Archives for October 2009

Some Funnies for the Weekend…

Happy Halloween!

I may not be here, but there will still be some new content added everyday. Be sure to stop by often.

Today, I thought I’d share some funnies from one of my other blogs. Here are just a few of the funny things my kids have said:

  • We bought Parker a HUGE blow-up playpen. (It was on sale for anabsolute steal!) While we were blowing it up (because our air pumpkeeled out), we were all taking turns. All of a sudden, Jace burst intotears. When I asked him why he was crying he said, “Zander’s going touse up all his air if he keeps blowing!”
  • Jace has been really sick all week. Last night, he was lying in my bedand Parker was next to him. Jace was talking away to Parker and then heaccidentally called Parker “Lucy.” I couldn’t help but giggle when Iheard Jace tell Parker:

    “I’m so sorry, Parker. I know you’re not Lucy. Blame it on Mama. She’s the one who had all these kids.”

  • Jace was mad at me this afternoon because I wouldn’t let him dosomething that he wanted to do. He told me, “When I grow up, I’m goingto do whatever I want to do!”

    Zander jumped in and said, “Only if your wife says you can!”

  • This afternoon, as we were driving into town, we saw a bunch of trucksin front of our little post office, and yellow Caution tape. Ashley’seyes grew as big as saucers and she asked, “Was someone killed at ourpost office?”

    (Now, you must know that we live in a teeny town,popluation… about 12. Nothing ever happens here, and if it does,Grandma tells me. She didn’t tell me about someone being killed outsideof our post office.)

    As we drove past the post office, we sawthat they were pouring new sidewalk, and the yellow caution tape was tokeep people away from the freshly poured concrete.

    I asked Ashwhy she thought someone had been killed, and she said, “Because on tvthey only use that yellow tape at a crime scene.”

I love having a large family, because you never know what you’ll hear out of any of their mouths – at any given time!

What are some of the funny things your kids have said?

Time to Hit the Road!

I can’t believe it’s the end of October. As this post goes live, I will be in a truck, heading toward Ohio with 5 crazy monkeys along for the ride. I must be crazy! But, when family and friends live so far away, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do!

We picked this weekend to head back to Ohio simply because of Halloween. I love Halloween. Not the gory, gross side of it, but the silly, fun, CANDY part of it. Where we live in GA, Trick-or-Treating just isn’t feasible.When the houses are half a mile apart, and each driveway is about half a mile long, you could do 2 houses and be pooped. Our first 2 years down here, we tried to be like the locals. Each year, all the kids head to town, dressed in their finest, and walk from table to table that businesses have set up, and get your candy. YAWN. (Oops. Sorry. Did I say that out loud?)

It’s just not what I’m used to. The best part about Halloween is getting all dressed up, and freezing your butt off as you run from house to house to get your candy. Sometimes you know the people, other times you couldn’t care less. You’re just there for the candy!

So, I’m packing up my crew and heading North for some good old fashioned Trick-or-Treating. And I can’t wait. We’re headed to our old neighborhood, and it’ll be fun to see our old neighbors again.

Our costumes are packed, and I’ll have Dorothy (Lucy), the Wicked Witch (Ashley), the Lion (Parker), the Scarecrow (Jace), and the Tin Man (Zander) along with me. I can’t wait to show them off!

Ya’all be good, and when I get back, I promise to have lots of pictures to show you.

And don’t worry – there will still be LOTS going on over here on the blog. I’ll make sure there’s something new for you to read every day while I’m gone. So, visit often. Lord only knows what you may read on here while I’m gone. And I won’t have internet access, so I’m praying everything goes smoothly!

Wish me luck! I’ll see you soon!

Follow Fridays on Hold

With vacation, I need to put Follow Fridays on hold this week and next week.

I apologize, and I promise that I’ll come back with some great new blogs for you to follow.

Thanks for understanding!

El Tacodor – Family Taco Night Game (Closed)

As if Taco Night wasn´t the best night of the week already, Old El Paso is giving it a whole new flare. El TacodorTM, the world´s only Family Taco Night Game, is a fun and easy way to keep your family laughing at the dinner table. Challenge family members to quick fire trivia, wordplay and pantomime, and share a laughter filled night at home.

MyBlogSpark recently sent me a fabulous package from Old El Paso to try out Family Taco Game Night with my family.

I can’t wait to tell you about how much fun we had!

My Review of the El Tacodor Dinner Game

We have taco night once a week in our house. Normally, Thursday nights are reserved for this special night, but this week, we made an exception. Last night, we had taco night, and when I told the kids that we’d be adding something a little special to taco night – meaning GAMES – they got quite excited.

Old El Paso is my absolute favorite brand of taco products, so you can just imagine how excited I was to get offered the chance to be a part of this spark from My Blog Spark! We all love their Cheesy Taco mix, and their shells and tortillas are simply the best. Hubby grabbed all the ingredients we needed, and he even made dinner for us!

We put all the ingredients on the table, passed out plates, and got to work. Ummm…. Play. There’s a great little starter kit for the El TacodorTM Dinner Game that you can download off their website. I grabbed the score sheet, a pen, and we were ready to go! We played at least one game from each section, as there are 5 types of games you can play:

  • Crunch Time – Beat the Clock Play
  • Meat-N-Greet – Family Fun Play
  • Lettuce Play – Pantomime Play
  • In the Lime Light – Performance Play
  • Say Cheese – Wordplay

We all had a ball! I haven’t heard laughing like that at the dinner table in ages! We laughed so hard, our sides hurt! The kids loved the challenges Toon Time, Animal Action, Liplock, You Crack Me Up, and Spicy Words. My absolute favorite was the Liplock – you have to pick a partner and then name different vegetables without opening your lips – not a crack! Your partner must correctly guess 3 vegetables! After that, though, I’m thinking we need to brush up on our vegetables a bit! 🙂

We had such a great time, and we are definitely going to make the El TacodorTM Dinner Game a part of our weekly dinner routine. I loved watching the kids laugh and play – and EAT! Not one complaint came from anyone tonight, because we were way too busy having fun!


Want to Try the El Tacodor Dinner Game For Yourself?

It´s easy to play the El Tacodor Dinner Game. All you need are Old El Paso® taco fixings and a FREE game-ready El Tacodor Pack which includes instructions, a scorecard and a challenge sheet which you can download at www.ElTacodor.com.

I also wanted to let you know – you can also enter the Old El Paso El Tacodor Sweepstakesfor a chance to win $5,000 just for having fun withyour family. Other prizes include monthly giveaways of $300 cash cards,and weekly giveaways of gift certificates for Old El Paso products forthe next five months. When you visit El Tacodor you will also find alink to coupons, a calendar to schedule your next taco night, toppingchoice chart and more!

Want to WIN? I’ve got a fabulous prize pack to give away to one of my readers! One lucky winner will receive (2) two coupons to purchase El Paso dinner kits and a $10 gift card to purchase any additional meal needs(i.e. meat, cheese, lettuce, etc) thanks to MyBlogSpark and Old El Paso.

To Enter:
Leave a comment and tell me what your favorite part of Taco Night is with your family.
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win.

Want Extra Entries?

  • Blog About this Giveaway by copying and pasting the following (5 extra entries) :
    Taco Night = Family FUN! Head over to the giveaway that Angie at 5 Vinez Monkeys is having featuring Old El Paso and theEl TacodorTM, the world´s only Family Taco Night Game! One lucky winner will receive (2) two coupons to purchase El Paso dinner kits and a $10 gift card to purchase any additional meal needs(i.e. meat, cheese, lettuce, etc). You won’t want to miss this giveaway! Stop by before 11:59pm ET on November 15th and enter to win!

  • Subscribe to us via email or reader. (Leave a comment for each that you do.)
  • Follow us on twitter. (Leave your twitter handle here, please!)
  • Tweet about this contest. (Unlimited – just leave a comment for each tweet!)
  • Grab our button and put it in your sidebar. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Follow our blog – either through Google’s Followers Gadget or through Facebook’s Networked Blogs. Leave a comment for each one that you do.

    Fine Print:
    Contestis open to residents of the US. If you already do any of the above, youqualify. Please leave a comment for each of the extra entries youcomplete. However, you must first leave the required comment as statedabove. Giveaway will end on Sunday, November 15th at 11:59pm (EST), andthe winner will be selected via random.org. Winners will be announced by Monday, November 18th and will have 48 hours to claim their prize,or it will be forfeited and a new winner will be pulled.

    Disclaimer:I received the prize pack listed above from MyBlogSpark to get my honest and personal review. The freeproducts have in no way influenced my opinion.

Wordless Wednesday: What a Difference a Year Makes!

This is Parker last Halloween:

And here he is this year:

I can’t believe how much he’s grown! He’s gone from a little baby to a little boy – almost overnight! SIGH.

If you’re participating in Wordless Wednesday, leave your link here:

I am SO Proud of You!

Every single one of the Birthday Bash Prizes were claimed! Every winner had an email address to contact them, and each of them claimed their prize well before the deadline.

Kudos to all of the winners. That was the easiest bash I’ve ever hosted! 🙂

Looks like we’ll have to do things like this more often!

Auction for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Starting tomorrow (October 28th), Bridget at Mint Green with Envy will be holding a 3 day auction for the benefit of Breast CancerAwareness. She has several items that will be up for bid. 100% of theProceeds will donated to http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/

Please consider stopping by her blog and checking out the items she has up for auction! This is a great cause, and something we should all support!

The Teething Pain Relief Necklace (Closed)

I was recently contacted by SuperMama to try out their product: the Amber Teething Pain Relief Necklace . Before I get to my review (and the giveaway!), I wanted to share some information with you about the Teething Pain Relief Necklace.

About the Product

SuperMama Amber Teething Pain Relief Necklace is a natural teething pain remedy for babies and children ages two months to two years.

Amber, the fossilized resin from prehistoric trees that date as far back as 50 million years, has been worn for centuries as a natural remedy to relieve pain, promote fast healing and boost the body’s own immune system. Worn against a baby’s skin, the Baltic amber necklace releases natural oils with proven analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects that soothe teething pain and reduce inflammation as well as drooling.

While most other teething pain treatments involve applying gels, taking tablets or chewing biscuits, amber is different. The oils released from amber contain succinic acid, which recent scientific research has proven to have a beneficial effect on the human body. Benefits include stimulating the thyroid glands to help reduce drooling and soothe red, inflamed cheeks, in addition to other calmative and anti-fever functions. Simply put the necklace on baby’s neck, and it will work by itself (the necklace is not intended to be chewed, but simply worn).

The Baltic amber teething necklace has been around for decades in Europe, and is even sold in pharmacies in Germany and Switzerland, and is recommended by European Pediatricians.


My Review of the Teething Pain Relief Necklace
Parker is teething right now. He just cut tooth #8 and he’s working on 9 and 10 as well. Parker started teething later than any of my other kids, but once he started, it took off like a rocket. Because he’s cut so many teeth so quickly, it has been a painful, horrible experience for both of us. When SuperMama contacted me and asked if I’d like to try the Teething Pain Relief Necklace, I jumped at the chance. I would give anything to find something that actually provides relief to my poor little guy!

The package arrived late last week, and I immediately put it on him. I honestly had no idea what to expect, or how fast I could expect to see any changes – if there even would be any. I am not kidding when I tell you that I noticed a change right away.

Parker is a drooler. It’s bad. But, when he’s wearing the necklace, there’s no drool. He doesn’t gnaw on anything he can get his mouth on, and he actually seems happy. No Tylenol or Motrin needed.

I left the necklace on him all day Saturday. No drool. No cranky baby. We even went to a birthday party on Saturday night, and Parker was as happy as could be. He showed no signs of teething pain at all. I thought it was a fluke. There was no way this necklace could work that well that fast.

So, on Sunday, I left the necklace off all day. Parker was back to his old self – drool everywhere, cranky, chewing on anything he could find. Just miserable. Sunday evening, after church, I put the necklace back on him and couldn’t believe the change it made in him. I’m convinced that this necklace really works – at least on Parker. There’s no medicine involved – no messy tablets, no gels, nothing. Just clip on the necklace and go. How easy is that?

And the necklace offers several safety features that I LOVE:

  • It is CPSIA complaint, and has been tested in a 3rd party lab to make sure it’s safe.
  • The clasp is made of plastic and the screw will break away with pressure.
  • Each bead (made of pure, natural Baltic amber) on the necklace is individually knotted for safety and durability. That means if the necklace breaks, only one bead will come off.
  • The size of the beads was selected so that if the baby ingests a bead, he will simply pass it through harmlessly.

Now, I don’t recommend letting your baby eat the beads, but if something happened, it’s good to know he’d be ok. And I love that it’s individually knotted. It’s that one extra step that makes all the difference in the world.

The only drawback is that I’m not comfortable letting him sleep in the necklace. So, that means we deal with the teething pain and discomfort at night. But, during the day, he loves wearing it, and I love how much it seems to help him. And it is a little pricey at $26, BUT, when you think about all the money you spend on tablets, gels, and other pain relief products for baby, it’s really not such a bad deal.

Overall, I am really impressed with the SuperMama Teething Pain Relief Necklace . I know there’s no such thing as a “miracle item,” but this has really made a tremendous difference in Parker. I can’t promise that it will work this well for you, because every baby is different, but I am really wishing I had had this with each of my teething babies!


Want to try the Teething Pain Relief Necklace for Your Baby?
To Buy: It’s not available yet, but after Monday, November 2nd, you can head to the SuperMama website and purchase your Teething Pain Relief Necklace for $26.

You Can WIN! I’ve got a Mixed Amber Teething Pain Relief Necklace to giveaway to one of my readers!

To Enter:
Visit the SuperMama website. Then, come back here and tell me one advantage the necklace offers that you think you’d like.
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win.

Want Extra Entries?

  • Blog About this Giveaway by copying and pasting the following (5 extra entries) :

    Cranky Baby? Is teething pain getting to be too much? Head over to the giveaway that Angie at 5 Vinez Monkeys is having featuring SuperMama! You can win a Teething Pain Relief Necklace. You won’t want to miss this giveaway! Stop by before 11:59pm ET on November 13th and enter to win!

  • Subscribe to us via email or reader. (Leave a comment for each that you do.)
  • Follow us on twitter. (Leave your twitter handle here, please!)
  • Tweet about this contest. (Unlimited – just leave a comment for each tweet!)
  • Grab our button and put it in your sidebar. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Follow our blog – either through Google’s Followers Gadget or through Facebook’s Networked Blogs. Leave a comment for each one that you do.

    Fine Print:
    Contestis open to residents of the US. If you already do any of the above, youqualify. Please leave a comment for each of the extra entries youcomplete. However, you must first leave the required comment as statedabove. Giveaway will end on Friday, November 13th at 11:59pm (EST), andthe winner will be selected via random.org. Winners will be announced by Sunday, November 15th and will have 48 hours to claim their prize,or it will be forfeited and a new winner will be pulled.

    Disclaimer:I received the items listed above from SuperMama to get my honest and personal review. The freeproducts have in no way influenced my opinion. Please note that this product may not work the same for you.

Evenflo Smart Steps (Review)

As a mom of 5, and a former toddler daycare teacher, I have seen more toddler meal times than a person could ever begin to count. I’ve had picky eaters, I’ve had super eaters. I’ve had babies in both the higher and lower percentiles for weight.

And yet, with each one of my children, I have constantly wondered if my toddler is eating enough. Am I serving the proper portion sizes? Am I causing my child to eat too much – or too little? It’s easy to beat yourself up as a mom and wonder if you are giving your child exactly what they need.

Luckily, Evenflo has done something to help fix that problem! They have introduced their new Smart Steps Feeding line, and it is something that moms everywhere will be cheering for. (Myself included!) When eating habits start out healthy, it leads to a lifetime of healthy choices.


My Review of Evenflo Smart Steps

Mom Central sent me 4 of the new Evenflo Smart Steps feeding line products to test out with Parker. They sent the Insulated Cup, the Discovery Spoons, the Snack Stackers, and the Magic Labels. I’ll take each product one by one and give you my thoughts and opinions.

First, the Insulated Cup – Even though the cup is pink, this is my new favorite sippy cup for lots of reasons. First, I love that it’s insulated. The drink stays cooler longer, which is great for long car trips. Second, it comes with handles that Parker loves. He can grip them easily, and has no problems drinking from this cup at all. Third, there is NO EXTRA VALVE to clean or lose. This feature has me shouting from the rooftops! The cup is still spillproof, but there are no little pieces to get lost in the dishwasher or spend hours trying to get really, really clean. The spout is super easy to clean, and everything about the cup is fantastic. I’m stocking up on several more of the green and blue cups because I love this cup so much!

Next, we tried the Discovery Spoons. I’m kind of working on self-feeding with Parker, but not really pushing it. These spoons are perfect for him to hold in his little hands and try his hand at gripping and holding silverware. I love that it’s soft, so he can’t hurt himself. And the food is easy to scoop up, which is an added bonus for any toddler that’s learning to self feed.

The Snack Stackers are the perfect size for snacks on the go. I can add fish crackers, cheerios, or any small snack to the bowl, snap on the lid, and we’re ready to go. The lids snap on easily, and while they aren’t difficult to remove, it’s not easy enough for a baby to pull off. (Which is a good thing when you’ve got a little one who loves to try and remove every lid from every bowl he can find.) Another great bonus is that the lid attaches to the base of the bowl for a little extra stability. And, the bowls stack nicely for quick and easy storage in the cupboard without taking up a ton of space. The colors are bright and vivid, and they’re great to have on hand.

Lastly, the Magic Labels (an iParenting Media Award: Honors Award Winner) are honestly one of the coolest ideas I’ve come across as a mom. They fit perfectly on the lids of the smart snackers. I’m able to fill each container, write a quick note to Daddy or the sitter on the label, and not have to worry. Then, when the lid gets washed, the note dissolves away! Now how cool is that? You can use any kind of pen or marker to write on the label, and there’s no trace of the label left after washing! I love this idea, and I can think of dozens of uses for these. From labeling meals to snack all the way to labeling crafts and art supplies for homeschooling. They’re fantastic!

Another product in this line that I didn’t get to try – but am definitely interested in! – is the Portion Plate. Some of the features include:

  • Proper portion sizes identified on plates with colors and graphics.
  • 2 pack plates with 2 dipping cups that can be placed in many locations on the plates.
  • Cups hold the child’s favorite dip or sauce. Cups can also be used to encourage picky eaters to try new foods. Either use of the cups – dipping or sampling, will allow the child to explore new foods.
  • Plate conveniently becomes a lid when turned over to allow storage of leftovers.
  • Plates easily stack for storage.
  • Slip resistant base for fewer spills.

Sounds like a product that I could have used a lot over the last 12 years! What a great idea! I will definitely be trying it out soon.

Now, I know you’re dying to know how to get your hands on these Evenflo products, right? Well, according to the Mom Central website:

Evenflo Smart Steps is currently available to purchase at Babies R Us, Burlington and HEB and will be available in Walmart stores nationwide beginning in January 2010.

Our nearest Babies R Us is over 2 hours away, so I can’t wait until the new line hits Walmart next year! In the meantime, I think I’ll head to the Babies R Us website and order me a couple more of these insulated cups!

I also wanted to let you know that Mom Central has a link to a coupon on their (NEW!) website. Click here to check it out: Evenflo Coupon

Many thanks to Mom Central and to Evenflo for letting me try out these products. And thank you, Evenflo, for making toddler meal time a little easier on us moms!

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Evenflo and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. In addition, Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Birthday Bash Winners!

I’ve got a whole slew of winners to announce, so let’s get to it!

First, we had the Sweet Pea Creations $25 GC. The lucky winner is:

63. Gianna said… Pink Snowflake Holiday Birth Announcement 🙂

Next, we have the Suzi Homemaker Personalized Diaper Tote Giveaway winner:

43. justicecw said… I love the personalized apron for my son! thanks, justicecw@hotmail.com

Next, we have the Blue Sherpa Babycapes winner:

52. Kim said… twitter follow u -kgail11

Then, the Santa Letter Winners:

31. karenmed409 said… blogged entry #1 http://gummasplace.blogspot.com/2009/10/birthday-bash-kreative-kids-fun-mail.html ~ karenmed409 at comcast dot net

and

59. Some Lucky Dog said… tweet http://twitter.com/someluckydog/status/5090237728

The next winner is the one for the Ginger’s Garden Baby Care:

33. Owen’s Mom said… Tweet! ~ http://twitter.com/notimeMom/status/5043880353 ~ andrea.kruse at gmail dot com

After that, we’ve got the winner for the Usborne Books Giveaway:

147. dvice said… I like the In the Castle book

We also have the winner of the Personalized Childrens CD:

33. justicecw said… Tweeted at http://twitter.com/justicecw/status/5102064638 ~ justicecw@hotmail.com

The winner of the Harry Teddy Bat is:

56. justicecw said… I am a subscriber ~ justicecw@hotmail.com

And, last but not least, the $25 GC to One Step Ahead Giveaway winner is:

80. mogrill said… The Secure Transitions baby tub is really neat!! Thanks very much for the chance. mogrill@comcast.net

Congratulations to all the winners! (And justicecw, you need to head out and buy a lottery ticket today, you lucky duck!)

Winners MUST send an email to angie [@] 5vinezmonkeys [dot] com before Tuesday at 12:00pm (noon) ET with their name, address, and email address. Any prizes not claimed by noon on Tuesday will be given away during a LIVE giveaway on Wednesday, October 28th.

Thanks to everyone who participated! And a HUGE thank you to our sponsors for the birthday bash! Please take some time to visit them!

New Winner of the Not-So-Scary Halloween Giveaway!

The last winner never responded to my email, so I’ve pulled a new winner in the $50 Halloween Download Bundle from YouCanMakeThis.com giveaway.

13. Danielle said… I want to try the “Candy Corn Cutie” outfit! Too cute!

Congratulations! An email will be sent your way. Please respond by Monday at 8am in order to claim your prize.

Also, don’t forget that our Birthday Bash Giveaways end tonight at midnight!

Yo Gabba Gabba! Music is… Awesome! (Closed)

Yo Gabba Gabba! is one of Lucy’s absolute favorite shows to watch. She absolutely loves all the characters, and she can tell me anything that anyone could ever want to know about the show. And her absolute favorite part of Yo Gabba Gabba! is the music. Lucy *loves* to sing and dance, and Yo Gabba Gabba! really gets her moving.

Now, you can bring the music of Yo Gabba Gabba! to your CD player and your MP3 player! Yo Gabba Gabba! has released a brand new album called Music is… Awesome! both on CD and digitally. You’ll be singing along with favorites from the show in no time like Party in my Tummy, I Like to Dance, and Get the Sillies Out, along with many, many others! This first-ever Yo Gabba Gabba! CD Release hits shelves nationwide on Oct. 20th, 2009. The CD release is on the heels of the YGG! LIVE tour announcement for YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE: THERE’S A PARTY IN MY CITY playing in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.

About Yo Gabba Gabba!
Yo Gabba Gabba! premiered in the U.S. on Nickelodeon in August, 2007 and currently ranks as one of the most popular series on television with broad appeal among preschoolers, parents, teens and adults. The award-winning series is created by Christian Jacobs and Scott Schultz and is produced by The Magic Store and W!LDBRAIN. Jon Berrett and Michael Polis are executive producers. It was voted as one of the best new shows on television by TIME magazine, won a BAFTA Award in 2008, was awarded the “Outstanding Achievement in Children’s Television” Award by the Television Critics Association and is a two-time EmmyÒ nominee. You can learn more about by Yo Gabba Gabba! visiting their website: www.yogabbagabba.com

Last week was premier week on Nick Jr. and Andy Samberg, The Roots and MGMT were among the celeb guests who appeared with the Yo Gabba Gabba! gang during the week of new episodes, which aired Monday, Oct. 12 – Friday, Oct. 16. ( Nick Jr. was formerly named NOGGIN). Additional guest stars appearing throughout the premiere week included hip-hop legend Biz Markie, teaching preschoolers how to beat box in the recurring “Biz’s Beat of the Day” segment, singer/illustrator/composer Mark Mothersbaugh (DEVO) in the recurring “Mark’s Magic Pictures” drawing segment, skateboarder Ray Barbee and musical guests Reeve Oliver, Lady Tigra and Little Ones. Yo Gabba Gabba!, currently shooting its third season, is created by Christian Jacobs and Scott Schultz and is produced by The Magic Store and W!LDBRAIN. The series airs daily at 1:00 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nick Jr. These episodes will be replayed so you can still catch them if you missed them last week!

Also, Yo Gabba Gabba! has recently gone LIVE! with their Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE: There’s a Party in my City Tour. The announcement was such a hit that the first tour SOLD OUT and new shows had to be added! The tour will start in LA, head to NY and then hit Chicago. (This is when I still wish I lived in Chicago! My kids would *love* to go!) Tickets are available on YoGabbaGabbaLive.com and www.ticketmaster.com. (Children under one year of age will be admitted free to sit on a parent’s lap.)

YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE: THERE’S A PARTY IN MY CITY Tour Dates:
*Recently Added

Los Angeles, CA @ Shrine Expo Hall
Saturday, November 14, 2009 11AM and 3PM
*Sunday, November 15, 2009 11AM and 3PM

New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
Saturday, November 21, 2009 11AM – 2PM – *5 PM

Chicago, IL @ Rosemont Theatre
Saturday, December 5, 2009 11AM and 3PM

Our Review of Yo Gabba Gabba!
We recently received a copy of the Music is… Awesome! CD and the Meet My Family DVD to review. Lucy couldn’t have been more excited when she saw the Yo Gabba Gabba! goodies in the review pack. The first thing she begged me to do was to put the DVD in. I did, and for the next hour and a half, I watched her jump, dance, sing, and interact with all the characters from Yo Gabba Gabba! Lucy has a very active imagination, and Yo Gabba Gabba is a wonderful tool to help foster her creativity.

After watching the DVD, we popped the CD into the stereo and got ready to groove! Lucy can sing the entire Yo Gabba Gabba! theme song, and she doesn’t stop moving the entire time. When the second song came on, she started jumping for joy! It was her favorite song! Party in My Tummy! We sing this song at every meal and at snack time. It’s a fun, easy way to get Lucy to eat her food, and encourage her to try new foods. We danced our way through the entire CD – all 21 songs! and then she wanted to do it again! Now, the CD has been uploaded to my iPod so that Lucy can have the songs while we’re on the go, and it’s also in the car CD player so she can sing along when we’re on the road. (I have a feeling this will be the CD of choice for most of the trip to Ohio next week!)

I really do wish we lived in one of the tour cities. Lucy would flip if she got to see the live show! I guess I’ll just keep everything crossed that the tour does really, really well and they expand it to more cities. (Ahem, Atlanta would be a great start!)

Want to Try Yo Gabba Gabba! for Yourself?
To Buy: There are lots of Yo Gabba Gabba! products you can buy! The Music is… Awesome! CD can be purchased on Amazon.com (among others) and downloaded from iTunes. You can also purchase the Christmas in Gabba Land Book (another item in the giveaway) and the Meet My Family DVD. And don’t forget that you can catch Yo Gabba Gabba! on Nick Jr. every day!

You Can WIN! I’ve got a copy of the Music is… Awesome CD to giveaway as well as the Christmas in Gabba Land book. (The book features your favorite Yo Gabba Gabba! characters and you can personalize it with your child’s picture.)

To Enter:
Leave a comment and tell me which Yo Gabba Gabba! character is your child’s favorite.
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win.

Want Extra Entries?

  • Blog About this Giveaway by copying and pasting the following (5 extra entries) :
    There’s a Party on Her Blog! Head over to the giveaway that Angie at 5 Vinez Monkeys is having featuring Yo Gabba Gabba! You can win the new Music is… Awesome CD and the Christmas in Gabba Land book. You won’t want to miss this giveaway! Stop by before 11:59pm ET on November 11th and enter to win!

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    Fine Print:
    Contest is open to residents of the US. If you already do any of the above, you qualify. Please leave a comment for each of the extra entries you complete. However, you must first leave the required comment as stated above. Giveaway will end on Friday, October 23rd at 11:59pm (EST), and the winner will be selected via random.org. Winners will be announced on Thursday, November 12th and will have 48 hours to claim their prize, or it will be forfeited and a new winner will be pulled.

    Disclaimer: I received a copy of the items listed above from Michelle K. Sisco Public Relations, LLC to get my honest and personal review. The free products have in no way influenced my opinion.

Follow Friday: Week 16

This week, our follow-worthy blog is Kim at What’s that Smell?

I first found Kim last year, when I entered (and won!) a virtual baby shower, and have been a faithful reader ever since. Kim is honest, straight-forward, and isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. And, she has a heart of gold!

Here’s how Kim describes her blog:

What’s That Smell?What’s That Smell? is the journey through motherhood and beyond of me (Kim) and my friend Lori. Together we call ourselves “Accidental Mommies” because we never thought we fit the mold.

“An ‘Accidental Mommy’ is a mommy who never thought she was mommy material but has learned through poop, spit-up and tears that she has what it takes”

What’s that Smell? offers fantastic giveaways, a fabulous gift guide, and fantastic tips for doing things you’ve always wondered how to do. (Like how to take a screenshot of an entire webpage.)

Head over to What’s that Smell? and bookmark her site. You’ll want to stop by often, I promise!

Kim, thank you for your wit, your humor, and all of the time you dedicate to your readers.

You’re welcome to place this on your blog if you’d like:


If you’re participating in Follow Fridays, leave a link to your post here:

Time To Break Out Your Lab Coat! (Review)

Science is all around us. From the food we eat to the cosmetics we wear. Now, Elmer’s has introduced 2 all-new science kits to promote fun and learning: Mythbusters Weird World of Water and the Magnificent Manicure Kit.

About the Mythbusters Weird World of Water
The Mythbusters activity kits are trial and error hands-on format, made popular by the Discovery Channel’s top show. Each kit contains several myths for you to “bust” regarding the specific title. Besides the Weird World of Water, other kits include Power of Air Pressure and Forces of Flight.

With the Weird World of Water Kit, you can test the power of whirlpools, create a liquid rainbow, launch your own water=powered rocket, and more!

The kits are available nationwide at Toys “R” Us, www.toysrus.com, www.target.com, and www.walmart.com.

The Weird World of Water Kit just received the FamilyFun Magazine 2009 T.O.Y. award.

Suggested Price: $19.99
Age Range: 9+

Available Now

About the “Scientific Explorer” Magnificent Manicure Kit
Scientific Explorer partnered with UC Berkeley’s Great Exploration in Math and Science (GEMS) program to create fun and educational science kits like the Magnificent Manicure Kit. In fact, the Magnificent Manicure Kit just picked up Creative Child Magazine‘s 2009 Toy of the Year Award in the Educational Toys category.

Magnificent Manicure Kits gives you everything you need to turn your house into a nail spa for the day.

The kit is available nationwide at Toys “R” Us and www.toysrus.com.

Suggested Price: $19.99
Age Range: 8+
Available Now

Our Review of Both Kits
Team Mom sent us both of the kits from Elmer’s to test out and get our opinion. Ashley couldn’t have been more excited. She loves science, so these kits were right up her alley!

First, let’s talk about the Magnificent Manicure Kit:
Ashley and I did this one together. Ashley is such a girly girl, and the fact that she could make her own hand lotion and other products – well, she just thought that was so incredibly cool.

We opened the box and got to work. The instructions were easy to follow, and there were even questions throughout the entire process to get Ashley thinking while she was creating. Because Ashley loves science so much, this was a great way for her to see that science really is all around us. It deepend her love of the subject even more, and since we’ve done this product, she’s now thinking more about the other products that we use every day. “Mom, what do you think they used to make this bubble bath?” “Mom, I bet I can name the solvent used in this baby wash.” I love how excited this kit got her.

We went through the entire book of experiments, and by the end, our hands and feet were shiny and as smooth as could be. If I could make one suggestion for this product, it would be to expand it a little further. This would be the perfect Slumber-Party activity. If they made the kit to include stuff for 5 – 6 girls to make the products at the same time, it would give each of them something to take home with them the next day, and they would even get a little education (the right kind of education!) while having something as fun as a slumber party!

Next, let’s talk about the Mythbuster’s Weird World of Water kit:
My husband loves Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel, so I figured this would be a great way for him and Ashley to do something together. Not only was Ashley excited about the experiments included, my husband couldn’t wait to dive into them either! And the boys just had to watch. They sat at the kitchen table with their eyes glued to what Ash and Daddy were doing.

The first experiment they tried was the Myth of the Deadly Vortex. The boys thought this was so incredibly cool. Especially when we added the beads to it and watched what the vortex did to them. Again, the kit asked questions along the way to help encourage learning. Love that! After the explanation of the experiment, there’s a “Science Content” section that gets them thinking even more. It talks about what they saw in the experiment, and it encourages them to try different forms of the experiment.

The next experiment we tried was the Myth of the Man Who Could Walk on Water. This was my favorite experiment. I had no idea you could get a potato to float on water – or suspend it in the middle of a cylinder. But you can! It all has to do with the density of the liquid. And now even my 5 year old understands what “dense” means. (Referring to liquid. Not people. We won’t go there.)

We also tried the liquid rainbow. But, we must have done it wrong because we couldn’t get it to work. Instead, we just got a glass of red liquid. I think we’re just going to have to try it again. And we are definitely going to try the Myth of the Pantry Projectile. The kids are dying to blast off a homemade rocket!

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As a homeschooling mom, these kits are exactly the kind of products that I can stand behind. The kinds of products that I want to have in my house, and the kind of products that I want around to encourage learning in my kids. To show them that learning doesn’t just have to come from a book. You can get hands-on and you can have fun.

And I love that the kits come from Elmer’s. They are absolutely a brand I trust. Honestly, before I received these products, I had no idea that Elmer’s made more than just school glue! They’ve got a whole slew of products and divisions that I will definitely be looking into more.

I am really impressed with both kits, and Ashley has already added the other 2 Mythbusters kits to her Christmas wish-list. You can bet that I’ll be getting them for her. I want her to grow her love for science even more, and I’ll gladly purchase the products that will help do that!

Consider adding these kits to your tween’s Christmas list. They’ll thank you for it. And who knows? You may just end up with your own little scientist because of them.

Disclaimer: Team Mom sent me each kit to test out with my kids and get my honest opinions and feedback. My review is simply what I found to be true with the products. Others may have different results.

I Completely Forgot!

I cannot believe I forgot Wordless Wednesday!

Ok, so I can believe it. This week has been insane so far – doctors appointments, dentist appointments, 2 hour car rides. I need a break.

Here’s the photo I would have shared, titled “Her Very Best Friend” :
If you participated in Wordless Wednesday, leave a comment with a link to your post. I want to come see!

You’ve Gotta Check Out Fancast! (Website Review)

FancastAs a mom of 5, sitting down and watching tv whenever I want is not an option. With all of our running around, I’m rarely home to enjoy Primetime TV every night. And 99% of the time, I forget to set the DVR before I leave the house.

Now when I forget, it’s no big deal! I’ve found something even better than my DVR. It’s Fancast, and it’s “Fancastic”! (Like my clever little play on words?)

More Information on Fancast
Taken from the Fancast website:

  • Fancast is THE top entertainment site dedicated to celebrating television. Fancast gives fans instant access to an extensive video collection of television shows, movies, trailers and clips, so they can tune-in, catch-up and critique their favorite television programming. Fancast also offers comprehensive editorial and blog coverage with in-depth recaps and analysis on what’s hot and happening everyday in the world of television and entertainment.
  • Fancast debuted in January 2008 and now has more than 10,000 hours of online video programming. There are more than 60,000 videos available, including over 13,000 full-length tv shows!
  • Fancast is not only an agnostic online video site, aggregating tv content from more than 100 sources, but Fancast has more TV extras than any other site including: pictorials, blogs, listings, live chats and Q&A’s with stars, and much more.

My Review of Fancast
The One2One Network invited me to join in on a blog tour featuring Fancast. Prior to their email, I hadn’t heard of Fancast. But a website that will allow me to watch the shows that I want to watch on my own time sounds like it’s right up my alley! I really wish I’d found out about Fancast earlier – especially during the time when we didn’t have tv! I could have kept up with all my favorite shows any time I wanted to.

There are several things I love about Fancast:

  • Besides having the brand new episodes of my favorite shows – like Bones, Survivor: Samoa, Medium, and Monk – they also have full episodes of some of my favorite shows from way back when – like Growing Pains, Alf, Family Ties, and The Dick Van Dyke Show. Plus, they even have cartoons that I watched as a kid that I can share with my kids. I almost flipped when I saw they had a Rocky & Bullwinkle video on there!
  • The show titles can easily be searched by letter, network, or by genre. It’s really easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.
  • Fancast doesn’t just show tv shows. The site will have you on information overload and loving every minute of it! There are movies to watch, news and gossip, trailers, blogs, q&a with the stars, and so much more. There’s even a store if you’d like to buy your favorite movies to have forever!
  • Fancast is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That means I can watch what I want when I want. Or when I can! If Parker’s up late, and there’s nothing on tv, I head to Fancast to catch up on an episode I missed or relive the good old days with a good old-fashioned rerun.

The only thing I would suggest to Fancast would be to add even more of the good old shows. I’d love to watch the old episodes of The Patty Duke Show and the Donna Reed Show that I used to watch late at night on Nick at Nite. And, PLEASE add in the new episodes of The Amazing Race!

I have had a ball on Fancast, and I’m certain that you’re going to love it too. Head on over to Fancast and find out what you’ve been missing! It’s free, so you haven’t got a thing to lose!

Disclaimer: The One2One Network asked me to give my honest review of Fancast. I was not paid or compensated in any way, but I have been entered into a drawing for a gift certificate by putting up this post. The chance for the gift certificate has not influenced my opinion in any way.

Not-So-Scary Halloween Giveaway Winner

The winner of the $50 Halloween Download Bundle from YouCanMakeThis.com is….

29. AmyLynn said… Blogged: http://pocketfullofsprinkles.blogspot.com/2009/10/you-can-make-this-giveaway-5-vinez.html (4)

An email has been sent your way. Please respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be pulled.

Winner did not respond. Prize has been repulled.

Thank you to all who entered. Don’t forget to enter all of the giveaways from the Birthday Bash!

Once in a Blue Moon (Book Review)

One2One Network recently sent me a copy of the new book by Best-Selling Author Eileen Goudge called Once in a Blue Moon to get my opinion of the book.

Before I get to my review, here’s more information about the book:

While she was growing up, twelve-year-old Lindsay had to look after three-year-old Kerrie Ann. When their mother was arrested and imprisoned for drugs, the girls entered foster care.

Nearly thirty years later, Lindsay owns a bookstore in the California seaside town of Blue Moon Bay. Adopted by a loving couple, she’s still trying to reconnect with her long-lost sister. Unbeknownst to her, Kerrie Ann has led a very different life, bounced from one foster home to the next. Now, newly sober, Kerrie Ann is fighting to regain custody of her own little girl.

When the sisters are finally reunited, the two very different women clash. As Lindsay and Kerrie Ann engage in the fiercest battles of their lives—while each embarks on a journey of the heart with the unlikeliest of men—they are drawn together.

My Review of Once in a Blue Moon
Before I get very far into the review, I need to say that while I was impressed with the book, the cover was a bit racy for me. Her other book covers were not like this, and I honestly didn’t expect this to be the cover of the book that was sent my way. When I received the book, I took off the cover and put it in a drawer. (Also note: I cropped the photo of the cover so I didn’t offend any of my readers.)

Now, that being said, the inside of the book more than makes up for the cover. From the moment I started reading, I was hooked! The author describes the characters in so much detail that I actually felt like I knew them. I started to really care about these characters and what happened to them. I love a book that can draw me in, and Once in a Blue Moon certainly did that.

It took me 3 days to read the book. (Not bad for a mom of 5!) I’d find myself sneaking off to the bathroom, locking the door, and sitting on the side of the tub for 10 minutes just to read a little bit more. At night, I’d sit in my great big recliner and tell myself, “Just one more page.” Then it became, “Just one more chapter.” I just couldn’t put it down.

Throughout the story, there are twists and turns and plots that one can’t even begin to imagine. There’s love and romance, friendship, and family. Overall it is just a really great read.

Once in a Blue Moon is the kind of book that one could curl up with and read cover to cover. Or, if you’re going on vacation, it would be a great option to throw in your suitcase and take with you. I kept wishing I was sitting by a pool just relaxing and reading away.

Want to Know More About the Book and the Author?
Here are lots of ways to get to know more about both:

Want to Get Your Hands on Once in a Blue Moon?
Buy It: Once in a Blue Moon released on October 6th, 2009. You can purchase it on the Once in a Blue Moon website, at your favorite local bookstore, or on Amazon.com.
Thanks to One2One Network for sending me a copy of the book to get my unbiased review.

Homeschooling Issue – I Need Your Advice

It’s lunch time here in the Vinez household. We finally started the homeschooling year last week, and I thought thing were going to be smooth sailing. I love the homeschooling curriculum this year. We went with the CLASS system again, but I like the textbooks they sent a lot better this year. Ashley is in the Junior High level stuff, so I’m praying I’m smart enough to get her through it. Zander has moved on from Kindergarten and is now in First grade. He’s got a lot more work this year than he did last year, which is definitely a good thing.

However, I am having an issue with Zander already, and I could use your advice.

Zander is very smart. Like almost scary smart. He doesn’t forget anything. He really has the mind of an elephant. What he hears, he retains.

Last year, he did really well in math. He blew through his book and gave me no problems at all. This year, in addition to the math workbook, we’ve also got a math drill book. The drill book contains 50 timed tests and 5 practice tests. There are 50 problems on each test. We’re on the 3rd practice test, and today Zander flipped out. I set the timer for 5 minutes (the maximum time allowed for the tests), and that was it. In those 5 minutes, Zander got 15 problems done. 15. He knows this stuff, he’s just convinced himself that he doesn’t know it.

The problem is because the test is timed. He freaks out and thinks that he can’t finish it in the amount of time he has. The thing is, I know he can, he just panics when the timer is turned on.

What are some ideas you have to help Z get his tests done in time and not panic. I can’t not time him, because it’s required. I could not set a timer, though, and just watch the clock. Do you think that would work? Are there other ideas that I’m not thinking about?

Homeschooling moms – or teachers – do you have children that do really well on seat work, but panic when it’s time for a test? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

My Little Pony: Twinkle Wish Adventure DVD Winner

The winner of the My Little Pony: Twinkle Wish Adventure Giveaway is……
111. Jinxy and Me said… tweeted http://twitter.com/ThriftyJinxy/status/4960155211

Congratulations! You have been sent an email! You have 48 hours to respond, or the prize will be repulled.

Thanks to all who participated! Be sure to enter all of the giveaways from the Birthday Bash!