Category Archives: Mommy Ramblings

“Guess How Much I Love You” Baby Milestones Gift Set #Giveaway

I don’t believe it is a secret that we are a book loving family.  I love reading aloud to my kids. I love it so much, I even read to them in utero. There are some books that have never lost their appeal from my oldest to my youngest, they are timeless classics like, Guess How Much I Love You

The love expressed between Big and Little Nutbrown Hare, is one that parents know well. The book is so sweet, and I have loved sharing it with my children over the years.

I think it makes the perfect baby shower gift and this time of year it is a great pick for baby’s first Easter. What could be better?

Believe it or not, it does get better, because it is available in an adorable gift set called Baby Milestone Moments. This super sweet gift set pairs a Guess How Much I Love You  board book with a set of beautifully designed milestone cards!

How cute is this set? Reading Guess How Much I Love You with a little one is always a memory in the making. Now, the enchanting art of this perennial family classic can play a unique part in remembering  baby’s first months and years. Parents and caregivers can capture special moments by taking photos of their child with the appropriate milestone cards. 

Giveaway

Candlewick Press is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings! Two lucky blog readers will win their own Guess How Much I Love You, Baby Milestone Moments Board Book & Card Set! Thank you to Candlewick Press for the review set and for sponsoring this special giveaway on Mommy Ramblings! Open to US Residents.

Guess How Much I Love You, Baby Milestone Moments: Board Book & Cards Gift Set Giveaway Rules:

Enter below for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget. Good Luck!!!

If you are interested in receiving a set for review and/or giveaway, please respond to this e-mail by 2/1.

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Filed under Baby, Books, Gifts, Giveaway, Mommy Ramblings

A Photo Engraved Bracelet from PicturesOnGold.com Makes a Treasured Valentine’s Day Gift

Valentine’s Day is coming up and if you celebrate it, I have an idea that is unique and beautiful. PicturesOnGold.com is the source for beautiful jewelry that is customized with one of your favorite photos and engraving. The photo engraving is scratch and water-resistant, so it is durable and its beauty will not fade.

This family owned business was founded in 1986, and operates out of Staten Island, NY. They ship in 1 day, I could not believe how quickly my bracelet arrived. It is absolutely beautiful. I chose the Sterling Silver Adjustable Round Photo Engraved Bracelet and a favorite photo for the front and a special message and anniversary date to be engraved on the back.

The bracelet allows you to easily adjust the size so it can fit all wrists. This stylish bracelet is held together by a rounded box chain, with a round photo charm attached at the center. Beyond Valentine’s Day, this bracelet makes the perfect gift for any occasion.

The back of the round photo charm can be engraved with a message, monogram, names or dates and your special photo can be added to the front. Photos have a 100% lifetime guarantee. All Sterling Silver is protected with a tarnish resistance to help it last for years without tarnishing and the engraving does not delay shipment of you order.

See my video below to see just how beautiful this bracelet is

I hope you appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of this bracelet as much as I do. If you do, you will be thrilled to learn we are having a giveaway where you can enter to win your own sterling silver photo engraved bracelet.

Giveaway

Pictures On Gold is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings! One lucky blog reader will win their own Sterling Silver Adjustable Round Photo Engraved Bracelet! Thank you to Pictures On Gold for the review bracelet and for sponsoring this amazing giveaway on Mommy Ramblings. Open to US residents.

 Sterling Silver Adjustable Round Photo Engraved Bracelet Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!!!

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Filed under Gifts, Giveaway, jewelry, Mommy Ramblings, Review

Meet The Largest Corolle Doll and the 14″ Boy Doll That Uses The Potty #Giveaway

If you have been following Mommy Ramblings for a while, you will probably be aware that we are fans of Corolle Dolls, and just like the last several years, you will find them on our 2017 Holiday Gift GuideThis year we are featuring our first boy Corolle Doll and the biggest Corolle baby girl doll.

Mon Bébé Chéri to Dress is perfect for girls who want a large baby doll that they can dress in real baby clothes. This 20 inch doll can wear real 3 month size baby clothes. She has eyes that close when you lay her down and a cuddly soft body.

Check out our video review of this doll below:

Now, I want you to meet Paul, the drink and wet bath baby doll. This 14″ Corolle boy baby doll is anatomically correct. He can really drink his bottle and he is a very good boy who knows how to use the potty.

He does not leak, but will pee when his belly is pressed. This is the perfect doll to use when toilet training little boys too! To add more fun and realistic play, Paul can also take a real bath and the Corolle Baby Tub is a fun accessory to bathe him in.

You can see our video review and demonstration of Paul below:

The Bathtub for large (14 & 17 inch) My Classique Corolle dolls is an essential accessory for girls and boys to give their dolls a bath. Perfect for all Corolle dolls which can be played with in water.

 

He comes dressed in underpants and tank top along with his bottle and potty. Children can dress him in any of the Mon Classique Corolle Clothes for 14″ Dolls, like the Smock and Denim Overall Set.

 

He needed white sneakers and a pacifier too! They are both available as accessories for this Corolle doll.

 

Another realistic accessory for Corolle Dolls is the Cherry Umbrella Stroller. Just like a real stroller! The Cherry Umbrella Stroller for large My Classique Corolle dolls is fantastic! Lightweight and foldable, The Cherry Umbrella Stroller is easy to take along. The icing on the cake is that the grey wheels don’t show the dirt!

 

Giveaway:

Corolle Mon Bébé Chéri to Dress Doll and Cherry Umbrella Stroller Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!!!

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Filed under Christmas, Dolls and Dollhouses, Giveaway, Holiday Gift Guide, Mommy Ramblings, Review, Toys

Living on a Tight Budget? 6 Creative Ways to Be More Charitable

The holidays often inspire people to give back to those less fortunate. However, if you’re on a tight budget, you may not think that you have the means to do some good. Giving can be done any time of the year. You also don’t need to be a professional athlete or Hollywood actor to make your own mark in this world. Here are 6 creative ways you can be more charitable without breaking your budget.

Offer Your Time

If you’re looking to be more charitable, your time can be a precious gift. If you’re handy and do a good job maintaining your home,  you can volunteer to build houses for those in need. For those who love and adore animals, you may want to foster dogs and cats until they’ve found their forever homes. After work, tutor kids in language, math or reading at an under-privileged group home. During the holidays, offer to serve meals or hand out food at a food bank or soup kitchen.

Save Spare Change

Between work and family, your life may be filled with challenges. Money struggles, going through a divorce or being falsely accused of domestic violence can prove devastating. The struggles can even ruin your reputation and hinder you from getting ahead with your career. However, by becoming more charitable, you’ll be bringing good into your household. With the wide number of groups and organizations that are looking for assistance, you may not have the funds to assist everyone.

If you’re limited on cash and have spare change lying around, put it in a bucket. Every time you pay for groceries, clothes or other necessities, you can put your change into this container. As the money adds up, you’ll have enough coins to put toward charities such as the Salvation Army kettle. There are other small monetary donations that won’t make too much of a dent in your checking account. Popular methods include when the cashier at a retail establishment asks you to donate $1 to help a homeless pet shelter or child with cancer.

Keep Your Eyes Open

Your local supermarket or retail clothing store may offer two-for-one sales or discounts on items. If you get an extra set of freebies, think about donating goods to a homeless shelter. The holiday season is a great time to declutter your home. If your used merchandise is in good condition, your local Goodwill center or thrift store may benefit from the clothes, shoes, coats and housewares. Your old electronics may also be valuable as they can be refurbished and sold to families in need. Eyewear can also be costly. Instead of tossing out your old glasses to make room for new, the Lions Club has a sight program that collects used eyeglasses.

Be Kind to Planet Earth

The Earth has taken a beating in recent years as pollution and other contaminants continue to harm the planet. If you’re looking to protect Mother Nature, adopt eco-friendly habits with the family. If you get the paper or magazines delivered, recycle the material. You can also use cloth bags routinely when grocery shopping or tote a reusable mug when bringing your coffee to work. You may also volunteer for your cities trash cleanup program designed to keep roadways and highways litter free.

Get Moving for a Cause

If you’re looking to become more charitable and stay fit, you can walk or run for a cause. There are a number of organizations such as finding a cure for breast cancer and helping the hungry who use walks and races to raise money. Encourage your friends and family members to get more involved and make a day out of the event. The Internet has a host of offerings, and the money to race is typically minimal.

Focus on Your Family

Some say that charity begins at home, and it actually does. Although you may have plans to save the world, offer your family some love and undivided attention first. Instead of burying your nose in your laptop or cell phone, ditch the electronics and focus on your children, pets and partner. Break out the games or get outside and go for a walk or bike ride.

If you’ve stretched your finances to the brink, it can be challenging monetarily to offer your assistance. But giving back to those who are in need doesn’t always mean reaching for your check book. Using the above strategies, you can become more charitable and still stay on target with your budget.

This is a sponsored guest post that does not necessarily reflect the views or ideals of Mommy Ramblings. 

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Filed under Christmas, Holiday, Mommy Ramblings, sponsored guest post

Overwhelmed? Discover, “Why Motherhood Matters” #Giveaway

Tomorrow, I have to go for two ultrasound scans. To say the least, the last few weeks have been a rollercoaster. Already dealing with having our lives torn apart for the last year, as we have had to undergo a near total renovation of our house. This required moving out, having all our belongings packed by a less than careful mold remediation company and now dealing with a less than ethical contractor who took a large deposit on work he never even started.

So, now on top of everything, we are starting the litigation process to bring this contractor and his partner (wife) to justice and get our money back. They have caused us weeks of delays and much angst. I ended up being rushed to the hospital one night thinking I was having a heart attack. They found out that, thankfully, I was not having a heart attack but tomorrow I need to have an echocardiogram to rule out mitral valve prolapse and my thyroid levels (I am hypothyroid) were very low. This could be the reason for the chest pain etc. I had my levels tested again and they are normal but the doctor felt an enlargement in my thyroid, and that is the other scan I am going for. I would love your prayers and good thoughts because I am feeling a big weary.

Speaking of being weary, motherhood itself can leave us feeling overwhelmed. Add to that health issues, and it can sap our energy as we worry about something happening to us, and what that would mean to our family. As much as we try to stay positive, those negative thoughts creep in. Since I was told there was an enlargement on one side of my thyroid, it feels that the fullness I felt from time to time in my throat, is now constant. It also feels like something is pulling from my collarbone when I turn my neck. As much as I try to push it from my thoughts, they find a way of creeping in. This morning, I woke up at the crack of dawn, and could not lie there because of the thoughts that kept coming into my mind. I had to get up and do something to try and take my mind off tomorrow.

As mothers, our lives are so full and no matter how much we get accomplished, we tend to focus on all the things we did not get done. We are so critical on ourselves. It can easily leave us feeling overwhelmed. Maybe you have even wondered if you were succeeding at motherhood. We tend to berate ourselves about everything we did not complete or do.  Worse yet, social media has introduced us to hoards of  “supermoms” who only make us feel worse about ourselves. We have to understand everything is not what it seems on social media, and the “supermom” you see, is probably hanging by a thread just like you are many days.

I understand that many mothers feel overwhelmed and have at least fleeting thoughts of inadequacy. That is why I want to introduce you to, Why Motherhood Matters by September McCarthy. The author has been a mom for 25 years (close to how long I have been a mother but, I have a few years more on the job, lol), like myself ,she continues to raise young children and loves her young adults.

September imparts words of wisdom and grace in key areas of Christian parenting, including faith (getting honest with your family about your need for Jesus), wellness (learning to take care of your kids and yourself), education (raising a new generation with creativity and character), and relationships (speaking to the heart of your children in unique ways). On the pages of the book, you’ll find sweet anecdotes and gentle guidance for those moments you need both a breather and a lifeline.

More About September:

September McCarthy is a writer, speaker, blogger (One September Day at www.septembermccarthy.com), wife, and a home-educating mother to ten beautiful children. Today, she juggles motherhood and being a grandmother as her older children are married with families of their own.  She is also the founder and director of Raising Generations Today, a nonprofit ministry designed to equip and inspire moms to reach the hearts of their children for God’s glory.

Giveaway:

We are happy to run a giveaway for our readers. One lucky Mommy Ramblings’ reader will win their own copy of, Why Motherhood Matters. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Open to residents of the USA.

Why Motherhood Matters Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules

Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!!!

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Filed under Blog Tour, Books, Giveaway, Mommy Ramblings, parenting, Spiritual

Cars 3 Digital is Available Today & Free Cars 3 Activity Download

Start your engines and get ready to race because today is the day CARS 3 can be cruising into your home on Digital HD. That’s right, Tuesday, October 24th, Disney and Pixar release this new fast-paced tale of Lightning McQueen, his classic CARS friends and a new spirited trainer Cruz Ramirez!  Lighting finds himself pushed out of racing by a new generation of faster and younger cars and goes on a journey to discover where he belongs in this new type of high-octane competition.

To celebrate this new digital release, check out the CARS 3 Halloween Fun Kit you can download. Just click on the image below and get ready for family movie night!

 

Download Cars 3 Halloween Activities
What do you think of the great activity downloads and when are you planning your family movie night?

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Filed under Disney, Mommy Ramblings, Movies

Why Even New Bloggers Should Never Work For Free

As a professional blogger, social media influencer and digital marketing strategist for almost 10 years, there is something that really gets under my skin.  I rarely see it myself, because I nipped it in the bud many years ago. However, blogging forums are peppered with posts from new bloggers sharing how they received an email from a PR rep asking them to promote a service or app without any mention of compensation. Even over the internet, I can see the quivering lip of the new blogger, as they meekly ask, if this is okay.  Some will try to justify it by saying  they really have no right to ask for compensation, because their blog is brand new.

It isn’t just bloggers, who are routinely asked to “donate” their services. Photographers, Magicians, Vocalists, Graphic Artists and DJ’s  are often asked by friends to provide their services for free. These well meaning friends will even go so far as to tell them it will be great experience, they will make new contacts and build their portfolio. The way they spin it, they should be so grateful to provide their services for nothing. When people get something for free, they don’t put much value in it. By accepting the gig, they are putting a nail in the coffin of their career. The bottom line is, if they want to be treated like a professional, they need to start acting like one!

Even the newest blogger needs to quit acting like their work has no value, and their time is not precious.  This is easier said than done because many newbies have a hard time standing their ground. They may even try to justify taking the job for free, telling themselves it is a portfolio builder.

I will-not work for free

I tell new bloggers they are going to need a strong backbone. Next , they need to respond to the email  with confidence.  Their response should let the PR rep know that they think the app or service sounds like it would be a great fit for their blog audience and social media followers.  Further more, they need to explain they are skilled at creating buzz worthy content that will drive targeted traffic to the brand’s website and social media accounts. Lastly, they need to ask what the compensation is for promoting this content on their blog and social media channels,  I guarantee Gloria from  XYZ Media is getting paid to find the bloggers and social media influencers to promote this, so why shouldn’t they?

I also prep them about how to respond if they receive a reply from Gloria stating the client has a very small budget and while they are not able to provide compensation for this campaign, they have many other clients and may contact them in the future for paid promotions.

Now, they say that for a reason, they want the new blogger to think, if they throw this away, they will never hear from this agency with any other opportunities.  It usually works like a charm, and the rep gets free promotion that they then charge their client for. To make it worse, the blogger goes on the agency’s  “Will Blog For Free” List.  Their name will never make it to big budget clients, because by accepting the free gig, it showed the rep  they are not a professional blogger.

The bottom line is, if  you  want to be taken seriously, you need to respond confidently, that you can definitely create buzz worthy content to promote the product or service, but you don’t work for free. Go even further, turn the tables and ask them if they work for free? Don’t be afraid, let them know, you are well aware they are not a volunteer at XYZ Media.

I’m not saying you should never volunteer for worthwhile things, but make sure you are not being taken advantage of. The perception some have of bloggers, is that what we do is so easy, or of such little value, we should be glad to have some content to post.  They want us to think, they are really doing us a favor.

It is the exact opposite, bloggers are powerful influencers brands can plug-in with to have their product or service promoted to the blog’s audience which likely is their target market. Bloggers have the  power to create and amplify stories, experiences, services, images and ideas through their posts as well as ingniting a social media fire storm of tweets, pins, posts, likes and shares on every major social media channel.

Start valuing your work! The next time you get an email from any rep or agency trying to make you feel special because they picked you to promote their client for free, just ask what the blogger compensation is.  Go on, you can do it.  Be proud of your work.  When you feel the butterflies, just ask yourself if the client they are pitching you about is paying them for their services.  You know the answer is yes, so why would you let them take advantage of you?

Have you ever dealt with someone asking you to do your craft for free like they were doing you a favor?  How did you respond?  Please share your stories, I would love to hear them.

 

 

 

 

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Disneynature Born In China on Blu-ray Combo Pack-#Giveaway

We love the Disneynature films, so when I saw Disney’s Born In China, I knew we had to have it. Born in China is the seventh theatrical release from Disneynature, which brings the world’s top nature filmmakers together to share wildlife stories that engage, inspire and educate. The breathtaking footage and high-definition quality picture is captivating for audiences of all ages and is a must-add to the in-home collection. Disneynature’s newest true-life adventure film “Born in China” journeys into homes on Digital and Blu-ray™ Combo Pack on Aug. 29.

This film is narrated by John Krasinski, it transports audiences to some of the world’s most extreme environments of China where few people have ever ventured to witness wildly intimate and adorable moments in the lives of three animal families – a doting panda bear mother, a 2-year-old golden snub-nosed monkey, and a mother snow leopard.

Furthermore, the in-home release comes packaged with all-new bonus features that take viewers deeper into the making of a true-life adventure film, showcasing the extreme measures it took to travel, film, observe and encounter these amazing animals in their natural habitats in the far northeast China; Showcases how Disneynature and the Disney Conservation efforts behind these films have helped make a difference around the globe; and features the full music video by “American Authors” end-credit song “Everything Everything.”

The film is directed by accomplished Chinese filmmaker Lu Chuan and produced by Disney’s Roy Conli and renowned nature filmmakers Brian Leith and Phil Chapman. The film features an orchestral score composed by Emmy®-winner Barnaby Taylor that incorporates authentic Chinese flavors.

Visit the Disneynature website HERE to download a FREE Educator’s Guide and Activity Packet to go with the film.

BONUS FEATURES (Blu-ray & Digital)*: 

Panda Suits & Bamboo Shoots – Join the team as they struggle through an almost impenetrable bamboo forest in an effort to capture footage of pandas in the wild.

Walking with Monkeys – The shivering crew bundles up to film the adorable golden snub-nosed monkeys engaged in a surprisingly human activity.

Masters of Camouflage – Go behind the scenes as the filmmakers set out on a quest never before achieved: to find and film a snow leopard family in the wild.

Wading Through Wetlands – A crew travels to far northeast China to catch the first moments of a red-crowned crane chick’s life.

“Everything Everything” Music Video Performed by American Authors check out the full music video of American Authors end-credit song “Everything Everything.”

Disneynature: Get Inspired, Get Involved –Join Disneynature and the Disney Conservation as they thank our audiences and the animals who star in the films for helping to make Disneynature and its conservation efforts a success.

DISC SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Product SKUs:                                                     Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray+DVD+Digital), Digital HD/SD, and On-Demand
  • Feature Run Time:                                             Approximately 79 minutes
  • Rating:                                                                  G in U.S., G in CE, and G in CF
  • Aspect Ratio:                                                      1080p High Definition / Widescreen 1:78:1
  • Audio:                                                                   English Audio 5.1 DTS-HDMA
  • Languages/Subtitles:                                        Blu-ray = English SDH, Spanish and French

Would you like a chance to win this great Blu-ray combo pack of Born In China? If so, enter our giveaway below.

Giveaway:

Walt Disney Studios is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings. One lucky blog reader will win their own Born In China Blu-ray combo pack! Thank you Walt Disney Studios for the review movie and for sponsoring this amazing giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!! Open to US Residents in the contiguous 48 states.
Born In China Blu-ray Combo Pack Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:
Enter below using the Rafflecopter Widget. Good Luck!!!

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Filed under Disney, Family Fun, Giveaway, Mommy Ramblings, Movies

Discover Epson’s HD 720p Home Theater Projector For The Whole Family

We have been having an amazing summer with the Epson PowerLite 740 Home Cinema. Outdoor movie nights under the stars have been a blast for our family and friends. You do not need to invest a great deal of money to get a projector that is crisp and clear. This Epson Projector is under $400 and has so many great features.

  • 3000 Lumens of Color Brightness (color light output)
  • 3000 Lumens of White Brightness (white light output)
  • 720p HD widescreen resolution
  • Widescreen
  •  HDMI Connectivity
  •  Built In Speaker
  •  Two Year Warranty

We love that we can use this outside on a DIY sheet screen, inside right on our living room wall, in our basement, anywhere. It is so portable and easy to hook with its HDMI Connectivity. The colors are so bright thanks to the 3LCD, 3-chip technology. No need to hook up speakers because the built in speaker is more than adequate.

It projects in widescreen, which means we see the complete frame and watch video content the way it was filmed and meant to be seen. We can easily hook it to our Roku, DVD player, laptop, cable box, gaming console and more.  The optimized color modes lets us adjust the color to whatever media or environment we are using.

The Dynamic Contrast Mode lets us see rich detail even in dark scenes. The remote makes it effortless to operate. For presentation it has a moving arrow to point things out. Epson has a 2 year warranty on this projector and their customer support is top-notch. We will be uploading a YouTube Review so stay tuned

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Isn’t it time you took a #SummerCakeBreak?

I love summer, it is my favorite month. My kids are out of school, the weather is warm and we can enjoy these days making memories to cherish forever. Did you know July is National Ice Cream Month? It is, and what better way to celebrate summer than with ice cream? Better yet, let’s really celebrate with an ice cream cake.

Carvel Ice Cream Cakes were the cake we celebrated every birthday and special occasion with in my house growing up. I have so many great memories of my birthday parties with my school friends gathered around the table for ice cream cake. I continued that tradition in my own family, and my kids are sure glad I did.

When I was growing up we went to the Carvel store in the next town to get the cake, but today they are available at most major grocery stores like Shop Rite and Walmart.

Most of you know that our house is under a huge renovation and our kitchen is halfway done. Our lives have been in a great upheaval for several months, so we are trying to do things fun for the kids. This past Fourth of July weekend, I thought I would pick up a Carvel Family Size Ice Cream Cake when I was shopping in Walmart and have a nice treat with the family. My littlest ones could not wait, as soon as they knew I had that big Carvel Ice Cream Cake in the freezer, they started asking non-stop when we could eat it.

So, we set up a table outside and had an ice cream cake party to celebrate Independence Day. We let freedom ring with a scream for ice cream cake. With my house under construction and most of my things in storage, I did not have a lot to decorate with, but we did our best. I picked up some red star plates, some flag napkins, a flag tablecloth and a theme cowbell that I really like. The kids did not need a lot of fanfare, normally I would decorate the actual cake with my stash of cake decorating items, but they are in storage. Nevertheless, the kids did not mind and neither did the adults.

 

What about you? Isn’t it time for a #SummerCakeBreak? 

This is a sponsored post as a blogger working with Collectively Inc. As always my words and views are 100% my own.

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