Friday, December 31, 2010

Just wanted to say..



We wish you a very safe, prosperous, healthy, exciting, blessed, fun, wonderous, amazing, glorious, and wonderful 2011!

Marissa will be graduating college at the end of next semester and her oldest child will be graduating elementary school in June. Lots of changes are going to happen in her world, and she is excited.

This year has definitely been one of the worst for me, in about 15 years. My best memory of 2010? Finding out I did NOT have cancer. My awesome trip to Cleveland comes in as a very, very close second, and I can't wait to go back and learn more about the area. Maybe next time I can bring the family.

I am excited about the many things that 2011 has in store for our family. We have a move coming up, I'll be in another wedding in the fall, and one of my best girlfriends is due to have baby #3 in April. I can't wait!

We genuinely wish the best for you all this New Year!
What was your favorite memory of 2010??





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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

First Data eGift Social App Makes Gift Giving Easy- From Facebook!

Still need gift ideas? Did you forget about anyone? Why not try an eGift?

I will let you know when I first found out about this program, I thought, "there is no way this is going to work." As a brand new program, I did encounter a problem at the two Kmart stores that I tried to redeem the eGift at, but I do believe that it was because the cashiers honestly had no idea what it was, where it came from, or how to enter the Account Number and Pin correctly into the register. I think that as the program grows, and the employees are trained a little more on how to redeem the eGifts, it will run much more efficiently. With the insider (*wink*) knowledge that reading this review will give you, this may just be the answer to your gift giving prayers!



Here's how it works:

1. Sign into Facebook like you normally would.
2. Then visit the eGift Social App
3. Choose a store from the 10 current merchants (more are being added!)
4. Pick and Personalize your eGift- Is it a holiday gift? Birthday Gift? Give from $5-100.
5. Select who to send it to, and send your eGift instantly through email or Facebook!

You never have to leave your home (or your phone!) to give a gift, and your recipient never needs to leave to get it, or redeem it. Choose from merchants like Kmart, Sears, Dots, Sephora, Coldstone Creamery, FYE and more! If they are out shopping and didn't print out their eGift, they can look it up on their phone and give it right to the cashier.

I actually used my Kmart eGift online, and opted for in-store pick up of the items I ordered. I entered the "Account Number" for my eGift as gift card, with no dashes, then the pinnumber, and had no problems what-so-ever. I am assuming that if it was entered like that in store, it would also have no problems.

With most of my family 1500 miles away, this really provides a great opportunity to send a more personalized gift card, without the hassles of running to a store, then to the post office, then waiting three days for it to arrive, and then waiting to hear if your family received it. Just point, click, pay, and send.

It's so exciting seeing how social media is evolving, and I am really excited about eGift giving using platforms like Facebook. I can't wait for more merchants to jump on this band wagon, too!




I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of First Data and received an eGift gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.



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ThreePeasCo. Brings Couture to Christmas!


This Halloween, Abbigaile was blessed with a gorgeous pettidress from Three Peas Co. that was PERFECT for her Miss Piggy Costume. If you didn't see any of the pictures, check them out on our 4BabyAndMom Facebook Page.

During the school march, she had to wear a shirt underneath it, but even then, she still looked phenomenal! Everyone loved her dress.

Three Peas Co. carries an awesome selection of couture clothing for boys and girls. From pettidresses to animal prints, to furry faux zebra fur coats, to vintage holiday post card pj's- Three Peas Co. carries the cutest selections for your child- from tot to tween!

From Three Peas Co.:

The Three Peas Co line provides girls apparel for infants through 6 years old featuring onesies, layettes, pettiskirts, tutus, Pinaforess dress, Heirloom dress, Swing dress, bloomers, pants and accessories including hair bows.

Trois line provides girl’s apparel for 7 to teen featuring age appropriate dresses, graphic T-shirts/dresses and burnout style tees.

Drei line provides boys and guys apparel featuring graphic T-shirts, hoodies and the number one boys seller “Mommy’s Boyfriend” collection.

In the first ever Three Peas Co celebrity design collaboration, the introduction of the Tween through Teen line by Emily Grace Reaves simply called, “Emily Grace”. The exclusive “Emily Grace” line features a Day dress, jacket, party dress a purse and other accessories. Emily stared in Hannah Montana the movie and her own online show with bff Noah Cyrus called Emily and Noah show. Emily just completed filming the movie “Melissa” with Christopher Atkins and is casted for the upcoming film “Soulstice” as Skyla Tremain.

Three Peas Co. apparel’s fast rise in the Kids and Teens fashion industry has been highlighted with a growing list of young Hollywood Celebrities wearing the brand at media events, on the red carpet, Print advertisements and videos. Celebrities wearing Three Peas Co. apparel include: Noah Cyrus, Emily Grace Reeves, Brittany Curran, Madison Delagarza, Allyson Arms, Keana Texeira, Christa Texeira, Bella Thorn, Nolan Gould, Destinee and Paris Monroe and Joey King. Joey was so excited about the designs that she posted a comment on Three Peas Co Facebook page saying, “Thank you for the amazing clothes!! I love them and I would love to wear more of your designs!!

Three Peas Co offers a variety of clothing including: Couture designs, tutus, pettidresses, pillowcase dresses, infant onesies, ruffle bottom pants, T-shirts, boys T-shirts, hoodies, hats and hair bow accessories. The styles may be purchased directly at http://www.ThreePeasCo.com and selected retailers.

About Three Peas Co.
Founded in 2008 Ventura, California, Three Peas Co. Apparel Company is a growing trend setter in the design, sourcing, marketing and distribution of infant through teen specialty, boutique and couture apparel and accessories. The company has developed cutting edge designs that have attracted the attention of young Hollywood who frequently adorn the clothing for print advertising, film, red carpet premiers and events. To learn more about Three Peas Co., please visit the company’s website at www.ThreePeasCo.com

Imagine their delight owning something that their favorite stars wore on the red carpet! Three Peas Co. has This holiday, check out Three Peas Co. for your trendy girl, or little man.





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Last Minute Gift Ideas from Spin Master!

Whether you are shopping for a boy or girl, Spin Master is the creator of some of the seasons hottest toys!

If you have a little lady that you're buying for, you may have seen Zoobles on your list this year. Brand new this season, Zoobles sprung to life and grasped the attention of many girls ages 5-9.  (In my opinion, Zoobles are like Bakugan's for girls.) Super cute, and absolutely adorable, these brightly colored animals have their own play sets, and can also be purchased in single or multi-packs. They each have their own funky name, most which correlates with the type of animal they are. When play time is over, flip down the Zoobles and they look like a little ball, making the animals portable and perfect to pack up and bring to Grandma's house! These cute toys start at about $5 and are available online and in all mass retailers.

Liv Dolls are also among the list of many little girls this holiday season. Liv Dolls are realistic looking dolls (more conservative than Bratz, and more "up to date" than Barbie), that girls last year made one of the hottest toys of the season. This year new fashions, styles and accessories are putting Liv Dolls back on the frontline of fun and fashion. With 14 points of articulation, posing these natural divas is super easy for kids 5 and up. Even my nieces (9 and 12) like Liv dolls because of their fashionable styles, and interchangable wigs. These dolls retail for approx. $20. Additional accessories are also available.


On many boys' lists this season you'll find Air Hogs.

The brand new Air Hogs Hawk Eye helicopter is a revolutionary 'copter that blends the boundaries between flight, aerial videography and digital media. 

This video helicopter is the first of its kind, and can capture up to 5 minutes of video or hundreds of pictures while flying high!

It retails for approximately $65-80, and is perfect for kids 12 and up!


Another popular toy from Air Hogs is the Moto Frenzy remote controlled motorcycle. Catch air while performing high-flying indoor stunts, just like your favorite Motocross Riders. This micro R/C has a built in rear-gyro stabilizing fly wheel that lets you carve the sharpest turns, navigate the tightest courses, and always keep upright! The suggested retail value is approximately $25, and is appropriate for kids ages 8 and up.


Bakugan is back again this year, and at the top of the list is the Bakugan Dragonoid Colossus. Load your season 3 Bakugan Battle Gear together with the Dragonoid transformation hub, and watch him auto-transform into your most powerful Bakugan monster. This product retails for approximately $30 and is geared for kids 5 and up.


Kids ages 2-4 will enjoy Moon Dough, the new magical molding compound that never dires out. It is soft and marshmallow- like, cleans up easily and is great to use to develop fine motor skills. Purchase indvidual containers or play sets like this cute barnyard. Moon Dough retails for approximately $3 and up.


Dairy Queen Blizzard maker is a great addition to any young cook's collection. Make our own DQ treats with this machine. It comes with everything you need to make delicious Dairy Queen treats including ice cream mix, toppings, spoons, and a cup. This product is recommended for ages 4 and up and retails for approximately $30.


Hedbanz is a hilarious new game geared for kids or the whole family. Everyone else knows what the cartoon illustration is on your head except for you! Whether your card is a food, animal, or household item, it's up to you to use deductive reasoning to narrow it down and try to figure out what it is on your card. The suggested retail value is about $15 and is recommended for players 6 and up.

Check out these great suggestions as well as other fun items at Spin Master now.

Special thanks to Spin Master for providing 4BabyAndMom samples of some of these products this holiday season.


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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

DonorsChoose.org Gift Cards Makes Great Teacher Gifts!

Or anyone else for that matter!

Spread the spirit of giving, and give back this holiday season. Whether you donate in your name, or in memory of someone special, or find a local school, or project at your child's school. Do a search, you'd be surprised at how simple some of the requests on DonorsChoose.org are. I searched in my zip code, and found many programs, from mathematics to computers & technology, I'm willing to bet you could find something to donate for.

Plus, right now if you make Bing your home page, you can get a gift code for $5 to donate towards any project on DonorsChoose.org. Already have Bing as your home page? Tell them and get a $1 credit. Check out Bing now for more details.



I chose to give my code to a local middle-high school in our area. I will be making another donation a little later this month to the same program. Their program has over $800 left to meet their goal, and only 27 days left to meet it. The teachers goal, to be able to teach her students financial responsibility using technology that should be readily available, but is unfortunately not. My goal, to help spread the word about this program, and others like it, so we can help our own neighbors.

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Jada Toys Battle Machines -Last Minute Gift Idea for Boys

It's the final rush, for some- it's just the beginning!

Looking for something for your little man? Check out these super cool looking cars. Not only are they remote control, but Jada Toys created these Battle Machines to play laser tag like never before.

Twin packs of Battle Machines are available at most mass retailers including Target, Walmart and Toys'R'Us, and retail from $49.99 to $59.99.

Each vehicle is equipped with an infrared laser and sensor. The goal is to zap your opponent until their vehicle is disabled. Last man standing (or driving) wins! Light up shield power indicator tells you how many hits you have left. When your vehicle is tagged, it freezes temporarily while it shakes and projects sound effects. Third hit results in exploding sound effects.

Fun for kids of all ages, but designed for kids ages 3-16. If you have a lot of kids, or friends, up to six can play together in one big game. Talk about a fun night! This one is going under the tree for my husband, er, I mean my son.

For more information about this product or where to find it, visit BattleMachinesRC.com! Stay tuned for our full review this January.

Special thanks to Jada Toys for allowing us to review this product at no cost.


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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Paypal-Ebay Vent. Who's fault is it? Plus a warning to Ebay sellers.

The holidays always seems to bring financial strain on our family. A friend of mine suggested selling some gift cards I had on Ebay, to try to get a few extra bucks. I had sold a gift card awhile ago and made a dollar more than face value, so I decided to try selling a few (literally, three) gift cards. All three had digital codes, so they could be emailed to the winners. I figured "win, win", right? Wrong.

Two were sold to one person. Long story a lot shorter-I owed a seller $10 (either in credit or in another gift card) which I told them I would send them, and they applied for a full refund- and won the entire purchase refunded. How? I have no idea. I even sent proof of communication with the buyer to paypal. This totally messed up our entire paypal account, putting us in the negative. It was horrible. The buyer asked me to send an adjusted invoice, and he still hasn't paid me. This was almost a month ago.

Then, today, I get another email from this other card I sold before the ones mentioned above, saying that it was an "unauthorized charge". What the heck?!?! So now I've sent my communication to Paypal, and am waiting for them to respond. In the meantime, my account is once again negative because this transaction from OCTOBER is now being scrutinized. I'm hopeful that this one is resolved quickly.

Aren't sellers protected under Paypal?? Nothing like this has ever happened before.. we've been buying and selling on Ebay for over 7 years.. this is ridiculous! It makes me want to give up on Ebay, and find a whole new money exchange system. I really wish Paybox.me was up in full force. I would be there in a heartbeat. UGH!

So my warning for you  is: please be wary selling on Ebay. Apparently, you really can't trust anyone these days.



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Monday, December 13, 2010

Overstock Scavenger Hunt Week #3

Still looking for the perfect gift for the people in your life that seems to have EVERYTHING?!

Here are the clues I received this week:


1.) Department: _______ is where the heart is. The _______ is where the vegetables, fruit and worms are.

2.) Categories: These rooms in the house are where family bond, catch up, and enjoy one another’s company – and one another’s food!

3.) Categories: These are the plates, bowls, cups and saucers you use… but not for breakfast or lunch! :D


After hunting, I found my way to the Dinnerware section. What a variety! I never really realized what a great selection of items Overstock has until this scavenger hunt. They have modern dinnerware, contemporary, traditional- you name it, they have something for everyone on your list.

So what are you waiting for? Visit Overstock.com for your last minute shopping needs, and take advantage of FREE SHIPPING!



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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Digital Keepsake: Affordable Digital Restoration of Pictures + VHS-DVD Service

I have a ton of photos and videos randomly in my house. Some are at the top of my linen closet, many are stuck in a box in the garage. For some reason, I'm the person that everyone gives their photos to. My mom and dad moved, they gave me all of the family photos. My mother in law passed away, we got a ton of photos. My grandmother passed on, and I got all of the family photos.. well,  you get the idea. I'm running out of room for photos, but don't want to turn away priceless family memories, and risk them ending up in the trash because nobody wants them, or lost because someone took them, and then moved to bumble.

I must admit, I've scanned a bunch of pictures to send to family across the states, but there are many pictures that have age-spots on them, or are creased, or just super old, that I haven't been able to fix. While looking on the internet for some sort of an idea to help, I came across Digital Keepsake. Digital Keepsake basically takes the old photos and converts them into a high-quality digital photos that you can reprint, send to family and keep forever. The old spots and creases disappear, and you're left with a treasured memory- a pure Digital Keepsake.

Do you have a bunch of old family movies that you would like digitized? Digital Keepsake also converts VHS to DVD, assuring that your family memories don't get lost in the new wave of technical growth. This is something that could help a lot of people- (my mom)- get rid of the big bulk of videos in her closet, and if you make copies of them, every member of the family could have a copy of the event. How awesome is that? Trip down memory lane whenever you'd like. Show your children what Christmas was like when you were their age, while your sister who lives 1500 miles away does the same with her kids. Build new memories and share your Digital Keepsake making new memories as you go.

If you have some old photos that you wish could be brought back to life, visit Digital Keepsake for all of your photo restoration needs, and video conversions.

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My Husband Rocks! Union28 Review + Giveaway


My Husband Rocks. What about yours?

Both Marissa and I are fortunate enough to be able to say that our husbands rock. Marissa was kind enough to model her super cute new shirt from Union28.net that advertises it for the world to see.. What do you think?

I heard about Union28 last year sometime while blog hopping through the world wide web. As soon as I saw their product, I knew I had to share them with you all this holiday season! I love their products, and the positive message their company promotes.

From the Union28 About Me page:
Union28 (formerly From*me Tees) was started by a married couple who knows what it is like to work through hard stuff and yet stay together and stay committed, choosing to forgive and be forgiven, only to grow in our love for each other MORE through it all.

One of the great and wonderful mysteries of life is that loving each other in action--what we do and say--produces romance. Everything in our culture today teaches the opposite, that romance turns into love, but nothing could be further from the truth. Love is a choice and we decide how we're going to treat each other in the good and in the not-so-good times. What a hope-giving reality that a strong, loving, thriving relationship can be built, simply by changing how we interact with our spouse.

Marriage was created to be a blessing and a little kindness, selflessness, and respect goes a long way. Accept the fact that your spouse isn't perfect and then start taking notice of all the good things they bring to the table! Pretty soon you can train your mind to be grateful for who they are as opposed to feeling disappointed about who they are not. When you allow yourself to believe that your spouse rocks, you will free yourself from the downward spiral and temptation of self-pity, disappointment, and even despair. The fact is, your spouse is probably a greater blessing than you allow yourself to realize...so lay down your expectations and praise your spouse for his/her attributes. After all, the key is to change yourself! And you'll be surprised at the positive affect it has on the one you choose to love...and you!
Union28 offers a great selection of apparel for women, men, and kids. They even offer bridal apparel for brides and grooms-to-be.

Their shipping is incredibly quick, and one of best, in my opinion. My only warning is that their sizes run a little small, and truly pay attention to the description of the item. Especially if you're a plus size lady.

I can genuinely tell you that this year has been rather difficult on our family, but one thing remains the same. No matter what we've gone through, and over come, my husband and I have done it together. I am proud of my husband, even at his weakest moments, and love him completely. I know that my husband feels the same way.

Take a look at Union28, get to know the company and the products, and if you think that you (or your spouse) would love the products they offer, come back here right away. Why? Because our new friends at Union28 have offered our readers to score their very own MY HUSBAND ROCKS tee shirt!

Here's How:
Visit Union28 and find the product you most love. Then come back here and tell me about it. Pick whether you would like a brown or pink My husband rocks shirt, and which fit and size you'd like, as well.

Congratulations to our WINNER!!!


This giveaway is open to residents of the US. This giveaway will end on December 16, 2010 at 11:59 PM EST. The winner will be chosen using Random.org, and all winner information will be posted on our WINNERS PAGE and on this post. Please include a valid email address and your user id/name in your comment. If we cannot find a way to contact you, we will not, we will choose another winner. We do try to email all winners, but due to the volume of giveaways offered on our site, delays can be expected. If you catch your name before we email you, please feel free to contact us first. :) Any unclaimed prizes will be redrawn accordingly and at the discretion of 4BabyAndMom. Special thanks to Union28 for hosting this review and giveaway. As always, what you have read is strictly the opinion of 4BabyAndMom. Your opinions may differ.




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Best Christmas Gift Ever: "It's Not Cancer"

It's no secret that I haven't been feeling right over the last year. Anyone that has popped in through the year may have been privvy to my very up and down, roller coaster-esque health this year. Over the summer I found a lump in my breast. The lump was basically in the same spot that my mother's cancer was in, that she battled against earlier in the year, just the opposite breast.

I knew no matter what the case was, that I would be alright.

After waiting for an eternity, I received my referral letter for my mammography. I do not envy anyone that has had mammo's in their life. Although it wasn't nearly as painful or uncomfortable as I thought it would be, it's definitely not something I'm eager to do again.

I had to wait for the results, and when I received results, they were all kinds of confusing. The doctors office said that it was inconclusive, and that they would likely have to run more tests. Then I got a phone call from the doctors office the next week that said they basically found a lump, but need to have a sonogram, and then I got a letter from the mammography place that said that they had found a mass, but that most of the time masses are non-cancerous and that I would have to follow up with my doctor and undergo more testing.

Needless to say, it's been one hell of a year.

I went for my sonogram on Thursday, and got the best news of my life. The sonogram was clear. The tech felt the lump, went over it every which way, and it was clear. The shape and size of the lump, she said, sounded like tissue, and that the doctor would have to confirm, but everything looked good.

Even though the three words were not said, ("It's Not Cancer"),  I heard, "It's Not Cancer".

I know that I still have to watch it through the years, and make sure that it doesn't grow, or change, but I'm going to be ok.

In the meantime, I now need to figure out how to find out what's going on with my body, as I'm still not feeling right. If it's not cancer, I need to find out what it is, because I can't continue to live like this. But for right now, I am celebrating. Celebrating the fact that my sonogram was clear, and that everything is going to be alright. For now.




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Friday, December 10, 2010

Save 40% at See Kai Run- Now through December 31st!

Looking for a super cute pair of holiday shoes for your little one? Check out the super adorable See Kai Run shoes for sweet selections for both boys and girls, 6 months through 3 years old. Right now if you use the coupon code HOLIDAYJOY at the checkout you can save 40% off of your selection. What are you waiting for? Shop now.

Have a baby or a big kid? While you're shopping at See Kai Run, look over the selections in the Smaller and Eleven lines as well.



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Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Community" Christmas Special




Christmas time is definitely here! I know because I have already watched "A Charlie Brown Christmas","Elf",and "Shrek The Halls" with the kidoodles. I LOVE holiday specials!! I have been known to watch "A Muppet's Christmas Carol" in May, so when I say I love them I really mean it. I've noticed a trend in many shows the last few years( not just kid shows either--adult prime time shows); many of our favorite sitcoms have hilarious and heartwarming Christmas episodes and this year they are going all out!

As a full-time mom who has decidedly gone back to school at the community college level, I knew I would love the show "Community" right off the bat. If you haven't watched it yet, you should--it's hysterical. It airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on NBC, and the cast is amazing. Joel McHale (from "The Soup" on E!) plays a lawyer who must go back to school at the community college level and the show centers around him and his band of misfit classmates. Chevy Chase (does Clark Griswold really need a parenthetical notation?) and Ken Jeong (The Hangover) are just part of the supporting cast.




Anyway, I've digressed--"Community" has made the greatest Holiday episode ever! I recently was given the opportunity to preview it, and I loved it! The entire episode is done in stop motion animation, with the characters made out of . . . .it's not clay. One character actually explains it in the episode, but for blog sake we'll just call it clay.

I really enjoyed the episode, not only because I like the holiday specials, but because I am a huge fan of the show as well. (I DVR it weekly) So, if you watch the show, don't miss the Holiday episode!(And if you haven't yet, this would be a great one to start with!)






I was given this oppurtunity to review this episode as a Member of One2One.network. All opinions are my own.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Overstock Scavenger Hunt Week #2

I have a ton of people on my shopping list that I have a difficult time trying to find the perfect gift for. You know the people in your life that seem to have everything.. If you ask them what's on their list, they usually give you an answer like, "I have everything I need", or "Don't waste money on me, I don't need anything". Yeah, right. You know I'm going to get you something, so why don't you tell me, "Hey, I could really use a new scarf, some cooking utensils, and a new potato peeler." I would rather give some random gifts and actually have them be used and appreciated than some horribly tacky sweater that's going to sit in the bottom of their drawer.

This week we got some fun clues from Overstock.com for their scavenger hunt to help find gifts for those difficult people on our lists. Here they are:

1.) Department: Often associated with wealth, people sometimes wear this on their ears, necks, wrists and fingers.
2.) Categories: This variation of the above department adorns the neck, and can be made from a variety of metals, rope, gemstones, beads and more.
3.) Categories: This spherical object is produced in both fresh water and salt water mollusks. A string is generally threaded through these to create our destination clue!

After following the clues, I got to the Pearl Necklaces section. Oh, (*ahem* We love Pearls at 4BabyAndMom *ahem*)- for anyone who cares to know! ;o)

Visit Overstock.com now for a great selection of all things sparkly and pretty for those lucky ladies in your life. And at Overstock prices, I dare you to find a better deal out there! Good Luck!


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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Rubbermaid + Sharpie= Perfect Gift 4 Teachers and Neighbors! Review + Giveaway

Every year I am faced with a similar problem. What do I get for the kids teachers?? This year both of them are in school, so it means I have two teachers, plus Abbie's class has an aide, so that's three. Funds are super tight, we're getting ready to move, the cars just had to be repaired, and well, it's a tough economy right now. Everyone seems to be feeling the pinch.

For Alex's pre-k, we made homemade sugar scrubs and put together a "spa" gift bag for his teachers,  in Kindergarten we made the teacher a picture frame and gave her an ornament, last year he gave his teacher an ornament and chocolate. This year.. well, I think we're going to take it a step further.

If you are looking for a unique, fun, creative, personalized gift to share with your friends and family, then Rubbermaid and Sharpie has the perfect solution. Simply make up a batch of your favorite cookies, fudge or other goodie and “wrap” them in a Rubbermaid TakeAlong decorated with some Sharpie Markers!

It is a great way to let your children be creative and be a part of the gift giving process. Plus, the TakeAlongs can be used again by the receiver so it is not another piece of clutter in their house.


Whether your Aunt is addicted to snowflakes or chocolate chip cookies, Sharpie has a marker for that. Your sweet granny loves your fudge and cannot get enough ornaments decorating every where- Sharpie has a marker for that too! Can't decide what to decorate each Rubbermaid Take Along with? Try different things on each side, like we did for my mom, (see some of our designs in the picture above.)

Rubbermaid Take Along containers are the perfect size to decorate and to pack holiday goodness in. Partner it with a festive design using your favorite Sharpies and you've just turned your gift of fresh baked delight into a personalized gift from the heart. The best part is that the Rubbermaid containers can be washed and reused again, and again. Attach your favorite recipe to the cover and not only does the recipient have a great piece of your kitchen and creativity, but they have something to add to their personal recipe collection. (I highly recommend washing the containers by hand once decorated, as we've given them rigorous testing, and unfortunately the colors won't last forever, but seem to last MUCH longer hand washing them without using a scrubby-sponge.)



Rubbermaid and Sharpie has teamed up to give one of our readers a 15 piece set of TakeAlongs, a Sharpie Stainless Steel Permanent Marker, set of 8 Sharpie Retractable Markers and a set of 3 Sharpie Pen Retractables, to have all of the tools needed to make splendid Holiday Goodies for your friends and family, teachers, neighbors or co-workers.

Here's How:
Check out the awesome designs some fans came up with at the Sharpie Flickr account, Sharpie Facebook Fan Page, and at Rubbermaid's Facebook Fan Page. Tell me which creation you think is the coolest, or the cutest!

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER!!


This giveaway is open to residents of the US and CANADA. This giveaway will end on December 17, 2010 at 11:59 PM EST. The winner will be chosen using Random.org, and all winner information will be posted on our WINNERS PAGE and on this post. Please include a valid email address and your user id/name in your comment. If we cannot find a way to contact you, we will not, we will choose another winner. We do try to email all winners, but due to the volume of giveaways offered on our site, delays can be expected. If you catch your name before we email you, please feel free to contact us first. :) Any unclaimed prizes will be redrawn accordingly and at the discretion of 4BabyAndMom. Special thanks to Rubbermaid and Sharpie for sending me the same product assortment that is also being given away at no cost, for the sake of reviewing. As always, what you have read is strictly the opinion of 4BabyAndMom. Your opinions may differ.




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Friday, December 3, 2010

Boudreax Butt Paste free sample offer, online now

 This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Boudreaux's Butt Paste. All opinions are 100% mine.

I am pretty sure there is something in the water!

If you live in central Florida, you may want to drink soda for a little while, because I am not sure the tap is safe. Three of my dear friends are expecting a little blessing soon!! (I am very excited for them, I just don't want to catch it!! hahaha) I have been getting my fix of baby bellies though, gosh they are so cute!

Anyway, two of these friends are first time mommies and their dates are coming up fast. This means I have some shopping to do. I always make laundry basket gifts for baby showers, you know—a cute laundry basket filled with diapers, blankets, clothes, etc. So, I headed down to Wal Mart to get one ready for one of the girls.

Walking down baby aisles is so much fun, and everything reminds you of your own little ones when they were tiny. I was having way too much fun playing with socks and brushes when I went to get some diaper rash cream (a must for any diaper bag),and then I totally flipped- Boudreaux’s Butt Paste was on the shelf! When my little ones were still in diapers, I could never find this stuff! I had gotten it one time when we were out of town and it worked wonders, but I never found it again near me. I threw it in the cart as fast as I could!

Boudreaux’s Butt Paste isn't your run of the mill diaper rash cream--it was created by a pharmacist specifically to treat diaper rash. This is the Cadillac of diaper rash creams, (in my opinion), and I couldn't NOT get it for her.  Anyone who has had a baby with a horrible rash that doesn't respond to the other creams understands. My babies were horribly allergic to certain brands of diapers; I would have to get special cream from their doctors, until I found butt paste. It also goes AND comes off super easy--which is also a selling point when you’re talking about rash treatment!! It also works good for other skin irritations too.

They are giving out FREE samples (you know I love free stuff) right now, so I knew I had to share with you guys when I heard. Just head on over to the Boudreaux's Butt Paste website and get your sample. I know you'll love this stuff.




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GrowingTreeToys Create Your Own Pop Up Book *Review*

We have reviewed a lot of art products. I love fostering the idea that with imagination, any thing is possible. Alex has a much more structured method of thinking. His drawings since he was a toddler were very methodical. He will be awesome when he's old enough for ceramics, photography, architecture, or shop class.

Abbie is a very creative artist. Her houses have 33 windows and the chimneys are longer than the house sometimes. She makes some paintings the same color from beginning to end, and other times she makes a bland object rainbow and glittery. You never know what kind of a zany animal concotion she's going to draw. It's exciting to watch the both of them as they grow artistically in their own very different ways.

Recently, our new friends at GrowingTreeToys.com extended an opportunity for us to review one of their products.Their website has a ton of educational toys that really meets the need of every child on your shopping list. The item we received was this awesome Create Your Own Pop Up Books kit.  I decided to hang onto this review until the holidays, because I was much more impressed than I thought I would be with the product, and knew it would make a perfect gift this holiday season.

At first, I wasn't really sure what to expect with this set, because it's rated for kids 5+. Alex isn't extremely creative artistically (even at 7), and Abbie is only 4 and a half. The great part is that this kit comes with two books, so if you have two children, it gives a great opportunity for both of them to make something fun! It retails for about $20, and with all of the tools and fun stuff inside, it's a steal this holiday season.

The kit comes with 2 high quality, hardcover pop-up books – one that measures 8.5”x8.5” and the other 6.25”x6.25” – and supplies to make their stories, including stickers, 8 markers, pop-up designs, illustrated instructions with story starter ideas, and step-by-step pop-up ideas. Suprisingly, it was really easy to use, create the pop ups, and make the books come to life. The hard covered books are nice and sturdy; they don't look or feel "cheap" like other kits I've seen through the years. I've never seen a pop up style kit, so I love the uniqueness of this product.

This was our first time reviewing a product for Growing Tree Toys, but I can tell you shipping was super quick. Every communication that I've had with the company has been pleasant, and the website is super easy to navigate. Right now they're running a special shipping deal- free shipping on all orders over $89. They also run a fun Deal of the Day, which is a product for 60% off, just for that day! They have something for every budget, which really makes it appealing to shop there. I absolutely adore the Calico Critters playsets, and am truly thinking of ordering some for Abbie.

If art isn't one of your child's special talents, be sure to visit GrowingTreeToys.com for more ideas on educational and fun toys for kids from birth through 11 and up! Not sure what your little cousin, niece, nephew, or grandchild likes? Gift cards are also available so that your gift is exactly what they want this year!

Special thanks to Growing Tree Toys for allowing us to review this product at no cost, in exchange for our review. As always, all opinions expressed are that of 4BabyAndMom.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Overstock.com's "Find the Perfect Holiday Gift! Family Edition" Scavenger Hunt- Week 1

I am participating in this fun campaign from OverStock.com this holiday season, by participating I have a chance to win a gift card, but I'm not even doing it because of that. I'm doing it because shopping often feels like a scavenger hunt. You search all over for that perfect gift for a special person in your life.. and you finally find it on sale, trek all the way to the store, get there, wait for the doors to open, and by the time you weave through the aisles of people, the darn thing is sold out. Or you accidentally grabbed the wrong model, but the right model might be on an end cap all the way across the store.

It's reasons like that that many people are turning to online shopping to meet their holiday shopping needs.

So this is Week 1 of the Overstock.com's Find the Perfect Holiday Gift Family Edition Scavenger Hunt. Feel free to play along if you'd like with the kids. Here are the clues:
1.) Department: _______ is where the heart is. The _______ is where the vegetables, fruit and worms are.

2.) Categories: These rooms in the house are where family bond, catch up, and enjoy one another’s company – and one another’s food!

3.) Categories: Dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators and coffee makers all fall under this category.

4.) Categories: This product saves time when chopping, dicing, pureeing and liquefying food. But it does not make a good milk shake…


After filling in the blanks, and deducting the different categories, the products that I came up with is Food Processors! Food Processors make a great gift for any cook or kitchen. The multiple uses for this kitchen gadget is a definite time saver. Is there anyone on your holiday list that would LOVE a food processor under their tree??

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NAVTEQ Updated Maps Make Holiday Travel (and shopping!) a Snap!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of NAVTEQ. All opinions are 100% mine.



Who else stayed out until the wee hours of the morning on Thanksgiving night/ Black Friday?? Yes, I was one of them, and I know many people that did as well. With the holiday shopping season underway, knowing where the best deals and steals are is imperative. After the shopping is done, many families across the country find themselves faced with detours and headaches because the kids are hungry, or need a potty break, on their way to Grandma's house for the holidays.

For those of you who have an in-dash navigation system, do you know when the last time you had a map update ? Having an updated map in your dashboard system is will help make holiday travels a little easier. If you are unsure of whether or not you have an updated map, feel free to visit http://bit.ly/NAVMapUpdates for more information on the most recent update available.

Last year while we were holiday shopping, I remember bouncing around to many stores, one which we were hunting for for what seemed like forever. Then, after calling a very grumpy, over tired spouse, we realized that that store moved! No wonder we couldn't find it! Having a map update on our navigation system would have definitely helped decrease the stress in the car, because it would have pointed us to the direction of the new store, without a hitch.

An updated map makes a great holiday gift, especially for those people that seem to have everything, or people in your life that do a lot of traveling- whether for business or personal- and it's something that they could use all year long.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

FINISH Quantum and Jet Dry Make Holiday Dishes Sparkle! Review + Giveaway

If you've read my blog for more than a few weeks, you probably know that I'm a self-professed dork. Sometimes the things I get excited about are not your typical products, and sometimes the products I don't really care for are products that have five-star reviews. I am so excited to share this review with you all, I could shout it off the Empire State Building. Without further a-do...


I hate chores.. more specifically, I hate doing dishes, I really think they are evil, and that the person that invented the dishwasher is someone that I would donate a kidney to if they needed one. Seriously- I hate doing dishes.

I love to cook, and I love to bake. Cookies, cobbler, crisps, cakes- you name it, I bake it. My bakeware is much newer than my pots and pans. The oldest bakeware I have was my moms apple pie plate, but other than that, most came from my bridal shower 8 years ago.
When we went for our pre-marital counselling, one of the questionnaires in the book happened to ask what is the one chore that you hate doing, and would prefer your spouse to do. We all know what I chose.. Brian chose dusting. (*teehee*) I promised I would dust until my fingers fell off, if he would load the dishwasher. I will even put them away, but I HATE baked on, crusty cookware. Old food that's stuck on non-stick pots and pans because they used to be my grandmothers. Yeah, perhaps I need new pots and pans, but for the meanwhile I have to make do with what I have.

I will be honest, I brand hop when it comes to dishwashing tabs. I do find that I prefer FINISH tabs (either the gel pacs or the ones with the little red ball), but there is nothing that I hate more than taking out a dish from the dishwasher that is supposed to be clean, that still has egg caked onto it. Some of my white pyrex type pans had some sticky residue on the handles or around the edges that were super hard to get off. No matter if we soaked it or scrubbed it, it never came off. I honestly thought that it was because they were getting old. Some of my grandmothers pans had had that goo on it too, but hers were older than dirt.

I received an opportunity to try the new FINISH Quantum tabs and Jet Dry Turbo Dry from Mom Central, and I jumped at it. We go through dishwashing tabs like water.. and if anyone could prove to be a great tester for this product, I knew it would be our family.

Before we received the products in the mail, I ran out of tabs, and got a great deal at our local Publix. In the container of FINISH tabs, they had a sample pack of the new Quantum tabs. Oh my gosh! It was love at first use. Now, I know what you're thinking- how do you fall for dishwashing tabs? Do you remember the first time you used those little white eraser sponges?? Oh yeah. The same kind of love that that little miracle sponge created, was the same kind of love these dishwashing tabs ignited!


Brian was so excited, he was like a kid on Christmas morning. Then he showed me how awesome it worked, and *I* started rummaging through the cabinets to find pans and dishes and stuff that looked "dingy" and washed them with the new tabs. They came out so sparkly clean- no residue, no gunk, my ancient pots and pans looked newer than when I got them 10 years ago from my grandmother's kitchen. It was amazing.

Then the package came with the Quantum tabs and the Jet Dry Turbo Dry.. as soon as I opened it, I heard the heavens sing! (Well, not exactly, but if I lived in a TV sitcom, I'm pretty certain it would have!)

Now, I need you to read this correctly. I'm not saying that it made the old-as-dirt pots all shiny and polished, but it did remove a lot of that baked on/burned on gunk- Bri calls it burner goo- that coagulates on the bottom of old pots, the residue off of the white and clear pyrex type dishes, and the handle areas of all of my pots. My ginormous pasta pot it made look shinier, but I have no idea if it was the combination of FINISH Quantum and Jet Dry Turbo Dry, or if it was the tabs themselves, or the fact that that pot is the newest pot I own (it's about 6 years old). We didn't need to pre-rinse the dishes anymore, even eggs and ketchup. It all came off. This in itself is a miracle.. well, for our family, it is.

The new Jet-Dry Turbo Dry is amazing, too. Combined with the Quantum tabs, it's like a lethal weapon against your messiest dishes. No water spots, even with our very hard Florida water, and it left a pretty shine on my newer pots.


Holiday cooking and baking has finally met it's match. Cookie dough or batter on your mixing bowl is no match to the FINISH Quantum tabs. I really wish I would have taken pictures of my pyrex pans before they were transformed, because I know this review does it no justice. You can check out the clip from a recent appearance on Designing Spaces. They really give a great before and after, and explain the eco-friendly bonuses you get when using these products.

My recommendation? Print out a coupon, and cook your messiest meal. Try out these tabs, and let me know what you think. I know I love these products, and I'm pretty certain you will too.

Our friends at FINISH and Mom Central have offered our readers their chance to wage war on their dishes post- holiday dinner! FIVE lucky winners will receive a sample of FINISH Quantum and Jet Dry Turbo Dry!

Here's How:
Tell me what you think the WORST food is that gets caked on your dishes.. You know, the one you hate pre-rinsing, scrubbing, or attacking on the plate before you load your dishwasher. Is it eggs? Pam? Ketchup? Be creative, and truthful, most of all, have fun!


CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER!
 Please refer to our WINNERS PAGE for more information on how to claim your prize!!

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