The Importance of Being Reese: July 2014

Free Redbox Rental Codes: August 2014

The weekend is nearly here and I've got a few more Redbox freebie codes to help get you through the next few days. These codes expire soon, so please pay extra attention to the expiration dates. I received a few nasty-grams about the codes having expired in my last post, so I would just like to give a bit of forewarning, these codes expire QUICKLY. I do my best to include all dates, but sometimes that's just not possible.

Before heading off to a Redbox, I will typically write the codes down on a sheet of paper, that way if one code doesn't work, I can easily move on to the next. No muss, no fuss.

As always, if you find a code on the list that no longer works, please let me know and I will add an update to inform my readers that the code is no longer available.

(DVD) 3KGV9929- Expires 8/3/2014
(DVD) DVDNIGHT-Expires 8/102014
(GAME) GAMETIME- Expires 8/102014

Bonus: Like Redbox on Facebook and receive a free 1-night rental- Expires 12/31/2014
Bonus: Join the Redbox Text Club. You'll get a text every first Monday of every month with a  Redbox code for a free one-night Redbox rental.- Expires UNKNOWN

Enjoy your rentals, but most importantly enjoy your time with your family!

Until next time,

Making Money with Sponsored Tweets

Note: This post contains affiliate links

As a formerly broke college student/ currently somewhat broke post-grad student, I like making money. More importantly, the bill collectors like it when I make money.  A few months ago I stumbled onto, an online marketplace that connects you directly with advertisers looking for tweeters to help promote their businesses, products or services. Simply put, literally pays you to tweet.

Like most of you, I originally thought this was a scam. After all, if it sounds good, looks good, and is on the internet, then it must be untrue. Luckily for me, I decided to give it a test run. After a few days, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was, in fact, a legitimate revue steam for twitter users looking to expand their horizons.

The best part? It's so easy to use. Simply sign up, set your price, and wait for the offers to roll in.

Here's how it works
When advertisers post opportunities that match the keywords you have provided in your profile, they are sent your information. If they are interested, they will send you a notification of the opportunity. If you feel the tweet doesn't fit your voice, or is inappropriate for your readers, you can simply choose to decline the opportunity. However, if you are interested, you have up to three days to respond to the opportunity before they move on to someone else.

How to get those opportunities

Make sure to enable click-watch. Clickwatch is a program that retweets your tweet if it doesn't get enough clicks and advertisers love it. You are ten times more likely to get more opps if you are enrolled in the program.

Don't go above the suggested price. The suggested price is calculated based on the amount of Twitter followers you have.  Since starting the Sponsored Tweet program, my suggested tweet price has grown from $5.00 to nearly $7.00. Not bad.

Be sure to choose your keywords wisely. You're only allotted ten key words per profile, so choose the ones that best fit you and your audience.

Build up your Klout score. The better your Klout, the more likely you are to receive opportunities.

Always. Always. Disclose. This is a biggie. Though the #spon hastag is always included in your tweet, make sure you don't remove it. Failing to disclose that you are tweeting an ad can land both you and the sponsor in big trouble.

So there you have it, a quick way to tie in your love of the twittersphere with making money. Remember, this is not a get rich quick scheme. I can't promise that you'll end up raking in tons of dough, but the one thing I have learned from monetizing blogs is: don't put all your eggs in one basket. Find multiple sources of revenue. Make your blog make money for you. Join Sponsored Tweets today!

Not bad for a days work.

Coconut and Banana Green Smoothie

Happy Thursday! If you follow me on Instagram, you know my latest passion is finding ways to transform fresh fruits and veggies into delicious drinks. So many of you seem to enjoy my juice recipes. However, a few of y'all have mentioned that you only have blenders. Today, I've got you covered. The Coconut and Banana Green Smoothie is one of my absolute favorite smoothies. Why? It's packed with fruits, veggies and is downright delicious. And the best part? It's super filling. 10-12 oz of this will keep you turbo charged for hours. And because it contains bananas, this is a great drink to fuel your workout.

I'm a big fan of green smoothies. While fruit smoothies are healthy (in moderation) I like knowing that I'm taking in those good ole healthy leafy greens as well. If you're looking to use smoothies or juice for weight loss, you have to be mindful of the calorie count. Fruits contains loads more calories and sugars than vegetables. An entire bag of spinach contains less calories than just one banana. So be careful when you start packing in the fruits. You can actually gain weight without realizing what you're doing.

For this smoothie, you will need:
2-3 large handfuls of spinach (I sometimes use more)
1 frozen banana
1 cup of Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Vanilla milk (way tastier than regular milk and only contains 80 calories per cup. Score!)
1 Tbsp of unsweetened coconut flakes
3-4 cubes of ice

I tend to start off blending my milk and bananas first and then adding the spinach and coconut flakes on top. Make sure you blend well to remove all the chunks. This recipe makes about 16 oz of smoothie.

As always, if you enjoyed this recipe, be sure to hit the pin it button on the top left hand corner of the top image (hold your mouse over the picture and the button will appear). Be sure to stop by next week for some more healthy and delicious drinks that will help you shed pounds and keep cool this summer!

Until next time,

I'm Officially A Published Author

Yes, you read that title correctly! As of today, I am the proud author of Utilizing Social Media For Blogging, a how to guide for effectively using social media to increase blog traffic. My ebook is currently available on both Amazon Kindle and the Nook via Barnes and Noble.

If you are looking to monetize your blog, by now you are aware that in order to make a profit from your blog, you have to first have traffic. Although SEO plays a large role in generating traffic for your blog, it is not the only way. Social media can be a highly effective source of traffic for your blog, but it takes time to learn how to navigate the social media realm. This book will help you turn your social media platforms into a direct tunnel to your blog, increasing your blog traffic exponentially.

Utilizing Social Media for Blogging is JAM PACKED with useful information to help you use social media to grow your blog traffic, and all the content in the book is brand spanking new, so it's not something you're going to be able to find on my blog. You can currently purchase it for $2.99. That's even less than a tall cup of coffee at Starbucks!

For years, one of my biggest personal goals was to become a published author. When I was in high school, I was published twice in a book that was circulated all throughout the DODDS (Department of Defense Dependent Schools) in Europe. From that point I realized I wanted to do more. I could do more. Enter blogging.

The written word has always been a passion of mine, so it would seem logical that I would find a safe space to share my words with other. And after almost three years in the blogosphere, I've read so many amazing stories from people who had fulfilled similar goals that I thought, "Why not me?"

And so I did. I've been working on this for about a year on and off. Whenever I had a quiet moment to sit down and research or write, I took advantage of it. Admittedly I could have finished sooner, but as we all know, life gets in the way. Luckily, it was always just temporary.

So what next? Finally following through with publishing a book has been a motivator like no other. Now that I've gone through the process, I know what to expect the second time around. I can't promise that it will be soon, but I can promise that I WILL publish another book.

I encourage you all to purchase a copy. As I mentioned before, it's extremely affordable. Three years of blogging has taught me that if you ever want to grow your blog, you have to invest in it. Think of this as a small investment in your very bright blogging future.

If you have any questions, shoot me an email to tasutton22@gmail and we'll talk!

Until next time!

4 Simple Steps To Teaching Your Toddlers How To Float

Disclaimer: As a SwimWays SwimSteps Ambassador, I was given products for this review. However, as a mother I completely stand by my thoughts and opinion in regards to SwimWays products. 

As a mother, child safety in and around the water is extremely important. Every time I hear a story about a child drowning, I want to lock Little J in her room and forbid her to go near a pool. But realistically I know that's not the answer. Truth be told, the best way to prevent your children from drowning is to help teach them how to swim at a young age. Recently we have seriously stepped up our efforts to teach Little J how to swim. Luckily, my friends at SwimWays have helped us along the way. 

For the next few months I'll be discussing water safety and sharing different tips and tricks on how to help encourage your toddlers to swim. This particular post will be centered around phase one of our swimming journey, floating. 

We started Little J off by teaching her how to lie flat on her back on the ground. Parents of small children know that this alone can be quite an accomplishment. Once she felt comfortable lying still on her back, we moved to the tub. We spent a few minutes each day for about a week helping her become more comfortable lying on her back in the tub (without splashing, another huge accomplishment for a toddler). Once she felt comfortable, we packed up our gear and headed to the pool. 

After tying (unsuccessfully) to help Little J feel comfortable enough to lie back in my arms in the pool, we decided that the next day we would put her in her swim vest to help her overcome her fears. And it worked like a charm! It gave Little J the confidence she needed to lie back while also alleviating my fears. 

The next trip to the pool went much smoother. We started off by letting her get comfortable with floating on her stomach before we moved on to floating on the back. Though we're not officially out of the floating stage, she has improved significantly since her first attempt, we plan on taking weekly trips to the pool until she is. We're one step closer to keeping our daughter safe in the water. And as a mother, that is an incredibly satisfying feeling. 

Now that you've read about our adventures in floating, here's a quick refresher on teaching your toddlers how to float. 

People often assume that floating is a basic instinct, that it comes naturally, however, in reality, it can take tons of practice, even for adults. For children, it can be especially difficult since they are less buoyant and often times less comfortable in the water. 

1. Swim coaches often times recommend having your children lie down flat on their back on the ground first so that they know how to position their bodies without having to worry about the water. 

2. Once they feel comfortable practicing the floating position on the ground, try putting them in the bathtub, this will help them to prepare for the pool. Once you've conquered both the ground, and the bathtub, it's time to move onto the pool. 

3. As we found out with Little J, putting your child in a swim vest can help to alleviate their fears of sinking. This also allows them to learn how to properly balance their bodies so that they stay afloat once the vest comes off. 

4. Allow your child to become comfortable at his or her own pace. Rushing them can lead them to develop a fear of the water. Let them learn at their own speed. 

Want more useful swim tips, be sure to tune in later this month for phase two of our swimming journey! 

Until next time,

50 Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free

Summer is officially in full swing. Now that your kiddos are home 100% of the time, your grocery and restaurant bills are probably feeling the burn. That's okay, I've got you covered. This list contains 50 major restaurants that offer free kids meals. Keep in mind that some exclusions apply and each of these deals varies by location. It's best to always call ahead of time to avoid confusion and misunderstandings.

If you enjoyed this list and find if helpful, I ask you to hit the 'Pin It' button in the top left-hand corner of the image above (button appears after you place your mouse over the image) and share this on Pinterest. Now onto the fun stuff!


Into The Woods

As a child, the majority of my time was split between climbing trees in our neighborhood, and getting lost in the woods with my sister. I suppose when you grow up surrounded by soldiers, you tend to become a bit of a tomboy. It comes as no surprise that Little J is following directly in our footsteps, and has taken quite a liking to the woods-- a fact that both thrills and terrifies me.

This weekend I decided to surprise my sister with an impromptu trip to Raven Rock Park. Unfortunately, we arrived just as the heat was reaching it's peak, and neither of us were really dressed for the occasion, so our visit was pretty brief. Still, it was a chance for us all to get out and get a spot of fresh air. It also gave me a chance to test out my birthday present, compliments of Mr. A.

Clearly I have a bit of work to do with my camera. Although I took three levels of photography in high school, back then we were still using regular SLR camera's so shooting on a digital camera is taking a bit of getting used to. However, my sister is a photography wiz so I'm looking forward to learning from her.

Now that I've got a DSLR, I'm sure you guys can expect to see more, hopefully better, photos of me and the fam. I've got plenty photography tips on my Pinterest boards, but I'm hoping some of you guys will throw some tips my way. What are some of your best photography tips? What type of camera do you shoot with?

Strawberry, Banana and Coconut Fruttare Smoothie

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Fruttare, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia 

Riddle: What do you get when you mix a Fruttare Fruit Bar in a blender with strawberries and bananas? Answer: A ridiculously good time! I've never been one for riddles, but this one is simple. And delicious. 

Lately Mr. A, Little J and I have been on a smoothie kick. When you have a three year old, you’re always on the hunt for ways to enjoy a sweet dessert without creating a mess. Enter the smoothie. If made correctly, not only is it packed with fruits and veggies, but it's virtually mess free. It’s a win-win for everyone.

If you're a fan of  strawberries, bananas and coconuts, you'll love this refreshing smoothie. It's mouthwateringly delicious AND healthy.  My secret ingredient? Fruttare Fruit Bars. Fruttare Fruit and Juice Bars are packed with real fruit, creamy milk and refreshing juice.  Though I kept it simple with the Strawberry & Milk bar for my recipe, they have plenty of flavors to choose from, like Pineapple, Lime, Mango and Black Cherry.

I've been experimenting with this smoothie for the past week. Originally I tried the Peaches & Milk Fruttare Bar, but Little J eats strawberries by the carton so I know I can always count on having a few containers of strawberries lying around for this recipe. I added a bit spinach and it taste just as awesome. The sweetness of the Fruttare Fruit Bars gives it just enough flavor to hide those veggies from your kiddos. For the purposes of this recipe, I kept it pretty simple. This way you can add to it and subtract as you see fit.

1 Strawberry Fruttare Fruit Bar
1 cup fresh strawberries; diced (we love strawberries in this house!)
1 large frozen banana
2 teaspoons of unsweetened coconut flakes
¾ cup unsweetened vanilla milk

1. Wash and slice strawberries into small pieces
2. Cut bananas (fresh or frozen)
3. Place fruit bar, strawberries, coconut and bananas into a blender
4. Add ice cubes and milk
5. Mix ingredients until well blended
6. Serve with a smile

Last night we enjoyed our dinner and Fruttare Smoothie from the comfort of our balcony. There's something about the fading sunset, bare feet and smoothies that make me feel at home.

Because I believe that sharing is caring, I want to share a sweet deal with you guys. From now until July 31st, buy one Fruttare item and redeem a Music Award (valued at $4.00) This offer is good while supplies last so be sure to head to your nearest Krogers and snag a few boxes.

Want some more sweet ideas? Follow Fruttare on Instagram and Twitter for fun recipes and ideas on how to beat the heat this summer.

Until next time,

Hyatt Place: A Home Away From Home

Disclaimer: I was given a discount for our stay at the Hyatt Place, however, all thoughts expressed in this post are an accurate reflection of my opinion of Hyatt Place.

If you've been keeping up with my Instagram feed, you know I've been a busy little bee these past few weekends. Since Mr. A returned home from training for the National Guard and I was invited to cover an event in Charlotte, we decided to stick around for an extra day and enjoy the city. We're pretty frequent travelers so we know our way around the hotel scene well enough to know which hotels to avoid and which ones to frequent. While in Charlotte, we stayed at the City Park Hyatt Place, a.k.a our home away from home, it definitely falls into the latter category.

Hyatt Place is equipped  to accommodate just about your every whim. Which is great for people like me who forget something every. single. time. Seriously, I could pack a week in advance and still manage to leave something behind. I suppose it's part of my charm.

But seriously, Hyatt Place? They think of everything.

Forgot your toothbrush? No problem.
Left your cell phone charger? Borrow one of their universal cell-phone chargers.
Feel like a nightcap but don't have a designated driver? Go hang out at their bar downstairs.

And then of course, there's the breakfast. My favorite meal of the day and biggest guilty pleasure. Mr. A and I woke up extra early and made a mad dash to their dining room so we'd have plenty of time to enjoy ourselves. It's not often we have a Little J free breakfast, so when we finally get the chance to enjoy a nice quiet breakfast, we tend to go full-throttle. This morning was no different.

Though sadly we didn't have time to take advantage of their fitness room, they've got all the goodies that gym rats, such as myself, enjoy. Treadmills, free-weighs, benches, and even a  gorgeous outdoor pool for you to relax in after your workout session (after you've taken a shower of course because ewwww).

Speaking of the pool and my inability to travel without forgetting something, as soon as we arrived, we discovered I managed to forget my swimsuit. Boo :( Even though we weren't able to go for an early morning swim after breakfast, I couldn't resist dipping my toes in the pool. Maybe next time...

The rooms themselves are perfect for weary travelers looking for a place to rest their heads. The interiors are very modern and sleek, which is a welcomed break from the floral patterns that typically adorn the inside of most hotel rooms. Call me spoiled but I hate hotels that look as though they were last redecorated at the mid-turn of the century.

Both Mr. A and I have stayed in many a hotel bed, but this one was ridiculously comfortable. The sheets were soft and lush, and the best part? They weren't scratchy.

Since we've previously stayed at a Hyatt, we pretty much knew what to expect, but even still, we were pleasantly surprised to discover they had added in a few more perks for their guest, including a coffee/bar area and a small bakery.

All and all we had a fantastic stay! Mr. A and I have already made plans to return to Charlotte next month, and we already know where we will be staying.

If you're interested in finding out more about the City Park Hyatt Place, be sure to check out their website. Be sure to sign up for their Gold Passport reward program for exclusive deals and savings!

Until next time,