Saturday, January 29, 2011

Valentine's Day Gift Guide-Shoebuy Giveaway {closed}

Congrats Comment #91 Mrs. Smitty

I first came across when I was looking for some sweet shoes for Dexter.  I could not believe that they not only had the absolute lowest prices but they also don't charge sales tax, they ship free and return shipping is free!  Talk about a company dedicated to their customer!  Since that day a couple of years ago I have made many many more purchases from Shoebuy and I have always been thrilled with their lightning fast delivery and their selection.

Shoebuy was gracious enough to send me the Toyah MJ shoe by Keen to review.  I own many many pairs of Keens and I love each and every one.  The new Toyah MJs are a welcome addition to my shoe collection as I don't own any brown shoes!  Can you believe that?!  

Shoebuy carries over 1100 brands and each one is unique and a great deal!  Shoebuy doesn't just carry shoes.  They also carry luggage, handbags, outerwear (think The North Face), clothing and much more.  The possibilities are endless.  Shoebuy wants you to get to know their amazing customer service and selection by offering one DSSM reader a $50 GC just in time for Valentine's Day!  How niiiiice!

I would love to know what you would like to buy with your $50!  Leave the URL of your selection in your mandatory entry.  The URL is the Uniform Resource Locator or web page where I will find your selection.  Please also like Shoebuy on Facebook and tell them that DSSM sent you.

I bet you want some extra entries too eh?  Today is your lucky day!

Extra entries after the mandatory entry is fulfilled!
*Follow me on GFC
*Follow me on Twitter @royaldixie
*Follow @Shoebuy
*Like me on Facebook (2 entries)
*Become an email subscriber
*How did you find my site? 

*Grab my button and add it to your blogroll 
*TWEET *You must follow me in order to tweet for entries (once daily) "#Win a @Shoebuy $50 Gift Certificate from Super Savvy Mommy @royaldixie"
*Add this giveaway to a McLinky and provide me with the URL (2 entries per Linky)

This giveaway is open to US residents and will end on February 12th, 2011 at NOON EST.  Good Luck!

**I received the above item for review.  No other compensation was received.  The item received did not influence my opinion and I was not obligated to write a positive review**

Friday, January 28, 2011

Valentine's Day Gift Guide-FloraFlora Giveaway {closed}

Congrats to #83 Dawn!

If you ask me, nothing says I love you like diamonds and gorgeous flowers.  I am obsessed with roses and calla lilies.  My taste in flowers parallels my taste in diamonds.  I was recently introduced to and I was blown away by their amazing selection and unbeatable prices.

If you are looking for a simple rose bouquet for Valentines Day or you are wanting to go all out, FloraFlora has what you crave.  I received the Ever After Bouquet for review and I can honestly say that they are the most gorgeous flowers that I have ever received.  They were breathtaking! 

See what I mean?  Simply amazing.  The Ever After bouquet features Green Goddess Calla Lilies, Lavender Roses and Green Fuji Mums and lots of lush greens. 

One thing that I love about FloraFlora is the fact that if you order before 3pm, your order will be received the very next day.  What could be better than that?  They offer FREE SHIPPING!  No kidding!  Right now, use code HEART at checkout to receive an extra 15% off your order!

My friends over at FloraFlora would love to give one DSSM reader a $50 GC to use just in time for Valentine's Day!  How generous is that?!  I just would love to know what you would buy with it!  Leave me the URL in your comment.

Extra entries after the mandatory entry is fulfilled!
*Follow me on GFC
*Follow me on Twitter @royaldixie
*Like me on Facebook (2 entries)
*Become an email subscriber
*How did you find my site? 

*Grab my button and add it to your blogroll (2 entries)
*TWEET (once daily) "#Win a FloraFlora $50 Gift Certificate from Super Savvy Mommy @royaldixie"
*Add this giveaway to a McLinky and provide me with the URL (2 entries per Linky)

This giveaway is open to US residents and will end on February 11th, 2011 at NOON EST.  Good Luck!

**I received the above item for review.  No other compensation was received.  I was not obligated to write a positive review**

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Valentine's Day Gift Guide-Eden Fantasys Giveaway {closed}

Congrats #22 Sweet Panda

Many of you have seen my Eden Fantasys ad on my blog as they sponsored my trip to BlogHer last year.  This year they wanted to offer one of my readers a $50 GC to spend on their site.  Eden Fantasys wants to make you happy by offering a free gift with purchase

Want a few ideas on what to buy for Valentine's Day?  Here are a couple of suggestions...

Stretch Lace Corset
Cosmo's Steamy Sex Games
Oh Mi Bod Party Panty looks like fun

His and Hers Candles

Ok, so I gave you some rad suggestions now I want to know what you want with your $50 Eden Fantasys GC.  The dirtier, the better cause I don't judge.  Afterall, I use to be a someone's girlfriend before I was a wife ;)  Leave me a link to your fantasy gift and you are entered!

Extra entries after the mandatory entry is fulfilled!
*Follow me on GFC
*Follow me on Twitter @royaldixie
*Like me on Facebook (2 entries)
*Become an email subscriber
*How did you find my site? 

*Grab my button and add it to your blogroll (2 entries)
*TWEET (once daily) "#Win a @EdenFantasys $50 Gift Certificate from Super Savvy Mommy @royaldixie"
*Add this giveaway to a McLinky and provide me with the URL (2 entries per Linky)

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents and will end on February 10th, 2011 at NOON EST.  Good Luck!

**This review was made possible by Eden Fantasys.  I was not compensated for this giveaway.  My relationship with EF isn't a secret because I love them!**

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My 5 Favorite Bloggers!

Thanks to Trop 50 for sponsoring my writing about fabulous bloggers. This year Trop50 is granting 50 fabulous wishes. Click here to enter for a chance to win $1,000 to help grant a friend's wish!

I consider myself a lucky person.  I have quite a few good friends in real life and a whole lot more good friends online.  Some of those good friends are also bloggers.  This past August I got to meet several of them in NYC at BlogHer.  I bet you are dying to know who my favorites are.  Without further ado, meet my Bloggie Besties......

1. Sky of Seeryus Mama  I am not quite sure how I remember connecting with Sky but I will say that I feel we were meant to be friends.  Her birthday is the day before mine so I know for sure that its the Cancerian connection that we share but we also have a lot in common.  We both have severe potty mouths, we are both book lovers and Sky and I both share the same sense of humor.  It's not very often that you meet someone and feel as though you have known them your whole life.  That's how I feel about Seeryus Mama. I met her in NYC last August in the airport and I could tell right then and there that it was like meeting my long lost sister.  Sky is generous, silly and just plain fantastic.  Did I mention that she is a pretty great blogger too?

2. Jennifer of Double Duty Mommy.  I met Jennifer through Twitter close to a year ago and I have really come to enjoy tweeting with her.  She had a baby in July and since Ollie was born a few months later we have talked babies, breastfeeding and blogging.  Three of my favorite Bs :)  Check out Jennifer's blog because she designed it herself (and she can do yours too!)

3. Amber of UpNorthTwinMom.  Amber is a local mom but I have yet to meet her.  She was "introduced" to me by a mom I met on a playground.  I connect with Amber over Twitter and she is fabulous.  I like Amber because she writes very well and her tweets are always funny and relieving.  Her blog is personal and well thought out.  Did I mention that Amber has twins that are quite the handful.  Her stories about life with twin toddlers are must-reads.  Check her out on Twitter too @upnorthtwinmom

4.  Heather from Olive and Ollie.  If you are looking for the perfect baby shower gift for your best friend, look no further than Olive and Ollie.  Heather creates outfits, quilts and a million other things that are soooo drool-worthy.  Heather had a baby the same month as Dexter and we met online.  Not only is Heather creative but she is super wonderful.  Her talents don't end in her Etsy store.  Heather is also an amazing Mom and get story teller.  I love her Facebook updates because her kids are always up to something fun and mischievous.

5. Scarlet from Moms Wear Your Tees  Scarlet is a fellow Green Mom (which I really appreciate).  I love Scarlet's tenacity and vigor.  Her reviews are amazing and she is definitely a go-getter.  Scarlet and I connected awhile back (probably on Twitter) and we have been in cohorts ever since.  If you are looking to find a new green blog with cool giveaways and great green tips, head on over to MWYT.  You won't be disappointed.

Don't forget to enter the 50 Fabulous Wishes contest for a chance to win $1,000 to support a friend's wish. I was selected for this Tropicana Trop50 sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do. I received compensation to use and facilitate my post.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Basket Lady Wicker Shoe Tray Review

I am one of those people that cannot stand when people wear shoes in my house.  How hard is it to take them off at the door and maybe slip on a pair of slippers?  Not hard at all.  My husband is guilty of the shoe-wearing and sometimes I swear he does it just to make me mad.  Did you know that more chemicals enter your house on your shoes than any other way?  Grrr!!!  I was lucky enough to be sent a Wicker shoe tray from the Basket Lady for review.

I have a large mudroom and I really love that it is laminate because it is easy to clean.  I also love that the color of the shoe tray matches the wood in the room so well.  This shoe tray comes with a removable brushed metal tray to help clean it and keep it in tact longer.  The tray comes out easily and I am impressed with how easy it is to clean.  The tray holds 4 pairs of adult shoes and it retails for $49.  Right now it is discounted 15% for you get it for $41.65.

The Basket Lady has a wide variety of wicker baskets to suit all of your needs.  My very favorite item is the Divided Recycling Basket.  It is the same pretty color as the shoe tray but it features a removable double bin to make recycling easier!  Isn't she pretty?

Take a look at the Basket Lady and I am sure you will fall in love with an item or two.  I don't know about you but nothing says I Love You for Valentine's Day like Wicker :)

**I received the shoe tray in exchange for my review.  No other compensation was received.  I was not obligated to write a positive review**

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Medela Labeling and Storage System Review

Medela makes some of the best breastfeeding products out there.  I adore my Medela breastfeeding storage bottles and my Medela Harmony Manual pump.  Recently, I was asked to review their new Labeling and Storage System.  Having a 12 week old that loves to breastfeed and having to work out
of the house is not an easy task!  Most nights, Oliver refuses to take a bottle because it's not me!  There are nights that I am at work where Oliver will go 6+ hours with barely any milk because he prefers his Momma <3  

Typically I pump my milk at almost every nursing session so I can have extras for when I am at work.  Now that Oliver is getting bigger he seems to be emptying both sides so I have a hard time finding any extras!  Before I received the Labeling and Storage System from Medela I would just pump and refrigerate.  Milk very rarely made it more than a day in the fridge before I would freeze it in my Lasinoh bags!  This system helps to take the guess work out of which milk to feed Ollie and when.   The tray has two arrows on either side representing "In" and "Out".  You can see from my picture below that the freshest milk is down on the right hand side of the tray and the bottle up top (ready on a moment's notice) is closest to the "Out" arrow so as to be used first.

My absolute favorite part of the system is the revolutionary (my word) caps for the Medela bottles.  They feature a wheel that has each day of the week listed on it and an arrow that allows you to mark which day of the week your milk was pumped (harvested seems like a funnier word) and what time of day.  See for yourself that the milk I pumped (pictured below) was harvested (oh yeah, I like that!) on Thursday night.

If you don't want to buy the whole Labeling and Storage System from Medela (that comes with two bottles and two lids and one tray) then you can purchase the lids separately!  

What I love about the system:
*The bottles and lids are BPA Free
*The lids are awesome and worth every penny
*The size of the bottles (5 oz)

What I don't care for:
*The tray is quite cumbersome and not very necessary
*Retails for $16.99 when I can pay $9.49 for 6 lids to use with my Medela bottles that I already have

This was suppose to be a giveaway but I was not told that one of the sets that they sent me was for the giveaway.  Since I pump a lot I tore the packages open and went to town sanitizing and using my new Medela bottles.  BUMMER I know but completely not my fault.  I will host my own reader appreciation giveaway.....see my next post.

*I received this item for review compliments of Medela and MomSelect and no other compensation was provided.  The opinions are all my own and I was not obligated to write a positive review*

Friday, January 21, 2011

Enter to win a Target Splendid Littles from my guest post

I was recently a guest reviewer on Cool Baby Kid.  Read my review and enter to win a super cute outfit!  You can get entries just for following me and liking me on Facebook!  Good Luck!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Simple Changes for the Year Ahead

I am afraid of change.  Actually, that is an understatement.  I really find a comfortable zone and stick with it.  It really was a HUGE decision for me to want Oliver because I was so use to just having Dexter to deal with and I liked where I was at.  I will not say that deciding to have a second child was a simple change because child bearing really isn't simple but I will tell you why I think it was the best decision for 2011.

Lets put behind us the fact that I hate change.  Lets forget about my comfort zone and focus on the reasons I chose to change my family and my life for the better.  I decided right around the time that Dexter was 2 that I not only needed to provide him with a sibling/best friend/play mate but I also craved the baby smell.  I had a wonderful time being pregnant with Dexter and I couldn't wait to undergo that process again.  This time, boy was it different.  It was a hard adjustment focusing on someone, something other than Dexter.  My pregnancy was difficult and painful and I feel like I became a grump.  Now that I have had Oliver I look back on the journey to better our family with a smile on my face.  This change sure is going to take root in 2011!

Oliver is starting to smile and laugh a lot and each day Dexter becomes more and more attached to his brother.  It was a rough start because Oliver, being a baby, cries a lot and is very needy.  This makes Dexter sad because I am not devoting all of my attention to him all the time.  The more time that goes by, the more Dexter is accepting of this change.  I have noticed the brotherly bond start to form and this makes me happy.  This change is affecting us all and each minute of every day is a new one and one that will forever make this family of 4 a close knit unit!

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”  This quote, by Elizabeth Stone talks about how hard it is for a person to decide to become a parent.  This time though, for me, I was already a parent.  I have heard people say that once you add the third child to the mix is gets easier and easier.  Well, we made another very big decision this year, my husband had a vasectomy.  There will be no third or fourth child.  I underestimated how hard it would be to have two children.  It is WAY harder than I thought it would be.  I have to split my time between a needy baby and a needy toddler.  I have questioned my sanity more times than I care to admit.  One thing I know for sure is that I wouldn't change my life for anything, not even a permanent trip to Tahiti

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Simply Orange® blogging program. If I am one of the first 65 blogs received by SocialsMoms, I will receive a $25 Target gift card and a gift pack that includes a Simply Orange® cooler bag and logoed fleece.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I created my own button!

I cannot tell you how stoked I am that I created my own button!  What do you think?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Keeping it Real in '11-Diary Entry 2

Today is day 11 on my dairy-free diet.  This is by far the strongest testament of my strength that I have ever endured.  If it wasn't for the fact that Oliver's eczema is getting better and his poop is starting to get mustardy again I am not sure I could still go through with this.  I miss my cheese and butter, a lot!  I do have to mention that this is getting easier but I am far from "not-quite-missing-it".

Being a Mom is not an easy job.  I can't say that I expected it to be but I didn't expect someone as selfish as me to be so selfless.  This is my new life.  This is the new me.  I became a Mom in February of 2008 and prior to that I was a carefree person who hated sharing anything, especially food.  I know that sounds weird but hey,we all have our vices.  I also was a sleeper.  Oh boy did I LOVE sleeping.  I literally would go to bed around 1 every night morning and I would wake up around noon the following day.  It was bliss <3

WOW, being a Mom sure has taught me that a lot of new life lessons.  I now know that some of the best days start well before 8 am and sharing food is not nearly as hard as sharing my entire self.  I no longer get to pick up and go when I want (or where I want for that matter).   I no longer have control over the TV because Dora the Explorer has reluctantly replaced Days of Our Lives.  I no longer think that the grossest thing I ever did was kiss that weird boy in middle school because now I have eaten a chewed-up and spit-out piece of chicken off of my child's dinner plate.  I have learned how to successfully wipe someone else's butt and nose, sometimes at the same time.  Dave Matthews concerts and tailgating with friends have given way to the Fresh Beat Band and picnics in the park.  F Bombs have given way to the ABCs and speeding tickets are no longer on my driving record.  I realize now more than ever that my actions don't just affect me anymore as I have two children that depend on me for everything.

I am not going to lie.  There are days that I miss the old me.  Not just the old me but the old us.  I miss being just me and my husband.  Before we had kids we never fought over housework, TV time and other silly things because these weren't an issue.  I absolutely would not change my life for anything except a full nights sleep and a fancy dinner date with my husband.  Being a Mom has changed me for the better because I no longer live for the here and now, I live for the future.  Each little hug, slobbery kiss and "tank you" are more than enough reward for the hard work and sacrifices that I go through being a Mom.

Here is the sign of the week:

Monday, January 10, 2011

True Confessions of a Parent: I Void Warranties.


Here is my picture of the day.  Dexter living the truth in this ThinkGeek "I Void Warranties" shirt.  No truer words were ever spoken (or written for that matter!)

*I bought this shirt myself.  It is no secret that I love ThinkGeek.  As a matter of fact I bought most of my Christmas presents there as did many of my family members.*

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Keeping it Real in '11-My Dairy Free Breastfeeding Diet

So in an effort to "Keep it Real in '11" lets talk about boobs.  I have always been fond of boobies and it wasn't until I had Dexter and starting breastfeeding did I really appreciate what I had.  I remember looking at this perfect child and thinking "wow, I made grew him in my belly and now I am single-handedly sustaining his life!"  Well now I get that same satisfaction with baby number two.  I catch myself staring at Oliver's little rolls and silently patting myself on the back for a job well done.

Breastfeeding is the hardest but most rewarding thing that I have ever done.  It also takes a lot of patience.  I try to pump each time I feed Oliver so I can create a stash.  Being a Mom who works outside of the home it is imperative that I get a lot of milk frozen so I can ensure lots of milk for Oliver's little belly when I am away.

These two pictures represent both of my freezers.  I have about 300 ounces of milk stored and ready for the hungry baby.  They are stored in my Lasinoh bags because I love them a ton (I bought them myself after trying several brands).  They are thicker than most brands and I love that they say "My Mommy's Milk" on them!  SWEET!

Here comes my dilemma.  I have noticed that Oliver has really green mucus-y poop and awful eczema on his face.  He has also been pretty colicky since about 3 weeks of age and I am thinking it has to do with my dairy intake.  I am a cheese-milk-sour cream-butter aholic.  I absolutely love dairy in every form, especially butter and ice cream.  If something was dairy-free, I added cheese or butter to it to make it Maggie-rific.  Well today is Day 4 of no dairy and this is the HARDEST diet I have ever done.  I have also lost 3.5 pounds so far.  Big shocker considering 85% of my diet is dairy laden.

Oh did I mention that all of that glorious milk that you see above is not dairy free!!??  WTF am I suppose to do?  I hope this is something he outgrows so I am able to feed it to him but if not I guess I will donate it to Eats on Feets.  That will kill me.  I am not sure where to go from here because I don't have a milk-free milk stash yet but each day is a new day and I sure am trying.  Trying is all I've got.

Do you have any special dairy free recipes for me to try?  If so I am dying to hear about them.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hurry $5 Starbucks Gift Card for a dollar!

I know that I am not a deal blogger but I couldn't pass this one up!  I ordered one right away!  Head over to FamilyFinds and get your $5 Starbucks Gift Card for only a buck!  HURRY because these are going fast!  Keep refreshing if you are having troubles with it!  Good Luck!

What will you buy with your gift card?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Lillebaby EuroTote Review and Giveaway {closed}

Congrats to comment #132 Erin Nicole!  

The Lillebaby EuroTote is a system of 5 products in 1. You can use the EuroTote as a Cradle Carrier, Bunting Bag, Stroller Bag, Play Blanket and Travel Bedding. I have been using this EuroTote for the last month or so with Oliver and for the most part I really like it. Being only 9 weeks old he needs security and safety so I have used it as a Bunting Bag to help cradle him while he is in his bouncy seat or laying on the couch. I have also brought the EuroTote over to my inlaws house so Oliver could lay on their floor and sleep on their couch. It provides a level of familiarity and comfort for him and it provides me with a peace of mind knowing that he is safe.

Since it has been snowing since I received my EuroTote I have not had the opportunity to use my stroller.  Who can maneuver something so big in the snow without four-wheel drive?  I have also used the EuroTote as a Play Blanket allowing Oliver to play on the floor (and in an environment that I know is clean!)

One HUGE PLUS that I will say about the EuroTote is that it is nice to use when Oliver is being colicky as I lay him in the Cradle Carrier and I carry him around the house (now that he is getting bigger).  The motion lulls him to sleep and then once he is out I am able to safely lay him on my bed, the couch or anywhere really that is quiet enough for him to sleep.  There is no jostling him while trying to lay him down in his bassinet.  It really makes for an easy transition.  To learn more about the Lillebaby EuroTote you can download the User Manual from their website.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that this is a piece of baby equipment that I must have.  I like to have it around for Ollie to use but it is cumbersome to put together (I made DH do it) and I have yet to find it easy to transport the baby in (maybe because he is so small.)  I anticipate being able to use my EuroTote more often now that Oliver is growing up because he won't "get lost" in it so easily.  When he was days old I tried carrying him around in it as a bunting bag but he would just slide around in it.  Now that he is gaining more strength in his neck and body he is able to stay in it better.

How would you like to win one for yourself (I mean your little one?)  They retail for $120 and now you have a chance to win one.  Please head over and check out the EuroTote and tell me which one of the 5 ways you would most use this product and tell me which color you like best.  You will have to click around the site a little bit to find the colors.  Since this is an expensive prize you will have to work for it a little bit.

I suppose since it's a New Year and all you would like some extra entries eh?

*Follow me on GFC
*Follow me on Twitter @royaldixie
*Like me on Facebook (2 entries)
*How did you find my site? 
*Grab my button and add it to your blogroll (2 entries)
*TWEET (once daily) "#Win a @ScanChild Lillebaby EuroTote valued at $120 from Super Savvy Mommy @royaldixie"
*Add this giveaway to a McLinky and provide me with the URL (2 entries)

This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on January 24, 2011 at NOON EST.  Good Luck!

**This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media.  I was provided with the product in exchange for my opinion.  All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the product received.  I was not obligated to write a positive review.**

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy 2011!

I cannot believe that 2011 is upon us. All of 2010 October couldn't come fast enough and now I have a 2 1/2 month old and an almost 3 year old. OMG!! I have big and wonderful things in store for my readers this year. First off, I promise to get personal. I want you to know what it going on with me each and every step of the way through the year. Don't worry, I will also be hosting some amazing giveaways. Check back with me later today as I giveaway a Lillebaby EuroTote.

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