Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

When I was six years old I had a very rude awakening. I'd sat down at the Thanksgiving table wearing the Pilgram outfit I'd so maticulously made in school. My aunt immediately gave me an education about the pilgrams and their role in the genocide of Native Americans, our ancestors. Heavy. The tears commenced and although I was forced to face the harsh reality of the origins of Thanksgiving, it was a lesson that I never forgot. Thanksgiving in my family is all about spending time with family and giving thanks for all of the blessings we have. This year I am going to my best friend's new home to enjoy food and spend some quality together.

I also keep in mind those that are facing challenges and in the midst of trails
still give thanks. Last week I had the opportunity to volunteer and learn more
about The Ronald McDonald House Charities.

From November 10-20th McDonald's all over the country held the Give A Hand fundraiser and asked each visitor if they'd like to contribute one dollar to RMHC.



I actually worked the drive thru window and asked for donations!
After our gig at Mickey D's we all visited the newest Atlanta Ronald McDonald
House which provides temporary housing and support services to families of critically ill and injured children being treated at Children's Healthcare of
Atlanta. The RMH Charities also provides grants to children's non-profits and supports education by giving scholarships to students entering college. I was really impressed with everything that I learned about the charity and the support it receives from the community.

All of the dinners at RMH are donated and although some families require
special meals, this is truly a blessing for the families that are able to enjoy
them.There are Ronald McDonald House's all across the country and they are
always in need of donations of household items, coffee, tea, frozen
dinners, and cleaning supplies. There are also volunteer opportunities. I
think this is a wonderful charity and having met a few of the families,
it is clear that RMH truly makes a difference in their lives.

This Thanksgiving I encourage you to give thanks for your blessings and also think about how you can help those that are in need this season.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Great Giveaway

This giveaway is so good I really don't want to share. But, I will. My friend Mannequin is giving away a Wii Fit Plus and Jullian Michaels new game Fitness Ultimatum 2010. And although I am truly an EA SPORTS Active convert, I wouldn't mind having the Wii Fit Plus for some variety. They say variety is the spice of life right? So what are you waiting for? Head on over to Fractured Toy to enter!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Television for A Busy Mom


I am on the road quite often. And if I am not on the road I am doing things around the house that keep me from watching television shows when they are on. It is pretty rare for me to actually watch my favorite shows when they actually air. I try to rely on my dvr but I frequently forget to program it and am left missing out in my show.

That is until I was introduced to Fancast.com. With fancast I am able to watch my favorite shows on my schedule conveniently on my laptop or desktop computer. I simply search for my show and it pops up easily. I enjoy having videos in all one place, in the past when I've wanted to catch up with my favorites online I've had to search the network website for full episodes. Fancast.com is a one-stop shop. I've watched my favorite show Glee, caught up on episodes of Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice and watched my Sci-Fi favorite Warehouse 13.

Now I am know that even if I forget to watch my shows, I can play catch up on my own time period. If you are anything like me and have a hectic schedule, Fancast.com might just be the place for you too!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Shopping Spree

I am a bargain shopper, I love shopping sales, using coupons and getting as much of a discount as possible. When I was approached to shop at two of my favorite stores - Marshall's and TJ Maxx, I immediately said yes! Armed with a $25.00 giftcard for each of the stores I entered full of anticipation about the goodies I would leave with. I am a long time fan of both of these stores and I shop them for different reasons.

I knew going into Marshall's that I would head directly to the children's section. Marshall's is my go to store when looking for designer clothes for my son at discounted prices. I was not disappointed. I left with two 3 piece outfits for the fall. Both have jackets, I have a pair of jeans and courdory pants, a jersey and a vest. Each outfit was $12.99. I was only a dollar over budget and in my opinion having2 mix and match outfits for $26.00 is a bargain!
My next stop was TJ Maxx. I like to shop at TJ Maxx for clothing for myself, accessories and household goods. Since moving into my home two years ago I have really fallen short on decorating - with the exception of my son's room. So, to get the ball rolling, I decided to purchase some bath towels in the colors I am thinking of painting the master suite and bath. I purchased 3 sets of towels and washclothes for $27.00. The quality is great and I love the colors.
My entire shopping excursion only took 30 minutes. I knew exactly what I was looking for and there was enough variety and selection for me to have a great shopping experience. Now, if I had been shopping for clothes for myself I would have taken much longer to browse and try on clothes but this was an easy trip.

I love these stores and have to extend a big thank you to Victoria for giving me the opportunity to "shop to I dropped!"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Yummie Tummie

Vdog, Me and Mischelle - photo editing by Mischelle


I went to BlogHer and all I have to show is a Yummie Tummie! Sounds good, right? Yummie Tummies are shapewear and I was one of several brand ambassadors trying them out and showing them off at BlogHer. In the past I have only worn spanx for my legs and butt so I was interested in seeing how wearing tank top shapewear felt to me. I really liked the material, the top and bottom are soft and t-shirtesque, perfect for showing to the world. The middle is where the heavy duty holding comes into play. I wore two yummie tummies (one black and and white), one beneath a sweater and the other beneath a dress. They were visible and looked great but I think that I was off on my sizing a little bit. I measured but rather than a 1x next time I will get a large because as you can tell from the picture my tummy was swimming a bit in material.

Overall, I would certainly purchase a yummy tummy, they are comfortable and when my roommate Jennae saw mine she wanted one too! There are numerous styles available on the website and you can also follow on twitter to get updates on sales and discount codes.

I have to give a big thanks to Yummie Tummies and Clever Girls Collective for inviting me to be an ambassador.

Daniel X


I have spoken about my love of James Patterson in the past. I enjoy both his writing and his dedication to instilling the love of reading in young people is admirable. I was so happy to have the opportunity to read his latest book Daniel X - Watch the Skies because I had just finished reading the first book in the series "The Dangerous Days of Daniel X."

The books are about a boy, Daniel X who in actuality is both an alien and an alien fighter here on Earth. Perhaps you are not a Sci-Fi buff but I have to tell you that these books are page turners. Seriously. It took me a day to read each of these books. I could not put them down.

"Watch the Skies" is filled with action, adventure and even a love interest for Daniel. And of course he is fulfilling his obligation to rid the world of one of the deadliest aliens out there who is hatching an evil plot to take over the world. I don't want to give away too much but one of the things that really impressed me about this series is that not only can parents read it but you can share it with your child and discuss the plot and characters.

I think this series will really captivate adolescent boys and girls (and of course parents). I truly believe that James Patterson has scored a homerun with this one and I anxiously await the next book in the series. If you are fan of Sci-Fi or just a fan of engaging fiction, I say read it and share it with a young person. Read and discuss!

I was sent a copy of the Daniel X - Watch the Skies by Mom Central and given a giftcard as a thank you.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Faunasphere

I may have mentioned that I am a gamer mom. No? Well, I am. And perhaps the reason I don't mention it is because I have a slight addiction. When I find a new game I play it almost non-stop for the first week or so. There was one time back in '03 when I abandoned all work (I worked from home) to play a video game until the end. Did I mention I was at my then boyfriend's home at the time? And he would find me perched on the couch in the same space I occupied when he left for work on a daily basis. Ahem. Needless to say, when I play I have be careful. I have never again done a stint like the trouble of '03 but recently when playing Mafia Wars on Facebook I've been known to stay up until the wee hours of the morn. Anyway, when I was contacted by Big Fish about a new game for moms I was like "uh oh." I almost didn't open the email but I am a fan of Big Fish, when I was pregnant I played Virtual Villagers and had my husband hooked too. The first game I downloaded two years ago on my Mac was Azada, what can I say? I love gaming. 
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So the newest game is Faunasphere. In this virtual world you tend to a fauna and build a world. The fauna look like dogs, horses, turtles, various animals and are skilled. The trick with this game is that in order to truly be successful you have to interact with other players. I have found that the people in the community are extremely helpful and some have designated themselves as Mentors. They are clearly marked and give assistance. I am completely enamored with the game. Oh, and best of all? It is an online game so no downloads and better yet? It is FREE! That's right, a free game that builds a community. I LOVE IT!





You can be sure that I will be playing Faunasphere for a good while. I am pacing myself and having a great time. Did I mention that I just started playing last night?  It is a great game and if you enjoy community and need some time away, I say try it out! 

Sunday, August 9, 2009

BlogHer, an Icon and Make-up

This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair.

Last month I attended my first BlogHer conference and it was a whirlwind of activity. For once my social calender was filled and scheduled with things beyond twitter, writing blog posts and parenting. I actually had to schedule reminders to keep up! One of the events that I could not miss was the Estée Lauder event at the Macy's Water Tower in Chicago on Michigan Avenue. When I arrived at my hotel, I recieved a cute Estée Lauder gift bag filled with goodies for my participating in the review campaign of the Advanced Night Repair. My favorite gift was the block of white chocolate embossed with a photo of the Advanced Night Repair on the handle of the bag and the cosmetic case filled with Estée Lauder products and a Macy's gift card.

That evening I met up with Gigi of Estée Lauder, the other women that reviewed the Advanced Night Repair and my friend Jennifer. We took a comfortable bus ride to Macy's and were greeted by executives at the door. We were then given a presentation where were learned all about the woman behind the brand, Estée Lauder. She was truly a pioneer and the first woman business owner to have space in a department store and provide product samples. She managed to convince them to let her give samples by "inadvertently" dropping a bottle of perfume on the floor and with one sniff customers came flocking. She was both a mother and entreprenuer, a role model for sure. The Advanced Night Repair is not a new product, it is actually over 20 years old but the formulation has been changed twice and the most recent iteration is the current one available in stores now.

After the presentation the evening concluded with make-up applications or other quick treatments that are offered at every Macy's Estée Lauder counter. My make-up artist was great and was quite impressed by the fact that I would be blogging the event. She also really liked my make-up application and just enhanced it with a few bolder colors. If you are looking for a moment of pampering when you are out shopping at Macy's I suggest stopping by the Estée Lauder counter for a treat.

To read other reviews of the event click HERE.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Munchie Mug

I have been searching for a way to give my son snacks when we are on the go while keeping the mess to a minimum. Up until now I haven't been that successful. Shamefully the backseat of my car and my son's car seat are filled with remnants from his latest snacks. I find raisins and Cheerios in the strangest places when I clean up the car.

When I was recently asked if I'd be interested in reviewing the Munchie Mug I took a look at the photos and knew I wanted to try it out. The Munchie Mug is a spill resistant snack cup for toddlers, it is made in the US And is BPA and phthalate free. The Munchie Mug keeps my son's snacks all in one place. The top screws on tight enough so that my son can't remove it and he enjoys reaching in to get his favorite snacks. I of course am elated that I don't have to worry about a bunch of spillage. Occasionally he will drop one or two Cheerios but that is nothing compared to the major spills I've had to clean up in the past.

I also like that the Munchi Mug comes with two tops to use, one for when my son is eating snacks and the other to perserve the snacks when the Munchie Mug is not in use.


This review was written for Family Review Network as part of a program for Munchie Mug, who supplied the product for review.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Boon Oval Animal Toy

I have been a long time fan of Boon products so when I was contacted to do a review by All Modern Baby, a dependable source of children’s furniture that carries top brands such as Bugaboo, Stokke, Maclaren and Boon I immediately said yes! I choose to review the Green Boon Oval Animal Toy. The color is perfectly coordinated with my son's nursery and I love that it serves dual purposes. It is booth a holder for stuffed animals and a soft fuzzy chair/toy for my son. I am showing the photo from the website so that you can appreciate the toy at full capacity. Although my son has a ton of toys, we haven't quite filled up the bag.
I love the fact that I can use it for storage, especially since my mother was storing the toys in his bed. Although I try to keep toys clean, they do collect dust and it is better that they are not in my son's sleeping environment. The oval is a great way to store toys, keep the dust down and my son enjoys playing on it too. If you are looking for a dual purpose storage solution for stuffed animals, I think the Boon Oval Animal Toy is the way to go.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Smooshie




I am not going to do a big introduction, I will simply say this about Smooshies: as soon as my son saw the Smooshie he was enamored. This "monster" (as he appropriately named it) immediately stole his heart. He detached and switched around the movable arms, legs, eyebrows and had a ball. Sometimes I find random pieces of the "monster" around the house but I don't mind because he enjoys this soft toy so much. I am sure that removing and replacing the pieces are helping his dexterity and that is a good thing, right? The only limit on the fun with the Smooshie is a child's imagination. The appearance can change depending on placement of pieces and can provide hours of fun!

If you'd like to get a Smooshie for the kiddo in your life they are available exclusively at Joann.com

Friday, July 17, 2009

Making Laundry Easier




I was sent the Tide Stain Release in wash booster and the Bounce Dryer bar to use and provide feedback about the products. I have found that they are both extremely easy to use, save time and space in my laundry room. I no longer have to worry about dryer sheets or fabric softener because it is in my dryer. The Stain Release packets are extremely easy to use, I just pop one in with my regular load of laundry and forget about it. As the mother of a busy toddler, I have found both of these products help me considerably. Take a look at my video to see my complete review.



Visit the Tide Stain Release website to get more detailed information about the product and you can also print a coupon worth $1.50.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Backup, Backup, Backup!

As a budding photographer (okay, I may be taking that too far, let's just say a new camera owner) and parent I take my fair share of pictures. When my son was born the photos were flying and I can't remember how many were taken of him. I kept everything on the computer that I shared with my husband (I didn't use it often because I had access to a laptop at work). When I finally purchased my own computer he copied the images and gave them to me. This was very lucky because within four months of purchasing my iMac the hard drive died. I KNOW! (I have to admit my love affair with Apple almost died that day but it was soon rekindled).

All of my photos, my documents, everything was lost. Since my machine was still under warranty I was able to have it fixed free of charge but when I inquired about recovering the info the pricing was way above what I thought was reasonable. So with a wistful farewell, I left my computer in the hands of the genius lab at the Apple Store.

And what lesson did I learn? Back everything up! For many months I have stored things online but I must admit that I am not sure how that actually works. When I went to retrieve documents remotely I had difficulty. I could have called customer service but I just let it ride. For a year now I have been riding, hoping for the best. Lucky for me nothing terrible has transpired. I've repeatedly said I need an external hard drive but am/was too lazy to go purchase one.

Imagine my happiness when I was contacted by Seagate to try out their external hard drive. I am using the FreeAgent Go for Mac with 500GB (retail: $149.99) I can save photos, pictures, music and more on this little baby. And it is small enough to carry in my pocketbook. Yes, if I had a macbook I could also take my hard drive along and share info. Nice touch! It perfectly compliments my iMac and is totally unobtrusive. I keep it in the docking station and it blends in perfectly.

It was quick and easy to install however the instructions were a bit limited. I still haven't figured out how to save photos directly from iPhoto to the hard drive but I have been able to do this with my Nikon software.

For now, I am using the hard drive to back up my entire system. When I originally set it up I just did it that way but I am not sure if I am able to go back and perhaps simply use it for photos. Nonetheless, I am happy with my external hard drive and have piece of mind that my precious moments are safely stored in the event of a problem with my desktop.

Please learn from my mistake and if you don't already have an external hard drive get one.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Check Out Those Eyes!

I have always had wonderful vision. It is actually better than 20/20, in one of my eyes I can see from 40 feet what most people can see from 20 feet away. My excellent vision enabled me to receive a prestigious Air Force Scholarship valued at over $100,000 when I was in college. Although I was only in the military (ROTC but because of my scholarship I was considered active military) for a year and received an honorable discharge when I decided to pursue other goals.

It is my hope that my son has perfect vision too, however there is no guarantee and I want to ensure that his vision is checked to catch any problems early. This is where Enfant Vision testing comes in. They have a system that can check a child's vision as early as six months. They also have an at home assessment tool that will help to determine if there is possibly a problem with your child's vision. The test only takes about three minutes, I took it and based on my son's behavior his vision seems to be fine - you can take by clicking here. If you decide that you would like to take your child for an assessment, a list of the doctors utilizing Enfant Vision can be found by here.

I know I found the information on the Enfant Vision website to be extremely helpful and I hope you do too.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Are you ready for the Summer?

If you live in the South like I do school is already out and for the rest of the country this is probably the last week of school. So now that you are home with the kids what to do? Many families are opting for a "staycation" in the midst of these difficult economic times, staying close to home and enjoy local activities is a budget friendly alternative to costly summer vacations.

The downside of staying home is the inevitable messes that occur. I recall a time period before I was married when I was doing consulting work from home. As a solo individual at home 24/7 I was cleaning more than I ever did in life! Add a child or children and a husband to the mix and you can imagine the heavy duty cleaning that needs to be done.

Cleaning, entertaining and summer time fun. That is a heavy list and I can appreciate tips to keep all of these balls in the air! Mom Central and Clorox have partnered to develop several tips that will help moms trying to do it all on "staycation" .

Staying Safe at BBQs. According to a recent survey, 70 percent of Moms are cooking more at home and many are likely switching up their meal routine with an outdoor BBQ. Make sure your kids have a safe BBQ experience by keeping them away from the flames and any sharp knives. Also, don't forget to check that your child's hamburger is fully cooked. Always keep a thermometer on hand to be sure all food has reached the appropriate inside temperature.

Keep the Pool Cool and Clean. If your kids love to spend hot afternoons in kiddie pools, you know the importance of cleaning the pool area. Dump out water after each session, and keep the pool clean by disinfecting it with a solution of ¾ cup bleach* to one gallon of water. Don't forget to rinse well and dry thoroughly after each cleaning (never leave any water in the pool). Be sure to always supervise children when they are in or around any water. (* Always remember to read and follow precautions and usage directions before using cleaning products)

Staying Healthy and Hydrated. Spending time in the heat means kids will be more prone to becoming dehydrated. Remind kids to take frequent rest/drink breaks in the shade when playing outside and try to avoid activity during peak sun hours. Encourage fluids before, during, and after outside activities.

Having Peace of Mind at Playgrounds. Sometimes just getting out of the house is the best way to keep it clean, but before letting kids loose at the playground, ensure the safety of the equipment. Swing seats and slides can really heat up in the sun – test them out before your kids hop on to avoid burns. Be sure the playground surface is composed of a soft material to help prevent injury. All playground equipment should be routinely checked for any broken or loose parts. As always, adult supervision is a must at all times!

Saving on Spills. Spending extra time around the house, especially with kids, often means more spills to clean up. Synthetic sponges and kitchen cloths can start to smell and carry bacteria, but you don't have to toss them out after a few uses. One option to reduce bacteria is to sanitize sponges and dishrags by soaking them in a bleach solution (¾ cup of bleach* to a gallon of water) for 5 minutes in the sink. Don't forget to rinse and dry when done. A wet sponge can also be microwaved to get rid of bacteria. (* Always remember to read and follow precautions and usage directions before using cleaning products)

I know I will be putting some of these tips to good use and I hope they are helpful for you. Are you ready for the summer? I am and firing up the barbie is the first thing on my agenda for the holiday weekend!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New Skin!

This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair.

New Skin. Okay, maybe not new skin like a newborn baby bottom but skin that is supple, youthful looking and maintains its elasticity is what women want. Or at least it is what many women want. I am basing this assessment on the steadily increasing number of women having botox, silicone (pick your poison), injected into their lips, foreheads, and smile lines. The first sign of a wrinkle is cause for concern for many women and they start down the road that leads to plastic surgery. I wonder what would happen if preventative measures were taken before resorting to such extremes?

I have been blessed with wonderful genetics and I sure that I look much closer to 30 than I do to 40 (in reality the big 4 oh is right around the corner). Couple my youthful appearance with a loss of about 25 pounds and I have no doubt that I could pass for late twenties. Given that I am the progeny of a long line of youthful looking folks, I really want to maintain my wrinkle free face. Enter Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair. This potion counteracts the nasty impurities and damaging things that our faces are subjected to on a daily basis. At night while I rest the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair does its magic. I simply have to wash my face, use the dropper to ensure I get it in all my nooks and crannies and then rub it into my skin. I follow up with moisturizer and then I am off to bed. That is unless something comes up that I absolutely have to deal with and then I must delay retiring but my face is still covered so that counts right? But I digress.

The advanced night repair is going to help put some moisture back into my skin and since I've been known to occasionally forget to moisturize, this is a good thing. I have been using it for a couple of weeks now and I have to admit since part of this time I was dealing with Aunt Flo I really was focused more on the acne that was flaring up rather than trying to measure if my face felt more supple. However, I have been using it daily and this has forced me to focus on my skin care routine which ultimately will help the Estée Advanced Lauder Night Repair do its job. I mean, it is not miracle potion, I do have to cleanse my face thoroughly morning and night and moisturize too. I like the way it feels on my face, it has a consistency that is somewhere between water and oil but it is just right. Not too oily and not too watery. I have plans to continue using it for the prevention of damage to my face that can result in wrinkles and I also am pretty sure that I will try the eye repair. My eyes are the one area that I am concerned about. I know the skin around the eyes is the most sensitive and if I look from just the right (or perhaps I should say wrong) angle I can see wrinkles forming under my eyes.

Overall I think investing in your skin is the best gift that you can give yourself. No one wants to go under the knife (or use botox for that matter) so I say join me in doing some preventative work and try Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair (retail price $47.50). What do you think? Are you up for prevention or do you plan on taking short cuts? Have you tried Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair? Thoughts?
If you want to try it for yourself, Estée Lauder invites you to the AMERICA'S NIGHT TO REPAIR. On Thursday, July 23, 5-9PM, visit any Estée Lauder Counter and get a free 10-day supply of New Advanced Night Repair, no purchase necessary (while supplies last).

You can find out what other BlogHers have to say about Advanced Night Repair by clicking HERE





Friday, May 29, 2009

Air Quality

My household is full of allergy suffers. I have spent the better part of this spring sniffling, sneezing and coughing. One thing that I know helps decrease my issues is ensuring that my husband changes our air filter on a regular basis. This is important because United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies indicate that indoor levels of many pollutants may be two to five times higher than outdoor levels, making it one of the top five urgent environmental risks to public health.

Using a high performance air filter, such as a Filtrete filter, may help improve indoor air quality. Take a visit to www.Filtrete.com. to hear more facts about the importance of good air quality in your home. While you're there, play the Filtrete Clean Air Fact or Fiction to test your knowledge of indoor air quality. You could win a home inspection from Steve Ramos, featured home inspector on HGTV's House Detective.

We change our filters every three months as recommended (sometimes because of a lot of nagging from me) but if you have too much on your plate to remember when to change the filter, you can receive seasonal e-newsletters featuring special offers, filter change reminders, better home living tips and more on www.Filtrete.com Also, on a weekly baisis the first 50 people to sign up each week will receive a free bamboo plant - a natural air purifier.

For my household having the cleanest air possible is a necessity and it is amazing how much better we feel when we are taking care of the air quality of our home.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yo Gabba Gabba! New Friends!


It is no secret that I am a fan of Yo Gabba Gabba! I have discussed it on my blog in the past and I am frequently on twitter waxing poetic about the show. I suppose all of my praise led to being contacted to review the new DVD New Friends!.

New Friends includes 4 New shows and my favorite episode stars Jack Black. It is hilarious! Mekhi and I watched it and as usually he loved the show - with the exception of the motorcyle that Jack was riding, that scared him a little. However, scared or not he stuck with the show, danced to the tunes and truely enjoyed himself. For me having the DVD is a bonus, in our household Yo Gabba Gabba is set to record on our DVR but the DVD has episodes that are fun and I don't have to wade through the myriad episodes that I have seen multiple times on the DVR.

If you are fan of Yo Gabba Gabba or if you just like great music and wonderful talent like Jack Black I encourage you to buy this DVD!

Mamapedia

I have been a mom for 2 years now. 2 years. Although, when I really think about it my foray into motherhood began before my child was conceived. My first pregnancy was filled with loss and despair - I found out that I was pregnant, lost the baby and a fallopian tube all in the span of one week. Talk about emotional rollercoaster! And all this happened in the third month of my marriage!

When the doctor gave the go ahead for us to try to conceive again, we were pregnant within two months. Because of my experience the first time around I was well versed in the things that I needed to do to take care of myself and look out for the well being of my unborn child. I scoured the internet for information regarding my hormone levels, pregnancy tests that would give me an accurate result prior to missing a period, and statistics related to conception with only one fallopian tube.

Many of the hours I spent researching could have been alleviated if I had a resource like Mamapedia at my disposal. Mamapedia is like a one stop shop for Moms (or moms to be) filled with information written by mothers for mothers. It is a community filled with support and dialogue. A place to get your questions answered. This is a place to check in on for answers to all different types of questions. Try it out for yourself. I think that you will be impressed.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mojo Mom


For me the word "Mojo" brings with it connotations of magic, a special aura. So of course the title "Mojo Moms" by Amy Tiemann, PhD, immediately caught my attention. According to Dr. Tiemann, a Mommy Mojo is:
"The feeling you get when you are at the top of your game, juggling the many facets of your life and keeping your own needs in balance with family needs. It is the joyous feeling o fbecoming yourself and liking that peroson. It is the ability to speak, be heard, and make a difference in the world. It is power; it is being a force to be reckoned with."



I don't know about you but I want some of that Mojo. In the book Dr. Tiemann helps mothers to understand that yes motherhood is important but we were individuals with goals, dreams and aspirations beyond the definition of Motherhood. One of my biggest lessons from the book is that I need to let go of the "Guilt, Worry, and Anxiety" that I have regarding mothering and keeping it all together. It is essential that I no longed don the Super woman cape but ask for assistance and look for support from my family and circle of friends. Trying to do it all is an impossible task and being realistic about this will assist me in living a happier and healthier life.

The book also has a chapter on "Centering, Silence, and Reclaiming Your Mind Space." This is so important and I have been really remise in taking care of myself in this manner. A spoke to a friend yesterday that religiously takes a bath every night and refuses to be disturbed during this daily ritual. I know and encourage others to take these moments but I have yet to incorporate it into my life.

If I had to categorize Mojo Mom I would say it is a self-help book that should be required reading for all mothers. This book is now on my list of gifts for the Mother when I attend a babyshower. I believe that Dr. Tiemann has hit a home run with this book.

Many thanks to Mother Talk for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

Friday, April 17, 2009

X-14 Mold and MIldew Cleaner


Thanks to Mom Central I had the opportunity to try out X-14 Mold and Stain Remover. This is a powerhouse cleaner. You spray it on and in a few moments stain disappear. This is perfect for cleaning my toilets. That is the one job that I hate the most - scrubbing toilets but using X-14 the cleaning is done for me. This is great since I get hard water stains and this product seriously works. The active ingredient is bleach so you have to be careful when using it. This formula is 60% higher than similar products on the market. When using X-14 be sure to keep the room well ventilated, keeping a window open and/or running a vent fan are suggested when using it.

Although I know X-14 is not a "green" product there are some jobs that I do need a really tough cleaner for and this one will be my choice. X-14 is for use on non-porous services only and works for up to two weeks. In addition to using it inside the home it can also be used outside on wasll, descks, concrete, masonry, tile roofs and plastic furniture. If you have a pool liners or a hot tub in can be used there as well. Just be sure to keep the areas well-ventilated and rinse after use.

On those occasional times that you need a really intense cleaning X-14 will do the job. I am sure I will have my bottle for a very long while because I will only be using it for limited things.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chocolate Spa Girlfriend Giveaway!

I just wanted to tell you about an awesome Girlfriend Getaway Giveaway! A weekend at the Spa, enjoying chocolate with your girlfriends. This is a no-brainer, go and enter! Now! Here are the rules.

Contest Rules:
Tell us in 300 words or less why YOUR FRIEND deserves a Chocolate Spa Getaway Weekend. (For example has she had some extenuating circumstances, struggles, challenges, or just plain needs a break? The contest is for all women- married, single or single again). Don't forget to sign up for your special gifts below! Then COPY and PASTE your essay into an email (sorry, no attachments accepted) and send it off to us at chocolatespacontest@gmail.com by midnight April 17th. Winners will be announced April 24. Best of all, if your story is chosen, you get to go, too!! (See below for more details).

Win a Chocolate Spa Weekend Getaway at the Hershey Hotel from May 15-17, 2009. The Chocolate Spa Getaway Weekend includes:

- Air fare

- Limo service to and from the hotel

- A poolside room for three (3) days/two (2) nights at the Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

- Over $400 (four hundred) worth of Spa Treatments, including a Swedish Massage, a Facial, a Chocolate Wrap and Lunch in the Oasis- a lite lunch of salads, soups and wraps at the spa in your robe and sandals.

- Admission to the Hershey Gardens.

- Gourmet Dining
A special THANK YOU to Hershey Hotel for sponsoring dinner for both Friday and Saturday evenings.
The winners can choose from the following:

Dinner in the Hotel's renowned Circular Dining Room...


The Fountain Cafe (casual restaurant) or Room Service (includes tax & gratuity).

More Details: No cost to enter the contest. Over a $3000 value. Only one entry per person. The contest is for all women...married, single or single again. No transfer of winnings. Winners are responsible to book their own coach class flights and will be reimbursed (up to $300 per person). All entries must be submitted by midnight of April 17, 2009. The winner will be notified on April 24th, 2009.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Leslie Patricelli Books for Babies and Toddlers




I enjoy sharing books with my readers that I enjoy with my son Mekhi. He and I read together every night and I started doing this before he was born. As a result, Mekhi loves to read. So much so that he is more apt to reach for book before many of his toys. I truly enjoy listening to him "read" his books. 

Two new books added to his collection are Baby Happy, Baby Sad and Higher, Higher both written by Leslie Patricelli.  I love the illustrations in the books and the simple dialogue. After reading the books with Mekhi a couple of times he actually knows them by heart so listening to him "read" is truly satisfying. In addition to the simple prose, there are a number of different objects in each illustration for Mekhi to identify. These books are certainly a wonderful addition to my son's library and assist me in my preparation for teaching him how to read. Yes, I know he will be two next month but I believe that it is never too early to instill a love of reading in our children.  Next year this time perhaps he will actully be a reader! 

Eggo 'Bake Shop Twists




Although I am no domestic diva, there is one thing that I really enjoy - baking. I love whipping 
up a batch of cookies or baking cakes. Unfortunatly, my schedule does not always permit me to take the time needed to make homemade goodies.  I was thrilled when I learned about Eggo Bake Shop Twists.   These pastries filled with apple or strawberry are really delicious. It only takes a little over two minutes to prepare them and you have soft pastries to enjoy with your family. 


I tried both varieties and immediately thought that they would be an excellent addition to a brunch get together in my home - yes, I was inspired to entertain - or adding these pastries to our weekend breakfast menu.  Since I am working on watching my weight, these are not everyday treats (I find having sweet things triggers my sugar addiction) but I highly recommend them for a quick, easy, tasty treat to share with family and friends. 

I must extend a big thank you to Mom Central for giving me the opportunity to try this product and indirectly encouraging me to open my home to friends for brunch! 

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Household Guide to Dying



I know the title of this book is enough to make you want to run away right? Especially if you are a mother. The thought of dying before your children are adults and can take care of themselves is horrific. Unfortunately, in The Household Guide To Dying by Debra Adelaide, this is exactly what the main character, Delia is dealing with. Delia is a writer of of a column "Dear Delia" which I would describe as the sarcastic Martha Stewart's guide to domesticity. With acerbic wit she responds to questions submitted by her readers. Along the way it is revealed that she is dying and in her proclivity for domesticity and list writing she begins writing lists. A list for her husband to care for her children, a list for the future wedding of her daughter - future as in at least 15 years down the road.

List writing seems to help Delia work through issues and Delia decided that she needs to write "The Household Guide to Dying." For Delia, there are some things that she needs to resolve head on and writing is not enough. The book explores her relationships, past history and her future. This is a bittersweet read and I am looking forward to completing it because the air of mystery is killing me. Please don't let the title fool you into thinking this is a morbid book, it is a beautifully written, worthwhile read.

Thank you to Mother Talk for the opportunity to review this book.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!




My son and I watched the Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! Pirates Treasure DVD and had a ball. I love the quirky characters and Mekhi is completely enchanted too. We don’t watch the show on a regular  basis so it is nice to have a DVD that we can watch at our leisure. I think that I am most impressed by the music on the DVD, all of the shows are entertaining and  teach valuable life lessons but the songs summarize the lessons of the show. 

This DVD will provide hours of entertainment for you and your child. It also includes 5 regular episodes and two new bonus shows including one that has not been released on the television series.  An additional bonus are the extra activities that we can utilize for continued enjoyment. Unfortunately for us, my son has misplaced the remote for the DVD so the extra activities will have to be unlocked when we locate the remote! Overall I enjoyed the Wow! Wow! Wubbzy Pirates Treasure DVD and certainly recommend that you add it to your collection.  Mekhi and I send a big thank you to Mom Central for giving us the opportunity to review this delightful DVD.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Nature's Source



I am always on the lookout for natural cleaners. I have a toddler and like to use products that do not contain harmful chemicals. When given the chance to review Nature's Source natural bathroom cleaner by the Family Review Network I had to take it. One of the things that appealed to me about Nature's Source is that it is made by the same company as Scrubbing Bubbles. I love SC Johnson's Scrubbing bubbles and a natural version would be the best of both worlds.

I have to say that I am not disappointed. Nature's Source cleans as well as Scrubbing Bubbles in a natural formula. I love the floral scent and I use it to clean all of the bathrooms in my home, including Mekhi's bathroom. Here are a few more facts from the website:

Nature's Source products use plant-based, biodegradable cleaners and they have the cleaning power of Windex and Scrubbing Bubbles, brand names you already know and trust. They clean naturally and effectively, leaving nothing behind but a fresh scent. The cleaners are more than 99 percent natural, packaged in recyclable bottles, partly produced by renewable energy from a local landfill, and recognized for safer chemistry by the Environmental Protection Agency's Design for the Environment (DfE) program.

Gotta love it. I highly recommend this brand, I think that you will love it too!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Disney on Ice




As a child one of the things I truly enjoyed was ice skating. When it was cold enough for the ice to freeze at the Mill Pond, we would skate there. At other times we would go to our local indoor skating rink or skate at a county park. I had my own skates and although I never took formal lessons, I was a very proficient skater. Because of my love for skating my mother took me to live performances, she did not enjoy the cold but was willing to watch others skate. I want to share the joy of live performances and skating with my son, he is too young to venture out and skate yet but he would love to see a live performance.

If you are like me and want to share the joy with your child, Disney on Ice is just the place for you to experience skating and performances with the beloved characters of Disney. Mom Central has partnered with Disney on Ice to offer you special discounts.



Offer #1: Get 4 tickets for just $44 by entering the code "MOM" at select ticketing channels*. Offer good on all performances, minimum purchase of 4 tickets required; additional tickets above 4 can be purchased at $11 each. Offer not valid on Gold Circle Seating, Front Row and VIP seating or combinable with other offers. Other restrictions may apply.
Offer #2: A select amount of Front Row and VIP seats have been reserved for you to buy before they go on sale to the public - just enter the code "MOM" when purchasing those seats.

Dates and cities where families can use the national MOM code are as follows:

Houston
Disney On Ice presents Mickey and Minnie's Magical Journey
April 15-April 19

Dallas/Ft Worth
Disney On Ice presents Mickey & Minnie's Magical Journey
March 18-March 29

Sunrise/Miami
Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy
March 26-April 5

Toronto
Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy
March 18-March 22

Kansas City
Disney On Ice presents Mickey & Minnie's Magical Journey
April 1-April 5

Denver
Disney On Ice presents a Disneyland® Adventure
March 12-March 15

Phoenix
Disney On Ice presents a Disneyland® Adventure
April 9-April 12

Chicago/Rosemont
Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic
Sept 8-Sept 13

To learn more about Disney On Ice shows touring the country this year, visit http://disney.go.com/disneyonice/ and visit ticketmaster.com to use the 4 tickets for $44 code, MOM.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Rub-A-Dub-Dub




I love bubble baths, always have and always will. As a little girl I would ask for bubbles in my tub and have fond memories have making beards and "shaving." I suppose I got that idea from watching my father shave and had loads of fun imitating him during bath time. I know that my mother relied heavily on Johnson's to ensure that my baths were playful. She also used the shampoo on my hair - remember no more tears?

This year Johnson and Johnson is celebrating its 50th anniversary and I know are a beloved company for millions of us the world over. I am continuing the tradition of using Johnson and Johnsons with my son. As a matter of fact the first "bath" my son received was at the hands of Daddy in the hospital and he used this brand.

I have been trying to share the joy of bubble baths with my son but he is not quite ready. He screams like a banshee when I add bubbles to his tub. For now, I maintain my memories and use Johnson's head to toe foaming wash to ensure my son is nice and clean. I will continue to convince my son that adding Johnson's Baby Bubble and Bath will make bath time even more fun. If you have a chance, check out this video celebrating the 50th anniversary. I thank Johnson's and Mom Central for giving me the opportunity to review the products.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Irreplaceable - A book review



Have you ever thought about what will happen to your organs when you die? I mean have you ever considered donating them? Are you on the same page as your spouse about it? The new book Irreplaceable by Stephen Lovely explores this very issue. In the book, Alex Voorman is married to Isabel who is tragically killed in a biking accident. He begrudgingly complies with her wish to donate her organs. The story unfolds as Janet Corcoran, a 34-year-old mother of two, reaches out to Alex by post. She is the recipient of Isabel’s heart and wants to learn more about the woman whose heart beats in her chest.

Although this book has moments of melancholy, I believe that the story was tastefully executed and was not overly melodramatic. This debut novel by Stephen Lovely is certainly worth reading. The intertwining lives of the characters will keep you engrossed in the story. I want to extend a thank you to the Parent Reviewers for providing me with the opportunity to review Irreplaceable.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Circus


One of my fondest memories of my childhood is going to the circus with my grandfather. And not just any circus, we loved to go to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. The sights, the sounds and I have to mention the smells. The smell of hay and elephant dung permeated the hallways but did not deter any of us attending the circus from having a ball.  I plan on sharing the circus with my son - the high flying trapeze, the rings, and of course the elephants. He loves elephants and I can only imagine the thrill in his eyes when he sees one in real life. 

The circus is coming to town and Mom Central has given me some great deals that I want to share with you. Offer #1: Get 4 tickets for just $44 by entering the code "MOM" at select ticketing channels**. Offer good on all performances, minimum purchase of 4 tickets required; additional tickets above 4 can be purchased at $11 each. Offer not valid on Circus Celebrity Seating, Front Row and VIP seating or combinable with other offers.  Other Restrictions May Apply.

Offer #2: A select amount of Front Row and VIP seats have been reserved for you to buy before they go on sale to the public - just enter the code "MOM" when purchasing those seats. Dates and cities where families can use the national MOM discount code this spring are as follows:

Newark/East Rutherford/Uniondale/NYC
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents ZING ZANG ZOOM
March 5 - April 13
Offer not valid on performances from April 10 - 13 at Madison Square Garden

Washington D.C./ Fairfax, VA/ Baltimore, MD
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® proudly presents Over The Top
March 18-April 19

Philadelphia
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents ZING ZANG ZOOM
May 13-May 25

Phoenix
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents ZING ZANG ZOOM
June 24-June 28

Houston
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® proudly presents Over The Top
July 15-July 26

Anaheim/LA/Ontario
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents ZING ZANG ZOOM
July 8-August 2

San Francisco  
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents ZING ZANG ZOOM
August 12-August 23

Dallas/Ft Worth
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® proudly presents Over The Top
July 29-August 16

Sacramento
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents ZING ZANG ZOOM
August 27-August 30

Kansas City
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® proudly presents Over The Top
September 16-September 20

To see which Ringling Bros. tour is coming to a town near you, visit 
www.Ringling.com. And visit www.ticketmaster.com to use the 4 tickets for $44 code, MOM.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

He's Just Not That Into You




Thankfully when the book "He's Just Not That Into You" was published I was no longer a single woman. I've had my share of realizing that "he" wasn't into me and was overjoyed when I no longer had to guess about the intentions of a man. I know the book was a runaway success and I am not surprised when it was announced that it would soon be a movie. 


When the One2One Network asked me to review the soundtrack I immediately said yes. I was curious to hear the type of music that would pepper the lessons of unrequited love (or like) in the movie.  As soon as I recieved the CD I was happy to see that there were some oldies by my favorite artists: The Cure, The Human League and R.E.M.  When I popped the soundtrack into my CD player the opening song "I'd Like To," by Corinne Bailey Rae (love her) immediately caught my attention.  I also really enjoyed the song "Love, Save the Empty" by Erin McCarley. I have to say the biggest surprise for me was the final song "Last Goodbye" I found myself playing it repeatedly and when I finally looked at the CD case for the artist - it was Scarlett Johannson! Yes, the actress, Scarlett Johannson.  I have to tell you that girl can blow! Her song is my absolute favorite on the soundtrack. 

Overall I really enjoyed the CD. It is available now and you can check out the website to hear samples of the songs. 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sikulu and Harambee- Book Review




I am constantly on the lookout for books. My husband and I share a love of reading and we have passed this on to our son. Of course since Mekhi is not quite two yet he "reads" by making up his own words to stories but our reading to him daily has encouraged him to read on his own. I was pleasantly surprised when the Parent Reviews asked if I wanted to review Sikulu and Harmabee, An African version of the Good Samaritan Story by Knule Oguneye. As a child I loved the tale of Ashanti the spider and thought that introducing Mekhi to a similar African tale would be a great idea.



I was not disappointed. I loved the vivid colors in the book and the overall story. The African names reminded me of the time that I spent living in South Africa and my visits to Zimbabwe and Zambia. The moral of the story - helping out others when in need is timeless and this book is a wonderful way to teach children.

In addition to the beautiful artwork and the story, I especially love the key in the back of the book that explains the names, locations and activities that occur in the book. When my son is older he will be able to visit the website to get even more information. Sikulu and Harambe is a wonderful addition to any child's library.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

General Mills - Lucky Charms Cereal



Do you know the recommended amount of calcium and vitamin D your child should get each day? Better yet, did you know the American Academy of Pediatrics recently doubled the vitamin D recommendation for children? Approximately 75% of kids today don’t get the recommended levels of calcium and vitamin D -- two key nutrients for bone growth.

General Mills Big G kid cereals offer calcium and Vitamin D in each serving. I had a chance to try out Lucky Charms but Kix, Trix and Cinnamon Toast Crunch are all fortified with calcium and Vitamin D. We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for children. With these breakfast cereals General Mills has provided a tasty and nurtritious way for parents to ensure that their children are getting the Vitamin D and calcium they need.

I have to tell you that I love Lucky Charms, this was my first time trying them but they really live up to their name "magically delicious." I hope that when shopping for cerals you keep General Mills in mind. Delicious and nutritious? What more can you possibly ask for?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Book Review: The Help



Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter, a new graduate of Ole Miss, who returns home to find that her beloved maid has disappeared; Abileen, a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child; and Minny, Abileen's best friend, perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi.

Seemingly as different as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. Why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed. 

Kathryn Stockett's first novel is a very entertaining read. It provides a look at race relations in the South during the 1950s. Overall, I think that if you are a fan of historical fiction with a bit of mystery thrown in you will enjoy the book. My one crititsm of the book is that it was dificult to read the "voices" of the black maids. While I am no historian, I found some of the language to be a bit contrived. Despite this minor critique, I do think the book is a good read. 

Thank you MotherTalk for providing me with the opportunity to review this book. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Protect-A-Bed
















For as long as I can remember my sinuses have given me problems. At various times of the year it is worse than others but if I had to guess about 3/4's of the year my voice is nasal. It has gotten to the point that I don't even hear it or think about the fact that carrying tissues is a necessity. Luckily I am aware that I can do various things to keep my allergies at bay. Did you know that household allergeans are frequently the cause of these issues? I remind my husband to change the airfilters (his one job - other than taking out the garbage and he still needs reminding) and I vacuum. But it never occured to me that there were options to take care of my bedding as well. I figured weekly washing of my sheets did the trick. Little did I know that I had been missing a big piece of the puzzle, protect-a-bed.


Here is some info from their website:
There are millions of allergy sufferers all over the world, all of whom would benefit greatly from Protect-A-Bed® allergy relief products. Our state-of-the-art mattress and pillow protectors provide an impermeable barrier between you and the dust mites and allergens within your bedding. Protect-A-Bed allergy relief products ensure that nothing comes between you and an allergy-free, rejuvenating sleep.

I have been using the protect-a-bed mattress cover and pillow protector for a month now and I can actually tell the difference. Despite it being the cold season (when believe it or not my allergies act up) I haven't had any problems. I think that adding Protect-A-Bed to my regular routine has really helped with my allergies. One of the things that I like most about the product is that it is also available for crib mattresses and I plan on buying a cover my Mekhi's mattress too.

If you are an allergy sufferer I am sure you will like this product. And lucky for you I have a giveaway so you can try it out for yourself!

For the giveaway, you have a choice of an AllerZip Mattress Protector (for individuals with extreme allergies) a Premium Mattress Protector or, if they prefer, a Crib Mattress Protector . Additionally they will also receive aPremium Pillow Protector.

For your entry, take a visit to the protect a bed website and let me know in the comments which one of the prizes you would like if you win. This contest is open to US addresses and will be open until Tuesday, February 18, 2009 at 10:00 PM. I will chose a winner randomly and will contact the winner by email.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Valentines Day Seal Soul Card



Love is in the air! With Valentines Day just a few days away sending a Seal Soul Card is a free and easy way to share some love. Seal's album is full of passion - with his unique voice he sings covers of classic songs. My personal favorite is "A Change is Gonna Come." In addition to this e-card, Seal has prepared a Valentine's gift just for you! On February 12th, at 9:00PM CST, Seal's PBS Soundstage will be airing. If you love Seal as much as I do this is a show that can't be missed!

And as an extra special bonus, the ONe2ONe network has given me a copy of Seal's CD to giveaway.

To enter: Please leave a comment below explaining your plans for Valentine's Day. This contest is open until February 13, 2009 at 10:00 AM EST. A winner will be chosen randomly. I will contact the winner by email and if I have no response within 72 hours a new winner will be chosen. This contest is open to addresses in the U.S.

Good Luck!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day is just a few days away and rather than walk around the bedroom in my usual two piece flannel pajamas, this year I am going to try out some sexy Valentine's Day Lingerie. Lucky for me I have been helped on my quest for the perfect lingerie by the Family Review Network. Check out what I got:








Naughty and Nice. A perfect combination. I know that my hubby will be pleased! You know there are so many times when mothers neglect the way they look - I am guilty of this too. But this is my year for Bringing The Sexy Back - isn't that how I became a Mom in the first place?

You can still order your lingerie in time for Valentine's Day! Your husband will thank you for it!