Friday, July 29, 2011

GourmetGiftBaskets.com Winner

The winning comment for the giveaway from Gouretgiftbaskets.com is...

#14: Belle said... I follow via GFC and like gourmet gift baskets on fb.

Congrats, Belle! You'll receive an e-mail from us sometime today. Please respond within 48 hours to claim your prize!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Winners

A few winners to announce... are you one of them?

The Birdhouse Chick: (Grammy2010- posted as Anon)
Simply Sweet Cake Pops: Jennifer
TheraPearl: Becca

Congrats! You'll be e-mailed later today and will have 48 hrs to respond and claim your prize!

Friday, July 22, 2011

GourmetGiftBaskets.com Review and Giveaway *CLOSED*

I don't know a person in this world who doesn't like to snack. I'm usually a terrible snacker if there's food out- a grazer, really (everyone in my family is!). My weakness is plain potato chips, which is exactly why we never buy them. I would eat the entire bag in one day!



I was recently given the opportunity to review a yummy snack basket from GourmetGiftBaskets.com! Brian was kind enough to send us their Classic Snack Gift Basket, which arrived in tact and was beautifully packaged! It came with a card, a colorful raffia bow, and was wrapped in cellophane- perfect for gift giving!

 Snack Gift Basket: Classic

Our basket included yummy snacks like:
Almond Pecandy Crunch
Dry Roasted Peanuts
Raspberry Honey Mustard Pretzel Dip
Pretzel Sticks
Coconut Bar
Peanut Roll
Cheese Biscuits
Peanut Brittle
Trail Mix
Key Lime Cookies

The first thing I went for was the pretzel dip. I am big into dips and sauces, and couldn't wait to try it. I dipped a pretzel stick right into it, and oh, my goodness- that dip was out of this world delicious. As I enjoyed it, I thought that it was taste really yummy on some chicken, and I later discovered that the dip can also be used as a marinade! I still have some left in my refrigerator and plan to make a delicious chicken dish with it!

The cheese biscuits were also incredibly delicious! I made the mistake of popping one into my mouth while I was cooking dinner one night. They're bite-sized, and before I knew it, I had eaten half of them! Yikes! :) The Almond Pecandy Crunch was another favorite of the basket! An entire can of candy coated popcorn mixed with almonds and pecans! They were so, so good... melt in your mouth good! I picked out most of the pecans and ate them alone! And then last week, I picked out the ones that were left, chopped them up and threw them into some banana bread batter! Wow! Best banana bread I have ever made!

Sacha (aka- the hubby) enjoyed the peanut roll (I discovered it missing one morning), and the box of dry roasted peanuts. He also loved the Almond Pecandy Crunch and the Cheese Biscuits! My parents ended up with the peanut brittle, and they loved it! The coconut bar was moist and chewy, and I didn't have to worry about Sacha sneaking off with it, because he doesn't like coconut. The Key Lime Cookies were interesting. They had white chocolate chips in them, and I don't care much for white chocolate, but ate them anyway- because Sacha doesn't like lime and I knew he wouldn't try the cookies just because they had white chocolate in them. I would have liked them much better without the chocolate chips. Trail mix is always a favorite of mine. The fruit pieces were sweet and chunky, just they way I like them, and the mix of seeds and nuts was a good ratio.

We truly enjoyed the gift basket we were sent from GourmetGiftBaskets.com, and would absolutely recommend them for your gift giving needs! Aside from the basket of goodies we were sent, they have tons and tons of gift baskets to choose from in a range of affordable prices! 

Check out this Chocolate Gift Basket for just $39.00!

How about this adorable Baby Boy Basket for $37.99!


And what about this gorgeous Evening of Indulgence Basket- perfect for bridal showers, weddings, anniversaries, etc! This one is $99.00.
It doesn't just start and stop with the baskets! You can buy and send fresh flowers and plants, gourmet foods, and so much more! Want to see everything they have to offer in one place? Use this easy online form and request a catalog. I just did!
Want It? BUY IT!
If you need a unique gift, GourmetGiftBaskets.com has got you covered! They have gifts and gift baskets for every occasion, including holidays! So the next time you've got a gift to send, jump online and easily place your order, or give them a call! They have a super friendly customer service staff who are waiting to help you! We give GourmetGiftBaskets two thumbs up!



Want It? WIN IT!
One lucky Mommy Blog reader will receive their very own Classic Snack Gift Basket filled with lots of goodies to enjoy and share! Woo Hoo!

Giveaway Rules:
*Open to US residents, only.
Mandatory Entry:
*Must FOLLOW this blog (Use the GFC Button on left side bar or follow by e-mail).
*Must comment on this post: Let us know you liked them and other optional entries you've completed!
(Be sure to leave your e-mail address w/your post!)

Optional Entries (1 extra entry per...)
(must include in your entry post that you did these in order for them to count):
*Post on GourmetGiftBasket.com's Wall and tell them your favorite product from their website.
*Like The Mommy Blog on Facebook
*Follow TheraPearl on Twitter @therapearl.
*Share this giveaway on you FB profile or page.
*Tweet about this giveaway.
*Blog about this giveaway.
*Refer a friend to The Mommy Blog

Giveaway closes at midnight on July 28th.
Winner will be selected via Random.org on July 29th and announced on the blog and on our Facebook page. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to claim their prize.

Special thanks to Brian at GourmetGiftBaskets.com for offering this giveaway!
Good luck, everyone! :)
~Ondria~

Disclaimer: I was sent the above mentioned product directly from the company. I was not compensated in any way for facilitating this review. The opinions expressed are my own. Your experience with this product may differ.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

TheraPearl Review and Giveaway

When we finally got to bring Balian home from the hospital just a little over nine months ago, I was thrilled and in love with my new little guy. I also had no idea what I was in for as a new mommy! I decided to breastfeed early on and was determined to make that work for us (so glad I did, too!). I had no idea, though, of the incredible back pain I would be enduring from nursing 'round the clock! I nursed in bed at night time, with just pillows behind my back, and after a few days, the pain started to set it. I was also dealing with pain from my C-section on top of the new found back pain, and the overall pain from nursing for the first time- swollen breasts and all that fun stuff. I didn't have time for things like putting cold cabbage over my breasts and didn't have the luxury of being able to soak my aching back in a warm bath due to my C-section scar. It was so frustrating!


Not long ago, I came across TheraPearl. A unique hot and cold pack product line to help with all kinds of aches and pains. Their slogan is 'It's Ice. It's Heat. It's Smart Relief!' and it couldn't be more true! TheraPearl was created by a doctor, as an alternative method of healing. You know how bothersome it can be trying to ice an injury with a bag of frozen peas, right? Well, know you can apply ice or heat to just about any ache or pain from one pack. TheraPearl packs have tiny little pearls in them, which hold in the heat or the cold temperature.  It stays hot or cold for exactly twenty minutes, and then it comes back to room temperature, because twenty minutes is the recommended time for using heat or ice on an injury. TheraPearl also conforms to your body, so that means that it applies the correct amount of heat or ice needed! How cool is that!? 



There are many benefits of using a pack from TheraPearl!
You can use them for every day aches and pains and many other things including:

Sprains/Muscle Aches
Soreness from Workouts
Swelling/Puffiness/Bruising
Headaches/Migraines
Hot Flashes/Cramps
Toothaches
Arthritis Reflief
Spa Pampering/Treatments like post waxing, permanent make up
Post-Surgery
Sports Rehab

 TheraPearl's Back Wrap...

I was lucky enough to receive a chance to review the TheraPearl Back Wrap, and let me tell you- I am in love with it! Though I don't spend countless hours nursing anymore, I still end up with an aching back at the end of the day from toting my little chunky monkey around, hunching over to assist him with walking, chasing him around the house all day, playing on the hardwood floors, etc! The moment I tried the back wrap, I knew I could toss my old heating pad- I would never need to use it again! I simply heated the pack in the microwave, like the directions said to do, wrapped the pack around me, and lied in absolutely comfort for twenty minutes. After the twenty minutes, the pack was back to room temperature, and I felt like a new woman! I was ready to crawl around on the floor some more!



I have also used my back wrap for other parts of my body. I have an old knee injury that flares up after walking or exercising a lot of times, so I just put my pack in the freezer before I head out for a walk or jog, and it's cold and ready when I get back. I'm a gardener, and often pull muscles doing things I ought not to be doing- like digging out new flower beds by myself. TheraPearl is there to save the day after things like that happen. Oh, and when it's that time of the month, TheraPearl is there to offer heat when I need it most. I love knowing that I can turn to my TheraPearl pack for relief instead of having to pop tons of Ibuprophen all day long... as I really hate doing that.

For all of you nursing mommies, TheraPearl even has Nursing Buddies! I wish I'd had these after my milk came in with Balian! They are a set of two packs, designed to fit over each breast and reduce swelling. This is a perfect gift for a new mom you know will be nursing, and would be used early on, as well as later on if weaning. And, like the other products from TheraPearl, keep them around after you're done nursing and use them for other achy areas of the body!

I love TheraPearl, and plan on getting more of their packs! These packs would make wonderful anytime gifts, and awesome stocking stuffers at Christmas! I already plan to get one for my mom, who has a bad knee and a bad back!



Want It? BUY IT!

You can purchase TheraPearl products here! Their packs range from $5.99 to $30.00, and come in a variety of styles, shapes and colors!

 TheraPearl's Nursing Buddies...

Want It? WIN IT!

One lucky Mommy Blog reader will win a pack of Nursing Buddies from TheraPearl!

Giveaway Rules:
*Open to US residents, only.
 
Mandatory Entry:
*Must FOLLOW this blog (Use the Google Friend Connect Button on left side bar).
*Must comment on this post: Tell us what you'd use TheraPearl packs for!
(Be sure to leave your e-mail address w/your post!)

Extra Entries (1 extra entry per...)
(must include in your entry post that you did these in order for them to count):
*Follow TheraPearl on Twitter @therapearl.
*Share this giveaway on you FB profile or page.
*Tweet about this giveaway.
*Blog about this giveaway.
*Refer a friend to The Mommy Blog

Giveaway closes at midnight on July 27th.
Winner will be selected via Random.org on July 28th and announced on the blog and on our Facebook page. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to claim their prize.

Special thanks to Cory at TheraPearl for offering this giveaway!
Good luck, everyone! :)
~Ondria~

Disclaimer: I was sent the above mentioned product directly from the company. I was not compensated in any way for facilitating this review. The opinions expressed are my own. Your experience with this product may differ.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sun Protection Zone Review and Giveaway



I don't know about the rest of you all, but here in Oklahoma it has been well over 100 degrees for nearly a month now, and there is no sign of letting up. It has been miserably hot and many things in my yard and home have been neglected because of the extreme heat. While I can't prevent the heat or magically make Jack Frost or Suzy Snowflake appear, I can provide myself with a little bit of shade and protection from the sun's intense rays. Kyrsia over at Sun Protection Zone has given me the opportunity to review and share with you a wonderful product that I know you will all love. They are the leading innovators in total sun protection products, and their line offers 100% UVA and UVB maximum protection. I was told I could choose any product from their amazing line of Sun Protection Products and I have to say, I had a really hard time choosing just one thing! But, I decided on the Booney Hat in Pink Paradise.

Here's What They Sent Me
Isn't it adorable!

I choose the Booney Hat  in Pink Paradise because I really like the color pink and I thought the hat would be great to wear while gardening or taking Buddy for a walk. This hat is a great addition to my wardrobe and it is really fun to wear. With the hat having and SPF of 100 and the maximum UVA and UVB protection I felt confident I would not burn while I was outside, and I was right. I got a few strange looks while wearing it around the neighborhood while walking my dog, but one very nice lady asked me where I got my "purple" hat! While the hat is called "pink paradise" the color is more of a purple, pink, but it didn't matter to me since I thought the color was very nice.


My Face is NOT Sun Burned, it is From the Reflection off of the Hat!

The Booney Hat is amazing and is made of soft, durable material that actually floats! So, you don't have to worry about losing you hat out on your boating trip. Plus you'll have extra security with the adjustable pull string on top of the hat and the adjustable chin strap for a custom fit! I found this to be a big help since the hat was a little big on my head. Sun Protection Zone  is also a proud donor of The American Melanoma Foundation and is Approved by The International Melanoma Foundation. With such a wide variety of products, they have something to suit everyone.

Know someone who is going through chemo or radiation treatments?  Solar Wraps are the perfect item to keep their delicate skin covered and protected, I would suggest the Pink Skulls, very cool! But, they don't stop their, Sun Protection Zone also has a full line of children and adult items to suit your every need, from Rash Guards, to Sunglasses, Hats and Swim Shorts, your sure to find whatever your heart desires to keep your loved ones protected. 

I love my Booney Hat and am so glad I got to try it! I had a great time wearing in my yard to garden and out walking my dog. I even thought about wearing to a friends BBQ, but decided against it since we would be indoors most of the evening! And, since cancer runs in my family BIG TIME, I love the fact that I am protecting my self against harm full UVA/UVB rays. I know my Mom is grateful for that! Love ya, Mom! I have truly enjoyed this hat and thank from the bottom of my heart Krysia with Sun Protection Zone for giving me the opportunity to share this wonderful company and product wit all of you. She has also been kind enough to allow us to offer a giveaway for one lucky reader to win their very own Booney Hat!


Want to Buy it?
If so, head on over to Sun Protection Zone



Want to Win it?
Giveaway Rules:
*Open to US residents, only.
Mandatory Entry:
*Must FOLLOW this blog (Use the Google Friend Connect Button on left side bar).
*Must like Sun Protection Zone on Facebook
*Must comment on this post: Tell us what outdoor activity you plan to do with this hat?
(Be sure to leave your e-mail address w/your post!)

Extra Entries (1 extra entry per...)
(must include in your entry post that you did these in order for them to count):
*Share this giveaway on you FB profile or page.
*Tweet about this giveaway.
*Blog about this giveaway.
*Refer a friend to The Mommy Blog

Giveaway closes at midnight on July 26th.
Winner will be selected via Random.org on July 27th and announced on the blog and on our Facebook page. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to claim their prize.

Special thanks to Krysia at Sun Protection Zone for offering this giveaway!
Good luck, everyone! :)
*Brittany* 

Disclaimer: I was sent the above mentioned product directly from the company.
I was not compensated in any way for facilitating this review. The opinions expressed are my own. Your experience with this product may differ.

Just the right place to find a schadenfreude








Simply Sweet Cake Pops Review and Giveaway

When I was contacted my my friend Tracy about reviewing her cake pops, I knew I couldn't pass it up! I don't know about you, but I love sweet treats and have a weakness for cake. I've been hearing a lot about cake pops lately, and until I actually tried a cake pop, I couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. Boy, was I missing out!



Tracy Jobson is the owner of Simply Sweet Cake Pops, and cake pops are her focus and forte. Tracy sent me an assortment of twelve cake pops to try. I received chocolate and golden butter cake pops, dipped in chocolate and topped with things like rainbow chips, coconut shavings, sprinkles, peanuts and more! What exactly is a cake pop you ask? Well, they're cake and icing mixed together, formed into a ball, dipped in chocolate (or a candy coating) and topped with yummy stuff, and then served up on a stick! They're delicious and cute, and extremely fun to eat.

My assortment of yummy cake pops....

My assortment of cake pops arrived nicely packaged, with an ice pack to help keep them fresh while they were traveling from Missouri to North Carolina. They weren't crushed or anything- they arrived perfectly in tact, as if I had just gone to Tracy's and picked them up myself! They were nicely packaged in boxes, with shredded paper and tissue paper, as well. So, what I'm saying here is that no matter where you live, don't let that stop you from ordering some cake pops from Simply Sweet Cake Pops!

Here's a better view of what I received!

Tracy can make just about any cake pop you can dream up! She has about sixteen different cake flavors to choose from, including favorites like spice cake, red velvet, and even chocolate peanut butter! I'm thinking about ordering the chocolate peanut butter pops for my hubby's birthday. He loved Tracy's cake pops! I think he devoured more of them than I did. There are just about as many candy coatings to choose from as there are cake flavors- from mint chocolate to lemon! Looking for specialty cake pops? Look no further! Simply Sweet Cake Pops has you covered with pops like frogs, pigs, bumble bees, sports balls, etc! There are also pretty designs you can choose from like monograms and lace!

Check out some of these ideas...

 Adorable Piggy Pops!

 Birthday Mug full of Assorted Pops!

Black and White Themed Pops 
(Would this not look gorgeous at a wedding reception? Would have fit mine perfectly!)

You can request specialty cake pops from Simply Sweet Cake Pops for just about anything! They make great gifts, beautiful favors, and are the hit of any party! I'm thinking ahead to Balian's first birthday, and I already know that we want to have cake pops! I shared the cake pops that I was sent with my husband and parents, and we all agreed that not only are they absolutely delicious, but they are seriously adorable! I'm so intrigued by them that I actually might try my hand at making some, just for fun- but I know they won't be nearly as good as Tracy's! All in all, I give these cute and yummy pops two thumbs up, and if you need a unique gift or a fun party favor, call Simply Sweet Cake Pops! Tracy will take good care of you!

Want It? Buy It!
Simply Sweet Cake Pops has an easy online order form! Choose your cake flavor, coating, topping and extras all in one place! Scroll through the online gallery for ideas! Can't find what you're looking for? Just contact Tracy! She can customize your order!

 Win some cake pops below...

Want It? WIN IT!
Tracy is being very *sweet* and offering one lucky Mommy Blog reader their very own basket filled with a dozen cake pops! Who wouldn't want to win this!?

Giveaway Rules:
*Open to US residents, only.
Mandatory Entry:
*Must FOLLOW this blog (Use the Google Friend Connect Button on left side bar).
*Must comment on this post: Tell us your favorite cake flavor!
(Be sure to leave your e-mail address w/your post!)

Extra Entries (1 extra entry per...)
(must include in your entry post that you did these in order for them to count):
*Share this giveaway on you FB profile or page.
*Tweet about this giveaway.
*Blog about this giveaway.
*Refer a friend to The Mommy Blog

Giveaway closes at midnight on July 25th.
Winner will be selected via Random.org on July 26th and announced on the blog and on our Facebook page. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to claim their prize.

Special thanks to Tracy at Simply Sweet Cake Pops for offering this giveaway!
Good luck, everyone! :)
~Ondria~

Disclaimer: I was sent the above mentioned product directly from the company. I was not compensated in any way for facilitating this review. The opinions expressed are my own. Your experience with this product may differ.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Birdhouse Chick Review and Giveaway

Since you all know how much I love gardening and outdoor living by now, you won't be surprised that I have another outdoor item to share with you! I really do love feeding the birds. There's something therapeutic about it to me. It's so nice just to be able to sit out on my porch and watch the birds come to my feeders. The birds bring vibrant colors and beautiful song to my tiny outdoor oasis, which I so enjoy!



I was recently given the opportunity to review a gorgeous bird feeder from The BirdHouse Chick. Sweet Beth from The BirdHouse Chick sent me the Ladybug Hanging Bird Feeder and Mini Bath- Stained Glass. That's right, it's a two for one deal!

My new feeder/mini bath came beautifully packaged in a box, well protected so it wouldn't be damaged while traveling. When I dug further into the box while taking it out to examine, I came across a lovely hand-written note from Beth, which gave me a little more information about the feeder, and the seed she sent to me. And of course, she thanked me for feeding the birds! I thought that was such a nice touch, and a super sweet thing to do! That always shows how much someone cares about their customers... and believe me- Beth cares! :)

This is my beautiful new feeder/mini bath with starter seed!

 As you can see from the photo, this is truly a beautiful and delicate feeder. I couldn't wait to put this out in my yard! I decided to first use it as a feeder to see how the birds responded to it. Balian helped me scout out the perfect spot for it. Because it's a smaller feeder than I'm used to, we found that it works very well in one of my front flower beds. Not only does it beautify my front yard, it's in a wonderful place for the birds.

This gorgeous feeder/bath features beautiful stained glass, and it's available in six different designs. It's delicate enough to use in the summer months by placing fruits or jelly in it to attract beauties like orioles, yet in the winter months, it's sturdy enough for you to put out your favorite seeds, peanuts or chunked suets. Beth sent me a little starter bag of yogurt nuggets and yogurt covered sunflower seeds, which I know the birds have been enjoying! I mixed a few of those at a time in with my regular bird seed, and the pretty colorful birds have just been flocking to my yard. I have a pair of beautiful cardinals that seem to have taken up residence somewhere nearby. When I'm ready to change things up, all I have to do it clean the beautiful glass feeder dish, and fill it with water for it to be a mini bird bath! The birds will splash in it and drink from it once there's water in it for them. If you really want to draw birds to your yard, offer them food and water!

The BirdHouse Chick's website is filled with fantastic information about bird feeding, bird watching, caring for feathered friends and so much more! If you love the birds, I hope you'll go to their website to learn some new information and to look around at their beautiful offerings for your outdoor space!

Here's the feeder hanging from a shepherd's hook in my front flower bed!

I am so in love with my new feeder! I know that with proper care, I will be enjoying it for many years to come! And they make such wonderful gifts, that I am already thinking about adding them to my Christmas shopping list for some gardeners and bird lovers in my family! They would be thrilled to receive a beautiful feeder/bath like this! If you're in the market for a new feeder or bath for your feathered friends, consider one of these beautiful feeders! You can choose from six designs including: Ladybug, Hummingbird, Dragonfly, Butterfly, Bumble Bee and Bluebird. There are also many other wonderful feeders and accessories to choose from on The BirdHouse Chick's website! Bird houses, feeders, baths, home and garden accessories, and there are even squirrel feeders for those of you who like to give those furry friends a treat, too! All in all, I love this beautiful new feeder, and I am so glad that I could share all about it with you! It's the perfect addition to your summer garden!

Want It? BUY IT!
Head to the BirdHouse Chick Website to purchase your very own Stained Glass Feeder/Mini Bath!



Want It? WIN IT!
Beth from The BirdHouse Chick is offering one lucky Mommy Blog follower their very own Ladybug Stained Glass Feeder/Mini Bath! Who wouldn't want this adorable feeder adorning their yard?
 
Giveaway Rules:
*Open to US residents, only.
Mandatory Entry:
*Must FOLLOW this blog (Use the Google Friend Connect Button on left side bar).
*Must comment on this post: Tell us where you'd like to put this beautiful feeder/bath!
(Be sure to leave your e-mail address w/your post!)

Extra Entries (1 extra entry per...)
(must include in your entry post that you did these in order for them to count):
*Share this giveaway on you FB profile or page.
*Tweet about this giveaway.
*Blog about this giveaway.
*Refer a friend to The Mommy Blog

Giveaway closes at midnight on July 24th.
Winner will be selected via Random.org on July 25th and announced on the blog and on our Facebook page. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to claim their prize.

Special thanks to Beth at The Birdhouse Chick for offering this giveaway!
Good luck, everyone! :)
~Ondria~

Disclaimer: I was sent the above mentioned product directly from the company. I was not compensated in any way for facilitating this review. The opinions expressed are my own. Your experience with this product may differ.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Garden Twist.com Giveaway on Facebook

We've moved the giveaway for the adorable bird house from Garden-Twist.com to our Facebook page. Comment underneath the picture if you'd like to enter the drawing and we'll draw a winner on Monday morning using random.org.

~Ondria~

WiNnEr

We have a winner for Kristi B's Norwex Window Cloth

Holly said,
I would LOVE to win this cloth. With having 3 daughters, and my clumsy self, I could sure use it!

Holly, Please respond to this with your email, and I will email you with more information. You have 48hrs to claim your prize! Congrats!

*Brittany*

Winner....

And the winner of the Dali Decals giveaway is...

Anonymous said... i would love to put something over my daughters crib! would be awesome

Emily May

Congratulations, Emily May! I'm e-mailing you and you have 48 hours to respond! :) 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Biddy Belly Review

I couldn't let this week slip by without including something for the babes! Until recently, Balian wasn't really on the move. In fact, he still resisted tummy time from very early on! I started tummy time with him early on, encouraging him and playing with him- trying to help his coordination and muscle development. He never seemed to be into it, though, which was frustrating for me. The older he got, the more tummy time we had each day, and the less interested he became in playing on his belly. Longing for him to enjoy his tummy time, I searched for helpful products, and then came across an interesting and adorable tummy time tool.

Meet the Biddy Belly! This cute giraffe is a unique tool for tummy time, perfect for use from newborn age up to eight months. It's shape and incline are designed to help promote correct muscle development in babies. Biddy Belly was created by Robin Tacchetti a physical therapist, who is also a mommy of three! Robin watched all three of her babies struggle with tummy time, and with some help from pediatricians, came up with Biddy Belly!

We were given the opportunity to give Biddy Belly a try with Balian, and we have loved it! I wish that I'd known about Biddy Belly when Balian was a much younger baby. When we first introduced Balian to his new 'buddy,' he was so intrigued! I placed him on Biddy, on his belly, and he played with the toys that were attached, grabbed at the different colors on the feet of the giraffe, laughed, and gradually started to become more independent while playing on the floor. Balian is a lover of stuffed animals, so he and Biddy have had a lot of fun together! Our experience with the Biddy Belly has been amazing! Once Balian started playing on the Biddy Belly, he really began to gain more control over his muscles and movement. Within just a couple of weeks, he was sitting up unassisted, on his hands and knees, and then just a couple of weeks later, pulling himself up, cruising while holding onto something, and crawling faster than I can run to catch him! It all happened so fast, and we have the Biddy Belly to thank for that! Now that Balian is crawling, he and Biddy still have a lot of fun together. We connect different toys to Biddy, and they play together all day long!

Is Biddy Belly safe for baby? Absolutely! They have passed all of the safety tests, so you can let your sweet babe play with Biddy for hours on end without having to worry about their safety. Always make sure you supervise your baby while at play and during tummy time. Never leave your baby unattended.

Here's a diagram showing what the Biddy Belly is designed to do...

Features of the Biddy Belly:
Giraffe horns make a squeak and rattle noise.
There's crinkle material in the nose.
There's an attached reflective mirror.
Interchangeable toys for play time.
Anatomically correct placement for baby's arms, so they can push up while on their tummies.
Gradual incline supports baby's body weight, allows them to see more.
Removable side bolsters to keep baby from rolling off. 
Machine washable.

Benefits include:
Increases strength in arms, shoulders, back and head.
Decreases risk of gross motor delays such as crawling, sitting and rolling.
Decreases the risk of flat spots on baby's head.
Decreases risk of neck muscles tightening on one side.
Promotes thinking and reasoning skills.

Even though Balian is now too tall to properly lay on Biddy's Belly, he still enjoys playing with him even at nine months old!

Biddy Belly has been a huge help to us, and to Balian. I am positive that it has given him a push in the right direction to doing things more independently. It absolutely helped him gain enough muscle control to push up on his hands and knees, and eventual crawl on his own. Now my little man just goes and goes and goes, and there's no turning back! We love Biddy so much! He and Balian will be friends for a long time, I'm sure. I am so happy to have found out about Biddy Belly, and am thankful that he'll be around when baby number two shows up down the road. I would recommend this product to any mommy of little babes. Think what a neat and unique gift it would make, too!

Want It? BUY IT!
You can purchase a Biddy Belly of your very own on the Biddy Belly website. They can even gift wrap it for you! Every new mom deserves to have a Biddy Belly for her sweet babe!

Can't get enough of Biddy Belly? Like Biddy Belly on Facebook and send in your pics of your little babes with their Biddy Belly!

~Ondria~

 Disclaimer: I was sent the above mentioned product directly from the company (Robin- creator of Biddy Belly). I was not compensated in any way for facilitating this review. The opinions expressed in this post are my own. Your experience with this product may differ.



Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Porchscapes Giveaway

I hope you all love outdoor living as much as I do! Not everyone has an opportunity to have an outdoor room, but something everyone does have is an entryway! The entryway to your home often gives an impression of you, your taste, and your warmth for your guests. I love dressing up my entryway- particularly during the holidays. To me, an entryway says an awful lot about the person living in the house someone is looking at- whether they are visiting, driving by, walking by, etc. You'd be amazed at how much more approachable you'll become to your neighbors just by simply making the front of your home a welcoming place!

In this economy, we don't all have a lot of money to spend on plants, furniture and decor, but there are simple little touches that can make such a big difference on the outside looking in! Sometimes, all it takes is a pretty welcome mat at your front door to liven up your entryway!



One of my new favorite places to shop for porch decor is Porchscapes.com! They have all of my favorite things in one place! From door mats to house numbers and letters, they have it all! I can find decor for every season, and at great prices! 

Love this beautiful Green Garden Outdoor Umbrella Table Cloth!

Porchscapes.com has a beautiful collection of Provence Table Cloths, made in France! They'd add elegance to any space! 

This summery outdoor area rug would look great on my porch!

With so many wonderful decorative items to choose from for your porch, patio, deck and garden, it's hard to choose just one or two things! Just remember that when it comes to your entry way, start small. The door mat is a great place to start, and it will make your guests feel welcome! From there, add a few plants in nice planters, and then continue on with accessories. Go with a theme, or change it up every so often. Enhance your porch with a flag or banner, add a new light fixture or lamp. Add a pretty wreath to your door for a cheery greeting! In the evening hours, let glow with beautiful luminaries and candles. You can easily turn your porch or patio into a casual place to relax during the day, or an elegant outdoor room to entertain friends and family! No matter what you decide to do with your outdoor space, let Porchscapes.com help you make it warm, inviting and livable, every day of the year!

Giveaway...

Porchscapes.com is generously giving one lucky mommy blog reader their very own Vines Coir Mat to place in front of their door! This choice of mat goes well with most house and door colors!

Giveaway Rules:
*Open to US residents, only.
Mandatory Entry:
*Must FOLLOW this blog.
*Must comment on this post: Tell us what your porch could use to spruce it up!
(Be sure to leave your e-mail address w/your post!)

Extra Entries (1 extra entry per...)
(must include in your entry post that you did these in order for them to count):
*Like The Mommy Blog on Facebook
*Share this giveaway on you FB profile or page.
*Tweet about this giveaway.
*Blog about this giveaway.
*Refer a friend to The Mommy Blog

Giveaway closes at midnight on July 20th.
Winner will be selected via Random.org on July 21st and announced on the blog and on our Facebook page. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to claim their prize.

Special thanks to Cindy at Porchscapes.com for offering this giveaway!
Good luck, everyone! :)
~Ondria~

Wednesday WINNERS!

Couple of winners to announce, here!

Peter Pauper Press Giveaway Winner:
jenblizzard said... GFC follower
Liked PPP on facebook
I like the stress buster collection, OK so I liked EVERYTHING!

Garden-Flags.com Giveaway Winner:
Amber (bambi64) said... We just moved and the house has a flag holder but no flag. The previous owners even left the holders! So I would hang one outside my house for sure.
 
Norwex Winner will be announced later by Brittany.
Congrats to our winners! You will be e-mailed today and will have 48 hours to respond and claim your prize!

~Ondria~

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Southern Enterprises Review

I am a big fan of just about anything that helps to keep me organized. From the porch to the kitchen, I look for furniture pieces that will not only look beautiful in my home, but that will also be functional for every day home living. 

Not long ago, I came across a wonderful company- Southern Enterprises, Inc, which specializes in home furnishings. I began to look through the categories on their website and was so impressed by the selection of media storage, craft and hobby storage and organization, outdoor furniture, kitchen and lighting accessories, and so much more! I was immediately drawn to the outdoor furniture selections, because I just love outdoor living. I have a fantastic front porch, which I love to be out on when it's not too hot during the summer months. On one side of my porch, I have a table and set of chairs, but the other side of the front porch looked extremely bare. It definitely needed something to balance it with the other side. I thought a nice sitting bench would look perfect sitting in front of the window.

SEI Teak Storage Bench

I was offered the opportunity to review a beautiful Teak wood Storage Bench from SEI. I was absolutely thrilled for the chance to try this bench out, not only because I had been wanting a bench, but because I needed extra storage on my front porch, as well. I couldn't wait for the UPS man to deliver my new bench! I must have checked the front porch a hundred times as I waited for him to arrive. When it did finally arrive at my house, I had the delivery guy leave it on the front porch (it was too heavy for me to move myself), where it stayed until my husband got home from work. As soon as Sacha walked in the back door, I dragged him outside with a screwdriver and asked him to get to work on putting the new bench together. He loves putting things together, so he was happy to do that for me.

Here's how it arrived... neatly packaged and pretty!

Daddy let Balian hold onto one of the sides for a second...

The bench only took about ten or fifteen minutes to put together. Everything was clearly marked, and the instructions were detailed, which means I probably could have put it together myself. What girl doesn't want to be able to put something together herself!?

Here's the back of the bench... look how beautiful!

It's really coming along, now!

I am so in love with this bench from SEI! It's absolutely stunning! Everyone who comes to my house now has something to say about my beautiful bench, wanting to know where I got it from. I love taking my coffee or a nice glass of wine out on the porch and just sitting on my bench- looking out at the sun as it rises or sets, just enjoying my surroundings. The bench is stable, but comfortable. The arm rests are a really nice addition, and I love how easily the seat lifts up for easy access to the storage area below (pictured above). The storage area has a slatted bottom, which is removable so that air can flow through. I have decided to store my extra planters and pots in this bench, because I do a lot of potting on my porch. While I do try to keeps planters that aren't in use clean, I love knowing that any excess dirt can just drop right through the bottom through the open slats at the base of the bench. It's an excellent depth, height and width! 

Here are a few details:

    • 48" W x 25" D x 36.25" H
    • Seat height 16.75"
    • Seat width 44.75"
    • Dark brown teakwood stain
    • Slatted back rest
    • Armrests for added comfort
    • Storage measures 43.25" W x 15.75" D x 12.75" H
    • Hidden storage beneath the bench
    • 100% Teakwood
    • Assembly required

This beautiful bench is now one of the nicest pieces of furniture I own! I love that I can use it indoors or outdoors, and with proper care, it will last for years on end! My husband informed me that the wood can be treated by giving it a gentle sanding, and rubbing teak oil into the wood. Hubby's comments on the bench: 'It was super easy to put together, it's incredibly sturdy, and it's really nice!' Our new outdoor storage bench from SEI is really a showpiece. Every time we have a visitor, we proudly say, 'Look at our new bench!'

Assembly complete! I love how this looks on my front porch!

My porch was nice before the bench, but now, my porch seems to be like another room of our house, which is exactly what I envisioned it being! I am proud to welcome guests to my home, knowing that they feel special as they are so warmly greeted by a functional, comfortable front porch- all with the help of our beautiful bench from SEI.

If you've been looking for new outdoor furniture, or any home furnishings, for that matter, SEI is the first place you should look! They have so many wonderful furnishings and accessories to choose from. Visit their website and take a look around... you'll be so glad you did! Let SEI help you turn any area of your home into an organized, welcoming, functional space for your family and friends!

WANT IT? BUY IT!
Visit Buxnie.com for more information about this beautiful bench, and to purchase it for yourself!
 

Disclaimer: I was sent the above mentioned product directly from the company for facilitating this review. I was not compensated in any way. All opinions expressed are truly my own. Your experience with this product my differ.

~Ondria~

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Saturday Afternoon Crafts, Modge Podge Outlet Covers

I am a huge fan of crafts and have been going crazy with small projects around the house. Since Cory had to work today, I thought I would take some time and post with you all a small craft that I love to do. Modge Podge Outlet Covers. It's a mouthful I know, but I promise you it is very simple and quick to do.

Here's What You'll Need

*Scrapbooking Paper
*Modge Podge (craft glue)
*Foam Paint Brush
*Box Cutter or Switch Blade
*Screwdriver (to take off/on cover)
*Outlet Cover
* Newspaper ( this can get a little messy)

After you gather all of your tools, lay the scrapbooking paper face down making sure you turn the paper the way you want it. Place the outlet cover, face down on the paper and use it as a template to cute around the plate. You'll want to leave about 1/4 of an inch of paper on the sides to pull over the edges.


Cut to size

Once the paper has been cut to size, you will want to glue the front of the faceplate to the back of the paper. Add enough glue to make the plate tacky, you don't want to glop it on. Using too much glue will cause the paper to tear and become messy.


Use your Foam Brush to Apply Glue

Place the faceplate, glue side down, on the back of the paper pressing firmly to secure in place. Make sure you have the paper turned the way you want it, you don't want to glue it sideways. Once the faceplate is the glued the way you want it, you will need to glue the sides and edges. Use a little more glue on the sides and edges to make sure it stays in place. The corners will become thick with paper if you don't trim them down, so the extra glue will help keep it in place while you work the paper.


Glue the Sides and Edges

Now you will fold over the edged of the paper over the side of the cover. Make sure to pull the paper as you fold, to avoid air bubbles. If you get air bubbles, you can use the side of your brush to push them out at the end. If you have too much paper in the corners, you can trim off the excess, but be careful not to cut off too much, that can result in bare corners. I've done this a few times, and if your lucky, you can hide it, or turn it to the bottom.


Use The End Of Your Brush To Push The Paper Along the Edges

Here's where it can get a little tricky. You Will need to use the knife, or blade, to cut out along the backside of the paper where the switches go. Follow along the edges if the cutout and you should be fine. If your blade is too big, or not sharp enough, it can pose a problem. Make sure you are very careful, and if you need help, ask!

* The Mommy Blog does not condone children using knives. Children or young adults, ask your parents for help. Once you have the hole cut out, use the tip of the blade to poke small holes where the screws go. You will notice on the front the small impressions guiding you where they go.

Don't worry about the holes being too small, just push the screws through the paper, it won't tear it.
After you put the screws in, you can now place it back where it belongs. Screw it into place and you have a custom light switch cover that costs less than what you will find in a hardware store.


Here's The Finished Product
This is in my kitchen, that's why I used cupcake paper!

If ever you get tired of the paper, just peel it off and recover! It's that simple!
Here's a review of the steps
*Gather Materials
*Cut Paper To Size
*Glue Front Of Plate 
*Place Plate On Backside Of Paper
*Glue Sides And Edges
*Pull Paper Over Edges
*Cut Out Switch Area
*Poke Holes For Screws
*Put Screws Back On
*Add To The Wall
*Enjoy!

Here are a few others that I have done around my house!



You can match to the colors of your wall, or just use a fun paper that you like. These are perfect to add flare throughout your house, and I bet the Kiddo's will love to have a personalized one in their bedroom! It is such a fun and simple craft project to do, everyone will want to join in the fun!

*Brittany*