Virgin Mobile Custom {Exclusive to Walmart} Review

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on November 11, 2014

Josh has been able to try a few different phones recently and he says his new LG Unify is the best! He just recently changed schools, and on this new phone he has plenty of data and text messages to be able to keep in touch with his friends from his old school without having to worry about going over. He’s also downloaded few games that either require wifi or data, so knowing he has lots of time to play is an added bonus!

LG PULSE Virgin Mobile Custom

Now, I’ll tell you why the LG Unify on the Virgin Mobile Custom plan is my favorite for him –

First off, the great value can’t be beat! We only paid for what we need for him by building our own plan with Virgin Mobile Custom. With a no-contract plan that started at just $6.98 per month, we added data and text messaging at an additional cost to fit Josh’s needs. Virgin Mobile is part of the Sprint Nationwide network, so I can be sure that he will have great coverage no matter where he goes.

Another great feature is the Virgin Mobile Custom App that I was able to download on my Samsung S5, even though it is on a totally different plan. Directly from my smartphone, I am able to access the plan on Josh’s phone, make payments, manage his device, and see special offers.

Virgin Mobile Custom - Make it Yours
But, my favorite feature is the Parental Controls available through Virgin Mobile Custom. I have set curfews and content restrictions during certain times of the day, and also limit data usage, text messages, and phone time. I can control all of this from my own phone without ever having to have his in hand!

Virgin Mobile Custom - Make it Yours with Parental Controls

The following infographic only furthers my belief that parents must be in constant communication with their teens and pre-teens when it comes to technology and all things social media. The parental controls available on the Virgin Mobile Custom plan definitely brings me an added peace of mind.

VM-14-22776_Custom_Mom_Infographic_FINAL-1

Virgin Mobile Custom is exclusive to Walmart, and as I mentioned before, plans begin at the low and very affordable price of $6.98 per month!

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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What Parents & Teens Need to Know About Cyberbullying

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on November 11, 2014

Julia and her best friend, Melody, are trying to move on after their first hand experience with how awful being the victims of a cyberbully can be. While they are doing well and thriving in their new school, making new friends, and doing everything normal teenage girls love to do, they still have moments of fear and doubt. There are triggers that recreate those feelings of terror and suspicion. It will be a long road to complete healing, but I believe we are on our way.

I am proud to say that along this road the girls have been empowered by a new calling – a desire to tell their story and share how their peers can stay safe online. They are hoping to bring awareness so as to help prevent something similar from happening to others. Recently they were able to speak on a panel at a blogging conference in Florida, along with Marti (Melody’s mom) and myself, to share these tips.

What Parents and Teens Need to Know About Cyberbullying

Before sharing these tips with y’all, I think it’s incredibly important to define what makes a bully, and thus a cyberbully. All too often are these terms, or titles as it were, are thrown around lightly and misused. While the girls case was pretty extreme, as they saw almost all forms of cyberbullying, any harassing behavior that a bully uses via technology fits the bill.

What Is Cyberbullying?

Bullying is an intentional and repetitive aggressive behavior. An attitude spawned from the intention to gain power over another; to gain the upper hand emotionally and/or physically. When people disagree, aggressive behavior and responses may appear similar to bullying, but it is important to know the difference. Be careful not to assume that every conflict requires identifying a bully and a victim.

Cyberbullying involves using technology, like cell phones and the Internet, to bully or harass another person. Cyberbullying can range from embarrassing or cruel online posts or digital pictures, to online threats, harassment, and negative comments. Cyberbullying can also take the form of stalking through emails, websites, social networks and text messages.

McAfee Cyberbullying Infographic

It’s pretty staggering to me that only 10% of parents are aware that their teens are targets of a cyberbully, according to McAfee, especially given that 1 in 4 teens claim to be a target. I can not stress enough the importance of maintaining an open dialog with your kids about all things digital, especially proper social media etiquette. Marti and I have a few additional tips for keeping your family safe online:

  • Secure your network
  • Be smart when choosing P@55w0rd5 and change them regularly
  • Use mutli-factor authentication
  • Keep an eye on your recent sign-in activity
  • Use Parental Controls and set boundaries
  • Teach your children about online safety
  • Be aware and proactive online

While both Julia and Melody did have to delete their Instagram accounts, they are now back online and active on a social media platform or two. With our help, they came up with some great tips for themselves and their peers for staying safe online:

  • Be careful who you allow to use your phone or computer
  • Don’t tell all your friends your passwords
  • Don’t give personal information to people you meet online or on a public site
  • Listen to your gut
  • Be careful what you download
  • Let your parents know if something is wrong

As shown on the infographic above, almost 66% of teens being cyberbullied responded to the bully. As the girls learned pretty quickly, it is uber important to only respond to a bully by telling them to stop. Any other communication could be seen as a two-way dialog and makes the victim look just as bad as the bully. Julia and Mel have some other tips for teens who are being cyberbullied:

  • Tell your parents
  • Try to ignore ugly messages and only respond telling them to stop
  • Screen shot and print out all messages
  • Report the incident and block user
  • Keep documentation with dates and times
  • Talk to parents of known bully and/or school counselor
  • Find out who else may be involved
  • Report to proper authorities

I feel like this only scratches the surface, so I will plan to elaborate at some point. Feel free to add to the conversation by adding your own tips in the comments below!

Image of Boy on iPad - © karelnoppe / Dollar Photo Club
Infographic courtesy of McAfee

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Trying to make sense of it all…

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on November 8, 2014

I have seen a whole lot of ugly this year. One thing after another. Things that may not seem to be much when standing alone. But, together? It’s almost too much.

I’m trying to make sense of it all.

But, perhaps I’m not supposed to make sense of it at all. Perhaps I’m just to be grateful for the beautiful things.

god gives us the ugliness so we don't take the beautiful things for granted - ugly love quote

So, how do I refocus? How do I push the ugliness away and see the beauty?

Because, I’m tired. And I’m angry. And I find myself feeling down. A lot. And I know I am missing those moments that truly matter. I am missing so much.

But, it’s so hard to focus on what is truly important and not let the ugly drag me down.

It’s. So. Hard.

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It’s Time for the Holidays! Shop Smart at Walmart and Save

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on November 2, 2014

It’s time to switch out your wreath, friends! With Halloween behind us, and the Holidays approaching quickly, Walmart is there to make your shopping and planning easier and more affordable.

 

Holiday Savings and Easy Shopping Start Now

Walmart has over 7 million items – one million more than last holiday season – ready for you online. Deals typically reserved for Black Friday and Cyber Monday start on Walmart.com shortly after midnight tonight, with over 20,000 Rollbacks!

Walmart Online Specials

Save Time and Money

  • Savings CatcherTimed for Thanksgiving meal planning, Walmart is expanding Savings Catcher to bring even more savings to the kitchen. Beginning Nov. 2, holiday turkey and ham will be eligible for Savings Catcher, giving families confidence that they’re getting a great price on these holiday meal essentials.
  • Search My StoreWalmart has rolled out another new feature within its mobile app. With Search My Store, customers can search for nearly any item carried in a Walmart store and see the item’s availability at that store, its aisle location, ratings and reviews. (Search My Store is available on Android now, and Apple devices in Mid-November.)

More Holiday Tools, Resources, and Money Saving Incentives

Walmart is also offering new tools and resources to help customers shop the season.

  • Free ShippingWalmart is offering FREE shipping for every single item on their Top 100 Gifts List.
  • Wish Lists: Starting Nov. 7, children and parents can build a Toy Wish List for Santa by adding their favorite toys directly from Walmart’s digital Toy Book. Wish lists can be shared on Facebook and in email with friends and family.
  • Holiday Hub: New this year, Walmart is sharing how-to videos, product demos, seasonal recipes and other tips across multiple platforms where customers seek holiday inspiration, including Pinterest, YouTube and Walmart.com.
  • Layaway: Customers taking advantage of Walmart’s holiday layaway with no opening fee can stretch dollars further by paying at their own pace through Dec. 15.
  • Ad Match: Walmart’s great prices are backed by itsAd Match Guarantee. Stores will match the price of any local competitor’s printed ad for an identical product.

Walmart Holiday Savings

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Hey, Austin friends! Chef Johnny Iuzzini will be in town for a Holiday Entertaining Cooking Demo!

October 30, 2014

I am so incredibly excited to spend an evening at Macy’s next week with Pastry Chef Johnny Iuzzini, and I’d love for you to join us, too! Come on out to Macy’s The Domain (Home Department, Level 2) next Thursday, November 6th, at 6pm to see this fabulous Chef in action! He will show us how to prepare […]

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USA Kids Insulated Sippy Cups {Review}

October 29, 2014

With Timmy being four years old now, he really doesn’t use a sippy cup a whole lot any more, but when he does it’s imperative for me that it stays leak-free and that he thinks it’s a “cool cup”. Well, USA Kids Insulated Sippy Cups are new and exclusive to Walmart and we had a chance to […]

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Make a Difference #ShareAMeal

October 27, 2014

I shared a bit the other day about how Project Sunlight has teamed up with Feeding America to fight child hunger. But, I was inspired to do something more than just bring awareness. I know there are many ways to help in my community, but I took a look at Project Sunlight’s list of 8 Ways […]

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#ShareAMeal with Project Sunlight

October 24, 2014

It’s mind boggling to me that right here in America, there are 16 million children struggling with hunger – that’s the population of Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and Chicago combined! Hunger’s youngest victims are often invisible in the United States, but he reality is, hunger in America has no boundaries – rural, urban and suburban – and […]

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Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult {Book Review}

October 14, 2014

I am a huge fan of Jodi Picoult. Her books always seem to touch on the untouchable; the conversation no one wants to have, the situation in which no one wants to find themselves. She always sparks something in me to learn all I can about the underlying topic about that which she is writing. […]

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Capture Photos That #BringIt

October 4, 2014

With the back-to-school season upon us, don’t miss the opportunity to capture the perfect shot of the winning touchdown, the last second field goal or the fourth quarter huddle. Whether you are attending your child’s Pop Warner tournament or your teen’s Homecoming Football game, be sure to photograph and videotape every moment with high quality. […]

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Back to School Firsts

October 1, 2014

At the end of the summer, Staples asked me if they could send us a Kindle Fire HD in exchange for a post on Back to School Firsts. The idea was to get the books on the Summer Reading List checked off, which the Kindle certainly would have helped my older kiddos do, but I had something additional in mind… […]

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“Being a good wife will make me a bad mom.” {7 Lies Moms Believe}

September 30, 2014

As moms, we tend to hold ourselves to a pretty high standard. If we are completely honest, we expect too much of ourselves as we constantly believe the lies that we are told about having to be perfect, make our kids our whole world, and forsake all other parts of life because you became a mom. […]

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How the Women of India Inspire Me to Do More, Be More and Live a More Abundant Life {#5by20}

September 27, 2014

I had the great honor of being one of 8 professional bloggers to have been chosen by Coca-Cola to join them in India to witness, ask questions, and enjoy our time exploring their 5by20 initiative. It has been two weeks since we returned home from a trip of a lifetime where I saw how women’s lives are being impacted in India in […]

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Countdown to Confidence

September 26, 2014

“With Invisalign, the confidence of a great smile starts on the first day of treatment and lasts a lifetime.” Just a heads up, friends… You can enter to win an Invisalign Treatment for you or your teen AND $1000 in the Countdown to Confidence Daily Instant Win & Sweepstakes. You may enter daily, now through November 13th, for […]

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Smoothie King Comes to Cedar Park!!

September 26, 2014

You’re invited to Smoothie King’s Cedar Park grand opening this Saturday from 9am-noon! Smoothie King, the premier smoothie bar and nutritional lifestyle center in the industry, will unveil its 700th new store on Saturday morning, with a grand opening event at its new (and very first) Cedar Park location. Kids, 12 years and younger, are encouraged to participate in […]

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Bake the Perfect Batch with New Reynolds Cookie Baking Sheets

September 25, 2014

Julia and I do a whole lot of baking and it’s not entirely unlikely that we have to wash our cookie sheets every day, more than once. Needless to say, both of us were excited to hear about new Reynolds Cookie Baking Sheets. They are pre-cut parchment sheets that provide an easy, convenient way to “Bake the Perfect Batch.” […]

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Fall Beauty :: Hair

September 23, 2014

Walmart was my one stop shop for changing things up as we move from Summer to Fall! Over the weekend, I shared with you my newest favorite outfit, just in time for Fall. But, I wanted to change my hair color (back to Auburn) and experiment a bit with styling accessories, too. I started off […]

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{DIY} Harvest Floral Wreath

September 22, 2014

Fall colors are one of my favorite things about the Autumn season. Oranges, reds, yellows, and deep greens all around me just seem to bring a sense of warmth and cozyness – a feeling of contentment, I suppose – in spite of the cooler outdoor temperatures. Whether I’m switching out my summer mantle to the deep […]

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My Go-To Fall Outfit

September 21, 2014

I am loving the bright colors that are available in fashion and apparel at Walmart this Fall! Of course, you can still find all of the goodies that make dressing for this season so great – boots, scarves, oversized sweaters, and all – but adding bright splashes of color to my outfit is easy to do […]

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Large Families Need to be Prepared for a Disaster: National Disaster Preparedness Month

September 18, 2014

Disaster, whether natural or man made, can strike at any time. September is dedicated as National Disaster Preparedness Month to get people thinking about what they would do should a disaster hit. Are you and your family prepared? Your first thoughts in a disaster scenario is about those closest to you, your family. You wonder […]

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Laniwai Spa: One of Many Reasons to Visit Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa

September 16, 2014

Along the beaches of Ko Olina, nestled between mountains and ocean of Oahu, Hawaii sits the breath-taking and magical Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. There are many reasons to visit this beautiful oasis that is just outside of the hustle and bustle of Waikiki, yet close enough to enjoy all the island has to offer. Laniwai Spa is […]

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A Bedtime Routine Sure to Calm and Promote Sleep Through the Entire Night

September 15, 2014

The end of the day is almost the most challenging, as a mom, it seems. Getting the kids ready for bed and all tucked in is sometimes the last thing I want to do when I am so tired myself. Especially when there are the after tuck in bedtime delays – I’m hungry. I need a […]

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