Monday, January 24, 2011

Dacron Pillow Review

Have you noticed all the January and February White Sales? I have. The Christmas season ends and moms everywhere go in search of new bedding products.

(I do anyway, but recently found myself replacing a number of key bedding items due to an unfortunate stomach virus that hit my two year old, but that's all I'm going to say about that!)

I don't mess around when it comes to sheets and pillows. When you think about how much time you spend in your bed, it's not worth it to scrimp on inexpensive or poorly made stuff. I want my sheets soft and my pillows firm. It was perfect timing that just as I was on the hunt for the perfect pillow, DACRON® offered to send me one mini-pillow to review.

INVISTA recently launched the new DACRON® Fiber Quality Seal to help busy (and distracted with two-year-olds) consumers like me. The new quality seal will be featured on packaging of bedding and branded fiberfill from INVISTA. Plus the taglines read: "Trust What's Inside" and "It Just Feels Good".  

So does it feel good? Yes. Definitely. My kids fight over it on a daily basis. I would tell you that's it's given me the best night of sleep ever, but that wouldn't be really true because I don't sleep. But when I do, it's really great and a full sized Dacron pillow is a worthy investment.

Dacron provided me with a mini-pillow, but my opinions, unlike multiple hours of restful sleep, are mine.

New Releases: Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Out now on Blu-Ray DVD is the fun and family friendly comedy, "Beverly Hills Chihuahua," starring the voices of many of your favorite stars including George Lopez as "Papi".

I recommend this one for movie night with kids. Bust out the popcorn, settle in and prepare to spend some quality time with this Disney flick. Chloe & Papi are back in an all new adventure and their family just got bigger. Look at that photo! Don't you want to bring those puppies home?

Here's a synopsis:

From the creators of Beverly Hills Chihuahua, everybody’s favorite talking Chihuahuas are back in a comedy that’s a pack of outrageous fun for the whole family. Puppy mayhem turns the lives of newlywed Chihuahua parents, Papi and Chloe, upside down when their playful puppies present one challenge after another. But, when their human owners find themselves in trouble, the tiny pups will stop at nothing to save them—because in good times and hard times, the family always sticks together. Papi, Chloe and the puppies embark on a heroic adventure, proving once again that big heroes come in small packages.
Both the Blu-Ray and DVD include Bonus features including a Music Video (This is My Paradise By Bridgit Mendler) and Blooper Faux Paws. Here's a sneak peek:

You too can meet this rambunctious, mischievous and hilarious litter on February 1, 2011 when Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 comes out on a Blu-ray™ combo pack (include Blu-ray and DVD of the movie), 1-disc DVD.

Thank you to Disney for providing me with a copy of this new release. 

I love puppies in all forms and would happily devote another Saturday night to watching them perform hilarious antics. You would too.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day Care Debt & Family Finance Plans

Thank you to TurboTax for sponsoring my writing about household finances.Learn more about how TurboTax can help you find every tax deduction you deserve. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity.

Once upon a time, I decided to do something. My day care gave me the option of paying by check or using a credit card to charge the oh-so-incredibly-painfully-large monthly fee on a monthly basis.

The credit card I had was a rewards card. It earned miles and points based on the monthly charges. At the rate I was going to be using it, I thought I'd be banking enough miles to get plan tickets for the whole family to go on a fun vacation -- that I couldn't afford because I spent all my money on day care.

So I signed up. It was brilliant, right? It was money I was spending anyway and now I'd be getting something for me. Pat on the back for little ol' me. Since it was on a credit card if I had to, I could always carry a little over from month to month if I had to. No big deal. I could deal with the interest. Such a good idea.

At the end of every month that big day care charge hit. Sometimes I paid it all. Sometimes I didn't. I didn't worry. I'd catch up.

Then another baby arrived. My expenses went up. My cash flow went down. Interest went up. Late fees went up.

Do you see where this is going? I'm sure you do. I didn't.

In hindsight, it's all crystal clear. I was digging myself in a hole I was going to have to struggle for years to get myself out of. I'm still there. But at the time, I just couldn't see it, or maybe didn't want to see it.

Needless to say, I don't charge my day care bill any longer. If something comes up where I can't pay the bill in full, I make a point to make it up the following one. I actually don't charge anything anymore. It's too easy to charge $50.00 in groceries here and $25.00 for a school fundraiser there. I know I'm not alone in this. Credit has been too easy to get, too easy to use and too hard to recover from for a lot of people. So I'm proclaiming 2011 the year of cash. Who's with me?

Photo via bfishadow/Flickr

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Heart of Haiti Project

I have never been to Haiti. Having never been there, I picture it in my mind as a beautiful place inspired by the ocean and sunshine and lush green spaces.

Well, that is what Haiti is like, but unfortunately, that's not the whole picture. The people and the neighborhoods are still struggling, even one year after the earthquake that devastated the country. But, the good news is, there are people who want to help.

The Heart of Haiti Project is an initiative founded by Willa Shalit (daughter of Gene Shalit) and her company, Fairwinds Trading, a for-profit company that uses business as a strategy for economic empowerment of people, especially women, in the Majority World. The Majority World is where two billion of the world’s three billion people live, in poverty.

Their focus on women as a preferred partner is based in part on their history, in part on their leadership as a woman-owned firm, and in part on evidence that raising the standard of living for women has the greatest positive multiplier effect within families, communities and cultures. Their mission is to connect cultures through business, art and understanding.

Through a partnership with Macy’s, Heart of Haiti offers artisan-crafted decorative arts and jewelry for sale. All income derived from sales of the products on the Heart of Haiti site enhances an artisan’s family’s nutrition, educates children, and brings access to healthcare and dignity.

More information on the Heart of Haiti Project and the products for purchase can be found here.
I did a little browsing and I think I might have to pick up some of these fruit sculptures. The bright colors would make my kitchen a little happier on a grey snowy day like today.

If you want to find out more information on the the Heart of Haiti founder and Fairwinds Trading CEO Willa Shalit, you can find out more here

I love the phrase "Meaningful Shopping". You can't get better than that.

I was selected for this very special “CleverHaiti” opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity. All opinions are my own.