Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Adopt A Pet this Holiday-Fancy Felines- #petadoption #supportyourshelters



(this picture was from the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina, credit to photographer)


We participated in our local shelters "The 12 Strays of Christmas" adoption event!
They featured 12 stray dogs and 12 stray cats.

We chose Jolly, who we renamed to Jingles, he's a 3 month old silver tabby kitten and such a cutie! Great personality, friendly, and just a little fluff-ball of love!

Be sure to check your local animal shelter and Humane Society if your planning on adopting a dog or a cat. Research and read up on the animal you are about to adopt. Don't just choose a pet without some sort of experience. Each pet is different, they all have different needs, personalities, and it does cost to have a pet. You must feed them, bathe/groom them, keep them up to date with shots, entertain them, and exercise them! Almost like children, right? Its a alot of responsibility, they are not accessories or just a fad for the moment. You want them to be in your life forever.

 I personally prefer to adopt a pet from the Humane Society/animal shelter because this way they will have all and or/most of their starting shots, most places they already microchip them, and they have a record of your animal if they end up going missing! Those are some extra benefits plus you are saving a life and that is the most important thing of all.

Choose wisely, educate yourself, and make a difference in a pets life today!
They will furever love you for it!




If you don't want to adopt and you would like to help support a shelter, we support The Humane Society of Eastern CarolinaLike them here.  You can also help donate, one thing I like is that they have their own Amazon Wish List, you can see it here.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Adopt a Pet this Holiday - #petadoption #supportyourshelters




I know that somewhere out there is a puppy or a kitten on a child's Christmas wish list or letter to Santa. I know adults who would want someone else to add to their family, a friend, a loyal furry companion this holiday.

In January I "Strategically" adopted our dog Bear. I had been asking for a dog all during Christmas. One day I just happened to be checking our our local Humane Society's Facebook page and ALL it took was ONE picture for me to fall in love! The local shelter had posted this picture:

Isn't he the most cuddly looking dog you've ever seen?


I immediately went down to the shelter as soon as they opened the doors to visit him and to see if he'd be a good fit for the family. He was very friendly and all around lovable! I filled out the paperwork to put him on hold so we could bring him home. I was told after a few days he could be released because he needed to be neutered and cleared from that before leaving the shelter. In the meantime of waiting for him to come home (about a week) I took my Teddy Bear out to visit with him and see if he'd like him too because we didn't really talk about it, I just saw Bear and had to have him, it was puppy love you could say! He liked him, even though he had tried to act a bit scolding towards to me but he was really surprised to see how calm Bear was and how he didn't jump around all crazy like some dogs do, he was past that part of puppydom. He would be a perfect fit for us and for our children.



Here is Bear today. He has come a long way from when we brought him home  from the shelter, you could tell he had an abusive owner before because he would cower down a lot as if we were to hit him, even if you tried to pet him. He was hard to get inside the house as he had most likely been an outdoors only dog. It took patience, bacon (he loves bacon), and a lot of love for him to not be soo shy and stressed out. He will come in the house with a bit of coaxing but does prefer to be outside. He is a great guardian and very protective and watchful of our family. We couldn't ask for a more loving and loyal dog!


He's really looking forward to some snow! He loved the snow we had back in February of 2014!

Be sure to check your local animal shelter and Humane Society if your planning on adopting a dog or a cat. Research and read up on the animal you are about to adopt. Don't just choose a pet without some sort of experience. Each pet is different, they all have different needs, personalities, and it does cost to have a pet. You must feed them, bathe/groom them, keep them up to date with shots, entertain them, and exercise them! Almost like children, right? Its a alot of responsibility, they are not accessories or just a fad for the moment. You want them to be in your life forever.

 I personally prefer to adopt a pet from the Humane Society/animal shelter because this way they will have all and or/most of their starting shots, most places they already microchip them, and they have a record of your animal if they end up going missing! Those are some extra benefits plus you are saving a life and that is the most important thing of all.

Choose wisely, educate yourself, and make a difference in a pets life today!
They will furever love you for it!

Check back for my 2nd post on how we adopted (yes again) from our local shelter during
the  "12 Strays of Christmas", your in a for a treat!  This one meows!

If you don't want to adopt and you would like to help support a shelter, we support The Humane Society of Eastern Carolina. Like them here.  You can also help donate, one thing I like is that they have their own Amazon Wish List, you can see it here.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Outlook - Baby Must Haves Giveaway - 12/30/14 #baby #giveaways


  


Whether you are expecting your first or fourth child, you know there will be things you will need to help you make it through those early months with ease. Outlook has everything your baby needs to make those newborn months easier. New moms often need those little things the most. Things that add just a little extra peace of mind, safety or comfort are usually the ones moms love the most. We love the Outlook Sleep Pod for new babies. This cover works on car seats, strollers and baby carriers to protect your baby from wind, rain and sun. This is a great adjustable cover that works to shade your child, give them dark for rest, or simple protect them from the elements as you go in and out of stores. While it is most often used for infant seats, it is adjustable to fit on strollers for children up to 4 years old! This is a great investment that will give you peace of mind, and your baby comfort.

(Sleep Pod)


 Another great addition to a new mom wish list, are the Cotton Stroller Liner available on Outlook. If you like to offer a bit of extra cushion and fashionable flare to your stroller, these are perfect. Available in multiple patterns to match the hottest looks in baby gear, they are simple to change in and out. Strollers are often rather hard and uncomfortable for your toddler to sit in. These cotton stroller linens offer some extra comfort while upgrading the stroller to a more fashion friendly look. Not only do they work in strollers, they are perfect for car seats and baby carriers too!

(Window Shades)


 As long as you are looking for ways to keep your baby or toddler comfortable, don't forget the Car Window Shades from Outlook. These were favorites for summer sun when our kids were younger. Nothing is more important than keeping your babies happy and safe. These shades in various sizes will fit perfectly into your car window. Not only do they offer shade for an easier ride, they offer protection from the sun’s rays. No sunburn or irritation for your babies when these are on the windows.

 Outlook has all of your much needed accessories for that new baby. Not only can you give your children a safer experience, you can make it comfortable for them in the process. Invest in these and other great baby and child care accessories on Outlook.

One winner will receive an Outlook Sleep Pod, Cotton Stroller Liner and Car Window Shade Single.

Giveaway ends December 30th at 11:59pm, open to US residents, ages 18+. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

   Disclaimer: The participating bloggers may have been compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact teri@mompoweredmedia.com if you have any additional questions or comments.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Purrrfect Gift for your Fancy Felines - #catgifts #christmascat #cattoys




Are you looking for the ultimate gift for your purrrfect pets?  If you love your cats as much as I do, I want to see them happy and active! You only need this ONE item that has your kittens active , hours of playtime, and can be stylishly incorporated into your homes decor.


The ultimate CAT-TASTIC Cat Tree!


 I personally purchased the Cat Tree, Beige from Amazon.com and I wanted to share my own personal thoughts. I love my cats and I love free shipping (thanks to Amazon Prime). This was the amusement park of gifts for my fancy felines. When we opened the box and started assembling I swear the cats were in Heaven!

After opening the box it took about 30 minutes to assemble, no tools are required, everything is in the box with the instructions and nicely labeled for easy assembly!


**To get an idea how tall it is check out the picture to the right, my Teddy Bear is over 6 feet tall. Myself on the other hand am around 5 feet tall and then my daughter is to the left! **


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Jay Companies Dinnerware Giveaway #Giveaways

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Sponsored by Jay Companies

Brought to you by Mom Powered Media

The holidays are upon us. When we think about the parties that we will have, we want to have great items around. Jay Companies is the place to get some great items for your entertaining. They have a wide range of items from dinnerware, to bar ware, to home decor and everything you would need to have a party with. Weather you are entertaining 5 people or 50 people you can expect great things from them.
For over 50 years The Jay Companies has specialized in fine and casual dinnerware, crystal stemware and giftware, table charger plates and decorative accessories. Quality and fashion have been the hallmark of the Jay brand for over half a century.
Founded in the early 1950’s by Paul and Erna Jay, The Company began doing business in Italy, Portugal and Spain. The Jay Companies has since added the Czech Republic and Turkey to its list of European sources as well as product from the Far East. Their ability to manufacture all items in very large quantities presents us the unique opportunity of bringing designer products to our customers at extraordinary pricing. They are always mindful of ever changing styles. Jay’s design team pays great attention to the latest trends and fashions. The company’s quality control department pays careful attention to both product and packaging, ensuring customer satisfaction.

Jay Companies has graciously offered to give one lucky person this awesome gift package. 
 That one person will receive: 2- 16 piece Dinnerware sets 1 Beverage dispenser 2 Set of 4 Champagne Flutes

**SPECIAL FOR OUR READERS**
Would you like 35% off and FREE SHIPPING?
Use this code: MPM35FREESHIPPING

Good until the end of December! 



Disclaimer: The participating bloggers have not been compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact Sharon@mompoweredmedia.com if you have any additional questions or comments.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Holiday Decorating - The Christmas Tree


  





Decorating the Christmas Tree

Decorating the tree for Christmas is always a joy. We put up an artificial tree, ours is 10 ft. tall! Last year we made sure to cut out all of the old lights that had blown out and this year we replaced them with new strands of lights. 


Most of the decorations on our family tree are created by the kids! They love being able to partake in making the tree our own. We were able to find many ideas on Pinterest for making Christmas ornaments, a few of our favorites are Painted Christmas Ornaments, Paint your own Christmas Tree,  DIY Lighted Christmas Tree using Baby Food Jars, and Paint your own Wooden Snowflake. Most of our  supplies come from AC Moore, my favorite craft store and some stuff is crafted from recycling objects around the house like baby food jars, toilet paper rolls, etc.. Does your family make ornaments for your tree? Which ones are your all time favorite? I'd love to hear about your Christmas ornament creations in the comments box below!


(Rex pictured above)

Of course Rex and Cody had to join in on the fun! They kept running up and down the ladder and Cody even climbed inside the tree! I have a feeling we will be seeing Christmas decorations scattered about by the cats! At least there aren't too many breakable ornaments on our tree! We made sure to have most of our decorations be kid and kitten proof  to prevent from breaking!



(Cody)


How do you decorate your tree? Do you have a theme? How many trees do you put up for Christmas? We have a few more artificial trees outdoors and we've made some Deco Mesh Tomato Cage Christmas Trees w/lights. Check back for my tutorial on how to create your own! 


Holiday Cooking - Roasted Turkey #Turkey #HolidayCooking #TurkeyPrep



How do you prepare your turkey? Do you soak it in a brine, do you just thaw it out and throw it in the oven? I didn't have time to brine my turkey this past Thanksgiving so I thawed it out for 3-4 days and threw it in the oven! This was originally to be a Thanksgiving post but I figured that people make Turkey more than just around Thanksgiving, right?

When I was a child we had Turkey more than just at Thanksgiving dinner, your Holiday dinner is what you make it and who doesn't love a nice tender oven baked Turkey every now and then?




I chose a 14 lb turkey, shown above. After opening the package, I made sure to pull out the gizzards/turkey neck and thoroughly rinse the whole turkey inside and out. After rinsing with water I pat the inside and outside of the turkey dry with paper towels.



Now time to get all seasoned and spiced in the roasting pan. I made sure to lubricate the outside and inside of the turkey well with Virgin Olive Oil. This can make your turkey extremely slippery so be sure to do it while its in the roasting pan and brush on what you can't rub on while holding it!

Season time! I used a dash of this a pinch of that, I made it my own! If your looking for an extremely structured recipe than this may not be the Turkey for you! I will tell you I used the following herbs/spices: Sea Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, season salt, basil, rosemary, sage, thyme, and oregano. I made sure to generously season the outside and inside of the Turkey!


All seasoned and spiced and ready for the oven!

I set my oven to 400, this is to brown the turkey for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes turn the temperature down to 325 and bake for 3 1/2 hours. Take note this is for a 15 lb turkey. Check out Butterball's website on How to Roast A Turkey for your turkey if a different weight.



After 3 1/2 hours, here is my turkey all roasted and delicious looking!


I give my turkey a thumbs up because it was AWESOMENESS and everyone loved how juicy, flavorful, and tender it was! We had turkeys for days!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Great Pretenders Giveaway Event (12/5-12/19) #Giveaway



Welcome to the Great Pretenders Imaginative Play Giveaway Event hosted by Life With Two Boys!

Do you know the major benefits of pretend play? No? Well, read on to learn more and don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Children learn by imagining and doing. The process of pretending builds skills in many essential developmental areas. Dress-up play is vital to a child’s development. According to licensed child psychologist Dr. Laurie Zelinger, “It fosters the imaginative processes, and allows for play without rules or script. Dress up allows for experimentation, role play and fantasy.“

Major benefits include:

1. Social and Emotional Skills
Dress up allows for experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. Through cooperative play, children learn societal rules such as how to take turns, share responsibility, and creatively problem-solve. Character play means that the child is "walking in someone else's shoes” and it encourages teamwork along with an interest in peers. The child also learns to negotiate  which helps teach the important moral development skill of empathy. Since children see the world form their own point of view, cooperative play helps them understand the feelings of others.

2. Language Skills
When children engage in pretend play, you will hear words and phrases you never thought they knew. Pretend play requires children to invent and tell stories and since almost all children narrate their pretend play experiences, they train their minds to transform ideas into words. Children usually mimic words and ideas from parents, teachers, daycare or what they hear on TV. This repetition builds vocabulary and helps kids visualize what they say, especially when adults offer feedback to help kids better understand the words they use. This also helps with grammar – they may not know the rules but they are training themselves  to speak like adults. This also helps make the connection between spoken and written language — a skill that will later help them to read.

3. Self-Control
Young kids typically have little self-control. During pretend play, children have to take a role and play within those boundaries, especially when other kids are involved. Studies show that children control their impulses significantly better during pretend play than at other times. Did you ever wonder why parents often make up a game to get their children to eat their vegetables or finish chores? Transforming an unappealing task into a make-believe game is a popular trick among clever parents and educators.

4. Problem Solving Skills
Pretend play also provides your child with a variety of problems to solve. Whether it’s the logistics of sharing toys or a pretend problem the children are escaping from, the child calls upon important cognitive thinking skills that he will use in every aspect of his life, now and forever. Role playing games lead children to face situations that far exceed kids' real-life experiences. Children work out confusing, scary, or new life issues. Through these role plays, children become more comfortable and prepared for life events in a safe way. Children often use pretend play to work out more personal challenging life events too, whether it is coping with an illness in the family, the absence of a parent or divorce, or a house fire. Although kids may not always act logically during tough pretend dilemmas, the very process of problem solving becomes habitual. By practicing problem solving in an artificial environment, kids are better prepared to think of creative solutions to their own real-life problems.

5. Self-esteem: By giving your child complete control in their pretend world and accepting them as a silly character, you are enhancing their self-esteem. While they use their own initiative to develop story lines, their creative imagination to expand stories and their own personality to choose a character they enjoy, you are enhancing their self-esteem by allowing them complete power in the world & enjoying it with them. Take for example superheroes. Considering the thrill children get out of pretending to be a grown-up, it's no wonder that they're also crazy about mimicking the most powerful version of adults: superheroes. Pretending to be Batman or Wonder Woman allows a toddler to feel brave and invincible, which helps them develop self-confidence. Similarly, all that running and leaping keeps them active and builds strength, balance, and coordination.

At Great Pretenders they believe that “dress-up” is so much more than just putting on a costume, which is why they offer a large variety of creative, pretend-play toys that would light up any child's imagination.

“Confidence is brought about in children by the realization that they have the ability to be anybody they want in this life and accomplish anything they desire. Our goal at Great Pretenders is to help kids achieve that level of confidence and to start young” ~Kate Muddiman, Creative Director, Great Pretenders

**Win It**
Thanks to Great Pretenders, three lucky readers are going to win a super fun product to inspire imaginative play in their kiddos. 

The prizes up for grabs are:
*Reversible Super Girl Set
*Sleeping Cutie Dress
*Adventure Cape 

There will be one winner for each of the prizes listed above. This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada, ages 18+. This giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 19th. 

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Good Luck! 




Disclosure: Life With Two Boys, Strategically Thinking, and the rest of the participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Your Life After 25 #Giveaway

It's the most wonderful time of the year, a time where we can all go shopping without guilt in the name of "holiday spirit" lol. The number one thing about the holidays in most people's mind is their family EVEN those family members that drive you crazy you enjoy them that much more . If your anything like me you wait until there are AWESOME coupons, discounts and deals... so many holiday savings. We know that there are many last minute shoppers SO hurry over and check out all the savings AND get all those gifts for the family that you love!

 No need to wait for Black Friday or Cyber Monday, just check out the coupons and deals on Your Life After 25's coupons & discounts page. NOT only are we spreading the word about all of those amazing deals we are also giving you the chance to Win: Your Life After 25 Holiday Savings and Coupon Giveaway!


Whether you're shopping for a new mom or babies, looking for the right present for the kids or trying to find something for co-worker or in-laws, you're sure to find coupons and deals to help! And the savings isn't just for the holidays, we've all watched or seen those extreme couponers who save TONS of cash on groceries or every day items... you can do the same just start clipping coupons now :)
YLA25 Coupon 300x250
*Coupons open to USA, coupon codes open to USA/Can*


Your Life After 25 Holiday Savings and Coupons Giveaway
• 3 Prizes Available; Grand Prize: $100 Amazon e-gift card + $20 The Pocket Sous Chef e-gift
• 2nd Prize: $50 Amazon e-gift card + $20 The Pocket Sous Chef e-gift
• 3rd Prize: $50 Amazon e-gift card + $10 The Pocket Sous Chef e-gift


• Open to US & Canada.
 •  Winners will be chosen at random through Giveaway Tools.
 •  Giveaway ends December 18th at 11:59pm ET.
 • Winners will be notified via email or Twitter DM
 • Each winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.
 • Must be 18 years or older to enter.
 • Unlimited Entries
 • Void where prohibited.
 • Entering the giveaway means you agree to terms above.
 • Good Luck!

YLA25 Coupons 468x60

PR/Media Kit #pr #mediakit #reviews

Welcome to Strategically Thinking! This blog is brand new as of this year (2014), I used to write as Loving Heart Mommy since 2006 but after a website hack we lost everything. I've finally resurfaced and created Strategically Thinking. 

I do not like to be labeled. The view for Strategically Thinking is writing with a bit more of an edge, creative pop, staying trendy and classy. I'm a mix, a step above all things average, with a creative flare! 


Our Stats
(updated monthly, constantly changing)

Facebook: 2,005
Twitter: 3,013
Instagram: 132
Pinterest: 285
Linked in: Just started
Google+: Just started
YouTube: Just started
Newsletter: Just started

Monthly UV and Page views: Message me as these constantly are changing.


Our services

Reviews: I offer organized and thorough product or site reviews shared multiple times across my social media communities. Free with product valued over $25

Sponsored Posts: I offer informative and organized posts featuring your brand or site. These posts are shared multiple times in my social media and online communities. Charges apply ($30-$250)

App reviews are considered sponsored. I offer well-written app reviews with images and links for a fee. $30 fee for post and promoting on all social media outlets.

Events: Have a product you would like featured in a Group Giveaway? I can gather bloggers to join in and together we will offer your product as a group Giveaway featured on all the participating Bloggers sites and social media channels. Charges apply.

Campaigns: Have a campaign you need promoted? Have specific number of Bloggers or share criteria and date restrictions for a running campaign? We can do that! I will gather a group of Bloggers, offer them compensation and they monitor their posts and shares about your campaign. Charges apply.

Reviews by my Children/Family members: We have 7 children all together, I know the Brady Bunch right? My children's ages are 10 yr. old boy, 7 yr. old boy,  6 yr. old girl, and my youngest is a 3 year old boy. My husband's children are a 11 year old girl, 9 year old girl, and a 5 year old boy. They love testing out products and giving their honest opinion, as all children do! If you want your product reviewed by them please specify when contacting me. Any children products sent will be reviewed in text from me and video (YouTube) from their perspectives along with imagery. I will include your brand images, images of the product, images of them with the product, etc.. There is no charge, except for the product to keep minimum value of at least $25. They will review apps and website services as well. ($25 fee) Examples coming soon!

OTHER RULES:

I do not ship back products sent for review. The only exception would be major-large ticket electronics with a return label for me to send back unpaid.

I do not charge to do a product review, however I require your product to have a value of $25 or more. (If your item is $10, you may send multiple items or attach a $15 Amazon code, gift certificate, etc..) We take a lot of time and effort into our reviews and feel this is fair.

I use No-Follow links!
I follow FTC Guidelines.

Reviews are finished in a timely manner this is usually 14 days from receiving the product(s) unless you request a scheduled date/time frame. If you need the review to be done sooner than 14 days, we charge $10.

CONTACT ME:

Any questions or to get quotes on campaigns or sponsored posts, please contact me at kristinialoves@gmail.com


This and That Stats



Welcome to Strategically Thinking! This blog is brand new as of this year (2014), I used to write as Loving Heart Mommy since 2006 but after a website hack we lost everything. I've finally resurfaced and created Strategically Thinking. 

I do not like to be labeled. The view for Strategically Thinking is writing with a bit more of an edge, creative pop, staying trendy and classy. I'm a mix, a step above all things average, with a creative flare! 


Our Stats
(updated monthly, constantly changing)

Facebook: 2,005
Twitter: 3,013
Instagram: 132
Pinterest: 285
Linked in: Just started
Google+: Just started
YouTube: Just started
Newsletter: Just started

Monthly UV: Message me
Monthly: Page views: Message me