Friday, September 30, 2011

5 Affiliate Marketing Benefits for Bloggers Webinar Review and Giveaway!!!!

Are you a new blogger trying to figure out monetizing your blog? Have you been blogging for a while and are just not sure if you are seeing the benefit of affiliate blogging? Do you still have a lot of questions and don't know where to find the answer? You should check out the webinar "5 Affiliate Benefits for Bloggers".

Delivered by Tricia Meyer and Deborah Carney, this webinar is chalked full of information that will benefit even the most proficient blogger. With many years of background in affiliate marketing and Program Management, Tricia and Deborah walk us through 5 benefits that help clear the air per se to a lot of questions we have about our expectations.

From Revenue Opportunities to Networking, this platform gives us the ins and outs of affiliate marketing. We learn what kind of relationships we should develop with merchants, the bonuses of having quality content, and what types of reviews our sponsors are looking for, amongst other pertinent information.

Being a fairly new blogger myself, I can say that I took about 3 pages of notes to help get me headed down the right path to affiliate marketing and where I can go to for more help. The only thing they left out was an actual list of merchants to work with, but I have a sneaky suspicion that I will be able to find that by visiting their website!!! It was a very educating presentation and now you know the drill: Go check 'em out!!!!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

ENTER TO WIN "5 Affiliate Marketing Benefits for Bloggers Webinar" by following the Rafflecopter entry form below!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mixbook Review!!!!!!!

We all know it's coming, you can't run, you can't hide, it's getting close to Christmas time. Some people plan well enough in advanced and some people wait until the week of (ahem.....yea, that's me). So I can say that I was super stoked to get this order of business done say fast and convenient and won't have to worry about it later.

Mixbook is a photo products company that helps people create everything from calendars to cards all at a one stop shop. It is 100% customizable and for the holiday cards there are so many templates to chose from. You can also choose to start from scratch. I was able to order 30 premium 5x7 flat Mixbook holiday cards to review. The process was so easy: pick what template you want, pick what you want it to say, attach your pictures and viola: your Christmas cards are ready!!! And you pay for them right on the site. They even have online customer service to chat with if you have any questions with your order.


Mixbook is not just for Christmas, they have collections for many other holidays and events as well, along with customizing your own photo books, baby shower invites, the whole nine!! You can visit them online at You can also follow them on Facebook ( or Twitter ( so that they can be available for all your photo needs.


Now you all know the drill: GO CHECK 'EM OUT!!!!!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Party Planning Checklist eBook Review!!!

Today I reviewed the Party Planning Checklist eBook from Theme Party ( ).  Theme Party Queen understands that "when you host a party, food is usually the star of the show".

The party Planning Checklist is a relatively simple breakdown of blank templates for everything you need to prepare yourself for your party. From start to finish, this list helps you organize every stage of planning. It offers you a check list for your courses, and what recipes you will plan for each course, with extra space for multiple days/meals. Secondly it breaks down the actual day of preparation by category, for example appetizers, snacks, beverages, etc. Next, it breaks down for you a grocery list, where you can list every item that is needed from every one of your recipes all on one sheet. It goes on to give you another list for your table arrangements, beverage cooler placements, and garbage and recycle bin locations.

I believe this is a very useful tool, especially for people that host parties on a regular basis. I do think however that it is a very simple design that could be created from your own computer. BUT the good thing is this is easy and convenient and already templated for you. So next time you are hosting a dinner party, check out the Theme Party Queen Party Planning Checklist eBook. You'll be glad you did. Download your own free copy by following the link above.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

5 Great Things Places to Visit in Kansas City!!!

As I was driving through town today thinking about what to write about, I kept noticing signs advertising this and billboards advertising that. It occurred to me how many cool things there are to do in Kansas City so I thought a "5 Greatest Places" list was in order. These are the 5 favorite things me and my family like to do so the "5 greatest list" may be different for everyone and are not in any particular order.  And hey, if you're ever in Kansas City look me up!!

1) The Kansas City Zoo. With more than 200 acres and 1000 animals the Kansas City Zoo offers us a tour of many places, including Africa, Australia and the Farmlands, among others. This year the polar bear exhibit was added with the opportunity to meet Nikita the polar bear, along with a wide variety of other animals including rhinos, giraffes, and gorillas. They have elephants that paint, numerous feeding shows, and lots of rides: a tram, the train, a carousel, a boat, and the newly added African Sky Safari. The zoo is open year round, parking is free, and admission prices are comparable.

2) Worlds of Fun. Worlds of Fun amusement park has over 40 rides including 7 roller coasters and a couple of wet rides.  From the "Fury of the Nile" to the "Bamboozler" the rides are sure to make even the most sour person laugh. They also host a wide variety of shows tailored to kids of all ages, even adult kids. They offer other exciting ventures such as the Halloween Haunt, where the park becomes haunted at night (use your judgment as to the appropriateness of the haunt to your children). With souvenir shops, food venues, and lots of games, Worlds of Fun is an entire day's worth of FUN. A little pricey, including having to pay for parking, but worth it.

3) Oceans of Fun. Sister park to Worlds of Fun, Oceans of Fun is a fun collections of rides, slides and pools all in one HUGE park. Oceans of Fun features rides such as the "Aruba Tuba" that has a 43 foot drop into the "Coconut Cove". They offer a kayak and canoe ride where you can show off your rowing abilities, a 2,000 square foot pool that caters strictly to younger children, and Castaway Cove strictly for adults over the age of 21 (yes, you may partake in a drink or 3). With so much to do, this park is an entire day trip as well. While cheaper than WOF, OOF is also somewhat pricey and you have to pay for parking, but again I think it is worth it.

4) The Country Club Plaza. With over 14 blocks of shopping and entertainment, the Spanish architecture and European art make the Country Club Plaza a place to be. Known most for its fountains, this incredible must see district is jam packed with restaurants, a movie theater, horse-drawn buggies, gondola rides, and breath taking scenery. The landscaping itself is as upscale as the plaza itself. The is a prime hot spot any time of the day or evening. While the stores are very upscale, the atmosphere is laid back making this one place you won't want to miss.

5) Hallmark Visitors Center/Kaleidoscope. Located in the heart of downtown, the Hallmark visitors center tells the story behind this greeting card legacy. Showcasing a timeline of events, you walk through a visual atmosphere that creates a picture from the beginning of Hallmark Cards to today. From humble beginnings  to Christmas displays, the Hallmark visitor center is educational and legendary. While there, go downstairs to Kaleidoscope where children are encouraged to use their creative side and develop their own artwork. Using left-over materials from Hallmark, your children will experience everything from their own gift-bows to their unique artwork being transformed into a jigsaw puzzle. There are also special rooms that encourage them to decorate with black-light colors that can only be seen in that particular room. My favorite of the top 5 and the cheapest as well: Free. Park in the garage and they will stamp your card so that you do not have to pay parking either. Can't beat Go check 'em out!!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Today's Field Trip-MISSOURITOWN 1855

I cannot tell you how long ago it has been since I rode a school bus, but I can tell you that I rode one today. Today was Kiersten's 3rd grade field trip and only being employed part-time allowed me to go with her. I met her at the school and rode the bus with her. We were both angels on the bus and followed all the rules....
After a pretty loud (but fun) trip we arrived at Missouritown 1855. Although Missouritown is merely a reconstruction of times in the 19th century, the premise is just that. With real buildings from that era to animals, workers and tours, Missouritown presents a real feel for life back then. We started out learning about what oxen did to help farmers back then. They were yoked and used for everything from plowing the fields to being the 19-th century's version of a U-Haul. We even got to pet them and check out their horns.
The interpreters at Missouritown were in full dress and made it all the more interesting. We got to see how a blacksmith does his work, from heating the metal to clamping it and twisting it. It was so amazing to see how metal gets that hot and actually changes form.
And what would a 19th century town be without workers, animals, and old time buildings? It brought a lot of things into perspective for us. Back then the children started helping around the farm at around the age of 5 (wow, right?). Also there was no electricity or running water, and most of the time an entire family lived in a one room house, with the kitchen, bedroom, etc all in one. They played with very simple toys made out of wood and they also had outhouses (no picture to share of that one lol).
Missouritown was a fantastic experience for both Kiersten and I. Not only did we have the chance to see how life was over a century ago, we also got to spend time together bonding....the best part of my day!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

VIOlight UV Toothbrush Sanitizers!!!!

SO we know the deal...brush and floss 2 times a day, visit the dentist every 6 months, steer clear of candy and juice. We work hard to keep our teeth clean, but what cleans our toothbrushes? 

I remember when I was little and would get sick my mom would boil my toothbrush, but unless I was sick, it never saw any cleaning. Nowadays, we recycle our toothbrushes every 3-6 months, or when they get sick, but what do you do on a daily basis? I have heard that the average toothbrush has more than 10,000,000 bacteria living on it.....YUK!!!! VIOlight UV toothbrush Sanitizers claim to "BLAST those germs away".  

As seen on Rachel Ray, Ellen, The Today Show and others, the VIOlight system uses a UV Bulb to kill germs. This is the same science and technology that is used in hospitals. The entire process takes only minutes and then the bulb shuts itself off when finished. They offer a wide selection of VIOlight UV Toothbrush Sanitizers for the whole family!!! Go check them out, and take the extra step to kill bacteria living on your toothbrush so you can have the freshness you want!!!

CLICK HERE to go directly to the website:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Missing Moe-Moe----grab a tissue!!!!!

It's been over a year since we first saw the cute little round butterball of a puppy we named Moe-Moe. Moe-Moe was a boxer puppy that our family was drawn to on that cool fall day in October, 2010. After we pulled up to the truck outside of our local Walmart, we were smitten. We knew he was going home with us.

We named him after Muhammad Ali because he was a boxer, but we knew right away he would forever be Moe-Moe. And Moe-Moe could have been short for mischief, because he came right into our home and shook it up. Like a tornado hitting a silent beach, Moe learned all of our other pets buttons, and pushed them constantly. Our cats, Miley and Oliver, and our Jack Russell, Max, did not know what was going on. But this cute little bundle that annoyed them all soon grew on them and became part of the family.

I am the biggest pet lover I know and I can tell you without a doubt this was the coolest dog ever. He immediately took to me and my daughter, Kiersten, and soon we did hardly anything without him. He went to the trails with us and we could let him go....he would run to the front of the line to make sure those family members were okay, then come on to the back to make sure Mom was bringing up the caboose. He never went off the trails in those woods, except to make a stinky, and for that we were thankful. He loved playing in that water once we finally made it through the forest into the pond (see below).

He was Kiersten's best friend. He knew at 3:00 every day that if he stood at the front door, it would soon open and she would come in. Sometimes, we would go meet her at the bus stop and he would sit patiently waiting for the bus. They would go to the playground here at the apartments soon thereafter so that they could go down the slide together. She had him completely trained to run up the slide and slide back down. I loved that, man...I would show him off to everyone that came over by showing that MY dog could do that.....(watch the video to see him run up the slide after Kiersten then come back down)

Sadly, on July 12, 2011, we came home and found that our dogs had gotten out of the house. Max stayed close, but Moe-Moe traveled. We spent a lot of time, money, blood, sweat, and tears looking for Moe-Moe, but as of today we still have not found him. We have not given up hope, but life has somewhat returned to normal. It has been over 2 months, and our family has been somewhat turned upside down over it, but we keep on truckin. 

We have learned so many lessons through Moe-Moe, in less than a year of having him in our home. First and foremost we learned to make sure you spay/neuter your pets because if they are not neutered they tend to run away if they get out. We also learned to microchip your pets, so that if someone finds them they have record of where their home is. 

We also learned matter where we went, he was right there with us. We learned unconditional love, Moe-Moe didn't mind if you hadn't taken a shower that day or if the house wasn't completely up to par. We also learned to keep on living, despite the grief. We have learned to never give up, and we probably never will. We also learned that there is still a sense of community in our town, so many business hung fliers for us, so many people (complete strangers even) came out and helped us scour the town-and to all of them we are eternally grateful. 

I will never give up on finding Moe-Moe, and though the days get easier-we all still have days where we just start crying out of the blue. He was and always be part of our family and we miss him sorely. Time does heal some wounds, but some will always be there just under the surface. Hopefully Moe-Moe will come home, but maybe he is with a family that loves him just as much as we do. We love you Moe-Moe!!!!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS Movie Review!!!!!!!!

Tonight we watched X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, which as all of you X-MEN followers know charts the beginning of the X-MEN saga. The film is set in the 60's where Charles Xavier, played by James McAvoy, led the first set of X-MEN through this action packed 2 plus hour long movie.

Directed by Matthew Vaughn and produced by Bryan Singer, this is the fifth installment of the X-MEN series. We get to see what life was like for Professor X and Magneto (played by Michael Fassbender) before the Brotherhood of Mutants was formed. The movie also co-stars Kevin Bacon as Shaw who has his hand in some of the evil that Magneto holds. 

It was great following the friendship between Charles and Eric and the rest of the mutants including January Jones as Frost, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, and Jennifer Lawrence as Raven. We also get to watch them discover and develop their powers, with some fun quirkiness thrown in.

Although this movie is rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexuality and a violent image, my husband and I watched with our 11 year-old son and I thought it was just fine for him. 

So official Loving the Family Life Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!!! 

GREAT movie!!!!! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Customer Service Anyone????

So today I had a doctor's appointment at a clinic I had never been to before. Since we only have one car at home right now, I had to catch  ride. Needless to say, I was running about 10 minutes behind. Apparently that gives the girl at the front desk an okay to be rude......

That got me thinking about customer service. At the job prior to the one I am at now, customer service meant that everyone you dealt with on a normal business day was considered your customer. For example, if someone in another department needed help, that was your customer. If an outside vendor called in, that was your customer. If a patient called in, he or she was your customer. That company made it very clear that customer service there was a key component to working at that particular company, and made me proud to be there.

I tried to rationalize said situation in my head....maybe the receptionist was having a bad day, maybe everyone on the schedule today has been late, maybe she gets in trouble by the doctor if a patient is late....then I thought well, does she know why I am there or why I was late?? Maybe I had just witnessed a very bad accident, maybe I am here to get test results of a very horrible nature.....

So I think from now on, I will try to make sure I put myself in others shoes, maybe if everyone did that, the world would be a better place....

Bloggers Rule!!!!!

So I have to say it, Bloggers Rule!!! Today, September 12, 2011, is my first day of blogging and I have learned so much, taken in so much, and have felt a little overwhelmed a few times......let's review:

1. Decide what your idea is. I wanted to develop a blogsite like so many that I have been following the past few months. I have had so much fun entering giveaways, reading reviews, reading how much others lives are so similar to mine (and so different). So I thought, well hey, I am on here enough, I think I can do this.....I hope I can:)

2. Decide on a name. This one was easy for me. My family is my life. There is nothing I love more, no one I spend more time with, and nothing I would rather do then spend time with them...hence: Loving the Family Life was born.

3. Develop your blogsite. Uhhhhh, hmmmm.....still practicing lol, but it will all come together. I did some research and learned a lot on regarding developing the page. They also had a piece there about bloggers having a community and that they loved to help each other and I learned that first-hand (thank you to my fellow bloggers, you know who you are). I still need to figure out what all bloggers etiquette entails.

4. Make a Face Book page. No sweat. Looking good if I do say so myself. :) Now I just need like a million likes LOL

5. Start Blogging. Okay, so I am blogging. Hopefully the rest will all fall into place!!!!

I still have to iron the rest out, but I am on my way!!! I can tell that it will take a lot of work and a lot of commitment so after about 14 hours of work today, i stand by my title
 BLOGGERS RULE!!!! I have to commend Bloggers across the nation for the amount of time, effort, blood, sweat and tears that they put into their blogs....I am sure they wouldn't have it any other way!!!

Thank you to those already following and those who are already spreading the love, hopefully we will have a giveaway coming soon!!!!


Welcome to Loving the Family Life. My name is Cathi. I am 34 years old and from the midwestern state of Missouri. I currently work as a Community Outreach Assistant and Peer Specialist for a Mental Health Not for Profit organization. I help young adults from the ages of 16-25 that have mental illnesses by supporting them while they transition into society. I am married and am the proud mother of 3 wonderful children: William-11, Kiersten-8, and Sadie-8. We have a dog and 3 cats and family is the most important thing in out lives. I am a beginner at blogging and at home businesses so I hope everyone will be patient as I get started. I look forward to this and I hope I am successful for you all as well as for us:) Here we go.....