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Showing posts from 2011

Pregnancy Mind Games (Realizing that the baby is actually going to come out at some point)

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My recent post on having mixed feelings the first time you find out your pregnant was so well received that I have decided to share another pregnancy freak-out with you that I had - realizing that at some point the baby was actually going to come out and become part of our family.

My first pregnancy was a dream - I didn't have any morning sickness or other annoying symptoms besides fatigue, and generally I was feeling great. I credit a lot of this feeling great to my prenatal yoga classes, which I highly suggest any first time mom take full advantage of, because you're not going to have very much time for it the second time around!

We had just moved from our little apartment in New York City to a quiet townhouse in the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia, and because I was planning on being a stay-at-home-mom I didn't bother looking for a new job at the time. I was still doing some work for my previous employer online, but for the most part I had the last 6 months of my pregna…

Saying Goodbye to Your Elf on the Shelf

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Source: rshcatalog.com via Gigi on Pinterest I know that I have mentioned it several times this holiday season, but we are having such a great time starting this Elf on the Shelf Tradition with our two year old daughter. There is nothing quite like watching here face light up each morning as she searches and finds our elf, Sam, up to new adventures in our house. The memories we are making are so precious to me! There are still a few days left to get creative with your Elf on the Shelf (check out my post on hilarious Elf on the Shelf ideas) but this Saturday is already Christmas Eve, meaning that elves all over the world will be making their trip back to the North Pole, only to return after Thanksgiving next year. Throughout my search for fun ideas, I have come across a lot of stories about sad partings with the Elf on the Shelf. Stories of sobs from little ones who measure the time between…

Funny & Creative Elf on the Shelf Ideas

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Wow! In the last year the Elf on the Shelf's popularity has sky-rocketed across the US. Santa is sending out elves left and right to keep an eye after all the little boys and girls and make sure they are good this holiday season.

We were so pleased to give away an Elf on the Shelf to a lucky Holly at Nap Time reader earlier this holiday season. I really wish that I had 400+ elves to give away to all those who entered, but if you don't already have an elf, I can assure you that the $30 is a great investment. To learn more about Elf on the Shelf, click here.

My daughter is only two years old, and this is our first year with our Elf, Sam, so his hiding spots and antics are pretty obvious and don't really tell much of a story. My friends with older kids, however, are getting pretty creative, and moms all over are sharing their ideas on Pinterest, which begs the question: Is Elf on the Shelf more fun for children or parents?

I'll leave that up for you to decide. Some of t…

Buy Baby a Pair of Robeez, Give a Pair to a Child in Need for FREE - Thru Friday

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Pregnancy Mind Games (Mixed feelings about finding out you're pregnant)

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As if the physical toll of carrying a child isn't enough, the mental toll that pregnancy takes on a woman is almost downright hysterical when you think about it. At 34 weeks pregnant now, today I'm feeling (or at least for this moment) level-headed enough to share some of my chaotic with you.

When I got pregnant with our daughter in 2009 it pretty much came as a total shock. My husband and I had decided that we were open to having a child but that we weren't going to necessarily try to have a child - yet. I don't know what literature we had been reading, but it was clear to us that even the healthiest, normal couples could have to wait up to two years to conceive. We decided to give it six months and see where that took us. Three weeks later, I was pregnant.

My first symptom was complete lack of energy. It was a Friday in New York City, and happened to be my last day at a job that I loved and was leaving for life in the South with my husband. My brother-in-law was to…

Why Internet Marketing is the Best Way to Reach Moms

It's no secret - today's moms are busier than ever. Mostly by our own doing (ahem - signing our kids up for countless activities and groups, volunteering over and over again and somehow always forgetting how to use the word "no" somewhere along the ways). That's why if you're looking to market to today's mom, Internet marketing is the only way to go.

"But why?" you might ask.

Mail advertising just doesn't work. Who has time to read their mail these days? We receive so much junk mail that I inevitably let it pile up on my kitchen counter until the stack is falling over, at which point I dig out the bills that need to be paid and throw the rest into the recycling bin.

Commercials are becoming nonexistent. Every once in awhile my mom will ask me if I've seen a commercial that she thought was interesting or funny, but my answer is always the same: nope. Any television I get to watch these days (not including the many hours of Nick Jr. that g…

ECommerce Solutions Make the Holidays a Breeze

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'Tis the season for shopping, shopping, and more shopping for holiday gifts! I will admit that before having children I was all about the draw of Black Friday deals and being among the bustle of the eager crowds. I almost don't believe it myself, but one year I insisted on taking my sister-in-law to Macy's in Herald Square (yes, the Macy's smack dab in the middle of Manhattan) on Black Friday. I guess I was pretty young and crazy back then.

This holiday season I am eight months pregnant, and the stories of pushing and pepper spraying are plenty enough to keep me out of the crowds even in the slowest of shopping hours. Here's an easy equation for you:

8 months pregnant + concerned about the safety of my future son + Black Friday = BAD IDEA!

This year, I'm all about shopping online for the holidays. Nerdy people like my husband call this using ecommerce solutions - I call it "making my life a heck of a lot simpler."

Now it's easier than ever for b…

Kiki's Fashions Maternity Review and $25 Giveaway!

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Kiki's Fashions is an online retailer of cheap maternity clothes that are trendy and fun. According to their website,
"We pride ourselves on having a wide selection of unique maternity styles at prices mostly under $20. By selling exclusively on the Internet, Kiki's Fashions is able to maintain very low operating costs and we pass those savings on to our customers by offering prices 15%- 30% off many of our competitors. We also change our inventory often, so our customers always have access to today's hottest fashions and trends." I LOVE this purple maternity sweater that Kiki's Fashions sent me to review! Head on over to What Mama Wants for my full review and for your chance to win a $25 credit to Kiki's Fashions!

Disclaimer: I received a free product in return for my honest review. The opinions expressed are my own and may differ from yours!





The Evolution of a Cold (as experienced at our house)

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If you need a chuckle today.

Tis the season for the common cold virus. These days, it seems like if there is a virus going around that it will make sure to stop by our house on its way through town (probably because we're just such great hosts). This usually happens one of two ways:

My daughter brings something home from one of the germ infested places she frequents: preschool, the children's museum, etc. My husband brings home some crud that is going around his office. In which case my husband never receives the illness, but just acts as the transportation to our home. Yes, my lucky duck husband who swears that he cannot ever remember a time that he ever had a cold before we were living together. Ha. I have yet to ask his mom about that one. I'm not sure where our current cold originated from, probably because I wasn't being as careful as I should have been. Having just recovered from the croup in time to celebrate her second birthday, I assumed that we were in the c…

Stocking Stuffer Alert! Bridesmaids DVD only $5.99

Amazon Black Friday Deals Week is here!! Fabulous deals on hot holiday items, plus "lightning deals" being announced nearly every hour!

Last year my husband and I did nearly all of our holiday shopping through these awesome deals!

Here's a stocking stuffer that's on many wishlists this year - Bridesmaids on DVD for only $5.00 (Save 80%). You can also snag this deal on Blu-Ray for just $9.99!

FREE Personalized Birthday Card from Tiny Prints - TODAY ONLY!

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Tiny Prints knows that sometimes our friends with birthdays around the holidays don't receive all the celebration they deserve. Don't forget these special birthdays (and definitely don't gift with a holiday gift item... that's just tacky).

For TODAY ONLY, Tiny Prints is offering a FREE, personalized birthday greeting card to all their customers. Simply create your birthday greeting here, and choose the option to "mail it to me first" so that you aren't charged the price of a stamp. During checkout, enter code: FREEBD. As with all of their other offers, you will need a valid credit card for your order to be processed. However, you will not be charged for your free card unless you choose additional mailing services.

Enjoy this offer! Who will you be getting a card for?


Disclaimer: I was in no way compensated for this post. Just sharing a great deal!

FREE Carseat Canopy with 100% Minky Interior. Perfect for the Cold Months!

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Affliliated with Udder Covers and Seven Slings (of which I use both), Carseat Canopy products "are made for "year-round" use - fabrics not too heavy for summer and not too thin for winter. Each one of our canopies has bold, fresh, cutting-edge prints on 100% cotton outers with soft, snuggly, lovable 100% polyester minky interiors. We've got your baby covered!"*

Retailing at $49.95, these canopies are made to adjust to any make or model of carseat with adjustable straps, are machine washable, and have an interior of the softest 100% polyester minky.

Right now you can snag a Carseat Canopy for FREE with the code SEVENSLINGS - simply pay shipping and handling and your order will be processed in 2-8 business days!!

For even more savings, you can buy the "Whole Caboodle" sets (a $135 value) with the SEVENSLINGS code for just $29.95. It doesn't get much better than that!

I just got the Maddox Carseat Canopy for our baby boy who will be arr…

Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland Review

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Having grown up in Michigan, I certainly knew what Bronner's was. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who didn't know about this amazing CHRISTmas Wonderland within the great mitten state. For those visiting Frankenmuth, it's a Christmas festival that never ends and joyously celebrates the birth of Christ all throughout the year. For the rest of us it is the perfect one stop holiday shop for all our Christmas needs (and then some).

As an adult now who lives in Virginia, I'm so happy that I can keep up the Bronner's holiday traditions by shopping online. From personalized Christmas ornaments and gifts to professional level Santa suits, they have it all. Even our cats have their own hand-painted personalized tree ornaments.

Their selection is huge and the quality of their work is unbeatable. Instead of shopping for Christmas decorations at chain retail stores this year, simply visit Bronners.com or request a catalogue to do some shopping that shoppi…

Enter the Tiny Prints Talent Search! Huge Prizes!

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Tiny Prints is having a talent search!! How would you like to win $1,000, a $500 Tiny Prints Gift Card, and to be featured in the 2012 Tiny Prints Marketing Campaign!? Sounds good to me!



Prizes will be awarded for the following categories:Cutest Baby (0-2 years old)
Cutest Kid (3-10 years old)
Cutest Family
Cutest Couple
Cutest Pet

To enter, Like Tiny Prints on Facebook and go to the Talent Search Tab in the left-hand column.

Hurry! You only have until November 21st to enter.

Click here for a copy of the full official rules.

2 Chix Maternity Tees for Comfort and Fun {Review}

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2 Chix offers expectant moms a new way to show off their bumps by being stylish, trendy and quirky. With a boutique in Santa Monica, 2 Chix tees have been seen around Hollywood on expectant celebs including Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts and Melissa Joan Hart....

Have you heard? I'm the new contributing maternity writer for the What Mama Wants Blog. Head on over to say hi to Robyn and to read my full review on this adorable with bump, not plump tee.









Disclaimer: I received a complimentary maternity tee from 2 Chix in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own and may differ from yours.

Thanksgiving Fun with Food - Ideas for the Kiddos!

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I was recently featured on Nap Time is My Time as a guest writer, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving (and kids!) I decided to write about Thanksgiving Fun with Food. Check out the complete post here! (My favorites are the SUPER EASY Pilgrim Hats!)




47% Off Piggy Paint Set from 8moms - Perfect Stocking Stuffer!

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Head on over to 8moms to get this exlusive group buy on Piggy Paint! For $9 (+s&h) you'll get a Two Polish Accessory Box including One Bottle of Neon Magenta Polish (LOL), One Bottle of Neon Green Polish (Eat Your Peace), One Nail Brush & One Foot File (a 47% savings).

These sets make a fantastic stocking stuffer, and if you're not already familiar with Piggy Paint you're missing out! We're talking about a water-based polish made from natural ingredients that is SAFE SAFE SAFE for your children to use!

I already snagged two for myself, so you're going to want to jump on this deal before you miss out. Click here for the full details of this deal.

Stride-Rite Sale! Buy One Get One 50% Off Online, In Stores & Outlets! Thru 11/14

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When kids go through shoes SO quickly, it's important to get the ones will last and last until their feet reach the next size. Right now you can Stride-Rite (one of our favorite kids brands!) is offering Buy One Get One 50% Off ALL FOOTWEAR.

This deal is good online, in-stores and at the outlets. When shopping online enter code SRBOGO. This deal is good through November 14th only, so if you're in need of shoes before the holidays don't miss out!

Shipping is FREE on orders of $75+. Standard shipping on all other orders is $4.99.

100 Things that I'm Thankful For

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I can't believe that Thanksgiving is almost upon us. That means that the year is winding down (and I just got used to writing 2011!) and that our baby boy is getting closer and closer to arriving. Life seems to move so much faster since having kids. I thought I'd take a few moments and share with you all the things (or at least 100 of them) that I'm thankful for today. I'm not going to lie... writing this list was a little more difficult than I anticipated. It took me a few hours, but it was a deep refreshing look into my soul! If you're up for a challenge than write your own 100 (I'm sure a few of mine will help you get started) and leave the link in the comments section.

I am thankful for:
My beautiful daughter AJ (who is two years old TODAY!)The baby boy that is growing inside of me. We can't wait to be a family of 4 and meet you in January!My husband Ken. He is everything I could have hoped for in a husband, and much more. He's hard-working, a loving…

Elf on the Shelf Book + Plush Set Review & Giveaway {Ends 11/23}

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GIVEAWAY CLOSED. Congratulations to Ann P. from North Carolina!

I love Christmas traditions. Trimming the tree, listening to Christmas music, baking treats and watching ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas to name a few. This year I'm so excited for a brand new (to us) Christmas tradition - The Elf on the Shelf.

About Elf on the Shelf: Year after year, children and adults alike are baffled by the mystery of how Santa really knows who’s been naughty or nice. After much urging by the elves and Mrs. Claus, Santa has allowed his biggest secret to be revealed in The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition . Touted as “The best thing since The Night Before Christmas” this gift set includes a North Pole pixie-elf, hardbound children’s book and keepsake box. Children can register their elf online and receive a special response from Santa.

The fun part comes as a special holiday game. After the Christmas decorations go up, this magical little elf will appear somewhere that your ch…

Proof that 99% of Maternity Photos are Awful and Creeptastic

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A few days ago I wrote a post about my puzzlement over the artsy, awkward, nudey maternity photos and what the heck we're supposed to do with those photos once their taken. Hang them over the family mantle?  The reception to the post, which you can read here, was mixed. Some people said that the photos are meant to show baby a time when mommy and baby were one in the same (which personally... I don't think a child will care about and once they reach the age of 10 or so this would probably just become mortifying... or good birth control for future years. You decide.)

I don't know. Maybe I'm just not comfortable enough in my own skin to make art and memories of these revealing and awkward shots. ;)

Since writing the piece I've come across this article on Babble that you must check out for a good laugh.

Pregnancy FAILS: 25 Horrible Pregnancy Portraits and Belly Shots

FREE Thanksgiving Greeting Card from Tiny Prints - TODAY ONLY!

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By now I'm sure you know that you can count on me for great deals and savings from Tiny Prints. ;) Here's another great offer for TODAY ONLY, so make sure you don't miss out!

Today you can get a FREE Customized Thanksgiving Greeting Card by using the promotion code FREETHX11 during checkout. Not sure who to send a Thanksgiving card to? This is a great opportunity to recognize someone in your life that might be a little under-appreciated. Maybe it's a fantastic mail carrier, or the pediatrician that you call at least once a week for advice, or a hard-working babysitter who is always there at a moments notice. We all have people in our lives that deserve a word of THANKS, and what better way to spread that cheer than with a free greeting card?



As with their other greeting card promotions, you MUST choose the option to "Send it to me first" instead of sending it directly to the recipient, or you will be charged .44 for postage. (Don't worry, if you send i…

Maternity Portraits - Yay or Nay?

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Now that my bump is in full view with baby number two (tomorrow is already the beginning on my third trimester!), people are asking me the inevitable portrait question - am I going to have maternity photos taken? And again people, the answer is NO! Not unless you include our yearly family photo for the Christmas card, in which I will be pregnant... but I find that more of a coincidence rather than a showcase of my growing belly.

My husband and I did document my growing belly with bi-weekly photos when I was pregnant with our daughter who was born in 2009. This was mostly to share with our friends and family who were over 700 miles away, and I do appreciate being able to look back at the pictures and think, aw, that's when my little baby girl was growing inside of me.

What I don't understand is why people get professional maternity photos done. I'm not really talking about those photos that couples get taken in which the woman is clearly pregnant and the daddy is kissing …

Crock Pot on a Budget: Black Bean & Chicken Salsa Soup - Under $10

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As soon as the leaves start to turn, it's soup season to me. This recipe will warm your whole family up (serves 6). The best part is it's a full family meal for under $10, and it can be adjusted according to your tastes (if you like it mild or like to heat it up!)

Disclaimer: The prices shown below are what I personally paid for each product, and may differ from what you are able to find in your grocery store.

Black Bean & Chicken Salsa Soup

Ingredients:
Half-Pound Boneless Chicken (breasts or tenderloins) - $2.69
1 Large Can of Black Beans (26.5 oz) - $1.59
1 Small Can of Whole Kernel Corn (8 3/4 oz) - $0.89
1 Jar of Salsa - however hot you prefer (16 oz) - $2.59
1/2 Green Pepper, chopped - about $0.50
1 small red onion - about $0.30
1 Jalapeno Pepper (add whqole for mild taste and take out at end, or chop for heat) - about $0.28
4 Chicken Bouillon Cubes - about $0.32
4 Cups of Water
TOTAL PRICE: $9.16

Optional Ingredients: (NOT included in price list)
Cumin (I used about 1 …

My Toddler Thinks that Matt Lauer is her Daddy

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After the last couple days we've had at our house, I think it'd be therapeutic for me to write about something light-hearted. After I get my whine out, of course.

I don't know why, but I find pregnancy to be pretty stressful. I feel like I'm always on my guard and on-edge about something. Right now there is a little boy just north of where I live who has been missing in the woods since Sunday. Four days. Over a thousand people searching. Temperatures in the low 40's overnights. Oh yea, and he is autistic and non-verbal, meaning that he is unable to call for help. This, of course, is news that I would follow as a concerned citizen. But as a mom? I'm practically obsessed. I find myself checking the news every 15 minutes or so to see if there has been an update. Have they found him yet? I'm extremely hopeful, and my family and I have been praying for his safe rescue, but the whole situation has a lot of people on pins and needles. If you're interested, yo…

FREE Chips Ahoy Cookies Coupon on Facebook at 12pm - Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

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Here's another Halloween treat for you! Head on over to Facebook to "Like" Chips Ahoy. From now through Thursday at 12pm EST Chips Ahoy will be giving away 20,000 coupons for their deliciously famous cookies. The coupons are for $1 and will be sent directly to your printer.
Make sure to stop by around noon to see if you can snag one today!
Happy Halloween! :)