My Current Giveaways


Keep watching--more coming soon!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Mom's Guide to Home Organization #Review


A Mom's Guide to Home Organization is a book providing some simple tasks and easy methods to get de-cluttered, de-stressed and more organized. Organization isn't just about cleaning and space, it includes schedules and time management. 

Debbie Lillard offers helpful steps and solutions in her book. I really liked her CPR method for decluttering toys and kid things. Categorize, Purge, Rearrange =  CPR. I can't say I've arrived 100% since reading her book, but I'm slowly but surely putting her practices in place. I started with small areas of my home--reorganizing and doing CPR on a kitchen cabinet. I did this before I was given the chance to try a new casserole crock pot. Since I had already done CPR there, I had room to rearrange slightly to fit my new crock pot into the cupboard. 

I focused on my laundry area. It sometimes...umm, always...turns out that my dryer is the dumping ground for everything nobody feels like dealing with on the way in from the garage. So in less than an hour, I was able to do CPR on my laundry room. I'm pretty impressed with what I accomplished--and perhaps a little embarassed that I found I had 'lost' about 4 bars of Fels Naptha soap in there. I use Fels for making my own laundry detergent. As you can see from the bottles, I also found a few commercial bottles of detergent that I didn't know I had. I've since donated some to our church pantry and used one when I didn't have time to make new homemade detergent.  

I forgot a before with the cupboard open...in part because if I opened it and stepped back to take a photo, who knows how many things would end up falling out on the floor. I'm happy to say I'm now able to leave my cupboard open easily. And after I donated some spares from here, there was even more room for me to organize the cleaning rags. 

Before CPR


After CPR.

I enjoyed this book and am in the process of rereading in order to continue on my quest for home organization and clutter control. 

Disclosure: I was provided a copy of this book by US Family Blogger and Space to Spare in exchange for a review. However, all thoughts are my own. 

Wordless Wednesday - Happy Belated Birthday, Nathan!

Life is not measured
by the number of breaths we take,
But by the moments
that take our breath away. 


Nathan had his 12th Birthday celebration a couple weeks ago. I'm behind on getting is posted, but thought these were a few fun shots.

Try really hard to keep 7 kids lined up and not moving for a photo. Yeah, this is the result.

 Lego cake. We had to steal Nathan's mini-figures to decorate his cake. But Tia Renee came through with a birthday  set (see close up below) for him to create and use on his cake. 

12 candles--that's getting to be some serious firepower.

He got an RC Helicoptor...

A BIG one. 

Some of his many Lego sets.


We went to see the Lego Movie (side note: even adults without children would like this movie) and had cake to celebrate. Nathan received a wealth of new Lego products that he has been happily playing with. So be careful where you step in my living room...bare feet and Legos are not a good combo. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dial Vitamin Boost Bodywash Review and #Giveaway



How has this winter been on your skin? I can assure you that the extreme cold and extra harsh conditions have left all five of my family members with dried out skin. Enter Dial Vitamin Boost Body wash into our home. It's a lotion infused product that helps to moisturize your skin while cleaning it. I was skeptical, but what did we have to lose? 

I have to say I've found this to be an impressive addition to our bathing routines. Not all of our dry skin is gone, but I can say that my skin is a little softer and smoother and less dried out after switching to Dial Vitamin Boost. They have information stating that Vitamin B helps to draw in moisture and keep skin hydrated. I think it's working. 

The lather is terrific--because I hate body wash that doesn't lather up well--and the smell is wonderful. I'm not sure how to describe it, but the family is happy that it smells nice but not feminine or masculine. It seems to be a gender neutral smell. 




From the manufacturer:
NEW Dial® Vitamin Boost Body Wash gives your skin a daily boost of vitamins. The advanced formula contains a moisturizing Vitamin Complex, which helps draw moisture directly to your skin leaving your skin feeling so healthy and soft, people can't help but notice!
Terrific news for my readers. I was given a coupon to share with you so you can get Dial Vitamin Boost for your family. Enter my giveaway below. 

Entry-Form

Disclosure: The Dial brand provided me with a sample in exchange for my review. However, all opinions expressed are my own. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

$30 Olive Garden Gift Card #Giveaway

Welcome to our $30 Olive Garden GC Giveaway.

This Giveaway is being hosted by Tammie's Reviews, Giveaways and More, Couponing Momma Giveaways and Reviews and Just Sissy and promoted by some awesome Bloggers. The Gift Card is being sponsored by Olive Garden.

Did you know it's back? By 'it', I mean the 2 for $25 Italian Dinner at Olive Garden. My family loves their food. It is Andrew's favorite pick and we have been eating a lot of birthday meals there. With the 2 for $25 and the other specials Olive Garden currently has, it makes dining out much more affordable. Please keep reading and enter to win an Olive Garden Gift Card below. 

Celebrate the season of love by spending time together over Olive Garden’s 2 for $25 Italian Dinner, an abundant three-course meal for two – all for $25.
  • Olive Garden’s 2 for $25 Italian Dinner (also available on Valentine’s Day and for a limited time after) includes unlimited breadsticks and choice of homemade soup or garden-fresh salad; choice of two entr√©es from a variety of delicious options; and choice of two Tastes of Italy Small Plates or a dessert to share. For more details, visit OliveGarden.com/Menu/Specials.
  • And starting Monday, Feb. 10, Olive Garden’s $10 Signature Classics is back. All day Monday through Thursday, bring the whole family to enjoy another affordable meal together.

Olive Garden is the one place that you can take the whole Family out to dinner and not wreck your budget. Everyone can pick what they want to eat for a very affordable price.


Now on to the Giveaway......

  • This giveaway will be live from 2/22 and will end on 3/8, starting and ending at 7 p.m.
  • This is open to US only.
  • All entries will be verified
  • Winner will be chosen via Random.org
  • Winner must be 18 of age or older
  • 1 winner will win a $30 Olive Garden Gift Card.
  • Enter below using the easy Giveaway Tools widget and Good Luck to you.
Entry-Form

Disclosure: We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to the US 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements. 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.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Taking a Risk as a Parent

Photo credit: WallpapersWide.com

Do you like to make sure your kids are safe? Do you help them learn to look both ways when crossing a street, don't talk to strangers, and tell them to 'be careful'? If so, I'd guess you're among the overwhelming majority of parents. It's our job to protect our kids and keep them safe...isn't it? I've been wondering lately if--as a society--we have gone too far. 

I've been reading lots and lots of articles about failure to launch. I've been looking into it from an autism perspective to try to help my son be able to leave our little nest. (I love all my kids, but I also look forward to a day when Sean & I have an empty nest...except on special occasions.) There are a lot of stories about kids with autism who can never leave home. Nathan is capable of learning to live on his own and it's a goal we have for him in his life. He should be able to have a job, have a apartment or home, and live a full and fulfilling life.

In the midst of all these articles, I'm reading over and over again that we, the parents, are creating the problem ourselves by insulating our children too much. It is being determined that "Failure to Launch" comes from an overwhelming fear of failure. Remember when we were kids? I grew up knowing the rule was, "Come home when the streetlights come on." None of the moms in our neighborhood ever really knew where their kids were...unless the pack was currently hanging at her home. When you wanted to find your kids, you yelled up and down the street until they came running. There were boundaries, of course. We knew how many houses we were allowed to be at. Don't deviate from those 6-8 homes without telling the folks. But now, we are giving our kids cell phones in grade school. We don't let them outside without supervision. They can't cross the street without us. Parents are taking away all the risks that kids used to take. And if you don't take risks in the little things (like crossing a street), you'll never learn the protocol for taking a risk. If you don't know how to take a risk, you won't. You'll live in dad and mom's basement forever. Because if you got an apartment and can't pay the rent, you would be evicted--and that's too scary. 



I'm beginning to feel like we do nothing but wrap up our kids in bubble wrap. We don't let them make a mud pie - too messy and too germy. We don't let them drink from a hose--the horror! They have never heard the phrase 'come in when the streetlights come on'. 

And today, my daughter yells in to ask if she and her friend can play in the back yard...umm...sure! Isn't that why Dad & Grandpa put in a giant playplace? So I go look out and realize it's covered in snow. And--get this--precious Rebekah didn't listen when she went out to play and I said, "Put a coat on." So here is my daughter and her friend, both without coats, playing on the play area covered in snow. (Now, it is almost 50 today, and after the nothing but below freezing and below 0 temps, it feels like a flip flops kind of day.)


As I took these photos, I'm thinking...who in the neighborhood is a bad parent for letting her kid play in snow without a coat? I almost had guilt...and then laughed. I'm letting her take a risk. I've already calculated the odds and she won't die. She may be cold, she may get wet from snow, but she will live to play another day. And she will learn that playing in snow makes you take the risk of getting wet and cold...but you will live. I guess I'm not so bad of a mom after all. 

Have you let your children take risks?    


Friday, February 14, 2014

The Marriage You've Always Wanted #Book #Review and #Giveaway


Raise your hand if you've read the book "The 5 Love Languages." (I'm raising my hand, too.) I've owned at least a dozen copies of that book over time. I would buy it...hear of a friend in a bad spot in her marriage or in her relationship with her children and I'd loan it out...or gift it as it turned out. Sean & I considered it a privilege to not have the books returned because it meant someone needed it more than we did.

So when I tell you that I have great respect for Gary Chapman as an author and as a counselor in the area of marriage, I don't say that lightly. His Love Languages book revolutionized my life and I credit it with saving our marriage when we didn't yet know we had a problem.

When I found out he has written a new book, you know I was first in line to get it. And I personally had to wait until Valentine's Day to post my review and giveaway. What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than to talk about a book that will help your marriage?

What you'll find in "The Marriage You've Always Wanted" is a way to improve a good marriage or possibly help save a hurting one. Dr. Chapman takes all of the wisdom he's gathered over years of being a pastor and counselor and has put together a book to help husband and wife achieve true unity. Some of the chapters answer questions like:
"Why won't my spouse change?"
"How did I get them to listen to me?"
"How can we make decisions together?"

I have loved this book and want my husband & I to read and work through the questions together. Keep reading because I am thrilled to be able to give away a copy of this book on my blog.

From the publisher:
THE MARRIAGE YOU'VE ALWAYS WANTEDYou can picture the perfect marriage in your mind, but re-creating it in reality doesn’t come easy. Trusted counselor and relationship expert Dr. Gary Chapman reasons that the most sought-after ingredient in any marriage is true oneness. In The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted, he presents expert wisdom and common sense methods to establishing that true unity on emotional and practical levels. Discover the wit and insight that makes his worldwide presentations and marriage conferences so popular. Are you trying to change your spouse? Do you know what it mean s to really love someone? Do you feel ignored or even alone in your effort to improve your marriage? Dr. Chapman has answers and action steps on topics from expressing your emotions to managing your money, all in a format that will have you and your spouse talking and learning with every page.

And now for the giveaway. Enter below using the Giveaway Tools entry form. Remember, if you have won a copy of this book from another blog, you are not eligible to win on mine. Open to residents in the US & Canada.



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.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

#Purex Crysatals Mountain Breeze #Sweepstakes and #Giveaway


Over the mountain and through the woods....

It's not quite the Christmas carol, but I think it's one better. Purex Crystals has come out with a brand new scent--Fresh Mountain Breeze. To celebrate this new scent, they have the Over the Mountain and Through the Woods Sweepstakes where you can win $500 cash or other prizes.

I love the slogan for this sweeps, "Enter to win a mountain of cash." Make sure you enter for your chance to win.

I have a coupon for a free bottle of Purex Crystals so you can try out the fresh mountain breeze scent yourself. Enter below using the giveaway tools entry form. Good luck!



Entry-Form


Disclaimer: Purex provided me with a sample of Purex Crystals in exchange for a product review. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Let it Go Autism Version

Life is not measured
by the number of breaths we take,
But by the moments
that take our breath away. 



This video spoke volumes to me as the parent of a child with autism. 

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Harlem Globetrotters #Discount Code


Do you like the Harlem Globetrotters? I know my family loves them. And they are about to kick off another national tour--which includes a stop in Omaha on April 5. And my readers--living anywhere near the tour--get to take $7 off your tickets buy using the code USFAMILY. Get your tickets now, before the best seats are gone. The Globetrotters put on an amazing show and their new fan pick rules are hysterical. 
The Harlem Globetrotters are coming to town and we have $7 Off Tickets for you and to share with your friends.  For dates, times and venues click on the link below. 
 Save $7 per ticket - USE PROMO CODE: USFAMILY
Save $7 Off Tickets to the Harlem Globetrotters 2014 Tour - use promo code: USFAMILY http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/tickets

Friday, February 07, 2014

The Grocer's Goblin and The Little Mermaid at The Rose Children's Theater


Have you heard about the new show at The Rose? My family and I had the opportunity to see "The Grocer's Goblin and The Little Mermaid" last weekend. I can't urge you enough to get to the show and see it before it is gone. You can catch shows this weekend and next weekend. I've never seen such a unique production. It is full of shadow puppetry and it is beautiful. 

The Grocer's Goblin Puppet 
The Rose has melded two stories into one show. There is lots of puppetry action that occurs, but the majority is in the shadow puppets. One caution I noted was the suggested ages for this show is 7 and up. This is due to the extreme darkness of the theatre during the shadow puppetry. Even the stars twinkling in the sky inside the theatre are turned off to make the shadows more distinct. If you have a younger child that would not be afraid of the dark, he or she would most likely enjoy the show as well. I will also remind parents that this isn't the Disney version of Mermaid--it's and adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen which means The Rose has made it child friendly, but the ending is not what you've seen on the big screen. 
My entire family loved the show. I've included some pictures from the show, but photos can't describe the beauty of the puppetry. 

From The Rose:
The Grocer’s Goblin and The Little Mermaid features the talents of Omaha Theater Company members Brian Guehring and Stephanie Jacobson. Guehring wrote
the script for the show, weaving together two classic Hans Christian Andersen tales into a story of loving, longing and growing up. Jacobson directs the show and shaped the direction of the production, with a strong focus on puppetry.
The result is a spectacular production unlike anything ever seen in the Omaha area. “This is a one-of-a-kind show unlike anything that has ever really been seen in
Omaha,” says Rose Managing Director Julie Walker. “You will want to see this show just because it is so different and so unique, and I don’t know when families will have the opportunity to see anything like this again. It is truly special.” 
I don't want to give any spoilers for the show. I do want to give you an area to watch for. Pay attention to the Goblin. He is a puppet with such lifelike movements. He is actually operated by the two people 'guiding' him. The thing to notice is how he walks. It's an ingenious use of puppetry. I truly hope the people of the Omaha area will pack the house to see this unique show. 

Enjoy!



Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Robin Hood Play

Life is not measured
by the number of breaths we take,
But by the moments
that take our breath away. 




After Robin Hood, we got to get autographs from a couple cast members. 
Lots of fun was had by all. 

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

VO5 Salon Series Product #Giveaway

How is your hair holding up this winter? Mine is in need of some extra TLC. Between the extreme cold, the dry conditions and the wind blowing across the plains, my hair is a mess. I've been looking for some hair help this winter, so I'm pleased to announce that I am involved with a VO5 Salon Series Product Giveaway. With the four products you will receive if you win, you will be the best styled girl on the runway--or in the carpool lane if you are me. 

Welcome to our VO5 Salon Series Prize Pack Giveaway

This giveaway is being hosted by Tammie's Reviews, Giveaways and More and Co-Hosted by Coolestmommy's Coolest Thoughts. VO5 is sponsoring the prize.

cat-02 Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching! Whether you’re planning a night out on the town or a night in, iconic hair care brand Alberto VO5 is here to help you look irresistibly fabulous without breaking the bank. Would you be interested in a review and giveaway post of VO5’s Salon Series line? Praised by All You, Allure and SELF, VO5’s Salon Series products are uniquely formulated with 11 Essential Oils and VO5’s proprietary Five Essential Vitamins needed for salon beautiful hair.

The giveaway prize pack will include:
  • VO5 Hot Oil Treatment
  • VO5 Salon Series Hydrate + Nourish Shampoo and Conditioner
  • VO5 Salon Series Perfect Hold Hair Spray
  • VO5 Salon Series Simply Stunning Leave-In Conditioner
1798442_668712086513992_2101158288_nYou will look your best!

This giveaway will be live from 2/4 and will end on 2/14, starting and ending at 7 p.m.

This is open to US only. No P.O. Boxes.

All entries will be verified

Winner will be chosen via Random.org

Winner must be 18 of age or older

Enter below using the easy Giveaway Tools widget and Good Luck to you.


Disclosure: We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to the US 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements. 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.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Unstoppable DVD #Giveaway




Unstoppable is a look at Genesis from the Bible and gives some thought to the idea that God is really there for you, even in the midst of a tragedy, even in the midst of suffering. I truly enjoyed this movie--but I am a Bible believing Christian. Hearing the testimonies of those in the film who have faced suffering and tragic events was incredibly moving. Make sure you have some tissues ready for this movie. 

 I thought the film was a powerful testimony to the fact that God is there, even if a tragedy comes our way. I can imagine that atheists and people of religions that do not recognize Christ will not be as interested in this movie, which is too bad. I think we can all learn something new about others when we learn about their religion. It gives you insight into the heart of the people. So I would encourage those of every faith to take a risk at learning about others and seeing this movie.

ABOUT UNSTOPPABLEInspired by the death of Cameron’s close friend who succumbed to cancer at the age of 15, Kirk Cameron takes viewers on an inspiring and hope-filled visual journey to better understand the biggest doubt-raising question in faith: “Where is God in the midst of tragedy and suffering?”Going back to the beginning—literally—Kirk investigates the origins of good and evil and how they impact our lives … and our eternities. UNSTOPPABLE will prompt audiences to consider the role that pain and suffering has in our lives, as they affirm their personal views on faith, and encourage conversation starters about God, suffering, and hope. 
In theaters for only two weeknights (Sept 24th and Oct 3th, 2013), UNSTOPPABLE: A Live Event with Kirk Cameron sold a staggering 260,000 tickets and reached a theatrical gross of over $3.2 million dollars. In just two nights this independent project sent a loud message – audiences want thought-provoking and meaningful entertainment.   
Kirk Cameron is best known for his memorable role as “Mike Seaver,” a cultural icon of the 80's, with his mullet hairstyle, cool glasses, and wisecracking comebacks. More recently he enjoyed much success with the No. 1 grossing inspirational film of 2008, Fireproof, and his recent documentary, Monumental. Kirk and his wife, Chelsea, were on-screen sweethearts during their Growing Pains years and are the founders of Camp Firefly, where terminally and seriously ill children and their families are provided an all-expense paid retreat (www.CampFirefly.com). Together, Kirk and Chelsea live in California with their six children.
One of my readers will win a copy of UNSTOPPABLE. Giveaway is open to US and Canada.



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.

Kindle Fire HD #Giveaway!

Welcome to the Kindle Fire HD Giveaway!

Organized and hosted by Summer That

Co-Hosted By: So Simply Stephanie, My Turn for Us, Love Bakes Good Cakes, and Knitty Gritty Savings

What is your story? Do you enjoy reading? If so, do you prefer paper books, reading on a device or a combination of both? I still love the feel of paper books in my hands, but I own a Kindle myself. I find the Kindle (and the Kindle App on my smartphone) the perfect way to read when a paper book isn't available. The Kindle is small enough to fit into my purse so even standing in line at the grocery store, I can be found reading a book. I'm an avid reader and my husband claims I get the shakes if I don't have a book on me at all times. 

When I had the opportunity to join in on this Kindle Fire HD Giveaway with Summer That, I knew I had to be a part of it. Have you seen all the versatility you get with a Kindle Fire? You get reading power, plus the benefits of a tablet without having to purchase another device. 

The new Kindle Fire HD is a full-featured HD tablet at an SD price. There's more to enjoy than ever before with a stunning HD display, faster performance, longer battery life, and lighter design. Use your new Kindle to read your favorite books, watch your favorite movies, connect with friends on social media and more!

One lucky reader will receive a Kindle Fire HD 16GB WiFi!

Retail Value $169
Enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win.
Giveaway ends February 17th at 11:59pm, open to US and Canada, ages 18+.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. SummerThat.com will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. Co-hosts and other blog participants are not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twi tter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Please contact SummerThatBlog@gmail.com with any questions or to see your business or blog featured on the next big event!
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