Monday, February 7, 2011

Teleflora Valentine's Day Flowers Giveaway

Ah, Valentine's Day. What used to be a day of romance has turned into a day of semi-panic over making sure I have four sets of Valentines for each of my children's classes. And they must be the right ones, heaven forbid I come home with Tinkerbell when they wanted Barbie or Scooby Doo instead of Star Wars. Then, I always remember that anywhere from 10 to 25 cards need to be signed - right around bedtime the night before. So I hurry up four small children to sign their cards as quickly as they can, which means, sometime before March.

But let's remember back when it used to be about romance instead of temporary tattoos and heart shaped drinking straws.

Back when, sometimes, we even got flowers.


Teleflora is offering one bouquet delivered to someone you love - or, to YOUR OWN SELF, in case the heart shaped lollipops you 'borrow' from your kids sugar stash aren't enough. 


The Collection by Faith Hill A whole new line of stunning Valentine’s Bouquets designed with celebrated musician Faith Hill.

You have a chance to win this,
Teleflora’s Love Medley, a $59.95 value:


Sing her a love song – with flowers. This lush, loving rose arrangement tells her just how much you care, on Valentine’s Day and all year long.


To see the full Valentine’s Day lineup, visit here.

Teleflora flowers are hand-arranged and hand-delivered by local florists in our 18,000+ network, the industry's largest. All of our arrangements are both pretty and practical because they come in keepsake containers that can be reused long after the flowers fade away.

Okay ladies, here's the official rules and all:
  • YOU. MUST. LEAVE. YOUR. EMAIL. I. WILL. NOT. HUNT. YOU. DOWN. DO. YOU. UNDERSTAND. ME? (six of you lost the last giveaway because you did not leave an email. Six.) 
  • US residents only, and must be delivered to a US address
  • Leave a comment that says TELEFLORA: one entry
  • Follow Teleflora on facebook, then come back and comment here saying you did: one more entry
  • Follow Teleflora on Twitter, then come back and comment here saying you did: one more entry
  • Tweet about the contest, then come back yada yada: one more entry

Okay, that's four chances to win that beautiful bouquet! I will draw a winner on Thursday.

Happy Valentines Day!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fa la la la la - MasterCard MarketPlace $100 giveaway!


This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and MasterCard MarketPlace.

I have to say, I was a little late to the shop-online party. This Christmas is the first Christmas that I have bought about 80% of the kids' Christmas gifts online. Choose. Click. Shipped straight to my DOOR. No crowds, no traffic, and it can all be done at two in the morning.

What on earth took me so long??

BlogHer asked me to review the MasterCard MarketPlace, and I have to say, I am having a real big V8 moment. Because I really, really wish that our resident Santa would have gotten on MasterCard MarketPlace BEFORE s/he ordered all her Christmas presents. Because then s/he might have saved some money, and I mean a LOT of money.

Here is how it works. First, you go to MasterCard MarketPlace and create an account, which takes about ten seconds. Easy breezy. Then you browse around looking at the deals that are offered. And the deals? They are good deals. Worth your time deals. If all you want to do is browse the deals, you don’t even have to sign up.

Seriously, I have tried some of these portals before and didn't go back because it was underwhelming. MasterCard Marketplace does not disappoint.

(Oh, if only Santa had known...)
If you have a MasterCard, this holiday season every day (until December 24th, excluding holidays) at 1:00 EST MasterCard® cardholders can take advantage of Holiday Overwhelming Offers at 50% off on top brands by registering at MasterCard MarketPlace.

And the Overwhelming Offers - that's OOs to you and me - are really fantastic. You know how Groupon is doing so well (six billion dollars well) because the deals they offer are truly great deals? MasterCard MarketPlace is utilizing the same strategy.

You camp in front of your computer and wait for the deal to pop up, and then if you like it, you snag it before it sells out and get the thrill of the kill.

I definitely will not shop online again without popping into
MasterCard MarketPlace.

And as part of this review, BlogHer is giving one of you a $100 MasterCard gift card!

All you have to do is leave a comment. And because I have figured out that online shopping GREATLY SIMPLIFIES my Christmas shopping, I want you to tell me your tips for simplifying Christmas. Or mornings. Or keeping track of spare socks. Something. Help a sister out!

Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry
methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) Read the
official rules for alternate form of entry.


Sweepstakes ends 5 PM PST on December 31, 2010.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.

Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.

You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

Head over to the BlogHer Review/Giveaway Round-up page for 19 more chances to win! The Official Rules are available here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Maggie Ant is a SmartyAnt


This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and SmartyAnts.

Do y'all remember when everyone got their BIG HUGE Apple II computers with the black and green screen where you had to move the cursors on your keyboards up and down to get out of a maze?

Computer learning games have come a long way, baby. Especially this new one called SmartyAnts.

First off, it comes with a puppy, y'all. A talking, singing, moving, story telling puppy who can read.

And this special puppy, named Winston after my father-in-law, can be plugged into your computer with a little USB cord and in a flash learn even more phonics songs than he came with.

The neato-ness carries over to the website. When you buy your kids their own personal Winston, you also get a one-month membership to the SmartyAnts Web site, an innovative site that includes a vast variety of stories and games to help children ages four to seven develop reading skills.

The membership is good for only one child, and because four year old Maggie is not reading yet, I decided that this would be her program.

Eva Rose is STILL whining over that one, by the way.

When first downloading the program, you must sit with your chosen child while the program assesses his or her reading level. Warning: You must not go and start making dinner, leaving your chosen child with your child's big sister and big brother who will then hijack your child's new SmartyAnts and take it up to lesson 38.

If you do that, you will have to go online and ask the very nice Live Chat people at Smarty Ants to reset your Maggie-Ant back to the assessment level. They will do so quite sweetly, but save yourself some trouble and don't go make dinner.

Once you're back to the beginning, the password protected SmartyAnts site is designed to let kids play independently and learn at their own pace. The SmartyAnts online world includes a wide selection of reading games and activities, more than 60 stories, over 300 sing-a-long songs, and 125 learning videos that provide phonics, letter-recognition, and word-building skills.

The program had Maggie play a very cute game with her ant diving in a swimming pool onto the letter or letter sound it asked for. Once it established that she knew her letter sounds, it started with three letter words. When established she had not mastered that, voila, that's the concept the program will start with.

Maggie loves this. The games are fun and perfectly age appropriate for her, and she loves that the characters actually call her by her name, which I've never seen another program do. She is asking to play it all day long and she blew her 16 coins with one trip to the doggy boutique. We'll work on the concept of savings later, but I can't wait to see how this helps her reading!

To learn more about SmartyAnts, visit their website. You can also purchase the Phonic Pup and a subscription at Amazon.com.

Now, do you want to win a SmartyAnts Phonics Learning Pup, a one year subscription to the SmartyAnts website, AND a $100 VISA gift card? Here's how:

For one entry, do one of the following:

a)  Leave me a comment below telling me your favorite children's books

b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

One comment per person. Duplicate comments will be deleted.

For the second entry, follow this link and provide your email address and your response to the sweepstakes prompt.

Sweepstakes ends at 5 PM PST on December 17, 2010. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Chevy Tahoe and Great Wolf Lodge


Last March, I was offered a truly amazing gift: the chance to take our family to Great Wolf Lodge. Great Wolf has 12 locations across the country, and we visited the one in Grapevine, near Dallas.

And for the ride up there, Chevy provided us with a beautiful clean shiny new Tahoe.




A Tahoe which drove so smoothly all the way up to Grapevine. With a DVD player, which we do not have. And OnStar, which I need attached to me daily. Y'all. You push a button and a genie's voice appears, asking you how she (or he, if it is a he-genie) can help. I need one of those fulltime.

Chevy set us up with tons of snacks and a movie for the ride. After spilling goldfish and Dr. Pepper on the floormats to make us feel at home, we dropped Ike off at my inlaws', asked the OnStar genie for guided directions, and set off for Dallas.


Of course this didn't happen until about ten minutes before we pulled into the parking lot.


Great Wolf Lodge is a huge indoor waterpark. It is basically a Club Med for kids. The most fun thing about this vacation was that the kids were pretty much in control, for once. Each day they would ask, "What are we doing today? What are we eating for lunch?" and we would answer "What do YOU want to do today? Where do YOU want to eat?" The whole place was geared towards pleasing them. They were in heaven. And we were in heaven watching them be in heaven.

Here's how it works. You book a room at the lodge. The cool thing is, say you book Saturday night. For the price of the one night, you can arrive at 9am Saturday morning, swim all day, go to bed, and then swim all day Sunday. It really is a great deal. Since we could not get up there until late on Saturday, we stayed Sunday night too. But if you were truly on a budget, one night is totally doable.

You arrive to the sounds of wolves howling, and the interior has the total lodge feeling. Since it was March, the fireplaces were going and it was very cozy. The bedrooms are also designed for the kids, with faux cabin bunkbeds and a TV and Nintendo which you won't need to rent.


On the other side of the wall is the mom and dad area. There is also a kitchenette, so you could plan ahead and make breakfast or sandwiches in your room.

There are several restaurants at the Lodge - and of course there's a Starbucks - and none of them are inclusive with your hotel room. We ate one night at the Camp Critter Restaurant. The food was not bad, but you wanna know the best part? Your kid can drop a plate of spaghetti all over the floor and the staff just swoop in and clean it up like they do that all day long, which they do. No embarrassment, no dirty looks, because every table is full of children.

We decided that the best place to eat was in the waterpark at the snack shop. The food was priced reasonably, and it was good, and very kid friendly.

Okay, on to the best part. The indoor waterpark is The. Coolest. Thing. Humongous, and so much fun. (There is an outdoor waterpark too, but it was not open for the season yet.)


Kids are given bracelets based on their height that determine what attractions they can go on. Both Shep and Eva Rose got the highest bracelet and could do everything. Little Maggie could do everything but the big slides.

(In my opinion, a child needs to be at least four to enjoy the waterpark. We were very glad that we had left 2 year old Ike at home.)

The Wavepool

The wavepool is huge


and has see-through innertubes, which were always easily available


Every ten minutes or so, the wolves would start howling which was the warning that the waves were about to begin. The wavepool was probably the kids favorite part.

The Big Contraption


has water flowing all over it and the kids climb up and down while the mom and dad sat on the sidelines sipping margaritas.


There are two slides there that were just right for Maggie.


At the top was a giant bucket of water, and when the bell began to chime, it's the sign that it is about to dump water on the fools who stand underneath it. Like the one in the orange swimsuit.

before


after



The Baby Pool



This pool was shallow enough that I could relax with Maggie,


but still plenty fun for the big kids.



Behind the baby pool was the Secret Hottub, which we did not discover till the last day, dangit. The kids played, the parents relaxed, and the No Beverages signs were blissfully ignored.

Behind the Big Contraption is a pool that is really for the older kids, but had some fun things in it too. It was really the only place I would be concerned for my kids because it was a little deep.



The Waterslides, aka, The Most Fun Things Ever


See those tubes shooting out from the top? They are HUGE HIGH raft waterslides. One of them has a tornado in the middle where you SPIN around and get SUCKED down a hole - oh my gosh. So fun!!! Shep and Eva Rose did each twice and they were done. Which meant I spent the rest of the day whining, "pleeeease go with meeee? Just one more tiiiiiime?"

Great Wolf Lodge is also famous for its MagiQuest game, which is a very cool interactive scavenger hunt that goes up and down all eight floors of the hotel.


We bought one wand ($25) for the whole family and played about an hour, but my children were a bit too young for it. And all the head-scratching parents were a bit too old for it. But I can see how a kid 10 or older would be love MagiQuest.

We also visited the art shop and colored a tshirt (for another fee, of course.)


Great Wolf Lodge has so many things for so many different age levels, including teens, that any child would love it there.

Two things I loved about the waterpark:
  1. The lifeguards, all cute college aged kids, were very, very alert. I never saw them talking, laughing or cutting up. They spent the entire time with their eyes scanning the water, as if they actually were worried about a child drowning and took their job very seriously. I was so impressed and it helped me to relax to know that they were on my team.
  2. Every dad had a beer gut and every mom looked as though she had birthed and nursed a baby or four. My muffin top was among friends. This greatly added to my enjoyment as well.
On Sunday Jenna and her kids came to visit


so that Jackson could flirt with Eva Rose a little more.


Gracie + Mags =


Double. Trouble.


On Monday, sadly, we left. And several days later the Chevy people took away our Tahoe. Which made us cry.


Literally.

I can't say enough good things about Great Wolf Lodge and Chevy. We had such a spectacular time, the worst part was leaving.

My kids ask at least once a week when we can go back, Maggie still howls on a regular basis, and we will definitely be returning. Walker and I have already fantasized about planning a weekend with several other families!

Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments!

Disclosure: I was provided with services at no cost by GM-Chevrolet and Great Wolf Lodge in order to test the products’ abilities and give my own personal opinions on them. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but were not influenced by the company or the free product provided.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Initials Inc Winner

Here are your random numbers:

106 

Timestamp: 2010-05-16 23:41:43 UTC


Can I just tell you that counting to comment 106 is a little hard??

When I was 15 I worked at Astroworld one summer. Every night we would have to count our till. And I would count it over and over and every. single. time. I would get a different number. I decided then that that must be what hades was, counting a bag of money over and over when you are exhausted and want to go home, and getting a different number every time.

This brought back a flashback.

HOWEVER. After counting this three times, the winner is:

Counting My Blessings

She is a mom who had three babies in three years, and I have a special place in my heart for those mommies. Or should I say mummies, because she is also from Australia! G'day, mate! You won!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Initals Inc Giveaway


Initials Inc contacted me about doing a giveaway and I was thrilled. Not only do you get something, but I got to choose a hippie bag from their catalog (page 10), and I cannot tell you how cool I have felt walking around with my hippie bag.

Because I'm 40, remember? Being cool takes a little more effort these days.

So don't tell anyone that I choose the hippie bag not only because it is adorable but also because it goes over the shoulder, which immensely helps my 85 year old back (hey, y'all saw the Xrays.) It is also very well made - this bag is not flimsy. It feels expensive.

Y'all, I am a total sucker for a monogram. And monograms are what Initials Inc does best.

Initials, Inc. was founded by Sisters Britney Vickery and Ivy Hall, shortly after they became SAHM’s. During that time they loved being home with their children but found that they were seeking three things; to be challenged creatively, to have flexibility in schedule and to contribute financially to their homes…but they didn’t want to give up time with their young families to get it. Initials, Inc. was created to meet those needs as women and new mothers. Over time, they quickly realized that the solution that they created for themselves could be a blessing to other women. Initials, Inc. officially launched in February 2005. Today, Initials, Inc. is national in scope and is supporting women and families all across the country through home parties selling personalized gifts!

You can shop, host a party (one of the few home parties that I would RSVP yes to), or learn how to start your own bidness here.

And here's the good part - Initials Inc is offering one lucky Naptime reader $50 to spend in their catalog!

Here's how it works:
  1. Go look at the catalog and tell me one thing you might buy if you won. (It will be hard to choose just one!) (And I love the cool sound the pages make when they turn.)
  2. Leave a comment here saying what your choice was
  3. If you don't have a blog, then for the love of all things monogrammed, leave your email in the comment. If you are chosen and you don't make it easy for me, I will not hunt you down, sister. I will choose another winner. That's the tough love kinda momma I am.
  4. If you post this on your blog, leave another comment telling me you did that.
  5. If you post this on twitter, leave another comment telling me you did that.
  6. If you post this on facebook, leave another comment telling me you did that.
  7. I will draw a winner on Saturday.
Good luck!

Jumpstart Winner

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

43 

Timestamp: 2010-05-11 00:08:11 UTC

Queen Bee's Sweet Spot

Queen Tracy, you just won three months of free babysitting!! Congrats!!