Monday, July 28, 2014

Don't Go Noseblind! Breathe Happy With Febreze {Review + Giveaway}

*This review and giveaway was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Febreze. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.*

When you have pets at home like us, it is very common to become noseblind, to the lingering odor they leave behind. We have two dogs, two cats, and we often foster rescues until they are ready to be adopted. The problem of becoming noseblind, is that you always have the doubt in the back of your mind that your house smells funny. 

I don't know about you but I panic when I know someone is coming over to visit. I clean the house from top to bottom, but I'm never fully satisfied because I always worry about odor infestation, in other words, what your guests overwhelmingly smell as soon as they walk in the door. Let's be real, we all know that person that can track scents like bloodhound. They can follow the scent trail and no matter how well you clean they can always find it.

Our friends at Febreze invited us to have a movie night and do a noseblind test to see if we have develop “Odor Habituation” which is a re-programming of your brain’s process to all but ignore a smell. I just couldn't say no to be part of this experiment, because papa bird has always complained, that we  are never able to notice lingering odors. Since he is the bloodhound of the family, and the kids and me are apparently noseblind, he was the one who conducted the survey/noseblind experiment.

Basically we took a quick survey, then made some popcorn, and took a second survey online, watched a movie downstairs with the kids, and when the movie ended we took one last survey. We were asked things like what is the predominant odor in our house, and to rate the strength. I have to say that after making the popcorn, papa bird turned on a febreze candle behind our back and the smell coming from the candle completely predominated not just downstairs but all the way to the second floor. 

This is why I love Febreze so much! It eliminate odors, as opposed to simply masking them, which doesn't get to the root of the problem. A new global survey from Atomik Research concluded that home odor is very important to both residents and guests. To the embarrassment of hosts worldwide, guests have a keen ability to detect any stink: nearly half of those surveyed (48%) said that they could make out someone’s home simply by the odor alone. Furthermore, residents are often immune to the scent of their own homes; one third (30%) said that they don’t think their own home has a specific signature scent, and nearly a quarter (24%) admitted that having a sour-smelling home would be the single most embarrassing thing to hear about their home.

Febreze® contains proprietary mal-odor elimination technologies, including cyclodextrin, the patented molecule that gives Febreze the ability to eliminate odors and replace them with a pleasant scent. Febreze also contains pH neutralizers that adjust the pH balance and structure of pungent odors.

Now what was the result of the noseblind test, you may ask? We were GUILTY of noseblindness. We are immune to the scent of our home. Thank goodness we have Febreze because let's be real, there are things we just can't control. So instead of letting bad odors ruin your day, just get over it, embrace it and Febreze it!

Do you suffer from noseblindness? Want to give your home the Febreze Noseblind test? Febreze is giving away a wonderful prize pack plus a $60 Amex Gift Card to one lucky Bluebird Patch reader! To enter, complete the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway will run from 7/27/14 to 8/7/14 11:59 am EST. One winner will be randomly chosen and notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If no response is received, a new winner will be chosen. Here is what you will receive:

Saturday, July 26, 2014

How Amazon Studios Annedroids is Helping Girls Embrace Their Inner Geek With Science

We are obsessed with Annedroids, the latest science-based live-action action-adventure series, designed for 4 to 9 year old children on Amazon Prime. The premise of the series follows the adventures of young scientist-inventor Anne, her friends Nick and Shania and the androids Anne has created, provides rich opportunities for learning about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Watching Anne and her friends conduct their experiments and create their inventions allow viewers to observe the processes of scientific inquiry and technological problem-solving in action while also learning about science concepts and seeing positive attitudes towards learning exhibited.

Anne and her friends’ adventures provide many opportunities to showcase the key processes of STEM, which are often not addressed well in children’s television programming. This includes processes involved with identifying problems and asking questions, making plans and creating prototypes, experimenting and testing, reflecting and revising. In particular, it is good to see that Anne and her friends learn as much from failure as success, and see the failures as opportunities to try new things.

But the most fascinating thing about Annedroids is not the storytelling, or how to show addresses key elements of the next generation science standards in the kindergarten to grade 5 range, but role modeling, especially for girls. This is a show that has some serious girl power. Annedroids, is one of the very rare shows that have a “Stem Heroine”. Girls that love science can relate to Anne, a brilliant young scientist who is a genius at building robots and creating artificial intelligence. Anne makes science cool and interesting and show girls that it's okay to be smart and embrace their inner geek.

Each of the characters in this ensemble cast, both human and android, brings a unique perspective and set of life experiences to bear when exploring concepts or solving problems. It may be Shania’s knowledge of dinosaurs or emotional intelligence, Nick’s out-of-the-box thinking or athletic prowess, Hand’s amazing strength, Eye’s power of observation, or Pal’s insatiable desire to learn about
anything and everything. Their combined knowledge and skills, together with a large helping of collaboration and teamwork, enable Anne and her friends to overcome just about any challenge thrown at them. Whether human or android, there is a character on the show that every viewer can identify with.

Annedroids premiered, July 25th, on Amazon Prime Instant Video. Follow Annedroidson Twitter and Facebook for video clips, interviews and a behind the scene look. 

Earlier this summer, Amazon Studios released two additional children’s series: a stop-motion animated series encouraging creative scientific discovery called Tumble Leaf and an interactive art adventure for preschoolers called Creative Galaxy.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Friday, July 25, 2014

What's Happy This Week: Meghan Trainor New Anti Body Shaming Single #allaboutthatbass

If you have ever caught yourself in a downward spiral of negative self-talk about your body, don't feel bad, you are not alone. Negative self talk and body shaming if often the consequence of living in a society that reinforces self-condemning attitudes. Body shaming not only happens to curvy girls, but skinny ones too. Same thing with height. People make fun of you if you are too tall, or too short. 

Self -Acceptance is the first step towards a happier life!

Both men and women, often feel like their weight, intelligence, talents and personality fluctuates according to the numbers on a scale. Meghan Trainor new Summer jam, is full of body positivity. It teaches others that they can change how they feel about their body by changing their self-talk. Meghan's song inspire others to stop hating their body, and stop letting shame limit their life or hinder their potential.

Target Yoobi and up&up School Supplies Make Learning Fun While Giving Back

When Guests Buy Select up&up School Supplies, Target Gives Up to $25 Million

This is the best week to get school supplies at Target. Why you may ask? 

Because for each select up&up brand back-to-school item purchased at a U.S. Target store from July 13, 2014 through August 2, 2014, Target will donate one up&up or Yoobi brand back-to-school item to Kids In Need Foundation; total maximum donation (retail value): $25 million.  

Through these purchases, Target’s goal is to donate up to $25 million in supplies and potentially impact nearly two million kids as they head back to school. 

Types of items donated may include pencils, erasers, notebooks, pencil sharpeners, glue, rulers, folders, scissors, pencil cases, crayons, markers, pens, and/or possibly other items. Actual items donated may be based on classroom need, may differ from items listed/pictured, and may be of equal or lesser value than items purchased. 

up&up is a Target owned brand that offers more than 1,200 everyday essentials from across the store, including a line of colorful and stylish school supplies, at a fraction of the price of national brands.

In addition, the new Yoobi brand of school supplies is available exclusively at Target and supports the cause year-round. Yoobi’s “One for You, One for Me” mission means that for every Yoobi product purchased at Target, Yoobi contributes a product to a Yoobi Classroom Pack that will be distributed to K-3 classrooms in the U.S. through the Kids In Need Foundation. The Yoobi collection is available in Target stores and on and features a colorful range of products, including folders, notebooks, pens, and rulers, all for less than $10.

Target will distribute the school supply donations through the Kids In Need Foundation, which operates a national network of Resource Centers that provide free school supplies for in-need students. The donations will be made to Resource Centers beginning in August and provide an optimized assortment of the school supplies students need for the year ahead.

For millions of kids living in poverty, the right school supplies often become a luxury instead of a necessity,” said Laysha Ward, president, Community Relations, Target. “We know that giving is important to Target’s guests. This program gives them an opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of others and set kids up for success through the simple act of buying school supplies.”

This purchase/donation is not tax deductible for Target guests. For more information, visit

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mary Poppins is Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious at the Aurora Theatre

Featuring the irresistible story and unforgettable songs from one of the most popular Disney films of all time, Disney’s and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins, The Broadway Musical sweeps metro Atlanta with laughter and fun. The Broadway show is opening Aurora Theatre’s 19th Season Signature Series July 17-August 31. Co-created by Cameron Mackintosh with additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, the musical tells the story of everyone’s favorite “practically perfect” nanny who falls from the sky and into the hearts of the dysfunctional Banks family. With the help of a carefree chimney sweep named Bert, she teaches the family the immeasurable benefits of love, joy and mutual respect for one another one magical lesson at a time. Produced with dazzling theatrical effects and a score that includes Chim-Chim Cher-eeA Spoonful of Sugar and Step in Time, rediscover the Walt Disney classic that has touched the hearts of audiences for more than 45 years.

What is it about?

It is about the Banks, an England family from the 1910's, who are so caught up in their own lives, that have almost forgotten they are raising two children. Jane and Michael Banks have sent many nannies packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family how to value each other again. The dance numbers are breathtaking dance numbers and the stagecraft is spectacular. Mary Poppins teaches about how important is to have a close a family and how much love you should have for each other! Mary Poppins is a wonderful play to take the kids and you'll want to go back and see it again!

Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the Ticket Sales Office at 678-226-6222. Regular show times are as follows:
·         Wednesday- Friday: 8 p.m.         
·         Saturday: 2:30 p.m. & 8 p.m.
·         Sunday: 2:30 p.m.
There will be no evening performance on Wednesday, August 6

Exclusively for this production, youngsters ages 6-12 are invited to participate in a Jolly Holiday Party on Saturday, July 26 and August 16 at 1:15 p.m. The festivities include activities and photos with Mary Poppins and Bert, as well as a special snack. Tickets are $10 per person with purchase of a ticket to the corresponding day’s matinee. 

Food We Love! The Melting Pot Menu For Gwinnett Restaurant Week #GRW2014

Friends don't forget about Gwinnett Restaurant Week. If you have been postponing visiting one of the participating restaurants now is the best time to make a reservation. For only $21.21 per person you can enjoy a 3-course dinner. I had the pleasure to visit "The Melting Pot", (it was my first time) and they didn't disappoint me. The portions might seem small, but when you start dipping everything in that smooth glorious golden melted cheese, it will certainly fill you up fast. If you are visiting this restaurant my best advice is to leave room for the last (and best) course, the chocolate founde. 

highly recommend the “Flaming Turtle” chocolate founde. Is to die for, and you will need a lot of will power, to restrain yourself to not lick the plate. Is that good! All participating restaurants/menus will be online at GRW’s official website, Reservations are required for most restaurants, and are made by contacting the restaurants directly. To view all the menus please go here:

Happiness Explained: 10 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Happiness Level

How to improve your happiness level within minutes

"It requires some effort to achieve a happy outlook on life, and most people don't make it."
Author and researcher Gregg Easterbrook

Did you know that recent studies suggest that 40% of what makes us happy is within our control? So why not try some of the strategies listed below. You might be pleasantly surprised.

10 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Happiness Level
(in no particular order)

1. Counting your blessings, expressing gratitude for what you have.

2. Choose experience over stuff. Psychologist Ryan Howell found in his research that people felt “more alive” when reflecting on experiences compared to things—and that experiences led to more happiness in those around them than their purchases did. Howell says, "As nice as your new computer is, it's not going to make you feel alive." Lottery winners report that after a while, money and possessions don’t make them as happy as the simple pleasures they enjoyed before winning.

3. Stay in bright light because most people get a powerful surge of energy from sunlight or bright indoor light. Try moving your desk chair closer to a window or better yet, take a five minute outdoor walk every few hours.

4. People are they happiest when they achieve their aims, so set yourself goals which stretch you, but are achievable.

Kanga Partnering With Local Atlanta Nonprofit To Help Communities Burdened by Unsafe Water

780 million people lack access to clean water worldwide

Kanga is a proud sponsor of Trashwater, an Atlanta based non-profit committed to providing innovative clean water solutions through partnerships with communities in developing nations. Trashwater uses education, filtration, and mobilization to maximize lasting change for those burdened by unsafe water.

Kanga is a revolutionary new method of shipping, moving, and delivering things. By drawing upon the power of the crowd, they provide customers with a fast, convenient and affordable solution for on-demand local delivery. During the months of June and July, 2014, Kanga is donating 20% of proceeds to Trashwater to fund a trip bringing water filtration devices and educational courses to Managua, Nicaragua. To get things hopping, all users who sign up for a new account between June 1st and July 31st automatically receive a $20 credit on their first shipment. 

There’s no need to enter a code, simply create a shipment and the credit is automatically applied. Use the credit towards your first shipment & once it’s complete Kanga will make a donation to

You get a great deal on local pickup and delivery and Trashwater will receive 20% of the proceeds from your shipment. 


Downloadthe Kanga app to start shipping immediately. Move anything, anytime, anywhere, without having to rent a vehicle, hire an expensive in-store delivery service or beg a friend to give you a hand. Save your money, your time (and of most important) your friendships by using Kanga.

Kanga delivers in our hometown of Atlanta and will expand to new cities soon. 

For more information please visit:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Our Daddy Needs A Kidney! Greensboro Family Turns To Community To Help Them Find A Donor

Since the age of 34, Raleigh Callaway a 24-year veteran investigator for the city of Greensboro Police Department, has fought like a warrior against diabetes, hypertension and chronic kidney disease. His commitment to regular exercise, diet management requiring constant measuring of food contents, keeping regular doctor’s appointments and taking all medications as prescribed has allowed him to avoid what he feared most…until now. 

At the age of 49, despite all that he’s done to break the cycle, genetics have reared their ugly head and taken over his body, nearly completely. His kidneys are functioning at only 10% which has made him anemic to the point of requiring weekly injections to stimulate red blood cell production. He will most likely begin dialysis within the next 30 days, depending on how soon his port can be placed and how long it takes the port site to heal for daily use. He has opted to dialyze through PD (Peritoneal Dialysis). PD differs from the most common dialysis method (hemodialysis) because his port will filter waste from his abdomen rather than his blood stream. He will connect to a machine each night, allowing specially-compounded fluids to attract and trap waste, then drain the waste into a drainage bag, all while he sleeps. He chose this form of dialysis in hopes of continuing to be able to work full-time to provide for our family.

His wife Kristi Callaway, hopes and pray that her plea posted on facebook is shared time and time again and is read by someone who is a match for her husband.

Common questions answered in Kristi’s post:

** How does this affect our family? Just to name a few… 
Raleigh is at an increased risk of developing a hernia if he lifts more than 20 pounds. Our girls weigh 30 and 42 pounds, so plane rides and air tosses will have to wait until…

Raleigh will miss at least one, possibly two weeks of work as he heals from the port placement. Once healed, his connection time to fill, collect and drain can’t be predicted. His sleep and work hours may need to be adjusted.

Due to the increased risk of infection, bathing, even in his own tub, swimming and excessive sweating must be avoided to lessen the risk of infection which could set the stage for peritonitis, an infection at his port site that extends to outer areas.

When traveling, we’ll have to plan to accommodate his dialyzing equipment, which includes bags of fluid, so we’ll probably need to take short trips.

** What can you do to help?
For those who wish to take part in trying to save Raleigh’s quality of life by finding a compatible kidney, please get tested to see if YOU are the donor match he needs. The initial testing consists of a simple blood test. Emory has assured us that they try their best to accommodate potential donors by allowing their initial testing to be done at a hospital or lab close to the donor. 
Those of you willing to give the gift of life have questions, I’m sure, and I’ll try to answer a few of them here.

---What if I don’t know my blood type? It’s okay! Raleigh’s blood type is AB+ and is considered the universal recipient, meaning he can accept blood from anybody. The key factor when determining compatibility is the reactivity of Raleigh’s antibodies to the potential donor’s antibodies. A simple blood test can provide this information.

---What if I don’t have insurance to cover the testing and surgery if I am a match? It’s okay! For any potential donor without insurance, Raleigh’s insurance will pay for testing of all potential donors as well as surgery if you are the match we’re praying to find. For those with insurance, you may or may not have “donor benefits”. If you don’t, again, Raleigh’s insurance will cover all expenses. If you do have donor benefits, Raleigh’s insurance will pay any fees your insurance doesn't cover. 

---What is the recovery time if I am a match and donate my kidney? The donor’s recovery time is much less than Raleigh’s – typically 3-7 days. Raleigh’s recovery time will be 8-12 weeks after receiving a transplant.

---Will I be reimbursed for travel, lodging and time missed from work if I donate my kidney? Not through Raleigh’s insurance, but there is a fund to cover these expenses.

---Will my one remaining kidney be able to function as two? Yes! Most donors’ remaining kidney actually grows slightly in order to take over the full role. The kidney function of donors pre-donation compared to post-donation is generally the same or very close to. Some of you may have additional questions, and I’d be glad to give, find out or lead you to the answers.

If it is in your heart to possibly give the gift of life, please message Kristi Callaway on Facebook or email her at She will provide you with the phone number to Emory’s donation center as well as Raleigh’s identifiable information, which you’ll need when calling to register as a potential donor.

Photos by Randy Angel Photography

Iron Yard Academy Atlanta Launches First Free Coding Class For Teens

It's hard to believe that with all the technological advances in our world, girls are continuously dissipated to stay away from STEM careers. According to the National Science Foundation: 66 percent of 4th grade girls say they like science and math, but only 18 percent of all college engineering majors are female.

The Iron Yard Academy is passionate about lowering the barrier for women who want to pursue a career in programming and is currently offering two $1500 scholarships per semester. The Iron Yard Academy "Women in Tech Scholarship" offers a new possibility to women who want to take their intensive engineering courses.

"On many occasions, the mothers, older sisters, and aunts of our students have expressed that they wish programs like ours had existed years ago. Many women we’ve spoken to were directly discouraged from STEM when they were younger, being told, “engineering is for men.”

Making tech a more welcoming environment for everyone is a cause we support wholeheartedly, and we’re working to make that vision reality."
In addition, they academy is launching a new push to engage boys and girls into coding. The academy is offering free Scratch (level 1 and 2) coding classes for kids, a special coding fundamental class just for girls (8-12) and a basic HTML and CSS class for teens. The HTML and CSS class is intended for teens 13 – 18, and parents are required to make sure their kids are able to attend all sessions, complete any homework for each week, and stay for the entire duration of class (2 hours) before signing up. The course is 3 short weeks, two hours/day per week, so attendance and participation are essential. No experience is required, but they do require that you bring a laptop that can connect to the Internet.

The students will go through the process of becoming acquainted with HTML and CSS, learning the basics of how these two languages work together to display content in browsers. They will work on an ongoing project of building a personal homepage featuring fun information about themselves. If you want to sign up please make sure your kid has access to two appropriate and high-quality photographs of themselves for use as a profile picture. To sign up or have more information about their upcoming classes please subscribe to their mailing list. Space is very limited and fills out fast. Just visiting the Atlanta Tech Village is a cool experience by itself. Don't miss this unique opportunity to help your child cultivate creativity and curiosity through coding.

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