. Scars are healing. After injury, a scar is what makes you whole.”
-China Miéville

Whether that “scar” is from falling off of a bicycle as a child or from a town being severely impacted by a natural disaster – we do and we will heal, together. Some people see scars and remember a wounding but, instead, we should find proof of the healing. With help from Joovy and their Bicycoo BMX, we have done that. We took the road less traveled that had once become the ocean only to find that, both, our son and our town have begun to heal. He is no longer afraid to ride a bicycle and the town has stood strong. We are Jersey strong. We are Joovy.

Click HERE to win your very own Joovy Bicycoo BMX Balance Bike! (:

Also, keep up with them via social media on Facebook and Twitter for more chances to win!

Lilapops – Review and Giveaway

Little ones love lollipops, it is a common fact. Thankfully, our own children are not very big on candy. Our Easter candy lasts us until Halloween and then that candy lasts until the following Easter. Lollipops, however, are few and far in between. Going to the bank and depositing a piggy bank’s worth of change in exchange for one lollipop each is a big event for our kids. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the fact that they’d choose apple slices over a piece of chocolate but, unfortunately, an apple a day does not actually keep the doctor away.

Kids get sick – play dates, school, the park. Germs seem to spread all too easily when it comes to children. Unfortunately, getting them well again is usually a task that is much easier said than done. Convincing children that medicine tastes “good” is often the most daunting task of caring for a sick child. There are a number of products on the market but, while they may work, are they actually safe for your baby?

I despise having to give (or even take) any type of medicine unless absolutely necessary. I am much more of a drink tea with honey, employ the use of warm washcloths, herbal bags, and simply resting – oh, do I miss my sleep! You can find plenty of natural products in these days of the “be green” era but most of them taste awful. Luckily, Lilapops are different.

As a parent of young children, it can be very challenging to find an effective way to soothe a little one’s sore throat while keeping it safe and kid-friendly. Leslie Burket, CEO and creator of Lilapops, had her own children (daughter, Lila, being the inspiration for the name) in mind when launching her very own line of all natural cough drop lollipops for kids.

“We believe that children should feel better in a deliciously fun and healthy way.”
– Leslie Burket, CEO

Recently featured in Parents Magazine, Lilapops are made right here in the USA with honey and marshmallow root. These all natural and non-medicated lollipops are also free of gluten, dairy, egg, and wheat to better satisfy all children. Lilapops contain no artificial dyes or flavors and have no ridiculously yucky preservatives that we cannot pronounce. I know what you’re all thinking – sugar high, right? Wrong! These are not your typical lollipops. Lilapops only include seven grams of sugar! Not only are Lilapops awesomely fun for children but they taste equally as amazing. When we received our package of pops for review we had actually all, conveniently, come down with a cold. Daddy and I were definitely sneaking a few for ourselves, at least until we got caught and heard the effervescent cry of “Mommy! Those are my sick pops!”

Lilapops are a wonderful alternative to OTC medicine for children and adults alike. Since it is a hard candy, I would not recommend it for children under 3-years-old. However, it would be a great source of symptom relief for pregnant and/or nursing mothers as well.

Lilapops have certainly become a huge staple in our medicine cabinet (and diaper bag, too!) and can now make an appearance in yours as well. Of course they are available for purchase through the Lilapops website for an ARV of $8.99 to $19.99 and occasionally up for grabs on their Facebook page, but one lucky Son-kissed reader will win a 3-pack (45 pc.) of Lilapops All Natural Grapeberry Cough Drop Lollipops. Two for you and one to share with a friend! Or three for you if you love them just as much as we do, and you will.

Click here to enter! –>  a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Randi received the above product(s), free of charge, to facilitate this review. All opinions are those of reviewer only.