ToiletTree Fogless Mirror Review and Giveaway

Monday, August 30, 2010



Through the Family Review Network, I was recently offered an opportunity to try the ToiletTree Fogless Mirror for in shower use. Since hubs shaves in the shower every day for work, I thought this would be a great opportunity to try a useful product that promised to make that morning ritual easier.

A little about the company:
ToiletTree Products are made by a family owned and operated company in Upper Nyack, NY.

The patent-pending design of the fogless mirror is simple yet effective. Just fill the mirror’s reservoir with hot water from your shower head.

It's ideal for close shaves, cleansing and exfoliating, removing make-up, tweezing and more.
No chemicals or special coatings required. The ToiletTree shower mirror is designed to remain fogless and maintenance-free for a lifetime.

ToiletTree Products provides a 30 Day, no risk, unconditional 100% Money-Back Guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, simply return it within 30 days with a dated proof of purchase and we will gladly refund your money, in full, no strings attached.

Our take on it:
The mirror is lightweight and shatterproof. It was easy to install and assembled in just minutes. And, it works! Once you fill the reservoir with hot water the mirror stays fogless during your shower. I like that it's easily adjustable for different heights and it has a 5" x 7" mirrored surface for easy viewing. It's easy to clean too.

Hubby has been using it daily for a couple of weeks and loves it. We'd recommend this product to anyone in the market for a shower mirror.

Good news readers: You can visit the ToiletTree website now and purchase one for $29.95, or you can enter to win one here!

To enter:
Leave a comment telling me why you'd like to have this mirror.

Extra entries (leave a separate comment for each):
Share ToiletTree by using the share button on their website.
Follow Serendipity is Sweet in Google Friend Connect.
Subscribe to this blog's feed (See top right sidebar. You must confirm your subscription)
Follow me on twitter and tweet this post. (Please leave link to tweet. One per day.)
Follow me on FB Networked Blogs

You must have a valid email address to win. If I can't find it, I can't contact you. Winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. Open to US and Canada only. Contest ends at midnight on September 10th, 2010.



This post was written for Family Review Network & ToiletTree who provided the complimentary product in exchange for my honest review.





Hey Mom, How Do You Encourage Positive Behavior in Kids? A Guest Post By Lynn Banis

Kids will be kids. They will be angels one minute and devils the next. How do you get them to have more consistent positive behavior without spending your life saying “no, no” no!”? I remember well those years when it did seem that your vocabulary only consisted of the word “no”, when little hands were into everything. That is just a passing phase though on the way to growing up. Babies have to learn their limits and must be protected from things that could harm them. Once they learn their physical boundaries though how do you get them to start making good judgments about behavior?

One way is to set high but attainable goals for them. Never set a child up for failure by setting expectations too high. You want your child to succeed so that you can offer praise and encouragement to continue the good work. You want your child to be proud of their own achievements. That becomes a sense of internal motivation to repeat their behavior.

Another way is to offer appropriate praise. Do not be a Pollyanna by giving them a sense that everything is worthy of lavish praise. They can see right through that and then praise means nothing to them. Praise is something that needs to be earned and deserved but cannot be too hard to achieve. For instance, if your child has chores he is expected to do, you might try offering praise for the way he did his chores not for the fact that he did them.

A third way to encourage positive behavior in your kids is to make any punishment appropriate to the “crime”. For example, threatening to throw your child’s toys away because she has not picked them up and put them away is extreme. First of all, you probably won’t really do it and then they lose respect for you and your empty threat. Second, if you do it you are the looser because you will undoubtedly end up replacing them at sometime which will cost you financially. It would be much more appropriate to tell your child that she will not be able to do anything else until her toys are picked up and put away properly. That is a fitting consequence for a messy room. It also helps a child understand that some things have to be done before others and that if done without complaint then the world runs pretty smoothly. There are consequences for actions – both negative and positive. Focus on teaching the positive relationship between doing chores and being free to do other things.

Always try to think of the bigger picture. What is it you are really trying to teach your kids? Is it positive, responsible behavior or getting attention by being contrary or bad? There is a vast difference between the two. Your child will be better off if both of you focus on the positive.


Lynn Banis, PhD, MCC
The High Performance Coach

Lynn is a Master Certified Coach with years of experiences helping moms through tough situations.  She would love to answer your questions on a weekly basis. What are you struggling with?  What questions do you have about getting through the day?  Leave her a few comments with your questions and concerns and she will be happy to write about them in future posts.  To find out more about Lynn and how she can help you live your passion, visit her at: www.discoverypointcoaching.com/blog


Read more posts from the Hey Mom Series here, here and here. Moms work hard and deserve encouragement! Please share this post with other Moms you know.

Quotable Sunday - Dreams

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dreaming is an act of pure imagination, attesting in all men a creative power, which if it were available in waking, would make every man a Dante or Shakespeare. ~H.F. Hedge

Dreams are today's answers to tomorrow's questions. ~Edgar Cayce

Dreams are answers to questions we haven't yet figured out how to ask. ~X-Files

All the things one has forgotten scream for help in dreams. ~Elias Canetti

Dreams are only thoughts you didn't have time to think about during the day. ~Author Unknown

A dream which is not interpreted is like a letter which is not read. ~The Talmud

Dreams are illustrations... from the book your soul is writing about you. ~Marsha Norman

There's a long, long trail a-winding into the land of my dreams. ~Stoddard King, Jr.

Dreams digest the meals that are our days. ~Astrid Alauda, Dyspeptic Enlightenment

Pay attention to your dreams - God's angels often speak directly to our hearts when we are asleep. ~Quoted in The Angels' Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994


For More Quotable Fun visit LT at A Day With Two.

A Day With Two


CostumeSupercenter.com Review

Saturday, August 28, 2010



I recently had the pleasure of working with CostumeSupercenter.com. I was asked to select a costume to review on my blog. Wow, there were a lot of choices! Their site features costumes from over 50 categories! You can browse by gender and age, or by theme. I appreciated that the site was well organized as it made my shopping task easier.

Since my 5 year old daughter is a big Disney Princess fan, I headed for the Disney Costumes and was impressed with the selection.  I opted for the Disney Cinderella Costume for girls. I knew she'd enjoy playing dress up in it.

The shipping was super quick and the costume arrived a couple of days after I had placed my order. I found that it was not only true to size, but that it fit better than the other store bought princess costumes we have. They tend to be wide in the waist and loose fitting on top which can be such a hassle for a busy princess. Not this one. It was fitted at the waist with elastic, and also fitted on the arms and shoulders. I immediately notice that the fabric was of better quality too. I don't think this costume will fray and fall apart like others we have tried.

My daughter was in love with this Cinderella dress and couldn't wait to try it on. Unfortunately, she was not as enamored with the photo shoot...you can see the luck I had with that:




Finally, after much cajoling, she came around and I managed to get a smile out of her:


She really does love the costume, just not the photographer, lol.

I will definitely be shopping at CostumeSuperscenter.com again. With a certain spooky holiday just around the corner (already?!), it's the perfect place for a busy mom to find Halloween costumes for everyone on her list - from boys or girls Halloween costumes, to period costumes, TV and Movie stars, favorite characters and occupations, they've got some thing to please every taste.  And with accurate sizing charts, quick shipping and great customer service, CostumeSupercenter.com makes shopping a cinch.

I received a product from CostumeSuperstore.com to test for the purpose of review. The opinions contained herein are my own, and are based on my personal experience.



One Week Ago Today

Friday, August 27, 2010

One week ago today
You came into this world
And changed my heart forever
My precious baby girl

Now I see your face
Your cheeks are getting full
You change before my very eyes
Growing each new day

I wish I could stop time
Freeze this moment here
So soon you'll be all grown
The thought brings me to tears

I love you very much
Will always hold you dear
For you I wish a happy life
Long and full of cheer

Aloha Friday

Aloha friends! So glad you could come by today for a visit.  It's been a busy week around here with a birthday and our new baby girl coming home and adjusting to live with three siblings. Thankfully, they're all madly in love with her :)

My question for you this week is: How many siblings do you have?


I have two of the best sisters a girl could hope for and I'm thankful for them every day. Of course, we didn't always get along when we were growing up. But, I was always glad there was someone around who knew me so well, and understood exactly where I was coming from. Of course, that can be frustrating too, lol (especially as a tween or teen). Looking back, I can't imagine life without them. And their love and support of my own family now is such a precious gift. How about you? Do you have siblings? Are you close?

Thanks for visiting today! Your comments make my day :) Be sure to stop by An Island Life for more Aloha Friday fun. Have a fabulous weekend!


A Thousand Words Thursday

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Birthday to my big 3 year old boy! We celebrated last Sunday after we brought baby home from the hospital. His birthday was on the 23rd, but with all the family in town to meet our new girl, we decided to celebrate a day early. I can't believe he's 3! It seems like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital.

He's been asking for a big boy bike so that he can ride with his older brother and sister. The highlight of the evening was when he saw it and yelled, "A bike! It's a bike!" over and over with a giant grin on his face. Priceless!

Happy birthday Jackson! I love you to the moon and back, a hundred times and more.


For more Thousand Words Thursday stop by Cheaper Than Therapy
Cheaper Than Therapy

Wordful Wednesday

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

We are blessed with a new baby girl!

Liliana Grace Rich
Born Friday, August 20th at 5:33 PM
8 pounds 1 oz and 19 1/2 inches long



Thanks for stopping by today! Happy WW to all :)
For more Wednesday fun be sure to visit these fabulous blogs:
5 Minutes for Mom
7 Clown Circus
Wordless Wednesday HQ

Winners Announced!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The winner of the Smarty Rents 3 month subscription is #2:

Henria O. said...

I'm interested! I'm following via GFC!
sazzyfrazz at gmail dot com
August 12, 2010 3:26 AM

And the winner of the Herman T's BBQ Sauce Mix is #11:

windycindy said...

"Daily Tweet!"
http://twitter.com/cmh512/status/21038867915.
Thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com
August 13, 2010 1:26 AM

Congratulations to the winners! And many thanks to all who entered.


Fido's Favorites - Dog Bone Recipe

I haven't posted anything pooch-worthy in a while and figured it was about time that I did. Here's a recipe my dogs have always loved. These also make great gifts for pup-loving pals.

Ingredients:
1 egg
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 egg white, lightly beaten, for brushing

Directions:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Stir together the egg, peanut butter, banana, and honey in a medium bowl; blend thoroughly. Stir in the flour and wheat germ; mix well. Turn dough out onto a floured board and roll to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter, place on prepared baking sheet, and brush tops with egg white. Bake biscuits in preheated oven until dried and golden brown, about 30 minutes, depending on size. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

WOOF!


Hey Mom! Who Is Running The Show? - A Guest Post By Lynn Banis

Monday, August 23, 2010

Who is running the show at your house? Is it the the kids? the pets? the cleaning? the washing? the carpooling? Whatever it is, if it is not you that is a problem. Moms, you live busy, busy lives and it is easy for you to lose control of things. You get inundated and overwhelmed by everybody and everything. When that happens you not only lose control and become a salve to all of those things but you also lose your power and sometimes even your self-esteem. You can get to the point when you feel walked on and taken advantage of. Not good.

How do you get your control back and get rid of that feeling of overwhelm? It is sapping your energy and making it harder to do the things you need and want to do. Here are some suggestions for you to try. Pick the ones that work the best for you in your situation.

1. Carve out "me" time. It can be anytime of the day or night but it needs to be scheduled just like a doctor's appointment. You have to take care of yourself first. No one else will do it for you. As I have said many times before, if you don't take care of yourself you will have nothing left to give to anyone else and people are counting on you to have the energy and enthusiasm to do for them. This one thing, a little "me" time is absolutely essential. Do it everyday even if it is only for a few minutes.

2. Take control of your inner voice. Do not let it cut you down or make you feel you are a bad mom. You are not a bad mom you are just overwhelmed with all there is to do. Replace what that voice is saying to you with things like, "I am doing what I can do at this moment and it is good." or "I am grateful for all that I have and I am making the best of it." Choose a positive attitude and use positive words for your mantra.

3. Remember that you always have a choice in what you decide to do and think. Take back your control. It does not belong to anyone or anything else. Make decisions and stick to them. If there is not enough time to do something say so and plan it for another day. You do not have to be perfect just effective. Doing 100% on everything is not humanly possible so do what makes sense and let it go. At this very moment and every other moment you are being the best mom you can be.

4. Keep your gratitude journal up. Write in it every day and the positive energy from writing in it will help brighten your day.

I hope these four suggestions help get you back on the path to being more in control of your life. Enjoy it and live it your way.

Thank you for all the great comments. I really appreciate them! Please add some things you are struggling with or would like to know about. I am happy to write about them in a future post.

Lynn Banis, PhD, MCC

The High Performance Coach

Read more posts from the Hey Mom Series here, here and here. Moms work hard and deserve encouragement! Please share this post with other Moms you know.

Lynn is a Master Certified Coach with years of experiences helping moms through tough situations. She would love to answer your questions on a weekly basis. What are you struggling with? What questions do you have about getting through the day? Leave her a few comments with your questions and concerns and she will be happy to write about them in future posts. To find out more about Lynn and how she can help you live your passion, visit her at: www.discoverypointcoaching.com/blog

Quotable Sunday - Sisters

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Having a sister is like having a best friend you can't get rid of. You know whatever you do, they'll still be there. ~Amy Li

A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost. ~Marion C. Garretty

Is solace anywhere more comforting than in the arms of a sister. ~Alice Walker

Big sisters are the crab grass in the lawn of life. ~Charles M. Schulz

If you don't understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child. ~Linda Sunshine

You can kid the world. But not your sister. ~Charlotte Gray

I would like more sisters, that the taking out of one, might not leave such stillness. ~Emily Dickinson

Help one another, is part of the religion of sisterhood. ~Louisa May Alcott

Sisters never quite forgive each other for what happened when they were five. ~Pam Brown

In thee my soul shall own combined the sister and the friend. ~Catherine Killigrew

A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves - a special kind of double. ~Toni Morrison

Children of the same family, the same blood, with the same first associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power, which no subsequent connections can supply... ~Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, 1814

For More Quotable Fun visit LT at A Day With Two.

A Day With Two


We All Scream For Ice Cream!

Saturday, August 21, 2010



The History Of Ice Cream - from About.com

The origins of ice cream can be traced back to at least the 4th century B.C. Early references include the Roman emperor Nero (A.D. 37-68) who ordered ice to be brought from the mountains and combined with fruit toppings, and King Tang (A.D. 618-97) of Shang, China who had a method of creating ice and milk concoctions. Ice cream was likely brought from China back to Europe. Over time, recipes for ices, sherbets, and milk ices evolved and served in the fashionable Italian and French royal courts.
After the dessert was imported to the United States, it was served by several famous Americans. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson served it to their guests. In 1700, Governor Bladen of Maryland was recorded as having served it to his guests. In 1774, a London caterer named Philip Lenzi announced in a New York newspaper that he would be offering for sale various confections, including ice cream. Dolly Madison served it in 1812.

First Ice Cream Parlor In America - Origins Of English Name
The first ice cream parlor in America opened in New York City in 1776. American colonists were the first to use the term "ice cream". The name came from the phrase "iced cream" that was similar to "iced tea". The name was later abbreviated to "ice cream" the name we know today.


Fun Stuff About Ice Cream
Did You Know...?
Water normally freezes at 32° F, while a salt solution freezes at a lower temperature. The more salt there is in a solution, the lower its freezing point. This means that when salt is added to ice, it causes the ice to melt. When salt is used in making ice cream, the melting ice pulls heat out of the ice cream mixture. This results in the mixture freezing more rapidly at a cooler temperature than is possible with ice alone. (Salt water is also a good weed killer. So if you make any ice cream, don't pour the leftover water on your mom's favorite plant!)

Why Not Make Your Own Ice Cream?
Here are some easy ice cream recipes that you can make without an ice cream machine.

Ice Cream in a Bag
Place in a small Ziploc bag (heavy duty freezer-type) and "zip" closed: 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 cup milk or half & half, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Place in a gallon-size Ziploc bag and "zip" closed: 6 tablespoons rock salt or table salt, the filled and zipped small bag, and ice cubes to fill bag about 3/4 full. Wearing oven mitts to keep your hands from freezing, roll and squeeze the filled bag for about 15-20 minutes until frozen. Open the outer bag, remove the inner bag and wipe it clean. Enjoy eating the ice cream right out of the bag. Makes 1 serving.


Fresh Fruit Ice Cream
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
1 cup pureed or mashed fruit (strawberries, raspberries, peaches, bananas, blueberries)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups (1 pint) whipping cream, whipped (not non-dairy whipped topping)

In a large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk and vanilla; stir in 1 cup pureed or mashed fruit. Fold in 2 cups (1 pint) whipping cream, whipped. Pour into 9x5-inch loaf pan or 2-quart container. Cover and freeze 6 hours or until firm. Makes about 1 ½ quarts.

Information provided:
http://www.knowledgehouse.info/index.html

So, what's your all time favorite kind of ice cream?

Aloha Friday

Friday, August 20, 2010

Aloha! Happy Friday friends. So glad you dropped by today :)

My question this week...besides will this baby ever be born?! (I'm 2 days past my due date) is: What was the last movie you watched?

My answer: Date Night. It was pretty darn funny too! We rented it on demand last week and hubs and I both laughed out loud. What about you?

Thanks for visiting today! Your comments make my day :) Be sure to stop by An Island Life for more Aloha Friday fun. Have a fabulous weekend!



A Thousand Words Thursday

Thursday, August 19, 2010





For more Thousand Words Thursday stop by Cheaper Than Therapy
Cheaper Than Therapy

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Just another day at the park...



Thanks for stopping by today! Happy WW to all :)
For more Wednesday fun be sure to visit these fabulous blogs:
5 Minutes for Mom
7 Clown Circus
Wordless Wednesday HQ

The Luna Moth

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Have you ever seen a Luna Moth? Heard of one? Even though I have lived in the same general area for the past 37 years, and these moths are indigenous to this area, I had never seen or heard of one before. That is, until my 8 year old called from the back yard one afternoon, "Hey mom, come look at this huge caterpillar!"

I grabbed my camera, as per my usual M.O., and took a few shots so that we could research this species on the internet. Fortunately I had recently purchased a butterfly cage for the kids, so we put our caterpillar in the cage with some leaves and sticks from a gum tree and waited to see what would happen. The kids affectionately named her Coconut (though we're not sure if it was a male or female). Within two days she had cocooned and about three weeks later she came out and flew away.

This is what we found from the Butterflies and Moths of North America website. You can also find out more by watching this youtube video.

Attributes of Actias luna
Family: Wild Silk Moths (Saturniidae)

Subfamily: Giant Silkworm Moths (Saturniinae)

Identification: Hindwings have long curving tails. Wings are pale green, each with a transparent eyespot. Outer margins are pink in the southern spring brood, yellow in the southern summer brood and in northern populations.

Life history: Adults are nocturnal and very strong fliers. Mating takes place after midnight, and egg-laying begins that evening. Females lay eggs in small groups or singly on both surfaces of host plant leaves. The eggs hatch in about one week and the caterpillars are sedentary and solitary feeders. Leaves and silk are used to spin papery brown cocoons in litter under the host plant.

Flight: One brood from May-July in the north, two to three broods from March-September in the south.

Wing span: 2 15/16 - 4 1/8 inches (7.5 - 10.5 cm)!

Caterpillar hosts: A variety of trees including white birch (Betula papyrifera), persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua), hickories (Carya), walnuts (Juglans), and sumacs (Rhus).

Adult food: Adults do not feed. After hatching from their cocoon they live for about 5 days, with the sole purpose of mating. Mature moths do not even have a mouth.

Habitat: Deciduous hardwood forests.

Range: Common. Nova Scotia west to Saskatchewan and eastern North Dakota; south to central Florida, the Gulf Coast, and eastern Texas.


I'm so thankful we had the opportunity to experience this wonder of nature. These moths are bigger than any I've ever seen and are simply beautiful! We have since found two adult moths in out back yard.

Hey Mom, How About Coaching Your Kids? - A Guest Post By Lynn Banis

Monday, August 16, 2010

Coaching is all the rage now days but what about coaching for children? Parents are in a perfect position to use some coaching skills to help their children develop their self-esteem, confidence and sense of responsibility. It can also be used to help them with goal setting and attainment.

First I would like to differentiate coaching from other helping professions. Coaching is a partnership. The coach asks open-ended questions to help the coachees think through issues for themselves. Coaches help coachees examine their beliefs and values and to keep them in alignment. Coaching is not counseling, therapy, advising, mentoring or consulting. Coaching skills are tool parents can use to help their children grow, learn and develop as human beings.
Two of the primary coaching skills that parents can use are active listening skills and powerful questioning skills. Most of us were never taught these skills in school but they are essential to good communication and understanding.

In active listening you pay attention to nothing but the speaker. You clear your mind of distraction and focus on what the speaker is and is not saying. Sometimes what is not said is as important or more important than what is said. Active listening also includes paying attention to body language and noting when it does not say the same thing as verbal language.

Powerful questioning starts with open-ended questions that are designed to help the coachee think for themselves. They are never leading questions but rather questions that make the coachee think more broadly than they are thinking currently. They are “what” and “how” questions not “why” questions.

Here are some examples of powerful questions parents can use with children:
1. What are you going to do next?

2. How can you make that work for you?

3. What will happen if you do that?

4. What is most important to you?

5. Which one of your goals or values does that relate to?

6. How is that working for you?

7. If you knew the answer what would it be?

8. Which one of these ideas do you want to work on?

9. How will doing that impact other people?

10. What felt the best about doing that?

If you are unsure about trying some of this with your children it might be really helpful to hire a good, well-trained coach to get you started and to teach you some more about powerful questioning. A good coach can also help you with other difficult parenting issues.

Lynn Banis, PhD, MCC

The High Performance Coach

Read more posts from the Hey Mom Series here, here and here. Moms work hard and deserve encouragement! Please share this post with other Moms you know.

Lynn is a Master Certified Coach with years of experiences helping moms through tough situations. She would love to answer your questions on a weekly basis. What are you struggling with? What questions do you have about getting through the day? Leave her a few comments with your questions and concerns and she will be happy to write about them in future posts. To find out more about Lynn and how she can help you live your passion, visit her at: www.discoverypointcoaching.com/blog





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