Saturday, September 24, 2011

Paper Coterie Review & Giveaway!


I love turning my photos into gifts to share our moments with our friends and family (isn't that the point of taking all those pictures anyway?) I recently had the pleasure of ordering some custom-designed photo gifts from Paper Coterie. I usually don't like the graphic design of baby/family albums found at photo gift sites but these were beautifully designed and just my style. They have traditional styles as well as very design-forward templates. The quality far exceeded the cost.


And I finally got to publish those newborn photos I had taken of Baby D almost two years ago!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pillsbury Breakfast Foods Review and Giveaway!

 
Available in your grocer’s freezer, Pillsbury Grands! Biscuit Sandwiches and Pillsbury Egg Scrambles heat up in minutes in the microwave. Made with quality ingredients like fluffy real egg, tasty meat, cheese, Grands! Biscuits and Green Giant® vegetables, the new line of quick and delicious frozen breakfast dishes comes in six flavorful choices:

Sausage & Cheese Biscuit Sandwich
Bacon & Cheese Biscuit Sandwich
Ham & Veggies Biscuit Sandwich
Bacon & Veggies Egg Scrambles
Sausage Egg Scrambles
Sausage & Veggies Egg Scrambles

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tech Mom to the Rescue

It’s the weekend and its finally my free time to be connected. Whether we are in the house or our running errands, I usually use my netbook or cell phone to look up prices for the best deals while shopping or check out comparable used items on Craigslist. On a recent trip upstate (in the middle of Hurricane Irene!), Big D says I saved the trip with my the use of technology. Here are my current favorites:


Verizon's Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hot Spot - I was the envy of all my co-irkers because they all begged to allow them to connect to my mobile hotspot to check their personal e-mail from their cell phones. They ALL wanted to use it to check their Facebook pages during lunch, as our workplace, like most others (smart!), block the site. You toss it in your purse and go. This thing was tiny and very powerful. It worked with all of our wireless gadgets - cell phone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android-based tablets.  Want to really become popular? Bring it to your non-internet connected aunt’s house on a major holiday. If they’re anything like my family members, they’ll give their left arm to be able to connect to it. Last minute Fantasy Football updates on Thanksgiving at Aunt Typewriter's house, anyone?


Samsung Galaxy Tablet - This came in super handy when I was visiting my uncle's house in the south. He told us there was no internet connection only to have us later spy him take out his work laptop (connected to a 4G LTE) and use it. I assume he didn’t tell us about it because it was provided solely for business but we were having major internet withdrawal. Well, everyone except for me. I was surfing like a champ on the Verizon Samsung Galaxy 4G. It had a fast connection, good selection of apps and a brilliant display. I could only bear to part with it when I was taking a nap. I liked it better than my other tablet because it has an Android-based OS. I find this more user-friendly, especially for PC users. The next weekend, I used it to get the only signal available out in the middle of nowhere when we left Saratoga Springs and were faced with multiple detours off of the highway due to downed trees. The maps and gps on this baby helped us make very quick detours, avoiding super creepy, ominously dark back roads. When I wasn’t monitoring the maps, I switched back to the awesome  selection of (free!) baby animal picture/sound apps I downloaded from the comfort of my backseat spot next to the baby in his car seat.
He was pleased. And consequently, so were we.

Service for this one starts at $30/month and $529 for the tablet.

Mobile internet access is a must for me. Luckily,  these last few weeks’ experiences have convinced Big D that they are valuable for something other than  me just participating in Twitter parties and deal-a-day shopping! Sign me up.




Disclosure: I was provided these gadgets on short-term loan for review. I was not compensated for this post.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Grateful

While driving home during one of the busiest times in the city, Baby D uttered magic words that made my world pause for a few seconds. He was tired and whining while we waited and waited and waited for hours to get through the city. I had just picked up the laundry and decided to grab a carton of milk (though we had gallons at home already) in case the ride home was terrible. It was. I simultaneously opened the bottle - yes, I know. But, its comforting to the little guy when we're on the road but my point was, it has about FIVE different - parts - while driving and poured some udderly terrific liquid gold in. I fill the bottle and hand it to The Commander. He nimbly takes it with his small sweet hands and says "Tank You".

HOLD THE PHONE. It seems like I've been waiting my entire parenthood heretofore to hear this phrase. I've heard him say it while mimicking others in the past but this is the very first time he has said it with such sincerity and genuine gratefulness. He meant it. I was witnessing the development of empathy in a toddler. He must've been thinking, "that frazzled woman. She's driving in this nightmare traffic in that not-as-cushy-as-my-own car seat and she looks like she's had a hard day". With that, he just stopped whining (my ears were also grateful), expressed his two word gratitude, and relaxed in his seat for the rest of the trip.

Is this how the little ones get you to give them a sibling?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11/11

The date that has now become associated with devastation is a piece of the fabric of every New Yorker. We know the destruction. And most of us knew someone lost. We are now raising our children in a different world. Much different than the one I knew when I woke up ready for my university classes that day. I shook trying to contact my cousin who worked in finance on Wall Street. It was chaos. The best we can do is to remember and move forward without fear. We're ok. With faith, we always will be.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dr. Breus' Back to School Sleep Tips & Mattress Review

Oh, How I Covet Thee
My name is Karns and I have a problem getting my toddler to sleep at night. As has been well documented on this blog, we are having some MAJOR problems issues sleeping at all peacefully at night. Baby D wakes us up every 3 hours and Big D has to sneak off early in the morning to take a nap downstairs before getting up for work. Not good for family harmony. I’ve just become resolved to a lifetime of intermittent naps throughout the day. I’m convinced that the only way I’ll ever sleep is when I attend out-of-town legal or blogging conferences.
A few weeks ago, I attended a presentation by Dr. Michael Breus, aka The Sleep Doctor, at the Sleepy’s store in Midtown. I was impressed. Not only with the content of the discussion but with the seating arrangements. We were all sitting on a cloud of a bed listening to someone talk about getting a better night’s rest. Genius. I had no idea that these beds were in the Dr. Breus line until I went home that night and researched him. The pillow tops were so comfortable that I plan on going back to Sleepy’s to get some more sleep inspiration this evening. Its Friday night, so the store shouldn’t be too busy, should it? This is the only way to see if Baby D appreciates the pillow-top as much as I did. It was fit for a king and a HUGE upgrade from his crib mattress.
Of all the salient points that Dr. Breus made that night, these were the tips that really stuck with me. This man REALLY gets it. What I likes about him is that he supported his professional experiences with anecdotes about his personal experiences getting his own children to sleep. He’s the sleep whisperer. And I’m a fan. If I can stick to the plan, we’ll have Baby D and the whole family sleeping in no time.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Small Losses, Big Wins

At the end of every day, I think of my personal shortcomings and successes as I lay in my bed. I promise myself that I won't give the baby more than one - ok, two - ice pops a day. I vow not to eat as many carbs. And  to discontinue keeping a mental count of who - between my husband, daycare and myself - changed more diapers that day. Or read more board books. Of course I try to think of healthy menus for my family. Only to be reminded by another thought that I simply don't have enough time to cook during the workweek. So healthier take-out then. I also promise to use our treadmill in the basement for its intended purpose. Instead of a dryer for delicates.
 
All those unfulfilled promises of the day are erased when Big D and I witness our tiny Commander spontaneously start counting to ten (Did you teach him that? I didn't teach him that). Or  yells/sings the refrain of the Wheels on the Bus ("ALL THROO DA DOWN"). Or demands another ice pop with perfect pronunciation and properly extended forefinger.
 
Ok, in these sweet cases, maybe I'll continue keeping score.
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