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Showing posts from May, 2010

Link & Win Mondays: Stop in to List and Win Tons of Giveaways!

Link up your giveaways in the Mr. Linky below. Be sure to check out all of the great giveaways for your chance to win!
My giveaways this week:
Duraflame Logs PearlParadise Pearls Espencial Natural Kids Products Shabby Apple Dresses Grill Daddy Baby Bunch Cupcakes

Keep Your Daylillies blooming all season!

Daylillies are beautiful, but they never seem to last all season. Well, that was my experience with them, until I learned how to prolong their blooming time.

We all deadhead our flowers, right? Well, for daylillies, you need to pull out the flower stems (once the flower dies).

This picture has a few of the stick-like stems in it. Just grab them and pull them out and your daylillies will bloom all summer.

You may have to pull hard....but it will be worth it. Just toss the "stems" in your compost pile. ;)

Mama Said Knock You Out!

I chose Reya for her innocent kitty look. But since she's moved in, she's become a wild one...... Here's a brief (and fuzzy) glimpse at the real Reya.

Belly Burner - Review

All moms have extra tummy fat, right? Well, actually they don't. Most of my friends with 2+ kids actually have six pack abs. I'm not one of them. So when I had the chance to review the Belly Burner, I jumped on it.

According to the manufacturer, the Belly Burner intensifies your workout by heating up your core and revving up your metabolic rate. It's made of neoprene and secures with velcro.



If I can rev up my metabolism and increase the effectiveness of exercise (naturally, that is,) I'll certainly give it a try.

So here's how the Belly Burner worked for me: First of all, it comes in only two sizes: medium and large. For most people that's probably fine, but I'm on the small side. Even at it's tightest, the medium was still a little loose on me. But even still, I wore it. I wore it around the house. I wore it while I did yoga. And I never wore it running...because holy crap! It made me sweat and get HOT.
My stomach was almost instantly dripping with …

Cat Toilet Training - Part 5

And the hole widens! But cat owners beware - a playful kitten may realize the "fun" potential of the toilet bowl. I always introduce Reya to the new toilet whenever we make a change, and since she wasn't in "business mode" at this time, she saw a fine opportunity to investigate. Total gross! FYI- her head and paws are in the bowl. Just kidding, that's just a big ball of lint on the toilet seat. Okay, no really, her head and paws are inside the toilet. She just looks like a ragged feather duster.

Tide Detergent Giveaway - 2 winners!

A few weeks ago, Tide sent me a whole bunch of FREE detergent coupons - no strings attached. Yep, they're awesome like that. And yes, I tend to be lucky like that. But...as it turns out, I'm not able to use this type of detergent in my washing machine (must be HE, oh my!)
I gave a few away to friends and family, but decided I'd give the last 4 away here. Since it's been a week of giveaways (read: me finally finishing up things I started, I thought it would be fun to add one more. And there will be plenty more coming. And even more if I can ever get through my zillion email packed inbox. lol
So without further interruption - there are 4 coupons good for a FREE bottle of Tide Febreeze Freshness Sport detergent up for grabs. I'm going to give 2 coupons each to 2 lucky readers.
To Enter: Leave me a comment about why you'd like to win.
Extra Entries (you knew there would be): 5 Extra Entries for blogging about this contest (leave 5 comments) 3 Extra Entries for tweeting …

Shabby Apple Dress Giveaway

{This contest has closed. Congratulations to #259 Ranny.} Since it feels like summer, it's time to bring out your cute dresses and sandals. And it's a great time to add a new dress to your wardrobe. One Suburban Jungle reader is going to win a dress from Shabby Apple. Seriously, I'm jealous. Take a look at some of their mega-cute dresses:


And there's more where that came from! Okay, now I'm super jealous. I shouldn't have looked through all those great dresses! If you'd like a chance to win a dress (in your size) from Shabby Apple - then read on.
To Enter: Visit Shabby Apple and tell me which dress you'd like to win. Choose carefully because the dress you choose will be the dress you win. If you are selected as the winner, I'll contact you to get your size.
Extra Entries: 5 Extra Entries for blogging about this contest (leave 5 comments) 3 Extra Entries for tweeting about this contest (1 extra for daily tweets) 2 Extra Entries for following on google con…

Episencial Skin Care - Review & Giveaway

{This giveaway has closed: Congrats to #243, Cindy} We all want to use the best products for our children - and that includes what we put on their bodies as well as what goes into them. In the spirit of choosing healthier products, I was recently able to review the healthy skincare line from Episencial.
As you may have guessed, the products are all natural and sustainable. They're also gentle and safe for babies. Episencial is healthy for kids, babies, and the planet.
I had a chance to review the following products: Playful Foaming Wash Sweet Dreams Bubble Bath
Better Body Butter
Protective Face Balm
Here's what I thought: I love, love, loved the Protective Face Balm. It went on without being greasy and was something I felt good using daily on my children. My only concern was the low SPF. Since my kids don't wear anything in the winter or for short outings, I thought SPF6 was better than nothing (our usual plan) and provided great moisturization and wind protection. I really, re…

Pearl Paradise Review and Giveaway

These were the pearls that started the fight. As soon as the package arrived and she saw the Pearl Necklace, my daughter was hooked. She loved them...instantly! She asked if she could try them on, and I put them around her neck. Her response, "Mom, these are my size. They won't fit you, will they mom? No, they're not your size so they have to be mine, right mom? Can I keep these? You won't ever wear them right, mom?"
And thats how it began. They were that lovely. It was the first time she had ever seen real Freshwater pearls. I explained to her that they could be hers, but she would have to tell me when she planned to wear them.
She asked again if that meant I wouldn't wear them. Oh! I promised her that I wouldn't, and I tried them on in secret while she was sleeping. In the end, we decided to share the pearls. That way they will be thoroughly enjoyed and worn as often as beautiful jewelry should. They are so very beautiful.
You may think I'm crazy to…

I put Soft Paws on my Kitten

Can Soft Paws keep your kitty from climbing the drapes, tearing up furniture, and shredding the carpet? We put softpaws on our kitten and the results were....adorable.Are you going to declaw? - that is the number one thing people ask me when they find out we have a cat. Honestly, I'd prefer not to declaw. That being said, Reya has developed a habit of climbing my drapes and shredding my favorite dining chairs. @#!#!@!@

Fortunately, I had the chance to review Soft Pawsjust in time. Before I lost my mind that is! I'm not big on owning things, but I like to keep the things I do own looking nice. Not cat shredded.
She and I were in the midst of a fierce battle of wills. Neither of us wanting to compromise and both of us mad at each other, when the mailman arrived and brought our very own package of hot pink -kitten sized- soft paws.
I didn't even wait. I grabbed her and put them on. I was shaking. It was my first time applying "nails" to a cat. She did great. She d…

Duraflame Stax fire logs Giveaway

{This contest is now closed: Congrats to #78 Mari, #44 Jessica, and #63 Carla.} This winter, Duraflame sent me their Duraflame Stax logs to review. I had intended to use them while we boiled maple syrup, but the timing didn't work out. So instead, we used them for a campfire.
Ideally, you'd use these inside to have a cleaner (and more eco-friendly) fire in your fireplace, but we only have a gas fireplace. So it was outside for our Stax. We love to have camp fires, and I was excited to see how these would stack up to real wood.
We started out with just the Stax and they seemed to burn clean. They didn't kick up ash or have an odd smell. But with only 3 logs in a big Fire pit, my husband decided to add more wood. He ended up building a huge, raging fire. Toward the end (hours later,) one of the Stax logs was still burning. That's impressive. In an indoor fireplace, I'm sure they would last even longer.
If you'd like a chance to win a 3-log bundle of Duraflame St…

Link & Win Mondays: Stop in to List and Win Tons of Giveaways!

Link up your giveaways in the Mr. Linky below. Be sure to check out all of the great giveaways for your chance to win!
My giveaways this week:
Duraflame Logs PearlParadise Pearls Espencial Natural Kids Products Shabby Apple Dresses Grill Daddy Baby Bunch Cupcakes

Cat Toilet Training - Part 4

My kitty is on the toilet! The litter box is under the toilet seat and a section of the box has been removed. Things are going well, and I am so looking forward to litter-free days. Look below to see a video of my kitten using the toilet

Grill Daddy Review & Giveaway

{This contest has ended: Congrats to #153 Bepoia.} When it warms up, we love to grill. Okay, my husband loves to grill. I've always been a little grossed out by the inside of our grill. He cleans it, but it always looks so burnt and yucky.
I was so excited when we were sent the Grill Daddy to review. When it first arrived, I was a little annoyed. It seemed so huge! But my husband didn't seemed bothered by it at all. He grabbed it, filled it with water, and headed right for the grill.
And just a few minutes later, it was clean. I mean, really clean. And all it took was water and a little elbow grease. As I watched him use it, I realized it had to be so long or you'd risk being burned in the grill. I asked him what he thought of the length and he thought it was the perfect size - to get just the right leverage and safely use it.


I had worries about storage, but he just hung it on the side of the grill and that was the end of it. It was easy, it worked awesome, and he was happy…

A Message to Moms with Babies and Toddlers

Dear moms of young children,
Hang in there! Before I had kids, I would see moms with their babies and hear them talk about all the joy their children had given them. I desperately wanted that joy and set my heart on having kids as soon as possible. But when they arrived, I don't think I noticed "joy." I was way too tired.
Most people only tell you what you want to hear, but I'm going to tell you the truth. Raising small kids is hard work! It takes a toll on your marriage, your identity, your health, everything. Now, maybe, just maybe, you have the best support system and the most doting husband and raising babies was easy for you. I hope that's the case. But if it isn't, I want to offer you a piece of advice that very wise women have shared with me.
Every phase of your life is a season. And every season passes. There are very beautiful parts of the baby days, but they are very physically and mentally exhausting times. I'm hear to tell you, that it gets bet…

Exclusive Linen 'N Things Coupon Code

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Linens 'N Things. All opinions are 100% mine.As someone who is currently remodeling their home, I can tell you that Linens 'N Things is at the top of my list of stores to check out. To make it even better, Linens 'N Things is offering an exclusive coupon code exclusively to bloggers and blog readers.
Use the coupon code: MOMBLOG to get free shipping on your order over $26
** This offer is good through June 1st, 2010

Have you had a chance to check out the Linens 'N Things website? There are oodles of decorating items! You can find home decor, wall art, mirrors, bedding, linens, bath supplies, kitchen gadgets, curtains, rugs, drapery rods... and that's just the stuff I need!
I am eying up this bedroom set: And of course drapery and some beautiful home decor. Who knows, you may even see some of great Linen 'N Things finds in my "finished" remodeling project pictures. We are finished with drywall and have …

Take it slow: Lessons in efficient vacuuming

I tend to do everything quickly. Everything. And it's served me well in everything except relationships, stress levels, and.... Okay, it hasn't really served me well. Except maybe financially. But my super speed has actually been hurting me in one major way.....vacuuming!

I didn't know this, and maybe it's news to you too, but vacuuming quickly is like not vacuuming at all! It's completely unnatural, but if you vacuum slowly (think grandma meets snail), you will vacuum more efficiently and remove way more dust and dirt. Who knew? Well, the guy who sold us our hide-a-hose knew. And I didn't believe him at first. Vacuum slowly? Barf!
But even at a snail's pace, I can still vacuum the whole house in a reasonable amount of time. And I feel so much better knowing I'm getting out more gunk.
Give it a try and you just may have a cleaner house.

Air Pollution?

So my elderly neighbors are outside blasting their car stereo. What are they listening to? The drabbest talk radio station ever....
Now, I understand that they can't hear very well. And everyone knows it's more enjoyable to do work (outside or otherwise) with music. But puh-leaze!
I wonder how they would feel about a return air-strike of some super loud Eminem or Beastie Boys. Lol. I'm just kidding. I'm just going to shut my windows until they go back inside.

Link & Win Mondays: Stop in to List and Win Tons of Giveaways!

Link up your giveaways in the Mr. Linky below. Be sure to check out all of the great giveaways for your chance to win!
My giveaways this week:
Pillsbury "Family Pizza Night" Duraflame Logs PearlParadise Pearls Espencial Natural Kids Products

My Kitty on the Toilet!

We're training our kitty to use the toilet instead of a litter box, so I get so excited when I see her making any steps toward "toilet acceptance." She's been jumping up and exploring the area lately. Next stop: the litter box is going on top. I WILL post videos of her using the toilet when we get to that stage. Wahoo! I can hardly wait.

Help - My kitty loves to jump into bathtubs

If you're a mom, then you know that taking a bath alone is a glorious event. One to be treasured, savored, and enjoyed. My kids have been good about letting me have time alone in the bath....but someone else had other plans.
Reya stalked the perimeter of my tub and eventually jumped right in. She waded around, drank the water (ew!), and showed no interest in leaving. Great. Note to self: lock bathroom door before taking a bath.

It's a tough life for a cat....

Cats have it so rough....Well, sometimes they do....
When you live with a 4 year old girl, there will be crowns and feather boas to wear, diapers to try on, and baby carriers to be carried in. ;) There was a time when this type of love was reserved only for peanut butter. I expect this to be repeated again soon...

Cat Toilet Training - Part 3

We have reached the next stage of Cat Toilet Training. I have upped the height of her litter box and she is now using a 50/50 mix of flushable (corn - it's yellow, lol) and clay litter. Within the week, we should be able to straight to a 100% flushable litter and move the tray onto the toilet!

Wahoo! I am so excited for the next stages. Litter-free life, here we come! In case you're wondering; things have been going swimmingly so far. She has stopped complaining about the litter box and just uses it.
We did have one incident with a cling-on, but I think that's more because of her long fur rather than the toilet training. The next time you see this toilet, there will be a litter box on top of it! The links in this post may be affiliate links and products are often received for review purposes. Read the full disclosure and the privacy policy.

Make Your Own Taco Seasoning

I know what you're thinking....taco seasoning is cheap, so why make your own? Yep, it's cheap, but it's so much cheaper to make at home. Plus you get to control the ingredients. You control how much salt goes in. You won't be adding preservatives, msg, or sand (silicon dioxide to keep things free flowing). At least I think you wouldn't. lol
Here's the recipe I use and it turns out great:
1 Tbsp Chili powder 1/4 tsp garlic powder 1/4 tsp onion powder 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes 1/4 tsp oregano 1/2 tsp paprika 1 1/2 tsp cumin 1 tsp black pepper 1 tsp sea salt
When I make tacos, burritos, or anything that calls for taco seasoning, I add a teaspoon of this mix, then taste to decide how much more to add. ;) Recycle an old spice container or baby food jar to hold your seasoning. So easy!

FriendGiftr - A site for buying & exchanging giftcards

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of FriendGiftr. All opinions are 100% mine.What do you get for people who have everything? And as American's, we pretty much have everything we really need, right? Well...in our family, gift cards make frequent gifts. They are so easy and then the recipient can pick out what they really want.
But sometimes you get stuck with a card you didn't really want. Or in a value you couldn't really use. That's where FriendGiftr comes in. At FriendGiftr, you can buy and send real digital and/or physical gift cards to your friends and family with even more flexibility.
You can select from over 120 of their retail and restaurant gift cards to buy gift cards in $10, $20, $25, $35, $50, $75, and $100 increments.
But the best part of FriendGiftr is that the recipient has the power to change the gift card selection (without the buyer knowing.) They can exchange the gift card given to them for any of the 120 merchants offered on FriendGif…

Out of Death....Comes Life!

Look what popped up in my compost pile! Now, I know this means my compost isn't hot enough...it obviously contains too many grass clippings and it's not being turned nearly enough. But still....isn't this lovely?

Equal Exchange Organic & Fair Trade Fundraiser Chocolate Giveaway

{This giveaway has ended. Congratulations to #101, NewMommiezBlends} I recently came across the Equal Exchange Organic & Fair Trade Fundraising program. If you're like me, then your kids come home with at least one school fundraising project each month. And they are usually required to sell junk we don't need or food that's unhealthy. It really bothers me. They usually go right in my recycling bin.

I may, however, take a look at an organic fundraising program. I am a big proponent of buying local, organically produced products. The Equal Exchange Organic & Fair Trade Fundraiser program is a way for green families to raise money for their schools or organizations while still supporting their values.
Take a look below to read more about the program:


The Equal Exchange Fundraiser allows schools and community groups to make money (40% profit), while benefiting small organic farmers and artisans around the globe. The fundraiser features organic and fairly traded coffees…

Link & Win Mondays: Stop in to List and Win Tons of Giveaways!

Link up your giveaways in the Mr. Linky below. Be sure to check out all of the great giveaways for your chance to win!
My giveaways this week:
$20 Kroger Gift Card Dr. Perricone No foundation Foundation Wonder Hanger Pillsbury "Family Pizza Night" Duraflame Logs PearlParadise Pearls Espencial Natural Kids Products

A Salute to Working Moms!

Over the last few weeks, I've probably taken on more than I should have - with the remodeling project, a new kitty, and starting the garden. But I have a new appreciation for what it must be like to be a working mom.
The construction project takes most of my day and I'm mentally and physically focused on it until the sun begins to fade. That leaves only a short time for cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and anything else!
I still tried to cook everything from scratch, but it wasn't the same leisurely, relaxing activity it used to be. In fact, I even ordered pizza one night! Yes, I did! I felt so overwhelmed and I finally understood how working parents can fall into the take-out trap.
Our house wasn't as clean as it usually is, the laundry piled up some, and there was no food in the house. Needless to say, this caused some marital strain...
But honestly, the worst part was having to shop in the evening. I always seemed to be one board or one pipe short and I'd have t…