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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Melissa & Doug Twitter Party

Melissa & Doug Slice and Scoop Sundae Set

Uncle Jim was over yesterday afternoon and Emily said, "Look what came today in the UPS truck?"  Jim says, "Wow!  Who sent it?" "Mommy won it a few weeks ago at a twitter party!"  Jim looked a little bit confused and said, "Cool.  Where'd you have to go to do that?"

A twitter party?  I had no idea either until a few months ago. 

Here's the low down:

twitter party is a fast and fun virtual party, using the twitter platform. Usually held in the evening, twitter parties typically last 1-2 hours and are a wonderful way for people to connect and discuss a topic of choice. Most twitter parties have an expert panelist and party host to keep the party on topic.

How does a twitter party work?
Twitter users tweet with a specified Hashtag (#) for the party. The party host will announce the hashtag prior to the event. If you look at the twitter party calendar, parties are listed by the hashtag (#). Users use their tweet chat client to search for the hashtag and join in the conversation. Tweetdeck and Tweetgrid make following a twitter party much easier.

My first twitter party was held by TheBabyGuyNYC, Jamie Grayson.  He was giving away a boat load of amazing baby items from Dapplebaby, Magic Beans, SkipHop, and BoonInc, just to name a few.  Jamie even had a live stream on his website, where you could see all the cool items he was showcasing (and giving away!)  It was pretty awesome even though I didn't win anything!


That all changed a few weeks ago when I attended one of Melissa & Doug's twitter parties.  I was the first attendee to win!  Just yesterday, we received this adorable wooden ice cream sundae play set.  They've been so busy with it and especially love the velcro bananas and strawberries with the play knife!  And the best part of all is the magnetic ice cream scoop!  So much fun!


And get a load of this, Grandma and Grandad were here today and look what they brought Aidan!  Grandma always scores amazing finds at Savers!

Melissa & Doug 4 Foot Long Fire Truck Puzzle

So go get your twitter on and see what these twitter parties are all about.  You might just win some amazing stuff!  Thank you, Melissa & Doug!  Follow me on twitter @anniestow!

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Friday, March 25, 2011

My Spirits Have Been Lifted!

I have spent countless hours this week, researching homes in the town of Dennis, MA. on Cape Cod.  We figured, it's the closest, most convenient location for a family beach vacation where we can "get away from it all."  And after the winter we've had, that's just what the doctor ordered.

Speaking of doctors, well that's what I've found.  A gem of a house located on Doctor Lords Rd. in East Dennis, MA.  I had emailed and inquired and phoned so many owners and realtors that I was really beginning to confuse myself.  So I started from scratch on cyberrentals.com this afternoon and began the process of narrowing the search.  I thought we'd end up further from the ocean, having to drive down and drop off.  But I did better than that.


The one that popped up today was a new one.  I hadn't seen it earlier in the week. When I first called the number on the website, the woman said, "Oh that's weird, we don't have any information for that home.  We work with homes in Sonoma."  "Oh, that IS weird," I suggested. "There's no Sonoma, Cape Cod."

I finally tracked the correct realtors down at prettypicky.com.  What a fabulous website.  This website shows you some beautiful homes situated close to the water in some of the best towns on the Cape.  I was in touch with Blake Decker (with a name like that, his houses must be nice, right?)  Blake told me that this week just came on because they had a cancellation.  SCORE!

Annie's Beach House
A/C in all the bedrooms, views of the ocean and 50 steps to the sandy beach just east of Corporation.  It's a gorgeous home, in a quaint little neighborhood of East Dennis.  My kids can take naps and we can wander to and from the house all day long.  I AM SO EXCITED!  My favorite beach on Cape Cod, especially at low tide when you can walk for ages in warm tidal pools before hitting the water's edge.  My kids are going to have a ball!

Satellite view

I haven't stayed a week on Cape Cod since I was about 10 years old.  Where did the Connelleys vacation?  You guessed it - Dennis.  Heck, my parents managed to take the 6 of us on vacation every year to Cape Cod to a cottage on Sunset Lane, near West Dennis Beach.  It's where I broke my arm in August when I was seven years old.  It's where Jim got lost on his bike and was escorted home by the Dennis Police in a cruiser.   Let's hope to stay clear of Cape Cod Hospital and the police departments of Cape Cod this time around.

I can see the light and the frozen concoctions at the end of the tunnel!  Watch out, Cape Cod - another Traverse Travel awaits!  Stay tuned!

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tap!

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Three Things

Three things that are blog-worthy.  
  1. My new bedding from HomeGoods.  God, I love that store.
  2. My Shark Portable Steam Pocket System  (good for baseboards, banisters, windows, clothes, curtains, stairs, countertops, furniture...just about anything!) On clearance this week at Target (right next to HomeGoods) for $69.98!
  3. A BJ's membership - and discounted at 50% off thanks to the Foxboro MOMS club!  Hello!?  Where've ya been all my life?  Milk for $2.49?!  Load up my Traverse, and I'm good to go.  I'm now on the lookout for a 2nd fridge for our basement.  If you know of anyone looking to get rid of one, let me know!  Ridonculous savings for our family of 5!

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Monday, March 14, 2011

goodtwo

With spring just around the corner, and lots of athletes who are in training to raise money for amazing causes, I thought it would be the perfect time to tell you all about goodtwo.  Good friend, Bill Yucatonis, has come up with a genius idea to help individuals, groups and businesses raise money for their cause!  He's come up with a way for those who donate to get something good out of it too!  So much to tell you, let me just steal it from him:



For Fundraisers

Every day, millions of people visit group buying sites like CoupMe®, Groupon® and LivingSocial® to purchase great deals at local and national businesses. These sites offer discounts of 50% or more at restaurants, spas, shops and more. Group buying is hugely popular, and goodtwo™ has created a way for fundraisers to capitalize on it to raise money for their nonprofits, community groups and schools.
GoodTwo is a free fundraising platform that allows nonprofits, schools, community groups and individuals raising money for a cause to present fantastic deals on their own unique, dedicated page. GoodTwo provides all of the following benefits of a successful fundraiser with none of the risks:
It's Easy and Free. Fill out a simple form to build your own fundraising page, which includes your mission, goals and multimedia, such as photos and a video. Your page has a unique URL, making it easy and cost-efficient to spread the word through social media and email. Running the fundraiser is completely free.
You Benefit from Every Deal Sold. Every time a donor buys a deal from your page, a portion of the proceeds are donated toward your cause. Because GoodTwo is an online fundraiser and we handle fulfillment and customer service, it's simple to get the word out to your donor list. Just share the link to your page in as many places as you can - Facebook, Twitter, email, your website, etc. - and bring in the donors. We'll take care of the rest.
Everyone Wins. GoodTwo is the rare fundraiser that rewards both you and your donors. Your cause receives cash for every deal sold, and the donor feels good about getting a fantastic deal on something he or she wants. Once your fundraiser ends, you'll receive a check for the amount you've earned through your deals with GoodTwo. There's no charge to you - just pure profit for your cause and rewards for your donors.
Still have questions? Call us at (866) 249-8387 or email us at fundraisers@goodtwo.com
I love that you can create a personalized webpage, share it with friends on facebook, twitter, and the web and set a goal!  You friends who make donations will love their coupons!  It's true, everyone wins!  So please check it out today, along with Coupme and Coupmom - you'll love the daily deals!  Thanks for checking it out and please pass it along to all your friends!  

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

My Boys

My boys of 1996.

Say a little prayer for these three cuties.  They are a big part of who I am today. Three amazing reasons I became a teacher, became a mom and wanted to grow up to be just like Paula.  Love you guys.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

What's Cooking Tuesday?


Tonight's dinner was YUMMY.  Far better than last week's baked rigatoni with lots of cheese.  (Don't think I'll make that again!)  And I didn't really know that the smell of fontina cheese resembles that of dirty socks.  Who knew?

Tonight was another crock pot hit!  Love my slow cooker!  Thanks, Aimee and Michael!


Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken with Biscuits

Ingredients






Directions

  1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, toss together the carrots, celery, onion, and flour. Place the chicken on top and season with the poultry seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the wine and broth.
  2. Cover and cook until the chicken and vegetables are tender, on low for 5 to 6 hours or on high for 2 1⁄2 to 3 hours (this will shorten total cooking time).
  3. Thirty minutes before serving, prepare the Easy Drop Biscuits (if using).
  4. Ten minutes before serving, add the peas, cream, and ½ teaspoon salt to the chicken and stir to combine. Cover and cook until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes more.
  5. To serve, place the bottom halves of the biscuits in shallow bowls, then top with the chicken mixture and the remaining biscuit halves.
By Abigail Chipley,  March 2011



Yummy!  Kids ate it, so that says A LOT!  And it's still simmering in the pot, so when Chris gets home, he can still enjoy it.  And so easy, especially with the store bought bickies!  Definitely worth trying this one!


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A Good Laugh!

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Friday, March 04, 2011

The Rugged Bear-Going Out of Business!

The Rugged Bear is sadly closing its doors after more than 30 years of business.  I was just in there in Norwood last Friday evening after having my eyebrow separated! Little did I know that I should have spent more time poking around.  There was a major sale going on, but I only had enough time to pick up 2 cute little rugby rompers for my new set of twins in Ireland - my first cousins once removed - Luke and Adam Cantwell.  Aren't they awesome?

Irish Cuties - Luke and Adam

I'll have to make a special trip there this weekend.  So sad.  My favorite place for chic baby clothes.  Liquidation sale underway, so tell your friends.  Thanks, Rugged Bear.  It was always fun!

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Really March?

Aidan has had about 2 "good days" since he started throwing up on Valentine's Day. Since then, he's had just about everything up and down the pike.  Upon leaving the house today, my wonderful sitter said, "Feel free to run some errands, I have nothing going on..." As the clock struck 12pm at the Igo, I felt a sudden urge to run to Home Goods by myself.

"Oh, my cell phone is dead.  Let me just call from the office before I leave and check in."  Silence please.

Happy Friday Mom!
Called to find out that little Aidan's right eye is full of nasty green goop, on top of his cold and cough. Oh joy!  Better run home to call the pedi.  Yup, conjunctivitis.  This should be fun.  Excuse me, March, but we were supposed be getting along.  Do I have to wait until Daylight's Savings or something? NOT FAIR!  Happy Friday. Unfortunately, Home Goods doesn't carry Erythromycin ointment.

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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Win A Trip to see Ellen at Universal Orlando!

Last year, I won that trip to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, courtesy of New England Chevy Dealers and bostonchannel.com.  Looking back, I still cannot believe it. Never in a million years did I think that I would be the lucky person to get an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles for two.  It was such an amazing trip for me and Chris.  Little did we know that I was very newly pregnant at the time, so we are grateful for our one last hurrah without the kids.  We shopped, stayed an extra 3 nights with good friends, Rye and Timm, got to see Santa Monica and Malibu.  It was absolutely amazing. And what fun to see a LIVE taping of Ellen.  We sat right up front next to the producers, were treated like royalty and got to see Parenthood's Lauren Graham and and a performance by OneRepublic.  Pretty amazing stuff.

Well, now it's your chance to win a trip to see Ellen, but not in L.A.  This time, the winner and a guest will be flown down to Universal Orlando for a live taping on April 3rd!  That's only a month away, people!  Couldn't we all use a little fun in the sun? Nevermind  two 3 day passes to Universal Studios, onsite accommodation at Loews Royal Pacific Resort, roundtrip airfare and ground transfers!!!  Holy guacamole, am I allowed to enter?  I think I'm jealous.

Shutters on the Beach

Santa Monica
All you have to do is keep track of what Ellen is dancing to each day on her show. Contest ends on March 11, 2011.  You can find out how to enter to win here and stay tuned to find out how you can become the next Queen of the Road, thanks to your New England Chevy Dealers!

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