Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Love & War - A book review

I recently joined the Blogging for Books program through WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, and the first book I received for review was "Love and War: Devotional for Couples" by John and Stasi Eldredge. 

First off, I love devotional books, especially devotionals for couples.  My husband and I both love to read, so this gives us a way to strengthen and discuss our faith together while sharing our love for reading.  Over the last year we have read several books together (we usually read a chapter or devotion after Sydney goes to bed).  So, of course, I was excited to be able to review a couples devotional. 

Awhile back, I reveiwed "Wild at Heart" by John Eldredge, and really enjoyed it, so I had high expectations for this devotional.  "Love and War" was written by John & Stasi Eldredge to help couples "Capture the Vision of a Love Worth Fighting For."  The book gives new insightsand practical exercises to help you grow a more vibrant marriage.  The 8-week (5 days a week) devotional was written to accompany the book and help couples go a little deeper into the study.  Their hope is that the devotional will be a daily reminder that marriage is work - every day. 

I enjoyed reading the devotional even though I haven't read the book.  I did find the devotional by itself a little repetitive (though sometimes we need that)!  I'm sure if I had been reading the book along with the devotional, the differences would have been more clear to me.  The devotional focuses mainly on reminding you that marriage is work.  We aren't all princess marrying princes, and if we were it would still be work (remember one of them had to leave their home and usually their country).  The thing to remember is that God is there to help you along the way.  He wants your marriage to work!  Even though the world is telling you that divorce is easy and common and completely ok, God wants to help you try to make it work (obviously, I'm not talking about abusive relationships - those are never ok)!  I plan to read their book, "Love and War" soon, and when I do...I'll let you all know about it! 

**I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.  See full disclaimer for more information**

The American Patriot's Almanac - Book Review


I know you're probably all wondering why I picked this book...after all, it doesn't seem to "fit" with all of the other books I've reviewed (devotionals, kids books, fiction)...and I'll be honest - I didn't pick it for me.  I picked it because I was pretty sure my husband would really like it! 

"The American Patriot's Almanac" by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb is a very interesting book.  It is filled (seriously 546 pages!) with a lot of information about America.  The best part (for me) is that it is set up so that you read short stories every day.  So if you're like me and like history, but can't sit and read it forever, this book is great. It includes many interesting stories and important dates. 

Here are a few of the Chapter titles:
The History of the Stars and Stripes
Flag Etiquette: Guidelines for Displaying and Handling the U.S. Flag
How the Constitution was Written and Ratified
Faith and the Founders
and soo many more!

I was amazed at the amount of information packed into the book.  This book would be great for older homeschoolers and history lovers...and even those who just want to know more about how our country came to be.  It retails for $32.99, but is a beautiful hardcover book suitable for reading and displaying.  I have really enjoyed reading the stories!  So if you ever need a gift for a history (or America) lover, be sure to check this book out!  It would make a great inspirational addition to any collection!

**I received "The American Patriot's Almanac" from Booksneeze in exchange for my review.  See my full disclaimer for more information.  Interested in receiving free books to review?  Be sure to check out Booksneeze.**

Monday, December 13, 2010

Winners, Winners!

Here are the winners for the last 3 giveaways...Thank you all for entering, and be on the lookout for more giveaways coming.  I will be taking a break around Christmas for family time, but don't worry - I will be back with more reviews and giveaways!

Here are the winners - I will be contacting you each by email soon!

Aurora Dreamy Eyes - iTeen247
Rockin' Baby Sling - Ricky H.
CafePress Funtainer - Imomm

Thanks again for reading my blog and entering my giveaways! I wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays, etc. etc.

Go Green Lunchbox

Do you ever get tired of trying to decide how to pack your child's lunch?  Or where to get tiny containers to put their food in?  Well, Go Green Lunch box has the solution!  Instead of wrapping each food seperately or using several plastic containers (many of which will get thrown away or lost), Go Green Lunch boxes gives you a way to pack all food seperately and eliminate some of the wasteful plastic!


I wanted to include this picture so you could see just how useful this lunch box can be!  The lunch box has 5 seperate containers (2 larger, 2 smaller, and 1 for the included water bottle). When the box is closed, you can turn the "switch" on the outside which will help seal the food in the containers.  The lid is attached by retention clips so that it doesn't fall off or get lost, but is easily detached for washing.  The lunch box is top-rack dishwasher safe.  The lunch bag is very easy to wash clean with a damp cloth.  One of my favorite parts of this lunch box is the small dry erase board inside the lunch bag.  It gives you a great space to leave little notes for your child! 

I was sent the Camo Lunch Set (seen HERE) for my review.  I like this lunchbox a lot, but it is a little expensive at $32.99.  It does save you a lot of juice boxes, plastic wrap, and containers though.  The bag is very sturdy, and since the whole lunch box is hard, you don't have to worry about foods getting squished.  My 13 year old sister took mine to schoolone day to try it out.  She said it worked well for keeping the food seperate, but it was a tight fit in her locker.  We have also had trouble with the water bottle lid.  It is very hard to get open.  My husband can open it fine, but I have to use my mouth to pull the top open.  I will probably be using mine more for baby food/snacks than anything.  Overall, this is a great (sturdy) lunch set - just make sure you let your child practice with the water bottle before sending them to school with it.

Here is a picture of the lunch box I received:
 **I received a lunch box in exchange for my review.  See full disclaimer for more information.**

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cloth Diaper Giveaway!

As most of you know, I cloth diaper Sydney and plan to cloth diaper baby #2...and I've been trying to convince as many others to do the same as I can because I have loved it so much!

I was VERY VERY excited when I saw this giveaway posted at MommyReview!  The giveaway is for a starter kit from Bummis cloth diapers.  I could really use this, and if you have been thinking about cloth diapering but haven't done so yet - you could use it, too!  So head on over and enter the giveaway!  If you "like" MommyReview on Facebook, let her know I sent you over!  This giveaway ends at 11 pm, but keep an eye on her page because it looks like she has some more coming up!


ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas List 2010 - Rockin' Baby

Have you tried a sling for carrying your baby or toddler?  If not, I highly encourage you to do so!  I asked for a sling for Christmas (before Sydney was born), and she has been a sling rider ever since!  She will be 2 in January and will still ask to get in if she sees me wearing a sling.  Actually, a friend of mine had her young baby in a sling recently and Sydney asked to ride in it.  Unfortunately, a 2 year old and a baby under 1 can't ride together LOL.  I currently own slings from: Peanut Shell, Hotslings, and Seven Slings...and when Rockin' Baby agreed to let me review one of their pouch sling I was thrilled!!

For those of you that haven't heard of or tried a sling, I'm going to give you a little information on them first.  You can also check out Rockin' Slings website HERE for more information on sling wearing.

About Baby Wearing
The main reason I like to wear a sling is that it keeps me hands-free.  This doesn't mean you ignore your child, but it comes in handy when you are trying to shop!  I have worn Sydney (awake and asleep) many times to the grocery store.  It made her happier to be "held" and me happier to have her quiet and content.  Slings are also nice for breastfeeding.  If you have a close fitting sling, you can easily breastfeed your baby in the sling - which helps keep the baby's focus on eating while out in public - and it also gives you more privacy.  Most slings allow you to carry a newborn up to a 40lb toddler, which means you get a lot more use out of it than with most carriers (such as a Snugli - which we also own).  Slings are also more versatile than many carriers.  You have several (usually around 5) different carry positions.  Be sure to read the safety information with any baby products!!  You can read about sling safety with Rockin' Baby slings HERE.

About Rockin' Baby Sling
Rockin' Baby Sling was created in 2002 by 2 moms after having their first kids.  They realized that moms need to have function along with style, so they started making their own slings out of their favorite stylish fabrics.  Rockin' Baby Sling offers a variety of ring slings, pouches, reversible and even adjustable pouches!  Rockin' Baby pays close attention to the quality of their products as well (which is important to me!).  The fabrics are made of natural fibers, breathable and are high-quality. They are all pre-washed in natural salt water to set the colors, prevent shrinkage, and soften the fabric. All edges are overlocked then seamed twice to ensure no tearing or fraying at the edges. They use 40 lb weight thread to increase the strength.  The pouches are adjustable and reversible. The products are cut and sewn in Los Angeles, Ca.  They also offer support for their slings, which is great if you're new to babywearing! Be sure to check out their website for more information on the quality of Rockin' Baby Slings...I was very impressed!

Finally...My Review 
Ok, sorry to make this post a little longer than normal, but there was so much I wanted to include about slings and especially about the quality of Rockin' Baby Slings.  So, thanks for bearing with me!  I received a beautiful reversible/adjustable pouch.  One side is a loveley deep purple design, and the other side is black.  This is perfect for me because my husband and I usually share one.  Since we share, normally the pouch is a little big on me and a little tight on him, but we're close enough in size to make it work.  We didn't have to worry about this with Rockin' Baby Sling.  The pouch is adjustable (by using zippers), so it can fit my husband, myself, and even my 13 year old sister (she really enjoyed carrying Sydney in a sling when she was a smaller baby).  The pouch has a cover for the zippered area, so you don't have to worry about that being uncomfortable.  This pouch is definitely a well made one.  The fabric is heavier than my other slings, but without being bulky or uncomfortable.  I am 5 months pregnant, and just last week I carried Sydney around in my Rockin' Baby Sling!  I never thought I'd say this, but I think it's my new favorite (before my main choice was my microfleece Peanut Shell).  One of these slings/pouches would be a great gift for a mom-to-be!

**Discount**Enter "FS" at checkout to get free shipping on your order!


GIVEAWAY

**I received a pouch in exchange for my honest review.  See my full disclaimer for more information.**

Rockin' Baby Sling is offering one lucky reader their the pouch pictured above. Leave one comment per entry and be sure to leave an email address that you check regularly!
 
How to enter:
(1 entry) - Visit Rockin' Baby Sling and tell me which something you learned about their products (quality or safety) that you didn't know before
(1 entry) - Follow So Mommy by Google Friend Connect
(1 entry) - "Like" their Facebook page HERE for and check back for current sales/discounts!

*Giveaway will end Sunday December 12th, 2010 at 5 p.m. CST.  Winner will have 24 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.  Winners chosen by random number generator and contacted by email.

Christmas List 2010 - CafePress Review and Giveaway

I'm sure many of you have heard of CafePress, but have you looked recently to see than many (I mean MANY) types of items they have available?  When they agreed to let me review an item, I spent several hours looking at the different items and designs they had available.  I'm pretty positive you can find a gift for anyone here!  The iPhone cases, yoga mats, and Thermoses were definitely among my favorite items.  And once you find the perfect item...you can choose from over a million designs (okay, maybe not a million, but they have a TON)!  If you haven't made your Christmas cards yet, be sure to check out their selection HERE.

Here are some of my favorite items/designs:


 Yoga mat

iPhone Case

Ok, now that I've told you about their HUGE selection, let me tell you about my experience with them.  I picked out an adorable Funtainer Thermos for Sydney - a "Big Sister" one to give her for Christmas.  It was hard to pick just one, but once I picked it, I added it to my cart very easily.  You can customize them as well, but I found the perfect one in their selection.  It arrived very quickly and was as cute in person as I had expected.  Sydney was excited about it.  She has always loved Funtainers.  We bought her a Funtainer from another store when she was younger as her 1st sippy cup.  She did very well with it and still uses it.  These thermoses are easy to clean, and keep cold drinks cold longer than most cups.  CafePress was great to work with, and I will definitely be checking their site for some of my hard-to-buy-for friends and family!

Sydney's "Big Sister" Thermos

GIVEAWAY
CafePress is offering one lucky reader their choice of a Funtainer Thermos (like the one above, but with any design YOU want).  Leave one comment per entry and be sure to leave an email address that you check regularly!

(1 entry) - Visit CafePress and tell me which Funtainer design is your favorite - this may take awhile!
(1 entry) - Follow So Mommy by Google Friend Connect

*Giveaway will end Sunday December 12th, 2010 at 5 p.m. CST.  Winner will have 24 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.  Winners chosen by random number generator and contacted by email.

**I received a thermos from CafePress in exchange for my review.  See full disclaimer for more information.


Pink or Blue?


Pink or Blue?  Friday (at almost 21 weeks), we found out the gender of our precious baby (due in April).  What did we determine? Well, before I get to that I want to go through some Old Wives' Tales and their results...you know, just for fun!  My results will be in parenthesis at the end of each test.

(1) The Mayans determined the sex of the baby by taking the mother's age at conception, and the year of conception. If both are even or both are odd...it's a girl. If one is even and one odd it's a boy.  ((BOY))

(2) If you crave salty foods, it's a boy.  Sweet foods, it's a girl.  ((BOTH))

(3)  You have worse morning sickness if it's a girl.  ((GIRL))

(4)  If you carry low, it's a boy.  ((BOY))

(5)  If you have worse acne, it's a girl.  ((GIRL))

(6) Heartrate over 140, it's a girl.  Under 140, it's a boy.  ((GIRL))

(7) If the mother prefers to lay on the left side, it's a boy, if right then it's a girl.  ((GIRL))

(8) Leg hairs grow faster, it's a boy.  ((UNSURE))

(9) Chest growing a lot, it's a girl.  ((GIRL))

(10) Chinese Calendar - Based on my info and THIS chart  ((GIRL))

So based on all of these, it is most likely that I will have a girl.  And we found out that I am having another beautiful girl!  Now we just have to decide on a name!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas List 2010 - Video Games Live Level 2

Have a hard-to-buy-for gamer in your family?  If they also appreciate music, I have a very unique gift idea for you.  Shout! Factory recently released Video Games Live: Level 2 (Click HERE to see the Video Games Live products from Shout! Factory).


What is Video Games Live: Level 2?  It is a concert that features music from some of the greatest video games performed by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, along with a 34-person chorus, several soloists, and even original vocalists from the games.  Level 2 includes music from games such as: Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, Halo, Guitar Hero, and many, many more. The DVD also contains over 3 hours of bonus material including Composer and Game Designer interviews and Behind-the-Scenes Making of Video Games Live.

I know what a lot of you are probably thinking: bor-ring!  Which is exactly what I thought, but I knew my husband and a few other people that would likely enjoy it.  And I was right.  My husband really enjoyed watching it, and has even had several other people watch it with him.  When he finally brought it back home, I watched it with him, and I was actually impressed.  It wasn't boring!  With all of the special effects, it was very entertaining.  The orchestra was great, but my favorite part was the solo artist (which includes a guy that plays the piano blindfolded).  I know this seems like a crazy gift, but for a gamer (even a "still-plays-Sega Genesis" one like my husband) this could make a great, unique gift this year!  It sells for around $20 which seemspretty reasonable if you ask me.

Check out the Video Games Live website HERE for the trailer and more information.

**I received a copy of Video Games Live: Level 2 in exchange for my review.  No other compensation was given.  See full disclaimer for more information.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas List 2010- Aurora Gifts - Dreamy Eyes Review and GIVEAWAY

Most of you probably remember my previous reviews from Aurora Gifts - Milly the Pinkest Kitty (click HERE to see review) and Yoohoo and Friends (click HERE for review), and they have sent me ANOTHER adorable gift to share with you all!
Aurora's Dreamy Eyes™ animals are the perfect gift for any animal loving child!  They are extremely cute with large "dreamy" eyes and soft cuddly bodies.  They retail for around $13 (depending on store), so they won't break the bank.  The suggested age is 3 and up and they have several animals such as: tiger, pony, lion, giraffe, frog, and many more!  Check out all of the Dreamy Eyes animals HERE.

As soon as I opened our box,Sydney grabbed the two animals and hugged them tight.  I think she has decided that they are good huggers!  I thought that they were super cute, and could even pass as stuffed animals for boys (which is good if you have a boy that loves stuffed animals).  Most stuffed animals seemed to be geared towards girls, so I was pleasantly surprised at how cute and gender neutral these were.  They are 10" animals, so they are a good size for snuggling as well!  The age suggested is 3 and up - Sydney is just under 2 years old, and has done fine with them.  The only part to worry about with young ones would be the eyes, but they seem to be on VERY, VERY well so I haven't worried about it at all.  Here are the two animals we received (I have to share because they are so cute!):

GIVEAWAY!!!
One reader will win their very own Dreamy Eyes animal!

How to Enter:
(1 entry) - "Like" Aurora on Facebook HERE
(1 entry) - Tell me which Dreamy Eyes animal is your favoritve (see them all HERE)
(1 entry) - Follow So Mommy by Google Friend Connect (Click Follow to the side of this page)

Giveaway will end December 9th at 5 p.m. CST.  Open to US and Canada only.  Winner will be chosen by a random number generator and contact by email.  If winner hasn't responded in 48 hours, another winner will be chosen. 

**I received Dreamy Eyes animals in exchange for my honest review.  See full disclaimer for more information.**

Friday, November 26, 2010

A RUSH OF WINGS - A book review



I received “A Rush of Wings” by Kristen Heitzmann from Bethany House Publishers to review.  

“A Rush of Wings” starts out with Noelle, a young and beautiful girl running away from her family and her fiancĂ©e, but we don’t know why.  She keeps running until she comes to a small town in the Rocky Mountains.  She ends up on a horse ranch owned by Rick Spencer, and immediately feels at home. Noelle gets to know Rick and his brother Morgan, who are completely different, but both end up helping her in many ways.  After seeing Noelle have a few panic attacks, the brothers start to ask questions, finding out little by little about Noelle’s past.  After a tragic accident, the brothers worry that Noelle will not recover, or ever return to the Smoky Mountains, but somehow Noelle realizes that the truth she needs is found in God, not man and things start to make sense again.

Ok, to be honest, this book starts out really slow.  I was a little bored in the first chapter and wondered if I’d make it through the book at all, but as I continued to read it got much, much better.  Though I was rooting for the wrong brother the entire book, I still enjoyed it.  I loved the ending, even if I did wish it had turned out a little differently.  This is a very mysterious type romance novel that kept me wondering exactly what had happened and what would happen.  So, if you can make it past the first chapter, it’s a good book to read!

HATTERA’S GIRL - A book review



I recently received “Hattera’s Girl” by Alice J. Wisler from Bethany House Publishers to review.  Before I tell you what I thought, let me tell you a little about the book.

Hattera’s Girl” is a story about Jackie, who lives on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  She is currently working for a local magazine writing articles about local businesses while also going on blind dates set up by her family.  She dreams of owning the Bailey House and running a bed and breakfast there, but faces several obstacles at first.  Jackie soon meets a handsome guy who can also help her acquire her dream house, but is it really what God wants for her or is it what she wants?

I really enjoyed the book.  It was very easy to read, and also very entertaining.  The story line was unique, especially for a romance type novel.  I was a little disappointed with the ending stopping so abruptly, but other than that I really enjoyed it!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What you've all been waiting for - WINNERS!

Ok, here is the big list of winners!  Don't worry if you didn't win, there will be more giveaways comings (one REALLY cute one coming this week)!

Cradle Rock - #3 Amanda B.

Charm Factory - #9 IansMomm

Madison at Main - #10 Anita

CSN Stores - #14 debbie_suburbsanity

Workman Books - #17 familytiesandgrowingpains

I will be emailing the winners later today to get their information!  Thank you all for entering these contests!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas List 2010 - Claire's Closet

I was recently contacted by Mandy, the owner of Claire's Closet on Etsy.  She wanted me to review one of her tutus, and I thought it would be a great addition to the Christmas List!

A little about Claire's Closet
Mandy is a mother of 2, an artist, and of course a tutu maker.  She started her store with some lovely tutus, and has recently incorporated her artwork by adding hand-painted drawer pulls.  As with most Etsy owners, feel free to contact her about custom orders and she will do her best to help you!  She was very easy to work with!

My Review
Every little girl needs a tutu (or 12), and my little Sydney is no exception.  I have made her a couple of {VERY} simple tutus for costumes and pictures, but my homemade tutus are no comparison to Claire's Closet!  Claire's Closet has high quality, thick and fluffy tutus with an elastic band and a flower to match on most.  She shipped Sydney's tutu quickly, and it arrived in perfect condition!  As soon as Sydney saw it she wanted to try it on.  It fit perfectly and was the perfect length for my princess.  And if you're wondering about the cost, many of these lovely tutus are only $20, which is a great price for a quality tutu (trust me I've looked)!  Overall, I was very impressed with the quality and price of the items at Claire's Closet.  Here is a link to the tutu we were sent to review:  Sydney's Tutu.

 She wanted to wear it with her Halloween Costume
 See how fluffy??
 She had a matching flower, so we had to add it in her hair!



**I received the above tutu in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.  See full disclaimer for more information.**

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas List 2010 - Lovable Labels

Ok, so this isn't a normal "Christmas gift" - but they do have holiday packs available and ANY mom would be glad to receive these (probably more than another noisy toy haha).  So let me go back and tell you a little about Lovable Labels before I give you my full review!

About the Company
Lovable Labels was founded by a mom, Laura, who had a need for labels - her child was attending daycare and ALL items had to be labeled (cups, jackets, shoes, lunch, and so on..).  She soon realized the huge need for personalized, kid-tough, long-lasting labels.  After lots of research and testing, she created a line of labels bright, colorful, and durable.  The lines were: Regular, Slimline Stickers, Shoe Labels, Iron-ons, and Bag Tags.  The Regular and Slimline are microwave/dishwasher safe (perfect for sippy cups and bowls).  The Iron-ons last through washing and drying, and the Shoe Labels have extra adhesive!  In 2003, Lovable Labels was started!  Today, Laura has included fundraising options especially for schools and daycares!

My Review
Lovable Labels has so many different items available now, from stick on clothing dots (washer/dryer safe) to metal bag tags!  They were nice enough to send us the Holly Jolly Gift Pack - Christmas Jewels to try out.  These are personalized tags, with your choice of picture from their selection.  The gft pack included: 15 multi-purpose stickers, 40 slimline labels, 12 shoe labels, 24 press n' stick clothing dots in various sizes, and 2 mini-metal tags - everything you need to start labeling!

These labels are VERY easy to use, and so far have worked well for us!  Sydney isn't in daycare, but she has playdates, storytime at the library, and church so we always need things labeled as well.  I love the mini-metal tags!  They are great for attaching to diaper bags!  These would make a great gift for the new mom or toddler that seems to have all the toys and clothes they need!  I'd love to recieve these as a gift instead of more toys (I'm sure Sydney would disagree haha).

Be sure to check out their holiday gift packs HERE and for a limited time, you get a set of gift seals FREE!
Also, check out their facebook page HERE for more deals and giveaways!

**I received labels in exchange for my honest review.  See full disclosure for more information.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas List 2010 - Workman Kids Books - GIVEAWAY

Do your kids love Sandra Boyton's books?  I know Sydney does!  We have several of them and Sydney loves them (we usually keep one in the car, one in the bag, and several at home haha).  Well, in case you never noticed, they are published by Workman Publishing.  They have an amazing selection of kids books, so you should check their site out.  They have a lot of books that are great for home-schoolers or kids that just need some extra activity-type books.  Stefanie at Workman Publishing was nice enough to send us a selection of books to review, and i'm excited to share them with you all!


The first one was Sandra Boynton's new book set "Perfect Piggies."  The set came with the book "Perfect Piggies" and a cute little plush piggy (the perfect size for small hands). This is a cute book that talks about the perfect traits of little piggies.  It even has a song to go with it!  You can download the song from Workman Publishing's website.  When we got this book, we had to read it to Sydney like 10 times a day!  She loved it!  We always read it at a fast pace while pointing at the pictures and she really enjoyed it!


The next books we received were from the "Indestructibles" collection (see the list HERE).  We got "Mama and Baby," "Humpty Dumpty," and "Mary Had a Little Lamb."  These books are not your normal toddler board books, trust me!  They are very thin, which makes them great for keeping in the diaper bag (or even your purse with those new thin Pampers haha).  These are books with no words, just colorful pictures, so parents - get creative!  I make up a new story for Sydney everytime we read them! 

These books, though thin, can't be torn, ripped, or punctured which makes them great for babies and toddlers.  They are also 100% non-toxic and safe so no worries when baby chews on them.  What do you do when they are all yucky (or dirty as Sydney would say)?  Just toss it in the washing machine or dishwasher - it's that easy!  I wish I had these when Sydney was in major teething mode awhile back.  I love them!



GIVEAWAY
Workman Publishing is giving one reader their own "Perfect Piggies" set! 

How to Enter:
One comment per entry - Be sure to leave an email address

(1 entry) - Tell me who you would give this set to if you win!
(1 entry) - "Like" So Mommy on Facebook HERE
(1 entry) - Follow So Mommy by Google Connect

**Giveaway will end November 22, 2010 at 5pm CST.  Winner will be drawn by random number generator and contacted by email.  If winner doesn't respond in 48 hours, another winner will be drawn.**

I received books from Workman Publishing in exchange for my review.  See full disclosure for more information.

Christmas List 2010 - CSN Stores

Have you checked out CSN Stores yet?  If not, what are you waiting for??  They have an amazing selection of items from furniture to toys to organizational items (my favorite haha).  I could spend hours just browsing their stores for gifts!  In fact, I recently ordered a gift for my nephew and one for my daughter!  I can't show you what I bought my nephew, but here's what I picked for my daughter:


I think she will enjoy it next spring/summer!  It was super easy to order...and customer service is nice and helpful as well!  Make sure to check out their "Price matching" policy on items as well!


GIVEAWAY
CSN Stores is offering one lucky reader a $35 giftcode!  This would be great for Christmas shopping!   Make sure to leave an email address with your comment!

How to Enter:
(1 entry) - Tell me about your Christmas shopping - are you an early shopper, last minute shopper, completely online shopper, etc.?

(1 entry) - "Like" So Mommy on Facebook HERE

**This giveaway will end November 22, 2010 at 5 pm CST.  Winner will be picked by random number generator and contacted by email.  If winner doesn't respond in 48 hours, another winner will be drawn.**

Friday, November 12, 2010

Christmas List 2010 - Madison at Main GIVEAWAY


When Lydia at Madison at Main contacted me about a giveaway, I was so excited!  They have a HUGE assortment of rugs - I'm sure anyone could find one they love here!  I got to pick out one of their Jellybean rugs to giveaway to one lucky reader, and since it's getting close to Christmas - I picked one of the holiday designs!! 

This is the "Jolly Christmas Trees" rug that YOU will have a chance to win!
This rug is 22" X 34" ans 1/4" thick

Most of the Jellybean rugs are $29.95, which is a good price for a high quality rug!  These are indoor or outdoor rugs - made to stand up to heat, cold, and won't fade in the sunlight. They can even be used for litter box mats or under pet food bowls. There are so many ways to use these rugs...and the best thing about them (as far as a mom is concerned) is that THEY ARE MACHINE WASHABLE!!  And if you're striving to be more eco-friendly...35% of the material used to make Jellybean rugs is recycled.
If you order now from Madison at Main, they are offering FREE SHIPPING on orders over $50!

GIVEAWAY
Want to win the rug pictured above?  Here's how to enter ...and be sure to leave an email address!!

(1 entry) - What is your favorite thing about Jellybean rugs?
(1 entry) - Visit Madison at Main's blog HERE - They post giveaways there so be sure to follow them to keep up!
(1 entry) - Follow So Mommy by Google Connect (feel free to invite some friends along as well!)

**Giveaway will end November 22, 2010 at 5 pm CST.  Winner will be drawn by a random number generator and contacted by email.  If winner doesn't respond in 48 hourse, another winner will be drawn. 

**This giveaway was sponsored by Madison at Main.  Se my full disclosure for more information.**

CSN Christmas Giveaway COMING SOON!

I know you all remember my last post about CSN...and all the talk about their HUGE selection of items ranging from baby stuff, cookware, storage items, or maybe you need something practical like a lamp or counter stool..Well, whatever you're looking for...be sure to check CSN!  It's easy to place an order with them, and customer service is extremely nice!


Looking for a gift for someone?  Need a gift card to pay for it?  Check back soon for a chance to win a $35 gift code to any of CSN's 200+ stores!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Christmas List 2010 - Charm Factory Bracelet

Have a friend, daughter, girlfriend that seems to have everything or is just difficult to buy for?  I know I have a few girls on my list like that!  When I came across these beautiful charm bracelets from Charm Factory, I was so excited!  They have beautiful bracelets and charms..at reasonable prices!  Let me share a little about them before I show you what they sent me...

Charm Factory offers high quality, unique sterling silver charms, bracelets, beads and more. You can personalize these gifts by choosing the bracelet or necklace and adding as many unique charms as you like.  The charms come with a jump ring to attach it to your bracelet.  One of my favorite things about Charm Factory is that the charms and beads are manufactured in the United States (you don't see that very often anymore) and they are .925 sterling silver. They do have a few imported items on their site, but those items have notes in the description.
I was sent this beatutiful garnet heart bracelet from their finished selection HERE.  I picked this bracelet mainly because Sydney loves hearts and it's her birthstone.  I plan to give it to her in the future as a special gift.  The bracelet is sterling silver, and the hearts are Swarovski crystals.  It is a beautiful bracelet!  The ready made bracelets are only $24.99 right now, which (I think) is a great price for such a lovely gift!


GIVEAWAYCharm Factory is offering one reader their choice of bracelet from the finished section HERE.

How to Win:
**Be sure to leave an email address that you check often**
**Leave ONE comment for EACH enty**

(1 entry) - Visit Charm Factory's finished bracelet section HERE and tell me which one you want
(1 entry) - "like" So Mommy on Facebook HERE and post a link to this giveaway as your status
(1 entry) - Follow So Mommy Publicly by Google Connect


This giveaway will end Friday, November 19, 2010.  Winner will be chosen by a random number generator and contacted by email.  If winner doesn't respond within 48 hours, another winner will be drawn.

*I received the mentioned bracelet in exchange for my honest review. See full disclaimer for more information.*

It's just who I am...

I am...

Forgetful - I forget what happened 5 minutes ago, and I've even forgotten (only once) to give my child breakfast until she asked for it!

Crazy - Ok, emotional may be a better word, but sometimes the weirdest things make me frustrated or sad!

Tired - I take a nap with my daughter almost every day...if I miss that nap, I feel physically drained.

Unorganized - No matter how I try to re-arrange our home to make room, it never seems to work...Somehow, Sydney's toys find their way back into every room of the house!

Useless - Maybe not completely, but I have been seriously slacking on housework (and blogging) lately!

But most of all... I am 17 1/2 weeks pregnant - which my husband says is a good excuse!


I may be a little slow, but trust me..
I've got more giveaways coming up
before November 19th!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Christmas List 2010 - Toby Mac book


I didn't intend to include this in my Christmas List, but as I read it, I realized that there are a lot of people that would really enjoy reading this book!  This would be a great gift for a close friend, teacher, pastor...well, pretty much anyone! 

So what is this gift?  Toby Mac's new book "City on Our Knees."  It has several short, motivational-type stories seperated into sections so that you get the most out of the book.  There are a lot of these types of books out there right now, I know...I've read several and enjoyed them.  These type books are great for people that don't have a lot of time to just sit and read.  This book was different for me, though.  This book challenged me in so many ways, I can't even begin to tell about it all!  Several stories made me cry for how the world is hurting, some made me cry because I was so proud of how some people took a leap of faith and followed God's instructions for them.  I know I haven't been very good at getting out of my "comfort zone" and this book definitely stepped on my toes for that!  This book also showed me how important prayer is!  Well, not just prayer, but prayer and listening to God.  If you listen, he will show you things you need to see!

I already have a list of people that I want to share this book with because it challenged me so much.  So if you are looking for a simple gift for a hard to buy for person, be sure to check this one out! 

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review.  See full disclosure for more information.

Christmas List 2010 - Cradle Rock CD


Have you ever wished you had lullabies for your baby/child that you liked as well?  I have...many times!  Sydney has a lullaby CD that we keep in the car that she likes, but I can't stand...so I only use it for emergencies (you know, those trips around naptime).  I was recently sent Cradle Rock's first 3 CDs to try out, and I couldn't wait to get them! 

The Cradle Rock lullabies are based on music from famous artists and albums front to back, so parents can appropriately introduce their kids to the music they love.  The first 3 albums were available as of October 26th!  They are:  Michael Jackson "Thrillaby", Kenny Chesney "No shoes, No diaper, Might be a Problem!", and Johnny Cash "I crawl the Line."  Upcoming artists include: Blackeyed Peas, Carrie Underwood, and Pink Floyd!  Unlike some lullaby CDs, Cradle Rock keeps the melodic structure and tempo of each song similar to the original version.  I really liked this part because I could still hum along with the lullabies.

My whole family has enjoyed these lullabies. My husband really enjoys the Johnny Cash CD!  We are taking a long trip in 2 weeks, so we will see how well they work to put Sydney to sleep in the car then.  Hopefully, they will work as well (or better) than the weird one we currently have so that I won't have to listen to it anymore!  I think the Cradle Rock CDs will make a great gift for the baby in your family!  They are unique and sure to be a hit with the new parents!

You can visit http://www.cradlerockstore.com/, and click the album covers to hear album previews and get a feel for what Cradle Rock is all about. You can also order the album from the same website.

GIVEAWAY!
You can win your own copy of one of the 3 CDs I mentioned in this post! Keep reading to find out how.  Make sure to leave an email address you check regularly.  Leave one comment per entry.

How to Win:
(1 entry) - Tell me which CD you would choose - Johnny Cash, Michael Jackson, or Kenny Chesney
(1 entry) - "Like" Tree Top Records on Facebook HERE
(1 entry) - Follow So Mommy publicly by Google Connect
(1 entry) - "Like" So Mommy on Facebook HERE and Share this post on your page

Giveaway will end November 19th at 5pm CST.  Winner will be chosen by a random number generator and emailed, and if they do not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.

**I received the mentioned CDs in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.  Please see full disclosure for more information.**

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rub-a-dub ABC and 123 toy Review

We recently received the Rub-a-dub ABC and 123 bathtub toy through Growing Tree Toys' Blog Sponsorship Program.  Growing Tree Toys is known for their imaginative learning toys for kids. Be sure to check out all of their educational toys!



As soon as Sydney saw the container of letters and numbers, she HAD to dump them everywhere and tell me what the letters were.  It was pretty funny, but I was worried that she would lose one of the many pieces before they made it to the bathtub!  The Rub a dub ABC set is made by Alex toys and includes 62 foam pieces (2 sets of alphabet letters and numbers 0-9).  These foam pieces are thick, sturdy pieces that will stick to your tub or tile when wet. 

Be sure to check out some of Alex Toys other bath items - they have some VERY unique, fun toys for kids!  I was impressed by their collection because there always seems to be a lack of tub toys in stores for toddlers.  Sydney got the Rub a dub Dirty Dogs as a Christmas present last year and loved them...over the year their spots don't seem to come and go as easily, but she still loves that she has dogs that can play in the tub.

**I received the mentioned Alex Rub a dub ABC and 123 toy from Growing Tree Toys as part of their bloggers network.  I received no other compensation.  See full disclaimer for more information.**

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Uncle Goose Toys - Review




As many of you have seen in my pregnancy post, I received these adorable alphabet blocks from Uncle Goose Toys, which is manufactured and distributed by Lindenwood, Inc.  Our whole family has enjoyed these blocks!  They are larger than our other set of alphabet blocks, and therefore are easier for Sydney to hold and stack.  My husband and I use them as a message board on occasion (such as announcing I was pregnant, or just to say I love you).

These are very sturdy blocks, and they came in a nice cardboard case (though we haven’t put them up since we received them)!  They have uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers 0-9, and BUGS!  Yes, these alphabet blocks have pictures and names of bugs, such as bees, wasps, spiders, walking sticks, and many, MANY more!  If you have a bug lover, you need to get these blocks to help teach them letters and numbers, or to work on spelling and reading!  I know these blocks will last for many years…hopefully even through grandkids!

Lindenwood offers a unique selection of blocks.  Check out there selection on their website HERE.

I received a set of blocks from Lindenwood in exchange for my review.  No other compensation was received.  See my full disclaimer for more information.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Classy Sassy Girls - Review

If you have a problem buying all the cute little girl stuff you see: Beware! This this store offers a LOT of cuteness!  Classy Sassy Girls has some amazingly cute little crocheted beanies, pettiskirts, pettirompers, and hairbows!  Their little dresses make adorable flower girl dresses. 

Classy Sassy Girls were nice enough to send me 2 little hairbows to review.  They are small crocheted flowers on a small snappy clip.  They are very well made and are the perfect size for my little girls hair.  My 13 year old sister actually borrowed one from me to wear for awhile, and it looked just as cute in her hair as it did in my 20 month old’s hair!


I just love looking at all of the items Classy Sassy Girls offers!  I’m sure you all will love looking at them as well…so head on over HERE and check them out!

You can find Classy Sassy Girls on Facebook HERE.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander


“Within My Heart” by Tamera Alexander is part of her Timber Ridge Reflections series, but can definitely be enjoyed alone.  This was my first book to read in the series and I enjoyed it and hope to be able to read the other books in the series soon.

This book is set in a small town out west in the wilds of Colorado (back when Wal-mart and cars didn’t exist – I know, forever ago haha).  Rachel Boyd is left a widow with 2 young boys, and a ranch that was her late husbands dream.  She struggles to keep up the ranch and be the mom her boys need. When faced with a loss she simply can’t afford, she’s forced to trust in Dr. Rand Brookston, the one man she has tried to avoid at all costs.  Dr. Brookston tries to prove to Rachel that he is not the arrogant doctor she thinks he is, but realizes that she may be more stubborn that he originally thought.

The characters in this book go through more troubles than I can imagine, although I know people face troubles that are equally as difficult every day.  I loved this book and had a hard time putting it down.  So many things were always at stake for the characters in this book that I just HAD to know what would happen next!  I predicted the ending, but I had no idea how the author would get their, and I was pleasantly surprised by how she did it!

I received “Within My Heart” from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review.  No other compensation was received.  See my full disclaimer for more information.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Baby Giraffe by Mikelle A. Bryant-Mataya



I received “The Baby Giraffe” by Mikelle A. Bryant-Mataya from Dorrance Publishing in exchange for my review.  I decided to order this particular book because it talked about the baby giraffe who had no one to play with.  Her parents decide to ask God for help, and they have a new baby!  I thought this book might be helpful since Sydney is getting a new baby soon!

The pictures in the book are hand-drawn in black and white so that your children can color them in themselves.  The story is very simple, and talks about the day to day life of the giraffe family.  It talks about the siblings playing and helping each other.  I think Sydney will enjoy coloring the pages of this book, and maybe it will help her adjust to a new sibling.

Masquerade by Nancy Moser


“Masquerade” by Nancy Moser is a Christian fiction novel set in 1886. Charlotte Gleason, the main character grows up in a wealthy home in England. She soon finds herself and her maid, Dora, on a trip to New York to marry a wealthy heir whom she has never met. On the way, her doubts get the best of her and she decides to swap identities with her maid. They both think this is the chance of a lifetime. Charlotte wants a chance at a real life and real love, and Dora is given the chance to live a fairy tale. Will they be discovered? Will they decide that the grass isn’t greener on the other side?

I very much enjoyed this book! I love stories set in the 1800s and early 1900s. I enjoyed the story line, and thought the ending was a great one. If you enjoy reading fiction, I’m sure you will enjoy this one. At the end of the book, the author offers a “Fact or Fiction” section which tells you which parts and settings are actually true, which I thought was very interesting. She also includes pictures of the outfits they discuss wearing in the book, which is helpful when you are trying to picture the lavish outfits they wore. There are also discussion questions for book clubs.

I received “Masquerade” from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review. No other compensation was received. See my full disclaimer for more information.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Madeline's Great Adventure and Madeline: Lost in Paris

Have you heard of Shout! Factory? Even if you haven’t heard of Shout! Factory, I’m sure you’ve heard of some of the DVDs from them. They offer DVDs such as My Little Pony, Jane and the Dragon, Maggie and the Ferocious Beast, and one of my old favorites – Punky Brewster. They were nice enough to send me two Madeline movies to review! They sent “Madeline: Lost in Paris” and “Madeline’s Great Adventure.”



“Madeline: Lost in Paris” is an adventure in which Madeline’s lon-lost Uncle shows up to take her to a new and wonderful home, but soon after leaving the school, Madeline realizes her new home isn’t what she wanted at all! She has to use her courage and her friends to find her way back to the only family she has ever known.

In “Madeline’s Great Adventure,” Madeline and her canine companion Genevieve encounter their very own Arabian lamp, get a visit from a Prince, meet a band of pirates, and even track down thieves! This is a very exciting movie for Madeline and all of her classmates from Miss Clavel’s Parisian school!

I was very excited to receive these because I was pretty sure my 3 year old niece would love them. As soon as I got them, I sent them to her house. She didn’t want to watch them at first because she didn’t think she would like them, but her mom put them in and she realized they were cartoon-like characters. She liked both movies, and I recently snuck them back to my house to see if Sydney would watch them. They actually kept Sydney’s attention for most of the movie, which was surprising to me! She’s used to short, simple story lines, and these are over an hour long. She still seemed to enjoy them!

Check out other movies from Shout! Factory HERE.

I received the two Madeline movies from Shout! Factory in exchange for my review. No other compensation was received. See my full disclaimer for more information.

A Christmas Prayer by Amy Parker



I received “A Christmas Prayer” by Amy Parker from Booksneeze in exchange for my review. If you have a blog and are interested in joining Booksneeze, please visit their website HERE.

“A Christmas Prayer” is a short book, written in rhyme. It goes through a simple version of the story of Jesus’ birth, thanking God for each special part of the story. I love that the author points out that Christmas isn’t about toys and dolls, because we are trying to teach that to Sydney already! The first part of the poem says, “So this, my Christmas prayer, is not for toys and dolls- it’s thanking You for Christmas gifts You’ve given to us all.”

I love this book! It is a simple story to share with your toddler about Jesus’ birth and the story of Christmas. I was glad to see that it was a sturdy board book also, because Sydney still hasn’t quite learned to be gentle with paper books. The illustrations, by Marijan Ramljak, were simple and colorful. Sydney likes to help me find the star on the pages.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

12 weeks – and morning sickness won’t go away

I’m now 12 weeks along in my pregnancy, and already wishing I were 37 weeks! The morning sickness has gotten better, but still pretty bad some days. While participating in the contest from Mom4Life.com, I came across Psi Bands.




Psi Bands use acupressure therapy to help prevent nausea due to pregnancy, chemotherapy, motion sickness, and many other types of nausea. They cost about $20 for 2 bracelets, which I thought was a small price to pay for relief! I ordered a set of Cherry Blossom Psi Bands (they offer a few different designs), and counted the days until they came in the mail. Luckily, Mom4Life has quick processing and shipping! I tried to put them on when I got them, but it was a little difficult to get them positioned correctly by myself. So, when hubby got home I had him help me re-position them.

I have worn them during the day on several occasions and they do seem to help. I wore one last night while I was asleep instead of taking my prescription medicine, and it helped enough to let me sleep. I didn’t even wake up feeling sick! They do take a little getting used to, and I still haven’t gotten used to wearing the one on my right arm, but for me wearing one seems to help. They are completely reusable and water-proof as well!

If you have nausea, I’d suggest trying these! Especially if you can’t afford a monthly prescription, or if you aren’t able to take nausea medications due to other medications, or if you just prefer the no-drug route!

If you want, you can check them out at Mom4Life…be sure to check out the other great items while you’re there!