Click & Carry Winners!!

I know that you have all been eagerly awaiting the winners of the Click & Carry giveaway!

click and carry giveaway

 

Alright the winners are…..

Jeannett Rocha Gibson and winning  entry was liking the Facebook pages! She gets to select which prize she would like first! Jeannett be on the look out for an email!

The second winner is Breanna Friedrich and she gets the prize that remains. Her entry was also Facebook likes!

Thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations ladies! Enjoy your prizes!

Awesome Spring Giveaway!

Spring is almost here and that means that warmer weather is on it’s way! The pool will be open, the trees will be full of beautiful green leaves, and the fragrance flowers will be wafting through the air (we’ll skip the part about allergies). Best of all the kids will finally be able to get back outside and play instead of being cooped up in the house.

Here’s a little secret… spring isn’t my season. Fall is my favorite season of all, but after the worlds longest winter I am ready for spring and all the mud and allergies!

So what goes well with spring, pretty flowers, and getting back outside? Pictures. Lots and lots of pictures of your kids playing outside, pictures of all the fun places you’ll visit, and pictures of all those family gatherings that are sure to happen.

Need a camera? What about a cute bag to carry the camera that you already have?

Well, this spring to celebrate the season I have teamed up with an incredible group of bloggers to bring you the best giveaway I have ever had!

click and carry giveaway

Isn’t that awesome? I think it is beyond awesome!

Well… what are you waiting for??? Enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The “Click & Carry” giveaway begins Tuesday, April 16th and ends at 12:00 AM on April, 23, 2013.

Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.  Void where prohibited.

All entries are optional with the exception of providing an email address so that we may contact you if you were to win.  We will never sell, distribute, or spam your email.  

Two winners will be chosen by Rafflecopter (powered by Random.org). The first winner chosen will have the option of choosing between a $500 gift card to B&H Photo, Video & Pro Audio or a $250 gift card to Kelly Moore Bags. The second prize winner will be awarded the item that was not chosen by the first prize winner. Gift cards are not transferable and cannot be exchanged for a cash prize.

This is a non-sponsored post.  Prizes were purchased by a group of participating bloggers.  B&H Photo, Video & Pro Audio and Kelly Moore Bags are not affiliated with this giveaway.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to the owner of this Facebook page and not to Facebook.

This promotion is powered by Rafflecopter. Metric Feat LLC (“Rafflecopter”) does not sponsor, administer, or endorse this promotion. Participants must read and agree to Rafflecopter’s Privacy Policy before entering and participating in this promotion.

Awesome graphic by the talented Lindsay Goldner at LLYDesigns.

The perfect swimsuit hunt & Hapari giveaway

After spent a lot of time working on my weight loss and getting oh so very close to my goals I was sort of looking forward to actually wearing my swimsuit while we were in Florida. I packed a couple of my favorites and when it was time we headed to the pool to soak up some much need sun and play in the water.

Much to my dismay my kids let me know that my swim suit, while it looked good on me, wasn’t cute. WTH… not cute!?!? I like my swimsuit and thought that it was nice… guess not according to the teen standards. Of course I won’t be wearing one of the suits that they like because… well, I lost weight but not enough to for one of those.

So I set out to find one that was cute but at the same time enhanced my… curves (yea, that’s the right word) without letting it all hang out.  Oh, it also had to be affordable.

My search started and I found a few swimsuits that I loved but they cost over $100! Definitely out of my price range for something I’m going to wear to play in the sand with my kids.

I ended up on the Hapari site and browsing through the tankini’s that they have.

harpari tankini Hapari bikini
These two are a couple of my favorites. I know… the one is a bikini top but maybe I need to take a risk and give it a try! What do you think?

They have so many great options and I love that I can pick any top (print, solid, bikini, or tankini) and any bottom (full coverage to side tie) for a virtually endless combination of swimsuits. Also, they have some pretty cute sarong wraps and swim skirts or shorts that are prefect cover ups when wandering the beach for the ice cream truck.

If you don’t have that perfect swimsuit yet you’re in luck because I have an incredible giveaway for you! One winner will receive a $90 gift certificate from Hapari and you can pick out the perfect swimsuit for this summer.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wordful Wednesday – Diary of a Wimpy Kid Giveaway

Last week I shared with you how I took my daughter down to meet Jeff Kinney at a book signing, remember that? Well this week I have more from that trip to share with you!

DOWK book signing line

At the end of the book signing and when everyone else was gone we had the opportunity to stick around and chat with Jeff for a while. This gave Lauren the chance to ask all those questions that she had been wondering about whether it was about the books or Jeff himself.

So here are some of the questions & answers…. just some random things about Jeff Kinney.

  • He’s been writing since 1998 and has been a published author for about 5 1/2 years but started out as a cartoonist at a newspaper.
  • His favorite food is pizza.
  • His favorite color (that day) was a masculine violet and it might be the color of his next book.
  • So, when it comes to the character names in the books he came up with them over the past 8 years, but he always knew that Greg was going to be Greg.
  • He has a special font created based on the writing that he created for the books.

talking with Jeff Kinney

Of course we had the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, The Third Wheel, signed.

Lauren & Jeff Kinney

And to top it all off Lauren had her picture taken with Jeff Kinney and her newly signed book!

It took her less than a week to read the book and she loved it! She’s even reading it again!

Alright, the giveaway part… one lucky reader (U.S only) will win their choice from books one through seven! (Diary of a Wimpy KidRodrick RulesThe Last StrawDog DaysThe Ugly TruthCabin Fever, and The Third Wheel).

And because I’m feeling lazy I am going to make this one incredibly easy for you!

But first a couple rules…. one U.S. winner will be selected and once notified they will have 48 hrs to respond to me via email before another winner is selected.  Each entry needs to have an email attached to it so I can contact you. The giveaway end on December 5th at 11:59 pm.

Mandatory: Leave a comment telling me which book you’d get & for who.

Extra Entry #1: Tweet! Use the Shareaholic Tweet button at the bottom of the post. Copy the URL and paste it into a comment.

Extra Entry #2: Leave a comment on any other post and then leave a comment here telling me which post you commented on.

That’s it!

Psstt… don’t forget about the Kitchen Aid mixer & Keurig Brewer giveaway!

Monday Menu ~ Awesome Rolls and a Kitchen Aid & Keurig Giveaway!

Year after year I create a wish list full of the things that I want and need and for years I’ve had a Kitchen Aid mixer on that list. Last year I finally got one! Yup… best gift ever! I think it was the day that I tried to make bread with my non-Kitchen Aid mixer and had to hold it down while it was trying to jump off of the counter that finally changed my husbands mind.

Now, I can make bread or just about anything that tickles my fancy with ease!

Like these awesome rolls!

simple dinner rolls

My Kitchen Aid mixer had no trouble with the dough at all and I didn’t have to hold the mixer so it didn’t jump off of the counter!

Ingredients

2 c. milk
½ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1/3 cup butter
2 teaspoons salt
2 packages active dry yeast (or 4 1/2 tsp.)
2/3 cup warm (105-115-degree) water
8-9 cups all-purpose flour
3 beaten eggs – Yes! They need to be beaten ahead of time

Method

Combine milk, 1/2 c. sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts. Remove from heat. Allow to cool to lukewarm.

While the milk mixture is cooling, dissolve the yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes… you’ll know when it’s done by how much it grows.

roll ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 c. flour and milk mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Add yeast mixture and beat on high for 3 minutes.

Stir in as much remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough. This dough should be very soft–it will be coming away from the sides of the bowl, but it will still stick to your finger when you touch it. Place the bowl in a warm place and cover with a clean towel and allow it to rise for 1 hour.

dough

Punch the dough down. Lightly flour the work surface and turn the dough out onto the surface. Divide the dough in half and then shape it into a rectangle and cut into 12 even pieces.

Spray 2 13×9 pans with cooking spray, shape into balls, and arrange the rolls in the pan. Cover with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 – 18 minutes. When they’re done remove them from the oven and run over the tops with a stick of butter.

These are awesome while they’re still warm!

Now on to the really good part!

The Giveaway!!

Kitchen Aid Mixer & Keurig Brewer Giveaway

A group of incredible bloggers and I have teamed up this holiday season to bring you an exciting giveaway! We have a Kitchen Aid mixer in the color of your choice AND a Keurig Platinum coffee maker for two lucky winners! These are perfect for your holiday baking and entertaining… Don’t you think so?

All you really have to do is enter using the Rafflecoptor below. The only mandatory entry is leaving a comment on this post and the rest are optional but get you lots of extra entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

Two winners will be chosen by Rafflecopter (powered by Random.org). The first prize winner will have the option of choosing between a KitchenAid Artisan Mixer – winner’s choice of color – (MSRP $429.95) or a Keurig Platinum Single-Cup Brewer (MSRP $179.95). The second prize winner will be awarded the item that was not chosen by the first prize winner.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to the owner of this Facebook page and not to Facebook.

This promotion is powered by Rafflecopter. Metric Feat LLC (“Rafflecopter”) does not sponsor, administer, or endorse this promotion. Participants must read and agree to Rafflecopter’s Privacy Policy before entering and participating in this promotion.

This is a non-sponsored post.

Shutterfly Holiday Card Giveaway!

Well, it’s that time of the year again… family pictures and Holiday Cards! I don’t have to tell you that the family pictures are probably the most stressful event of the year too… or is it just me?

Here’s how it goes at with my family.

1. Set up the appointment with multiple times during the day because we don’t know what the weather is going to be like.
2. Start scouring the internet for outfit ideas (this takes a while)
3. Once you find the perfect outfit ideas start crying because the cost of outfitting your family will cost more than the pictures.
4. Give up on those awesome outfit ideas you found on Pinterest and pick a color scheme.
5. For the 3 millionth time listen to the teens complain about getting family pictures taken.
6. Listen or pretend to listen to the teens complain about the color scheme you chose.
7. Pray to every know deity in the universe in hopes that one of them hears your pleas for no rain and temps not in the 30’s.
8. Figure out how to cover up the big red bump on your toddler’s head after he hit it on the counter an hour before you leave.
9. Say more prayers that the toddler will do what you want so you have awesome pictures.
10. Threaten all kids on the way to the photo shoot location that bad things will happen if they don’t smile and try to look good.

Now, all that said I think that a nice glass of wine would be perfect just before pictures… it would lower my stress level!

I was surprised how well the session turned out and can’t wait to see the pictures because I have found a few cards from Shutterfly that I want to use for our cards this year.

 old fashioned

I like this one but I’m not 100% sure about the black background…. it doesn’t seem as cheery as other cards. What I like is the old- fashioned looking text and scrolls in the corners.

red toile card

This one I love! I don’t think that there is anything about it that I don’t like and it goes perfectly with the colors that we wore for our family pictures!

So there is always the chance that our pics turned out terrible and I won’t want to put that picture on a card to share with the entire family. So, in that case I have a couple backup choices.

holiday images

deck the halls

I love both of them so it’s possible that I’d just get some of both because I’m sure that deciding will be a challenge.

This year you can get all of your holiday cards and more at Shutterfly and check out some of their special offers. And now I have a special offer for you!

One lucky reader will get an extra $50 off order of $50 or more (excluding tax and shipping & cannot be combined with any other promos (expire 12/14/2012 – no extensions)!! 

So what do you have to do to win? Use that super simple Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

See… I told you that it was simple!

You can check out Shutterfly all over the internet too!
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Google +
Blog
Instagram: Shutterfly

Good luck and hopefully I’ll have some awesome family pictures to share with you soon… if not then at least some really funny ones!

How do your family pics usually go?

Fearless ~ One authors fight with breast cancer

Today I have a special post for you. 

A while ago I was contacted by PR by the Book (a PR company that I’ve worked with on book reviews) about sharing a story from an author, Maimah Karmo, about her fight with breast cancer and her story. I read through everything and knew that I wanted to share it with all of you. 

Breast cancer affected an estimated 288,000 women in 2011 and 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime *. It’s a fight that we can win… it’s a fight that deserves attention. 

Tell us about your book.
Fearless is the story that my heart has carried around for many years, but that I had to live out to this point, in order for me to share with others. It is me, being me, out in the open, authentically, freely, uninhibitedly, unabashedly and for the first time – proudly and unashamed or afraid to show all of me. It starts with my life in my native country of Liberia, fleeing to America, as a refugee at 15, building my life, then watching it all fall apart after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Initially angry, hurt and scared as I watched my life fall apart, I grew to see that there was a blessing, a hidden gift in the experience; through it all, I re-discovered my strength, myself, and my purpose.
What inspired you to write Fearless?
When you face your mortality in any way, it puts you at a crossroads – you either become a victim of the thing or a victor of it.
You also have the opportunity, if you survive, to start over, re-create yourself and your life, because you realize that you’re the artist and at your desire, you can draw anything you want on that canvas. My breast cancer diagnosis devastated me, but even more so, I know that many other things had to fall apart at once, for me to be pushed to the point where I begged God to show me my purpose, because I had nowhere to look but up. I had fallen so far so fast.
After my surgery, my fiancé walked away, unable to cope with my diagnosis. As my hair fell out and I lost my eyebrows, eyelashes, I felt parts of myself falling away. As I saw my career came to a standstill, I had to move in with my mother and give up my home, saw the way some of my friends now looked at me and watched my body become weak and frail, I learned that so much of what I had prioritized in life was unimportant. I had, first of all put other people, my career and material things first, and me and my passion last. I realized that so much of my life was a façade. Most of all, I realized that if I died, I would not have given a fraction of what I wanted to the world, and no one would really know me and the big, crazy love that I’d kept hidden so deeply inside, lest I be judged by others in some way for being too open with my heart.
Losing “everything” that wasn’t important showed me that I had everything to lose by not showing up. I began to live my life by giving all that I had away – my time, my love, my passion – to help others, through my organization, Tigerlily Foundation, and as I gave, God gave me more in return than I ever imagined. He gave me time with my daughter, blessed me with the ability to service others through my “work”, which isn’t really work to me, he gave me joy, faith, quadrupled all that I lost, and most of all, he gave me passion, and he restored me to the person I had been seeking all along. I also learned that life is not about wanting to take for oneself and garnering things, but about the moments we can commune with, affect and empower others.

What was it like experiencing your transition to life in the U.S. as a refugee?
It was very challenging. When we fled to the U.S. in my teens, it was very difficult for me. I dressed differently, spoke differently and had behaved differently than the other kids. I was painfully shy and bookish and wasn’t trying to be like anyone else, nor did I care to belong to any particular group or clique. I just liked people in general. I got picked on a lot, ostracized, and bullied in high school. I think then was when I got to start seeing a glimpse of how I would be in the future. When the kids teased me, tried to trip me, took my lunch or sat around me a the table making fun of my accent, or just ignored me, I had the option of accepting their behavior as a rejection of me personally; yet, I didn’t.

I always remembered my storybook friend Anne Frank in the attic and wondered what she would do, and I made up my mind to live my life the way I wanted. I knew who I was and how I wanted to be and that was that. When we came to the U.S. the final time, in 1989, it was hard as well, but I had finished high school, so I was free of the trappings of being stuck with kids my own age, who had this incessant need to “fit in”. I got a job and was able to be around people much older than I was; which is where I was more comfortable anyway. Most of my friends were 10 to 20 years my senior, but I could relate to them, and I felt free to be myself and to explore various ideas of who I wanted to be. They gave me books to read, music to listen to, invited me to different events and allowed me to sit with their other friends at parties and I became privy to interesting conversations on topics I couldn’t begin to speak about with my friends. I had always felt like a much older person in the body of a child, now I could free my mind and explore.

On another note, financially, it was very hard for my family. My mother was ill and I had my brothers to help out with. So, before my father came to meet us in the U.S., I would help my mother to cook and clean, help make her food and take care of her. I would take the bus with her to doctor appointments and keep her company. Once my father came with my brothers, I would wake up in the morning, make my brothers breakfast, make sure they got dressed and cleaned up and off to school. Then, I would help them with homework and dinner in the evenings. Because we only had a two bedroom apartment, my mother and father had one room; my brothers and cousin shared another; my other cousin slept on the living room floor and I slept on the couch – for many years. People from the church would bring us food. It was surreal, because just months before, we’d had everything. My parents had taught us that what mattered was our hearts and who we were inside, so I think that for me, the experience made me stronger and more resilient. Both of my parents had worked hard to become successful and always told me that I would do the same. I just didn’t expect to start doing it at 15, but that was that, so I made it work.

How do you think your experiences as a refugee can help move ideas and attitudes in our society forward?
I think that Americans take so many blessings for granted. Things like clean, unpolluted running water, lights, order, clean streets, hundreds of cable stations, gadgets, and most importantly freedom. People die in other countries every day that would have lived off the food that is thrown away daily. People in other countries use the same water to drink and cook, that they bathe in. In some countries, you get killed for speaking the truth or disrespecting authority. Women are disrespected and abused. When you come to live in America, especially for me, as a child, I realized that there was a whole world, here, open to me, if I wanted it. I felt like a kid in a candy store, not knowing where to go or what to do first. I could go where I wanted, do what I wanted, say what I wanted and not have to worry about my parents, or I being hurt, or killed because of it. Most of all, as challenging as the debate is with healthcare, there is so much more access to care here than in other countries. In Liberia, I remember walking down the street – almost any street in Monrovia, and seeing people with missing arms, legs, teeth, eyes or mangled torsos; there were so many handicapped people and children – and they couldn’t afford to get the healthcare they needed. They lived like that and begged for a living. That was how they lived. Many were too poor to get an education; and in the U.S., education can be subsidized. I know that there are issues with people living in socio-economic areas where there is less access to healthcare and education, but generally, people in many parts of the world have a fraction of these opportunities and some never do.

You founded the Tigerlily Foundation. Tell us about that.
In 2006, I was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. I was 32 years old and had a 3-year old daughter. When I had initially gone to the doctor, I had been told I was too young to have breast cancer. She performed an aspiration, which was unsuccessful, but she insisted that I come back in six months, during which time the lump doubled in size. I began experiencing overwhelming fatigue and night sweats. When I went back, she insisted on a re-aspiration. I pushed for a biopsy. I was diagnosed the next day, then found out I had aggressive breast cancer. While undergoing my second round of chemotherapy, I would ask why this was happening to me; I was so afraid of the future. I learned that approximately 11,000 young women get diagnosed and approximately 1,100 of those women die because they are misdiagnosed. I thought of how many other young women were going through what I was experiencing. Then, I stopped asking why and began thinking how, and then what could I do to make a difference, instead of looking to someone else to make a change. I prayed about it and the next day, the vision for Tigerlily Foundation was born, with a mission to educate, advocate for, empower and provide hands-on support to young women – before, during and after breast cancer. What started as a promise and a dream is now a nationwide organization reaching thousands. Tigerlily Foundation provides education and empowerment to young women and their families, we educate healthcare practitioners, provide peer support to newly diagnosed young women, send young women in treatment breast cancer buddy bags, meals, pay their bills, and provide support to young women living with Stage 4 breast cancer.

I founded the organization while working a full-time job, and as a single mother. I did it because if it were not for the grace of God and a mother who taught me to do my breast exams at thirteen, I wouldn’t be here. I’m humbled to do this work, because I believe that when one is blessed with life, in some way, we must be of service to others. There is really no excuse to not give back or find the time to help others. There is so much we each can do to impact someone else’s life. I founded Tigerlily because I promised God that I would create something that would make a difference in the landscape of young women and breast cancer, and I promised my daughter that I would live – and I meant not just physically, but be truly alive, thereby giving her a legacy that would never die – hopefully an example of the importance of creating the life you want, pursuing your dreams, embracing life, loving the moment and walking along a path because you believe in something deeply, even if you can’t clearly see the way ahead.

I do this work because young women are needlessly losing their lives to a disease that many of them are not even aware of. Breast cancer floored me, but I made a decision to pick myself up and be even better than before – and I want other young women who are diagnosed to know that they have somewhere to turn, for support, love, empowerment and services. I want them to know that they can survive and thrive. I want young women who have not been diagnosed to know that they have a right to life and that they need to exercise their personal power and become their own best advocates. I will do whatever it takes to ensure that every young woman is aware of the issue of young women and breast cancer and I’ve dedicated my life to ensure that this happens. It is important to be living examples to our children. When my daughter was six, she woke me up one morning and asked me what she could do to “help the women too”. She asked me if she could have a fundraiser. The week she started first grade, she began planning, along with several of her friends to have her first fundraiser. In December of this year, she is holding a 100 person event at a local hotel. At six years old, she already knew she could make a difference. Imagine what the world would be like if little children grew up all wanting their lives to matter and wanting to give more than to get. That would be a wonderful thing. I hope to give this gift to others through my work.

You’ve connected with some amazing, inspirational women along your journey. What have you learned from them?
I have learned, as one of them said, “to eat life with a big spoon”. Life is so short, and we are so powerful. The women who make a difference don’t live scared – they show up and say what’s on their minds. They are passionate, purposeful, have faith and an amazing personal strength that comes from a sense of knowing oneself. They live with their heads held high and are never victims of this or that, but tend to see life with the glass half full, learning from mistakes, living with grace and knowing that their actions reverberate on a larger scale.

What was connecting with Oprah like? (Everyone always wants to know!)
She was amazing. She is a wonderful host – compassionate, kind and warm. You almost forget she is there, you feel like you’ve known her forever and that you’ve sat on that couch before with her in her living room. She has a way of focusing on each person and making them feel special. She was amazing. I love her even more after meeting her. She is 100% the real deal and is doing so much to help so many.

What’s the one thing you’d want someone recently diagnosed with breast cancer to know immediately?
That being diagnosed with breast cancer is not a death sentence; and that you are not alone. Those two things are the most fearful feelings. There are so many women, more than 250,000 diagnosed annually, who survive and thrive after breast cancer. That means that you have thousands of other women who have walked the path before you and who can support, empower and inspire you. What shifted me was the knowledge that I was in charge, not breast cancer or anything else. Breast cancer sucks, but the reality of life is that we all have to go sometime – from breast cancer or something else. What breast cancer did for me was put my life in perspective. It gave me a wake-up call, and helped me to see that I was and we are all here temporarily. So I needed to own my life and find my purpose, so that I would live the rest of my life with meaning. With this in mind, I focused my energy and fears into making my life count – that is what we all want at the end of the day to make a difference, love a lot and life like there is no tomorrow. What was interesting is that helping others healed me in so many ways. It taught me compassion and gave me more wonderful friends than I could have imagined.

Has writing Fearless changed you in anyway? Please elaborate.
Yes, it freed me and helped me to heal. So many times, we live our lives hiding a part of who we are, and afraid to show the world all of ourselves. Writing this book allowed me to really see myself in entirety for the first time and stop and take a look at things that I needed to see, to face and to heal from. It also helped me to really appreciate myself so much more. Often times, we just go about our lives, not really seeing what we do and how we matter. I have often been hard on myself, as a child and then coming here as a refugee, I always had this drive to succeed, that never allowed me to just sit back and see what I had accomplished. Writing this book allowed me to love the little girl and woman I was and in many ways, have compassion for her and reflect that love and compassion onto myself, and others; it will allow me to give my daughter the gift of taking it easy on herself and hopefully, enable her and other young women to have more self love and resolve, knowing that our life is in the journey and not to be so much lived focused on the destination. I also think that particularly as it pertains to bullying or insecurity, we can be our own worst critics. Writing Fearless allowed me to delve deeper into myself and I came out of it with more self love, confidence and freedom. I know now, that “this is me”, and I love who I am. It allowed me to heal from a broken relationship that was emotionally not healthy for me, and it helped me to learn many new truths about myself, most of all, as I mentioned earlier, to practice self love and care first, as the basis for any healthy relationship.

Finally, where can we find your book?
You can purchase it on Amazon or if you would like an autographed copy, visit my website at www.maimahkarmo.com.

Don’t want to wait? One lucky winner from either the US or Canada will receive a copy of Fearless!

I’m going to make entry for this incredible easy! In the comments below tell me how you or someone you know has been affected by breast cancer.

This contest ends at noon on October 31st, 2012 at which time one winner will be selected via random.org. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to my email before another winner is selected. Please make sure that your email address is visible!

Maimah Karmo is a breast-cancer survivor and the founder of the Tigerlily Foundation, an organization that educates, empowers and advocates for young women affected by breast cancer. The idea was born after her second chemotherapy treatment, and when she appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show to tell her story, Oprah’s advice was emphatic: Maimah must write a book.

So Maimah did. Fearless: Awakening to My Life’s Purpose Through Breast Cancer (Brown Books, October 2012) is about her transformation, and how she learned that a challenge can be a gift.

Fearless is a stunning account of Maimah’s upbringing in Liberia—which was uprooted when she was 15 years old, and her family was forced to flee to the U.S.—to living the American Dream, watching it all fall apart with a breast cancer diagnosis, and ultimately, bouncing back.

Today, Maimah has made her mark in the world of breast cancer, and her work has been celebrated everywhere from The Oprah Winfrey Show to Redbook Magazine to ­­­­Good Morning America.

Dedicated to changing the breast cancer landscape, Maimah’s goal is to create a legacy of a world free of breast cancer.

Bare Fruit Review & Giveaway

I love fruit, especially fresh fruit when I can get it at the local farmers market but living in Michigan we only get a couple months of fresh local produce. And this year…. well this year the fresh apples are pretty slim due to the crazy weather we had this spring.

So when I don’t want to pay almost $10 for apples but want something that is still delicious and nutritious? What do I try? Dried fruit of course!

I recently had the chance to try Bare Fruit organic, bake-dried cinnamon apples. Oh my… let me tell you that these things are great!

20121009-195612.jpg

They’re full of fresh apple flavor, light, and crisp with just a bit of cinnamon taste. They’re the perfect snack for after school, on the go, or while watching a movie. Honestly… this is the one snack that my toddler doesn’t seem to like so I have lots for me!

20121009-195625.jpg

The bag is packed full of full sized apple slices… not all of those little broke up pieces that you sometimes get in bags of dried fruit or chips. I should mention that these chips are really chips… they’re super crisp. Not chewy or tough like some dried fruit tends to be.

20121009-195635.jpg

Bare Fruit also has fuji apple chips, granny smith apple chips, dried cherries, dried mangoes, and dried pears in addition to the cinnamon apple chips…. all 100% organic fruit. They don’t use any additional preservatives or chemicals and they control the entire process from the orchard through the bake-dried processing.

What do you think of dried fruit?

Want to give it a try?

Yea? Perfect!

You can win a case of cinnamon apple chips! 12 bags (63g (2.02oz) each) of apple chips to enjoy any time you want!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lego Kids Fest Giveaway!

Who doesn’t love playing with Lego’s? I mean you can sit down with… or without your kids and just create things for hours! Houses, cars, elaborate mansions, and all sorts of things. Seriously, they will occupy all of my of my kids from the oldest to the youngest and even my husband!

So what’s a mom to do on a cold fall day who’s looking for something new to do with her family?

Lego KidFest of course!

Aerial - Lego KidsFest

Lego KidsFest! October 12 – 14 in Novi, Michigan!

The LEGO KidsFest is a giant traveling LEGO expo coming to the Suburban Collection Showplace, a mere 30 minutes from downtown Detroit, October 12 – 14, 2012. This hands-on, educational, all-ages LEGO extravaganza features millions of LEGO bricks not to mention lots of construction zones, dozens of life-sized LEGO models and displays, LEGO Ninjago and LEGO Games, group builds such as Creation Nation, live LEGO Master Builders, and so much more covering three acres of space.

I am looking forward to going and spending a few hours building all sorts of crazy creations! It’ll be a tie who gets the toddler & who gets to explore with the older kids though… maybe we’ll have to trade on and off! If you’re thinking of going you should probably get your tickets early because they tend to sell out pretty fast! There are 5 sessions that are all exactly the same.

Friday, October 12
4 pm – 8:30 pm

Saturday, October 13
Session I: 9 am – 1:30 pm
Session II: 3 pm – 7:30 pm

Sunday, October 14
Session I: 9 am – 1:30 pm
Session II: 3 pm – 7:30 pm

BrickPile

Then you’re in luck because I am giving away two tickets to Lego KidsFest in Novi to the Friday, October 12th from 4-8:30pm show!

And if you’re not sure check out some of these great activities!

LEGO Model Gallery: 40 life-sized models made entirely from LEGO bricks
LEGO Master Builders: live demonstrations and activities from the crew who get paid to play
Creation Nation: build your own creation to add to a custom map of the U.S.
Race Ramps: build your own custom car, then race it down the ramp against friends and family
LEGO Games Arena: roll the dice to play LEGO board games
Construction Zones: creative free build, play and display areas
LEGO DUPLO®: younger visitors can explore imagination through building
LEGO Retail and KidsFest Marketplace: purchase LEGO merchandise and official KidsFest tour goods
Brick Pile: a gigantic pile full of LEGO bricks for creative play and enjoyment
Monochromatic Builds: bricks of a single color to foster group creativity
Brickscapes: fantastic displays that combine lots of LEGO and DUPLO sets

Fun right!

Okay, so how do you win? Use that super simple form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are a few fun Lego facts:

LEGO® is the contraction of two Danish words, “leg godt” which means “play well”.

There are about 62 LEGO® bricks for every one of the world’s 6 billion inhabitants.

19 billion LEGO® elements are produced every year. 2.16 million LEGO® elements are molded every hour, or 36,000 per minute.

Cool, huh?

Hey… guess what? If you want another chance to win enter over at Simply Raising 8 and Shawn Ann’s World!

Tickets to LEGO KidsFest were received for the purpose of this post. All opinions are that of my own.

Brica Review & Giveaway!

Ever since my son toss my iPhone across Kohl’s and shattered the screen I’ve been looking for all sorts of ways to protect my precious iPhone. Of course he still wants to use it and play some of his favorite games and watch Dinosaur Train on the PBS app and every time he touches it I get a little nervous.

But now I don’t worry quite so much. Why? Well because I have Brica!

brica

Brica creates great products that help us as parents make things just a little easier. They have products for the house, the car, the stroller, bath, and travel. One of those products that has helped me so much has been the phone pod. I LOVE this thing!

phone pod

At first I wasn’t sure how often I’d use it but it’s always on the stroller or bike! I use my phone to track how many miles I run/walk or bike and this thing is perfect for holding my phone while I’m on the go. I can also attach it to the front of the stroller so Andrew can play with the phone, but so far I’ve used it just for me. The only down side is that no matter how tight I get it after a while the pod turns and my phone ends up facing down towards the ground. Oh… just an FYI… it does not work if you have an iPhone in an Otter Box case. I switched cases and now have a LifeProof case and it works great.

brica products

The snack pod is pretty cool too! I clipped that thing to the car seat and my son thought that it was awesome that he could put his cup in  it and take it out whenever he wanted. Downside… he loves it so much that he brought it in the house and now I can’t find it. He claimed it as his…. I’m sure that it’s buried in with his toys somewhere in the house.

The snack pod can be attached to most anything just like the phone pod and to make it just a little bit better… it’s dishwasher safe.

Both of these are made of solid plastic that can’t be bent, dented, or otherwise (my toddler has tried!).

Interested in getting these two incredible products for yourself? Well, it’s your lucky day! I am giving away both the deluxe snack pod and the phone pod!

You can find these great products in Target, Babies R Us, Amazon and at Diapers.com!

Enter using Rafflecopter below!

I received both of the products mentioned above to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway