Double Your Savings When You Buy Gift Cards At Kroger! #Kr2xdip {Plus Giveaway!}

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in conjunction with Tatu Digital Media and a campaign for Sverve. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% my own.

Yeah, I’m a Black Friday fanatic. Note that I said Black “Friday.” I don’t do Thursday. In fact I blatantly boycott stores that are open on Thursday. But at the same time I am on a budget. That doesn’t mean I go cheap, it just means I go with a very firm limit on what I am going to spend. There are two ways I do that: Cash and gift cards. My credit cards and debit card stay at home on Black Friday, under lock and key.

So my strategy is simple. I pick up the Sunday paper and scour the online Black Friday sites. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around and the paper comes out with the Black Friday ads, I’m already set. You know why? Because I went to the bank on Wednesday for my cash. And on the way home I stopped by Kroger and stocked up on a whole lot of gift cards along with my last minute Thanksgiving dinner items. Then I immediately pull my debit card out of my wallet and put it up in the cabinet.  So I’ll be stocking up on Gift Cards for stores that are closed on Thanksgiving and doing my Black Friday shopping on Black Friday. Look out Home Depot, REI, Barnes and Noble and Marshall’s. I’m coming for you.

This Black Friday, in addition to using my gift cards like cash, I’ll be able to save even more. Want to know how? Right now at Kroger, you can double your savings by earning 4x fuel rewards and extra credit card rewards (if that is your thing) when you buy gift cards.

HOW IT WORKS:

Fuel Offer: Now through December 6, 2014, get 40 cents off per gallon when you spend $100 on gift cards. ALL gift cards are included in this offer with the exception of Visa variable, MasterCard variable, and American Express variable gift cards. Any other “variable” gift cards are included and you can add any amount that you want up to $500!

This is handy dandy and useful even if you don’t use your credit card!

Earn Credit Card Rewards: Use your favorite rewards credit card to purchase gift cards. This will allow you to earn points and miles or a percentage back on your purchase. Some credit cards even offer increased rewards for purchases made at grocery stores!

Now, if you will humor me, a little math. Feel free to skip this part if the percentage breakdown game isn’t your thing!

Right now you can save 15% when you purchase $100 in participating gift cards:

$6 Off Fuel: Anytime you buy a $100 gift card you will earn $0.40/gallon of gas. That is $6 in savings for a 15 gallon tank.

$3 Back: If you earn 3% on grocery purchases through your credit cards rewards program you will get $3 back!

For additional details, head to Kroger near you!

~ GIVEAWAY ~

Amazon Gift Card

Managed by Tatu Digital Media

Giveaway ends on December 15, 2014 at 12:00 PM EST

Giveaway is open to residents of the United States who are 18 years or older

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in conjunction with Tatu Digital Media and a campaign for Sverve. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% my own.

Giveaway Disclaimer: The participating bloggers are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to US 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, or Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Holiday Gift Guide Feature — Eartheasy Review and Giveaway!!

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Eartheasy has all of the products that you need for a sustainable life.  You will be able to find the things that will help to purify your water as well as so many great things that you can not find anywhere else.  I was surprised as I looked through the shop at all of the cool things that they had and how many of them were perfect for Christmas gifts.  I will admit that I often struggle with what I am going to get those on my lists because sometimes it can just be too hard to find the perfect gift for that special someone on your holiday list.

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I find that my dad is VERY hard to shop for.  I honestly never know what to get him at holiday times.  This year it was all made easier when I discovered Eartheasy.  My dad is a hunter, fisher, and outdoor enthusiast.  I often say that many of my “off-the-grid” lifestyle preferences are because of him.  This year I am going to be doing something unique and fun for the holiday season and one of the things that I did was really search for the perfect gifts for everyone on my list.

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Eartheasy had so many amazing gifts that I could have given to him.  I was especially intrigued by the Life Straw Go ($34.95).  This water bottle is supposed to filter impurities out of the water.  So you can actually get safe drinking water when you are not close to a water source.  You can use the bottle to scoop water from a pond, lake, stream or river and the filtration system is going to clean the water for you!  This is the perfect solution for hiking, camping, and backpacking anywhere.  You never again have to worry about running out of clean drinking water.

The bottle has many amazing features that I wanted to share with you!

**It can filter 1000 liters of water!

**It removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria.

**The bottle can filter 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites.

**There are no chemicals or iodine so the flavor of the water is not affected during filtration.

**The bottle is a double leak-proof bottle made out of BPA Free Tritan.

**You can easily clean the bottle since the filter and mouthpiece detach.

**There is a carabiner clip to make it easier to carry the bottle.

**Many different strains of bacteria can  be removed including:  escherichia coli, campylobacter, vibrio cholerea, pseudomonas aeruginosa, shigella, and salomonella.

**Some of the types of protozoa that can be removed include: giardia lambia (beaver fever), crytosporidium parvum, and entamoeba histolytica.

This is one water bottle that is going to be worth far more than the money that you spend on it and it is a gift for my dad that I am sure that he is going to love!

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Holiday Gift Guide Feature — Spark Up! Review and Giveaway!!

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Spark Up! is an ingenious new product that every child needs to have waiting for them under the tree.  This is a unique book reader that allows you to program in all of your child’s favorite books.  Then your child’s favorite books will be read in your voice.  This is going to offer you a unique present for loved ones who might not live close to you as well.  It will make the perfect choice for a grandparent who wants their grandchild to be able to hear their voice.  It could also make a great choice for a parent who might happen to have failing health. This is one gift that is going to keep on giving, allowing your voice to stay alive, for many years to come.  Plus if you buy now you receive 2 classic children’s stories (Tiki Tiki Tembo and Shrek!) for free and the reader is on sale for $59.99 from $79.99.

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Reading is one of the best things that you can do with your child.  There are many benefits of reading to your child that you might not even be aware of.

Benefits of Reading to Your Child

**Help Your Child Be Successful

Children who read more as children are shown to have more successful school records, better grades, and later become more successful adults.  Reading to your child can set them up for a long life filled with many successes.

**Build Stronger Bonds

Reading with your child is a special time that allows you to build more bonds.  This is a time when you will be able to talk about the books that you read, share in your own struggles and triumphs, and relate them back to the book.  It is a great way to build open dialogue with your child about tough subjects or uncomfortable situations.

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**Be the Example

When you read to your child, you encourage them to read more on their own.  As a writer I love to read and I read to my children all of the time.  Recently I found that my children are reading more often.  I also find that my children ask me to read to them all of the time.  Even my 11 year old, who is an advanced reader, loves to have me read to him still!

**Extend Their Vocabulary

Children often struggle with speech and vocabulary.  Children who read more have fewer problems in this area.  Reading to your child can help him to learn vocabulary words easier and can help them to have an extensive vocabulary at an early age.

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**Give Them More Confidence

Your child is going to be more confident when he can read better.  He is also going to be able to share with others and be a part of things.

**Help Them Communicate

Children who are better readers also learn how to communicate with others better.  They are better able to express themselves and share in things with their parents, classmates, and others in authority.

Want to win a Spark Up reader for a favorite child in your life.  Enter through the Rafflecopter link below!

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Holiday Gift Buying Guide — Eco Cloth Diapers Offers More Than Diapers & A Giveaway!

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Eco Cloth Diapers might sound like the type of shop where only parents could be shopping to buy items for their baby but there is nothing farther from the truth.  In fact the shop offers a whole line of products that are perfect for the entire family.  I received a set of Bamboo Baby Washcloths but I can assure you that everyone in the house is benefiting from these and they are not just for babies.

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I have found the washcloths to be soft, comfortable, and well worth the money that you would spend on them.  I will admit that I usually shy away from washcloths because I hate how they feel but these are so luxurious and soft that they are amazing.  I have been using them every time that I take a shower or bath, each morning and night to wash my face, and with my entire family.  Even my usually non-observant 11 year old told me how much he loved our new washcloths the other day.

I am so excited about these washcloths and I know that you will be too!  They are amazing and I am offering up 20 of these bamboo washcloths to one of you as well.  You can purchase these washcloths here for $14.95 for 6 (well, currently $13.95 for 6 on sale!).

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Bamboo is truly an amazing material to use for fabric and does not at all feel like you would expect when thinking about the plant.  Instead bamboo is some of the softest and most comfortable materials that I have personally felt in a long time.

Interesting Facts About Bamboo

**Bamboo is the fastest growing woody plant.  It actually grows three times faster than the fastest growing trees and some types of bamboo can even grow up to 1 meter per day!

**Bamboo can regenerate more oxygen than the same land space filled with trees.

**Bamboo can replace wood as it is one of the strongest building materials.  It is actually stronger than steel.

**You can selectively harvest bamboo each year.

**Over 2.2 billion people survive on income that comes from bamboo.  If you make an investment in a bamboo plantation you will have your money returned in between 3-5 years.

**Buildings made from bamboo are more flexible and continue standing after an earthquake.

**Bamboo has natural anti-erosion properties which allows it to be an effective watershed.

**Bamboo has medicinal properties that can help a number of ailments including kidney disease, asthma, or coughs.

**Many people do not realize that bamboo is a natural aphrodisiac.

**Bamboo shoots can be eaten and are considered to be a good source of food for many people throughout the world.

**Bamboo is part of landscape and design in many homes around the globe.

**Bamboo can be used as a food source for a number of different types of animals and fish.

**Bamboo has many different cultural meanings and even mythical properties around the globe.

Bamboo is a sustainable material that is wonderful for a number of different uses.

For your chance to win 20 amazing bamboo washcloths just enter through the easy giveaway below!

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Holiday Gift Guide Feature — Bubble Bum

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

What is one of the biggest struggles of being a mom of four?  You might think that it is trying to get my children to get along or love each other.  While that can be a struggle it is not nearly as difficult as trying to lug along car seats when we are traveling places.  It is always such a challenge to try and find the right way to get our car seats to and from the places that we are going.

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I found the perfect solution!!  Bubble Bum offers you the full safety value of using a booster seat while offering you the convenience of being able to quickly deflate it and stuff it into a bag that fits easily into a backpack.  I received my first Bubble Bum this spring and since then we have used them time and time again while we are traveling.  I was excited to be able to bring this amazing product to you again because it it is just one that I am so happy with and one that really works so well.

I thought that I would share some of the reasons with you that you want to keep your child in a booster seat.  I know that they do not look like much or like they are doing much for your child but they are and you should be aware all of the advantages that you have with them.

Reasons Your Child Needs a Booster Seat

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**We Spend More Time in a Car

Statistics show that more children die in automobile accidents than they did in past generations.  You can be led to speculate many different things but the fact remains that this is the case.  For one cars are not made the way that they were years ago when they were heavier and safer.  Another thing is that people are out on the road more and are more likely to be driving at higher speeds.   Since we spend more times in the car it is more important than ever that we make sure that our children are protected in the right types of carseats.

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**Child in a Booster Seat are 45% Less Likely to Have an Injury

It might not seem like that big of a deal to use a booster seat.  Most people even question the point of the seats since they just raise your child a few inches from the actual seat.  However children who are in a booster seat are 45% less likely to have an injury in an accident than children who are not sitting in these seats.

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**Seatbelts Can Cause Injuries Without a Booster Seat

If your child is not riding in a booster seat then it is likely that the seatbelts are not hitting them in the right places.  This means that they could be injured in ways that you might not expect.  With this you might also find that they end up with more severe injuries because of the way that the seatbelt is positioned inappropriately on them.

Bubble Bum is a great gift idea this holiday season because it makes taking your child’s booster seat with you very simple.  You will love how easy it is for them to be moved between cars.  Plus they retail at just $29.99 can be purchased online and at local stores like WalMart.

My New Journey to a Healthier Me — Week 1

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

You probably already realize that I struggle with my weight.  I mean my struggle to get into better health is the most real struggle that I have ever been faced with and one that has made me feel bad about myself, embarrassed to go places, and more.  It has been the struggle of a lifetime for my own personal journey.  So I have been making major lifestyle changes and really trying a ton of new diets and programs.

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I have learned many things along the way including a lot about what is going to work best for me and my yo-yo weight loss/weight gain.  I love the Shake the Crave program and all that it offers me.  It really has been helping me to feel great, feel full, and watch what I am eating completely.  I do not feel tempted to cheat and I am encouraged to work out as I see the numbers lowering on the scale.

I thought for my first post about Shake the Crave that I would share with you a bit of the background about my weight struggles if you have not been following along on the blog.

I was always a medium build.  I wore a size 12 when I graduated from high school and felt huge.  I had a ton of struggles with confidence and ended up suffering from bouts of anorexia and bulimia throughout my first few years of college.  I did lose some of those pounds that I wanted to lose but I did not do it in a way that was healthy or okay.  Instead I did it in a way that caused me to probably have a lot more struggles now that I am trying to do it right.

Fast forward a bit to the birth of my first son.  Being pregnant was hard for me especially with his dad.  His dad commented on everything that I ate and made remarks about each pound that I gained.  It was very hard to have a healthy pregnancy when I was with him.  I gained about 98 lbs during my pregnancy and was HUGE when I had my son.  I quickly lost most of the weight and was about a size 14 after having Andrew for many years.  I finally lost the rest of the baby weight and then some and was between a 10 and a 12.  For the first time in my life I felt beautiful and confident with how I looked.

I then became pregnant with my second daughter and gained a little over 100 lbs during my pregnancy.  I had the exact same end weight that I did when I was pregnant with my first son.  I lost most of the weight pretty quickly after her and then promptly became pregnant with number three.  I again lost most of the weight after him and was in about a size 14 when I became pregnant with number 4.  Since having number 4 I have been struggling with being able to lose any of the weight and have maintained a size 16/18 figure that I am very unhappy with.
I weighed 258 lbs at my heaviest and this was the point when I said enough was enough.  I struggled but lost down to 247.  From 247 I again hit a wall and while I would occasionally drop down to 240, I would always end up right back at the 247 where I had begun.  Well four days into the Shake the Crave lifestyle (its really easier for me than anything else has been) I have weighed and am back down to 244.  I am hoping that this lifestyle is just what I need to reach my goals and kick off 2015 with a new healthier, trimmer version of me.

So in 4 days I was down 3 lbs!  I am determined not to put that weight back on and will be working out on a much more consistent level now in an attempt to feel better about who I am.

shake the crave

So what exactly is Shake the Crave?  Shake the Crave is a weight loss shake that was developed by Trusted Health Products.  It is made from natural ingredients that are safe for everyone.  The lifestyle is just 2 shakes a day, 2 or 3 snacks (trying to keep them around 100 calories each), and a healthy dinner!

Holiday Gift Guide Feature — Chicken Soup for the Soul

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

I will never forget the many moments that I have spent over the years reading Chicken Soup for the Soul books.  These books have been popular since I was a teenager and are something that I have spent countless hours reading and enjoying them.  There are so many different topics that the books have covered that I have always been able to find the right topics for our life.

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I was excited to work with Chicken Soup for the Soul and I have loved the two books, Chicken Soup for the Soul Touched by an Angel and Chicken Soup for the Soul Reboot Your Life, that I received.  Both of these were interesting and shared amazing stories that made me thankful for each of the life changing experiences that I have had.

I love the stories that are shared in these books and I think that they are both encouraging and perfect for the holiday season.  I thought that I would share some tips for choosing happiness in the new year as part of the review of these two books!

Tips to Choose Happiness for 2015

**Believe that This is Your Year

When you are trying to find happiness you must believe that happiness is there for the taking.  Look at 2015 as the year that you were focused on being happy.

**Remember the Simple Things You Love

For me reading is one of my favorite activities.  It brings me joy and peace to sit down and take in a good book.  I have been able to read through Chicken Soup for the Soul Touched by and Angel and really feel like this is the type of book that could put me in a great mood no matter what I am doing.  During times where I feel like I am struggling this is the type of book that can make my spirit fly.

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**Choose Happiness

You have to make a choice each day as to how you are going to look at things.  When it comes to happiness you must choose to be happy.

**Remember the Things that Make You Happy

Make a list of the things that make you happy and put it on display in your house.  I am actually planning on doing a project with my kids where we each share a picture or a list of the things in life that make us happy.  I am going to put these on display and encourage the kids to choose something from their happy list when they are down.

**Be Open to New Ways to Be Happy

Choosing happiness is something that requires you to be willing to check out new ways of being happy.  The book Chicken Soup for the Soul Reboot Your Life is all about trying to be happy and learning new ways of becoming happy.

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Happiness is at your grasp and your reach.  You can easily find your own happiness and choosing books like these two from Chicken Soup for the Soul can help you.

Holiday Gift Guide Feature — Ignite Fitness

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Getting in shape is tough work.  Many of us, myself included, struggle with being able to lose weight and get into shape.  I have been working so hard to get into the best shape of my life.  That being said, I get bored with workout videos and I really try hard to work out each day but most days I feel like I fail.

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I love having new workouts and workouts that are fun to be able to use and I have found that Ignite Fitness offers you the choices that are going to be great for you and help you to get into the best shape of your life.

Tips to Get Into Better Shape

Here are a few of my favorite tips to help you get into better shape and start feeling better.

**Exercise Each Day

Of course the biggest thing for you to consider if you want to get into better shape is that you must be taking the time to exercise each day.  Even if you are only doing a quick 10 minute workout or half of a work out DVD, anything is better than nothing.  I love that each of the Ignite by SPRI DVDs have more than one workout on them.  Best of all the workouts are just 25 minutes long each.

**Longer Doesn’t Mean Better

When you are working out it does not always mean that working out longer is going to be better.  High intensity workouts like the Ignite Hi-Intensity are going to give you better results in 25 minutes than many workouts would in twice that time.  Hi-Intensity is a series of workouts with Brett Hoebel who has been on the Biggest Loser.  He looks at fitness at with a body-mind approach as a motivational coach who helps people with weight loss and nutrition.

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**Know Your Set Point

Some people stress themselves out by the numbers on the scale.  There is a set point where your body is meant to be.  For some people that set point might be a number that is higher than what you want but trying to get below that number will only relate in feeling like a failure when you hit that point again.  There are great workouts that you can do like the Ignite 900 Calorie Burn that will keep you on the right path to hitting the weight that you are meant to be.  900 Calorie Burn is a workout that has been created by Ashley Borden who is a celebrity personal trainer.  She is a fitness and lifestyle consultant.  She has worked with a number of Hollywood stars and athletes to help them reach their ultimate fitness level.

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**Choose the Right Foods

Eating the right foods is difficult.  I know that for me personally it is a daily struggle to make the better choices.  I still fail all of the time but I really try not to indulge in the things that I should not be eating.

Getting into great shape does not have to be hard.  You can do it by choosing to take the right steps towards ultimate fitness.

Holiday Gift Guide Feature — Give Happiness with Live Happy Magazine

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

I often say that I want to be happier when  I am asked about my hopes and dreams.  That being said I strongly believe that happiness is a choice.  However much I want to be happy sometimes I just can not make the tough decisions that are needed for me to be able to be happy.  I want to be able to make these choices but sometimes they are just too difficult.

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I was interested in checking out Live Happy Magazine when it was offered to me.  I will admit that I was intrigued by a magazine that I had not seen before and that I had never checked out.  I also was interested in checking it out b/c it claimed to have such a positive message.

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I thought that I would share some of my own personal tips for staying happy during the holiday season. For me this stressful time of the year really makes it hard to be able to be happy from time to time but I know that staying happy is what is best for myself and my family.

Tips for Happiness During the Holidays

**Remember What Really Matters

The first thing that you have to do during the holiday season is remember what is really important and what really matters.  This time should be focused on being with your family and friends and creating lasting memories.  It should not be a stressful time where you are focused on trying to do “everything right” or even in trying to be “perfect.”  We all make mistakes and mistakes are going to happen around the holidays no matter how hard you try.

**Do Not Over Commit

We all have the tendency to try and do it all.  It can be as simple as trying to make the perfect meals, get the kids looking perfect for pictures, or trying to have the perfect family experiences.  Learn to take a step back from commitments around the holidays and try to do a few things and do them really well rather than trying to do too much, becoming overwhelmed, and not doing a very good job.

**Focus More on Time as a Family Instead of Activities

Each year around the holidays there are always a TON of things to do.  Instead of trying to do them all, limit it to the things that you really love and the things that you are going to be able to do well.  For instance in my own family I always want to do everything with the kids…take them to see Santa, go cut down a Christmas tree, check out different performances and parades, and anything else that I see.  Instead of doing all of this we will be taking the kids to the Santa house and going to a reindeer farm one time.  We will not be doing anything extra because when we are always running we miss out on the quality time as a family.

**Do Not Be Afraid to Say No

For years I have struggled with this one.  I get asked to family things and feel like I have to go to them.  This year I am learning to say no.  I gave family a list of times when we would be available to celebrate the holidays and let them know what we could do.  This was so much better than feeling stressed about what we could/could not do.

Learning to have a happy stress free holiday can be simple when you know what to ask for and how to plan your holidays.  Live Happy Magazine offers you a lot of great, practical tips that you can use this holiday season.  Plus it makes a great gift for that person in your life that you wish a ton of happiness for.

Getting Organized in 2015 — Keeping It All Together with Kinsights & a $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Kinsights is an amazing organizational tool for parents who need a little bit of help to keep it all together.  As one of these moms who always needs just a little something to help me along the way I have found that Kinsights is definitely an app that I will be using as I try to get organized in 2015.  (Yes, getting organized is my one goal for the next year!!)

So I thought that it was only appropriate that I share some information with you all about Kinsights and everything that it can help you with.  Kinsights is an amazing little tool that takes the guesswork out of keeping track of your children’s medical records.  As a mom of four I never feel like I can keep track of everything or stay on top of everything so this is a great way for me to be able to make sure that I get it all done.

Kinsights is an online Pediatric Personal Health Record Keeper for parents. Gone are the days where you’re being held responsible for keeping track of slips of paper or lugging files and folders containing your children’s health information.  And in the event of an emergency, you can even have the health records sent to the ER or out-of-town doctor in a snap. Organize your child’s growth and developmental milestones, immunizations, medications, allergies, and more.  This tool is amazing and a godsend to parents. Kinsights is also a community where parents can safely seek and share answers to parenting questions.  You can ask anything and Kinsights will find the right community members who can provide guidance.  Kinsights even offers groups with similar interests their own pages, including single parents, grandparents, those interested in car seat safety, baby & kids fashion, potty training groups, and many more  What’s really cool about this community is that it makes finding the best answers easy-community members vote up answers so the best content rises to the top.  Connect with Kinsights at their website to learn more and sign-up! You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
So there are some amazing things with Kinsights and you are going to be so glad that you checked it out!!  The best thing is that Kinsights has offered an amazing $50 Amazon gift card giveaway which is sure to be the perfect little helper for your holiday shopping.
Click this link for a quick Rafflecopter form to enter to win!

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