Artscape at the Dallas Arboretum (+ Giveaway)

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The Dallas Arboretum will host Artscape, a fantastic juried fine art and fine craft show, at the Pecan Grove at the garden on April 26 and 27. There will be nature inspired paintings, jewelry, sculpture, metalwork and more, amidst the backdrop of the spring garden. You won’t want to miss it! The Dallas Arboretum is beautiful in the spring and just to walk through it is a treat. Wanna take your family. Artscape will feature 75 national and local artists and their nature-inspired artwork on display and for sale including paintings, sculpture, 2-D and 3-D mixed media pieces, photography and more. On both days, artists from the Creative Arts Center of Dallas will demonstrate a variety of art mediums, while acoustic music fills the garden with sounds of spring.

GIVEAWAY:

I am giving away a family four-pack for you to check out Artscape with your family! Enter by leaving me a comment telling me who you would take with you! Giveaway ends on 4/22 at 5PM.

The Dallas Arboretum is also the home of the internationally acclaimed Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden. The Arboretum is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. General admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for children 3-12 and free for Arboretum members and children two and under. There is an additional cost of $3 per person for entrance into the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden. On-site parking is $10.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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Life has really changed a lot in the past 5 years. I’ve learned a lot and grew in many areas that I never expected to grow or mature in.

These past two weeks have been life changing, yet again. Two weeks ago my mother in law and the fun, whitty Nanny to my three little princesses had a stroke…. well a few actually. Let me back up a bit… earlier this year she called to tell us that she had liver cancer…a rare kind but would do chemo and fight it. We were not ready for this news. We grudgingly accepted that she would have to go thru Chemo and the nasty side effects to get better. She’s a fighter. We did what we could to help prepare her and her home for the changes to come.

This was all great and she endured a ton of sickness and such from the chemo…and we knew to expect it…but then she had a stroke. The dr thinks it’s due to the chemo. We are heart broken. We never expected this, not in a million years.  We also didn’t expect to hear from the Oncologist that her cancer is terminal, or that she knew that it was from the start. More heart ache. Tears don’t begin to describe the mixed bag of emotions that I feel. I don’t understand why she wouldn’t tell us that it was terminal… yet as a mom, I totally get it. I would want to protect my kids as well.

The GOOD

is that God has provided what we need, when we need it. He has put people in our paths that have helped walk us thru this process… nurses in the family, friends who work for hospice and various other support that we have needed. He’s given Steve and I an ARMY of SuperMoms who have helped with our kids while we flew or drove out to St Louis. He has provided us with friends who have let us stay with them in St. Louis, and has brought our family closer together thru this tragedy.

The BAD

is that it’s not over. She will (hopefully) be released this week to a nursing home where she will get hospice care until the cancer wins. It’s beyond words to describe the pain I feel for her. She seems to know who we are but can not talk. It’s so hard to not picture her up goofing off and being silly with the girls, or talking about politics or posting silly stuff on Facebook.

The UGLY

is that there will come a day in the next few months that I will have to tell my girls that Nanny is gone. They will be heart broken, shattered. I am trying really hard to stay strong and not talk about things in front of them, but this is so consuming.

I know that this is just part of the circle of life, but it’s painful and heart wrenching. It’s been hard to watch my husband and his siblings walk thru grief together…and it’s not over yet. It is hard to watch my father in law slowly come to gripes that the woman that he has been married to for 30+ years is not going to bounce back from this.

This just all feels to fast forward, too final. The picture above is Nanny with her “grands!” I’m processing this all as I can…hang with me. Things are changing for us quickly and I know that my posts my be fewer for the next few weeks.

 

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FREE: Disney’s Club Penquin now on iPhone and iTouch

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My girls LOVE playing Disney’s Club Penguin. And now, great news! Players can play on their iPhone and iPod Touch. The virtual world was brought to iPad as a playable experience in December, and today’s update brings the playable world to iPhone and iPod Touch. The Club Penguin app has reached nearly 5 million downloads and is available in six different languages.

The update coincides with one of Club Penguin’s most popular events in the virtual world, the Puffle Party. Features from the Puffle Party event will be included in the app, such as:

You can adopt up to 40 pet puffles, including the new dog and cat puffle! You can also walk puffles in the world and play and dig for cool clothing or coins. Players can roleplay in six new rooms like the Puffle Park, Hotel Rooftop and Pet Shop.

Download Club Penguin for free on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

Winners Announced!

You won

I’ve had a few giveaways end and here are the winners! Congrats!

Go enter my other giveaways! You can’t win if you don’t enter!!

 

Setting Sail on Royal Carribbean’s Liberty of the Sea Cruise Ship – Brandcation #SeasTheDay

This Royal Caribbean Cruise to Cozumel was part of a Press Trip on behalf of Brandfluential and Royal Caribbean International. All experiences and opinions mine and are honest.

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This was my 4th Brandcation trip to go on and I knew adventure was in store…but I had no clue that the Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas, the third largest cruise ship in the world, was gonna make me want to book another cruise so quickly. This was my 4th cruise and I knew what to expect as far as the normal ins/outs of a cruise…but this one was very different! This cruise ship was PACKED with adventure!

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While on board I climbed the rock wall. (This was HARD!) Surfed…well okay, on my belly, not my feet on the Flow Rider, watched an awesome Ice Skating performance, and enjoyed some Acrobats at the

Here are all of the options:

FlowRider® surf simulator
Rock-climbing wall
Ice-skating rink
Mini-golf course
Full-sized basketball court
Full-sized boxing ring

I did not vary much for my dining because the food was so tasty and I was trying to make the trip about fun, not food. (I LOVE yummy food, especially when I am not the one cooking it…but my body needed me to try to contain myself with my eating choices!)

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Photo Credit: What’s That Smell?

The rooms on board are spacious and we never felt cramped or crowded. There was tons of storage and sitting spaces! I stayed in a balcony room and loved it. As you can see from the photos above, it’s bright and beautiful. Very inviting and relaxing.

I will be posting more about the Liberty of the Seas Royal Caribbean Cruise ship in the next few days! There is sooo much to tell you about and I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much all at once! So stay tuned!

Wonder Forge Fun: Disney Princess Frozen Matching Game (+ Giveaway)

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Wonder Forge has three fantastic NEW matching games launching in April that preschoolers are sure to love. With games featuring gorgeous color artwork from Frozen, Planes, and Marvel, there’s something for every preschooler on your list. These games are small, portable, and easy to play—promoting preschool matching, creativity, and imaginative play with your child’s favorite characters. And at just $19.99 or below per game, they’re a great value, offering hours of family fun.

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Disney Princess Frozen Matching Game. A fun game of picture-matching! You can order this game on Amazon, and look for it at Target as well!

It’s the classic game of picture-matching, now featuring your favorite characters from Frozen! Flip over brightly colored tiles and find beautiful pictures of sisters Anna and Elsa, plus friends Kristoff, Olaf, Sven and more. What familiar faces will you see? Pick up the most matching pairs to win! It’s a great game for Preschoolers and my 3rd grader even loved it!

Giveaway:

Win this game for your family! Enter by leaving me a comment on this blog post telling me what is your favorite MEMORY of playing games as a child. Easy entry! Giveaway ends 4/24 at 5PM CST.

Spring Cleaning with #PampersWipes (+ Giveaway)

Have you started your Spring Cleaning? I have!! I actually have enlisted my kids to help and it’s been a great success! I don’t like my kids to touch harsh cleaning chemicals and Pampers has the PERFECT solution! Pampers Sensitive Wipes are 20% thicker than regular Pampers wipes and have the unique Softgrip Texture, which means less wiping for more gentle cleaning.

Sensitive Wipes give babies and kids Pampers’ best gentle spring clean. I use Pampers Sensitive Wipes to give my girls a best gentle clean. My middle daughter is super messy and we go through TONS of wipes each day. My kids always need them during or after meal time. We also use them at night and wipe their feet down on non bath nights. Pampers Wipes are great for sensitive skin and I never worry about my kids skin breaking out or having a reaction.

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In our home, we use Pampers wipes to clean baseboards (the kids do the cleaning of those!) and to clean our microfiber couches. We have found that they are very cost effective and gentle.

Giveaway:

Pampers sent me a Gentle Spring Cleaning prize pack with lots of goodies to help facilitate “gentle” spring cleaning and they are teaming up with me to give one away to a lucky reader as well! Enter to win this awesome prize pack by leaving a comment on this blog post with what YOU use Pampers wipes to clean.

Moms know the key “must-have” to help survive a messy day with baby is the everyday use of Pampers Sensitive Wipes. Pampers Sensitive Wipes are not only a key staple to every diaper bag and nursery, but we find that they become mom’s best friend when it comes to cleaning just about anything!.

Mickey and Minnie themed Disney Apparel by Jumping Beans (+ Giveaway) #MagicAtPlay @DisneyLiving @Kohls

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Kohl’s now carries adorable Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse themed Disney apparel by Jumping Beans. Before flying out to California we stopped by Kohl’s and picked up a few of these adorable outfits! These adorable outfits go upto size 7 and are great mix and match type of outfits! Check out their full line here.

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As you can see from the photo above, my girls look ADORABLE in these timeless pieces! This Jumping Beans collection is well made and washes well, too.

Giveaway:

Want to win a $50 Kohl’s gift card to shop this collection for your little one? Leave a comment on this post after surfing this link and tell me which pieces you would purchase! Giveaway will end on 4/25 at 5PM CST.

*I was given a gift card to purchase a few outfits for my girls for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and are honest.

Earth Day Healthy Essentials Savings and Tips #Moms4JNJConsumer #ad

This post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are all my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

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Recycle

There are some great deals at HealthyEssentials.com and awesome tips too! You will learn more about how to recycle in the bathroom and other Earth Month friendly info. Head over and check it out.

Savings

HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® is offering amazing printable coupons, tips & tools and so much more for all the products you and your family love. You can save over $55 with these coupons in April by signing up for HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® program coupons and offers. Here are a few of the coupon deals you will find:

• Save $1.00 on any JOHNSON’S® Baby Intense Moisture Cream
• Save $1.00 on any LUBRIDERM® product (6oz or larger)
• Save $1.00 on any (1) CLEAN & CLEAR® product (excludes trial and travel sizes)
• Save $1.00 on any (1) NEUTROGENA® Sun product (exclude trial size)
• Save $1.00 on any (1) LISTERINE® SMART RINSE Anti-cavity Mouthwash, 500 ml
• Save $1.00 on any (1) REACH® Total Care Floss, or REACH® Gentle Gum Care Floss, or REACH® Dentotape® or REACH® Access® Flosser
• Save $2.00 on any (3) NEOSPORIN®, BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive bandages or JOHNSON and JOHNSON RED CROSS® Brand products (excludes all trial and travel sizes, First Aid Kits, 10 ct Band-Aid Brand Adhesive Bandages, and On-the-Go First Aid Kits. Must buy (2) different brand products to qualify for this offer along with a third product)

Pay It Forward 

Also check out The free Donate A Photo (DAP) app which allows you to make a difference by raising money and awareness for causes that they care about through one simple act – taking a photo. For every photo shared through Donate A Photo, Johnson & Johnson will donate one dollar to one of its non-profit partners, which each consumer can choose from a rotating list. Earth Day. You can help support and protect a clean environment. Visit this website to find recycling solutions near you: http://search.earth911.com/?sponsor=jnj

For additional tips and facts on what and where to recycle: http://caretorecycle.com/ See J&J employees share their thoughts on sustainability in this powerful video: http:/?www.healthyessentials.com/our-caring?icid=home|marquee

Twitter Party

Join me for a HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® Twitter party all about shareable moments with friends and family – anywhere from online to in the store to your own medicine cabinet. You can use the #Moms4JNJConsumer hashtag to follow along, and see more details and RSVP at the Twtvite: http://twtvite.com/jnjearthday Party will take place on Thursday, April 17, at 1 p.m. ET (noon CT / 10 a.m. PT).