Category Archives: Main Page Post

Why Even New Bloggers Should Never Work For Free

As a professional blogger, social media influencer and digital marketing strategist for almost 10 years, there is something that really gets under my skin.  I rarely see it myself, because I nipped it in the bud many years ago. However, blogging forums are peppered with posts from new bloggers sharing how they received an email from a PR rep asking them to promote a service or app without any mention of compensation. Even over the internet, I can see the quivering lip of the new blogger, as they meekly ask, if this is okay.  Some will try to justify it by saying  they really have no right to ask for compensation, because their blog is brand new.

It isn’t just bloggers, who are routinely asked to “donate” their services. Photographers, Magicians, Vocalists, Graphic Artists and DJ’s  are often asked by friends to provide their services for free. These well meaning friends will even go so far as to tell them it will be great experience, they will make new contacts and build their portfolio. The way they spin it, they should be so grateful to provide their services for nothing. When people get something for free, they don’t put much value in it. By accepting the gig, they are putting a nail in the coffin of their career. The bottom line is, if they want to be treated like a professional, they need to start acting like one!

Even the newest blogger needs to quit acting like their work has no value, and their time is not precious.  This is easier said than done because many newbies have a hard time standing their ground. They may even try to justify taking the job for free, telling themselves it is a portfolio builder.

I will-not work for free

I tell new bloggers they are going to need a strong backbone. Next , they need to respond to the email  with confidence.  Their response should let the PR rep know that they think the app or service sounds like it would be a great fit for their blog audience and social media followers.  Further more, they need to explain they are skilled at creating buzz worthy content that will drive targeted traffic to the brand’s website and social media accounts. Lastly, they need to ask what the compensation is for promoting this content on their blog and social media channels,  I guarantee Gloria from  XYZ Media is getting paid to find the bloggers and social media influencers to promote this, so why shouldn’t they?

I also prep them about how to respond if they receive a reply from Gloria stating the client has a very small budget and while they are not able to provide compensation for this campaign, they have many other clients and may contact them in the future for paid promotions.

Now, they say that for a reason, they want the new blogger to think, if they throw this away, they will never hear from this agency with any other opportunities.  It usually works like a charm, and the rep gets free promotion that they then charge their client for. To make it worse, the blogger goes on the agency’s  “Will Blog For Free” List.  Their name will never make it to big budget clients, because by accepting the free gig, it showed the rep  they are not a professional blogger.

The bottom line is, if  you  want to be taken seriously, you need to respond confidently, that you can definitely create buzz worthy content to promote the product or service, but you don’t work for free. Go even further, turn the tables and ask them if they work for free? Don’t be afraid, let them know, you are well aware they are not a volunteer at XYZ Media.

I’m not saying you should never volunteer for worthwhile things, but make sure you are not being taken advantage of. The perception some have of bloggers, is that what we do is so easy, or of such little value, we should be glad to have some content to post.  They want us to think, they are really doing us a favor.

It is the exact opposite, bloggers are powerful influencers brands can plug-in with to have their product or service promoted to the blog’s audience which likely is their target market. Bloggers have the  power to create and amplify stories, experiences, services, images and ideas through their posts as well as ingniting a social media fire storm of tweets, pins, posts, likes and shares on every major social media channel.

Start valuing your work! The next time you get an email from any rep or agency trying to make you feel special because they picked you to promote their client for free, just ask what the blogger compensation is.  Go on, you can do it.  Be proud of your work.  When you feel the butterflies, just ask yourself if the client they are pitching you about is paying them for their services.  You know the answer is yes, so why would you let them take advantage of you?

Have you ever dealt with someone asking you to do your craft for free like they were doing you a favor?  How did you respond?  Please share your stories, I would love to hear them.





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Filed under Blogging, Education, Life, Main Page Post, Mommy Ramblings, Resources, Tech

HGTV Magazine Blogger Block Party Highlights! #BloggerBlockParty

Who doesn’t love a great summer block party? Especially one held in the Big Apple! Over 500 people attended the second HGTV Magazine Blogger Block Party on August 17th. The event was timed to align with NY NOW, the fashion-forward, design-driven home and lifestyle show in New York City attended by the hottest lifestyle, entertaining, food and home bloggers.

HGTV Block Party Sign

The friendly neighborhood format of this summer celebration featured engaging demonstrations including:

  • Editor vs. Blogger Flea Market Flips Challenge featuring Brooklyn Craft Company’s Brett Bara and HGTV Magazine’s Lifestyle Editor Jodi Kahn, presented by Benjamin Moore
  • DIY Art as seen in the DIY Network Blog Cabin with lifestyle expert, Laurie March
  • Easy Paint Fixes with licensed contractor Jason Cameron, presented by Wagner
  • Upcycle & You with green lifestyle expert Danny Seo, presented by Wilsonart
  • Designer Downloads with designer Danielle Colding, presented by Stanton Carpet
  • Design Trends for 2016 with designer Genevieve Gorder

HGTV Block Party Benjamin Moore

HGTV Blogger Block Party Totes


HGTV Block Party personality


HGTV Block Party

There were great interactive activities for the attendees to engage in like:

  • A Chinet Place Setting Challenge
  • Gold Peak Iced Tea throughout the day
  • The Delta “HappiMess” Terrerium Station
  • The sharable shopping board and lounge
  • Wagner Spray Booth
  • The Benjamin Moore Paint Party
  • A chance to win at the Snuggle ‘Guess the Flower’ wheel and Cuisinart giveaway
  • Products directly such as the Tempur-Pedic day bed, Stanton Carpet, Wilsonart countertop samples, Secret samples and the Nutrish ‘Cat Tent’
  • A socially-enabled step-and-repeat with Instaprint social photo booth

HGTV Camp Meow

HGTV Blogger Block Party  Overstock

HGTV Block Party Tempur-Pedic

HGTV Block Party Delta


HGTV Block Party Snuggle

“HGTV Magazine’s Blogger Block Party is such a fun event!  It’s the perfect opportunity to connect with influential bloggers, show them some great products and let them get hands-on with them! Did you attend? I would love to hear all about it if you did. Share it in the comments.

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Giveaway-Win an Orkin Back-To-School Prize Pack #LearnWithOrkin

Schools is in session! Bug school that is! Orkin is back with Household Pests 101 featuring some of Orkin’s scienctific knowledge of pests. Don’t despair or get sweaty because The Orkin Man is here to help you #LearnWithOrkin so those household pest don’t teach you a lesson!  After you take the quiz below we are rewarding you with a Back-To-School Prize Pack Giveaway!  But first the quiz! Come on, it will be fun!


Back-to-school time is a great time to #LearnWithOrkin about pest prevention. Take the Pest Prevention Pop Quiz to find out if you know how to think like a pest!

Orkin uses the latest technology and unparalleled training to develop an effective treatment that’s right for your needs. To learn more about our pest control based in science or to schedule an inspection, visit or call 1-800-800-ORKIN.

Connect with Orkin on Social Media:

Orkin on Facebook:
Ask The Orkin Man® on Twitter:
Orkin YouTube channel:

Watch the “Bite Back at Mosquitoes” video, as well as the rest of Orkin’s How-To video series, to get the most up-to-date knowledge on dealing with those pesky home invaders.
Download the “Protect Your Home” Checklist for valuable tips on keeping pests at bay.

Enter The Back-To-School Prize Pack Giveaway!

Back-To-School isn’t just about the kids. Orkin knows that moms are on the go more than ever and wants to make sure you’re all set when driving the kids to soccer practice, racing to make it to school on time or maybe finding a minute for yourself!

The Orkin Back-To-School Prize Pack includes:

One (1) Silver USB Portable Charger – We know you’re on the go from sun up to sun down and you can’t afford not to be accessible. This emergency charger is small, sleek and can help your phone keep up with your busy lifestyle!

One (1) Double Wall Stainless Steel Travel Mug w/ lid – Your car isn’t the only thing that needs fueling up in the morning … this stainless steel travel mug is a great way to ensure your morning coffee is always within arm’s reach.

One (1) Orkin “Protect Your Home” PDF Checklist – This handy checklist from the experts at Orkin will help you think like a pest in order to help protect your home from pests.


Enter Now

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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Back To School Giveaway-Learning Resources Readiness Kit!

While I do not want to think about it because the idea of summer coming to an end is too much to fathom, we are approaching a new school year. Our kids don’t start back until the second week of September, so we still have a few weeks of summer vacation left. With that said, I know the importance of practicing learning skills with my children during the summer. It is so important to review their mastered skills and take them to the next level in preparation for their new grade level.  We have been doing that this summer.

One great resource I found was the All Ready for 1st Grade Readiness Kit. This kit from Learning Resources is packed full of colorful, hands-on counters, activities and more to help your child master the skills necessary for 1st grade.

Learning Resources Logo

All REady For 1st Grade


all ready for  1st grade box back

We love this kit! One of my son’s favorite activities are the math cards with the ocean counters The cards give my son a math problem to solve using the counters. So for instance, it could say 4 starfish and 4 crabs went to the park. Each creature brought a friend. How many sea creatures in all went to the park? There are lots of scenarios like the one I just made up on the included cards. Each two-sided card has two problems to solve.

All ready for 1st Grade contents

There’s  a very complete parent’s guide structured upon an easy-to-follow Ready, Set, Go lesson framework, which eases your child into grade-appropriate subjects through engaging activities and games that progress in difficulty. This gives your child a sense of accomplishment as he masters easier levels and moves on to more difficult levels.

The kit comes with a dry erase marker and a write and wipe Activity book that your child uses for many of the activities. When teaching my son how to tell time the clock manipulative  has dry erase capability. This makes it easy for my son to write down a certain time and then erase as we move on to another time for him to figure out.

All Ready For  1st Grade Luke

The writing journal is great as are the writing prompt cards. These cards show a picture of something and then a question of -What could happen next?  The word family cubes and measuring fish provide lots of grade appropriate skills activities for kids. My son loves this kit and it’s fun for him. It does not feel like a chore or homework to him but he really has fun with it and so do I!

All ready for first grade site imageAll Ready For 1st Grade Readiness Kit

• 36-Page writing journal
• 20 Double-sided story starter cards
• 20 Ocean counters
• 10 Double-sided word problem cards
• 6 Word family cubes
• 6 Measuring fish
• 1 Write-and-wipe clock
• 32-Page Parent Guide (over 60 leveled activities)
• 24-Page write-and-wipe Activity Book
• Storage box

Storage box measures 10’’L x 3’’W x 12’’H


Learning Resources is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win Readiness Kit int their choice of preschool, kindergarten or 1st grade. Thank you to Learning Resources for the review product and for sponsoring this awesome giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

all ready for preschool kitAll ready for K kit

Learning Resources, Preschool, Kindergarten or 1st Grade Readiness Kit Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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Get Organized With These DIY Rain Gutter Bookshelves #Back2SchoolReady

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Back2SchoolReady #CollectiveBiasback to school collage

We are a book loving family. My kids love getting new books even more than new toys! No bedtime routine is complete without us reading aloud together and it’s one of my favorite things. Sharing a great book with my children, the discussions they spur and that quality time we spend reading is priceless.

This time of year has people focusing on Back to School. Thinking about school supplies and clothes shopping as well as getting your pantry and freezer stocked with quick, nutritious breakfast, lunch and after-school snack foods. Kellogg’s has lots of products to choose from to help with that.

I was in Walmart recently and in their seasonal aisle it was stocked with  like Nutri-Grain breakfast bars, Pop-Tarts, Rice Krispies Treats and more.

kellogg's In Store Collage

Over in the frozen section there were so many boxes of delicious Eggo Waffles to choose from!  As I was making my selections, I saw something amazing on the boxes! Each specially marked box was redeemable for a free Scholastic Book!

Kelloggs Eggo In Store Collage

Great Kellogg’s product and free books made me a very happy camper.

Kelloggs in store cart

My kids love Eggo Waffles and they are easy to make even on busy school mornings.

Kelloggs 4


kellogs 4


Nutri-Grain breakfast bars let you enjoy a nutritious and delicious breakfast on the go! They are a favorite choice  for this busy mom. My kids love them for breakfast, in their lunchbox and even as an after school snack.

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Kelloggs 3

Rice Krispies Treats are another favorite lunch box snack for my boys. Who can forget one of my favorites growing up, Pop-Tarts! They are still going strong and one my kids choose for a quick snack or after school treat. With Kellogg’s there is never a reason to skip breakfast! After all, it is the most important meal of the day!

Kelloggs 6

This Kellogg’s free Scholastic book promotion is truly the icing on the Kellogg’s cake! Every specially marked box has a code inside redeemable for a Scholastic Book of your choice. This free book promotion is great even if you don’t have little ones. Think about donating the books to less fortunate children and share the gift of reading. Donate them to a school, day care or nursery school in the area. For teachers this is a great way to get books for your classroom. I am so excited about this, can you tell?

It is so easy to redeem the codes for these free books. If you do not have one already you just set up a Kellogg’s Family Rewards Account HERE and then just put your code in and choose from a drop down list the store you purchased the product from. You can then enter more codes and when you’re done order your books.

Kelloggs 1

You can choose hard copy or eBooks with your codes. You can choose to donate a book to the school of your choice online. You can only donate hard copy books. When you donate a book to the school of your choice it will ship in an envelope that says it was generously donated by your family. All codes must be redeemed within 14 days of purchase. All books are shipped free of charge. Spanish titles are also available.

It is easy to choose your books and you can select by reading level. Have your child choose books that interest them. You can easily add all kinds of topics and reading level books to your home library. Having a good variety of books encourages kids to read.

We just redeemed 5 codes and ordered 2 Magic School Bus Books, A Clifford Book, 100 Most Feared Creatures and There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed A Book! We are excited to get them!

You can also buy direct at and receive free book purchases from purchases made between 7/21/15-9/11/15.  Look for Buy Now button HERE for a list of all eligible items. E-commerce redemptions are made via receipt scanning. See full details at the HERE link above.  Remember whether purchased in store or online you must redeem your code within 14 days to get your free book!

With all the great books we have and all the new free Scholastic books that are on their way to us, we needed some more book storage.  If you’re in the same boat, I want to share an easy, fast, inexpensive book storage solution that looks great too!

These book shelves that my husband and I recently put up in our son’s room are made from inexpensive vinyl rain gutters you can pick up in most home improvement stores.

gutter 11

They are very inexpensive, we purchased a 10′ rain gutter for under $4.  You need end caps and they are about $3 a piece and sold in sets of two. We used screws with anchors to attach them to the wall. For less than $10 each we had two 3′ book shelves and another 4′ book shelf we are putting by his bed. We love the results so much we are putting many more of these up.  In our music room we plan to put some up to hold all the music books.

I would advise you purchase the vinyl rain gutters over the aluminum for a number of reasons.  First and foremost they are safer, no sharp edges for kids or adults to get cut on, no shards of metal from drilling for screws or cutting. They will not get dented or bent the way aluminum gutters will. There is no crimping that needs to be done to attach the end caps as the vinyl end caps fit on easily and cleanly.

We cut the 10 foot gutter up into two 3 ft. pieces and one 4 ft. piece. There are lots of options with these gutters and you can even get connecting pieces to let them wrap a corner.

When we brought them home we just attached the end caps to each 3 foot section.


Gutter 3

Gutter 4

Gutter 5

Next, my husband easily drilled three holes for the screws. We put 1 screw on each end and one in the middle.  We used wall anchor screws and we added a washer that you fit under the lip of the gutter on the inside of the shelf and stops the screw from puckering the vinyl on the interior of the shelf.

Gutter 6

Then he put the shelf on the wall, leveled it and marked the screw holes. He then put the anchors in the wall. After that he just attached them to the wall with the screws and we were good to go.

Gutter 7

gutter 8

gutter 9

Gutter 10

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Easy inexpensive book shelves made from vinyl rain gutters! #storage #books #diy #Back2SchoolReady #Ad #mommyramblings

A video posted by Mommy Ramblings (@mommyramblingsblog) on

These rain gutter shelves are super sturdy, hold lots of book and look great! Let me know what you think? What do you do for your book storage?


Filed under DIY, Family, Home & Garden, Main Page Post, Shoppertunity

#BeeBold For Bees & Join Friends Of The Earth BeeAction Campaign! We Did!

BeeBold Campaign

I love being outside this time of year because there’s so much beauty to be seen.  I have my perennials exploding with color, gold and rose finches by the dozens, cardinals, doves, robins, wrens, chickadees, woodpeckers, swallowtail butterflies and even a pair of majestic bald eagles that nest on our lake all around. Of course along with the birds we have our helpers the bees who keep our flowers, vegetables and fruits pollinated.
BeeBold 4 mr
I am very opposed to any type of pesticide use that is not natural or organic.  Did you know that bees are dying at alarming rates due to the use of pesticides that are toxic to bees called neonic pesticides. Did you know that many bee friendly plants you can buy have neonic pesticides in them? Neonic pesticides are one of the most widely used class of insecticides in the world and are manufactured by Bayer and Syngenta.

Bees are crucial for our food system.  Are you aware that bees and other pollinators  are essential for two-thirds of the food crops we eat everyday such as almonds, squash, cucumbers, apples, oranges, blueberries, and peaches.

One out of every three bites of food we eat is pollinated by honeybees. The land around our home is a pesticide free zone and we garden organically and the many sunflowers, perennials and vegetables and fruits we have growing all over are flourishing thanks to bees.

Neonics are also harming other helpful insects and animals critical to sustainable food production and healthy ecosystems, like wild bees, butterflies, dragonflies, lacewings, and ladybugs,birds,earthworms,mammals and aquatic insects. There is an urgent need to restrict neonics in the United States and Canada.
Bee Bold Campaign 2

Bees contribute over $20 billion to the U.S. economy and $217 billion to the global economy. Neonics are widely used in the U.S. on 140 crops and for cosmetic use in gardens. Neonics can last in soil, water and the environment for months to years to come. Neonics can kill bees outright and make them more vulnerable to pests, pathogens and other stressors while impair their foraging and feeding abilities, reproduction and memory.

BeeBold Campaign 7
Beekeepers have lost an average of 30% of their hives in recent years, with some beekeepers losing all of their hives and many leaving the industry. This is too high to be sustainable. Recent losses are staggering making it difficult for beekeepers to stay in business and for farmers to meet their pollination needs for important crops like almonds and berries.
Bee Bold Campaign 5
Friends of the Earth is helping to do something about the declining bee populations and the use of neonic pesticides. Bringing awareness of the dangers of using neonic pesticides and with their “bee’n’bee” kits that allow people to create a bee oasis in their backyards.
Beebold 5 mr

BeeAction-Create A Bee Friendly Yard:

Friends of the Earth U.S. had “bee kits” and “bee’n’bee” houses. The kits contain organic sunflower seeds and resources, a bee-safe and pesticide-free zone aluminum yard sign and other informational materials. The “bee’n’bee”kits will include a mason bee house and resources to maintain the house and create pollinator friendly habitat.


Both kits will include resources that will allow people to get more involved with Friends of the Earth and its #BeeAction Campaign. The goal is that after taking action in their own backyards through the “bee map” and kits, individuals and families will use it to connect and stay engaged with Friends of the Earth and the campaign on marketplace and local, state and federal organizing around protecting bees and other essential pollinators.


We recently received a “bee’n’bee” kit with a mason bee house and resources to create a pollinator friendly habitat. It is advised to hang the mason house on a tree, fence or your house about 3-6 feet above the ground in an area that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. It is also advisable to have a wide range of annuals and perennials for the pollinators we are attracting.

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BeeBold MR 2
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Some Good News:

  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it will phase out neonics by 2016
  • More than a twenty nurseries, landscaping companies and retailers across the U.S. are taking steps to eliminate bee harming pesticides from their garden plants and their store
  •  BJ’s Wholesale Club , announced they will require vendors to remove neonics from plants by the end of 2014 or else they will carry warning labels.
  • Home Depot,  has decided to label plants with neonicotinoids and is working with its suppliers to “find alternative insecticides for protecting live goods and bees.
  • Lowe’s,  made a public commitment to eliminate neonicotinoid pesticides from its stores including products and plants treated with them, redouble existing integrated pest management practices for suppliers and provide additional material educating customers about pollinator health.
  • Whole Foods issued a new product rating system, which identifies pollinator protection as a priority by restricting neonicotinoid pesticides.
  • Cities, states and universities across the U.S. have taken steps to restrict neonicotinoids.

We Need To Do More!

We need to change the law to restrict neonics in the U.S. as Europe and Ontario, Canada have done.
Our own survival is tied closely to the survival of bees and other pollinators. Find out more how you can help the bees and other pollinators at BeeAction Campaign.  Follow Friends Of The Earth on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
 Bee Bold Campaign 4
Bee Bold Campaign 3

This post is sponsored by Friends of the Earth.  As always my words and views are 100% my own.

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Filed under Education, Family, Family Fun, Life, Life Stages, Main Page Post, Natural, Nature

Great Ways To Get That Energy Out This Summer #HealthyHabits

I am part of the Mom It Forward Blogger Network and this post is sponsored by the Together Counts/Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital. As always my words and views are 100% my own.together-counts

Some of my greatest memories growing up are from great times had as a Girl Scout. The activities, crafts, learning experiences and outdoor adventures have remained with me all my life. Those experiences inspired me to lead my daughter’s Girl Scout troop. Seeing the Girl Scouts as both a scout and a leader showed me what awesome resources there were for girls and their leaders. I remember going to many leader trainings and the sense of camaraderie was so heartwarming.

I learned some great life lessons and values in my time as a scout and as a leader I tried to do that for the girls I was leading. I am excited to share the collaboration of the Girl Scouts Nations’s Capital and the Together Counts program. Together Counts is a program by the “Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation” to reduce obesity through active and healthy living. Inspiring physical activity and good nutrition are the fundamentals of this program.

Annual Report_3 BlueBay13_RH29_4822

Balancing Act:

The principle behind the Together Counts is called Energy Balance, which just means balancing the calories we consume with the calories we expend.

Energy In: the calories you get from eating and drinking.

Energy Out: the calories you burn from physical activities.

Now that Summer is officially here, some great ways to get Energy Out are camping, hiking, swimming, biking, planting gardens, mowing lawns, running, community service and so much more. Just getting out and being active makes such a difference. See our list below for inspiration and ideas how to get that Energy Out!

Energy Out Summer Activities

Great Resources:

Girl Scouts in partnership with the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation developed three “Healthy Habits” booklets.  These free booklets are an excellent resource to use with Daises, Brownies, Juniors, Girl Scout leaders, volunteers and their families to guide them in fun, easy ways to achieve “energy balance.” They provide inspiration and ideas to help girls learn the habits and lead healthy, active lifestyles.  The Healthy Habits booklets are helpful for volunteers to use in conjunction with their Journey Adult Guides.girl scouts journeys

The 3 Healthy Habits booklets available for download include:

  • Between Earth and Sky with Healthy Habits – girls learn about the many plants, trees,and animals that flourish in nature, and also build important leadership skills.
  • WOW! Wonders of Water with Healthy Habits – girls discover the many forms and paths that water takes and how to protect it. They also learn how to engage in teamwork,speak effectively to convey a message, and inspire others.
  • Get Moving! with Healthy Habits – girls learn how to use their energy to protect Earth’s energy and build important leadership skills.

Girl Scouts

My involvement with the Girl Scouts has been such a treasured time of my life as well as my daughter’s life. I love that Health and fitness have been part of Girl Scouting since girls ran foot races in 1912! Camping is essential to Girl Scouts mission. It is about the outdoors, and developing a deep appreciation for nature. I can recall many enjoyable, active outdoor activities and camping trips. Girls enjoy camping with their troop or attending a Girl Scout day, evening or resident sleep-away camp. From high adventure with kayaking, archery and rock climbing to traditional camps with crafts, singing, hiking and cooking over an open fire, Girl Scout camps give girls an opportunity to grow, explore, and have fun under the guidance of caring, trained adults. Find your local council to enroll girls in camp programs.GameOn2013_LK2685

Girl Scouts’ leadership program is girl-led. And Girl Scouts sure do a lot with guidance from caring adult mentors! From national badge programs to council-wide events, each council offers a variety of exciting program opportunities for girls of all ages. Volunteers are supported with program level and subject training courses online and in classroom settings. There is a lot of peer-to-peer support and mentoring, and quality publications to support the delivery of high quality programs. To locate the council nearest you, see the Girl Scout Council Finder.


Follow Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital on  Twitter and Facebook for council information including awards, photos, resources, highlights from council events and volunteering as well as partner content for Together Counts!


Helpful Links:

  • Together Counts Website –The website is consumer friendly—aimed at parents and educators and provides resources, tips, recipes and more.
  • Together Counts Blog – The Together Counts blog is the main source of all consumer-friendly news including HWCF campaigns, announcements and content from HWCF partners around the topic of healthy eating habits and incorporating more physical activity.
  • Together Counts Twitter – On Twitter, Together Counts shares everything from digital assets(video, infographics) to industry or conference news related to food in addition to campaign and partner news.
  • Together Counts Pinterest – Together Counts’ resource for sharing recipe inspiration from across the network, family activity ideas and pins from partners that relate to family eating and activity including Girl Scouts, Healthy Dining Finders, etc.


Would love to have your thoughts on this great collaboration as well as any of your experiences as a scout or leader you would like to share in the comments.



Filed under Education, Family, Family Fun, Main Page Post

See How I Am Celebrating Our Anchor This Father’s Day-#NauticaForDad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NauticaforDad #CollectiveBias

OUr Anchor


Since losing my dad 9 years ago, Father’s Day is and always will be bittersweet. The man who I celebrated as the best dad in the world is no longer in this world with me. I miss him every day but thank God for all the years, memories and life that we shared. My father was the greatest and he was someone who really cared about people no matter what their status in life. He was a loving and caring husband, a devoted and loving father, and a brilliant and successful engineer and business owner. I learned so much from him and miss him being here with us.

I am thankful to have my husband by my side and enjoy watching him with our children especially our young sons. I am amazed at how much  our youngest idolizes his dad and wants to be like him in every way and how his older brother is so incredibly like his father in personality and temperament. The three of them are super close and do almost everything together. My husband is fully involved and engaged with our kids, coaching little league, teaching them about life, sharing his love of math and science and sports.

Nautica Collage 1

He is definitely someone they  look up to and admire and our anchor in this family. For Father’s Day this year we plan to spend a relaxing day on the lake we live on. Living on the water is something we all cherish and so last weekend when I saw the Nautica Voyage Gift Set at Macy’s, I knew he would love it .

macy's collage

Nautica Voyage is perfect for my husband because it has an undeniably masculine scent-  an anchor of woody amber  balanced with musk and damp moss.  That really fits my husband to a T and  Macy’s had a great deal on the gift set which is a $128 value priced at just $65!  The value, brands and selection at Macy’s is why it has been my go-to department store for as long as I can remember. It really never lets me down no matter who or what I am shopping for.Nautica 3

The design of the bottles in this set is so classic and sleek you want to leave them on display because they are too gorgeous to hide in the vanity or medicine cabinet. My husband is going to love this set and the smaller eau de Toilette spray is perfect for travel, like the getaway we have planned for next month.

Nautica 1


The shower gel and after shave balm along with the fragrance will have him smelling great whether we get that rare date night on the town together or spend the day just hanging out with family and friends.  I cannot wait until he sees it this Sunday!  So who are you celebrating this Father’s Day?

You can stay in the loop with Nautica on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and be sure and enter the giveaway below for your chance to win big!


  • 1 Grand Prize Winner will win a $4,000 Cruise Vacation Package
  • 5 Second Place Winners will win a Nautica Men’s Fragrance Gift Package

Nautica for Dad


Filed under Family, Giveaway, Main Page Post, Shoppertunity

Are You Going To LEGO Brick Fest Live This Summer? #BrickFest


My household contains many LEGO Fans both big and small, so you can imagine how stoked they are to be going to LEGO Brick Fest Live at the Meadowlands in New Jersey this July! This will be our first  Brick Fest Live and so everyone is super excited.  I know the little guys will be in absolute awe!  Cannot wait to capture their faces.  If you have Lego fans in your family and live near the Meadowlands Expo Center or will be traveling there July 10-12, you should check it out!  Lego Lovers will be inspired, educated and entertained with LEGO bricks! They can play with huge attractions built to set your imagination free!  Witness mind-blowing creations made entirely of this timeless toy at Brick Fest Live!

Save on Tickets!

Use Coupon Code: FAMGUIDE5 for $5 off each ticket, Event runs July 10-12 at the Meadowlands Expo Center.  To save on tickets click HERE!




At a Brick Fest Live event, you and your family will take part in lots of hands-on activities. But LEGO itself is a hands-on activity. What will you get when you attend a Brick Fest Live event that differs from your activity at home? We have accumulated a collection of LEGO pieces ready to build with which span many decades of production. Every year, The LEGO Group produces dozens of new elements which have never been made before. Consequently, they also retire many elements and replace some of them with newer versions. Many parts as well as colors are never produced again. Our collection of parts gives you free range of LEGO’s extensive part catalog for an unhindered building experience.

We have seen other LEGO-related events which use a limited selection of LEGO elements in their free-build area. There have even been events with a massive quantity of only one type of piece. While this presents interesting and different challenges for the builder in your life, we find that building with as large a parts selection as we have will present a new and exciting experience for you.

Check out the trailer for LEGO Brick Fest Live Below:

Have you attended a LEGO Brick Fest Live before?  If so I would love it if you shared your experience in the comments.


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Filed under Attractions, Entertainment, Family Fun, Main Page Post

Finally An Orchid That I Can’t Kill!

I would consider myself to have a green thumb, two in fact, but when it comes to orchids, something changes them both to brown. I love the look when I see them in the store but take them home, and soon all I have to show is a planter. Recently, I found a beautiful orchid that will stay that way.

At Silk Flowers Direct, I can shop online from a vast selection of silk flowers, plants, topiaries, palms, trees, containers, custom items and even commercial products. I love you can choose from various  filters that let me find items by the type of flower or plant, color, shape, quantity, material and more. Silk Plants Direct offers the largest selection of lifelike faux plants and trees for your home or office decor. They not only offer a collection of stocked products, but they also manufacture plants and trees to each customers exact specifications for turn-key solution.

Here is the beautiful Orchid I received and it is so pretty.  I put it next to my tub and it is a gorgeous, tranquil piece that is perfect for gazing at when relaxing in the tub.



Exclusive Discount Code-Save 10%

So take a look at the huge assortment of beautiful flowers, trees and plants at Silk Plants Direct  and if you decide to purchase use the exclusive discount code, BLOGGER10  created for Mommy Ramblings’ Readers to save 10% on your order!  Follow Silk Plants Direct on Facebook and  Twitter to stay in the loop on the newest products and promotions. 





I was sent the orchid silk plant to facilitate my review by Silk Plants Direct.  As usual my words and views are 100% my own!

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Filed under Coupon, Exclusive, Home, Home & Garden, Life, Main Page Post, Save 10%