Monday, September 30, 2013

Winner Announcement





Congrats to Emmy whose name was randomly selected by Rafflecopter as the winner of The Little Mermaid DVD giveaway.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Super Sunday Sync #55

I keep hearing rumors or comments about people not wanting to link up to blog hops as much anymore because people add their link and then don't hop around. I'm so happy to say that is not the case here!! I see people visiting one another left and right, and I love it!! That's what makes a hop successful (y-o-u). Thank you for being so great and taking the time to visit another blog or two (and some of you even more, woo hoo!), we really, really appreciate it, and the other blogs you are visiting do too.

So here we are at Sunday again. This week went by fast for me, did it for anyone else???
Welcome to Super Sunday Sync #55! You all pulled through again last week for an outstanding 113 link ups! Thank you so much for helping make Super Sunday Sync a success.  We appreciate all of you, each week! Let's see what we can do this week. We love seeing return visitors, and we love meeting new ones too! You all are amazing! Let's get this thing rolling even bigger: Tweet, share, promote!
Our lovely Guest Hosts for this week. Please, stop by their blogs and give them some love!
Angel ~ Sew Crafty Angel and our Guest Host WINNER from last week is Kim from Enjoy the View

Halloween is right around the corner ~ join us for a spooktacular cash giveaway? Sign up for the blogger opp HERE! If you sign up September 28-30, you will get a FREE Ms. Middle ad space on Dawn's Disaster!  Once payment is received, she will send you the promo code to claim your ad.  Should more than 10 people sign up this weekend, you will be put into a drawing to win the IN POST AD {the Hubs} for January 2014!
Rules for the "Super-est" hop ever:
1)  Link up a family-friendly post {or your homepage if it will always be decent} that you think is SUPER! Please do not link up another hop or giveaway.
2)  Follow your hosts AND guest hosts {the first 5 links}, via Bloglovin and/or GFC. We also appreciate {and return} any Facebook Likes and Twitter Follows. Be sure to leave a comment telling us how you follow, we'll follow you back!
3)  Visit the blog before you, and a few others {the more, the merrier} and follow them. We're all looking to have more followers, that's why we're hopping, right?
4)  Grab a button and put it somewhere people will see. We'd love for this hop to continue to be a big success!
Super Sunday Sync
If you're interested being a Guest Host, please 
 


Join the mailing list HERE and receive notifications about the #SSSHOP!
AND
Now that you've entered our hop, sign up to WIN a Guest Host spot!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Good Things x2 (awards and shout-outs)

I know that bloggers are always doing nice things for one another. Whether it's adding a link on their Rafflecopter form, sending a gift, sending over a kind e-mail, or what-have-you.  I always appreciate these things for the reasons they are done (a kind heart).

Recently I received two bloggy awards, one from Lanaya at Raising Reagan, and one from Z at Kicking Kilos. Thank you ladies, for thinking of me, I think that's awesome.


Lanaya's award is the Squirrely Blogger Award, originated she said from Menopausal Mother (another super nice, and funny lady!) and I'm supposed to give 7 quirky facts about myself that you might not know.
  • I want a puppy or kitten, but I'm scared to get one because I don't want to board them when we travel places (well, hubby vetoes the puppy anyway)
  • If I won the Lotto (which I next to never play), I'd buy a house for part of the year in Europe
  • Florida was my favorite place in the world to live (lived there 18 years) but I don't think it'd be the same if I moved back.
  • Winter driving scares me. We're talking flat-out knuckle-gripping, hair-raising scared, & I despise it. 
  • I was in law school for one semester (full schedule w/Contract Law being my most fave class). Hubby was overwhelmed and hated it, so I quit. He's doesn't get overwhelmed easily, and he has never asked me to quit anything. It should have been easy to quit, but I struggled with it and cried. It was something I really wanted and loved. I love hubby more. (I am revising this to add that quitting law school was the best decision I made because I wouldn't have little man if I hadn't, I'm sure of it. Funny how things work out like that, isn't it? :) ).
  • I wish all soccer games were at noon so we didn't freeze in the early mornings.
  • I cook meat daily for my family, but I am a vegetarian and have been since I was a little girl (always fighting with my mom not to eat meat). I just don't like it.
Z's award was The Sunshine Award.


For Z's award I was supposed to offer 10 things about myself. I have 7 above, so 3 more are:
  • I am 43 (ahahhahah, I said it out loud).
  • Hair not my natural color has started to creep into my head (I refuse to say the 'g' word).
  • I doubt that I'll ever dye my hair to remove the 'g' word. ;)  I'm a grandma, I've earned my old age. ;)
For both of the awards above you are supposed to nominate others and have them post the award, the facts, and then nominate a certain number of other people. Please feel free to participate by grabbing either of the awards and creating your own post, if so inclined. You can find the instructions for them on the links at Raising Reagan for the Squirrely Blogger Award, or at Kicking Kilos for the Sunshine Award.  Again, thank you to both Lanaya and Z for the shout-outs.

Thank you, Judy!! I love everything you sent!
I appreciate your thoughtfulness, and I appreciate you!!
I also recently received a very thoughtful gift package from Judy at Judy H-J's Thoughts, A Twinless Twin. I was literally blown away! What a sweet thing to do, and they are wonderful gifts that will always remind me of her when I see them. I have the one pictured above on display in our library, and I love it! There are many bloggers I'd like to meet, all over the world, and Judy is definitely one of them. Whether that happens or not, I still want to thank her from the bottom of my heart for being so kind. Thank you, Judy, a million and one times!!  You are a real sweetheart!

So, being very pleased with all of the  nice around me, I want to be nice too (good things like that are contagious, yes?). I thought a shout-out to some authors who are also bloggers, would be a nice thing to do. Writing a book is no easy feat, writing several, amazing. These folks deserve a little hurrah!

We all seem to run in the same circles a little bit, 'meeting and talking' to the same groups of people here and there, so a lot of you may already know these authors/bloggers. If you've heard of them and their books, hurrah!  And if not, I hope you'll swing over and have a look. They are not listed in order of preference (I like them all), but rather by last name, or blog name if I don't know their last name. I'm sure there are other blog authors I know that I have forgotten, and I hope they'll forgive me for a lack of mention. We have a soccer game coming up quickly, and grandma and grandpa are meeting us there, so I'm rushing around a bit, but I did want to get a blog post up for the day.

Authors
1. John DeBellis
2. Pat Hatt
3. Holy Ghost Writer
4. Kenya G. Johnson
5. Vashti Quiroz-Vega
6. Susan Flett Swiderski


John DeBellis, blogger at Another 920 Spot, authored Stand up Guys: A Generation of Laughs. This is a memoir of Mr. DeBellis' stand up days as a comedian. I have this on download, and haven't gotten to it yet, though I fully intend to sooner rather than later. 


Pat Hatt, blogger at It's Rhyme Time, has authored MANY children's books and a few novels too. I have read a few of the children's books, and my favorite so far is The Swashbuckle Chuckle! Check out one of the links above to see the large selection available, hard copy and/or Kindle.


The Holy Ghost Writer, blogger at Holy Ghost Writer Books is shrouded in mystery and has a big international contest going on, with a large cash prize for the person who guesses his/her identity from clues found in his/her books. You can read more about that here. I have read The Sovereign Order of Monte Cristo, and being a sucker for all things Monte Cristo (I love that story!!), I was enthralled from page #1. He/she has many other books to choose from, and you can find those here (hard copy and/or Kindle).


Kenya G. Johnson, blogger at Here's the Thing, has authored The Christopher Chronicles. This is a story that depicts the funny things her son (and spitting image of her, I might add) said when he was five-years old. You can purchase her book in paperback or Kindle form here.


Vashti Quiroz-Vega, blogger at Vashti Quiroz-Vega's blog has authored The Basement. Both she and her blog are fairly new to me, but I have been reading what she puts up on the Sunday blog hop I help host, excerpts from her book, and I always enjoy her writing. I have her book on my To-Read list as well. You can get it in hard copy or digital format.



Susan Flett Swiderski, blogger at I Think; Therefore, I Yam, authored Hot Flashes & Cold Lemonade, also on available in hard copy or Kindle edition. I have not read this book yet (it's on my To-Read list), but after reading Susan's blog posts for awhile now, I cannot imagine it not being fantastic. Her posts are ones I often share with my friends or family.


my recent favorite books

And to conclude the post, Melissa Bo, who blogs over at readingnks: My Recent Favorite Books, is running a book review tour. You can swing on over to her site to see great book reviews, or you can contact her to get in on the action (she's looking for people to join in on her book review tour).

I hope you'll take the time to check out any of the above bloggers. They all have great things to offer. :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Winner Announcement






Congrats to Jennifer R. whose name was randomly selected by Rafflecopter as the winner of the Kidorable umbrella giveaway.

Friday, September 27, 2013

8 Tips on Managing Family and Work for the Working Mom

This post was brought to you by Miles Young.


Being a working mom is difficult. You need to strike the perfect balance between family life and business. While it’s hard, it’s definitely not an impossible task. In fact, about four in 10 homes in the U.S. today has working mothers. However, as a mother there's a lot you need to keep track of and do, such as get the kids ready for school and know when soccer practice starts. You also need to keep in mind all of your business responsibilities, such as meetings and appointments.
So, what can you do to make the task a little easier?

Prepare for the Busy Morning the Night Before

Mornings are one of the most difficult times of the day as a working parent. You need to get yourself ready for work and the kids ready for school. Making sure everyone is dressed, fed, and ready to go sounds easy, but in practice it can get confusing and extremely difficult. One of the easiest ways you can help manage the morning is to prepare as much as possible the night before.
Make sure your purse and briefcase are ready to go and by the door. All backpacks should have homework and books in them and be ready to grab and go first thing. It's smart to even plan outfits for yourself and for the children ahead of time and have them out for the next day. Everything you can do to get the morning off to a fast, easy start puts you that much ahead of the day. Even something as simple as setting the coffee pot before you go to bed can save you time and stress in the morning.


Organize and Manage Your Schedule

Are your kids active in different groups or sports? Keeping track of practices, games, and more is important. On top of that, you have doctor’s appointments, meetings with teachers, and don’t forget that spa day with the girls. It’s crucial you have a schedule. The best mobile device management systems (such as BYOD) allow you to sync your schedule across multiple devices, such as your phone, tablet, and computer. This means you’ll never miss a business meeting, an appointment, or a recital.

You’re supermom, and your schedule proves it.


Spend Extra Time With Your Kids 

It’s important to take extra special time out to spend with your kids. Instead of just hanging out after dinner or working on homework, make sure to have a special day weekly or monthly where you do extra activities.
There are a lot of options for this. Do you have a family game night? Add this into the schedule. Another option is to take your kids out on “dates” to the movies or out to eat. It makes them feel special and helps you connect with them on a different level. Plus, it allows you to get out and have some fun too.



Keep Work at the Office and Family at Home

Mixing work and family can end in disaster. In the majority of cases, you don’t want to bring the kids into the office, and you also shouldn’t be bringing your work home. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. However, the more you're able to separate the two, the more balanced you'll feel. When work and family life bleed into one another, many moms start getting stressed and anxious. To avoid this, keep clear lines and don’t cross them.


Find Trustworthy Childcare 

One of the hardest things as a working parent is deciding on childcare. Whether you choose a nanny, babysitter, or daycare, you’re entrusting the well-being of your child to another person. Because of this, it’s crucial you find someone you trust. If possible, find a friend or family member that would be willing to watch your children. However, this isn’t always an option.

Make sure to interview daycares and potential nannies. Before you leave your child with someone you don’t know, make sure to get to know them. You should also consider certifications each provider has and talk to other parents who have had their kids at the daycare facility.

Ensure Your Employer Understands

When you have both a job and children, you need to make sure that your boss understands the situation. You may need to miss work at times because of a sick child. If you work for someone who doesn't understand this, or isn't willing to work with you, it'll make life much more difficult. However, with an understanding company, you'll be able to balance work and home life easier, without the extra stress that being a working parent can cause.


Set Aside Time for Your Significant Other

If your relationship goes downhill, you’re going to be stressed in every part of your life. It’s important to make time for your significant other and make sure the two of you are investing in one another. If you don’t, you’ll both start to feel neglected. Consider weekly or monthly date nights, where just the two of you go out. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. Even a walk through the park, allowing you time together to talk, is important to your relationship.

Give Yourself a Break

You need to make time for yourself. A happy mom is a balanced mom. If you don’t do things for yourself once in a while, you’re going to break down eventually. Make sure to take at least a few minutes every day to do something for yourself. Whether it’s sipping your cup of coffee while reading a book or playing a video game, this is one of the most important things you can do for your children, your significant other, and your professional life. The more balanced you feel, the more balanced your life will be.

Balancing different parts of your life is never easy. However, once you get it down, you feel happier and more comfortable daily. Keeping a healthy balance between work and family will make sure that everyone is happy, from you to your boss and your kids.

Farmer Charley's Farm (with discount)

One of the things we like to do this time of year, as a family (we take grandma, grandpa, and a cousin close in age to my youngest too) is go to select pumpkins for holiday carving and/or displays. It is something we look forward to doing, and we usually select someplace new each year, just to spice things up, and have new experiences.


Though my immediate family and I may go to more than one, because the kids like it so much, as the big family outing, we have decided on Farmer Charley's Farm in Monroe, Michigan.


Farmer Charley's is a real working farm with 6+ acres of fun Fall activity for the family including a corn maze, pumpkin patch, barrel train, rubber duck race, and a chance to meet barnyard friends. That's just the tip of the scarecrow!  Check out their website to see what other great adventures you can find by visiting here: http://farmercharleys.com

If you are in the area and would like to go, US Family Guide and Farmer Charlie's have teamed up together to offer you a coupon:


Farmer Charley's Corn Maze Adventure

6421 North Stoney Creek Rd
Monroe, MI 48162 

Visit our Website

Save $3 (or $2) OFF Admission to Farmer Charley's Corn Maze Adventures
$3 off w/ a canned food donation per person valid opening weekend, 9/13 - 9/15/2013. Present this coupon at Farmer Charley's ticket booth onsite. Plan your visit at http://farmercharleys.com/planVisit.php Or, save $2 off w/ a canned food donation per person valid 9/19-10/13/2013. Present this coupon at Farmer Charley's ticket booth onsite.
Expires: 10/13/2013


USFamilyGuide.comCoupon Brought to You by USFamilyGuide.com 
Your nationwide resource for Parenting, Kids, Birthday party ideas, Family vacations, Events, Family Event, Activities for kids, Summer camps, Kids restaurants, Child care, Day care

Hauck Toys Go Kart Giveaway

Disclosure: I did not receive compensation to help promote this post. Mail4Rosey is not responsible for prize delivery.


Welcome to the Hauck Kids Go Kart Giveaway, 

Pretty sure this would be a welcome addition for most any child in the 'toy collection.' I'm not a kid and I'm smitten with the Superman version. :)

Hauck Toys manufactures fun, innovative products for boys and girls of all ages. Megan from Housewife on a Mission was sent a Superman Go Kart to review from Grand Touring Baby. Grand Touring Baby, if you don't know, is the official domestic distributor for Hauck, i'coo and Hauck Toy products in Canada and the USA! To read Megan's full review the Superman Go Kart, GO HERE.

About the Go Kart:
Innovative, durable and sport inspired design puts the driver of the new Hurricane pedal kart in complete control of any situation.  The custom, ergonomic seat is adjustable and equipped with a high backrest – for a comfortable and safe sitting position. Speed can be kept in-check, even through curves, with the easy-to-use handbrake. 
Kids love the Batman/Superman go kart due to its fantastic handling characteristics, child-oriented ergonomics and safety. In addition, it encourages physical activity, builds strength, endurance and co-ordination.
     • Sporty 3 point steering for responsive, quick maneuvering
     • Adjustable Bucket Seat will accommodate multiple heights
     • Weight tested for 100lbs
     • Race-Styled Pedals with real rubber wheels & 8 Ball Style Brake
     • Age: 4 – 8 years old

These Go Karts, in a nutshell, are AWESOME!! I cannot image bringing this home to anything but a jumping up and down, excited child.


One lucky person will WIN a Hauck Toys Superman 
or Batman Go Kart (winner's choice) valued at $229!

Connect: You can connect with Hauck Toys on the Grand Touring Baby website and on their Facebook.

Win It: Just enter using the Giveaway Tools form below for your chance to WIN a Hauck Toys Go Kart in either Superman or Batman theme.

To WIN a Hauck Toys Superman or Batman Go Kart valued at $229, 
just enter using the Giveaway Tools form.

Open to the US (48 Continental)  and Canada 
(excluding Yukon, NWT & Nunavut) only,ages 18 and up.  
Ends 10/11/13 at 11:59 PM EST.

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for hosting this giveaway.  The participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.


Free Blogger Opportunity (PS4)

playstation 4.1    
November 1-November 30, 2013 have a chance to be part of a PlayStation 4 Giveaway. Sony still has not set an official release date. A Little Bit of Everything (host) is setting this up now. She will use all funds collected for the prize. The prize will be ordered through Amazon for the winner, and will have the PlayStation shipped through Amazon when it is available. Free links are available! This is will be a HIGHLY sought after giveaway and will have a lot of page views for all those that participate. 
 Head on over to A Little Bit of Everything now to sign up.

Zeenie Dollz Review


Disclosure: I received a product from Tomoson for review purposes only. No other form of compensation took place. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.


Zeenie Dollz are brand new, they're cute as can be (the picture does not do them enough justice!), and they bring with them a good message. I'll give you my take on them, and then I'll give you the company description.

First and foremost, I am so happy to be able to have an interest in girl items once again. :)  These are a little advanced for my granddaughter (okay, a lot advanced, since she cannot walk or talk yet ;) ) , but she'll get there before we know what happened. :) And these dolls are great!! They're bigger than I thought they would be, just a tad larger than a traditional Barbie-type doll, I think. And they're sturdy too, which is important because while girls may be Sugar & Spice, if I remember correctly (and I do) they can also be very rough on their dolls. Having one that can stand up to role play, constant wardrobe changes, and temporary tosses on the floor are paramount, and this one has stood the test.

These are great items to consider for any little girl, especially with the holidays coming up. I know a lot of us don't want to think about it, but those will be here before we know it too, and I know some of you start collecting and hiding things early. I know I do, otherwise I would be one big ball of stress by the time the holidays rolled around.

I like these dolls, and I like them even more because they were created with the concept of helping children understand and react to issues of the environment.


And that leads me to the take on the product from the company, Zeenie Dollz:
The new six doll series merges fashion and eco-awareness. Each Zeenie, in addition to being a trendsetter, possesses a unique eco-power that protects the environment. To further the series’ green mission, each 12-inch ball jointed doll is made entirely of recyclable materials and non-toxic plastics.

Created for young girls and eco-conscious parents, the dolls are fashionistas, donning the latest in groundbreaking style, but Zeenie Dollz stand for much more. Each doll also highlights an environmental cause that needs attention, bringing together education and green ideals for young girls. Zennia, the special edition doll in the series, leads the pack and embodies Mother Earth, the protector of our planet.  As the giver and sustainer of life on earth, Zennia is passionate about combating the evil anti-environment villains that threaten to destroy the world. To assist her in protecting our environment and spreading eco-awareness, Zennia is joined by a team of five eco-warrior fashionistas:

 

·        Evee, Protector of the Skies and Defender against Pollution
·     Kazumi, Protector of the Polar Regions and Defender against Global Warming
·        Lina, Protector of the Rainforest and Defender against Deforestation
·        Sini, Protector of Farmland and Defender of Mistreated and Abused Animals
·        Yana, Protector of the Oceans and Defender of Marine Conservation

​Each of the dolls is 12 inches tall and comes with five accessories, a hairbrush, an id card, a doll stand, a bracelet for the child to wear and a stuffed animal pal that coincides with the doll’s environmental cause. Zeenie Dollz each also feature 12 different ball joints for maximum positioning options to create the best in play experiences. Background on all six of the dolls and their causes can be found on www.ZeenieDollz.com, in addition to various cause-related and age appropriate games and activities.
You can learn more about Zeenie Dollz by visiting their website. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and/or YouTube pages.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Anne from The Pink Momma is here!!

Anne, from The Pink Momma, has these incredible cakes. Almost every time I visit her site, I end up pinning one of her cakes. I'm sure many of you have seen them, but for those of you who have not, she has agreed to guest post here today to show them to you, hurrah!!  She also has an etsy shop, and is offering a giveaway at the end of this post. It's a short giveaway, so if you're interested, hurry and get that entry in. :)  Many thanks, Anne for agreeing to write a post!!

The Pink Momma

Hello Mail4Rosey readers! I'm Anne and I blog over at The Pink Momma. I'm a stay-at-home to my little girl and she's 20 months old. Besides being a mom, I'm also a baker and a cake decorator. It's been a passion of mine. I was self-taught. It started when I was bored one time and I got hooked. Ha! At first I only made cakes for friends until people started to order cakes from me. So I thought why not make it a business.You can check out all my edible art works in my Facebook Page. You can check it out here.


Besides making cakes, I also have an Etsy Shop. For those who doesn't know what an Etsy shop is, it's an online store where you can buy and sell handmade items. I make and sell handmade hair accessories for baby girls, toddlers, teens and even adults too. My daughter was my inspiration for this that is why I named my shop Little Miss Athena. You can check out my shop here.


Anyway, I have some good news for you all! I'm giving away one headband or hair clip from my shop. The winner will get to choose one item from my Etsy. Use the rafflecopter below to join. Goodluck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thank you Rosey for having me :)



Winner Announcement





Congrats to Bronwyn whose name was randomly selected by Rafflecopter as the winner of the AM Candle giveaway!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

15% Discount Coupon for AM Candle Company!!


Mail4Rosey readers interested in purchasing an AM Candle can get a discount of 15% off of their total order (including sale items) between now and Sept. 29, 2013 by entering the following code at checkout:

Coupon Code: FALLISHERE15

They've got lots of scents, and a great seasonal line including the three pictured above!  What a fun way to help celebrate the holidays!

If you want to know more about the company, you can see my review here: http://www.mail4rosey.com/2013/09/am-candle-review-and-giveaway.html

You can also check them out at their website, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest.

Wordless Wednesday


The baby on the left is my oldest son at a few months old.
The baby on the right is his daughter.
Big thank you to my daughter-in-law who sent it to my e-mail this morning.
This made my day. :)

Step2 Giveaway

Disclosure: I did not receive compensation to help promote this post. Mail4Rosey is not responsible for prize delivery.

Welcome to the Step2 ANY toy (up to $150 value) giveaway hosted by Thrifty Nifty Mommy and Viva Veltoro!

We have had several Step2 items over the years for our children, and they've always been high quality, beloved play items.

Play kitchens, art easels, workbenches, wagons, & even roller coasters, Step2 has it all! Every Fall, Step2 releases new items just in time for the holidays. Check out some of the cool new products that are just arriving in stores:

These are only a few of the great new items just released from Step2. Photo Credit: Step2
 Thrifty Nifty Mommy recently had the chance to review one of their new play kitchens (pictured above on the bottom left corner), the Busy Bake Shop Kitchen. This kitchen is designed for using with play dough. Her daughter loves this kitchen, and you can read all about it here

Visit the Step2 website to see all of the great products they have for sale. Also, you'll want to make sure that you sign up for their Birthday Club where you'll get great coupons before your child's birthday plus other special offers and deals, especially with the holidays coming up! Also, make sure you like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Step2, Thrifty Nifty Mommy, Viva Veltoro, and a number of other great bloggers have teamed up to bring you a giveaway for ANY Step2 Toy (up to $150 value) so you can choose the toy that's best suited for your family! 

Giveaway open to the residents of the 48 contiguous US states, ages 18+. Ends 10/9/13 at 11:59 PM EST. Please enter using the Giveaway Tools form below. Good Luck!
Disclosures: This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Thrifty Nifty Mommy and the participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Giveaway is open to residents of the 48 contiguous US states, age 18+. Giveaway will close at 11:59PM EST on 10/09/13. One (1) winner will be selected randomly from all eligible entries. Winner may select any toy from the Step2 website that has an original price (MSRP) of $150 or less; shipping will also be provided free of charge. If the winner would like an item that is more than $150 ARV, he/she will be responsible for the difference plus applicable tax and shipping. Please note, this is valid for ONE item up to $150 original price, not a suite of products.  This post contains an affiliate link for Thrifty Nifty Mommy at the Step2 website. As a Step2 Ambassador, Thrifty Nifty Mommy will receive a small credit to spend at Step2.com for every new Birthday Club Subscriber.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I've Been Featured (hurrah!)...and other random stuff. :)


A big thank you to Jo from Jo My Gosh for welcoming me on her blog with a feature today. If you want to swing on over and take a look, that'd be great. She's got a fun place to visit.  Won't you leave a comment and say 'hi' if you go? Bet she'd love it!

Thanks, Jo!! I totally appreciate it. The link to the feature is here: http://jomygosh.blogspot.com/2013/09/september-sponsor-spotlight-and-giveaway.html

She's also got a giveaway running for various items, including a $10 Amazon gift card from Mail4Rosey. You can enter on her blog, or below, if you are interested.





In other news, hubby had a birthday last week. He's easy to make happy, all he wanted was a new book that came out. I got him that and he was as happy as if it was Christmas (because he didn't know he was getting it).






We also took him out to dinner, and his parents met us there. That's a rare treat for us these days because he's in two classes this semester, in addition to working full-time, and one of them (Calculus) is steadily kicking his rear end. That means every spare minute, including at little man's soccer games, he's got his nose in a book.


My daughter discovered a way to make yard work fun (patent-pending). ;)

Our weather goes from jacket to shorts weather and back. I was disgusted with it (the cold weather anyway), but it's Fall now, so go ahead and bring on the chilly. I'm ready. :)



And I decided to take Lanaya's (from Raising Reagan) MEME to heart, and learn to let some things go.  For me that meant letting my son wear a these bright yellow pants his dad let him pick out for school, when I sent them out school shopping (something I have never, ever done before).  Lizy, if you're reading, these are the pants I was talking about.


They got bright red ones too. -_-
Trying to match other clothing items to these colors has been...well, never mind, I'm letting go (thank you, Lanaya). :)

Don't forget to swing on over and visit Jo if you've got time. And her giveaway is below. US entrants only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CostumeExpress.com (Review)

Disclosure: We received a product to help facilitate the review. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.

The boot covers stay in place with a piece of elastic across the bottom (like a stirrup).

I'm excited!!  If you've purchased Halloween costumes in the stores, or even online, you know it can sometimes be challenging.  With four kids, I've had my fair share of ill-fitting, cheaply made costumes that cost way too much for what they give you, and I'm willing to be some of you have too. In fact, it's so common, I half-expect it if I don't have the costume in hand.

In the picture above you can see the thickly padded vest that comes with it, this attaches with Velcro around the waist, and just under the shoulders. 

CostumeExpress.com recently sent us a costume of choice. My son selected a knight, and he was excited for it to come. I thought it was nice that it was coming, but my expectations were not overly high (parents, you know what I mean, right?). When it got here I was surprised!!! It's a great costume: Very nice quality!!  And it's put together nicely too, with thoughtful considerations to make sure it stays looking sharp (like the Velcro under each shoulder to prevent vest sagging).

The hood is lengthy and roomy!

The hood is nice and long, so it comes up over his head nicely (I love that because it will hide the winter hat I know he's going to have to wear underneath it when it comes time for trick-or-treating). You can see it hanging in the picture above. And the 'chains' on the top of the outfit are nicely woven, so I don't foresee them coming unraveled easily.

Note: The costumes run small. My son is 6-yrs. old. He's normally wears a size 7. I ordered a size Medium, 8-10 for this because Halloween costumes seem to notoriously run small, and it was a perfect fit.

If you are looking for a costume for the upcoming trick-or-treat season (or even just for dress-up, or a great gift idea), I can easily recommend CostumeExpress.com. I'm 100% pleased with the costume we received.

You can check out their selection of costumes here: http://www.costumeexpress.com
You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, G+, and/or Pinterest.

How to Ensure a Fun Family Vacation on a Shoestring Budget

Disclosure: This is a guest post. It was not written by me, but I appreciate & support the content.

How to Ensure a Fun Family Vacation on a Shoestring Budget

Vacations are an important part of functional family life. They take you away from day-to-day pressures and provide the opportunity to spend some quality time together. Despite tough economic times there are still plenty of options for taking a fun, family vacation on a shoestring budget. Here are some ideas of how to save money without compromising on fun.



Virtual Tools

The internet has opened up a host of new opportunities for families when it comes to booking a bargain holiday, from discount hotel rates to money off coupons. These can be valuable to two types of parents:

-The forward planner: if you are someone who works out where you are going and what you want to do several months in advance you have plenty of time to collect online coupons, money-off vouchers and family deals. This can include everything from restaurants and snack bars to hotels and attractions. By taking advantage of early-bird booking deals you could cut costs dramatically. Check in regularly on popular coupon sites and create a stock-pile of money saving offers.

-The last-minute planner: for those who can handle a last-minute decision the internet opens up a host of opportunities. Discount hotel rates and vacation packages are advertised on a number of specialist websites now, and you could bag yourself a bargain deal if you’re willing to wait until the last minute (or a few days before).



Timing is Everything

It’s amazing how much accommodation and attraction prices vary depending on the time of year, so when it comes to saving money on a vacation, timing really is everything.

If you can take a vacation outside of the main school breaks then you will instantly save money. Package holidays and flights are cheaper at these times.

Visiting coastal destinations a little out of season will save you money and can be great fun. Plan walks, bike rides and other activities that don’t necessarily depend on the sun shining. Coastal destinations will be less crowded and you could find that the place has more charm in its off season form. 

So if you are in need of a vacation this year but have limited funds, don’t give up. There are a number of ways to save money without sacrificing one of the most vital aspects of your family's annual schedule.