Hello Mamas! I wanted to reach out to all of you and share in my journey of taking over Mom 4 Life. I know it will not be an easy task but I am up for the challenge…. well with Heather’s help I know I will make it. The first few days as the [...]
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I sit and I wait for the words to come. I sit some more. My mind begins to run ahead of me tumbling along like a swiftly moving stream, tearing through the memories and swirling though the emotions as effortlessly as water rushes over and around rocks and twigs. Breathe. Tears, you need to wait, [...]
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Our family got a wonderful surprise recently as we were blessed to watch a robin lay and hatch her eggs in our wood pile. Click here to see the photo on my Instagram feed. I don’t know about you, but I think our recent “flash spring cleaning sales” are also a wonderful surprise when they [...]
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Our Mother’s Day Sale was so well received that we decided to extend it for the entire month of May! Post-partum Compression garments at 20% off, nursing bras, swaddling blankets, sleep sacks and nursing jewelry at 50% off, plus organic nursing covers at 60% off and even a few products at 65% off! 70+ items in all, you are sure to find something you [...]
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Read below to find out how to get a free Penalty Pal in addition to 20% off the Parking Pal as well as the Penalty Pal! Hi, my name is Denise and I’m a mom to 3 boys ages 11, 9, and 7. I stay busy homeschooling the boys and work part time as an RN [...]
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It is with fond farewell that we say good bye to Angela Gifford. Angela has been a part of our Mom 4 Life team for several years doing customer service and helping with product additions. We thought it would be fun to share a little interview we had with her about her time with us. Enjoy! Oh. [...]
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The Great Gift for Grandma Giveaway! Dreams of Perfect Design Blogazine is giving away the perfect holiday gift for your hip granny! “Like” Dreams of Perfect Design on facebook or become a blog member and be automatically entered to win a “Grandiva” or “Grannylicious” tee in the size of your choice, XS to XL [...]
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Have you heard about ScratchMeNot? It is a very innovative product for kids that can’t keep from scratching themselves. Whether they have a rash, skin issues, or just newborn fingernails, ScratchMeNot allows a kiddo to rub his skin with a silky fabric, but not let the fingernails cause damage. Unlike mittens, they don’t easily [...]
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Been thinking about getting a Moby Wrap? Now is the time!! Moby Wraps will be going up in price September 1, so get one now!
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What is special this week?! Mom 4 Life has a brand new website!! Have you had a chance to take a look? Some of the great features of the new site include: Easier starting place from the home page … Keep track of what’s in your cart…. More visible tabs Popular listings show style choice [...]
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I used to be scared of projects like the one I recently completed. I never imagined I would be sharing a post about a piece of furniture that I restored. People that do things like that have blogs with names like “Crafty Mama” or “Furniture Chick” (neither of which oddly enough are active websites!) But here I am giddy with excitement to show you my “trash into treasure’ project which was all made possible by a product I had never heard of before until my good friend Selina over at Creative Juices for Decor told me about it. The product is Chalk Paint. At this point you likely fall into one of two categories. Either you are nodding your head in agreement saying “yes isn’t that stuff wonderful?” or you are assuming that I am talking about Chalk Board paint (also a fun product but totally unrelated).
“What is Chalk Paint?” you may ask.
Only all your furniture dreams realized in the form of a can of paint.
Only the most simple solution to restoration (the furniture kind) that I have found.
Only amazing. No sanding. No priming. A-mazing!
Ready to see it in action?
-I found a three drawer dresser on Craig’s List for $10. It was nice and solid and had good lines. I had planned to use it as dresser. However, 2 of the 3 drawers were sticky and didn’t slide well. I decided I could turn two of the drawers into shelves. I offered $5 and they agreed. As it was lifted into the back of my car, the 1 drawer that did work toppled out and broke on the road. Bummer. Not figuring that they would want to buy it back from me, I decided to see what I could make it into. I decided to remove all 3 of the drawers and install shelves, transforming it into a toy storage unit.
-Because the initial piece was two toned and because I was going to allow some of the under color to show through when I distressed it, I decided to replicate the two tones with my paint choices. I used the “Arles” (yellow color) Chalk Paint on the top “changing table” area and also on the inside. For the rest I used “Emperor Silk” (red color).
-The only “prep” work I had to do was wipe down the wood with a damp cloth to remove any dust and lose particles. After that, paint! The first coat of paint went on fairly quickly and I was surprised by how fast it dried. But the second coat was even faster. Because I planned to distress the furniture and allow the original wood to show through, I didn’t have to worry about putting the paint on thick enough to completely hide the original colors. I was amazed at how much could be covered with so little paint!
-Once both coats of paint were dry, I went over the entire piece of furniture with sand paper lightly sanding a smooth surface and spending more time on the edges, corners and any areas that I wanted to appear distressed and aged. This was a fun step.
-Next I covered the inside back by painting Mod Podge over 12×12 sheets of coordinating scrapbook paper cut to size using a paper cutter.
-My husband cut to size 3 thin boards purchased at Home Depot and glued them on top of the pre-existing drawer sections (after removing the small wooden glide rail which was no longer needed).
-To finish the Chalk Paint, I covered the entire painted surface with one thin coat of Johnson’s Wax (which I purchased at Home Depot) using an old t-shirt. This provides a protective seal on the wood and brightens up the paint which, after sanding it, had been dulled.
-Using some left over scrapbook paper from the Mod Podge part of the project, I created coordinating labels for the plastic storage bins. I choose to have the most baby friendly items toward the bottom and coordinated each row of labels to match, in an attempt to make it easy for the kids to put each drawer back in the correct section.
The end result turned out better than I could have expected. It is bright and colorful, highly functional and because of the distressed nature, durable to child abuse.
Being able to look for furniture based on how solid it is and the beauty of its lines, rather than its color, opens up a whole new world of possibilities. I had been initially hesitant when I first saw that Chalk Paint was sold by the quart rather than the gallon. I had only ever purchased paint for the purpose of re-doing an entire room. However, after finishing this project, I can now see that a small quart of paint would be more than enough for most furniture projects. There are even small 4 oz. “sample” Chalk Paint sizes available which can be used for smaller projects such as picture frames, chairs or a small bench or stool. I also LOVED that the VOC s are so low. I couldn’t detect any paint fumes which was a huge plus. I am already eyeing my next project! If you have some additional questions about chalk paint, you might find your answers on this FAQ page.
How about you? Would you like to try out Chalk Paint on your own project?
Of course you can simply go to the Stylish Patina and buy some, but I would love for you to win some! Kelly over at Stylish Patina has graciously offered to give one lucky Mom 4 Life reader a $45 gift certificate to her store! I might suggest spending it on a quart of Annie Sloan chalk paint ($38) and perhaps a set of paint brushes ($10) or “sample” Chalk Paint for accent colors or a small side project ($13.50). To enter simply fill out the rafflecopter form below (you must be on the blog to view the entry form). The giveaway can be entered until Monday June 18th (MST). There are several ways to enter, good luck!
Also, if you like to be inspired, Kelly posts some fantastic stuff over on her Stylish Patina facebook page, go take a look!
Do you have a blog? Would you like to partner up with us in our “get a leg up” promotion? We are looking to partner with 20 blogs, offering each blogger a pair of BabyLegs in exchange for adding just 2 hyperlinks to their blog. It’s easy, it’s fast, it’s fun. Want in? Click here [...]
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I have spent the last few months using the new Nokia Lumia 710 cell phone. It was sent to me for free in exchange for an honest review and the chance for you, my wonderful reader, to win one for yourself. Here are my thoughts and if you stick with me I will tell you how you can enter to win one at the end !
My first impression of this phone was that it felt light and easy to hold in my hand. I could easily talk on this phone for hours if needed (but trust me I don’t do that because I have four little ones that seem to sense mom’s distraction the moment I touch a phone and unpleasant things can happen in a short amount of time!).
The initial setup was very easy to go through and within a few minutes I was ready to make calls. I’ve never used a Windows phone before (my regular cell phone is an iphone) so it took a few minutes to learn where everything was located but Windows has done a great job of simplifying the user interface so you have quick and easy access to the apps you use the most.
I found the phone to be quick and I didn’t experience delays when navigating around. The touch sensitivity was sensitive enough that I didn’t find myself pushing hard on the screen or having to redo motions because it didn’t register. The phone has three main navigation buttons on the front; a back button, home button, and search button. I really like the back button as it works in all the apps and in navigating the Windows screens.
The Nokia comes with a HD lens for taking 5 Megapixel high quality photos and 720p video. In good light the photos and video come out great. The biggest problem is when working with limited light. The camera has a hard time focusing and figuring out the best saturation level to give you the best picture. It does have a built in flash which makes taking pictures in zero light still possible. Overall the camera is good enough for daily use.
The phone comes with some pre-installed apps. For example the social app called People is great because it organizes all your social media outlets (facebook, twitter, etc…) in one hub making it easy to get the latest information at the touch of a finger and without the need to browse different apps.
My favorite app is the Nokia Drive, which is exclusive to the Nokia phone. Its easy to use interface gives you turn by turn directions which are easy to understand. Even in rural areas like Northern Idaho, I found the maps to be detailed and up to date.
The only issue I had with the phone was with finding and installing apps. There is a section called App Highlights but it only gives you access to a few of the most popular apps available. In order to access all the rest of them you need to use a computer to log into Microsofts App website to find and purchase apps. From there they are sent to your phone. I don’t like the fact that a smartphone requires a separate computer in order to access all the available apps for it. UPDATE: I was contacted by the company and informed that “you can access and download apps directly on your device (without using a computer). Tap on the Marketplace icon – it has a shopping bag image. Or you can find it under the app list. From there, you can search and download apps.”
Overall the Nokia Lumia 710 is a well built and easy to use phone. Having a built in HD camera allows you to keep your purse/pockets free from having to carry around an additional device. Microsoft has done a good job with the Windows mobile OS giving users a great alternative to the iPhone.
What about you, what kind of phone do you have and do you like it?
Would you like to win a Nokia Lumia 710 for yourself (or a friend)? If so, simply follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter form below. We will choose the winner next Monday the 28th and you have several ways to enter (including a daily twitter option). Please note that you can only view the Rafflecopter form if you are on the blog so if you are reading this post via email you will need to click over to the live site). The winner must be a US resident and a T-mobile customer or be willing to switch over to T-mobile’s service. Good luck!
As I mentioned previously, I would not typically disclose products that we decide not to offer on Mom 4 Life. However, I have decided to break the silence and make an exception for a few special companies. The first was Savvy Naturals which I spoke of here. The second was Milliwik games.
Today I want to introduce you to MadeOn Skin Care Products.
MadeOn is owned by Renee Harris a mom of–get this–EIGHT kids ages 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 10 (twins), 12 and 14 (isn’t that amazingly awesome)?!
Renee’s products were born in much the same way that many products invented by moms are–out of a need. Renee was in the kitchen a lot (surprise, surprise) and her hands were suffering. She says:
I had the worst pain from the tips of my fingers that were often covered in Band-aids from the cuts and splits from my daily activities and extremely dry skin. My hands were my most important tools, but they caused me intense suffering… until the lotion bar.
Renee discovered that three simple ingredients (coconut oil, beeswax and Shea butter) melted and mixed together to form “hard” lotion would change everything. She discovered that:
Not only did that first lotion bar heal up my skin within days, but we tried it with my son’s seasonal eczema, and I was ecstatic that his pain also ended with the lotion bar.
After this, her discovery took action.
Something that was so easy to make turned into a family business after my older boys and I took it to the farmer’s market for testing. I received great feedback from customers at the market, as well as several online groups who agreed to test it and fill out surveys.
Renee knows her stuff. Not only does she create some amazingly pure skin care products, but she goes above and beyond in extending a wealth of information on her website, blog, YouTube videos and newsletters. The products she makes are simple, so simple in fact that they can be done in your own kitchen and I love how she has taken the initiative to provide easy DIY kits for those who enjoy making things themselves. And for those of us who just want a quality product made from pure, safe ingredients, can simply order Renee’s finished products and enjoy the beautifully wrapped, finished product that comes right to your doorstep.
Around Christmas time a friend and I got together to mix up a large batch of homemade hard lotion bars for gifts using the three ingredients mentioned above. It was fun, but it certainly gave me a new sense of respect for what Renee does. There is a science to the measuring. At fist we used too much Shea butter and it was too sticky. Then it was re-melted and more coconut oil and beeswax was added and even though it wasn’t sticky, it was not as soft as I would like. Then I remembered I wanted to add some essential oil to the bars so I remelted it AGAIN and added some jasmine oil. In the end they turned out nice but I did include a little disclaimer on the gift tag mentioning how they were a little harder than they should be and might be best if used on feet:). In the end, I think it would have been much easier had we opted for the DIY kit that Renee offers. I LOVE her statement here:
I KNOW dry skin and the pain it brings. Because I’ve enjoyed the interaction that I get from my customers, I’ve created DIY videos for the lotion, as well as other products that we’ve developed based on customer request and our own family’s needs. Whether you purchase here, or create your own, give it a try and I believe you’ll be very happy with the results. Let me know how it works for you!
Isn’t that gracious and kind? It is true too, this stuff does work. As a delightful surprise, one friend who was gifted my homemade lotion bars reported back to me that her husband (whose hands suffer from Eczema) was loving my lotion bar and was seeing great results with it as compared to his steroid cream. Later her dog found it and apparently liked it too so let this be a warning to keep your lotion bars away from your pets !
I have tried a few of Renee’s products including her:
-Au Chocolat lotion bars These use cocoa butter instead of Shea butter and offer a lovely chocolate aroma that is simply delightful! I keep a small pocket size bar in my office and in my purse and a full size bar in my bathroom.
-Beesilk Junior lotion bars These are made for more delicate skin that doesn’t need the intensity of hardness and protection that the Beesilk hard lotion bar provides (perfect for babies, young children, or those dealing with extreme skin issues). Beesilk Jr feels more like a lanolin, but with easy application.) Click here to see Renee’s YouTube video of her Beesilk Junior lotion bar.
-Coffee soap which cleverly helps remove kitchen odor such as garlic or onions from your hands! It is made from Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Brewed Coffee, Coffee Grounds, Goat Milk, sodium hydroxide (lye). Click here to see Renee’s YouTube video of her coffee soap.
By now I have a feeling you are ready to get your hands on some of Renne’s products! Well I have good news for you, Renee has generously offered to give away TWO $20 gift certificates to her website AND is willing to offer all Mom 4 Life blog readers a special 10% discount (simply use the code “mom4life” on her website). The discount is good until April 30th.
To enter the giveaway: simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below (you need to be on the blog to see and use the form). There are several ways you can enter so have fun. We will choose our winner next Monday April 16th.
I don’t know about you but our family loves games. Our game closet is bursting at the seams with old classics like Hi Ho Cherry-O, games that take hours to play such as The Farming Game and fun strategy games such as Ticket to Ride and The Settlers of Catan. I look for good deals when I visit the thrift store or yard sales and love the fun of finding a few family favorite. I have even found fun uses for games that go unused such as this popular blog post showing a easy DYI craft project using an old scrabble board. As our family grows, I have found that it can be challenging to involve everyone in game play. Monopoly with our older two gets saved for the younger kid’s nap time and Dominion gets pulled out when adult friends visit and our children entertain themselves by building towers with and bouncing on our couch cushions downstairs (true story). It is rare to find a quality game that we can all enjoy together despite our varying age and ability levels.
Because of this I was intrigued to learn about Milliwik’s Dance Charades game which combines the creative interaction of charades with the fun expression of dance all within an open age format.
How to play: You have a 40 second song to charade as many items as you can. However, you can’t just charade the item, you have to make it into a dance move! The other players try to guess what you are dancing and you get a point for every one they guess right. The other players also have purple tokens and they can reward you up to three token points during your turn. After the song is over, you collect your points and tokens and add up your total score and put it next to your dance name (i.e. white thunder, sizzle, etc) on the score pad. A game like this is perfect to modify for younger players because let’s face it, kids LOVE to dance!
Another fun and unique game offered by Milliwik is Splashimals®.
Splashimals® float on the water, stick to the bath wall, are easy for small hands to hold and help your kids with their reading skills. You can match them up, play memory, or mix them up to create new crazy animals like the tur-key (picture shown below). Splahsimals have received some impressive recommendations and press including a feature in babytalk magazine and Nickelodeon’s “toys that teach” feature.
Doesn’t it seem fun to be a game creator where your job is to help others have fun?This is just what the owners of Milliwik do! In their own words,
We love to have fun. We will most likely challenge you to a card-throwing contest with our foam cards, a dance off with our game dance charades, or a battle of the wits with our new game laughing stock. Our end goal is to make you laugh through fun activities and games because that is what keeps us happy. We love to have fun. We will most likely challenge you to a card-throwing contest with our foam cards, a dance off with our game dance charades, or a battle of the wits with our new game laughing stock.Our end goal is to make you laugh through fun activities and games because that is what keeps us happy.
At Mom 4 Life we have been working behind the scenes for the last several months to make some big improvements to our website. I am excited to say that those changes are nearing completion. However, as you may have noticed, we have dramatically slowed down the number of new products we have been adding to the site in order to best focus on our site improvement project. Durring this time, I spoke with David, the CFO (Chief Fun Operator) about his company Milliwik and the products that he and his wife have worked to develop. Despite the fact that now is not the right time for us to consider adding their products to Mom 4 Life, I was excited to learn of their desire to take their company to the next level of sales. They have entered a contest sponsored by WalMart called “Get on the Shelf” and are looking to increase sales so that their company can provide a sustainable income for their family. I was happy to help spread the word about their innovative games (such as the ones mentioned above as well as the many others offered on their website) and give you the chance to win either Dance Charades or Splashimals as well as the opportunity to purchase a game at an amazing 50% off discount.
If you would like to win either Dance Charades or Splashimals: simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below (you must be on our blog to enter so be sure to click over if you are reading this via Google Readers or an email).
In addition to the chance of winning the giveaway, I would encourage you to take advantage of their amazing limited time 50% off special on a few of their select games here by simply entering the code “mom4life” durring checkout. While you are there, don’t forget to show your support for this creative company by voting for them to get “On the Shelf” in WalMart!
Owning Mom 4 Life puts me in a unique position. I am able to find out about and test a wide variety of products in consideration for our site. I am constantly amazed at the uniqueness of what we are able to consider and (at times) the downright crazy products we are asked to add to Mom [...]
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Congratulations to Brandy Lea, who won a Knot Genie in the style of her choice this week!! The Knot Genie is 20% off this week!! Knot Genie Detangling Brush Retail Price: $16.50 $13.20 The amazing Knot Genie magically gets rid of knots. Not to mention complaining. The Knot Genie was created to not only to [...]
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This week we are giving away a brand new Mom 4 Life product. This product has literally removed the tears from my daughter’s morning hair brushing and restored a tangle free home. It is nothing short of amazing and if you struggle with brushing the knots and tangles from your kid’s hair you are going to love it! In fact, why not try to win one?
Congratulations to Kristen, the winner of last week’s giveaway! The Baby Light & Clip is now 20% off for one week only! Clip your baby’s nails with no fear of clipping their fingers! This week’s giveaway is a pregnancy belly shapewear girdle made for any pregnant mom before, during, and after pregnancy! Baby Light & [...]
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Congratulations to Christine, the winner of last week’s giveaway! Dapper Snappers Adjustable Toddler Belts are now 20% off for one week only! Keep your child’s pants up where they belong with Dapper Snappers. Do you enjoy clipping your baby’s nails? I used to worry about accidently clipping their fingers. In fact, I have a scar [...]
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Congratulations to Laura, the winner of last week’s giveaway! The Tag*a*Long Handle is now 20% off for one week only, so don’t miss this opportunity to shop for a great product at a great price! Do your child’s hand-me-downs fit as well as they could? Is the waist often too big for your little ones [...]
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Congratulations to Melissa, who was our winner last week for the Born to Love Mohawk Hats! Didn’t win? Lucky for you these Hip & Trendy Mohawk Hats for babies and kids are on sale for the next week at 20% off, so grab yours now! Keep your kids close by, while still supporting their independence [...]
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Ever struggle to get your child to keep a hat on in this chilly weather? Check out our giveaway below to find a product kids of any age will gladly wear! In eight style choices, Born to Love Mohawks are sure to turn your little tyke into a rockstar! And congratulations to Lauren C. who [...]
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We found the perfect product to help reduce injuries to children in parking lots and to heighten awareness of the dangers in parking lots… Check out our giveaway!
This week’s special isn’t only fashionable and fun to wear, but functionable and, boosts self esteem and promotes independence! Myself Belts are a must-have for potty training! At 26% off you do not want to miss out on this deal!
Retail Price: $14.95 $10.99
The belt kids can easily fasten themselves (hint: it is closed with Velcro)! They are a must-have for potty training and back to school… Learn more
Parking Pal Magnetic Hand Print for the Car
Retail Price: $9.50
With 4 kids ages 8 and under I am very familiar with the stress that can accompany getting in and out of the car. I have one child in an infant car seat and a toddler–my hands are full. Thankfully my older two are responsable, but they can at times be distractible. The parking lot is no place to test their attention span. For times that everyone cannot get in or out of the car at the exact same time (oh wait, thats practically impossible) a product like The Parking Pal is perfect! For use in parking lots, the Parking Pal magnetic hand help busy parents keep their child out of harm’s way while they wait for their turn to get in the vehicle… Learn more
Watch my review video for The Parking Pal to learn how some parents are using this product not only for the intended purpose, but in stores and their homes as well. Plus, I share some tips on how to most effectively help your children get into the habit of using it for the first time!
To enter: simply follow the directions in the Rafflecopter entry form below (it is necessary to be on our blog to do this so if you are reading this via email you will need to visit this post directly).