Welcome to my blog. I'm Julie, a 37 year old wife and stay-at-home mom who rarely stays home. I am married to the best husband (McDaddy) a girl could ask for and I have two of the cutest little boys on the planet, Stevie (age 8) and Alex (age 5).
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    CSN Stores Giveaway

    If you’ve spent anytime around these parts, you would know that I love shopping for new furniture. My current shopping attention has been focused on finding Alex a big-boy bed and moving our television to a new location. For that reason, I’ve been scouring the internet and local furniture stores to find just what I’ve McDaddy and I have been looking for. My search for a big boy bed landed me on CSN’s site and while I was there, I happened on to some really cool LCD TV stands.

    I have purchased several things from CSN Stores and love that they have such a wide selection of items and products. I was surprised to find the bed that we are currently shopping for on the CSN site as well.

    Only, I should note that we are looking at this same bed in a natural finish with bright red knobs, (Alex’s favorite part of the bed!) instead of the white. I love that this bed is versatile, heavy duty and makes full use of space. It works for me!

    As luck would have it, the fine folks at CSN Stores are offering one lucky reader a $55.00 promotional code to use on anything they wish from any of their 200+ websites for shoes, decor or anything in between. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me about the last thing you bought.

    Easy peasy, right?

    I would love to tell you that the last thing I bought was a Saturn Sky, but alas it is not. Sadly, the last thing I purchased was an antibiotic and neti pot at our local pharmacy.

    The giveaway will close on Sunday, March 27th at 9:00 PM EST at which time Random.Org will choose a winner.

    ——

    In the interest of full disclosure: CSN Stores is providing a $55.00 promotional code to give away to one lucky reader. As always the opinions expressed in this post are my own.

    —–

    And the winner is:

    Random Integer Generator

    Here are your random numbers:

    1

    Timestamp: 2011-03-28 03:27:55 UTC

    Congratuations, Missy who does not have a blog but commented on March 22, 2011 @ 12:50 pm :

    Let’s see.. Last thing I purchased was Avery postcards to print. Hairspray, coffee, a huge ball, sippy cups, and citrus green tea! Lol.

    (in)courage Review and Giveaway

    For quite some time I have been visiting the (in)courage blog. Can you guess what their goal is? Yup, you guessed it. Their goal is to encourage women. (In)courage began as several women at Dayspring – (a Christian subsidiary of Hallmark) – sought to create a “new home for the hearts of women.”

    The i(in)courage web-site says:

    Our relationship with God keeps growing all of our lives and we hope (in)courage will be part of that journey for you. The (in) actually represents being in Christ and then in community with each other…this is our heart and prayer for all of us.

    With over thirty contributing writers, (in)courage is a great big bundle of encouragement wrapped up in one really cool package. With a place to network, a place to shop, a book club, a virtual community, and daily posts that are sure to encourage, there is something for everyone.

    Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to review an item from (in)courage and Dayspring. I received a beautiful piece of jewelry that I could not wait to open. The necklace - a beautiful unique conversation piece – is called “God’s Heart For You” and I love it! Engraved on the four sides of the long pendant are the words: cherished; created; celebrated and chosen. As in, I AM cherished, created, celebrated and chosen BY GOD.

    That means, I am cherished even though I am flawed. I am created by God, big mouth and all. I am celebrated by God though I fail him daily. And I am chosen by God even though there are so many others far better suited than I. What a great reminder this necklace is for me.

    The clasp includes a small tag engraved with Psalm 19:14. Included with the necklace is a small card with a scripture reference for each of the words.

    • Created – Psalm 139:14
    • Chosen – Deuteronomy 14:2
    • Celebrated – Zephaniah 3:17
    • Cherished – Jeremiah 31:3

    photo courtesy of  (in)courage.

    In addition to the awesomeness of the necklace, the fine folks over at (in)courage and Dayspring are offering  a $20 gift credit to one lucky From Inmates To Playdates reader. If you win, you can visit the Dayspring Store to get your very own ”God’s heart for you” necklace OR you may choose something else.

    To enter, simply post a comment here by midnight on February 19. I’ll choose a winner at random on February 20.

    Easy peasy.

    But wait, there’s more!

    Even if you aren’t the lucky winner, Dayspring is offering 25% off of the “God’s heart for you necklace” during the month of February and all you need to do is enter the code LOVE25 at the time of your order. (Shipping charges will still apply). This unique necklace is a beautiful reminder of how important we are to God.

    ——

    In the interest of full disclosure, I was provided with the necklace pictured (and a $20. gift code to give away) to facilitate this review. As always, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.

    —–

    UPDATED TO ANNOUNCE WINNER:

    Random Integer Generator

    Here are your random numbers:

    31

    Timestamp: 2011-02-21 02:55:22 UTC

    CONGRATULATIONS to commenter #31 – Trisha who commented on February 19th @ 2:20 PM.

    I will be in contact with you shortly.

    Sweet Little Sucker

    Some time ago, I was contacted by CSN Stores asking if I’d like to review another product from one of their [many] sites.

    It took me a sweet forever because I am indecisive AND because they have over 200 stores that offer just about anything you or I or anyone else for that matter could dream of. If you’re in the market for a laptop messenger bag, look no further. They also have entire sites dedicated to rugs, massage chairs, and even dutch ovens. Sadly, I am still not reviewing a massage chair, however, if you know anything about me and my never-ending pursuit to get a Saturn Sky for free, you know that I never give up.

    I scoured the CSN sites and decided on something, then just before hitting “submit” I changed my mind, then changed my mind again.

    I finally decided on this sweet little sucker. [Pun intended]

    And look at this snazzy fold down handle, (which folds down all the way if the person winding the cord isn’t in a big fat hurry)!

    I have vacuumed four times this week just to use the thing AND I have even washed off the cylinder after emptying it just to keep it clean. It is super light and sucks like crazy. Ahem.

    Plus, CSN Stores shipped the product super fast. CSN stores works for me!

    Thanks to CSN Stores for the opportunity to review another fine product.

    ——

    In the interest of full disclosure, I was given a $55.00 credit to be used to facilitate a review of the CSN sites, however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own.

    Do You Know Who I Am?

    No matter what stage of life you find yourself in, Angela Thomas’ book, Do You Know Who I Am? will resonate with you. Chapter after chapter, Angela asks questions that we have all asked at one time or another. Questions such as, “Do You know I am worn out?”Do You know I am hesitant?” and “Do You know I am suffering with a thorn?”

    Time after time, God’s answer is Yes. Yes. and Yes.

    In fact, the title of the book, is also God’s response to us when we ask Him difficult questions – Yes! But, do you know who I am?

    As Angela explores each chapter, we learn that God sees, He is worthy, He is sufficient, He is generous, and He is our hope.

    As I read Angela’s book, I felt as though I was sitting on the couch with a girlfriend talking about feeling invisible, disappointed, and worn out. OH MY WORD, I certainly know what it means to be worn out. What I’ve never really thought about though is that God knows all about it, even before I get there.

    About being worn out, Angela says,

    Waiting often restores:

    Over and over in Scripture, we read that the one who is weary drags himself into the presence of God and waits. We wait for strength. We wait for guidance. We wait for renewal. In our worn-out days, I believe that God often longs for us to come into His presence and then wait for His refreshment.

    Amen, sister.

    The entire book is one great big reminder that God is interested, able, and sovereign. Period.

    Regardless of who, when, or where we call upon Him. And that excites me.

    From the back cover:

    …This teaching assures readers that their personal, spiritual, and eternal fulfillment is not dependent on getting themselves together first. Rather, God has a purpose for them just as they are – even if they feel broken, afraid, disappointed, or disillusioned.

    Angela shares many personal stories in her witty style which I love, but more than that, I love that her Biblical teachings are easy-to-understand and were paired with practical applications that I could relate to. This book is an easy-read and will leave you with a desire to be closer to God. In our Christian lives, it is so easy to get wrapped up in the ‘thees’ and ‘thous’ and make our relationship with God so much more than it needs to be. Angela reminds us however that God sees us as His ’baby girl’ who he loves and adores.

    And that works for me!

    —–

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Angela Thomas is a popular national speaker and the bestselling author of ten books and Bible studies. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and Dallas Theological Seminary and has been teaching the Bible for more than twenty-five years, using her unique gifts of entertaining story-telling and faithful biblical instruction. Every year she speaks to thousands of women across the United States and around the world. Angela and her family make their home in North Carolina.

    —-

    In the interest of full disclosure – I was sent a copy of Angela’s book, Do You Know Who I Am? to facilitate this review by Lauren Williams of A. Larry Ross Communications.

    The Cutting Edge

    Some time ago, I was contacted by a company called CSN Stores asking if I’d like to review a product from one of their sites.

    Then, a few weeks ago, I received another offer to review a product, or host a give-away. As you might imagine, I jumped at the offer. I asked if I could do a review and host a giveaway and they said, “Yes! What a great idea.” Only they didn’t really say that, but they did agree.

    They have over 200 stores and offer just about you or I or anyone else for that matter could dream of. They have entire sites dedicated to pressure washers, rugs, massage chairs, and even dutch ovens. Sadly, I am still not not reviewing (or giving away for that matter) a massage chair. However, if you know anything about me and my never-ending pursuit to get a Saturn Sky for free, you know that I never give up.

    I scoured the CSN sites and decided on something, then changed my mind, then changed my mind again.

    I finally decided on these…

     If you’re reading here and thinking this whole review/giveaway of Ginsu knives is a bit weird, well, I’d say you’re probably right.

    If you’d had the kind of bad luck I’ve had with knives though, you might understand. I received a set of knives when McDaddy and I got married back in 1998. Then, I received a set for Christmas a few years ago. Both sets were pretty cheap and within months they wouldn’t cut squat. Well, actually they would cut squat, but not very well.

    I don’t have a long list of requirements for a set of knives except that they cut really well.

    I used the Ginsu knives a few days ago when I made Cola Chicken. The knives have really cool blades and stainless trim AND they are super sharp which is good because hello, cut much? They really worked for me!

     As I mentioned earlier, this is a review AND a give-away.

    To win, head over to CSN Stores and head back here to tell me one of your favorite products!

    Be sure to leave a valid e-mail address so you can be contacted if you win. A winner will be chosen courtesy of Random.Org on September 28, 2010 at 11:00pm ET.

    ——

    In the interest of full disclosure, I received a set of Ginsu knives to facilitate this review, and a lucky reader will receive a set of their own, however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own.

    —-

    Random Integer Generator

    Here are your random numbers:

    9

    Timestamp: 2010-09-27 03:33:45 UTC

    Congratulations to Commentor #9 – Renegades

    Thanks to all of you who entered and a big thanks to CSN Stores for this great review/giveaway.

    When Knives Excite You…

    Some time ago, I was contacted by a company called CSN Stores asking if I’d like to review a product from one of their sites.

    A few weeks ago, I received another offer to review a product, or host a give-away. As you might imagine, I jumped at the offer.

    They have over 200 stores and offer just about you or I or anyone else for that matter could dream of. They have entire sites dedicated to pressure washers, rugs, massage chairs, and even dutch ovens. Sadly, I am still not not reviewing (or giving away for that matter) a massage chair. *But I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

    Ahem.

    Instead, I chose this…

    Folks, when a knife set excites you, well, let’s just say it’s bad.

    Stay Tuned…

    In the meantime, head over to CSN and check out the massage chairs, the hot plates, the water pumps, or one of my personal favorites, SHOES! There is truly something for everyone!

    Dressing Up!

    Some time ago, I was contacted by a company called CSN Stores asking if I’d like to review a product from one of their sites.

    You might remember that they even have an entire site dedicated to bedroom furniture sets.

    After hours of looking on their sites, I settled on a laundry center because for quite some time I’ve been looking for something to put in the toy room that would hold dress-up costumes. I first thought I would purchase some type of pegboard, but then it dawned on me that in a few short years my boys would no longer be dressing up in costumes and then I’d have some sort of pegboard about four feet up the wall and that would probably look goofy.

    Just as I anticipated, the laundry center works perfectly.

    When it arrived, I opened the box to find 23 pieces.

    McDaddy was busy and as is always the case, I didn’t want to wait because I like everything done RIGHT NOW.

    I started ripping open hardware baggies and unpacking poles and I was sure I could put it together all on my own.

    Within minutes I had the thing together.

    Then, I noticed the poles were crooked and the last set of screws would not go where they needed to go. So, I took it all apart and followed the directions this time.

    I asked the boys to round up all of their play costumes which was a big job because they are scattered all over the house.

    I was thrilled that the costumes not only fit in the hamper, there is actually plenty of room in case they add to their dress-up collection.

    In addition to that, it looks fabulous in our toy room.

    A big thanks to CSN for allowing me to review one of their products.

    CSN Stores Works For Me! For other things that might work for you, visit We Are THAT Family.

    [In the interest of full FTC disclosure, CSN stores sent the laundry center mentioned in this post to facilitate this review in exchange for my honest opinion of their product.]

    Bloggity Business with CSN Stores Dot Com

    I was recently contacted by a company called CSN about the possibility of reviewing one of their products. They have over 200 stores and offer just about anything you or I or anyone else for that matter could dream of. They have an entire web-site dedicated to bedroom furniture sets and strangely enough one dedicated to massage chairs of all things.

    Sadly, that’s not what I’ll be reviewing.

    Instead, I’m waiting for one of these….

    And so is our toy-room.

    Stay Tuned…

    In the meantime, head over to CSN and check out the massage chairs, or the hot plates, or water pumps, or one of my personal favorites, SHOES! There is truly something for everyone!

    Kickin’ Some Bathroom Grime Booty

    I am a sucker for cleaning products because I love to clean. In fact, I don’t do much else during the day except clean.

    Or something like that.

    On top of that, I live in a house with three males who couldn’t care less about cleanliness and fingerprints and stained clothes, oh my!

    So when I received a an e-mail from ecoStore USA asking if I’d like to review a couple of their products, I was tickled. You can read about the history of ecoStore USA here, but in a nut-shell, their web-site says this about their products.

    Our eco friendly, plant-based household cleaning products are as effective as the leading supermarket brands, and our body and baby care ranges are gentle on your skin and are simply beautiful to use. All of our products are made from plant- and mineral-based ingredients, free of toxic chemicals that bring people closer to nature with non-toxic, environmentally safe solutions that also help to reduce our carbon footprint.

    I chose the laundry powder and the all-purpose cleaner and ecoStore USA threw in a bar of lemongrass soap.

    The first thing I noticed after opening the box was that the products had clear, clutter-free labels. I realize that the look of the label really has no bearing on the usefullness of a product. It’s just that I’m a geek and I look at things like that. In fact, it’s true that I purchased a cleaning product earlier this week because the bottle was red with a yellow lid and my heart smiled thinking how good it would look in my red and yellow laundry room.

    True story.

    I quit using powdered detergent a while ago and the main reason is because each time I used the powder detergent, I felt like I could taste it in the back of my throat.

    Quirk?

    Perhaps, but it’s true.

    So, the first thing I noticed is that I didn’t have that “taste in the back of my throat thing” going on when I opened the powdered detergent.

    Score.

    I used the laundry powder on a normal load of whites and a normal load of dark colors. When I transferred the loads, I intentionally put the clothes under my nose to get a whiff of the scent.

    The clothes had no scent whatsoever and did a great job on little boy and BIG boy stains.

    I used the citrus-based all-purpose cleaner to kick the bathroom grime in the booty. I started with the bathroom countertop. The orangy/lemony scent struck me first. I swiped the countertop AND the stainless faucets and the cleaner did a great job on both. I caught a glimpse of my smile in the countertop and smiled even bigger.

    I then took to the bathtub to see what kind of job it would do on the grime.

    Now.

    It’s important to note that I don’t normally have grime in my bathtub. It’s just that I knew these products would be arriving any day, so I’ve intentionally NOT cleaned the grime ring that loves to hang out in the tub.

    Ahem!

    I really don’t enjoy cleaning the tub because it causes me to fold myself into positions that I don’t feel comfortable being folded into. Not to mention, I always have visions of loosing my footing and ending up head first in the tub. Perhaps it would be easier if my arms were a couple feet longer. Or if I had a maid. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.

    And kids, I must say the citrus based all purpose cleaner not only cleaned the grime ring, it made my tub sparkle like it hasn’t sparkled since we put it in six years ago.

    Shiny.

    Clean.

    And citrus.

    It smells like an orange grove in my bathroom and I love it!

    I finished my cleaning spree up with a good ole’ hand washin’ using ecoStore’s lemongrass soap.

     

    Not a whole lot to say about the soap except that it obviously washed my hands and it smelled good while doing it’s ‘thang’. And now that I think about its been several hours since I washed my hands and they still feel soft.

    ecoStore is committed to reducing unhealthy chemicals. They use plant based surfactants, simple mineral salts and essential plant oils for effective results.

    You can follow ecoStore on Twitter here (ecostoreusa) and on their Facebook fan page where they also have a quiz you can take. You can also sign up to recieve their newsletter here.

    In the interest of full Disclosure – ecoStore USA sent the three products mentioned in this post to facilitate this review in exchange for my honest opinion of their products.

    Go Big Or Go Home!

    It probably comes as no surprise that I love to take photographs of my boys.

    And my hubby.

    And Saturn Skys.

    Pictures make me all happy and giddy.

    Big poster print pictures make me even giddier.

    Like I say, “Go big, or go home!”

    So when uPrinting dot com contacted me about hosting a give-away, you can just about imagine that the giddyness and such was almost more than I could handle. At uPrinting, Color printing services are available for a host of custom products.

    Online Poster Printing has generously offered one 18×24 high-gloss, semi-gloss print to one lucky reader. Their print posters would make a great addition to any room in your home or office.

    I know this because uPrinting print posters adorn the walls of our playroom. And they make me smile every time I walk into the room.

    This give-away will run through the month of May.

    Give-away Details -

    a.        Shipping: FREE UPS Ground Shipping

    b.        Eligibility: Limited to US Residents only

    c.        You must be at least 18 years old to enter.

    A winner will be drawn at random on Thursday, May 27, 2010.

    To enter, leave a comment telling me what makes you giddy!

    That’s all.

    Good luck!

    —–

    In the interest of full disclosure – I am receiving an 18×24 poster print as compensation for this post, however, the opinions stated in this post are my own!

    So there.

    ——-

    UPDATED TO INCLUDE WINNER

    Random Integer Generator

    Here are your random numbers:

    1

    Timestamp: 2010-06-10 01:27:46 UTC

    Congrats to Jessica of Moneyless Mama’s!

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