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Monday, December 13, 2010

$50 Visa Gift Card Winner!!

Ohmigosh. In the history of, like, forever...something happened! I went to random.org, plugged in the numbers...and got this:

NUMBER ONE??!!!!! I've never seen THAT before!

So, that means that our winner is:

Congrats, Mami2jcn!! You've got 24 hours to reply to my email (or I'll hafta pick a new winner...) starting...

NOW!! GO! ;)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

CSN Winner!

As predicted, I'm not announcing to winner until later than I first said! It's still (kinda) morning, right?!

Okay, friends, without further ado...*insert drumroll*...I would like to announce the winner of the $65 to CSN is:

random.org gave me #20...and that was Brooke!! I'll send you an email, Brooke, please confirm you have received it in 24 hours or I'll hafta pick a new winner!!

Congratulations Brooke!! I hope you get something fabulous!

(Don't forget, I have another giveaway going on for a $50 Visa card...it's from Pull-Ups, but don't worry...ANYONE can enter...Pull-Up user or not!) ;)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Your kid pooped their pants?

There's an app for that!!

For real!! Huggies Pull-Ups has created a FREE app to help you and your kiddo with potty training!!

A long, long time ago, I was contacted by the fun people at Huggies to try out their new app! I was so excited (it came with an awesome "incentive"...a FlipCam!) to try it out! Then...life fell apart on me.

And the review got pushed to the back burner...but, what matters, is here it is now!

I put together a video to show you how much fun this app is!!

My Baby Girl loves playing with this app...and I really think the "iGo Potty" app could be a great tool for potty training!

Huggies is also offering a giveaway with this review!! A $50 Visa Gift Card, as well as a couple Pull-ups coupons (if you want them!)!

(***Disclaimer: For years (14, to be exact) I poo-pooed Pull-ups. Until I actually tried them! While I still firmly believe underpants only!! during the day, I am now a Pull-Up fan at night! Thanks for opening my eyes, Huggies!)

You get TWO entry options with this one!!

1. Comment on this post! Anything will do!
2. Tweet this (and leave a comment that you did!): Win a $50 Visa gift card from @5crookedhalos and @PullUpsBigKid! http://bit.ly/ePiZTV

Thanks Huggies, for this awesome opportunity!

Contest will run until Sunday, December 12th, at 11:59 pm. I will announce the winner on Monday! Good luck!

**Pull-Ups® training pants provided me with a Flip cam and product coupons to try out the new iGo Potty iPhone app and document my experience, as well as conduct a reader giveaway with a $50 visa gift card and product coupons. However, my opinions on the product are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive sentiments towards Pull-Ups® or their products.

LG Interview...Answers!

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and LG Text Ed

I have to admit, when we agreed to get The Pal his phone, we had grand plans to sit down and hash out rules and regulations. Do's and Don'ts. Must's and must nots. Turns out, that we got him a phone at what transpired to be a crazy, busy, stressful time in our lives.

What should have been a priority, got swept under the rug by fallen trees and other miscellaneous stressors. So, I was pleased to be handed an opportunity (with a deadline!!) to chat about texting with The Pal!

To say I was enlightened is an understatement. I realize he could be pulling the wool over my eyes, but I was very impressed with the sincerity and honesty that he answered these questions with. (I did have to bribe him with a treat at Perkins for it, tho...)

Without further ado, here is the interview the Pal and I had:

Via Kate:

I work with 75 teenaged girls on a weekly basis. It seems they keep the school drama and rumor mill going all night long via texting. Are boys doing this too or do the just let it go?! School bullying shouldn't follow a kid home.

Via Mrs. Werginz:

I work in a MS and girls seem to be texting pictures of themselves to boys...like in bras or even a bare breast. Ask your son if he knows he can be in major trouble if one is ever sent to him and found out about it at school?! They will take the phone and ISS/OSS may occur depend on how graphic the picture is! I just want teens to respect themselves and feel they have to do that in order to feel "cool" or "liked" by the opposite sex.

Via Lysana:

Ask him whether he's ever sent a text or a picture that he ended up really regretting because it got passed along to unintended recipients - or if not, if he knows someone to whom that has happened.

Ask, has there ever been an instance where he wanted to play a joke on someone by sending what could be a hurtful text. Also, has he ever gotten any texts that have made him feel uncomfortable and wanted to bring it to your attention. Another, is there any case where he would go to your husband (dad) before coming to you with a text he has received.

Here's what The Pal had to say:

To Kate's question:

No. Guys aren't like girls, if we get mad we *makes motion to punch*. Guys don't talk about each other.

(My input: If ever I've discovered a difference between boys and girls, it is in their conflict handling ability. He is opening my eyes to how boys can just "let it go"...where as girls carry it on. And on.)

To Mrs. Werginz question:

I know you can get in trouble. Yeah, I know you can get in real trouble. They talked to us about it in school.

(My input: I've had several discussion with him regarding different stories I've heard about teens getting in trouble legally and the implications that can have on him for the rest of his life. I think he gets it...but do teenagers really ever "get" anything completely?)

To Lysana's question:

No. *rolls eyes* Gosh mom.

(My input: I then proceeded to tell him about the young girl who sent a "sext" of herself to what she intended to be her boyfriend, but what was, instead, her entire contact list. Which included her parents, grandparents and pastor, and resulted in some investigations. That got his attention.)

To This Daddy's questions:

No, I've never played a joke...or gotten an uncomfortable text. (I told him I had...and he will, at some point, receive something that is not appropriate or comfortable...he said he would delete it.)

In response to the last part of This Daddy's question:

He didn't say much. Just smiled and shook his head...at which point I said, "I know you...you wouldn't come to any of us, you'd just take care of it yourself, wouldn't you?"

He laughed and answered affirmatively!

I then asked him if he thought parents should have the right to, unannounced, take their child's cell phone and go through the texts. I'll admit, he hesitated just a bit, then said, "Yeah. They should."

I don't doubt that he may not be telling me the entire truth...but I do trust that he has a good head on his shoulders and knows what to do if he should find himself in a difficult texting situation.

Now that I've written this, I realized we didn't even approach the driving and texting topic...I'll have to bring that up!

As a reminder, because this topic is so important for our kids and their futures,BlogHerreally wants to get the conversation about texting, sexting and safety going...both with our kids and among parents. It will match LG’s donation of .50 to dosomething.org for every comment on this post, so please give me your suggestions on questions for my son!Dosomething.org will get a $1.00 for each and every one of your comments!

Monday, December 6, 2010

65 Bucks to CSN!!!

I'll totally be honest with you here...I wanted to keep this 65 dollars all to myself. I was dreaming of the gifts I could knock off my list with 65 bucks to, essentially, anywhere!

Have you ever shopped CSN? It's incredible...tons of stores, under one "roof"...er, website, I guess! They've got bathroom cabinets and kids furniture, lighting and toys...you need it? They've got it!

Lemme just show you a couple of things from CSN...

Their site is crazy easy to navigate...and you'll find something for that special someone on your list!

All you need to do to enter is leave me a comment. Any comment'll do!!

**Contest runs through Wednesday, December 8th, at 11:59 pm, at which time I will shut off comments and announce the winner! Well, really, I'll probably announce the winner on Thursday morning!

Good luck!

(This giveaway is sponsored, in it's entirety, by CSN.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sexting...Is Your Teen "Doing It"?

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and LG Text Ed

Do you know what your teen is texting?

I know we've all heard about "sexting", and I trust that we all have ground rules for our teens, but do we ever really know what our teens are sending (or receiving) from their cell phones?

Sexting is a real and serious problem...what a teenager could perceive as "funny", could actually land them in some very serious legal trouble. According to this ABC News story, the possibility of your child being charged with "possession of child pornography" is real and true.

Just ask the Wisconsin boy that it happened to.

Do our teens understand the devastating consequences of these charges? What the repercussions are of having charges like that on their records or what it would mean to them to have to register as a sex offender?

Probably not...their brains aren't wired to make wise and long term decisions, which is where we, as parents, come in.

We need to make sure that our children are not only being responsible with their cell phone use, but that they realize the importance of respecting themselves and others around them. It isn't enough for them to just erase the photo...it just plain old needs to stop.

As parents, we need to impress upon our kids how "uncool" it is to send, forward, or receive inappropriate photos.

Who would've thought 10 (heck, even 5!!) years ago, that we'd need to include "sexting" in our "birds and bees" talks with our kids? Not me...but I've realized that, indeed, it has come to that.


Every comment on this, or any of the other "BlogHer and LG TextEd" posts raises a $0.50 donation to DoSomething.org, an online site for teens that encourages offline activities for them!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

EcoStore: A Review!

A little while ago (okay, okay...I'm lying. It was quite awhile ago! Sorry ecoStore USA! I started out planning on using the product for a bit, to really get a feel for it, and then summer blew up on us, and here we are...nearly into winter. Please forgive me!) ecoStore asked me if I would be willing to review a couple of products.

Well...anything that proclaims "No Nasty Chemicals!!" is right up my alley, as I am trying to be more cognizant of what I put in and ON my children's bodies, so I jumped on it and said, "Yes, yes, YES!!"

The two products I chose were the Baby Moisturizer:

And the Baby Bar Soap:

Let me just say, that I hoarded these. That I put them high up, out of the reach of the kids hands, 'cuz I didn't want them to "waste" it! I LOVED these products...and, so, okay...I did let the kids use them, I mean, I did it for them, afterall!

But...in the sake of a review I, of course, had to try them. I mean, I couldn't just rely on my two year old for an unbiased review, right?

Let me just proclaim, for all the world to hear, that the bar soap is something straight from heaven. We have hard water...and by "hard" I mean that it's so hard, it hurts when you take a shower.

Getting soap to lather is an extraordinary feat of it's own...but this soap? This fabulous, heaven-sent bar soap? It lathered with the most silky suds you'd ever imagine. It was love at first lather. (And, for real...I put it up high. Since my kids tend to squeeze the soap when it gets all warm and melty, I didn't want this happening to my heavenly soap. But, I did let them use it under strict observation.)

The bar soap also had a fabulous smell. I say "smell" and not "scent" because, remember? There are "No Nasty Chemicals!!", so the "smell" is more of a natural, soft, clean, pleasing, chemical-free scent. Lovely.

The Moisturizer was almost equally wonderful. Unfortunately for it, I used the bar soap first, and it would've been hard for it to trump the soap. But, love it I did!

It was better than any moisturizer I've used before...it felt more...more...well, more moisturizing than most moisturizers! (I was a die hard big name chain-store brand prior to using this...of all the bottles and scents of the that chain-store lotion that I have laying around, I usually choose the EcoStore bottle over anything!)

Not an overly thick moisturizer, it went on smoothly, and absorbed quickly. I never felt sticky or oily after applying it. And again...the "smell" was wonderfully soft and natural.

I'm in love. ecoStore has won me over...and I am in love with their product! Thank you ecoStore!

Check out ecoStore USA's Twitter and Facebook pages!

*ecoStore USA provided me with 2 products of my choice to review. I was not compensated for this review, other than with the product provided, and my review is completely my honest opinion.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

CSN Giveaway #2 Winner!!

Update: New winner! I didn't hear from Brae...so my new winner is:

April!! Congrats! Contact me and I'll give you the info!

Original Post:

Random.org picked a low winner for the second time in a row!

Very envious that they gets to spend 60 bucks to get something totally amazing!

Our lucky winner?

Brae and Joey!!!

Congrats!! Send me your email and I'll get you the details soon!!

(PS--Brae and Joey are an item...as in one winner...) ;)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

CSN Giveaway #2!!

Who's ready for another CSN giveaway?!

I was contacted by them again, recently, to do another giveaway...for a $60 gift certificate...good at any of their online stores!

I sorta wanted to keep it for myself...the Mr. and I are discussing a major overhaul for our main bathroom...and I'm talkin' major! Ripping out walls, a new tub, a new bathroom sink, new vanities and cupboards...we could find a bazillion things to spend 60 bucks on! (I'm not sure what we'll be getting ourselves into...I just know that I'm sick of living with a defunct bathroom.)

So...whaddya say? You in? Would YOU like to nab 60 bucks to any of over 200 stores of your choosing?

Remember when I did this giveaway? You could get that, or buy your little one one of these adorable guys:

Or...how 'bout this step stool? (Is it strange that I really want this?)

As for the aforementioned bathroom sink, whaddya think about this (and, without being too Pioneer Womanish...can I ask for your input along the way, while we remodel?):

Wanna know how you can be entered to win $60 to spend as you wish?! Easy peasy lemon squeezy! Just leave me a comment below this post and you'll be entered!

One entry per person, please...contest will remain open until Monday night at 11:59 (11:59 'cuz I never know if I say "midnight", will people think Sunday night or Tuesday morning...did I just confuse you? 'Cuz I confused myself.)


*This contest is sponsored by CSN.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Baby Boutique Winner!!!

There I go again...making it sound like someone has won a whole stinkin' boutique!

What I mean, is...Baby Boutique Gift Certificate Winner!!

And, the winner is:

And, #6 was Jenny, from SIDAC!! Congrats, Jenny! Send me your email address so that I can get your info to mybabyclothesboutique.com and you can start your shopping!

(PS--Jenny, I'd LOVE to see what you get!)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Beautiful Baby Boutique Giveaway!!!

Giveaway now closed!!! Winner announced shortly!

When I was approached by My Baby Clothes Boutique to do a giveaway, I was very excited!

Then, I visited their site...and I was ECSTATIC! (That's a fancy word for excited!) ;) So many fun things!

One lucky winner will win a $25 gift certificate to shop away!!

I totally got lost in the amazing baby clothes, they have sooooo many cute, unique options!

And the baby headbands?! TO. DIE. FOR!! Just look at this one!

And then? And THEN! The baby hats! Oh my gracious...check this one out!

I can hardly stand it, they're so cute!! And there is sooooo much more over there...you've just gotta look around!

Here's what you need to do to enter...

Visit one (or all! you won't be disappointed!) of the links above, and leave me a comment with feedback about the site. Did you like what you saw? Was it easy to navigate? Did you see something you just can't live without?

Easy peasy! I will leave this giveaway open until Sunday night and I will announce the winner on Monday morning, when a lucky someone will get to start shopping!

Oh, and one more thing...(I think you're gonna like this...)

Anyone who adds mybabyclothesboutique.com to their blog roll will get a special gift! Just email shannon@mybabyclothesboutique with your link to receive your gift!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Epic Fail Bars...in a Le Creuset Pan!

Waaayyyyyy a long time ago...like, eons ago...I was given a piece of Le Creuset to review.

It's gorgeous.

Almost "too good to use".

It's a bar pan.

And, I'm not a baker...hence the major delay in getting this review out.

But, anyway...I may not be a baker, but I'm a stick to my worder. That's for sure!!

So, lemme tell ya 'bout these Epic Fail Bars, of mine. They were disastrous. Well, okay, they were edible...but no one edibled them.

I dunno what it was. But, let me show you what I did (and how beautiful my Le Creuset Pan was!!)...

Sigh...gorgeousness. I wish all of my cookware could be Le Creuset. But, it's not. This, this fabulous, Epic Fail Bar pan, is all I've got.

All I'll probably ever have.

I have no idea why I'm even showing you the ingredients to these.

It's the hidden food blogger in me, I guess. My feeble attempt to cling to whatever smidge of pride I have when it comes to cooking.

(Trust me, tho...when I say these were "epic fail"...)

I began this epic misadventure, by first, believing that I could be creative in enough in my culinary skills to come up with something all on my own. (Mistake #1)

After I had sufficiently deluded myself into thinking I was even somewhat capable of baking, I enlisted some child labor, and had my oldest daughter help me with the sugar cookie crust.

Once again, disproving the fact that I am even somewhat of a food blogger, I forgot to tell you that you needed Heath bits as part of this "Disaster Heard Round the World" (or at least heard round my house)...

But anyway...I then pressed Heath bits and chopped pecans into the crust. Sounds yummy enough, right?

This...this next step is where, perhaps, I began to go wrong.

I used some leftover Christmas caramel (I'd be lying if I told you the caramel itself wasn't epic fail. I cooked it for ever. Like, seriously, for freakin' ever! Two hours on the stove top...and STILL not set up enough to cut and wrap. Stoopid caramel.) that I had in the fridge.

Nevermind that it was probably a month old. I used it anyway.

Then I baked it.

And, I don't remember at what temperature, or for how long...but I baked it. And it looked decent coming out of the oven.

And, this may be the second instance in which I make it blatantly obvious that I do not deserve to be gifted such fabulous things like a Le Creuset bar pan...I used leftover Chocolate Ganache, straight from the Pioneer Woman.

Ahhh, that's the recipe that was straight from P-Dub...not the left over ganache...although, I've got nothing against her leftover ganache...not at all! In fact...she tweeted me once upon a time about what, exactly, I could use left over chocolate ganache for.

These bars were not a part of that tweet.

Anyway, when the bars were coolish...I poured the reheated, ganache over them.

I was disillusioned to think that ganache makes anything taste good. Take it from me...

It does not.

When it was all said and done, the bars looked delicious...especially because they were residing in a beautiful blue bar pan from Le Creuset.

But, alas...looks can be deceiving.

They were awful...but, I hafta say...they were evenly cooked...the pan held up beautifully, without any scratches or marks, and cleaned up easily after the bars were dumped into the garbage.

The only lasting ill effects on the pan, are my association of it with the Epic Fail Bars.

Which, I guess, is more damage to my psyche than it is to the pan.

*I was provided this bar pan by Le Creuset in exchange for a review. I was not compensated monetarily for this review.