Our New Years Resolution is 12 Dates Nights in 12 Months

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #YoursandMine #CollectiveBias

My husband and I have been together for thirteen and a half years, been married for 6 years and have been parents for 2 1/2 years! We met in college and right on our first date night we knew we were soul mates. I remember us being super romantic and always having our alone couple time before baby.

It took us almost 3 years of trying to have our daughter so we treasure every little moment with our little princess. Both being first time parents later in life makes us so much more in love with our precious daughter. Our life has been consumed with being parents. We do basically everything together as a trio. Whether it's taking her to her dance class or exploring different toddler friendly places like museums and play places.

Right before Christmas time we always tell each other what we want as gifts. He usually buys me whatever kitchen or craft gadget I am into at the moment and I always buy him cologne or a watch. We both decided to plan 12 date nights, one for each month in lieu of gifts! Since we are always with our daughter we don't really get the opportunity to be alone or go on date nights. This is the perfect plan to get closer and more connected with each other.

I got a jar, some colored paper and a nice pen and I gave him 6 cards and gave myself 6 cards. We each wrote down 6 date nights and stuffed them in the jar. Every month we are going to pick out one of the cards and do whatever it says. I am excited to see what my husband wrote!

I secretly took an extra paper making it my 7th card and put it right on top of the jar. I will be asking him to pick it out on Christmas day. This one is the "Romantic Date at Home". I will be cooking a delicious dinner and dessert we can enjoy while watching a DVD of our first movie date. I went to Walmart to pick up everything I needed for that date night and to spice things up I got the best lube we have tried, the K-Y® Yours+Mine.

To find special ways to help reconnect with your partner in the New Year check out K-Y.com.
Now K-Y® is making things easier for couples with their special K-Y Date Night Package that includes a $50 value of 1 free meal for two people from PEACHDISH.com delivered to your door for an romantic night of cooking together, a $5 VUDU movie credit for you to see right at home and the pleasure of K-Y Yours+Mine Couples Lubricants.

What couples New Years Resolution do you have for 2015?

+LIFEGUARD Apple Certified Lightning Cable

**I received the product below free for my review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be a good fit for my readers. All opinions are 100% my own.

With our family being an Apple family with iPhones and my daughter's iPad we were unfortunately down to one charging cord. One broke, one we leave in the car and the other was left to share among our three devices. I have been meaning to get a couple of extra cables but when I saw the prices and bad reviews in the Apple website I just didn't get to it. I tried buying cables from sellers on the street in NYC but most of them just stopped working after a short while.

I got the chance to review the +LIFEGUARD Charge and Sync Lightning cable that is 1M long. It was the perfect opportunity for me to see if it really worked and didn't die out like the ones I purchased.

First I liked that shipping was super fast and that it came in a little box and not that hard to open plastic packaging. As soon as I plugged it in, my iPhone started charging immediately and really fast. I have been using it for almost 2 weeks now and it charges just as fast as the one I got with my iPhone.

With so many options on Amazon that may be cheaper but come from different countries and shipping that is insane it is good to know that the one from +LIFEGUARD works!
It is:
  • Apple Certified - This Cabe Is Certified By Apple And It Is Compatible With All Apple Devices That Work With Lightning Connector.
  • Convenient 3.3ft Long
  • Compatible With: Iphone 6 Plus, 6, 5s, 5c, 5 / Ipad Mini, Mini 2, Mini 3, Air 2, Retina / Ipod 7th Generation And 5th Generation.
If you need an extra cable or need to replace the one you got I highly recommend checking out the +LIFEGUARD Charge and Sync Lightning cable sold on Amazon.

Listen to Music and Get Moving with the Coosh Bluetooth Speaker w/ Built-in Microphone

**I received the product below free for my review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be a good fit for my readers. All opinions are 100% my own.

Music really gets me moving so I love to listen to it when I clean the house or exercise. I don't know about you but music really makes me clean longer and exercise harder. Since I have all of my music on my phone, having a Bluetooth speaker is a must. I have been using a simple one since the summer and I thought it was all I really needed until I got to review the one from Coosh.

My phone is always in need of charging so I always put it to charge while I clean the house. Since I have the Bluetooth speaker I just connect it and let my phone charge in my room. With the old speaker I would have to run to my room every time I got a phone call or wanted to switch a track. Now with the Coosh Bluetooth Speaker I don't have to run anywhere. All I have to do is press the buttons to go forward or backward on my track list right on the Coosh Speaker. Since it has a built in speaker whenever someone calls I just press the phone button on the Coosh Speaker and I can talk right though it!

The Coosh Bluetooth Speaker:
  • Bluetooth 4.0 includes A2DP,HFP,HSP,EDR
  • A2DP for wireless music streaming
  • Hands free audio(HFP) and headset profiles (HSP) for hands-free calling capability
  • Range up to 50 feet transmitter distance
  • NFC(near field communication) optional 
  • Touch buttons
  • Rechargeable Lithium battery for 5 hours of playtime
  • Built in Mic with advanced noise cancellation enable clear wireless hands-free calling
  • Connect to iPod or any audio device with a 3.5mm mini

Click to order your own Coosh Bluetooth Speaker on Amazon. 

Health Nut or a Wannabe Health Nut? The Bulu Box is for You!

**I received the product below free for my review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be a good fit for my readers. All opinions are 100% my own.

I love subscription boxes because I love surprises. I also love trying out things that I probably would have never thought about trying. Now that I am well into my weight loss journey I love trying health related things.

A lot of health products come with hefty prices so sometimes I want to try something but I don't want to commit to the price in case it doesn't work for me or I just don't like it. I spent 20 dollars on a container of protein powder that I could not stomach the taste. It was money down the drain!

The Bulu Box is a health, nutrition and weight loss subscription box designed to help you feel your best. Each month, you get a custom box filled with 4 to 5 premium samples from top brands. Shipping is free and you can cancel anytime.

In my November 2014 Weight Loss Box I got the following:
  • OxyLife Royal Flush: Helps eliminate toxins and poisons by getting rid of excess waste. 
  • Supreme Protein Accelerate Bar: A source of protein to kick your metabolism into high gear.
  • Complete Nutrition Green Coffee Bean Extract: A source of chlorogenic acid which had been shown to promote increased weight loss. 
  • Twinlabs CleanSeries Veggie Protein: Builds lean muscle and suppresses appetite between meals. 
  • Probium Multi Blend 128: Probiotic with a blend of good gut bacteria to promote healthy digestion and promote a faster metabolism. 

I love that you can earn points by sharing your thoughts about each product by taking sample surveys. You can then use your points to purchase your new favorites in full size at BuluBox.com. The website also offers expert tips, tricks and a supportive community of Bulugans!

Head on over to Bulu Box to find out more and subscribe to the Original or Weight Loss Bulu Box.

Temperature Taking made Easy with the Easy@Home 3-in-1 Non Contact Thermometer!

**I received the product below free for my review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be a good fit for my readers. All opinions are 100% my own.

The worst times in a parent's life is when their children are sick. I know as a first time mom I constantly check my daughter's head to feel if she is warm. With the child being uncomfortable and unable to get a good nights sleep the parent also suffers by staying up and worrying.

I know when my daughter finally gets into deep sleep when she is sick I don't want to disturb her. With fever spikes a possibility it is so important to check their temperature regularly even overnight when they are sleeping.

I have tried every single thermometer there is. I thought I had it with the ear thermometer but with her always sleeping on her sides and turning I never got her in a good position to take the temperature without disturbing her. You also have to pull up the ear to get the angle just right and that would always wake her up.

Then came the best thermometer out of all the ones I have tried with the Easy@Home 3 in 1 Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer! All you have to do is point the thermometer at the child's forhead and press the button. One second later you get a beep and an instant read of the temperature. I love how you can disable the beep if you want to be extra careful and how it lights up in different colors for no fever, mild fever or high fever. This is great for when you are taking the temperature at night with the the lights off.

You can also use the Easy@Home thermometer for objects like heated milk or just take the temperature of the room.

You can check out more information about the Easy@Home thermometer and order one for yourself on Amazon.

What is your best temperature taking tip?

The Yummiest Most Natural Way To Gain Energy + Giveaway

**I received a four free Chia Energy Beverages for my review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be a good fit for my readers. All opinions are 100% my own.

I jumped on the Chia Seed bandwagon about a year ago because of all the health benefits. These little seeds are packed with Omega-3s, fiber, protein and antioxidants. I love that when they are put in liquids they plump up and can make amazing overnight oatmeal and some delicious pudding. They can also be sprinkled on top of foods for a nutty texture or put into smoothies.

When I think of chia seeds I think of Mamma Chia which is a conscious and sustainable company that wants to share the magic of chia seeds. They offer products made with chia seeds like their vitality beverages and chia squeeze in many delicious flavors.

Now Mamma Chia has branched out and created an Organic Energy Beverage. It combines the nutrition of chia seeds, the clean evergy of guayusa and the delicious taste of fruit juices. Guayusa has a unique balance of caffeine, antioxidants and vitamins while delivering energy without the jitters that coffee, soda or other energy beverages can give.

The Organic Energy Beverages comes in:
  • Blackberry Blast
  • Cherry Charge
  • Grape Power
  • Raspberry Razz
Aside from the super cool names they all tasted delicious! I drank them in the morning and noticed myself having an extra little pep in my step. I got back on my exercise groove this week and the Mamma Chia Energy Beverages really did give me that extra boost of energy to get my exercise equipment out everyday. Five days straight of exercise done so far! 

You can find the Mamma Chia Organic Energy Beverages in select retailers including Whole Foods, Safeway and Target. Click on Mamma Chia to learn more about their other products.

Mamma Chia is offering one of my readers an amazing giveaway that includes:

  • One Week Supply of Clean Energy Beverages
  • One Week Supply of Chia Squeezes
  • Mama Chia Camelbak Water Bottle
a Rafflecopter giveaway No purchase is necessary to enter. One US entrant per household, per address. The Winner will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor will be responsible for product shipment to the winner of this giveaway. 

Santa Belt Hair Bow Tutorial

Last week I showed you how I made my daughter's Christmas Skirt. I wanted to create a simple hair band to go with the skirt and this is what I came up with.

  • 2 inch black satin ribbon
  • scrap gold fabric
  • scrap red velvet fabric
  • fusible web
  • plain hair band
  • hot glue gun

  1. Take scrap red velvet fabric and wrap around headband. Hot glue ends in place.
  2. Draw a one inch square. Draw 1/4" inch lines on each side of square. Draw another 1/4" line on right and left side of square.
  3. Place the buckle template underneath a piece of fusible web paper side up. Cut out and place on the wrong side of the gold fabric. Iron on and cut out the template you traced.
  4. Remove paper backing and place on top of the wrong side of another gold piece of fabric. Cut out.
  5. Cut a piece of ribbon that is  12" long. Overlap ends by 1/2" and sew in place. 
  6. Thread ribbon through the buckle going in from the back and out again into the back. 
  7. Glue the "belt" bow to the headband.  

Super Juicy Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

I can always find whole chicken on sale at my favorite supermarket so I always buy at least one for the week. I love making whole chicken at home because it's inexpensive and with a family of 3 we always have left overs. Roasting chicken is always a hit or miss for me. Sometimes it will be super juicy and sometimes it will be super dry. I blame my temperamental oven!

After hearing so many moms from my daughter's playgroup have success in cooking a whole chicken in the slow cooker I decided to give it a try. First I tried the method of balling up some aluminum foil in the bottom for the whole chicken to sit on. I found that it made my chicken too dry so I decided to put vegetables instead of foil.

My chicken came out so moist and juicy and I didn't have to babysit the chicken by checking on it every half hour. All I had to do was set it on top of the veggies and then slathered it with my butter seasoning mix and cooked it for 5 hours on high.

I was left with a delicious and flavorful broth that I will be making into a low carb soup (recipe coming soon!) and some left over chicken for my husbands lunch the next day. So dinner, lunch leftovers and a soup base cost me $3.31.

  • 3 tblsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 tblsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tblsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tblsp paprika
  • onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1/2 lemon
  1. Chop carrots and onion into big chunks and place in the bottom of the slow cooker. 
  2. Squeeze lemon juice into a small bowl. Slice lemon in half and place in bottom of slow cooker with vegetables.
  3. Add butter and seasoning to bowl with lemon juice and mix well. 
  4. Slather the butter seasoning all over the bird including under the skin of the breasts. Place chicken on top of vegetables. 
  5. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours. 
  6. Strain and save broth for future use. 

Getting My Exercise Back on Track at Home + Giveaway!

**I received a free DynaPro Direct Resistance Band and Door Anchor for my review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be a good fit for my readers. All opinions are 100% my own.

So I have to confess that I have not been to the gym in ages! With my husband having to work extra hours and with so many early morning meetings I have been finding it difficult to go to the gym. When he is off we tend to take our daughter to many different events planned around the holidays. She is in an amazing play group that plans so many different things that I want to do them all! Not to mention now my little ballerina goes to dance class once a week.

I feel myself back tracking again and not eating what I am supposed to at times. Sometimes my mentality is since I didn't go to the gym I already messed up so I can have a couple of chocolate kisses. I am definitely not where I want to be in my weight loss journey either. Though the Atkins diet is keeping me kind of on track with the eating I still have to get myself exercising so that I can lose the weight I want. I have a month in a half before I hit a year on this weight loss journey so I need to go hard!

Since I can't go to the gym without a babysitter I decided to try to get my exercise in at home. Like I said before I can't be too loud because I don't want to disturb my downstairs neighbors so I found a way around that. With my thick exercise mat and some pretty cool "quiet" exercise routines I am on my way to getting back on track.

I also kept in contact with the amazing DynaPro company and they were kind enough to send me a heavier resistance band and door anchor. I will be attempting Sean Berry's Workout Routine here: http://dynaprodirect.com/workouts/

I have tried so many other resistance bands and the ones from DynaPro are by far the best. They are much stronger and more durable than any of the ones I have ever used. I love the D handle with the comfort grip. It makes it so easy to hold and won't slip or hurt your hand like the standard fabric handles. The bands are made of anti-snap material that is 100% dipped in latex.

Click on DynaProDirect to see all of the other products they have to offer. If you are working out at home or need something to travel with the DynaPro Bands are a must!

a Rafflecopter giveaway No purchase is necessary to enter. One US entrant per household, per address. The Winner will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor will be responsible for product shipment to the winner of this giveaway. 

The #Cube™ is the Coolest Way To Display your Social Media Photos!

**I received a free #Cube for my review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be a good fit for my readers. All opinions are 100% my own.

I found myself using social media sites years ago with the excitement of the birth of my nephew. I was a proud auntie and wanted to show him off and keep my family and friends updated on his little life. Then came my niece and daughter and I started sharing all of their little milestones. I have family and friends all over the place so it's nice to have one set place where they could see them.

I often find myself looking back at all of the pictures from my personal Facebook and Instagram accounts on my phone. Things got a lot bigger, easier and cooler for me when I got to review the #Cube™.

#Cube™  is an amazing, modern looking and easy-to-use wireless living photo canvas that displays your favorite social photo and video streams. It is a large 8" square and LCD touch screen display. It gives real-time and continuous delivery of a stream of photos and video clips. It is rechargeable, has built in Wi-Fi and is constantly updating itself to enable new features and application support.

It was super easy to set up. It has three buttons on top: power on, categories and favorites. It is also a touch screen so it only took a minute to configure. All I had to do was log into to my home WiFi network and then log on to my Instagram account. I then automatically saw all of the pictures from my feed scrolling through. I clicked on the categories button and had the following choices:

  • Feed
  • User
  • Hashtag
  • Popular
  • Favorites

With just the push of a button you can pick what streams on to the #Cube. I loved how I could just click on the heart (favorites) button and then set it up to just show those pictures. 

I think this would be an amazing Christmas gift especially for grandparents, friends and family that have social media accounts primarily to keep up to date with loved ones through pictures. My in-laws both upgraded their old flip phones to iPhones just to be able to see video and pictures of my daughter. Before that they had never touched a computer. I plan on gifting them my #Cube so that it can be easier for them to see my daughter. I know they will display it front and center and show it off to  anyone who comes to visit. 

Click on the link to find out more about the #Cube and purchase one for yourself.