Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Everyone has a trait that gives them the shivers.

Whether it be nails on a black (which oddly don't bother me), rocks against cement, a horse bucking, whatever.

We all have something out there that makes our stomach roll and clench and sends a shiver down our spine.

Mine is teeth grinding.

And how I learned that I couldn't handle this is that my youngest does it.

Yup, she grinds her tiny little teeth.

And it KILLS me.

It makes me do that full body shiver where my blood gets colder and I want to roll my eyes back into my head.


I am telling her constantly to stop (!!!) but she just smiles at me and continues to do it.

And I want to faint.

A 9 month old does this to me.

It really does give me the heeby jeebies.

What gives you the heeby jeebies?

Monday, November 29, 2010


When the Holidays roll around and your list of gifts to give keeps growing and growing... and growing, it can get kinda crazy decided who gets what.

A great option for the person that has everything, or the person that wants to make a difference, or the person that wants to save the world is GiveBack.Org

What is GiveBack.Org?

From their website: "GiveBack allows you to do all your giving in one place, without hassle or any complexities. Any charity, any time, any amount. Free. No cost to you or to the charities you support. Manage all your giving through one account. One receipt for tax time. Give to any charity registered with the IRS. 100% of donations goes to charities. (We cover costs through our sponsors.) "

Another great way that GiveBack.Org helps is that when you make a purchase from one of their online retailers you earn 15% back to give to your foundation.

Get started today by signing up (remember, it's free and you get a tax deduction!) and setting up your foundation today.

Here's a short video with more information.

I participated in a campaign with the One2One Network and have the chance to win a gift card for my participation. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Sometimes glue is a great thing.

It bonds things together. It makes things tight and snug.

Other times, it's sticky.

Really sticky.

And messy and annoying and makes your fingers tacky and gray.

Sometimes in a tough situation glue can make things better and sometimes it makes the whole thing a disaster.

I hate being the glue sometimes.

I am the glue in my family (not my immediate family... wait, I am but that's a whole 'nother blog post. This blog post is about my family family).

My family is divided and it sucks.

Two sides are pitted against one another and while one side is waving the white flag, the other is ignoring the gesture.

And I'm in the middle.

I'm the glue in the middle of the ring screaming at the top of my lungs.

I'm the glue that wants to wrap this entire family is its stickiness and have a big group hug.

I'm the glue that is doubled over in guilt and anxiety because my family is not whole.

I'm the glue that is crying tears.

What in the world can fix a broken family if the glue is all soggy?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

MomSelect Holiday Showcase Party

Getting together with friends is always a fun time for me.

Getting together with friends who have kids my daughters adore is a big plus.

Add in great holiday gifts and yummy treats and you have me hooked.

The wonderful folks at MomSelect recently sent me a Holiday Showcase Party Kit and asked me to share some hot toys with my friends.

The Holiday Showcase Party Kit included the following: Small Frys from Build-a-Bear Workshop, Christmas Cakes from Little Debbie, Sneaky 3D Puzzles from Patch Products, Play-Doh Mega Fun Factory, Play-Doh Shape and Spin Elmo, Playmobil Child's First Day at School kit, Smart Mom Solutions, Craft kits for the kids, Themed activities, games and recipes.

We all headed to our local park, spread out a blanket and noshed on Christmas Tree Cakes from Little Debbie and got to playing.

The kids were so fascinated in what I was telling them.
Okay, not really. They wanted those toys like nothing else.

It was an overjoyable afternoon and the Moms got to peek at some great toys, the kids got to play and I got to eat two Little Debbies without any guilt (none whatsoever!).

Celebrate the Season: Seminole County Events

Ah, the Christmas Season is fully upon us.

There’s Christmas commercials on the television, Christmas music on the radio, twinkling lights popping up on streets...

It makes me so happy.

And what makes me want to do the Christmas jig is Christmas activities I can take my girls to.

Here’s a list of what’s going on in Seminole County in the upcoming weeks.

December 3, 2010
Sanford’s Christmas in the Square. 6pm at Magnolia Square, 200 S Magnolia Ave, Sanford. Live entertainment, a visit from Santa, a tree lighting ceremony, face painting and a balloon artist. Cost: Free

December 4, 2010

St. Peter’s Preschool & Kindergarten’s Santa’s Breakfast & Festival. 8am at 700 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary. Festival includes hot breakfast, photo ops with Santa, games, bounce house, face painting, silent auction, raffle and music. Cost: $7 adults $5 for children. All day activity tickets for children will be $6.

Oviedo Historical Society’s Holiday Tree Lighting 5:30pm at Oviedo’s Lawton House. 200 W Broadway Street, Oviedo. Free food, holiday music, a visit from Santa at 6:30pm followed by the tree lighting. Cost: Free

December 11, 2010
Lake Mary Historical Museum presents A Visit from Father Time. 4pm at 158 N Country Club Road, Lake Mary. Storytelling by Father Time with autograph pictures. Reservations are required for this event. Cost: $5 for adults, $2 for children.

Oviedo Gymnasium & Aquatic Facility’s Snow Mountain. 5:30pm at 148 Oviedo Blvd, Oviedo. 60 tons of snow for playing, entertainment area, carnival games, bounce house, craft fair and a visit from Santa. Cost: Tickets bought in advance are $5. Tickets bought that day will be $10.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Review: The Search for Santa Paws

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, it’s time to really get into the Christmas spirit.

Break out the tree, the lights, the ornaments and the Christmas DVDs.

Oh, and the hot chocolate and popcorn.

What better way bring in the holiday season then with a new Christmas DVD?

The Search for Santa Paws is a heartwarming movie that is about the true spirit of Christmas.

Santa and his best buddy, Paws, learn that the children of the world have lost the true meaning of Christmas and decide to change this by making a trip to New York City. A mishap leaves Santa without his memory and Paws is in charge of saving Santa... and Christmas.

The Search for Santa Paws is a hit with Roo and while the stuffed dog part kinda freaks me out, it's all about her... not me. :)

She's watched it a dozen times, plus she loves the bonus features of the DVD which includes a sing-along video, a music video by Debby Ryan and Huckleberry Hero, the elf dog.

Disney has another Christmas classic with The Search for Santa Paws, one that will delight the entire family.

The Search for Santa Paws is on store shelves now.

I was compensated for this post. All opinions are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


A whole day devoted to eating.

What could be better?

Yup, family.

I'm spending the day being thankful that I have such a wonderful family.

Enjoy yours.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday Photo Editing Tips a La NYTM

Photography is huge in our household.


My husband is a photographer, but he’s old-school. Meaning that he doesn’t use digital, everything is wet-plate or medium format.

So that leaves all the memory taking to me, Mom.

And I take my responsibilities seriously.

I always carry my digital point and shoot and spend the entire play date trying to get that one perfect shot of my girls together.

Sometimes I get the best spot, but the lighting is wrong or the coloring needs to be tweaked, just a bit.

Thank goodness for photo editing, it has become a lifesaver to me.

It makes me feel on par with my husband’s photographic skills when I can take a so-so picture I took at the park and change it into a stunning, colorful image that pops!

Take that, old school.

My 5 tips for editing and creating beautiful digital photo projects are as follows…

And hold the phone, you don’t need to be a pro or married to one to take beautiful images, just go for it and you’d be surprised at what can come out of perseverance.

Okay, my tips.

1- Cut, cut, cut.
Cropping helps out photos a lot. You can chop out that other kid coming down the slide or that tree in the back that has the creepy branches. Utilize your crop tool to get up close and personal too. You can crop out anything that takes away from the image of your children.

2- Tune it up.
Editing software has all these great sliding adjustors that can make (and break, so be careful) a photo. Change up your saturation to make the colors bolder. Brightness can lighten up a dark subject matter. Contrast can mix it up.

3- Effects, baby.
Sometimes changing a photo from color to black and white, or sepia can really change the whole impact. Make your photo vintage with tinting or crisp it up with the sharpening tool. Play around with the effects to give your photo a one-of-a-kind outcome.

4- Add text
Adding words to a photo can help tell your story and its fun to get creative with colors and fonts. Use bright colors on black and white photos or use contrasting colors to make your words bold.

5- Frames
The addition of frames to pictures brings that photo to a whole new level. Frames can make your art whimsical or contemporary (depending on which frame you use). It is also a nice extra when you’re emailing a photo instead of framing it and mailing it through snail mail.

In conclusion, editing tools can really change the overall look of your photos. Changing the slightest hint to your pictures, whether it be cropping or adding a frame to it, really makes explode with personalization… plus, it makes you look like a pro when you are not even close to one.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Adobe blogging program, making me eligible to receive a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”


The one thing I love so much about Disney is that it never fails me.

Visiting its theme parks makes me happy and their movies always deliver.

Tangled is no exception.

I was lucky enough to take Roo to an advanced screeing of Tangled this past weekend and we were both super excited to go.

It was all Roo could take about that morning.

She even got to wear her Rapunzel shirt and two armfuls of Tangled character Silly Bandz.

I have to be honest with you, I wasn't too familar with the original story of Rapunzel. All I knew was the line: "Rapunzel, Rapunzel Let Down Thy Hair."

Sad, I know.

But in my defense Roo is just now getting into the whole Fairy Tale/Princess thing.

After some internet research, I was educated and ready to enjoy Disney's spin on the classic.

Again, Disney does not fail me.

In Tangled, there is royalty, greed, two adorable and funny sidekicks (Maximus and Pascal), a hunky theif named Flynn Rider, 70 feet of golden magical hair and a cast iron skillet.

Disney went 3D on Tangled and after getting use to things coming off the screen at you (I) compeletly forget and get thoroughly absorbed in the action and love.

Ah, love.

A Disney movie is not complete without love.

It's a given that Rapunzel would fall in love with Flynn and how could she not... he smolders.

I truly fell in love with Tangled.

So much so that I got so caught up in all the emotion... so much so that I cried... twice.

Roo loved everything about Tangled, especially Maximus and on the way home asked if we could train her favorite horse to be just like him.

If only.

Tangled is a great family film and has taken over my first place spot as Best Disney Movie.

Tangled opens in theatres today in Disney 3D (also available in 2D in certain theatres)>

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Review: Tiny Prints

I love stationery.

Paper to me is beautiful.

I think it's a writers thing because my husband looks at me like crazy when I start drooling over invitations and cards.

Ever since I can remember I have loved TinyPrints.

They offer everything under the sun that an obsessed paper lover could want or need.

From TinyPrints: "Tiny Prints provides simple, modern and unique stationery from Christmas cards to personalized greeting cards to thank you cards and even business cards. Offering exclusive designs from the nation’s top designers, easy card personalization, a powerful preview engine and top-notch customer service and paper quality, their designs have been lauded by numerous television networks, publications and celebrities. With Tiny Prints by your side the Holidays will be a cinch! They offer perfect party invitations for every occasion and memorable personalized photo-gifts like notebooks, photo-books and calendars. "

I recently got the chance to pick out some holiday cards from TinyPrints and let me be honest with you, I spent three hours on their site picking cards, arranging photos, choosing fonts and finalizing all the details.

It was exhausting and thrilling at the same time.

There were so many options that you are guaranteed to find the perfect Christmas card for your friends and families.

One of my favorite options was the snowflake tag.

I also loved Fanciful Wish and Joyful Type.

I won't show you a picture of the final card because my whole family reads this blog and I want them to be surprised when they get their cards in the mail (because who doesn't love getting cards in the mail? I do. Hint hint).

But I am overjoyed with the final print.

Seriously, I want to line my hallway with these gorgeous cards.

Head on over to TinyPrints and start your cards today. Their Studio Basics line starts at just $0.69 a card!

Want to review your own cards from TinyPrints? Click here for more info.

I was compensated for this post. All opinions are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

NYTM Cooks: Fudgy Peppermint Torte

Baking Season has arrived in our household.

Baking Season is the time between November and December where all I want to do is be in the kitchen with the stand mixer making delightfully yummy treats to share with everyone under the sun.

It’s heaven.

Yesterday I started out with a bang and made a Fudgy Peppermint Torte.

Now, this is my first torte but I think we did pretty well.

The recipe is as follows:

1 ½ cups butter, softened
3 ¼ cups packed brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups baking cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 ½ cups cold water

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
½ cup confectioners’ sugar, divided
¼ tsp peppermint extract
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup crushed peppermint candies, divided

In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg is added. Add in vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking power, salt and baking soda in separate bowl; add to the creamed mix alternatively with water, mix well.

Pour batter into 9” round baking pans (I sprayed mine with PAM Baking Spray). Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

In small bowl, beat whipping cream until thick. Add ¼ cup of confectioners’ sugar and peppermint extract; beat until soft peaks form.

In another bowl, beat the cream cheese and remaining confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Fold into the whipping cream then add ¾ cup of peppermint candies.

Place bottom layer of cake on a plate, frost and then add another layer of cake. Repeat until you run out of cake. Refrigerate cake for at least one hour then sprinkle with remaining peppermint candies then serve.


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MyBlogSpark: Kix Giveaway

This contest is closed and the winner has been notified. :) Thanks!

Did you know that 84% of parents usually dole out cereal and milk for breakfast to their kids?

Yeah, I'm so guilty of doing this.

I mean, come on, you're exhausted from being up all night with the baby and when the toddler tells you that she's hungry, cereal is the easiest thing to make.

Sure, there are times when I'll go out and make a whole complete breakfast, but who does that everyday?

Kix, a favorite in our house, has been around for 70 years. 70 years! That's a long time and if you've been hanging around the breakfast table for that long you know they've got their stuff straight.

Besides, they are yummy.

Kix is “Kid-Tested Mother-Approved®”and is made with whole grain corn. It's a great source of iron, calcium, fiber, and Vitamins C and D. The Original Kix has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

I recently received a yummy Kix pack that included Original and Honey Kix, along with some Kid-Tested Mommy Approved games. A huge floor puzzle that Roo mastered in minutes (I'm so proud!) and a ring of flashcards to work on her mathematical skills.

Both products (and the Kix) were a huge hit in our house.

Want them to be a big hit in your house?

Yup, you guessed it: A GIVEAWAY!

The folks at Kix have given me a Kix Prize Pack to giveaway to one of my lucky readers!

All you need to do is tell me your favorite breakfast meal.

Extra entries can be earned by following my blog through your email, subscribing to GCF, following me on twitter or tweeting about this contest with this message:

I want Kix from @NYTMBlog! http://bit.ly/9gRa3y #myblogspark

Easy peasy!

Please leave one comment for each entry and make sure you leave a valid email address so I can contact you if you win.

Contest will run until November 30, 2010.

Good Luck!

Kix provided me with a gift pack, information, and additional gift pack to giveaway through MyBlogSpark™. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nursing at the Magic Kingdom

Recently on a trip to the Magic Kingdom, I brought along my 8 month old babe.

Knowing I would need to nurse, I snatched up a map and plotted out where the Baby Care centers were.

And was immediately disappointed because the Magic Kingdom (like Epcot) only has one Baby Care center.

And it's at the front of the park (located by the Crystal Palace).

I disliked this because what if I'm spending all my time in Mickey's Toon Town and need to nurse? What if I'm stuck on Tom Sawyer's Island?

Sure, there are benches everywhere at Disney, but sometimes a Mom wants some privacy and not a bunch of kids trying to figure out what she's doing on that bench with that baby.

On the flip side, the Baby Care Center was really nice. The nursing room had privacy, comfy rocking chairs and it was dimly lit.

Another advantage to the Baby Care Center is that it was stocked with an attendant (Cast Member) who had all sorts of baby necessities to purchase. There were diapers, toys, medicines, whatever you needed if you forgot to pack it yourself.

As it turned out, I did need to nurse the babe while on the other side of the park so I just plopped down on the ground (every where else was crowded with people waiting for the fireworks) and nursed away. No one bothered me, there were no kids pointing but as I nursed my babe, I thought it sure would be nice to be in a comfy, padded rocking chair instead of this floor.

Oh well, maybe in the future Disney will add some more.
More information about Disney's Baby Care Centers can be found here.

I received Disney tickets and was able to produce this article because of them. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please ask if you have any questions.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Celebrating the Season: Mickey's Christmas Party

I can remember the first time I went to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. I can remember the cookies, the hot chocolate and the parade...

And when I had babies, I knew I wanted to share this experience with my girls.
What kid doesn't love all things Mickey and Santa?

We had the opportunity to visit Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and my oldest was in heaven.
All the lights twinkling, the toy soldiers all over the place, the cookies and the snow! Oh, the snow.
I had to keep a tight grip on her hand while she was walking because she was staring at the sky looking for snow the entire night (only on Main Street!).
I love the Very Merry Christmas Party because it's not as crowded as a normal visit to Disney is, plus it's at night and (sometimes, if you're lucky) the weather is perfect.

It rained on our visit, but we wouldn't let that get us down.
One of my favorite rides: The People Mover!

We were able to hit all of our favorite rides with minimal wait time (the longest we waited was 10 minutes for Peter Pan's ride). There was no waiting at Goofy's Barn Stormer Roller Coaster so we were able to ride it twice in a row.

It was a relaxing trip. We weren't rushed or hurried in anyway. It was just so enjoyable.

Cinderella's Carousel (Did you know that the story of Cinderella is displayed on the top part of the carousel as it moves?).

And the fireworks.

Oh, Disney does me proud with their fireworks.

It was Ah-ma-zing!

My oldest was surrounded by exploding fireworks and she was squealing with delight the entire time (I got so emotional watching how happy she was that I cried).

Everything about Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is magical.

It is a must have for every Christmas season.

I received tickets to visit Disney for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party for this review. All opinions are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Great Distracted Breastfeeding Baby

As Turtle gets older, there are more and more things to distract her while nursing.

My oldest running through the room shrieking like a rooster, the dog outside barking, the fan circling above her head.

It can get frustrated when all I want to do is feed her and she’s squirming like a monkey trying to get out of my arms.

I get frustrated and can put me in a funk.

I just want to feed my baby!

I’ve tried wearing necklaces for her to play with, jingling keys over her head, talking to her, cooing to her, pinning her down… just kidding on that last one.

Nothing works.

But occasionally, exhaustion will work.

Sometimes Turtle will be so tired that she’ll snuggle in my arms, latch on and eat until her belly is full and I’m content.

And it’s pure bliss.

Moments like that make all the bad feedings disappear and everything around us falls away and nothing can break the bond we’ve created together.

And all is right in the world again.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dear Roo: 40 some odd months

Ah, Roo... where do I begin with you?

I could start with all the dirt you like to play in... or how much you love the sand at the beach... or how good of a sleeper you are.

But I won't.

I'll just tell you that I adore you so much. You're my first born, my baby, my heart... Words sometimes can't even describe the amount of pride I feel when I look at you.

And I do that a lot.

I stare at you.

And you laugh at me and tell me to stop.

You also tell me I'm crazy, which I secretly love.

There's no secret about how much I love you.

And there never will be.



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Review: Snack & Play

We spend a lot of time in our car.

A lot.

Maybe too much... but that's a whole other post.

We spend so much time in our car that every day before we pack up and leave for the day, I ask my oldest what toys, books, crayons, etc that she wants to take with her for the drive.

Recently, she's been coloring while we drive... and complaining that her legs don't make an adequate surface (my words, not hers).

Enter the StarKids Snack & Play Table.

The answer to her prays for an adequate surface (again, mine not hers).

The StarKids Snack & Play Table is great for any length car ride.

We tested it out on a trip to the beach this past weekend and her DVD player sat perfectly on it, along with her drink cup.

I love how it's not too heavy for her lap, plus it's padded so it doesn't cause any awkwardness. It also has side pockets for her to put every single toy she insists on bringing.

The Snack & Play table is also super easy to clean and you can just shake it out, literally, if it gets full of crumbs (and you know mine did!).

The downside to the Snack & Play is that it's not fold-able. So if you have a small car like me it takes up some room when she's not using it.

But overall, I love the Snack & Play table, it's going to come in handy on that long drive to Grandma's next month.

You can purchase your very own StarKids Snack & Play table online or at retailers nationwide.

I was compensated for this review. All opinions are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Dear Turtle: And She's Walking (9Months)

My love...

You are a big fan of doing everything in life early.

I always call you my Super Baby and you just keep living up to that name.

Two days ago you took your first steps (and for the record, Daddy swears you did this a week ago, but I wasn't there so I can't verify... ). And then you took another and another.

Today you're walking.

Sure it's a tad wobbly and you do plop down on your butt a lot, but you get right back up and motor on like you meant to fall.

And all the time you're toddling around, you've got this HUGE smile on your adorable face.

And it just melts my heart.

And then I chase you around because while I'm standing there melting, you've taken off again.

So, tell me what's next?

Are you going to sprout off German? Tell me how to do my taxes? Run the farm?

I'm okay with you being Super Baby, totally. Besides, it give me something to brag to all the Moms at the playground about.

I love you,


Monday, November 15, 2010

Miami's Firefighters Are Getting Heated.

From a LeadDog Marketing press release:

Support Miami-Dade Fire Departments as they face-off in a hot competition.

Who: Local families

What: NASCAR Hot and Spicy Fire Department Cook-off

Where: Miami Beach at Lummus Park, Ocean Drive between 7th & 9th Streets

Why: Come support local chefs representing fire departments throughout Miami-Dade County

When: Friday, November 19th at 1:00 p.m.

"Three departments will go head to head in 2 preliminary rounds with the winner of each round advancing to the final cook-off! First round will include a Chicken dish and one sideSecond round will include a Seafood dish and one side. The two Fire Departments that make it to the championship round will be able to cook-up their signature dish!"

Other day activities include: appearances by NASCAR’s drivers, Interactive fan areas from Camping World, Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford, Sony PlayStation kiosks, Coke Zero Stimulator, Stage Giveaways, contests and more!

For more information please visit http://www.nascar.com/promos/championship/drive/2010/index.html

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Celebrate the Season: Universal Orlando

If you can believe it, Christmas is right around the corner.

With less than two months until the big day, it’s time now to start planning. And Celebrating the Season is my favorite things to do with my two daughters.

What kid doesn’t love all things Santa Claus and covered in twinkling lights?

Here at, Not Your Typical Mommy, I'm devoting the upcoming holiday season to letting my readers know about all the fun, festive events going on around Central Florida.

First up: Universal Orlando.

Running through December 4 until January 1, 2011, Universal Orlando is celebrating the season with Grinchmas and Macy's Holiday Parade.

From their press release: "At Universal Studios Florida, the Macy’s Holiday Parade will fill the streets every evening with the sameiconic balloons seen winding through New York City. The parade features colorful holiday characters, floats,balloons and a tree-lighting ceremony by Santa Claus."

And, "At Universal’s Islands of Adventure, adults and children alike will be entertained when the popular Dr. Seussbook “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is brought to life in Grinchmas. Guests can see a live stage showfeaturing The Grinch and The Whos from Whoville with an original recorded musical score by MannheimSteamroller. Also, guests will have the opportunity to meet The Grinch and the strolling Whos, and on selectdates, purchase a spot at a special character breakfast with The Grinch."

Plus, Holiday favorite Mannheim Steamroller performing on December 4th, 11th and 18th.

Universal's on-site hotels will also be putting on amazing Holiday activities including Christmas Tree Lighting, special musical performances, yummy food buffets and more.

For more information on Universal Orlando’s holiday celebration and offers, you can visit www.UniversalOrlando.com/Holidays.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Review: Mrs Prindable's

Apples are, by far, my favorite fruit.

Add chocolate and caramel to that apple and we're talking heaven on earth.

Recently, I received a Mrs. Prindable's gourmet apple to munch on.

First off, I was super impressed by the packaging the apple came in. It was snug and secure in there like it was golden coins, not an apple.

I was so impressed because normally if you order anything chocolate and have it shipped, it's a big melted mess by the time it arrives at its destination.

Secondly, let me say I'm sorry but I have no pictures of the Triple Chocolate Caramel apple I got because it was gobbled up so fast I didn't even have time to take pictures of it.

This apple was so delicious and it was so presentable that we ignored the warning that its best to let the apple thaw for 45 minutes before devouring it.

Who has 45 minutes to spare when your mouth is drooling like that?

Not us.

The chocolate on this gourmet apple was thick and chewy, the chocolate was high quality and, literally, left you wanting more... and more.

Mrs. Prindable's apples are usually about 2 pounds each and can easily serve 8-10 people. Along with the chocolate and caramel confection we downed, you can get dark chocolate raspberry swirl, double chocolate mocha and peppermint bark

If you're mouth is watering (and mine sure is), you can order your own yummy treat directly from Mrs. Prindable's website or wait until the holiday season and pick them up at high end department stores like Lord & Taylor and Saks.

During the month of December, Mrs. Prindable's is giving away an apple a day on their facebook page, so make sure you "like" them for a chance to win.
I was compensated for this post. All opinions are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Florida Friday: Jammed Pack Weekend

This weekend is going to be so busy for me.

There's a ton to do in Central Florida this weekend and I love it, especially because the weather is finally starting to cooperate.

My best picks for this weekend are:

Fantasy of Flight's 4th Annual Roar and Soar Weekend.

The Roar & Soar Event is an All-American themed, family friendly signature event that will include a car and motorcycle show with classic and exotic cars (including Dale Earnhardt's "Pass in the Grass" car for all you Nascar fans). There will also be a Living History Symposium, Slalom car racing, a boat regatta, hang gliders, para gliders, stilt walkers, fun games and food for the entire family. Another great selling point for the Roar & Soar is that in honor of our troops and Veteran's Day weekend, Fantasy of Flight is going to be attempting to break a Guinness World Record for the World's Largest Awareness Ribbon and it will be on display for your viewing pleasure.

Disney's Festival of the Masters

"The 35th Festival of the Masters presented by Sharpie® is a vibrant open-air art festival in the Downtown Disney area. Featuring nearly 150 award-winning artists, discover why this world-renowned show is a much-anticipated annual event for Guests, artists, collectors and art lovers.The inspiring Festival of the Masters presented by Sharpie® is a complimentary open-air art festival featuring nearly 150 award-winning artists in the Downtown Disney® area."

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Because You Are Dying To Know

A Day in the Life

628 AM: Wake up, praying that it’s not too early and that the baby goes back to sleep after nursing (this pray is whispered in myhead the entire nursing).

629 AM: Failure. The baby is awake and, worse, she’s smiling at me. I try not to groan and focus on how cute the sound of her voice is, but honestly, I’m too tired and really want to go back to sleep.

631 AM: Debate in my head if I should yell out (at) my husband and make him get up with her this time. At the same time I wonder if I just lay motionless the baby will miraculously behave and I make it work to my advantage for another thirty minutes.

634 AM: Failure again. She wants to play and the only thing that makes her happy… is me.

635 AM: Fall in love with her gummy smile and snuggle under the covers together.

702 AM: Toddler wakes up and crawls into snuggle.

703 AM: Toddler shouts: I HAVE TO PEE! And snuggle time is over.

706 AM: Breakfast chaos begins as I make breakfast for both kids, wake the husband up, make breakfast for him, get him out the door to work, keep both kids entertained (i.e. not crying) while I shove dishes in the dishwasher and pick up all the scattered toys from the night before and take the trash out.

812AM: Feed the chickens and the dogs.

930 AM: Baby goes down for her 1st nap of the day. I do a quick happy dance, plop the toddler in front of the television and check my email and update my blog. I continue cleaning because it is never done and I make snacks for a hungry girl.

1028 AM: Guilt overruns me and I plop the toddler down at the kitchen table and we do arts and crafts or run around outside until the baby wakes up.

1032 AM: My oldest asks for another snack.

1035 AM: I sneak online to check my email while the oldest cleans up her PlayDoh mess.

1037 AM: Babe wakes up and I nurse her while the oldest twirls circles until she falls down and I laugh at her.

1045 AM: Another snack request and another: I HAVE TO PEE request.

1110AM: I demand everyone stop what they are doing for more snuggling and we pile on the couch for some quality time.

1200PM: Lunch time and more dishes (yes, we make a huge mess in this house).

1212PM: Did I take anything out for dinner? What about laundry? When's the last time I washed any baby socks? I rush around and cram more chores while the baby plays with a tennis ball and the oldest asks for another snack.

1232- 138PM: We all lounge on a blanket outside and dig in the dirt for dinosaur bones. I chase the baby all over the front yard trying to dust all the dirt off of her onesie.

237PM: Nap #2 for the baby and the oldest and I cuddle while I (again) check my email and we talk about shapes and why the sky is blue.

259PM: The oldest and I visit our favorite horses in the barns.

318PM: Snack time! I force myself to eat something healthy when all I really want is leftover Halloween Candy.

338PM: More outside time digging for dinosaur bones and watering the plants in the front yard.

400PM: Baby is up, time to nurse, watch the news and fold the laundry (while wondering where all those baby socks went to). The oldest colors while I figure out what to make for dinner.

405PM: The baby cries if I put her down so I must cook dinner with her on my hip (don't worry, she doesn't get near anything hot).

446PM: Hubby comes home and we all crowded around him like a happy puppy dog wagging its tail.

501PM: Dinner, followed by more playing outside and running through the barns.

656PM: Bathtime, more snuggling, storytime, more cuddling... and more cuddling.

712PM: Hubby takes over the oldest while I nurse the baby, rock her to sleep and lay her down in my bed for nightie night.

832PM: I tuck in and kiss the oldest and off to dreamland she goes.

835PM: I say hello to my hubby before collapsing (softly and quietly like a ninja because like I said, the babe is in our bed) and snoozing.

Exciting, huh?

What did you do today?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Second Harvest Food Bank & Ringling Brothers Circus

Press Release from Bisbee and Company Inc.


NOVEMBER 9, 2010 – As Thanksgiving and the holiday season approach, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® is again collecting food to help stock Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida (SHFBCF)’s pantry shelves. During this difficult economy and as the holidays approach, the agency’s need for food donations is increasing.

For one day only, Thursday, November 18 between 7-9 a.m., Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® is offering Central Florida consumers the opportunity to energize their community and donate non-perishable, unexpired food items in exchange for ticket vouchers to Fully ChargedSM, the all-new 141st Edition of The Greatest Show On Earth®.

A donation of 10 food items entitles each consumer to one ticket voucher, with a limit of four vouchers per household. Vouchers can be redeemed at the Amway Center box office for the Thursday, January 13, 7:30 p.m. opening night performance. Ticket vouchers are available to those who donate while supplies last. Ringling Bros. and SHFBCF are making it easy with drive-through service! No need to find a parking space or carry heavy grocery bags – consumers can even stay in their PJ’s! They can simply drive to the Blue Lot at the Amway Center (located off Hughey Ave, parallel to I-4, just past Hughey and Church), stay in their cars, and volunteers will meet them and exchange ticket vouchers for donations, right through car windows.

Consumers can return to the Amway Center box office between Nov. 26 and January 13 to redeem vouchers for tickets. The Amway Center box office is located on Church Street. Short-term (15 minutes) parking is available in front of the box office on Church Street except during events. The Amway Center box office does not take ticket orders over the phone. Operating hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and three (3) hours prior to any event.

Last year’s food drive generated elephant-sized results. In only two hours, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® collected 5,901 pounds (nearly three tons) of food -- equating to approximately 4,000 meals to feed the needy in Central Florida. Hundreds of Central Floridians participated -- from dads in gym shorts to moms in PJs to young professionals on their way to work. “It was one of the fastest ‘food-raisers’ in our history and we look forward to repeating our success this year,” said Sasha Hausman, development manager for the food bank. SHFBCF secures and distributes food and grocery products to approximately 500 agencies that feed the hungry throughout Central Florida. SHFBCF accepts nonperishable food donations including boxed cereal, stuffing, canned meat, fruit, cranberry sauce, gravy and vegetables. The agency’s most needed items include nonfat dry milk, peanut butter, baby food, and canned tuna, meat, vegetables and fruit.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® will power up Central Florida audiences with acts from all over the globe when Fully ChargedSM plays Amway Center January 13-17, featuring breathtaking dare-devilry, superhuman stunts and never-seen-before performances that spark the imaginations of Children of All Ages! Clowns from the world-famous clown alley charge the audiences’ funny bones, while megawatts of thrills explode out of the ring including The Human Fuse who rockets across the circus skies igniting the power of the people. And of course, amazing animals that spark the audience’s awe and wonder. Experience the current of excitement at Ringling Bros. Fully Charged! All seats are reserved, and tickets go on sale November 26. Ticket prices range from $15-100 (Ticketmaster service charges, handling, and facility fees not included), and are available at www.ringling.com or www.ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster outlet, by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Amway Center box office (phone: 407-440-7900).

For group ticket sales and information, call 866-248-8740.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida: Second Harvest Food Bank is a member of Feeding America — the largest charitable domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States. SHFBCF secures and distributes food and grocery products to approximately 600 agencies that feed the hungry throughout Central Florida. Last year, with the help of numerous donors, volunteers and a caring, committed community, the food bank distributed more than 26 million pounds of grocery products — the equivalent of more than 17 million meals — to partner agencies such as food pantries, soup kitchens, women’s shelters, senior centers, day care centers and Kids Cafes. On average, more than 55,000 different people receive assistance from SHFBCF each week. To learn more about SHFBCF, visit www.FeedHopeNow.org .

About Feld Entertainment: Feld Entertainment is one of the worldwide leaders in producing and presenting live entertainment experiences that lift the human spirit and create indelible memories, with 30 million people in attendance at its shows each year. Feld Entertainment's productions have appeared in more than 70 countries on six continents and include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, Feld Motor Sports, Disney On Ice, and Disney Live! For more information on Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® visit www.ringling.com.

About Amway Center: The Orlando Magic served as the developer of the Amway Center, which will host major national events, concerts and family shows. Opened in the fall of 2010, the facility is owned and operated by the City of Orlando on behalf of the Central Florida Community. The Amway Center was designed to reflect the character of the community, meet the goals of the users and build on the legacy of sports and entertainment in Orlando. The building features a sustainable, environmentally-friendly design and unmatched technology, featuring 1,100 digital monitors, the tallest high-definition videoboard in an NBA venue and multiple premium amenities available to all patrons in the building. For more information, visit www.amwaycenter.com.

One Word Wednesday

Jealous, much?

Okay, maybe that's two but you can see why I'd ask that. :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

MyBlogSpark: Giveaway Yoplait Smoothies

This giveaway is closed and the winner has been notified. Thank you!

Smoothies are big in our house.

Especially when my husband is on a health kick because they are a super easy way to get in a lot of fruit (and sometimes veggies).

BTW: Did you know that seven out of ten people don't eat the recommended amount of two servings of fruit a day (1 full cup).

MyBlogSpark and Yoplait recently sent me a brand spankin' new Kitchen Aid 3 Speed Blender and some coupons to try out Yoplait Frozen Smoothies, which contain one full serving of fruit (1/2 cup) and only 110-120 calories per serving.

So we gave them a test run.

All you need to enjoy the Yoplait Frozen Smoothies is to add a cup of milk (the directions read skim, but we're a 2% family).
The Kitchen Aid 3 speed blender comes with a Smoothie button so all you need to do is fill it up and wah-lah!
The Yoplait Frozen Smoothie is a yummy tasting smoothie and I like how convenient it is to make. No searching for a knife or cutting board. There's no mess to clean up (except the blender which if you do make a smoothie in it to wash it right away, dried smoothie is hard to clean up).
Easy peasy.
Want to feel how easy peasy it is to make your own smoothie?
The folks at Yoplait and MyBlogSpark have given me a Kitchen Aid 3 Speed Blender (with the fancy smoothie button!) to giveaway along with coupons to test out the Yoplait Frozen Smoothie yourself.
You know the drill, all you need to do is leave me a comment and tell me what you put in your smoothie.
Extra entries can be earned by following me via email or GFC.
Contest will run until November 16, 2010.
Please make sure you leave a valid email address so I can contact you if you win!
I was compensated for this post. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Co-Sleeping, YOU SUCK.

Sometimes co-sleeping sucks.

Big time.

Turtle has somehow managed to worm her way into our bed and kick my husband out of it.

Co-sleeping isn't for everyone and I swore when I was a non-parent (what the hell did I know?) that I wouldn't put my kids in my bed. My bed was my bed. They had their own beds so they didn't need mine.

Apparently, I was stupid for even thinking those thoughts.

Roo slept in our bed from the time she was 14 months until she was 2 years old.

Turtle has been in it for about two months and she is showing no signs of ever leaving.

Her crib is pure torture for her. All you need to do to piss her off is just simply place her in it and the wails begin.

With Turtle is our bed you have to move very slowly. It takes me about three minutes to get in or out because I have to be very careful I don't make a sound because she'll wake up all pissed off. And as long as I don't move a muscle while sleeping, she sleeps good.

So it sucks in lots of ways, especially because she kicked my husband out.

But you know what... sometimes I love it.

I love rolling (very slowly) over and seeing her next to me.

I love smelling (very quietly) her skin as she snoozes alongside of me.

I love waking up (mostly at 6am) to her smiling face and happy laughter.

All that loveliness makes co-sleeping not suck so bad.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fear of Daughters

I have a confession… I’m really anxious, nervous, neurotic that my children will grow up to be brats.

I sit and watch that nanny show on television and I freak out with fear that my children will be uncontrollable and cause me epic failure as a mother.

It puts all my parenting techniques into question: Am I doing this right? If I do that will my daughters because spoiled, ingrates that backtalk?

There’s part of me that has toughness when it comes to my children. I am firm with them, I demand certain things of them and when I’m unhappy I let them know. I’m worried that if I am too harsh on them they’ll hate me.

And there’s also a part of me that is such a softie for them. I melt at their requests and if I’ve been stern, I become softer than a liquefying marshmallow. I’m fearful that if I’m too soft they’ll hate me as well.

Sometimes it seems like being a parent is a lose lose situation.

I like to think that this won’t happen… that I’m such a great parent that my daughters will grow up to be respectful, loving, kind and encompass a toughness that isn’t harsh or mean.

And I realize that it is possible to raise kids to be those things.

It is possible to make it a win lose situation (lose only because eventually they grow up and leave us… but that’s another blog post itself).

The one thing I have to realize is that I, we (I do have a husband, remember), have to remain consistent in our parenting. We have to show them love, we have to set rules, and we have to know when to pull back and not helicopter over them.

We have to be firm parents that know what’s best for them.

And as soon as that nanny show is over, my anxiety disappears and I realize that I’m not a horrible parent that there’s a good chance my children won’t be nasty snots. I remember that my husband and I love these girls with every inch of our bodies and souls and that we’ve done a great job of raising them so far. I also remember that I have faith in us as parents… and I have a feeling deep inside that we are going to be okay.

And as long as I quit watching those nanny shows, I’m going to be anxiety free…. Until Roo starts dating.

Giveaway: Cards Direct

This giveaway has ended and the winner has been contacted.

Cards Direct really wants you to send out some holiday cards this year.

So much so that they have given me a $50 gift code to giveaway to one of you so that you don't have any excuses.

Cards Direct offers over 2000 personalized designed cards for business and personal use. They offer super easy online ordering and great customer service.

You can use the gift card for Christmas Cards, photo cards, baby shower invitations, whatever you want.

They're not picky and neither am I!


To win the $50 gift code to Cards Direct, which expires on December 31st, all I need you to do is visit Cards Direct and tell me what you would use the $50 gift code for.

Easy peasy.

An additional entry into this giveaway can be earned by subscribing to my blog via email.

The contest will end November 13, 2010.

Good Luck.

I participated in a Global Influence blog campaign with Cards Direct and received a gift code for running this giveaway. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Search For Santa Paws Sneak Peek

Ah, Christmas...

It's literally right around the corner.

And Disney is the place for great Christmas DVDs. Their newest addition is the Search for Santa Paws.

Here's a sneak peek:

Also, if you pre-order the Search for Santa Paws here, you get a free plush animal along with your DVD.

The Search for Santa Paws hits shelves November 23rd.

I was compensated for this post. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Tangled - Wanted: Hero "Flynn Rider"

With every Disney movie there's also a handsome prince. A knight in shining armor, a savior to rescue the damsel in distress.

Boy, they have always been cuties.

The newest addition to Disney's line of hunky hunks is Flynn Rider.

In Tangled, Flynn Rider tangles with Rapunzel.

In his official bio, because that's how a Disney Prince rolls, is says: "The ultra-confident FLYNN RIDER is his own biggest fan, and he has long relied on his wit, charm and good looks to get out of even the stickiest situation – and Flynn’s life just happens to be full of sticky situations. Flynn is a thief looking for the one last, big score that will allow him to finally live the life he’s always dreamed of. He's never been closer to having it all when he meets Rapunzel, an odd girl with ridiculously long hair. Rapunzel seems to be the only girl in the world immune to Flynn’s moves, and for the first time ever he seems to have met his match. An unlikely alliance with this girl from the tower sends Flynn on the adventure of a lifetime, and helps him realize that sometimes you don’t know what you want… until it hits you over the head… literally. "

Tangled hits theatres in Disney 3D on November 24, 2010.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lucky Star

The other night while chatting with my husband and, of course, we were talking about our girls and I just couldn't get over how in love I am with them.

Sure, every Mom loves their children, no question there... but I mean, I'm in such a happy place with them that it is amazing.

Roo is being an amazing sister and despite the occasional toy snatch, she is wonderful. She listens, she does her thing, she's chill.

Turtle is just being Turtle. A napping crazy baby that has the most beautiful blue eyes and the biggest smile.

I am so lucky.

And I thank my lucky stars every day, every hour that they are mine.

What are you thanking your lucky stars for?

Infantino Mom: Annabel Karmel Part Two

With a whole line of products to help make my baby's life healthier, Annabel Karmel and Infantino have simplified the baby food making process for me (and you too).
Included in the line is the fresh food mill, the steam release microwave dish and the freezer tray.

Now, I have to be honest with you the food mill threw me for a loop. The instructions included with it didn't help me much, so I took to Twitter and asked a friend for some help.

Finally, after fiddling with it and putting my brain back in my head, I figured it out. And it turns out, it's really easy to use.

Basically, you pull out the purple end add the food into the tube, smash it back in and turn the handle.

Roo and I decided to make some apple puree for Turtle.

I peeled some apples and sliced them up.

We put them in the steam release microwave dish and microwaved them for two minutes then popped them in the food mill.

Healthy food, here we come!

I was really pleased with how easy it was to make a meal for Turtle. So much so that we made some strawberry yogurt puree to keep in the freezer for later.

Can you say, yum?

I do and so does Turtle, she doesn't even know she's eating homemade food... and the best part about the entire thing, it's all made with love.
The entire line of Annabel Karmel's food prep can be purchased at Babies R Us.

I am a participant in a campaign with MomCentral and Infantino and have received various Infantino products as part of my participation. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Giveaway:Fantasy of Flight's Roar & Soar Event

This giveaway has closed and the winner has been contacted.

Hey Orlando peeps, have you ever been to Fantasy of Flight?

If not, you need to visit when they have their 4th annual Roar & Soar event taking place on November 13th and 14th.

The Roar & Soar Event is an All-American themed, family friendly signature event that will include a car and motorcycle show with classic and exotic cars (including Dale Earnhardt's "Pass in the Grass" car for all you Nascar fans). There will also be a Living History Symposium, Slalom car racing, a boat regatta, hang gliders, para gliders, stilt walkers, fun games and food for the entire family.

Another great selling point for the Roar & Soar is that in honor of our troops and Veteran's Day weekend, Fantasy of Flight is going to be attempting to break a Guinness World Record for the World's Largest Awareness Ribbon and it will be on display for your viewing pleasure.

Have I caught your interest yet?

Good, because I have a family four pack of tickets to attend Fantasy of Flight's Roar & Soar event.

All you need to do to win is tell me that you want to win.

Easy peasy.

Contest ends Sunday, November 7th.

Please leave a valid email address so that I may contact you if you win. Winners will have the option of picking up tickets in Maitland or having them mailed directly to your house.

I was compensated for this post with tickets to Roar & Soar. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

It's That Time

Can you believe that Christmas is right around the corner?

Part of me wants to groan in disbelief... the other part of me wants to jump around like a little girl because I love Christmas (it's my favorite holiday after Halloween).

One of my favorite things about Christmas (besides the baking) is sending out holiday cheer and the best way for me to do that, especially when all of my side of the family lives in different states) is to send out holiday cards.

Shutterfly is where I go for my Christmas cards because the amount of options they have is ridiculous. From trendy photo cards to traditional holiday cards, you can have your pick of hundreds of choices.

This year was a toughie for us.

Did we want a photo card with the entire family? What about a photo collage card with adorable pictures of our little girls? We could go the simple route and pick a Christmas tree card (which never fails but isn't as cute as our babies).

Again, the choices are crazy.

In the end, we (finally) decided on the Family Wall Noir Christmas Card. It's everything we are not. It's sleek, chic and totally hip. :)

I can't wait to have them in my hands and start licking envelopes.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ahh. Ahhhh. STOP IT!

Turtle has discovered the fact that she has teeth.

Very cute, yes.

But she's also discovered that she can grind them together... and boy, does she!

She delights in grinding those tiny little teeth together while it curls my blood.

Think nails on a blackboard.

It gives me the shivers and makes me freak out.

I can tell her no, move her jaw, stick my finger in her mouth, anything... and it continues.

Oh, boy does in continue.

And I continue to be nauseated by it.

Is she going to hurt her teeth? Chip them? Grind them down?

Egh... my stomach hurts just writing about it...

So, tell me: Did your kids ever grind their teeth?

Giveaway: Wow Wow Wubbzy Fly Me To The Moon

This giveaway is closed.

I think I what I love so much about Wubbzy, besides the :22 minutes of quiet it allows me, is that Wubbzy is so darn stinkin' cute.

I mean, come on, that tale!

I also love that with each episode there's learning involved.

In Wubbzy's newest adventure, "Fly Me To the Moon" Wubbzy, Walden and Widget have to wake up the Man on the Moon, create a spaceship landing, tangle with Space Monsters and more.

Fly Me To the Moon has six episodes to entertain your pre-school (and teach him/her lessons!) and is packed with bonus extras, including coloring sheets and music videos.

Fly Me To the Moon hits store shelves on November 16th.

Want to win your very own copy?

All I need you to do is leave me a comment (along with your email address) and tell me what your kiddo loves about Wow Wow Wubbzy.

Extra entries can be earned by:

Signing up to receive my blog through email.

Following my blog.

Follow me on Twitter

Tweeting about this contest.

Contest ends November 9, 2010.

Want a chance to win an original, one-of-a-kind piece of Wubbzy artwork from series’ creator Bob Boyle? Head on over to Wubbzy's website to enter. No purchase necessary, official rules and more information can be found at Wubbzy's website.

I did not receive anything for this post, no DVD, no compensation. I'm posting this giveaway out of the greatness of my heart. Enjoy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bing "Our School Needs" Voting

Education is important.

Really important

While I don't have kids in the school system, I do have nephews that attend public schooling. And I know that public education is seriously lacking in some areas.

The good folks over at Bing (Bing!) have decided to do something about that.

It's the ">Bing "Our School Needs" Contest.

They have put together a contest where they are awarding a quarter-million dollars in much needed prize money to be divided amongst four schools in need.

And this is where you come in: you get to pick the schools.

The school with the most votes wins $100,000 and three others top voted schools will each get $50,000.

To make this even more rewarding for your favorite school, Bing has also giving away $900,000 through DonorsChoose.org, a non-profit website where public school teachers can post classroom projects that need funding.

If you are one of the first 30,000 to vote for your favorite finalists each day, you will receive a $3 donation code to redeem for the classroom project of your choice!

Voting is live right now and will be open until November 7th.

The voting phase starts Friday, October 29 and runs through Sunday, November 7.

The winners will be announced Tuesday, November 9.

Now, go ">vote!

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Bing and received a gift card and DonorsChoose.org giving code to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Giveaway: Tangled

This contest is closed and winners have been notified. Thank you!

Disney movies have always been really special to me. Ever since I was a kid, it was always such a
big deal when they hit the movie theatre.

Even now, I get excited when I find out that Disney is releasing a new movie.

Tangled, in Disney 3D, is Disney's take on the classic tell of Rapunzel.

From Disney: "When the kingdom’s most wanted—and most charming—bandit Flynn Rider (voice of Zachary Levi) is taken hostage by Rapunzel (voice of Mandy Moore), a feisty teen with 70 feet of golden hair who’s looking for her ticket out of the tower where she’s been locked away for years, the unlikely duo sets off on a hilarious, hair-raising escapade filled with adventure, heart, humor and hair—lots of hair."

And to celebrate the November 24, 2010 opening of Tangled, I have a giveaway for you.

Three winners will each win a Tangled Shirt and a pack of Silly Bandz.

(The available shirt are a Female fit Rapunzel t-shirt in Adult and Youth sizes (S, M, L, XL)- a General fit Flynn Rider t-shirt in Adult and Youth sizes (S, M, L, XL) and a General fit Pascal t-shirt in Adult and Youth sizes (S, M, L, XL).

To enter this giveaway, I just want you to tell me two things. One: What is your favorite Disney movie and two: Which shirt you would like to win. Also, please make sure you leave me your email address so I can contact you if you win.

This giveaway ends on November 24, 2010 (Opening Day!).

I was compensated for this giveaway. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy or email me if you have any questions.

Infantino Mom: Annabel Karmel

I have to be honest with you when both my girls were born, I promised that I would do whatever I could to make sure that everything they ingested would be healthy for them (and yummy too!).
I had dreams of making my own baby food (because, seriously, how hard could it be?) and being awarded the Mom of the Year ribbon from my play date buddies (because they would all be jealous).

And then came the time.

With Roo, I made up some green beans (without a recipe, mind you) and together we sat down. I was all smiles and happy... and then she spit it out all over me.

I wanted to cry.

There went my Mom of the Year ribbon (and the jealously).

With Turtle, I really wanted to make her food but that horrible moment of blended green beans dripping off my face reminded me that sometimes my dreams were bigger than reality.

That was until I came face to face with the newest Infantino products from Annabel Karmel.

Meet my saviors.

Helllllllloooo Lov-ah!

Included in the Annabel Karmel line are: 6 stackable food pots, double decker meal box, fill & freeze puree pops, freeze trays, Fresh Food Mill, Mash & Serve Bowl and the Steam Release Micro Dish.

My favorite from the line is the Mash & Serve Bowl. Whenever Roo is eating her veggies and I want to share with Turtle, all I have to do is scoop some in the bowl and mash them up. Sure, most of the food ends up collected in the mash part, but banging it out repeatedly gets the job down.

One tip for the Mash & Serve Bowl: rinse immediately after using. If you let the food stick it's kinda hard to get the dried food out of the ribs unless you use a fork.

Roo is a big fan of the Fill & Freeze Puree Pops because she is nutso about popsicles and I like them because I control what goes in them.

Another fan favorite, the Double Decker Lunch Box. It is perfect to put a sandwich on top for Roo and purees on the bottom for Turtle and the cute utensils are helpful.

Having the Infantino Annabel Karmel range of feeding products has helped give me that confidence back that I can control what is going in my kids mouth. I feel like Super Mom... and I feel like I really should get that Mom of the Year ribbon (and the jealously too!).

I am a participant in a campaign with Mom Central for Infantino and have received various products as part of my participation. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy or email me if you have any questions.