Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Time...

I really do love the summer time. But lately it seems like summer manages to slip past me. I'm not really sure why... but it doesn't feel the same as when I was a kid. Well, I'm sure that working part time and having to clean the house, do the laundry, plan and execute meals, and take care of a toddler are all a part of why the "care free" days of summer are gone. But it should still feel like summer... shouldn't it?

Here we are on the very last day of June. July 4th weekend is ahead of us and what was a quiet, relaxing weekend has turned into the marathon of get togethers. We went from a weekend of laying by the lake at my parents house to graduation parties, BBQ's, charity events, family coming to town craziness. Can we make it feel like summer?

I know what I need to do. I need to break out my calendar and plan some summer activities. I need to set aside some days where we aren't rushing here and there and everywhere. And make those days just about us... the three of us. No extended family, no friends... just me, the hubs, and the babe.

So what will we do on those days...

  1. visit the ice cream shop - can you believe it's June 30th and we haven't been to my favorite ice cream shop once this season! It's a crime...
  2. go to the zoo - we went for Little Miss's birthday and it was the best! We took our time and wandered around. 
  3. Sesame Place - I went as a kid and I cannot wait to take Little Miss! I just need to think of the perfect time so maybe it won't be super busy.
  4. picnic at the park - Seems so simple... but really, it needs to be planned in order for it to happen. I would love to play on the playground all morning.. have a picnic lunch... and stroll home in time for nap. Perfect day :) And maybe the ice cream man will be there!
  5. family movie night - Yep... simple. I want to crank up the AC.. pull out the blankets... turn out the lights and put in a great.... cartoon. Yeah, it will have to be a cartoon to keep Little Miss engaged. And of course there will have to be ice cream sundaes! 
  6. s'mores - I want to make s'mores by a campfire.
I am going to accomplish all of these by the end of the summer! Well, that's my goal. Now I need to break out the good old calendar and start making some plans. It's never too soon to start family traditions and memories. And I know my little one will love every one of these activities!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Winner! has chosen our winner for the Cars 2 IMAX Giveaway!

#52 Snowy Summer

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!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Family Reunion

Oh my goodness... I feel like I am slacking big time with my blog! I am so sorry that I'm not around nearly as much I have been in the past. But I am happy to say that my absence has been for good reasons. As we kicked off summer our schedule became packed with wonderful events. From a family vacation, to Father's Day visits, to a big Family Reunion!

This past weekend we had the much anticipated family reunion. My grandparents live in Florida and don't get to travel north as much as they would like. And traveling with a toddler on a plane just hasn't been an event I am willing to tackle yet... but hopefully soon!
Here is a picture from the very first time my grandparents met my daughter!

So my grandparents have not seen my daughter since she was a few weeks old. She is now 25 months! You can imagine how much she has changed.. haha. It's very tough to get my dad's side of the family together as we live pretty far apart and all have crazy schedules. But since grandma and grandpa were coming up we needed to put in the best effort we could to get everyone together!
My dad, my sister, me, grandpa, grandma, my little one, my husband, my mom

We had everyone except for one of my cousins... I think we did pretty well! It was an incredible day filled with tons of great food, lots of news and nice conversations, many hugs, and lots of kids crying... haha! We couldn't have asked for a better day.

So since the event was hosted at my parents house, I volunteered to do a lot of the shopping and food prep to help my mom out. Thus, blogging suffered. But I did make an amazing pasta salad that I am excited to share the recipe with you. So expect that soon!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

"Are We There Yet" by Aurora World Inc. Review

Summer usually means that we spend a lot more time traveling. We like to drive down to the shore, my in-laws are in another state, and we have lots more family events to attend. It used to be really easy to travel with my daughter. You plop her in the car and you wouldn't hear a peep from her until you had to wake her up at your destination. Things this year seemed to have changed.

My daughter no longer enjoys sleeping in the car. If we get an hour out of her at nap time... we're lucky. So when the "Are We There Yet" neck rest arrived for review we made a really big deal out of it. We let her carry the box in and open it up. We oo-ed and ahh-ed and talked all about how she could use her special monkey buddy when we go on car trips. She got excited and immediately wanted to play with it. She put it around her waist and we showed her how it's a pillow to go around her neck and emphasized... again... that it's for the car. Once she had explored it we put it away.

When the day finally arrived for the first car trip we made a big deal and brought out her special monkey buddy. She carried it to the car and we got her all settled in. It was nap time, so she conked out for awhile. I loved that the pillow kept her head up, as she had recently begun letting it droop. She looked very comfortable... and super cute all cuddled up. Then when she woke up she pulled the pillow off and began to play with the monkey buddy. This kept her entertained for quite some time! Score... this little guy did double duty. It kept her head up and comfortable and then became a distraction!

Aurora World Inc. is a leading toy and gift manufacturer. They bring you tons of kids favorite items including YooHoo and Friends, Milly, and Dreamy Eyes. The "Are We There Yet" collection is just another great example of the high quality products offered by this outstanding company.

Be sure to check them out on their website, e-commerce site, and of course on Facebook where you can keep up to the date with all the latest!

Winners! has chosen our winners for Balloon Time, Black Diamond Granite Cleaner, and Lady out of Carolina Giveaways!!

Balloon Time - #66 m&msmommy 
Black Diamond - #1 Meredith
Lady out of Carolina - #48 Emmy's Closet

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!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Time Saving Tips for Moms

As moms I think we are all too familiar with the craziness of life. We are constantly rushing here and there and everywhere to accommodate our needs and the needs of our family. Whether it's running to the grocery store for that inevitable forgotten ingredient, baking cupcakes at the last minute, washing a load of laundry because you need something in it for tomorrow, or any other number of things that can sneak up on you... there just aren't enough hours in the day.

While we can never predict the unexpected, we can do things within our routines to try and save some time. This way when those unexpected things pop up we can handle them in stride... sometimes.

I am going to share with you my 10 time saving tips.

1. Schedule meals - At the beginning of each week I create a schedule of meals that I post on the refrigerator. I  use it as a reference when food shopping at the beginning of the week, so I know exactly what I need and when. This also saves me time throughout the week because I don't need to think about it and throw dinner together at the last second.

2. Pack lunches the night before - Now that my daughter goes to daycare three days a week those mornings are insane! By packing her lunch and mine the night before we save value minutes in the morning. I am also less likely to forget to pack something when I am not in a rush.

3. The necessities basket - I have a basket that I keep in my family room that is filled with necessities. I keep it in the family room because that's the room I am in the most. During the summer it has sunscreen, a sun hat, diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, and socks. This way when something comes up and we need to hurry out the door I don't have to run all over the house looking for something. It saves me a lot of time in the morning when I need to get sunscreen on before we walk out the door.

4. Pack a bag- I always try and keep my most used bags packed. This includes the diaper bag, which I inspect after each use to make sure I replaced anything I used up. This way I can grab it and go. I also do this with a beach bag in the summer.

5. Keep to a schedule - Since I work two days a week I have a schedule of chores for the other two days. I know when to do laundry, when to clean the bathrooms, when to food shop. This way I tend not to forget to get something done since I have a set day for it.

6. Shop online - LOVE this! I try and do all my shopping online. Yes, this includes food shopping. I feel like this is a major time saver as I don't have to get my daughter in and out of the car. I don't have to time errands around nap time. And I don't have to lug a child and a bunch of bags. Having things delivered to your door... priceless.

7. Cook ahead - Sometimes you know a night is just going to be crazy. When I know we have one of those nights coming up I do one of two things. I either buy a frozen meal or I cook a meal in advance so all I have to do is heat it up. Major time saver!

8. Ask for help - whether you have family in the area or hire a mother's helper for an afternoon. When you give yourself some time when you can focus on a task or tasks you are bound to save yourself time in the end. It's easier to get things done when you don't have to worry about the kids at the same time.

9. Organize - Keep yourself organized and you will save tons of time. I make lists of things I need to do and organize papers, appointments, anything I need for the week. I also organize all my coupons on the weekend so I know they are ready to go when I hit up a store.

10. Relax and go with the flow - We can't avoid the craziness of life. But if we accept it and take it in stride we will save ourselves from added stress. Try and prepare yourself for the "what if's" and laugh when life throws them at you! Remember, you're not in this alone!

Starbucks knows how busy we are and have created something  that just may come in handy!
Starbucks for Android™ and the Starbucks Card Mobile App for BlackBerry®, iPhone® or iPod® Touch have five core features:
  • Pay with your phone: Enjoy the fastest, more convenient way to pay at nearly 9,000 Starbucks locations.  Just download the app, enter your Starbucks Card number, scan and go.
  • Manage your card account: Access your Starbucks Card balance directly from your phone.
  • Reload your card balance: Use your smartphone to reload your Starbucks Card using any major credit card.
  • Check your My Starbucks Rewards status: Find out how close you are to earning your next free drink.
  • Find nearby Starbucks stores: Save time by finding a Starbucks store near you.
Talk about a time saver!

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

Plow & Hearth Review and Giveaway

Ahhh, summer! One of my favorite things about summer is cooking on the grill. Mostly because it means my hubby is doing the cooking, wink wink. But also because it smells and feels like summer when the food is on the grill and you can eat outside.

We tend to grill a lot during the summer because it's often too hot to even think about cooking in the house. And grilled veggies are always on the menu. My husband used to complain that I cut the vegetables too small and they would fall through the cracks of the grill, or they would slip when he was turning them. So I went out and got him a wok for the grill. But the wok I purchased had a big handle that wouldn't allow him to close the grill. So when I was browsing on Plow and Hearth one day I came across the perfect solution!

The Stainless Steel Vegetable Grilling Wok is exactly what we needed! It's deep enough for us to make as much or as little vegetables as we need. We have used it when grilling for just the three of us and also when grilling for a larger group this past Father's Day weekend. My husband is thrilled... and that makes me thrilled!

So it performs great on the grill. With a little cooking spray the vegetables didn't stick and he's able to stir them up without loosing any to help them cook evenly. The clean up part is all on me. I didn't have any trouble cleaning it. I had coated the vegetables in Italian dressing, so some if the leftover dressing was burned onto the wok. I just used a sponge and with a little elbow grease it all came off and the wok looks good as new. This will be used a lot this summer and for many more summers to come!

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 Stainless Steel Vegetable Grilling Wok ($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 6 , 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!

Monday, June 20, 2011

"Family Pit Crew" IMAX Prize Pack

Cars 2 in IMAX 3D opens on June 24th!
To help celebrate Cars 2 in IMAX 3D we are going to have a great giveaway!

Package includes:            
1 Cars 2 IMAX movie poster 
Family 4 pack of IMAX ticket vouchers 
2 Adult and 2 Child-sized Cars 2 IMAX t-shirts 
1 Cars 2 soundtrack featuring Weezer, Brad Paisley, Robbie Williams and more! 
1 Cars 2 Light and Sound toy car from Matel 

Create a license plate name using any 7 letters! Be creative!
(My license plate would say MOMDRAM1)

Additional Entries:
Follow my blog
Follow me on facebook
Follow me on Twitter
Post my button on your blog (3 extra entries)
Blog about this giveaway and provide a link (5 extra entries)

This giveaway is open to US and Canada.
This giveaway ends on June 28, 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!




PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. has chosen our winners for The Ugly Duckling Dinosaur and Gourmet Gift Baskets Giveaways!!

The Ugly Duckling Dinosaur - #46 Jo
Gourmet Gift Baskets - #63 Anna Banana

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!

Friday, June 17, 2011


Hello all! I haven't gone totally missing. As you know, last Friday was my 5th wedding anniversary. So my sweet husband took my daughter and I to our favorite vacation spot for 5 full days of fun!

 Ok, so it was fun... and stressful. We've traveled every year with our daughter and have always been amazed with how easy it has been. This time was a different story. We were there for 5 days and it took her three to get into any kind of routine. She was skipping naps which was causing meltdowns. We couldn't eat anywhere nice because she didn't want to eat... she wanted to play. She loved the pool but we had to leave the area as soon as she was done swimming because she wanted to run around and it was very crowded.

So, we were exhausted each and every day. But, we made the best of it! We did lots of "kid friendly" activities and ate yummy (fattening) food. It was nice to just be away with the two most special people in the world!

We went to the beach!

And swam in the pool.

We even saw some cool animals at the zoo.

And did lots of walking to try and tire her out!

I hope you all had a great week! I have lots of great reviews and giveaways coming up this week!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Toddler Favorites The Movie - Review


DVD Inspired By Label’s Platinum-Selling CD Toddler Favorites

We received this exciting DVD for review and I am so glad we did! My daughter loves music and we are always singing our favorite tunes. This DVD adds to our musical experience in so many ways. The list of songs featured are all the childhood favorites.
Toddler Favorites: The Movie Track Listing
I’m A Little Teapot
Wheels On The Bus
1-2, Buckle My Shoe
Old MacDonald Had A Farm
Alphabet Song
Happy Birthday To You
Where Is Thumbkin?
Ring Around The Rosie
Apples And Bananas
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

I loved that the DVD offered songs my daughter and I were already familiar with. It made it fun and exciting to sing along to. One of the things that I love so much about this DVD is that it features animation and real children playing appropriately modeling great play skills. This has cued my daughter to play as well. For example: during I'm a Little Teapot children are shown having a tea party and pouring cups of tea. Now when the song comes on or we sing it together she looks for her teapot to play along. It also encourages children to get up and move with some of the songs!

The real images provide a great learning experience, while the fun characters keep the children engaged and entertained. This DVD runs for about 32 minutes and will be listed at about $9.99. Look for it on August 30th!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lady Out of Carolina Review and Giveaway

Right about this time last year I was introduce to a fabulous dress maker, Lady Out of Carolina. She gave me the opportunity to review one of her beautiful pillow case dresses. I remember looking on her Etsy page and falling in love with the colors and prints that she used. After much deliberating I decided on a pattern and couldn't have been more thrilled! I looked back on that review with fond memories of the beautiful dress and total shock about how much my little one has grown in a year! Check out my review and the photos HERE.

Lady Out of Carolina has given me the wonderful opportunity to work with her again just in time for summer. I feel that pillow case dresses are ideal for summer because they are so light weight and cool. They are comfortable for little adventurers like my daughter who doesn't slow down for anything!

The dress is called the Bubble Gum Paisley and is the perfect combinations of fun, bright colors.
It's a fun and trendy print that can be worn for casual picnics or dressy dinners out. I love how multi-functional this style is! When I took the dress off my daughter she brought it to me and asked me to put it back on. She clearly loved it and was comfortable in it.

Lady Out of Carolina has a wide variety of items to pick from. From the many choices of patterns for pillow case dresses to pants and tops. She even offers matching outfits for girls and their dolls. So cute! And the best part is that her items are very affordable to purchase and ship. Check it out!

GIVEAWAY: One Lucky Reader will win a Pillow Case Dress (pattern of the designers choice but you pick the size)
HOW TO ENTER: Leave a separate comment for each entry and be sure to leave your e-mail address!

MANDATORY ENTRY: Take a look around Lady Out of Carolina and tell me which fabric is your favorite!

1. Follow my blog
2. Follow me on Twitter (2 entries)
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 (2 entries)

This giveaway is open to US and Canada.
This giveaway ends on June 24, 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!

My True Love

Happy 5 Year Anniversary to my best friend and true love! 
I am so lucky to have such an amazing man in my life. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Black Diamond Granite Counter Cleaner Review and Giveaway

Granite Cleaner is a premier product designed specifically for the care and maintenance of high-end Granite, Marble and Tile counter tops.  This 100% biodegradeable daily cleaner is safe to use on all kitchen, bath and other marble, granite and tile counter tops. The streak-free formula has been tested and approved by marble and granite professionals to quickly remove dirt and grime from tile and stone counter tops without leaving behind soap scum, streaks or a rainbow effect that is common in "All Purpose" cleaners. The pH neutral formula is gentle and will not remove expensive and time consuming sealers. With daily use Granite Cleaner helps to maintain stones factory finish with a brilliant, streak-free shine.

We recently upgraded our kitchen and splurged on gorgeous granite counter tops. We were going from Corian veneer to granite which in my opinion is a huge change and well worth it! We are thrilled to have high quality counters that look great and are very strong. It's nice to be able to just plop a hot pot down and not have to worry about my counter cracking!

So when you spend the big bucks for something nice that you love you want to take good care of it have it look it's best. My husband immediately started looking into the best products and methods for cleaning our counters because he knows I scrub my kitchen down daily. Basically what he found was that granite is strong and could be cleaned with anything. But when we saw that Black Diamond had come out with a product specifically designed to safely and effectively clean granite we were thrilled!

This product really does a great job. It cuts through grease and grime quickly and leaves the counter totally streak free. Which is important with us because we get a lot of sun in our kitchen and at different angles you could see every streak. We are very pleased with this product and would recommend it to anyone wanting to protect their granite while keeping it clean and safe.

GIVEAWAY: One Lucky Reader will win a bottle of Granite Counter Cleaner from Black Diamond.
HOW TO ENTER: Leave a separate comment for each entry and be sure to leave your e-mail address!

MANDATORY ENTRY: Join their mailing list found at the top of their website

1. Follow my blog
2. Follow me on Twitter
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. Fan Black Diamond on Facebook
6. Follow Black Diamond on Twitter

This giveaway is open to US only.
This giveaway ends on June 23, 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!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using created by Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I love coupons! Now that we are a family of three I have become much more conscious of our spending. Now we have this little one who we need to be sure we are taking care of financially. But we also need to make sure we are getting her the things she needs and providing her with fun experiences. So whenever I can find a good deal I am all over it!

I spend a lot of time searching the Internet for a discount code or printable coupons. Sometimes I find myself at dead ends wasting time on sites that didn't have anything to offer. is really a great resource to use to find great deals at your finger tips.

Here is a little about what has to offer:

·         Hundreds of coupons codes on site from retailers like Sears, Macys, Kmart, Children’s Place, and many more!
·         Nations oldest coupon site – founded in 1995
·         CouponPros on staff that talk to merchants to get exclusive deals and to help people with couponing and saving money
·         Exclusive offers only available on site
·         Weekly Newsletter emailed with top deals and promotions
·         Facebook site with VIP List for additional deals and weekly prize giveaways
·         Discounted Gift Cards – buy retailer cards below face value, ex. AMC Theatre card with $25 balance for $21.25

The site is well organized and easy to navigate. Whether you are looking for grocery coupons, discount gift cards, or deals at tons of stores you can easily and quickly find what's available. Can you can even search by alphabetical order to see if your favorite store is listed (they have so many, I bet it is!). They even have offers for things for you to do with your family. You can find everything from Netflix coupons to Expedia coupons.

Check out the site and start saving!

Balloon Time - Review and Giveaway

No birthday party is complete without balloons! Well, this year we had decided my daughter's would be. Why you ask? Because with all the hustle and bustle on the big day running out at the last moment to get balloons just doesn't always make sense. I did it last year for my daughter's 1st birthday and I ended up having to wait in line for 20 minutes and then wait while one person slowly blew up the balloons I needed. Needless to say it set me back on my tight schedule. So this year my husband wanted to avoid my rage and said no balloons!

Then I discovered Balloon Time. These great helium balloon kits can be picked up at tons of local retailers, including Target and Walmart. With this kit you have your own small helium tank and balloons ready to be blown up when you're ready at the scene of the party.

This worked out perfectly for us! My parents had come a few minutes early so I put them to work. My dad used the tank, my mom tied the knots, and my sister attached the ribbon. Then I was free to place them wherever I wanted without feeling rushed or frazzled. Teamwork and success!

I'm so glad we didn't go without balloons at this wonderful celebration. And I'm so glad we gave Balloon Time a try. It saved me time and money.

GIVEAWAY: One Lucky Reader will win a voucher for a free Balloon Time product.
HOW TO ENTER: Leave a separate comment for each entry and be sure to leave your e-mail address!

MANDATORY ENTRY: Like Balloon Time on Facebook OR follow them on twitter (you can do both for two entries)

1. Enter another one of my current giveaways(1 entry per giveaway)
2. Follow my blog 
3. Follow me on Twitter and tweet (1 entry per tweet - 1 tweet per day)
4. Fan me on Facebook 
5. Grab my button and tell me where it is (3 entries)
6. Subscribe to my blog via e-mail

This giveaway is open to US only.
This giveaway ends on June 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!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Transformers: Beast Wars - Now on DVD!

Brace yourself to relive some of the most epic TRANSFORMERS battles and non-stop action adventures through the 15th Anniversary release of BEAST WARS.  In 1996, TRANSFORMERS fans were introduced to this stunning saga between the heroic MAXIMALS and the evil PREDACONS wherethese powerful TRANSFORMERS disguised themselves as some of the fiercest and most ferocious animals on Earth. In a flash of an instant, these beasts turned into battle-tested robot warriors ready for combat. Created by Hasbro and produced by Mainframe Entertainment, the hugely successful animated series TRANSFORMERS: BEAST WARS ran for three successful television seasons and garnered an Emmy® Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation.  

On June 7, 2011, Shout! Factory, in collaboration with Hasbro, Inc., will unleash theTRANSFORMERS: BEAST WARS Season One 4-DVD set, featuring all 26 visually stunning episodes and exciting bonus features.  A must-have for fans and families, this DVD set promises to keep you on the edge of your seat with exciting adventures and is priced to own at $29.93 SRP. 
I don't have all the many memories of Transformers. My mom says that I watched them sometimes, but what I really do remember is the toys. My friend had a whole bunch of them and when I would go over to play that was always what I wanted to play with. He would always narrate using proper terminology from the show, but I would just want to transform them.

But when I heard that they were releasing this DVD I was really interested. I was sure my husband must have watched them and I absolutely love a blast from the past. I was right, he had watched them and he was really excited to relive it and share it with our daughter.

Some of the cartoons today just don't live up to our expectations so it's really cool to be able to share cartoons of the past with our kids. Check it out today!

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie is a great book for young readers. This story is geared for children ages 8-10 and is something that children that age can really relate to. Here is a little about the story:

LIKE PICKLE JUICE ON A COOKIE is the sweet and poignant story of a young girl named Eleanor who is not happy. Her beloved babysitter, Bibi, is moving away. Suddenly, the things that she used to enjoy aren't fun anymore. Everything reminds her of Bibi. To make matters worse, Eleanor has a new babysitter who just isn't the same.

I found this story to be really enjoyable. The print is clear and spaced nicely for young readers. The layout is easy on those young eyes getting used to lots of lines on a page. And there are even some really fun illustrations throughout done by Matthew Cordell.

As I was reading this book I kept thinking about my third graders. I used to teach third grade and the characters and events in the book were so real and relate able. The feelings of Eleanor are so common and she thinks just like a young child. In her head it's easy to just up and move to Florida. When Natalie wants her to do something that she doesn't want to do she just simply says no. Her relationship with her best friend is so real and the worries she has are, too. Like worrying about not being able to sit next to her on the first day of school.

The book is a lot of fun and perfect for those readers who are ready to tackle chapter books! And be sure to check out the author's website, where you can clearly see how important books were to her childhood!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Winners! has chosen our winners for the ScareMeNot, The Loud Book, and the Melting Pot Giveaways!!

ScareMeNot - #90 Meredith
The Loud Book - #62 Shannon
The Melting Pot - Emmy's Closet, Elizabeth Janik, Krista, Elmo Fan

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!

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Pregnancy Test by Melissa Heckscher and Emily Sikking, M.D. - Review

Oh I can remember being pregnant very vividly. I remember telling my husband that I literally felt like my body had been taken over by an alien. I no longer felt in control of my own body. Don't get me wrong, I was happy and excited that I was growing a little tiny baby of my own. But the actual feeling of being pregnant.... I should say feelingS... freaked me out.

I had a million and half questions. So many, in fact, that I was embarrassed to keep asking my mom and my friends. For sure they thought I was crazy, right? Well, looking back now I'm sure they didn't think I was crazy because they were in my position once too. No matter how much we read we always come up with questions... and usually at the most inconvenient times. I remember once I was getting my nails done and they asked if I wanted a back massage. I froze. Yes, of course I did... but could I? Was it allowed? Would I go into early labor?

The Pregnancy Test is a really fun book that all moms-to-be should have on hand. It's filled with funny, yet sometimes serious, questions. There are a lot you will laugh at and say why would anyone ask that. Like can you scuba dive while pregnant? To me I would laugh it off and say why even ask.. no! But really, can you? What if you are on vacation and only a few weeks along? I'm sure the situation has come up many times!

But it also answers a lot of very realistic questions, like why am I so itchy during my pregnancy? Oh yes, I remember that feeling! Or is it ok to hold your pee in? Would you really ask your mom that? And would she know? So this books is full of insights. And what could be better for a large pregnant woman who is super uncomfortable and can't fit into anything than to laugh? Or to feel comforted that someone else had that question too. Check it out and get it for your next pregnant friend. She'll thank you.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Could it be.....

A mommy post! My husband has been making me feel guilty lately about my lack of mommy blog posting. It seems my blog has been filled with reviews and giveaways... but not much about me. Well, as you know last month was my daughter's second birthday and party planning consumed me (in a good way... I would love to be a party planner in my next life). And then the weather has been gorgeous, so weekends and even week days have been filled with getting outside!

Ok ok, enough with the excuses. I guess the real fact of the matter is that I have nothing to say. My life at the moment is really boring in a good way. It's just normal. I'm doing the same things every other mom if a toddler is doing and loving it. But it's not all that interesting.

So rather than boring you with my dilemmas over what size swim diaper to buy (I hate that my daughter is right in between sizes! The mediums are too small and the larges are too big!) or my woes about potty training (yeah, it's just not happening), I figured I would make a confession.

I am addicted to reality TV. Ok, I've said it! A lot of my friends are often surprised to find me a reality TV junky. I'm not sure why they are surprised, but they are. I try to limit what I watch because I will get hooked, not matter how cheesey, trashy, or down right stupid. For example, The Jersey Shore. As a Jersey girl I take a lot of offense to that show. They do not represent New Jersey, they aren't even from New Jersey. Yet we get a bad rap for it. Yet, they have tons of viewers.. me being one of them. I told myself not watch even one episode. Don't fall in with the crowd. Be strong. Then there was an all day marathon on... the end. Hooked. I've watched every episode and season since. Not because I enjoy it. The people on it all drive me nuts. But it's really just such a train wreck that I have to watch and actually look forward to the next season. Ugh!

It doesn't end there. Real Housewives... pretty much any of them, but specifically NJ, OC, Beverly Hills, and NY. They are a guilty pleasure. And it's the same thing. I literally get frustrated watching them and often find myself yelling at the TV, but there I sit night after night.

So now you know a little more about me. Tell me your guilty pleasure!

Gourmet Gift Baskets - Junk Food Care Package - Review and Giveaway

I know I've mentioned this before, but I love getting things in the mail. A letter or card makes me happy, but a care package makes me feel like the most special person in the world. I get super excited to dig through and discover all the goodies inside!

Gourmet Gift Baskets is the perfect place to go and find a basket or gift for anyone you could imagine. Their variety makes them stand out and their organized site makes it easy to find that perfect gift for a special person or occasion.

I recently had the opportunity to review one of their care packages. With my family there was really no better choice than the Junk Food Care Package. I know, The Health Nut Care Package may have been a better idea, but did you see the goodies in the Junk Food one?!?

When it arrived I was really excited to get a closer look and see some of my favorite snacks that I hadn't had in years. Umm... combos! My husband and I then went into "child mode," "I call the Rice Krispie Treat!" "I call the Yoohoo!" It was fun and funny... though I'm glad no one was there to witness it!

We have been enjoying these treats over the past few days. We are spacing them out to savor them! But what's been so awesome is that everything is individually wrapped. So we can grab a bag of chips or a granola bar as we head out to the park. Little Miss has been enjoying it too.

This is clearly a great package to send to a college student cramming for exams, a military member who could use a yummy pick me up and taste of home, or a crazy mom who gets excited at the site of Combos. Really, you can't go wrong with this variety!

Check out Gourmet Gift Baskets for all your gift giving needs!

GIVEAWAY: One Lucky Reader will win the Junk Food Care Package!
HOW TO ENTER: Leave a separate comment for each entry and be sure to leave your e-mail address!

MANDATORY ENTRY: Like Gourmet Gift Baskets on Facebook.

1. Enter another one of my current giveaways(1 entry per giveaway)
2. Follow my blog 
3. Follow me on Twitter and tweet (1 entry per tweet - 1 tweet per day)
4. Fan me on Facebook 
5. Grab my button and tell me where it is (3 entries)
6. Subscribe to my blog via e-mail
7. Follow Gourmet Gift Baskets on Twitter
8. Leave a comment on their Facebook wall with your favorite product

This giveaway is open to US and Canada.
This giveaway ends on June 16, 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!