Bloggers Don’t Just Get Stuff For Free!

    This past week, I read a colleague's Facebook thread where someone commented that bloggers are really lucky and that they just get stuff for free.  They went on to say that all of the reviews that we write are doctored up just to get free items and that they are not honest and authentic.  Short of having my head blow up and confetti come out of it when I read this, it's safe to say that it really struck a nerve.     Let me begin by saying that yes, bloggers are in a unique situation where brands seek them out to try out their products.  However, this arrangement is not without its strings attached.  If only we could be so lucky that companies just jump at the chance to throw rose petals at our feet... There is a reason why they want us to review their products, because we have an audience.  So, when brands send products for review, the hope is that bloggers will share their experiences around the products with their readers.  You see, there is an exchange of services.     As far … [Read more...]

Soothe Your Skin With AVEENO Eczema Therapy! #AVEENO #Sponsored

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for AVEENO®. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.     I've always suffered from bouts of Eczema and, much to my chagrin, my seven-year old son has also had skin problems since when he was a baby.  I began to notice it right after he was born and I thought it would resolve itself but, unfortunately, that was not to be the case and I had to eventually take him to a dermatologist.     My husband and I were told that he was suffering from Eczema and the doctor prescribed medication to treat it.  We have never been big advocates of addressing all health issues with medication and, since he was so young, we opted to soothe his skin in other ways.  Using AVEENO® on his skin and to bathe him has been a godsend.  We immediately noticed that his skin improved considerably in the areas of dryness and scaliness.  Also, he wasn't scratching the dry patches of skin as much.     Since October is … [Read more...]

How Can You Make Low Calorie Vodka Drinks For Entertaining? @IvanabitchVodka #Ad

*This post was written by me on behalf of Ivanabitch Vodka.  I received complimentary product samples to facilitate this review.  All opinions are 100% mine.     I've never been a big drinker and you can count on one hand the adult drinks that I consume within one year, usually at holiday or family gatherings.  My husband's friends, however, are big sports fans and they enjoy a casual drink here and there, especially when they get together to watch football.  Last weekend, we hosted a football viewing party at our home and I thought it would be a great time to crack open the bottles of Ivanabitch Flavored Vodka that we had received for review.     A lot of the guys brought their wives to this gathering so I knew it was the perfect opportunity to try the low calorie vodka mixers that are on the infographic below.  After all, most of these ladies are constantly trying to watch their figures and I know they even consider calories when they are enjoying adult beverages.  I was right on … [Read more...]

Enjoy Noosa Yoghurt For Breakfast With Your Family! @NoosaYoghurt #sponsored

*This post was written by me on behalf of Noosa Yoghurt.  I received complimentary product samples to facilitate this review.  All opinions are 100% mine.     I'm sure I have mentioned this many times over on this blog but, boy are my kids picky when it comes to eating certain foods.  A lot of it has to do with their father and I wanting to give them many food choices and, unfortunately when it comes to children, the foods they choose aren't always the best for them.     As a result, we have been looking to keep the healthy foods that they like stocked in the fridge.  Luckily for us, yogurt is one of my little one's favorite foods so I was thrilled when we were presented with the opportunity to review Noosa Yoghurt!  I was hoping to finally find a yogurt that my older son would like too.     I had never heard of Noosa Yoghurt before so I went about learning everything I could about them since my boys were going to eat their yogurt.  They make an Aussie style yogurt which is made … [Read more...]

The Hamsters Are Back! #KiaSocialClub #Hamsters @Kia

*This sponsored post was written by me on behalf of Kia.  All opinions are 100% mine.     Who could forget the iconic Kia hamsters dancing and swaying to the beat in their legendary commercials?  The good news is that they are back to introduce the new 2014 Soul!  They have totally transformed themselves into lean, mean, head-turning machines in order to truly represent the new Soul.  You can watch them hit the gym and work out to Lady Gaga's latest anthem, "Applause."     Some of the features of the new 2014 Kia Soul include include AC, power locks and windows with driver-side express, satellite radio, USB, Bluetooth, stability control, privacy glass and hill start assist. Extra-cost options include 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control with steering-wheel controls, a center console, rear armrest with cup holders and remote keyless entry.  As you can see, they spared nothing to make this new Soul the best one yet!     It has more room and more features than its predecessor … [Read more...]

Send Cheer To Teachers With Cheerios! @Cheerios #Giveaway #ad

*This post was written by me on behalf of General Mills.  I received a product sample to review.  All opinions are 100% mine.     Although being a teacher is very rewarding, it can sometimes be a thankless job.  Every once in awhile, you touch someone's life and their admiration for you propels them to want to thank you in a special way.  This is a culminating moment for the nearly 6.2 million teachers who are dedicated to educating the youth in this country.  The Cheerios Send Cheer to Teachers program makes it simple for anyone to thank their favorite current or childhood teacher.     Parents can demonstrate the gratitude that they have for their children's teachers by using specially-marked boxes of Cheerios cereal to cut special postcards to show how thankful they are.  All they have to do is locate these cereal boxes in their local grocery stores now through mid-October 2013.  To create the card, just follow these three easy steps: Cut out the postcard found on the … [Read more...]

Dear PR Person

    Today as I was going through my emails I had at least 10 emails from PR companies asking me to "spread the word" about their products or services on Tough Cookie Mommy.  Those of you who are bloggers and are reading this post already know where I'm going with this.  Of course, I have time to spread the word about your product because this blog is just a hobby and I have no other responsibilities besides providing free advertising and promotion to every company that asks me to.  Insert sarcasm here.     Let me begin by saying that it takes a tremendous amount of work, time, creativity, and money to run a blog.  Yes, I said money.  It costs money to pay for web hosting, blog design, owning a domain, etc.  I'm sure those of you who are not bloggers are probably incredibly shocked to learn this information.     Also, if you follow me on social media, you know that I rarely go to sleep before 2 AM.  That is because I am busy writing posts, answering emails, fielding conference calls, … [Read more...]

Show Your Kids How Much Fun Eating Their Veggies Can Be! @BirdsEye #PlayWithVeggies #Giveaway

*This post was written by me on behalf of Birds Eye.  I received promotional items for the purpose of writing this post.  All opinions are 100% mine.     I'm sure many of you struggle with getting your kids to eat their vegetables as much as we do.  As parents, however, we know how important it is to make sure they get their daily allowances of fruits and vegetables in order to remain healthy and strong.  The question then becomes, how can we encourage our children to eat all of their veggies every single day?  Birds Eye has the answer!     This summer, Birds Eye has introduced 4 House Rules to demonstrate to kids that eating their veggies can be fun and healthy!  They have enlisted the help of Jennette McCurdy, star of the new hit show Sam & Cat on Nickelodeon help show kids how fun veggies can be!  They know that getting kids actively involved in the meal planning process can go a long way in instilling healthy eating habits. Here are the 4 House Rules for making … [Read more...]

Check Out The Ruum Back To School Collection! #RuumBTS #Sponsored

*This post was written by me on behalf of Ruum American Kids Wear.  I received a gift card in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are 100% mine.     School is starting in a few weeks here in New York City and that means that moms and dads are scrambling to get their kids ready for the new academic year.  Most kids will tell you that having the right Back to School wardrobe can make a world of difference in launching the year off on the right note.  Ruum American Kid's Wear has an exciting collection of childrenswear for kids ranging from newborn to age 14.     Ruum collections are designed to coordinate easily and take the guess work out of putting outfits for school together every night for the next day.  Aside from offering quality clothing for a great value, they also offer a wide selection of accessories including a wide assortment of shoes for boys and girls.  There is something for everyone at Ruum, from bodysuits and sweaters to dresses and … [Read more...]

A Whole New Generation Of El Chavo Fans! @ElChavoToys #Giveaway #Sponsored

*This post was written by me on behalf of Jakks Pacific.  I received a product sample to review.  All opinions are 100% mine.     Growing up, most Latino kids knew and loved El Chavo.  He spoke our language, made us laugh with his funny antics, and taught us about friendship.  It didn't matter whether you lived in New York City or Miami, we all felt connected to his kind heart and his enthusiasm.  We also loved the rest of his quirky friends and his many unforgettable catchphrases such as "Eso, eso, eso!"  (Thassit!, thatssit!, thassit!)     What many people don't know is that El Chavo was also a global phenomenon and is beloved internationally as much as he is here in the United States.  El Chavo is the number one family property for Latinos and the most profitable entertainment franchise in the Spanish-speaking world.  Today re-runs of El Chavo del 8 are watched worldwide in over 90 countries, including the United States, Latin America, Brazil, and Spain.     For those of … [Read more...]