Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Take Time To Enjoy The "SMALL" Moments Of Life!

Little treasures!  That's what I call the "SMALL MOMENTS" of life...the ones that could simply be overlooked if we just blinked or stopped paying attention for a second! 

Today, as my little guy was getting himself ready for a nap, he looked over at me and said, "Mommy...I want to hold your hand!"  Now, I could have proceeded with my quiet computer time and told him to just go to sleep...
Instead, I stopped what I was doing, grabbed his hand and held it tightly until he was asleep.  Why?  That precious little moment, I'll never get it back again!  In 13 years (we were talking about this walking home from the bus stop today), he'll be driving a car and not want to hold his Mommy's hand anymore.  What if I missed this moment in time!  I would never forgive myself. 

Not only did he benefit...it helped him fall asleep faster...but it absolutely melted my heart!  Just in having him ask me to hold his hand...

I know, as a mommy, we can't always stop to smell the roses (so to speak) and it happens, that we overlook a few precious moments every now and again...but may I encourage you to try to enjoy those little moments when you realize they are available for your enjoyment? 

TRUST ME...you won't forget those "SMALL MOMENTS" and as small as they may seem...in the grander scheme of things, they are actually a lot bigger than you realize!  Ask my filled up heart about that!

Thank you JESUS for making aware of this one today!

Looking For A Multi-Purpose Cleaner That DOES IT ALL? CHECK OUT "Greased Lightning" With This #GIVEAWAY Opportunity!

No...not like the song from the movie, "Grease" (which I love btw)..."GO GREASED LIGHTNING"!
I am talking about:
Greased Lightning is a multi-purpose cleaner & degreaser!  Perfect for use on hard to clean dishes or even clothing with tough stains!  With the holidays here I can guarantee that you'll have both HARD TO CLEAN DISHES and spills & stains on clothing that you'll love having Greased Lightning on hand for!
I have yet to find a cleaner that can do more...for more areas of the house!  LOVE IT!

Plus, it's super easy to use!  You just SPRAY ON and RINSE OFF!  That's when I start shouting, "Go Greased Lightning!"  This stuff makes my job easier and my house & things cleaner!  LOVE IT!

Don't believe me?  What to try this out for yourself? I am excited that I get to offer (1) Lucky Reader their chance to win a coupon to get themselves a free bottle of "GREASED LIGHTNING"!  Plus...this is my first GIVEAWAY using Rafflecopter!  So I am excited for more than one reason! 

PLUS...click here to download the latest coupon for Greased Lightning!
I was not paid to feature this post!  I was compensated only by the product sent for review/feature!

What "Holiday Classics" Will You Be Watching This Month With Your Kids?

I love this time of the year for many reasons!  One of which, is the movies that come on every year at this time!  As the countdown for Christmas begins...the "CLASSICS" start airing on TV at night...which makes for the perfect cuddling time with my kids as we unwind and get ready for bed!

Classics like...
How The Grinch Stole Christmas (the original)
The Santa Clause,
The Christmas Story (this was a favorite growing up),
or Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer

I know I am missing some...
WHAT movies do you love watching with your kids at this time of the year?

Please leave a comment below, so I can make sure to watch them with my kids too!

LET THE HOLIDAY VIEWING BEGIN!

NEW WINNER ALERT: Come See Who's A Winner Today!

The winner of the "MY HIKES" Giveaway  is:

I liked them on facebook and I also posted the coupon discount code to a Mommy's group on pregnancy.org and to a secret Mommy group on facebook!

I would use these for both my 5 yr old daughter and my 2 year old son! Would be so handy!

Congrats!  You now have 48 hours to claim your prize!  Thank you to everyone who entered to win!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Meet Our Little "ELF" And How He'll Be Counting The Days Till Christmas! TWO DIFFERENT ADVENT Options!

I love to keep things fun around here and I honestly haven't done that great of a job, recently, at CRAFTING special "FUN" things for the kids.  I know lots of people are into "PINTEREST" (which I don't have an account) and all the fabulous ideas on there...and after seeing some of them posted on Facebook...I got inspired today
I made this Festive Paper ADVENT COUNT DOWN BANNER that is hanging above our formal dining room!  It's the room the tree will be going in next weekend. 
To get the kids extra excited, I thought that perhaps this little ELF (also made of paper), could help us count the days (he'll hang on each number) till Christmas, which should make it even more fun!
And, as tradition would have it...I also picked up these fun "chocolate behind each DAY window" advent calendars (just like the ones I had as a kid) from Target today for each of my kids to enjoy! 

So there is no doubt...we will know when CHRISTMAS EVE arrives and the celebration of the BIRTH of our SAVIOR begins in this house!  We are excited for Baby Jesus Birthday (as we are every year) and hope that maybe this will inspire you to find a creative way to COUNTDOWN with your kids!

Maybe you already made a fancy fabric ADVENT Calendar! 
Maybe you buy the TOY Advents or have another way to count down! 
I'd love to hear your ideas too! 

PLEASE leave a comment below and share with us how you & your family countdown the days till Christmas!

CONFESSION TIME: I "LIKE" To Sleep On...The COUCH!

We have the most ultimately comfortable couch ever!  The poor thing is a little stained and getting worn from almost 10 years of wear & tear (and several moves)...but it's so amazingly comfortable to sleep on!  Even our overnight guests would agree to that! 

Covered up with a few sheets and blankets, and a pillow on the side...you are in for an amazing night's sleep!  SOUNDS DOWN RIGHT DELIGHTFUL, huh?
I kid you not...it calls me ("Courtney...come sleep on me!") in the middle of the night from our bed!  Now, don't get me wrong, we have an amazing NASA foam top set of King Size mattresses...but for some reason, it is just not near as comfortable as MY COUCH (especially when it's loaded full of kids)!  In fact, I typically wake up feeling much more rested and energized when I've been sleeping on the couch, then when I sleep all night in our bed.

I have slept on this COUCH through three entire pregnancies...I KID YOU NOT!  There was no other place I could sleep (propped on my side), except this "WELL LOVED" couch!  It just provided me with a soft, comfortable and relaxing place to sleep. 

It's silly but...I am so thankful for this COUCH!

So, I have to ask...is it bad that I love sleeping on our couch as much as I do?  Do you enjoy sleeping on your couch?  If not...maybe it's because it's not near as comfortable as our awesome couch is!  HA!  Maybe you should look into getting a couch just like ours!  Hee Hee!  Or maybe, we should look into getting a different set of mattresses, so I'll stay in OUR bed all night instead! 

My Own Little "HANDYMAN" In Training! Could You Get MUCH CUTER? Thanks @theStep2company!

I love role play toys!  STEP2 has always been a brand that not only rings clearly in my ears as a brand that is going to hold up to my kids rough play...but also be something that will clearly offer them exciting pretend play & recreational time all in one!
We had the extreme pleasure of reviewing the Step2 "HOME DEPOT Big Builders Workshop Play set". 
My husband (with a little assistance from the mini handyman) put this together in an hour.  He said it was "BY FAR" the easiest play set we've ever put together!  I think that speaks clearly...since now days, most play sets are pretty involved and take a lot of concentration and time to assemble.
After it was together, our little HANDYMAN was beyond excited to give it a go and start building & creating with this inventive workshop. 
The tools, of course, are mainly pretend, but it does come with a drill/electric screwdriver (takes 2 AA batteries) that my son is obsessed with!  It's his favorite tool in the whole set.  I bet it's every little boy's favorite!  It would be mine too!
Our dog was very curious about this set too!  She was his assistant while he was hard to work at screwing and sawing and building!  I love that, even though these tools are pretend (in a sense), they offer a child the chance to learn basics about each instrument.  How the wrench works, how to work a drill, etc.  Obviously, it's "SAFE" training, but I know that this introduction is just the start of what could be a lifelong passion of being "HANDY" for his future wife and in life.

WATCH THIS VIDEO OF HIM IN ACTION: 

I WOULD RECOMMEND this play set to any parent of a little guy (FUTURE HANDYMAN).  Our son has played with it for hours so far, and I have a feeling this is just a start.  He loves it and honestly, there rest of the kids (10, 8 and 5) were interested in helping him build stuff too!  I LOVE THAT!

CONSIDER this the perfect present this Christmas for your child (boy or girl)!  CLICK HERE to order today!  TRUST ME...you'll definitely see a smile on Christmas morning and lots of interactive play (for hours) after!

I was not paid to feature this post!  I was compensated only by the product sent for review/feature!

Monday, November 28, 2011

What To Do With Those THANKSGIVING Leftovers? It's A Wrap!

Just wanted to give you guys the heads up that I just had another featured posted on the ShopRite POTLUCK site today:

Because I am a ShopRite POTLUCK Blogger, I was provided a $25 gift card to post a blog about creative ways to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers!

Let PYREX Make Your FOOD STORAGE Issues A Cinch This HOLIDAY SEASON - CHECK OUT THIS HUGE #GIVEAWAY!

The holidays always bring lots of food!  Delicious, fattening and fridge filling food!  Do you ever find that there is just not enough containers in your house to store everything left over from those huge holiday meals?  Or perhaps, the containers you have just aren't stackable or they leak...so getting things arranged in the fridge is almost impossible (if not hazardous to the next person who opens the fridge)!
I received an awesome gift package from PYREX that I cannot only wait to share with you, but get to EXTEND as a giveaway to one of you! 
We received:
·         Holiday apron
·         $25 gift card to purchase holiday cooking/baking essentials
·         A copy of Ellie Krieger’s cookbook filled with comfort food favorites

Pretty handy & fabulous if you ask me!
 In fact, our Pyrex No-Leak containers are already being put to good use, after our large Thanksgiving meal!  This one has my homemade cranberry/orange relish in it!  I love knowing that it's safe and secure in the fridge...because CRANBERRIES stain, you know!

Would you be interested in winning the same GIFT PACK we received? 
TRUST ME...you will use everything in this #WIN to store away all those fabulous & tasty dishes from Christmas Dinner, safely and securely in your fridge...

To Enter This Giveaway (you must to the first and then one or all of the following):
1st - Tell me if you have ever had a major "STORAGE" accident during the holidays
2nd - Tell me if you currently own any PYREX products and what you love about them
3rd - "LIKE" us on Facebook & comment that you do (CLICK HERE)
4th - Follow us on Twitter & comment that you do (CLICK HERE)
5th - Tweet about this giveaway & comment that you did (2x's daily)
6th - Blog about this giveaway & comment that you did, with a link, so we can read about it
7th - Enter one of the other giveaways & comment that you did (you may do this once per giveaway entered)

This giveaway will end on December 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!

Pyrex brand has provided me with the gift bags and gift cards!  Pyrex is not a sponsor of the giveaway.  I was not paid to feature this post!  I was compensated only by the products sent for review/feature!

Let Tetley Teas Warm You Up This Winter! You Could Win A $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card Instantly Too!

There is something about the cold weather, sore throats and a nice warm cup of tea with honey.  Since I am actually, currently suffering from a cold (and vicious sore throat)...I was super excited to try out:
I received a package with a container of both "BLACK and Green" teas (sent to me free of charge for this review/feature) to try out! 
Tetley Tea offers my throat some warm and soothing therapy!  I also love that it's naturally decaffeinated!  Plus, it tastes great too!  It really does!
Did you know that "SPECIALLY marked boxes" right now offer you the chance to instantly win a $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card!  Wouldn't that be a great surprise...not to mention some lovely, soothing and relaxing tea therapy?

Check out your local grocery store for the "SPECIALLY MARKED" Tetley Tea boxes and stock up for the cold winter months ahead!  Your throat will thank you for it!
I was not paid to feature this post!  I was compensated only by the product sent for review/feature!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

WARNING: Your Kids Will Want A Subscription And You Will Too! TAKE MY WORD FOR IT!

Do you like doing family craft projects with your kids? 
Do you like making crafts, homemade items, teaching our kids to be creative, etc.?
Do you like having fun with your kids too?
We got a sneak peek of Disney's newest magazine "Family Fun Kids" first issue and not just me...the three year old...the five year old...the eight year old, but our whole family enjoyed bits and pieces out of the content of this new DISNEY magazine!
It's full of fun stuff, from start to finish!  We made pretty snowflakes out of pipe cleaners and beads!
We played with balloons and static!  TO FUN!
We cut out and played with a six foot paper snake (my little guy thought it was super cool)!
We even played with the old school paper FORTUNE TELLERS (remember these from when you were in grade school), that my daughter thought was so neat, she made a second one (all on her own) for her little sister...so she wouldn't have to share hers!

From the moment we opened this magazine, there was something fun & entertaining for me and the kids to do!  LOVE IT!  PLUS...it's "AD FREE", so it's educational fun throughout the entire magazine!

Be on the lookout for this new magazine coming to new stands & mailboxes everywhere!


I was not paid to feature this post!  I was compensated only by the product sent for review/feature!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Jade's In The Mood For Christmas - SANTA Arrived At Our House!

Funny story...last Christmas, JADE (our puppy) was our Christmas present (of sorts).  When my brother in law gifted her to us...he said that he was confident that we would be a good home for her...because he knows I spoil my dogs (almost as much as I do my kids)!

He wasn't kidding!


So JADE was super excited when an "EARLY" Christmas present arrived to our house, from KYJEN (I am a BoyCott Boring Dog Toys blogger) for her, to put her in the CHRISTMAS Spirit! 
This Plush Puppies "SANTA" is not just a stuffed animal.  In fact, there is very little stuffing in it at all...just it's hands, feet and the pom on his hat.  The filler...BRACE YOURSELF...is an empty WATER BOTTLE!  Yep!  What a great idea!  It's a "BOTTLE BUDDY"!
Not only is this toy far less messy, but there is no squeaker (which can get annoying) and if she destroys the bottle inside (by to much chewing), it can easily be replaced with a spare EMPTY water bottle we have laying around.  I LOVE THIS SANTA! 
And yes...she's a bit protective of her new St. Nick toy!
Guess what?  They have more of these Plush Puppies products (CLICK HERE to see them all)...and I am guessing, if you have a dog, it's going to love playing & chewing on this ingenious toy too! 
Think CHRISTMAS presents! 
Cause you know you buy your doggy gifts for under the tree too, right?

I was not paid to feature this post!  I was compensated only by the product sent for review/feature!

Friday, November 25, 2011

What Are Your Favorite "CHRISTMAS" Recipes? Get Inspired By This...

Oh...the holidays!  The joys of the giving, the excitement of receiving and the thrill of the EATING!  Isn't this the time of the year that causes us Americans to seek our WEIGHT LOSS "New Year's Resolutions" at the beginning of the NEW YEAR?  Oh well...tis the season for indulgent recipes of sweets, succulent meats and savory side dishes!

One of my favorite classic side dishes is always "French's Green Bean Casserole".  Have you ever made it before?  Not only is it super easy...but man is it good!  ;) 
Here's the simple and easy recipe!

Ingredients:

1 (10 3/4 oz.) can CAMPBELL'S® Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 cup milk
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 (9 oz. each) pkgs. frozen cut green beans, thawed*
1 1/3 cups FRENCH'S® Original or Cheddar French Fried Onions

Directions:

MIX soup, milk and pepper in a 1 1/2 -qt. baking dish. Stir in beans and 2/3 cup French Fried Onions.
BAKE at 350°F for 30 min. or until hot.
STIR. Top with remaining 2/3 cup onions. Bake 5 min. until onions are golden.
Needing more inspiration?  
I guarantee you will find something tasty & new to make for the upcoming Holiday celebrations!

I was compensated to post about this feature!  I will receive $60 for posting this link to Reader's Digest's HOLIDAY GUIDE!

Could You Handle Over 9 Hours Of SPONGEBOB? I Bet Your Kids Can! Check Out This New Nickelodeon Release!

COMING DECEMBER 6th...to online stores & movie shelves everywhere is a new release that will keep your children entertained for over 9 hours worth of Spongebob antics, hilarious stories and complete silliness! 

Spongebob Squarepants: The Complete SEVENTH Season is a four disc collection that comes with loads of animated shorts, special features,  and all fifty (YES 50) episodes from season seven!

This would, of course, make an excellent Christmas present for those SPONGEBOB fans in your home!

You'll save yourself over $5 and you'll be thanking me for the 9 hours of giggly & silly SPONGEBOB fun!

I was not paid to feature this post!  I was compensated only by the product sent for review/feature!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

LOOKING For A Sweet Chocolate ORGANIC Treat That Is "GUILT FREE"? Look No Further Than The New riotBar From @SweetRiot!

Chocolate is a favorite in this house ! Not just for MAMA (cause you know I love Chocolate), but for the kiddies too!  So I was delighted to learn about a brand that is mission-based out of NYC that takes dark chocolate and makes portion control-friendly bars!
Meet SweetRiot's riotBar...
SCORE!
Sweetriot's packaging features original artwork by emerging artists!  Pretty sweet, right?  And I'm not just saying that because it's chocolate!
I had my two little taste testers (trying out the riotBar mini's) to help with this feature and they both agreed...
"THIS CHOCOLATE IS DELICIOUS!"
I'd have to say...mama agrees!
Because the riotBars are made with dark chocolate, even just one square is satisfying (because it's so rich in flavor) for a momentary sweet snack!  I love that! 

May I suggest that these SweetRiot riotBars would be awesome stocking stuffer for any mommy, daddy or even child this Christmas.  What a great way to also support a small business that is taking their chocolate seriously! 

I was not paid to feature this post!  I was compensated only by the products sent for review/feature!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

RUN TO THE STORE NOW!! BUY All The "Dark Chocolate And Peppermint @PretzelCrisps They Have...And Then Ship Them TO ME!

So, tonight we got a delivery from the UPS Man!  I knew that we were expecting a package from Pretzel Crisps, but I wasn't exactly sure what they were going to be like! 

OH MY GOSH! 
OH MY GOSH!
Can I just tell you...as if you can't tell from the video, I literally ate the whole bag because they were so melt in your mouth good (and no...I was not drinking either...just now suffering from a sugar high)!  A mix of salty, sweet, and then a hint of peppermint stick.  YUMMO!  I mean...you can't get more "sweet holiday goodness" in a snack food!  

Seriously...think of me when you buy yourself a pack!  In fact, think of me when you buy more than one pack or run back to the store to get more!  Ha!  I'm warning you! 
And yes...for those who don't like dark chocolate...they have a white chocolate that we received too! 
OH MY GOSH!

Pretzel Crisps...my hips will be resentful to you, but my mouth is IN LOVE with these "Dark Chocolate & Peppermint" Pretzel Crisps!
I was not paid to feature this post!  I was compensated only by the product review/feature!