Hello, thanks for stopping by.... if you're reading this I hope you'll stop by and visit my updated site www.susiebhomemaker.com :)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

"In The Wild" Children's Poetry Book Review and #Giveaway

April is almost here... did you know that April is National Poetry Month?  It's been celebrated every year in the month of April since 1996.
"National Poetry Month is a month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets. The concept is to widen the attention of individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern. We hope to increase the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture while acknowledging and celebrating poetry’s ability to sustain itself in the many places where it is practiced and appreciated."
What better way to join in the celebration for National Poetry Month than with a poetry book giveaway!  I was sent two children's poetry books from Candlewick Press and they've generously offered to also give one copy away to one of my readers.

In The Wild    
Author: David Elliot
Illustrator: Holly Meade
age range: 4- 7 years
32 pages

Short poems all about animals- from the jungle to the arctic and in between.  Your child will love hearing about all their favorite animals and looking at the fun pictures.

>>My girls really liked this book.  We don't have a lot of poem books so I wasn't sure how they'd take the writing style, but the verses are short and flow nicely.  Plus it's fun to act out the animal sounds and movements.  Great to read during the daytime and allow kids to move around and get some of their boundless energy out.


Switching on the Moon
A Very First Book of Bedtime Poems
Collected By: Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters
Illustrator: G. Brian Karas
age range: birth to 5 years
96 pages

A collection of 60 poems all about bedtime and nighttime.  From traditional lullabies to contemporary poems- this book is sure to be one that'll stay in the family.

>>I love this collection of poems... so cute!!  It's perfect for reading before bedtime to encourage your child to sleep peacefully and have a night of sweet dreams.  The illustrations are beautiful and you'll definitely enjoy reading it to your little one while you snuggle before bed.

Both of these books are so cute and amazing, and perfect for introducing poetry to your child.  Below are some pictures of my girls acting out some of the animals from the book In The Wild... which is the book you'll have a chance to win!!


                                         The Lion

                                                                      Rooaarrr like a Lion!!                            
                                     Kangaroo 
                                                                 Jump like a Kangaroo... boing, boing, boing!!


GIVEAWAY:  1 lucky reader is going to win a copy of In The Wild to celebrate National Poetry Month with their child (and all year long)

Ways to Enter (leave a separate comment on this post for each entry):

•  Follow Candlewick Press on Twitter
•  Like Candlewick Press on Facebook
•  Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect +2 Entries
•  Subscribe via Email
•  Like my Facebook page
•  Follow me on Twitter
•  Enter any of my other giveaways +1 for each
•  Vote for my blog in the MomCentral Grant Contest +2 Entries (may be done daily)
•  Post about this giveaway (blog, Facebook, Cafemom, etc.) +5 Entries, leave link
•  Tweet about this giveaway (may be done daily, leave link) may copy and paste the following:
Enter to #Win a copy of In The Wild kid's poetry book @SusieBHomemaker http://bit.ly/ehtU7o #Giveaway ends on 4/12
U.S. & CAN ONLY

This contest ends on 4/12/11 at 11:59 pm EST.  Open to U.S. & Canadian Residents ONLY.  The winner(s) will be drawn via random.org and has 48 hours to respond to winning notification email before another winner is drawn.  Please make sure your email address is visible on your profile or leave with your comment(s).

Disclosure:  I received a product for the purpose of the this review.  No other compensation was received.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What happened to my keyboard? #WordlessWednesday


This is what can happen if you leave the room...


and you have a curious toddler...


who's too smart for their own good!
This post is linked up at 5 Minutes for Mom and Shibley Smiles

TShirtPrinting.net {Review}

"Here at TshirtPrinting.net we have over twenty years experience in the screen printing industry and take pride in offering an honest, easy to understand way of doing business. We believe that you, our customer, are searching for someone to fulfill your printing needs without stress and with your satisfaction being our main aim."
T ShirtPrinting.net offers personalized t-shirts for men, women and kids, sweatshirts, hooded tops, vests, and promo gear.
  • Huge selection of styles and colours
  • High quality silk screen printing
  • Order quantities from 12 to 100,000
  • Great prices
  • Quick turnaround times

I was sent a t-shirt for review of their cheeky monkey design on a standard gray shirt.  The tshirt was soft and the fabric was durable.  The logo on the front seems very high quality- the ink looks rich and saturated.  I've worn and washed the shirt a few times and the logo still looks like new- no cracks or fading.  It definitely looks like it will last a long time and still look good... a great way to advertise your company, event, or team!

Though TShirtPrinting.net is based in the UK, they do ship nationwide using a nationally recognized courier service.  They can be reached for a quote, or any questions you may have, via their free phone line- 0800 046 7633 or by filling out their contact form.
"We... realise that most of our existing customers welcome speaking to a real person who is eager to help and listen to your requirements so that we can use our experience to the full.  Please call to see if we are the kind of people you would like to do your work for you."
Disclosure:  I was given a product for the purpose of this review.  No other compensation was received.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and yours may differ.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Trivia TWOsday- Week #3

Welcome to Week #3 of Trivia TWOsday hosted by Marvelous Mommy, NapTime Momtog, and me!  This fun new meme is a great way to get to know each other!  Each week there will be 2 trivia questions to answer about yourself , questions like- What’s your favorite…, Have you ever…, This or That…

Trivia TWOsday

How It Works:
  • Answer the provided trivia questions.
  • Please grab the Trivia TWOsday Button and display it in your post or on your blog.
  • Become a follower of all 3 hosts that way you can keep up to date on future posts, although this isn’t required to participate.
First time you had stitches?
Wow, for a minute I was about to say 'I've never had stitches before', but how could I forget... the first, and only, time (knock on wood) I had stitches was after the birth of my 1st daughter!  It wasn't major but I did tear a little (I delivered on a military base, completely natural- no drugs).  My other girls all came out with no tearing thanks to my awesome Ob/Gyn.

Jelly or Cream Cheese?
Depends on what I'm putting it on- Jelly on toast and Cream Cheese on bagels!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Promoting your Blog or Business

 Since my blog's been growing over the past year, I've been thinking of additional ways to promote Susie B. Homemaker.  I try to keep my content current and fresh, I've changed my design to make it look more professional and appealing, I add more giveaways on a regular basis- all things to help draw in more readers.

But I want to take it a step further and be able to give local moms something with my blog name on it or for when I send a giveaway to a winner.  I won a giveaway from another blog a while back and when it came in the mail, she had put all the giveaway items in a cute tote bag with her blog name on it.  I thought it was a unique idea and it was an item I could actually use.
I think something smaller like promotional pens with my website name on it, would be awesome to give to other moms at playdates or at the hair salon.  I like the idea of being able to give someone something other than a business card.  And unlike a business card, it's not going to just get thrown away or lost.  They're more likely to actually use it and be reminded of my website every time they do.

Personalized pens or pencils seems like the perfect way to promote my blog since it's something everyone uses at some point or another.  I always carry a pen in my purse for making grocery lists and jotting things down while I'm out.  There's also a small basket of pens and pencils in my kitchen for when I need to write something on my calendar.
You can find lots of different promotional products for your blog or business from ImprintsOnline.com- pens, pencils, t-shirts, coffee mugs, water bottles... whatever fits best with your brand name.  And they're all great ways to make your company or brand stand out from the rest.

Purex Complete with Zout {Review & #Giveaway} 2 Winners!!

As a mom of 3 young stain-makers kids, I am constantly looking for better products in the laundry department.  I've always been a fan of Purex for the cost, but generally always still pre-treat my kids clothes with a separate stain remover before washing.

Well now there's Purex Complete with Zout:
"...it combines the proven performance of Purex detergent with the triple-enzyme stain-fighting power of Zout® pretreater. This powerful combination works to get stains out the first time, even tough stains like grass, chocolate, and tomato sauce."
Purex Complete with Zout can be used in all washing machines and on all types of laundry.  It comes in two scents- Fresh Morning Burst and Free & Clear.  They are both a hypoallergenic formula, but the Fresh Morning Burst has a light fresh scent while the Free & Clear is free of fragrance and dye for sensitive skin.
>> I was sent the Fresh Morning Burst and it smells amazing!  Honestly, it's probably the best smelling laundry detergent I've ever used.  I tried it on a load of my kids clothes, several of the items had stains from food- both new and old.  I didn't pre-treat any of the spots and the results- the stains didn't entirely come out after the wash.  On the bottle there is the option to pre-treat using the laundry detergent and then wash.  So the second time around I tried that and it worked slightly better.  My experience is that it didn't work on set-in stains but if you wash right away the performance improves... and your clothes will smell fabulous either way!

BUY IT:  You can see a list of retailers that carry Purex Complete with Zout and also get a free sample from the Purex website.

WIN IT:  2 readers are each going to win a coupon for a free bottle of Purex Complete with Zout to try for themselves

Ways to Enter (leave a separate comment on this post for each entry you do, or already do):

•  Tell me what you currently use for stains
•  Follow Purex on Twitter
•  Like Purex on Facebook
•  Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect +2 Entries
•  Subscribe via Email
•  Like my Facebook page
•  Follow me on Twitter
•  Enter any of my other giveaways +1 for each
•  Vote for my blog in the MomCentral Grant Contest +2 Entries (may be done daily)
•  Post about this giveaway (blog, Facebook, Cafemom, etc.) +5 Entries, leave link
•  Tweet about this giveaway (may be done daily, leave link) may copy and paste the following:
Enter to Win a Free Bottle of @Purex Complete With Zout- 2 Winners!! @SusieBHomemaker http://bit.ly/ifQwwv #Giveaway ends on 4/10
U.S. ONLY

This contest ends on 4/10/11 at 11:59 pm EST.  Open to U.S. Residents ONLY.  The winner(s) will be drawn via random.org and has 48 hours to respond to winning notification email before another winner is drawn.  Please make sure your email address is visible on your profile or leave with your comment(s).

Disclosure:  I received a product for the purpose of the this review.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and yours may differ.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Welcome in Spring with Pier 1 Outdoor Furniture & Decor!

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

Spring officially started March 20th, but if you live in Michigan, or some other Northeast state, you probably aren't experiencing much of a Spring right now.  Looking outside you would think it's the middle of Winter... snow covered trees and you can't even see the grass anymore.

But the warm weather is in fact right around the corner and I am so looking forward to it!  Being able to let the kids play outside on the swingset while I relax in the shade.  Perhaps on a nice new lawn chair or a 'swing' of my own- the fun new Swingasan from Pier 1.
                                                          

I'd love to add some personality to our deck and yard this year, something in some bright summer colors.  It's pretty boring and bland right now- these chairs and umbrella would definitely give it a much needed face-lift and splash of color!

               

Pier 1 Import has a ton of furniture and accessories to choose from for your home, both for indoor and outdoor.  They even have a Special Value page with a lot of great items at clearance prices- rugs, mirrors, even cute little napkin rings.  Everything you need to welcome in the spring and summer and add some fun to your backyard.  Maybe if I buy some outdoor furniture the weather around here will take a hint and warm up!

Also check out Pier 1 Tweetups in select US cities:

  • Atlanta- April 5th
  • NYC- April 20th

If you're in the area, make plans to come visit and meet some of your areas bloggers and Tweeters.  For more info about dates and times, visit http://izea.com/a-pier-1-tweetup-coming-to-your-area/.

Visit Sponsor's Site

It's the Weekend... Fun Blog Hops!!



  • Link up your blog
  • Visit other blogs- follow, comment... just have Fun!
If you want you can grab my nifty button and add it to a post to help spread the word, and check out my current giveaways (all with low entries!).
Have a great weekend!  :)

Here's some other fun weekend blog hops to link up with:

SOOC Saturday

Shibley Smiles Sunday Blog Hop          

Spring Flower Bouquet #SOOC Saturday



This post is linked up with Marvelous Mommy for Straight Out Of the Camera Saturday {or Sunday}

SOOC Saturday

Friday, March 25, 2011

CSN Stores $40 Gift Code #Giveaway!! Ends 4/2

Some of you may remember a month ago when I mentioned a CSN review coming up.  And if you don't remember... well no biggie, because I'm not actually doing a review now...

I decided to do another CSN Stores Gift Card Giveaway instead!!

If you've never checked out CSNStores.com... you really should!  They have over 200+ stores with thousands of items- things like infant car seats, kids toys, plus items for you home- furniture, lighting, decor, and things you might not think of, like shoes and pet supplies.
I had my eye set on a couple items, but with my 1 year Blogoversary this week I really wanted to do something fun for my readers.  So without further ado, here's how to enter (do any of the following for entries, for this giveaway you must be a public GFC follower or email subscriber):
  • Follow via GFC or Subscribe via Email (1 entry for each)

  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Like my Facebook page
  • Follow CSN Stores on Twitter
  • Like CSN Stores on Facebook
  • Enter any of my other giveaways +1 for each
  • Vote for my blog in the MomCentral grant program +3 entries, can be done daily
  • Post about this giveaway (Facebook, Cafemom, Blog, etc.) +5 entries, leave link
  • Tweet about this giveaway (may be done daily, leave link)
#Win an @CSNStores $40 Gift Card @SusieBHomemaker http://bit.ly/eKQGKt #Giveaway ends 4/2

U.S. ONLY

This contest ends on 4/2/11 at 11:59 pm EST. Open to U.S. residents only.  The winner will be drawn via random.org and has 48 hours to respond to winning notification email before another winner is drawn.  Please make sure your email is visible on your profile or leave with your comment(s).  Giveaway will be in the form of a gift code good thru 4/30/11.

Disclosure:  As a CSN Preferred Blogger I was given a free gift card to use as a giveaway.  No other form of compensation is received.  The opinions and thoughts I’ve shared with the company &/or products are 100% my own and yours may differ.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pear Tree Greetings 'Thank You Notes' #Giveaway

Do you send Thank You cards?  Can you remember the last time you received one?  There was a question on another blog last week that had asked, Do you get offended by not receiving thank yous?  My answer was- Not offended, but I do think most people overlook thank-you's and that it could be done more often than it is.

I think everyone likes to feel appreciated and it's nice to tell someone that you noticed what they did and that it meant something to you.  My philosophy is, if someone made you feel special you should try to make them feel special in return.  Even when you don't need to say thank you, sometimes it's nice to send a Personalized Note Card just to say 'hi' and let the person know you're thinking about them.
Pear Tree Greetings offers lots of great Thank You & Personalized Note cards in dozens of different styles to choose from.  They come on heavy card stock and you can personalize them with your name if you want.  They also have address labels to match the design of the card.  You'll be sure to make the person receiving it feel special and appreciated.


 

Are you also a parent planning for a graduation party this summer?  Pear Tree can help ease the stress with their amazing graduation collection, everything you need to make your grad stand out- from photo announcements to thank you cards to address labels.  The Pear Tree Greetings blog is another great resource to help you with this memorable occasion.  They have a whole category that's dedicated to Graduation ideas.

Check out the Pear Tree Promo Code Page for offers on Graduation orders as well as Kid's Cards and Baby Announcements.

WIN IT:  1 lucky reader is going to win 16 Thank You Notes from Pear Tree Greetings

Ways to enter (leave a separate comment on this post for each entry you do):

•  Follow Pear Tree Greetings on Twitter
•  Like Pear Tree Greetings on Facebook
•  Follow my blog publicly via GFC +2 entries
•  Subscribe to my blog via Email
•  Follow me on Twitter
•  Like me on Facebook
•  Enter any of my other giveaways +1 for each
•  Vote for my blog in the MomCentral grant program +3 entries, can be done daily
•  Post about this giveaway (Facebook, Cafemom, Blog, etc.) +5 entries, leave link
•  Tweet about this giveaway (may be done daily, leave link)
#Win Thank You Cards from @SusieBHomemaker and @PearTreeGrtngs http://bit.ly/hSMwjW #Giveaway ends 4/2

U.S. ONLY

This contest ends on 4/2/11 at 11:59 pm EST. Open to U.S. residents only.  The winner will be drawn via random.org and has 48 hours to respond to winning notification email before another winner is drawn.  Please make sure your email is visible on your profile or leave with your comment(s).  Giveaway will be in the form of a gift code good thru 4/30/11.

Disclosure:  As a Pearista for Pear Tree Greetings I am occasionally sent product in exchange for my review.  No other form of compensation is received.  The opinions and thoughts I’ve shared with these products are 100% my own and yours may differ.

Check out my #NutellaParty... plus a Coupon and a Contest!

Have you heard of Nutella?  I had always seen the commercials but never tried it before, and honestly when I watched those tv ads I actually thought it looked kinda weird.  I don't particularly like hazelnut so didn't think I would ever like it.  But when I was given the opportunity to have a Mommy Nutella Breakfast Party I thought, 'What the heck... let's see what this stuff tastes like'.

Nutella is a hazelnut spread with skim milk and cocoa.  It contains no artificial colors or preservatives, no peanuts or peanut ingredients (and doesn't come in contact with any during manufacturing), and no ingredients derived from gluten containing cereal.  It's also a Kosher product that has been a breakfast staple in Europe for more than 40 years, and became available in the U.S. in the 1980's.
My husband and our oldest daughter actually had a 'pre-tasting' before my party using graham crackers.  My husbands first reaction was that it looked like chocolate pudding and he really liked the taste.  Our 5 year old liked it also, but doesn't have much of a 'sweet tooth' so didn't want to have seconds.

I was sent a jar of Nutella for the party plus samples and goodie bags for my guests.  I then went out and bought a few different breads to try the Nutella on, some fresh fruit, a few other spread options in case the Nutella didn't go over well, and then invited over my mommy friends and their kids for coffee and brunch.  A couple moms had already tried Nutella before and said it was "yummy".  Most of my friends were like me though and had never tried it but were also curious as to what it tasted like.
The general opinion was that it was very good!  I couldn't really taste the hazelnut- it just seemed chocolate-y, almost too sweet for me, I don't think I could eat very much.  Most of the moms really liked it and some of the comments were:

"It was sweet but not too bad for us. I know that I plan on getting some."

"I was very surprised at just what a treat it was!"

 "...it will definitely be added to our grocery list the next time we shop.  I can't believe how yummy it was..."

Right now you can get a coupon for $1 Off a 13 oz. jar of Nutella, offer valid thru May 31st or while supplies last... so hurry!

You can also enter their Monthly Case Sweepstakes for your chance to win a case of Nutella

Big thanks to MomSelect, MommyParties, and Nutella for this opportunity... fun and delicious!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring in Michigan {#WordlessWednesday}



Winter's not going out without a fight!

This post is linked up with 5 Minutes for Mom and Shibley Smiles

Who doesn't need Socks4Life {Review}

I don't know anybody who doesn't need new socks on a regular basis.  If your house is like mine, socks are constantly getting dingy, worn out with holes, being lost, or just being grown out of.  I don't think it's actually possible to have too many socks, especially since you also have to change your socks when the seasons change.

Socks4Life carries tons of brands and styles of socks for the whole family and is committed to offering great prices while providing exceptional customer service.  They're members of the Indianapolis Better Business Bureau and they stand behind their products by offering a 100% satisfaction guarantee and hassle free returns.

I was sent 3 different styles from their socks for women.  The first pair was the super warm women's thermal insulated socks.  These socks are nice and thick, very cushiony- great for keeping toes and feet cozy on cold winter days and nights.  When I got these, I didn't even think I'd be wearing them since Winter was supposed to be over and it's now officially Spring.  Of course I live in Michigan so I was wrong... as I'm writing this we are getting an ice/snow storm.  But my feet are nice and toasty so no worries here.
The 2nd pair I received was the Excell Women's Striped Slippers in pink.  These slipper socks are super soft and comfy, fit great, and have a non-skid bottom.  If you read my post on shopping the clearance rack you'd know I really needed a replacement pair of slipper socks for the ones that got a hole in the toe.  I love wearing these socks around the house to keep my feet warm while walking across our wood and tile floors.
The last style of socks I received were the Chatties Women's Pattern Crew Socks.  These come in a pack of 3, and you can choose from several different patterns and colors to match your personal style.  The 3 pairs I received weren't necessarily the colors I would've chose but they work well for being neutral for different outfits.


When I tried the first pair on it was very narrow and I had a hard time comfortably pulling it up over my heel and ankle.  I assumed they were all like that but when I tried on the other 2 pairs, I realized it was just that specific pattern that was tight (the tan & black zigzag striped ones).  This type of sock is also on the thinner side (you can kind of see thru to my toenails in the picture below), so they're not meant for warmth but work well for dress shoes or dressy boots.
BUY IT:  You can view and purchase a variety of socks online at Socks4Life.  And if you're not sure what to buy you can check out their Current Sock Trends on their All About Socks site.


Disclosure:  I was given this post opportunity in exchange for my honest review.  No other form of compensation was received.  The opinions and thoughts I’ve shared with these products are 100% my own and yours may differ.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Busy, busy... lots to celebrate!

The end of March is always a tad crazy with all the birthdays that are at the end of the month.  We celebrated 4 birthdays over the weekend... my hubby's, our middle daughter, one of my younger brothers, and one of my nephews.  Happy Birthday to all of them!  Here's a slide show of my Katie Pie, otherwise known as Curls... enjoy.



This year I also had a Mommy Nutella Party right before the weekend which added to the busyness.  It was a lot of fun and was my first time trying Nutella.  I should have a post coming later on tonight so stay tuned.

In addition, the end of March also marks my Blog Anniversary!!  This will actually be my 1 year Blogoversary... I started last year right after my daughter turned 2, and now she's 3!  I can't believe it's been this long, but at the same time it's flown by.


Blog look throughout the year...


Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

I have a bunch of giveaways to get posted and plan to have 1 up every day this week, so check back daily to enter!  I'm so thankful to everyone that's shown support for my blog.  I enjoy what I'm doing, but it definitely helps knowing that someone's actually reading it.

For a little flashback fun and to see my post progression, here's a short highlight reel:

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