The One Where YOU Get Lucky

The One Where YOU Get Lucky

Once upon a time, there were three girls sitting in a hotel room in rural Georgia. They were minding their own business, putting together costumes for a party, when lo and behold! they declared that they would SURELY all win the Country Outfitter boot giveaways that were being drawn for the next evening.

They were Non-Con attendees, you see. And they were having the time of their little lives. They were high on bad coffee and excellent company, and were determined they were going to emerge victorious after The Pioneer Woman drew the winners of the boots that were being given away.

So the story goes, the girls listened to Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman (for those of you living under a proverbial rock) talk about boogers and shriveling cactus (cacti, cactuses?), and anxiously awaited the drawing. First one name was drawn. Then another. And then a last one.

ALL THREE OF THE GIRLS WON BOOTS. They were obviously lucky.

It was like a bad episode of Oprah. You get boots. YOU get boots! EVERYBODY GETS BOOTS!

There was laughing.

And there was squealing.

And then there was stalking until Ree took a picture with us.

There also may have been photobombing.

Now, you may think this story is BS, but I assure you it is not.

Anyhoo…

So I got home and ordered my boots with my $150 gift card to Country Outfitter. I knew exactly which ones I wanted. However, the gift card didn’t quite cover them *blushes* so I had to ante up some more dough. But by God, I’ve worked hard and earned them (or something).

My boots arrived. It was like Christmas morning, y’all.

I chose the Old Gringo Tyler Boot. They’re like butter. Seriously. They’re like an old friend already.

They were comfortable enough, but I knew they needed a little breaking in before I would be comfortable wearing them. I’m kinda claustrophobic about shoes and well, they fit a little snug, like a bug in a rug.

I utilized a few non-traditional methods of stretching them out a little.

Mainly using SEC Championship cups. They’re the perfect size to stretch out the tops of the boots. Spray a little water in the inside and shove those bad boys in… boom. Stretched out just enough to slip a pair of jeans in there.

This weekend, I’ll be rocking my new boots at the Auburn-Georgia game (pictures below). I’m hoping they’re my lucky boots and Auburn may pull out a win. Or at least show up to the game!

And *cough* Auburn lost. Whatever.

So here’s where YOU get lucky.

Country Outfitter has given me a $150 gift card to give away to one of you beautiful people.

How to Enter:

MANDATORY: You must CLICK HERE and enter your email address to enter. Country Outfitter will occasionally send you marketing messages. You are welcome to opt out at any time.

For an ADDITIONAL entry please leave a comment below letting me know you entered. 

One lucky winner will be chosen by random.org on November 19.

contest closed 

Disclaimer and other blah blah blah: Must be a US Resident 18 years and older. CountryOutfitter, a retailer of Old Gringo boots is providing a $150 gift card for cowboy boots for me to give one of my readers. Note: I am not giving you MY boots, you will get a $150 gift card and can buy whatever boots you want with it!

Giveaway: Kidfresh Meals

Giveaway: Kidfresh Meals

I received an email the other day titled, “Looking for nutritious, convenient kids meals for Henry?” and of course I was like OHMYGOSHYES!

You see? My kid who wants to be a chef and own his own restaurant isn’t very adventurous in the food department.

He eats what we like to call hors d’oeuvres plates. The food should be separated so it doesn’t touch. It can’t be pasta because that makes him gag. He will eat raw vegetables but don’t dare give him cooked ones. He’ll eat his weight in bread and crackers if I would let him. But I try to keep that in check.

We eat out a bit, but not fast food. He very rarely gets McDonalds because YUCK!

So anyway, back to the story. I get this email and I’m all WOOHOO! Nutritious AND convenient? That’s cool! I should check it out. I first scanned the Kidfresh website and was sad because all I saw were pasta meals and it appeared they all needed to be microwaved. That’s a double whammy. He gags eating pasta and we haven’t had a microwave in two years. (I KNOW, right?) (No, you don’t need one to live.) (Seriously.)

Later I found out that Kidfresh offers a quesadilla option. AND it has instructions for cooking it on the stove or in the oven. In fact, it’s better on the stove. Who doesn’t like their quesadilla a little crunchy?

So I took my coupons for free Kidfresh meals* and headed to Publix to buy some quesadillas. I expected them to be with the other kid frozen meals, but they were with the organic and natural frozen food, which I thought was great.

We came home and cooked.

Stove top instructions (though I didn’t really need them).

There are two quesadillas in the package. I only made one for Henry. He was also having a salad and tomatoes.

Do you see the words ALL NATURAL? The Kidfresh products are 100% natural. There’s not a single drop of anything artificial. They’ve also incorporated the latest findings and nutrient-deficiency assessments from the USDA and CDC.

Look: SNEAKY! There is up to a half cup of veggies pureed and snuck into every meal! Each meal is around 300 calories and has moderate sodium and fat.

Other goodness? The containers are BPA-free and phthalate-free and completely recyclable (made of recycled materials, too).

I mean, can it sound any more delicious? They’re an earth-friendly, healthier option than other meals that cater to our kids. With close to 1 in 3 children being overweight or obese in the US today, less than 10% are eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Kidfresh is doing what they can to make affordable, convenient, all natural, healthy meals available to the masses.

And then the quesadilla was ready. Crispy, melty, full of cheese.

And it got a thumbs up from Mr. Picky himself! (It also got a thumbs up from his mom!)

They have six choices right now to choose from. Head over to their page and browse their choices. Then come back and let me know which one you would like to try if you win the giveaway!

They aren’t available in every store yet but are available in the stores below.

What is being given away?

Three (3) vouchers for one free Kidfresh meal. (so you’ll get three free Kidfresh meals)

Two (2) $1 off coupons for a Kidfresh meal. 

To enter the giveaway:

  • Leave a comment saying what you would love for your kiddo to enjoy eating and tell me which of the meals you think your child will love.
  • Follow Kidfresh on Twitter. (optional, leave a separate comment saying you follow them)
  • Like Kidfresh on Facebook. (optional, leave a separate comment saying you like them)
  • Like Jana’s Thinking Place on Facebook. (optional, leave a separate comment saying you like me. Also, WHY WEREN’T YOU ALREADY LIKING ME?)

I will choose a random winner on May 8 at 9pm Eastern. 

* Disclaimer: I was provided coupons for free and discounted product to use and review and to give away to a lucky reader. The opinions here ARE my own and cannot be bought for any amount of money or food. Ok, well, maybe for a million dollars or a lifetime supply of pizza, but nobody’s offering me that. 

 

Teaching The Hard Stuff: Introducing Fred The Fox *Update with Winner*

Teaching The Hard Stuff: Introducing Fred The Fox *Update with Winner*

Two weeks ago, a post came up in my reader that caught my attention. Scary Mommy had a guest post about a situation involving a six year old being asked by an older boy to touch his privates. This post scared me. It scared me enough that I posted it on Facebook. It opened up a great dialogue about this and about how young it seems like we have to talk about these things with our kids.

I’d like to state up front that I really feel like, thankfully, I grew up in a bubble. I didn’t know that things like this happened to people. The older I got, the more I realized that there were people in the world who did things like this. And now, working daily on Band Back Together, I realize how fortunate I am that sexual abuse has never touched my life — as a child or as an adult.

Just the night before this post was put up, Jason had to go through the Cub Scout Handbook with Henry. In the front is a section of topics to discuss with your son to help them learn what to do in situations such as the following:

  • What if you are playing on the playground and an adult comes up to you and asks you to help find his or her lost puppy? What do you do?
  • What if you are in a public restroom and someone tries to touch your private parts? What do you do?
  • What if you are playing at a friend’s house and his older brother and some of his friends invite you to join a club? To join the club you have to take off all your clothes and wrestle with them. Your friend wants to join. What do you do?
I’ll be honest. I was listening to the conversation Jason and Henry were having and I was panicky. There were about a dozen more questions and situations that go even deeper into detail than those. I was panicky because my child who loves to please others didn’t know the answers to these questions.

I was panicky because OMG my baby shouldn’t have to know about these things — there shouldn’t be people who do this in the world. It’s just not right.

But that’s not the case. There are bad people in the world and all we can do as parents is teach our kids right and wrong and empower them to know the difference and stand up for themselves.

The timing of the introduction by my friend Amy to the author of Fred The Fox Shouts “NO!” was perfect.

Tatiana K. Matthews is the author of the wonderful book Fred The Fox Shouts “NO!” and as it turns out, she lives right around the corner from me in Dunwoody, as does the very talented illustrator of the book, Allison Fears. Tatiana dropped off a book for me the other day to read to Henry. All I can say is that HE LOVED IT!

After the initial embarrassed-boy, sheepish look when talking about “privates,” he warmed up to it. Probably because the book is simple, to the point and the best part? You get to SCREAM!

Every time Fred The Fox’s parent asks a question, Fred answers and then YOU have to answer out loud. BY SCREAMING! It’s so much fun to read and gets the sillies out before bed.

The message is simple and to the point. The book is repetitive which is ideal for children of this age. Reading the book often is how the message and lessons will resonate the best with them.

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I asked Tatiana to answer some questions for me to give you a better insight into why she decided to write a book like this and a little more about how and when to talk to your children about these sensitive subjects.

What was your reason behind writing this book? And why a family of foxes? 

The book was inspired by my own experience as a mental professional. Time and time again I saw clients who had been victims of sexual abuse at the hands of family, friends and acquaintances. However, the focus of many resources are not heavily centered on safety with people you know and trust.

I chose the family of foxes because I knew that the story could not be threatening. We would have to use animals to soften the edges of this very serious subject. I knew that a child like, but soft and fuzzy character would do the trick. I also wanted the animal to have a den to represent the importance of family and the culture of the home.

How early should we be talking to our children about sexual abuse? What ages do you recommend Fred The Fox Shouts “NO” for? 

Sexual abuse prevention starts at birth. Identifying a child’s private areas by their anatomically correct names sets the stage. Teaching a child that allows you to remind them that those areas are private. Having that conversation while you are changing diapers and modeling behavior that reflects you respect your child’s right to privacy and personal boundaries.

Fred the Fox is appropriate for any child that can sit for a story up to at least age 10.

If I talk to my child about this, he will want to know about sex and I’m not ready for my 6 year old to know all that. How do I put off the sex talk until he’s older? 

Introducing the concepts of privacy, personal rights and the power of ones voice, does not mean you will end up talking about sex. If a child has a question about sex that is generated from this conversation, answer the question in a concise manner. Never answer more than what is asked. Too many words can cause you to lose the message.

If a child asks a question that would leave you to believe they have more knowledge of sex than developmentally appropriate, you will need to gently investigate how they gathered that knowledge. That advanced knowledge can be a red flag that a child had been sexually abused.

Is the problem of sexual abuse of children getting better? Or is it worse than ever? 

There are conflicting studies regarding the rise or decline of child sexual abuse. Some studies say acts of sexual abuse are on the decline, but sexual abuse involving technology are on the rise.

Do you have plans for other books about other tough-to-talk-about subjects? 

We do not currently have plans for another book at this time, but we have some very exciting ideas in hopes that we will reduce the occurrences of sexual abuse.

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Fred The Fox Shouts “NO!” was featured in the AJC last week. The story opened with the most frightening statistics:

  • One in four girls and one in six boys nationally will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday, according to the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy.
  • Of those, less than 10 percent will ever tell, even though they know their offender 90 percent of the time.
Do you think it’s time to talk to YOUR kids about good touch and bad touch? I think so…

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Congratulations to Law Momma for winning the copy of Fred The Fox Shouts “NO!” I’ll be shooting you an email!

Anyone who wants to buy a copy can get one here!

Celebrating Spring with a Giveaway!

Celebrating Spring with a Giveaway!


Aah, Spring!

I won’t lie. I’m not a huge fan of Spring. Mostly for reasons such as pollen, tornadoes, days that start cold and end up fire hot. Did I mention pollen?

But Spring is a gorgeous time. It’s a time to celebrate. It’s a time to regroup and start fresh. It’s a time to soak up the the beautiful gifts of Mother Nature.

Spring comes in like a lamb. And then quickly turns into a lion. Or so our calendars tell us.

Spring brings The Kentucky Derby, the start of pimiento cheese/gin & tonic season, Easter and the beginning of baseball season.

The months of March, April and May are filled with soccer, baseball, field trips, festivals, parties, babies being born, “babies” graduating from high school and college. Life is just busy.

There’s no better time for announcing your exciting news than Spring. Whether you need graduation announcements or photo books to remember your Spring Break trip, Shutterfly has just the products for you.

If you’re like me and would love to scrapbook, have all the stuff but just can’t won’t carve out the time to actually DO IT, Shutterfly’s photo books are the perfect, affordable, easy way to preserve memories for years to come. They’re also great gifts for grandparents, newlyweds and parents of newborns.

Here’s an example of what their amazing photo books look like:

I’m having an 8×8 photo book made of our trip to New York for Henry. I may or may not be making another one for the mother-in-law as a souvenir of her first trip to The City.

This will be the front cover of her book. It’s a mix of New York City “spring” — where you still have to wear a coat and hat but at the same time you can attend the opening of the Macy’s Flower Show, an event that kicks off the beginning of the season of blooms.

I want to know what you want to announce!

One lucky winner will get to choose either 50 free announcements of their choice or an 8×8 photo book that Shutterfly has provided for me to give to one of my lucky readers. A winner will be drawn using random.org on Monday, April 18 at 9pm Eastern.

To enter:

  • Leave a comment telling me what announcement you want to make or remember with a photo book.
  • Leave a comment telling me you’re a friend of mine on Facebook (or go like me).
  • Leave a comment telling me you’ve tweeted the following: @jana0926 is giving away announcements or a photo book from  Shutterfly. Go enter! http://wp.me/p15q4j-zn #cleverspring

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Are you a blogger, too? Click here to register for a chance at 50 free announcements!

This post is part of a series sponsored by Shutterfly. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

I was compensated and provided product for this post, however, the opinions stated are my own.

My First Giveaway: Initials, Inc.

My First Giveaway: Initials, Inc.

My #SisterBitch, Leah at WalMart Gourmet, asked me if I would be interested in having a giveaway on my site. She is a Creative Partner with Initials, Inc. and is trying to get her business going again (she was on a little hiatus for a bit). She held a giveaway on her site last week and I’m VERY excited to offer this to y’all!

There is some absolutely adorable stuff in this line and if you know me at all, you know I have about 1.5 million bags. I NEED a few of these! Especially the one I chose to give one of you.

The Story Time Tote is the cutest thing ever. See?

It’s 13″ x 13″ and the perfect size for a library book bag, toting around coloring books (like we have with us at all times), transporting those “important papers” with you when you go away for the weekend. Anything. It’s a great size. And it comes in a few different patterns. Check the site for the options. They’re ALL precious.

Hurry up, Jana, get to the point… how do I enter??

How to Enter:

1. Send an email to Leah at leahslunchbox@gmail.com with your full name and email address to be added to her mailing list. Come back here and leave a comment saying you did that. She won’t spam you, I promise! (1 entry)

2. For an extra entry, Tweet or post to Facebook the following: It’s giveaway time at Jana’s Thinking Place. Have you entered? http://wp.me/p15q4j-qp (@jana0926). Come back and leave a separate comment saying you did that. If you tweet AND post to Facebook, leave TWO separate comments. (1 entry each)

*** The winner will be drawn using Random.org on Thursday night at 9pm Eastern.***

Easy enough? I think it is!

Since you’re here, make sure you hook up with me on Google Friend Connect over there on  the side >>>>>.

And maybe even go “Like” me on Facebook! You can “Like” Leah’s page, too, if you want.

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Update: According to Random.org, #16 was our winner… Tinfoil Magnolia!
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