Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What's more fun than a box? bluum box

 blumm is a monthly subscription box created for parents by parents.
I had the pleasure of receiving their December, January and February boxes shortly after their release in September 2011. I purchased a 3 month subscription at a discount at www.onsale.com (I purchased my voucher November 2011 and at the time of purchase it was $18 for $36 value.)
    Themed boxes have about 4-5 deluxe samples in for baby and mums. Don't get hung up on the idea of deluxe being a size but more so of the quality. Some reviews complain about the illusion the description of the boxes should be with full sized samples but in fact it's more like the quality of the products that are deluxe.  The boxes are prepped and packed with care.
    If you are looking for a collection of samples of different companies and products out there then this is something to consider.  They are doing the research and hunting for you. I was able to learn about a few different brands that I was not aware before like NurtureMe.
    The site says that they alter the boxes to your baby's age, however the boxes that I received and those that were posted all appeared to be the same.
    My favorite box was the February box that was themed "Cuddle Buddies". There was an adorable B Kids Loop Around Wrist Rattle.

How cute is this little guy?!
    You have to sign up by the 10th of the month because they ship on the 17th of the month. They currently have a wait list that you can sign up to receive an invitation. They accept all major credit and debit cards but not Paypal. The monthly subscription rates offer are as follows: 3 months $49.95/ 6 months $79.95/ 12 months $149.50  (It looks like the price has gone up a smidge since I signed up)
   A nice bonus is that they have a program where you can earn points for writing reviews on the samples you get and friends referred. With those points you can earn free boxes.  
    I must admit I currently have my subscription on hold. I was disappointed in their lack of customer service or at least response to my inquiry and suggestion. I had received a black tea sample in one of my boxes and just wanted to suggest that if they were sending boxes out per stage of babies and possible breast feeding mums then the caffeine amount in the black tea wouldn't be ideal. I never heard from them, not like I was trying to get them to apologize because there was nothing to apologize for. I just would have appreciated a "thanks for the suggestion". To me, customer service is very important - even if it just a suggestion.
   My final review is that bluum is a nice subscription box service to sample and learn about the different companies, products and services out there for mums and babies. It is a little smaller in box and product size compared to others. If you find a discounted offer on a deal site I would suggest trying them out for a box or two.
    Have you tried out bluum? What was your impression? Likes? Dislikes?

Next box on deck to review: TeetheMe 

Got away with it

    I'm going to be real brief on this post - luckily WNY was spared from the Superstorm Sandy. In fact, we had one tiny branch that broke off and leaves everywhere. And lets not forget the gobs of water all over. The creek by our house is overflowed and into the neighbor lady's yard. A drastic 180 from the bone dry status of it from over the summer. 
    To my friends in NYC, NJ and PA, I hope you are all well and safe! 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sandy Schmandy?

    The hubs and I just finished watching The Walking Dead and now the Weather Channel is on with all the hoopla about "one of the biggest storms of our lifetime". I am amused at how much energy they are pouring into this broadcast. It's like they have been waiting for something to focus on.
    I will admit, I'm not entirely worried. We have plenty of candles, quick foods, water and juices, a generator or two, I would like to think that we are going to be good. (Although baby bear's swing picked the wrong date to crap out on batteries. Sent the hubs to Lowes on his way home today and apparently the batteries were all cleaned out. But he did manage to find some D's somewhere else so we have the swing working - whoo hoo!!)
    Within an hour I received two emails, one of an order being cancelled and another of a webinar being cancelled. Boo on both - why not reschedule until after this "storm"? Think Halloween would be rescheduled? haha.
    Right now we're sitting pretty with a high wind warning in WNY which could knock out some power lines or take some trees down. As long as the snow doesn't start to creep in, I'll be fine. I hate the snow.
    What do you think of this storm? Are you on the storm path? Is it hoopla or for real?

I saw this on FB and thought it was hilarious!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fifty Shades of....

    I didn't read Fifty Shades of Grey, nor do I have any immediate plans of reading it (although Warm Bodies is looking very interesting) Anyway.., this post is the fiftieth post being made on right here on the ol' blog. How cool is that?! The big 5-0!
    Ok.... so I know I am still a newbie to the scene and I'm still learning quiet a bit about blogging, getting visitors, raffles, and so on but this is a sweet accomplishment for me. Insert happy dance here.., yeah I said it... happy dance!
    The weekend is here and apparently we have a huge storm brewing. I don't want to think of the snow and icky slick rain that might happen upon us, so I'm going to share some pictures from our nature hike yesterday when it was warm and sunny and the air smelled like a fresh autumn day. What is something that you like to do on a warm fall day?
Love the Fall leaves

Checking out the creek

The Tweedles under the tree arc

Trey's photography skills

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I'm so crafty but...

    I have so many projects and ideas in my head, but I don't have the place or time to do them! Major bummer for crafty people!! Well... my area that I have sort of set up for crafts and crafting is a wreck and I blame myself. (On the flip side of that statement, it's because I have all my holiday shopping done and packed up around it so I beat the rush but now I have the goods till the holidays).
    I was able to make some quick cloth napkins out of existing cloth napkins that were way too big for us to use. I just cut them in half and then sewed a seam along the uncut edge to finish it up. Easy peasey! But it was at like 9pm and I was so tired and when I was half way through doing them I didn't want to do it any longer. The need for sleep was winning.., boo.
    So today's post is to help give me motivation to get that area cleaned up and organized so I can get a-crafting again! Any hints or helpful ideas? How do you do your crafty stuff with kids around? 
This just cracks me up!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Taco Tuesday

    Yep! We actually did it! I actually did a "Taco Tuesday" for dinner. I have to admit, I still think it's funny to have a certain food on a certain day every week. For example, most of my co-workers pile into company cars and go to the same Chinese buffet for lunch every Friday. EVERY FRIDAY! I can't imagine eating Chinese more than three times a month if that. I think we average Chinese once every month or so. But to eat that every Friday? I don't think I could.
   I know since my Mondays are quiet hectic when I get home with the kids from school and work and the hubs works late, I tend to whip together a fast meal like pancakes, spaghetti or pbj. Oh! That works for a "Meatless Monday" - haha.
    Since our Fridays are go-go-go I've been trying to use the crockpot on those days or we can default to pizza and wings pick up on the way home. (We've only had to do that once but it was more out of curosity since a new place opened up around the corner from us).
    What are dinners like at your house? Any helpful hints to mix things up? Do you have a themed day or two?
Taco Tuesdays? or Chinese Fridays?

Monday, October 22, 2012


    As if I couldn't complain any more..., I am pretty sure I just threw my back out. My lower right and (pardon me) butt is super sore and painfully hard to bend. Right now picking up Bear is a tedious task and she's only 11 lbs. Maybe 12lbs. (I'm still in major denial she is growing) I couldnt even bend over to give T a kiss goodnight. He had to come up to me..., I love that little guy so much!
    My hearing hasn't been fully restored since the great ear drum rip of 2012. And I use to like going to work but I'm not looking forward to going (a whole different story for another time). Winter is coming and I hate the snow (again I know I am living in the wrong area for that attitude). My house is a disaster zone and my basement is even worse. And yes, I know my house only has half the bedrooms we really need and that we need to figure something out.
    Sometimes don't you just want to push pause and step back? Take a breather and then push play. Maybe I will hang out in front of a Home Depot and some home improvement show will be looking for a house to crash (haha) or an organizer will want to organize someone's home (pick me!)
    I could sit and think about all the what-ifs in my life or things that I could have done differently, but I can't focus on that now. I have to focus on making sure things are set as best as I can for the future.
    Do you ever get this feeling? What are some things that help you regain focus and motivation? Any organization tips for a working mama of three?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Costumes and Date Night

    Once a month the hubs and I get to take the kids to school for an evening so we can go out for date night. Today was date night and it just so happens to be Sweetest Day. The kids got into their costumes for their Harvest Festival Party and we dropped them off. The hubs and I went to Corner Bakery Cafe to enjoy our free cafe sized Bacon Tomato Mac & Three Cheese. (We were able to enjoy these free because I had signed up for their eCafe email newsletters.)
    Then we went to Target because there was a recall on a hoodie and shirt set I had purchased for Liv for when we went to Disney at the start of the year. They were recalled because of excessive lead found in the zipper (Yikes!)

Did you buy one of these? Click on the link above for more information.
    We swung by Tops to do some last minute grocery shopping before the sales changed tomorrow. Scored lots of canned soups perfect for that time of year that is creeping around the corner. And it was a gas points promo week! Then my sweetheart took me out for some ice cream before we picked up the kids, who were still awake. They must have had a great time.
    It was a nice, relaxing date night. Maybe one time when there is a decent enough movie that we both want to see we'll do that., but for now a little dinner and some errands are perfect enough.
    What do you do on your date night? How often do you get to go on them? Any ideas for our next night out sans the kiddos?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

You can say that again.., no really., please

    Major bummer! I have an ear infection. And it's awful. I cannot hear things clearly in my right ear which is making my left ear super, uber sensitive. And that just stinks because the Tweedles do not have a volume button. They acknowledge they need to be quieter for a few moments, then it's back up to full volume.
    According to the doc, my hearing should be restored fully in five to ten days. It's going to be a long week for me! Oy! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's the earlier and not the later.
    While I'm complaining about stuff.., it's that time of year that the weather is changing. As much as I love the Fall season, I dislike what the chill does to my skin. Dry, pale skin is inevitable, even with drinking lots of water. It's hard to find a decent moisturizer that actually moisturizes and doesn't leave a greasy film or slimy texture afterwards. 
    In a prior post I mentioned that I am a BzzAgent. It's a program where I get to try out products and share my opinion on them. I am not paid by the company and the opinions are fully mine. (And yes, I have had a product on a past campaign that I did not really favor.)
    I am excited to be taking part in the Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Campaign. Burt's Bees is a great company that thrives on natural products that are good for us and the environment. The Intense Hydration products are aimed to hydrate and revitalize the skin and were inspired by Clary Sage.
    I am looking forward to trying out the products they will be sending. Perfect time for the weather and perfect for my "mum of three tired skin"!! I will be able to try the Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser, the Treatment Mask and the Night Cream. I am really looking forward to the mask.
    I will be keeping you all posted on the products and how they perform once I receive my BzzKit. What does this change of seasons and weather do to your skin? What do you use or do to help keep it hydrated and fresh?

Can't wait to feel the hydration!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Clothes, clothes everywhere

    With three kids you can bet that we have a ton of kids clothes. Everywhere. In the dressers, on the dressers, in the closet, in the laundry, in totes downstairs, in boxes downstairs, like I said, everywhere.
    Two girls and one boy factored in the climate of the seasons where we live - leaves a lot to the imagination of just how many clothes. I probably have enough to open up my own consignment shop. If only I had the time and the money to do the opening investment, I would totally pursue that! But, unfortunately, I don't have either of those.
    I have started to sort through the clothes, which feels like an awfully long and painstaking process. So many little memories these tiny little outfits hold.
Do you have any favorite memories of your little one's outfits? Liv's little ruffle topped swimsuit for her first summer, T's pirate dog hoodie for Great Grandpa's 101st birthday and now Bear's summer grey and teal romper for her first outting.
    I'm not sure what I want to do with the clothes; consignment shop drop off? yard sale in the summer? online clothes exchange? ebay? craigslist? Any ideas?
The kid's closet - Yikes!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Farewell Nanuq

    This weekend is a bit bittersweet for my little man. His most favorite exhibit at the zoo is departing so that the zoo can begin constructing a new habitat. Nanuq is leaving our zoo to go to another one after this weekend.
   From the Buffalo Zoo website : "Though construction for Arctic Edge is not slated to begin until the spring, Nanuq, the Zoo’s male polar bear, is leaving the Zoo now so that he may be acclimated to his new Zoo habitat in time for the next breeding season. Departure plans for Anana, the Zoo’s female polar bear, are not yet finalized."
    While we are excited to finally see the zoo start construction on the new area, it's sad to have his favorite animal leave. The polar bears have become a staple in our visits to the zoo. I remember taking him there while I was pregnant with kiddo number 3 and he just sat on the bench and watched the polar bears. He was memorized by them. He LOVES them!! The polar bears totally made for an awesome adventure day together. I will always treasure that memory with him.
    So early this morning the kiddos piled in the car and we met my brother and his girlfriend at the zoo to say our farewells to Nanuq. The Tweedles signed the card and we took plenty of pictures. (And yes we were one of the first 100 kids in the zoo... yeah! And of course, little man lost his polar bear finger puppet at the very end of the zoo visit.., boo! But we got to see all the meerkat babies active in their exhibit... yeah!)
Nanuq's banner
Nanuq's card the Tweedles signed

Friday, October 12, 2012

Whats more fun than a box? PetiteBox

    For a kid there is nothing more fun and exciting than an empty box, but for me it's the goodies inside! There are many monthly subscription box services out there now. When I was about 8 months pregnant with Bear I started to see some popping up.
    I love getting mail and packages. I love being surprised. I love finding new and unique things, especially for kids. So naturally I am game. Hook, line and sinker! Wouldn't you?
    I have decided that I'm going to review the box subscriptions available. I already have received some boxes and will start with those as I wait for next box service package delivered.
    I would have started off with Petitebox. They were the first service I received a box from. You could order or gift a box for $25 per month, 3 or 6 months and no shipping charges. (Disclaimer: I had won a box from a giveaway on their Facebook page which is currently not active and therefore I did not pay for the box nor was paid by the company to review.)
    I chose a newborn box, even though I was still pregnant at the time but since I only had a few more weeks of being pregnant I thought ahead.
    Unfortunately, since receiving the box and all the amazing goodies inside the company has temporarily suspended subscriptions. Because of that I will not proceed any further on the details or contents.
    Needless to say, I was very pleased with the high quality brands in the contents in the box. It was fantastic to open the high quality yellow box by tugging on the carefully tied blue ribbon. It was like I was opening up a present.  For the amount of money they were charging ($25/month) I would have highly recommended this service.  
    I hope they do return to the active status. I occasionally check their page to see if there are any updates, but there have been none to date. I will definitely keep you all posted!
Were you able to try out this service before they suspended subscriptions?
What did you think of their box contents?

Coming up!! Next monthly box service to review: bluum box

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thankful Thursday

    I was thinking it has been a while since doing a Thankful Thursday themed post so here we go. I am thankful for our home we own. Luckily we don't have to rent. And yes it is a nice home, regardless of my feelings of disgust every now and then. It's not the house's fault that I had dreamed of my house growing up and this is nothing like what my dreams showed me. I mean nothing like the house I had pictured. It's not the house's fault that I only think of it as a starter home with big hopes to move onto better things. And it is not the house's fault that we totally outgrew it, like 2 years ago but who's keeping track?
    In my house's defense it was a "her & her" house. The prior owners did not have any children, just a dog. She had a rose garden and he grew vegetables. She had the front bedroom and he had the back bedroom. And the dog had the basement. There actually was a swing door at the bottom of the basement stairs to help keep it down there. They called it the "Millie door".  A nice sized house for 2 people and a family of 3.
    I am thankful that we have a yard, a rather large yard in the town we live in. We technically have a double lot of land. I am thankful that we are in a great school district for the kids. I am thankful that it is located relatively close to a few drugs stores and grocery stores so if we need something we can run out and be back within 20 or so minutes.
    I am just feeling the funk of being held in place on trying to add on. It's a tail chasing discussion the hubs and I have every now and then about what to do. And the ending is always sucky.., it's a sobering reminder of the other things in our lives that we think have to come first but maybe could play second fiddle. I think sooner than later an addition is going to have to be moved to the front and then what is going to happen? A mad panic?
    What do you do when you have to make a big decision that is inevitable? How long do you chase your tail?

We decorated ye ol' house for Halloween.
The Tweedles did the pumpkins and spider webs.
Skull lights in the front garden bed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Insert Grey Here

    It's that time of the year where the bright yellow summer sky leaves and the cold grey sky of the winter starts to settle in. It leads into the endless winter season for me. I dread the snow. I am pretty sure "Snow" is an actual season here. There is Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and SNOW!
    I am not a fan of this transition because it brings me down. I know my mood goes from a warm, blissful high to a grungy, cruddy low. Not to the level of causing any major problems, but just low enough that it lets me know the snow is around the corner. The cold is nearby. The iced up roads are coming. Can you tell I do not embrace the snow? I don't ski or snowboard. I don't skate or snowshoe. I don't snowmobile - which in my opinion does not sound like fun in the least bit! It's already cold outside and when you factor in going really fast on a non-enclosed motored "toy" making it colder, that equals zero fun to me. The only winter activity I do is sprinting. I sprint from my house to my car then from my car to my house.
    I think a haircut or some new color will do the trick. Maybe some comfort food baking. Some new soft sweaters. Win the lotto. Ok, so that last one was wishful thinking.
    What kind of things do you do to cheer up?
It may look nice but its sucky, cold and icky

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sea Lions and Tears

    We had a voucher pass for the Aquarium that we had to use up so we decided to go today, mainly bc it was icky outside and the voucher was going to expire soon. (Ps. I love doing those voucher deals for local and near local places but sometimes the expiration date sneaks up on us)
    So yes, we went on an adventure. Since our first was born we like to visit the Aquarium at least once a year. It's nice to see what new and improved exhibits and tanks they have. The trip today we saw some really neat purple blended yellow fish (forgive me, I didn't catch the name of them but they were pretty). We tried to feed the seals but the kids were getting mega antsy and our tolerance for that was getting low and of course, as we start heading back inside the instructor comes out but by then the wee ones were cashed out and ready to check out the other fishes.
    We were able to score some sweet seats for the sea lion show. The kids had a blast during the show. It was so fun to watch them watching the sea lions. My little guy had the ultimate time! He listened to the instructors who advised the crowd that the seal lions appreciate the applause. So he clapped his hands off!
    I was so taken aback by the thrill in their faces and how involved they were that I started to tear up. Yes! Right there during the sea lion show while there were tourists from all over jammed all around me. It was the feeling of togetherness, the feeling that we are one big family, the feeling that we were all happy. (And I'm pretty sure I can't blame it on the hormones still.., haha)
    At that moment it didn't matter that we are all crammed into our tiny little home that is busting at the gills and in dire need of an addition, or that it was a bit messy and unorganized, or that come the morning our weekend would be done and I would have to go into work while they went to daycare (aka school).
    It mattered that we were all there, in the moment and that we were having a fun time enjoying our adventure day. And although the kids wont remember much from today, I will have the memories of their faces looking at fish and sea lions swimming by and penguins hobbling along. (And that I cried at the Aquarium during the sea lion show.)
Father and Son watching the show

Too cool for little man


Little Miss checking out the Sea Lions

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pol Nailish

    Liv has always had this habit of calling nail polish - pol nailish. Even when we correct her its always pol nailish. Well today the hubs and I have a friends wedding to go to so I decided to try to make myself appear restful and beautiful so I opted to paint my nails.
    This of course started the chain reaction to the Tweedles wanting their nails painted, problem is, I didn't want to paint T's nails. I feel awful just doing stuff with Liv but I can't get past painting his nails. For a few reasons but mostly because he doesnt sit still and I didnt want to have to find streaks of nail polish on clothes, my sofa, anything! So since I was doing one nail on each hand with one of those press on designs I did his toe nail with leopard print on.
    And yes! Liv got pol nailish on hers,  but shes much better at keeping her nails out of trouble while they dry.
Little man's toe and my nails.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I'm on the wagon

    Ladies and Gents... I am on the band wagon. I have a piece of technology that is deemed "smart" which is quiet ironic in my book but yes. I have a smart phone.
    I am slowly getting the hang of it. I don't like the feeling of being clueless but then again I have not invested time into reading the manual. Yeah I know, duh! That's my own fault but in my defense it is hard to find a good half hour to read and concentrate in silence with three kids and a full time job. So I have embraced the fiddle around learning technique.
    There is a few things I do like with the phone so far. I can access my Kindle, but I haven't had time to read those books yet (again, three kids, job, blah blah blah). I can finally get caught up in the hype of the app Words with Friends (the hubs has kicked my butt twice, although the one time it was darn close). 
    My favorite app so far is called Shopkick. It's a points to rewards program. You get points for walking into certain stores and even points to scan certain items.
    On Sunday while the girls and I were at the mall we were able to go to a few stores and scan stuff. Liv had fun looking for the things to scan, like at Target we had to find some Sponge Bob branded items like mac & cheese, fruit snacks and mouthwash.
    I highly suggest checking Shopkick out if you have already been on the smart phone band wagon or plan on joining us soon. It's fun and if you are already going to the store, why not get points for entering?
We got points going to AE, Aerie, Old Navy, Best Buy, Target and Macys.