Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

July 31, 2014

August Audio Fest at Best Buy #AudioFest


Friends? You have the pleasure of hearing from Mr. CSHM today. He was SO excited about trying out the new Denon Heos 5 speaker, he pleaded with me to share this thoughts. How could I say no? Without further ado:

When it comes to music, two things are true of my family. First, we love it. Whether our girls are running from room to room dressed in “princess dresses” belting out, “LET IT GOOOO, LET IT GOO-OOO!” or whether the grown-ups are humming bass lines and whistling our favorite melodies, there’s no question we love music.

We love it. The adults go see plenty of big acts when they come through Philly, and plenty of small ones at local bars and restaurants, while the kids attach themselves obsessively to one song at a time, for about a week at a time, before attaching themselves to another tune. Our iTunes library is large and eclectic (Miles Davis and Kidz Bop, Wilco and Peanuts, Dirty Projectors and The Little Mermaid).

But because the four of us usually want to pull the radio dial in five different directions at once, a second thing is true as well: we don’t listen to much of it.

Because it’s just one more thing for our daughters to fight over, and the grown-ups would prefer something (anything!) other than the Frozen soundtrack, we usually find it easier to just leave the music off. Yes, I’d like to spend an afternoon with The Fillmore West recordings, and my wife would love a chance to walk through all three volumes of Billy Joel’s greatest hits, but family life is all about compromise, and the easiest one to strike is silence.

Sad, right?

So you can imagine how excited we are at the current renaissance in wireless hi-fi, especially Denon’s new line of Heos speakers. Imagine: high quality music in any room of the house you want, not a single hole drilled into the drywall, not a single audio cable run behind bookshelves, controlled by an app on your smartphone.

The idea that the kids can have a speaker in their bedroom playing “Hakuna Matata,” my wife can have a speaker in the office playing “Brick,” while I tinker in the basement listening to “Take Five” is an attractive one, and especially exciting if it’s simple to achieve.

Of course, this is possible now. With Denon has been around for over a century, and has spent that time on both the industry side of audio technology and at the forefront of consumer audio.

We had the pleasure of test-driving Denon’s Heos 5, and the Heos 5 is a Wireless Multi-Room Sound System comprising a family of great-sounding music players for your whole home. You can enjoy your favorite streaming music services, internet radio or your own music collection and set-up is a breeze. There is a free app to control them from your iOS or Android phone or tablet.

We love that the Heos 5 is easy to set up and even easier to use. The app is amazing - allowing us to manipulate the music and speakers with the touch of our phones. After trying out one of the Heos 5 speakers, we are tempted to get more. It's not hard to imagine how amazing it would be to have the entire house wired for sound!

Interested in improving your at-home music experience? Best Buy is ready to help! This August AudioFest is taking place across all Best Buy stores from 8/3 – 8/30. Head to your nearest Best Buy to test drive the latest and greatest in audio products, as well as get in on AMAZING offers.


The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

July 28, 2014

Health Care Coverage and Qualifying Life Events #TakeCareHangout

As a parent, I've become painfully aware of how much things cost: a loaf of bread, a pair of shoes, a new bicycle. Things that I would have previously taken for granted are now on my radar because it affects more than me; it affects my children.

One thing that I am grateful for is my health insurance. We are a generally healthy family, but even healthy kids end up at the doctor for yearly well-checks. Throw in a bad month of ear infections or an unfortunate trip to the ER over a scooter accident, and medical bills can really pile up. One trip to the emergency room for a broken arm or a bad ear infection could cost thousands of dollars!

Many Americans may be surprised to find that although the Open Enrollment period closed at the end of March, Medicaid and CHIP is open year-round, and special enrollment is ongoing. There are certain situations that allow people to get coverage. While there will be another Open Enrollment season in the Fall, "qualifying life events" can get people covered here and now.

These qualifying life events include situations such as getting married, having a baby, adopting a child, moving, or losing your current health insurance. The uninsured are exposed to significant financial risk from medical issues, accidents or emergencies. Many don't realize that that more than half of the uninsured could find insurance for less than $100 per month (under $50 for people under 35)?

The Ad Council has partnered with Get Covered America to help spread the word about these options. Learn more about the options under the ACA by joining the #TakeCareHangout tomorrow, Tuesday July 29, from 2-2:30 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST). You can ask your questions on Twitter using #takecarehangout or by using the chat feature within the GoogleHangout.

July 25, 2014

Giving Back with Elmer's and Champions for Kids #BagItForward

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The Motherhood and Champions for Kids.

How is it the end of July?

As I look ahead to the next few precious weeks, it's impossible to avoid the Back-to-School rush. Once we moved, we had to register Chica at her new school. That very day, we were given her classroom supplies list, the items we need to send Chica to school with on the first day of school. I love that schools do this, enabling families to participate in supporting their child's classroom by providing important supplies.

I am reminded that there are many families who struggle to meet the requests for back-to-school items. I am reminded that many families struggle to meet their day-to-day needs as well. In addition, schools are receiving less and less funding, making it more difficult for our hardworking teachers to have adequate supplies on hand to educate our children.

So I was grateful that despite being Summer, I had the opportunity to have a Teachable Moment morning with Chica and Bug. Champions for Kids is partnering with Elmer’s to “Bag it Forward,” collecting and donating school supplies to kids in need in our communities! Many children lack the basic resources they need to thrive in the classroom, and teachers often spend their own money on school supplies.


First, I am so grateful that there are amazing programs like this in existence. That our schools, that our families, do not have to struggle alone.

Second, I am grateful to be given the chance to talk about real world issues with my girls during a recent trip to Target. We chatted about why school is important, and the very real struggles that families in our own community have with providing for their needs. It warmed my heart that my girls jumped at the idea that the best way to help is to GIVE: to our communities, to our schools.

So, we walked around Target and found our way to the Back-to-School section. We looked through the supplies and found the things a classroom could really benefit from having. The girls joyfully took the supplies and piled them into our cart.

We plan to share our #BagItForward purchases with a classroom in need in our community.

Learn how you can GIVE BACK during Back-to-School at:

Connect with Champions For Kids on Online, Twitter and Facebook.

Connect with Elmer's Online, Twitter and Facebook.

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