Archives for October 2011

Brother P-Touch Challenge: The Results – A Basement Makeover

Back in August, I participated in the Brother P-Touch Challenge. In that post, I mentioned that I would be making over my basement and sharing the results with you.

It’s been 2 months since I put up that post, and I am so, so excited to share the results with you.

I figured the best way to really show you my new and improved basement was with a video. That being said, here it is:


Direct Link for subscribers

Ok, ok. I know. I like the world great. Sorry. But it really is great. The kids and I all love our basement now. I don’t have toys all over my house, the kids have somewhere to call their own, where they can watch movies, play video games, play board games, or just goof off. If it’s raining outside, the first place they ask to go is in the basement. It is so nice to actually have that option now.

I also thought it would be fun to show you my favorite areas in pictures. Ready?

Here we go!

basement makeover

Ta da! Doesn’t it look awesome? {Maybe I should say great? :)} I really think it does, and I love how it turned out. The picture above shows a glimpse of the chairs where the kids can watch movies, the bookcase, and my exercise area.

basement makeover

This picture shows our new “multimedia” area. We’ve got the X-boxes, the wii, the DVD player, and all the DVDs in one easy to access place. I’m pretty sure this is the kids’ favorite part of the room.

basement makeover

Here’s my favorite area. It’s my craft area. I finally have one place to store all my crafting stuff. I can sit in that chair and sew, make hair bows, wipes cases, jewelry, or anything I want. Everything is clearly labeled, easy to find, easy to access, and the best part…. easy to clean up. If my kids would let me, I could honestly spend all day right there.

basement makeover

Here’s my second favorite area in the basement. I’ve got my photography backdrop all set up and ready to use anytime I want to. Now I have no more excuses. My light is hidden directly behind the backdrop and is easy to pull out, pop the shadowbox on there, and plug it in. I love, love, love that it’s so easy to take portraits of the kids now. I haven’t had an area like this in a home since we lived in Ohio, and I have really missed it.

This Challenge has been awesome. I love the new room that I have thanks to Mom Central and Brother.  And I have to say, the Brother P-touch PT-1290 is so easy to use. Even my kids can do it. {I made the mistake of leaving the P-touch where Jace could reach it, and he went through and labeled everything… including a few of my dishes. It’s funny now, and I’m finally able to see that it’s great that he could spell the words correctly and label them. If nothing else, it was a learning experience for both of us. But, I do love the fact that it’s so easy to use even a child could do it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my results of the Brother P-Touch Challenge. I know I’ve had a blast doing this, and so have my kids. If you have a room in your house that you want to organize, I would highly recommend the Brother P-touch PT-1290. The labels stay put, it’s easy to find exactly what I need, and my basement looks fantastic.

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

What do you think? How did my basement turn out?

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.

8th Grade Book Character Day!

Today, my oldest daughter Ashley will visit several different elementary classrooms and tell the kids about her Book Character. She’s nervous, excited, and just as cute as can be.

Her teacher decided that the students couldn’t do any Disney characters or anything well known. They had to get creative and think outside the box.

So, Ashley picked Alice the Fairy by David Shannon.

Alice the Fairy

It’s a really cute little story, and if you have a little girl, you definitely need to check this book out. My Lucy {age 5} just loves it. I’m pretty sure Ashley and I have both read the book to Lucy about 100 times.

Here’s the book character’s outfit:

alice the fairy's outfit

And here’s how Ashley’s costume turned out:

ashley's alice the fairy costume

Isn’t it adorable?

Ash borrowed the dress from a girl at church. She already had the purple shirt to put underneath it. I made and attached bows to her Mary Jane shoes, and I made the wand with a dowel rod, ribbon, and a star Christmas ornament. I designed the flower on the computer, printed it out, and laminated it. We attached it with a sparkly earring. I don’t think we could have matched the character’s outfit any better. {And, Ashley – you are so lucky you have a crafty mom.} 🙂

She looks adorable, and I know she’s going to have so much fun today. She gets to visit Zander and Jace’s classrooms, so they’re both really excited.

I’ll be heading to the school this afternoon to watch the Book Character parade. Lucy and Parker are sure to get a kick out of that.

What do you think, did we do a good job matching the character’s outfit?

Ashley as Alice the Fairy

How I Saved $100 on My Electric Bill

save moneyEnergy is very different here in Georgia than it was in Ohio. In Ohio, we used Electricity for the A/C and all the other stuff, and we used gas for heat. That meant two bills every month, and they were always very, very high.

Now that we’re down here in Georgia, most houses are completely run on electricity. There are a few houses we’ve found that also offer propane for the stove and heat, but it’s not really common. You pay for the propane every time you empty your tank – usually once or twice a year. You pay electricity every month.

Our electric bill was really, really high during the summer. I have the A/C set on 81, so it didn’t run very often, but it was still really high.

I made a wager with the kids: whichever one of them did the most to help bring down the next month’s electric bill, I would give them $20. The kids were all over that. For the next 30 days, they turned into energy-saving monsters. And I loved it! They unplugged things that weren’t being used, they shut lights off when they left the room, we kept the shades closed so that the sun wouldn’t warm up the house. We switched to fluorescent light bulbs. We keep the heat set at 64* and the A/C set at 81*. All those little things add up!

Imagine my surprise when I opened my most recent electric bill and found that it had dropped by $100!

I was so proud of my kids that we decided everyone deserved something special. So, we’ll be taking a trip to Chuck E. Cheese for the younger crew and we’ll stop off at Old Navy for my teenager. They deserve to be rewarded because they worked so hard.

Because they’ve gotten in the habit, we’ve kept it going. next month, if the bill stays down, we’ll do something else special as a family. It gives us good quality time together and it save my money on me energy bill. Can’t beat that.

To recap, here are my ways to save money on your energy bill:

  • Unplug items not being used. Cell phone chargers, the toaster, hair dryers. These are sucking energy even though they’re not being used.
  • Turn off that light! Get in the habit of turning off lights when you leave a room, or using as much natural light as possible.
  • Shades up or down. On warm days, keep the shades drawn to prevent the sunlight from warming up the house. On colder days, open the shades to allow the light to warm things up.
  • Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs. While they may cost a little more initially, they will save you money in the long run.
  • Don’t Set it and Forget it. Don’t leave your thermostat on a constant temperature. Turn it up {or down, depending on the weather} when you leave the house and at night. {Or, if you have a programmable thermostat, use it!}
  • Keep your fridge full. {This one is hard for me, because we go through so much food around here with 8 of us. But, food acts like an insulator, so your fridge doesn’t have to run so hard to keep things cool.} And don’t open the fridge. Opening the door to the fridge often makes it work harder and raises your bill.
  • Run the dishwasher only when it’s full, and air dry dishes when possible.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water.
  • Set your water heater to 120*. Prevent scalding and high energy costs with the turn of a dial.
  • If you can choose between the microwave and the stove, go for the microwave. It can actually use up to 90% less energy!
  • Make it a family affair. Offer rewards or incentives when kids do well to keep the energy costs down.

Got any tips you think should be added to this list? Let me know! I’d love to hear them!

#FallTips Twitter Party Today from 3 – 4 pm ET with @MomCentral

This afternoon, I’ll be co-hosting the Whirlpool & affresh #FallTips Twitter Party, and I can’t wait! We’ll talk about how a seasonal changeover affects organization and cleaning tasks. And, of course, there will be prizes!

Here are the Party Details:

What: #FallTips Twitter Partyaffresh
When: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 from 3:00-4:00PM EST
Hashtag: #FallTips
Moderator: @MomCentral
Assistant Moderators: @DadCentral, @angievinez
Guests: @KitchenSci

Prizes: In total, eight people will win an Amazon Gift Code and affresh prize pack. There will be two winners before the party and six winners during the party.
How do you win before the party even starts? Anyone who tweets this from now until the #FallTips Twitter Party will be eligible to win one of two affresh prize packs.

For more information about the party, read this post from MomCentral.

Don’t know what a twitter party is or how to play along? Click here: What is a Twitter Party?

Hope to see you there this afternoon!

 

 

 

Artistic Letters Alphabet Photos Images Review & #Giveaway

This giveaway will end at 11:59pm on 10/29.

As you all know, I love photography. It’s a passion of mine. For Christmas, my gifts usually revolve around some form of photography. I love to use images and create collages and other special gifts.

If you haven’t heard of Artistic Letters Alphabet Photography, you have been missing out. I was introduced to them through Rafflecopter, and I have thoroughly enjoyed putting together projects that I’ll be giving as Christmas gifts to family and friends.

Here’s a picture of what I will be ordering for myself:

family collage

I’ve already placed my order with my photo lab, and I can’t wait for it to come in. I ordered it mounted on a 10″x20″ on a double weight matboard, and have a pretty cast iron stand I will put it in. I can’t wait to have the print in my hands so I can show it off.

I love the alphabet letters and numbers. There’s just so much you can do with them!

Here are a few example of other projects that have been done:

family sign

scrapbooking page

wedding present idea

So unique, so beautiful, and so easy to put together!

Also be sure to check out all the project ideas on the GET IDEAS HERE page.  These images can all be used for so many things – custom artwork, scrapbooking, digital design, announcements, greeting cards – the possibilities truly are endless.

Jodi has partnered with me and has created Exclusive Discounted Pricing of up to $4 select packages PLUS a bonus Freebie Damask Alphabet set of your choice with any purchase.  After you’ve checked out the website and browsed around, come back here and click on THIS LINK  to see discounted pricing and Freebie Choices.  This page is only available here to my readers and you won’t be able to find it on the website menu. 🙂  This sale and freebie set expires after Tuesday, November 1, so be sure to take advantage of this exclusive promotion while it lasts!

For this giveaway, Jodi is offering up a download of over 400 numbers and letters for you to use to create your own special gifts and projects. You will have Christmas gift covered if you win this giveaway!

To enter, use the Rafflecopter Gadget below:



And, remember: Even if you don’t win, you can still get the Exclusive Discounted Pricing and Freebie with purchase through Tuesday, November 1.

Disclaimer: I received a set of images to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed are 100% my own. The sponsor, www.buyalphabetphotos.com, will fulfill the prize as stated above to one winner.

Totino’s Fun Friday Nights #Giveaway #MyBlogSpark

What’s your favorite way to spend a Friday night?

fun friday nightsAround here, Friday nights are Family Fun Nights. We enjoy pizza, pop corn, and a movie together. It’s my favorite night of the week, because we spend it together, and we have so much fun.

I love Totino’s Party Pizzas because they allow me to get exactly what everyone wants, and it doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg to feed everyone. I can make 4 of the party pizzas in the oven at once, and in 15 minutes, everyone in the family is as happy as can be.

MyBlogSpark sent me a Totino’s prize pack, and it definitely perked up our latest Friday Fun Night. In the package I received a coupon for a Totino’s Party Pizza, a coupon for a 15 count box of Totino’s pizza rolls, a coupon for a free one-night Redbox rental, a pop corn bowl, 2 pizza plates, and a pizza cutter. What a great pack!

We used the Redbox rental to see Rio. The kids had been dying to see it, and it ended up being the perfect movie for family movie night. The kids loved it. We rolled back the living room rug, and the kids enjoyed the pizza, pizza rolls, and pop corn. I never heard a sound from them, except when they were laughing during the movie.

And the pizza cutter? Awesome. My old one broke on me, so this arrived in the perfect time and saved pizza night! 🙂

Before I get to the giveaway, and give one of you the chance to win your very own Totino’s Fun Friday Nights Prize Pack, here is some must-know info:

  • There are specially marked packages of Totino’s Pizza Rolls and Totino’s Party Pizzas that will help you stock up on everything your family needs for a Fun Friday Night. If you purchase 2 Totino’s 40 count pizza rolls or 4 Totino’s party pizzas, you can receive a free one-night redbox DVD promo code. Those codes can be redeemed on the following websites:
  • There’s always a redbox kiosk nearby! There are more than 27,800 redbox locations and redbox kiosks are also available nationally at Walmart. Still need help? You can find the closest redbox kiosk by clicking here: redbox.com/locations

Now, let’s get to the giveaway! One lucky reader will win the same prize pack I received.

totinos prize pack

To enter, use the Rafflecopter gadget below.



Disclaimer: The VIP coupons, prize pack, information, and giveaway have been provided by Totino’s through MyBlogSpark. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Be the Coolest House on the Block this Halloween with TWIX! #Giveaway

TWIX
TWIX or Treat!

This year, TWIX wants to help make your house the most awesome house in your neighborhood.

As a kid, I remember mapping out my “plan of attack” for Trick-or-Treating. There were those few houses that would give out the best candy: Full Size bars, or they’d allow you to take handfuls of candy from their bowl. And I also knew which houses to avoid: The ones offering pop corn balls and raisins. ICK.

TWIX sent me 70 full-size TWIX bars as well as an adult-sized TWIX costume. The trick-or-treaters will never forget my house this year! TWIX is my favorite candy bar. When I was pregnant with Gage, they were the sweet treat I craved all the time. Now, I’m so excited to be able to pass these out to all the little ghosts and goblins this Halloween.
TWIX case
Want to hear the best part? TWIX is offering up the same prize pack to one of my readers! That’s right! You, too, can be the coolest house on the block when you’re passing out full-size TWIX bars while wearing your TWIX costume. “TWIX or Treat” is certain to be a hit for you this year!

Before I get to the giveaway, I want to give you a few results from a TWIX Halloween Survey:

  • The 30 year old Trick-or-Treater: Almost 7 out of 10 adults {69%} ages 18 – 24, and one half of adults ages 25 to 34 said they would trick-or-treat if they could. The one thing holding them back? Dirty looks from the neighbors.
  • Hide & Seek: More than half of all the adults surveyed {52%} admit to hiding a treat from their loved ones so they can keep it for themselves. Most hide their stash in their room {41%} or in another “super-secret” spot {41%}.
  • Taking Candy from a Baby: One quarter {26%} of adults surveyed admit to taking candy from their child’s Halloween stash or a co-worker’s candy dish and deny it.

How would you answer those questions?

I would totally still trick or treat if I could. I have hidden candy stashes all over my house, and my kids have no idea. And, yes, I always go through my kids’ trick-or-treat bags first and take the pieces I want. Guilty as charged. But, I don’t deny it. My kids all know Mom gets first crack at their candy bag.

To enter for your chance to win a TWIX or Treat Prize Pack for yourself this Halloween, we’re going to have a little fun! Please keep in mind, though, that the giveaway will end at 12:01am on 10/25, and I will pull the winner’s name that morning. I must have your info that same day, or you will not receive your prize in time for TWIX-or-Treat this weekend.

Use the Rafflecopter gadget to enter:



For more information about TWIX, visit their website: www.twix.com You can also find TWIX on Facebook.

Disclaimer: I received the products mentioned above to facilitate my review. TWIX is sponsoring the giveaway to my readers. No other compensation was received. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.

@EversaveAtl Friday Fun-for-all #Giveaway #Atlanta

eversave atlantaIt’s Friday! And today, Eversave Atlanta is hosting their “Friday Fun-for-all.” It’s an action-packed day of Saves for batting cages, yoga, and horseback riding.

Here are a few details about each of the Saves available today:

  • $10 for one hour of batting practice at Better Baseball. {Value: $25} You also receive 10% off any merchandise purchase. Can be used with softballs or baseballs – your choice. Better Baseball is located in Marietta right off of 1-75. You may purchase multiple Saves, but can only redeem one Save per visit.
  • $15 for 2 yoga classes at Vista Yoga. {Value: $30} Save 50% off two drop-in yoga classes and get in shape for the holidays. {Each class runs 60 – 90 minutes.} Your choice of basics, power flow, prenatal, restorative classes and more. Located in Decatur, Vista Yoga is rated 5 stars on Yelp.

Also, right now on the Eversave Atlanta Facebook Page, they are hosting a Friday Fun-for-All Giveaway where you can win $25 in Save Rewards by sharing an activity Save on your own Facebook wall.

Hurry on over and become a Fan of Eversave Atlanta on Facebook and Follow Eversave on Twitter for the latest scoop, giveaways, and more!

To help promote the Eversave Friday Fun-for-all Giveaway, I also get to give away $20 in Save Rewards to one lucky winner here on my blog! {That’s even more chances for you to win!}

To enter, use the Rafflecopter Gadget below:


 

Disclaimer: I am not being compensated for this post. Eversave Atlanta is sponsoring the giveaway. Affiliate links are included. Thank you for supporting Blessed Beyond Words.

 

Fall Decorations Pinterest Style

I love fall. The weather is perfect for hot chocolate, bon fires, and big comfy sweatshirts. The leaves are changing to beautiful hues of red, orange, and gold. Everything about Fall makes my insides smile.

I mentioned the other day that I had to make some bows for my Mother-in-Law’s wedding on Saturday. I’ve got the bows made, and they’re pretty. I’m going to the church to decorate tomorrow, so I’ll take pictures and share them soon.

Anyway, in my search for all things “Fall wedding” related, I came across some beautiful fall decorations on Pinterest that I thought you all might like.

Here are just a few of my favorites {click on the pictures to be taken to the pin} :

fall pumpkins

fall decorations

pumpkin decorations

pumpkin craft

fall lights

fall candles

Just do a search for fall decorations and you’ll find tons and tons of beautiful decorations! Also, be sure to follow me on pinterest.

I’d love it if you’d leave a link to your post about fall decorations, or to some of your favorite fall decorating pins on Pinterest! You can do that here:

Check Out the Parenting Patch

The Parenting Patch is run by a husband-wife team. It’s a brand new website, and I’m thrilled to be able to introduce you to it.

Not only do they have a blog full of excellent resources, they also offer product reviews, giveaways, and tons of information on topics parents need to be aware of. You’ll also find a forum, recipes, coupons, and pregnancy tools. Everything a new parent or parent to be should have access to.

I’m wishing the owners of the Parenting Patch much success with their site. I’ll be stopping by there often to read the latest news and keep up with my friends. I hope you’ll join me over on The Parenting Patch.

Preparing for a Wedding… and Other Ramblings

What a week this has been – and it’s only Tuesday!

Acutally, hubby has been off work for the past 7 days. His timing was perfect, too, because I have been laid up in bed for the past 5 days. I’m just so glad it worked out that hubby ended up being home and off work when I was down for the count.

{For the record – a broken tooth and a sinus infection do not mix well. Tooth pain is horrible to begin with, but when you add the pressure of a sinus infection, it’s absolutely awful. I haven’t been able to do anything but cry for days.}

I’m finally on the mend, though, and am starting to feel a little more human again. Thank heavens. This has been awful.

fall wedding decorations

Photo from www.church4wedding.com

Now, I’ve got just a few days to prepare for a wedding. My Mother in Law is getting remarried on Saturday, and I’ve got to make tons of bows. I’m praying I can get it all done in time. The wedding is a fall theme, and I’m hoping the idea I have for the bows turns out as nicely as I have them pictured in my head. I’ll be sure to share pictures with you once they’re all finished.

I averted a crisis when I stopped at the florist yesterday. My Mother in Law is blind, and she told the florist that her dress is blue. So, she asked if the florist could mix in some blue flowers with the fall colors to help pull it all together. Well, her dress is not blue. It’s more of an aqua or seafoam green – definitely not blue. The blue flowers the florist was picking out would have clashed horribly with the dress. But, crisis averted, the right color flowers have been picked out, and hopefully it will all work well together. Since I’m the wedding photographer, I’ll be able to show you how everything turns out. 🙂

Ok – back to bow making. So much to do, so little time…

So, that’s how my week has been….. How’s yours?

Shrek from a 3 Year Old’s Perspective

For a previous post, I received a pair of giant Shrek gloves as part of the review package.

Last night, Parker found those giant gloves and came running up to me, yelling, “You better run! Here comes Freck the Yogurt!”

Priceless.

Here’s my Freck the Yogurt:

freck the yogurt

American Family Insurance Invites You to Stand Up for Family

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of American Family Insurance. All opinions are 100% mine.

As all of my readers know, I am all about family. Family always comes first. And one thing that is so important to me is quality family entertainment. That’s why I’m so excited about Stand Up For Family from American Family Insurance.

If you haven’t heard about this, you absolutely MUST check it out. I’ve been watching the videos for a little while now, and my kids keep coming upstairs to ask me why I’m laughing so hard. The wonderful thing is, I can actually SHOW them. I don’t have to worry about what they might see on the screen or what might come over the speakers. Everything is safe, and oh my gosh is it ever a riot!

My favorite comedian is Rodney Perry. His video “Your Kids Don’t Know You” had me laughing so hard that all of my kids came running upstairs to find out what I was watching.

Donnell Rawlings and his “Let Me Ride Your Bike” is also a hysterical way to spend a few minutes of your day.

With six kids, my life is full of moments like the ones mentioned in the videos. My life revolves around the chaos, laughter, and joy that kids can bring. If I wasn’t terrified of getting in front of an audience, I could probably consider a job as a stand up comedian.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch these videos that AmFam put up on their website. If you need a giggle today, here’s a family-friendly way to get one.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Monte Carlo Comes to Blu-ray and DVD 10/18 #Giveaway

This giveaway will end November 5 at 12:01am.

monte carloMonte Carlo is the story of 3 friends that make front page headlines when a dream trip suddenly becomes a hilarious case of mistaken identity for one of the girls. Selena Gomez plays Grace, a high school graduate that sets off on a vacation with her best friend Emma {Katie Cassidy} and stepsister Meg {Leighton Meester}. The girls are convinced their trip is ruined after their hyperactive tour guide leaves them to fend for themselves. All of a sudden, Grace is mistaken for a wealthy socialite. The girls are whisked off to Monte Carlo for a week of glitz, glam, and fun they’ll never forget.

Monte Carlo, produced by Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman,  hits shelves on October 18th.

To help promote the release of this fun movie, I’m giving away a super-great prize pack to one lucky reader! The winner will receive a Monte Carlo themed Caboodle, a purse hook, and the DVD.

monte carlo prize pack

To enter, use the Rafflecopter Gadget below.



Disclaimer: I have not been compensated for this post in any way. The giveaway is sponsored by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Disney on Ice Dare to Dream in #Atlanta {Review} #doiatl

Last night, I had the honor of attending Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream with my two girls and my 3 year old son. Because it was a Princess-themed show, as well as a school night, I opted to leave the other 3 boys {including my 7 month old} home with Daddy. disney on ice dare to dream

I picked up Ashley early from school. After all, we have quite a long drive down to Atlanta. We still ended up leaving a little later than I originally had planned, and I was so afraid we were going to get down there too late to enjoy any of the fun. {Side note: If you’re in a hurry, do not decide to drive through Taco Bell and give your 3 year old a soft taco to eat in the car. In two minutes time, he had taco meat all over his pants. Sigh. Lesson learned.}

We somehow made it to Atlanta on time – early enough to make the press conference even, and I was thrilled! I got the kids settled in, and headed over to the press conference area. We met two of the skaters. The man {Michael Donovan} played Aladdin in the end of the show and the woman {Jade Gosling} played Mama Odie from the Princess and the Frog.

We learned so much about the lives of the skaters. They are 100% committed to the show and their “unit.” {The unit is the core group that travels around the country together.} I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the skaters talk about their lives, their dedication, their passion, and how they reach out to help others during the holidays. These are pretty amazing people, and definitely the type of people I would want my children looking up to.

After the press conference, we had snacks and made crowns for my little princess and prince. Then, we got the chance to meet Rapunzel and Flynn. Lucy was so nervous. I honestly didn’t know if I would even get her on the stage. She loves Rapunzel. When she finally did get up there and talk to Rapunzel, Rapunzel happened to mention that she’s good friends with Ariel, and she would be sure to tell Ariel that Lucy said hello. That made Lucy’s whole night. Rapunzel and Ariel are Lucy’s favorite princesses, so after getting to talk to one and relay a message to the other? Well, that was pure heaven to Lucy!

A short while later, it was time to head to our seats.

I was thrilled to find out that we were right next to Karen from In the Kitchen with KP. {You can read her review of the show here: Disney on Ice Dare to Dream Captivates Atlanta} We had a ball watching the show and tweeting back and forth. She is such a hoot!

I know you’re dying to hear about the show, right? Ok, ok. I won’t keep you in suspense any longer.

The show was amazing. Absolutely breathtaking.

Cinderella, Rapunzel and Tiana

It starts with the story of Tiana from The Princess and the Frog. Now, plug your ears while I say this, but I have never actually seen The Princess and the Frog. I know, I know. Shame on me. Here I am, the ultimate Disney-loving mom, and I’ve never seen this Princess movie? Well, after last night’s performance, that is definitely going to change. They did such a great job telling her story and making it exciting and captivating. I loved listening to the little girls behind me singing every song word for word just as loud as they could. Absolutely loved it.

After the story of Tiana came the story of Cinderella. Cinderella is one of my favorite classic Disney stories. Cinderella had a dream, and she made it happen. Such a beautiful, touching story, and the carriage and horses they used in the story were phenomenal. I also remember tweeting during the show that I wanted Cinderella’s shoes. They sparkled like diamonds and were just so beautiful! I also found out that in real life, Cinderella is married to Prince Charming. Talk about a dream job!

Then it was time for Rapunzel from Tangled. Wow. Wow. Wow. I would go see this show again just for this part of it. It was amazing. I wish that I could describe to you the beauty of Flynn and Rapunzel together, but the words escape me. It is truly unlike anything I have ever seen. Tears streamed down my face, it was just that beautiful. And then it got funny! They did the scene in the Snuggly Duckling Inn and sang “I’ve got a dream.” Then it was back to magical with the lanterns. Absolutely amazing.

At the end, they had a scene with all of the Disney Princesses, as well as a few more surprises. I can’t give the whole show away, but more tears flowed during that part too. And you can only imagine how thrilled Lucy was when Ariel & Prince Eric ended up right in front of us. She was giddy with excitement.

If you can’t already tell, we thoroughly enjoyed the show. The costumes were incredible. Full of glitter and sparkles, and so incredibly realistic. Maximus from Tangled was absolutely amazing. The ugly step-sisters were dead-on and looked hysterical. Every detail was just perfect.

If you have a little Princess in your life, and you live in the Atlanta area, I would highly, highly recommend you see this show. But you have to hurry, they’re only in town through the weekend.

Here are ticket details:

Disney on Ice presents Dare to Dream
Philips Arena, Atlanta
October 12 – 16

Show Times:
Thursday, October 13th – 7:30pm
Friday, October 14th – 10:30am and 7:30pm
Saturday, October 15th – 11am, 2:30pm, and 6:30pm
Sunday, October 16th – 12pm, 4pm

Ticket prices start at $14. {Prices range from $14 to $75 for Rinkside tickets.}
Order tickets online at www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone by calling 800-745-3000.

To learn more about Disney On Ice, visit www.disneyonice.com. You can also find them on Facebook and YouTube.

I am calling this my can’t-miss show of the season. If you love Disney, you’ll love Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream.

Disclaimer: I received free tickets for myself and my family to the show in order to facilitate my full review. Opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own.

dENiZEN Jeans Now at Target {Review}

Levi Strauss & Company recently debuted their new line of jeans at Target stores and on Target.com this July. The brand is called dENiZEN and they are the same quality and value you already expect from Levi. With prices ranging from $17.99 to $29.99, you know you’re getting a great deal.

denizen jeansI recently had the chance to try out a pair of dENiZEN jeans for myself. For the review I received a pair of “Totally Shaping at Waist Boot Cut Womens Jeans.”

I have a love/hate relationship with these jeans.

I guess I should explain.

First, here’s what I love about these jeans:

  • They are, by far, the most comfortable pair of jeans I own. The material is so different from any other jeans I own, and I just love the feel of them. The high-stretch denim is incredibly soft.
  • I love the cut. The boot cut is perfect, the jeans are slimming to my butt and my legs, and they are actually long enough. {So many times I get a Long size jean and they’re not near long enough.}
  • I love the color. The dark denim is perfect for pairing with a t-shirt or dressing up with a blouse or a sweater.
  • I don’t have to worry about my underwear poking out the back when I sit down.

Now, here’s my biggest drawback, and the reason for my love/hate relationship with these jeans. It requires a bit of explaining, so here goes.

I am not a little woman. I used to be, but after 6 children, my body just doesn’t look like it used to. I have a “pouch” that I’ve been left with after having my belly stretched to infinity and beyond and back again. Because of this, whenever I wear the jeans, they roll down in the front underneath the “pouch.” It drives me batty, and if I’m wearing a form-fitting shirt, I immediately go from shaped to flabby. I’m constantly rolling them back up, and I hate it.

And then there’s the fact that the first time my husband saw me in the jeans, he asked, “Are those pajama jeans?” Sigh.

I do love the jeans, but I think I next time I’ll try a different style. The make a Totally Shaping Mid-Rise Boot Cut for women that I’ll definitely be trying on the next time I’m in a Target store. Maybe if I start the jeans below the “pouch” it will be better. They also offer jeans for men and children, and I’m not opposed to trying out the jeans for the rest of my family. They’re such a great value that they are definitely worth a try.

For more information on dENiZEN jeans, check out their facebook page: www.facebook.com/denizenamerica

Disclaimer: I received a pair of dENiZEN jeans to facilitate my review courtesy of TeamMom and dENiZEN. I was in no other way compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Experience Fall in Branson, Missouri

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hiltons of Branson. All opinions are 100% mine.

Fall is my favorite time of year. I love to watch the leaves change color, and the weather becomes perfect for campfires, smores, and hot chocolate.

While I have never been to Branson, Missouri, I have heard that it is absolutely breathtaking during the fall.

The Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing, a luxury hotel, puts you right in the thick of it all. You’ll be instantly surrounded by the very best shopping, dining, and entertainment Branson Landing has to offer. There’s even an indoor pool, perfect for year-round visits.

If you prefer a different type of luxury, the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel is adjacent to Branson Landing in the heart of Historic Downtown Branson. The hotel offers breathtaking views from the rooms in their 12-story glass tower.

I would love to visit Silver Dollar City with my family. It’s set in the beautiful Ozark Mountains, and everything carries an 1880s theme. How much fun would that be? And, with the Silver Dollar City package, you can get two adult and two childrens tickets plus your hotel room starting at just $257.50 per night.

If you love shopping, you’ll love the Shoppers Package. You get a $25 gift card to Branson Landing, a $25 gift card to Tanger Outlets, hotel accommodations, and a breakfast buffet for two. If we managed to escape to Branson without the kids, you can bet that would be the package we’d be going with!

Level 2 Steakhouse also looks like one place my husband and I would definitely have to visit if we ever make it out to Branson. If you’re in the area around Thanksgiving, Level 2 Steakhouse will be offering both Thanksgiving brunch and “Turkey to Go” options.

I would love to get out to Branson, Missouri and stay in one of these beautiful luxury hotels. The fall sounds like the perfect time to do it too – not to hot, not too cold, and there are so many options and ways to stay entertained.

Have you been to Branson, Missouri in the fall? What was your experience?

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What are Your Mommy Must Haves? & a BornFree #Giveaway

This giveaway will end 11/1/11 at 12:01am.

Motherhood isn’t easy, but there are certain products that can help make the first year of baby’s life a little easier. If you’ve ever registered for gifts for your new baby or baby-to-be, you know that the process can be incredibly overwhelming. “What do other moms think about this product?” “Do I really need this product, or would it just be nice to have?” “Which crib/stroller/car seat is the best?” And the questions go on and on and on.

BornFree is sponsoring a giveaway here on my blog, and they want to know: What are YOUR Mommy Must Haves? What products could you not live without during your baby’s first year?

To help get you started, here are a few of my must-haves for baby:

  • A good breast pump. If you are going to be a nursing mother, this is a MUST. I recommend the Medela Pump in Style. There are cheaper options out there, but you get what you pay for. Believe me, I’ve tried all of the cheap ones, and that’s all that they are: cheap. The Pump in Style will last through several children, if you choose to have more than one.
  • A good crib. I have, and love, the Nursery Smart Chelsea Crib. A convertible crib gives you SO many options and you don’t have to spend money on a crib, then a toddler bed, then a regular size bed. This crib will convert into a double bed, so Gage is good to go for years to come.
  • A Bumbo Chair. This is a must have for EVERY baby. It’s easily portable, you can feed baby, and it’s great for encouraging them to sit up. I’d be lost without mine.
  • A swing.We got the Fisher-Price Zen Collection Cradle Swing, and it has been awesome. Gage is 7 months old, and he still loves to lay in his swing. {I went with that one because it plugs in. If you don’t get one that plugs in, be sure to invest in lots and lots and lots of batteries.}
  • A baby carrier. The one I use most is my Boba carrier. I love, love, love it. When Gage was a newborn and didn’t want to be put down, I could still fold laundry and do dishes while wearing him.

Ok, that’s just a few of my must-haves. I’m not listing them all here, because BornFree and I want to hear YOUR must-have products for baby’s first year. {Although this post may just encourage me to put up a post listing all of my must-have items!}

To encourage you to participate in this giveaway, and spark some conversation, BornFree is offering one lucky reader a set of BornFree Eco Bottles.
bornfree bottles

To enter, use the Rafflecopter Gadget below:



Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by BornFree. I have not been compensated in any way for this post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own. Links included may be affiliate links.

Facebook “Liking” is a No-No. {Important Info Regarding Giveaways!}

I am flabbergasted. After reading this post on my dear friend Leslie’s blog, it appears as though I need to go through and “fix” my current giveaways.

Apparently it is against Facebook policy to ask readers to become a fan of any facebook page as an entry into a giveaway.

Since I don’t want to step on the toes of the Facebook gods, I will be editing all of my current giveaways and removing the option to “like” my page as well as the sponsors pages.

I hate to do that, but I have to do what’s right.

I do hope that you’ll continue to be a fan of Blessed Beyond Words on facebook so you can stay updated with the latest news, reviews, and giveaways.

If you have any questions, please let me know. Also, be sure to read the article Leslie put up because it’s clear confirmation from Facebook that we are violating their guidelines when we ask readers to “like” any pages.

Off to fix my giveaways….

Updated 10/12/11 to add: I have to say that I’m even MORE flabbergasted over the rude comments and the outcry over this post. I woke up this morning and had to delete 4 comments because they were absolutely uncalled for. How does my decision to NOT ask you to like my facebook page hurt you? Sure, it takes away a bonus entry for a giveaway, but it hurts my numbers even more.

Anymore rude comments, and I will close the comments on this post. You can disagree with me if you want, that’s fine. But you can still act like a grown up.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Parker Peanut!

I know I say this with every birthday, but honestly, I cannot believe my Parker Peanut is 3 today.

He went from this…

parker announcement

To this…

Parker's 3!

And he fills my heart with joy every single moment.

Parker will forever be known as “Parker Peanut.” He was so tiny when he was born, and the first few months of his life were incredibly difficult. To look at him now, though, you’d never even know it. {You can read his birth story here.}

Parker is an absolute sweetheart. He loves like no one else I have ever seen. He lights up a room just by walking in it, and he can instantly have the entire room laughing out loud. He’s as smart as a whip, loves technology, and gives the best messy kisses a mommy could ever ask for.

This has been an incredibly big year for Parker. He is the second of 5 potty trained children to be 100% potty trained before they turned 3. He talks in full and complete sentences, loves problem solving, can name any color you point to, any shape you can point to, and is working hard on counting. {Although if you ask him, he insists he’s turning 7 today – not 3.}

Parker, I want you to know how much I love you. You are such an amazing little boy, and my life is better because you are in it. You make my heart smile every time I look at you. Remember that Jesus loves you even more than I do and that He will always take care of you. I am so glad that God has allowed me to be your mommy. I’m the luckiest mommy around.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Parker. I love you!