Friday, August 27, 2010

Pigtails Melt My Heart

Lilian was born with a full head of hair, and for 2 years all I've
wanted to do is to style it.

It's not fair... when I try to style Lilian's hair, she pulls the clips
out or declares "off" and makes me take them out.
But when we visit my mother-in-law, she not only lets her style her hair
however we want, but she keeps it in all day!

So... here's today's cuteness! (And she looks more like Baby Me when
her hair is pulled back). (Cell phone pics while we're out and about at
the in-laws, excuse the photo quality.)
*D*

Need a Promotion at Work? Make Sure you Wash Your Vagina!

I can't believe this is a CURRENT ad... not one of those vintage ones from the 50's, when it was acceptable to insult women!

See it here... the magazine ad that tells you to wash your vajayjay to advance in the workplace! Wow, just wow.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

National Dog Day...

In honor of National Dog Day, which I didn't know it was when I wrote this about Ruby this morning... I'd like to point my newer readers back to this blog entry about my other chihuahuas, and one of my favorite entries:
It Was Always Her

We Just "Get" Each Other


My best friend is a dog.

She's not my baby (anymore), she's not my partner, but she's my soulmate.

Ruby was my first dog ever. We got her in 2003, spontaneously in a mall. Missy picked her out, but I was in love immediately. I took her everywhere including restaurants (in my purse), bars, road trips, street fairs, etc. We have a bunch of dogs now, and though I love them all, I swear there is something special about this dog. It's like she's a human trapped in a chihuahua's body. She listens to me and knows exactly what I'm talking about. And she talks back. Everyone who has ever met her has recognized that there is something special about her.

The best part about her though, is that she's funny. I swear she has a sense of humor. And sometimes she doesn't mean to be funny, and when we laugh at her, she gets embarrassed. If you hug her too much, she growls under her breath as though to say "enough, mom, I get it, you love me," like a teenager might. She's cranky but sweet. She's bossy and maternal. She loves people and can't understand why someone wouldn't love her, she gets offended if you don't pet her. She loves massages. She's too civilized to eat out of dog bowls on the floor, so she carries mouthfuls of kibble onto the couch or bed and eats it there, then goes back for another mouthful. She can hang out outside without a leash, because she listens. She can attend our parties (and came to my baby shower which was out of the house) because she's social and well behaved. She's loving and cuddly, but also has an independent streak, she likes her alone time.

I almost lost her once. She has severe allergies, we got her allergy tested and she has a laundry list of allergies, some worse than others. In July of 2007, we had a house guest who chose to ignore that, and fed her rice on more than one occasion. Over the course of a week she got sicker and sicker, and we had to take her to the vet. Her intestines were shutting down, she needed to be hospitalized, put on a special diet, and a course of antibiotics. This was the same day as our bridal shower, so after we dropped her off, we started driving to New Jersey. I was partially there when I got a phone call. They had given her the penicillin shot, and she was allergic to that too and her heart stopped. It was actually the vet tech that noticed.... they had put her in a cage in the hospital wing and the tech kept visiting and noticed that her health was rapidly declining. She got lethargic, got labored breathing, and eventually passed out, so the tech ran and got the vet. They were able to bring her back - and called me - and I turned the car around in hysterics. They told me there was nothing I could do for her, it would be touch and go for the rest of the weekend. I didn't care, I needed to see her, I couldn't imagine life without her. They told me it may be traumatic for her to see me and have me leave, but I didn't care. I walked in, and she lit up in her cage, she started wagging her tail and I could see love in her eyes. The tech told me it was the most life she had seen in her eyes in hours. We were a few hours late to our own bridal shower, and I showed up with puffy eyes, but Ruby recovered and we were sent home with an epinephrine shot for her in case of an emergency. We've never needed it.

In one of the greatest ironies of my life... I got allergy tested many years ago too, and I'm allergic to cats, dogs, dust, mold, sesame, and tuna. My cat and mold allergies are severe, but my dog allergy is manageable with meds (and I seem to be more allergic to some dogs than others). And Ruby's list of allergies includes: beef, rice, wheat, trees, grass, mold, pollen, and humans. My best friend and I are literally allergic to each other.

Ruby is quirky, funny, and imperfect. And in my eyes, perfect. She's gotten a little old (she's 7), her peach colored eyebrows have faded to white, she's a little chubby, and a little crankier each year. But she's the best dog I've ever met, we just "get" each other. I love her.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Things They Say...


Sometimes kids say weird things. Babble, or things that don't really make sense. But sometimes they say things, and just because YOU don't know what they're talking about, doesn't mean they're wrong!

So, at Lilian's birthday party before anyone was leaving, I found her standing on the corner of the deck saying "bye bye, bye bye" over and over again. I thought she was nuts! I told her no one was leaving! But yet she kept waving and saying bye bye, so I looked where she was looking, and sure enough, a balloon was floating away and we watched it and waved until we couldn't see it anymore.


Then today, she was sitting on the bed, looking rather distressed ad saying "uh oh, uh oh" over and over. I didn't see anything wrong though, so I tried to talk about something else with her. But she looked guilty, and she just couldn't let it go, but I only took my eyes off her for a second (we were coloring in a coloring book in bed), and I couldn't imagine what would cause her to be saying "uh oh." Then I noticed it. I had a big container of diet Lemonade on my nightstand, and the corner was kind of dark (it looks brighter with flash in the photo on the left), so I didn't see it right away. But sure enough, there was a (green glitter) crayon floating in my drink. Thanks, kid! For what it's worth, at least she felt guilty about it and knew she did something wrong. And did I still drink it, you ask? Yep! I fished the crayon out, and I'm still drinking it now, as a matter of fact.

It's all part of being a mom...

WINNER - Personalized Boutique


Finally, we've drawn the winner for the Personalized Boutique engraved birthstone necklace.


Since there were so many entries, I decided to do this drawing "old school." And to go with that theme... I put all the paper ballots in an original Dukes of Hazzard lunchbox. (This lunchbox belongs to my wife, it's one of her prized possessions, she's had it for a long, long, looong time.)


Going with the "old school" theme, the ballots are written in Crayola crayon. 64 in all. How funny, 64 ballots like the old "64" boxes of crayons.

We folded them and put them in the lunchbox.
Lilian couldn't wait to get on her hands on that lunchbox! Gimme gimme gimme!

And she's picking... the big moment!
And the winner is...
Kathy from Wannabe Earth Mamas blog.

Sad you didn't win? Please head over to Personalized Boutique and place an order! To receive a discount, enter coupon code LFB (for Lil Family Blog) to receive 10% off any purchase at www.personalizedboutique.com

Thank you to everyone who entered! I have a few current giveaways going on right now, please click on the Giveaway link at the top of the page to go enter.

And... as always... while you're here, please click on one of the ADS. It really does make a difference. Before you leave the page, click on an ad... please?

Monday, August 23, 2010

This Still Happens? (A Religion vs. Homosexuality Experience)


So, a few weeks ago, we took an impromptu road trip, which I already wrote about, but I haven't yet wrote about an interesting experience.

Living in the northeast, and spending more time on the internet than I do out in real society, I honestly forget that homophobia still exists. It seems so old fashioned and ignorant... yet once in a while, I'm reminded that it's still out there, and I'm usually surprised. I feel a great big "oh yeah", then move on with my happy, sheltered life.

When I first started my journey towards sexual identity discovery, I was 18 and in college and away from home for the first time. I started recognizing feelings and attractions towards both sexes and coming to terms with that. Coming out is a whole other issue... to family, friends, co-workers, etc. But once you're there, and 10 years go by, it just seems like a part of life. And though I've loved both sexes, the person I've chosen to spend my life with is a woman, and so I lead a lesbian life, and we have a beautiful little girl, and that is just who I am now. It just seems so normal. We don't have any gay couple friends currently (we have a few non-hetero friends that aren't married/committed), but most everyone we hang out with is heterosexual, and I sometimes forget that we are "different." Maybe they do too.

But, back to the topic. When I volunteered to drive my friend LC to Virginia Beach to attend her BFF's baby shower, I just kind of expected we'd stay at her parent's house. I knew LC and her boyfriend RD had stayed there, I knew they had a nice size house, and I just kinda assumed. But before we left, I just asked to be sure we had somewhere to stay. And LC shocked me by telling me she was pretty sure we wouldn't be able to stay at her parents' house, because her mom was a "religia-bitch" (her word, not mine) and wouldn't allow homosexuals to stay (sin) in her house. Wow. Just wow. My mind was blown. I didn't mind, I knew we could stay somewhere else, but I just couldn't believe that there were still people out there like that! I mean, surely they must exist, but I thought only in swamps where they inbred and played banjos or something. Her step-daughter whom she raised from young teenagerhood (LC's step-sister) is also "on our team" and in a long-term partnered relationship (though they don't believe in "marriage"), and when they come to visit, they also aren't allowed to stay in the house. So it's not personal, it's policy! Our friend, LC, asked her mom anyway, and was given the usual "no", but wanted to still see her, and she refused. So at least she had our back there, but I was still so surprised by the situation. It didn't make any difference to her that we were legally married and had a child together.

And to make the situation more unclear, she also doesn't believe in sex before marriage or cohabitation before marriage... so when her daughter LC and her boyfriend stayed there, they couldn't stay in the same room. But they do live together now (I guess it's the "not under my roof" excuse), and we weren't given the option to stay there but sleep in different rooms. And for what it's worth, she (the mom) is divorced and remarried (hence the step-child).

That's exactly what I don't understand about religion (Christianity specifically). Sex/cohabitation before marriage is a sin. Homosexuality is a sin. And divorce is a sin. 3 sins. But two are forgivable, and one not. For some reason, the happily-married with a child same-sex couple is "worse" than the unmarried, living in sin couple. And for her to get divorced and remarried is forgivable, but two women raising a child is not. What makes one sin worse than another? I understand that murder is worse than theft, and theft may be worse than telling a lie (maybe, who knows). But homosexual marriage is worse than divorce? And so unforgivable, that you cannot permit them to enter your home? And even if we are horrible sinners, isn't that for Jesus to judge (I was raised Jewish anyway, I'm no expert on these laws) later and shouldn't a good Christian show everyone the same love, respect and hospitality?

In any case, we were given the offer to stay at a family friend's house, but in the end stayed in a hotel because we thought it would be better and easier for everyone. We had a nice time, and we never did meet LC's family. And this isn't so much about her mom, as it is about religion... and why I just "don't get it." I'm sure her mom may be great for many other reasons, but for this reason, I just knew I was better than her. I don't judge people based on who they love. And I don't exclude people from my life, home, or friends based on their beliefs. Believe it or not, I would (and do) allow Christians into MY home! The situation didn't insult me or make me feel bad about myself, but it did make me feel some pity for her. Afterall, missing out on meeting Lilian is definitely a loss, she's an AWESOME kid.

Living where i do, I just forget that this kind of thing still happens. It is completely uncool and politically incorrect to do something like this up here, but I guess down south, values are different. Well, this just reinforces that I'll never find myself living "down there", and I feel lucky to have grown up and live in a more enlightened place. I don't understand religion, and I plan on raising my child with values of love, respect, and equality ... leaving out the judgments and hatred that religion can sometimes breed.



*Disclamier* I know that not ALL Christians or religious people believe this or act this way... I actually know a few that don't! And I know that not ALL Southerners are like this either, again, I know a few that are the opposite. I'm not making generalizations. I am simply explaining ONE experience I had, and talking about one woman and her one rule. So you may agree or disagree with her, and you may be religious or not, and you may be gay or straight... but I am making no assumptions about you or your "kind."

Food Should Taste Good - REVIEW & GIVEAWAY


Another review and giveaway, two in one day! This one, not just for parents though... Everyone likes to eat!


We were lucky enough to try some delicious chips from Food Should Taste Good. I was allowed to choose 5 different flavors, and they came packaged in a beautiful black logo box (see below) and timing couldn't be more perfect, they came a week before Lilian's 2nd birthday party, so I shared them with our party guests.



I chose blue corn, cheddar, chocolate, multigrain, and olive to get a good sampling. Other flavors also include jalapeno, the works!, sweet potato, lime, and yellow corn (forgive me if I forgot any flavors, but I think I got them all!) I arranged them in an adorable starfish chip dish with some salsa in the middle.


Pictured below starting at the top and going clockwise is cheddar, multigrain, chocolate, olive, and blue corn. (Click on photo to see it larger)


And man, were they all delicious! And my guests thought so too. Hopefully some of my guests will comment here and say which they liked best, but by the end of the party, the dish was completely empty, but the regular Tostidos, Doritos, pita chips, and potato chips each had half a basket remaining, so people either liked the fancy chips... or preferred eating out of a pink starfish!

Lilian is a huge fan of chips. In her Easter basket this year, she got candy, toys, and a big green shiny bag of Herrs sour cream and onion chips, and she went for the chips first and ignored the toys and chocolate. It's her favorite snack food, so her opinion really matters to me. But also important, is the ingredients and nutritional content of these chips. Lilian liked all 5 flavors we tried, but she keeps going back for the chocolate. But the days after the party, I gave her just one bag at a time, and she likes them all. But also important to me, is what is inside. You can read all the ingredients on the Food Should Taste Good website, but besides corn and sea salt and natural oils, there are healthy things in there like soy protein, quinoa, oat fiber, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, etc. There are no "chemicals I can't pronounce" listed in the ingredients, and that makes me feel good. The chips average about 7 grams of fat per serving (which isn't that bad for a chip), around 140 calories, but about 3 grams of protein. I feel good about feeding Lilian healthy, whole grain ingredients instead of some bleached potatoes or corn, chemicals, high fructose corn syrup, and salt.

And the fancy flavors... are divine.

Blue Corn: tastes like a classic tortilla chip. For what it's worth, I'd consider these "plain" flavored. But they were crispy, salty, and delicious! To me, a perfect tortilla chip, great for salsa or other classic Mexican recipes. As a warning though, they are VERY salty, so if you are sensitive to that or can't eat that, they may not be the chip for you. For me, salt = delicious, so it's not a problem.

Multigrain: somewhere between a chip and a cracker, they were slightly thicker than the corn chips. The seeds and grains are very visible and obvious, they LOOK healthy! They have a pretty shape (hexagon) and look great in a dish. They were delicious, very full tasting. I love the taste of whole grain products (i hate the plain, bland taste of white bread or other bleached foods), and so these tasted naturally delicious to me.

Cheddar: These chips are the same as the multigrain, but with some added cheese powder. They reminded me of the cheddar Sun Chips if you've ever had those, only without the ridges. The cheese was very tasty, and didn't have the horrific neon orange color of some more artificial chips.

Olive: The winner for me. If you've been following my blog since way back when I was pregnant, you'll know that I was never an olive-eater before pregnancy, but my pregnancy craving was olives... the aglio (garlic) gourmet ones you get from olive bars. Several times a week, I'd have to run out and get more, and these were the guilty pleasure that got me through pregnancy. And funny enough, since she was old enough to eat, Lilian has loved olives too. When I tried these chips at the party, dipped in salsa, they were good, but I wasn't in love. But trying them again today, plain, I'm in love. The flavor is subtle, yet intense. If you are an olive lover, you'll be impressed at how they've captured the flavor in a chip without it being overwhelming. Even my wife, Missy, who is NOT an olive lover, loved these chips. When I go out to purchase more, this will be the first flavor I buy.

Chocolate: most people saw the bag and said "ew." But these were surprisingly good. They are still salty like a tortilla chip should be, but they have an understated chocolate aftertaste. They are made with semisweet chocolate and cocoa powder, so they are not sweet or overly rich. It's a corn chip with a pure cocoa aftertaste. I did try dipping it in salsa and it wasn't bad, but I could sit and eat them plain. And Missy had a fabulous idea to make "dessert nachos" with them - throw some ice cream, bananas, caramel on top and make a nacho plate. We haven't tried it yet (we need a new bag), but we will!


All 5 were yummy though, and I need to go out and buy the lime and the works! because I regret not trying those! I saw that they carry the brand at my local Stop and Shop in the health food aisle, but the website has a list of retailers where you can purchase these. This will definitely be something I purchase for my family in the future, and I'll feel good about.

WANT TO TRY?

Food Should Taste Good is going to send one box of 5 full size bags (like mine) to one lucky reader. You can choose any of the 5 flavors and mix and match.

Mandatory Entry:
You must be a public follower of my blog either via Google reader/friend connect or Networked blogs. Just leave a comment and tell me why you'd like to try these and which 5 flavors you want. Visit the Food Should Taste Good website to see all the flavors you may choose from.

Additional Entries (all worth one unless otherwise specified) Please leave SEPARATE comments for each entry you are entitled to:
* Like Lil Family Blog on Facebook
* Join/like Food Should Taste Good on Facebook .
* Click on both the "Top Mommy" brown button and "Picket Fence" buttons on the right of my page to vote for Lil Family Blog on both sites. (worth 1 total entry)
* Click on the black
Swagbucks button on the right and sign up as my referral. (Will be verified on the Swagbucks site).
* Add one of my buttons to your site (again, on the right of my page, copy the text below the button and then paste it onto the sidebar of your blog). Worth 2 entries.
* Post about this giveaway on your blog or site and leave me a link where I can see it.
* Share this contest on
Facebook. (Can be done easily with the little "F" icon on the bottom of this entry near the comments).
* Add me to your
blogroll/blog list on your site.
* You get one additional entry for every friend/family member you get to enter (they have to leave an extra comment saying who sent them).


Good luck to everyone entering!

This contest will end on September 9, 2010 at 11:59PM EST, no more entries will be accepted after that time. The winner will be chosen at random and announced within a day or two on the blog. The prize will be shipped directly from Food Should Taste Good to the winner within a reasonable amount of time. Please see my disclosure link on the top of the page for fine print.

Food Should Taste Good sent me these products for free to try and review, but all photos, words, and opinions are my own. My photos may not be used elsewhere without my permission.

And while you're here, PLEASE click on an ad or two! My advertisers like it and so do I... and it really does help! Thanks! Seriously, go click one!

Like giveaways? Click the link on the top of the page to see ALL the giveaways I am currently offering!

Rocky Mountain Diapers - REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

In our cloth diapering a toddler journey, I am trying out another style, thanks to Rocky Mountain Diapers. We ordered two diapers, one for Lilian to try and one to give away. We were sent the grapefruit/lime and mango/lime combos - (meaning pink and orange, both lined with green.) We tried the pink one on Lilian, since I am crazy about the color pink, and so we could give away the more gender neutral color.

(Below, Lilian models the Rocky Mountain grapefruit/lime diaper. If you have a toddler, you know it's sometimes impossible to get their attention, and often difficult to get them to what you want them to, when you want them to, so please excuse the fact that she wouldn't look at the camera, at least we can see the diaper well!)

The website for Rocky Mountain Diapers has an awesome history of the adjustable elastic diaper where they give credit where credit is due, in inventing the adjustable diapers. But, something I like about this diaper vs. some other one-size brands, is that the adjustment system is inside, which you can see in the 2 diagrams in the center of this page, as opposed to an external fold & snap system like some others, which is both cumbersome and unattractive. The exterior is made of PUL, a waterproof fabric to prevent leaking (so no cover is needed) and the interior is a (colored) soft suedecloth, which helps keep the skin dry. And since they are a pocket diaper, they require a microfiber liner... which comes included with the diaper (another benefit, no hidden costs!) They come in 6 colors, but with a different color inside and out, so I assume there are 30 total color combinations. The colors are cutely coded with fruit names: grapefruit = pink, mango = orange, lemon = yellow, lime = green, berries = blue, and chocolate (OK, not a fruit, but still delicious) = brown. And because these are one size adjustable diapers, you should be able to buy your stash for your newborn, and use them until potty training!


A few more shots of Lilian modeling her Rocky Mountain Diaper.

So how did it work for us?
Wonderfully!
Since Lilian is nearly 2 at the time of these photos, and 22 pounds, we didn't need to tighten any of the elastics, but it had a nearly perfect fit (on the tighest snap setting on the waist). The inside mircrosuede fabric is incredibly soft, and different than a fleece, is unlikely to pill. The pocket has a top flap, so the insert doesn't peek out, so the diaper has a very streamlined, neat look to it. Lilian wore the diaper for a 4 hour stretch at her grandma's house, and we had no leaks! It washed beautifully, it still looks like it's brand new, no fading or pilling. The colors are adorable. And, I like that it's adjustable, so if she is lucky enough to get a baby brother or sister, we can use it right from the start! I prefer snaps over velcro, because although it may take an extra 30 seconds to fasten on the child, they don't get caught on things in the laundry, and they told collect lint and ickiness like velcro can. To me, snaps last longer and look better for longer, and the lifespan of the diaper is important to me when making choices. And my last favorite part about the diaper, may seem silly to others, but is important to me: color and cuteness factor. It is important to me that everything I purchase and use is cute and attractive. Function is just as important as appearance. And these are totally cute, but my favorite part, is the colored interior. White never seems to keep its crisp appearance after the first few washes and starts to look old, discolored, stained, and just ick. But the fact that you can choose the interior color of these diapers, and the insides are pink, green, blue, etc. for me makes all the difference. Stains or discoloration may not harm the functionality of the diaper, but for me it ruins the experience. And the colored interiors I think will look nicer for longer, increasing the lifespan of the diaper.

WIN ONE!

I have the orange Rocky Mountain diaper pictured to give away to one reader!

Mandatory Entry:
You must be a public follower of my blog either via Google reader/friend connect or Networked blogs. Just leave a comment and tell me about the diapers you currently use and what works for you.

Additional Entries (all worth one unless otherwise specified) Please leave SEPARATE comments for each entry you are entitled to:
* Like Lil Family Blog on Facebook
* Join Rocky Mountain Diapers on Facebook.
* Click on both the "Top Mommy" brown button and "Picket Fence" buttons on the right of my page to vote for Lil Family Blog on both sites. (worth 1 total entry)
* Click on the black
Swagbucks button on the right and sign up as my referral. (Will be verified on the Swagbucks site).
* Add one of my buttons to your site (again, on the right of my page, copy the text below the button and then paste it onto the sidebar of your blog). Worth 2 entries.
* Post about this giveaway on your blog or site and leave me a link where I can see it.
* Share this contest on
Facebook. (Can be done easily with the little "F" icon on the bottom of this entry near the comments).
* Add me to your
blogroll/blog list on your site.
* You get one additional entry for every friend/family member you get to enter (they have to leave an extra comment saying who sent them).


This contest will end on September 3, 2010 at 11:59PM EST, no more entries will be accepted after that time. The winner will be chosen at random and announced within a day or two on the blog. The prize will be shipped directly from me to the winner within a reasonable amount of time, but has been provided by Rocky Mountain Diapers, and I cannot be responsible for any defects or issues with the product. Please see my disclosure link on the top of the page for fine print.

Good luck to everyone entering, and please visit the GIVEAWAYS tab at the top of the page for other cool giveaways, and product reviews to read!

*Disclaimer* - I purchased this product from the wholesale/blogger portion of their website and will be refunded the full value of the item upon review. I was not paid in any other form for our review. All photos, words, and opinions are my own except those quoted. Photos may not be used anywhere else on the web without my permission.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Art That Makes me Gasp


This is the kind of blog where I post a lot of links... but once in a while something blows my mind, and this is one of those times.
Shared on Twitter by the lovely Sunny Bananas, this is the kind of art that makes me gasp.

http://kronikle.kidrobot.com/pencil-tip-micro-sculptures-by-dalton-ghetti/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturepicturegalleries/7916457/Pencil-sculptures-miniature-masterpieces-carved-into-graphite-by-Dalton-Ghetti.html

I've always had a fascination for the tiny... and I just love, love, love these. I also just love that he doesn't sell them, rather gives them as gifts only. And I also love that he keeps all the broken ones, I'd probably be the same way. Seeing this makes me sad that I don't make art anymore.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Whamies Wet Bag - *Product Review*

I recently got a Wahmies wet bag to try out. What is a wet bag, you ask? For those not familiar with cloth diapering, a wet bag is a water proof, reusable bag, that you can keep your soiled diapers in before washing. You can use them in the home, or keep one in your diaper bag to put wet diapers in on the go. Wahmies says of them: "The Wahmies Fun Prints wet bag will hold your dampest diapers without wicking! Cute outer print with inner layer of PUL waterproof fabric. Bag closes with a zipper to keep smells where they belong."

They come in 3 sizes, small, regular, and all day. Mine is the regular size, which seems like it would hold about 6 diapers, which should be plenty for a outing, I'd think, but the bag is small enough that it'll fit in any diaper bag.

They come in lots of fun fabrics and prints, I was sent a cute purple, blue, and silver pattern.

The inside is lined with a white waterproof PUL fabric and it zips from end to end.

Not only for diapers: we also used the bag for wet swimsuits after a day at the pool! This way I could just throw the suits in the bag, and this bag in my beach bag and not worry about wetting the outer bag, the other things in my beach bag, or the chlorine water leaching through onto the inside of my trunk, etc.


So how did it work?
Well, not only is the bag cute, but we had no leaks and no odors. What more could I ask for? It's a good size, a good quality, and equally as important to me, attractive. In all seriousness, things need to be pretty or cute for me to purchase them and for me to enjoy using them, and this fits the bill.

You can purchase this at any of these retailers. They also produce diaper pail liners, cloth wipes, diapers and liners. We also got a Wahmies one size hook diaper to try and review, so please check back for the review on that product!

Thank you to the people at Wahmies for making an awesome product and for letting us sample it!


*Disclaimer* - I purchased this product from the wholesale/blogger portion of their website and will be refunded the full value of the item upon review. I was not paid in any other form for our review. All photos, words, and opinions are my own except those quoted. Photos may not be used anywhere else on the web without my permission.

WINNER - *Ninibugs*

We have a winner for the Ninibugs giveaway!



Congratulations to Tara! I will put you in contact with Stephanie from Ninibugs to choose your custom designed dress.



Thank you to everyone for entering and click the "Giveaways" link at the top to see the other awesome current giveaways I am offering!

Please visit the Ninibugs page, place an order, and tell Stephanie I sent you! She makes the cutest clothes with new designs coming out every week! The new bloomers for under dresses and tops are ADORABLE!

Monday, August 16, 2010

REVIEW/GIVEAWAY - Healthy Hair Plus


Lil Family Blog was given the chance to review a shampoo/conditioner combo from Healthy Hair Plus. If you know me, then you know that most of my life I've had long hair. Growing up it was always longer than shoulder length, in high school and college it was very long, I had a short hair "phase" and now it's long again. It's not straight, but not curly either. It has a bit of a wave to it, but I'd prefer to wear it straight(er). My hair is on the dry side and tangles easily. And if you've ever had long hair, you know it's a PAIN to brush after a shower.

So Healthy Hair Plus sent me Sleek and Straight shampoo and the Sleek and straight conditioner.

The shampoo comes in a 16 oz bottle and the conditioner comes in an 8 oz bottle (which for me is a little backwards, because I always tend to use a bit more conditioner than shampoo). The website says of the shampoo it Restores life and smooths out hair. This gentle moisturizing shampoo is enhanced with plant extracts for gentle and complete smoothing of hair. A generous lather restores life, moisture, bounce, and body while fighting frizz. Natural moisturizing botanicals and gentle cleansers for dry, brittle hair." Some of the ingredients that stand out are aloe, sage extract, melissa extract, witch hazel, and other herbs. It is meant to smooth and moisturize hair to control frizz. The shampoo smells like coconut (and summer).

The conditioner is said to: nourish and enrich hair while leveling & smoothing. Sleek and Straight® Conditioner for straight hair seals in moisture and locks out humidity to aid in styling straight hair and fighting frizzing." It also has a lot of herbs in it such as extracts of: Matricaria, Sage, Cranesbill, Yarrow, Balm Mint, Lemongrass, Oak Bark, Witch Hazel, Rose Hips and peppermint essential oil. It smells like peppermint and leaves a slightly tingly feeling on your scalp.

So... how did it work for me???
In short... excellent! I used the set for about a week, and although it doesn't make my hair "straight", it does control the frizz and helps weigh it down a bit for a sleeker look. Since my hair is on the dry side and very long, I need a deep moisturizing shampoo and conditioner and this offered that. My hair feels soft and silky and not dried out at all. After showering, I was able to brush out my hair with minimal tangles and let it air dry.
While we were away for the weekend for Lilian's birthday, I also used the shampoo on her and my wife used it as well! Missy (my wife) asked where I got it... because she liked it so much. And Lilian's hair has a bit of a wave/curl to it like mine also, and the third day we were away, she got a lot of compliments on having a "good hair day", so it seems to help her too! My only complaint is that although they both smell very good, it's kind of strange to me that they don't smell the same, or at least coordinate better. I'd never imagine putting coconut and peppermint together. I prefer the mint fragrance, but I'm not a huge fan of coconut anyway. I would definitely buy this product though (and I might when these run out!)


Want to try it???


Healthy Hair Plus is giving not one, but TWO of my readers a Sleek and Straight shampoo/conditioner combo to try out.

Mandatory Entry:
You must be a public follower of my blog either via Google reader/friend connect or Networked blogs. Just leave a comment and tell me something about your hair care routine or some interesting face about your hair.

Additional Entries (all worth one unless otherwise specified) Please leave SEPARATE comments for each entry you are entitled to:
* Like Lil Family Blog on Facebook
* Click on both the "Top Mommy" brown button and "Picket Fence" buttons on the right of my page to vote for Lil Family Blog on both sites. (worth 1 total entry)
* Click on the black
Swagbucks button on the right and sign up as my referral. (Will be verified on the Swagbucks site).
* Add one of my buttons to your site (again, on the right of my page, copy the text below the button and then paste it onto the sidebar of your blog). Worth 2 entries.
* Post about this giveaway on your blog or site and leave me a link where I can see it.
* Share this contest on
Facebook. (Can be done easily with the little "F" icon on the bottom of this entry near the comments).
* Add me to your
blogroll/blog list on your site.
* You get one additional entry for every friend/family member you get to enter (they have to leave an extra comment saying who sent them).

So all together including the mandatory entry, each person can get 9 entries on their own, plus an infinite amount if they get their friends and family to come and enter as referrals! Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry you're entitled to.

This contest will end on September 1, 2010 at 11:59PM EST, no more entries will be accepted after that time. The winners will be chosen at random and announced within a day or two on the blog. The prize will be shipped directly from Healthy Hair Plus to the winner within a reasonable amount of time. Please see my disclosure link on the top of the page for fine print.

Healthy Hair Plus sent me these products for free to try and review, but all photos, words, and opinions are my own (except those quoted). My photo may not be used elsewhere without my permission.

And while you're here, PLEASE click on an ad or two! My advertisers like it and so do I... and it really does help! Thanks!

Like giveaways? Click the link on the top of the page to see ALL the giveaways I am currently offering!

*WINNER* - Mother-Ease Cloth Diaper



Congratulations to Mandy for winning the Mother-Ease Cloth Diaper set!
Please get in touch with me and let me know what color/size you'd like.

Thanks to everyone for entering and please visit Mother-Ease and place an order!


Mother-ease Cloth Diapers


I also will have TWO more cloth diaper giveaways coming up this week, so please keep checking back! Also giveaways for shampoo/conditioner, and yummy chips coming up! Refer me to your friends and leave lots of comments! <3

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lilian's Almost Birthday (wish list)

Lilian's birthday party is a week away, and some people asked me for gift ideas...
so we made her a Toys R Us wish list! You can see it here!
Thank you! We can't wait to see you all! I can't believe my baby is turning 2.

WINNER - Earth Mama * Angel Baby

We have a winner for the Earth Mama* Angel Baby giveaway! Because it seemed cruel to make Lilian eat so many M&Ms 3-4 days in a row, I used random.com to choose the winner for this contest!

The winner was the 16th comment, or Shanna's comment, as you can see below!
*Shanna* You didn't put your email address and it says that your blogger profile is private, so I'm not sure how to get in touch with you! Please send me an email or leave me your email address somewhere! Thanks!

Thank you to everyone for entering! Shanna, please get in touch with me and give me your mailing address so I can pass it on to the awesome people at Earth Mama Angel Baby and they can ship out your prize!

Please check out my other giveaways and we have 3 more coming up next week! Thanks for all your support, comments, and love!

(And while you're here, click on an ad for me! My sponsers like it... and it really helps me! Oh... and see the brown Top Mommy Blogs and Picket Fence logos on the right... click on those to vote for Lil Family Blog... please!)

WINNER - Kiss My Face giveaway!

We had a lot of entries, so it took Lilian 2 days to pick the winner for the Kiss My Face Peace Soaps giveaway.

But thanks for everyone's patience! It was a lot of M&Ms and Lilian is a tiny kid.


So without further delay...





Lilian grins after being handed her new tin of M&Ms to eat!


Still eating!



And the winner is... LIGHT PINK!

Danielle E (Evie's Mom) is our winner! Please contact me and give me your shipping address and I'll get these in the mail to you early next week!

Thank you to everyone for entering, and please check out the other current giveaways we're offering... and I have more coming including a Yo Gabba Gabba DVD, yummy gourmet chips, and shampoo/conditioner! Keep checking back at the end of this week/next week!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Drawing the Kiss My Face winner

Forgive the camera phone quality, but we're at my Mother-in-Law's house
in East Hampton today, and I didn't want to wait any longer to draw the
winner. So after a trip to Dylan's Candy Bar to buy some M&Ms (and a
new tin M&M tote for Lilian), we're ready to pick a winner!

This time there were a lot more entries.... and we used EVERY single
color M&M produces! This may be our last M&M drawing, because if I run
out of colors, I'll need a new system, and we're getting more readers
and entries!

So, Lilian is munching away on her M&Ms and by the end of the evening,
we'll have a winner (and some cute photos from my real camera once we're
home.)

Good luck to all 20 colors!
*D*

She's Almost Two! (video)




Saturday, August 7, 2010

Unplanned Road Trip...

Well for those of you wondering what happened to us this weekend...

My friend Lizzie got a new job this week... and today was one of her
BFF's baby shower. She told her that she couldn't attend (since it was
in VA and we're in NY) because she couldn't ask for time off at a brand
new job. Then, as life would have it, the new job didn't work out, so
she was free for the weekend, but had no way to get to Virginia and had
missed the last Chinatown bus (the cheap kind), and so she was sad. So
I told Lizzie at 6PM (shower was 12:30PM today) last night "I'll drive
you to Virginia if you pay for gas & tolls!" I had actually napped a
lot yesterday, so I was pretty OK to do an overnight drive (and I drove
the 11.5 hours by myself), and so she talked it over with her boyfriend,
and around 8PM we decided it was "a go", and so we left our house at
10PM... picked her up around 11:15, and got to Virginia Beach at 9:30am,
with 4 potty breaks (literally just running in to pee & buy more
caffeinated diet soda for me)! I took a nap for 3ish hours (or "slept"
for that matter) and we went to the baby shower!

So, it was a spontaneous adventure for me and my family, which we
haven't done in a while. And Lizzie said it was the sweetest thing a
friend has ever done for her... which makes me feel good. There are
things I can't do for my friends... I can't buy extravagant gifts (or
really any gifts for that matter), I can't afford fun vacations or
"girls' nights out", I can't lift heavy things and help you move, I suck
at cleaning, etc. But when it's something as simple as pulling an all
nighter and driving, I love to help when I can. (I also love to drive,
it relaxes me).

So... that's why I'm in Virginia. As a favor to a friend. We're
heading back north tomorrow. And... major shout out and thank you to
AJW who is staying at our house to dog-sit, which is just as important
to making this possible for Lizzie.

And for those blog readers who are anxiously awaiting the winner of the
Kiss My Face giveaway (and didn't even know I was away)... I didn't
forget! Lilian and I will pick the winner as soon as we get home. I'm
sure you understand, sometimes life just takes you funny places. I try
to give whenever/whatever I can... and I hope there are some people out
there who would do the same for me!


(Updating from my mobile phone, please forgive me if the font or
formatting is wonky!)
*D*

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Giveaway Scout

Giveaway Scout comtacted me and asked me if they could include my blog in their listings! Of course, I'm honored! Thank you!
If you like entering giveaways, check out their website!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

One More Step Towards Equality....


Read the full article from CNN here.

Same-sex marriage is currently legal in five U.S. states and in the District of Colombia, while civil unions are permitted in New Jersey. The five states are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa and New Hampshire.

The way I understand it is that this overturn on the ban says that it's unconstitutional to NOT allow gay marriage, but I'm not sure that it specifically does allow it. Right?

Well, every step forward is a step in the right direction. Baby steps I suppose...

Ninibugs *REVIEW and GIVEAWAY*


Another product review & giveaway from Lil Family Blog, but this time the business owner is a friend of mine! Stephanie has a company called Ninibugs and she makes and sells the cutest custom clothing for kids!

Stephanie let me pick a fabric and a style... and then custom created this adorable pillow-case dress for Lilian! Since I like to dress both me AND Lilian in black (but there isn't much of a selection for black toddler clothing) I chose the black strawberry fabric with a pink ribbon trim. The dress came quickly and of professional quality. And as you can see, it's just plain adorable! And since the neckline ribbon is adjustable, when she gets taller, it can be used as a top with jeans or leggings or a matching skirt!



And as you can tell from the below photo, Lilian loves it too!





Flat:


A back view...


In addition to the pillow case dress, Ninibugs makes ruffle tops/pants, adorable short/pant rompers, the knot dress, the butterfly top, boys' rompers, and boys' pants/tank top combos. She has made adorable matching sets for twins and siblings in complimenting patterns. And the best part, is that they are completely customizable and reasonably priced!

BUY IT!
Go to Ninibugs online and pick your style, then visit Ninibugs on Facebook to view all of the current and available fabrics! Tell Stephanie that Lil Family Blog sent you and receive 15% off your order!

WIN IT!
One lucky reader will win an outfit/dress of their own! Choose from select styles including butterfly top, pillowcase dress (halter or regular style), pillowcase romper, or snuggle pants for girls or either romper, snuggle pants, or shorts/pants and top for boys and choose from any available fabrics. Ninibugs reserves the right to make any slight variations on the style or substitute a similar fabric in the occasion that one runs out. But Stephanie is awesome to work with, you'll love the result!

Mandatory Entry:
You must be a public follower of my blog either via Google reader/friend connect or Networked blogs. Then go to the Ninibugs page and tell me about your favorite outfit you see there!

Additional Entries (all worth one unless otherwise specified) Please leave SEPARATE comments for each entry you are entitled to:
* Add Ninibugs on Facebook as your friend and tell me your favorite fabric.
* Like Lil Family Blog on Facebook
* Click on both the "Top Mommy" brown button and "Picket Fence" buttons on the right of my page to vote for Lil Family Blog on both sites.
* Click on the black Swagbucks button on the right and sign up as my referral. (Will be verified on the Swagbucks site). Worth 2 entries.
* Add one of my buttons to your site (again, on the right of my page, copy the text below the button and then paste it onto the sidebar of your blog). Worth 3 entries.
* Post about this giveaway on your blog or site and leave me a link where I can see it. Worth 2 entries.
* Share this contest on Facebook. (Can be done easily with the little "F" icon on the bottom of this entry near the comments).
* Add me to your blogroll/blog list on your site.
* You get one additional entry for every friend/family member you get to enter (they have to leave an extra comment saying who sent them).

So all together including the mandatory entry, each person can get 13 entries on their own, plus an infinite amount if they get their friends and family to come and enter as referrals! Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry you're entitled to.

his contest will end on August 18th at 11:59PM EST, no more entries will be accepted after that time. The winner will be chosen at random and announced within a day or two on the blog. The prize will be shipped directly from Ninibugs to the winner within a reasonable amount of time. Please see my disclosure link on the top of the page for fine print.

Ninibugs sent Lilian this dress for free for us to try and review. The photos, words, and opinions are all mine. No photos may be used elsewhere without my permission.

And while you're here, PLEASE click on an ad or two! My advertisers like it and so do I... and it really does help! Thanks!

Like giveaways? Click the link on the top of the page to see ALL the giveaways I am currently offering!

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Care Bears Dance

A few weeks back, I wrote about Lilian's Care Bear obsession.... but here is some video proof of how insane she gets when the movie comes on! The movie kind of puts her in a trance, until this one song comes on... then she gets up and does a frantic dance with a very intense face on. It's hilarious! She gets a little shy when the camera comes out, but I did my best to try to capture it!

Splashing at The Plaza


Yesterday I spent the day in New York City with my Lil' Family. We went because it was Lilian's cousin Violet's first birthday, but while we were there we decided to spend the day and see everyone we could!

After the birthday celebration, we spent an hour or so walking around Central Park. Missy bought Lilian a balloon "animal" (I don't think the guy was very qualified, he was mostly making balloon twists, but oh well!) And we tried to take her on the carousel, but it's been closed for months!
Lilian loves animals and Central Park is full of horse-drawn carriages, and every time one passed, she'd get so excited and shout "whore!" I'm 90% sure she was attempting to say "horse", but in Central Park, you just never know...

Then we met up with some people to take her on her first trip to FAO Schwartz. While we waited for them, Lilian splashed around at The Plaza. I always wanted to be the kind of mom that lets her kid jump in the fountain at a 5 star hotel, so I'm glad not much has changed!

SPLASH!





Next we met up with some friends: Lilian's godfather R and his girlfriend L, and Lilian's dad (donor) BS and his girlfriend V. And my mom and her dog, Travis, popped in and said hi too, since her apartment is nearby!
We walked around the stuffed animal section of FAO Schwartz and Lilian pointed and named all of the animals! We then checked out the Design your Own Muppet station, which was super cool! And in the Lego department, and since 2/3 of Lilian's parents are major Star Wars fans, those two posed with the lifesize Lego Chewbacca and Lilian! I was terrified that Lilian was going to pull out one block and the whole thing would come down Jenga-style.


Then we walked around the store and Lilian enjoyed a pink dinosaur lollipop given to her by her Auntie L! Yum.

Is this not the happiest and luckiest kid right here?




Then we went for some dinner at Blockheads, a yummy Mexican restaurant where I had a sauteed spinach burrito (I'm vegetarian) with guacamole that was SO delicious! Everyone else had a few margaritas, (which I sipped and were delicious), but not only was I driving, but I am also on a diet, so I stuck to diet Pepsi. Oh well.

Lilian slept through the entire meal... in my arm/on my shoulder. Eating a burrito one handed is a very challenging experience, but I did it! My love of burritos made me push through it and succeed!

Lilian's dad, BS, and his girlfriend V posed for a photo! (above)


Here's me holding Lilian with a really fake "photo" smile on.


While we were waiting outside for a few stragglers to use the bathroom and while we decided where to go, Lilian was a little hyper outside, and her godfather R put her in the delivery man's bicycle basket which was amusing to her for about 60 seconds before she wanted to get out and run around again.


We then went back to R & L's apartment in Brooklyn where Missy and L baked a triple berry pie (which didn't come out so great and watched a movie.

The adorable Miss L above posing with her pie ala mode, and Lilian below with her messy ice cream eating face!


We plan on going back into the city soon for Lilian to try out the new Imagination Playground that opened up at the South Street Seaport, and we didn't get time to visit my grandma on this last visit, so another visit is due soon!
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