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The Allison Show: June 2010

The Allison Show

All things Allison

Wednesday, June 30

Corel Paint-It Review and Giveaway!!!

As you know, I love photography and take TONS of pictures of the kids.  I am always looking for different ways to edit them or make them look more professional but I don't have CS3-4- or 5 so it is a challenge.  Then I got Paint It by Corel!!!  It is so easy to transform a snapshot into a work of art!!  The kids love seeing their pictures changed into the different styles. 

There is 10 painting sytles plus differnt brushes, pens and Fairy Dust (my personl favorite!) to add special effects to your pictures. 

Painting Styles:
~Oil--applies a combination of short dabs and longer brushstrokes to produce the color and texture of oil paint

~Impressionist--applies short and very visible brushstrokes to create the illusion of movement & light

~Modern--applies bold brushstrokes and adds vibrance to colors to produce an abstract reinterpretation of a photo

~Illustration--applies a wide variety of brushstrokes to produce an illustration-style painting

~Detailed Watercolor--applies a translucent wash to produce the smooth, soft effect of watercolor paint on your photo

~Watercolor Sketch--applies a combination of drawn lines and watercolor brushstrokes that add depth, texture and contrast

~Colored Pencil--applies fine-tipped colored pencil strokes

~Pencil--applies graphite pencil strokes that appear to be drawn by hand

~Pen and Ink--applies sketchy strokes with a pen and black ink that appear to be drawn by hand

~Pastel--applies colored pastel strokes that appear to be drawn by hand

Blake's favorite is the Impressionists style because he loves Van Gogh after learning about him in art in 2nd grade. The little boys like Illustration because they look like they are in a book.  Kayla loves watercolor because she looks like she is in a fairy tale.  I like to use oil painting to give pictures a more glamorous feel.

Thanks to Kelly one lucky reader will win  Paint-It!!

HOW TO ENTER:

Mandatory Entry- (must be done for extra entries to count)
*Go to Paint It and see the different painting styles for yourself.  Leave me a comment with your favorite and your email address. I will notify the winner by email and they will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be choosen.

Extra Entries-
*Follow me with GFC, on Twitter or Networked Blogs for 1 extra entry (up to 3). Leave a seperate comment for each. (Each comment counts as an entry.)

* Like Paint It on Facebook and leave them a comment that I sent you! (This is good for 2 entries so leave me 2 comments)
* Follow Paint It on Twitter (1 extra entry)
* Putting my button on your blog counts as 2 entries. (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about giveaway 3 entries (Leave 3 comments)

Hurry and enter!  This giveaway ends Saturday July 10 @ 9 pm eastern.  Good Luck!!!



***Discalimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion and review.***

Awesome Deal- Canvas People

As you know. I love photography and most custom photographers offer large (11X14 and bigger) canvas to their clients.  I have been looking online to find a company that will let me make my own canvas.  Most sites are really expensive!!  But then I found Canvas People!!  They have an awesome deal going right now: You get $25 off your canvas and FREE Shipping!  I try to only order stuff online when a site is doing free shipping.  Now I am going to try to get a picture of all 5 kids so I can order my canvas!!

Monday, June 28

Saturday Fun Day

Have you seen the Saturday activities Toys R Us has been hosting? They had a Bakugan event, a Crayola Art Explosion as well as a Thomas the Train birthday bash. They also held a Lego building contest! I love when someone else comes up with ideas to help me keep the kids entertained! So we decided to make a family fun day out of it and head over for the Lego contest. Only hubby and my oldest son were going to enter, but I was not going to sit around the house all day while they went and had fun.

While the “big kids” were playing with Legos, I strolled around the store trying to keep the rest of the children from driving me nuts after they were upset they couldn’t play with the Legos. I grabbed a couple of booklets that were lying on the register upfront for the kids to read. They love being able to hold things when we walk around stores. The booklets turned out to be guides on educational kids toys.  The toys are geared towards children with autism and other developmental delays. Each of the recommended toys had information on the skills they helped build, and the suggested age range they were designed for.

What a cool idea! So I had the kids go on a scavenger hunt to try and find some of the toys we had seen in the booklet. And you know what? They actually carry the toys they advertise! There is nothing like someone who advertises things but then doesn’t have them in stock. After a couple hours of fun it was time to go get some lunch. The kids all wanted different things (of course), but were able to agree on CiCi’s. Anytime there’s a buffet or all you can eat involved, you can bet my kids want to go. I guess the idea of being able to serve yourself and stuff your face with as much as you want is appealing to my children!



***Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.  However the opinions expressed are mine.***

Sunday, June 27

Spring Cleaning

I hate house cleaning. However, every year (usually around springtime) I get into a cleaning frenzy! Well this year, “Spring Cleaning” hit me a little late and it was more like Pre-Summer Cleaning. This year I also decided to include home safety with my cleaning. So I checked and changed all the batteries in our smoke alarms. The alarm upstairs did not work even after I changed the battery so I went o Wal-Mart (the Happiest Place on Earth…Err make that the Cheapest Place on Earth) to buy a new one. While I was there I decided that I should buy two fire extinguishers: one fire extinguisher for upstairs in the kitchen and one for downstairs in the laundry room. I also bought new filters for my air conditioning vents.

Then I went home and had Hubby install all the stuff I bought. After changing the filters, Hubby suggested that we call someone to come out and clean the central ac/heating vents and ducts. The old guy that came out was crazy!!! It took him 4 hours to do. Wow. So now that my vents/ducts are clean and they have brand new filters, I told Hubby that we should turn the air conditioning on. It has been in the upper 90’s so I figured we deserved a break from the heat and humidity. Hubby flips the switch and … Nothing! Air blows but it is not cold. The temperature in our house actually went up!!!

Ok I’m not going to lie, I was pissed!!! We just cleaned my whole house, paid Crazy Old Man to clean the vents, bought new filters and I still can’t escape the weather. NO FAIR!!! (Can you tell that the heat makes me a tiny bit cranky?) So Handy Manny Hubby went outside to check out the air conditioning unit itself. He found a reset button on the back, bottom of the unit and reset it. He told me to turn on the ac again and WOOHOO!! We now have central air! I love my hubby!! Good thing too since, tomorrow is supposed to hit 100.

 
***Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.  But all the opinions are mine.***

Saturday, June 26

Look What I Can Do!!

My hubby is a huge fan of UFC and MMA. (for the uninitiated MMA is mixed martial arts). The last time we watched a match, there were two women fighting. Watching them made me realize that they both could easily kick my ass. Now, I am not a wimp but this did get me thinking about being able to protect myself.

As a woman in the twenty first century, I felt the need to better prepare myself and learn a little self defense. At first glance, my schedule is already hectic enough, between going to school full time, raising five kids, taking care of Hubby, and trying to find a few spare seconds for myself, I do not really have the ability to attend a martial arts class. I began searching the internet to see what different options were out there. I thought maybe I could have someone come to my house for private lessons, but quickly realized that would be way too expensive. So I kept looking for other options, and found all sorts of different how-to videos on the web. There were videos on YouTube with people claiming you could learn karate from the comfort of your own living room.

This got me thinking maybe we should enroll my oldest son in a class. He could definitely use the discipline. And it is not like he is not used to rough housing with my hubby, so I was not worried about him getting hurt. He also has a pen pal, Kenny, who just received his purple belt and his friend across the street from us, also is enrolled. He has expressed an interest in karate and this would be a great activity to keep him busy and entertained this summer. Plus I think that he thinks if he takes karate lessons, he will be able to kick my hubby’s butt. That would be a fight to post on YouTube!!




***Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.  However the opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone***

Friday, June 25

Another Weekend Alone

In a few hours, my hubby will be on his way to Dark Mountain in North Carolina for a weekend long mountain biking camping trip with the boys.  And no I don't mean our sons.  He is leaving me home alone all weekend with all five of the kids!!  On the bright side, I would rather stay at home with all the kids and be able to sleep in my nice, comfortable queen size bed, than sleep on the hard rocky ground in camping tents  with a bunch of smelly, sweaty, drunk guys!!  Oh yeah I'll take the kids alone over that any day.  And don't even get me started on cooking on a camp stove or over a open fire. 

The last time I went camping, was in July 2007.  My hubby and I went with another couple to the La Jolla Indian Reservation in California.  It was supposed to be a nice, romantic (no kids) getaway, but the reality was that it sucked!!  First off, it rained.  Did you know that not all camping tents are waterproof? Guess what kind of tent we had?  The non water proof variety.  Then for our first dinner, Hubby decided to make beer battered potatoes on the camping stove.  There was no batter.  The potatoes were beer soaked.  Yummy...NOT!!! Have you ever had potatoes boiled in beer?  Potatoes are great, beer is good but together they make some really disgusting eats.   And that is why I am not the camping type of girl anymore.  Give me a nice, dry RV and I will gladly go camping anywhere, otherwise I'll stay home.

I hope hubby has a great time.  I know he will because he loves mountain biking, hanging out with the smelly guys, and being eaten alive by bugs.  But do not worry...I am keeping track and he is going to owe me BIG Time!!  Do you remember back in March when he went to Lake Tahoe to snowboard with the boys?  Guess who was home with the kids? All these weekend trips are adding up and I will cash in on them very soon!!


***Disclaimer- This is a sponsored post.  However all opinions are mine alone***

Fandangling Review and Giveaway

Lately Mason has been throwing fits at night when I try to put him in his bed (a portable crib in my room).  If I let him fall asleep on my bed, then move him to his bed then he is fine.  But I can't just nurse him and place in his bed.  He stands up screaming and trying to climb out.  My hubby's mom suggested we buy a mobile to put on the crib but since it is a portable crib it is mostly mesh and there is no way to connect the mobile to the crib.  However we do have a ceiling fan in my room and it is almost directly over Mason's bed.  So imagine how excited I was to hear about Fandangling!!

They make mobiles that velcro to the blades of a ceiling fan!!  they offer different set for babies, kids, and tweens.  I decided that Mason would like the puppies so that what we went with.  The Fandangling is super easy to attach.  You take a little square of velcro and peel off the sticky backing and affix to the end of the fan blade.  Then you attach the puppy's string to the otehr velcro and thats it!



How cute are the puppies??  The first night after we received them, I turned the fan on low and as we walked into my room, Mason looked up and pointed at the dogs!!  I nursed him and then set him in his crib.  Instead of screaming and standing up, he just laid their and looked up at the puppies!!!  He has been going to sleep in his own bed ever since!!

Thanks to Anne, 1 lucky reader will receive the Fandangling of their choice!!

How To Enter:

Mandatory Entry (must be done for extra entries to count):
* Go to Fandangling and check out the different sets. Leave me a comment with the set you would love to receive and your email address. (I will notify the winner by email. They will then have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be choosen.)

Extra Entries:
*Follow me with GFC, on Twitter or Networked Blogs for 1 extra entry (up to 3). Leave a seperate comment for each. (Each comment counts as an entry.)
* Like Fandangling on Facebook and leave them a comment that I sent you! (This is good for 2 entries so leave me 2 comments)
* Follow Fandangling on Twitter (1 extra entry)
* Putting my button on your blog counts as 2 entries. (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about giveaway 3 entries (Leave 3 comments)



Good Luck!!! Hurry and enter the giveaway ends Friday 7/9 @ 9 pm eastern.






*** Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest review and opinon*** 

Thursday, June 24

Drumroll Please..



The winner of my Treasure Chest Pet Giveaway is #2 Shay!!  She said "I love the monkey! Gabe is a hoarder too, Lord help us both!!  lol" 







The winner of my WAT-AAH Giveaway is #18 Gigi!!  She said "I'm following you on Networked blogs. Georgiana O."  They both have 48 hours to respond to my email or random.org will choose new winners.  Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaways and Thanks for reading my blog!!

Thumbing Through Thoreau Book Review

Title: Thumbing Through Thoreau: A Book of Quotations By Henry David Thoreau
Authors: Kenny Luck
Illustrators: Jay Luke and Ren Adams
Publisher: Tribute Books
Published: April 19, 2010
ISBN: 978-0982256541

Summary:  "On July 4, 1845, when Henry David Thoreau moved into his cabin on the shores of Walden Pond, he was probably unaware that his abode in the woods, and the impact and influence of that endeavor, would forever echo through time. Thoreau was an uncompromising idealist; an ardent maverick who criticized his fellow man. He urged that men and women ought to live more simply, and more deliberately. "The mass of men," he famously wrote, "lead lives of quite desperation." Yet the scope of Thoreau's message is much wider than social criticism. He speaks of spiritual transcendence in Nature and the unbounded potential of the individual. Thoreau is a dreamer and he speaks to dreamers. In a word, shun dogmatism and demagoguery; see beyond the immediate conventional religious explanations to reap a higher understanding. In our commodified contemporary American society, with the rise of religious intolerance and fundamentalism, materialism and mass consumerism, Thoreau's message is needed now more than ever. Author Kenny Luck has thumbed through Thoreau's voluminous journals, correspondences and other publications to make this the most comprehensive collection of Thoreau aphorisms available."

I love quotes.  One of my favorite reference books is my Dictionary of Quotations.  I love to find ones that match my mode or whose subject is of interest to me.  I was thrilled to get the chance to review this book of quotes by Thoreau because, although he lived over 150 years ago, his quotes are timeless and many address issues still present in current society.  If you have never read anything by Thoreau, I think you might be pleasantly surprised by his relevance.

Another amzing thing about this book is the illustrations.  Both of the illustrators drew and painted all of the drawings included in the book.  I received a review copy which was in black and white so one thing I am curious about is if the sketches are in color or black and white.  Some look like they were done as pen and ink sketches but others could be anything.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes.

*  "There are thousands who are in opinion opposed to slavery and the war, who yet in effect, do nothing to put an end to them."

*  "I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life."

*  "...not until we are lost do we begin to realize where we are..."

This is a great book and if kept as a true coffee table book, I bet would spark tons of interesting conversations.  I highly recommend this book to everyone!

Bummas Winner Is...



Jeannine!! She said "follow you on GFC."  She has 48 hours to respond or random.org will choose another winner.  Thanks for reading and entering my giveaways.

Wednesday, June 23

CSN Stores Review and Giveaway

Oh my goodness.  Have your heard of or checked out CSN Stores?  They have over 200 different stores that sell everything you could ever want!  When Ashley told me I could pick whatever I wanted...well within reason (LOL) I was so overwhelmed.  But then I got a great idea and went and checked out their section of outdoor toys.  And that's where I found it!!!  The perfect addition to the backyard: a 36" trampoline!!!!  The kids have a swing set, tree house, climbing wall, slide, soccer goal, playhouse, and lots more but they all wanted a trampoline.  Since the little boys are well, little, I didn't want a huge 12' foot trampoline because I knew they would try to climb up on it and get hurt. 



As soon as the box was delivered, the kids were excited.  I hadn't told them I ordered it, so they had no idea what was in the box.  As hubby was putting it together (putting the legs on, and the outter cover)the little boys were full of ideas as to its identity.  As soon as he finished the kids wanted to jump on it.  In fact they like it so much that it hasn't made its way outside yet.  It moves back and forth from the living room (Hubby is running in place on it right now while he watches the world cup!) and the boys' room.



Even Mason loves the trampoline.  He can't really jump but he loves to climb on it and stand up.


Thanks to Ashley, one lucky reader will win a $40 GC for the CSN stores!!!

HOW TO ENTER


Mandatory Entry (must be done for extra entries to count):
* Go to CSN Stores and check out the all the dfferent stores. Leave me a comment with what item you are going to use your GC to buy and your email address. (I will notify the winner by email. They will then have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be choosen.)

Extra Entries:
*Follow me with GFC, on Twitter or Networked Blogs for 1 extra entry (up to 3). Leave a seperate comment for each. (Each comment counts as an entry)
* Putting my button on your blog counts as 2 entries. (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about giveaway 3 entries (Leave 3 comments)




Hurry and enter!! Giveaway ends Thursday 7/8 @ 9 pm eastern. GOOD LUCK!!!



 
***Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion and review.***

Summer Break = Vacation!!!

Since this is almost (we were here Summer 2005) our first summer off the West Coast; Hubby and I have decided to take the kids on a real vacation.  We have taken them on weekend camping trips and to the Colorado River.  They have been to Disneyland (well the oldest 2 have) but we have never been anywhere east or south or north of Tennessee.  A friend of mine goes to Orlando every year for a week and she suggested that I should look into Disney World Packages.  They offer packages that fit into anyones budget (which is great since we have lots of kids and not so much money!).  They also offer ticket packages to multiple theme parks in Orlando.  Which is also great because it allows us variety since the kids would get bored very easily.  They also have great hotel and resort villas at a super price.  We are thinking about renting a 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath villa so that everyone will have their own space and we (adults) can have some peace from the kids (hopefully for at least for 5 minutes).  Plus there is a splash pool in the backyard so little kids can nap while big kids play in the pool.  And by renting a villa, we can save money by stocking the full kitchen.  That way we will not eat out as much which is cheaper and healthier.  The resort villas are within minutes of all major parks.  So we can easily visit Disney World, EPCOT Center, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, Gatorland, Wet 'N Wild, or even The Kennedy Space Center.  I think we will go out to a dinner show at least once and they offer discount tickets to Pirates or Medieval Times.  Which the boys would totally get a kick out of!!  I am excited and can’t wait for our vacation!!


***Disclaimer- This is a sponsored post.  However all views expressed here are mine alone.***

Sunday, June 20

Winner of the Pawparazzi Giveaway...


is #45 ♥Heather♥!!  Her post said "Your button is on my blog! #1 my3lilbirds.blogspot.com"  She will have 48 hours after I email her to respond or random.org will choose another winner.  Thanks for entering my giveaway!!

Happy Father's Day!!!

So this year for Father's Day, I was looking for something a little different and unique.  My hubby doesn't work where he needs to wear a tie (LOL How did that start as a tradition?), he has all the tools he needs, and the kids made him homemade cards.  On another blog (can't remember which one.  Sorry!) I saw a giveaway for a wooden Height Chart.  I went to their website to check thme out.  I was so excited!!  this is the perfect, unique gift that I had been looking for.  The site is called WoodGroove and they sell all kinds of wood gifts.  And the best part is that they personalize them!!  I am a sucker for personalized gifts!! 

Thery have quote plaques that say different quotes like "All About Me" or "Eat, Sleep. Shop".  They also offer a custom plaque.  As soon as I saw it, I knew that that was what I wanted.  I contacted Kristen and told her that I wanted a custom plaque.  I wanted it to say World's Greatest Dad.  She sent me back an email saying "No problem!" Then she sent me a proof of 4 different fonts and had me pick my favorite.

I (with Blake and Kayla's help) decided that the first font was my favorite for a few reasons.  It was large and easy to read.  Plus it is a playful and fun font.  Less than a week later we had our Father's Day gift.  I am so excited about how awesome it came out! Hubby was thrilled and hung it out in the Man Cave (the shed!).

Thanks to Kirsten, 1 lucky reader will the plaque of their choice!!

                                                                   How to Enter



Mandatory Entry (must be done for extra entries to count):
* Go to WoodGroove and check out the plaques (Chinese Character, Chinese Zodiac, Icon, Quote, and Alphabet Plaque). Leave me a comment with which plaque you would love to receive and your email address. (I will notify the winner by email. They will then have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be choosen.)

Extra Entries:
*Follow me with GFC, on Twitter or Networked Blogs for 1 extra entry (up to 3). Leave a seperate comment for each. (Each comment counts as an entry.)
* Like WoodGroove on Facebook. (Leave a comment)
* Follow WoodGroove  on Twitter (Leave comment with your twitter name)
* Putting my button on your blog counts as 2 entries. (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about giveaway 3 entries (Leave 3 comments)



Hurry and enter!! Giveaway ends Monday 7/7 @ 9 pm eastern. Good Luck!!

Saturday, June 19

Pillow Pets Review and Giveaway

This is my 11th "Schools Out...Now What?" post.  Have you heard of Pillow Pets??  They are the cute stuffed animals that open (they have a velcro strap) to a pillow.  I was super excited to do a review of these (I had seen the commercials and the "other" [read cheap and poor quality] brands) so I wanted to see these in person.  I decided that Cody would be the lucky kid and we decided to order the cow.  When we first moved to TN, last July, Cody would cry in the car so we always pointed out the cows and other animals we saw.  He still love cows so this is the perfect pet!

I was scared of 2 things: 1) Mr Cow is white (mostly) and 2) Cody is kind of crazy and I worried that he would rip the velcro strap trying to open/close his pet.  My worries were for nothing!!  I can easily clean Mr Cow - Cody dripped red G2 on him and I got it off a couple days later. (I spot cleaned him but on another blog she said she threw him in the washer) and the pillow pet is VERY well made.  It would be hard to try and cut the velcro strap off so there is no worry about it ripping. 

I really like that Pillow Pets are large.  When you open them to a pillow, they are as big as a regular pillow!!  I also love that they are well made and sturdy.  With 4 boys (and a girl) fighting over Mr Cow, I like knowing that he will survive the fight.
Cody is laying on Mr Cow closed in this picture and you can see how big it still is.

A cool thing Pillow Pets is doing this summer is their Summer Adventures Contest. Show them where your Pillow Pets stuffed animal has been this summer and earn the chance to win one for ten friends!  All Pillow Pets love an adventure! This summer, show them the fun you and your favorite Pillow Pets are having on vacation, at camp, in your backyard – wherever!

All you need to do is post a video on the video-sharing website of your choice, send us the link at MyPillowPetsAdventure@carabinerpr.com, and watch to see if you are randomly selected to win the Pillow Pets plush folding stuffed animal of your choice, plus one each for up to ten friends! Videos will be accepted between May 24 and July 31, 2010.   Would your friends love you or what if you won them a free Pillow Pet?

Thanks to Kathy 1 Lucky Reader will get the Pillow Pet of their choice!!

How To Enter

Mandatory Entry (must be done for extra entries to count):
* Go to PIllow Pets and check out the different Pets. Leave me a comment with which Pet you would love to receive and your email address. (I will notify the winner by email. They will then have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be choosen.)

Extra Entries:
*Follow me with GFC, on Twitter or Networked Blogs for 1 extra entry (up to 3). Leave a seperate comment for each. (Each comment counts as an entry.)
* Follow PIllow Pets on Facebook (Leave a comment)
* Update your Facebook status to tell your friends about the giveaway! Make sure to tag me
@how.many.kids in your status. (This is good for 3 entries and you don't have to leave a comment on the
blog)
* Putting my button on your blog counts as 2 entries. (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about giveaway 3 entries (Leave 3 comments)



Hurry and enter!! Giveaway ends Wednesday 6/30 @ 9 pm eastern. GOOD LUCK!!!




***Disclaimer: I received this product free in exchange for my honest opinion and review.***

Make Your Own Gum Kit Review and Giveaway

This is my 13th "Schools Out...Now What?" post.  Are you looking for a fun and educational activity for your kids this summer?  Then you should check out the Make Your Own Chewing Gum kit By Glee!!  It comes with everything you need to make 50 pieces of gum.  Inside each Make Your Own Chewing Gum Kit you'll find: chewing gum base (containing natural chicle), confectioner's sugar, corn syrup, natural cinnamon and cherry flavors, a pan for softening the chicle gum base, instructions and the story of chicle. 

My kids thought it was funny that chicle comes from tree sap.  First you place the corn syrup in boiling water so that it gets hot.  Then you melt the chewing gum base.  Then you combine the 2.  Trying to combine them is like trying to mix glue into ABC gum, very hard!!  LOL Then you knead the gum until it resembles bread dough. Then you spilt the "dough" into 2 peices and add flavoring to each peice.  The kit comes with cherry flavoring and cinnamon.  Then you just knead until the flavor and sugar are incorporated together.  I had Blake and Kayla helping so I gave Cinnamon to Kayla and Blake took Cherry.  Kneading the gum was hard work but the kids had lots of fun!!







Glee Gum makes two other kits besides Make Your Own Gum, they have a Make Your Own Chocolate and a Make Your Own Gummies.  Thanks to Molly 1 lucky reader will win the kit of their choice!!


How To Enter:
Mandatory Entry (must be done for extra entries to count):
* Go to Glee Gum and check out the different kits. Leave me a comment with which Kit you would love to receive and your email address. (I will notify the winner by email. They will then have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be choosen.)

Extra Entries:
*Follow me with GFC, on Twitter or Networked Blogs for 1 extra entry (up to 3). Leave a seperate comment for each. (Each comment counts as an entry.)
* Follow Glee Gum on twitter (leave a comment with your twitter name)
* Like Glee Gum on Facebook (Leave a comment)
* Update your Facebook status to tell your friends about the giveaway! Make sure to tag me
@how.many.kids and Glee Gum in your status. (This is good for 3 entries and you don't have to leave a comment on the blog)
* Putting my button on your blog counts as 2 entries. (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about giveaway 3 entries (Leave 3 comments.)


Hurry and enter this giveaway ends July 3rd at 9 pm eastern!!  Good Luck!!


***Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion and review.***

Thursday, June 17

Treaure Chest Pets Review and Giveaway

This is my ninth "Schools Out...Now What?" post.  Hi My name is Allison and my 9 year old Blake is a hoarder.  (...Hi Allison)  He has so much junk ( It's not junk it's my stuff and I need it!) on his bed that he SLEEPS on his bedroom floor. He says he is putting stuff up there so the little kids don't get it.  I was thrilled when I found Treasure Chest Pets!! 

They look like a stuffed animal but they have hidden compartments to store your stuff in!  Blake got the Treasure Chest Monkey.  They are also available in: Accessory Chest Dog, Media Chest Bear, Accessory Chest Pig, Treasure Chest Cow, and Media Chest Horse. 


The monkey's head connects to the body with a magnet and can be removed to use as a pillow.  With the head off, you can open the body to reveal the treasure chest.  The top of the head also has a zip up pocket to store more important things. 
Blake loves his monkey!!  He puts all the stuff he doesn't want the little kids to get and they are really good about leaving the monkey alone.  Blake also says that the pillow head is very comfy and just the right size for a throw pillow.

Each pet has a "most popular with ages....." section so if you are buying a gift and are unsure which Treasure chest pet to pick, this will help. The secret pockets and bodies vary depending on which type you get.  They are soft and very well made.  I'm sure Monkey will last for years to come.


Thanks to Lisa, 1 lucky reader will win a Treasure Chest Pet of their choice!! 


HOW TO ENTER

Mandatory Entry (must be done for extra entries to count):
* Go to TC Pets and check out the different Treasure Chest Pets. Leave me a comment with which Pet you would love to receive and your email address. (I will notify the winner by email. They will then have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be choosen.)

Extra Entries:
*Follow me with GFC, on Twitter or Networked Blogs for 1 extra entry (up to 3). Leave a seperate comment for each. (Each comment counts as an entry.)
* Update your Facebook status to tell your friends about the giveaway! Make sure to tag me      
   @how.many.kids in your status. (This is good for 3 entries and you don't have to leave a comment on the
    blog)
* Putting my button on your blog counts as 2 entries. (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about giveaway 3 entries (Leave 3 comments)

Hurry and enter!!  Giveaway ends Thursday 6/24 @ 9 pm easter.  GOOD LUCK!!!


**Disclaimer:  I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion and review.***

Wednesday, June 16

Silly Bandz

This is my eighth post for "Schools Out...Now What?" Are your kids obsessed with Silly Bandz? You have no idea what I'm talking about? Well they are silicon "rubber" bands that come in tons of fun shapes and designs.  My 1st and 3rd graders (OMG!  They are now 2nd and 4th graders!!!) came home with a couple before school was out, that they had received from friends. My hubby wasn't a big fan but today the kids were BORED!  So we decided to walk at the mall (free AC!!) One of those "stuff your own animal" stores was selling the bandz for $4.99 for a pack of 24.  The kids had been really good so we decided to let them pick out a pack to share.  They couldn't agree until I pointed out the dinosaurs.  Sold!!

The kids love them and they are a cheap bribe. We gave each of the kids (the ones that are over 3 or almost 3) two to wear and play with. I figure they will spend the rest (Ok realistically, they will probably last a couple weeks) of summer being good and trying to earn more.  If you haven't already you should check them out before your kids come home wanting them!

Wat-aah!! Review and Giveaway

This is my seventh "Schools Out... Now What?" post.  So while your kids are running around having tons of fun this summer it is important that they drink lots of water to stay hydrated.  What? Your kids don't like to drink water? They say its boring? Not anymore!! Have you heard of  WAT-AAH??  They are changing the way your kids think about water.  They just started a new advertising campagin (pictured) Don't Drink______- Drink WAT-AAH!!

My kids loved it when I pulled out the 4 different colored bottles:
Blue: {Brain} The first premium water with added electrolytes to encourage faster rehydration and cooling down
Orange: {Power} The first premium water with magnesium to help bone growth
Pink:  {Body} Natural spring water, absolutely free of sugar
Green:  {Energy} The first premium water infused with oxygen for increased metabolic function and energy

They all taste the same (This tastes like water-said my 4 year old, Jacob) but are a little different.  My kids decided that they would divide them amongst themselves according to color.  Jacob gets blue (so he doesn't cry), Kayla gets pink (cause she's the only girl), Cody gets green (cause thats his favorite color), and Blake gets orange (cause I have power and cause its the only one left!).

The bottles are really awesome and made of thick plastic.  If you have ever seen the SmartWater bottles, they are the same but smaller.  I really wish my local store (Earth Fare in Johnon City, TN *wink wink*) sold WAT-AAH! I would love to take them to school with me.

My kids love the colors and the boy that is yelling on them. They even say water the way it is spelled. WAT-AAH! It is so funny to hear! Now my kids always drink water but I am willing to bet that any kid would drink WAT-AAH.



Another cool thing that WAT-AAH is doing is they are having a talent and skills competition this summer!!Called The Show Me WAT-You-Got Competition, they are asking people to submit videos showcasing your kids doing their special skill or talent.  They are offering some amazing prizes too!!  It only started a couple of weeks ago and ends September 30, 2010. Your soccer star could win a trip to Milan!  Your Next American Idol could win a chance to record her song!! 

Thanks to Chrisitine, I am giving 1 lucky reader a mixed case of WAT-AAH and
some WAT-AAH! Goodies (Stickers, tattoos, pencils etc...)!!

HOW TO ENTER:

Mandatory Entry (must be done for extra entries to count):
* Go to http://wat-you-got.com/ and check out the contest and prizes.  Leave me a comment on what prize you would like to win and your email address. (I will notify the winner by email. They will then have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be choosen.)

Extra Entries:
*Follow me with GFC, on Twitter or Networked Blogs for 1 extra entry (up to 3). Leave a seperate comment for each. (Each comment counts as an entry.)
* Like WAT-AAH on Facebook and leave them a comment that I sent you! (This is good for 2 entries so leave me 2 comments)
* Update your Facebook status to tell your friends about the giveaway! Make sure to tag WAT-AAH @WAT-AAH and me @how.many.kids in your status. (This is good for 3 entries and you don't have to leave a comment on the blog)
* Follow WAT-AAH on Twitter (1 extra entry)
* Putting my button on your blog counts as 2 entries. (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about giveaway 3 entries (Leave 3 comments)


Hurry and enter this giveaway ends Thursday 6/24 @ 9 pm easter!!  GOOD LUCK!!


*** I received a 4 pack of WAT-AAH free in exchange for my honest opinion and review.*** 

Tuesday, June 15

Hands On! Museum

This is my sixth "Schools Out... Now What?" post.  Today we decided to take the kids to the local Children's museum.  Here in Johnson City, TN it is called the Hands On! Regional Museum.  Back in CA we had a Children's Museum but we never went because I always took the kids to the "real" museums like the Natural History or the Art Museum.  Here are some of the fun things the kids got to do!


















The museum has a grocery store, bank, an abandoned coal mine with tunnels to crawl through, bubble table, art room; actual plane, tractor, and car; and tons more!  The kids have an awesome time!!  You should check and see if you have a local Children's Museum!  They are cheap and super fun!!

Summer Fun!!

This is my fourth "Schools Out... Now What?" post. 

We were at Walmart the other day looking at all the summer splash/pool toys and we saw that they had a new Toy Story 3 Slip N Slide for only $5!!  We couldn't pass up that kind of deal so we bought it!  Here are the results!









Monday, June 14

Bummas Review and Giveaway


This is my third "School's Out... Now what?" post.  This isn't really for the kids but without this product your kids would laugh at you and you would get mad and thats not good for anyone! Have you ever had a baby (specifically a boy) pee on you?  Did your older kids almost die laughing?  (Can you tell I have had all of the above happen?) Well now thanks to Bummas that will never happen again.  Well my kids will probably still laugh at me but at least I won't get peed on to provide them with giggles.

What are bummas you ask? Well they are "are small, soft, luxurious, ecofriendly
baby-sized cloths made especially for drying baby bottoms, as well as blocking those surprise squirts."  They were created by a Mom out of necessity.  They are sized 5" X 7" and made of 100% cotton woven velour terry cloth.  They are washable, durable, and (best of all...Ok maybe not but still) made in California!!  They come in packs of 10 and there are 5 different color sets. 

1. The Boys:  Blues and greens for the little boys.
2. The Girls:  Pinks and purples for the little ladies.
3. The Calm Ones:  Earthy browns and greens with a touch of sunset.
4. The Wild Ones:  One of each...just for fun. (Pictured)
5. The Tropicals Ones:  Bright and colorful for any nursery.

We received the Wild Ones (do you think she is trying to tell me something?)  Now that Mason is 1, (Aww.  His birthday was yeaterday!!) he doesn't really pee like he did as a newborn.  But the main cause of diaper rash is a wet butt in a diaper.  After cleaning Mason, I use a Bumma to dry him off.  That way he will be nice and comfy in his clean diaper. 

Cody has been getting a really bad rash off and on lately so when he does have one, I wet the Bumma and use that in place of a baby wipe.  Helps the rash heal and it is way nicer on the booty then the wipes.

Thanks to Casey one reader gets a Bummas set in their choice of color!!

How to Enter

Mandatory Entry (must be done for extra entries to count):
* Go to Bummas and check out the different colors. Leave me a comment with which color set you would love to receive and your email address. (I will notify the winner by email. They will then have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be choosen.)

Extra Entries:
*Follow me with GFC, on Twitter or Networked Blogs for 1 extra entry (up to 3). Leave a seperate comment for each. (Each comment counts as an entry.)
* Putting my button on your blog counts as 2 entries. (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about giveaway 3 entries (Leave 3 comments)

Hurry and enter!!  Giveaway ends Wednesday 6/23 @ 9 pm eastern.  Good Luck!!


***I received this product free in exchange for my honest opinion and review.***

Sunday, June 13

Mason's First Birthday!!!

This is my second "Schools Out...Now What?" post.  I CAN"T believe that he is one already!!  Wow time is flying.  We just had a small (well I guess with 8 people that is a good sized party LOL) party at home for him.  I made vanilla cake and added in some chocolate chips and frosted with chocolate frosting.  I made a 9" cake for Mason and a dozen cupcakes for the rest of us.  He got 2 books, an airplane, stacking/nesting squares, $20, and some bath toys.  He also has a couple of packages on the way from family out of state.  He wouldn't eat the cake but loved the frosting!!  It was really funny because he grabbed the "1" candle and was using it like an utensil!! Here are the pictures!













Pawparazzi Review and Giveaway

This is my first "Schools Out...Now What?" post.  I decided that since my daughter was moping around bored (I Hate my room!!  There is nothing to do!) I would have her Guest Post her review of the toys she got.

Have you seen Pawparazzi??  They are really cute puppies and cats that come with a carrier/purse, a leash, mini notebook, and a mini magazine!  They have 6 different ones: Lexy and Roxy (they are both out of stock), Toby, Daisy, Indy and Misty.  Kayla received Toby, who is a black cat.

They also sell super cute outfits for your pet!  Kayla received the day at the spa outfit. Day at the Spa outfit comes with a robe, slippers, a bag, a towel, and a sleep mask.  They also sell: Dream Birthday, Flower Fairy, and Winter Holiday.
They also sell accessories such as pet beds and a hotel for your pet to visit.  Kayla received a pink pet bed but they are also available in leopard print.

Now I am handing it over to my guest poster: Kayla (who is 7)!

"I like Toby a lot. The slippers fit well and the robe fits well too. The hood is long, it covers her face. She is awesome. I love Toby. I like to pretend she is a real kitty. I put her in my purple, convertible Barbie car. Sometimes I pretend she is going to her car but it is raining so she gets soaking wet. I put her in her bed. I think this is a cool toy and that everyone will love them a lot. The end"

Now for the awesome news!!  Thanks to Susan I am giving away one pet and one dress up outfit!!


How To Enter:


Mandatory Entry (must be done for extra entries to count):
* Go to Pawparazzi and check out the different pets and fashions. Leave me a comment with the pet and fashion you would love to receive and your email address. (I will notify the winner by email. They will then have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be choosen.)

Extra Entries:
*Follow me with GFC, on Twitter or Networked Blogs for 1 extra entry (up to 3). Leave a seperate comment for each. (Each comment counts as an entry.)
* Like Pawparazzi on Facebook and leave them a comment that I sent you! (This is good for 2 entries so leave me 2 comments)
* Update your Facebook status to tell your friends about the giveaway! Make sure to tag Pawparazzi @pawparazzi and me @how.many.kids  in your status.  (This is good for 3 entries and you don't have to leave a comment on the blog)
* Follow Pawparazzi on Twitter (1 extra entry)
* Putting my button on your blog counts as 2 entries. (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about giveaway 3 entries (Leave 3 comments)


Good Luck!!! Hurry and enter the giveaway ends Sunday June 20th @ 9 pm eastern.




*** Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest review and opinon***

Saturday, June 12

Schools Out...Now What??

Since most schools are now on summer break, and I have all 5 kids at home, I decided that we should have a week long event to help come up with activities, art projects, and GIVEAWAYS!! to keep your kids entertained and busy.  But first a sneak peek!!

Have you heard of CSN stores? I hadn't until another blogger was doing a giveaway.  They are amazing!  They sell housewares, sofas, mountain bikes, and outdoor toys!  I am so excited to be doing a review/giveaway of a 36" trampoline!!  I know that will keep the kids occupied for many hours outside! I have my fingers crossed that I will receive it in time to include in "Schools Out...Now What?" but if not look for it very soon after that!

Come back everyday for the next 2 weeks for giveaways, activity ideas, receipes to cook with your kids, and much more.  If you have some great ideas for fun activities please leave a comment here or email me!!

Friday, June 4

Drum Roll Please...


Congratulations to #16 Jessica!!  She said "I follow you on FB."  Thanks to everyone who entered! Keep watching, I'll have some great new things to giveaway soon!

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!!!



And the winner is #7!!  Aubrie said "I love tablecloths! My favorite is the dusty rose."  I will email her and she will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Thanks for entering!!