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Showing posts from July, 2010

Fashion to Figure Plus-sized Dress Giveaway

{This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to #140 rosidentevil} There are at least 6 or 7 good dress wearing weeks left in this season! I've been trying hard to up the number of times I wear skirts and dresses this year, and I think you should too. And I'm not the only one who thinks so - if you happen to wear plus size clothes, then you are in for an unbelievable delight!
Fashion To Figure has offered to give away one of their cute dresses to a Suburban Jungle reader. I've got to tell you, they have cute clothes! They were generous enough to offer me a chance to review their clothing, and I drooled over cute tops and dresses.
We all come in different sizes, and plus size just won't fit me. But they were still willing to offer one of their wonderful dresses to you.
Here are the dresses that are up for grabs:
http://www.fashiontofigure.com/store/ZB1300!Zenob/Print+Maxi+Dress
http://www.fashiontofigure.com/store/3655m!Misp/Cotton+Tiered+Dress
http://www.fashiontofigure.com/stor…

Baby Bunch Crayon Rompers Giveaway

{This giveaway is now closed: Congrats to #34 Erin } Baby Bunch is once again offering a fantastic giveaway to the readers of the Suburban Jungle. This time you have the chance to win Baby Bunch Crayon Rompers.

These are so cute and true to Baby Bunch's style. I thought these were so great and SO colorful. I don't know that I've ever seen clothes so vibrant!
These will definitely be a baby shower hit. Want a chance to try them for yourself?
To Enter: Visit BabyBunch and comment here about something cute you found.
Extra Entries:
5 Extra Entries for blogging about this contest (leave 5 comments + your link)
2 Extra Entries for tweeting (be sure to include @suburbanjung in your tweet)
2 Extra Entry for Following @babybunch on twitter
1 Extra Entry for Following @suburbanjung on Twitter
1 Extra Entry for Following on google friend connect
1 Extra Entry for Following on Feedburner
*This contest is open to residents of the US only. It will end on August 12, 2010 at 9:00 PM EST. . The win…

Lawry's "Get Grilling Kit" Giveaway

{This giveaway has now ended. Congrats to #329 kngmckeller} There's only a few short weeks of summer left, and that means a few short weeks left for prime grilling! My Blog Spark recently sent me a the Lawry's "Get Grilling Kit" and have offered to share one with a Suburban Jungle reader as well.

We recently learned the value of marinating before grilling and it has transformed our grilling experience! The Lawry's Grilling kit contains:

(1) 9x13 Pyrex pan (aka the marinating dish) a set of skewers Lawry's Tuscan Sun-dried Tomato marinade Lawry's Szechuan Sweet & Sour BBQ marinade
In the past, we've gravitated toward "safe" marinades but these were awesome! We didn't get super creative and used them for chicken, but they were amazing. If you want to try out some wild and really creative combinations check out the Grilling Flavor Forecast.
To Enter to win the Lawry's "Get Grilling Kit": Share your best grilling tip in the commen…

Breyer's Smooth & Dreamy Bars Review & Giveaway

Everyone loves ice cream, right? We like ice cream a lot, but are super picky about which brands we'll actually buy. Breyer's is a brand I routinely buy because I've found their brand to have the most natural ingredients (and quite often - a good price!)

I was recently offered the opportunity to review Breyer's Smooth & Dreamy bars and sandwiches. We went for the fudge brownie sandwiches.
Here's what I liked about them: they were yummy and just the right size. In fact, I almost felt like they were a little big for one serving, but I happily ate the whole sandwich. The cookies were really soft and the ice cream was smooth and creamy.
Moms will probably appreciate the fact that each box of Smooth & Dreamy bars/sandwiches show the calories right up front on the box. You know that when you are taking a bar out of the freezer, you are eating 160 calories (in the case of the sandwiches we tried, the bars had fewer calories.)
I thought they were really great and my w…

I've been eating dirt...

My garden is full of exclusively organic fruits and veggies. That means I use no chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides...heck I don't even water it. That last part is due to laziness. My favorite thing to grow is berries. I'm all about berries. And since our garden is "organic," we just pick the berries and eat them.

There's no washing, no saving, just eating. And that's all well and good, right? After all, it's organic. I never really thought about it until we brought a big bowl of blueberries into the house.
Seeing them in that form made my daughter ask about washing. Washing? Oh...I guess I never thought of that. Well, I washed them and...................
The bowl was covered in dirt. Ew! It's not that I've never seen frogs, bugs, or chipmunks touching our plants or that I didn't see the very plants spring from the dirty earth. But still!
How much dirt have we been eating? I don't know. But even seeing the mass quantities of dirt t…

Shed 5 Fast - Review

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to exercise. Really, I do. I think it's fun and I know it's good for me. But since I have the tendency to overdo it, I took a long break from exercise.
Not anymore - and what better way to kick start my exercise routine than by reviewing a new workout DVD. I had the chance to review Shed 5 Fast and Boot Camp 2 from Moms into Fitness.
I've owned, rented, and downloaded hundreds of workouts over the years, and I have strong opinions about each one.
Here's what I thought about Shed 5 Fast: For me, the most important thing is that the workout is effective. Second, it needs to be fun. I haven't worked out with Shed 5 Fast long enough to tell you if it will be uber effective (really, I wish I could have done it more often but my house is ripped to shreds...construction, blah!) but I can tell you it was fun! It was a combination of all my faves. There was kickboxing, plies, step-aerobic type leg pulls, and constant core engagement.
I …

A Cure for Anxiety? Take 2 and tell me what YOU think!

I'm just going to go ahead and put it out there: sometimes I have issues with anxiety. Sometimes, I just feel like too many people want me at the same time and I just can't deal. I start to get irritable, cranky, and mentally frizzed out.
Obviously, I need to work on my coping skills and pare down on my responsibilities. But my children/spouse could also assist in giving me some much needed quiet/space.
Since I don't see that happening anytime soon, (I have a really loud and demanding family) I've created it myself. Don't laugh - but here's what I've been doing: Ear plugs.

It sounds stupid, too easy, and weird, but it works! When I need/want to focus on a task, I pop two of these babies into my ears and calmly go about my work. I can cook, type, clean, whatever without the feeling that everyone is yelling at me.
I can still hear EVERYTHING but it's just not quite as piercing. And it really helps me to manage everything at once and actually enjoy what I…

Total Pillow - Review

I recently had the opportunity to review the Total Pillow. I was originally planning to use this pillow for traveling and that's it. But our entire family soon found it irresistible.

We used it while watching television, reading, and even for dress up. It's really a cool pillow. It's super soft because of all the little microbeads inside and it bends into cool shapes.
Here's what the makers of total Pillow have to say:
VERSATILE TRANSFORMING PILLOW Cradles you with Comfort While Asleep and Awake
Most people spend approximately one-third of their lives asleep on their pillow, however the new Total Pillow has uses for the two-thirds of time spent awake. There are pillows for all types of issues but no one pillow that bridges all conditions, until now. The Total Pillow™ is for use overnight, on the couch, sitting at your desk, driving, while on a plane or train, in college dorms, or just while watching television. This donut-shaped pillow transforms in just seconds to more…

Herbs Gone Wild!

Seriously, if you've never planted herbs, you need to give it a shot. They grow so easily, thrive on neglect, and most of them come back on their own each year. I planted herbs for the first time last year, and have been amazed at how well they grow. And how great they taste!
If you've never cooked with fresh herbs, you are really missing out. They make everything taste amazing, and it's so great to pick them from your own home (or garden) rather than weeding through the muck at the store and hoping they stay fresh long enough to use them.
But back to the growing.... I can't harvest or give them away fast enough! So, this week I decided to try saving them. I went out filled up my kitchen bowls with herbs.

I picked basil, cilantro, thyme, oregano, parsley, and chives. Then I washed them, pureed them in my vitamix with a smidge of water, and then froze them in ziploc bags. The house smelled awesome. My husband thought I was making enchiladas (lol) and my cat was giving me a…

Pop on Pals - Review

If you're a mom of preschoolers, then you are no doubt familiar with Spin Master. They make super fun toys like Bakugan, Pixos, Moon Sand, Paperoni, Air Hogs, Aquadoodle.... everything my kid's love to play with.
Team Mom recently sent me Spin Master's new toy, Pop on Pals. I was sent the Pop on Pals Amusement Park Play Set. This toy is not yet in stores, but when it is; you can find it at Toys 'R Us, Target, Kmart, Sears, and more.
This toy is rated for ages 2-4. My kids are 4 and 6, but both of them squealed when it came out of the package. They loved figuring out how it worked and how to get the person to ride all the amusement park rides.
To be honest, when I first took it out of the box; I thought it looked like a baby toy. And it really does look like a baby toy. That being said, I think this would be a great toy for toddlers. It's colorful, makes noise, and has a lot of non-breakable parts for them to explore. It's also very easy to work all the parts (ev…

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:

Lawry's grill pack Breyer's Ice Cream Total Pillow Shed 5 Fast

The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven

Every once in a while, I title crosses my screen and I say "I've got to read that book." It happened to me just a few days ago when I came across this book: The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven.

Ordinarily, I wait for a book to make it to our local library and then I wait forever on the waiting list and finally; I read the book I wanted. Not anymore. Life is too short to wait months for something you really want to read.

Why did I want to read this book? In my opinion, the title says it all. This book is the story of a 6 year old boy that essentially "dies" in a horrible car accident. He is kept alive artificially while his mind remains in a coma for 2 months. When he comes back, he tells his family all about what he saw, heard, and experienced. It's a story worth hearing.

I have to be careful in telling you what I really think about this book because I don't want to retell the story, and I don't want to taint anyone's perspective. You see, I don&…

Someone Stole My E-mail Accounts!

Let's just say this has been a stressful week. Beyond all the construction mayhem, somebody hacked into all of my e-mail accounts and locked me out. I have multiple e-mail addresses, and by getting into one of them, they were able to get into multiple accounts.

After switching my passwords, only to have them break in again, I think I may finally have control of my accounts. But not before damage was done. Luckily, there's no evidence that they were able to get into any of my financial info, but they did spam most of the people in my inbox.

Please ignore any weird texts, chats, tweets, or e-mails from "me." I'm hoping all will be back to normal shortly.

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:

Lawry's grill pack Organic Peanut Butter $20 Visa Gift Card All Free & Clear Detergent Breyer's Ice Cream

Secret Love....

My cat is deliberately disrespectful. She has mastered the art of pretending not to listen and disobeys all the rules. She's also very stingy with affection. The little bits that she does give, she prefers to show when nobody's paying attention.
My children think this is hilarious. Especially the blatant disregard for authority. And in some ways it is pretty funny. But when you feed, bathe, clip, and pick up after someone on a daily basis, you kind of expect a little respect. Or at least some love!
I mean, if you're going to be this furry, you need to at least allow petting! But she will have none of it. Until......
A few nights ago, my children slept outside in a tent and my husband guarded them nearby. Reya was distraught. She mewed and clawed at the door for the children for what seemed like hours with total disregard for my yelling.
With everyone out of the house, my cat decided that her sleeping options were limited. In the middle of the night, I felt her smell my face …

FYI - Swiss Chards is much better than Spinach!

This year I planted Spinach and Swiss Chard in my garden. I've got to tell you, that swiss chard rules over spinach! I have no idea how they stack up against each other nutritionally, but I just pulled out all of my spinach and probably won't plant any next year. Or maybe just a little.
This is why I'm loving swiss chard: It grows bigger and faster without bolting in the heat (at least it hasn't yet). Spinach bolts as soon as it gets hot and then it's ruined. It's so much yummier! It gets all curly and green. And the stems are fantastic. It keeps growing back as I cut it off.If there's room in your garden you can plant both, but if not you may want to give swiss chard a try. It's good eats!

Purely Products Review & Giveaway

{This giveaway has closed. Congrats to Sable $18} I'm not the type of person you'd classify as a "germ-a-phobe," but I am sensitive to the amount of filth in the world. At the same time, I dislike carrying/using hand sanitizers and wipes, so I just don't do it. And sometimes we get sick. And I know we're exposed to far more than I even want to think about.
That's why I jumped at the chance to review the Pocket Purifier from Purely Products. What is it and how does it work?
Here's what the manufacturer has to say: {The Pocket Purifier is a } Handheld germ eliminating light {that} uses UV (ultraviolet light) to sanitize surfaces (keyboards, cell phones, computer keyboards, kitchen countertops, sinks, public bathrooms & transportation, toys, pacifiers, bottoms/interior of purses & diaper bags, etc.) UV nanotechnology kills 99.9% of germs that cause colds & flu, plus e-coli, salmonella, mold, fungus, and MRSA (staph) without chemicals.

Imagine t…

I'm having "The Biggest Loser" Withdrawal

Can you believe it's been almost 2 months since The Biggest Loser finale? I don't know about you, but I've been having major withdrawal.
I love that show! It's exercise. It's healthy eating. It's watching people change their lives. It's awesome.
In the meantime, I've been trying to watch Bridal Bootcamp on VH1. No offense, but it is NO substitute for TBL. In fact, it kind of sucks.
The girls are so lazy on this show and although the first episode did involve puking, it was from a few measly jumping jacks. Come on! Only puke if you mean it!
So, I'm done with that show. Maybe I just need to get myself back to exercising again.... Stay tuned because I'm going to be back to my old self again shortly and I'm going to bring it! I might even puke! ;)

Man - You are Creeping Me Out!

Our tile installer is freaking me out. He seems nice enough, but something about him just bugs me. Okay, it's more than just one something. For starters, he asks me weird questions and tells me creepy stories.

Then, there's the fact that he pops up in other areas of our house when he's supposed to be working in the tiling area. Just today, I was in my room and came down only to find white shoe prints all over my floor leading from the construction area to our kitchen. Aaaagghh! There's also the way he looks at me whenever I come to check up on his progress. He turns quickly and gives me a really eerie grimace that makes me feel like he was just chewing on human flesh. Yep. This is my life.
Yesterday, he felt inclined to tell me an awkward accident story. Out of the blue, he informs me that "{he's} seen an accident. A lady is waiting at a stop light. From the left, a car comes racing through the light. Long after the light had turned red. The lady pulls out and h…

Blogging for Money - My 2 Cents

My blog is now over a year old, and to my surprise blogging has been a profitable experience. How profitable, you ask? Well, that depends on how you define profit.
In sheer dollars and cents, this blog has averaged about $300/month since I first started last May.
Obviously, some months have been better money months than others. My first 2 months brought in less than a hundred dollars, but I've also had months where I've made more than $800.
Over the last 3 months, I think we can all admit I've been a really lazy blogger. Hey, I'm in the middle of a gigantic home remodeling project and it's summer. What can I say? But even though I've slacked, I'm still making at least $300/month. And I'm not counting gift cards, review products, or swagbucks prizes. That's all gravy. I don't even know how to value those "gifts."
That's why I say it's hard to tell you how much I really make with this blog. I only count the cash that makes it…

Natura Sleep Envelope Review

When someone in your family has allergies, it's a hassle to find good sleep products. It just is! It's important to have mattress and pillow protectors, to wash them often, and to use natural products so you don't introduce any other allergens. So where does that leave most allergenic families?

Searching! I just had the chance to review 2 amazing products from NaturaWorld.com that you may want to consider. I had the opportunity to try out a twin-sized Deluxe Mattress Protector and Washable Wool Comforter.
Let me tell you what I liked about these products:
The Mattress Protector - It's completely machine washableMade of all natural cotton and woolIt's so comfy and heavy duty! I took off my son's previous mattress protector to use the Natura protector and it was so much more durable, thicker, and more comfy than our previous protector. My son said it made is bed softer and more comfortable. He's not even asking to sleep in our bed anymore. Wahoo!It comes with a …

Review: Bossa Nova Superfruit juices

If you're like me, then you're probably very aware of the "superfruits" and try to incorporate them into your diet whenever possible. Personally, I don't drink very much juice, except for superfruit juices.

For the last few years, I've seen a lot of acai products come on the market and I eagerly tried many of them. With an antioxidant level higher than blueberries or pomegranates, I wanted to really love it. But I didn't like them.
I had heard acai tasted like blueberries and chocolate (yum!) but in my opinion it tasted more like old prunes. So when Bossa Nova Superfruit Company offered to send me their juices to review, I was optimistic but a little scared.
A lot of the Bossa Nova Juices contain Acai. But guess what!!?! Their juices were awesome! Bossa Nova Juices come in the following 10 oz varieties:

Acai OriginalAcai with BlueberryAcai with MangoAcai with Passion FruitAcai with RaspberryMangosteen with DragonfruitMangosteen with Passion FruitGogi b…

Cat + Water = Trouble

Let me offer you this piece of cat owner advice - Never let your cat see you use the faucet.

My cat is wild. She's jumps into my bath and comes running when she hear's me brush my teeth at night. I thought it was cute, but she was secretly studying my every move. And one night, I came into my bathroom to find this:


*Notice my cat is still wearing her pink soft paws. Love 'em.


Prevent your cat from learning how to turn on the water by never letting her see you use it. Follow this advice, or soon you may be making your own "cats gone wild" video.

Blueberry Goodness!

Tis the season for blueberries!! We have had our best blueberry year ever, and I couldn't be more excited! Each day, we are pulling a pint of yummy organic blueberries from our garden. Somehow, I chose 4 varieties that span the whole blueberry season so we have 4 weeks of berry goodness instead of one big week.
It took 3 years but it was sooooo worth the wait!

Free Organic Valley Food and Kickapoo Country Fair Tickets

Organic Valley has become on of my favorite organic brands. And true to their awesomeness, they are offering up more goodies for the Suburban Jungle readers!
Here's what they are giving away - four (4) tickets to attend the Kickapoo Country Fair on July 24-25 (a $40 value), five (5) coupons for free Organic Valley products (a $50 value), and an Organic Valley packable shopping bag.
Information on the Kickapoo Country Fair: The 7th Annual Kickapoo Country Fair is the Midwest's largest organic food and sustainability festival, and will be held on July 24-25, 2010 at the Organic Valley headquarters in La Farge, Wisconsin. It's a weekend full of delicious organic food, cooking demonstrations, live music, readings by renowned authors, bike and farm tours, theater, kids’ activities, and dancing – all offered at an affordable price for families. To Enter: Leave a comment telling me your favorite Organic Valley product (or the one you'd most like to try)Extra Entries:5 extra en…

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:

Lawry's grill pack Organic Peanut Butter Chunky Bling Watch

No Exercise Since December!

I haven't talked about it much, but I stopped exercising! I haven't exercised (at all!) since December 20, 2009. WTF? That's right! Long story short - we were celebrating Christmas with my family when my sister got a text on her phone saying that actress Britney Murphy had died. And because of her death, I haven't exercised in months.
Whoa! That's crazy talk. But it's more in depth than that. You see, I love to exercise. It's fun. It makes me feel healthy.....but I was taking it to an extreme. I was in great shape and I could do mad yoga poses like this:
And this:

I was running and shredding and.... I was getting sick. I was coughing a lot. I was losing extreme amounts of hair. My cycle was all messed up. I was losing all kinds of weight. Did I mention I was also vegan during this time? Yeah, I was on the edge. It was at this time that an unwanted roommate had finally moved out and I was done with the extreme stresses in my life.
When my sister heard that Bri…