"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new."

Interested in Sponsoring? Check out our PR Policy below

Sign up for Swagbucks to earn extra entries, as well as gift cards & more! Use this link: Swagbucks!

Do you love when your house smells good? I sell Scentsy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: What are you reading?

the not so wordless portion: this is the stack of books that I am reading or have in my pile to be read.  i like books. a lot. so tell me, what's on your list? 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

5 Must-have Fashionable Pieces to Pack for Every Weekend Trip

Now here's something I know about.  This may be a little known fact about me... I love fashion. A lot. I rush back from the mailbox each month when InStyle is in my hand & I devour it.  I actually graduated from college with a degree in Apparel Merchandising, Design, & Production... aka fashion.  I still remember how my pulse quickened during my first class, when the instructor demanded we subscribe to Vogue, Harper's Bazaar & Women's Wear Daily as homework.  Here's something else that may or may not be well known about me.  We travel a lot.  Especially during the summer- we're constantly headed to Iowa where we pack weekends full of my hubs' brother's baseball games & boating.  These are two of Mike's most favorite things in the world.  All this traveling means packing a lot. So here it is: my list of 5 must-haves (& since I'm clearly an expert, you should totally listen to me, right?!)

First a tip: I generally decide what color scheme I'm going with & I try to stick with it for all pieces I pack... generally this means black or brown, so I can limit my shoes.  For the sake of the length of this article, I'm also sticking with summer weekends, since it's hot now, although for the most part this can be adapted for winter (boots in place of sandals, of course).

1. Comfy sandals that can be dressed up or down.  I don't just mean Old Navy rubber flip flops... I mean, cute sandals that are appropriate when you're on the boat, in a swim suit or when you're wearing shorts & a tank top.

2. Basic tank. I generally pack two- white & then black or brown (depending on that shoe decision I already made). This way I can layer under whatever else or I have a plain tank to dress up with jewelry!

3. Jewelry ... that's right. Even in summer, I wear jewelry. (Of course I do, duh! Check out my other blog for more info on that!)  I pack a few key silver (cause I prefer it to yellow gold) pieces & then a few colored pieces.  I like to mix & match, depending on what activity we're doing.

4. A great tote/handbag.  For me, this often has double duty as a diaper bag.  You see, when I go away for the weekend, it sometimes allows for the Hubs & I to get that rare date in, so I don't want to be toting my diaper bag to a restaurant when it's just the two of us.  But at the same time, I don't want to take extra bags on the trip, so it needs to be large enough to toss a diaper & snacks in. (No kids? This applies to husband's extras too... I used to refer to my handbag as "Mikey's diaper bag, cause I carried so much of my husband's stuff. Also, if you'll be shopping or whatever, this applies!)

5. One fabulous, versatile accessory... Mine is typically a scarf. Works to keep me warm, if it's a little chilly in the morning.  Helps mix it up, in case I only have that basic white tank left.  Greasy hair? Wrap the scarf around it! Think you may need it, but not sure? Tie it around that great handbag & you'll have it with you when you're shopping! My favorite way to use a scarf, as a mother- a cover up for public nursing, a cover up for that food stain that my toddler threw at me, etc, etc.  Versatility people, that's what I'm talking about!

One last fashionable piece- a positive attitude! Being away for the weekend can be stressful, if you let it, so just relax, have fun & know that you look great!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Gap Outlet blogging program to be eligible to win a $20 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here. Check out this link for more ideas: http://www.twittermoms.com/forum/topics/share-5-musthave-fashionable

Is it time?

Let's call it.  It's time.  It's officially our summer.  We've recently begun hitting 90 plus degrees & have cranked the air conditioner up.

Here's a rundown of how we've spent our first four days of "Summer".

We began our journey at a Celebration of Life... it was fabulous.  Full of dance routines & green balloons, fond memories, & love. Lots & lots of love.

We've spent two full days on our bikes, riding twenty miles each time.  Looking through the trees at gorgeous houses & the river... stopping for refreshing drinks & diaper changes... racing our friends & trailering B.

We've walked, run through a sprinkler (just once, cause B wasn't a huge fan of the cold water), we've sidewalk chalked & walked to the grocery store...

We've escaped to our local bookstore to bask in books, toys & air conditioning.

We've gone to lunch with friends... 3 times! Enjoyed catching up with an old friend & learning about a new friend...  Tried new restaurants & stopped in our favorite too.

We've been to the park with friends & moved the party to a house, when it got too hot... at 10am.

Bubbles have been blown, Cozy Coupes have been driven, & grill outs with friends & beer have happened.

...on the menu for tonight? A bike ride, more grilling, & a bright white, new pad of paper with sharp, jumbo crayons.

And this weekend? Oh, get ready... the zoo, baseball, boating & a movie date... can't wait!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Yoreganics Winner!

Well this is long overdue... I apologize for being so mia, I had a good friend in for a few days & with our new summer weather, we've been on the go, so blogging has fallen by the wayside. I've got a few posts in the works & will try to get them done today so I can post them asap- one really yummy review/giveaway included!

For now, I'll leave you with the Yoreganics laundry trio & lip balm winner- Rebecca! She won with her entry about wanting to try the lip balm & now she gets too- she will love it, I just know it!

Thanks for entering everyone... & thanks for reading!

Rebecca- I have emailed you & you have 24 hours to respond, or I'll have to draw a new winner. :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Calling all D-Listers!

Hi everyone! I'm excited to participate in this D-List Blog event! I always love finding new blogs to read & new new readers for my blog.

My name is Mandy. I'm 25 ... almost 26- eek! I've been married to my amazing husband, Mike, for 3 years & we have a 16 month old son, B. I'm so blessed to be able to stay home with B right now, for which I will be forever grateful to my husband, for working so hard. We're currently in a suburb of Chicago, but we lived in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago before moving out here (hence the name of my blog). I typically blog about B, adventures with our giant dog, Tucker & I do a fair amount of reviews & giveaways. We are learning to lead a more organic, sustainable lifestyle & I talk about it frequently as well. We're currently in the process of working out some major changes in our life... & my future career, so as those pieces come together, I'll be blogging about them as well.

Thanks for stopping by! I can't wait to 'meet' some more of you!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I couldn't have said it better...

So I won't try.  My dear friend, Madison, posted this blog entry yesterday.  I'm so glad she called some attention to this...  Please, please, please check out her post & educate yourself.  This is so important to the safety of our children.

Aren't You Worried About Him Being Uncomfortable? (Life Happens During Naptime)

You see, B just topped 20 pounds. By 2 ounces.  And the first thing our pediatrician said after checking his weight, was "Oh, legally you can switch him around now!" What... an idiot.  Granted, once I said "oh no, he'll be rear-facing still", she quickly agreed that rear-facing is the best option, I wish she'd have prefaced her previous statement with that.  She should've said "Even though the law says you can switch him, I'd recommend you keep him rear-facing".  But she didn't.  And how many other patients does she see?  The answer is a lot, since we go to one of the largest medical practices in the Chicago suburbs.

B's convertible carseat can rear-face until 40 (or 45?) pounds.  My almost 5 year old niece just weighed in around 45 pounds, and she's a very tall little girl.  Will I keep B rear-facing until he's 5?  Probably not... but you can bet he'll be a lot bigger before I trust his little body to protect himself in the event of a car accident.  That's what his daddy & I are here for- to protect him.

Green Quiz Quest

I'm so excited about the Green Quiz Quest. I don't normally sign up for these types of things, but with the description, how could I not? 

The Green Quiz Quest is an online scavenger hunt that will help bring customers and businesses together that both are in favor of protecting the Earth. The Quest will offer the fun of the Scavenger Hunt with the reward of prizes for Seekers and offer additional traffic and new clients for the Sponsors.

The Green Quiz Quest runs from July 1, 2010 to July 31, 2010. We ask all sponsors register prior to May 25, 2010. Seekers may register whenever they are able. 

Our goal with the Quest is to help customers find some great new websites that offer everything from “green” products to blogs and informational sites that help them and their families go green.

We hope that this premier Quest will help introduce a new way to find green businesses and will help even more families learn how to be better to our planet.
It looks like there's a lot of great sponsors! I'm excited to participate, aren't you? 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you mamas out there! May your day be full of fun & blessings! 

I'm spending the day with my own mama & my little man (of course, my wonderful, amazing husband as well!) Look for the recap soon! 

And if you're not already an avid reader of this fabulous blog, I urge you to check out today's post.  It's beautiful, as always.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

the chair.

We bought B this chair a couple weeks ago at Lowe's.  It's just this little green lawn chair, but it's just his size.  And he loves it.  We've taken it outside & now it's inside, because he likes to sit on it so much. He sort of drags it around with him wherever he goes.

I think soon we'll have a room full of little furniture!

Friday, May 7, 2010

What Makes Me Happy Today

My mom is here, visiting for 5 days!

B has taken to my mom like white on rice. Seriously, I was a little worried, cause he doesn't get to see her very often... but he's running all over the place, yelling "GramGuh! GramGuh!" (cause that's Grandma in B speak)

There was an amazing sale at the Coach outlet today. My mom happened to mention that she'd thought about stopping at the outlet in Iowa on her way here, but she didn't do it.  I then informed her that there was one about 5 minutes from my house, so we thought we better go.  We didn't even know there was a sale! Oh man, were we in for a surprise! Happy Mother's Day to us (thanks Mama)! I got this pretty little diddy, & a cute handbag... My mom got um... multiple handbags. We did good. 

Mr. Tucker puppy turned 2 today & I got him a toy that seems relatively indestructible.  We'll see how long it really lasts though. 

and last but not least, it's the weekend, which means Mike doesn't have to go to work for the next two days! 

...life is good...

(& my mom took this picture of us tonight)

Tasty (brand) Organic Fruit Snacks

I love fruit snacks. I always have.... like those really cheap ones at Target that are so delicious & of course, so cheap!  But... those cheap, delicious fruit snacks from the grocery store jam-packed with a whole lotta yucky additives & other crap. So, I've been on the search for some equally yummy fruit snacks that I can throw in my bag & not feel guilty about giving to B (the only guilt I need is from eating too many myself & then not having enough for him...whoops!)

I was able to receive a sample of Tasty Brand Organic Fruit Snacks & was so excited to get them.  I opened them & gave one to B.  He immediately reached for more & started shoveling them in his mouth as fast as his little hands would let him!  I managed to swipe a couple to try myself & knew right away why he was loving them.  They were soft & chewy- not slimy or too gummy.  I could taste the actual fruit, rather than high fructose corn syrup (YUCK.)  I even got my husband to try a few & he said they were great too.  I'm so happy to have another yummy snack that I don't have to worry about giving B!

Wanna know what's in them? Check out the ingredients below (ingredient list copied directly from TastyBaby's website).

Wanna get some for yourself?  Check the site for stores near you or go to Amazon, where you may even get free shipping!

ORGANIC FRUIT SNACK INGREDIENTS: Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Tapioca Syrup Solids, Organic White Grape Juice Concentrate, Pectin, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Color added (Black Carrot Juice Concentrate, Turmeric, Annatto), Natural Flavors, Sodium Citrate, Organic Sunflower Oil, Carnauba Wax. 

Thank you to Tasty brand for supplying the sample of Organic Fruit Snacks. 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Melvin the Magnificent Molar

I was lucky enough to receive this adorable new book, Melvin the Magnificent Molar, written by Julia Cook & Laura Jana, MD.  I immediately opened it & showed it to B, who grabbed it & 'demanded' that I read it.  (By demand, I mean, he crawled into my lap & handed it back to me ... this is demand in toddler language.)

I like everything about this book.  It's a cute story & it's full of great illustrations.  While B may only have 4 teeth, he knows what a tooth is & he kept pointing at his own while I was reading.  Each page is full of color, full of colorful font & it's also informative.  It gives an honest, but cute interpretation of the 'life' of a tooth.

I think this is a great book to help teach kids the importance of brushing & keeping their teeth clean.  This would also make a fabulous addition to any dentist's office!  Pick up your own copy here: Melvin the Magnificent Molar

Thanks to the authors for the opportunity to receive & review this book. I appreciate all opportunities given to me & my family. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Yoreganics Review & Giveaway

let's revisit simple. --mother nature 
(via the Yoreganics website)

Recently, I was lucky enough to receive some trial products from Yoreganics, a super cool, local company who makes laundry and skin products.  I was really excited because, not only are they organic, they are local! LOVE that! I was able to try out the Soap Nuts, the Stain Remover, the Brightens & Whitens, and the lip balm.

It's no secret that I'm in a constant struggle with my cloth diapers and their stinky ammonia smell and buildup issues.  I've tried numerous detergents, including the one that everyone raves about.  None of them have really worked for me in the long-term.  Until now. Thus far, since using Yoreganics Soap Nuts, I'm stink free! Yay! Here's what the Yoreganics site says about Soap Nuts:

SOAP NUTS fall from the Soapberry tree (Sapindus mukorossi) found in Northern India and Nepal. The outer shells of these dried fruit berries contain saponin, which creates soap when agitated in water. They effectively clean, soften and remove odors from your laundry!

Both the Stain Remover & the Brightens & Whitens were fabulous as well.  The stain remover removed set in oranges on a brand new bright white t-shirt of B's and the Brightens & Whitens really did brighten and whiten my whites! I now carry the Stain Remover (travel size) around in my bag and whip it out as soon as there's a spill. 

Now, onto my very favorite product that's not even diaper related! I love, love, love the Yoreganics lip balm.  I'll be honest, I'm a bit of a lip balm whore... but I prefer to stay within the same brand while I'm whoring it out ...(?)... I have tubes of lip balm everywhere- multiples in every bag I carry, my car, my husband's car, every room of the house, every coat pocket... I mean, everywhere! But I recently found out that my current preferred brand is not so good for me, so I was very excited to try Yoreganics.  Well, I am sold. Not only am I obsessed with my tube that Kim sent me, I've already gone to my local cloth diaper store asking for it (so, Kim, if you're reading this... please send some to Comfy Bummy! Apparently I just missed you the other day when I went searching for it!).  The lip balm is called Simplemint & it's awesome.  It makes my lips tingly and soft. 

The very best part of all of the Yoreganics line, for me, is that it's organic and safe.  Safety is so important to me, with such a curious toddler who is constantly digging through everything.  In fact, when I opened the package from Yoreganics, he grabbed the Stain Remover bottle and ran off with it.  By the time I got to him, he was spitting it out ... in other words, he actually had some of it in his mouth. Ever try 'flushing' a toddler's mouth? Yeah, right.  I got him to drink some water and, honestly, I wasn't too worried.  He hadn't really swallowed any; he just got a bit of the taste in his mouth.  It says right on the bottle In case of accidental ingestion, drink milk or water, so that's what we did.  

Want even more info? Here's some Yoreganics FAQs that I found extremely helpful. 

Not only does using Yoreganics help you to 'revisit simple', it also gives me peace of mind.

Want to try Yoreganics out?  Check out the shop, right here: Yoreganics.  If you're in the Naperville area, check out Comfy Bummy, where some of the Yoreganics products are sold.  

Kim has also generously offered up a Laundry by Mother Nature trio to one of my followers.  The trio includes Soap Nuts, travel sized Stain Remover, and the Brightens & Whitens.  Here's how you win: 

mandatory entry: Visit Yoreganics and tell me what you're excited about- a product or something you've learned from Kim's site.  Be sure to leave me a comment and include a way to contact you.  If I can't contact you, you cannot win. 

Extra Entries: 

1. Subscribe via email to my blog. Be sure to confirm it; this will be verified (worth 2 entries- comment separately for each).

2. Follow my blog publicly via Google Friend Connect.

3. Grab my button; let me know where it is.

4. Like Yoreganics on Facebook.

5. Follow @mandyw526 & @yoreganics on twitter. Leave your twitter name on the comment. 

6.  Tweet this twice daily (minimum 4 hours apart)- Revisit Simple & win a Mother Nature Laundry Trio from @yoreganics & @mandyw526: http://bit.ly/azFyQA

7. Blog about this giveaway; let me know where the post is.

8. Make a purchase through Yoreganics.  Let me know what you bought- worth 15 extra entries!

9. Sign up for Swagbucks, using this link. Swagbucks is a google powered search engine that rewards you for searching the internet! Easy Peasy! You can get giftcards and more.  Let me know that you signed up, with that link, and this is worth 8 extra entries! 

Edited 5/7: Kim's so awesome, she's offered to throw in a lip balm for my winner! YAY! 

Giveaway ends May 20th at 9pm CST. Winner will be drawn via random number generator & will be contacted via email/twitter/text.  Winner has 24 hours to a respond before I will draw another winner.  Thanks for participating & Thanks to Yoreganics for sponsoring!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

CooshytOOsh Potty Pads Winner!

Congratulations to Kaylyn!  Her daily tweet was the winning entry!

Kaylyn- I'll be contacting you shortly! You'll have 24 hours to respond or I'll have to redraw. 

Thanks to everyone who participated!

True Random Number Generator  38Powered by RANDOM.ORG

things that make me smile today.

we got B's new wagon this morning! can't wait to get it put together & take a spin through the neighborhood in it.

we went to target today & our organic/all-natural selection seems to have doubled overnight! love.

my favorite author released a new book today... too bad i haven't gone to get it yet.

i bought more fluffy business today. eek! must.stop.now.

and i helped convince a friend to switch to fluff! we started talking about it months ago & today she went out & bought her first fluff! let the addiction begin!