McKinney Mommas: September 2013 Google+

Monday, September 30, 2013

October Instagram Photo-A-Day Challenge #LuvSoFab

I got a F minus for September's Instagram Photo-A-Day Challenge!

So, I'm gonna try again this coming month.

Feel free to join me and get shutter happy, as those leaves fall, and cauldrons boil!

Post your links to your October Photo-A-Day below and I'll be happy to re-tweet them!

Show me how YOU do October!  

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Texas Fails on Children in Disasters Report #GetReadyGetSafe

Not cool, Texas............not cool.

According to Save The Children's 2013 Report on Children in Disasters, Texas scored unsatisfactory in 1 of 4 categories.

When a disaster occurs (heaven forbid) and your child's life is potentially in danger, our state failing at just 1 out of 4 categories is not okay.

Am I right, Texas Mommas?!

Even with all the school tragedies that have transpired in the last 2 years, most states still fail to meet basic child-safety measures for taking action when a disaster occurs.

Only 4 states, currently meet all 4 basic requirements for protecting children in case of a disaster.........and Texas is NOT one of them. 

In Texas, it looks like we're on our way, but still fail to have a best practice   safety plan for children with disabilities

Spreading the word about this concern can lead to positive action by policy makers here in Texas.

So, let's take action NOW! 

Click on the 2013 US Preparedness Map here to see if YOUR state has measures in place to protect your children.  

If your state (like mine) doesn't meet all 4 criteria on Protecting Children in Disasters, follow the prompt to send your governor a letter to take immediate action!

Let's keep our children safe!

For more information and steps to take action, visit:

# GetReadyGetSafe

Disclosure:  I was not compensated for this post.  This post is my commitment to Mom Bloggers for Social Good and the Global Team of 200.  What good can you spread today?
Disclosure:  I was not compensated for this post.  This post is my commitment to Mom Bloggers for Social Good and the Global Team of 200.  What good can you spread today?
Disclosure:  I was not compensated for this post.  This post is my commitment to Mom Bloggers for Social Good and the Global Team of 200.  What good can you spread today?

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. This post is my commitment to Mom Bloggers for Social Good and the Global Team of 200. What good can you spread today?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

On The Go Giveaway! $600 Worth Baby Related Prizes - ends 10/2

If you didn't win the last Yummi Pouch giveaway I posted recently, here's your second chance to WIN some Yummi Pouches...........PLUS TONS of other baby related goodies!

  • Open to US and Canada Residents / 18+
  • Giveaway ends October 2, 2013

Enter to win this collection of great gear every child needs for on-the-go!

Prize Package Includes:

  • Yummi Pouch Brights - 2 sets of reusable food pouches ($30 value)
  • Diono RadianR100 car seat ($259.99 value)
  • Tivoli Couture Luxury Memory Foam Stroller Liner in Emerald. ($49.99 value)
  • Imagine Baby The Shade ($39.95 value)
  • yoomi - 8oz Feeding System ($37.50 value)
  • líllébaby COMPLETE Organic Carrier ($135 value)
  • Buttons Diapers 3 cloth covers and 6 daytime inserts ($54 value)

Total Value = $600+

Yummi Pouch - Reusable Food Pouches

yummi pouch reusable food pouches

Yummi Pouch Brights - 2 sets - Retail Price: $30

Yummi Pouch Brights (Set of 4) combine style and convenience in an eco-friendly container you can fill with homemade smoothies and blended snacks! Easy to fill and clean through the top zipper opening and enjoyed by drinking from the side spout, Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches are great for kids taking healthy snacks on the go. Includes set of 4 assorted patterns. For more information visit
  • Set of 4 Yummi Pouch Brights reusable food pouches
  • Dishwasher and freezer safe
  • BPA and phthalate free
  • Great for on the go snacks!
  • Hold up to 6 ounces each


diono carseat giveaway

Radian®R100 Car Seat - Retail Price: $259.99

The Radian®R100 Car Seat offers the adaptability you need to keep your child's car rides safe and comfortable for years. From birth to booster car seat, the RadianR100 fits children in the rear-facing position weighing from 5 to 40 pounds and children in the forward-facing position weighing from 20 to 65 pounds. With longevity in mind, this model converts to a booster seat for kids up to 100 pounds.
Dedicated to giving families safe and enjoyable travel experiences, Diono has more than a decade of experience producing award-winning products. Diono car seats, stroller and travel accessories continue to gain high ratings from industry experts, media and families worldwide for their unique functionality, safety innovations and thoughtful designs. For more information visit

Tivoli Couture

tivoli couture

Luxury Memory Foam Stroller Liner in Emerald - Retail Price: $49.99

Tivoli CoutureT specializes in Practical LuxuryT solutions for strollers, car seats and baby carriers.
Tivoli Couture stroller liners are unlike any other stroller liner on the market today. Tivoli Couture is the original inventor of the luxury memory foam stroller liner! Our memory foam stroller liners have been evaluated and recommended by a Chiropractor to help with proper spinal alignment and support. We chose memory foam padding because of its orthopedic qualities. Memory foam is known to relieve pressure points and help promote circulation - an important feature for children sitting in their stroller for prolonged periods of time. Tivoli Couture stroller liners also help cushion the ride and help absorb stroller shock; they double as tummy time mats and changing pads - just perfect for busy parents on the go!

Our stroller liners are super trendy and are available in a number of modern designs, colors and prints. They are reversible for style, versatility and year-round comfort. For more information visit

Imagine Baby

imagine baby the shade

The Shade - Retail Price: $39.95 (car seat not included)

The Shade by Imagine Baby is an award winning infant car seat canopy that protects baby from outside elements and germs. It also provides baby with a shaded place for napping when on the go. Made from a soft, stretchy micropoly/Lycra material The Shade provides baby with UPF 50+ protection from the sun's harmful rays and fits easily on most infant car seats. For more information visit
  • UPF 50 + sun protection
  • Water resistant
  • Year round use
  • Breathable
  • Flexible fit on most infant car seats
  • Easy care - machine wash cold, line dry
  • Fits into any size diaper bag


yoomi feeding system

8oz Feeding System - Retail Price: $37.50

Yoomi was created by Farah and Jim. A mom and dad whose experiences of stumbling around the kitchen in the early hours and begging waiters for hot water when out and about inspired them to look for a better solution. The combination of Farah's inspiration and Jim's engineering skills, together with expert advice and help from friends and family, has resulted in yoomi, the bottle that warms baby feed in just 60 seconds. For more information visit


lille baby carrier

líllébaby® COMPLETET Organic Carrier - Retail Price: $135

The future in babywearing is here! Compare the líllébaby® COMPLETET with any baby carrier and you will see why it deserves its name. COMPLETET in function, comfort, and style, this carrier grows with your family. It includes every carrying position and ensures your baby is positioned ergonomically correct in every setting. It's all about options - it's COMPLETET!
Resonating the Scandinavian values of quality of life, honesty, and a love for nature's beauty, líllébaby strives to make baby products that bring this functional style to parents, anywhere. We wish parents to attain the simple luxury of keeping their baby close while building a natural bond, in perfect comfort and style. Soft, luxurious organic fabrics for treasured moments. Made with 100% soft-brushed organic cotton and lined with luxurious, 100% organic sateen cotton.

Designed with the unsurpassed functionality and comfort of the líllébaby® COMPLETET baby carrier line. The perfect baby carrier For more information visit

Buttons Cloth Diapers

buttons cloth diapers

3 cloth covers and 6 daytime inserts - Retail Price: $54

Tangerine, Lavender, & Apple Buttons Cloth Diapers were born at home. As a husband and wife team, we designed our diapers to be easy to use and affordable for everyone - the way it should be. We believe in keeping our lives simple, even when it comes to diapering.

Buttons Diapers feature soft, leak-proof, and durable diaper covers. The double-gussets around the legs keeps the mess in, so your little one can run, jump, climb, and sleep while your mind is at ease. Elastic at the back and tummy makes a custom fit. The durable snaps allow the covers to adjust to fit any baby (approximately 9-35 lbs.). And, they come in many adorable colors! For more information visit

Enter to Win this Fabulous Set of Prizes!

One Winner will be selected October 3rd. Have fun and good luck!
On The Go Giveaway prizes
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Shop Beauty Week Event at Zulily

I'm in some serious need of some new beauty products. All my lotions and potions are old, expired or dried out.

It's time to Shop the Beauty Week event at zulily! 

Here are my picks:


Since becoming pregnant, my face is more blotchy and irritated than ever. I need soemthign that will work overnight to soothe and calm my upset skin. I'd love to try this Kantic Calming Evening Cream!


Guava is one of my favorite fruits, in fact, I'm drinking some Guava Juice right now! :-) This Guava Oil could be used for everything from skin conditioning to taming unruly hair cuticles. Plus, I bet it smells G-R-E-A-T!


Living in Texas does wonders to your hands. No, not good wonders....the dry, cracked, terrible kind of wonders. I need this Velvet Hand Cream to get my hands back into shape before the chilly weather sets in.

I don't get much time to get into the spa these days with two little people under the age of 3 running around, did I mention I'm pregnant with #3 as well? Anyway, a little at home spa Mineral Therapy Mud Mask by Avani would be heaven for me!


Of course, since becoming pregnant, a daily face lotion with SPF is more important than ever. It seems like I instantly get "pregnancy mask" or darker pigmentation on my face whenever I'm pregnant, which I really detest.  Using a face lotion with at least SPF 15 is something I need to add into my daily beauty regimine to protect my skin from any further damage.

Anyway, those are my picks for Zulily Beauty Week!

Do you have any favorite beauty products to share with me? I'd love to hear about them!

Military Spouses: Scholarships Available!

Here are some interesting facts I just learned about the unique struggles that Military Spouses face when it comes to employment and education. 

Also, I found out that there is $300 million available in military/veteran related scholarships.  So, there just might be a way to help solve the issue of unemployed and underemployed military spouses!

This infographic was provided to me by Vista College:

Which career is best for me?

Image courtesy of:

Monday, September 23, 2013

Whole Kids Salad Recipe Challenge + Giveaway!

Guess how many school lunches your kid will eat before they finish high school?

2,300!   That's a big number, and makes the mission of Whole Kids Foundation that much more important. 

Their mission?  To improve childhood nutrition by providing better access and availability to fruits and veggies for your kiddos at school and at home.

Keep reading to find out how to win a $50 Gift Card to Whole Foods

In honor of Whole Kids Foundation mission to support school salad bar and garden grant programs I answered the call of the Whole Kids Salad Recipe Blogger Challenge and created a tasty, and healthy salad recipe that I wanted to share with you.

psssst! Did you know that if you replace just one meal a day with a salad, you could see a reduction of 100 calories per day, which equals 10-pounds a year!? Just sayin'.

Choppy Chopped Italian Salad w/ Pistachios

McKinney Mommas Chopped Salad Recipe


6 Persian cucumbers, diced 
1 tomato, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 Romaine heart, chopped
4 small stalks celery, chopped
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
1 can 365 Everyday Value® Garbanzo Beans, drained
4oz. sliced black olives, drained
1/3 c. feta cheese (reserve 1 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp. 365 Everyday Value® Organic Italian Dressing
1/2 c. pistachios, shelled and chopped


1. Chop/Dice cucumbers, tomato, red onion, romaine, and celery into small 1/2 inch pieces and place in large salad bowl.

2. Add chopped parsley, garbanzo beans, black olives and most of the feta cheese.

3. Drizzle 365 Everyday Value® Organic Italian Dressing (available at Whole Foods) over salad and toss to coat ingredients.

4. Sprinkle reserved feta cheese and pistachios on top of salad, and serve!

Serves 4-6 people

NOTES: If you're not into nuts, you can omit the pistachios, and this is still a totally tasty salad! I was surprised that both my 1 and 2 year old chowed down on this salad too....they LOVED it!

* * * 

So, if you're wondering what you can do to jump aboard this wagon headed straight for better nutrition in your kids school lunches, let me tell you:   

What You Can Do!

  • Purchase products from these participating brands that give back to Whole Kids Foundation: Mrs. Meyers; Yellow 108; Peeled Snacks; Red Jacket Orchards; and High Mowing Organic Seeds.
  • Make a donation at the register during check out
  • Text "SALAD" to 20222 to donate $10 to support salad bar grants at schools near you

Isn't the future health of your children and their friends worth a little time and investment?

I think so!  Join me and help set your kids on a path of better nutrition today.

Find out more about how to get involved at

~ Enter To Win ~
(1) $50 Gift Certificate to Whole Foods

  • Giveaway deadline October 7, 2013
  • Open to US entrants ages 18+
  • Complete Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 20, 2013

FREE Halloween Trick-or-Treat Bag!


My kiddo has already decided what she wants to dress up as for Halloween, but we don't have a trick-or-treat basket picked out yet.

This is a cute way to create a keepsake Halloween Trick-or-Treat bag for your kiddo!

Plus, it's FREE! All you have to do is pay shipping! 


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Using The Wrong Car Seat? Find Out @ Child Passenger Safety Week!

This week is Child Passenger Safety Week, and to honor the week I am posting some Car Seat Safety Tips from Chicco.

I know I'm always in need of a Car Seat refresher course - so I thought you might benefit from the tips too!

Note: We were not in a moving car here, hence the unbuckled status. :-)

Car Seat Safety Tips from Julie Prom, Car Seat Safety Advocate for Chicco

Question 1. "What's the safest way to face? Rear or Forward?"
  • Rear-facing is safest.  The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommend rear-facing as long as possible. Parents should keep child rear-facing until at least 2 years old, longer if the car safety seat weight and height limit allows. Young children are fragile and are best protected in a rear-facing car seat. To ensure a child can stay rear-facing as long as possible, purchase a convertible seat when your baby outgrows the infant seat. 

Question 2. "How long do I have to keep my kid in a carseat?" 
  • Most children younger than 5-years old are not mature enough to sit without a full harness. Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until at least 5 or 6 years old. 
Question 3.  "What's the best resource for correct car seat installation?"
  • Most common mistakes can be avoided by simply following manufacturers’ instructions. All car seats must meet stringent Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards to be sold in the U.S. It is when they are not used correctly that makes them unsafe. Always read and follow the instructions for the safety seat. Also, read the vehicle owner’s manual section on child restraints. 
Question 4. "When it's cold outside, how do I safely keep baby warm in their carseat?"
  • Always buckle your baby into the safety seat first, and then cover the baby with blankets.  Avoid bulky clothing and add-on products such as car seat buntings. This can interfere with proper harness fit and crash performance of the seat. A good trick for older children is to buckle them in without their jacket and then put it back on them backwards over the harness. Not only do these techniques ensure proper harness fit, but also avoids overheating by allowing the baby to be easily uncovered or the child to take his jacket off once the car gets warmer.
* * *

And just a few more pointers for those of us who are a bit rusty..............

Car Seat Installation Tips

o   Air Bags and Children Don’t Mix - NEVER place a rear-facing car seat in the front an active frontal air bag, serious injury or death can occur.
o   Back Seat is Best - The back seat is safest for all children.  Keep children in the back seat until at least age 13.
o   Make it Tight! – A car seat must be installed tightly in the vehicle to do its job. If you can move the seat at the belt path more than an inch side to side or front to back, it’s not tight enough.
o   Forward-facing – A Tether is Always Better! - Always use the tether when using a forward-facing car seat. A tether will help hold the top of the car seat back and provide better protection for the child.
o   Rear-facing – Keep baby’s Airway Open - Make sure a rear-facing car seat is at the correct angle so your infant’s head does not fall forward.

o   Harness Height - Rear-facing, harness should be at or BELOW the child’s shoulders. Forward-facing, harness should be at or ABOVE the child’s shoulders.
o   Harness Snug - Make sure the harness is snug! There should be no slack in the harness at the baby’s shoulders. Avoid bulky clothing; this can interfere with harness fit.
o   Booster Seats - Ensure the adult safety belt is threaded properly through the belt guides. The lap belt should be on child’s lower hips/upper thighs and the shoulder belt should lay flat across the middle of the child’s shoulder and chest.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My SimpleNutrition Shopping Trip at Tom Thumb

I don't know about you, but I don't like to have to think very hard when I'm grocery shopping.  There's enough distractions with little ones, that it's hard to spend much time reading the nutritional labels for more than just a quick glance.

Tom Thumb is trying to make it easier for busy moms like me, to get healthy food into the shopping cart help by launching My SimpleNutrition - which is a personalized online tool - developed by registered dietitians -  to help shoppers find products easily that meet a specific nutritional need.

Display of Produce at Tom Thumb

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Latte @ Seattle's Best Coffee DFW $1.00 OFF

Yes, yes it's still warm outside but a Texan can still pretend it's fall, can't we?

Celebrate the changing of the seasons with Seattle's Best Coffee Pumpkin Pie Latte or if you're really still sweatin' Iced Pumpkin Pie Latte!

Did I mention DFW residents can claim their own coupon for $1.00 OFF at Seattle's Best Coffee Facebook Page?

Hurry, before YOU turn into a pumpkin yourself!

p.s. it's got Pumpkin Flavored Whipped Cream on top!

Thirsty yet?  I'm heading to my Seattle's Best Coffee Drive Thru for my afternoon treat here in McKinney, TX when the kids wake up from their nap! 


Monday, September 16, 2013

Win a Wooden Gym PlaySet For Your Backyard - ends 10/7

Summer's not over yet! 

...........and, even if Summer DOES technically end next week, outdoor play season is JUST beginning for us here in Texas! Fall is where it's AT for playgrounds and backyard swinging in Texas.

Speaking of swinging, how would you like to WIN a Madison Wood Gym Set for your own backyard?

Well, here's your chance:

Thursday, September 12, 2013

FREE Online Chore Chart + Earn Rewards on My Job Chart

Can't get the kids motivated to do their chores now that school has begun?

Check out this FREE Online Chore Chart designed to encourage your kiddos to complete their chores and earns them rewards that they can save, donate to charity, or spend on toys

Kids love to do everything online now, so why not let them track their chores and earn their rewards online, too?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pregnancy Announcement @McKinney Mommas & Tiny Prints Coupon Code

Well, it looks like this McKinney Momma is on her way to being the momma of THREE girls.

Baby McKinney #3 is coming March, 2014........and in case any of you were wondering....YES this will be the last addition to our little brood.

So, if anyone has ideas of the best way to enjoy your LAST pregnancy, let me know because this is I-T...IT!

I know it's early, but I'm always looking for good deals on birth announcements, and used Tiny Prints for my last birth announcement and was totally happy with the results. So figured I'd share this deal with you......

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Got Costume? Win $25,000 @ Hub Network's Halloween Bash!

Got Halloween costumes on the mind already?

My 2 year old proudly stated the other day that she wanted to be a "GHOST" for Halloween this year. I have no idea where she got the idea, or how she even knows what a ghost is!

Anyway, you can put your creative costumes to work for ya...and by work I mean, earning you some CASH!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Collin County Fall Home & Garden Show - Sept 13-15

When you're doing your dishes, and peering out the kitchen window into your yard do you think to yourself: 

"Those flower beds need some major help" or "If only I had a peaceful sitting area with a fountain and koi pond, my backyard would finally be complete."

Well, the 1st annual Collin County Fall Home & Garden Show, is coming to town this weekend, September 13-15, and is chock full of ideas and products to help make your home and garden dreams a reality!

Photo Credit: Collin County Spring/Fall Home & Garden Show FB Page

Over 200 vendors will be in attendance at the Allen Event Center, to help you find everything you need to transform your home and garden into beautiful spaces that you'll have trouble making up excuses to want to leave.

If you're a fan of Bravo TV, hang around for the Q&A session with Interior Therapy's star Jeff Lewis!

Photo Credit: Lou Mora

Plus, there will be food trucks, and attendance is free for children 16 years of age and younger!

Collin County Fall Home & Garden Show

  • Allen Event Center -  200 East Stacy Road  Allen, TX 75002
  • September 13-15th, 2013
  • Friday, Sept 13 - 2:00p-7:00pm
  • Saturday, Sept 14 - 10:00a-7:00pm 
  • Sunday, Sept 15 - 11:00a-5:00pm
  • Gardens, Landscaping, Water Features
  • Q&A with Bravo TV's Star, Jeff Lewis (Saturday at 12 & 3pm only)
  • Latest kitchen and bath trends
  • Gourmet Food Trucks!
  • SHOPPING at the Art, Gift and Gourmet Center

For more information visit:

My flower beds ARE in serious need of I'll see you this weekend!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Win a NX300 Samsung Camera!

Ooh, how fun! Your chance to win a NX300 Camera from Samsung! 

I'm not gonna lie, I hope I win instead of you (hee, hee). 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Five Below $1-5 - Grand Opening #DFW Sept. 12-15

You might remember hearing about Five Below, from my recent post for #BagItForward.

They were my "hero" company, who stepped up to the plate and donated hundreds of dollars worth of back-to-school supplies for a local homeless shelter during my donation drive last month for Elmer's "Bag It Forward" program.

Well, I have more news about this company, Dallas......on September 12th, 2013 they're taking #DFW by storm, and opening 11 NEW Five Below stores!

Five Below boasts an incredible selection of products, that you and your teens and pre-teens are sure to love ALL for $5 bucks and less!

While I have yet to experience the joys of parenting a teen, tween or pre-teen, since I worked with teenage foster care youth for many years I can say that I've had my finger on the pulse of all things TEEN, and this store has some cool stuff!