Archives for September 2014

Mama Loves Pearl & Clasp

pearl small

With all the back-to-school expenses and activities, Mama needs her own special treat once in awhile just like the 9mm button Black Pearl earrings I received for review from Pearl & Clasp.

Given the choice of white, pink or black freshwater pearl, I picked the black ones (online retail price $24). Upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised by the size and lovely reflective black sheen. As you can see, I paired them with my diamond earrings for a delightful pearls

I recently wrote a reflection piece on pearls over on my other blog, Genesis Moments, entitled: Faithful Reflections: A Study in Pearls. In it, I list everywhere in the Bible that pearls are mentioned and thoughts about each verse. I was inspired to write the piece when a pair of faux pearl earrings dropped out of my jewelry cabinet which I was looking for the right thing to wear to an important meeting. I am thrilled to have a real pair and even more excited at the affordable price Pearl & Clasp offers so I can buy the other colors to match necklaces I have.

Pearl & Clasp also offers clasps for the jewelry makers out there, bridal sets, and lovely strings of pearls for all budgets.

I love pearls. They are so elegant and can be made into so many things from earrings to tiaras. I even made a Pinterest Board of Pearls because they are so versatile and gorgeous. Great for any occasion. If you need a special gift or a special treat for yourself, go pearl!

Pinterest Board:
Follow Sarah’s board Pearls on Pinterest.



(Disclosure: I received a pair of black pearl earrings from Pearl & Clasp. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)


Moms’ Night Out is OUT in DVD/Blu-Ray!


Laughter rippled through my family room last Friday night where several women from my church congregation came together for a fun “Moms’ Night Out” watching the movie by the same name.

Moms Night Out was just released on DVD and Blu-Ray (not to mention instant viewing on Amazon Prime) and I have to admit that yes, I really have seen this movie FOUR times and still can’t tear my eyes away from everything that ensues when three women decide they need to get out and have some fun and things don’t go exactly as planned.

Sarah Drew, known for her role as Dr. April Kepner in the ABC medical drama series Grey’s Anatomy, plays stressed-out mom Allyson who simply needs to go out with a few friends. Patricia Heaton, known for playing the mom in Everybody Loves Raymond and The Middle,  plays the pastor’s wife who appreciates being invited out while still dealing with arguments with her own daughter – providing contrast between moms of kids at various stages and at the same time, similarities of simply being a mom. The whole family gets involved when a baby goes missing and the women decide to get involved, sacrificing their night of freedom.

Read my previous review when I attended the screening of this movie before it came to theaters. I highly recommend getting this movie and watching it with friends, family, church members. It helps you laugh at bit at yourself, laugh with each other and appreciate the poignant moments when a young mom learns a thing or two about being too hard on herself.

(Disclosure: I received a DVD/Blu-Ray for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)


Back-to-School Firsts with Staples

JansportStaples is celebrating Back-to-School “Firsts” and we had a big one this year! For the first time ever, my daughter drove out the driveway and off to school carrying herself and my younger daughter and I was left waving from the front porch as the back of the black Suburban cleared the top of the neighborhood and turned out of sight.

Another first came today when my younger daughter passed her driver’s permit test and will now start learning to drive herself. By March, I may have two licensed teens in the family and much more time to myself – another first! What’s really insane to imagine is that I may be an “empty-nester” in only a year and a half when both girls are off to college, if that’s what life holds for them.

The time is flying and as much as you are ready to enter each new phase, you miss when they fit in your lap, when they still want you to tuck them in, and when they cried for you to come in their room instead of verbally berating you for entering their hallowed sanctuaries. Life is different with teens but I still love them so very much it makes my heart ache to think too hard about it.

On a lighter note, Staples sent us some very special items to help prepare for the start of school, as soon below. My youngest picked the very cool JanSport zebra striped backpack and Fit & Fresh Downtown Insulated Designer Lunch Bag. For a few years, the girls enjoyed buying lunch in the cafeteria but now lines are too long and they enjoy staying back in classrooms for study groups which means you don’t get lunch if you don’t pack it. My youngest likes to pack her own lunch and is the healthiest eater in our family so the insulated lunch bag really comes in handy.


My older daughter was quite thrilled to take ownership of the Kindle fire HD, mechanical pencils and composition notebook, also sent to us by Staples. I love my own Kindle HD and rave about it and now she has her own. I like the diversity, versatility and affordability of the Kindle fire HD. We have never been a family that had to have expensive Apple products when other options like the Kindle totally suited our needs!

Kindle Fire

Do you have a “Back-to-School” memory to share?


Get the Right Car Seat — Car Passenger Safety Week is September 14-20

Car Safety

Child Passenger Safety Week is September 14-20 and anyone with a child in a car seat is encouraged to visit to determine if YOUR child is in the right seat for his or her age and size. Car seat check events are planned across the country if you are unsure about your car seat. You may also register your child’s car seat with the manufacturer to be informed in the event of a recall.

Because each seat has different installation instructions, you can also get resources and tips on having the right fit for your car seat.

Research shows that three out of every four car seats are not used correctly, meaning the child is not in the correct car seat for their age, height and weight, or the car seat is not installed correctly. In 2012, over one third (37%) of children killed in car crashes were not in car seats or wearing seat belts.

To locate a Certified Child Passenger Safety technician in your area, go to or download the free SaferCar app from the iTunes App Store.

Here are a few tips from

Car Seat Safety Tips:

  • Find a car seat that fits your child. As children grow, how they sit in your car will change. Make sure the car seat you purchase is designed to fit your child’s current size and age.
  • Not all car seats fit in all vehicles so test the car seat you plan to buy to make sure it fits well in your vehicle.
  • Before putting your child in a car seat, read the manufacturer’s instructions so you know how your car seat works.
  • All-in-One car seats offer you the advantage of using the same seat for the following positions: rear-facing, forward-facing with harness, then booster. These seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.
  • Remember, the best car seat is the one that fits your child properly, is easy to use, and fits in your vehicle correctly. The information here can help you choose the right seat for your child. Keep in mind that:

o   Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat.

o   Children ages 1-3 should be kept rear-facing as long as possible.

o   Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.

o   Be certain you’ve installed your car seat correctly by having it checked at an inspection station or by a certified child passenger safety technician. Bring the Car Seat Instructions AND the Vehicle Owner’s Manual with you to a seat check appointment!

For more information, head over to

In Support of the Ad Council and The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)


Want to win a car seat?! #BuckleUpForLife

Head over to my other blog DIYFrugal to read more about this month’s car safety campaign through BuckleUpForLife and learn how you can win one of over 25 car seats being given away. I am giving away one on DIYFrugal but read through that post to see where more are being given away on Twitter and via Google Hangout this coming week and to read about the precious moments I’ve shared with my kids in the car over the years.

buckle up



Back-to-School Round-Up: Snackeez, Flips Audio, Copper Fit, and Master Lock

As we get settled into the routine of the new year, my teen daughters are enjoying the review of several new items to the market, great for several back-to-school needs.IMG_20140826_185202119

1. Snackeez Travel Cup (MSRP: $9.99): My 16-yr-old literally squealed when she saw the Snackeez drink/snack combo cup on the counter. Dishwater safe, this 2-in-1 snack cup boasts a fliptop snack lid, 4 oz snack cup, non-slip grip and 16 oz. drinking cup. She loved filling the top with Triscuits and the bottom with pink lemonade and loved the curious glances all day at school the first day. Everything stayed sealed in and safe until ready to consume.


2. Flips Audio FH2814BK Collapsible HD Headphones and Stereo Speakers, Black (MSRP: $120): These incredibly cool headphones that flip to become speakers were immediately snapped up by my 17-yr-old daughter who loves anything audio/video (just like her dad). She wants to go to college for film and picks up technology very fast. Flips are headphones with custom vented ear cups & memory foam that turn into 40mm neodymium speakers with amplified sound. They fold and store in a protective case that comes with purchase. A rechargeable Li-Polymer battery recharges via standard USB cord.



3. Copper Fit Copper Infused Knee Sleeve (MSRP $19.99/2 + $7.99 s&h on Copper Fit website) – My 16-yr-old plays volleyball and rides horses, doing both almost daily during the Fall. She gets aches and pains in her ankles and I thought she could perhaps try the knee compression sleeve for her leg. She thought it felt like a legging and took it off. I think I would need to buy a smaller sleeve for her than the one received for review. The benefits of the sleeve are that it helps reduce recovery time of muscles, wick sweat away from the body, provides support for muscle stiffness and pain and supports improved circulation of active muscles.

4. Master Lock Dialspeed Electronic Combination Padlock (MSRP $39.68): (Note: The vendor on Amazon lists it at $89 but the Masterlock website lists it at $39.68) This nifty digital padlock is mine to treasure. My kids are provided locks at school so I get to use this one when I go to the Y or other various places I need to secure my belongings. Love the lightup keypad with one hand operation. And, if you forget your password, head over to where you can back up your passwords for easy retrieval. (Note: that’s my daughter’s chipped nail polish showing off the cool light-up feature – just sayin’).


MasterLock Digital

Now through September 7, 2014 visit for a chance to win back-to-school security items, and create a wish list for easy shopping.

(Disclosure: I was sent the above items for review thanks to Snackeez, FlipsAudio, Copper Fit and MasterLock. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)


NEW PSAs from Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare #NatlPrep released several PSAs in time for America’s PreparAthon!  in September just in time for several storms showing on the ole’ Dopplar Radar.

Below is a PSA by FEMA, created pro bono by Deutsch Inc. These PSA videos show the aftermath of a disaster through two families; one family who have all found each other safely at a shelter they earlier designated as their meeting place, and one set of parents who are frantically searching for their son.  The ads show the harsh reality of what can happen when you don’t have an emergency plan in place. has a number of resources that are extremely helpful in case of a natural disaster. Here are a couple for your reference.

o   Learn how to create evacuation and emergency communication plans

o   Download printable family communications plans for your children here

o   Resources for natural disasters in your area: Hurricanes, Floods, Earthquakes, Tornados, Wildfires and Winter Storms as well as tips about how to prepare.

For more information or to get involved in September activities, check out

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See everywhere you can follow FEMA on social media

“Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare.”