This will be very brief because I am trying to juggle about 5 million things at once right now....But I just HAD to share the news! The house I have been talking about so much recently is finally OURS! We closed today! Yippee!!!!!!! We leave Virginia behind on Saturday! SO excited!!!
There are some toys that just become instant classics. You know, the ones that childhood memories are made of. The toys that, when outgrown, get stored for future generations to enjoy rather than tossed aside or donated to Goodwill. Certain toys are truly special, and seem to withstand the test of time.
Sure, there are a lot of fancy toys out there with all of the bells and whistles. I don't think I go a single day without seeing about a zillion toys that talk, make sounds, have bright, flashing lights, or are somehow connected to technology. Sure, these things are fun and kids enjoy them, but can they really be called must-have classics?
When I think of great classic toys, one brand immediately comes to mind: Haba. Haba is a German brand that has won just about every award possible for their simple, yet innovative designs. They offer a ton of great products for infants and beyond such as dolls, building blocks, ride on toys, and even infant clutch toys that help to develop fine motor skills and encourage creative play. Most of their toys are completely gender neutral, which works out well in my home, since I have toddlers of each sex.
You see, the folks at Haba put children and their developmental needs at the forefront of their business. They realize that while bells and whistles can be fun, kids are often times most stimulated by simplicity. Bright colors, different shapes, and easy to handle designs are often what kids will gravitate towards first.
Another thing I absolutely adore about Haba is that they most often use wood, such as beech or maple, for their toys. This is fantastic as these are sustainable, renewable materials and contain no potentially hazardous materials like BPA, which can be found in plastics. The lacquers they use are non-toxic and water-based, too!
I was thrilled when I learned that Haba has launched a brand new site just for the US consumer. Here, you can check out all the great products this company has to offer and even check out their many, many awards. There's even a link to the Haba blog which has some wonderful ideas parents can tap into when considering which toys and activities are best for their kids!
People rely on their cell phones for everything today, it seems. Whether it be scheduling appointments, storing birthdays or anniversaries, surfing the web, taking great Instagram photos, or even social networking, cell phones have become an integral part of our everyday lives.
I will be relying on my iPhone 4 that my Dad and his beautiful wife got me for my birthday during our upcoming move...Only not in the way you might expect! You see, we have to travel through the (terrifying) Pennsylvania mountains. I will probably be riding with my husband, whose driving is equally terrifying. So in order to keep from having a full-blown panic attack when seeing the steep drops off of the sides of the mountains, I will be playing Bejeweled Blitz....For almost 8 hours straight. Maybe I will get a new high score in the process. (Hey, practice makes perfect, right?)
I know this sounds a little more than silly, but my cell will be a bit of a security blanket when making this trip, and it will keep me from yelling at my husband as he tries to drive. Imagine a scared woman shrieking things like "Eeeek! Don't go into the far lane!!!! There's a steep drop on that side!" or "Oh My God, we're going to fall to our deaths...Get over to the right more!" Yeah. Not fun.
So I am hoping and praying that my phone's internet connection remains strong and reliable during our move. You see, sometimes it's super-slow for no apparent reason. Replying to text messages, surfing the web, or updating my Facebook status can sometimes be a challenge. Not to mention calls getting dropped out of nowhere! It can be more than a little bit frustrating at times, that's for sure!
Apparently, I am not the only one who deals with wireless woes. A study conducted by U.S. Cellular found that a whopping 43% of individuals are in the 'seven year itch' phase with their wireless provider, noting they are comfortable but suspect they are missing out on something better.
Out of the 1,208 participants polled across four regions of the country, 56 percent of the respondents admitted to being unhappy with their carrier over the past year but only 35 percent of all respondents have ever broken up with their provider.
In spite of this overall dissatisfaction, respondents are hesitant to call it quits. More than one-third of respondents say they stick with their current provider because they believe all carriers are the same, it is too much trouble to switch carriers, or they don’t want to sign a new contract.
That's why U.S. Cellular has launched the Hello Better campaign. U.S. Cellular believes that people deserve better. A mobile phone is supposed to make life simpler and easier to get things done. Your relationship with your wireless carrier should be the same. US Cellular treats their customers like neighbors, not numbers.
In addition to passionate associates, U.S. Cellular provides customers with unique benefits such as the industry’s only points-based rewards program, no contract after the first contract ends, free incoming calls and texts, free Overage Protection and free Battery Swap for your device.
If you'd like to check out U.S. Cellular and the Hello Better program, take a look at their plans by clicking HERE.
***Disclosure:I participated in this sponsored post campaign as a member of One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.***
Welcome to the Zuo Turbo Bar Stool Giveaway sponsored by AtoZStores.com and hosted by Children Teaching Mama. The giveaway winner will receive 4 beautiful Zuo Turbo Bar Stools that retail at $1600!
I LOVE these stools, and would absolutely love to own a set for our new home! We have a great space in the kitchen that these would fit in perfectly.
The Turbo stool has a cozy seat molded from ABS plastic, and sits on a sturdy chrome steel tube frame. These are perfect for commercial or residential use! Just use the Rafflecopter form below to enter & let them know Newly Crunchy Mama Of 3 referred you to enter! There are several daily entry options, so be sure to come back each day to get those entries! The giveaway will end at 11:59pm on Wednesday, August 15th and is open to United States residents 18+!
Hers or His Power Wheels Jeep Event
Hosted by: Mom Blog Society
Event Giveaway Dates: July 30 - August 13
Prize: Fisher Price Power Wheels Jeep- His or Hers
If a winner is selected from outside of the US, they will receive a $100 Amazon Gift Certificate
Styled after the Jeep Wrangler, this 6V battery-powered single-seat Jeep ride-on features fun Barbie styling. This vehicle features a realistic Jeep design with a rollbar.
Fisher-Price Power Wheels Barbie Jeep Battery-Powered Ride-On:
Styled after the Jeep Wrangler, this 6V single-seat Jeep has the Hot Wheels license. This vehicle features realistic Jeep design with rollbar.
Fisher-Price Power Wheels Hot Wheels Jeep 6-Volt Battery-Powered Ride-on:
One lucky winner will get to pick his or hers Power Wheels Jeep!
Enter on the Easy Rafflecopter below!
Remember, you can't win if you don't enter.
Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Newly Crunchy Mama Of 3 is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.
I can hardly believe that in only 6 days, we will be moving into our new home in Ohio. 6 DAYS! I still feel like there's no way we're going to get everything packed in time, and to be honest, I am more than a little bit stressed out lately.
It seems that the list of things that must be done to prepare for the move is never-ending. Packing, cleaning, setting up installation for utilities, and figuring out what I need to do to enroll Kyle in school has all been pretty overwhelming.Lately I have been wishing I had an assistant to help with all of the leg-work!
Also, there are all of the plans for our home once we arrive. There is some hideous floral wallpaper in the living room that has got to go, and then there's the issue of having central air conditioning installed. I've also got to get ready for my brand new Maytag Kitchen Appliances to arrive! (Yes, still very excited to be selected for the Maytag Moms Kitchen Ambassador program!) We may need to remove a cabinet entirely to make room for my fancy new French Door Refrigerator!
Another thing I am stressing over just a bit is the fact that our new home has gorgeous old hardwood flooring throughout most of it. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the floors. A lot. However, I am very worried about what my incredibly stubborn Yorkie, Trouble, might do to the floors. You see, she has not been the easiest animal to house-break. Yorkies are known for being very difficult in this respect, and Trouble is certainly living up to both her name and her breed's characteristics.
How adorable is this birthday photo?! I absolutely love it! Especially the expression on the little one's face...With two little ones of my own, this is a face I see often in my own home. Sibling rivalry begins early, I have found!
This photo was submitted by Dawn, a lovely lady originally from the UK but married to an American, to the Hilton Home 2 Suites Birthday Celebration Photo Contest.
Dawn simply wanted a chance at some fluffy new pillows, but much to her shock and delight, found herself in the top 25 Finalists! (How cool is that?!) I never enter photo voting contests, since I am always afraid I could never, ever win....So seeing a loyal reader in this wonderful position is absolutely thrilling for me!
I would love you forever if you could join me to help Dawn win this competition. The photo is adorable and definitely worthy of a prize, in my humble opinion. I especially love the Winnie the Pooh theme, with the hats and tablecloth! Anyone who knows me in real life knows I am a Pooh fanantic...As a matter of fact, my psycho ex-husband used to call me "Pooh-Bear" for this exact reason. Plus, her boys are absolutely charming!
Voting is easy...Just one click. Simply hit the "Vote" button. That's all! No spam...No personal information...Just a click.
You can vote by going here:
Thanks in advance for supporting another Newly Crunchy Mama Of 3 reader! Let's all band together and help Dawn WIN!
You may recall a few days ago I told you about a great, interactive charitable campaign going on over at EcoTools. The EcoTools Gives Back campaign is helping 3 important causes: The Jane Goodall Institute, Ocean Conservancy, and The Conservation Fund. All 3 of these worthy organizations are dedicated to helping wildlife thrive by preserving the beauty that planet Earth has to offer.
Help EcoTools choose which charity receives most of their very generous donation. The donation will be divided based on total votes from YOU! Vote up to 5 times per day for your favorite cause by going to the EcoTools Facebook Page. You can even share with your friends on Facebook for 5 additional votes! I am very excited about this initiative to protect our environment, and I have been voting myself!
Not only do I love the fact that EcoTools is a company with a conscience, I also love their eco-friendly beauty and bath tools! This amazing company has a fabulous line of greener cosmetic tools using only earth-friendly materials like bamboo, and they even come with reusable cases made from sustainable materials. Their bath tools are equally awesome, and many are made from recycled plastic! Oh, I should also mention that they have some super-chic and flirty cosmetic bags, too! A little birdy told me that some of these great products are designed by Alicia Silverstone! How cool is that?!
The folks at EcoTools are also committed to being 100% cruelty-free, so all of you animal lovers out there can breathe a sigh of relief. No furry (or feathered!) friends are ever harmed in any way during the testing or manufacturing process of EcoTools products.
I can hardly believe it...In just about 7 days, we will be on the road heading to our new home in my hometown in Ohio. A new home, a new life. A better life for our kids. We'll be in a house that's truly ours, and my kids will go to fabulous schools and even have the real possibility of having White Christmases.
We'll also be surrounded by tons of family, which is something we've been lacking here. My kids will have special memories on Holidays and birthdays. Here, we really don't have much in that respect. It will be very nice to have the real sense of family around and people to spend time with on a regular basis.
I wish I could say I will miss the Commonwealth of Virginia. I wish I could, but I can't. My husband and I have both been sick and tired of this area for quite some time now, and we are more than ready to say "Good Riddance". There's really nothing here for us, and we know this. We've known this for a long time.
Change is always scary, no matter how excited you are about it. I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about leaving an area I have known since I was 12 years old. But I take comfort in the knowledge that where we're going has so much more to offer us in Ohio. So many more possibilities for us as well as for our kids.
In the meantime, we're still packing...and packing...and packing. I am seriously beginning to worry that there's no way we'll be able to get it all done in time. The good news? I talked to the title company today, and by Tuesday at the latest, our house will be OURS. (Hurray!)
I just wish the next week would fly by so I could enjoy everything rather than stress myself half to death!
This summer, it has been oppressively hot here in Virginia. I'm talking triple digits, the vast majority of the time. On top of that, we've had some pretty extreme weather, too. Thunderstorms that have downed powerlines, high winds, and even some storms that have produced tornado warnings and very large hail.
Thankfully, next weekend we'll be moving to NE Ohio where the summers don't get quite as hot and the weather isn't quite as volatile. Perhaps then the kids will be able to enjoy a bit of outdoor play in our new yard before it gets too cold!
So this summer before we move, in order to avoid positively melting in the sweltering heat and getting blown away, we have been spending far more time indoors than outdoors. This is perfectly fine by me, since I detest extreme heat. I much prefer the cool, arctic blast of my central air conditioning any day!
Staying indoors may be the more comfortable choice when it's too hot out to breathe, but it also poses certain challenges. Kids can get cabin fever, and bore easily. My 12 year old, Kyle, is especially prone to this. It seems that all he wants to do is watch TV. Then the battles ensue....
You see, I am often called the "Mean, strict Mommy." I don't allow my preteen to have total reign over the television. I don't allow him to watch shows that are filled with sex, violence, drug abuse, or other questionable material. I don't even allow him to watch shows like "The Simpsons" or "Family Guy" since I don't approve of the message these shows send. For the record, I also don't allow violent video games or movies, and I have been told that my 12 year old is the only kid in the free world who isn't allowed to have a Facebook account.
That's why I was so thrilled to learn about MommyBearMedia. This is a great online movie superstore that carries ONLY family-friendly films and television shows. This allows me to provide my kids with the entertainment they want without having to worry about what negative influences they're being exposed to. It's a win-win situation, all around!
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
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