#BHBC Review: “You Have No Idea” #spon

One of the things I often wonder is, “How would my life have been different if I would have just…” (listened to my mom?). Sure, some things would have been a lot different, but maybe some things turned out the way they did because I chose not to listen.

Helen and Vanessa Williams (from BlogHer)

One of my childhood idols, Vanessa Williams, and her mother, Helen Williams, teamed up to write “You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss (and Each Other)”. The two tag-team Vanessa’ biography…Helen sprinkles in the advice that she gave Vanessa, and Vanessa gives her take on what the life moments around that advice. From as simple as not riding with someone else on the back of her bike to not posing nude, they tell it all.

While I am not normally one for biographies/memoirs, I have to tell you, “You Have No Idea” had me captivated from the beginning. As a child, I loved singing along to “Save the Best for Last” and “Colors of the Wind”, and we all know the story about the photos that ended her reign as Miss America. But, there are so many things I didn’t know about Vanessa, like that she has four children and was married twice (Rick Fox was one of her husbands). Oh, and Vanessa and I connect on a level–traveling with a breast pump and no baby. You’ll have to read the book to hear about the time she was in an airport and got called out by security…oh, do I know the feeling! Vanessa and Helen each gave their own side of the story (there’s always two sides, right?) and this makes the biography feel light–something I appreciate.

Helen and Vanessa write about the pageants, the music, the Broadway dream. Through it all, the theme of surviving what life hands you sticks out. While reading Vanessa’s story and hearing Helen’s advice, I laughed, I cried, and most of all, it made me connect with my past on another level. I can look back at things my mom has told me and say, “Oh! She was so right”…and it makes me think of things that I will have to tell my daughter.

This book was a fun read, and I highly recommend you pick up a copy of it. It is almost Mother’s Day, after all, so perhaps pick up a copy for your own mom and pen a note about some of the advice she gave you in life.

Want to join in on the fun that BlogHer is having around the release of “You Have No Idea”? Head over to their Book Club page. You’ll be able to hear more about the book, and join in the discussions, and even read an excerpt from Chapter One. There will be a new question each week, and I encourage you to share your thoughts. The first question will be, “Did you follow your mother’s rules? Did you listen to her advice?“. So what are you waiting for? Go share!

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Disclosure: This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

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Want to hear more from Vanessa? Follow her on Twitter (@vwofficial) or like her on Facebook.

Tots and Me–Baby Shower Celebration #Giveaway–Picky Sticky!

I am joining in with Tots and Me to celebrate the birth of her baby boy. Her Baby Shower Celebration has been extended into April due to unforeseen circumstances. The review that follows is written by Tots and Me.

Tots and Me
A few weeks ago I shared a little bit about Picky Sticky

These milestone monthly onesie stickers are great! I have so far used 3 of the stickers. The pack I chose had a “0” month for newborn, and while I didn’t get to use it on the day of baby Harold’s birth (because I hadn’t received them yet) I used them as soon as I could. 
Don’t you just love the cute little dinosaur.
Each month the dinosaur is different.
These hand designed stickers are super cute and so easy to use. They come packaged in a cellophane package and each month’s sticker is on it’s own backing. 

They come off very easily and are a cinch to apply to your baby’s onesie. As they are transparent you can choose whatever color plain onesie you think will complement your design. When you are done taking your pictures the sticker comes off easily and can even be reused. I decided to put mine on a sheet of computer paper onto which I will then write any special memories as they happen in the coming month. I plan to keep the papers in baby Harold’s baby book. Use your imagination and see what you can come up with to reuse your stickers. (It is almost Earth Day after all).

There are so many designs to choose from. Check out the Picky Sticky site. There are choices for boys and girls and even neutral stickers for those who prefer NOT to know the gender of their baby beforehand. In addition there are First Milestone Stickers and Belly Stickers for pregnant mommies. I think these would make a wonderful baby shower gifts and right now they are on sale (the sets that are usually $19.95 are currently $12.95).  They also offer free shipping for orders over $20.00

Don’t forget to check Picky Sticky out on Facebook and on their blog.

Of course, as a part of my Baby Shower Celebration you have a chance to win a set of your very own Picky Sticky Monthly Milestone Onesie Stickers. Just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. I have to mention that I know I do not usually have so many entries on my Rafflecopter forms. However, these wonderful ladies are helping to share my Baby Shower Celebration and I offered them a spot or two on said form. Remember, you don’t have to fill in every entry (there are only 2 mandatory entries) but each entry you complete increases your chances for winning and I would love for you to follow these great ladies who are helping me.

Disclosure: I received  a set of Picky Sticker Monthly Stickers for free as a part of my Baby Shower Celebration. This did not in any way influence my review. I only recommend products I use personally and will be good for my readers.

This giveaway uses Rafflecopter–please go over to the original post on Tots and Me to enter!

#Giveaway from UPrinting–A Rolled Canvas Print

This giveaway is now closed. Congrats, Sally!

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As you know, we’ve been dabbling in some attempts to take great pictures. We occasionally happen to snap a pretty decent shot of the kids, but usually only when they are in two different photos. One of these times, we’ll get it just right and have something worth hanging in the living room, but for now, we tend to print photos of the kids by themselves, and that’s ok, too.

Recently I was contacted by UPrinting to take a look at their rolled canvas prints, and I have to tell you, I fell in love with the idea. You pick an image that you like a lot (because let’s be honest, this is going on canvas, you’re going to want to keep it for a long time). Upload that image to their website and place the order. It’s a one business day turnaround (plus 2 for shipping), and voila! you have a “classier and more sophisticated” piece of art (or photo hanging) to place in your home.

UPrinting’s canvas prints start at $13.11 for an 8″ x 10″ and can be made as big as 40″ x 60″. If you’d like to stretch or frame the rolled canvas print, you can even get it with a 2″ border. The images are printed on “premium artist canvas material” and with soy ink (more environmentally friendly).

I know we’re excited about this because we’ll definitely take advantage of sealing up one of those great memories (like maybe ‘lil Man’s first birthday/smash cake photos or one of our wedding photos) and having it forever. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, head over to UPrinting to get your own canvas printing…or…you can enter this giveaway for a chance at a free print!

Rules:
1. This giveaway is open to US residents only, 18 years old and above.
2. No prize substitutions allowed.
3. Winners are allowed to win once over a six-month period.
4. Only email addresses used for the giveaway will be eligible to claim the prize.
5. This giveaway will run through Wednesday, April 25 at 6:00 PM and I will pick the winner using Random.org

How to Enter:
Mandatory: Leave me a comment–what picture would you get on a canvas print?

Optional:
1. Like UPrinting on Facebook (leave me a comment with your Facebook name, saying you did)
2. Follow UPrinting on Twitter (leave me a comment with your twitter name, saying you did)
3. Add UPrinting to Google+ Circle (leave me a comment with your Google+ name, saying you did)

Prize Information:
1 pc. rolled canvas print for one (1) winner
16” x 20”
With 2-inch border or No border
1 Business Day Turnaround
*Free shipping
Restriction: Limited to *US residents 18 years old and above only

Good luck!

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Disclaimer: You should assume that I will receive free print products in exchange for the post. Any and all reviews posted are based solely on my own experience and may be atypical. Please practice due diligence in making any related purchase decisions. Interested to hold a giveaway like this? Please sign up here.

Felt Play Food #giveaway (I Made It! Market Jr.)

Update!

Random.org drew comment #17 as the winner.

Congratulations, Tom!

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Next Saturday, all of you should head down to Bakery Square and check out I Made It! Market Jr.! There are many reasons. It’s a great way to enjoy Earth Day. It’s Family Fun in the Square (and parking is free). Thirty artists will be selling handmade goodies–this time around, it is geared toward goodies for kids. AND, more importantly, because you really need to check out the handmade felt creations by Leslie of chikin feathers!

Leslie is a Pittsburgher, a mom, an accountant, and an avid crafter. She is handy at lots of different crafts, but will be showcasing her latest passion, felt play food, at I Made It! Market Jr. next Saturday. A few years ago, Leslie started hand stitching felt play food for her daughter (who wanted food that was prettier than plastic). Lucky for us, she is now marketing her wares, and let me tell you, they are gorgeous and see pays so much attention to detail! They are so awesome, I almost crawled through my computer trying to eat these goodies. I mean, who wouldn’t want to try?

(I know that ‘lil Man is going to be drooling all over these, and ‘lil Miss A will be feeding her babies yummy treats. Can’t blame them!)

Hopefully you’ll be able to make it out to I Made it Market! Jr. next Saturday (April 21) in Bakery Square from 12-4 PM. Stop by Leslie’s booth and tell her I sent you. Pick up some of these goodies for the ‘lil ones in your life! If you can’t make it on Saturday, Wildcard in Lawrenceville carries some of Leslie’s products, and she’ll be opening up her Etsy Shop soon. She will be expanding to felt notebooks, childrens games, hair accessories and other felt items as well as eventually offering patterns for sale!

But, because Leslie is so great, she has teamed up with me with a giveaway of a set of her felt play food! One of you will be lucky enough to receive a set of felt play food–the pancakes and strawberries (pictured above)! Leslie will ship the set to the winner after Saturday’s show.

Here are the details:
-Readers have until 11:59 PM on Friday, April 20 to enter. The winner will be picked via random.org, notified by e-mail, and will have 48 hours to reply.
-Leslie will send the winner their goodies.
-Entries can be earned by:
1. Mandatory–Comment on this post. Which of the felt foods is your favorite?
2. Optional–“Like” I Made It! Market on Facebook. Come back here and leave a comment telling me you have (include your Facebook name).
3. Optional–RSVP for I Made It! Market Jr. on Facebook. Come back here and leave a comment telling me you have (include your Facebook name).
4. Optional–Enter another I Made It! Market Jr. giveaway hosted by any of the other bloggers who’ve teamed up with the artists, come back here, and tell me which one(s) you entered! (1 comment per each.)

Lots of chances to win, good luck!

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Here are the other bloggers and artists who are participating:
1. Gina is hosting a Very Merry Glass night light giveaway. (You can bet I’ll be throwing some money down on one of the ellie night lights!)

2. Dawn is hosting a giveaway of a personalized set of a onesie, a blanket, and four burp cloths from Grace in Abundance.

3. Dina is hosting a Gillie Beans Boutique roll-up crayon case giveaway.

4. Michelle is hosting a giveaway of a photography session with Anne Lopez Photography–go enter!

As more bloggers and artists enter, they will be listed here. Good luck!

Baking and Laundry–Two Things I Don’t Think Go Together

This post is brought to you by our friends at Purex. The opinions are 100% my own.

When I was asked to take a trial of the newest Purex scent, as usual, I jumped at the chance. And then, I found out it was “Cookie Scented”, and I questioned whether or not it was a good idea. I mean, I’ve had plenty of temptations while trying to eat healthier, the last thing I needed was for our clothes to smell like cookies.

Instead of using this detergent on our sheets or my clothes, I decided to have Mr. Burgher use it on the kids’. Sure, it smelled sweet and yummy, just like home baked goodness of chocolate chip cookies (you know, really good ones? Yeah.). It was exactly what I thought it would be, a huge temptation. The kids just kept begging for some cookies, and I don’t blame them. And, A begged me to keep washing her clothes in this scent (do you blame her)? Thank goodness we got enough to last them 66 washes! As for me, I am still not convinced that these things go together, but to each their own.

If you are interested in finding out more, you can head over to the Purex site and hear more about it. The factuals–it is safe in all washing machines, including High Efficiency, and it has stain fighting microbeads that smell like chocolate chips. Give it a try today!

Getting Luscious and Beautiful (in the yard)

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts® for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

It’s undeniable, spring has sprung here in Pittsburgh. That means we’ve been trying to spend some more time outside, but when you have yard with dry (crab?) grass, pool runoff, and a dry flower bed, it’s hard to imagine yourself in a relaxing place. As Mr. Burgher and I prepare for our summer yard plans. We want a lush, beautiful “oasis”, but we’re going to need some help. A miracle, perhaps? 

That’s where we’re hoping that Expand ‘n Gro™ from Scotts Miracle-Gro line will help. This products boasts moisture control–and in a yard with spots of dry and spots of wet soil, this is key. Plants need the right amount of moisture to stay healthy, right? Well, if we till the concentrated Expand ‘n Gro into our native soil, we’ll have lighter “soil with better water holding ability, moisture distribution, and drainage”, according to Miracle-Gro’s website. 

Here,  take a look for yourself and see how Expand ‘n Gro can help transform yards (or pots) by making the environment right for growth.

Doesn’t that sound just heavenly? I can already see my plants growing better this summer, and what a relief it will be to know that using Expand ‘n Gro this summer will improve our soil for several years. The coconut husk fibers will help our garden be fed and watered for up to 6 months–and at the rate we’re going, we’ll still be enjoying flowers in September! 

Are you as excited as I am about getting the yard ready for summer? Leave me a comment below about what your summer yard/gardening plans are, and make sure you check out the Expand n’ Gro website. There’s a coupon there, too! 

EnG Product Shot.png

 

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New Sheets Plus Purex Laundry Detergent…

…equals one happy Mama Burgher! We put new sheets on the bed last night, fresh out of the dryer and I have to tell you, it was incredible. Thank goodness that Purex gave us a chance to try out their new Ultra Packs laundry detergent before it hits stores.

This is the newest innovation from Purex, an experience that is truly “laundry simplified”. The pack pops into the wash with your clothes (or sheets in our case) and just dissolves with the water. Nothing spills, there’s no lifting of heavy bottles, no measuring. Keeping our skin sensitivities in mind, Purex was willing to send us the “Free and Clear”, but there is also a “Mountain Breeze” version available, too.

Mr. Burgher was most excited of all. He opened the package of Ultra Packs and went to work at the washer. Next thing I knew, he was showing me the pre-measured pack of ultra concentrated laundry detergent and asking me to give it a squeeze. It was evident that he was liking the ease of use. He just threw it in with the water, tossed the sheets in, and walked away. Easy!

The sheets came out smelling fresh and feeling clean. I think we’ll take it. This product made our lives easier, and these days, that’s a win! Doing our sheets, the kids’ clothes, and our clothes did take up 5 packs (almost a third of the package of 18), so I’m not sure that we’ll be able to pay the price of convenience. (And can I say, I am not sure how long a bottle of detergent lasts us, so I have to leave this one up to Mr. Burgher–we get bottles that have enough detergent for 32 loads, so they last us about 6 weeks. One pack of Ultra Packs will go in about three weeks.) Either way, we still loved them and are glad we got the chance to test these out.

If you are interested in trying out this new product, look for it on shelves in February!

Thank you, Purex, for giving us a chance to test out your newest product! We were given a pack of Ultra Packs to test for this post; however, the opinions here are my own.