Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Follow 3

Welcome to the Friday Follow celebration hosted by One 2 Try, Hearts Make Families and Midday Escapades! We invite you to join us every Friday to get more blog followers and to follow other interesting blogs. It is all about sharing and having fun.

Friday Follow


Here's how YOU can join the celebration:
-- Link up your blog name and URL using the MckLinky below.
You only need to ad your info on one blog to be seen on all of the blog hops!

--Follow the Friday Follow hostesses listed in the first three slots. We will follow you back.

--Follow as many blogs as you like.

--Comment on the blogs telling them you're from Friday Follow.

--Follow back when you get a new follower through Friday Follow.


MckLinky Blog Hop

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Weigh in Wednesday ~Blog the Weight Away!

Time to check in! Let's see how our teams are doing.

This week, I'd like to introduce you to the BLACK TEAM-
Patricia from LittlesRuleTheRoost.blogspot.com
Anabelle Meettheboyles.blogspot.com
Charissa from Mimisbabiesgifts.blogspot.com
Alicia from aliciamarie112.wordpress.com

In case you didn't notice, the Black team is the ONLY team with 4 players, BUT their weight loss goals average higher than the other teams.. (not by a lot, ladies!)

Please visit all of our contestants and show your support. Don't forget, if we've inspired you to get healthier this year post your link to show us YOUR progress too.




MckLinky Blog Hop

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Blog the Weight Away

What a week! Last weekend was my birthday, and I spent it sick. I couldn't breathe, nauseous to the point where I actually took a home pregnancy test just to make sure, and completely felt like death warmed over. I went to the gym 4 out of 7 days though, and played the JUST DANCE on the Wii at a friends house-- HOLY MOLY, I love this game!!!! Seriously, I vote this game as one of the best games I've ever played, and it was SO much fun! If you have a Wii, buy this game- I promise you'll love it!!

Anyway.. Here's my update:

Your start date: 1/5/2010   
Starting weight/height: 314.8   5' 10"  
Goal weight: 220   
Last weigh-in weight: 316   
Last weigh-in date: 1/26/2010   
Weeks (days) on Program: 3 (21)   
Total to lose: 94.8   
Lost so far: -1.2    
Pounds to go: 96   
Average loss/week: -0.4   
Est. weeks (days) to go: N/A   
Percent of body weight lost: -0.4 %  
Number of weigh-ins:  
Adult BMI (what's this?):
45.3 

Thanks to Weighttracker.info, I will be posting my plus or minuses using this graph each week. Unfortunately, I gained two pounds this week, but I think it's muscle.. You can totally tell that I'm losing inches, but I need to have the trainer measure me this week. I will update this graph as soon as I get those numbers for you all.

Be sure to check out the MckLinky in the next post to read the progress of my teammates, as well as all of the competitors participating in Blog the Weight Away!


 

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Get a “TASTE” of READING With Super Why!

Hip Hip Hooray! Super WHY whips up a whole new reading-powered adventure when the Super Readers soar into the pages of a cookbook for the very first time!

Super WHY and the Cookbook will premiere January 29 on PBS stations from coast to coast (check local listings). Whyatt wants to bake his little sister a special birthday cake - but he doesn't know how. So Super Why and his friends soar into a new kind of book - and get the information they need from a rhyming chef with a silly sense of humor as well as a recipe for fun! In the end, Whyatt learns how to create the perfect birthday for Baby Joy.

Here are some awesome tips to help you cook up your very own yummy reading adventure! Encouraging preschoolers to read recipes, signs and more helps them navigate their world and gives them a real reason to use their new-found literacy skills. Asking questions will expand their creativity as well as reinforce comprehension. It can also inspire them to write their own signs, recipes or stories!


* Pick out a simple and tasty recipe with your budding Super Reader. Ask them to point out all of the letters and words they already know in the ingredients

* Write a grocery list together, sounding out the words as you go along

* At the supermarket, have your kids help read the signs so you can find the ingredients you need

* As you cook, read the recipe out loud every step of the way

* Before serving your delicious treat, create colorful place cards for each member of the family, assisting your preschooler in writing out the names. Have fun – and bon appetite!


Each episode of Super WHY, the award-winning literacy series from Out of the Blue Enterprises, engages young viewers in fun, interactive alphabet and word games, as well as imagination-stimulating spelling, vocabulary and comprehension activities, helping to instill a life-long love of reading all along the way!

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Monday, January 25, 2010

SLEEP NO MORE by Susan Crandall REVIEW +GIVEAWAY!


Synopsis:
DANGER NEVER RESTS
The night was always Abby Whitman’s enemy. As a young girl she walked in her sleep, and one night, started a fire that scarred her sister for life and left Abby with unbearable guilt, and a loneliness that echoes within her.

AND EVIL NEVER CLOSES ITS EYES
Now Abby has begun blacking out again—with apparently fatal results. A car accident has killed the son of a prominent family. Even though the evidence seems to exonerate her, Abby is plagued by doubts—and soon by mysterious threats. A young psychiatrist, Dr. Jason Coble, is intrigued by Abby and offers to help her explore the dark recesses in her mind. Through this terrifying journey, Jason’s interest turns to passion, and he yearns to give her the love she craves. But first, Abby must trust him—and shed light on secrets that will rock this Southern town and reveal a danger that threatens them both.


Sleep No More is a great suspensful romance novel, with a plain Jane heroine with major issues, that is jam-packed with twist and turns. A real page turner, this book is easy to read in just a day- and best of all, although the ending seems predictable, you will be surprised.

I loved how Susan Crandall weaved all of the tangles of the relationship between Jason, his ex-wife Lucy, and his children along with the story. You feel the anger, hurt, and confusion of his teenage son, and can relate to his exhasperation as a parent, as he's dealing with his son and his teeneage mood swings.

 This romance novel does have romantic scenes, but none that are sexually explicit. The suspense/psychological thriller theme played a much stronger role in this novel. This is the first book that I have read by Susan Crandall, and look forward to reading more of her novels in the future.

 Book Specs:
Title: SLEEP NO MORE
Author: Susan Crandall
Size: 4-3/16" x 6-3/4"
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Forever; Original edition (January 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 044655684X
ISBN-13: 978-0446556842
Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 4 x 1.2 inches

WANT IT?
Visit your local book store or Amazon.com to purchase your copy of SLEEP NO MORE.

WIN IT!
FIVE of our lucky readers are going to win a copy of SLEEP NO MORE!

Here's how:
Leave a comment on this post about why YOU want to win this book.

Extra entries:
  • Subscribe to 4BabyAndMom by email (it must be validated to count)
  • Follow 4BabyAndMom publicly through blogger/google friends
  • Follow 4BabyAndMom on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. You may tweet something on your own or use this: "Enter to win the book SLEEP NO MORE by Susan Crandall from @4BabyAndMom Ends 2/2 http://bit.ly/8s8sxY 5 WINNERS!"
  • Become a Fan of 4BabyAndMom on Facebook and share with your facebook friends
  • Grab my button and place it on your website or blog; please leave the link on your comment.
  • Leave a comment on a post that is not a giveaway
  • Enter the SEDUCED BY A ROGUE giveaway
This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada. This giveaway will end on February 2, 2010 at 11:59pm EST. The winners will be chosen using Random.org, and all winner information will be posted on our WINNERS PAGE. Any unclaimed prizes will be redrawn accordingly and at the discretion of 4BabyAndMom. Disclaimer: I received this product to review at no cost from the publisher. I received no monetary compensation for this review, and any opinions expressed are 100% my own.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

SEDUCED BY A ROGUE by Amanda Scott REVIEW + GIVEAWAY!

SEDUCED BY A ROGUE Summary:

A fair-haired beauty at 19, Lady Mairi is heiress apparent to her father Lord Dunwythie's rich barony. He has carefully taught her how to manage their estates, but a feud between his clan and the Maxwell clan is brewing as the two families edge toward a clan war - their dispute over money owed. Mairi's father believes he owes nothing, and of course Mairi sides with him.

When the impulsive and blue-eyed Rob Maxwell chances to meet Mairi in a barley field, they feel instant attraction, despite their families' antagonisms. Knowing he must put his clan first, Rob enacts a plan to force Dunwythie to pay his debt: Rob kidnaps Mairi, making the abduction appear the work of a stranger; then he and his sheriff-brother offer to help Dunwythis rescue his daughter IF, and only if, he will pay them the monies due. Yet after Rob captures Mairi's body, she captures his heart. When Dunwythie summons the aid of the most powerful clan in all Scotland (the Douglases), clan-tensions rise to a fever pitch. Love takes its own feverish course, as Mairi and Rob join forces to prevent a clash between hot-headed clans, and to protect their budding love.

Despite the Scottish accents, and old-world English (ye, lass, laird, etc), this book was a page turner. It left you excited to see what happened between the clans, anxious to see if Rob and Mairi would submit to their wants, and eager to see if the loyalty to their namesakes can be overlooked at the price of love.

I loved the fact that the book is based on a real life story as explained in the back of the book. This was my first time reading a regency romance novel, but the way that Amanda Scott writes, you feel like you are right there in the book. It was a very well rounded plot, and I must admit, I am very eager to read the next book in the series due to be released this upcoming summer.

Book Specs:
Title: Seduced by a Rogue
Author: Amanda Scott
Format: MASS MARKET
Publish Date: 1/1/2010
Price: $6.99/$8.99
ISBN: 9780446541343
Pages: 400
Size: 4-3/16" x 6-3/4"

Want it?
Visit Amazon.com to purchase SEDUCED BY A ROGUE or any other of Amanda Scott books.

WIN IT!
Thanks to the Hatchette Books, 5 lucky readers have their chance to WIN a copy of their own!

Here's How:
Leave me a comment on why you want to win this book. Include your email address in your comment, please.

Extra entries:
  • Subscribe to 4BabyAndMom by email (it must be validated to count)
  • Follow 4BabyAndMom publicly through blogger/google friends
  • Follow 4BabyAndMom on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. You may tweet something on your own or use this: "Enter to win the book SEDUCED BY A ROGUE by Amanda Scott from @4BabyAndMom Ends 2/1 http://bit.ly/5PrVBO 5 WINNERS!"
  • Become a Fan of 4BabyAndMom on Facebook and share with your facebook friends
  • Grab my button and place it on your website or blog; please leave the link on your comment.
This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada. This giveaway will end on February 1, 2010 at 11:59pm EST. The winners will be chosen using Random.org, and all winner information will be posted on our WINNERS PAGE. Any unclaimed prizes will be redrawn accordingly and at the discretion of 4BabyAndMom.  Disclaimer: I received this product to review at no cost from Hatchette Books. I received no monetary compensation for this review, and any opinions expressed are 100% my own.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Six new winners chosen, more to come!

Just a gentle reminder to please check our winners page to see if you've won one of our great prizes from our Hyped for the Holidays promotion or recent giveaways.

Check it out now here: WINNERS PAGE

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

This is me, and where I want to go.. and where I've come from.

In High School, a mere 10 years ago, I thought I was fat. I couldn't stand the way my arms jiggled, and when I sat, my stomach had a "roll". Now, I often joke that I have more rolls than our local bakery- but that's besides the point.

As a teen, I was very over-critical, and promised myself I would never allow myself to get over a certain amount of weight.. after marriage, two kids, (and a ton of bedrest because of the aforementioned children), I watched the numbers on the scale tick forward, and not stop. The lack of motivation, lack of will, sheer laziness and procrastination- not to mention total denial that I had actually gained as much as I did- kept me from putting the right foot in front of the other.

I know that I will never look as I did in High School- nor do I want to, because at almost 6 feet tall I honestly think I was a little too skinny, looking back. My goals now are different than they were a year ago, five years ago, even a decade ago. I want to be able to run again- as I used to recreationally- I want to feel good about myself when I look into my mirror, I want my husband and my kids to be proud of me. I want my words to be taken with the matured authority and respect that I deserve, and I want to be able to have the confidence to put my ideas into motion, to create, and influence those around me for the better.

My actual weight loss goal is a hefty one- in total, I'd like to lose over 100lbs; for now- I'm giving myself a more attainable goal of 50lbs, and to look stunning in the bridesmaid dress I will be wearing in August.I have a great support group "IRL" (in real life) and online, and cannot wait to share this journey with you all.

A lot of you asked whether or not I would be posting my actual weight, and how it would affect my site as a representative of "who I am" to my clients, and for my business. Frankly, I would hope that my sponsors, partners, clients, and peers know me well enough to know that this public journey is keeping me accountable, will improve my individual moral, and the health benefits of turning my life around will allow me to continue my business for many more years to come.

There was a point in time where I would have been too embarrassed by the giant number that I would have never posted it.. but as I will never EVER see this number again, I will admit to you all that I officially weighed in at the gym at a whopping 314.8 pounds.

 This is a current full body shot of me, just after I got back from the gym. This is the first full body shot that I've allowed online in a very, very long time.

I am so excited about turning my life around, and getting "myself" back.. The drive, the energy, the confidence. Anyone that knew me in high school would have told you that I carried myself with great confidence, and that is what I miss the most.

So join me in saying good-bye to the old, overweight me, and feel free to email, tweet, or comment on any (non-giveaway) post asking me what I did at the gym, if I went today, if I stayed within my points for the day, etc. I need your online support and encouragement as much as I need my real life support system.

Feel free to visit *MY* other teammates, as well as the MckLinky post to get to know all of the BLOG YOUR WEIGHT AWAY competitors.

With much thanks for your support,










Show your support to the rest of The Blue Team:
Brandy from HappilyBlended.com
Our Goal weight loss as a team: 170

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Blog the Weight Away~ Weigh in Wednesday

So, "Blog the Weight Away" has officially commenced!

Over the next few days, you will get to know all of our teams a little better. I hope that our stories and journey inspire you to get off of that sofa and get motivated to 'Blog the Weight Away' along with our teams! Every Wednesday we will post our "weigh in posts", sharing with our readers how much we've lost, what we've learned, and how our road to becoming healthier has been that week. We ask that you all leave comments to support and encourage us, and if you are participating at home, to link to us as well, so we can share this journey with you.

Marissa@4BabyAndMom will also be participating as captain of a "non competitive team", so if you have any questions or would like that extra accountability, please feel free to contact her at 4BabyAndMom at gmail dot com.


To link using this MckLinky please use this format: Name/Blog Name, Color of Team
This MckLinky will be open for 2 days to new links.

MckLinky Blog Hop

   

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Monday, January 18, 2010

The Tea Set- 100% of Sales Go To Haiti Relief

NYC based tea company announces that 100% of their sales from today, January 18th, through January 22nd will be donated directly to organizations helping Haiti.

Whether you live in or around New York City, now is a great time to take a tour of teas from THE TEA SET. Learn more about their couture teas, 'his & hers' teas, organic teas, fashionista teas and more!

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

I've been having a rough week...

You all know that in life things come up. Well this week has been especially difficult for me. I have two sisters, the oldest passed away in 1995. She was 25, and the 14th would have been her 40th birhtday. For some reason this birthday really seemed to knock me on my ass affect me more than years before.

This year my family is broken. My parents, after 43 years of marriage got a divorce; this is the first time (since Colleen passed away) that my family has been so damaged. My father has basically disappeared- which for a daddy's girl like me, has been very difficult. My husband doesn't get it, and thinks I'm hormonal. I probably am, but that's besides the point. 

Today is my birthday, and instead of being able to enjoy it with my FULL family- I'm down a sister, down a dad because of no other reasoning but his own, have a mom with cancer, another sister with something going on the doctors can't seem to pinpoint, and, well,  my stomach is in knots. Why do I let my emotions affect me so much?

It's weeks like this that I really hate being a female, miss Long Island, and wish I lived in a cottage far, far away.. with plumbing, of course!

Wishing you all a great three day weekend.


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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday- Feathered Bangs

Better late then never!


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Healthy Tuna, Healthy You! Plus, My Recipe for MUSH

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of HealthyTuna.com. All opinions are 100% mine.


There is a lot of confusion about eating seafood during your pregnancy; many women find themselves wanting seafood, but worrying about which types of seafood are safe. While it's true that pregnant women should stay away from fish high in mercury (shark, mackerel, swordfish, tilefish), it is actually SMART to eat seafood during pregnancy.

In September of 2008, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study where "researchers followed over 25,000 Danish mother/child pairs to determine the overall effect of maternal fish intake during pregnancy on child development. Mothers were interviewed about how much fish they ate, and then about their children’s developmental milestones like crawling and putting words together. Compared with women who ate the least fish, women with the highest fish intake (2 ounces per day on average) had children 25% more likely to have higher developmental scores at 6 months and almost 30% more likely to have higher scores at 18 months."

You can read more studies and articles about how seafood, especially tuna, is great for you during your pregnancy and while breastfeeding at healthy tuna.com.

I love eating tuna and actually ate it throughout both of my pregnancies. My OB told me that tuna was a great source of protein, and my body craved it. I loved it as a sandwich but craved it so much, I needed to find other ways to eat it; it was then that I started experimenting and came up with my favorite tuna recipe.

My husband loved it and asked what it was called, and threw me so off guard that I called it "Mush".. 'Mush' has been a staple in our house, and a well rounded meal when you're short on time or finances.

Here is the recipe:

MUSH- Tuna, Noodles, and Veggies all in 1 Pan!


If you're looking for an affordable dinner to make that combines a great source of protein with starch and veggies, MUSH is a great meal to make for dinner!

Ingredients:
  • 1 large can of tuna (or 2 smaller ones) ($2)
  • 1 pkg. ramen-style noodles (w/o seasoning packet) ($0.20)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped onion (+/- depending on preference) ($0.35)
  • 1-3 cloves of fresh garlic ($0.20)
  • 1 can of mixed vegetables ($0.80)
  • 1 can of chicken broth ($1.45)
  • EVOO, salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, grated parmesan, to taste.
Total cost: approx: $5

Method:

Lightly coat the bottom of a large skillet with EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil).
Gently sautee the onions and garlic; add the tuna, and break up the chunks.
Keep the mixture moving in the pan or it will burn. Add all of your seasonings- feel free to get creative, or stick to the basic seasonings above. Keep stirring until tuna starts to pale.
Remove from heat.
Drain the can of veggies, add half of the can to the pan, stir gently.
Take the seasoning packet out of the noodles, break the noodles up, and add to the pan.
Put pan back on the heat, and add the other half of veggies, plus enough of the chicken broth to cover the noodles. Do not over fill, or it will be soupy.

Gently stir and simmer on low until noodles are cooked ~8-10 minutes.


NOTE: The first time you make this you really have to play with the spices; everytime you make this, it will taste better. Most of the broth should be absorbed into the noodles, if it's not, you may need to keep simmering, or remove excess liquid. Noodles should be al dente.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. As with all of our recipes, if you make it, I'd love to know what you think.


SocialSpark Disclosure Badge

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Blog the Weight Away- Q & A

Sign ups are still open for our BLOG THE WEIGHT AWAY event!

I've received a few emails regarding criteria, so I figured I'd answer some of them for you today.


Do you need to join a gym to participate? 
NO! Absolutely not. I am, but as long as you want to make a change in your life, that's all you need.

Do I need to have a preset team, or will teams be assigned?
Teams will be assigned after sign-ups have completed. If you have another bloggy-buddy, or offline friend that would like to work out along side of you, as long as we have their info they can participate as well.

I only have 15-20 pounds I'd like to lose, can I still participate?
YES! With the obesity epidemic taking over North America, anyone that has a desire to lose weight and get healthy this year is allowed to participate. Whether you have 20 pounds or 120 pounds we want YOU to join!

How long will this event last?
Ideally, I'd like for this to last until August, however, I'm thinking that we'll do a mid-point prize to keep people motivated. Any feedback for those of you who have participated in events like this would be greatly appreciated.


Are we going to win anything?
Besides a healthier you, you mean- right? I am working with several companies right now to be able to put together a great gift basket for our "winning team". Although, I foresee a vote coming up in our future about how to officially determine the winner.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So that's that! If you've filled out a sign up form, please spread the word to your blogging buddies, and your audience. Please tweet, facebook, stumble, digg, whatever you have to do to spread the word about Blog the Weight Away! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send them to me, 4BabyAndMom at gmail dot com.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Barney Please and Thank You DVD Review + Giveaway!


If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know that my family has a soft spot for Barney. My nieces grew up watching Barney, and so did my son. Three years later, when my daughter was born, I thought perhaps we had grown away from him, but low-and-behold, it's been almost 4 years since then, and we are still loyal to that big purple dinosaur.

Yesterday, Barney Please & Thank You was released on DVD. This DVD contains three Barney episodes: Magic Words, Tea-riffic Manners, and Caring Hearts.

This DVD is a great lesson on teaching good manners to your preschool and goes through all of the reasons why it's important to have good manners.


WANT IT?
Visit your local electronics or movie store to purchast Barney Please and Thank You on DVD or shop online for this title and others like it.

WINNER!

This giveaway has ended. Disclosure: The product mentioned above was provided to me, at no cost, by a representative from the PR firm promoting this item. I did not accept monetary compensation for reviewing or writing about this experience, and all opinions expressed are my own.


Please visit our WINNERS PAGE for more info on how to officially claim your prize!

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Thomas & Friends Splish, Splash, Splosh Review + Giveaway!




This brand new release hits the shelves today!

From the press release:
From Lionsgate And HIT Entertainment
DVD SRP: $14.98

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
Soak up adventure with Thomas and his engine friends as they travel around the Island of Sodor in the all-new Thomas & Friends™ Splish Splash Splosh arriving on DVD January 5, 2010 from Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment. Teaching timeless life lessons such as discovery, friendship and cooperation, the Thomas & Friends animated series invites children to enter a world of imagination through the tracks of a train and the words of a story.


The new host, Driver Perkins is new on the Island of Sodor, and can be seen ONLY on DVD. Driver Perkins helps out Sir Topham Hatt, all of Sodor’s engines and the train engineers. This friendly character also engages children with interactive dialogue and extra fun, like showing how to make a cake that looks just like Thomas and more!


DVD SYNOPSIS
Even when it’s wet outside you can still have plenty of fun, especially when you share your adventures with Thomas & Friends! Grab your galoshes and join the team as they prepare for rainy day visits and sudsy spills, and then get unstuck from a snowy situation in this collection of stories from the Island of Sodor.


The DVD includes the following episodes:
Playtime, Splish Splash Splosh, Slippy Sodor, and Snow Tracks


DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
All-new interactive games:
Lift and Load Crane Game and Counting with Thomas Game


Our family had the opportunity to review Splish, Splash Splosh!, and by far, this is one of my favorite Thomas DVD's. The episodes on it are entertaining and fun to watch. The kids loved the real people, as well as the animated trains and new friend Charlie. Once I even caught them shouting at the TV for the trains to "Slow Down" and "stop" because it was too wet outside. This DVD opened up a great discussion about the weather between my husband and kids, filled with oodles of questions like, "Why would the train have problems stopping, daddy?". Both of the children enjoyed every minute of this DVD, and my son especially loved the special features Lift and Load game.

This is a great dvd to add to your collection, especially if you're a Thomas and Friends Fan, and I would definitely reccommend it to friends and family with children from toddlers-early elementary school age.

WANT IT?
Head to your nearest electronics store and pick up this brand new release- in stores today. Splish, Splash, Splosh! is also available at online retailers, such as Amazon.com.

WINNER!
This giveaway has ended. Disclosure: The product mentioned above was provided to me, at no cost, by a representative from the PR firm promoting this item. I did not accept monetary compensation for reviewing or writing about this experience, and all opinions expressed are my own.

Please visit our WINNERS PAGE for more info on how to officially claim your prize!

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Blog the Weight Away- Looking for Mom Bloggers that want to Lose Weight!


This week I am joining Shapes with some of my gal pals, and need you- my followers and fellow bloggers- to help me stay accountable. Right now, we got a great promotion- only $10 down and $30 a month- plus, it's right up the road!

While thinking of ways to stay accountable, I decided what would be better than incorporating what I do now and Blog the Weight Away! As a long time fan of The Biggest Loser, I envisioned a blogger's biggest loser of sorts.. sans skimpy weigh in clothes. With the new season starting just days away, I decided I'm not going to be a spectator this year, but I'm going to compete too!

I am currently seeking 3-5 teams (depending on response) to 'compete' weekly against each other publicly. "Official" teams will be determined after enrollment is closed.  Bloggers will be required to post as a group twice a week, and posts should include pictures, measurements, weight (start and current). You may post more frequently, but it is not required. This is strictly for fun and should not feel like work or obligation, but incentive and motivation.


If you are interested in forming a team, or joining a team, please fill out this form to tell us more about yourself! Please tell your audience about this incentive to get fit!


If you are a representative of a fitness related product or company and would like to participate or have a product reviewed, please email 4BabyAndMom at gmail dot com for more details!




ETA: As of 9pm EST 1/5/10, there are 12 bloggers and 3 friends that would like to participate! Please keep spreading the word! Sign up's end on Saturday 12pm EST; all participants will receive an email on Sunday with further details.  I am so excited, and hope that you are too!!

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

I'm going to be a Bridesmaid!



One of my very dear friends up in New York, Kristy, just called me and asked me to be one of her bridesmaids this August!

I am so super excited for her and her fiancee, and am officially on the road to weightloss as the dress to the right is going to be the gown I'm supposed to wear.. only in a deep purple, and don't want to look like a supersized Barney. I want to look elegant and sophisticated, and the best part is that I will have a weekend away without the kids or Bri!

I am a little nervous, because the date of the wedding is right around the start of the school year down here, but I already called my mom & dad to tell them I might need their help.

Did I mention how excited I am?? EEEK! New York, here I come!!

Congrats to Kristy and Rich!

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The Cutest Little Tax Deduction-- December Babies Can Win Big!

There is still one week left to enter America's Cutest Last-Minute Tax Deduction Contest! Moms of new December babies have a chance to win $5000!

All Moms would agree that the joy that comes from having a new baby is priceless! The sweet sounds of cooing, chubby cheeks and the intimate bond between parent and child can make any family feel rich with love. But, as any new parents can attest, raising children can have an impact on your checkbook, as well as your heart. In fact, the typical family spends more than $221,000 raising a child through age 17.

Thanks to TurboTax®, one "last-minute" baby will help his or her parents save a bundle.

TurboTax® the nation's No. 1 rated, best-selling tax preparation software from Intuit Inc. is conducting its third annual nationwide search for America's Cutest Last-Minute Tax Deduction. The parents of one lucky baby, born in December 2009, will win $5,000.

To enter, parents or legal guardians should submit a photo of their baby born between Dec. 1-31, to www.cutesttaxdeduction.com. The deadline for submissions is January 7, 2010. Judges will select 10 finalists, and America will determine America's Cutest Last-Minute Tax Deduction and the $5,000 grand prize winner!

So what are you waiting for, new moms?? Enter to win now, and congratulations!!

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WEEKEND PROJECT by Punch! Software Makes Remodeling Easy

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Punch!. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have so many goals and dreams for my house. For me, it boils down to what I would do if I had some extra money laying around. I would want to put cabinets in the laundry room, pretty tile or wood floor in the playroom and bedrooms; then I would rip up the horrible tiles in my living room, dining area, and kitchen. Sometimes extra money isn't the only way you can redo your house.. sometimes all it needs is just a different color in the living room to make your house look completely different.

Punch! Software has released a new design software called Weekend Project featuring tips from TV personality Kristian Cunningham. This innovative program allows you to make the changes you envision for your room without the frustrations, and allows you to customize every detail so that your final decision is what you truly want.

My husband would have loved it if I had this program about 8 months ago when I decided to repaint the living room. I found the perfect swatch at my local home goods store, and low-and-behold, on the wall it looked HORRIBLE! I ended up changing it to a color I wasn't crazy over, and now it's my absolute favorite, but I've known many friends that have done the very same thing- multiple times. Not only is it a waste of your time and money, but it causes strain and tension and by the time you finally find the right color for your walls, you barely want to complete it.

WEEKEND PROJECT takes the frustration out of designing and makes it easy, so anyone can do it. Plus, you can change your mind a hundred-and-ten times without your bank account (or husband!) feeling the pinch.

Check out the example below for a sneak peek at how simple the software is:



For more information on WEEKEND PROJECT please visit:
http://bit.ly/3UGCWX
http://bit.ly/1Zq1s6



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Friday, January 1, 2010

For Brandy...

I normally don't repost messages found on others blogs, but this one really hit home. I found the repost here: http://blondeinablog.blogspot.com.   I hope and pray that a cure is just around the corner for H.A.D and the many people that battle cancer every year.

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My name is brandy. And I have a blog.

And a plea.

I use my blog to showcase the crazy I meet everyday, share the stories of the kids I teach and document my love for tequila, dairy products and the abdominal muscles of Ryan Reynolds. Rarely do I talk about personal issues on my blog- as personal as the dude that I adore (who I actually met through my blog- single ladies, let that be a very good reason to blog, the possibility of meeting someone as wonderful as my man), but I need your help. And it involves my dude.


He’s a guy who made math comics for my class, so they would love learning about addition. He’s the kinda guy who sends my friends gift cards when they are having hard times, who remembers every story I ever told him, who was the first person I celebrated with when I got a teaching job. He’s the guy who sent flowers to me at school- dozens of my favourite pink roses just because he loves me. He’s a guy who has spent a year patiently explaining (and re-explaining) everything there is to know about football during the important games when silence is preferred. He’s made me word puzzles and comics and stayed up late playing Scrabble with me (even though I beat him almost every time). He’s listened to me cry about school and family and jobs. He is everything I never knew I needed and everything I always knew I wanted.


The holidays have hit us hard. He’s recently been told he may have something called multiple myeloma- an incurable cancer, that gives a person an average of five years of continued life. Though this news has came as a shock, he continues to be exactly who has always been- spending his time worrying about me, rather than worrying about himself. He’s the most selfless individual I know- (he stayed late on Christmas Eve to work, so his co-workers could leave early) and a post like this would never be something that he would promote or encourage but when I’m overwhelmed and feeling helpless, the blogging community has always given me tremendous support and comfort, two things I desperately need at this time.


As I write this, the future is uncertain and we aren’t sure what’s happening. He’ll need to see an oncologist soon, to verify what’s going on in his body. My hope is that everyone who reads this think positive thoughts and if you are a person who prays, could you add him to your list? (You can refer to him as ‘brandy’s hot awesome dude’). If you don’t pray, please keep him in your heart.This cancer is only a possibility and I believe that the prayers and positive thoughts of people can make sure it never becomes a reality.


I want to give a big thank you to the blog owner who scraped their original blog plans and graciously put this up. My goal is to get as many people as possible to see and read this post. If you are reading this and want to help, copy and paste my plea into your blog or send a link through twitter, so more people can keep him in their thoughts. I would be so very grateful (even more grateful than I am to my friend who first showed me the picture of Ryan Reynolds on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. If you haven’t seen it, google it. You. Are. Welcome).


I realize this all sounds dramatic, a Lifetime movie in the making- but this is life. Right now. And I’m throwing away any hint of ego and am humbly asking for you to pray or think kind thoughts. If you are able to pass this on, thank you and if you know anything regarding MM- please email me (my email is on my blog). This isn’t a call for sympathy or a plea for pity. It’s just one girl hoping you can think positive thoughts for the person she adores. If my current heartache provides you with anything, let it be with the reminder that life is short, love is unbending and no one knows what could happen next. Maybe it is silly, but I really do believe that positive thoughts can make a huge difference. Thank you for reading this and if you haven’t already? Please tell someone you love them today.


I did.


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You can read more from Brandy and the H.A.D. (Hot Awesome Dude) at http://brainyjane22.wordpress.com.

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