Thursday, August 30, 2012

our favorite "back to school" treat: disney on ice (w/giveaway)

we are getting ready for school to start again.  that always means a lot of bittersweet feelings:  happiness to be back with friends, sadness to have to go back to doing regular homework; happiness to be back in a recognizable routine, sadness to lose the freedom that summer brings.

one way that we like to ease the sadness is to schedule a visit with our friends from the world of disney.  we are particularly excited about this year's show:  disney on ice presents treasure trove.

this is the show's description:   "get tangled up in disney’s 50th animated feature with rapunzel and flynn and enter the worlds of your other favorite disney princesses –tiana, cinderella, jasmine, ariel, sleeping beauty, belle, mulan and of course, the one who started it all, snow white.  

then, set sail with peter pan, the always sassy tinker bell and the cantankerous captain hook & his pirate pals on an adventure beyond never land!  

trek the wilds of africa with simba, nala, pumbaa and timon as they discover the true meaning of the ‘circle of life.’  

tick-tock!  tick-tock!  don’t be late to a very important date with alice & the mad hatter as they march with the queen of hearts’ army of cards.  be sure to see this show full of memories guaranteed to last a lifetime."

can you believe they are able to fit so many of our favorite stories into one incredible and amazing show?  me neither!

here's what you need to know to get your tickets.

show times are as follows:

thursday - 7:00
friday – 10:30, 7:00
saturday – 11:30, 3:30, 7:00
sunday - 11:30, 3:30, (7:00 Spanish)

here is the purchasing link:  

the best news of all is that you can save 20% on weekend shows and 40% on weekday shows with this code:  MOM

(weekday shows include thursday evening and friday matinee shows and weekend includes all shows friday evening through sunday evening.  savings offer not valid on front row or vip seating. no double discounts; service charges and handling fees may apply.)

i am also excited to be able to offer one reader a family 4-pack of tickets to see the opening night performance on september 13, 2012.  just leave me a comment below telling me your favorite disney character.  i will choose a winner on sunday, september 2.  must be 18 to enter; it will probably be helpful if you are in the chicago area if you win!

i received free tickets to the show for my family, as well as a 4-pack of tickets to give away.  regardless, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are purely my own.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


i can't think of anything i like better than handing out fun prizes!  Yay!

the winner of the pretty muddy mud run is...

...lisa noel!  congratulations.  i hope you let me run with you so we can carry each other across the finish line!

if you didn't win, i have heard there is a groupon discount available for a few more days.  check it out and join us.

the winner of the all mighty pacs is...
...sherilyn!  yay!  i'm sure now that school has started again for you-all, you will still have plenty of laundry to do!

finally, the winner of the the stonyfield yogurt superhero giveaway is...

...coconpeppers mom!  yay!  i'm would love it if the "purple haze" could come to my rescue one of these days!

thank you to everyone who entered.  i love to give things away!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

all®mighty pacsTM make laundry a breeze (w/giveaway)

when we moved into our new apartment, the laundry area was...well, sticky. laundry soap had spilled and leaked and left residue everywhere.

 i generally buy the big huge plastic tubs of detergent with the spigot. it seems like it would be easy for dispensing detergent, but it always seems to drip, sometimes on my freshly washed clothes.

 that is why i am super excited about the all®mighty pacsTM. i just open a bag, grab the pac, toss it in the washer, throw in my clothes and i'm done. fabulous. no mess, less time and less waste.

 all® wants you to have more time for fun this summer, and less time to spend cleaning up soapy messes.  if you would like to win a summer prize pack from  all®, leave a comment below telling me your family's favorite summer activity.   i will choose a winner using on tuesday, august 14.  must be a usa resident to enter, and 18 years or older to win.

to encourage parents to savor precious family moments, all®mighty pacs is partnering with, a nickelodeon parenting site, to launch the “mighty fun, mighty moments” contest, which encourages parents to share their families’ favorite activities and moments in 140 characters or less.  contestants have an opportunity to win a cruise onboard a norwegian cruise line with nickelodeon activities and entertainment.  take a look at the video below:

i received information, products and an additional  all®mighty pacs gift pack from  all® through myblogspark.  regardless, all thoughts and opinions expressed here are purely my own.

beat the summer slide with reading eggs reading program

i have not been as structured about getting my kids to do schoolwork as i intended at the beginning of the summer.  maybe i should i intend every summer!

our days just seem to fly by.  we are either rushing out the door to get to some activity, or the kids are enjoying some much-needed and much-deserved time to play creatively and freely, without specific instruction from me.  it is hard to break into that to get them to do school work.

that's why i am thankful for the reading eggs website.  it is a learn to read online program that works with kids at any level to build them up step by step and turn them into readers.  i especially did not want tate to lose the reading skills he had learned in preschool this past year.  i want him to start kindergarten already ahead of the game.  i think reading eggs website has been a great tool for us in that regard.  

he loves to play on the computer anyway, and he hates reading aloud to me.  the games are so much fun, he doesn't even seem to notice that he is reading.  i love it because he can do it by himself but i am confident that he is learning and reinforcing important skills.  he loved being able to create his own avatar.  when he accomplishes levels and earns credit, he will have more options to choose for his avatar:

 the graphics are a little cheesy and some of the games require a dexterity with the mouse that have been a little challenging for tate.  if you have younger kids, you will want to help them maneuver the mouse for some of the games.  otherwise, i absolutely love the website.

reading eggspress has levels available for more advanced readers, like tessa and even zoe.

as tate accomplishes levels, more places are unlocked so he has more to explore and discover.  it seems to take a lot of time to move up to a higher level and get more places unlocked.  tate has not seemed to notice this, however, and doesn't really care.  he loves playing the games any chance he gets.  

if you think this is something your kids might possibly be interested in, reading eggs and reading eggspress offers parents and teachers a free trial (for parents, you can have up to three kids signed up). 

give it a try.  it may just be something you want to continue using, even into the school year!

i received a free trial of the reading eggs online learn to read  program for one child in exchange for writing this review.  regardless, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are purely my own.

stonyfield a food superhero (w/giveaway)

 we work hard to eat healthy around here.  any time that i can, i purchase organic foods for my kids.  i work even harder to avoid things that i think are detrimental to my kids' health, like red #40, high fructose corn syrup and aspartame.

when it comes to buying yogurt, it is hard to find options that don't have at least one of these things.  that's what i love about stonyfield.  when i purchase stonyfield yogurt for my kids, i really do feel like a superhero.

"food superheroes know their food and make food choices that protect their health, family farmers, animals and the planet."  now you can feel and look like a superhero yourself!

stonyfield is offering everyone the opportunity to create a superhero persona, complete with a fabulous superhero name.  for every food superhero profile created, stonyfield will donate $1 to foodcorps, a national nonprofit organization that addresses childhood health through food by working directly in schools in limited-resource communities. 

i would love to help give you a jumpstart toward being a food superhero.  i am giving away a coupon for stonyfield yogurt, a gift card to whole foods, a superhero cape (you can decide if you want to share it with your kids!) and some temporary tattoos.

just leave me a comment below telling me what superhero name you would give yourself and which power you would most like to have.  i will choose a winner on tuesday, august 14.  must be a resident of the united states and 18 years old to enter.

here is my superhero profile:

what do you think?

i received a superhero package from stonyfield yogurt as part of my involvement as a yo-getter.  regardless, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.  i am committed to feeding my kids healthy foods and stonyfield yogurt is one of the choices i make.

winner of the write stuff school supplies giveaway

..congratulations to ...

...farrah for winning the right stuff package of school supplies!

happy school year everyone.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

join me for a pretty muddy mud run (w/giveaway)

have you ever watched your kids playing in the mud and thought, "that sure looks like fun!  i sure wish that i could jump and play in the mud too."

me neither.  

usually i'm wondering if i will ever be able to get their clothes even close to clean.

what i have thought is that i wish there were more opportunities for me to get together with other women and do something that is fun, challenging, and just a little bit crazy.

on september 15, 2012, in orland park, women across chicagoland have the opportunity to be a part of something pretty new, pretty awesome and pretty messy.  

i still am not sure how excited i feel about getting muddy, but i am really looking forward to being a party of a fun outing that is just for women.  i'm also glad to have a reason to try to get back into shape (after all, i don't want to finish the obstacle course an hour after everyone else!).  the nice thing about this race, however (because who can really get "into shape" in a month or less anyway?!?!), is that it isn't a race, you don't have to run, ergo, you don't have to be in shape to participate!  it is just about women having fun together doing something they (probably) wouldn't ordinarily do.

if you would be interested in joining, take a look at the website to learn more about the event.  i am pretty excited about the fact that chicago is the first city giving this a try.  the event will take place on a farm in orland park.  the cost is $69.50, and if you sign up early (by august 14), you get a free t-shirt.  

you can sign up here (affiliate link) to join me.  the truth is that i am just a teeny-tiny freaked out that i have actually signed up for this event, so i would absolutely love it if some of you would join me.  surely you can't think of anything more fun to do!

you can also leave a comment below, tell ing me what you think i should do to start getting into shape.  I will choose a winner of a free registration and a t-shirt on tuesday, august 14, 2012, using (you probably want to be in the chicago area to enter; must be 18 to win).

i'll be sure to post some pictures from my pretty muddy experience!

i received a complimentary registration and t-shirt in exchange for sharing this information with you.  i also have an affiliate link that earns me $5 for each person who signs up using that link.  regardless, i am excited about participating in this crazy event and desperately hoping someone i know will join me!

you can also find me here

some other groups i've joined


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