traveling with tots {giveaway}

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Thanks for following along with my Traveling with Tots blog series this last week! I hope it introduced you to some fun and less ordinary products for traveling with the littlest family members :) I'm excited to share with you this giveaway featuring a products from every sponsor of Traveling with Tots! Here's what we've learned along the way: Gas station pumps, especially at truck stops, can be pretty gross. Keep those hands clean and sanitary with Pump Gloves! Everyone can get a little carsick on the road, even moms and dads. Queasy Pop Kids! can help easy upset tummies in a fun and all-natural way. Family vacations are chock-full of memories to last a lifetime! Keep your travel memories close at hand with "Write It Down!" journals from Journals Unlimited. It will be wonderful for your kids to look back on someday. Paknaks will help your kids personalize their luggage and travel belongings so they're easily identifiable and Make the best of public restrooms with … [Read more...]

traveling with tots ~ a summer vacation survival guide


Speaking of family road is almost out and summer vacations are right around the corner! I have done my fair share of traveling, and I will say that traveling with kids is a whole new adventure. Next month I will be honoring the time-honored event of summer family vacations and road trips with "Traveling with Tots," a blog series showcasing products that will help you survive, enjoy, and appreciate your time together as a family this summer! … [Read more...]

new blog series coming up

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I wanted to let you in on a series of product reviews, giveaways, and general fun that I am's a sneak peek! I'm excited about the sponsors I have on board already and am anxious to work with new ones. Plus, I welcome any guest posts on fun and imaginative ways to beat the no-school blues (for kids and adults!) … [Read more...]

New Cinnamon Burst Cheerios | Coming Soon!


Our family recetly got a sneak peek of the newest flavor variety from Cheerios - the all-new Cinnamon Burst Cheerios! Not only does it taste great, it's got the all-important ingredients fiber and whole grains. It's got a taste that everyone in the family can appreciate. Check out our family's vlog below to find out just how much we've enjoyed it! Cinnamon Burst Cheerios and a Flip camera were provided to me from Cheerios and MyBlogSpark. For complete disclosure, click here. … [Read more...]

Chex Mix | Holiday Recipes + Giveaway!


"Christmastime is here...." The Charlie Brown song has been in my head all week! The next week is going to be busy with get-togethers and visiting friends, good food and even better desserts. One of the staples at most holiday gatherings I've ever been to is Chex Mix. Did you know, though, there are so many more recipes than the traditional flavors? Bringing a special blend of Chex Mix to a party is a sure way to stand out from the crowd and get your taste buds going creatively! Recently I made Cranberry-Orange Chex Mix for some goodie bags and I thought it turned out so well! It was a perfect blend of those special holiday flavors, and it was really easy to make (although, I modified it a bit from the "official" recipe, as I don't care for almonds). There's recipes and flavor selections for nearly every taste bud and every situation, whether you're in a hurry or can take your time experimenting, you can check out all the options available at I also thought it might be … [Read more...]

Head Chefs for Little Kitchen Helpers | Review & Giveaway


It's not hard to get my oldest daughter to help in the kitchen, usually it's only hard to get her to stop wanting to help. Part of the problem has always been the awkwardness of the cooking utensils I have - they're too big for her or she can't use them properly because she doesn't have the dexterity of an adult. Head Chefs has stepped up to solve this problem for moms and kids like us. Head Chefs is a line of fun and innovative kitchen tools for kids, perfect for little helping hands! As you can see from the picture, each Head Chefs tool is bendable, grippy, and has suction cup feet. Plus, they're all bright colors and look fun to use. Using them has been a great way to teach about proper food prep and baking. One of them is a measuring spoon which has 1 Tablespoon on one side and 1 Teaspoon on the flip side. Being able to explain to Emma that Tablespoons are bigger measurements than Teaspoons has been extra easy because she can see and have a practical application of the … [Read more...]

Old El Paso’s Family Taco Night | Say “Feliz Navidad” for Dinner!

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Christmas Eve dinner is somewhat it's own holiday meal tradition. Some people I know enjoy soup together, and in our home we order pizza every year. What do you do for Christmas Eve dinner? If you are looking to "spice up" your holiday dinners, then may I suggest a less ordinary idea for a new tradition ~ Family Taco Night with Old El Paso! My husband has a "secret family recipe" for tacos, which I'm not able to share, but let's just say they have been called the taco version of the Big Mac. Part of the "special sauce" for these tacos is taco seasoning, and Old El Paso taco seasoning works perfectly! We love it when Michael makes these for us and I really think it doesn't happen often enough (hint, hint)! I will share, though, my personal favorite Mexican-inspired recipe - which is perfect for busy families because it's a crock-pot recipe! It is so easy and so yummy! TEX-MEX SLOW COOKER CHICKEN 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch-wide … [Read more...]

Rubbermaid & Sharpie | Holiday Goodies with Personal Style


Creating holiday goodies for friends and family is easy...presenting them in a thoughtful, personal manner is even easier thanks to Rubbermaid and Sharpie Markers. Over the weekend I made brownies with a holiday twist (crushed candy cane and semi-sweet chocolate shavings on top) to give to friends and neighbors. I decided to try my hand at making personalized goodie containers using Rubbermaid TakeAlongs and Sharpie Markers. Michael and I settled in for a movie on Saturday night and I brought out my set of 15 Rubbermaid TakeAlong containers in various sizes and a rainbow of Sharpie Retractable Permanent Markers as well as silver and gold Sharpie Oil-based Paint Markers. While we watched the movie, I went to town trying to decide what designs were "us" and and here are my favorite three: Of course, using the Rubbermaid TakeAlongs is perfect because the person you give it to doesn't have to worry about returning it (bonus gift for the recipient!), and it can be decorated to fit … [Read more...]

A Candy Apple Unlike Any Other | Mrs. Prindables Review


O. M. Goodness. Now, I've had candy apples before...homemade, from a fair or carnival, or even gourmet chocolate-dipped apple slices (which I thought were gross, by the way). Though I knew a gourmet candy apple from Mrs. Prindable's was coming, in hindsight I can tell you now that I really had no idea what was actually coming. My ho-hum attitude about this all changed when one of the most beautiful treats I have ever seen in my life arrived on our doorstep. Packaged impeccably and to the 9's, we received a Triple Chocolate Caramel Apple and I was completely taken aback. This was an enormous chocolate- and caramel-covered apple, unlike anything I have ever seen. It wasn't something I could just open up and take a bite from and consume in one sitting, it was a dessert that would need to be divided and shared - it was that big and that gourmet (the Mrs. Prindable's website says that the jumbo apples serve 8-10 people!!). For our family dessert one night we cut the Mrs. Prindable's … [Read more...]

$35 CSN Stores | Giveaway


Let's get this party started! A HomeBaked Holiday is all about the wonderful things we love to eat, bake, and share during the holidays. What could you use this holiday season to help you spread Christmas cheer? has a plethora of choices for holiday baking and giving. From measuring cups to popcorn makers, kitchen utensils to food containers, you will without a doubt find what you are looking for. I'm very pleased to offer one lucky commenter a $35 gift certificate to be used at To enter, you can do any or all of the following, which each count as one entry: Follow this blog on Google Friend Connect Follow me on Twitter (please leave your Twitter handle in the comments) Tweet this giveaway and leave me a comment with a link to your tweet. You can copy and paste the following if you would like: Join "A HomeBaked Holiday" on AMLO! Enter to win $35 GC to Share this giveaway on Facebook using the … [Read more...]

a homebaked holiday

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Beginning tomorrow, I am pleased to bring you several special giveaways and reviews focusing on the holidays ~ the most delicious time of the year! I have partnered with some amazing companies, and I hope you will join me and discover how these wonderful things can make your holidays merry, bright, and yummy! … [Read more...]

Upcoming Holiday Guide

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It's hard to escape the fact that the Holidays are, literally, around the corner. There are lots of holiday gift guides up on blogs, but mine will be a little different. I have been preparing a special blog event that will be starting next week and am currently seeking sponsors! "A Homebaked Holiday" will highlight the things we love most about this time of year ~ good food and togetherness. Preparing meals and treats to share for a party or potluck, or giving a great gift for someone's kitchen, there will be a lot to see and do. From favorite recipes to favorite gadgets and gift ideas for the foodie or amateur chef in you life, you will be able to find it all right here. And maybe even a few chances to win it ;) … [Read more...]

a big site-warming thank you

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Now that October has ended, and along with it the "Site Warming" party here on AMLO, I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all the sponsors that participated in providing content for product reviews and giveaways. I also wanted to thank the readers, both old and new, and hope you enjoyed the Site Warming, too. I'm looking forward to developing this new home on the 'net and am grateful to have you join me. There are still a couple lingering giveaways that don't end for a couple more days, you can check them out here. Otherwise, we're "on to the next" as my favorite Ghost Hunters would say...stick around, there's some great holiday-themed content coming your way! … [Read more...]

Cuisipro Scoop & Stack | Giveaway

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For those familiar with Thrifty Ice Cream ~ once sold by the scoop at Thrifty drug stores, which are now Rite Aid stores ~ will know not only how fantastic the ice cream is, but also that is is served in the most unique way! Rather than a round scoop, Thrifty Ice Cream (which is now available in 1/2 gallons at Rite Aid, while some lucky Rite Aid stores still sell it by the scoop) is served using a cylindrical scoop, which makes for great ice cream "stackability!" For Christmas last year I gave my husband the Cuisipro Ice Cream Scoop & Stack, which scoops ice cream Thrifty-style! I was so excited to find something fun like this, as we both have fond memories of ice cream from Thrifty. The Cuisipro Ice Cream Scoop & Stack is sold in three colors (white, green, and pink), and runs for $14.99 on Amazon as well as other online stores. Including my husband, I've giving this fun little gadget as a gift twice now. It's unique and is a great conversation piece, since most everyone I … [Read more...]

Newman’s Own Organics | Review & Giveaway


I am always on the lookout for healthy food and snack options for my family. We’re lucky to live in a time when natural, organic items are so readily available and in a typical grocery store. Especially when there are organic counter-parts to our favorite national brand snack foods. If you haven’t had the opportunity to try, or even haven't noticed, Newman’s Own Organics, I’m very pleased to be able to introduce the line to you, and offer a giveaway for one lucky reader the opportunity to aquaint their family with my family’s favorites. If there ever was a heart to organic foods, Newman’s Own Organics has it. I have never been so impressed of the history and effort of a company. Originally started in 1993 by Nell Newman with a loan from her father (with which she promised to, and did, return in-kind) to make an organic division of Newman's Own, what was once a line of organic pretzels has increased to include everything from popcorn and tin mints to pet food and coffee. As Nell … [Read more...]

Bounce Dryer Bar | Review & Giveaway

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Anyone who is a regular reader of this site will know how vocal I am about my abhorrence of doing the laundry. As is such, I am always on the look-out for ways to simplify this chore, short of hiring someone else to do it. Enter: Bounce Dryer Bar. My first impression of it is that I was a little put-off by the scent - it was so strong! That said, I became concerned that my clothes would come out with such a strong scent as well, rather than something a little more on the subtle side. The only other initialconcern was that I would stick this in my dryer and it would be permanent, as I wouldn't want to use something like this on baby clothes or towels. The 'dryer bar' itself is encased in a plastic container that has a sticky back which you attach to the inside of your dryer, which is a pretty easy process. I went ahead and tried out a load of laundry, with the concerns above as well as concern over just "too much" softness, like there would be a "coating" left on the laundry. … [Read more...]

Kidorable | Review & Giveaway

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It’s a rainy week here in Texas, but that hasn’t stopped us from making it fun and fashionable! Kidorable is a line of children’s wear that includes the most adorable umbrellas, rainboots, raincoats, and other clothing. Doesn’t that little ladybug look like my Abby? And let me tell you, she thinks she is something special walking around in those rainboots! I’m always a fan of unique and clever kidswear, and Kidorable is not only up to the task, but a stand-out from the crowd. In particular, I’m fond of the fact that they offer coordinating themes (if you find the perfect umbrella, you’ll also be able to find matching boots, coat, hat and gloves, etc.) and pay extraordinary attention to detail. For instance, the kid-sized umbrella is also made for little kid fingers ~ an easy press of the button can close the umbrella without the fear of pinching. Perfect for birthday presents, and a favorite of celebrities (you can spot them in many magazine pictures of celebrities kids), I also … [Read more...]

swag bag from a mom less ordinary ~ giveaway


Over the summer and after our move I've been host to a few sponsored parties with leftover favors and received a few coupons and samples that I'm not able to use, so....I want to pass them on to one lucky reader! There are so many coupons and products in this bag of goodies, here's a rundown of what's included: Coupons: HappyTot Pouches Buy 5 Get 1 Free, exp. 12/31/10 (2) $1/1  4-pak of YoBaby Meals, YoBaby Organic Yogurt or YoBaby Drinkable Organic Yogurt, exp. 12/31/10 (2) $1/1 4-pack of Stonyfield YoToddler Organic Yogurt, exp. 12/31/10 (2) $1/1 6-pack of YoKids or 8-pack of Sotnyfield YoKids Squeezers, exp. 12/31/10 (2) $1/5 6 oz. cups of Stonyfield Organic Yogurt, exp. 12/31/10 FREE Loaf of Silver Hills Sprouted Bakery Bread, exp. 12/31/10 (2) $1/1 Seventh Generation Diapers or Baby Wipes, exp. 12/31/10 (2) $1/1 Any Seventh Generation Cleaning Product, exp. 12/31/10 FREE Soft Scrub Total Kitchen Cleaner, exp. 12/31/10 FREE French Meadow Bakery Product, exp. … [Read more...]

Sockprints | Review & Giveaway

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One of the most thoughtful touches someone can make to a party is the favors they hand out. From showers and weddings to birthday parties and family reunions, a quality favor can leave a lasting impression. And I'm always fond of that which is extraordinary in addition to practical! Sockprints is a unique online store that allows you to create customize socks. Knowing now that a store like this exists, I've been thinking of all the many ways and opportunities I could customize socks ~ even as a gift, if not a favor! For my sister's bridal shower I could have designed socks that said "Sole Mates." It would have been perfect and I know as favors they would have been a hit! I am also banking ideas for upcoming activities involving my kids ~ from sport teams (how fun would matching socks be for all the kids!) to birthday party sleepovers (awww!), and even graduation (when that time comes, all her friends wearing Class of '22 sporty knee-highs!). And those are just some of my ideas ~ … [Read more...]

SmartyPants Vitamins | Review & Giveaway

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Did you know that the leading brands of children's chewable vitamins include aspartame as an ingredient? I found myself completely frustrated in the vitamin aisle at the store because of this. I've mentioned many times before that I have a picky eater - vitamins included. She, of course, wants the ones that taste good, but have the ingredients that I do my best to avoid (aspartame, HFCS, etc.). I want the all-natural ones for her. And the vitamin aisle at a mass-market retailer is no help. So I went online. There were plenty of all-natural children's vitamins available, but most had horrible reviews. It seems that the great things that make them all-natural, also make them kinda nasty to taste and chew. Short of force-feeding my kid a vitamin that she despises and causing a daily tug-o-war, what's a mom to do? The parents who created SmartyPants Vitamins have been there, done that, and have now made it a little easier for the rest of us. All-in-One SmartyPants Gummy … [Read more...]