Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Glass with a Twist

A few weeks ago, while exploring on Pinterest, I came across a really fun site called Glass with a Twist. I can remember getting engraved glassware as party favors in college, but we always seemed to have to order hundreds of them. One of the things that I liked when I started to explore Glass with a Twist was the fact that you could order just one or you could order more - the choice is yours. Now, as you would expect, the cost does go down as you order more, so there are advantages to ordering several, but not a requirement. I also really like that most of their glass base is produced domestically by Libbey Glass. (not that it matters, but I bought all of the hurricane glasses for my wedding centerpieces directly from Libbey in Toledo, Ohio when I was planning my wedding. Love supporting Ohio companies.) Their engraving is primarily done with sandblasting, "which produces the best possible effect on glass. Our engravings are deep, even, and permanent." The engravings are fully customizable. You can take one of the glasses on their site and tweak it to fit your needs or add clip art (they have a wide selection and on some you can upload your own!) or you can consider the glass your canvas and create your own.

I think this could be a fun gift to share with others.

Know someone that bought a new house or built a new bar? What a fun way to personalize the bar than a customized beer glass or a set.

Getting married? What a fun gift to give to your groomsmen, a commemorative beer mug.

Part of a Mommy's group? This could be a fun option for a girl's night out.

Know a coffee addict? Or a fan of Irish Coffee?

There are so many options and varieties to choose from. They offer beer glasses, wine glasses, shot glasses, coffee mugs, and more.

Glass with a Twist

- Permanent engraving
- Fully customizable
- Fast turnaround time
- No setup charges
- No minimum order

Thanks to Glass with a Twist, I have the opportunity to offer to one A Busy Mom of Two reader a chance to win a set of 4 glasses. (Glasses must be same style, single sided engraving. Names can be individualized by glass.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will remain open through August 22nd. Giveaway is open to residents of the US only. One winner will be selected through Rafflecopter. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected.

No compensation was received for this post. Glass with a Twist is providing the set of 4 glasses for the winner. All opinions expressed are entirely my own or that of my family.

Wordless Wednesday

I couldn't help but snap this cool sunset the other night. When I went into my kitchen, the houses behind me were so orange, I had to go out front and see the sunset.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New Lunchtime options

*information for this post was in part supplied by Hormel Foods through their Hormel Extended Family Blogger program. No compensation was received for this post.
I can absolutely not believe that my children start school in 3 weeks. That's right, there are only three weeks of summer left. Where does the time go? I remember how fast it seemed to go when I was a child, but as a parent, I think it goes even faster.

During the school year, my kids tend to pack their lunch a couple of times a week. Normally we know about it ahead of time and I am able to plan during my weekly shopping, but sometimes they decide in the morning that they just aren't in the mood for that day's option. For those times, I like to have options on hand that are easy to grab and go, for just those days.

A new option that we have available this year are REV Wraps from Hormel.
Just in time for back to school lunches and after school snacks, Hormel Foods is launching a brand new product: Hormel® REV® wraps. Hormel® REV® wraps are the perfect way to satisfy hunger because they’re ready to go with you wherever life takes you.

Hormel® REV® wraps have many benefits to your everyday life including:

*Endurance: protein-rich to provide real sustaining energy

*Nutrition: made with real meat and cheese, an excellent source of protein and a good

source of calcium and fiber

*Convenience: no preparation necessary, eaten hot or cold and designed to be hand-held

and portable; and

*Flavorful: classic deli combinations geared towards teens, as well as new, bold flavors for


The new wraps are available in eight delicious varieties including:

o Ham and Cheese - ham, cheddar cheese & soft white wrap

o Pepperoni Pizza - pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese & soft white


o Peppered Turkey - peppered turkey, mozzarella cheese, Italian herb wrap

o Meat Lovers Pizza – pepperoni, spicy salami, Genoa salami, mozzarella cheese &

soft white wrap

o Italian Style Ham – smoked ham, mozzarella cheese & Italian herb wrap

o Hot Pepper Ham - ham, hot pepper cheese & soft white wrap

o Italian Style – pepperoni, Genoa salami, mozzarella cheese, Italian herb wrap

o Spicy Italian Style – spicy salami, mozzarella cheese & Italian herb wrap

REV Wraps were an instant hit with my kids. They loved the variety of options, although the pizza varieties are their favorite (go figure!). I liked that the wraps have 15 grams or more of protein and seem to range from about 200 - 300 calories each. It is a lunch box option that I feel will keep them fueled for their day. I also see them as a potential after school snack on game nights, where we sometimes have to wait until after sports to have a meal. Normally, I offer them a snack with a good protein level like string cheese or yogurt, so now there is another option. I also like that I can pick up varieties that each member of the family enjoys and don't have to pick up five different types of meat at the deli to meet each person's individual tastes.

You can get a $1 off of 2 coupon to try REV Wraps for yourself here.

No compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are mine or those of my family. I am completing this post as a participant in the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger program. Hormel Foods provided some product and some of the information for this post.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Court Yard Hounds Amelita review *

*No compensation was received for this post. A complimentary review copy of the album was provided. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.
You may know Emily Robison and Martie Maguire as two-thirds of Dixie Chicks. Well, after a few years away from the limelight, these real-life sisters have found harmony by collaborating as Court Yard Hounds.

There are plenty of country-pop, fiddlin' folk, banjo-twangin' summery hooks in the songbook. Oh, and Emily and Martie can play more instruments than you can count on two hands. No big deal!

Along with the release of Amelita, Court Yard Hounds are set to embark on a US tour, kicking off with Lollapalooza in August. The first single off the album, "Sunshine", is available now.

I don't know about you, but I generally need to listen to a song a few times before I can form an opinion. With Amelita, which I have been listening to for about a week now, there were a couple of songs that jumped out at me right away and several others that I have really started to enjoy after a couple of listens. My daughter is even humming along in the backseat, and usually the first thing she asks when she doesn't know a song is "can you put on MY music?".

I really like the sarcasm in the song Sunshine. They have a friend that seems to be able to rain on everyone's parade and really bring down a perfect day, so they call them Sunshine. The best part is that we all know "Sunshine", we all have people in our lives who are so down on everything and they seem to try to bring you down too. The easy to relate to subject and the catchy tune make this an enjoyable song for me.

Another tune that I find myself humming to myself as I walk between meetings is The World Smiles. The song is about about keeping a positive attitude and believing in the good all around you. As an optimist, I certainly believe in finding the good in everything, so I really like the message in this song. Plus, there is just something about the different instrumental sounds included in the song, that really draws me in and leaves me humming along with the song and even when it's not on. In fact, as I type this, I can't help but sing it in my head.
Amelita Track Listing:

The World Smiles
Aimless Upward
Guy Like You
Rock All Night
Gets You Down
Watch Your Step
The Road You Take

You can buy the album on Amazon or iTunes.

No compensation was received for this review. A complimentary review copy was provided through One2One. By completing a review, I am entered into a drawing. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Colorful Summer *

* No compensation was received for this post. Crayola provided information for the post, a gift pack for my family and one for the giveaway. All opinions expressed are entirely my own or that of my family.
As a mom, in today's world, I am so glad for the simple things...a box of crayons, water colors, sidewalk chalk. It is so nice to watch the kids be creative and express themselves...and to spend hours busy entertaining themselves with the favorites of my own childhood. Not that I let my kids spend a lot of time on the computer, iPod, iPad or watching TV, but some days it sure feels like that is the primary source of entertainment and that is why it is so refreshing to watch them color and create.

There is just something so inviting about a blank concrete driveway when you have a pack of sidewalk chalk. There is something about having such a large canvas to color on. At our house, we tend to draw rainbows, sunshine, our names and roadways. I love when they make roadways and then grab their scooters to travel the routes that they drew...and the stories about how when you get to the dead end your scooter flies to the other side of the pathway and reenters.
I think as a mom, one of my favorite new products from recent years is Color Wonder...I love that I don't have to worry about colors winding up on all sorts of other surfaces in my house, with the special Color Wonder markers, the color only shows up on the Color Wonder paper. That is pretty awesome! I am really excited about their new Color Wonder Glitter Paper and Markers. My daughter absolutely loves glitter, but it seems that we get glitter everywhere...whether from a craft or a new shirt that glitters. It can be a pain to clean up, so knowing that this product gives her the glitter effects with no glitter mess is a good thing in my book.

Their Color Wonder Mini Stow and Go is perfect for entertaining the kids on the go. The container has space to securely store 6 Color Wonder markers and a small pad of paper. It comes with three markers, but we filled ours with some of our other give us the most variety when we are coloring on the go. The small paper pad it comes with is plain color wonder paper, allowing the kids to use their imagination to color whatever comes to mind. The container makes a perfect writing surface for them in the car...fitting easily in their small laps.

Here is some information about some of their exciting new summer products:
Washable Sidewalk Chalk:

*A standout from the crowd -- it’s the first sidewalk chalk featuring 48 classic Crayola crayon colors! And that’s not all - the chalk is also bolder and more vibrant than ever.
*With so many colors to choose from, kids can let their imaginations run wild to create beautiful masterpieces that may include “carnation pink” flowers, “sepia” colored tree trunks, “granny smith apple” turtles or “scarlet” colored lady bugs.
*A new anti-roll shape prevents chalk from rolling away and the wide sides allow kids to draw thick lines.
*Parents will appreciate that the chalk is washable from sidewalks and driveways - simply spray away with water!

Color Wonder Mini Stow and Go:

• Mess-free fun hits the road with Crayola Wonder Mini Stow and Go!
• The Color Wonder Mini Stow & Go gives you a portable writing surface and storage for your creations and markers.
• Markers color only on special paper and not on skin, furniture or carpets!
• Each pack includes a 15-page mini Color Wonder Coloring Pad and 3 Color Wonder Markers

Color Wonder Mess-Free Glitter Paper and Markers:

* Crayola’s new Color Wonder Glitter Paper is full of glittery fun but without the mess, since the glitter effects are in the paper.
* Kids can create dazzling, sparkly masterpieces with their favorite Disney Princesses and Fairies.
* With Crayola’s Color Wonder system, parents can rest easy since the mess-free Color Wonder markers will only appear on the special Color Wonder paper – not on skin, clothing, walls or furniture.
* Kids can color and watch in awe as hidden images magically appear on the glittery paper.


Crayola has offered to send one A Busy Mom of Two reader a Crayola Summer Gift Pack.
The gift pack will include:
(1) Pack of Washable Sidewalk Chalk
(1) Color Wonder Mini Stow and Go
(1) Color Wonder Mess-Free Glitter Paper and Markers

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will remain open through August 16th. Giveaway is open to residents of the US only. Winners will be selected through Rafflecopter. The winners will have 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected.

No compensation was received for this post. Crayola provided information for the post, a gift pack for my family and one for the giveaway. All opinions expressed are entirely my own or that of my family.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

CiCi's Drink Up Summer Promotion & $5 Buffets in July! *

*No compensation was received for this post. A complimentary gift card and information about the promotion was provided. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.
Yesterday was just one of those days. I hadn't planned anything specific for dinner...I should know better than to not plan out my menu for the I sent my husband a text asking, what should we have for dinner. He sent back a suggestion that felt a little 'eh' about, so I said so.
Then, he suggested CiCi's Pizza. I had been planning to suggest that for this weekend knowing that they were running their $5 Buffet special and because I wanted to get new pictures of the kids - the picture studio we use is next door to our CiCi's. I told him that we could do that, if he could convince the kids that we were going to do pictures before dinner. They agreed, so I made a picture appointment and our dinner plans were set.

After the picture session, where the kids did better a job than usual of cooperating and getting through the session quickly, we headed next door to CiCi's. The line was out the door. Peeking in, we could see that the tables were mostly full and each time they cleared one, there was someone waiting to sit down. I wasn't completely surprised, they offer a good variety of pizzas on their buffet to appeal to everyone in the family, and in July, they are offering their buffet for just $5 a person (kids are cheaper - only $2.99, but that is the regular price). It was a reasonable night out, our total bill for the night was under $20. Not bad for a family dinner out that everyone enjoys.

I don't have Instagram, but if you do you will want to check out CiCi's Drink Up Summer Promotion that is running right now.
CiCi’s is giving fans the chance to win VIP vacations, grab instant-win prizes and get lucky with an Instagram contest.

Guests can visit their local CiCi’s for details on how to win one of four all-inclusive VIP vacations, one-day passes to SeaWorld or Busch Gardens or $25 in CiCi’s gift cards. The contest runs through Sept. 1.

In addition, throughout July, CiCi’s Pizza is offering its endless pizza, pasta, soup, salad and dessert buffet for just $5 at participating restaurants.

No compensation was received for this post. A complimentary gift card and information about the promotion was provided. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Kalahari’s Summer Splash Celebration #giveaway #KalahariOH *

*a complimentary gift box for my family to experience. All opinions expressed are entirely my own or that of my family.
There is just something so fun about a get away at a water park. As a kid, I can remember the fun of going to the water park and they hold the same appeal today as an adult (somewhat surprisingly, since generally, the idea of walking around in my bathing suit is far from appealing). I have always been one to enjoy the water and swimming, but the experience was so different than just a day at the pool. In fact, most of the time, there is little actual swimming - lots of sliding and splashing and floating, but little swimming.

Water parks have come a long way in my lifetime. When I was really young, I don't remember that we even had water parks in Ohio (we may have, just not any that I knew about). I know that when I was older there were a couple of water parks built in Cincinnati - the Beach came first in 1985 and Surf Cincinnati a few years later. A trip to the water park was a special day, but it was just a day. I can remember one year, when we were on vacation in Myrtle Beach, we took a day and went to the water park down there. I don't remember much about the park itself, but I remember coming back to the room after the day at the park and my brother had a strange rash. That rash turned out to be chicken pox that he had unbeknownst to us had been exposed to those last couple of days of the school year. It made for a fun ride home and although I didn't have them on vacation, I did get them a few weeks later.

Now, as an adult, I have had the fun of taking my family to enjoy indoor water parks. Many are actually resorts with the water park attached to a hotel and full of several amenities for the whole family. Not only do you have the luxury of being able to enjoy a water park year round and not worry about getting a sunburn, but you also get the chance to head back to the room for a break and the chance to play the day you arrive through the day you checkout.
One of the water parks that the family enjoys going to is Kalahari Resorts in Sandusky, Ohio. Did you know that at 173,000 square feet, Kalahari Resort in Sandusky is America's largest indoor water park? Kalahari water park is full of attractions for all ages and level of thrill seekers. Some of the attractions include a 12,000 sq. ft. wavepool, the Swahili Swirl 60' diameter bowl raft ride, Zip Coaster uphill water rollercoaster waterslide, Cheetah Race 4 lane mat slides, Kid's Safari and Leopard's Lair for the little ones, Rippling Rhino and Victoria Falls raft rides, lazy river, and MUCH more!

In addition to the obvious attraction of the water park, we enjoy their room selections. Our favorite is their Village Suite, featuring three bedrooms (one with a king bed and two with two queen beds), a living room, and a fully equipped kitchen. It is a great way to enjoy the park with a large group. We have gone with my family and especially with young ones, it is nice to be able to make a dinner in the room and to be able to put them to bed for the night and still be able to gather and visit in the common areas.

This summer, you can enjoy Kalahari's Summer Splash Celebration: A ONE WORLD AFRICAN CELEBRATION OF MUSIC, FOOD & ART.

As part of the celebration, I have an opportunity to share with one reader a Kalahari Sandusky Gift Box.

Kalahari box containing:

· Kalahari Brochure
· Summer Splash Flyer
· Features Fact Sheet
· Green Initiatives Fact Sheet
· 1 Sandusky Overnight stay with restrictions
· 4 Sandusky Safari Outdoor Adventure Park Passes
· 2 Kalahari Ball-caps
· 1 Kalahari CD
· 2 Kalahari Magnet
· 2 Shirts

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will remain open through August 15th. Giveaway is open to residents of the US only. Winners will be selected through Rafflecopter. The winners will have 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected.

No compensation was received for this post. I received a complimentary gift box for my family to experience. All opinions expressed are entirely my own or that of my family.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Skwooshi Review and Giveaway*

* a complimentary sample was provided for this review.

It is a rainy Saturday morning here, which means that the kids will require some activities to keep them entertained and not just watching TV all day. One of our favorite rainy day activities has always been playing with modeling compounds. The kids will pull out my pie mat from Tupperware to protect my table and will spend time mixing together colors and cutting out shapes and making figures and more. This weekend, we are playing with a new modeling compound called Skwooshi.

This "new mouldable, mess free, scent free colourful compound that NEVER dries out" was launched in a lead market of "Columbus on June 10th...before nationwide distribution takes place in September. The product is called Skwooshi, it is amazing. Your creations are only limited by imagination when playing with this revolutionary new dough."

My daughter has especially enjoyed playing with the Activity Set that we received (my son is 10 and doesn't seem to gravitate to modeling compounds as much as when he was younger). Skwooshi is available in 10 fun colors. The Activity Set comes with 3 colors and more colors are available in 2-packs. In addition to the 3 colors of Skwooshi compound, the Activity Set comes with 3 storage containers, 4 activity tools, 4 cookie cutters, 1 cutting tool and instructions. As with other products, we no longer have single colors of any of Skwooshi compounds, instead we have a lovely rainbow mixture. It is still just as much fun to roll out, cut out and play with. She likes playing with the brick maker and the cookie cutters. On a rainy day, she will sit and mold and build for quite a while...a nice quiet break!

The material has a different feel than other modeling compounds, I am guessing that this is in part how they are able to keep it from drying out. It does seem to stick a little more to the mat we use than other compounds, but cleans up easily. Because I wanted to test and confirm for myself that Skwooshi never dries out, we have had a small piece of Skwooshi sitting on our counter for about 3 weeks now. I am pleased to say that the product is true to its word and even sitting out has not dried out. The piece that is sitting there is still completely soft, moldable and playable. If your kids are like mine, this is huge. So often times, we will put things away with the container not quite closed...with Skwooshi, it is good to know that it won't dry out.

Skwooshi is intended for kids over 3. I also noticed that it carries a wheat and gluten free claim. Not having someone in my immediate family with wheat issues, I guess I didn't realize that in a play product that this would be important, but if you do have someone that is, I think it is good to know.


Thanks to Irwin Toys, I have the chance to give 5 (five) A Busy Mom of Two readers a chance to win 1 Activity set and 1 2-Pack Skwooshi compound, in advance of it's national launch in September.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will remain open through August 13th. Giveaway is open to residents of the US only. Winners will be selected through Rafflecopter. The winners will have 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected.

 No compensation was received for this post. I received a complimentary set of Skwooshi so that my family could experience the product and share about it. All opinions expressed are entirely my own or that of my family.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Colleen Coble’s “Rosemary Cottage” Nautical Summer Giveaway

Earlier, I shared with you Rosemary Cottage by Colleen Coble, which I just finished reading. Now, I wanted to share about the Rosemary Cottage Nautical Summer Giveaway that is going on now. This twelve day giveaway, has a new prize each day!


Water can be calming and healing, but it can also be dangerous, as Amy Lange and Curtis Ireland both found out. Both lost their siblings to the sea, and they hope to find healing on Hope Island. But will they find it, or will their quest to find answers set them at odds with each other and with those who have secrets that need to stay hidden?

Find out in Colleen Coble’s latest book, Rosemary Cottage, which released July 9. To celebrate, Colleen is hosting a 12-day Nautical Summer Giveaway. From July 16-27, Colleen will be giving away a new nautical prize every day. She’ll announce the winners on July 29 on her website, so mark your calendars for that date to see if you were picked as a lucky winner!

Not on Facebook? Enter here.

No compensation was received for this post. Information for this post was provided by Litfuse Publicity.

Rosemary Cottage by Colleen Coble*

*complimentary review copy received for this post.
Curling up with a good book is one of my favorite activities, year round, but there is something about summer that makes me feel like I should read a lot of books. Maybe it stems from the years that I spent in school, where summer break was the only time that I could really read whatever I wanted. Or, perhaps it is because I can remember my mom sitting at the beach and pool during the summer with a book in hand. Whatever the reason, I really enjoy reading books in summer.

When I was offered the opportunity to read Rosemary Cottage, I jumped at the chance. Set at Hope Beach, in the Outer Banks, it sounded like a perfect summertime read. I must not have read much about the description in advance, because it wasn't until I really started to read the book that I discovered that there were many mysteries surrounding events that recently took place at Hope Beach and even more concern to come.
About Rosemary Cottage: Amy came to Rosemary Cottage to grieve, to heal, maybe even find love. But there's a deadly undertow of secrets around Hope Island . . .

The charming Rosemary Cottage on the beach offers Amy Lange respite she needs to mourn her brother, Ben. She's even thinking of moving her midwife practice to the Outer Banks community. It's always been a refuge for her and her family. She also wants to investigate Ben's disappearance at sea. Everyone blames a surfing accident, but Amy has reason to wonder.

Coast Guard officer Curtis Ireland has lost a sibling too. His sister, Gina, was run down by a boat, leaving him to raise her infant daughter. If anyone knew who little Raine's father was, Curtis could lose his beloved niece. Yet he can't help being drawn to Hope Beach's new midwife, Amy. He even agrees to help her investigate what happened to both Ben and Gina.

Can two grieving people with secrets find healing on beautiful Hope Island? Or will their quest for truth set them at odds with each other . . . and with those who will go to any length to keep hidden things hidden?

I have never read any books by Colleen Coble, but she did a great job of quickly letting the reader get to know the main characters and to just as quickly get the reader fully entangled in the tale. It wasn't long after I started reading that I reached the point of not wanting to put the book down. I was intrigued and wanted to know the answer to so many questions that were quickly accumulating in my head.

Who was Heather? What brought her to Hope Beach?

Would Curtis share the secret he was keeping from Amy? What was the secret that Amy was keeping from Curtis?

What happened to Gina and to Ben? Had they stumbled into the wrong group and both lost their lives as a result?

Would they find answers before becoming the next victims?

I loved how the story had its ups and downs, things didn't neatly fall into place over the course of the story, there were struggles and decisions that were made that changed the lives of many. It was a great combination of a love story, as Amy and Curtis came to realize their attraction and suspense, as the characters searched for the answers.

I really enjoyed reading the book and look forward to checking out more books by Colleen Coble. If you enjoy a mix of suspense and love story, then I would recommend that you check out Rosemary Cottage.

You can purchase a copy of Rosemary Cottage here. Learn more about Colleen, Rosemary Cottage and her other books on her website.

Wonder what others are saying about the book? You can check out other reviews from the blog tour here.

No compensation was received for this post. A complimentary copy was provided for this review through Litfuse Publicity. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Color Me Rad 5K in Akron #Giveaway

You know, when I was a child, I can remember participating in 5K and 10K events with my parents from time to time....of course, those events were Volksmarches, not runs. As a young adult, I did my first 5K with friends in Philadelphia. I had been living in southern New Jersey and my roommate and I joined the gym. I started to include running on the treadmill as one of my regular workout activities, so when a group said that they wanted to run, I decided to give it a go. I am proud to say that I finished, but will admit that I wound up walking a good portion of it.

When I started to run again last year, some 15 years later, I set a goal for myself that I wanted to be able to run the equivalent of a 5K. It took me a long time to get to the point where I could run a continuous 5K, but I did get there. Once I did, I set a new goal, I wanted to be able to run it in under 35 minutes. I set this goal because I decided that I wanted to run a 5K with friends and didn't want to completely lag behind. I knew that 35 minutes wasn't really great, but at least I wouldn't embarrass myself. I was able to achieve my goal and even get a little bit quicker than planned.
At this point, unfortunately, I haven't yet run a 5K, but I think that Color Me Rad might be the perfect even feels like something that my whole family could join in on and kids 7 and under run for free (they don't get a race bib and such, but still). It sounds like so much up nice and clean and get color bombed as you race. No worries, the dye is "non-toxic, non-rash-inducing, Kroger branded, colored corn-starch." You can learn more about Color Me Rad here. Having seen not only the pictures that they shared, but the pictures from my friends from other similar experiences, it certainly seems like an absolute blast.

Best part...they are coming to Akron...close enough for me to consider making participation a reality. The Color Me Rad 5K in Akron is scheduled for Saturday, August 17th.

And, you can too. Whether in Akron (or another community) you can find an event near your city and register on their site at

And, as a special bonus, as A Busy Mom of Two reader, you have the chance to win two FREE entries to the Color Me Rad event in Akron! And, since it is for two, have your friends enter and double your chances of running the race together for FREE.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will remain open through August 6th. Giveaway is open to residents of the US only and you must be able to come to Akron to use your prize. Winners will be selected through Rafflecopter. The winners will have 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected. Registration with promo code must be completed by August 14th.

No compensation was received for this post. I have the opportunity to receive a complimentary race registration for myself, should I choose to run. All opinions expressed are entirely my own or that of my family.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Five Years! #Blogiversary

Wow! It is so hard for me to believe, but today marks the fifth anniversary of when I started this blog and made my first post (which was just a "hi, I'm here" type of post). If you had asked me on that random day in 2008, how long I thought I would be blogging, I'm not sure that I would have ever guessed I would still be at it after five years; after all, I started the blog on a bit of a lark. I had been out surfing the web and seeing all of the other blogs that were sharing about deals and opportunities, recipes and life.

As I was reading the other blogs, one of the things that struck me more than anything was the idea that you could get deals at the drugstore. I could remember a time, a few years earlier, where I had headed to a CVS and bought something like a pair of hosiery for a wedding. I remember them being on 'sale' but that it wasn't actually a sale price, to take advantage of the actual deal, you had to come back. I can still remember my first CVS shopping trip, after I started reading about the drug store game on so many other blogs. I was so nervous, I was shaking and I kept thinking that the clerk is going to tell me that I can't do that...I can't actually buy product for nothing OOP. But, I did. With each visit, I gained confidence. I learned that half the battle was finding the right sequencing of the items, to maximize the savings and minimize the out of pocket. I thought, I considered myself a reasonably cost conscientious shopper, if I didn't know about the drug store game, there might be others that would benefit from reading about the scenarios that I saw for the coming week. I thought, why not set up a blog where I could share my plans and deals. Plus, an intern at work had asked one day that summer, do you have a seemed like a sign, that I should join in.

In order to start the blog, I faced one of the biggest challenges - choosing a name. I wanted something simple, yet memorable. There were a variety of blogs that I was reading at the time, with some that I read the most being The "Cent"sible Sawyer, Money Saving Mom, Rocks in my Dryer, and Mommin' It Up. I was worried that if I chose too specific of a name, that I would lock myself in. Although I have now seen a few of my favorites update their identity successfully. In the end, A Busy Mom of Two seemed to be a good fit. It didn't necessarily seem to say a lot about the content, but if nothing else, it was a description of my life and hopefully, something that others could relate to. Of course, sitting here 5 years later, I realize what an understatement busy really is. At the time I started my blog, my son was almost 5 and my daughter was 18 months. I felt busy then, but I am here to tell you that I am still busy, but it is a very different busy.

My strengths in life have always been in the area of science and math and never really considered myself to be creative. I have really enjoyed having the blog as a creative outlet. I have used it as a way to share with others the things that I love - cooking and baking, reading, music, movies and more. I enjoy trying new recipes to share on the blog (although, most of my recipes now I share on A Busy Mom of Two In the Kitchen). I really enjoy all of the books that I get to read and share. I have discovered new authors and grew in my enjoyment of familiar authors as I have read books and shared about them here on the blog. I have had the opportunity to check out so many new things in general.

In addition, as time has passed, I have found in my life that others come to me to talk through challenges and looking for ideas. A Busy Mom of Two has allowed me to share many ideas and tips, things that have worked for me to solve one thing or another - whether it be doing laundry each day or tackling cleaning one room at a time, the tips are nothing earth shattering or crazy creative, but honest, tried and true ways that I tackle things. In fact, as a regular participant in Works for Me Wednesday (at least I used to be), I even found links to my posts included in an eBook that was published, which I thought was pretty cool!

I am really enjoying my experience as a blogger and hope to continue for years to come. Thank you for being a reader - having readers and reading comments or posts on Facebook is part of what I love best! And, to help celebrate, I have a couple of upcoming giveaways that I will be posting in the coming week and a big giveaway coming in August.

Menu Plan Monday, eh Wednesday

These past couple of weeks have been a nice change of pace. Our summer days seem so much more relaxed without having to worry about the kids sports schedules. Being able to actually have time to prepare a meal, rather than trying to rush it before we head out or have it ready so that the kids have time to digest before crawling into bed, has been so nice. In fact, it had me so inspired this week, that we are trying out three new recipes, that I found on Pinterest. I really love Pinterest. There is something about visual bookmarking that works well for me. I occasionally will do an actual search for something on Pinterest, but most of the time, I rely on the Pins that the people that I follow share. The new recipes this week are Chicken Enchilada Pasta (it was yummy by the way), Sesame Beef Stir Fry and Tomato Basil Pasta. If I find them to be keepers, I will share the recipes on A Busy Mom of Two In the Kitchen. I have already shared the Chicken Enchilada Pasta, which we enjoyed on Monday night and as leftovers on Tuesday.

Hot Dogs

Chicken Enchilada Pasta


Dinner at our favorite local Mexican restaurant

Sesame Beef Stir Fry

Tomato Basil Pasta and homemade Italian bread


This post shared at Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

CVS Deals - 7/7

I actually made it to CVS last week and when they were out of some of the items for my deals, had fully intended to go back, but never made it. I did pick up the candy deal, the bodywash and some fruit snacks, that as the clerk pointed out, was a rain check from Christmas. I know that it probably isn't in the spirit of the rain check, but often times, I forget about them and only pull them out when I need 'help' to complete the deals at hand, which is what I did with the fruit snacks. I had printed two of the Kit Kat Mini coupons from the CVS offer and to redeem two, you have to do two transactions, so here is what I did.

Transaction #1
1 - KitKat Mini
1 - Irish Spring Bodywash

-$2.50 KitKat CVS coupon
-$1 KitKat IP
-$2 Bodywash CRT

Total $.49 plus $.20 tax. Total $.69 OOP.

Transaction #2
1 - KitKat Mini
1 - Scooby Doo Fruit Snack (with rain check)

-$2.50 KitKat CVS coupon
-$1 KitKat IP

Paid with $1.50 ECB and $0 OOP, earned $2 ECBs.

For the day, my net cost was $.19, as I 'spent' $.69 in cash and $1.50 in ECBs and walked out with $2 ECBs.

I was bummed that they were out of the single razor, but never made it to another store to find it and since there wasn't a tag on the single razor, the clerk wouldn't write a rain check for the ECB deal.

Monday, July 8, 2013

CVS Scenarios - week of 7/7

In looking at this week's CVS ad, not much jumped out at me, but I did take note of an opportunity to get some free (maybe better than free chocolate).

Transaction #1
1 - Irish Spring Body Wash
1 - Kit Kat Minis bag
1 - Venus Razor (hoping the $6.99 razor, with just one blade instead of two is included)

-$2 Irish Spring CRT
-$2.50 KitKat Minis CVS IP (watch video and share to get this value)
-$1.00 KitKat Minis mfg IP (share to get this value)
-$5 Venus Razor mfg coupon

Total $2.48 (or $2.98) OOP, earn $2 ECBs. Depending on your store, they may or may not allow you to take the overage on the chocolate - if they disallow it, they will adjust one of the coupons down and you will spend $2.98 OOP.

Find other CVS scenarios and deals at Deal Seeking Mom and Money Saving Mom. Find more $5 Scenarios at the CVS $5 Challenge.