American Express Gift Card ($100) Giveaway

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Giveaway $100 American Express Gift Card

Where would you spend an extra $100 this summer? I’d probably use it to spend on some extras in New York City or maybe splurge on a water park day in Columbus. Or maybe a few extra special trips to our local food trucks or ice cream shop. But then there’s always the temptation of using it for gas to drive to the beach…

NonperfectParenting.com is hosting a Giveaway of a $100 American Express Gift Card, and they’ve asked me to help share the news. All you have to do to enter is click the link below. In the process, maybe you’ll discover some new blogs to follow! Do me a favor and hit the SHARE button of your choice, too!

American Express Gift Card ($100) Giveaway

Entry-Form

Easy, peasy. Who doesn’t like a chance at some extra cash?

How would you spend an extra $100 this summer? Would you share with your kids, or use it for some much needed ME time? 

Monster Jam

Disclaimer: I am an FEI Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows, reporting my opinion and/or administering ticket giveaways within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment, Inc. or one of its affiliates has provided opportunities to attend its private pre-show events. This post about Monster Jam ® is part of this program.

I have a big secret. We’ll be taking the kids to Monster Jam on Friday, February 12 right here in Pittsburgh (at Consol Energy Center)…but the big secret is that I am actually super excited about FINALLY getting to go. This is going to be one of those “things I always wish I could have done as a kid so I am going to be sure my kids get to do it” things.

Monster Jam®

Does anyone else remember growing up and seeing the commercials and getting super excited about Monster Jam? Wanting to go drive a big truck and run stuff over? There’s no way I am alone, 80’s kids.

Don’t you remember Grave Digger®?

Grave Digger

And I am pretty sure my kids are going to be on the lookout for Backwards Bob.

Backwards Bob

These 10,000 pound trucks on 66″ tires are sure to thrill the adventure-seeking kids of all ages in our city. If you didn’t already know, here’s some more information about the show‘s concept:

Monster Jam® is the most action-packed live event on four wheels where world-class drivers compete in front of capacity crowds in both monster truck racing and freestyle competitions. Monster Jam® combines high-octane, spontaneous entertainment with the ultimate in off road, motorsport competition.

(This information as well as photos and show logo are courtesy of Feld Motor Sports, Inc., an affiliate of Feld Entertainment, Inc., the world’s leading producer of live family entertainment experiences,)

If you are half as excited as I am, you’re going to want to get your tickets ASAP.

SAVE IN A MONSTER WAY!!! Not only am I giving away a Family Four Pack to the Friday, February 12, 2016 Monster Jam show at CONSOL Energy Center (check it out at the bottom of this post), but I am also sharing $5 off tickets bought at Ticketmaster.com, the Dick’s Sporting Goods Box Office at CONSOL Energy Center or by calling 1-800-745-3000 when using code MJPITT. (Restrictions, exclusions, and additional fees may apply. Not valid on Front Row or VIP seats. No double discounts. All tickets $2 more day of show. Offer expires 2/11/16.)

Event Schedule:

Friday, February 12 at 7:30pm (the ‘lil Burghers will be there – no babies)

Saturday, February 13 at 2pm and 7:30pm; Pit Party at 11am-12:30pm (must have ticket to 2pm event to attend)

Sunday, February 14 at 2pm; Pit Party at 11am-12:30pm (must have ticket to 2pm event to attend)

Ticket Prices:

$55, $35, $25 and kids just $12 (Ages 2-12. Valid on select price levels. Must purchase 1 adult ticket for every 4 kids tickets)! (Restrictions and additional fees may apply. All tickets $2 more day of show).

 

Good luck!

 

 

 

A Dozen Cousins

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A Dozen Cousins
Source: Sterling Books

 

Up until recently, Arianna was one girl in the “next generation” of cousins. She’s still the only girl on my dad’s side of the family (with three other boys), but I am not convinced that bothers her…especially after reading A Dozen Cousins as a recent bedtime story.

From Sterling Children’s Books:

What’s life like for one little girl with TWELVE male cousins? Not easy! When Anna’s mischievous family comes for a visit, there’s never a dull moment. They put a lizard in her hat, read her secret diary, and even use her skirt as a teepee. But when push comes to shove, would Anna have it any other way? Loaded with infectious humor and detailed illustrations, A DozenCousins (Sterling Children’s Books, February 2015) will have families large and small smiling along with its ever happy heroine and her big, boisterous boy family.

A Dozen Cousins, written by Lori Haskins Houran and illustrated by Sam Usher, is a delightful story about Anna, one girl with twelve male cousins. The boys (love how diverse they are!) come for a visit and are up to typical boy fun. Mischievous ‘lil ones, they are!

 

My kids loved the hilarious illustrations in this quick read and laughed along with me as we identified with things our girl “among the boys” has been through. It was a great bedtime story and one I’ve been asked to read again, just in the few days we’ve had it.

Even better, we found out that this book was autobiographical about author Lori Haskins Houran who “grew up with tons of cousins”. Illustrator Sam Usher takes Lori’s story and pairs it up with adorable drawings up Anna and her cousins.

This book will be available through Sterling Children’s Books in February 2015 for a suggested retail price of $14.95; however, you can win your own copy to share with your ‘lil ones right here. Good luck!

A Dozen Cousins

Cloth Diapering: Giving it a Try

With two babies on the way, Greg and I thought long and hard about how their entrance into our world was going to change things. One of those things will be how we diaper our babies. If you’ve been reading this blog for a few years, you might recall this post where I said:

For us, cloth diapering is just not the way to go, but it doesn’t mean that we are anti-cloth. Frankly, I wanted to give it a shot, but really, the choice needs to be up to the primary caregiver. Mr. Burgher would be that person.

I was right at the time but now things have changed. We got a diaper sprayer to help with some of Arianna’s accidents (she’s lactose intolerant and potty training was a not so fun mess). We got a few swim diapers and overnight diapers to test out with Evan. But this time? Baby A and Baby B will be all-in on the fluffy fun of cloth. Fun. Yup, I said it. I think cloth is beautiful. My mom cloth diapered me for awhile, but they just were not made the same as they are today. And Greg? This time he is all on board. Even if it means more laundry.

Because I’ll be for real – the cost to diaper two babies in disposable diapers is triple the cost to cloth diaper, even when buying at full price. 

It’s worth the extra laundry. 

To help us solidify our decision, I talked to Helena at Thanks Mama (a family owned cloth diapering and natural parenting store based in Boston, MA with an online presence). She listened to my questions, which may be a “Level 2” compared to a complete cloth newbie (because I did some research when we had Evan + have friends and cousins who have gone the cloth route), but were still pretty basic. My questions are her answers made us decide this is for us and thus began the quest to fill our cloth stash. Squee!

Thanks Mama
Source: Thanks Mama

Wondering what I asked? (Helena’s answers are in italics.)

1. Can you start cloth diapering your newborn right away, or can the meconium ruin precious fluff? You can start cloth diapering right away although stains may be left on the fabric. It never bothered me though.

^ That was our biggest worry. What are we doing about it? For now, we’ll use regular diapers in the hospital and then switch when we get home or the meconium slows up. I’m a bit of an OCD freak, so having a stained diaper until the babies are potty trained will drive me nuts.

2. The AIO diapers look like a huge blesssing, but the liners seem so inexpensive and a great way to get rid of stool. Should we be pairing AIO’s with liners, or are they good with the layers that come with?  Yes many parents use [disposable liners], they do make poop disposal easier. For newborn you would not need anything until you introduce solid food, the stool is very watery and has very little odor (especially if you breast feed) the diaper can go directly into diaper pail to be washed. You will know when it is time to either introduce disposable liners or shake the poop into the toilet or invest into diaper sprayer that attaches to your toilet pipes and makes rinsing the diapers super easy.

^ Our plan is to start using AIO (all-in-one) diapers with our babies and adding in the disposable liner when they are eating solids, but we might pick up some samplers to make the “final choice” – stay tuned for some future posts where I compare an AIO and a pocket – to be explained in that post!)

+

Follow along with us as we start our cloth diapering journey. Helena and Thanks Mama will be helping us out with future questions, and she’s even graciously provided me with a giveaway for a $25 code to Thanks Mama in case you are interested in trying out cloth (or adding to your stash or just need something special for mom!). This giveaway ends on 1/24. Good luck!

$25 to Thanks Mama

Disclosure: I was compensated with product and giveaway value in exchange for this post. All opinions, however, are 100% my own. 

MOMOSAS

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Back in October, just after I announced I was pregnant, we were sitting in the pool at Disney and my cousins left me with all the kids and hopped over to the bar for a drink. Admittedly, I was a little sad – not because I was left with 6 screaming and splashing kids (one who was repeatedly kicking me in the stomach) plus the two in utereo, but because I would have given anything to have a sweet, fun [non-alcoholic] drink along with them. If only I had taken my copy of MOMOSAS along as a guide to come up with a fun drink I could have asked them to bring me back.

Source: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.
Source: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

MOMOSAS (Fun Alcohol-Free Drinks for Expecting Moms), by Paul Knorr, is a book filled with over 130 non-alcoholic drinks for anyone who might be like me and want a fun drink without the alcohol (expecting moms, nursing moms, supportive dads, people in training, people abstaining).

With everything from Punchless Piña Coladas and Virgin Banana Daiquiris, to smoothies, shakes, sparklers, and spritzes, pregnant women can finally enjoy happy hour instead of sitting on the sidelines for 9 months.

I love the names (and tastes) of these drinks. Yeah, many of the names are a bit baby-based, but that is pretty much all I have on my mind these days anyhow. Doesn’t a Pitter-Patter or Smooth Delivery sound good? I mean, I know it’s cold out there in Pittsburgh today, but sometimes kicking back and relaxing with a fun drink can warm up these cold days, right?

You can find these fun recipes in MOMOSAS by picking up the book (published by Sterling Publishing) for a suggested retail value of $12.95 – a nice addition to a “Congrats” card for the newest expecting mama in your life, right? (Here it is on Amazon.) BUT, I’ve been given a copy to give away  and  a recipe to share with you!  (Scroll down for the giveaway – it ends 1/18 at 11:59 PM and there are options to enter daily.)

POOH BEAR

1 Part Lemonade

1 Part Apple Juice

Splash Grenadine

Shake with ice and strain over ice in a tall glass.

Pooh Bear Page 81

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Giveaway: Toe Talk

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My tootsies are chilly this morning, how about yours? Winter is here, welcomed by the Winter Solstice today. Toe Talk and I want to be sure that you are covered and warm – but if you’ve done your 108 Sun Salutations today, I am sure you are.

Toe Talk is going to be teaming up with ‘lil Burghers to bring you fun yoga information, including specials on their products. For instance, they are celebrating with $1.08 off each pair of socks using the code 108suns on checkout (expires EOD 12/21/14).

Source: Toe Talk’s Facebook Page

And they’ve given their team of bloggers 108 socks to give away today, too! (My split is 7 pairs of socks, which will be sent to the winner in January.) Good luck, I am sure  you’d love to treat yourself to a pair of socks like mine!

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Don’t do yoga? These socks just might inspire you to take up my mantra, seek balance!

My Warrior Chick Toe Talk Socks

Toe Talk® non-slip socks are designed to be fun and stylish, but they are also meant to inspire mindfulness and a balanced, healthy lifestyle. You can see all their adorable designs at toe-talk.com and stay tuned here to learn more. 

Ringling Bros. Circus

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I’ll be for real. I have a serious thing about clowns. My brother got picked on by one when we were little, and I sort of can’t get over it. But my kids? They love the circus and elephants and clowns and all things fun that Ringling Bros. Circus will be bringing to town on November 5 and 6.

And well, we’ll be there to enjoy it all. They tell me they’ll hold me and make me feel ok. They’d better be on their promise. I’m looking for some Pittsburghers who want to spend an evening with their family at the Circus, too. That’s why when I was asked to give away a family four-pack of tickets, I couldn’t say no. This is going to be a quick giveaway, though. Ringling Bros. Circus will be in Pittsburgh at Consol Energy Center, presenting Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Presents Built to Amaze on November 5 -9. The giveaway will be for 4 tickets for November 5 or 6 7 PM performance.

Circus performers from across the globe create the perfect blend of athleticism and bravery, where power meets fearlessness and amazement has no bounds.  Magnificent elephants, ferocious tigers, astonishing acrobats and awe-inspiring aerialists are engineered into one spectacular performance.

(Source: www.ringling.com)

Ok, I should be just fine. How fun does this look?

Ringling Bros. Circus
Source: @ringlingbros Twitter Account

 

And clowns? I see none. I got this. But it will  be more fun if you can join us. So enter this giveaway today, and tell your friends.

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Hot Designs Nail Art Pens

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In June, Arianna joined me for a girls’ day out which included pedicures. The girl is obsessed, but our piggy bank simply cannot support the obsession. When I found out about Get Hot Looks’ Hot Designs Nail Art Pens, I was certain this was going to cure the issue…and (hallelujah), I was right.

Hot Designs Nail Art Pens

The kit we received had 3 pens, each with 2 colors, a design tip, and a paint brush (for full color application). The colors were basic – black, white, blue, red, green, and pink – however, the possibilities were endless when it came to what we could do with them. Because I am a visual artist, I followed the picture instructions that came with the pens and gave myself two designs. I worked quickly because Arianna was about to wake up and I knew I’d be discovered and her demand a design herself. Practice (and patience) with these pens makes perfect. 

My first two are not something to hang in a museum (or to enter in the Got Hot Looks’ Summer Giveaway contest to win a $250 Target Giftcard), but they worked for me!

Before starting to design on Arianna’s nails, I decided to test taking off the polish. It was thicker than the polish I am used to (the base is just one coat!), so I wanted to see how hard it was going to be to take off if I messed up. The polish got a little gummy, but was otherwise just like taking off any other polish.

Next up, it was Mommy & Me time with Arianna. Her pedicure is well worn, but she loves it (and will ’til the very end), so we focused on her fingers. She wanted a ladybug, a disco ball, some dots, and her initials. I believe that I delivered! Her hands are still very tiny, so instead, head over to my Instagram and check out this video that I took while using the pens. 🙂

We were impressed, and cannot wait to try out some more designs. The Hot Designs Nail Art Pens are definitely going to become part of our beauty regimen, and we’d love to hear that you’ve given them a try, too! You can find out more about these pens at GetHotLooks.com  / Facebook / Twitter  / pick up your own (suggested retail value is $14.95). OR, you can take a chance to get a set for yourself for FREE right here on the blog. What do you say? Ready to Create hot, fun and unique designs on your nails right at home? Let’s go.

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A little side note about shipping…The pens arrived on my doorstep on a hot day – the delivery driver had no idea that there was a fragile substance inside, so they got a little warm on the porch. I was VERY glad this didn’t hinder our fun or make the paint in the pens act any differently than expected.