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Pumpkin Masters: Get Creative with Pumpkin Carving

Earlier this week we all ran over to a small local pumpkin patch and let the kids run around for thirty minutes trying to find the perfect pumpkin for themselves. We had to remind our oldest that if he couldn’t pick it up it was probably a wee bit too bit for him. Our youngest though went immediately for the smallest pumpkins possible. It was adorable seeing him run to the baby pumpkins and ask for all of them. And our daughter, ever the meticulous one spent the longest trying to find that perfect pumpkin. I love watching her little mind work.

Pumpkin Masters Collage 2

The next day as soon as the kids got home from school we all went to work. The mission at hand? Operation Pumpkin Carving! I have always enjoyed carving pumpkins. I enjoyed doing it as a child and I enjoy doing it now with my children. I’ve come to learn that when we carve pumpkins it will work one way. The excitement, smiles, giggles and enjoyment from my kids lasts about halfway through the carving experience and then I end up finishing the project. Despite this happening and my fingers having blisters on them and my hands being tired I still go on to carve my pumpkin. It has happened this way since becoming a mom almost ten years ago and you know what? I am perfectly okay with that. Because even though the kids get tired of cutting and I end up finishing it it still allows us to spend time together while having fun together and creating memories. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Pumpkin11

My go to carving kit? Pumpkin Masters. I remember using them as a kid so for me there is no other choice when it comes to kits for my family to use. And with them being so easily accessible since they are carried at almost all of our local retailers, drug stores and even craft stores I never have to worry about not finding a kit. This year was the first year I happened to notice the kits specifically for children and dude they.are.awesome! Having little one’s wanting to carve but not being able to is not only hard on the parents but for the children as well. There is nothing like watching your older siblings having a fun time and not being able to partake in the same activity. With the Kid Kits the pictures have pre-stamped holes in them so when you tape them to the pumpkin all they need to do is trace them with the provided crayon and it transfers on to the pumpkin very easily. Simply remove the paper and wha-la you have your pattern ready to go for your little one’s. I also noticed that the cutting knife included is thicker and duller then cutting knives provided in other kits. Much safer for those little hands which if you ask me is one of the most important things when carving pumpkins with my family. That an hearing the giggles and eww’s when the kids reach their hands into the pumpkin to remove the seeds and goop. Seeing their faces is just the cutest thing.

Pumpkin Masters Collage 4

Right now through October 31st Pumpkin Masters is having a fun contest where you can win one of SIX prizes which includes $5,000 for the Best Pumpkin decoration! If you are a pumpkin carving master make sure to enter. Here are three different ways you can enter. For official contest details click here.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Sitterati, the all in one sitter app





Thank you to Sittercity for sponsoring this post. Click here to download 
the current beta version of Sittercity's free Sitterati app on your iPhone and let them know 
what you think in the app store.


Moms are as a whole very busy. Not only do we run the house but we take care of our kids, our husbands, if we have time…ourselves, oh and don’t forget about any pets you may have, baseball practice, dance, karate. Add on top of that working full time, part time or even from home and life can get over whelming. Arranging for a sitter to watch your kids should be something that is easy, non stressful and relatively painless right?

Let me introduce you to Sitterati. A new app that keeps all of your babysitters in ONE place. Setting up an account is takes less then five minutes and you can use your Facebook account to make it even easier. Once you set up your account you can create jobs to send to all of your babysitters at once and schedule them through the app. You can also pay your sitter directly from the app. No more worrying about having enough cash on you or turning around as you pull into your driveway because you just realized you forgot to get cash (yeah I’ve totally done that, twice).

So you’re ready for a night out with your husband, here’s what you do.

  1. Text your babysitter(s) with an invite to Sitterati
  2. Enter your credit card information so you’re all squared away on payment
  3. Post the job
  4. When a babysitter responds you will receive a confirmation from them that they will take the job 
  5. Go out and enjoy a night on the town!
Not only is the Sitterati app awesome for us parents, yes Dads can totally do this too, but it’s convenient for the sitters as well. When they set up an account they can access jobs from parents they are connected with, get paid right into their account and see all babysitter jobs they have schedule in one spot. Key words to remember here, organization. That is a HUGE deal for me since I am constantly loosing things, like notes, appointment dates, even babysitters phone numbers since I tend to write them down on a tiny piece of paper and then loose said piece of paper. With having everything in one spot and completely organized will help not only the sitters scheduling jobs but the parents submitting jobs.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member Clever Girls Collective, the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

 

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Nominate your sitter for Sittercity’s America’s Top Sitter

Remember back when you were in your early teen years and spending most week day evenings and weekends babysitting your parents friends kids. No? This is how I spent most of my preteen and teenage years. I had one steady family that I babysit on a weekly basis for a few years and then other families on an as needed basis. Looking back on those days is always a great memory. I had fun watching these children grow and I felt blessed that I was not only being trusted to care for these kids but I was also being welcomed into these children’s hearts. I wasn’t just a babysitter and it wasn’t just a job for me, I was like extended family. I often wonder where are those “little” kids now. I even remember my babysitter from when I was around five years old. Nay-nay was what we called her, Renee was her actual name but you know us cute five year olds and not being able to pronounce words all the way. We (my sister and I) always had so much fun going over to her house and spending the day or even just a few hours. I remember one summer day all of us kids and Nay-Nay got into a water fight which somehow turned into a shaving cream fight. Such fun memories. Nay-Nay for me was like an Aunt or the older sister I always dreamed about. She lived in the same apartment complex as us and when it came time for us to move my sister and I were heart broken because she wouldn’t be our babysitter anymore. That’s how close we all had become. Just like family.

Do you have a sitter who has become a part of your family? One who is amazing with your children? One who goes above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to the care of your children? If you do right now Sittercity is having a contest and they are looking for the absolute best of the best for their 2013 America’s Top Sitter Contest! You can nominate your babysitter for the 2013 America’s Top Sitter Contest in a matter of minutes. 

  • You can tell them why your sitter is the best of the best in 200 words or less and upload a photo of your awesome sitter, but don’t delay the period to nominate your sitter is only open until February 25, 2013.
  • Next a panel of judges will pick ten finalists from all of the entries
  • Then those ten finalist will be put to a voting round from March 5th through March 15th. The one finalist with the most votes will be names America’s Top Sitter and win the grand prize of $5,000!

So hurry up, if you have an AMAZING babysitter who you think deserves this go nominate them here.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

 

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Share Your Heart with Macy’s Heart of Haiti

This Mother’s Day, I’m working with Clever Girls in support of Macy’s Heart of Haiti to shine a light on the “trade, not aid” program, which provides sustainable income to Haitian artisans struggling to rebuild their lives and support their families after the 2010 earthquake.

Today I want to share a story about my hardest experience I’ve had being a mother. It is one that I will never forget and it can still bring tears to my eyes. But it is also one that reminds me of what a gift it is to be a Mom.

Ever since I was a little girl I knew that one day I wanted to become a mother. I played dress up all the time with my younger sisters and I was always the mommy. I imagined getting married to prince charming, becoming a beautiful princess and having a lot of babies. Not only were my sisters my “babies” when we played but so were all of my cabbage patch kids. In 2003 that dream became my reality. I was so excited to find out I was pregnant and would be becoming a mommy. I still remember the day my oldest was born. It seems like yesterday. It was the happiest moment of my life. I couldn’t believe I was actually a mommy. My childhood dreams had come true, excluding the being a princess part of course. 

I will not lie and say it has all been peaches and cream. Motherhood is amazing, beautiful, a blessing and the most amazing thing I have ever known but it can also be hard. The hardest thing I have come across is seeing my babies in pain. The best way to describe it is it’s like a piece of my heart breaks. I want to protect them from anything that can cause them pain.

In 2008 my youngest was born. He was a little surprise from the beginning. And not much of that has changed even though he is almost four years old. He is the most energetic little man I have known. When he was three weeks old he started throwing up non stop. In just under 24 hours he went from my smiling little giggling baby to my pale, quiet and tired baby. It wasn’t just simple reflex and in my heart I knew something was wrong.

In 24 hours, two hospitals, an ambulance ride and no sleep later we were waiting for him to brought into surgery. I had dealt with boo boos, sickies and tears from my children before but this was a whole new territory for me. I was sleep deprived, scared, worried, emotional, lost. I was completely terrified. My baby was about to have surgery. My flesh and blood who was barely one month old would be in a room with people I didn’t know and I had to put my faith in them to keep my baby safe. It was the hardest thing I have ever gone through.

I wont go into all of the details because we would probably be here forever but in the end every thing turned out okay. They warned me he would probably have a bit of trouble gaining weight for a little while but he proved the Dr’s wrong. He was the chubbiest little baby and three and a half years later he is now my big boy. I will never forget that day and even though he will never know it he still has the scar to prove what a little trooper he is. He calls it his “rainbow”. He came up with the name all on his own and just hearing him call it his rainbow brings a smile to my face. His rainbow is a constant reminder to me that while motherhood may not always be easy it is the greatest blessing and reward that any woman can experience.

Here’s a little bit more information on Macy’s Heart of Haiti;

What is Macy’s Heart of Haiti? Heart of Haiti is a “Trade, Not Aid” initiative launched by artist and social entrepreneur, Willa Shalit, The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and Macy’s. Already, Heart of Haiti has led to employment of 750 artists in Haiti, providing financial benefits for an estimated 8,500 people in the country.

Each item is a one-of-a-kind design and handmade by a Haitian master artisan from raw materials such as recycled oil drums, wrought iron, papier-mâché and stone. The collection features more than 40 home decor items including quilts, metalwork, ceramics, jewelry and paintings and is made almost entirely from recycled and sustainable items such as old cement bags, cardboard, oil drums and local gommier wood. 

Heart of Haiti products are available online at Macy’s.com.

Thank you to Macy’s Heart of Haiti for sponsoring my participation in this “Share Your Heart” promotion. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

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Dare to try: Smokey Eyes

Thanks to L’Oreal for sponsoring my post about my favorite beauty looks, tips and tricks! Check out Makeup.com for beauty advice from the experts.

I love makeup. Always have. Even as a little girl before I was old enough to use real makeup I used to play with my fake make up. Now I would love to be one of those people that has a ginormous collection of makeup but alas I am not. I have my necessities such as powder, eye liner and mascara, and then I have a few extras such as my collection of eye shadows. Some may see eye shadows as necessary but I feel they are not typically for every day life but great to have for special occasions or nights out on the town or just when you want to get all prettied up.

On my necessities list is a great powder. You don’t want one that looks like you have plaster on your face but you want one with enough coverage to conceal any possible acne you may have or just to give an all around refreshed look. My absolute favorite is L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail powder. I have eczema and adult acne and I have tried just about every single line of makeup out there and not a single one has provided such amazing coverage as this one does. For my eye shadow all I use is Elf Cosmetics Smokey eye’s. The eyeshadow goes on smooth and stays on all day.

I admit, I am not an every day makeup wearer but every once in a while I like to get all prettied up and when I do I love to try new things with my makeup. Trying new things isn’t always easy when you don’t have the natural talent of thinking up color combinations so like a lot of people out there I go to the internet to find help. Makeup.com not only has videos for eye makeup but they also have videos on lips, face, nails, skincare (love this) and tips galore on how to take care of your skin. To sum it up, they have a plethora of ideas for you. It’s your one stop shop for all things skin related.

Here are a few examples of some ideas I have done.

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My attempt at a smokey look. May have gone a bit overboard on the outer dark color but it still turned out pretty good.

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Color coordinating with my outfit to make my eyes pop. I was wearing a blue shirt so I added a line of blue around the bottom lid and the top lid. But not too much so that all you would see is blue .

I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. Click here to learn more about Makeup.com or become a Facebook fan by clicking here.

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