Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby

When I think back to when I was younger, all I ever wanted to do was have a daughter. A beautiful princess who would let me braid her hair and teach her about make-up. I told everyone I was gonna get pregnant on my honeymoon and I did. There was no doubt in my mind once I found out I was pregnant that she was going to be the little girl I always dreamed about and on April 19, 1997 I met her and she was just as I had imagined her (except I couldn't braid her hair yet lol).
Last week she turned 12 and I don't know where all the years have gone. Here is a small look at my little girl through the years.

We have basically quit having birthday parities because it is just too expensive with 4 kids, plus 3 of them have birthday's within a month. So, they get to pick where they would like to go for dinner as a family. This year my daughter asked if we could see Hannah Montana the Movie instead of dinner out and she choose to have meatball hoagies for dinner at home. So the 2 of us went to see the movie, we laughed, we cried and we had a great girl time together, alone, without all the boys in the family. I hope we can continue to do this for many more years before she becomes too busy for mom time.

Happy Birthday baby girl!
I love you,

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Wordless Wednesday ~ A Day at the Park

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Party Planning Professor Twitter Launch Party!

The Party Planning Professors are relaunching their web site and this time it’s gonna be HUGE! Join us Thursday, April 30, 2009 from 9-10:30PM EST on Twitter for the #PPP(Party Planning Professor) bash. It is going to be a party about a party site.

You Could win:

1. Discovery PC Game by from JBH publications
2. Hydro-sport Wrist Water Bottle by from JBH publications
3. Teething Bling from from JBH publications
4. $35 Gift Certificate from
5. A Free Book entitled 100 Ways to Attract Angles
6. A helium balloon tank from Balloon Time
7. Movee-Movie Making and Video Editing Software from
8. Halmark Give-Away Packs
9. Grand Prize from

Deluxe Blog Design
Custom Header/Banner
1-3 column template
matching graphic background
Up to five photo credits at either,, or
Up to five custom graphic sidebar titles
Signature Blog ButtonIncludes installation (up to 2 revisions)

Go to the Party Planning Professor site here for details on how to register to win these great prizes!

Here are the links to the Professor's Twitter profiles. Please follow them for info on the party.

* @Elizabeth_N
* @CouponCoupJenn
* @momofFaith
* @slpowell
* @complicatedmama
* @mommybrain
* @kikarose
* @Craftymamaof4
* @plussizemommy
* @madhattermom
* @youngmommy

See you at the party!

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The Buzz on Palmolive Pure + Clear

I recently was given the chance to try Palmolive Pure + Clear by Buzzagent.comPalmolive Pure + Clear is a new addition to the Palmolive family. The great thing about this dish soap is that it doesn't have any unnecessary chemicals, no heavy fragrances, no irritating dyes. It also is phosphate free and contains biodegradable ingredients that leave no harmful residues. It is hypoallergenic and comes in a bottle that is made from 25% post consumer recycled materials. I am trying to become a little more aware of the environment and the chemicals in my house, so Pure + Clear is a small step to help me do this.

I am really picky about my dish soap, I hate when I run out of bubbles or have a greasy film left on my plastic containers, so I was really interested in seeing if Pure + Clear lived up to my expectations. I was afraid if it didn't have any strong chemicals in it that it would not be able to fight off the grease. Boy was I wrong! I have been using it now for about a month and I am really impressed. I took some photos when I did dishes today to share with you.

Here is the mess I tackled today, as you can imagine with 6 people we go through a lot of dishes in a day!

So, about 45 minutes, one broken glass (I hate when that happens), and all these clean dishes later

this is what was left of the soap.

Pretty impressive, a lot of soaps would have not had any bubbles left at this point. I could have done another sink full of dishes and still had grease cleaning power.

Still not convinced? Want to try it for yourself? The first five people to leave me a comment with their email address will receive a small sample of Palmolive Pure + Clear and a $1 coupon to purchase the full size bottle! After trying it I would love to hear what you think too!

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Need a Hotel for Blogher? Check out Affinia Chicago

BlogHer is coming up fast! I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. I miss my bloggy and twitter friends and I can not wait to hang out with them "in real life" in Chicago.

While meeting up with friends and learning to become a better blogger is fantastic, it is quite a strain on the budget of a single income family with 4 kids. I have been trying to get sponsors for my trip because without sponsors I would not be able to go. Thankfully Affinia Hotels has generously come forward to help out myself, Beth from Plus Size Mommy, Jerri Ann from Mom E Centric and Shelly from Blog 4 mom. They have generously given us 2 suites to stay in during the conference. We were all prepared to share 1 room but they stepped up and offered us 2 rooms!

After a long day of learning, socializing, networking and fun I will be crashing here

Look at this gorgeous room

This beautiful lobby will welcome me to my "home away from home"

I can even choose the pillow I want from their pillow menu

Affinia Chicago is a short walk (less than one mile) to the conference location and lord knows I could use the exercise so that's a bonus for me!

If you are looking for a place to stay while at Blogher check out these special offers Affinia has:

City Style Package ~ get the insider "411" on Chicago Botiques and receive shopping discounts around town ~ packages start at $179 per night.

Work Hard, Play Harder Package ~ Internet access, fax service and phone along with a bottle of wine and a late check out ~ packages start at $175 per night.

B & B in the City ~ breakfast for 2 each morning ~ packages start at $169 per night.

Traveling somewhere else this year, Affinia Hotels also has locations in New York City and Washington DC

Thank you Affinia Hotels, I cannot wait to sink my weary head into one of your Magnetic Therapy Pillows! My children will thank you too when mommy comes home all relaxed and rejuvenated from her trip!

See you in Chicago!

If you are looking for someone to represent your product or business at Blogher, I am still looking for a sponsor for my airfare, contact me at if you are interested in helping me out.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Random Picture Challenge

I am so excited the computer that stores all of my photos is up and running again. Now that I have my beloved photos back again I can participate in 4 little men & girly twins Random picture challenge again! Make sure you go to to see the other photos from this week!

This weeks challenge
8th folder, July
25th photo

WOW this is way back before I even had my own digital camera, it so happens that my cousin had one and I have photos on my computer from that year they not organized very well so this one is from the 8th folder.

This is my cousins son in the October of 2002, he is 9 months old here, playing in the playroom at my Aunt's house. It's amazing how fast the time goes! He seems so grown up now.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Go Mediterranean with Sabra!

Are you ready to Go Mediterranean? With Sabra you can taste the Mediterranean without leaving home!

Beth from Plussizemommy and I were given the chance to introduce a group of our friends to the amazing Mediterranean tastes of Sabra and now we would like to introduce Sabra to you! Lets start with this awesome Sabra commercial. (pay attention to the actor in the video)

Sabra makes a great gourmet line of dips, appetizers and snacks. Sabra's products offer all of the taste and health benefits of foods found in the Mediterranean diet and contain no trans fat or cholesterol. You can go here to see Sabra's full line of products. While you are there check out these great recipes and serving suggestions for Sabra products.

Beth and I belong to a family center playgroup together so we decided that our parent meeting was the perfect place to share Sabra. We choose Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Roasted Garlic Hummus, and Greek Olive Hummus. I really wanted to try the Mediterranean Salsa but all the stores I went to only carried the Hummus dips. I am still searching!

Anyone who knows me knows I am not one to try new things, I get a crazy feeling in my stomach like I might die if I try something new. Well I am happy to say you would all be proud of me because I tried the Roasted Garlic Hummus and I actually liked it! (and I didn't die lol) Only a few of the people at our meeting had tried hummus before and we persuaded everyone to give it a try and the results were favorable. Roasted Red Pepper seemed to be the favorite, those who tried the Greek Olive said it had a very strong olive flavor and you had to really like olives to appreciate it. The Roasted Garlic also had a very strong flavor, which is why I think I liked it so much, I love garlic and the fact that the flavor was so strong helped me get past the fact that it was made out of something I would never consider eating. (I really don't like the texture of bean like foods.) One of the ladies in the group is actually from a Greek family and she makes homemade hummus, she gave Sabra the thumbs up and said that if she couldn't make her own, Sabra would definitely be her hummus of choice!

Here are a few pictures from our Sabra tasting

Doesn't it look good! I love the packaging too!

There were actually about 10 other people there but they were camera shy! In the end we raffled off a coupon for a free Sabra product and a $5 grocery store gift card to buy crackers to go with their dip!

How would you like to have a Sabra party of your own? Here is your chance! Remember earlier when I said pay attention to the actor in the video? Well if you can tell me what show he has been on in the last few months you could win coupons for Sabra to feed 10 people!

All you have to do is watch the commercial and leave me a comment with your guess. A winner will be chosen at random from the correct entries. I will choose the winner using on Wednesday, April 29th at 8 pm EST.

Make sure you visit Beth's blog and enter her contest too!

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Wordless Wednesday

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Flash in the Pan Winners

The winners (chosen by of the free 1 year memberships to A Flash in the Pan are

#13 @hollyv
#23 @susieqtpie
#5 @sbshell

and the contestant who gets an entry into the Grand Prize drawing is

#8 @madly59

Join the party tonight on twitter to see who wins the Grand Prize! Also if you didn't win one of my free memberships, don't worry there are more being given out at the party tonight! Party starts 7pm est use hashtag #FIPan

See you there and congratulations to my winners! Please DM me your email address @craftymamaof4 on twitter

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Nascar on Fox!

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Flash In The Pan Launch Party

Join me on Twitter for the official launch of A Flash in the Pan on
Wednesday April 22nd.
The preparty starts at 7 pm EST full party begins at 8 pm EST.
Use hashtag #FIPan


What is A Flash in the Pan? (from

A Flash In The Pan is the answer to, "What’s for dinner?" Every Friday, we provide a week’s worth of customizable, chef-created dinner menus for the upcoming week. Select how many servings and what time you want to eat and we take care of the rest! You’ll get a shopping list and our patented Cooksheet™ to help you think and cook like a chef. All you have to do is prepare for the compliments!

Do you need specialized recipes for diabetes, gluten-free living, healthy kids, quick and healthyno red meat? We’ve got you covered. You’ll also save money by cooking more meals at home. For less than the cost of ordering a pizza, we can help you eat healthier and more deliciously than you ever thought possible, for the entire month!

All of our recipes are seasonal, so the ingredients will taste better and be healthier for you and the environment. We take our fish and seafood recommendations from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Guide. Wherever possible, we recommend eating sustainably, shopping organically and supporting your local food producers. We now offer a way for you to give while you’re getting! We donate 10% of our profits to medical research. When you sign up for an account, you can choose whether to direct your donation to autism, celiac or diabetes research!

To celebrate the launch of the site A Flash in the Pan is giving away 100 free 1 year memberships and an awesome Grand Prize!

25 memberships will be given away during the launch party.

25 bloggers are each giving away 3 free 1 year memberships. I was lucky to be chosen as one of these bloggers! To see the other bloggers go here. Follow my directions below to enter my contest.

Each of the 25 bloggers will choose an entry (chosen by from their contest and it will be entered in the drawing to win the GRAND PRIZE!


Max and Nancy are two chefs from Napa Valley and founders of They both graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and have over 35 years of professional culinary experience between them. One lucky winner will win both of them for one evening and an incredible 6-course dinner for 6 people. Both chefs will come to the winner's house, prepare the feast AND clean up after! So, decide who your five best friends are and enter to win!

1. Chefs will travel to anywhere in the United States only.
2. Chefs will pay for all travel and food expenses. If desired, any wine or alcohol will be provided by winner.
3. Menu to be determined by winner and chefs.
4. Date of dinner to be determined by winner and chefs.
5. Please enter even if you fear that your house is too dirty for company or that you will be judged-- we have children and understand!

To enter for your chance to win one of 3 one year memberships to A Flash in the Pan or an entry into the GRAND PRIZE drawing please do the following.

Main Entry
1.) Click here to go to A Flash in the Pan and view the sample recipe. Come back here and leave me a comment with the name of the recipe and what you think about it.
Bonus Entries (leave a separate comment for each)
1.) Post this contest on your blog and link back to this site.
2.) Copy and paste this tweet to help spread the word about the launch party. "Join the #FIPan launch party Wed 4/22 @ 7pm EST. Prizes, food and fun! Register to win here"
3.) Stumble or Digg this giveaway using bar under my signature.
4.) Subscribe to my blog (panda in upper right sidebar).

US entries only please. Please make sure to leave a valid email address or your Twitter ID in at least one of your comments. I will not hunt you down if you win. If you do not follow the entry requirements as stated above, your entry will be invalid, so please make sure you read the directions carefully :) This contest will end at 11:00 am EST, Tuesday, April 21st. The winner will be chosen by and will be notified via email or Twitter DM. The winner will also be posted on this blog. The winner has 24 hrs from the time of the posting to claim their prize or another winner will be chosen.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Operation Purple Balloon Sending our Love to Maddie

~My 7 year old son came up with "#1 perfect baby ever" all on his own (tear)
~Without even knowing where the Spohr's are from or their interests, my 9 year old son choose his LA hat out of all the hats he has to wear(and he has a lot of hats)
~With heavy hearts and lots of tears and tissues, my 12 year old daughter and I created this video for Heather, Mike, and Maddie with lots of love and prayers.

maddie,madeline spohr,operation purple balloon

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

In Memory of Madeline Alice Spohr

I have no words, just tears for a little girl I have never met.

A few weeks ago I first saw Maddie's sweet smile during 5 Minutes for Mom's UBP Chris Mann concert hosted by Heather Sphor. Now Maddie is smiling down upon us from God's hands. My heart goes out to Heather and Mike Sphor, I cannot begin to fathom what they are feeling right now.

The Sphor family has reqested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The March of Dimes in Maddie's memory. Your gift may only be a few dollars, but that few dollars will help make a difference in the lives of children like Maddie.

*photos taken from Heather's Flickr collection

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