Spookamole Blog Tour - Warts & All Witch Recipe

Halloween is our very favorite part of the season. We get our costumes, decorate our yard and home, and invite our friends and family over for a fun Halloween party. This year we are already putting out our decorations and the kids seem more excited than ever. We've even begun trying different recipes and, boy do I have a great idea for this party!

I took into account that all of our family members love vegetables and fruits and we especially love tomatoes and avocados from Mexico. Even our 2 year old loves guacamole! I decided avocados from Mexico would be the perfect healthy addition to our Halloween party snack table, but how could I make it a little different... and themed? So, with a little help from the kiddos, we created the perfect veggie and guacamole witch! Without further ado, here's my recipe for Warts and All!

Warts & All Witch
  • 2 avocados from Mexico
  • 1/4 onion chopped
  • lemon
  • 1-2 tomatoes
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 squash
  • 1 clove garlic
  • a stir-fry pack including:
  • carrots
  • cucumbers
  • sprouts
  • snap peas
  • Tortilla chips
In a medium mixing bowl, mix together avocados, chopped onions and minced garlic. Mix together, squish with a fork until mushy! Then, add in salt and ground pepper to taste along with about 5-10 drops of lemon juice. 

Make sure you have a big platter to arrange all of your "witchy" ingredients. Have a great time with the kids creating your very own Spookamole Witch, Warts & All! The carrots make great hair, cucumbers and cucumber skins are perfect for the hat, tomatoes are perfect for eyes, and the Lemon/Squash are great for a moon. There is no correct way to arrange your witch! Just have fun and she'll look gorgeous! Lastly, put your tortilla chips in a bowl or arrange at the bottom of your platter.

All of your veggies will taste delicious dipped in the guacamole and so will the chips! This will be great for a Halloween party this year. Surround your work of art with all your spooky decorations, plates, cups, etc. Your guests will not only enjoy your delicious treats, but will love your Mexican Avocado Warts & All Witch!

Enter Your Own Spookamole Recipe!!

Have an amazingly spooky guacamole recipe you'd love to share? Enter the Avocados from Mexico Spookamole Recipe Contest and you could win up to $1,000!!  Submit your recipe to the official contest page by clicking here.  Good luck!

I wrote this review while participating in a Spookamole blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Avocados from Mexico and received avocado items to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.


$200 Fall Into Cash Giveaway Announcement #falln2cash


Hi, everyone! Sorry I didn't write this earlier, but we have a great event beginning at 12:01am EST Friday morning!! That's a little over 2 hours from now. It's a Rafflecopter form, which means easy entries and the ability to win $200 via Paypal! WOo!

Here are all of the other wonderful participants/bloggers! Check them out!

See you in about 2 hours!!


10 Tips for De-Cluttering & Organizing Those Messy Playrooms!

When we moved recently, I was so shocked at how many toys and games had piled up in the past few years. It was a total mess and moving could not have been any more stressful! So much is still boxed up and I don't even want to think about it. For now, we have just the right amount in my children's rooms and in their playroom. I want to make sure I keep it under control and in order this time. It took some trial and error to figure out what we should do (and we are still learning), but here are some tips!

Ten Tips for De-Cluttering and Organizing Toys In Your Child's Playroom!

1. Clean-Up Often! Teach your children the responsibility of cleaning up. This is priority for keeping any room clean, especially a play room. It's so much easier to clean up a few toys compared to at the end of the week when there are a million scattered around the room.

2. Make a List- I am big on making lists! Map out the area and make a plan on how you would like the playroom set up. It's much easier to have the idea in your head and go from there.

3. Toy pieces together! So often toy pieces get lost in the mix. Try to find all pieces to each toy (blocks, puzzles, train tracks). Once you find them all, they can be organized much more easily.

4. Boxes, Baskets & Drawers, Oh My! I am all about boxes, baskets and plastic containers. They really, really help contain the mess. The plastic boxes, such as the shoe boxes are perfect for puzzle pieces. Baskets are great for smaller toys you don't mind having out. Drawers can contain other messes.

5. Bookshelves are a must! Without bookshelves, our playroom would not have a floor. Bookshelves make it easier to keep up with books, keep them organized, and it's easier for kids to find a book they are looking for. Plus, bookshelves always look nice in a room.

6. Get an art bin, easel, and art table. These also look great in a playroom and you have no idea how often they will get used. The art bin can be anything, even a 3-drawer plastic container. That's what we have. Each of the drawers are organized by paper and coloring books, crayons, color pencils, and markers, and then extras and art kits. The kids love sitting at the table and drawing. We have an easel that holds a roll of drawing paper, too, which is great because it keeps it contained in one place, can be pulled over the top of the easel to draw or we can cut it off to have art time at the table!

7. Donate Toys Often. Like I mentioned, toys pile up even after a few months (at least they do in our home) and kids lose interest in the old ones. Be sure to go through every few months and donate toys the kids are no long interested in. Chances are, another little boy or girl would love to play with them and it will really de-clutter your area. It also educates children on the importance of helping others.

8. Box up toys, too. There will inevitably be toys that you don't want to get rid of. They hold too many memories for you and for the children. If they are not played with often and/or are no longer age appropriate, box them up, label the box for future use, and put it away.

9. Make a to-do chart for the kids. For art time, make a fun chart to post on the wall for the kids. List all of their chores and to-dos for the week. Every time they complete a task, put a check by it. Be sure to put something like cleaning up toys, books, etc. Then, at the end of the week, do something small to reward them for their good behavior if they do all the chores!

10. Resist the urge to buy more toys! Parents, you must exert some sort of control over the toys YOU buy. There comes a time when you just have to say no. I know how hard that can be and am very guilty of buying cool toys for the kids (that I secretly want to play with, too!) Limit yourself to the toys bought each month. Also, buying items that serve as multiple play items are great. We just bought a picnic table that doubles as a water/sand table if you take the lid off! This will save room and it's 2 toys in one!

There you go! I know it isn't as easy as it sounds, but it really is our responsibility as parents to keep up with all the toys and help the kids learn responsibility, too. This is the one area I really struggle with. It takes some time and attention from the entire family, but can be done.

Do you organize your playroom? What do you do to organize?

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hot Wheels® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.


The Day That Keeps On Giving Children Teaching Mama Giveaway now live!

Children Teaching Mama is sponsoring a giveaway for a $10 Amazon.com gift card!

There are also 4 other giveaways listed with mine, including $10 gift card for Scentsy, $5 amazon.com gc, and a personalized rhinestone shirt!


Recent Winners!!

Here are some of my recent winners, just in case you missed them listed on the Rafflecopter form.

Gevalia Coffee:
Renee T.

Lysol Gift Pack: 
Sabrina R.

MI-DEL Cookies: 
  1. Melanie M.
  2. Linda M. 
  3. Judy H.
Falling Skies
Farrah S.
Michael Walker

Congrats To All Winners!!


Preparing Your Home For A New Baby- Helpful Tips #SeventhGeneration

One of the things I enjoy the most about being pregnant is preparing everything for the baby. I love baby showers, buying all the essentials, decorating the baby room, and all the cute clothing! The last time I was pregnant, Liam came 5 weeks early, which took us all by surprise, so this time, it's best to be prepared early.

So, here are my top 10 tips for preparing for your new baby's arrival!

1. Talk to other recent Mamas! Everyone will want to put their two cents in, but some people have no idea what they are talking about or their parenting methods are completely different from the ways you wish to raise your child. Speak with other like-minded parents and ask them their opinions, what they considered essentials, what was unexpected, etc. Ask how they recommend setting up the nursery, what room they spent the most time in, etc. This is much more helpful than any book.

2. Make a List Essentials & Check It Twice! Go through items you know you will need (diapers, wipes, bassinet, breast pump, baby wash, clothing, etc.) and make sure those things are purchased first. The rest is fun to buy, but not always needed at first. You may really want to have a crib, but if you are going to use a bassinet, it isn't essential. Also, people love to buy toys, but for the first bit, baby is really too small to play with much. You only need a few play toys.

3. Decorating the Nursery. I love decorating the nursery, but it's tough sometimes because you may use the same room for different children over the years. You don't want to paint it pink and then have a boy a year later. (Well, maybe you do, but not me!) If you do paint, make sure you do it properly, aerate the room, and give it time to dry long before baby is brought home. We don't paint our walls, but we do buy wall decals that easily stick onto the wall and can be personalized for each baby, making their nursery special and just for them. 

4. Keep a journal! This time will go by so quickly and, as you will learn, baby brain is, indeed, real! Keep a journal to write down important thoughts and occurrences along the way. Not only will it help you keep up with your thoughts and schedule, but it will be a fun keepsake for later on.

5. Breastfeeding? Go LLLI! If you are planning to breastfeed, there is no such thing as being overly prepared! I highly recommend finding La Leche meetings near you so you can not only meet other breastfeeding mamas, but also ask questions, and have a wonderful group of ladies to help you in case you have any breastfeeding issues down the road (latching, sucking, etc.). I didn't do this with my first and was so overwhelmed. La Leche is the way to go! Also ask them about other essentials that aid breastfeeding, such as pillows (My Breast Friend), chairs (a rocker), their favorite breast pump, nipple-simulated bottles, etc. This can really help you set up the nursery and house with items you will definitely need, too.

6. Talk To Your Children. I cannot express enough how important it is to include your older children in the pregnancy. You don't want them already resenting the baby because this will make the transition even more difficult once baby is born. There are many great children's books available about bringing home baby. I have been taking my children to my check-ups and Josiah has even seen several of my ultrasounds. Teach them how to treat babies, how fragile they are, and how much patience they will need. 

7. Baby-Proof The Entire Home! Don't just baby-proof the nursery. Oh no, you want the entire home to be safe for not only your baby, but for the other children. I noticed Josiah was getting into everything when Liam was brought him, so I had to go back through and put locks on all cabinets later one. This was something that should have already been done. It's such a hassle once baby is home and you have your hands full. 

8. Find a baby carrier! Speaking of having your hands full, I highly recommend finding a baby carrier. There are many out there on the market, but each are different in their own way. Test out a few and decide which one is best for you and your needs. We love our Belle Baby, have used it with Liam and will continue to use it with baby #3! This is a great way to not only have hands free for giving other children attention, cooking and cleaning, but the baby will love being so close to Mama. You may think a baby carrier is used when out and around town or hiking, but it's used for much more than that. I swear I'd never get laundry done with a baby if it wasn't for my carrier!!

9. Never Be Afraid To Ask For Help! When you get home you will be exhausted, overwhelmed, and wanting to spend every second with the baby. Before having baby, talk to close friends and family. Many will be more than willing to help. It's nice to have some extra hands when at home. We actually had several offer to make/bring us food, which was wonderful! Maybe someone would like to stay with you for a few days, like your own Mom, to help out, let you rest, recover, and to enjoy the new grandbaby.

10. Go all-natural & non-toxic! Last, but most importantly, make the switch to organics and non-toxic products. It's so much safer with children around and they work just as well, if not better, than any others we've used. We always use Seventh Generation products now and love them. From household cleaners and trash bags to laundry detergent and diapers, Seventh Generation offers a full line of all-natural, non-toxic products for the home. You and baby shouldn't be breathing in chemicals, you should be breathing in unscented cleaners by Seventh Generation or, my favorite, Lemongrass & Thyme scented disinfecting multi-surface cleaner (a must-have, imo).

Being pregnant, the anticipation of bring baby home, and finally being together as a family- it's all such an exciting and wonderful time. Enjoy every second of it and try not to stress if things don't go as planned. They never go as planned and you won't get every little thing "right". The important thing is to learn from our mistakes and be the best parents we can be. Don't let anyone discourage you or make you think you don't know what's best for baby. You do! Trust your instincts and be prepared for anything and everything! I'm so ready to experience all of these joys again!

As I mentioned before, Seventh Generation offers a great variety of all-natural, non-toxic products, including their line of Free & Clear baby-care products! They have diapers, wipes and baby liquid laundry detergent. Seventh Generation Free & Clear diapers are free of chlorine, latex, fragrances and petroleum-based lotions and are available in size newborn to stage 6. We absolutely love these diapers! Also part of the Free & Clear like are the Seventh Generation Baby Wipes, which are free of alcohol, synthetic dyes and fragrances, and are whitened without harsh chemicals containing chlorine. We all want the best for our babies and so does Seventh Generation!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Seventh Generation blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

OxiClean Stain Remover Review - Removing Tough Stains Easily!

Laundry is one of those never-ending tasks as a parent. It feels so good when you finally finish all the loads, but a day later, it all piles up again. With children in the house, I not only have a pile-up of clothing, but I definitely have a challenge with all the stains. I'm not sure how they do it, but they always manage to get as dirty as possibly every day. Josiah is in preschool now and he spends a good amount of time on the playground, which means digging in the dirt. The teachers have already told me they thought he could dig in the dirt all day and be very happy. Yes, it's true. I end up cleaning dirt, mud, and ketchup more than anything else and ketchup just never wants to come out.

I never use bleach because I'm afraid I will ruin our clothing, which definitely limits my options for stain removal. I've tried several sprays and even the messy sticks, but they aren't very reliable. That's why I use OxiClean! I've used it for years, even before I had children, for those tough stains I knew nothing else could get out.

For this review I had a chance to really put OxiClean to the test on two of the dirtiest items in my wash for the week: a baby blanket with a huge ketchup stain the kids managed to get all over it and the steam mop cover after cleaning the dining room floor. As you can see in the pictures, the steam mop cover was almost black and the ketchup stain was a bright red color.

I used the OxiClean soaking tub I received to soak the items overnight in water and 1 scoop of OxiClean per gallon of water. By the next morning, the ketchup stain was almost completely gone and the cotton mop cover was noticeably lighter than before.
The Next Morning...
You can barely see the ketchup stain, but it was still there!
I put the items in the washing machine with my usual detergent and also added a scoop of OxiClean to my small load of washable and washed them on a regular setting. Here's how they looked afterwards...

Baby Blanket Results

As you can see, the ketchup stain was completely gone! The blanket was not only clean, but looked whiter and brighter than it had in quite a while, considering it is over 2 years old.

Steam Mop Cover Results

As you can see, the cotton was cleaned thoroughly and almost like new! This is something my usual washing routine always failed to do and I was very impressed. 

After reading the label on my tub of OxiClean, I learned that there are several uses for it beyond just laundry. The day of the "great ketchup accident", the kids managed to get ketchup all over our rug, too. I was able to use OxiClean to scrub the areas on the rug to easily remove the stain and leave the rug looking clean again! Now if I only had time to scrub the entire rug, it would look like new.

OxiClean cleans like no other and I'm once again reminded why I love it so very much! As the kids get older and are able to get dirtier and make bigger messes, OxiClean is definitely going to come in very handy!

Click here to visit the OxiClean website for more information, helpful cleaning tips and coupons!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of OxiClean and received OxiClean items to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Georgia Aquarium Pirate Days Event Family Fun Weekend

We were invited to attend the Pirate Days event at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia this weekend and we had a blast! The Pirate Days event is going on September 24th-25th from 10am-4pm and includes fun-filled activities for the entire family. If kids 12 and under dress as pirates, they even get in FREE! This means if you are reading this on Sunday morning, there is still time to go!!
The explorers for the day were my mom-in-law (aka Grandma), Rylee (my niece), Josiah, Liam, and, of course, me! This post is a little bit about what to expect and all the fun we had today!
Silliness in the car!

Parking Deck On Fire!
Well, we arrived at the Georgia Aquarium around 1pm, pulled into the huge parking deck and were searching for a parking place when we saw smoke coming from a car on the 3rd floor... Then, I looked down and saw fire underneath!! We backed up, called 911, and parked on a lower level. By the time we got out of the deck, we were surrounded by firemen, police officers, and other aquarium workers who definitely took charge of the situation, put the fire out, and everything was resolved by the time we came back to our car later! They did an awesome job evacuating the area and making sure everyone was okay! 

Let's Eat! Yummy!
The kids were already excited from seeing the fire trucks and were very ready to get to the aquarium! Liam was super hungry, so we decided to hit the cafe first. We all ate a hot dog, pizza, goldfish and french fries! Everything was fresh and delicious. Liam ate all of his food and didn't want to stop eating until done with the final piece of pizza. As we sat eating, all of the kids dressed as pirates took a Pirate Walk around the aquarium, so we got to watch the show! Right beside where we sat was one of the fun pirate stations set up for a treasure hunt! Of course, we had to go there right away and the kids searched for prizes. Josiah and Rylee won whistles and tattoos and Liam won stickers! 

Making Pirate Hats!

As we were walking to our first exhibit, Ocean Voyager, we saw another station set up for your very own Pirate Name Tag! Josiah's name ended up being Sailor Josiah the Sharp-Tongued (how true, indeed)! They loved their new names for the day and also received another tattoo. Another station we found was to create your very own pirate hat! This was the favorite activity of the day! I helped Rylee and Josiah cut their hats and then they drew their own pictures. The hats are very cute and Josiah was very proud of his. The last activity we found was the Arrrrrbrushed tattoo for a $5 donation to the 4R program, which promotes rescue, rehabilitation, research and responsibility.
Showing off the new hats!

In addition to all of the fun activities going on, all of the usual exhibits were open to the public. The kids had a blast and loved the Pirate Days event. Everything was set up in a way that allowed the kids to have fun participating in activities, but without all of the crowds that often comes with events. The stations had plenty of space and multiple people working to make sure everyone was able to participate and move on to the next activity. I was very impressed with how well it all went. 

Posing with Deepo!
Oh, the last part of the aquarium we ran into unexpectedly was a small show with Deepo the fish! We walked in near the end and the kids were absolutely captivated by the talking fish. Even Liam sat, watching intently, waving and saying hi to Deepo. When he started crying, Deepo even said, "Hi, Liam! Don't cry, it's okay"! That seriously made his day. All of the kids got to ask Deepo questions. Rylee asked what he liked to do and he said he works most of the time. Josiah asked him if he ever went night night (isn't that cute?) and Deepo told him he goes to sleep at 8pm every night except when he has to work late. Before we left, the kids had to get their picture taken with Deepo and Liam had to wave good-bye again. I've never seen that before, so that was definitely a welcomed addition. Now I really want to see the Deepo Undersea 3D Wondershow.
We also wanted to see the newest addition to the aquarium, Dolphin Tales, but the kids were exhausted by the time we got through everything else. The Deepo 3D show and Dolphin Tales are an additional fee, but really don't cost much at all. I can't wait to see the dolphins next time. I've heard it is amazing.

We sat, watching the fish for a long time! The kids loved it!
Driving the boat!
We had such a wonderful time, just like every time we visit the aquarium! We all love the sea otters, sharks, jelly fish and the albino alligators (Liam's favorite). We even got to see the Beluga Whales eating lunch and performing tricks. We exited through the gift shop and the kids each picked out a toy before the long ride home. We'll definitely go to future events at the Georgia Aquarium! 

 Lastly, here's Liam near the end of the trip, which pretty much sums up how we all felt after a day filled with fun...

This post was written for the Georgia Aquarium. No compensation was given, only admission to the event. All opinions expressed are 100% mine and only mine.


An Exciting & Educational 1st Boy Scouts Of America Meeeting

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Boy Scouts of America for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

As a Mama, I find it very important to keep the kids out of the house and active. No video games for my kids. There are so many other wonderful ways to not only exercise the mind, but also the body. We often go hiking, camping, and fishing as a family and always I always encourage the kids to participate in extracurricular activities. That is why my son went with my nephew to a Boy Scouts of America meeting recently. They offer many activities to keep kids active and in shape and educate them in  ways that are beneficial for their future.

We attended a meeting when we were up in North Carolina visiting my parents and my nephew just happened to have a meeting one week. Josiah begged to go, so we all went, and he absolutely loved it! My nephew also loves going because they have learned so many useful skills by teaching by a hands-on method.

At the meeting, the kids learned about the importance of tying knots, especially when camping and on a boat. During the meeting, the leader taught the boys how to tie knots. First, he showed them the Six Boy Scout Knots, one by one, with examples on the board. Then, the kids got to try out the knots themselves. Then, they put the knots to use in real life situations, such as the a square knot for a wound dressing and rescuing another person with a Bowline. The boys had a great time in separate groups, learning about a specific knot and then gave a presentation, putting the knot to use. It was educational and fun for them.

I was so impressed with the meeting and am a huge fan of hands-on learning. I think children learn the best by actually doing, not just observing. I also loved that the kids were in an environment where they are treated equally and not like kids. The leader respects them and their own opinions. My son had such a great time that he can't to officially Be A Scout!

I was very surprised at how informative and educational the meeting actually was the all of us, even adults who stayed to watch. It's something we will all benefit from learning. I never knew until then just how much family can be involved with Boy Scouts and can help strengthen that family bond. My husband really looks forward to the future field trips and camping trips with my son and his troop.

I was also surprised at how involved all of the boys were. They sat, listened intently and could not have been more excited to learn something new. The leader was excellent and an inspiration to the boys, someone they can look up to as a role model.


Visit Sponsor's Site

Wee Squeak Shoes Review & Squeaky Shoe Giveaway Ends 10/18

My oldest son loves his light-up shoes, but I've never bought any for the kids that actually squeak! I was contacted by Wee Squeak Shoes for a review and was immediately curious. I'd seen them in a children's specialty clothing store before and they looked so adorable. I knew I just had to have them!

About Wee Squeak Shoes
As parents of infants and toddlers, our inspiration for Wee Squeak shoes was watching our children in these shoes. We discovered these little gems in 2003 while in China adopting our oldest daughter, Chloe. However, during the adopting of our youngest daughter, Ellie, we had the idea to bring some shoes back for our friend's children. Our company, Wee Squeak, was born! We are fun parents, with fun shoes for fun kids! 

My Thoughts
Liam's Navy Tennies
Looking around the Wee Squeak website, I was immediately torn on which shoes to choose. There are so many cute shoes for boys and girls! I finally decided on the Boys' Tennies, their version of tennis shoes for kids, in navy blue. They are even cuter than they appear on the website and Liam's eyes lit up as soon as he heard them squeak. He couldn't wait to put them on.

Let me just say that we had the hardest time getting Liam to actually walk (due to his disorder and balance issues). He had the hardest time staying upright and just decided he could crawl around much better, so he didn't even start walking until this June, at 19 months! Our biggest mistake? Not buying Wee Squeak shoes earlier!! I am convinced that would have been more than enough encouragement for him to begin walking. Since putting his Tennies on, Liam has walked around everywhere. The first time he wore them, he would jump up and down, laughing his head off the entire time. It was so hilarious! Every time we've gone shopping or to the bank, he walks around so proudly, smiling and showing off his new "shoosh"


Emergen-C Kidz Review : Keeping The Entire Family Healthy

Now that I have two children, I've learned that it is more important than ever before to keep our family happy and healthy. If one of us gets sick, we ALL get sick. It's just no fun at all, which is why it's so important for the family to take vitamins. With Josiah in school, he is subjected to all sorts of germs and viruses and has already gotten several colds, but with vitamins, the sickness is kept to a minimum and all of our immune systems are much stronger from vitamins.

Since having children I've also learned just how hard it is to find a vitamin that not only provides the supplements my children need, but one that tastes good to them. Otherwise, they will not take them and it will be a complete waste of money. 

I had seen Emergen-C at some stores and often wondered what it would taste like, but never ventured to purchase it before. We received 3 flavors of Emergen-C Kidz, Fruit Punch, Orange and Grape! Each box contains 30 pouches of vitamin drink mix and each of the pouches contain 250mg of Vitamin C, 10mg of Vitamin B5, 40mcg Folic Acid, 100mg Calcium, and much, much more! I was very surprised at how many the drink really contained. Ages 4-13 can take the supplement up to 2x daily with 4-6 ounces of water. It is also naturally flavored and sweetened!

The kids were excited to receive them since they could tell it was some form of juice, but I still wondered- would it really pass the taste test? We first tried the Fruit Punch flavored Emergen-C and Josiah slurped it down with haste. He said he could tell a difference between it and his usual juice, but it was obviously not a bad thing. I'm picky when it comes to what I drink, but it wasn't bad at all. Next we tried the Orange and this time Josiah wanted to dump the drink mix into the cup. Now that he knows it fizzes as it mixes with water, he is in awe and can't wait to drink more. The orange is my husband's favorite and he's been drinking it every morning with his breakfast. Josiah and I, on the other hand, love the grape flavored Emergen-C Kidz. It tastes just like a grape lollipop. Yum!

Not only is Emergen-C Kidz nutritious and delicious, but they are also eco-conscious. Their boxes are printed with vegetable-based inks and it they are recyclable. In addition, they give back to others by supporting Vitamin Angels. For every box purchased Emergen-C donates $.25 to Vitamin Angels, which provides esssential nutrients to one child for an entire year. What a wonderful cause.

So, now I ask you- Are you ready to take the Emergen-C Kidz pledge? For every pledge received, Emergen-C will donate an additional $.25 to Vitamin Angels, so please take the pledge today.

What's the pledge?
I pledge today to commit to creating a fun and healthy lifestyle for me and my family, which includes: eating more nutritious foods, taking vitamins daily, and getting regular exercise – all while having fun and spending more time together! With this pledge, I will also commit to teaching my children the importance of helping others through actions big and small.
I just took the pledge! Now it's your turn.

Want to try out Emergen-C? Click here to receive your free sample!
Keep up with the Emergen-C news, promotions, and more by connecting to their Facebook page!

I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Emergen-C and received samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Birthday Presents For A Soon-To-Be 2 Year Old - Need Your Help!

I've been looking online for 2 days now, trying to find the perfect presents for my son's 2nd birthday. It's tougher than it looks! I love looking at toys, but enough is enough. I want to pick presents that are fun, educational and/or that have multiple functions. Here are some of my top picks as of now:

Kids can pretend to make food and they can sit down while playing. The oven also doubles as storage for the toys when not in use. My main question, though: Is it big enough for the kids to actually use as a picnic table for real foods?
This picnic table doubles as a sand/water table. The top attaches to make it a picnic table and can be removed for play time. The great thing about this table is that it DOES have enough room for eating and you can hide the messiness inside the lid when not in use!! 

There's no picnic table with this one, but it's bright, colorful, and also has extra toys included. There is a track around the table for the tractor, a windmill, and a water tower that works when you pour water over it.

Step2 Play Up Adjustable Sand & Water Table
This one actually has a cover for it, too. It's not as ornate and worried it won't entertain as much as the others, but the bonus is the attachable umbrella for next summer! Also has legs that can be adjusted for when the kids get bigger!

So, what do you think? I need your help deciding. After I look at these over and over again, they all just start to meld together and I just can't decide. lol! Help!!


How Does Your Family Stay Active? Pledge To Play With Your Kids!

We recently moved to the mountains for many reasons, but one very important reason was outside activity! Living here, there are so many options for our weekend trips and we definitely take advantage of those opportunities. As a family, we realize just how important it is to spend time together outside, to exercise, and to stay healthy! It's essential to everyone's health, mentally and physically.

We love to go down to our river, walk around, and play in the water. This has become our daily outside activity since the river is just a nice walk away from our cabin. After dinner, we put on our shoes and walk down the trails to the water. It's so nice to know we have that amount of time together no matter what. With our busy schedules, this is the one constant in our family's lives, so it's very important, especially to the children. They look forward to Papa coming home and going for our walk.

Our walk is also educational because we always point out different trees, their names, their leaves, and more. We spot fish, turtles, crawfish, etc, too. We actually recently have seen wild geese, chickens, and, this week, we saw our very first bear! It was both frightening and exciting to see the baby bear cub walking by. He was relatively unconcerned with us, but it sure has made for good storytelling! Josiah has made sure to tell everyone. It's so much fun and I've noticed Josiah talking about a walk for days afterwards and what he learned during that walk. In addition to our daily walk, we take time on weekends to go to festivals, local parks, national parks, and/or to visit relatives. With the fall season coming up, there is even more to do around here. We have Apple Festivals for weeks on end, pumpkin farms to visit, the corn maze, hay rides, and much, much more! We definitely keep busy, active, and healthy!
Even in the winter, we bundle up and head outside! I can't wait for the snow this year. Since we live further north, we will hopefully get more than the inch or two Georgia gets each year. Even Josiah has been talking about walking in the snow and making a snowman.

It's hard to imagine our family not going outdoors and staying active. I notice immediately how attitudes change when we are stuck inside on some days and the kids' overall demeanor is just so much more positive when we not only spend time outside in the fresh air, but when we do it as a family.

September 24th, 2011 is dubbed Worldwide Day of Play to turn off the TV and play outside!! Clorox 2® is a proud sponsor of Nickelodeon's 8th Annual Worldwide Day of Play. So, take the Clorox 2® Play 2Day pledge to play outside!! We did!
On September 24, 2011, kids and families are encouraged to participate in the Worldwide Day of Play to turn off the TV and play outside. Physical activity can improve health, self-esteem and the well being of children. Teach kids a healthier lifestyle of limited TV time and a more physical activities.  Clorox 2® is a proud sponsor of Nickelodeon's 8th Annual Worldwide Day of Play by clicking here... http://clorox2play2day.com/

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox2® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here. 


A Salute to Troy Davis - R.I.P.

Here in Georgia, many of us have been waiting for the decision of the Supreme Court on the case of Troy Davis. We were waiting and hoping for a stay of execution, but it was unfortunately denied. Once more, he declared his innocence and, at 11:08pm, Troy Davis was excuted.

For those of you who do not know the story, Troy was convicted of murdering a policeman in 1989. The decision for execution was appealed multiple times over the 22 years here was on death row, but each time they failed to prove his innocence. Why are we so upset? Because Seven original witnesses from the trial recanted their testimony and another suspect confessed! Troy Davis' defense team knew this should cast enough doubt on his guilt to follow through with the execution....

But tonight, the long fight came to an end and Troy Davis is laid to rest. It's a sad day for Georgia and for our legal system that failed, once again, to set an innocent man free. I'm saddened for not only Troy and his family, but for the justice system our country is built upon.

R.I.P. Troy Davis

Click HERE to read his last released letter to the public. 


Deal of the Day: Pay $25 for $50 of Tea Collection Clothing

Right now Tea Collection, a wonderful children's boutique clothing store, is offering a great deal for new customers. Just click here to put in your email address and they will automatically send you a code for $25 off your purchase of $50 or more!! That is an awesome deal. I love, love their clothes and can't wait to get the kids some cute winter clothes. :)


Witchy Lawn Facebook 1


Weekend Ramblings: The Price We Pay For Monetizing Our Blogs Pt. 1

 I've realized I don't write as many informational posts or thoughts as I once did, so I'm going to try and remedy this. My solution is a new addition to my blog called Weekend Ramblings. The weekend brings about the perfect time for me to sit for a moment without 2 kiddos crawling over me, competing with each other and the computer. Papa is the perfect buffer. So, without further ado, here's my first weekend ramble...

When I first started blogging, I did it as an outlet, something fun to do away from the kids. As a stay at home mom, I found myself trapped in a world of baby talk, mommy talk, and no form of adult conversation during the day. I was burning up my cell phone talking to my mom and knew there had to be something else to do! Enter blogging!

As time went on, I entered not only the blogging world, but started hosting reviews and giveaways. I thought it would be a fun way to get some free products and also give me a chance to write my opinions. I knew little to nothing about advertising and hadn't even tried Google Ad Sense, though several had recommended it to me. I just wasn't sure about A.) How much money it would even bring, if any. B.) How it would look with the rest of my blog and my theme.

I've been blogging for almost 2 years now (really, has it been that long?) and things have definitely changed, not only on my blog, but on several others. I've noticed several blogs that once focused on writing go completely over to an ad-central and new blogs that begin immediately with $$ in mind. It starts out with writing a few paid posts, then others paying for ad space. Then, you start adding posts with your paid affiliate links. Seriously, when does it end? Or does it end?

There has to be some kind of in between. Do bloggers just get swept up in the glory of making money? Does the focus completely shift from being a hobby to being a career? It just seems that there really is only so much our readers can take before they hit those buttons to unfollow. I know I've hit those buttons recently for a few blogs that have just overdone it.

What do you think as a reader? As a blogger?


TracFone : Affordable Cell Phones & Plans Starting At Only $9.99

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TracFone for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Kids are always on the go and it's hard to keep p with them all the time. That's why more and more parents are buying cell phones for them. It's a great way to touch base and have the peace of mind that the kids are okay. I'll definitely get cell phones for my children when they are older. I can keep in touch with them and know they have a cell phone in case of emergencies.

TracFone is the perfect way  to keep in touch with your kids over the summer and during any other season. They are always on the go, especially when not in school, so now you had a way to keep tabs on them. So many other cell phone companies are overly-expensive these days. Prices can be overwhelming to a parent, but they don't have to be. TracFone offers the least expensive way to own and use a cell phone in America! That's why real Real TracFone customers are raving about their experiences.



It's time to lower your phone bills and go with a plan that meets all of your needs. There are So many features available from TracFone that you will be amazed! Besides the fact that TracFone has nationwide coverage and great reception, there are No contracts, No credit checks, No activation charges, and (my favorite) No cancelation fees! Have friends and family in a different country? TracFone is the only service that allows International calls for the same price as any other calls! Call over 60 International locations at no extra cost.

With calling and texting abilities for under $10, they offer a wide variety of popular brand names (Nokia, Samsung, LG, etc.). They offer anything from simply phones to those with all the extra features for those who keep up with the latest technology. Pick from phones with features like camera/video, web access and application capabilities, mp3 players, and even full QWERTY keyboards for $29.99! TracFone has some great prices, not only on phones, but on plans. With monthly plans starting at only $9.99, there is definitely something for everyone. There are So many features!!

No matter how small your budget, TracFone has great deals to fit your cell phone needs. Want more information? Hear it from Real TracFone customers!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Rizzoli & Isles Season 1 DVD Set Giveaway Package **CANCELLED**

**UPDATE- This giveaway campaign has ended and can no longer be fullfilled by the sponsor. I'm so sorry for those of you who have already entered. I'm putting together an alternate prize for you and will select a winner. There will be more giveaways from this sponsor, too! So sorry for the inconvenience!!**
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TNT has such a wonderful line-up this year. First, we had the Falling Skies giveaway and now we get to honor the hit show Rizzoli & Isles. I love the two leading ladies and their ability to take care of business. If you haven't seen it yet, now's the time to start. Here's a little about the show...

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Based on characters created by best-selling crime novelist Tess Gerritsen, RIZZOLI & ISLES stars Angie Harmon as Jane Rizzoli, a tough-as-nails Boston police detective, and Sasha Alexander as Maura Isles, a smart, impeccably dressed medical examiner from a privileged background. Despite being complete opposites, the two women share an offbeat chemistry and strong working relationship that has helped them bust some of Boston’s most notorious criminals. 

Lorraine Bracco stars as Jane's demanding and intrusive mother, Angela. Lee Thompson Young is Detective Barry Frost, Jane's somewhat green partner. Bruce McGill plays Detective Vince Korsak, Jane's seasoned former partner who resents her being paired with Frost. And Jordan Bridges is Jane's brother, Frankie Jr., a patrol cop who hopes one day to become a detective.

Jane and Maura will take on a number of intriguing cases this season, including a murder carried out during a Revolutionary War re-enactment, a killing in a professional baseball team's locker room, a complicated case involving a surrogate mother and a case involving the Salem witch trials. Jane will also face the return of serial killer Charles Hoyt (Michael Massee. Flash Forward), who takes a special joy in tormenting her.

Among the guest stars lined up for the second season of RIZZOLI & ISLES are Ernie Hudson (Oz, Ghostbusters) as Frost's father, a Navy admiral; Matthew Del Negro (United States of Tara, Parenthood) as a mechanic who catches Maura's eye; and Bill O'Reilly (The O'Reilly Factor) as a potential murder suspect.