Archives for August 2011

#FamilyMovie Night This Saturday, Sept. 3rd!

It’s that time again! Walmart & P&G are teaming up for another fabulous Family Movie Night!

It all happens this Saturday night, September 3rd at 8pm/7C on NBC.family movie night

The movie is called Game Time: Tackling the Past, and it’s all about football.

Well, not all about football… there are some valuable lessons involved.

Here’s the synopsis from the Family Move Night website:

Pro football star Jake Walker is living the dream… or so he thinks. The veteran tight end is a fan favorite and on pace to set the all-time receiving yards record that will guarantee him a spot in the Hall of Fame. While working out at training camp, Jake receives an unexpected call from his brother Dean – their father Frank has suffered a major heart attack. Jake immediately leaves practice and returns to Riverton, North Carolina, the small hometown he’s avoided for nearly 15 years. Memories of glory and regret flood his mind as he returns to the family and friends he abandoned in pursuit of his career. Jake dutifully visits with Frank and Dean, but hurt and misunderstanding from the past begins to resurface, leaving him counting the days until he can return to his team. …Read More

Now, watch the trailer:

{Direct Link for Feed Subscribers}
It looks great, doesn’t it? And did you recognize some familiar faces – like Catherine Hicks and Beau Bridges?

I love football movies. Actually, my whole family does. If there’s football in a movie, it’s one sure way to get all of us gathered around the tv. This movie is sure to be no exception. We’re not missing it!

I haven’t watched Game Time: Tackling the Past yet. I watched the trailer with my son, Jace, the other day, and he begged me not to watch it without him. His birthday is on Friday, and he really, really wants us to watch it together. So, Friday night, Jace and I will watch an advanced screening of the movie. {I just didn’t want to wait until the last minute to tell you all about it!}  Then, we’ll all watch it together again as a family on Saturday night. I’ve already got the DVR set, and we’re ready and waiting for Family Movie Night to get here! My husband is really excited about the movie too. We saw the previews during our last Family Movie Night and he and Jace both said at the same time, “We’ve got to watch that one!” I’m telling you, if there’s football involved, the excitement level shoots through the roof around here.

I love Family Movie Night, and I have thoroughly enjoyed every movie that Walmart & P&G have put out so far. We’ve already purchased several of the movies on DVD so that we don’t have to watch them with commercials anymore because they get watched so much. I am so excited that Mom Central has allowed me to be a part of these campaigns to tell you all about these fantastic little movies. I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I have.

Remember: Game Time: Tackling the Past premiers Saturday, September 3rd at 8/7C on NBC.

Don’t miss it!

To learn more about Game Time: Tackling the Past, visit the Official Website.

Become a Fan of Family Movie Night on Facebook and get the inside scoop on future Family Movie Night events and updates.

Will your family be watching?

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of P&G and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Yummy Cupcake Save #Giveaway from @EversaveATL

Who doesn’t love a cupcake? My mouth is watering just writing up this post!

angel drink treets

Today’s Save on Eversave is for a dozen cupcakes from Angel Drink Treets. You can get a dozen non-alcoholic cupcakes for just $10 ($20 value), or you can get a dozen “drink” cupcakes for $15 ($30 value). It’s a yummy deal for sure! I don’t drink, so I’m definitely getting in on the non-alcoholic cupcakes for my crew myself.

To celebrate my being the Eversave Atlanta Blogger of the Week, Eversave is allowing me to giveaway one of these Saves to one lucky reader. (Reader can decide if he/she wants alcoholic or non-alcoholic cupcakes.)

This will be a very quick giveaway and it will end at 12:01am on September 1st. {That’s tomorrow!}

Don’t miss your chance to win! {By the way, it’s best if you live in or near Atlanta to enter, since they don’t ship.}

To Enter, use the Rafflecopter gadget below!



Disclaimer: This giveaway is being sponsored by Eversave Atlanta. They will fulfill the winner’s prize as stated above. To learn more about Angel Drink Treets, check out their website.

Put the Boys in Cub Scouts

Last night, we had the official “parents meeting” with our local Cub Scout Troop. That means the boys are really, truly Cub Scouts now. They could not be more excited. Even Parker is excited, and he’s still almost 4 years away from being part of a pack.

As I was getting ready to go to last night’s meeting, Parker came up to my room and said, “Mom, I’m a parent. I need to go to the meeting tonight for Cub Scouts.” Bless his heart – he wanted to go so badly that hubby and I took him along with us. All went just fine until he started playing with my phone, found the Cube Dog app, and started making my phone meow like a cat. (I still have no idea how he did that. 1. My phone was on silent, and 2. it’s a Cube DOG app.) The other parents and leaders thought it was hysterical, though, so no one seemed to mind the interruption too much. At least I don’t think they did.

Truth be told, I’m really excited about the boys joining Scouts too. I think that Cub Scouts will be a very good thing for both of them. Zander needs the social interaction Cub Scouts offers, and Jace needs the disciplined atmosphere. Sounds like a win-win to me! And, since the whole family gets to get involved, I think it will be really good for all the kids. I just need to start praying now that hubby’s work schedule doesn’t conflict too badly with Cub Scouts. Taking 6 kids to Cub Scouts 4 – 5 times a month by myself sounds exhausting.

I don’t have much Cub Scout experience, but that will be changing very soon now that I’ll have 2 boys in the program. Luckily, my Uncle is the ultimate Boy Scout, still active with a troop here in our area. You can bet I’ll be leaning on him for advice and direction through the boys’ time in Scouts. So glad I have him in my life! 🙂

Do you have any experience with Cub Scouts? What did your boys learn? Would you do it again?

cub scout characters

 

Free 8×10 Canvas from Canvas People

CanvasPeople.com is offering a free 8 x 10 or $50 off any size canvas as a special introductory deal! Talk about an amazing offer.

This coupon can also be applied toward a larger size canvas, creative effects, or even one of their beautiful frames.

Remember 2 Canvas portraits are always better than 1, and with 50% off your second canvas and 50% off shipping there’s no reason to only get one.

Grab your favorite photos from your summer vacation, and remember them forever with a beautiful free 8×10 canvas portrait!

Free 8x10 Canvas

UPrinting Brochure #Giveaway {Extended!}

This Giveaway is for 50 Custom Brochures and will end at 12:01 September 12, 2011. Winner will be selected that same day and must be able to get their information to me that same day.

UPrinting.com allows you an easy way to create a custom design for brochures, business cards, postcards, and so much more. This online printing service and brochure templates help you design and order the items you need to promote your business, blog, or event. (Or whatever else you can dream up!)

UPrinting is offering up a fantastic giveaway to one of my readers!

One lucky winner will receive Brochure printing in the amount of 50 pieces. The brochures will be 8.5″ x 11″, 100lb Gloss Paper, Folded (Half Fold, Trifold/Letterfold, Z-Fold, Roll Fold, or Accordion Fold), with both outside and inside printing. The prize also includes free shipping and a 2 business day turnaround on the print brochures.

brochures

(Please note: This giveaway is limited to US Residents 18 years old and above.)

To Enter, use the Rafflecopter Gadget below:



Disclaimer: Required as per FTC Ruling
This giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting and I will receive print brochures for hosting. Visit UPrinting.com for more information about brochures and available brochure templates.

I’m the #Atlanta Eversave Blogger of the Week!

eversave atlantaLast week, I teamed up with Eversave to bring you a fantastic little giveaway for Eversave.

It was such a hit that now Eversave has asked me to be their blogger of the week for their Atlanta edition.

I am absolutely thrilled and honored to team up with such a great company.

This week, I’ll have a couple more giveaways and promotions going on, all courtesy of Eversave.

Today, I want you to give you the opportunity to than Eversave for all they’re doing. Please head over to the Eversave Atlanta Facebook Fan Page and “like” them.

While you’re on their fan page, be sure to click on the “Fan Perks” link. There you’ll find promo codes and so much more.

Thank you so much, Eversave for teaming up with me this week and making me your Blogger of the Week.

Eversave is one of the nation’s top three deal sites. They offer local daily deals for women ages 25 – 54 and their families in Atlanta and all across the country. Eversave works day and night to negotiate rock-bottom deals on the things you love to do and buy in your area. From spa treatments to restaurant discounts, ski packages to yoga classes – they find the best deals and deliver them to you – in the form of a Save.

Disclaimer: I was contacted by Eversave and they asked if I would direct readers to their facebook fan page. In return, they’ll direct their members to my facebook fan page.

The Brother P-Touch Label Challenge

Have you ever tried to label something important, only to have the labels all fall off after just a short time? (Think Seinfeld.)

If so, pay close attention!ptouch test kit

I was selected by Mom Central to participate in a campaign with Brother to showcase their P-Touch Label Maker. Over the next few months, you’ll see several posts from me about the Brother P-Touch Label Maker and how those labels get me organized and then how they hold up in my house.

My first post is about the P-Touch Label Challenge. I’m supposed to put these labels to the test and see how they really hold up.

I took the challenge, and with the help of Jace and Parker, we put these labels to the test! Here’s our Challenge Results caught on camera:

As you can see, the labels definitely held up to all the abuse we were giving it. I also have to tell you that Jace stayed outside for 20 more minutes trying everything he could to get that label off the block, and he absolutely could not get it off.

It’s awesome to see the label withstand so much and not come peeling off.

In case you didn’t take the time to watch the video, here’s a recap:

taking the challenge

We took the P-Touch Challenge

label before

Here's the label before we started our testing.

jace takes the challenge

Jace tried so hard to get the label off!

After the challenge

Even after all the abuse, the label still looks exactly the same.

As you can see, the label held up under all the pressure we put on it. I am super impressed with these labels so far, and I can’t wait to see how they hold up to the everday abuse my kids will put them through.

In the next few weeks, I will be giving my basement a complete makeover. (Thanks to Mom Central and Brother.) It’s time to turn it into the dream room I envisioned when we first moved in here. I’ll be using the Brother P-touch PT-1290 to help achieve my {organized} dream room.

I hope you’ll join me on my journey! I have a feeling it’s going to be lots of fun.

To learn more about the Brother P-Touch Label Maker and the different options available, check out the Brother Website.

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Brother P-Touch and received a product and gift card to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

ShopSquad – Need Advice? Give Advice!

ShopSquad recently contacted me and asked if I was interested in being an Advisor on their site. After all, I’ve got 6 kids, I talk about products on my blog, so why not share my love for certain items with the ShopSquad world and get paid to do it?

Wouldn’t you like to do that?

Well, you can!

Just join ShopSquad, and you can immediately start earning money by talking about the products you love. They also have a browser toolbar that you can install and you can actually make money while you surf the web and shop!

Maybe you’re in the market for a new product and want some opinions before you buy something? With ShopSquad, you can get free expert shopping advice whenever you need it.

What are you waiting for? Join ShopSquad now and start earning money by telling people all about the products you love!

ShopSquad

Mamasource – Another Fantastic Deal Site

mamasource deal site

Deal sites have become my newest addiction. Since I have 5 kids with birthdays in July, August, September, and October, and then Christmas immediately afterward, I have to find the best deals I can in order to afford to get them presents that they will really love.

I happened across Mamasource today, the “deals” part of Mamapedia. I’ve actually worked with Mamapedia in the past, even appeared on a local tv station to talk about how much I love their site. So how on earth I missed that they have a deal site, I have no idea!

Mamasource is full of some of the best deals on the coolest stuff!

For example, here are some amazing deals you can get right now:

  • $50 of Gear to Keep You Organized from PAK for $25
  • $30 Worth of Fun Kids’ Belts for $15 from HeroHuggers
  • Personalize Back-to-school Supplies with Animated or 3D Images from Snapily.com – $30 value for $14
  • $20 Worth of Quality Kids’ Books from Slimy Bookworm for just $10

Those are just some of the great deals you’ll find on Mamasource.

Head on over and join today! If you score a great deal from Mamasource, I’d love to hear about it!

Taking a Break from Blog Design

Prior to Gage’s birth, I wasn’t certain if I was going to continue in my Blog Design business. I put my decision on hold, and continued to help clients as needed. I ended up taking on lots of new clients, helping former clients out, and I’ve started letting it consume me again.

My family comes first. Always. But, lately, I have been letting the pressure of completing blog designs, blog transfers, and other work get in the way of my family, and I cannot allow that to happen.

So, it’s time for me to put the blog design work on the back burner for now and focus on my kids. They are growing up way too fast, and I feel like I’m missing out on it by spending any “free” time I have sitting at the computer doing things for everyone else.

I want my kids to remember me as the mom that got on the floor and played with them, not the mom who was on the computer too much.

I hope you understand. And, who knows – maybe I’ll revisit my decision in the future and go back to designing. But, I’ll cross that bridge when the time is right.

taking a break
And don’t worry – the blog isn’t going anywhere. By not doing so much design work, I’ll be able to devote *better* time to posting here.

48 Hour Flash Sale at thredUp!

You already know what a huge fan of thredUp I am. (Just do a search on my blog for thredUp and you’ll find all sorts of posts about how much I love it.)

Today, I love them even more, because you can get 30% off your purchase. That means you can buy a box of gently used kids clothes, toys, or books for about $1. Can’t beat that! And, when you join thredUp, you get $10 in credit instead of $5, so you really will pay just about $2 for an entire box of clothes. Amazing deal!

Hurry on over to thredUp and start stocking up.

This deal ends tomorrow (8/25) at 11:59pm, so don’t delay.

Click the picture to start shopping now.

flash sale at thredUp

 

Eversave Member Appreciation {Quick Giveaway!}

Eversave is one of the nation’s top three deal sites. They offer local daily deals for women ages 25 – 54 and their families in Atlanta and all across the country. Eversave works day and night to negotiate rock-bottom deals on the things you love to do and buy in your area. From spa treatments to restaurant discounts, ski packages to yoga classes – they find the best deals and deliver them to you – in the form of a Save.Eversave Giveaway

Today, Eversave is kicking off their 3-day $10 Giveaway Member Appreciation Event where they’ll be giving every Eversave member a $10 credit to use toward any deal today, August 23rd through midnight Thursday, August 25th. This is a **huge** bonus, and it doesn’t matter if you’re already a member or if you’re just hearing about Eversave for the first time. Everyone gets the bonus credits! (I love when companies don’t just give to new members, but they also take care of their current members. Speaks volumes about them!)

Remember, this offer won’t last long, so you need to hurry over to Eversave and sign up to claim your $10 in credits. (Or just sign in if you’re already a member!)

To help kick off their event, Eversave is giving me $15 in Save Credits to give away to one lucky reader. Imagine the deals you can score with that extra money!

This will be a really quick event, and it will close at midnight Thursday night – just like the $10 Member Appreciation Deal. So don’t hesitate! Join Eversave Today!

To Enter, use the Rafflecopter Gadget below.



Disclaimer: I was contacted by Eversave and asked to inform my readers about their Member Appreciation giveaway. In exchange for this post, I will receive $10 in Eversave Credits. The sponsor will fulfill the winner’s prize of $15 Eversave credits at the close of the giveaway. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Researching Vacuum Cleaners

With 6 kids, I can’t even begin to tell you how many vacuum cleaners I have been through. I have yet to find a good vacuum cleaner that cleans well and can handle everything my large family will put it through.

Our current vacuum cleaner is about on it’s last leg. You have to run it over an area 10 times before it will pick something up, and it’s starting to stink. I’m tired of dealing with it, and I’m ready to start researching vacuum cleaners.

I’d love to get YOUR input and hear which vacuum cleaner is going to be the best fit for my family. If you have a vacuum cleaner and it’s not on my list, I’d love to hear about it as well!

Here are the ones I’m looking at:

  • Dyson’s DC24 Multi floor – This one would be great for the house we live in now. It’s got the ability to work on any kind of floor, and with an equal amount of hardwood floors and carpet floors, I think it would be a nice fit.
    dyson vacuum cleaner
  • Electrolux Nimble® EL8602A – Another one made for different floor types. I love how it’s a one-touch switch from hard floors to carpet. I love the 3-in-1 tool. Would be great for all my steps. And, I really think Electrolux is on the cutting edge of “what moms want.”
    electrolux vacuum
  • Oreck ® Forever Series™ Gold – I love the warranty on this one. And I like the idea of never needing to buy another vacuum again, since I’m currently buying a new one every year. (At least – if I buy a cheap one, I’m buying a new one every 3 – 6 months.) Can it really keep up with 6 kids, though?
    oreck vacuum
  • Hoover Platinum Collection™ Cyclonic Bagless Upright – Price is decent, and there’s a 6 year limited warranty. Not sure about a Hoover, though. I’ve never owned one before.

So, what do you think? Would one of those be a good fit for my big, crazy family? Is there one that I’m missing?

I’d love a germ-killing vacuum, but all I could find was the Oreck Halo, but those aren’t even for sale on the Oreck website anymore. Something that’s good for Allergies/Asthma is a MUST, since Ashley, Jace, and I all suffer from both allergies and asthma.

Help this desperate mom out. If you love your vacuum, tell me all about it – or if you think one of these is a good pick.

Etsy Dreaming Again…

I love Etsy. It’s like an addiction for me. Or my own form of therapy. Not sure which. And I’m not sure I want to know which it really is.

I happened across a shop today, and her stuff was so cute that I just had to share it with you!

The shop is called Little Elephant Company, and the owner makes the most adorable Hairbow holders, Quilt Clips, Name Plaques, Growth Charts, and more!

Take a look at a few of my favorite items from her shop:

hair bow holder
custom initial
name plate

So cute, right?? I know. I’ve added her shop to my favorites so I can check in often and start getting things from my ever-growing Etsy wish list!

You can also find Little Elephant Company on Facebook, twitter, and her blog.

Check out the Little Elephant Company shop and tell me which item is your favorite!

Disclaimer: I am not being compensated for this post in anyway. I found the shop, liked it, and wanted to share it with my readers. Enjoy!

Modest Apparel for Women, Teens, and Girls {Review}

modest clothes for girlsI’ve posted before about how appalled I am by the clothes girls are wearing nowadays. I have no problem wanting to look nice, but looking nice doesn’t mean that you have to let it all hang out. After reading the comments on my post, I can see that many of you feel the same way I do.

I’ve made it my goal to find beautiful, affordable clothes for women, teens, and girls that are both fashionable and modest.

When Sarah of Joyfully Sewn contacted me, I knew her shop was the perfect fit for my blog.

Sarah custom made a skirt for my daughter, Lucy. Before I get to my review, here’s a little bit about Sarah and her shop Joyfully Sewn:

Here at my shop you will find carefully handmade, feminine dresses, jumpers, peasant blouses, patchwork skirts, twirl skirts, peasant skirts and more. Every item has been individually and lovingly made by me. I have been doing custom sewing for local and long distance customers for 10+ years and I love what I do. No two items will be exactly alike since I hand cut and individually sew each one. I am more than happy to create custom orders for you or your daughters, and I would love to work with you to create just what you are looking for.

“And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.” Psalm 35:9

Sarah is an absolute delight to work with. You can hear in her voice how much she loves what she does, and that love is radiated in her designs and creations. The quality of her work is second-to-none, and her fabric selection is amazing.

I mentioned above that Sarah custom made a skirt for Lucy. All I did was give her Lucy’s measurements, and mentioned that she loves the color pink. She asked about the length of the dress, and I told her “the longer, the better.” Lucy loves feeling like a princess, and long skirts and dresses are her favorite.

When we received the skirt in the mail, I was truly blown away. And Lucy couldn’t wait to put it on. Getting it off of her to wash has been the most difficult thing. She wants to wear it all the time. The skirt has bloomers sewn right in, increasing the modesty factor – and the cuteness factor! Now, Lucy can play on the playground, do flips, and have a ball, and not have to worry about her panties showing. Those little bloomers are this mom’s favorite feature!

Sarah also included 2 little matching bows in the package, perfect for pairing with pony tails. I just love them – and so does Lucy. If she wears the skirt, she *has* to wear the bows.

modest clothes for girlsWhen Lucy wore the skirt to church, she got tons and tons of compliments. Everyone loved the skirt, and several of the women of the church mentioned that they’d like a skirt just like it for themselves. Even my teenager loves Lucy’s skirt and wants one for herself. She also mentioned to me that if Lucy’s didn’t have the bloomers, she could probably just wear it. 🙂 She really loves it that much.

I am super impressed with Joyfully Sewn and will definitely be purchasing more from her in the near future. I’m already putting money aside to get skirts made for myself, Ashley, and another one for Lucy. It goes without saying that I would recommend them to anyone looking for modest girls clothing.

Thank you so much, Sarah, for the opportunity to work with you. I love your work, and am so happy to have met you. Thank you for providing families an excellent option for modest apparel.

To learn more about Sarah and Joyfully Sewn and to check out her selection of skirts and dresses for women, teens, and girls, visit her shop: Joyfully Sewn

Use the code blessed to save 10% off your order in her shop.

For a chance to win a $25 GC to Joyfully Sewn, enter the Small Biz Expo and Giveaway.

You can also find Sarah on her blog: Joyful Service

Disclaimer: I received a skirt from Joyfully Sewn in order to facilitate my review, and received no other compensation. Opinions expressed are 100% my own and have not been influenced by any outside source.

My Very Own Super Soaker

And, no. This post has nothing to do with squirt guns.

The issue is with my baby boy. There’s not a single diaper on the market that can contain his – well, you know – during the night. I’ve never seen a baby “go” so much during the night. Ever. And I have six kids.

I refuse to buy Huggies Diapers. They size their diapers so small that I have to buy size THREE diapers for my 5 month old. Parker can still wear a size 3 Pampers, and he’s almost 3! And don’t even get me started on those new slip-on diapers. You couldn’t pay me to try them. (Well, you could probably pay me to try them, but I’m pretty sure I’d still hate them as much as I think I would.)

Pampers are much better size-wise, but they still don’t hold everything that comes out over night. Even during the day, I’m changing him every hour or so. We’re going through way too many diapers, and it’s leaving me broke and frustrated.

For the past 3 nights, I have put him in a disposable diaper with an all-in-one cloth diaper over top. And for the past 3 nights, he has woken up at 3 am because he is completely soaked… just like every other night before.

It is beyond frustrating. I have a feeling that my next trip to Walmart will include a purchase of those plastic cover-up pants, because I simply don’t know what else to do!

I will say that this is the first time in a very long time that I’ve had a mostly formula fed baby. I get the fact that he’s taking in more, and will therefore put out more, but my child can’t be the only child on earth that will pee through anything.

Gage would sleep all night long if he didn’t wake up completely soaked through. I have got to get this issue nipped in the bud, and quickly – for all of our sanity!

Have you had a super soaker in your life? How did you handle it? Any tips you want to share?

gage 5 months

$50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

amazon gc giveaway

This giveaway will end at 12:01am on September 16, 2011.

Let’s do another giveaway! I want to celebrate the fact that I have such awesome readers – and the fact that you’ve helped bring me up to over 500 facebook fans! So, I’m going to honor those of you that are facebook fans with a giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Easy to enter – just use the Rafflecopter gadget below!


 

Disclaimer: I am sponsoring this giveaway myself. This giveaway is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Facebook.

Kiddie Academy – Success for a Mother/Daughter Team

Kiddie Academy
You may have noticed the banner in my sidebar for Kiddie Academy, and you may have been wondering what it’s all about. Today, I’m going to tell you more about Kiddie Academy and the wonderful opportunity they are giving so many families.

Kiddie Academy® has been a leader in educationally focused daycare for more than 30 years, with centers across the United States.

Moms know that childcare is an in-demand, steady growth industry. They might not realize that the education-based childcare sector is growing even faster. With the support of a strong franchisor, education-based childcare is a great opportunity for positive short- and long-term results for franchisees.

Kiddie Academy upholds a commitment to measured, strategic growth and works to support the ongoing success of each individual academy.

I want to share with you the story of Shanie & Judy. This mother/daughter team opened their Kiddie Academy franchise in 2009, and have had great success. Their decision to start a franchise came after Shanie had a difficult time finding adequate childcare in the area for her daughters. After 6 years of running an in-home child care service, Shanie and her mother were disappointed with the child care options that were available to them. They started discussing starting their own day care center, and decided that a franchised child care organization was the best bet. They started researching companies and were immediately impressed with Kiddie Academy’s website and vision. It wasn’t long after a visit to the Kiddie Academy corporate headquarters that they opened their own franchise.

Shanie and Judy share a common goal: Providing children with a safe, nurturing place to learn and grow, all while provinding parents with the service and consideration they wouldn’t find anywhere else.

Shanie and Judy have had their challenges, the largest being finding staff that had a level of passion for children and education matched their own. They’ve overcome this challenge by providing staff training, positive reinforcement, and leading by example.

Every day, Judy and Shanie see the results of their hard work and dedication — from the smiling faces of their students to the parents who trust Kiddie Academy to care for their children. They have created an environment that is warm and welcoming with stellar customer service, which is consistently praised by their current families. As an added testament to their success, they received the 2009 New Academy of the Year award at Kiddie Academy’s annual conference. Way to go, Shanie and Judy!

Kiddie Academy is growing right now, and they are looking for new franchisees in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Imagine for a moment how great it would be to run your own business and work with someone you love. You would impact the lives of children daily, and you could be such a blessing to so many little lives.

After working in daycare myself for many, many years, I have to say that Kiddie Academy blows me away. Their commitment to children, their dedication to parents, I am super impressed.

If you want to learn more about Kiddie Academy, and how to start your own franchise, check out their website: www.kiddieacademyfranchising.com

You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Kiddie Academy. The opinions and ideas expressed are 100% my own.

The Infantino Test & Tell Mom Program

I ran across this article yesterday, and I immediately thought about my blog readers!

Some of you are mom bloggers with new babies. If you fit in that category, you need to check out the Infantino Test & Tell Mom Program.

Here’s what they say:

We make all of our products with moms in mind, so it only makes sense that we get their feedback, insights and ideas. One way we do this is our Test & Tell Mom program, where we provide new moms with free, newly launched products to test out and ask them to share their opinion on their blog, Facebook or other social media outlets. We’ve found it’s a great opportunity for honest feedback and conversations with our moms.

If you’d like to join Test & Tell, here are some details:

What We Look For
We look for moms that have little ones ranging from newborn up to 18 months.

It is very important to us that our Test & Tell Moms really use the products and give their first-hand accounts and photos, so readers can get true mom-to-mom opinions with insights that go beyond the product description.

We also ask our moms to post a clear declaimer that states we’ve given them the product free of charge to test out and that the review they give is 100% their own.

Click here to read more about the program and apply: Infantino Test & Tell Mom Program

Infantino

Since I already have a unique opportunity with Mom Central and Infantino, I’m not applying to the program, but I hope you will!

Infantino’s Comforting Play Collection {Review}

I love Infantino baby products, and their Comforting Play Collection doesn’t disappoint.

Gage is finally at the stage where toys are exciting to him. And while I want to encourage him to grab and play and learn, I don’t want to overstimulate him. That’s why I love the Comforting Play Collection so much.

We received the following items for this review:

  • All Around 1-2-3 Teether – Grow with me teether set soothes different areas of baby’s mouth.
  • Foot Rattles – Fun footsy friends encourage baby to shake, reach, and grab. Perfect for developing hand-eye coordination.
  • Ouchie Pal – Say goodbye to ouchies with this chill and soothe buckwheat buddy.
  • Hug & Tug Wooly Pal – Huggable Snuggly Buddy with all natural wool filling. Easy to grasp soft knots are perfect for little hands to grasp.
  • Soothing Hand Squeezies – Uniquely designed to simulate mom’s finger and calm baby with a squeeze. Happy rattles leave little fingers free for sucking and exploration.
  • Sweet Bee Scented Pal – Soothe your busy little bee with this lavender scented companion.
  • Sweet Serenade Crib Toy – Serenade your little sweetheart with calming music and gentle motion. Six adorable crib companions take baby on a soothing journey through sunny days and starry nights.
  • Soothing Snuggle Pup – Baby will fall in “puppy love” with this on-the-go soothing companion. Soft and snuggly with 3 calming sound options.
  • Binky Buddy – Keep baby’s favorite pacifier at their itty-bitty fingertips. This sweet plush pal is easy to grasp and fun to snuggle.
  • Wrist Rattles – Keep baby’s favorite friends close at hand. Soft and soothing play pals are comfy to wear and fun to shake.

comforting play collection from infantino

When we opened the box, I couldn’t believe how much fun stuff was packed inside! Everything is absolutely adorable. I love the soft, comforting pastel colors. And each item is so unique and different from other baby toys I’ve found anywhere.

If I had to pick a favorite toy in this collection, it would have to be the Sweet Bee Scented Pal. I absolutely love the way it smells. And so does Gage! It’s so funny to watch him grab the bee with both hands, crinkle the wings, and pull it to his face. I’m pretty sure he loves it almost as much as I do!

I also really like the Soothing Hand Squeezies. Although, the first time I put them on him and took him out in public, everyone kept asking me how my baby broke his hands. They were all certain that he was wearing two little casts. Personally, I think they look more like “fighting gloves” – and since Gage still rarely unclenches his fists, he looks like a little fighter. I find them absolutely adorable, and Gage loves hearing them rattle.

The Foot Rattles are also lots of fun for Gage right now. He’s all about his toes, and he’s constantly reaching for them. When I put the foot rattles on, his feet go a hundred miles an hour and he’s always grabbing at them. It’s a hoot to watch!

We’ve put every single piece of this collection to good use except for the Binky Buddy. Gage uses Mam Pacifiers, and I haven’t been able to attach it to the buddy. It’s a bummer, too, because I think the Binky Buddy would be a great way to keep track of his pacifier instead of hunting all over the place for it. Every other item is being put to the test every day. The Sweet Serenade Crib Toy is attached to his cradle, and he loves snuggling with his Soothing Snuggle Pup. The kids love putting the Wrist Rattles on Gage and shaking them. I’m not sure who laughs more – the baby or the older kids!

gage & his snuggle puppy
I am super impressed with the Comforting Play Collection by Infantino, and will definitely be keeping them in mind the next time I need a baby gift. I’m thinking it would be great to make a big gift basket full of these products. I know! I could totally do a diaper cake and decorate it with these toys. That would be adorable! The gift-giving possibilities are endless with this collection. You could give the entire collection or just add one or two of the little ones as decorations on any of the packages you give at a baby shower.

To learn more about Infantino and the Comforting Play Collection, check out the following:

I’m certain you’ll love the Infantino Comforting Play Collection as much as I do!

 Disclaimer: I am a participant in a Mom Central Consulting campaign for Infantino and have received various Infantino products as part of my participation.