Friday, September 9, 2011

Nickelodeon's Monkey Quest - Review & Giveaway

Since it's launch back in April, Nickelodeon's Monkey Quest (an innovative online game world for kids ages 8-12) has becomes one of the most visited kids virtual world sites, gaining over 3 MILLION registered users!!

Kids can create and customize a monkey avatar and chart their own adventures in the fantasy land of Ook, a cool and mysterious world where monkey's rule. Players join one of five tribes and band together against a dark force that threatens them all. Kids can benefit from the cooperative play as they need to work together to defeat enemies, solve puzzles and explore the ever changing world of Ook. As Nickelodeon has always been famous for, there is plenty of relatable goofy humor to keep kids entertained and engaged. 

What kid wouldn't like a game where you're a monkey jumping, swinging and battling your way through a new world? The level of violence (if you could call it that) is below mild, on par with what you'd find in a Mario Bros. game. I don't know about you, but I'd rather my child shoot bananas than guns in a game any day!

The best part about Monkey Quest is that it can be FREE to play. Kids can create their monkey, explore trails and play different levels of the game for free. If you find is already a serious gamer or you find that they really enjoy the game, there's a hybrid payment option in which you gain access to quests,unlimited trails, abilities, banana allowances and other elements of the game. Parents can choose a subscription plan or "pay as you go" through NickCash, Nickelodeon's online currency. 

I have a Monkey Quest Prize Pack to offer one lucky reader that includes a Monkey Quest tote bag, t-shirt and hat, as well as an Insider's Guide to help your child navigate the lank of Ook! All you need to do is leave a comment BEFORE 6 PM (EST) on Monday, September 12th and you're in the running! 

**In full disclosure, I received a free game card in exchange for sharing information about Monkey Quest with you here on my little slice of the web.**

Be sure to give Monkey Quest a "like" on Facebook too!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Another first under our belts...

"My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small
You never have to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to, 
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too...
Yeah, this, is my wish." 
- Rascal Flatts

He woke up just after 7. He was in a good mood. He wanted to watch Little Einsteins and have some toast for breakfast. Sometime between the day before yesterday and today, the bread went bed, so I made him a bagel. It wasn't to his liking, so then I made him an english muffin, which by the grace of God, satisfied him. 

He built a pirate ship with his blocks. I got him washed and brushed and dressed. He insisted his shirt made him look fat, but didn't request a different one. He asked me 10,000 times when it was time to go to the bus stop. 

Sean was more than ready for his first day of Kindergarten. 

I was the one having major some issues.

I hated putting him on that bus, saying goodbye, knowing I wouldn't see him for the entire day. I've had the privilege of being with him every day, all day for the past 5 years. He went to preschool last year, but he was gone a total of 3 hours and even that was a huge adjustment.

Imagine walking around all day without your right arm. You could manage, you could get around ok...but it would be a challenge, it would be uncomfortable. That's how I felt all day today. A huge important part of me was missing and as crazy as he drives me at times, I found it hard to function without him.

I fretted all day about whether or not he was okay. If he'd have trouble in the bathroom, if he'd eat his lunch...if he'd find the smell of the chicken nuggets offensive and have a meltdown in the cafeteria. Maybe it's because I'm a control freak, but I hate not knowing what goes on in every minute of his day.

I managed not to start crying until after he was on the bus and driving away. Every fiber of my being wanted to scoop him up and bring him home.

Being a Mom involves a lot of goodbyes...from the moment your child leaves your womb until they grow up and leave your house, it's one goodbye after another. I feel like I'm saying goodbye to him everyday...with each new accomplishment I say goodbye to a little piece of him that was and meet more of the boy he's becoming. 

Dear God, it's all happening too fast. Help me to slow myself down and remember just how precious each day is.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mat Kearney Young Love Album Review

"Hey Mama, hey hey Mama, don't want no drama, just a kiss before I leave..."

Now that I'm a Mama, music doesn't have the relevance in my life that it once did. There was a time when I knew the words to every hit song on the radio, now I'm lucky if I recognize the face of a current artist on a magazine cover at the check-out line. 

I was stoked to receive an advanced copy of Mat Kearney's new album, Young Love, to review. To have the chance to feel even a little bit hip and "in the know" in the music world. I hadn't heard of Mat Kearney prior to getting his CD in the mail. I thought this was his debut album, but after visiting his website, I learned it's his third. 

The album is quite diverse, each of the 10 tracks feeling like they'd be on a different album. Mat's voice is appealing, even somewhat soothing and it lends itself to somehow work for all the different genres you find on the album. The first track on the disc (and the first single) "Hey Mama" knocked it out of the park. It's catchy, the kind of song that gets you singing along and clapping your hands to the beat (the background beat in this song is clapping, but it actually works). My kids fell in love with "Hey Mama"! I had to play it 4 times in a row to appease them before I could continue listening to the rest of the album. :)

I was happy in the snappy, clappy, pop of "Hey Mama" and when I was finally able to move onto the second track, I found myself confused by white boy rap. As much as I try to like a white boy rapping, it just doesn't work for me. There's pop, alternative rock, dance, and yes...a little white boy's a unique album and definitely NOT boring. While the album was very different from what I expected it to be, I ended up falling in love with it in spite of myself. The more I've listened to it, the more I've liked it.

My favorite tracks? 1) Hey Mama, 6) Learning To Love Again, 8) She Got The Honey and 9) Young Dumb and In Love and 10) Rochester.

Mat will be at the TLA in Philly on 10/29...I would really love to see him live. :)

Check Mat Kearney out for yourself on his website and iTunes page and be sure to "like" him on Facebook.  

*In full disclosure, I received a free copy of this album as a member of the O2O Network in exchange for an honest review of it here on my blog.*

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fyrflyz Review & Giveaway

The kids are heading back to school next week, the fireworks of summer at the shore are done for the season, but there's another way to light up the night! 
If you haven't heard of them yet, allow me to introduce you to Fyrflyz, the hottest toy of Summer 2011! Currently Fyrflyz are only being sold at select Toys R' Us stores, but they'll soon be available at Toys R' Us nationwide. Look for them online and on the shelves at Toys R' Us next month.

So...what are Fyrflyz you ask? They are an awesome spinning toy that allow you to create amazing light shows in the palm of your hand! 

When our Fyrflyz arrived, I thought, "Okay, big deal, it's like a double ended yo-yo with a light in the middle." 

It's actually much more than that...and much cooler. It consists of a plastic center with multi colored LED lights, with two strings on each side attached to handholds. By tightening or loosening the tension of the strings on each side, you're able to create different light designs and patterns. The toy itself might not look like much at first glace, but the effect is really, seriously cool!

Take a look at some of the tricks you can master with Fyrflyz:  

Check out the Fyrflyz YouTube Channel to see them in action!

Fyrflz are available in 4 different colors and retail for less than $10 each. Here's what I absolutely LOVE about Fyrflz:

  • They're fun for both boys and girls and fun for all ages, including Moms and Dads! We played with ours for an hour after we first opened it and the kids were fast asleep!
  • There's no assembly required, Fyrflyz come ready to play!
  • They're easy to operate. It took me about ten minutes to really get the hang of it.
  • Fyrflz encourage creative play as kids try to master new tricks and create new light patterns.
  • They give you an excuse to play outside in the dark!
  • They encourage fine motor development and coordination.  
Want a Fyrflyz of your very own? Leave a comment for your chance to win one. Be sure to include your email address so that I can contact you if you're the  winner. Contest ends Tuesday, September 6th at midnight. Winner will be notified via email. Good luck!

Be sure to check out Fyrflyz on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Circus of The Scars...

It's that time of year again. You know the end of summer is drawing near when you start seeing signs staked in the ground around town advertising the coming of the Cole Bros. Circus. The Circus of The Stars. 

The Cole Bros. Circus, who boast they are the largest circus under the big top, has been rolling into Cape May County for as long as I can remember. I've been to the circus a number of times in my life, most recently this time last year when The Cole Bros Circus came to Rio Grande and I brought my boys to see it for the second year in a row. 

We had a fun family night the year prior and were looking forward to the boys being a little older and a little better able to appreciate and enjoy the circus experience more.

What ended up happening took me completely off guard. 

I started to feel really uncomfortable and not because of the heat and the stench. I started to realize that what we were watching wasn't entertaining at all. It was unnatural. And wrong.

I should tell you that while I love animals and believe they should be treated with love and respect, I'm not some big animal rights activist. True, I don't wear fur, not because of the death of animals, but because I cant' afford fur. I enjoy a good hamburger. I don't read the label of my shampoo to ensure it wasn't tested on rabbits. When I think of animal neglect and abuse I think mostly of house pets, dogs and cats. 

This was not my first time to the circus, but it was the first time I had given any real thought as to what was going on in front of me. They brought out a dozen or so tigers in tiny cages and I sat there and thought, "This is just wrong. An animal of that magnitude doesn't belong in a cage, let alone a cage that small." When it was time for the tigers to leave their respective cages, a circus hand used a long stick to poke the animal on the back side to signal it to move. If it didn't move, it was poked again. 

We watched as the tigers made their rounds, jumping up here, standing there. Each time a tiger hesitated, didn't do what it was supposed to do at the exact time it was supposed to do it, someone cracked a whip near it. Or poked it with a stick. Stacking tiger on top of tiger.

I started wondering what it would take to train a huge, powerful animal like a tiger to stand on another tigers shoulders and then let another tiger stand on it's shoulders. 

It became pretty clear that there was probably more going on behind the scenes than cracking a whip in the tigers direction or giving them a nudge with a stick. 

When they lit the ring of fire is when I really lost it. I watched the first of these magnificent wild creatures back away from the fire...and as soon as it did, someone cracked the whip. The tiger approached the ring again and then backed away again. Finally it jumped through.

There's a reason for this: Animals, by instinct, are afraid of fire. 

It occurred to me how wrong it was for all of us to be sitting there watching tigers jump through fire and be entertained by it. It suddenly felt wrong and weird and unnatural.  

If my neighbors were in their backyard, "training" their dog to jump through a ring of fire, I would not be okay with it, why should I be okay with it happening with another animal? I shouldn't. That's what I decided right then and there. I shouldn't be and I wouldn't be and we left.

Bears don't ride bikes, elephants don't go around balancing on one leg and tigers don't jump through rings of fire for shits and giggles. It just isn't right. And that isn't taking into consideration the training process used in order to achieve these results for performance or the traveling and living conditions these animals endure. 

Trainers often use whips, bullhooks, electric prods and other painful tools to force animals to "learn" tricks. When animals are not performing (which is the majority of the time, between shows and traveling between venues), they're kept in cramped cages with little monitoring. 

We won't be going to the circus this year. Or ever again. Like any Mom, I want to raise my kids to be strong, confident and compassionate. I want them to understand that the choices we make affect others in profound ways. I want them to understand that it's never okay to harm (or support others who harm) those who are defenseless. I want to raise my kids to have respect, for themselves, for other people and for animals.

If I want my kids to see some unnatural and just plain wrong things, we'll sit outside the Villas Wawa for awhile. Now that's entertainment!

My hope is that at least one other mother will be sitting in the crowd tomorrow night and suddenly realize the circus isn't where she wants her family to be. I'm glad it happened to me.

Friday, August 5, 2011

ZhuZhu Pets Ice Cream Social Play Date

Among any kids "Top 10 Best Things About Summer" is of course, ice cream!!!
The only thing better than having some delicious ice cream on a hot summer day is sharing that ice cream with a friend beside you.

 Lennon and Isabelle enjoying their ice cream.

Today we hosted a fun Ice Cream Social Play Date and enjoyed some ice cream with over 20 of our favorite friends.

Our friends at The Zhuniverse sent us (4) brand new ZhuZhu Pets as well as an Ice Cream Parlor and Ice Cream Truck that inspired our party and we sent each of our guests home with a new ZhuZhu friend. It doesn't get much better than friends, ice cream and ZhuZhu Pets. :)

My favorite thing about the ZhuZhu Pets line of toys is that they appeal to kids of all different ages and interests. Our guests ranged in age from 1-13 and they all had a love for ZhuZhu Pets in well as a love for ice cream! 

Mila, The Ice Cream Queen

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

"Miss Erin, what do we do if we need more ice cream?" - Hailey
 Getting Ice Cream Tattoos...
Daniel and Johnelle sporting the Ice Cream Sand Art Necklaces they made.
 Our play date ended with a game of Pin the Cherry on the Ice Cream Cone.
 Be sure to check out the Zhuniverse online, "like" The Zhu-niverse on Facebook and check out the trailer for the new Quest for Zhu movie coming this Fall!

*In full disclosure, we received a party pack that included (4) ZhuZhu Pets, (1) ZhuZhu Pets Ice Cream Parlor and (1) ZhuZhu Pets Ice Cream truck from BSM Media with the agreement that we'd turn around and throw a super fun Ice Cream Party and tell you all about it here.*

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summer = Sandwiches (*Sweepstakes Alert*)

No one wants to cook or eat a huge dinner when it's 90 degrees. Sandwiches are the perfect summer supper. They require very little work and make for a filling, yet light, meal. Apparently sandwiches are more than just a convenient dinner option for many. In a recent survey, 59% of Americans answered that they believe making a sandwich is an art that gives them an opportunity to get creative, rather than a science that simply requires slapping the right ingredients together.

To me, a sandwich isn't a sandwich without Hellmann's.

Chef Bobby Flay teamed up with Hellmann's to encourage sandwich lovers to share their passion and preferences for sandwich-making techniques. Visit to share your sandwich making tips,tricks, techniques and secrets. You can also virtually build your perfect sandwich and enter the Hellmann's Build Your Perfect Sandwich Sweepstakes for a chance to win awesome prizes, like a kitchen essentials bundle, grocery store gift cards and Hellmann's products. 

My favorite sandwich? It starts with an everything or garlic bagel and includes thin sliced roast beef, provolone cheese, roasted red peppers and of course... Hellmann's! 

Disclosure: I was entered to win a prize package from Hellmann's for telling you about the Hellmann's Build Your Perfect Sandwich Sweepstakes, no monetary exchange took place.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat...

"We're gonna need a bigger boat..."

This famous line was uttered by Roy Scheider's character, Chief of Police Martin Brody, in the first JAWS movie in 1975, after he gets his first good look at the size of the shark that is circling the tiny fishing boat he's on. 

I'm not known to quote movies (mostly because I have a terrible memory), but this one line from JAWS is one that I've repeated over and over again since I was 5 years old whenever something seemingly insurmountable comes along in my life. 

I have a clear recollection of sitting on my Dad's lap in the recliner chair in our living and watching JAWS with him in absolute horror and amazement. I witnessed that same horror and amazement in faces of my boys as we watched the kick-off of the Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week tonight. I'm sure we weren't alone...last year's Shark Week brought in over 30 million viewers!! 

I have no doubt that sharks will be the main topic of conversation in our house this week as we learn more and more about them each night. 

Here are some fun shark facts you can share with your kids:

  • Sharks live in all of the Earth's oceans. They have been on Earth for millions of years. Sharks ruled the sea even before dinosaurs ruled the land.
  • Sharks have 5 rows of teeth. They lose and replace more than 10,000 teeth in their lifetime.
  • Sharks are fish, but they are not like other fish. Instead of bones, sharks have cartilage. Cartilage allows sharks to glide, twist and turn. It helps them move and bend.
  • Shark skin is rough and bumpy like sandpaper. Their skin both protects them and helps them swim faster. 
  • Sharks eyes are even better than humans eyes. Even in deep, dark water, a shark can see clearly.
  • A shark can smell a single drop of blood in more than 25 million drops of ocean.
  • There are about 375 different types of sharks known. 
  • The smallest shark is the spined pygmy shark. It is about 8 inches long and has a glow in the dark belly.
  • The largest shark is the whale shark. It can be up to 50 feet long.
  • The fastest shark is the mako shark. It can swim up to 20 mph.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

I joined the MOB.

M.O.B. Society, a blog by Moms of Boys for Moms of Boys, is hosting their very First Annual Boy Mom BlogHop, and I'm jumping (or hopping?) on board.

Mothers of Boys

If this is your first time here at my little corner of the web, welcome! Bonus points if you brought Prozac with you. I get a lot of hits from folks searching Google looking for places to buy Prozac online. If that's how you found me, your on the wrong page, Sister. 

I'm not on Prozac...though I probably should be. It will be a miracle if I make it through the journey that is motherhood without some type of ongoing  medical intervention in the form of a prescription. (For instance, my oldest just broke his arm this week...for the 2ND TIME in 4 months.)

I'm Erin, Mom to two of the most incredible little boys the world has ever known. Daniel turned 3 in March and Sean will be 5 next month. They're 19 months apart. I could tell you that I loved being a mom so much, that I couldn't wait to get pregnant again when my first little guy was only 9 months old. But that would be a lie. It wasn't part of my plan, but it was part of God's plan. I wouldn't trade my life with anyone for anything. Even on my worst day when I'm ready to run screaming from the house, I thank God for choosing me to be their Mom. 

I'm fairly new to the blogging world, I blog about my life as a mom, couponing, cooking and all sorts of other "stuff"

I write here at Pass The Prozac and also for Cape May County Moms, a website for local Moms by local Moms.

Here is a recent picture of my precious baby boys, getting ready for an afternoon of puddle jumping: 

And no, they don't generally wear matching clothes. It just so happened to be Dinosaur Day at our house and they just so happen to both have that shirt. :) 

Puddle jumping is one of my favorite things to do with my boys. How much more BOY can you get than playing in the rain and jumping in mud puddles? 

Looking forward to meeting other M.O.B.'s! Leave a comment and tell me your favorite thing to do with your boys. 

Thanks for stopping by! :) 

Friday, July 29, 2011


I don't have to tell ya'll that life is crazy and busy.

But ya' is crazy. And busy. 

And I don't have to tell you that sometimes it just plain old sucks. Because we've all been there. Sometimes it doesn't go the way it's supposed to...or the way we think it's supposed to. Sometimes it's just all too much at once.

Sometimes your rabbit dies...and your dryer explodes...and your bank account goes in the negative...and your kid breaks his arm for the second time in 4 months...

And sometimes if you're really all happens in the same week. 

God has this all mapped out, it's all part of his plan. 

But I'll be damned if I can figure out what his plan is.

Maybe that's the point.

I'm here. I'm dealing. I'm breathing. I'm praying.

Thanks for sticking around. :) 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Book Review: The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs

I recently joined a little book club on Facebook. The first book was The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. One of the benefits of participating in a book club is the opportunity to read something you may have never read or even heard about otherwise. The Friday Night Knitting Club was that book for me. I hadn't heard of it prior to it being mentioned in the book club and had I seen it on the shelf in the store, I probably wouldn't have given it a second glance. 

I read a lot, quite a lot. If you ask me how a book was, I'm going to have more to say than "It was good." or "It was bad." This is the first book review I'm doing here on my blog, it probably won't be the last.

Before I give you my thoughts on the book, let me tell you a little bit about it and it's characters. The main character is Georgia Walker. She's funny, smart, successful, a good mom and a good friend. Georgia found herself pregnant and alone at 24. The thought of going back home to her parents is enough to drive her mad. Sitting on a park bench, crying and knitting a baby blanket for the life growing inside of her, she meets Mrs. Lowenstein...and her life changes forever. 

The story of The Friday Night Knitting Club actually starts 13 years later. Georgia has opened up a knitting boutique downstairs from her apartment. Her daughter, Dakota, is smart and beautiful and full of spunk. Georgia's heart was broken 13 years prior by Dakota's father James. His mother told him to never bring a white woman home...and he left pregnant Georgia without a word. 

Mrs. Lowenstein is Georgia's stand-in mother, mentor and financier. She lost her husband to a heart attack. She has no need for money, but works at Georgia's shop, Walker and Daughter. 

Cat is Georgia's estranged best friend from high school. She's become a socialite and is in an unhappy marriage. She's returned to Georgia's life trying to make amends for the past.

Also trying to make amends for the past is James. He returns out of the blue one day to "fall in love with his family". 

There's a HUGE cast of secondary characters who each have their own stories. What results is a group of women who meet every Friday night in the name of knitting. When the unthinkable happens, these women discover they haven't just created a knitting club...they've created a sisterhood.

Here's what reading The Friday Night Knitting Club reminded me of: Every once in a while I get the chance to eat out at a diner. There's always so many choices on the menu, I have a hard time making up my mind. I end up going with a cheese steak. It shows up on a plate and it looks okay, but it's not the best looking cheese steak I've ever seen and I mentally kick myself for not going with a safer diner choice, like an omelette. I take a bite of my diner cheese steak and decide it isn't as bad as it looks. Long about bite number three, I begin to think about what else I could have ordered, so I squirt a puddle of ketchup on my plate and dip the cheese steak into it after each bite. Then I start to like my diner cheese steak again. Ketchup can fix just about anything. 

There was just enough ketchup in this book to keep me reading it. It wasn't as good as it could have been. The writing is okay. There's so many damn characters and so much attention to developing every character that I wondered if the story would ever go anywhere. The book is full of overdone fragments and inconsistencies, which annoys the hell out of me. All in all, it was a so-so diner cheese steak kind of book. It's your classic chick lit. It's a very easy read and has a feel-good story. Without giving anything away, there's a twist thrown in at the end that isn't very feel-good, but even still I finished the book with that feel-good feeling.

Would I recommend it to a friend? Eh...probably. Would I recommend it to my mother? Probably not. I don't think she could get past all the 4 letter words. I can have a pretty filthy mouth when it suits me, but the foul language was seriously overdone in The Friday Night Knitting Club.  

Want to learn to knit yourself? Check out Home Made! There's even a Yarn Club. :)

*Image credit:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Move over, Beef...there's a new burger in town...

Just in time for your next BBQ, the burger got a makeover, and pork lovers everywhere are celebrating!

Move over, Beef...

Tired of Turkey?

I'd like to introduce you to the newest meat on the grill...

Johnsonville's Pork Burger! 

Enter the "No Ordinary Burger Recipe Contest", sponsored by The National Pork Board (Betcha didn't know there was a National Pork Board?) and Johnsonville Sausage for your chance to win a YEAR'S WORTH OF GROCERIES from WALMART!

Take a new spin in the traditional burger using Johnsonville Brat or Italian Sausage Patties, log on to and submit your recipe and vote for your favorite pork burger. Two grand prize winners will each receive a year's worth of groceries from Walmart and will have their recipe featured on Johnsonville Brat and Italian Sausage Patty boxes. (Official contest rules can be found here. Contest ends September 6th.)

Need some inspiration? Visit Pork Be Inspired on the web and on Facebook.

Be sure to "like" Johnsonville on Facebook too!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

ZhuFu - The Wisest of All Zhus

There's a new trailer for the Quest for Zhu, the first feature length film starring the Zhu-Zhu Pets, coming to DVD this Fall. In this week's trailer, you'll get a sneak peek at the other side of the Zhuniverse and meet ZhuFu, the wisest of all the Zhus! 

Check it out here:

Learn more about the Quest for Zhu here and here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


“If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever.” The Crow
When I was a little girl, I played library with my books. I cut up little slips of paper and wrote my name on them. Each slip had a number and each book had a slip. I kept a list of all my books and their numbers on a sheet of lined paper on my bookshelf. There was a spot next to each title on the list, where I could write the name of who ever I loaned a book to. Not that anyone ever borrowed my books.

I was lonely then as I find myself tonight. I wish I could summon the innocence of that little girl. Back then I had all these ideas about life. I thought that destiny was tangible, that everything you wanted you would eventually receive, that fate was a force that worked with you, for you and not against you.  That everyone got a happily ever after.

I’ve lost so many people I love since then. People who didn’t live to see their happily ever after. People who deserve to be here.  People who still had places to go and people to meet and lives to change. People my boys will never know or never remember.

Pictures and memories are all I can offer my boys of these people.

This is Grandmom Anne. She would have loved you so much! She liked to do puzzles too, just like you do.  She loved watching the birds. Cardinals were her favorites, she liked blue jays too. When she was a little girl, she could sing and dance just like Shirley Temple. Grandmom Anne made the best iced tea the world has ever known. She was the bravest woman I’ve ever known.”

“What made her so brave, Mom?” Sean asks.

Her parents were alcoholics. She once worked in a hot factory rolling cigars for hours on end. She lost the great love of her life when her babies were small. She worked hard, so hard and did it all on her own. She was made of something powerful, she was indestructible, she was inspiring, she was...

“She used to feed the squirrels cookies right from her hand.” I tell him.

“Wow…you’re right, Mom. She was really brave.”

"Mom, tell me again about when Aunt Peggy took me to the beach.”

“Aunt Peggy took you and Kevin to the beach.” I tell him.  “You played games in the arcade. You told Aunt Peggy the sea gulls made you nervous and she thought that was really funny.”

“And she let me have soda , Mom. Remember she let me have soda?”

“Yes Buddy, she let you have soda.”

“And remember she always called kisses “smoochies” instead of kisses?”

“I remember, Bud.” I tell him. 

“Yeah…I remember too.”

But some day...some day he won’t remember. 

I’ll remind him.

It’s my job to keep everyone alive.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Another tease from our friends in the Zhu-niverse...

You may have seen my post a few weeks ago announcing the coming of the Zhu-Zhu Pets in their first feature length film, The Quest for Zhu, coming this Fall.

We're HUGE Zhu-Zhu fans at our house and I'm so excited for this movie to come out. The trailers looks so cute, I just know my kids are going to love it!

If you can't get enough Zhu-tastic action either, I've got great news for you. Our friends in the Zhu-niverse have released an extended trailer for The Quest for Zhu!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mott's For Tots - Savings Alert

Have you heard about Mott's for Tots? Kids love it for the yummy taste, Moms love it for several other benefits:

* Mott's for Tots contains 40% less sugar than regular juice

* There's no artificial sweeteners

* Mott's for Tots contains 100% of your child's Vitamin C needs

* It's available in multi-serve bottles as well as convenient nine-packs of individual juice boxes

* Mott's for Tots is made from 100% juice and is pre-diluted with purified water

* It's available in 5 delicious flavors:


-Apple White Grape

-NEW Immune Support Fruit Punch (with vitamins A, C & E to support a healthy immune system)

-NEW Bone Health Grape (with calcium and vitamin D to support healthy bones)

-NEW Mixed Berry 

Click here to watch a short video and hear what kids love about Mott's for Tots from real kids just like yours and hear why Dr. Sears gives Mott's for Tots his seal of approval.

Ready to try Mott's for Tots? Sign up for more info., major savings and maybe even a sample or two at Vocalpoint.


Friday, June 17, 2011

How To Make Rainbow Cupcakes

We kicked off the first day of summer vacation today with a Rainbow Brite Play Date for the boys and a few of their favorite girls. I uncovered one of my favorite movies as a little girl, Rainbow Brite and the San Diego Zoo Adventure, and my guys quickly became obsessed with it!

Our Rainbow Cupcakes were a big hit! They're fun and easy to make, here's how:

1) Prepare a yellow or white cake mix as per the directions on the box. Then divide the cake better evenly into six small bowls. There's no need to measure, it doesn't have to be perfect, just eyeball it. Each bowl of batter will be made into a different color of the rainbow by mixing in food coloring.

For red - 18 drops of red

For orange - 12 drops yellow,4 drops red
For yellow - 12 drops of yellow
For green - 12 drops of green
Blue - 12 drops of blue 
Purple - 9 drops of red, 6 drops of blue 

2) Place baking cups in cupcake pan. Divide the purple batter evenly between in cup, then the blue on top of the purple. Then green, yellow, orange and red. Bake cupcakes as per the directions on the box. 

The result is really cool rainbow or tie dye cupcakes. I'll definitely be making these come next year for St. Patrick's Day! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

We Use Coupons!

Have you checked out It's a fabulous online resource for both beginner and seasoned couponers! You can get the latest deals and scenarios from your favorite places to shop, look up a coupon you need in the coupon database or get coupons you want from couponers in Trader's World. This is a fantastic site and membership is free, sign up!

Looking for my Coupon Boot Camp? Get all the posts here.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Support The Faces of the Future Campaign

Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), in partnership with Microsoft and Comcast, has launched the Faces of the Future campaign (, designed to raise awareness about the importance of digital literacy. The campaign features youth from across America who have been positively impacted by the Club Tech program and shows how technology can transform lives.
Historically, Boys & Girls Clubs have been known as safe, affordable places where parents could send their kids to play sports, swim and get help with their homework. But now they are much more than that. The Club Tech program helps prepare young people through technology, tapping into the potential of future journalists, graphic designers, engineers and photographers.
Boys & Girls Club members, age 6-18, learn various skills from word processing and presentations to music production and filmmaking. Nearly 1 million kids and teens participate in the Club Tech program at more than 3,600 Boys & Girls Clubs around the world. Research has shown that participants not only learned the fundamentals of computers, but they also discovered how to harness technology in a way that made them more literate in current affairs and other topics that spill over from school and home.
Throughout the campaign, the Faces of the Future Showcase will feature artwork, music and films created by youth using the Club Tech digital arts curriculum. People all over the world will have the opportunity to see what young people can accomplish through technology when given access to the right tools and opportunities!
Speaking of accomplishments, Boys & Girls Clubs of America needs your help in reaching an important milestone--35,000 fans on Facebook! For every 10 likes they get, a Club member will receive Microsoft Office 2010. By clicking the "like" button, you're not only showing your support for an amazing cause, but you're literally putting tools in the hands of children who need them most.

**In full Ddsclosure: I was entered for a chance to win a gift card in exchange for this post.  No monetary exchange took place.**

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The best news I got all day... (The Quest for Zhu)

Have you heard about The "Quest for Zhu"? You haven't? Well...have I got some exciting news for you!

"The Quest for Zhu" is the first feature-length animation from Zhu-Zhu Pets! That's right, folks...the Zhu-Zhu Pets are going to the big on the screen! You heard it here first, kids.

The movie is in partnership with Universal Pictures and will debut in the Fall of 2011. "The Quest for Zhu" will bring the Zhu-niverse to life in 3D. It stars the four original Zhu-ZHu Pets characters - Pipsqueak, NumNums, Mr. Suiggle & Chunk - it's a tale of adventure of heroic proportions that Zhu-Zhu fans of all ages are sure to LOVE!

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Summer 2011 Reading List

Anyone that knows anything about me knows I'm a huge fan of books and an avid reader. I'm with a book in hand more often than I'm not. I've lost countless hours of sleep because I simply couldn't put a book down. I love the magic of getting lost in a good book. I love a book that pulls me in, that makes me think, makes me feel, makes me grow. I also like to make lists. If you're looking for some summer reading inspiration, here is my Summer 2011 Reading List:

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova - I read Lisa Genova's first book, Still Alice, and it was phenomenal. One of those books that you can't stop thinking about for days after you've finished it. I'm really looking forward to reading her second book. 

Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult - Absolutely love her. One of the best female authors of our time. I've read almost everything she's written and each new book has been better than the last.

Love You More by Lisa Gardner

The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman   

I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman

If You Ask Me: (And of Course You Won't) by Betty White

Identical by Ellen Hopkins - My cousin got this for me quite awhile ago and I keep putting other books in front of it. I read Ellen Hopkin's Tricks and was surprised to really enjoy. I will read this book by Labor Day, I promise Dana.

The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Midnight by L.J. Smith - I love me some vampires, I admit it. This is an excellent series. 

Traveler by Ron McLarty - See? I do read the occasional book by a male author.
I ready McLarty's The Memory of Running and I highly recommend it. Probably the best book I've read in a year.

The Myth of You and Me by Leah Stewart - Don't know anything about this book or the author, but it was $3.00 at Big Lots and I liked the cover. :)

Lies that Chelsea Handler Told Me by Chelsea Handler - She's a riot. I wish she lived next door. 

Tick Tock by James Patterson

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - It's my favorite book of all time. I read it at least once a year. I've probably read it 25 or 30 times. 

Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds by Jenny McCarthy 

The Hour I First Believed by Wall Lamb - You must read She's Come Undone also by Wally Lamb. 

Once Upon a Time, There Was You by Elizabeth Berg - I read Berg's The Last Time I Saw You last summer and it was a wonderful feel good work of fiction. I'm hoping this is more of the same.

Clara's War: One Girl's Story of Survival  by Clara Kramer

Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love by Matthew Logelin - I read a 6 sentence description of this book and cried, ok?

The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman - One of my favorite author's of all time!

What's on your summer reading list? I'm always looking for good book suggestions. :) 

I got one of these bad boys for my birthday. I'm so pathetic, I haven't even take it out of the box yet. I need to get on that.