VTech Connect-to-Cell Phone System (Home Phone Convenience Without the Cost!)

Vtech connect to cell

Maybe I’ve been out of the loop, but I didn’t even know a product existed that allowed you to use your cell phone like a home phone.  My family hasn’t had a landline in four years; we just didn’t think it made sense.  I have to admit, though, sometimes the mad search for my ringing cell phone is frustrating.  By the time I find it, the person has hung up!  My friends and family complain that I’m the hardest person to get a hold of, but it’s impossible to be glued to my cell phone at all times.  Even if it is by my said, I often need two hands to do housework, play with my daughter, or get ready.  So when VTech’s Connect-to-Cell Phone System showed up at my door, I couldn’t wait to try it!  Even my husband (who rarely comments on anything associated with my blog) thought the system was brilliant.  Then again, this was something he could really benefit from since he works from home.

Key features of the VTech DS6421-3 Connect-to-Cell:

  • Push-To-Talk acts as a multiple handset walkie talkie system to instantly communicate with any or all of the handsets within the system.
  • HD Audio provides an extended frequency band allowing for the signal to be reproduced and tuned for a fuller and clearer sound.
  • Make and receive landline and cellular calls – Connects to BLUETOOTH enabled cell phones to make and receive calls with the ease  of a home phone system. Two cell phones can be actively connected to the base. Cell calls can be made or received from either of these two active cell phones. Pair four different cell phones to the base unit.
  • Voice Announce Caller ID audibly announces the name and number of the caller on all of the handsets and base unit. (how cool is that??) No need to find the handset to see who is calling.   Makes screening calls that much easier (love it!)
  • With the touch of a button, the handset speakerphones makes hands-free conversations easy.
  • Expandable up to 12 handsets using only one phone jack.
  • Access your cellular phonebook directory – Download your cellular phonebook directory to this cordless phone system.  Dial a landline or cellular call from the directory for easy access. Stores over 6000 directories from up to four different cell phones. No need to input names and numbers into your cordless phone. (Thank Goodness!)
  • Pair four different cell phones (or headsets) and have two devices actively connected. Cellular calls can be made or received from either of the two active cell phones. Landline service not required, works great for cellular only households.

There are so many more great features, you can check them out for yourself, by going to VTech’s website here.

As the holidays approach, I knew things around the house would be getting even busier–and messier–making all the features of VTech’s phone system that much more appealing.

In a recent holiday survey, Vtech found:

  • 46% of respondents said they would spend more time with family/friends if they had an extra set of hands to get things done (51% of all females); higher with moms at 48%.  37% of respondents said clean the house quicker; 47% of moms
  • 31% of respondents said phone calls ranked the highest as the biggest distractions to getting more done at home during the holidays.  24% of respondents (48% of moms and 40% of dads) said kids needs/events
  • 81% of respondents (92% of parents) ranked a device that could help you multi-task and get more things done  as very/somewhat important

I guess I’m not the only frazzled parent out there who wishes I had more hands!  After trying out VTech’s Connect-to-Cell phone system, I’m thinking it might just be the perfect gift for some of those hard to buy for people on my list this year.

Disclaimer:  I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of VTech and received a product sample to facilitate my review.  As always, all opinions–good and bad–are my own.

 

Pumpkin Spiced Smoothie (all the taste, none of the guilt!)

A few years ago I stopped buying flavored creamer for my coffee because of all the ingredients.  If I can’t pronounce it, I don’t really want it in my body.  My motto is, “most things, in moderation, are okay .”  That being said, I drink coffee seven days a week, not just on occasion.  I was so excited to learn about Coffee-mate’s new Natural Bliss line, featuring just four ingredients in each of its three flavors.  The Natural Bliss line currently comes in Caramel, Vanilla and Sweet Cream.  I have always been a fan of Coffee-mate, but recently I had only been buying it around the holidays.  With this new line, I can feel good about adding it to each cup of coffee.  I picked up a bottle of the Sweet Cream and it was delish!  Now, that doesn’t mean I won’t also pick up a small bottle of the Peppermint Mocha or Belgian Chocolate Toffee (those yummy flavors Coffee-mate is known for), because we all deserve to indulge a little around the holidays.  😆

pumpkin smoothieThis recipe, courtesy of the Foot Network’s Claire Robinson, should get you in the mood for the holidays.

Pumpkin Spiced Smoothie

 

  • 1-1/2 cups ice
  • 1 (6 oz.)  low fat coffee yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup NEW all-natural Coffee-mate Natural Bliss Sweet Cream

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    Holiday Gift Idea for the Kids! *GIVEAWAY included*

    As the stores are starting to have holiday music playing and setting up decorations, I ask myself what am I going to get the kids this year? Of course I asked my kids what they wanted and they responded with a resounding “HEXBUGS!” chant.  They just really love these little robotic bugs.  I thought when I bought some for them last year that they would get bored with them and I would find them under their beds.  This has not been the case for us.  They really LOVE them and take care of them.

    My kids are 7 and 4, and they both love these bugs.  My daughter has a travel case where she keeps her Nano bugs.  She organizes them and lines them up.  Both kids get very creative when playing with them.  They play school with them (bug students), they race them, and they play house/family with them (bugs are the mom/dad/kid).

    Recently we got the Hexbug Inchworm.  Hexbug sells Inchworms, Spiders, Crabs, Ants, and Larva that are a bit different from the Nano bugs.  The Inchworm is a remote control bug that inches along forward and backward, side-to-side, and spins around.  The kids LOVE it!  It is now the leader of their Nano bugs.

     

    For the GIVEAWAY, Hexbug is nice enough to donate one Hexbug Nano to a lucky winner!  If your kids do not have a Hexbug yet, you MUST enter and try and win one!  They will LOVE it!  If you do have some, you know that kids always want more to add to their collection!  ENTER the Rafflecopter at MamaLuvsBooks for your chance to WIN!  The more entires you do the more chance you will have to WIN!  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!!!

    Kristin Wheeler

    Picky Eater Solutions (Giveaway included!)

    As you read in my previous article, I wanted to check out the book “The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley.  I have been having an awful time dealing with my 4-year old son and his eating habits.  He has been increasingly getting worse too!  He seems to always ask for sweets, and when I offer him a healthier food instead he just doesn’t eat.  I feel like this kid is either starving or eating junk.  I have been feeling extreme guilt from this as well.  Everyone wants to be the best parents they can be, and when your child is continually asking for food that is not healthy, it makes you feel like a failure as a parent.

    I just finished reading “The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution” by, Elizabeth Pantley.  It is seriously one of the best informational parenting books I’ve read in a long time.  A big THANK YOU to Elizabeth Pantley for making me feel better and to give me strategies to deal with picky eaters.  It was nice to hear that I am not alone, and that my child and I are both “normal.”  There are many other parents out there that are dealing with my same issues, feel my same guilt, and it was nice to learn that a lot of it could be a natural instinct for my son to gravitate towards these sweeter foods (although apparently it didn’t help that I craved sweets and indulged while pregnant with him).  Here are my favorite things about “The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution”:

    1.  The book gives you some background at why kids can be picky eaters.

    2.  The book helps you to understand if your child is a typical picky eater or something more serious.

    3.  The book gives you facts about eating and about foods with listed solutions.

    4.  The book describes the “fundamental four” when dealing with picky eaters: Attitude, Environment, Amounts, and Rules.

    5.  The “Rules” section is great!  It lists the rule, if you should break it or keep it, and tips about the rule.

    6.  The book has tricks and tips to get picky eaters to eat!  Here’s the one I am trying this week (as my son is addicted to PB&J):

    “Begin by replacing one slice of bread with whole wheat, keeping the other slice white.  Place the sandwich on the plate with the white bread on top.  Over time, experiment with replacing both pieces of white bread with whole wheat bread.” Pantley then goes on to explain replacing the peanut butter and jelly portions with healthier alternatives.  Such a great idea and a slow transition that will be easier for the kids.

    7.  There is a list of healthier alternatives for food that is not-so-healthy.  Pantley says not to use words like fat and junk food.  She says it’s best to state things positively to kids about food, such as “Once you are finished with your healthy meal you may have a dessert” instead of “No junk food until you eat that healthy food.”

    8.  LOVE “The Experts’ Favorites” section at the back of the book!  It has wonderful recipes for kid-friendly healthy meals.  Yes, there are even yummy desserts!!!

    This book is my new GO-TO parenting book!  I will be keeping it in the kitchen to refer back to!  I will also be setting a good example to my kids by eating healthy and having all of us sit down together at the table for meals.  It’s a hard thing to do with our hectic schedule, but Pantley emphasizes how helpful this is for healthy eating.  We will try our best!  Kids learn from parents!

    You can get a copy as well.  It’s a must have for any parent who is dealing with a picky eater (and there are more out there dealing with this issue than I even realized).  Here’s how to get a copy:

    1.  WIN this awesome book in my giveaway!  The author, Elizabeth Pantley, will send you a signed copy of this book that was just published this month!  The more you do on the Rafflecopter below the more chances you will have to win!  CLICK HERE to go to the Rafflecopter and WIN!

    2.  Order “The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution” on Amazon!  It’s on sale right now and a fabulous deal!!!

    Happy reading!!!  After you finish, please let me know what you think of the book as well!


    Kristin Wheeler

    Shaving, Simplified (Review)

    I recently took a trip to Arizona with my daughter (boy, do I love traveling solo with a toddler) and I was thisclose to having to pay extra for luggage that was over the weight limit.  I’m convinced that even a travel-sized can of shaving cream would have tipped the scales in the wrong direction.  Enter the Schick® Intuition.

    Intuition razor

    It’s my new favorite thing, when it comes to packing efficiently and streamlining my morning routine.  The shaving cream and moisturizer are built right in to the razor.  Seriously, what’s more annoying than shaving your legs in the shower and discovering, mid-leg, that you are out of shaving cream!?  With the Intuition razor, the problem is solved!

    To get a $3 off coupon on this razor, head over to their facebook page through the end of October,  and take their quiz to fight out which razor is right for you!

    Fall Fashion: Flaunt Milan Handbag Giveaway!

    Are you ready for the fall season?  Here are some extra special accessories that will liven up your fall wardrobe!  Designer, Faith Nicole, is my former 4th grade student from when I was a teacher in Norman, Oklahoma!  She is now a freshman at the University of Oklahoma in Norman pursuing her degree in International Business.

    She started her business while in high school at age 16 after making some doodles on the back of a fashion magazine creating her own looks.  I am so proud of her and her accomplishments at such a young age!  Faith has stores carrying her products both nationwide and worldwide.  I know you will LOVE what she has to offer!  She carries accessories like handbags, wallets, tablet cases, jewelry boxes, frames, keychains, and much more!  Please check out her site at Flaunt Fashion!

    This giveaway is for a Milan style fall handbag.  The winner can choose either pink or black.  Fill out the Rafflecopter at MamaLuvsBooks to enter.  The more you fill out the more chances you will have to WIN!  Good luck!

    Here are your choices of handbags:


    Kristin Wheeler

    Fall Festivities in New England

    The Fall season in New England brings about a slew of requisite fun family activities.  Below are  my top five favorites not to be missed.

    1. Apple Picking! To be honest my older kids kind of roll their eyes at this one, yet I drag them every year, and every year they love it once I get them there.  There a many places to apple pick in Rhode Island, my favorite is Narrow Lane Orchard in North Kingstown because they also have peaches when in season, and a beautiful (but short enough for the kids) nature trail around the orchard.   There is something about picking your own apples and then taking them home to make an apple pie.  I love giving my kids that farm to table experience whenever possible.  My pie recipe is super easy, and the kids love to help.  I buy ready- made Pillsbury pie Crusts, frankly, because I haven’t mastered the pie crust, and mine  have just never come out as good as the ready- made! For the filling:

    8 apples cut up into chunks or slices

    1/2 stick unsalted butter

    1/2 cup sugar

    2 T cornstarch

    3/4 t. cinnamon

    1 t. vanilla

    Mix it all together and bake at 350 until top is golden and the filling is bubbling, about 1 hr.

    2. The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular! This takes place every October in R.I., this year it will run October 6th through 31st from 6pm to 10pm at the Roger Williams Park Zoo. Similar events are spread throughout the area. In fact  Women’s Day magazine had a great article last year listing these displays around the country.  Thousands of pumpkins are carved, lit and lined up on a trail with music setting the mood to create an enchanting evening experience not to be missed. It is truly unique, and my whole family enjoys it.  I recommend going either on the early or late side to avoid a long wait in line, since this event is so popular.

     

     

    3. The RISD sale. Don’t miss the fall student & alumni RISD sale held outdoors on Benefit street between Waterman and Hopkins streets in Providence. October 15th from 10am to 4pm. Be inspired by amazing creativity, meet the artists, and pick up distinctive art at affordable prices.  Also a great place to find gifts of Jewelry, textiles, ceramics, paintings or paper goods, for yourself or others.

    4. Pumpkin Picking.  Yes, there is still a place where, like Charlie Brown, you can go to a real pumpkin patch and pick your own pumpkin off the vine. You don’t have to just buy it at the supermarket. (although admittedly, in this area with plentiful pumpkin crops, they can be much less expensive at supermarkets) For the experience, Spring Hill Sugar House is located at 522 Gardner Rd.in Richmond, RI, and is an 8 acre farm that produces it’s own maple syrup and apple cider . It also has a fantastic corn maze and pumkin patch that makes it the perfect fall day family outing. Be sure to bring your camera to capture all the great photo opportunities.

    5. Leaf Collecting.  Remember as a kid picking out colorful leaves and bringing them home to iron between wax paper?  I had somehow forgotten to do this for a while, but the beauty of having children is rediscovering some of the simple pleasures we sometimes forget as adults.  Now we go on a leaf hunt, in our yard, the neighborhood, or on a trail, and bring home beautiful leaves.  I iron them between wax paper, punch two holes in the top, tie on a string, and hang them in the windows for pretty (and for me, nostalgic) home-made fall decorations.

     

    The air is crisp, time to get cozy and enjoy the beauty of the Fall! What are some of your favorite fall activities?

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    How Vitamins Make Me a Better Me

    Nature Made Vitamins

    I grew up taking Nature Made vitamins. They were just part of my life. My dad always said, “Breakfast is the most important meal of thevitamin dispenser day,” and right next to that hearty breakfast was this vitamin dispenser that my parents still use.  At some point, in my adult life, I grew tired of taking all those pills and I just stopped doing it.  Then I had a baby and everything changed.  It seemed no matter what I ate, how much I slept, or how many walks I went on with the baby to “get some fresh air,” I remained exhausted beyond belief.

    I finally went to the doctor and had a thorough exam, including blood tests.  He told me I was severely deficient in Vitamin D and suggested I take a supplement, along with a multivitamin.  He said it would take a few weeks to notice some results.  I could easily handle taking two pills a day, especially if they made me feel like myself again.  The energetic, happy, always on-the-go woman my friends knew me to be, and  my daughter deserved me to be.  Watch this short video to find out what happened after my second week of taking the vitamins.

    http://youtu.be/Az7aK2t3-rM

    Something I hear often from people is that they are just so overwhelmed when they walk down the vitamin aisle at the store; there are so many brands and so many different options!  Nature Made has a really cool feature on its website that helps you figure out exactly what you need.  It’s called a “vitamin assessment” and, after answering some questions, Nature Made recommends a customized vitamin plan that’s right for you, based on your lifestyle.  The company also has a terrific rewards program that gives you high value coupons worth up to $7 off Nature Made products, exercise DVDs and other fun things.  As an aside, I noticed the company recently came out with some new products and I’m eager to try the Skin Beauty & Wellness pack. I’ve never tried what, for lack of a better term, I’ll call a “vanity pack,” but the clock is ticking and I’ll take all the help I can get! 😉    Have you tried any products like this?  How do vitamins make a better YOU?

    ***Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Nature Made and received promotional items to thank me for taking the time to participate. Please vote for my entry at www.facebook.com/naturemade between 9/20/11 and noon (PT) 9/26/11.***

    Whiter Teeth in Just Two Hours: Before/After Pics!

    whiter teethAs I mentioned the other day, I was taking the Crest 2 hour challenge.  Just two hours to whiter teeth with Crest’s 3D White 2 Hour Express Whitestrips!  Confession time: several years ago I tried one of those at-home whitening kits that took TEN days to get whiter teeth and, although I started to see results, by the third day my teeth were too sensitive and I had to stop using the strips.  These strips were different.  I had no sensitivity and with only a 2 hour time commitment required, I was free to go about my busy day without being tied to the house.

    The box includes 4 sets of strips.  Used every 3 months, one box should last you a year.  Now, for the big reveal.  Here are my before and after pics:

    Before

    white teeth

    After

    Don’t forget you can get some really good coupons for your own Crest Whitestrips by heading here, you can check out Crest’s facebook page for a chance to win $25, 000, and you can enter our contest for a chance to win your very own package of Crest’s Whitestrips!! For the mandatory entry, tell us below what life event you would want to whiten for in 2 hours.  For an additional entry subscribe to AMKB’s blog by clicking RSS button.  For an additional entry click the “like” button at the top of this post.  For an additional entry, click the “retweet” button.  For an addition entry “stumble” this post.  For each entry, leave a separate comment below and let me know what you did.  Thanks and good luck!

    Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by One2One Network & Crest, but all opinions are 100% my own!

     

     

     

     

    Alex and Ani Jewelry: A Rhode Island Gem

    I recently visited my local Alex and Ani store in Newport, RI.  It is a beautiful store with so many different types of jewelry to choose from.  Alex and Ani also have a store in East Greenwich, RI right up the street from me.  I am lucky to have many of these stores nearby, as the designer happens to be a local Rhode Islander.  This jewelry can be bought nationwide though.  Check out the Alex and Ani site to see where you can find a store, or to order some of this wonderful jewelry on-line!

    As I write for different on-line sites, I actually reviewed Alex and Ani and have a GIVEAWAY for a wonderful piece of their jewelry.  Check it out at GalTime to enter the giveaway!

    Pictures from the Newport, RI store (see the beautiful jewelry, that happens to be eco-friendly, for yourself):

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    * What do you think of Alex and Ani jewelry?  Do you like the idea of beautifying yourself and being environmentally responsible all at once?

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    Kristin Wheeler