Archives for September 2012

My Well-Being – Powered By Humana

This post brought to you by My Well-Being Powered by Humana. All opinions are 100% mine.

As a mom of 6, and with another little one on the way, my well-being is so important to me. You are all aware that just before I got pregnant this time, I worked hard and lost 40 pounds. I still have a long way to go, but it's been put on hold until after the baby is born. However, that does not mean my health and wellness has been put on hold. I want to be healthy, not only for myself, but for the many others I have in my life.

My Well-Being powered by Humana is a great way to evaluate your well-being and get tips to improve it. There are games, polls, shopping, and so much more. Plus, if you register now, you can even get a FREE Dummies book.

I created my account, selected my free dummies book, and took my well-being assessment. I obviously have some work to do, but being pregnant also changed many answers.

The website is full of so much useful information. I really enjoyed browsing the site and learning so much about my well-being and ways that I can improve it. For now, it's important that I eat right, exercise daily, and focus on the positive things I have going on right now. (Which are many!)

I encourage you to head over to the website, create your free account, select which dummies book you would like, and start your journey to better health and wellness today.

About MyWell-Being from mywell-being on Vimeo.

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Crest and Oral-B Pro-Health Review #CrestSponsored


For the past few weeks, my daughter has been testing out an oral health regimen with Crest and Oral-B products. As a teenager, appearance is obviously important to her. When the items arrived in the mail, she practically begged me to allow her to be the one to use the products and create the video. I agreed, because I know how important her mouth and oral health are to her.

One of the requirements of this blog tour was to create a video talking about our thoughts of the products and how well they worked. For the video, I interviewed Ashley to ask her about the products. Here’s what she thought:


Feed subscribers, please click here: Crest Pro-Health Video

As you can see in the video, Ashley really liked this oral care regimen. She loves the toothpaste the most. We’ve used many whitening toothpastes over the years, but this toothpaste worked so quickly and made a noticeable difference right away. The only product she is a little “iffy” on is the rinse. While it does give her fresh breath, and it really seems to help whiten her teeth, it also leaves this “weird” film on her teeth. (Her words.) She’s continuing to use it, because it does work so well. She’s just really struggling with getting used to that film.

I have used the regimen myself here and there over the past few weeks, though not as often or faithfully as Ashley. My thoughts are pretty much the same as Ashley’s, only I wish the toothpaste came in a gel option. For some reason, during this pregnancy, I cannot use toothpaste. It makes me gag uncontrollably. But with a gel, I don’t have that problem. I plan to try the regimen and be much more committed after the baby is born. I’m anxious to see how it works when I can use it as I’m supposed to.

If you are looking for an oral health care regimen that will leave you with a “just from the dentist office” clean feeling every time you use it, Ashley and I both highly recommend the Crest and Oral-B Pro-Health Clinical Plaque Control regimen. You’ll love your smile the first time you use it.

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a blogger review campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Crest and received product samples to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central Consulting sent me a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Do You Love Mountain Dew? Tell Me! (Flash GlVEAWAY! – Ends 9/21)

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Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Mountain Dew.

 

Do you love Mountain Dew? Well, Mountain Dew wants to know what you love most! As a thank you, you’ve got a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Before I get to the details of the giveaway, let me tell you what my family thinks about Mountain Dew:

My husband LOVES Mountain Dew. If he’s having a meal, odds are good he’s having a Mountain Dew right along with that meal. He loves the crisp, refreshing taste, and he just can’t get enough of it.

The kids get Mountain Dew as a special treat, and it’s one of their favorite treats! The fizzy bubbles of the soda make their faces light up with huge smiles.

Now, Mountain Dew wants to hear from you! In return, you will get the chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Here’s how to enter:

1. “Like” this post. (Facebook button is in the Share Bar directly under the “Also check out” section under the post and above the comments section.)

2. Leave a comment telling me what you love most about Mountain Dew. (Be sure to include your Facebook Name so I can be sure you “liked” the post!)

The giveaway will end Friday, 9/21 at 5pm PST. Any entries after that time will not be eligible to win the gift card. Winner will be chosen with the “And the Winner is…” plugin.

This is a quick and easy giveaway to enter, so what are you waiting for? Leave your comment below!

Disclaimer: I have not been compensated for this post in any way. This giveaway is sponsored on behalf of Mountain Dew.

Staying Fit and Healthy with Jasmine Rice

I have worked hard at making life changes around my house and getting my family on the right track when it comes to being fit and healthy. I want to serve my family foods that are good for them, but also taste great. But, I don’t have time to cook for hours on end. If I can find something quick and easy, and still promote better eating, I get all excited.

A great option for keeping us on the fit and healthy track is incorporating Jasmine Rice. If you take a look at the nutritional information of Jasmine rice, you will see that in a one cup serving size, you will only find 250 calories, 2.5r of fat, 5g of protein, and just 10mg of sodium.

There are quite a few other features about this rice that you should be aware of:

  • It helps support a healthy heart.
  • It is an excellent source of iron.
  • It is cholesterol free.
  • It is a good source of folic acid.
  • It is enriched with vitamins and iron.
  • It contains 0g trans fat and no saturated fat.
  • It is all natural with no preservatives.

I found one that I love, and the best part about this rice? It’s ready in just 90 seconds, and it tastes great! And that fabulous microwaveable pouch eliminates prep work and cleanup, making your meal even better.

If you want to encourage your family to eat better and get on the right track, all while satisfying your craving for Southeast Asian cuisine, I highly recommend you check out this Jasmine Rice. Also, be sure to click on the link for the nutritional information, and check out all the fantastic recipes that begin with Rice including Glazed Ham and Rice, Spanish Pepperoni Rice, Buttery Carbonara, and Bacon and Spinach Pilaf. Your family will thank you.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.

Polly Pocket Makes Everything More Fun!

Last month, I posted about Polly Pocket and how many great changes they’ve made to all the Polly Pocket toys. This month, I received another set of Polly Pocket products for Lucy to test out, and boy, was she ever excited!

In this package, we received the Polly Pocket Playtime Pet Shop Play Set and a Polly Pocket DVD. I’m supposed to tell you what Lucy’s favorite part of the DVD is, but I can’t. She can’t narrow it down to just one part. I’ve tried asking her over and over, and all I get is, “I love the whole thing, Mommy.” And she really does. We’ve probably watched the DVD a hundred times since it arrived, and Lucy is just mesmerized with it. Even my 3 year old son Parker will sit and watch the DVD (over and over again) with Lucy. Coming out with a Polly Pocket DVD is probably the best idea they’ve ever had. Lucy keeps the DVD in her little purse so that she can take it with her everywhere she goes, in hopes there will be a DVD player so she can watch it. And she loves that we have a DVD player in the Expedition, because every time she gets in the car, she asks if she can put it in… even when we’re just going to the end of the road to catch the bus! Honestly, whomever it was that came up with the idea of the DVD – PLEASE make more of them. I have this one memorized, so I need more. 🙂

As far as the playset goes, Lucy loved it… I, however, was not quite as impressed this time around. Now, I’m not saying I hated it or anything, but I found quite a bit more that I didn’t like with this set… but there were still things I love.

First, I love that the Polly Pocket doll is so much larger. I still think it makes the doll easier to play with and easier to dress. I love the fun, bright colors of the playset and the toys that come with it. I also love that it came with so many animals. Typically, you buy a “playset” and you still have to buy all the accessories to go with it. This set was great – pull it out of the box, and you’re ready to play! And play, Lucy did. I had to keep her at the dining room table – away from little fingers, but she’d sit there for hours and play if she could.

Lucy’s had lots of favorite parts of the playset: she loved the elevator, the swing, the bathtub… I’m pretty sure there’s not anything that she didn’t like.

This playset didn’t have some of the fun features our last playset had. There were no suction cups on the bottoms of the items, so making things stick to the playset was impossible. Polly would stand up, but only where there were little holders for her feet to be placed in. There are also about a bazillion little pieces with this playset, and there’s no good place to store all those little pieces when it’s time to put the toy away. We put everything into the bathtub and on the little shelves, but as soon as the playset got bumped, pieces were everywhere. (If you have little ones in your home, be aware that this set has many tiny pieces that could be a choking hazard.) This set is definitely not portable. Just getting it from the dining room to the playroom in the basement was hard enough. We will be getting a little container to keep all the little Polly Pocket pieces in, just so they don’t get lost… or swallowed.

As I mentioned above, the set was great, but not quite as great as the first set we got to try. I wish this set had the suction cups and larger accessories that our last set did. I would have given it two very enthusiastic thumbs up then, instead of just my “it’s great, but…” We’ll continue to play with the set, but it will be under strict supervision, or when I am 100&% sure the baby will be nowhere near all the pieces.

Our favorite item in this review was the DVD. Seriously. They need to make many more of these, because they keep my kids entertained for hours, but I need a little variety. Great idea behind the DVD, and totally worth checking out!

I want to encourage you to head on over to the Polly Pocket website – check out all the great new playsets, features, and fun things to do while you’re there.

Disclaimer: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Mattel Polly Pocket. I received  product samples and a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.

Is Egg Donation Right for You?

I know many people that have struggled with fertility. Part of me always feels a sense of guilt that I can conceive as easily as I do when there are so many out there that are aching to hold just one child in their arms.

Egg donation is becoming much more common here in the US. Many women are finding hope because of frozen donor eggs. At the same time, many other women are giving these women hope because they are donating their eggs for an amazing cause.

My Egg Bank boasts a 60% ongoing/delivery success rate, over 560 live births, and over 900 cycles completed. That gives patients the same clinical success as the traditional egg donation programs, but at half the cost.

Not only that, but you can trust My Egg Bank. This frozen donor egg bank accepts only eggs from the highest quality egg donors. Every egg donor goes through a thorough clinical, psychological, and genetic screening process. This company also meets all FDA compliance standards.

If you are curious about the egg donation process, I hope you’ll take a moment to visit their website and learn more.

Disclaimer: This post brought to you by My Egg Bank through Blogsvertise.

It’s the Kmart Big Layaway Giveaway!

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

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With six kids, and another one on the way, Christmas is sneaking up way too fast. I've got to start thinking about holiday gifts and how on earth I am going to afford presents for all these kids… and my husband, and my extended family.

Lucky for me, Kmart offers free layaway, and with the Kmart's Big Layaway Giveaway, it makes putting things in layaway even more fun. No other store is offering one layaway giveaway per store per week every week from Sept. 9, 2012 through November 17th, 2012. Could you imagine winning all your holiday gifts for the year? I'm in heaven just thinking about it! I know my kids would be thrilled too!

I took some time to check out the Kmart website and their layaway program. I haven't seen anything like this on any other retailer's website. I love that I can manage my layaway, add and remove items, AND make payments, all from their website. It's quick and super easy to use.

I took a screenshot of some of my favorite items that I would add to my layaway.

First, I need stuff for the new baby coming early next year. And since it's a girl, I can't really pass down much of the boys' stuff. Here are a few of my favorite items from their baby department:

Baby Items for Layaway

And the older kids are totally into outdoor toys. Since the weather is usually so mild year round, I wouldn't mind grabbing them an item or two from this page:

Outdoor Items for Layaway

I am blown away with the Kmart layaway program, and I love that they are giving away so much to their customers.

So tell me, what will YOU be adding to your Kmart layaway?

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New Betty Crocker Shake-N-Pour Desserts – Ends 9/24 {MyBlogSpark}

The thing I love about living in the South is the abundance of pot luck dinners. It seems like every week, I’m being asked to make a dessert and bring it to a potluck. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I love making desserts. But sometimes, I just want something quick and easy, and with minimal clean up.

That’s why I love the new Betty Crocker Shake-N-Pour Desserts. You simply add water to the dessert mix, shake it up, and then pour it into a baking dish. That’s it! You don’t have the extra mixing bowl to clean up, or anything else. It’s quick and easy, and in just minutes you’ve got a fabulous dessert to make everyone happy. In fact, these are so easy that even the kids want to get in on the fun, and I don’t have to worry about cleaning up a bigger mess because they do help!

You can now find Betty Crocker Shake-N-Pour Dessert Mixes in the baking aisle at your favorite grocery store. They come in yummy flavors that include Confetti Cupcake, Chocolate Cupcakes, and Chocolate Brownies.

For this review, MyBlogSpark and Betty Crocker sent me a gift pack that contained one bottle of Shake-N-Pour desserts in each variety, an adorable cupcake stand, a baking timer, and an oven mitt.

The dessert mixes were a hit with my family. The kids loved helping me make them, and they smell amazing when they’re in the oven. They come out tasting just as great as they smell. 🙂

Betty Crocker Shake-N-Pour Dessert Mixes are a great way to get a quick and easy dessert made and ready for my family (or the local pot luck!) without the mess and fuss of other methods.

To learn more about all the fantastic Betty Crocker products, including the new Shake-N-Pour Dessert Mixes, please visit the following links:

If you’d like to try the Betty Crocker Shake-N-Pour Dessert Mixes with a prize pack of your own, enter using the Rafflecopter gadget below.

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Disclosure: The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have been provided by Betty Crocker through MyBlogSpark.

Thankful for a Successful Surgery

Recently, I shared with you all that Gage had to visit a pediatric neurosurgeon, and they decided that he needed to have surgery to have the cyst removed. Surgery was scheduled for Monday, September 10th, and plans were made for hubby and I to spend a few days in Atlanta around Gage’s surgery. That way, he wouldn’t have to travel 3+ hours right before or right after his surgery.

Last week was complete chaos, and part of me wondered if the surgery was even going to happen.

On Friday, the neurosurgeon’s office called me and said they needed to reschedule Gage’s surgery for another day. Not a good thing to tell a pregnant, emotional mother. I’m ashamed to admit that I had total meltdown on the phone with the poor scheduling nurse. But, we had already booked a hotel, scheduled a rental car, AND taken vacation time, so moving it just wasn’t an option. After freaking out with everyone that I could, the practice manager agreed to call me back and let me know what they could do.

Later that afternoon, he called me back and told me that Dr. Brahma agreed to do Gage’s surgery after the emergency patient. The only drawback was it meant that Gage wouldn’t be able to eat or drink all day. I knew Gage would be ok, because he had just survived that same thing on our last trip down.

On Saturday morning, hubby woke up with horrible pains in his back. He had every symptom of a kidney stone. By that afternoon, he was in bad shape. Sick as could be, and in so much pain. A trip to the ER proved that it was a kidney stone, and he could be in pain for a few hours, or a few days. Not exactly what I wanted to hear the day before we were supposed to leave for Atlanta.

Luckily, hubby woke up the next morning back to his old self, so the trip was able to go as planned. We arrived at the hotel around 7:30 Sunday night, and got Gage settled. The next day, we puttered around Atlanta while we waited for 4pm to get there.

Just before 2pm, the hospital called and asked if we could come in right away. The surgery before his was finished sooner than expected, and they wanted to get Gage in early. Since our hotel was right across the street from the hospital, we were able to be there in less than 5 minutes.

Then, we waited. First in the waiting room, then in Gage’s surgery recovery room. They made him comfortable, got him in a gown, and gave him some “happy juice” – medicine that would calm him down and allow them to give him the anesthesia. His nurses were incredible. They kept hubby and I calm and assured us they would take extra good care of our little boy.

Just before 4pm, they wheeled him back to surgery. Up until that point, I had been ok. But, once he was gone, my heart sank to my stomach.

Not 5 minutes after they had wheeled him back, the fire alarm went off. Lights were flashing, alarms sounding, people running around like crazy, and “Code Red” being shouted over the intercom. They shut us in Gage’s room and wouldn’t tell us what was going on.

It was at that point that I lost it. I hadn’t cried until that point, but I had no idea what was going on. I didn’t know if Gage was ok, where the fire was, or anything. I was a mess. Luckily, hubby was in there with me, so he let me cry, and we prayed together. Less than 5 minutes later, the alarms stopped, and “All Clear” came over the intercom.

At 4:30pm, the surgeon came into our room to let us know that Gage’s surgery was complete. He said they were able to get the cyst out in one piece, but it wasn’t a dermoid cyst as they had originally thought. He had never seen a cyst like this one before, so they needed to send it off to pathology to find out exactly what was in there. He said we needed to come back to his office in 2 weeks to have the suture removed and get the pathology report. Another trip to Atlanta. Yippee. (sarcasm!)

A few minutes later, they wheeled Gage back. He was comfortably resting, and they told us to let him sleep off the anesthesia for at least 45 minutes.


Forty five minutes later, we tried waking him up. Poor thing was miserable. Wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t drink, just screamed and cried. I was terrified they were going to make him stay overnight. Luckily, he had an amazing nurse that knew he was ok, he just needed out of the hospital. Since he had taken 2 bites of Jello and kept them down, she got anesthesia to sign him out.

We got back to the hotel, and he was a completely different kid. He even ate more than I did! Hubby picked up pizza from Pizza Hut, and Gage ate 3 pieces of pizza and 2 breadsticks. Plus about a million goldfish crackers. Surgery must have made him hungry. 🙂

He does have a nasty cut from the surgery, but he hasn’t acted like it’s bothered him at all. Since we left the hospital, he hasn’t once acted like he was in pain.


I am so thankful that his surgery went so well. He didn’t have any complications or side effects from the anesthesia. He recovered super fast, and whatever was under the skin in his head is now gone. God is so good, and He kept His hand on my little boy the whole time.

I’ve called the office to schedule his follow up appointment. I’m anxious to find out what the pathology report reveals. I’m hopeful that it’s nothing, and that because they were able to remove it, we won’t have any further problems or surgeries. I will keep you posted.

Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, emails, and kind words. I am certain they are what kept him so safe.

Now, I’m praying things can get back to normal around here… whatever normal is!

Looking for Life Insurance?

As a parent, life insurance is a topic that is heavy on my mind. What if something were to happen to me or my husband? Would those left behind be all right?

Mozdex.com offers key man life insurance quotes as well as many other types of life insurance. This website allows you to type in the information you are looking for and get instant access to quotes from many different life insurance companies through their easy to use quote engine.

It’s a quick and easy way to get the quotes you need and purchase life insurance at a price your family can afford, and finally have the peace of mind that your family would be protected if the unthinkable were to happen.

Do you have life insurance for your family, or are you considering purchasing a policy to protect yourselves or your loved ones? Mozdex.com is an excellent resource no matter what your life insurance needs or budget. Their website is user friendly, making it easy to find exactly what you are looking for, and get the quotes you need in just minutes.

Head on over and check out Mozdex.com today and start shopping for life insurance and take care of your family now and in the future.

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Hungry? Try New Betty Crocker Cereal Muffin Mixes {Ends 9/16}


I love cereal… and Betty Crocker has taken my love for cereal to a whole new level with their Cereal Muffin Mixes.

These muffin mixes come in several very delicious flavors: Reese’s Puffs, Cocoa Puffs, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Each muffin tastes like a little slice of heaven – and they all taste true to the flavor of my favorite cereals.

My biggest craving this pregnancy has been peanut butter and chocolate, and my pantry is full of boxes of Reese’s Puffs cereal. But now there are boxes of Reese’s Puffs Betty Crocker Cereal Muffin Mix right beside all my cereal. 🙂 I can’t get enough of them, and when I’m willing to share, these muffins make the perfect quick and easy breakfast for the kids before they hop on the school bus.

For this review, MyBlogSpark and Betty Crocker sent me a pack full of goodies. I received the following items:

  • A Box of Reese’s Puffs Cereal Muffin Mix
  • A Box of Cocoa Puffs Cereal Muffin Mix
  • A Box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal Muffin Mix
  • An Apron
  • Tumbler
  • Spoon
  • Therm O Snack Bag

We tried all three flavors of the Cereal Muffin Mix, and I’m the only one that can pick a favorite. The kids love them all… as does my husband. I’m a little partial to the Reese’s Puffs, but that’s only because of the pregnancy. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure I’d love them all equally.

I love how easy the Betty Crocker Cereal Muffin Mixes are to make, serve, and eat. Now, when we’re in a hurry, or on our way out the door, the kids can get their favorite cereal treats to take with them.

If you don’t want to wait for this giveaway to end, you can CLICK HERE to download a coupon for $.80 off one package!

I also encourage you to check out the following links:

Would you like to win a Betty Crocker Cereal Muffin Mix Prize Pack and try out all the different mixes for your family? Enter using the Rafflecopter gadget below.

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Disclaimer: The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have been provided by Betty Crocker through MyBlogSpark.

Will it be Carter or Carly? (Take a Poll!)

With everything going on with Gage, I really haven’t posted much about the pregnancy. Honestly, I haven’t had much to update. This has been a wonderful pregnancy so far. No morning sickness. No pain. No issues. I’m tired, and I want to eat all the time, but eating and sleeping are my two favorite things, so I’m not complaining. 🙂 I’m certain that God is giving me an easy pregnancy because He knew I was going to need it… there’s just been so many other issues and problems that I couldn’t take a difficult pregnancy on top of it.

The pregnancy seems to be sllllooooooowwwwwllllly dragging on. Today I am finally 17 weeks. Almost half way there! My next doctor’s appointment is scheduled for this Thursday, September 6th. They do an ultrasound at each visit, and the doctor said we’d check to see the gender at our next appointment. So, I’m putting up a fun poll to see how many of my readers can guess the gender.

Hubby and I have already picked out a name for a boy and one for a girl. If it’s a boy, his name will be Carter Timothy. Gene has wanted a Carter since we were pregnant with our first son. I figure he’s waited long enough and I should give in. 🙂 Timothy is after a very dear friend of ours. If it’s a girl, her name will be Carly Grace. No rhyme or reason, we just really love the name. This is, however, the FIRST time that we have picked a name so early on in the pregnancy. Typically, we argue and argue for months, and push it until weeks before the baby is even due. Not this time. And since we came up with 2 great names that go well together, I’m still hoping there’s a “hidden” twin and I get to use both names. 🙂

Before we get to the poll, let’s go over some baby gender prediction methods and see what they say….

  • Hairline method – Predicts a BOY. (This method failed for me last time.)
  • Chinese Gender Chart – Predicts a GIRL. (This method is sometimes right, sometimes wrong for me.)
  • Old Wives Tale – Predicts a GIRL.
  • Baby’s Heart Rate – Predicts a GIRL.
  • Family Pattern – Here are my kids so far: GIRL, BOY, BOY, GIRL, BOY, BOY, ???
  • Dreams – I dream ALL.THE.TIME that I’m having a girl. (Actually, I dream that we have 8 kids, and the last 2 are girls.)

Now, before I get my hopes up for another little girl, when I was pregnant with Gage, every sign pointed to us having another little girl. I went into our 16 week ultrasound certain that we were having a girl. I just knew he was going to show us a girl on the screen. Then, there it was: the “package.” Definitely not a girl. As sad as I was that Gage wasn’t a girl, I wouldn’t trade him in for 10 girls. He is my sunshine, and I am so thankful God gave me exactly what I needed. After all that, though, I am 100% convinced that this baby will be another boy. Hubby and I tend to make more of those, and “they” say that if you have more of one gender, you are more likely to continue having that same gender. So, I hold no truth to any of the methods listed above, especially since so many of them point to us having a girl.

But, it’s still fun to guess… and I know so many of my readers have their own opinions. I thought it would be fun to hear what you all think!

So tell me….. will it be a BOY or a GIRL? And will we get to use the name Carter or Carly? Vote now!