Archive for the ‘sponsored posts’ Category

Keeping Cool

Monday, May 27th, 2013


You see that face? That’s the face of a woman living out a lifelong dream.  It has always been my goal to find a pillow that stays cool at night.  I had heard of people putting their traditional pillows in the refrigerator.  I have to tell you, as icky as it sounds to have your pillow next to your sauerkraut and cottage cheese, I considered it.  I like the cool side of the pillow, what can I say?  You can imagine how psyched I was when Chili Technology asked me to review their Chili Cloud Gel Pillow.  I imagined it would be like the other side of the pillow for Peter Griffin

I have this thing where I can’t sit in a seat someone else just sat in.  I hate residual butt heat.  At my last job the guys in one area knew this.  So, when they saw me coming they would all run and fill the seats before I came in the room.  Some would even proudly announce how much gas they had produced in their seat so I would be sure to know how warm they had left that particular chair for me.  Gross.

I also can’t stand to have my head get too hot at night which meant I was a frequent pillow flipper.

I even had a fancy Tempur-Pedic-like pillow from Brookstone for the past few years that my Mother-In-Law bought me for Christmas.  The Chili Cloud Gel Pillow had a big pillow case to fill because I really liked the support of the foam in the Brookstone one.  It had a satin side and I liked how the satin made my head feel a little cooler, but I still found myself turning it instead of flipping it.

I was skeptical, but the Chili Pillow has not disappointed me.  It has a gel panel that keeps your head and face noticably cool. It’s a really neat technology.  Check it out here.  The foam-like material it’s made from is amazing, ya’ll! It is very supportive and doesn’t lose shape.  I HATE bunching up hotel pillows or doubling up old traditional pillows.  Again, I was coming off a fancy pillow, so this one had to deliver in supportiveness and it did!

The one thing I would change about the Chili Pillow is the size of the gel pad.  I wish it extended all the way to the edge of the pillow, that way my neck and shoulders would feel cool all the time too.  Plus, my head rarely stays in the middle of the pillow.  Call me a pregnant princess, but I really want complete comfort as I am gestating and sleeping at the same time.

The Chili Cloud Gel Pillow would be awesome for any pregnant woman, or anyone fussy about their temperature at night.  Have any of you ever used a pillow like this?  Would you? Have you tried others before? Would this kind of thing appeal to you?  Let me know and I’ll tell Chili Technology what you think.

Disclaimer: Chili Technology gave me a Chili Cloud Gel Pillow to collect my drool.  My drooling over it is totally free and totally honest. 


Luna B. Tee Giveaway- February 17, 2013

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

I don’t know what it is about Southerners, but it seems we like to put our initials on everything.  If there is enough room for a monogram, then by God, stitch and/or screen print it somewhere.  Ya’ll don’t hang your towels without your name on ‘em, you gotta let everyone know they’re yours!

No surprise that when I had a baby I put her name on anything I could.  We worked hard to find the perfect name for her, so we were going to make sure “Charlotte Eva” was on every blanket, piece of decorative wall art, picture frame and sippy cup she owned.

So when I found Luna B. Tee I did the little squeal I do when I land on an Internet site selling products I adore.  This company is based out of Knoxville, Tennessee.  The south naturally, because they specialize in personalized children’s clothing and everything monogrammed.


Luna B. Tee sent me their Original Tee for Charlotte.  She loved it!  The Original Tee has the child’s first name initial with their first name all around the circle.  After we told her what it said she kept saying “C for Chalette!”  Even in North Carolina it has been chilly this February so I paired it with a hot pink undershirt to go with the pink/hot pink design they sent me.  She rocked it with the skinny jeans, furry boots and pigtails for school this week.

c tee

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As two-year-old’s do, she came home with a bunch of stuff on her new shirt.  I put a little stain remover spray on it.  Voila!  No stains.  This shirt is seriously soft too.  It’s thick and high quality.  I have washed it twice and it has not shrunk up or gotten all misshapen the way a lot of kids clothes do.

This weekend we paired it with navy and hot pink leggings and a jean skirt.  Please excuse the blurry cell phone action shot of us in a restaurant.

photo (9)

After her nap, Charlotte decided a shirt this fantastic didn’t need pants.  She just rocked her snow boots with it.  These boots have only been necessary twice this year.  We got about an inch each time.  Okay, so in the South we do monograms and overreact to snow.  That is what we do.

photo (12)

You can show off your kid’s awesome name too with The Original!  Luna B. Tee is giving one away to a lucky Somebody’s Parents reader!  Get one for your kid, a present, whatever.  Entering is so easy and you don’t have to put on pants to win it, right Charlotte?!

  1. Leave a comment here telling me which color you would like, and what name you would choose.
  2. “Like” Luna B. Tee on Facebook.
  3. Follow Luna B. Tee on Twitter.
  4. Do the same for me here and here.
  5. If you Tweet about the giveaway or share it on Facebook you get another entry.

That’s it!  I’ll pick a winner next week.  I promise you’ll see a ton of gift ideas for friends and family on the site too.  Luna B. Tee is offering Somebody’s Parents readers a 10% discount with the Coupon Code #Some10.

Disclaimer:  Luna B. Tee sent me a totally cute t-shirt.  My opinions, however, are totally free and totally honest.


Prenatal/Pre PR Flashbacks- January 29, 2013

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

This morning was one big flashback to 2 1/2 years ago.  I should say it was lots of little flashbacks to 2 1/2 years ago.  You know, when I was all round and glowy, maybe a little sleepy too.  Ah!  Here she is…

amy p 2FLASHBACK! September 2010, about 34 weeks pregnant

I joined a group of round, glowy and sleepy gals this morning at Rapid Fitness in Raleigh.  I have been to lots of gyms, but I seriously love this one.  I like fitness classes because I’m an uber-extrovert who can’t stand the solidarity and monotony of running.  (Let’s be honest.  I hate running in general.  If that’s your thing, they have plenty of treadmills and ellipticals with fancy TVs.) What I really love is that they have specialty prenatal exercise classes.

No.  I’m not pregnant.  Thanks for asking, though.

Now that we have that cleared up, I have an explanation for my attendance to this class.  Rapid Fitness’ prenatal class was being featured on NBC 17’s local morning newscast.  As part of my Public Relations job, I do Media Training to prepare clients for interviews.  After helping Brandy, a Personal Trainer for Rapid Fitness, they asked me to use my baby blogging skills to tell all my darling readers more about what they offer.  I was there to observe and tell you all about the prenatal class.

Disclaimer: Rapid Fitness gives me free classes that I don’t attend like I should.  My opinions, however, come up more than they should.  They are totally free and totally honest.

Being with the TV news crew gave me flashbacks to all my early morning hours as a news reporter.  I was all busy and harried, maybe a little stressed too.  Ah!  Here she is… (Really cold and miserable on this day, apparently.)

news 1FLASHBACK!  No joke. EXACTLY 3 years ago today January 29, 2010 (Found it on Facebook.)

This morning Brandy discussed the importance of prenatal fitness.  As a personal trainer and mother of a 2 1/2 year old, she works with moms-to-be to stay fit before pregnancy.  She explained to Page Crawford from NBC 17 that exercise while you’re pregnant can help with the following…

  • More energy
  • Less moody
  • Better sleep
  • Easier labor and delivery
  • Decreased chance of Gestational Diabetes

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking.  “Ha!  Sounds good Amy, let’s go workout when I’m already more tired then I have ever been in my entire life.  Did someone poison my food?  Seriously.”  I hear you.  These recommendations come with a caveat.  Do what your doctor says is okay.  Don’t push it.  That is something they really stress at Rapid Fitness.  Let me tell you, these were some seriously dedicated pregnant chicks.

photo rp 1

You see the blond on the left?  That’s Jennifer.  She is my sweet, adorable coworker whom I love working with.  You want to talk about a tough cookie?  This poor girl has had an awful pregnancy!  She has been sick EVERY DAY.  If you have questions about Zofram and extreme exhaustion, Jennifer can answer them.  She is expecting a boy in May, and I think she will be glad to not be pregnant.  Yet here she was this morning, toning muscles and keeping her body strong.  She is my new hero.

All the exercises they offer in the class are modified and lower impact to make them safe for pregnancy.  They did lunges and squats to prepare your legs and booty for the big pushes of labor.  The class then used small free weights to tone arms.  I know I’m not the only one whose arms were seriously sore after labor. It’s hard work to pull yourself up by your legs like that.  Bouncing and sitting on the exercise ball while lifting the weights was encouraged.  Of course breathing, stretching, and water breaks were a huge priority.  (Wait, not those kind of water breaks!)  


I’m making it a personal goal to do more low-impact exercise the next time I get pregnant. (Whenever that is. Again, I’m not pregnant.)  I did a lot of walking the first go-around, but I want more overall tone this time.

Were you/are you able to exercise during pregnancy? What kind of exercise did you do/are you doing while pregnant?  Did you take a class?  Did it help you feel better during pregnancy or labor and delivery?  

Watch the NBC 17 segments here and here so you can see some of the exercises.  (The second link is longer and you can hear more interviews!)


Sugar Plum Fairy Smiles- December 19, 2012

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

I think it was Christmas 1996 when I scored a lead role in my dance studio’s local production of The Nutcracker.  I was the “Snow Queen”, or “Lead Snowflake.” Different companies call it different things.  I was 15.  My mom has pictures somewhere.  For many years of my youth The Nutcracker and the holiday season became synonymous.

My dance career ended after I finished a Dance Minor in college and shook my pom poms on the university dance team.  Back in Christmas 2003 when my husband and I were dating he took me to the Carolina Ballet’s annual performance of The Nutcracker.  We held hands and made eyes at each other in the dark theater.

I haven’t been to a dance concert or ballet since then, so I was elated when Carolina Ballet offered to send me to The Nutcracker this year.  It is truly a magical holiday experience, especially for kids.  Obviously, my two-year-old isn’t quite old enough to appreciate the beauty and artistry of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece.  But, I knew a little girl who would.

I tweeted out this slightly blurry pic of my companions last night.  Meet Amy and Ashley.  Amy is a dear friend and her daughter Ashley is my favorite 8-year-old.

The three “A’s” Amy, Amy, and Ashley

Before the show, Ashley dined on some of the best mac ‘n cheese Raleigh has to offer as she rattled off her Christmas list to me.  (Santa will have a lot of electronics to bring this little gal and her step-brothers.)  She showed me her super cool new braces and explained they only hurt for a few days.  Ashley told me about 3rd grade and her upcoming Christmas program at school. This is the most delightful, kind and gracious child you will ever meet.  If she thanked me once, she thanked me a million times for inviting her.  I love this kid!

Amy and I walked to the auditorium while Ashley danced down the street in her skirt that looks sort of like a tutu.  It was perfect for a night at the ballet.

Ashley’s skirt. I’ve decided I need one like this.

I saw other little girls as young as 3 or 4 dressed in their Christmas best.  Many had pretty taffeta dresses with bows.  Some clutched their own Nutcracker dolls.  I flashed forward to nights we’ll take our daughter Charlotte in the coming years.  If you think only girls like The Nutcracker, you are wrong!  There were little guys in the theater in dress pants and sweater vests.  What boy wouldn’t love a good battle between a Rat King and a Toy Soldier?  That’s pretty awesome.  Children and adults were completely enthralled by the magic tricks the Carolina Ballet incorporates into their show.  It kept Ashley’s and other children’s attention the entire time.  Amy said to me, “I’ve been to a lot of Nutcracker performances.  This is my first one by Carolina Ballet and it is the best!”

Throughout the performance Ashley would lean over and whisper things like, “He he!  The little rat is my favorite.  It’s cute!”  or “Hey, Miss Amy.  Do you think that’s real snow?”

During intermission, the dancer playing “Clara” was out in the front of the auditorium taking pictures with children.  That would have been very exciting for Ashley, but Carolina Ballet gave us the opportunity to go backstage during intermission.  When I told Ashley this I thought she was going to jump out of her tutu skirt!  When we got back stage, there she was!  In all her sparkly pink tutu beauty!  The Sugar Plum Fairy herself talked to Ashley and took a picture with her.  I think Ashley’s face says it all.

I’m pretty sure we can see all of her new braces with a grin that big.  Thank you Carolina Ballet for a very special evening that kicked off Christmas in the perfect way.

I know I have a lot of readers here locally in North Carolina.  I’m talking to you.  The Carolina Ballet is one of the true treasures of our state.  During the Nutcracker the North Carolina Symphony is the orchestra.  Amazing!  There are still tickets available for performances in Raleigh and Durham both before and after Christmas.  Get information here.  It is a fantastic way to celebrate the holidays with your family.  If you are elsewhere in the nation, please go to your local shows and take in all that local arts programs have to offer.

What are your favorite Nutcracker memories?  Do you go every year?  How old should a child be to go to the ballet and enjoy it?  

Disclaimer: The Carolina Ballet sent me to the performance but my opinions are totally free and totally honest.  Happy Holidays!  


Diagnosis- October 2, 2012

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012


This was me today. It was the kind of Tuesday where I answered work emails from my phone as the doctor at Urgent Care told me to “Get over yourself and go home. You’re not going to work today. You’re running a fever.” So I sucked down soup and Airborne with no makeup, glasses, and tissues always in tow. Between naps I watched episodes of “Arrested Development” on Netflix. Laughing at the shenanigans of Gob, Buster, and Tobias made me forget about the body aches and runny nose.

This affliction came to be thanks to my daughter. My poor girl had a double ear infection with a virus on top. She had a fever from Thursday through Sunday. I worry she had it before that and we didn’t notice it.

When my fever from the virus started I felt terrible! This had me wondering. Was she starting to feel bad before we noticed it? Could her tantrums be because she didn’t feel well and couldn’t tell us? We can see when she is lethargic. Like any kid, she cries when she bumps her head or smashes her finger, but what about when she’s starting to feel ill? She can tell me when she has a boo-boo, but it’s not like she can say, “Mama, I feel like I might be coming down with something,” or “Daddy, I think my lymph nodes are swollen and my throat hurts.”

I Googled “When can a child tell you they are sick,” but I didn’t get the answers I was looking for. How old will she be when she can say, “I feel sick”? The mothering instinct has served me well so far, but I’m not gonna lie. It would be really nice for her to tell me when something is wrong.

How did you get your child to tell you something is wrong? When were they able to do that? I figure if I get some advance warning of her sickness, I may be able to keep myself healthier too.