My Current Giveaways


Keep watching--more coming soon!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Must be Dressed to Be Our Guest #BATBsurprise




Immediately following our #BATBsurprise reveal, Rebekah started plotting to go see Belle. It goes without saying that her wardrobe for this evening will be the yellow ball gown. In discussing this vs. her Belle's Christmas dress, she came to the conclusion that the yellow gown was the only real choice. 

"Oh, no!" Rebekah suddenly exclaimed. "Mom, you have to go online and find a pair of long yellow gloves to go with my Belle dress." At this, I'll tell you the dad and the teenaged brother both rolled their eyes. But, the princess in my home knows the right buttons to push and while I told her the classic cop out 'we'll see,' I started hunting online. 

And check out what I found. 

I surprised Rebekah with them at dinner, so all evening she wandered around dancing in her dress up dresses with gloves. 

And here is a preview of our big night (tonight) where we will be guests of Belle. 



TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE
Beauty and the Beast Broadway Production will be at the Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16 St.
Performances: Friday, December 19 - 8:00 p.m.
          Saturday, December 20 - 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
          Sunday, December 21 - 1:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased through Ticket Omaha

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Big Reveal #BATBsurprise - Broadway Omaha

Disclosure: I was provided tickets to the show in exchange for posting my reveal. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 



Before I tell you what the #BATBsurprise is all about, I have to back up and give you a little history lesson to lead up to this event.

When my parents had their 50th Anniversary, we went as a big extended family to DisneyWorld. My parents, my whole family and my sister's family. We spent an amazing fun-filled week at all the parks. While we were there, each child got to do something really special. It wasn't really planned out like this, but sometimes life sends good things your way and where better to have special events than at the Happiest Place on Earth?!?


Andrew got to go with his uncle to DisneyQuest where they ate way too much junk food and spent the night making more and more complex roller-coasters where you then ride a simulator to experience your coaster. I think the goal became to see who could get who sick first...but any way you slice it, they had a blast. Then Nathan got accepted into Jedi Training school and fought Darth Vader on stage--totally awesome to watch. And little Miss Rebekah hadn't had anything yet. Costume note - her suitcase was filled with more princess dresses than clothes - she had a princess dress for every day of our visit. At Disney Studios, she was wearing her Belle yellow ball gown because we were going to go see Beauty and the Beast live on stage. A delightful operator at one of the rides made a call and found out that Belle had invited Rebekah to be her guest at the show. We had reserved seating in the front for the family. Belle even waved at Rebekah. Wow - what an honor. The highlight of Disney for Rebekah.


Fast forward to the present day. I got a message from Omaha Performing Arts letting me know that there was a chance our family would be invited to blog about and see Beauty and the Beast (the Broadway touring production). I sort of giggled to myself that Belle remembered us. Then it looked like it wouldn't happen and I let it go. Then, I got the magical email. It's true, Belle wants US to see her again. This time, we get to see the whole show, not just the shortened version from the parks. I was asked to video tape Rebekah's reaction when we told her.





Here's the video of the big reveal:





TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE
Beauty and the Beast Broadway Production will be at the Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16 St.
Performances: Friday, December 19 - 8:00 p.m.
          Saturday, December 20 - 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
          Sunday, December 21 - 1:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased through Ticket Omaha








Thursday, December 04, 2014

Lumo Project #JohnOnNetflix Review

Disclosure: I was given the opportunity to preview this movie in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.



I had the opportunity to preview an incredible movie of the Gospel of John. I would call this a ground-breaking movie. I've seen other Biblical films, but none have grabbed me quite as much as this one. It was what I consider to be the best portrayal of the Bible and the time period. 

With my theatrical background, I have to say that the sets and scenes were so realistic I couldn't figure how they cut modern roads out of Jerusalem. And the use of light to highlight Jesus in different points was really inspiring. But my favorite part was the children. It's the way I truly picture Jesus with the children--almost a Pied Piper. He interacts with the adults, but keeps patting the children and then turns to embrace and laugh with them. 

Be sure to check out the Lumo Project and take time to watch The Gospel of John.  

About the film:
FOUR GOSPELS. FOUR FILMS. ONE JESUS STORY. FOR EVERYONE.
A ground breaking, multi-language biblical film resource transforming the way we discover, study and engage with the life of Jesus through the four New Testament Gospels.
The Lumo Project is a ground breaking, multi-language biblical film resource transforming the way we discover, study and engage with the life of Jesus through the four New Testament Gospels: redefining the standard of visual Biblical media. The Lumo Project presents four films – one for each Gospel account – that will revolutionise the way we all experience the story of Jesus and the world of First Century Palestine in which he lived.
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
The Gospel of John takes the story of Jesus from John’s gospel with its own unique characteristics. For John, Jesus is the Word of God made human. John is clear that that when encounter Jesus, we encounter God.  The gospel writer points to the miracles (the ‘Signs’) and teachings as evidence of Jesus’ special relationship as the divine Son of God.This full-length feature film about the life of Jesus takes the actual Gospel text as its script, word for word, unedited. Five years in the making, this epic production has been critically acclaimed by leading religious scholars as a unique and highly authentic telling of the Jesus story. Narrated by leading British actor David Harewood (‘Homeland’, ‘Blood Diamond’, ‘Merchant of Venice’) it is based on the latest theological, historical and archaeological research. With specially constructed sets and the extraordinarily authentic villages and countryside of rural Morocco, it immerses the viewer in the world of first century Palestine. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Please be sure to check out the social media links and give a follow:
Official Website: http://www.lumoproject.com

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Small Talk by Amy Julia Becker - Book #Giveaway

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.




What a sweet book. That's the best word I can come up with...well, maybe I should say it's a precious and sweet book. It's refreshing to read a book that is not a how to manual or that is designed to point out my shortcomings. Amy Julia Becker shares questions and answers that come up in 'small talk' conversations. And she has a child with Down Syndrome and I have a child with autism. While our struggles are different, they are also very much the same. I felt very connected to her and some of her struggles.  It's a beautiful read of the ups and downs of parenting and the little questions kids ask that have so much deeper meaning. I found the book to be refreshing and poignant...and very precious and sweet. 
From the Publisher: Every day, one of Amy Julie Becker’s children says something that prompts her to think about life in a new way. “Mom, does Santa love me?” William asks, after his mother explains the meaning of Christmas…In a chat with her dad about the children who died in the Sandy Hook shootings, Penny asks, “Did they go to heaven?” …”You was a jerk, Mommy?” asks Marilee one morning in the car.These conversations deepen Amy Julia’s relationships with her children, but they also refine her understanding of what she believes and what God is doing in her own life.In Small Talk, Amy Julia draws from the wisdom and curiosity of those young voices to reflect on beauty and kindness, tragedy and disability, prayer and miracles. As she moves through the basic questions her kids posed when they were very young to the more intellectual questions of later childhood, she invites us to learn from our own day-to-day conversations with the children in our lives.This eloquent parenting memoir is about the big questions little hearts ask, the thoughts their words provoke, and the laughter and soul-searching their honesty brings—to adult and child alike.
Be sure to check out the official Small Talk Website for more information.

About the author:

Amy Julia Becker writes about faith, family, and disability for Parents.com, the New York Times Motherlode blog, TheAtlantic.com, The Huffington Post parents page, Christianity Today, The Christian century, and numerous other publications. Her first book, A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny, was named one of the Top Ten Religion Books of 2011 by Publishers Weekly. Amy Julia lives in western Connecticut with her husband and three children.



Be sure to check out the book trailer:




Would you like to win a copy of the book Small Talk? 

Please enter below using the Giveaway Tools form. Good luck!



Contest rules:
Limit one winner per person or household
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway
**If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win again.
Winner must live in the US or Canada
Entries will be verified
Giveaway ends on 12/9 at 11:59 pm

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

SportsChocolate.com 1 lb Chocolate Stadium #Giveaway

SportsChocolate   



Do you love chocolate? I know I do. I would eat some with every meal if I could get away with it. And I love decorative chocolates. I've had some different varieties and shapes--but never a sporting themed chocolate. I'm excited to be a part of this giveaway and hope you find some fun chocolates to try, too. Keep reading to find out how you can enter to win one for yourself...or to share with a friend.


SportsChocolates.com™, a division of Better World Brands has created the #1 Fan Chocolate Collection™ and Gaming Chocolates Collection™. Both include our custom chocolate stadiums and arenas and replica chocolate gaming pieces. Made from 100% Premium milk chocolate, many include complimentary chocolate accessories like foil wrapped sports balls and casino chips. Packaging choices include beautiful imprinted tins, glass jars and wood canisters, finished with hand tied ribbon and bows. All products are manufactured in the USA [except the wood canisters] under the strict guidance of our Chocolatier – Monsieur Petit. Each is shipped from our New Jersey production facility directly to the recipient with your personal message card.


On To The Sweepstakes~
  • One reader will win a SportsChocolate.com 1 lb Chocolate Stadium $45.00
  • This is open to the U.S. Only
  • This will end 12/16
  • All entries will be verified
  • Winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond or another will be chosen. pankuch1605@hotmail.com is the email it will come from.
  • Must be 18+ yrs of age to enter
  • Void where prohibited by law.
  • Full terms and conditions are on the entry tool below


Enter Below and Good Luck to You~

Disclosure- Coolestmommy's Coolest Thoughts was not compensated either by free product or payment. I have not been compensated for this post. All opinions and experiences are my own. Open to the US, must be 18+. Confirmed Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 24 hours to respond before a new winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Entrants must only enter with either one email address, IP address and/or Facebook account, anyone found violating these rules will be disqualified. It is at the sole discretion of the admin of the giveaway if the winner has met the rules or not. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of the giveaway. Sponsor will be responsible for prize fulfillment. This event is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. For questions about this giveaway or to have me promote your product, Please email Tammie at info@tpankuch.com.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Shaggy Chic T-shirt of the Month Club #Giveaway

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While I don't have pets here in my house, I'm the proud aunt of two rescue dogs. Gretchen (a Scottie) and Lovey (an Irish Greyhound/Dachshund mix). And before the girls, there was my dog-nephew, Zeus (a miniature Dachshund). He was a dog rescued from a family who abused him. I love those dogs like my own children and I find my animal inspired wardrobe keeps growing. 

If you are a pet lover and wear t-shirts, My guess is that you have a t-shirt or 2 with an animal on it. Shaggy Chic Apparel would like to introduce you to a purr-fectly fun and fashionable gift for animal lovers including the entire family … our woofalicious and kittytastic tees for pet lovers. A portion of all sales during this holiday season will benefit Don’t Forget to Feed Me, a Texas-based non-profit Pet Food Pantry.

We even have designs designed by a 10-year-old child from Texas, which we call our ‘Kid POV Collection’. Lauren Arnold has really shown and taught us the pure innocence and fun of animals through her eyes. We’re adding new shirts from her monthly. Take a peek at Lauren’s paw-some designs… http://tinyurl.com/luto9op.

Only available online at www.ShaggyChicApparel.com, you won’t find these in big, box department stores, which means gift recipients will receive a howling unique gift. Now, that’s something to bark about! In addition to individual tees, we also offer a T-Shirt-of the-Month Club in both six-month and 12-month subscriptions. Each month, subscribers will receive a new tee that has not been sold to the public as of yet. Plus, customers can opt for free gift wrapping in a fun animal motif.

Onto The Sweepstakes Rules~
  • One reader will win a 6 Month Subscription to Shaggy Chic T-Shirt of the Month Club (Retail Value $125)
  • This is open to the U.S. only
  • This Sweepstakes will end on 12/7/2014 at 7 p.m.
  • All entries will be verified
  • Winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond or another will be chosen. pankuch1605@hotmail.com is the email it will come from.
  • Must be 18+ to enter
  • Void where prohibited by law
  • Full terms and conditions are the entry form below
Enter Below and Good Luck to you~


Disclosure-Coolestmommy.com was not compensated either by free product or payment. I have not been compensated for this post. All opinions and experiences are my own. Open to the US, must be 18+. Confirmed Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 24 hours to respond before a new winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Entrants must only enter with either one email address, IP address and/or Facebook account, anyone found violating these rules will be disqualified. It is at the sole discretion of the admin of the giveaway if the winner has met the rules or not. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of the giveaway. Sponsor will be responsible for prize fulfillment. This event is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. For questions about this giveaway or to have me promote your product, Please email Tammie at info@tpankuch.com.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Want to get in a Christmas Mood? Two shows for you!

Disclosure: I was provided tickets to Christmas With The King's Singers in exchange for my promotional post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


The King's Singers

What puts you in a happy holiday spirit? For me, it's the music of the season. Truly, I could sing Christmas Carols and songs all year long. And I'm pleased that my kids (even though they pretend they aren't) really are the same way. Music has been such an important part of our celebration each year, so when I was invited to attend the Christmas With The King's Singers concert on Dec. 3, I jumped at the chance.


Salem Baptist Church
But what is better than one Christmas show? TWO Christmas shows! So I'm thrilled to purchase a ticket and attend Joyful Noise: A Gospel Celebration Featuring Salem Baptist Church. Omaha Performing Arts has the best season this year--and these two shows will be a hit.

Important details for both shows:
Christmas With The King's Singers will perform on Wed., Dec. 3 at 7:30 pm at the Holland Performing Arts Center - Kiewit Hall.


Joyful Noise will perform two shows, both on Sun., Dec. 4 at 4:00 and 7:00 pm. They will also be in Kiewit Hall at the Holland Performing Arts Center.

I'll leave you with my favorite Christmas song by The King's Singers. I hope you enjoy The Little Drummer Boy. 



Monday, November 17, 2014

Growing up Social #Review & #Giveaway #growingupsocial

Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.



I have to start by asking: Have you ever read the book 5 Love Languages? I did and it saved my marriage before we were even married. Sean & I both read that book. We've loaned out (and lost because they aren't returned) over a dozen copies of that book. We consider it one of the best written books regarding marriage. We were speaking different languages while dating and didn't realize that it would eventually drive a wedge between us. By both reading the book, we knew how the other person thinks and what they need to 'hear' love. Truly, it saved our marriage before we ever said, "I do."

And now, from the same author, comes a new book called "growing up social - raising relational kids in a screen-driven world". I'll tell you the title alone was enough to grab my attention and make me have a moment of clarity. The photo on the cover about knocked me over. How often do I see this same moment playing out all over the place? And...how many times have my husband and I looked like this? The most scary moment of all...how often do my kids look like this?

So while I didn't really have time to read a book and I didn't really have an opening in my schedule for this review, I knew I needed to say yes. Sometimes, you have to make time from the urgent things of life to take care of the vital. I believe this message is vital. And I'm happy to announce that you too can win a copy of this book...keep reading to find out how. 

I want to quote the authors up front. Chapman and Pellicane write, “This is not an anti-technology book. Technology is here to stay, and we believe you can find positive ways to utilize it for your relationships.” 

I think the biggest lie of technology and social media is the illusion of real community and friendship when that person can't read your expression or tone of voice. It feels like community--and might be for periods of time off and on--but the reality is that it's not as authentic as we'd like to think it is. And we spend so much time 'connecting' through YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Vine, etc, etc, etc. that somewhere along the way, we no longer take time to talk and interact and fellowship with humans...with each other.

Below is the video trailer for the book.


Book description:
Is technology bringing your family closer together or driving you farther apart?
Children today are no longer playing hide-and-seek outside or curling up with a good book—instead they’ve been introduced to a world of constant digital entertainment through television, video games, and mobile devices. And while technology has the potential to add value to our lives and families, it can also erode a sense of togetherness and hinder a child’s emotional and social development.
In Growing Up Social, Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane will empower you with the necessary tools to make positive changes…starting today. Through stories, wit, and wisdom, you’ll discover how to take back your home from an over dependence on screens. Plus, you’ll learn to teach the five A+ skills that every healthy child needs to master: affection, appreciation, anger management, apology, and attention.
•Equip your child to be relationally rich in a digital world•Replace mindless screen time with meaningful family time•Establish simple boundaries that make a huge difference•Discover what’s working for families that have become screen savvy•Learn healthy ways to occupy your child while you get things done
Now is the time to equip your child to live with screen time, not for screen time. No phone, tablet, or gaming device can teach your child how to have healthy relationships—only you can.

I will tell you I'm loving the book. I'm not all the way finished but it's making a true impact in my own life. As the authors state so eloquently, "No phone, tablet or gaming device can teach your child how to have healthy relationships--only you can." How's that for a healthy dose of truth? 

I hope you will take time to read and apply the lessons in the book. It's a message that is so critical in today's world. 


Would you like to win a copy of Growing Up Social? 
Enter here for your chance to win.





Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

AWA Services Can Help with Donations, Junk Removal and More #Giveaway Omaha Area

Disclosure: I was provided a discount or gift card in exchange for my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Do you ever feel like you are drowning in a 'sea of stuff'? Think you would like to donate some furniture but don't know how to get it out of your house and to the donation site? Ever wish someone would take all of the stuff you want gone and take it to the donation center or the dump....or both....for you? 



If you have answered yes to any of these questions, I've found the place for you. AWA Services provides donation and junk removal. 

Here is their mission from their website:
Our MissionWe are dedicated to helping our community reduce waste. We are accomplishing this by teaming with local non-profit organizations.To reduce waste and to make a positive impact on the environment, we donate and recycle as much as possible.Most people understand recycling is good for the earth, but many don’t realize the various ways recycling can positively impact their own community. Check out our partners and learn how your donations make a difference in their organization.
They work with Goodwill, Cross Training Center and Heartland Hope Mission. I personally support all three of these ministries and places in my own life. I found it to be absolutely refreshing to find a company who follows the same principals that I try to follow in my own life. 

Here is a little more information about Junk Removal:
Junk RemovalAWA Services, Inc. is your full-service junk removal company. Need to clean out an attic, basement or garage? We offer junk removal services for your home or business. We donate, recycle or dispose of all items that we remove. We will haul away everything, including donations.Whether you have a garage/basement full of items or just one heavy item, we are here to help. Some of the most common items we remove are: couch, loveseat, table, recliner, tube television, hide-a-bed, mattress, box spring and miscellaneous stuff.Our fees are based on how many items you have and how much room they will take on the truck or trailer. Certain items may have dump or recycle fees.
Before Junk Removal


After Junk Removal
Be sure to visit and like them on their social media accounts
AWA Facebook Page
AWA Google+ Page
AWA Pinterest Page
AWA Main Website


If you live in the Omaha area, you can enter to win a free donation/junk removal of 80-120 cubic feet of items. (Excluding tube TVs.) To give an example of size, a couch is 50-60 cubic feet. 

Want to get started on a cleaning spree? Enter below. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thank You Veterans - Veterans Day 2014


Thank you to all of our veterans. 
God bless you for your service.

What can a sensory child achieve? #SensoryBlogHop


Last month, I mentioned not knowing what Nathan could or could not achieve. I've learned a lot over the years and the two phrases that have resonated and stuck with me the most are:

  1. Presume competence. - Set the bar higher than you believe your child (or any child) can achieve. Children rise to our lowest level of expectation so lift the bar and see how high they can go. You might be amazed--I was.
  2. Don't you wish you had a crystal ball instead of hindsight glasses? Yes, I wish it a lot. Even now that things are going so much better...I worry. There, I admit it. I try to rely on instinct, trust in God as I believe people should do and cast your cares...but, in moments of true honesty, I worry.

I could say so much more and give you so many examples of all that Nathan has and is achieving. And I had planned to...but I am afraid you would miss the message in the 'stuff.' Maybe next month I'll give you some examples. 

For now, remember:

  1. Presume Competence.
  2. My crystal ball was never as clear as my hindsight glasses. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

New #Purex Aromatherapy Crystals - #Giveaway

Disclosure: I received a bottle of Purex Crystals Aromatherapy in exchange for my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


Have you tried Purex Crystals yet? They are a wonderful way to add fresh and long lasting scent to your laundry. And the newest Purex Crystals are the Aromatherapy. I received a bottle of Purex Crystals Aromatherapy (Energy) to try. Love the scent. I have been doing more research into aromatherapy and am learning that it really can and does work. I'm not truly sure I get more energy from wearing my clothes that have the scent in them, but I like the scent and it doesn't overpower me. 

The Purex Crystals Aromatherapy has a long lasting scent that stays with your clothes even when they hang for a long time in your closet. And keep reading for your chance to win your own bottle of Purex Crystals Aromatherapy. 



Win a Free Bottle of Purex Crystals Aromatherapy
Enter below using the Giveaway Tools Form. Winner will receive a coupon for a free bottle of Purex Crystals Aromatherapy. Good luck.



Crate and Barrel Gift Card #Giveaway from #AgentAce


Sponsored by: Agent Ace
Hosted by: Mom Powered Media

Have you ever had to go house hunting? When we last searched for a new home (seven years ago), it was a long and tedious process. We didn't know how to find a good agent and we actually went through several before finding a good fit for our family. I personally wish I had known about Agent Ace back then. I think it would have been a big help to our family as we searched for a new home. 

Agent Ace is the new way to find the best real estate agent. When you've thought about buying a home, how did you figure out who would help you with that? Did you find someone who you felt you could trust to get you what you wanted from it, whether that was a good price on a new home or the best sale of your old one? A lot of homeowners and potential buyers will just pick a random agent from a list online without a lot of background on what they're best at. It's like throwing a dart at the Yellowpages. With just a little information from you, Agent Ace can match you with the best agent to sell your home or buy a new one.



They're not a service who bases their list on whoever pays the most in your area either, so there's no worry about what goes on behind the scenes. For those of us in the market, Agent Ace a completely free service. Their innovative, patented technology — the Agent Connection Engine (ACE) — makes an unbiased evaluation of every agent who has bought or sold a home just like the one you’re trying to close on based on the information you've provided. They gather and analyze years of past home sales data from ALL the real estate agents in your state, not just a small network. Then they promise to recommend the single best agent for your needs — based on facts.


Agent Ace is free, easy to use, and there’s no obligation to use any of the agents they recommend. You're not locked into anything if you don't find someone you think fits or if maybe you decide you're not ready yet. They make up to 3 agent recommendations for buying and 3 for selling so you can choose the best fit for your needs and your style. Once they identify your best agent, the experienced Agent Specialists will screen them and confirm that they can fully commit to you. They do the initial contact and the sometimes awkward "Hey, can you take a new client right now?" questions for you. Once they’re sure it's a great fit, your recommended agent will give you a call within 24 hours (but usually sooner). It’s as easy as ordering take-out.


If you're even considering getting into the housing market for your dream home, whether to buy or sell, you can check out Agent Ace's amazing system from the comfort of your home (in your pajamas) at AgentAce.com.

Speaking of Dream Homes, Agent Ace wants to help you decorate yours. Two lucky winners are going to receive Crate and Barrel gift cards! The grand prize winner will receive a $250 gift card and a runner up will receive a $100 gift card. The sweepstakes is open to residents of the US through November 24, 2014. Enter using the form below and Good Luck!

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Crate and Barrel, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact brookedoesitall@gmail.com if you have any additional questions or comments.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Aroma 4 Quart Ice Cream Maker #Giveaway

aroma-collage 

 Hosted By Tammie's Reviews, Giveaways and More, Queen of Savings and Vegetarian Mamma.

And

Sponsored By Aroma

I don't know about you, but at our house it's I scream, You scream, we ALL scream for ice cream. I've always been a little concerned about trying to make homemade ice cream. I've been worried that it would fail or not taste good or be soup instead of ice cream. When I learned a little about the Ice Cream Maker from Aroma, I became intrigued. I haven't gotten to try it, but I like the reviews I'm reading and I look forward to using it someday.

Aroma makes a wide array of products to make your life simpler and easier. You can read Tammie's review of the Ice Cream Maker by going here to read it. Making homemade ice cream I always thought was a difficult process when in fact it could not be easier. It comes with step by step instructions on making ice cream in a variety of flavors. The ice cream can be made by using the hand crank or electricity which will make this process very easy.

On To The Sweepstakes~
  • One reader will win an Aroma Ice Cream Maker rv $70.00
  • This is open to the U.S. only
  • This Sweepstakes will end on Nov. 23 at 7 p.m.
  • All entries will be verified
  • Winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond or another will be chosen. pankuch1605@hotmail.com is the email it will come from.
  • Must be 18+ to enter
  • Void where prohibited by law
  • Full terms and conditions are the entry form below
Enter Below and Good Luck to you~
Disclosure- Coolestmommy's Coolest Thoughts was not compensated either by free product or payment. I have not been compensated for this post. All opinions and experiences are my own. Open to the US, must be 18+. Confirmed Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 24 hours to respond before a new winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Entrants must only enter with either one email address, IP address and/or Facebook account, anyone found violating these rules will be disqualified. It is at the sole discretion of the admin of the giveaway if the winner has met the rules or not. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of the giveaway. Sponsor will be responsible for prize fulfillment. This event is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. For questions about this giveaway or to have me promote your product, Please email Tammie at info@tpankuch.com.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Awards and Plaques the Kids Have Won

Have you ever won any awards or plaques? When I was in high school, I was involved on the Speech Team. During my high school years, I won various plaques and awards. My favorite events were Poetry and Persuasive Speech. The bulk of my awards were in those areas. My favorite award plaques were at a local Catholic school that gave away silver platters to each winner. 

My kids have all taken piano lessons since they were young. Their teacher has them participate in local competitions. I like these competitions because they are competing against themselves. Nathan and Rebekah recently competed at the State Music Festival. I'm so proud of both of them. Nathan got a 2+ (Excellent Plus) and Rebekah got a 1- (Superior Rating). So she got a trophy. It's a custom award that is created especially for the State Music Festival each year. 

Here is her award from this year:



I don't know about your house, but if you have kids involved in sports or music, you might have lots of trophies, plaques, or awards.  We've got so many now that they won't all fit on the top of the piano...or on the bookcase shelf. It's a happy problem to have - and I'm so proud of all three of my musicians. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Take the #FamilyDiningWeek Challenge and Giveaway

Disclosure: Live Well Omaha Kids partnered with me for this post. All opinions are my own.

What does dinner time mean to you? If you have children, it can often mean chaos and a big hustle to get food to the table and get the kids there, too. Now that our kids are older. it's harder to make family dinners work. So when I was approached by Live Well Omaha Kids to blog about the Family Dining Week Challenge and Pledge, I knew I had to participate. The week of October 19 - 25 has been named Omaha Family Dining Week by Mayor Jean Stothert.




Sean and I have always put a focus on sitting down at the table as a family as much as possible. We turn the TV off and have a no-screens rule. Then we talk about our day over dinner. I read an article once that said the one common denominator among Rhodes scholars was they sat down to have family dinners together. I used to tell my kids, "We're getting you a scholarship so sit and eat."  


Family meal time seems to be dwindling--even in our home. We still work hard to make a family meal a reality as often as we can. Sometimes we eat early to make it to activities or we eat late--with our kids being older, I don't feel as pressured to have the exact same meal time each night. There are so many good reasons to eat together as a family, but some of the facts on the website surprised me. 


In addition to nutritional benefits, family dining has other benefits, such as:
  • Reducing stress
  • Improving communication among family members
Dining together more than four nights per week is also attributed to:
  • Reducing risk of depression in teens
  • Reducing teen drug use
  • Reducing teen pregnancy
- See more at: http://livewellomahakids.org/programs-solutions/at-home/family-dining/#sthash.h5jLpbCC.dpuf


How about you and your family? Do you want to join us in bringing back Family Dining?


Live Well Omaha Kids is also sponsoring a giveaway on my blog. For those who take the pledge, you can win a $15 HyVee Gift Card. Enter below for your chance to win. 


For more chances to win a $15 HyVee Gift Card, please stop by these blogs and enter their giveaways, too.


Midwest Mammas


Sensory Mama Saving Cents


Liv, Laugh, Love


Mom Saves Money


Makingmine


Oh My Omaha

Family Fun in Omaha

Curtain and Pen

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Restaurants, Autism, and "The Look" -- #SensoryBlogHop


I'm so excited to be participating once again in the Sensory Blog Hop. It's a monthly hop where those of us who are or love people with sensory issues can have a moment to speak our minds. So far, I appear to focus on restaurants...every month...

I don't mean to focus in on dining out, but at the same time, I hear over and over how people who have kids with special needs don't eat out because it's hard. And last month, I was challenged (nicely) by Full Spectrum Mama.com to post about how we handled reactions to our son and his behaviors at restaurants. Gauntlet thrown - challenge accepted. And as easy as it was for me to say 'challenge accepted,' the reality is that going back in time to those years is very hard. It's picking the scab off of a wound and it goes back to a much darker time in my life. The place where we didn't know who our son would be or what he could or could not achieve. (Spoiler alert - next month I'm talking about figuring out what you can achieve with sensory issues.) To catch up quickly, here's where I talked about The Sounds of Restaurants and here's where I talked about What Would You Do


So the look, the stare, the commentary--usually unpleasant at best. I am happy to note that I don't remember a single time anyone said anything derogatory to us. I'm forever grateful for that. If anyone would have said something while we were in the midst of those years, I would have either become an instant emotional wreck or I'd have come back verbally attacking and being generally ugly in return. It would have depended on the day and if I was fed up with the world or feeling like I was a pond scum parent. Now that Nathan is older (12 years old), I can look back with a few more hours of sleep under my belt, with a larger tool kit of information and with an arsenal of assorted word weapons and deflectors. 

Now I aim to educate. I'm the first one to let folks know my child has autism. Autism Awareness--we've come a long way baby in just 12 years. The numbers have gone in Nathan's lifetime from 1 in 150 to the current statistics 1 in 68. If I get anything that could resemble a look, a stare or if there was a comment, I'd hit education mode. I usually say something like, "It's ok, he has autism." With the new 1 in 68--every person knows SOMEONE with autism. I give them a little information about Nathan, "It's a little loud in here for him so he'll be covering his ears a lot." Once they see I'm willing to talk, I get a LOT of questions...about someone else's child. I hear all sorts of questions...well my cousin's son or my sister's daughter has autism. That child does xx, is that normal for autism? I answer questions as best I can, often give them a resource card listing the Autism Society of Nebraska website where they can get more information. 




But in the olden golden days, we sometimes got 'the look.' People would stare and glare as Nathan would start crying as the fast eater parent quickly wolfed down the last few bites. How did I handle the stares? In public, I ignored them. Too bad. It's not like I've never eaten where a tired, cranky or unruly toddler has disrupted an entire restaurant. So my kid is rocking and flapping and starting to cry--deal with it. I just couldn't cope with one more thing in those moments. I was on as much sensory overload as Nathan with trying to keep him calm until we got him outside. In private, I cried--a lot. I cried that we disrupted restaurants, I cried that people can't 'see' his disability, I cried as I grieved for the dreams for my son vs. the reality of life, and I cried as I hurt for him. I didn't know why he melted down in restaurants--still don't. I have guesses, but no solid proof. But a mom knows when her child has needs and knowing I couldn't fulfill them was heartbreak for me. 

Here's the bit of hope I want to leave  you with. While we got some stares and some glares, they were few and far between. Most of the time, we got smiles and nods of encouragement. The people who stopped to say something would tell us what a great job we were doing. People told us that Nathan was blessed to have us for parents--that one still makes me cry. He's blessed to have us? Ha! We're muddling through not really knowing what we're doing, but we've learned through Nathan to discover different joys in life. Our world opened up in a whole new way. While I might not have chosen this path for myself, I can't imagine any other life. 



Most memorable--one precious woman who put her hand on my shoulder and whispered in my ear, "Keep up the good work. He's a great boy and you're a terrific mom." With a squeeze of my shoulder and a sunny smile, that angel left the building and restored a piece of my heart. It was a really down day and she gave me enough encouragement to just keep trying. 

So in answer to the challenge--how did we handle stares, glares and comments?

  • Comments -- we didn't get any but now I'd come back with something snappy like, "He's got autism, what's your excuse for being rude?" (Seriously--I don't tolerate rudeness!)
  • Stares -- smiles, or ignore. I chose to never stare back...stares are interesting because we interpret them so differently. I learned over time that most stares were people trying to understand or figure out how they could help. It wasn't mean or nasty. It was curiosity...and I'm into education. If a smile would encourage a question where I could educate, bring it on. 
  • Glares -- I still ignore them. Let them stare. I've got a super power--I'm an autism mommy and a sensory specialist. What are their credentials?
Have you encountered the stare, glare or commentary? Has it been positive or negative? I'd love to hear from you. 

Be sure to check out the other Sensory Blog Hop Blogs below:


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