Thursday, December 30, 2010

We made it and everyone is still alive!

Trip to NH was a success. Two planes, two airports and a airport shuttle and we made it.

The best part? I did not kill any J's during the trip!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Safe Travel Wishes for Me and The J's

I feel ill and really want to cry although I am trying to show a brave face, not to mention I am at the office and crying is not really seen as professional.

So we have been planning a trip to NH since October and my mom purchased us tickets. Us as in me, my husband and the two Js. Well last night my husband had a job interview (which is great because we have been without two incomes for more then 2 years) but now the second interview is Tuesday the 4th which means he cannot come with us. Don't get me wrong I am so excited for him about this job and let me tell you he better get it since he is missing our trip! Did I mention that I am turning 30 on the 6th which means we will not be together for my birthday!

Of course now I am worried because I have to travel with a crazy 4 year old and a crazy 10 month old with a layover in DC!!! Please let us arrive safely with no delays and especially no cancellations! (You know NH, snow and lots of it lately.)

I will try to keep you posted! We leave tomorrow afternoon so tonight will be lots of packing and planning, then a couple hours of work tomorrow.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

And I thought our car troubles were over

For those of you who have been reading my blog you know that we got into a pretty bad accident a month or so ago. If you missed it you can read it here and no worries everyone was fine (except the car). Come to find out the girl that hit us, who admitted to me that she was looking at her GPS and "missed" the stop sign was not insured. Oh she showed her insurance card to the police officer and also told him she stopped but never saw us, not sure how the air blocked her view because that is all that was there, well and the stop sign she missed! Anyway when I called her insurance company to file a claim they told me that the car she had been driving had been removed from that policy in October!! (We were hit in November)

Well after many calls and e-mails I worked it out with my insurance company so that I had to pay a $100 deductible and my car would be mine again. I had to get the letter saying the other driver was uninsured and there were a couple days over Thanksgiving where they were unsure whether or not they were going to fix it or junk it. (It was over $9000 in work) There was also some argument over the deductible but we won't go there.

Anyway, three plus weeks after the crash we got the car back, returned the rental and life was back to normal. Or so we thought!

The front directional did not work when we picked it up which is funny because I would have thought they would check that stuff. Then on comes the engine light, great. Then a couple days ago we were out shopping and the car took awhile to start, extra great. Last night my husband heads to the store for items to take with us to KY (where my dad and step-mom live and where we are supposed to be heading today for Christmas) and a last minute present. I get a text message that he is stuck and the car will not start. Long story short a mechanic friend helps and gets it started.

This morning I am up and ready for work and nothing when I start the car, except for some lovely clicking noise. ARGH!!

Well right now my husband is off to the body shop that fixed our car for them to take a look and see what is up. If all goes well we will still be on the way to KY, if not we will celebrate here, which will break Big J's heart. She cried when I told her there was a chance we would not be going. Poor baby.

I will keep you posted!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Where in the World are You Wednesday? A Global Blog Hop!

Just Married with Coupons

Everyone is invited to join us to blog hop and to share where you are from, it will be fun to meet bloggers from all over the world! Where in the World are you?

Please join your Hosts Simply Stacie who lives in Nova Scotia, Canada and Just Married with Coupons who lives in Rhode Island, US on a fun blog hop adventure around the world. Tell us as anything you would like, what country, state, city or region you are from, lets have fun!

**This weeks theme Holiday Traditions / Activities where you live!

Charlotte, NC traditions.... well there are plenty. Each surrounding town has parades, tree lighting ceremonies even little shopping days for the children. The problem is even after 4 years we have not settled on a tradition of our own in this city. 

One tradition we are trying to keep alive for our children is that we bake a cake for Jesus and leave it out next to the Santa cookies and reindeer carrots. Both Little J and Big J are still too young to really understand yet but they will someday and it is a great tradition to keep.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Download SWAGG app for a Good Cause

A few years ago I was given a lot of gift cards for the holidays, basically because I needed clothes desperately. Well I had then in my wallet which I just so happened to leave in the grocery cart in the parking lot and did not realize it until I arrive home. Of course by the time I went back my wallet had been turned into customer service... minus all my gift cards. I was crushed and there was nothing I could do. If only I had the SWAGG app.

Company Description

SWAGG has launched a new app that deals with the troublesome problem of how to deal with the overabundance of gift cards, loyalty & membership cards that clutter up your wallet or handbag. Basically you can load all those gift cards, loyalty points, etc into your iPhone or Android mobile device.

SWAGG allows consumers to import more than 250 brands of gift cards and rewards cards and, unlike plastic cards, SWAGG permits consumers to view available balance and reward information on most of these cards. Additionally, consumers can use their mobile device to give, get and even exchange SWAGG GIFTS from participating merchant partners such as American Apparel Inc., The Wet Seal Inc., Crocs Inc., and Arden B. Through SWAGG, consumers can access the offers that matter most to them, connecting users with more than 3,000 retailers. Retailers benefit by acquiring new customers, increasing in-store business and retaining existing customers.


I was given a $20 SWAGG gift in order to try out the app and review. The concept is fantastic because you can easily load all your gift cards on your phone and never have to worry about losing them or forgetting them when needed. It is also very easy to send a SWAGG gift to someone else via e-mail. Did I also mention you can add all those store loyalty cards as well? You know the ones the make your keys way 20lbs and the only way to save at many stores? Imagine having a key chain with keys on it. (well and maybe a cute picture of the kids!) There are also offers from a lot of stores such as free shipping or % off.

The only downside is that because the app is so new there are only a handful of stores to use your SWAGG gift at. (SWAGG gifts are given through the SWAGG app and are not gift cards that you add from a store) I am holding my $20 and waiting to see what merchants are going to be added. Oh year and the funds never expire!!

Need another reason to download the SWAGG app? For every download in December SWAGG will donate $1 to Stand Up 2 Cancer.  Click Here to download now and start storing your gift cards! (For Apple and Droid Mobile Devices ONLY - US Residents)

I recieved a $20 SWAGG gift in order to review the application. All opinions are my own and 100% honest.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pier 1 - Great gift ideas!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pier 1 Imports. All opinions are 100% mine.

Holidays always mean family and parties, this year I sadly will not be throwing any parties, but after looking at Pier 1  I am wish that I was!

I love their tasting series and think it would be great to throw a tasting party with all my friends. So if you a reading this and suddenly have the urge to get me a present here are some holiday gifts ideas.

Mini Ramekins


Mini Sauce Tray

Riviera Bowl

Sampler Set (My favorite..Hint)

 Did I mention that I do not cook? But my Lovely Husband does!! 

 Well once I got started I could not stop looking at all the holiday gifts . I do have to mention that the best thing we got from there was our Papasan chair! It is a great reading chair and comes in many colors to accent any home.  (Also great for an afternoon nap)

They even carry items for children as well as some cute stocking stuffers. Big J would love these animal measuring tapes.

 I know a friend who would love the filled bamboo candles, which are on sale! And for the unique gift, why not a glass head. I mean who could not use a glass head? Hmm?


While you are out shopping during December, you can support Toys for Tots by dropping off an unwrapped toy and/or making a cash donation at the register at any Pier 1 store. Want to help right now? Like Pier 1 Imports on Facebook and for every new fan they get, they will donate $1 to Toys for Tots.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Monday, December 13, 2010

Swag means style.

At Swag Soft, they are concerned with designing games, applications and websites with fun and style for the world. Established in 2010 by veteran media professionals from the animation and gaming industries in Singapore with a combined 20 years’ worth of solid experience, Swag Soft aspires to become a top entertainment and lifestyle software developer. Swag Soft specializes in the conceptualization and creation of mobile and web applications for entertainment, profitable, or viral and marketing purposes.

I was allowed to review two apps, the first being Sing With Olive

Who do you call when Humpty Dumpty bounces off the wall on a beach ball?

Who do you call to catch Little Miss Muffet after she blasts off on a rocket?

Who do you call when Old King Cole turns into a mischievous mole?

You call Olive and the Rhyme Rescue Crew, that’s who!


Created by Emmy award-winning animation studio, Peach Blossom Media, and featuring the writers of Dora the Explorer and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, this interactive and musical series is designed to introduce preschoolers to English vocabulary in an exciting and captivating way. Using music, movement and challenging puzzles, Olive and her friends explore the world of nursery rhymes and fix the language-related problems they encounter

Big J loves this one, she asks me all the time if we can sing with my phone! She loves to sing and dance and has just found a love of rhyme so this was perfect for her. Each song/rhyme also has the words displayed so she can learn to read and follow along.

List of Nursery Rhymes
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Eeny Meeny Miney Moe
Little Miss Muffet
Humpty Dumpty
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Old King Cole
Jack and Jill
Even includes a BONUS music video of Olive and the Rhyme Rescue Crew

The second app was Katakune Super Baby Flash Cards.

Since little J is still too small for this I let Big J take it for a whirl.

More than 170 everyday commonly used words have been transformed into 180 beautifully rendered Flash Cards and organized into different categories to enrich your child’s knowledge.

Every Flash Card comes with a voiceover to let your child learn how to pronounce the corresponding featured item.
You can turn on / off any of the categories to design your children’s learning curriculum.
Use the inbuilt Testing Feature to test your kids on what they have learned.


Big J also enjoyed this one although I think she was a little too old for it. I will save it for when Little J is old enough. The only other issue was that some of the items I had a hard time guessing what they were supposed to be. I guess Backpack but it was Camping Bag. The best feature is that the app says the word if you touch a button, which allows your child time to guess.

Swag Soft also has Shapes Learns Chinese, Sedo PicPic and Katakune Preschool Cartoon series. All apps can be purchased at the itunes app store.

“This post was written for Family Review Network & Swag Soft who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinions. All opinions expressed are my own and 100% honest.”


Thank you to everyone who entered the Cradle Rock CD giveaway.

The winner choosen by is comment #8

Julie said...

I would like the Johnny Cash cd-thanks

Winner has been notified and has 48 hours to respond.

Thank you

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Giveaway Winner

Winner of the Mama Wants Her Body Back giveaway

LimpyJo said:
I already follow you! Oh, and here is my email, I forgot in the first comment:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Unique Baby Shower Gift - Cradle Rock Lullabies Review & Giveaway

We are a big music family and are trying to instill that love into Big J and Little J. We typically just have the usually lullabies, but after awhile I am ready for something different. Then I was sent Cradle Rock lullabies. Right now there are three available, Kenny Chesney, Michael Jackson and Johnny Cash.

“The ‘Cradle Rock' lullabies are unlike any other in the marketplace today, since we wanted to focus on iconic artists and albums that appeal to music fans across a wide variety of genres,” says Steve Jones, CEO of Brash Music. “Each project is produced with child and parent in mind, so the melodic structure and tempo of each song stays true to the original.” Jones says most lullaby releases are a collection of hits or compilations by various artists. “While some projects in the Cradle Rock series follow a compilation model, most are replications of entire albums in lullaby form. Additional Cradle Rock albums in development include U2’s “The Joshua Sleep Tree,” Black Eyed Peas’ “Sleep-pea Hits” as well as lullaby albums inspired by Nickelback, Carrie Underwood and The Eagles to name a few.  (I am so getting The Black Eyed Peas and Nickelback!!)

I love these CDs, they are soft and great for babies, but something that I can hum along too and something NEW!! I am also thinking of giving one to my friend who is expecting her first baby in February.

Want to purchase one for a baby shower (or yourself?)
‘Cradle Rock' CDs$11.98 (Includes CD and downloadable version)

Of course you can also WIN ONE here! (Winner's choice- Open to US and Canada.) 
Giveaway ends on December 12th and will be chosen by Winner has 48 hours to respond.

Mandatory Entry - Tell me in a comment which CD you would want if you won. (Please leave your e-mail)

Extra Entries (Must complete mandatory entry first. Leave a comment for each)

*Follow The Trials of Big J & Little J on GFC
*Subscribe via e-mail
*Tell me a gift you would love to (or would have loved to) receive for your baby shower.

"This post was written for Family Review Network & Cradle Rock who provided the complimentary product for review and giveaway in exchange for my honest opinions. All opinions are mine and 100% honest."

Monday, December 6, 2010

Episencial "Mommy Party" - Great relief for Little J's Eczema

I love to try new items and love to share with my friends so I was so excited to be picked to host a Episencial Mommy Party. Episencial is a new all natural skincare line for babies and children. I was equally excited because Little J has very bad eczema and I have been looking for new products to use on her skin. Before I even talk about the product let me say that the soothing cream worked wonders! Even her daycare mentioned how great the cream was and cleared her skin up very fast.

Episencial is the first and only professional-quality, all natural skincare system created specifically for the unique developing skin type of babies and kids. Free from the bad stuff like parabens, phthalates and fragrances, Episencial products are loaded with all-natural goodness and healthy organics. Plus, these gentle, newborn safe formulas feature an exclusive skin immune complex™ to boost the skin’s immune functions and help the body ward off illnesses. Packaged in recycled and sustainable materials, and manufactured using solar power, Episencial products are good for your babies, kids and the planet.

Let's not forget how adorable the packaging is!! How do you go wrong with Eric Carle and images from The Very Hungry Caterpillar?

My Kit included (For me)
  • Playful Foaming Wash - which is so gentle and great for Little J's skin!
  • Sweet Dreams Bubble Bath - Have not tried yet but I am sure Big J will love it
  • Better Body Butter - I have actually used this one myself.
  • Soothing Cream - Or as I like to call it miracle cream! This is fantastic and I know eczema is tricky because the same thing does not work for everyone but this is worth a try if you or your child suffers.
  • Nurturing Balm - Made for the diaper area
  • Sunny Sunscreen SPF 35 - Always something we need in a house full of pale people!
  • Protective Face Balm - This has also been great since Little J is really starting to teeth and the balm helps her chapped chin, cheeks and lips.
In addition every guest also received a goody bag with items. (Below are some assemble pictures)

I really cannot say how much I love the soothing balm from Episencial. As a mother it is great to finally find something that stops my baby from scratching and scratching her little body.

I want to thank Episencial and Mommy Parties for introducing me to this line of skincare products and allowing me to share it with others!

 I received the product line for myself and samples for my guests from Episencial and Mommy Parties. All opinions expressed are my own and 100% honest. I learned about Mommy Parties from Mom Select

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mama Wants Her Body Back – Review and Giveaway

After nine months (ok almost 10 months) I am very ready for my pre baby body back. In reality I know that I will never have that body back since pregnancy changes so much and I am ok with that, but I do want to be healthier and slimmer then am I at this point. I finally caved a couple weeks ago and purchased new clothes because I was so tired of wearing maternity clothes or rubber bands on my pants button!!! When I saw that Family Review Networkwas offering the chance to review the workout program Mama Wants Her Body Back I filled out the form and crossed my fingers. I was so ecstatic when I received the DVD which also included a guide with a food journal and healthy food choices and a sculpting band.

Mama Wants Her Body Backwas created by Lisa Druxman who also started Stroller Strides and Fit4Baby. Lisa has been in the fitness industry for over 20 years. Over the last decade, Lisa’s one and only focus has been working with moms to help them get fit and lose weight. Lisa’s takes her expertise in pre and post natal fitness to the next level and precision sculpts arms, abs and butts. This fitness program is intended specially for moms and addresses the biological changes to the body that occur throughout pregnancy. Best of all it is designed for all fitness levels, starting at the most basic and gradually adding intensity.

The Mama Wants Her Body Back program includes three 20-minute total body workouts and a bonus DVD of three 10-minute abs workouts. There is also a program guide to help you keep a schedule. The program is designed to target you posture, core, pelvic floor muscles and your abs, all of which are greatly effected when you have children.

I love the work outs and I really love the fact that they are short so I can squeeze them in whenever possible. Everyone who has children knows how hard it can be to fit in one more thing during the day and this program is designed just for that. Sadly I have not gotten into a routine yet but hope to soon and then look out for great new pictures of me and weight loss updates!!! (Nothing like putting the pressure on myself, but I need it.)

Want one?
The program can be purchased at Mama Wants Her Body Back

But One Lucky Reader of my blog is going to win what I received!! (Open to US only) Giveaway ends on December 8th at midnight. Winner will be choosen by and have 24 hours to respond to the e-mail.

Mandatory Entry (Must be completed before extra entries) Tell me why you want the Mama Wants Her Body Back System. (Leave a comment below with an e-mail address)

Extra Entries: (Leave one comment for each)

  • Follow The Trials of Big J & Little J on GFC
  • Subscribe via e-mail to The Trials of Big J & Little J

This post was written for Family Review Network & Savvier who provided the complimentary product for review & giveaway in exchange for my honest opinions. Thank you all for reading and entering!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Yum Yum Dishes Coupon Code - Great Gift- UPDATED

Remember my Yum Yum Dishes review? No well you can Go Here to take a look. Well they have a coupon code for $5.00 off a set of dishes ordered before December 5th. These would make a great hostess or office present!!!

They have extended the code until December 19th !

To redeem, enter Coupon Code HOLIDAY in the shopping cart.