Thankful $250 Turkey Money Starts At Midnight - Get Ready To Enter


I hope everyone had a great time trick or treating tonight! My kids definitely racked up this year and Josiah's already snuck several pieces and was still asking for more after he brushed his teeth. Ack!

Anyways, I just wanted to remind you that the big Thankful $250 cash giveaway begins right after midnight at 12:01AM!! So, check back for the official post, which will stay at the top of the page from tomorrow, November 1st until the end of the giveaway, Friday, November 18th at 11:59pm.

Good luck!!

Puppies vs. Babies: Who is Really Cuter?

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


There are some questions mankind has pondered since the beginning of time- Why am I here,  which came first: the chicken or the egg, and, most notably, which is cuter: babies or puppies? It's time we put the Puppies vs. Babies argument to rest! If you live in the U.S., you can now put in your own two cents! Cast your votes from now until November 23rd and tell America who you think is cuter: puppies or babies! Who will win?

What do I think? I, personally, say babies are much, much cuter! They can make the funniest expressions, laugh, smile, and talk. Puppies? Okay, they are cute, but some bark all day, poop on the floor, and they are too much work for something that doesn't even smile at you! What do you think? Take a look at the contest and check out all of the cute baby pictures. I'm sure you'll have to agree with me.

Not only do we get to vote for our favorites on the Puppies vs. Babies online contest, but the winning baby or puppy will receive $5,000! So, it's time to get those votes in and let the smack talking begin!

Who will you vote for? Leave me a comment below telling me who you think is cuter- puppies or babies!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Have a Happy Halloween, Everyone!


Tiny Prints Has All Your Holiday Card Needs This Year

I've said this before, but I am very, very picky about the cards we get for any occasion, especially Christmas. I like getting cards that tell about the year and what the boys did along the way. I want it to share a story in pictures and for it to be personalized and completely unique to our family. This is why I love Tiny Prints. For the past two years we have only purchased from Tiny Prints because they always have a wonderful selection. We've purchased Christmas cards, Thanksgiving cards and Birthday cards, too, and each time we've been more than pleased. 
We have so many family members who live far away, so our Christmas cards are a way of catching up and reuniting with our loved ones through pictures and words. I love the modern holiday cards, such as the Be Merry card with bright green and red, but now that we have kids, the Tri-fold cards are perfect for storytelling. As the card unfolds, we have pictures of the boys throughout the year and also caption them with all of the huge milestones and accomplishments. This year Josiah started preschool for the first time and Liam learned how to walk, so we've had quite a big year.
I think my favorite card for this year is International Color, a tri-fold with plenty of space for pictures and captions. We usually opt for 2 different cards since I can never decide on just one, so my other choice is definitely the Sheer Collage trifold card.

Take a look at all their wonderful holiday cards and tell me which is your favorite! I love everything about Christmas cards, from picking them out and personalizing to addressing and sending them. It always puts me in the holiday mood. Merry (early) Christmas, everyone!

Stanley GrimeGuard Glass Cleaner Foaming Spray Review & Giveaway

Nothing annoys me more than dirty windows. Our new house has 10 windows on our main floor alone and, with two kids,  you can imagine how many fingerprints are on there after one entire day. It's unbelievable! I never knew how much work windows could be, but now our doors are floor to ceiling windows, too. Cleaning them is quite a chore and I never look forward to it. However, I had a chance to review Stanley Home Products GrimeGuard Glass Cleaner Foaming Spray and couldn't wait to give it a try. I need all the help I can get!

About Stanley Home Glass Cleaner Foaming Spray

Effective, dual-action foam combines the powerful cleaning action of ammonia plus GrimeGuard! GrimeGuard provides an invisible shield to guard against accumulated dirt and repel water spot build-up. This protective shield keeps surfaces cleaner longer and makes on-going cleaning quick and easy. Plus, the foaming spray is non-streaking and quick drying. Just spray the surface lightly and wipe to a streak-free shine.

It can be used to clean windows, mirrors, chrome, ceramic time, porcelain, car windows and TV screens.

My Thoughts

Living up in the mountains, our windows get extremely dirty, especially in the fall when the wind picks up. The leaves are falling off of the trees and anything that hits the air also lands on our windows. It's amazing how quickly they get dirty. Not to mention, the two little monster boys dirtying the rest of the windows with their paws. This, of course, never fails to happen as soon as the windows are cleaned. I couldn't wait to give Stanley GrimGuard Glass Cleaner Foaming Spray a try. I remember Stanley products from when I was little and how much my mom liked them, too.


Marzetti Caramel Dips Review & Giveaway

There are certain foods I always associate with the fall season and one of my favorites just happens to be caramel apples. This year I had the opportunity to review Marzetti Caramel Dips and jumped at the chance!

About Marzetti

With fall entertaining season upon us, everyone is looking for quick and easy crowd pleasers that fit a variety of occasions. Marzetti® Caramel Dips are the perfect finishing touch for a variety of party favorites – whether it’s a dip for apples, pears and pretzels or a special ingredient in a delicious dessert.
  • Marzetti Caramel Dips are a delicious complement for any occasion – whether it’s an easy addition to an entertaining platter or an indulgent afternoon treat
  • Marzetti Caramel Dips offer the perfect accent or finishing touch to a variety of party favorites including apples, pears, pretzels and even pound cake

 My Thoughts

Last year, after buying a caramel apple at a fair for about $5, I thought it was completely ridiculous and decided to make my own from scratch with Josiah (my 4 year-old). I quickly realized why they cost so much- the whole process creates a sticky-icky mess... and, when the kids start eating them, there is an even bigger mess. This year, I thought Marzetti Caramel Dips would be a perfect alternative and it was a definite hit at our house.


Freschetta Proud To Support Pink Fundraiser & Giveaway

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Freschetta is doing what they can do help the cause by presenting their Freschetta Proud to Support Pink program. From September 25th until October 31st, specially marked packages of Freschetta Pizzas and Artisan Pizza Crusts contain codes that can be entered on the Proud to Support Pink website. For each entry, Freschetta will donate $1 to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Such a wonderful cause!!

How many of you know someone who has had cancer? How many of you are survivors? It's an issue we should all take very seriously. Let's do our part to spread breast cancer awareness, just like Freschetta.

In addition to the promotion above to raise money, Freshetta will be giving away 50 pink iPod Shuffle players each week in October AND they will be donating another 50 iPod Shuffles to four cancer centers in the U.S.

Eversave Daily Deal Abe's Market Natural Products Gift Credit $17 for $50 HOT!

Every once and a while I see a good deal worth posting. Today I found one on Eversave for Abe's Market. They sell all-natural, organic and earth-friendly products at great prices. Today on Eversave you can get a $50 gift credit to Abe's Market for as low as $17!

All new members receive a $3 credit to spend in their account. Plus, you can use code SPOOKY at checkout to receive an additional $5 off your order. This brings your total to only $17 for a $50 credit!! What an awesome deal! I just got mine. Click here to check out this great deal!


Planet Wise Wet/Dry Sport Bag Review & Giveaway

I am a huge Planet Wise fan and have been ever since I reviewed my Planet Wise Hanging Wet/Dry bag earlier this year. I'd heard about them for a while and, once I had a chance to see what all the fuss was about, I couldn't get enough! They are a wonderful company with some amazing eco-friendly products. This is why I jumped at a chance to review their newest addition to Planet Wise, the Wet/Dry Sport Bag!

About the Planet Wise Wet/Dry Sport Bag

  • Simple, Hands-Free, Backpack Design for All Ages. The Uses Are Endless... pool, beach, gym, yoga, swim team, swim lessons, team sports, school locker, for extra set of clothes, child sleepovers, camping, picnics, mama bag, etc...
  • One Bag for Wet & Dry items. Inner Bag offers 2 Separate Open Pouches: 1 Pouch for your Dry/Clean Stuff and 1 Pouch for your Wet/Dirty Stuff.
  • Zippered front pouch that is perfect for your Small Personal Items. Carry your Cell Phone, Camera, MP3, Keys and Money with Ease. Stress-free next to your Wet Swimsuit!

Let's All Klout About It - New System Means Falling Scores For Many

This morning I checked my Klout score, a system that determines how influencial you are within the social media community. I've been around 52-54 for over a year, but today my score fell to 47. I thought this was bad, but many other bloggers report a falling of 10-20 points!

Why is this happening? 

Klout has revamped their scoring model, which is supposed to now more accurately represent your social media influence. CEO Joe Fernandez wrote about the changes in a blog post written last week and notes that many scores will remain the same or even go up. For those who's scores went down, apparently the new Klout system has "the power to share specific actions that are helping or hurting your score. When your Klout score changes, you will be able to match it to the change in the subscores and understand why the change occurred."

My Thoughts

I take my scores and stats very seriously, so when my Klout score dropped so drastically, of course, I was concerned! Although Fernandez notes that most ratings should stay the same, I've spoken with many bloggers today and not one of them reports an increase. Most have say theirs fell at least 5 points and many up to 20 points! Is this just another website supporting the bigger, more powerful websites, favoring those and pushing out the smaller blogs? Are they misrepresenting the power blogging has on the social media community? I think so, but only time will tell! 

Did your score go up or down? What are your thoughts?

Cuisinart's Annual Halloween Halloween Recipe Swap

I wanted to make a quick announcement about a fun event that takes place today! Cuisinart’s Annual Halloween Recipe Swap is being held TODAY from 11am – 5pm. All participants will be automatically entered to win a 12-Cup Elite Food Processor, Single Serve Brewing System and Blend and Cook Soup Maker!

How do you participate? 
Click here to check it out. All you have to do is enter a recipe into the swap, and when you do, you will be emailed a new recipe, submitted by a "costumed" Cuisinart Swapper.  Another Cuisinart.com user will receive your recipe via email. There is no limit to the number you can send.  So let’s cover Halloween from breakfast through dessert. If you have any questions, or need anything from me, please do not hesitate to reach out.

How fun is that? I'm going to submit my own recipe for Veggie Lasagna! Yummy!


Thankful $250 Turkey Money Sneak Peek


We are Thankful for our Readers
and we would love for you to win $250

Starting Tuesday November 1st Children Teaching Mama and 24 other bloggers are offering you the chance to win $250 Cash in our Thankful Cash Giveaway

The cash giveaway is open to all worldwide and will be paid directly into the winner's paypal account!

I'm sure we could all use some extra cash this time of year! I know I could!!

The Thankful $250 Turkey Money Giveaway begins on Tuesday November 1st at 12:01am!

Want to know who won our last giveaway? Click to see who won the $200 Fall into Cash Giveaway !

In the meantime check out the fabulous bloggers involved in this event:

The Freebie Junkie
Save and Share with Coupons

Carla Daly Art For Children Review & &30 Gift Credit Giveaway

I love decorating my children's rooms with unique items and artwork. Josiah's room is an airplane theme and Liam's is trains and cars. When I was contacted my Carla Daly to review her artwork, I was so excited because she has the cutest prints and and wall plaques I've ever seen AND they are personalized to make them a wonderful keepsake.

About Carla DalyArt For Children

Carla Daly is an children's illustrator who graduated from art college specializing in illustration. Carla's main  interest has always been in illustration for children, though she has illustrated for the adult market as well. Her work is enjoyed by a young audience or the young at heart! She has enjoyed working for clients such as the BBC, Simon and Schuster Publisers, Rigbey Heinemann Publishers, UNICEF, Ritzenhoff the German glass manufacturer but she gets the biggest pleasure illustrating and producing her own products to sell to an international market.

CarlaDaly.com sells high quality art at affordable prices, shipped free to any location worldwide. We sell wall growth charts, door signs, kids wall stickers, personalized art and wall art for your baby's nursery and kids bedrooms.

Eversave $5 Code & Extra $3 Credit For New Members & 2 Personalized Disney Books For Only $13

Sign up here today to grab a free $3 Credit for new members.  Plus use coupon code SPOOKY for $5 OFF the fabulous deals!
Deal Idea
You can score two personalized 10.9 x 8 storybooks (Disney Princess-themed or Disney/Pixar’s Cars-themed) for ONLY $21 (regularly $42). USE promo code SPOOKY to score an additional $5 off – bringing your final cost down to just $16 for 2 personalized books! AND FREE shipping is included in this offer! …And if you are new to Eversave, you’ll get another $3 off – making your final cost ONLY $13! This will be perfect for the upcoming holidays as presents! I know my kids would love to see this under the Christmas tree!!

Q100 Bert's Big Thank You- Send A Letter To Our Troops Overseas

Hi, everyone! I meant to write this earlier because I believe this is a wonderful idea. Q100, our local Atlanta radio station, has begun Bert's Big Thank You! They are trying to get 400,000 handwritten letters to send overseas to our hardworking troops. Many times our soldiers do not receive any mail on Thanksgiving, but this year, the Bert Show is trying to change this. They want each soldier to receive at least one piece of mail! They are still short about 200,000 and only have until Friday before they must be sent out!

They need your help! Please tell everyone you know about this wonderful cause. Take a few minutes to write out your heartfelt letter and send it end. Just click HERE for all the details, rules, and regulations! Josiah's entire school participated and sent in their letters, so maybe your own child's school can do the same!


Friendly Debates with the Danielles Weekly Link-Up

Welcome to Week 1 of Friendly Debates With The Danielles!

Happenings of the Harper Household

Each Week Danielle from We Don’t Have It All Together, But Together We Have It All and Danielle from Happenings of the Harper Household will host this awesome meme and we would love for you to link up and join us.  There will be a question each week that will require you to think about how you feel about a certain topic and to decide where you stand regarding that topic, then of course share those thoughts!
My th

We do have a few rules… or rather guidelines… that we would appreciate being followed:

1.)  Please follow the hosts via GFC:  Danielle B. & Danielle H.
2.)  If you link up please leave a comment so we can visit you.
3.)  This is a meme, so you MUST answer the question in a blog post.
4.)  Link directly to the blog post in which you answer the question.
5.)  Grab the button and place either in your post or on your blog.
(You can find the html code in my right side bar).
6.)  At the end of your post leave a suggestion for the following weeks topic.
If we choose your suggestion you will be mentioned and linked to in the following weeks post.
Please respect each others opinions.  This means no bashing of other bloggers in comments on their posts.  Kind words and genuine questions are encouraged.  If you strongly disagree with someone else the place to address your view point is in a post on your own blog.  If we find that you have blatantly disregarded this you will be removed from the linky.

“Adult Only Wedding Receptions – Yay or Nay?  What do YOU say?”


As a Mama, I know most of the time I wouldn't be able to go to a wedding reception without my kids, so I'd just have to opt out. Babysitters are expensive, especially with more than one kid. Plus, I look back at our wedding and I can't imagine it without all the kids, my nieces, nephews and others, being there. Children love weddings- the dancing, cake, all the people! I remember being a child and getting to dress up in party dresses for weddings and I felt like a princess. Who would want to rob a child of something so special? Plus, I love watching all the children at weddings and the things they do. It's so hilarious to watch them dancing, sneaking foods, running around, and just being kids. I don't know if a wedding reception would be the same without kids.

What do you think?

Thirsties Duo Wrap & Stay-Dry Duo Insert Review & Giveaway

 The first Thirsties cloth diaper I tried was a fitted, which just happened to be the softest fitted I'd ever bought. Since then I have been a huge Thirsties fan! When I had the opportunity to review the Thirsties Duo Wrap along with the Stay-Dry Duo Insert, I was so excited.

Thirsties Duo Wrap

Thirsties Duo Wraps are easy to use and easier on your wallet! The adjustable rise of this wrap design means one size will last twice as long. In fact, only two sizes will cover your baby from birth all the way to potty-learning.

Thirsties Duo Wraps are completely waterproof yet remain breathable, pliable, and very comfortable for your baby's delicate skin. The inside of these wraps can be wiped clean between uses which allows for fewer wraps in rotation and great affordability. Durable Aplix hook and loop closures provide a perfect and secure fit at every diaper change. All sizes offer convenient fold-over laundry tabs to protect your aplix closures from trapping lint in the wash. Thirsties Duo Wraps are also available with the option of durable snap closures in lieu of Aplix. Leg gussets provide advanced leak-proof protection and bindings are super-soft against baby skin.

At a suggested retail price of only $12.75 for solids and $13.75 for designs, the Thirsties Duo Wraps are very affordable. 


GlowCrazy Promo This Weekend Only! Get a Free Glow Glove w/ Purchase

I recently read a review for GlowCrazy™ and thought it looked so cool. They have a wide variety of fun glow-in-the-dark games and products. This will be a very, very popular holiday gift idea this year. I know my kids would love GlowCrazy™.

This weekend GlowCrazy™ is running a promotion that is awesome!

Here are the details:
(1.) Buy a GlowCrazy™ Distance Doodler from Walmart, Toys R Us or any local retailer on Saturday, October 22nd or Sunday, October 23rd ONLY

(2.) Then, send in your receipt, UPC from the box and the Shipping Form (below) to:

Glow Crazy, 150 Elm Street, East Aurora, NY 14052

Entries must be received by 11/22/2011.
Once we have received these items we will send you the incredible Glow Glove absolutely FREE!
Click HERE to print out the shipping form!

For more information on the free Glow Glove promo, just click Here!
This is a great opportunity for a free holiday gift. I'm going to Walmart in the morning! 


BOSS Season Premiere Friday, October 21st On STARZ 10ET/PT

I don't get excited about tv shows very often, but after reading about BOSS, I was intrigued. After watching the first episode, I am hooked (You, too, can watch the first episode by clicking the video below). I have always been a Kelsey Grammer fan and his character is much, much different than any of the roles he has previously taken on. Here's a bit about the show...

Series Synopsis:

Mayor Tom Kane (Kelsey Grammer) sits like a spider at the center of Chicago’s web of power; a web built on a covenant with the people. They want to be led, they want disputes settled, jobs dispensed, and loyalties rewarded. If he achieves all this through deception and immorality, so be it. As long as he gets the job done, they look the other way. 

Yet despite being the most effective mayor in recent history, a degenerative brain disorder is ripping everything away from him. He can’t trust his memory, his closest allies, or even himself.
Kane’s wife Meredith (Connie Nielsen) knows nothing. Theirs is a marriage of convenience. Kitty O'Neil (Kathleen Robertson), Kane’s political aide, has her suspicions but stays silent. Kane’s chief of staff,  Ezra Stone (Martin Donovan), has no illusions about the stakes involved and doesn’t ask questions.  And State Treasurer Ben Zajac (Jeff Hephner) is too concerned with his own political ambitions to notice anything unusual.

Only Emma (Hannah Ware), Kane’s estranged daughter, has a chance of learning his secret. This is going to be the toughest term yet for the Boss. Click Here to watch the trailer!

You don't want to miss the Season Premiere tomorrow night! 
Be there: Friday, October 21st at 10pm ET/PC

Don't have STARZ? Just click on the video to watch the very first episode! You'll be hooked!

Scandalous Dirt

Starz also hosts the website Scandalous Dirt, which is an interesting interactive political and news website where you can sort through the latest political news across the U.S. You can also vote on subjects, tweet, and more. It's definitely worth checking out!

Disclosure: This promotional sponsored post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. I was compensated for my time and work on this campaign. Any opinions shared are my own.

Proactiv 365 Review - Keeps Skin Clean, Beautiful & Acne Free

 When I was about 8 years old, my face broke out for the first time. My mom was horrified and rushed me to the doctor thinking I had a horrible rash, but it was, indeed, acne already beginning. I had no idea what was to come, but the acne just got worse and worse. At one point when I was 15, the entire left side of my face looked like something out of a horror film. Nothing, and I mean nothing, helped. I even went to skin specialists and dermatologists. At the age of 31, I still get breakouts, especially in the winter when dry skin occurs. Using Proactiv back then helped minimize my breakouts, keep my skin clean and I'm pretty sure I didn't scar quite as much. I stopped breaking out as much for a while, but the cooler weather is here and, post-pregnancy has always played mean tricks with my face. I knew I needed help from Proactiv.

What is Proactiv 365?

Proactiv 365 consists of 3 simple steps to achieving acne-free skin. When you purchase a kit, you receive Renewing Cleanser, Revitalizing Toner, and Repairing Treatment. By following the Quick Start Guide included in your order, you will see just how easy it is to follow the directions and start your journey to healthier skin.

Proactiv is the world's number one acne treatment system. Treatment is easy, simple and effective for all ages and skin types. Now, with Proactiv 365, you can receive help 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Advisors are available to speak with you online or by phone to answer any questions you may have. Plus, Proactiv offers a Money Back Guarantee, so if you aren't completely satisfied, you can get your money back. What do you have to lose?

My Thoughts

People ask me why I rarely wear make-up. It's not because I don't like wearing it, but because it always makes me break out. Yes, I've tried all of the all-natural, allergen-free make-ups, but it always ends up with the same result: a breakout! It's so embarrassing to be 31 years old with two children and still have acne like a teenager. I also have scars from past acne all over my face. In addition to acne and scarring, I have uneven skin tones. Some places on my face are pinkish while others are a normal white.  This is something I've failed to get rid of with any moisturizers in the past.
With all of that said, I received the Proactiv 3-Step Starter Kit, which included the Renewing Cleanser, Revitalizing Toner and the Repairing Treatment. In addition, I received some samples of the Green Tea Moisturizer and a Refining Mask. The kit also included instructions and a catalog with all of the wonderful Proactiv products. I couldn't wait to get started. Each night, before bed, I took the time to go through all the steps. It doesn't take long at all and by the time I get in bed, my skin just feels clean and tingly. It's a nice feeling and makes me feel like I'm doing something nice for myself.

After about a week, I noticed my skin was beginning to get a little sensitive. I decreased the amount of each step because I think I was using a bit too much and all was well.  Using the Proactiv 365 was a great service to have because anytime I had doubts or questions, their customer service was really there to help me through it. That's how I found out I was using too much and it really made a difference.

At first, I couldn't tell a difference by looking at my face, but it just felt better. After two weeks, my skin seemed brighter and healthier, for sure. At three weeks, my skin was acne-free, besides the few that were fading from before, and felt great. The Green Tea Moisturizer ended up being great for when I had some dry skin.

I forgot to take some before and after pictures, but I looked through regular pictures we'd taken over the past 2 months and, even from those, I can tell a difference.

Here's a before. I know you can't really see the acne, but it's there. You can see the redness in the corners, the scar on my forehead, several smaller ones across my face, and my huge one on the left cheek if you enlarge. There are also red spots on my chin from past acne that is trying to fade unsuccessfully.

Okay, now that I'm thoroughly embarrassed by that picture, here is a better one that was taken this weekend!
Even in these two pictures you can tell a difference in my skin tone. Proactiv has helped even out the dark redness and pink parts of my face. The acne scars seem faded more and easier to cover with make-up, too. Plus, my face just looks like it glows. Maybe it's in my head, but I feel like it's worked wonderfully and, in turn, it makes me feel better about myself.

I highly recommend giving Proactiv a try if you have acne, uneven skin tones and/or just generally sensitive skin. Their products can definitely improve the overall health of your skin and bring your smile back!

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

36-Count Pop-Tarts For Only $6.52 on Amazon.com

Right now you can score the Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts on Amazon.com for only $6.52! That's only .18 cents per Pop-Tart. :) These are my favorites and I eat them just about every morning. lol! I know, not the healthiest snack, but I crave these things. I guess that's what happens when you've been eating them for about 25 years. :) Also, if you have Amazon Prime, you get free 2-Day Shipping! Not bad at all! How could I resist?


Hot Wheels® Customs Car Review #MomSelect

If there's one thing I know about my boys it's that they love Hot Wheels cars! I'm pretty sure their toy boxes combined contain over 100 of them. So, when I heard about the new Hot Wheels Customs, I couldn't wait get one.

What is Hot Wheels Customs? 
The online program allows you to make your very own customized Hot Wheels car! With a few button clicks, you are well on your way to your one of a kind Hot Wheels creation. You can choose between four different custom creations: Hiway Hauler, Dairy Delivery, Surfin' School Bus or Passion. Upload a photo that will show up on your car, add your own message and to top it off, you can choose a design for the actual car packaging. This is sure to please as a fun present for children and collectors alike!

My Thoughts

I made a Hot Wheels Customs car for Liam's 2nd birthday and gained first-hand experience on just how easy it is to customize your own car. I chose the Dairy Delivery truck, uploaded a cute picture of Liam and put my birthday message and chose the Happy Birthday packaging. You can also choose from two other packaging designs, Happy Holidays and Made Just For You.

Both of the kids were so amazed at this Hot Wheels. Even the parents were asking how I did it and said they wanted to try it out. Liam was so excited to see his very own picture on the Dairy Delivery truck and couldn't wait to play with it. The truck has been played with almost daily and has joined the ranks of the most beloved of Hot Wheels toys. Plus, this is something he can keep for many years to come. I will probably end up putting it away in a few years to save as a keepsake.

I think this is a perfect gift idea, especially for the upcoming holidays! At only $7.99 plus shipping, it's an affordable stocking stuffer that any Hot Wheels fan will love. I have a feeling I'll be buying Josiah one in the very near future, too. He's been asking for one with his picture on it, so maybe Santa will bring him one.

Take a look at the Hot Wheels Customs website, try out the design program and see how much fun it is. You don't have to even buy the car after it's created, but it's hard to resist.

This review was written for Hot Wheels in conjunction with MomSelect. I was provided a code for a free Hot Wheels Customs car for review purposes. All opinions written are 100% mine and only mine.

Hall-O-Win A Kindle & More Event Official Post

I have teamed up with Jennifers Savings and Angela Newsom, author of the Coupon Quick Start Guide, to provide you with this wonderful giveaway of many prizes!  

 The Prizes
The Grand Prize will be a Kindle, a free eBook of the Coupon Quick Start Guide, and a $20 Amazon.com Gift Card!!! 
But that's not all...
Each of the participating blogs have included their own prizes with at least $20! Here are the additional prizes the runner-ups can win:
$25 Restaurant.com Gift Card, L'Oreal Youth Code Serum Intense, $25 Paypal Cash, $25 Restaurant.com Gift Card, Fully-Stocked Coupon Binder, Conair Purple 1" Curling Iron (new in box), Starbucks reusable tumbler and gift card, $25 Amazon.com gift card, Avon watch-Mother of Pearl face and "diamond" accents, $15 Target Gift Card, Cozy Comfort from Tastefully Simple, and 4 more of Angela Newsom's eBook: Coupon Quick Start Guide!!!!

As you can see, we have got some great prizes! Plus, many chances to win means pretty good odds for you! This giveaway will run from October 19th through 12:01am on October 31st. Good Luck to everyone! Make sure to do the mandatory entries first, then do all of the optional entries too for your chance to win one of these great prizes!


Baby Magic Patty Cake Dustless Baby Powder Review & Giveaway

I remember a day when Josiah was almost 2 years old. I was in the bedroom getting ready when the distinct smell of baby powder wafted into the room. Hmmm.... I went into the living room to find our furniture, rugs, and hardwood floor decorated white as snow with baby powder. I almost had a heart attack. After the initial shock wore off, I started cleaning and realized just how tough it is to get baby powder completely off of everything, including wooden floors. When we moved, I found some of his toys that still had baby powder in the crevices. It's nearly impossible to clean and, believe me, I NEVER made that mistake again. This is why I jumped on the opportunity to review the Baby Magic Patty Cake Dustless Baby Powder!

About Baby Magic Patty Cake Dustless Baby Powder

Mess-free powder is here!  Introducing the first ever patented Baby Magic Patty Cake Dustless Baby Powder. Waste free and safe for your baby’s delicate lungs this pressed powder is absorbent, moisturizing, easy to use, and portable.
  • First-ever patented pressed baby powder
  • A talc-free powder
  • Moisturizer, lubricant, and water repellent
  • Prevents irritating friction on skin
  • Dermatologist tested
  • Precise application means less mess and more convenient
  • Doctor recommended
  • Available in .28oz. compact and carton with 10 disposable round cotton applicators.

Hall-O-Win A Kindle & More Event Begins At Midnight Announcement

Another fun event will begin tonight at midnight!! The Hall-O-Win Event will include a Grand Prize of a Kindle, a $20 Amazon.com gift card, and a keyboard which attaches to the Kindle. In addition, each of the 19 participating bloggers has included another giveaway prize worth at least $20. (Ours is a $25 amazon.com gc!) So, what does that mean for you? 20 chances to win! Your odds are increased drastically!

Check back at midnight or in the morning to go ahead and get your entries in! This will be a big one. I can't wait to see what all the other bloggers pitched in to give away!

eShakti Beautiful Customized Clothing For Women Review

It's really frustrating having a closet full of clothes that don't fit. I'm sure many of you ladies can relate to the pre-to-post-pregnancy body changes. I have a tough time finding clothing that fits my body in a flattering way. I may be back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but my measurements are still different. This is why I was so excited to find out about eShakti, an online clothing store that specializes in customizing clothes to fit your measurements perfectly.

About eShakti

On a mission to make every customer look her very best, eShakti provides a wide variety of fashionable clothing from sizes 0-26. What sets eShakti apart from other online retailers is not only their beautiful clothing, but the ability of customers to ensure the best possible fit. How? As a customer, you can personalize the clothing to your own liking.

As we ladies know very well, one size does NOT fit all! You do not have to settle for unflattering clothing that fits incorrectly anymore! At eShakti, a woman can shop for exactly what she wants - no compromise, no premium to pay. She can ask for the fabric, color, body, styling and sizing that she likes. Never again will a woman have to hear that her size is not available.

My Thoughts
I was so excited to pick out one item for my review that I just couldn't decide. There are so many beautiful pieces of clothing- dresses, cardigans, skirts, pants, and much, much more. I eventually decided on a versatile dress I knew I would get to wear often, the Ruffle Front Lace Dress from the eShakti Little Black Dress section.

The dress is cinched at the waist with wide elastic, looking almost like a belt. The dress is made with a beautiful black floral lace. It has ruffles at the high collar, at the neck area and the bodice. For only $7.50 more, customers are able to customize the dress. I sent all of my measurements in and also chose to have the dress length longer so it falls below the knee. I also had the option of changing the sleeves, but I like the poofy look.

Needless to say, the dress fits like a charm. I love the way it feels, very form fitting, around my body. Because it fits so well, it's also fits in a very flattering way. There are no spots where it is too big or too tight. Every inch of it fits perfectly!

A close-up of the beautiful lacework!
I got so many complements when wearing this dress. The band that acts as a belt does create a very slimming look. I could seriously wear this dress every day. It's such a nice dress that I really can wear it out for a dinner or I can wear it casually. Plus, one of my very favorite features are the hidden side pockets! I've never had a dress with pockets and let me just say, it's awesome! I love having somewhere to put my keys or little objects and not always feeling like I have to tote around a purse.

I cannot say enough about eShakti and  my beautiful black dress! Take a look at their beautiful dress selection. There are many that would be absolutely perfect for upcoming holiday dinners and such! I know I'll be wearing mine!

This post was written for eShakti. The dress was received for review purposes and no other compensation was provided. All opinions written are 100% mine and only mine.

The Impact of Reading

The Impact of Reading
Article submitted by Kathleen Thomas on behalf of Primrose Schools

It has long been known that early reading is a key predictor of academic success in children. Early reading includes being read to and interacting with books, and may begin when the child is still in the womb. While reading may sound simple, parents are often at a loss as to just how to implement reading time with their children. Suggestions are given here for parents to develop productive and fun early reading experiences that will help build a strong foundation for children to become successful readers.

First, show interest in reading. Exaggerating expressions, words, and excitement about the book will help young children begin to develop a connection between sounds and meaning. It will also show them that you are excited about reading. Getting creative and making up a more personalized story will also make the story more interesting. Even reading your own books will help your children see that you enjoy reading, and may instill more enjoyment of reading in them as well.

Second, read with your children and not just to them. Make the story interactive by directing their attention to pictures. Ask questions that elicit age-appropriate responses, such as animal sounds and colors. Often, repetitive phrases that they can repeat will help them interact more and make them feel like they can read along with you. As children get older, they will ask questions and point to pictures themselves. They will retell stories in their own words and may even create brand new stories to go with the pictures. This illustrates their understanding that stories are communicated through books, and is an important stage in developing good readers.

Third, schedule time for reading, beginning in infancy. It is important to sit down every day and read with a child. Even though children will have reading time at preschool, leaving reading solely for school time will not help children develop into early and active readers. Connecting regularly with them over a book will develop their reading skills as well as your enjoyment in being together.

Fourth, choose an appropriate book. Consider the interests, reading level, and language development of your child. A preschooler needs lots of interesting pictures and language simple enough to understand. Think back to your own favorite books as a child and share them with your child. By choosing books you enjoy, you will be more willing to read them over and over, which every child will want to do. As children get older, ask teachers for recommendations, especially those related to topics being covered in class. Reading these books at home will help strengthen reading skills, and may also positively impact knowledge of other school subject matter.

Finally, make appropriate books readily available. Having a variety of different topics will appeal to many interests, especially when the books are age-appropriate. Keep a stash of books in the car. Children will be able to enjoy reading on the road, and a few books can easily be grabbed when a waiting period is expected at the doctor’s office or anywhere else. The local library is an excellent resource for finding books that your children will enjoy that are interesting, appealing, and appropriate.

By considering and acting on the tips above, parents can provide their children with the best possible path to becoming a good reader even before preschool. Helping develop reading skills can also strengthen language skills in general, and will provide a support system as children develop cognitively. Parental support of early reading not only provides your child with the tools for greater academic success later, but opens worlds for them that would be inaccessible without books.


Kia Optima Hybrid - The Eco-Conscious Car Of My Dreams

We currently own a car that is not at all eco-conscious and do not like it at all. So, we've been looking for new cars with better miles per gallon (MPG) and that's better for the environment as well. As soon as I saw the Kia Optima Hybrid video, my jaw dropped and I knew I wanted it! I don't usually write about automobiles, but, for this, I will make an exception.

Did you watch the video? How could I resist this car? Here's a bit more info about it:

Starting at only $26,500, the Kia Optima Hybrid gets a whopping 40 MPG on highways! As Kia Motors America's very first hybrid, this stylish mid-sized sedan is an eye-catcher. Using lithium polymer batteries, the car even gets 35 MPG in the city.

With gas prices still rising, this is a great reason to look into purchasing the Kia Optima Hybrid. Can you imagine not having to fill up your tank as often and saving hundreds of dollars each month? I, personally, pay $50 each time I fill up my tank and seem to do it at least once a week. I would love to put that money towards something better.

Ready to learn more about the Kia Optima Hybrid? You can find the video serious about design, technology, value and battery by clicking here. Also, head over to the Kia Optima Facebook page to interact with the interesting and educational Urban Myth Busters app by clicking here! Interested in learning more about how hybrid cars work (which is very interesting, by the way)? Just click here!

So, after watching the video and learning more about hybrid cars, are you just as impressed with the Kia Optima as I am? What are your first impressions? Is this a car you'd like to have in your driveway? I know I sure would. Christmas is coming up very soon.... :)

This promotional sponsored post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. I was compensated for my time investment and work on this campaign. Thoughts are my own.