Wednesday, November 27, 2013

#WW: Thanksgiving kid art

Happy almost Thanksgiving! 

I am thankful for the creativity of children. Our home may not have the fanciest holiday decor, but I love it more than anything that could have come from a store.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Kids can make their own ice cream with a shake (and some patience)

Here is another fun holiday gift idea for the kids - Ice Cream Magic! This hand-held "shake it to make it" is a fun little gadget for kids to create and enjoy their very own ice cream flavors.

I received one Ice Cream Magic at no charge for the purposes of this review. It comes with an individual serving size hand-held mug with a spoon, both in a cute ice cream cone shape. Also an easy-to-follow instruction guide with recipe ideas on the back.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Enjoy The City #coupon books - holiday sale!

 photo EnjoyTheCity_zps98563d21.jpg
Enjoy the City is getting ready for the holidays! Everyone is making a list and checking it twice - so don't be naughty, you had better be nice!

Enjoy the City coupon books are a great holiday gift! We have enjoyed the North Atlanta books for a few years. The books are full of coupons for restaurants, attractions, entertainment, rental cars, and more! Enjoy the City coupon books feature thousands of dollars in savings at many of the area's most popular places.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Five Elf on the Shelf ideas: Funny, rated G, and "Busy Mama Approved"

Thanksgiving is almost here, which means that our elf, Sparkles, is preparing for his upcoming visit to our house. I, for one, am looking forward to his arrival. My daughter had five solid years of being sweet and almost always good. Lately, however, she has really brought the sass! I am hoping that Sparkles can whip her back into shape a little bit. And if he doesn't? Well, Santa will get a lot of questionable reports this year!

Our elf isn't as creative as some, he is just too busy! But it looks like some elves are quite the funny guys and gals! Some others are even PG-13 or worse... yikes.

Here is my favorite collection of funny and child-friendly Elf on the Shelf poses from Pinterest (ones even the busiest mamas can handle):

Click on the images to be taken to the Pin, where you can click through to any original posts as well.

Elf and Barbie on a date...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How to insert a smile into those blah pregnant days

Let's face it: pregnancy does not always bring out the gorgeous glow and happy feelings.

Especially when it is not the first child; the excitement and wonder of the new miracle-to-be just is not there, and instead it is replaced with a busy schedule and the often incessant demands of another human being.

Pregnancy can be downright miserable - from aches and pains to poor sleep to ill-fitting clothes. I have been pretty worn down this time around, which means I immediately eye the gray comfy sweatpants each and every morning. I feel like a frumpy blob, so I usually want to dress like one.

But sometimes, having a good day means allowing myself a little bit of pretty. A couple minutes of makeup and decent clothes often make me feel better. I feel more awake, less like a monster who crawled out from under the bed after tossing and turning in discomfort all night.

If you can muster up a tiny bit of effort, it is possible to insert a bit of smile into your pregnant days:

Friday, November 15, 2013

Didn't even need half the tank! Ford One Tank For Good, C-MAX hybrid

This past Wednesday was cold! I was finally 80% improved from my awful 10+ day illness, however, and bursting to get out of the house. So very thankful that I made it to the Ford One Tank For Good event!

I was provided with a Ford C-MAX Hybrid for the week (still driving it and having so much fun!) as well as three generous gift cards to host a group of local mom bloggers for breakfast, a hands-on preview of the C-MAX, and a shopping challenge for toys which would go to patients at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

We oohed and ahhed over the hands-free lift gate, the completely quiet engine, the push-button start, and the sassy styling.  
Watch a video of the hands-free lift gate here.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

15 minutes for Mom

I admit, I have forgotten most of what it is like to have a newborn. I am worried about handling two kids when the little guy is born. I am especially not looking forward to sleepless nights, constant feedings, and diapers.

But this time around, I will depend on knowledge that, surely, will surface again. I vow to be less frantic, less confused, less stressed. Most importantly, I know how crucial it is for busy moms to take time out for themselves - and I will do that. If "me" time isn't there, I do not think I will survive the first year as a mom of two.

I was recently introduced to the Graco Little Lounger; it is a rocking seat and a vibrating lounger in one.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My stylish, fun, and efficient ride for the week! #FordOneTank

Do you know what?

It is a lot of fun to play with a new car for a week! The new Ford C-MAX Hybrid was delivered to my house today.

I am already enjoying it. I don't know what I like more; all the glowing lights, the push-button start, the hands-free lift gate, or the efficiency (rated 47 MPG highway and city!). Winter winds and cold air arrived in Atlanta today, so perhaps the heated seats! I will be using those tomorrow for sure.

Stay tuned for fun photos and a recap our our upcoming #FordOneTank event, benefiting Children's Healthcare of Atlanta!

A bunch of fabulous bloggers.
A cause dear to all of our hearts.

And the Ford C-MAX.

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Ford supplied the vehicle loan at no charge and will be funding the Atlanta blogger event, including the shopping spree money for toys to go to the children's hospital. However, all opinions are 100% mine. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

When blogging gets pushed aside

Every day for the past several days, I have awoken thinking that today will the the day I feel ok again. But alas, I am still sick. Each morning I hack and cough until doubled over in pain. But I have managed, somehow, to trudge through it. Packed lunches, checked for schoolwork, sat in car line. Although I stayed at home, I kept an eye on email and work needs. I made it to my 28-week glucose test appointment after a painstaking hour in rush hour traffic (passed, thankfully!). Dinner, dishes, managing a house and a kindergartener.

Moms do not get sick days. But bloggers do. This is the one thing I can release when life is dragging me down. I know it will be here when I am ok again. It is the one thing for ME, which means it understands if I just can't make it happen sometimes. Thanks, blog. You are a good friend.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A board book for young children in glasses - #kickstarter

I have written 29 posts with the label "eyes".

Most are related to the chronicles of our experience with strabismus and eye muscle surgery. Last year was a whirlwind of heartache, stress, and a virtual roller coaster of hope vs. hopelessness. The Little Four Eyes support group provided the hand-holding that I needed, and I continue to follow the journeys of others around the globe via this amazing group.

Today's post is written by a dear guest, the founder of the Little Four Eyes site and group. 

- - - -
A board book for young children in glasses
Ann Zawistoski

I am a librarian, but even before becoming a librarian, I was a lover of books. I’ve always thought books could be a wonderful way for anyone to explore new ideas and situations, and to feel a little less alone in whatever it is that we’re facing.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

#WW: What my week looks like

Ugggggghhhh....  sick is not fun. Pregnant plus sick is even worse! I am hoping to join the land of the living again soon.

Wishing a much better Wordless Wednesday to everyone else.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Holiday gift idea: Bright Light Pillows

Note: I received a free pillow for the purposes of this review. All opinions are 100% mine. 
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Kids love lights.
Kids love rainbows.
Kids love soft and fuzzy things.

So... how about a soft and fuzzy pillow that lights up in rainbow colors? That would be the ultra plush Bright Light Pillow. Each Bright Light Pillow has multi-colored, softly changing LED lights for a soothing glow at bedtime and super-cool room decor during the day. The pillow has a simple on/off switch and automatically turns off after 15 minutes for the little ones who fall asleep.

Amelia was so excited to get this pillow! As soon as I installed the three AA batteries (not included), she took it into a dark room and ooh-ed and aah-ed over it's ever-changing glow.  She slept with it at night and said it was soft and comfortable with no feeling of bumps or wires from the lights. I intended on creeping into her room to turn it off (to save batteries), and realized that it has an auto-off function.

Bright Light Pillows come in three shapes: Square, Star, and a limited edition "beach ball". Recommended for ages 8 and up (but responsible 5-year olds may like it too!).

From Idea Village. See more of their fun products including adorable Flipeez hats via IDV Products on Facebook@IDVproducts on Twitter, or via You Tube.
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