Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween Blog Party

Here is my last entry into the Halloween Blog Party being thrown by Amy at Living Locurto...

I recently purchased Photoshop Elements and decided to try it out on a Halloween photo from last year of my girlies dressed in their poodle skirts.

I also found this video on You Tube that I thought might get everyone in the trick or treating mood for tomorrow.

Happy Halloween everyone and be safe tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Klean Kanteen Product Review

Going Green or just Going Safe? Then I have the product for you. Recently I was contacted by Kay Green from My Precious Kid and asked if I wanted to try out their new product, the Klean Kanteen, for my son. Of course I jumped on the opportunity! I love trying out new things, especially when they are FREE. Kay not only sent me one for Noah but she sent me an extra one to giveaway to one lucky reader. Yep, you read that right, I get to give one away. Cool, huh?

I tried/kept the blue one for Noah.

To give you the run down on the Klean Kanteen and why it is so great... First it is made from 100% recyclable, high-quality, food-grade stainless steel so it doesn’t need a special lining like some other metal bottles. It’s completely BPA-free and won’t leach chemicals, toxins, or funky flavors into your little one's drink. The Klean Kanteen is safer than plastic sippy cups. To read more from the experts click here.

Although I am not an expert, I am a mother of three whose two year old son personally tried out the Klean Kanteen. This is my personal opinion, I love it! With Noah being two I love the fact it doesn't look so baby like. It is also a perfect size for him. The width was just right for him to hold onto without having those huge handles sticking out the side. This also benefited me with the ease of being able to slip it into my purse. I am the worst at not carrying a diaper bag everywhere and instead just sticking a few items down in my own purse, so the smaller the better! However, the Klean Kanteen would also fit perfect in a side pocket of a diaper bag or backpack. Even though it is slim it still holds plenty of drink at 12 ounces. Another great thing about it is the fact it keeps the drink inside nice and cold for a long time. In plastic sippy cups I hate for Noah to carry around milk. It will spoil so fast because it gets warm quick. In the Klean Kanteen this wasn't the case. I am very eager to try it with warm beverages too, like hot cocoa during the upcoming holidays. One plus for me is the Klean Kanteen is dishwasher safe! Can't beat that. It actually comes clean in the dishwasher too since the opening is so large the soap and water can fully get inside it and clean. My Precious Kid also has Klean Kanteens in the sports bottle size for older children. My 11 year old wants one so bad. She envied her baby brother when he got his. She loves the look of it. She wants a pink one and now that they allow them to carry water bottles to school, I will just have to get her one.

So now that you have heard all about the product, I know you are dying to have one. Let the contest begin! First are the rules. I know, I know, rules, rules... But every contest has to have them.

1. First go to Kay Green's website at My Precious Kid and find one item that you would love to have besides the Klean Kanteen and come back to leave your pick in a comment. (one entry)
2. To earn extra entries follow me on twitter @MommaDJane to stay informed of all giveaways and also follow @MyPreciousKid to hear all about her upcoming products, you must leave comment with proof of following (two entries for new followers)
3. Post a tweet about this giveaway linking to this blog post to share in the excitement, leave a comment including link to tweet (one entry for each tweet)
4. Post on your blog talking about this giveaway with a link to this post and earn yet another entry

That is a total of five possible entries to win a silver Klean Kanteen.

Good Luck Readers!

Kay Green didn't want to leave anyone out so she is being so kind to also offer this 10% discount code. If you want to shop now for anything on her site or in case you are not the lucky winner you will have a chance to purchase your own product at a 10% discount. Just use coupon code # 112081208 and this coupon is valid until December 31, 2008 so have fun Christmas shopping! There are tons of items I want from the site, including a medical ID bracelet for my six year old.

Want to see more giveaways? Visit the Bloggy Giveaways Carnival. There are literally over 1000 more! Join them all for FREE!

Michelle found over at Life with Three is the lucky winner of the Klean Kanteen! Congrats Michelle!

Tuesday Toot

It's Tuesday Toot time again and since I haven't participated in the toot'n for a couple of weeks I thought I would get back to it.

Saturday evening I setup a booth at my daughters' Fall Festival at their elementary school. I brought some of my inventory from my store to sale including some Creationz By Me products for kids to do themselves at my table. It was a fun activity for them and they really enjoyed it. The body lotion was the most popular and the girls loved to mix their own colors and scents into their lotion. Such a success. If you haven't seen this then check out my online store right away. Unique Diva Boutique So I sold $75 worth of children's hair bows, a $38 purse and six Creationz By Me. I was so excited about this. Although the booth cost me $25 to setup my main goal was to advertise my store by handing out coupons, which I did. Therefore, I expected to donate $25 to the girls' school and benefit by advertising to all the mothers my business. Imagine how excited I was to sale quite a bit of inventory and make some money! YAY!
Toot ~ Toot
Here are a few updated photos of the store!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments?

So it's Friday Fragment time again.
First I want to mention I am excited because on November 7th we are moving into a house! The kids and I are finally moving out of our apartment and into a house where they will have a backyard. Finally, thank goodness! I am a bit scared though b/c our apartment is four bedrooms and the house is only three bedrooms which means two kiddos have to share. They are so spread out in age that this makes me nervous b/c of sibling battles.

Since we are moving we decided to get rid of one of our pets. Yes I said one of them. We had a cat, guinea pig and bunny. The guinea pig and bunny were sharing a cage and the bunny had gotten so big it was time to get a new cage or bye bye bunny. Between the two animals eating and pooping the cost of food and bedding was about $80 a month. No kidding. So since the bunny was getting so big and the kids were not playing with her as much I decided to get rid of her. I thought this was going to be easy but it was actually pretty hard for me. Sad... But now we are down to two pets for the move.

This week I have participated in the Halloween Blog Party that is going on over at Living Locurto. You should check it out and join in. While I was over there I found this really neat blog with this beautiful dress that was being given away. Although the giveaway for the dress is over you should still check it out. I was amazed at her work, everything is done by hand. Check it out here.

Talking about giveaways you should head over to Loot 4 Mama and join in on the giveaway. I am actually a sponsor in this giveaway offering a $25 gift certificate on any Christmas items from Unique Diva Boutique. So join in on the fun!

Now that I have told a little about my week and a little about work, I can't forget to mention school. I took two college finals recently and made straight A's. YAY! I am so proud of myself, especially since going back to college while having kids is not an easy task. This is the perfect time to share this great FREE mother's guide to going back to school online. This guide is completely free and might help answer questions or guide you down the path to pursuing your degree. I love for my kids to be able to see how important college is no matter when you graduate.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Stupid People Trick

Drum Roll Please...

Presenting my long past due "Stupid People Trick"! First let me introduce this 'stupid' trick. For those of you who are new to my blog, I was awarded a Gold Card in this post. As I was following the rules and handing the award back out to other fellow bloggers I decided to send it over to Half Past Kissin' Time. Well to my surprise Mrs4444 has an humiliating entertaining little challenge, we shall call it, that everyone must commit to in order for her to accept an award from them. You must check out her challenge here and see her stupid people trick. Now at first when she informed me of this ridiculous interesting challenge that I must perform on the internet for everyone to see... well let's just say I was sure she was getting the last laugh. After seeing her stupid people trick in a photo and heading over to Zoe's Dad to see his video, I felt much better. Okay well maybe that's not true, I still don't feel great about it. But at least I know I'm not alone. I would like to however clear up one thing. I do not believe these are 'stupid people' tricks, I believe these are 'stupid tricks' done by people. So read it like 'stupid' people trick. Just to make that clear!

Without further adieu...

Yes, I am able to move my ears. Yes, I just posted that video of myself on the world wide web for everyone to see and I have no makeup on. Yes, I was trying very hard to be serious yet continuously busted out laughing. Yes, I am embarassed but hey what's the harm in a little fun?! So now that I have shown you my stupid trick I thought I would also share this video of my daughter's useless people trick.

They call it the "Human Ball"
Maybe her display of rolling on the ground will distract you and make you forget my stupid people trick.

.... yeah, I didn't think so.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Halloween Blog Party

In celebration of the Halloween blog party going on over at Living Locurto I have decided to share some photos from our most recent Halloween activities. Today we went to Six Flags Over Texas to their Fright Fest which the kiddos loved! Gab actually rode a ton of rides including some really fast moving rides and roller coasters. Of course only the ones they allow six year old children on! I was still surprised to not see her get scared of anything. Not even the spooky people walking around. She is growing so fast, too fast! Since they were not allowed to wear their costumes, T wanted to at least spray her hair with color. Hot pink and black color to be exact. Ever since Miley Cyrus became so popular with T, her new craze is pink and black. When T cut her hair over the summer she removed ten inches to donate to Locks of Love. She could literally spike it in the back although the front was longer reaching her chin. Well she has let it grow since then so when we bought the stuff to put in her hair I stupidlythought I could still spike it. We bought black hair gel with hot pink color hair spray. The idea was to make her look like a rocker chick while still maintaining the look of age 11. We got completely ready and started to do her hair right before we walked out the door. "I mean come on how long could that possibly take?" I started by trying to spike her hair with regular gel then adding the black and planned to spray the pink at the very end to touch it up with color. O.M.G. What a mess! Her hair has obviously grown a foot and is now way too long to spike. Therefore at this point we had a black gooey mess. I took baby wipes to the side of her head and face where the black mess had gotten. Also had to clean her ears. I never wanted to be a hair stylist. Instead of stopping and rinsing, we continued. I then added the pink spray along with some spray gel and two different kinds of hair spray to help 'hold' the hair in some form of place. I did my best to at least get the back some what slicked into a type of mini mo-hawk. Now remember, this was for Halloween rocker chick ONLY! I would never let my child normally leave the house looking this way. We then decided to add a little glitter spray that we had bought for Gab's Halloween costume of Cinderella. So now it was black with hot pink and glitter. T left the house with having regular molding gel, spray gel, two different brands of hair spray, black dye hair gel, hot pink hair color spray and glitter spray in her hair. I have never known someone to have so many products in their hair at once. We finished up the little touches with a couple of temp tattoos and TADA! Rocker chick. Check out the photos below.

Now Gabby did not do anything today as far as dressing up for Halloween but she did have a bunch of fun at Six Flags. I managed to get a few photos of her with some characters dressed in costume and next to a few life size blow up decorations.

I do not have the photo shop programs on my computer to make cute little collages but I did manage to find this neat digital scrapbook page from photobucket. I thought this was perfect for the Halloween Blog Party. So here are a few photos from today that I uploaded into photobucket.

This scrapbook Halloween theme slideshow was free and easy to create. I am actually very impressed with the online program. They have a ton of other themes to chose from, not just holiday related. Check it out here. It is called Scrap Blog but is partnered with Photobucket and uses your photos from your already created albums. Pretty neat and you do not have to be crafty to know how to do this. The themes are already laid out and you just upload the photos right into place.

Now that I have left you with some photos, a cute little short story and a Halloween tip that can be used anytime with all digital photos.... I am calling it a day, off to bed for me. Giving Gab several piggy back rides today has worn me out. Had a blast though and was well worth it!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Site-warming Party Going On Tonight!

There is a blog-warming party going on tonight on twitter @ResourcefulMom. Tweet with us tonight by following the conversation here.

ResourcefulMom is giving away a goodie bag full of prizes. In order to be entered into the drawing visit her blog here.

See you tonight online!

Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments?

Yes, it is Friday again and this time I remembered to post my Friday Fragments.

A few weeks ago I posted in one of my Friday Fragments about the Anthony case. Read the post HERE. I ran across this blog post where a little boy asks his mother about the mom going to jail. If you didn’t know she recently has been placed back in custody and charged with murder, although they have not found the body of Caylee yet. So sad!

I am very excited this week to announce that I am going to be doing a product review very soon! Kay Green with My Precious Kid is sending me two Klean Kanteen Sippys, one for me to review and the other to GIVE AWAY! Yes you read that right, I get to give one away to a lucky reader. Check back soon to enter.

I remember when I was a kid and every box of cereal had a toy inside. Did your cereal have toys? I miss that and had put the memory in the far back of my mind until my daughter got a toy inside her Cheerios box today. It was a neat little slider toy from the new Madagascar movie. I remember the toys used to be 'inside' the cereal bag within the box and you had to either empty the cereal out in a large bowl (if your parents were feeling friendly) or wait until you ate enough cereal to find the toy surprisingly one morning when it fell out! Her toy was beside the bag inside the box. Easy to find!

Another thing that has been going on this week that I really feel I need to mention is business. We have added new products to our online store that I would love for you to check out. Unique Diva Boutique is growing! Check out our new line of Bath and Body products that are so cute for kids, bath bombs and our Christmas section.

Next week I will be publishing a video of my "Stupid People Trick" followed with my daughter's video of her trick, funny stuff! Mrs. 4444 from Half Past Kissin' Time requires anyone who gives her a blog award to do this and well.... I gave her an award. It has taken me long enough but I plan to post it soon. You will want to see me make a fool of myself just to impress someone in the blog world, LOL, the things we do...

Also I need help with posting a video. Comments/suggestions welcome. I somehow have a video of my son that is sideways. I know you are thinking, what idiot videos sideways? Well in my defense it was with my digital camera so I really didn't think anything of turning it on the side to view better. Almost a natural thing when taking photos. So this short video clip is sideways and I can't find a way to turn it. The option of turning photos around as many times as you wish isn't there when it comes to the video. Does anyone know how to do this?

Last but not least. If you have been to my blog before did you notice now that my logo is larger? The photo of the girl journaling at the top? How about the fact that the middle column is wider and the print is a little larger? Doesn't it all look GREAT!? I have Christina Coleman to thank for all her hard work. Visit her blog over at Retro Designz.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hits Home

Wow, where to start. I have to admit I have kept all my blog posts pretty light hearted so far and this one is going to be deep. For all of you bloggers out there, have you ever thought about writing a post and almost written a post, yet didn't? Maybe since I am still fairly new to the blogosphere and have not completely cracked out of my shell, it is still hard. Hard to just put it all out there.

Last Thursday I had a blog post I was going to submit that again was very light hearted, witty and carefree. I stopped from submitting it because I ended up having other things on my mind. My friend Teri from Sweet Surprises By Teri called me up from our local children's hospital to inform me that her son who just turned three last Monday has a brain tumor. *Sigh* They took him into surgery first thing Friday morning to remove the tumor. Teri is a very good friend of mine who I met through Noah's Ark Animal Workshop which I started once I found out my daughter was having brain surgery last year. I knew then I would have to stay at home. Teri does other businesses as well so when I opened my store this month she actually created my business tags, coupons and other marketing materials for me. She is truly GREAT! Teri has a four year old son as well that she takes care of full time. This news was devastating, to say the least. Johnathon (Teri's three year old) had not been feeling well for about a month now. He had been stumbling, throwing up, complaining of headaches, etc. First the doc said he had the flu, then it was 'oh he is a typical three year old who is just off balance' whatever like Teri wouldn't know if her son was usually off balance. I mean come on, I know little ones take time learning balance but do they learn it then lose it again right before they turn three? A mother knows when something is wrong. So of course after a few weeks of worrying Teri finally had enough and demanded a scan be done. Sure enough, tumor! Now we talked over the weeks about him not feeling well and even though I could hear in Teri's voice that something was wrong, I NEVER thought tumor. That night I couldn't sleep. I was worried. No, I was scared to death for Teri. I know you are thinking, for Teri?! Don't you mean Johnathon... Yes I was worried about Johnathon of course but for me this was like re-living my daughter's surgery last year. I know what I went through and never wanted anyone to go through that. Of course for those of you who don't know, Gab's surgery and Johnathon's were completely different. Gab did not have a tumor.

A quick recap: Gab had a stroke when she was in utero and was born with Cerebral Palsy, then came Epilepsy, mood disorder and ADHD. For years we had done medication to control her seizures and therapy to help with her CP but last year her seizures got out of control. They were causing brain damage and were happening daily. The neurologist said the only way to stop them was to remove part of her brain. So I, like Teri, had to go through all the warnings of the surgery. Gab had the whole left side removed so we were not sure if she would talk, walk or ever wake up the same, again. The wonderful Make-a-Wish Foundation sent us to Disney World before her surgery, another great story for another day.

Back on track. So I knew the neurosurgeons working on Johnathon and also know there are many wonderful people praying for him. I couldn't stop worrying about Teri. I was so afraid that she would go through what I did. Not knowing what would happen come surgery, not knowing if Johnathon would wake up and know who she was. That feeling never goes away. You can push it down and try to clear the image from your mind but it's there, forever. I went to the hospital during the day Friday to sit with Teri while Johnathon was in surgery. I was not able to stay the whole day due to picking up kids from school. But the little time I was there, seeing Teri with her swollen eyes and worried looks, just broke my heart. The memories of sitting in that surgery waiting room, the same smell, the same lights and sounds... The same fear. The fear of losing your child. The feeling of no control. The anticipation to hear everything went okay, to see your child and to know they are the same. Words truly can't describe it. I was so nervous yet hopeful! When Gab went into the hospital for surgery she was supposed to be in and out in two weeks, well let's say FOUR MONTHS. When she woke up from surgery she knew no one. That night she cried for her mommy and when I went to her side eagerly, knowing she said my name, she did not know me. At one point she asked me to go get her mommy. *Sigh of broken heart* All I kept thinking and feeling last Thursday night and Friday were those same exact feelings again. Scared to death that Teri would have to feel that. Thank God that afternoon when Johnathon came out of surgery he was himself and he knew his parents. YAY! That was so important for me to hear. Unfortunately his tumor was cancer and their hospital road is not yet over. Although they will be able to go home within the next few days, soon they will start the chemo and radiation process. Something I was fortunate to know nothing about.
*Please pray*

Now a year ago when Gab was going through all this I created her a web page to inform family and friends of her progress throughout the surgeries. I created it at Sampa which was great for us. We were able to password protect it and all. I have a ton of photos and stories to go along. Unfortunately I did not continue keeping it updated against popular demand. The difficult times were hard enough for me to manage, writing about it was overwhelming. I believe I am ready now to finish the story. So I would like advice. Should I go back to Sampa and redo her old site or create a blog here? I read how I can make it private for only readers I add, yet they have to create a login. Has anyone done this? It might be easier to have both blogs in the same location. If the readers are required to have a login at either place then would it matter? Advice appreciated.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

SITS Blogathon

Yes! You read that right, there is a blogathon going on right now. Prizes every hour at The Secret is in the Sauce. Go check it out!

When I first started blogging I ran across The Secret is in the Sauce and joined the blog list. I added a button to my blog right away to show that I love comments. The great thing about The Secret is in the Sauce is that they provide daily featured bloggers, weekly featured Saucy bloggers and give away prizes all the time! It is great! I can't wait until I am a featured blogger so I can reach out to new readers (once I have more posts, of course). Until then I have used their site to browse new blogs and have found some great ones!

A blog that I found recently that I just love is written by The Apron Queen, over at Confessions of an Apron Queen. She also has a second blog for reviews which is just as great. I can't wait to try her recommended recipes. BTW did I mention that she is also giving away a prize in the blogathon?

Another lady who has a great blog and is also giving away a prize at the blogathon can be found at Mama Goes Green. I recently took her challenge to eat from home instead of eating out and you will read more about that tomorrow. She has some great ideas on her site and wonderful advice about going green.

Now here is another blog that I found that I just love. Anissa AKA The Queen Bee writes all about homeschooling over at her blog. She has some great halloween party ideas. So cute! She also does blog design which you can check out in her other blog here.

So even though I just gave you five good blogs to check out I wanted to add one more. This blog is the Martha Stewart Blog. No, not just her professional blog she has listed on her business site with ideas and tips. This is actually her up close and personal blog with photos of her life. Kind of neat!

Don't forget to check out The Secret is in the Sauce and get added to the list of blogs to one day be featured. Visit all the blogs you find and don't forget to show some blogosphere love! (comment, people!)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy Fall

As you all know I took the kids to the pumpkin patch last weekend. I just love Fall! It is truly my favorite season. Nice weather, pretty colors, and the season just seems relaxing. Not to mention all the wonderful holidays. Lately I have been reading a bunch of blog posts that talk about preparing for the holidays and avoiding the stress. Does everyone really get stressed over the holidays? Okay, okay maybe I can see why a little... If you know me... I stress to the max everyday so to me the holidays are nothing different. I love shopping for my kids, absolutely love to wrap presents. I can't decorate enough! I am looking forward to this holiday the most because last year we spent several months in the hospital with Gab's brain surgery. We only got to put up a very small tree near her hospital bed. Of course we weren't home to decorate. I didn't wrap presents but by all means the kids were not lacking in anything. They got plenty. I also didn't get to accomplish my favorite BLACK FRIDAY shopping event which I do plan on this year. The rush from fighting working hard to get the good deals before the stores sale out is priceless!

Okay so not everything that comes with Fall is perfect. With Fall comes sickness. T is already on antibiotics from last week getting the sinus infection crap. Gab had a small runny nose which I am sure will come back and Noah suffers from allergies so I know he will spend most of his time sick. That is the part I dread. We went to the zoo for Gab's field trip (again you know) where the teachers could not use enough Purell. So my goal is to try and maintain a healthy fall. I did a search for some free samples of the needed items and ran across this site. Check it out! "Healthy Fall free samples"

I just wanted to say Happy Fall to everyone! My kids are out of school AGAIN on Monday. Seems like they have had several days off this year already. Watch my post later today about the cool 5th grade trip we are planning at the school. I am so excited to take part in it! I went to the meeting last night and volunteered. I will share the news later.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tuesday Toot

It's Tooting Tuesday time again and I am not very happy already... This is literally the fourth time I have redone this post. First I had problems creating the links to add photos. I added the photos and they were not showing up, then I had to publish the post to view it so after I edited it the automatic save feature was not on. Therefore when my computer froze up I lost the whole post. So... let's try again!

Okay this Tuesday I am not only going to toot my horn about my store opening. Since I promised photos of the store I will provide some here:

Now remember these photos were taken last week and the store is still under construction. I promise I will post new photos as soon as I am done with everything. The shelves are already fuller. This is just the preview of what I have been working on.

Now I also want to toot my horn for other things I have been doing recently. Spending more time with the kids. T has started violin lessons and while she is in her lesson after school I take Gab to the park. Here is a priceless photo of our last trip.

Her hair was standing straight up after coming down the slide, priceless.

Our family also recently adopted a kitty. His name is Miso (yes, like the soup) and he is five months old. He is so sweet, cuddles, purrs really loud and pounces my hands/feet during the night when I move in my sleep.

T went out of town for a quick day trip with my parents last weekend. While she was gone I took the little kiddos to the pumpkin patch. They loved it! They got to decorate pumpkins, Noah explored and Gab jumped in the bounce house.

I am also proud of myself for surviving the 1st grade field trip today. It went great, we had fun and all the noisy hyperactive wonderful children did not push me over the edge! :)

That concludes my Tuesday Toot. So.... Toot Toot!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Not So Friday Fragments...

Okay so it's not Friday but I am typing up some fragments anyways... Why? B/c it's my blog... well to tell you the truth b/c I forgot to post it on Friday. No wait that's not the truth, I didn't forget. Matter of fact my blog has been on my mind every day for the past two weeks.

DJane's Thoughts:
"Don't forget to write blog post"
"Blog about store, post photos you took a week ago"
"Announce the giveaway and how everyone can enter"
"Discuss the new menu plan in your blog"
"Post the cute pics from the park for Wordless Wednesday or Thousand something Thursday..."
"Hell just freakin' take time out to blog"
"Hello! Still haven't blogged"
"Blog about Gab's bad doctor's visit"
"Blog about ANYTHING"

DJane's Actions: (not in correct order)
Took kids to the pumpkin patch.
Opened store.
Still working on stocking store.
Still working on tagging all the wonderful items to place in the store.
Took Gab to her follow-up appointment and it went horribly!
Spent the whole day shopping at the Dallas Market Center from wholesalers to stock my store even more.
Almost forgot, been working on two college courses.
Took Gab to the park.
I know there has been a lot more going on then I can think of to type, such as birthday parties we were invited to, sick kids and doc appts. Other normal yet stressful things.

So although none of these are good enough excuses to not blog, they are my excuses. The thing I hate the most or should I say the thing that bothers me the most is that out of all these things I don't feel like I am accomplishing any of them. I love to blog and this is the only thing that is just for MOMMY! Well okay the store and college is for me too but ultimately they will benefit my family as well. The blog is just MINE!

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