Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Wonderful Book has been donated to the Mission! Flightless Goose by Eric D. Goodman!

This review was originally posted on Florida Frugal Family.

The Flightless Goose by Eric D. Goodman is such a perfect tale for every parent to read their children.  It is a simple story but with lots of heart.  Gilbert, the goose, suffered a terrible accident (he was hit by a car) and was unable to fly South for the winter.  Because he was different due to his injury his friends soon start to make fun of him.

Gilbert develops other abilities that help him and because of it he becomes a hero to his friends.  This book is filled with beautiful artwork and is a perfect way to talk to your kids about being different.  This is a book that struck home with me as I read it with Savvy for I know that the {beautiful} scar she has on her belly will one day become a topic of discussion with her little friends since they do not have one.  My hope is to raise her knowing that so many of us like Gilbert suffer injuries but we overcome them and become stronger because of them.

If you want to pick up a copy to read to your child this is a good time to do so for the Writers Lair Books Bookshop is having a "Buy One, Get One Free or Better" sale!  Just use the promotional code - BlackFriday during checkout.  I am not sure when the promotional code will end but it is clearly marked on the site.  The book retails for $15.95 and is one that I think you will keep in your child's library and then pass it on to another child.

MOM --Mami on a Mission
I have {Delightful} news to share!  A second copy of this beautiful book was sent so that it can be donated to the Ronald McDonald House in Fort Lauderdale as a part of Mami on a McMission!  Can you think of a more appropriate audience for this book?  My heart smiles knowing that a little one will choose this book and will hopefully relate to the story and the strength within him/herself just like the strength that Gilbert finds.

Disclaimer:  This book was received for the purpose of a review.  The book was free of charge.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Almost there....

Can you believe that December is literally hours away?  I am still working hard on getting donations for the Welcome Wagon and the Wagon itself...if you can help please contact me at floridafrugalfamily(at) yahoo dot com or use the contact button...THANKS!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You Sesame Street!! Savvy Loves Elmo and Cookie ... but doesn't everyone?!

Featured Item:
Sesame Street: Elmo’s A-to-Zoo Adventure and Sesame Street: Cookie’s Counting Carnival!

Who is the present for?
Perfect for Preschoolers!

Price:  MSRP of $39.99 for Wii and $29.99 for Nintendo DS and PC versions.

Anyone who knows my little girl knows how much she loves Elmo and all of his friends...but Elmo is her # 1 guy!  She actually met Elmo and Cookie during her Make-A-Wish trip and will tell you that they are close friends :)   So imagine how cool it is to have a Sesame Street game for her that teaches (isn't that what Sesame Street is all about afterall?!).

The Sesame Street video games version running $39.99 and $29.99 for Nintendo DS and PC versions.

Do you want to purchase one of your own?  Then Click HERE  and enter promo code MOMMY at checkout which is a coupon code for 10% off of any Sesame Street Video Game.  The code is valid until 12/20/10!

Did I mention how much Savvy and I adore Elmo and Cookie?!  Well, they were nice enough to send a game for Savvy to review and an extra game for another child!! Yup...one to be donated through Mami on a McMission! How cool is that?!  Thank You Caring and Sharing!

MOM --Mami on a Mission
Do you want a chance to win one of your own?  This a great Holiday gift...frankly, a great gift for anyone little one at any time!  Well, enter below for your chance!

The original POST and Giveaway can be found HERE...please do not leave any comments regarding the giveaway on this post for they will not be counted.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We still need {The Wagon}....

I am still looking for new toys.  I have a new review and donation that will be up this week that I am excited about but I still need a lot more toys ... more importantly I still need the actual {Red Wagon}.  If you or your company would like to donate the "Welcome Wagon" please contact me.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I just wanted to give a {Huge} Thank You to the wonderful people at Canson!  We received a wonderful Sketch and Tell Book by Eric Carle.  The Eric Carle who has written some of the most wonderful children's books.  Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? is the first book the Savvy fell in love with...she could "recite" it to you when she was just a year old....needless to say we have a love for Eric Carle books in our home....and as a scrapbooker I have a love for Canson products so the combination is just delightful!

Savvy loved drawing in her Eric Carle Sketch and Tell book but since she doesn't know how to write yet this became a nice project for the both of us...she explained what her "Picasso" was and Mami wrote a description for her.  The books are small and super easy for travel...as a Mami who spent a lot of time in hospitals I think this is a great companion for children who are hospitalized.  It allows them to create through art and express their feelings and to narrate them as well...just think this is so critical for children who go through so much when they are sick and sometimes struggle with how to express their feelings.

You know what else?  This amazing company sent some wonderful goodies for Mami on a McMission (M.O.M.)!  Yes, I am beyond delighted to have received some beautiful scrapbooks and Eric Carle sketch books and other wonderful items to share with the children who will walk through the Ronald McDonald House in Fort Lauderdale through M.O.M. 

When Savvy didn't have the words to express herself she did have art...this gift means a great deal ... Thank You...Thank You for Caring!

Savannah at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia a year ago.

Friday, October 8, 2010

{Safe-2-Go} for Mami on a McMission!

I went with a girlfriend to watch the screening of Life As We Know It.  I walked out of the movie wanting to have  Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel placed as guardians of my daughter....seriously, this movie is about a serious subject but it is super cute!  The theater was packed and when the movie ended people just started clapping...when does that happen?  I simply think Katherine Heigl deserved a standing ovation for managing to look remarkably stunning throughout the entire movie (we won't even discuss the little huge crush I have on Josh Duhamel...okay...I am digressing.

In the movie there is a cutie patootie who learns how to walk...these are some funny scenes...and with this independence that a child gets well..we all know that is all they want to do. I know I found myself chasing Savvy yesterday going to the park...Here I am pulling her wagon and she jumped out to run to the slide the moment she saw it!

I am thrilled to share with you that I am able to offer a lucky winner a Baby Sherpa product on my other blog, Florida Frugal Family.  

A lucky winner will win a Safe2Go plush kiddie karacter harness worth $27 courtesy of Baby Sherpa.  These plush harness keeps your child within arm’s reach and features a retractable tether.

The movie is being released today, October 8th.  Here is the trailer.  I have to share something super cool!  I am going to get one of these Safe-2-Go Plush Harnesses as a donation to Mami on a McMission!!  How very thoughtful is that!

To enter this giveaway please visit Florida Frugal Family HERE. Comments left on this post will not be counted as an entry.

Disclaimer: I will be receiving a product to donate through Mami on a McMission!  Thank you for your kindness.  I did not receive any other form of compensation.  All opinions expressed are my own and your opinions may be different.  The PR company representing this movie is responsible for prize fulfillment.

Friday, September 10, 2010

ALPHA AND OMEGA 3-D Giveaway on Florida Frugal Family!!!

 Alpha and Omega 3-D (rated PG) due to be released next Friday, September 17th!

As described by Lionsgate:
What makes for the ultimate road trip? Hitchhiking,  truck stops, angry bears, prickly porcupines and a golfing goose with a  duck caddy. Just ask Kate and Humphrey, two wolves who are trying to  get home after being taken by park rangers and shipped halfway across  the country. Humphrey is an Omega wolf, whose days are about quick wit,  snappy one-liners and hanging with his motley crew of fun-loving wolves  and video-gaming squirrels. Kate is an Alpha:  duty, discipline and  sleek Lara Croft  eye-popping moves fuel her fire. Humphrey’s motto – make ‘em laugh.  Kate’s motto – I’m the boss.  And they have a thousand miles to go. Back  home rival wolf packs are on the march and conflict is brewing. Only  Kate and Humphrey can restore the peace.  But first, they have to  survive each other.

I have not seen this movie just watched this trailer but it looks cute!

I have a fun and quick giveaway to get you all excited about this movie...so how about an exclusive prize pack?!

I have closed the comments on this post because you need to go to Florida Frugal Family to enter. 

Exclusive prize packs including an activity book, headbands with wolf ears, bookmarks and mini posters. 2 Winners!!  Winners need to live in the U.S. (no p.o. boxes please).

Mandatory Entry  - watch the trailer above and just tell me why you would want to win  this prize package....and please leave your email.  I want to be able to  contact you if you win!

Want an extra entry? Go to Mami on a McMission and become a GFC follower and leave me a comment below....why is this an entry?  Because the wonderful prize packets are also being sent to be donated to Mami on a McMission!!! How very cool is that?!

MOM --Mami on a Mission

Please leave a separate comment per entry.     Please leave an       email  address where I may contact you if you    are  the winner. (If I have       no  contact with the winner within 1    week I  will choose another       winner). If  an entry does not  follow   the  rules it will be deleted   prior     to a winner  being  picked.    The     winner will be chosen at random.  Entry deadline is September 17, 2010 (midnight    EST).

Disclaimer:  The PR firm for this movie did not provide me with any form of monetary compensation.  They have kindly chosen to donate some prize packets so they may be donated to Mami on a McMission.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Your opinions may be different.  The prize packets will be sent directly by the PR company to the winners.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wild Bunch Zhu Zhu Pets are going to be in the Welcome Wagon!

Originally posted on Florida Frugal Family:

What mayhem was going on last Saturday at my house?  There were plastic straws on the floor...kids giggling and ultimately a lot of fun chaos but then you should expect nothing less if you invite Wild Bunch Zhu Zhu Pets to your party.  I got some quick video of them causing the mayhem but those sneaky little things went and deleted the video PROVING once and for all it was them ... the video may have been accidentally deleted by me but my gut says .. the Wild Bunch was behind the destruction of evidence!

These little Wild Bunch Zhu Zhu pets are beyond adorable and a ton of fun for the kids!  And some {Big Kids} that will remain nameless so they may show up at work tomorrow with their secret kept!

Thanks to MomSelect we had the pleasure of reviewing the Wild Bunch Zhu Zhu pets at my hubby's birthday party and they were a hit!  "The Wild Bunch" which includes Sweetie the Pink Bunny, Rocco the Raccoon, ZuZu the Hedgehog, and Stinker the Skunk are famous for being mischievous...sounds like the perfect partners for some little ones I know!  It took about half a second before they were out of the box and scurrying around the floor. I am sure these little guys are going to be super popular especially during the holidays...you can find this little one called "Sweetie" at Toys R Us for $9.99  but online they are currently sold out!

I was delighted to be chosen to receive a Wild Bunch Zhu Zhu party package to review and since we were sent 11 Wild little guys the ones that were not open will be placed in the "Welcome Wagon" as to be donated to the Ronald McDonald House in Fort Lauderdale through Mami on a McMission!  I can just imagine a nurse doing rounds and having to jump out of the way cause one of these little guys is causing mayhem and bringing smiles at a local hospital!

Disclosure: Thank You to MomSelect for providing us the opportunity to have these little guys show up at our house. The Wild Bunch Zhu Zhu pets were sent free of charge for the purpose of the review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Your opinion may be different.  No other form of compensation was received.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Thank You Storkie.com - They created the invites for Donation Day!!

Originally posted on Florida Frugal Family:

I have ordered some beautiful invites in the past but I have never had a site with a video tutorial that literally walks me through how to customize my invitations!  That is what you can expect from Storkie.com.

This site has all types of invitations from hip baby shower invites ranging from traditional to custom photo invitations.  Don't forget the birth announcements because they can do thos for you too!

Now, if you don't have a baby shower to plan you may want to look at the super cute birthday invites.  They have a variety to pick from as well as Thank You cards.
I was able to customize some beautiful invitations with Storkie.com to invite my friends and family to join us on December 29th at the Ronald McDonald House in Fort Lauderdale to help serve dinner and donate the "Welcome Wagon".

I can tell you that the invites were beautiful but what was super impressive was the customer service.  I received a phone call when an item that I had placed on the invitation did not line up correctly...it would have been easy to print and mail them for I had approved it online but instead they made sure that the invites were exactly what I intended them to be.  I chose the "Heavenly baby" card to send out...it seemed fitting since the "Welcome Wagon" will be donated in honor of our daughter, Savannah, and our donor angel.  A sample of the invite is above.  The other beautiful thing we received were pre-addressed envelopes...a beautiful touch to the invite.

I am delighted to announce that Storkie Express Inc. is a {Blogmania} Sponsor and even more delighted to share that they created beautiful custom invites for Mami on a McMission's donation day.

Storkie.com will be giving the {Blogmania} winner 20 invitations, return address printing and free ground shipping!

Disclosure: I received the invitations free of charge for the purpose of the review.  The opinions expressed are my own.  No other form of compensation was received.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Balloonatiks Review coming soon...

I just heard from Balloonatiks and they will be sending me a copy for Savvy to review on Florida Frugal Family...and an extra copy for the "Welcome Wagon".  I will post the review when we get it.

If you are a blogger and want to help please drop me an email...I could use all of the help I can get!

THANK YOU to all of the wonderful companies who are opening their hearts to Mami on a McMission!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Thank You for Caring Bunnyprints.com!

Originally posted on my other site Florida Frugal Family -

My husband is having a birthday next month and it is super special to us!  His birthday will mark a year anniversary for my daughter.  A year of not having one hospitalization!!  She has been to the ER this year and of course had her labs drawn but not one night was spent hospitalized....this time last year she picked up a virus and was doing really bad...she was fighting for her life {again}.
My princess finally came home but it took a while for her to get better...

 So, you can imagine the joy in our hearts to know that she has been doing so well for so long...2 years ago she had a liver transplant.  Last year she got so ill...so very ill...and today...she is on the sofa next to me thrilled to be snacking on pretzels and watching Sesame Street.  This is the ULTIMATE Birthday Gift any parent can ask for.
Our family has a mission and we want to donate a "Welcome Wagon" to the Ronald McDonald House in Fort Lauderdale - you can read about it HERE

I wish I had a better picture to share because frankly my picture does not do the invitation justice.  I had to put a piece of paper over our address but if you go to Buunyprints.com you can see the image of the invite so much better and then you can check out the other super cute cards they have to offer.

I have to tell you how wonderful Bunnyprints.com is....they created these invites for my husband's birthday party.  I know you can't read the bottom of the invite based on the picture but it says, "In lieu of a birthday gift for Robert we ask that you bring a new toy to be donated to the Ronald McDonald House in Fort Lauderdale through our families mission.  You may learn more about our mission at http://MamiOnaMcMission.blogspot.com/"

I can tell you that the invites at Bunnyprints.com are adorable and the "company" has a huge heart.  I am delighted to be working with them as a Blogmania sponsor!  Yes, you will be able to enter to win a prize package from Bunnyprints during Blogmania and thrilled to have their support on Mami on a McMission!

Thank you Bunnyprints.com!

Disclosure: The invitations were provided for free for the purpose of the review.  No other compensation was provided. The opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thank You Beantown Toys Company!

I had the pleasure of surprising my little girl with a new cute toy to {review} and as a Mami this is just the best part....I got to let her choose which one she wanted to play with and which she wanted to share with the little boys and girls at the Ronald McDonald House.  So funny...as if on cue as I am typing this review Savvy just walked in asking for her Beanbot.

Beantown Toys Company did not ask me to post a review on my blog - they simply asked me to fill out a questionnaire and send it back to them because they wanted the feedback of the kids and the parents.  I decided to post the review simply because they are super cute and wanted to share.  

The toys are designed for children who are 4 and older.  I had her play with it with a little friend who is 4 and of course...I played with her new little bean friend.  The girls thought the little bean was "cute" and really liked the spoon.  My only issue was that they had trouble putting the little arms and legs back on him so that was Mami duty.  If my nephews had been in town they would have LOVED it but they are a few years older and thus a bit stronger...I think the age range of 6-9 is perfect for these little Cute Beantown Toys.  If you want to purchase your own you can go HERE.

I want to thank Beantown Toys Company for sending me the Review toys.  They were delighted to hear that I would be sharing the toys with the children at the Ronald McDonald House through Mami on a McMission. 

MOM --Mami on a Mission
Disclosure:  The toys were sent to me free of charge for the purpose of the review.  I was not compensated in any other manner for this review.  The opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Current Needs...

I am still looking for new toys.  I have a new review and donation that will be up this week that I am excited about but I still need a lot more toys ... more importantly I still need the actual {Red Wagon}.  If you or your company would like to donate the "Welcome Wagon" please contact me.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thank You! Live Simply Children's Health Journal!

I feel super lucky to work with companies and provide reviews and giveaways for the readers of my blog...but sometimes I come across a product that I wish I could share with everyone {All} over not just my blog!  The Live Simply Children's Health Journal is just one of those products.  I know it is a {journal}...a pretty journal...so what is the big deal?

This is the journal every new parent should be given at their baby shower.  This is the journal that will help so many people out on a day in and day out basis when you are lacking sleep and running to the pediatrician for a check up....I mean...at times admit it...we forget to shower during those early days of awe and panic...okay...well...I {Forgot} to Shower.

If you have followed my blog then you know that my daughter was born sick.  This was something we were not prepared for.  We had no idea the amount of doctors and blood draws she would have to go through in such a short amount of time.  I truly wish I had a journal like the Live Simply Children's Health Journal when she was born.  I kept a journal of my own.  I made it from a notebook and had to keep track but what I never managed to do my journal an organized manner that I was happy with.  I kept copies of the list of her medications (up to 19 four times a day at one point) and would walk into the ER and give every nurse and resident a copy that even looked at my daughter.  I did not want anyone to misunderstand a {very tired} Mami nor misspell anything...I would have loved to have had these neatly placed in the pocket in my journal as the Live Simply Children's Health Journal provides.  I would have loved to have had an organized space for business cards that we received from the drs......I {Know} and I am {GRATEFUL} that not everyone has the medical experiences that we have had with our daughter but I would Still RECOMMEND the Live Simply Children's Health Journal 100 % for any new parent.

If you know a parent whose child is in the hospital or who has a chronic illness...don't buy them chocolates as a gift when you visit them...Buy them the Live Simply Children's Health Journal and get it to them..Trust Me...It will be so appreciated!

The journal retails for $19.95.

On a personal note:
I am delighted to share with you that Live Simply Health Journals is supporting my efforts with Mami on a McMission.  A journal was sent along to be placed in the "Welcome Wagon"... so that a parent with a new baby may benefit from this journal.  Thank You For Caring!

If you want a chance to win your own please Click HERE.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thank You Shushybye!!

I did a review on my Florida Frugal Family blog on a Sushybye book which my daughter calls her "night night" book.  It is one of her favorite night time books and I can't blame her because it is really a darling book!

Here is Savannah doing her {Review}.

The Shushybye company has been kind enough to send 4 CD's for the "Welcome Wagon"!  Our Heartfelt Thank You to the Shushybye company for caring about this mission!  They sent us 2 copies of the Shushybye and Goodnight The Deluxe Edition and 2 copies of the Close Your Eyes CD's  -- my fave song is:

We Love the Shushies


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Free Reynolds Die Cast Car

Receive a FREE Reynolds Die Cast Car with purchase of (2) rolls of Reynolds Wrap Foil.

Use these coupons to make things even better!  This is a great freebie you can get for the "Welcome Wagon".

Deal Source: Saving with Amy!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thank You Power Capes!

 A Special Thank You to PowerCapes for posting this interview on their site.  You can find it HERE.

I am an affiliate with PowerCapes.  What does that mean?  When a blogger becomes an affiliate with a company any referrals that are sent to them with the link placed on the blog site earns them $.  In my case, I am delighted to share with you that any purchases of a Power Cape using my affiliate link will earn me credit for future capes.  I have made arrangements so that I will not be earn any $ but instead if a purchase is made using my link I will receive credit.  When I have enough credit earned they will send me a Power Cape to place in the Welcome Wagon!

If you want to purchase a cape to be sent to me for the Welcome Wagon please go HERE.  If you simply want to purchase a cape for your special little one please use THIS LINK so that I may earn credits.  Thank You for your Kindness!

This week we bring you an interview with Ana Anselmo, the founder of NoMooForMe, a website dedicated to dairy free recipes and products, FloridaFrugalFamily, a website dedicated to deals and saving money. Ana also has a website dedicate to journaling her daughter's journey with liver disease. Her daughter, Savannah, was born with Biliary Atresia and required a liver transplant in order to survive. You can learn about Savannah at CotaForSavannahA.com, a non profit dedicated to raising funds to pay for medical and transplant related expenses.

While Savannah was pre-transplant their family experienced many nights in Ronald McDonald Houses which led Ana to started MamiOnAMcMission (M.O.M.). The mission of M.O.M. is to provide a "Welcome Wagon" filled with new toys for the kids staying at the Ronald McDonald house in Fort Lauderdale. Each child will be able to pick a new toy when arriving at the Ronald McDonald House. A very busy woman to say the least.

PowerCapes: Ana, tell us a little about yourself.

Ana Anselmo: I am a proud Mami of a 3 year old little Warrior Princess. I met the love of my life, Robert, when I was 18 years old and have been married to him for 17 years in July. Three years ago, I was in a Doctorate program studying clinical psychology (this I thought was the passion of my life). Then I became pregnant and had a beautiful little girl named Savannah.

PowerCapes: How is this related to CotaForSavannahA.com?

Ana Anselmo: The Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA) is a non-profit organization established to help families fundraise in order to cover the out of pocket costs surrounding an organ transplant. Savannah has a COTA site that chronicles her journey as well as to fundraise.
Savannah was born with a rare liver disease named Biliary Atresia. When she was 4 months old we were told she would need a liver transplant or she would not reach her 2nd birthday. You can imagine how earth shattering this was to us. We waited 8 long months and then on December 29, 2007 we received “The Call” that would change our lives forever. Savannah was to receive the “Gift of Life” from her donor angel. She received a liver transplant and not only reached her 2nd birthday but her 3rdbirthday and we look forward to many more birthday blessings! If you are interested in learning more about this journey you may visit our blog at CotaForSavannahA.com. Although Savannah has received her liver transplant she will be immune suppressed for the rest of her life in order to keep her body from rejecting her new liver.

PowerCapes: And why start MamiOnAMcMission with so much already on your plate?

Ana Anselmo: We had the blessing of serving dinner at the Fort Lauderdale Ronald McDonald House with my husband's amazingly generous coworkers in the beginning of the year. My daughter along with our friend's daughter immediately started to play with a 3 year old little girl who had just come to the House the same day. I was so happy to know that the memories of the first night in the House for this child's parents would include the huge laughter that these three little ones shared...oh and THEY laughed and ran..it was great! This little girl was due to lose her eye to a cancer she had been diagnosed with just 2 weeks prior...another little Warrior Princess. As we left, I asked the father of this little princess if she had any toys with her and he said, "At home but not here. We just grabbed her medical records, some clothes and ran". I knew this truth, for when you are faced with a medical crisis involving your child you simply go into auto pilot to save your child's life. I KNEW at this moment that I would make it our families mission to welcome each child walking through the doors at this House with a toy...for these children are just that...children.

PowerCapes: Ana, Thanks for your time. We hope that our readers have learned something here today. And we hope and pray that we all have a little superhero in us and make some donations to their favorite organization to help all kids in need.
You can help a child at the Ronald McDonald house by clicking here to donate a cape.
You can also support the CotaForSavannahA organization by going to cotaforsavannaha.com

Free Toys just pay shipping

 Beyond the Rack is giving new customers a $10 bonus when you sign up. There are Melissa and Doug Toys for free with your $10 bonus (just pay shipping).  Melissa and Doug Toys are great items - if you want to purchase one with your free credit and pay the shipping to send please drop me a note!  I will gladly place these in the Welcome Wagon.  (This deal was found on Saving Side by Side)

As a side note: when an item is received for the Welcome Wagon I will place a picture of it on the site with a Thank You note.  When the donation is made in December I will post the list of donated items.  Thank you for your kindness!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Very Special Thank You!

A very special Thank You to Kelly Lester, owner of EasyLunchBoxes.com for writing this amazing post for her blog and sharing Mami on a McMission with her readers!  Thank you for helping spread the word.  You can find the post HERE.

Savannah Anselmo
Savannah Anselmo is healthy today

On the third day that my 10-year old daughter ran a fever over 102, I experienced that familiar fear that sent me to our pediatrician’s office.  I wasn’t panicked, mind you – after all,  I’ve been at this mothering job for 18 years in total, and so this wasn’t my first rodeo.  But my daughter was also complaining of a sore throat and so the alarm went off in my head (the one that goes “STREP!!”) and off we went to the doctor. (Our calm, wise sage of a pediatrician – who has taken care of all three of my kids since they were born – is one of the main reasons I stopped hitting the panic button whenever the thermometer hit 102 and beyond.)  With kids, they do a rapid strep test – a quick swab of the throat with an extra-long Q-tip and then a quick peek under a microscope.  I still don’t understand why they don’t this with adults – why they immediately put us on antibiotics and make us wait a couple of days for the test to come back from the lab.  Anyway, no strep – just a virus for my daughter and relief for me.

Though I certainly know what it’s like to worry when my kids don’t feel well, that can’t begin to mirror what it must be like to have a child who is seriously ill.  Whenever I’ve spoken to a parent in this situation I can honestly say, “I can’t imagine what it must be like.”  I’ve come into contact with some mothers who are in exactly this kind of situation and some have become friends.  I have learned so much from these beyond-brave women who have reminded me to count my blessings and taught me how, sometimes, you have to make your own.

Savannah enjoying a snack from her Easylunchbox

I ‘met’ Ana few months ago when she reviewed my EasyLunchboxes on her blog. Living 3,000 miles apart, we’ve only communicated via email. She told me the story of her 3 year old daughter Savannah, who was diagnosed with a rare liver disease called Bilary Atresia, and had to wait 8 long months for a liver transplant.  We’ve all heard the terrible, sad stories of those on “the waiting list” who pass away before a donor can be found.  In this case, there was a very happy ending, but the only way Ana, her husband Robert, and Savannah (whom Ana calls her “Warrior Princess”) made it through the dark days of ‘not knowing’ was due to the care and support they received at Ronald McDonald Houses.

You can read their story and see photos at CotaforSavannahA.com.

The part of the story that really got to me, was Ana’s description of Savannah meeting with another little girl (another “Warrior Princess”, this one with cancer) at the Ronald McDonald House.  It made me think of my own children and the excitement and joy they experience when they meet a new friend and run off to play – the Ronald McDonald House gives children the most important thing:  the opportunity to be children.

I’ve always heard about Ronald McDonald Houses and had a general idea of what they were all about, but it wasn’t until I heard Ana’s story that I truly came to appreciate what they can offer families undergoing this kind of pain.

The Welcome Wagon

Ana recounts how there is a “Welcome Wagon” at the entrance of the original Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House, the first one they stayed at. A child can pick out any toy that he or she wants.  To show their gratitude, Ana and her family are currently raising funds to donate an entire “Welcome Wagon” to the Ft. Lauderdale Ronald McDonald House.  It will be filled with new toys to bring a smile to many other little “warriors” who walk through the door. As Ana puts it:
“We are a family who wants to pay it forward.  We are a family who knows the grief of having a child who is sick and fighting for their lives.  We are a family who has been the recipient of the kindness of many nameless and faceless strangers. We are a grateful family.”
A huge reward that comes from running EasyLunchboxes is being able to connect with amazing people who I never would have met otherwise. I know that most bloggers and their readers appreciate the friendships and connections we make online. Our words unite us in our ability to touch or help someone else. That’s why I’ve shared Ana’s story with you. I’m hoping that, like me, you will be inspired by this family’s bravery, and help Ana bring Ft. Lauderdale’s Ronald McDonald House their own Welcome Wagon this December.
Ana blogs over at  Florida Frugal Family where she shares great coupon deals with her followers. Ana writes:
“We should be frugal with our money but never with our hearts, our love or our compassion for others.  So, when I find the deal and purchase 15 boxes of cereal for pennies on the dollar, the cereal will not only feed our family but much of it will be given to charity to help feed others.”

How to help Ana fill the Welcome Wagon

Ana is looking for new, unused toys in their original packaging for any gender or any age. Much like she does when she finds a great deal on cereal, Ana would be grateful if you could follow her blog  Florida Frugal Family , enter her giveaways, and if you win the product, donate it back to the wagon! Sending a “thank you” to the companies that have been kind enough to donate would also be wonderful.

A handmade kids cape would be an amazing addition to the wagon. Ana  has become an affiliate with Kids Capes. so if someone purchases a cape through her link, she will get a portion of the profits credited to her account and they will be turned into capes for her to put into the Welcome Wagon.
In addition, gift cards to Toys R Us or Party City are gratefully accepted. You can contact Ana at floridafrugalfamily[at] yahoo[dot]com and she’ll let you know where to send your donations.
Follow Ana on her her Welcome Wagon mission at Mami on a McMission.
Top photo credit: Jessica Lorren

Friday, May 28, 2010

Frecklebox.com - THANK YOU!

If you have a child and need a cute, affordable, and custom gift for them then check out Frecklebox.com!  They offer a lot of options from custom lunch boxes, to stickers, to puzzles, party favors, coloring books and much more.  We received a beautiful placement for our "Warrior Princess" and a lovely notebook for myself.  I have to tell you that Savannah LOVED the placemat the moment she saw it.  She thinks the princess on the placemat is actually her :)

Savvy used the placemat the night she received it and after dinner I through it in the dishwasher about half way through the load I realized I did not check to see if it was dishwasher safe and thought I was going to have an upset little girl on my hands...no worries though it came out looking perfect!

I have to share with you what warms my heart about this company....they learned about Mami on a McMission and generously donated custom stickers for Lisa's Love Birthday Bags!  The stickers for the little boys say, "Warrior", and the little girls say, "Warrior Princess".  I want to send Frecklebox.com a very heartfelt THANK YOU!  Please visit this generous company at Frecklebox.com.

And the generousity does not stop!  They are offering a giveaway too!

Click HERE to enter the giveaway!  (Comments on this blog will not be entered into the giveaway.)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bad Dreams Go Away Spray Review

Bad Dreams Go Away Spray
If you have a little one then I bet you wish you could simply spray away the bad dreams!  I know I would love to do that with my little one!  Well, Brooke Erwin, has come up with a little kit so you can do just that.  The kit includes an adorably illustrated book that includes recipes for the different sprays and a spray bottle ... you and your little one can mix up the bad dream go away spray and make sure that it is sprayed before night time so they can rest assure it will be a good night!  This is simply a sweet idea!
We received 2 of the Bad Dreams Go Away Spray kits for the Mami on a McMission "Welcome Wagon".  After hearing about our families mission to donate a "Welcome Wagon" filled with toys to the Ronald McDonald House in Fort Lauderdale she was onboard!  THANK YOU for the kits...I know there are plenty of bad dreams that need to be sprayed away when your little one is in the hospital.

Do you want to buy your own kit for your little one?  Then simply go to www.baddreamsgoawayspray.com.  You can purchase one for $14.99 through the site.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

They have started to arrive....

I will have the reviews and giveaways posted soon but I wanted to share with everyone that we have our first companies who have sent items for this mission!

A Big Thank You to Frecklebox.com for sending custom stickers for Lisa's Love Birthday Bags.  The stickers say, "Warrior"  and  "Warrior Princess".

A special THANK YOU to Brooke Erwin, creator of the Bad Dreams Go Away Spray,  for mailing us 2 of her "Bad Dreams Go Away Spray" kits for the Welcome Wagon!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Off to a good start!

I have had 2 companies agree to send products towards this mission.  I will post the product reviews/giveaway and the donation when they arrive.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Attention Bloggers!

If you are reviewing a child friendly product for a company please ask them to donate an extra item to M.O.M - Mami on a McMission.  I will be happy to post the review and feature the generousity of the company on this blog!  Are your children older and you have been approached by a company who features toys for younger children?  Ask if you can feature the product information on your blog and host the giveaway and informing your readers that you did not review the product because it has been donated to our mission.
Please grab my button and become a Follower.  If you have any questions feel free to contact me at floridafrugalfamily@yahoo.com.

Thank you for sharing your love!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Welcome Wagon

On December 29, 2010 we will donate a "Welcome Wagon" to the Ronald McDonald House in Fort Lauderdale, Florida filled with new toys.  We shall do this in honor of our Warrior Princess in her Donor Angel.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lisa's Love Birthday Bags
The bags will contain wrapping paper (the square packages that fold flat), streamers, party hats, a birthday card, a card explaining they may choose a toy for their birthday child, tape, and party "favors". 

Lisa at the Ronald McDonald House in New Jersey sharing her love with my daughter, Savannah. 
Lisa's Love Birthday Bags was inspired by Lisa's Love.  Although Lisa is no longer with us on earth her loving spirit continues to surround us. 

Savannah celebrating her 1st birthday at the Ronald McDonald House in Southern New Jersey.  We did not know at the time if this would be her only birthday.

Swagbucks can Help!

It is Mega Swagbucks Day. This is when Swag Bucks gives away 10,000 Swagbucks in Mega bills (from 3 to 100 Swagbucks at one time) every Friday.

What is Swagbucks? It is a search engine powered by Google and Ask where you randomly earn Swagbucks, which can be redeemed for prizes such as Amazon gift cards, etc. It’s like being paid to search the web. I started Swagbucks in January and have yet to download the searchbar feature because I share this home computer with my husband and the search engine looks a little different then what we are used to.  I simply look each item up by going to Swagbucks and I have already earned over 40 Swagbucks.  You can see the progress on the sidebar. 

Monday, February 15, 2010


My Goal:
To donate a "Welcome Wagon" to the Fort Lauderdale Ronald McDonald House and to create Lisa's Love Birthday Bag for any child celebrating their birthday while their family is staying at the Fort Lauderdale Ronald McDoanld House.