Friday, June 29

Arkansas Orgs in the Running for a Toyota with 100 Cars for Good

I've made no secret this summer that I am absolutely in love with Toyota's 100 Cars for Good campaign.
Every day for 100 days (May-August), Toyota is giving a car to one charitable or nonprofit organization. Culled from thousands of applications, every day five orgs have the chance to win. What's cooler still, is that each day, the four orgs who don't win a car will be given $1,000. Everybody wins.


I love that Toyota is giving away one hundred cars to worthy organizations. I love that I am learning so much about the Toyota company itself, and what it stands for. I love how easy it is to vote. I actually set a stopwatch today and it took me less than 45 seconds from start to finish on the 100 Cars for Good facebook app

Here's one more great way to learn about the 500 organizations in the running for new cars: on the top of the app is a green BROWSE ORGS button. You can search by focus (veterans, animals, education, environment, and lots more), or by state. Then, when you find an organization you want to vote for, you can have a reminder sent to your email on the day that org comes up for voting. So. So. Easy.

If you're an Arkie, I've made it even easier for you. Below are the dates when local organizations will be up for votes.

July 3: Simone's Home, Inc, (click for link to their facebook page) in Little Rock aims "to provide girls in foster ccare ages 12-18 with the necessary tools to become self-sufficient women."
July 26: Delta Transitional Home in Marianna aims "to provide a structured home to female children and adolescents in the custody of the State of Arkansas."
 August 11: Winslow Community Meals in Winslow aims "to serve great meals... at a very low cost and try to help..."


You have no reason not to vote. Seriously. Toyota won't send you sp@mmy emails, they don't ask for any of your info, you're already on facebook anyway, you are a super person who loves helping other super people. See? No reason not to vote.


Check it out, and if you have any favorite organizations, come back here and let me know!

Disclosure: I was selected for participation in the TWIN community through a program with
Clever Girls Collective. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post, or payment
in exchange for participating. The opinions expressed herein are mine, and do not reflect the
views of the Toyota.




Friday, June 15

Fourth of July Fun at the Peabody Hotel {giveaway}

The Girl- July 4, 2007

The Girl and The Boy- July 4, 2008

Independence Day is a big deal in our family. Every year, six to ten smaller family units gather at my mother-in-laws house and coalesce into one ginormous wall of sound (and watermelon, and sparklers, and Washers). 

The Boy and A Cousin- July 4, 2009

The Baby- July 4, 2010.  

The Boy- July 4, 2010

It was a tradition that began long before I joined the fam and, if we do things right, it will continue long after the little ones have little ones of their own.

The Baby- July 4, 2011

The Girl- July 4, 2011



But this year, we are taking a brief leave of absence from the annual July Fourth festivities in our town. 
We're heading to Little Rock, to the biggest fireworks display our kids have yet to see. 

We're going downtown to a rooftop for a first-ever family event: The Peabody Hotel is hosting a cookout and fireworks-watching party!

Each ticket to the Rockets from the Roof event include valet parking (valet parking! in downtown Little Rock!), a full meal (with dessert!), private roof-top space for optimal fireworks-viewing, face painting (for the kids, or, possibly for the adults who've visited the cash bar), balloon animals, and more fun stuff. The Peabody will also pipe the live music in from Pops on the River




The best part, y'all? I get to give away a family four-pack of VIP tickets! VIP means you're awesome, but it also means you get all the fun that evening PLUS the very best seats on the roof when it's time for the bright night show. 

The Duckmaster and Friends

You want in? 
Leave a comment here, or on chasing my Bees' facebook page over the weekend, sharing your favorite Independence Day memory. On Tuesday, I'll announce the winner and you'll be heading to dine with the Bees and the ducks!






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Tuesday, June 12

Everyday Victories for Team Mom: That. Last. Diaper.

Everyday Victories logo
Thank you to P&G and Kroger stores for celebrating “Team Mom’s Everyday Victories”! Please visit the P&G's event page to play games, win money off your next Kroger trip and more fun!





National Geographic did a study and surmised that, on average, American babies go through 3,796 diapers before they are fully potty trained. Considering I have three Bees, and they are nothing if not average poopers (though, often I have thought they were seriously outstanding poopers...), that comes to roughly 11, 390 diaper changes. Now, I used cloth diapers for a few months with Bee #3, and Bee #1 potty trained pretty early, but still. Eleven thousand diapers is not something to sniff at. Ba-dum-pum.

When the Clever Girls teamed up with Kroger and Procter & Gamble to bring some Everyday Victories for Team Mom, my very first thought was: the very last diaper. It's obvious I've been changing them for far too long (eight years, one month, two weeks...) if diapers are the first thing I think about in any scenario.

In this hive, we are die-hard Pampers fans. Yes, we had a brief affair with a brand-who-shall-not-be-named, but Pampers has always been our #1 poo-catcher of choice. You've heard of lovemarks? Pampers is one of our lovemarks.

For as much as I love Pampers... I am never sorry to see them go. It's never a marked occasion- after all, I can't remember the very last diaper each Bee used- but it is a certain victory. There are countless books, websites, and gurus that all claim to hold the secrets of quick, easy, successful potty-training, but the truth of it all is that each kid moves at their own pace. Bowel movements included. Ba-dum-pu--ok, that was terrible. I'm sorry.

The thing about the last diaper, even when you are rarely sure that this one is the last one, is that it signifies one more milestone for babies and for parents. Though it is rarely celebrated and memorialized in photographs like the first steps, first tooth, and first bites of solid food, the last diaper is a thing of beauty on its own. Well, as beautiful as.... you know what? Nevermind.

The point is that for every first, there will be a last. I am pretty sure that if I were to dig through all of the tubs of baby clothes in the attic, I'd come across at least one teeny tiny (unused!) Pampers, and I'd marvel that my big, galloping, wild babies were ever able to fit into such a thing.
And I'd be so glad that they are done fitting in.





*******


Hurry in to Kroger and Kroger Banner Stores for P&G’s big sale event, June 10–23!
At Kroger and its banner stores, more than 30 of your favorite P&G brands are at HOT sale prices through June 23, including Tide, Charmin, Cascade, Pampers, Crest and Olay. Look for tags with special prices throughout the household needs and health and beauty aisles, and be on the lookout for even bigger offers – like getting serious dollars off when you buy a bundle of products.
Before hitting the store, visit P&G’s event page on Kroger.com: http://bit.ly/KG6dw5
You can play games like basketball, track and gymnastics to win money off your next Kroger trip, download digital coupons, print a shopping list, and learn more about P&G products!
And as part of this event, consider trying one of these fab products from P&G:
Vicks Nature Fusion, Charmin Basic, Downy Unstopables, and Swiffer Duster Extenders!


I was selected for participation in this campaign as a member of Clever Girls Collective.



Saturday, June 9

"Welcome to Bitty Berry Ponyville."

Children of the 80's, prepare to have your mind blown.

I was playing on the internet doing important business research online a few days ago (ok! fine! I was catching up on posts from The Mary Sue) and found something that led me to something that made my head absolutely spin with wonder and glee and pink frosting and silver sprinkles on top.

You ready for this?




by Amy Mebberson, most awesome artist alive.



Look closely, friends. 
DID YOUR CUTE-SENSORS OVERLOAD JUST NOW? 
Soak that in.



Then look at this:
Friendship is Magic, y'all 
These are the characters from the reboot of My Little Pony. Apparently it's a huge hit with the bronies, as well as the precious-obsessed girls in my house. You've got your Pinkie Pie, your Rainbow Dash, your Apple Jack, your Fluttershy, your Rarity, and your Twilight Sparkle. Precious


Now, look at this: 
Those cuties are from the new Strawberry Shortcake. You know them, too: Strawberry, Lemon Meringue, Blueberry Muffin, Orange Blossom, Plum Puddin' and Rasberry Torte. Precious.


Put them together in a super-cute atom collider and: 



WOW, RIGHT? 

Amy Mebberson is the genius artist behind the Strawberry Shortcake/My Little Pony mash-up. She's an illustrator for Disney comics. Her tumblr is my new favorite thing, mostly because it's full of awesome, and I couldn't begin to imagine being so talented















Bonus points: 
Name! That! 80's! Mash-up!
via Amy Mebberson

Monday, June 4

Electronic Overkill? {photographic evidence}


In a few days, I'm heading to sunny California with other Toyota TWIN members. We'll visit the Toyota corporate campus and learn about the Toyota shopping experience, the work they're doing to build and nurture customer relationships, visit the Toyota museum (did you know that was a thing?) and even get to Ride & Drive some of the newest models (car models, not, like, Naomi Campbell models)

All of this and more.... for a trip that will total less than 48 hours

And this was my original packing list:
-netbook
-netbook charger
-DSLR
-DSLR charger
-Marco Fuego (known to people who don't live in my house as a Kindle Fire
-Kindle Fire charger
-Motorola Xyboard (on loan from Central Arkansas Verizon PR!)
-Xyboard charger
-BlackBerry
-BlackBerry charger
-extra BlackBerry (because my phone is bunk and won't charge so I have to switch batteries twice a day from an old BB. Lame, I know.)
-beloved but going-out-of-bidness Flip cam
-iGo charger

The Still Life Electronic on Floral Spread


Whew. 
Then I remembered that I'm going to be carrying all of this electronica around three different, unfamiliar airports and can't afford to replace a single piece if any of it should be lost or stolen and also it's just going to be a pain to unpack all of it to go through security and I really don't need that hassle. 
So.


I pared down a little. Actually, I pared down even more than this photo shows. I'm trusting the Xyboard to do most of what my darling netbook could do on such a short trip.  I'm forgoing the Flip, skipping the camera charger, and using my trusty iGo to charge both BlackBerrys, the Xyboard, and my boyfriend, Marco Fuego.


I know. I know. Nearly all of these problems would be solved if I would finally break down and buy one of these, which Audreya never tires of telling me is a phone for grown-ups:





Also, let's just never talk about how badly I draw arrows, ok?