Monday, December 22, 2008

We Drove All Night

First we were going, then we weren't. Then at the last minute I told my Mom we're going to see Celine!! And we didn't look back.

Our drive down to Indy was awesome and Ivy slept the whole way. We braved what felt like negative 50 degrees from the parking lot to the stadium with Ivy bundled in the sling (as my Mom prayed Oh, God dear Jesus let us make it) and this is what adventures in babywearing is really like.

Ivy was just as much as an attraction as Celine. But once the show started no one could take their eyes off the stage.

She is everything you'd imagine- beautiful, flawless, and personable- I loved the moments that she just chatted with us. And I don't think she's even capable of hitting a wrong note.

My mom was in awe. She couldn't find her words and said I hope she sings that...that... boat song!

And she did. The last song of the encore was My Heart Will Go On.

But my favorite part of the whole entire night (and worth every minute of our drive there and back, the arctic temps, and losing a contact during the third song which meant I watched the rest of the show one-eyed) was during Because You Loved Me. I got a little choked up and tapped my Mom on the shoulder. And told her I loved her. And I will never ever forget that ever.

Call it cheezy and predictable, whatever you want. That was our moment.

I love you, Mom.

There's still time- take your Mom or a loved one to see Celine. You'll never forget it.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

We're Taking Our Chances!

Ok, sooooo it may be negative 5 degrees outside and roads all icy and windy conditions that only a crazy person would want to drive in... but my Mom and I are NOT going to miss Celine Dion's Taking Chances Tour in Indianapolis tonight. I mean, how could we???? This is one of my Mom's dreams, to see Celine. When I was offered tickets by One 2 One Network , I knew immediately that I must take her!

I65, we do not fear you!

We'll be leaving in just a few minutes. You can keep up with tonight's adventure by following me on Twitter.

If you're a fan of Celine Dion or just love great live entertainment, check out Celine’s Taking Chances World Tour. Her North American tour dates have been extended into February ’09 so take a look and see if she’s coming to your town. Celine’s concert tickets may just be the perfect gift for a friend, family member or yourself. See what the show is like here.

And while you're here, you should sign up for One 2 One Network - (please let them know that Stephanie Precourt sent you!) I am SO thankful for this amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Because Even 7-Year-Olds Care How They Look In Their Sleep

I don't know how it is at your house, but Santa always brought pajamas for us on Christmas Eve- there's just something about new pjs under the tree. They're just better that way.

I think I heard that St. Nick is shopping at The Children's Place this year... considering you can get the cutest things for all the kids- from baby on up to size 14! And it is a Mother's dream because you can even make them all match. And as much as I thought I'd never do that to my children, well, let's face it- it's fun.

The new pajamas like the Rocket Pj Set for only $16.50 are my boys' favorite. I love sleepwear in separates and how they feel. My kids love the cool patterns and hip style.

I'd like for you to stop into The Children's Place and do a little shopping with a $30 gift card I'm giving away here. Just leave a comment letting me know your favorite Children's Place sleepwear item and I'll choose one person at random this Friday 12 pm CST. That way hopefully you can get it in time for your holiday gift giving!

One entry per person and US entries only.

Contest has ended. Congrats to Irishmama at Adventures In Multi-Tasking!

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rollin' With The Homeyz

Like many parents, I definitely do not think my kids need one more toy. And if they are going to get something new to play with I'd rather it be educational or something they can be creative with. This past weekend we had the opportunity to check out the very awesome Ridemakerz (think Build-A-Bear but with cars .)

Kids of all ages (this includes adults!) - boys and girls- will love showing their personality by personalizing and building their own car. Customized to be exactly their own and one-of-a kind every step of the way.

Upon entering the store you choose the body of the car you want to make. It could be a small hot rod or monster truck. So many to choose from and some start as low as $12!

Next you'll choose what sound you'd like it to make, the tires and rims, and then put it all together while you get TIMED just like a real pit crew. (And I just learned all this jargon while we are there so if I am totally getting the wording wrong, stick with me!) By the way, I did it under a minute while babywearing thankyouverymuch!

After you've got your car all put together (you can even make it remote controlled if you want!) then you can pick out decals and accessories. Check in at a computer at the end to make your license plate and finish up with all your deets.

Every step of the way is an adventure. MY favorite part was also my boys' favorite part- where you just let them go and the Ridemakerz specialists assist the kids with putting their vehicles together while making it tons of fun. The whole place is a party!

You can hear all about it from my boys in the video below. It's too cute- you must watch.

You can definitely make some awesome cars in any price range. This Friday - you know, the biggest shopping day of the year- Ridemakerz is offering a free radio control upgrade, worth $25!

Win! I've got a $75 Ridemakerz gift card to give away here! Use it at a Ridemakerz location near you OR jump online and create your own without leaving the house! Just leave a comment letting me know the ride you'd chooze! Let the kids get it on it, too- the Ridemakerz website has lots of fun stuff to play around with!

Contest has ended! I LOVE it when chooses a low number! It was comment number 3! Erin from School Teacher By Day, Superhero By Night!

One entry per person and open to US residents only. Winner will be chosen at random after 11:59 PM Wednesday December 3.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Reach It With HP!

Going to the Blogher Reach Conference in San Francisco next month? Want an extra $250 for your trip- thanks to the terrific masterminds who care about us women bloggers over at HP?

HP is so awesome that not only did they give me $250 to attend the conference, but they wanted to give me an extra $250 to give away to one of you to use for Blogher, too!

So, here's the super easy details:

Be sure you're following me here on Twitter. Tweet about this contest including this url in your tweet. And/Or post about this contest on your blog including this url and a link to HP in your post.
Make sure to leave a comment here with a link to your tweet or post so I don't miss your entry. Contest is closed.

You must attend the Blogher conference to win.
Tweets and posts about this contest must remain up until the contest has ended. I'll choose the winner by July 1st so that you can get your money in time and make the proper plans and such. Aren't going to Blogher? Then be a friend and tell someone that is!

CONGRATS! Amy In Ohio is the winner!!

There are still a couple opportunities to win $250 from HP here at To Think Is To Create if you enter by July 7 and 5 Minutes For Mom until July 8.

Hope to see you there. Thanks, HP!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Look Who's Got Their Hanes On Now

It's summer and families are traveling. Well, many are traveling. Some are staying close to home for vacations, but I
know almost all of us would love a chance to visit Disney World during its Year of A Million Dreams. You know how I heart Disney. And Hanes, the brand we all love, wants you to "Vacation in Comfort"- offering a chance to win a Walt Disney World vacation when you buy specially marked packages of Hanes products.

Enter now through August 30, 2008. Seven winning families will be drawn around September 21.

This week the Travel Mom Emily Kaufman will be sharing her tips here on how to make your family getaway fun & stress free!

Win! I've got a $25 Hanes gift certificate to give away to one of you! Just leave a comment here telling me your travel plans this summer, or a really funny travel experience. Would LOVE to hear your stories! One entry per person. Winner will be announced here and at
Prizey Winners by Monday June 23. Contest is now closed.

Congrats to Andrea, the big winner! Enjoy your summer vacation!

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Picture Perfect

I love to take pictures. Of my kids. Of my shoes. But I never ever develop them. They just end up in my computer in a little folder that will maybe someday get backed up onto a CD if I get organized (not likely.) I am a blogger, not a scrapbooker. So rarely will you find a photo album at my house and if so, it's from 2002. Seriously.

So, of course I am head over heels that the digital world is coming to me and making it oh so easy and convenient to create beautiful photo memories of my family that actually come off the computer and onto my end table. In less than one hour. That's how I roll.

Oh, HP, you speak the Mom language. Offering a wide range of Photo Creation services such as photo books, calendars, posters, announcements, and more... the always-last-minute gift givers are now always covered. Just take your photos on CD, DVD, USB, or memory card and pop it into one of the HP Photo Creations Computers at a photo center near you. In easy step-by-step touch screen fashion, you turn your memories into art that will be in your hands within the hour!

I stopped into our local Meijer to try it out (don't I look cute?) and had a fabulous leather photo album created of favorite photos of my boys from the past year. I chose where the photos were positioned in the book and what color background and designs would be included. We did a little shopping
while we waited for it to print and it was ready in about 30 minutes. For the price you'd normally pay just for an album, I had a bound book with pictures. HP doesn't disappoint- next I plan to make a fun collage for the boys' playroom, and right now they are offering a free one here when you create a 16X20 poster!

The photo album was perfect. Would be a fabulous gift, but this one I'm keeping for myself. My boys were even more excited to look through it- I brushed aside the guilt that I hadn't done this sooner, and vowed to keep up with such a treasure and tradition.

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Friday, May 2, 2008

I Left My Heart In Disney (And My Black Sweater, Too)

This week's Destination Disney is about planning your trip and since the Mom Blogger Mixer was my first time there, ever, I don't know what I have to offer. But I can share what I've learned and what I'll do when I do get to plan our family's first trip to Disney World.

Check the Disney Calendar for the best time to go and if anything special is planned that my family might want to participate in. Hello, Star Wars Weekends.

Utilize the Walt Disney World Moms Panel.

Consider what our food arrangements will be and get a pre-paid dining plan pass at discounted cost or book a room with a kitchenette so we can have meals in our room. Or both.

Make a list of what to pack and pack that list so I won't forget anything when we leave to go home. Like I did with my favorite black sweater... somewhere in my Beach Club Resort hotel room I'm sure. Sticks out bottom lip.

View gorgeous photos Disney took of us Moms here and view our group flickr photos here.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Destination Disney: The Magic

It's true- I'd never been to Disney World and this time with the first ever "Mom Blogger Mixer" I was going for the very first time- without my children! From the moment I arrived, I felt the magic.

Maybe it was that I was allowing myself to feel anything and everything that weekend, open to all the possibilities, but I did feel carefree and like a child again. And that, my friends, is a magical experience in my book.

One of the most common excuses I hear from parents about why they haven't yet gone to Disney World is because they "want their child to be old enough to to remember it." But any anyone that has witnessed the wide eyes and wonder the first time a child has his own Disney experience will tell you that you, as the parent, are creating your own memories, too. Memories that are yours to remember forever.

The entire weekend was filled with surprises and encouragement and laughter. All in the backdrop of the fairy-tale Disney World setting. You can read about my first day of the Mom Blogger Mixer here, and the first night here. Saturday is recapped here and Sunday's post sums up the magical weekend here, including photos and a listing of all the bloggers that attended.

Here's Cooper & Me looking oh so cute. Photo taken by Elizabeth.

View gorgeous photos Disney took of us Moms here and view our group flickr photos here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's A Green World After All

One of the first things I learned about Disney World was in the car ride with Sean, the Disney Cast Member taking me & Elizabeth to our resort. Disney World spans over 40 miles, and 1/3 of that is preserved as a wildlife conservation area that will never be touched or developed. This was put in effect from the very beginning by Mr. Walt Disney.

Saturday morning at breakfast we had an opportunity for a Q & A. We asked many questions that we felt other Moms might not know about Disney. One of my questions was very honest- many of my friends (and me included) think of Disney World and associate it with consuming and waste and unhealthy eating. It's just a misconception that comes to mind! I wanted to know just where Disney World stands in this respect.

What I found out was surprising and enlightening:

At Walt Disney World Resort, conservation and environmental sustainability are not only part of a long-term commitment to responsible stewardship, but also are key business components evident in day-to-day operations.

Recycling is a big part of waste management at Walt Disney World Resort. Maybe you've already heard about the underground pipes in the Magic Kingdom that suck trash straight from the trash cans. I did not know about this! Sorting and recycling and all sorts of trashy goodness goes on under there to minimize the massive waste we create while on vacation! Our room at the Beach Club Resort had a nice note on the garbage can that encouraged guests to use the bags provided to dispose of their recyclables.

Walt Disney World Resort is switching to more efficient and environmentally friendly lighting all across the property. Even Cinderella's Castle glows "green" during the holidays with more than 170,000 LED white lights to glisten the Castle.

Walt Disney World Resort’s approach to water conservation begins with using less water where possible, and maximizing use of reclaimed water.

In 2008, Disney completed the state’s Green Lodging designation for all 23 resort hotels – representing the largest number of Green Lodging -certified hotels in the state. To achieve this special designation, resorts must focus on five categories: water conservation, education and awareness, waste reduction, energy conservation and indoor air quality.

Of course these are only a small portion of the ways that Disney World is showing its commitment to growing green.

While I was at Disney World, I made sure to use my own reusable bag for all my purchases (I carried this lovely Mi-Bag that I won from Mummy's Product Reviews And I LOVE it!)
You can also see in the pic above of Amy & me at the Castle that I even wore my Green Love tee on Saturday, Disney's "green" day!)

I can't wait to share about the healthy eating options available while you visit Disney World, and the amazing assistance you can receive if you or your children have food allergies! Stay tuned...

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Disney Thank You

Sunday morning we had a Character Breakfast at Cape May's in the Beach Club Resort, where we were staying. I had been eyeing the waffles from the pictures in our elevator all weekend. So I had a Mickey waffle with butter and syrup- delish. The buffet there was humongous and I figured I'd balance out the waffles with some steamed asparagus- Mmm! And then one biscuit & gravy. I think I ended up unbalanced after all.

Amy P and I pose with Dale. Aren't we cute.

After breakfast we take a group photo in the courtyard and are soon off to tour family suites at the All Stars Resort.

Front row: Kim, Darcie, Tracey, Elizabeth, Amy P, Amy M
Middle: Kris & Charles, Jo-Lynne, Lori, Jennifer D, Erin, Gabrielle
Back: Cooper, Jennifer J, Mia, Me, Mary Beth, Christine

After the tour, our time in the magical World of Disney was coming to an end. Many Moms hugged and parted ways- off to explore the parks and ride more rides. Some head to the pool. Darcie & I went straight to Downtown Disney and got last minute souvenirs for our little ones at home. (Hello, Lego Store.) We had bbq chicken quesadillas (or quesadilly-yas as we heard one person say) at Wolfgang Puck Express.

Quickly we hurried back to our hotel to catch the Magical Express to the airport. Kim & Charles, Darcie, and I rode together. We parted ways and it was so bittersweet to say goodbye to these new friends, but so good to head back home where we belong.

Here's the list of the fabulous women I am so blessed to now have in my life:

Amy of
The Lady Bug And Her Blogging Mama & Mums The Wurd!
Amy of
Christine of Boston Mamas

Cooper of The Motherhood & Been There
Darcie of The Walt Disney World Moms Panel & Such The Spot
Elizabeth of Table For Five
Erin of Manic Mommies
Gabrielle of Design Mom
Jennifer of Snapshot & 5 Minutes For Mom
Jennifer of The Mom Salon
Jo-Lynne of Musings Of A Housewife
Kim of The Walt Disney World Moms Panel & Stop A Moment
Kris of Clever Parents
Lori Seaborg of Just Pure Lovely
Mary Beth of Cheaper By The Half Dozen
Mia Cronan of Main Street Mom

Tracey of Suburban Diva

And huge thanks to Maria Bailey of BSM Media for thinking of me and going to bat for us Moms. She makes it her mission to
have the Mom voice of influence be heard loud and clear! Her relationship with Disney is the reason I was there.

The Disney family was more than accommodating and such a pleasure to spend the weekend with! Thank you Michelle & Joyce and all the other amazing Disney Cast Members that made this trip a dream.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I Meant What A Night...

After lunch we did someyhing VERY cool that I'll have to see if I can tell you about! Then we had some free time to spend at Hollywood Studios so Gabrielle, Amy P, Elizabeth, Darcie & I walked around a bit, and enjoyed just sitting and chatting to rest our tired selves.

4 pm we head back to our resort and have about an hour or so to chill. Hot bath for me and a change of clothes.

5:45 Amy P & Darcie come to my room and we walk down to the lobby. Soon we see limos waiting for us - we're off to the California Grill and are surprised to find our private room overlooks the Magic Kingdom. Breathtaking. The food was phenomenal to say the least . I try the California vegetable rolls while sipping my virgin cosmo. A Disney chef is at each of our tables. I'm seated next to Joel, the director of special diets! Perfect!! Erin (Manic Moms), Christine (Boston Mamas), Gabrielle, Maria, Kris, Amy M, Amy P , and I have the best table with a view of the castle & sunset! If only I could describe the food! A delicious goat cheese ravioli in sundried tomato broth was the 1st course. Then a beautiful salad that I didn't catch the name. Mango sorbet to cleanse the palate. Snapper with a curry sauce & fresh rice cake, pork loin and something, BBQ filet with asparagus are the main course and no I didn't eat all that! Dessert was a lava cake with raspberry sorbet.

8:45 back in limo to Cirque du Soleil. A-Maze-za-zing. Wow. Beautiful. Indescribable. After the show we stay and meet the singer and ballet dancer- both moms, too. Back in limo to hotel. Need to pack & be ready for our character breakfast in the morning!

What A Night!

Last night after dinner we walked through Epcot to a roped off area on the water - drinks and fabulous desserts awaited us- the coffee was fantastic complete with cream, flavorings, and a rock candy swizzle stick! It was very dark and soon the fireworks show began. We had front row seats. Such an experience.

I need to take a moment and just say how incredibly awesome the other Mom bloggers are here. I can sit next to someone new each time and we just connect. One thing that stands out is the fact that most of us have 3 or more children. It's so great to be around people that DON'T look at you crazy for having four kids. And every single woman is beautiful inside and out.

After the fireworks we chose to stay for the "magic hours" and walked to the big Epcot ball where we rode the ride ( I forget the name but it was about journey through time.) I rode with Jo-Lynne and we had so much fun. Soon we were headed. Back to our hotel.

Late, thoughts from the day spinning in my head I indulge in a hot bubble bath around 11:30pm. I snuggled into bed and fell fast asleep.

6 am wake up and I chill in bed for almost an hour! I just realized there is a tv in my room. I haven't turned it on and don't plan to.

7:30 breakfast at Ariel's and we chat for about an hour with Amy of the Walt Disney World Mom Blogger Panel. She answers a zillionquestions that we think Moms want to know about Disney- like vacationing here on a budget ( did you know some of their resorts are under $100?) and healthy food options, Disney's commitment to "green" and the environment (something very important to Walt Disney
himself)- I can't wait to share about all I've learned!

9 am we're in a private bus to the Magic Kingdom. I see the castle- beautiful. Professional group shot and fun photos taken on the lawn.
I help Kris learn to nurse little Charles in the sling. He is a DOLL by the way. Darcie (WDW Mom blogger panelist), Jo-Lynne and I go shopping on main street.
We meet up with the group and are on our way to Hollywood Studios. Lunch at the Hollywood Brown Derby. I share a delicious mixed
greens salad with Kris and order a BBQ chicken w/ flatbread & romaine, green goddesss dressing.... Mmmm!

Friday, April 18, 2008

On My Way

It's 8:51 am and I'm waiting for my 10:41 flight. The quiet time is welcomed and I have a book, magazines, and $7 turkey sandwich to keep me company. I resisted the Starbucks crumb cake... I'm definitely not vegan today.

10:15 I board my plane and I realize any flight going to Orlando is going to have kids...

About hour or so later the drink carts are coming and I'm chatting it up with the gal across the aisle. We realize later that we're going to the same hotel- it's Elizabeth from Table For Five!

Trip goes much quicker as we gab the entire rest of the way.

2:15 Orlando time, we land and are greeted by Sean, Disney's VIP tour guide. He gets my bags and drives us to the beautiful Beach Club Resort- wow.

Check in and receive a pink rose and goodies including fast track park tickets,media passes, and other fancy things I don't know what we'll use for yet!

4 pm Jo-Lynne (Musings of a Housewife) has showered but her hair dryer is broke! So she comes over and dries her hair- our first in person meeting She's just as I imagined all along- after she dries her hair of course! We go down to the lobby and meet & greet with the Disney people and other bloggers. I think there are 18 of us in all and everyone is beautiful and charming and we talk about blogging every breath
we take !!

4:30 -in VIP gazebo with hors d'ouerves and lots of talking MommyBloggers. Soon we all feel lke we've known each other forever. We later
walk over to Epcot through a back entrance and dine in Italy. Amazing. Ensalata Mista with citrus vinaigrette is my appetizer and Canneloni
Al Forno with spinach and brechanel is my entree- divine. My table sits Kris and her baby Charles from CleverParents, Gabrielle (Design Mom), Jennifer from Snapshot & 5 Minutes For Mom, Jen from Long Island Parent, Cooper from The Motherhood, Lori from Just So
Lovely, and Jennifer from Mom Salon.

Desserts come at the insistence of the chef- I took a picture. Mmmmm.....