Tuesday, November 30, 2010

~Winner~

Today I've got 2 winners to announce!

First is Rebecca, commenter #32 selected by Random.org who said

Rebecca said...
I entered your Kidtoons giveaway! 
Lara said...
I follow you on twitter @momdram 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Hot Holiday Toy: Zibits Review and Giveaway

Since I featured a "girl" gift last, it's time to show you something for the little guys in our lives (and the big guys!) When our zibits arrived in the mail a few weeks ago, my son immediately knew what it was. These are most definitely a "gotta get me" toy for the holidays this year. The best thing is, you can find them at target, toys r us, walmart, etc. I think that makes it so much easier to pick up these smaller gifts that truly are tons of fun.

I always question whether these super-hot toys are worth their money. When I was a kid, I begged my mom for months and months for one of these dolls I saw in commercials. The doll would roller skate! Now, keep in mind that it was the mid-80s, and regulations were a lot more relaxed than they are now. So these commercials showed this dolly just skating along the sidewalk. So I just knew if I could only get one for myself, we would be skating together all day long! Well, I finally got the doll, and you know what? The dang thing wouldn't even stand up, much less skate! The weighting was off, the movements too jerky, etc. It was a very expensive lesson.

Bogey never got a roller skating dolly, so he expects all his toys to work the way the commercials tell him they will. We watched the Zibits video here. Bogey cleared off the kitchen table and we opened the package. It took him all of 2 seconds to get the toy in motion. The remote control for these is simple and intuitive.  He played with his robot for almost an hour before he even wondered where his after school snack was! The Zibits really delivered, and that makes me a happy mom.



One of Bogey's favorite things to do with it is to put it on the floor in the kitchen and wait for Dare to notice it. As soon as Dare rushes forward to pick it up, Bogey sends it moving in the opposite direction. Then the boys play chase until (predictably) Dare loses interest and runs away to chase the dogs.

Zibits are available, like I noted above, at major retailers. That makes adding them to your holiday basket simple! Even more simple is their reasonable price. In a time when most of the hot gifts for kids are very expensive, it's so nice to see a popular toy that delivers on its promises and doesn't rob you blind. You can purchase a Zibits for the guy in your life for $9.99.



And it gets better! Zibits wants to gift one of my readers with their own robot! This would be a great start to a Zibits collection for any kiddo. To enter, just do the mandatory entry below and then you can complete any of the extra entries as well. Just leave a separate entry for each.

Mandatory entry-

Tell me one toy that was super popular when you were young, and whether it delivered on its cool factor. Make sure you leave me a way to contact you (if you're a follower and you have a public profile, that'll do).

Extra entries-

Become a GFC follower (1 entry)

Follow me on twitter. (1 entry)

Tweet about this giveaway, leave me a link to the tweet (1 entry each, can be done 3 times a day, 2 hours span between tweets, please)

Visit the Zibits website and tell me which robot is your favorite (1 entry)

Join me on networked blogs (1 entry)

Comment on another post on my blog (not a contest) and tell me where (1 entry each post commented on)

Add me to your blogroll (3 entries)

Blog about this contest and leave me a link to the post (3 entries)

Enter another of my contests and leave me a comment stating which one (1 entry)

Add this contest to a contest linky (cannot be a link already posted on) and show me where (2 entries)


This contest will close at 11:59pm CST, on Thursday 12/9. Winner will be selected using Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond. Contest open to US mailing addresses only.  Prize fulfillment is the responsibility of the sponsor. 


I received no compensation for this post. Zibits did send a toy our way for us to play with. All opinions shared are my own (and Bogey's!) and have not been edited or shaped by anyone else. A big thanks go to Zibits for joining in!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A new event, with CSN and more!

I know we're all in the midst of our holiday prep, but I wanted to let y'all know of an event I'm having in the new year. The event is Terribly Terrific Toddler Phase: Surviving and Thriving the Chaos! I have many great sponsors lined up, but I wanted to let you know right away about a couple who have gotten involved early! CSN, I'm sure you know the joint, has come on board to help out. I love CSN because you can find nearly anything you're looking for at one of their hundreds of stores. Part of Surviving and Thriving with toddlers is returning your focus to all the facets of life that fall to the wayside when you've got a new baby. Self-growth, community, home improvement, etc. And CSN can certainly help you find anything you might need for the home improvement areas, as they've got everything from counter height stools to ceiling fans and picture frames.

Ironically, all 3 are on my list of things to purchase in the new year. We've got a fantastic island in our kitchen that goes largely unused. I'm looking for some counter height stools that we can use for the kids to eat their breakfast at in the mornings before school. I'm really digging these








As for some of my other sponsors, I don't want to spoil any surprises, but I'll give you a couple names just to give you a clue what's coming (most with contests!). Some of my sponsors so far are EyeQ, Sanuk, Giani Granite, Eden Fantasies, Shatobu, Baby Hip Hugger, and some books, dvd's, toys and games. Should be a really great event, so stay tuned!

Soon, I'll have an event button posted that you can obtain extra contest entries by putting up early. So be sure to check back often!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Road Tripping #DiscountTire

Many of us will soon be embarking on our holiday road warrior journeys. With my own family spread from coast to coast, and us smack in the middle of it all, we do our fair share of road tripping. Sometimes it can be stressful (like when we drove from Nebraska to New Mexico with a 6 month old, had a blowout on the interstate, and arrived to discover I was suffering from a raging kidney infection!), and sometimes it's poignant (like when we made the same journey with a 6 year old and a 4 year old to visit my grandma in what will likely be the last time I see her).

But my favorite road trip was funny, poignant, stressful, scary, and amazing all at once! During my 3rd (and final!) year of law school, we decided to take the kids to Disney World. Only, wait. Wasn't I in school? And pregnant? And facing finals? And dealing with high risk pregnancy issues? Of course. So let's go ahead and drive 28 hours down to Florida!

So why is this my favorite road trip memory then? Well, because we came together as a family during the trip in ways we'd never done before. The kids learned a lot about working together in the backseat. How to share their space, manage their wants when they conflicted with others, and how to appropriately complain. I know, right? There's an appropriate way to complain? Sure, there is! The best way to complain is in a polite tone of voice that makes a request and not a demand!

One of my favorite things about road tripping is getting to eat food we don't normally have. We don't have Steak n Shake, Whattaburger, Waffle House, or Dunkin Donuts. So of course, we humored pregnant mama me with stops at ALL of the above! For me, the actual road trip was nearly as much vacation as being in Disney (notice I did say nearly!). The time spent with each other in close quarters was time spent talking, laughing, grumbling, napping, and getting all caught up on each other's thoughts.

Another awesome thing about this roadtrip is that we've learned from all our past mistakes. Such as.... get a car checkup before you leave! Duh! If we'd thought to do that as newlyweds 10 years ago driving an infant across the country, we could have avoided a blowout on the busy interstate!

So, as you set out on your holiday road trips this year, be sure to enjoy the opportunity to bond and enjoy your family. But most importantly, don't forget to have routine maintenance on your car before you go! 


I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Discount Tire blogging program, making me eligible to receive a $50 gift card and be entered for a chance to win a prize valued at $1,000. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Rayovac helps moms rock!

Rayovac is hosting a contest to win $1000 for Christmas shopping! All you have to do is "like" them on facebook, here!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hot Holiday Toy: Cahootie Contest and Review


I was volunteering in Keep's classroom a few weeks ago, as a “listener” during their guided reading groups. The job of parent “listener” is to simply be present and pay attention as each child reads. Listen for articulation, fluidity, comprehension indicators, etc. I try be a listener in her classroom as often as possible. Beyond the obvious benefits we all know that being a contributor to our kid's educations, spending time in their classrooms allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of the kids your own spend a lot of time with.

One thing I've noticed a lot about 5th graders is that they talk about boys. A lot. Who has a crush, who wants to kiss, who watched a tv show with kissing, etc. At first I was outraged, but then I spoke briefly with my mom about it, and I remembered. 5th grade was the age I was when I got my first kiss!

Talk about waaaaaaaay too young! My baby is no-way no-how ready for that stuff!

Another thing I noticed when I was in her classroom, was that the popular games we played as kids were still in fashion. Miss Mary Mack was still a popular hand jive game (but you can bet those kids were stunned I could do it as good as they could!), MASH was a giggle-filled way to pass some time, and Cootie-Catchers could still predict your future.

But what a future these kids were focused on! Flaps revealed everything from the tame- you'll be rich, to the hair-raising-kiss the first boy you see! My mom alarm was beeping like mad. So when the makers of Cahootie offered the chance to check out their popular Cahootie, and to give one away, I jumped on the chance!

Cahooties are traditional Cootie-Catchers with strong empowerment focused messages. Keep received (what else) but the Sporty Girl Cahootie to try out. Cahootie comes with plenty of reusable stickers so you can change things up and keep it fresh. Keep spend quite a while picking out what stickers she wanted to use when she took it to school the next day. 



I wondered if the kids she went to class with would enjoy the tamer version of their handmade future-tellers, but I needn't have worried. The kids loved the Cahootie. The challenges, the funny fortunes, it was an all around hit. I even got an email from her teacher to let me know other parents had wondered where I'd gotten it and how to find them!Fortunately, Cahootie cootie catchers are available all over! You can find them at Justice, Hallmark, and Amazon.com. That makes it easy to grab one while you're out holiday shopping.

Cahootie really gets the idea that kids are going to play the way they want to, so making a product to allow them to play safely and age appropriately is the best way to make a toy that gets their attention. More than that even, Cahootie has devised their own in-house social network called Club Cahootie that kids can join. It requires the hand delivery of a printed out invitation that includes a code parents can enter online. That way kids can keep in touch the way we adults use facebook, only without the fake-friending of cyber-predators.

Cahootie has generously offered to send 1 of my readers a Cahootie of their choice! Keephas a list of ones she and her classmates want, so I doubt you'll have any trouble figuring our which one to pick for the tween in your life!



To enter, become a GFC follower and post to let me know you've joined. Please leave a way for me to contact you. If your email is in a public profile, that's fine. 

 For some extra entries, do one or more of the following, leaving me a comment below for each. 

Follow me on twitter. (1 entry)

Tweet about this giveaway, leave me a link to the tweet (1 entry each, can be done 3 times a day, 2 hours span between tweets, please)

Follow Cahootie on twitter (1 entry)

Join me on networked blogs (1 entry)

Comment on another post on my blog (not a contest) and tell me where (1 entry each post commented on)

Like on Cahootie on Facebook (1 entry)

Add me to your blogroll (3 entries)

Blog about this contest and leave me a link to the post (3 entries)

Enter another of my contests and leave me a comment stating which one (1 entry)

Add this contest to a contest linky (cannot be a link already posted on) and show me where (2 entries)


This contest will close at 11:59pm CST, on Friday 12/3. Winner will be selected using Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond. Contest open to US mailing addresses only.  Prize fulfillment is the responsibility of the sponsor. 


I received no compensation for this post. Cahootie did send a toy our way for us to play with. All opinions shared are my own (and Keep's!) and have not been edited or shaped by anyone else. A big thanks go to Cahootie for joining in!

~Winner~

Winner winner chicken dinner!

Crissy won the Care Bears Prize Pack, with comment # 9. Winner will be notified and have 48 hours to confirm or another winner will be chosen. Thanks for participating everyone! Check out the other contests now open, and I promise I have several more beginning this week! 

Crissy said...
Follow you on Twitter and tweet #1 http://twitter.com/MommaCrissy/status/897674635116544

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holiday Recipe Swap

I participated in an awesome recipe swap this week, check out the Whrrl of my experience! Recipe to follow this week!


More check-ins at Walmart Supercenter #1671
Powered by Whrrl

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tidings of Comfort and Joy #ShareKleenex

Tis the season, you know, for singing songs with heartfelt messages, baking goodies to share with people we care about, and thinking about how fortunate we are. In this season, my comfort and joy comes, predictably, from my family.

But probably not for the reason you're thinking. My family brings me comfort, because they love me despite my flaws. Even when I'm falling down in my jobs (as a wife, as a mother, or one of the jobs I have outside the home), my family loves me. There's great comfort in the unconditional love of family. It gives you a certain freedom to attempt to fly. If I didn't have my family firmly in my corner, I never would have had the courage to go to college as a non-traditional student. I couldn't have managed finishing law school while pregnant, and I certainly couldn't have handled going into labor during the bar exam without them. So truly, they are my biggest comfort.

They are also my biggest joy. Whether it's the joy of surviving a day of toddler-wrangling, hearing Keep's name called as an elected student for student council, or watching Bogey finally beginning to unlock the reading skills he's been working so hard on, they are my joy.

Beyond that, watching my kids grow into amazing young people is my joy. Knowing that long after Mr. LJD and I have left this planet, they will be here, demonstrating our values and walking through life with the love and caring we've instilled in them. It is my greatest comfort to know that no matter what mark I leave on earth outside these four walls, my three kids will always be my legacy.

Although I've talked predominantly about my kids, Mr. LJD is my comfort and joy as well. When the world is too scary and I don't think I have what it takes to make it, Mr. LJD is there to lift me up. When I start to slack off or slip, he's there to hold me accountable and push me to succeed. He's more of a feminist than I, which I appreciate because it frees me up for pursuing the things I'm good at, as opposed to things a woman “should” be good at.

More than anything else, I find comfort and joy in living surrounded by people who make me the best I can be even while they love me when I'm not. It doesn't get much better than that my friends. Which is why I truly mean every word of the songs we'll be singing this holiday season. Glad tidings of comfort and joy indeed. 

To bring comfort to others is another simple way to find comfort and joy in my own life. It doesn't take a lot of money or special talent to bring comfort. In my time as an attorney, I've learned that sometimes simply being willing to touch someone's hand brings a comfort so profound there are no words to express it. Many of my clients are seeing me on their worst day ever. There's a scary judge, an intimidating prosecutor, an angry victim, an indignant witness, etc. Many are facing horrible loses in their personal lives (even if it's through their own poor choices, everyone deserves comfort and dignity!). Being willing to give a handshake an eye contact to a defendant, a gentle hand on the shoulder of a juvenile who is in care, or a smile for a defendant who has spent the last few days/weeks/months in lock up makes a tremendous difference. 

Because my family brings me comfort, I am strong enough to offer comfort to others!

(and in a sidenote, speaking of comfort, did you know you can send a little slice of comfort to someone you know by sending them some Kleenex? Check it out here http://kleenex.com/softnessworthsharing ) 

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Kleenex blogging program, making me eligible to get a $40 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here

Norah Jones ...Featuring


Listening to music has become one of my biggest pleasures while working. It's a new concept for me, because before I went to law school my habit was to have the television playing in the background of whatever I was doing. However, no matter how much I like a song or artist, only certain music makes for good background play. It's gotta have great tune and a good vibe to it. It's gotta be something I want to hear, but also something that doesn't burst its way into my conscious, disrupting the workflow.

Norah Jones has always been in my 'go-to' playlist of artists who deliver a sound that's completely pleasing to listen to without interfering with my train of thought. A few weeks ago, the One2One Network sent me a pre-release copy of the album Norah Jones released this Tuesday. It's titled “...Featuring,” I'm presuming it got that name because not only is Norah Jones, who is iconic on her own featured, but plenty of other heavy hitters in the music industry. We're talking Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Outkast, Ray Charles, even the Foo Fighters. If that's not an indication of her range and versatility, I can't think of what is.

Ever since this album arrived, I haven't taken it out of my player. More than that, everyone in the house has been grooving along with me. Keep and Bogey defintiely have their favorite songs, Dare boogies whenever he can catch the beat, and even Mr. LJD has enjoyed having it play softly in the background during dinner.

This is the kind of album you turn to when you've had enough Miley, when you're avoiding the booty-call of the top 40, and when you want something everyone can enjoy. Check out the playlist on Amazon, visit her website, or buy the album for just $9.99!

Thanks to the sponsor, the One2One Network, for sending me a copy of the album!

Contest The Little King and His Marshmallow Kingdom


While we're on the topic of books, I'd like to share one that's really special to me. In a world where we struggle to protect kids from hateful speech and bullying, teaching our own children to be inclusive and loving to all kids, regardless of perceived differences is, in my opinion, one of our paramount jobs as parents. I can recall one of my proudest moments of parenting Keep was when, at age 4, I arrived to pick her up from preschool and was pulled into the director's office. She wanted to tell me that they'd gotten a new student who was differently-abled, and that when the new girl was introduced to the class, Keep gave her a gentle hug and proceeded to show her around and introduce her to all the other kids. To this day, that little girl is a good friend of Keep's, and comes to every birthday party and BBQ our family has.
 

But it's not enough to rely on our kids' early acceptance of others. As parents, we must take affirmative steps to make certain that our kids understand the importance of accepting and being kind to others. But how can we teach our kids to be inclusive, particularly if their built in social group doesn't currently include any kids with different abilities?

Well, imagine my surprise when author Louis Rotella (the 3rd, I love it!) contacted me about his new book, which helps young children understand that different abilities like Down Syndrome, don't make kids anything else but, well, kids! In the book, Louie John Rotella the Fourth shares with readers all the ways he's just a regular kinda kid. A kid who, incidentally, is his mom's special little prince even when he gets into trouble with the toothpaste tube. The book is titled The Little King and His Marshmallow Kingdom.

Louie John was born just a few weeks after Keep. They both love soccer, being around friends, and ironically enough, blowing bubbles. In the book, Louie and his relatives use kid friendly explanations to answer questions Louie's friends and cousins have about what kid's with different abilities can do. They kindly explain that Down's is not contagious, and that while it might take Louie a little longer to do some things, he's a fun loving kid who can do most of what other kids can.

When we read the book for the first time, it inspired a great dialogue with Keep and Bogey about some of the kids they go to school with who have para-educators to help them be mainstreamed into the classroom. Keep talked about a boy in her classroom who is in a motorized wheelchair, and how he is really good at shooting hoops during PE. The conversation organically evolved into a discussion about what we can do as kids, parents, classmates, and friends when we see someone bullying another person for things out of that person's control.

This book is not only a fun read that helps teach kids about how similar kids with different abilities are to them, but it opens a great door for communication to help impart your parenting values to your children.

If you're big on gifting books during the holidays, I highly recommend this one. I've always looked at the holidays as an opportunity to give, and what better gift to give your children than the foundation they can carry all their lives that is built on being kind and caring?


You can find The Little King and His Marshmallow Kingdom at amazon, and it's available for both prime and super saver shipping. It's a beautiful hardback book with appealing artwork and a story you can really feel good about sharing with your children.

~~UPDATE TO ADD GIVEAWAY~~

Mr. Rotella (and his publishing company) have generously offered to give a copy of this beautiful and touching book away to one of my readers! To enter, become a GFC follower and leave a comment below letting me know who you'd love to share this book with! Make sure you leave an email in your comment so I can contact you if you win!

Extra entry opportunities

Follow me via Twitter (1 entry)
Leave me a comment about how you teach inclusiveness to your kids (1 entry)
Follow me via Networked blogs (1 entry)
Add me to your blog roll (3 entries)
Review Me on Alexa (3 entries)
Add this contest to a contest linky, and leave me a link to it (4 entries)
Tweet about this contest, and leave me a post to the link (1 entry, can be done 3 times per day)

This contest will end at 11:59pm(central) on December 3rd, 2010. A winner will be selected using Random.org, verified, and notified via email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email before another winner will be selected. Contest open to United States only. Prize will be sent from the sponsor, and prize redemption is the responsibility of sponsor.


Disclosure- This book was provided to me by the sponsor. No other compensation was received, and there was no review required. The opinions and interpretations above are my own and have not been edited or shaped by anyone other than myself.

Clinton St. Baking Company


I recently realized Keep, at age 10, is really serious about her desire to work towards a career in the kitchen. As her mom, that both thrills and alarms me. I mean, I'm down for having someone else in the house who can make delicious food, but really, trust my kitchen and all its dangerous implements to my kid? I'm just not sure...

However, Keep's been begging for months to please be allowed to do more than “help” me. So when the Clinton St. Baking Company cookbook arrived, I determined that I'd give her a shot at following some of the recipes. After we poured through page after page of amazing recipes, many of which included glorious full-page color pictures, she selected the Sour Cherry Muffins to make. I handed her the open book, and told her to call me when she was ready to put the muffin tin into the oven.

A little while later, she hollered my name, so I knew it was time. We placed the tins into the oven, and like a true novice baker, Keep tugged over a stool so she could sit and keep watch over her creation as it baked. A few minutes later, the real test came. Fresh from the oven, slathered in butter, how would they taste?

I have to confess, these muffins were every bit as delicious as the ones I pay premium for at a local bakery that is attached to a crafts store. The book has several more muffin recipes, as well as a recipe for buttermilk biscuits that, truly, is better than anybody's grandma's biscuits that I've ever tasted.

One thing that really impresses me about this book is that the recipes are varied in complication, from simple recipes even Keep can easily master, to more intricate creations that will really wow your holiday guests. Although there are sandwich and burger recipes included, this cookbook is primarily intended as a brunch book, and in that respect, it absolutely shines.

If you're looking for a cookbook to help you create a fantastic morning brunch for your family, or maybe even if you've got holiday guests coming into town and you'd like to wow them with a fantastic start to their day, this is your book. It would also make a wonderful gift for the breakfast loving foodie in your life. Best of all, this beautiful cookbook, with all its pictures, amazing recipes, and interesting slices of life from the authors and their family, can be purchased on amazon for (at the time of this writing) $19.98. Really not expensive at all, especially considering the high quality glossy finish this cookbook has. And if you have prime, you can have it on your doorstep almost as soon as you can dry the drool from imaging all the delicious food you'll be making!


Monday, November 15, 2010

GoPicnic Review and Giveaway

I'm really excited about this review, because it's for one of my newest favorite products! I discovered GoPicnic when I was searching for non-gift holiday essentials to include in my holiday guide. After all, despite the holiday season being one that can bring great joy and fun, it's also a hectic time of year that can be fraught with stress and complications. As moms, we need products that can help alleviate the mayhem!

GoPicnic is an amazingly perfect solution for times when the holidays have you so busy you can't stop for a meal. Planning to camp out in a Black Friday early bird line? GoPicnic's got you covered with their GoTrek meal. That was one that the company generously included in a care package they sent my way. The GoTrek meal (and all of the GoPicnic meals) arrived in a box decorated to look like a tablecloth with an easy open lid. Once the lid was peeled back, all the components of a perfect meal on the go were revealed. The GoTrek comes with individual servings sizes of Jack Link's steak bites, Sheffa's zesty snack mix, a packet of dried pineapple and cranberries, a sealed slice of swiss cheese and a good quality chocolate candy (mine was Almond Roca). The package needs no refridgeration, and the box became a perfect plate to hold all the food as I ate it.


The most perfect thing about this meal (aside from how delicious it was!) is how truly portable the package is. I threw this in the backseat of our vehicle, and a few days ago when Bogey and I were stuck waiting around for one of Keep's activities to end, we shared it. You could easily throw one or two of these in your diaper bag, purse, or backpack. If you always had an easy and nutritious meal available, who would need fast food drive through?

Another great use for these would be if you are traveling over the holidays, and need something you can toss in your carryon to eat on the plane or in the terminal. Sending a kiddo off to visit a parent, and don't want them spending a bajillion dollars on giftshop snacks? GoPicnic's got you covered!

They have over 25 meals to choose from, including awesome Hummus and Crackers or Peanut Butter and crackers that are perfect for kids. Ranging in price from $2.99- $4-99, these are WAY cheaper than happy meals, and much better for you and your kiddos!

Got a loved one who is away at college, or who will be traveling by car to get home to you? Why not start their trip off right with a care package that includes plenty of delicious snacks? GoPicnic sent one our way, and we have devoured it all! The Energy Care Package included a GoTrek meal, a bag of Old Wisconsin

turkey sausage bites, a bag of Mrs. May's sunflower crunch, some Snikiddy all natural baked fries, 2 mashups from revolution foods, and a box of Annie's chocolate and vanilla bunnies. All pf the products inside were full sizes, which made sharing easy and fun! There are plenty of options that are gluten free, kosher, and/or vegetarian. I love having all the options at such a fantastic price!

And I loved how the box arrived, looking like a gift!





 GoPicnic is offering one of my readers a gift box as well! I'm tellin' ya, you'll find a great use for this on the go food, I'm positive. Shipping was fast and convenient, and I'm ordering more for our household to use throughout the chaos that comes along with the holiday season (ever try convincing a 7 year old to just. please. wait. till. gramma's. party. to eat? Exactly.

So, for your mandatory entry, visit GoPicnic and tell me which GoPicnic meal is your favorite? Mine's the GoSavory or the Hummus and Crackers. Become a GFC follower so I can contact you if you win!


Extra entry opportunities

Follow me via Twitter (1 entry)
Follow  GoPicnic via twitter (1 entry)
“Like” GoPicnic on facebook (1 entry)
Follow me via Networked blogs (1 entry)
Add me to your blog roll (3 entries)
Review Me on Alexa (3 entries)
Add this contest to a contest linky, and leave me a link to it (4 entries)
Tweet about this contest, and leave me a post to the link (1 entry, can be done 3 times per day)

This contest will end at 11:59pm(central) on November 29th, 2010. A winner will be selected using Random.org, verified, and notified via email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email before another winner will be selected. Contest open to United States only. Prize will be sent from the sponsor, and prize redemption is the responsibility of sponsor. 
 
Disclosure: GoPicnic sent me a care package to try out. No review is required, and the opinions I have shared are solely my own, without influence or editing from anyone else (besides my family, who also ate the yumminess!)

~Winner~

Congrats to Show Me Mama, commenter 16, who wins the Pillsbury Prize Pack!

Show Me Mama said...
Follow you on twitter.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

$10 Amazon Giftcard Giveaway

Here's a simple concept to simply save you some $. Everyone knows amazon is a great place to shop for just about anything you can think of. In honor of my first contests here on Lullabies and Lawyering, and to say thank you to my very first followers, I'm giving away one $10 amazon giftcard.



To enter, simply become a GFC follower. That is the mandatory entry, and must be done for any subsequent entries to count.

For extra entries,

Add me to your blogroll (3 entries)
Add this contest to a Linky where it is not currently found (2 entries for each Linky)
Subscribe via email to my blog (must confirm subscription) (1 entry)
Enter any of my other open giveaways, come back and tell me which one (1 entry)
Comment on a non-contest post, and tell me which post you commented on (1 entry)
Write a review of this blog on Alexa (hopefully a positive one!) It's fast to sign up and only takes a moment to review (3 entries)

See, a simple and to-the-point contest. This contest is open worldwide to anyone over the age of 18. Contest will close at 11:59 PM (Central) on November 27th. Winner will be chosen using Random.org, and will have 48 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be selected.

Thanks for joining me, folks!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Three Thinkingest Thursday Thoughts

I cannot believe how fast Christmas is coming up! It seems as though I just finished unwinding stray strands of tinsel from my vacuum cleaner's bristles last week.

We added new menu items to the line up at my part time gig this week. I really think most of them are delicious, which means dieting is a failure before it has begun. Whoops.

I don't know if I can handle many more scares like the one Dare gave me this week. He's definitely earned his name, and I've earned my gray. Anyone recommend a good at home hair dye? I need something fool proof, because when it comes to doing my hair, I'm 100% fool!

Making life easier

Making life easier is a topic we can all relate to. I'll share some of my helpful tips, and I'd love to hear yours in my comments!

First, shower time is power time. I use my shower time every morning to get an internal dialogue going about my day. What will I do? When? Who do I need to call? What's for dinner? Do I have any motions to file?

Next, I tend to use my drive time as an opportunity to focus my thoughts on building my own personal strengths. Listening to foreign language CDs, audio lectures, and news programs helps to double my accomplishments (arriving where I need to be and learning) at one time.

Another tip to make life easier is that I've cultivated the ability to say no. I'm on countless committees, groups, clubs, and organizations. Add in 2 jobs and family, and my calendar is full. Knowing my limits allows me to spread myself as thin as possible without breaking.

Alternately, know when to say yes. I say yes to myself a lot. I work hard, so I allow myself to play hard. Want to have a glass of wine with dinner? I say yes. Want to spend an hour at the gym by myself, feeling good as I sweat it out? I say yes. Deprivation is only cool if you're aiming for sainthood. And clearly, I'm not.

Taking time to enjoy life is a major component of making life feel easier, even if it's not actually making it so. We all enjoy even the tough times more when we're taking time to enjoy what small pleasures we can find.

Try help others as much as possible. I know that sounds counter intuitive, I mean, we're talking about YOUR life here, but honestly it works. Doing something to help others makes your life so much easier because you can appreciate what you have. Even the worst of our days are better than many other people's.

Cut out the middle man. We spend way too much time trying to figure out ways to succeed when we could just be doing it. I've found myself asking from the outset of any problem, "Are you able to help me resolve this issue?" Suddenly, everyone wants to help. Being pleasant, but upfront, helps to either get people on board with wanting to help, or immediately route you to a problem solver. That alone has made life a lot easier!

Stop sweating the small stuff. I can't tell you the last time I dusted the pictures in my house. Or updated the pictures in those frames even! But you know what? I went to every soccer game/practice, watched every new Disney Channel Movie Premier, and have taught the baby all kinds of interesting new signs this year. Dust-schmust.

Tell the people in your life how much you appreciate them. I've found this to be especially true with my waitressing coworkers and my kids. Everyone wants to know they're valued, and when you tell them so, they'll often go above and beyond to merit that praise. A simple, "I'd be lost without you!" goes a long way in convincing someone to help you bus a table at work, or to help you find the baby's lost sippy cup.

Finally. delegate and trust. Once I realized that Mr. LJD is perfectly capable of household and family duties, life got a lot easier. It's not hard to let go of the reigns and give up some control, you just need to realize that sometimes he's gonna do it differently. But hey, it still gets done, right? Right.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Oral-B blogging contest, making me eligible to get full-sized Oral-B Glide products and a $30 Target gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Surviving (and thriving) in the Holiday Chaos

Few things can strike terror into the seasoned heart of this veteran mommy. Spiders, snakes, rats, bats, fevers, broken bones that jut from the body at odd angles, parental disapproval, the speculum, root canals, wait...perhaps it's more than a few. But seriously, even though a lot of things make me tremor in my Doc Martens, the holidays just don't make the list.

Why, you ask incredulously? Well, I'll share my tips with you. Cuz ya know, as we've discussed before, I'm awesome like that.

Here's 10 tips to show how I survive the holidays with my sanity intact.

1, Remember, 90% of your holidays will be spent with family. If they can't love you despite lumpy gravy and hair you didn't have time to blow dry out, then boohoo for them. I know I say that jokingly, but the truth is, family loves you. Lumpy gravy and all.

2, Creating holiday traditions and memories requires you to be in the moment, not supervising it for perfection from arm's length. BE there during the holiday, not a million miles away wondering if you bought enough butter to bake the cookies.

3, Let it snow! And you know what, I'm not talking about actual snow here. The saying, "Let is snow, let it snow, let it snow" gives the reigns to nature. And that's what you should do too. Let it snow. Let it roll right off your back. Things happen. Cookies burn, sisters in law make snotty comments, kids have meltdowns. Let it snow.

4, The holidays come every year. What you don't get to do this year (host that open house) you can try for in another 12 months. Keep your calendar uncluttered so you can enjoy the moments that really matter. No one truly notices if you skip 1 or 2 of the 20 invitations you receive.

5, Tell your children no. You tell them no the other 11 months of the year. They ought to be used to it. Don't feel as though you must approve everything simply so they have a memorable season. You're raising them 12 months a year, stick to it.

6, While you're on the "No" kick, tell your friends and family and co-workers no too. You can't do it all. Don't over-commit yourself, because it'll only make you crazy.  Learn how to kindly refuse and you'll save yourself a lot of sanity.

7, Hold your routines. If your kids don't drink soda any day but the weekend, don't begin allowing it at Tuesday night get togethers. Kids need their routines to keep themselves in control. If you get all willy nilly, so will they.

8, Order Christmas cards early. That way you can get them addressed and stamped and ready to sit in a pile for a few weeks until it's time to send them. You can get some adorable Christmas cards from Tiny Prints.com, check out this info about their selection:

"Tiny Prints provides stylish, modern and unique stationery from photo cards to personalized greeting cards to thank you cards and business cards. Offering exclusive designs from the nation’s top designers, easy card personalization, a powerful preview engine and top-notch customer service and paper quality, their designs have been lauded by numerous television networks, publications and celebrities. With Tiny Prints by your side the Holidays will be a cinch! They offer adorable Thanksgiving Cards, Christmas Cards, Hanukkah Cards, and even New Years Cards. All fully customizable and personalizable."

9, Participate in things fully. I know I touched on that above, but it bears repeating. Too often we get wrapped up in worrying about how much we're doing, and we miss out on the actual doing. This happened to us in Disney World a few years ago. We were so focused on running from ride to ride we nearly missed out on some of the quiet fun moments (like hidden Mickey hunting!).

Lastly,

10, See the holidays through your children's eyes. After all, so much of what we do each year revolves around them. How are they seeing the celebration? Take the same joy in these moments as they are, and I promise you'll be having the greatest season ever!



I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a $75 Tiny Prints gift certificate! For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Oliver's Labels



There are a lot of companies out there that make adhesive labels to use in your kiddo's clothing and on their toys. But, as is true in all areas of life, sometimes you can find a company that stands out. One that makes an adorable product you can be excited about using. A label that won't wear away or turn into a gummy mess that leaves residue all over anything it touches.

Oliver's labels is one of those companies. I received my labels from Oliver's Labels about a month ago. I immediately used the adorable dinos to label all Dare's fall clothes. I even used the shoe labels in his many pairs of chucks. The boy has them in black, red, flame, and blue. Not to mention all his other shoes. Honestly, I don't know why he has so many shoes, but he is the Imelda Marcos of baby boys. Now, if we could just get him some shoes from See Kai Run and some new Wee Squeaks to replace the ones he outgrew, and we'll be all set.

But, I digress. Oliver's Labels were so cool as to include some of everything in the package they sent me, and I really wanted to put these to the test. So for the last month I have had Dare wearing, playing with, washing, and drying these labels. They look as good today as when they first arrived.

I'd show you a pic, but then you'd know all our information! However, that leads me to another awesome function of Oliver's Labels that I've not seen from other companies. A Found It feature! At no cost to you, Oliver's Labels will place a code on the edge of each label, with directions for anyone who finds a misplaced item to merely log on and find out how to contact us for return!

How many times have your kids come home from daycare with no clue which kid took home their special show and tell toy? Or returned from the park with the wrong jacket? My kids leave their stuff everywhere. It's tough teaching personal responsibility. And until they get it firmly in hand, I love knowing that anyone who finds Dare's stuff will know how to get in touch with us for return.


One final thing that I love about Oliver's Labels are the Safety Wristbands. When we went to Disney a few Springs ago, we ordered special bracelets for the kids that had our name and contact info on them. In case they got lost, we had a reliable way for them to reach us on the cell phones we carried in the park. This is especially helpful if you have young child, or a shy one who might get flustered by the chaos of being separated from mom and dad. 

[Product review & giveaway disclosure: 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. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."]

Monday, November 8, 2010

Baby's 1st concussion

Had to drop everything at work yesterday (the waitressing gig, I rarely lawyer on Sundays) and go rushing to the ER to get Dare. He was playing with the older two and took a nose dive on the deck. Proving he is aptly named, he beat both Bogey and Keep for youngest age to obtain a head injury.

He's doing okay now, but as you can imagine, we're not letting him get more than an arm's length away from us today. So if you need me, feel free to email or tweet, but I might not get back to you until tomorrow.





This was the bump last night. Today, it's more of a purpley-blue and less of a red. The scary thing is that the bump went IN instead of OUT. Not cool, my friends. Not cool at all.

~Winner~

The winner of my first contest, for 2 products from Preggers Maternity Compression Tights is Noelle, commenter 27, who said:
~ Noelle said...
follow you on twitter @Jumpinbeans09
Congrats to Noelle, and thanks to everyone who entered! I appreciate every new follower, and hope you all return for the contests I have coming up in my holiday gift guide. The winner will be notified and have 48 hours to respond to my email, or another entrant will be selected, again using random.org.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

11 years

11 years

132 Months

4015 days

96360 Hours

5781600 Minutes

Of being Mrs. LJD. I'm a very, very lucky woman.

Celebrating an Anniversary With Flair

**Today's post includes mature content. If you're not of an age of legal majority (meaning, are you a big girl according to your state's statutes?), then please scoot on by. Come back tomorrow, when I'm back to being more mommy and less wife.**

Friday, November 5, 2010

Online Degree Say WHAT?!

This post brought to you by 2tor. All opinions are 100% mine.

 For those who don't know, I obtained about 90% of my undergrad degree using non-traditional means. After all, as a married mama, I was non-traditional from the start, so why not use the technology of today to study in a way that worked for our family? 11 years ago when I first started the process of earning an online degree, many folks still questioned the legitimacy of degrees earned this way.

The world of academia has come a long way since then. They even have law schools that are primarily online now (I dunno if they're accredited though, which is a huge concern). Now, I gotta be honest, I'm a Husker, so a part of me is pained to talk about what a great program USC has for getting a Master of Arts in Teaching.

But facts are facts, and the fact is, USC's Rossier School of Education is doing a lot of things right. Getting your degree online opens so many doors for women. Being able to study and complete work (including tests) at whatever hour is compatible for your homelife is priceless. I can recall nursing Bogey while I wrote an essay exam for one of my behavioral psychology courses at 2 in the morning.

Online learning also opens up the cohort to include busy professionals who bring their wisdom and experience, young full-time learners with their innovative ideas and energy, and even transfer students from other nations who provide fascinating insight into other cultures. 

While these are benefits you can get at any online university, here are some specific benefits that you can get through the MAT program at USC.

  • Education from an internationally recognized faculty that has been educating tomorrow's teachers for over a century. 
  • An accelerated learning program (I took part in an accelerated program for part of my undergrad, and honestly, it's amazing to learn so fast and become viable in the job market so early!). 
  • Rossier and the MAT@USC received recognition from AACTE for their innovative use of technology. 
  • USNews and World Reports ranks the USC School of Education #22 nationally, and #9 among private colleges. 
  • And lastly, 

          You get to be a full fledged USC Trojan. Not quite as alluring as being a Husker, I know, but few things can compete with being an ear of corn. Right?

Despite the honest truth being that I love practicing law, the reality is that this economy just isn't real friendly towards attorneys right now. For that reason, I've been looking into returning to school to become a licensed teacher, so this program is one that I've been investigating as a potential option as I could go to school when I'm not practicing law, waitressing, coaching, or parenting. See, because online learning is that versatile!

I've offered a few of the benefits of an online education from USC's program, but you really can't know all the ways it could work for you until you check it out for yourself. There's just not enough blogspace here to tell you all the reasons why this program rocks. So go to the MAT@USC's webpage to learn about how this program could be just the ticket for a mom who is looking to maintain her employability while she raises her kids.

program information takes you directly to the page with all the nitty gritty low down details of this awesome program.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mitchell Musso is so dang adorable!

When his first album came out, I wasn't sure if I'd buy it for Keep. But...But...But, it's Oliver!! I'd proclaim, every time she asked. Eventually, as is always the case, she wore me down and I bought it. That album rocked! My favorite song was Speed Dial. So adorable!

Now, he's got a new album coming out! I'm so excited that I'm going to pre-order it for Keep for Christmas. If I can resist busting it open for a listen before then! I've been really surprised by Mitchell Musso, because well, I'm 30 and he's....not. When I first started listening to his debut album, I was a little nervous that it was creepy for an adult to listen to music that's clearly designed for the younger generation. But you know what? The thing Musso succeeds at is bringing grown-up sound to a kid's genre. It's music Keep can love at 10, and I can love at 30, without feeling weird.

Bottom line, the kid's got chops. The new album is out November 22nd. Check out the new album art-






And, if your less of an old lady than I am, check him out on Twitter!

Because I'm giddy with excitement about the new album, check out this single!





I found the content for this post at Thinktank, so thanks to them for bringing me the head's up!

Care Bears: Share Bear Shines Giveaway!

It was by complete chance that we were watching the Disney Channel one morning last month when it aired a little movie called Spookley the Square Pumpkin. Dare had been playing with his Little People Pirate Ship when a song came on in the movie that had his body bouncing to the beat. He looked up at me in confusion, kind of a "hey ma, what's this thing my body is doing rhythmically to the music?"

It was his first moment of really dancing to the music. When the song was done he plopped down for a few minutes to watch the show. I jumped on the opportunity to DVR the show real quick (we have since purchased the dvd) and he's watched it, in bits and pieces dozens of times since then. Keep and Bogey even get in on it, singing the songs and talking about why Spookley got bullied.

video 

 Please excuse the messy basement. Donna Reed I am not.

I decided to look into the makers of Spookley, to see what I could learn about the company. I discovered Kidtoons, and got in touch with them. As a result, I found out that Kidtoons has a new movie coming out just about every month, and this month's movie is Care Bears: Share Bear Shines! Keep was a huge Care Bears fan when she was little, so we hit the basement and dug out her old stuffed bears and VHS tapes. She's really excited to share them, and the new Kidtoons movie, with Dare.

Best of all, Kidtoons has agreed to host a giveaway for one of my readers!

Here's a plotline about the movie-

It's time for the Twinklets' migration over Care A Lot, but the Bears wait all night without spotting any Twinklets.  When a single Twinklet appears and falls to the ground, Share decides to take matters into her own hands.  The other Bears are skeptical about the existence of the mythical Princess Starglo, but Share is convinced that the Princess can solve the mystery of the missing Twinklets.  So, with the lone Twinklet (now called Gleamer), Share sets off secretly to find Princess Starglo. When Share and Gleamer reach Glitter City and find the Princess, things are worse than they thought.  Princess Starglo is shutting off the stars, because no one believes in her anymore.  Meanwhile, back in Care A Lot, the other Bears discover that Share is missing and go after her.  The Bears convince Princess Starglo that they do believe and together, find a way to rescue the Twinklets and relight the stars in the sky. 

You can check your local listings to see a theater showing the new movie, or click here for a finder feature. Kidtoons has also added a birthday club you can register on, so you or your kiddo can get a free ticket to see the movie of the month during your birthday month. I love companies who actually give me a present I *want* on my birthday, and a fun movie date with a kiddo on their (or my) birthday is awesome!


So, on to the prize, right! Kidtoons is providing one of my readers with an excellent prize pack to celebrate the debut of Care Bears: Share Bear Shines! It includes the following-



1 DVD (we have assorted Kidtoons DVD titles, so the specific title will be based on availability)
1 Sesame StreetBook
1 Strawberry Shortcake Doll
1 My Little Pony Magic Water Color Book
And a bunch of fun Kidtoons tattoos (temporary, of course)

Please make sure I have a way to contact you in case you are the winner. For the mandatory entry
Follow me using GFC and post below letting me know you're a follower. 

For some extra entries, do one or more of the following, leaving me a comment below for each. 

Follow me on twitter. (1 entry)

Tweet about this giveaway, leave me a link to the tweet (1 entry each, can be done 3 times a day, 2 hours span between tweets, please)


Follow Kidtoons on twitter (1 entry)

Join me on networked blogs (1 entry)

Like Kidtoons on Facebook (1 entry)

Add me to your blogroll (5 entries)

Blog about this contest and leave me a link to the post (3 entries)

Add this contest to a contest linky (cannot be a link already posted on) and show me where (2 entries)


This contest will close at 11:59pm CST, on Thursday 11/17. Winner will be selected using Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond. Contest open to US mailing addresses only.  Prize fulfillment is the responsibility of the sponsor.


Disclosure statement- I have not been compensated for this post. I received no product. All opinions shared are my own, and this post has not been edited by anyone else.

Free Sesame Street DVD when you submit 3 Earth's Best Labels!

This is such a great deal that I just have to share it!

I have tons of Earth's Best jars of food in my cupboard, and I'm always buying more at the store (the flavors are just so much better for the little guys, I think! I'm defintely going to add this to Dare's Christmas present pile!






You can find all the information on the Earth's Best site, here!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

10 Tips 2 Bring Home a Baby

Tip #1. Load baby into car seat, strap in, and drive home.

Wait... I've oversimplified. The fact is, bringing home a baby, especially a firstborn, is a subject that I (or any other mother) could write a thousand tips on, and still not cover all the potential topics that can arise. But I'll give you my top 10. Why? Cuz I'm awesome like that.

I thought I'd start at 10 and work my way to the most important, but you know what? On the chance that you're gonna read 2 seconds into this post and abandon it for the opportunity to enter a giveaway, I've decided to open with the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT TIP YOU'LL EVER NEED.

So, without further ado,

#1 tip, TRUST.  It wasn't baby's birth that made you a mommy. It wasn't even your ability to have sweaty sex in the middle of a summer power grid blackout to conceive a whelp that made you a mommy. It was love. You love that little spawnling and he/she is yours. Trust in your ability to figure out the "right" in each situation.

#2 Enlist the help of the maternity ward nurses as much as possible. They have, literally, seen and done it all. They can teach you how to change a diaper, strap in a kiddo, put on a footie pajama, and even take care of circumcisions and more. Often, you can call them after discharge for their tips too. Ignoring them is like ignoring a library when you've got a book report due.

#3 Don't be afraid to ask friends and family for help. Many will offer, and you might feel as though you "shouldn't impose." Believe me, when it's their turn, you'll have plenty of time to reciprocate!

#4, No free rides. Out of town visitors who want to visit immediately after a baby is born should be put to work. End of discussion. Even your great nana who is 83 can help pair baby socks out of the washer and address thank you envelopes. Don't allow guests to overwork you during a time when you should be bonding and learning how to deal with the tiny human who is no longer happily pacified when mommy indulges in pregnancy splurges.

#5 If you're nursing (and the choice is entirely yours, don't let anyone force you to think otherwise) then it may take some time to get comfortable with it. When Dare was born, I was more committed to making breastfeeding work than I was with the other two. As a result, I spent the first 2 months wandering the house with nothing but a bra on (well, and shorts, but I'm betting you guessed that!). Don't let yourself worry about how you look. Just keep an old button down by the front door, so you can throw it on when the doorbell rings unexpectedly. Because seriously, the UPS lady doesn't wanna see your bits. Don't ask how I know this. We're under a strict don't ask, don't tell policy here.

#6  Some babies cry. A lot. Some babies don't. Neither is right or wrong, and neither is a predictor of your progeny's future coolness.

#7 Schedules are for schmucks. Of course, this is just my opinion, but really.

#8 Don't be afraid of being "That mom" you can call your doctor as frequently as you feel you need to. He or she gets paid for it, so they don't mind.

#9 Keeping a clean house is important, but don't spend your valuable nap-time obsessing over it. Use high quality cleaning products ( I use Lysol and Clorox products, because they seem to keep things clearner longer) and get the "main" culprits. Kitchen, bathroom, etc. The dusting can wait!

and lastly,

# 10 Relax and enjoy that baby!




I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Lysol® Wee Wisdom blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Vote, Votey, Vote, VOTE!

I won't say who (or what) I'm voting for, or what you should. Your politics, beliefs, and morals are your own. But please, go vote today!

People say that voting is an American "right." Now, I'm not much of a constitutional law scholar. Hell, my ConLaw prof would probably confide in you that I skipped most all of his lectures (not because I'm lazy or hate ConLaw, both of which are true statements, but because his politics drastically clashed with mine and it made me a little bonkers to sit through his sermons....er....lectures). However, voting may technically be a right conferred on some groups who were initially denied the right to vote, but it originated as a duty. Landed white dudes were *supposed* to vote. It was an obligation. Black folks and women though? Not so much. For them it was a right denied, an obligation not permitted to be fullfilled. Because, you see, regardless of how long some of us had to wait for the "right" to vote, we've always had an obligation to do so.

Our system may be a flawed one. It may be one where we feel our voices are drowned out by special interests, the rich, lobbyists, whoever else you want to pin our unhappiness on. But the truth is that it's *our* system. Less than 100 years ago, women in America were being jailed in inhuman conditions for daring to challenge the laws prohibiting our right to vote. They gave their lives, not just so we could vote, but so we could hold public office, vote, and even sit on juries. Women in other nations around the world are still working towards the right to vote.

So whether I vote Ass or Elephant, Liberal or Conservative, I vote because it's my duty as an American Woman. I vote to fulfill my obligation to my nation. I vote to honor the women who walked a hard road so I could have the "right."

Monday, November 1, 2010

Since we're friends...

I feel like I need to share a secret, you know, to get it out in the open and off my chest. You all cool with that? Great.

Here's my secret, I've bought Christmas cards to send to family and friends every year for the past 7, and never once sent them out. But truly, it's always been because I've had too many irons in the fire and let it get too late. This year though, things are more settled. Well, I'm still working 2 jobs and dealing with eight million other things, but I've got a plan.

First, I'm not going to try to write a silly newsletter chronicling our year. No one really reads those anyhow. Second, I'm going to order photocards from Shutterfly so I don't have to worry about ordering enough pics for everyone, getting them tucked into the cards, and making sure each card is filled with a pic of each kid. I've been really impressed by the photo books I've ordered from Shutterfly in the past, so I know I can depend on them to provide top notch cards that will do my family proud.

This is the design I'm going with.-


It's a design from this grouping. I like it because it's lighthearted and fun. I also like the Thanksgiving Cards. And if I had half the organization in my personal life as I do in my professional one, I'd probably go that route so I could be ahead of the hassle and time crunch of the holidays.

The thing is, Christmas cards no longer have to be boring cookie cutter missives bought in prepackaged bundles. You can easily personalize your cards to make them as fun to receive as they are to send (in theory, I wouldn't know since I've always been an epic fail at getting them sent). When you use Shutterfly, you're getting the opportunity to turn a holiday card into a keepsake that shares with others the delights your family has had over the past year. No boring newsletter necessary!

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm sharing this secret with you as a part of my participation in Shutterfly's Holiday Blogger program in the hopes of obtaining a code to receive holiday photocards for myself. However, the opinions (and secret) shared are totally my own and have not been influenced by any offer from Shutterfly or anyone else.