Archives for November 2010

LIlLuxe Giveaway Winners Announced!

 
It’s time to announce the winners of the LilLuxe $25 Gift Certificates!

Here are the numbers that Random.org selected:

And the winning comments:

Congratulations to each of you! I’ve sent an email your way, and need you to respond by Thursday at noon EST or a new winner will be selected.

Thanks to all who entered!

The Closer Returns Next Week! (Giveaway – Closed)

closer, Kyra Sedgwick, tntcloser, Kyra Sedgwick, tntcloser, Kyra Sedgwick, tnt

I am such a huge fan of The Closer on TNT! It’s one show that you can guarantee to find me watching while it records on the DVR. I just can’t wait to see what happens next.

So, imagine how thrilled I was to find out that The Closer returns next week with 4 new episodes!

Here’s a brief synopsis of the show and what you can expect:

Fresh of the heels of Kyra Sedgwick’s 2010 Emmy win for Best Actress in a Leading Roll on The Closer, TNT will air 4 more brand new episodes of the show from 12/6 – 12/27!

The Closer, which is enjoying growth this year as it continues to rank as ad-supported cable’s #1 series of all time, stars Kyra Sedgwick as Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, head of the LAPD’s Major Crimes unit. In addition to Sedgwick’s newest Emmy, the show has also earned three SAG Award nominations for Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series for Sedgwick, Corey Reynolds, G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Raymond Cruz, Michael Paul Chan and Phillip P. Keene, as well as Jon Tenney, J.K. Simmons and Robert Gossett.

To get you all riled up and ready for the new episodes, I’m hosting a giveaway! That’s right! One lucky winner will receive Season 4 of The Closer on DVD.

To Enter
Mandatory: Tell me why you love The Closer
*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 the TNT The Closer website.(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 The Closer on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Leave a comment on The Closer’s Facebook Fan Wall and tell them that you’re entering this giveaway. (Once – just leave a link, or copy/paste text that you posted with your Facebook User Name.)
  • 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 The Closer 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.)
  • 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 December 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 YouCast Corp on behalf of TNT I have not been compensated for this post in any way. The sponsor is fulfilling the winner’s prize as stated above.

Tiny Prints Cyber Monday Deals!

I am a huge fan of Tiny Prints. Their Studio Basics Holiday Cards – Starting from just $.69 each! – are some of the most affordable, most adorable cards you can find anywhere!

Just start browsing the Tiny Prints site, and you’ll see what I mean. It’s nearly impossible to pick just one card to be “the” card to send out to friends and family. (For the record, I spent 3 hours looking at cards, and still ordered 3 different designs. I am so not looking forward to deciding who gets what card!)

Head on over to the Tiny Prints website and start picking out your Holiday Cards today!

Need an extra incentive? Use the code CYBERMON today to get 10% off $99 orders, 15% off $149 orders, or 20% off $199 orders! You can save a bundle!

Disclaimer: While I am not being compensated for this post, I am an affiliate with Tiny Prints and may make a small percentage on every order placed.

BabyCenter Prize Pack Winner!

Time to pick the winner of the BabyCenter Prize Pack Giveaway!

Here’s the number that Random.org selected:

And the winning comment:

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

Thanks to all who entered!

Home Depot Deals on Husky Hand Tools

My husband loves tools. I’m not sure why, since he’s never home to do anything with them, but he likes to have lots of tools on hand “just in case.” And it drives him absolutely bonkers when I use his tools, because I never seem to put them back in the right place.

That’s why I was thrilled to find out about Home Depot and Husky Hand Tools joining forces to offer fantastic holiday gifts for under $20! And some of their tools are under $5! I may buy 2 sets of everything – one for my husband and one for myself, just so I don’t get yelled at anymore. 🙂

To see all of the fantastic deals available at the Home Depot Gift Center this holiday season, check out this link: http://huskytoolsnews.com/

I bet you’ll be able to find something for the man (men?) in your life, and maybe something for yourself too!

Disclaimer: This is a complimentary post on behalf of Iron Bridge Tools aka Husky Hand Tools. I am not being compensated for this post in any way.

24 Weeks Pregnant Today!

To me, the 24 week mark in a pregnancy is a very big deal. It’s the moment when the baby becomes viable outside the womb. Basically, the doctors and nurses will now do everything in their power to save my baby if he were born after today. It’s such a good feeling knowing that we’ve made it that far.

But, 24 weeks is typically when I start to have problems with my pregnancy. Most of the time, I will go into premature labor. Although I cannot dilate on my own, the doctors worry about the stress that all of my contractions can put on the baby. I’ve had more mag-sulfate given to me to stop the contractions than any one person should be exposed to.

That’s why at 24 weeks, I start doing Kick Counts. I know I’ve posted about this before, but it’s such an important topic that I want to make sure my newer readers are aware of it… and those that are pregnant right now.

Many pregnant women aren’t aware of the importance of kick counts. In all my pregnancies, I have never once had a doctor advise me to start counting kicks or to keep a record of those kicks.

When I was pregnant with Jace – my 3rd baby – I had a very, very difficult pregnancy with him. We were constantly in and out of the hospital because of my continuous contractions, and I was put on strict bed rest. (With a 1 year old and a 6 year old at home. Didn’t work so well.)

I went in for my 38 week checkup, and I mentioned to the doctor that the baby didn’t move much at all. I had never made it to 38 weeks in a pregnancy before, so when he told me that it was just because the baby was out of room, I had to believe him. After all, he had the doctors degree, I just had a mother’s intuition. At that appointment, we scheduled my induction for exactly 39 weeks because of all the complications. For the next week, I worried and cried over how little the baby moved, and would do everything in my power to get him to “react” to me pushing on my belly or poking him.

We went into the delivery room, they started the pitocin, and labor was fast. The doctor barely made it in the room to catch him. When he did catch Jace, though, the room was silent. Then I heard the doctor whisper “Oh my God.” I heard him smack Jace on the back, and then I heard the sweetest sound I have ever heard: Jace let out a wail. Tears rolled down my face and my husband’s face, so relieved that our baby boy was all right. The doctor quickly cut the cord, and showed it to us… there was a complete knot in the cord. If Jace had been inside me one more day, he probably wouldn’t have made it.

A little less than 2 years later, I got pregnant again, this time with Lucy. Another difficult pregnancy, and more cord issues – Lucy had a 2 Vessel Cord or Single Umbilical Artery. I was terrified beyond words that something could happen. At this point, I still didn’t know anything about kick counts. Had never even heard of them.

A photographer friend of mine was pregnant the same time that I was, only her baby was due a couple of months before Lucy was due. She ended up losing her sweet baby at 39 weeks because of a true knot in his cord. Memories flooded back of my pregnancy with Jace and how that so very easily could have been me just 2 years prior.

After she lost her baby boy, she started the Baby James Project and is an advocate on kick counts now:
http://www.blairblanks.com/kickcount/ – this is her information on kick counts
http://www.blairblanks.com/james/ – this is the story of her sweet baby James

After Blair lost James, I started doing kick counts with my pregnancy religiously. I felt better knowing her patterns and habits, and I had a chart that I could present to the doctor at every visit. It calmed my nerves, and it kept me informed.

When I was pregnant with Parker, (#5), I did tons of research into kick counts. I wanted to make sure I was doing it right, charting it right, and keeping track faithfully. Here are several websites with lots more information that I would highly recommend to you:
http://www.baby2see.com/medical/kick_count.html
http://www.americanpregnancy.org/duringpregnancy/kickcounts.htm
http://www.countthekicks.me/HowToCounttheKicks/FAQs/tabid/65/Default.aspx

Mom4Life.com used to sell a little kick counter that I used religiously with my last pregnancy and will use again this pregnancy, but I no longer see it on their website. It’s this, though, and apparently it’s available at Babies “R” Us Stores and www.target.com: KickTrak There’s also a free app for your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, etc. available in iTunes: Pregnancy Kick Counter

Click to print this chart.

I would highly recommend using one of those and printing out one of the charts from the websites above so you have a hard copy of your baby’s movements.

Please know that I’m not putting up this post to scare you. It’s not my intention at all. I just want you to be informed. I cannot stress the importance of getting to know your baby while he/she is inside you. If you notice a change in movement, SAY SOMETHING. Even if you never do a kick count during your pregnancy, if you feel a decrease in movement, or something just feels “off,” talk to your doctor. Make them listen. You know your baby better than anyone else. I wish so much that I had known about kick counts during my pregnancy with Jace.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor do I claim to be one. Please consult with your doctor if you have any questions regarding kick counts or if they are right for you. I am merely sharing my experience in order to inform you.

More Good News from LilLuxe!

If you still seem to need some incentive to enter the LilLuxe $25 GC Giveaway, I have definitely got it for you!

Now through December 25th, LilLuxe is offering free shipping AND 20% off! You can get an even better deal on some already fantastic bargains! (I love shopping with discounts!)

The free shipping will automatically be noted on your order, but to get the extra 20% off, you need to use the coupon code LuxeHoliday20.

‘Tis the season to start shopping! Have fun!

Happy Thanksgiving!

While we have no Thanksgiving plans for today, I am still calling it a holiday and taking the day off to be with my family. I’m going to enjoy their company, and let each one of my kids know how thankful I am for them. At some point, I’ll get to see my hubby and tell him how much I love him, too.

I have so much to be thankful for. This year has brought an abundance of blessings…. a new baby on the way, the Hayneedle.com gift card, 3 kids excelling in school, a husband that loves me and works hard to take care of us…. I could go on and on. I have been blessed beyond measure.

Life isn’t always easy. We all face trials and tribulations. Loved ones get sick and pass away. There never seems to be enough money to cover all the bills. One thing after another happens, and it’s easy to get discouraged. I hope that today you are able to look past all the bad stuff and find that glimmer of sunshine somewhere.

I pray that each one of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving. Enjoy your families, your friends, and your turkeys. (If you eat turkey on Thanksgiving.) 🙂

Normal posts will resume tomorrow.

Giveaway Rule Change-Up!

Please note: This change-up applies ONLY to the LilLuxe $25 GC Giveaway.

I have to say, I’m very, very sad over the lack of entries in this giveaway. LilLuxe is a fantastic website, and $25 can go really far when shopping on there.

I’m hoping the problem is that you’ve already signed up using someone else’s invitation code, or through the website directly. You’d be crazy not to sign up for a membership with LilLuxe! They offer fantastic deals on everything babies need.

So,I’m changing the rules in the LilLuxe $25 GC Giveaway. The Mandatory Entry now reads like this:

Mandatory: You MUST become a member of LilLuxe using this invitation code. If you are already a member through another invitation code or through the website directly, you may still enter. (Please leave the email address you signed up with in your first comment.)

It doesn’t matter where you’ve signed up, as long as you have signed up to be a member of  LilLuxe.

Please support my sponsor. If we don’t get entries in these giveaways, chances are good the giveaways will start disappearing. It’s not worth my time or my sponsors’ time if my readers won’t enter. And not having giveaways would break my heart! Please don’t let it come to that! 

Head on over and enter the LilLuxe $25 GC Giveaway now.

2 Winners to Announce!

I’m so far behind. I’ve got 2 winners to announce, and I’m finally going to do it! 🙂

First, the winner of the Rothschild Kids Girls Winter Coat Size 6x:

Here’s the number that random.org selected:

And the winning comment:

Next, the winner of the Mr. Coffee Single Serve Coffee Maker:

Here’s the number that random.org selected:

And the winning comment:

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

Thanks to all who entered! Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Clic-It Diaper Bag Systems – Get Organized in a Snap!

I have to admit it…. in life, I am pretty organized. I have to be with so many kids. Everything is scheduled, and everything has it’s place. But when it comes to my diaper bag, I’m a wreck.

When I have a little one, I tend to use my diaper bag as my purse. Everything goes in there – and I mean everything. It quickly becomes difficult to find anything I need. It’s the bottomless abyss where keys, cell phones, and everything else just disappears.

So, when I found out about the Clic-It Diaper Bag System, through Team Mom, I was quite intrigued. I had to know more.

For this review, I was sent the following items:

  • Clic-It Diaper Bag with Deluxe Changing Kit
  • Clic-It Baby Wipes Case
  • Clic-It Organizer Pouch
  • Clic-It Insulated Bottle Holder

There is so much that I love about this bag! First, it is so easy to use! The clips are secure, but it only takes one hand to release the accessories from the clips. No need to worry about losing your important items, but no need to worry that you’ll never get them off the bag, either. Another great feature is that you can use the accessories you need to depending on the child’s age and needs. Parker doesn’t need the insulated bottle holder right now, but Gage will be needing it soon enough. It’s nice that I can put it away and pull it out to use it when I need it. You never have to carry more than you need. I love it! It’s also a very nice looking, high quality bag. And it’s perfect for Mom or Dad to carry. I love all things frilly, but my husband wouldn’t be caught dead carrying anything that sparkles or glimmers. However, this bag is perfect! He loves the green and black combination, and I no longer have to beg him to carry the diaper bag. I also love that the bag converts from a messenger-style bag to a tote bag to a belt bag. I love using it as a tote bag, and that’s how you’ll find me carrying this most of the time.

Let’s go through each item I received one by one so I can tell you everything I love about each one of them:

  • Clic-It Diaper Bag with Deluxe Changing Kit – What a great bag! I ended up removing the flap because it was easier for me to grab items out of the bag without it on there. But, I love how organized it keeps everything. It’s so nice to know exactly where everything is and it’s neat and clean. Such a change from every other diaper bag I’ve ever used! It is a bit bulky, but only when I have it packed completely full. When I only put the items I need inside, it’s easy to carry and not bulky at all. The clip system truly has to be the most creative idea I’ve ever seen for keeping busy moms organized.
  • Clic-It Baby Wipes Case – This is great for keeping the wipes in easy-to-reach access. The only thing I wish is that it actually came with a travel wipes case inside (even if it came without wipes). But, now I’ll just custom-make one for Gage and it will slide right in, no problem. Then I’ll always know exactly where the wipes are, and I won’t have to go digging for them.
  • Clic-It Organizer Pouch – I love, love, love this! It’s great for keeping my cash, credit cards, cell phone, and more all in one place, and not thrown all throughout my diaper bag. This is the one **must have** accessory for this bag, hands down.
  • Clic-It Insulated Bottle Holder – This is the perfect bag for holding bottles and/or sippy cups and keeping them cool. I’ve used it with Parker several times, and he likes that his drink comes out nice and cold every time. I like that I don’t have to worry about how long his drink has sat out.

Overall, I am seriously impressed with the Clic-It Diaper Bag System. This is one diaper bag that I can use every single day, and will continue to do so. I love how organized it keeps me, and heavens knows I need that! I’d definitely recommend it to any mom who wants to keep herself – and her diaper bag – more organized!

For more information about the Clic-It Diaper Bag System, or to purchase the bag for yourself, head to www.clicitbag.com and look around. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclaimer: I am participating in a blog tour with Team Mom on behalf of the Clic-It Diaper Bag. I received the products necessary to facilitate my review. All opinions are 100% my own and have not been edited or influenced in any way. I have not been compensated in any other way for this post.

Frigidaire Accessories Giveaway (12/10)

If you haven’t been to the Frigidaire Accessories website, you need to head on over there. They are a fantastic resource for home appliance and product accessories. Pretty much anything you need for your kitchen, laundry room, and more. I was pleasantly surprised by everything they have to offer. (I could get lost in the Cooking Tools section.)

Want more good news? They offer Free Regular Shipping on all online Frigidaire refrigerator water filter orders.

Not only do they offer all the kitchen gadgets, bakeware, organizers, and more, but they are also working with some cooking and baking bloggers to add new recipes to their “Recipes” section of their website. You have gotta check out that part of the site, because there are some amazing recipes on there. (Warning: The dessert recipes section is to die for. Try to refrain from licking the screen while you look at all the different yummy desserts you can make!)

I think you’ll enjoy looking around the site and finding lots of great accessories for your home – or to give as gifts this holiday season!

Want to Try the Frigidaire Accessories Site for Yourself?
Shop there!:  Head to the Frigidaire Accessories Website and start looking around. There you’ll find all sorts of great stuff for your home.

You Can WIN! The Frigidaire Accessories Website is offering up a $30 Gift code to shop on their site.

To Enter
Mandatory
: You must visit the Frigidaire Accessories Website, then come back here and tell me one item you might purchase if you win the $30 Gift Certificate. 

*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 the Frigidaire Accessories website. (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.)
  • 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 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.)
  • Stumble this post. (Once. Please leave your stumbledupon username.)

Fine Print: Contest is open to residents of the US And CANADA. 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 December 10th 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 the Frigidaire Accessories website. I have not been compensated in any way for this post. While I have not used the Frigidaire website myself, to purchase anything, the opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. The sponsor will be fulfilling the winners’ prizes as stated above.

Fun Family Craft – The Family Turkey

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. As a Christian, I should already be spending every day as Thanksgiving, and I do try. But, it’s always nice to gather with family and thank our Savior for His many blessings throughout the past year.

Unfortunately, there won’t be much of a Thanksgiving celebration around here this Thursday. Because of the industry my husband works in, he now has to work until 5pm on Thanksgiving Day. That means he’ll be at the store until 6, (the joy of being the “boss”), and then he has a 2 hour drive home. I’m really not crazy about eating a huge Thanksgiving meal as a family at 8 o’clock at night. I’ve been doing so well with weight gain this pregnancy, and I’d really like to keep it that way! 🙂

So, we’ve postponed our Thanksgiving festivities until my husband’s next day off, which will be just a few days after Thanksgiving. I’ll cook while the kids are at school, and then we’ll enjoy a fancy dinner and do all of our fun family traditions that we’ve done each year.

One of my absolute favorite traditions is creating a Family Turkey. Our turkey has grown each year, adding more feathers for more kids, and I just love it. I’m looking forward to having more tiny little handprints to make it even bigger next year at Thanksgiving.

Family Turkey

Want to know how to make this adorable little critter for your family this year? It’s so easy, and there’s very little cost involved!

Here’s what you need:

  • Construction paper in fall colors – brown/tan, orange, yellow, red, white, etc.
  • Black Marker
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Directions:
We used Daddy’s foot as the body of the turkey. Using the pencil, we traced his foot onto tan construction paper and cut it out. The heel of his foot is the turkey’s head. Then, we used the black marker to create the eyes of the turkey. Then, we cut out an orange triangle shaped beak and a red waddle and glued them on to the turkey.

Then, we traced the hands of everyone in the family – alternating colors as we did it. Dad was orange, mom was yellow, Ashley was white, Zander was orange…. etc.

We then arranged them to look like the “feathers” of a turkey and glued them all together. After that, we glued the body to the middle of the turkey.

This is such a fun, easy project to do, and it’s one my kids just love. I’ve saved our turkeys for years now, and it’s amazing to see how much the kids’ little hands grow from year to year. These are memories that I will hold onto and treasure forever.

I hope each one of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving. If you have any family traditions that you’d love to share, let me know! I’d love to hear about them!

LilLuxe Invitation Code & Giveaway (CLOSED – 2 Winners!)

A fabulous new website recently launched that features fashionable apparel and merchandise for lil ones ages 0 – 7 years at a hefty discount. It’s called LilLuxe, and it’s a members only site that’s free to join. Sales will feature chic merchandise from brands that parents – and kids! – will love. The average discount is 50% and some are up to 70% off! It’s like shopping where everything is on sale all the time.

Here’s how it works: Sales events only last for a short period of time (sometimes 3 days), and the products are limited. It’s a first come, first served setting. Once a product is sold out, no more will be added. Every morning, members receive a newsletter with details on the new sales being released that day. That way you can head to the website and start shopping right away! New sales will introduced everyday, so be sure to check your email every day after you sign up to be a member.

LilLuxe will have it all – clothes, blankets, toys, books, shoes – even merchandise just for mom and dad… and so much more. If you love shopping for bargains, you definitely need to check out LilLuxe.

And here’s the best part – Canada readers, you can join, too! They ship to Canada! That means you can join their fabulous site and enter this great giveaway!

Want to Try LilLuxe for Yourself?
To Shop:  Head to the LilLuxe website using this invitation link and sign up for your membership. Then, check out that day’s deals and start shopping! There’s no wait once you sign up, and you can start shopping right away!

You Can WIN! LilLuxe is offering up 2 Gift Vouchers to LilLuxe valued at $25 each. That’s right! There are 2 lucky winners in this giveaway! 

To Enter
Mandatory
: You MUST become a member of LilLuxe using this invitation code
.
If you are already a member through another invitation code or through the website directly, you may still enter. (Please leave the email address you signed up with in your first comment.)
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win. 


Want Extra Entries?

  • “Like” LilLuxe on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Follow LilLuxe on Twitter. (Leave your twitter id, please!)
  • Blog About this Giveaway. Be sure to include a link to 5 Vinez Monkeys and the LilLuxe website. (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.)
  • 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 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.)
  • Stumble this post. (Once. Please leave your stumbledupon username.)

Fine Print: Contest is open to residents of the US And CANADA. 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 November 29th 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 the LilLuxe website. I have not been compensated in any way for this post, but may earn a small fee when purchases are made through my invitation link. Opinions expressed are 100% my own. The sponsor will be fulfilling the winners’ prizes as stated above. 

Thirty-One Gifts (Review & Giveaway – Closed)

Have you heard of Thirty-One Gifts? If you haven’t, you definitely need to check them out.

They are a faith-based company that has a mission to celebrate, encourage and reward women through offering quality products and an outstanding opportunity to become successful business owners.

Recently, I was contacted by Shawna, and asked if I would like to do a review and giveaway with her Thirty-One Gifts website. How could I refuse? I love to showcase and support moms in business.

Shawna sent me the Organizing Utility Tote in brown from the “31Kids” line for my review.

This bag is fantastic! I started using it as a diaper bag for Parker, but I quickly put it away. I love it so much that I want to wait and use it for Gage once he’s born. I don’t want to give the kids a chance to ruin it just yet.

I did use it for a couple days, though, so that I could really test it out and give you all my honest opinions.

Here’s what I love about the bag:

  • It’s roomy. There is plenty of room inside for diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, burp cloths, bibs, receiving blankets, and anything else you might need to toss in.
  • LOTS of outside pockets! The outside has 7 different pockets – perfect for bottles, sippy cups, baby food jars, keys, or whatever else you want to put in them.
  • It’s sturdy and easy to clean. Talk about high-quality material! The inside can be easily wiped out – even if an entire sippy cup spills inside (trust me on this), and the outside wiped off easily with a wash rag. 
  • The straps are long enough – but not too long. They’re the perfect length for tossing the bag on my shoulder and going on with my day. They don’t slip, either, which is nice when you’re trying to carry a toddler and push a full grocery cart at the same time.
  • The price. At just $22, this bag is a steal! It is worth every penny, and it’s such a great price, you could afford to buy one for everyone on your list!

The only thing I wish the bag had was some kind of closure on the top. I tend to use my diaper bag as my purse, and always toss my wallet right in. I have to be careful now to make sure it’s tucked in on the bottom when I use this bag. But, other than that, it’s a fantastic little bag, and the possibilities for using it are endless!

And I’ve already asked hubby for a Christmas gift from Shawna’s site. I want the “Lil’ Expressions Canvas Tote Bag.” It’s $48, but comes with free personalization. You can put up to 6 kids and their names (or one long name like “The Vinez Clan”), and you can personalize the kids to look just like your kids! It would make the perfect gift for moms and grandmas, and I want one. 🙂

With the Christmas season upon us, it’s time to start shopping. I’d highly recommend you start with Shawna’s Thirty-One Gifts website and take a look around. I’m sure you could find something there for almost everyone on your list!

Or, if you love Thirty-One Gifts and are ready to start your own business, contact Shawna today about joining her team!

Want to Try Thirty-One Gifts for Yourself?
You Can WIN! Shawna has graciously offered up a $20 Gift Certificate for one winner to use on her website!

To Enter
Mandatory: You MUST become a fan of Shawna’s Thirty-One Gifts Page on Facebook. (Please leave a comment with your Facebook First Name and Last Initial so that I know you have done so.)
*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 Shawna’s Thirty-One Gifts website. (5 extra entries)
  • Place an order with Shawna before the close of this giveaway. (10 extra entries. Please leave your order number in the extra comments.)
  • Join Shawna’s Team and become a Thirty-One Consultant. (20 extra entries. Leave your first name and last initial. I WILL verify with Shawna that you have joined her team.)
  • 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.)
  • 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 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 December 7th 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 Shawna Nester on behalf of her Thirty-One Gifts website. She sent me the product mentioned above to facilitate my honest review. She will be fulfilling the winner’s prize as stated above. I was in no other way compensated for this post.

Family Friendly Friday – 11.19.10 (Guest Post)

Family Values Entertainment News, Mom Reviewed & Mom Approved – 11.19.10

Moms Speak Out

We really want to hear from all of you, so check out our question for this week and let your voices be heard. With the biggest engagement of the century upon us how can I not ask:

“What do you think of the media’s frenzy over Prince William and Kate Middleton’s engagement?”

Speak up and make a difference! If there’s a question you’d like to have discussed, let’s hear it. Please email me your answers and comments!

Quiet on the Set 
Did you happen to see Family Values Cinema and the National Board of Mothers on Lifetime’s The Balancing Act? If not, be sure to watch it here and check out the great promotion we announced with BLOCKBUSTER Express® Kiosk (they have an easy kiosk locator online to take advantage of this offer). Thanksgiving is just around the corner and like every year, I find myself totally rushed to get everything done. Hopefully this week’s pick will have your family entertainment covered! I can’t wait to hear your feedback! Also, have you answered our Moms Speak Out question above? Please take a look and let your voices be heard! As they say out here in Hollywood, “lights, camera, action!”

I am so happy to share this great DVD with all of you, a true family film with morals and lessons to help us all come out of the holiday full of love.  Enjoy!

Family Holiday

Director: Craig Clyde
Cast:  Dave Coulier, Alexa Fischer, Terisa Greenan
Running Time: 90 minutes
Language: English
Year: 2007

An enjoyable family film filled with the real meaning of giving and forgiving…

Laura says: Good movie shows how everyone can turn around and become better people
Paula says: Good movie really enjoyed it.
Alexandria says: Really good movie with family values.

If you are interested in finding other family friendly movies on DVD, here is a good place to start.

This week offers some great options for TV shows from the Parent Television Council. Here are my favorite picks: First, The Night Before the Night Before Christmas is a movie about pulling together and learning what’s important; second, Good Luck Charlie, is a classic and fun for the whole family to enjoy. Here are some family friendly options for this week:

Friday, November 19, 2010
Man v. Food, 7:00 p.m. (Eastern) Travel Channel The “Wing King Challenge” at the West End Tavern in Boulder requires the host to consume 50 wings in 30 minutes or less. 
Hannah Montana: The Movie, 7:00 p.m. (Eastern) Disney Channel As high-school student Miley Stewart’s alter ego, pop star Hannah  Montana, continues to grow in popularity, Miley struggles to keep up with her schoolwork and friendships.  Worried that fame will overshadow everything else in her life, Miley’s father takes her to Crowley Corners, TN, in hopes of bringing her back down to earth. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010
Ratatouille, 7:00 p.m. (Eastern) ABC Family Pixar comedy about a rat who dreams of becoming a gourmet chef and teams up with an inexperienced kitchen worker at one of Paris’s finest restaurants.  
The Night Before the Night Before Christmas, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) Hallmark Channel A calendar mix-up causes Santa to leave the North Pole a day early and crash his sleigh into the home of a disconnected family led by work-obsessed parents.  Santa has amnesia following the accident and loses his magic gift bag, threatening to ruin Christmas unless the family can pull together to help save the day. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010
Good Luck Charlie, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) Disney Channel Teddy creates a mean-spirited music video about her boyfriend after she discovers he is cheating on her.  Meanwhile, Gabe decides to make use of an extra room in Mrs. Dabney’s house, without getting her permission, when he loses interest in sharing a room with PJ. 
Great Migrations, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) National Geographic Channel Alec Baldwin narrates this seven-part series, which documents epic animals migrations on all seven continents.  The premiere focuses on Christmas Island red crabs, which travel en masse from interior forests to mate on the beaches and deliver their young.   

Monday, November 22, 2010
Tinker Bell, 7:00 p.m. (Eastern) Disney Channel Peter Pan’s favorite fairy stars in this animated adventure that follows her attempts to find a suitable position for her talents, which include fixing things and bonding with fairy friends when it looks like her clumsiness might result in Spring not arriving on time. 
Finding John Christmas, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) Hallmark Channel Valerie Bertinelli and Peter Falk star in a holiday heart-tugger about a woman’s search for a man she sees in a newspaper photo and believes is her long-lost brother, a heroic firefighter who left town 25 years before. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
The Three Gifts, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) Hallmark Channel During the holidays, a couple offer a temporary home to three orphaned boys well known for their rambunctious behavior.  When the boys begin to hope one of them will be adopted by the couple, they start a fierce competition to win the pair’s affections. 
Aladdin, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) ABC Family Robin Williams lends his voice to the genie in this musical based on the “Arabian Nights” tale.  It’s the story of a street urchin who discovers a magic lamp. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Beauty and the Beast, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) ABC Family Disney’s Oscar-nominated children’s musical about the romance between Belle and a prince who’s been transformed by a spell. 
Merry Madagascar, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) NBC In this animated holiday tale with the gang from the “Madagascar” movies, Santa crashes into the island, leaving him with amnesia and putting Christmas in peril.  Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria take the reins to deliver presents and save the holiday, but they’re also hoping to use the sleigh to return home to New York City. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010
Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) ABC Charlie Brown and Snoopy try to whip up a Thanksgiving feast including ice cream, popcorn, and toast followed by “This is America, Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers” which finds the whole Peanuts gang aboard the Mayflower.
The Town Christmas Forgot, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) Hallmark A disconnected, technology-dependent family learn what the Christmas spirit is all about when they are stranded in a small, struggling town during Christmas.

To see the complete list of shows recommended by the Parents Television Council and/or to learn more about this great organization, please visit www.parentstv.org

We know the movie this week has been on top of kids lists for weeks now… so without further ado, this week we feature Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. But moms beware this can be scary for the little ones.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Directed by: David Yates
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
Release date: November 19, 2010
Running time: 145 minutes
MPAA rating: PG-13
MPAA reasoning: Some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images

Based on the seventh book by J.K. Rowling, this action intense imaginative film has Harry in a race against time to elminate Horcruxes. As we have seen with each of the installments Harry’s missions become more and more intense, but as we enter part one of the final chapter it is clear that he has found himself in the most dire circumstances of all.

Harry’s best friends are by his side as they uncover the three most powerful objects in all of the wizarding world. In what is clearly the most high-intensity volumes yet, friendship and adventure take you through the maze of character development and action for over two hours. Harry Potter fans will not be disappointed with the special effects and story that will have you yearning for part two.

Due to the intense action violence and frightening images in this film, the National Board of Mothers® is not able to approve this movie. 

It’s a wrap! I hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving week and gets time to cherish the moments with your loved ones. And if you get a chance please let me know what you think about The Balancing Act! Please email me and enjoy! See you next Friday!


Founder, National Board of Mothers®

Patty is first and foremost an experienced mother both to her teenage daughter, and to her Labradoodle Romeo. With a great passion for wholesome entertainment, Patty spearheaded the National Board of Mothers to establish a rigorous review process ensuring that your family’s treasured time is enjoyed with Mom Reviewed & Mom Approved products. Patty is most currently known for forging new ground with family friendly entertainment as the Founder of not only the National Board of Mothers, but also Family Values Cinema. You can read more about Patty and family friendly entertainment here or email her with any questions.

Disclaimer: This is a weekly guest post on behalf of Family Values Entertainment. I am not being compensated for this post, but links included in this post may be affiliate links. Read more about my relationship with Family Values Cinema here.

New Partnership with Family Values Cinema

Family Values Cinema

I am very, very picky about what movies my children can and cannot watch. Unless it’s rated G, or a Christian film, my husband and I will watch a movie before we allow our children to see it. My husband and I rarely go to the movies anymore because you never know what you’re going to see on the screen.

I need to know exactly what’s in the film before I put it in front of my kids eyes. Do you know how time consuming this can be? Or how many movies I’ve wasted money on because I won’t allow my kids to watch it? It’s ridiculous.

So, when Family Values Cinema contacted me and asked if we could work together, I was thrilled!

If you don’t know what Family Values Cinema is, here’s part of their story:

“With our family fun movie night package there is no more wasting time in the video store or surfing for reviews on the internet. We preview thousands of films with the help of the National Board of Mothers (concerned moms just like you and me who volunteer their time for the reviews), and pick each one with your family in mind.”  (Click here to learn about how it works)

Basically, they are a family friendly movie of the month club. You select a plan, and each month you get one (or two – depending on your plan) mom reviewed, mom approved family friendly movie(s) and a discussion guide to enjoy with your family and get your kids talking. Instead of sending the movies back, you get to keep them – forever! Plus, there’s absolutely no obligation and you can cancel at any time. With plans starting at just $9.95 a month, there’s no reason not to give it a try!

If you still need more convincing, though, right now they are offering a free trial – you just pay $1.95 in shipping. What a deal! Here’s what you get with their holiday special:

  • Two Mom Approved Movies
  • Two Family Discussion Guides
  • Two Interactive Family Activities
  • Two Movie Inspired Recipes

So, what are you waiting for? Head to Family Values Cinema and sign up for your free trial today. There’s nothing to lose, and a whole lot of family time to gain!

Also, every Friday, I will be putting up a post on behalf of Family Values Cinema Entertainment. It will bring you that week’s picks for family-friendly entertainment. My goal is to help my readers (as well as my own family) get together once a week for Family Night. The first post should go live tomorrow, so be sure to watch for it!

I hope you’ll consider joining Family Values Cinema.

Disclaimer: I was contacted on behalf of Family Values Cinema and am now partnering with them to bring my readers the latest in family-friendly entertainment. I am not being compensated for this post. However, as part of our partnership, I may receive a small percentage of any membership purchased.

Atlanta Readers – The Harlem Globetrotters are Coming to Town!

I am so excited! I love the Harlem Globetrotters, and I have always wanted to see them in person. Now, Atlanta readers, we’ll have the chance to do just that!

On March 12, 2011 at 1pm, the Harlem Globetrotters will be at the Philips Arena as part of their 2011 World Tour. How fun is that?!

Because tickets are going to go fast, I wanted to let you know that tickets are now on Presale until Sunday, November 21st.

Want to save 15% on select ticket prices? Click here to preorder tickets: Harlem Globetrotters Tickets

Then, enter the password GLOBIE where it says “Globetrotters Presale.”

Easy enough, right?

This would be such a fun family outing. Unfortunately, it’s exactly one week after my due date, so I have no idea if we’ll be able to go or not. I sure would love to, though!

By the way, did you know that the Harlem Globetrotters recently received the Parent Tested, Parent Approved Seal of Approval? It’s true! They’re the first live event to ever receive this coveted award. 

It’s sure to be an event that your kids will never forget! Order your tickets now so you don’t miss out!

Disclaimer: This is a complimentary post on behalf of the Marketing Department at Philips Arena. I was not compensated for this post in any way.

NatureMade Winner Announced

Time to announce the winner of the Nature Made Prenatal Vitamins with DHA 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 EST, or a new winner will be selected.

Thanks to all who entered!

Cars Toon: Mater’s Tall Tales Wii Game (Review) #CarsToonGame

Because we have a Wii, and 5 kids, I am always looking for games that the majority of my kids can play together. Of course, it needs to be uncomplicated enough that my husband and I can join in now and then as well.

Cars Toon: Mater’s Tall Tales totally fits the bill on every level! My kids are already big fans of Mater and Cars. When a short clip comes on the Disney Channel of Mater’s Tall Tales, they’ll stop whatever they’re doing and focus only on the tv. I’ve quickly learned that no amount of interrupting will pull them away from the tv during these short clips. Luckily, they are short, so things go back to normal fairly quickly.

The Cars Toon: Mater’s Tall Tales game is so much fun for everyone. And I’m not just saying that! There’s just so much you can do. Up to 4 people can play at once, there are 30 games to choose from. My boys are 6 and 7, and they could play for hours on end if I let them. Even my teenager, Ashley, loves to play along. And Lucy and Parker enjoy watching them play.

The boys get so excited and are so proud of themselves when they win a new trophy or other prizes. And they are constantly changing up their cars to fit their personalities.

Here’s the info about the game, directly from the game’s website:

Cars Toon: Mater’s Tall Tales is part of the Mania! line of games, featuring fast-paced, multiplayer, family fun. This captivating game is as fun to watch as it is to play and will engage up to four players of all ages.

The video game will feature a large collection of pick-up-and-play games inspired by Disney/Pixar’s popular Mater’s Tall Tales animated short series. The game will bring Mater together with Lightning McQueen and the ‘Cars’ gang for a new set of adventures, capturing the endearing sense of humor of everyone’s favorite tow truck. Players will join Mater and his pals as they relive the wild stories he conjures up about hilariously unpredictable events that may or may not have taken place.

Cars Toon: Mater’s Tall Tales for Wii will allow family and friends to experience Mater’s Tall Tales with a Mania! twist. The Mania! franchise, hosted by beloved characters, provides accessible and frenzied pick-up-and-play experiences to be enjoyed by everyone in the living room.

With up to four players at once, Mania! video games reward competitiveness and cooperative play among players and features immersive storytelling experiences that are appropriate for all ages.

I love how well the kids play together with the Cars Toon: Mater’s Tall Tales game, and I love how excited the kids are about achieving their goals. I would definitely recommend this to any family. At $49.99, it’s not too expensive, and it’s definitely worth every penny. It would make a great Christmas gift that the entire family can enjoy!

To learn more about the Cars Toon: Mater’s Tall Tales Wii Game,check out their website: http://www.disney.com/carsvideogames

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Disney Interactive Studios and received the Cars Toon: Mater’s Tall Tales Wii game to facilitate my review.