Category: us family guide

WINC: A Wine Club for You (Sponsored)

I’m back again with a new US Family Guide offer that I am pretty sure y’all are going to like! I’ve been chosen to partner with a wine delivery club, which means (you guessed it!) FREE WINE for me, in exchange for promoting an offer to my readers and offering my honest opinion after I get my wine.
Here is what I have been asked to tell you about Winc:
Winc is not your traditional wine club: we are a direct-distribution global wine company that personalizes the entire wine experience.  We are perfecting how wine is made, distributed, perceived and purchased via our Palate Profile quiz that recommends wine based on your unique tastes and enjoyed by a new generation of wine drinkers. It takes the hassle and guesswork out of picking a bottle from your local liquor store and delivers the perfect bottles directly to your doorstep. We do all this as part of our quest to improve the experience for consumers, create a platform for artisanal winemaking, and build a grape-to-glass supply chain that’s sustainable for the planet. No more intimidating language and steep price points, and more joy in the act of sharing a bottle.
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My Readers Save $22 Off Your First Month of Winc!  Winc offers 4 personalized wines each month. Bottles start at $13 each. 
Go to: www.trywinc.com/usfamilyguide
I’ll be back, as always, to let you know what I think after my bottles arrive.

The Ring I Always Wanted: Sponsored Review

I told y’all a few weeks ago that I was going to be getting a ring from Mama’s Jewelry in exchange for my honest opinion here.  Well, it arrived last week and here is my honest opinion:  I LOVE IT!
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The ordering process for this was only hard because there were so many choices.  There are many, many styles.  There are different metals available.  You can upgrade to actual gemstones if you want.  And if you’d rather have some other form of jewelry, you can do that too.
My ring is sterling silver plate.  I didn’t choose to upgrade anything.  I did have to pay an upcharge because my fingers are fat.  I don’t like that, but I’m used to having to do it for clothes already so it’s not like it’s a practice that is unique to Mama’s Jewelry.  If your fingers are NOT fat, you will pay only $69 for this ring.
You can have as many as ten birthstones in this ring, should you be blessed with a large family.  Because I have only six children, they filled in the extra space with synthetic diamonds–this happens to be my own birthstone, which makes it even better!
I’m especially happy to have this ring because I was able to include a stone in remembrance of our last baby, who was miscarried.  I love having that tangible reminder right there on my finger.
The only thing I don’t like about my ring is that two of my children just had to be born in the same month.  It bothers me that two of the stones are the same, but at least they aren’t next to each other!
Save $10 with Code_ MAMAS10

Personalized Jewelry to Honor the Mothers in Your Life

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When I was a little girl, I took weekly piano lessons from a family acquaintance.  I remember that she had a ring with multicolor stones that I thought was just beautiful.  She explained that it held the birthstones of each of her children.
Since then I’ve seen similar rings or pendants and have toyed with the idea of getting one–but the fact is that I don’t wear much jewelry and spending money on it just isn’t in our budget.
So I was very excited to be offered the opportunity to promote Mama’s Jewelry in exchange for a free ring of my own!  I haven’t ordered it yet, so I can’t give you my honest opinion, but I will.  For now, I will share a message from the company and an offer you can use:

Moms work hard 365 days out of the year, so why give them another predictable gift this Mother’s Day? With the exquisite collection of mothers rings from Mama’s Jewelry, you’re bound to make this the most unforgettable Mother’s Day yet! Each time she looks down at her ring, puts on her earrings or is asked about her necklace, she’ll remember just how much she’s loved.
Mama’s Jewelry has been designing rings and pendants for moms for 30 years, and we have no intention of slowing down! Our company is committed to creating exceptional mothers pendants, rings and earrings at affordable prices.
We are a family operated business born out of a passion for creating jewelry from gold, Sterling Silver, platinum and diamonds. We care about your comfort and satisfaction and how secure your diamonds and gems are set.
We are so proud of our jewelry in our store we give our customers a lifetime warranty on any piece of jewelry they buy. With that culture in mind, we developed Mama’s Jewelry.
What is the Mama’s Jewelry Advantage? Simple. We care.
A great deal of thought goes into the process of designing these rings, pendants and bracelets. When the customer receives their jewelry there is “wow” factor. We hear it time and time again. We always deliver 110%.
Thickness of the shank, the prongs, the quality of the stones, the way they are set; no one gives the customer so much attention to detail like we do. We have over 2100 positive reviews on eBay and thousands of reviews on Amazon and have sold tens of thousands pieces without any complaint.
A key benefit to shopping with us is our fast turnaround times. As soon as we receive your order, our CAD technicians and certified jewelers get to work designing and building your custom item. All of our processes follow strict quality control measures. Everything that comes from us has our seal of approval. If we wouldn’t give it to our loved ones, we won’t send it to you!
Most orders for mothers rings and pendants are able to be sent out within 3 to 5 days, reaching you about a week later. If you’re shopping at the last minute, Mama’s Jewelry will take care of you and ensure that you get a custom made item that looks like it took months to make!

We love jewelry and we want our passion for it to be evident in any piece we offer.
My readers can save with the following offer:

Mother’s Day Special Offer – Save $10 Off already low prices. (minimum purchase $59)  Click here and use code: MAMAS10.
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Adventure Time! (Sponsored)

John and I are going on a trip!  This will be the farthest we have ever traveled without our kids, and only the second time I can remember that we’ve ever traveled alone by plane.
We are going to San Francisco!  Obviously, we are going because Teddy is there, and we will arrive on his birthday.  But that weekend is also the anniversary of our becoming a couple (31 years!) which we always celebrate (but usually by going out to dinner, or on a good year, with a weekend in Gatlinburg).
I went to San Francisco with my godfather and his daughter in May of 1981.  It was my first time on an airplane and my first trip away from my family.  I fell in love with the city and have wanted to return ever since.
But we are not exactly world travelers, y’all, and Teddy will be working a lot while we are there and we are going to have to find things to do.  I’m always a little nervous finding my way around in a new place.
So when U.S. Family Guide offered me the opportunity to go on an Urban Adventure Quest, I was very excited to see (as I expected) that San Francisco was one of the cities included.  In exchange for my (future) honest review, John and I will be able to go on a quest that will be a fun way to explore part of San Francisco!
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Here is what I know so far:
Turn the city of your choice into a giant game board with this fun scavenger hunt adventure. Combine the excitement of the Amazing Race with a three-hour city tour. Guided from any smart phone, teams make their way among well known and overlooked gems of the city, solving clues and completing challenges while learning local history. Play anytime during daylight hours. Start when you want and play at your pace. Great Family Fun!
Here is an offer for my readers:  Save 20%- Only $39.20 for a team of 2-5 people after Promotion Code: FGBLOG.
You can see what cities are available (local readers, note that Nashville and Asheville are on the list!) and sign up at www.UrbanAdventureQuest.com.  I’ll be back here with my review at the end of February.

SPONSORED REVIEW: Watch Ya' Mouth Throwdown Edition

Do you like board games?  Do you like silly physical challenges?  Do you like laughing hysterically?  If so, you are probably going to like this game, which I received free as a U.S. Family Guide blogger in exchange for my honest review.
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So Watch Ya’ Mouth, Throwdown Edition, is a game that makes use of mouthpieces, which judging from a recent trip to Walgreens, is apparently a thing.  Who knew?  I don’t watch t.v., y’all, and my kids ask for things like statues of Egyptian gods and rare stuffed animals from eBay, so I’m not exactly up on the trends. 🙂
You can get more information about the game, and even see a video of it being played, on my original post.  I’m going to share a more detailed explanation of how it works in this post.
So first of all, I’m kind of misspeaking when I call it a board game because there isn’t a board.  There are cards, and balls, and mouthpieces, and straws, and party horns, and a timer.  Plus you may need some common household items like spoons or tissues.  But don’t worry–if a particular challenge calls for something that isn’t handy, you can improvise.  In fact, improvising and having house rules are encouraged in this game, which doesn’t take itself too seriously.  This isn’t Trivial Pursuit, y’all.
Without going into too much detail, when it’s your turn, you roll the die to determine who you are challenging, then both of you insert mouthpieces and perform the challenge on the Throwdown card.  Whoever succeeds first wins the card. There are several possible categories of challenges.  In the “Picture Perfect” challenges, players must draw objects by holding pencils in their mouths.  The “Ping Pong Pop” challenges involve passing balls around on spoons held in mouths.  “Suck It Up” challenges use straws to–yes, guessed it–suck things up.  This is only a very small sampling of the challenges provided.
In addition to the Throwdown cards, there are Phrase cards which are used in some challenges.  For example, in the “So Much Drama” challenge, players must recite a phrase from a Phrase card in a particular emotion.  Other challenges simply involve guessing the phrase, not super easy to do when considering both the mouthpiece and the obscurity of the phrases, for example: “Bar Soap Bubbles Up” and “Fairy Flower House.”
In case you were wondering, a game lasts four rounds, a round being complete when every player has had one turn.  Whoever has the most cards at the end wins.  You can see the game in action below:


So now what you’ve all been waiting for:  my honest opinion.  The game has lots and lots of cards with many creative options and a wide variety of challenges.  You won’t do them all in one sitting and then get bored.  If your family likes this kind of game, then you will enjoy Watch Ya Mouth Throwdown Edition.
Me, I don’t like this game.  But it’s not the game’s fault, it’s mine.  It’s just not the kind of thing I enjoy and if I’d been paying more attention on the front end I would not have asked to review it.
Many people do like this game very much, including Toy Insider and Amazon.  Throwdown Edition was already been awarded Top Holiday Toy of 2017 by Toy Insider and was selected for the 2017 Amazon Holiday Toy List.
So if you are like those people and not a boring party pooper like me, and you want a hilarious family game to play during the holidays, your search is over. Just click here and use code 15WYM for 15% off!
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SPONSORED Review: Sun Tail Mermaid

Y’all remember Splash, right?  About the mermaid who became human and walked the streets of New York?  And of course before that there was Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of The Little Mermaid, most recently re-interpreted by Disney.   In our popular imagination, mermaids long to leave the sea to become human, even if only for a little while.
Meanwhile, in the real world, little girls imagine being mermaids.  When I was a little girl back in the carefree 70s, spending hours every summer day in the pool, I had to try to swim with my legs together and just pretend.  But because I am a US Family Guide blogger and get to try products for free in exchange for my honest review, Lorelei’s mermaid dreams are a little more realistic!
Sun Tail makes wearable, swimmable mermaid tails out of swimsuit material.  They come in many colors–the hardest part of this whole process was deciding which one to buy.  In addition to the beautiful tails, they make monofins that fit inside the tail to complete your mermaid swimming experience.
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You can read more details about the product and company by clicking here for my first post from a few weeks ago.  In this post I want to share what Lorelei (and I) thought of the mermaid tail I ordered for her.
First of all, it’s really pretty and comfortable.  Also, it fits very nicely, and she practiced walking in it (without the monofin!), and there is totally enough stretch to make that possible.  The monofin is extremely well-made and durable, with pockets for your feet as well as three straps to make sure it stays on.  The whole thing comes with detailed instructions, and special guards to protect the delicate fabric of the tail from being torn by the monofin.
Unfortunately, it is winter, and we don’t have access to an indoor pool, so the best I can do is promise you (as Lorelei insisted I must) that at our first opportunity we will try the tail out in water to see how it performs.
If you want to make a little girl’s mermaid dream come true this Christmas I have an offer for you:
Receive a 10% discount on your order at www.SunTailMermaid.com by entering this code: BestGiftEver.  (And don’t worry–they haven’t forgotten about little boys as you can see in the picture below.)
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SPONSORED REVIEW: Package from Santa

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A couple of weeks ago I told y’all about this cool company that helps add a little magic to your child’s Christmas.  I received a letter, phone call, and video from Santa–all personalized–in exchange for my honest review.
First of all, let me explain how all this works.  You purchase the package of your choice (all components are available separately–the silver package is what I received and am reviewing here).  Then you customize everything just the way you want it on the website.  This is explained clearly and is very easy.  And you don’t have to do it all at once.  I did the letter first and then came back a couple of days later to figure out the video, and then last of all, the phone call.
There are many, many choices for each component.  I ended up writing my own letter so it was completely personalized.  There are templates to choose instead if you aren’t feeling super creative.  You also get to choose from several videos and telephone calls.  These are personalized with a picture of your child that you upload, and details such as age, birthday, and what they may have done to get on Santa’s nice list this year!
The letter was my (and Lorelei’s) favorite.  She was totally surprised and mystified.  The letter also came with a signed photo of Santa and a Nice List certificate.
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I was a little confused about how the whole phone call thing would work but it’s pretty clever.  You download a free app on your phone and then schedule the call for when you want it to come in.  Then you get a notification when it is scheduled and you have to confirm it.  Once you locate your child you hit a button to accept the call.  And you set a delay that causes a black screen to appear so that it really looks like a phone call coming in!
The video is sent to your email when it is ready and then it’s up to you how and when to share it with your child.  You can purchase it on DVD as well if you like.  The phone call is saved on the app like a voice mail, so you can treasure this experience forever and your child can listen over and over again.
I was impressed by the quality of this product and by the user-friendliness of the process.  I would recommend this either for smaller kids or for fun for non-believers (there are even options aimed specifically at adults!).  I would NOT recommend it to a savvy eight year old who will spot the video/audio editing immediately.
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It’s not too late to order your very own Package from Santa!
Go to the website and save 25% OFF your order when you use FAMS17 at checkout.  Hurry–you have until December 15, 2017!

SPONSORED: Shop Healtop

About six weeks ago I was given the opportunity to try some products from Healtop, which the company’s founder describes as “a company dedicated to increasing health & wellness through natural, efficient and effective proven supplements, vitamins, skincare products, and more.”  You can read more about the people behind Healtop and the philosophy of the company right here.
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As a U.S. Family Guide blogger, I agreed to provide an honest review of the products they sent me.  I picked the bundle of products for women over 45.
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My bundle arrived with the items in pretty floral packaging and I could already smell them before I opened them  (That’s a good thing–I LOVE the way they smell!)  My bundle had face cream, body cream, and a bottle of some kind of liquid supplement called “Balance.”
I didn’t really know what to make of the supplement but I know what to do with face and body creams so I started using those right away.  They are made of all natural ingredients and like I said they smelled wonderful.  I really enjoyed using them,  especially the face cream.  When you get older and your skin gets drier sometimes it has almost a thirsty feeling, you know?  And this cream really satisfies this.  I think coconut oil is its base ingredient and it’s a little hard to get used to because it is kind of shiny going on, but once it is absorbed there is no greasy feel to it at all.
So I loved the externally applied Healtop products, but let’s talk about the supplement.  Balance has a lot of herbs in it you might have heard of like Dong Quai, Black Cohosh, and Elderberry.  I didn’t really know what it was supposed to do, but I said I’d try it so I started taking a dose morning and night (twenty drops of it in water).  I am still taking it and I think I will have to buy more when it’s gone because . . . WOW.
I had to engage in some very physical tasks after I started taking this involving carrying heavy things up steep stairs multiple times for about five days.  Y’all, I had SO MUCH ENERGY.  I have been feeling old and draggy for quite awhile now and all of a sudden I was just invigorated! I wasn’t doing anything different other than taking this Balance stuff.   So I am sold.
If you are lucky enough NOT to be over 45, they haven’t forgotten about you.  Check out these bundles:
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Plus you can buy any products individually.  Take a look right here to see all that Healtop has to offer!
 

SPONSORED: Package from Santa

Anyone my age remembers with what joy and excitement they greeted the arrival of the Sears Wish Book.  My sister and I would sit on the floor, catalog open on the coffee table, feasting our eyes on the offerings and circling things in pen as we paged through.  Next would come the yearly tradition of writing letters to Santa to tell him what we had chosen, letters hopefully dropped into the mailbox with aspirational addresses like “Snowy Lane, North Pole.”  The only answer we expected was the hoped-for gift under the tree.
But what if your children could really get a letter from Santa?  THEY CAN!
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As I’ve mentioned before, I am a U.S. Family Guide blogger and therefore get to share special offers with you in exchange for my honest review.  Today I’m offering you a discount on a very special Christmas experience for your child.  Here’s what the company wants me to share with you:
Start a new and memorable tradition this Christmas with PackageFromSanta.com, the ONLY Santa memory service that does it ALL! Personalized LETTERS, PACKAGES, CALLS and VIDEOS from SANTA! 
Do you want to see your children’s face light up in amazement when they get a personalized letter from Santa Claus? Of course you do! This not just a letter from Santa. It’s an amazing experience – it’s joy, memories, wonder and happiness in a box! You can choose a specific letter theme and then customize it yourself to include details that only Santa would know! 
Every package also comes with a FREE personalized CALL and VIDEO FROM SANTA that can be scheduled any time. 
PFS has an A+ Rating with the BBB due to their unmatched high-touch customer service so you can be confident that you are making a wise purchase. They have real people on the phone ready to help answer questions. 
Click here to see a video to learn more about this very special Santa memory service that will be a part of my family for years to come! 
The Silver Package ($24.95) comes in a red box & includes:
Personalized Letter from Santa
BONUS! Personalized Video from Santa (retail $9.99)
BONUS! Personalized Phone Call from Santa to a cell phone OR land line! (retail $9.99)
Personalized Nice List Certificate
Autographed Santa Claus Photo
Autographed Rudolph Photo
Genuine North Pole Stamp
…and so much more!
It also comes with a 60-Day Money-Back Guarantee. Wow! They are THAT confident your child will LOVE it! 
There are 3 different packages offered, so you can choose a price point that works with your budget.
I will be receiving the Silver package, which I will be receiving for free in exchange for offering this information to you and posting an honest review after my package arrives.
My readers can save with this offer, either now or after you read my review: Order for your child at at PackageFromSanta.com and save 25% OFF when you use FAMS17 at checkout.
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Sponsored: TurnGram

The world is making sure we know that CHRISTMAS IS COMING.  And that’s why I am getting many requests to share products with you here on the blog.  As a US Family Guide blogger I get offers to share with you, and a free product to try in exchange for my honest review.
Today  I’m talking about TurnGram and I am sincerely excited about trying this service.  Back when I had an actual film camera I used to get triple prints, one set for us, one set for my husband to share with his family, and one set for me to share with the many people I wrote letters to.  Those days are over and although I take far more pictures than I did back in the day, I never make hard copies of them.  So TurnGram is going to be a real treat.  Let me tell you what the company has shared with me:
TurnGram is the perfect gift for everyone on your list…from your closest friend to that hard to buy for relative! For a few bucks a month, TurnGram will select photos from your Instagram feed based on instructions you provide and deliver them directly to the door of your friends and loved ones.
30 Days Free of the Most Unique Holiday Gift – Get your first month FREE when you sign up for TurnGram today! No coupon code required. 100% money back guarantee if you are dissatisfied with our service in any way. Don’t miss out! Sign up today!
Doesn’t that sound cool?  I’m opting to have my pictures sent directly to me. 🙂 I’ll be sure to come back and let you know what I think with TurnGram after I receive my first set.
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