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

Friday, May 27, 2011

I'm Moving...

I'm not sure yet how all this is going to work out when I make the move from Blogger to Wordpress, since I'm attempting it myself (gulp).  So bear with me if my site looks or acts strange for the next few days or so.
Please be patient and if I disappear for a couple days don't forget about me... I'll be back (said in my best Terminator voice).  Thanks in advance for understanding.

And if you are technically savvy and do Blogger to Wordpress moves, leave a comment or email me... I may need professional help if I can't figure this all out on my own!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

OrganicVille Foods: Organic, Vegan, & Gluten-Free {Review & Giveaway}

I try my best to give my family things that are good for them... it makes me feel good when I can provide them with organic natural products instead of ones that are processed.

OrganicVille Foods was started in 2004 and it's goal since day one has been to "...create exceptional organic products that your whole family can enjoy."  They have pasta sauces, condiments, salad dressings, salsas, and more... even ice cream.  They offer healthy alternatives to all your favorites!
  • Certified Organic
  • Vegan
  • NO Added Sugar
  • Certified Gluten Free
You can find great recipes on their site too, like this Best Ever Coleslaw perfect for summer:


Ingredients

  • 1/2 Green Cabbage, Shredded
  • 1/4 Red Cabbage, Shredded
  • 1 large Carrot, Julienne
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 bottle Organicville Non-Dairy Coleslaw Dressing

Directions

In a large bowl toss together cabbage and carrot. Mix in salt, pepper, and coleslaw dressing.
Cover with plastic, and let marinate at least 8 hours.

I was able to try two products- it was tough narrowing it down since a lot of the products were ones my family uses on a regular basis.  I decided to go with the Organic Mayo and one of the Organic Pasta Sauces.  When I used both of the items, I didn't tell my family I was using anything different and no one noticed a thing, including my husband.
We tend to go through a lot of mayo- between sandwiches, tuna, pasta salads, even on burgers!  The first time I used the Non-Dairy Organic Mayo, I put it on chicken sandwiches.  The taste is great- no weird flavor.  I also used it in tuna to make a healthy lunch and it tasted delicious!
The second product I tried was the Tomato Basil Organic Pasta Sauce.  It's seems some sort of pasta dish is usually a weekly staple in our house.  I thought the basil was actually a tad overpowering in the sauce but no one else seemed to mind.  I topped it off with some parmesan cheese before serving it.
OrganicVille Foods taste great and  I felt good knowing it was completely organic and good for my family.  I love that I can pronounce all the ingredients on the label too!

BUY IT:  You can use their store locator to find OrganicVille products near you in natural food stores, grocery stores, and supermarkets nationwide.  You can also order directly from their online store.

WIN IT:  1 lucky reader is going to win 2 products from OrganicVille Foods!!

Mandatory entry:  Visit OrganicVille Foods and tell me which product you'd most like to try

Extra entries (can be done after mandatory entry is completed, leave a separate comment on this post for each entry you do):

•  Follow OrganicVille on Twitter
•  Like OrganicVille Foods on Facebook
•  Follow my blog publicly via GFC  +2 entries
•  Subscribe to my blog via Email  +2 entries
•  Follow me on Twitter
•  Like me on Facebook
•  Enter any of my other giveaways (+1 for each)
•  Vote for my blog at The Picket Fence Blogs (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 2 products from @Organicville Foods- organic, vegan, and gluten free!! via @SusieBHomemaker http://goo.gl/aeLAm #Giveaway ends 6/10

U.S. ONLY

This contest ends on 6/10/11 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).

Disclosure:  I received a product in exchange for my review.  No other form of compensation was given.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and completely honest.

JoeShopping.com- Shop, Share, Socialize!

Have you heard of JoeShopping.com?  It's a site to find you tons of incredible hot deals and bargains as well as a place to connect with other community members.  Think of it like a social networking site for couponing and deal hunting.

JoeShopping offers a ton of ways to save all in one place right at your fingertips.  You can comparison shop hundreds of items, read product reviews before you buy, and discuss the latest and greatest deals with other users.

You can also find the newest discounts for a variety of stores, including amazing Chadwicks coupon codes- a clothing outlet store.  They also even have popular Target coupon codes- one of my favorite places to shop!  And you can print your grocery store coupons right from the site to save you even more money.

While you're there, you can also click on the Hot Deals tab and find super savings from all over the web.  You can see the percentage of other members who thought it was a hot deal (ie. a great bargain!) and not to be missed out on.  And if you have your own hot deal you'd like to share, you can add it to the list for everyone else to see.

And one of the coolest things... the $100 Sweepstakes!  Every month JoeShopping is giving away $100 to one of their members.  You earn JoePoints for doing different things on the site- just for registering, free daily points, reviewing a product, referring a friend and more.  Then you can exchange your hard-earned points for entries into the monthly sweepstakes.

You only have to enter once during the month and then all the points earned during the rest of the month automatically get you more entries into the sweepstakes.  So you're saving money and getting a chance to win $100 at the same time... it doesn't get any easier than that!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dealing with Birthday Disappointment

I think I've been referring to my oldest daughter as my "almost 6 yr. old" for several months now.  I've also had it in my head that she'd be getting a big over the top Barbie party with all her friends from school and playgroup.

Unfortunately I've come to the realization that what I had planned isn't necessarily what's going to happen.  Her birthday is in a couple weeks... which is also in the midst of when we're supposed to start our kitchen renovation.

Since my husband will be helping out with the kitchen remodel, I'd be on my own throwing a party with my 3 girls plus trying to entertain a dozen or so more kids.  I'm thinking it's going to be a much smaller affair now.  Just a few friends, probably at a local park (weather permitting) since we can't have it at our house.

I'm just bummed that it's not what I had in mind.  I already explained to my daughter that it wouldn't be all the kids from her class but just a few friends instead.  I thought she'd be more disappointed, but she really didn't seem to care.  Playing at the park with friends sounds like fun to her!
I guess I'm more upset about it than she is.  When you get it in your head of how something's going to turn out, and then it doesn't, it can be a huge letdown.  And feeling like I'm not giving my daughter the huge birthday party she deserves is tough to deal with as a parent.

I know it'll still be a fun day... it's all about her having a good time.  And she is getting a family birthday celebration out at the Grandparent's house in addition to the small get-together with her friends, so I don't think she'll be lacking in the 'birthday fun' department.  I just need to realize that as much as you can try to plan things, you have to leave room for the unexpected and be flexible for any changes that may come up.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Night Night Book by Marianne Richmond {Review & Giveaway}

If you have children you no doubt read bedtime stories on a regular basis.  And I'm sure your child has grown to love a particular book... one that's become their favorite bedtime story.  Well get ready to add a new favorite into the bedtime routine!
The Night Night Book is an adorable board book for young kids all about getting ready for bed and telling your things 'night night' along the way.  The storyline may sound familiar but this is a modern day version if you will... there's always room for a new classic.

Instead of saying goodnight to a comb and brush or a bowl full of mush, the young child in The Night Night Book tells his wagon, puzzles, and even glitter glue night night.  Written and illustrated by Marianne Richmond, The Night Night Book is wonderful and sure to delight your child.
When we first received the book, my 3 yr. old wasn't so sure though.  She still wanted her other goodnight book before bed, the one she was familiar with.  The next night when I brought out The Night Night Book again, she let me read it to her but then still wanted the other book read afterward.

By the next night though when I gave her a chance to choose between the two, she went for The Night Night Book.  She loved pointing out all the things in the book- the crayons and flowers, the slide and ball.  She asked for it several nights in a row after that, and it has definitely become one of her top favorite bedtime books.
My 20 month old however was hooked the very first time I read it to her!  Night night is how she says goodnight and this book was just perfect for her.  The first time I read it, she sat quietly through the whole thing- just watching and listening.  Since then she's gotten more involved and also loves to point out different things in the book.  Her favorite page is the "Silly dog, chasing squirrels, chasing frogs".  She loves to sound like a dog and then "ribbit" like a frog... it's so cute!
This is definitely a nice addition to our nightly bedtime stories... a new classic for sure.  Your toddler or preschooler will love hearing this book and then 'reading' it themselves.

BUY IT:  You can purchase The Night Night Book for only $7.95 just about anywhere books are sold or online at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, or at Sourcebooks.com

WIN IT:  1 lucky reader is going to win a copy of The Night Night Book for their own!

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

•  Like Marianne Richmond Award-Winning Books on Facebook  +2 entries
•  Follow my blog publicly via GFC
•  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 at The Picket Fence Blogs (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)
This bedtime book is sure to be a classic:  #WIN The Night Night Book via @SusieBHomemaker http://goo.gl/kWHof #Giveaway ends 6/7

U.S. ONLY

This contest ends on 6/7/11 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).

Disclosure:  I received a product in exchange for my review.  No other form of compensation was given.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and completely honest.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Are Marie Callender's Pot Pies really Better than Homemade?

Is it possible that something store bought can taste as good as homemade, or even better than homemade?  According to the article "8 Grocery Store Products that are Better than Homemade (really)" it is possible.

One of the items on that list is Marie Callender's Pot Pies... a frozen pot pie!  Could a frozen pot pie seriously be better than homemade?   I was given the opportunity to try one for myself and find out.
I'll be honest, I was more than a little skeptical.  Most frozen meals I've tried have fallen far short of tasting anything like homemade.  The meat is the biggest problem for me- the texture usually doesn't resemble actual meat and tends to be fatty.  When I make anything homemade with meat, I always trim any excess fat off.

I tried the Marie Callender's Chicken Pot Pie with chicken of course and peas, carrots, and celery.  You can cook it in a conventional oven or for ultimate convenience in the microwave, with their new baking tray right in the box.  Most frozen foods taste better from the oven, but I really wanted to put it to the test so I opted for the microwave... and it was so much faster.
It definitely exceeded my expectations!  The crust turned out really well, even in the microwave it came out golden brown and flaky.  Inside there were big chunks of white meat chicken... and no fat or gristle to chew on.  Great tasting filling with carrots and peas mixed in.  I think the negatives for me was that I didn't really notice much celery and that you can't control the sodium amount when buying frozen.

So how did Marie Callender's Pot Pies ultimately stack up?  Did they actually taste better than homemade?  Well at the risk of offending all cook's and grandmother's out there, I'm going to say... pretty darn close!  The taste was definitely just as delicious as homemade, and what made it better than homemade was the fact that I didn't have to slave over a hot stove to make it!!

Disclosure:  I received a product for the purpose of this review and was also compensated by Marie Callender's and The Motherhood.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and completely honest.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's Weekend Wind Down time again!


Yay, for the weekend!!  It's been a long stressful week so I am definitely ready to wind down and relax (hopefully).  If you've never linked up before, this is a really simple blog hop:
1)  Link up your Blog
2)  Visit other blogs
3)  Comment, Follow... or not, no pressure
If you want you can add the WWD button to your blog or post... not required but would be super awesome.  ;)


Thinking about making a break for it...
This photo is linked up with SOOC Saturday

Here's more weekend blog hops:

SOOC Saturday

Shibley Smiles Sunday Blog Hop          Free Hot Samples

Winners- Skin MD Lotion & Ayurvedic Roast

It seems the lucky number for winners this week was #3...

Congratulations to the winner of the Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion:
#3. Kimberly said... email follower

Congratulations to the winner of the Ayurvedic Roast Organic Coffee Substitute:
#3. Diana D. said... Email Subscriber.  Thanks for the wonderful giveaway

Friday, May 20, 2011

I'm a Stylish Blogger... well someone thinks so anyway!

I received this award a couple months ago from Christy at Visualized by Christy and have been so busy, both in the blogging world and at home, that I'm just now getting around to posting about it... Thank You so much Christy!

Visualized By Christy
I'm a Stylish Blogger... yay!

To accept this award, the recipients are asked to do a few things.
  1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Award 10-15 blogs you feel deserve the award.
  4. Contact these bloggers and let them know about the award.
Oy vey, 7 things about myself... I'm terrible at things like this!  I'm really not that interesting but here goes:
  1. I love Dr. Pepper & caramel frappes
  2. I blog on my laptop in the living room
  3. I'm a night owl- avg. bedtime is 2am
  4. I rarely remove my makeup at night (yes, I know it's bad)
  5. I have glasses but never wear them (it's not a strong Rx)
  6. I hope one day we move back down to GA (or some other warm state)
  7. I tend to clean when I'm upset or mad
Ok as hard as that was, now I have to pick a few other bloggers to pass this award onto.  I read a lot of great blogs, but here's just a few that qualify as stylish bloggers:
By Word of Mouth Musings
Carrie with Children
Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Fairy Good Mommy
Holly's House
Marvelous Mommy
She's Mommafied
Tales from the Motherhood
The Reynolds Mom
Work, Wife, Mom... Life!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Affordable Style for Kids at Old Navy


Thank you Old Navy for sponsoring my post today about baby and toddler styles. Old Navy is giving you 30% off everything in their baby and toddler summer collection, plus get an additional 15% off in-store.

Before I had kids, I never really paid attention to a budget while shopping, but I still liked getting a good deal.  I have always been a fan of Old Navy for their cute clothes, and the fact that I could get a lot for my money.  While pregnant, I even shopped there for maternity clothes- they weren't overpriced and they had sizes small enough to fit me.

After I had kids, I became more conscious of staying on a budget and wanting to save for my family.  I love dressing my girls in stylish clothes, but I don't like spending a lot of money when they just grow out of them so fast.  And with three daughters, if I'm not careful where I shop, I could very easily break the bank.

Old Navy quickly became one of my favorite places to shop for my kids' clothes.  They have the cutest styles and amazingly cheap prices!  Almost everytime I would head out to the mall, I would wind up at Old Navy.  I could always depend on them to have great clothes that fit my girls how I wanted them to and to have great prices to match.

So I was super bummed when the Old Navy store in my area closed.  Thankfully though, when I went online I was relieved to see that OldNavy.com has the same great selection and prices, and shipping is always free on orders over $50.  So I can buy for all three of my girls, have it sent right to the house, and still stay within our budget!

There is of course a store in a nearby city where we can go shopping on occasion when we want also.  Whether I shop online or in the store, I always love checking out the sales and clearance items.  They have tshirts starting at just $5 and adorable sundresses from about $10.  That's amazing considering we looked in another big name department store and similar dresses were priced at $20.
Bead-Trim Smocked Sundress $11.86               Printed Jersey Dress $10.94

I love being able to dress my girls in the latest fashion, and I can feel good knowing I didn't spend a lot of cash to do it.  They get to look super cute and I get to feel super smart... it's a win-win!!

Do you shop at Old Navy for your kids?
Do you think their clothes are stylish and affordable?


I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Finding the Perfect Nursery Decor for your Little One

When I first found out I was going to be a mom almost six years ago I was so happy, and I couldn't wait to start buying all the things we would need to welcome our baby home.  And then when we found out we were having a baby girl, I immediately started looking for the perfect decor for the nursery.

I knew right away the look I wanted and the color palette I had in mind... but I had a hard time finding it at any of the local stores.  So then I turned to the internet, and after searching and searching I finally came across BabyBeddingZone.com.

I wish I would've know about them to begin with, they have a ton of adorable baby bedding sets to choose from, and after only a short time browsing their site I found exactly what I was looking for!  It was pretty and girly with a classic look.  The colors were muted tones- sage, cream, and pink... I was in love and I knew I had to have it!
If I had been at a local store or boutique I would've paid a lot more for it but the price at Baby Bedding Zone was completely affordable and included a lot for the price... and shipping for the set was free.

As soon as it arrived I unpacked everything and made the crib where my daughter would sleep.  And when I brought her home from the hospital for the first time and laid her in it I was the happiest mommy alive.  It was exactly how I had envisioned it- a beautiful nursery and a beautiful baby!

I would definitely recommend Baby Bedding Zone to any mom that's trying to find the perfect bedding and decor for their nursery.  They have adorable bedding sets for girls and super cute crib bedding sets for boys too.
Looking through their site, they even have cute whimsical Dr Seuss crib bedding... everything imaginable to find just the right bedding set for your little bundle of joy.

Disclosure:  This post was brought to you by BabyBeddingZone.com.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and completely honest.

Mommy Whispers by Jenny Lee Sulpizio {Book Review}

Any mother with a daughter will be able to relate to this book, and any daughter once she's older will realize the feelings her mother went through while raising her.
Mommy Whispers is a keepsake children's book that depicts the special relationship between a mother and her daughter through each stage of their lives and ultimately, the power of prayer and faith in God through it all.
I enjoyed reading this book to my oldest daughter (almost 6 years old), but did feel it's more geared toward an older age range.  She sat through it and listened, but isn't of course going to understand all the meaning behind the words just yet.  And ultimately it's not a book I'd read as a bedtime story each night, but rather occasionally throughout the years, and then when my daughter has a big milestone (ie. heading to college, getting married, or having her first baby) is when I'd pass the book along to her.  Perhaps with a personalized message written inside the cover of the book.
(Click images to enlarge)
The message behind the book is beautiful, and the repeated words "You are God's gift to me, forever you will be" are uplifting and special.  It would be a book your daughter would always cherish, and if and when she has a daughter of her own, she could pass it along when her own daughter reaches a significant milestone.  You can easily see how this would become a book passed on to each new generation of daughters.  And if you include your own special note inside, a young girl could be reading her own moms message along with her grandma's message to her mom, and on and on... multiple generations of special messages between mothers and daughters.
Mommy Whispers by Jenny Lee Sulpizio and Illustrated by Peg Lozier, can be purchased online in both paperback form and ebook at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Jenny Lee Sulpizio M.S., is a wife, business owner, and mother of three residing in Idaho.  Mommy Whispers is her first publication.  You can learn more about Jenny by visiting her website and following her blog at www.jennysulpizio.com.

You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter and learn about her upcoming book projects, including 'There's just Something about a Boy':




Disclosure:  Thank you to author Jenny Lee Sulpizio for providing me with a copy of her book to review.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and yours may differ.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It's Party Time... Pear Tree Party Invitations {#Giveaway}!!

Now that Spring is in full swing and Summer is right around the corner, it's time to get outside and enjoy the weather... and that means parties!!  Whether it's for a graduation, birthday, pool party, or just a backyard BBQ- Pear Tree has the perfect party invitations for your occasion.

They just launched their fun new collection so you'll be sure to find the invite that goes with your party theme.  You can also add matching gift tags for that special touch... great for gifts or party favors!

Next month is going to be busy around here for us- birthdays and BBQ's.... it's going to be fun!  So who's ready to party?  Are you planning a party this summer?

BUY IT:  Order party invitations online ranging from $5.99- $10.99 per pack, depending on the style you choose.

>>And if you need graduation announcements and graduation thank you cards, you can use the Code PEARGRAD15 for 15% off your order of $49 or more (offer expires 5/31/11).

WIN IT:  1 lucky reader is going to win 24 free party invitations from Pear Tree Greetings!

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

•  Tell me a party you are planning for this summer
•  Follow Pear Tree Greetings on Twitter
•  Like Pear Tree Greetings on Facebook
•  Follow my blog publicly via GFC
•  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 at The Picket Fence Blogs (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)
Planning a Party?  #WIN 24 Free Party Invitations from @PearTreeGrtngs via @SusieBHomemaker http://goo.gl/DTxHg #Giveaway ends 5/29

U.S. ONLY

This contest ends on 5/29/11 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).

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.

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