Analytics ----------------------------------

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Winner Board

And the Lucky Ducky winner of the Rachel Ray Bubble & Brown Baker Set is....Anne, whose comment "The Bago Luma Large Iron French Wall Shelf - WWS436 totally caught my eye" was selected as the winner by True Random Generator.

Congratulations, Anne!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter this fabulous giveaway (and thank you to CSN for sponsoring it!). Be sure to check back often for more fun giveaways :)

Winner contacted by email. If winner does not respond within 72 hrs. and alternate will be selected.

What's Buggin' You? Must Watch!!

Strawberry season is quickly approaching and if your family is anything like ours, you may be consuming enormous amounts of this sweet, succulent fruit. But before you do, make sure you watch this eye opening video about the critters that may also be craving this sweet treat!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Earns Rewards Now With Tropicana!

Having a little one with a severe milk allergy means that our refrigerator is always stocked with calcium fortified orange juice as well as dairy products for the other kiddos. Just so happens that Tropicana is our brand of choice and I am happy to report that they have jumped on the Rewards Points craze! Even better, you don't need a ton of points to start cashing in on the many rewards available. I just joined the Juicy Rewards program for Tropicana Orange Juice and am already planning my first reward...for just 3 points I can get up to 4 FREE admissions with the purchase of 4 admissions at regular price to the African Safari Wildlife Park...oh yeah! They also offer savings on golf related activities, amusement parks, sporting events, and a myriad of other things. Stop by today and see what rewards are available in your area!

This is an unsolicited post in response to my own excitement upon learning of this program. I was not contacted or compensated in any way by the makers of Tropicana.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Paying the Love Forward

A big Thank You to Tanya from Little Village Naturals for presenting me with this fabulous Beautiful Blogger Award last Friday...what a wonderful way to start the weekend! And now it's time to pay the love forward by recognizing 10 fabulous bloggers that I feel are more than deserving of the nod :)

All of my picks are very unique and special in their own way and go far to enhance my bloggy experience on a daily basis. To pick up your award, simply copy/paste it into your blog or save the image to your computer and upload it from there. Please keep the love going by passing this award on to 10 of your faves.

Hot Chocolate Caramel Mocha
The Soap Seduction

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Eggshell Florals Courtesy of Martha Stewart!

Looking for a simple, yet elegant way to decorate your Easter table this year? Check out this easy tutorial from Grab a purple or green permanent marker and I think these little cuties would stand in fabulously for traditional place card holders!

Hollowed-out eggshells make naturally beautiful vases for tiny flower arrangements. Break an egg at the top of its shell, drain the contents, and carefully rinse out the inside. Next, fill the empty shell with room-temperature water and place it in an eggcup for stability. Finally, insert small cuttings of your favorite blossoms (we used lilacs, lily of the valley, and violas). Individually or grouped together in a centerpiece, these tiny arrangements make a wonderful addition to the place settings at your table.

Tutorial provided by All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Reason To Celebrate!

Here is my beautiful baby girl on her 1st Birthday sporting a little hair candy from Sweet Harper! She had the best time and her brothers weren't too far behind...they took it upon themselves to "show her how to have a birthday party"! So cute...from blowing out the candle,
to eating the cupcake, boxing the balloons, and opening the presents, they stood faithfully by her side, leading her every step of the way :)

And now, onto the decorations! The centerpiece was inspired by a recent "How To" post from Jessica over at Party Box Design (who was also featured here earlier this year!).

I decided to go with easy to eat cuppies instead of a full sheet cake. The cake is a french vanilla creme with sprinkles and the frosting is a luscious whipped buttercream that I colored with a small amount of sugar-free Kool Aid of all gave the frosting the prettiest pastel pink shade and imparted a slightly fruity taste that was yummy nummy!

The dessert table was rounded out by a marshmallow sucker tree and milk glass containers filled with pretzel rods, both of which were dipped in chocolate ganache and covered in pink and white candies.

Finally, what's a party without a fabulous favor? My theme for Ellia's Birthday Bash was "Spring Fling". I went with colors in shades of pink, lime, and pale yellow. So it was a natural fit for the favors to include a wonderful variety of herbal seed packets, to which I added a colorful array of old fashioned gumballs...a tasty treat for now and later!

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Winner Board

Congratulations edmontonjb!! Your comment "I'm a follower and I love that this thermometer takes ambient temperature into consideration." was selected as the winner in the Exergen Temporal Scanner Thermometer Giveaway :)

A big Thank You to all who took the time to enter. Keep watching for more fabulous giveaways in the weeks to come!

Winner contacted by email. Winner has 72 hrs. to respond or an alternate will be selected.

Friday Food For Thought

Instead of a national curriculum for education,
what is really needed is an individual curriculum for every child.

~ Charles Handy

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Party Time!

My little Ellia Bean turns 1 on Saturday...Let the final party prep begin!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Go Green for an Antioxidant Boost!

Spring is in the air and that means it's time to keep my fridge stocked with one of my all time favorite Spring/Summer drinks...Iced Green Tea with Mint! Loaded with body-loving antioxidants, green tea has been used for centuries to improve everything from heart health to diabetes (unsweetened, of course), to cholesterol. Move over rich and creamy white hot chocolate (my all time favorite Winter beverage!), I'll see you again around November, my friend ;)

Here's my super simple recipe that will have family and friends raving!

2-3 C boiling water
6 decaf green tea bags (I prefer Salada brand)
1 C sugar (for sweetened variety)
individual mint sprigs and lemon slices to garnish
1 gallon pitcher

optional: sugar-free raspberry or strawberry beverage syrup for a fruity spin

Put sugar in pitcher and slowly add boiling water. Stir to dissolve. Add tea bags, cover, and give it a good long steep...10-20 min. Remove tea bags and add enough cold distilled/filtered water to fill the pitcher. Add sugar-free beverage syrup if desired. Stir well. Pour into iced water goblets or tall glass tumblers, garnish with mint sprigs and lemon slices, and enjoy!

*Note: I often forego the sugar if using sugar-free beverage syrup...despite being sugar-free,I find it imparts just the right amount of sweetness!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

And The Winner Is....

Congratulations, Saving Our Way!

You have won 500 Color Business/Calling Cards from UPrinting.
Your comment "I am a follower on Twitter - @savingourway" was selected as the winner by Enjoy your prize!!

Winner notified by email. In the event that the selected winner does not respond within 72 hours, an alternate winner will be chosen.

Monday, March 22, 2010

FREE Pastry Day at Starbucks!

Tomorrow, March 23rd, you can get a yummy nummy pastry from Starbucks for FREE with the purchase of any one of their delicious handcrafted beverages! Stop by HERE to download your coupon now :) You must redeem before 10:30 am to take advantage of this scrumptious offer.

Thanks to my new friend, Eleanor, from Saving Our Way for this hot tip!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Food For Thought

If there is anything we wish to change in the child,
we should first examine it
and see whether it is not something
that could better be changed in ourselves.

~ Carl Gustav Jung

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bubble & Brown 2-Piece Stoneware Baker Set Giveaway!

This giveaway is now closed.

Earlier this morning, my 2 1/2 year old and I were sitting on our bar stools in the kitchen with our respective tasks in front of us...him with his coloring project and me with my meal planning for the rest of the week. Anyone who knows me well knows that dishes and laundry are two of my least favorite domestic tasks, so when planning our family dinners I need no muss, no fuss clean up. When my friends at CSN stores contacted me about hosting a giveaway for you, my fabulous readers, I jumped at the chance to offer one lucky reader something designed to help with this very thing!

As I perused CSN's vast network of stores, I came across a number of phenomenal bakeware pieces that would be perfect for this giveaway. Thanks to CSN stores, one of you will win the Rachael Ray “Bubble & Brown” 2-Piece Stoneware Baker Set in Blue. Perfect for going from oven to table, these babies will help minimize the number of dishes used and, because of the non-toxic baked finish, they are easy to clean. As an added bonus, the vibrant blue is a fabulous compliment to virtually any decor!

CSN is an online retailer based out of Boston. They are currently one of the top 3 online retailers of home and office goods with over 400 employees and 200 online stores. Not bad for a company that started in 2002 with just 2 employees and 1 online venue. Today, they sell everything from home goods, to children's furniture, to pet supplies, to office equipment, and much more!


If you would like to win this fabulous baker set, visit CSN stores and leave a comment on this post telling me an item that caught your eye. Please include your email or have it visible in your profile (mandatory entry).

For extra entries, do any or all of the following and leave a comment letting me know for each. Make sure to leave your email address if not visible in your profile so I can let you know if you win:

1. Follow my blog with google friend connect (2 extra entries)
2. Follow me on Twitter and leave me your twitter id
3. Tweet about this giveaway and leave the link (you can do this once a day)
4. Become a Facebook Fan of Ellia C. Naturals (our all-natural bath & body shop) and leave your FB handle
4. Blog about this giveaway or post it on your sidebar (3 extra entries)
5. Grab my button and place it on your blog (2 extra entries)

Giveaway ends March 30, 2010. Open to U.S. and Canada. Winner selected by Winner will have 72 hrs. to respond to email notification or alternate winner will be selected.

No compensation or test product was received in exchange for hosting this giveaway (just the opportunity to pass this great prize along to one of you!). Company information provided by CSNstores.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Daylight Savings

Sunday, March 14th at 2:00 a.m. is Daylight Savings. Don't forget to go to bed a little earlier on Saturday...we'll be springing ahead 1 hour!

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Big Bloggy Thank You!

A big Thank You to all of my new bloggy buddies! I appreciate the time you take to follow my blog and hope you're enjoying the time you spend here. I loooooove feedback, so feel free to comment and email to your heart's content :) Have a super fab weekend!!

Friday Food For Thought

I know not how I may seem to others,
but to myself I am but a small child
wandering upon the vast shores of knowledge,
every now and then finding a small bright pebble
to content myself with.

~ Plato

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Exergen Temporal Scanner Thermometer {Giveaway}

This giveaway is now closed.

Our household of 6 has been blessed with relative good health over the years. A few sniffle
s and runny noses to be sure with 4 munchkins, but minimal episodes of the flu or other illnesses involving fever. However, I have found that because of this, my little ones have minimal patience for having their temperatures taken. Even with the "quick read" digital thermometers I've tried, the wiggles and squirmies invariably get the best of them. I have always preferred rectal readings to underarm due to the improved accuracy and relatively quicker read time, but there comes at point at which they will tolerate it no more and make it near impossible to take.
Though somewhat skeptical, I was optimistic when I received my very own Exergen Temporal Scanner Thermometer to review. First, for the science...Less invasive and reportedly more accurate than rectal reads, the Exergen Temporal Scanner is an infrared thermometer that reads a temperature in just 2 seconds. According to the manufacturer, it works by capturing the heat that is naturally emitted from the skin over the temporal artery, which runs across the forehead. This artery is intimately connected to the heart as a branch off of the carotid artery that runs up through the neck. Arterial temperature is the same temperature as the blood flowing from the heart, which is the truest measure of body temperature. According to the manufacturer, The Exergen Temporal Scanner has been shown to accurately register body temperature to within +0.2 degrees F, more accurate than any other method currently in use. It is also the least invasive as it requires only a gentle sweep of the probe across the forehead.

Now for the good stuff...seeing as how I have a relatively large donor pool of test subjects, I decided to try the scanner on all 4 wee ones. With an age span of 11 months to 6 years, I feel I was able to get a good cross section of the ages that are most prone to the temperature taking fidgits. The directions were easy to read and follow and all of the munchkins passed the fidget test with flying colors! There are even alternate directions to follow in case of excessive perspiration...something I thought was very insightful. I took 3 reads on each of my babes with the recommended wait time of 30 sec. between readings. Surprisingly, all of the readings I took were within 0.1-0.2 of a degree for each respective kiddo. Pretty impressive to this mama!

Buy Your Own: The Exergen Temporal Scanner Thermometer can be found nationally at Wal-Mart, Babies R Us,, Walgreens,, Toys R Us,, and for under $50. Click HERE to receive a $5 off coupon!

Win It: One lucky Bullfrogs & Butterflies Baby reader will win their very own Exergen Temporal Scanner Thermometer!

To Enter: You must be a follower of Bullfrogs & Butterflies Baby to enter. Stop by the Exergen Corporation web site and leave a comment here telling me your favorite feature of this innovative scanner (mandatory first entry).

Extra Entries (please leave a separate comment for each):
1. Follow us on Twitter
2. Tweet about this giveaway and include @ElliaCNaturals (a division of Bullfrogs & Butterflies Baby)

3. Become a Facebook Fan (or let me know that you already are!)
4. Become a Facebook Fan of the Exergen Temporal Scanner
5. Blog about this giveaway and link back to Bullfrogs & Butterflies Baby and the Exergen Temporal Scanner

Giveaway open to residents of U.S. and Canada only. Giveaway ends March 25th. Winner to be selected by

This is a Mama Buzz review. This product was provided by the Exergen Corporation for our use and consideration. The opinions regarding the performance of this item are honest, based on my personal experience and belong solely to the author of this post. Images provided by the Exergen Corporation.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Great Garlic Quick Tip!

Love the taste of roasted garlic but don't have the time for a full roasting? For a quick fix in a pinch, heat cloves in the microwave for 20 sec. Pop cloves from their skin and mash. Smear on fresh, crusty bread or crispy crostini for an easy peasey treat!

This tip compliments of The Hip Hostess.

A Sa-weet Prize!

Look at this sa-weet prize I won from Sweet Tea Dresses in a fabulous giveaway hosted by Sprinkles! A big Thank You to Casi of Sprinkles for hosting such a wonderful contest. Just check out the workmanship of this baby!

Shades of Red & Pink by Sweet Tea Dresses

Pattern and fabric close up

I can't wait to dress little Ellie Bean up in this cutie this spring. The colors are perfect for her!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Playing With the Angels

Layla Grace Marsh is playing with her angels now. You have done God's work admirably, baby girl. Be at peace.

Please take a minute to view her video. Your heart will be touched.

Don't Miss These 10 Business Tax Deductions!

Women Entrepreneur has compiled a very helpful list of 10 business related tax deductions that are often over looked when filing...a must read for all of my mom-preneur and small biz friends out there! Read the complete article HERE.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Leave Your Calling Card

This giveaway is now closed.

Whether you're looking to get the word out about your growing business, trying to increase exposure for your blog, or just in need of a calling card for play dates and mommy groups, personalized business cards are a great product to keep on hand. I was thrilled when I was contacted by UPrinting to host this wonderful giveaway for Bullfrogs & Butterflies Baby readers. One lucky person will receive 500 business cards of his/her choice. Perfect for professional use as well as making personal statements, you can use your imagination to make them your own!

Buy it now...
You can get your own business cards online as well as discounts on promotional printing items directly from UPrinting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Now for the prize details...

500 Business Cards for 1 (One) Winner
Sizes 2x3.5", 2x3", 2x2" (square), or 1.5x3.5" (slim card)
Paper: 14 pt gloss cardstock, 14 pt matte cardstock, or 13 pt recycled uncoated cardstock
Specifications: Full color both sides, offset press, and 3 day printing
Shipping: FREE UPS Ground Shipping
Eligibility: Limited to US Residents Only

To Enter:
Just leave me a comment indicating what you would like to use these for and that's it...easy, peasy!

Extra Entries (please leave a separate comment for each):

1. Become a follower of Bullfrogs & Butterflies Baby Blog or let me know that you already are (and thank you!)
2. Become a fan of Ellia C. Naturals on Facebook
3. Follow me on Twitter
4. Tweet about this giveaway and link back to @ElliaCNaturals

The winner will be selected by on March 22nd. Good luck :)

Giveaway sponsored by UPrinting. Author received no payment for hosting this giveaway. Author was given the opportunity to enter a giveaway of the same prize. All opinions on the benefits of business/calling cards are honest based on personal experience and belong solely to the author.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Quick & Easy Microwave Cleaning!

No matter how conscientious you are about wiping down your microwave between uses, there are always those times when you need a little extra "umph" to get the baked on stuff off. I tend to favor all natural, plant-based cleaners over commercial brands anyway, but the thought of spraying a chemical cleaner in an area where I cook food gives me the shivers. Here's a quick, easy, and natural method for cleaning away the grime:

First, be sure to clean away the loose crumbs and debris. Fill a microwave-safe bowl with 2 cups of water and squeeze in the juice of 1/2 lemon. You could also substitute 2-3 Tbsp of vinegar for the lemon, though I love the smell the lemon leaves behind! Microwave for a couple of minutes until the water reaches a rolling boil. Let stand with the door shut for 3-5 minutes and let the steam work its magic. Wipe down the inside of your microwave with a warm damp cloth and presto...clean, clean, clean! End by wiping down the outside of your microwave with a 2:1 mixture of water and vinegar. Try really works!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sa-weet Dresses by Sweet Tea

Surprisingly, having sweet little Ellia after her 3 brothers has meant that this mama hasn't had too do much in the way of shopping for cute little girly and friends have been extremely generous in that department. With a myriad of boys clothes as hand-me-downs, I guess they wanted to make sure that I didn't dress her in a barrage of fire trucks and trains! As a practical mama, I don't see the point of buying extra outfits myself just for the sake of buying them if she already has plenty from other people...especially given the rate at which she's been growing and blowing through sizes. However, I must admit that I have been secretly coveting these adorable dresses from Sweet Tea Dresses for about a month now. Fortunately for me, Sprinkles is hosting a giveaway for one of these very dresses! I adore the simple pillowcase design and use of high quality fabrics...and those ribbon ties are to die for :) This super sweet giveaway ends Monday, March 8th.

Friday Food For Thought

Any child can be taught to be beautifully behaved
with no effort greater than quiet patience and perseverance,
whereas to break bad habits once they are acquired is a Herculean task.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Help Us Help Layla Grace

For those of you who follow my blog regularly, you probably remember a recent post of mine describing the courageous fight of sweet little Layla Grace, a 2 year old angel currently battling Stage IV Neuroblastoma. For those stopping by for the first time, you can read her story HERE as told by her mother, Shanna.

There has been an amazing outpouring of support for Layla through social media avenues, including Facebook, Twitter, and her blog. There are also a number of incredible fundraisers currently in place by some fabulous mama owned shops, including Bellas Bowtique (Layla's signature flower beanie) and Little Diva Tutus (The Original Layla Grace Tutu).

Now, Ellia C. Naturals is joining the fundraising effort! In collaboration with Layla's mom, we have developed a signature essential oil blend that is sweet & sassy, just like it's muse. We're offering some of our most popular products in this deliciously citrus scent with notes of lemon, lime, sweet orange, grapefruit, and bergamot. 50% of the purchase price of any product in The Layla Grace Collection will go directly to Layla's family to assist with her care. Please help us spread the word about this new collection, so that we can help make a significant impact on the family's needs during this challenging time.

Risque Lingerie For Your Feet

Just caught this on FB (compliments of You Tube). The designer is a friend of a high school friend of mine. Check it out and let me know what you think...I'd love to know whether you think it's So Hot or So Not!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Feed Your Winter Skin!

Looking for a way to freshen the dry, cracked complexion that Old Man Winter has left behind? Here's another do-it-yourself face mask from my own skin care arsenal. Give yourself this simple at home facial to smooth and restore what the elements have stripped away!

Avocado & Honey Mask for Dry Skin:

1/2 ripe avocado
1-2 tsp clover honey
1-2 tsp dry whole milk, coconut milk powder, or goat milk powder
1 Tbsp no pulp orange juice (add additional to reach desired consistency)

Put all ingredients into a small blender and blend until smooth (in lieu of a blender, you can also fork mash to a smooth paste). Add additional orange juice as needed to form a smooth paste (thick enough to stay on the skin when applied in a thin layer).

You should always begin your facial with freshly cleansed skin. I also like to do a light steam either with a very warm wash cloth or over a bowl of steam to open pores and clear away any remaining debris prior to applying my mask. Apply mask with clean fingertips or a facial brush, avoiding the eye area. Wait 15-20 minutes, then wipe off with a warm washcloth for gentle exfoliation. Remember not to pull or tug the skin. Follow with a cool water rinse to close the pores and end with a light, non-comedogenic moisturizer.

** To ensure the quality and effectiveness of the ingredients, this at home facial mask is intended to be used immediately after preparation.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Making Snack Time Fun

Make snack time fun with these playful ideas from Disney's Family Fun site.

Strawberry Mice

  1. For each mouse, slice a small section from the side of a strawberry so it sits flat.

  2. Press a mini chocolate chip into the tip for a nose, using a small dab of icing to secure it in place, if needed.

  3. Add icing eyes and stick 2 almond slivers into the top of the berry for ears.

  4. For a tail, use a toothpick to carve a small hole in the back of the berry and push the end of a piece of licorice lace into the hole. Serve these berry cute treats with small triangles of cheese.

Funky Fruit Snack
Looking for a fun way to get kids to eat more fruit? Give your child's after-school snack an appealing twist with a homemade hybrid.
  • Any kind of fruit of relatively the same size
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Oranges
  1. Slice two pieces of fruit that are relatively the same size and alternately stack the pieces, as shown.

A Very Tasty Caterpillar

Your child can't help the famously ravenous caterpillar turn into a butterfly, but she can help him metamorphose into a pizza! Shaping and topping dough are perfect jobs for a (supervised) young chef.

  • Store-bought pizza dough (half a bag)
  • 2 white button mushrooms, sliced
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • Toppings, such as peppers, carrots, olives, fresh basil, and pepperoni
  • Sauce of your choice (we used both pesto and tomato)
  • Mozzarella (we cut deli-style slices into disks with a biscuit cutter)
  1. Heat the oven to 400 F. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet so that it extends slightly beyond each end. If needed, let the dough rise according to the package directions. Divide the dough into 15 one-inch balls and combine 3 balls to make the head. Have your child dust her hands with flour, then let her arrange the balls on the cookie sheet and flatten them slightly with her palms.

  2. Press the mushroom slices under the dough for legs, as shown. Brush the dough and mushrooms with olive oil, then bake until the dough is starting to crisp around the edges, about 10 minutes.

  3. While the dough bakes, create the caterpillar features from your choice of toppings. We used green peppers and carrots.

  4. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven. Using the parchment paper as a carrier, lift the caterpillar off the cookie sheet and set it on a wire rack. When it's cool enough for your child to touch, let her paint the surface with sauce and arrange the Mozzarella and toppings. Again using the parchment, set the caterpillar back on the cookie sheet and bake it until the cheese is just starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Let it cool slightly, slice, and serve.

Images provided by Copywrite protected.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Happy Birthday & a FREE Surprise!

I love them, receiving them, and watching the all around merriment they bring with them. That's why, in celebration of my birthday today, the next 3 orders from will receive a FREE surprise handmade shea butter soap (4.5-5.5 oz)! How is it a surprise when I just told you what the goody is? Because I'm not going to tell you which of our fabulous scents it will be :) Check out all of the possibilities HERE...and get ready to get your lather on!

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