MailPix: Review and Custom Brag Book Giveaway

I am a big fan of taking photos of my kids. Friends who follow me on Facebook and Instagram can vouch for this. I take tons of pictures and post them all of the time.

Photo Fleece Blanket

Recently, i was given the opportunity to review a new printing service called MailPix. I was excited. My first idea was to finally print some of my Instagram photos into a photo book. I am good about taking photos on my camera and phone, but terrible about printing them out. I take a lot of Instagram photos and so I wanted to choose a few a month (from the last year) that were the best quality to put into an album. At the time that I checked out the service in November, Instagram only allowed the last 60 photos to be accessed and used on MailPix. The great news is that now all of your Instagram photos are accessible since an upgrade was done. That is awesome news! I will be making a photo book soon!

photo coastersI was bedridden (major spine surgery) for a long time around the time of this review so being able to shop from the comfort of my own home for Christmas presents was awesome! In the end, I decided to make a photo ornament, photo fleece blanket and photo coasters. The process was extremely easy using my recent Instagram photos in combination with uploaded photos from my computer. I was surprised at how quick and easy the process was and how it took me less than ten minutes from start to finish. Once I ordered, I received my products within about a week and was very impressed with the quality. The coasters were absolutely beautiful and and the fleece blanket was perfect and soft. It is a thin weight so it is great year round. I dropped the ornament and it crashed on the floor before I could hang it on my tree (numb hands from before surgery), but it was beautiful. I will be ordering a replacement soon.

photo coasters

One of the Coasters I Ordered


Do you have a bunch of photos residing on your computer, in Facebook or Instagram albums or on your camera? Wouldn’t grandma love to see them? Print them out or make an awesome photo gift. There are lots of choices at MailPix…tote bags, t-shirts, mouse pads, prints, mugs, enlargements, iPhone cases and much more. I see that they have 8×10 prints for $1 right now! I am asking my hubby for an iPhone case for our upcoming anniversary. Our wedding pic would be nice to see everyday!

Check out MailPix on Facebook and MailPix on Twitter. They also have a blog at

If you would like to win a custom brag book, then enter below. Be sure to read the “Terms & Conditions”. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fine Print: I received a credit to try out this service and also bought extras on my own.

Something About Silver Stacking Rings Review

personalized gemstone stacking rings

My New Ring Makes Me Smile Every Day

When looking for a gift for a mother or grandmother for a special occasion, I have one suggestion… something personalized. Many moms and grandmothers love wearing a necklace or ring with their beloved children and grandchildren’s names engraved on it. Unlike a new shirt or shoes, this is seldom something a mom buys for herself and will bring a big smile to her face each time she shows it off to her family and friends.

Recently, I received two beautiful stacking rings from Something About Silver. I received the gemstone stacking ring and the regular stacking ring (pictured, above) to go together. I am in love. They are simple, beautiful and personalized. They are also rugged enough to wear every day. The beauty of stacking rings is that I can also wear each of the pieces on it’s own on occasion.

family tree necklace

They also have beautiful mother’s necklaces, “forever” necklaces and “family tree” necklaces. I adore the Tree of Love Necklace (pictured above).

Check out and let me know what your favorite item is.

Fine Print: I received the rings reviewed here. The opinions are my own.

Navigating Holiday Travel: Chat at Noon (CT) Today!

holiday travel

My Son Enjoying Some iPad Time In The Car

Join me today at noon (central time) for a chat that I am co-hosting on The Motherhood called Navigating Family Travel During the HolidaysThis is a life, all-text talk. This holiday season, chances are you’ll be driving or flying to visit friends and family at least once or twice. The problem is – everyone else is traveling at the same time! It’s not always easy to navigate the crowds with kids and luggage in tow, but Carol Cain and a great group of co-hosts can give you advice to take some of the stress out of holiday travel. Join us!

Here are the details:

What: A live, all-text Talk on The Motherhood, called Navigating Family Travel During the Holidays. 

When: Monday, Dec. 3, at 1 p.m. ET.  We will chat for 45 minutes!

Where: On The Motherhood, right here -

Who: The all-text chat will be hosted by Carol Cain of Girl Gone Travel.  Co-hosts are Charlene of Charlene Chronicles; Charu of Butterfly Diary; Heidi of Coast to Coast Mom; Jessica of Momma’s Gone City; Judy of Traveling Mom; and, me, Shannon, of Potamus Prefers.


Peace and Joy: Term Life Insurance Brings Peace of Mind

Parents photo

My Husband and I Enjoying Rare Alone Time

Good morning! Can you believe that there is only one month left in 2012? I can’t, but I keep receiving reminders that the end of 2012 is near. Those reminders include Christmas shopping ads everywhere, Christmas lights, open enrollment for insurance, preparing for filing taxes in the new year and exploring options for term life insurance. With all of these worries, it is sometimes hard to do anything but think about the future and the “what ifs”. We have to force ourselves to go out on dates and spend time alone, so anytime there is a way to make our decisions simpler and our lives easier, we jump at the chance.

Term life insurance may not be the first thing on your mind right now, but maybe it should be? If you are a parent, you must be prepared. As the parent of special needs children, I am especially aware of this need. Special needs individuals sometimes need care for their entire lives and care can be quite pricey. If we were no longer here, where would those funds come from to take care of our precious children? Term life insurance is one of the most affordable ways to do this as it is much less expensive than many other insurance options. We can choose how much coverage we want and for how long. If we were no longer here, this could help take care of financial responsibilities like the mortgage and other bills so our children would still have a home to live in. It would also provide funds to our children’s new caregivers to ensure they are still able to afford therapies, food, clothing and childcare or schooling.

As parents, we have enough to worry about without being concerned that our children will go without when we are no longer here. An affordable monthly payment is worth the peace of mind that comes with it, right? They say when you have children, you never sleep well again. I agree with that statement. I have had new parents ask me when they will sleep again (referring to the sleepless nights brought on by newborns) and I have to chuckle just a little as I was once the one asking that question. Investing in insurance, term life insurance, writing a will and preparing as much as we can for the future is one way to get a few more hours of sleep.

This post is compensated but the opinions are my own.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday? How About eBay!

So, who has started their Christmas shopping? Who is finished? My answer is “no” to both questions! I am one who sits and waits for coupons and special deals before purchasing. The less I pay for an item, the better!

Does that video highlighting the Toys”R”Us store on Ebay sounds familiar? I know some people love the thrill of getting up very early to grab Black Friday deals while others (like me) are big Cyber Monday and online shopping fans. I like to split my purchases between small local shops and online sites like eBay. As a matter of fact, when I am looking for something I know will be difficult to find, eBay is the first place I usually look. I have been a devoted eBay shopper for going on 13 years now. I have bought collectibles, handmade items from work at home moms, hard to find items, new items from big stores and much more on eBay. I have even sold a few things. When I am talking to friends and one mentions not being able to find something, one of my friends (or I) usually ends up saying, “You did check eBay, right?” Well, if you were one of those who didn’t get what you were looking for on Black Friday or just didn’t care to venture out, don’t forget about eBay tomorrow when you are Cyber Monday shopping. The eBay gift guide is a great place to start. Also, if you have your eye on something from Toys”R”Us, don’t worry, you can shop the Toys”R”Us shop on eBay and never leave the site. You get the same great toy selection and service!

eBay Logo

Here are my boys’ top ten wish list items this year (all available on eBay and/or the eBay Toys”R”Us store by clicking the link to each):

  1. Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends Risky Rails Bridge Drop: My boys are HUGE Thomas & Friends fans (regular readers are well aware of this) and my five year old saw this particular set in an ad about a month ago. He keeps pointing to it and typing the name of it on his Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device. If this isn’t under the tree, he is going to be sad. This is the first year he seems to understand the whole gift giving thing.
  2. Cabbage Patch Kids Toddler Doll Caucasian Boy – Blonde – Cowboy: My boys love practicing their imaginative play skills that they are working on in their ABA therapy. They would adore this little blonde Cabbage Patch Kid that looks like them!
  3. Angry Birds 4 Inch 2-Pack – Red Boy & Girl: My kids love Angry Birds and have wanted the toys for ages. They would squeal with delight to find these under the tree.
  4. Power Wheels Fisher-Price Jeep Hurricane Ride On: What a dream vehicle. My five year old would adore this and probably even let his brother ride on it as well. I will have to let Santa know that the boys have been REALLY good this year.
  5. Play A Sound Book Wheels On The Bus: Big ticket items aren’t the only thing my boys have their eyes on. They would actually be just as happy with a few books. They love books and the song that this book is named after is one of their absolute favorites. I see this as a great stocking stuffer.
  6. Fisher-Price Little People Animal Sounds Zoo Train: My boys have recently discovered Fisher-Price Little People and they would flip for this. A train combined with animals and sounds and Little People equals huge smiles for two little boys.
  7. Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends TrackMaster Talking Engine – Salty: This is just one of the Thomas & Friends Trackmaster trains that my boys want to add to their collection this year. They have several Trackmaster sets and I know they would love to have them all!
  8. Dinosaur Train Extreme InterAction Figure – Mr. Quetzalcoatlus: My boys adore the Dinosaur Train InterAction figures and they would love to add this guy to their collection.
  9. Apple iPad Mini: The boys have iPads and my oldest uses his as an AAC. The mini would be so easy to tote around and would be a dream for a new communication device for my son. iPads are amazing learning tools for kids with special needs, in my opinion.
  10. Marvel Comic Figures: The boys would love these action figures and would make their uncle proud!
You know what else I adore about eBay? I love, love, love the eBay mobile app (available for iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone). It is amazingly easy to use on my iPhone. I have been using it for some time now. I love how accessible it is. When I think of something we want or need, I can quickly search for the item and buy it on my mobile device (I use it on iPhone and iPad) without waiting to get home.
What items are you going to be looking for tomorrow during Cyber Monday?
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of eBay. I received a product sample to thank me for taking the time to participate.