Showing posts from 2010

Anyone can be a Master at Wine & Cheese Pairing with this New FREE Mobile App!

When my husband and I lived in New York City (pre-baby days), we had it easy. I'm talking, really easy. On nights that we weren't dining out on delicious cuisine from all over the world (I think I miss the food the most!) we were preparing meals at home from an amazing grocery service. We ordered our food from an online vendor that had everything laid out for us, including which wine would pair nicely with the meal we were preparing. It was heaven. Not to mention they delivered!! I tell you what... if they had also unpacked and stocked my refridgerator (which I'll admit, might be a little excessive ) they would have been the perfect company. Since moving to the suburbs it seems like we have given up trying to pair wines with our meals. In fact, most nights we'll be 10 minutes into dinner and my husband will (as nicely as he can) excuse himself from the table to get a glass of water, because it's completely slipped my mind. Well, not anymore. Now, thanks to Real

Cross Country Traveling with a Toddler

After the last few days, I've decided that there are several things I'd rather do than travel with a toddler. Take going to the dentist to get cavities filled, for example. It's not that bad. Or cleaning up kitty barf off of the dining room rug. Yep. I'm sure. The drive to Michigan is about 12 hours (not including traffic). With extra stops for food and gas it takes considerably longer and we decided about a year ago that we didn't want to do it all in one day anymore. On Christmas day we left our home at about 9am and made it up to Independance, Ohio, where stayed the night. We had Christmas dinner at Denny's (which my husband will tell you is about the most American thing you can do -- just like in the movies!) and we were all in bed by 8pm. At 1:30am our daughter decided that the hotel was a scary place and that she didn't want to be there anymore. My husband and I took turns rocking, cuddling, watching TV, and soothing her but she wouldn't go bac

Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches {Book Review}

Cynthia Sass, the creator and co-author of the New York Times Bestselling Flat Belly Diet presents her new break-through, 30-day weight loss program Cinch! targeted to end overeating , leaving dieters feeling full and satisfied while enjoying the best food combinations to burn fat and boost metabolism . The program starts with the 5-day Fast Forward plan that ends erratic eating by focusing on five simple foods—spinach, almonds, raspberries, eggs, and yogurt (or vegan-friendly alternatives)—eaten in a variety of combinations. These first 5 days promise up to 8 pounds of weight loss. Each of the five foods is low in calories yet loaded with nutrients and natural satiety-boosters, which allows you to “detox” from junk foods without feeling deprived. The remaining 25 days of the program are packed with foods that offer maximum fat-burning, improving metabolism while unlocking the secret to the body’s satiety center with foods that the latest research shows turn on the body’s “I’m fu

What is the one thing you'd most like to change about the world?

My husband and I exchanged Christmas gifts last night. Not out of anticipation, but because on Christmas morning we'll have to get up, open presents with our daughter, pack up the car, and begin our two-day journey to Michigan. I'm really not looking forward to spending Christmas on the road, and worse (to me) Christmas night in a hotel. It'll be good to see family though. This will actually be our first time home for Christmas (well, technically we won't be there until the 26th, but it's close enough) in 3 years.  Question #5 of the 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind : What is the one thing you'd most like to change about the world? Hate. If I could erase one thing in this world, it would be hate. I'm talking about the hate that leaves neighbors killing one another, keeps nations at war for decades and keeps adolescents feeling hopeless and alone. But I'm also talking about average, every day hate. As mere human beings, every single one of us

Fall Family Challenge: X Y and Z are for...

I cannot believe that the Fall Family Challenge is coming to a close. It's been fantastic! I've had a really great time coming up with ideas on how to make the most out of each moment with your family, and I'm so glad to have met so many amazing people along the way. It the next week or so, I'll post an entire index of the Fall Family Challenge so that it can be accessed from one post. That way, if you missed anything it'll be easy to catch up! And don't worry... there will be plenty more to come. My focus on family activities doesn't end here! X is for Xmas - what does it mean?? I hear it all the time - people offended by the shortened version of Christmas, Xmas. Whereas it might look like a commercialized, shortened version of the religious holiday we call Christmas, the shorted Xmas is a) not irreligious, or b) taking Christ out of Christmas. Here's a fun and educational fact for you to share with your friends and colleagues this year, the ne

W is for Winter Family Fun! {My Guest Post as Featured on From Chalkboards to Strollers}

Recently, Liz from over at From Chalkboards to Strollers did a lovely guest post for us on Reading Readiness. Check out the post, here !   Well, I was excited to team up again when Liz asked me to do a spin-off of my Fall Family Challenge and post on her blog about Winter Family Fun!   Go see what I came up with! ---------> My post at From Chalkboards to Strollers!   So there you have it... W is for Winter Family Fun   While you're there, if you're not already following Liz, you definitely should be! She has tons of great reviews and giveaways!

When it's all said and done, will you have said more than you've done??

It's been awhile since I've posted for one of the 50 Questions that Will Free Your Mind . I'm currently on Question #4... and as a New Year's Resolutions (I have many that will be posted shortly), I would like to post at least 1 a week until they are finished. I am answering the 50 Questions that Will Free Your Mind as part of my own Day Zero Project . I encourage you to share your own answers here, on your own blog, or privately in your own journal. It's a great writing exercise that can also make for some thought provoking discussion. When it's all said and done, will you have said more than you've done?? In all honesty, I find this question really intimidating. I feel like it's a question that it looming over my conscience daily - something that when you turn the corner you see it there, plastered on your living room wall in Freestyle Script, begging an answer. I guess that having said more than I've done is one of my fears in life. I work

Do You Know America's Most Amazingly Energized Woman??? (Maybe it's YOU!!!)

This holiday season, Centrum® and Molly Shannon are looking for America's Most Amazingly Energized Woman and they need your help! Do you know someone who fits the bill? I'm talking about that woman who has more kids than fingers on her left hand, makes Christmas pageant costumes for the entire children's choir, always has a warm meal on the dinner table and still manages to find the time to get a manicure. Come on, now, we all know someone like that! Now it's time to reward her for her efforts and nominate her for America's Most Amazingly Energized Woman . Does the woman I just described sound a lot like you?? You're in luck - it's totally OK to nominate yourself, too! You deserve it, girl! How To Make a Nomination: - Go to to nominate someone who lives life to the fullest during the holiday season while staying healthy, happy and energized with a smile on her face! (What is her secret!?) Submissions must be 300 words or le

Fall Family Challenge: V is for Very Merry Christmas Vacation

Some parents dread it, others can't wait - Christmas Vacation is almost upon us!! Keeping the kids busy is another thing. Here are some ideas for having a productive and fun filled Christmas Vacation with the kiddos. Instead of wishing they were going back to school, you'll be wishing it would last just a little bit longer. And if you don't have any kids in school yet, like me - don't fret! These ideas will make your holiday season britghter, too! V is for Very Merry Christmas Vacation Start a Family Tradition The best part about having a family tradition is that it is something to look forward to. The world and our family will change over time, but tradition is typically something that you can count on happening and staying the same. A little bit of Christmas comfort, if you will. Growing up my family had the tradition of going to my grandparents house for Christmas Eve, and my grandmother would hide a little present in the tree that each of us kids were to find

The New Normal (Update on my Thyroid Disease)

Today was my second visit to the endocrinologist's office. Better than last time - my husband was home so I didn't have to take AJ with me. Knowing what to expect I felt a little better about the whole situation. The good news is, the Synthroid medication is making me feel a little more energized. I used to have to try and squeeze in at least a 45 minute nap each day while my daughter was sleeping, and always blamed it on her "wearing me out." I'm starting to feel more alive again. Being a parent is not that exhausting - it was my thyroid. The bad news is that things are not stabilized yet, and we will need to increase my dosage over the next few months. My doctor said that things will have to be continuously monitored, probably forever, because with Hashimoto's Disease a person can be stable for a long time and then the immune system decides to attack the thyroid again. As I was sitting in the lab chair getting more blood tests taken, the doctor stoppe

The Up-All-Night-With-a-Teething-Toddler Club, accepting applications! {A View on Night Terrors}

It's been a long week over at our house. AJ is currently cutting 5 teeth, including her top molars, and she is absolutely miserable. On Thursday night we were up all night (literally) after she awoke from a night terror at about 12:30am. Night terrors are an extremely scary thing for any parent. You hear your child crying out in the night, and you go to her side, but with glassed over eyes she reacts as if she has never seen you in her whole life. She screams bloody murder and thrashes to get away from you, yelling "NO! NO! NO!" and crying hysterically. After 3-4 minutes of panic, you begin to realize that she isn't actually awake. A night terror has commenced, and it's time to wait it out. After the first time AJ had a night terror, I couldn't go back to sleep I was shaking too hard and so nervous. Was that actually my child in there? I soon began to research and found that the average night terror lasts about 20 minutes, and it's not the best idea to

Tune in for an All New Stop-Motion Animation Special This Thursday on NBC!

Do you watch NBC's hit sitcom Community on Thursdays at 8pm EST/7pm CST? It's one of those shows that time and time again people tell me that I must watch, and that I'll really get a good laugh, but to be honest I just haven't had the chance. (I know that in the day and age of DVR and Netflix, that's not a very good excuse... but it's the truth!) Usually at 8pm I am still in a battle to get my toddler into her pajamas and settled down for the night. I digress... because now I'm going to be that person telling you that you must watch Community's all new Stop-Motion Animation Christmas Special this Thursday evening on NBC! I was invited by the One2One Network & Sony Pictures Television to preview tomorrow's Christmas Special of Community , and I have to say that I am hooked ! Nap time was full of laughter today as mommy giggled her way through the episode. I can see this one re-airing on NBC for years to come! ABOUT THE EPISODE: ABED

Fall Family Challenge: U is for Unwrap It! {An Advent Calendar Idea}

I have heard this idea on so many blogs and from so many of my friends that I just have to share it with you all! Growing up, most of us had some sort of Advent Calendar that helped us count down to Christmas, and for most of us that consisted of a special calendar with cardboard doors hiding little pieces of chocolate that didn't really taste like normal chocolate (probably because they'd been packaged 8 months ahead of time). That's besides the point. In the day and age where we're trying to cut back on the amount of sugar (and mystery additives) that we're trying to give our children, this idea for a Holiday Book Advent Calendar is just what the mommy ordered! U is for Unwrap It! Promoting Literacy this Holiday Season! The concept is simple. Over time collect 25 holiday books for a nice collection. Wrap each of them up in whatever wrapping paper you like and place a number 1-25 on each package. Starting December 1st, let your little ones find the correspond

Fall Family Challenge: T is for Trimming the Tree

TGIF! I don't know what is going on this week, but I'm so happy that it's almost the weekend. I have felt so tired, unmotivated, and generally blah this week. I think it's the looming feeling that winter is almost here. Anyone else feel that way? T is for Trimming the Tree Well, our Fall Family Challenge is on a downward slope to being finished, and T brings us to the tradition of trimming the tree. As I mentioned before, ours was up well before Thanksgiving because we were expecting family! It's not very often we get visitors, so it was more special to be able to share our tree with others than to just have it all to ourselves.  Our tree, 2010 The tree looks so small in the picture above, but I think that it's because our daughter's stocking is so huge!  Chica & Jo  There are so many fun ways to decorate the tree and traditions to start or keep. Here are a few of my favorite ideas that I've come across. A Kiddie Tree Over the

Special Savings from our Sponsor: Cloth Diapers 'n More!

'Tis the season for awesome savings!! I have good news. If you missed the Anniversary Sale over at Cloth Diapers 'n More earlier this week, you can still get FABULOUS savings through the rest of the month just for being a Holly at Nap Time reader! Now through December 31st, 2010 simply add the code: HOLLY for 10% off your entire purchase and FREE Shipping within the United States!* Happy Shopping!!! *This code excludes bumGenius products, but bumGenius are on sale Buy 5 Get 1 Free!

Baby Gizmo's 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways!

Have you headed over to Baby Gizmo for Day 1 of their 12 Days of Christmas yet? They are giving away all sorts of fabulous prizes from brands like: Inglesina, Storksak, Step2, Peg Perego, Mutsy, pediped, Kushies, kokopax, Moonlight Slumber, Oilo, Little Tikes, BabyLegs, Britax, Silikids, and BUGABOO! Wow! There is a big prize every day for 12 days, and the best part is all you have to do is Log In to be entered. Don't have an account with Baby Gizmo ? Creating one is as easy as making a username and password! While you're there, don't forget to shop around for those little Baby Gizmos on your Christmas list! Today's giveaway is for an Inglesina Zippy Stroller! Did I mention that EACH day there will be two runners up receiving 5 pairs of BabyLegs each? (That's a $60 value, people!) If you didn't win our Holly at Nap Time BabyLegs Grab Bag, here's your chance to win some now! Visit Baby Gizmo's 12 Days of Christmas now! BLOGGERS: Want

Our Trip to See Santa

Yesterday my husband had the day off and we had our daughter's one year portraits and holiday family portraits done. Amidst all this, since AJ was in such a good mood, we decided that we'd head over to the mall to visit with Santa Claus. The big jolly guy was happy to see AJ, but the feeling was not mutual! Upon sitting her upon his knee, she began to scream in fear. Not cry, just freak out and flail about. Santa's helpers were kind enough to whip out a reindeer looking ottoman for AJ to  sit on cling to in front of Santa. Alas, AJ's 2010 trip to see Santa:

Sponsor Spotlight: Cloth Diapers 'n More!

I mentioned at the beginning of November that I was participating in The Great Cloth Diaper Hunt sponsored by Diaper Decisions . Well, the month is coming to an end, and the web scavenger hunt is coming to a close, but I am happy to announce that it's just what I needed to get started on my journey to cloth diapering. As I mentioned in my post here , cloth diapering was always my intention, but once a new baby was actually in the picture it became all too intimidating. There are so many things to know! None of my mommy friends were using cloth diapers (that I knew of) and I was hesitant to be the trendsetter when I had no idea what I was doing. Then recently I kept saying I wish I had tried - when I realized that late is better than never. I'm not calling myself a pro, but I'm learning, and I found the best way for me to incorporate cloth diapering into our daily routine right now is for me to use them at night. I'm so glad that I found Cloth Diapers 'n More !

Fall Family Challenge: S is for Silly Snowmen

December is almost upon us! And though I live in the south now, I just can't imagine a holiday season without snow - which is why it's a good thing we're making the 12 hour trek north to spend the holiday with our families. This is actually our second year having a Virginia Christmas, but last year we were pounded blessed with three major snow storms; giving us a very white holiday season! I really hope that there is snow when we travel to Michigan this year for Christmas. My husband and I are looking forward to taking AJ sledding and building a snowman!! Here are some silly snowman ideas for outdoors or indoors... no matter what climate you live in! S is for Silly Snowmen Snowman Chair Covers Need a fun and easy way to spice up the "kid's table" this year? Check out these adorable Snowman Chair Covers from Disney's Family Fun . All you need is a few yards of felt, a sewing machine and some glue! ( Psst... a plain white pillow case works well too

Get a $25 Discount Code to Shutterfly Just In Time for Holiday Cards!

Blissful Beluga Christmas Get custom photo Christmas cards online at View the entire collection of cards. Last year we used Shutterfly's Christmas Cards to serve a dual purpose - wish Happy Holidays to all of our loved ones and announce the arrival of our little one! Do you want to get a $25 code to Shutterfly to use towards your holiday purchase? Follow these easy steps, here: 1. Log into your Shutterfly account. 2. If you don't already have a photocard project, you're going to need to create one. 3. Click on "My Shutterfly" 4. Click on "View All Projects" and select one of your photocard projects by clicking on the green dot above the title. 5. On the right side of the page, click "Share Project" and follow the steps to get the widget to embed the project onto your blog. 6. When you're finished, email with the link to your website to receive your free $25 code. ENJOY!!! is Perfect for EVERY Online Shopper!

For my family, Thanksgiving is really the beginning of the holiday season. Growing up, Thanksgiving marked the day that it was acceptable to put up our Christmas decorations, play the holiday music and shop for gifts. Now that I have my own family I have broken all those rules (my tree was up a week ago), but I do have to say that the Thanksgiving holiday really does put me in the holiday spirit and leave me feeling thankful for what I have and charitable towards others, which is why I am so glad that I found this shopping season! is an organization created by Stephen Paletta, the gentleman who won Oprah's Big Give back in 2008. The concept is easy and appealing: you sign up for an account which serves as your "foundation." You can add money to your foundation yourself, through sponors, or through the GiveBack Shopping Mall , in which a % of every purchase you makes goes into your foundations. And this is where the magic of real

Sponsor Super Sale! Only $10 for 3 Pairs of BabyLegs!! Get them FAST!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and filling Thanksgiving. I know I did. It was my first time cooking a turkey (I've purchased them fully cooked in the past) and I was really happy with the way that it turned out! I know everyone is busy shopping today so I'll leave you with this AWESOME deal from our sponsors - BabyLegs ! Today you can get a bundle of 3 pairs of BabyLegs for just $10!! While supplies last! (That's a $26 savings!) Follow this link: During checkout, use the special code for Holly at Nap Time readers to save 20% on all merchandise not including the Cyber Monday Deals  -  NAPTIME Enjoy!!! I just purchased the "Paint the Town Pink" set! While you're at it, don't forget to "Like" BabyLegs on Facebook ! For more FREE BabyLegs, enter our giveaway here!

Adopted Ed {A Children's Book Review}

November is National Adoption Month in the United States. It's a time to raise awareness of the children in our own foster care system that are in need of their forever homes. Currently that number is 115,000 children ( U.S. Department of Health & Human Services ). Chances are, you know someone in your life who has been adopted. And chances are, that person at one time or another has been an outcast for this unique trait they have about them. It's important to educate our children on adoption and the characteristics that make each of us special. Adopted Ed is a beautiful children's book in which we follow the journey of a young boy, Ed, as he learns that he is adopted. Author Darren Maddern speaks from the heart in this Suessical style book, as he was adopted too. It touches base on the issues of what it means to be adopted, how to overcome other people's thoughts on adoption, and the feelings of emptiness that adopted children often have later in life that promp