****Warning: While my post will remain PG, I am referencing and linking to an ADULT website. So please, if you're going to click on any links contained in this post, please do so when your kids are napping or otherwise occupied. The content at Edenfantasys.com is meant for consenting ADULTS ages 18+****
In a couple of short weeks, my husband and I will be celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary. I am so looking forward to celebrating another year of being married to my best friend, and the half that makes me whole. However, during the past 3 years, there have been some major changes that tend to hinder things in the romance department at times. Oh, we're still very flirty and touchy-feely and are very much in love, but after adding 2 babies to our family in the past 15 months, we don't always get the chance to have much "alone time." Whenever we try, the inevitable happens: Someone needs to be fed or changed, or just needs some Mommy or Daddy snuggles. I am determined to somehow make some one on one time with my husband for our anniversary, but I may just have to get a little creative and pray that the babies will give us at least a couple of hours without interruption. This may be wishful thinking, though....We shall see!
We don't ever really get to go out as a couple anymore, and I'm sure our anniversary will more than likely be spent at home. I would still like to make it a memorable day, though. I was trying to think of ways I can make the day just a little more special than normal. Of course, I immediately turned to EdenFantasys for ideas. They are a wonderful online adult shop that carries a ton of products that cater to adults like us, who would love to jump-start the passion and excitement in our marriages and relationships. So I hopped on over to their site and started browsing, hoping for some inspiration. Dan and I like to be goofy and have fun together, so I was thinking of picking out one of their adult-themed couple's games. It would be a nice change of pace, and I must admit, I have a competitive streak, and I have a feeling that if I beat him in one of these games, the rewards could be quite interesting! Or maybe I should keep it romantic, and opt for one of their many massage kits....They even have chocolate varieties, and Dan is a major chocoholic! With EdenFantasys, the possibilities are endless! Hopefully I can come up with a plan that will still give us a memorable anniversary....Even if we ARE stuck at home surrounded by babies!
What would you suggest? How do you make a night in with your spouse memorable? I'm open to suggestions!
***Disclaimer: I am receiving a Gift Card from EdenFantasys for posting about their site and products. No other compensation is being provided. My thoughts and opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
Now here's a sponsor I just KNOW you're all going to go gaga over! Gaga in a GOOD way....Not in a "I'm wearing a bra made of raw meat and Oops! I forgot my pants" kind of way...Not THAT Gaga! Although I can picture Lady Gaga rocking some of Sandy's creations, but I digress....
The next sponsor I am going to announce for my Mad About Mama Mother's Day event is Jewels For Hope. They are an etsy shop that carries very beautiful and unique handcrafted jewelry. I don't know about you, but I absolutely adore handmade goods, whether it be clothing, cloth diapers, beauty products, and yes, even jewelry. Something that is made by hand has a lot more character than anything you'll find at your local mall. Each piece is different, and each piece is painstakingly and lovingly created. I actually wore the piece I received from Jewels Of Hope today when I ran a few errands, and I got several compliments on it! I am not going to post my photos here, though, cause that would spoil the surprise. I'll show you my new favorite accessory in April, during my Mother's Day event!
Anyway, let me tell you a little bit about Jewels For Hope. It is run by a very sweet woman named Sandy, and she enlists the help of her daughter who makes the cutest greeting cards. Sandy also has 2 Black Labs who act as supervisors to make sure the ladies stay out of trouble,lol...Just kidding. Jewels Of Hope carries a wide variety of gorgeous handmade jewelry, such as necklaces, pendants, anklets, and bracelets. They also carry her daughter's adorable greeting cards and one of a kind gift tags. In making her jewelry, Sandy uses the highest quality materials, such as pearls and Swarovski crystals. She also loves using vintage pendants in her creations. Her work is not only unique and colorful, it is simply beautiful as well.
Mother's Day is something that Sandy holds very near and dear to her heart. You see, Sandy was a caregiver to her mother, who had Parkinson's Disease. She devoted her days and nights to caring for the woman who gave her the gift of life during her final years. Jewels For Hope was created while her mother was on Hospice care during the last 6 months of her life, and Sandy, in memory of her mother, generously donates a portion of her proceeds to Connecticut Hospice as her way of giving back. I love the inspiration behind Sandy's work, and I know her mother must be looking down on her with such pride.
In the spirit of Mother's Day and what it means to Sandy, she has very generously offered a beautiful piece of jewelry to one of my lucky readers during my Mad About Mama event. But we're not quite there yet....I know, I know...You want the giveaway now, but good things come to those who wait, ladies! I cannot wait until April 20th when I start my event posts! I won't tell you what Jewels For Hope has donated, but I will say it is gorgeous, and would make a lovely gift for any mama in your life! In the meantime, I would love to show you just a few examples of what Jewels For Hope has to offer:
Oh, and did I mention that the necklace at the top of this post is featured in Wire Jewelry Magazine?
Aren't these pieces just beautiful? I love them! And much more can be seen at Sandy's shop, Jewels For Hope.
Now let's get to the EARLY ENTRIES, for those smart mamas who like to get the early-bird bonus entries! Please leave you entries on this post. There will be instructions on how to redeem them during the giveaway in my Mad About Mama event!
I will keep this simple for you.
EXTRA EARLY ENTRIES:
Nicole V! Nicole, please contact me within 24 hours with a VALID e-mail address within 48 hours to claim your prize! I am trying to hunt down your e-mail address now, and you'll be hearing from me shortly! Congrats!
Crunchy N Yummy Organic Freeze-Dried Fruit Snacks Review And Giveaway! 1 Follower Will Win EVERY Flavor!
So it's official...My toddler, Sophie, is weird. Okay, maybe not weird, but she definitely likes what she likes, and if she DOESN'T like something, she makes her feelings quite apparent! She is quite the little Diva, and if she even remotely disapproves of something, she will literally look down her nose upon it, with a smug little expression, and will toddle off on her merry way and ignore whatever she has taken offense to. It's actually kind of cute! Snobby as all get-out, but cute, nonetheless. So yes, my little girl has very discerning tastes when it comes to food, as well. When it comes to gastronomical preferences, she is very much her father's daughter. She LOVES chocolate and cookies and cake....Daddy condones this. Mama, not so much. (Mamas know better than to load children up with sugary snacks that are full of fat and excessive calories!) Sophie also likes things that are spicy, like buffalo wings and even my Cincinnati Chili! She'll scarf down her veggies happily, too. But the one area that she puts up a fight? Fruits. Hence the reason I say my daughter is weird. I mean, what toddler doesn't like fruit? Well, aside from bananas and watermelon, Sophie HATES fruit. Hopefully it's a phase!
I was browsing online last week looking for a healthy, nutritious way to "trick" my little Diva into eating her fruits. Pie wasn't going to cut it, as that's not a very healthy option. (Although pie IS what my sugar-addicted husband suggested.) While browsing, I came across something I had never seen before: Freeze dried fruit snacks called Crunchy N Yummy. They have 5 different varieties of these snacks: Mango, Papaya, Banana, Pineapple, and Strawberry. I read about the company and looked at the Nutrition facts, and I was elated to discover that these are not your average fruit snacks! A lot of fruit snacks, like the pineapples or apricots you find in trail mixes, are loaded with added sugars. Not Crunchy N Yummy! They are freeze-dried at their peak of freshness to retain all of their wonderful flavor, color, and nutritional value. They are also certified Kosher, and are USDA Certified Organic. Crunchy N Yummy snacks do not contain any preservatives, salt, sweeteners, or gluten.
Crunchy N Yummy also believes in upholding social responsibility to their consumers, their farmers, and to the environment. That's why they only use the finest organic fruits sourced from local farms in South America, and they even preserve the water extracted from the fruits in the freeze-drying process and return it to the farmers to use in the cultivation of the next generation of the delicious, juicy fruits that go into Crunchy N Yummy snacks.
After learning all of this about Crunchy N Yummy, I contacted them to learn more about them. I was thrilled when they offered to send me a full sampling of all of their flavors AND to extend the same product package as a giveaway to one of my lovely readers! How cool is that?! When I received my package, I was immediately impressed by the bright, cheerful packaging and by the fact that these snacks are super light-weight. I love that, since I am already weighed down with gear for 2 babies! These are wonderful on the go.
My husband, my 11 year old, and I then decided to try these snacks. They are unlike any other fruit snacks I have tried, because they truly are crunchy....Think potato chips or pretzels...But they are lighter than those. And the flavors are awesome! It was kind of a contradiction, though! They tasted exactly like the freshest of fruit, but when I think fruit, I think soft and juicy. These are crunchy, which was a delightful surprise. And they can even be used in recipes, like in oatmeal or muffins, or even in stir-fry dishes! And I LOVE the fact that these snacks, while delicious, are absolutely healthy. Don't believe it? See for yourself! Here are the nutrition facts for the Crunchy N Yummy Strawberries:
And yes, ALL of their varieties are just as healthy and vitamin rich!
Now then came the moment of truth....The most critical of testers had her turn to try Crunchy N Yummy! I was a little bit worried, but hoped that the crunchiness of these snacks would deter her from throwing them down in protest. I gave Sophie one of each of the flavors for starters. And guess what? My picky, picky princess ate them! And then she grabbed the bags and wanted more! Success!!
Crunchy N Yummy snacks definitely live up to their name. We really enjoyed them! Our favorites were the strawberries, mangoes, and papayas, although all of them were quite tasty. I plan on ordering some more to keep on hand as Sophie Snacks.
Want some of your own? You can buy Crunchy N Yummy freeze-dried snacks on Amazon or at select other locations. Their website has a complete listing of retailers as well.
Crunchy N Yummy has been super generous and would love to send one of my lucky followers their own assortment of Crunchy N Yummy snacks! (The same package I received.)
Here's how to enter:
You MUST leave a valid e-mail address so I can contact you if you win! I had to re-draw a winner recently because they did not leave an e-mail address! Also, if an entry is worth 3 entries, you MUST leave 3 separate comments for those entries to count.
This giveaway will close on Friday, April 8th, at 11:59 PM. I will choose my winner using Random.org, and my winner will be posted here on my blog as well as contacted by e-mail. The winner will then have 48 hours to respond to me to claim their prize. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture, and I will then draw another winner. Good luck!
Disclaimer: I received sample products to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided, and my opinions are 100% honest, and are my own. Your experience may differ.
First ladies, let me tell you that Michelle, the owner and founder of Blended Naturals has been an absolute pleasure to work with. She is a beautiful lady, inside and out! I am excited to announce that Michelle has generously donated a wonderful prize for one of my readers in celebration of my Mad About Mama Mother's Day event. I won't tell you what the product is, since that would spoil the surprise, but I WILL tell you it smells absolutely heavenly! So good, in fact, that I may just have to order several for myself! I would bathe in this if I could! But I have an odd obsession with always smelling good and feeling soft. Seriously. Any of my friends in real life will attest to the fact that I probably own more "girly" products than anyone has a right to.... My products have taken over the space underneath 3 sinks, plus I have a linen closet full, as well as a bookshelf that is now literally a bath, beauty, and cosmetic shelf! And while my obsession with these types of products may be more than a tad out of control, I know that I am not alone in the desire to only use the BEST products for my face and body. I love products with tons of natural ingredients that nourish my skin, and the products MUST smell good, too!
Although Blended Naturals is geared primarily towards women of color, (African American, Indian, Native American, or Hispanic descent) and the unique skin care challenges they face, I truly believe that these are products that would benefit ANY woman and keep her looking and feeling her best. I consider myself Caucasian, but I DO have an olive complexion, thanks to the fact that while I am basically a European "mutt" of sorts, I am primarily Hungarian and Croatian. I have dark eyes, dark hair, and a year round tan. If I weren't so conscious of protecting my skin with sun-block and other UV protection, in the summer, I would get extremely dark. However, it is fake bake all the way for this mama, as I do not want to damage my skin and prematurely age, let alone invite skin cancer!
Anyway, enough about me. I want to talk more about the Blended Naturals line of bath and beauty products. Like I said before, these products are geared towards women of color. I know I have several readers out there that fit this description, so I jumped at the chance to include this line in my event. But please, my fellow Caucasian mamas, don't let this deter you! These products are luxurious, moisturizing, and smell better than most other similar products I have encountered. (And I have encountered HUNDREDS of them!) I have spent a lot of time at the Blended Natural's website, and I was blown away by the vast amount of information available there! Michelle has created not only an online store, but a one-stop "Beauty Bible" with everything from recipes for homemade beauty treatments that can save you time and money, to a huge amount of information about various skin conditions IN PLAIN ENGLISH, and different ways you can treat them naturally, safely, and effectively. She also has articles addressing different additives found in many skin care products and the dangers associated with them, how to improve acne with dietary changes, home remedies for sunburns, even a glossary of definitions of words commonly used in the cosmetic industry, free E-books, as well as TONS of tricks and tips to help you always put your best face forward and look and feel your best! Michelle even has a downloadable Beauty Guide for free with subscription to her newsletter!
Also on the website you will find many wonderful products that Michelle has lovingly created with your unique skin care needs in mind. And ALL of the Blended Naturals products contain essential oils that feel great on the skin and smell AMAZING. (I cannot stress the smell enough, ladies!) Also, every ingredient found in these products are free of harsh, skin damaging chemicals and all have names you can actually pronounce! And let's face it...If you can't pronounce it, you probably shouldn't be putting it on your skin!
Blended Naturals offers a myriad of specialized ethnic skin care products aimed towards many different skin types that combat many different skin problems. Here are just some of the categories Blended Naturals offers products in:
Aren't you excited about the giveaway now, after reading all about Michelle and her wonderful product line? I know I am! And I am going to be giving one very lucky reader a product of their own to try! But good things come to those who wait......I know I am counting down to the start of my event in April!
But in the meantime, who wants some extra, early bird entries? I will keep it simple for you! Please leave your extra entry comments HERE. There will be further instructions during the giveaway as to how to redeem them.
EXTRA EARLY ENTRIES:
I normally don't blog about giveaways on other sites, unless it's something I really, really want to win. Well, this is one of those rare occasions. Momma Told Me is having an amazing giveaway sponsored by For All Time, a company that creates beautiful, heirloom quality custom wall-clocks.
I LOVE their clocks, and would love to have one of my own someday. However, if I should win this giveaway, I would not be keeping it for myself. (As much as I would love to!)
I would love to win this and have a clock specially made for some dear friends of mine, who are the God-parents to my babies.
They have been wonderful friends in the truest sense, and they are the nicest, most genuine people you'd ever hope to meet. They are kind and giving, and always there for those they care about. They even took care of my 2 oldest kids while I was in the hospital having Xander, my newest little monster. As soon as I saw these gorgeous clocks, I knew what I wanted to have done with one.
My friends, heck, they may as well be family, lost their mother over a year ago to advanced lung cancer. They even cared for her throughout her illness, and made many personal sacrifices to be there for her when she needed them the most. Their mother was a beautiful, witty, and charismatic woman who has left behind 3 amazing grandchildren who I love like my own kids. Things have not been easy on them, losing their beloved Gigi, and I think it would be awesome to have one of these clocks made with her image so the kids could always remember what a caring and genuine person she was, and how very much she loved them. These 3 kids were her whole world! I even know the photo I would pick to honor her....
So here I am at 6:00 AM blogging away for extra entries, in hopes that I can present them with one of these lovely clocks. They are like family to me, and I would love to see the smiles on those kids' faces if given a clock with their Gigi's smiling face on it. I am a sentimental person, and I would love to give them a gift that has such a special meaning that can be treasured and passed down from generation to generation. They really deserve it.
So head on over to Momma Told Me for YOUR chance to win one, too! Just don't do TOO many extra entries, cause I'd really like a shot at this one! The giveaway is open until March 30th. This would make a wonderful gift for anyone on your list!
Bullying is a topic that comes up a lot in my home. My 5th grade son has had to deal with being picked on by a small group of bullies. I mean, these kids can be truly awful towards him. It makes me sad for them, and makes me wonder what kind of households these children are being raised in, as hate is NOT something that children automatically do. Discrimination is a taught behavior, whether it be learned through bad experiences or even by parental example.
Today, he came home and said he hated them and proceeded to make a comment about their ethnicity. (Which is NOT something I condone or allow in my home.) I could have simply punished him and sent him to his room. But would he really LEARN anything that way? He may have learned to keep his mouth shut around his parents, but that really wouldn't address the problem with his thought process, or teach him that it is never okay to judge someone because they are different than he is. It's okay to dislike someone because they are mean. It is okay to dislike someone because they treat others poorly. But it is NEVER okay to base an opinion on something like race, religion, ethnicity, appearance, size, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or social class.
So instead of yelling, I sat him down for a talk. I asked him WHY he felt the need to include a comment about these boys' races when he was complaining about their bullying. He told me "Mom, I don't like this particular group of people because all 3 boys are part of that group and they're mean to me." (I am purposely leaving the specific group out, as I do not feel it is relevant.) So I asked him if everyone in that group is mean, or if it's just these 3 boys...He stopped and thought, and then told me it was mostly just those boys. I explained to him that you cannot judge an entire race or ethnicity based on the actions of few.
He looked confused and said, "Mom, why does it matter if I hate them? I am just one person, and hate isn't that powerful from one person, anyway."
It made me sad that he felt this way, and I proceeded to tell him a story about how one person's hatred caused the death of (at least) 6,000,000 innocent people. Men, women, and children alike lost their lives and were brutally tortured because ONE MAN decided he didn't like them. I am sure you know the story I am talking about, as it is one of the saddest in recent history. I told my 5th grade son all about the Holocaust, and how 6 MILLION Jewish people were taken forcibly from their homes and sent to concentration camps....How children were ripped from their parents and were forced to work....How these poor people were starved, beaten, shot, gassed, and worked to death....How "doctors" (and I use that term very loosely, as the first and foremost oath of a doctor is to DO NO HARM) performed sadistic experiments on these people....All because they were Jewish, and because ONE MAN, Adolph Hitler, decided he hated the Jews. All because they chose to worship God differently than HE did. Personally, I don't think God cares in what form He is worshiped and I do not feel that any "holy war" is condoned by God. We are all God's children, and no God of mine would mandate the slaughter of any of His sons or daughters.
I even showed him a YouTube video about the Holocaust, so he could see what the hate of one person could do. I watched the tears well up in my 11 year old's eyes as he saw photos of the emaciated people in the concentration camps and photos of the mass graves and the gas chambers....My son was visibly shaken, and he was angry. He was angry that so many innocent people lost their lives. He was angry that anyone would DO such a thing! And he was even angrier when I told him that this atrocity is something that still happens to this day in other countries, but on a smaller scale. He finally understood what ONE PERSON'S HATE has the power to do....
He then asked me these questions:
"Why would God let this happen? Why would God let the Nazis kill so many Jews? If God is real, why didn't He send a miracle?"
This is what I told him:
"God DID send a miracle. The miracle is that ANY of them LIVED."
Lesson learned. Let's stop the hate and love each other. You're not always going to like everyone you meet. But lets not judge based on things we cannot change. Even if we're different, we're all human beings, and all created equal in God's eyes.
Okay, I don't like admitting my Mommy-shortcomings, or admitting that there are things I am just no darn good at....But there are a few things I completely lack the skill to do very well. Math is one of those things,(Mama needs a calculator AT ALL TIMES) and the other is crafting. I can do cross-stitch projects beautifully, but they are so time consuming that with 3 kids, 2 of which are babies, I never find the time to get them done. Aside from cross-stitching, I have no crafting ability whatsoever. I cannot sew, I cannot decoupage, I cannot paint, I cannot crochet, quilt, or knit....Let's face it: When it comes to creating cute and unique, one-of-a-kind gifts for people, I stink. I wish I knew how to do these things, since there are so many occasions when something that is lovingly hand-made would make a perfect gift. I would LOVE to be able to make my children's Easter bunnies or baskets myself, or create a beautiful baby blanket for them. Or maybe a gift for my son's teacher, since she works so tirelessly to provide a quality education for her students. Or a housewarming gift, like a wine bag or table runner, or maybe even some cute coasters.....But, sadly, every time I try and create something, it just doesn't come out right at all. Guess I should stick to cooking! That's one thing I do get right, lol....
That's why I am so excited about this sponsor for my Mad About Mama event! The Krafty Kats is an etsy shop that literally has something for everyone! They specialize in a wide variety of handmade gifts that are sure to please any mama on your Mother's Day list! They offer a HUGE assortments of products, such as gorgeous quilts for mommy or child, a huge assortment of aprons, adorable chenille or minky animals, birthday and new baby banners, even coasters and the most adorable gift card or money holders!
The Krafty Kats is a business that is family owned and run. It consists of a mother and two sisters in the Las Vegas area, who lovingly create each unique item by hand. That's right, not a factory in sight here! I received some wonderful items from them, and while I won't spoil my review post by going into too much detail, I will say this: These items are definitely high-quality, and display expert workmanship. I LOVE the quality that comes out of this lovely shop, and I know you will, too!
Here are photos of just a few of MY favorite items from The Krafty Kats. I think any child would be thrilled to receive one of these very special bunnies for Easter, and I just love the little elephant and New Baby banner. Together, I think they would be wonderful gifts for any new babies on your gift-giving list! And aren't the Moo-Cow coasters absolutely adorable?
This is just a VERY small sampling of the wonderful gift ideas that The Krafty Kats have to offer. They literally have something for everyone, and the ladies there are just so nice!
The Krafty Kats have 3 shops to choose from:
They will be sponsoring a giveaway during my event, but if you just can't wait to get your hands on these goodies, The Krafty Kats are offering my readers a special discount for a limited time only!
If you spend $25.00 or more at any one of their 3 websites, you will receive 5% off your first order simply by using
the code KK1 at check-out! With that kind of savings, you could buy an extra package of Peeps or some more chocolate eggs for your Easter baskets this year!
Time for those EXTRA EARLY ENTRIES! Please leave your extra entry comments HERE. There will be instructions on how to redeem them during my Mad About Mama review and giveaway post!
My 2 lucky winners of the Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce are:
ntiveheart aka jayedee
Congrats, ladies! I know you will love Country Bob's! It really is good on everything! I'm about to order some more, myself!!
I am e-mailing you now! You have 48 hours to respond and claim your prize, or I will have to choose another winner. Thanks everyone who entered! Stay tuned for my Mad About Mama event. I have some amazing sponsors lined up and some wonderful giveaways for you all!
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud mama of two munchkins and a teen. You can read more about me HERE. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
Links We Love :