Friday, July 30, 2010

Funny Friday - Anita Renfroe (Momisms)

So, today was one of those days when I felt like I was yelling at the kiddos constantly.  They are overtired and cranky from too many summer activities (and apparently I am too!).  I needed a good laugh and looked up one of my favorite comedians, Anita Renfroe, on YouTube.   While she has several videos I love (I'm sure you'll see more on future Fridays.), this one is a classic.  :o)

GeekDad = Fun For All, A Review

Now that I've given you all a glimpse of my geeky side (and you didn't boycott), you're going to be seeing more of it.  I truly am a geek at heart.  I love when my kids ask questions that I don't know the answers to.  I laugh at ridiculous math and science jokes.  I want to build a bat house with the girls to help control our insect population.  That is why, when I was given the chance to review GeekDad by Ken Denmead, I jumped at the chance. 

As soon as I received the book I quickly scanned through it.  I was immediately impressed with the variety of projects that you could undertake.  From preschool to high school, this book has something for everyone!  There are art projects, outdoor projects, building projects, and even projects for the environmental geek.  I was also thrilled that the author broke each project down by cost, difficulty, duration and reusability.  Nothing is more exciting for a geek than an easy to read reference table to save you time and energy.  Bearing in mind that Peanut and Pumpkin are only 6 and 4, I was somewhat limited in the projects I could do with my kids.   

The first project to catch my eye was the Windup Toy Finger Painting.  The main idea of this project is to paint the bottom of windup or battery powered toys so that they create your artwork as they travel around a piece of paper.  Searching through the house, we were able to find two cars and a Bumble Ball Jr.  (We also found a Zhu Zhu pet, but weren't sure how well that would wash up after a good paint job.)  Not wanting to go down to the crawl space to get the real paint, I deviated from the directions a bit by making my girls paint the wheels with watercolor paints rather than having cups or saucers with paint that they could dip the wheels into.  I think the final result may have been nicer if I'd make the extra effort to get the better paints.  Also, Ken suggests that you use levels, rulers, lumber, etc as barriers to constrain the toys.  I found that using a cardboard box worked really well too.



Overall, the kids had a really great time and enjoyed this project.  The paintings looked very nice, even more so after I framed them.  I will definitely do it again, perhaps with some new toys and better paints.  Our next project, however, is the Pirate Cartography.  I can't wait to see what adventure that will bring!


If you're asking yourself if you should get this book, here's my opinion:
  • If you and your kids are geeks . . . Yes!  What a fun way to spend time with your kids doing projects that will be interesting to them and you.  You can encourage their geekiness and show off your own.
  • If you or your kids are geeks . . . Yes! What a great way to connect.  You can start simple and work your way up to the more advanced projects.
  • If neither you nor your kids are geeks . . . Yes!  I think many of these projects are fun for everyone, geek or not.  Besides, all kids should be well rounded.  You never know when it might be advantageous to be well-versed in geek.
After a quick search, I found that this book is available at my local library.  If you still aren't sure if it is a book you'd enjoy, check yours to see if you can preview it there first.  Personally, I think this is a book to own because the projects really do span several years.  If you decide to purchase it, you can find it on Amazon, or another great site, ThinkGeek.

*Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book for review purposes, but did not receive any other compensation.  I do not receive any benefits if you purchase any products from any stores that I mention in this or any other post (unless specified).   All opinions are my own.  Others may have different experiences.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thankful Thursday - Simple Joys


My kiddos are still young and truly appreciate the simple things in life. . . from a sparkler on the 4th of July to the first snowfall.  Just this week when I was picking Pumpkin up from camp, she was just glowing.  She couldn't have been more proud of the pet rock she made and was carrying over to show off.   I am so thankful that they do appreciate the little things.  They can find joy in the most basic items, events, and occurrences.  Each day I am more amazed at what my children remind me of and teach me about.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

One2One and the WNBA

As a One2One member, I often receive information about products, programs, discounts, and websites.  Currently One2One and the WNBA are offering discounted tickets to One2One members, family and friends.  This is a great opportunity to do something unique with your family at an affordable price.  Unfortunately, I don't live near a WNBA team, but you might.  If you do, check out the discounts available here.  The offers are good through the end of the regular season.

*Disclaimer:  By sharing this information with you, I am now eligible to win a $50 gift card from One2One.

Thermos - Twitter Party and Giveaway

I know you have heard of Thermos.  It is a name, that instead of being recognized simply as a brand, is synonymous with the products we love to keep our hot foods hot and our cold foods cold.  In case you haven't noticed, just because someone calls a container a Thermos doesn't mean it is.  Thermos containers really do keep your food and beverages at the appropriate temperature longer than any of the other brands I've used.  Thermos is great because it not only reminds us of our childhood, but also includes products that we can feel good about using for our children.  Thermos only makes products that are BPA-free, and allows you easy access to view their CPSIA compliance certificates for any of their products.

On Tuesday, August 10 from 2-3pm EDT,  @ThermosBrand will be having back-to-school discussion with leading product-safety and food-safety experts.  You can ask questions, provide tips about what matters to you and help prepare your family for a safe and healthy back-to-school season. Participate by using the #ThermosBTS hashtag and you will automatically be entered to win some of their newest lunch boxes and FUNtainer products.

In addition to winning by joining the twitter party, you also have a chance to win here.  Look at this adorable Littlest Pet Shop FUNtainer jar from the Thermos website.  You can enter to win this jar and the matching bottle in a few easy steps:

Mandatory Entry:  Browse the Thermos lunch products and tell me one SPECIFIC item that you would love to have for your child for back-to-school.  If this is not done, you will be ineligible to win.

Optional Extra Entries:

  1. Follow me on Twitter.  Post your username in the comments.
  2. Tweet about this giveaway using @rmgm and @ThermosBrand.  Post a link to your tweet here.  This can be done once daily.  
  3. Follow me publicly on Google Friend Connect and post a comment with your username.
  4. Like Thermos on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall stating that MomOnTheEdge sent you.  Leave me a comment with your Facebook Initials.
Details:
  • Only open to US residents
  • Winner will be chosen using random.org
  • Giveaway ends 11:59pm ET on August 14, 2010
  • Include your email address in your comment if it is not available on your profile page.  If an email address in not in the comment or on your profile page another winner will be chosen.   I will not contact you through Twitter or Facebook.
  • Winner will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.
  • Prizes will be sent directly from the sponsor.  I am not responsible for prizes that are lost or damaged during shipment.  If you win a prize and do not receive it, please let me know.
*Note:  This giveaway is sponsored by Thermos.  I did not receive any compensation in exchange for hosting this giveaway.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  Others may have different experiences.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My waterslide quest continues . . .

For those of you that know me, you are well aware that I am rather frugal.  I don't like to spend money on myself, and only buy "treats" for the girls if they are on sale well below retail.  I love to find great deals on items that we'd love to have.  In 2006, I found a small 8x8 bounce house at our local KBToys when it was going out of business.  It only cost around $30 and has been worth that 10 times over.  In 2007 I found a PowerWheels Jeep Hurricane for my nephew for only $80 from Linens N Things.  In retrospect I should have gotten one for the girls too.   I love the after Christmas sales, the summer clearance sales, and just about any other bargain I can find.

For the past 3 years I've been searching and waiting for a great deal on a large inflatable water slide.  You can see here why I think we need one.  Unfortunately, I haven't had any luck yet.  Living in a small town, the stores we do have don't carry large amounts of inventory that they need to clear out.   We have to drive quite a distance to larger stores and by the time we get there, others have already purchased the items we were hoping to find.  I've recently decided that my best shot at a reasonable price might be to win one from a kind blogger like J Leigh Designz and a great company like BounceHousesNow.  If I do get lucky and win, I'd only have to pay the taxes on the slide. 

Please wish me luck.  I know I'll have my fingers and toes crossed until her giveaway ends on August 23.  You might even want to head over there yourself and try your luck.  If you win though, you have to at least invite us over to play.  This slide looks like so much fun!

*Disclaimer:  I wrote this post in order to get 2 extra entries into J Leigh Designz BounceHousesNow giveaway.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ten Tips for Ensuring a Healthy, Safe and Successful School Year

Twittermoms and Airwear are offering bloggers another opportunity to post about an important topic and possibly earn some prizes in the process.  With a new school year just around the corner, we all know that it is time to start thinking about back-to-school shopping.  In addition to preparing our kids with all the necessary supplies for school, we also need to remember to prepare them physically, mentally, and emotionally to ensure a healthy safe and successful school year.
  1. Vision Screening - If you haven't taken your child recently, or if you've noticed a change in his/her ability to see objects either close up or at a distance, then you should be sure to take him/her to have a vision screening.  If a child can't see, it makes it very difficult to learn.
  2. Hearing Screening - While my kiddos may choose not to listen to me, they can hear just fine.  Like vision, hearing is vital to being successful in school.
  3. Yearly physical - Neither of my kiddos were born in August, but once they became preschoolers, we began to schedule their yearly physicals at back-to-school time.  I want to make sure they start the year strong and healthy.
  4. Family Information - Before heading back to school, we make sure that the kids know all of our important family information.  Both girls know their names, addresses, phone numbers, our names, etc.  If they happen to need one of us while they are at school, they should be able to recite our phone numbers without a second thought. 
  5. School Visit - Many children need to be prepared for what to expect when attend school.  If possible plan a school visit so that your child can see the school layout, their classroom, the bathrooms, etc.  
  6. Secret Code Word - When I was very young, my parents gave me a secret code word that we were not to tell anyone.  That code word was a word that was special to our family, but no one else would ever guess.  Without that code word, we should not get into the car with or go home with anyone other than the person we had expected to pick us up.  We now have a secret code word for our girls too.
  7. Daily Recap - When Peanut gets home from school, she rarely has anything to say about her day.  However, when we are saying prayers before bed, she seems to relax enough to tell me all the good and bad things that happened during the day.  We are sure to leave some extra time in planning bedtime so that we have the opportunity to discuss the daily happenings.  
  8. Homework Routine - We try to stick to a routine all year long, even in the summer.  We think it is especially important during the school year though.  After school, the girls can have a snack and some short downtime.  However, before dinner we like to get all of our homework done.  This allows us to make sure the girls get to bed at a reasonable time each night. 
  9. Early Bedtime - Even during the summer, our girls go to bed around 8:00pm.  I don't like to have to wake them up in the morning for school (they get cranky), so getting them to bed on time is very important.
  10. Balanced Meals - Making sure Peanut and Pumpkin get the nutrients they need to be able to concentrate during school is very important.  We try to make sure they eat a healthy and balanced, breakfast, lunch and dinner.  
In addition to these tips, I want to make sure you know about Airwear’s essay contest at www.LighterSaferGreener.com. Airwear and  Beth Aldrich are sponsoring an essay contest for consumers, encouraging parents and care-givers to share how they plan to help their kids live a healthy, safe and successful school year. Families can submit their thoughts by visiting LighterSaferGreener.com. One grand prize winner will be awarded $1,000, while 10 first prize winners will receive vouchers for Airwear lenses valued up to $400. On LighterSaferGreener.com can learn more about Airwear’s eco-friendly practices and view more of Aldrich’s tips to ensure kids have a healthy, safe and successful school year.






Safe, Healthy, Eco-friendly EyewearAirwear Back-to-school Eyewear
 


 


*Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Airwear blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, visit http://airwear.twittermoms.com/about.

Funny Friday - The Birds and the Bees (Threadless)

First, I just have to say that I am a threadless addict!  I absolutely LOVE their shirts.  Here is the next one on my long wish list from that site.


Cute, huh?  You can get one for yourself (or me!) here!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thankful Thursday - The First Tiny Tomato



Coming from a family of farmers, but not much of a gardener myself, I was thrilled to see the first tiny tomato growing on my plant. The gorgeous yellow flowers behind it indicate that more are soon to follow. Not everyone is as lucky as I am to have a small garden where I can grow cucumbers and tomatoes. Not everyone knows the delicious difference between eating a tomato from the grocery store and one picked and immediately eaten, still warm from the sun.  I am thankful for this tiny tomato and each one to follow. I appreciate the space to grow them, the time spent with my children planting and watering them, and the taste that I can already imagine (which is making my mouth water)!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Funny Friday - Joke

According to most of my family and friends, I'm a huge dork.  I can't really argue with them.  I love science humor and nerdy jokes.  I get all giddy when the girls ask a question that can be answered by setting up an experiment.  I have often said to my science friends that you can take the girl out of science, but you can't take the science out of the girl.  Before staying home with my munchkins, I was a high school science teacher.  Each summer, I would find a research lab to work in.  I was fortunate enough to do research on birds and bacteria, cardiac muscle and mice, and the genetics of trees.  I'm actually thinking of going back to school, though I still haven't decided what I want to be when I grow up.  

So . . . I've decided to make Fridays on my blog "Funny Friday".  While some of you won't agree with what I think is funny, I'm still going to share.  This week I'm beginning with a joke (found on Jupiter Scientific) - 

Q: What do chemists call a benzene ring with iron atoms replacing the carbon atoms?
A: A ferrous wheel

     Fe   -   Fe
  /                  \
Fe               Fe
  \                 /
    Fe   -   Fe


Since my girls rode a Ferris Wheel for the first time this year, it just seemed appropriate!

Feel free to share your (appropriate) jokes here too!  (Please remember that this is a family-friendly blog!)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thankful Thursday - My Magnificent Husband

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have decided to dedicate Thursday on my blog as "Thankful Thursday".  Each Thursday I will write about something I am grateful for.  Whether it is large or small, expected or not, all Thursdays will give you a little look at who I am and the ways in which I am blessed.  I'm hoping that taking time out, at least once each week, to think about how lucky I am, will make me a more appreciative person in general.

I decided to begin my Thankful Thursdays by expressing my appreciation for the one person in my life that I most take for granted - Doc, my husband. 
  1. Doc is an amazing father.  As much as I might complain about all the little things he does "wrong" (aka - not my way), there is so much that he does right.  He loves our girls with all his heart.  After a long day at work, no matter how tired he is, he will always take time out to play with them.  Whether the girls want to play Barbies, baseball, or tickle monster, he will be right there ready to join in.  In fact, just the other day Peanut wanted to have a water gun fight.  Even though it was a little cold out, and she is the only one with a big water gun, he went out and played.  He really made her day!
  2. Doc is a thoughtful husband.  On days when I am absolutely exhausted, he notices and offers to pick up supper.  He (usually) listens when I talk and remembers the little things I mention in casual conversation.  He is most often the one that will suggest that we have a date night when life seems to get in the way of our relationship. 
  3. Doc is funny.  I've noticed as the years have passed that I laugh at his jokes much less frequently.  With a bit of careful thought I've decided that I can't blame it on the fact that he's not as funny anymore since other people still laugh.  When I open my heart and mind to his humor, I am taken back to when we first met.  I am smitten with his smile and his quick wit. 
  4. Doc has a strong work ethic.  He works hard at home.  He works hard at work.  He is willing to work for everything he has and everything he wants.  He is an amazing example for our children.
  5. Doc has beautiful blue eyes.   When I look into his eyes I see our past, our present, and our future.  I can see his love for me and our children.   You often hear that "the eyes are the window to the soul".  When I look into his eyes, I know that is true!

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    The Googly Bands Craze

    Googly Bands, ZanyBandz, Silly Bandz, Rubba Bandz, Logo Bandz, Crazy Bands . . .

    To be honest, I have no idea which of these brands came first.  I tried for as long as I could to ignore the silicone bracelet trend.  My kids are pretty "sheltered" when it comes to most marketing ploys.  We don't get cable TV, so they only watch PBS, which has very limited commercials.   When Zhu Zhu pets were all the rage, they had no idea what they were.  I have never felt compelled to stand in long lines, wake up ridiculously early, or pay exorbitant prices for the latest and greatest fad.  Fortunately (or not), these bracelets are everywhere.  You can find them at the grocery store, the pharmacy, online, and on just about every child you see.  As a result, my oldest daughter has now decided that she just loves these bracelets.  She adores the designs and appreciates the color coordinating she can do with her outfits every day.  I love that they are fairly reasonably priced and an easy reward to give the girls when they have earned one.

    For those of you that are also part of the Googly Bands craze, I thought you might like to know that they are having a retirement party on Facebook tomorrow at 2pm.
    From Googly Bands: 
    As you may know, Googly Bands is officially retiring all Series 2 bands. We would like to invite you and all of your readers to join us in the Official Retirement Party this Thursday, July 15, at 2p.m. PST. Rules will be posted at 2pm at Facebook.com/googlybands. We will give out tons of prizes live at our hour-long party. We hope to see you and your readers there!
    I'll be there hoping to win some great prizes for my kiddos and would love to see some of my readers there too!


    *Disclaimer:  I wrote this post for a chance to win some Googly Bands for my kiddos. 

    Wordless Wednesday - Sorry Barney and Betty . . . but the geese LOVE your yard!

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    Regretsy: Where DIY Meets WTF

    Description (from Amazon):
    HANDMADE? IT LOOKS LIKE YOU MADE IT WITH YOUR FEET.

    A chicken poncho. A painting of a corn dog. A clock made out of an old “mostly clean” cheese grater. All this and more await you in the pages of Regretsy, a veritable sideshow of handcrafts gone wrong. Based on the eponymous hit blog and arranged in categories such as D├ęcor, Pet Humiliation, and Christmas, Regretsy showcases the best of the worst, ranging from the hilariously absurd to the purely horrifying. Each page of this jaw-dropping volume features the actual seller’s online listing with a light coat of snarky commentary to give it a good shellacking. So join us as we descend into handmade hell and gawk, gasp, and marvel at the disturbingly odd artifacts that Regretsy has collected for your viewing pleasure, proving that you can never have too much of a bad thing.
    I had never heard of the book nor the website, Regretsy.  So, when I received a copy of the book in the mail I glanced over it and thought, "Eh, I'll get to it."  Last night was the night.  Not feeling like watching TV, browsing the internet, or reading a "real" book, I picked it up.  Figuring that I'd probably fall asleep reading it, I went to bed so that I'd be in place when boredom struck and the book fell to the floor.  At 154 pages, it definitely isn't a long read, but I couldn't believe how quickly I read through it . . . and how many times I actually laughed out loud.  In fact, Doc was trying to sleep next to me when he rolled over and said, "What is so funny?  I might have to go in the other room so I can actually sleep."  While the book is impossible to describe, it is hilarious.  I enjoyed it so much that I went to the website this morning to see what other unique creations and commentary there were to be found.  While the website was definitely amusing, I have to say that I enjoyed the book even more.  I plan to pass this book on to my sister next.  They keep reading material in their bathroom, and I have to say that this is an ideal bathroom reader. 

    Note:  All opinions and experiences are my own.  I did not receive any products or compensation in exchange for this review.

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    House Rules by Jodi Picoult - Review

    From Jodi Picoult's website:
    HOUSE RULES is about Jacob Hunt, a teenage boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. He’s hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject – in his case, forensic analysis. He’s always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do…and he’s usually right. But then one day his tutor is found dead, and the police come to question him. All of the hallmark behaviors of Asperger’s – not looking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, inappropriate affect – can look a heck of a lot like guilt to law enforcement personnel -- and suddenly, Jacob finds himself accused of murder. HOUSE RULES looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way – but lousy for those who don’t.
    Honestly, the synopsis of the book really didn't make me interested in reading House Rules at all.  Previously, I had read and enjoyed My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult.  The fact that her writing style is easy to read and really draws you in to the characters was my primary motivation to pick up this book.  That being said, once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down.  Within 48 hours, I read all 532 pages of this book.  The book was very well written and definitely an enjoyable read.  Throughout the book, I came to really care about each of the characters.  I wanted them all to find a way to be happy and experience some closure in their lives. 

    At the end of the book, I was slightly disappointed.  In My Sister's Keeper, I ended up being surprised by the turn of events.  House Rules didn't offer me that surprise, nor did it offer me a sense of finality.  I felt like I knew "what happened" about half way through the book and wanted loose ends to be tied.  When the book ended, I almost felt that it should have said, "to be continued . . . " since there was so much more I wanted to know. 

    Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to my family and friends.  It provided me with some interesting insight into an individual with Asperger's and the struggles a family might have in dealing with this disorder.  Not having any direct contact with a child with Asperger's, I would be curious to hear the reaction of someone that has experienced similar trials and tribulations.

    Note:  All opinions are my own.  I did not receive any product or compensation for this review.

    Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Our Summer Bonding Project

    My girls LOVE crafts.  They are both pretty artistic, very creative, and are always excited to show off their creations.  Unfortunately, as a non-artistic mom, it is sometimes hard for me to come up with ideas and projects for my girls to work on.   When I do come up with something, I often find that it is actually an activity that I have to do most of the work for.  At 4 and 6, Pumpkin and Peanut are not ready for glue-guns and sharp scissors.  So I end up crafting while listening to them ask, "Is it my turn yet?" and "When do I get to do something?"

    When Twittermoms and GlueDots offered mom bloggers the opportunity to receive some free GlueDots to use in projects with our kids, I was thrilled!  I received the GlueDots in the mail and waited for more information on exactly what we'd be doing with them.  While I was a little disappointed that I didn't receive detailed instructions on specific projects to do with my kiddos (remember, I am not very creative), I was thrilled with the amount of GlueDots I did receive.  With that many, I could try several projects and not worry about running out before we found the perfect craft for our family.



    After much debate and negotiation, the girls and I decided to create flower clips for their hair using the GlueDots.  Peanut and Pumpkin have received some gorgeous hair clips from Little Diva Tutus this past year.  People would always compliment them on the clips when they would wear them, which made them want to wear them more often.  Unfortunately, they didn't have enough to match every outfit, and I wasn't willing to buy them any more.  Flower hair clips are a little expensive, especially when they tend to get lost.   So, we set out on a mission to find the perfect flowers and clips in order to create the ideal hair accessory.  Here is what we ended up with:



    I couldn't be more thrilled with the process and the end product.  The girls had a great time and were both able to participate fully in making these clips.  After a trip to Pat Catan's to pick up the flowers, butterflies, felt, and clips, we were ready to go.  For the flowers, the girls used the Craft GlueDots to attach the layers of the flowers together.  They used the Mini GlueDots to attach the gem to the middle of the flower.  I still ended up using a glue gun to attach the flower to the clip with a piece of felt.  For the butterflies, I used a gluegun to attach a piece of felt to the clip and the girls used the Craft GlueDots to attach the butterfly to the felt.  The clips were very easy to make and so inexpensive.  I think we might recreate this process as an activity for Pumpkin's birthday this fall. 


    For more information on GlueDots and fun projects you can do with your kids, be sure to check out their facebook page here

    Disclaimer:  I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Glue Dots blogging contest to be eligible to receive a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

    Thursday, July 8, 2010

    Better Than Ever

    Just this morning I decided that I am going to start a new weekly post on my blog.  The topic will be "Thankful Thursday!"  I'm sure that I'm borrowing the idea from someone, but for the life of me I can't figure out who.  What I do know, is that I have an awesome family and an amazing life for many reasons.  I also know that I tend to focus on the negative rather than the positive.  This regular Thursday post will help me to focus on the great things that I have and am able to do in my life.   I know that when I think about it, my life right now really is "Better Than Ever"!  Here are just a few of the reasons:
    • My girls are 4 and 6 - While I LOVED my girls when they were babies, and I sometimes still miss that stage, I have to say that I wouldn't go back.  I love that they are little people with huge personalities.  I love that they can tell me what they want without crying and throwing temper tantrums.  I love that they can tell jokes and make me laugh.  I love that we can carry on a long conversation with neither of us becoming bored.   While it might not seem possible, every day I love them more!
    • We love where we live! - It was two years ago this past May that we moved to the home we are now living in.  I was happy when we made the move, but now I am ecstatic.  We have a gorgeous view, awesome neighbors, and spectacular friends.   On the weekends our home is busy with family and friends, but during the week it is like we live on an island all to ourselves.  It is the perfect combination of peace, relaxation, and fun.
    You can read why other people's lives are "Better Than Ever" now too, here.  Maybe it will inspire you to take a new look at your own life and express appreciation for all the ways it is better than it was in the past.

    It is funny that I had this idea earlier today, then received notification that Twittermoms is offering bloggers like me the opportunity to tell our readers why our life is better than ever.  Twittermoms is working with Dove to get the word out about their new better than ever NutriumMoisture as well as their facebook contest where you can win a weekend getaway or other prizes worth thousands of dollars.  Here are the highlights of that contest:
    Better Than Ever Facebook Photo Contest
    Dove® gofresh™ just got better with a boost of NutriumMoisture™. Now we’re asking: What in your life is better than ever? Visit the Dove® gofresh™ tab on Facebook and enter the "Better Than Ever" photo contest!

    Submit a “before” photo and a “now” photo in one of the categories below and tell us how your life is better than ever for your chance to win a spa weekend getaway, cash prizes and more!

    Choose from these categories:

    Play: Have you gone from bunking up in hostels to staying in quality hotels? Have your vacations gone from spring break to lifetime adventures with family and friends? Tell us how you’ve enhanced your passions.

    Love: Did you exchange a burn-out boyfriend for a loving man? College parties for dinner parties? Show us how your relationships have evolved.

    Live: You used to microwave mac n’ cheese but now you cook meals made from scratch. You used to share an apartment but now you’re decorating your own pad. Show us how your living has gone from surviving to stylin’.

    Style: Have you upgraded your hairstyle? Traded trucker hats for ballet flats? Show us how you’ve come into your own when it comes to style.
    Disclaimer:  I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Dove® gofresh™ blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card and some product. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010

    WINNER Headboards, Cookware, and Toys - Oh My!

    I am happy to announce the winner for the $50 CSN gift card. Out of 119 entries, random.org selected 109 as the lucky number. The winner has been contacted and confirmed.





    ap66215 said...

    This waffle maker looks fun http://www.cookware.com/Cuisinart-WMR-CA-CUI1093.html?cv=


    Congrats! I hope you enjoy the wafflemaker or whatever else you choose to buy with your gift card.  Many thank to CSNStores.com for sponsoring the giveaway and to all who entered to make this my most popular giveaway yet!

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    In Bed By 8:00

    According to our neighbors, Doc and I run a pretty tight ship.  As a general rule, the girls are on a pretty strict schedule.  They are in bed by 8:00 pm 95% of the time, whether it is a school night, weekend, or even the summer.  This past week has not been a typical week.  Between a trip to Cedar Point, Fireworks with the neighbors, a campfire and smores with friends, etc. we have been lucky to get the girls in bed by 10:00.   Last night we got the girls in bed by 8:00 again!   Ahhhh . . . I love the structure in our lives!