Thursday, August 16, 2018

Back to School Giveaway! Enter to Win a $45 Amazon Gift Card!

Proper hydration is vital for kids who need to stay alert during the school day. This is something that is often overlooked when trying to figure out what is causing the problems for some kids at school. Their concentration levels are off and doctors are quick to prescribe pharmaceuticals to 'solve' the 'problem'. But what if the problem is as simple as your kids just having enough water to drink?

What is Gululu? Gululu was developed by Bowhead Technology as an interactive water bottle that keeps children hydrated while allowing parents to monitor daily water-drinking progress through an easy to use smartphone app. Gululu provides a technology-enabled solution with a learning-through-play mechanism to address issues pertaining to children’s well being.

The water bottle tracks hydration and encourages the child to drink with the help of an educational pet-growing game DIRECTLY ON THE BOTTLE! As kids consume more water from their Gululu bottle, their virtual pet grows and unlocks new worlds and adventures at the “Gululu Universe." Gululu also has an automatic software and content update system that continuously rolls out new features to keep children engaged.

Back to School Must-Haves! Gululu Interactive Water Bottle with Hydration Tracking App for Parents! This great water bottle even has school-time settings!

Gululu's Greater Purpose:

Gululu's mission and contribution is to help children all over the world stay healthy and hydrated! To advance their goal, for every Gululu bottle purchased, a child in a developing country will be provided with clean drinking water! This initiative was created through a partnership with, a humanitarian organization that provides sustainable solutions to the global water crisis, one community at a time. Joining forces with has allowed Gululu to offer programs focused on educating kids on social responsibility and initiate water-well projects for developing countries.
Want to know more? Gululu has been featured in leading global media publications in over 20 countries. Among them are TechCrunch, Yahoo, Vogue, and Forbes that declared Gululu as a “Top 5 best kids’ gadgets.”

Enter to Win a $45 Gift Card from Gululu!

Gululu is giving away a $45 Gift Card to one lucky winner to
help you prepare for the upcoming school year!

Enter to Win an Amazon Gift Card from Gululu during the Back to School Giveaway at Mommy's PlaybooK! #EntertoWin #GululuBTS18

Quick Features!

Gululu is an amazing interactive water bottle that provides children with an entertaining reminder to stay hydrated. Parents love it because it doesn't require anything extra from them. All you have to do is wash Gululu after each use, allow it to air dry (baby bottle racks are a great drying solution to keep the lid and bottle together). Kids can easily charge Gululu overnight or between sips as the bottle just rests on the charging cradle when not in use. Take a look at the quick features that highlights why you'll love Gululu too:
  • Monitor children's daily water-drinking progress through your smartphone
  • Grow and evolve with a virtual ‘tamagotchi-like’ virtual pet
  • Experience continuous content updates through an automatic software update system to keep children engaged
  • Parents can utilize “Do Not Disturb” and “Bedtime” modes to be sure the Gululu Pet isn't distracting during learning or rest times.
  • Learn-Through-Play, embark on a journey of health, rewards, and adventures within the “Gululu universe”
  • Connect with friends by syncing to nearby bottles and stay connected with the cloud-based app. Durable, safe, and waterproof with a modular design and easy-to-clean spout that makes maintenance simple BPA-free
Other important features:
  • Monthly themes: Every couple of weeks, Gululu introduces additional features, such as new online campaigns, drinking animations, pet accessories, sound effects, and more. These exciting additions are all automatically updated into the bottle through the cloud.
  • Gululu Universe Journey: Children can redeem accessories for their pets with the virtual coins collected along their journey of discovering the Gululu Universe.
  • Virtual pets: A fourth virtual pet, (Donny), was released at the end of March. More characters are expected to be added soon to expand the population of the “Gululu universe.”
Back to School Giveaway at Mommy's Playbook! #GululuBTS2018
One lucky reader will win a $45 Amazon Gift Card from Gululu!

The giveaway is open US Only, 18+
The giveaway ends 9/1 at 11:59pm EST

Be sure to come back daily for more chances to win.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The evil of 301. Plus one.

Jesus wept

My emotions are raw tonight. I feel tattered, bruised. There are over 1,000 innocent children who have come into the light as adults, revealing that which was hidden in darkness. A confession of sorts, but it is not the victims who need absolution and no amount of Our Fathers or Hail Marys will erase the dark blot of sin perpetrated by so-called men of God.

The Grand Jury released its report today, naming 301 priests in Pennsylvania who have been accused of sexually abused boys and girls in their parishes. Over one thousand boys and girls. This is unthinkable.

The live feed came across Facebook today as I sat at my desk and I allowed it to play in the background as I worked. But it could not, it would not, remain in the background as I heard the stories -- the horror stories -- of what happened to some of these victims. I heard of lives destroyed by these evil, evil men. And I wept. I wept for the children. I wept for the brokenness of the nation. I wept for God, knowing that many would place blame on Him, the very one who was broken and died for our brokenness.

And I wept for my younger self... the child I was before such evil befell me as an eight-year-old. No, it was not a man of God who hurt me, but it was a trusted neighbor. And my parents were oblivious as they left me in his care, as he molested, raped, and threatened me.

"If you tell anyone, you won't go to heaven when you die. You know that, right?"

My innocent little heart believed him. Heaven was conditional and I really wanted to go there someday. So my tainted lips were sealed. And my bloody underwear was buried underneath rotting tomatoes in the garbage can in the garage. My mother never asked what happened to the pretty white underwear with the yellow stitching.

And today, I wept. For strangers' children. And for the little girl I used to be. I haven't felt the need to revisit this part of my life in a long time. But today, uninvited, it covered me with its heavy cloak and at times I felt like I couldn't breathe in its darkness.

I don't have answers. Today, I just have an overwhelming feeling of grief.

Sharing my heart,

Photo courtesy of

Friday, July 6, 2018

Single stream recycling -- what does that mean?

Occasionally, I run into someone who doesn't recycle. Quite honestly, that dumbfounds me. Even if your apartment building/community/office/workplace doesn't recycle (infuriating thought), each one of us can act responsibly and recycle anyway. Every week, I haul recycling home with me because there isn't any recycling at my office. But just because there isn't a recycling pickup here, it doesn't excuse me from my duty to care for this incredible planet of ours. Right?

I stumbled upon this video about single stream recycling (where you put everything into one bin) and I thought I'd share it with you. NOTE: you should never put plastic bags into your recycling bin. They can clog up the belts. Dump your clean recycling into the bin loose, not bagged. We bag our paper, but only in paper bags, never plastic.

I hope this video is useful in your understanding of the recycling process. Enjoy!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Going Green on Father's Day

Father's Day 2018. As I reflect back on the day, I cannot help but offer up praise to God for gifting me with so much.

Deb and me October 2003

It's been a rough couple of weeks. I lost a dear friend of 43 years, thanks in part to wrong diagnoses starting in January. Deb and I were best friends in college and later shared an apartment together here in Pittsburgh. She had a vibrant smile that lit up a room whenever she entered it. She was How can she be gone? It's a question that runs through my mind daily.

In addition to that devastating loss, I had my own potential health crisis. A breast cancer scare that had me at the Cancer Institute at Allegheny General Hospital this past Friday. The tests were painful, but the news was good, with the radiologist telling me that he was 90% sure I had nothing to worry about. I'll take it. It was good to focus on other things this weekend.

Which brings us to today. After church, I came home and tended to brunch. I made a French Toast Casserole in the crock pot, which I turned on early this morning. I threw two hash brown casseroles in the oven (one with onions, one without for the grandkids), and I prepared my mixture for a big batch of scrambled eggs. I had prepared almost everything last night, including cutting chives from my garden to sprinkle over the eggs. It was a lot of work, but it was done in love and gratitude.

Father's Day 2018
Watching my husband as he was surrounded by his kids and grandkids for Father's Day was... I don't know how to express it. It was a bit overwhelming in some ways because we almost lost him back in October. Seeing the love poured out toward him is something I don't ever want to take for granted. So many grandparents rarely see their grandchildren, due to distance of location or distance of heart. Broken or strained relationships cause chasms hard to cross. The fact that we get to see our grandchildren for every holiday and often in between means the world to me.

As I was getting ready for church this morning, I thought of our new-ish neighbor across the street who was going to be alone today. Her mother died two weeks ago and I know how hard that is. So I decided to invite her to join us today and she did. That, too, was a blessing.

Now on to the green stuff. We had eight adults and five children here for brunch and did not use any single-use products. Not a one. I've gathered enough metal plates through the years to serve 24, so there is never a need for paper plates for picnics. We have at least 100 cloth napkins, some of which my mom made many years ago. She's the one who taught me that paper napkins were unnecessary. We certainly have enough flatware to skip the plastic, and we have plenty of mugs for coffee, glasses for water and iced tea, and champagne flutes for mimosas (after all, we had a lot to celebrate today).

Clean up was more work without the paper and plastic products that could easily be pitched into the trash and recycling, but I'll sleep well tonight knowing I did not only serve my family well today, but I served the earth well, too. And that, my friends, is what being a green grandma is all about!

I encourage you to find your own ways to cut down on waste.

Keeping it green with a heart full of gratitude,

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Dads Who Rock CD Collection Giveaway!

Remember the Moms Who Rock giveaway? Well, Dads rock, too. So here's a giveaway just for them!

Sponsored By: Sugar Mountain PR

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Winner Will Receive: 

A collection of wonderful "Dads Who Rock" CDs! 


Sugar Mountain PR is a public relations agency specializing in award-winning music and other media for children.
Open To US and must be 18+ to enter

Giveaway Dates  
6/9 9:00 AM EST through 7/7 11:59PM EST

Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

prAna Review -- It doesn't get better than this!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received product and/or compensation in exchange for my honest opinion.

I have a confession. I hate my body. I know, I know... I shouldn't feel that way. We're supposed to embrace the unique bodies we have, blah, blah, blah. It's just not happening with me. And as I get older, it doesn't seem to be getting any better. 

Of course, I could diet and exercise and that would help. Yeah, I know that. I keep meaning to do so. 

Here's the problem with my body. Well, one of the problems. Maybe you'll see yourself in this one. I have relatively small hips and next to no butt. And when I do lose weight, that's where I lose it first!

Wait... do I hear her complaining about small hips??

If, and I mean if, I had a small waist, those narrow hips would be dandy. Therein lies the problem. I don't have a small waist. It measures the same, if not bigger, than my hip measurement. What am I -- a guy?

So... in order to get pants that fit nicely on my butt and thighs (which are admittedly thin), I have to find the perfect pants. I fit into junior's low-to-mid-rise jeans in a size 11. But if I have to wear pants that close comfortably at the waist, I'm up to a 14-16 and my butt and thighs swim laps. 

Leggings used to be the answer, but now I struggle with most of them because, here it comes, they roll when I sit. Yep, the waistband curls up and works its way across my flabby belly. NOT comfortable. Not at all.

However, I found the answer in these wonderful leggings from prAna. Not only do they fit perfectly (size L), but they don't roll! I'm so in love with these pants! 

Green Grandma wearing Leda Pant in Coal
Recently, I traveled across the state with my husband and I wore a pair of prAna leggings. Talk about comfortable... the entire day and night. I didn't want to take them off. And, don't tell anyone... but they made me almost want to exercise! I know one thing, I'll be wearing and packing them whenever I travel. They're great with sandals or athletic shoes, and they'll be equally fantastic with short and long boots this fall. 

I love the fit and comfort, obviously, but I also love the philosophy of the company: 

We strive to minimize our impact on the environment and what it means for future generations. We go the extra mile to design everything we make with the best possible materials and practices.

How many other clothing manufacturers can say that?

Leda Pant in Forest Green
I checked out the tag when the pants first arrived and this is what I read:

  • Recycled
  • Organic (100% Organic Cotton)
  • Bluesign
  • Fair Trade Certified (YES!)
  • Hemp 
  • Fluorine Free
  • PFOA Free
Wow. It doesn't get much better than that! And did I mention they're super comfortable? And they don't roll? 

Oh, and they have deep back pockets, which is a bonus!

I just wish you could feel them. They're great for this grandma's bottom... and I think they'd be perfect for postpartum bottoms as well! After all, all you new mamas deserve a bit of comfort, don't you think?

While they are a bit pricey ($79), they are worth every penny. I expect they will wear well for quite some time. And maybe, just maybe, they'll start me on the path to actually liking my body... at least when I'm clothed!

prAna isn't just about leggings, though. They have a fantastic selection of yoga pants, jeans (can't wait to order a pair!), bathing suits, tops, outerwear, accessories, and more. They even sell men's clothing. You really have to check out their website... and order something, of course!

I love when I review products that I can totally approve of and recommend. prAna pants are definitely one of those products. And based on their sustainability and the quality of their clothing, prAna is a company I can confidently award two green thumbs up!

But wait... there's more! To celebrate spring and travel and outdoor activities, prAna is offering the Green Grandma community 15% off purchases. Just enter the code TRHHS18 at check out! Click here to start shopping.

Reviewing it for you,

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Mama's Jewelry -- a review

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received product and/or compensation in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

I love jewelry. Of course, if it's fair trade, I love it even more. But that doesn't mean I won't buy or appreciate other jewelry. So when I was chosen to review a piece of jewelry from Mama's Jewelry, I was quite happy. 

After reviewing their site, I opted for a ring. First I checked out the rings for grandmas, but, quite honestly, I didn't like the stone combination for my 5 grandchildren (2 October, August, April, and February). It just wasn't a good look. So I decided to go with the NANA Princess Mother's Ring. It comes with up to 6 stones, but I chose only 3 -- a sapphire framed by two alexandrites for my September and June babies. The image shown on the website was beautiful. I thought the stones would look best in sterling silver. This is what I expected:

Pretty, isn't it? I loved the extra silver bands at the sides of the stones. 

But here is what I received:

Maybe it's me, but those two side stones, which are pictured above as a light purple, look green to me (and they're not even matching greens!). What do you think? This is not the ring I wanted. Plus, it's smaller than I expected. Notice the single silver bands beside the stones. Here it is on my finger:

It's a thin band with small stones. While it is pretty and seems to be well-crafted, it is not what I wanted. 

I wrote to the company to express my dissatisfaction. Here is their response:

The alexandrite stone is a gorgeous gem that is hard to replicate. The true stone has color-shifting properties which result in a color shift. It shows as blue or bluish green in daylight and purplish red in incandesent (misspelling is theirs) light. The Swarovski Zirconia that most closely matches this is the one that we have selected for our rings, and can vary from blue-green to purple as does the natural stone.

This effect can be influenced by the color of the stones set with it, next to your sapphire the june stones will appear darker than if they were placed next to a march stone, for example.

Umm... okay, but then why picture the ring with light purple stones? Why not accurately depict the ring? To be fair, they offered to replace the stones with something closer to the photo, but I had to pay shipping. They do boast a 30 day satisfaction guarantee, but since I didn't have to pay for the ring, I'm not sending it back. Especially not at my expense.

Needless to say, I am not entirely happy and since I promise to post honest reviews, you can count on me to do so.

Like I said, the ring is pretty and, so far, at only $79, seems to be a quality ring. It's simply not what I bargained for.

If you choose to order from the Mama's Jewelry site, just be aware that your jewelry might not arrive looking like the piece you thought you ordered.

Reviewing it for you,

When I grow old

Friday, May 25, 2018

Memorial Day. Before you say thanks...

The following was originally posted by me on the Dignity Home Care Professionals blog.

For years, I went out of my way to thank veterans on Memorial Day. "Thank you for your service," I'd say with genuine gratitude.

Some would nod and thank me. Others would gently smile and say nothing. I noticed faraway looks in the eyes of others. Until finally, someone close to me pointed out that he didn't want to be thanked on Memorial Day. 

I was confused.

"Memorial Day isn't about veterans who are still with us. It's about the ones who died," he explained. "Save your thanks for Veteran's Day."

I felt foolish. Of course. While the holiday has become little more than summer kickoffs, three-day weekends, and barbecues to many, the real reason for Memorial Day has been pushed aside. It's intended to be a day to remember

Smiling children line the streets and wave flags as parades pass by. But I can't help wondering how many are being taught the reason for the day. Unlike the celebration of Independence Day, which truly is a celebration, Memorial Day should reflect a somber tone of sorts. Surely it does for surviving veterans who lost comrades during any of the wars and conflicts. They remember.

And we should, too. 

Just glimpse at the people in Arlington Cemetery on this last Monday of the month. Memories surface and tears are shed. There is no laughter, no waving of flags, no celebration. There is loss. Survivor's guilt. Longing. Respect.

Memorial Day reflects the price we paid as a country. The price of human lives. It is sobering. Should we pause in silent reflection and remember? Should we spend time in prayer, thanking God for those who paid the ultimate price? Should we offer our support to surviving family members who cling only to a folded flag? I think we should.

But should we thank a living veteran? I think not. I, for one, do not want to trigger traumatic memories or survivor's guilt and I'm sorry for not knowing any better in times past.

What we do on Memorial Day is up to each of us. Picnics, parades, gatherings of family and friends... they're all fine. Just skip the thanks for now and silently appreciate the ones who made it home.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Amazon Gift Card and Book Giveaway

Sponsored By: Pamela Newton

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

*~* 5 Winner Giveaway! *~* 

Grand Prize Winner will receive a:  

$20 Gift Card To Amazon 

& a Copy of the Book "A Candle for My Mother"

4 Runners-up will receive a copy of the book 

"A Candle for My Mother"

Author: Pamela Newton

About the Book:

A Candle for My Mother is an inspirational story of Lorraine Newton, a young woman from the Midwest, who longed to travel the world despite being the mother of four young children. “I’m going to see places, come hell or high water!” Lorraine remarked, and she made it happen.

Lorraine’s stories in the book are told in her own words from tape recordings she made before she died and letters saved by a friend, detailing Lorraine’s family’s amazing experiences in Iraq and travels in Europe. Into the bubbling political cauldron of the Middle East in the 1950s ventured an American family. Iraq was not necessarily what Lorraine had in mind, but the country fit exotic to a tee. It conjured up Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, markets filled with silks and gold, and European vacations. 

Lorraine was about to embark on a grand adventure.

Pamela Newton never felt closer to her mom than when she was traveling, sometimes logging over 100,000 miles a year. “Mom’s adventurous spirit was with me on every trip, in every country, encouraging me to make the most of each moment.” The things that Pamela experienced on her business trips often triggered a remembrance of her mother and her childhood. Those memories became the reflections and gratitude that Pamela expresses at the end of each chapter while visiting churches across the globe to light candles for her mother, a tradition she began in Westminster Abbey. 

For readers who may be reminded of exciting memories from their childhood, A Candle for My Mother has been designed with pages interspersed throughout for writing personal reflections. Here a son or daughter can add their favorite pictures, recount “Best Day Ever” times, write a thank you to their mom, or include poems, musings, or thoughts. It is designed to be a gift to oneself or one’s mom. Read it, write in it and then give it to your mother…with gratitude.
Open To US and must be 18+ to enter
Giveaway Dates 
5/22 9:00 AM EST through 6/19 11:59PM EST

Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy is not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winners will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winners have 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Moms Who Rock Giveaway!

Sponsored By: Sugar Mountain PR

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Winner Will Receive: 

A collection of wonderful "Moms Who Rock" CDs! 


Sugar Mountain PR is a public relations agency specializing in award-winning music and other media for children.

Open To US and must be 18+ to enter

Giveaway Dates ~ 5/16 9:00 AM EST through 6/13 11:59PM EST

Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy is not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

His name is Dr. Jacob and I'm in love

Disclosure: I received products and/or compensation in exchange for my honest review.

I'm in love. 

It's a new love, really, but I don't think we'll outlive the honeymoon stage. It's that good.

Oh, wait... I guess I should clarify. I'm in love with my new bar of soap. Really. 

Lately, I've been convicted of my own overuse of plastics. One of the ways I can cut back is by switching back to bars of soap rather than plastic bottles of liquid soap. So when Dr. Jacob's Naturals offered to send me some of their products to try, I was excited to try their soap. And the excitement has not worn off. I love this soap! 

It has a great lather and smells Really. The bar is larger than the average bar of soap and it doesn't feel like I'm scratching up my skin like some exfoliating soaps do. And here's what you'll love:

  • Non-GMO (Take that, Monsanto!)
  • 100% Vegan
  • PETA Cruelty-free
  • Gluten-free
  • 100% Recycled Paper
  • Made in the USA
PLUS, look at the list of things it doesn't contain:
  • No Parabens
  • No Sulfates
  • No Petrochemicals
  • No Phthalates 
  • No Artificial Dyes or Coloring

While my love may be with the triple milled castile bar of soap with organic shea butter, you might still prefer liquid soap. That's okay. Dr. Jacobs Naturals liquid castile soap is equally wonderful and I'm indulging in using it as well. What's wonderful about the liquid castile soap is that it is safe for everyone, even babies. And it's not just for cleaning your body; it's perfect for cleaning the house as well. 

If you order now (and you want to after this love-confession of mine, right?), you'll receive FREE SHIPPING on orders over $20. Just click here for the coupon.

Lather up and enjoy!

Reviewing it for you,

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