College Bound, Gift Ideas, Holiday Gift Guide 2017

The Most Powerful MyCharge Portable Charger

I have partnered with My Charge for this feature

Last year I got a MyCharge HubXtra Charger and I am in love with it. It travels with me, has gone camping with me and to conferences where I take a lot of photos and videos and need to keep a charge on my phone. It has built in charging cords so I am only carrying the unit and not multiple cords.

Because I use this everywhere I go I have got a lot of compliments on it. I don’t always recommend the HubXtra to everyone. If you need a portable charger capable of charging tablets and extra hours of high power then you want the MyCharge RazorUltra.

The MyCharge RazorUltra is the most powerful MyCharge portable charger in their lineup. It can charge 2 tablets at once. It has 90 extra hours of power! This means you tablets and phones can stay charged on this RazorUltra all weekend long! Take that one to the mountains, literally!

There are 2 built-in USB ports and inside the packaging they enclose a recharge cable so you can leave yours put at home or in the car and keep this cable with the charger. This is a great gift idea for those who carry devices like students and travelers! Live near storm-prone areas? This can be a life saver for your devices to stay connected to news and loved ones!

Please take time to visit MyCharge this season and arm your loved ones with power.

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Back to School 2017, College Bound, Food, Gift Ideas, Parenting

3 College Care Package Ideas For Your Student

I am a Premier Protein Ambassador and all feature ideas are my own

 

 
Do you have a child or children in college? If you do you know that bittersweet drop off moment where they are ready to run and you can’t let them go. Trust me! They won’t go far. They want food, laundry done, conversations on how to cook rice and many other needs that they will always still need your care. To make them feel even more comforted (and to comfort ourselves) we can send care packages. But what should you send? Let’s get creative based on my own experiences with some suggestions I will give you.

 

Premier Protein

 
The first 2 weeks were a lot of back and forth by phone making sure he is settling into classes and dorm life. At one point I get a call from him asking for some grocery money in his account. He wanted some cans of soup and protein bars. He said that because his first am class is on the other side of campus and he walks he needs breakfast that he can take and walk with.

 
He wanted protein bars and in our home we buy Premier Protein so I hopped online and ordered him some to be shipped. Premier Protein bars have no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners and are gluten free. Other brands out there may contain artificial ingredients and synthetic nutrients so we really do our homework and choose wisely.

 

 
On our son’s first few days in his dorm room we noticed a small issue. The outlets are never placed in the right spots. This means that by the time they plug in laptops, lights, a mini fridge, alarm clocks that leaves little left for all the chargers as well. Another thing I learned is how much their cell phones do get used. If they have a full day of classes all over campus and need to try and hit the cafe a few times that cell phone battery is done. We love using the MyCharge HubXtra. What is unique about this is that you don’t also have to remember to grab your charging cord like most power banks require. The charging cords are built in and contain a lightning and micro chargers. I carry one myself for travel. This will get used!

 

 
One of my favorite options are gift baskets and GourmetGiftBaskets has many care packages to choose from. Some are candy filled, some healthier. This is the Health Nut Care Package above. What is great is that you can choose a basket, enter there shipping address and attach a message that is typed in a card. It is a lot of fun when that gift box arrives and they know it is a collection of foods or beverages before they even open it.

 
You will be sending packages and they will be requesting (food) mostly so send them the goodies they will proudly pick up when the hall desk sends them that message that they have a package waiting. I assure you these ideas will go over real well.

 
Let’s get you started! I am giving away Premier Protein samples. If you win you can send your child’s dorm address and Premier Protein will send it their way. Or you can use your own address and try them for yourself. Enter below. Open to US and ends on 9/5. Good luck!

 
Premier Protein Giveaway

Back to School 2017, College Bound, Education, Parenting

3 College Dorm Room List Essentials #ShopPurple

 
Last year we sent our son across the state for his first year of college. It wasn’t until dorm move-in day that I realized the things I overpacked and with time I also realized the things I did not think to pack. Being first time college parents was new and so overwhelming. Year 2 is a breeze. In fact he has taken total control and we are left with not much needed from us. As hectic as the process is of sending them off and settling them in, enjoy every moment because once they are settled their neediness seems to fade fast. Well, except for breaks when they bring home a stinky laundry basket of a much needed chore from you.

 
I remember being in his dorm and we were so hot on that 12th floor in the heat of summer with an A/C unit still broken. We were discussing where to eat dinner and I needed to freshen up. There was no mirror in his room so I head to the bathroom. “Where are you going, Erinn?” Asks my stepson. “That is a mens restroom for the dorm, the girls would be 1 level up or 1 level down.” I had forgotten they have the floors separated. I had no mirror and I knew I was a hot and sticky mess.

 

He needed a mirror in his dorm, but he’s a guy and his restroom is 3 steps from his dorm room. I knew that any female student would want a mirror in their room but it can’t take up space and you can’t put nails in the dorm walls. Learn from my story and then head over to the Jet Back to College Dorm Furnishings and Decor to find the standing mirror style your daughter (or son) may like. These don’t leave holes in the wall and push flat for a narrow fit in any corner.

 

The first 2 weeks were a lot of back and forth by phone making sure he is settling into classes and dorm life. At one point I get a call from him asking for some grocery money in his account. He wanted some cans of soup and protein bars. He said that because his first am class is on the other side of campus and he walks he needs breakfast that he can take and walk with.

 

He wanted protein bars and in our home we buy Premier Protein so I hopped online and ordered him some to be shipped. Premier Protein bars have no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners and are gluten free. Other brands out there may contain artificial ingredients and synthetic nutrients so we really do our homework and choose wisely.

 

The third essential that comes to mind is electronic chargers. Of course they won’t forget those but are they long enough? Most dorm rooms have a real silly set up and limited plugs so getting one that has a long reach and can charge off their computer or laptop will keep their phones nearby and take up less outlet space. There is a brand at the Jet Back to School page called Fusebox that we have used and it holds up well with its braided cord and 6 foot length.

 
Send them off with the essentials including these items I mention here that didn’t even total more than $75 all together on Jet. Enjoy this life stage of theirs while you are at it.

 

 
NEW TO JET.COM? You get to save 15% on your first 3 orders when you use the promo code SAVE15 “see site for details”.

 
New customers only. Min. $35 in eligible merchandise per order required. Max. discount $20 per order. Offer expires 9/1/2017 at 12:00 AM PST; if any of your first 3 orders are not placed by this date, they are not eligible for the discount. Excludes products marked as ineligible for promotion on the product display page. Offer cannot be applied to previous orders and cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. Offer is subject to change or cancellation. Void where prohibited. Brand, category and other restrictions may apply.

 
NOT NEW TO JET.COM? You still get all of the benefits and great prices they have to offer. I just got a birthday card from them and it had a promo code for me. Let me remind you of the advantages of shopping J:

• Free shipping over $35
• 2-day delivery with no membership fee on thousands of items
• 24/7 U.S.-based customer service
• Jet shows you items that can ship together so you can save money
• Buy multiples on Jet to save
• Waive returns on Jet to save”

 

Do you plan on doing some online Back to School shopping this year? I challenge you to head on over and browse Jet! Let me know if you find what you were looking for in a quick comment below! 

 

Back to School 2017, College Bound, Gift Ideas

School Supplies – Back to School with Bic

Thank you Bic for partnering and offering feature samples

School Supplies - Back to School with Bic

Aisles and aisles of pens and pencils. How do you choose? Your back to school list could be narrowed down by a school supply list sent for your child’s class or printed off college websites as a tool. But when it says pens and pencils there seems like so many of them. I am featuring Bic because I want to take just one brand and highlight some popular product so you can pick up the supplies that will be right for you before you even get to the store. Hopefully, this makes school supply shopping day go a bit quicker for you.

My son is heading into grade 4 and his supply list has common items like pens, pencils, glue sticks, scissors and I noticed that for the glue sticks and scissors they listed specific brands. In parentheses it said that these were ‘preferred’ brands because they are known to hold together and work best. The brand can mean all the difference. If I choose a generic brand I am buying the item again and sometimes a few times over in one school year so it really doesn’t save me in the end.

Bic is a trusted name and we have a son in college who specifically requests the Bic mechanical pencils. He has requested these since the middle of High School because he says they write better and last longer than other brands so Bic is always my brand I go to first. Above is the Bic Velocity Max Mechanical Pencils. These pencils have a wider eraser and a smoother, darker writing than the standard series.

Our youngest has had the Bic Marking set for well over a year now and they are still all together and write great. I love that this packaging doubles as a holding case. The color choices are great too. We are never left unable to find a shade we need. This set comes in fine point or ultra fine point.

Bic Gel-ocity pens. That is fun to say! These are retractable gel pens that dry extra fast and with minimal to no smearing. I love the fun colors too.

These Bic Intensity fine point pens are great for school projects. The ones I have are the Fineliner set. They work great for drafting and marking.

They write so smooth and with one child heading back to College these are great for him to have.

How convenient is the Bic 4 color Pen + Pencil? I attend blog conferences and meetings for the school and having 1 writing device that is a pencil + all 3 pen colors I would need is so fantastic to have on hand. It gives you a pencil with extra lead, eraser, red pen, black pen and blue pen all with a simple click to choose.

Another option for pens is the Bic Soft Feel varieties. These have such a comfortable and smooth grip. This makes writing much easier when you have to take a lot of notes. If your child will write essays or a lot at once, these are a fantastic item for their comfort.

So head on out and look for the yellow Bic packs for the pencils, pens and markers that you need for the back to school shopping chore you have. Follow Bic Pens on Facebook and Twitter to keep yourself updated o what is new and what is on promotion.

Amazon, Apps, College Bound, Education, Gift Ideas, Money Saver, Parenting

Learn How To Invest in the Stock Market. It’s Fun!

In exchange for my honest and unbiased review, I received a $25 gift card to try out Stockpile.

Learn How To Invest in the Stock Market. It's Fun!

Let’s talk about the stock market (did you just yawn?)! Wait! Before you leave what if we talked about apple pie? How does apple pie relate to the stock market? No matter how much effort that goes into creating the recipe it is always worth the taste and fun to eat. Plus, a pie is sliced so you can enjoy only as much as you want. Making pie can be fun especially if you can find a recipe easy enough to get the entire family involved as so can making your very first stock market investment. Give me a try as I explain how easy it can be and in the end I have a little freebie for you to get you started.

Stockpile is a website and an app (if you prefer) that guides you from start to finish with your investments. So let’s make it simple. Think about that apple pie all baked and ready for you to take action and slice into it. Do you plan on eating the entire pie at once? Of course not. So you just want a slice? There are many slices available and you know what? No one is going to force you to eat your entire slice either. You may want the whole slice and all the goodness (and calories) it comes with, but what if you only want a bite or two? You want to start small and maybe you’ll finish the entire slice later on…or not. That is like investing with Stockpile.

When you sign up at Stockpile which consists of assigning an account someone (yourself or child) and giving some basic information you aren’t dealing with pies but businesses. I was given a $25 stock gift card to invest and I chose Amazon. Now I hold a stock that starts out as zero cash value on a number line and can check in anytime to see if it falls or rises.

Fact (lesson): ‘Prices go up when there are more buyers than sellers. Prices go down when there are more sellers than buyers.’ So let’s all buy a little piece of the business pie. You get to choose your flavor (Amazon, Apple, Nike and over a thousand more).

Remember my analogy of taking 1 slice of apple (or your ‘flavor’ of choice) and only wanting a part of that slice? Stockpile allows you to put the amount you want and that can be as low as $5 to start into 1 share. A share can go for as much as hundreds or even thousands of dollars in trade but you buy into it as much as you wish. Any return if it doesn’t fall is calculated based on your investment.

Now once you just start with a minor dollar amount you still cannot really dive in deep without an investment plan. Whoa! Heavy phrase! That’s OK, Stockpile will teach you about index funds (such as the S&P 500) and individual stocks. The difference in short? Index funds are a collection of companies that come together as one investment option and individual stocks is putting your money into only 1 company. There are risks and advantages to both and that’s the fun part. What would you choose to learn more about?

You won’t get rich quick. There are no guarantees. You can lose your investment. I chose Amazon so do you think that is a big risk or a little risk? Amazon has been around a while and is more established than a brand new start up. Amazon has had steady stock prices for the most part and are past the new start up price spikes. That makes a brand like Amazon a safer risk. Think about that as you invest your first $5.

Guess what? I am giving you your first $5 to start. Just for fun. Just to really feel motivated to dive more into Stockpile and learn about how you can sign up a child, family member or yourself. GET your FREE $5 (I promise there is no catch-I would never do that to you). I will say that if you sign up I get a $5 bonus to invest somewhere just like you did and that is a lot of fun. But I am not telling you to create this free and easy stockpile investment out of greed. Once you complete redeeming your $5 you can get a referral code to and pass it on to others yourself.

Start now with $5 from me (well, technically it is fro Stockpile). Ready? Go!

This post contains a referral link. I am not a market professional and not responsible for gains or losses that you may experience. I am not affiliated with or own an investment in any company or brand mentioned, and have no plans to do so. Securities products are not FDIC insured. Not bank guaranteed. May lose value.

Apps, College Bound

Finally! Easily Add Music to Your Photo Messages with Beatshare

Thank you to Beatshare and Quark for partnering with us for the feature

Working in the blogging world and using social media everyday there is one outlet I have not jumped on and that is Snapchat. Beatshare is NOT linked to Snapchat at all but it is the best way I can describe Beatshare at its foundation. Snapchat is a great ‘instant messaging’ app that allows you to more easily attach music to enhance your photo. There are 3 sources you can pull artists, songs and albums from to attach: Apple Music, Spotify and SoundCloud. So this is especially fun for the music lovers with active Apple Music and Spotify accounts. I find many options through SoundCloud too so that is a great option for those without music subscriptions.

Finally! Easily Add Music to Your Photo Messages with Beatshare

Take your photo and then in the message app menu, pull up your beatshare and add music from your accounts or search the SoundCloud. It is fun to find the right song that matches the mood of your photo you wish to share. Share it in text message form or with friends connected with you in the iOS app or iMessage.

Why use Beatshare? Because you love music, your friends love music and adding sound to a standard snap is a much more exciting message with lyrics behind it. What a fun way to share last nights photos with each other adding a beat to that share. Send a loved one a selfie with a song attached or even a snapshot of the kids with fun music attached for birthday and celebration messages.

Give it a try! Download it for free from the Apple store today Browse your photos, find a song and send it off. Once you realize how easy it is to add music to your photos you can share the app with friends and family to connect you and share even more easily with each other. Beatshare-Get started!