My Daughter's Graduation and a $50.00 Tiny Prints Giveaway!!



Spring is here, and it is bringing one graduation and two birthday parties to our home--eeks!

My daughter is graduating elementary school later this Spring (major sniffling going on here---can you hear it?), and moving on to Junior High School (nail biting going on as well--hear it?)

So I am planning her graduation party, and the first thing I did was to head to Tiny Prints to check out the cool graduation announcements and invitations. Second thing on my agenda will be to buy extra Kleenex. Third thing will be decorations. Fourth thing...buy more Kleenex. And so on. Sigh. Why do these babies have to grow up so darn quickly??

And I do not even want to get into my daughter's birthday party....which is coming in June. Followed by my munchkin boy's 5th (!!!!) birthday a week later. I know my Kleenex budget is going to be sorely tested. Sigh.

Anyhoo...I do have some exciting news to share! Rick from Tiny Prints (maybe because he could hear my sniffling as I browsed the graduation cards section and is trying to cheer me up?) has graciously offered a $50 Gift Certificate for one of my Happy Healthy Families Readers to Tiny Prints! I do feel a tad bit better....

To Enter This Giveaway ( after all, isn't spring bringing you a special event or two also??) and have a chance to win the $50 gift certificate:

Visit the Tiny Prints Website, and check out their awesome Graduation Announcements and Invitations. Then select your favorite Graduation design, or a design you think I should use for my daughter's graduation party invitation, or guess which design I will be using, and save it in your tiny prints account (btw, setting up an account just takes seconds...if you do not already have one.)

Then-- leave me a comment letting me know which Graduation design you saved (If you win the giveaway, you do not have to choose that selection, btw)

VERY IMPORTANT--- Please also leave me the email address you used to set up your account on Tiny Prints. This way confirmation can be made easily by Tiny Prints when I draw the winning name, especially if this email is different than the one attached to the comment(s) you leave me here for the contest!)


If you would like extra entries---(Please Remember, You Must Complete The Above Requirement First!)

1. Follow me on Titter

2. Tweet this giveaway (this will get you two extra entries!)

3. Blog about this giveaway, linking to the sponsor and Happy Healthy Families (two extra entries)

4. Follow the Happy Healthy Families Blog.

5. Paste the HHF button on your sidebar.

6. Subscribe to Happy Healthy Families.


This giveaway will end April 13th at 11:59,EST

Winner will to be chosen by random drawing.

Bright Star Kids


We (my kiddos and I) were very happy to do a review for Australia based, "Bright Star Kids" recently.

What are the products offered by Bright Star Kids? Just the coolest and easiest wall graphics ever! And when I say easy--I am not kidding. Simply peel and stick--that's it.

There are many different styles of wall graphic kits available--from wall letter kits, fairy tale kits dinosaurs, cars, space,butterflies, under the sea, trains and more! We are all about dinosaurs in our house presently (well--the munchkin boys are; my daughter is on a "Twilight" diet--Twilight all day, everyday, hehe), but I made the executive decision and went with the awesome chalkboard graphic.

My mischievous little boys have used our walls so many times as drawing boards, that I was too tempted by the thought of them being redirected to a cool chalkboard on the wall to display their artistic skills on that I had to go with the chalkboard over the dinosuar graphics. But I may now surprise them with the dinosaur kit to decorate their bedroom with after all, I am so happy with these wall graphics!

My 11 year old daughter helped me put the chalkboard wall graphic up--actually she did most of the application while I stood back and made sure all looked straight and even. This took us all of about 15 minutes. No glue, no nails, no tape, no muss. And it looks fantastic!

Photobucket

We put the chalkboard in our playroom/office -- and I could not be happier. The boys actually played with that chalkboard last night so much...I had a hard time getting them to put down their chalk and getting into pajamas. And yes...I confess, mom did her fair share of drawing on it too. It is so cool!

The chalkboard panels we received are in rectangles shapes, but they also come in circles as well. The panels are simply "peel and stick" panels that you stick on a wall or other flat surface, and later can just as easily be removed--awesome! After you put the colorful panels on the wall, you then add a chalkboard graphic to each. And Voila! You have a cool chalkboard on the wall!

Bright Star Kids has graciously offered my readers a discount on their wall graphics!! Between March 25th and April 25th, you can get 20% off your order of any wall graphics or wall letter kits. To use simply enter the promotional code FAMILYREVIEW into the Promotional Code section of our Shopping Cart and then press Submit.

(Note-- if you purchase two or more kits, you will automatically receive a discount of 15-25%, so the 20% discount offered here will not apply. Also, the 20% discount will not apply if there are any other "automatic store discounts" offered on your purchase.)

Check out Bright Star Kids and their photo gallery of kids bedrooms that have been decorated using their wall and letter graphics!

Much thanks to the Family Review Network and Bright Star Kids for this awesome review!

GIVEAWAY WINNERS--ZOOM ALBUM and AMERICAN HEROES


Two giveaways have ended and I have winers to announce!!

First up...the "Zoom Album Giveaway"

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

49
9
35
64
15


Timestamp: 2009-03-24 21:43:10 UTC

#49 is "Christine G"....Congratulations Christine!!


Next is the "American Heroes Giveaway"

Here are your random numbers:

9
18
13
28
32
32
20

Timestamp: 2009-03-24 21:58:09 UTC

#9 is.... "Carol Lawrence"...Congratulations Carol!!


Watch for your emails!

Please Pardon My Dancing With The Stars Rant....


I watched Dancing With The Stars last night and I am upset. Poor Steve Wozniak cannot catch a break with those stuffy judges. What the heck do they want from that man? He is injured, carries a bit more "weight" around than the other celebrity dancers, and is ALWAYS SMILING!!

Isn't this supposed to be a reality based show with celebrities that can't really dance much to begin with? Aren't we suppose to see who grows most during the episodes and really tries hard to become an improved dancer?

Instead, it seems like the judges are awe-struck by the more "natural" dancers like The Bachelor's Melissa Rycroft and Giles Marini. Now, don't get me wrong--I love Melissa, and ah, yikes--I could watch Giles gyrate and shake all night long (sigh), but why do the judges have to be so mean to Steve Wozniak?

Come on, not even kudos for trying? And with injuries? And that man dances...maybe not perfect moves like some others, but Steve is not just standing around the dance floor "pretending" to move, either. That guy is working it, and working it hard!!

OK--so there's my rant. Hehe--just had to get that off my chest before I imploded.

BTW, if you do watch Dancing With The Stars, and if you are a voter, PLEASE consider voting for Steve. He deserves to get lots of votes...and stuff them all in the judges faces. Hrummph!

Time For Saturday's Small Talk Six !





And today's topic from MomDot's Small Talk Six is to name six things you love or hate about spring.

I am with Trisha in that Fall is my favorite season too, but I can deal with Spring as well.

So here goes:

I love Spring because the weather is usually not too cold and not too hot (yet!)

I love Spring evenings--- best part of the day, I think.

I hate that Spring means summer is right around the corner and that means heat waves and fire season (eek!)

I love /hate Spring because my son and daughter's birthdays are around the corner---*sniff* another year older they get*sniff:, why do they grow so fast????

I love/hate Spring cause MY Birthday is around the corner (ack!)

I love Spring because really every day, every season is something to treasure and hold on to and build new memories of. I really do love Spring..... new beginnings and fresh starts. OOPs--this means it's time for Spring Cleaning, doesn't it???


Funky Kidz CD GIVEAWAY (Fun Fun Fun!)


Did I mention that this Kids CD is Fun?? Hehe.

What else could possibly describe this great children's CD! Think laughing, clapping, smiling, dancing and twirling, and good old silliness. That is exactly what Funky Kidz is all about.

This CD is a compilation of some of the best classics "funkified" , as it were. Songs like " If I Only Had a Brain," "You've Got a Friend," "Yellow Submarine," and my personal all time favorite (hehe) "The Hokey Pokey," are sung by wonderful musicians from New Orleans.

Lauren Busch Singer, the executive producer, has really put together a collection of fun songs that bring back fun memories for me and my hubby, and at the same time delighted my kids. I truly believe listening to music is so important for kids, as it build their appreciation for song, brings out creativity, and gets them moving! Lauren is a mom herself to two boys and was disappointed by the offerings of children's music and set out to expose her kids to a variety of musical genres. From the time they were in her belly, she played everything from hard rock to classical ballads. Her sons, Jake, 9 (assistant producer) and Aidan, 6, took a love to the upbeat New Orleans sound and so the concept was born: "Take kids songs and just make them funky."

Lauren has very graciously agreed to give one Happy Healthy Families' reader of copy of "Funky Kidz"--just in time for the Ultimate Blog Party happening!

To Enter This Giveaway:

Visit the Funky Kidz Music Site and listen to the Music Clips. Then leave me a comment letting me know your favorite!

For Extra Entries:

Tweet This Giveaway
Follow me on Twitter
Follow the Happy Healthy Families Blog
Blog about this contest and link to Funky Kidz and This Post
Add The Happy Healthy Families Button to Your Blog

Please Leave a Comment For Each!

Contest Will End Sunday March 29th, 11:59 EST.

U S Residents Only

Time To Party!!

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

It's Friday, it's the first day of Spring, and....... It's the Ultimate Blog Party at 5 Minutes For Mom!
Prizes, fun and blog hopping is a cool way to start any weekend, right? And the prizes are INCREDIBLE. Seriously, there are soooo many, I don't know which ones to try and win first, hehe...I want them all.

But if I have to choose my very very favorite prizes listed, they would be in this order--

The awesome $100 gift certificate to either Pedal Cars and Retro or A Rocking Horse To Love
Provided by: 5 Minutes for Mom

$50 gift certificate to Target Stores
Provided by: Agoosa -

The $50 gift certificate to born2impress
Provided by: born2impress

oh...but there are so many more incredible prizes......I would be happy with anything on that incredible list. Really...I would.....anything.....please????? HEHE! But with the kiddos around, I'd especially go for anything kid related, like #3, #9, #30...for me though, I'd also love love #2....#19 and #22 would be so cool too!! See what I mean--- so many to choose from, ack!!

Hurry over and check out the prizes and all the fun-it's going to be quite the week!

I am going to have a couple of fun giveaways coming up for the party, (check out my "Funky Kidz Giveaway"!) and I am going to be busy doing some serious blog hopping all weekend!!


Let's PARTY! Woo Hoo!!

Winners!!!!


Two Giveaways ended this week---- and here are the winners!

The Sweet Dreams Lullabye CD:

Here is your sequence:
  • 52
Creative Mom, "I like the song "I wish you love."


And....


The Nature's Source Cleaner

Here is your sequence:
  • 23
Jana @ FeedYour Pig, "said... All purpose clean for me!"

Congratulations! Please watch for my emails....you will have 3 days to reply!

"Still A Family-- A Guide To Good Parenting After Divorce"



I was recently given the opportunity to review the book, "Still A Family-- A Guide To Good Parenting After Divorce" by Dr. Lisa Rene Reynolds.

While I am not planning to divorce (which came as a relief to my hubbs, whose face turned pale when he saw this book in our mail!), I wanted to check out this book so as to be able to offer it as a resource for anyone in this situation.

I found the book easy to read, if that makes sense. The subject of divorce is not easy, as we all know, but somehow Dr. Reynolds finds a way to give genuine, heartfelt and extremely valuable advice that I am found helpful just in general. Not every fight will lead to divorce, Thank Goodness, but can cause emotional damage o our kids. And I can raise my hand and say my hubby and I have not successfully kept our "disagreements" out of reach of little ears from time to time. So I really did find reading this book helpful for our family even though divorce is not in our plans.

But for anyone dealing with a divorce, considering one, or even done with the paperwork on one, this book, in my opinion, would be so helpful. As parents, our number one concern is our kids, and often we may not know the right words or actions to use in difficult times. An easy to read, caring guide such as "Still a Family" can make a difference in how children deal and react to a divorce in their family.

Dr. Lisa Rene Reynolds is a therapist specializing in marriage counseling and therapy with families going through divorce. She has a master's degree and PH.D. degrees in marital and family therapy. She also teaches a state-mandated class in Connecticut for parents going through divorce. I appreciated so much her warmth and concern that you feel in her book--no pointing fingers, guilt trips, or negativity.

I doubt that there is a question or concern regarding divorce that is not covered in this book. From topics like how to avoid fighting nasty with your soon to be ex--name calling and such-- to how to practical advice on structuring parenting time, I was really impressed with how much is covered in the book. Dealing with children's behaviors, finding the best words to use with your kids, and even tips for parents on how to take care of themselves as well.

There is no denying that divorce is painful for everyone involved. But the children especially can suffer long lasting effects from a divorce that is handled poorly. Parents can absolutely find help reading and following advice Dr. Reynolds gives in her book. And hopefully will in turn help their children live happy, healthy and successful lives.

What Would You Do?


Happy St. Paddy's Day!! May we all feel some 'luck 'o the Irish ' today!!

I was reading this article --originated in "Star Magazine" so definitely needs to be taken w/ a grain of salt as they say-- but I giggled and in all actuality wouldn't mind if this were true (my bad. head hung....but I am just not a big Angelina/ Brad fan...LOL)

Short version: Angelina Jolie supposedly walked past the twins bedroom--Knox and Vivienne-- and happened to catch Brad on the bed giving the nanny a back massage. Yep. Tell me you are not giggling.....come on!

Story goes Angie had a few choice words to spew at the two, (as any woman would of course), Nanny cried, Brad consoled Nanny, Angie slapped Brad and threw Nanny out,Brad took off on his motorcycle. End of story.

Aw. A day that is not perfect for Ms. Angelina, aw. (I know--my bad. Bad snarky me. Head hung, still.)

But whether this is true or not, although coming from a reputable source such as "Star", I don't know why it would be doubted, hehe, it made me think of a very basic question--

"Would I ever hire a young, attractive nanny (if I had the money of course to hire anyone, ever)

And right away I knew my answer would be ""H**** NO!"

So that in turn made me ponder if I simply do not trust my husband, is it just me...would most women feel trust enough in their relationship to have an attractive nanny
take care of their kids?"

But no matter the level of trust, isn't it simply playing with fire to have some pretty young thing in your home day after day??

What would you do? Would you ever hire a pretty nanny, or have you?

I don't care if it makes me look bad, or insecure, or doubting of my husband's loyalty--- Give me Mrs. Doubtfire , thank-you very much!

Saturday's Small Talk Six






Happy Weekend! Today's topic for Small Talk Six is "Green." Specifically, what you love that is Green. But "Green" can be interpreted as you like, so after some tought, here are my favorite six "green" things:

1. All my little Green Monsters!

2. My kids all dressed in green to make mommy (I am Irish after all!) happy on St. Paddy's Day!

3. Salads. Love crisp salads any time of day. Yum!!

4. Money (I know. I know. But I do love that green stuff!)

5. My hubby's "greeness" which shows up periodically letting me know he still gets jealous (go figure!!)

6. Green Tea. All tea really, but gotta love my 'healthy green tea' and a cookie. Yum.

What are your favorite "Green Things?" Join the fun at MomDot and share your greeness, hehe!

"American Heroes" Review and GiveAway



This is actually the third album in a series by the wonderful and award-winning talented singer/songwriter Johnathon Sprout. The American Heroes Series is a collection of original songs that teach children about some of America's greatest citizens.

"American Heroes" won critical acclaim and awards from The National Association of Parenting Publications & Parents’ Choice as a groundbreaking CD in the field of educational children’s music. A sequel, More American Heroes, has been awarded The Film Advisory Board’s Award of Excellence and Parents’ Choice Awards. And American Heroes 3 is the iParenting Media Award '2009 Best Products' Winner!"

This is a must have for teachers--and I will be giving one to my son's Kindergarten teacher when he starts this Fall! It is simply awesome. And I say this not just because of the fun upbeat music that gets toes tapping and hands clapping, nor because of Jonathon's wonderful singing, al but for another reason.

We first listened to the cd with my two year old. And both boys together listening to fun lively music tends to result in lots of laughing, clapping and dance moves that would make Michael Jackson jealous (just saying....).

But I really wanted my older son to listen to the words in the songs and the stories being told. So when my two year old went down for a nap, I put the music back on, and called my son to join me. Now he and I do reading, coloring, counting and all the normal kinds of educational activities parents do with preschoolers, but I never really discuss history with him.

This is why I not only love this album, but am so greatful it arrived in our mailbox for a review! We sat on that couch together and talked about the different 'heroes' that Sprout sings about. How some overcame great challenges to be successful, and how nice it is to want to help others. Learning through music is perfect for kids, and I loved how my 4 year old responded to the songs. But I can also imagine this album being perfect for elementary school children of all ages.

The "heroes" on this collection are Jane Adams, Elizabeth Blackwell, George Washington Carver, Cesar Chavez, Milton Hershey, Thomas Jefferson, John Muir, Pocahontas, Wilma Rudolph and Jonas Salk. I admit I needed some brushing up on my history as well-- and learned a few things myself listening to the songs!

My son was fascinated of course with Milton Hershey 0r as he is known in the song, "Chocolate King". He was also very interested in "Peanut Man", better known to us as George Washington Carver. I was struck by the story of Wilma Rudolph, beautifully told in the song, "Can't Stop Running", which I hadn't known before.

I could go on and on about this album, but it may be better for you to check it out yourself! You can listen to some clips and get an idea of what I'm raving about, and you can buy "American Heroes 3" (or any of the American Heroes collection ) at Amazon for $13.99

But best of all, you can enter the giveaway right here to WIN a copy of American Heroes 3!

TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY:

1. Check out Johnathon Sprout and listen to the clips from the American Heroes 3 Album. Leave me a comment telling me which "hero" you most admire!

For Extra Entries:

1. Blog about this giveaway and link to the sponsor and Happy Healthy Families.
2. Follow me on Twitter.
3. Tweet This Giveaway.
4. Follow Happy Healthy Families.
5. Add The Happy Healthy Families Button To Your Blog
6. Subscribe to Happy Healthy Families.

Please remember to leave a separate comment for each of the above you do, and leave URLS for posts

Giveaway ends March 23rd @ 11:59 EST.

New Scanalog Winner (2nd Try!!)


Here are your random numbers:

6

Timestamp: 2009-03-12 06:04:11 UTC--


Ok, since the first winner I drew last night, well random.org drew, already had won the Scanalog at another blog giveaway, I have done a second drawing

Anyway, Congratulations to --

Dumaurier !
I'll be sending you an email asap!

Thanks to all who entered!!

A GiveAway Redo??


Wow-- no winner after all!

I will be redrawing a winner for the Scanalog Giveaway as the winner I drew yesterday has actually already won the Scanalog Software on another blog. Hehe...talk about having some good luck.....

Anyhoo--

I will be drawing another winner shortly using Random. org, so check back in a bit!

SCANALOG SOFTWARE WINNER.......


Here are your random numbers:

"2"


Congratulations Shel!

This is great software--you will love it! I'll be sending you an email shortly.


I Love Me Some Dancing!



Did anyone watch Dancing With The Stars last night? I loved that Melissa Rycroft is on! Woohoo. And I cracked up when Bruno called the Bachelor yutz, Jason, "LOSER!" Hehe. Loser sign and all from Bruno (love you Bruno).

So I am thinking that the other celebrity contestants must feel a little intimidated having Melissa competing. She even got a standing "O" last night from the audience. And that girl can dance.

I also loved Shawn Johnson. She seems like such a sweetheart, and man she waltzed with serious style last night.

Looks like a fun season. I just kept wondering what Jason was thinking (if he watched, along with Molly, blech). Probably wants Melissa back. You know, the boy's got to follow his heart. Even if it changes it's mind every week or so.

My Natural Plush Toys


My boys are loving mommy's "work" right now. Why, you ask? Because the other day that nice UPS man brought a package to our door that had my little guys smiling from ear to ear.

Inside that box were two of the cutest softest plush toys that were just calling to my munchkin boys to grab and cuddle! Which of course they did, immediately. They were sent to us by Hosung, the makers of "My Natural" plush toy line, and the miYim Organic toys, a Brooklyn-based company that created the adorable and colorful plush characters using environmentally-friendly non-toxic materials and processes.

We received the adorable yellow puppy (from the Natural Toy Line), and the equally cute frog (from the miYim Organics Line) you see in the picture. The "doggy" was instantly adopted by my four year old who happens to be my biggest stuffed animal lover of all (even beating out his sister, when she was small). My two year old was delighted with "froggy", who was given lots of sticky kisses right away.

Photobucket
These plush toys are simply awesome to hold. They are so soft it's incredible. And that is because this line of plush toys are made from 100% all-natural cotton. They are all certified non-toxic, made with all-natural materials and dyes. The colors on the toys come from unbleached cotton treated by Pure Water Wash and hand dyed in soy water. I love this. No worrying about bad stuff going in my little guys mouths (yea, they will still kiss, and lovingly nibble, hehe, on cuddly bedtime pals!).

Both My Natural Plush Toys and miYim Organics are available at Target.


thanks to Role Mommy for the opportunity to review My Natural and miYim Organics.

Zoom Album Giveaway and Review



ZoomAlbum Photo Book Kit is just about the coolest thing ever! I actually feel so proud of myself for putting together my own little picture book!

ZoomAlbum comes with everything you need to create a small hardbound picture album that easily fits into purses, diaper bags, etc.

I made my first book with just pictures of my two munchkin boys, and titled it, "My Brother and Me"-- I did this for my four year old, and he loves it!! Next, I am going to make one for my daughter with pictures of her and her friends. The kit has enough supplies to make three albums, including covers you can personalize.

I was a bit nervous when I sat down to make my first book, but as soon as I had my ZoomAlbum Creator Software installed--it was a breeze! Basically you put the CD in, load the software (very fast), and follow the easy directions.

The hardest part for me was selecting which pictures to use, but once I decide on my theme (brothers) I had my picture book done in minutes. I did use the practice paper that is included to make sure I had done everything right, and to practice the folding needed. All the pictures you select are printed out on a single sheet of Zoom Album's exclusive high quality photo paper. The directions for folding the pictures into an album are really easy, especially if you do the practice one first. The paper is clearly marked and perforated.

I was so proud of myself! And completely addicted! These are the cutest little albums ever. You can make all kinds for presents, themes, holidays, vacations....anything! It makes it easy to look at pictures and share them. I know I will be making many of these books. As a matter of fact, I am planning some Christmas picture books to give as presents---I am LOVING ZoomAlbum!

And I get to GIVE AWAY One Zoom Album Photo Book Kit!


TO WIN a ZOOMALBUM KIT:

Visit the ZoomAlbum website and leave me a comment telling me what your first photo album book's theme would be.

For additional entries:

Blog about this contest, linking to my blog and to ZoomAlbum. (three extra entries)

Follow Happy Healthy Families.

Subscribe to Happy Healthy Families.

Add my button to your sidebar.

Follow me on twitter and Tweet this contest. In your comment, please leave the URL.

Contest ends March 2oth at 11:59 EST.

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

Thanks to Family Review Network and ZoomAlbum for this review opportunity!


Winner Of The Spanglish Wrangler CD!!!


"barbarabaker said...Cucaracha is one of my favorites (well, the girls loved it too)...These are too cute and something I'd really love to own for my girls and I.

Please count me in for this giveaway. It'd definitely be a fun CD to have!!!"


Congratulations! You and your girls are going to LOVE this CD!


Scanalog Giveaway Ends Tonight!! Still Time to Enter!


New Giveaways to check out:

"Nature's Source" Cleaning Products , ends March 18th.

"Under The Stars" Beautiful (!) Lullaby CD by "SunFlow"--You Will Love These Songs! Ends March 17th.

Small Talk Six






Over on Mom Dot they are having their Small Talk Meme going and today the topic is 6 places you would like to travel to if you had someone trustworthy to watch your children and pets.

Hmmm. This is actually a tough one for me because actually I am a homebody sort of gal, hehe. I like sleeping in my own bed, and just have never been one for traveling much. Plus, I HATE FLYING!! So afraid of flying I am neurotic almost about it. Now if you are giggling--stop it!!! LOL, but I guess I can come up with six places we could drive to (or fly if I were totally drunk or on tranquilizers!)

So here's my list:

1. Hawaii (can you drive there? No? Excuse me while I go get some Tequila!)
2. San Fransisco (Now I can drive there. May take a day, but that is no problem!!)
3. Oregon (don't ask me why)
4. Las Vegas (fun!)
5. Monterey/Carmel
6. Seattle (I like rain!)

Boring six, I know. But, hey. I am just a simple boring girl at heart.

Nature's Source Review and Giveaway!

PhotobucketHooray for Green Cleaning! With little kids around, I really do not like using those smelly chemical cleaners. I prefer to use natural products for cleaning, but have found some work and some just do not get the job done.

Thanks to S.C. Johnson (Makers of Scrubbing Bubbles and Windex), and the Family Review Network, I was able to review SC Johnson's new Nature's Source Bathroom Cleaner. Now I have to admit I HATE cleaning our bathrooms (after all, we have two little boys!), but I know if I don't, no one else will.

My very first impression of Nature's Source was that I was delighted to not smell that nasty chemical odor so many cleaners always have.

The cleanser itself did an truly an amazing job with the "mess" that is our bathroom. I don't think there is a cleaner out there that can completely face the challenges of a four year old boy and his little two year old brother, seriously, but I give kudos to Nature's Source for a job well done! We have more yuck in there than I need share, hehe, but Nature's Source handled it all well. I actually did not mind cleaning the bathroom as much as I usually do.

I multi-task cleaners...a lot. And I did use the Nature's Source Bathroom Cleaner in other rooms, such as my kitchen. I mean, really, a counter is a counter no matter which room it's in, right? I used it in my kitchen sink, stove top and on the front of my dishwasher. I loved this stuff and kind of got in a cleaning mode, kwim? This may not occur all too often, but that's another story!

Nature's Source Bathroom Cleaner (as well as the whole line of cleansers) is more than 99 percent natural. They are packaged in recyclable bottles, partly produced by renewable energy from a local landfill, and recognized for safer chemistry by the Environmental Protection Agency's Design for the Environment (DfE) program. How is that for cleaning GREEN?? Plus, the Nature's Source products are $3.49 - $3.69 (MSRP)--so it will not leave a dent in my wallet when it's time to buy some more.

Good for the kids and family, and good for our environment. Gotta love that!

And I get to GIVEAWAY 1 bottle of Nature's Source Natural Glass & Surface Cleaner from SC JOHNSON-- How cool is that? Just in time for all that Spring Cleaning you've got planned, right?

To Enter this giveaway--

Visit the Nature's Source site and then leave me a comment letting me know which cleaning product you would like most.

For extra entries--

Follow Happy Healthy Families Blog.
Follow me on Twitter and Tweet this contest.
Pick up a Happy Healthy Families Button and Paste it on your blog.
Stumble this post.
Blog about this giveaway, linking to The Sponsor and Happy Healthy Families.

Please leave me a separate comment for each entry.

Please Note** This contest is open to US entries only. You must include an email address with your entry so I can Contact you. Winner will have 3 days to respond to my notification email within 3 days or a new winner will be drawn. And finally, the sponsor will send the product directly to the winner so a mailing address will be necessary.

Contest Ends March 18th.





Beautiful Lullaby CD -- "Under The Stars"


Being that I am half Irish I especially love St. Patrick's Day. Growing up my mom, who was born in Dublin, Ireland and later met and married my dad who was born in Glasgow, Scotland, always made sure this was a family celebration day for all six of us--no matter if some of my siblings were grown and on their own--St. Paddy's Day always found us back together again.

So I am especially happy to have the perfect giveaway for St. Patrick's Day - an incredibly beautiful collection of Ten lullaby songs by an Irish based band, SUNFLOW. Before I share with you my thoughts on this amazing CD (gave you a hint, uh?), I wanted to tell you a bit about the two singers from SunFlow--

Fran King, a native of Dublin, Ireland, and Nancy Falkow who was born in Philadelphia but is now living in Dublin, are both parents as well as accomplished and acclaimed artists. Their album, "Under The Stars", was inspired by the talents of Harry Nilsson and Carole King and James Taylor (one of my all time favorites!). And I have to tell you that though this CD was intended as a Lullaby album to soothe little ones to sleep, King and Falkow have created in my opinion a breathtakingly beautiful collection of songs that so eloquently express our emotions as parents. They have captured and put to music how we all feel about the miracles that are our children.

Their CD is simply one beautiful soothing lullaby after the next. Listening to the songs relaxed me as much as or probably even more than my two munchkin boys. I totally fell in love with the lyrics and the melodies of all ten songs. There is really just one word needed to describe the music, and the incredible voices of Fran King and Nancy Falkow--Beautiful. So beautiful that I listen it to myself sometimes so that I can completely fall under the spell of the songs without my little ones interrupting!

"Under The Stars" would make an awesome present for a baby shower-- a new mommy would absolutely love rocking her baby to sleep with this music. My 2 and 4 year old boys are a bit tough to get settled down, but honestly, when I play this CD, they actually start to wind down. My two year old now picks up a book and comes to cuddle with me when he hears the songs-- pretty amazing considering how rambunctious this little guy can be!

My only complaint about this collection of songs is that listening to them makes my ovaries hurt!

And we are done with the babies--no more both hubby and I have agreed--but sheesh, those darn twinges do act up when I sit listening to the beautiful lullabies.

Anyhow, moving past my achy ovaries, SUNFLOW has graciously agreed to give a copy of "Under The Stars" to one of Happy Healthy Families Readers. And this is one collection of songs you will absolutely love to have in your collection, believe me!

To ENTER--Please go fall in love with the songs at the SUNFLOW SITE. Come back and tell me your favorite (mine, though so hard to pick just one, would be 'Eve's Lullaby').

For extra entries

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Contest ends, when else--St. Patrick's Day! (March 17th).





Irreplaceable


I recently had the wonderful pleasure of reading and reviewing Stephen Lovely's novel, Irreplaceable.

This is a story about love, loss, grief and recovery told with such realism I had a difficult time putting the book down. Having three kids underfoot usually makes reading something I rarely ever take time for anymore, but this book and the characters grabbed me right from the start, and I was hooked.

Irreplaceable is the story of a vibrant woman named Isabelle, her archaeologist husband, Alex, and a woman neither knew but whom would have great impact on especially Alex's life, Janet Corcoran.

Isabelle is tragically killed in a car/bike accident. A very numb Alex agrees reluctantly to have her heart as well as other organs donated. Right away I found myself wondering what I would do in Alex's shoes, and how I would feel. I empathized, I reacted in my own head, and I cried. The thoughts and emotions expressed by Alex were all too realistic.

But that is simply the beginning. As a reader, almost like a voyeur, I was swept away in the journey Alex takes, along with his only true human connection he will reach out to, Isabelle's mother, as he bottles up his grief and anger and walks through his life as more a mechanical function than anything else.

Isabelle's mother, immersed in grief as well, is gripping as a character in her own way. As a mom, I was particularly drawn towards Bernice as I watched her deal with her need to connect to the of her daughter's heart.

Irreplaceable captured my heart as I read it. I felt so much of what the characters were feeling. Alex, so angry and still numb, wanting nothing to do with Janet. Though perhaps not logical, you can not help but understand how this man could feel bitter towards Janet. And Janet herself becomes a most amazing character with struggles that made me wonder if I would ever be as strong a woman as she is in the novel.

I absolutely loved this book. It delves into human nature in such an honest way. Believe me when I say that it is one of those books that you find very difficult to put down. You wil carry the characters with you in your thoughts throughout the day until you can pick it up again and continue reading. You will find yourself agreeing, questioning, and disagreeing with actions and thoughts of the characters.

I do not want to give too much away, but I can honestly tell you that I was not sure at all where the book would end things with Alex, Janet and Bernice. I was totally surprised by some twists and turns along the way. And I was completely captivated with the lives of the characters Stephen Lovely so perfectly intertwines.

So if you are putting together a summer reading list, I would absolutely recommend putting Irreplaceable on that list!