"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."

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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, June 30, 2010

Random Blurbs from the Suburbs ... on a Wednesday

I hate wearing jeans ... around the house anyway. I love a great fitting pair of jeans when we're going out, but seriously, during the day, I can't bring myself to wear jeans, unless I'm going to a store, etc.  Just now, I got out of the shower & grabbed a pair of jeans & I literally couldn't put them on! I threw them down on the chair (assuming I'll put them on if we go out anywhere today) & grabbed yoga crops.

Speaking of showers... men have it so easy.  Showers are much faster when you don't have to shave or wash your hair (or at least as much hair as I have). I showered last night but then shredded this morning, so I needed to just wash off.

Speaking of Shredding... I fully regret taking last week off.  I started the 30 Day Shred on May 26th.  That lasted two days.  I took a week plus off & then started again.  Was going strong for 6 days, but then I tried Level 2.  And I lost my motivation. Ugh. It kicked my butt all over again today.  MUST KEEP IT UP!

I got a Kozy carrier a couple weeks ago, but have only tried it twice ... for minutes.  B doesn't seem overly thrilled, but I very much want to carry him on my back.  I think today we'll head out to a walking/biking path & toss B up on my back so I can handle Tucker a little better.  The 'issue' there is that I have to get B on to my back on my own, with no couch, etc.  I hope B likes it.

I'm thinking about running a Cookie Lee sale ... I'd like to clean out my inventory before the NEW CATALOG comes out in AUGUST.  Anyone interested? I'll post details soon on my Cookie Lee site.

Wordless Wednesday - Cousins

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

EcoMom Sampler Winner!

Shannon J, Come on Down! Can't wait to hear what the P-man thinks of his EcoMom Sampler!!! 

Shannon wins for following my blog via GFC! (Comment #6 via random.org)

Don't forget - discount code SBBL330 will get you 15% off your first order until June 30th. 

thanks for participating everyone & again, thanks to EcoMom for sponsoring!

Monday, June 21, 2010

CSN Stores $40 Gift Certificate Giveaway

Recently I posted my review of CSN Stores.  They are a fabulous company to work with & I'm so excited that I get to include all of my readers in this giveaway.  CSN Stores have generously offered up a $40 gift certificate for one of you to win.  You can find basically anything you need or want through CSN Stores.  They have an unbelievable inventory of things like LED Lighting, office furniture, cookware, yoga accessories, & more!

Since it's so easy to order from CSN Stores, I've decided to make this giveaway just as easy.  To enter, simply leave a comment, letting me know what you'd use the $40 gift certificate for (please remember to leave your email address in the comment, so I can let you know if you win).

Here's just a few extra entry opportunities (leave a comment for each one, including your contact email address):

1. Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect.
2. Comment on any other blog entry, including the current giveaway(s) going on. Let me know which entry you commented on.
3. Subscribe to my blog.
4. Follow me on twitter (@mandyw526) as well as @CSNStores & tweet this once daily:  @CSNStores $40 gift certificate #giveaway from @mandyw526: http://bit.ly/b5SiR8 Ends 7/12

Winner will be drawn via random.org on July 12, 2010 at 9pm cst. Winner will be contacted & will have 24 hours to respond before a second winner is drawn.  Thank you for participating & thanks to CSN stores for sponsoring! 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

happy father's day

i can't wait to hear these words from b... (& of course, i love you mom!) happy father's day to all you dads, grandpas, uncles, & other father figures out there! have a fabulous day! we'll be spending the day with our favorite daddy (b's of course!), as well as his dad & grandpa. 


a very special shout-out to my other favorite daddy out there (my niece's daddy aka my big brother)
happy birthday & happy father's day uncle matt! 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

CSN Stores Review

Disclaimer: I must apologize to CSN stores, as I had this post written & saved & didn't realize it wasn't posted.  I apologize for my slowness in getting it out here! 

Recently I spoke with CSN Stores & we set up a review for my blog.  I was able to pick out a product from any of their over 200 stores to receive, which was awesome! I've been lusting over a wagon for B, so I got right to work, going through all the choices CSN has to offer.  I finally narrowed it down to two different options & because one was out of stock, I ordered the other - the Little Tikes Cozy Cruisin' Wagon.

I was so happy when it arrived just a few days later. Super fast shipping is always awesome, in my opinion.  Mike & I set to work, putting it together that night & took B out for a spin in the dark - way past his bedtime.  He seemed so thrilled!

We regularly use the wagon on walks & trips to the park.  B seems to enjoy the freedom of not being buckled in & I like the ease of pulling him with one hand & holding on to Tucker's leash with the other.  It has a fabulous hidden wet/dry storage area (complete with drain plug) under one seat & two cup holders in the side.

CSN stores was incredibly easy to work with & Eileen, my contact, was very friendly & efficient.  With all that CSN stores has to offer, I know I will be back!

Thanks to CSN stores for sponsoring this review.  I appreciate all opportunities to work with them. 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Kushies Father's Day Sale!

Celebrate Dad ... Kushies style! 
and check out the awesome new diaper bags (I LOVE them!)! 

Cookie Lee Giveaway on LHDN

Check out the Cookie Lee review & giveaway I'm sponsoring on Life Happens During Naptime... There's a discount code AND you can win your choice of these: 
threaded gold bangle - gold & jet

earthen shell bracelets (set of 3)

Want more info on Cookie Lee? Check out my other blog I Sell Cookie Lee for all the current sales, specials & more!

musical musings

i love music. love, love, love it. can't live without.  in fact, there's not very much that we do without music on.  we use the tv as literal background noise- turned on to one of the many xm music stations. the blue, bouncing directv symbol used to mesmerize b, as a baby.

so i often think about putting music on my blog ... and then i remember how much i generally hate music on blogs. it interferes with my own music that's inevitably playing or it's too loud, or it's a song that i hate.  i asked on twitter to see if others agreed with me. turns out, most dislike it too - 75% of people said they dislike it!

disclaimer: there is one blog though that has music that makes me happier though... but i always prepare when i'm ready to read her blog. i turn off my own music, set my speakers & get ready, cause most of the time, she has stellar tunes.  i've mentioned her before .... www.kellehampton.com ...check her out if you want some good music! 

anyway, back to it.  instead of forcing you all to 'x' out of my blog or scream when i scare you with music blaring in your speakers ... or worse- waking your napping kiddo up because of it, i'll save you that headache.

so, without further ado - here's my current favorite playlist.

wait til you my smile - alicia keyes
simple man - lee dewyze (yes, the american idol. i love him.)
warm whispers - missy higgins
this years love - david gray
beast of burden - lee dewyze (him again.)
by your side - tenth avenue north
set the fire to the third bar - snow patrol & martha wainwright
breathe me - sia
the boxer - lee dewyze (and again. i wasn't joking when i said i love him.)
where i stood - missy higgins
paperweight - joshua radin & schuyler fisk
little house - amanda seyfried
this is the thing - fink
hallelujah - lee dewyze (be still my heart. most fabulous rendition of this ever.)

in all honesty, this could go on for days, but these are my current, absolute favorites.

what about you? i'd love to hear what your favorite songs are...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bummas Wipes Review & Giveaway

I recently began using cloth wipes.  I know, right? Where have I been all this time? Cloth diapering, but using disposable wipes? Crazy!  But, honestly, I just thought it seemed like a lot of work ... what a terrible excuse!

My switch began when I won a couple wipes off of twitter, but I still wasn't sure what I should be looking for in a wipe- size or fabric.  When Bummas agreed to sponsor a review though, I was very excited! I'd heard some great things about their wipes & I couldn't wait to try them for myself.

I received the Wild Ones set. This particular set is one of each color, which is cool, cause they're very bright & cheery!  I try to mix up B's stuff a lot by including greens, yellows & oranges, & these wipes mix those in perfectly! Plus, if we have a girl someday, I'll already have a couple pink wipes ... & at this point, with B, who cares if I use pink wipes!

So, here's what Bummas says about their wipes:

The creation of Bummas came about when we had our first baby boy. When your first arrives, you are given all kinds of advice:
 "Use the wet commercial wipes, don’t use the wet commercial wipes, use gauze; use whatever is handy to block the pee; use another diaper to block the pee; don’t use that, use this; use powder to dry them off, don’t use powder-it contains talc and studies have linked talc to cancer.”
     The one thing that was never mentioned was how to dry our little guy’s “stuff” off after the clean up. Our baby’s bum was just way too wet to put a diaper back on--and blowing down there until you’re blue in the face just wasn’t working. Thus Bummas were born. A soft absorbent, luxurious baby cloth to soak up all the wetness.

  • Eliminates the use of talcum powder. 
  • 100% Cotton - Woven Velour Terry Cloth milled in the USA.  
  • Variety of color combinations for nursery themes.
  • Handy 5” x 7” size. Won’t pill, shrink, or fade.
  • Durable. Just throw them in the wash and use again.
  • They will last until your little one is out of diapers and beyond!     
  • Made in the USA

I love, love, love that these are made in the USA.  I think they're a great size- not too big, but big enough that I rarely use more than one per diaper change.  One side is very soft & the other is a bit 'rougher' ... (well, not actually rough, but just enough to get everything cleaned up nicely).  I totally agree that these can be used even after diapering - as face cloths, or even, once your kiddos are grown up- repurposed for cleaning! 

I toss mine in the diaper pail along with diapers & wash them together ... easy peasy!  As far as cloth wiping being harder, I was crazy! I repurposed my Peri bottle from the hospital, filled it with water & sometimes, a little soap bit, & just squirt some out on to the Bummas to clean B off.  So Easy! Here's a picture for how I store them ... don't you just love how bright they are?!

Want to try out Bummas for yourself?  You can always order them through their site.

You can also win a set (of your color choice) right here!  Here's how to enter: 
mandatory entry: just tell me your color choice! Be sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you win! 

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

5.  Tweet this once daily- Win a set of @bummas wipes for your baby's bum @mandyw526: http://bit.ly/bxB5Dx Ends 7/8 #giveaway

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

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

8. 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! 

Giveaway ends July 8th 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 Bummas for sponsoring!!!  

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


sometimes i wonder what this blog is all about. who is it for? why do i blog? i started blogging just to talk, i guess. i like to talk about my family ... and how we spend our days.  occasionally i do a review and sometimes a giveaway, but that's really not the purpose of my blog. i think, sometimes, bloggers can get distracted by giveaways.  i know i can.  i can get caught up with the potential of the free things and the prospect of followers, however, when i take a step back, i realize i want real readers.  i spend nap time at least every other day catching up on the blogs that i read regularly.  i don't always comment, but i'm trying to get better about commenting.  i love reading other parent's blogs.  i love learning about their parenting styles and their kids.  i truly, truly love it. 

i guess my point in all of this is that, while i'll continue to have giveaways here and there (and i do have a few currently lined up, so don't worry!) , the reason for my blog may seem to shift.  i think that's okay. each day i learn a little bit more about being a mama, being a wife, being a friend, and being myself.  and that's what's most important.  being myself.  

so if you're still interested in reading along, i'd love to hear from you ... i'd love to know why you read the blogs you read and how they keep you interested.  in the meantime, if you're looking for more to read, check out my favorites in the sidebar. 

Wordless Wednesday: Spring Roundup!

...this is how we spent the month of may...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Playing Catch-up

i feel like i am. constantly. playing. catch-up.  i've been slacking off on blogging & i guess this is my sort of 'stream of consciousness excuses' aka... this is life.

it seems like ever since our summer hit (yes, i realize summer doesn't officially start until the 21st, however, it's warm & sunny, & kids are out of school. to me, this has always equaled summer) i've hit a blogging low.  perhaps it's the heat, sucking the life out of me? or the biking that we've been trying to do at least three times a week? or possibly, it's the way we sometimes live life like we're in transit... constantly waiting for that next change (this is not meant to be puzzling or secretive, it's just us waiting on some news to find out what, if any, changes will be occurring this year). add to this our at least twice monthly trips to Iowa for baseball & boating & you may have anyone worn out.

...oh but did i mention... we've been invaded by a terrorist.  he's small, but he's loud.  he's happy, but he's stubborn.  he's adorable, but he is tricky & conniving.  and into everything.  this, ladies & gentlemen, is the sometimes frightening reality of a real life toddler.  at 17 months, this kid is climbing on everything (think up the desk chair, onto the lower level of a roll top desk, up to the top of it, & halfway up the printer, before the huz stopped him), he's emptying every drawer, fighting us on anytime we want to constrict him in a car seat, a stroller, even a wagon.  he's screeching for his food or his toys or whatever is currently in mind.  he imagines most objects to be baseball bats & he's ready to hit a homer.  he wants the same book read to him repeatedly & frankly, this mama is tired of elmo's missing little black puppy.  but, read we do, because he's sweet when he asks me & climbs into my lap.

we also talk. a lot. i started keeping track last week for 2 days, of all the words b says. i got to 38.  last weekend while we were at my in-laws, during dinner, we started talking.  mike has started pointing at himself & asking b who he is... b responds with "dada", same with me "mama" & when pointing at b, he says "b!" ... we asked him who each person at the table was & he correctly identified each person, even differentiating between his grandma & his great grandma- same with grandpa & great grandpa. this kid never ceases to amaze me.  he may be a mini terrorist in our house, but he can correctly name off 9 people, so i guess we'll take it.

in other news, we (the huz & i) have started the 30 day shred & have been adamant about biking at least 3x a week (weather permitting, of course).  i'm always shocked at how much workout is packed into the 20 minutes of the shred, & gosh darn it, if i don't have shredded abs when we're done with all this work, i'm going to be pissed. (i'm joking. sort of.) i broke my personal record yesterday & biked 26 miles, literally mostly uphill & into wind, 13 without a break & then 13 more after a short playground break for b.  we even endured a 5 minute rainstorm, where we hid under a tree.

as for future excuses, they are as follows (literally this is what's on our calendar):
although unsure of our exact plans for the next two weekends (each involves a birthday -mine & a father's day & will either be spent at home/in the city or in iowa, with family) we will be headed to iowa for the last weekend in june for a baseball tournament; in chicagoland for the 4th with friends visiting; in iowa for a wedding thing (aka shower & or bachelor/bachelorette party) & 3 birthday things; in iowa for a wedding thing; in iowa for this biking thing called ragbrai (ever heard of it? look it up here); in iowa for a wedding; in iowa for a wedding thing; in iowa for a wedding thing; at home; at home; at home; in iowa for a wedding. chances of us maintaining those three at home weekends, when there's potential to be boating in iowa.... slim to none.

and that folks, is life.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

EcoMom Sampler Review/Giveaway & Discount Code!

This giveaway is now closed. The discount remains until June 30th. Thanks for participating!

I was recently introduced to this fabulous company called EcoMom. I'm currently obsessing over their website- it literally has everything I could ever want. I was generously given a sampler to try out on B & I was so excited. I'm always looking for healthy, fun, yummy choices for B for snacking & meals, & these products pretty much fit the bill.

I received a sampler that included 3 types of Revolution Foods Squeezable Fruit- Berry, Tropical, & Strawberry Banana' Peach & Strawberry Banana Mish Mash by Plum Organics, Apple Carrot Fiddlesticks by Plum, a Honey Graham & Strawberry Yogurt Grammy Sammy, & two Jammy Sammys- Strawberry Jam & Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly & Peanut Butter.  I was so excited for B to try all these foods & I can honestly say, it's been less than one week since we received them & they're almost all gone.

I first threw a couple snacks in my bag while Mike & I went to an eye doctor appointment.  In between exams, we broke out some snacks for B.  I was a little skeptical of how the squeezables would work (both brands are very similar products), but Mike just started squeezing it into B's mouth.  Instant success! He loved it! So I swiped it & tried a little... it was pretty tasty!  Later, B tried a Grammy Sammy & he loved it as well.  I, of course, stole a bite & thought that it was delicious!

I especially love how well the squeeze fruits travel.  We're bike riders & they are great to throw in the chariot, along with our snacks.  We took them along with us on all our bike rides last week & I am planning to order more today!

EcoMom offers a lot of other great products, as well as the food.  Check out their site for toys & books, countertop composters (I want one so bad!), & numerous other baby & family eco-friendly products.  They have just released a new program to help you save money as well, on all of these products.  Join EcoPass & you'll receive a 15% discount on every purchase, plus FREE SHIPPING!

Want to try a sampler? Go to EcoMom & use this code: SBBL330 to get 15% off your first order, through the 30th of June.  You can also win a Plum Organics Sampler &/or Revolution Foods Sampler worth $20.00 right here! Awesome, right?!

Here's how to enter:

mandatory entry: go to EcoMom & tell me about a product you want or something you learned from the site.

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 EcoMom on Facebook.

6. Follow @mandyw526 & @EcoMomCEO on twitter. Leave your twitter name on the comment. 

7.  Tweet this twice daily (minimum 4 hours apart)- Treat your kids with a Plum Organics/Revolution Food Sampler from @EcoMomCEO & @mandyw526: http://bit.ly/9LSz9G : Ends 6/23

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

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

10. 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! 

Giveaway ends June 23rd 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.  I received the Sampler free of charge, but the opinions expressed in this post are strictly mine & not influenced by the company in any way. Thanks for participating & Thanks to EcoMom for sponsoring!!!