Lindsay Gill: February 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

Oh hey, Friday: 02.27.15

I'm taking a page out of Karli's book from September Farm and joining the gals for Oh Hey, Friday!  Here are five random tidbits about life over here at the Gill's.

1.  I have been so scared about the collapsing roof epidemic that I can't sleep.  Every tiny snap, crackle, or pop is enough to send me running...into the -20 degree weather.  Like at 4:30 am the other morning, for example, when I packed up my poor little Luke and drove over to my mom's house in fear that our roof was collapsing.  John Paul decided that he would stay and "get some shut eye."  Luckily, our house has been fine, knock on wood.  I laid with Luke at my parents' house and he looked at me and said, "Mommy? This is fun!"  Little sweetheart loved our adventure.  Needless to say, I'm excited for Spring like everyone else.



2.  I'm not content with this blog!  I've considered changing the name (I'd love to hear your feedback) since I'm not writing much about teething rings, and certainly less about wedding rings.  I've definitely considered stopping all together for family privacy, but I do still enjoy it.

3.  Luke just got his first legitimate "cold" since his adenoid and ear tube surgery.  Makes me so thankful for the months of health that he has had!

4.   I've tried to stay on a semi-spending freeze as I clear out extra things in the house.  I got the itch for some retail therapy this morning, though, but avoided it!

5.  What's up for this weekend?  Not a whole lot!  John Paul and I have been watching the Bachelor on Mondays and I find myself getting excited for that!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Win a fully furnished nursery! #UrbiniDreamNursery #IC

“I participated in a Blog Blast Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Urbini. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”


When we found out we were pregnant with Luke, we knew we wanted his nursery to be perfect.  But one look at Pinterest nursery ideas could overwhelm anyone!  There are so many themes, so many colors, so many brands.  

Well if you are expecting a new baby, or looking to update the nursery from an older child, let me make this easier for you!  Urbini just introduced a new line of nursery furniture including gorgeous wooden cribs.  And you could win the chance to have Rachel Dacks, the designer of this new furniture, come to your home and furnish your nursery with all of the furniture and decor you need!  

 


 Grand prize winners will receive: one Urbini crib, one Urbini changing table, one Urbini 6 Drawer Dresser, One Urbini Cubi Play Yard, and a visit by Rachel Dacks to outfit this designed nursery!

Second prize: Your choice of one Urbini crib!

Third Prize:  One Urbini Cubi Play Yard

Sweepstakes Winners:  Each day, one Sweepstakes participant will be randomly selected to win a $50 Walmart Gift card!

How to enter in the Urbini Dream Nursery Contest:
To enter the Urbini Dream Nursery Contest to win the Grand, Second, or Third Prizes, contestants must post an Instagram photo of the room they want to redesign to their personal Instagram account tagging #UrbiniDreamNursery and #Contest. For all other entry information, including entering to win the daily $50 Walmart Gift Cards, please visit www.UrbiniDreamNursery.com.


How to Participate in the Walmart Daily Gift Card Sweepstakes: 
  Not expecting a baby but still want to participate? No problem!  You can still promote the contest for your chance to win daily $50 Walmart Gift Cards!Enter through the submission form below!  You will be entered to win a $50 Walmart Gift Card!  The Urbini Dream Nursery Contest will begin Wednesday, February 25th and end on Wednesday, March 18th

Urbini Dream Nursery


Friday, February 20, 2015

Luck of the Irish Cash Giveaway! #LuckOfTheIrishGiveaway

I'm so excited to be part of this huge #luckoftheirishgiveaway CASH GIVEAWAY!  If I won the money today, I'd take John Paul and Luke on a little getaway trip, swim in a hotel pool, and splurge on some delicious meals...maybe even visit the spa!  Or realistically, I'd pay for someone to finish shoveling off our roof and do our taxes...but I'd prefer the latter!  What would you do with some extra cash?  See the details below to enter for your chance to win!

Luck of the Irish Giveaway | APeekIntoMyParadise.com #paypalcash #cash #giveaway #stpatricksday
#LuckOfTheIrishGiveaway
May your pockets be heavy | APeekIntoMyParadise.com #StPatricks #giveaway
"May your pockets be heavy...."
with MONEY
*CASH PRIZE of $1,500!
ENTER TO WIN!
*Three winners of $500 each
Luck of the Irish Giveaway | APeekIntoMyParadise.com #giveaway  #paypalcash #win
A HUGE thank you to the 84 amazing blogger friends of
A Peek Into My Paradise for giving YOU
the chance to "make your pockets heavy"
Luck of the Irish Giveaway | APeekIntoMyParadise.com #giveaway #blogger #paypalcash #cash♥ Cathy | A Peek Into My Paradise ♥ Christie | Sparkles of Sunshine ♥ Rose | What Rose Knows ♥ Rhonda | Mother 2 Mother ♥ Ashley | Leaving The Rut ♥ Sharon | Her Organized Chaos ♥ Jeanne | Animal Bliss ♥ Christina | Mama's High Strung ♥ Kim | Enjoy The View ♥ Jeanette | Crafty In Crosby ♥ Anyonita | Anyonita Nibbles ♥ Melanie | Mommy Mentionables ♥ Erika | MakeUp Fun ♥ Angie | God's Growing Garden ♥ Emily | 8th Street Bridge ♥ Shana | Technotini
Luck of the Irish Giveaway | APeekIntoMyParadise.com #giveaway #blogger #paypalcash #cash♥Amy | Love Amybecca ♥ Katherine | Katherine's Corner ♥ Maureen | Organically Mo ♥ Kimberly | Lou Lou Girls ♥ Cynthia | Feeding Big ♥ Barb | Second Chance to Dream ♥ Paula | Thrifty Mommas Tips ♥ Lindi | Love, Create, Celebrate ♥ Edna | Thoughts of Happiness ♥ Lisa | Condo Blues ♥ Emily | Nap-Time Creations ♥ Heidi | Heidi's Wanderings ♥ April | House By Hoff ♥ Debra | MsMoozy Open House ♥ Ida | Second Chances Girl ♥ Roberta | Mommy Like Whoa
Luck of the Irish Giveaway | APeekIntoMyParadise.com #giveaway #blogger #paypalcash #cash♥ Jessica | Live Randomly Simple ♥ Roxanne | The Honeycomb Home ♥ Logan | Logan Can ♥ Shane | Whispering Sweet Nothings ♥ Natasha | Epic Mommy Adventures ♥ Lindsay | My Creative Days ♥ Cat | Thinking Outside The Box ♥ Maria | Simple Nature Decor ♥ Nicole | Pharr Away ♥ Lindsay | Wedding Rings to Teething Rings ♥ Laura | Pies & Plots ♥ Evelyn | My Turn For Us ♥ Kelly | Mum-bo-Jumbo ♥ Lauren | Mom Home Guide ♥ Cassie | Little Red Window ♥ Alyssa | Piece of Home
Luck of the Irish Giveaway | APeekIntoMyParadise.com #giveaway #blogger #paypalcash #cash♥ Sarah | Earning and Saving With Sarah ♥ Sonia | Babushka's Baile ♥ Karren | Oh My Heartsie Girl ♥ Beverly | Eclectic Red Barn ♥ Kristen | A Mind "Full" Mom ♥ Jennifer | Brass & Whatnots ♥ Alice | A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen ♥ Charlene | A Pinch Of Joy ♥ Nici | Posed Perfection ♥ Candace | Candace Creates ♥ Dina | Savvy in the Kitchen ♥ Laura | Not A Trophy Wife ♥ Kim | Made In A Day ♥ Michelle | The Painted Hinge ♥ Ann | Ann Again and Again Reviews ♥ Mary | Just Plum Crazy
Luck of the Irish Giveaway | APeekIntoMyParadise.com #giveaway #blogger #paypalcash #cash♥ Brittany | Mommy on Demand ♥ Emily | My Love for Words ♥ Kimberly | Life Is A Lullaby ♥ Stephanie | Managing A Home ♥ Linda | Crafts a la Mode ♥ Jillian | Baby Doodah ♥ Nikki | MBA sahm ♥ Emily | Our House Now A Home ♥ Jodi | The Noise Of Boys ♥ Ronda | Kitchen Dreaming ♥ Sarah | Life In A Breakdown ♥ Heather | Mommy Only Has 2 Hands ♥ Bianca | Little Mommy Nest ♥ Gina | Money Savvy Living ♥ Mel | Melly Moments ♥ Ce Ce | A Chicago Mom
Luck of the Irish Giveaway | APeekIntoMyParadise.com #giveaway #blogger #paypalcash #cash♥ Rabia | The Lieber Family Blog ♥ Lisa | Cool Coatz Graphics ♥ Nicole | Nibbles By Nic ♥ Dana | Chocolate and Sunshine ♥ Cathy | Three Kids and a Fish
Please be sure and thank the team of amazing bloggers who joined me to offer this phenomenal cash prize! I encourage you to hop over and take a peek into their paradise!
May good luck pursue you each day and night! Happy St. Patricks Day from all of us to you!
Luck of the Irish Giveaway | APeekIntoMyParadise.com #giveaway #stpatricksday #paypalcash #win
Giveaway is open worldwide to participants with a verified PayPal account.
Three entries will be drawn for $500 PayPal Cash to each of the three winners.
All entries will be verified. In the event an entry can not be verified participant chooses to forfeit that entry and another winner will be chosen.
Winner has 48 hours to respond to the winning email.
Giveaway will run from February 20, 12AM PDT Time to March 17, 11:59PM SDT.
Any taxes or fees associated with the winnings of this contest are the sole responsibility of the winner according to their county, state and/or country laws.
CASH prize is in US Dollars and will not be converted to any foreign currency.
Void where prohibited by law.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Toddler life: best products for age two

Luke just turned two in January!  Life is moving quickly around here...literally!  Luke does laps around our new ranch-style home.  On one occasion, I was chasing him round 'n round.  Suddenly, the pitter-patter of toddler running stopped.  You learn that toddler silence is frightening!  Luckily, I found him sitting calmly at his toddler table, deep into one of his books.  He is certainly keeping us on our toes, into one thing after another!

We have entered the age of potty training.  I'm simply following Luke's lead.  He is really interested.  I think he is motivated by his hatred for anything remotely wet, dirty, etc.  He's also eating by himself, another messy activity.  Everything "by myself" and "my turn!" in this phase so far!

Here are some of the products that have helped us in our new two year old fast, messy, and exciting phase!
The following are affiliate links, thank you for your support!

1.  OXO Tot Twist Lid Straw Cup: We have tried a number of cups and these are the favorites.  I find that they spill the least and seem to help Luke get the liquid in the best.  Luke is slowly starting to use "regular" cups too, and he is doing well so I think these have helped with the transition.

2.  Prince Lionheart Booster: I found mine on Craigslist and I am thrilled with it! It fits the best under tables (we have another that doesn't fit as well.) It has a really soft seat and cleans off easily.  I actually like the look of it, too.

3.  KidKraft Step 'n Store:  We have a love-hate relationship with this step stool.  Luke loves it so much as it is a gateway to many "big kid" activities.  This means he can help wash dishes, or reach the stove. We do put it away when we are not with him because it has been dangerous.  I like that it cannot slam onto fingers.  Luke loves washing his hands after potty, and this is way easier than doing that funny lift and extend move to help him reach without it!

4.  3 Piece Summer Infant Lil' Loo Potty:  We gave Luke this potty around 18 months to get him used to it.  He loved sitting on it right away.  The taller part in the front is crucial for boys (if they are learning to sit at first).  Luke now loves emptying his potty into the bigger potty and he is able to with this one.

5.  Tom's of Maine Fluoride Free Children's Toothpaste:  I'm so happy that Luke can finally use this toothpaste.  The training toothpaste felt like we were brushing his teeth with pure sugar.

6.  OXO Tot Fork and Spoon Set:  Luke is starting to like adult silverware.  It scares me because it seems to sharp if there is one wrong move.  I love this set because of the chunky handles, yet they can actually pick up food well.

What have you found to be helpful in the toddler years?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A #BlueDragonMeals #sponsored post and #giveaway!

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Blue Dragon. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

Are you in search of an easy family meal with flavor? Something tasty that the whole family will love? Something healthier and quicker than take-out food? Look no further!

Blue Dragon is not only the Chinese symbol of good fortune, it is also the name of a 30+ year old company that strives to help families create authentic Asian dishes at home.  Blue Dragon has become a key ingredient in many delicious dishes from China, Thailand, Japan, and Vietnam.  Blue Dragon lets you enjoy these Asian foods in the comfort of your own home and give your taste buds "a tour of the Far East" in just minutes!

As a part time working mom, I sometimes have trouble with variety with our home cooked meals.  We tend to stick with our routine of protein on a salad, which can get boring!  Aisin take-out food can get expensive and can take a while for delivery.

We were so excited to try our array of Blue Dragon ingredients and wanted to sample each flavor.  Blue Dragon actually gives you this opportunity to do local sampling to find out which is your favorite before you buy.  To find one near you, click here.

John Paul's friend, Josh, was coming over for the Super Bowl and I thought it would be a great opportunity for us to try Blue Dragon as Josh is....a professional chef!  He was able to share his delicious recipes with us, and I can't wait to share one with you!


The available sauces are: Broccoli Beef, Phad Thai, Szechuan Pepper, Chow Mein and General Tao.  We skipped the Broccoli Beef because we only used chicken in our cooking.



Here is Josh's recipe for a delicious "homemade Asian take-out" using Blue Dragon:

Ingredients:
Blue Dragon sauce of your choice
2 cans of sweet baby corn
1 can bamboo shoots
3 chicken breasts
1 red pepper
1 can water chestnuts
1 head of broccoli
1 head of Chinese cabbage
fresh garlic, to taste
fresh ginger, to taste
1 bag of bean sprouts
1 package shittake mushroom
1 package snow peas
1 sweet onion

Josh showed us how to cube the chicken and stir fry it with oil.  We put the meat aside and then stir fried all of the chopped vegetables.  We added the sauce last.  We all agreed that we liked the Szechuan Pepper sauce the best, but truly liked them all.  





Josh even showed us how to make delicious spring rolls.  He used salad shrimp, chopped carrots, basil, Blue Dragon noodles and wrapped it all in the Blue Dragon rice paper...then sprinkled with chopped green onion.  Finish by dipping in Blue Dragon dipping sauce. Yum!


This amazing cold noodle salad has tofu, cherry tomatoes, pineapple, and Blue Dragon noodles tossed with ginger dressing!





Blue Dragon sauces were delicious!  Even Josh was impressed with their products.  I love that our meal was less salty than take-out, and that we could control the amount of sauce we used.  I knew Luke would like their noodles, but I did not anticipate how much he loved the sauces as well!

If you need some cooking inspiration, check out Blue Dragon Recipe Inspiration
 and the Blue Dragon Online Cookbook!  You can even follow them on BlueDragon Facebook

Blue Dragon is giving one lucky winner the chance to win samples of Blue Dragon sauces and a cooking kit including a wok, spatula, chopsticks and take out containers!  Contest entrants are only eligible to win once per sweepstakes, per household as part of a campaign sponsored by Influence Central.  Enter below!

And if you are in the MA/CT area and are looking for an amazing chef for your dinner party, or if you're looking to host a cooking lesson, email me and I'll send along Josh's contact information!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Vote NO in the Longmeadow town meeting on Tuesday February 3, 2015.

I hesitate to write this. I'm a newcomer to town, after all.  My husband, son, and I just moved to Longmeadow in December.

Heck, I'm no newcomer.  I grew up in this town. And I am not happy.

If this was about me, I would probably stay quiet as I am not one to speak up.  But here comes mama bear, watching out for her cubs.  I am writing this for my son.

We moved to Longmeadow this past December.  We knew the school system, we knew the quiet streets, we knew the sidewalks.  It was a no-brainer that we wanted our son to grow up here.

But since December, we have already talked about moving on multiple occasions.

Before the seasoned Longmeadow residents start talking about being progressive and getting a whopping additional $82,000 in taxes, let's talk about how to sustain a beautiful town.  In order to sustain a beautiful town, you need to make it a place where newcomers want to come.  Where they want to raise children.  This is not the only family friendly town around.  There's Wilbraham, there's Granby, there are plenty in Connecticut.

I am new to the part of town past the shops. I didn't realize how the shops can allow people to congregate, but probably more so, how it can separate the sides of town.  I avoid the area!  I want my son to avoid the area!  Now we're voting to make this a larger commercial area.

How could one suggest this will not increase traffic?  If any of the offices or shops are remotely successful, they will obviously add more cars, more traffic.  Granted, the novelty of a few new stores will wear off.  But we are voting on the unknown.  Even if it starts as a JCrew, who knows what it could be in the future.  

When I went to college, my peers actually knew of Longmeadow as the legendary town where parents actually encouraged a mass sleepover after prom, on a field.  Surrounding towns know Longmeadow for the school system.  Many know us for the successful athletes, Hollywood stars, and prestigious doctors and lawyers.  Now we're fighting to add a "JCrew" and drive-thru CVS to the list?  The successful people that went through the Longmeadow school system came here for the quiet residential town.

At this point, we have to cross five busy crosswalks to get to Blueberry.  I've only seen a crossing guard at one of these. These are not regular cross walks...these are high traffic areas.  

I think "progressive" is getting prescriptions sent right to your doorstep as many people do already. "Progressive" is walking and biking around town to save gas and our environment, not buy adding to the shopping center. Just like any new store or restaurant, the novelty will fade and we will be left with destroyed land and a traffic hub with accidents waiting to happen. Even the best laid traffic plans don't work. Have you ever been to a shopping center with good traffic flow? Never.  And this is all assuming the area is not sold to another developer once it is approved for commercial zoning. 

A drive thru CVS may sound wonderful in theory. But this services one car at a time. We had one in my previous town and I used it once. As a brand new mom with an infant, I used it once.  It's not that exciting.  Perhaps we can focus more on something similar to Meals on Wheels in which volunteers could deliver necessary items and medications to the elderly of the town.  I did Meals on Wheels, I would do Medication on Wheels.

Vote NO.  If you're apathetic because this is so far from your home, vote no for me. Vote no for your children's friends who won't be able to bike to your house through this intersection.  Vote no for my grandparents whose dream to move to this beautiful town was fulfilled six years ago.  Whose dream to have my son walk to their house that will be compromised by the town's desire to have new shops.  Just like moving to this town was a no-brainer, it will be a no-brainer to move out.  We knew about the high taxes coming into this town.  We accepted them in anticipation of a safe and quiet area for our son.  Our house will certainly be appraised lower...hence lower taxes.  It simply doesn't make sense.

Vote no. If you have kids, vote no for their safety. If you don't have kids, vote no for my kids! And vote no so that new families continue to want to move here. Ten new families make up for the whopping 82k in anticipated taxes everyone can't wait to get. Don't be so short sighted!

I love this town. I grew up in this town. I want to stay in this town, vote NO on Tuesday.