Thursday, December 30, 2010

Friday Follow

Happy Friday and New Year's Eve!

This has been an exciting year, and I'm really looking forward to the new year. I hope to (and I may need your help with these):

1. get to 200 Facebook friends before the end of January (and there'll an awesome giveaway from Sweeter than Sweets when Discovering the Me in Mommy's resolution is resolved)!

2. dig deeper with the Blog Dare
a mom blog community

3. be wise with financial resources and my time! =)

If you enjoy giveaways, take a look at my low-entry giveaway list, and feel free to add yours!

Facebook Friend Friday


Low Entry Lowdown

Woman holding roll of admission tickets

Previously Stephanie from The Ten Talents' shared her Low Entry Lowdown with me, but she's no longer doing that. So I'd like to list a few low entry giveaways (less than 100 entries) which end in the next 2 weeks. Feel free to add and share!

**If you're new, you can learn more about The Low Entry Lowdown.**

Centerville Elder Beerman 60%-80% off!

Centerville's Elder Beerman is finally closing, and they're cleaning inventory out rapidly! I bought 9 pieces for my toddler -- each costing $3-$6, marked down from 80% off the lowest price -- for a total of $35! If you have time, it's worth checking out!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Bakers - Holiday Photo Contest

My Christmas bakers, hard at work!

***The picture above enters me into and “2010 Holiday Photo Contest” for a $100 Amazon GC and 18x24 Museum Wrapped Canvas Print. Comments are factored into the judging too; so leave us a note!***

Thoughtful Living Tuesday - Daniel Diet

Various fruits and vegetables on counter

I know -- the topic of fasting for a thoughtful living post sounds bizarre, so let me explain!

Last year, my husband and I participated in a Daniel Fast, which basically involves only eating fruits and vegetables and drinking water, with our church, and we're actually preparing to do one in the new year. A couple of friends did a similar "diet" to detox and lose weight, as part of a plan to retrain eating habits and making proper portion control.

I'm really not a big dieter at all, so really restricting my diet is difficult. Yet there are tremendous benefits to cutting out sugar, white flour/rice, or processed foods, focusing more on eating foods in its pure state. When we finished the fast last year, we incorporated the meat back in but still tried to focus on lots of fruit and veggies. After Thanksgiving and Christmas and all its goodies, it'll be good to refocus on eating properly! I know we'll drop a few more pounds and maybe take several days to get used to it, but in the end we'll be doing much better!

To help me out with the meal planning, I'm trying to generate a menu to draw from. So far I have:
1. Garden Ratatouille
2. Vegetable Soup
3. Meatless Chili
4. Beans & Brown Rice
5. Curried Veggies

And I need more suggestions! So let me know what vegetarian recipes you like, and hopefully I can make it work for us!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Chick-Fil-A: Free Spicy Chicken Biscuit or BOGO Chicken Sandwich

Sign up for a free Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Biscuit coupon. There are a limited number available at each location.

Locally, check your Shopper’s Extra Dec 2010, that is normally wrapped around the Grocery Ads, for a BOGO Chicken Sandwich coupon -- if you missed it this week, you might be able to get one in next week's paper! It is only valid at the Benchwood and Washington Township locations and expires 1/29/2010.

Tropical Traditions Organic Palm Shortening Review and Giveaway

Ever since I made the switch from vegetable oil to coconut oil, I've been thinking about a healthier alternative for shortening, since I have the family recipe for homemade pies! A friend recommended palm shortening, and I had the opportunity to review (and now to give away) Tropical Traditions' Organic Palm Oil Shortening.

As part of our Christmas menu, I wanted to make an apple pie and give the organic palm oil shortening a try! The shortening felt much like Crisco, and while making the crust, it seemed a bit more tacky -- although, my crust making skills are quite weak, and the crusts seem to vary each time I do make them. The dough rolled out the same way it normally does for me, and the TASTE -- it's was great! My husband couldn't tell the difference! The crust was just as flakey as before, and I liked knowing that the pie is healthier. For avid, health-conscious bakers out there, this is for you, since it's not hydrogenated and has no trans fats!

You can purchase a gallon (it's massive) of Organic Palm Shortening for $35.75. (Tropical Traditions often runs specials, which they advertise through their sales email; right now you can get it for $25.95.) Right now, you'll also be able to receive a FREE copy of the book Virgin Coconut Oil, from the Referral program! Choose “Referred by a Friend” and enter User ID: 6608836 on their first online order, and the book will be automatically added to your order. If you need assistance, contact Customer Service.

Tropical Traditions is giving away a gallon of Organic Palm Shortening! This is open to U.S. To enter, you must Like Discovering the Me in Mommy on Facebook. This is required and must be done before the extra entries count! PLEASE leave your name and email address with your entry.

You can do any of these things for an extra entry. Make sure to leave a separate comment for EACH thing you do along with you email address.

1- For ONE extra entry, Follow me via Google Friend Connect.

2- For ONE extra entry, Follow me on twitter and tweet about this giveaway.

3 - For ONE extra entry, Follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter.

4 - For ONE extra entry, Like Tropical Traditions on Facebook.

5 - For ONE extra entry, Enter any other active giveaways.

6 - For ONE extra entry, Subscribe to Tropical Traditions' Newsletter.

7 - For TWO extra entries, Subscribe to my blog via email.

Contest ends at 10pm EST on Sunday, January 16, 2011 when I will draw a winner at random. PLEASE leave your email address in your entry. I will notify the winner, and s/he will have 36 hours to respond!

****This is not a paid post. The opinions are solely my own and may vary from others. Thank you to Tropical Traditions who supplied the products for the review and giveaway!****

I resolve to...

get to 200 Facebook friends before the end of January (and there'll an awesome giveaway from Sweeter than Sweets when Discovering the Me in Mommy's resolution is resolved)! But I need your help to get there!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Back to Working Out!

Aug 2005, London, UK.

After being sick (or feeling sick) for the past few weeks, I'm back to working out! We all know that it becomes easier to procrastinate or avoid doing anything once excuses are lived out. But I finally gave my last excuse and headed to the gym. Honestly, I'd forgotten how good working out made me feel -- I had energy and just felt good about myself!

I'd also forgotten about how sore I can get! I didn't complete the amount of repetitions I normally do because I knew I should take it easier...perhaps it lessened the stiffness at the end of the day! Nevertheless, it's back to regular exercising!

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Real Merry Christmas?


I used to annoy my husband by wanting to put the Christmas tree up before Thanksgiving and leave it up past the New Year, but this year, I'm actually excited to get the tree packed away, even though I do think it's lovely. I think having a very active toddler has curbed my unbridled energy to plan for festivities, and that has bothered me some. But I reflected on some thoughts our pastor presented this past Sunday, about how the first Christmas was not simply happiness and celebrations. For the shepherds, it was -- they were looked down on by society, and yet were allowed to share in unspeakable joy. For Mary, it was joyful but perhaps also disappointing -- she had her first baby in a barn. For the families in and around Bethlehem, it was painful -- boys aged two and younger were killed because of the jealous insecurity of the king.

Last night I spoke with an extended family member whose Christmas is painful because they're still grieving the loss of her father. It does make Christmas and its celebrations a bit more complicated -- perhaps it leaves more hope and anticipation for a second coming.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Panera - BOGO Expresso Drink

Go to and schedule to meet with a friend by email. Just pick a date, a friend and fill out the form to send them an email. Your friend will get the email to meet up and the coupon to use on that specified date only. This deal is good through 1/31/2011, which gives you plenty of time after the holidays and once the kids are back in school.

Thanks, Denver Bargains!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Christmas Week!

Businesswoman sitting on briefcase next to arrows
It's here . . . and today is my last day to get free 2 day shipping on Amazon to get presents on time! Preparation for Christmas this year has been my sketchiest, hence my lack of time online here. In theory, I should be having a grand time (it's always fun in the blogosphere, and I do have lots to be joyful about), but for some reason, I feel like I'm just picking at surfaces of so many things and yet really accomplishing that much. Perhaps I can blame the weather -- for 85% of December, we've experienced below normal temperatures (and way too much snow, in my opinion). I'm a fair, warm weather girl, in so many ways, and this winter has gotten to me. Part of the solution is at my fingers -- I just need to be deliberate and make it a point to get out and do things I enjoy, but often I don't realize that in time and get to the point of not even knowing what I would What do you think?

On a better note, I'm baking some goodies. I'm not a cook. I'm not a baker, but I do bake a few things all right! So I'm preparing a few things for some friends . . . and the postman. I know it's courtesy to tip your newspaper person and mailman around this time, but I always figured they're just doing their job! But our postman has really gone out of his way to be helpful, especially with the packages I've been getting from reviews and giveaways. Since the boxes don't fit in our mailbox, he'll get out of his mail truck, bring the mail and boxes to the door, and actually wait for me to get the door, not like the UPS or FedEx people. I think I'll leave some goodies in the mailbox for the postman tomorrow.

Now to find a fudge recipe . . .

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Friday Follow

Happy Friday! I know for some it's the start of Christmas break -- for me, it's the realization that Christmas is next week! But I'm glad to be here in the blogosphere, and glad to meet you! I'm just a new mommy, trying not to lose myself as I have many roles to play. I'm also looking for new Facebook friends! (And there's a "sweet" giveaway when we get to 200 fans!)

Shoveling snow

Woman with shovel walking on sidewalk
I snuck out while the kids were napping to shovel the driveway -- we had a good 3 inches of lighter, powdery snow. While I was about halfway complete, I saw 4 middle school aged boys walking down, strutting their entrepreneurial wears (to no avail around this neighborhood because either people are out shoveling or just continue to drive over the snow in their driveway, like the people who live to the right and left of us). My husband gives those kids some credit because they're trying to make something for themselves on their free day off, but I don't know ... I can't give them that much credit because not one of them offered to help me. Maybe I'm thinking of myself more highly than I should, but I thought the pink coat would give it away -- isn't it just plain courtesy to help? Anyway, this little lady in her pink coat gets things done.

A bit of a side note -- when looking for images on Picapp, I noticed that only one of the 27 images were of women shoveling; the other 26 were of men. Hmm....

Applied Labels Review

For those needing a solution to labeling your children's belongings in a simple fashion, I've found it! I have the opportunity to sample kid's labels from Applied Labels LLC; they do the trick. They're sharply printed black on white, with an icon, if desired. Definitely versatile, they can be used to label sippy cups, shoes, clothing, or other items. They are also dishwasher safe and lead, BPA, and DEHP- free. The thing I appreciate most though is the value; you can get 30 for $14.95, definitely the best value I've seen for children's labels.
Also of note is Applied Labels LLC's opportunity for child care centers to print at a group-rate discount or even offer label printers.

Stay updated with Applied Labels on their website, but also on Facebook and Twitter too!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thoughtful Living Tuesday -- And Giveaway!

It sure feels like the dead of winter around here -- blowing snow, below freezing temps, drying heat from the furnace (or fireplace for those who are lucky). And for several weeks, we were battling the onslaught of sinus issues, where we did use OCEAN for Kids to help the little one with her symptoms, since she can't really take any OTC medication.

OCEAN for Kids is a non-medicated, specially-formulated saline spray, even with a kid-sized nozzle. It's safe (and our pediatrician recommended it when little one was a teeny baby) for newborns up to pre-teens, providing (according to press information):
General moisturizing during dry climates and cold temperatures, and while spending time in enclosed spaces (e.g., classrooms, train rides, air travel, etc.)
Relieving allergy, cold & flu symptoms
Relieving congestion by thinning mucus
Reducing nosebleeds from dryness

I didn't realize that OCEAN has products for adults, like this OCEAN Complete, which is a 2-in-1 solution for relief from nasal congestion but also can be used for sinus irrigation, a great alternative (in my opinion) for pouring saline into your nostrils for rinsing. There is also OCEAN Premium, for people suffering from dry nasal passages, nose bleeds, nasal congestion, or allergies. This video tells you more about OCEAN Complete.

I trust OCEAN to provide excellent products to use on my child and also for myself. I also like the fact that the saline solution is formulated with moisturizers too. Especially with this winter/cold/flu season, we will all be using OCEAN's products!

Win It!!

You can also win ALL three bottles
by liking Ocean's Facebook Page; please leave a comment with your name and email address. This is required and must be done before extra entries count!

Open to US only.

Extra Entries!

You can do any of these for a extra entries. Make sure to leave a separate comment for EACH thing you do, along with your email address.

1- For ONE extra entry, Follow Discovering the Me in Mommy on Twitter.
2- For TWO extra entries, Like Discovering the Me in Mommy on Facebook.

Contest ends at 10pm EST on Sunday, January 2, 2011 when I will draw a winner at random. I will notify the winner, and s/he will have 36 hours to respond.

****This is not a paid post. The opinions are solely my own and may vary from others. Thank you to Robin Leedy & Associates, on behalf of OCEAN, who supplied the products for the review and giveaway!****

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cold - Flu - Allergies?!? = Yuck

a box of tissues
This month has been a bit of a blur of tissues, coughing, sneezing, Nyquil, and major sinus issues. The sickness hit us around Thanksgiving and finally is easing its grip on us! No amount of handwashing kept the bug away. I think the little one caught it first, and then it was passed around -- I have a strong hunch that once someone started to feel better, the virus mutated and attacked again because my husband and I had the hardest time trying to shake it! We went through a bottle of apple cider vinegar, and I even tried "Sovereign Colloidal Silver," which according to the man at the health food store, is a natural sort of antibiotic...still trying to find out more about that! Anyways, I sure hope we've done our time for feeling yucky this cold/flu season!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Handmade for the Holidays

I saw that graphic at Sweet Bird Boutique and thought it'd be perfect to highlight a few favorites (and hopefully provide you with more options) for Christmas! I've interacted with a number of Etsy store owners, and most of them have been extremely gracious and kind, often going out of their way to make things right. So if you're still looking for the right gifts (as I am), check them out to find unique presents for your loved ones!

Piccadilly Circus Designs has custom baby, toddler and kids number and initial shirts and whimsical appliqued clothing for any and every occasion. You can also read my review of a toddler's custom shirt here.

The Owl & The Firefly has many whimsical and fun hand-crafted items for almost everyone in the family! You can read my review on her wrist cuff watch here.

Sweeter Than Sweets has beautiful items for little girls and also these hooded towels...which I love! She's also going to give one away when Discovering the Me in Mommy reaches 200 Facebook Fans! =)
Stay tuned for part two! =)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


About a year ago, I started to read and follow more blogs, thinking that creating my own was just too much for me. Friends suggested that I myself blog, but I quickly and simply wrote them off! But in the summer of 2010, I decided to give it a try, and here we are, still striving!

As I look back at this last year's adventures, I'm so thankful for people who've believed in me and in this blog. I'm grateful for those friends who suggested and then supported me in the creation of Discovering the Me in Mommy! And I'm extremely grateful for my first few sponsors who believed in me to trust their products into my hands. My very first giveaway was a gift from a now extremely successful giveaway blogger, who referred me to the company. My second giveaway was one that I just stuck my neck out to ask the owner -- and for that, Martha at N-fini gets my Believe award! And if you need shapewear to look your best at those parties, N-fini has quite the selection -- you'll find effective and comfortable solutions there. They're also offering more of a selection for apparel too, even eco-friendly options.

10% off Athletic Recovery Socks 125x125

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Baby it's cold outside

Have you heard what I heard?

Said the cold wind to the simple blogger, "Have you heard what I heard? A bug, Wonderbug, coming to you soon!"
Kolcraft will soon be unveiling Wally Wonderbug and friends in a new activity center, with lights, music, sound, and movement! But there'll even be more of Wally to be found on his own site, and don't worry -- Wally has a twin sister Wanda! Stay tuned...we find more out in January!

Disclaimer: I will be given a chance to win $100 for offering a sneak peak!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thoughtful Living Tuesday - Guest Post

Spa montage

I "met" Joanna at a Twitter party and asked her to write about how she uses vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils to clean her house -- I figured it was fairly simply, but didn't know the exact amounts, since I'm using a product which gives me measurements to put into their containers. But it is so simple I don't need to make those kind of purchases and can save by making my own!

Baking soda so simple

You clean your home diligently and yet more and more evidence is coming to light that the mass of luminous blue, green and yellow household cleaners that huddle underneath the kitchen sink, especially those with triclosan in, may not be a good thing in the environment.

So what are you to do if you wants a dust & grime free home but without the side effects of synthetic chemical based cleaners?

Fortunately, the solution is relatively simple; baking soda, white vinegar and a few drops of your favourite essential oil. Bingo! Household cleaner extraordinaire.

The recipe is, depending on the size of your bottle:

A few spoons of baking soda
Cautiously add some vinegar (the combination of baking soda and vinegar can be exciting, thus add slowly!)
Top up with cooled boiled water
Add a few drops of lemon or orange essential oil.

Put the lid on and shake well.

Baking soda is really effective at removing grime from ovens, baths, kitchen counter tops and I have been known to put in stinky training shoes, and dust out after a day or two. This spray cleaner can also be used on sinks, toilets and mirrors, just use an eco-cloth to remove any residue.

Vinegar is acidic and naturally good at keeping things clean. The combination of essential oils in this simple eco-friendly cleaner provides natures antibacterial agents, in the form of essential oils, and is more than enough for a normal house.

Triclosan, the common ingredient in many anti-bacterial household cleaners, was developed for hospitals and yet many American homes now have antibacterial soap, deodorants and toothpastes all containing triclosan. There is an illusion that if a little bit is good then more is best but I would disagree and say that when it comes to having a clean house, there is little substitute for soap and scrubbing, with a few essential oils.

My favourite essential oils are: organic lemon, orange and lavender. These three powerful little bottles are great for keeping your house clean but also smelling heavenly without a synthetic chemical in sight.

This winter why not aim to ditch the expensive shop bought cleaners and create your own, it will save you money as well as breathing in toxins. Are you up for the eco-friendly cleaner challenge?

To learn more about simple, effective ways to Detox your Body and our World™ with Joanna visit

©Actual Organics 2010

Mrs Joanna Runciman, BSc(Hons), CMC
Detox your Body and our World™

Friday, December 3, 2010

Low Entry Lowdown

Woman holding roll of admission tickets
I've wanted to share some low entry contests I've seen, but didn't want to steal The Ten Talents' thunder of her Low Entry Lowdown. But Stephanie is sharing her Low Entry Lowdown with us! So enter and win (and add more giveaways that we don't know about)! =)

**If you're new, you can learn more about The Low Entry Lowdown.**

Newly Listed Entries
$25 gift card (choice of 3) -- ends 12/4
National Geographic Kids Atlas -- ends 12/6
Spoonful of Comfort -- ends 12/7
Uncommonly Cute Tee -- ends 12/8
$25 Dali Decal gc -- ends 12/9
Coobie Bra -- ends 12/10
$25 EcoMom gc -- ends 12/10
2 $10 Victoria's Secret gift cards -- ends 12/11
Trim Tread Shoes -- ends 12/12

Previously Listed Entries
$25 Anthropologie gc -- ends 12/3
$15 Ilze's Memories gc -- ends 12/3
Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil -- ends 12/5
$35 CSN gc -- ends 12/5
Toddler Board Books -- ends 12/6
Secret Science Team Kit -- ends 12/6
Baltic Amber Teething Necklace -- ends 12/3
$50 Plastic Jungle gc -- ends 12/4
The First Years Jet Stroller -- ends 12/4
$50 REI gc & Breathe Right Nasal Strips -- ends 12/4
$25 AppleCheeks gc -- ends 12/4
KinderGlo Portable Night Light -- ends 12/5
$25 Kiki's Maternity gc -- ends 12/5
$75 Sears gc -- ends 12/6

Please only enter those giveaways that end within 2 weeks and have less than 100 entries! Thanks :)

Please only enter those giveaways that end within 2 weeks and have less than 100 entries! Thanks :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Shutterfly - 2010 Christmas Cards & Opportunity to Earn $25 GC for bloggers!

I'm a huge fan of Shutterfly (and I think my family is too) because we use their personalized cards so often -- my husband has one for his birthday and Father's Day, and all the grandparents had one for their birthdays! These cards are well-constructed and great for displaying pictures -- I know our cards are still displayed (all over the world) even though the events celebrated are now over! And I do appreciate the variety of designs and themes.

Previously I wrote about Shutterfly's new Christmas card designs and Shutterfly even graciously offered cards for a review and giveaway (sadly that's ended). I still have to design a few more cards, and I'm going to order a few in different themes -- I like variety! Here's a preview:

Lord Has Come Religious Christmas 5x7 folded card
Make a statement with custom Christmas cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Currently Shutterfly has Christmas cards discounted by 20%-30% as well as discount on some of their popular products. You can see all the specials here.

***Bloggers: you might already be aware of this promotion.
Help us spread the word. Embed project and receive a $25 gift certificate. Here's how:
Embed your project on a blog or Web site you own. Email an active link (no screenshots, please) to the Web page containing your embedded project to: We will confirm placement and reply to your email with a discount code.
Limit one per customer. See terms & conditions.

Free Photo Calendar -- Today Only!

Too bad we already made our calendars, but here's a free custom calendar from VistaPrint! From the email I got, it should be free, with free shipping! See more here.

Photo Collage Wall Calendars
1 for $19.98 FREE
Get Started