Friday, March 30, 2012

March Into April Giveaway Hop

I am so excited to be participating in the March Into April Giveaway Hop. I hope you enter my giveaway and then check out all the other awesome giveaways. Make sure to enter as many as possible (or all of them) because this hop lasts for just a few days!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Get Ready for Spring With This Giveaway From Miracle-Gro® Expand 'n Gro

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

We have been having unusually warm temperatures so far this year, and my children have been so excited to see all of the new flowers start blooming in our area. My older two children are especially excited, and they both keep asking when we can start planting. With the type of weather we usually have, I know we may have another few days of frost, so I want to wait until next month to start planting. In the meantime, I am starting to plan our garden, which will be our first garden at our new home. I have always been a big fan of Miracle-Gro® products. One year we planted flowers and added Miracle-Gro® and the flowers turned out beautifully.

Friday, March 23, 2012

I See Me! Personalized Children's Books Review and Giveaway

My children love to read, and they love being read too. We have bins full of books, and they will often sit and dig through the bins, looking for a special book to read. We almost always read a book or two every night before bed, and the children do have favorites that they often want to hear read again and again.

When I saw the unique and creative books from I See Me!, I knew it would be something that would interest my children, so I was thrilled to review one of their books.

Socks 4 Life Review and Giveaway

Socks are one thing we can always use more of in my house. We seem to lose all of the socks we have--maybe they disappear in the washing machine or the dog eats them--really I have no idea where they all seem to go. My children always need more socks and my husband also often needs more socks. He works long hours and is on his feet all day, so he needs socks that are durable and comfortable. I usually don't wear socks very often, but everyone else in my family does, so I was excited to try out some new socks from Socks 4 Life.

March Swagness with Swagbucks

I have an exciting new promotion to let my readers know about. It's called March Swagness! It is all about earning extra Swag Bucks bonuses for using Swagbucks the way you normally would.

Simply log in to your Swagbucks account and view the right sidebar of the homepage. You will see an earning goal, which is your target for the day. The meter will fill up as you complete each goal for the day, and the bonus you receive will always be 10 percent of that day's goal. You can earn bonus points by doing things you normally do, including (but limited to) Search, SurveysTasks, Swag Codes, Special OffersReferral Bucks, Winning TTPTP, Hashtag and Comment hookups – if you earn it from Swagbucks, it counts towards the day it was earned!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Checklist for Doing Reviews and Giveaways on Your Blog

Many bloggers know that reviews and giveaways are a way to attract more visitors to your blog. The downside of doing reviews and giveaways is that some people are only looking for contests to enter and prizes to win, so they may not stick around after the giveaway ends. The upside is that you have the chance to review products, you have the opportunity to give back to your readers, you can potentially gain more of a following, and you can help companies you love gain more exposure. I wanted to create a basic checklist for bloggers new to doing reviews and giveaways, so they could easily start out with all of the information they need. I did do a basic post about this before, in regards to where to find items to review. I will also explore each topic further, and I will include links to some helpful information.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Things I said I Would Never Do Before Becoming a Parent

I am sure we all have plenty of things we said we would never do before becoming a parent, and then later find ourselves doing those things we never said we would do. I know I have quite a long list of things I swore I would never do, which changed once my children arrived.

Here are a few of those things I said I would never do before becoming parent. I would love it if you joined me at Parent Society to read my full article, titled "Things I Said I would Never Do Before Becoming a Parent."

I will never let my children take food out of the kitchen. 

This is something my husband and I even joked about, we said we would never let the children take food out of the kitchen. While he still is against this, I admit to letting them take snacks into the living room sometimes when I want some peace and quite in the kitchen or I just don't feel like arguing.

I will never yell or scream. Instead, I will always speak to my children calmly.

I thought I would always remain calm and work through the problems I had with my children, but I can admit to yelling more than once and not always using the best choice of words. I also admit to bargaining with my children, even if some people would think of it as bribing.

I will never say certain words in front of my children. 

In regards to my word choices, there are a few four letter words that have been uttered that I may have said when I was angry, dropped something, my computer broke, etc. Those words may have later been repeated by my children.

I will never use the TV as a babysitter. 

So, this happens more often than I would like to admit, but I can admit that it does happen. I think it is awesome that some families do not use the TV at all, but I am not one of those parents. I do let my children watch a movie or a certain TV show when I need to get work done or clean. I don't let them watch whatever they want.

I will never let my children eat junk food for breakfast.

Cookies, pizza, donuts, etc. We have had those here for breakfast a time or two, or maybe more. Not that I am proud of it, but some days it does happen. I do try to have better food options for them, which my children will usually pick, so it isn't like they sit and eat junk food all day long.

I will still make sure I look presentable when I leave the house.

I had often heard of moms becoming so busy they had no time to shower, let alone fix their hair. I was never a girly girl, but I would at least put on a little cover up, maybe some eyeliner, and blow dry my hair. I thought that would continue. Now, I sometimes run to the store in sweats, with my hair in a messy bun, and no make up on whatsoever.

Do you have any to add? Comment below or join me at the Parent Society and leave me a comment there.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Historic Breastfeeding Pictures and Art

I recently found some wonderful websites that have a large amount of historic breastfeeding pictures and paintings. I recently changed my picture on Facebook to include one of these beautiful pictures, because I think they are truly inspiring and show just how special breastfeeding is. I have included some pictures below, as well as resources of where you can find more. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. 

Artist: Reni, Guido, A.D. 1575-1642 This is one of my favorite paintings, as it depicts Mary breastfeeding Jesus.     

Title: A Mother's Love

Artist: Danhauser, Josef (1805-45)

Date: 1839

"The Mother" is a painting by Gari Melchers (1860-1932) The painting is circa 1900-1920. It is located at the Library of Congress.

Woman in white cape, breastfeeding a baby is a picture taken by photographer Day F. Holland (Fred Holland) (1864-1933). The picture is from 1905 and it is available at the Library of Congress.

Uganda. Jinja. Native mother and baby near Jinja

From Matson Photo Service circa 1936. This photo is at the Library of Congress.


Doula Emily has a blog post with a few historic breastfeeding pictures.

Historic Photos and Prints of Breastfeeding on Facebook has an extensive collection of historic breastfeeding pictures and art. They also have their own website.

The Library of Congress has many historic breastfeeding pictures and art.

Breastfeeding Art has a timeline of historic breastfeeding pictures.

Irish Blessings and Happy St. Patrick's Day

I want to take a moment to wish all of my readers a Happy St. Patrick's Day with some of these beautiful Irish Blessings.

 Note: I made sure images were free to use before posting. 

These things I warmly wish for you 

Someone to love, some work to do, A bit o' sun, a bit o' cheer, And a guardian angel always near.

-- Irish Blessing from Great Inspirational Quotes 

From Clip art and crafts

From Clip art and crafts

Source: Seed Factory on Etsy and via Jessica on Pinterest

Thursday, March 15, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Crafts and Activities

Are you ready for St. Patrick's Day? Are you looking for ideas to celebrate the holiday with your children? We are huge fans of St. Patrick's day here, at least I am. Most of my family is of Irish descent, so it is my heritage and something that truly means something to me. Of course, the saying goes everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day. No matter what your heritage is, everyone can celebrate the day and have some fun while doing so. I have researched some of the best sites online to find ideas for things to do with your children for St. Patrick's Day, with everything from recipes to crafts to games!

Formula Ads Appearing on Breastfeeding Posts?

Many breastfeeding moms enjoy writing blogs, which usually do end up including breastfeeding related information at some point, even if their blog is not solely about breastfeeding. For instance, my blog is about my family life and parenting topics, but I also do an occasional breastfeeding post, as well.

Today, while browsing my blog and updating some items in my sidebar, I noticed a new ad appearing below one of my latest breastfeeding posts. The ad was for Enfamil, which is a brand of formula. I do have Google Adsense implemented on my blog. Really, I don't make much money through Google Adsense, but it does cost money to run this blog and it does take quite a bit of time and effort, so I do have it implemented to help monetize my blog.

Awesome Deal on Cute Boots for Women

I have really been wanting to buy a new pair of boots. To be honest, I don't even own one pair of boots. I realized this year that I really need a nice pair of boots to wear during the Winter, and since the season is almost over, I know there will be plenty of sales and awesome deals. I tend to be quite cheap when buying shoes for myself, so I usually shop at Payless and don't buy anything very expensive. I have seen plenty of cute boots online, but most are way out of my price range.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Are you a babywearing parent?

I am a big fan of babywearing. I do believe that infants thrive on touch and close contact, and wearing a baby in a carrier truly helps a baby feel comfortable, safe, and secure. I have had babies that cried and needed held all day long, so carrying my baby in a carrier really helped keep my hands free and gave me the chance to get things done around the house. It also helped my little ones feel close to me, so they were able to sleep better and stay content.

Good Luck Giveaway Hop

Today may be your lucky day--so hop on down to win some giveaways! With over 60 blogs participating in this event, there are plenty of awesome giveaways to enter and opportunities to win some really wonderful prizes. 

Welcome to the Good Luck Giveaway Hop hosted by MaMaNYC. This event will run from March 14th through March 19th. After entering my giveaway, please hop down through the list and enter all of the other amazing giveaways.

Things They Don't Tell You About Breastfeeding

During pregnancy, you are constantly bombarded with information from friends, family members, doctors, books, the media, etc. There are plenty of things that everyone tells you about breastfeeding, but there are also quite a few things that people do not tell you.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New Changes Coming Soon

I wanted to take a moment to let my readers know about the changes coming to this blog. I have always wanted a place where I could write what I wanted, when I wanted. I want to continue doing so, but with more of a goal in mind. I want to include everything about family life and being a parent, from raising a child with special needs to breastfeeding to crafts and children's activities.

Are Your Taxes Done Yet?

Tax time is both exciting and scary for many individuals. I know that for me, tax time is both of those things, at least it was this year. I worked more last year as a self-employed freelance writer than I ever have before, so I knew our tax situation would change. We also purchased a home last year, which further added to a new tax situation. Our refund was not as much this year as it has been in the past, which I understand since I did not pay quarterly taxes on my earnings. However, we are expecting a refund, and I know some people end up owing, so I am just thankful to be getting something back.

Do you want to do reviews and giveaways on your blog?

Are you interested in doing reviews and giveaways on your blog? Maybe you just started a blog and you are wondering when you can start pitching companies. Maybe you have been blogging for a while, but now you want to start offering giveaways to your readers and have the chance to review new products. If so, you may have a lot of questions regarding reviews and giveaways, including why you would do them, what kind of work it takes to complete a review and giveaway, or how to find products to review.

Nature's Sleep Slippers Review and Giveaway

I usually don't wear any type of slippers, as most seem to lose the softness and fluff they once had after I wear them a few times. So, when I was given the chance to review the Nature's Sleep Memory Foam Slippers, I was thrilled.

A Little About the Company: Nature's Sleep is dedicated to finding quality materials and creating products that are beneficial to your health and well-being. They travel the globe looking for inspiration for new materials and product ideas, and they constantly strive to offer innovative products. They are committed to being environmental-friendly and many of their products are washable, as well as allergen resistant and anti-microbial. They offer items that are low-cost and high-quality, with everything from mattresses to pillows to slippers.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sign Up For UPS My Choice Delivery Alerts

I recently found out about UPS My Choice delivery alerts, so I went ahead and signed up. It is awesome to receive notification of packages before they arrive. I am sent an email letting me know when a package will be arriving and who it is from.

With this service, you can also re-route packages to be dropped off somewhere else, electronically authorize drop-offs of packages, and more. You do have to enter a valid name, address, username and password to create an account. It is completely free.  

Simply click on the banner below if you would like to sign up!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, but the thoughts and opinions expressed are always my own. Sometimes, this blog receives items for free for the purpose of writing a review and/or hosting a giveaway. Some posts may be paid sponsored posts. These factors to not determine the type of review posted, and the reviews are always factual and based on my own opinions.Please visit my Disclosure Policy for more information.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Luck of the Irish Giveaway Hop

I love St. Patrick's Day, so I was excited to join up with a bunch of bloggers to participate in the Luck of the Irish giveaway hop.

The Luck of the Irish Giveaway Hop is hosted by Mama Does It All and Deals from MS DO. A large group of bloggers have teamed up for this event, so there are plenty of blogs you can visit where you can enter some awesome giveaways. Don't forget to check out the grand prize giveaway of a Kindle Fire! 

Enter to win the Grand Prize Kindle Fire sponsored by

"zuuzs is a social shopping site where friends shop, share, and earn together. You can shop at more than 850 stores, share deals & opinions with friends, and control your own cash back rewards with their exclusive Buying Power functionality. It's free to join and have fun with zuuzs!"

For my giveaway, I am giving away a Zoobies Blanket Pet that retails for $34.99. We choose the green alligator Zoobies for review, and I think the green color ties in wonderfully for the theme of St. Patrick's Day. If you would like to read my review, please visit this post. I would appreciate it if you took the time to check out my review. (personal pictures will be posted shortly)

After you enter my giveaway, scroll down to view the linky and find some other awesome giveaways to enter!

Good luck!

Zoobies Review and Giveaway

My children absolutely love stuffed animals, and they have plenty of them all over the house. My oldest son has started to outgrow his stuffed animal love, but he still has a few that he likes to keep in his room. He really loves having tons of blankets in his bed, so when I saw Zoobies, I thought they looked wonderful. I knew any of my children would love to have a Zoobies blanket, but I decided to get my oldest son one. When Zoobies agreed to do a review and giveaway with me, I was thrilled!

A Little About The Company: Zoobies was created out the passion and love for creating innovative products by two young brothers. They designed Zoobies to be something that was new, different, and versatile. The Zoobies concept is a stuffed animal that is also a pillow and a blanket. Zoobies were created to help make things easier on moms, as the products are convertible, comfortable, and convenient. Children can use Zoobies on road trips or during travel, and they have everything they need with one item-a blanket, a pillow, or a cute stuffed toy to play with. Maintaining high-quality products is very important to Zoobies, so each product is created with quality materials and is sure to be soft and cuddly.

My Review: I selected the alligator from the original Blanket Pets collection from Zoobies. When we first opened the package, all of my children really wanted to check out the cute alligator. Upon first glance, it appears to be a nice sized stuffed animal that is soft and cuddly. When I showed my children the zipper and they realized there was a blanket inside, they were so surprised and excited. My son immediately fell in love with the blanket. He went and laid down on the couch just so he could snuggle with the blanket for a while. Then, he started wearing the alligator on his head with the blanket dragging behind him like a cape. He thought it was so much fun and really enjoyed playing with it. At bedtime, his Zoobie had to join him and it is now a permanent part of his bedroom.

I thought the design of the product, a soft plush animal with a blanket tucked inside, is an incredibly creative and unique concept. I love that it can be transformed into a stuffed animal, so it would be easy to take on trips or sleepovers. The blanket is super soft and I was surprised that it is so large. My son is fairly tall for his age, yet the blanket was big enough to keep him covered up at night and there was still plenty of blanket surrounding him. I have found that a lot of blankets for children are on the smaller side, but this one is definitely big enough to keep little ones warm in their beds at night.

My daughter has already decided which of the Zoobies she has to have now, so I suppose we will be ordering one soon. With four children, when one child receives an item, they all end up wanting it. I don't always get them each the same thing unless it is something worth it, that I know they will actually use. This is definitely one of those items that would be used on a regular basis and is worth it to me to buy more than one.

(More pictures will be posted shortly.)

But It: You can purchase Zoobies Blanket Pets at Right now, Zoobies is offering my readers a 20% discount off of any product using the code PARENTHOOD at checkout.

Win It: Zoobies is offering my readers the chance to win their very own regular Zoobies Blanket Pet. Simply enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck! 


Monday, March 5, 2012

My Wonderful Walls Giveaway

I am happy to introduce my readers to My Wonderful Walls! They offer creative and imaginative wall stickers, wall stencils and canvas wall murals for children's rooms and baby nurseries. These unique wall sticks are created and manufactured in the United States!


About My Wonderful Walls: My Wonderful Walls is a modern day Mom & Pop online retail business operated by Michael and Stephanie Goins. The idea for the company was born after Michael hand-painted a mural in their older son's new room. We knew that other parents would really enjoy doing this, but most lack the artistic training and/or confidence. So we decided to design products that would allow all parents (even the artistically challenged) to create wall murals themselves. We formed My Wonderful Walls in 2008 with a mere four wall stencil kits, and now we carry hundreds of popular product and ship all over the word. Each and every one of our products is designed and manufactured with tender loving care in the USA in beautiful Chattanooga, Tennessee.

A Wonderful Walls Review:

I have not personally reviewed the wall art stickers from My Wonderful Walls, but Heather from Full Price? Never! did have a chance to do a review of the stickers for her toddler's room.

She shared some of her thoughts on these creative wall art  murals and stickers:

"I am not a creative person, I wish I was but I've come to terms with it. I was so excited to try the wall stickers because even someone like me that lacks artistic skills can use them with terrific results! I'm always looking at my daughters boring closet doors and trying to think of someway to make them more fun for her... I finally found the answer! The stickers were very easy to use and absolutely adorable! The toddler agrees! The only problem I had was choosing from all of the themes they offer... farm, flower garden, transportation, jungle, dinosaur, princess, bugs, forest, fairy, cats & dogs, outer space, pirate, owls, dragon, monsters, circus, bugs, ocean, polka dot, clouds and more!" 

I have joined the Host, Full Price? Never! to bring you this wonderful giveaway!

The Prize: One winner will receive an item of his or her choice from My Wonderful Walls. The winner will receive free shipping and it is a retail value of $177! 

Rules: Open to continental US or Canadian residents.

Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form below!

Good Luck!  

Saturday, March 3, 2012

2000 Fan Celebration Giveaway's Facebook fan page has reached 2,000 fans and she is having a giveaway to celebrate!

Several bloggers have joined her to help with the celebration to bring our readers this fun giveaway!

You can win a personalized T-shirt or tote bag (winner's choice).

And $28 as cash sent via PayPal or an Amazon gift code (winner's choice).


Enter: Simply enter using the Rafflecopter form below! 

Rules: Open to US residents 18 and older.
By entering you agree to the full set of Terms & Conditions as stated on

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