McKinney Mommas: 2016 Google+

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Bring Your Memories To Life! Canvas Factory Prints + #Giveaway

I received a complimentary product to facilitate this review. As always all opinions are 100% my own and not influenced by the company described.

What good does it do you to have thousands of digital photos sitting around on your hard drive?

Nada. Nothing. Zip!

So why don't you choose a few of your favorites from this year and get them printed onto canvas and hanging on your wall for all your friends and family to see?

Bring Your Memories To Life 

That's what I finally did.

It's difficult to find a photo of the whole family where we're smiling and all looking at the camera, but after a bit of searching I finally found something I thought was "wall-worthy."

The ordering process at Canvas Factory was a breeze - and a 16x20 is on SALE right now for only $35.70!

The canvas print is stretched across a 1.2" frame, which looks great placed directly on the wall.

That's my favorite thing about canvas prints!  There's no fuss with centering, choosing a mat, glass, frame color, etc. 

What's better:

It's ready to hang on the wall the moment it arrives! 

Now, if you want to get creative, there are many more options than a typical single canvas print. 

There's this cool Split Photo Canvas Print (pictured above) where you split one photo into multiple canvases for a striking artistic effect on your wall.  

I think this will be my next project for over the mantle. 

The final product on the wall makes me so happy when I walk by it on the way to my room each night.

I've gotten so many compliments from people who say, "These look great! This reminds me that I need to get my photos printed and on the wall too."

So, what are you waiting for? Set those family photos free from your computer, and display them proudly on the wall!

You can shop for your favorite canvas design at:

 Enter To Win

(1)  16x20'' custom made canvas

$129.00 Value!

  • Complete easy Rafflecopter Form below for your chance to win!
  • Giveaway ends, November 19th, 2016
  • Winner must be a US Resident 18+  

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 8, 2016

How To Make A DIY Halloween Wreath

I'll be the first to say I'm not very crafty. 

My mom is.  My sister is.  I'm am not.

However, I decided to throw caution to the wind this year and attempt a DIY Halloween Wreath.  

Turned out to be super easy, and found all the supplies I needed at Oriental Trading!

Here's what I used:

- Large White Foam Wreath - $6.99
- Black Tulle Roll - $9.99 (but there was TONS left over for future projects)
- Black Chevron Burlap - $8.99
- Spider Pumpkin PushIns - $8.99

Note: In the photos you'll see a few other items I also received from Oriental Trading that I planned to use in my wreath, but in the end I decided that simple was better.

The hot glue gun was my best friend in this project.

I started with just a little line of hot glue to attach the burlap ribbon, and began wrapping. Every inch or so, I'd add another line of glue to secure the ribbon on the back side of the wreath. 

Totally simple!

The next part I was slightly nervous about, since I'm not a bow making kind of girl.

However, a simple search online popped up quite a few results for "How To Make a Burlap Bow" and I followed the simple instructions.

Yahoo! A bow was made! Now all I had to do was hot glue the bow to the bottom of the wreath. 


Not too shabby.

By this time, I was getting pretty excited about hanging this wreath on my front door, as I had never made a DIY wreath before! 

The final product was classy, and not too scary, put placing the spider push pins, added an element of spook that was just right for my three little girls. 

The spiders were a great touch for a Halloween wreath, for a home with young children were you don't want things to get TOO scary.................YET!'

I'm convinced that Oriental Trading has just about anything you need for decorating all year round, and also the supplies you need for making your own seasonal decorations!

It worked for me!   

Friday, September 30, 2016

Disney On Ice "Passport To Adventure" Bay Area Discount Code!

I may be eligible to receive complimentary tickets to the event described below, for posting about this event.  However, all opinions stated are 100% my own and not influenced by the company described. 

I don't get to take my kids to many PAID attractions, with the graduate school repayments, student loans, preschool tuition, healthy organic food and music classes piling up.

However, I'm pretty sure that a Disney on Ice event would be absoultely magical for them to attend.

So, with an upcoming event being only an hour and 15 minutes away, I think I'm going to try and take them for their very first LIVE Ice Skating Show!

Two Locations in the Bay Area will be hosting Disney On Ice "Passport To Adventure":

  • SAP Center  Oct. 19th - 23rd, 2016
  • Oracle Arena Oct. 26-30th, 2016

Come celebrate some of the most memorable Disney tales with all your favorite characters in Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure. 

Join Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald, Daisy and Goofy through timeless worlds of Disney's The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, and Disney's Frozen. 

You'll be able to explore African Pride Lands with Simba, Timon and Pumbaa, voyage under the sea to Ariel's mystical underwater kingdom and tour through London with Peter Pan and Wendy before flying to Neverland to meet up with Tinker Bell. 

Last but not least, you can travel to Arendelle for an extraordinary adventure with Anna and Elsa,  Kristoff and everyone's favorite snowman Olaf, as they journey to discover that true love is the most magical power of all. 

Want a Discount Code for 25% OFF Tickets today?

Use Promo Code: MOM2

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Mom Outfit Elevated With prAna Sustainable Clothing #Giveaway

I received this product for free from #MomsMeet (, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own #MMLovesprAna.

I'm a mom.

But, before I was a mom, I was my own person.  A woman with some pretty unique style when it came to clothing. 

I don't like to wear "mom clothes" but when I'm stretching across the second row of my minivan to buckle the carseat in the third row, I like to wear at least movable, aka. comfortable clothes.

KEEP READING for your chance to WIN the sustainable clothing prAna outfit I'm wearing.....
photo credit: my 5 year old daughter :-)

Have I found my happy medium brand? The cross between stylish and comfortable, plus sustainable?

I'm definitely NOT a fashionista, but still refuse to wear sweatpants to the grocery store.

I want something that's easy to throw on and move around in, but that doesn't say "I've given up." 

Wearing this prAna Devan Henley seriously feels like drawing yourself a warm silk bath and being surrounded in silky smooth warmth.

It's one of those clothing items that just separate themselves from the rest, when you put it on, you can feel the quality of the design and craftsmen(women?)ship that just makes it sing.

It's not bulky, but it's warm. The organic cotton/jersey blend is perfect for the crisp fall weather we're about to experience!

Don't even get me started on these Mantra pants, made with soft hemp. 

So, I rarely am able to find clothing that fit by just by ordering them online. I have some weird hip to waist ratio or something.  All that to say, these Mantra pants fit me perfectly.

For reference: I'm 5'3, 125lbs...and typically wear a medium in pants (I have a thick-ish waist), however, I followed the sizing guide on the prAna website and ordered a XS which fit me perfectly (I'm often a Petite Medium in other brands).

It's still fairly hot up here in Northern CA, but I find myself checking the weather station each morning hoping it's pants weather because all I want to wear is Mantra!

Both the prAna Devan Henley and Mantra Pant are totally transferrable from a yoga class to the grocery store or library.

In fact, the Mantra pant could be paired with a nice blouse for a night out on the town with your partner, which I'm planning to do next week! 

As you can see in the above photo, my reality is kids jumping all over me when I'm trying to relax or meditate, so at least my clothing can pamper me with the comfort of their design. 

I'm sold on the classic and moveable style of prAna!

Oh yes. It's the small things that count these days, when I'm pressed for time in the morning to drop off the kiddos at Kindergarten.

prAna makes me happy to not have to stress about what to wear. I'll just throw on this Devan Henley and Mantra Pant and get going with ease and style.

Now who wants to buy me one in every color?!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 19, 2016

Legends of Wine at America's Farm To Fork Capital - Sept 16

I received complimentary admission to the event described below to facilitate this post. All opinions however are 100% my own and not influenced by the company or event sponsors depicted. 

There's no such thing as too much wine.........................

That was my opinion, until I attended Legends of Wine at Sacramento's Farm-To-Fork Festival!

Wait, can I take that back?

I stand firm, there's IS no such thing as too much wine!

Could there be a better setting, to sample award winning wine and artisan cheese than the west steps of the California State Capitol Building?

I think not.

The Legends of Wine event is held in conjunction with America's Farm-To-Fork Festival in Sacramento and honestly, I don't think I've been to a more magical wine tasting event.

... and if wine wasn't enough ...

Don't EVEN get me started about the cheese that was out for display, beautiful artisan selections were located throughout the event to pair with wine samplings.

Can someone say, CALIFORNIA CHEESE?

Lots and lots of local California-made cheese.  Stinky cheese, firm cheese, salty and sweet.

They all showed up for Legends of Wine!

The gorgeous cheese wheel shown above from Bravo Farms in the Central Valley, was literally the size of a watermelon.

This firm Silver Mountain Cheddar was perfectly crumbly, and tasted of brown butter and caramel sauce.


Beautiful tables (above) set with local farm-to-table produce were abundant at the event, which added to the ambiance.

The outdoor venue, along with the farm-to-table emphasis made me feel like anyone who loves wine and local produce could feel comfortable at this celebration.

However, knowing that the wines and parings were chosen by culinary geniuses, Darrell Corti and David Berkley, I'm confident that even the finest wine connoisseur would enjoy the event.

So, if you've been debating whether or not to attend Sacramento's Legends of Wine, on September 16th this year...debate no longer.

I will leave you with these photos to solidify your choice in saying "YES" to experiencing America's Farm-To-Fork, Legends of Wine celebration this year!

Chocolate. Caramel. Sea Salt.

Need I say more?

Yummy #nongmo french bread was given to us upon arrival. Only issue was that I didn't have anywhere to put my bread and wine glass, so had to juggle them for a bit until I finished the delicious bread.

I think it would have been nice to have a bag or something to put all the swag and extra items in. Other than the juggle, everything tasted delicious and the slight inconvenience was worth it.  

There was lovely piano music being played all evening, which added to the relaxing atmosphere of the Capitol steps, as well as tall bistro style tables which allowed for an easy flow to and from wine and cheese tasting stations.



Pomegranate arils on a spoon? Heck, yeah!

Finally, as the evening continued - being on the steps of the Capitol building as the sun set, with a glass of fantastic wine in hand was pure magic.

If I could suggest an event to attend this year. I'd suggest this one.

(and you can thank me later, heh!)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Summer Fairy Garden Party Supplies

I received a promotional item from the company described to facilitate this post.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own and may not reflect that of the company. 

The warm weather is here, and I'm getting ready to throw a Summer Fairy Garden Party!

Doesn't that sound like fun?

Fairy and Gnome Garden - available at

When spring started to roll around, my 4 and 5 year old, decided to plant a little wildflower garden around the stump of a tree in our front yard.

As the flowers began to bloom, they got the idea of adding little door at the base of the tree, sand dollars for stepping stones and a miniature mailbox for the fairies to receive little letters from friends.

They've had such a fun time checking on their little fairy garden, I thought it would be nice to share the idea with their buddies in a themed playdate this summer.

Fairy Bendables - available at
I plan to invite a few of my daughters' little friends over for a summer picnic and provide them with these little Fairy Bendables (shown above) for their very own fairy gardens at home.

I found some cute decor at Oriental Trading and would love to decorate the backyard patio for this Summer Fairy Garden Party with the following bright, colorful and whimsical summer party decorations:

To start the mood off right, I'd have Mini Star Wands available for each party attendee on the way in (picture: top right) to begin the magic!

The Bright Party Lanterns (picture: bottom left) would look amazing strung from the trees in our backyard. While the patio table would be set with Tropical Floral Centerpieces (picture: top left) and Tropical Folding Fans (picture: bottom right).

If you're planning a summer party, picnic or birthday party, be sure to check out the affordable Summer Party Supplies section at Oriental Trading.  

What summer fun can you have with Oriental Trading?  


Sunday, June 19, 2016

My Kids Favorite Treats Are Vegan? #HailMerry #MomsMeet

#momsmeet #hailmerry merrybites vegan glutenfree

Don't these girls look pretty content?

It's because they're holding a stash of tasty award-winning snacks from Hail Merry®.

Shhh...please, don't tell them that they're Certified Vegan, Kosher, Dairy-Free, Grain-Free, Peanut-Free, Gluten-Free and Non-GMO because they taste FULL of fresh yummy goodness! 

#momsmeet #hailmerry merrybites vegan glutenfree tattoo

 ...and I mean who could resist a treat that has a tattoo as rad as this "Non-GMO" Roller Derby girl.  

My girls instantly fell in love with Ms. Non-GMO and had to put on the tattoos right away.  I won't lie I felt pretty awesome sporting mine too!

What's better is that I felt really good about letting my girls snack on these
Merry Bites™ because they don't have highly-refined sugar or flour and include raw plant-based oils that are important for their growing bodies.  

In our home, we don't believe in non-fat foods - unless they're naturally occurring Instead, if you do your research, you'll learn that the body benefits from healthy fats in moderation

The process some companies go through to remove fat, with machines that spin them so fast that their natural structure breaks down and separates, seems so wrong to me. 

#momsmeet #hailmerry merrybites vegan glutenfree

Merry Bites™ are created in a women-owned ((fist bump)) kitchen by dehydrating at a low-temperature. Traditional snack baking at high heats removes much of the beneficial properties of the raw oils and ingredients - which just doesn't make sense, now does it. 

Because of this process, Hail Merry® cookies are totally FRESH, and won't sit on your self for months and be okay - and that's totally okay with me. 

I'd rather have to refrigerate a product, knowing that all the natural occurring health benefits remain intact, than to have a snack that can sit on my shelf for a year because of all the junk preservatives it contains. 

You can find Merry Bites™ in these awesome flavors:
  • Lemon Macaroon
  • Caramel Sea Salt *my favorite*
  • Salted Brownie
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough *my girls favorite* 
  • Pure Vanilla Macaroon and
  • Dark Chocolate Macaroon

#momsmeet #hailmerry merrybites vegan glutenfree

So, while refrigeration is recommended when storing these tasty non-GMO treats, the cookies are best enjoyed at room temperature.

(Cold or Room Temp - trying it two ways)

#1. Straight from the fridge
#2. Leaving it on the counter for 30 minutes before eating

.....................Ugh, the waiting is the hardest part.


#1. The cold, straight-from-the-fridge version was good, but kind of flaky, and primarily the coconut flavor was prominent. Some of the other flavors couldn't break through, and weren't fully developed in my opinion.

#2. When the cookies are left on the counter, and reach room temperature, the coconut oils in the product begin to melt (at 76 degrees), so the Merry Bites™will essentially melt in your mouth. ALL of the flavors come together and really sing, especially in the Caramel Sea Salt!

Set those sweet babies on the dang counter before enjoying!

red, vegan, canister, #momsmeet #hailmerry merrybites vegan glutenfree

If you haven't already stumbled across Hail Merry® products at your local grocery store, you can find out which store near you carries these delicious treats at:

Learn More about Hail Merry®

  • Twitter: @hailmerrysnacks
  • Instagram:
  • Facebook: 

#momsmeet #hailmerry merrybites vegan glutenfree, mckinneymommas

Not a joke.

The girls just got themselves into this peaceful, loving embrace after I let them taste the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Merry Bites.

Maybe because they were made using Fair Trade Certified dark cocoa, they're feeling the world love.

Or, maybe just because they're my weird little kids.  

I received product for free from Moms Meet, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted here are my own.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Stress "Less" Father's Day With Trudeau

I was given complimentary products to facilitate this review post.  All opinions are 100% my own and may not reflect that of the company described. 

Fancy loose-leaf teas, a travel tea tumbler and tea maker might make you think this is a post about the Mother's Day gift I received.

It's not.

This is what my husband wants to receive for Father's Day!

He is one of those strange ones who sticks his nose up to coffee, and instead would prefer a loose-leaf oolong or earl grey tea. 

Father's day gift, loose leaf tea, mckinneymommas

My hubby has a pretty strict routine for preparing his tea.  

The water has to be set at the correct temperature, depending on the type of tea (green, black, oolong, etc) so as not to scorch the tea, and the timer set for just the right brewing duration.

Tea bags? What's that!
(he calls it "tea dust")

All this to say, that his tea brewing equipment needs to work well for him to give his "thumbs up" approval and the Trudeau Tea Maker and Tea Tumbler got TWO thumbs up - (I couldn't wait until Father's Day to give it to him)

Loose leaf tea basket, mckinneymommas

The stainless steel basket insert is perfectly constructed to handle your finest loose-leaf teas - unlike some other tea makers we've tried that's holes are so large little bits of tea leaves will be floating in your cup - NO Thanks!

Another one of his usual complains about teaware, is that many brew barely a small 6oz. cup of tea, which is too quickly enjoyed. 

The Trudeau Tea Maker boasts a full 20 oz. so you can have a cup and share one with your partner! 

Enjoy freshly brewed tea with your partner!

If I'm nice and buy him some new oolong, he promised to make me a cup, here's to hoping!

Tea maker, loose leaf tea, tea tumbler

So, the trial run worked out great. Perfectly brewed loose-leaf tea in a super easy to clean tea maker (only a few parts that come out easily and a quick handwash to clean). 

I love that the heat resistant canister allows you to see the beautiful color of your tea which adds to the relaxing experience of drinking tea. 

oolong tea, loose leaf tea,

I don't have any photos of the Tea Tumbler in actual use, because my husband quickly snatched it up, took it to his work and has been using it since. 

His report however, is that it works great with is loose-leaf stash of tea at work and the insert is large enough that the tea leaves have room to unfurl and reach their full brewing potential. 



So, you're thinking how can you find out more about these awesome tea brewing products?

Well, check out Trudeau's website here, or follow them on their social media outlets below to find out more! 

Signing off now, I'm off to brew MY favorite loose leaf tea - Jasmine Oolong in my husband's new Tea Brewer - shhhhhhhhh, don't tell him!