Using Kelley Blue Book to Buy a New Car

so much has changed and is changing for our family with the birth of our baby girl. moving up from a family of 5 to a family of 6 has caused some major changes, especially in the space situation. suddenly our house is too small, our laundry piles are bigger, and everything takes more time. PLUS, we no longer have room in our truck to fit our entire family. the biggest issue with this, is that we can no longer pull our travel trailer when we go on vacation or road trips. how are we going to share our road trips with you if we can’t even fit in the truck that pulls the trailer! so it’s a great time to partner with Kelley Blue Book to help us find a new family car that will fit our entire family, and still pull our travel trailer.

since my husband’s truck is a company car, we are going to have to sell my minivan, and get something that will work. i am fine with that because i have been wanting a new car for a while now. and although i love my minivan, it’s getting old and starting to cost more in repairs than the money we are saving from having paid it off. how will we go about selling our old vehicle and buying a new one? we’ve done the dealer route and the for-sale-by-owner route. we are comfortable with either as long as we are getting the best deal. by using Kelley Blue Book, we can make sure we do. you can use KBB.com to find the most trusted vehicle valuation and also use it as an information source to find the best vehicle, as it is one of the most trusted and relied upon sources for consumers and the automotive industry.

How will we pick our car?

to make our choice easier, the Kelley Blue Book editorial team drives and tests hundreds of new cars, trucks, SUVs and minivans every year. it has named its list of the 12 Best Family Cars of 2017. to choose this list, they focused on safety, value, reputation and fit of various child safety car seats. the new Best Family Cars of 2017 list focuses strictly on mainstream brands, and includes a diverse group of new vehicles that best meet the needs of today’s families. in fact, this is the first year that no sedans have been included.

How does Kelley Blue Book know what parent’s need in a vehicle?

the KBB.com’s editorial staff includes several parents with children in a full range of ages from toddler to college. they’ve also enlisted the help of their own families to put this year’s contenders to the real-world test.

this year’s winners range in price from around $20,000 to the low $30,000 range, with only one vehicle exceeding a $40,000 starting price. that is just what my family is looking for. and with two children still in car seats, i am glad that KBB.com took carseats into consideration when they made their list of winners. included in this year’s content is a car seat guide with useful tips and specific details regarding the strengths and weaknesses of each of this year’s Best Family Cars.

Who are the winners?

if you are looking into purchasing a new family car this year, Kelley Blue Book has created this video of this year’s winners:

i am very excited to be getting a new car this year. i can’t wait to go shopping. with Kelley Blue Book by my side, i have more confidence in my purchase. KBB.com serves the typical everyday car buyer like myself to provide me with every bit of information necessary to make an intelligent car-purchase decision. i can’t wait to share with you what i end up getting!

{disclosure: This is a sponsored post through the Mom It Forward Influencer Network. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.}

6 Reasons Why Babies Suck

Tracking Pixeli have been in newborn bliss over here since the birth of my daughter in January. i just love babies…and the fact that she is mine, is the best thing in the world. i just want to cuddle and kiss her all day long. yep, babies are just so cute and we love them to pieces! but at the same time, there are also times when babies just plain suck! why sugarcoat it? there are times when being a parent is really hard. that is why i have partnered with one of my favorite baby product companies Boon, to share with you some of the ways that babies suck.

6 Reasons Why Babies Suck

number one…

Baby Nails are Hard to Cut. why the heck are babies’ nails so thin and little? i remember with my first baby trying to be so careful not to cut the skin around his little nails. hold still…let me do this oh so gently… and oh crap…i cut him. after tears from him and myself (mostly myself) i decided that i would never try cutting them again until he got older. i’m still having nightmares about it. four kids later, and i still have extreme nail cutting anxiety.

(WAIT! you didn’t think i would share with you my reasons why babies suck and not give you solutions to the problems did you? of course not.)

finally, with my fourth baby, i found out how to make cutting my baby’s nails suck so much less. these Boon CARE Nail Clippers have a large handle that makes them easy to grip. they have seriously made clipping baby’s nail a whole lot easier and my nail cutting anxiety is gone.

they really do work so well. i haven’t had a mishap yet!

number two…

Babies Can’t Blow their Noses. who loves snot? i sure don’t. babies’ nostrils are just so teeny tiny, and when they’re clogged it sucks a lot. if you’ve tried using those nose bulbs you get from the hospital, you might notice that babies hate those things. nothing makes clearing little noses harder than having to do it while they’re screaming and crying. and who knows what is lingering inside those things? yuck!

luckily, Boon CARE Nasal Aspirator isn’t like other nasal aspirators. it’s super soft and gentle on baby’s nose. plus, it uses cotton balls or tissue as a filter, and is clear so it’s easy to clean and easy to see that it’s clean.

 

number three…

Babies Get Cradle Crap Cap. that layer of dead skin (or crap as i call it) that can be so hard to get rid of. my third son had it so bad that when i went to try and clean it away, some of his baby hair went down the drain with it. it made me feel so bad! cradle cap is probably the reason i had a completely bald baby for almost a year. i am surprised that his hair even grew back after that fiasco, LOL.

luckily, skip forward to baby number four, and i found this Boon CARE Cradle Cap Brush. with soft bristles to gently massage scalp and remove dry skin without removing any of that soft and adorable baby hair.


it works great in the bath. baby girl loves getting a scalp massage…while i get jealous that i would like one too.

the Cradle Cap Brush has worked out awesomely to keep baby girl’s hair on point. i mean…look at that hair, it’s just the cutest, and doesn’t suck one bit.

number four…

Babies Can’t Brush their Teeth. teeth are important! you can never start too early when it comes to proper oral care, but brushing teeth isn’t a skill most people are born with. and most babies aren’t usually fond of those rough bristles anyway.

the Boon CARE Silicone toothbrush is gentle on gums, and slips right over your finger so it’s more like a using a teething toy than a rough tooth brushing session. great oral care habits right from day one with no tears from baby.

number five…

Babies Get Sick. we don’t live in a bubble and we can’t avoid all germs all the time. especially when babies have older siblings who go to school, church, sports, activities, and who knows where else. babies are just more susceptible to catching whatever is going around.

luckily, we have a Boon CARE Quick Read Thermometer with a flexible tip and 8-second readings. when a bug hits, it’s not a huge struggle trying to keep track of the baby’s temperature.

number six…

Babies Don’t Take Medicine. as we already established, babies are going to get sick. and sometimes that means they’re going to need medicine. when they’re really tiny, getting them to swallow their medicine is a huge challenge! syringes can sometimes squirt it too hard, and medicine spoons are usually too big for babies’ mouths.

luckily, Boon CARE Medicine Spoon has a removable soft spoon tip and easy fill dispenser. it’s a medicine syringe and spoon in one, with a soft tip to make giving a sick baby their medicine safely and comfortably.

so yeah, babies suck sometimes. but the Boon CARE Health & Grooming Kit helps make everything suck a little bit less.


the Boon CARE Health & Grooming Kit is made with high-quality materials free from BPA, PVC and Phthalates. think of it as a good parenting kit, with 6 essentials. (Seven if you count Peace of Mind.) and each product that Boon sells has been made to focus on problem solving and ingenuity, and has simple yet effective design.

so stylish, and even tucks neatly into a sturdy, zippered pouch for storage. Boon thinks of everything!

yep, we couldn’t be happier. life is good…and definitely doesn’t suck!

(This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Boon.)

Tips for Helping Families Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

This post is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente Orange County.

i know you have heard it a million times, but when it comes to keeping your family healthy during cold and flu season, the number one answer is WASH YOUR HANDS! it’s hard to believe that something so simple can make the biggest difference in your wellness..but it does. i recently spoke to Dr. Michelle Solomon, a pediatrician at the Kaiser Permanente Orange County offices in Garden Grove, and she discussed some great Tips for Helping Families Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season. and i sure needed the reminder…i do not like my family to get sick or to be around germs.

here’s the main reason i have been especially germaphobic this cold and flu season. we have a new baby in our home! and as a mom to a newborn, you can never be too careful. i can practically see germs crawling all over the place LOL! when my kids come home from school, they are pretty much sanitized. i don’t want my baby catching the cold or flu….especially something like RSV. here are the tips i received from Dr. Solomon.

How to Properly Wash Your Hands

like i mentioned before, Dr. Solomon said washing hands is the number one way to fight off germs. but did you know that most people do not wash their hands effectively? first of all, it is not necessary to use antibacterial soaps. regular soap works just fine. you need to make sure you wash long enough – while washing them, sing Happy Birthday TWICE. that is the proper amount of time you need to wash them. make sure to use enough soap and scrub between the fingers.

just washing your hands is not enough either, drying them is a big deal. you must effectively dry your hands to make the washing count. use a clean towel or a paper towel. hand dryers are great too.

you can use alcohol based hand sanitizers to fight germs, but they only work well if your hands aren’t visibly dirty. you also must use good technique – that means getting the hand sanitizer between the fingers, using a good amount, making sure your hands are completely wet with it and waiting till dried.

Preventing Sickness

you can help prevent sickness by promoting good nutrition – eat healthy foods rich in nutrients such as Vitamin C. adults can try taking zinc supplements, however, they are not recommended for kids.

stay away from malls, enclosed areas, and play areas heavily used by children. and if you do visit these places make sure to wash your hands the proper way as mentioned above.

most doctors recommend getting a flu shot. if your child is 6 months or older, talk to your doctor to see if this is a good choice for your family.

What to Do When Someone Gets Sick in Your Family

when one person gets sick in the family, it’s time to up the washing the hands. this means the ENTIRE FAMILY. make sure to not share anything….from food to blankets to toys. make sure that everyone is using a covering cough method – which is also known as the Dracula arm where you actually cough into your arm/elbow, not into your hand. if the person who is sick is stuffy, you can have them take a warm shower or use a humidifier. but always make sure the humidifier is clean. humidifiers can harbor mold and germs that can be spread. remember, just because you are not sick, you still can harbor virus….you can be A symptomatic. so do your best to not spread germs.

When to Send Your Kids Back to School

only send your kids back to school if they have had no fevers for 24 hours. this is a complete 24 hours…not just over night. make your child rest if they don’t look well. when it comes to teens, they tend to try to go to school even when they aren’t 100%.  it is not good to send them to school when they are sick because older kids can’t focus when they are. trust your instinct as a parent on whether or not your child is well enough to go to school.

i thank Dr. Solomon for giving me some great reminders on How to Keep My Family Healthy During Cold and Flu Season. such a caring and informative doctor. i have really loved getting to know all the Kaiser doctors that i have met during the past few months. if you have missed the posts i have written about them, here they are:

My Trip to the Kaiser Orange County Farmers Market
When I Learned About Kaiser Orange County’s Prenatal Programs
Our Family’s Visit Thrive Walk at the Orange County Great Park
Great Tips on Mens Health

the great thing about Kaiser Permanente Orange County, is everything is under one roof. most Kaiser Permanente Orange County locations include pharmacy, lab, X-ray services and more. plus, there are locations throughout Orange County, as far north as Brea and as far south as San Juan Capistrano, including Tustin Ranch, Foothill Ranch and the new Radiation Oncology Center located at the Anaheim Medical Center. wow…this is the kind of service i look for in my healthcare.

Get Your Child’s School a Scholar Dollar Grant

This post is sponsored by ScholarShare.

PARENTS!!!!!  Your child’s school NEEDS you!

this is your chance to help your child’s school to be awarded up to $25,000. Scholarshare has just announced a new grant program called Scholar Dollars. this is a new program that will award 20 grants of up to $25,000 each to eligible K-8 public and charter schools in California. the grants are available in varying amounts according to school size. they range from $5,000 for schools of 300 students and less up to $25,000 for schools of more than 1,500 students.

the best thing about the Scholar Dollar grants is that schools are free to spend the grants on musical instruments, computers, library books, sports equipment, or support enrichment programs such as tutoring labs, student counseling, science and technology and many other activities.

How Your School Can Get a Scholar Dollar Grant

only a school administrators can register and apply for these amazing Scholar Dollar grants. so us parents have the duty to inform our children’s school administrators about the program. schools are only allowed to register from February 1, 2017, through February 22, 2017, so you need to HURRY! once your school is registered, its’ name will appear on an online ballot, along with respective details on how itplans to use the funds if they are selected.  you can check here to see if your school is eligible to apply.

next is the fun part! from March 1, 2017, through March 24, 2017 is the voting period. you will then need to  encourage your community, friends and family to vote for their child’s school. From March 1, 2017, through March 24, 2017, parents, relatives, boosters, and community supporters are encouraged to vote for their school. Top vote getters in each category (according to school size) will receive an award, to be announced in early April.

good luck!

i am so impressed by all ScholarShare does to help out kids have a brighter future. from programs in the community to making it easier to save for our childrens’ college future with California’s 529 plans. i am a total fan and know with their help my children will have a brighter future.

here’s a great little video the explain the Scholar Dollar program. hope you can get your school to enter. good luck to your school!!!

The program is administered by ScholarShare.

 

Not Your Average Valentines Day Gift Ideas

i’ll admit it, i am a horrible Valentine’s Gift shopper. i never know what to get my hubby for Valentine’s day…and on the flipside, all my hubby has ever gotten me was flowers. and of course i love flowers, but wouldn’t it be fun to get something unexpected or different? so i have partnered with Babbleboxx to share with you some different Valentine’s Day gift ideas. wouldn’t if be awesome to give the person you love or someone one of these Valentine’s Day gifts? check them out…

1) Edible Arrangements 2) Dolce by Dolce & Gabbana Fragrance & Perfumania Gift Certificate  3) Casio G-SHOCK S Series GMA-S110CM-2A Watch  4) Sunsweet PlumSweets 5) Faber-Castell Art Supplies

let me share details about each of these Not So Average Valentine’s Day Gifts, PLUS some great coupon and promo codes…

i love love love this Edible Arrangements Valentine’s Day Bouquet! i have never received and Edible Arrangement before…and when it arrive, i was so excited. first of all, it was rally pretty and all the fruit was really fresh. i could hardly keep my boy’s hands off it…they wanted to eat it all.  think these would make awesome gifts for practically anyone – from teachers to your spouse, significant other, mother, daughter or even best friend. whether you want to say “I Love You,” “Happy Valentine’s Day,” or even “Just Because”, you can’t go wrong with fresh fruit and gourmet chocolate! get $10 off when they spend $39+ Use code: SAVE3966

Plus, they also offer other yummy gifts like this Edible Arrangements® Signature Chocolate Box. each chocolate features recipes designed by master chocolatier Jacques Torres, and include 6 incredible flavors: hazelnut crunch, caramel, raspberry, orange, pineapple and passion fruit. all of Edible’s shareable treats are perfect for surprising your special someone at home or the office this Valentine’s Day.

ordering an Edible Arrangement is easy! just visit the website to purchase now— don’t wait until the last minute, even though they do offer same day delivery. get one for Valentine’s on the 14th or even Galentine’s Day on the 13th (a “holiday” to celebrate the non-romantic female relationships in your life).

 Fall in love this Valentine’s Day with this seductive fragrance Dolce by Dolce & Gabbana. Dolce is a floral, feminine mix that blends the freshness of Neroli with the opulence of White Amaryllis for a flirty, yet sophisticated scent. it is available at Perfumania. here’s a coupon for you – 25% OFF + Free Shipping at perfumania.com 2/1/17 – 2/14/17 with code STP25

and if you don’t know what fragrance your loved one loves, how about a $50 to shop online or instore at PerfumaniaPerfumania is the one-stop destination for fragrance. Hundreds of brands ranging from classic designer fragrances, to the newest trends, there’s a scent for everyone. the team of fragrance experts will help you discover your next signature scent.


this Casio G-SHOCK for Her was created for the influential, fashion-forward woman that seeks a sportswear-inspired toughness to add to her modern style. it’s the ideal gift for that special someone on your Valentine’s Day list that values advanced technology and precision time-keeping in a versatile fashion accessory. this watch is water resistant, magnetic resistant, shock resistant, has a 4 daily alarm, auto LED Light

sweet and delicious decadence of dark chocolate paired with scrumptious, bite-size pieces of Amaz!n Prunes, Sunsweet PlumSweets are creamy on the outside and chewy on the inside. these diced prunes coated in premium dark chocolate and are made with real fruit and no high fructose corn syrup. a  great way to treat yourself, especially during Valentine’s Day. click here for a downloadable coupon for $1.00 off one 6oz bag of PlumSweets


how fun would it be to get some new art supplies! coloring is a great way to relieve stress. Faber-Castell has a long history of 256 years of creating the highest quality products. a great gift option for creative types for Valentine’s Day.

Faber-Castell CASTELL 9000® Graphite Design set has finely graduated degrees of hardness have made it a firm favorite with artists and illustrators. lead is fully bonded with the wood, making it break-resistant. These pencils have an environmentally safe water-based coating and are available in 16 degrees of hardness for writing, drawing and sketching.

PITT® Artist Pen 8 count Wallet in Black & PITT® Artist Pen Studio Gift Box of 24 offer odorless, permanent, waterproof, lightfast inks in 6 vibrant colors and a variety of nibs. Contains the highest quality India ink for unsurpassed lightfastness that also will not bleed through most paper, including Bible pages. Great for everything from Professional Artists to coloring books!

Gelatos®  are super pigmented, acid-free sticks of color that can be used in your Mixed Media art projects. They glide on smooth for vibrant color
and blend easily with or without water and can be used on any porous surface. Available in 68 colors including NEW Iridescents and Highlighter
colors!

all of these gifts make the perfect Not So Average Valentine’s Day gifts. i am really enjoying all of them and hope that there is someone in your life who would love them too.

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Single Edition Media.