Archives for November 2011

BK Crown: Built to Inspire {Ends 12/22}

Recently Burger King introduced their new BK Crown Program. These interactive new Kids Meal boxes are chock full of games and activities as well as a fancy new crown. Through the BK Crown Program, kids get the opportunity to tell Burger King what matters to them most by entering a code from the box and selecting which cause Burger King should give back to – all by visiting {The website also contains games and the opportunity to win prizes.}bk crown logo

Recently, MyBlogSpark sent me a $25 Gift Certificate to try out the new BK Crown program with my kids. We rarely eat out, so this was quite a treat for everyone. The gift card was enclosed inside the new BK Crown meal box, and we were all very excited.

When I pulled up to our local Burger King, I noticed the signs everywhere in the restaurant announcing the new BK Crown program. I must admit, I was a little upset when the BK Team Member handed us the Crown Meals in a brown paper bag. Where’s the excitement in that? No crown. No code to go online and pick our favorite charity. No games. Nothing. When I asked to speak to the manager why we received paper bags instead of the new boxes, she replied, “We haven’t gotten them yet.” Ummmm…. really? Every sign you have in your restaurant would indicate otherwise. Bummer.

Luckily, we had the box that MyBlogSpark had sent us so we could still go to and play. Our first stop on the website was to select which charity we wanted Burger King to give to. We ended up voting for the Wildlife Conservation Society. My kids and I all have a soft spot for wild animals, and we’d love to see funding go toward preserving their homes. After we did that, the kids played a few games and really had a great time.

Overall, I am very impressed with the BK Crown Program. Not only do they offer healthy choices {apple fries, milk, 100% apple juice} in their kids meals, but they also teach kids how important it is to give back and make a difference.

Also, right now Burger King is offering the BK Family Bundle. For just $9.99, you get a Whopper sandwich, a Whopper Jr. sandwich, 2 small fries, 2 small soft drinks and a BK Crown Kids Meal. {Limited time only. Prices and Participation may vary.}

To learn more about the BK Crown program, visit the following:

To help introduce you and your family to the new BK Crown program, MyBlogSpark and Burger King are allowing me to give away a $25 Burger King Gift Certificate to one lucky winner.

To enter, use the Rafflecopter Gadget below.

Disclaimer: The BK CROWNTM/MC Program prize pack, information and coupon have been provided by Burger King Corporation through MyBlogSpark.

30 Days of Giving Thanks: Day 30

Today, I am giving thanks for everything I neglected to mention.

30 Days of Giving ThanksI have so much to be thankful for. 30 days doesn’t even begin to cover it. I have really enjoyed finding one thing to thank Him for every day this month. Although I have to admit, this month just flew by. May I constantly have a heart of thanks and not just be thankful at Thanksgiving time, but every day of the year.

Thank you for participating in the 30 Days of Giving Thanks challenge. I hope it’s touched you as much as it has touched me. I’ve so enjoyed reading your posts and getting to know you better.

What are you thankful for today?

If you are participating in 30 Days of Giving Thanks, please leave your link below. I hope you’ll also grab a button from the sidebar and share it on your blog as well. I’d love to stop by and read your posts on Giving Thanks.

Holiday Guide: Disney Princess Sing & Glow Rapunzel {Review}

sing and glow rapunzelRecently I received the Sing & Glow Rapunzel doll from the wonderful folks at Mattel.

Lucy is a HUGE Rapunzel fan. People often comment that Lucy’s hair looks quite a bit like Rapunzel’s, and I could totally sit and brush it all day. {But, wouldn’t you know it? I sing and sing and sing, and I’m not looking any younger.}

When the package from Mattel arrived, Lucy about went through the roof. Even in the box, Lucy had so much fun with this toy. You push the button on her chest and she magically lights up and starts singing. When she’s out of the box, well, that’s when the real magic happens. Rapunzel comes with a magic wand. When you wave the wand over the flower on her chest, she sings and lights up. It really is a very cool feature.

There are several things I love about the Sing & Glow Rapunzel:

  • It’s made by Mattel and backed by Disney – two awesome companies that this mom approves.
  • The lights and sounds are phenomenal and really make the doll something special. It’s really Rapunzel from the movie singing, too, so no “fake” voices.
  • Her clothing is high quality, hard to rip, and you can’t access the lights or batteries easily. {Good for when baby brother grabs the doll and doesn’t want to let go.}
  • It takes 3 AAA batteries but they last for the longest time. Lucy has played with this toy for countless hours, and the batteries aren’t showing any signs of needing replaced.

lucy and rapunzelThe only thing I would have changed about the doll? I would have made the magic “wand” a magic “brush” instead. While Rapunzel’s hair isn’t super long, it still needs brushed, and the first thing I think of when I think of Rapunzel is brushing her hair.

All in all, this is a super fantastic toy, and it gets 2 thumbs up from everyone in our house. While we’ve heard “At Last I See the Light” about a million times, it never gets old to watch Lucy spin around and sing along with all the drama she can muster. It’s really very sweet.

I would highly recommend this doll to any parent that has a Rapunzel fan in their household.

There are some fantastic deals available online right now. Here are some places I’ve found to purchase the doll:

  • Mattel – $31.99 {Free Shipping Right Now}
  • Disney Store – $39.50 {Not sure on shipping}
  • Walmart – $31.88 {97 cent shipping to home}
  • KMart – $32.99 {Free in-store pickup}
  • Barnes & Noble – $34.95 {Eligible for free shipping}
  • Amazon – $49.99 {Eligible for free shipping}

Disclaimer: I received the item mentioned above from Mattel in order to facilitate my review. I was in no other way compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.

30 Days of Giving Thanks: Day 29

Today, I am giving thanks for our troops.

30 Days of Giving ThanksI am blessed to know many people that serve in the military. They sacrifice and give more than anyone else I know. I am so thankful for those who have given so much so that I can be free. Words cannot express how thankful I am to those serving in our military – and to their families for allowing them to go.

What are you thankful for today?

If you are participating in 30 Days of Giving Thanks, please leave your link below. I hope you’ll also grab a button from the sidebar and share it on your blog as well. I’d love to stop by and read your posts on Giving Thanks.

Black Friday at My House

Black Friday holds many traditions in my house – and not one of them includes shopping. In fact, I don’t remember ever shopping on Black Friday, even as a child.

Around here, Black Friday is Family Day. The Christmas tree and decorations go up. There’s cookie baking, eggnog drinking, and lots of singing along with the Christmas CDs.

Black Friday is my favorite day of the year. Not for the deals I can score in the stores, but for the memories I create with my children.

our christmas treeOur Christmas tree is so special to me. Yes, it’s a fake tree. And it’s pre-lit. I did the real tree thing a couple of years ago and learned several valuable lessons:

  • The Boy Scouts will screw you over. I paid for one tree, tagged it, and sent my husband after it in his truck. {I had no way to get it home and hubby wasn’t with me.} Someone switched the tag and gave my husband a Charlie Brown-looking  tree, complete with gaping holes.
  • Do not leave your real tree in the front yard while you wait for your husband to bring it in – especially if you have cats. We brought the tree in and the entire house smelled like cat pee. That tree went back outside and a new real tree was put in its place. At least the tree that smelled like cat pee wasn’t the pretty tree I had originally picked out.
  • Real trees shed, and it’s not good if you have little ones. I spent more hours pulling pine needles out of Parker’s hands, hair, and clothes than I ever care to again.
  • Stringing lights on a tree is a divorce-worthy activity. My husband and I almost never fight, but putting lights on the tree about did us in.
  • Cut trees cause you to throw your money away. At the end of the season – which for us was the day after Christmas that year – you toss the tree with the rest of the trash. Money down the drain if you ask me.

So, there will be no more real trees in the Vinez household. I’ll stick with the beautiful pre-lit tree we got from Hayneedle for as long as I can.

Anyway, back to my story… years ago, I had a very fancy tree: beautiful ornaments, lots of sparkles. It was the perfect grown-up girl’s tree.

Then, I started having kids. When Ashley was a baby, I started the tradition that I would buy her a “special” ornament every year. When she’s all grown up and moves out, she’ll have a box of ornaments to take with her and start her tree.

Through the years, hubby and I have continued the tradition with each of our kids. Only now, there are no fancy decorations left. The “special” ornaments make up the entire tree, and I just love it. The ribbons and bows are no longer purple and silver, and now we’ve switched to red and green. I even made a new bow to top the tree:

christmas bow tree topper
I just love everything about our Christmas tree.

For the first time in years, my husband was home to celebrate both Thanksgiving and Black Friday with us. It was awesome. Being in the grocery business – and at a store that’s open every day of the year except Christmas Day – it’s rare for him to get any time off. But, he was off by 11 on Thanksgiving morning and didn’t have to go back until Saturday morning. Made me that much more thankful that our Black Friday festivities included him again.

Because he was home, we got to do something else that we’ve been wanting to do for a very long time…..

{Get your mind out of the gutter!}

We took a family photo! On our mantle, we have a family photo. The last one taken of us. The youngest child in the photo is Lucy, and she was just barely over a year old. {And she had NO hair!} It’s needed updated for the longest time, but finding someone to snap the photo can prove quite difficult. But, we did it! And all thanks to my wonderful niece Samantha!

Here’s the picture that will now grace the top of our mantle:

our family picture

All in all, Black Friday was the perfect day around here.

Things will start to get a little more festive here on the blog, too. Be watching for a new design very soon. 🙂 {By the way – if you want a new Christmas design for your blog, I’d love to help you. Just contact me.}

How did you spend your Black Friday?

30 Days of Giving Thanks: Day 28

Today, I am giving thanks for the health of my family.

30 Days of Giving ThanksWith 8 of us, we certainly get our share of colds and sniffles. But for the most part, we are healthy. No hospital visits, no constant trips to the doctors office, no fretting and worrying over a problem or illness that cannot be cured. We are so undeserving, but I am thankful that God has seen fit to keep my family healthy.

What are you thankful for today?

If you are participating in 30 Days of Giving Thanks, please leave your link below. I hope you’ll also grab a button from the sidebar and share it on your blog as well. I’d love to stop by and read your posts on Giving Thanks.

30 Days of Giving Thanks: Day 27

Today, I am giving thanks for the luxuries of life….

30 Days of Giving ThanksI have food in my cupboards, a car that gets me where I need to go, a warm bed to sleep in, running water, clothes to wear, and so many little luxuries that I take for granted every day. May I be careful to give thanks for ALL things.

What are you thankful for today?

If you are participating in 30 Days of Giving Thanks, please leave your link below. I hope you’ll also grab a button from the sidebar and share it on your blog as well. I’d love to stop by and read your posts on Giving Thanks.

Holiday Guide: Champion Me Books {Ends 12/3}

Warning: This post may load slowly because I’m including lots of pictures. Don’t let that scare you away! The pictures are totally worth it!

Recently, a very dear blogger friend of mine introduced me to Champion Me Books – the makers of Award-winning personalized children’s books. From the first time I visited their website, I was hooked. These were the best books for kids that I have found anywhere.

Champion Me Books sent me a gift certificate to order a book for a review. I had a hard time deciding which of my boys should get the review book, though. Zander and Jace both love to read, and I want to continue encouraging that love. I decided to order two books – one for Zander, and one for Jace.

For Jace, I ordered “Jace vs. the Scribble Monster.” There was a reason behind this: Jace has always been my mischievous one – and when we moved out of our last house, I spent days scrubbing the walls of his bedroom, trying to get the crayon off. I just had to order this book about scribbles on a wall that take on a life of their own and chase Jace all over the city.

Here’s Jace with his book:

Jace vs the Scribble Monster

Zander received “Zander and the Stonkeropolous.” Zander has a hard time standing up for himself, and he often gets bullied. I wanted to get this book for him to encourage him to stand up to his fears. Here he is with his book:

Zander and the Stonkeropolous

You should have seen the boys faces light up when they saw their books. I was planning to hold off and give these to the boys as Christmas gifts, but I just couldn’t wait any longer. I wanted to see their reactions so that I could share them with you.

When I asked Jace what he loved most about the book, he said, “It’s all about ME! They turned me into a cartoon, and my name is all over the book. I love it!” His eyes were as wide as saucers, and he grinned from ear to ear while he slowly flipped through each page.

Zander was also enthralled, and he wasn’t getting up from the table until he read every last word in the book. He closed the book and said, “Mom, that was the coolest book ever.”

I asked them to show me their favorite page from their books. Here are the pages they picked:

Jace and the scribble monster

Zander and the Stonkeropolous

For hours, I have listened to the boys read their books out loud over and over again. They never get tired of it, and neither do I. They’re sitting together, reading, getting along, and excited about seeing each other as characters in books.

The kind folks at Champion Me Books also sent me e-books for Lucy and Parker. I couldn’t afford to order books for the two of them right now, but now that I’ve seen the ebooks, you can bet that I’ll be ordering them just as soon as I can.

Here are the covers from Lucy and Parker’s books:

Lucy in the Great Escape of Mighty Star

Parker in Gadgetland
I’ve read Lucy’s e-book to her about a hundred times, and Parker’s probably twice as much. The kids love seeing themselves in a story and hearing their name said over and over.

Another feature that I love is that you can include an inscription inside each book to your child. Here’s what I said in Zander’s book:
“Zander, may this book always remind you how strong and brave you are. Always obey your parents, be kind to others, and follow your dreams. We love you! Love, Mom and Dad.”

Now, every time Zander looks at that book, he will remember that it was created with love just for him. Same goes for Jace. It’s an extra little touch that makes all the difference in the world.


Each book is $24.95, which may seem a little steep, but in all reality, these books are worth every penny and more. These are some of the highest quality childrens books I have found. They’re not going to fall apart after reading them a few times. They are beautiful books, with eye-catching illustrations, thick, quality pages, and a durable glossy outer cover. Overall, I am super impressed with Champion Me Books and would recommend them to everyone I meet. Can’t afford a hard copy of the book right now? E-books start at just $9.95 and would be a great addition to your iPad or laptop to share with your child whenever. seal of approval

Champion Me Books recently won several awards including two from The Toy Man as well as a Mom’s Choice Award. All were well deserved! I’d definitely give them my “Seal of Approval.”

You can learn more about Champion Me Books the following ways:

Now, I’ve got some GREAT news! Champion Me Books has asked me to host a giveaway right here on my blog! That’s right! One lucky winner will receive a $40 gift certificate to Champion Me Books. To enter, use the rafflecopter gadget below.

Want another chance to win a Champion Me Book for your child? Head to my friend Lindsey’s blog Kindered Spirit Mommy, and enter her Champion Me Giveaway. {You can find more links to more giveaways on the Champion Me Books Facebook Page.}

Disclaimer: I received a gift certificate from Champion Me Books to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed are 100% my own. I was in no other way compensated for this post.

30 Days of Giving Thanks: Day 26

Today, I am giving thanks for my Readers.

30 Days of Giving ThanksWhen I started this blog several years ago, I had no idea that I would come to love it as much as I do. And the reason I love it so much? Because every day I get to meet amazing people like YOU. Your comments and emails are so encouraging and uplifting. You truly mean the world to me. Thank you for stopping by this blog every time that you do. It is so appreciated.

What are you thankful for today?

If you are participating in 30 Days of Giving Thanks, please leave your link below. I hope you’ll also grab a button from the sidebar and share it on your blog as well. I’d love to stop by and read your posts on Giving Thanks.

Holiday Guide: Introducing BKids {Review}

bkidsI am so excited to introduce you to BKids – a fantastic toy company for little ones ages 0 – 36 months.

BKids stands on the principle that kids should do what they do best – Be Playful, Be Happy, and Just BE KIDS. They want their toys to be both educational as well as fun, and every product is designed and created with love. Because they care so much about the safety and well-being of every child, they ensure that all products comply with the highest quality and international safety standards. {Something this mom is excited about!} BKids wants parents to spend quality time with their children – exploring, enjoying, playing, and enriching their lives.

I recently received two items to review: The Soft Peek-a-Boo Blocks and the Stack ‘n Link Pal.

Gage doesn’t have many toys, so I was thrilled that this review would be just for him. All the baby toys we had have been lost, broken, or are still packed in a box, so I was excited to have some fun new toys for Gage to play with.

Gage really loves both toys. He loves chomping on the Soft Peek-a-Boo Blocks. He’ll sit for the longest time just chewing down on them. It’s great, because it distracts him from the fact that he’s actually sitting up, and I really think it helps relieve some of the teething pain he’s been having. I’m not crazy about the “peek-a-boo” idea behind these blocks. The hard plastic blocks that the soft blocks fit inside have really caused a lot of trouble. Pinched fingers, sore heads… but that was instantly resolved just by putting up the hard outer blocks until Gage is a bit older. I love the texture of the soft blocks, though, and think that no kid could ever have too many of them.

soft peek a boo blocks
Gage also loves the Stack ‘n Link Pal. The older kids lost the cute little monkey head that goes on top, {and no, Mama ain’t happy about that!}, but Gage will still sit and play with this for the longest time. He can’t quite get them to stack yet, but he sure loves banging on everything with them.

The other day, I babysat for a friend of mine. She has a little boy that will be one in January – so he’s just a few months older than Gage. I pulled out the toys and both of them had a ball playing with everything.

{Thanks to my friend Lanamae for letting me borrow her sweet Toby for this review!}

Overall, these toys are a huge hit in my house. I love that they encourage Gage’s fine motor skills, and they keep him preoccupied. We can play with them together, or he can play with them alone. Either way, he’s just as happy as can be!

To learn more about BKids, check out their website. You can also find them on Facebook, follow them on twitter, and catch them on YouTube.

Disclaimer: I received the toys mentioned above from BKids to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed are 100% my own. I was in no other way compensated for this post.

30 Days of Giving Thanks: Day 25

Today, I am giving thanks for God’s master plan.

30 Days of Giving ThanksIt’s so funny. So many times when I talk to God, I find myself telling Him how I think things should be. I have an “I want it now” type of attitude that I am constantly working to change. I need to remember that God has a perfect plan for my life. When I let Him have control, that’s when things just fall into place – no matter what the situation. I read a quote the other day that perfectly sums this up: “even though the rest of my life is a mystery to me, God knows every word from once upon a time to the end.” It’s all in His control – just as it should be.

What are you thankful for today?

If you are participating in 30 Days of Giving Thanks, please leave your link below. I hope you’ll also grab a button from the sidebar and share it on your blog as well. I’d love to stop by and read your posts on Giving Thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving from My Home to Yours

happy thanksgiving

I pray that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. May your hearts be full!

30 Days of Giving Thanks: Day 24

Today, I am giving thanks for Thanksgiving.

30 Days of Giving ThanksI can’t help but be thankful for a holiday that we can set aside to thank our Creator for all the He has blessed us with. This is my favorite holiday, and it’s not just because of the turkey, the dressing, the mashed potatoes, the green bean casserole, and all the desserts… although all of that is wonderful, there’s so much more to it.

Thank you, Lord, for all your mercies. I am so blessed. ♥

What are you thankful for today?

If you are participating in 30 Days of Giving Thanks, please leave your link below. I hope you’ll also grab a button from the sidebar and share it on your blog as well. I’d love to stop by and read your posts on Giving Thanks.

Holiday Guide: Leading Lady {Ends 12/14}

Leading Lady
is an intimate apparel company that is dedicated to offering women comfortable, functional, stylish, easy-to-wear bras, camis, and sleepwear – all at affordable prices. Family owned and operated, Leading Lady has been in business for more than 70 years expertly tailoring full figure and nursing bras for top brands and retailers all across North America. Now, you can search and purchase straight from the source by visiting There you’ll find their entire line of full figure and nursing bras including sexy stretch lace wire-free and underwire bras, seamless yet supportive sport and yoga bras, cozy sleep and leisure bras.

leading ladyLeading Lady is proud to celebrate “Leading Ladies” everywhere through its products, programs, and philanthropic activities. Leading Lady is dedicated to arming new moms with the support they need – physically, emotionally, and intellectually – to nurture their babies through breastfeeding. Leading Lady is committed to supporting a variety of organizations and issues relevant to women all across the country.

Recently I received the Shirred-Front (Striped) Nursing Tank for a review. While I am no longer a nursing mother { 🙁 } I was for quite a few years. In fact, I’ve spent more of the past 8 years nursing than not nursing. I am always looking for quality clothing and items that will make nursing moms feel beautiful and encourage them to keep nursing for as long as possible.

I have to tell you, I *love* this shirt, and even though I’m not nursing Gage any more, I still wear it all the time. It is, by far, one of the most comfortable nursing tanks I have ever owned. It’s think, soft, offers full coverage, but would be **so** easy to nurse in. I also love the extra little piece that comes up a little higher on my chest. I’m one who believes that just because “the girls” are there, doesn’t mean they need to be seen. I like when clothes – especially tanks and camis – let me keep my modesty.

If you have a new mom, or a full-figured lady in your life this Holiday season, I would highly recommend you check out Leading Lady. These items would make the perfect gift for her.

To learn more about Leading Lady, check out their website. You can also follow them on Twitter and find them on Facebook.

The wonderful folks at Leading Lady have offered up a giveaway to one of my readers! Winner will receive a bra or cami of their choice. To enter, use the Rafflecopter gadget below.

Disclaimer: I received a nursing tank from Leading Lady to facilitate my review. I was in no other way compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own. Sponsor will fulfill the prize as stated above to one winner.

Sarah Dawn Designs {Ends 12/10}

As a photographer and a designer, having access to beautiful Christmas cards is important to me. While I can make them myself, it’s hard for me to find the time to do so. And if I start, the perfectionist side of me won’t let me stop until it’s completely perfect.

It’s so much easier to be able to go to a website, find the perfect design, customize it if necessary, pop in my picture, and order my cards.

I have known Sarah of Sarah Dawn Designs for several years now. She has an amazing talent, and every design she offers proves just that.

For this review, I was asked to pick out a Christmas card, order it, download it, and customize it to my family’s needs.

I opted for this card:snowflake cardIt’s such a cute card, and since there’s already grey in it, I knew I could customize it to match our family photo exactly. I opted for the .psd file because I knew I would be making changes to it. Had I needed red and grey, I would have ordered the .jpg file and had Sarah change the name for me.

The ordering process was so easy. In less than 5 minutes, I placed my order and downloaded the file. I opened the card in my photo editing program. Another five minutes later, I had this:

my Christmas cardIt looks awesome! I love the way it turned out, and it only took me a few minutes to do. Here are the changes I made:

  1. Changed the font to a script font, changed the color of “Merry Christmas,” and added a shadow behind our family name.
  2. Changed the colors of the red snowflakes to blue and purple to match the kids’ outfits.
  3. Added in my picture.

What do you think? Adorable, isn’t it? I’ll send my order off to my photo lab this week, and I’ll actually be on the ball for sending out Christmas cards this year!

Overall, I am really impressed with Sarah Dawn Designs and would highly recommend her to anyone. Sarah offers beautiful card templates at a price anyone can afford. Photographers, if you are bogged down with orders and need to find Christmas card templates to use this year, definitely check out Sarah Dawn Designs.

You can learn more about Sarah Dawn Designs the following ways:

Sarah and I want to get you ready for Christmas, so Sarah has offered up one card download to one very lucky winner. {You pick the card!} Don’t want to wait for the giveaway to end? Now through December 1st, use the code Blessed11 and get 10% off any Christmas card order. That makes an already great price even better!

To enter, use the Rafflecopter gadget below:

Disclaimer: I received a digital image from Sarah Dawn Designs to facilitate my review. I was in no other way compensated for this post. Sponsor will fulfill the prize as stated above.

30 Days of Giving Thanks: Day 23

Today, I am giving thanks for frozen pizza.

30 Days of Giving ThanksOr carry out pizza… or pretty much any kind of pizza you can find. Down here, our pizza choices are limited. Very limited. And not very good. But, pizza is pizza, and when we’re in a hurry, or I just don’t feel like cooking, pizza is always an option that I know everyone will enjoy.

What are you thankful for today?

If you are participating in 30 Days of Giving Thanks, please leave your link below. I hope you’ll also grab a button from the sidebar and share it on your blog as well. I’d love to stop by and read your posts on Giving Thanks.

The Silk Cereal Bowl Challenge {Ends 12-7}

Recently, the representatives from Silk contacted me and asked if I would be willing to participate in the Silk Cereal Bowl Challenge.

zander's silkThe challenge before me: to replace the milk in my cereal bowl with Silk. Why? Not only because it just tastes great, but because Silk offers an extra boost of nutrition: giving you 50% more calcium than regular dairy milk.

Easy enough. I’m not a huge fan of milk, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try something new. I decided that not only would I accept the challenge, but my kids would too.

I was given 3 coupons for half gallons of Silk. I could purchase any flavor I wanted. I just had to be willing to try the Silk with my morning cereal.

I opted for 3 different flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, and Plain.

The first thing I did was try the Plain Silk on my bowl of Corn Chex cereal. Ashley, Lucy, and Parker all used Plain Silk on their cereal, and Zander and Jace opted to use Vanilla.

I couldn’t believe the difference. I loved how smooth and creamy the silk tasted with the cereal. The kids also loved it. Jace and Lucy both wanted seconds.

I also have to say that the cereal bowl they sent is really cool. You can store your Silk in one part of the container and the cereal in the other. It keeps the Silk cold until you’re ready to use it. And, there’s even a spoon included! The kids love this bowl. Here’s Jace using it:


I decided I would also try a glass of the Silk Vanilla and the Silk Chocolate. The vanilla was quite good. I have a hard time drinking plain white milk, but this was really good. Now, as far as the Silk Chocolate? Oh my gosh. Best.Chocolate.Milk.Ever. I loved it. I’m not a milk drinker, but I certainly love my chocolate milk. And I am *super* picky about the chocolate milk I drink. I am pleased to report that Silk Chocolate has made my list and will be a welcomed addition to my refrigerator shelf. I am super impressed with the taste, the value, and the quality of Silk.

I was going to put up a picture of me eating my cereal with Silk, but I didn’t have makeup on that day, and I didn’t want to scare you all away. Besides, my kids are *way* better to look at:

silk and my kids

To learn more about Silk, I encourage you to check out the following websites:

Now, I’m teaming up with Silk to encourage YOU to take the Silk Cereal Bowl Challenge!

One lucky winner will receive a branded Silk cereal bowl, 2 coupons, and a Silk ChicoBag.

To Enter, use the Rafflecopter Gadget below:

Disclaimer: I am posting this review on behalf of Silk. I received the products necessary to complete my review. I was in no other way compensated for this post. The sponsor will fulfill the giveaway prize as stated above.

30 Days of Giving Thanks: Day 22

Today, I am giving thanks for School Breaks.

30 Days of Giving ThanksThe kids are on Thanksgiving Break this week, and I am sooooooo thankful for the chance to sleep in just a little while later every day. Getting up super early to drive all the kids down to the bus stop makes for some very cranky babies that I’m left home with all day. Not needing to wake them up to run to the bus stop for one entire week is so wonderful.

What are you thankful for today?

If you are participating in 30 Days of Giving Thanks, please leave your link below. I hope you’ll also grab a button from the sidebar and share it on your blog as well. I’d love to stop by and read your posts on Giving Thanks.

30 Days of Giving Thanks: Day 21

Today, I am giving thanks for Facebook.

30 Days of Giving ThanksI know, I know. It sounds crazy. But, I really am thankful for Facebook.

Because of Facebook I….

  • Have gotten back in touch with friends that I thought were gone forever. I’ve found friends from elementary school, middle school, high school, college, and churches I’ve attended in the past. I’ve moved so far away from so many of them, but thanks to Facebook, we can keep in touch easier than ever before.
  • Have made new friends, found new blogs to read, and have even fallen in love with social networking.
  • Can easily spy on my “secret sister” at church and see what her immediate needs are. I know how to pray for her daily.
  • Can update my family on my kids and our lives down here.

So, call me corny, but I really am thankful for Facebook. It’s brought back people into my life that never should have been missing from it.

What are you thankful for today?

If you are participating in 30 Days of Giving Thanks, please leave your link below. I hope you’ll also grab a button from the sidebar and share it on your blog as well. I’d love to stop by and read your posts on Giving Thanks.

The Effects of Vitamin D Deficiency

Shortly after Gage was born, I started having these very strange pains. They would show up without warning, but would usually go away a few minutes later. They would attack a single area: my shin, my back, my shoulder, my neck. One place at a time, and I’d usually only have an attack once every few days.

vitaminsAbout 3 months ago, the attacks got worse. They would come more frequently, last longer, and be way more intense. Not only was I dealing with the attacks on just one area of my body, but I would also have full body attacks. When a full body attack occurred, I was {am} rendered useless. Sitting down hurt. Standing up hurt. Lying down sent surges of pain through my entire body. I couldn’t do anything but sit there, rocking back and forth, and cry. Sometimes for hours. About a month ago, these pains started coming every day or every other day and were taking control.

When my husband found out what I was going through, {because I had tried so hard to hide it!}, he insisted I make an appointment with my doctor. Not being able to stand the pain any longer, I gave in.

I was terrified it was going to be expensive. With hubby’s crappy insurance, we just don’t have thousands of dollars to pour into medical tests.

A little over a week ago, I saw the doctor. She decided to do a full blood panel and see if we could draw any answers from it. Six vials of blood later, I left praying that I would soon have answers.

I got my results late last week by phone and mail. My Vitamin D levels were very low. {The report suggested it should be between 32 and 100. My level was at a 14.}

After doing some research online, I am amazed at what Vitamin D deficiency can do to a person. One website I found suggested Vitamin D deficiency to be the cause of these symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Chronic Pain
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Many other symptoms….

I’ve started a daily vitamin regimen, and I am praying that I see some relief soon. What an answer to prayer it would be if the cause for my pain could be “fixed” with just a few pills every day.

Looking back, I should have caught this. After Gage was born, I found myself leaving the house less and less. And when he stopped nursing, I stopped taking my prenatal vitamins. Both of those things could very well explain the drop in my Vitamin D levels, as the timing fits perfectly.

I had no idea that a drop in Vitamin D could cause so many problems, but apparently it can. If you are struggling with any of the symptoms mentioned above, talk to your doctor immediately about what it may be.

I’ll follow up soon and let you know if taking Vitamin D helps eliminate my pain.

Do you suffer from Vitamin D deficiency? Did a vitamin regimen help you?

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This post is based on my pain and experiences with Vitamin D Deficiency. Symptom information can be found on this website: Talk to your doctor if you think you are suffering from Vitamin D Deficiency before starting yourself on a vitamin regimen.