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, 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

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 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 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

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 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

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