Clothing, College Bound, Easter, Food, Gift Ideas, Spring 2017

3 Easter Basket Ideas for Adults, Students and Children

Samples sent for feature

Enjoy these Easter basket gift ideas

easter basket gifts

Those Easter baskets can be so hard to fill sometimes. We have 3 boys ages 8, 19 and 25. That is a child, college student and adult. I can’t buy packs of Pokemon cards and split and one boy likes chocolate and one is trying to stay away from sweets. The youngest has a list full of wants and then the older boys have needs. So what seems to be a good divide? Socks, sweets and unique school supplies.


Imagine it is the year 1914 and you can order wrapped snacks to be delivered that were baked fresh that same day. Of course this was a small business in a small town. Today they are Tastykake and offer everyone fresh-tasting individually wrapped snacks.


I only wish I could locate these in retailers near me. According to their website they are available in supermarkets and other retail outlets throughout the East, Southeast, and Southwest. The kids will love these sweet treats in Easter themes.


Remember when getting socks was the worst gift ever? Then remember entering adulthood where you have to budget every item you buy and getting socks becomes the best and most useful gift ever? I love getting socks and with older children they appreciate the gifts that stock them up on everyday items they now don’t have to go out and get themselves.

gold toe

The reason why Gold Toe socks make a great gift is that they have styles and fits for everyone. I love Gold Toe because I wear ankle socks most and they never slip into my shoe. I have bought so many socks that slip when I walk or wear after just a few washes and have to toss them. My Gold Toe socks last and stay put.


Have a student? They need writing supplies. They may not admit it because they’d rather have gift cards and cash but I always like to attach gift cards to useful gifts for our college student. Attaching cash or a food gift card to a package of pens or highlighters make the git a bit more fun.

pen gifts

Target has some fun Pilot pens and markers that write smooth and are erasable. Find Pilot Frixion erasable pens and marker pens in different colors. They also have erasable highlighters. The Pilot Precise V5 writes so well as a pen and now they have a deco collection in fun colors and designs. Also find these on Amazon.

Visit these fun brands for more fun and retail locations.

College Bound, Education

How to Find a Good College Prep School

College Prep

Education is the greatest gift you can give your child. The education that he or she will receive at a private school is far superior to that of a public school. However, private schools are not free like public schools. Private school will require you to make a financial investment in your child’s education and future. It has been proven that children who attend private school have a much better chance of getting into a prestigious college if they have been educated in a private school. Here are some tips that will help you in going about finding an outstanding college prep school to send your child to.

  1. Take a close look at the programs that are offered by the college prep school

Do not be fooled into thinking that the education offered by all private schools is basically the same. This is definitely not the case. Private schools can differ quite dramatically in terms of the quality of the staff they employ and the various programs that are offered to students. Therefore, parents should take the time to thoroughly research all of the private schools they are considering sending their children to. Your child might have a certain career that he or she is interested in pursuing. If this is the case, there are certain private schools that will offer programs that will help the child prepare for that specific career major when they eventually attend college. You should investigate all of the programs that the school offers to see which one is the best fit for your child’s educational needs.

  1. Does the school have a great reputation and a high ranking?

You will be able to tell a lot about the quality of education offered by various private schools based on their overall reputation and ranking. This information can be found by performing a search for the school online. It is important to understand that the private schools that cost the most are not necessarily the best. It all depends on what your child is interested in studying. However, private schools that have an outstanding reputation and a high ranking did not achieve these things by accident. These schools have consistently provided their students with an education that gets them prepared for the rigorous academics that await them once they enter college. Landon School is known for having a great reputation in the academic world. Landon has helped its students achieve academic excellence for many decades.

  1. Schedule a tour of the school with your child.

You should never make the final decision regarding which college prep school to send your child to without taking a tour of the facility. It is very important that you allow your child to have a say in where he or she goes to school. After all, the school that your child goes to will be helping them get focused on a career path. In only makes sense that your child should have the final say. You will obviously have some opinions on this issue. Sit down with your child and discuss all of the pros and cons of each school after you complete all of your tours. Make sure that you talk to the staff of each school and take a look at the living quarters where your child will be staying.

College Bound, Deals, Parenting

Upromise helps you Ace your Savings by Keeping an Emergency Fund

Sponsored post for Upromise

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In a few weeks we are driving our middle son to University. He is a first year student and we are first time college parents. We have learned so much from savings to outfitting small dorm room spaces for him. There is so much I have learned this past year that I wish I knew before. Saving for college is one lesson I realized I should have learned years ago. I now know a bit more on how to start a college fund and save the right way for his younger brother. Upromise by SallieMae is loaded with tips, savings and even ways to start building a fund for your child’s future.


When T started his very first job at 15, he was already talking college but we knew little about the process. At the early High School years we were focused on grades, class choices and SAT prep. Tuition seemed far away. Now that it is here and I just got the email for our out-of-pocket costs last week I am glad I at least did a few things to prepare, although there was so much more I could have done. Beginning with that first job, I opened him a checking and savings account and would make him move 5% of his paychecks to that savings. He has enough in there today, even after having to buy a new tire for his car when it went bad, to buy his portion of books for school. It was an emergency fund and if your child does not have one yet-start today!


Here is what linking your current credit/debit cards to the secure Sallie Mae Upromise account and/or signing up for the money-earning Upromise Mastercard can do for you. I linked my 2 commonly used cards in my account and now when I shop through the Upromise route or eat at certain restaurants and travel, I earn cash back using my own bank cards. It is a no-brainer because once you link, just continue doing the things you do with your personal and even store cards. I entered my zip code in restaurants and noted all the choices that will give me cash back. Now I will just be partial to eating at those establishments as they help our Upromise fund.

Upromise-College-Loans | Parenting Healthy |

The Upromise by SallieMae Goal Settings Tips can prepare yourself and your child for the college years. After this experience sending our older son off to college, I have already seen the importance of starting early. As a result, the younger boy is 8 and this Upromise account I just set up will help. I have an open account for him but he does not work so a percentage of my pay will go into his emergency fund from now on. I will shop and spend smart as in ways I can get cash back. Upromise is a blessing because of the tips and savings you can get through the college process. Starting that emergency fund early is just one easy way to be prepared. We already know they are Super Stars at this young age, being a super star will get expensive down the road.


After signing up for a Upromise account and linking your children’s ages and cards, consider their Mastercard. Upromise MasterCard® cardmembers have earned $500 million in cash back for college. Below are some benefits while using the Upromise Mastercard

  • 5% Cash back: Online shopping, online travel and restaurants
  • 2% Cash back: Department stores, movie theaters
  • 1% Cash back: On all other card purchases
  • Earn up to 10% cash back for college: up to 5% when you make eligible purchases through PLUS 5% when you pay for those purchases with the Upromise MasterCard.
  • No limit to the total cash back you can earn on eligible purchases
  • $0 fraud liability on unauthorized transactions
  • No rotating reward categories
  • A chip card makes paying for your purchases more secure at chip card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
  • Complimentary FICO® Credit Score


Start saving and learning how to become prepared at Don’t forget to bookmark the site after signing up. Head there first to get to your favorite online stores and shop so it records your purchases. Now just watch their accounts build. It will be there for you when you are ready to cash out for them.


College Bound, Food, Healthy Living

Keeping your student hydrated with SodaStream

Sample sent for feature


We just did the parent college thing. We dropped the middle son off to his first year of college across state. His older brother stayed close to home so this was our first drop off. There was such a learning curve from financial aid, books, classes, dorm living and so much more so that he adjusts well and there are no flaws in the college process. Now he is there and starting his second week of classes and his new life begins. As a Mom I still worry. Is he doing his laundry and in clean clothes? Is he budgeting his meal money? And is he eating healthy and staying hydrated? So we are giving him a SodaStream sparkling water maker to make sure he is keeping hydrated.


When they are younger it is easy to see the signs of hunger and thirst in them. Our boys can get into the worst meltdowns and my husband would look at me puzzled as to their mood swing. As a Mom we tend to know the cause and something as simple as thirst or hunger can most likely cause these moods. I could tell my husband-just go up there and give him something to drink and a snack. He wondered if I was rewarding the behavior. He had to trust me that a bit of liquid and a snack would be an instant cure. Dehydration not only causes irritability, but also fatigue, dizziness and even muscle cramps and headaches. Sending your student a SodaStream is a fun way for them to stay hydrated and make sure they are taking care of their stressed bodies at this time of their lives.


The reason why I want my son to have this SodaStream Fizzi Sparkling Water Maker is the size. He has so little room he shares with a friend. They also share the small fridge. There is little room for bottles or cans of beverages and I really don’t want them relying on sodas and sugary beverages all day. The SodaStream is so slim and does not require an outlet. Just a carbonator is needed and those are available at most retailers. The SodaStream sparkling waters are a great option for mixes as they are not soda with sugars. You make naturally flavored water without the caffeine.


SodaStream has 6 different sparkling water units and the one I am featuring is the Fizzi. The other five are named the Source, Power, Crystal, Fountain Jet and Penguin. The Fizzi is one of their slimmest designs. It comes with the water maker unit, 1 Liter BPA-free Reusable Carbonating Bottle and 60L CO2 Carbonator.


The youngest loves the Berry Mix. There are so many flavor options available. Look for SodaStream at your nearest reatiler. You will also find them online at many online stores so you can get a unit off to your student too.



College Bound, Graduation, Movies

10 Movies Every College Student Is Likely to Appreciate

No matter if you’re heading out for your first semester or if you long ago received your college diploma, there are certain expectations and stereotypes about college that are hard to forget. Movies are a great way to capture the feelings of hilarity, romance, and drama that college life brings. You can relive these feelings yourself by indulging in these 10 movies every college student is likely to appreciate.



National Lampoon’s Animal House

Animal House follows a group of college freshmen as they weave their way into a fraternity and attempt to survive school life and the fraternal problems that tail them. It quintessentially captures what many students feel the college experience is likely to be.

National Lampoon’s Van Wilder

Van Wilder is the story of a student who has remained at college for seven years and now faces getting cut off for his seemingly endless education. There are a few hiccups here and there as the main character comes into his own, strives to earn his tuition himself, and falls for a reporter, making it an instant classic for most college students.


Back to School

Featuring Rodney Dangerfield in his prime, Back to School is about a dad who decides to go to college so that his son will hopefully not follow in his diploma-less footsteps. In classic Dangerfield fashion, hilarity ensues.

Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting is a story about a genius janitor at MIT and his journey to start thinking about the possibilities of his own future. It’s a classic story that demonstrates how great potential can be found anywhere, and the choices that people make in life are rarely easy or simple.


Legally Blonde

 If you’re looking for a romantic comedy, then Legally Blonde has you set. A sorority girl and lover of fashion decides to apply to Harvard Law School after her fiancé dumps her in order to show everyone what she’s really capable of (and hopefully win him back in the process).

Old School

If you are yet to graduate and wonder what life after graduation is going to be like, then Old School might be for you. It’s about a trio of friends in their 30s looking to recapture the glamor and fun of fraternity life by starting their own at their alma mater.

 The Social Network

The Social Network is based on the story of Mark Zuckerberg and the founding of Facebook while he was an undergrad at Harvard. Not only is it based on real events, but it’s a great way for every college student to realize they each have the potential to greatly affect the world.

Revenge of the Nerds

Another instant classic, Revenge of the Nerds follows a picked-on, outcast group of college students who decide to create their own fraternity. Then they plot to get back at all the jock-frats and sororities that bullied them along the way.

The Graduate

The Graduate features Dustin Hoffman in his breakout role and is more of an examination into the aimlessness and sense of loss that students feel after graduating. The movie follows Hoffman’s character as he lazes around wondering what kind of world he’s suddenly been thrown into, all while having an affair with a friend of his parents.


If you love rooting for the underdog and want a really feel-good story, then Rudy is the perfect college flick. Based on the true events of Daniel Ruetteger, the story follows a student as he attempts to overcome obstacles and realize his dream of playing football for Notre Dame.

There are many different college flicks out there, perfect for this time of year and these 10 movies are a great place to start.

Back To School 2016, College Bound

Back to School with Sharpie Extreme

Sample sent for feature


Last year my son was in a youth British Soccer camp and at the end of camp he wanted autographs of the coaches before they head back to England. All I had was a regular Sharpie and he had them sign with that blue pen. He then insisted he play with that ball throughout the year. However, you cannot read the names of the Coaches anymore. This summer he has the same camp and I had been wondering how to find a better marker this year. I was introduced to Sharpie Extreme. This marker is made for such occasions because it stays bold.


You can find Sharpie Extreme in 4 colors-black, red, blue and green. They will mark anything a standard Sharpie would only this Sharpie pen is for extreme uses. You can use it on plastic, wood and even glass.


This summer we will be bringing Sharpie Extreme to signings. They are made for your sports equipment, outdoor equipment, backpacks and water bottles. Extreme weather won’t fade these colors. It stands up to UV rays, rain, snow and even mud.


The tip is fine and it writes in bold, high-contrast colors. I have marked my son’s sports balls, jackets, backpack, lunchbox and keep one by the front door bin for items I feel need to be marked.


When you are doing your back to school shopping, make sure you pick up a Sharpie Extreme. Then get those items marked. I work in the schools and some nice looking jackets and hoodies get donated at the end of the year. Many families will be missing those unmarked items. I found some on Amazon and you can find them at other retailers too.