FREE Halloween Pictures of Your Costumed Kids at Portrait Innovations

This Halloween pictures post has been brought to you by Portrait Innovations.  All opinions are mine.

Every. single. year, I always forget to take pictures of the boys in their costumes until the very last minute on Halloween, when they're out the door, itching to go trick-or-treating.  Sometimes it turns out, and sometimes, it just does not.  Taking a picture of a toddler is always difficult, but this was the best picture of all three boys I have from last year: Get a GOOD, free Halloween pic this year!That's the very reason why I LOVE this idea from Portrait Innovations.  Dress your kids up in their costumes on Monday, October 26th, head to a Portrait Innovations near you between 4-6 PM.  Each family will receive a FREE 5×7, 3 digital images, and the kids will get candy.  Win-Win, no?  (There will be no sales or appointments during this event.)  Every Portrait Innovations Studio across the country is hosting the event. To find the studio closest to you, visit:  The DFW area locations include:  Plano, Fort Worth, Arlington, and Cedar Hill.

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Show Your Creativity And Win Big With Turano Bread!

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Turano via The Bloggy Moms Network. Views and opinions are my own.

Turano Bread Contest

My guys all love sandwiches, that's for sure, but sometimes it's good to use a little creativity with your bread.  Turano Baking Company is a 53 year old Chicago staple that has been serving predominantly the midwest. Recipes stem from Mariano Turanowho came to America from Italy in 1962 and began baking bread.  Over the past year, Turano has become a national brand and is now available at all Aldi locations in Texas. To celebrate the launch, Turano has partnered with renowned chefs Brian Luscher (The Grape Restaurant) and Uno Immanivong (Chino Chinatown in Trinity Groves) from Dallas, Texas to create their own #TuranoHack using Pane Turano bread.

Turano Hack Contest

Turano Bread is encouraging "getting creative between the slices" in their fun #TuranoHack contest!


What you have to do to enter:

1.  Visit Aldi to pick up some Pane Turano bread and any additional ingredients you need.

2.  Record a video of you making your own Turano Hack using Pane Turano bread and  additional ingredients from Aldi.

3.  Upload the video to Youtube or other online channel (i.e. Vimeo, Facebook).

4.  Complete the submission form on the Turano contest page by April 30, 2015 to be entered to win.

5.  BONUS: Use #TuranoHack to share your video on your social channels.


What could you win?

Grand prize winner will receive a $500 cash prize, while all entries have a chance of being featured on Turano’s social channels.


What is the judging criteria?

1.  Appetizing appeal of dish

2.  Originality & creativity in submission

3.   Amount spent on ingredients (The less spent, the better!)

4.  How well you represent Turano hack enthusiasm


Up for the challenge?  Have a great idea for a delicious Turano Hack?  Let me know in the comments or on Facebook if you enter.  I'd love to see your creation!


Show Your Creativity with the Vecco DIY Rug Texas Pride Contest

This DIY rug post has been sponsored by Vecco.  All opinions are mine.

In our house, we have mostly hardwood floor – no carpet.  That is perfectly fine with me, as I believe hardwood floors are easier to take care of.  We do have an area rug in most rooms to help with the falls, noise level, and to create a place to play and read books!  When Hubby and I were searching for rugs for our house, we were very limited in what we had to choose from.  I wish that I had the option of using Vecco products and creating a rug that fit our personal taste and decor.  

Have you heard about Vecco or seen the ads?  The possibilities are truly endless!  First you select the stencils that you want to use, then the Carpet Colorants.  Then, you place the stencil on the rug and spray.  If you're not happy with what you've created, it can be vacuumed right up until you spray the Colorant Lock on your rug.  See, it's so easy to show your creativity with a DIY rug!

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If you're worried about the safety of Vecco products around littles or pets, know that I was, too.  But here is what I found on the Vecco website that made me breathe easier:

Vecco cans and caps are partially made from post-consumer recycled materials and components of these are recyclable after use.

Most of the ingredients in Vecco products are made from the earth. Vecco Colorants and Colorant Lock contain no CFCs, bleach, dyes, sulfur or harmful chemical propellants. Vecco is not irritating to skin or harmful to you, your children or your pets when used as directed.

All Vecco products are made in the USA.

One Rug At A Time Event #advertisement

If you are in the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas area, you can show off your Texas pride for a good cause with Vecco DIY Rug Décor.  On Saturday, November 15th from 6 – 10 p.m. at Vecco's One Rug at a Time event, you can enter to win $2,500 and help a local non-profit organization win $5,000.  There will be live music, local area food trucks, and DIY fun for the whole family!  A special Texas rug mosaic will be on display to benefit Dwell with Dignity.  Each piece in the mosaic was created by a local Dallas artist and will be donated to a household in need.  The Texas Pride rugs made by the Dallas art community will also be on display.

Leading up to this fun event, four non-profit organizations – Dwell with Dignity, Dallas Area Fabric Artists, ArtLove Magic and Groundwork Dallas – are participating in a special rug-making competition using Vecco DIY Rug Décor.  These organizations have each designed a rug that illustrates what Texas Pride means to them.  The organization who receives the most votes will win a $5,000 donation from Vecco to help support their cause.  Cast your vote for your favorite rug from Monday, November 10, 2014 through Friday, November 14th here.

5.  Vecco - Image #2

Are you inspired to participate?  The DIY fun isn't just for the design pros.  Anyone can design and enter a rug in a special, second Texas Pride rug contest, just for individuals.  Vecco will have supplies available for anyone who wants to design a rug and enter.  Simply be one of the first 100 visitors at Vecco's One Rug at a Time event at Valley View Mall on Saturday, November 15th from 6 – 10 p.m.  Vecco designers will be on hand to provide instruction and tips to help bring your rug to life.

When your rug is ready, snap a photo and email it to to submit your entry.  Vecco will post it on a special Texas Pride board on Pinterest.  Be sure and share the link with friends and family and ask them to 'like' your rug photo to cast their vote.  The rug that receives the most likes will win $2,500!  Voting begins December 8 and ends on December 17, 2014.  The winner will be notified by Vecco by email. 

To learn more about creating a Vecco DIY Rug, watch this helpful video:

Will you be attending the event?  Are you inspired to create a Vecco DIY Rug?


Banana Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars Recipe

This banana recipe post was brought to you by Chiquita and Moms Meet, May Media LLC.  All opinions are mine and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group, LLC or Chiquita.  #MMLovesChiquita #ChiquitaCookingLab

Banana Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars Recipe

I never imagined anyone could love bananas so much until I had kids.  Bananas are the perfect snack for kids and adults because they're easy to open, taste delicious, and are jam packed with delicousness!  Baby Brother is in a huge banana phase right now, so we always have Chiquita bananas on hand and I love this banana recipe!


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Change Your Oil to Grapeseed Oil

This grapeseed oil post is brought to you by Pompeian. All opinions are 100% mine.

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As I was shopping in the oil aisle recently, I spotted a bottle of Grapeseed Oil.  I had heard very little about this oil, but decided to give it a try.  You can use grapeseed oil in any recipe that calls for vegetable oil or butter, did you know that?  I have used it in muffins and pan frying foods.  It cooks very well and there is not an overwhelming flavor that changes the recipe at all.  I'm very pleased with my choice in grapeseed oil!  It's better than olive oil, in my personal opinion, because of the higher smoke point and lighter flavor.  It makes cooking a breeze and much easier, especially with two young kids with a super sense of taste!

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Pompeian 's grapeseed oil is rich in Vitamin E antioxidants, high in polyunsaturated fatty acids and Omega 6, and has a very high smoke point, which is great for all types of cooking.  Why not change your oil to Grapeseed Oil?

Here's a GREAT recipe from Pompeian to try your new grapeseed oil – Beef-Stir Fry!

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Right now, Pompeian is having a fun contest on their Facebook page!  Vote for your favorite recipe submission at Pompeian’s Time to Change Your Oil contest!  The winner will receive an all-expense paid trip to BlogHer Food 2013 in Austin, Texas, June 7-8!  The winning recipe will also be featured with Pompeian throughout the event.  Winner will be hand selected by Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien!

Hurry because the voting period ends on May 12th!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Kids, Design The Next H-E-B Cereal Box!

toasted oats cereal contest

H-E-B has a great contest going on right now, especially for kids in K-8th grades.  They are looking for a new design for their H-E-B brand Toasted Oats and Honey Nut Toasted Oats cereal boxes and they are asking kids to help.  The rules are very simple and it's easy to enter:

  • Download and complete the official application form and release and entry agreement.
  • Draw, paint, or print an ORIGINAL design on a plain 8 1/2" x 11" piece of white paper.
  • K-5th grade kids are asked to make a design for Toasted Oats cereal and grades 6-8 Honey Nut Toasted Oats cereal.
  • Don't use any photographs or clip art…be creative and orginal!
  • Mail the finished masterpiece in before April 2, 2013.

What does the winner receive?  Besides being the winner and having their artwork on a box of cereal, the grand prize winners will receive $5,000 and a breakfast party for their school!

This is such a fun idea, but the Captain is too young to participate, so it would be fun if one of my readers' kids won!  H-E-B always has great contests and activities for kids, that's why it's our favorite store!


**disclosure:  this is a sponsored post.**

Win a Second Honeymoon from Modern Greetings….Last Chance! {over}

Through January 10th, contestants can upload their most memorable wedding moment OR they can create a video where they explain their most memorable wedding moment to enter to win a second honeymoon from Modern Greetings.  This is the final of four contests where one couple wins a second honeymoon!

Just enter through the contest tab on Modern Greetings’ Facebook page.  Good luck!

video contest

Pin It To Win It – Second Honeymoon Contest from Modern Greetings {over}

 Modern Greetings has extended the deadline for Round 2 of their Second Honeymoon Contest!  Now you have until December 27th to "Pin It To Win It!"

modern greetings

Submit Your Funny Wedding Photo and Win a Second Honeymoon! {over}

Funniest Wedding Picture Contest has an amazing contest going on from now until January 7th!  Four lucky couples will win a second honeymoon, just for entering their contest!  From now until December 6th, the theme is "Funniest Wedding Photo."  Anything goes, just upload the funniest photo from your wedding, caption the photo, tell them why you'd like to win, and then get your friends and family to vote for you.  

The couple that wins (remember, there will be four winners between now and January 7th!) will win a trip to the destination of their choice up to $3,000, that can be used for airfare, hotel, rental car, dining out, and any additional expenses.  Winners will also receive a professionally designed photo book to showcase their trip!  And everyone is a winner because even every participant will get a $5 voucher!  Just click on the graphic above to get started, or go here and enter your email address at the bottom.  Best of luck to you!  I hope one of my readers wins!

*Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post.*

Stay Cool With Backyard Ocean!

Summer is for swimming, at least that's what Captain Fussybuckets and Baby D think!  They were so excited to review the 5' x 15" Float To Fill Ring Pool from Backyard Ocean!  

This pool was easy for Daddy to fill up.  All you have to do is fill the top ring with air and then fill the pool with water and it rises as it fills!  It's the perfect size for Captain Fussybuckets!  Baby D is still a little young, so we put him in a lifejacket, just in case.  Daddy, the Captain, and Baby D all fit in the pool!


The Float To Fill Ring pool came with two inflatable beach balls, too, which was a nice suprise!  It can contain 200 gallons of water and is made of three layers of vinyl for extra durability.  The Float To Fill Ring Pool can be purchased currently for the sale price of $29.99 (regularly $59.99).  

Check out all the pools, equipment, accessories, inflatable pools and more that Backyard Ocean has at their website!  

Backyard Ocean just began a Pinterest contest called "My Sizzling Summer With Backyard Ocean!"  Check out the official rules and head over to Pinterest to join the contest!  You could win one of five gift certificates to Backyard Ocean!