Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sad week for us, and just a bad year!

So, I know I haven't done an actual blog post in a while, it has been a really trying time for our family and especially for me. As some of you know my husband has been undergoing treatment for leukemia, specifically ALL. He had a stem cell transplant in March and has been out of town (over 3 hours away) at the cancer treatment center since early March, I have only seen him once for a couple days since then. He will have to stay there for at least 100 days past the stem cell transplant day. I am here taking care of the boys since they really cannot be around him during this time, especially after tomorrow when my youngest Zealand gets a vaccination. My husband (Shawn) essentially has a baby immune system, they completely wiped his out with chemotherapy and full body radiation and then introduced the donor cells to him during the transplant. He needs to walk a fine line to keep the new cells in check so they don't try and kill his body, but he needs to allow them to settle in and do what they are supposed to do--fight his cancer for him.

With all that said, things here at home really are just falling apart. Our heater fan in the bathroom stopped producing heat and it was so old that it just needed to be replaced. Our DVR hard drive stopped working so all the stuff I had recorded and saved for Shawn was lost since I had to return the old one for a new one. Our microwave stopped working and I just had to replace that. And to top it all off, our dog got sick with a highly resistant bacterial infection in her lungs, which caused her to have severe difficulty breathing, she eventually stopped eating and drinking because it was just to difficult to try and breath and eat/drink at the same time. She did not respond to several different antibiotics or steroid treatments and I ended up making the extremely hard decision to have her euthanized. I had her since she was 6 weeks old, and we went through so much together. She was going to be 9 next month. The hardest part of it is when my kids and I went to pick up her ashes (she was privately cremated) my 3 year old said " mommy we are not leaving without Brodie" and I had to explain to him that she was in the box I was carrying. He insisted on holding her  in the car, tucked her in and told me to turn the radio down because she was sleeping. He then was carrying her urn around petting it, and not letting it leave his side, he even wanted to take it in his sandbox so she could play in it with him. He sat on the couch and said "mommy I need Brodie" and I would have to get him the urn box which I had been trying to set up on a shelf out of the way to kind of get our minds off of it. It has only been a week but I am devastated and have been bawling my eyes out whenever I think of her. One of the worst things though, is that Shawn in Buffalo, did not get to say goodbye to her. She was actually really attached to him and would wait for him to come home every night when he was at work during the day. Even when she was sick, she would stand in the kitchen waiting for him (hoping that he would come home I bet). So, maybe it was just as painful for her as it is for all of us, she didn't get to say goodbye to him either.

Overall, this has been an awful year for us so far. The only good thing is that we were able to find a donor for my husband so quickly and I am so thankful for that! I understand that people may go years without finding donors, and that some don't find one at all. So thank you to all those who are donors, you really do not fully know how much you are appreciated!

Hopefully things will settle down for us here at the house, and everything can get back to normal by the end of summer when Shawn can finally come home. I know he will still have a lot of doctor appointments but at least he will be home with us.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Shaping Up for Spring Blog hop! 4/11-4/25!

We are a few weeks into Spring and as the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, it's time to shape up!  What better way to make the act of exercising more enjoyable than giveaways!?  The Blogging Mamas Network is hosting the Shaping Up for Spring Hop from April 11th through the 25th to motivate you to get active and healthy!
Be sure to hop around to all of the participating bloggers, in the linky below my giveaway, as they have some great prizes to share with you!  Don't forget the GRAND PRIZE which includes, a 3 meal box from Hello Fresh, Aurorae Yoga Apparel and Yoga Mat, a Accessory Pouch and Hair Bands from Active Accessories, and the best way to get your greens from NewGreens Organic!

It is that time of year again, to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors--and put those running shoes back on! But, while not all of you can get outdoors to enjoy it and get in some much needed exercise, here is a great opportunity for you to enter to win something which you can use to bring the fitness home to you! Exercise on your time, in the comfort of your own home! How cool is that?!

I am self-sponsoring this giveaway because this is a product I would love to own, and want feedback from the winner! I have up for grabs a Wii Zumba Fitness game! This includes the belt (I believe it is 52" long) for hands free Zumba action! This is the hot new way to lose those extra inches and pounds! Take the class home with you and get your Zumba on! You can purchase extra belts separately for multiple users and have your very own Zumba party! Everywhere I look this game gets high ratings and rave reviews for the amount of sweat you get out of it.

Get ready to dance your way to those skinny jeans!

This giveaway runs from April 11th through April 25th and this one is only open to US!
Good Luck!

Kaycee Mason, you are the winner chosen on the Rafflecopter, you have 72 hours to respond to the email that was sent to you! Congrats!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

According to Jenny, So Easy Being Green, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Shaping Up for Spring participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

NEW Garnier Olia, oil powered hair dye

I recently received a coupon for a free box of Garnier Olia to test out from BzzAgent and I must say I was skeptical about the use of oils to color my hair. For years I have turned to either professional dyes and other big box store brands of hair dye to color my hair. I have used colors with burgundy to black and in my younger days I of course had even wilder hair colors, so I know what I like and what to use in my hair. 

First and foremost, here is a little bit of information about the product directly from the BzzAgent Campaign website:
Introducing Garnier Olia, the first oil powered permanent at-home hair color. Olia is an innovative, oil powered formula that propels colorant deep into your hair – without ammonia – for pure, vivid, long-lasting color. Unlike traditional hair color, Olia uses an exclusive 60% oil blend, with natural flower oils in the colorant. The oils help to reverse roughness and dullness for more brilliant shine, dimensional color, and softer, shinier hair with bounce.
  • First oil powered, permanent at-home hair color
  • No ammonia
  • 60% oil blend with natural flower oils
  • 100% gray coverage
  • Maximum color performance
  • Visibly improves and restores hair*
  • Softer, shinier hair with bounce
  • Pleasant floral fragrance
  • In 24 different shades
 *Restores hair by improving softness and shine.

Before dying

So, with all the specifications of the product out of the way, I have to say I am truly impressed by the awesome coloring abilities of this product.  This product does not contain any ammonia so it is much less harsh on the hair and tender scalp area, but you must follow all directions properly on the package as this still can damage your hair and scalp if you do not. I noticed it mildly tingled on my scalp so I do know there are still damaging ingredients in the product. I only did a root touch-up because I was not sure if the product would work on my hair or if the color would even match my existing dye color in my hair. It worked like a charm, covered my grown out roots and blended well. The bottle design is a little difficult to handle especially if you have dye on your gloves, if it was less round it would be easier to handle. I also felt like I didn't get all the developer out of the tube, but there is not much to do to improve upon that unless they put a little extra in the tube to account for this. Loved the hydrating after coloring cream rinse, my hair did not feel like straw (like some other dyes) after finishing rinsing and conditioning, and once it was dry it was shiny and smooth and very manageable. 
After Dying

I just bought another box to re-do my hair when it grows out again. So, needless to say, this is a great product and I would recommend it to anyone looking to dye their hair with less chemicals or no ammonia.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Showered with Love Giveaway Hop! 4/1-4/15

Baby Shower Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Showered With Love Event hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network!  We all know that April Showers bring May Flowers, but did you know that over 50 bloggers have come together throw a huge Shower of our own - a virtual Baby Shower!  The Showered  with Love Event will run from April 1-15, giving you plenty of chances and time to enter all of the great giveaways!
Be sure to hop around to each blogger in the linky under my giveaway, as well as check out the fabulous Baby Shower Grand Prize, including a Boba Wrap, Red Charlotte Doll Carrier, a $50 GC to Walls Need Love, AND 6 pocket cloth diapers from Little Monsters - worth over $300!

Showered With Love Grand Prize

Okay all you Busy Mommas out there! Here is the Showered with Love giveaway hop! There are over 71 bloggers signed up to participate in this blog hop, and you know what that means right? Lots of prized to be won! Each prize in this hop is valued at least at $25! The grand prize over at So Easy Being Green is valued at over $300! Be sure to get as many entries in as you possibly can to get the best chance at winning some awesome prizes!

The prizes I am offering for this giveaway include a cute little bath time gift basket from Akva Organics valued at $30. This basket includes all the stuff for your little one's first (and many more!) bath! It contains the following*:

Photo courtesy of Akva Organics
  • Goat Milk Soap (3 bars) -- A gentle, mild soap with a rich, creamy lather that is ideal for babies -- or anyone with sensitive skin.
Photo courtesy of Akva Organics
  • Talc-Free Lavender Powder (6 oz.) -- A mixture of vegetable starches that provides an effective, Earth-friendly alternative to talcum powder. It absorbs moisture and prevents chafing while being safe and gentle to baby's skin. It is infused with natural, essential oil of lavender which is extremely safe and gentle while providing a host of benefits to the skin including anti-microbial, skin soothing, and calming properties.
  • Shea Butter Balm (2 oz.) -- A thick, rich cream for extra dry or inflamed skin that contains no chemical colors, fragrances, or preservatives.
  • Wool Sea Sponge -- Wool sea sponges are silky soft against the skin. They are also incredibly durable and inhibit the growth of bacteria unlike washcloths and artificial sponges.
  • Natural BPA-free bath toys -- A trio of brightly colored bath toys that are free of chemicals. They all squirt water and are sized right for little hands.

Also up for grabs is a $25 store credit to Mama's Emporium!! I love this online store, it is dedicated to mommies, babies and everything in between! They've got everything you need to cloth diaper your baby from the diapers themselves, to the cloth diaper safe detergent and cloth diaper "safe" diaper rash creams.
They also offer a variety of educational toys as well as pretend play items, puzzles and crafty items. The have some items for those teething babies, and if you have any questions I am sure they are more than happy to help you the best that they can, they have great customer service.
I personally have shopped at Mama's Emporium on several occasions, you just cannot beat the prices, deals and just the overall good feeling of supporting a small business! Be sure to head over there and check them out, also check out their Facebook page HERE, and while you're there tell them that Busy Momma sent you!

One lucky winner will walk away with both of these awesome prizes for their little one! This giveaway is open to US and Canada.Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
According to Jenny, So Easy Being Green, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Showered with Love participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

*Information included in this post is from Akva Organics, basket may be different from the one pictured above.