Tuesday, July 31, 2012

10 steps to Cleaner Clothes- Frigidaire Adventures in Clean

In the upcoming Disney film, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Jennifer Garner plays a mother who embarks on the ultimate adventure in clean when a son magically springs to life in her garden. At this moment, her character understands what every mother knows: life is full of messy adventures.To celebrate magical moments like this, Frigidaire, makers of the Frigidaire Affinity front load washing machine that delivers a better clean, has set out to help get families out of the laundry room quickly and on to the things they love to do. Laundry expert Tara Aronson shares solutions for the 5 most common summertime stains and 10 tips for getting clothes cleaner.

Also, when people visit Facebook.com/Frigidaire and share their personal Adventures in Clean, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children, as part of its $750,000 commitment to the cause. It’s simple to share your Adventures in Clean – just upload a photo and the online app turns it into your very own movie poster! Plus, to help spread the word, everyone who participates will be entered for a chance to win a new Frigidaire Affinity washer and dryer featuring Ready Steam.

10 Steps to Cleaner Clothes for Frigidaire by Tara Aronson

  1. Immediately rinse or blot away spills on your clothes with cool water to prevent stains from setting.
  2. Read fabric care labels before you wash. Your clothes will last longer if you know how to treat them.
  3. Sort laundry by color, wash cycle needed, and water temperature required. The Frigidaire Affinity’s Permanent Press cycle washes with warm water and less agitation, resulting in less wear and tear on your sturdy jeans, khakis, and sweaters; the Delicates cycle uses cold water and light agitation to gently clean swimsuits, workout clothes, and lingerie.
  4. Before washing stained garments, pretreat or prewash the spot using the Affinity’s Rinse and Spin cycle. If at first you don’t succeed, wash, wash again.
  5. To keep snags and lint to a minimum, zip zippers, button buttons, empty pockets, and brush away lint before tossing duds in the hamper.
  6. If your clothing is heavily soiled, your load large, or the water cold, add extra laundry detergent. Use the Affinity’s Heavy Duty cycle for sturdy but really dirty items like jeans and towels; choose the Sanitize setting to use the hottest water available to get rid of germs and grime as thoroughly as possible.
  7. Check wet garments for remaining stains, and re-treat as needed before drying. Heat will set stains.
  8. Dry only full loads. Tumbling a handful of garments prolongs the drying time by reducing the tumbling.
  9. Fold shirts and T-shirts to prevent wrinkling. If the shirt has buttons, button it at top, middle and bottom. Lay facedown. Fold both sides of the shirt so they meet in the back, with the sleeves aligned with the side folds. Fold the tail up to the cuffs, making a straight line at the bottom. Then fold in thirds crosswise. For T-shirts: a child’s T-shirt needs only one crosswise fold in half; an adult’s should be folded into thirds.
  10. Fold shorts and pants by aligning the inseams and outer seams of the legs and fold so that a crease forms at the front center of the legs. Fold in half or in thirds, depending on the size of the garment.

5 Summer Stain Tips for Frigidaire by Tara Aronson

Smudges, drips, drops and smears – no matter what their source, the key to keeping them from ruining your favorite shorts or T-shirt is to take quick action – before it gets a chance to dry. For most fabrics, this means blotting up the excess or rinsing the discolored area with cold water (hot can set a stain.) Don’t rub: this spreads the spot and grinds it deeper into the fabric.

Summer spills are especially tough. Here’s how to remove the five most common:
1. Crayon: Scrape off as much of the colorful surface as possible using a plastic picnic knife. Apply laundry detergent directly on the stained area. Gently rub the detergent into the fabric then let sit several minutes. Launder using the hottest water the fabric can handle - or the Sanitize setting of your Frigidaire Affinity washer. Dry as usual.

2. Iced coffee: Sponge the stained area with cold water. Apply a pretreater to the blight. Wash as usual and air dry.

3. Grass: Prewash the garment in warm water in your washing machine –the Rinse and Spin cycle on your Affinity washer – and a laundry detergent containing enzymes. Launder as usual (normal setting) with detergent and chlorine bleach if safe for the fabric. If the garment’s care label instructions advise against it, use oxygen (color safe) bleach instead. Dry as usual.

4. Juice: Soak for a minute or so in cold water. Remove excess water, and then apply a pretreater directly on the stained area. Wash with detergent as usual. Air dry. Do not place in the dryer until the blight is completely gone – otherwise the stain is likely to set.

5. Chocolate (or chocolate ice cream): Prewash the garment in warm water with a laundry detergent that contains enzymes using the Affinity’s Rinse and spin setting. Launder as usual, using the washing machine’s Normal setting. Dry as usual.

I have been entered to win a gift card in exchange for sharing this information with my audience. All opinions expressed are my own.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Tune into Giving with Brad Paisley, Pepsi + Dollar General

Remember the old saying; it’s better to give than to receive? PepsiCo, Dollar General and country singer Brad Paisley have teamed up to help you help others with the "Tune In to Giving" campaign. The ‘’Tune In to Giving’’ campaign benefits Dollar General’s Literacy Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping Americans learn to read and earn their GEDs.
Dollar General customers can help raise up to $75,000 for the Literacy Foundation by simply buying a combination of any flavor of a 10-ounce or larger bag of Lay’s potato chips (on sale 2/$5 this week) and a two-liter Pepsi product. After that, log on to www.dollargeneral.com to redeem the code found on a Dollar General receipt. Each code redeemed will earn $1 to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

Participants who enter a code will also receive a free music download and be entered for a chance to win Dollar General gift cards, Brad Paisley memorabilia and concert tickets to Brad's “Virtual Reality World Tour”, which runs through mid-October.

Visit your local Dollar General for more information, to stock up on chips, soda, school supplies, and to enter to win! Don't forget this week at Dollar General you can print out a $5 off of $25 coupon.


Win a Trip to the Bahamas from Shutterfly + 8x8 Photo Book Giveaway! Ends 8/12

Summer is here and that means you’ll be taking more photos of your family soon. Between beach trips and BBQs, photographs are a great way to capture these summer memories. Shutterfly’s Long Live Summer Photo Contest on Facebook is going on now!

Win a trip for four to The Bahamas and a professional photo shoot so you’ll remember your vacation forever. All you need to do is upload your favorite photo and caption based on the theme of the week. Get a gift from Shutterfly just for entering! You can enter at any point during the 5-week sweepstakes period, so it's not too late!!
• Week 4 (7/30): Sports and Activities
• Week 5 (8/6): Parties and Celebrations

• Instant win prizes just for submitting a photo!
• Weekly prizes (contestants can enter one time/week)
• Weekly featured photos: up to 5 weekly entries will be selected from the gallery and featured on the Facebook fan page and awarded a $500 gift card on Shutterfly and a copy of the new Lonely Planet travel photography book.
• Grand prize: trip for 4 to Bahamas, 4 nights, family photo shoot

Be sure to visit Shutterfly for more information and for the complete and official rules.

I know I've said it a gazillion times, but I really do love the high quality products that I order from Shutterfly. I love their prints, their mugs, but most of all their photo books. Every year, I make a photo book for our family. For 2011 I made an 8x8, but we also have an 8.5x11 and a 12x12 book. The quality of the paper is great, the book and its bindings are strong (trust me, our kids have ruined books before because they're not very gentle.)

This is our family book from 2011:

Create your own personalized photo books at Shutterfly.com.
Our friends at Shutterfly have offered one of our readers their chance to score an 8x8 photo book just by entering below! Share with us what you would use your photo book for? A special event? A yearly recap? A new baby? A special gift for whom? Leave the comment on our blog below, then fill out the RaffleCopter widget to earn extra entries. Be sure to leave the same email address in your comment that you do in the widget.
If you do not leave a comment, all other entries will be invalid. a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Save the Date - Back To School Bash 2012

This year, we're offering you extra entries if you share our Back To School Bash button on your website, on Pinterest, or by sharing our post on Facebook.


To post this button to your blog or website, simply copy the URL code, and paste it in.

Click here for Pinterest.

And here for Facebook.

Then leave us a comment on this blog post telling us that you shared our #BackToSchoolBash Button!


The Third Kid Crazies

That's what one of my friends coined it.. "The Third Kid Crazies". It's stuck, because frankly, it's true. One kid is amazing. Two is fun, a little hairy at times, but nothing nearly as insane as having three kids.

Everyone I talked to while I was pregnant with Baby #3 warned me.

"Just wait and see, the third child just pushes you over that edge that you're barely grasping onto now," {maniacal laugh} says my friend Kat one Friday night.

My friend Stacey has five kids. I know her through the kids school, but we talk on Facebook. She tells me that after three, four and five were much easier. It's my turn for the maniacal laugh.

More kids are not in our future, mainly because my body can't handle it. Perhaps we'll adopt one day. One day after the kids are all old and grown. 

I honestly have no idea how people with more than two kids do it.. it's just grace, I'm sure. But one things for certain, The Third Kid Crazies keeps things interesting.


Starbucks Coupon to Celebrate National Ice Cream Month!

The Most Delicious Month of the Year!

From their limited edition Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino ice cream to the classic Java Chip Frappuccino ice cream, celebrate National Ice Cream Month with flavors inspired by some of your favorite Starbucks beverages.

Save $0.75 now with this coupon!!

Not in the mood for traditional ice cream in a bowl? Why not make your own Mocha Cookie Crumble Ice Cream Sandwiches? They're not your kid's ice cream sandwiches, that's for sure!


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Get Your Color On- With Kids Foot Locker, Converse and Crayola

Don't miss your opportunity to enter to win an awesome prize pack, loaded with everything you need for back to school, and more! Contest ends on July 31st. Enter on the Kids Foot Locker Facebook page, here.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Winx Club Products Now In Store!

Winx Club is all-new girls doll line that is just now hitting select store shelves. The new line will be available in select Toys R Us and Walmart locations this summer and will be available nationwide this fall.

Winx Club is a fashion forward doll line based on the popular animated Nickelodeon program, Winx Club, which you can check out here: http://online.winxclub.com/centro-web/

In celebration of the release, JAKKS Pacific held an amazing launch event where girls and their families were invited to transform into Winx Club fairies with mini makeovers, enjoy delicious smoothies and much more.

Fans delighted in getting a sneak peek at the projected product line, singing with the all-new Winx Club Rock Star Microphone, and playing make believe.

These items are going to be near the top of almost every little girls holiday shopping list, so you may want to stock up now!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

50% off Walgreens Photo Coupon Code

Walgreens is having a great photo department sale! Clean out the memory card now!
Enter coupon code: FIFTYOFFALL at checkout thru Saturday, July 14th

Plus, save 50% off of all Folded Words customizable stationary, through July 21st
using coupon code: CARDSFIFTY at checkout


Happy National French Fry Day!

Did you know tomorrow was National French Fry Day? Here's some food for thought..

In honor of National French Fry Day -July 13- Wendy’s examined the growing phenomenon of dipsters, those who dip their fries into a Wendy’s Frosty.

The combination of the sweet cold Wendy’s Frosty and sea salt hot French fries trend is on the rise—in fact, a recent national survey revealed that 1 in 3 Americans (33%) have dipped a French fry into a Wendy’s Frosty. And more than 263,000 people online are talking about this!

The survey also found:

· Dipsters are typically young and hip! Two times as many 18 – 34-year-olds dip their French fries in a Wendy’s Frosty versus 45 – 64-year-olds.

· Families have jumped on the dipster wagon—nearly one of every two families (47%) have plunged their fry into a Frosty.

· Women are as likely to dip their fry into a Wendy’s Frosty as more traditional condiments like mustard, while 18 – 24-year-olds are more than twice as likely to dip their fry into a Wendy’s Frosty versus mustard, mayo or vinegar.

What do you dip your fries in??? Alex likes to dip his fries in his frosty, but I much rather regular ol' ketchup! Happy National French Fry Day!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cancer Sucks.

No duh, right?

I'm sorry that I've been really slacking on my blog lately. I've been going through a lot of stuff in our family. It seems that lately it's one thing after the other, after the other.

My mom should be celebrating this month. She should be celebrating that she beat breast cancer. But here she is, preparing for her third chemo treatment..

They found four masses on her liver. It's not liver cancer, per-say.. it's "breast cancer that settled in her liver". I just found that out this week.

The explanation I received was that the type of breast cancer my mom has is a hormonal strand. It has a tendency to pop up again, and again, and again... for the rest of her life, any where it wants to.

We were just starting to get our Mom back again.. she was coming to the kids performances at school, making an effort to be more involved, even though she was exhausted. She was calling to go to lunch, or ask me to go shopping with her- even if it was just to Target for a case of water.  Now, she's calling to tell me about her latest doctors appointment, procedure, or treatment.

Thankfully, she's keeping a really postitive outlook. She says she's going to beat this. That she has five weddings to attend (each of her grandkids).. and Zachary was just born, so she's going to be here awhile. She's in her 60's. Grandparents are supposed to live until they're 80. This sucks. I want to believe that she's going to be ok. I want to believe that she'll see my kids graduate, get married.. that my kids will be fortunate enough to have their kids meet their great grandma.. I'm in a really bad spot right now, and I am sure a lot of it has to do with the fact that I'm two months post partum, and my hormones are still crazy.

My mother-in-law, Gail, Me (pregnant with Alex), and My Mom, Caryn
I've lost one of my kids grandmothers to cancer.. Alex was only 20 months old when Gail passed away. It was devastating. Selfishly, I don't want to lose another mom, another grandma, to this disease. I don't want to have to explain it to my kids; both of them ADORE their grandma.. and wish to see her much often than we do.

My husband says he wants to be there for me, but then he gets all preachy with me. I am a woman of faith, but lately, I'm grasping at a rope which is blowing in a tremendous wind.. and it's hard for me to grab a hold of it. I know that when we set the kids down and talk to them to tell them what's going on, that they will have a lot of questions and why's, and some may even be faith based, but I don't have the ability, the mental strength right now to give them answers because I'm so angry with God!!!

The fact is, I know my mom's a fighter. I know she'll last longer than the 2.5 to 5 year sentence they gave her. But what will her quality of life be like? Will the kids be able to be with her again, the way they have been these last six months? Will it disappear, stay gone another two years, and then come back again? I need to know something more definitive. I hate not knowing.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Far East Shrimp Kabobs Recipe

Oh my gosh, this looks so delicious, I cannot wait to try it.. in fact, I think I have everything except green onions in my fridge or pantry. I have regular onions though.. I wonder if they'll work.

Reposted from the email I received from MakingLifeBetter.com

SERVES: 8   PREP TIME: 20 minutes  
COOK TIME: 10 minutes
MARINATE TIME: 15 minutes

  • 1 cup Wish-Bone Italian Dressing
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger (optional)
  • 2 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces (optional)
For marinade, combine Wish-Bone Italian Dressing, honey, soy sauce and ginger. Pour 3/4 cup marinade over shrimp and green onions in large, shallow nonaluminum baking dish or plastic bag; toss to coat. Cover, or close bag, and marinate in refrigerator, turning occasionally, 15 minutes to 3 hours. Refrigerate remaining 1/2 cup marinade.

Remove shrimp and green onions from marinade, discarding marinade. Alternately thread shrimp and green onions on skewers. Grill or broil, turning once and brushing occasionally with refrigerated marinade, until shrimp turn pink.


Happy July! *WIN 100 Prints from SHUTTERFLY!* Ends 7/13

Summer is under-way, and the memories are rolling in. It's been an INSANE two months here. I cannot believe my new little bundle is already 8 weeks old. Life with three kids is crazy! I honestly have no idea how parents with more than two children live to tell about it... and why they don't warn the rest of us how chaotic three (or more) are!

That being said, I love having a baby in the house again. The coo's and goo's, the new wonder in his eyes as he's seeing things for the first time, learning about everything he touches.. I'm head over heels in love!! The big kids are such great helpers.

Tropical Storm Debby hit us pretty hard. Our block flooded, and we had some water come into the house.. not as bad as some of our neighbors, but it was the first time I've ever experienced a true flash flood. It was kind of scary.
The same view... outside the front of our house within 15 minutes.
Thankfully, our immediate area, no houses were catastrophically affected. In my old neighborhood, where I lived just a year ago, most of the houses in the whole subdivision had 4-18 inches of water in them.
My heart hurts for my old neighbors, many of them lost the entire contents of their house and garage. I am grateful that they are all ok, physically, but emotionally, they all need your prayers.

My mom started chemo this week. Turns out the pain she was feeling by her gallbladder was not her gallbladder.. Her breast cancer (which she's a survivor of- three years this month) settled in her liver. It's been a heck of a journey with my mom. She's a fighter- and she's determined not to let this disease get her.  Any well wishes for her would be greatly appreciated. If you comment on Facebook, she actually reads that. ;)

We were supposed to have a fourth of July get together at our house, but our pool was three and a half inches underwater, and our pump motor is shot. Who knows what we're going to do for the fourth now, but we always manage to pull something together. The fourth of July is one of our family's favorite holidays. We love to grill and share our time with friends and family.

Speaking of friends and family, our family is going to be receiving a very special visitor from up north the week of the 16th, so I'm super excited. The kids have no idea who is coming, just that someone is. This will be the first of our family from New York that will be meeting the baby.

How do you celebrate the fourth of July? What special activities have you been busy with this summer? What kind of memories are you hoping to make this summer???

To help you celebrate family, we are giving you a code for 100 free prints from Shutterfly!

Here's how to win:
Leave a comment on this blog post telling us what you've been up to this summer, what you're planning on doing, or what special memories you're making.

You MUST leave a comment to be eligible to win. If you do not leave a comment, your extra entries will not count.. Seriously- don't bother clicking on the widget if you have not completed that task.

Extra Entries:
Fill out the RaffleCopter widget and complete many opportunities for extra entries.

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