Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - You Don't Say

I don't mean to boast, but not everyone can say this Baseball Hall of Famer* watched their grandson catch in a Little League game.

Hint:  Pudge

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Monday, August 27, 2012

CoolSculpting Better Breakfast Challenge

The older I get, not only is it harder to lose weight, it's almost impossible to lose that stubborn fat!  Muffin top, love handles, belly paunch...yep I've got em.  And yep, I hate em!  I'm also not very enthused about spending 23 1/2 hours a day working out to get rid of them.  This interesting new procedure gives me some hope and brings new meaning to the phrase 'freezing my butt off!'

CoolSculpting is the first patented non-invasive, clinically proven procedure to selectively reduce fat layers in problem areas using a patented cooling technology. It is a safe procedure cleared by the FDA that gently cools unwanted fat cells in the body to induce a natural, controlled elimination of fat cells. This reduces bulges in treated areas of the body without harming surrounding tissue.

During the CoolSculpting procedure, a non-invasive applicator delivers precisely controlled cooling to the treatment area to specifically target underlying fat, leaving surface skin tissue unaffected. When fat cells are exposed to extreme cold, it triggers a process of natural removal, which gradually reduces the thickness of the fat layer. The result is a visible reduction in fat bulges.

  • It involves no needles, surgery or downtime. - Since the CoolSculpting procedure is non-invasive, patients can resume daily activities including work and exercise, immediately following treatment
  • It’s comfortable. - CoolSculpting patients can sit or lie comfortably and read, work on their laptop or even nap during the procedure. The procedure is performed in a medical office, under the supervision of a physician specializing in cosmetic procedures.
  • It’s convenient. - Procedures last about one to two hours, so treatment can easily be performed during a lunch hour or without major disruption to the day
  • The results are dramatic. - Patients can expect and average 20% reduction of fat in the treated areas in as soon as four weeks following treatment.  

In honor of September being Better Breakfast month, CoolSculpting is hosting a food photo contest on their Facebook page.  Entrants are asked to submit a photo of a healthy breakfast they are eating or have created for a chance to win an iPad or three runner up prizes for $100 AMEX gift cards. Deadline to enter is 8/31.  For complete rules please visit the Facebook page.

Disclaimer:  This was a sponsored post.
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Friday, August 24, 2012

Big Fish Games Zuma Deluxe - Giveaway

If you're a fan of PC games, I think I have found one that you'll enjoy!

Big Fish Games "Zuma Deluxe"

Like most Marble Popper Games, Zuma Deluxe is easy to learn. Instead of the typical square grid of marbles to eliminate, Zuma Deluxe features a rotating frog, that spits out colored balls you can aim in any direction. When a ball makes contact with two or more like-colored balls, they all disappear and the remaining balls move together to close the gap. Sometimes you get a power-up ball so that you can shoot faster or slow down. The goal is to prevent the colored balls from reaching the pit at the end of the maze. It starts out simple and gets increasingly more difficult to challenge your reflexes.

Big Fish Games has a huge selection of downloadable games and the best thing about them is that you can preview the game for one hour free of charge before committing to buy. That way you're not stuck with something that you really don't care for.

Big Fish would like to offer 2 of my readers a full version of one of these great games:
  • Bejeweled 2 
  • Deluxe Burger Shop 2 
  • Gardenscapes 
  • Plants vs. Zombies 
  • Zuma Deluxe  

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post
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Personalized Waterproof Labels For Kids

Back to School doesn't have to mean losing all those expensive supplies you just bought for the kiddos. Thanks to Oliver's Labels, all of TOF's belongings have a better chance of being returned to him in case he misplaces them.

They are fun and extremely durable if used properly. The adhesive is really strong and sticks to the surface even after many times of washing and submerging them under water. They can be placed in the microwave and dishwasher and won't come off.
Oliver's Labels is committed to customer satisfaction. If they make a mistake on your order, they will reprint it. If you are unhappy with your products for any reason, simply send them back within 30 days and they will happily give you a full exchange or refund. If there is ever a performance issue with any of the products, they’ll do whatever it takes to make it right, so you can shop confidently.

Disclaimer:  I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Disney On Ice Presents Treasure Trove - A ticket Giveaway

Discover endless riches when Disney On Ice presents Treasure Trove comes to your hometown! Disney On Ice sets the gold standard with its newest skating spectacular. Get tangled up in Disney’s 50th animated feature with Rapunzel and Flynn and enter the worlds of your other favorite Disney princesses –Tiana, Cinderella, Jasmine, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Mulan and of course, the one who started it all, Snow White. Ahoy, Mateys! Set sail with Peter Pan, the always sassy Tinker Bell and the cantankerous Captain Hook & his pirate pals on an adventure beyond Never Land! Trek the wilds of Africa with Simba, Nala, Pumbaa and Timon as they discover the true meaning of the ‘Circle of Life.’ Tick-Tock! Tick-Tock! Don’t be late to a very important date with Alice & the Mad Hatter as they march with the Queen of Hearts’ Army Of Cards. Be sure to see this show full of memories guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Coming to Allstate Arena Sept. 13 - 16, 2012 

Thursday - 7:00 
Friday – 10:30, 7:00 
Saturday – 11:30, 3:30, 7:00 
Sunday - 11:30, 3:30, (7:00 Spanish) 

Purschase tickets on Ticketmaster for as low as $12 on opening night. You can also save 20% on weekend shows and 40% on weekday shows with code MOM. Weekday shows include Thursday evening and Friday matinee shows and weekend includes all shows Friday evening through Sunday evening. Savings offer not valid on Front Row or VIP Seating. No Double Discounts. Service Charges and Handling Fees may apply.

I'm so excited about the show that I'd like for you to join me on opening night!  Just enter below to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  As a Feld Family Activator, my family and I will receive tickets to this event.
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Sunday, August 19, 2012

New Betty Crocker Cereal Muffin Mixes

Is your family cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs®? Do they crave Cinnamon Toast Crunch® and Reese’s® Puffs too?  Well then get ready to enjoy these flavors in a completely new and exciting way, out of the bowl and straight from the oven! New Betty Crocker® Cereal Muffin Mixes are inspired by Big G cereal favorites Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, and Reese’s Puffs, and are sure to be a fun way to re-mix your morning meal routine.

Whether your family is gathering around the table for breakfast or simply grabbing a bite on-the-go, new Betty Crocker Cereal Muffin Mixes will provide a tasty and convenient way to jumpstart your day.    Can’t get enough of these mouthwatering muffins? Visit to download a printable coupon for $.80 off one package of any variety of Cereal Muffin Mix.

 Disclosure:  The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have been provided by Betty Crocker through MyBlogSpark.
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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Farmtastic Food Trek with Illinois Farm Families

Illinois Farm Families recently launched a new fun activity that will provide families with an interactive way to learn about where their food comes from. Farmtastic Food Trek is a virtual scavenger hunt that will connect farmers to food at the grocery store by using Instagram.

Featured Illinois Farm Families will provide 15 scavenger hunt clues on, which you and your kids can then use at the the grocery store to locate the products containing foods grown and raised by Illinois farmers.  The project is designed to provide consumers with resources for learning more about where their food comes from, connect consumers with farmers and their products, and open the lines of communication between farmers and consumers.

Once families identify the food referenced in the clues, parents use Instagram to take pictures of their children holding the products and add the hashtag #foodtrek in the photo comment to qualify for the Family Farm Prize Pack. The scavenger hunt kicks off August 15 and ends September 30.

To win, each family needs to upload five accurate photos using the hashtag #foodtrek. Three random winners will be chosen and will be notified by a comment on their Instagram photo.  Prizes include a gift certificate for $500 in free groceries, a family farm tour and farm games and toys.  Go to for more details and complete contest rules.

Disclaimer:  This was a sponsored post.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pretty Muddy Chicago

I just signed up for the Pretty Muddy Women's Mud Run on September 15th in Orland Park!  But I'm going to walk, because




But I've walked 20 miles over a weekend for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, so 3.1 miles should be a piece of cake.

Pretty Muddy is a 5k adventurous obstacle course mud run for any woman who wants to get outside, spend time with friends and have fun.

Here’s what you can expect at the event:

– 5k Course (3.1 miles, run or walk)
– Women Only (sorry, guys)
– Mud (lots of it!)
– Architectural Obstacles (much better than shabby hay bales and shaky plywood)
– Pretty Epic Finish Line Party (Entertainment, music, drinks &
celebration galore)

Who wants to join me?

Purchase your tickets for Pretty Muddy here.

Or enter to win one complimentary pass and t-shirt!

Just leave a comment telling me you're interested in walking with me and will help me choose a winner on August 14, 2012.  Be sure to leave your email so I can tell you you've won.

Disclaimer:  I received a ticket for sharing this information with my readers, no money was exchanged

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Gutzy Gear Get Together #GettinGutzy

What is Gutzy Gear?  Well it's one of the hottest new trends for kids who love trying new things and expressing their individuality.  Or as this Mema likes to refer to it...don't buy a new backpack just because it's a new school year, the old one is perfectly fine, just accesorize it!

Gutzy Gear transforms a boring backpack into a statement-making personality pack! The Gutzy Gear strap covers fit around just about any type of backpack, messenger bag, or rolling bag. We've also found that it can cover a guitar strap or a seat belt. The straps can be decorated with a super fun and totally custom line of patches called "Gutzies" that require no sewing or ironing.  They're held in place with velcro.

Gutzies are meant to be swapped, traded, and shared between friends, for a custom look anytime that's as endless as your child's imagination. The great news is that Gutzy Gear is now available at retailers like Toys 'R Us, Target, K-mart, Walmart, Office Depot and select specialty stores.

We shared our Gutzy Gear party pack with the campers at TOF's camp.  After playing at the playground for a bit, the kids all gathered around to receive a special treat bag, which included a Gutzy Gear strap and some Gutzies.   The kids were really excited and attached their straps to their backpacks immediately.  Even the counselors had fun with Gutzy Gear as one's backpack strap was held together with duct tape.  C was happy to cover that up with a snazzy strap and Gutzies!  I left before the kids headed to lunch, but was told later that they were trading their Gutzies all afternoon!  Every morning I still see those straps and the big smiles and I like to think that I had a part in making the campers' day.  Thank you Gutzy Gear for sharing with us!


These are the remains of a successful Gutzy Gear Get Together.

Disclaimer:  I was sent a Gutzy Gear Party Pack to share with friends, the opinions are my own.
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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Costume Discounters Boys Costume Review

When I was contacted by to review a costume, I was really excited.  Being a Mema to 2 boys, we don't have many items in our dress up closet.  I snatch up Halloween costumes at garage sales and resale stores when I can, but the choices are quite limited.

I immediately got online to check the site and see what was available.  I'm terribly indecisive and I was completely overwhelmed by the selection. Costume Discounters offers all the hottest trends in Halloween costumes like Hannah Montana, Power Rangers, Iron Man and Batman.  There is a huge selection of adult, toddler, youth and teen Halloween costumes!

Just what is a Mema to do?

Well I waited for TOF to get home after camp and sat him down at my desk to make his own choice.  He had it narrowed down to 3 costumes, Captain America, Hulk and Wolverine.  His final choice?


Our package arrived quickly and the costume includes a jumpsuit with attached boots, a pair of claws, a belt buckle, and a mask.  It's made of 100% Polyester so it stretches easily over existing clothes and it's hand washable.  TOF was very happy with his choice and is all set for Halloween.

Be sure to like Costume discounters on Face Book for the latest Halloween updates.

Disclaimer:  I received a costume for review but all opinions are my own
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
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Friday, August 3, 2012

Before and After - The Avenue Linen Closet

I had a couple of goals for this summer...declutter the house and potty train TC.  Sadly I'm failing at both.  I did manage to clean out my linen closet the other day.  At a quick glance it didn't appear to be that messy or cluttered, but every time I went to grab something, something else would fall out.  The towels were hard to put away and when I shoved them inside, the door was hard to close.  So as TC slept behind the closed door in the very same hallway, I quietly conquered The Avenue Linen Closet.

These are the before pictures.  
How about those pads, prominently displayed as soon as you open the door!

 See that hot pink stain on the carpet? 
Nail polish!

I just can't pass up a good shampoo sale, but it will take years to use all of this!

 Same thing with toothbrushes!

 We have very clean hands on The Avenue!

 Sadly, this is only about a six month supply of gray cover up.

 That's a gallon size baggy of band aids!
I may have a hoarding problem.

And now the after pictures.
Good Will should be happy with my donation of extra towels and sheet sets.

 The top shelf now houses seldom used items.
Extra hair styling products are easily accessible.

 OTC meds are higher up and pushed back so the boys can't reach.

I think it was Heloise that said you only need two sets of sheets, 
one on the bed and one in the laundry.
Now I am in  compliance!  I kept several
extra pillow cases that I just couldn't part with.

 I saved ten of the best towels and put the rest in the Good Will bag.

Sadly I kept all of the soaps and shampoos.  
Hey, it's a start!
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Udi's Gluten Free

Udi’s is the #1 gluten-free brand in America. Just this year they introduced gluten-free options at Major League baseball stadiums like Coors Field (Colorado Rockies), Yankees Stadium (NY Yankees), and AT&T Park (San Francisco Giants).

Although my family does not follow a gluten free diet, both gluten sensitivities and Celiac Disease are on the rise. For those afflicted, eating gluten can lead to chronic and life threatening symptoms. Did you know that eating gluten free may also help alleviate swelling and inflammation due to Rheumatoid Arthritis? Or that some parents report an improvement in their child’s autism and ADHD symptoms when following a gluten free diet?

I was sent a variety of Udi's Gluten Free products to share with my family and I must admit I was surprised.   I wasn't sure what to expect, although I feared a cardboard taste.  Boy was I wrong!  The hot dog and hamburger buns were not of the usual variety.  They were more firm, similar to what you might get when ordering a gourmet burger at a restaurant or a bakery bun.  Definitely not an out of the plastic bag type of bun.  I enjoyed mine toasted as well, with a little butter as a quick get out the house in a hurry breakfast.

My sample package also include 4 varieties of gluten free cookies.  Now here's where I say, I'm not a fan of most boxed store bought cookies. Udi's Snickerdoodle and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies were delicious!  Moist and full of flavor!  In my opinion, you could easily pass these off as home baked.  TOF tried the Chocolate Chip Cookies and Brownie Bites as an after camp snack and he summed up his feelings in one word....Choclatastic!

Udi's Gluten Free baked goods will stay fresh on your counter for up to seven days. If you do not plan on eating your product in seven days or less then the proper shelf life for baked goods is as follows: 180 days frozen, 21 days refrigerated and 7 days ambient. The gluten-free granola has a shelf life of 180 days.

To receive a $1 coupon good on any Udi's Gluten Free product, click here.  Find Udi's at select Target stores, Meijer and Whole Foods.

Disclaimer:  I received a Udi's VIP package for sharing this information with you.  All opinions are my own.
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pillsbury® Artisan Pizza Crust with Whole Grain

Looking for a way to get creative in the kitchen? New Pillsbury® Artisan Pizza Crust with Whole Grain is the perfect canvas for a culinary masterpiece, or should we say master-pizza! Just add your favorite ingredients and enjoy a hot, fresh meal in minutes. Whether your family loves pepperoni, veggies, or the works, the possibilities are endless with New Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust with Whole Grain.

  • With 16 grams of whole grain per serving, this is a pizza crust the whole family will love
  • Now available in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store
Quick, convenient, and completely customizable new Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust with Whole Grain will help you add some pizzazz to your homemade pizza along with the health benefits of whole grain!  To download a printable coupon for $1.25 off one package of New Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust with Whole Grain, visit today!

 Disclosure:  The product, a gift pack, information, and additional sample have been provided by Pillsbury through MyBlogSpark.
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GUND's “Top Dog” Contest

The first ever GUND “Top Dog” Contest is in progress with a grand prize of “the Boo treatment” - a limited edition GUND plush in the winning pup’s likeness!  Inspired by the wildly-popular "World's Cutest Dog" Boo stuffed dog from GUND, the “Top Dog” Contest invites pup parents from around the country to submit photos of their own four-footed friends on the GUND Facebook page in one or all of the following four categories:

  • Most Beautiful Dog 
  • Ugliest Dog 
  • “Doganista”/Best Dressed Dog 
  • Dog that Most Resembles its Owner 
The Grand Prize will have tails wagging; GUND will create a limited edition model of the winner’s dog. The dog will be available in gift and toy stores in 2013. That’s right! Your pup could become a GUND plush just like Boo! Submit your dog photos via the contest tab on GUND’s Facebook page.

The contest will run July 16 - August 15, 2012; winners will be chosen the week of August 20th and announced the week of August 27th.

  • Entries: July 16 – August 5 
  • Voting: August 6 – August 15 
Simultaneously with the “Top Dog” Contest on Facebook, GUND will run the “Most Pinteresting Dog” Contest on Pinterest. Just post your entry on your own Pinterest pages, “tag” @GUNDMostPinterestingDog and submit the link to GUND at The “Most Pinteresting Dog” Contest winner will be selected based on the number of times the entry is “liked” on the GUND Pinterest board and the winner will receive a selection of GUND products valued at $250 retail. For complete rules, see “Top Dog” Contest and “Most Pinteresting Dog”  at

Disclaimer: I receieved a GUND plush toy for sharing this information with you.
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