Buffalo NY Mom Blog Reviews Giveaways | The Dish on Parenting

What to Expect.............

Posted by Jessica Keeton at 7/29/2013 01:20:00 AM 0 comments
By: Jessica Keeton

Coming up this week:

  • My full review of Prevacid24HR
  • Reviews of two businesses in the WNY area (Photos Included)
  • How our vacation to Connecticut went - with a great place to take the kids
  • My full review of Lysol Power & Free

We got back from our vacation in Connecticut today to find that my Bzzkit had arrived. My Lysol Power & Free supplies couldn't have come at a better time, just getting home from vacation and with school starting in a few weeks, I need to get my house in tip top shape. 

After opening the box, I managed to wait a whole two minutes before I couldn't wait any longer to try it. One Word - Amazing.

My full review of Lysol Power & Free will include pictures, video, before and after, what my family and friends think and more. Lysol Power & Free will be put to the test so if you're looking to switch cleaners, this may be the review for you.
I don't want to give too much away so I'll leave everyone with a picture of what I received in my BzzKit

Stay tuned and I'll update everyone when I have finished interrogating my Lysol Power & Free BzzKit.

Stay Heartburn Free: Receiving My Prevacid24HR BzzKit

Posted by Jessica Keeton at 7/24/2013 02:13:00 AM 0 comments
By: Jessica Keeton

My BzzKit Arrived

Fairly new to BzzAgent, I have had nothing but positive experiences from meeting new people, joining great campaigns and learning just how much social media can influence others on a product. After joining it was only a matter of weeks before I was in picked for my first campaign. 

I was chosen for the Prevacid24Hr (#GotItFree) campaign. Unlike most companies, I didn't have to wait 6-8 weeks to try out my products, with my BzzKit arriving within two weeks. Opening my door to find my package the other day was exciting not only for me, but for my mail carrier as well (she'll no longer have to worry about me waiting by the door everyday). 

I made a video last night showing everyone what was included in my BzzKit, what I was excited about, why I decided to join this campaign and what I was hoping to expect from Prevacid24Hr. I wanted to make sure to include it here for anyone that didn't get a chance to watch the video. 

Items in my BzzKit

*1 box of Prevacid24Hr Capsules (14 count)

*$5.00 off coupons for Prevacid24HR - for family, friends, and
anyone interested in never worrying about their heartburn again.

*A pamphlet that includes information on Prevacid24HR, causes of heartburn, your lifestyle and heartburn, tips, ways to manage your heartburn and my favorite Prevacid24HR Perks.

*Prevacid24HR Perks is a program that rewards you giving you great perks like coffee, spa gift cards, dining and entertainment options and so much more.

Great Features of Packaging: I took a picture of the bottle next to the pamphlet to show just how small it is. Having kids, I usually have a minimum of four bags packed with everything we own just for a trip to the gas station, so when I can throw something like this in my bag and it won't take up any extra space, it's perfect and makes me one happy mama. 

You don't have to worry about spending ten minutes taking a capsule out of a package that tells you to just "push" and it'll pop out when what they really mean is you need a heavy piece of machinery in order to open the packaging.  

 I started my Prevacid24Hr today and am so excited to be able to tell my family, friends and anyone else I can help out with their heartburn troubles, about how amazing this product truly is. 

It can take anywhere from 1-4 days to feel the full effects of Prevacid24HR but I was lucky enough to spot a difference immediately. I will be using it for the next few days to make sure I can give you all the best and most honest review. 

 Everyone stay tuned and I will be updating you through my blog, my twitter, my facebook, and for my friends on Bzzagent.

 Loving My Prevacid24HR #GotItFree

For anyone interested in viewing my video I posted yesterday, check below. 

Buzz Your Way Over To BzzAgent

Posted by Jessica Keeton at 7/19/2013 02:12:00 AM 0 comments
By: Jessica Keeton

As parents, anytime we can save money, whether from coupons, discounts or even free, it's a good thing. So it can be incredibly frustrating when you buy a product only to find out it's not what you expected.

Sometimes we don't have enough information on a product before we purchase it, leaving us to hope it's up to our standards. We're usually relying on what we see on TV, read on a product's website, or something our mother's best friend's cousin told us.

Being a mom, I am always looking for ways to find new products to try but don't always have money to throw away on products I know nothing about. Looking for product testing websites can be a huge challenge as well, trying to find companies that won't fill your junk mailbox up can take some time.

Fortunately, I was able to find a great website that allows you to test products and the best part is, it's not a scam. When they say free, they mean it.

The Big Reveal
Let me introduce you to BzzAgent pronounced Buzz Agent, is the leading social marketing company that connects people with their favorite brands.

Here's How It Works (No Scams Included)

It's simple. Your first step is to go to the BzzAgent website and create an account, that's about the hardest thing you'll have to do. Next, you'll fill out surveys, not the scam type that send you emails after each survey you fill out. These surveys are about different products such as alcohol, household cleaners, medicines, beauty products, sporting supplies, well you get the point. Oh, and when I say surveys, I don't mean long drawn out forms, I mean they should take about a minute. These surveys help BzzAgent match you up with the campaigns that are right for you, based on your answers to the surveys.

Once a campaign comes up that fits you best, BzzAgent will let you know by sending you an email. If the campaign is something you're interested in, all you have to do is accept and there's no penalty for not accepting a campaign.

After you accept a campaign, BzzAgent provides you with information, tips, helpful talking points and offers to share with your friends, whether through Facebook, Twitter, Blog, etc. BzzAgent wants you to share honest reviews and have conversations with others about the product you received in your campaign. It's only fair, they're providing us with a product and we are providing valuable information to companies about their product.

The more you participate, the more you're rewarded with points that are redeemable and more campaigns. The best way to increase your chances of continually getting campaigns is to write reviews, share photos and/or videos, write blog posts, share on Facebook and Twitter and update your followers throughout the campaign.

I know how hard it can be to find product testing companies online that aren't asking for a credit card so believe me when I say BzzAgent is an honest company that takes care of its members.

So what are you waiting for? 

Buzz on over to BzzAgent and get started on testing out the products you love.

Take A Trip To Lily Dale

Posted by Jessica Keeton at 7/18/2013 02:56:00 AM 1 comments
By: Jessica Keeton

I can remember years ago watching "Crossing Over with John Edward" as he tried to connect with loved ones on the other side. For me, it was more like watching him guess names until he found someone in the audience he connected with, and when he did, that audience member usually looked puzzled and confused by what he was saying.

Over the years we have seen psychics and mediums like John Edward, Sylvia Brown and Miss Cleo try to convince us they can talk to our relatives that have passed, some more believable than others. Thanks to TLC's new show "Long Island Medium," psychics and mediums may be making a comeback.

I have never been one to believe in psychics or mediums but figured I would give the show a try, at least for entertainment purposes. My fiance had noticed me watching and had brought up Lily Dale, the world's largest center for the science philosophy and religion of spiritualism or as I now call it, a town of psychics and mediums. 

I had looked up some information on it and thought it would be interesting to visit sometime in the future, but not anytime soon. About a week later, we had gone to a family party and some family members out of the blue brought up taking a trip to Lily Dale in the coming weeks, so we picked a date and were going to see what it was all about.

Not knowing what to expect, I did a bit of research and found The Official Site for Lily Dale Assembly which offers information on events, general information including fees, accommodations, maps and more, areas to visit, and a list of all registered mediums.

When looking through all the mediums, you are provided with emails as well as websites for each of them which include what to expect at a reading, fees, appointment scheduling and a picture of what the medium looks like. From there, I was able to find the medium that best fit what I was looking for, so I scheduled an appointment.

After meeting up with other family members, we left from Buffalo and before I knew it, we were pulling up to the entrance, paying a ten dollar fee for an all day pass which includes every event going on that day. Walking down the streets of Lily Dale, you are met with beautiful cottages, each having a garden that would make anyone jealous. 

Inside Lily Dale, there is something to meet everyone's needs including a beautiful Fairy Trail, a hiking trail through the woods filled with fairy and gnome houses, small villages and beautiful handmade trinkets everywhere you look, all made for loved ones who have passed. Visitors and residents are more than welcome to bring their handmade treasures and place them on the Fairy Trail.

Lily Dale offers dining accommodations including The Sunflower Cafe and Monika's Delights as well as a great place to get your caffeine fix at Cup-a-Joe's Coffee Shop. Believe me when I tell you, they have something to suit everyone's tastes including a great lunch menu and drinks to keep you cool in the heat.

If you're looking to do a little shopping while you're there, Lily Dale has you covered with The Bargain Shop, Crystal Cove and Lily Dale Bookstore & Souvenir Shop. You'll find everything from books, t-shirts, candles, jewelry, clothing, kids toys and just about anything else you're looking for at great prices.

The Forest Temple and The Inspiration Stump are areas of tranquility and a place to renew your own Spiritual energies. Lily Dale registered mediums, visiting mediums and students offer message services at both these areas. These are great for first-timers, groups and anyone who wants a chance at being chosen for a quick reading.

If you're interested in history, you'll want to visit the Lily Dale Museum, an 1890 one-room school house that takes you on a walk back through time through photos, artifacts and memorabilia from the first days of the spiritualist movement and the founding of Lily Dale. You'll discover spiritualist newspapers, magazines and pamphlets from the pioneers of early spiritualism, the Susan B. Anthony women's suffrage display, pictorial displays of pioneer landmarks of the region and so much more. You'll want to make sure you bring your camera if you're visiting the museum.

Lily Dale also offers the Lakeside Assembly Hall,
the Lily Dale Auditorium, a beautiful beach, Ghost Walks, Pet Cemetary, Marion Skidmore Library, Lily Dale Artisan Guild and much more. For all that Lily Dale has to offer, you can visit Inside Lily Dale.
Unfortunately I was only able to stay the day, but am looking to stay over when I head back next month. Lily Dale offers great accommodations whether you're staying a night, week or all season. From their beautiful historic hotels to guest homes to the campgrounds and RV park, Lily Dale offers it all.
Lily Dale's website offers a great schedule of daily and weekly events as well as workshops, Victorian Times Weekend and Children's week. Be sure to check out Lily Dale's Schedule of Events before you go.
When it comes to readings, I scheduled mine the day of, but I highly recommend scheduling before you go as they are usually booked, especially on the weekends. Fortunately, the registered medium Debra Boardman called me back and fit me in the last spot. I won't give too much away, but I will say she was spot on with everything. Again, I have never been one to believe in psychics or mediums but she impressed me so much that I am planning a trip back with my whole family. She was very professional and sends your recording to your email before you even leave her house. She is also very reasonably priced, friendly and can expect your money's worth when you see her.
If you are a frequent visitor or a first-timer and are interested in donating to Lily Dale, you'll be helping out with the ongoing preservation and restoration. Lily Dale lets you choose the project you want to support and donate to, with the list of projects located in the Donations Section.
Whether your looking to have a personal reading done or just enjoy a relaxed, peaceful setting, Lily Dale offers great options for you to explore year round.
Have you ever been to Lily Dale? If so, how was your experience?

Family-Friendly Entertainment At Royalton Ravine Park

Posted by Jessica Keeton at 7/08/2013 01:44:00 AM 0 comments
By: Jessica Keeton

Celebrating the fourth of July usually means barbecues, family parties and lots of red, white and blue. We spend the entire day looking forward to the oohing and ahhing at the fireworks, so it can be very disappointing when they fall flat.
Having children, I want to make sure that they get to experience all the fun and excitement that July fourth can bring, creating memories for them that they'll remember forever. After listening to some recommendations as well research, we have finally found that perfect place.

Royalton Ravine Park in Gasport, NY is the perfect setting for family-friendly entertainment offering fun activities for any age group. When it comes to July 4th festivities, they do not disappoint, exceeding everyone's expectations every year.

This has been my fourth year attending the July 4th celebrations at Royalton Ravine Park and once again my family and I all left with smiles on our faces, talking about how amazing the fireworks were. 

Before the show starts, parents can spend hours making sure their children aren't running off or misbehaving, so when fireworks end after ten minutes, those families don't return the following year. This is not something you have to deal with at Royalton Ravine Park, in fact, the volunteers who organize the festivities deserve medals for allowing moms and dads the chance to sit down for the first time that day and enjoy the impressive fireworks.

Don't worry, there's no pitching a tent the night before to secure a good spot going on here, with more than enough space, you can find a great spot no matter what time you show up. There's great seating for music lovers in front of the stage, seating for younger ones by the kids section and if you're looking for something a bit quieter, you can go behind the vendors and find a perfect seat around a beautiful pond. 

When it comes to parking, the volunteers have once again looked for ways to improve on safety and getting everyone home as quickly as possible. You'll find many parking lots available as well as side streets. Parking at a fire hall has its benefits, allowing you to take a bus to and from the park. Police enforced "No Parking" signs on certain areas of streets helped out tremendously when it came time to leave, eliminating street congestion and allowing families to walk to their vehicles much more safely.

After spending the day barbecuing, swimming and catching up on some sun, you can bring your family to Royalton Ravine Park in Gasport, NY for the best family-friendly entertainment around. Festivities include a parade, kids games, multiple bands and fireworks. Throughout the day, music lovers of all kinds will be pleased as they off a variety of different bands to suit anyone's musical needs. Great food and drinks at a price that won't empty your wallet are a plus as well as light-up accessories for the kids to play with.

Your children will be busy in the "Kids Area" getting their faces painted and playing games, keeping them out of trouble. Every year my kids look forward to what will be offered and every year they are pleasantly surprised. Previous years have offered everything from bounce houses to petting zoos and fun balloon animals but this year, volunteers have stepped it up a notch and have made me one happy parent. As my kids and I were walking towards the fun, we noticed a big sign that said "Kids Area - No Alcohol Allowed," making me one happy mama. I have no problem with people having a good time but having alcohol in a kids area had me worrying instead of having fun, so this change this year I'm sure has pleased many parents and should be continued in years to come.

The best part about coming to see fireworks at Royalton Ravine Park is if they put it on the schedule as starting at ten, they will start at ten. You can feel the anticipation in the air, waiting for the first big boom to go off and when it does, you can't take your eyes off the sky. Having the best seat in the house no matter where you sit, you'll be amazed with every firework being more colorful than the one before. Every few minutes as the fireworks start coming faster and faster, making you feel like the finale is coming, when actually it's nowhere in site. When the finale does come and you cheer along with the crowd, you are left sitting there in aw of what just happened, vowing to come back the next year. 

I have recommended Royalton Ravine Park to friends and family and each year our group gets bigger and bigger. Whether your looking for something new to try or a perfect spot for your family, Royalton Ravine Park in Gasport, NY is the place to be for family-friendly entertainment and fireworks that go above and beyond anyone's expectations.

       Let Royalton Ravine Park 
        be the place you bring
      your family to 
for memories
         that will last a lifetime

Take a look below at the 2013 Firework Display at Royalton Ravine Park!
For more information on great activities in Gasport, NY take a look at The Facebook Page of Gasport, NY and Life and Times in Gasport, New York!
**If you are looking to help out next year, volunteers are always needed.

**Looking to come to Royalton Ravine Park for your next July 4th? Come back for more information on schedules, updates, and tips in 2014!!!

Repair Split Ends Without Splitting Your Wallet

Posted by Jessica Keeton at 7/02/2013 03:07:00 AM 0 comments
By: Jessica Keeton

Happy Manic Monday Everyone!

I can remember the days when I had what felt like an eternity to get ready for work or a family outing, taking my time putting my makeup on and styling my hair. This eternity did not last long once I had kids, in fact, I don't think I've been alone in the bathroom since my first daughter was born. These days, I have mastered getting dressed and having my hair done in under ten minutes, meaning I throw my hair up and put on the first shirt and pair of pants I can find.

For the most of my life I have kept my hair about shoulder length for easy maintenance and once I had kids, I went even shorter, so I could just get up, brush it and go. It was simple and what I needed at the time but as times have changed, so have my tastes.

Having ridiculously thick hair, I have never had the urge to grow my hair out long, it would just mean more time in the bathroom. I decided to finally give it a try and today my hair is halfway down my back. There are days I don't mind it and love being able to try different styles and then there are those other days when I just want to chop it all off.

The problem that drives me crazy with long hair are split ends, forcing me to put my hair up every day until I have a chance to get it cut. With summer here now, I am usually wearing tank tops and with my hair being so long, the feeling of split ends is almost to much to handle.

I usually go to a salon a few times a year to get my hair colored, highlighted and cut, but there are times that it just doesn't work with my schedule, so I'm forced to deal with my split ends until I can schedule an appointment.

Recently I was shopping and was looking for any product that could help until I could make an appointment at a salon. I grabbed a bottle of conditioner that said helped with split ends and breakage, and hoped for the best.

I purchased TRESemme Anti-Breakage Conditioner with vitamin b12 and gelatin. I left it on for the 2-3 minutes that the bottle recommended and could feel the difference immediately. As soon as I washed the conditioner out, I could see the difference and my hair felt much better. I wanted to know if it would feel the same when I blow dried and styled it with a round brush. I was extremely impressed after styling my hair, it felt better and looked great.

Using this conditioner, I was able to hold off getting my hair cut for four weeks because I didn't notice my split ends anymore. I have been using it ever since I got my hair cut as well and still feel the difference every time. I am looking forward to going back to the store and purchasing the shampoo and styling products which are not ridiculously priced like others. You can find this conditioner at Walmart for $3.48.

I recommend this to anyone, especially moms who just don't have the time to make it to the salon. For more products visit TRESemme's website here. If you have any hair or beauty products you recommend, feel free to comment.

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