Sunday, May 1, 2016

Mega Mother's Day Giveaway

May is here! We're celebrating sunshine, enjoying more time outside and, of course, celebrating MOMS. Being a mom is one of the sweetest joys you can experience. That first moment your child is placed into your arms is breathtaking. And then you get the joy of watching all their "firsts". But we also know it can be exhausting and overwhelming at times. Being a mom is a 24/7 job, there is no guarantee of a good night of sleep, no sick days, and those little crazies angels can even drive us batty! :)

So I've teamed up with several businesses here in the Pittsburgh area and we are working together to host an awesome giveaway for moms in the month of May! Most of these businesses are original and local to Pittsburgh and I am excited to share them with you.  I wish that I could pamper EVERY mom, but I hope for the 8 moms who win one of these fantastic prizes, it will be an extra lift of encouragement in their mama journey.

Here is a look at the awesome prizes:
Keep reading to find out more about the prizes from each business and how each of them are great Pittsburgh resources, then enter to win!

$100 gift card to IKEA
What's not to love about IKEA, right? Amazing eye-catching products at great prices, a kid's drop off play area, kids eat free Tuesdays  + more! My hubby and I have definitely taken advantage of dropping our kids at their fun Smaland and having some uninterrupted shopping time together.
Are you looking for a part-time job? Did you know IKEA is a great option for moms? If you work at least 20 hours you get paid vacation and sick days. There are also benefits to work nights and weekends and after 3 years, maternity leave is covered 100%!
IKEA is generously giving you the chance for a $100 shopping spree....I'm sure you'll have a hard time choosing what to buy! This rug is one of our favorite IKEA purchases.

$100 Visa Gift card from THE MOTHERHOOD
The Motherhood is an award-winning social media manager which provides moms with a lot of vital information. I was thrilled that they wanted to be a part of the giveaway to one lucky mom and a Visa gift card means you get to plan your own shopping excursion!
The Motherhood recognizes, values and celebrates the strength of moms and all of the ways they make the world a better place, so we'd love to contribute a $100 Visa gift card.

$50 Gift Card to Convive Coffee Roastery
I love local coffee shops and was recently excited to visit a new one in McCandless Crossing. I was so surprised to see that they had a kid's play area! The owners, who are parents of 3, obviously know that this is a perfect fit for moms who want to grab coffee together. They are also known for their "pay-it-forward" board when you never know if you might score a free drink! Best of all, you can leave one for someone else. And hey, it sits next to a cupcake shop which makes it even more worth the trip! :)
Founded early 2013, Convive Coffee Roastery is a continuing journey for great coffee.  Our roastmaster is Ryland Weber, with a passion for coffee and community.  He has been involved in the specialty coffee industry for around ten years.  Almost half of that time has been with a roaster at hand, and a espresso machine, french press, vacuum pot, or other coffee brewing device at the other hand.  We find the best coffees from respectable and accountable importers, roast them many ways to find what you might like best, and then deliver it fresh.  
Located in the McCandless Crossing outdoor mall at 751 Providence Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15237

A Year of Massages from Esspa Salon + daily Blow Out winners
I have enjoyed each and every opportunity that I have visited Esspa Kozmetika! Esspa is a Hungarian Skincare & Salon and they know how to pamper your skin and body in an amazing way! I always start feeling relaxed the minute I walk through their door. Whether you are experiencing one their incredible Hungarian Facials with owner Eva Kerschbaumer (I highly recommend!), booking a massage (maternity, couples or hot stone) , or enjoying a mani-pedi as we ready for our summer season, you won't be disappointed. They have also recently added an eDry Blow Dry Bar which is known for giving you the cleanest, healthiest hair in a beautiful style. 

Esspa will be choosing their winners, so here is how to enter the Esspa giveaway: text the word LADY to 77948. EVERY day one person will be chosen to win a Free Blow Out at! At the end of our contest, one winner will win a Year of Massages (1 x 30 minute massage per month for 12 months) and one winner will win a Year of Blow Outs (1 x eDry Blow Out per month for 12 months at eDry Blow Dry Bar). Send your text right now! :) 

Weekend in Lawrenceville package (valued at $200!)
If you've been around Pittsburgh for a while, you've seen Lawrenceville blossom into a thriving, happening neighborhood! Lawrenceville is celebrating Mother’s Day in an unconventional way for an entire weekend. From May 6th - 8th, families of all ages are invited to shop, eat, peruse and simply absorb all that Lawrenceville has to offer, as well as take advantage of many different specials available at local businesses from 34th Street to 54th Street, all in honor of mom. You can indulge in activities at Shining Light Prenatal Education, Metamorphosis Organic Salon, Spa and Wellness, The Allegheny Wine Mixer, Pageboy, or both Paint Monkey and Franktuary offering “mom-osas” for 21+ year olds that enroll in a class. Perhaps treat mom to a tour at the Clemente Museum, which offers free entry to moms and a complimentary flight of wine, or gather around a table of delish dishes at spots like Dive Bar & Grille or Senti. This pampering process is presented by the Lawrenceville Corporation, which has launched a brand new website this year and crafted a dedicated page for Mother’s Day at If you win our Lawrenceville package, you will enjoy:

1. City Grows Tote Bag
2. Pino’s Palett Wine Glass, Pino's Palett Gift Card ($35), Pino's Palett Paintbrush Pen
3. Franktuary Gift Card ($20)
4. Pair Bead Bazaar earrings
5. Designer Decorating Book Donated by T’s Upholstery
6. Cutitta Chiropractic Relaxation Package  (includes 1 Massage Therapy Gift Certificate for a FREE 30 minute massage, 1 Free ice pack, 1 Free TOAST product -  "Freezin' Cold", 5 Free Consultation Gift Packs for you and your friends (1 Free chiropractic consultation & report of findings)

But whether  you win this sweet package or not, be sure to consider heading to Lawrenceville for some pampering on Mother's Day weekend! 

$50 Flower Delivery from Jim Ludwig's Blumengarten Florist
What says "Happy Mother's Day" better than beautiful flowers, right? Blumergarten Florist has been a locally owned Pittsburgh fixture for over 90 years! I love having a gorgeous bouquet in my house as they add such a great touch of freshness to a home. Blumengarten Florist is generously donating a fresh bouquet directly to one mama's door! And even if you aren't a winner for this bouquet, you might share with your hubby about this fantastic resource known for their beautiful arrangements, excellent customer service, and of course, a local business to support!
Jim Ludwig’s Blumengarten is your local full-service Pittsburgh florist, serving the greater Pittsburgh area with the finest in flowers and plants. Centrally located in the Strip District, we deliver to 89 zip codes, covering much of Allegheny County. A family-owned florist since 1929, we specialize in flowers and floral arrangements, green and blooming plants, balloon bouquets and gourmet fruit and gift baskets. You can trust us to offer quality and value in all that we do.

Free shirt from Version Two Apparel
Sometimes you need just the right shirt to make you smile and keep you motivated! Version Two Apparel has a line of fun shirts for moms, dads & kids. They have offered to give one mama a free shirt of her choice! 
Version Two Apparel provides motivational, funny, and cute workout tank tops and tshirts. We want to help inspire and motivate you no matter where you are in your fitness journey, whether you are a newbie to the gym scene, a mom trying to get her pre-baby body back, someone who lifts weights like a boss, a Crossfit junkie, a mud run fanatic, or a lover of running! Looking for a custom design? Just contact us! We can turn your idea into a unique, fun piece of workout clothing. We are a local husband and wife team that is excited about health and wellness! The idea for Version Two Apparel began after having our second child when we decided to get serious about our health. It is our goal to INSPIRE you to get serious about working on yourself so that you can find your version two, the best version of yourself!

$20 Gift Card to Chocolate Moonshine Bars
I was recently at Ross Park Mall and my feet just couldn't walk past this delectable chocolate shop! Their Artisan Bars and fudge selections are incredible! With flavor choices such as sea salt caramel, dark expresso, mojito, wild strawberry, smoked whiskey, decadent dark + so many more, it is hard to narrow your choices. Luckily, they are very generous with their samples! They are only in Ross Park Mall through the end of June, so if you're in that area, be sure to stop by and check them out. You'll still be able to order from them online and you can follow their facebook page for their new pop-up location. 
The Chocolate Moonshine Company has been hand crafting premium fudge and choclate since 1983. We have been a leader in the confectionery industry and developed the original Gourmet Artisan Bars. We have an all natural, low sugar line of Chocolate Moonshine Bars, toffees, fudge and chocolates. We prepare our recipes from scratch using the freshest cream and butter from select local creameries. We select all natural ingredients that are not overly processes and as close to nature as we can find. Fresh fruits, pure can sugar, imported Belgian Chocolates, Tahitian and Madagascar vanillas are gently blended in 50 pound batches using Vermont maple-wood paddles and stirred in copper kettles over an open flame. Our dedication to quality ingredients and small batch production helps us create our award-winning confections. 

Thank you to each of these local businesses who are participating in pampering our moms in May! Don't forget you need to text the number above to enter the Esspa package. But to enter to win one of these other fantastic prizes, click on the link below! The first 5 questions are mandatory to answer in order to be qualified to win. The rest are optional additional entries! 

Yes, my hands are full, but my heart is fuller. I'm thankful for how my kiddos have changed my life, my perspective, my ambitions and my desires. What a gift to watch each of them grow and change each year. Even if I'm already dreading that my oldest turns 18 in eleven years. :-0
I hope each of you mamas will be loved and celebrated in your role as a mom during this month of May!  

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Giveaway: Swimming lessons with British Swim School

If you follow our facebook page, you may have seen over the past few months as I've been sharing pictures from my kids recent swimming lessons. I was recently introduced to British Swim School and was intrigued to learn more about their programs. One of the first reasons BSS caught my attention was their immediate focus on water safety and survival.

British Swim School teaches water safety survival skills to children as young as three months old. The back float is considered the most important water survival skill, as it enables swimmers to rest, breathe and call for help, alleviating the “silent” danger of floating face down. Drowning is the leading cause of death in children under five. Go here for more safe swimming tips. 

My four kids started lessons in January. They were given a swim cap for their class level and they were ready to go! 

They began with learning how to float on their back. The first strategy of British Swim School is to teach kids if they were to fall into the water anywhere, that they would be able to roll to their back and float. This would also allow them to call for help. I love that first focus! Their instructor, Ryan Grindle, has been fantastic!

Another aspect that I (and my kids!) greatly appreciate about BSS is that all their lessons are done at indoor, heated pools. If your kids have ever taken outdoor lessons in Pittsburgh, you might have found that your kids end up freezing half the time which makes it difficult for them to concentrate. We did a short session of outdoor lessons last summer and I felt like my kids didn't learn very much simply because they were so distracted by the cold and didn't really want to be in the water. They have excelled much more quickly in the warm pools!

Although three out of four of our kids love the water, we have one that feels very uncomfortable in swimming situations. There were definitely quite a few tears in the first two sessions (as we've seen from a few other kids in the pool as well), but since lesson #3, he has grown more and more confident.  The instructors are great with helping kids get over that fear. Now he isn't even afraid to jump off the side of the pool to the instructor!

Speaking of jumping, I love that one of the first things they learned to do was jump in the water and hold their breath without plugging their nose! 

Once they can jump off the side into the pool, roll over and float on their backs, they are ready to graduate to the next swim cap color!

Now they are focusing more on swimming face down in the water as well as learning the back stroke. 

Swim groups are kept small, so there is a great teacher-to-student ratio!

And it's not all work and no play! At the end of each lesson, they get a short free play swim time. 

British Swim School is offering lessons all around the Pittsburgh region! Go here to locate your nearest location. 

I am also thrilled to give one of you a chance to experience British Swim School for free! They have generously offered a great giveaway! EIGHT free lessons as well as a basket full of swim goodies!

Prize package includes:

* Twice a week lesson for four consecutive weeks 
   No make-up's - New customers only! 
*  Basket includes:  Swim towel, Goggles, Swim Ring, Waterwatcher, Water toy, 
   Drawstring bag and beach ball.  Valued at $250.00!

Click "Enter the Giveaway" to be entered to win.

--> But here is another cool freebie for everyone! If you sign up for lessons through BSS, mention "Momtourage" to get FREE registration. 

We're thrilled with their progress and my kids are safer swimmers through our lessons with British Swim School! We hope you will choose them as well! 

This post sponsored by British Swim School. We were given lessons in exchange for my review. All opinions remain my own as I don't endorse venues that I don't love! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Little Shoes Gives Back With Naot

I'm guessing that you love these summer-like days we've been having in Pittsburgh as much as I do! And what is one of the best things about summer? Sandals, of course! As a mom to four, I am singing HALLELUJAH when we can walk out the door in the time it takes everyone to slip on sandals instead of the sock-finding, the shoe-tying, the general shoe chaos!!! :) But if you're also like me, as you get older, comfort of shoes gets more and more important. You realize after spending a day in flip flops that your feet don't love you for that choice! But I'm also not ready (yet) to totally throw fashion out the window, so my summer mission always becomes finding sandals that are comfortable, supportive for my feet, and not totally u-g-l-y! 

I was very excited to be introduced to Naot Shoes for several reasons. 
#1: comfort
Our uniquely engineered insoles are a blend of natural latex and cork that are designed to replicate the shape of the foot, just like the footprint we leave when walking the sand. Yes!
#2: Style choices 
With hundreds of shoes from which to choose, I can definitely find a pair that fits my style. 
#3: Giving back
This weekend they are hosting a #NaotGivesBack event at Little Shoes in Squirrel Hill. They shared, "This event allows us to combine two things that we love, fashion and helping those in need. Everyone invited to attend the event will be able to contribute to the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry just by simply trying on shoes. Try on a pair of Naots, we will donate a pair to those in need. If you buy a pair, we will donate two pairs. It's fashion for a cause!"

I'd like to invite you to stop by Little Shoes during their 3-day event this weekend! Simply by trying on a pair of shoes you can give back to our community!

The mission of the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry is to end food poverty in their community by addressing the immediate food needs of those who are struggling with hunger and giving Food Pantry clients the help and support they need to address the underlying cause of their food insecurity. 

Naot Gives Back Event Details

Littles Shoes, 5850 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15217
April 21 and 22 from 9:30 AM – 9:00 PM and April 23 from noon – 5:00 PM

I'm excited to try out their sandals, but even more thrilled that we can all support these donations simply by stopping at Little Shoes this weekend and trying on a pair of Naots! It really doesn't get any easier than that, does it? The more the merrier, so grab a friend to tag along as well. This section of Forbes Ave. is lined with great places to eat, ice cream shops and a Carnegie Library location, so it's a great place to meet up!
You can share your favorite pair on social media with #NaotGivesBack. 
What number is YOUR favorite?

Thanks to Naot Footwear for sponsoring this post. I was given products in exchange for my review. All opinions remain my own as I don't endorse products that I don't love!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Giveaway: Pre-Sale Passes to JBF Consignment Sale

It's one of my favorite times of year......consignment sale season! If you haven't been to the Just Between Friends Consignment sale, it's time to check it out. I have found amazing deals on a wide variety of items that have benefited our family. Some of my favorite purchases include kids bikes, Hunter rain boots, outdoor play equipment, toys for Christmas gifts, books, and of course, clothing! I love how I've been able to find items in great condition for my kids, but at less than half price for what you would pay brand new.


RMU Island Sports Center, Neville Island

7600 Grand Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA  15225

The Just Between Friends Sale Pittsburgh North is Pittsburgh's leading children's and maternity consignment sale event and we want you to join us! Come be a part of the sale voted BEST Consignment Sale in Pittsburgh for 2013!   JBF is your one-stop-shop to buy and sell new & gently-used clothing, toys, baby gear & equipment, furniture, and so much more!  It just keeps getting bigger and better!

The shopping hours & restrictions vary, so read the following info carefully! 

Thursday, April 28th
9am-9pm- Pre-Sale Shopping!
9 am: Consignor + Guest Pre-Sale (No children or strollers permitted)
10am:  Prime Time Public Shopping ($10 per person.  Purchase tickets here. (No children or strollers permitted)
1pm:  First Time Parents/Grandparents/Foster & Adoptive Parents Pre-Sale (No children or strollers permitted) Reserve your presale pass here.
3pm:  Military Family & Teacher Pre-Sale (No children or strollers permitted) Reserve your Teacher presale pass here Reserve your Military Family presale pass here.
6pm: *Children & Strollers ARE Permitted beginning at 6pm
9 pm:  Sale Closes

Friday, April 29th
9am-8pm: Sale Opens to the Public! 
$3 admission fee all day
Get your FREE ADMISSION pass here!

Saturday, April 30th
9am-5pm: Public Sale & NEW Merchandise!  
Admission is FREE!
Sunday, May 1st
9am-5pm: 50% OFF Public Sale! 
MANY items 50% and admission is FREE!  

I have found that it is definitely an advantage to be one of the first shoppers and that is why I am thrilled to be working directly with JBF event organizer, Kelly Robie, and able to offer 2 lucky winners a pre-sale shopping pass...and you'll get one for a friend as well! This shopping pass will give you free admission to the Thursday pre-sale opening from 9am-9pm. (Please keep in mind that children and strollers are not permitted until 6pm that day.) Don't forget that a blog comment is required as an entry. Enter at link below. 

This post sponsored by JBF Pittsburgh. All opinions remain my own as I don't endorse venues that I don't love!  

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Giveaway: We're swimming in Hanna Andersson

A few weeks ago, we headed to the East Coast during our kid's spring break. Although it certainly wasn't warm enough to swim, my kids were just as happy to play and run in the sand. We were generously given new swim wear by Hanna Andersson and it was the perfect opportunity to test them out!

We swim a lot in the summer and so I always look for swim gear that will hold up to a lot of wear. All of our Hanna Andersson products have held up well through many washings.  I'm also a big fan of rash guards for sun protection. We go through a lot of sunscreen with 4 kiddos, so rash guards help save in the sunscreen budget! 

As soon as I saw this suit, I knew it would be perfect for my Mya girl. She looks so radiant in yellow!

My girls do not like how one pieces pull and tug (I don't blame 'em!) and so they prefer something in two pieces. (Also makes for easier bathroom runs!)  But I also want my girls to have good coverage. Hanna Andersson has so many adorable options for two pieces, there is a ton of variety!

The second day they braved touching the chilly water!

We were staying with some friends who live on a fairly private beach. My kids had the best time running and playing in the sand with no hindrances! 

We didn't bring beach toys with us since we'd only be there a few days, but sticks, solo cups and plastic bowls are all kids need for their imaginations to be in full force!

For anyone looking for a protective swim cap, check out this cute option (there's a matching suit as well!)

For those of you in Pittsburgh, we are lucky enough to have our own newly opened Hanna Andersson store at the Ross Park Mall! Have you checked it out? We have loved the quality of our Hanna Andersson wear. Each piece is super soft and has comfy seams so that kids love to wear it!

We love the new suits and I am thrilled to pass on the special gift of a new Hanna Andersson swim suit to a lucky winner! Enter below for your chance to win.  


I was given products in exchange for my review. All opinions remain my own as I don't endorse products that I don't love!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Snuggle Bugs + Rock It: PreSale Pass Giveaway

I am a huge fan of the huge consignment sales that come around every spring and fall. It is awesome to be able to head into a big venue and know that you have all the kids items you could need at your fingertips some fantastic prices! I've purchased everything from a double stroller, clothing, Christmas gifts, bikes, bike seat, helmets, shoes, boots, outside play equipment + more over the past few years.

Snuggle Bugs Consignment is one of the best and they have some unique sales coming up! Read the following images carefully to see which sale (or which ones!) would be best for you.

April 9th - 11th: clothing begins at size 12 months, up to size 10 for girls and up to size 20 for boys.

April 15th - 16th: clothing for older girls, ladies, maternity + household items.

April 29th - 30th: clothing and all baby gear (strollers, highchairs, ect...) for 0 - 12 months. Toys, books, bikes, electronics for all kid's ages. 

If you have clothing, baby gear or toys that you are ready to pass on, you can also consider signing up as a consignor for one of these sales! The cut off date to consign will be happening soon and spots are filling quickly, so sign up at their website as soon as possible.

Consignor Benefits

  1. It's easy -- Their website makes entering your items quick and easy!
  2. You're in control -- Track your daily sales online! (Detailed sales reports show your sales and inventory).
  3. The payout is great -- Earn AT LEAST 60% for your items. Maximize your profit by participating in our incentive programs. (Referral programs, volunteer opportunities and more are available)! Click here to learn how you can make up to 80%.

My favorite time to shop these sales is at the Pre-Sale for the first shopping pick! We have 8 Pre-
Sale passes to giveaway (4 will be for the Snuggle Bugs sale and 4 will be for Rock It). Pre-sale 
shopping night happens the night before their opening day. 

Before you enter, please like their facebook pages for your first entry. 

Click link below to finish your entry. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All three sales will be held at the Iceoplex at Southpoint.
114 Southpointe Boulevard, Canonsburg, PA 15317

This post sponsored by Snuggle Bugs + Rock It Consignment. All opinions remain my own as I don't endorse venues I don't value!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

St. Patrick's Day fun

Our next big weekend of holiday fun is just around the corner in St. Patrick's Day! 

The St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Pittsburgh is the second–largest St. Patrick’s Parade in the USA. There are 23,000 participants, 18 marching bands, floats and many other groups representing several Irish heritage and other ethnic heritage organizations. In 2012, the Parade drew over 350,000 spectators on a warm, sunny day. Participants will include the 2016 Grand Marshal Sarah McAuliffe, and the yet to be announced Miss Smiling Irish Eyes 2016, along with St. Patrick Himself. The parade runs 10am - 1pm on Saturday, March 12. 

We sure are hoping for a beautiful day as it lends itself to a day of downtown family fun for the family! Following the parade (or when your little ones have tired), head over to Fifth Avenue Place. 
St. Patrick’s Day Family Fun at Fifth Avenue Place
Saturday, March 12 ~ 11am-2pm
Show your Irish spirit with live music by Steven Vance, create “Leprechaun Paintings and Shamrock Prints” with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, face painting with a cheery leprechaun and bean bag toss.  Your family will be sure to get into the Irish spirit at Fifth Avenue Place. All events are FREE and open to the public.

There is also an indoor food court and bathrooms for family convenience at Fifth Avenue Place. 
Enjoy a great day of family fun in our beautiful downtown!

This post sponsored by Fifth Avenue Place. All opinions remain my own.