Monday, October 31, 2011

Farm Match iPhone App Review

I often wonder what parents did before technology. The iPad and iPhone have been life savers on more occasions than one. I have found them to be engaging and motivating tools for kids. You can stock pile them with educational, fun apps that can take a long wait in a doctor's office and turn it into a learning experience.

I was recently given the opportunity to review an app called Farm Match (search for it on iTunes as Farm Animals Memory Game). This is a FREE app that is really free. It doesn't have any in app purchases or ask you to buy the full version after you've played one level.

This memory game offers you 3 levels (easy, medium, hard). The level you choose determines the number of cards you will have. When you touch a card it flips over to a bright image of an animal, as well as a voice saying the name of that animal. You can also change the settings to have it make no sound for those times you need a quiet game. But I personally love the idea that it shows the animal and says the name. This is a great learning opportunity to multiple types of learners (audio and visual).

When you make it match is makes a noise and shakes the cards (again, giving a variety of cues). Once the game is over you get a nice image that says "Congratulations" and provides your score and time. It also says "yay!." This is a really nice way of giving children a sense of accomplishment at the completion of their game.

I love when you can offer your child an activity that is both educational and fun. I feel like this app was very well done and covers all bases in terms of learning and entertainment. This app was created by parents and really covers a variety of early learning skills. It requires children to focus, concentrate, memorize, recall information, and learn the names and images of animals. 

I would definitely recommend checking this app out! You can find it on iTunes HERE and learn more about it HERE.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!!

I apologize for not having any posts ready for this week! With the random snow storm we got, and power outage, I have a lot of catching up to do. But luckily school is closed today, so I am hoping to get some great posts up for you!
This was our front yard after Snowtober! We spent all day yesterday cutting up very large branches.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Kudzoom - Review and Giveaway

I was introduced to Kudzoom by a fellow mommy who knew that this would be right up my alley! I am a bargain shopper. I love for my daughter to have nice things, but since cutting back my work hours to be home more pinching pennies has become a habit. Kudzoom is great because it allows me to shop on a budget!

Kudzoom is a members only site (membership is FREE) that offers the latest and greatest in name brand and boutique merchandise. But their prices can't be beat! And when you sign up you receive a $5 credit... just like that.

Kudzoom appreciates their customers and give them lots of benefits. They offer free shipping on orders over $50 and have loyalty programs. They also give you the option to refer friends. Each time a friend places an order you will receive a $15 credit when their items ship!

The best thing for you to do is sign up and check out their deals. Every morning they launch new events, and you won't want to miss a thing as hot items often go fast!

And my Canadian friends... they do ship to Canada!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

CATDOG Season 1- Part 1 on DVD

The First 10 Episodes From The First Season Debuts On DVD October 18, 2011 from Shout! Factory

Running in circles has never been funnier or more exasperating unless you’re CatDog. Nickelodeon’s fraternal twins arrive kicking and screaming on DVD, October 18, 2011 from Shout! Factory. Featuring the first 10 episodes from the show’s premiere season, CatDog: Season 1 - Part 1 follows the adventures of the feline-canine brothers Cat and Dog, conjoinedtwins, who adore and irritate each other like fleas. Long anticipated by fans, CatDog: Season One - Part One has not been available in stores until now. A must have for fans of Nickelodeon, cartoon  fanatics and DVD collectors,  the two-disc DVD set has a suggested retail price of $19.93.
Somehow I missed this show when I was younger. I had never seen it, but my husband did. So when he heard I would be getting a copy for review he was really excited. He couldn't wait to sit me down and share this silly show with me.

I have to say, it's a fun show. It's about 2 brothers that are conjoined. The only thing brother is a cat and one brother is a dog. And you know how cats and dogs are! Their personalities are very different, but their loyalty is to each other. These two, or one if you want to look at it that way, get themselves into a lot of adventures, annoy each other, and take on their not so friendly neighbors. They really have each others backs!

This is a great show for kids because it really does teach about being a good sibling even though you are different. You can enjoy different things and have very different personalities, while still loving the fact that you're family. It's funny and enjoyable for the whole family!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Winnie the Pooh on Blu-ray and DVD Today!


Inspired by the beloved stories from A.A. Milne’s books and crafted in Disney’s classic style, “Winnie the Pooh,” is the most critically-acclaimed animated film of 2011*.  It is narrated by the voice of John Cleese and features the vocal talents of legendary voice actor Jim Cummings(over 350 voices including Gnomeo & Juliet) and a host of other distinctive actors including Craig Ferguson(TV’s ‘The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson’), Tom Kenny (TV’s ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’), Bud Luckey (Toy Story 3) and musical performances by Zooey Deschanel (indie folk band “She & Him”).

Oh Winnie the Pooh, what a beloved character. This silly old bear's name is familiar with kids of all ages. He truly is a childhood favorite that has crossed generations. I remember going on adventures in the Hundred Acre Woods when I was a little girl, and I am thrilled to be able to go back with my daughter.

Disney returns to the Hundred Acre Wood with “Winnie the Pooh.” Featuring the timeless charm, wit and whimsy of the original featurettes, this all-new movie reunites audiences with the philosophical “bear of very little brain” and friends Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Owl, Kanga, Roo – and last, but certainly not least, Eeyore, who has lost his tail. “Ever have one of those days where you just can’t win, Eeyore?” asks Pooh. Owl sends the whole gang on a wild quest to save Christopher Robin from an imaginary culprit. It turns out to be a very busy day for a bear who simply set out to find some honey. Disney’s all-new “Winnie the Pooh” movie is inspired by three stories from A.A. Milne’s books in Disney’s classic, hand-drawn art.

Winnie the Pooh is a classic tale about friendship that can be enjoyed by kids and adults. We loved sitting down to see our favorite characters setting out to save their favorite boy, Christopher Robin. With a group of characters this dynamic there is sure to be a favorite for every one in your family. My husband is a fan of Tigger and his bouncy, happy ways. I enjoy the underdog, Piglet, whose heart is much bigger than he is. And my daughter is drawn to the big guy himself, Winnie the Pooh.

This movie shows how an ordinary day can become extraordinary when you are with friends. Adventure is at every corner! It is a definite must for family movie night! And when the film is done the fun is not. Enjoy some great bonus features, including a sing along!

And you can save some money on the purchase of this movie... just click the image below!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bouncing Frogs Supports Breast Cancer Awareness

I was introduced to the wonderful company, Bouncing Frogs, about a year ago. I read about this family owned company and was impressed by their passion and commitment to creating high quality, luxury baby linens. As well as their commitment to having all their products made in the USA and providing their customers with free shipping on every order. On paper this looked and sounded like the kind of company that I would like to support. The next step was to check out their products.

I have had the pleasure to review their blankets and burp cloths in the past. These have got to be the softest material that I have ever come across for blankets and burp cloths. The quality of these products is unbeatable and after many, many trips through the washing machine they are still soft and beautiful.

Bouncing Frogs has so much to offer from blankets and burp cloths to gorgeous crib and toddler bedding. They offer a variety of colors for boys and girls, as well as optional custom monogramming. But beyond their exceptional products is their desire to give back to the community. And with this being Breast Cancer Awareness month, they are giving back in a powerful way to help find a cure.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month 

At Bouncing Frogs, we believe in doing well by doing good.  October is breast cancer awareness month. Each of us knows someone who has battled this terrible disease. We all need to work together to help find a cure.  Bouncing Frogs will go “pink” in October like everyone else. However, since this is a cause we are very passionate about we want to go one step further.

Bouncing Frogs will donate 100% of all profits we generate on any of our “Pink Products” during the month of October to Susan G. Komen For the Cure® 

Bouncing Frogs “Pink Products” include:

Please consider showing your support for a great cause!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

flipflop wines - Review

I have had the privilege of working with flipflop wines in the past. I have had the pleasure of sampling some of their divine flavors. I have kicked back on a summer's night with a glass of their chardonnay. I have passed a bottle of their riesling among family members taking in the good feedback. I have shared my thoughts and opinions on my blog. And here I sit with another fabulous flavor to share with you.

In  my past experiences with flipflop Wines I have never been disappointed. Their wine is full of flavor and very affordable. They offer a variety of flavors that include Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Moscato, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir. And each bottle retails for about $7.99. A sweet deal if there ever were one.

This time my husband and I were treated to a 2010 California Moscato.  This sweet wine is best served chilled and is suggested to pair with Pad Thai, Chinese Chicken Salad, or vegetable curry. We served it up with our Chinese food the other night and it was delectable. It was crisp and refreshing and sweet. 
The flipflop Moscato earned Double Gold at the 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest, most influential international wine competition in America. In addition, none other than Wine Enthusiast Magazine gave flipflop Moscato a “Best Buy” in the June issue of the magazine. Clearly, this wine is a winner!

Flipflop wines has a lot of offer consumers in that it provides quality at an affordable price. But they go above and beyond and give back as well. 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 you really can't resist.... and the wine tastes even better knowing you helped someone in need.

Right now you can check out a great program going on called Flippin Good Deeds. Go through your closet and find some gently used shoes and you could win! Check out all the details HERE.

Look for it at your local wine distributor!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Squaredy Cats Series 2 Review

I was introduced to Squaredy Cats quite some time ago when they first came out. I looked at them and thought, oh aren't they cute? These cut little kitties are in the shape of a square and have a fluffy, soft tail. Their faces are sweet with their big eyes. But here's the best part....each one has a personality. Each one represents an expression. What are you? Not squared to dance? Not squared to smile? Not squared to be silly?

There is something for every personality out there! And they are super fun to collect because each one is so unique. I haven't seen anything else quite like the Squaredy Cats! They are sure to be a huge hit with kids of a variety of ages.

When our new Squaredy Cat arrived I was anxious to see which one I would pull out of the box. To my pleasure I found one that fit my daughter to a T... Candy - not squared to be sweet! Yes, she a sweet girl... and yes, she loves candy!

The minute my daughter saw Candy sitting on the table she asked for her "new kitty." She then took her Squaredy Cat and introduced her to all her friends. Candy now has a place of honor on her shelf and she even shared her M&M's with her the other day!

Squaredy Cats now have 12 adorable plushes to choose from. You can find them nationally at Toys R Us,, and several independent retailers. And for my Canadian readers, have no fear! They will be available in Canada Toys R Us this December... just in time for the holidays!

Be sure to check out their website and their facebook page. You can also follow them on twitter for news and updates!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Renuzit Holiday Air Freshener

As a Purex Insider I get the opportunity to try some really cool products before they even hit the shelves! Last week a package arrived on my front step from Renuzit. Oh how exciting! I couldn't wait to break that puppy open and see what was inside. Boy was I pleased with what I found!

As many of my readers know, I love to have awesome scents throughout my home. I am famous for burning candles. But the sad fact about my candles is that I can't burn them when I'm not home or even in the room (my dad's a fireman so I have some strict rules about candles). So when I saw what Renuzit had sent me it was right up my alley!

Renuzit has come up with Holiday air fresheners in two fabulous fragrances, Winter Berry and Festive Snow. But here's the best part, they are stylish! Yes, it's true. They have basically disguised these air fresheners so that they can blend in with your decor and not stand out as air fresheners.

They are very easy to assemble with you simply peeling the backing off the gel and slipping it into the decorative holder. I then placed it in my living room and headed to bed. I opened the Festive Snow first and noticed that it had a piney scent to it... ahh Christmas. When I walked down in the morning I could smell it immediately! It wasn't an overwhelming scent (phew) but it had a nice presence in the room.

I'm really loving these air fresheners. I can leave them out all day and night. They last for 30 days and make the room smell great! And here's the best part.... the SRP is only $2.00! Making your home a little more fragrant this holiday season is totally affordable.

Renuzit brand provided free samples of Fresh Accents air freshener so I could review them. However, all of the opinions expressed here are my own.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Real Moms Love to Eat

Just the title of this book speaks to me. Yes, I am a mom and I love to eat. So what is this book all about?

The book is written in a mom-to-mom conversational tone, with friendly advice and recommendations. It’s divided into three sections, which include a fun and easy-to-follow 10-part plan for moms to implement to make gradual, life-long changes in their approach to food and 21 days of meal suggestions, tips, recipes and lifestyle exercises—all to help you continue your love affair with food to look fabulous. Beth’s approach to healthy eating, losing weight and feeling fabulous, is simple and realistic for busy moms. You’ll learn a lot about the food you eat and how it impacts your body and still have loads of fun experiencing new foods and enjoying life. 

Wow, this book sounds like it was written for me! I truly do have a love affair with food. I just adore it. I love to try new things, indulge in sweets, and comfort myself with the classics. And all too often I am making the wrong choices when it comes to food. Hey, I'm a busy mom if a toddler and sometimes convenience or cravings trump the right choices.

Picking the right choices is especially hard for me because I'm not educated on the right choices. To me healthy food is salad and veggies. Really, how much salad can a girl eat? I find it boring and I'm not a huge fan. So this book sounds like it would help me become familiar with foods that are good for you and taste great. Boy, do I need that in my life!

I love that this book is written by a woman who understand what it's like to be a mom... because she is one. How often do you find yourself picking on your kid's leftovers or munching on the cookies you gave for a snack? But in my case it's one cookie for my daughter and 8 for me. I need help! And this book may be the way to get it. And I love that it encourages gradual changes as opposed to starting from scratch and throwing yourself into a tizzy!

You can also join the Food Affairiate program and learn about ways to win great prizes. To learn more about the program click HERE.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Beth Aldrich - Real Moms Love to Eat blogging program, for a chance to get 3,000 My SocialMoms Rewards points. For more information on how you can participate,click here

It was not all that long ago that I was going through college and then graduate school. I remember the shock I experienced each and every semester as I would stand in the bookstore and watch the numbers rise as each text book was scanned. Hundreds of dollars in books each and every semester.

Every semester I would try to get to the bookstore early and purchase the used books. At the end of the semester I would run back and try to sell back some of my books. But I held onto a few. Sometimes it was because I didn't make it to the bookstore before the window for selling back closed, and sometimes it was because I felt the books were really helpful and should be kept for future reference.

I recently came across a stack of my books and tried to sell them online. The textbooks were basically worthless. The editions were out of date even though it's only been two years since I used them. I never looked back on those books for reference because I had the internet at my fingertips and it's faster. Lots of money went down the drain.

The fact of the matter is that there is no escaping getting the textbooks your professor requires. But offers a great alternative to spending a fortune on those books. You can order your books online at 40%-90% off bookstore prices. You can use them as if they were your own, even highlighting in them. They ship to you and from you for FREE, and they even offer flexible renting periods to accommodate your needs. They even offer a 30 day guarantee, so should you drop a class you can just send the book back for a full refund. This is an amazing way to save money and have your textbooks while you need them.

And as if this doesn't sound sweet enough, is also giving back in a big way. For every textbook that is rented a portion of the proceeds is donated to Operation Smile. Operation Smile allows children who need cleft lip surgeries to have them even though their families would not normally be able to afford it. Every child deserves to have the brightest smile, and helps make that happen!

Check it out and spread the word! Save money and make children smile!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

National Popcorn Month with The Popcorn Factory

Did you know that October is National Popcorn Month? I didn't know that until recently! The Popcorn Factory reached out to me to share this news and to share with me one of their limited edition Boo! tins. As a popcorn lover I was thrilled to get the chance to check it out and munch on their popcorn.

This tin is filled with 3 yummy flavors, all-natural butter, robust Cheese, and my favorite... caramel corn. I love the variety because you bring it out when company comes and there is something for everyone!

When the tin arrived I opened it up to check it out before my husband and daughter could get their hands on it.
At first I thought the tin was too tiny for the three of us to share. But I quickly realized that it was probably the perfect size. We've had the really big tins in the past and we would be eating popcorn for so long that it would become stale. This tin allowed us to all enjoy the popcorn while it was it's freshest! The butter and caramel were empty first, but really all three flavors were ymmy!

This is a really fun tin to send someone to celebrate National Popcorn month and Halloween! Check out their site for the many other options and occasions.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

World's Easiest Pumpkin Muffins

I have a friend from college who writes a food blog. I love her blog because most of what she makes is on my skill level. Sometimes she goes above and beyond my abilities, but for the most part she uses ingredients I'm familiar with and recipes that interest me.

The other day she posted a recipe for pumpkin muffins and I had to make them... right away. They are literally the easiest muffins I've ever made. and they taste delicious!!

1 box yellow cake mix
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1.5 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp sugar

1- Preheat the oven to 350. Line a muffin tin with 12 liners, or spray with cooking spray.
2- In a bowl combine the cake mix, pumpkin, and cinnamon, mixing well. Divide into 12 muffins.
3- Top each muffin with a pinch of sugar and a dash of cinnamon. Bake 18-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before serving.

From: Stephanie Cooks

Freschetta Proud to Support Pink Giveaway

As many of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Many companies are stepping forward to support the cause and the hope to find a cure. Freschetta is one of those amazing companies doing it's part to support this important cause by creating the Proud to Support Pink program.

From September 25th - October 31st you can help Freschetta support breast cancer research and enjoy their delicious products. Look for specially marked packages of Freschetta pizzas and Artisan Pizza Crusts. These specially marked packages will have a code that you can enter online and Freschetta will donate $1.00 towards their $50,000 goal.

While you are visiting the Proud to Support Pink site you can share a story about breast cancer and read other people's stories. If you participate you will be entered to win one of 50 pink iPod Shuffles! Additionally, 50 pink iPod Shuffles will be donated each week in October to four cancer centers around America to be enjoyed by cancer patients during treatments.

JEM and the Holograms: The Complete Series on DVD

JEM and the Holograms: The Complete Series
On DVD October 11th!

Wow, flash back to my childhood! As a child of the 80's I am very familiar with Jem, Jerrica Benton by day popstar by night! I had fond memories of Jem and her friends, the Holograms. So I was really excited to learn the would be hitting the shelves on DVD this month. I was anxious to see if reliving this show would live up to my expectations based on memories. 

America’s best-loved and truly outrageous animated pop star was Jem from the memorable 80’s pop culture series JEM and The Holograms. Best known for her iconic pink hair, star shape earrings, rousing musical numbers and trend setting fashion, Jem knew how to rock her glamour, glitter, fashion and fame and influenced a generation of viewers who grew up watching this animated series. 

On October 11, 2011, Shout! Factory, in collaboration with Hasbro Inc., will release the long-awaited JEM and The Holograms: The Truly Outrageous Complete Series! 11-DVD box set, sparkling with all the episodes in the order they were intended and an exclusive extra DVD packed with bonus features, including archival material rarely seen by fans! Poised to present a hard-to-refuse offer for loyal fans, this uncompromising 11-DVD box set is collected in a specially designed box and will be made available in stores nationwide. Also available to own on the same day is the single season DVD debut of JEM and The Holograms: Season One in a 4-DVD box set.

The series “JEM and The Holograms” ran from 1985-’88 in first-run syndication and still boasts a loyal and vocal fan base. It is frequently credited with influencing fashion in the late 1980s and beyond, and launching the careers of female pop-rock stars and music groups.  The series follows Jerrica Benton, whose discovery of Synergy, a powerful computer companion, allows her to transform from co-owner of Starlight Music into rock star Jem.  Teaming with her sister and best friends who form The Holograms, Jem sets out to make their musical dreams come true, even as she battles against the ruthless Eric Raymond and his musical protégés.  
Well, the experience wasn't exactly how I remembered it. The show is little cheesier than I remembered. But I still really enjoyed watching it. And I found it to be more enjoyable than many of the shows on for kids these days. Really, the 80's were the best and TV knew how to do it right. My daughter was really into it as well.

When you combine the friendship, adventures, and music you really can't go wrong. Jem and her friends are so sweet and care about each other so much. They stick together no matter what and that's a really nice message I want to portray to my daughter.

I love bringing shows from my childhood into my daughter's life. I think I even have a Jem doll floating around somewhere that I will need to dig out for her! And you can print some coloring sheets for your kids HERE.

You can look for this DVD set for $89.99 SRP, or you can just check out the first season for $29.93 SRP. They will both be available on October 11th nationwide. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Back in the USA!

I'm back from a fabulous adventure! This past weekend my brother-in-law got married in Toronto. So last week we loaded up the family for an 8 hour drive to Canada! This was my first time in Canada so I was really excited! And aside from the really, really, really long drive with a two year old... the trip was awesome!

On the way up we stopped in Rochester to see the National Museum of Play.  Totally awesome!!
They had an entire section devoted to Sesame Street and basically recreated the street. My daughter was in her glory with Elmo every where!
Wegman's has recreated a food store for kids! They get to shop for what they want and then check themselves out. And the checkout is fully functioning. What a great learning experience! And then they get to restock the shelves. We spent a long time in there... it's so much fun!
There is so much to see and do! There is a whole story book land and an entire room devoted to the Berenstein Bears. I wish it wasn't 5 hours away from us because I would totally go there all the time!

Then we continued on our way and were in Toronto before dinner! It was awesome to spend an entire weekend with our whole family. My parents and sister were invited as well, so we had all our loved ones with us!

The bride and groom had a gorgeous day... and everyone had a blast!
And my daughter was the cutest flower girl ever! I was so proud of her!
Oh, and my husband made a great best man, too! His speech brought people to tears! I love when siblings are close and best friends!

Then we spent a couple extra days seeing the sites.
My husband was in his glory at the Hockey Hall of Fame. He loved seeing all the Rangers stuff!
We saw lots of animals at the Toronto Zoo.
We made it to the top of the CN Tower and stood on the glass floor.
And ended our trip with a stop at Niagara Falls! Wow, a busy few days!

But now we are home and back to the real world. Look forward to more giveaways and reviews! And of course... we have winners coming soon for some of the open giveaways, so be sure to enter!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Flu Free is For Me!

Being a teacher I have had my share of germs and sicknesses. I remember my first year in the classroom I had to use so many sick days. My immune system was not used to working that hard and I hadn't been exposed to a lot of those germs in quite a few years. It really took it's toll on me.

My body did get used to the amount of germs it was being exposed to in the classroom. I was eventually making it through the entire school year without any major illnesses, just a cold here or there. But when I had my daughter the words "flu" and "cold" took on a whole new meaning.

The idea of my daughter getting sick literally scared me. Especially when she was very young. So I took a few steps to make sure that I was doing everything I could to keep her healthy.

1. The Flu Shot - The swine flu really got me crazy. I was terrified my daughter would catch it. But when it was first going around she was too young for the vaccine. So my husband and I did the best would could and got ourselves vaccinated. Now that she is old enough to receive the flu vaccine I make sure she gets it early in the season. I also make sure my husband and myself get it, as well as requesting that close family members consider it as well.

2. Wash Hands - I make a point to wash my hands frequently throughout the day. If I can keep myself healthy there is less chance for me to pass it on to my daughter. I also wash her hands several times a day.

3. Hand Sanitizer - Whenever we are out and about I make sure that I have a hand sanitizer on me. Especially at malls and grocery stores. This way I can clean her hands as soon as we get back to the car, because they will inevitably end up in her mouth before we get home.

4. Disinfect - I am a Lysol freak! I spray my doorknob handles at least once a week during the flu season. I also spray the phones, remotes, computer keyboards, and other frequently touched things. It's a quick and easy step to killing those lingering germs.

5. Stay In - Whenever I can, I stay in. I try to avoid busy places in the dead of winter. I can do a lot of my shopping online and prefer to do that over taking the risk of more germs. I don't want anyone to become a hermit by any means, but when it's not necessary it's nice to stay away from the coughs and sneezes.

Getting sick is part of childhood. This was a difficult reality for me to face. I do want my daughter's body to be exposed to things and learn to fight them off, but I don't want her sick for months at time. So taking some small steps can really make a difference in fighting off some of the germs.

 * Like Lysol® on Facebook and get a flu shot badge and an opportunity to receive a $5 flu shot rebate. Learn more about the flu rebate at

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Lysol blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Scentsy Giveaway

The fabulous Scentsy consultant, Jennifer Lebeda,
is offering an amazing giveaway for all of you!

If you're not familiar with Scentsy now is the time to learn about it! With the holidays right around the corner you should know all about their wonderful products that would make great gifts! Here is a little about Scentsy:

Scentsy began with a simple idea—a safe, wickless alternative to scented candles—and quickly grew into one of the most successful direct selling companies. This wickless concept was born when two stay-at-home moms began selling decorative warmers designed to melt scented wax with the heat of a light bulb instead of a traditional wick and flame.

With a toddler in the house wickless candles really appeal to me! I love candles... they way they look, the way they smell... but I don't burn them often because I worry about my daughter (who gets into everything) finding it! Scentsy offers a great solution!

Scentsy also offers a bunch of other great products like perfume, Scentsy Buddies, Plug In Warmers, and more. And with their huge selection of fragrances you are sure to find a favorite or two!

Holiday Cards from Tiny Prints

Holiday cards have been a family tradition for as long as I can remember. When I was growing up the holiday card process would start right after Thanksgiving. My mom is an artist, so every year she hand drew our cards and then had them professionally printed at a printer. Many people looked forward to her hand drawn cards and would call to tell her how lovely they were.

I was very impressed with my mother's talent and hoped to some day carry that tradition on. However, I seem to be missing that drawing gene. So I took to sending out store bought cards. Something was lost when I did this. I didn't feel my cards were as personal or special. I longed for the days when someone would call me about my Christmas card and tell me how lovely it was. Little did I know that those days were not too far off.

Two Christmas's ago my holiday card world changed when I suddenly had something beautiful to show off. My husband and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl in May and were anxiously awaiting our first photo card!

We took this opportunity to show off our little angel and had the photos professionally done. We were so excited that we had the cards out on December 1st and shortly after we received our first call. Family and friends were thrilled to see a photo of our now 6 month old baby girl. They commented on her outfit and how happy she looked. They couldn't believe she was sitting up by herself already. Finally we had a card that truly meant something to those who received it.

I look forward to creating our perfect Christmas card every year now. Tiny Prints is a great place to go to do that. They have a wide variety of options with different sizes, different shapes, bright and fun colors, classic looking ones. The possibilities are endless!

I have ordered cards from Tiny Prints in the past, so I can speak from experience about their quality. We ordered birth announcements and Baptism invitations and we were thrilled both times! They are printed on thick card stock and the images and colors are vibrant and clear. I highly recommend you check out their selection of holiday photo cards... or cards for any other occasion!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Morning Pick Me Up!

Hello, my name is Lara and I am addicted to coffee. It's true. I start my day...every day... with a hot cup of coffee. And it's not just that I need it for the added caffeine boost, I actually genuinely enjoy the taste. I even drink my coffee black, so you know I'm a true coffee lover!

My parents recently got a Keurig coffee maker and I am dying to add one to my kitchen. It's the fastest and easiest machine to operate. They had a variety box of all different types of coffee, tea, and even hot chocolate! So I browsed through and found a french vanilla brew and simply popped it in the machine. In about a minute I was sipping perfectly brewed, piping hot, yummy yummy yummy coffee!

I was really impressed with the Keurig and the fact that you can make a variety of things. I even found hot apple cider K-cups! I wish they had some more flavors... I can't find a pumpkin spice blend anywhere... but they do have a nice selection from a variety of companies. And did you know Dunkin Donuts now makes K-cups?? They are my all time favorite!

And I love the single cup servings. I throw out a lot of cold coffee because I make a couple cups and get busy and never finish the pot. With a Keurig I could make them as I want them. And the clean up is easy because all you have to wash is your cup!

The machine my parents have is pretty sophisticated. It looks like you can set timers and stuff. I didn't explore too much since I was not going to be blamed for breaking their coffee machine! That would not be good. But I am looking forward to using it a lot more when I visit... and perhaps getting one of my own.

Do you have a Keurig? Do you like it? What's your favorite K-cup?

Veggie Tales Review and Giveaway

I'm sure you can relate to me when I tell you that one of my goals as mother is to raise a child who turns into a good person. A well rounded person who is caring, honest, and kind. So instilling those moral values at a young age is extremely important to me. Veggie Tales is a great animated series that helps me instill strong Christian values in a fun and engaging way for kids. And they recently released two new titles that I am excited to share with you.

Larry Learns to Listen

Ahh, listening. As we are in the middle of the "terrible two's" listening has become a bit of a challenge. It can be frustrating at times to try and explain to her why listening is so important. Whether we are trying to teach her something new, keep her safe, or help her understand the rules... listening is a major skill that shows respect to those speaking to you.

In this fun adventure my daughter was able to see how important listening is as Larry breaks his brand new game because he was too excited and anxious to wait and learn how to use it. Luckily Larry has great friends who were there to help him and show him the value of listening and working together. This is a great DVD that I will continue to show my daughter for years to come. 

Bob Lends a Helping Hand

Being a helped is huge in this house! My daughter is often eager to help and I love to encourage that. Even though she often makes a little more of a mess for mommy, her enthusiasm is so heart warming that I want to make her feel like a super hero helping mommy! 

In Bob Lends a Helping Hand you will see these cute animated veggies step up to help when someone is in need. I love how this story teaches children that helping others isn't always easy. But it emphasizes how important it is to be helpful. A great message to share with young children!

Crock Pot Baked Apples

Ok, I promised this recipe days ago after posting on Facebook about how delicious they were! Really, they were amazing. Perfect for a cool fall night. And to top it off, they were very easy to make.

This recipe is from The Skinny Chef:


1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons trans-fat free margarine
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 Gala or Macintosh apples, cored
1/2 cup apple juice or apple cider
2 tablespoons orange liquor (optional)


Preheat a large crock-pot on high heat and preset it for 3 hours. In a large bowl, mix brown sugar, walnuts, margarine, and cinnamon. Fill the apples with the filling and place them in the crock-pot. Pour in the apple juice or cider and the liquor, if using. Cover and cook 2 1/2 to 3 hours on high heat until the apples are soft and begin to collapse.
I finished this off by adding frozen vanilla yogurt and warm caramel sauce. Yum! The apples literally fell apart.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Help Support Breast Cancer Research!

I was introduced to the wonderful company, Bouncing Frogs, about a year ago. I read about this family owned company and was impressed by their passion and commitment to creating high quality, luxury baby linens. As well as their commitment to having all their products made in the USA and providing their customers with free shipping on every order. On paper this looked and sounded like the kind of company that I would like to support. The next step was to check out their products.

I have had the pleasure to review their blankets and burp cloths in the past. These have got to be the softest material that I have ever come across for blankets and burp cloths. The quality of these products is unbeatable and after many, many trips through the washing machine they are still soft and beautiful.

Bouncing Frogs has so much to offer from blankets and burp cloths to gorgeous crib and toddler bedding. They offer a variety of colors for boys and girls, as well as optional custom monogramming. But beyond their exceptional products is their desire to give back to the community. And with this being Breast Cancer Awareness month, they are giving back in a powerful way to help find a cure.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month 

At Bouncing Frogs, we believe in doing well by doing good.  October is breast cancer awareness month. Each of us knows someone who has battled this terrible disease. We all need to work together to help find a cure.  Bouncing Frogs will go “pink” in October like everyone else. However, since this is a cause we are very passionate about we want to go one step further.

Bouncing Frogs will donate 100% of all profits we generate on any of our “Pink Products” during the month of October to Susan G. Komen For the Cure® 

Bouncing Frogs “Pink Products” include:

Please consider showing your support for a great cause!