How to supplement a family's income at home

When children are young, many moms have difficulty finding extra income to supplement the family's expenses.The costs of raising a family can be quite demanding. From diapers to food to clothes, the monthly budget can be spread thin. Still, work outside the home can have its downfalls. The costs of childcare can make some jobs fiscally unattainable. Jobs inside the home are a good compromise.

One way to supplement a family's income is through focus groups. Moms are filled with opinions. From what laundry detergent cleans best to which juice box is a favorite with her kids, moms can provide valuable insight. Some companies will provide compensation for these opinions.

In the U.S., there are 75 million mothers, all of whom influence 85 percent of their household purchases. With all that buying power, it stands to reason that companies turn to marketing researchers to make sure that their products are meeting your needs and expectations.

Focus Pointe Global conducts webcam focus groups, telephone interviews, online surveys, online communities, and a lot of other methods as well. They even have an online product review program, where you are sent a product to use (and keep!) and you write an objective review on the company's website.
Whether you are able to participate in marketing research in person at the Atlanta research facility or by going online, there are a lot of opportunities to make some extra money and have fun while doing so.  Go to to register.

Have your opinions make money. Join a focus group today.

Disclosure: The writer might be compensated for this post.

School, tailgating and more music goes everywhere Insignia Bluetooth Speakers

When you gather friends together, a party can ensue. But what is a party without good music?  A boring party - of course. Back in the day, the boombox served as the powerful speaker to get the music to the crowds. But, the boombox went the way of the cassette tape. Since today you can't have everyone huddled around a pair of ear buds or a single iphone, portable Bluetooth Speakers are a must. A perfect, portable, smaller option is the Insignia Bluetooth Speaker.

The Insignia Bluetooth Speaker is a compact, portable speaker that is bright, colorful and fun. Before a note is played, the adorable design and bold colors add life to the party. Whether attached to a back pack or resting on a table, these speakers can blast the music as loud as you need. No need to worry about weather or a split drink, this Insignia Bluetooth Speaker is splash proof. With a rechargeable battery, the wireless streaming can go up to 6 hours on a full charge. Plus, the speaker's USB charging port keeps electronic devices powered.  The Insignia Bluetooth Speaker is available at Best Buy for $19.99.

For an at home party, the Insignia Plug In Bluetooth Speaker is a great solution. When it comes to home entertaining, simple and easy are key phrases to success. The Insignia Plug In Bluetooth Speaker exemplifies these adjectives. This speaker allows the home user to wirelessly stream audio to any room in the house. The speaker plugs directly into a wall unit. No wires, shelf space or expensive receiver are required. Plus, the sleek white design helps the speaker to blend into any area.

The Insignia Plug In Bluetooth Speaker is compatible with most Bluetooth-enabled devices or can be used with an auxiliary audio input jack for non-Bluetooth devices. The speaker's USB charging port keeps electronic devices powered so the music keeps going throughout the party. Plus, the speaker can be used away from the wall plug-in because it has a built-in rechargeable battery with two hours of playback. The Insignia Plug In Bluetooth Speaker can be purchased at Best Buy for $29.99.

Don't let the party be boring because the music is pushed to background noise. Make music the star of your gathering, event or your daily outings with an Insignia speaker. Music makes life more energetic.

Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

Giving back is a priority for back to school #GivingBackPacks #ALDIgivesback

Back to school is an exciting time for kids and parents. While kids may combine that they dread going back to the classroom, kids do enjoy seeing their friends and meeting new teachers. Wrapped in all this excitement can be a small amount of apprehension. Unfortunately, some families may not have the funds to purchase all the needed school supplies that are needed for the school year. Our family is proud to be part of #GivingBackPacks, #AldiGivesBack.  

For the past three years, our family has joined others in the annual giving back packs back to school campaign. The concept is simple. Take $25 and fill a backpack with school supplies for a deserving child or organization. This year, Aldi has sponsored the annual back pack campaign. 
As our family goes back to school this week, my kids and I went to Aldi to fill a backpack for our school. With $25, we were able to purchase a backpack, lunch box tons of pencils, pens, highlighters and Post-It notes. The back pack is jammed full with goodies for a deserving student.

Many of our family friends are school teachers and school administrators. Putting aside the debate over school funding, school teachers spend their own money on school supplies each and every year. It could be extra tissues during allergy season to more dry erase markers, teachers often used their hard earned money to provide for kids. Our giving back pack is two fold.

First, we fill a bag with school supplies that the classroom needs. It can be tissues, hand sanitizer, wipes, and even headphones (yes, the kids need headphones for tests). Aldi offers great deals on these classroom staples.

Second, we filled a back pack for a child at our school. This back pack will be presented to the school social worker on the meet & greet day. There are many children who don't get a new back pack each year. Families can't afford them, a family member is sick or there is some other conflict that makes back to school time an unhappy one. Allowing our school social worker to put the back pack where it is most needed is a great way to make sure that our school is helped.

Now, I admit, we did go over our $25 budget. But, the idea is to make sure that kids are helped going back to school. In the grand scheme of things, a little extra money to a worthy cause is money well spent.

This back to school season, please consider adding a few extra school supplies to your shopping cart for kids who might need them. If you don't know a family in need, donate those extra pens and pencils to a teacher or to your school social worker. I'm sure that he or she will be grateful for the extras. Plus, your kids might be more appreciative of all they have this school year.

Do you have a #GivingBackPack story for the start of the school year?  Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Disclosure: Aldi provided a $25 gift card to purchase school supplies. All items purchased were donated to our local school. No additional compensation was given. All opinions are my own.

Style, function and giving back - Schneider pens #shopletreviews

As back to school shopping takes over, parents, kids and teachers are looking for the best school supplies. Many factors come into play. Cost, durability and ease of use are all decision making factors. When all those factors are similar, how do you choose the product. In our home, we try to support companies that make a different - Stride Inc. is one of those companies.

Stride, Inc is the exclusive distributor for Schneider pens in the US. What makes Stride, Inc. different is their choice to employ an integrated workplace. Half of the employees are adults with intellectual and developmental delays. These individuals hand assemble the Schneider line for distribution in the US.

The Stride, Inc.'s commitment to an integrated workplace made our family want to try the Schneider pens for our back to school shopping. Schneider is a premier German pen manufacturer who has been part of the industry for over 75 years. The traditional company is keeping with current trends is in the forefront of environmental initiatives, for example a line of CO2Neutral pens. The Viscoglide line is a collection of advanced ballpoint inks that are product entirely without adding to the carbon footprint.

With the school year approaching, I like to make lists for everyone's activities. The confusion sets in when the kids and I are going several different directions. This year I am giving everyone a color - (pink, orange, green, etc). The Slider Memo XB 1/4 mm Viscoglide Ballpoint Pen 4 Pack Colors keeps my color scheme in place. One glance at the family calendar and I can see who goes where.

Schneider has a huge selection of pens that are perfect for any and every occasion. From taking notes at school to writing thank you notes for birthday and from black to color, Schneider pen have your family covered. This line of pens is available at Shoplet. Shoplet is a great online superstore for all your family's office supplies and back to school shopping.

Fellowes Saturn 3i 125 Laminator, home uses are abundant for families

When I first told my friends about getting a laminator, they laughed. Why would you need one of those office supplies? What do you need to protect?  Are you making signs for around the house?  It's simple, if you have kids, a laminator can be your savior.

Think about it. Kids can be tough on items. Have you ever seen their clothes, shoes or school backpack. In a few short weeks, these items can look like they've been through a catastrophe. How do you think that they will keep their multiplication flash cards, study notes or chores list safe for a month. The solution is to laminate that list. With a laminator like Fellowes Saturn 3i 125 laminator, you can keep these pages safe for months. No more worrying about split water bottles or dropping it in a puddle.

The Fellowes Saturn 3i 125 is a great solution for home use. Reasonably priced, this laminator is easy to use. It offers the following features:
  • Rapid 1-minute warm-up with InstaHeat Technology
  • 12-1/2" entry width accommodates multiple document sizes
  • Hot lamination for 3-mil or 5-mil and cold setting for self-adhesive pouches
  • Green light and audible beep indicate when machine is ready to laminate
  • Release lever disengages pouch for re-centering or removal
  • Auto Shut off save energy and prevents overheating
  • Includes laminating starter kit
 The Fellowes Saturn 3i 125 retails for $189.94 at

In our house, we have several uses for the Fellowes Saturn 3i 125. Besides using laminated sheets for study guides, a plain, white laminated page works perfect as a to-do dry erase doodling pad. Throw a sheet and some markers into your purse. The plain page is a great way to draw and create while waiting at dinner, appointments or even on long car trips. From an artistic masterpiece to tic tac toe, the ideas are many. Plus, you can start over with just a wipe of the page. No need to carry big books or tons of materials. It's a quick, easy way to entertain kids without an electronic device.

Other great ideas for a laminated page are weekly chore list, important phone numbers or luggage tags for travel.

Once you purchase a laminator, you won't realize how many uses you have for it. Get your Fellowes Saturn 3i 125 today!

Disclosure: The review received this item for purposes of this post. All opinions are her own.

Summer crafts got a little boost #RecycleYourPeriodPad

With the kids out on summer vacation, moms are looking for activities to keep them occupied. The dreaded "I'm bored" "We've got nothing too do" are phrases that can turn a mom into a distress case. That "boredom" can lead to a little creativity by kids, which can make for home repairs for moms. It's time to get crafty and give the kids some projects. Why not #RecycleYourPeriodPad into a summer activity, crafting success.

Have you ever noticed that kids love to paint. Putting color to white paper can bring hours of creative fun. From wide, bold strokes to small, delicate embellishments, kids can fill an afternoon with painting activities. Unfortunately for moms, painting can create a huge mess.

Since moms don't want to do loads and loads of laundry with paint dribbles, you can #RecycleYourPeriodPad into a easy catch all, mess up cleaner for those painting projects. One pad can be the perfect resting place for messy paint brushes. The kids don't have to know what these absorbent little pads are. It keeps the table clean and you can just throw everything away for easy clean-up.

Why am I focusing on #RecyclingYourPeriodPad? It's because period pads aren't for LBL. LBL is light bladder leakage. Poise Thin-Shape pads are a better solution for LBL.

Designed to move with your body, new Poise Thin-Shape pads feature Super Absorbent Material (SAM) and a Thin-Flex design for extraordinary protection that’s still 3x drier than period pads† to help you take care of leaks with confidence. These new pads are 40% thinner than original Poise brand pads. 

Have an enjoyable, confident, and stress-free summer by #RecyclingYourPeriodPad.

Dads are our heroes who deserve GoPro HERO+ LCD from Best Buy

For many, dads are heroes in our lives. From being the big, strong man who scoops us up in scary times to the man who walks his little princesses down the aisle, dads are the everyday heroes that we depend on. When it comes to Father's Day gifts, the gift should express gratitude for everything that this man has done in our lives. While some dads may appreciate a tie or a new shirt, the GoPro HERO+ LCD could be the awesome Father's Day gift that will make dad the envy of the neighborhood.

In our household, we have a huge, once in a lifetime trip coming up. Heading to Africa for a safari and shark diving is a huge undertaking. We can't wait to see the lions, elephants and Great White sharks. While we will hold those memories close, we want to capture each and every moment to share with friends, family and even for ourselves. In our house, dad is getting a GoPro HERO+ LCD from Best Buy. (shhh - don't tell him yet though)

 The GoPro HERO+ LCD is a new addition to the GoPro line of action cameras. This GoPro offers, 1080p60 video, 8MP photos and built-in WiFi. With the built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, the action camera connects to the GoPro App for shot preview, total camera control and content sharing to Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms. Also, this version offers the convenience of a touch display.

We will be getting the GoPro HERO+ LCD because we want the convenience of capturing both video and photos in action situations. From chasing a zebra on safari to stalking the sharks, the GoPro HERO+ LCD will keep pace with the fast moving animals. There is worry about missing a moment or a shot. After all, we need these super cool moments for the family Christmas card.

Just in time for Father's Day, Best Buy is offering several specials to give dads a little more with their Father's Day gifts.

These offers include:
  • HERO+LCD (Sku 6954009) with free 32GB Extreme Plus memory card (Sku 9387066). Valid 6/14-6/20
  • Free $50 Best Buy Gift Card with purchase of the GoPro HERO4 Silver (Sku 8374096) or GoPro HERO4 Black (Sku 8374078). Valid 6/7-6/20

This year give dad, your hero, a gift that he will use over and over. Head to Best Buy and pickup the GoPro HERO+ LCD. What memories will you capture? 

Disclosure: All posts must include the following disclaimer:  The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free