Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thank You For Your Votes!

A few posts back I let you all know that i'd entered a contest that was run by Isotoners Smart Fit Gloves. I didn't win the $5000, but want to thank everyone who took the time to vote for me, because your votes got me to the Final Four and because I made it that far I won an iPad! I'm just waiting for them to contact me to finalize everything. An iPad is something that i've been trying to win for some time, as you may know from some of my past posts, so thanks again!

My Second Bladder AKA Potty Training Woes

You may remember back some time ago when I talked about starting to potty train my then 2 year old. Well, he was only 2 at the time and it wasn't going smoothly and I thought i'd put him back in diapers for a while longer. And I did. Well now he's 3 and we're back at it again, and as a matter of fact we have been for a while, but sometimes I feel like I have a second bladder that I have to tell when to go.

I can't ENTIRELY blame him, because our only bathroom is upstairs, and our stairs, in my opinion, are not "normal." They're kinda narrow and at one point I had to learn to count them to make sure I didn't miss one and take a spill, BUT there are those times when we're already upstairs and I tell him to go and he'll tell me "I don't feel like it."

Night before last I believe it was, my husband told him to go up to bed. He had to go upstairs anyway, but decided to pee right there on the stairs! My husband says he thinks it's his way of getting revenge on us and insists I put him BACK in diapers. I just can't. I don't WANT to diaper two children. I don't want to reverse and have to go BACK through this potty training thing with him all over again, but it is REALLY frustrating.

You could not have told me that potty training a child could be as difficult as it has been with him, because although I have a recovering bedwetter whom I think has finally mastered his overnight challenge, I have never had it so hard with either of the others. How about you? Have you had a child that seemed IMPOSSIBLE to potty train? Can you offer me any advice?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

So What Was in My Cravebox?

I just wanted to share with you the contents of my Cravebox which are pictured here. The contents included:

Méreadesso which is a lotion that smells minty and citrusy. In my house among the women here, the thoughts of it are mixed. My sister doesn't care for the smell of it. My mom and I both like it. I really like the way it feels on my skin once it's applied. Smooth and ready for cold weather. I checked on the price on this one and it comes in at a hefty $54! I wouldn't pay this for lotion personally, but it felt good to be able to indulge on something expensive without having paid near full price for a change :).

Bic Gel Pens for Her there are two in the pack and they have accents of sophisticated femininity. Comfortable to hold, but when it comes to writing with them, as other gel pens that i've tried in the past, they have an occasional miss when you're writing with them and you have to go back and make minor corrections, no big deal though, unless you're an absolute perfectionist. I couldn't find the price on this particular pack, but i'll assume it around $5.

Bic Ball Pens for Her also come two in a pack. Now these are all out feminine from the barrel to the tip. The writing is fine coming in at 1.0 mm and perfect if you're having an "I wanna write elegantly" moment. It is also ergonomically designed with a grip and the writing is smooth and fluid. I found these for around $4.99.

Nic's Sticks This was my first time trying one of these out and I must say that I appreciate the design and convenience that these offer. Pump, brush and move along. I would have appreciated, though, if it dried better. I went to prepare dinner around 30 minutes or so later and when I sat back down and took a look at my nails, I noticed that a good bit of it was peeling off. It looks like these run around $6.50.

Perugina Dark Chocolate with Almonds Bar. I can't offer an opinion on this other than it made a gift I hope my brother enjoyed. It was his birthday and I know that he likes dark chocolate, and so I slapped a Christmas bow on it and passed it over to him. He was happy to get it. These normally retail for $2.29, but are currently on sale for $1.75 on their website.

Perugina Baci for which I also can not offer an opinion, because I handed these on to my mom, knowing how much she used to like another brand of chocolate covered hazelnuts. These were in a mini pack of two and retail for $1.99.

Just as was stated, I did not have to pay shipping (Yaay!) and I received all of these items. I can't say that they absolutely WOWed me, but I have no complaints otherwise. The value was way more than the $10 that I payed, more like a $75 value rounded and not including tax. I was able to gift one for a birthday, and use one as a "just because" sorta thing.

I guess this is going to be the standard, with a slight switch up. As per the Cravebox FAQ's each month's products will be largely the same, but the colors and flavors may vary from month to month. I plan to stick around for at least another couple of months to see what else is in store, and so that I can decide if i'm in for the long haul.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Comfy Critters #Giveaway #bglu

When I told my 5 year old he would be receiving Comfy Critter Seymour the Shark and showed him what it was, he could not wait until it got here. Whenever he saw a box that seemed large enough arrive, he'd be right there waiting for me to open it. Well we received it, and he loves it.

He puts it on and becomes shark boy...

Now I normally wouldn't allow him to take a blanket to church with him, but since he would be hanging out with other kids in a setting where they let the kids just have fun anyway, I allowed him to bring it just once, and boy did he have fun!

I'm sure he was headed out the door intending to use this as a replacement for his coat during this wintery Chicagoland weather, and of course I had to intervene. It was totally cool with me when he asked to come back down for it after being sent to bed, though. I should have just kept it a secret, and given to him as a Christmas gift, buuuut if I did that, I wouldn't be able to let you know what I think about it, or should I say he thinks about it. I personally like it. It's kid friendly and seeing the way it makes my son happy leaves me feeling a little extra bubbly as well.

There's a cool collection of these guys for boys and girls:
These would make an awesome gift for Christmas, a birthday, or just because. Comfy Critters are currently priced at $19.99. If you order by today 12/18, you can have yours in time for Christmas AND today only, you can get a coupon that will save you $5 off of your order!

I have also been given the opportunity to give one away to one of my readers..

Can You Spare Some Votes?

I decided to enter a contest, not knowing where i'd end up. I would not have thought that I would make it to the top eight, but somehow I did! If I make it past tomorrow, i'm guaranteed an iPad, something i've been trying perhaps a little too hard to win. I also have a shot at winning $5000 which would be just grand, make that five grand. The picture above is the one I posted into the contest. It's super easy to vote, especially if you're on Facebook because the contest has an easy Facebook login.  After logging in, all you do is click vote right beneath my picture. One vote is allowed per day until contest close which is 12/22. The contest can be found at the ISOTONER smarTouch misfit Gift Contest page here. Thanks (so much) in advance!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Oral B for Me #Momparty

Even before kids can talk, they will find some way to fight over the things that they want. They have to have something that's all their own. Apparently Oral B knows how important this is, because they have toothbrushes that are designed for smaller mouths, whether your children are toddlers or tweens.

Even more importantly, the designs of the toothbrushes are smaller, which means they fit better into children's smaller mouths, which means they can reach areas that they couldn't otherwise reach easily with larger, adult size toothbrushes.

These are some of the things that we received so that we could have a get together and introduce the Oral B lineup that is designed for children. Each of the children received toothbrushes, toothpaste, flossers, and Cars themed gummy vitamin samples (which are actually really good by the way). We also received a Cars 2 dvd along with popcorn to make for a fun movie night.

The kids enjoyed the movie, and were more than eager to try out the oral care products from Oral B designed just for kids like them.

The products were provided to me thanks to Oral B and BSM Media. The opinions shared are my own. No further compensation was provided.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

SunRidge Farms Make Great Snacks for Anytime

If you're looking for the perfect snack to serve up before Christmas dinner to your guests, may I recommend these made by SunRidge Farms to you? As a matter of fact, they're good for anytime you need a snack or just want something satisfying to tide you over to your next meal or through the night. Not only are they good for you, but they taste really good too.

SunRidge Farms makes a variety of snacks which include candy, dried fruit, nuts and seeds and also snacks and trail mixes.

I was sent the three pictured above. I found the salty snacks to contain just the right amount of salt and the perfect combination of flavors that left me wanting more. There are also sweet snacks to satisfy a sweet tooth such as their almonds covered in dark chocolate. I talked my brother into trying out the chocolate covered almonds. He's really picky about what he puts in his body and was hesitant at first, but he gave in to giving them a try and was asking for more before he left.

Can it get any better? Yup! SunRidge Farms makes snacks that are all natural and organic. Their products are free of artificial flavors and colors, refined sugars and hydrogenated oils.

Be sure to check out the SunRidge Farms site to see their full line of product offerings. You can order from their website, or use their contact form to find out if these products are available at a retailer near you.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Gift Ideas for the Guys

I recently had the pleasure of attending a Blogger Bash held by Craftsman and if a guy in your life is into do it yourself projects small or large, Craftsman has something for him.

Even before my husband went to school, the occasional need for a tool arose. Putting together kids toys, occasional minor car repairs, and just little fixer-upper jobs that pop up around the house call for tools. Now that he has completed several certifications and is working in the computer field, he is in need of a wider range of tools. Some that I thought would be perfect for him, whether he would use them around the house or on the job, include the following from these new products released just in time for the gift giving season that Christmas is:

I really like that the first two of them have lights on them. All of them are small enough so that they can easily go wherever he goes. Now all of these are perfect for him even more so because we're still renting, and we can put in a call for maintenance when a bigger job needs to be done.

Someday we're hoping to own our own home. Our dream yard will be a large one that the kids can freely run around in. We also realize that we'll be responsible for our own upkeep. Some tools that I can see us needing include these:

These are just a few that I selected that I could see presenting to my husband or practically any guy, but Craftsman has also compiled a collection of tools fit for gift giving. They guarantee that there's something your guy is going to love.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My #ChiTag Experience #Giftguide

Whether it was because the children are a year older or because we knew more of what to expect, the Chicago Toy and game was a more relaxed and enjoyable experience for us this year. I really got to engage with some of the toy makers/manufacturers and find out more in depth about their toys and i'll be sharing some of my favorites in this post.

The Bogo from Razor was probably my 9 year old's favorite. He was determined to master this thing in one day, although it was his first time giving one of these try. Unfortunately for him, he had to give it up so that others could try it out and we could see what else was new and exciting. Of course it brought back childhood memories. This one has a twist though; it's been redesigned so that it can have more bounce by way of a bow assisting spring. I like that it's something my son actually wanted to do that meant getting some physical fitness in for his body.

Some of my personal favorites at ChiTag were these guys here. The red one is Brobo, and all the others are his friends. I especially liked the line of them that are designed for children who are afraid of the dark. You touch a certain body part, (the tail for the dog and the arm for all the others) to the chest, and doing so provides 5 minutes of light. The story of Brobo is that he is a futuristic small robot with a big heart and a huge imagination. It is my understanding that a cartoon and much more are in the works.Though the site for these guys is still pending public release, you can check out their Facebook Page.

I really enjoyed the board games presented by Maranda Enterprises. These games present a nice way to relax and just use your brain and have fun the old fashioned way. When I first looked at them, I guess I automatically assumed they would be complicated and I wouldn't feel like taking time to learn them with so much else to see. I'm glad I did stop to ask, because I found out that some were really just a twist on classics such as Dots and Connect Four, and others, though they would require more thought, were still fun and a sure way to exercise and develop your brain and thinking capacity. All of the games are designed so that there's never a tie, so there's always going to be a sure winner.
  I'd also seen a couple of teenagers (or tall tweens) playing with something called a Spring Ring, and just found out that it's made by Maranda Enterprises as well. Perfect for two players, and there are options to make for indoor or outdoor play.

What boy can resist some type of gun? Mine thought the Vapor gun was really cool. The ammo that goes with it is 90% water based and it has a cool squishy feeling to it. I think it was just perfect that they had a target practice setup. It looks like the site hasn't launched for these yet either, but Vapor Blaster is currently on Facebook.

One last toy i'd like to point out is the Poofin. Well, it's really not a toy, but something I found to be a unique way for kids to create, store and share memories. I think it's neat that if they don't have a predesigned mini pillow, a.k.a. charm, you can go to their site and create your own and have it sent to you. You stuff the charms off into the larger star pillow and you can take it along with you to show off the charms and share what sentimental value each has to you. Poofin also has a YouTube channel where you can check out some videos and get a better visual. 

If you'd like to check out my other photos taken during our ChiTag experience, you can find them here on my Facebook page.

*I received sponsorship to attend Chitag along with swag to bring home. I chose some of my favorites to share with you and the views and opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Crystal Roll On Deodorant

*This is my entry in a contest held by Social Fabric and Crystal Deodorant

Friday, December 2, 2011

If You Could Know. Please Leave Your Questions On This Post #askafarmer

Dallas Farmers Market 2
Have you ever wanted something, but didn't know how to go about getting it? Something so simple, yet so out of reach? Well, within the past year, there have been a couple of documentaries that i've watched, Food Inc. and also one called Ingredients, that really got my gears to spinning. Questions that filled my head, and on occasion my conversations with others that left me somehow feeling hopeless when it came to getting answers to know how to do better.

Well, it seems that I may finally have the opportunity to get at least some of those questions answered. This upcoming Sunday, i'll have the opportunity to talk with a farmer and hopefully find answers that will free me from this circle that's been created as a result of finding out some things that can make anyone uncomfortable with the foods that we set on our tables to nourish ourselves and our children. I'm hoping to find time to look back through the documentaries that I mentioned above, and prepare some questions that I would like to know the answers to. I would also like to reach out to any of my readers who may have questions that they would like to ask a farmer. If so, please don't hesitate to leave your questions below in a comment.