All I can offer here are lots of words, a few amateur photos and some attempt at connection. But I have a whole lot of faith in words and connection. And, it seems, some readers have some faith in me, too.
You’ve been searching high and low for the perfect gift. I know you have. Malls, miracle miles, cutesy shops and mega chain stores. Where is the perfect thing I can get my so and so. It’s not easy. It’s infuriating at times. It’s exhausting.
People. You’ve been doing it all wrong.
You’ve been looking to give things. Things! Plastic things and metal things and wind up things and things you throw away and things you pour water on and suddenly cha-cha-cha-CHIA, it’s the pottery that grows!
You have been sighing wistfully at those car commercials – you know, the ones where a car with a red bow is somehow parked in a person’s living room. Oh! What joy!
Things. Things are not the answer. THINGS won’t tell someone how much you really adore their eyebrow wax job and that certain way they eat their Reese’s peanut butter cups by gnawing the edges first.
That is too special.
You need to give something this year that is REAL. Real, people. Something that breaths. And walks. And bahs. And poops. Something that will forever anchor their trust and faith in you as a person, as a socialite, as a humanitarian and as a true super awesome giver person .
So forget the car. SUCH a dumb idea. It’s time to tie a big old red ribbon around the most thoughtful, trend-setting, fashion forward gift you could possibly give this year. Ever.
Yep, I said a goat.
As in BAAAAHHHHH….
And not ONLY is a goat a real thing that walks and bahs and poops and would totally impress your kids and freak out your dog BUT according to The Hildago, goats are so crazy hot right now – especially with rock-star extensions. Totally fashion forward. From runway to backyard, a goat would put you on the trend-setting edge of it all. Don’t believe me? Oh but you totally will when you click here…
As Minnie Driver said here, “The Hildago saw it coming. Probably the only one that did.”
Ok, so what is the deal with the goat, really?
I am so very lucky to have the opportunity to offer this unique give-away thanks to Oxfam just in time for the holiday season. You see, if YOU win, you get this goat to give to someone you love. And because we love you and know that shipping and especially handling a goat can be kind of a… well… hassle, we’ll bypass you and your loved one all together and send that goat along to someone who could take care of it the best way possible.
In case you skipped the video (for shame), here is what would happen to your gifted goat. Oxfam distributes goats in countries with need. Why goats? Well, they are fantabulous for so many reasons: they provide milk, food and fertilizer. They also reproduce quickly and work best in countries prone to drought. Also this program specifically donates the goats to women in needy communities since they are the ones raising families and running households with immediate food and resource demands.
Pretty amazing right?
And totally something you have to give that special someone. Like now. You HAVE to get this goat. YOU HAVE TO!
Let’s take a moment to catch our breath. It’s kind of over-whelming. I know.
So here are the give-away contest rules.
1. Enter here by leaving a comment about what this goat could do for your look this 2011. (Or why you like goats. Or just that you like entering. Anything really…)
2. Enter again by commenting that you tweeted this: I entered the trendiest giveaway ever for the gift that keeps on shedding. And bah-ing. http://wp.me/ptpXZ-10e #OxfamHidalgo @morningsidemom
3. Enter again by commenting that you posted a link to this contest on Facebook.
3. Enter as many times as you would like.
4. Winners must be located in the U.S.
5. While this contest is occurring on multiple sites, you may only win once.
The contest begins December 6th and a winner will be selected at random on December 13th.
Sometimes I wish there was a way to pay back my readers for everything. For all the bumbling posts they’ve patiently read through, for all the support they’ve offered through comments, and for their patience during quiet moments when life keeps me from posting more often. Now’s my chance.
The time has come to give away another computer here at Morningside Mom.
And in case you’re wondering what kind of computer I’m giving away, well you might want to read my review here or go to the Lenovo website to learn as much as you can about it.
Because it is a very cool PC. It takes no time at all to set up, it starts right away, it runs very quickly, it has everything you need in one spot. And it is simply a keyboard, mouse and monitor. That’s it. Well, there’s much much more to it of course, but you would hardly know considering how simple, clean, fast and space saving it really is.
And I get to give one away here.
(Cue *giddy clapping* once again.)
Now if you know anything about me, you know I like to have some general well meaning purpose to my give-aways. I love to see good done and nothing makes me happier than seeing great things like this go to fabulous people.
So I’ve been brainstorming about how to run this give-away.
Of course, if I could, I would demand every entrant to make a donation to oil spill relief. Or donate products needed to assist with oil spill relief. Or maybe cap the oil leak itself with their bare hands.
But that’s hardly realistic. So I’m going to keep it simple. Here are the rules.
1) Comment here and tell me how this computer could be used for good. And please don’t just type:
“The Lenovo A70z could feed the children in Africa. The end.”
Gimme a break.
Be cool and be thoughtful. Maybe a particular non for profit could use this in their work. Maybe you could do something for your local PTA. Maybe this would be a great addition to a new community center or library. Just be meaningful. Think things through. Imagine what kind of good you could do with something like this. I know I can’t guarantee that this PC will certainly be used for good, but it can’t hurt to imagine how it could be. You never know what kind of good could be inspired along the way. *wishful thinking*
2) Only real comments with full sentences and actual thoughts will be entered to win.
3) It counts as an entry if you tweet: An all in one A70z Lenovo PC is being given away on @morningsidemom – enter here: http://www.morningsidemom.com/ Just be sure to come back and comment here that you tweeted.
4) You may enter up to three times.
5) Entrants must reside in North America (US or Canada).
One winner will be chosen at random and announced on July 11th. An entrant will not win if they have won at any of the other 20 contests currently underway for an A70z. The winner will be contacted by via email for shipping information.
(Also, if we’re related or you come over to my house or KNOW me know me? It’s really not so cool if you enter. But you might want to go check out one of the 20 other contests. You know I’m rooting for you.)
Good luck to everyone!
FTC Disclaimer: An A70z Lenovo all in one PC was given to me for review purposes.
WE HAVE A WINNER!
Congratulations to Michelle S.!
Thanks to all who participated, the contest is now over and the comments have been closed. Don’t forget to check out all of the other contests still underway – the last one runs until July 24, 2010. To see which blogs still have contests, check my post here.
(Be warned however. Feel free to enter any of these contests but we don’t expect that one person will win more than once. We’re keeping track of everyone. So be cool, people. I’m just saying.)
An in case all the excitement made you miss it, Morningside Mom is on that list. So get ready. My contest runs July 7th – July 11th. Each blog will run their contest differently so I will post details about how to enter right before my contest dates.
And I hope you enter. I get a twisted kind of glee over giving away cool stuff to nice people.
Summer fun. There’s nothing better. So stay tuned.
First off, I’d like to officially congratulate Lorie and Diane! They both entered in the ticket giveaway for Tampa’s Disney on Ice and won in a random drawing this morning. Your tickets are in the mail ladies!
Secondly, for those who still want to go but are bummed out they didn’t win, I have some good news. I have been given a promo code that will save you an extra $5.00 off on tickets. Any Morningside Mom reader is welcome to use the promo code “MOM” at ticketmaster.com or at the Arena Box Office.
Thanks for playing and reading and, well, for even just stopping on by.
This May, Disney On Ice is coming back to Tampa. And would you believe, after all my years as a parent living within an hour-ish drive of Disney itself, I have never taken my family to see Disney On Ice?
Well that’s about to change. My family was just offered free tickets to see Disney On Ice this year. As you can imagine, I am thrilled and all kinds of crazy excited for it. It features all of my kids’ favorite characters from a variety of Disney movies. I can’t wait to see their faces when they find out they’re going, I know they will be fired up for some on ice Disney Magic. They will be because they don’t know yet. Why? Disney On Ice will be coming to Tampa May 20th – 23rd and, as luck would have it, their birthdays happen to be coming up at the end of May and early June. So it will be a birthday surprise. And how perfect is that since this year’s Disney On Ice is titled “Let’s Celebrate!”
(Picture me doing the giddy mommy running man. And now the cabbage patch. So what if my dance moves were only kind of relevant twenty years ago, I’m totally fired up.)
But here’s the really REALLY good news. You all get to go too! Well, some of you do anyway. I have two stashes of complimentary passes to give away here.One set of two tickets and one set of four tickets. They are valid for any of the St. Pete Times Forum show times. Disney on Ice will be here in Tampa on Thursday, May 20th 2010 through Sunday, May23rd 2010. I am also going to end this giveaway with plenty of time to spare because these complimentary passes can only be redeemed for tickets at the St. Pete Times Forum box office (which is open Monday – Friday, 10am – 6pm). And in order to get decent seats, you need to get your tickets early. (Please note you can purchase extra tickets to go along with these at the box office also.)
However, I want to make this give away count for something. So I’ve added a twist. It’s a good one, I promise.
As you know, I am walking for the March of Dimes in the Tampa Friends of Maddie group. I would like entrants for this give-away to help promote the March of Dimes in some way. So here is how you can enter.
How to Enter
You may enter as many times as you would like, just be sure to include your email address. Each entrance will be counted as long as at least one of the following is completed on or before May 2nd :
1) Tweet about the March of Dimes or the Tampa Friends of Maddie Group. Be sure to comment back here so I know you tweeted. Your tweet could be as simple as this: “Please support your local March of Dimes group here: http://tiny.cc/6gjsl so that I can go to Tampa’s Disney on Ice! (Via @morningsidemom)”.
2) Tweet about and link to this contest. Be sure to comment back here and link @morningsidemom so I know you tweeted.
4) Comment here how you support the March of Dimes in any way. (That could be as simple as telling me you will be walking for the March of Dimes or that you donated a few dollars at Publix to the March of Dimes. Because, yes, Publix is accepting donations right now for the March of Dimes. Go now, and donate.)
(While you are at it, I would be most grateful if you considered donating to the Friends of Maddie – see the link to the right. I don’t want to count this as an entrance since these passes can not be sold in any way. But please consider donating anyway just because you are a really really nice person.)
The contest closes on May 2nd at midnight. Each time you enter will be counted separetely and two winners will be picked at random. I will email the winners and then announce them here.
So its been a long time since I saddled up and got a magazine subscription. Not sure why. Maybe it was the cost or maybe it was never wondering where the best place to sign up was. Where was the best deal? And then, what if I got sick of that magazine? I’ve had subscriptions that I didn’t enjoy after I signed up and felt later I had wasted my money. Anyway, so, I haven’t had a magazine subscription in a really long time and just wind up grabbing them in the supermarket line and paying full price.
I know. I’m SUCH a smart shopper. I mean, only three or four full price magazines and the subscription is paid for…
Anyway, cue some magazine providence to solve my issue. My favorite peeps at the PR group Ivy Worldwide (the very same peeps who brought me to NYC in February) asked me if I wanted to be part of a promotion for Maghound.
It’s kind of the perfect magazine subscription management site. Basically, you pick three or more magazines and then replace, cancel or add new magazines at any time. Get sick of one magazine, replace it with another. Or stop one all together. Or add more. And then stop the whole thing if you want. Oh, and if your magazine isn’t monthly, you can substitute it with another while you wait. And the best part? You pay a nominal monthly fee – for three magazines, you pay $4.95 a month. Plus you don’t have to commit long term.
A couple catches. Sometimes you have to pay a little extra to substitute if the substitute magazine is more expensive than the one you are replacing it with. But its usually very little and it is clearly marked if you will need to pay more.
Because that’s the thing. The website is easy to use and manage your subscriptions. You can even change the names on the magazine to say your child’s name if you want. A cute touch.
Thanks to Ivy Worldwide, I have been given a free year of subscriptions. I’m looking forward to playing around with the site and seeing how it works as I start getting magazines in. I’ll keep you posted.
Anyway, of COURSE I wouldn’t be plugging something that didn’t have some benefit for my readers as well. So there are two very cool ways to get in on this.
1) Go here and blog readers get an exclusive one month free trial plus 20% off the first six months.
2) Maghound is offering a MAGnificent Makeover Sweepstakes for blog readers. Grand prize winners will win a trip to NYC, a $1,500 shopping spree and a People StyleWatch makeover.
Wow, right? New York City? A $1500 shopping spree? A makeover?
See now, I hook you all up. Sure sure, its all over a few magazines. But these are magazines with no commitment, a serious discount to try it out and possibly a grand prize trip to NYC with a $1,500 shopping spree – all for blog readers. Not too shabby.
So I suppose it’s fairly obvious that I’ve needed some time off from blogging recently. Not because I don’t want to write – but because I can’t seem to get organized enough to do it. Simply getting my life together seems to be an enormous task. The little stuff has been overwhelming, I feel like a first grader attempting (unsuccessfully) to tie her shoes in the morning, just making dinner for my children pushes all my cylinders into overdrive, multi-tasking eludes me, I forget everything, I remember nothing, I loose things, what do we need to get done today, I have no idea.
Did you know today was my three year old’s first day of school? Did you know I figured this out YESTERDAY?
*banging head on desk*
So grief apparently makes one stupid. And slow. And traps you in a strange “what just happened” haze.
Huh. I won? Wow. I still kind of can’t believe it. (Remember that “what just happened” feeling?) My competition was fierce. And I mean that in the Christian Siriano from Project Runway kind of “fierce”. They are amazing bloggers and women. If you aren’t already reading them, start now. So, come on, to win? In such amazing company? Well. Let’s just say it’s enough to inspire my ass to get out of my funk and get back to what I do: write, blog, and be Morningside Mom.
Thank you to Parent’s Connect. But most importantly, thank you a million times over to everyone who voted. I know many of you voted almost everyday and I can’t tell you how much your faith in me means.
I also know my mom voted everyday. In fact, this is one of her last Facebook status updates:
“I vote faithfully for Morningside Mom in the Tampa blog contest.”
So even IF I won this thing thanks to every single one of my relatives voting for me religiously, everyday, on every computer they had access to – I know my family has my back. I certainly know my mom did. So this win is for her. Thanks for every vote, mom. I love you, I miss you, I wish you were here to make a much bigger deal than really should be made over this.
Oh, and by the way? My sweet little three year old did fantastically today. He marched into his classroom with his enormous backpack on. He beamed up at his teacher. While his big brother hung his backpack on the hook, he successfully sought out and used the potty. And then, with all of us watching, he sat down next to a shy, pig-tailed girl to play with some puzzles. When I said good-bye, he said “bye mom” back – but I’m not even sure he looked up.
My baby. At school? I suppose it’s no surprise I am overwhelmed by that “what just happened” feeling yet again.
Ok, let me be perfectly honest. Self promotion isn’t really my bag. But I am my own thing here at Morningside Mom so sometimes someone other than my parents has to talk up this blog of mine. So bear with me for a minute. Here I go.
The very kind folks over at Nickelodeon’s Parent’s Connect seems to think I am worthy to be nominated in their “Best Local Blog” category on Nickelodeon’s Parents Picks website.
So I thought I’d let you all know.
I mean, “gee shucks DARN” is all I gotta say. I am truly honored. (Little ol’ me. Whoda thunk?)
And what makes it even more flattering is the company I am keeping. The other nominees are straight up, kick ass Tampa bloggers. So. Wow, you know? Just being nominated means a great deal.
If you want to vote for me (see how awkward this self promotion thing is… “Yay me?” I mean, weird….), just click here (voting ends July 15th and it is a daily vote):
By now you should know that I won’t do a review on Morningside Mom unless there is something about that product that truly impresses me. Well, I have another one for you. Toms Shoes approached me and asked that I review a pair of shoes for them. But these aren’t just a pair of shoes. In case you don’t know about Toms Shoes, I am going to tell you what makes this specific shoe company so very special.
The Toms Shoes company was started by Blake Mycoskie after he visited Argentina and noticed how many children did not have any shoes. His dream for this company was to create a shoe that he could sell and give away. Let me explain further. He wanted his company to make it possible to donate one pair of shoes to a child in need with every one purchased. That’s right. And he did. After one year, he and his family and friends were ready to donate over 10,000 shoes to children in Argentina. Next stop was South Africa where he and his crew dropped off 50,000 shoes. And in 2008 it was planned that they donate over 200,000 shoes worldwide.
Ok, now watch this.
Pretty amazing, right?
Ok, so lets get down to the shoes themselves. What did I think?
Well, in terms of style, I was a liiiittle nervous. I’ll admit, I was worried they’d be kind of like grandma shoes. I am just being honest here. I wasn’t sure they’d really be my style. So I looked through all the various patterns available online and went for a fun “Element” shoe style. At least I knew these shoes wouldn’t look anything like what Grandma would wear.
But here’s the thing. When I got them, they actually looked a lot cooler than I expected. I was pleasantly surprised. And my favorite part about the shoes? When I slipped them on, I didn’t want to take them off. Because, my friend, they’re like butta. So dang comfy. Granted, they don’t have a ton of support – these are flat shoes made of canvas. But they are well made and I really, truly never want to take them off. (Maybe I should get Grandma a pair, I think she wouldn’t take them off either.)
Now down to the fun part.
It’s giveaway time!
I have the DVD of their award winning documentary about their first shoe drop in Argentina and a coupon code worth $50 in Tom’s Shoes to give away to a Morningside Mom reader.
How do you enter? Leave a comment below about a time you’ve given back to your community or something you would like to do for your community. Real answers please, don’t just respond with some general Ms. America “I want to save the world” comment. Think about it for the sake of making change happen – like Toms Shoes has.
I will pick a winner at random on Monday March 16th.