Thursday, January 31, 2013

MyBlogSpark and #ProgressOh!

We all live for those little moments of Oh! when we look and feel our best. The feeling of Oh! when you button up your favorite old jeans... and they fit! Or they Oh! you get from your friends when you walk into a room confidently sporting a new dress! This moments of Oh! are some of the best of our lives! When's the last time you had one of those moments? Who's said Oh! lately in your life?

And of course there's the Oh! satisfaction when you discover a delicious ally that helps you beat diet boredom - Progresso soup! With 40 delicious flavors at 100 calories or less per serving, you are sure to find a soup that makes you say Oh!

I was lucky enough to receive this great gift pack from MyBlogSpark and ProgressOh! It couldn't have come at a better time. Now that my baby boy is here I am on a mission to get my body back to it's prepregnancy size... or better. And I was beginning to get a little bored with my oatmeal for breakfast and salad for lunch routine. So I was happy to add in some soup and see how it held up in the taste department.

The Light Creamy Potato with Bacon & Cheese is by far my favorite flavor. I love creamy soups but often avoid them. This is one soup I can indulge in without feeling bad because it fits in with my diet. There is nothing better than a hearty bowl of hot soup on a cold winter's day.

Progresso makes it easy to add flavor and variety without falling off the diet wagon. These soups will be a big part of my journey back to prepregnancy size!

And be sure to visit Progresson on Facebook to find out how you could enter to win the ultimate ProgressOh! Make-Oh-ver experience in Hollywood!

You could win a prize pack just like mine! Included is two canof Progresso soup, a cosmetic bag, and a compact mirror and brush.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: The information, products and ProgressOh! gift packs were provided by Progresso through MyBlogSpark.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wooby and Peep - By Cynthea Liu

By Cynthea Liu
Illustrated by Mary Peterson

Opposites attract and become fast friends in this quirky, funny picture book.

Wooby lives in a nice, quiet neighborhood where everyone minds his own business. And he likes it that way. Then noisy, energetic Peep moves next door with her banging and smashing and crashing. She even gives a "wild" PARTY! At first, shy Wooby is beside himself - until he realizes that he and Peep have more in common than he ever imagined. Hilarious comic-book panels throughout add fun and joy to this unique story.

My Thoughts:
I love stories about unlikely friends because I think they send such a good message to children. In this book you learn about two characters who couldn't be more different. They don't seem to have anything in common, but Wooby does something no one else will do for Peep... he goes to his party. 

Peep and Wooby really don't hit it off. But Peep continues to try to be Wooby's friend. His attempts often lead to disaster and you only imagine that they two will never be able to be friends. However, these two overcome their differences and celebrate what they do have in common. A friendship is made and celebrated!

There is no better message to share with your children then to accept another's differences and look for something you can connect with them about. Tolerance, acceptance, and friendship are great themes in this fun book. And the illustrations are fabulous! With so much to look at and explore on each page my daughter stayed fully engaged while we read this story together!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mommy Moment

This picture pretty much says it all. The first couple of days with a new baby were not the best experience for my daughter. Let's back track.... if you read my birth story you know how she reacted to our gender reveal. She quickly grew into the idea of a brother and started telling everyone she was going to be a big sister! She couldn't wait to go to my parents house for the big sleepover while mommy had the baby. All seemed well... so off I went to the hospital with visions of a perfect family dancing in my head.

My parents were in the waiting room from the time I was supposed to go into surgery at 8 am. Of course things were delayed and our beautiful little boy wasn't born until 9:02. My husband headed to the nursery with him and brought my parents and daughter to see him through the glass.

She was ecstatic! She could not wait to see her new brother and mommy. My parents took her home while I was in recovery and came back a few hours later when I was settled into my room. She pranced into the roo m only to basically freeze in her tracks. I think she was completely taken by surprise to see her mommy in a hospital bed all hooked up to different things.

I did my best to make her feel at ease and my mom held the baby so she could get a closer look. She crept over to the baby, said "oh he's so cute," and leaned in to kiss him on the forehead. To her surprise she got a nice shock from her kiss!

It took her by surprise and she cried out saying the baby hurt her and she was never going near him again. She was brought over to me so I could comfort her..... I lean in to kiss her and she gets a shock from me! Darn hospitals creating static electricity!

She then announced she was never coming near me or the baby ever again! She then asked my mom to take her "home"... back to their house. The next few days she didn't even want to come in the room... much less near me or the baby. Things didn't improve until we got home. Then she got up the courage to get close to hom and proudly exclaimed "I didn't get a shock!"

Now she hugs and kisses him all the time... sometimes still exclaiming "I didn't get a shock!"

How did your older kids react to a new baby? Review is the place to go for your party planning needs! I love planning birthday parties for my daughter and this site truly has everything I could ever need to make her parties picture perfect!

For anyone out there who has kids I am sure you can relate to my biggest problem when party planning... a theme. There are so many great themes out there for little girls. Perhaps too many. My daughter is at the age where she wants to pick her own theme. That's great! Except she changes her mind every couple of days and I am left feeling like I can't commit to one idea.

In order to help solve this problem I sat my daughter down and she came up with a list of ideas. She had everything from Hello Kitty to Spiderman on her list. Then we went to and looked up each idea she had to see if they had a party pack available. They had a pack for every idea! Then I was able to show my daughter exactly what her idea would look like in real life. This was so helpful because it helped her to narrow down her choices and ultimately make a decision.

Her choice: Disney Tangled

Her face lit up when she saw this party pack online. Her favorite colors are purple and pink and Rapunzel is one of her favorite princess's. I knew this one would be a big hit. Then the box arrived and the excitement really grew! She pulled each item out one at a time and said "Wow, look at these plates! And the forks are purple!." This is one excited little girl!

While the party pack is pleasing to my almost 4 year old... it is also pleasing to me. I love that the design and colors are clear and crisp. They look great! Perhaps even more important then looking good is that they are high quality. The plates and cups are sturdy... hopefully helping to prevent spills... haha! And the forks and spoons are strong, so they won't be broken.

I am so excited for my daughter to wow her friends with a party fit for a princess. really does have everything you need for the perfect party at affordable prices. And they offer free shipping on orders over $75. They have so many themes to pick from you are sure to find exactly what you are looking for!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Finding My Faith

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Finding My Faith

101 Inspirational Stories about Life, Belief, and Spiritual Renewal

Everyone's faith story is different. People of all faiths share their personal experiences in this inspiring collection of amazing stories about the number of ways people discover, or rediscover, their faith - whether it's Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu or any other religion. These inspirational stories will touch the hearts and souls of readers. 

My Thoughts:
I always really enjoy the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. I love the fact that they are made up of short stories that are quick and easy reads. I often find myself sitting down to read one or two excerpts and instead reading for hours. These are the types of books I can really find myself getting lost in.

Finding My Faith was especially interesting to me because of the variety of stories. All of the stories focused on the same thing.... personal journies that have led people to find their faith. But the stories were so varied by experiences or circumstances that led them to where they are now. Whether it had taken them years and years or their lives were changed in an instant by some remarkable event. I also found it very interesting because the stories cover so many different faiths. I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic school until I went to college. So very often I was exposed to stories about people finding or coming back to the church. This book brought different views, perspectives, and experiences to light.

I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for faith, has already found it, or wants to learn about the experiences of others. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Loveable Labels - Review and Giveaway

The New Year is upon us and Loveable Labels is celebrating friends 
with the launch of their new Friendship Pack!

Loveable Labels is the place to go to create persoanlized labels for all your kids' stuff. They have labels for everything from clothing to bags to shoes and more. I know I like to label everything my daughter takes out of the house... whether she is going to school, dance, swimming, or on a play date. She loves to leave stuff behind and this makes it easier to make sure it finds it's way home.

The new Friendship Packs are filled with over 120 labels in sticker, slimline, and fun stickies. Each label is easy to peel and stick wherever you need it. And they are microwave and dishwasher safe. They are also waterproof and UV resistant. So they won't fade or wash off.

They offer 4 different designs so you can personalize them for your boy or girl and be sure that they are just their style. We were fortunate enough to get to check these labels out in person. Since we will be sending my son off to school in a few months we decided to get ready with labels made just for him. We chose the "You're Out of This World" design.

I can share two perspectives with you for this review. I can share my initial reaction to this package and I can also share my experience with this company and their labels that I have been using for well over a year. I will start with the labels that I just received... they are awesome! The colors are so bright and crisp while not over powering the name. The name is clear and large enough to be easily read on even the smallest/thinnest label. I think the designs are really fun and cute.

Now I can talk from experience. We also got labels from Loveable Labels when my daughter went off to school over a year ago. We have out them on everything from shoes to bathing suits to lunch boxes and water bottles. Every label is still in great condition! They have been through the dishwasher and the washing machine and still look great. They have not faded, don't peel off, and last a really long time. I have plenty of lables to go around am still using the same pack. I couldn't be more thrilled with the quality. This is an affordable product that I would definitely recommend!

*Use coupon code FRIENSHIP24 to receive $5 off any purchase of $25 or more. This code is valid until February 28, 2013

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mommy Moment

So now that I am back in the world of being a stay at home mom, I wanted to try and get my blog back to a more personal level. So I am going to start something called "Mommy Moment" where I share something that is going on in my mommy world.

I have to admit that life is pretty crazy right now. I had read a lot about having a second child and found that most people felt it was harder to go from 1-2 kids then it was to go from 0-1. I didn't believe them.

Here was my arguement.... when you don't have any kids you are completely FREE. You can go out to dinner whenever you want. You can sleep in on Saturdays. You can make last minute plans. You can stay up late. You can have friends over. You can take romantic vacations. The only person you have to worry about is you (and your husband).

When you add a kid to the mix your entire life changes. Everything you do revolved around them. You want to go out to dinner? You need enough notice to find a babysitter. You want to browse the mall? You better be able to browse in the 30 minutes the baby is asleep in the stroller before they need to be changed and fed and all hell breaks loose. You want to sleep in after a late night? HA!

So when I had my daughter I wa so relieved to find that I LOVED it. I didn't mind staying home on a Friday night... it was where I wanted to be. I didn't mind being tired because we could snuggle on the couch all day. I didn't mind not being able to shop.... ok, yeah I missed that. But with online shopping what are you really missing?

I was already in the mommy groove and I figured adding one more to the mix would be easy.


Going from 1 kid to 2 kids was a whole new world. We had just gotten into an awesome groove with my daughter. She was potty trained.... in a big girl bed... sleeping 11 hours at night.... and was fun to take out to places. All of that went out the window. Not only were we starting over with the diapers, midnight feedings, massive amounts of laundry, being chained to the house during flu season challenges... but now we had a whole new set of challenges to add to the bag.

Now we had a 3 year old who needs to get to dance class by 9:30.... ummm... 9:30! We are lucky if we have our acts together by 10:30. Then we get home and she wants to eat... and so does he. He's screaming... so she starts screaming. Now she needs to go down for a nap but she wants me to read her a story... but he just had a big poop and he wants to eat. I feel torn in half and exhausted all day long!

Here's the good news. It's getting easier. We are 6 weeks in to being a family of four and we are getting in a groove. The little man is sleeping better and is happier hanging out and doesn't need to be held all day. My daughter is becoming more independent and more helpful. She is really enjoying her baby brother.

It's still hard... but we are getting there! How was your adjustment to one kid? Two kids? More?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

We've made it to the one month mark!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Yoplait's New Frozen Yogurt - #MyBlogSpark

Attention  Yogurt lovers everywhere, it's time to celebrate! Now the goodness you've come to expect from Yoplait Yogurt is available in the frozen aisle. We've taken popular, natural yogurt flavors, and transformed them into Yoplait Original and Greek Frozen Yogurt Pints and Bars. That's four more ways to enjoy the low-fat taste and rewarding benefits of Yoplait Yogurt. 

I am a  bog yogurt eater and often enjoy Yoplait Yogurt with my breakfast, lunch, or even for a snack. I love the variety of flavors that allow me to really enjoy my yogurt while gaining important nutritional value through the calcium and live and active cultures. So I was really excited to receive a great gift pack that would give me the opportunity to try out the new frozen variety of Yoplait Yogurt.
I received the gift pack pictures above. It included two stainless steal bowls (in my favorite color... purple) an ice cream scoop and a coupon to try Yoplait's new frozen yogurt. I had the makings for a perfect night with my husband a bowl of frozen yogurt. We decided to try the original strawberry flavor and we are glad we did!

I love how creamy and flavorful this treat was. It allowed me to indulge in something delicious while still sticking with my New Years resolution to maintain a healthy diet. They have a wide variety of flavors for you to pick from, so you are sure to find one (or more) that you love. 

You can learn more about Yoplait's new frozen yogurt on their website or on their Facebook page. 

Disclosure: The information, products and Yoplait gift pack were provided by Yoplait through MyBlogSpark.

Friday, January 4, 2013

My Birth Story

Our Miracle 

When I sat down to write this story I figured I would start with the morning of my c-section. But then as I was thinking about it I realized that my birth story really started long before that day. It actually started over a year and a half ago... when we decided to start trying for another baby.

I had always imagined that I would have at least two children... maybe three... but definitely two. Immediately after my daughter was born I promised that was it! The labor and emergency c-section was so painful and scary that I swore I would never do it again. But it's true that a mother forgets. Within a few months I knew I wanted another baby.

We waited until our daughter was about a year and a half old before we started trying. The next year brought us heartbreak and the fear that we might not have another baby. We lost two angels and couldn't bear the thought of losing another. We almost stopped trying.

Thankfully was gave it another try... and this time our dreams came true. We found out we were pregnant in April of 2012. We waited awhile to tell any friends or family to make sure everything was ok. Finally in July we were able to share the news... and most importantly, tell our daughter that she was going to be a big sister. 

She took the news great! She was really looking forward to having a "sister." So when we found out what we were having we filled a box with balloons and let her open the box to see if it would be a boy or a girl.
Her immediate response was "where are the pink ones?" But luckily she adjusted and became very excited about her future little brother who she lovingly nicknamed Donald Duck.

Fast forward a few months after a thankfully uneventful pregnancy and we were ready to schedule our c-section. My previous birth experience was slightly traumatizing as I had complications and ended up having to be put completely under and missing the whole experience. But after 16 hours of labor I was too exhausted to care too much. But it put a lot of fears in my head.

We scheduled the big day for 12-12-12... what a cool date! So the weeks leading up I was worried I would go into labor early. I knew the baby was big and my daughter came a week early. So I figured this guy would come even earlier. But we made it to the big day.

As I was laying in bed all hooked up to the monitors I said to the nurse that I felt like I might be having contractions. She said that I was and that he knew today was the day and he was ready to come! This made me feel so much better as I always worried with a scheduled c-section if he would be ready to come out.

The contractions quickly intensified and I was relieved when it was time to head to the OR. I was also a barrel of nerves! The anesthesiologist became my best friend, since she was right by my head she talked to me the whole time and helped me relax. My husband was helpful too... but hearing a doctor say everything was going perfectly was very comforting. 

Since this was my first time experiencing I didn't know what to expect. The things that threw me off were how close the doctors were to my head. It makes sense, but they were literally right on the other side of the sheet and I could hear every word they said to each other.... ummm yuck! We had two med students in the room... so they were talking them through the surgery. Not the best idea and I wouldn't recommend allowing it if you are squimish like I am!  And the other major thing that took me by surprise was the smell. I never asked what it was because I don't think I really wanted to know. But I imagine it was the burning of cauterizing things.

The good news is that you really don't feel anything. I was worried about the whole feeling pressure thing. But it was nothing. And before I knew it I heard my baby crying and then I got my first look at my little miracle. I was so glad I was awake and that my husband was there. Then I was distracted by my baby for a few minutes as they brought him over to me. Then they took him away to the nursery and gave me a sedative while they finished up. The sedative was great... I just laid back and relaxed. 

Then the doctors called down to the nursery because they were placing bets on how big he was. I was expecting him to be between 9 and 10 pounds. The actual weight blew everyone away.... 11 pounds 14 ounces! More to love!

I am so happy that my story has a happy ending. My little miracle was well worth the wait. We are now settling into life as a family of four. It has been an adventure and it's not always easy... but it's worth it every day.

Second Honeymoon Contest #4!

Most Memorable Wedding Moment
Video Contest
January 4th - 10th

Here's your last chance to win a fabulous second honeymoon from! All you have to do is upload a video of your most memorable wedding moment. If you don't have a video you can create one where you explain your most memorable wedding moment. Don't worry about making it look like a Hollywood movie.... just use your webcam or smartphone to capture your memory!

This time the winner will be determined by votes.... so make sure you share your entry with friends and family so they can vote for you!

Click HERE for all the details and to get started uploading your video!
Good luck!