Thursday Thirteen Cookie Magazine Gift Basket Give Away

And the winner is.... Lila! Thank you for visiting Chester County Moms. We hope you enjoy your fabulous Elizabeth Grant swag!

This Thursday Thirteen is all about your Favorite Thirteen Online Boutiques and courtesy of Cookie Magazine one lucky Chester County Moms reader will win a fabulous Elizabeth Grant gift basket.

Elizabeth Grant is a highly advanced luxury skin care line for women of all ages and skin types. Celebrities like Brooke Shields, Ivana Trump, Jennifer Lopez (she loves the caviar eye pads)and Minnie Driver are all fans of the products. Each Elizabeth Grant product contains the company's exclusive compound, Torricelumn™ - a blend of vitamins, proteins, botanicals and anti-oxidants that penetrate deep into the skin helping to restore skin's essential moisture, stimulate Collagen and Elastin production and repair damaged skin. Elizabeth Grant products are NOT tested on animals and Elizabeth Grant supports several women's, diabetic and cancer research charities.

On August 2nd Elizabeth Grant products will be featured on Shop NBC.

This Elizabeth Grant gift basket includes: 1 Vitamin C Night Treatment, 1 Vitamin C Body Lotion, 1 Vitamin C Day Treatment, 1 Lip Gloss, 1 Bio Collasis Eye Cream, 1 24 Hour Hand Cream, 2 Caviar Eye Pads

The Moms at Chester County Moms LOVE Cookie Magazine... Click here to order your RISK - FREE trial issue of Cookie and receive a FREE tote bag.

Contest Rules...You MUST list your thirteen favorite online boutiques as a comment to enter this contest. Please don't copy another persons entry. The purpose of this contest is to learn about new online boutiques. Make sure you include your email address if you you are not linking back to your blog. The winner of this contest will be picked electronically at random and notified via email. Email only entries are NOT accepted for this contest. Only 1 entry per blog/email please. The winner must be at least 18 years old and a Chester County, PA resident. CCM writers and family members are not eligible to win this contest. Not sure how to leave a comment.. click here
or email
Good Luck!

Great Sites

Info on these great sites came in from a Chester County Dad... Thanks for the tips! - A website offering coupons and sales information for many different stores including Best Buy, Home Depot, Gap, Babies R Us, etc. - An affiliate site that offers cash back (and it works, as I've gotten over $50 back from them). How it works is you go to their web site, click on a link to go to another web site (e.g. and make a purchase. Border's offers 4% cash back through eBates, so 4% of your purchase gets added to your eBates account. Every three months if you've earned over $5, they'll cut you a check. If you have earned less than $5, the money in your account carries over to the next period. The cash back is usually between 1 and 5%, but still something.

If you know of any websites that you would like to share with the Chester County Mom readers please email

FREE Zagat guide for Allergy Sufferers

Chester County Readers... we are excited to share information about a new exclusive
Zagat Guide: Out & About with Allergies: An Insider's Guide to Enjoying the City!

Over 40 million Americans suffer from nasal allergies, and find their
symptoms a hassle during the peak seasons. Their biggest complaint:
simply not being able to enjoy the outdoors when nasal and eye
symptoms become severe. A key for nasal allergy sufferers is to talk with their doctors to get their symptoms under control so they can truly enjoy the outdoors and fun activities like dining alfresco or visiting a park.

That's why Zagat Survey® and GlaxoSmithKline, a leader in developing
allergy medicines, came together to launch Out & About with Allergies: An Insider's Guide to Enjoying the City. This cool, complimentary guide showcases chic restaurants, rooftop bars, and outdoor attractions in 20
cities across the country. Each destination is reviewed in the unique Zagat style, featuring input from people who have actually been there. The guide also includes simple tips that can make spending time in the fresh air easier for adults and children with nasal allergies

Seasonal allergy sufferer and outdoor enthusiast James Denton of Desperate Housewives authors the foreward of the guide, which is available free at

Click here to sign up now for your FREE copy of Zagat Guide: Out & About with Allergies: An Insider's Guide to Enjoying the City!

way too much to post about....

Arnold Family Reunion
Mt. Hood, OR
July 24-28

My older brother Jake was in charge of the family reunion this year, and he chose camping. We were a little worried about taking Tanner and Kate camping (I mean let's be realistic here, we've had sleep issues in our home for almost 2 years now, we couldn't imagine sleeping in a cold tent would make it any better). However, the kids did awesome. We were so proud of them. They traveled great on the airplanes and loved camping. Tanner was so excited to sleep in a tent and he said his favorite thing about camping was the fire. I'm not sure if it was the fire so much or the s'mores that we roasted over the fire = ). There were 21 of us in all, 14 adults and 7 kids, taking up 3 campsites. The temperatures ranged from the 40s to high 60s, so we were a bit cold, but that just added to the fun considering what a delicacy that is for us. The second day we were there, everyone decided go go swimming in the lake (at the base of Mt. Hood, a place you can snow ski use your imagination as to how cold that water was). We told Tanner it would be really cold, but he wanted to join his cousins. We all got on our swimsuits and walked down to the lake with goosebumps. Tanner put literally one toe in the water and started bawling. Too cold for him. We walked back to our campsite while all the other cousins, aunts and uncles swam.

When Shad and I got exhausted with the kids, my incredible brother-in-laws, Greg and Clay, or sister-in-law, Lindsay, would take the kids on a walk/adventure in the forest. The kids loved it and we loved having a break. Thank you Greg, Clay and Lindsay.

Little Kate was in love with my Mom. Everyday, all day long, she'd say, "Gma, ma, ma, ma," and reach for my Mom. Tanner stuck by Shad's side almost the entire trip. He wanted nothing to do with me. When I'd talk to him, he'd pretend I didn't even exist.

Here are some pics from the big camp-out (I'm sorry family that I didn't get pictures of everyone. As you can see, I was a little obsessed with taking pictures of the kids):

New York City
July 17-21

Shad earned a trip at work to NYC. I love work trips. Great food, fun entertainment, gifts on your pillow at night and best of all....they pay for everything. We flew my Mom out to watch the kids (thank you, thank you, thank you Mom) and were kid-free for 5 whole days.

Some of the highlights of the trip:

  • The first night we arrived, his workl rented out part of Rockefeller Center for a dinner/party. You know in the movies where they have the huge Christmas tree and iceskating? That's where we it was at. It was all you could possibly eat of lobster, shrimp, filet, lamb and of course every yummy side you can imagine.
  • We went on a bike tour of Central Park. We had been to Central Park before, but it's so huge that we really only saw a small part of it. The bike tour was fun because we saw most of the park and got to hear about the history.
  • Wicked. We got to see Wicked and it was incredible. We both loved every minute of it. I had seen 2 Broadway shows before this and I was in the nosebleed section both times (because I paid for the tickets myself). This time however, with his work footing the bill, we got incredible seats in the orchestra section.
  • Ellis Island. One of the nights, his work rented out Ellis Island and they planned a huge party/dinner with a live band and dancing. It was incredible. From standing in one spot, you could see the skyline of Manhatten, the Statue of Liberty and a huge American flag. All this, while standing on the island that our ancestors came through before they got to come to America. At the end of the night they had a firework show with Patriotic music playing. It really was one of the best nights Shad and I had ever had.
  • Katz's. Shad insisted the whole trip that we just had to go to this deli that he saw on the history channel and that our friend Dave told him about. They are famous for their pastrami sandwiches. I was sort of annoyed because on previous trip I'd been on a food tour of Greenich Village and there were sooo many places I wanted to eat at. (the major problem of NYC....way too many yummy places to eat and not enough time or stomach room to fit it all in.) Well, I figured since Shad earned the trip to begin with that he could have his way. I am soo glad that Shad insisted on this place. It was the best sandwich I'd ever had in my life. It melted in your mouth. We both felt incredibly sick afterward, but it was well worth it.
  • The farewell dinner. The last dinner was at the hotel we stayed in, the Waldorf. There was a live orchestra playing while we ate and at the end of the evening they shot confetti from every direction possible. It was pretty cool.
  • Pinkberry. I am adding this for Shad. Because of a couple of our friends suggestions, we knew that we just had to eat at Pinkberry. This frozen yogurt shop where the yogurt actually tastes like real frozen yogurt instead of soft serve with yogurt flavor. We were told to get the Mochi as a topping. Shad loved the tart yogurt, but neither of us cared for the mochi (sorry to disappoint you Lillie). I thought the yogurt was really good, but as always with desserts, if I'm going to spend the calories, I want it to be something chocolate.
  • American Girl Place. There was an American Girl store right by our hotel, so we were always seeing little girls walking with their American Girl dolls. It was the cutest thing. Shad was very supportive and went in the store with me. We picked out a toddler doll that looked most similiar to Kate and bought an outfit for it.
  • Shopping. I'm not talking fancy 5th Ave stores, I'm talking about street fairs where they block off 10 blocks and set up little shops and of course Canal Street where you can buy fake rolex watches and Channel sunglasses.

**that's soda, not wine...just for those curious = )

My Mom's Visit
July 14-21

Like I said above, Mom, so willingly, came to watch the kids while we were gone in NY. She did the normal baking everyday with the kids, played in the pool and of course gave them gum, and more gum = ). Since we were gone most of the time she was here, I don't have very many pictures, but here are a few:

One last thing. Shad started working with Tanner in the pool more and Tanner has started swimming on his own, without floaties!!! Yay! He is still a 3 year old in a deep pool, so he's not an olympic swimmer, but he can pretty much hold his own in the pool (with us still watching like hawks of course), jumping in, swimming to the side, etc. We are so proud of him.

Mom's Night Out (Game Night)!

Breakfast Club

There were 18 of us the other morning at Denny's for breakfast.
The kids enjoyed the alien pancakes and lots of fruit.
It was a fun start to the day!
Food and Fun with Friends!

Yummy in our tummy!

Mean old Mom


The Child's Comments and Thoughts

My son came home from school one day, with a smirk upon his face.
He decided he was smart enough, to put me in my place.

Guess what I learned in Civics Two, that's taught by Mr. Wright?
It's all about the laws today, The 'Children's Bill of Rights.

It says I need not clean my room, don't have to cut my hair.
No one can tell me what to think, or speak, or what to wear.

I have freedom from religion, and regardless what you say,
I don't have to bow my head, and I sure don't have to pray.

I can wear earrings if I want, and pierce my tongue &nose.
I can read &watch just what I like, get tattoos from head to toe.

And if you ever spank me, I'll charge you with a crime.
I'll back up all my charges, with the marks on my behind.

Don't you ever touch me, my body's only for my use,
not for your hugs and kisses, that's just more child abuse.

Don't preach about your morals, like your Mama did to you.
That's nothing more than mind control, And it's illegal too!

Mom, I have these children's rights, so you can't influence me,
or I'll call Children's Services Division, better known as C.S.D.'

Mom's Reply and Thoughts

Of course my first instinct was to toss him out the door.
But the chance to teach him a lesson made me think a little more.

I mulled it over carefully, I couldn't let this go.
A smile crept upon my face, he's messing with a pro.

Next day I took him shopping at the local Goodwill Store.
I told him, 'Pick out all you want, there's shirts &pants galore.

I've called and checked with C.S.D. who said they didn't care
if I bought you K-Mart shoes instead of those Nike Airs.

I've canceled that appointment to take your driver's test.
The C.S.D. is unconcerned so I'll decide what's best.

I said 'No time to stop and eat, or pick up stuff to munch.
And tomorrow you can start to learn to make your own sack lunch.

Just save the raging appetite, and wait till dinner time.
We're having liver and onions, a favorite dish of mine.

He asked 'Can I please rent a movie, to watch on my VCR?
'Sorry, but I sold your TV, for new tires on my car.

I also rented out your room, you'll take the couch instead.
The C.S.D. requires just a roof over your head.

Your clothing won't be trendy now, I'll choose what we eat.
That allowance that you used to get, will buy me something neat.

I'm selling off your jet ski, dirt-bike &roller blades.
Check out the 'Parents Bill of Rights, It's in effect today!

Hey hot shot, are you crying, Why are you on your knees?
Are you asking God to help you out, instead of C.S.D..?

This will be soooo me and I'm so serious! *snort*

from a Loving Mom

(Mean Old Mother.)

Remembering Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon(my mom is a Carnegie Mellon Alum) professor who became a "You Tube" phenomenon with his "Last Lecture," died today of complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 47. He died at his home in southern Virginia.
He was a truly inspirational man, father, teacher, and author. I watched a Dateline NBC special a few weeks ago and have been in awe of him ever since. His last lecture was made into a book. You can purchase it by clicking on this link. I just bought it and looking forward to reading all that he had to say.

Below are a few statements from RANDY PAUSCH'S 'LAST LECTURE'

-Never underestimate the importance of having fun. I'm dying and I'm having fun. And I'm going to keep having fun every day because there's no other way to play it.

-Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.

-No one is pure evil. Find the best in everybody. Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you.

-Brick walls are there for a reason. They are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop people who don't want it badly enough.

-It is not about achieving your dreams but living your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you.

-We can't change the cards we're dealt, just how we play the hand. If I'm not as depressed as you think I should be, I'm sorry to disappoint you.

Below is his now famous "You Tube" is a long video but SO worth it to watch.

And the winner is....

981 South Bolmar Street, Suite E.
West Chester, PA 19382
(484) 880-4465

Congratulations...Shannon at You Ott 2 Know, on winning the The Jumping Monkey weekday 5-pack of passes! We cannot wait to hear about how much you enjoyed your prize. Have fun!
Stay tuned for next weeks giveaway!.....

S u P E r C r A z y sale!

The Diaper Bag Wrangler has a S u P E r C r A z y SALE going on this week. Huge savings on select Wipes Cases, Organizers, Burp Cloths, Changing Pads and nothing on the clearance rack is over $5.00 - That means you can save up to 75%!!! Tell your friends...who doesn't love a bargain?! Click here to go directly to the sale items

I am a HUGE Diaper Bag Wrangler fan. Check out the Toddler Apron & Potholder Set...It is my favorite toddler gift to give. Throw in a box of brownie, cake & pancake mix and you have the PERFECT Mommy-Daughter memory baking gift! The kids love getting to help mommy in the kitchen all dressed up in their totally cool apron.

Unfortunatly the Toddler Apron & Potholder Set isn't on sale this week but I was able to dig up a PROMO CODE: Use CCMAMA for 10% off Toddler Apron & Potholder Purchases at

I don't make this stuff up...............

Living in an million dollarupscale gated community should be safe... Well, one would think with what we shell out in HOA dues. It's nice living behind the gates of our own little world. But, well... our neighborhood is a scene straigh from "Wisteria Lane including fireworks display. See for yourself.....

  • "Authorities say a 39-year-old woman went to a former employer's house in Leesburg and held him and his wife at gunpoint. The Loudoun Sheriff's Office says the Ashburn woman showed up at the home Saturday morning brandishing a gun. The couple's daughter was also at home, but managed to escape to a neighbor's house and call police". --- My neighborhood. How did the crazy bitch get through our "secure" gate?! Never did hear why the woman was holding up her previous boss...Maybe her raise was a bit skimpy or it had to do with the current gas prices!

  • :"he Loudoun County Sherrif's Office said Thursday that 25-year-old Faris Nassar allegedly used the fake money to buy a dirt bike from a Purcellville man the day before. Troxell says sheriff's deputies searched a home on Emerald Dunes Place late Wednesday and seized U.S. currency, computers and the bike. Nassar has been charged with two counts of counterfeiting and one count of fraud by false pretense. He's being held without bond at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center". *** Again, my neighbor! I know. You wish you had neighbors like this! I wondered where he got all his money. Always one to "pick up the check"!

  • "A fire July at a townhouse in River Creek, that caused about $400,500 in damage was caused by improperly disposed fireworks. The Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office issued the homeowner a summons for carelessly damaging property by fire and for possession of illegal fireworks, Loudoun County Fire-Rescue spokeswoman said". ** Yes, you guessed it. Another neighbor! Be one thought to call the police until the place was engulfed in flames! Wtf?!?!

Mom and Tot Lunch at Chuck E. Cheese

Today we had a fun time at Chuck E. Cheese with the kids. We all enjoyed the food, games, and prizes!

Personalized Photo Book from Shutterfly

I was just online at Shutterfly downloading pictures (the current price is only 15 cents per print and I can pick them up at Target.. Bonus!) and saw the ad for a new personalized photo book. It is a DORA book...cue the applause! My daughter is a HUGE Dora fan so I had to check this out. The book is called Explore new places with Dora! Your child will love starring in a book with Dora the Explorer as they travel together on an exciting adventure to rescue Boots! A great gift for your little explorer!

Creating this book online is so simple and takes only a few minutes. Select your favorite picture to be featured on the cover and throughout the book’s 35 full-color pages. Upload the photo, enter basic information that will be automatically woven into the story, including your child’s name, birthday, and hometown. You can also add an optional dedication for the book’s opening page.
Enter Promo Code: AF62-JL08 to receive a FREE 8x10 print with this order.

My 3 year old daughter received The Amazing Alphabet Adventure book for her birthday and LOVES it! We read it almost every night. She likes to look for her picture on every page. Since she is such a Dora fan I just ordered the Dora book. I know she is going to absolutly LOVE it!

To order your very own Dora, Sesame Street or Alphabet Adventure book click on the link below. Did you know that Shutterfly has Diego, Thomas the Train, Angelina Ballerina, Sponge Bob and Clifford Memory Books? They are a perfect way to remember a theme birthday party. Shutterfly also has a great assortment of select Nick Jr. character invitations, thank you cards and photo posters.

Leave a comment if you have any additional Shutterfly promo codes to share.

This week's give away!

We are pleased to announce the 1st of many, Chester County Moms give aways for local moms!

The Jumping Monkey in West Chester, has generously donated a weekday 5-pack of passes (valued at $36) to be given to one lucky mom! How cool is that?!?

The Jumping Monkey is a premium indoor moon bounce facility offering open bouncing daily, birthday party packages, and family fun nights. My son personally loves the huge fire engine moon bounce and I love that I can bring outside food & drinks (since my little guy is always snacking).

To enter this fabulous giveaway, post a comment below by Wednesday, July 23rd at 10 PM. Tell us what you love about the new CCM blog and if there are any business reviews or products that you would like to see featured.

Not a blogger? Great News! You can still enter this fun contest! Simply post a comment as anonymous and email us at: chestercountymoms@gmail(dot)com. We will post the winner on Thursday.

Good luck and Thanks for reading Chester County Moms! Don't forget to sign up for e-mail subscriptions for this site (top of the page) so you will know about all of the give aways going on weekly.

Visit The Jumping Monkey at 981 South Bolmar Street, Suite E, West Chester, PA 19382. For more information please call (484) 880-4465 or click on the highlighted links above.

Mommies and their girls............

I'm still coming down from our trip to the beach. It was a heroine injection that I soooo craved. Not that I would know, but I gotta believe that's what it would feel like. My breahing increased as I peered at the gorgeous boats and the big body of water as we crossed the bridge. My juices were flowing. Body weaving as we listened to favorite tunes from he 80's. I know I have hinted how badly I missed it, but I miss it. Now more than ever. I've always been a beach girl. I can not deny it. It's in my blood. I love nothing better than the roar of the waves. The cool tropical breeze. The smell of coconut oil and salt water. The boats!! And oh, the view! Those hard toned bodies. Yum-yum. I love the "beachy" lifestyle. Nothing in the world makes me happier than slipping on my flip-flops and heading to the beach with ball cap and sunglasses. It is sheer ecstasy for me. I'm easy I admit. So, Annie and I headed down to Virginia Beach, Virginia with the chicks! It was to be a girls only trip. The first of many. No boys! We had been anticipating this trip for weeks. I had anxiously packed our bags two weeks prior. Ok. So I was a little excited! But, I didn't want to forget anything in our haste to get there.

Surprisingly enough we had no traffic getting out of D.C. I'm sure the recent price of gas had NOTHING to do with it. Thank you Dubya for paving the way. Insert: sarcasim. There was virtually no traffic. As we rolled into Virginia Beach I got all misty eyed. I couldn't wait to experience my greatest love with my daughter's. It was going to be awesome. Annie and I had vowed that this would become an annual tradition for us.

From the moment we pulled into the hotel with our rockin rides loaded with our loot jamming to our favorite tunes we were treated like royalty. No. Shit. The red carpet was rolled out. Yes, I admit, I may have done a little "name" dropping as I tossed the valet my keys and some bills. I had called in a favor from my previous hotel connections prior to arriving. "Brangilna and their clan" never had it so good! And all we had to say was "were in room 1213 and blankity blank said...." and they scrambled. Even at the restaurant down the street. I kept looking to see if our name was on the banner that flew by our hotel morning, noon and night. It was hysterical.

Just taking the chicks out created a stir and lots of comments. But, by far was the one from the local who said "ummm, are they triplettes"? Me, "uh, no, and if they were there would be four"! That was the funniest comment by far! Well, that and are they identical quads! The girls were sooo good considering we didn't eat dinner most evenings until after 7:00pm.

We had an unbelievable ocean front suite with balcony on the 12th floor. We spent each evening listening to the ocean tickle and tease our senses as we sipped on our wine and laughed until the wee, wee hours after the chicks had gone to bed. It. Was. Heaven. I just know it was. Right, Annie?! Of course Cindy was supposed to be here enjoying the fun with us, but due to work obligations had to cancel. Girl, you would have laughed till you pee'd. Or, have been scared to death as we crawled on the beach like wanna be porn stars for our "photo op" lol. We've got it good at home, but it does make a girl (a 40 somethingpushing 50 girl with youngins!) feel good when she still gets hit upon. Right? He was so hot didn't have any teeth! And, and... he said, I quote " there's some sweet meat". He knows.... Oh, baby, I've still got it..... don't you ever forget it. Bwahahahaha.... Thank you Annie for a great time. I can not wait until next year. Cindy, you too.... and anyone else who dares to join us...... nothing is off limits with this group!