Archives for September 2010

Scooby Doo Halloween Prize Pack Giveaway (Closed)

My kids love Scooby-Doo, and Halloween is the perfect time to celebrate the release of Scooby-Doo! Where Are You Volume 4 on DVD October 19th.

And what better way to celebrate on my blog than with a giveaway for the ultimate Scooby-Doo Halloween Prize Pack!

Here’s what one lucky winner will receive:

  • Scooby-Doo Halloween Costume (kids size)
  • Scooby-Doo Trick-or-treat bag
  • 2 Collectable Scooby-Doo Character Figures 
  • Scooby-Doo Bobble-head 
  • Scooby-Doo Magic Towel 
  • New Scooby-Doo Video Game, Scooby-Doo and the Spooky Swamp 
  • Scooby-Doo Where Are You V4 DVD

Awesome prize pack, right? Certain to please any Scooby-Doo fan!

Remember to get your copy of Scooby-Doo! Where Are You Volume 4 on DVD October 19th.

Can’t wait for October 19th? Get the Scooby-Doo! and the Spooky Swamp video game in stores now and check out www.facebook.com/WB-games for more info.

Get Zoinks Points for any Scooby product purchased and check out The WB Shop for everything else Scooby-Doo!

Now, let’s get to the giveaway!

To Enter
Mandatory: Visit the WarnerBros. Site and then come back here and tell me one other item you’d love to have.
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win. 

Want Extra Entries?

  • Tell me your favorite Scooby-Doo Character. (1 additional entry.)
  • Blog About this Giveaway. Be sure to include a link to 5 Vinez Monkeys and The WarnerBros. Shop. (5 extra entries)
  • Subscribe to us via email. (2 extra entries.)
  • Subscribe to us via reader. (1 extra entry.)
  • Become a fan of 5 Vinez Monkeys on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Become a fan of Warner Bros. on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Become a fan of WB Games on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook. (Once per DAY – just leave a link, or copy/paste text that you posted with your Facebook User Name.)
  • Follow 5 Vinez Monkeys and Warner Bros. on twitter. (Leave your twitter id, please!)
  • Tweet about this contest. (1 Tweet Per DAY.)
  • Grab our button and put it on your blog. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Grab the Baby Bonanza button and put it on your blog. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Add us to your blog roll. (Leave a link to your blog, please!)
  • Follow our blog publicly  – either through Google’s Followers Gadget or through Facebook’s Networked Blogs. (Leave a comment for each one that you do. Anonymous following doesn’t count.)
  • Write a review of 5 Vinez Monkeys on Alexa. (3 extra entries. Leave your Alexa profile name, please.)
  • Stumble this post. (Once. Please leave your stumbledupon username.)
  • **NEW** Vote for Me on Top Mommy Blogs. (2 extra entries. Can be done daily. Click the link or the button in my sidebar, then you must click on the words “Click here to vote.” Leave 2 comments every day you vote!) 

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 October 22nd at 11:59pm (EST), and the winner will be selected via random.org. Winner will be notified via email upon selection, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. 

Disclaimer: I was contacted on behalf of Warner Bros. Entertainment. I have not been compensated for this post in any way. The sponsor is fulfilling the winners prize as stated above.

Winner of the Temple Touch Thermometer Announced

Time to pick the winner of the Temple Touch Thermometer Giveaway!

Here’s the number Random.org selected:

And here’s the winning comment:

Congratulations! I’ve sent an email your way. Please respond by Saturday at noon or a new winner will be selected.

Thanks to all who entered!

Where To Shop for Maternity Clothes

I have a problem. My belly is officially too big to fit in my regular jeans and skirts. I’ve rubber-banded them until they’ve reached the point of no return. Now, it’s time to admit defeat and start shopping for maternity clothes.

I know what you’re thinking: How does a mother of 5, with baby #6 on the way not have maternity clothes that she can wear? Well, actually I have lots of maternity clothes. Lots of size smalls. Lots of size mediums. And lots and lots of summer clothes. All of my babies were born in July – October, so I’ve only ever needed summer clothes to get me through. (We’re blessed with warm weather pretty late in the year down here.)

But, it’s quickly becoming fall, and the farther along I get, the more I’m going to need maternity clothes that actually fit and/or are for the correct season.

I got a check in the mail the other day for a paid blogging gig that I have. Hubby and I decided that I’d use the money and at least get a few pairs of jeans and some sweaters. After all, I can’t exactly not wear any clothes during this pregnancy. So, we hopped in the car yesterday and headed to Murphy to do some shopping. Guess what? Walmart doesn’t sell maternity clothes. None of our “local” stores do anymore. We found one store that had a very small, pathetic offering of maternity clothes. On the way home, we hit every single thrift store we can find. Again, the options were few and far between. If they had cute items, they weren’t my size. The items that were my size looked like they had been through a war.

By the time we got home, I was really discouraged. There is absolutely nowhere to shop for maternity clothes in our local area. Do they not expect people to get pregnant around here, or what?

It looks like I’ll be taking a day next week and hitting the Motherhood Maternity outlet store. Or, I may drive the opposite way and hit a Target and a Kohls. Either way, I’ve got a very long drive ahead of me.

I know I could order clothes online. There are lots of options for that. But I really like to have the ability to try things on. Some outfits that look awfully cute on the hanger look awfully terrible on me. I’d hate to spend the money and the clothes not fit or look bad and then have to go through the hassle of retuning the items. Such a pain!

If you live in a rural area, where do you shop for maternity clothes? Do you make the long drive to civilization, or do you order online?

Maybe I need to open a maternity shop in my local area. I bet business would be booming!

Win a Shutterfly PhotoBook! (10 winners – 10/19)

You all know that I’m a huge fan of Shutterfly. And with the Baby Bonanza in full swing, I was so excited when Shutterfly contacted me with another giveaway opportunity for my readers.

This time, Shutterfly is giving not one, not two, but TEN of my readers a code to purchase a photobook! I have to tell you, these photobooks are awesome. I made one last year with the intent of giving it to my mom for Christmas. However, when it arrived in the mail, I loved it so much that I couldn’t give it away. To this day, it sits on my coffee table for the whole world to see. The kids love looking through it, and I love that I was quickly and easily able to put together a scrapbook of a year’s worth of memories. Now, Shutterfly wants to give that same experience to 10 of you.

And as an added bonus, they’re giving ALL of my readers a coupon code for 30 free prints! Got some pictures just sitting on your memory card that you’ve put off printing? No more excuses! With the code LINKOFFER, you’ll get 30 free prints. No catch! Ok, wait. There’s one catch: The offer doesn’t last forever. In fact, it ends October 16, 2010, so you’ve gotta hurry. Don’t delay. Use the code LINKOFFER at checkout and enjoy those 30 free prints.

Since we’re smack in the middle of the Baby Bonanza, let’s talk about some of the awesome baby-themed items Shutterfly offers. I know many moms out there that spend oodles of time looking for the perfect Baptism Invitations and Christening Invitations. Well, look no further than Shutterfly! They offer both Baptism Invitations and Christening Invitations, and I’d be willing to bet you’re going to find a design you’re going to love at a price that won’t break the bank. And that’s just the start of everything they have to offer for baby. They also have tons of photo gift options – not just for baby, but also for the new mom or grandma. It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it on the Shutterfly website.

Now, let’s get to this fantastic giveaway for these 10 Photobooks! Each winner (10 in all) will receive a coupon code for a free photobook from Shutterfly. (Please note: the coupon code will not cover shipping and handling.) The coupon codes don’t expire until March 31, 2011, so if you’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new baby, want to wait until Christmas, or whatever, you’ve got plenty of time to use the coupon.

(And don’t forget to head to the Shutterfly website and redeem the code LINKOFFER for your 30 free prints!)

To Enter
Mandatory: Visit the Baptism and Christening Invitation section of the Shutterfly website and then come back here and tell me which design is your favorite.
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win. 

Want Extra Entries?

  • Tell me how you’ll use the photobook. (1 additional entry.)
  • Blog About this Giveaway. Be sure to include a link to 5 Vinez Monkeys and Shutterfly. (5 extra entries)
  • Subscribe to us via email. (2 extra entries.)
  • Subscribe to us via reader. (1 extra entry.)
  • Become a fan of 5 Vinez Monkeys on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Become a fan of Shutterfly on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.) 
  • Leave a comment on the Shutterfly Facebook Wall and tell them that Angie @ 5 Vinez Monkeys sent you. (One time – leave a link to your comment.)
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook. (Once per DAY – just leave a link, or copy/paste text that you posted with your Facebook User Name.)
  • Follow 5 Vinez Monkeys and Shutterfly on twitter. (Leave your twitter id, please!)
  • Tweet about this contest. (1 Tweet Per DAY.)
  • Grab our button and put it on your blog. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Grab the Baby Bonanza button and put it on your blog. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Add us to your blog roll. (Leave a link to your blog, please!)
  • Follow our blog publicly  – either through Google’s Followers Gadget or through Facebook’s Networked Blogs. (Leave a comment for each one that you do. Anonymous following doesn’t count.)
  • Write a review of 5 Vinez Monkeys on Alexa. (3 extra entries. Leave your Alexa profile name, please.)
  • Stumble this post. (Once. Please leave your stumbledupon username.)
  • **NEW** Vote for Me on Top Mommy Blogs. (2 extra entries. Can be done daily. Click the link or the button in my sidebar, then you must click on the words “Click here to vote.” Leave 2 comments every day you vote!) 

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 October 19th at 11:59pm (EST), and the winner will be selected via random.org. Winner will be notified via email upon selection, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. 

Disclaimer: I was contacted on behalf of Shutterfly. I have not been compensated for this post in any way. The sponsor is fulfilling the winners’ prizes as stated above.

One Week From Today… (Giveaway – Closed)

My doctor promised to take a peek and see if we could peek at the “parts” on our precious Jelly Bean.

To celebrate the event, I’m going to give one lucky reader a $20 Walmart Gift Card.

I have 5 children already: 2 girls and 3 boys. Their birth order are girl, boy, boy, girl, boy. And, since gender prediction methods are so big, I’ll give you some results from the methods I’ve tried:

  • IntelliGender Prediction Test – predicted BOY.
  • Chinese Gender Chart – predicts GIRL.
  • Hairline Method – predicts GIRL.
  • Ring Method – Not sure. It rotated, went back and forth, rotated, went back and forth. Maybe twins? 🙂
  • Morning Sickness Test – predicts GIRL.
  • Baby’s heartrate – 170s – predicts GIRL.
  • Cabbage Test – Not sure. Results were bright pink. Girl? Boy? Not a clue.

So, the results of those are kind of all over the place. Now it’s up to you to tell me what you think.

Entering is really easy. There are 2 mandatory entries, and you need to leave them both in the same comment.

Mandatory Entry #1 – You MUST follow my blog via google friend connect.

Mandatory Entry #2 – Tell me if you think the baby is a boy or a girl, or if you think we won’t be able to find out.

Leave ONE COMMENT below and tell me you’re a follower and what your thoughts are on Jelly Bean’s gender.

Since the rules are so easy to follow, if you don’t participate correctly, you won’t win.

I will close the giveaway at 9:00pm EST on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, I’ll announce the answer to the ultrasound results in my “Wordless Wednesday” post. Then, I’ll draw the winner of the $20 Walmart Gift Card and put that in a separate post.

Ready. Set. GO!

Tiny Love Gymini Bouncer (Review)

One must-have item every baby needs is a bouncer seat. It allows mom to put baby down for a moment, and gives baby the comfort and stimulation that he needs.

Recently, Tiny Love, a leader in the developmental toy industry, announced their leap into the baby gear division and introduced the Tiny Love Gymini Bouncer. Before I get to my review of the Gymini Bouncer, here’s a bit of information about it:

For ages 0+ months, Tiny Love paves the way for unique fashion and fantasy toy production in the infant arena.

The unique, adjustable arches for multiple positions allow easy of getting baby in and out of the seat as well as various positioning toys. Three hanging toys can be moved along the arches for different views and play. The additional access brings the parent/caregiver closer to the child for better eye-to-eye and physical contact.

The Gymini Bouncer features baby activated lights and music with a take-along electronic crab that clips onto the soft, plush arches for both side and front views to engage the baby during play time. With the easy on/easy off feature, the musical crab can be moved to a stroller for all day use

Tiny Love’s new bouncer features soothing time with calming vibrations during rest time with an easy-to-access on-off switch. Additional elements include a hippo rattle, rattle teether and soft, washable padded mat complete with a fashionable animal print motif. The Tiny Love Gymini Bouncer retails for $49.99 at Babies R Us, Buy Buy Baby, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Target.com, Diapers.com, and many juvenile and specialty retailers nationwide. Visit www.TinyLove.com.

My Review of the Gymini Bouncer
While I don’t have a baby at home to use the bouncer, I will soon. And it’s important to me that I know how things work, how they look, and how sturdy they are before I even consider placing my baby in them.

The bouncer came disassembled in the box. At first, I was nervous. It looked really, really complicated. I separated all of the pieces, and opened up the instruction manual. In minutes, I had the entire bouncer put together and ready to test out. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to assemble, and the only tool required was a Phillips head screwdriver. (You also need scissors to cut the bands that hold the pieces together in the box.)

After the bouncer was put together, Parker and Lucy both got so excited! Lucy kept asking if the baby was coming out so we could put “her” in the bouncy seat. And Parker kept proclaiming that it was his toy, and was very clear that no baby was going to take it from him.

We found one of Lucy’s baby dolls and buckled her into the seat. The kids turned on the crab toy that lights up and plays music, and Lucy turned on the vibration mode on the seat. I’m pretty sure that baby doll was in heaven.

There are several things I love about this bouncer:

  • It’s sturdy. The legs are strong and will definitely support baby safely. I’ve had bouncy seats in the past where baby’s butt rubbed on the ground because the legs gave out and bent downward. These legs seem very sturdy, though, and I don’t see that happening this time around. And, Parker climbed in the bouncer several times. It held him well and showed no sign of giving out. (Please note: The weight limit on the bouncer is 25 pounds. That’s great for moms with chunkier babies – of which I’ve had several. You may want to stop putting your baby in the bouncer once they’re able to sit up on their own as a safety precaution.)
  • It’s super cute! I love the bright colors, the animals, and the side bars that you can attach toys to. It’s a very attractive bouncer seat and it would fit in with any type of decor.
  • It’s easy to clean. This is a HUGE plus! I tend to use the baby seat to put baby in for those first taste of baby food feedings. It gets so messy, and wiping off the bouncer seat can be a nightmare. Not with this bouncer, though! The material is fantastic and wipes off clean quickly and easily. And if it needs washed, it’s easy to remove and toss in the washing machine. This busy mom loves that feature!!
  • You can quickly and easily attach toys to the sidebars. The sidebar features are awesome. It comes with several toys, but you can easily link on more (or less), and the sidebars quickly move out of the way when it’s time to take baby out.

Overall, this is an excellent bouncer seat, and I can’t wait to use it on my real baby instead of our baby dolls! I’m thrilled that it’s sturdy enough that it will last long enough for baby to get here and then some! I love the Tiny Love Gymini Bouncer and would definitely recommend it to any mom to be or mom with a newborn.

You can purchase the Gymini Bouncer at Babies R Us, Buy Buy Baby, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Target.com, Diapers.com, and lots of other juvenile and specialty retailers nationwide. At $49.99, it’s an excellent value for a product that will last the first year of baby’s life!

Disclaimer: I was contacted by a representative from Steinreich Communications on behalf of Tiny Love. I received a Gymini Bouncer to facilitate my honest and candid review. I was in no other way compensated for this post. Opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Transform Playtime with Olivia

My 4 year old, Lucy, is a huge fan of Olivia. I’m not sure if it’s because of Olivia’s wild imagination, the fact that she also has little “bothers”, or because one of her best friends at church is named Olivia. It may be the combination of all 3. Whatever the case, you will often hear Lucy asking me if it’s time for Olivia to come on yet, followed by begging sounds of her pleading to let her watch it.

Team Mom recently introduced me to several new Olivia toys from Spin Master. These toys take the bold personality that Olivia possesses and her extraordinary imagination and have put them smack into a collection of fun and creative toys for children ages 4 and up.

We received 2 different Olivia toys from Spin Master, and I couldn’t wait to give them to Lucy. When she opened the box, her eyes lit up. The first thing she pulled out was the Olivia Plush doll. She came all dressed up in her famous red and white outfit. Lucy gasped, and hugged her tight. Then, she immediately made me take her out of the packaging so she could play with her. The 8″ doll is super soft, and Lucy carries her around everywhere. And every night, I can find Lucy snuggled up, sound asleep with Olivia tucked in her arms. (There are other dolls available: an artist, an opera singer, and a cow. Let your imagination run wild!)

The second toy we received was the Olivia 2-in-1 Transforming Playset. This playset is absolutely amazing. I’m not sure who loves playing with it more – me or Lucy! We spend hours playing this together, and Parker joins right in on the fun. Even my older kids agree that this is one of the coolest toys ever. What makes this playset so special? It really, truly transforms! You start by playing with Olivia in her house: there’s a kitchen, a living room, and 2 bedrooms. All the little pieces like lamps, tables, chairs, plates, and other household items are included. (There are 23 accessories in all!) Then, as soon as you’re ready, you can sail the high seas by transforming Olivia’s house into a pirate ship! Yep, that’s right! A pirate ship! It’s super easy to transform, and you can just see Lucy’s imagination running wild while she’s playing with this playset. The playset includes an Olivia figure and base, 23 accessories for putting around the house and the pirate ship, and a sticker sheet to decorate the base any way your child wants to.

Overall, Lucy and I are both super impressed with the new Olivia toys from Spin Master and would recommend them to anyone with a little girl with a big imagination!

You can find the 2-in-1 Transforming Playset and the 8″ Olivia Plush dolls at your local Toys “R” Us, Target, and Kmart stores.

Happy shopping!

Disclaimer: I am participating in a blog tour with Team Mom on behalf of Spin Master. I received the products necessary to facilitate my review. All opinions are 100% my own. I have not been compensated in any way for this post.

Breastfeeding 101

Let’s take some time today to talk about breastfeeding. We’ve all heard that it’s the best for baby. It’s all natural, and there’s no worry about a recall happening.

But many new moms aren’t sure about breastfeeding, and have lots and lots of questions. That’s ok! I’ve been there, and it’s ok for you to ask for help.

I have breastfed 4 of my 5 babies, 2 of them exclusively past the 1 year mark, and will breastfeed this new baby as well. I have lots to say on the topic, and I hope that I can help you. If at any time you have any questions about breastfeeding, need encouragement, or just want someone to talk to that’s “been there, done that”, don’t ever hesitate to contact me. Use the contact link at the top and put “breastfeeding” as the subject. I’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as possible.

Now, let’s get on to some tips and some questions you may have about breastfeeding.

Who can I talk to about breastfeeding? First of all, hospitals should have a lactation consultant available. Most likely, one will come visit you after you give birth. She is the perfect person to field your questions. Don’t be afraid to ask her questions, either. I’m sure she’s heard them all. She is there to help you in any way that she can, so take advantage of her while she’s in the room. If your hospital doesn’t provide a lactation consultant, or you are unable to speak with her, the La Leche League has plenty of resources and ways for you to find a leader in your local area.

Is it going to hurt? I won’t lie, it does hurt at first. Until your milk comes in, you may feel some sharp pains through your breasts. These will not last forever. I promise. Soon, breastfeeding becomes second nature and you’ll forget all about those pains. For the first few weeks, I suggest you stock up on the cool gel pads you can purchase in the breastfeeding section of most stores. They will definitely help soothe the pain.

My boobs are too small (or too big) to breastfeed. Not true. A woman’s body is designed to produce milk for her baby, and it really doesn’t matter what size your breasts are. With baby #2, I had a 34A cup, and I barely fit into that. He nursed exclusively for 14 months. With my last baby, I was at a 38DD, and he nursed exclusively for 18+ months.

Will I produce enough milk? Probably. Most moms don’t have an issue with milk production. Personally, I’ve always produced an abundance of milk. Sometimes, though, moms don’t produce enough milk. Does it make her a bad mom? NOT AT ALL. Our bodies all work differently, and you should never get down on yourself because you are unable to produce the milk necessary. Talk to your doctor about supplementing some feedings with formula. Still nurse when you can, because nursing can actually help produce more milk, but don’t be afraid to supplement when necessary.

What if baby won’t latch on properly? When you speak to your lactation consultant, she will show you different holds to place the baby in. Some babies do fine cradled to your chest, while other babies need the football hold.  If you produce too much milk, it may be best for you to lie on your back and have baby latch on while on top of you. Try different positions and see which one works best for you.

What if I can’t breastfeed? There are times when mom just can’t breastfeed. She may be on a medication that would be passed to the baby through her milk. There are many reasons why moms can’t breastfeed, and it’s ok. Really. We don’t live in a perfect world, and things happen. Doesn’t make you any less of a mom. Talk to your pediatrician and find the formula that’s right for your baby. I actually had to stop breastfeeding my 3rd child because he was so allergic to my milk that it almost killed him. We had to find a very special formula that he could drink. It was scary, yes, but once we figured out that my milk was the problem, I had to stop breastfeeding. It happens.

What if I just don’t want to breastfeed? Then that is absolutely your choice. I decided not to breastfeed my first child. I was very young, didn’t understand the benefits, and had no desire to “share my boobs” with my baby. Foolish? Maybe. But, it was my choice. To this day, my daughter is healthy and happy, and spending the first year on formula didn’t harm her in any way. Breastfeeding may make you uncomfortable, and it may not be right for you. Talk to your pediatrician about finding the right formula for your baby instead.

I also want to say something about breastfeeding. It is NOT the miracle weight loss option that so many make it out to be, and I am so tired of hearing that. You may lose weight while breastfeeding, you may not. No one can tell you for sure. While breastfeeding does help you burn between 300 – 500 calories per day, it can also make you hungry all the time. Your body may not be able to handle burning those extra calories, so it may need you to take in more food to help produce the milk. Only time will tell if you will lose weight while breastfeeding or not. And don’t get discouraged if you don’t lose the weight while breastfeeding. Just remember that it will all be worth it in the end, and someday you can focus on the weight loss. It doesn’t have to be right this minute.

Also, breastfeeding is NOT birth control. My son, Zander, was breastfed exclusively, (no bottles at all!), and when he was 4 months old, I found out I was pregnant again. I hadn’t started my period back or anything. Talk about a shock. But, it happens. Talk to your doctor about birth control options while breastfeeding… unless, of course, you want another baby right away. 🙂

What has your experience been like with breastfeeding? Are you considering breastfeeding for the first time? Do you have concerns? Are you a breastfeeding expert who has done this for years and have some tips you want to share?

If you have any questions or advice for breastfeeding moms, please feel free to leave them in the comments below or send them to me via the contact form. Let’s encourage the breastfeeding moms out there!

Two Winners to Announce!

First, the winner of the Rizzoli & Isles Book Giveaway.

Here’s the number that random.org selected:

And the winning comment:

Next, the winner of the Dean’s Dip Coupon, Chip Clips, & Reusable Bag.

Here’s the number that random.org selected:

And the winning comment:

Congratulations to both winners! I have sent an email your way. Please respond by Monday at noon or a new winner will be selected.

Thanks to all who entered!

Dean’s Dip Cheesy Friday Giveaway #3 (Closed)

Let me start out by saying that yes, I know it’s Saturday, and Cheesy Friday is over. I had to speak at a middle school yesterday about photography & scrapbooking, so it threw my entire morning off, and I forgot to post this yesterday. I hope ya’all can forgive me and will enter to win this fantastic prize pack!

First, let’s remind you what’s new with Dean’s Dip:

HONEY MUSTARD
Add a sweet twist to a savory pretzel!  This classic pretzel dip made with real honey and Dijon mustard is a low-fat snack worth savoring! Try it on pretzel twists, sticks, or chips. Also great with other finger foods like chicken nuggets or egg rolls.

CHEDDAR CHEESE
Cheddar Cheese and pretzels go together like Oktoberfest and beer. The tangy flavor of cheddar cheese adds a zesty zip to pretzels or chips, crackers or baked potatoes.

Last week, I had you check out all the fantastic recipes on DeansDip.com. What did you think of them? Any of them look so tasty that you just had to try them for yourself? I want to see and/or hear about it. So, this week, I want you to take a picture of a dean’s dip recipe that you’ve tried or made up on your own. If you don’t want to take a picture, leave a recipe that you’ve tried. (It doesn’t have to be a complex recipe, either! And no links to the recipes on deansdip.com. I want you to leave the actual recipe in your comment.)

The winner this week will receive the Ultimate Dean’s Dip Party Pack which includes the following:

  • Deans Pretzel Tin w/mini pretzels
  • Twister Board Game
  • Chip & Dip Tray
  • Deans Flip Flops 
  • Free Deans Dip coupons
  • Chip clips

What a great prize! And want even better news? We’re combining ALL the entries from the week #1, week #2, and week #3 giveaways, so everyone has a chance to win the big prize. If you’ve entered all 3 giveaways, your odds are looking good!

To Enter

  • Mandatory Entry #1: You MUST become a Fan (or already be one) of Dean’s Dip on Facebook.  Tell me that you are, and leave your facebook name.
  • Mandatory Entry#2: Leave a comment and either give me your recipe using Dean’s Dip, or share a link to a picture (hosted by photobucket, flickr, etc) of a recipe that you’ve tried/created with Dean’s Dip.

Leave ONE Comment with both mandatory entries included in it.
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win. 

Want Extra Entries?

  • Blog About this Giveaway. Be sure to include a link to 5 Vinez Monkeys and Dean’s Dip. (5 extra entries)
  • Subscribe to us via email. (2 extra entries.)
  • Subscribe to us via reader. (1 extra entry.)
  • Become a fan of 5 Vinez Monkeys on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Leave a comment on the Dean’s Dip Facebook Fan wall and tell them which recipe is your favorite. (One time. Leave a link to your comment, please.)
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook. (Once per DAY – just leave a link, or copy/paste text that you posted with your Facebook User Name.)
  • Follow 5 Vinez Monkeys and Dean’s Dip on twitter. (Leave your twitter id, please!)
  • Tweet about this contest. (1 Tweet Per DAY.)
  • Grab our button and put it on your blog. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Grab the Baby Bonanza button and put it on your blog. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Add us to your blog roll. (Leave a link to your blog, please!)
  • Follow our blog publicly  – either through Google’s Followers Gadget or through Facebook’s Networked Blogs. (Leave a comment for each one that you do. Anonymous following doesn’t count.)
  • Write a review of 5 Vinez Monkeys on Alexa. (3 extra entries. Leave your Alexa profile name, please.)
  • Stumble this post. (Once. Please leave your stumbledupon username.)

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 October 4th at 11:59pm (EST), and the winner will be selected via random.org. Winner will be notified via email upon selection, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. 

Disclaimer: I was contacted by a member of YouCast Corp on behalf of Dean’s Dip I did not receive any product or compensation for this post. The sponsor is fulfilling the winner’s prize as stated above.

The Little Seed Collection at Target (Review & Giveaway – Closed)

Yesterday, I introduced you to the Baby Buggy Collection at Target. Today, I’m going to introduce you to another fantastic baby collection available at Target called the Little Seed.

The Little Seed was started by Soleil Moon Frye (remember Punky Brewster?) and her business partner, Paige Goldberg Tolmach. It’s a line of brightly colored 100% organic cotton fibers layette for both boys and girls. Super cute stuff!

I was contacted on behalf of Target and the Little Seed and asked to review an item from the collection. Again, the decision was tough! So many cute items. How do you pick just one?! I ended up selecting the Newborn the little seed for Target® 2 pc Organic Swaddle Blanket in Pink and Purple. And I did have a method to my madness. I knew that Lucy would love to have these for her baby dolls, and, if by some miracle, this baby is a girl, I would then be able to have my turn with them!

I absolutely love these blankets – and so does Lucy! (Pink and purple are her very favorite colors.) The size is just perfect for swaddling a newborn (or a baby doll). And the material is super, super soft. I love the bold, bright colors, and the fact that they’re 100% organic. It’s machine washable, and I haven’t had any problems with bleeding colors or fading. (I wash in cold, and dry on low, just like the printed on tag recommends.) If all of the items in the Little Seed collection are this soft, I’m hooked! They’re unique, one of a kind, and eye catching. Absolutely fabulous any way you look at it. I may not get these back from Lucy if it turns out this baby is a girl!

Want to Try the Little Seed Collection for Yourself?
To Buy: Head to the Target Website and start shopping. You’ll love the bright colors in this collection, and you can’t beat the softness of the organic cotton.

You Can WIN! I get to give one lucky reader a hooded towel, pant and onsie (for a boy or a girl – your choice!) from the Little Seed Collection for Target.

To Enter
Visit the Little Seed Collection on the Target website. Then, come back here and leave me a comment telling me which item is your favorite.
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win. 

Want Extra Entries?

  • Blog About this Giveaway. Be sure to include a link to 5 Vinez Monkeys and Target. (5 extra entries)
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  • Share this giveaway on Facebook. (Once per DAY – just leave a link, or copy/paste text that you posted with your Facebook User Name.)
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  • Add us to your blog roll. (Leave a link to your blog, please!)
  • Follow our blog publicly  – either through Google’s Followers Gadget or through Facebook’s Networked Blogs. (Leave a comment for each one that you do. Anonymous following doesn’t count.)
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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 October 15th at 11:59pm (EST), and the winner will be selected via random.org. Winner will be notified via email upon selection, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. 

Disclaimer: I was contacted by a member of Kaplow PR on behalf of Target I received the product mentioned above to facilitate my honest review. The opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. I have not been compensated in any way other than the sample product for this review. The sponsor is fulfilling the winner’s prize as stated above.

Baby Buggy + Target (Review & Giveaway – Closed)

As you are all aware, I love Target. Now, I just found out they’ve got a new baby collection, and I’ve fallen in love all over again.

Founded by Jessica Seinfeld, Baby Buggy features designs by Petunia Pickle Bottom and Maira Kalman. Not on that, but because they’re available at Target, they’re affordable! And, every time you purchase one of these items, 10% of the purchase price will go toward helping Baby Buggy continue in their efforts of donating baby necessities to families in homeless shelters, parent programs, court child centers, and to those affected by domestic violence all over our country. Get a great product and do someone somewhere a world of good. I love it.

I was contacted on behalf of Target and asked to review an item from the Baby Buggy collection. I had a really hard time selecting just one item, especially since we don’t know if this baby is a boy or a girl yet. I opted for an item for a little girl, only because everyone I know that’s pregnant right now is carrying a little girl. I figured one of them would be able to use the item if I can’t.

I selected the Petunia Pickle Bottom Clever Carryall Diaper Bag in the Tulip Pattern. First of all, I love saying “Petunia Pickle Bottom” and secondly, who couldn’t use a fantastic diaper bag?

The bag arrived quickly, and immediately, I was hooked. I am praying – with everything that is in me – that this baby is a girl so that I can have an excuse to keep this bag and not have to give it to someone with a baby girl. I love this bag. Here are just some reasons that I adore it:

  • The outside is made of a material that is easy to wipe off. I cannot tell you how many times in the past I’ve had diaper bags that don’t have this feature. You set your diaper bag down, only to have your 3 year old spill their juice all over the table – and all over your diaper bag. With this fabulous bag, you can just wipe the juice off and go on with your day. Want even better news? The inside is easy to wipe out too! Ingenious! Now, if a bottle gets spilled inside, it will be easy to take care of.
  • It’s so roomy! There is tons of room in this diaper bag! Perfect for everything a new mom will need to carry. (Or a mom with 6 kids! I’m pretty sure I could keep a change of clothes for each one of my kids in here, and still have room left over. And even though it’s roomy, it’s not huge, and it won’t take up your entire back seat.
  • There are lots and lots of pockets. I’m all about pockets. I need to be organized, and I need to make sure everything has its place. This diaper bag definitely gives me that. It’s got outside pockets, inside pockets, and plenty of ways to keep me feeling organized and in control – even when I’m anything but!
  • It converts to a backpack. This is one of the coolest features ever! It comes with an extra strap (and already stylishly placed hooks) to go from an on-the-shoulder bag to a backpack. Such a great idea. And, if you shorten the straps all the way, they can be used as stroller clips – just clip one end to the bag, wrap over your stroller handle, and reclip to the bag. Love it, love it, love it.
  • It comes with “perks.” Not only do you get the fabulous diaper bag as described above, but it also includes a changing pad, (perfect for those horrible public bathroom changing tabled!), and a cute little wipes case that says “petunia pickle bottom” across the top of it.

See why I fell in love with this bag? It really does have everything. And at just $49.99, it’s worth every penny!

Besides super cute diaper bags (for moms of boys or girls!), the Baby Buggy Collection at Target also includes layette sets and sleepers.

They also sent me the Newborn babybuggy Designed by Maira Kalman Butterfly Cap/Bodysuit and bibs set to review. This little set is absolutely adorable! It’s perfect for the days you don’t go anywhere or don’t need to get baby all dressed up. The material is so soft and the colors are just gorgeous! And I love that it comes with a hat, a onesie, and 2 bibs. Plus, the decorations on it are just gorgeous! I love everything about the set and really hope I’ll be using it on my own baby next summer.

You can view the entire Baby Buggy collection on the Target Website.


Want to Try a Piece from the Baby Buggy Collection for Yourself?
To Buy: Head to the Target Website and start shopping. The Baby Buggy designs are unique and absolutely adorable. Pregnant mamas to be, add these to your registry – quick!

You Can WIN! I get to give one lucky reader their choice of item from the Baby Buggy Collection at Target.

To Enter
Visit the Baby Buggy Collection on the Target website. Then, come back here and leave me a comment telling me which item you’d select if you won.
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win. 

Want Extra Entries?

  • Blog About this Giveaway. Be sure to include a link to 5 Vinez Monkeys and Target. (5 extra entries)
  • Subscribe to us via email. (2 extra entries.)
  • Subscribe to us via reader. (1 extra entry.)
  • Become a fan of 5 Vinez Monkeys on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Become a fan of Target on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.) 
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook. (Once per DAY – just leave a link, or copy/paste text that you posted with your Facebook User Name.)
  • Follow 5 Vinez Monkeys and Target on twitter. (Leave your twitter id, please!)
  • Tweet about this contest. (1 Tweet Per DAY.)
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  • **NEW** Vote for Me on Top Mommy Blogs. (2 extra entries. Can be done daily. Click the link or the button in my sidebar, then you must click on the words “Click here to vote.” Leave 2 comments every day you vote!)

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 October 14th at 11:59pm (EST), and the winner will be selected via random.org. Winner will be notified via email upon selection, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. 

Disclaimer: I was contacted by a member of Kaplow PR on behalf of Target I received the product mentioned above to facilitate my honest review. The opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. I have not been compensated in any way other than the sample product for this review. The sponsor is fulfilling the winner’s prize as stated above.

Shame On You, Similac.

I posted this morning about the Similac formula recall. I have 3 cans of unopened formula (expiration date: 1JUN2012) that I was holding on to until the baby came.

Since I posted this morning, I have been trying to find out if these cans are part of the recall. But, guess what? I can’t find out.

The website where you can “immediately go and find out if your formula is part of the recall” is down. I keep getting an error message. And it’s only on that page. The rest of the Similac website works just fine.

So, I tried calling. I get a man’s voice on a recording that says something to the effect of “Due to extremely high call volume, we are currently experiencing very long hold times. To find out if your formula is part of the recall, please visit http://similac.com/recall. We encourage you to try your call again at a later time. Thank you for calling Abbott Nutrition.” Then, there were 30 seconds of silence followed by a busy signal. I’d been cut off. So much for hold times.

This is absolutely not acceptable. You cannot issue a recall and then not give people a way to find out if their formula (that they quite possibly have been feeding their baby!) is a part of that recall. I’m sure thousands of people are hitting the website, but honestly? A company of your size should be prepared for that.

Shame on you, Similac. I’ve used your formula for 3 of my 5 babies, (the other 2 were exclusively breastfed until after the 1 year mark), and I’m thinking it’s time to change.

I’m pitching these cans of formula, and unless you can get your act together, (and I mean really together), I’m ending our relationship. I’m taking my baby’s safety out of your hands.

Have you tried calling or logging into their website? Have you had any luck? Would love to know if your experience with Similac has been better than mine!

Disclaimer: This post is 100% the opinion of an emotional, upset pregnant woman. You are entitled to your own opinions and can decide for yourself if you’d like to continue to purchase Similac formula.

Attention: Similac Formula Recall

There are some things in life that should never happen…. specifically when it comes to products that are designed to help our children (like formula and medicine). But, since we don’t live in a perfect world, items are recalled far too often.

Recently, Abbott decided to recall some of their Similac Formula stating:

Abbott is recalling these products following an internal quality review, which detected the remote possibility of the presence of a small common beetle in the product produced in one production area in a single manufacturing facility. The United States Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) has determined that while the formula containing these beetles poses no immediate health risk, there is a possibility that infants who consume formula containing the beetles or their larvae, could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat as a result of small insect parts irritating the GI tract. If these symptoms persist for more than a few days, a physician should be consulted.

The recall of these powder infant formulas includes:

  • Certain Similac powder product lines offered in plastic containers.
  • Certain Similac powder product lines offered in 8-ounce, 12.4-ounce and 12.9-ounce cans.

None of their liquid formula has been affected. You can view full recall information here: Similac Formula Recall

To immediately find out if the product in your possession is included in this recall, parents and caregivers should visit www.similac.com/recall/lookup, and type in their lot number to determine if their product is affected, or call (800) 986-8850.

Please help spread the word about this recall. Let’s keep our babies safe and get the affected cans off our shelves and out of our homes.

IntelliGender Baby Gender Prediction Test Winner!

Time to announce the winner of the IntelliGender giveaway!

Here’s the number that Random.org selected:

And here’s the winning comment:

Congratulations! I’ve sent an email your way. Please respond by Saturday at noon with your contact information, or a new winner will be selected.

Then you have to promise to let us know what results you get with the IntelliGender test! 🙂

Die Cut Business Cards from Uprinting.com (Giveaway – Closed)

Do you own a business – perhaps an etsy shop – but don’t have professional business cards to pass out to potential clients? Maybe you’re a super-socialite mom, making tons of new friends at the park every day, and wish you had a quick, easy way to give your new friends your contact information. Or perhaps you’ve jumped full throttle into the blogging world and you want everyone you meet to know. What better way than to have designer business cards to point new readers to your blog?

I want to introduce you to Uprinting.com.They do it all! From marketing materials to personal (mom) cards, they’ve taken plain, boring business cards and made them more modern: rounded corners, square cards, and slim cards. Each one sure to catch the eye of your potential client or reader.

You can head to the uprinting.com website and start shopping right now. They offer tons of business card options, and they are totally affordable! No more excuses. It’s your turn to shine, and uprinting.com will be there to help you do just that. Pick out your favorite design, (or design your own), and you’re ready to roll.

Want the chance to win some die cut business cards for yourself? Here’s what you’ll get:

  • 250 Die Cut Business Cards for One (1) Winner
    2 x 3.5”, 2 x 2” (square card) or 1.75 x 3.5” (slim card)
    Die cutting options available: Rounded Corners, Leaf, Rounded One-Corner, Half-Circle Side, Circle
    Paper Type: 14pt Cardstock Gloss, Matte, or High Gloss; 13pt Cardstock Uncoated
    Color: 4Color Front, Blank Back; 4Color Front, Black Back; 4Color Both Sides
    Limited to US residents only 18 years old and above

Awesome, right? What are you waiting for? Enter to win!

To Enter
Visit the Uprinting.com business card selection and check out all the options they offer. Then, come back here and tell me how you would use these business cards.
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win. 

Want Extra Entries?

  • Blog About this Giveaway. Be sure to include a link to 5 Vinez Monkeys and Uprinting.com. (5 extra entries)
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  • Become a fan of 5 Vinez Monkeys on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook. (Once per DAY – just leave a link, or copy/paste text that you posted with your Facebook User Name.)
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  • Tweet about this contest. (1 Tweet Per DAY.)
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  • Stumble this post. (Once. Please leave your stumbledupon username.)

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 October 12th at 11:59pm (EST), and the winner will be selected via random.org. Winner will be notified via email upon selection, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. 

Disclaimer: I was contacted on behalf of Uprinting.com. The opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. I have not been compensated in any way for this post, but I am receiving 250 Die Cut Business Cards for hosting this giveaway. The sponsor is fulfilling the winner’s prize (250 Die Cut Business Cards) as stated above.

Liz Lange Maternity Wear (Review & Giveaway – Closed)

When I got pregnant in 1996, affordable maternity clothes were horrible. There were only a handful of places to purchase maternity clothes, and back then, they were designed to make you look like you were wearing a tent. Just awful.

Luckily, times have changed, and designers have finally figured out that pregnant women are gorgeous and should embrace their new curves and belly bumps instead of trying to hide them. One of my absolute favorite designers is Liz Lange.

In 1997, Liz Lange Maternity launched and grew from a one-woman shop to a nationwide business with boutiques in New York and Beverly Hills. In 2002, she launched an exclusive maternity collection for Target, and pregnant women everywhere rejoiced! Finally. Gorgeous, affordable maternity clothes that any woman would be proud to wear. I got pregnant with Zander late in 2002, and early in 2003, I discovered Liz Lange Maternity wear. It didn’t take long to fall in love.

Recently, a representative contacted me on behalf of Target and Liz Lange Maternity and asked if I would like to receive some samples of the line. How could I refuse? Target is my absolute favorite place to shop, and I have more Liz Lange clothes hanging in my closet right now than anything else. They’re my first choice in maternity wear, and having been pregnant six times, that’s saying a lot!

The clothes they sent were gorgeous. I received 4 tops, a pair of jeans, and a pair of dress slacks. Unfortunately, I can’t wear any of them. The sample sizes that they sent are all a size small (or a size 4), and I haven’t been a size 4 since before I got pregnant with baby #2. It’s been awhile. But, I can still tell you about the quality of each product, and then we’ll get to the giveaway.

  • Lilac Fancy V-Neck T-Shirt – I love this top. It’s perfect for just wearing around the house, exercising, or heading out to run errands. It’s a soft, comfortable material, and the little pocket add just the right touch to “fancy” it up a bit. Really cute, and at just $9.99, it’s a fabulous deal!
  • Black & White Smocked Waist Top – This top is a little dressier and would be perfect for wearing to work, church, or for a night out. It could easily be paired with jeans or dress pants to give you the perfect look. It would also be fabulous with a long black skirt. I love the fun, funky pattern too!
  • Black Shirred V-Neck Top – This top is gorgeous. It’s another dressy top, and it’s in black, so it would be very flattering to any mom-to-be that put it on. The neckline comes really, really low, so I’d definitely put some kind of camisole underneath it, but that would give you a pop of color and have you feeling gorgeous in no time. I so wish I could fit into this top because I absolutely love it!
  • Sleeveless Fashion Top in Thunderbolt Blue – I actually found this item on the Target website. You can see it here. This top is gorgeous. It was the first piece I pulled out, and it caught my eye immediately. The material is so soft. It’s a very unique style, and I just love everything about it. (Except the sample size. I’m going to have to order it in my size!) At just $19.99, it’s an excellent value. And, since it ties at the waist, you could probably get away with wearing it after the baby is born.
  • Herringbone Trousers – These dress pants are perfect for wearing to work or for a night out on the town. One feature that I absolutely *love* is that the waistband is wide enough that you don’t have to worry about your panties showing when you sit down. (I always stress out about that when I wear certain maternity pants.) I love that they eliminate the worry, and they are super cute! The material is fabulous, and if they weren’t a size 4, I’d be wearing them all the time.
  • Core Boot-Cut Denim Jeans – Another pair of pants that I just love. These also have the super-wide waist band, so there’s no need to worry of panties or (gasp!) butt cracks showing. Excellent material, and beautifully made. I need to head to Target and stock up on these pants to get me through the winter. This is my first winter being pregnant, and I only have summer clothes!

Overall, I am really, really impressed with the Liz Lange Maternity Collection from Target. Everything is made with the highest of quality and care, and they’re absolutely beautiful. Comfortable, stylish, and most of all – affordable. What more could anyone ask for?

I will definitely be heading to Target soon to stock up on some Liz Lange Maternity clothes for myself. The summer clothes I have now will need to be put away soon, so I’d better hurry. Anyone up for a shopping trip?

Want to Try the Liz Lange Maternity Collection for Yourself?
To Buy: Head to your local Target store and start shopping. Most stores have a fabulous collection and then you can try things on! If you don’t want to get up from your chair, you can always head to Target.com and start shopping online.

You Can Win! I get to give one lucky reader the outfit of their choice from the Liz Lange Maternity Collection. You’ll get to pick one top and one skirt to make yourself feel absolutely fabulous!

To Enter
Visit the Liz Lange section of the Target Website and check out all the gorgeous styles. Then, come back here and leave me a comment with your favorite Liz Lange Maternity piece.
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win. 

Want Extra Entries?

  • Blog About this Giveaway. Be sure to include a link to 5 Vinez Monkeys and Target. (5 extra entries)
  • Subscribe to us via email. (2 extra entries.)
  • Subscribe to us via reader. (1 extra entry.)
  • Become a fan of 5 Vinez Monkeys on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Become a fan of Target on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.) 
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook. (Once per DAY – just leave a link, or copy/paste text that you posted with your Facebook User Name.)
  • Follow 5 Vinez Monkeys and Target on twitter. (Leave your twitter id, please!)
  • Tweet about this contest. (1 Tweet Per DAY.)
  • Grab our button and put it on your blog. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Grab the Baby Bonanza button and put it on your blog. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Add us to your blog roll. (Leave a link to your blog, please!)
  • Follow our blog publicly  – either through Google’s Followers Gadget or through Facebook’s Networked Blogs. (Leave a comment for each one that you do. Anonymous following doesn’t count.)
  • Write a review of 5 Vinez Monkeys on Alexa. (3 extra entries. Leave your Alexa profile name, please.)
  • Stumble this post. (Once. Please leave your stumbledupon username.)
  • **NEW** Vote for Me on Top Mommy Blogs. (2 extra entries. Can be done daily. Click the link or the button in my sidebar, then you must click on the words “Click here to vote.” Leave 2 comments every day you vote!) 

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 October 12th at 11:59pm (EST), and the winner will be selected via random.org. Winner will be notified via email upon selection, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. 

Disclaimer: I was contacted by a member of Kaplow PR on behalf of Target I received the sample products mentioned above to facilitate my honest review. The opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. I have not been compensated in any way other than the sample products for this review. The sponsor is fulfilling the winner’s prize as stated above.

Mad Science KNOW Magazine – Making Learning FUN! (Review)

I am all about magazines that will encourage my kids to read, will teach them something, and will leave them coming back for more. That’s why when I was introduced to the Mad Science KNOW Magazine, I couldn’t wait to find out more.

KNOW helps answer those what, why, where, and how questions all kids ask. KNOW is engaging, fun, and full of ways to satisfy the natural curiosity of children ages 6 to 9. Each issue is packed with news articles, experiments, puzzles, dinosaurs, astronomy, the human body, and more.

My boys are 6 and 7, and they both want to learn as much as they can… and have fun while they’re doing it.

Zander is a reader. He would much rather sit inside and read a hundred books than to be outside playing all day. There are times when I’ll have to force him to put the books down and get up and move. That’s probably the reason why as a second grader, he’s reading on an 8th grade level, though. He loves to read. I knew that this magazine would be perfect for him, and that he could get Jace excited about the stories inside the magazine as well.

We started with the online sample issue of the KNOW magazine. It was the perfect way to introduce the magazine to the boys. Zander sat at the computer and read the entire magazine, beginning to end. He’d keep calling Jace over and say, “Look at this!” “Jace, you have to see this!” “Oh, wow! I didn’t know frogs were see-through! Look!”

He was mesmerized the entire time, and he’d spout off facts to me about all sorts of things. I was blown away by how much he learned in the time he took reading it, and I loved how excited he was to share his knowledge with everyone he knew.

Zander loved the magazine, and Jace loved listening to Zander read him the stories and interesting facts in the articles. There were games, puzzles, and tons of fun – all geared toward helping kids learn and retain what they’d learned.

I am so excited that I found the KNOW magazine, and can’t wait to start our subscription. If the boys loved the online version of the magazine so much, I can’t wait to see how they react to holding it in their hands. I may never get Zander outside again!

If you’d like to learn more about KNOW Magazine (or the other Mad Science Magazine called YES for ages 10 – 15), head to their website. It doesn’t matter if you live in Canada, the US, or anywhere in the world, you can subscribe to their magazines! The cost is really reasonable, too, and well worth it for as much as your kids will learn from these magazines. In Canada, a 1 year subscription is only $24.95. USA is $26 for 1 year, and International is $38 for 1 year.

I definitely give this magazine 2 thumbs up, and I know my boys do too!

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Mad Science and received the products necessary to facilitate my review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Wordless Wednesday: 4 Years Old

Lucy's 4th Birthday

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

10 Tips for Planning a Unique Baby Shower

I love baby showers. They’re so much fun, and can help a new mom-to-be get the things she needs to prepare for her little one. I have been blessed to have a small baby shower for each of my kids. (Yes, all 5!) I’m not sure if we’ll have a shower for this baby or not, but I know that this fall and winter, I’ll be going to lots and lots of baby showers.

I don’t have a sister, and all of my good friends have already had their children or don’t have kids, so I’ve never had the opportunity to plan a baby shower. But I’ve always dreamed of doing so.

So, I’m going to take my dream baby shower and turn it into 10 tips for helping you plan a unique baby shower. Ready?

  1. Have the right invitations. Every good party starts with the right invitation. Tiny Prints offers a huge selection of adorable baby shower invitations – perfect for a boy or a girl – or even for moms who are keeping the baby’s gender a surprise!
  2. Have a theme. Is the mom having a boy and wants a jungle theme? Stick with the theme throughout the decorations, invitations, favors, cake, and so on. Mom may be able to keep some of the decorations and use them to help decorate baby’s nursery. Maybe mom prefers a specific color theme like pink and brown? Just imagine the possibilities!
  3. Have a Big, Comfy Chair for Mom-to-Be to sit in. Being pregnant is uncomfortable enough, but being forced to sit in a hard chair for hours on end is just plain mean. Allowing mom-to-be to sit in a comfy chair while she opens her gifts will help keep her smiles sincere.
  4. Have games. I know, I know. Every mom to be says she doesn’t want to have games, but you know what? Showers without games are just BORING. Sorry, but they are. There are gross games (like guess the melted candy bar in the diaper), and there are some games that you should use with caution (like how many squares of toilet paper will it take to go around mom-to-be’s belly?), but there are lots and lots of really fun games you can play. Search the internet and start looking. Then, get those ladies laughing while they play the shower games!
  5. Have guests address their own thank you note envelope. This will be a lifesaver to the mom-to-be, and then she can quickly and easily send out thank you notes to everyone that attended her shower.
  6. Have someone designated to write down all of the presents received – and use the back of the card with the gift to do so. This hint is pretty self-explanatory, but it will definitely help mom-to-be with thank you card writing!
  7. Have each guest bring a pack of diapers or wipes to be entered into a special drawing for a door prize. This is a great way to help build up the mom-to-be’s stash of diapers. Because, believe me, she is gonna need them!
  8. Be willing to have a co-ed shower. Lots of moms-to-be today want to include their hubby or significant other in the fun as much as they can, and that includes the baby shower. Talk to the guest of honor beforehand so you can prepare for some “manly” fun in case you need it. (When the guys come, that’s when you do the baby food tasting game.)
  9. Consider a Cyber-shower. Mom-to-be too far away, or does she have family that can’t make it to the shower? You can still send out the baby shower invitations to the guests far away, and by setting up a cheap web cam and a laptop everyone can feel like they’re part of the action. This is also a fabulous option for moms-to-be that are stuck on bed rest.
  10. Have fun. Don’t stress about the baby shower. Just relax and have fun. It doesn’t matter if your budget is huge or teeny-tiny, mom-to-be will thank you for taking the time to think of her and help her get her new family off to a good start.

I hope those tips help! If you’ve got some tips you’d like to share, I’d love it if you’d post them here. Tried something unusual at a shower and got a great reaction? Tell me about it. Tried something and it was a total flop? Tell me about that too! I’d love to hear your ideas for hosting a fabulous baby shower, because I know you’ve got ’em!

And if you found the perfect baby shower invitation on the Tiny Prints website, I’d love to hear about it. Which one did you select to help create the perfect day for the mom to be?


Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a Tiny Prints gift code worth $50, plus 25 FREE Tiny Prints greeting cards—a total gift value of $149.75! For more information on how you can participate, click here.