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Friday

Thursday

Ice Age: Collision Course in Theaters Everywhere July 22nd

10:32 PM
Ice Age: Collision Course in Theaters Everywhere July 22nd  via  www.productreviewmom.com
The girls and I were invited as media to preview movie.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Hey Yall!  The other evening, the girls and I were invited to see Ice Age: Collision Course, hosted by Atlanta's local Hip Hop Station, V-103 at Atlantic Station.



Ice Age: Collision Course in Theaters Everywhere July 22nd  via  www.productreviewmom.com


This is the 5th installment of the movie series, and I got to admit something, I haven't seen any of the previous ones.  I just wasn't interested, to be honest with you.  If it wasn't for getting invited to preview this movie, I more than likely wouldn't have seen this latest Ice Age either.





But you know what?  I'm glad I was given the opportunity to see it.  It was actually an alright movie.  It had me laughing here and there.  However, I will say that Ice Age: Collision Course needed to tone down on the jokes, it was way too much.  Like if they were trying too hard.





Other than that, I think it's a movie to gather up the family to see together.  I rate this movie a 7 out of 10.







 
ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE

Animated Comedy

Release: July 22, 2016, in 3D

Director:  Mike Thurmeier and Galen Chu

Producer: Lori Forte

Cast: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Simon Pegg, Keke Palmer, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah, Adam Devine, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Max Greenfield, Jessie J, Nick Offerman, Wanda Sykes, Stephanie Beatriz, Michael Strahan, Melissa Rauch, Neil deGrasse Tyson & Lilly Singh






SYNOPSIS

Scrat’s epic pursuit of the elusive acorn catapults him into the universe where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the Ice Age World. To save themselves, Sid, Manny, Diego, and the rest of the herd must leave their home and embark on a quest full of comedy and adventure, traveling to exotic new lands and encountering a host of colorful new characters. ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE, opening in theaters everywhere July 22, 2016, stars returning cast members Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Simon Pegg, Keke Palmer, Wanda Sykes, and Jennifer Lopez.  Joining the herd are Stephanie Beatriz, Adam DeVine, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Max Greenfield, Jessie J, Nick Offerman, Melissa Rauch, Michael Strahan and Neil deGrasse Tyson.







ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE Official Channels






#IceAge #CollisionCourse

Raising Teens: Six Costs You Should Be Prepared For

3:00 AM
Raising Teens: Six Costs You Should Be Prepared For  via  www.productreviewmom.com


When it comes to financial matters, it is always important to plan ahead before its time to pay the bills. Children might be one of the best investments out there, but it is important to be aware of the costs that will come with raising them. Here, you will find the six common costs all parents should be prepared for when raising a teenager.




Electronics

That brand new smartphone might seem like a necessity for your teen, but don’t let their pleas break the bank. In a generation that is busier and more connected than ever, having a means of communication is important, but that means doesn’t have to double as a tablet, compass and fingerprint scanner. Remember that simply buying the gadget isn’t enough as there will be monthly service charges and contracts associated with it. Also, with schools expecting every student to complete a significant amount of their homework on a computer, expect to invest in a personal laptop for your teen too. 




Car Costs

Every teen’s dream is to see that shiny, new car on their sixteenth birthday. New or not, having a personal form of transportation is becoming a necessity these days. Your teen’s high school schedule may or may not agree with public transportation. However, teen drivers will spike your insurance simply due to their inexperience, especially if they have their own cars. If your teen gets into an accident, then the premium may be raised even higher. That, coupled with the cost of accident repair, could make the damage a very costly ordeal. To save on expenses, go to a reputable auto body shop for repairs. Prices can vary drastically, and it’s important to choose places that can get the repairs needed a great price. Besides insurance and car repairs, don’t forget to consider the extra cost of gas. 




Clothing

Whether your teen wants the latest designer piece or prefers shopping at thrift stores, he or she will probably undergo several growth spurts. That pair of pants that seemed to fit just fine last season will no longer work the next. This will obviously require replacement of clothes and shoes much faster than expected and raise costs in the clothing department higher than expected.




Extracurricular Activities

High school students are continuing to be more involved in their communities as they fill out their resumes and pursue their passions. There are many costs associated with these clubs, sports teams and private music lessons. Consult your teen about his or her interests so you can plan for these expenses appropriately. 




School Trips

 

Parents often overlook these excursions. This lack of awareness may be fine for the local field trips, but the monumental senior trips towards the end of a teen’s high school career cannot be paid for last minute. Often lasting several days, these trips are usually paid for in installments. However, you can’t put a price on memories. Discuss with your teen what trips are most important to them. They should know that going on every trip may not be possible for the family budget. 




College Applications


Even before the hefty tuition bills start coming in, there are fees associated with the college application process. With competitive colleges expecting more than just SAT or ACT scores, the costs of standardized testing have risen to new levels. Application fees can also add up. Scholarship applications, however, are usually free and should be taken advantage of. This is another topic to discuss with your teen.




These costs may seem daunting now, but you will be prepared for them when the time comes. There are always ways to save by taking advantage of student discounts, buying used items or by simply compromising with your teen. Encourage your teen to find a part-time job that he or she enjoys. That way, they can take care of their small personal expenses without the need for an allowance. Save when you can and spend when you should.



Guest Post by Anita Ginsburg

Wednesday

Where to Find the Best Back to School Deals

3:00 AM
Where to Find the Best Back to School Deals  via  www.productreviewmom.com

School will be back in session before you know it, and buying school supplies is nobody’s favorite task.  You can find some great deals, though, if you know where (and when) to shop.  Knowing where (and how) to find the best deals is essential for any parent trying to stretch their back to school budget.


Using Smartphone Apps
Nearly every store has what seem to be great sales this time of year, but those great sales are known in the retail industry as “loss leaders”.  They’re meant to draw you into the store with the well-proven idea that once you’re there, you’ll just do all your shopping at once.  One of the best ways to find back to school deals is to shop these sales and only purchase the loss leader items.  Then, move on to the next store and buy their loss leaders, and so on until you have everything you need.  If that seems like too much trouble you can try using a smartphone app that helps you compare prices between various stores without having to drive to each one.  


Anticipating Clearance Sales
If you can, buy only an outfit or two at the beginning of the school year, and shop the summer clothes, as they’ll be marked down at that time.  Near the end of September and into October, you can start shopping for fall clothing, because it will be discounted to make room for the winter clothes.  Stores are on a slightly accelerated schedule when it comes to seasonal clothing, so if you can wait a bit, you can find some really great deals on some really nice clothes.


Matching Prices
Some stores have price matching programs that allow you to save using sales from other stores.  Many stores allow customers to search for lower prices on their smartphones, and honor those prices, even if they’re listed as online-only sales.  Find the stores with the best price matching guarantees (Staples offers a 110%), then make sure you’re always checking your local ads.


Scrimping and Saving
While it’s true that preparing for back to school can be an expensive endeavor, there are some really easy ways to save a lot on the essentials.  Knowing when and where to shop is as important as knowing how to shop for bargains.  With a bit of preparation and research, back to school shopping doesn’t have to break the bank. 

Post contains Amazon affiliate links




How do you find the best back to school deals?

Tuesday

Swimsuit Styles and Trends for Moms

3:00 AM
Swimsuit Styles and Trends for Moms  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Moms can look great at the poolside without drawing in too much unwanted attention. Every summer bathing suit trends change, but some remain timeless and are always trending. It is important to select a swimsuit style that suits your shape and is comfortable to wear at the same time. 



Monokini
Swimsuit designers are getting creative with cut-outs (monokini’s). Some use a diagonal cut-out approach leaving a majority of the mid-section exposed. Some designs are created with cutouts just along the side or down the middle of a swimsuit. If you are slightly self-conscious about a couple trouble areas, but love the design of a Monokini swimsuit, consider wearing a sheer wrap or bathing suit cover up dress. 



Mixed and Matched Tankini
This summer it is all about mixing and matching patterns and colors. Tankinis are in for moms. Consider an option with a plain colored bottom and fun, printed top. Two-piece tankinis are ideal for moms who are even a little on the thick side. 


You can wear a sheer swimsuit cover up dress or tunic over a tankini if you are receiving too many stares. It is ideal to choose a sheer color option that matches the main color in the tankini for consistency.



Lingerie Inspired
Lingerie-inspired swimsuits are popular this summer. Sheer fabric, lace patterns and cut-outs combine to make a sultry swimsuit design that flatters moms in the right ways. Moms can look slightly provocative without looking undesirable. 


If you don’t feel comfortable being out like this in public with the kids, feel free to put on a romper or a cover-up dress when the kids are around. 



High Waist Swimsuits
High waist swimsuits are hot on the trending list for this summer. It is a vintage/retro look that works well for young moms. Although many designers are going with a sailor inspired theme, it is possible to find one that just features basic colors.  


Options like this are great for moms that have a little extra skin around the hip areas. The textured design hides those trouble spots very well so that you are able to walk around the pool or along the beach with absolute confidence. 



Simple One-Piece
One-piece swimsuits really do not go out of style. One color swimsuits, however, are not so trendy. Choose multi-colored, designs or floral prints and steer clear of skirted one-piece swimsuits. Skirts do nothing for your body but hide your thighs, in which you are left with an uneven tan. It does not matter if you have thicker thighs than you wish for, let them get some exposure this summer. 



Have confidence in yourself and wear your bathing suit with pride. Everyone has at least one trouble spot on their body that they are unhappy with, but you don’t have to cover it up. Be tasteful and select your swimsuit carefully. If you are unhappy with the way it looks on you, it may leave a few unwelcomed and unpleasant comments in your mind. Have fun with your kids at the beach or pool, and stay trendy at the same time. 


 Post contains Amazon affiliate links



What swimsuit style have you been rocking this summer?

Monday

Tea Tree Hair Products for Dry Scalp

3:00 AM
Tea Tree Hair Products for Dry Scalp  via  www.productreviewmom.com



Hey Yall!  You saw that I have recently cut my hair in a layered bob, but lately, I've been wearing my hair back to my signature style the twist out.





I wore my hair straight for three days after my haircut, but with this humidity here in Atlanta, it would not let my hair stay great.  I was already busting out the flat iron on day two because the heat was making my hair revert to its natural texture.



Tea Tree Hair Products for Dry Scalp  via  www.productreviewmom.com


My new hair stylist told me that adding heat to my hair all the time will damage my hair, so it would be best that I wear my hair in the bob style in the fall and winter months when the weather is milder.





So, that's the reason why my hair is back to curly.  But hey, I love it curly too, with the layers my hair has a better shape and more volume. My hair is not shape like that dreaded triangle anymore.



Tea Tree Hair Products for Dry Scalp  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Also, my hair stylist cut off all my dead ends, so my curly-do is lasting much longer, my style is lasting about a week without needing to re-twist it.  YES!!  I'm all about saving time.  Fluff out my hair each morning and go!





My hair stylist found that I have dry scalp.  I pretty much knew this already, but I haven't been using the right products to combat this problem.





She told me that tea tree shampoos and conditioners work great for dry scalps, and I need to start using it ASAP.  Mr. M said too awhile back that I needed to start using tea tree hair products, stylists he services in salons likes to use it on their clients.





I'll admit, I do use tea tree hair products sometimes, but I'm more into the moisturizing ones because I like how they make my hair feel afterward.  But I do like tea tree shampoo and conditioners due to the tingling, soothing feeling it does to my scalp.  It feels so therapeutic and makes my scalp and hair feel rejuvenated.





I started back using tea tree hair products and starting to notice a difference with my scalp, less white flakes, and itchiness.   I'm going to start using tea tree hair products on my daughters too since they too have dry scalp.  Our water in our home is hard, and I noticed on our shower head the water is leaving a red stain, so just imagine what it has been doing to our hair, stripping it dry making us use all these different hair products to get the moisture back.





By the way, there is a difference between dry scalp and dandruff.





Dandruff is when the flakes are oily, with a yellowish color due to product buildup with an odor.  Dandruff is much harder to get rid of off the scalp.





Dry scalp is white, large flakes that come off scalp more easily.  Dry scalp can be caused by hard water, diet, dry weather, and hair products.




If you're suffering like my girls and me with dry scalp, I gathered up some tea tree products you can use.

Friday

Thursday

Beginner Running

3:00 AM
Beginner Running  via www.productreviewmom.com
Guest Post by Sheila Simmons

Have you always wanted to run a marathon but haven’t worked out in years? Are your doctors and family members concerned about your weight because of your high blood pressure, diabetes or other health issues? Maybe, you are just fed up with weight and are ready to do something about it. Why not start a run/walk program to improve your health?




I have developed a running program for those who fit the description above. This is a running program that extends 30 weeks to get you up to 20 minutes of running; it is that simple. The first week starts off with 20 minutes of walking with 4 sets of 30 seconds runs. This is all you do the first week, but you must be committed to working out four days a week. If you haven’t worked out in years, you might want to start with a walking program for a few weeks and then incorporate my running program for beginners.




Compared to other run/walk programs out there where most have you running a minute at a time, very fast, my program emphasizes sustainability. I have found that quite of few people find the traditional technique too aggressive.They need a slower and gentler program that i comparatively as effective as any running programs out there.




One great thing about my workout, if you find the progress pace too slow, you can accelerate it through a running plan change every two workouts. This would get you running for 20 minutes in 15 weeks. You have to listen to your body and figure out what you can handle.




Running is ranked one of the best cardiovascular exercises you can do. Most scientists rank cross country skiing to be best aerobic exercise because of the total fitness aspect of working both the lower and the upper parts of the body. Running comes in second. Both activities have their pro and cons but if you don’t have any major joint problems, running is an inexpensive activity; all you need are a good pair of running shoes. 




Running shoes are sold at most athletic stores but if you are new to the sport, you should read! “Find The Right Running Shoe” before buying your shoes. I never purchase full price on my shoes, I usually buy them on sale. Need a special running shoe? Make sure you checkout many pairs and buy the one you can afford. 



Beginner Running   via  www.productreviewmom.com



My Running program for beginners, is a downloadable printable which you can instantly download from Etsy as soon as it is purchased. Download it today and jumpstart your journey to good health and happy running.

Wednesday

Picky Eaters? Tips For Making Sure Everyone Is Happy When Eating Out

3:00 AM
Picky Eaters? Tips For Making Sure Everyone Is Happy When Eating Out  via  www.productreviewmom.com
Guest Post by Anita Ginsburg


Everyone knows someone who's a picky eater. Whether it be a child or an adult, a picky eater can be difficult to deal with when going out. To combat this, you have to have a few tricks up your sleeve to appease everyone and avoid any fussy behavior. 




Dine At A Buffet

 

Buffets aren't known for always having the best food, but some buffets are decent. When you go to a buffet, the finicky eater can pick and choose what they want without complaining or causing a scene. Buffets are an easy choice after you've had a long day and don't feel like dealing with confrontation.




Ask The Individual

Simply asking what a person likes to eat is usually enough when narrowing down a restaurant to go to. You may find out that they prefer Mexican or Chinese food, but they hate Italian. When you have an idea of what they like, you'll have a much easier time pleasing a picky eater.




Special Orders

If a person is reasonably picky, you can get away with going to just about any restaurant, and most restaurants will do modifications on their menu items. That being said, there may be a few restaurants that don't, and it's best to check ahead of time before dining out.




Restaurant With Variety

If going to a buffet is out of the question, you can try to go to a restaurant that has a large menu. By playing the odds with a large menu, a picky eater will surely find something that he or she enjoys. For example, places like Pickleman's offer sandwiches, salads, soups and pizzas, so everyone can find something they are in the mood for on the menu. 




Have Them Eat At Another Time

If you're determined to go to a restaurant that you know someone in your party will dislike, have them eat before or after they go to the restaurant. This way they can still go with you to the restaurant, but they aren't forced to eat something they don't want.




Going out to eat should be fun, and you should enjoy where you're eating out at. Picky eaters can be frustrating to deal with, but compromises can be made. This is especially true with children. Find a place that has menu items that everybody enjoys to limit conflict and make for a more pleasant experience.






How do you deal with picky eaters?

Tuesday

Beast Mode: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD

3:00 AM
Beast Mode: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD  via  www.productreviewmom.com
I was provided a car free for 7 days to do a review, all opinions are my own.


Hey Yall!  We spent five days in Memphis for my families annual family reunion and I'm pooped!  I need a vacation from my vacation!





As you all know, I like to take the 6 1/2 hour drive to Memphis because flying there is way too expensive, even though the flight is only about an hour from Atlanta.  I was checking out the prices and flights were going to be about $400 a piece, rip off!



Beast Mode: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD  via  www.productreviewmom.com




The car I drove to Memphis was 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD Crossover vehicle.  Now, I'm not a fan of crossovers and the reason for that is it reminds me of a station wagon.  Crossovers, look wise, seems so ugly to me.  But not the 2016 Mazda CX-9, it looks just like an SUV, my favorite cars to drive.



Beast Mode: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD  via  www.productreviewmom.com


The exterior is tough, masculine, cutting edge, I love the sharpness of the body frame.  Makes you want to be seen in this car.  The Machine Gray exterior color gives the CX-9 a fantastic look.


Beast Mode: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD  via  www.productreviewmom.com



And the awesome looks department doesn't stop there, open the door and I was wowed by the color of the leather interior seating called Auburn.  The color gives the inside a luxurious sex appeal. 



Beast Mode: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Beast Mode: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD  via  www.productreviewmom.com



The seating with some adjusting was comfy for our long ride to M-Town.  With these burning up hot days, I didn't have to worry about the leather seats burning my skin; seats stayed cool throughout the day.


Beast Mode: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD  via  www.productreviewmom.comBeast Mode: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD  via  www.productreviewmom.com



Like I always say, space is the most important when it comes to me picking a car I want to drive, and this CX-9 had plenty of leg room and storage in the back.  It even had 3rd-row seating for extra guest (7 passenger seating) and even they had enough leg room.  I piled in a bunch of my family in the car, and they loved everything about it. 


Beast Mode: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD  via  www.productreviewmom.com
Beast Mode: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD   via  www.productreviewmom.comBeast Mode: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD  via  www.productreviewmom.com




The CX-9 was fully loaded with some new features Mazda introduced like the Active Driving Display.  While I was driving, I could see how fast I was driving, what was the speed limit, blind spot monitoring, and lane departure all in my front driver side window!  It shows a lot better at night.  This helped me while driving to know when to slow down because this car drives so smooth I didn't realize how fast I was going, but with the mileage and speed limit displaying right in front of me, it helped me to maintain my speed and stay in my lane.



Beast Mode: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD  via  www.productreviewmom.com
Can you see that 0 mph by the first tree?  Sorry it came out blurry.




There are a few things that I wish the CX-9 had or needed to improve on.





I didn't like the fact that the CX-9 didn't have cooling seats, yes I did mention that the seat are not hot when you sit in them, but still it's a nice feature that people would like to have.





Another thing, the navigation system is not user-friendly.  I couldn't figure out how to use it, so I had to use my cell phone for driving directions.  I even had help from my brother to try to understand the system, and he too couldn't figure it out.  Now this is a big problem here, and this happened to me in other Mazda vehicles too.


Beast Mode: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD  via  www.productreviewmom.com



The CX-9 is considered a luxury car, I don't like the fact that the automatic sunroof door opens manually.  Mazda should have both door and sunroof open by a push of a button.



Beast Mode: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Now here is the kicker that needs significant improvement, the gas mileage.  This car drinks gas like it's drinking a glass of water.  On the highway, it's okay, but when I was doing city driving, I went through gas quickly.  During my trip, I gassed up like four times, not good at all; that's almost getting gas every day.  My wallet is not happy.  (Fuel Economy: 23 MPG combined city/hwy  21 city and 27 highway)



Beast Mode: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD  via  www.productreviewmom.com



For this big beast of a car with all the bells and whistles, the total MSRP is $45,215.00.  To me, for what the car has and do not have, the price is a bit too much.



Beast Mode: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD  via  www.productreviewmom.com



Even with the stuff that needs improvement, I had a great time driving this car.  I felt safe, comfortable, and super cool driving it.  When people pulled up beside me, they were checking me out as well as the car; it's a show stopper. 



Beast Mode: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD  via  www.productreviewmom.com


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Judging by my review, would this be a deal breaker buying this car?



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