Thursday, December 17, 2009

Secret Santa

It's no secret that people are feeling the pinch of the economy this season. One organization has dedicated itself to providing toys for children at Christmas since 1947 - the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation.

1-800 is supporting this worthy cause by donating 10% of the net proceeds from product orders from its Toys for Tots Holiday Collection to the foundation. In addition, they have developed a Secret Santa free application accessible on their Facebook page. Send a warm fuzzy gift to a friend (they find out who it came from on Reveal Day, December 21st). You and the recipient will receive a 15% off discount code for sending or opening your gifts as well.

1-800 will donate $5,000 to Toys for Tots if the warm fuzzy Secret Santa gift is sent 10,000 times.

Lets get the word out, send some warm fuzzies and help this very worthy cause!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Out and About - with Kids

Getting where you need to go with your kids can have all kinds of challenges - even just the car seat itself! We let the installation of our car seat go a little too long, and my hubby was faced with getting it properly in the car himself after Daniel was born. With half our extended family some 1,200 miles away we have busied ourselves with long car trips, as well as getting around town to our busy preschooler's many activities.

With the holiday season moving into full swing, families across the country are in the car and on the go. Whether you're driving across the country to visit family or across town to holiday shop, it is important that your child passengers are riding safely and that child safety seats are used correctly.

AAA estimates that 30 million people travelled this Thanksgiving holiday alone, and for many this is just the beginning of the holiday hustle and bustle. Now is the time to utilize the Child Car Safety tools provided by the US Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Ad Council to learn more about proper car seat use and installation. You will find informative resources that include instructional videos.

Have child passenger safety questions that you need answered before you travel over the river and through the woods to Grandma's? NHTSA is always available to answer your questions online through Facebook and Twitter. I wish I had found these resources years ago!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ack! Where did my weekend go?

I try not to make it so, but the close of the year has seemed to turn into a triathlon of sorts: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. It has seemed especially pronounced this year when the Christmas stuff started appearing in stores nearly as soon as the Halloween stuff went on discount... proclaimed haydensmommy05 the winner of our Nature Valley Granola Prize Pack. Congratulations!

In the meantime, I'm slowing down and giving thanks. Wishing you all many turkey cupcakes!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters - Win a Prize Pack!

Hoo Boy! So first there was the email hacking, then various family illnesses including my (hacking) cough that tends to keep me up nights and rob me of sleep. We're finally straightening up some (thank you Daylight Savings, I did not need the help losing sleep courtesy of the preschooler's wonky schedule...). Onward!

The folks at MyBlogSpark and Nature Valley recently sent me a prize pack with a cool backpack, flashlight, binoculars and water bottle. This also included an assortment of the new Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters to sample. Yummy! My family can be real grazers when it comes to finding something to eat. H works long hours, and Daniel is an active and picky preschooler. Me, I expend tons of energy just to keep up with him! I quickly went through the Roasted Almond flavor (my particular favorite), and the rest of the family helped me polish off the others. Sweet/salty and crunchy, these granola bites come in a resealable pouch and make a delicious snack! MyBlogSpark has graciously offered one prize pack for a lucky Relishing the Dirt reader!

To Win:
1. Reply to this post and share some of your favorite elements of nature. I'm especially looking for this myself as the seasons change, and I'm trying very hard not to hibernate!

Extra Entries:
2. Follow this blog and post a reply letting me know that you have done so.

3. Follow me on Twitter at @Smittens05 and let me know that you are a follower. Extra entries for a tweet, but please let me know that you have done this as well by posting a link.

Contest ends Friday, November 20th - winner to be announced November 21st.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Trio - We have a winner!

Congratulations to Amanda, winner of the Trio building set giveaway. She enjoys legos around her house - I'm sure Trio will be a nice addition!

My apologies if things around here are a bit wonky or slow. I've been hacked. Not the website, thank goodness but the usual email address I use for everything sent out a random email to my entire address book awhile ago - one which most decidedly was not from me! It's quite aggravating, and embarrassing and Yahoo is being decidedly unhelpful at resolving anything. I am in the process of moving all my communications to a different email address but it is time consuming. Urgh! Something I certainly did not need to have on my to-do list.

Stay tuned for another give-away coming up soon!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Try a Trio

Fisher Price has come out with a new building set called Trio. We got a chance recently to test drive a "starter set." Comprised of clickable bricks, sticks and panels the starter set also comes with a car, a little person, a tree shape, some triangle roof shapes and so on. Quite handy is the storage bin with a lid that can double as a building base. I'll be honest - any Mom's feet would be grateful to not be tripping over the bits of a building set. Yay storage bin!

I love toys that encourage creating and imagining and Daniel has returned to the Trio set countless times. I can see a whole "city" he built on the lid sitting over in the corner as I type this. The starter set is listed as being for 3-5 year olds. One thing I would encourage is strategically planning your Trio playtime. The click action building does take some getting used to and I encourage Daniel to play with the Trio set when he is fresh. Once he starts getting tired, his frustration level can build.

The folks at Fisher Price and MomSelect have graciously agreed to offer a Trio Starter Set to one lucky Relishing the Dirt reader.

To Enter: Comment on this post and tell me your favorite "creative plaything" that you do with your kids.

Extra Entries: Follow or subscribe to this blog and leave a comment letting me know that you have done so. Follow me on Twitter at @Smittens05 and leave a comment letting me know that you have done so. Additional credit for tweeting about this giveaway (please comment with a link).

Deadline: October 9th at Midnight EST.


Note: We received this product free of charge as part of participating in the MomSelect review program.

Zhu Zhu Zhoom!

Congrats to Natalie A. who won the Zhu Zhu pet giveaway here on Relishing the Dirt. A new furry friend is headed her way. And a new giveaway is coming up, straightaway!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Zhu Zhu Pets - Parties, A Review, A Giveaway

As a family who lives in a condo, we're entirely cramped for space when it comes to having a pet. No dogs are allowed, and some days even a cat would feel like one live beast too many around here! When the good folks at MomSelect offered us a chance to explore and play with some Zhu Zhu Pets (and share with some friends) I said yes, please!

Our planned "hamster party" turned into hamster playdates again, due to lack of space issues. I couldn't see stuffing a slew of 4-year-olds into our house all at once - and each of them chasing their new furry friend. Each of the kids at our first playdate seemed quite entertained by the little critters. Daniel's buddy Murphy immediately put his down to watch it scamper off in the other direction. This is the best kind of pet (especially for us Moms) - one that doesn't make a mess, and no worries about feeding it! During one of my last phone calls with Marisa's Mom I had gotten the report that she was still playing with her Zhu Zhu pet quite often. And Murphy's Mom laughed that she had left the house with the Zhu Zhu pet chattering away in her purse.

There are assorted playsets like a hamster wheel and tunnel, a funhouse, an adventure ball and more. Build and rearrange these pieces and the Zhu Zhus have their own habitat to explore.

I would have liked to see some of the habitat pieces built a little more securely. The lid and doors to the hamstermobile and garage come off fairly easily, for example, which can lead to some kid frustration. The hamsters themselves don't really have an "off" switch - they do go into a "sleep" mode after a bit, but this can be a bit of a battery drain.

All in all the kids seem tickled with their new pets. We're planning a few more hamster playdates, and we'd like to have a virtual playdate with you!

The Giveaway: One hamster, and one habitat piece.

To enter: Stop by Zhu Zhu Pets online and tell me your favorite - your favorite hamster, habitrail piece, activity or game from the site - you get to pick.

Extra entries: Subscribe or follow this blog, and leave a comment telling me you have done so. Follow me on Twitter and again, leave a comment that you have done so.

Deadline: Contest closes Tuesday, September 22nd at midnight EST. Winner to be announced September 23rd.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

And the Winner is...

Congrats to debbielynne, the winner of the $10 Stop & Shop gift certificate! She says she aims to save 50% when she shops.

Stay tuned for more fun reviews and a giveaway or two!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Save at Stop & Shop - Quick Giveaway!

For the first time I am preparing to send my kid to school! Eek! General Mills and Stop & Shop are teaming up this week to give families a great way to stock up and save, as they gear up for back to school. You should be shopping at Stop & Shop this week because:

There are some great sale prices on the participating General Mills brands: Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Reeses Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cookie Crisp Sprinkles, Cookie Crisp, Fruit Snacks, Old El Paso Dinner Kits, Pillsbury Strudel, Pillsbury Scrambles, Green Giant Boxed Vegetables, Yoplait Yo-plus Multi-pack, Fiber One Yogurt Multi-pack, Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookies, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, Pillsbury Sweet Rolls and Yoplait Delights.

Additional savings for your or your school, depending on which Stop & Shop location you shop.

If your Stop & Shop store sells gas: Buy four (4) participating General Mills items and you'll automatically earn 100 points on your Stop & Shop card. For every 100 points earned you'll save 10 cents per gallon of gas. (Please note total discount cannot exceed price per gallon.) Just swipe your Stop & Shop card at the pump to redeem your gas rewards.

If your Stop & Shop doesn't sell gas - Don't worry! You're not left out of the savings. If you buy five (5) participating General Mills products you will receive 20 Bonus Box Tops for your school.

The wonderful people at General Mills and My Blog Spark sent me a $10 Stop & Shop gift card so that I can jump into some of these back to school savings. They also want to give one lucky Relishing the Dirt reader a $10 Stop & Shop gift card too!

To Enter: Leave a comment telling me how much you think you can save on your next shopping trip.

Deadline: Monday, September 7th at Midnight. This giveaway will only last a few days so that hopefully you will receive your gift card in time to use at the sale.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Culture Club

I miss getting mail, don't you? I mean I love coasting the ins-and-outs of the Internet and discovering all the tools available to keep in touch. But there is something about Real Mail, not bills or junk mail or catalogues, but a lovely card / note from someone who is thinking about me.

Thanks to the folks at Momfluence, Paper Culture kindly sent me a sample of their work. Their eco-friendly stationery is created using paper that is: FSC certified as 100% post consumer recycled paper, Green-e and/or Green Seal certified, generated by wind power and elemental chlorine free. All envelopes and packaging are also made from recycled paper.

And you know what? The designs are awesome! This would have been a perfect invitation to the Pirate Party that Daniel is attending next week. There are many wonderful choices for Birthday Party invitations, Baby Announcement and Shower invites, and life events like Moving Announcements, Baptism invitations and more. Give them a look before your next occasion!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Voice Across the Miles

I love where I live in New England - gorgeous small towns, rich in history. Since having Daniel I feel the miles between the East Coast and my parents in Wisconsin even more keenly, however. We work hard to stay in touch - weekly phone calls (OK, sometimes more!), and we invested in a webcam a year or so ago. We visit there, and they visit here as often as we can but 1,200 miles is no short hop for any of us.

In honor of Grandparents Day - September 13th will be the holiday's 30th anniversary - I'm showcasing the website While the wording across the site "speaks" to Grandparents, I think there are lots of helpful tidbits about families and keeping connected across the generations.

Daniel and I tested out a feature called YourVoice. Easy as anything you can dial the YourVoice phone number, record a message, and have it sent to the Grandparents (or, of course, Grandma and Grandpa back to the grandkids) over the computer where it can be played at any time. The steps were very easy - I think my main problem was Daniel is not a "phone talker kinda kid" at present.

Grandparents Day is coming up soon - whether you have a long distance to cover (one of Daniel's best buddies has a Grandma in Colombia), or your family is right next door - I highly recommend checking out this site. Everyone loves a special message just for them!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hello Summer!

Summer has landed here in New England. There was a haze to the air as I drove to the local farm stand to grab some sweet corn today. Online weather spots were making dire predictions about the heat index... it's mid-August, and I know it's supposed to be hot. We've just had a hugely mild (and overly rainy) Summer thus far. Wonder if we will have a warmer Fall to balance things out?

It was a magical birthday weekend, with a Princess party to attend on Saturday and Daniel's very own Knight party on Sunday. We are now getting back into the (hot, sticky) swing of things this week.

Congrats to Andrea, the winner of The Good Home Cookbook giveaway. I'm thinking we should all head over to her house for some homemade Pad Thai and pesto and cheese cannelloni!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Good Home Cookbook - Giveaway!

I think I've confessed this before, but I'll say it again: I'm a wannabe foodie. Love to eat and try new things. Some of my favorite blogs have a food component like Bakerella and The Pioneer Woman. I think I even indulged in a subscription to Cooking Light once upon a time. My actual skills in the kitchen - meh, not so much. I'm pretty sure I was engaged a very short time before someone started asking if H knew what he was in for when it came to my cooking.

Thank goodness for cookbooks. Follow a recipe, I can do. The Good Home Cookbook contains more than 1,000 classic American recipes and bills itself as the only cookbook entirely tested in home kitchens across America. This piqued my interest a bit, as Richard J. Perry states in his introduction: "What is a classic American recipe? ...a recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation in various forms, from cookbooks to menus - recipes that have withstood the test of time." Home cooking can mean so many things to so many people. Whether it's Grandma's pasta, or Dad's burgers on the grill.

I like the organization of this book. Chapters group the recipes by Breakfast, Lunch, Salads, Meat, Soups, Vegetables, Pies Cakes and Cookies, and more. I'm usually trying to wrap my brain around a particular meal, so I think this would be helpful. There are various appendices that get into more technical stuff such as canning and pickling, freezing and thawing and so forth.

Just a quick flip into the book has my taste buds dancing over a yummy-sounding breakfast frittata, which even has suggested variations of broccoli, spinach and herb, and goat cheese. Many recipes begin with a tiny paragraph (or less) describing the dish and sometimes it's origin, which tickles the storyteller in me as well.

I have one copy of The Good Home Cookbook to give away to a lucky reader!

1. Hot weather and a picky preschooler both challenge me in the kitchen these days. To enter, leave a comment and tell me your family's favorite home cooked dish.
2. For an additional entry, subscribe to this blog via email or reader and leave a comment telling me that you have done so.
3. For an additional entry, follow me on Twitter at @Smittens05.
4. Tweet about this contest for an additional entry. Be sure to include @Smittens05 so that I can see your tweet!

Contest ends on August 15th. Winner to be announced on Monday, August 17th.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

From the Bookshelf...

I've been in Mommy Survival Mode this week while H has been out of town. The please eat something besides string cheese and crackers struggles have been put aside for the challenge of just keeping up a familiar routine in the absence of Daddy. (Twenty four hours to go!) Thank goodness for playdates.

As Mom to a soon-to-be four year old, I can't help but wish that the book The Triumphant Child - a practical guide to raising two, three and four year olds had arrived just a bit sooner!

Chapter One - About Your Child breaks down information by year, outlining physical - gross and fine motor development, language speech and cognitive development, social and emotional development, practical tips and suggested books for each age. This chapter finishes with a list of recommended toys, and tips about toy safety. All valuable information, and a spot to scout for new ideas.

Further chapters are broken out by topics such as routines (morning, bedtime, mealtime), challenges (aggressive behavior, bath time battles, defiance, dressing challenges and more), and changes (moving, preparing for a new baby, starting school...). The book can be read straight through, or bit by bit as you find the most relevant topics for you and your child. Parent stories are sprinkled throughout for some nice illustrations about how some families cope with their challenges.

I hardly have time for a parenting book these days. Give me a practical book that can quickly impart information and it gets a special place on my nightstand.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Daniel loves getting mail, and a few days ago the box at our front door was for him! We received a "Me-Too" Playtent made by Pacific Play tents ($34.95) courtesy of All Children's Furniture. Part of CSN Stores, All Children's Furniture carries a dizzying array of kids playtime items, furniture, bedroom furniture and decor. I love the one-stop shopping that lets me compare lots of different items without having to hop all over the web.

We've always been big on forts and hiding out around our house. Giggling under covers or trying to artfully drape blankets for a tent can provide loads of fun, although I must not be very good at the blanket thing as I seem to always be reconstructing my forts.

This roomy little play tent is designed for indoor and outdoor use, is durable, washable and set up in a snap. It comes with a carry bag and even survived a little (oops) thunderstorm last night. It's drying out on our deck today... It's a nice little getaway/space for Daniel in our condo, and even fits out on our deck. I wish I'd thought of it sooner!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


It feels ridiculous at times, but sometimes the littlest things give a charge to my day. I remember being quite tickled to find a perfectly pink day planner one year (I am a bit outnumbered by the testosterone crew here, after all, tripping over plastic soldiers all day...).

There is a new Softsoap Ensembles pump gracing my bathroom sink, and I kinda like seeing a touch of purple botanical flowers when I go to wash my hands for the umpteenth time a day. I have the Fresh Essence design pictured here, and there are several designs to choose from. Just save the pump and pop it into a new base for a refill. Less packaging is definitely a plus.

And I certainly love having something pretty to balance out the Spiderman toothbrush at my bathroom sink.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Small & Mighty Winners!

Congrats to the winners of the all small & mighty laundry detergent giveaway!

Pennywise Persuasion who said: I am the primary laundry person in my home because my hubbie doesn't know how to separate darks from whites. He just throws them all in there together.

Secrets Custom Creations who said: I have a two year old, so I have a laundry adventure almost every day!!! I deal with stains that are almost impossible to get out, toys in pockets, marker, crayon, dirt and most recently potty training mishaps:) I could really use this!

Thanks everyone for visiting, and reminding me that I am not alone in my laundry challenges!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Laundry Monstah

I don't know about you, but my laundry fairly breeds on it's own in my washing machine. I'm challenged with a 3.5 year old boy who can create messes as only a 3.5 year old boy can.

Um, How did you get pizza sauce behind your shirt collar again?

I also am blessed with a guy who works hard all day, a good chunk of the time outside. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow and all that. Although lately it has been on the rain, rain, rain side. Hello, pungent laundry!

The folks at MomSelect presented me with an opportunity to try all small & mighty Free Clear. The powerful 3x concentrated laundry detergent means they have been able to redesign a smaller bottle, offering the benefits of a bulk buy in a bottle that is easier to pour, store and carry. A formula 3x concentrated also means that I get to use less per wash, and a 96 oz. bottle should last me over three months.

I'm not a fragrance kind of gal, and so I'm enjoying that I can get the odors and stains out of my family laundry while using the Free Clear formula that contains no dyes, perfumes or enzymes. My clothes smell like, well clean clothes when I stuff them into the drawers and prepare for the next round of washing.

Try it Yourself - a Giveaway!
I have two coupons good for one free all small & mighty 3x concentrate (maximum value $6.50).

To Enter:
1. Comment on this post and tell us all about your best laundry adventure!

Bonus Entries:
2. Subscribe to Relishing the Dirt via feed or email and leave a comment letting me know that you have done so.
3. Follow Relishing the Dirt and leave a comment letting me know that you have done so.
4. Follow me on Twitter, and leave a comment letting me know.

Contest ends Monday, June 22nd - winners to be announced Tuesday, June 23rd.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bakin' Bakin' Bakin'

Confession time: I am a wannabe foodie. I love to eat, and even love poring over shows on the Food Network. (Currently It's Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Lots of yummy stuff, but it gives me cravings for road trips too...) There are some great foodie blogs out there as well. Ree at The Pioneer Woman posts wonderful tales of her life on the ranch, and the photos of her cooking are usually enough to set me drooling.

My own cooking skills - not so much. To be fair, life is complicated by H working twelve hour days (sometimes six days a week), and a preschooler who is still being intensely picky about what he eats. Our local Family Network recently hosted a one night class on "Dealing With Your Picky Eater." I signed right up for that one, to be sure! Out of lots of good advice, I got more tips for adding "good stuff" to recipes. With bread being very high on Daniel's list of Things I Will Eat, I made the leap to investing in a bread maker. Mmm! Warm toasty bread, made from my own ingredients!

This Sunbeam Breadmaker model 5891 came in at a reasonable price at just under $60. I've baked two loaves so far, a nice crusty white and a banana pecan.

Pros: Easy operating switches. Can make up to a 2lb. loaf. Select a light, medium or dark crust. There's even an ExpressBake option if you need bread quickly (usual cycle with all the kneading and rising is 3 hours).

Cons: The unit is on the large side. We are often pressed for counter space in our condo, so I am trying to find a balance between ease/frequency of use and taking up available counter space.

The class I took had some interesting ideas about adding items such as chia or flaxseed to boost nutrition. Anyone have any yummy bread recipes they would like to share?

On a side note: What would we do without the Internet? I got to spend some time searching the web for a breadmaker that I felt would suit my needs, for a reasonable price. I was recently contacted by about doing a product review. They sell items as varied as kids bedroom furniture, decor and a multitude of playthings. They look like a good spot to do some hunting for that perfect item for your kid. I look forward to letting you know more about them soon!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tickling Your Tastebuds

Did you get pancakes for breakfast for Mother's Day? Did you know that Mrs. Butterworth has a first name?

There are oodles of contests and sweepstakes out there. This one tickled my fancy, though and I thought I would pass it along.

Stop by Mrs. Butterworth's website from now until July 17th and submit your guess for her first name. The person with the correct guess, and best reason why can win $500 cash and a year's supply of Mrs. Butterworth's syrup. A sweet deal!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Your Special Day

I have a weakness for special jewelry and similar keepsakes. I can be absorbed for ages when the craft fairs come to town. And don't even get me started on Etsy, and some of the other fabulous artists I have found online!

Michele Esposito has a unique collection at Not Just Any Old Day. Her calendar charms are crafted from 100% pure sterling silver, and are personalized by picking a specific month with a special day marked by a swarovski crystal. Birthdays, anniversaries, wedding attendant gifts, first communion - these would be a wonderful way to commemorate any special date in your life. Prices start at $98, and pieces are varied. There are necklaces and bracelets, key chains and gifts such as a cake server, baby cup, baby spoon, business card case and more. All are able to be personalized with your special day on a calendar charm.

My key chain came in the mail recently. It's delicate, and pretty and honors my son Daniel's birthday. I'm thrilled to start using it. Now if I can just keep track of my keys...

This review is posted as part of the Momfluence Mother's Day Gift Guide for 2009.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thomas & Friends Live! On Stage

Thanks to MomSelect, we recently received tickets to the Thomas & Friends Live! On Stage show - A Circus Comes to Town.

As H couldn't attend, I invited Daniel's buddy Murphy and Murphy's Mom to accompany us. Both boys were so excited they could hardly stand it! When I spoke with Darleen earlier in the day, Murphy had apparently told her that he was leaving his shoes on during his nap that afternoon - so he could be all ready to go!

Bursting with anticipation, the boys stayed out of their seats for most of the show. Our seats were a bit to the left, and sort of midway/to the back. This show is such a spectacle, it is hard to say that there was a bad seat in the house. The lights came down, and Daniel whirled around to Darleen and I to exclaim: This is so cool! I think a grin stayed on my face the rest of the night.

A group of engine drivers were in the audience, getting the crowd into it and we soon had Sir Topham Hatt introducing the engines themselves. The circus has come to Sodor, and Thomas must learn to work with his friends to ensure that the show goes on - without any "confusion and delay." There was a circus strongman, a trapeze artist and a clown who played pranks that Daniel still talks about: the clown jumped over the box. The performers had great voices, and the animatronic engine faces brought characters like Percy and Thomas to life on the stage. We were impressed by this quality production.

Thomas and his friends are still touring the country through August 1st. His next stop is April 28-29 in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Check here to see when he is coming to a town near you, and have a fun night out with your little ones!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy Friday!

Hello Everyone! It is due to be 70 degrees around here, with it leaping into the 80s the rest of the weekend. I'm off to find as many ways as possible to get out of my house.

Too bad grocery shopping must be one of them...

But one bit of business - the winner of the personalized box of My Fruit Roll-ups. Congrats to Andrea M.! Andrea, please get in touch to confirm your email contact address, so that I can send you your code.

Thanks everyone for playing!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wow! Wow!

Daniel is really into all things action figure-ish. Super heroes of all kinds, Transformers, Power Rangers, little plastic soldiers are constantly underfoot around our house. So I'm usually pretty tickled to find something he fancies that can take us in some new directions.

Sprightly little Wubbzy has a new video out. Wow Wow Wubbzy Pirate Treasure has 7 episodes full of adventures and silly songs. Wubbzy is joined by his friends Widget and Walden, as they search for buried pirate treasure. Other stories follow what happens when Wubbzy gets lost in the woods, we explore why Walden is afraid of the beach and more. A trip with the gang to the nearby town of Plaidville proves pretty interesting too.

Bubbly music, fun stories, silly characters have kept this DVD in some heavy rotation around our house recently. Thanks MomCentral for the opportunity to have a new peek into the land of Wubbzy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Mom? Can I Have a Snack?" (Giveaway)

This is a phrase heard often around our house. Remember Fruit Roll-ups? I remember unrolling and peeling the fruity snacks when I was a kid. They have now landed on the web as My Fruit Roll-ups. With more than 400 graphics, or even the option of uploading your own photo, artwork or logo these are truly a customizable treat. Birthday designs, pirates, princesses, snowflakes, safari, Valentine's Day hearts, Luau, Graduation designs... there are loads of possibilities. These would make great party favors!

We had a chance to try out the website, and I found it very user-friendly to step through the ordering process. Daniel has had a Guitar Hero phase going on, and so I picked a design with guitars, music notes, and the word ROCK splashed across it. Adding his photo was the final touch. Our shipment arrived, and he and his friends were tickled with the fun snack.

Win It!
I have a code for one complimentary order of My Fruit Roll-ups to give away to one lucky reader. You have a chance to get four entries:
1. Visit the My Fruit Roll-ups site and come back here to leave a comment as to how you would design your roll-ups.
2. Subscribe to Relishing the Dirt and leave a comment letting me know that you have done so.
3. Follow me on Twitter, and leave a comment letting me know that you have done so.
4. Tweet about this giveaway, and leave a comment letting me know that you have done so.

Giveaway ends Thursday, April 23rd. Winner to be announced Friday, April 24th.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Spa Friday!

Take a deep breath everyone. It's Friday! It's almost Spring! And I'm here to announce the three winners of the Fiber One Spa Basket Giveaway. They are:


Congratulations! Please check your email for a message from me. Thanks everyone for visiting!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cheese-Heads Unite!

Time's up folks! If I don't pick some winners now, this will not be out by the end of the day... The great has spoken, and given back the numbers 19 and 49. The winners of a coupon for free Kraft Singles are:

Valerie2350, who cooks her grilled cheese in her mother's well-seasoned cast iron pan.

Mommyhood is Thankless, who likes to create a yummy-sounding turkey melt.

I will be in touch soon for your contact information. Congratulations!

And I'm happy to make the acquaintance of so many fellow cheese lovers! Stay tuned for another yummy giveaway coming soon!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cheese - and a Quickie Giveaway

I love cheese. Sometimes I think it must be in the DNA with my parents hailing from Wisconsin and all. Gooey on pizza, sprinkled over salads, a hunk of string cheese straight from the refrigerator - and a lovely bite of comfort food, a buttery, crispy-warm grilled cheese straight from the stove. Occasionally I change up the cheeses, or go for a little gourmet "glam" and add a thin slice of tomato to my grilled cheese sandwiches.

Plain ol' grilled cheese without the crust was a favorite of Daniel's early on. In true picky-eater fashion, he drifted from eating them for awhile. We recently tried Kraft American Singles, and an interesting thing happened. My carb-loving discriminating eater started peeling the bread apart to dig out the cheese! Not a total success, but I may start changing up the cheeses or breads, or cut them up into fun shapes or something to see if he will start eating them again.

Win It!
I have two coupons good for one free 12 ounce package of Kraft Singles (any variety). The expiration date is 3/31/2009, so this is going to be a quickie giveaway.

How to Enter:
1. Leave a comment on this post. If you feel inclined, tell me your favorite way to cook grilled cheese.
2. Follow this blog, or sign up via email or reader. (Please leave an additional comment telling me that you have done this.)

Two winners to be chosen the end of the day, Friday March 13th.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Join Me In A Time Out?

Winter, it's safe to say, has been kicking my butt. We've had multiple household breakdowns, car breakdowns, a bout of family illnesses - all wrapped up in a neat bow with ice storms and snow, and rounds of cold. Spring can't get here fast enough for me.

It was lovely to have a nifty little gift basket arrive on my doorstep. Full of some chocolatey pampering delights: a bath pillow, some bath salts, scented soap and a fragrant tea light. It was also an opportunity to try new Fiber One chewy bars in chocolate mocha flavor. I love chocolate, but am not a coffee drinker so I was initially unsure about the flavor combination for my particular taste buds. There is a pretty good balance between the two, however making for a delicious, chewy sweet snack. Each bar provides 35% of the recommended daily fiber intake and also is a good source of calcium.

Did you know?
- Fiber can help you satisfy your appetite and manage your weight.
- Research suggests that people who have high fiber intakes tend to have healthier body weights.
- Fiber can help keep your digestive system on track.
- 9 out of 10 Americans aren’t getting the recommended amount of fiber.

Do you want to know if you are getting enough fiber? Check out the Fiber-O-Meter at:

Win It!

I have three gift baskets to give away to three lucky readers! (Please note that you will receive a coupon for a free box of Fiber One Chocolate Mocha Chewy Bars rather than the actual snack bars.)

How To Enter

1. Leave a reply to this post and tell me why you need a spa break!
2. Get an extra entry by doing any or all of the following: follow this blog, sign up via email or a reader. If you do this, please leave an extra comment indicating what you have done.

Contest ends Thursday, March 19th - winners to be announced March 20th.

Can't wait? Fiber One is now offering a $1.35 off downloadable coupon for one box of Fiber One Chewy Bars available at:

Friday, January 16, 2009

And the Winner is!

Colleen Jefferey of The Jefferey Family was checking out Holly Moose at the Build-A-Bear Workshop website. She had this to say:

"Holly Moose is adorable."

Colleen is the winner of the $10 in Bear Bucks/gift card to the Build-A-Bear Workshop.

Colleen, please get in touch with me via email/or the contact form on the website to provide your contact information - I will get your prize out to you ASAP. Congratulations!