Published October 1, 2014 by

Disclosure: This article is sponsored by Lindt HELLO.

Lindt Chocolate-1 smallMy husband and I both have sweet tooth’s.  We take after our dads in that aspect.  No day is complete without a little nibble of chocolate.  So, of course I have a little bit stashed away for a rainy day, entertaining, or in my purse when I need a little bit of sugar.  But when Lindt Chocolate started coming out with their new “HELLO” collection of chocolates, something I discovered browsing the aisle at Target, I knew these babies would come in handy in my life.

Lindt Chocolate-2 smallHere’s how Lindt HELLO chocolates are perfection:

  • Husband and I love chocolate. So we share a big bar in a few days for our dessert.
  • I throw the mini-sticks in my purse for a needed fix.
  • My father-in-law has a sweet tooth probably even worse than husband and I, at least when it comes to chocolate.  I like to snag a bar to bring with us whenever we visit him.
  • The new chocolate “sticks” are fabulous for little gifts for friends, family, or strangers!  I threw some chocolate brownie sticks in my hostess Lindt Chocolate-3 smallgifts for the ladies planning my baby shower.  But I’m also perfectly happy bringing the sticks or the mini-sticks to the hospital when I’m working and handy out these babies to patients and their families to add a little sweetness to their day.

Essentially, life revolves around chocolate, am I right?  There isn’t a single visit with my in-laws where a basket of chocolate isn’t passed around before bedtime.  Chocolate always is associated with happy memories and traditions.  Or maybe that’s just the philosophy of a sweet tooth.

Anyways, I highly recommend you go stroll the aisles of Target and pick up some Lindt HELLO chocolate.  There are a few flavors there including the ones you see here.  Tell me your favorite!  I’m partial to the crunchy nougat myself while husband is a caramel brownie fan.

While you’re at it, have you seen the “It Started with HELLO” web mini-series Lindt Chocolate has been releasing?  The episodes are fun and you can enter into their HELLO Sweet Connections sweepstakes for a chance to win some sweet experiences.

The Sweepstakes

To enter the sweepstakes, visit the Lindt HELLO Sweet Connections Sweepstakes Landing Page and enter your email address. Entries can be made daily for additional chances to win the below prizes.

5 Weeks of Prizes – Connect with Someone You Love, or Someone New!

Week 1: Table for Two (9/10 – 9/16)
• Dinner & a movie with the +1 of your choice!

Week 2: Double the Fun (9/17 – 9/39)
• Say HELLO to a fun double date night + Lindt HELLO chocolate for dessert

Week 3: Girls Just Want to Have Fun (9/24 – 9/30)
• Enjoy a shopping spree with the girls + yummy Lindt HELLO Chocolate!

Week 4: Sweet Staycation (10/1 – 10/7)
• Lindt HELLO treats you to a pampered night in – movies, books + chocolate!

Week 5: Besties Reunion (10/8 – 10/14)
• Reconnect with your bestie at the spa for a day + Lindt HELLO chocolate to sweeten the deal.

* No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 years or older (19 in AL or NE and 21 in MS). Void where prohibited. See Rules at for weekly sweepstakes entry periods, prize descriptions, odds and other details. Ends Noon on 10/14/14. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: Lindt & Sprüngli (USA) Inc., One Fine Chocolate Place, Stratham, NH 03885.

Head on over and go enter the sweepstakes,
but also tell me your favorite chocolate!

Sponsored Posts

Published October 1, 2014 by

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Published September 30, 2014 by

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

GraphicUnless you’re the occasional hobbyist lifestyle blogger, you know blogging takes work.  It’s work that I love doing, though.  So, I’m going to start a new blogging series about all the behind the scenes action, gear, technology, resources, apps, etc that us bloggers may use religiously.

I thought I’d kick this off with a piece of technology that is arguably one of the most helpful devices as a Blogger outside of your computer: a tablet.

TABLET 101

A tablet, regardless of the operating system, is a WiFi or data-plan enabled device between 7 inches and 11 inches that can do whatever your smartphone can do minus the phone part (unless you have WiFi-calling or an app that makes phone calls, like Skype).

The iOS platform has the iPad, iPad Mini, iPad Air ($299 to $929 depending on model and specs).

The Windows platform mainly has the Surface and Surface Pro ($299-$799+ depending on model and specs).

The Android platform has a multitude of options, including those made by Acer, Google, Samsung, and more (wide variety of price ranges).  I personally think that Android has the best user interface for being a blogger and I will share why shortly.

USING A TABLET AS A BLOGGERIntel-1

Having a tablet really helps save weight in your purse / computer bag / etc.  Even though smartphones replaced palm pilots and other personal digital assistants, a tablet with a nice screen size and power that even the best smartphones lack sometimes is super helpful.  I currently use an Acer Iconia A1 tablet with an Android operating system powered by Intel.

I will sum up why I prefer Android operating systems over that of Apple and Windows in one word: widgets.  Good friend, I love widgets.  Widgets provide easy access to your favorite or most-used applications.

For instance, I have an entire page on my home screen dedicated to my Google calendar, which functions as my editorial calendar (you can read more about why/how I use Google for my editorial calendar here).  Then, I have a lovely to-do widget on half of another screen ready for me to check tasks off as I accomplish them.  I could also have a dedicated Gmail widget on one of the home screens so I can instantly see all my latest emails.  I also could have my Twitter feed live as a widget, Bloglovin’ or Feedly, I can have my Evernote “Blogging” notebook up and ready for a new note or view an older one, or I can even just have my favorite magazine ready to go when I need a mental break or inspiration.

Essentially, there is no excuse not to be organized (or at least somewhat on your A game) with a tablet.  There are endless amounts of tools and apps to help us bloggers regardless of the operating system, I just personally prefer that with Android it’s much more readily available with a quick swipe on my tablet.  And, yes, you can do all of this with a smartphone but let’s not keep draining that battery if we don’t need to, right?

Intel-2

Lastly, as aforementioned, the two main advantages of a tablet over a smartphone is the size and the power and speed.  Intel tablets, whether you are using a Microsoft Surface or a Google Nexus, have a processing speed that makes it so much easier to multi-task and perform functions that might overwhelm a phone — or at least be tricky to do on a smaller screen size.  In fact, many tablets today can be faster and more powerful than even your computer and some (my brother and husband) argue that computers will be replaced altogether by tablets in a few years.  I mean, buy an attachable keyboard and bam!  You have, essentially, a laptop computer!  And a much lighter one at that.

Blogging Sponsored Posts Technology The Better Blog Series

Published September 29, 2014 by

This post is written in collaboration with Dropcam to celebrate National Dog Week.  No forms of compensation was received, I’m simply a lover of my dog and a fan of Dropcam.  Dropcam is a home monitoring company that manufactures wifi security cameras.  In fact, our baby monitor is a Dropcam and it is the #1 baby monitor on Amazon today.

Shelby-Slide

Today, I’d like to get all dogmom on you about my first child (the cats don’t count because they are essentially teenagers).  After all, it’s National Dog Week and I thought I’d kick it off with my dog.

I’m actually not a dog person, I’m a Shelby person.  I much prefer cats.  Cats speak my love language.  But bringing home Shelby just completed our little family of five (two humans, two cats, one dog).  We will have had Shelby for three years before our daughter arrives in December and, I’ll tell you, she definitely filled a void that needed filling for us in a time when we weren’t ready for a kid.  When I had a bad day at school, or had graduated and had nothing to do but study for my exam, there she was, my little buddy just wanting to play with me as much as I wanted to play with her.  My cats are fabulous, but like I said, they are teenagers: they come around when they want to come around and otherwise take care of themselves.  It’s nice, but not always the best pick-me-up.  Shelby under chair

As we start nearing our daughter’s arrival, we think more and more about how Shelby is going to handle it.  People ask me what we think she’ll do.   My response is that it will be like we had twins; she will be jealous and needy and therefore whoever isn’t holding the baby will probably be snuggling on her, but I think she will end up like Nana from Peter Pan.  She may not be an aggressive dog, thank goodness, but she’s definitely a very protective dog.  And I can’t help but think she will eventually take all of our children under her wing and make sure they are taken care of.  In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if she decided we were no longer good enough snugglers in bed and therefore prefer snuggling with our children in their room at night.

PUPtectors

But she is definitely protective and smart.  If husband and I are both home and the doorbell rings, it is Shelby to the rescue.  If only one of us are home and I walk through the front door, she doesn’t bark she just comes over to love on me and welcome me home.  In terms of her rank for “security dog,” she is a Barking Buzzer.  She won’t bite — in fact, will actually roll over in submission — but she will definitely bark to alert the troops.  We find it adorable as a character trait, except at 4 in the morning when the cats are making noise downstairs and she hears it and thinks it’s a burglar.  Yep, we’ve had a few of those nights.

Tell me about your dog!
Are you a cat person like me but love your dog all the same?

Animals

Published September 27, 2014 by

Photography We Do