McKinney Mommas: April 2013 Google+

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mango, Blackberry Yogurt Parfait - Perfect for Mother's Day

Breakfast in bed.

Yes, I'm talking to YOU daddies, papas and anyone in the male population in general.

It's what we want for Mother's Day, and Whole Foods Market can help you get started on the right track.

How does a quick and easy Mango, Blackberry Greek Yogurt Parfait sound?


Monday, April 29, 2013

Turn Your Children's Artwork Into Jewelry - Kidz Can Design

Every mother cherishes the artwork their children create.

A scribble. The first circle. The first awkward looking tree.

How would you like to turn your child's artwork into a beautiful piece of jewelry that you can proudly display year after year?

With Kidz Can Design, you can send a photo of your child's painting, drawing or other artwork and the design team will carefully craft the image into a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry for you.

Mother's Day is around the corner, and what mother could resist the gift of her child's footprint or first time they scrawled out their name on paper made into a beautiful silver charm to wear on a bracelet or necklace?

My daughter is a bit young still to make any sort of concrete artistic designs, but man, she can paint.  So, I decided to send in my daughter's most recent painting to see what Kidz Can Design could make from it.

I loved this painting with all my heart, and wanted to be able to remember just how hard she worked on it.  So, I took a photo of the artwork and sent it in.

I was so excited to open the box that came in the mail just a few weeks later. Wrapped carefully in a gift box and little drawstring jewelry pouch, was my one-of-a-kind creation.

BAM, there it is! Crafted into a .925 Sterling Silver pendant, is my little peanut's original design.  Of course you can see that it's not in color, so a painting like mine is probably is not the best example of what this company can do, but I still love my very abstract piece of jewelry. 

I can't wait until she starts drawing little animals, or monsters, or can write the word, "MOM" because that is going onto my next necklace from Kidz Can Design, for sure. 

How could I not be smiling, with a little treasure like this hanging around my neck. "Big Sister H" is quite the artist, and I'm proud to be wearing her first official design. Heh. Heh. 

(Giveaway ends 5/18/13)

To learn more visit Kidz Can Design on Facebook or at their website:

*Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. The products used to facilitate this review were given to me free of cost by the company for evaluation.  However, all opinions are 100% my own and I am not under any obligation to write a positive review.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Note Taking System & Journals From TOPS & Shoplet {REVIEW}

Even though I'm officially on a break from the business world, my job as a blogger still requires me to use office supplies.

I am happy to be part of a team of bloggers that work with to review new and exciting office supplies.

This week, I was able to check out some cool products by TOPS.

If it's a conference or speaking session you're attending and want to be sure not to miss a thing, this note taking system (TOP77103), apparently comparable to the Cornell Note Taking System is probably a good product to reach for.

A column for quick ideas that will spark your memory, and second column for more detailed notes will help you organize and recall any speaking event or training session you might be attending.  Available in Legal size or smaller 5x8, both sizes contain 50 pages. 

I'm definitely going to be bringing this one to the Executive Women's Day in Irving, TX that I'm attending later this month. I heard there will be some awesome speakers, and don't want to miss a thing.

I absolutely hate all the little pieces of paper I have fluttering around in my purse, on my counter, in my car.  In fact, just today I opened my car door outside and a bunch of papers came flying out (thank you Texas wind), while running around after the notes being carried away by the wind I thought I need a new system.

Grocery shopping lists, to-do lists, ideas for blog posts, birthday gift ideas and so much more can all be contained within this cool little TOPS Idea Collective journal (TOP56874) which is a perfect size (5 1/2" x 3 1/2")for your purse or backpack.

The TOPS Idea Collective Journal is ruled inside, which I love.  Honestly, I have the worst handwriting around, and unless I have lines to keep me on track, I can barely read my own writing.

This journal comes in a 10" x 7 1/2 (TOP56879) size as well as the smaller size mentioned previously.

As always, if you're looking for promotional products for your blog or company, has some great, high-quality options, like backpacks, mugs, golf balls and tablet sleeves.

*Disclosure: This was not a paid post. The products used to facilitate this review were given to me free of cost by the company.  However, all opinions are 100% my own and were not influenced by the complimentary product received. As I am under no obligation to post a positive review if I feel it is not warranted

Lysol Touch of Foam Antibacterial Hand Wash {Review} #GotItFree

I recently upgraded my hand soap.

I'm into soap. Like, really. 

I'm always looking for the newest scent or feature in my hand soap and kitchen soap as well. Recently, I had just been using dish soap on my hands in the kitchen, but when I received a sample of Lysol Touch of Foam Antibacterial Hand Wash, it promptly took a front and center seat at my kitchen sink. 

I found myself reaching for it more often than the dish soap, when I needed to wash my hands after preparing the kids meals or cleaning up grimy messes. 

My favorite part about this soap, is that it did not dry out my hands like the dish soap does, and I found the Creamy Vanilla Orchid scent to be delightful and relaxing. 

The foam doesn't slid off your hands (like traditional soap) while washing so you get the ultimate clean, plus it kill 99.9% of bacteria. I'm almost down to my last drop, so will need a refill soon. 

I can't wait to try their other scents!

Available in 3 Great Scents:
  • Creamy Vanilla Orchid
  • Rose & Cherry in Bloom
  • Wild Berry Bliss 

For more information, visit:

*Disclosure: I am a BzzAgent and received these products from for review at no cost to me. I receive no monetary compensation for my open and unbiased review. The purpose of BzzAgents is to generate word of mouth sharing of information – both good and bad – about the products offered by both familiar and unfamiliar companies.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

McKinney Mommas' #26acts of Kindness - Round Four

Okay, time is passing just way too fast this year. My youngest will be one year old in just 3 short months, and it seems like only yesterday she was born.

As many of you know, I pledged to do #26acts of kindness this year in in honor of Olivia Engel who was one of the child victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy.

I feel like I've done probably quite a few more little bits of good here and there, but here are my official #26acts so far:

And for number four of our 26acts of kindness this year.......................  

Well, I have to give all the credit to my daughter "Big Sister H" for this one:

We were out at a local coffee shop (Snug on the Square - McKinney, TX) getting breakfast a month or two ago (this is how behind I am) and my little peanut spotted a cute little ceramic piggy bank for sale. 

She asked me for some money, so I explained to her that the piggy bank was going to stay in this store, and that the money would have to stay in the piggy bank and surprise someone who took it home with them.

She was cool with that fact, she's a pretty giving person, for a 2 year old!  So, she proceeded to fill the piggy bank with all sorts of coins for whichever random stranger ends up buying the little piggy.

She was so satisfied with herself after her 4th #26acts.  Of course I was proud of her for giving away her coins to a "neighbor."  I hope that little piggy ends up blessing someone with a plethora of riches both real and imagined.

What good can you spread today?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Calling All Dallas Foodies! Dallas Observer Iron Fork - May 8 {Plus Exclusive Promo Code}

Foodie at heart? Love watching those crazy cooking competitions on TV?

Here's your chance to experience an exciting cooking challenge in person, while tasting great food from local restaurants and sipping on some delicious beer, wine & cocktail pairings.

Welcome the Dallas Observer Iron Fork, presented by Whole Foods.

Taking place, May 8th at the Dallas Contemporary, this grand tasting event that will feature a Chef Challenge Moderated by Restaurateur Kent Rathbun.  

Returning Champion Scott Romano of Nick & Sam's will battle Matt McCallister of FT33.  Each chef will receive a basket of ingredients along with one mystery ingredient to throw a kink in the mix. It will be up to the chefs to battle it out LIVE, and come up with a creative and exceptionally delicious dish to claim the coveted Iron Fork award.

During the event, attendees will witness the chef challenge, and enjoy tastings from local Dallas restaurants, live music, alongside wine, beer and cocktail samplings.

Dallas Observer Iron Fork

Dallas Contemporary – 161 Glass Street, Dallas, TX 75207

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 from 7-10pm 

Advance General Admission tickets and VIP tickets are available NOW at

* * * EXCLUSIVE OFFER * * * 
McKinney Mommas readers can purchase discounted tickets for $30 by using promo code: {mckinneymommas}

VIP Tickets include Early Admission at 6pm, to enjoy over 30 restaurant and liquor samplings before the doors open to the general public. Complimentary Valet before 6:30pm. Also, in and out access to the VIP room throughout the entire night, which includes exclusive liquor samplings, gift bags and exclusive sampling of top restaurants in Dallas.

More information available at A portion of the proceeds will benefit March of Dimes.

Please note: Guests must be 21+, with a valid I.D.

Who do you think will take home the title? Scott or Matt?

~ See you there, and we'll find out together! ~

*Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. However, I did receive complimentary tickets to the event to facilitate a review. All opinions are 100% my own and I am not under any obligation to write a positive review.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

FREE Blogger Giveaway Event! $100 Home Depot Gift Card!

Here's another great FREE Blogger Event (and giveaway) to sign up for:


Attn: BLOGGERS! Sign-ups are now open for this great new giveaway event!

Famous Free Samples' May Flowers Giveaway Event
  • This Event is free to join with an announcement post. If you don't wish to post the announcement, please send the $5 non-post fee to
  • You'll receive 1 free link for participating (either Twitter or Pinterest)
  • Additional links (RSS/Email, Twitter and Pinterest) are available for $5 each
  • Sign-ups for this event end on April 29th
  • Event runs from May 1 - 15
  • Prize: $100 Home Depot gift card
Please send all payments to as a "gift" via PayPal. Sign up for this event here.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Pure Via® All-Natural Sugar Alternatives {Review & GIVEAWAY}

Trying to cut down the sugar and calories in your diet? Looking for a All-Natural sugar alternative?

I'm not a big sweet tooth, but one of the places I often use regular sugar is in my morning coffee. Did you know just (1) rounded teaspoon equals a whole 24 calories?

Well, Dallas residents, never fear Pure Via® all-natural sweetener is here!

Pure Via® carries a line of zero calorie and lower calorie sweeteners made with extracts from all-natural Stevia plant.

Personally, I jumped on the Stevia (all-natural sweetener made from the Stevia rebaudiana plant) bandwagon years ago, when I tried it in some herbal tea, and got hooked on the naturally sweet flavor of the herb. 

It used to be that you could only find Stevia in select health food stores, but now, thanks to the Whole Earth Sweetener Company, you can find Pure Via® all-natural sweeteners in stores like Target, Albertsons and Costco - Newly Available in the Dallas area!

Launching exclusively in Dallas, Texas,  
Pure Via®'s Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar and Stevia Blend 
has 1/2 the calories of regular sugar

I was excited to try this blend, since I'm a fan of raw cane sugar and it had been a while since I found a stevia sweetener I liked.

Just one packet was plenty to jazz up my coffee and there was no artificial taste at all.


You can use this Raw Cane Sugar & Stevia blend, just like you'd use sugar. It tasted great sprinkled on freshly cut strawberries, on top of oatmeal or anything else you'd sprinkle sugar on.

Knowing that I was only drinking 1/2 the calories I'd usually be drinking, made this all-natural sweetener a win in my book

Pure Via® also makes a zero calorie sweetener, that's a great sugar alternative for people that need to cut out sugar from their diet, like diabetics. Made with the naturally sweet Stevia plant, this baby packs a whopping 2x the sweetening power of sugar - so your money goes further since you can use less. 

Personally, I've never used S&L or Equal because they were way too sweet for me, so I probably won't be buying this zero calorie sweetener, since it's sweetness is a little too intense for me. 

However, if you currently use an artificial sweetener like S&L or Equal and would like to "trade up" to an all-natural, not lab created alternative, I'd suggest giving Pure Via a test run. I have a feeling you'll like it, and it's better for you than all those junky chemical sweeteners.


  • Uses only all natural sweeteners
  • Zero calories
  • 100% recycled cartons - earth friendly packaging!
  • One packet = sweetening power of 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • Certified Kosher Parve
  • Convenient "take anywhere" packets
  • Their Raw Sugar blend = 1/2 calories of white sugar
  • Not genetically modified - NO GMO

Discover more at or

~ Enter to Win ~  
(1) Pure Via® Prize Package

Including: 1 full-size box of Pure Via zero calorie sweetener, 1 full-size box of Pure Via Turbinado Raw Sugar Blend, Pure Via Ceramic Mug & Spoon, 1 package of Seattle's Best Coffee  
  • Complete easy Rafflecopter entry form below for your chance to win!
  • Giveaway open to US residents/18+
  • Giveaway ends  May 6, 2013
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. The products used to facilitate this review were given to me free of cost by the company for evaluation.  However, all opinions are 100% my own and I am not under any obligation to write a positive review.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Give Me My #CupOfKaffe And No One Gets Hurt!

Gevalia K-Cups

I love coffee.

I started drinking coffee in high school.  I remember feeling really grown up when I ordered a Hazelnut Latte at the coffee shop next door to the mall.

Anyway, now it's less of a novelty and more of a necessity with a 2 year old and her 9 month old sister who has practically refused to sleep since she was born. 

Yesterday, I realized I was out of coffee and almost went into a panic. Don't judge. My hubby agreed to go into work late (his schedule is flexible), so I could run down to Walmart and grab a few things.

Check out my first Google + album here, showing the photos from my shopping trip.


I'm not really picky about my coffee brand, but I know when I'm drinking a good cup, and when I'm not.  Last month, I purchased some new coffee from a name brand on sale, and was totally disappointed, enough to not finish the bag.

So, I was excited when I heard about this opportunity to check out Gevalia's NEW single serve cups (aka. K-Cups). I was in the mood to try something new. Plus, I was tired of the mess of grinding my own beans and filling my own refillable K-Cups.

The kids have been sick this week with a nasty cold/flu, so I left them at home and set out on a mission to find the NEW Gevalia coffee for use in the Keurig® K-Cup® Brewer.

coupon gevalia k-cups

Before I left on my little adventure, I looked up Gevalia on Facebook to see if they had any coupons - THEY DID! I was able to print off a coupon for $1.50 off! You can find the coupon under the "Rich Rewards" section of their FB page. 

Once I got to the coffee aisle, it took me a minute or two to find the Gevalia K-Cups, they were on the tippy top shelf! I used my ballerina toes and carefully grabbed the bright yellow (gold?) boxes from on high.

Shhhh, don't tell....but I may have lingered in this aisle for a bit longer that necessary, hey a moment without kids on the hip is a moment to enjoy...even if it is in the middle of a grocery store. 

savings at walmart

I ran around the store, grabbing a few more staples items for the kids, you know the drill: goldfish, boogie wipes, PB&J etc. and was ready to head back home to check out my new Gevalia K-Cups.  

gevalia signature blend coffee

There were only two roasts available from Gevalia at Walmart - the Signature Blend and Colombia, so I grabbed both to compare.  I'm a pretty bold coffee drinker, so figured I'd prefer the Colombia - which is a medium roast, but I am game for anything at this point.

gevalia single serve coffee pods

rich never bitter coffee

It's brew time, baby! 

A nice, dark liquid from the Signature Blend filled my cup. The aroma, not too sweet, not too pungent. I really enjoyed my Signature Blend #CupOfKaffe from Gevalia.

#cbias shoppertunities Gevalia

I added a little milk next, but honestly probably didn't need to. This blend was mild enough to enjoy black. I enjoyed this coffee on an empty stomach, and really appreciate that Gevalia wasn't too acidic, like some brands tend to be.

I almost forgot to try the Colombia blend, but didn't need much pressuring to do so.  By mid-afternoon crying babies and snotty noses begged me to brew another #CupOfKaffe  to keep me going strong 'till dinner time. 

Gevalia kcup coffee #cupofkaffe

This time, I reached for the Colombia roast and fell ever so slightly in love.  This coffee had the perfect rich flavor I'm looking for in a coffee without being bitter or astringent. 

My 100% whole wheat, dark chocolate chip cookies, made the night before were a perfect match for the NEW Gevalia K-Cups.

When I run out of K-Cups next, I have a feeling I'm going to be donning those ballerina toe shoes and reaching to the tippy top shelf to grab myself some Gevalia again. 

I'm into it.

If YOU are into it: You can purchase Gevalia K-Cups directly from Gevalia's website or at your local Walmart.

Have you tried any NEW coffee recently that you can't seem to get enough of? 

Disclosure:  I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and Kraft Foods #CupOfKaffe #cbias #SocialFabricAs always, all opinions are 100% my own and are not influenced by the complimentary products or compensation.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

$25 off your order at Tea Collection - Spring Clothing For Kids - Promo Code Inside

Do you love the Tea Collection as much as I do?

Amazing Savings alert! 

For four days only, 4/18-4/21, Tea Collection is giving you $25 off orders of $150+ and free shipping with code LETSGO25

Check out the sweet spring dresses, shirts, shorts, swimwear and more! Yes, it's already time to shop for summer vacation clothes, so take a look at their new arrivals for boys and girls.. 

Don't miss your chance to save with this amazing offer! 

Happy Shopping - from me to you! 

*Disclosure: I was not paid for this post, however if readers choose to purchase a service through the links above, I may be eligible for compensation. As always all opinions are 100% honestly my own.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Earth Friendly Kids Clothing for Earth Day - April 22

Here's an Earth Friendly Kids Clothing Roundup for Earth Day April 22, 2013

SoRad Mod "eco" green dress

So Rad ( products like this Mod "Eco" Green Dress are all handcrafted in Canada, using environmentally friendly bamboo with a mixture of organic cotton fabrics (70% Bamboo, 30% Cotton). Offering UV protection, antibacterial properties (the clothes won’t smell) and naturally hypoallergenic properties.

Ittikid Peacock Onesie

IttiKid ( features this peacock onesie imported from Scandinavia made with 100% cotton and is Oekotex certified to not contain or give off harmful substances. 

Burts Bees Baby ( has a nice selection of organic cotton clothing for kids - like this 100% organic cotton rugby tee and chambray shorts set.

Kate Quinn Organics, ( known for their simple yet elegant designs put together this super cute classic girl set for spring. Of course they use only 100% organic cotton, so your baby girl's skin will be touching only the softest and safest fabric around. 

Enjoy Earth Day and remember to shop organic (when you can) and hug the earth while you're hugging that little tot of yours!

*Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post in any way. Just doing my job finding great products for you. :-) 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Curious George Swings Into Spring & Earth Day Activities

Curious George (one of my toddler's favorite PBS shows) is celebrating Earth Day, April 22, this year with the premiere of "Curious George Swings Into Spring" a one hour special all about exploring the outdoors.

Here's a preview for ya:

On Earth Day, we'll probably take a break from the sun for a little bit to watch our favorite little monkey explore the earth in this springtime Earth Day special!

Here are a few fun & easy activities you can do with your kids to celebrate Earth Day - April 22 at home:

  1. Build a Bird Feeder
  2. Make a Pinwheel - how to instructions
  3. Curious George's Recycling Challenge 

Check your local listings to find out when "Curious George Swings Into Spring"at your house.

Do you have any great "GREEN" activities planned at your house for Earth Day this year? Share them with us!

*Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. PBS provided me with a press release to share this information with you all. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Will $25,000 Go To Your Neighborhood Cause? State Farm Neighborhood Assist

How much do you think $25,000 could improve the lives of kids in your own neighborhood?

State Farm Neighborhood Assist, will give $25,000 to 40 causes across the nation, and there's only (9) days left to VOTE on where you want the money to go!

Check out which local causes are in the running, as they just might benefit someone in your own hometown or state!

To VOTE, go to State Farm's Facebook Page and VOTE for a cause in your own neighborhood!

I voted for local initiatives in my area: Integrative Playground, in Saginaw, Texas and Peer to Peer mentoring in Dallas, Texas!

Let's cross our fingers that they receive a grant.

Were you able to find a cause in your local area?  If so, which one did you vote for? 

Disclosure:  Nope. I wasn't compensated for this post. Just spreading the word about people who DO GOOD in their neighborhoods and communities. :-)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Raising Young Humanitarians With Mightee Kids

I just can't get enough of this idea of teaching your children while they're young to be humanitarians and care for other kids in need.

Month Two & Three of our Mightee Kids subscription brought us two more fantastic kids shirts and money donated to a worthy cause.

If you read my blog regularly, you will remember that I posted about Mightee Kids previously and how for only $18.59 per month, you will:

  • Receive a hip, newly designed tshirt for your fabulous kiddo.
  • A brochure that describes which charity the tee was designed for.
  • A discussion card to share with your children about helping other children in need.
  • $5 from each tee will be donated to the sponsored charity that month.
  • Did I mention you can cancel at anytime....not that you'd want to.

February 2013 was Canines For Disabled Kids Month

We love opening our package each month

Baby O. Rockin' her "Thanks Dog" Mightee Kids Tee!

I'm a Mightee Kid!

Five dollars from each "Thanks Dog" tshirt sold was donated to Canines For Kids, which provides assistance dogs to kids who need physical or emotional assistance.

I explained to my toddler (she lent the shirt to her baby sister to wear) about how some children who are in wheelchairs need service dogs to help them with daily tasks, and other children who can't see well need guide dogs to help them walk around.

Later that day, we took a walk and I pointed out the dogs in the neighborhood and also a woman in a wheelchair in the grocery store. She seemed to get the idea, as well as a 2 year old can!

March 2013 was Kids on Bikes Month

Big Sister H. rollin' with her Mightee Kids Tee!

"You gotta try this shirt, it'll make you ME"

Such a cheeser!

During the month of March, each tshirt sale sent $5 to Kids on Bikes, providing kids from the inner-cities receive bikes.  Bikes help to empower kids and their families to incorporate exercise into their daily lives, as well as provide transportation to after school activities and friends houses.

Kids On Bikes doesn't just give kids a handhout, they help the kids set a goal and work towards earning the bike by working hard on a project and following through with their commitment. Very cool.

Although she is only 2 years old, Big Sister H. is learning empathy and a giving heart by participating in the Mightee Kids discussions each month. 

Stay in the Loop

Mightee Kids Website:

Mightee Kids on Facebook:

Mightee Kids on Twitter:
Mightee Kids on Pinterest: www.

Think about starting your subscription with Mightee Kids, and get your kiddos on the path to thinking about other children who may be in need of some help today!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Vail, Colorado - A Summer Vacation Destination For Texans!

In the heart of Texas, summers can seem like an endless heat wave.  When my husband and I began talking about taking a vacation sometime in the future, we knew we wanted to go somewhere that has a much milder climate and offered things to do that we can't experience in Texas.  We began researching various western United States destinations and settled on Vail, Colorado.

Photo courtesy of : is a great resource in planning and preparing for a vacation to Colorado.  It categorizes everything into sections such as events, weather, special deals and incentives, and skiing.  It really is a one stop vacation planning website.  From the home page, I can easily see Twitter and Facebook updates on what is happening in and around the city. 

It looks like during the month of April there's The Taste of Vail, which is a food and wine festival that I'd totally love to attend. During the summer months, there's also mountain biking, horseback riding, music festivals and even an Oktoberfest.....YES!

Photo courtesy of :

There's a special section for trip planning that includes information on gear rental, lift tickets, and transportation.  I can check out any last minute deals from various resorts and hotels based on specific check in and check out dates.  There's also airport information for people who will be flying in rather than driving (like me).

All in all, has everything you'd need to plan a wintertime getaway without doing hours of research on multiple websites.  From skiing and snowboarding to shopping and nightlife, it looks like has it all!

Colorado, here we come! Did I mention this is where I met my husband???

Tell me, "Where is your favorite place to vacation?"

*Disclosure: This post was sponsored by All opinions are my own.