5 Tips For Staying Healthy This Fall

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

It’s that time of the year! The weather’s getting colder and kids everywhere are starting to catch colds and other bugs. It’s the time of the year that my year’s always get sick. But there are some things that you can do to help prevent the kids from catching whatever’s going around. I’ve got five tips for staying healthy this fall.

5 Tips For Staying Healthy This Fall

It's that time of the year: the time everybody gets sick. I'm sharing tips for staying healthy this fall that you can start doing with your family today!

Beware of the Playground

Not just the park, but any place the kids play. I read somewhere that jungle gyms are more germ-infested than public bathrooms. Blech! While yucky to think about, it makes sense; bathrooms are cleaned regularly but playground equipment is never cleaned.

Teach your children not to touch their mouths, noses, or eyes at the playground or anywhere they’re playing on play structures. Easier said than done, I know. Before leaving the park, make sure to use antibacterial hand gel on everybody’s hands and wash them thoroughly when you get home.

And on that note…

Teach Your Kids How To Cough and Sneeze

Teach your kids to sneeze and cough into the crook of their arm instead of just coughing or sneezing into the hands or the air. If your kids have runny noses, use tissues (or our favorite, Boogie Wipes) to clean up and then wash hands.

Wash Your Hands. A lot. And Don’t Touch Anything (only kind of kidding)

When you go to any store where there are shopping carts, make sure to clean the shopping cart handles with disinfectant wipes before you touch them. This is also true for anything you touch in  other public places: the gas handle when pumping gas, opening doors, money…just about everything you touch is fair game. Now you can’t run around with wipes or wearing gloves everywhere, but once you are back in the car you can use wipes or antibacterial gel to clean your hands. And when you get home, wash them really good!

A Note For You Moms With Little Ones: If you use a fabric shopping-cart cover to protect your child from touching shopping carts, know that germs can survive longer in fabric than on the cart’s plastic handle. Make sure to wash the cover regularly. 

It's that time of the year: the time everybody gets sick. I'm sharing tips for staying healthy this fall that you can start doing with your family today!

It grosses me out to think that the kids are at school touching EVERYTHING like door knobs and  playing on the playground, coughing and wiping their noses. Then they head to lunch and eat with dirty hands. So I pack Wet Ones Singles in the kids’ lunch boxes so they can clean off of their hands quickly before they start eating.

Avoid Sickos

If you know somebody is sick, try to avoid being around them. Impossible for the kids at school, but you gotta do what you can at home. And remember, people are most contagious when they are running a fever. So if your little one has a fever, try to keep him or her away from other kids.

And because avoiding the sickos is nearly impossible…

Boost Your Immune System

Boosting your immune system will definitely help fight off any nasty germs and viruses floating around. And it’s easy to do!

Drinking plenty of  water is a simple way to help keep you healthy. Eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat will definitely help, too. Eating foods that are in season can help save you money on your grocery bill too!

Another powerful way to boost your immune system and keep strong is to get some exercise. Get the family out for a walk or a bike ride. Exercise doesn’t have to be structured – schedule a play date for your kids with friends and let them play outside.

It's that time of the year: the time everybody gets sick. I'm sharing tips for staying healthy this fall that you can start doing with your family today!

Everybody always mentions taking Vitamin C to boost your immune system. I don’t know if it’s a proven fact or not, but Vitamin C helps neutralize free radicals and also helps iron get absorbed in the body. It helps support your immune system.† So I picked up someNature Made® Chewable Vitamin C tablets at Walmart to take along with my daily multi-vitamin. These aren’t for the kids: my kids take Nature Made® KIDS FIRST® multivitamins.

It's that time of the year: the time everybody gets sick. I'm sharing tips for staying healthy this fall that you can start doing with your family today!

I take Nature Made® vitamins, supplements, and probiotics because it’s the #1 Pharmacist Recommended brand for many key dietary supplement categories* Nature Made® has a variety of vitamins, minerals, and supplements (VMS) to help support nutritional gaps with your health goals in mind ranging from Digestive Support, Heart Health & Function, Energy Metabolism, Women’s Health and much more!†

It's that time of the year: the time everybody gets sick. I'm sharing tips for staying healthy this fall that you can start doing with your family today!

Why Walmart? It’s a one-stop shop! Walmart has everyday low prices on many of things that my family uses everyday, including Nature Made® items, so it’s easy to stock up and save and items I know that we use regularly. I got my hair, skin, and nail supplement while I was there, too!

It's that time of the year: the time everybody gets sick. I'm sharing tips for staying healthy this fall that you can start doing with your family today!

Getting your gut healthy is a good way to boost your immune system too. Nature Made® Advanced Dual Action Probiotic has been clinically studied and provides dual support to both your small and large intestine for comprehensive coverage to help support digestive balance and healthy gut flora.†

It's that time of the year: the time everybody gets sick. I'm sharing tips for staying healthy this fall that you can start doing with your family today!

It’ll make your gut feel better, naturally. Probiotics can help relieve occasional gas, bloating, constipation, and irregularity. So if you’re feeling sluggish, you might want to try a probiotic. A healthy gut will really make you feel better!

It's that time of the year: the time everybody gets sick. I'm sharing tips for staying healthy this fall that you can start doing with your family today!

Nature Made® vitamins and supplements: An easy, convenient way to help your body get the nutritional support it needs every day, whether it be to support bone health, immune health or energy metabolism (helping convert food into energy).†

It's that time of the year: the time everybody gets sick. I'm sharing tips for staying healthy this fall that you can start doing with your family today!

Not sure if Nature Made® is right for you? There’s no reason not to try them because you’re satisfaction is guaranteed or you’ll get your money back!\

Nature Made® Probiotics and other vitamins and supplements can be found at Walmart SuperCenters. For more information on Nature Made® vitamins and supplements available at Walmart, visit Nature Made®. You’ll also have a chance to enter to win one of 60 Walmart gift cards (each worth $50!) by taking part in the sweepstakes on the site (no purchase necessary). Good luck!\

*Based on the 2016 U.S. News & World Report – Pharmacy Times Survey.
 These statements have not been evaluated by the Food andDrug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases.

Ways To Get Rid Of Halloween Candy

Pounds and pounds and pounds of Halloween candy. I can’t believe how much candy these kids got! If left to their own devices, they’d probably try to eat all of it. But there’s no way I’m going to let that happen! There are lots of ways to get rid of Halloween candy, from freezing it to donating it to experimenting with it. I’m sharing 10+ ways to get rid of Halloween candy, and the kids won’t even mind giving it up!

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Halloween 2016

Ways To Get Rid Of Halloween Candy

Freeze It

Most candy freezes great! Use frozen candy throughout the year to add to baking, melt into hot chocolate, make milkshakes, ice cream, cookie dough, or to thaw and eat.

Stash It

Keep a small stash of your kids’ faves in your purse to use a bribes when you’re out and about or the kids need something to occupy them.

Bake It

Not sure what to do with those leftover pounds of Halloween candy? I'm sharing more than ten different ways to get rid of Halloween candy (and the kids won't mind!)
Use that candy to make trail mix, gingerbread houses, holiday baked goods, 3 ingredient pretzel cookies, Jolly Rancher Vodka, or even candy shotglasses!

Sell It

Not sure what to do with those leftover pounds of Halloween candy? I'm sharing more than ten different ways to get rid of Halloween candy (and the kids won't mind!)
Have you heard of the Halloween Candy Buyback program? It’s a national program with thousands of participating dentists and orthodontists. You ca use the zip code locator to find a practice near you that will buy back the candy (typically $1 per pound up to 5 pounds) near you.

Donate It

You can also donate the candy, which is what my kids are doing. This year, the program has partnered with Soldiers’ Angels and will be shipping all the candy donated along with toothbrushes so troops abroad can receive goodies in their Soldiers’ Angels care packages.

Not sure what to do with those leftover pounds of Halloween candy? I'm sharing more than ten different ways to get rid of Halloween candy (and the kids won't mind!)

Operation Gratitude also accepts candy donations!

Make It

Not sure what to do with those leftover pounds of Halloween candy? I'm sharing more than ten different ways to get rid of Halloween candy (and the kids won't mind!)

Use the candy to make homemade advent calendars or even candy bracelets.

Hit It

Know a child with an upcoming birthday or hosting a holiday party? Use the candy in a pinata! You can even make your own pinata.

Hide It

Dig out all the chocolate and enjoy it with coffee or wine (for you, not the kids!)

Take It

Take it with you to upcoming holiday get togethers, with you to work, or send it to work with Dad.

Create It

Not sure what to do with those leftover pounds of Halloween candy? I'm sharing more than ten different ways to get rid of Halloween candy (and the kids won't mind!)
Make a holiday card using the candy (Dear Grandma, Here is a kiss (put a Hershey’s Kiss where the word “kiss” would normally go.) Get creative and have fun!

Swap It

This is the cutest thing ever! A friend mentioned this little guy, the Sugar Goblin, who loves tricks and treats!

From the Facebook page: “Parents organize Sugar Goblin tricks, such as hanging pictures upside down on the wall, making faces on plates out of breakfast food or staging a tea party with stuffed animals. Parents have fun dreaming up fun tricks and children enjoy anticipating and seeing them. In exchange for The Sugar Goblin’s tricks, children volunteer to give up some of the candy they collect on Halloween to help feed the sugar goblin village. As a show of appreciation, parents leave behind a gift for the children, on behalf of a sugar goblin, in exchange for the candy.”

Experiment With It

One of Ethan’s friends told him about Candy Experiments, and I’ve already ordered it. The kids can get rid of candy and learn some fun science at the same time! They can test candy for secret ingredients, peel the skin off candy corn, spread candy dyes into rainbows, or pour rainbow layers of colored water. The kids will learn how to turn candy into crystals, sink marshmallows, float taffy, and even make your own lightning!

Save It

Save that candy to use in Christmas stockings or holiday treat bags.

Trash It

Trash it a little at a time, or all at once.

Not sure what to do with those leftover pounds of Halloween candy? I'm sharing more than ten different ways to get rid of Halloween candy (and the kids won't mind!)

How do you get rid of Halloween candy?

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Mommy of a Monster and Twins is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Our Favorite Bedtime Stories

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Random House Children’s Books. All opinions expressed about favorite bedtime stories are my own.

Every night a half hour before the kids go to bed, we lay down and read. Ethan’s now reading chapter books, and recently finished the first Harry Potter book. He’s also anxiously awaiting the new Diary of A Wimpy Kid book, Double Down. We take turns reading pages to each other. With the girls, they still like me to read to them. While they occasionally want to read a book from school or one they found on the bookshelf, the majority of the time they will pick from our go-to favorite bedtime stories. These are the stories that we have read so often that the books show signs of love; ripped pages, bent corners, and other signs of a well read book.

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Our Favorite Bedtime Stories (And Why We Love ‘Em)

Love You When You Whine 

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This is probably our all time favorite…so much so that I wrote about Love You When You Whine a couple of years ago! We love this story because no matter how much trouble the little one gets in to, or how much of a monster she’s being, her mom tells her that she loves her. “Love you when you whine,” “Love you even when you say that you don’t love me,” and “Love you when you throw a tantrum” are some of my favorites from the book. And at the end, the girls always want to read the last page to me: “Love you always. Yes I do.”

Goodnight Moon

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I’ve read this one so many times that I have it memorized; that’s a sign of favorite bedtime stories! We used to read this one a lot when the kids were younger. Now that the girls are learning to read, they like to read this one because they can read it all by themselves without any help. This is a book I always like to include with baby shower gifts because it’s so sweet and such a classic.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

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When I say Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, I mean the original one, not the new movie version! This is one of my favorite books of all time, and the kids love the silly town of Chewandswallow. The story is actually about a grandfather telling his grandkids a bedtime story, so it makes a perfect bedtime story!

Side Note: Did you know there are two other books in the series? If you liked Cloudy, check out Pickles to Pittsburgh and Planet of the Pies!

Guess How Much I Love You

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If you’ve ever head the phrase “I love you to the moon and back,” this is where it comes from. It’s the story of a little rabbit telling his dad how much he loves him, but his dad always tells him that he loves him even more. This is one of those stories that never get old, and that parents adore as much as kids do.

The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep

Want to get your kids to sleep fast by simply reading them a story? Check out The Little Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep - it will get them to sleep FAST!

Last year at about this time, I told you the one of my favorite bedtime stories ever was a book I had heard about called The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep. This book got major media attention since it reported that just by reading it, you’d be able to lull your children to sleep by employing positive-reinforcement techniques to promote relaxation. So of course I had to try it, and was shocked that it completely worked on both girls!

Want to get your kids to sleep fast by simply reading them a story? Check out The Little Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep - it will get them to sleep FAST!

The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep will do the same. This book features Ellen the Elephant, who is on a journey through a magical forest that leads to sleep. Along the way, she meets different characters and has soothing experiences. These experiences will also help your children relax and fall asleep.

Want to get your kids to sleep fast by simply reading them a story? Check out The Little Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep - it will get them to sleep FAST!

Don’t worry….the author includes tips on how to read the book the correct way to help your child fall asleep. The instructions are easy to follow and understand, and they will definitely relax you, too.

Want to get your kids to sleep fast by simply reading them a story? Check out The Little Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep - it will get them to sleep FAST!

And fair warning: you may just fall asleep yourself!

Want to get your kids to sleep fast by simply reading them a story? Check out The Little Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep - it will get them to sleep FAST!

The book also includes tips from the author for using the techniques successfully.

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And it works!

I love that the author, Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin, wrote this book because the girls were getting tired of hearing about the rabbit…they wanted something new. This book is perfect, and over the two books, they now prefer The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep!

Want to get your kids to sleep fast by simply reading them a story? Check out The Little Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep - it will get them to sleep FAST!

If you have a child between the ages of 3 and 7, I suggest you check out The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep

You also have a chance to win one for your children! Simply enter below and a winner will be randomly chosen on Wednesday, November 2nd. US residents only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Mommy of a Monster and Twins is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Get Creative With LEGO Classic!

Help your child get creative with LEGO Classic! A set of LEGOs provides hours of building and play using your child's imagination! They can build houses, animals, and more!

We have a HUGE collection of LEGOs, and it just continues to grow. From Ethan’s many LEGO systems (most of them from his much older cousins) to Mia’s growing collection including her favorite yellow LEGO® Classic box of them to the big “bag” of LEGOs that the kids drag out at least once a week, we are definitely a LEGO lovin’ family!

Help your child get creative with LEGO Classic! A set of LEGOs provides hours of building and play using your child's imagination! They can build houses, animals, and more!

I love that the kids can either follow instructions to build something they love, like a princess castle.

Help your child get creative with LEGO Classic! A set of LEGOs provides hours of building and play using your child's imagination! They can build houses, animals, and more!

And I also appreciate that LEGOs are perfect for boosting creativity and unstructured play – they can build anything they set their minds to! Ethan loves to build and create strictly using his imagination! He has a “war” that sits on his desk in his room and the battle changes daily. He’s created a movie theater for his LEGO friends so they could watch videos with him. He even has a LEGO light cover that he decorates and changes weekly.

Help your child get creative with LEGO Classic! A set of LEGOs provides hours of building and play using your child's imagination! They can build houses, animals, and more!

Getting Creative With LEGO Classic

The reason why LEGOs are so much fun for kids and adults alike is because although the kits come with easy-to-follow instructions, a big pile of LEGOs is a “no instructions necessary” experience. All you need is to use your imagination! The possibilities of open-ended building inspires endless play, especially if the three kids are all building together.

Keeping the kids busy during the summer can be challenging. Before noon, I’ve usually already heard “I’m bored” at least once from each kid! My favorite go-to when the kids say it is to tell them to go play with their LEGOs. Most of the time, that will keep them busy for hours. Literally.

Help your child get creative with LEGO Classic! A set of LEGOs provides hours of building and play using your child's imagination! They can build houses, animals, and more!

If you are just starting out with LEGOs, LEGO® Classic is the perfect place to start because it helps develop your child’s creative skills. Each set includes classic LEGO bricks and a mix of special pieces so kids will have everything needed to build. Imaginative building play is easy with the bright, colorful and versatile LEGO bricks.  Houses, vehicles and animals are all possible with LEGO Classic! And because LEGO Classic spans so many different age groups, there’s fun for all the family and imagination for every generation.

Help your child get creative with LEGO Classic! A set of LEGOs provides hours of building and play using your child's imagination! They can build houses, animals, and more!

While LEGO Classic does come with ideas, to help your little ones get started, you can find even more inspiration here.

Recently, LEGO Systems and world-renowned improv group, The Upright Citizens Brigade, wanted to show everybody that all you need is a few bricks for hours of fun, inspiration and “out of the box thinking.” They encourage kids, parents and families to let your creative juices flow.

Your child can get started just by asking him or her a simple question! Why? Because the bricks tell a story. Ask your child a question and have them build the answer. Ask them to share the story out loud (even if they’re building by themselves) because the act of snapping bricks together helps the builder come to decisions and formulate ideas faster and more clearly. You’ll find if you set out to build an answer to a question that the building flows easily and you’ll be amazed with your child’s skills and insights.

I asked Mia what her best part of summer has been so far. We had recently went whale watching and so she built the sun and the sun’s rays shining down on the ocean!

Help your child get creative with LEGO Classic! A set of LEGOs provides hours of building and play using your child's imagination! They can build houses, animals, and more!

I asked Lila what she’s looking forward to after school starts and she built a quad because she wants to go camping in the desert so that daddy can take her for a ride!

Help your child get creative with LEGO Classic! A set of LEGOs provides hours of building and play using your child's imagination! They can build houses, animals, and more!

A few months ago, I told Ethan I needed a pen holder for my desk, so he created one and surprised me with it!

Help your child get creative with LEGO Classic! A set of LEGOs provides hours of building and play using your child's imagination! They can build houses, animals, and more!

There are ten LEGO sets, ranging from $16.99 to $59.99, that make the perfect solution for gift-givers or for families looking to add to an existing LEGO collection or inspire their child to try building. It’s really a great gift for the entire family!

And visit the Upright Citizen Brigade LEGO video on YouTube. They were asked to improv with LEGOs and it’s a very silly and fun minute to watch!

And if your kids love LEGOs as much as mine do, check out these fun facts about Legos.

Help your child get creative with LEGO Classic! A set of LEGOs provides hours of building and play using your child's imagination! They can build houses, animals, and more!

Ever wonder how LEGOs are made? My kids did, so I wrote about how LEGOs are made…it even includes a video of the process!

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

Sunscreen Tips To Avoid Sunburns & More Summer Skin Care Tips

A couple of years back, I wrote a post about the best sunscreen tips and how to get it on the kids without too many complaints. I thought since 4th of July is right around the corner, it was a good time to revisit them. So I’m going to share some sunscreen tips to avoid sunburns and other tips for keeping your skin healthy this summer.

Lots of sunscreen tips to avoid sunburns, how to get sunscreen on kids without (too many) complaints, and how to keep your skin healthy all summer long!

While my first post was aimed towards sunscreen tips for kids, they really apply to adults, too! These sunscreen tips to avoid sunburns work, whether you’re a kid or an adult.

Sunscreen Tips To Avoid Sunburns

Lots of sunscreen tips to avoid sunburns, how to get sunscreen on kids without (too many) complaints, and how to keep your skin healthy all summer long!

NO Sunscreen Is 100% Waterproof or Sweatproof

This is a great tip because lots of people make the mistake of only applying sunscreen before the kids get in the water or are running around. Once is not enough. “Water-resistant” and “sweatproof” sunscreen will last longer than regular sunscreen, which tends to come off faster when it gets wet.

Did you know that water-resistant sunscreens have a time limit? Sunscreens that claim to be “water-resistant” must state on the label whether they remain effective for 40 or 80 minutes. After that, it’s like you don’t have anymore on. That means you need to reapply, reapply, reapply! Anytime the kids take a break I try to reapply more sunblock.

Tip: I know that the spray sunblock has gotten a bad rap, but…

I slather on the sunscreen lotion before the kids hit the sun, pool, or beach. Then as the day goes on, I spray them. It’s much quicker and receives less complaints than rubbing in lotion. It works for us!

Another tip for applying sunscreen: Get a sunscreen stick for the kids’ face. It’s less likely to get in their eyes.

Make Sure You’re Applying Enough Sunscreen

The Skin Cancer Foundation (skincancer.org) recommends that adults use at least an ounce (that’s a shot glass) of sunscreen, but don’t set an amount for growing children. The important thing is to cover all exposed areas.

You’ll want to pay special attention to those easy-to-miss spots like earlobes and any body part that will stay submerged, like feet (Fun Fact: UVA rays can penetrate water.) I found this fun way to help you remember these areas: Teach your child to spell BEENS to help you remember to cover forgotten spots: Back of knees, Ears, Eye area, Neck, and Scalp.

Lots of sunscreen tips to avoid sunburns, how to get sunscreen on kids without (too many) complaints, and how to keep your skin healthy all summer long!

Sunscreen Alone Doesn’t Guarantee Safety From the Sun

Whether the kids are out playing or running through the sprinklers (remember they should get 60 minutes a day!,) or hitting the pool or beach, sunscreen is definitely a great way to block them from the sun, but that’s not all you need. Hats, sunglasses, bathing suits with built-in SPF coverage, and swim shirts are also a must. Take an umbrella to the beach or pool Avoid midday sun. All these things will help prevent skin damage and sunburns.

Keep Everybody Hydrated

Make everybody take a hydration break. Water, water, water! Watermelon, grapes, berries, carrots and celery are all great ways to keep everybody hydrated. So pack a fruit salad or some veggies with ranch dressing. Ice in the ice chest to keep everything cold is also a great way to get the kids some hydration…kids love chewing on ice.

Since my kids complain about drinking water, I found some fun ways to wake up water!

water After Sun Care

So we know how to keep everybody sunburn free, but what about your skin after being in large amounts of sun, water, and chlorine? It’s needs some love too! After showers, using Hawaiian Tropic Lime Coolada Lotion with Shea Butter & Aloe Vera is my favorite lotion to slather on the kids and I! It smells so good and it’s like a party for your skin. It leaves it feeling cool, soft, and tingly.

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Not into fancy lotion? No worries. Just don’t forget to moisturize!

And for all you busy moms out there, I’ve got some tips on how to keep your skin healthy all summer long.

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What sunscreen tips to avoid sunburns or other summer skincare tips do you have to share?

Lots of sunscreen tips to avoid sunburns, how to get sunscreen on kids without (too many) complaints, and how to keep your skin healthy all summer long!

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Mommy of a Monster and Twins is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and/or other affiliate sites.

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