Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Recent Posts

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Zoo Run Run at Brookfield Zoo

Registration is now open for Brookfield Zoo’s Zoo Run Run for the Animal Care and Conservation Fund, a 5K race that promises to be a wildly fun time on Sunday, September 21. Runners, walkers, adults, and children alike are invited to sprint, scamper, and stride past the animals at Brookfield Zoo during the annual fundraiser, which is dedicated to making a difference for animals across the globe.

Zoo Run Run features a choice between a 5K chip-timed run and a 5K fun run/walk. Proceeds from the event benefit the Chicago Zoological Society’s Animal Welfare and Conservation Fund, which supports research and education efforts around the world and at Brookfield Zoo, including the Society’s Center for the Science of Animal Welfare and the Center for Conservation Leadership.

“The fund is an important part of the Society’s conservation efforts and we certainly appreciate the efforts of the run’s participants who help raise significant donations,” said Stuart Strahl, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo.

The chip-timed run begins at 8:00 a.m. in the zoo’s Discovery Center parking lot, with the fun run/walk starting at 8:20 a.m. The course takes participants under a forest canopy of 100-year-old oak trees and continues past the American white pelicans at the Formal Pool,; the bison at Great Bear Wilderness; the giraffes, zebras, and camels along 31st Street; the kangaroos at Australia House; and the endangered black rhinos outside Pachyderm House. The final stretch of the run routes participants past the lions, sloth bears, tigers, and snow leopards.

Runners can register as individuals or maximize their fun by forming a race team. The more funds that participants raise for the Animal Welfare and Conservation Fund, the more prizes they win:

Anyone who raises $100 receives a special long-sleeve commemorative Zoo Run Run shirt.

Anyone who raises $250 receives a $25 Brookfield Zoo gift certificate plus the commemorative shirt

Anyone who raises $500 receives an additional $25 Brookfield Zoo gift certificate, a complimentary upgrade on his/her next purchased membership, plus the previous levels’ premiums

Anyone who raises $750 receives a voucher toward a Backstage Adventure experience at Brookfield Zoo, plus the previous levels’ premiums

Anyone who raises $1,000 receives two tickets to the Chicago Zoological Society’s Wines in the Wild, held on Saturday, October 18, 2014, plus the previous levels’ premiums

The top fundraiser for Zoo Run Run will receive a VIP Red Carpet Day of experiences at Brookfield Zoo, plus the previous levels’ premiums

In addition to individual fundraising prizes, teams are eligible to win prizes. Each team that raises $2,500 or more will receive a private reception for 20 that includes a unique animal experience at Brookfield Zoo. All members of teams are eligible to win the individual prizes listed above as well.

Registration for the chip-timed race is $35, and the fee for the fun run/walk is $30. (Members can enter a promo code to receive $5 off their pricing.) For participants who register on the event day, the fee is $40 for the chip-timed race and $35 for the fun run/walk (there is no member discount on race day). In addition, registered participants may bring family and friends to cheer them on and enjoy the zoo afterwards at no additional charge.

Zoo Run Run is presented by Walgreens, Aquafina, and Gatorade. Details of race packet pickup will be announced closer to the race date. For further information and to register as an individual or a team, go to CZS.org/ZooRunRun.

The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, inspires conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located off First Avenue between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA, and PACE bus service. For further information, visit www.CZS.org.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

LeapTV is Coming! The Perfect Educational Video Gaming System

LeapTV is available for pre-sale on September 2nd! We all know and love the LeapFrog brand and this is the biggest thing to come from the company...I am so excited!

This post is part of a sponsored campaign with LeapFrog and MomSelect. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, August 22, 2014

If You are a LeapFrog Fan, You Do Not Want to Miss This

We love LeapFrog products and you may have read my reviews of the LeapPad, so I am so excited to let you know that LeapTV is coming!  A brand that has been trusted by parents for so many years is still bringing you new products, ideas and ways for our children to learn while having fun.  LeapTV is available for pre-sale on September 2nd!

This post is part of a sponsored campaign with LeapFrog and MomSelect. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, August 18, 2014

LeapPad3 Review: Smart, Safe and Tough

Disclaimer: This post is part of a sponsored campaign with LeapFrog and MomSelect all opinions are my own.

LeapFrog  is a brand we all have heard of and many of us own at least one of their products.  They are a trusted name when it comes to fun, educational and innovative play for kids.  I remember having their product when I was young and now my children enjoy LeapFrog on a whole new level.

I was asked to review the LeapPad3 by LeapFrog and I had a feeling I would not be disappointed!  We had the original LeapPad when it came out and my kids played on it for hours, but when this one came in the mail we were thrilled to see some upgrades!

You might think, well what is the difference between this and any old tablet?  Well there are many differences, first, all the games and apps are educational, fun AND appropriate.  Plus this thing can be dropped and played with and you won't have to worry about it shattering into a million pieces.  Its just the right size (and thickness) for small hands and it has 2 cameras and video recording. I also love that this LeapPad3 (compared to the original we had) is rechargeable!  No more looking for batteries all the time.

The stylus on the LeapPad3 (again comparing to the first one) is much nicer and more durable and I like that it is attached to the LeapPad because my kids lose everything and it has its own little slot to put it into when not in use.  Games are easy to download, just plug it into your computer and follow the instructions.

Learning with the LeapPad3 is also personalized, based on their age and grade so that it appropriately challenges your child.  Their award-winning curriculum goes beyond core skills, drawing from 2,600 skills across subjects that reflect the Common Core State Standards tailored in fun ways.  Not only that but the cameras encourage kids to create and use their imaginations.  My son loves making mini movies with his LeapPad.  Kids can also explore 1000+ games, videos and prescreened web content approved by learning experts and you control App Center access and purchases.

This learning tablet is really a wonderful tool for any child, it is recommended for ages 3-9 and my son who is 7 really enjoys it.  It would make a wonderful gift for a boy or girl and is available for only $99.99 on Amazon.com (with free shipping for Prime members).

Friday, August 8, 2014

Best Buy Presents Audiofest Featuring Samsung @BestBuy #AudioFest

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

Everything is better when you're jamming out to music.  I love to put on Pandora when I'm cleaning the house or cooking, but my laptop speakers just can't cut it.  I could not wait to try out the Samsung Shape Wireless Audio System that Best Buy sent me.

Setting these up was super easy and the wireless hub just plugs into your wireless modem.  I dowloaded the Samsung  app and can control my speakers with my phone.  The kids thought it was so cool that I could change the music and volume from the other room.

What I love about this system is that it is expandable and you can control every aspect of your listening experience.  You can set the speakers up to play together, like surround sound, or you can set them up to play different things at the same time.  So you can put the speakers in different rooms and enjoy different tunes in each room.   Samsung makes it easy to enjoy Rhapsody, iHeartRadio, Pandora, Spotify, tunein, amazon cloudplayer and more. 

If you have been waiting to get your home equipped with a system that makes listening to music a total experience you have to head to Best Buy for Audiofest to check out their Samsung products.  Beginning 8/3/14 through 8/30/14 Best Buy will feature one month of deals audio specials, events & more.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Getting Our School Vaccines with Get a Shot Give a Shot

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

I never thought it would happen so quickly, I swear she was just starting kindergarten and BAM! it's time for middle school.  With this crazy transition comes a lot of school shopping and all the physicals and shots as well.  With Walgreens I can do everything in one place.  Walgreens is also doing their part to give back by offering the Get a Shot Give a Shot program.  How it works is right now through October 14th, when you get  any immunization at Walgreens or Healthcare Clinic, they will help provide a life-saving vaccine through the United Nations Foundation's Shot@Life Campaign.

Weather its whooping cough or the meningitis vaccine, for every shot you get they will give a life saving vaccination to a child in need.

One in five kids around the world goes without access to immunizations but now you can do your part by just taking your child to Walgreens for their back to school shots.  My daughter is due for her Tdap vaccine this year and she will be up to date on all of her immunizations.

My Beautiful Middle Schooler
Walgreens is staffed with  immunization-trained pharmacists and Healthcare Clinic nurse practitioners that can administer a wide range of CDC-recommended immunizations, no appointments are needed so its super quick and easy and most insurance policies are accepted.

For more information visit Walgreens.com/gobackhealthy  #GiveaShot #CollectiveBias

$150 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Welcome to the $150 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Event
Sponsored by Pure Crafted Beds
Pure Crafted Beds is a company who knows Beds. Their factory was started in 1946 and is still owned by the original family and into their third generation! They began by renovating porch furniture and mattresses in the 1940's, to a modern manufacturing facility located in Lansing, Michigan. They've been in business close to 70 years and have brought forth an amazing selection of products that will give you a great night's sleep. Your comfort is their business! Each bed is "hand-crafted" and they always strive to provide the best value for each customer, whether at $299 or $2,999. They carry two basic mattresses the TruEssence and TruSlumber. The only difference between the two beds is the core foam layer, and the TruSlumber bed does not have a base layer of foam. This helps reduce the overall height of the bed, which makes it perfect for children, bunk beds, and other situations where a thinner mattress is required! However the unsurpassed quality remains the same in both!


One of the most fantastic features of Pure Crafted Beds is their use of an innovative product called the Eco Shield Cover. Every Pure Crafted Bed has this unique EcoShield cover. This amazing cover is resistant to bed bugs, dust mites, mosquitoes, and moths... all without any artificial chemicals! ecoshield_banner

The proprietary EcoShield fabric is infused with Geraniol, a natural plant extract which provides all natural protection. Many anti-bed bug and dust mite products on the market today use synthetic chemicals. EcoShield® is the first product that is truly 100% natural, with no artificial chemical additives that uses a unique micro-capsule delivery system for long-lasting effects! Through a special process the Geraniol is infused into our EcoSheild® cover, and is slowly released over time as movement occurs on the mattress.

EcoShield® is Scientifically Proven!

To find out more on how these beds are made head over to the video below! Sleep equals health, Don't trust your sleep to just any mattress.

Thanks to Pure Crafted Beds One winner will get a $150 Amazon Gift card. Giveaway ends August 19 at 11:59pm, open to US ages 18+. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck!
Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact Elia@mompoweredmedia.com if you have any additional questions or comments.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Kids CAN Cook: Easy to Make Snacks

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. 

With back to school time creeping up on me, I'm coming to grips with the fact that, GASP! I'm going to have a middle schooler this year!  I know, I definitely DO NOT look old enough to have a child that old, but that is my reality.  Although I love when my kids go back to school, it is always such a chaotic time at our house. I also go back to my second job at the elementary school so we are constantly rushing around.  Now that my daughter is older, I can give her more responsibility around the house, like making an after school meal for herself and her little brother.  She knows how to turn on the over and read directions so I'm pretty sure she can handle this task!

I went to Walmart to pick up some easy to make (but delicious) foods to stock the freezer with.   My son is a pretty picky eater but I knew two foods that he would not say no to, Bagel Bites, made with real cheese and homemade sauce (and 0g trans fat) and Delimex.

And it was a good thing that we got the groceries when we did because someone was starving after cheer practice, and a smaller someone was hungry after swimming lessons.  So I put the older someone to work!

Since she already knows how to work the oven, the only thing she had to do was read the box to find out what temperature to set it to, put the Bagel Bites and Delimex taquitos on the baking pan and stick the pan in the oven.  This might not seem like a big task, but when you are running as much as I do, any small help is AMAZING.  Asking her to help me with tasks around the house teaches her responsibility which is so important at her age. 

My daughter has been asking me if she can start babysitting, and although I'm not sure I'm ready for that step yet, I know that if it ever comes down to it she will be able to cook something easy for herself and the kids she is watching.  Teaching her basic skills, like how to make herself an after school snack, really makes her so much more independent. Needless to say both kids polished off the entire box of Bagel Bites and a couple of the taquitos as well.

Of course it's always great when you can impress your little brother with your mean cooking skills AND get a delicious easy to make snack for yourself! #CollectiveBias  #AfterSchoolSnacks

Friday, July 18, 2014

Top 5 Uses for Mr. Clean Magic Erasers for Ladies {Not Just For Cleaning Walls Anymore} Plus Giveaway

If you have ever used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to get marks off of your walls, you have probably been amazed at how well it worked and how easy it was to use.  But have you ever wondered if Magic Erasers have any other uses?

Yes, they do...

As a matter of fact, these powerful little erasers have TONS of other uses that you may not have thought of. They are literally the most handy dandy little cleaning tool around.  Don't believe me?  Here is a list of 5 uses for Mr. Clean Magic Erasers that you may not have ever heard of (but now you will never forget!)

1.  Cleaning your flat iron or curling iron.  If your styling tools have product build up, you need to wipe them down with the Magic Erasers.  Good as new.

2.  Getting Hair Dye out of Bathroom Surfaces.  If you splatter your hair dye all over your bathroom sink or counter Mr. Clean Erasers will get the stains out of hard bathroom surfaces.

3.  Getting lipstick Stains off Glassware.  You run your wine glasses through the dishwasher but they lipstick stains don't budge?  Try a wipe with a Magic Eraser and the marks are history.

4.  Nail Polish Spills.  Quickly remove nail polish spills from granite or laminate counter tops

5.  Cleans Your Sneakers.  If your sneakers look like they've seen better days, wipe them down with a Magic Eraser and have them looking like new.


One of my luck winners will win some Mr. Clean Magic Erasers!  All you have to do is follow the directions on the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Mr. Clean. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review and compensation, but all opinions are 100% mine."

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Back to School Tech Giveaway: Win a Chromebook!

Its almost back to school time, can you believe it?  I am not ready to be done with summer but I do like to get prepared early for the school year ahead.

At Mom Powered Media, we believe in higher education and want to help our network readers get there. To help you do just that, we are giving one lucky reader a $500 Visa Gift Card and HP 14″ Chromebook PC.

There will also be 20 second place winners to take home Back To School Prize Packages. So what are you waiting for? Let's get BTS ready, tech-style!

Special thank you to our supporting co-host bloggers: Monica's Rants, Raves & Reviews, The Jenny Evolution, Memoirs of a Clueless Woman, My Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Life, My Daylights, Barbara's Beat, Saving You Dinero, Shaping Up To Be A Mom, Robyn's View, Coupons and Freebies Mom, A Hen's Nest, Budget Savvy Diva, Mutterings Of A Mindless Mommy, Your Sassy Self and Nest Full of New.

Open your sleek, next-generation HP Pavilion 14-Q020NR 14" Chromebook PC to get online, fast. You can access your favorite websites and Google Chrome apps on the 14-inch diagonal HD display in seconds. HP 14″ Chromebook PC features:
  • Intel Celeron 2955U Dual-Core processor 1.40GHz
  • 2GB DDR3 SDRAM system memory
  • 16GB solid state drive
  • 802.11a/b/g/n Wireless LAN
  • Intel HD GMA Graphics
  • Webcam
  • SD memory card reader
  • 1 x USB 2.0 port, 1 x USB 3.0 port, 1 x HDMI port, 1 x Acer converter port
  • 3-cell lithium polymer battery for up to 8.5 hours run time
  • 2.76 lbs, 0.8" x 11.3" x 8"
  • Genuine Google Chrome OS Software

One grand prize winner will receive a $500 Visa Gift Card and HP 14″ Chromebook PC. Twenty additional winners will also receive a Back To School Prize Package.

Giveaway ends August 15th at 11:59pm, open to US and Canadian residents, ages 18+. Excludes Quebec. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck!

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact teri@mompoweredmedia.com if you have any additional questions or comments.