Thursday, March 31, 2011

In Only 5 Years , I Will Be Attending My "20th Class Reunion" From High School...SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!

The year was 1996!  I was the most "SPIRITED SENIOR" and living the high life in Bakersfield, CA as I graduated from Centennial High School.  My entire high school experience was a unique (in the best way) and special situation.  We (our class) was the first graduating class from Centennial.  It was a brand new high school in our town!  We set the standards...we were the leaders from sophomore year on (we started with freshman & sophomores). 
It really was an awesome year!
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So now it's 2011 and I blinked and missed the 15 years that passed in that time frame!  SERIOUSLY!  I don't feel old enough to have been out of high school for 15 years already?  I'm OLD!  Sob...Sob...Sob!  Just thinking about it makes me sad...because I still feel extremely young on the inside. 
Guess I'm just YOUNG AT HEART!
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Though I'll admit...when I look in the mirror and see new wrinkles appearing and the flecks of reflective (pure white) hair in the mirror, peaking out of the roots of my darkly dyed hair..I know it's true!
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(that's me in the Letterman jacket)
In five years...it will be our 20th Class Reunion!  HOLY COW!  It truly seems impossible, but it's truly within reach now.  I guess I have accomplished a lot in the 15 years I've been out of high school.  I've had several jobs, lived in several states (CA, OH, TX, CT), have four beautiful children, have this awesome blogspot, and even made a NATIONAL t.v. debut (yes, I am still excited about that few moments with Nate Berkus and Dr. Oz). 
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(I was just telling my babysitters about the sparkly silver dress I wore to this formal)

So BRING IT ON...I know five years will go quickly and I'll be ready to give out hugs, share some laughs and enjoy an evening or two with my friends from Centennial High Schools Senior Class of 1996.

So Excited To Be "GETTING GORGEOUS" At This NYC Event On Saturday!

Every mommy loves getting pampered, right?  Well...I know that I do!  I am so excited...I was invited to an event in NYC that will not only offer me some pampering, but awesome networking and a fun day in the city.  This is my first time at this event...who is hosted by to BIG TIME mommy bloggers, Audrey McClelland & Vera Sweeney.

The event is called:
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And just like the title states...we will be "Getting Gorgeous" with our hair done & manicures by:
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We will also be getting awesomely loaded swag bags (if we signed up for them) filled with goodies for me to tell you all about when I get home! 

The event is sponsored by:
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I can't wait to tell you all about it.  Of course, I'll have my camera in tow, cause you never know who I'll meet and need a picture with!  It's going to be so much fun!  I can't wait to be "Getting Gorgeous" with fellow bloggers & media representatives!
I was not paid to feature this post!  I was not compensated in anyway!

It Was A Zoo Around Here...LITERALLY...Thanks to Creativity For Kids! Plus An "Earth Day" Giveaway!

As you know, we love being together as a family...so family projects give us even more reason to shut off the television, the computers, the handheld games and do something of quality together.  Tonight we had that chance thanks to Creativity For Kids.
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We received their Recycled Cardboard Zoo Kit.  A kit that's made out of recycled cardboard and encourages children to "re purpose" household items as accessories for the zoo playscape.  Now, if you've been reading this blog for long...you know that we also love Creativity For Kids Kits.  We love doing them ourselves and we love giving them as gifts!  So I had no doubt that this kit would challenge us, offer us a time to giggle and laugh and I would be able to watch my kids use their creativity and imagination by designing our own "ZOO".
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Wow...this kit had a lot of pieces and at first I was intimidated by the assembly...but I gave the kids the stickers to start coloring and I put another child on the project of constructing the animals, and I got to building the actual "zoo" structure.
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I was really impressed when I watched it come together as bit, by bit, we added the pieces and constructed the "zoo", including our "family" that were created by my son. 
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In fact, he didn't miss a beat, he gave the "MOM" doll a camera (cause he knows I love taking pictures when we are at the zoo) and made all the kids & my husband too.  It was great to see each one of us represented at this zoo we created with our imagination & creativity.
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Does this look like a project your family would be interested in trying out?  I get to offer (1) Lucky Winner a chance to receive this very kit just in time for Earth Day (April 22nd)!

To Enter This Giveaway (you must do the first and then one or all of the following):
1st - Tell me what types of things you do in honor of "Earth Day"
2nd - Tell me what Creativity for Kids Kit you are interested in, besides the Recycled Cardboard Zoo Kit (CLICK HERE) to check their website out
3rd - "Like" Creativity for Kids on Facebook (CLICK HERE) and comment that you did
4th - Follow Creativity for Kids on Twitter (CLICK HERE) and comment that you do
5th - "Like" us on Facebook (CLICK HERE) and comment that you do
6th - Follow us on Twitter (CLICK HERE) and comment that you do
7th - Follow our blogspot directly and comment that you do
8th - Tweet about this giveaway & comment that you did (you may do this twice daily)
9th - Blog about this giveaway & comment that you did, with a link, so we can read about it
10th - Enter one of the other giveaways & comment which ones you entered to win (you may do this once per giveaway entered)

This Giveaway will end on April 14, 2011 and is opened to US Residents only!  Be sure to leave your e-mail address with each entry and leave separate comments for each entry too.

Thanks Creativity for Kids!  It was a great time, spending it with my kids, talking about the Earth, the animals, recycling and watching our kids get CREATIVE with this fun kit!
I was not paid to feature this post!  I was compensated only by the products sent for this review/feature!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Want To See Michael Buble Perform In A VIP Event In July At A Napa Valley Winery?

Are you Michael Buble's biggest fan? 
Do you melt when you hear his voice?
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There's a video contest (I had to share with you) going on right now...that could land you the opportunity to not only see him in concert in July...but be a part of a very INTIMATE & ULTIMATE VIP Event!
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Entries accepted March 1–April 30, 2011.

CLICK HERE & submit your video entry!  Make sure you come back and tell me if you happen to be a lucky winner!
I was not paid to feature this post!  I was not compensated in any way!

Win $5000 for Damner Custom Window Coverings and other prizes for home decor...CA And NV Residents Only!

Hey, home makeover fans, it's time to move...those old, dusty blinds and tattered drapes.
In their place: beautiful high-quality ThermaliteTM Danmer Custom Shutters, handcrafted in California.
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First, you'll have to earn them, though, aspiring Ty Penningtons and Martha Stewarts. Danmer Custom Shutters, as seen on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," will reward one lucky fan with a "Home Shutter Make-Over" valued up to $5,000!
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Danmer Custom Shutters will also "furnish" the first and second runners-up with special surprise gifts.


Must be a California Or Nevada Home Owner to enter.
I was not paid to feature this post!  I was not compensated in anyway!

Do Your Kids Love Caillou? They Can't Love Him Any More Than My Kids Do...

We have four kids, who have each been a huge fan of Caillou at certain stages of their lives.  My oldest son loved Caillou (and was obsessed) until he was about 4.  My oldest daughter made us watch the Caillou Christmas special so many times during her (2-4 years), I can recite it by memory still.  My youngest daughter loved watching Caillou and still does with our youngest who is absolutely & thoroughly entertained by the little bald four year old cartoon character.
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So, how could I pass up the opportunity to review new toys from the Caillou line when my Team Mom friends asked if we were interested.  Are you kidding?  YES!  YES!  YES!!
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So the box arrived today and my little guy was napping while I pulled the items out of the box.  My five year old daughter, however, was very excited and interested about what was in the box.
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When he did get up from his nap, he wanted to immediately watch an episode of Caillou (thanks to Charter on Demand) and sit with his new friend.  This classic style Caillou doll is the perfect t.v. watching companion.  He has removable clothing (socks, shoes, shorts, shirt, hat), which was all removed and then put back on yesterday (cause kids love to undress things) and though he doesn't speak...his adorable face says volumes to my 2 year old.
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We also received the Caillou Learning Train...which both my youngest children were interested in playing with.  This train is also colorful (with primary colors) and interactive (the bell makes noise when you bump it, the horn honks, etc.), and the dolls are fun cause you can take them apart and put them back together again.  I see hours of play time with this new toy!  He's in love!

I recommend...if you child is a Caillou fan, that you look for this awesome new toy line at ToysRUs (CLICK HERE) and I have no doubt your kids will be as excited and taken by them as my youngest two were.
I was not paid to feature this post!  I was compensated only by the products sent for review/feature.

Save $1.00 With A Coupon Coming Sunday In Your P&G brandSAVER of your local papers for "Kandoo Wipes"!

I have to tell you...with a two year old who just learned how to potty by himself and a five year old that is still perfecting her wiping technique...I LOVE Kandoo Wipes! 
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Why? 
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These wipes are not super wet, but damp enough to take care of business when it comes to teaching your child to wipe independently.  I have to tell you...at least in our house...the kids like to use them for more than just wiping after pottying.  I've caught them wiping the floor, cleaning the wall, etc.  So glad to have little helpers...but I have tried reinforcing that these are JUST for potty time.  I also love that they are flushable...so as soon as they are done, they can drop and not mess with the wipes anymore.
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So, I am excited to tell you that, this Sunday...in your local newspaper...there will be a $1.00 off coupon for you to purchase & try Kandoo Wipes yourself (or get a refill if you're already a Kandoo family).
I was not paid to feature this post!  I was not compensated in any way!  By posting about this coupon, I will be entered in a drawing to win 1 of 2 $200 MasterCard gift cards.

A Padded Bikini For An 8 Year Old? Seriously? Would You Buy It For Your Daughter?

I have a seven year old daughter...and I wouldn't even for second, consider buying her a bathing suit with a padded bra top. 

Why? 

Ummm...hello...she's 7!  Seriously, I can't imagine putting my pre-pubescent child in a padded anything (bra or bathing suit).  I think doing that encourages men to look at her inappropriately at a tender & innocent age!  Why else would she need to wear a padded top?  Seven year old little girls aren't suppose to have full grown breasts.  They aren't suppose to be looked at as "WOMEN" at all.  They are suppose to be little girls...who play with Barbie dolls and riding their bikes.  They should not be thinking about their bodies in any way other than GOD has created them to be at that age...A little kid!

Okay, so after going off on my tangent...I have to explain why I am even posting about this. 
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 Abercrombie & Fitch had considered selling a padded bikini to children in that age range.  It's actually been discussed on lots of other sites, but I was curious how my readers feel about it:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Here's A Baby Gift That Every NEW MOMMY Will Thank You For Giving Them - "Your Baby In Pictures" by Me Ra Koh

One of the things I cherish most is pictures!  Why?  Cause to put it honestly...my kids grow up way to fast and memories are fleeting.  The only way that I know I can preserve my children's infancy & childhood is by capturing those moments & printing them out for display and lasting reflection.
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I do not own this book yet, but with the reviews it's getting...I have a feeling I will be purchasing it for baby gifts for "SOON TO BE" mommies, because of how much they will cherish the impact it will make on them.

"Your Baby In Pictures" by Me Ra Koh (I aspire) will not only encourage parents to capture those precious moments, but also offer them the HOW TO for the perfect snapshots. 

Here's the description:
Capture the story of your baby’s first year!

The first twelve months of your child’s life are full of precious, fleeting moments, from sleepy newborn yawns to first smiles and wobbly first steps. Why entrust your memories to hastily taken snapshots—or worse yet, none at all? Let professional photographer (and mom) Me Ra Koh help you capture the moments with 40 beautiful “photo recipes” anyone can do, with any camera. Telling your baby’s story in pictures has never been easier!
 
Seriously...LOVE THIS BOOK idea already!  To bad my kids are past the "baby stages" or I would have snatched this book up and soaked in the knowledge.  But just because I have to suffer with the amateur pictures I took (or had others take) in the hospital and the first year of each of their lives.

CLICK HERE to order your copy on Amazon.com (it's on sale right now) for only $13.59.  You're not only going to love getting, giving or using this book...but you're going to fall in love with the photographer who shares the tips to get the perfect shots. 
I was not paid to feature this post!  I was not compensated in any way!

How To Cook A Duck? I Need Your Help...Cause I'm Clueless!

The husband brought home a frozen duck from the grocery store, that's been sitting in the freezer for a few weeks, because I am totally clueless as to how to fix it.  I know he must have chuckled to himself as he placed it in the shopping cart...thinking...I'll give her a challenge with this one!  I don't personally eat DUCK (I've tasted a bite from my husband's plate before, but I would never order it myself).  Not even sure the kids will eat it, but we'll soon find out!

Have you ever cooked a duck before?
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I had a good little chuckle, as our two year old was in the kitchen when I pulled it out of the fridge this morning.  He looked at me and said, "What that mommy?"  I said, "A duck!".  He looked at me curiously.  I couldn't help myself, so I said, "Like Donald Duck".  He looked at me and the duck and said, "yummy...I'm hungry!" Then he proceeded to rub his tummy and lick his lips!  He's so funny!  Guess the idea of cooking Donald doesn't bother him enough to not want to eat it!
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So here's where I need your help! 

Do you have a favorite or SUPER EASY recipe to cook a duck? 

Please share!  Tips, recipes, even suggestions on how to cut it apart after it's cooked would be great!  I am certain that, with your help, I can create a dinner for my husband tonight that will delight his tastebuds and tickle his fancy!

Finger Foods Are The Best! Especially When They Are SeaPak Or Farm Rich Products!

In my opinion...simple is the best when it comes to food!  Now...my husband might not always agree with me, but I know that when I am away and he's taking care of the kids...simple is the best for him too!  Cooking dinner seven nights a week for four opinionated kids can be not only time consuming, but also quite a chore!
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So, I was elated when SeaPak Products & Farm Rich Products sent me a coupon to try out one of each of their fabulous frozen simple fixes.  I mean, who can say no to things like Butterfly Shrimp (all crispy and golden) and Cheese Sticks (that we sometimes get as an appetizer when we eat out)...all cooked in a few minutes time and bring smiles to everyone's faces at the dinner table.
These products also make great appetizer options for those who are hosting a gathering or special event. 

I am excited that I get to giveaway a coupon for (1) SeaPak Package and (1) Farm Rich package to (1) lucky winner!

To Enter this giveaway (you must do the first and then one or all of the following):
1st - Tell me if you've tried either brand of frozen product & if so, which ones you tried
2nd - Tell me what you would use these coupons for...a party, to feed your family for a night, etc.
3rd - "Like" us on Facebook & comment that you did (CLICK HERE)
4th - FOLLOW us on Twitter & comment that you do (CLICK HERE)
5th - Follow our blog directly & comment that you do
6th - Tweet about this giveaway & comment that you did (you may do this twice daily)
7th - Blog about this giveaway & comment that you do, with a link, so we can read about it
8th - Enter one of the other giveaways & comment which ones you entered (you may do this once per giveaway entered)

This giveaway will end on April 12, 2011 and is opened to US Residents only!  Be sure to leave your e-mail address with each entry and leave separate comments for each entry!


Thank you to SeaPak & Farm Rich for making meal time simple, easy and fun for our family!
I was not paid to feature this post!  I was compensated only by the coupons sent for me to purchase the products for review/feature!

Because Laughter Is The Best Medicine...But There's Something Even More Adorable About A Baby's Laugh! Don't You Agree?

My kids and I were watching some videos on YouTube last night and we came across this adorable baby giggling & laughing.  I absolutely had to share it with you!  SO GOSH DARN ADORABLE:
WOW...how can you not smile or giggle to yourself when you watch such an adorable little person totally tickled by just simple noises!  I LOVE IT!  It was medicine for my soul!  Plus, my kids were cracking up watching this baby laughing too!

Tee Hee Hee!  Hope this brings a little sunshine to you day!
Enjoy!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Kids And Dating...What Age Is The Right Age To Let Them Start Dating?

Being a mommy of four young kids...I have not yet had to worry about my kids dating.  However, with my son approaching his 10th birthday this year...I know I am not far off from that point anymore.  Realistically speaking, it might be a year or two...but he's going to start taking notice of girls...in a much different way that he has before. 

He's going to be asking and I need to be prepared how to respond to him...
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My parents rule was for my sister & I, when it came to dating was age 16.  They really stuck to it too...with the exception of a formal dance (in a group setting)...otherwise, we were not allowed to go to the movies, or out one-on-one with any boy, before that age.

With sex being such a non chalant (and played down) thing now days...I am really worried about the age we start letting our kids dating, mainly for mere concern that, that is when the pressure & temptations will begin. 
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So my question for you parents who have older kids...what age did you start letting your kids date?  Do you feel you made the right decision?  Was it to young?  Was it to old?

For those of you with little ones...do you have an age range in mind yet?  My husband jokingly (but not so jokingly) says 18 for our girls!  I just laugh...

What age did you start dating?  Do you think your parents were fair in the age they picked for you?  Are you doing things different with your kids?

Man...I am full of questions today...but this is a topic that I am very curious to hear your opinion on. So please make sure to comment below!

Clogged Pores Ruining Your Complexion? Biore Deep Cleaning Pore Strips To The Rescue!

Have you ever noticed that the pores around your nose area tend to be the biggest, darkest and most defined?  Many of us (I will admit to being one of them) have a habit of rubbing that area with our sometimes, not so clean hands.  What happens then?  They clog and the pores grow...making them much more visible than ever before.
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Did you know that the average complexion has 200,000 pores?  Sometimes pores can stretch to be the size of a ball point pen tip...and my husband's nose is proof of that!  Did you know that squeeze those pores with your fingernails can leave behind tiny tears in your skin and spread acne causing bacteria?  I have to admit...I am guilty of doing that...I honestly like to see what comes out of the pores.  Nasty, right?
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He was a trooper and was my example of how REALLY WELL these little Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips work!
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Last night, we gave it a go and applied the Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strip to his nose to see if they could really unclog and shrink the size of his nose pores.
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The results? 
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 Not only did the pores seem smaller and less "dark" in color, but check out what came out on the strip...GROSS!!
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If you've noticed larger pores on your nose area or catch yourself wiping your hands across that area on a more than often basis...I would highly suggest you seek out these Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips in your local store.  You're going to love the results you get and feel more confident about your "less defined" pores around your nose area!
I was not paid to feature this post!  I was compensated only by the product sent for review/feature!