MommyMandy l Texas Mom Blog

Making Laundry Easy with LG Twin Wash

One of the biggest things moms of lots of kids have to face is lots and lots of laundry. I mean I have to do at least two loads a day and it is not my favorite thing in the world to do.

So a few months ago my washing machine sprang a leak, it is 12 years old but man for a mom of four kids this is not the best time to have to start washing machine shopping.  So I have been looking into a good system that will save me time on washing and actually do a good job washing clothes. (fast drying would be awesome too)

So one system I find awesome is the LG’s TwinWash system. I especially love that LG has the  SideKick pedestal washer that will wash an additional small load ─ perfect for washing my daughter;s dance clothes!

Not only do these washers have mega capacity to tackle any size load, they are energy efficient while giving you the best cleaning performance. No wonder more households have chosen LG laundry over any other brand!

From 1/11-4/25 receive up to $500 off a LG laundry solution for your home.

Head on over to to check out the LG Twin Wash Systems.

*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.

5 Tips to finding the best dry erase board wall paint for your home


Using dry erase board wall paint is one of the best ways to increase efficiency when working on projects that require you to take down notes. That’s because it allows you to convert any surface in your home into a whiteboard. However, not all dry erase board wall paints are the same. That’s why you need to do some due diligence before buying. To make the process easier for you, here are 5 tips to finding the best dry erase board wall paint for your home.


  1. Consider the cost

Before you purchase erase wall paint, compare different prices in the market. Don’t go for overly expensive ones, yet they offer no additional advantages over whatever else is in the market. Go for a quality but affordable dry erase board wall paint. This way, you achieve your objective of working with any surface in your home without having to break the bank. After all, the whole point of using erase point is to avoid buying costly whiteboards.


  1. Make sure it’s odorless

There is nothing as stressful as having to work with an erase board wall paint that has a sharp unpleasant smell. Chances are that you won’t even concentrate, if you use such paint. That’s why when shopping for paint, make sure to smell it, before you commit your money. Besides, some paints in the market are counterfeits and odor might be a sign of harmful chemicals in their composition. Therefore, confirming the smell could actually save your life from life threatening chemicals.


  1. Consider the dry time

Before you commit your money to purchase dry erase paint, confirm that it has a quick dry time. Paint that takes long to dry would be of no use, when you need to work. The average dry time for most products in the market is between 2 days and a week. For great results, it is best to buy one that dries within 48 hours. Paint that dries fast is a pointer to the innovativeness that goes into its manufacture, which means you would be buying something of good quality.


  1. Check the warranty period

The warranty period is one of the most important factors to consider when buying dry erase paint. That’s because it signifies the confidence that the seller has in the product. The higher the warranty period, the higher the chances that the product is actually of good quality, and can be relied on to deliver. Some of the best dry erase paints in the market come with a warranty of up to 10 years. That’s a 10 year guarantee that the paint will not crack, stain among other issues.


  1. Checkout for ease of application

Applying erase board paint is not easy, especially for novices who have never done it before. That’s why when shopping for paint, make sure you go for one that comes with an application guide. Failure to get the process right can result in wastage. That would mean that the board’s you paint wouldn’t be usable, beating the whole essence of spending money on such paint in the first place.

Plan Ahead – What You Need to Know Before Building

As the price of property continues to rise in most parts of the country the idea of purchasing some land and building your own home can be increasingly appealing.

Of course, this is not the only reason building a property is appealing. When you build your own home you can choose the exact layout, the home really will be custom built!

But, before you do it’s important to consider a few facts, specifically what you need to do before you start building.

The Land

Before you even start looking at plans you need to make sure you purchase land that can be built on. Just because someone says it can does not always mean this is true. It is best to check with your local council yourself.

You should also verify the size of property you’re allowed to build. If it doesn’t match the space you want or need then it could be a problem!

The Survey

It is advisable to have a topographic land survey completed. This will ensure that you are aware of what utilities run under your land and if your neighbor has any access to them. You’ll also be able to pinpoint your boundaries and discover a variety of other pieces of information which will be useful to your builders.


It’s possible that the planning permission will specify the material you need to use when building your home. However, there is no harm in asking for your own preference; especially if you have environmental concerns.

It is advisable to look at what materials other properties in the area have used before making your final decision.

If you have chosen an unusual substance it is worth considering an alternative if it is not approved.


It is always advisable to use the services of a professional architect to draw and design the house for you; obviously to your specs. This will help to ensure you comply with all the codes, your builders know exactly what they are dong and it will look more professional hen applying for planning permission.

The Contractor

Finding a good builder is not always easy. You will need to ask family and friends if they know anyone who is good and reliable. You can also verify how good someone is by looking on social media sites.

This will be a time consuming part of the process but it is important to get it right, you’ll be giving them thousands of dollars; they need to know what they are doing.

You should always choose someone that you are comfortable talking to; you will have many conversations in the future.

Consider Resell

It is highly unlikely that you are intending on reselling your dream home. However, it is possible that you will need to or want to in the future. For this reason it is best to consider what works well for most people and not just plan a home for yourself.

This means considering the area and the access to the home as well as how many people would really want to pay for a tennis court.

Once you’ve completed all your homework you can simply supervise the build!



Four Great Activities For All The Family

Spending quality time as a family can seem like an uphill battle at times. It can even seem impossible while trying to work to make ends meet and stay on top of bills as well as other adult responsibilities. The light at the end of the tunnel, however, is that if you keep working at it, you’ll be able to fit that well-needed family time into your schedule. If you’re wondering what family activities you can get enjoy once you create the time, the answer is that there are plenty of family-friendly things that you can try. The real challenge may be agreeing when it comes to the activities! You should try to choose something everyone will enjoy.  Here are a few potential activities that you could consider as a family.

Family vacation

If you can afford it, a family vacation is a great way to get in quality time. Not only is it your chance to visit a different city, but you can share this amazing experience collectively. It may be tricky trying to pick a location that has something for both parents and kids alike to enjoy. However, when choosing the perfect family vacation destination, you could think of places with several activities such as Yosemite National Park, Hawaii, the Grand Canyon, or the exciting Disney World.


If it happens that you would much rather do something fun locally, why not consider a concert? It is your chance to sing out loud and embarrass your kids with your ancient dance moves.  Depending on how old your kids are, you might want to choose a concert that will appeal to most generations. You can visit dedicated ticket websites for more information regarding potential concerts you could go to as a family. There will be a variety of concerts taking place in your city or town which you could attend. Remember to avoid weekend tickets if possible, as they usually tend to cost more than weekday ones.

Board Games

Invest in a wide range of board games at home that you can use for a family night in of games. Not only is this your chance to bring out your competitive side, but it can also encourage nights full of laughter. Some popular games that you could consider playing are Monopoly, Uno, and Twister. These are games which are very inclusive, so everybody has a chance to play.

Sports Day

It is probably common news by now that exercise has a long list of benefits for you physically, mentally and emotionally. Exercise can boost your immune system, get rid of anxiety, strengthen your brain and give you better quality sleep. Irrespective of these benefits, we still sometimes find it difficult to find the time to do it. A family sports day, however, is a great way to keep everyone active and get in quality time as well. You could organize your own sports day at your local park or join an existing one. It’s a positive activity that you may all find rewarding, and it should be a lot of fun as well.

Family time is something that is sacred to many as it can create positive feelings and strong bonds which money cannot buy. It is, therefore, important that you try your best to make time to spend with the people you love. There are several enjoyable activities that you can consider that will cater to everybody’s needs. Just try and make it your prerogative to put your family at the top of your priority list.

Looking After Your Feet If You’re Always On Them

Our poor feet. They are the punching bag of the body, taking all of our weight, the brunt of impacts, and a lot of punishment. If you’re feeling regular pain from your toes to your heel and you live an active lifestyle, especially if you’re a runner, you are going to want to start taking better care of your feet. Here are a few ways to start doing that.

Establish your support system

First of all, whether your job, your home life, or you exercise has you on your feet regularly, you need to make sure you’re choosing shoes for practicality sake. It’s not just about looking good, after all. Make sure that you wear the right shoes when you’re up on your feet, including specific shoes for running like those shown at The most important factor in good shoes is that they offer full arch and heel support, as well as allowing for some breathing room where the toes are. If you’re wearing shoes purely for the look and they’re not all that supportive, then think about getting some in-soles instead. If you’re out on a night about town, heels can be very tempting for the appeal they offer, but try and reduce how often you wear them.

It’s not vain to care about your veins

If you’re regularly up on your feet, then poor circulation can become an issue, too. This can lead to swelling, to numbness and pain, and to those dreaded varicose veins. Beyond being an eyesore, varicose veins can be a risk factor for blood clots. So, beneath those appropriate shoes, wear the appropriate socks, like Compression socks can reduce swelling, improve circulation, and also result in a lot less chafing if you regularly walk or run for exercise. After exercise, make sure you treat your legs with heat so that circulation picks back up again, too. Remember, it’s not just so you don’t have unsightly veins or cankles, it will greatly reduce the pain you feel.

Try a little tenderness

After a hard day on your feet, make sure you’re being a little softer on them too as suggested at Take time getting rid of blisters on your feet and toes by constantly cleaning your feet, using aloe vera gel, and soaking your feet in a nice, warm foot bath after a walk or a run. If you’re just after some tough exercise, then sit down and give them a thorough rub, too. Not only does it feel delightful, but it’s going to help out all the little muscles that can feel really sore as a result of the tearing and repairing process that occurs during exercise. Your feet need a little care, so don’t skip it.

Not taking care of your feet isn’t only painful, it can be dangerous. The more you stress them, the more chances of developing ulcers that can lead to infections, not to mention the more serious injuries like plantar fasciitis that can develop as a result of strenuous walking or running.

A Six-Step Guide To A Single’s Valentine’s Day

Had your hot new co-worker picked up on your sultry looks over the file cabinet, maybe you’d have a date for the 14th. Alas, they misinterpreted your stare, and you narrowly avoided a sexual harassment complaint. Now that they think you’re the office weirdo, your chances at a Valentine’s Day date this year is off the table, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the love holiday on your lonesome.

In the immortal words of RuPaul, “if you don’t love yourself, how  you gonna love somebody else”? Not sure how to do that? We’ve got you covered. Follow this guide and take yourself out on a sweet single date.

Step One: Getting Ready

Start the evening off right by pampering yourself in the shower or bath. If you were picking someone up for dinner, you’d make sure you were smelling good, so don’t skimp out on the good stuff. Try L’Occitane’s luxurious Olive Organic Cream to cure your mid-winter dry skin, or test out the Body Shop’s Peach Shower Gel to smell good enough to eat. It may seem like a lot of work for nothing but smelling good goes a long way to lifting your spirits. And if you’re still a little reticent, remember: since it’s just going to be you, you can skip over your usual shave and slip straight into a pair of soft jammies.

Step Two: Order Takeout

Confident or not, sitting down to eat a meal while your fellow diners are on a romantic date is a challenge. You don’t want to be the only obviously single person enjoying their wine and steak dinner. While you’re perfectly happy on your own, you don’t want to have to deal with their looks of pity when their beau goes for a bathroom break.

Avoid the whole mess by ordering your favorite takeout. Try out the GrubHub or JustEat app to put in your order without talking to a single person. Chinese, Thai, Pizza, or all three. It doesn’t matter. With a few clicks, you can get the dishes you want. Bask in the knowledge you won’t have to share a single bite.

Step Three: Synch up Netflix

Tonight, you’re going to take Netflix and chill literally, and there’s no one around to distract you or force you into watching a boring documentary. While waiting for your takeout to arrive, scroll through your My List to see if you have anything queued to watch, like season two of the Crown. If not, there’s no one to judge you when you re-watch season six of Friends for the thousandth time.

Step Four: Uncork the Bottle

Valentine’s Day and champagne go together like George and Amal. Don’t skip on a bottle of the bubbly just because you’re by yourself. Snag one on your way home from work, so you can sip on a glass while you watch Chandler shop for engagement rings. If you’d rather drink motor oil than a single mouthful of the stuff, don’t worry; this is your night. Pick something that you like. It doesn’t matter if it’s red wine, whiskey, or a bottle of 7Up.

Step Five: Spoil Yourself

Now, this next step is a tricky one to follow. It can easily fall into the category of pity-shopping through the holiday. To keep your budget intact after the 14th, you need to be strategic about your choices. You don’t want to wake up in the morning and experience retail regret, so keep it small. Avoid websites like Tiffany’s. While a brand-new diamond necklace would be nice, a gift of that size is not always in the budget.

Stick to items that come in under the $50 mark, like a cool iPhone decal. If you recently upgraded to the iPhone X, you can get your iPhone X to look unique with a fun, affordable, and practical iPhone decal. Affordable though they may be, you still have a lot of looks to choose from when you shop with a skin designer like dbrand. You can easily spend a lot of time creating a customized decal since they have a huge selection that includes trendy marble, dragon skin, and carbon fiber iPhone skins.

If you’re more of an analogue girl, head to Barnes and Noble and search through their Bestsellers list. Or head to Claire’s to find a faux-diamond choker. And if you’re still not sure what to do, check out a list like this for inspiration.

Step Six: Get Some Rest

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, you’re always on the go — even late at night. It’s all too easy to find yourself staying up well-past midnight despite your seven-a.m. wake-up call. Do your body a favor and give it what it craves: a full night’s sleep! Put that iPhone away, and turn off Netflix an hour before you want to go to bed. Screens that emit blue light disrupt your body’s production of melatonin and can make it difficult to catch some Zs.

Fill that time away from your screen doing calming activities that help you unwind. Try a low-key yoga routine that’s designed to encourage sleep. Surround yourself with scents that can help you unwind, like lavender. Drink a mug of herbal tea while you catch up on a few chapters of your latest book. Do whatever it takes to relax naturally before your head hits the pillow.

After a full night’s sleep, you’ll wake up in a better mood than ever before — not despite your dateless Valentine’s Day but because of it. Don’t feel sorry for yourself that you don’t have a date on the big day. Use your empty social calendar as an opportunity to pamper yourself this February. You’ll be surprised at how rejuvenating your night in can be!

5 Unusual Places to Find Inspiration for Baby Names

You want your baby’s name to be unique and special. But after scouring through baby books, you’re still struggling to find a name that you really love.

Don’t sweat it. While baby books are a great source for finding names, they’re not the only place you should be looking. To find a name you love, you need to get a little creative and think outside the baby book.


Keep reading to learn about 5 unusual places to find inspiration for baby names.


1.  Hobby Hunt

Hobbies can be one of our biggest sources of joy in life. And, they can also be a great resource for finding inspiration for a baby name.


Think about the hobbies that you engage in frequently and love the most. For example, if you love gardening, maybe a name like Lily or Rose would be a good choice for your baby. Or, let’s say you enjoy birdwatching. Then maybe a name like Robin or Wren would be up your alley.


Heck, there was even a couple who named their baby after Olive Garden because they loved the restaurant so much!


2.  Explore the Globe

One of the best sources for name inspiration that is often overlooked is researching popular names in other countries.


This can be a particularly good idea if you want your baby to have a unique name, (Or at least unique for where you live!)


There are so many beautiful names from other cultures that you likely have never even heard of. And all it takes is a quick Google search. For example, you could search “Most popular girl names in India,” and voila! You have a whole new list to browse through.


3. Social Security Website

The Social Security website may seem like an odd place to search for baby names, but hear us out first.


On the Social Security website, you can find the most popular names of today. And, if you’re into the idea of old-timey names, you can also jump back 100 years to discover popular names of the past.


For example, in 1925, the most popular boy names were Robert, John, and William, and the most popular girl names were Mary, Dorothy, and Betty.


4. The Silver Screen

Next time you decide to catch a flick, be ready to get inspired for baby name ideas.


Oftentimes, movie characters have very interesting names that you may be drawn. And, make sure to stick around for the credits this time!


Credits include so many names, that undoubtedly you’ll find inspiration somewhere along the way. Also, don’t forget to look at the last names as well. Oftentimes these provide unique ideas too.


And of course, don’t forget to think of the real names of the actors and actresses in the film. Getting inspiration from celebrities is quite popular, as evidenced in this blog here.

5. Map It Out

Whether you’re a globetrotter or not, taking out an old map to get inspiration for names can be a great idea.


First, think of names of cities that you love. Paris, London, and Florence all make beautiful names. But if you want a little less mainstream, dig deeper into your maps and check out names of smaller cities and towns- both here and overseas.

And if you really want to dig deep, don’t be afraid to check out street names as well. This is something you can even do next time you’re strolling to the park!

Unusual Baby Name Inspiration: Final Thoughts

Now that you have these ideas, it’s time to toss that baby book aside and start researching!

Got a place to find inspiration for baby names that wasn’t on this list? Let us know in the comments below!

Parent-tested tips for preparing your child for primary school

Primary school is where most children transition towards real independence. It’s, however, the step wherein a child experience the biggest adjustments to cope with school and life.


In Primary school, most children will start learning how to count and use money, be responsible enough for activities such as homework, interaction with bigger and wider peers, negotiating timetables, and independent transport while managing multiple tasks and needs at the same time.


Since most pre-schools will need a primary school preparation program, here are some things you can do with your child to make the adjustment to primary school faster and easier.


Discuss what to expect. You can do this by getting some books about what to expect at primary school. You can also recount your own good experiences if you still remember them. Spend some time together discussing what a day in primary school can be like. Ask your child to share any concerns that they might have and work on them together.


Buy school supplies together. Shopping together for your child’s school needs will help them feel more in control over themselves as well as giving them self-confidence about their choices. Get a sturdy school bag, good shoes, books, stationeries and the required uniforms.


Go to the school orientation together. Most schools hold orientations before the actual classes start. Bring your child with you so you can tour the school and figure out how everything looks like, including the classrooms, canteen, washrooms, bus pickup and drop off points among others. Encourage your child to ask questions after the tour. If the child will attend your alma mater, you can also share some stories about your time at the school to help make the experience more relatable and interesting.


Talk about making new friends. Going to a new school means saying goodbye to old friends and building new relationships with other kids in the new school. Discuss with your child the things they can do to make new friends. Reassure them that they can still be friends with their old pals and that they can still see them. You can set up some play dates with their pre-school classmates within the first two months so that your child can continue maintaining their friendship.


Create a routine. Establish a routine that you and your child will need to keep during school weeks. Let your child be used to getting to bed early and waking up earlier. Discuss when they need to do their homework and if there will be TV restrictions. You should start following this routine about a month before the school starts.


Safety first. Parents like us worry to no end when our child is out of our sight. Goo through different situations in which your child can encounter at school, which are a threat to safety. Talk about what to do in an event where a child or another adult made them feel uncomfortable, then talk about safety measures during fire, earthquake and other dangers.


Consider enrolling your child in an international school. If you’re an expat living in Singapore, then your children will benefit best their primary school is spent in one of the top international schools in Singapore where learning support for expat’s kids are focused on. Moreover, the more holistic view of education is a welcome advantage. International schools don’t have ridiculous early start nor the relentless pressure of exams and tests. It’s a learning environment where different backgrounds are accepted, encouraged, and grown to its fullest potential.


Now that you know some parent-tested tips for preparing your child for primary school, your child will, hopefully, be better-equipped to handle this new stage in his/her life. Do you have any tips for other parents out there? Share it with us!

Celebrate Entenmann’s 120th Birthday

Entenmann’s® 120th Birthday and “I Sing on the Cake” National Sweepstakes

In celebration of its 120th birthday, Entenmann’s® invites fans to enter the “I Sing on the Cake” national sweepstakes for a chance to win sweet prizes.

  • Prizes include:
    • An Ultimate Birthday party featuring a performance from the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters for the winner’s friends and family
    • Four days and three nights of family fun in New York City with four Grandstand Tickets to the 2018 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
    • 120 winners will receive free Entenmann’s® for a year
    • 3,000 winners will receive a coupon for one free Entenmann’s® product

From now until March 31, fans can enter, and see official rules at,

To receive a second entry and to make the milestone even more memorable, fans are invited to sing “Happy Birthday” to Entenmann’s® on Instagram or Twitter using #entenmanns120 and #promotion or uploading directly onto the Entenmann’s® Facebook page.

For every video submitted, Entenmann’s® will donate $1 to the Give A Note Foundation, up to $10,000, to share the gift of music with children across the country.

*A product was provided.

Is Smartlipo Worth Going For?

Everybody wants to achieve a good physique. A well-built and toned physique is a key to unlock self-esteem and confidence. Fitness centres are thronged by people with a single motive of achieving that dream body. But, most of us, due to our hectic daily schedule tends to miss on our fitness regimen and diet plans. As a result, due to lack of irregularity, the stubborn fat on our arms, abdomen, waist etc. tend to stay and pose a hindrance to our target. But not anymore, as we have Smartlipo, which is an innovative procedure to remove the stubborn fat which haunts us every day.

Many health centres, all over the world, provide the facility of Smartlipo; but one institution which has pioneered the introduction of Smartlipo in the United Kingdom is the London Medical and Aesthetic Clinic with the provision of Smartlipo MPX and Smartlipo Triplex. Below, you will find the answers to common questions asked about Smartlipo.

What is the Smartlipo procedure?

Under Smartlipo, a single laser fibre is introduced into the fatty area, with the help of a thin tube, and fat deposits are melted away by the laser light. The melted fat is gently sucked out. Laser liposuction also prevents sagging of the skin and a person gets that youthful look which he/ she has dreamt of.

What kind of person is a right fit for Smartlipo?

Smartlipo is best for those persons who are not overall fat or obese but have stubborn fat over love handles, abdomen, upper arms, lower torso, neck or face.

Is Smartlipo safe?

Smartlipo is one of the safest cosmetic procedure which involves the least amount of pain as it is done under local anaesthesia. Moreover, there is less bruising or swelling.  A person doesn’t need to stay in the hospital for the procedure. The faster recovery time enables a person to return to normal daily activities within one or two days.

Is there any kind of discomfort during or after the procedure?

As the procedure is done under local anaesthesia, a mild excitation might be felt. After the procedure is complete, a person may encounter some muscle aches in the targeted area. But, not to worry, as the ache is very much similar to muscle pain after a good physical workout or gym session and won’t last for more than two days.

Do the results of Smartlipo last?

The stubborn fat is completely eliminated in case of Smartlipo. Results can be seen within a week. However to get persistent improvement and maintenance of results; following a healthy diet and regular physical workout is essential.

How many treatments are necessary?

For the majority of the persons, only a single session makes them achieve the desired results.

Is there any scarring?

The laser tube requires little space to enter into the targeted area; hence surgical incision is very minute in size in case of Smartlipo. With proper aftercare, the scars will go away in no time and will be barely noticeable.

Important Reasons to Lose Weight This Year

If you’re carrying a few extra pounds that you’re looking to shift, there couldn’t be a better time to focus the mind.

Whether it’s a couple of pounds, or a few stones, that you need to lose there is help and support available from a range of places to assist you in your journey.

Health Risks Of Being Overweight

Being overweight, even by a small amount, could increase the risk of many health problems and serious diseases. Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancers are more likely to occur in those who are obese and overweight.

In addition to those above, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and asthma are also more likely to be present if you are carrying extra weight. For pregnant women, being obese can cause a higher risk pregnancy as well as impact on the health of their baby.

It is not just the physical problem that obesity can cause, but also the psychological ones, including depression and low self-esteem in addition to causing anxiety.

It is not just the impact on your health that being overweight can have; your loved ones could be losing out. Are you no longer able to play football with your child? Are you having issues with fertility? Are you too embarrassed to hit the beach on holiday? This could be having an adverse impact on those around you and losing weight could give you a new lease of life and improve your relationships with your family and friends.

Eating a large amount of high-calorie food and spending too much time being inactive are two of the most common causes of being overweight.

It could be easier than you think to lose the weight.

You can make simple changes to your diet and lifestyle which won’t seem as if you’re sacrificing too much: reach for a piece of fruit instead of having a biscuit during your morning break; try a healthy alternative to sugary cereals such as porridge, and drink more water.

By walking more each day, it will not only help you to shift the pounds but increase your strength too. Walking, and light exercise has also been proven to boost your mood.

Benefits Of Losing Weight

Losing weight could change your life, allowing you to live longer and healthier and to enjoy every day. The benefits of losing weight can start to be seen immediately.

When you begin to change your habits, whether that is eating healthier food, including more fruit and vegetables, and getting more active, you will notice you can breathe more easily, and your skin will look more radiant.

Not only this but you will feel as if you have more energy, you may notice pain in your joints or back beginning to disappear and your partner may stop the nagging as your snoring should improve also.

Seek Help

There is a wide range of support services available to help you on your weight loss journey, and you should speak to a healthcare provider before making changes to your lifestyle. You could attend a local weight loss group, join up to a local gym, or speak to those around you for motivation and advice. And if the purse strings are tight, there is plenty of activities you can do free of charge to help you start to shift the pounds.

Thankfully you can do something about obesity, and lower your risk of health conditions and diseases developing so why not take time to make a plan and start to make changes for a healthier and longer life, which will not only benefit you but also your family.



3…2…1…It’s time to blast off with American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year, Luciana Vega!

Luciana is the latest in American Girl’s long line of inspiring characters that encourage girls to think about who they want to be and how they want to make their mark in the world—no matter the challenges they may face.

American Girl #girloftheyear2018

A post shared by Amanda (@mommymandy) on


In Luciana, girls will meet a creative, confident 11-year-old girl and aspiring astronaut who dreams of being the first person to go to Mars. And, while she has the skills and smarts to achieve her goals, she also learns that being a good leader and team player right here on Earth is the best first step.

Luciana’s world comes to life via a beautiful 18-inch Luciana doll, featuring warm brown eyes, medium skin, and dark brown hair with a distinctive purple streak to show off her creative side.    Other STEM-inspired outfits, accessories, and products that reflect her Space Camp® experience include Luciana’s Flight Suit and Space Suit, her Maker Station, and a Mars Habitat loaded with science and research essentials for hours of pretend play. And—for the first time—girls can further engage in Luciana’s world by downloading the American Girl app and scanning her catalogue pages and products to unlock exclusive content, including augmented reality, trailers and videos, space simulations, quizzes and challenges, and much more.


Additionally, Luciana’s story is chronicled in a chapter book series written by Erin Teagan and published by Scholastic. The first two books, available now, introduce readers to Luciana, a young girl of Chilean descent with a serious science streak, who loves the idea of exploring new territories in space. After winning a scholarship to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, Luciana is thrilled to launch her dream of landing on Mars. But as she ascends from Space Camp kid to youth astronaut trainee, she faces many challenges that test her competitive spirit and self-confidence, and she must find the courage to embrace the unknown with bravery, curiosity, and wonder.

To engage girls and boys with Luciana’s message, American Girl—in partnerships with Scholastic, NASA, and Space Camp—has funded Blast Off to Discovery, an educational program to help third though fifth-grade students explore the wonder of space through Luciana-inspired content, including STEM-based lesson plans and classroom activities, videos, a game, and more. The program will be available on starting January 31, 2018. In addition, American Girl and Scholastic will host a Mission to Mars Sweepstakes where families can go on a series of weekly missions for a chance to win several prizes, including a grand prize trip to Space Camp valued at over $2,000.


Other Luciana-related initiatives being held throughout the year include the following:

  • Luciana Retail Events: On January 1, American Girl stores nationwide are hosting Luciana’s Debut Event, where girls can celebrate the company’s first STEM-themed character with fun, interactive science demonstrations, a Moon Phase craft, galaxy-inspired treats, and a free Luciana doll tee to take home. For more details, visit com/retail.
  • Luciana Online Play: Girls can visit to read excerpts from the Luciana books and enjoy fun space-inspired activities.
  • American Girl WorldApp: Fans can step into the worlds of Luciana and their other favorite American Girl characters and experience their stories in a whole new way. The app is available to download later in January through the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Kindle.
  • Luciana-Themed Space Camp: Girls and their families can train just like astronauts—including taking a tumble spin in the Multi-Axis Trainer and designing a robot—at a special Girl of the Year experience created in partnership with Space Camp starting in summer 2018. American Girl is also sponsoring 20 scholarships to attend Space Camp. To learn more, visit com/meetluciana.


*A product was provided.

Ideas to Keep Your Kids Active in Their Body and Minds

Doctors and pediatricians are always reminding us that we need to look after our bodies both physically and mentally. For children, this has become even more important in recent years. With the growth of computer games, the internet, and social media, it can be easy for your kids to be sat down in front of a screen all day instead of getting outside and being active. That’s why it’s important to encourage your children to exercise their bodies and minds as often as possible; here are a few ideas to inspire you.

Have a Tech-Free Time

Although you want your children to use technology, there has to be a time and a place for it. To encourage them to do something else apart from using tech, enforce a tech-free period in the day when they cannot use their phones or computers. The length of time is up to you, but it needs to be long enough to encourage them to do something else. Try to give them some alternatives such as setting up some activities in the garden or arranging for some friends to come over for a game in the park. It is important however to tell their friends when they arrive about the tech-free time.

Make Activities Part of the Chores

Although washing the dishes or taking out the trash are good ways to get your kids to do chores, there are other things they can do that will also keep them active. You can make it a chore to wash the car once a week or to mow the lawn. They could also help you to walk the dog a couple of times a week. Anything that gets them up and active is a good idea, plus it helps out around the house.

Get Them Involved in a Project

If you have meant to paint the house for a long time, but never had the time, then this could be the perfect opportunity to get the kids involved. They can help you fetching paint and even painting the lower levels that don’t need a ladder. They can help you in the garden with clearing up and planting. You can even give them their own patch so that they can plant what they want to grow. It is also an area where other members of the family can help if the grandparents or uncles have things that need to be done, then you can suggest they ask your children if they want to help.

Make it a Family Activity

If you feel that the whole family could do with some exercise, then arrange some family activities you can do. Go for a cycle ride somewhere that has a natural beauty, so no-one gets bored with the view. Play some soccer, basketball or some party games in the garden; you can even have kids versus adults to add some competition. Another idea is to go swimming together, even taking them to a local water park is good, they will still be active and have fun at the same time. The activities don’t just have to be physical; you can also add in some board games you can all play together. Choose ones that you need to think about such as trivia games, that will stimulate their minds and help them to learn new facts.

Play Some Puzzle Games

If the weather is too bad for them to get outside, you can still encourage them to keep their minds active by doing some puzzle games. These could be something as simple as crosswords or word search, but you can also give them puzzle toys. You can also let them choose a puzzle that they can put together, if you have more than one child, you can get them one each and see who can finish theirs first. Not only will it keep them interested, but it will also prevent them from fighting over the one puzzle. It is also an activity that can involve smaller kids because you can get puzzles for varying ages.

Summer and Day Camps

During the holidays, many communities and schools set up camps for the kids to enjoy. They are often low cost and offer a range of activities for the kids to do. The summer ones tend to be residential and spread over a few days to about a week. However, there are also day camps for those that don’t want to stay over at a campsite. If there are no camps of that type local to you, then why not set one up with some local parents? That way, your kids will all be getting some exercise, and it’s also helping others in the local community.

Arrange a Group Event

There will likely be many parents in the same position as you, all trying to keep their kids occupied as well as encouraging them to be active. You could arrange some group events to get all the children together and take part. For the younger children, you could arrange a day at a playroom that has an indoor soft play area with ball pits and slides. You can each take a turn to supervise them, or all meet up and spend some social time together while they play. Another good idea for the older children is Escape Games; they are designed to allow a group of people to get together to solve clues. Some of them also involve role play, but the quest is to escape the room in the quickest time. It is a great way to get the kids working together and using their brains.

These are a few of the structured activities that you can use to help get your children more active. However, there are other ways including just letting them go out to play with friends or for the older kids, letting them take some sports equipment to the park. Just as long as its fun and it’s helping them to stay healthy.

Royal Jewellery

Some of the most expensive, precious pieces of jewellery are in the hands of – you guessed it – the Royal family. But what are their favourites and why are they so priceless?


In this article, we’ll take a look at the most beautiful, awe-inspiring pieces of jewellery that the Royal family own. And if you’re looking for some jewellery that’s just as stunning, but doesn’t require one of the royals to own, Berganza is an affordable yet striking jewellery store.

It’s the perfect jewellery site for you to gawp upon their stunning jewels, in wonder. Let’s get back to the Royal’s jewellery, shall we?

Princess Diana’s emerald choker


Gifted to the late Princess Diana as a wedding gift in 1981, this eye-catching choker was originally a necklace owned by Queen Mary in 1911.


Princess Diana also wore her emerald choker as a head bandeau, making an iconic and infamous fashion statement.

The Burmese ruby tiara


The rubies on the Burmese ruby tiara are extremely rare. They were gifted to the Royal family by the people of Burma, who believe the rubies have the power to heal and protect their owner.


This is what makes the Burmese ruby tiara so precious; not because of the decided price, but because of the meaning the rubies hold to those who gave them to the Royal family. To the people of Burma, these rubies are priceless.

Queen Mary’s rose of York bracelet


The county of Cornwall gave Mary, the Duchess of York and Princess of Teck, the ruby and diamond cuff bracelet, known as now as the Rose of York bracelet. The diamonds run across the rounded rubies that sparkle along the cuff.


In the middle, the bracelet holds a rose made of diamonds and rubies. This gift was given to the future Queen back in 1893 when she married the Duke of York.


What’s your favourite piece of Royal jewellery?


Each piece of jewellery listed is a masterpiece in its own right. So, let us know which of these pieces of Royal jewellery you like the most, and why in the comments below.



Bringing the Whole Family into the Kitchen

Whether it’s time to teach the kids how to cook, need an extra hand or just need a break, getting the whole family involved in the kitchen is a must.

Dedicate a Saturday afternoon to bake with the kids. Spend a Friday night cooking with your significant other for a fun date night. No matter what the reason is, incorporating the family into the kitchen has endless rewards.


Teach the Kids How To Cook

It might not be relevant to them right now, but at some point in their life the kids will need to cook for themselves, or someone else. Set them up for success down the road by teaching them how to cook.

Not only will your kids learn what it means to cook a proper meal, but they will also learn the importance of food safety. Washing hands before and after touching food, separating specific foods to avoid cross-contamination and keeping your workspace clean. The kitchen skills never go away so enforcing these right off the bat is essential.

Bonus skill – patience! Cooking takes time and requires patience and concentration. Kids will learn what both of these mean since they can’t run away will the oven is on.

Family Bonding Time

Doing things as a family is a great way to have some fun and bond with one another. Learn about your kid’s week, what they’re doing at school or what they need help with. Enjoy the time with your significant other without worrying about the kids. Get lost in the moments that turn into memories.

Those family moments in the kitchen also teach children about priorities, which becomes essential as they grow up. Family sticks around so teach them through cooking that family comes first.

Enforce Life Skills

This family bonding moment is also a time to reinforce essential life skills for your kids. Seeing their family work together will go a long way when it is their time to do the same thing. Develop teamwork and social skills by working with one another.

Kids will learn about organization and planning as they must ensure they have all the ingredients before starting. If not, whip out the problem-solving skills and see what can be substituted or left out without completely changing the recipe.

Your family will also learn about proper nutrition and how to make an informed decision about the foods they consume.

Dress the Part – Kids and All

Want to kick up the family cooking time? Dress the part of chefs and bakers. Chef Works has a variety of aprons for adults and children that are stylish, affordable and efficient.

Have some fun in the kitchen and enforce what it means to be a team with a family uniform. Not only will it be entertaining for the whole family, but you’ll also protect your clothes in case things start getting messy.


So start planning family kitchen days or evenings and get the kids involved too. Start teaching your children valuable life lessons that need to come from their parents, all while creating memories that will last a lifetime.