Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Social Post!! Week of 9/29!

Hey all! Sorry I took a break from Sunday Social! This teaching 3 classes and taking 1 six credit doctoral class thing (while taking care of a 4 month old and doing my second exam) is KILLING ME SOFTLY :). But I love you guys too much to have too long of a post drought.... so please! Enjoy the latest addition of mine to the Sunday Social link-up!

1. What is your dream job?
Here comes my nerdiness! My dream job would be a tenured epidemiology/public health professor, where I could teach any subject within public health that I love, I could spearhead some awesome maternal and child health epidemiology projects that I have dreamed up, and I could spend my summers off in a foreign country like Italy with my family, working remotely :)

2. If you had just won the lottery and didn't need to work for money, what would you do with your time?
Unfortunately, my work really isn't for money. I would still go to school and finish my doctorate, to be the first doctor in my family. I would still teach and I would still do research, but I wouldn't worry so much about overworking myself. I would do it for the love of the subject... but I would definitely pay off all of my family's bills and have them help me with child care lol.

3. What piece of career advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?
 If you don't have a Master of Public Health degree, go get one because you need it in public health! Beyond that, do whatever internship or low paying public health job you can get your hands on out of school. You never know what connections you will make that will get you to your next job, which might have a nice sized paycheck. 

4. What would be your ideal "just for fun" job?
I could never not work in public health - it really is my lifeblood - but a long time from now when I have a plethora of published papers and have taught my fair share of college classes, I can imagine me and hubby opening up a lucheonette. He is such a great cook and I really love baking. I miss it!!

5. What was your first "real" job?
My first job with a W-2 and all that was a bookseller at Waldenbooks right out of high school in 2001. My first actual grown-up job where I was salaried was the Program Director of the now defunct Putnam County (NY) Cancer Services Program.

If you would like to participate in a future "Sunday Social", head on over to Ashley Lately's Blog for next week's questions and link-up!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Giveaway!! Ends 10/12! Open to the US and Canada!

Many people I know use coconut oil for numerous reasons. For instance, I have met many cloth-diapering mothers who use it in place of a commonly used ointment or cream for diaper changes on their little one. But what is virgin coconut oil?  While most coconut oils are made from copra, or dried coconut meat, virgin coconut oil can only be made by either quick drying or wet-milling fresh coconut meat, or non-copra. Tropical Traditions exclusively sells a highly lauded version of virgin coconut oil in their Gold Label line of the highest quality that the company is known for.

Interestingly, Tropical Traditions was the first company to publish standards for the uses of virgin coconut oil, in terms of edible oils, over ten years ago. While I did know of some uses for coconut oil that I mentioned above, I had no idea of how many different ways you could use it in the kitchen!! You can use coconut oil for frying, for baking, for making mayonnaise or ketchup, to make soup and even make pudding or pie crusts! The possibilities are honestly endless... and what's even better is that coconut oil presents a gluten-free option for your family to cook with a great versatile ingredient if your family is indeed GF. While the FDA doesn't want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil is

Tropical Traditions and Tia's Sweeps Go 'Round are teaming up to offer you, our readers, the chance to win a quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil for you to use in the kitchen or wherever you choose! The giveaway is open from September 29th to October 12th! What are you waiting for? Enter today for your chance to be able to try out all the great ways you can incorporate coconut oil into your lives!

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using from Tropical Traditions for a review that will be forthcoming. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

League of Legends Summoner School Review! {POST BY SARA}

League of Legends Summoner School Review
My background knowledge in League of Legends is above average. I’ve only been playing for a year now, but I play almost every night and joined a gaming clan to better myself. Little did I know after months and months of my boyfriend asking me to play, I would finally give in and join the ranks in the most played game in the world.

What is hard about League of Legends (LoL) is that, unlike competitive games like Chess, the game changes drastically with each update. Every new patch, a champion could get weaker, an item might lose its worth, or a new play style will surface. Not to mention, new champions are released periodically which many break awesome 5-man team comps that have worked in the past.

Australian brothers UberGiant, UberGiantsBro, and LittleUberGiant (Platinum and Diamond ranked) have spent hours playing and researching to put together a comprehensive guide on the ever-changing game. They created the Summoner School, which has a 5-day free trial available for anyone interested in trying out their methods before committing as a full-fledged student. They liken it to how a doctor goes to medical school before practicing. One must study and learn before going out into the field--In this case, the fields of justice.
Summoner School consists of four classes: pre-game, in-game, team-game, and post-game. The guides contain lengthy in-depth articles which are supplemented with videos and pictures. For someone who is a visual learner, seeing football-like plays on where to ward and position myself was very helpful. I would’ve enjoyed gameplay pictures for every section but copyright prohibited it. Aside from articles, there's a helpful glossary full of jargon for players new and old. I still catch myself not knowing lingo.

This is one of the images used in the Summoner School to show where to ward when your team decides to split push during the game.
What people don’t realize is that one of the most important parts of playing this game is to work well with your team. It sounds easy, but when you queue up with randoms and don’t have the ability to use Ventrilo or Skype, you have a higher chance of messing up due to miscommunication. Sometimes you get put on a team where people claim they don’t know a role or they build items not suitable for their champion. Aside from skill, this is all about team work and patience.

“Be able to play all roles in solo queue. It’s frustrating not having people who are flexible. By getting good at all roles, you become a better player by knowing what your teammates can best do and what your enemy is trying to do. This helps you counter your enemy.” – Summoner School

The Summoner School taught me my biggest issues with each lane. As a support, I never warded correctly. As an ADC, I wouldn’t be able to last hit every minion. As mid, I was reluctant to push the lain correctly for fear of being ganked from so many sides. And so on. Taking these classes opened up my weaknesses to me and showed me what I need to work on. Watching pros (especially now that the LCS for Season 3 is happening) will be my biggest learning lesson.
What was great about the Summoner’s classes was that the wording was very casual and friendly. I felt as if one of my friends explained these tips to me.  I feel that it will also serve as a basis for me to coach my team members during a game.
No matter what your intention is by playing LoL, what you put into it is what you get. Whether you only play against A.I.’s or aspire to get to Gold just to get that new skin from Riot, you could learn from studying LoL in an academic way.
“In all areas of life, the successful do their craft differently to a ‘normal person.’ Take for example a world-class musician. He practices at least 4 hours every day while your local trumpet player gets one lesson a week and plays no more than 5 hours a week. And then there are others who talk about wanting to learn an instrument yet do nothing about it.” – Summoner School

Before this, I didn’t know if I would be comfortable enough to play in ranked. But now I think I’m ready to play my preliminary matches now.

Find me on the NA server as: EagleSystem and sign up here for your own free 5 day trial!

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Awesome $200 Steals N Deals giveaway hosted by Mom Loves 2 Read!

Welcome to the Steals & Deals Giveaway
hosted by Mom Loves 2 Read
Where one lucky winner will receive 2 amazing prizes:
a $100 giftcode to
a $100 giftcode to

that is a $200 value that is sure to put a smile on someone's face!

A little about these wonderful websites:  is a website that provides customized paper products such as stationary, photo cards, address and gift labels, invitations, notepads, calendars, notebooks, iphone and ipad cases and so much more.  You can even customize an entire collection of items with the same or similar theme!

Checking out, I instantly fell in love with a lot of different products on the site. Since fall is upon us, I am totally diggin' the adorable Halloween and Thanksgiving collections. Seriously.... don't these invitations make you want to have a Halloween party?

One of the many beautiful selections you can find 
at for a great Halloween bash! is a website that specializes in Photo Canvas prints, ready made art work and Vintage framed art and even acrylic blocks with a personal photo inside!

The first thing you will notice about this website is that it's really easy to use. I uploaded a picture of Valentina for her 3 month shot I took of her and selected the 'aluminum print' (I always thought those were so cool!) They can change the color scheme to Sepia or B&W and even perform basic editing to your photo, like date stamp removal, for free! They can even touch up blemishes for a nominal fee. I really like this site and will definitely check them out in the future for my print needs :)

Enter using the form provided! Open to US only please - Must be 18 or older to enter/win.
 Entrants must complete entries honestly and may only enter with either one email address, IP address and/or Facebook account. Enter between now and October 2nd!

Disclaimer:  The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. Void where prohibited by law. Open to US residents only, 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by will be contacted by email within 7 days of end of event. Winner(s) have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary to win. The sponsor(s) is responsible for prize shipment to winner of this giveaway. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Finish the sentence Friday... "My favorite summertime memory was..." #ftsf

We're finally back with another FTSF post after a little break because the beginning of this semester (and me teaching 3 separate classes at 3 separate colleges)!! 
Today, the theme of the week is "My favorite summertime memory was...."

...seeing my little girl smile for the first time. My summer wasn't filled with the normal activities that most people enjoy because I gave birth at the end of May. June was wet and yucky and July was too hot to breathe, so we didn't get to enjoy much of the outdoor weather until August. Nevertheless, I still have a favorite memory of the summer that I will hold dear to me.
The most amazing thing to me was seeing my little girl smile at me for the first time. All those sleepless nights and cries that we couldn't quite decipher at first.... all my worries about whether or not I would be a good mom... everything went away when I saw this little cutie smile for the first time. Here is one of those pictures :)
If you want to participate in the FTSF hop, please click on the link above!!

TotLogic Diaper Balm #review and #giveaway, part of the Bringing Home Baby Giveaway Hop!! #BHbaby US only, ends 9/23


Is there anything more precious than welcoming a new baby into your life? In celebration of the joys that come from having a new baby we are celebrating by joining the Bringing Home Baby Giveaway Hop hosted by The Frugal Greenish Mama and Life as Leels! Each blogger participating in this giveaway hop is offering a fabulous prize for Mama or Baby valued at a minimum of $25. Be sure to hop around and enter them all, including our two Grand Prize packages valued at $274 and $557!

Two of our readers will win fabulous prize packages!

BHB Grand Prize Baby

The first grand prize giveaway package focuses on all things baby! Who knew something so small could need so much? This amazing package includes an Ingenuity Washable Playard with Dream Center in Sahara Burst, Boba 3G Carrier, Tiny Love Gymini Bouncer, Svan Child Totseat, Moraki Cloth Diaper, Rockin Green Laundry Soap , a pair of adorable Pediped Originals shoes, Lillie by Bebe au Lait Hooded Towel, 2 Red Hens Rooster Diaper Bag, Dolphin Organics Travel Set, MAM pacifiers and teether and a Halo Sleepsack Swaddle.

The second grand prize package focuses all on Mama! It is valued at $274 and includes a set of nursing clips from Glamourmom, a $35 Lamaze Intimates gift certificate, $25 Pink Blush Maternity Gift Certificate, a Loving Moments Nursing bra, Milk Makers & Bumpboosters cookies, Bebe au Lait Nursing Cover, Earth Mama Angel Baby Postpartum Package and a way for Mama to have a few moments free with an Automatic Bouncer from Ingenuity!

Go Enter the Grand Prize Giveaway Baby Package & Mama Package now!

I started entering baby and mama-themed giveaways when I was pregnant, and one of the first things that I won was a big tub of TotLogic Diaper Balm back in January. When I received it, I tucked it away with all of the other baby stuff I was accumulating. I ended up giving birth to my daughter this past May 29th, and she was gorgeous and beautiful and healthy (a wonderful newborn baby :) ). Unfortunately, she ended up having high bilirubin counts from Day 3 of life until she was about ~2 and a half weeks of age. It was quite a stressful, trying time for our family, as we were so worried for little Valentina. I have been breastfeeding her since she was born, so I was on order from her doctor to breastfeed her on demand.

My little girl in her going home outfit that was too big for her. 
You can see she's pretty yellow from the bilirubin :(

Of course, when you are feeding a baby on demand, your baby is making dirty diapers more often than she would if you had her on a scheduled feeding. My daughter's doctor had recommended to use petroleum jelly or Desitin cream to prevent diaper rash, but she ended up getting it anyway. We then had to utilize prescription diaper rash cream on her to help keep the rash at bay. While it did prevent it from spreading, it didn't do much to make it go away.

Valentina was about a month old when my sleep deprived brain remembered something important that was packed away in the many tubs of baby stuff in our house. The TotLogic Diaper Balm! The balm that is filled with loads of natural ingredients, is safe for sensitive skin (and although we were using disposable diapers at the time, is also cloth-diaper safe!) and has a nice scent and feel to it. I found it and immediately started using it on Valentina at every diaper change.

Well, it didn't take me and my husband long to become believers in this amazing product. It is FANTASTIC. It cleared up her diaper rash in only a couple of days and it has not come back! I can't make any claims that it actually cured the diaper rash, but I do know that her condition improved once I started using the diaper balm regularly. It goes on smooth and cleans up great, unlike the other petroleum and zinc oxide based creams that so many use on their little ones. What's also fantastic about it is that it can be used on any parts of the skin, even mamas with dry hands! I am telling you... this product is absolutely amazing.
I actually ended up writing to the owner of the company to partner with them to hopefully make another individual a true believer of this wonderful company. So TotLogic and I have teamed up to offer one lucky winner a tub of TotLogic Diaper Balm!
Enter below between now and September 23rd!!

Disclosure: The Frugal Greenish Mama, Life as Leels and the Bringing Home Baby participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.
Furthermore, while this review was based on a product that I received as part of a giveaway I won back in January, I was offered another free product from Logic Product Group as described in this post as compensation for hosting this particular giveaway.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Awesome jewelry candle giveaway, with new perfect fit rings inside!! Ends 10/1!

 photo b081f205-5510-4666-a997-dda0580e56d7_zps24d5e6fe.jpg

Welcome to the Jewelry Candle Giveaway

Hosted by Mom Loves 2 Read!

*Sponsored by Jewelry Candles*

Mom Loves 2 Read has partnered up with Jewelry Candles to bring you this amazing Giveaway!
This time we are giving away TWO Ring Candles to 2 lucky winners!

Each Ring Candle is a unique gift - you can Choose the size of the ring you will find inside!
Choose from sizes 5 - 10
AND each Ring hidden inside is worth anywhere from $10 up to $7500!!!  

These would make fun surprise gifts for loved ones or friends!
Can you imagine a romantic candle-lit dinner - as the wonderfully scented candles burns a surprise begins to appear - a beautiful ring - and not only that, but it fits! 
The hubs and I don't often get a chance to have a romantic night on our own with our beautiful little one in our lives now, but I certainly would love to have a nice date for two at home (with my parents watching her, perhaps?) illuminated by this gorgeous candle. And what lady wouldn't want to wear a gorgeous piece of jewelry custom fit for her? I love this idea - it's a beautiful surprise and really makes an occasion extra special. Hope my hubby is reading this for a possible 30th birthday present for me :)!

Giveaway dates: September 9 12:00 pm through October 1st 11:59pm CST.
Open to US only please -  must be 18 or older to win. 
Void where prohibited.

Easy to enter - simply fill out any of the entries on the provided form - The winners are chosen at random from all validated entries - Entries will be checked for validation prior to winner's random selection.  Winners will have only 48 hours to reply and claim prize, if no reply another will be selected.

Disclosure: Mom Loves 2 Read did receive compensation in the form of free products in exchange for posting this giveaway. Sponsor ~ is responsible for sending prizes, prizes often take up to 8 weeks from validation to receive.  Mom Loves 2 Read is not responsible for prizes!  Regardless this sponsor is personally promoted by choice.  A personal review of the product will be coming soon from Susan @ Mom Loves 2 Read. This Giveaway is in no way affiliated with facebook, twitter, pinterest or any other social media mentioned in the giveaway form.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

$100 gift card giveaway from! Ends 9/30!

Welcome to the $100 Giftcard Giveaway

Mom Loves 2 Read has teamed up with and an amazing group of bloggers, including Tia's Sweeps Go 'Round, to bring you this fun giveaway. is a great website where you and your family members can register for free and set up a personal wishlist.  It's so easy you can even use facebook to login and register!
My Perfect Gift has nearly anything you could think of to add to each wishlist.  You, your spouse and even your kids can all make their own wishlists to share! 

Ever since I became a mother to a beautiful baby girl a little over 3 months ago now, I miss those days where I could pamper myself. I have already been dreaming of getting myself a Clarisonic face cleaner, a white gold locket to hold my little girl's picture when I'm at work and even an Ergo baby carrier for when my girl gets a little bigger (and the baby k'tan is getting tight so that might be sooner than later). Making a wish list on will make it easier for my friends and family to buy presents for me for my birthday and the holidays instead of trying to buy that ever elusive guessing game of "What does she want this year??"

Here is how you can be Eligible to Win~
Only mandatory entry 

First ~ Sign up and create a registry and add at least 3 gifts to it 
- it's that easy!
{you can even sign-up with one click using Facebook}

If you already have a MyPerfectGift Registry just add a new gift to your existing wishlist.

Entries will be validated using Winner's email he/she registers with.
If registering using fb, it is the email you use for your fb account 

One lucky winner will receive their choice of a 
$100.00 or Visa gift card!  
(Visa GC only available to US residents)

Giveaway Details
Open to US residents age 18+
Giveaway starts September 8th and 
ends September 30th at 11:59pm CST
Enter using the GiveawayTools form BelowHave FUN!

Disclaimer: Disclosure: To be eligible to win this giveaway you must create an account and add at least three items in your registry. If you have an existing account add at least one new item to your registry. 
Mom Loves 2 Read did receive compensation for this giveaway event, however my opinions are my own and may differ from yours.  Tia's Sweeps Go 'Round is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.  This giveaway is not associated with Facebook, twitter or any other social media.  Prizes can take up to 8 weeks to arrive.  Void where prohibited.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Arbonne Skincare Giveaway & Review! Part of "Spa for Ma" event!! Ends 9/16 #spa #relax #pamper #mom

Spa for Ma

Welcome to the 3rd Annual Spa for Ma Giveaway Hop! I have teamed up with a bunch of other bloggers and our hosts Measuring Flower and Homemaking Hacks to bring you this fun event that helps mom to kick back, relax, and WIN--just in time for the kids to be back at school!

This event is a giveaway hop which means that, after you're entered my awesome prize below, you can "hop" on to the next blog to enter their prize as well. All the prizes in this hop are worth a minimum of $25. You can find a list with links to all the other blogs towards the bottom of this post.
I am excited to announce that our grand prize sponsor for this event is KOHL'S! They're giving away a $300 gift certificate to one very fortunate reader! Click HERE to enter to win this incredible grand prize.

I had the pleasure of reviewing some awesome products from a spectacular company called Arbonne. Arbonne is a skincare company founded on botanical principles by a group of leading bio-chemists, biologists and herbalists. It originated in 1975 and its products have been available in the U.S. since 1980. They offer a wide range of products such as skincare for any type of skin, cosmetics, hair products and even holiday gift sets.

I was lucky enough to review some of their products from their FC5 product line as well as their Arbonne baby product line. First, my beautiful daughter Valentina got to be pampered with an Arbonne baby body lotion product sample. The ABC design is cute and simple, and catches the eye. The body lotion has a nice herbal smell to it that isn't too overpowering, which I liked because I like my baby to smell like well... a baby :). It has a nice thickness which moisturized her really well with only using a little bit. It didn't leave any filmy residue either, which made me happy.

I then got to review a sample of some fantastic body moisturizer from Arbonne's FC5 line. The cream smelled great as soon as I opened the package, and it instantly felt awesomely thick and luxuriously rich on my hands when I began to spread it on them. I have pretty dry skin, and have since giving birth to my daughter. I can personally attest to how great this lotion made my skin look and feel - they are definitely as soft as they look! I don't often have time to pamper myself with a 3 month old, so it felt great to use this Arbonne lotion and soften up my hands to feel silky smooth!

BUY IT: Tia's Sweeps Go 'Round readers will get 15% off orders from Donna Lotts', Independent Consultant for Arbonne's official ordering site , when mentioning Tia's Sweeps Go 'Round. In addition,  if Donna receives 15 orders of $50 or more as part of this event, she will give away a Coach purse!

WIN IT: One lucky winner will win an Arbonne Shea Butter Hand & Body wash, ARV $26.00! Enter below!

Disclosure: Measuring Flower and its writers, Homemaking Hacks and its writers, and the other bloggers participating in this hop are not responsible for any sponsor(s) who do not fulfill their prize(s).

Happy Mommy Labor & Delivery Gown from Butternut Designs Giveaway! #readytopop US only ends 9/18

We've decided to celebrate Labor Day this year in a totally fun way – by celebrating those Mamas and Babies who have done some of the hardest labor out there! Welcome to the Ready to POP! {a Labor Day Giveaway Hop} hosted by So Easy Being Green, According to Jenny, and Viva Veltoro!

 Each blogger in this Hop has a fabulous Mama or Baby prize for you to enter to win – so be sure to hop around to them all, including the Grand Prize!

As many of you already know, I gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl back this past May after 22 hours of long, arduous drug-free labor! While I labored in my own clothes for many hours of it, I ended up changing into a hospital gown when I was getting into the heat of my labor (close to transition). My baby girl had to be monitored closely throughout my labor since I had pregnancy-induced hypertension, so it was essential that I had something on that allowed me to have the fetal monitors on me at all times. Throughout my intense labor pains, I never felt completely comfortable in the hospital gown since it didn't fit good and it wasn't really on me very well as I wiggled and braced myself for each contraction. Now looking back, I think to myself, if I could do one thing different, it would be to make sure I had comfortable clothing through the ENTIRE labor process, not just before transition.
Thankfully, Kristen from Butternut Designs on Etsy has put her talent to good use in making custom gorgeous, custom sized labor and delivery gowns that follow strict hospital guidelines with easy arm and back access. With beautiful black lace trim and a stylish sash for a more fitted look, Butternut Designs' Happy Mommy Labor and Delivery gowns (ARV: $55) will not only keep you comfortable throughout your labor, they will give you a sense of style for your first pictures with baby that a hospital gown just can't compare to!
Talk about stylish! Check out this gorgeous Happy Mommy Labor and Delivery gown in black with black lace trim!


You can learn more about the Happy Mommy Labor and Delivery gown and all of the other great maternity clothing that Kristen from Butternut Designs offers by checking out her Etsy shop:
One lucky winner will receive a Happy Mommy Labor and Delivery gown with black lace trim in the gown color, size and sash color of their choice! 
Now, be sure to hop over to enter to win the 
amazing Grand Prize for Ready to POP!

Ready to POP! Grand Prize

One lucky reader is going to win an adorable 2 Red Hens Diaper Bag, a fabulous set of Buttons Diapers – an All-in-Two Cloth Diapers System, and an absoutely beautiful CatBirdBaby Pikkolo Baby Carrier! 

What are you waiting for!?  Go Enter Now!

According to Jenny, Viva Veltoro, So Easy Being Green, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Ready to POP! participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.