Review: Washable Playard™ with Dream Centre™ in Avondale from Ingenuity

I got the chance to review the awesome Washable Playard™ with Dream Centre™ in Avondale. First, let me say that it is so easy to assemble that MIL and I did it without the instructions. It wasn’t a decision we made to prove a point, we literally didn’t find them until we Continue reading

were done. (Hint: They are tucked into the bottom of the carry bag)

Once it was all together I put my youngest in it and she instantly loved it. She has just started cruising and has a ball holding on while walking around. My Three year old sees how much fun the youngest is having and keeps trying to climb in with her. Due to the excellent craftsmanship, the Pack-n-Play wasn’t affected the one time the three year old did manage to sneak inside. Thankfully, baby was safely napping in her crib.

DH and I are becoming more and more pleased with the quality, versatility, and ruggedness of products produced by Ingenuity. As stated, every surface of the pack-n-play is washable. What is not stated is how resistant to dirt and stains the surfaces seem to be. Every spill or accident that has occurred on the Pack-n-play was quickly wiped up with no fuss. I finally had to deliberately try and make a mess just to test how truly washable it was. After some “baby inspired” leftover baby food smearing, I tossed a couple of the covers in the wash and they came out like new.

As you can see from the pics, we get a lot of use out of it. My youngest loves it. She would play it in all day if I let her. We use it so much it is on semi-permanent display in my living room.

Along with an excellent Pack-n-play you also get a portable changing table that clips right onto the top as well as a bassinet.  The base mat also clips and zips in about half up the inside to raise the play area up. There is a storage bag that attaches and hangs off the side for essentials like diapers, wipes and any assortment of support items for changing time or playtime.  It all packs up into a sturdy carry case and you are off.  All in all, it is an excellent, versatile product that is well worth the investment if you are looking for a pack-n-play

If you love the style it is the Washable Playard™ with Dream Centre™ in Avondale and will be available at Walmart. Check out the video review here


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Advancing Your Nursing Career Online

Advancing Your Nursing Career Online

Many people dream of working as nurses, but they do not have the funds or ability to attend classes. The most common online programs are for business or education, but nurses can get online RN to MSN degrees to help advance their careers. These degrees offer all Continue reading

the same information as formal degrees, but these degrees allow students a bit of leeway as they pursue their education.

The Coursework

The coursework for a nursing program is often rigorous. Nurses must have a great deal of medical knowledge, and these nurses must be trained completely before they work with patients. The courses teach nurses everything they need to know, and the nurses will feel confident that they have learned as much as their traditional counterparts.

The Internships

When nurses are nearing the end of their program, they must be placed in an internship program. These internships put nurses in a variety of medical situations for their own benefit. A nurse must work in every field of medicine possible to learn what they would most like to do. When the nurses are working in these internships, they get real work experience that could lead to job offers. Also, the experience teaches nurses things they could not learn in a class.

The Flexibility

The flexibility of an online program helps nurses to maintain a job, a family and a social life. The classes do not have regular meeting times, and the work is graded online by each professor.

The nurses are also able to communicate with their professors online. Students can be heard much more easily when they can send a quick e-mail to their teachers. The correspondence between teacher and student can provide a whole new learning opportunity, and the nurse gets to determine how much they are going to learn in each class.

With these new online programs for nurses, students from all walks of life can gain their education without dealing with normal obstacles to schooling. The schedule, cost and transportation are taken out of the equation to allow each student to attend school on their own terms as a rising nurse.

How to help get your kids excited about reading

Get Your Kindergartener Excited About Reading Before the First Day of School

You have the shiny new backpack. You have the lunchbox. You have new shoes that actually fit with spiffy laces that cannot accidentally become untied. You have a few shirts with no grass stains, no ketchup stains, and no unidentified Continue reading

stains. Your kindergartener is almost ready for his or her first day of school.

What’s missing?

You need to get your little one excited about academics. Personalized gifts are the perfect way to get little ones excited about learning how to read. Instead of only looking forward to lunch time and recess, get your kid stoked about learning how to read with a personalized book just for him or her.

Little Kids Love Stuff About Themselves

Early childhood is a great time for kids to explore new things and reach new milestones. However, one thing does not change for a few years. Little ones love pictures of themselves, they love seeing their name on things, and they love personalized gifts. Books are the perfect type of personalized gifts for boys and girls. Instead of getting a generic book from the store, get something that will spark a lifelong love of reading and learning.

It is true. Reading can be a lot of fun, even before Kindergarten. Give your child ownership of a new book about going back to school by having his or her name and picture on it. Encourage him or her to start reading before the teacher drills the class on the alphabet.

Embrace the Transition From Early Childhood to Elementary School

Personalized gifts are a great way to introduce your little one to a milestone without being too scary. After all, sharing halls with fifth graders literally twice your little one’s size can be intimidating. Give your child something he or she can identify with as a little critter and as an adult. There is a little bit of child in almost all adults, and the ability to remember a specific time is priceless. Instead of buying a virtual library that will likely be discarded and ignored a few years down the line, invest in a personalized book that will be a great welcome to school gift today and a great heirloom years from now. One of my favorite  distributors of personalized items is popular book publisher Chronicle Books that also offers personalized gifts for boys and girls.

Your Kindergartener Will Be a Surly High School Student Before You Know It

Take the opportunity to cherish early childhood memories with a personalized book. Let your little one get excited about reading from the first time he or she sees his or her picture in a real book with binding and a story. Share the gift of a love of reading, or share the gift of a personal story that is to be continued. After all, there is life after the first day of school.

Give your child more than a book for his or her first day of school. Give him or her the opportunity to “write” his or her own journey. Life is full of surprises, just like a great book. Let your child take ownership of a personalized gift, and let him or her take ownership of the rest of his or her time in school.

Smitten Book Club Review

Smitten Book Club is the third book in the “Smitten” series.  All of the books are a collection of short stories from four authors with different main characters. There is a central theme or story that ties the stories together. This time the central theme was a hunt buried gold. The Continue reading

workers at the store where the story is set discover what they think are hints to where the treasure is buried.

The short stories are fun to read and the characters are well developed.  The buried treasure storyline was fun and did not feel forced.  An enjoyable read if you enjoy this sort of book.  I may even check out other books from this series.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Buffalo French Dip

DH loves these quick and easy sandwiches. They make a nice easy hot lunch for him at work. buffalo jerky french dip

Buffalo French Dip

1 packet of dry onion soup mix

1 package of Jerky Direct Sweet & Spicy Buffalo O’s

4 Sweet Dinner Rolls

Monterrey Jack Cheese

Prepare onion soup per label directions. While soup is cooking, slice open dinner Continue reading

rolls. Place two Jerky Direct Sweet & Spicy O’s on each bottom of the roll. Then, slice enough Monterey Jack Cheese to cover the bottom half of the roll. You may substitute your favorite cheese if you wish. Place the top of the roll back on top of the cheese (now you have a sandwich). Microwave two sandwiches at a time for 25 seconds. Essentially, you are microwaving the sandwiches just long enough to start the melting process of the cheese. When soup and sandwiches are done, dip the sandwich in the soup before each bite.


What’s your favorite quick hot lunch?

Making an Open Floor Plan Work for You

Back in our grandparent’s generation, the most common home layout included many small rooms rather than one large space. This architecture style was a practical choice as heating and cooling a large room was very difficult. Today, most floor plans being built are open concept, as seen in many modern contemporary
 homes, Continue reading

meaning that there is one big central area, such as a great room, that attaches to a few smaller rooms in a home. Having bigger rooms is excellent for resale as it allows for more natural light to enter, making a space feel larger. Open concept homes are also excellent for entertaining, as there is a much larger common area for your guests.


While open concept homes are in high demand among buyers, what should you do when your home is too open?  Sometimes, furniture configuration in large, unrestricted spaces can be tricky to arrange because there are fewer walls to back your furnishings into. If you are having a difficult time making your open areas function, make the most out of your space by breaking your living area up into smaller, more manageable sections.


If you have a very large room in your home, make it do double duty by visually converting one room into two. Rather than building up walls to reconfigure your floor plan, there are many other options to maintain the open feeling of your room while designating it as two separate areas.


Permanent Solutions


If you own your home, one way to section out your existing room is to build out a permanent partition wall. If there are many windows in your space, this is an excellent way to maintain all of the natural light in your room while also splitting off the space.


If you are building one small pony wall, this is a very cost effective method to create a permanent floor plan change as any handy do it yourselfer could take this on as a weekend project. If you plan on working with load bearing walls, or installing any beams to support other floors, it is a good idea to get a general contractor involved in your project. A construction professional can come in handy when making many smaller rooms out of one larger space, and they will have great advice on how to define the structure of your home.


The only difficult aspect of adding a pony wall would be if you would like to add outlets or other electricity to your new partition. If electricity re-routing is a requirement, it is important that an experienced and licensed electrician completes this work.


Temporary Solutions


Another great option for breaking up the space is to integrate a non-permanent partition. There are many different materials that can be used to create your temporary divider. Bookcases and shoji screens make practical and beautiful additions to any space in order to help break up your room. You can also create a semi-permanent divider by hanging a sliding barn door, curtain or other temporary wall structure to create boundaries in your larger areas.


Open concept homes are great for resale, and if you own your house, you can make top dollar on your next move. By not blocking off your large rooms and defining your current living space, you are appealing to even more buyers in this already seller-dominated market.



Chicken Gnocchi Soup

DH will attest to being dragged out to Olive Garden almost every time we have a date night. I always order the Chicken Gnocchi Soup then take my main entree home for a meal the next day. While I love this arrangement I think Hubby has decided he’d like a little Continue reading

more variety so he made me this very yummy copycat version of the Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup.

Great soup for chilly nights.  Pairs well with garlic bread. As an alternative swap out the chicken for a lightly seared firm tofu and the chicken broth for vegetable broth for an excellent vegetarian dish.

What are some of your restaurant favorites you wish you had a copycat recipe for?
chicken gnochi soup copy

  • Prep time:15 minutes
  • Cook time:20 minutes
  • Serves: 8


4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup finely diced celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart half-and-half
2 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 cup finely shredded carrots
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves
1 cup diced cooked chicken breast (you can use a rotisserie chicken)
1 (16-ounce) package ready-to-use gnocchi


Melt the butter into the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion becomes translucent. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the half-and-half. Simmer until thickened. Whisk in the chicken broth. Simmer until thickened again. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, the thyme, parsley, carrots, spinach, chicken, and gnocchi. Simmer until the soup is heated through. Before serving, season with additional salt, if necessary.

Supply Your Concession Stand and Feed the Baseball Team with Crowd Favorites

Supplying your concession stand candy stock is easy once you get to know what your customers enjoy most. Then you can find an online seller who can help you make sure you don’t run out of your crowd favorites. One example of a full-service candy and concession stand supplier is Blair Continue reading

Candy. This company, and others like it, offer you all kinds of candy that kids and families will love at any event.

Whether you need candy for an upcoming fundraising drive or your customers show up to your concession stand during some of the bigger events for school and the community. You won’t have to worry about running out of your favorites as you learn to watch the purchasing patterns of some of your most loyal customers for each kind of candy you keep in stock. Whether your customers want chocolate, hard candies, nostalgic candies or something else, you will find something to satisfy everyone.

It isn’t all candy at concessions supply websites. If you need to find something healthy for a group of Little League baseball players, peruse the most popular items to feed these young athletes, along with some fun candy treats. Try David brand sunflower seeds, cans of assorted snack size treats such as Cracker Jacks, Airheads Bites, Swedish Fish, Gummies, Sour Patch Kids, Laffy Taffy, Fun Dip, Atomic Fire Balls, Jaw Breakers, Wonka Bottle Caps, Marshmallow Candy Cones, Slo Poke candy and much more. Of course, adult baseball players tend to use their chew products, but kids have a huge array of bubblegum from which they can choose to help keep concentration, retain hydration or simply blow some bubbles while out on the field or up at bat.

Simply offering nostalgic candy goes a long way toward attracting kids’ parents, as well as the kids, so don’t shy away from Banana Split Candy Chews, Bonomo Turkish Taffy, Bit O Honey Bite Size, Black Cow Bite Size, Boston Baked Beans, Candy Buttons, Circus Peanuts, Candy Necklaces, Red Hots, Coconut Slices Candy Bar, Gobstoppers, Gold Coins, Good n’ Plenty, Lemon Heads, Mary Jane Candy and so much more.

For the chocolate lovers in your midst, choose from the large selection of candy bars that you can buy in bulk. Candy bars often give customers more of a substantial feeling, so order some Three Musketeers, 5th Avenue Almond Joy, Butterfinger, Kit Kat, Milky Way, 100 Grand, Reese’s, Snickers and many other favorite crowd pleasers.

The Benefits of Quality Toolboxes and Tool Chests

In the 19th century, a toolbox was usually crafted by the person who carried it. They were typically made from inexpensive wood or scraps left over from another job. These homemade toolboxes offered little in the way of organization or security, and they normally had room for just a few basic Continue reading

tools. The tool chests used in shops were often considerably larger, but they still lacked true security features.

Modern toolboxes and tool chests have little in common with their ancestors. Today, metal is the material of choice, and the variety of styles available might prove overwhelming to an artisan from the 1800s. From wall-mounted hutches to cantilever toolboxes, there are options that are perfect for the professional as well as the average homeowner. Tool chests and toolboxes offer two important benefits, whether they are carried in the family sedan or used in a professional repair shop.


Every professional knows the importance of being able to find the desired tool quickly. As the adage states, “Time is money.” When it is necessary to waste time looking for the desired tool, activities that generate income must wait.

Even if the tools are not used in a professional capacity, the ability to locate a tool easily can save frustration. It means that the task can be accomplished faster, freeing up time for more enjoyable activities, such as spending time with the family or just relaxing.


Tools typically “disappear” in one of three ways. They may be stolen from the home or workplace, they may be lost or they may be borrowed by a family member or coworker. A tool that is out of sight may be overlooked by a thief or borrower, while one that is clearly visible may be taken.

Similarly, a tool that is not stored properly might be knocked into the trashcan inadvertently or fall behind a worktable. In such cases, the tool might be lost forever. It might also be damaged from the incident.

Whether lost, stolen, borrowed or damaged, the result is the same. The tool is not available when it is needed, and time may be lost searching for it. If it is not found, or if it is too damaged to perform properly, it will be necessary to invest both time and money in securing a replacement.

Choosing a Toolbox or Tool Chest

The toolbox or tool chest selected depends on the specific needs of the purchaser. Some buyers need a large cabinet with multiple drawers, while others need a smaller chest on wheels. Toolboxes can be as small as approximately one foot in length and hold a single layer of tools, or they can be 20 inches or more in length and have multiple drawers or cantilevers.

Vendors such as carry a wide variety of styles and sizes. One way that shoppers can narrow down their choices is to browse the selection online. Click here to view examples of the toolboxes and tool chests sold.

Madison Reed Hair Dye review

kh photo Madison Reed is a subscription based service that will send you a box of hair dye every month.  This is great because you don’t have to remember what color you ordered, plus having it ready to arrive for your touch ups. One of the nicest features is they ask you Continue reading

a />series of questions to help you find a color that would be suitable for you. This looks at skin tones and many other aspects that effect the color that would suit you best. They then provide a selection of choices suited to choose from, but you don’t have to follow that if you don’t want to.  There is also a color translator to help you match the colors from existing brands.

The dyes are Handcrafted in Italy, and come in 27 colors.  I chose Vesuvius Red.  The package arrived in a very nice box with all of the things I’d need to apply the color.   The box contains;

  • Instructions
  • Barrier cream to keep the skin around your hairline clean
  • 2 pairs of gloves, one to apply, one to rinse
  • Color and Activator
  • Hair cap
  • Cleansing wipes
  • Shampoo and Conditioner

Things I liked:
It’s thick
Two pair of gloves
Barrier gel – kept any runoff from dripping

Color suitable shampoo and conditioner was enough for several washes

As listed above, some of the things I like were that this hair dye is thick.  That means it stays where you put it.  If you’ve ever used a cheap box dye you know they can run everywhere.  Unfortunately, that meant I felt like I really had to work it to get good cohesive all-over coverage.  I liked that it came with two pair of gloves which were salon quality instead of those cheap gloves in box dye that you rip through almost instantly.  That way I could just toss the first pair out instead of trying to preserve them, rinse them or just go without during rinsing.

Overall I was pleased with the application and the color turned out nice. The instructions were very detailed in order to help you get the professional look at home, the color was vibrant and they even have  sneaky freebie in the box. All you need is a QR reader on your phone to get it :D

If you are in the market for hair dye and would like the convenience of having your dye shipped to you every month, on line consultants to help you choose the right color and, no more trying to match shades each month; then Madison Reed is definitely the site for you with its easy to use process, checkout and instructions.




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