Tuesday, July 26, 2016

How to Earn $10 From Your Mobile Device

Swagbucks is the web’s most popular rewards program that gives you free gift cards and cash for the everyday things you already do online. Whenever you shop, watch videos or search the web, Swagbucks gives you points called SB. You can use your SB to redeem gift cards to hundreds of your favorite stores. 

With the Swagbucks Mobile and SBTV apps I can use my spare minutes to earn free gift cards on my phone! Like the Swagbucks website, I can rack up SB by shopping, answering surveys and watching videos. 

[if you have any more ideas that relate to you personally, replace a below example or put them here!]

While you wait for the coffee to brew, download free games and other apps through the Discover tab: 20 SB

During commercial breaks, take a featured survey or fill out your survey profile: 60 SB

While standing in line at the grocery store, answer the daily poll: 1 SB

When you’ve finally made it to the gym, watch style, tech and celeb news through the SBTV app: 2 SB for every 10 videos

Just as you’ve put dinner in the oven, your Swagbucks app tells you there’s a new Swag Code!: 3 SB

Before you go to sleep, use the Swagbucks app to shop from your favorite stores. You deserve it!: 100 SB 

By downloading the Swagbucks mobile app, I can earn a free $10 gift card by the end of my week. Who knew playing on my phone could be so productive!

Invite your friends to download the Swagbucks Mobile app so they can start earning their way to free gift cards. It's 100% free to download and 100% easy to use. Its available for both iPhone and Android devices. 

***I earned SB for this post.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Christmas in July. It's Real! (Infographic)

Did you know that Christmas in July is a real thing? People are already saving up for the holidays, and the online rewards site Swagbucks surveyed its members to learn more. Check out these fun facts and start YOUR holiday saving today!

In case you haven't heard me talking about them already, Swagbucks is the fun rewards program that gives you free gift cards and cash for the everyday things you already do online. You can conveniently earn points (called SB) when you shop at your favorite retailers, watch entertaining videos, search the web, answer surveys and find great deals. Redeem your points for free gift cards to your favorite retailers like Amazon or Walmart, to name a few, or get cash back from PayPal!

One of the best parts is that it costs you nothing to join and be a member! You decide how to earn, and you can do it at home or on the go (using their mobile apps)! Join today and start earning for December - it'll be around the corner before you know it...

P.S. I have earned over 10,000 Swagbucks this year, which is the equivalent of $100 in gift cards, just from doing the simple things I do every day, including searching the web and filling out surveys.

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Friday, July 8, 2016

I Spy on My Teens (I Admit It) When They are Online

I have already confessed to being a helicopter mama (over and over again) right here on Mommy Rantings, as well as in my books. Sure, I do hover over my kids, in hopes that my overprotectiveness will keep them safe and sound. I'm not ashamed of it. It is what it is. I am a mama bear.

I am just not built to be a laissez fairs mama - one who stands back and lets her kids learn (often hard) lessons on their own all the time. I've heard this type of parenting termed so many things. One of my favorites is "safety net parents." So, pretty much, this type of parent stands back and waits until the kid needs a safety net...

And there are a lot of parents who think Safety Net Parenting is "normal" compared to Helicopter parenting. But, I have to disagree.

My mother-in-law recently told me, "You can't make all of their decisions for them. You have to start letting them make their own decisions and learn lessons based on their choices." She was chastising me for being frustrated with my oldest son loading himself down with extra curricular activities at school.

She was right, although it was difficult to swallow the words. I did have to back off from hovering over my 16-, 15-, and 14-year-olds and let them start making decisions on their own. If they wanted to load down their schedule with too many after school activities, they would have to live through the madness and come to the conclusion - on their own, without me nagging every step of the way, of course - that they had chosen to participate in too many endeavors.  

Now, with ten kids, understand that I do not have time to hover over every single one of them all of the time. That would be a feat that I would love to challenge anyone to! However, I do tend to make decisions about what they are going to eat, wear, how and when they do their chores, which activities they will participate in, which schools they will attend, what they can do on the internet, and I even want to meet their friends so I know what types of people they are hanging around with at school. Everything. I make their decisions about everything.

Sadly, this has led to my older children not feeling comfortable with taking initiative in their lives. I also believe it has hindered their ability to complete simple tasks, like their chores, without me standing over them and instructing them every step of the way. Not all of my teens are like this, but at least one shows signs of requiring substantial (and often exhaustive) guidance in carrying out some of the most simplest of things.

I have wandered off of the point for a moment, but I will bring it back to what I was going to say in the beginning. As a proud helicopter mama, I admit that I spy on my teens. I listen in on their conversations, whether they are talking through their Chrome Books, tablets, or computers. I will also stand behind them - or around the corner or peering around the edge of a door - to watch what they are doing online. I read their text messages.

I mean, I don't stand for hours spying on each and every one of them. Who has time for that? I certainly don't! But, when they least expect it, I pop in and check out what they are doing.

Now, there are definitely going to be parents who read this and think, That is just wrong! She should trust her kids and let them breathe! You can feel that way all you want, but at least I know what my kids are into, who they hang out with, and that they are not getting caught up in some of the crazy temptations - or even traps - that the internet has lurking in every corner. Sure, I trust them...

Poor Lorin Lafave was a lot like me. She was a helicopter mom, too. Regardless of her hovering and being fully aware of what her 14-year-old son, Breck Bednar, was doing on the computer, he was still murdered by an 18-year-old online predator. If you think I am crazy, you might want to read her story. He was a trustworthy, good kid. It can happen to anyone. Especially if the kids are sheltered and naive.

I will admit it to my kids' faces, too. In fact, they know I do it. And they don't seem to mind a bit. The thing is, if it bothers them that I am listening in on - or reading - their conversations or watching what they are doing, then something is wrong. And I should start reading and watching more.

I am not and will not be ashamed of my hovering mama issue. Lorin Lafave will tell you herself: you can't be too proactive in your kids' lives. You can't hover enough.

I will try my best to heed the advice of my mother-in-law and let them make their own decisions more, but I won't stop spying on them, I will embrace my helicopter mama license as long as I am a mom.

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Back To School With Swagbucks [US ONLY]

While the kids have been out of school, it’s like I’ve been MC Mommy: Entertainment Guru for the past month. As fun as it is, I’m ready for class to resume. 

And although the only part of summer ending that my kids like is Back-To-School shopping, that hefty receipt hangs over my head from the start of July until the middle of September. Didn’t I buy them enough pens and binders last year?!

Well, I think it’s about time for Mommy to be rewarded. 

From now until September 1st, Swagbucks is offering double cash back in the form of points (called SB) when you shop for all your back to school essentials. 

Walmart - Up to 7 SB per $1
Target - Up to 2 SB per $1
eBay - Up to 2 SB per $1
Amazon - Up to 7 SB per $1
Macy’s - Up to 6 SB per $1
Gap - Up to 2 SB per $1
Old Navy - Up to 4 SB per $1
Priceline - Up to 10 SB per $1
Expedia - Up to 8 SB per $1
And so many more

Points can be redeemed for gift cards to stores like Amazon, Walmart, Target or Paypal cash so I can treat myself. 

Who said back to school shopping is all about the kids? Swagbucks also gives you 4% Cash Back at Starbucks, so order your Java Chip Frappuccino tumbler online and treat yo’self when you pick up your kids’ back to school goodies!

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Friday, June 24, 2016

Swagbucks Three For All

Want to make a quick buck? (or six?)

Then it’s time to try Swagbucks! Just in time for Summer Vacation, Swagbucks has announced an another promotion where you can get a $3 (300 SB) Bonus just for signing up through our site and earning your first 300 SB. So open up your umbrella (not in the house!) and put on your slicker and galoshes because it’s about to pour 300 SB Bonuses for you and your family and friends.

New to Swagbucks? Great! It’s a site where you earn free gift cards for the things you already do online. You get points (called SB) and redeem them for PayPal or Visa cash and gift cards from Amazon, Walmart, Target and other great retailers. Here’s how to earn your 300 SB in an hour:
  1. Sign up for free through this link
  2. Watch a few short clips from Top Sports Headlines, World New Headlines, cooking shows, and the Latest from TMZ and earn 26 SB
  3. Take a 5 minute survey for 60 SB and a 13 minute survey for 100 SB. Even if you get DQ’d, you get paid up to five times for a total of 5 SB.
  4. Print a $1 Off Flintstone’s Vitamin Coupon and earn 25 SB
  5. Sign Up for Zulilly's free mailing list and earn 50 SB
  6. Click through entertainment-focused web content with NCrave for 20 minutes and earn 20 SB.
  7. Install the Hulu App on your phone and earn 24 SB.

That’s it! You’ve just earned 300 SB (worth $3 on its own) and you’ll get a $3 Bonus for your effort!

Already a Swagbucks member? Here’s how to get your $3 Bonus:
  1. Refer a friend to Swagbucks between Now and Tuesday, May 31st
  2. Your referral earns 300 SB by April 30th (see above!)
  3. You AND your referral will both be awarded an additional 300 SB each
That’s it! (the 300 SB bonuses will credit by June 5th) So once again, starting today, send out those referrals, a 300 SB Bonus could come in handy for a rainy day!

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Saturday, June 11, 2016

MGC+ Father's Day Sale [US Only]

According to a recent Swagbucks survey, the #1 item dads want for Father’s Day is Gift Cards. Forget the ties and sweaters, give dad what he really wants and earn Cash Back* in the process with MyGiftCardsPlus. Everyone wins!

Plus, from now through June 12th earn Cash Back and a 100 SB bonus** when you purchase Gift Cards to Lowe’s, The Home Depot, AMC, eBay, and Sears.

Make dad feel like this on Father’s Day:

*Cash Back is paid in the form of SB points good for popular gift cards or PayPal cash.

**The SB Bonus Offers apply to one purchase per gift card listed above (Lowe’s, The Home Depot, AMC, eBay, and Sears). This offer expires at 11:59pm PST on June 12th. Your SB will credit when your electronic gift card is delivered.

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Friday, June 3, 2016

Repost: The Co-Sleeping Controversy - Why I Don't Obey the Rules

Once again, I have been "advised" about safe sleeping practices, so I decided it is once again time to repost the Co-Sleeping Controversy. It is frustrating to hear agencies promote certain parenting practices without telling parents the true facts and figures that go along with them.

Without restating everything that I said in my first post, I will leave a link to it here.

I will restate this part:

The Crib vs. Adult Bed Research

Let's talk about the research. And, let's start with Dr. Sears, who was the first person to say that co-sleeping was good for babies - and parents! Dr. Sears also co-slept with his children. He says that when parents ask him, "Where should my baby sleep?", he responds by telling the parent that they should have their baby sleep wherever baby and parent sleep best. Period. 

Dr. McKenna is a well-known SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) researcher who will testify that the adult bed is safer than a crib. His testimony is the result of 30 years of research and you can read his article "Co-Sleeping and Biological Imperatives: Why Human Babies Do Not and Should Not Sleep Alone". But, basically, if you don't want to read the article, Dr. McKenna discusses several topics, including how sleeping next to your baby is "biologically appropriate", different organizations that DO support bed-sharing, and that the family bed environment can be made to be SAFER than the crib.

According to Dr. McKenna, the following organizations support the family bed:
  • The Academy of Breast Feeding Medicine 
  • The USA Breast Feeding Committee 
  • The Breast Feeding section of the American Academy of Pediatrics 
  • La Leche League International 
  • WHO
The common thought amongst these groups, as well as Dr. McKenna, is that our ancestral mothers bed-shared due to breastfeeding. Why shouldn't we?

Dr. Margot Sunderland, the director of education and training from The Centre for Child Mental Health in London agrees with Dr. McKenna's stance on co-sleeping, as well. She says that children whose parents co-slept with them tend to grow up to be calmer, healthier adults, and they also may experience less amounts of stress than children who slept in cribs alone. Her book, The Science of Parenting, explains her opinion on bed-sharing. 

In Dr. Sunderland's book, she uses evidence from 800 different scientific studies to prove her theory, that co-sleeping is by far healthier than an infant sleeping alone. Many of the studies that Dr. Sunderland examined included brain scans to find out how infants' and kids' brains react in particular situations. She says that cortisol, a hormone that is related to stress, is increased in the infant body when they are separated from their parents.

One neurological study even revealed that the brain activity of an infant who is separated from a parent showed similarities to exhibiting physical pain! (And then we have the parents who let their babies CIO - "cry it out"! I'm not trying to judge here, but just imagine putting these two concepts together. Infants who sleep alone in cribs exhibiting signs of physical pain in their brain scans and then the parents practicing the CIO method. What exactly does the baby LEARN from this? When they are in pain, they cry and no one comes to comfort them?)   

Dr. Sunderland says that children should sleep with their parents up until they are 5 years old for maximum benefits and that this long-term co-sleeping is much healthier for children than sleeping alone. 

Meredith F. Small, the author of Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent, says that according to studies, when a mother co-sleeps with her baby, the infant learns how to regulate his or her heartbeat, breathing, muscle movements, and brain wave activity. These same studies revealed that infants who sleep alone experience a difficult time regulating their body functions. These infants are also fussier and have more sporadic breathing. 

Now, the facts and figures:

The Statistics 

I told you that I would back up my choice with real, hard statistics, so you're probably wondering at this point,"Where are the REAL facts and statistics?" After all, all I have done is talk about some doctors' opinions, which goes against the majority of doctors and organizations across America.

First, let's talk about Japan. In Japan, the bed-sharing is a normal practice in their culture. You won't hear a Japanese pediatrician (unless they are practicing in America, of course) claim that the family bed is a big no-no.

Get this: Japan has the lowest SIDS rates in the world. Additionally, the SIDS Global Task Force conducted an international survey which revealed that cultures, like Japan, that practiced the highest amount of bed-sharing and co-sleeping produced the lowest SIDS rates. Food for thought...

Are these facts still too vague for you? No problem, I have more.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission conducted a study about SIDS that was released in 1999. Here's what they came up with:

  • There were 515 cases of accidental deaths of infants in adult beds between 1990 and 1997. If broken down by year, there was an average of 65 infant deaths each year in adult beds.
  • During the same period of time, there were 34,000 total SIDS cases. That breaks down to about 4,250 cases each year. 
So, to look at an average year, we would compare the 65 deaths that occurred in adult beds versus the 4,250 total SIDS cases. I'll figure it out quickly for you. That means that only 1.5% of the total SIDS cases each year occurred in adult beds. And, where did the other deaths occur? The study didn't say it, so we can't necessarily assume that the other 98.5% of infants died in cribs, but wouldn't you say that this "Bed-sharing Is a Big No-No!" is a bit unfounded at this point? 

What needs to be done is a REAL comparison of SIDS deaths in the adult bed versus SIDS deaths in a crib to ensure that there are no misconceptions. Until this type of study is conducted, I still would wager that the majority of the 98.5% of deaths did, in fact, occur in cribs, bassinets, playpens, and other products that were being used in order to avoid the family bed.

I do wish that pediatricians, child services agencies, and the like would provide parents with the real, hard facts rather than a generalized SAFE SLEEPING PRACTICES they tout. Please feel free to read the entire original co-sleeping controversy blog post that I researched and wrote and make the right decision, the safest decision for you and your child, without being forced into something that someone else thinks is best for you. 

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Memorial Day Sale

Fire up the barbecue, break out the lawn chairs, inflate the inner tubes, summer is about to begin! Do you need any supplies for your big weekend, have a summer trip to book, or maybe a new summer wardrobe? Take advantage of all the Memorial Day sales at your favorite retailers and put some cash back in your wallet when you do with the Swagbucks Shop & Earn Memorial Day Sale!

Earn Double Cash Back or more at your favorite retailers:

  • Walmart – 7 SB per $1
  • Sears – 2 SB per $1
  • Kohls – 4 SB per $1
  • Bed Bath & Beyond – 2 SB per $1
  • Gap – 2 SB per $1
  • Lowes – 2 SB per $1
  • Sephora – 5 SB per $1

And many, many more!

Plus, earn Double Cash Back on your summer travel bookings:

  • Booking.com – 6 SB per $1
  • Groupon – 7 SB per $1
  • Living Social – 7 SB per $1
  • Hotels.com – 8 SB per $1
  • Travelocity – 8 SB per $1
  • Expedia – 8 SB per $1

Enjoy your holiday weekend and remember our brave veterans - Happy Memorial Day!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Ulta.com Rewards & Platinum Status - How I Save Money Online on Beauty Products (And my beauty recommendations)

Yes, I just found Ulta.com and YES, I love them! The funny thing is, a month ago, you wouldn't see me using makeup nor hair products. I really could not did not find the time. All it took was chopping my hair from waist-length to shoulder length to get me started on a crazy Ulta spree.

Now, I am addicted!

I found Ulta.com to be a little confusing until I played around for a while and did some reading of FAQ pages. All you have to do is tell me about rewards and I am all ears. So...

Before I even get to the rewards system, I want to tell you that I am an extremely frugal online shopper. I will fill five online shopping carts to compare pricing, tax, and shipping for the same products to see where I will get the best deal. After doing this probably over a hundred times, I have decided that bouncing around from online store to online store will not get me the true pricing I am looking for.

I will get to the reason in a bit.

Price Matching

Also, if you are physically shopping in brick and mortar stores, you are probably missing out on the best pricing, unless you are price comparing on your smartphone. In that case, you might be fortunate enough to be shopping in a store that offers price matching. If not, well...let's just say you most likely could have found better pricing online. I say that because I have been watching prices on all types of products in the stores and doing my own comparisons to online prices. In many cases, I could have found a better price online.


However, ordering online brings in another aspect - shipping - that you have to take into consideration. Lots of online stores offer free standard shipping if you order over a certain price point. If you are only buying one or two things, though, you might not hit that price point, which means you have to factor shipping into the price comparisons.

Hint, hint: I never pay shipping.

Back to Ulta.com

Sure, at Ulta.com, you have to spend $50 to get free shipping, but I find that if I plan ahead, I can hit that price point pretty darn quick, which means I can compare exact price for price online. But, if I plan ahead even better with products that I love and know I am going to need in the future, I can get unbelievable deals.

For instance, Ulta always has buy 2 or 3, get 1 free and buy 1 get one 50% off deals. When I see a product I am infatuated with and getting low on, it makes sense to get it when these deals pop up. That's where the savings really starts.

Here's an example with my current order

I just recently tried a sample of John Frieda Beach Blond Sea Waves Salt Spray and fell in love. The aroma is dreamy, leaving your hair smell almost shea buttery and when scrunched in my short hair, gives it awesome volume and incredible beachy waves with no frizz. I had to get some more!

Buy 2 Get 1 Free

Fortunately, that product just happened to be a buy 2, get 1 free deal, so I went ahead and ordered two of them! That left one thing...what was I going to get for free? Although I do love my new Kenra hair spray, I had heard great stuff and wanted to try John Frieda Sheer Blonde Crystal Clear Hairspray. After all, who doesn't need two hair sprays they can count on? And what better way than to try it for free?

Buy 1, Get 1 50%

I also needed a light "touch of summer" type of moisturizer, because...well, we are heading into summer fast at this point and it helps to have a glimmer of a tan and a good moisturizer. When I realized that the Hempz products were buy 1, get 1 50% off, I was ecstatic. It has been about ten years since I've used Hempz products, mostly because I stopped buying all of that cool stuff for a while. I ended up ordering the Hempz Touch of Summer Daily Moisturizer and the Original Herbal Moisturizer. (Side note: the aroma of Hempz original lotion is easy to fall in love with and the consistency is perfect, I can't wait to try all the different yummy smells!)

5 Products for Under $50! (And Free Shipping!) AND a Coupon Code!

Now, I have 5 products in my shopping cart. My subtotal is $52.23 before tax (which I am going to pay pretty much anywhere I shop online) and I qualify for their free shipping. But, that's not all the savings yet. A quick search for "Ulta coupon codes" and I found a coupon for $3.50 off an order over $10. And the crazy thing is, I STILL get the free shipping even when the total is reduced to under $50 with the coupon code!

You Won't Find Them This Cheap

Bringing my grand total to $48.73. Now, this may not sound impressive until you price compare to the lowest prices on the internet for all 5 of these products. I spent less than $10 per product! You won't get Hempz products for that cheap!

Reward Points

THEN, my order will be translated into points. Right now, Ulta is running a promotion where I will get two time the points my order would have originally received. Before this order, I had placed two $60 on average orders and have enough points for $6 off of an order. This order will add more points, and rather than spend them, I would rather let them add up.

Platinum Status

AAAAAND...when you rack up the spending to $450, which I can see easily happening within a year, you become Platinum status and get double points for every purchase as long as you maintain your Platinum status. From what I have gathered in forums, once you reach Platinum status, you remain at that status for a year. However, you have to reach the $450 threshold of spending again that next year to maintain it the year after. Can you imagine the amount of products you can get, though, with the deals, the freebies, the coupon codes, and the rewards? It's a beauty lover's dream!

You also get double points in your birthday month and I'm sure you get more rewards than I even know about. Feel free to speak up in the comments if you happen to have any more information!

Oh, I forgot to mention! MORE Free Stuff!

In my last order, I took advantage of some awesome FREEBIES that Ulta had up for grabs. I haven't received it in the mail yet, but am impatiently waiting for it!

I already make sure I spend the $50 to get free shipping, so it was nothing to add another $10 to get the FREE 22-pc Beauty Bag with any $60 purchase, a $100 value! (Or so they say...and, sorry, but I grabbed that promo before it was gone!) I can't wait to get it, though, and check out all of the freebie samples! THEN, I am also getting a FREE Hello Beautiful Deluxe Palette w/ any $16.50 ULTA Beauty Cosmetics, Brushes, and Beauty Tools purchase (this one is still up for grabs!).

But, wait! There's more FREE stuff! At the end of every order, you get to pick a free sample of a product Ulta is offering. I elected for the Skincare sampler.

In that order, I got 10 products for $60.88! And, I am nearly peeing my pants waiting for the box, which, for some reason, UPS shipped from Indianapolis, IN to Buffalo, then to East Syracuse, then back to Buffalo. Weird. Explain that one! Either way, I should see it by Tuesday!!!

Savings for Beauty Lovers

So, you can see how the savings can add up if you are a beauty products lover. Sure you have to be a frugal sale-hawking online shopper at Ulta to get the best deals. Not everything is on sale all of the time. You may not even find the best pricing or any free products to take advantage of, but my point is that if you are smart and you shop the deals and reap the rewards, Ulta.com might become your best friend for all you need beauty. I know it's mine.

I'll be Platinum sooner than later!

**This is not a sponsored post. I am not an affiliate, you won't find any affiliate links in this post. Just me sharing my opinion and experiences, as usual.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Walmart Summer Sale

When I hear from loyal Swagbucks members about their favorite Swagbucks Shop & Earn destination, the answer invariably comes back Walmart. Every extra penny saved matters and it's basically impossible to beat any cash back on top of Walmart's low prices. So when I heard that Swagbucks is giving you more for every dollar you spend at Walmart, I had to share! That's right, Swagbucks is making earning Cash Back easier and giving away $1,000 in prizes when you Shop & Earn at Walmart.

Starting today through May 31st you’ll earn up to 7% Cash Back on your summer shopping needs at Walmart. Enjoy savings in your favorite summer categories including:

  • Home
  • Clothing
  • Toys
  • Baby & Toddler
  • Electronics
  • Patio & Garden
  • Sports & Outdoors
  • Autos & Tires
  • Cell Phones
  • Food

Plus, be entered into their Walmart Summer Sweeps! For every $25 you spend at Walmart from May 16th through May 31st you’ll be entered to into their $1,000 Giveaway!

  • 1 Grand Prize: $500
  • 20 Runner Up Prizes: $25.*

The more you spend, the better your odds!

*All prizes to be paid out in SB.

Promotion ends 5/31/15

**Only valid purchases of eligible products will earn SB. The following are not eligible for SB: Purchases from Sam's Club and Samsclub.com, pharmacy, travel, financial services, tires, optical, Wal-Mart Connect internet service, gift cards, online gift cards and items purchased with Walmart's One-Hour Guarantee. For all purchases except for tires, please allow up to 32 days from your date of purchase for your SB to be awarded. See Walmart's Store Page for coupon & eligibility details. Returns and/or invalid purchases will not be eligible for SB or sweeps entries.

***Walmart Award Details: Tires: 7 SB per dollar****, Baby, Home & Clothing: 5 SB per dollar, Home Improvement, Sports & Outdoors, Pets, Household Essentials, Beauty, Party & Occasions, Patio & Garden, Food, Health, Jewelry, UNNAV, Gifts & Registry, Toys, Cells, Auto & Tires, Other, Office, Seasonal, Electronics: 3 SB per dollar, Photo Center, Video Games, Books, Movies & TV and Music: 1 SB per dollar. You earn 2 SB just for visiting Walmart from Swagbucks.

****7 SB per dollar for tire purchases is only available for a limited time. Tire purchases are usually not eligible for SB. Confirmation for tire purchases will be reported separately from other Walmart purchases and may not show up in your ledger for up to 45 days from purchase. 

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Monday, May 9, 2016

Shaken Baby Syndrome a Farce! New Film Exposes Myths, Opponents Want Film Silenced

We have all heard the warnings. How can we not? If you have a baby at the hospital, you are given a packet full of information about Shaken Baby Syndrome. You may even be required to watch a movie about it (I know I had to, every time I had a new baby).

Go to your child's pediatrician, and I bet you will get similar pamphlets and packets there, as well. If you get supplemental food from WIC (Women, Infants, Children), rest assured, the counselors there will also warn you about the dangers of Shaken Baby Syndrome.

A Syndrome Ripping Families Apart & Criminalizing Caretakers

Parents, babysitters, and other caretakers of children have been thrown in jail for harsh time over the Shaken Baby Syndrome issue - for murder! Children are being ripped away from their families! Most of us have heard at least one tragic story - and I can attest that I have been outraged that someone could do that to an infant!

But, there's more to the story than "experts" like American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome want us to hear.

In essence, Shaken Baby Syndrome is a farce.

Film Exposes the Truth

Doctors and law professors, however, have been challenging the entire theory of Shaken Baby Syndrome for many years. The certitude that once surrounded Shaken Baby Syndrome has been dissolving for a long time now.

 A new film, produced and directed by Meryl Goldsmith, a Los Angeles-based filmmaker, and her cousin, an investigative reporter, Susan Goldsmith, is catching heat for exposing the corruption behind much of the Shaken Baby Syndrome diagnosis. One of the most shocking revelations I heard in the film was:

If an infant or child is shaken enough to cause brain injury, that child would suffer neck injury first. The majority of infants and children in the many cases wherein caretakers were criminally charged for injuring or killing a child, there were no signs of neck injury.  

Check out the trailer:

Outrage in the Medical Community

The film's focus is to uncover other medical conditions that could mimic the results of Shaken Baby Syndrome, but film festivals that have considered including the film have been accused of promoting child abuse and threatened with litigation. Many of the opponents to the film have not even viewed it!

Says Susan Goldsmith:

“This is a theme in our film—how the proponents of shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma have tried to silence their critics. And that theme is extending to here and now, to our documentary. I was expecting it. We thought we were helping by uncovering these other medical conditions that can look like abuse, but are not [abuse]. It actually threatens the entire shaken baby syndrome working group and industrial complex.” 
Here is a description of the film, taking from the official website:

Audrey Edmunds, mother of three, spent 11 years in prison for killing a baby she never harmed. And she is not alone. What happens when widely held beliefs based on junk science lead to the convictions of innocent people?

The Syndrome is an explosive documentary following the crusade of a group of doctors, scientists, and legal scholars who have uncovered that “Shaken Baby Syndrome,” a child abuse theory responsible for hundreds of prosecutions each year in the US, is not scientifically valid. In fact, they say, it does not even exist.

Filmmaker Meryl Goldsmith teams with Award-winning investigative reporter Susan Goldsmith to document the unimaginable nightmare for those accused and shine a light on the men and women dedicating their lives to defending the prosecuted and freeing the convicted.

The Syndrome uncovers the origins of the myth of “Shaken Baby Syndrome.” It unflinchingly identifies those who have built careers and profited from this theory along with revealing their shocking pasts. Shaken baby proponents are determined to silence their critics while an unthinkable number of lives are ruined.
Well, If It's Not Shaken Baby Syndrome...

There are dozens of conditions that could look just like Shaken Baby Syndrome. Vitamin deficiencies, Sickle cell anemia, Reye's syndrome, and even bacterial infections or viral infections can mimic what Shaken Baby Syndrome looks like. And, that's just for starters.

Vaccine-Induced Rickets

If you know me, you know how I feel about vaccines. Imagine putting those feelings aside and allowing doctors to administer vaccinations to your child, only to be accused of shaking and seriously injuring or killing your child - under the premise of Shaken Baby Syndrome. 

Dr. David Ayoub, a practicing radiologist from Springfield, Illinois, and an expert on infantile Rickets, has linked healing fractures in children that were originally diagnosed as Shaken Baby Syndrome to infantile Rickets. MISDIAGNOSED is the key word here. What was actually vaccine-induced Rickets was originally misdiagnosed as someone who had abused their child!

We're talking hundreds of misdiagnosed cases!

It's time we fight to let the truth come out! Of course our government and large agencies like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome don't want us to know the truth! Our legal system has punished a plethora of loving parents and other respectable caretakers of children based on the farce of Shaken Baby Syndrome.

They want us to think that what they have done is OK! It's not.

You can support The Syndrome film by heading to their website and finding out when you can attend a viewing. If it's not in your area, you can follow them on Facebook, share this post, and help spread the word.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Surviving Alzheimer's #BookReview #BlogTour

Surviving Alzheimer's With Friends, Facebook, and a Really Big Glass of Wine by Dayna Steel (with Heather Rossiello) is a journey of a daughter and mother, written from an interesting perspective.

Don't forget the wine.

While I felt it started out slow, Surviving Alzheimer's quickly grabs you and pulls you in with the dry - or dark, as the author calls it - humorous Facebook posts and the admission of using humor to squelch the "tears and fears."


Dayna Steele
Author of Surviving Alzheimer’s With Friends, Facebook, and A Really Big Glass of Wine

1. The book chronicles your mother’s illness through your Facebook posts. Did you include every post in the book? What was the selection process like?

My co-author Heather Rossiello kept a database of every single post and every comment – there were literally thousands of comments on some posts. We went through them all after I lost Mom and tried to keep only the posts and comments that

1) Included informative information for caregivers
2) made us laugh out loud, and,
3) made us think.

2. After each post you include comments that your community left. Did you pick those or did you have other people help you?

We went through every comment, sometimes two or three times, to make sure we adhered to our own guidelines above. This book wasn’t a memoir so much as a help tool for others in the future.

3. What was your relationship with Alzheimer’s disease before your mother’s diagnosis? Did you have any preconceptions about the illness before you started this journey with her?

I like to think I am a fairly well educated and informed person. I knew what Alzheimer’s was and I knew it was called “The Long Goodbye.” Then the diagnosis – and I realized I had no idea how stressful, sad, irritating, confusing, etc this disease is. No one tells you the really rough stuff like the possible violence or cleaning up your own mother’s feces or any number of things like this. You also don’t realize how all encompassing it becomes physically and mentally until you actually have to live it.

4. How did the support of your Facebook community impact you through this hard time?

Facebook became my support group. My Facebook community gave me ideas, information, suggestions and laughter and love. And, once I wrote a particularly hard post, I would let go of the negative emotions. It was very cathartic to write and share.

5. When did you get the idea to turn your Facebook posts into a book?

Literally when so many people started commenting. “I hope you put this in a book.” In fact, the first couple of pages in the book are those words of encouragement from so many followers.

6. How has your Facebook and local community supported you through the creation of the book?

Just constantly encouraging me to compile it all in a book. And giving me permission to laugh and cry and get mad – over and over and over.

7. How did you decide what materials to include in the second half of the book?

The second half of the book is all resources I wish I had at the beginning. There are sections written by people who helped me along the way: a neurologist, document expert, Long Term Care insurance rep, an assisted living advisor and more. I also included a list of questions everyone should ask their loved ones and a section where caregivers and their caregivers talk about what it is like on that side.

8. You coauthored the book with Heather Rossiello. What was her role in the book’s process?

I found I could not live it and relive it at the same time – it was too daunting and depressing. Heather came in about half way through the journey for a totally unrelated reason – she had some copies of my In the Classroom book she wanted signed for teachers and we met for coffee. She asked what I was working on and I told her about the book idea and my challenges with getting it done. She asked if she could take a look and see what could be done – and then did it! (book link - http://www.amazon.com/Classroom-Success-educate-inspire-teachers/dp/1508836221/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8)

9. What are you hoping readers will get out of Surviving Alzheimer’s?

Someone once said to me there isn’t a users’ manual on what to do or what is going to happen when you get this diagnosis. I hope this book does become the manual for what to do and how to do it for caregivers everywhere.

10. You’ve been named the spokesperson for Caring.com. How do you hope to aid those dealing with Alzheimer’s in this role? *Please note it is Caring.com not Care.com

As the Chief Caring Expert for Caring.com, I hope to be able to guide others to this great resource I wish I had known about early on. Not only would I have been able to read the reviews and make a better informed decision on where to put mom but I also would have had access to so much content for caregivers. There is an answer to just about every question you may have as well as support groups for Alzheimer’s and even more on the site. And, it’s free. Alzheimer’s is a very expensive disease and when you can find any sort of fee help, that’s the best.


  • Hashtag #survivingalzheimers

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