We are back in Missouri for the holidays and I have to say, it's honestly one of the greatest places I've ever lived! The state has a pretty laid back attitude towards liquor and alcohol...meaning you can make a one stop shop at Walmart or Sam's Club for all of your needs!
After all, where else can you buy a gem like this?? Who doesn't need a tequila filled revolver??
Albany has dodged a couple of weather bullets lately. But our neighbors to the South haven't been so lucky. Last week Superstrom Sandy slammed into the East Coast, causing massive destruction and claiming the lives of 88 Americans. People are trying to recover from the storm in the harshest conditions, without electricity or running water and didn't really need that Nor'easter to add to the mess.
Count your blessings if you have a roof over your head tonight, because many of our fellow New Yorkers do not. If you're like me, you want to help but maybe don't know how or what to do. When I came across a tweet from the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library (@cphpublib on Twitter) the other day, I sprung into action.
The CPH Public Library is serving as a drop off point for those wanting to donate supplies to the relief effort. Items in demand were flashlights, D batteries, canned goods, toiletries, cleaning supplies, dish soap, winter coats and clothes and medical supplies.
My extreme couponing phase, added with my obsessive need to buy in bulk from Sam's Club or BJ's, provided a rich source of those much needed items, including baby supplies. I just took a look around the house and managed to load up four bags full of goods to donate.
The library and the Clifton Park Town Hall are serving as drop off locations this week until Friday. If you have a chance to stop by, please do so!
I can not tell you just how much I love this month! I am a huge fan of Halloween, but the whole month has always been fun, and even more so now that we live somewhere with actual seasons.
Down South, October usually starts hot as heck! There's still a chance to get a tan at the begging of the month, but closer to the end, it starts to cool down. October also usually marks the harvest and that means cool evenings littered with fires burning off fields...it's a smell and a sight that always reminds me of home in the Heartland.
Know what else reminds me of home??
Big Giant front door wreaths!
Check out my MASSIVE Pinterest inspired creation:
Apparently, everyone in Albany was making the same project at the same time because I had a heck of a time finding what I wanted to use. I got the wire mesh ribbon at Sam's Club (30 feet for $7), the wreath shell & wood letters from Hobby Lobby. I found the sparkly spiders at the Dollar Tree in Latham and added purple sparkle ribbon that I already had from a previous project. The hardest part was covering the BOO letters in orange glitter!
I added the 'EEK' door hanger I bought at Christmas Tree Shop and now I'm praying I'll get some trick-or-treaters later this month who's moms will just love my wreath! :)
A big ol' congratulations goes out to
OF LATHAM, NY
She snagged a free bottle of b-leve shampoo, conditioner and bodywash from Price Chopper just for reading I Heart NY Y'all on albany.com.
If you want your own b-leve products, just head to your local Price Chopper and check them out near the pharmacy aisle.
*Special thanks to Price Chopper for providing complimentary b-leve shampoo, conditioner and bodywash - Thanks y'all!
I'll be honest, when I go to the grocery store, I have one thing on my mind: getting groceries & getting out. A lot of the times I forget that I can grab the essentials there too. And when you're shopping with one this size, you know time is of the essence!
Have you noticed that Price Chopper has more than just an amazing produce selection, fresh seafood and the simple staples of bread, milk & eggs? It's easy to cross of your complete shopping list under one roof. You can grab and go and get on with your day!
I Heart NY Y'all and Price Chopper have partnered together to showcase a new product available to Chopper Shoppers! And guess, what? You can get it for free right here!
Up for grabs
One free bottle of b-leve shampoo
One free bottle of b-leve conditioner
One free bottle of b-leve bodywash
Each bottle is a $5.99 value! b-leve products are made from natural ingredient extracts and are paraben free. They are hypo-allergenic and are gentle formulations. You can find them in your local Price Chopper near the Pharmacy aisle.
Head's up...these products smell amazing! I grabbed the hydrated shampoo and conditioner and the refreshed body wash for myself today and can't wait to try it!
Now, there's a couple of ways to win...each are worth one entry and the more entries you have increase your odds of winning in the random drawing. Winners will be notified by email and announced on the blog! Contest ends 10/3 at 11:59 EST. Contest opened to residents of New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Vermont and New Hampshire.
Here's how to enter:
1. Comment below on why you shop at Price Chopper! (THIS IS A MANDATORY ENTRY!)
2. Follow @iheartnyyall on Twitter and tweet this to your followers: (may be done once daily for one additional entry) I heart @PriceChopper y'all! Win #free shampoo, conditioner & bodywash from @iheartnyyall. Contest ends 10/3 11:59 EST http://tinyurl.com/ccezfjb.
GOOD LUCK Y'ALL!
*Special thanks to Price Chopper for providing complimentary b-leve shampoo, conditioner and bodywash - Thanks y'all!
A perk of living all over the countryside is that you cross paths with a lot of people. And thanks to social media sites like Facebook, you can now keep tabs on where folks are and what they're up to.
Here's a funny story that comes together in a roundabout way. One of my good friends and former KAIT television colleague, Mark Kelley, went to work for Nielsen Media Research after leaving the news business. He worked closely with Pampers, doing research for their products. When Colt was born, he graciously sent me a huge box of diapers, all different sizes! (I'm still amazed that the guy who used to help my pick my NASCAR fantasy team could explain the difference between Swaddlers and Cruisers.) After checking out my new goods, I learned of the Pampers Gifts to Grow program where you enter codes and can "buy" various baby items.
Well I thought, why not collect the codes? It's a product I'm going to use, I might as well get something out of it. (Plus, Brett is a big Coca-Cola Rewards points collector, so I've seen how easy it is) After a few weeks of punching in the numbers, I started browsing the reward items and stumbled across the LillyBit Uptown Diaper Clutch...which sounded vaguely familiar.
It didn't take long before I remembered where I had heard that name before, it was on Facebook. My Missouri State University, Alpha Delta Pi sorority sister and former roommate, Lyssa Dority Surface had created the company! Can you see us in this pic??
Lyssa says she came up with the idea after feeling frustrated changing her daughter (future legacy!) in public restrooms. Not wanting to put her bag down on a gross countertop or yucky floor, she worked to find an answer to the oversized, heavy diaper bag. So what did she do? She made this:
Check out the LillyBit Uptown Diaper Clutch!
I have been saving and saving my Pampers points for one and actually came across a random giveaway on the LillyBit Facebook page. I won the Chevron print!!! I don't think I have ever been so excited to win something in my life!
It came in the mail the other day and I can not wait to use it. It makes being an organized mom easy. Sure, I'll still carry my 'big' diaper bag when we make longer trips or outings, but this thing is perfect to grab and go for a quick trip. As a "new" mom, I feel like I have to carry everything but the kitchen sink, but the real surprise about babies is how little they actually need.
There's plenty of room for the essentials, but I can also carry around stuff for me too! Which makes it a heck of a lot easier to keep up with everything and it's all in one spot.
I won't lie though...my favorite part is that Lyssa is on the tag!
The bags run $35 each and come in a lot of awesome, "non-mommy" fabrics. Just because you're a mother doesn't mean your fashion sense has to go out the window! Plus, I'll never understand companies that sell products to adults that look like they're for kids. Cartoon characters are just not my thing. Oh, and you can sport this bad boy in three ways: shoulder bag, hand bag, wristlet or clutch. Can you say versatile?!
The LillyBit Uptown Diaper Clutch is available on their company website, uptowndiaperclutch.lillybit.com, through the Pampers Gifts to Grow program and more recently, at Buy Buy Baby. The Albany store isn't carrying them yet, but hopefully will be soon.
When you get one you can say, "I know a girl who knows the girl who made these!"
Every time my parents are in town from Missouri, I feel like I want to show them all that New York and the area around us has to offer. Trouble is, there's so much around here to do! Thankfully, their most recent visit overlapped with the New York State Fair, which was a perfect opportunity to show them some of the best of the best in the Empire State!
We loaded up Colt and made the drive to Syracuse. Brett & I've only been there once since we've lived here and I actually forgot about how long of a trip it is. Factor in feeding a baby and it seemed like it took forever to get there! The only downfall to the Fair being in Syracuse is about $13 in tolls we had to pay going on the Thruway. If you don't have Easy Pass, be sure to keep some extra cash on ya when making the trip. The trip was easy to make, they even have permanent signs directing you to the fairgrounds. It wasn't long before we were parked, on the shuttle bus and inside the gate to check things out.
The first thing we saw when walking in was a table set up for kid tags. Being a new parent and all, I had to check it out. Free information tags were provided to pin/tie to your kid in case they were separated or lost from their parents. Colt wasn't really going anywhere in his stroller without us, but what a great idea!
Growing up, my parents took me and my brother to the Mid-South Fair in Memphis several times. I remember seeing all the exhibits and riding the rides and how much fun it was as a child...and riding a camel. Probably because the camel's hair was scratchy on my legs. Funny how things stick with you over time? Turns out, fairs can be fun for adults too!
We saw tons of exhibits and booths. One of the most impressive sights was the giant sand sculpture! It was a huge mountain of sand that showcased the Olympics. I can't imagine how many man hours went into putting that thing together! It was such a work of art from all sides!
One of my favorite things at the Fair, whether State or County, are always the exhibits of quilts. I really enjoy trying to sew and have so much respect for those who do it well. I liked how organizers had set up displays of all the crafts entered with the quilts as sort of a centerpiece. I'm not sure if you have to win a ribbon at the county level to have an item entered at the state level, but everything was really impressive!
Growing up in rural Missouri & Arkansas, I've seen a lot of livestock in my day. As a television reporter, I once had to do a story about the new livestock barn at the NEA District Fair in Jonesboro, AR and shamelessly interviewed a cow. It was not my finest moment. But it was life experience that left me knowing my way around a fair barn. It was fun watching the expressions on Colt's face as he took in the sights (and smells) for the first time!
Colt didn't get to ride a camel on his first Fair visit, but he did see seals! How cool/random is that?
Maybe next year we can go on the rides...
...or maybe not! Some of them looked a little braver than I was willing to be.
Overall, my family and I were really impressed with the NY State Fair. It had a lot to offer, plenty to see and tons of things for families. It seemed clean and well organized. If you ever have the chance to go, take it! Y'all won't be disappointed!
And by the way, we took home some of the best souvenirs you could get...take a look:
*Special thanks to the New York State Fair for providing complementary passes. Thanks y'all!
Whipped up these fun little cookies to take on our road trip to Syracuse for the big ol' New York State Fair! Not sure they'll last too long though...
Cracked up when I saw this book in the local section at the Barnes & Noble at Colonie Center Mall the other day. I guess when I think Zombie Apocolypse, the Hudson Valley doesn't come to mind...but now I know to be prepared!
When I stumbled across a blog advertising the Got Kids? Consignment Sale in Troy, NY I knew it was right up my alley.
The sale is only held twice a year, in the spring and fall, and is a perfect opportunity for new parents to score some awesome baby bargains. New moms & dads can pre-register online to attend on the opening day of the sale and had my parent's flight made it to Albany on time, I would have been there when the doors opened. When I did finally make it on Thursday, there was still plenty to browse!
Held at the Frear Park Arena in Troy, it was probably the most organized & detailed operation I have ever seen. I was SUPER impressed with how efficient the whole sale was! All the items up for grabs were neatly packaged, hanging on hangers, clean, neat and orderly making it easy to browse.
We found lots of name brand clothing all the way to children's size 14, including Halloween costumes. The organizers are pretty picky about what they accept, so you won't find any happy meal toys, junior's clothing, any recalled items or infant car seats. Most things we came across were in great condition!
Pricing was pretty consistent, but we did come across a few items that were all over the place. Honestly, I was leery of purchasing any toys for Colt because I wasn't sure that I could get them clean enough and he's really at that stage where everything goes in his mouth. Nonetheless, there were some great bargains. I picked up some new-in-package bath toys for just $2, a pair of new baby boots for $1 and some drawer safety latches for $1. Bargains, right?!?
Maybe next year we'll be looking to unload some of our baby gear and if that's the case, we're looking at a 70% profit. I'm thinking that sounds like a win/win! Because at this sale, it looks like there's something for everyone!