Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stride Everyday Panties Review and Giveaway

The story of Stride Everyday panties begins with its founder, Wendy Spencer. She started out as a marathoner that continued to run throughout her pregnancy. After the birth of her son, she noticed that, like many if not most women who have had a child, she was experiencing stress incontinence. She looked for options to deal with the problem of occasional leaks and found pantyliner to be both expensive and not environmentally friendly. She also wanted a solution to make her feel sexy. This lead to the development of the Stride Everyday panty.

The Stride Everyday panty is unique in that has patented fabric technology in the panty's gusset that essential replaces the need for panty liner. This technology wicks moisture away from the top layer and deodorizes to keep you and your clothes dry. One of the best things about the Stride Everyday panty is that they offer 4 different styles of panties to allow you to choose the style that makes you feel the best, available in all different sizes. It also is machine washable up to 100 washes and can save you about $125 a year on panty liners. These panties are great for exercise, pre and post-natal, traveling, back-up protection, or just every day comfort.

The panties have been praised by the media and celebrity stylists, such as Gretta Monahan, TV personality and co-host of Tim Gunn's Guide to Style. They are also featured in the most recent issue of Shape Magazine.

My take? When I was first approached about doing a review for a panty I was a little uncertain. Then a panty that was meant to deal with stress incontinence? Then I really wasn't sure. The fact is, if you are expecting a child or have had a child, this is something that most women have to deal with, but not really something we want to talk about. But after carrying a 9 pound baby the first time and a pretty big baby this time, this is something I need. Getting kicked in the bladder all day long is not so much fun.

So truth be told, I am in LOVE with these panties. I was sent the seamless and mid-rise panties to try. They are made of this great, micro-fiber kind of fabric that is so comfortable to wear. The rise on both is great too, as I am not the kind of girl who likes to wear granny panties. The panty liner in the gusset is great too. You really don't feel like you are wearing anything extra. I HATE pads and panty liners as I feel like they never stay in place. This is a great alternative. The only thing I don't like is that I wasn't approached earlier in my pregnancy to review these because I would have worn them the whole time. But I am sure that I will get great use out of them post-partum. I really would recommend them to any woman who is expecting, has children, or even for child-less women as back-up.

Buy Them: These great panties can be purchased online at StrideEveryday.com and until November 30th, 2010 they are offering a 30% discount on all orders over $35 for Mommy's Margaritas readers. Just enter the code STRIDE4U at checkout.

Win Them: Stride Everyday is offering one of my readers their own panties in the size, style, and color of their choice.

To enter, first you MUST be a public follower of my blog via google friend connect. Click the "follow" button on the right hand side of my blog if you are not already following me. (Don't leave me a comment saying that you are a follower, just do it). I will be checking to make sure you are a follower if you win and will pick a different winner if you don't do this first. Please leave a separate comment for each entry. Also make sure to include your email address in the comment so I can contact you if you win.

Mandatory Entry (Do this one first):
1. Visit Stride Everyday and tell me one thing you like about the product.

Extra Entries:
2. Subscribe to my blog via email (at the bottom of my blog) for 1 additional entry.
2. Blog about this giveaway and leave a link for it in the comments for 3 additional entries.

3. Grab my button and post it on your blog homepage and leave the link in the comments for 3 additional entries.

4. Send an email to 3 friends with the link for this giveaway and cc mommysmargarita@gmail.com for 3 additional entries.

Open to US and Canada

Giveaway ends on October 1st, 2010 at 11:59 PM CST. The winner will be selected by random.org and will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond back before a new winner is selected.

I was sent a complimentary sample product for my review but my opinions are my own.

Tuesday Blog Hops

I need something to keep my mind busy today as I am having my scheduled c-section on Friday so leave me a comment so I can follow you back. Thanks for stopping by!!!

Familylicious Reviews

Tuesday Tag-Along

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Anticipation is Probably Going to Kill Me

With my c-section being scheduled for this Friday, I honestly have no idea what I am going to do with myself this week. This past week I was nesting hardcore and got the majority of my house organized, going through every closet, drawer, ect. until I knew where everything was. I also got a lot of freezer meals made and cookies baked for everyone who is going to be visiting us when the baby gets here. I have done every scrap of laundry in my house. I really don't know what to do right now. My brain hurts and I feel so incredibly anxious.
I can't go anywhere because I don't have a car this week. I can't go to the pool because it is closed during the day with the kids being back in school. Maybe I will just straighten and straighten and straighten some more. Or maybe I will spend the week entering every giveaway possible that I normally don't have time to enter. I just feel so guilty doing nothing but maybe I will just hang out and watch some movies with Peanut. All I know is this anxiety is going to kill me. I am not a patient person in any way, shape, or form so having to wait for the birth of my child really hard.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Scheduled C-Section is Not So Magical

So my c-section has been scheduled for a week from today, September 3rd, and I am having mixed emotions about it. With the type of incision I had last time a v-bac is not possible so I knew early on that I would be having a c-section. While it is great to know the exact date that I will be having my little girl, a part of me wishes I could have a "normal" birthing experience.
Last time I was a week overdue so they induced me. This lead to a long and painful labor that eventually led to a c-section. Knowing now what I did not know then, I probably would have not let them induce me. Even though I was frustrated and exhausted with being pregnant at the time (which I pretty much am now too) I think I would have let my body do what it was supposed to do naturally. There was no medical reason for them to induce me. I was doing fine and the baby was doing fine(she was big but that was it). It was a practice in a prestigious hospital and I think they just wanted to have the baby born when it was best for them. I think I also would have tried to walk a lot more during early labor and not gotten an epidural as soon as I did. But we can't dwell on the past and I can't change what happened.
This time I just wish my body would go into labor on its own. I have been having contractions off and on for a few weeks now but my doctor confirmed this morning that I am not dilated at all. It is really frustrating, especially since I could essentially have no contractions whatsoever and still have a baby. I want that clique experience of waking up in the middle of the night, having contractions regularly for a couple of hours, going to the hospital, and having the baby. Or even better, having my water break so I KNOW I am in labor.
I guess I have to look at the positives. Knowing the exact date that you are having your baby on is very convenient. I can I have my house clean, my bags packed, and my frozen meals made. We also are planning on going out for a "last meal" the night before the c-section so I can indulge on my favorite Mexican food on last time before being in the hospital for 4 days. I can make sure Peanut has a place to stay that is not rushed or last minute or inconvenient for her grandparents. I can make sure I have someone to come and take care of our dogs. And lastly, I know that there is an end date to this pregnancy. I know all pregnancies must come to an end but at least mine is at 39 weeks and not some uncertain date in the future.
Ok, the more I look at it, I think the planned c-section thing isn't that bad. It's just all very clinical, not very magical. But I would be willing to bet that as soon as I hold my new baby girl in my arms, that is when the magic begins.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Peanut is Putting Us Through Baby Training

Well, Peanut does not want to sleep at all anymore I guess. At least not at night. For the past couple of weeks she has been waking up in the middle of the night, hysterical. She runs to her door and yells for us, we put her in bed with us and most times she just sits there awake. She is very squirmy too so it is really hard to go back to sleep. The problem is, she is so tired from not sleeping at night that she takes like 3 1/2 hour naps at 2pm every day and then can't go to bed at night. I am praying that the new baby is a good sleeper because I have dealt with Peanut's inability to sleep like a normal human being since the day she was born.
I keep telling my husband that Peanut is putting us through training for the new baby. That we are getting used to waking up at all hours of the night and then putting ourselves back to sleep as soon as possible. But he tells me that he doesn't need any training. He KNOWS what to expect when the new baby is here and he doesn't need the practice right now. Always the optimist he is.
Yesterday was the best. Peanut went out for a while with her uncle and he took her to the park and the pet store. Then he was going to take her for ice cream but she fell asleep on the ride there so he took her home. I grabbed her and went to lay her in bed when she sat straight up and started chatting as if she never was asleep. The problem here is that when this happens, she thinks she has taken her nap for the day, even though she was only asleep for ten minutes. Then she fights me tooth and nail to take a nap for the rest of the day even though I know she is tired. She finally passed out at around 3pm and I had to wake her up at 5:30pm because I didn't want her going to bed at midnight. We put her to bed without a fight at 9pm, then she woke up at 1:30am and my hubby tried to get her to go back to sleep until 3:30am. Then I just yelled to put her in bed with us and she fell asleep until 6am. So that was pretty fun. She is just so off and I am off and we are all off together. And I know that in about a week things are just going to get worse.

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Quest for the Perfect Diaper Bag

Now that my due date is looming and I have come to the realization that I will have two children under 2 in about 12 days, both of whom will be in diapers, I am now on a quest for the perfect diaper bag. I still have 2 diaper bags from Peanut but these in no way will meet my needs with the new baby. I guess I was being optimistic when several months ago I believed that Peanut would be potty trained by the time the new baby got here. Now I realize that milestone is months away, as I don't really think I will be able to attempt to potty train her in the first few months of caring for a newborn.

With Peanut we purchased a gender neutral, smaller diaper bag that worked for what we needed at the time. My husband wanted to have a diaper bag that he felt comfortable carrying when he was out by himself so I agreed to get a hunter green bag. It is really ugly and does not have a lot of space. I quickly realized that everywhere I went, I had to carry a diaper bag and my purse, and that was a pain in the butt. We also got a free bag from the hospital we delivered at, this one a bit more spacious, but still with the name of the hospital printed on the outside. Not very fashionable.

For the past several months I have just been putting Peanut's stuff in a large purse I have and carrying that. While I feel more fashionable this way, it still presents a few problems. First, there are no compartments in this bag so everything settles to the bottom. There have been many times where I have been at the grocery store and had to pull out a stack of diapers, wipes, books, ect. just to get to my wallet. Secondly, if I am going out without Peanut this bag looks so sad flopping emptily with just my wallet, phone, and keys in it after I have taken all the baby stuff out. It's just not practical.

This now brings me to my quest for the perfect bag. The first thing I am looking for is space. It needs to have several compartments so that I can separate the new baby's stuff from Peanut's stuff. And if I am going out for a full day this includes diapers for both, lots of wipes, toys, changes of clothes, bottles, ect. I am also looking for space for my stuff as well so I can just slip my wallet, keys, phone, and coupons into a compartment when I go out with the kids, and then easily transfer them to a purse when I am not with the kids.

The next thing I am looking for is a fashionable bag. I am not the most stylish lady on the block and I certainly don't carry designer bags. I do however try to feel like a girl on most days. And with a fresh c-section scar and breast milk leaking from your nipples, I think that is the time to want to feel a little good about yourself. That is why I want my diaper bag to feel like a really stylish, over-sized purse. I don't really care for the messenger style of diaper bag because it makes me feel like I am in school again. I just want something that looks and feels nice to carry.

The third thing I am looking for is affordability. The problem I have been finding is that this bag exists, but it comes in the $100 plus price range. There is no WAY I can see justifying spending that much money on a bag. Even in my pre-baby days, I could not see spending that much money on a purse for myself. Now with two kids and trying to save up money to go back to school, there is even more incentive not to spend like a wild-woman on a bag, especially when I have two at home that I CAN use in a pinch.

Tell me, does this bag that I am looking for exist? Can I afford it? Does it have enough space with separate compartments? Is is fashionable? Can I carry it like a purse? Help!!!

Winner of the Only Sunshine Boutique Custom Frame: Take 2

So the winner of the custom frame did not contact me within the 48 hour time frame so I had to pick another winner. The winner is...

Congrats Sassy! This winner has been emailed and has 48 hours to contact me or I will pick a new winner.

On a side note, does this ever happen to you giveaway bloggers? Do people fail to contact you and you have to pick a new winner?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Winner of the Only Sunshine Boutique Giveaway

And the winner is...
True Random Number Generator

True Random Number Generator

Min: 1
Max: 29
Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Congrats Made.By.Jess
The winner has been notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or I will pick a new winner. Thanks to everyone who entered.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Old Navy Coupon Giveaway Winners

And the Winners Are(according to random.org):
#17 Carol
#18 Josee
#52 Tales of a Young Mamma
#24 Sthompsonfoto
#45 Ellecee
#1 Tracie
#15 Lisa
#47 Sassy
#26 Bi
#12 Celeste

The winners have all been notified by email. Thanks to everyone who entered!!!

2 Giveaways Ending Tonight!!!

Don't forget to get your entries in for 2 giveaways I have ending tonight, 8/20. The first is a custom picture frame from Only Sunshine Boutique. It has pretty low entries so you have a good chance of winning. Enter HERE. Entries will be accepted until 11:59PM Central Time tonight.
The second giveaway ending tonight is 1 of 10 $50 off a $100 purchase at Old Navy. Enter HERE. Entries will be accepted until 9:00PM Central Time tonight.

Good Luck Everyone!!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hurry!!! Last Minute Old Navy Coupon Giveaway!!!

I will be giving away 10 $50 off a $100 purchase coupons to Old Navy tomorrow. To enter, first you must be a follower of my blog. If you are not, simply click the follow button on the right hand side of my blog. Then, leave a comment with your email address and tell me who you would be shopping for if you won. I will randomly pick 10 winners by 9pm Central Time tomorrow, 8/20, and you will have 24 hours to respond and claim your coupon. These coupons are printable and must be redeemed from 8/20-8/26 only. This is a great opportunity to save on back to school clothes or your new fall wardrobe. Hurry and enter while you can.

Here is some more info on the Weekly Deals At Old Navy:

Say hello to a change in seasons by changing your look! Be chic and comfy with the Old Navy Item of the Week: Women’s Tie-Waist Sweaters. A shawl collar & tie-belt are a fab combo for dressy or casual style. Either way they’re: $20, reg. $39.50, 8/20–8/26. In-store only.

Get a glimpse of the fall must-have at Facebook.com/OldNavy under the “Weekly Ad” tab. While you’re there, dig around for this week’s highest-value, unlimited coupon: $10 off $50. Click the “Barker’s Bones” tab-play once a week for super savings! Happy digging! Ask readers: Women’s Tie Waist Sweaters are a fall must-have. What else is on your must-have list: Old Navy boots, a new lightweight jacket or dare we say, both?

M80 contacted me on behalf of their clients but I did not receive any compensation for this giveaway.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Versatile Blogger Award

Thanks so much to Life of A Twingle Gal for giving me the Versatile Blogger Award!!

Here are the Rules:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award

2. Share 7 things about yourself

3. Pass the award along to 15 other bloggers you recently discovered and think are fabulous

4. Contact the bloggers you chose and let them know about the award

Seven Things About Me:
1. I am currently studying to get my second bachelor's degree for nursing

2. I have been a singer my whole life and have performed at Lincoln Center in NYC and The Disney Castle Stage in Orlando

3. I used to work as a Casino Host at two different casinos

4. I wanted to go to law school when I graduated college but after working as a paralegal realized I hated it

5. I took 4 years of Italian in college just for fun, but I am not sure how much of it I could remember now

6. My elbows are freakishly double jointed.

7. I would love to eat all organic, but it is just too damn expensive

15 other bloggers I follow and think you should too:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Melting Pot Review

This past Saturday my husband and I went to The Melting Pot to celebrate our anniversary. If you have never been to The Melting Pot or even heard of it, it is a fondue restaurant that offers cheese, main course, and chocolate fondue. And boy, do you get your fill of fondue. I chose The Melting Pot for our anniversary because first and foremost it is a romantic experience from start to finish. I also chose it because, being 9 months pregnant, the only fun thing I can do is eat. And it is really a great place to eat.
First of all, we had my parents watch Peanut for the night and the next morning so we could take our time at dinner and enjoy ourselves. We sat at a very private booth off of the bar and for the most part were by ourselves. That really set the mood. We decided on the specialty "Pacific Islands Big Night Out" for our meal. This includes a cheese fondue course, a salad course, a meats course, and a chocolate fondue course. A ton of food, I know. The cheese included with this was called the Feng Shui Cheese Fondue. It included white wine, mirin, Sake, Gruyere cheese, and horseradish and chive Havarti Cheese. There is a burner in the middle of the table and the server prepares the cheese in a pot in front of you. The burner keeps the cheese nice and melty, perfect for dipping. They provide veggies and different kinds of bread for you to dip in the cheese. This fondue was excellent. Very unique tasting but creamy, a little spicy, and delicious. My husband and I both loved it.
The next course was the salad. We both ordered The Melting Pot Salad with the sweet and tangy house dressing. It was a standard house salad but the dressing was great and the salad included hard boiled eggs, which I love. For the main course we chose the Fondue Fusion with the Bourguignonne style of fondue, which is simply canola oil. The meats included with the Fondue Fusion included lobster tail, sesame crusted teriyaki sirloin, citrus infused pork tenderloin, ahi tuna, garlic chili chicken breast, kiwi lime shrimp, spring vegetable dumplings and fresh vegetables. It also included 2 types of tempura batter and tons of different dipping sauces. It really is a romantic and fun experience cooking your food with your partner, trying different things, and basically sharing the same meal. This is an experience I think is unique to the Melting Pot. We both really loved the main course from start to finish.
The final course was the chocolate fondue. For this we chose the traditional fondue, which was dark chocolate with a swirl of creamy peanut butter. They include pound cake, brownies, rice crispie treats, strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, and chessecake for dipping in this. Let me tell you, this course is heaven. It almost put me over the edge of being full, but not quite. It was so creamy and delicious and the peanut butter added a little extra something that made it extra yummy.
You might be asking yourself, how can they eat this much food? Truth be told, it is a lot of food and you certainly won't leave hungry. But from the beginning of the meal we told our server we were celebrating our anniversary and were in no hurry. This allowed him to pace the meal slowly and allow time to digest in between courses. We found ourselves getting hungry in between courses and that was a good thing. In addition we never felt rushed to get out. I hate when you feel rushed at a restaurant and the server did a great job of matching the pace that we were looking for. From start to finish, we were there for over three hours!!! We were having such a great time that we lost track of the time.
The best part of the meal is that it is affordable. The big night out was only $84 with everything for the two of us. Not including drinks and tip, I find this to be a great value for all the food you get.
All in all, we had a great anniversary dinner. I would recommend The Melting Pot to anyone who is looking to celebrate a special occasion with that special someone. It was romantic, fun, affordable, and most importantly, delicious.

WooHoo 100 Followers!!!

Wow, I reached 100+ followers and I am so happy!!! I can't thank all of you who follow me and read my blog enough! You make me feel like what I write actually matters and that means a lot to me. I especially love comments so keep them coming! Love you guys!!!

Tuesday Blog Hops and The Like

Hello Everyone! Sorry about the lack of posts over the weekend...I was without Internet and it sucked. I thought I would do some blog hops this week since I haven't done any in a while AND I am so close to having 100 followers that I thought I would try and push it over the edge. If you are new to following me, make sure to leave me a comment so I can follow you back and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE come enter my latest giveaway HERE. It ends this week and there are very low entries so you have a very good chance of winning. Thanks for stopping by.


To-the-TOP Tuesday

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Happy Anniversary to Me!

5 years ago today I married my best friend. Clique, I know, but he truly is my best friend. We have been together for 12 years, through high school, college, being apart for long periods of time, working opposite schedules, moving a million times, layoffs, 1 beautiful baby, another beautiful baby on the way, losses and gains, trials and tribulations, death and birth, and everything else that goes into a marriage. I couldn't survive without him and I KNOW he couldn't survive without me(haha). Look at the picture above. That is from our honeymoon. Don't we look tan, thin, young, and well rested??? Marriage, kids, and life may have taken its toll on our looks but we are better people now than we ever were. Happy Anniversary Hubby!!!
Don't forget to enter my latest giveaway HERE

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What Do I Have to Do to Get People to Enter My Giveaways?

I was just wondering what I have to do to get more people to enter my giveaways. It seems like both times I have done a giveaway I have had to beg people to enter and I am just wondering if there was something I should be doing to get more people to enter. I really want to continue to do giveaways but it is discouraging when very few people enter. I know most people look for the "big ticket" giveaway items but I feel like my giveaways are very easy to enter, especially if you already follow me. I was still hoping to do a giveaway for a Baby K'tan Baby Carrier after my new baby is born but I don't even know if that is something people would want. I need some feedback here. If it just is that you haven't had time to enter any giveaways I certainly understand as I don't really have time either. If you have time, enter HERE now. I am doing this to help out a friend who is just starting her "mommy business" out and I would love it if you readers would check her out. Thanks so much!!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

No Air Conditioning is No Fun

All day Sunday our entire family (my mom, dad, brother, his fiance, sister, her boyfriend, my hubby, Peanut, and myself) went up to the Wisconsin State Fair. It is a tradition for us to go every year and I have been going since I was born. I went when I was pregnant with Peanut, last year when she was under a year, and I was determined to go this year, 36 weeks pregnant and all. It is so much fun, eating all the food, looking at all the exhibits, seeing all the animals, watching bands, taking Peanut on pony rides, and watching her daddy take her on the giant slide (twice, she begged).
It really is a physical challenge to do the whole fair pregnant. For one thing, it was SUPER hot on Sunday and very humid. Secondly, there is quiet a bit of walking to do which gets to be a lot pregnant or not. And it is a very long day...we got up at 4am and didn't get to bed until midnight. When we finally got in the car to go home we were exhausted.
Before we left in the morning, I turned the A/C up to 78 degrees so we weren't wasting electricity while we were gone all day. When we got home I turned it back down (way down) and we went to bed. It was hot when we went to bed but I figured it would cool down eventually. All through the night I was sweating and tossing and turning, but I thought it was just me since I am hot all the time these days. I accidentally left the alarm on my phone on for 4am and when it went off, it woke Peanut up. So she got up and ran into our room and I sent my hubby downstairs to see what was going on with the air conditioning. He was downstairs for like 30 minutes fiddling, running up and down from the basement and finally came back up with the verdict. Something was wrong with the air.
We slept a little longer (not well at all) and got up. It was PAINFULLY hot in the house as it was 90 on Monday with 80% humidity or so. My husband took his shower, I quickly took mine and threw Peanut in with me since we were all drenched in sweat, and we all got dressed, sweating the whole time. He dropped me and Peanut off at my parent's house for the day so we could cool off.
My hubby called some a/c guys to come out but they couldn't come out till today. When we got home last night, we set up the air mattress, the baby mattress, and put a sheet on the couch in the living room because it was about 15 degrees cooler downstairs than it was upstairs. I put some wet washcloths in the freezer, turned the ceiling fan on high, and we settled in to sleep.
Sleep we did not. Poor Peanut kept waking up all night drenched in sweat and my hubby put her in the air mattress with him (I needed the firmer couch for my back). I could not fall asleep to save my life and kept sitting up and nodding off. I was covered head to toe in sweat and kept putting the cold washcloths on my head. I even got up a few times to stick my head in the freezer. Needless to say, all of us got very little sleep and it was one of the most miserable nights of my life.
Don't get me wrong, I am not a spoiled girl. I didn't have air conditioning in my apartment in college and I did fine. I know that A/C is a luxury and I should be grateful that I have it. But when you are 9 months pregnant and used to it, it is quite a shock to the system. Plus, this summer has been especially hot and humid. And to put it in perspective, when my husband got up in the middle of the night, the thermostat said it was 89 degrees in our room. That sucked.
Finally, the repairman came today and had to replace the blower and the belt but by 1pm I had air again. It felt like heaven. I could move again. I could finally get my house straightened from the weekend because it was too hot to do anything. I could cook in my kitchen. Thank the lord!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Well That's Ironic

Couponing to Disney

So as many of you saw and commented on, my last post was all about how I have entered so many giveaways and haven't won anything. Well today I got an email that I won one. And not just any giveaway, a really good one. Something I am going to be needing really soon. I won an Avent Double Electric Breast Pump from Couponing to Disney.

Needless to say I was shocked and completely surprised. I really want a good breast pump because my last baby refused to EVER take a bottle. This baby really needs to be able to take a bottle because I am going back to school shortly after she is born. I guess Karma does exist sometimes. Or maybe just putting it out there brought me some luck. Or all of you who wished me well and hoped I would win something too helped me too. Whatever it is, I thank you.
While we are at it, PLEASE enter my latest giveaway for a Handmade, Custom Picture Frame from Only Sunshine Boutique. She just started her store and blog and could really love some bloggy love. Thanks guys!!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Does Anyone Actually Win One of These Things?

I am putting it out there...I want to win a giveaway!!! I feel like I have entered every giveaway imaginable in the past two months with nothing. I am not asking for much. It doesn't even have to be a big giveaway. But it would be nice to win SOMETHING. I think I am just bitter. My luck outside of bloggy world has not been so great as of late so I feel like maybe Karma owes me. I know that certainly is not how the world works but it still would be nice to win. I have a baby coming in 3 weeks. Come on people. I really am convinced that no one actually wins anything. #345 Carlasmommy said "I like the one with the green stripes" is made up, right? You are just keeping the giveaway prize and giving it to your sister, right? I know you aren't really. That would violate our blogger code of ethics. Maybe random.org doesn't like me. That could be it. I don't know. I give up. Can't a girl just get some free swag already? Ok...that's my rant for the day. Sorry. I'm cranky and humungously pregnant.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Only Sunshine Boutique Giveaway

A friend of mine from high school recently started her own business from home, Only Sunshine Boutique. Liz started the business after a few big changes in her life. She had her first baby this past December and she became a stay at home mom after her son was born. When she was preparing for her son's arrival she found herself making a lot of homemade things for his nursery: she painted pictures to match his bedding and painted letters to spell out his name to match his room. Since her son was born she has also taken up photography taking tons of pictures of her son.

While looking for something she could do from home, she decided to combine her love of crafting with photography. That was how Only Sunshine Boutique was born, when she started making custom picture frames. Liz says her picture frames are for all other parents or grandparents who have that perfect photo of their little one that deserves the perfect frame to display it in.

She currently sells custom handmade picture frames as well as some of her photography. In the future she plans to expand and offer additional nursery and home decor products.

You can purchase one of her adorable (and affordable) frames or beautiful photographs at her Etsy page, Only Sunshine Boutique.

Liz has generously offered one of my readers a custom frame of their own, with the colors and word of their choosing. The frame has a slightly distressed finish and includes glass, a finished back which is painted brown, a peg for the frame to stand, and a protective coating which gives the frame a professional finish and protects it from scratches and UV rays.

To enter, first you MUST be a public follow of my blog via google friend connect (I will be checking so make sure you do this first). Click the "follow" button on the right hand side of my blog if you are not already following me. Please leave a separate comment for each entry. Also make sure to include your email address in the comment (if it is not in your profile) so I can contact you if you win.
Mandatory Entry:
1. Visit Only Sunshine Boutique and tell me what frame you would like to have.

Extra Entries:
2. Subscribe to my blog via email (at the bottom of my blog) for 1 additional entry.

3. Like Only Sunshine Boutique on Facebook for 1 additional entry.

4. Follow Only Sunshine Boutique's blog for 1 additional entry.
5. Blog about this giveaway and leave the link for it in the comments for 3 additional entries (leave 3 separate comments).

6. Grab my button and post it on your blog homepage and leave the link in the comment for 3 additional entries.

Open to US and Canada
Giveaway ends August 20th, 2010 at 11:59 PM CST. The winner will be selected by random.org and be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond back before a new winner is selected.

I was not compensated for this giveaway and the opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Newbie Blogger Questions

I don't really have anything substantial to blog about today so I thought I would take this opportunity to ask my fellow bloggers to answer some questions I have about blogging. Any help that anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated. I'm sure many others have these questions but they don't know who to ask. Please just leave a comment. Thanks so much!!!

1. How do you number the comments to make it easier to count the winner for giveaways?

2. How do you screen grab the box from Random.org and put in in a post to show the winner for a giveaway?

3. How can you get companies to approach you about reviews/giveaways?

4. What is a respectable number of followers to have before you approach companies about reviews/giveaways?

5. Is it necessary to have a facebook or twitter page to promote your giveaways?

6. Is it important to accept every blog award given to you or are most of these made up things?

7. When responding to comments should I just add another comment, send an email, or comment on the other person's blog?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

The warm weather and lots of rain we have been getting here in Illinois has lead to an overabundance of HUGE zucchini in our garden. As a result, I have made 8 loaves of awesome zucchini bread and frozen a bunch of them. Every morning I have a slice with some cream cheese and it makes a really tasty breakfast. Here is the recipe:

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
adapted from Paula Deen

3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. baking soda
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (use whatever you like, I used pecans in some, walnuts in others)
The zest from one orange

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 2 9x5 inch loaf pans really well with cooking spray.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and baking soda.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until they are light and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue beating until well blended. Beat in the oil and vanilla. Stir in the zucchini, nuts, chocolate chips, and orange zest. Stir in the sifted ingredients. Pour into prepared loaf pans.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven, cool in pans for about 5-10 minutes, and then cool on a rack. It can be served at room temperature but I really like it chilled.

Makes 2 loafs.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pain, Pain Go Away

Sorry about no posts for a few days...it was a very busy and stressful weekend. And now I am in pain. Although really that is nothing new. This pregnancy has been fairly easy. As I am sure many other moms will attest to, you don't really have time to notice all your pregnancy ailments during your second pregnancy, especially if your first child is still under two.

I mean, I did notice my morning sickness this time around. It came with a vengeance. In fact, that is how I knew I was pregnant. It started about two weeks after I got pregnant and started to taper off around 12 weeks. Last time it lasted around 5 months and was just as bad. Only difference was, if I was feeling particularly bad, I could just lay in bed and sleep until I felt better. Not so much this time. It basically went, vomit while my other baby hangs on the back of my legs and then get up and feed her breakfast. There was just no time to indulge myself.

The thing that has been really paining me since my second trimester is pubic bone pain. It seems to be a pretty rare condition and it certainly is not covered in "What to Expect When You Are Expecting." The clinical name for this condition is Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction. What happens is my pregnant body over secretes the pregnancy hormone Relaxin that helps loosen my pelvis in preparation for delivery. The result is loose ligaments basically throwing my pelvis out of joint, with nothing that can be done to bring it back into alignment.

What causes me to be in pain? Pretty much anything. Laying in bed for a long period of time, sitting for a long period of time, walking for a long period of time, bending down, turning over in bed, separating my legs, even putting a pair of pants on. After speaking with my doctors several times about this, they basically have said that there is nothing that can be done. I have begged them to give me any sort of pain reliever because the several daily doses of Tylenol I am taking at this point are just not cutting it. Nope, they say, nothing will help. I secretly think they are sadists (not really, I just hurt).

Last night, I really couldn't sleep. When you have SPD sleeping is the most uncomfortable time. The pressure of your legs on top of one another really puts strain on your pelvis. So I wedge a pillow between my legs and pray for relief. We went to the racetrack yesterday with my family where we sat in very flat uncomfortable chairs, then sat at a restaurant with uncomfortable chairs, followed by a long car ride home. This left me in so much pain that I literally cried myself to sleep. Or what can best be described as sleep. It basically meant nodding off for 20 minutes because I was so exhausted followed by searing pain and desperately trying to find a comfortable position for about an hour. Not so much fun.

I'm not trying to complain. I know that pregnancy is not meant to be a comfortable time. Its just I have never experienced a pain like this and certainly not one that really never is relieved ever. I'm just tired and I can't wait for this baby to be born. If only to be able to walk again.