Friday, March 11, 2011

Time Away!

I will be taking the weekend off to go enjoy some time with my husband. He has been working TONS of overtime and works second shift so we rarely get to see each other. We are leaving the younger two kids with John's mom and we are going to head up to Wheaton to see Austin and the Pekin Noteables perform. We aren't getting up at the crack of dawn with Austin but we will be meeting up with him and enjoying some wonderful school performances. Enjoy your weekend and don't forget to check out Purex. Thank you and have a great weekend!

Chili's Chips & Queso Coupon

Right now you can get free chips & queso from Chili's. This deal is HOT! You will be signing up for their email club however in return you will get an awesome coupon. Be sure to get your coupon now and enjoy a nice treat.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Our Journey: Kit and Info Arrive!

This is the third post on this topic. I would suggest you read this and this to get a clear understanding of what I am talking about.

Your going to thinking I am lying, I know you are my Living Kidney Donor kit and information arrived. This is a good step in finding Lucas a kidney.  The information is pretty much what Beth went over on the phone. A little more information on what the donor would go through, how long the hospitalization would be and how long surgery will be. I am amazed at all the great information that they provided. Does it change my mind? NOT ONE BIT!!!!
So you want to know what I am lying about right? Well I am sitting at the dining room table looking through the information and my son Dane comes in and starts talking to me. He says "Mom look at the cardinal!" Yup! One cardinal perched out on the swingset. So...yeah WE GOT THIS!

DiGiorno Pizza & Hoops House Party

Remember when I told you about House Party?I was recently selected to host a DiGiorno Pizza & Hoops House Party. I received my party pack this week and oh my goodness! It was a box full of fun!!!
It had in it:
VIP Coupons
Coupons for my guests
Pizza Cutter
Refrigerator magnet clip
Pot holder
Oven timer (basketball shaped)
Wet Wipes
Over-the-door basketball game (my brother had one of these growing up and he drove me INSANE with it!)
Inflatable noisemaker

They also included some tips and fun activities for us to do!
I can't wait to let you know how our party goes next weekend!!! Be sure to come back to check out all the fun we had!

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil

I am going to be honest here. I had never heard of Coconut Oil before I was contacted by Tropical Traditions to do a product review and giveaway. I am happy to say that I am very glad that they contacted me, I have found researching this product very educational.
Tropical Traditions has a YouTube video titled "How We Discovered Virgin Coconut Oil-An Interview with Brian Shilhavy, CEO Tropical Traditions. It is wonderful, I encourage you to take a look at it.

I recently received a jar of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions to review. This jar has sat on my counter kind of just hanging out, I really didn't know what I should make with it so I started looking around on the internet to look for ideas on what to make with Coconut Oil. I was surprised to find so many wonderful looking recipes that were out there. I was most surprised to find that another blogger had used the oil on her skin as a moisturizer. Ok, I was sold now to decide what to make.

I decided to make no bake cookies. My husband loves no bake cookies so this was a no brainer for me. The recipe was very easy to follow and it didn't take long to make at all.
Except....the recipe called for 3 cups of coconut and not oats, my mother in law makes her no bake cookies with oatmeal. My husband loves his mom's no bake cookies. No problem...easy substitution...right?


Listen to me when I tell you this.....please listen to me! I was WRONG!!!!

I didn't have 3 cups of coconut so I couldn't try this recipe again. I have no reason to believe that it would not have been a wonderful recipe to use. No I thought I would be Ms. Substitute As You Wish and try it my way. Did not work out.

This is what I ended up with:

Do you see it there? Yup nothing, it didn't set up because I used the oats instead of the coconut! Epic Fail!!! It went right in the garbage. I did enjoy using the Virgin Coconut Oil, it melted nicely and smelled amazing! I will be making these no bake cookies again using the Virgin Coconut Oil and COCONUT!!!!

Tropical Traditions has tons of great recipes on their website. You should check them out. Tropical Traditions has offered my readers a chance to request a complimentary copy of their Virgin Coconut Oil book. You can go here and choose referred by a friend then enter User ID: 7106118.

Tropical Traditions has offered one lucky reader their own jar of Virgin Coconut Oil! How exciting!!! This contest is open to US and Canada. It will end March 24 at 11:59PM CST. To enter you must be a GFC follower of this blog! You will need to leave me a comment stating that you follow and leave a valid email address so that I can contact you if you are the winner.

10 bonus enteries:
subscribe to Tropical Traditions Newsletter.

5 bonus enteries:
visit Tropical Traditions Recipe Blog and leave me a comment letting me know which recipe you can't wait to try!

3 Bonus enteries each:
Follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter
Follow Finding Blessings on Twitter
"Like" Tropical Traditions on Facebook
"Like" Finding Blessings on Facebook

Good Luck!

Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Buzzed Driving IS Drunk Driving

With St. Patrick's Day coming up in about a week I wanted to take a moment and remind you that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.
Let's keep our roads safe and don't turn into a statistic just for one night of fun. I am pretty sure that you will want to be around to have some green beer next year.

On St. Patricks Day in 2009; 37 percent of drivers and motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes  had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or above, according to statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

If you do plan on going out please remember to:
  • Plan ahead and designate a sober driver before you leave your event
  • Be ready to take alternate transportation such as a bus or taxi. Have the phone number or taxi service stored in your phone before you leave for the party.
Even if you will not be celebrating this St. Patrick's Day, keep in mind that in 2009, 1,119 occupants of other vehicles were killed in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers, so pay attention to others on the road. And remember, you don't have to be "falling down drunk" to be too impaired to drive safely. Even a few drinks can impair driving...and a buzzed driving crash has the same consequences as a drunk driving crash.

NHTSA needs your help in keeping the roads safe for everyone this St. Patrick's Day by spreading the word that buzzed driving IS drunk driving.

You can follow Buzzed Driving on Facebook and Twitter for more information and to see how you can help spread the word.

I received no compensation for this post. I just believe that it needed to be posted, my beliefs and opinions are my own, yours may differ.

Ragu` Moms The Word On Dinner

I wish that I had a penny for everytime I have heard "Mom what's for dinner?" I really do, I would at the very minimum be a millionaire. I have three kids, two of which are growing boys. I even have written out a menu each week for them to easily read but still I am asked this question.

My kids are all involved in multiple activities and my husband works second shift so that leaves me to do the running around. The means that many times I need to have a fast, easy to cook dinner. I always have a jar of Ragu Old World Style Traditional pasta sauce on hand. I love that for my picky eaters they will get two full servings of veggies in every half cup of sauce.

Ragu has a Facebook page that is awesome for great recipes and wonderful conversations.  I visit their page to get tips from other busy mom's just like me. I love the variety of recipes that is on the page and the interaction that Ragu has within the community. You can share your story for a chance to be featured in a Ragu ad in People magazine on their page.

I am thinking that I might get a jar and have my kids put that penny in it everytime they ask what's for dinner. On better thought I am just going to tell them what's for dinner and then tell them to give me a kiss or a hug. Those are way better and will last a lot longer.

 I was entered for a chance to win a RagĂș® prize package in exchange for this post.  No monetary exchange took place The opinions expressed are my completely my own, your opinions may differ.

Purex Blogger Contest

I am a Purex Insider and Purex has decided to have a little fun with us to see who can send the most traffic to their website to check out Purex Complete Crystals Softener.  I did a review and giveaway in January, you can check that out here.

I would be so thankful if you would go to Purex website via my special link:
Nancy's Link

Bloggers are competing for giftcards worth between $500 to $25 dollars for places 1-100.

If I won we would use the money to help fund our vacation trip!
Thank you for your help!!!

I have not received any compensation for this post. As stated above, I could win a giftcard valued at between $500 to $25 depending on how I place. Any opinions expressed are my own, yours may differ.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pink Princess Review and Giveaway

Olivia was sent this adorable dress from Pink Princess. She was so happy to wear the dress. She turned into instant Princess. She was jumping and twirling, and smiling from ear to ear.

I have to say that this dress is high quality, it is made of taffeta and it is shiny and has a little bit of a poof to it. The product description is called a bubble taffeta.  It has a removable bow on the front waist, which Olivia's hand went to instantly. I just told her to leave it alone or it would come off and she left it alone. I didn't get a picture of the back but the back has a sash that creates a wonderful bow.   I can see Olivia wearing this dress to an Easter dinner or to a more formal get together,like a wedding- it is very versatile.

I can not say enough good things about this dress. We will definitely be getting more of Olivia's dresses from here.  The prices are very reasonable, this dress is on sale for $34.99. When we were taking it off last night she said I am going to wear this for Ms. Sarah. Ms. Sarah is her teacher and she loves showing off for her.

Pink Princess has offered one lucky reader a $15 gift certificate. This giveaway will close on March 22, 2011 at 11:59 PM, CST. I will notify the winner via email.

To enter you MUST follow my blog on GFC and leave a comment leaving me know that you do. Remember to leave your email address in the comment.

For 1 extra enter each you can follow Finding Blessings on Facebook and/or Twitter. You can also follow Pink Princess on Facebook and/or Twitter for one extra entry.
For 2 extra entries you can go to Pink Princesses website and let me know what item you would like to buy.
For 10 extra entries you can blog about it and come back and let me know about it with a link to your post.

Good Luck!!!

I received the dress shown in the photos to use for my review. I received no other compensation. The opinions expressed are 100% my own. Your opinion may differ.

Monday, March 7, 2011

5 Little Bunnies Board Book & CD Review and Giveaway

I was recently sent a copy of 5 Little Bunnies Board Book & CD. This is the cutest little book. Olivia has literally carried it around with her for days. It is great for her counting! It counts from 1 to 5, we have been counting to 1 to 5 and then going back again. She absolutely LOVES it!
It also came with a CD with 20 songs including 5 Little Bunnies. Olivia loves music and enjoyed dancing and singing with the CD.

Information about Twin Sisters Productions:
For over 23 years, Twin Sisters Productions has been dedicated to producing quality educational and inspirational music resources for children, families, and educators.  Founded by fraternal twins, Karen Mitzo Hilderbrand, and Kim Mitzo Thompson, Twin Sisters Productions has continued to expand its product line to include CDs, read and sing-along books, floor puzzles and educational workbooks, all with the purpose of learning through music.  These products have received over 160 awards for educational excellence and creativity as well as classroom and family fun, thus reflecting Twin Sisters Productions’ commitment to producing educational audio of the highest quality and value.  These awards include nine RIAA (Record Industry Association of America) certified Gold albums and one Platinum album.  With thousands of songs that teach and over 26 million albums sold, Twin Sisters Productions positions itself as the leader in children’s educational music.

This book set sells for $9.99 and is well worth the value. You can purchase this online here. Through March 31, 2011 you can use the code FIVEBUNNY to receive 30% off.

As you can see Olivia and Dane both liked the book.
Twinsister Media has offered to give one reader a copy of this Book & CD.
This giveaway will end on March 21, 2011 at 11:59 PM CST. To enter you must be a GFC public follower of Finding Blessings in Everyday Life. Please leave a comment letting me know that you are a follower including your email address.
For an extra entry each you can follow
Finding Blessings on Facebook and/or Twitter
Twinsister Media on Facebook and/or Twitter
Please remember to leave a comment letting me know what you have done and leave a valid email address so that if you are the winner I can contact you.
I received a copy of 5 Little Bunnies Board Book & CD to use for my review. I received no other compensation.The opinions expressed are 100% my own, your may differ. Review

I was recently sent a t-shirt from with their mascot Cheeky Monkey on it.

This shirt is high quality with an adorable monkey on it. The t-shirt did not shrink up after it was washed several times. In fact it is as comfortable as the first time I wore it. is from the UK however they will ship internationally. Their pricing is reasonable and their selection is huge.

Here at we have over twenty years experience in the screen printing industry and take pride in offering an honest, easy to understand way of doing business. We believe that you, our customer, are searching for someone to fulfil your printing needs without stress and with your satisfaction being our main aim.
We have tried to make this site as straightforward as possible and realise that most of our existing customers welcome speaking to a real person who is eager to help and listen to your requirements so that we can use our experience to the full. Please call to see if we are the kind of people you would like to do your work for you. Our free phone line is 0800 046 7633.
To all our customers past and present we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your custom and continued support. Cheers.

I will definately be looking at the next time I need tshirts printed.

I received a free tshirt to use for my review. The opinions expressed are 100% my own no other compension was given.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Journey: Where Do We Go From Here?

please read Journey: The Beginning  for the first part of this story.

Lucas is in kidney failure. The team of doctor's that have been taking care of Lucas for the past 17 years have determined that it is now time to start the process of finding a donor.

The best donor would be a parent however that isn't always possible so at this time my cousin, Kevin and I have decided that we would like to be tested to see if one of us would be a suitable donor for Lucas.

I spoke with Beth, Lucas's transplant coordinator yesterday. She will be sending me the kit that I will need to take with me to the local hospital to get bloodwork done. After the blood work is done they will know my blood type relatively soon however it will be a few weeks before they will know about the antibodies and chromosomes. So I am thinking we will know where I stand as a possible donor before Easter.

I found it funny yesterday when Beth was going through the screening process because she asked if my husband was ok with this. I thought how incredibly rude it would be for someone to say "hey I'll donate" but then to find out that their family would be against it.

Yes my husband and my kids are fine with this decision. We discussed it. I was asked by my boss "What if one of your kids would need your kidney later?" What if they never would? I have 3 healthy, happy children. I would give them any body part of mine that they needed when they needed it. I have no reason to believe that my children would ever need my kidney. Lucas needs a kidney now. I could not live with myself holding onto a kidney that I do not need just for a what if. Seriously! My husband, children and I are completely 100% on board. Austin even asked if he could be tested. He can not be because you have to be 18 to donate. 

So here we are at the hurry up and wait of them.

I have thought about all of this alot this week. What if I am not compatable? Who next? What will we do? How much time? Typical questions really for any situation.  My heart and mind came to ease yesterday when I was talking with Beth. As I have mentioned several times before my Dad has passed away. Shortly after he passed away I noticed that we would have these three red cardinals that would hang out in our backyard. I began to think of them as a symbol of my Dad, Grandma and my Dad's Dad. All three have passed away many years between each others passing but possibly all together again.  So, yesterday as I was talking to Beth and I was walking back and forth through my kitchen and dining room I looked out my sliding door to see three red cardinals out in my backyard. Two of them remained in my yard until after the phone call ended while the other one went on to my neighbor's yard with a 4th cardinal.  So at that moment I said "We Got This!" Dad and Grandma are with us even at the very early beginning stages.

Our Journey: The Beginning

Our journey began over 17 years ago...there was a little baby boy born on August 26, 1993. He was born a little bit early and was small with a few problems but everything will be okay is what we were told when he was rushed to NICU. The moments surrounding the next few weeks blur together. At one moment we were told he would not make it and we were all allowed into the NICU. We were allowed in to say goodbye to a precious little baby boy named Lucas.  He survived that night and in the next few days had exploratory surgery to discover that he had no kidney's only tissue that was functioning as a kidney would. Through the next several years Lucas went through so much between illnesses and surgery's it seemed that he was always in the hospital. But he was here...he was alive and with us.

That tissue functioned as a kidney would for 2 1/2 years and then it was time for a transplant. Amazing to think that a little boy who was not even 20 pounds, who's squeaky little voice would call out Nana, or call a garbage truck a gunk was going to be receiving a donated kidney. This was a special kidney though one that no one else could give. Lucas's mommy, my sister Rhonda gave Lucas her kidney on May 22, 1996.

That one of a kind Mommy kidney that Lucas received was been a wonderful gift for that last 15 years. But sadly the kidney is now failing. The kidney has done a wonderful job for all of those years, getting through other surgeries and illnesses. I am thankful for that kidney and all those years that it lasted in Lucas. The years that included  him walking for the first time, his Stone Cold Steve Austin stage, the years that he planned his own wrestling company, the death of his Papa, his first football game and most of his high school years.

Lucas is now 17, a junior in high school. He helps out on the Varsity Football team, he is deciding what he would like to do with his future and planning out his senior year in high school. His senior year will be different than most senior's but that really isn't anything new with Lucas, he has rarely had a normal year. His senior year he will be receiving a new gift of that will last hopefully beyond 15 years but one that will never take the place of that special one of a kind mommy kidney.