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What To ‘Read’ This Summer, Mamas {How To Get Free Titles on Audible}

Summer is a great time to unplug, and unwind, find a space under a tree or tie a hammock around the two oaks in your grandparents backyard and indulge in a good book.

Or if you’re pressed for time and cannot find the time to actual curl up, you could also listen to a good book via Kindle or Audible or some other digital format as you prepare dinner, wait for the kids to get out of practice, commute into work or while doing some other mundane task.

This year’s Summer titles I’m downloading on Audible (you can get these FREE with a month trial) includes:

Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

“Narrator Cassandra Campbell serves up a bushel of Carolina accents in this debut novel by nature writer Delia Owens. Campbell’s accents give the mix of classes and regions in the story the same realistic detail Owens provides for the marsh…. Prepare to be enchanted and haunted.” (AudioFile)

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

Sing, Unburied Sing” by Jesmyn Ward

“While the magical element is new in Ward’s fiction, her allusiveness, anchored in her interest in the politics of race, has been pointing in this direction all along. It takes a touch of the spiritual to speak across chasms of age, class, and color. … The signal characteristic of Ward’s prose is its lyricism. ‘I’m a failed poet,’ she has said. The length and music of Ward’s sentences owe much to her love of catalogues, extended similes, imagistic fragments, and emphasis by way of repetition. … The effect, intensified by use of the present tense, can be hypnotic.” — The New Yorker

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

City of Girls by Blair Brown

From the number-one New York Times best-selling author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things, a delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don’t have to be a good girl to be a good person.

Named a most anticipated book of 2019 by Oprah.com, Real SimpleBuzzfeedCosmopolitanGoodReadsPureWowVultureThe Millions, and more.

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

Becoming” by Michelle Obama

“Obama writes with a refreshing candor, as though her keen awareness of her celebrity is matched only by her eagerness to shed the exhausting veneer that helped enable her husband’s political rise. ‘My husband is making his own adjustments to life after the White House, catching his own breath,’ she writes at the end of the preface. ‘And here I am, in this new place, with a lot I want to say.’” — The Atlantic

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

“Getting Things Done: the art of stress-free productivity” by David Allen (I own the book version too)

David Allen reads an all-new edition of his popular self-help classic for managing work-life balance in the 21st century – now updated for the new challenges facing individuals and organizations in today’s rapidly changing world.

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

“Though Thomas’s story is heartbreakingly topical, its greatest strength is in its authentic depiction of a teenage girl, her loving family, and her attempts to reconcile what she knows to be true about their lives with the way those lives are depicted — and completely undervalued — by society at large.” — Publishers Weekly

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

Emma” by Jane Austen (a classic)

” What a delightful way to enjoy a Jane Austen story! This dramatized version alternates between dialogue and Emma Thompson’s narration over music. I thought the narrators were all excellent, and the sound effects and music really pulled me into the world of Emma. If you are an Austen fan, be aware that this is not a word for word reading. Rather, it is a new way to enjoy a familiar story. ” – Reader Reviewer

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

“Heavy: An American Memoir” by Kiese Laymon

Heavy is a dark book, and the trauma that Laymon orbits is almost like a black hole; its shape is circular. Even when he finally tries to have an honest conversation with his mother (at a casino, of all places) about the things he’s experienced, the harms that befell him, it’s still impossible for either one to understand the other without blame.” — The Nation

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

OR EXPLORE THOUSANDS OF OTHER TITLES!

GET YOUR FREE MONTH HERE!

Secrets to Getting Free Audible Books This Summer {My Picks}

How I fake staying sharp and cultured by “reading” Classics and new best sellers with an Audible membership and get free titles in the process

As a work from home mom, sometimes my days include traveling to client events, chauffeuring kids to sporting events, waiting, waiting and doing more waiting.

I like to fill in these times by listening to podcasts and recently learned I could listen to Michelle Obama‘s record-shattering best selling book “Becoming” versus read the hardback book someone got me as a gift.

The best thing: it was free and part of two complimentary titles I received with a trial membership.

I could have canceled after the trial was over, but am hooked. I decided to keep it and have a long list of other audio books I plan to “read”.

It’s perfect for people like me who have every intention to read books but never get around to it.

A popular post on this blog is 11 Books on my Bookshelf that I have every intention of reading but never make time to.

A monthly Audible membership and books on tape solve this problem.

You get two free titles with your monthly subscription which amounts to less than the cost of one book so it pays for itself quickly each month and forces you to keep it up.

I love crossing them off my list. SIGN UP For a FREE MONTH and enjoy your TWO FREE TITLES!

This year’s Summer titles list includes:

Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

“Narrator Cassandra Campbell serves up a bushel of Carolina accents in this debut novel by nature writer Delia Owens. Campbell’s accents give the mix of classes and regions in the story the same realistic detail Owens provides for the marsh…. Prepare to be enchanted and haunted.” (AudioFile)

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

Sing, Unburied Sing” by Jesmyn Ward

“While the magical element is new in Ward’s fiction, her allusiveness, anchored in her interest in the politics of race, has been pointing in this direction all along. It takes a touch of the spiritual to speak across chasms of age, class, and color. … The signal characteristic of Ward’s prose is its lyricism. ‘I’m a failed poet,’ she has said. The length and music of Ward’s sentences owe much to her love of catalogues, extended similes, imagistic fragments, and emphasis by way of repetition. … The effect, intensified by use of the present tense, can be hypnotic.” — The New Yorker

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

City of Girls by Blair Brown

From the number-one New York Times best-selling author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things, a delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don’t have to be a good girl to be a good person.

Named a most anticipated book of 2019 by Oprah.com, Real SimpleBuzzfeedCosmopolitanGoodReadsPureWowVultureThe Millions, and more.

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

Becoming” by Michelle Obama

“Obama writes with a refreshing candor, as though her keen awareness of her celebrity is matched only by her eagerness to shed the exhausting veneer that helped enable her husband’s political rise. ‘My husband is making his own adjustments to life after the White House, catching his own breath,’ she writes at the end of the preface. ‘And here I am, in this new place, with a lot I want to say.’” — The Atlantic

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

“Getting Things Done: the art of stress-free productivity” by David Allen (I own the book version too)

David Allen reads an all-new edition of his popular self-help classic for managing work-life balance in the 21st century – now updated for the new challenges facing individuals and organizations in today’s rapidly changing world.

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

“Though Thomas’s story is heartbreakingly topical, its greatest strength is in its authentic depiction of a teenage girl, her loving family, and her attempts to reconcile what she knows to be true about their lives with the way those lives are depicted — and completely undervalued — by society at large.” — Publishers Weekly

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

Emma” by Jane Austen (a classic)

” What a delightful way to enjoy a Jane Austen story! This dramatized version alternates between dialogue and Emma Thompson’s narration over music. I thought the narrators were all excellent, and the sound effects and music really pulled me into the world of Emma. If you are an Austen fan, be aware that this is not a word for word reading. Rather, it is a new way to enjoy a familiar story. ” – Reader Reviewer

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

“Heavy: An American Memoir” by Kiese Laymon

Heavy is a dark book, and the trauma that Laymon orbits is almost like a black hole; its shape is circular. Even when he finally tries to have an honest conversation with his mother (at a casino, of all places) about the things he’s experienced, the harms that befell him, it’s still impossible for either one to understand the other without blame.” — The Nation

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

OR EXPLORE THOUSANDS OF OTHER TITLES!

GET YOUR FREE MONTH HERE!

How to Get Free Titles on Audible this Summerinfographic

WIN AN OCEANFRONT CONDO or $50,000 CASH!

Win an Oceanfront Condo and Change Your Life!

Vacation Myrtle Beach, one of the largest providers of family vacation accommodations in Myrtle Beach, SC, is pleased to announce the launch of The Great Myrtle Beach Condo Giveaway contest, which features the grand prize of a furnished oceanfront condo at The Caravelle Resort located in Myrtle Beach, SC, valued at nearly $100,000 (or $50,000 CASH, winner’s choice)!!!

Other lucky winners will receive a 7-night stay or a 3-night stay at one of Vacation Myrtle Beach’s oceanfront properties.

The newly renovated, oceanfront efficiency condo offers room for up to four guests and includes a fully-equipped kitchen.

In addition to its prime Myrtle Beach location, the resort provides convenient access to all of the area’s major attractions, restaurants, and things to do.

Families and couples enjoy a wide variety of on-site amenities including an indoor pool, a block-long poolscape complete with a large pool, whirlpool, lazy river, kiddie lazy river, kids’ pool, poolside bar, and plenty of relaxing deck options.





In addition to everything you need for fun in the sun, the resort offers an array of dining options as well as an opportunity for rejuvenation and relaxation at its on-site spa.

The Aqua petite Spa, located at The Caravelle Resort, is open by appointment only and offers a variety of services including massage therapy, spa packages, body scrubs and organic spa facials to help you relax during your vacation.

Choose from a variety of massage options like the Romantic Couple’s Massage, Lomi Lomi, a traditional Hawaiian massage, and Lava Shells, which utilizes Tiger Clam Shells. Let all your worries and stress drift away as you enjoy a 60 or 90 minute massage, without even having to leave the property.

Additional spa services include reflexology, scalp massage, facials, salt scrubs and more.

The Great Myrtle Beach Condo Giveaway sweepstakes is now open for entries.

For Official Rules and for more information about Vacation Myrtle Beach properties and deals, please go to https://woobox.com/hsfeoo?source=usfam

Your Graduation Gift Guide

We are deep into Graduation season and if you are still on the hunt for the perfect gift for that high school, college or graduate school celebrant in your life, I’d like to suggest you check out my fave online site and partners, Etsy!

Logged on the other day and instantly spotted some sentimental and funny gifts like…

These T-shirts modeled after the “Friends” TV show logo but with a funny play on the word Seniors. It’s just $9.34 now on sale. Order it today before the sale expires.

I also absolutely loved these personalized chains and charms celebrating the graduate in Rose Gold, Gold and silver. They’re practically a steal at just $19.95. Want!

How clever is this mug to celebrate a woman who has earned her Master’s degree? I HEART it sooo much! It’s just $13.95 by The Gift Mug Shop which has a host of other clever mugs! Check them out HERE to find one that fits better with your grad!

Speaking of clever, for that kid who could not wait to graduate, this hilarious shirt is for him or her! I have just the person in mind for this next year! ha! It starts at $13.99 which is a steal in my eyes.

Now for the design fan who cherishes graduation, this personalized frame grad art it superb! So sentimental and so perfect! I love it and surprisingly just $13.95. Wow! Get it!

Finally, something that a graduate can carry around that is both functional and commemorative: a silver keychain, personalized, and just the right touch at $17.99.

Get on these for a graduate this year, in the fall or next year!

Tickle Your Toddler Pink With These Perfect Gifts for Tots



Toddlers are so fun to shop for! I’m a big fan of exploratory toys that incorporate learning into play and for this reason, I scoped out some pretty fun, creative, inventive and innovative offerings for your little one in this guide!

To purchase any item on this list click the links (affiliate links included) or use it as inspiration as you’re putting together your list.

  1. V+Tech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Launch and Chase Police Tower ($34)
  2. 100 First Words for Little Geeks – Since they’re way beyond “milk” and “ball,” teach them words they really need to know: dragon, android, cyborg, wormhole, and other vocab you need to get them into sci-fi and fantasy. ($10)
  3. Baby Alive  speaks to her mini mommy or daddy in either Spanish or English. Baby Alive‘s realistic, adorable phrases include childhood classics like “Time to go potty!” and “Yay, I did it!” ($36)
  4. Construction Plate & Utensil Set  ($15+)
  5. Crayola Magic Light Brush & Drawing Pad ($12)
  6. Kinetic Sand Beach Sand Kingdom Playset -This feels like wet sand and won’t dry out, even if you leave it out on the table overnight. (But yes, you might have to vacuum it out of the carpet, so invoke your home’s Play-Doh protocol and only allow it on the table.) ($20)
  7. Radio Flyer Busy Buggy ($35)
  8. VTech KidiBeats Drum Set ($20)
  9. Build-A-Bear Gift Card ($25)
  10. Peppa Pig Fun Fair Playset ($35)
  11. Foreign Language blocks ($37)
  12. Fisher-Price Think & Learn Rocktopus ($46)
  13. Hot Diggity Dance & Play Mickey ($39)
  14. Monilon Aqua Magic Water Doodle Mat  ($19)
  15. Explore & Write Activity Desk ($40)

Uncomfortable and Morbid But You Have To Create a Will Before Baby Is Born

The minute you deliver your baby, you’re going to have to create some plans for her or him if you unfortunately and unexpectedly meet an early demise.

It’s a hard topic but no one is promised tomorrow, as the cliched quote goes, and frankly, it is irresponsible of any parent to avoid setting up a will or some other directive for their children while on earth.

To see an example of the importance of jumping on this morning task early one only need to look at the highly publicized instances of family in fighting when a celebrity passes away without a will.

On my biz blog, Jenebaspeaks.com, I shared a blog post about a limited time free service and I’m sharing here for my parenting audience.

Generating a will is time-consuming and financially draining. The founder of Giving Docs, Brantley Boyett, knows this because he’s a lawyer. (And he approves this message.)

But with Giving Docs, you can create a will in just 10 minutes and avoid expensive lawyer fees!

How does Giving Docs help you create such an important document so quickly? With yes or no questions and short text entry.

There are five simple steps:

  • Add your loved ones and organizations important in your life
  • Define any specific gifts, such as cash amounts or possessions like family heirlooms
  • Assign your distributions to people and organizations (::cough:: educational organization ::cough::)
  • Choose your personal representative who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes for your estate
  • Print off your will, visit a notary, and sign your will with two witnesses present
Lifetime Access to Giving Docs

When you’re done, your will will be Ed Hochuli official and legally-binding in all 50 states. (Giving Docs does recommend showing what you’ve created to your lawyer.)

International Sumo-ling hack: Use these documents as a template, bring them to an attorney, and save yourself a few billable hours!

Ok, but what if you want to make changes, like remove a school you just discovered serves pineapple pizza? Not a problem. You can alter your will at any time. Just remember to get it notarized again.

Listen, I know talking about death gives you the heebie-jeebies, but by being proactive, you can make sure the people and causes you care about are taken care of.

Lifetime Access to Giving Docs

Usually, lifetime access to this estate planning tool is $295.

But, because Giving Docs practices what they preach about paying it forward, they are giving Sumo-lings lifetime access for free!

Look at that. You are saving hundreds of dollars that would normally be going to a lawyer.

So let’s start dividing up those assets and gifting your favorite educational institution today.

Get Giving Docs now!

Go See ‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’, Out Tomorrow!

With Summer out for my middle kid and his friend and one week to go until youngest and her friend got out for the year, we snuck out for a school night family movie night, compliments of our friends at Universal Studios to see Ilumination’s tenth feature, The Secret Life of Pets 2.

It had been 3 years since the last comedic animated blockbuster was released, so it was high time to catch up with Terrier Max (Patton Oswalt), his now married with toddler owner Ellie Kemper and their other dog Duke (Eric Stonestreet).

Animals have a life of their own when their owners are away which is the overall theme of this franchise.

There are three mini tales in one in this movie.

The family head out on a road trip with toddler, Liam, who Max guards with his life to visit family at a farm in the country.

There they meet up with an Alpha Dog named Rooster (Harrison Ford) who keeps the farm in line and eventually, teaches Max about being brave and taking risks for the ones you love.

While away from the apartment in the city, Max’s girlfriend, an adorable white furball Pomeranian Gidget (Jenny Slate) tries to rescue Max’s favorite toy from a cat-packed apartment with a little help from her feline friend, Chloe (Lake Bell). It’s slapstick good time and the ultimate rescue is adorable and clever. I won’t spoil it for you.

On the other side of town, the first iteration of the series villain-turned adorable domestic bunny Snowball (Kevin Hart) now believes he is a superhero and accompanies a brave new dog on the block, a Shih Tzu named Daisy (Tiffany Haddish) on an adventure to rescue a circus tiger from a an evil owner of a traveling show who keeps his animals in line by being cruel to them.

We enjoyed the film tremendously which is entertaining to children (our group included two 14 year olds and two 11-year olds) and adults. The woman next to me couldn’t help laugh out loud all through the movie.

https://www.instagram.com/p/ByVEKTtgVbX/

At the end, my daughter’s pal, Clio, had decided she wanted to return to see it again! I agree! It’s so adorable, and fun that it’s worth a second trip.

I love this remix of one of my fave songs, “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers for the soundtrack. Puerto Rican Latin trap singer, Ozuna, best known for his hits “La Modelo” and “Síguelo Bailando” sings it.

Check out the Lyrical video for it!

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is produced by the same team behind behind Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch and the Despicable Me and Minions franchise, and is written by returning Pets screenwriter Brian Lynch.

The film is directed by returning filmmaker Chris Renaud, who also directed Illumination’s Despicable Me series and Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. 

Overall, the kids LOVED it!! A good mix of comedy and life lessons. It’s a wonderful family date night movie!

It Comes out this Friday, June 7 to theaters nationwide!!! Go see it!

I Tried Instacart Grocery Delivery To The Kids While On Travel

Instacart Grocery Delivery app was a heaven sent convenient way for me to deliver nutritious food instead of pizza to the kids through their sitter while I was out of town

About 5-years ago, my sisters were babysitting my kids when the doorbell rang and there was a pizza delivery man on the other end!

Wow! One told the other, Jeneba delivered pizza to us all the way from Miami!

My husband and I were vacationing and called in the order. It wasn’t really anything special but back then, I suppose, the idea of remote ordering was foreign.

It was nothing like it is today. Since those days, a lot of apps and services have launched that allows parents, caregivers and others who are away to have all sorts of things delivered to their kids at home.

Last Summer, while my mom was watching the kids while the hubby and I were across country, we tried grocery delivery service Instacart for the first time.

After downloading the app, I got to check out several of the dozens of area stores, grocers and shops and after picking one, go virtual grocery shopping.

Within two to three clicks, groceries were ordered! It was super fast, surprisingly easy and quick!

Once our order was placed, an Instacart associate received our list, then traveled down to my local market close to home, shopped and dropped off the groceries to my waiting and hungry brood!

It was so much more cost effective and healthier than ordering pizza and wings for dinner!

My husband and I were quite pleased. There is a small and very nominal service charge and monthly fee but it is totally worth it.

Since then, I have become a fan and ardent user of Instacart and other grocery delivery services.

YOU CAN TRY IT FREE!

I imagine it could be perfect for a brand new mom who is stuck at home caring for a newborn and unable to get away to get shopping done.

Even Amazon has gotten into this space with its Amazon Pantry service.

If you ever are away from the kids and need to have groceries delivered to your sitter or caregiver while you’re away, I recommend Instacart!

Fashion and Culture Done Right

NEW ASICS GEL-Lyte V KL Shogun Honors Japanese Culture

SPONSORED POST

With all the talk of cultural appropriation with fashion brands of late, it may be refreshing to see that athletic footwear company ASICS partner with an actual Japanese company when it came up with its new brand of sneakers that honor Japanese culture

KICKS LAB collaborates with ASICS for the new GEL-Lyte V KL Shogun footwear. One of the hottest trending ASICS deals for 2019, the stylish GEL-Lyte V KL Shogun sneakers combine the most modern innovative technology with classic Japanese inspired design. Just one in a line that promises to leave an indelible imprint on the fashion world, the new “KL Shogun” is a must-have for every serious ASICS fan. 

Unique Japan Inspired Design

ASICS continues to break the fashion mold with its unique footwear design and inspiration. Not just content to be the best tennis shoes with the highest sports performance, ASICS has a commitment to high fashion and innovation. This year’s GEL-Lyte V KL Shogun shoes continues the tradition set last year with the GEL-Lyte III. The “KL Shogun” and “KL Samurai” are all part of this very unique union between ASICS and the KICKS Lab in Japan. 

Kicks Lab

The premium sneaker boutique collaborated with ASICS to create a popular sneaker series inspired by traditional Japanese culture and history. Taking inspiration from warrior Samurai, ninjas, and even Japanese writing, the ASICS sneaker collection balance carefully the power of rich tradition and the promise of innovation. ASICS fans look forward to many more collaborations between ASICS and innovators like the KICKS Lab. 

Bold Branding

The GEL-Lyte III in bold white and black resulted from a collaboration between ASICS and the sneakers disrupter KICKS LAB. The GEL-Lyte III is a lightweight shoe in premium leatherand suede. The custom insoles housed Japanese characters. KICKS lab touted that the footwear was ideal for ninjas. The ASICS GEL Lyte III answers the whimsical question, “What if a Ninja wears a pair of sneakers?” Answer? A light shoe that enables the ultimate in sports performance. 

ASICS advertising for the footwear collection is as memorable as the shoes, using Japanese music in bold but precise strokes. The simple GEL-Lyte III ad shows images of the sneakers moving to a soundtrack of Japanese Taiko Drums. The ASICS Tiger “KL Shogun” ad is similar. The dark red and black shoe floats in space while Daiko drums hit dramatically behind. Simple and stunning, the “KL Shogun” from Kicks Lab continues to be the ultimate footwear of Japanese street fashion. 

Red and Black Design

This line of shoes combines a bold reflective red with dark black. Designs boast of warrior silhouetted against a sea of red, Japanese lettering, and other iconic symbols. The collaboration promises to combine the latest in sneaker technology with a unique style that can only come from Japan. 

The GEL-Lyte KL Shogun sneakers feature red and black, with gray materials to balance the bold color choice. Reflectormaterial adds to the red color. The “Shogun” imagery in black and red pop out from the shoe. While a sports performance shoe, the “KL Shogun” compliments every scenario. Perfect for the courts, the track, or the dance floor. Enjoy these striking shoes and add them to your essential 

Turn Your Child’s Artwork Into Home Furnishings {Review}

This post is sponsored by CanvasChamp but the content and views are independent and reflect my opinion on the quality and service.

When my now 14-year old son won an honor regarding one of his paintings, I was anxious to frame it and put it on a wall in our home.

Fortunately, I got an opportunity just in time to convert his artwork into a custom premium canvas that I could surprise him with on his birthday this year.

The ordering process on CanvasChamp was simple. We simply clicked a few buttons to upload a digital version of his work and selected the size and hit send and it was off!

In a few short weeks, I think two, the gorgeous canvas arrived carefully wrapped in the mail.

I could not wait to tear off the coverings to reveal his masterpiece brought to life.

My husband and I decided to hang the piece in our bedroom above our headboard and call my son into the room under the guise of collecting a pair of socks he left in there.

When he looked up, his eyes lit up in wonderment and surprise. A big wide grin took over his face and he giggled and asked us, “what? how did you do that.”

Magic, I replied back. I knew we had hit a home run with this precious gift.

CanvasChamp offers a wide array of products that you can have your photos or art converted into including table tops, pillows, wall frames, mugs, blankets, notebooks, mugs, ornaments, phone cases, calendar, water bottles, calendars and more.

My fave are the custom notebooks!

They offer 100% money back guarantee and right now, as of this blog post, a free 8×8 canvas print for your first order and 10% Off all pillows.

Overall, I am satisfied with the quality and quantity of offerings, selections and options, the ease of ordering, the speed of delivery and the quality of product delivered.

Personally, I plan to order more custom products from Canvas Champ! Prices start at $4.95 for some products and it is definitely one of the more reasonably priced options out there for quality custom furnishings and wall coverings!

Check them out today!