Thursday, September 29, 2011

Luther The Graphic Novel Echoes of the Hammer

 Hi Neighbors!

I just have to share this with my neighbors At the Fence!  As a general rule, I am not big on graphic novels, but when they did one of Martin Luther, my husband just had to see it.  He has a collection of items on Martin Luther.  The children all quote, "Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me. Amen."
My children's favorite quote!  My husband's too!
Indulgences explained.

This entire graphic novel, Echoes of the Hammer, is all about Martin Luther.  His life and his stand all the way to his death.  He turned the world on end with his stand, and brought about changes that are still in effect today.  The novel by Susan Leigh, illustrated by Dave Hill is 143 pages long.  It is filled with facts from both Luther's life and the time period he lived in.  Including his marriage to Katharina von Bora.  My 10 year old has a cd base don Katharina's life.  She loves it.  Many children today are so caught up in video games and today's high speed society that they have no time for great heroes of the past.  This is a great way to introduce your children to Martin Luther and the reformation. This graphic novel shows how Luther's stand affected the whole reformation.  There is so much information packed into this book, and it is obvious that much time and thought went into producing Echoes of the Hammer.  Every couple of pages there are little interesting tidbits of information, from enemies of Luther, his friends, the cities he was in, the leaders of that time, etc.  This makes a great read for both young and old alike.

Another nice feature is all the extra facts they give you regarding the reformation.  A timeline in the back will help you to put it all together as to exactly where each event occurred.  Helps you to put it into focus.

The Diet of Worms explained.
You can purchase the graphic novel, Echoes of the Hammer on for $9.99.  Or at Concordia Publishing House.  My husband highly recommends Echoes of the Hammer.  He has his own copy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mosaic Tiles for the Kitchen

This is a nice day to swing by for a visit At the Fence.  Love having you!  We will be heading out for a game of volley-ball in a few minutes, but I wanted to drop by At the Fence and spend some time with you, my neighbors!.

We have been talking about re-painting our kitchen walls.  Especially since we are supposed to have new cupboards put in sometime in October.  Then I started thinking about how nice mosaic tiles would look in our kitchen.  I have been checking them out and I think it would seriously be an option to use mosaic tiles in our kitchen.  It would have to have at least a little red in it to match the rest of the kitchen.  The theme for our kitchen is birds.  And the main color used is red!  Our kitchen has red curtains, red appliances, mixing bowls, red everything! I am actually getting sick of red!  I think the mosaic glass tile would look especially nice.  There are so many different pattens, texture, shape, etc. to choose from.

Or maybe we could put some in our bathroom.  Ones that would go along with the Lighthouse/Beach theme.  I think that would look really neat!  We have lighthouses, seashells, crabs, and starfish decals on the walls, along with some lighthouses sitting above the shower.  So, what do you think?  Have you ever had mosaic wall tiles on your walls before?  Do you know somebody that does?  Leave a comment and let me know.

Brought to you by your friends at All thoughts and opinions are mine. 

Canon Inkjet Printers 101

An inkjet printer is a type of printer that creates a digital image by moving droplets of ink onto the paper. Canon was one of the first companies to introduce the inkjet printer and bubble jet technology in the mid 1980s. Inkjet printers are currently the most common type of printers and come in a range of models from small inexpensive options for consumer use to large professional devices. Canon inkjet printers provide a variety of options for all types of users from printing photos to important documents. An example of a great use for a Canon inkjet printer is for printing coupons to save some money.

Canon manufactures a variety of inkjet printers including Office All-in-One Inkjet Printers, Photo All-in-One Inkjet Printers, Photo Inkjet Printers, Professional Inkjet Printers, and Large Format Inkjet Printers. Canon ink-jet printers have been reviewed as being good on the go.

Office All-in-One Inkjet Printers
The PIXMA Office All-in-One enables users to easily copy, scan, fax, and print a variety of documents in one machine. There are 10 different Office All-in-One models that range in price from $49.99 to $399.99. All models include auto scan and 48-bit internal/24-bit external color depth. The scanner element is a Contact Image Sensor (CIS). Other models have duplex printing and scanning that enables users to print and scan on both sides of the paper. Some models include wireless or wired networking. All models have at least a one-year limited warranty with an instant exchange program.

Photo All-in-One Inkjet Printers

The PIXMA Photo All-in-One allows users to print text and photos, copy documents, and scan photos. Eight different models are available ranging from $69.99 to $299.99. All models feature a 25% to 400% reduction/enlargement and 48-bit internal/24-bit external color depth. The scanner element includes a Contact Image Sensor (CIS) or a Charged-Coupled Device (CCD). Some models feature wireless Internet capability and others use high-speed USB cables. Some models come with a one-year limited warranty with instant exchange program and others have a 90-day limited warranty with instant exchange program.

Photo Inkjet Printers

The PIXMA Photo Inkjet Printers combine excellent image quality and versatile printing. There are six models ranging in price from $49.99 to $249.99. All models include software with a CD-ROM for easy setup and feature Easy-PhotoPrint EX. All models also use hi-speed USB cables for the standard interface. Some models come with a one-year limited warranty with instant exchange program and others have a 90-day limited warranty with instant exchange program.

Professional Inkjet Printers

The PIXMA Pro Professional Inkjet Printers feature innovative solutions for photography and design. The printers are a part of Canon’s Total Imaging Solution and offer unparalleled system capabilities to capture and print photos. Two models are available the PIXMA Pro9500 Mark II at $849.99 and the PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II at $499.99. Both models have a print resolution up to 4800 x 2400 dpi3 and include setup software and user’s guide, CD ROM, Adobe Photoshop Elements, and Easy-PhotoPrint EX. They also both use hi-speed USB cables and have a one-year limited warranty with instant exchange program.

Large Format Inkjet Printers

Canon offers a large line of imagePROGRAF large format inkjet printers that enable users to take large format printing to the next level. The options offer high-tech large-format color graphics printing solutions that are created with power, speed, quality, and flexibility. Included in the large format line are Graphic Arts Printers that use a pigment ink system to provide vibrant colors and great neutral and stable grayscales; MFP Imaging Systems that feature scan-to-copy, file, and email solutions for technical documents; and Technical Documents and General Use Printers that use unique five-color dye/pigment to provide accurate and bold documents, drawings, and presentations.

This article was composed by Melissa Weaver of Inkpal provides a vast selection of ink cartridges, toner cartridges, and printer ribbons.

De-cluttering and Organizing the Toy Room

Hello Neighbors!

Do you have trouble keeping the toy room or area neat?  Are there times you despair of ever having the room organized and clean?  I used to feel the same way.  So I worked at finding ways to keep it organized.  Here are some tricks and tips I used, perhaps some of them will work for you.

For really small items, like Hot Wheels, building blocks, arts and crafts, etc. we purchased shoe boxes and labeled them.  You could always put a picture on the end for those too young to read yet.  Remember, my children were all varying ages.  The other nice thing is that these were stackable, easily fit on shelves or under other furniture.

Obviously we used a toy box for other items that would not fit in the bins and that were not breakable.  We actually had 2 toy boxes at one time.  A boys toy box and a girls.  That way you didn't have doll clothes mixed in with trucks, cars and motorcycles.

Another thing that I personally did, was switched from crayons to colored pencils.  I got tired of broken crayons, getting mashed into the carpet, or melting on a heat vent.  Colored pencils, don't do that!  They also can be more easily removed from walls.  Although I must say with 6 children, none of mine ever wrote on the walls.  The worst that happened was one of my children used their school pencil and erased a picture into the paint on the wall!  Unique!

A bookshelf was a necessary item in our toy room.  Every one of my children has loved to read.  So of course we had a system of organization for shelving books according to whom they belonged to.  We still do that even now with several of the children being older.  We have anywhere from 15-20 book shelves in our home.

Stuffed animals we used one of the nets for, and we also had a rope from floor to ceiling that other stuffed animals could be attached to.  Of course favorites were always on the bed!

Games were kept on shelves in a closet.  I did learn to put all the pieces in plastic bags though, because as boxes wore out, pieces would fall out of the edges and get lost.  We usually found them when someone stepped on them.  You know a Monopoly piece in the bottom of the foot!  Ouch!  Sometimes we would put all but the game board in a Zip-loc bag and we would include a cut out piece of the board.  We would stack all game boards in one spot and then put all the bags containing the pieces in a plastic bin.  You just pulled out the board that was needed.  grabbed the bag and you were ready to go.

We used a larger plastic bin for coloring books, because these do not stay on the bookshelves as well.  When they wanted to color they could pull out the bin, grab the colored pencils and go.  It made for quick and easy clean up.

For dress up items (all little girls like to play dress up!) we used a trunk.  They stored odd outfits, wigs, shoes, hats, capes etc. in the trunk so they could have tea parties, put on plays, or just dress up as mommies!  There was a small shoe box for jewelry and glasses that was also kept in the trunk.

We also went through the toy room twice a year to get rid of old or broken toys.  Also toys to be donated to thrift stores, or to be sold at a yard sale.  Sometimes they gave these to friends who had younger children.

Last but not least we had a timer or we played a song for clean up time.  They had until the timer buzzed or the song ended to get done.  This made clean up a little more interesting to see if you could beat the clock.

I hope these tips are helpful to someone who is just starting out.  I know our toy room evolved over time, and we were always coming up with new ways to store and organize. 

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hot Wheels® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here

Dining Dash Blog Hop Giveaway 5 Winners

Hey neighbors!

Some of us got together and decided to do a Dining Dash Blog Hop giveaway!  Each of us donated a Gift Card to a Restaurant of our choice to be the prizes.  There are 5 cards that can be won.  $15 GC to Longhorn (courtesy of At the Fence), $10 GC to Steak and Shake (Hope's Cafe), $10 GC to Dunkin Donuts (Giveaway Gal), $10 GC to Coldstone (PI of Products), and a $10 GC to Burger King (In My Opinion).  We each chose one of our favorites, and tried to make them restaurants that are all over, not just our little area of the neighborhood.  Getting hungry yet?  Mandatory entry is to follow each one of the blogs, and we have also included optional entries as well!  This giveaway will end Oct. 19th.  Winners will be chosen by a random generator and then notified by email.  You will have 48 hours to respond.  Have a great Hop around to some of my neighbors!  The more of us you follow the more entries you get.  Be sure to follow all 5 of us, and then you can do the extra entries too!  You must follow all 5 blogs before the extra entries may be done.  Only follow each blog once.  You can do all your entries from one site. Please do not go to each site and enter the Mandatory Follow 5 different times on each site.  These entries will be removed..  You may only have up to 5 entries period for the mandatory following.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I need a New Computer Battery!

Hello Neighbors,

A great day for a visit At the Fence.  This morning H. and I went for a 2 mile walk.  It was wonderful.  We didn't even get hot at all and we were wearing sweaters!

Back to the Computer Battery.  My Laptop was passed down to me from my sister.  It worked great at first, but now you can have it plugged in to charge all night. Then after you un-plug the laptop it will say it is fully charged but it dies within just a couple of minutes!  That means anytime I have to un-plug my laptop it dies within minutes.  This is especially irritating when we are traveling and we stop somewhere to get internet and they don't have any outlets!  Then I have to sit there and do everything on my iPod.  It's great to have an iPod, but when I want to get alot done (most of it typing) and I only have a certain amount of time I really like my laptop. :D

I am thinking about purchasing a replacement laptop battery and seeing if that would fix my problem where the laptop would actually charge and stay charged!

Brought to you by your friends at All thoughts and opinions are mine. 

Big Event Starting Tomorrow!

Hey neighbors!

Be sure to stop by tomorrow for the Dining Dash Blog Hop!  I am sure you will enjoy entering this one!

See you tomorrow!

Hellmann's Chicken Challenge!

Hey neighbors!

I thought you might find this interesting.  Hellmanns is having a Chicken Challenge!  Each week Parmesan Crusted Chicken will be going up against other chicken recipes.  This is an event I am going to keep track of.  I love good chicken recipes!  Hellmanns is trying to help moms break out of routine and add some variety to dinner dishes.  And the Parmesan Crusted Chicken has only 4 ingredients!  I personally am going to try this one!  Be sure to visit Hellmanns and vote on your favorite.  Cast your vote for your favorite and enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win one of four $250 grocery gift cards each week.  

Will Parm Crusted Chicken reign again in this week's #ChickenChallenge? Vote for your fave recipe today!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Holiday Cards from Tiny Prints!

Hey neighbors!

Can you believe it is that time of year again?  It is time to order your holiday cards.  Especially if you want something special, like engraving or a family picture.  I wanted to tell you about Tiny Prints and the wide selection of cards they have available.  From postcards to traditional cards, to photo cards, you name it, they seem to have it.  I have never used their Holiday Cards before, but I do have some of their business cards and my daughters have stationary and notepads from Tiny Prints.  I really like them!

I went through the cards Tiny Prints has available and I think we would choose the Winter Pinwheels Photo Card.  Since we do ministry work around the country, this would be great to send to friends we have met and to churches we have visited.  Especially since you could include a picture of the family!  These cards are 8.85 x 3.90 and include one photo. 

I also like the Counted Blessings, which includes 4 pictures.  I think I would have a hard time choosing my very favorite.  I keep finding more I like.  And with over 1,000 cards to choose from, I bet you have trouble picking just one!  Take time to stop by Tiny Prints when you are ready to order your cards and see if they have what you are looking for!  Be sure to use the filters on the side to help narrow down your selection.  And if you find one you really like, leave a comment here to let me know. 

Inmod Giveaway!!

Hi Neighbors,

A great day to visit At the Fence. I have a new subject for us to talk about. The Inmod Design Your Own Pillow Studio! I am sure we will have lots of neighbors visiting us At the Fence for this one!

Here is a little bit about Inmod :
"Inmod was founded in 2003 out of a passion for great design and a vision to offer it at prices truly within reach. But our vision doesn't stop there. Since our beginning, we've remained faithful to the doctrine that relationships are more important than sales. Inmod is a constantly evolving company. Originally founded by childhood friends Casey Choron and Alan Finkelstein, Inmod is now a team of seven, all of which naturally possess rare talents and traits needed for the friendly, knowledgeable and non-elitist brand of customer service we've become known for. It has allowed us to form long-lasting relationships with individuals, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies. Click here for a partial client list.  Reaching out to home and contract markets, Inmod prides itself on an exceptionally high level of customer service on sales and projects of all sizes. In doing so, we continue to stay on the cutting edge of modern design by offering custom solutions in what we like to call the design-your-own- era.  As environmental consciousness plays a more prominent role in our everyday lives, Inmod is dedicated to the responsibility of helping create a cleaner, safer and healthier environment. While not all of our current product offerings are sustainable and off-the-grid, Inmod has been widely credited as being one of the leading online providers of green / eco-friendly furniture."

Inmod has a Design Your Own Pillow Studio where you choose the size of your pillow, the type of fabric, the theme of the fabric, and even the color of the fabric! I would LOVE to try this out and I know you will!  Inmod also carries Design Your Own Bedding, Chairs, Beanbag Chairs, etc.  Then they have tables and desks, bedroom furniture, storage, outdoor furniture, etc.  Here are a couple of pillows I like...

 Above - I love the color of this one.  It is so pretty!

Above - I love the design on this one.  It would look really well in my sister's room.

One Neighbor will receive one Personalized 18 x 18 Pillow with Free Shipping!!  Wow!

Notice : This will take up to six weeks after you order it!

Happy Toy Machine Review and Giveaway!

Hi neighbors!

It was gorgeous out this morning when we went to the gym, but when we came out it was raining.   I was really hoping to spend some of the day outside working on the rose bushes.  Maybe tomorrow!

He is adorable!
So, instead I figured I would share this really neat company with my neighbors here At the Fence.  It is called Happy Toy Machine.  You actually get to design your own stuffed toy.  I made Webster, our new puppy.  But, I am getting ahead of myself.  Let me back up and tell you more about the company first.  When you visit their website, you sign in, and then start creating.  It is actually quite a bit of fun!  Be sure to let your child help, they will enjoy this.  You can choose a bear, puppy, cat, bunny, cow, robot, monster, alien, or a surprise.  I actually created a moose using the cow shape.  And a really cute cat!  You choose what you want to start with, and then go in and change different features and body parts.  I started with the head.  So far there is only one torso shape.  Next you can change the arms and legs.  It is fun watching your creation being made right there.  Then comes the tail, optional wings, and horns.  After completing the body you can work on the head.  Eyes, ears, eyebrows, nose, mouth, and facial features have several options to choose from, so feel free to play around until you get it right.  The facial features include, moustaches, whiskers, freckles, and pink cheeks. Hair is an option they are working on, but is not available right now.  Clothes and sound are also upcoming features.  They do have designs, that you can add to the torso of your creation.  There are stars, paw prints, hearts, targets, etc.  You can also add writing.  I put a paw print in white with Webster underneath in blue.    You can change the color of your creation, and I mean just about any part of your creation can be a different color.  I did Webster in black, with white paws, white muzzle, blue eyes, and of course his name in blue.  When you are done, you can save your project and create another.  You can share your completed toys with friends on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
So very soft!
Paw print and name.

From Happy Toy Machine:

"Happy Toy Machine lets you create your own cool, cute, and crazy custom plush (stuffed) toys. Design as many toys as you want for free, share them with your friends, and only buy one when you're ready. When you order we'll make your one-of-a-kind custom toy and ship it straight to you."

I think I lost him to M!

Happy Toy Machine allows you to create a unique gift for that special child.  What child would not like to have their very own, one of a kind creation!  You can create a toy for them, or give them a gift certificate and let them create their own.  Or maybe you could let them design and play around and then order something they created without them knowing!  A regular size toy 10-15 inches tall costs $29.99.  The large toy, 20-26 inches, is $49.99.  There are no extra charges for the embroidering of a name.  Everything I mentioned above comes in the cost of your creation.  It usually takes between 7-10 days to receive your plush toy.

M with Webster and Webster!

Be sure to follow Happy Toy Machine on Twitter and "like" them on  Facebook.

Now, here is the great news!  One neighbor will get a regular size Happy Toy Machine plush of their own.  (Your own design of course.)   Tweeting in only allowed once a day on this giveaway per sponsors request.  Please pay attention to the information below.  Giveaway will end 10/10

Winner will have six months to redeem the small toy from Happy Toy Machine. Winner must have completed the mandatory entry in order to all other entries to count. Giveaway is for US residents with a non-P.O. Box shipping address only.  Winner will have 72 hours to respond and provide shipping information or a new winner will be selected.

Easy Entertaining for Beginners Review and Giveaway!

Hey Neighbors!

Here is a great little book for the upcoming holiday season.  It is called Easy Entertaining for Beginners by Patricia Mendez.  The book contains 13 complete menus.  "You can throw a fabulous party, from a holiday fiesta to a romantic evening for two."  I do want to tell you up front, that it does contain some alcohol, which I am totally against, but it does have a lot of helpful information for planning a get together.  There are etiquette tips in every chapter, mistakes to avoid, shortcuts, and tips to ensure success. In the center of the book are color pictures. 

Mistakes to Avoid includes things like "Don't make the sandwiches up more than one hour ahead of time, or bread will get soggy."  "Make sure your measurements are accurate." etc.

So, if any of my neighbors have events, dinners, or parties coming up, this book just might be a benefit helping you to plan meals, and set up for entertaining.  It also includes two different parties for children.  A little girl's friendship tea with a jewelry making craft and a little boy's tricycle Olympics party.  Both sound like a lot of fun.

Another helpful feature in this book is a step by step guide, that helps you through each step for making your entertaining a success.  This book is $18.95, and was published by Maple Heights Press.  Easy Entertaining for Beginners won a Mom's Choice Award.  You can find Patricia on Twitter.  Also check out her site for more recipes and helpful hints!

One neighbor will receive an autographed copy of Easy Entertaining for Beginners.  This giveaway will end 10/10.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Straight Talk Can Help You Save Money

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Straight Talk for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Hey Neighbors,


I wanted to share a company with you that can help cut your phone bills and save you some money.  It is called Straight Talk.  Everyone is always trying to cut some corners and save a little bit of money where they can and here is one way you can do that.  With Straight Talk there are no contracts, no surprise bills and no credit check!  You get nationwide coverage with excellent reception and connectivity.  And they only use trusted phone manufacturers. 


The Unlimited Service is only $45 a month and includes calls, text, picture messaging and web.  That's a whole year for $499!  Imagine what our bill is right now with 5 phones on the plan!  With Straight Talk unlimited minutes you can feel free anytime to Call a friend  !  Here's a big one for us, 411 calls are included at no extra charge.  With all our traveling we often have to call 411.


You can even choose  Android on Straight Talk .  They have so many choices available for phone selection. They have reconditioned phones for $10 that include camera, mp3 player, web access and Bluetooth capabilities.


This is one opportunity you might want to fall for Hook, line and sinker .Below see a testimonial from some real Straight Talk users. 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sweet Tomatoes Big News!

Hey neighbors!

I love this weather!  It is brisk and beautiful outside today!  Perfect weather for yard sales, yard work, or just some family fun outside!

So many choices.
We are visiting in Chicago again for the weekend,  again we were able to go to Sweet Tomatoes.  If you will remember I have worked with them before.  They have the BEST salad bar, along with other really healthy items for you.
Some of the pre-made salad choices.

Salad Dressings.
As a matter of fact Souplantaion/Sweet Tomatoes is now the largest restaurant chain in the nation to be certified by the Green Restaurant Association.  That is good news!  Below are some excerpts from the press release:

This is the soup and chili bar.
During the two-year-certification process, Garden Fresh implemented measures to reduce restaurant waste and disposables, along with energy and water consumption. While doing so, the restaurants have also successfully increased the amount of sustainable and organic food served in the restaurants and are now using more sustainable furnishings and building materials.
With the current changes, the GRA estimates Garden Fresh will save 2.1 million pounds of waste, 7.5 million gallons of water, 4.4 million kilowatts of energy and 3,194 cubic yards of landfill space each year.

“We are pleased to see a restaurant chain of this volume be the pioneer in ‘green’ initiatives and set a standard in the restaurant industry,” said Jennifer Fleck, communications manager at the Green Restaurant Association. “The U.S. throws out 243 million tons of trash every year, 57 percent of which is buried in landfills. Garden Fresh is taking proactive steps to help reduce this number.”

One of their special salads!
Which would you choose?
And if you make it to a Sweet Tomatoes by September 28th, you will have a chance to experience their Taste the World.  For 8 weeks they have showcased flavors from around the world.  For the next few days they are showcasing Mexico.  And right now if you invite a friend to Sweet Tomatoes you and the friend will receive a coupon for 10% off your next meal.

Filling his plate!  Choices, choices!
Here is his full plate!
My husband loved these!

Chilli with crackers.

He posed for this one!

Cheddar Broccoli Soup.

We visited Sweet Tomatoes last night and you would not believe the spread!  You start out at the front of the salad bar where you can fill your plate with pre-made salad creations, and then on to putting together your own salad.  So many greens and vegetables to choose from! They also have  new premium add ons for your salad. for an extra 2.49 you have a choice of some different beans, seasoned chicken and a few other ingredients.  And of course there is a variety of dressings!  At the end of the salad bar you choose your beverage, pay the cashier, and choose a table.  Now, that is not all you can choose from at Sweet Tomatoes.  They have a variety of soups, including chili (one of my husband's favorites).  Also included in your meal price are baked, potatoes, pasta, focaccia, muffins, etc.  And let me tell you the blueberry muffins are the best!  Dinner prices are approx. $10.49 and a drink is $1.99.  The drink of course is re-fillable, and they have great lemonades, and fruit juices!  Be sure to use their store locator to find a Sweet Tomatoes near you.

Disclosure:I received no monetary compensation for this post.  I did receive on guest pass for review purposes.  All quotes are taken from the Sweet Tomatoes website.  All thoughts and opinions are mine.

Friday, September 23, 2011

10 Tips For Bringing That New Baby Home

Hi Neighbors,

No this is not an announcement that I am expecting, but after having six children I feel qualified to share 10 tips on how to prepare your home to bring home the new baby.

1. I always prepare a sleeping area in my room for the first few weeks. Normally I have used a bassinet or cradle, although a portable play pen would work. This is for my convenience for nightly feeding and also to be able to keep an eye on the baby those first weeks at home. You know, nervous mom keeps checking!

2. Another important area that I try to set up in advance is the changing table. I make sure to have on hand every thing I will need for diaper changes, like baby powder, wipes, and I always purchase plenty of newborn diapers. Can't have enough diapers! I make sure to have a diaper pail and trash can near the changing table.

3. Nightgowns, t-shirts, and onesies are a top priority for me to purchase ahead of time for the new little one. Usually at home this is what the newborn will be wearing as they are quick and easy to change and clean. And so comfortable for baby to wear.

4. A quality car seat to bring a baby home in should be purchased well in advance as this is a very important piece of equipment for your baby's safety. Make sure that the car seat will be comfortable for the baby and is easy for you to use. I can't stand when it is a hassle to get the car seat in and out.

5. Another item to have on hand is a stroller that is suitable for your needs. Sometimes a walk in the stroller was exactly what was needed to help our baby to fall asleep.

6. Before bringing your baby home from the hospital, is the best time to childproof your home, because once you get home you are going to be very busy. Make sure you put in the outlet safety plugs, latches on cabinets and get used to being cautious about small items on the floor. It is amazing what a child will put in their mouth.

7. This would be a good time to have your carpets cleaned. Before you know it you will have a toddler on your hands. Your child will be spending a lot of time on the floor crawling around.

8. Planning a schedule in advance would be very beneficial, though this may have to be adjusted after coming home from the hospital. Be sure to keep it flexible.

9. If you have other children already, be sure to prepare them for bringing the new sibling home. Spend time explaining to them that they will be the bigger brother/sister and you will need their help. This makes them feel special. I never had any jealousy over a new baby.

10. If at all possible have family and friends help prepare meals to make the first few weeks easier. You will have a lot to do and this would be more helpful than most people realize. One thing you won't have to worry about.

Seventh Generation is there to help with their new Free & Clear diapers and wipes. They also carry laundry detergent for your baby's clothes, along with natural cleaning supplies for the safety of your child. You can find Seventh Generation on Facebook, and you should Follow @SeventhGen on Twitter.  What a comfort to know that they care about you child and their environment as much as you do.

I hope this is helpful to any expectant mothers experienceing this time of transition.

I look forward to seeing you At The Fence soon. I hope this is helpful to any expectant mothers.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Seventh Generation blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Weight Watchers by Conair Scale Review and Giveaway

Hello Neighbors,

As most of you know, back at the end of May I was diagnosed with diabetes.  Since then I have changed my diet, started walking at least 3 times a week on a treadmill, and I am no longer on my medications.  During this time I have lost between 35-40 lbs.  I still have plenty to go, but I am going to continue to work at it.  Now, our scale is starting to have fits, so I was really excited that I was able to review one of the new Weight Watchers by Conair Scales.  Our old one would add or take away pounds just by stepping off for a minute and stepping back on.  You could take a breath and gain ten lbs.  My daughter laughed because she tried it one day and two days later had lost 20 lbs.  So, needless to say it is time to tell the old scale goodbye!

Now with my new scale, I will be able to keep an even more accurate account of my weight loss.  The new Weight Watchers by Conair Scale Model WW52 ($49.99)  is the one that I received.  It even looks great!  Let me tell you a little bit about this scale.  Not only does this scale tell you your weight, it will also measure body fat, body water, bone mass, and BMI (body mass index).  Is that amazing or what?  It will also track four people because it has a built in four user memory.  Absolutely astounding!  I guess you can tell that I am behind the times, and it gives you an idea of how old my other scale was.  Below is a picture of the scale from their website.

Now my husband is interested in using it too! He stopped drinking regular Coke and started drinking Coke Zero, so he has lost some weight too!  I just have to convince him not to weigh himself everyday at different times of the day!  The booklet that comes with the scale says to only weigh yourself once a week at the same time of day, without moving the scale around and wearing the same clothing.  I do mine on Mondays, first thing in the morning before I change for the day. You can purchase this scale at Target or the online Conair Store.

Doesn't this look nice!
The scale has a sleek, streamlined design along with a blue backlight on the 1.9” LCD screen with 2 lines. It features impact-resistant tempered safety glass platform with stainless steel and includes bone mass analysis. The 12.2” x 12.8” scale has a 400 lb. capacity and includes long-life batteries. 

Buttons along side for setting.

 Now here is some great news, One neighbor At the Fence will get a:

If you just want a good old simple weight measurement, but with extraordinary style, this best-selling Weight Watchers scale is a great choice! The smooth scale has an easy-to-read 1.3” digital display with a “tap-on” scale activator.  There is a high-strength tempered safety glass with decorative silk screen available in white, red, or blue. The scale is 11.8” X 12.6” and has a 400 lb. capacity. The scale runs on long-life AAA lithium batteries that are included and has a 10-year warranty.

The Weight Watchers by Conair Digital Painted Glass Scale Model WW24 is available nationwide at stores such as Target, Sears, Meijer, Fry’s, as well as at for an average retail price of $29.99. 

Be sure to enter.  Giveaway will end  10/6.  USA only.

GNC Recovery Drink Review

Hi Neighbors!

We are having a great day here At the Fence and are looking forward to visiting with you for awhile.  Today we are trying GNC's PHENOM Coconut Water.  Now, I am sure some of my neighbors are asking, "What is Coconut Water?". Good question, I was wondering about that myself, so I have done a little research.  First I will tell you what Coconut Water is not!  It is not water infused with coconuts or special water for watering coconut palms.  Coconut water is a the liquid found in the cavity of a coconut when you crack one open.  This liquid is absorbed as the coconut matures, so you need to get coconut water from young green coconuts.

PHENOM is made from 100% natural coconut water.  It contains no artificial flavors, preservatives or added    sugars.  Not only that, but it is low in calories, has zero cholesterol and it has been infused with GNC  power for more benefits.

I am sure my neighbors are wondering, "How does it taste?". Well, I received the PURE PHENOM Hydro which is 100% Natural Coconut Water (from concentrate) with added electrolytes for maximum hydration.  Next was Pineapple Punch PHENOM Mega V 100% Natural Coconut Water with added vitamins and electrolytes.  Last was the Orange Guava Passion PHENOM Mega V also 100% Natural Coconut Water with added vitamins and electrolytes. PHENOM comes in 7 different flavors.  The result of the taste tests!  They taste like coconut.  I have to confess I personally am not a big fan of coconut and yes, I did sample them, but my husband on the other hand loves coconut.  Out of the three I received, his favorite was the PURE, followed by the Pineapple Punch.  So for the recovery drink review, I would have to say if you want a healthy drink for replenishing your active body, be sure to try the PHENOM 100% Natural Coconut Waters from GNC.

Looks like the liquid that comes from a Coconut!
With my active family, that plays racquetball 3 times a week, volleyball almost every day, when the weather permits, along with other activities, PHENOM would great to have around.  When you sweat, your body loses important electrolytes, in particular potassium and sodium. In order to replenish your body and properly rehydrate, you should drink electrolyte-rich beverages. Because coconut water is an excellent source of electrolytes, it makes an excellent after workout recovery drink.

If you have ever tried PHENOM before leave a comment telling us what you thought!

Disclosure:I received 3 PHENOM  100% Natural Coconut Waters for review purposes.  All quotes are taken from the PHENOM email or website.  All thoughts and opinions are mine.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Outdoor Play with My Family

Hey Neighbors,

I just have to take a minute and share a few of the things we as a family do together outdoors. September 24th families are encouraged to participate in Worldwide Day of Play and to turn off their TV and play outside!  Now, I have to tell you that this is something we do every evening, that it is not foul weather outside.  Right now we are on a volleyball kick.  With a family of eight it is easy to split up into teams and play 4-5 games a night.  We usually play to 11 and my family gets quite competitive!  So not only do they play 3 games and 2-3 wins, but then they have to challenge with an all or nothing.  It actually gets quite amusing, as they yell encouragement to each other, or even when a debate starts over if the ball was out of bounds or not.

Before that it was kickball.  We spent weeks running out each evening after dinner to the local park to play kickball.  We were constantly changing the teams around to try to get them even.  Somehow it never quite worked.  With a 10 year old as the youngest all the way up to dad at 50 we had quite a difference in skill level.  We even played one day after a rain and it was so muddy that the two boys walked back after sliding in the mud so many times that they didn't want to sit down in the vehicle. I think dad appreciated that too!

Basketball one night!
Here is a funny one for you.  One night we went to the park and played racquet baseball.  We couldn't find a bat, so we used our racquetball racquets and a racquetball.  We even used a pitcher.  This one was hysterical.  The pitcher would pitch the ball, and the batter (racqueter?) would try to hit the ball.  Because it was a racquetball it would really fly!  You should try this sometime.  When you don't have the right equipment devise a new game!

Racquet Baseball
Other times we do something a s basic as Frisbee, but we either have to use several of them, or have a really large field where we can all spread out to play.

I am sure if the weather is good we will be outside September 24th playing some game.  Who knows what they will come up with next!  Iam encouraging my neighbors At the Fence to Take the  Clorox2® Play 2Day pledge to play outside!

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox2® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Mohawk Rug Review and Giveaway

Hi Neighbors,

So good to get a chance to visit today.  Since I am beginning to get into the fall mood, I thought this would be the appropriate time to share my Mohawk Home Rug.  It looks so fallish! (Like my new word!)  Anyway the colors remind me of fall.

Isn't this gorgeous!

This is actually labeled a Hearth Rug, but I am going to either use it in the kitchen or one of our entry ways.  I almost hate to put it down in a high traffic area.  Although with 8 total in the family I am not sure that there is anywhere in the house that is not high traffic!



My Mohawk Home rug is a cream color with a vine of leaves around the edge.  The leaves are a dark green with purple and a hint of tan.  I really like it!  It has a non slip backing, which with 6 children, 2 dogs and my husband in and out of the house and constant horsing around, that is needed.  Plus, knowing it is from Mohawk, I know I have a quality rug!
My son actually stood on my new rug!

I have to tell you that befor I received this rug, I visited our local Lowes and checked out some of the Mohawk Home rugs.  They have some really gorgeous choices, and the prices are reasonable.  You can find Mohawk Home Rugs at you local Lowes, Kohl's, Target, Walmart, Menards, and a few others.  Be sure to visit to find a retailer near you.

The design upclose.

About Mohawk Homes:
"Mohawk Industries is one of the foremost manufacturers and distributors of residential and commercial flooring in the world. We enjoy leading market positions across multiple flooring categories, including carpet, ceramic tile, stone, wood and rugs in the United States and laminate in the U.S. and Europe. Mohawk dates its roots to the 1800's when it became one of the first American carpet manufacturers. Today the company is headquartered in Calhoun, Georgia with operations on three continents."

Be sure to stop by Mohawk Homes Facebook page and like them to stay connected.  You might also want to follow them on Twitter.

Now, I am going to show picture of my Mohawk Home rug in my kitchen and then in the entryway, and I want to find out where you like it best.  It will count as an entry!  You can read more about that in a minute.

Mohawk Home carries kitchen rugs, accent or area rugs, indoor/outdoor rugs, bathroom rugs, and even rug pads.  You can visit the Mohawk Home new website to see for yourself.

Now one neighbor will receive a rug valued at $19.99.  You may choose a doormat, kitchen rug, or bathmat.  Maybe you will want the same one I chose.  This giveaway will end 10/5.