Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pet Bloggers Blog Hop!

Joining the pet bloggers blog hop this week for the first time! I always talk about life with Logan, our Great Dane, on Thursdays (in case you're looking)! Thanks for stopping by! If you start following me, let me know and I'll return the favor!




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Book Review: Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall & Denver Moore

Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together

Books rarely evoke emotion in me as I read them, and I would have to say that I typically lean away from books that list themselves in the Christian/Reglious literature genre because I don’t like to be preached to as I read. Same Kind of Different As Me, by Ron Hall and Denver Moore,  took me a little while to get into, the first couple chapters confused me since I really couldn’t differentiate which character was talking and as I read further in the book I realized that each chapter alternated between the two main characters. Once I got past that, the book was an easy read and I finished it in just a couple of hours (I’m not a fast reader and I typically get bored). I hadn’t really researched much about the book before reading it but was surprised at how much I already knew about the places discussed in the book.


I have taken the wrong turns, missed my exit, and visited the area that the mission that is discussed is located in Fort Worth. I have passed the lines of homeless making the almost parade like walk for meals at the mission and seen the homeless on Lancaster Avenue as I dropped off food and pet supplies at the SPCA before the holidays last year. I have driven through Louisiana and Mississippi and passed the wooden shacks at the edges of the cotton fields and remember visiting the cotton fields as a child in southern Texas and talking to the men, women, and children that worked the fields as they hands me bolls to touch. I don’t know if that’s why the book caused more emotion in me than most stories or the love between a husband and wife and how that fades and grows through the years and how life experiences and tragedy can bring people together. Although the book talks about prayer and hope and God, it doesn’t preach at you as you read, Christianity is more an underlying theme throughout the story. I really appreciated the story, the ability to love others as if they were family, and the renewed feeling that everyone ends up in their particular situation for reasons we may not always understand. The book was well-written and truly evoked a sense of knowing each character in the book.

Same Kind of Different As Me was published in paperback in March 2008 and can be purchased on Amazon and at your local bookstore.

Disclosure:  I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Surfin' Saturdays - Facebook Hop (Week 4)

Welcome to the 4th Surfin' Saturdays hosted by Chubby Cheeks Thinks, Two Monkeys & a Washtub, And Then There Were Four and  The Coupon Challenge! Each week we will be surfin' a different social network. You will have to check back every Saturday to see where we will be! One week it may be a facebook hop and then the next an email hop! It will be lots of fun and you will get to meet new people and see old friends as well!
 

We kindly ask that you follow these simple requests

  1. Follow the hostesses in the first four spots (We will follow you back! Just please leave a comment letting us know that you are following us!)
  2. Please only link up the network that is being hopped that specific week.
  3. No spam please. These will be removed. 
  4. It would be wonderful if you are linking up this week if you could add our button to your sidebar or in a post to help spread the word! :) The more people that join, the more fun it will be!
  5. If someone follows you please feel free to follow them back! If you follow me and leave a comment you are guaranteed a follow back!
This is a new list every Saturday, so please remember to come back and link up!





THIS WEEK IS FACEBOOK WEEK! LINK UP YOUR BLOG WITH YOUR FACEBOOK URL LINK!
Don't forget to enter my great giveaways while you're here too!
Breyer Ice Cream - 2 winners - 8/6
SmartyRents.com - 5 winners win a 3 month subscription (like Netflix(R) for Leapfrog and VTech) - 8/8
Near East Food Products - 2 winners - 8/12




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Review & Giveaway: Doggie Doo Drain...the eco-friendly waste disposal system!

This giveaway has ended!  Thanks for visiting!
I received the Doggie Doo Drain to review earlier this month, and was surprised at the ease of installation and use!  I really wanted to try it out for a couple weeks before reviewing it to check out its durability in these hot Texas summers!  It really is as simple (no plumber needed for installation, simply screw it in and you're ready - just don't overtighten) as noted on the Doggie Doo Drain website and so far has lived up to the Texas summer heat!  We are always scooping the poop in our yard to keep it clean for the kids, but didn't like the idea of sending it to the landfill so the Doggie Doo Drain was a great solution!  Essentially the Doggie Doo Drain acts like a human waste system, flushing your dog's waste down the sewer line (with the help of a hose) to the waste water treatment plant where it is properly treated and disposed of!  If you have a dog, this is truly the answer to responsible pet ownership!
I only wish out sanitary sewer cleanout was located in the backyard instead of the front yard!  To get around this issue at our house, we invested in a $5, 5 gallon bucket to cart the pet waste to the front for disposal.  I am so jealous of anyone with a sewer cleanout in their backyard right about now!  We also found that adding a little water as your are scooping the pet waste into the drain completely avoids any potential clogging but be careful of backspray as you wash the pet waste down the Doggie Doo DrainDoggie Doo Drains encourages eco-friendly pet waste removal and has sent me a second Doggie Doo Drain to give away to one lucky reader...keep reading for details!  Plus it really blends with most landscaping...I used the picture from Doggie Doo Drains because our sewer cleanout is actually hidden behind a rose bush and a crepe myrtle tree so you wouldn't be able to see the Doggie Doo Drain in place (can we say slightly overgrown?).


Giveaway Details:
This giveaway will end on August 25th at 9:30PM Central.  I will contact the winner by email who will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.  You must complete the mandatory entry for any extra entries to count (and I do check)!

Mandatory Entry:
Visit Doggie Doo Drains and let me know something you found out about the company or the system! 
You must complete this step for the extra entries to count!

Extra Entries:
(if it states 2 extra entries, leave 2 comments, 3 extra entries, leave 3, etc.)

1. Follow Two Monkeys & a Washtub via Google Friend Connect (2 extra entries)
(if you already follow, just let me know)

2. Like Two Monkeys & a Washtub on Facebook (3 extra entries)

3.Follow monkeyswashtub on Twitter (2 extra entries)

4. Tweet about this giveaway leaving the link in a comment (you can tweet 2x a day (at least 1 hour apart) and grab an extra entry with each tweet!)

" Dog Lover's #Win Doggie Doo Drain @monkeyswashtub http://goo.gl/fb/etBQD ! #giveaway ends 8/25 "

5. Subscribe to my blog via email or RSS (2 entries for each, you can do both)

6. Follow this blog on Networked Blogs (5 extra entries)

7. Enter this giveaway into a linky and leave me the link where to find it! (5 entries for each linky entered)

8. Blog about this giveaway and leave a link to it. (5 Entries)

9. Enter any of my other giveaways (1 Entry for each giveaway)

10. Grab my NEW button over there on the left. It must be the new one or the entry won't count and leave me a link to where I can find it on your page. (3 Entries)

Disclosure:  I received the Doggie Doo Drain from Doggie Doo Drains in exchange for my honest review and opinion.   No additional compensation was received. 
The reviews above are my honest opinion and my differ from others.

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Friday's Kid Tested Recipe - SmorgasBowls!

I hate sneaking food into my children's diets, so I thought I would share some of the recipes that I make with my kids (ages 3 & 2)! When kids help cook, they rarely avoid the food because they helped to make it! I'll try to note steps that even the youngest children can help with in the kitchen! This is definitely the recipe for you, even if you don't have kids!  Kids can help with almost all of this recipe, so let them learn after you prep the berries!

SmorgasBowls!

What you'll need to make it!
Pretty much whatever you have on hand that's "dry" and works great for using up the end of boxes of cereal in our house! Some of our house favorites for SmorgasBowls include:

Pretzels (rods or small twists)
Raisins
Craisins
Dried Bananas
Other Dried Fruits
M&M's
Cheez Its
Honey Nut Cheerios
Kashi Cereal (yes my kids love this cereal as a finger food)
Fiber One Carmel Delight Cereal (yes they love this too)
Nuts (if your kids like them, mine don't yet)

How to make it!
Mix all the random bits and pieces you have on hand in a bowl and serve! We typically stick with two or three ingredients, a salty, a sweet, and a favorite. For road trips we make a large bag and use dixie cups to serve it up! This works great for road trips and after school snacks too!


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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Friday Blog Hopping Fun!

Join in on the fun, find some great new blogs to read, and make some new friends in the Blogosphere!

New Friend FridaysSmart and Trendy Momsfriday-follow


Visiting? Let me know how you found Two Monkeys & a Washtub and where you hang out on the web so I can friend you back! Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to enter my giveaways while you're here!

Breyers Ice Cream - 2 winners (8/6)
SmartyRents.com - 5 winners (8/8) - it's like Netflix(R) for Leapfrog and VTech games
Near East Foods - 2 winners (8/12)
EasyLunchBox - (8/15)

Thanks for coming and come back tomorrow for
Surfin' Saturdays!

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Today, I'm stealing your bed mom!

As I said last week, when the cat poops on your bed you steal the cat's bed...but when your bed gets thrown out because the cat pees on your bed after it's been washed...well then you steal mom's bed! Logan even slightly opened one eye just to see how long he could get away with sleeping on the bed before being sent to the sofa (hey at least he gets the sofa)!  I think he prefers our Tempur-Pedic mattress anyday based on the amount of black hair that accumulates on the comforter!

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Thursday Blog Hops!

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Thanks for stopping by! Thanks again to Traci66 and Heck of A Bunch for giving me that #3 spot this week at Keepin' Company Thursdays!

Be sure to enter my giveaways while you're here and there are always bonus entries for following!
Breyers Ice Cream - 2 winners (8/6)
SmartyRents.com - 5 winners (8/8) - it's like Netflix(R) for Leapfrog and VTech games
Near East Foods - 2 winners (8/12)

Leave a comment letting me know you're following and I'll follow you back!  Thanks again for stopping by to visit!

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Yeah - I'm in the #3 spot at Keepin' Company Thursday!

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Thanks so much to Terra at Heck of A Bunch and Traci at Traci66 for the #3 spot during Keepin' Company Thursdays! I am so excited to be a part of it! Don't forget to link up your blog to this great blog hop if you haven't already! If you're stopping by from Keeping' Company Thursday and you choose to Follow Me, leave me a comment and let me know - I love checking out new blogs, making new friends, and of course, following back!

So go ahead and link up!  While you're here, check out my giveaways!  I'd love it if you enter them!


Thanks again ladies!
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Review & Giveaway: EasyLunchBoxes.com - your back to school lunch box, kids lunch box, or Bento lunch box for you! - CLOSED

This giveaway has ended!  Thanks for visiting!
With my oldest in preschool for the second year, we have been looking for healthy alternatives to the lunchables we always packed last year. He will be going to a peanut-free school this year so we needed something that would do double duty for packing healthy and nutriuous foods without too many containers to lose or keep track of and that's when I found EasyLunchBoxes.com!  I am so happy that Kelly was happy to send me a set of 4 containers and a cooler bag to review! When I received my EasyLunchBox (containers and cooler bag), I was surprised that the containers were safe for refrigerator, freezer, microwave & dishwasher (yes, dishwasher - bottom rack too! - my favorite appliance). The cooler bag is oversized, so you can easily fit one container plus a small thermos and have extra room (like for a piece of fresh fruit or an ice pack).

We've been testing these containers out with our lunches for work over the past couples weeks and I will have a hard time sharing once his school starts up in a few weeks!  We also packed up three containers with lunch and snacks for a family trip to the Dallas Zoo (a cooler bag can hold up to three containers at one time)!  Our kids (ages 2 & 4) had no problem opening the containers even though they were sealed tightly shut!

My son will be in school three days this fall, so I am planning to pack his lunches on Sunday night so that they are ready to go each day and we aren't reaching for something last minute on our way out the door! I love the durability of the containers and the ability to pack the containers like Bento Boxes so he will have little bits of things he loves (like fruits and a treat) and a larger entree. We even bought his backpack to match (in red, his favorite color)!

With three containers packed for him, that leaves one container for me - I am so excited! I am hoping that with continued use of these containers (and I'll be buying more) that I will be able to pack healthier lunches with better portion control to help me achieve my weight loss goals this year!

Ready to buy your own? Head on over to EasyLunchBoxes.com and pick up a set of 4 containers and a cooler bag! You'll definitely want the cooler bag too! It's a little larger than most, but it perfectly holds the containers and additional goodies (like a thermos or fresh fruit)!

Kelly has graciously offered to send and EasyLunchBox (a cooler (in the winner's color choice) and a set of four containers) to one winner!

Giveaway Details:
This giveaway will end on August 15th at 9:30PM Central.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will have to be chosen.  (US Entries Only)

Mandatory Entry:
Visit EasyLunchBoxes.com and tell me at least one thing you learned about the product, the owner, or a favorite lunch idea featured on the site!  All entries will be verified before a winner is chosen and you must complete the mandatory entry for any extra entries to count!

Extra Entries:
(if it states 2 extra entries, leave 2 comments, 3 extra entries, leave 3, etc.)

1. Follow Two Monkeys & a Washtub via Google Friend Connect (2 extra entries)
(if you already follow, just let me know)

2. Like Two Monkeys & a Washtub on Facebook (2 extra entries)

3.  Like EasyLunchBoxes on Facebook (2 extra entries)
(please let them know Two Monkeys & a Washtub sent you!)

4.Follow monkeyswashtub on Twitter (1 extra entries)

5.  Follow EasyLunchBoxes on Twitter (1 extra entries)

6. Tweet about this giveaway leaving the link in a comment (you can tweet 2x a day (at least 1 hour apart) and grab an extra entry with each tweet!)

" #Win an EasyLunchBox @monkeyswashtub @EasyLunchBoxes ! http://goo.gl/fb/kp5zy #giveaway ends 8/15 "

7. Subscribe to my blog via email or RSS (2 entries for each, you can do both)

8. Follow this blog on Networked Blogs (5 extra entries)

9. Enter this giveaway into a linky and leave me the link where to find it! (5 entries for each linky entered)

10. Blog about this giveaway and leave a link to it. (5 Entries)

11. Enter any of my other giveaways (1 Entry for each giveaway)

12. Grab my NEW button over there on the left. It must be the new one or the entry won't count and leave me a link to where I can find it on your page. (3 Entries)

Disclosure:  I received an EasyLunch Box (cooler and set of 4 containers) from EasyLunchBoxes.com in exchange for my honest review and opinions.  No additional compensation was received.  The reviews above are my honest opinion and my differ from others.


This giveaway has ended!  Thanks for visiting!

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Review & Giveaway: Corel Paint it! - CLOSED

This giveaway has ended!  Thanks for visiting!
Recently, I had the opportunity to try out Corel Paint it! (courtesy of Corel and a pitch on The Product Review Place).  I was really excited to try out Corel Paint it! because I remembered back to college when I took a 1-credit course to boost my GPA and it was all about Corel products and I loved how easy they were to use but I hadn't used them since and it's been almost over 10 years (gasp!).  I am attached to Photoshop(R), even if I don't know how to use 75% of it, so I was grateful for the ease of use that is offered by Corel Paint it!  I opted to use a picture of Logan that has a fair amount of detail, but because he's a black dog, I find it can be harder to modify/edit correctly (at least for me) in Adobe(R) Photoshop. 
Logan's pictures untouched - I opted for a photo with lots of details in the background and foreground.  I have also noticed with other programs that black dogs are sometimes hard to capture well! (outside of Adobe(R) , other programs meaning programs meant to simplify changing a photograph into a "painting").
Using the Detailed Watercolor feature and no additional touch-ups, I think this picture looks really great.  There is still a lot of detail on his face, but the background is appropriately washed out.  With one simple click of a button, the program made all the changes that would have taken me hours in Photoshop!

This time, I opted for the oil painting.  I like the texture in the piece and am amazed that there is still a lot of detail in Logan's face and the flowers.  I did no additional touch-ups after using this option.  There are multiple other painting, pastels, and sketch options available but these were two of my favorites with this picture!

I haven't tried the program on pictures of my kids yet, but I am impressed on the ability to truly "automagically" transform pictures into paintings.  I have a fast computer, and it worked on this image about 5-10 minutes for each painting option, but it's still no effort on my part in comparison to Photoshop!  I also like the ability to restore certain features of your photo, so if you didn't like the painting effect on a face, you could restore the photo look for the eyes, nose, and mouth!  In addition, Corel Paint it! allows you to save the images in file formats that can be used in other programs, so you don't have to worry about your ability to upload, print, and/or edit using other software.  Overall, I think any of these options would look great printed on canvas (or another medium, we just like finished canvas) and hung in our home!

If you really want the ability to transform your photographs, this program is for you!  You can purchase the Corel Paint it! in stores, online, or directly from Corel for $39.99 or keep reading and you might win your own copy to "automagically" transform your photographs!

Giveaway details:
This giveaway will end on August 17th at 9:30pm Central.  One winner will have 48-hours to respond or a new winner will have to be chosen. (US Entries Only)

Mandatory Entry:

Visit Corel Paint It! and let me know something you learned about the program (i.e., system requirements, types of painting styles (excl. watercolor and oil), or some of the creative effects)!
You must complete the mandatory entry for the extra entries to count!

Extra Entries:
(if it states 2 extra entries, leave 2 comments, 3 extra entries, leave 3, etc.)

1. Follow Two Monkeys & a Washtub via Google Friend Connect (2 extra entries)
(if you already follow, just let me know)

2. Like Two Monkeys & a Washtub on Facebook (3 extra entries)

3.Follow monkeyswashtub on Twitter (2 extra entries)

4. Tweet about this giveaway leaving the link in a comment (you can tweet 2x a day (at least 1 hour apart) and grab an extra entry with each tweet!)

" #Win Corel Paint it! @monkeyswashtub http://goo.gl/fb/k23BZ !  #giveaway ends 8/17 "

6. Subscribe to my blog via email or RSS (2 entries for each, you can do both)

7. Follow this blog on Networked Blogs (5 extra entries)

8. Enter this giveaway into a linky and leave me the link where to find it! (5 entries for each linky entered)

9. Blog about this giveaway and leave a link to it. (5 Entries)

10. Enter any of my other giveaways (1 Entry for each giveaway)

11. Grab my NEW button over there on the left. It must be the new one or the entry won't count and leave me a link to where I can find it on your page. (3 Entries)

Please note that I do not normally ship items from my home and therefore cannot be liable for missing wins.  Please allow time for the products to be shipped from the company. 

Disclosure:  I received the Corel Paint it! from Corel for my honest reviews and opinions on the product.  No additional compensation was received.  The reviews above are my honest opinion and my differ from others.

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Book Review: How to Choose the Best Preschool For Your Child

How to Choose the Best Preschool for Your Child: The Ultimate Guide to Finding, Getting Into, and Preparing for Nursery School

As a full-time working mom, one of the more stressful times so far has been choosing the right preschool. We started small with our oldest son (almost 4) while waiting to get into the school we wanted this coming fall. He loved his small preschool and we were lucky because he had a great teacher! I was really excited when I got the opportunity to review How to Choose the Best Preschool for Your Child through Family Review Network prior to choosing a preschool for our youngest son (age 2)!

How to Choose the Best Preschool for Your Child: The Ultimate Guide to Finding, Getting Into, and Preparing for Nursery School will save you lots of online research time since it gives you insight into the popular preschool programs from child-centered to teacher-directed, breaks down the key criteria to consider when choosing a preschool, and helps you find a high-quality preschool in your area whether you are in a small town or a large city. What I liked best about this book is that it will really work whether you are in a small town or a large metropolitan area. I think if you are in a smaller town/city you are less likely to find long application forms, admissions interviews, and competitive programs that are discussed in the book but there is still plenty to assist you in understanding the preschool programs.

The book also helps you focus your attention on what's important to you as a parent and how your child will best learn in a preschool environment. I thought the book provided great insights into the process needed to navigate preschool and prepare your child for their first day. The book also includes a discussion on how to become an involved parent regardless of your time committments outside of school. If you are about to navigate the selection process for preschool, I suggest you pick up a copy of this book!

Disclosure: This post was written for Family Review Network & Sourcebooks who provided the complimentary product in exchange for my honest review. The reviews are mine and may differ from others.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Blog Hop Tuesdays!

LittleYayasTuesday Tag-Along
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While you're here enter my giveaways!

And don't forget to come back on Saturday to join us for Surfin' Saturdays!  Each week we surf a different social network so come back and link up!
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Disclosure Policy

This policy is valid from 17 April 2009. This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact baileypoo at gmail dot com. This blog does accept some forms of advertising, free products, sponsorship, or paid insertions. I write for my own purposes. However, I may be influenced by my background, occupation, religion, political affiliation or experience.

This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. I believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.

The owner of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

To get your own policy, go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org/


Copyright

Copyright (c)2009-2011 twomonkeysawashtub.blogspot.com. Blog posts are legally protected by copyright, the same way books, magazines and newspapers are. If you find content or deals here which are helpful, feel free to quote a few phrases (but please link back to the original post). Please do not reprint an entire blog post, in electronic or print form without asking first (baileypoo [at] gmail [dot] com). Thanks so much!



Helping the environment...

About Me

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I'm a wife and working mom of two beautiful young boys! I am lucky enough to have my mom watch the boys while I work so I can be a mom and have a career!

Other companies I review for:

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