#GirlsCan. Don’t ever say we can’t.

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on November 24, 2014

I witnessed first-hand on my trip to India how women are being empowered to do things only men once had. Breaking down barriers in a third-world country seems like a much more challenging task than doing so right here at home. But, even here it’s a challenge.

And, that’s why Walmart and CoverGirl are getting involved. The CoverGirl #GirlsCan campaign is all about encouraging girls to break down barriers and turning “can’t” into “can.” Everyone has a #GirlsCan story and the CoverGirls are proud to share theirs.

Y’all know that I have only one daughter. Because she is surrounded by boys, two of whom are older and four younger, she often hears that she can’t do something just as well as the boys can. Fortunately, she knows she can. Her dad and I have made sure of it.

She can play soccer. She can sing. She can stand up for herself. She can lead. She can become a mom or a doctor or a teacher or an engineer. Because #GirlsCan.

Now, of course, we are teaching the clear differences between boys and girls. God built us different for a very special reason, but neither gender is more important. It is vital for all of our children to understand this. Empowerment can only go as far as we are able, as God intended, but that certainly doesn’t mean girls can’t do and be and become. Girls most certainly can.

What is your #GirlsCan story? How have you turned the can’t in to CAN?

You may support the #GirlsCan initiative by finding the specially marked limited-edition packs of #GirlsCan CoverGirl Flamed Out Mascara and Pro Mascara at your local Walmart.

CoverGirl #GirlsCan

Walmart and CoverGirl are each giving $50k to Dress for Success, an international not-for profit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

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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VeggieTales In The House {New to Netflix}

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on November 23, 2014

Bob and Larry were always favorites in our house, especially with my twins. I can’t even tell you how many times my little guys watched them and the rest of the VeggieTales cast on Lord of the BeansThe Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything, or just about any other VeggieTales movie. Larry’s Silly Songs often played while we were in the car, I put them on to keep my kiddos happy while I made dinner or just to inspire some smiles.

VeggieTales cast

In case you are not familiar, most VeggieTales movies are cute little parodies of popular films, bringing a message that is not soon forgotten. Each movie contains original music and a valuable life lesson that kiddos need to learn. Oftentimes even I benefit from the message on selflessness, kindness, honesty, or forgiveness.

I could always count on VeggieTales to be good, clean, wholesome fun. And I still can. Beauty and the Beet, released last month, was inspired by the story of Beauty and the Beast. While not at all similar in storyline, apart from learning to love the unlovely, this charming movie, starring Kellie Pickler, is a wonderful story of unconditional love. And the music is fantastic!

Now, for some really exciting news – VeggieTales is coming exclusively to Netflix on November 26, called VeggieTales in the House! There will be a total of 150 11-minute shorts developed and released over the next three years.

VeggieTales in the house - Only on Netflix

VeggieTales in the House shows what Bob and Larry are like in their own lives when they aren’t acting, like in all these movies we love so much. This series has a slightly new look, due in part to a new production team and new technology, but it’ll be the same Bob and Larry with a fresh appeal to the younger crowd.

Timmy and I are hooked after just watching the VeggieTales in the House official trailer and getting a sneak peek at one of the first episodes. In fact, a flood of great memories came back and I got goosebumps when I heard Bob and Larry give their sign off – “God made you special. And He loves you very much.” We can’t wait to see more!

Keep an eye out for VeggieTales DVDs at Walmart, as well as other great goodies coming soon!

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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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…

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 […]

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

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 […]

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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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