Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Giveaway: Libby's Gift Pack

Remember a few posts ago I wrote about the wonderful afternoon I spent with some fellow local mama bloggers?  We put together 30 meal kits for families in need located in the local Pittsburgh area and enjoyed a lunch together talking about how we all do our best to have family dinners and quality time together around our dinner tables.  We will be continuing our conversation TODAY (September 28th, 2010) at 1 PM ET via a text based chat.  You can join us here before noon if you're not able to make it at that time, leave a question or suggestion and then feel free to follow up with our conversation later in the day!  OR feel free to join us LIVE at 1 PM!  Hope to see some new faces there!

Well, now it's time for me to give back to YOU!  It's giveaway time!

I will be giving away a Libby's tote bag with Libby's product, a state-of-the-art can opener and a copy of Hanna Keeley's book "Total Mom Makeover: The Six-Week Plan to Completely Transforming Your Home, Health, Family, and Life".

How you can enter:

Required for Entry -
* Leave one comment below sharing your tips about how you and your family are "getting back to the table", INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS SO THAT I CAN CONTACT YOU IF YOU WIN! 

Bonus Entries (you'll get ONE EXTRA ENTRY for each of these below, just be sure to leave a separate comment for each of them noting what you did AND INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS!) -
*Create your own virtual can drive HERE. Once you've created it, live a comment here with a link to your can drive INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.

* "Like" Libby's on Facebook, leave a comment here letting me know you "liked" them INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.

* Follow Libby's on Twitter, leave a comment here letting me know you followed themINCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.

This giveaway will run until Friday, October 8th at 11:59 PM ET.  The winner will be announced Monday, Oct 11th!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Attending Type-A-Mom Conference

Well, by now, I've packed my bags and I'm about to head south for my 2nd professional conference, Type-A-Mom! My head is in a totally different place this time around.  My 1st conference was Blissdom last Febuary and my experience there was good but I learned a lot about how to approach an event like this.  Since last winter, I've made some new friends in the blogging community so much so that I've gained a roommate from Pittsburgh and her and 2 other local moms who blog will be travel buddies for this one.  The four of us are lucky to be traveling south to Asheville NC together in a brand spankin' new 2011 Chevy Traverse. (Thank you Chevy for sponsoring our ride!) 

To follow the Type-A-Mom Conference live tweets you can watch here for live up to the second updates about what people are seeing, hearing and doing at Type-A-Mom.  This part of the post is for a class assignment and I would love your feedback. Let me know what you think of this feature.  Seeing live streaming Twitter conversations is just a teeny tiny little part of what this feature can actually do. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lunch with Hannah Keeley and More on Feeding America with Libby's!

 Photo credit TheMotherhood.com

Last week I had the honor of lunching with some awesome Pittsburgh bloggers.  We were there to meet with author Hannah Keeley and to work with Libby's to create meal kits for families in need.  Libby's provided us with lunch and LOTS of cans for our meal kits which will be distributed to new homeowners of homes provided by Habitat of Humanity Pittsburgh.  Us bloggers provided items to help each new family start a kitchen and to encourage them to bring their families back to the table.  Items included conversation cards, oven mits, recipes, kitchen utensils and a lot more!  Putting the kits together was a great part of the lunch and I'm happy to know that my work and time will be help someone in need.

You too can help a family in need by supporting my virtual can drive right over there ----> Even a donation of $5 will provide a meal to 35 families!  Every little bit helps.  If you're wishing to get involved too feel free to set up an account and host your own can drive on your own blog!

In addition to lunch and meal kit building we were treated to a discussion with Hanna Keeley.  Wow, impressive woman, mom of SEVEN, wife and writer!  We talked about how she encourages her family to enjoy their time at the dinner table.  She talked about time saving tricks to get a wholesome meal on the table too and I'm pretty sure that inspired all of us to try some dump recipes so that we're prepared and able to make wholesome meals even on those busy days! (which is almost every day isn't it?)

As a thank you gift Hannah gave us copies of her book "Total Mom Makeover: The Six-Week Plan to Completely Transform Your Home, Health, Family, and Life" 
I've started to read this book and let me tell you I'm excited about it!  I have decided that upon my return home from the Type-A-Mom conference that I'm attending this week/weekend that I'm starting this makeover.  My family and I all deserve a home that is organized and a mom who is less stressed out.  I'll be blogging some of my daily journal entries (this is part of the makeover process).  I haven't decided if I'm going to do that here or if I'll start a separate blog...  I'll be sure to let my readers know.

*****I was compensated for this event but my feelings and thoughts are all my own.*****

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'm Feeding America! Wanna help?

Busy weeks ahead! Chris will be traveling for work this Friday through Thursday and then I leave that Thursday for a conference!  The kids will get lots of grandparent time and thankfully the grandparents are ok with that!

To kick off these busy two weeks I have a fun event to attend this Thursday.  I was contacted by TheMotherhood.com and Libby's to participate in a meal kit creation and virtual can drive for families in need.  We will be creating meal kits this Thursday afternoon with Hannah Keeley.  Hanna is a mom of seven (SEVEN!) children, hosts a television show and is an author.  She's quite the organizational guru with a HUGE emphasis on family!  I'm looking forward to meeting her during our lunch and learning from her.  

You could get your chance to meet her as well, Thursday, September 16th at the Market District by Giant Eagle (5550 Centre Ave)!  She will be presenting from 5-7pm and it's open to the public.  Additionally, I'm hosting my own virtual can drive with Libby's which you can access over there to the right of the page.  A donation of $5 will feed 35 families in need!  Please help me to meet my goal!

Stay tuned for an update about our lunch and meeting Hannah and a fun giveaway from Libby's too!  

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lots going on

And just like that it's September!  Mid September at that! the semester has started for all FOUR of us again! Chris is back to work for the year, I'm taking more classes, Max is in the 4 yr old preschool program at his school and that means one thing right? He had a birthday!  He's a full tried and true four year old inside and out.  He is growing so much and changing every day it's amazing!  His conversational skills are great now too.  He has an opinion about anything and has become a very inquisitive little boy.  Max started a question the other day like this, "Mom, I have a question and I'm very curious to know the answer." He went on to ask me, "What is thunder and lightning and how and why does it happen?"  Yes, that was a 3 part question that required quite a lot of explaining...  I love it!

As I mentioned above, the semester has started for all FOUR of us.  Yep that's right my baby, Andy, is in school too this year.  About a week and a half prior to Max heading back to school I decided to start researching a class that I could take to Andy once a week or so during the time that Max was in school.  This proved to be downright impossible to find.  However, in my searches I was directed to a school in Kennedy Township Called The Early Learning Institute (T.E.L.I.) (they have several locations in the Pittsburgh area for the local readers).  This facility started out as a school for children with special needs but as their program grew it became a favorite place for families to send their young children who do not have special needs.  T.E.L.I. now only has a few children with special needs and the majority are children without.

We took a tour, and signed him up.  Andy is now part of their 2 yr old preschool program and LOVES it!  He jumped right in on the first day with no issues with me leaving AT ALL!  Such a big boy!  the atmosphere is very laid back, they have a somewhat structured schedule, including circle time with stories and singing, play time, craft time and snack time.  They mostly learn how to interact with others outside of the family dynamic, letters, numbers and the usual little guy stuff.  One day a week and he's happy as a little lark because he gets to go to school too!  I in turn am happy as a mama lark because I get ONE morning a week that I can do my own thing by myself! I can run, I can work, I can grab a coffee, I can go grocery shopping, I can do nothing (probably won't ever happen).  It's a win - win for all of us!

One thing I'm already feeling I need some help with is finding healthy snacks for Max to take.  I currently have organic animal crackers from Costco, those dried apples/pears, bananas, strawberries from Costco, Cheese sticks, fresh fruit, apple sauce...  But I am worried these items will get old quickly... What healthy snack options do you use for your kids?