Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Baby Got Moves–video and twitter party

Remember last month when I posted about Pampers Baby Got Moves campaign?
The video is ready to be released with lots of cute dancing babies AND on Thursday and I can’t wait to share it with you.
BUT!! There is something else happening on Thursday – a If you have never participated in a twitter party, they are really fun and the prizes are awesome!!
Twitter Party Information:
The Twitter Party will take place on Thursday October 2nd at 9pm EST. RSVP here:
To participate, follow your hosts @DoubleDutyDivas, @BridgetteLA, @CeceliaMecca @AngieKcom @WhatMommiesNeed @RamblingChick, and our sponsor @Pampers.
Twitter Party Prizes Include:
· 1 Pack of Baby Dry Diapers, a $15 iTunes GC and a VTech Learn and Dance Interactive Zoo
· 1 Pack of Baby Dry Diapers and a Zoo Tunes Mobile Blue Tooth Speaker (owl)
· 1 Pack of Baby Dry Diapers and a $100 Gift Card to Little Gym/Gymboree/My Gym
· 1 Pack of Baby Dry Diapers a $25 iTunes GC and an iPad Mini ($350 value)
· RSVP: 1 Pack of Baby Dry Diapers
You can always find Pampers on Facebook too.
I’ll be tweeting and participating in to the party – can’t wait to see you there!

*updated with the video! If you were at the Twitter Party let me know - it was a fun one!

This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Pampers. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine.

Friends, french toast & clean dishes #cascadeshiningreviews {giveaway}

We were lucky to have another opportunity to get together with friends to show off the cleaning power of Cascade Platinum. This time with French Toast, yogurt, and brownies!


The French Toast came out AWESOME! And of course made some awesomely sticky dishes to test the limits of Cascade (and my dishwasher).


We (well, everyone else) had mimosas so we could see how great Cascade worked on glasses and stem wear but I TOTALLY forgot to take pictures of the glasses.

Our royal party-goers were very busy chatting and eating! (I am terrible at remember to take pictures of the adults I hang out with!)


Once everyone was done eating, just like last time, we skipped the pre-wash (I am now a firm believer that this works!) and threw all the dishes in to clean. And look at this – spotless (and not a water spot to be seen on that mixing bowl!).


There is a great article on the power of Cascade – there are some great tips and stats. I had to laugh at the key survey finding related to re-loading the dishwasher because I am totally guilty of doing this! I may or may not also be guilty of spending my newly found free time shopping online. All of our guests took home some Cascade Platinum and Rinse Aid to try out at their own homes too, who doesn’t love functional party goodies?

Since I couldn’t invite you all over for dinner to see the power of Cascade first hand, we have a fun giveaway which includes the following:

· 1 pack of Cascade Platinum

· 1 Bottle of Cascade Rinse Aid

· Whisk

· Spatula

· Wine Topper

· Sugar Sifter

Cascade Prize Pack 2

Entering is EASY!

Simply leave a comment and tell me your favorite stick-to-your-ribs (and your dishes) comfort food!

Bonus entries – don’t forget to leave a separate comment for each

  • Follow Cascade on twitter and/or Facebook
  • Retweet this giveaway
  • Post this giveaway on Facebook
  • Tell me about the review you posted on

*Make sure you leave an email address in your comment if it’s not linked to your Google account. Giveaway is open until Friday October 10 at 11:59pm EST*

After you enter to win here stop over at to leave a review and be entered to win a Kitchen Aid dishwasher, it’s really REALLY easy!

1. Click here!

2. Click "Submit a Review"

3. Click on the "Platinum Pacs" and then "Leave a Review"

4. Fill in the fields and make sure you are placing #CascadeShiningReviews in the TITLE and BODY of the review.

5. Hit Submit!

I love when new products turn into favorite products and I hope you do too – Cascade Platinum is a winner in my book!

This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Cascade. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Beachin’ it {Summer Vacation 2014 part 1}

It’s been about a month since we were on vacation, which means I’ve had enough of “real life” for now and want to go back on vacation now. Since that’s not possible, it’s time to finally get this vacation recap done!

We flew to Florida, this was definitely not Gianna’s first flight but it was Aleesia’s. It was also the first time we’ve flown with a lap-child. We were renting a car when we got to Florida so we needed to take A’s car seat, a booster for G (we borrowed a friend’s bubble bum – it was great!), the stroller, and all of our carryon crap! We flew Southwest and had a great experience (free checked bags, for the win!)

Our flight left at 6am so we had the girls sleep in their airplane clothes (yoga pants/t-shirts) which made getting out of the house super simple. We typically fly out of a small, easy to maneuver airport which also makes things much simpler. Everyone made it through security without any issues and to the gate in time to have a cinnabun for breakfast.

Aleesia did fine on the plane – Gianna was showing her the ropes of how to be a first-class passenger! They really didn’t do anything on the plane except have some graham crackers and color (Color Wonder markers, always a winner!). Gianna played with the 2 Barbie’s I snuck in her bag for a little bit but they were both kind of tired and fairly calm for the whole flight.

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We stayed with family the first part of our trip which was great. We visited one of my favorite restaurants the first day and just chilled out, swam, visited, etc.

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The next day we went on the boat – another first for the girls. Aleesia loved it. Gianna, not so much at first. But they loved the end result that is for sure!

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We took them to Clearwater Beach for most of the day on Monday. I can’t believe that Aleesia fell asleep on the beach! But they both adored it. The gulf is my favorite place, it’s so warm, calm, and just my happy place.

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Monday night we told Gianna we had to leave early on Tuesday to go to a different beach for the end of our vacation so she could be sure to give her goodbye hugs and kisses to our family members. She had really enjoyed the beach that day so she was excited about this change of plans and had NO IDEA what the real plan was!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Teeny tiny dancer: 2011


Still tiny dancer: 2012


Getting less tiny dancer: 2013

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Where did my tiny dancer go: 2014



Dance is her favorite thing ever and she couldn’t WAIT to be in the big girl ballerina class. (and hip hop, too!) I can’t believe she is big enough to be in this class but I truly adore watching her grow through dance.

Also, of note, it shocks me every time I see a vintage Gianna picture how much Aleesia looks like her sister more and more every day!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cascade #Cascadeshiningreviews Winner #1

With low entries, the odds were pretty much in everyone’s favor with my last giveaway from Cascade!

But there can only be 1 winner:

cascade 1

Comment #2 is Jacqui!

If you missed out on entering this time, stay tuned over the next week for a second #cascadeshiningreviews review and giveaway!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Some days…

….simply require a bullet pointed list of things that have been going on just to keep it all straight!

  • This was a long week – not so good days at work paired with the usual busy and a side of cranky toddler and a broken hot water heater. I’m coping with tums and cookies.
  • Thankfully the hot water heater was the easiest fix of all (thanks to my brother in laws) even if it meant replacing it entirely. Also thankful it was still under warranty!
  • Gianna started dance this week and is smitten with the fact she is FINALLY in the big kid ballerina class.
  • Aleesia has been cranky in the evenings and I just want my smiley toddler back!
  • I suspect her crankiness is due to her shortened naps during the day.
  • I suspect her shortened naps during the day are because our sitter situation has drastically changed over the past 2 weeks. I’m sure she’ll get used to the new routine soon enough. At least I hope she does. I need her to nap better so I get a happy girl back in the evenings.
  • Every time I think we have made progress on one of the 34534 things we need to do to get the house ready for the baby, that progress gets side tracked by two cute girls who think OH! MORE ROOM FOR ACTIVITIES! And mess up the previously clean spaces!
  • I miss running a lot lately, I didn’t keep it up past 17 weeks schedule wise and since I am no longer participating in a previously planned relay this month my motivation kind of dwindled. And now I am pretty sure my pelvic bone would give me the middle finger if I tried to pick it up again at almost 26 weeks!
  • I finally got Aleesia’s baptism scheduled.
  • There have been some really fun giveaways going on and I have really low entries (despite higher than average page views) – I’m not sure how to fix it. But better odds for the people that do enter, right?!
  • Speaking of – #cascadeshiningreviews giveaway #1 ends tonight!
  • Since it’s been almost a month since our vacation I am putting it on my calendar to do a full review of our trip next week – it was a great one!
  • Can I go back on vacation now?!
  • It was yucky fall-like weather here today (I’m not done with summer…) and I got a pumpkin chai latte during lunch – so much yum!
  • What’s new with YOU?!

Saturday, September 6, 2014



Thank you so much to all who entered the #babygotmoves giveaway – I hope you all also shared a video on Facebook/Instagram to be eligible to participate in Pampers video campaign!

The winner of the Pampers prize pack is……...



Em Ma! I can’t deny my love for a good throw-back jam, either!


I’ll be in touch to get all of the information so you can claim your prize!

Don’t forget to head over and enter the Cascade Platinum giveaway going on right now too!

Enjoy your weekend, friends! It’s rainy here today so we have big plans to get some things around the house done to prepare for baby sister.

And in the meantime, I found this picture of Gianna from soccer on a rainy Saturday last September– it’s no mystery why she chose not to play again this year…

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

School Daze

It’s been almost 3 weeks of school for Gianna – I can’t believe it! It has been a big adjustment for all of us, but I think we are all hanging in there and figuring it out.

She likes her teacher, she thinks the bus is fun, and has made some new friends. I am already hearing recess stories of “so and so was swinging without me and I didn’t like that”! She has a long way to go to improve her handwriting and homework started this week which went okay, not wonderful, but we made it through.

I love hearing about her day – I try not to ask too much but Gianna is a chatty mcchatterson so she usually volunteers quite a bit of information with little prompting! They have gym, computer, art, and music class each week and she loves all of them (well, I don’t know if love and gym would go in the same sentence, but she tolerates it!).

The uniform is the biggest blessing! 4 days a week we have zero arguments (well, we had one argument about socks, but we quickly fixed that problem). On gym days when she has to wear her gym uniform, we have a little issue since she hates gym clothes of any kind. It took three tries to find shorts she would actually wear, though. She spent a good 20 minutes yelling about how “I am just not going to school on gym days. I do not like these kind of clothes. Besides, I don’t want to play sports anyway I don’t need to go to gym class”. She wore her tshirt backwards this week but so far we have survived! It also cracks me up that she will ONLY wear the bow we bought that matches her jumper!


Favorite color: Pink

Favorite food: grilled cheese sandwiches

I want to be “a horse rider and a ballerina” when I grow up

We are dealing with a crazy amount of exhaustion after school and over the weekend but hopefully with time that passes/she adjusts. She does not like getting up early at all or eating breakfast. She also doesn’t eat her lunch – I have no idea what to do about that part! She comes home with 3/4 of her lunch un-eaten daily (today, she only ate grapes). I’m sure she is far too busy chatting it up with her new little girl friends to eat and before she knows it, lunch is over (we prompt her about 2031124 times per meal at home to eat and not talk!) and natural consequences will hopefully start to take effect soon (she’s starving when she gets home!).


We hope she keeps loving it and we see loads of improvement over this year, and I am sure we will! And I will keep leaving her little notes in her lunch box every day.

How has everyone else’s school year started?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Birthdays and clean dishes #cascadeshiningreviews {giveaway}

We had a great long weekend celebrating Mike and Jimmy’s, our brother in law, birthdays over the weekend. It was the perfect setting to hold the first of two cooking parties to showcase the cleaning power of Cascade Platinum!
This weekend we had a cookout with all kinds of yummy food, including this deliciously rib-sticking mac & cheese goodness (a la Pioneer Women).
It was seriously SO YUM! I think next time I will use two different cheeses for added flavor though.
I digress.
But really, everyone o like it!
Once we stored the leftovers it was time to put Cascade Platinum to the test on this cheesy dish.
We are pretty brand loyal to Cascade, actually, but hadn’t tried the Cascade Platinum product or the Cascade Platinum Rinse Aid until now.  Cascade Platinum is Cascade’s premium product and it works on that tough, stuck on food. But here’s the key – DO NOT PREWASH! Just get rid of any big food chunks and stick the dish in the dishwasher so that it doesn’t block the sprayer or detergent chamber. This was probably the hardest part for me since my mom ingrained the “importance” of the prewash in my head and I rarely put anything in the dishwasher that has food on it. But that’s the difference with Cascade Platinum – it’s designed to break down the stuck-on food with enzymes that are built into the detergent.
I actually had no idea that most dishwashers were made with a built in garbage disposal in the bottom so that any leftover food isn’t just stuck in the machine or pipes, it is literally disposed of!
I did know there was a right way to load a dishwasher though, I am notorious for re-loading things if they aren’t in there right! Any large dishes should usually go in the back of the bottom rack face down so they aren’t blocking the detergent chamber. Long utensils can go through coffee mug handles so they don’t move around and potentially block the sprayer.
While the dishwasher was running we enjoyed the weather with our family and swam for probably the last time this summer. And cake! (excuse the WAY overexposed pool picture!)
I was honestly impressed when I opened the dishwasher, I figured there would still be SOMETHING left on the pan. But I was wrong!
My sisters were surprised too – we come from the same pre-wash mentality after all.
Everyone that came to celebrate the birthdays and clean dishes with us left with Cascade Platinum and Cascade Platinum Rinse Aid to use at home.
I am seriously so surprised and impressed with this product – you NEED to pick this up and try it for yourself. If you do (or have) tried Cascade Platinum. Have an opinion to share? Head over to the Cascade website to leave a short review of Cascade Platinum and use #cascadeshiningreviews - one reviewer will win a Kitchen Aid Dishwasher!!
If you aren’t convinced by my review to go pick up some Cascade Platinum on your own – we are going to give some away, too!
Giveaway entry: Leave a comment telling me if you are historically a pre-washer or not to enter to win:
cascade prizing 1
· Cascade Platinum
· Cascade Platinum Rinse Aid
· Whisk
· Spatula
· Cheese grater
· Oven mitts
Bonus giveaway entries:
1) Share this post on Facebook and Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you did.
2) Follow Cascade on Twitter and Facebook and leave a comment letting me know you did.
I’m looking forward to continuing to use Cascade Platinum and not pre-washing my dishes!

[[Giveaway is open until 11:59pm September 12th]]

*This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Cascade. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine.*