June 30, 2010

Happy Birthday to Us Event begins tomorrow!

My Happy Birthday to Us Event begins tomorrow, July 1st!  Make sure to keep an eye on this blog for awesome reviews and giveaways for lots of great products for both women and men!
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Who loves Paula Deen?

I do!  Paula Deen is crowning the "Real Women of Philadelphia" tonight!  Here are the details:

WHO:   Southern cooking queen, Paula Deen and Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese will stage a LIVE EVENT to determine the four winners of the “Real Women of Philadelphia” online cooking competition.

WHAT:  Paula Deen is hosting a down-home cook off in her hometown of Savannah, GA where she has teamed up with Philadelphia Cream Cheese for the “Real Women of Philadelphia,” an online quest to find four fantastic female home cooks. Each will win a talent contract worth $25,000 and work with the community to create a cookbook featuring all of their favorite recipes made with PHILLY.

WHEN:  Wednesday, June 30, 2010 ; 8 p.m. EDT

WHERE:  Lucas Theatre for the Arts, Savannah, GA

LIVESTREAMED HERE:  http://www.realwomenofphiladelphia.com/rwoplive

BACKGROUND:  Thousands of women have come out, many for the first time, to create videos and share their recipes online thanks to the encouragement they received from both Paula Deen as well as the community as a whole. Four finalists were chosen from the following categories:  Side Dish, Appetizer, Entrée and Dessert. More information on the competition is available at: http://www.realwomenofphiladelphia.com/.  We hope you'll be watching tonight as Paula crowns the winner!
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Holey Donuts Big Sale!

I have wanted to try Holey Donuts for a while now because they are healthier than your average donut and everyone needs a donut now and again, right!  This might be the push I need to order some...

Save a whopping 53% off July 1st and 2nd only! How?  Go to http://www.holeydonuts.net/ and select any 3 or more assortments in your cart (strict LIMIT of 4 assortments per order), enter the code BS53 in the coupon code box at checkout, click recalculate, and watch 53% come off your total!

This is a great sale!  Get there quick and order so you have them by July 4th!
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Do you have a baby? This one is for you!

Using Your 5 Senses to Make Sense
of Your Baby's Body Signs

By Joan Liebmann-Smith, Ph.D., and Jacqueline Nardi Egan,
Authors of Baby Body Signs: The Head-to-Toe Guide to Your Child's Health,
from Birth Through the Toddler Years

Babies are tiny, fragile, helpless beings who totally depend on parents, other caregivers, and doctors for their well being. If they're not feeling well, they may fuss or cry, but they can't tell anyone what's bothering them. We all know the classic signs of a sick baby: fever, diarrhea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and listlessness, among others. But not all babies with medical problems display obvious signs. In fact, many medical conditions manifest themselves with signs that can be easily overlooked or deemed too insignificant for a doctor's attention. Some subtle signs may signify something serious while signs that look scary may be benign and nothing to worry about.

Most babies are carefully examined from head to toe by a doctor immediately after birth and at each checkup. But between those exams, it's the people who spend the most time with them -- parents, grandparents, and babysitters -- who are more likely to notice something out of the ordinary. Using your 5 senses, you too can check a baby for signs of health or illness. Here's how:

Look at a baby's head, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, skin, torso, genitals, and body wastes. For example, you may notice that a baby or toddler has recently developed freckles. Medically known as ephelides, freckles are usually an inherited trait in families with blond or red hair and fair skin. But they can appear in children with dark hair and skin as well. Freckles are not present at birth. Rather, they're the result of excess exposure to the sun and found on sun-exposed areas of the body. Therefore, lots of freckles are an important warning sign that a child has been out in the sun too much and needs to be covered up. Indeed, a child with freckles is at increased risk for skin cancer, which is on the rise in children.

Freckles shouldn't be confused with the much larger café au lait spots, which often appear on non-sun exposed skin. More common in babies of African and Hispanic descent than in white babies, these spots are present at birth and are the color of coffee with milk, hence the name. They're usually not noticeable until age 2 or 3, and are usually benign. However, if a child had more than six large café au lait spots (over ½ inch in diameter), it can be a warning sign of several very rare, but serious genetic disorders.

Listen to a baby's breathing sounds and patterns. All babies occasionally stop breathing for a few seconds or sometimes longer, while they sleep. Premature babies and those who move around a great deal during sleep are more likely than other babies to have repeated bouts of sleep apnea, as it's medically called. Most outgrow it. But if it continues, or happens very often, it could be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA can be caused by enlarged tonsils and adenoids, an infection, an airway obstruction, or other physical problems. Once these problems resolve, the OSA tends to improve.

Snoring is also common in infants and babies, particularly boys. Toddlers tend to snore during the deep stages of sleep and usually to outgrow it. Snoring is also fairly common in children with colds or allergies. And many babies with OSA also snore, and most outgrow both. When snoring continues, however, it can be a sign of some structural abnormality with a child's nasal passages.

Feel a baby's skin for lumps and bumps, fever, clamminess, or a fast or unusual heartbeat or other sensations. A baby has 6 soft spots (fontanelles), but only 2 can be normally be felt: the larger one on top of the baby's head and the other in the back. Many parents are surprised to feel a heartbeat when they touch the one on top. This is, in fact, a healthy sign; the pulsating beats are the result of blood flowing to the baby's brain. The pulsating is most noticeable when the baby is resting. A baby's soft spots should also feel firm and very slight curved inward. If a fontanelle feels very sunken, it can be a sign of dehydration. If, on the other hand, the soft spot always bulges outward, it can signal a number of medical conditions ranging from a Vitamin A excess to a brain infection, in which case other more serious signs would be present.

Taste a baby's skin for excessive saltiness when cuddling and kissing him or her. It's not unusual for babies to sweat and taste salty. Indeed, many parents complain that their babies have sweaty heads. Because their temperature- regulating systems aren't fully developed, babies sweat easily. And because sweat contains a lot of salt, it can taste salty. If a baby sweats occasionally, it's usually nothing to worry about. In fact, the sweat may merely be a warning sign that the baby is overdressed or in an overheated room. However, if a baby often has salty, sweaty skin, it can signal a medical condition such as an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), diabetes, asthma, and rickets. However, in all of these disorders, other, more obvious and serious signs than sweating are likely to be noticed.

If a baby's skin always tastes salty, even when he or she is not sweating, it can be an important early warning sign of cystic fibrosis (CF), a rare, inherited disease. Other early signs include breathing difficulties and frequent diarrhea with greasy, foul- smelling stools. CF causes serious respiratory and gastrointestinal problems that may not show up until teen years or young adulthood. While CF has no cure, treatments have improved tremendously in recent years, and life expectancy has increased greatly.

Smell a baby's body wastes. Smelling a baby's pee and poop may be unpleasant, but it can be especially revealing. While urine that has a strong ammonia odor may mean the baby's diaper hasn't been changed for a while, it can also mean the baby is seriously dehydrated. Smelly urine can signal a urinary tract infection, as well.

Frequent bouts of smelly, loose stools in older babies or toddlers can signal celiac disease (intolerance to gluten) or other malabsorption disorders. If the foul-smelling feces float, are frothy, and have an oily coating, it can also be due to an overly fatty diet, or may even signal inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a more serious condition.

As you can see, it's important to pay attention to a baby's body signs no matter how insignificant they seen to be. And it's a good idea to keep a record of any you encounter, when they first appeared, and under what circumstances. Bring the record to each pediatrician visit. If you do notice a sudden suspicious or scary sign on your baby, call your doctor immediately. It's better to be safe than sorry -- your baby's health depends on it.

© 2010 Joan Liebmann-Smith, Ph.D., and Jacqueline Nardi Egan, authors of Baby Body Signs: The Head-to-Toe Guide to Your Child's Health, from Birth Through the Toddler Years

Author Bios
Joan Liebmann-Smith, Ph.D., co-author of Baby Body Signs, is a medical sociologist and award-winning medical writer specializing in women and children's health. She is a member of the advisory board of Healthy Children Healthy Futures.

Jacqueline Nardi Egan, co-author of Baby Body Signs, is a medical journalist who specializes in developing and writing educational programs with and for physicians, allied health professionals, patients, and consumers.

Liebmann-Smith and Egan have co-authored three previous books -- Body Signs (Bantam, 2008); The Unofficial Guide to Getting Pregnant (Wiley, 2005); and The Unofficial Guide to Overcoming Infertility.

For more information please visit http://www.babybodysigns.com/.
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June 29, 2010

Such beauty in our backyard!

The weather was beautiful this weekend, so my husband and I decided to take advantage of the sunshine and warmth and head up into the mountains.  We started off the day by enjoying a hearty and delicious brunch and then worked it off with some hiking!  The restaurant we ate at is a local favorite that serves up incredible omelets and other brunch foods.  We shared an omelet and also shared a pancakes that was rolled up and stuffed with sour cream and strawberry-rhubarb jam.  That was so yummy!

After we finished brunch, we walked down behind the restaurant and this is the view we saw:

Isn't that incredible?  We have lived here for over five years and I have never been to this restaurant that is only about 45 minutes from where we live.  Sad.  Anyhow, I digress.  Here are a few more pics from that stop:

After we left that location, we headed to a short hike that ended up at a waterfall.  The hike was almost 1 mile each way and slightly uphill so we were able to work off some of that brunch we had consumed!  Here is what we saw along the trail:

And this is what we saw when we got to the waterfall:

Isn't that incredible?  I really love to look at waterfalls because they are so powerful!

There was another short hike to the upper part of the falls:

We so enjoyed the hike and have vowed to explore some of the other waterfalls around our area.  I'll be sure to let you know where we visit and share some pictures.

Hope you all have a great week!
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June 28, 2010

Tuesday Blog Hops! The fun begins!

It's time for another blog hoppin' Tuesday!  There are two blog hops that I know of on Tuesdays.  Let me know where you found me and I'll follow you back!

Tuesday Tag-Along

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New Freschetta Flatbread Pizza!

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

Freschetta has always been my favorite brand of frozen pizza.  That's because Freschetta seems to do something different from the other brands of frozen pizza such as fresh flavors or added flavors to the crust.  Well, Freschetta has added a new addition to their line of products called Freschetta FlatBread!  I haven't had the opportunity to try Freschetta FlatBread yet, but I plan taking one of these $1 off coupons to the store and buying one.  Click here to get the coupon for yourself.  The flavors look so delicious!.  Who wouldn't like Zesty Italian, Roasted Garlic and Spinach, Pepperoni or 5-Cheese? They all sound very tasty to me but I think I'll try the Roasted Garlic and Spinach Flatbread first.  This one appeals to me the most.  If you are more of a meat lover, try the Zesty Italian which has peperoni, sausage, Genoa salami, mozzarella and asiago cheeses.

Freschetta FlatBread is pizza made on an ultra thin crust.  Freschetta adds all-natural cheeses and sauce made from ripe tomatoes then tops it all off with colorful vegetables and plenty of sliced meats!  With all of the beautiful colors, it looks like a party on a plate!  In fact, I'm getting hungry for lunch already.

Freschetta also offers Naturally Rising, Brick Oven, PizzAmore and Singles.  Everyone in the family can find a pizza that they love!  Get to the store and take your coupon to try this new flatbread pizza at a discount.  Heck, try a few of them and enjoy!
Visit my sponsor: Freschetta Pizza
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June 27, 2010

Winner of the GourmetGiftBaskets.com Hitting the Range gift basket!

Congratulations to the winner of the GourmetGiftBaskets.com Hitting the Range Father's Day gift basket!

#24 - Amanda

I've sent an email to the winner and she has 48 hours to respond or I will have to choose another winner.

Thanks for entering!
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June 24, 2010

Aloha Friday - Sports Edition!

Aloha Friday started over at An Island Life because on the Islands, Friday is a day to take it easy.  

To honor this tradition, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.  In fact, this week it could be a one word response! If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link here. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

This week my question is sports-themed.
Do you play any sports or do have a favorite sport to watch?

The reason for my question is that I'll be playing in two golf tournaments this weekend with some friends which tells you my answer.  I play golf and love it!  In fact, my husband and I had our first date at a golf course!
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P&G's Thank You Mom Reunion Contest

Even though I'm not a mother, yet, I thoroughly believe that being a mother is the most thankless job in the world.  Moms are there for everything good, yet most get blamed for all of the bad moments and never thanked for the good ones.  I just want to take this opportunity to thank my mom for being a stabilizing force in my life even now when I'm 33 years old.  She is always there to lend a shoulder to cry on when I need it and always answers my phone calls when I need a sounding board. 

Mom, you are better than any mother I could have created and I thank God everyday for you.  Thanks for always being my best friend even when I don't act thankful.  I love you.

Proctor & Gamble is celebrating moms with "Thank You Moms Reunions" which is a contest going on nationwide to help reunite Moms and their children for important events such as graduations and birthdays.  There will be 105 reunions taking place over the next 10 months (every month 15 will be chosen out of 30).  You have the ability to choose the winners by voting here!  The winners will be given a $1,000 travel voucher and a video camera to record the reunion event.  They will also be encouraged to post the video on Thankyoumom.com so that we can all watch!  Doesn't that sound awesome!  I know I'll cry because I always cry at those reunions on Oprah!

You can vote once per day until the voting is closed at 11:59:59 pm on June 30th, 2010.

Please go vote and help give this amazing gift of reunion to women and their children who cannot afford it for themselves.  Haven't we all wanted something that we couldn't afford?  Think about how good it would make you feel to bless these people with this gift!

Disclaimer:  I wrote this post on behalf of One 2 One Network and was entered to win a gift card in a random drawing in exchange for spreading the word about this campaign.
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Another birthday inspired post...

Cute & Easy Ideas to Make Anyone’s Birthday Unforgettable

To make other anyone’s birthday special, all you have to do is something remarkable. You could express your greetings and wishes, write a poem or a song, send some flowers or balloons, bake a cake, treat them to a one-day spa session, or arrange a party.

Birthdays are among the few times of the year that people can celebrate themselves and feel special. It is because a birthday is a celebration of one’s existence and a thanksgiving for another great year of life. That is why birthdays are often celebrated with a fabulous party with family and friends. It is even more memorable if close people give the celebrant unique birthday gifts.

Here are some birthday ideas that will really put a smile anyone’s face:

Express your greetings and wishes
Though very simple, birthday greetings and wishes expressed verbally will most certainly make birthday celebrants happy. It lets them know that someone actually remembers their day. This is a very good way to jump-start a day full of surprises.

Write a poem or a song
Writing a poem is another way for you to express your warmest greetings and wishes to people celebrating a birthday. What’s so amazing about it is that it’s not only very unique, but it also adds to the value of the occasion as well. Your words can be inspiring or romantic. Either way, your message will surely enhance your friendship and strengthen any relationship. You can try adding these poems and songs to their birthday cards or presents.

Send some flowers or balloons
Small gestures of love, like giving flowers and balloons, can already mean something big to someone celebrating a birthday. Drop them off at the person’s workplace early in the morning, or have them delivered so that they will enjoy them for the rest of the day.

Bake a cake
Giving birthday cakes is a traditional way of making people feel special on their birthdays. But, it can even be more special if you bake the cake yourself. Even if it doesn’t taste as good or look as fancy as the baker’s, at least you made the extra effort just to make someone smile.

Treat them to a one-day spa session
After another year of work, study, play, and stress, treat them to a day of complete relaxation and pampering. Tell them that on their special day, they ought not to do anything but relax and rejuvenate. It will also be a good start to begin another year full of life’s bliss and challenges. You can also do this a day before their birthdays so that on their special day, they’ll feel more relaxed and contented.

Arrange a party
To end the day with a bang, surprise them with a special birthday party. It does not matter how big or small it is. What matters most is that the celebrants are enjoying their days. It will be even more special if the party is attended by close friends and family members.

Birthdays can be special without spending much money for a present. Remember that anything that sincerely comes from the heart is all that matters.  After all, it is the thought that counts!
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All the Friday blog hops...

Here we go again!  All the Friday blog hops are coming online and I'm jumping in!  Make sure to follow the host(s) and than link up!  After that, follow all the blogs you want and, if you like, follow all who follow you!  Have fun and let me know where you found me.  I'll be sure to come over and follow you!

Let's start with Friendly Friday Follow over at Toddler Awesome!

Then on to Friday Follow

 Next is Friendly Friday hosted by Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier, Christi at Frugal Novice and Charla at Healthy Home Blog!

How about some Blog Hop Friday

Trendy Treehouse and The Girl Creative have joined up for New Friend Fridays!
My Wee View

And last, but not least, is Fun Follow Friday hosted by My Wee View and Simply Stacie!

I hope everyone has a fantastic first weekend of summer!
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Social Parade Follow On Fridays blog hop

Smart and Trendy Moms

It's Thursday afternoon which means it's time to get those blog hop buttons posted!  We'll start with Smart & Trendy Moms and the Social Parade Follow On Fridays.  Make sure to follow the host(s) first and then move on to the other blogs.  Have fun!
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June 23, 2010

In anticipation of my Birthday Event...

6 Unique Ways to Wrap a Gift

Giving gifts is simply exciting. Wrapping them uniquely is possible when you follow these fun tips: think about giving gift packages, use surprising wrappers, use uncommon package ties, use unexpected containers, ingeniously use gift labels, and reveal some emotions onto the gift.

A gift should always be distinct so it is more meaningful to both you and the recipient. You can make it extra special by wrapping your present with artistic materials. Giving unique gifts to your loved ones and friends brings forth a good and lasting impression about you. It shows your creativity and resourcefulness.

Here are 6 things you can do to come up with exceptionally wrapped gifts:

Give gift packages
Try grouping gifts as a set of items that belong together. You can do this by placing them in gift baskets. Determine the theme first before wrapping items to save yourself time. If you intend to make a baby shower gift basket, have it filled with clothes, blankets, socks, and bath toys that are suitable for babies from newborn to a few months old. A baking gift package is suitable for a friend, relative, or family member who is inclined to bake pastries and cakes. A good idea is to place baking tools inside a baking pan and then wrap it with cellophane tied with a ribbon.

Use surprising wrappers
Use a surprising gift wrapper for a really unique and exciting gift. Use materials intended for other purposes such as fabric, foil, newspaper, comic pages, colored art paper, maps, and sheets from a magazine.

Use uncommon package ties
Avoid using the usual ribbons and laces in tying your gift. You can use wire, stickers, neckties, belts, sashes, and strings. Using a part of the gift to tie your box or gift container is another technique of showing the inventive you. Use the scarf that matches a casual dress gift to tie the package. Or try using the striped tie as the ribbon for the gift box that contains the perfectly matched shirt.

Use unexpected containers
Place your gift inside an unexpected container such as a ring inside a clean egg, put a book inside a cereal box, place wine gifts in a hand puppet, and position a watch inside a sock.

Ingeniously use gift labels
Make your own gift label by downloading printable tags from the Internet. You can also use old freight or shipping tags.

Reveal some emotions onto the gift
Come up with a customized package. You can do this by wrapping a gift with newspaper dated the day you first met.

Anyone receiving a gift wrapped with such thought and style will surely be touched and feel as special as they are to you!
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June 22, 2010

evolve Water Lily Showerhead {REVIEW & GIVEAWAY}

Are you one of those people who like to start the shower and let it get really hot before you get in but hate to waste water and money?  I am, too and I have a perfect solution for you, it's called the evolve Water Lily Showerhead!  These showerheads are so great because you can turn on the water and then go do something important like start your morning coffee or get the kids up and when you get back to the shower, the water will be hot and you won't have wasted any of it!  It can also help you save money over the course of the year buy conserving the hot water as soon as it heats up.  evolve showerheads has created ShowerStart technology which allows you to turn on the water without wasting the hot stuff which, around here, is almost as expensive as gold.  You can save time, water, energy and money and this showerhead is not even low flow!  You get the benefits of a rain shower without the worries about not being able to rinse the shampoo from your hair.  The Water Lily also has three different spray settings so if you are looking for a massaging spray one morning, you can change the rain shower to a massage shower or you can have the best of both worlds on the combo setting!

Here are some of the features of the evolve Water Lily Showerhead:

  • ShowerStart™ technology
    save time, water & money without lowering water flow 
  • maximum flow rate allowable by law
  • multi-function rain head
  • works with standard shower arm
  • ideal balance of coverage and great flow
  • 3 spray patterns:
    rain, massage and a combination spray
  • solid brass fittings
  • anti-clog nozzles
evolve showerheads also sells other types of showerheads including handheld and standard showerheads and the great thing is all of their showerheads feature the ShowerStart technology!

What Did I Think?

I am very pleased with the evolve Water Lily showerhead!  I don't think I quite understood how great the ShowerStart technology would be until I got to witness it first hand.  Like most couples, my husband and I hate to be the second one taking the shower because the hot water is dwindling quickly and the ShowerStart technology helps us maintain the hot water much longer by conserving it until we are ready to hop in the shower.  The showerhead itself is very pleasing to the eye (we got the chrome polish but it also comes in brushed nickel) and is extremely easy to install.  In fact, I installed ours before my husband got home from work.  Don't get me wrong, I've installed plenty of showerheads but I was a little worried about extra parts due to the ShowerStart technology.  Luckily for me there were no extra parts or difficult instructions; just remove your old showerhead and screw on the new one!  The flow out of the showerhead is perfect, too.  I have very thick, curly hair so I'm always concerned about the flow rate of a showerhead because it takes some force to get the shampoo out of my hair and the Water Lily works great in that respect.  To me, this showerhead is worth every penny!

Where Can You Buy One?

You can purchase any evolve showerhead directly from evolve's website.  The prices range from $39.95 up to $129.95 depending on the style and materials you choose.  Those prices really aren't bad considering the fact that you will be saving some on your water and electric bills with the ShowerStart Technology.

You Can Win One Here!

evolve showerheads has graciously offered one of my lucky readers the opportunity to win a Water Lily showerhead in chrome polish finish (ARV $69.95) just like I received!

Mandatory Entry

You must visit evolve's website and leave a comment telling me which other showerhead you would like to have in your home.

Optional entries (make sure to comment separately for each additional entry)

3 entries - Follow my blog publicly.
3 entries - Grab my button and post it on your blog. Don't forget to include your blog address so I can go see it! (You can find my button in the column on the right)
3 entries - Blog about this giveaway linking back to this post and evolve showerheads. Leave the link to your blog post in your comment.
1 entry - Become a Giveaways and More email subscriber. Check your email and make to sure verify your address to gain this entry!
1 entry - Subscribe to my RSS feed.
1 entry - "Like" Giveaways and More on Facebook. 
1 entry - Fav Giveaways and More on Technorati. 
1 entry - Follow me on Twitter.
1 entry - Enter another active giveaway on Giveaways and More! (1 entry per giveaway entered)
1 entry (1x daily) - Tweet this giveaway. Make sure to include the link to your tweet in your comment.  Feel free to use this tweet:  

RT @curlyq776 I want to win a Water Lily showerhead from evolve showerheads! http://bit.ly/bsfzgC  Ends 7/6 #giveaway

This giveaway will close on July 6th at 11:59 pm PDT. This giveaway is open to US residents only. The winner will be chosen via random.org, announced on this blog and notified by email. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen and notified.

Thanks to evolve showerheads for sponsoring this giveaway! 

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free sample of this product to review and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.
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Rayovac Powers your Summer Promotion & Twitter Event!

Summer is here which means it's time for fun in the sun, fishing, camping, hiking, going to the beach or just playing outside with your kids!  Rayovac is giving families the opportunity to win amazing daily prizes as well as offering up tips to keep your family powered-up this summer!  Here's what you have to do to enter the daily contest:

1.  "Like" Rayovac on Facebook and check in everyday to see what the prize is for that day.
2.  Go to Rayovac's website and enter to win the daily prize by answering the question about how you'll be powering your summer and filling out the entry form!  You can win all sorts of prizes like cameras and camping supplies!  You must be 18 years old to enter and a US resident to enter.

Rayovac and 5Minutes4Mom will also be sponsoring a Twitter event where you can win even more prizes!  There will be over 20 giveaways during the event and all you have to do is show up and tweet about summertime!  How easy is that?  Here are the details:

Rayovac Powers Your Vacation Summer Promotion Twitter Event
Date:  Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Time:  7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. CST
Location:  #rayovac
Follow:  @Rayovac_Battery, @5minutesformom, @CirclePRMary
Disclaimer: The first 99 bloggers to promote the Rayovac Powers Your Summer Twitter Event won a prize package from Rayovac.
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June 21, 2010

Time to hop, hop, hop!

Tuesday is a blog hop day!  

Check out these fun blog hops and discover some amazing blogs that you never knew existed.

Start with Follow Me Back Tuesday hosted by Survey Junkie, Little Yaya's, Review Retreat and Boobies, Babies & A Blog!

Then had over to Twee Poppets and check out Tuesday Tag-Along.

Tuesday Tag-Along

Let me know where you found my blog in a comment.  I'll be sure to follow you back if you follow me!  

Happy Tuesday!
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June 20, 2010

Tropical Traditions Organic Coconut Flour Winner!

Congratulations to the winner of the Tropical Traditions Organic Coconut Flour!

#75 - Beth

Beth has been sent an email and has 48 hours to respond or I will have to choose another winner.

Thanks to everyone for entering!
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In honor of Father's Day and for all the new fathers out there...

10 Things I Learned When I Became a Father

By Rob Sachs,
Author of What Would Rob Do?: An Irreverent Guide to Surviving Life's Daily Indignities

With one month to go in my wife Anna's second pregnancy I'm about to become a dad all over again. This time around things seem to be going a lot faster. I remember before our daughter Rachel was born we were running around like crazy trying to get the house ready for her. We're still running around like crazy, only now it's because we're chasing after Rachel, a fast-moving two year old. I'm sure we'll have things ready for our new arrival, but that's probably just because we already have most of the things we need: crib, changing table, stroller, bottles, bibs, etc. It's funny to think of myself a "vet" in fatherhood but I did learn some valuable things the first time around. Now as I enter my second tour of infant duty, I thought it might be good to remind myself of the top ten things that kept me sane during the first year of fatherhood and share them with all the other new dads out there.

1) Get sleep whenever you can.  

People worry about how gross it's going to be to change a diaper.  You get over that after the first day. The much tougher adjustment is working on sleep deprivation . . . which brings me to # 2 . . .

2) Just because you're not the mommy doesn't mean you get a free pass on calming down the baby.

While it doesn't make practical sense for both you and mom to be with the baby 24/7, it helps a lot to work out with your spouse a way for you to both feel like you're sharing the responsibilities. This can be tricky especially if you have a demanding work schedule. The best thing I learned is to figure out a plan and have an open conversation about expectations before any resentment about one person doing more than their fair share creeps in.

3) Accept all hand-me-downs. 

We've learned to accept as much as our closets will hold without any restrictions on style. Even if you get a whole bag of clothes and only wind up using two shirts, those are still two shirts you didn't have to buy. The other thing to remember is that if you turn down clothes, you risk offending the giver and cutting off your supply chain.

4) Infants are somewhat boring.  

They're tiny, cute, precious, but they don't do much more then eat, cry, sleep, poop, and stare at things. Sometimes you feel like you're watching a puppy and not a baby. Be patient, slowly they'll start to give back. I remember feeling like I was worthy of a thousand "Best Dad in the World" mugs the first time I was able to make my daughter smile.

5) Don't lock yourself inside your house. 

Like most parents, Anna and I started off being terrified of taking Rachel out of her hermetically-sealed environment. While it is true infants are more susceptible to germs, a lot of parents go overboard and become hermits for the first few months. It was a huge breakthrough for us when we discovered that Rachel actually liked the din of restaurant chatter and that she would even sleep through an entire meal at the local diner.

6) Don't forget to take pictures. 

Of course you'll be snapping photos at the hospital, but it's important to leave the camera out for other smaller milestones like the first time they wave, crawl, stand up in the crib, or get their first tooth, and of course, their first holidays. Looking back, their time as an infant is so short you have to remind yourself to document all the great moments.

7) Prepare yourself for the fact that most newborns aren't very cute at first. 

This is something doctors conveniently fail to discuss in the days before the birth. But it makes sense; think about how you would look if your faced was smushed up in a tiny liquid-filled jar for nine months. Sometimes it takes a little while for all their cute features to emerge and that mildly freaky newborn look to disappear. These days I can't imagine how any sane person would not conclude that our daughter Rachel is in fact the most beautiful girl in the world, but when she was first born I think that opinion was confined to just me and Anna.

8) Plan out alone time with your spouse.

It's crazy but from here on in  -- any minute you want alone with your spouse, that's not within earshot of your little one, has to be planned for well in advance. So now is the time to work out with friends and family arrangements for giving yourselves a break.  It's also a good time to start calling around other parents to get babysitter recommendations...which leads me to #9 . . .

9) Line up the baby sitter first, and then plan the night out. 

In the beginning, Anna and would fret so much over whether or not our night out activity was "baby sitter worthy" that we wound up never going out. The problem was that we were setting the bar too high. After a while we realized it doesn't necessarily matter what we were doing as long as we had time for ourselves. Sometimes we'd just go to dinner or see a movie, and we were always glad we did.

10) The clichés are all true.  

Yes, the birth of my child was the happiest day of my life apart from my wedding. Yes, I'm turning into my parents. Yes, my baby is growing up so quickly; and yes, becoming a parent has been the most fulfilling and enriching life experience I've ever had. When you have children, people will say things like this to you over and over again and now you'll be able to nod in understanding because you're part of the dad club too.

© 2010 Rob Sachs, author of What Would Rob Do?: An Irreverent Guide to Surviving Life's Daily Indignities

Author Bio
Rob Sachs, author of What Would Rob Do?: An Irreverent Guide to Surviving Life's Daily Indignities, has spent the last ten years as a producer, reporter, and director for NPR shows, including Morning EditionAll Things Considered, and Tell Me More. He created the podcast What Would Rob Do? in 2006 and serves as its host.

For more information, please visit www.WhatWouldRobDo.com
Follow the author on Twitter: @robsachs
Follow the author on Facebook: facebook.com/whatwouldrobdo
Click here to subscribe to Rob's podcast
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June 19, 2010

More giveaways to come!

I just wanted to apologize for the lack of review and giveaway posts over the last week.  With out internet going out last week and having to wait for it to be restored as well as some personal stuff going on, I got off track.  I've got lots of products to write reviews on and most are giveaways, too!  In fact, I'll be posting one tomorrow, so look for that one as it's a very cool household item.  Don't forget about my birthday event in July and get over to my announcement post so that you can get 5 extra entries in all the wonderful giveaways!

Hope everyone has a fun filled Father's Day!
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June 18, 2010

Aloha Friday!

Over at An Island Life, every Friday is a celebration!  In Hawaii, Friday is the day to take it easy so we all ask a simple question and ask you to answer it!  Easy as that!  Check out the list of bloggers who participate on An Island Life!

Who do you spend Father's Day with?

We usually spend Father's Day with my husband's family but this year my in-laws are on an Alaskan cruise so we're just hanging out together.  My dad lives almost 300 miles away so I'll call him but won't be able to spend the day with him.

Have a great weekend, everyone!!
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June 17, 2010

TGIFriday! Blog hops, here I come!

Friday is the unofficial blog hop day!  Most of them have the same rules after you add your blog to the list.

1.  Follow the hostess(es) first and leave a comment letting them know you are following.
2.  Follow any other blogs you would like.  Make sure to let them know you're a new follower.
3.  Have fun!

It always begins with Smart and Trendy Moms and It's a Social Parade!  Let the fun begin and join on up!

I'll be adding other blog hops as they come online.  Lots to do on Friday!

Toddler Awesome also hosts a blog hop called Friendly Friday Follow!  Go link up!


There's also Friday-Follow Me

And, Blog Hop Friday!

And Follow Me Fridays at Trendy Treehouse!

And Friendly Friday hosted by Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier, Christi at Frugal Novice and Charla at Healthy Home Blog!


And Follow Me Friday at Still On The Verge!
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