Thursday, February 28, 2013

Got Tangles? Get the Knot Genie!

Isabelle has beautiful, long red hair. It’s the kind of hair that gets lots of compliments as well as lots of tangles. Brushing her hair was always a dreaded task. I would use conditioner as well as detangling spray but it was still a challenge. There were always tears being shed every time we brushed her hair. It was a nightmare. Then one day, I found out about the Knot Genie and our lives were eternally changed. We’ve had it for a few months now and not ONE tear has been shed. They claim the trick to it is the different lengths of the brush’s bristles but I think it’s just plain magic.

Last week, twice I found myself talking to people (one a random dad at a play place!) about how much I love the brush so I figured I should share it here as well.

If you are battling with hair drama each morning, you might want to give it a try. I got ours as a deal on Amazon (Knot Genie Detangling Brush)one day for less than $10 so keep an eye out for a good deal. 

*I purchased the Knot Genie for our own use, liked the product, and am sharing it with you. All opinions are my own.*

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Week With the Preschool Puppy

Henry LOVES stuffed animals. He is one of the few kids I know that genuinely loves getting stuffed animals AND actually plays with them. They are his best buds. So he was over the moon when not only did he get to take Paws the Preschool Puppy home with him but that he got him over February vacation. That's a total score!

For those that don't know the deal with the Preschool puppy - every child gets to bring the stuffed animal home for the weekend and you need to write in a journal about what you did while you had him. You also take a picture (or if you're me ten pictures) for the book and the child gets to show it off when he gets back to school the following week. All the kids love it.

So Paws came with us EVERYWHERE over the last week. I don't think he ever left Henry's side. It's a sad day here having to give Paws back.

Here are some of my favorite pics from the week...

Henry and Paws taking in a little bowling

Enjoying some Hunka Chunka Peanut Butter Fudge Ice Cream at Friendly's

Learning the ins and outs of the supermarket biz at a Hannaford tour
Paws was a balance beam expert at gymnastics


Monday, February 25, 2013

My Name is Diane and I Don’t Read Books

My name is Diane and I don’t read books. It felt so good to get it off my chest. Although my timing may have been off since I announced it as my introduction at my first book club meeting. I had joined the club because I like the idea of reading. I also like the idea of a night out without kids that includes snacks and wine. The problem is I just don’t read books. I never really have. Needless to say, it was my first and last book club meeting.

I have friends who love to read. They spend hours devouring books and can’t get wait to get the next one. I’d like to be that way but I’m just not. Every once in a while I try it out again thinking if millions of people regularly enjoy books, why not me? I start a book but never finish it. It doesn’t matter the topic or the length of the book. I just can’t seem to commit. My cousin once recommended a book that had a very similar plot to a breakup that I had. It was virtually the story of my life and I only made it half way through. When I started blogging a friend gave me a book to teach me all the secrets of being a successful blogger. I only made it two chapters in.

Recently my blogging friend Marianne co-wrote a new book: EpicMom: Failing Every Day a Little Bit More Than You. While I was so excited for her I started panicking that I would need to read the book. I mean how can you not read a book when a friend writes one? Could I fake it? Could I just let her think I read it? Maybe. 

When the book came in the mail I was both excited and terrified.  So it’s been a few weeks now and I am here to report that I READ THE BOOK!!! I’m not even lying. I can’t even believe it myself. The book is written in short little stories (2-5 pages) that are the perfect length for a space cadet like me a busy mom. The stories and anecdotes are an honest account of being a mom, having a family, and life in general. They talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly and make you laugh while doing it. Also, how could I not love a book that has this line in it? “I walk the aisles of Target, my happy place, my true salvation, and I think how lucky I am, lucky to be born in America in a time when Target exists.” Amen.

One of my favorite parts of the book is also the footnotes. Anytime a company/brand is mentioned they reference who started it/why it’s famous but also something funny about it. Example: “Intervention is a television show on the A&E channel. Storage Wars is happier.” True story.

This book has proved my theory that to be a great mom all you have to do is be honest, laugh at yourself, and drink lots of wine. I’m so glad I read it and I totally think you should, too. You can buy one on Amazon HERE and once you’ve laughed your butt off, come back and tell me about it!

*I purchased this book with my husband’s hard earned money and received nothing in return for writing this post. All opinions are my own.*

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Honeywell Germ-Free Humidifier Giveaway!

Has this winter reeked havoc on your skin? Are the cold temps outside and the dry heat inside pushing your poor skin over the edge? Is someone in your family battling a forever cold/cough and you're desperately looking to help stop nighttime coughs and sore throats? If you answered "Yes!" to any of the above questions then you've come to the right place!

One lucky Dollops reader will win a Honeywell Germ-Free Cool Mist Humidifier (retail value $89.95!).  

 Not sure if you want to enter? Well check out these facts about the humidifier: 
  • Quiet Operation - Up to 25% quieter than other evaporative humidifiers
  • UV technology kills up to 99.9% of bacteria, mold, fungus and virus in the water after 2 hrs of continuous use.
  • Durable break resistant water tank
  • Dishwasher safe water tank and tray
  • Self regulating evaporative system – adjusts output to the amount of moisture the air can hold at a particular temperature.
  • Perfect for medium size rooms such as bedrooms and living rooms
  • Runs up to 24 hrs per filling
To enter use the Rafflecopter form below. Also, why not go check out Honeywell on Facebook and Twitter?
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Honeywell is providing the product for giveaway on this blog. As always, all opinions are my own.* 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

You Sit on Me?

There is something so sweet about a two year old when they're not being complete terrors. They want to be near you. They still want to be held. They want to snuggle.

Daniel still loves to sit on my lap. He doesn't quite get the whole pronoun use thing though so he comes over with his arms up in the air and says, "You sit on me?" It melts my heart each time. Yes, I'll sit on you as long as you promise to always be my baby.

Linking up with Greta and Sarah with #iPPP!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I Almost Died at Sting Ray City

We recently went to the Ocean Explorium where they have a tank that you can touch sting rays. The kids loved it but for me it brought back memories of the time I was almost killed by a sting ray. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. I guess more accurately it would be the time I almost died of fright at Sting Ray City in Grand Cayman.

Tim and I were on a cruise with a bunch of friends (back in our pre-married, party days!) and decided to go on an excursion. We weren’t looking to spend a million dollars and avoided the “beach day” type ones given my pasty pale skin. So we decided to go on an island tour that ended at Sting Ray City. Now I’m not a complete idiot so clearly I knew that there would be sting rays involved but I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. I stupidly thought that we would take a small boat out to an island where we would all get off. All the crazy people (including Tim) would venture out into the water and I would sit on a towel on the beach. MAYBE I would go in up to my ankles but that was it. I had no desire to be close to sting rays and I definitely didn’t want to swim with them. I almost didn’t even wear my bathing suit that day but it’s kind of your uniform on a cruise ship. 

Soooooooo…we go out on the boat and the captain announces that we have arrived. I look out to see no land ANYWHERE. They had thrown the anchor down on a sandbar, threw a ladder over the side, and people were jumping off the boat into the middle of the ocean. I started to freak out. It was then that Tim confessed that he knew that this was what was going to happen but didn’t tell me because he feared I wouldn’t go! So sure enough here I am on a boat in the middle of the ocean and everyone else has happily jumped to their death in to see the sting rays. I knew if I didn’t go in that (1) I would look like a loser being the only person left on the boat and (2) I would most likely regret it later. So I begrudgingly went into the water which was much higher on my 5 foot 2 body than most of the other people. Tim was able to be about waist high while I was shoulder high in water (in the middle of the freaking ocean!). Oh, and sure enough the sting rays loved me and were zipping past me and gliding off my legs. Meanwhile, they didn’t go near Tim or the other people who wanted to actually get up close and personal with them. 

I have no idea how long we were out there but it felt like an eternity. When they finally said it was time to swim back to the boat I had never been so happy in my life. So looking back, I am glad that I got off the boat but you better believe that I’m definitely doing more research before I agree to any excursion again!

This was the next day. I would have been so pissed if I died before I got to see this view.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Proposals Aren’t Always Perfect

I woke up and hopped in the shower like any other morning. That day was special though because Tim and I were going to be celebrating a belated Valentine’s Day. Tim had planned out our day and it was a surprise for me. After the shower, I went to put my jeans on and they were missing – not in the drawer where I knew they should be. I checked the hamper and a few other spots and they were nowhere to be found. These were my go-to Saturday jeans and like any normal person I started to flip out and tear the apartment apart. Tim insisted that we would find them and to just wear another pair. The way he was reacting was odd – he didn’t seem to get that they were truly MISSING. Like someone stole them during the night missing. I eventually decided to let it go and we hopped in the car to Newport, RI.

It was a cold, COLD day in February and we stopped to look at the ocean. It was beautiful - from the car that is. When he asked if I wanted to get out and walk around every ounce of me wanted to shout, “NOOOOOO!!!” but then I started to wonder if he was going to propose. We had been together for two and a half years, we lived together, and getting engaged was definitely on the radar. I couldn’t risk being “that girl” who refused to get out of the car when her boyfriend was trying to be romantic and propose. So we got out and walked around for a bit but it was so cold. The wind was whipping and I had tears running down my cheeks. When no ring appeared in sight I said it was time to go back to the car.

It turns out though that there was a ring. Tim did plan on proposing but the ridiculous wind and subzero temperatures dampened his plan. We then headed to one of the historic mansions and went on a tour. I walked around enjoying it while Tim stressed the whole time looking for a new spot to propose. However, it was a guided tour and they don’t just let you run amuck and have alone, private, proposing time. So now the mansion had come and gone and the ring was burning a hole in his pocket.

We left the mansion and I thought we were heading home but instead he turned in to the driveway of a Bed and Breakfast. We got to the front door and it was locked. We rang the doorbell and no one came. We rang again and again and still no one came. It’s kind of a miracle that Tim kept his cool at this point. We ended up going back to the car and after about twenty minutes, he was finally able to get through on the phone and they unlocked the door for us. Apparently, they were upstairs on the phone and didn’t hear the bell. We finally checked in and got to our room. I walked in and heard the door slam behind and Tim quickly said, “Sit down on the bed, I need to ask you something!” I think he thought that if he didn’t ask RIGHT away that some other interference would occur. He proposed and I (obviously) said yes. It was not the picture perfect, ocean side proposal that he had planned but it made a perfect memory for us. It was also exactly seven years ago today.

Oh, and I found my jeans in the bag that he had secretly packed for me for our weekend away! :)

Our tickets from the mansion tour and a soap wrapper from the B&B

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Lego Girls Know How to Party!

When Lego Friends (aka "girl" Legos) came out I know there was some controversy surrounding them. After all, if these were geared towards girls did that mean that girls couldn't play with regular Legos? Did this product just give in to gender role stereotypes? Well we have both "girl" and "boy" Legos here and the kids happily play with all of them.

Plus, I personally want to be friends with the Lego Friends girls. After a long day at the beach sometimes the girls get a little crazy and dance around with margaritas smoothies on their heads. Those Lego girls be crazy!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Got Milk? Breakfast Blitz #Giveaway

Have you heard of the Breakfast Blitz campaign from the National Dairy Council? It’s a free, easy way for you to earn prizes and also potentially help out your local schools. A win/win, right?

All you need to do is head to the Breakfast Blitz home page by clicking HERE. Then simply enter the UPC code from your milk container and you’re on your way to potentially being a winner! I don’t know about you but we go through about 5 gallons of milk a week here so I’m heading back to the site daily to enter! The more UPC codes you enter, the better your chances of winning are. Prizes include a Breakfast Blitz Fuel Pack, Free Milk for a Year (I’ve got my fingers crossed for this one!), $200 towards NFL merchandise, NFL tickets, and tickets to the 2013 Super Bowl (my husband will be hoping for this one!). 

Also, each of your entries will earn one vote for the hometown school that you’ve selected. I personally selected the elementary school that Isabelle will start Kindergarten in the fall (where did my baby go?!). The top 250 schools that receive the highest votes will receive a $1,000 Fuel Up to Play 60 Grant to use towards school breakfast programs. The campaign ends on February 17, 2013 though so head over there now to enter!

In addition to having a chance to win through the campaign, one lucky Dollops reader will have a chance to win a “Tackle Your Day” breakfast basket from Milk Mustache.

The “Tackle Your Day” breakfast basket will include:
  • Spilt milk bowl
  • Spoon straw
  • Tackle Your Day Challenge Chart
  • Milk Mustache Magnet
  • Cow slippers
  • Mustache glasses
  • Breakfast Project Recipe Cards
Please use the Rafflecopter form to enter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and don’t forget to go visit the Milk Mustache Facebook page to stay up to date on everything Milk!

*There’s no purchase necessary. See rules for official details, enter here: This post is part of a compensated campaign on behalf of The Motherhood and Got Milk? As always, all opinions are my own.*

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Please Don’t Buy Me Flowers

In preparation of Valentine’s Day, I’m just going to say it: I hate flowers. Okay, okay that’s a bit harsh. I guess I just don’t understand flowers.

While most people would be excited to have their (fill in the blank) buy them flowers, it’s really the last thing that I want. Yes, they are pretty and look nice but what am I supposed to do with them? We live in a small house that’s overrun daily with little tornadoes. Our coffee table is covered with Barbie, Spiderman, and farm animals – not roses.  All of us can barely fit at our kitchen table to eat never mind look at a beautiful, flower centerpiece. Our kitchen counters are used to cut crusts off sandwiches and a safe haven for endless art projects to dry. So if I do get flowers I constantly have to move the vase from one spot to another while we try to live our lives around the flowers.

Speaking of vases, what do you do with them when the flowers are dead? We have a collection of empty glass vases collecting dust in the basement. I suppose I could do something crafty and pretty with them. Maybe fill them with glass beads and put them on display? But again WHERE?

Oh, and speaking of dead – the little petals and leaves that start falling off? As if I need one more thing to have to sweep up.

And let’s not forget the main reason that flowers drive me nutty – they are so damn expensive! I just can’t get my head around spending $50+ on something that is constantly in my way and is already on its way to death’s door. Instead, I’d prefer $50 worth of Reese’s Peanut Butter Hearts or $50 worth of Diet Pepsi. Actually, better yet, I’d prefer 50 minutes of alone time at Target. 

So I respectfully repeat, please don’t buy me flowers.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Snowy, Swing Set Fun!

I was lucky enough not to have to shovel our driveway after the blizzard (my awesome husband did it). However, in a moment of weakness I agreed to shovel a path to the swing set for the kids. Although a path doesn't seem like much, when I was half way through the yard and waist deep in snow I was beginning to realize just how crazy I was. I had two followers "helping" behind me though on our quest to the North Pole (aka our swing set) so how could I stop? We eventually made it and the kids had so much fun that it was worth it.

Henry debating if he wanted to slide down (while Isabelle throws snow on him!)

Isabelle ventured down, snow and all!

Jumping off the top level in to the snow (no bones were broken!)


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Blizzard of 2013

So we got a bit of snow over the last couple of days...

The kids were SO excited. Me? Not so much. My husband who had to shovel the driveway? Even less thrilled.

But how can the pure excitement of the children not make you smile?

We were VERY excited (and surprised) that we did not lose power since we have lost power for multiple days in previous storms. So all in all we have absolutely nothing to complain about this storm. My friend who is a nurse worked yesterday and then slept at the hospital last night. On her way home this morning her car got stuck three times. The last time she was unable to get it out and had to walk a quarter of a mile in the snow to get home to her husband and two girls. We are really blessed to have selfless people like her that go out in these storms to take care of others. A big thanks to all the essential personnel who make our world a better place!

Friday, February 8, 2013

I Hope She Shares Her Cake With Me

Although it feels like I’ve known Annie of Stowed Stuff forever, we’ve actually only been friends for a year. We set off on a tiny jet plane as virtual strangers last February to the blogging conference Blissdom. The trip really could have gone either way but luckily we instantly connected (the wine may have helped). I’m now happy to say that Annie is one of my closest friends and I’m so grateful to have her in my life.

In honor of her birthday tomorrow, I’m sharing my favorite pictures of us over the past year.  After you view the pics head on over to Stowed Stuff and wish her a happy (early) birthday!   

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk (the only time we hung out together before heading off to Blissdom!)

Yup, we're wearing Lorax mustaches in a bathroom.

How cute are we?

Is it any wonder why we're friends?

There was wine involved....

We can't get enough goofy pics

Dollops and Annie: A match made in Heaven

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