Sunday, July 31, 2011

Farm Fun!

We decided to take a trip to one of our local farms this weekend. Little Miss is learning about animals and all the sounds they make, so we thought this would be a fun trip to show her some of those animals in person!
Check out the ramp they built for these goats. They literally walk directly above your head! Kinda cool.... kinda scary.

My hubby thought it was cool, but he was also a little nervous! He was holding a bucket of food for the animals and I joked that the goat would leap down onto him to get the food. He slowly stepped away.. haha!
We rode in this really fun cow train that takes you all around the farm. Little Miss loved it!!
And my heart melted for these baby bunnies! They were sooo cute!!

What did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Child's Individual Sense of Style

I have to say that kids these days are very stylish. There are definite pro's and con's to this, but it seems that back-to-school shopping is the time to make a statement with what you wear! Back-to-school is right around the corner and the ads are pouring in for all the latest fashions! I have to admit that the idea of back-to-school (since I'm a teacher) can make me cringe just a little... I do get excited about the new styles, great sales, and fall fashions.

I believe that kids should be able to express themselves through their sense of style. And as a mother of a toddler I am one who knows that they start to develop this sense at a very young age! With the arguments I am facing with my 2 year old about what she should wear, I can only imagine life with a teenager!

Little Miss is such a girly girl! She loves the colors purple and pink... she loves tutu's (really, she would wear one everyday and every where she goes)... she loves shoes!!! She gets that from her mommy. But here is something rather interesting for this girl girl.... she hates dresses. She will only wear a dress when we are going to a party. She likes party dresses, but won't wear one for any other occasion.

Shopping these days have become a lot of fun because my daughter has found her voice and likes to pick out what she likes. We walk around and she points to what she likes. If it has Dora on it she wants it. If it's fluffy she wants it. and if it has sparkles she wants it. And pajamas! This girl and her pajamas. It's one of those things that your kid wants to wear all day long. You know, the item of clothing that you are embarrassed to take them out of the house in but wonder if it's worth the fight to get them changed. Ah, the stubbornness is setting in already.

I am excited to see how her style grows and changes. I am looking forward to more shopping trips and mother-daughter bonding time. I am not looking forward to the fights in the dressing room. Or the inappropriate clothes that she will fight to wear out of the house.

So make sure you browse the ads, watch the commercials, and browse the stores for your kids and yourself. Express yourself in your clothes! Have fun and be sure to get great deals!

Discover the style you want, the quality you expect and the price you love at jcpenney. new look. new day. who knew! shop our stores or online at got a question? visit our Customer Service team online at

More info on jcpenney:

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and jcpenney blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here

10 Tips and Tricks to Get Your Kids to Eat More Vegetables #peasandthankyou

Ahh... eating vegetables. When my daughter started to eat solid food I made a vow to myself that I would provide healthy foods for my daughter. I wouldn't be the house that was filled with cookies and potato chips. My daughter would enjoy broccoli, asparagus, peas, carrots, corn... you name it! I was going to start off right from the start by introducing her to a variety of healthy options.

Well, my daughter had other ideas. In fact, her idea was that she wasn't going to TOUCH a vegetable. Nope, not one. She would spit them out, eat around them, throw them on the floor. Whatever it took to get away with not eating them that's what she would do. So I had to get a little creative to make sure she was getting vegetables into her diet.

Here are some of my tips and tricks for getting my daughter to eat more vegetables:
1. Pouches - Plum Tots makes these veggie pouches that are basically pureed vegetable in a squeezable pouch. They are easy, quick, and so convenient on the go. And here's the best part... my daughter loves them! She can eat them independently and they are all organic and healthy.

2. Mix them in - Yup... hide them. Hide cauliflower in mashed potatoes. Hide carrots in mac and cheese. Make pasta sauce with peppers and mushrooms in them. If they are unrecognizable my daughter will usually eat them.

3. It's all in the juice - I avoided juice for as long as I could. I made it almost two full years with my daughter never tasting a sip. Then my mom ruined it for me by giving her juice at her house. Now it's what she asks for everyday. So once a day she can have some juice. Why not kill two birds with one stone and get the kind that hides the veggies right in there? My daughter doesn't even seem to notice that it tastes different!

4. Make it fun - Let your kids build things or create things with their veggies. Cucumber slices are great for stacking.

5. Let them help - Involve your kids in the food making process and they will probably be more interested in eating what you make. My daughter gets so excited to help me in the kitchen and then she's proud of what she made. She can't wait to show Dadda her yummy dish... but she has to taste it first!

6. Shop till you drop - Let your child pick out what he/she wants. Maybe you're offering something they don't like. Maybe they will be more willing to try something they picked. It's also really fun to shop with your little one when they are involved. They tend to stay more interested and thus happier!

7. Mix it up - Pick some fun and yummy sauces to go with your vegetables. Dipping things always makes them more fun and adds some flavor! I know I prefer my veggies with a ranch sauce, so maybe your kids will too!

8. Cook it up - Sometimes food tastes different when it's served hot or served with something else. My daughter eats broccoli when it's mixed with pasta, but she won't come within 10 feet if it's just raw sitting on her plate.

9. Lead by example - Don't expect your kid to eat veggies while you chow down on pizza. Eat what they're eating and let them know how yummy it is! My daughter loves to share, so we make a sharing game and mommy eats one and she eats one.

10. If at first you don't succeed - These words of wisdom are straight from my pediatrician. I was totally discouraged when my daughter wasn't getting enough veggies. He told me to keep offering. Keep them in front of her. Give several choices. It could take quite a few times before she will even taste it, but one she might and she might even like it and want it again!!

Getting your kids to eat vegetables can be tough. But getting creative, looking for great products, and being persistent will help on this journey. If you have any tips on how you get your kids to eat their veggies let me know! I am always looking for new ideas, recipes, tricks, and treats to make the most of meal time!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Peas and Thank You blogging program for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Accent Studios Review

I love decorating my home with vinyl decals. I think they look so fantastic! You can get such bold colors and great designs. But my favorites are always the quotes or sayings. A few words on a wall can say so much about you and your family. 

I was recently given the opportunity to work with Accent Studios on a review of their vinyl decals. I was given the opportunity to choose my own design. I spent a lot of time browsing their selection because they have so much to offer! They have great designs for kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms, and more. I, of course, was drawn to the kids section and that's where I found the perfect decal for my daughter's nursery.

My daughter's room is a teddy bear theme and this is the decal I found...... Snuggles and Cuddles

This picture was taken during the installation. I have installed quite a few decals in my day and this one was the easiest and most successful. Accent Studios took an extra step to help with installation by providing guide marks. This decal came in two parts.... "Snuggles and Cuddles" was one piece and "are welcome here" was another piece. They actually provided markers on each piece so all you had to do was line them up.

The picture above illustrates the guide markers. One set was brown triangles and on the next piece all I had to do was match up the pink triangles to create the square. This made my installation so easy and my decal came out straight and even. I haven't seen this helpful trick on any other decals and I really appreciated it!

Ta-da! I love the decal! It's the perfect size to go over her dresser and the colors are so bold. I loved that I was able to choose the two colors in my design, pink and brown, and that I was able to view the design with the colors on their website. The entire process was easy and the end product is great!

I would highly recommend you check out Accent Studios. Not only do they have a great selection, but they also have really great prices. Sometimes decals can run pretty high and I felt all their prices were fair. Their site is well organized and I love how interactive it is with picking your designs and colors and being able to view it. They offer different sizes for the decals so you can fit it to your home and needs. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mine, Mine, Mine!

I think my daughter's new favorite word is mine. As an only child she doesn't have to share often. Whenever we have play dates she is so excited to have new friends over that she practically hands over all her toys. She just stands there and smiles as other kids play with her toys. But with mommy and daddy everything is hers. My iPad... hers. My phone.... hers. Even when I want to hug my husband she wants him all to herself!

Well, this weekend she shocked me. We went to a birthday party for one of her best little buddies. She's always an easy going kid who is just thrilled to be someplace new and play. But at this party she turned into a little monster at present time. Everything was hers! She even went so far as so rip open one of the birthday girl's presents! I know this is probably totally normal and typical of most 2 year olds. But I was so embarrassed! Where did my sweet little sharer go?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Winners! has chosen our winners for Photo Card Creations and Plow and Hearth S'more Maker Giveaways!!

Photo Card Creations - #3 Krista
Plow and Hearth - #65 GabbyLowe

Congratulations to our winners! E-mail notifications have been sent. The winners will have 48 hours to respond or we will have to choose another winner.

Thank you to everyone who entered!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

It's Gettin' Hot in Here!

Today we are having a heat wave! Our current temperature is 97 degrees, but it feels like 105 degrees. Woowza! I got in my car this afternoon and I couldn't even touch my steering wheel. The air felt heavy because it was so humid. Now we are home relaxing in the air conditioning, but I am not interested in cooking dinner because I don't want to heat the kitchen up!

Normally we would be out keeping cool in the pool and the sprinkler, but it's almost too hot for that! I would need to crawl into the baby pool with my daughter just to be able to stand being outside. I feel bad for keeping my little one inside all day... but I don't know what else to do. I think tomorrow we will go to the local museum. It will be air conditioned and it's something fun and different to do

What are you doing to keep cool?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Time to Vent...

Being a mom is seriously the best job in the world. There is nothing I would rather do than play with  my daughter, hold her when she cries, watch her when she sleeps. But the trouble is that you can't just be a mom. You can't devote your entire day to your child... even though they deserve it... and sometimes demand it.

My daughter is a little over two and at the age where she does play independently for periods of time and will sit and watch an episode of Mickey Mouse without a peep. But she wants me to play with her. And she gets frustrated easily. And she is always wanting things just out of reach and needs me to get it. And she tests her boundaries. And she's getting more adventurous and climbing. Yes... all these things add up to me not being able to go too far from where she is or getting to involved in any other task that requires time.

Basically I can't make phone calls... she will scream while I'm on the phone. I can't vacuum.... terrified of the vacuum. I can't take a shower... hates to be contained in the pack n play. I can't blog... she is literally hanging on my arm saying "momma" as I type this. I can't fold laundry.. it ends up all over the house as she "helps" me. I can't eat.... she wants whatever I am having.

There are a lot of things that I can't do these days. I don't mind... because time with my daughter trumps anything else. But now I have to live with the frustration that my house is a mess. I clean bathrooms at 11:00 at night when I'm exhausted. I spend way more time in my pajamas than any woman should. My husband would gladly take my daughter as soon as he gets home from work so I can clean or shower. But then I am missing the small 2 hour window that we are all together and everyone is awake.

All of this adds up to guilt, frustration, a messy house, a to-do list with nothing checked off, and unnecessary freak outs by me. Does anyone out there have any words of wisdom? How do you make it all work?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hatley Pajamas Review and Giveaway

I absolutely adore pajamas! I am always on the look out for cute ones for my little girl. I think kids look so cozy in pj's. And I feel like they all of a sudden look younger when you get them dressed for bed. They are just so cuddly in pj's!! 

With summer fully underway we realized we were short on summer pajamas. It's been very hot and we really needed more light weight pj's. Through my searching I came across this great store called Hatley. They had an adorable selection of pajamas! So I was thrilled to be given the chance to check out a pair of their pajamas in person and tell you what I think.

While their selection is pretty big, I had no trouble picking out the perfect pair for my daughter. As soon as I saw the "Bearly Sleeping" pajamas I knew they were perfect for my daughter who adores bears. 

I am thrilled with these pajamas! The minute you feel them you know they are high quality. The material is sturdy but not heavy. The bear on the shirt is fuzzy, which my daughter loves! And there is no tag in the back to bug her, the information is printed directly on the inside of the shirt. We have worn and washed these pajamas several times and there has been so shrinking or pulling. They look brand new!

The only suggestion I would make is to maybe order up a size. I ordered a 3T because pajamas tend to be snug on my daughter. She is on the taller side, but these fit her perfectly and she just turned 2. So if you have a petite child the normal size should be fine, but if your child came out 9 pounds 11 ounces, you may want to order up.
Hatley doesn't only offer unique and stylish pajamas. They also offer a wide selection of items for women, men, boys, girls, and infants. You can find everything from sleepwear to rain gear. They even have a Gift and Kitchen section. You should check out their great aprons.

I would also recommend that you check out Hatley on Facebook and Twitter. This way you can stay up to date on products, sales, and more. 

GIVEAWAY: One Lucky Reader will win a pair of pajamas of their choice from Hatley!
HOW TO ENTER: Leave a separate comment for each entry and be sure to leave your e-mail address!

MANDATORY ENTRY: Become a fan of Hatley on Facebook. Please leave your facebook name (First name and last initial is fine).

1. Follow my blog
2. Follow me on Twitter (1 entry) and tweet about this giveaway (1 entry per tweet - one tweet per day and be sure to mention @HatleyStore)
3. Enter another one of my current giveaways (a list can be found top right - 1 extra entry for each one you enter!)
4. Grab my button and tell me where it is (3 entries)
5. Follow Hatley on twitter 

This giveaway is open to US and Canada.
This giveaway ends on July 29, 2011 at 5:00 pm EST. One winner will be chosen by and notified by e-mail. Please respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected. Good Luck!

* Please note that the product(s) mentioned above were received free of charge. All opinions expressed were my own and have not been influenced in any way. Please view my disclosure policy above.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

10 Tips to Make Life Easier on the Go

As moms, we know we are always on the go. I think I spend more time in my car than in my house. And running around with a toddler is not easy. We are pretty much guaranteed that one of the two dreaded things will happen... they will either fall asleep even though it's not nap time and screw up their nap time... or they will have a meltdown because they are tired, hungry, want something they see in a store, or just plain cranky!

It's important for us moms to stick together and share our helpful tips on how to keep things under control and maybe even a little easier while we are on the run. I have a few "must haves" and "must do's" that I will share with you. While these won't guarantee an uneventful day... they have saved me in a few situations.

1. Diaper Bag - Have one fully stocked and ready at the door. How many times has something come up last minute - a trip to the pediatrician, a last minute play date at the park, or just a plain "I'm running late and can't even think about what I need." These spur of the moment trips pop up at my house all the time! So I keep a fully stocked diaper bag ready to go so I can grab it and feel confident that I have everything I need.

2. Coupon Organizer - My coupon book saves me so much time! I can easily flip through to the section I need and see if I have any coupons at a particular stop. I also keep all my gift cards in there so I have them should I happen to stop someplace unexpectedly.  I hate stopping at a store to pick something up and having one of those "oh I had a giftcard!" moments. I keep this organizer in the glove compartment of my car so I always have it.

3. iPad - This has been a life saver for me! I can throw it in my bag because it's light and pretty small. I have it loaded with games and videos that can keep my little one entertained should we hit traffic, have to wait for an appointment, or even at a restaurant when she gets restless.

4. Date Book or Planner - My sanity! I have to write everything down immediately as I schedule it. And I need to be able to reference it before scheduling anything new. It keeps me on track with where I need to be and when. Before I started carrying one I would miss appointments and double book myself more than I would care to admit.

5. Camera in the Car - Or on your phone. Either way.. have one accessible at any moment! With kids, you are pretty much guaranteed a photographic moment at any second!

6. GPS System - Ever gotten lost? I have! I have no sense of direction. My GPS has saved me and gotten me back on track so many times. Talk about a time saver!

7. Stocked Car - I stock my car with everything! I have an entire changing station in my trunk with diapers, wipes, diaper cream, and changing pad. I also have toys, books, snacks, and a change of clothes because you just never know.

8. Plan Ahead - Know where you are going and what's in that area. I try to look for restaurants and parks in areas that I travel to that are a little farther from home. This way we have a place to eat if we need to... and a place to run off some energy should we need to.

9. Travel Coffee Mug - I keep one in my car at all times. I start my day with it full and have it handy for quick stops on the go. It's better for the environment and most places will give you a discount for using your own mug. Sweet deal!

10. Emergency Kit - This one is really important. It will make your life easier if an emergency comes up. And the peace of mind alone will make your life easier knowing you have it. I keep a kit with a first aid kit, emergency contact info, water, food, a blanket, and a few other essentials in my car at all times. This way should something arise I am cool, calm, collected, and prepared.

The life of a busy mom is never an easy one. Keeping up with the demands of school, sports, play dates, doctors, family events, and more is enough to drive anyone crazy. But as moms, we handle it in stride... with a little help from our tips and tricks and lots of coffee to keep us going!! With this hot summer heat a Seattle's Best Coffee Iced Latte would do just the trick to keep you going. Click here to get a coupon to save $1.50 on a 4 pack!!

This summer, Seattle’s Best Coffee® is introducing the Official Latte of Pretty Much Everything. The convenient grab-and-go cans fit perfectly with a mom’s hectic schedule. The kids are home from school and looking for fun activities to fill their days and life as a mom just shifted into high gear for the summer months! The delicious, refreshing iced latte from Seattle’s Best Coffee® is an effortlessly bring-alongable quick pick-me-up to help you get through the day on the go. With three tasty options, Seattle’s Best Coffee® Iced Lattes are officially the easiest way to enjoy a cold, creamy latte wherever life takes you this summer. Where would you enjoy a can of iced latte this summer? On your way to early morning yoga class, or in the car on a family adventure? Savor one at a summer grill get-together or fresh from your beach bag when you’re having fun in the sun! Seattle’s Best Coffee® Iced Lattes are the official latte of pretty much everything! 

Sounds fantastic to me! I will be printing this coupon and looking for this sweet little pick me up!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Seattle’s Best Coffee blogging program for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” 

What Does Summer Look Like?

She's so happy to just be in the water! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Have a Laugh - Volumes 3 & 4 Review

I am so excited to say that Mickey Mouse is a favorite in our house! I grew up on Disney. We watched Disney cartoons, went to see all the Disney movies as soon as they came out, visited Disney World every year. The whole family just adored Mickey and everything associated with him. So when my daughter started to show an interest in "Mouse" I just ran with it.

We really started her on Mickey's Clubhouse because it's very age appropriate. While it's definitely a show parents can watch with their kids and enjoy it, it is geared towards young children. So when I was given the opportunity to check out Have a Laugh - Volumes 3 & 4 I jumped at it. This could be a great way to introduce my daughter to some of the classic cartoons while still keeping her engaged and entertained.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment releases HAVE A LAUGH: Volumes 3 & 4 on DVD! Classic shorts featuring Mickey, Donald, Goofy & Pluto are fully restored and re-mastered! Both volumes also include brand new "Re-MICKS" features, which are comprised of modern musical hits under classic cartoon clips!

Volume 3 Synopsis:
Set sail for the high seas of hilarity when Mickey, Goofy and Donald go a-whaling and wind up going overboard – literally! Bark with laughter as Pluto is dogged by a pesky gopher who’s making mincemeat of Minnie’s garden. Then, have a ball with Goofy as he hits the links and – BLAM! – his “relaxing” game of golf goes outrageously awry.

Fully restored and remastered, these amazing cartoons also feature a new “Re- MICKS” – a mash-up music video of crazy cartoon clips remixed to the hit song, “I Gotta Feeling” from the Black Eyed Peas. It’s a novel approach to uproarious classic comedy that’ll make you laugh out loud. Bursting at the seams with surprises, Have a Laugh – Volume 3 will tickle your funny bone till it hurts!

Volume 4 Synopsis:
Have an outrageously g’day with Mickey and Pluto when their adventure Down Under goes way over the top, thanks to a wayward boomerang and a humongous ostrich. Kick up your heels with Donald as his fireside hula dance “heats up” hilariously. Then, ride a tide of laughs with Goofy as he tries to catch a wave and – BLAM! – gets clobbered by his surfboard.

Fully restored and re-mastered, these incredible cartoons also feature a new “Re- MICKS” – a mash-up music video of crazy cartoon clips remixed to the hit song “Play My Music” from Camp Rock. It’s a bold, new approach to classic comedy that’ll make your spirits soar. Overflowing with fun and surprises, Have a Laugh – Volume 4 will paste a permanent smile on your face!

These DVD's are a huge hit in my house! It's really something the entire family can enjoy together. My daughter also LOVED the Remick to "I Gotta Feeling" by Blac Eyed Peas. She was dancing up a storm and laughing at all the silly things the different characters were doing.

I love that these DVD's keep the classic shorts alive. It's a great way to kick back and laugh with your favorite Disney characters! Each DVD runs for approximately 65 minutes and retails for about $19.99.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Seventh Generation Free & Clear Diapers Review and Giveaway!

Oh wow, I can't tell you how much time I spend obsessing over diapers. It started out when my daughter was first born and I researched until I was blue in the face to find out what the best diapers were. I wanted to be sure that I covered all the major bases... that they were gentle on my daughter's skin and prevented diaper rash (as much as is humanly possible), that they prevented leaks (as much as is possible... haha!), and that they didn't break the bank - because let's face it... we are going to be buying a lot of diapers!

Well, for all you moms out there on this hunt to find a great diaper... let me share my thoughts about Seventh Generation's newly re-launched free and clear diapers!

With the same great performance that parents have come to expect from Seventh Generation, Free & Clear diapers have a brand new look that makes it `clear´ what makes them so special. 

What Seventh Generation leaves out is just as important as what they put in. Free & Clear diapers do not include chlorine processing, fragrances, latex and petroleum based lotions. In an effort to contribute less overall landfill waste and continue to ensure a premium standard of absorbency, the new Free & Clear diapers have been redesigned with a lighter-weight core. With processed chlorine-free wood pulp in Free & Clear diapers, Seventh Generation also makes certain that no chlorine is released into the environment during the totally chlorine-free (TCF) whitening process of the diapers and training pants. 

Seventh Generation has also reduced the size of the diapers´ plastic packaging, meaning that each pack now contributes even less overall landfill waste than before. In fact, Seventh Generation Free & Clear diaper packaging can now be recycled at local supermarkets where plastic bag recycling collection boxes are available. 

I absolutely love that these diapers are completely free and clear. I have learned over the last 2 years that my daughter has pretty tough skin, but I still prefer anything that is free of unnecessary fragrances, chlorine, or other chemicals. I also love how environmentally friendly Seventh Generation is. They take extra steps to be sure that their products and packaging cause as little damage as possible to our landfills. I can only imagine the number of diapers in our landfills... ahhh!

I was also pleased with the performance of the diapers. My daughter is very active and I need a diaper that can stay in place and absorb well. I feel like these diapers do that. They aren't as cute to look at as some other brands because they are very plain in design. But really, they're diapers... they don't need to be cute! And the color of the diaper takes a little getting used to. Since they're not white I thought they looked a little dirty at first. But you get used to it and know they aren't white for a good reason.

You can find Seventh Generation diapers in your local food store and at major retailers. You can also find them online at Amazon. The diapers are available in sizes 2-6.

If you click HERE you can download a $2.00 off coupon good on one Seventh Generation product (diapers, training pants, or wipes).

GIVEAWAY: One Lucky Reader will win a package of Seventh Generation's free and clear diapers in the size of their choice!
HOW TO ENTER: Leave a separate comment for each entry and be sure to leave your e-mail address!

MANDATORY ENTRY: Tell me what you love most about Seventh Generation's free and clear diapers.

1. Follow my blog
2. Follow me on Twitter (1 entry) and tweet (1 entry per tweet - one tweet per day)
3. Enter another one of my current giveaways (a list can be found top right - 1 extra entry for each one you enter!)
4. Fan me on Facebook 
5. Grab my button and tell me where it is (3 entries)
6. Follow Seventh Generation on Facebook
7. Follow Seventh Generation on Twitter

This giveaway is open to US only.
This giveaway ends on July 25 , 2011 at 5:00 pm EST. One winner will be chosen by and notified by e-mail. Please respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected. Good Luck!

*Seventh Generation provided me with the free product, information, and giveaway through MyBlogSpark. All opinions expressed are my own.

Winner! has chosen our winner for the Plow and Hearth Grilling Wok Giveaway!

#34 Tamara B.

Congratulations to our winner! An e-mail notification has been sent. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or we will have to choose another winner.
Thank you to everyone who entered!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My First Love

So a fabulous reader had posted a comment on my Dog Collar Boutique post telling me that she had a dwarf rabbit. This made me realize that in all my posts about my family I had somehow left out an extremely important member!

This is Thumper! Thumper is a Netherland Dwarf and he came into my life 4 years ago. My husband and I were living in a tiny apartment and I craved a cuddly friend. When I first held this little guy I knew there was no way I was leaving the pet store without him! But... my apartment didn't allow pets... of any kind. So with a little finagling... and story telling... I got permission to "keep" him. I told my landlord that he was from my classroom and would only be staying the summer... sorta true - we were planning out moving into a house soon.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Plow and Hearth Review and Giveaway

Ahh... summer time. When I think of summer many things come to mind. Swimming, boating, the smell of sunscreen, watching movies in the air conditioning when the afternoon storms roll through. I also think of s'mores. S'mores are a family favorite in our house. In fact, my husband could eat them by the dozen. But we don't get to indulge in this treat very often.

When we travel to my in-laws house we make sure we fire up the fire pit and make our s'mores. But this happens once or twice a summer. We considered purchasing our own fire pit, but the nervous mommy in me decided we should wait until our daughter is a little older. Then Plow and Hearth came to the rescue.

As I browsing their huge selection of items I stumbled across the Indoor S'more Maker. Now you can make perfect s'mores any time, any place…no campfire or open flame required! Our ingenious S'Mores Maker lets you whip up six ooey-gooey s'mores in less than five minutes in your oven, toaster oven or even on the grill. Great for parties and family fun nights. Steel wire with nonstick coating for quick and easy cleanup

We were really excited to try this out and gave it a go in the oven. I have to admit that it's not quite the same as roasting them over an open fire. You don't get the golden brown edges and the marshmallows don't get as gooey in the center. None the less, we were looking for a solution and we found one. My daughter and my husband loved them. The chocolate got very gooey which was the best part for my daughter. It was really easy to do and very easy to clean up. We followed the directions and left them in the oven for about 4 minutes. Next time I might try a little longer to see if the marshmallows get any gooier. And I am anxious to try them on the grill!

Plow & Hearth is filled with great items to outfit your home this summer. I highly recommend you browse the great selection on their website. you can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all the latest news.

GIVEAWAY: One Lucky Reader will win their very own Indoor S'more Maker ($24.95 value)!
HOW TO ENTER: Leave a separate comment for each entry and be sure to leave your e-mail address!

MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit Plow and Hearth and tell me another product you love!

1. Follow my blog
2. Follow me on Twitter (1 entry) and tweet (1 entry per tweet - one tweet per day)
3. Enter another one of my current giveaways (a list can be found top right - 1 extra entry for each one you enter!)
4. Fan me on Facebook 
5. Grab my button and tell me where it is (3 entries)

This giveaway is open to US only.
This giveaway ends on July 22 , 2011 at 5:00 pm EST. One winner will be chosen by and notified by e-mail. Please respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected. Good Luck!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Dog Collar Boutique Review

As a child I grew u with a dog. She was such a sweet pup and she lived to be 17 years old. She was truly a part of the family. We loved her dearly and treated her like a family member. We took her on family vacations, played with her in the backyard, purchased Christmas gifts and birthday gifts for her. She was the best.

As I grew older I knew I would have another dog of my own with my family, but then we had a baby. We decided to put the dog dream on hold while we got settled in as a family of three. Then a few weeks ago my sister adopted an adorable kitten from the ASPCA and the pet bug has bitten again!

This weekend little Cleo came home with my sister for the long weekend and we all got to adore her for three days. So I was thrilled when the Dog Collar Boutique sent me a couple of cat items for review that I was able to give my new "niece." I received the Mini Crown Charm and the Cats Meow Cat Collar. My sister LOVES the Mini Crown Charm because she considers her kitten to be a true princess and her favorite color is purple.

I was really impressed when browsing their site with the wide variety of items that have for cats and dogs. The dog harness vests are too cute! I love the tweed one. And they have designer dog carriers at amazing prices. And dog leather leashes in every style.

If you are an animal lover you have to check out this site! You will find everything you need at a great price and it gets delivered straight to your door.

flipflop Wines Review

Over Memorial Day weekend my family and I had the opportunity to sample some of the flipflop wines. My family was thoroughly impressed. My mom was even itching to get her hands on another bottle of the Riesling, as that one was her favorite. You can check out my previous review here.

So when I was given the opportunity to try some of the other types of flipflop wine I jumped at the chance. The flipflop collection includes Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Moscato, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir. For this time around we received a bottle of the Chardonnay and a bottle of the Cabernet. Since it was another holiday weekend I was able to share the bottles again. This way I could get the opinions of a number of people. 

I was not surprised when the wine received rave reviews. I received comments about the bottle (the women loved the design and commented on how perfect for summer this collection is), the wonderful taste, and the fantastic information provided on the back. I pointed this out to my friends and family as this is one of my favorite parts. On the back label they spell everything out from the flavor, to what food pairs nicely with it, to how it should be served. It even gives you a little scale to see if it is dry, medium dry, medium sweet, or sweet. It's easy to read and understand, quickly making you an expert!

My guests were shocked to learn about the price when I told them that these bottles of wine retail for about $7.99. You can't beat that price. Then I continued to tell them about the Soles4Souls program that flipflop wines is involved with. flipflop wines has paired with Soles4Souls to help bring free foot wear to those who need it most. For every bottle sold (up to 100,000 bottles) this program will give one pair of flip-flop sandals to someone in need. Now this really blew them away. An unbelievable price and a great cause? I'll drink to that!

You can also check out flipflop wines on Facebook!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Photo Card Creations - Review and Giveaway

Ever since my daughter was born the more things I can put her face on the better! Pictures truly are worth a thousand words, and I love sharing photos of her with family and friends. I have used a lot of different sites for making cards with pictures on them. Every time a holiday or special occasion comes up I am on the hunt for something new and different. I recently was introduced to Photo Card Creations, and I have to say they stand out in a crowd.

Photo Card Creations is a leading online retailer of premium custom photo cards, announcements & invitations.  They specialize in wedding, baby & holiday cards.  They offer hundreds of Card Designs & a variety of Paper Types to choose from, many of which are hard to find elsewhere.  Their cards are printed on the highest quality paper using leading edge printing technologies.   With a professional graphic designer personally handling each order, they offer a more hands-on approach to customer service than many of their competitors.  This Fall, they will be adding over 50 new products & introducing a new user-friendly, online card preview system, which will allow customers to upload their photos & customize & view their cards online before placing their order!  

Photo Card Creations sent me some samples of their cards for this review, and I have to say their quality is outstanding. I absolutely love how unique their designs are. They are classy, elegant, fun, whatever the style you are looking for you can find it. The paper that they are printed on is high quality and the photos come out clear and bright.

I was very pleased with the samples I received and I look forward to working with them in the future to create timeless keepsakes. I know the recipients of my cards will be thrilled with the quality, as well as the adorable photos of my daughter! I encourage you to check out their wide selection of birth announcements for boys and girls, holiday cards, invitations, thank yous and more.

Photo Card Creations is excited to announce that we will be adding a great new feature to our website this fall that will enhance our customer’s online experience!  This new feature will allow our customers to completely customize, view & approve their cards online before ordering!  After selecting the card you’d like to order, you will be able to customize your card using our online custom design wizard.  You will be able to upload, instantly view, zoom, reposition & convert your photos to Sepia or Black & White.  If you don’t like the photo(s) you originally added, you replace them with alternate photos, experimenting with different photos until you find the photo(s) that look best on your card!  You will be able to choose different background & photo border colors.  You will be able to fully customize your text, using suggested greetings available on our website or your own custom greeting.  You can also change the Font Style, Ink Color & Font Size for your greeting anywhere on your card.   You be able to toggle through drop menus to create the perfect card design, watching changes occur as you make them.  Once you are finished designing your cards,  you can preview your final card online and then place your order, which will be shipped to you approximately 3 business days later! 

GIVEAWAY: One Lucky Reader will win a $50 gift certificate to Photo Card Creations!
HOW TO ENTER: Leave a separate comment for each entry and be sure to leave your e-mail address!

MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit Photo Card Creations and tell me your favorite design!

1. Follow my blog
2. Follow me on Twitter (1 entry) and tweet (1 entry per tweet - one tweet per day)
3. Enter another one of my current giveaways (a list can be found top right - 1 extra entry for each one you enter!)
4. Fan me on Facebook 
5. Grab my button and tell me where it is (3 entries)
6. Follow Photo Card Creations on Facebook
7. Follow Photo Card Creations on

This giveaway is open to US only.
This giveaway ends on July 20 , 2011 at 5:00 pm EST. One winner will be chosen by and notified by e-mail. Please respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected. Good Luck!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

I hope you all enjoyed the long weekend and that you had beautiful weather! We were busy little bees hopping from one bbbq to another. It was a perfect long weekend and getting back to the real world is tough. But I have some great reviews and giveaways lined up for this week!