Monday, December 13, 2010

Random Acts of ZHU!!!

I was so excited to find out a couple weeks ago that I was going to be participating in a program called Random Acts of Zhu. Cepia, an amazingly generous company, sent 104 Zhu Zhu pets to 100 bloggers to spread a little Christmas joy.

It took me a few days to figure out which charity I wanted to benefit from this. At first I REALLY wanted the Christmas House on Fort Gordon to get them to help military families provide toys for their littles. Unfortunately I was about 2 days too late to donate! Bummer! So I had to think about it. I talked to my pastor and found out there were a few families that he knew of in the community that really needed a little help this year. I gladly gave him quite a few to help. Then I had a bunch more to find new homes for. I decided to take them to the Children's Medical Center at MCG hospital here in Augusta, Georgia. But I didn't really want to do Toys 4 Tots, even though it is a fantastic organization. I really wanted the kids on the floors to get the toys. Today we loaded up the back of the minivan with the remaining Zhu Zhu's and took them in. The nurses and staff were quite amazed at such a generous gift from the company! Having three very healthy children at home, it breaks my heart knowing that those babies in the hospital don't get to be at home for Christmas. As I was walking out of the children's ICU I noticed a mother crying. I cannot imagine having to deal with illness in my children. For those parents to see a smile on their kids faces from something as simple as a little toy hamster, it truly is a gift and a blessing to me. I am so grateful to have been a part of this Random Act of Zhu. Thank you Cepia for the absolutely AWESOME opportunity to put a smile on someones face. (Well LOTS of someones! 104 someones!) :)

If you haven't checked out the Zhu Zhu Pets, I advise you do. My kids can't get enough of them! You can learn a little about them here http://www.zhuniverse.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=20&Itemid=24


To learn a little more about how you can help out MCG's Children's Medical Center check out this link here.http://www.mcghealth.org/ways-to-give/DefaultCMC.aspx

Monday, December 6, 2010

And the winner is......

Congrats to Christine for winning a $25 Kroger gift card and some Chex Cereal from Kroger, Chex and MyBlogSpark!!


Make sure to watch for upcoming giveaways!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Baking for the Troops

Help make the holidays sweeter for troops by sending cookies to deployed military with our partners Katy's Cookies, the USO and Operation Support Our Troops Illinois. Even sweeter, upon sending 250,000 cookies on behalf of Americans nationwide, Kenmore will donate $50,000 to Heroes at Home, which helps troops on the home front. The Food Network's Sunny Anderson will serve as head chef, welcoming Chicagoans as they help kick off the cookie count!

Best of all, you can either come on down to the Live Studio if you're in Chicago, or watch live online in the Live Studio tab on the Kenmore Facebook page! Sunny will only be in from 12pm-1pm, but you can watch the fun start all day!

Just go to the facebook page here for more information!

Chex and Kroger

Looking for an easy gift idea for friends, family or co-workers? Try wrapping your favorite Chex Party Mix in a colorful tin or bag and personalize it with your own recipe card.


To make things even sweeter, Kroger Family of Stores will have Chex cereal on sale so you can impress your guests without stressing your wallet. For 3 weeks, from December 2nd - December 25th, Kroger will offer Chex cereal at their lowest prices of the year!


My all time favorite Chex recipe is Puppy Chow. What is your favorite? I am going to be giving away Chex cereal and a Kroger gift card. Let me know what your favorite Chex recipe is for a chance to enter. For additional entries you can facebook, tweet about it or follow me on the blog. The contest will end at midnight Sunday, December 5th!



disclosure-the coupon, prize pack, information and giveaway were all provided by Chex and Kroger through MyBlogSpark.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Christmas Box of goodies!!

Momselect and a few other companies sent me a super cool Christmas goodie box! Let me tell you everything that was in it.
1. Build-A-Bear Smallfrys

Okay my girls are WAY into stuffed animals and baby dolls. They really like to dress them up. So I am thinking this is a cute stocking stuffer idea!

2. Christmas Cakes from Little Debbie 

They sent the chocolate variety. Not only do kids like the taste, they are also in fun Christmas tree shapes! These are a must have in school lunches this time of year.

3. Sneaky Puzzle from Patch Products

I have to be honest. I have never heard of these. But they are SO cool! They are big enough pieces that Leah can do it with a little help from Mom or Dad.

4. Play-doh Mega Fun Factory
5. Play-Doh Shape and Spin Elmo

I will group these two together. You cannot go wrong with Play-Doh. I don't know if it is just MY kids or if they are all Play-Doh obsessed. My children play with Play-Doh on a daily basis. This is a Christmas/Easter/Birthday staple in our house!

6. Playmobil Child's First Day at School Kit

This is a cute little toy. It is cheap and fun for the little kids to stick in their pocket. I would say for the price this is a great pick for stocking stuffers.

7. Smart Mom Solutions

Finally, a stocking stuffer for Mom! You know all those annoying notes you have to write to the school? These are great! It is a convenient way to save a few minutes. They come with handy little envelopes. I think it is a neat idea!

I have been showing off the contents of the kit to Mom friends of mine. If you are Mom and you are interested in learning more about any of the products in the kit, please click on the link to see a little more about them. If you are local then I would love to show you all the goodies! I hope this gives my readers a couple of good Christmas present ideas!

Mega Blok Party

Momselect and Mega Blok sent me an AWESOME party pack. We had such a great time at the play date. All of the kids (and parents!) were excited that they were able to take a toy home with them. The kids played hard and the Moms got a great visit. My camera was MIA so I used my phone. Sorry for the blurry pictures. When my oldest daughter turned one, Mega Bloks was just a given for me to get her for a birthday gift. I guess I didn't realize the older kids would get into it as well. We had everyone from one year to four years old and they all had a blast! There were no fights over toys because they all got their own little truck or bus to play with. We put their names on the bottom with magic marker so they wouldn't get them confused. My kids crashed out after everyone left. I am pretty sure some Mega Bloks will be in Santa's bag this year, at least for my kids!! Leah and Lauren especially like the big bag of Bloks to build castles. Thank you Mega Bloks and Momselect for such an AWESOME party!!!





  



Friday, November 19, 2010

Giveaway ends!

And the winner is Hotmama! Thanks for entering!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pillsbury Giveaway!

Last week I received a wonderful package in the mail from MyBlogSpark and Pillsbury. It was a nice little scrapbook kit and a coupon for a free cinnamon bun from Pillsbury. We are going to use it to make a nice little breakfast memory with our family. They were generous enough to allow me to do a giveaway on my blog for the same kit! To enter please comment with your favorite family day memory. Please include your email address. For additional entries, you can tweet, facebook and follow my blog, for up to four total entries! Good luck! The winner will be notified Friday, November 19th.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Giveaway Ends!

Hey everybody! Congrats to Roisin for winning the giveaway from MyBlogSpark, Wanchai Ferry and Macaroni Grill!! Enjoy your romantic dinner at home, Roisin!

P.S. Watch me for another GREAT giveaway starting Saturday. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Who couldn't use a romantic dinner at home?


Myblogspark sent me an AWESOME dinner kit so that Jeremy and I could enjoy a date night without going out. It was just great! Jeremy and I have been married going on eight years and with three very small children at home, it is just plain hard to get out. They wanted me to share our first date with my readers. So here goes. Our first "real" date was in 2001. We went to Joe's Crab Shack in Michigan. It was really nice and REALLY expensive. At least we thought so at the time. :) Before we had kids we went out all the time. Like ALL the time. Now if we want to go out, we have to ask friends or hire a babysitter to watch the kids. Babysitters run about $10 an hour here. Okay so say we are out for three hours. That is $30!! Then if we go to a decent dinner that would be around $40. $70 for one night!!!!???!!! Heck no! Not anymore! We are on a shoe string budget. So we really really enjoyed having a date at home. For about $15-$20 you can have a nice dinner, restaurant quality, and enjoy each other without breaking the bank! They sent me a Wanchai Ferry meal and also a Macaroni Grill meal. Both of them were fantastic. I would have to say I liked the Chinese food a little better though. Both dinners were very easy to prepare.

MyBlogSpark, Macaroni Grill and Wanchai Ferry would like for you to be able to enjoy a date night at home as well. If you leave a comment you will be entered into a drawing to win the same kit I received. For additional entries, you can facebook, twitter or follow me for a total of 4 entries! Good luck! I will notify the winner on Friday, November 12th. Thanks for reading!

Disclosure-the products, prize pack, information and additional prize pack to give away were all given to you from Wanchai Ferry and Macaroni Grill through MyBlogSpark

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hello my name is Hope!

I got this email from Momselect today and I wanted to share. Breast cancer has affected so many lives. Let's raise some money to help fight this awful disease!!!

"As most of us know all too well, there are lots of fun things to do on Facebook! From Farmville to catching up with old friends, it's easy to get caught up in a virtual frenzy. However, whenever we learn of a Facebook app that lets us inspire others and contribute to a worthy cause, we can't help but spread the word far and wide!
That's why we're so excited to tell you about the "Hello My Name is Hope" campaign, presented by Quill.com, a leading business-to-business online and direct marketer of office products. To boost breast cancer awareness, Quill.com is inviting all Facebook users to post and personalize virtual "Hello My Name is Hope" stickers on their profiles to honor both survivors and victims of the disease. The familiar "Hello My Name Is" stickers take on new meaning with personalized messages of hope and support shared across the Facebook community. For every sticker shared, Quill.com will donate $1 - up to $20,000 - to City of Hope, a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center dedicated to research, treatment and education.


Throughout October, every sticker created will be displayed in a community gallery on the Quill.com Facebook page, creating a virtual wall of breast cancer messages and images."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Who likes FREE stuff??

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/landsendrachaelrayholiday2010 Complete this survey for a chance to win a $50 gift card from Land's End!!

Electrolux Rumpled to Runway

September is also Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and all month long, Electrolux is donating $200 to OCRF for every new Turquoise Sky Perfect Steam™ washer/dryer pair purchased1.You can also show your support by pressing the Perfect Steam™ button at http://www.kelly-confidential.com/ and entering for a chance to win a daily shopping spree and the grand prize: a Perfect Steam™ washer and dryer from Electrolux.

"What Matters Most to Me" from the LIFE Foundation

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM). The LIFE Foundation has created the "What Matters Most to Me" Facebook app, which lets you easily create a multimedia slideshowshowcasing the important people and things in your life. It is so cool! You all should check it out!
 
We luckily have awesome insurance through the military. But every family should really consider getting it. Just think about if something were to happen to you, or to your spouse. I don't think anyone should be without it!! With our family, if something were to happen to me for example.....my husband would be devastated and so would my kids. But not only that if we didn't have life insurance, he would have to worry about the added expense of childcare for our children. If I lost him, we would lose our provider. Even the kids need coverage! I cannot imagine, nor do I want to, losing one of my children. But to have to think about funeral or medical expenses....terrible. Just think about getting it if you don't have it already! Check out the facebook app to see what it is all about too!

Versatile Blogger Award!



Thanks to my friend HyperactiveLu for giving me this award!! Part of it is that I have to list 7 random facts about me. So here goes:

1. I hate to clean. That is no secret if you have ever been to my house!! Laundry is the worst. I have a real problem getting it all done and then folding and then putting it away!! Yuck! I hate laundry!!!

2. I sometimes feel very inadequate as a mother.

3. I love to sing and I pray my children develop a love for music as well. I think it started with my Grandparents. They always were very encouraging. They made a big deal about my singing when I was little. My Grandpa would take me to different plays and "shows" because he knew it was something we both enjoyed very much. They always made a point to be there for every concert, play or competition I was ever in. In our family we get together for holidays like any other family. But a special thing our family does is we sing together. We gather around the piano with our Lutheran hymnal and we sing. This was a little culture shock for my husband. He wasn't used to it at all!! I think that is something that makes my family special and unique.

4. We tried to get pregnant for 3 years when we were first married. Then we ended up doing in vitro because my fertility doctors said it wouldn't happen on its own. :) We had Leah and then TWO more, naturally!! I am so thankful for those babies of mine. I think longing for a child and having to go through what we went through to have Leah makes me even more appreciative of them. They are little blessings. Sometimes they try my patience and I wonder how I am going to get through the day. BUT, they are wonderful and I wouldn't trade them for the world!

5. I am not a dog person. I have a dog and I love that little rat of a canine. But I am not a dog person. I told myself I would never get another puppy when we re homed Carly. She was a 90 pound mutt and the most lovable sweetest doggie ever. She let Leah crawl all over her and poke her in the eyes and bite her ears. She was great. But we were moving to Texas into a tiny apartment from a big house with a yard. It wasn't fair to her. She has a great home and is very happy there. She has a farm to run around on and a loving owner.

6. I mourn the loss of my cats terribly. Again the Texas thing. I had my cats for 8 years, Stuart and Stanley. I had them all ready to fly to Texas and we found out that I had to fly them and my Mom couldn't. It was purely a financial thing. The airline told us it would be $90 each to fly them because of the military discount. Well, because my Mom was the one shipping them to us, she couldn't get the discount. That was even with them having a copy of my ID and I was paying. It would have been close to $700 to fly my two cats to us. We just didn't have it. But again they have a great home with kids. I hope they are spoiled in their old age. I do miss them. I was so lucky to have found them a GOOD home at the very last minute.

7. I respect my husband. He has done so much for me and our little family. He never complains about being the provider. He is a genuinely good guy. Of course he has his faults, like every does. But I love that man! He loves his children so much. It is a joy and a privilege to watch him with them. The only Father figure I had growing up was my Grandpa. He was a great father figure. But I always longed to have a relationship with my Dad. He is toxic though so it just was never possible. It is really neat to see how a Dad is supposed to be with Jeremy. I love the fact that when Lauren is hurt or afraid she wants him. It only hurts my feelings for a second then I get over it. :) I love that Leah can't wait to tell her Daddy everything about her day. I love the way Micah's face lights up when he sees his hero, his Daddy. I am so proud of Jeremy for what he is doing for our family and our country. I know it is very frustrating at times for him. He has worked so hard to be where he is. He did that for me, for our kids. I think he is pretty great. I love you Jeremy VanVeelen! Thanks for being my husband and the father of our children!


Well, there are 7 random things about me. I guess I have to pick 7 blogs to tag. So here goes:

http://blanchardadventures.blogspot.com/
http://sarraht.blogspot.com/
http://theharkinsblog.blogspot.com/?zx=cecc54f56714e34e
http://hodgeshomeschool.blogspot.com/
http://thebrownsofevans.blogspot.com/
http://thefitzgibbonfamily.blogspot.com/
http://dailykyliefix.blogspot.com/

Okay girls! I look forward to reading your 7 random facts!! :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hellmann's is at it again!

Back-to-school time is here, and for most Moms that means back to car-pooling, homework monitoring and of course, packing lunches. It can be hard to come up with lunches made with real, simple ingredients that kids will eat and actually enjoy. Luckily, Hellmann's® and Best Foods® Mayonnaise are putting the fun back into lunch this September with their virtual Sandwich Swap 'n' Share program.



Celebrity chef Bobby Flay and actress/mom Lori Loughlin are teaming up with Hellm®ann's to help re-launch Hellmann's® virtual Sandwich Swap 'n' Share on the Facebook® application (Facebook.com/Hellmanns). This virtual version of the beloved school lunch ritual of swapping sandwiches will benefit Share Our Strength®, the leading non-profit organization ending childhood hunger in America.



When people visit Hellmann's® Page on Facebook®, they'll have the opportunity to create a sandwich on the application and, for every sandwich built, Hellmann's® will make a donation to Share Our Strength®. What's more, when they share a sandwich with a friend, an additional donation will be made as part of Hellmann's® $75,000 commitment to support Share Our Strength®.

Monday, September 20, 2010

School of Rock! How Cool!

FREE WEEK TO ROCK available NOW thru OCT 31




School of Rock is the national leader in music education and has been teaching kids how to amaze audiences for more than ten years. They offer lessons in guitar, bass, vocals, drums and keyboards for kids ages 7 – 18. No experience necessary just eagerness to learn - School of Rock knows the best way to learn is by doing!



Here are all the details on the promotion:





* Includes one private trial lesson (30-45 min) and one Rock 101 group class (90 min).

* To redeem call 866-371-0557, use code SORBLOG

OR

* Complete the online form and input the SORBLOG code in the Questions/Comments field and the school will contact you directly.



* Free week must be completed by Oct. 31, 2010

* Offer available at participating locations and is subject to scheduling and availability.

* Must mention code SORBLOG when contacting the school to receive the free week.



Check out School of Rock on Facebook and Twitter



_________________________________________________________________________
Find out where to go to get your FREE week!!


School of Rock US Locations

A Barbie Fashion Fairytale!

We were given the opportunity to review the new Barbie Fashion Fairytale movie from Momselect. Boy was Leah ever excited when she got this!!!!! My girls have watched this movie 4 times in 2 days and both of them are currently glued to the TV watching it yet again!!! Leah doesn't know it but she is getting the Barbie and Ken doll from this movie for her birthday. Leah's favorite thing about the movie is the clothes and shoes. They are so pretty! :) I think it is a tad grown up for her but she loves it. You can check out the website for the movie and watch the trailer here. Have fun playing on the website! There are a couple really cool things on there. Thanks again Momselect for allowing us to review this great movie!! Leah LOOOOOVES it!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Zhu-niverse #2!!!

We were invited by Momselect to go out to the Yellow Daisy Festival at Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta, Georgia this past weekend. The Zhu-niverse tour was there and my girls were SO very excited to go to the "Zhu Zhu party". They had this awesome setup there. The kids were able to get pretty hands on with the fun. They had a human size hamster wheel, two tables set up with the Zhu Zhus and their accessories, Nintendo DS games, A human size hamster tunnel, an obstacle course and a station where you could find out which Zhu Zhu you were. Leah and her friend were GLUED to the tables with the Zhu Zhu pets. All Leah has been talking about the last couple days is the Zhu Zhu Flow dance and those little hamsters. They "learned" a dance as well as a 2 and 3 year old possibly can. They were able to dance on stage with Vince. Leah said "Mommy I was a STAR!". So funny! Well hope you enjoy the pictures and make sure you check out the Zhu-niverse Tour dates to see when they are coming your way. It was super fun!!


Gotta love it!

So Leah says to me the other night...."Mommy, when I get 4, can I stay up like you guys?". I say "No, but you can stay up until 8:15 instead of 8." She walks away pumping her arms and saying "Yesssssssssss!! 8 o'clock!! Yesssss!!" Kids are awesome.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Weight Watchers Lose-A-Palooza!!

Lose-A-Palooza is a one-day social media event created to encourage participation in the Lose For Good® campaign to benefit Share Our Strength and Action Against Hunger.




As part of the Lose For Good campaign, Weight Watchers will donate $1, up to a maximum of $60,000, to Share Our Strength and Action Against Hunger for each approved mention, acknowledgment or action related to “Lose For Good” made on September 14th through blogs, Twitter, Facebook and check-in via foursquare.



Important note: there is a difference between Lose For Good and Lose-A-Palooza. Lose For Good is a 7-week campaign, Lose-A-Palooza, on the other hand, is a one-day event as part of the Lose For Good campaign. The event runs one day only – September 14th – and its objective is to drive as much social media awareness as possible for Lose For Good. Every time Lose For Good is mentioned using an approved method on 9/14, Weight Watchers will track the mention and donate a dollar – up to $60,000.

Having trouble trying to meal plan for school nights?? Try Ragu!!

If you're having trouble finding time to prepare nutritious meals for your family while adjusting to new back to school schedules, relax, you're not alone. According to a recent "Feed our Kids Well" survey conducted by Ragú®, half of moms say that during the back-to-school season they have less time to prepare nutritious, home-cooked meals for their kids. Fear not, Mom; Help is on the way!




To help make sure your kids get the veggies they need (and the meals they love) Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce now has 2 servings of veggies in every half cup! Available soon in major retailers nationwide, the healthy, great tasting Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional pasta sauce that is already a kitchen staple has a new, naturally thicker recipe.



Healthy, delicious and now with a naturally thicker taste the whole family will love, Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce is a perfect component to pulling together quick and tasty meals during this busy time. And Ragú® wants you to be among the first to try out their great new recipe! To be one of the first to taste Ragú® with 2 servings of veggies in every half-cup visit them on facebook.com/ragusauce for more details.
 
 
"Disclosure: I was entered for a chance to win a Ragú® prize package in exchange for this post. No monetary exchange took place."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Zhu-niverse Tour 2010 part 1

This weekend is the Yellow Daisy Festival at Stone Mountain near Atlanta. I have been invited to go with the kids and friends to the Zhu-niverse Tour that is going to be there. Let me just say I LOOOOOVE Momselect. They sent us a DVD to learn the Zhu Zhu Flo dance. I am not too sure if the kids are old enough to retain the dance moves for longer than 5 minutes. I am also about 99% sure they will be too scared to preform in front of people. But they are having a blast learning it anyway! They also sent us a Pizza Hut gift card and a Kung Fu Zhu Zhu named Drayko. Leah is now OBSESSED with Zhu Zhu's. The child will be 4 in a couple weeks and all she does all day long every single day is list off what she wants for her birthday. We are down to Zhu Zhu's, Barbie's (specific ones she can tell you if you are interested.), a Cinderella horse and all the Cinderella characters and a castle, etc., etc., etc. She could go on for hours about what she wants for her birthday. But anyway, she loves the Zhu Zhu's now. (Thanks Momselect haha) But they are REALLY cool! You turn him on and he makes all kind of cute noises and has a little sensor so if he hits a wall he just turns around and goes in a circle and zips off in the opposite direction. He goes under the couch and disappears for a few minutes and then zips out the other end. So cool. Micah likes to chase him so that could end badly. I did have to scold Leah for putting it ON Lauren's hair after I had already explained what can happen if you get your hair caught in it. (I personally think she was TRYING to rip Lauren's hair out.....but who knows maybe she forgot. lol!) So the festival details can be found here and the Zhu-niverse information can be found here.  Please check them out and come join the fun this weekend! It is supposed to be one of the largest arts and craft shows in the nation!! So cool!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Walmart Giveaway RESULTS

The winner has been notified! Thanks to all that participated!! Thanks!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Milano Cookie Coupon

I don't know about you. But chocolate covered strawberry milano cookies sound DELICIOUS to me. So here is your chance to try them for much cheaper!

http://pepperidgefarm.com/News.aspx

Go here and print a coupon for $1 off Milano cookies.

http://www.facebook.com/pepperidgefarmmilano?v=app_4949752878

Go here and become a facebook fan!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Webkinz Jr. party!!

I was lucky enough to host a Webkinz JR party through Momselect and Webkinz JR. We had so much fun and are very excited to learn with our new furry friends. My daughters are at the perfect age to start using a computer to enhance their learning. We had a great time doing the crafts and games and listening to the cool CD they sent us! Thanks Momselect and Webkinz JR! You have a great product!!!

If you are interested in learning more about the Webkinz JR please visit http://www.webkinzjr.com/.

Walmart card GIVEAWAY!

It is back to school season and Walmart has all of your back to school needs! With Box Tops for Education you can buy all of your favorite General Mills items while supporting your favorite school! MyBlogSpark and General Mills gave me a $25 gift card to Walmart to buy all of my favorite things. What will you buy for your back to school needs? To be eligible to win a $25 gift card to Walmart from General Mills and MyBlogSpark, please leave a comment with the item you plan to purchase. Follow my blog for an additional entry! Good Luck! The winner will be notified on Tuesday, August 31st!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Outlast Party


Momselect sent me a package not too long ago filled with party goodies. It was for an Outlast hand sanitizer party. So I dressed up the party bags they sent and had a few people over to party. :) I think the grossest thing I learned was all of the purse facts. Please, people, NEVER put your purse on a bathroom floor.....and if you do, DO NOT put it on my table or counters!! GROSS! Everyone had a good time and we all are converts to this hand sanitizer. The only thing I didn't like was that is was very thin and runny so it is easy to pour out way too much. The kids really enjoyed the sticker laboratories that were in the kit. Thanks Outlast and Momselect for the great goodies to share! You can get your own free sample here.

Waterpik Easy Select Showerhead

Okay, so I have been really digging Momselect lately. They sent me this AMAZING shower head today. The girls helped me get it set up in the shower. They thought it was super cool. :) You can look at it here. We have been living without decent water pressure since we moved here from Texas. I just experienced the most wonderful shower since 2008. HAHA! It was really great! Thanks Waterpik and Momselect for the shower head! I definitely recommend it. If you have crappy water pressure, GO BUY IT!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fun times here in the VanVeelen house!

You know how sometimes you have those days where nothing can get you down? Today was one of those days! Leah has been in Vacation Bible School at our church all week this week. She has had so much fun with all her little friends. I took Lauren today to the nursery so she could play with one of her little friends too. She thought she was cool because she got to stay at "school" too. :) The kids were all in good moods. We were driving home and Leah said "I don't want lunch. I just want to take my nap." That is the kind of day I have had!! She slept for 4 hours!! Lauren woke up before the other two so I decided to show her something special. I got my dollhouse down. My Grandma Nelson and I made that dollhouse. It is filled with furniture and accessories and a doll that she and my Grandpa made for it. It is so special to me. I felt so happy to be able to share that with Lauren. She was very careful and said thank you for showing it to her. Well, then her brother woke up so we put it away. I let her take the doll downstairs though. When Leah woke up she asked about the doll. It started a fight. BUT it stopped when I told Leah that after dinner we would go check it out together just me and her. Jeremy went to get a pizza for dinner. What a lifesaver! I did NOT feel like cooking. I cleaned and organized my walk in closet this afternoon during naps and I was beat. Jeremy and I have also made a decision that we will indeed go to Disney World this September. I am very very VERY excited. We told the girls tonight. We have been keeping it secret until we knew for sure but we are definitely going now. It will be Leah's 4th birthday present. It will also be the first of (hopefully) many fun family vacations. We are sacrificing going to Michigan to visit family until Jeremy gets back from his deployment. But I am glad we are going to do something fun before he goes so we have special memories of Daddy to talk about while he is gone. Leah knows about the deployment. Lauren wouldn't get it even if I explained it to her. All Leah really knows is that Dad is leaving for a while but he will come back just like her friends daddies have. Well......back to my good day.....the kids ALL went to bed very well tonight and Jeremy and I are sitting on the couch relaxing. What a GREAT day!

Racetrac FREE refill cup

MomSelect just sent me this information about the new RaceTrac cup. I thought I would pass it along. Looks good to me. You all know I am addicted to Diet Coke!! :)



If you're always on the go with a drink in your hand, you have to check out the new RaceTrac Freefill Cup. Available for only $6.99 at your local RaceTrac location, this cool cup entitles you to FREE refills from their impressive fountain for the entire summer. From now until August 1st, you and your family can be sipping all of the refreshing drinks you love, without any additional charges! Check it out on racetrac.com.
 

Sunday, June 6, 2010

New Dress


This is Lauren's new dress. Don't mind her crazy hair!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cute new blanket

I made this super cute blanket for Micah the other night. Just thought I would share. :)




Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Summer at the Hampton!

Summer is almost here! If you haven't started planning a family Summer getaway, then now is the time to start. We know that it can be hard for a mom to plan a family getaway, especially when all of your friends and family are begging you to come and visit. This summer, Hampton Hotels is making it easier than ever to connect with your friends and family with their Chain of Friends Sweepstakes. One grand prize winner will win an entire hotel for a weekend (100 rooms for two nights). 100 other lucky folks will win a free weekend stay for them and three friends. Visit hampton.com/friends for more details and your chance to enter.

If you're ready to make your travel plans now, then you should know that Hampton Hotels is launching the Great Getaway Advance Purchase promotion so you can maximize your stay and play. They're offering guests 20% off the best available rate at participating hotels when you book at least seven days in advance for stays until July 15, 2010. Visit hampton.com to take advantage of this great offer.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

One eskimO Review


I was sent a cd to review the other day from the One2One Network. It is the new One eskimO cd. I really enjoyed it. It is very mellow. It kind of reminded me a little of Counting Crows or Joseph Arthur. I think my favorite song was called Amazing. You can check it out here.

All in all I thought this was a great listen. They started their tour May 14th. Check it out and see when they are coming to your city here!

Again thanks to One2One Network and One eskimO for sending me the cd to review!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Zippity Doo Giveaway!! One lucky winner!

I received a set of Zippity Doo's product line today from Zippity Doo and MomSelect to try on my kids. The idea of this product is that it will help to prevent headlice. www.zippitydoos.com I really like the smell of all of the items except the shampoo. But it was expected because it uses tea tree oil and it has a very strong smell.

One lucky reader of mine will win the four piece set of shampoo, conditioner, styling gel and sheild spray from MomSelect and Zippity Doo. Just post a comment and a winner will be selected May 23rd. The winner will be announced on my blog so be sure to check back. If 48 passes I will have to select a new winner. Thanks for looking!

Bra Giveaway!!

Do slipping straps, riding up backs, or not enough support have you ready to write a Dear John letter to your old bras? Apply for a Bra Makeover from Playtex! Seven out of 10 women are wearing the wrong size bra, which can result in an ill fit for the rest of their outfit, back and shoulder pain, as well as bruising and digging.

We know that busy moms don't always have time to update their bras or even check to make sure they are wearing the correct size. That's why we wanted to let you know about this contest from Playtex! Playtex recently launched www.PlaytexBraMakeover.com, a site where women can go to apply for a bra makeover or nominate a friend. If chosen, the winner will be flown to New York to receive a Bra Makeover with style expert Alison Deyette. Deyette is a fashion and trend lifestyle expert who has been featured on Bravo's Millionaire Matchmaker and TLC's Ten Years Younger, as well as in print publications including Good Housekeeping, The Washington Post, and O Magazine. Apply for your chance to win a Playtex Bra Makeover today. The last day to apply is Friday, May 21st, 2010.

The 10 winners selected for a Bra Makeover will also star in their very own webisode wherein a makeover candidate will receive a fitting with Deyette and walk away with the perfect Playtex products. A new webisode will premier on www.PlaytexBraMakeover.com every two weeks

By posting this information, I am entered into a contest to win a free bra from Playtex. I did not receive any compensation for this post and thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sewing stuff

I recently started sewing with much help from my friend Sarrah. She has been oh so patient with me. I have successfully completed four pillowcase dresses and look forward to completing my first pattern project soon. Well, here are my happy girls in their brand new dresses.


Friday, May 7, 2010

On the move now



My baby boy is 6 months old!!! I can't believe it. He is rolling all over. He has three teeth and three more cutting through. He gets cuter every day. :) I started cloth diapers about a month or so ago because of his super sensitive skin. I actually don't mind it much. They look cute on him and they seem comfortable and the best part is no rash! He has his first ear infection and first antibiotic. Sad. :( Even as a little sickie, he is such a little charmer. He is always happy and laughing and smiling. He adores his sisters. I struggled with the crying it out with Lauren and I am struggling again. I am easier on myself with every child though. With Micah I only let him cry a minute just when I lay him down for the night. He still doesn't sleep through the night (probably because I am a sucker for him). He still nurses a couple times in the night. He still doesn't like baby food. I am still trying to give it to him. :) He would rather try my food. I have found I am much more relaxed on that too. Well, I am not giving him anything crazy. But I might sneak him a crumb of bread or something. I love my girls, but there definitly is something very special about having a little son. I am sure Jeremy feels the same about the girls. He is growing so fast. I actually told Jeremy that I want another one now. hahaha We both laughed a little after that. But who knows. Maybe in a couple years......

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Real Food Project

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay and actress/mom Lori Loughlin have teamed up with Hellmann's® and Best Foods® Mayonnaise to unveil the Real Food Project on Hellmanns.com, a comprehensive online resource offering tips and ideas on how to create real meals made with Real Food.

Because videos are great for multi-tasking moms, The Real Food Project features a series of entertaining how-to tutorials, hosted by Bobby Flay, to give us tools and techniques to prepare great-tasting, at-home meals for our families. Just by visiting www.Hellmanns.com, you can access a wide range of recipes, including sandwiches, entrees and side dishes, all designed to please picky palates. There are even chances to win great prizes like a kitchen essentials bundle, Bobby Flay Grill It and Hellmann's® and Best Foods® products by playing the "Wheel of Real" instant win game and entering the Real Food Sweepstakes.


"Disclosure: I was entered for a chance to win a Hellmann's® prize package in exchange for this post. No monetary exchange took place."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

As Moms, we all have our own recipes for giving our kids the best possible childhood and a great start in life. Whether those ingredients include encouraging our kids to try their hardest or promoting their imagination and creativity, our hope is that our children will grow up to be happy and well-adjusted adults. Family time is an undoubtedly important part of that recipe, and making sure the family sits together at the dinner table at least once a week is a great, but challenging way to fit it in.

Ragú® offers moms hundreds of nutritious, convenient, delicious and affordable meal ideas- perfect for busy families on the go. From making sure the kids get their veggies (Ragú® red sauces contain more than a full serving of veggies in every half cup of sauce) to skip-a-step recipes like No Boiling Lasagna and No Frying Chicken Parmesan, Ragú® understands your hectic lifestyle and desire to feed your family quality meals at a great value.

Now, Ragú® is teaming up with actress and mom Molly Ringwald to promote the Recipe for a Good Start Contest asking moms to share their recipes for a good start for a chance to win a $5,000 college scholarship. By visiting www.recipeforagoodstart.com, you'll have a chance to submit your recipe for a good start in life and your original Ragú® recipe that has the family running to the dinner table! Three first prize winners will be awarded a family trip to New York City where they will compete in a nationally televised Ragú® Recipe Challenge for the chance to win the ultimate prize of a $5,000 college scholarship.


"Disclosure: I was entered for a chance to win a Ragú® family package in exchange for this post. No monetary exchange took place."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sad trip home


This was taken at Beth's wedding this last summer.


My sister called me a couple weeks ago with news she had me sit down to hear. My Grnadpa was going onto hospice care. My sisters and I had a very special relationship with our Grandparents growing up. My parents divorced when I was little and they did everything for us. We sat around the dinner table together every night. They took us to school and picked us up. They taught us all what love in a marriage was by setting an awesome example. They taught us that humor can get you through some pretty rough times. I lost my Grandma a year and a half ago. Since then I only saw my Grandpa twice. I saw him this last summer for my sister's wedding. My Mom said she didn't think he had much time left. So we decided we needed to go say our goodbyes to him. Twelve days ago was the last time I saw him. He passed away on January 12th. I know where he is and it is comforting that I will see him again. I am just really sad that I won't see him until then. He gave me away at my wedding. He stepped in and took over the role of father when I didn't have one growing up. We talked on the phone quite a bit after I moved away and he always would get choked up and sometimes he would cry a little and told me he just wished he could see us. I feel guilty for not being there the last two years. I always knew that I would lose them someday. I just didn't realize how hard it would be. I was glad to be able to visit him before he died. He was able to see the girls and to meet Micah. He was a very loving, funny, very friendly man. He will be missed by a lot of people. At his funeral Pastor Starr said like his name (Curvin) he was one of a kind and he will be sorely missed. One thing he taught me is that it doesn't take money to be happy. My grandparents never had much but they were always so content. A walk through the woods looking at wildflowers or picking apples from Close's trees was an afternoon of fun. Grandpa was always very fond of music. He always wanted us to sing to him when we had get togethers. (This was a culture shock for Jeremy when he joined our family.) But one of the "Curvinisms" that I will never forget was "How's about you sing me a solo? So low I can't hear ya." Or another "Hey how about you sing me a song. It's called far far away". He really did love music though. He would just say that to pesky young kids that wouldn't stop singing or humming around the living room when he was trying to read the paper after getting out of work. He came to every singing competition or performance that I ever had. He took me to plays and to see a couple operettas. He also loved reading to us kids. He could read Uncle Remus like you never heard. I wish I had a tape of him reading it. He really had a way with it. I used to do craft shows with him and my Grandma almost every weekend way back when. I loved it. I got to hang out with two of my favorite people. My Grandma and I built a dollhouse together when I was about 9 years old. My Grandpa made me a bunch of wooden furniture and then my Grandma would paint it. I have a few very special things to remember them by. I have the dollhouse. Then I have a couple of my Grandma's oil paintings. Then I have the bench my Grandpa made for me. I have so many special memories of them both. I don't even have to wonder where they are now because if I asked myself the response my brain shoots out is this "Does a bear shit in the woods? Does the Pope wear a beanie?" Ha. Yes, another bit of Curvin humor.

Thank you Grandpa for all you did for me. I will miss you and yes, I will miss you more. Oh, and if I ever have another son......I will name him Curvin. Why? Because you aren't here to tell me I can't.

I love cereal!

MyBlogSpark sent me coupons for 4 free boxes of General Mills cereal to review. My kids got to try Trix and Lucky Charms! Thanks MyBlogSpark for getting my kids hooked on those cereals. :) They really enjoyed the Honey Nut Cheerios as well. Here is a link for a great coupon from MyBlogSpark that will allow your family to try out a couple new cereals at a great price!

http://bricks.coupons.com/Start.asp?tqnm=qljheit24889505&bt=wi&o=60627&ci=1&c=GM&p=NY8LmWB2

Thanks for sending me the VIP coupons, the online coupon link, and the information from General Mills and MyBlogSpark