Working With Brands

When I was younger I never would have imagined that I would be a “creative blogger”.  Especially because the internet didn’t even exist! But here I am…blabbing away to perfect “strangers” on an almost daily basis.   But I am so grateful to be able to have this opportunity and great blessing to be able to share and interact with you all.

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(My Family)

As a woman and a mother, I have appreciated the interaction I have with other women and mothers.  I find that overall we have the same goals and interests for our lives and our children.  Raising children and being a woman in today’s world is challenging.  As young mothers we are bombarded with conflicting information, criticism, and judgment, usually from other mothers.  So it can be nice when you find a group of women that are supportive and encourage your efforts.

I also have enjoyed learning from other women and mothers.  Learning about products and ideas that have helped you in building your families and homes into bright spots of love and encouragement to help buoy your children up as they face everyday challenges.

So when I started getting asked by others to share their companies or products, I was pretty excited but also very humbled.  As my blog grew, I began to get more and more requests and soon became overwhelmed with so many to choose from.  To deal with it, I made some pretty strict guidelines for myself.  I feel a great obligation and responsibility to my readers and feel like I owe it to them.  After all, the only reason I am in the position I am, is because of them sharing my site with their friends and families.

I would NOT post about anything and everything.  I wanted to keep my site from becoming one big commercial.  I wanted to share only those products that I would actually buy, unsolicited, and use in my own home.  A product that I could stand by and recommend full heartedly.

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(only a few of the amazing friends I have made blogging)

I am not sure why I felt so strongly about this,  but I think it is because I have met some AMAZING people through this blog.  And even though I don’t know most of you, I realize that you are real people….with real families and struggles.  And just like most people I know, you have a desire to raise your families with the best of intentions to the best of your ability.

We are really all in this together.  And from my experience, it really does “take a village” to raise a family.  I know that if one of my good friends recommends a product or a solution for something I (or a family member) is struggling with, I am most likely going to give it a try.

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(High School friends and Moms I admire and look up to)

So with that in mind, I have really tried to use that as a guideline for what I share and promote on The Idea Room.

One of the earliest Brands I began working with was Blog Frog.  I was a Community Leader in their Seasonal Celebrations Community and loved the interaction it gave me with lots of other women.  I really enjoyed it because it gave me a way to discuss a wide range of ideas and questions of “everyday life” with REAL women and moms.  It was real women sharing real concerns and solutions for one another.

Recently I was asked by Blog Frog to share some advice for Brands who are wanting to work with bloggers such as myself.  I have three things that I would like a Brand to know before working with The Idea Room.

1.  Get to Know Me and My Readers

Many times I will get a scripted email with my name and email address pasted in.  These almost always get deleted.  I get so much email and these are usually the first to go.  Get to know me.  Spend some time on my site.  If your product isn’t relevant, it will not be a good fit.

2.  Have a Product That is Relevant

I write about things I generally love and use.  If I buy something somewhere, I will share where I got it with my readers, because I WANT to.  I do this because as a mom, I LOVE when someone shares with me where they found an amazing product that has helped them or that has helped to create a lovely home atmosphere.

3.  Be Flexible With How I Share Your Product

I have worked with some companies that have strict guidelines about HOW I share their product with my readers.  As a creative blogger this is really frustrating for me.  Be willing to be flexible and work with the blogger and you will get a more organic post and a REAL review for your product.  There have been a lot of products that I would have loved to share, but didn’t because I didn’t want to have to “sell” it to my readers.  I value my readers and their time and don’t want them to ever feel that I am using them to sell or push a product.  But, if I do genuinely love your product, I would love to have an opportunity to be able to share a great product with them.

I have had a few Brands that I have been able to work with because I truly love their products and know that my readers will too.  They have allowed me great flexibility in sharing their products in a natural and organic way.

If you’re a brand looking to work with online influencers, learn more about BlogFrog’s Brand Solutions here.

As a part of the BlogFrog Influencer Circle, I have the chance to create meaningful, authentic content for brands I love. If you’re a blogger interested in new opportunities, join BlogFrog’s Influencer Circle and check out some of the top brands already working with BlogFrog.

Now, I’m curious. What do you love most about blogs and blogging?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of BlogFrog. The opinions and text are all mine.

When luck was on my side…

Well, it is that time of year again…St. Patrick’s Day and all that comes with it. I have heard the expression "Luck of the Irish" but was never sure what it really meant. I found out that some believe that the Luck of the Irish refers to good luck referring back to the days when many Irish immigrants found their "pot of gold" in the West during the Gold Rush. And even then the term was used with a bit of derision.

As far as luck goes, I think that MOST situations and things that people refer to as "luck" may just be attitude and what YOU make of your circumstances and how you react to them. But I do believe there are some situations that happen that are purely based on luck. Unfortunately, in that regard, I tend to be fairly unlucky. Except for one time.

My husband and I were on our honeymoon (it was a while ago…18 years to be exact…gah!) We had been invited to a newlywed party that was being thrown by the resort we were staying at. They were playing games and giving away prizes. Luck was on our side! They called out our number and my husband excitedly jumped up to claim our prize. We couldn’t believe our luck! That is until we realized we had won a HUGE bottle of Jamaican Rum! Not that there was anything wrong with that…we just don’t drink! We did make the couple we were sitting with happy when we turned our prize over to them.

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The games and prizes continued on. Then came the last of the prizes…the big ones. The contest was to see which couple could guess the name of a song that would be sung by one of the performers. He started by singing the words…"Day-O" and I immediately yelled out…"The Banana Boat Song" which of course was totally correct!

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(this picture cracks me up…it was hard to breathe in that thing without the bc)

The funny thing is, is that I did not know the name of that song until 5 days prior. Right before we left on our honeymoon to Jamaica my "almost" husband and I were discussing our trip with some friends when one of them started singing that song. And I was like what is the name of that song anyways? Ha ha! What did we win? We won a horseback riding day trip through the Jamaican countryside and along the beach front. The first and last time I have ever really won anything based on total luck!

Now, tell me the last time luck was on YOUR side! I would love to hear about it!

For your chance to win a Keurig coffee maker and a one year’s supply of International Delight creamer, complete these two steps:

1. Share the International Delight’s Luck of the Irish Facebook Contest with your friends below

2. Tell us that you’ve invited your friends to enter the Luck of the Irish Facebook Contest AND tell about a time when good luck was on your side.

And…you can also be entered to win a…

Trip for Two to Ireland!!

To win – head over to the International Delight Facebook page and enter the International Delight Luck of the Irish Contest for your chance to win a trip for two to Ireland. Fifteen runners-up will also win International Delight creamer!! And be sure to check them out on Pinterest too!

*This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions expressed by me do not necessarily reflect the view of the International Delight Brand. Official Contest Rules. Official International Delight Facebook Contest Rules.

Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins

ove the Holiday season for many reasons!  One of the reasons is getting to enjoy all the delicious baked goods.  As soon as the cooler weather hits, I get antsy to get my oven fired up again after being neglected during the hot summer months.  A perfect holiday baked good that is not too sweet, that I enjoy making are these Raspberry Muffins.

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Pin It

I decide to spruce them up a bit to make them a bit more sophisticated this year.  So I added some white chocolate chips and some White Chocolate Raspberry International Delight Creamer to the recipe.  And, I have to say, that the result was pretty darn tasty!

Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins

Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup White Chocolate Raspberry International Delight Creamer
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 cups fresh red raspberries
  • 1/2 to 1 cup white chocolate chips (optional)
  • Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Beat the eggs, buttermilk, and the White Chocolate Raspberry ID Creamer together.
  2. Add the melted butter to the mixture and blend well.
  3. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and allspice in a separate bowl.
  4. Add half of the dry ingredients to the buttermilk mixture. Stir to blend, add the remaining dry ingredients just stirring to blend again.
  5. Gently fold in the raspberries and the spoon into the muffin cups.
  6. Bake 18-22 minutes or until lightly browned.
  7. After baked muffins have cooled 5 minutes, and working one at a time, dip top of each muffin in melted butter and then cinnamon sugar.
  8. Set muffins upright on wire rack to cool completely.
http://www.theidearoom.net/2011/11/raspberry-white-chocolate-muffins.html

 

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Looks pretty yummy right?  I love that the red berries make them extra festive for the Holidays too.

Tell International Delight what your favorite holiday treat is for a chance to win a $200 Walmart gift card.

*Capture the flavors of the holidays with International Delight Creamers. Available in a variety of flavors, such as, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Vanilla Spiced Rum and White Chocolate Raspberry.

TellTeTeTell International Delight what your favorite holiday treat is for a chance to win a $200 Walmart Gift Card.
Capture the flavors of the holiday’s in every cup of coffee with International Delight creamers. Available in a variety of flavors, such as Cinnabon, Almond Joy and Pumpkin Spice, International Delight can make everyday feel like a holiday.

*This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight.

The opinions expressed by me do not necessarily reflect

the view of the International Delight Brand.

 

The Moment I Held My Newborn Baby…

“There are a few moments in my life that I can look back on and remember with clarity the exact thoughts and feelings I had as if it were yesterday…the births of each of my children are among them.

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The instant my firstborn son was placed onto my chest immediately after giving birth I remember distinctly thinking…"Wow…he is a real baby!"  HaHa!  For reals…like I had been thinking that maybe he might not be….”{continue reading}

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This is just a small excerpt from my story, as I join in with the Million Moms Challenge to share one of my best moments of pregnancy. Every mom has a pregnancy story and it is something that unites women from all over the world.  I would love for to you Click on over to read my story and share YOURS as well!

Also, by joining in the conversation and sharing your stories and thoughts, you will be entered to win some amazing prizes: an exclusive Million Moms Challenge Gift Pack, which includes an iPad2, a custom-made Million Moms Challenge pendant and a $50 donation in your name to Global Giving.

I have loved being a part of this Million Moms Challenge and hope you will join us in this great cause.

How Do You Teach Your Kids to Clean?

Keeping my home clean is a daily challenge. Seven people can destroy a clean home pretty quickly if they don’t clean up after themselves. I try to keep an organized home so that everything has a place. My children each have expected responsibilities every day which include cleaning their room and their shared bathroom. Then each child has 1-2 family jobs that they are also required to complete.

I made up a chore chart that we use to let the kids know what their chore is for the day. This system has worked pretty well for us. We aren’t perfect everyday but it keeps us pretty organized.

I also have the older kids help out with the laundry now and they are learning how to sort the different clothing. When the laundry is dry we throw the clean laundry into their individual laundry baskets and then each child is responsible for folding and putting their laundry away in their closets and drawers.

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We also will have a 10 minute clean up after dinner sometimes if the house has had a particularly rough day…(aka Mom has been crafting). We set the timer and run around the house one room at a time cleaning up as fast as we can.

And lastly we just incorporated a great tip from Heather Johnson who shares great Parenting Tips here on The Idea Room, called the Magic Item. We pick one secret magic item and whoever puts it away gets a special reward. You should see the kids scramble to be the lucky winner! Makes clean up fast and fun.

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Keeping your home clean can definitely be a challenge despite all your best efforts. And some days we are better at it than others.

What about you?

Do you have a housekeeper?

Do you have your kids help you out?

What tips and tricks do you have to get your family to help you clean up?

Want to hand over cleaning to the experts? Tell us how you have taught and encouraged your kids to clean and be entered to win one of two prizes!

  • First Prize: House Cleaner for a day plus $100 in product from GreatCleaners.com.
  • Second Prize: A Copy of the Book Over 100 Helpful Household Hints

With GreatCleaners.comClean Club, you’ll never have to shop for cleaning products again. With the simplicity of automatic shipments that fit your schedule and free shipping on every order, plus 25% off your first order, you’ll never have to be without your favorite, essential cleaning products. Click here to join the Clean Club today!

 

WamnWWantWant to hand over cleaning to the experts? Tell us how you have taught your kids to clean for a chance to win one of two prizes!
•First Prize: house cleaner for a day plus $100 in product from Greatcleaners.com.
•Second Prize: A copy of the book 101 Uses for Baking Soda With Greatcleaners.com Clean Club, you’ll never have to shop for cleaning products again. With the simplicity of automatic shipments that fit your schedule and free shipping on every order, plus 25% off your first order, you’ll never have to be without your favorite, essential cleaning products. Click here to join Clean Club today!Want to hand over cleaning to the experts? Tell us how you have taught your kids to clean for a chance to win one of two prizes!
•First Prize: house cleaner for a day plus $100 in product from Greatcleaners.com.
•Second Prize: A copy of the book 101 Uses for Baking Soda With Greatcleaners.com Clean Club, you’ll never have to shop for cleaning products again. With the simplicity of automatic shipments that fit your schedule and free shipping on every order, plus 25% off your first order, you’ll never have to be without your favorite, essential cleaning products. Click here to join Clean Club today!Want to hand over cleaning to the experts? Tell us how you have taught your kids to clean for a chance to win one of two prizes!
•First Prize: house cleaner for a day plus $100 in product from Greatcleaners.com.
•Second Prize: A copy of the book 101 Uses for Baking Soda

Want to hand over cleaning to the experts? Tell us how you have taught your kids to clean for a chance to win one of two prizes!
•First Prize: house cleaner for a day plus $100 in product from Greatcleaners.com.
•Second Prize: A copy of the book 101 Uses for Baking Soda With Greatcleaners.com Clean Club, you’ll never have to shop for cleaning products again. With the simplicity of automatic shipments that fit your schedule and free shipping on every order, plus 25% off your first order, you’ll never have to be without your favorite, essential cleaning products. Click here to join Clean Club today!

*This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of GreatCleaners.

The opinions expressed by me do not necessarily reflect the view of the Arm & Hammer Brand.

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Million Moms Challenge

The Most Difficult Yet Best 5,172,000 Minutes of My Life

From the time I was 24 years old to 34 years old, almost a decade, I was either pregnant or nursing one of my five children. I am currently 38 years old which means that for exactly one quarter of my life, my body has been growing and nourishing another precious human life. If you are counting, that is approximately 8.9 years, 3,175 days, or 86,200 hours that my amazing physical body has been working to sustain life.

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(Delivery Day for Baby #5)

For me, pregnancy happens very easily. Which I recognize does not happen for all women and for some women may never happen. Each of us will have our own unique experiences and no one’s story is the same. But for me pregnancy and childbirth has and is truly a gift….{continue reading}

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(Baby #5 First Bath)

This is just a small excerpt from my story, as I join in with the Million Moms Challenge to share one of my best moments of pregnancy. Every mom has a pregnancy story and it is something that unites women from all over the world.  I would love for to you Click on over to read my story and share YOURS as well!

Also, by joining in the conversation and sharing your stories and thoughts, you will be entered to win some amazing prizes.

Shutterfly—Sharing a Joy Moment

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Almost one year ago this week my mom, sisters and I were able to take a kid free trip to San Francisco together.

This was the first time we have been able to get away without any kids and just have a girls trip.

We had so much fun and were able to do so many fun things together.

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I really enjoy my mom and sisters and feel like we are great friends. So it was fun to experience this trip with them.

We saw Wicked at the Orpheum Theatre. It was amazing! We loved it!

We also biked across the Golden Gate Bridge and took a boat ride out to Alcatraz Island and toured the prison.

We visited Lombard Street, Ghiradelli, Boudin’s and ate at a great restaurant in Chinatown called Hunan’s Home!

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It was such a fun experience and I love looking back on the pictures of our trip.

In fact, I took several of the pictures and just made a photo book using Shutterfly.

This way I will have a way to record our trip and be able to easily share it with others.

I am so excited to be able to get it and will be sure to share it with you all.

What about you?

I’d like to hear about your moment of joy!

Share your story about a photo or trip that brings you joy and upload a photo (optional),

in return Shutterfly will gift you $5 off your next photo book to commemorate your life’s joyous moments,

and you”ll be entered for a chance to win a $200 Shutterfly Gift card.

**This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shutterfly.

The opinions and text are all mine. Offer valid for $5 off one photo book order and valid for one-time redemption per member.

Taxes, shipping and handling will apply.

BlogFrog hosted gift card contest live from June 17th to July 14th.

A winner will be randomly chosen and announced on July 18th. All participants remain the copyright holder of their photos.

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RedBox Means Summer Time

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I don’t know about you, but around here we LOVE RedBox. I seriously think the mastermind behind this is a genius. It has revolutionized the DVD rental business and the prices can not be beat.

And how great is it that you can rent a movie in one place and return it wherever you may be or may be headed.

To celebrate summer fun, Redbox is asking moms, "What’s your favorite movie line?" Plus, they are rewarding 2 lucky families with a chance to win $10,000 as part of the Redbox Summer of Fun & Games Sweepstakes.

I thought it would be fun for my readers to participate if they are interested in playing along and wouldn’t it be awesome if one of my readers were to win this awesome Sweepstakes? Can’t hurt to try right?

So, in the spirit of fun, I would like to share with you my all time favorite Movie Line…from one of my favorite movies…The Princess Bride!

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"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

There are so many great lines from this movie. But I picked this one because it may be one of the most recognizable. My family and I all enjoy this movie and it is our go to movie when we can’t decide what to watch. It is also the movie the kids like to watch while we are traveling in the car. So it is fun for my husband and to follow along by listening to it from the front seat.

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This movie reminds me of spending good quality time together as a family.

Redbox is celebrating summer family time with a great line up of family-friendly titles, awesome savings and two chances to win $10,000 as part of the Redbox Summer of Fun & Games Sweepstakes.*

4 Easy Ways to Enter:

1. Enter your email address at www.redbox.com/summer

2. Rent a movie or game at a redbox kiosk (and provide a valid email address at checkout)

3. Reserve a rental online at redbox.com

4. Text ‘SUMMER’ to 727272

Enter to win today!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Redbox. The opinions and text are all mine.

*Each item rented earns one entry, regardless of how long it is rented, up to three entries per day. Limit 3 entries per day, regardless of entry method. The sweepstakes begins May 27, 2011 at 12:00 a.m. CT and ends on August 1, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. CT. No purchase necessary. See official rules at www.redbox.com/summer.

Live Chat Tonight at 9 pm EST

 

Join us on TONIGHT!!, Tuesday, 9 p.m. EST as we chat LIVE!! Liz from Hoosier Homemade and I will be Sharing our Summer Recipes

and entertaining ideas for the Summer which is here for some and right around the corner for others!! 

Take a break tonight and sit down and join in the fun.  To join us, simply follow the link here

At 9 pm EST, the chat will be turned live.  We always learn a lot and have a great time chatting and sharing and making new friends!  Hope to see you there.

Coffee Talk Community Live Chat

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Hey Idea Room Readers!  I have been switched from Blog Frogs Memories in Motion Community to the Coffee Talk Community and we are having a live chat today at 1 pm EST.

We will be chatting about some great frugal ideas for Mother’s Day gifts and ways to celebrate your Mother’s.  If you are still looking for inspiration, be sure to come and join in the fun.  Or if you just want to come and take a break with the drink of your choice (mine would be hot chocolate) you can just enjoy the chat.

Come ready to share your Frugal and Time Saving Mothers Day ideas! Also be ready to walk away with some great ideas to give your hubby and kids this weekend. :)

It is easy to join in the fun.  Just follow this link and you will be chatting with us in no time.  Lots of other great Community Leaders will also be joining us!

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