The Mom Next Door

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bingo entertains a mother perfectly!



Life of a mom is never easy, but it’s definitely worth the pain! Which woman on earth doesn’t have a dream of becoming a mother? A mother’s love for her child simply has no limits and she can do anything to see a happy smile on her kid’s face.

It is true that being a mother you have to carry out your roles responsibly from dawn to dusk. But what keeps you going is getting a chance to watch your child doing well because of your proper care and upbringing!

I, being a mom to a three year old son and 9 year old daughter as well as a busy wife, confess that my life seems no less than a roller coaster ride everyday. Being a responsible wife, mother and worker at the same time is not an easy task at all and surely gives me the jitter of nerves at times.

Still I make my life beautiful by maintaining a perfect balance between work and fun! Life is one and you should never give yourself an opportunity to complain about it at any moment no matter what you go through.

There is a list of fun things I indulge in during my free time to experience endless relaxation and entertainment. Few of them worth mentioning are playing with my kids, spending some quality time with my family, watching good television programs, playing some online games and hanging out with my close friends.

Among the plethora of such recreational activities I engage in, my favourite one is to try out a super exciting game of online bingo. Nothing beats the feeling of playing bingo games, winning incredible prizes and connecting with the chirpy neighbours- all on the same platform.

Join New Look Bingo now to experience the world of online bingo at its best on the well recognized site. Play smart, win big and make a new friend today- have an awesome motherhood!




*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I have been compensated in some way.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Pittsburgh's Official True Comic Book Convention


As you all know, we go to plenty of conventions and even though we dropped three this year, we picked up a few to replace them. In this area you would be hard pressed to find a comic book convention that's top focus is actually comic books. Most are more of a pop culture nature with more celebrity guests and toy vendors than artists, writers, and comic vendors. That's why when New Dimension Comics announced their first ever honest-to-goodness comic book convention to be held at the Century III Mall, comic book nerds wept tears of joy. Finally a comic book convention with actual comics, the way it should be and has always meant to be. Now, don't get me wrong, I love meeting celebrities as much as the next person, but there's just something about the classic nature of a true comic convention. 

New Dimension Comics has been around for 30 years and have quite a few stores in the Pittsburgh area. To say that they know comics, is a vast understatement. As a matter of fact, their Century III store is the largest comic book store I've ever laid eyes on (and shed a few tears of joy over).





Quite honestly, these pictures don't do it justice. You really have to see this store in person. There's a whole other section of table top and card games to the right of the last photo that is about as big as the section in the second photo. At any rate, the convention was held just down the hall from their store in an area that is just as big as their store. 

We pre purcahsed the 2 day VIP passes which included entry into the convention for Saturday and Sunday,  goodie bags with two comic books, a tee shirt, and two free graphic novels each, as well as entry into the special beer release party held after the convention on Saturday night and a bottle of the beer for each of us for only $40 per ticket. That's cheaper than a one day pass to Wizard World and when you factor in all the free stuff and the special privilege of entry into the release party, it's a much better deal than a one day ticket to the "convention that shall not be named".  

This is the first convention I've been to in a long time that had an impressive amount of comic book vendors, which reiterated the fact that it's an honest to goodness COMIC BOOK CONVENTION. As a matter of fact, each general admission ticket got you one free graphic novel as well. I think it's been a good 5 years or more since we've been to a convention that did anything like that. 





My husband was excited to meet his favorite artist, Joseph Michael Linsner, and got a pretty good chunk of his comics, art books, prints, and figures signed by him, all for free. Yep, that doesn't happen to often in the world of cons either! Linsner is popular for his Dawn series and did the label for the special beer, named Darkest Dawn Stout, that they released at the party. he also was present at the party and signed the bottles, which were limited, for free as well. We met so many amazing artists and vendors, a few of which I connected with enough to hopefully make life long friends. After-all, that's what these conventions are all about. Meeting like minded individuals that share the excitement of a fandom and who you can geek out with, without judgment. Not only were all (okay not all... all but one) the vendors and artists very nice and excited to be there, but the promoters and convention staff were an amazing bunch. All of them were there to make sure vendors were well hydrated, well fed, and just very well taken care of in general. And they treated the attendees just as good as their vendors and artists. All were very helpful and I was impressed to see that they actually had signs up not only pointing you in the right direction when approaching the mall, but they had signs up inside the mall and down the hallway to let everyone know where the restrooms were. Which, of course, are right beside their huge store. It was a win/win for everyone really. 

There was a really good turnout on Saturday and there seemed to be a pretty good turnout on Sunday for the time that we were there (we left at 1:30 to head home). 

The beer release party was held in the panel room after the convention ended and while I had expected more people to have been there, the turnout was still pretty good. We showed up a half hour late, so I imagine more people did show up earlier and then left after sampling the beer and getting a slice of pizza and some wings. We met up with some guys we knew and chatted for most of the night, having a really good time. The beer was delicious! I noted that it had a slight citrus after taste, sort of like a grapefruit taste to it, but my husband had about 7 "samples" before we left (Hahahaha!). 


Hilarity ensued halfway into the party and continued well after we left and made it back to the hotel room, where I passed out the moment I saw the bed and hubby took full advantage of the hot tub in our room (the lucky jerk). 

One thing is for sure, when we left the convention, we could both agree that it was the best comic convention we have ever been to. I am highly impressed. They pulled off an incredible 1st show and they certainly showed attendees, artists, and vendors a good time and true hospitality, in my opinion. Actually, it's not just my opinion. Everyone we spoke with agreed. 

You can read what author Spike Bowen had to say about his experience on Irregular Mischief Publications

We've decided that we are definitely going to be purchasing VIP tickets to this convention every year and will support the heck out of it. If you are in the Pittsburgh area, stop by Century III Mall and check out New Dimension Comics, and definitely make a trip out for next year's convention. You really won't regret it, I promise you! 

Follow New Dimension Comics on Facebook
Follow 3 Rivers Comic Con on Facebook
Follow Spike Bowen, Author, on Facebook


Stay tuned for my highlights of Sci-Fi Valley Con June 10-12th. 
Check out the official Sci-Fi Valley Con commercial and follow Sci-Fi Valley Con on Facebook for more! 





Monday, May 16, 2016

Crazy Cups Coffee: Caramel Truffle Sundae



I can't believe I get to have dessert for breakfast every day!
Wait, what?!

No seriously, I totally do! Thanks to Crazy Cups Coffee
Every Crazy Cups Flavored coffee is made to taste exactly like your favorite desserts, so you can always have your cake, ice cream, and pie, and drink it too. The best part about Crazy Cups Brand Coffee is that they are completely calorie free. 


The last few days I have been sipping on Caramel Truffle Sundae flavored coffee every morning while I work on my newest Disney puzzle. It's the deliciousness of of creamy caramel, chocolate, and nut ice cream and since I add a little vanilla creamer in my coffee, oh is it delicious! So many of these flavors taste amazing as an iced coffee, but this one would be so good in a milkshake. Caramel Truffle Sundae is a medium roast coffee that fills your home with the sweet aroma of chocolate and caramel. I have a ton of flavor favorites, but this has to be the best one I've tried, yet. I pair this coffee with a cinnamon roll or a chocolate donut in the morning for breakfast. Both of which I admittedly dip in my coffee because Mmmmm so good!




*Disclosure: This product was received in exchange for an honest, unbiased, review. The reviews and or opinions on this blog are 100% my own. No monitory compensation was received and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising .   

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Fight Tough Stains and Keep Colors Bright plus GIVEAWAY!



I have two kiddos, one of which is a three year old boy, and a husband who works as a railcar inspector and comes home with all kinds of mess on his clothes that completely ruins his clothing and anything you attempt to wash with them. That's why I need a detergent that is super tough on stains, but won't ruin or fade my colors. Purex plus Clorox 2 combines the gentleness and fresh scent that I  love about Purex detergents, and the tough stain fighting action of Clorox 2 and it'scompletely safe on whites as well as colors. It's bleach free and works on 100 different tough stains!

You can pre-treat stains with the detergent or go straight to washing with it. My son, in just a few short days, managed to cover himself and his clothes in orange popsicle juice as well as ketchup and mustard, and macaroni and cheese. When he was done marking all of his clothes for life, he spilled chocolate milk all over his bedding. I've seen these types of stains before and wash after wash, even with pre-treating, they just faded the stains. They were always still visible, and the clothes were ruined. Thrown into the "play clothes" pile, which is now far larger than the "good clothes" pile. 


I'm a mom and a wife who had just accepted that my son and husband's clothes were a lost cause. But as laundry day neared...

Okay let's be real here, isn't every day laundry day? It really feels like it....

I pulled the clothes out that had been sitting in the hamper for a few days, waiting to be laundered, the stains just sitting there teasing me. At this point I would be ready to just toss them and accept the loss, but I pulled out my my bottle of Purex plus Clorox 2 detergent, my magical solution to whatever my kiddo's clothes can throw at me. I didn't pre-treat. I wanted to see how powerful this stain fighting really was. I just used it in the wash the way I normally do. When the cycle was finished, I pulled out my son's clothes and inspected them for any signs that this detergent failed me. And I assumed it surely would. If you're a mom to a boy (or multiples!) you know what I mean. not only were the stains gone, but I swear it actually brightened the colors and the clothes were soft and fresh smelling. All things that never happen to boys clothes. 


I love that with Purex, I get more bang for my buck. It's important to me to have detergent that does the dirty work and attacks those tough stains, but doesn't ruin my colored clothes and my bank account!

Purex plus Clorox 2 is available now in two fresh scents:
Original Fresh 
Sunny Linen (my favorite!)


*Disclosure: This product was received in exchange for an honest, unbiased, review. The reviews and or opinions on this blog are 100% my own. No monitory compensation was received and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising .  

Brain Freeze: Adorable Ice Cream Journal

*Contains affiliate links*

I've kept a journal since I was in high school and I've always had a love for unique journals. As a matter of fact, I guess you could say that I collect them. This Brain Freeze Journal  is made too look just like a Neapolitan ice cream sandwich and it's adorable! 

The cover is soft and squeezable and the page edges are colored in pink (strawberry), white (vanilla), and chocolate brown to replicate the Neapolitan ice cream center. 



There are a ton of pages in this book, but the book is fairly small. The lines are a bit odd in the book, though. With the center of the pages being a huge blank space. This is great if you are like me and sometimes like to add stickers or drawings to your pages. 



*Disclosure: This product was received in exchange for an honest, unbiased, review. The reviews and or opinions on this blog are 100% my own. No monitory compensation was received and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising .  

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Elementary Box: April 2016


Teachers do a lot for our children and often aren't thanked enough for the work they do. That's why I love Elementary Box. It's a monthly subscription box for for teachers that is curated to the grade they teach (or your child's grade if you are gifting it) and filled with things they can use in the classroom as well as a special teacher gift just for them. But you know, you don't have to be a teacher to love this box. I'm a parent who works with both of my children at home and I love this box. I wouldn't say we home school, because my daughter still goes to public school currently (although we are strongly leaning towards homeschooling her), but I teach my 3 year old and I work with both of my kids during the summer for an hour or two as well. I like having the materials shipped to me for me to use during those lessons. 



We received April's Pre-K box (see an example of a Grade 2 box we received) and my son loved it!



In this month's Pre-K box, they sent two packages of stickers. Who doesn't love stickers?! Not only do both of my kids and myself (no shame) have sticker books, but I like to use these sticker packages for rewards. We are still currently trying to potty train my (stubborn) son, and have used them as a potty reward as well as good behavior awards for both kids. Teachers are always using stickers so this is something that will really be appreciated by elementary school teachers. 


The teacher gift this month is this Rose Water Spray by Lotus Naturals. I've never been a fan of the scent of rose water, however, this spray is really great as a facial toner! And it's made of natural ingredients so that's a huge plus. 


My son was most excited about the Power Pen and book from Teacher Created Resources. The pen is used with the book and can be used with many other books in this series for each grade level, so it grows with your child. The pen has a soft, rubber grip on it to teach your child how to properly hold a writing utensil. My son is still working on how to hold it, and he eventually got it after I took this photo. 


You press the pen to the answers in the book and when you get it wrong, it lights up red and green when you get the answer right. It will cheer you on or tell you to try again depending on how you answer. We did discover that you have to tap the block spot on the page just right or it will tell you that you got it wrong even if it's right. You can check out a short video of my son using the pen and book below.

video

You can get Elementary Box for $29 a month with free shipping and reduced prepay plans are also available. They are currently running a sales promo! 
Pay Only $27/Month for the life of your subscription using Coupon Code SPRING16. Valid on Month-to-Month Plans, not valid for already reduced Prepay Plans. 


Follow Elementary Box on the following sites to get updates on upcoming boxes and potential discounts:


*Disclosure: This product was received in exchange for an honest, unbiased, review. The reviews and or opinions on this blog are 100% my own. No monitory compensation was received and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising .  

Monday, May 2, 2016

5 Must Haves for Your Baby Shower Registry

#Amazinghood #Sponsored

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was pretty clueless as to what I should put on my baby registry. Being a first time parent is overwhelming as it is without having to decide what things to put on your registry. I remember going through the store and marking pretty much everything. I had no idea what would actually be useful and what wouldn't be. Some things were obvious, like the crib and diapers, but did I really need that baby swing? How often would I use a bouncer? What about a changing table? We had a pretty small space at the time and while I didn't want to forget something we would need, I also didn't have the room for a whole lot. I remember coming home from my baby shower, three cars and a full size pick-up truck full of stuff. It took 4 people to help unload it all and literally two months to wash clothes, organize things, and put baby furniture together. It was all pretty overwhelming. 


By the time I had my second child (5 years later), we had gotten rid of a lot of baby stuff because, even though we had moved into a new place, we hadn't had room in the old place to store it all until we decided when we would have another baby. My husband and I took care of purchasing the baby furniture that we needed, but since we were having a son this time around and were doing things a little differently (breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, cloth vs. disposable diapering -which we actually didn't end up doing differently in the end after-all), we did compile a short baby shower registry for our second child. 

Sorting through the essentials the second time around. Significantly less stuff, but no less overwhelming! 

Because I know what it's like to not know what the essentials are and what are useless, I've compiled a list of things that I think all new parents should put on their registry.


- The Must Haves -


Diapers

Whether you plan to cloth diaper or use disposables, you are going to want to stock up before baby comes. Newborns and infants go through a ton of diapers a day and it's always a safe route to have stock in various sizes. Many new parents put diapers on their list, but they mostly stick to the newborn size diapers. I would only go with one or two packages of the newborns and focus more on the larger sizes. Your baby will grow faster than you think and a lot of the newborn diapers won't be used.



 Bottles

Just like with the diapers, it's not going to matter if you are breast or bottle feeding your little one, bottles are a necessity. Whether you are going to make up a stock of bottles for the day or you are going away, it's always a safe bet that you are going to need more than one bottle. Even if you are breastfeeding, you will need bottles to put the pumped milk into for later or so dad, brother, sister, or grandma can feed the baby. I would start with 6-8 bottles in various sizes as well as a stock of nipples. Trust me, you'll need them.



 Baby Sling

I didn't have a carrier for my daughter, but I learned from that when my son was born. There was no way I could get laundry or housework done holding him, but there was no way he would let me put him down, either. The baby carrier was vital to my sanity, but it also is great for bonding with your baby. These slings can be used from newborn clear up to toddler. It can even be worn by daddy, too!












Pack and Play

When I had my son, we used our pack and play far more than I ever thought we would. He slept in it in our room, we would move it to the living room for him to sleep/play in while we were in there, and we traveled with it. It had a changing table on it, too. Which is also why we never used our changing table that came with our crib.As a matter of fact, you'll quickly learn how little you will use a regular changing table. It takes up far too much room, and you will find that it's just far more convenient to change baby where ever you are on a blanket or changing pad rather than take the baby to the room with the changing table in it every hour or so. The newest Pack and Plays have everything you need from a bassinet, to a changing table, to a diaper and wipe holder, and some even have mobiles on them. You definitely want to make sure you put one of these on your registry.


Dreft Products

After your baby shower, you're going to spend a lot of time washing baby clothes. Not only will you wash them to prepare them for baby, but you will do more laundry than you ever dreamed you would after the baby comes. Not only do you need products that will get out all the yuckies that will inevitably end up all over those adorable clothes, but you need something that will be soft on your baby's delicate skin. Dreft has been around for as long as I can remember and is the #1 choice of pediatricians and dermatologists. Embrace the mess of #amazinghood with every stage of your baby's life with Dreft Newborn detergent, Dreft Active Baby Detergent, and Dreft Blissfulls in wash scent boosters. Dreft Newborn is hypoalergenic and made to be tough on stains, but soft on baby's delicate skin and senses. Dreft has been the trusted brand of moms for over 80 years and it's no wonder why these products are a popular baby registry item. The best part is they can be used in high efficiency machines as well! I swear to you, there's nothing like swaddling your little one in a blanket that has been washed in Dreft.

When asked about their baby shower registry, the popular reality TV couple, Sean and Catherine Lowe from the hit show "The Bachelor" have mentioned that Dreft Newborn is a must have. To celebrate their new role as parents, Dreft has partnered with the couple and want to share their beautiful, messy journey of amazinghood. Sean and Catherine held a Dreft "Loads of Love" baby shower on April 27th- where the couple was showered with love, support, and the essentials needed to prepare them for the arrival of their precious new bundle of joy. Over the next year, fans can share in the Lowe's journey through #amazinghood by following Dreft on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, and TWITTER where the couple will be sharing exclusive content and messy memories.




To celebrate the Lowes partnership with Dreft, I'm hosting a Dreft Baby Shower Package giveaway!
You can enter to win:

Dreft Newborn Detergent
Dreft Active Baby Detergent
Dreft Blissfulls In-Wash Scent Booster
Little Me Welcome to the World Bib and Burp set
Little Me Giraffe Gown and Hat
Gender Neutral Lovey




Dreft Baby Shower Giveaway

This post and giveaway were made possible by iConnect and Dreft. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.