Archive for Contests

Meeting Daddy After Deployment #MissionCare

DISCLOSURE: This post was sponsored by Dove Men+Care via MSB New Media. All opinions and words are my own. As always, my time can be hired but not my opinions are not for sale.

Wave after wave of intense contractions and where is that guy who got me into this mess in the first place? Stuck in airport traffic.

That’s probably a nightmare scenario for most first-time moms. The airport for me, though, was Baghdad International Airport.

Read more

YesVideo Video Conversion Giveaway for Military Families

When my husband was deployed, more than any supplies or even homemade goodies, he wanted messages from his family…photographs, videos, video-chats, recordings–seeing and hearing his loved ones. That connection to home is what helps soldiers keep going, during the most difficult conditions.

If you have vintage audio-visual material on almost any format, you can convert that into a special DVD and online digital video for your soldier. Here is a special sponsored message about how you can win a $300 gift certificate to turn your old family videos and other media into DVDs:

Military Families Can Share Favorite Vintage Videos with their Loved Ones Abroad, Thanks to YesVideo’s Holiday Gifting Program

YesVideo is dedicated to bringing joy to military personnel serving abroad through re-living favorite family memories

Santa Clara, CA – January 3, 2012 – YesVideo, the global leader in video and photo digitization, is announcing their Holiday Gifting Program for U.S. Military Families. In January, YesVideo will give away five $300 gift certificates to Military Families. The gift certificates can be used to have their family videos transferred to DVD, as well as online, and materials will be delivered to the winners by Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013.

The contest is open to any U.S. military family who has a loved one serving abroad. Interested families can sign up on YesVideo’s Facebook page.

YesVideo can digitize the following forms of vintage media:

· 8mm film

· 16mm film

· Super8 film

· VHS

· Beta (NTSC)

· VHS-C

· MiniDV

· Photo Prints

· Photo Negatives

· Photo Slides

One $300 gift certificate will cover about 15 videotapes . Once YesVideo receives the footage, the company will transfer it to DVD and store the video in YesVideo’s free, unlimited cloud storage system. Since YesVideo uploads customers’ videos into personal, password-protected accounts, military personnel serving all over the world will be able to view their favorite home movies in time for Valentine’s Day. Links to the videos can be sent via email or shared on Facebook.

“We are incredily grateful to our military for their service to our country, and we want to say thank you to them by delivering special memories to them,” says Michael Chang, CEO of YesVideo. “We recognize that they are not home with their families to celebrate the holidays, and we want to give them the next-best thing – videos of their loved ones.”

The short entry form is located on YesVideo’s Facebook page. The contest will close January 10 at 12:00 midnight PST, and winners will be notified within one week. All media materials must be received at YesVideo by January31 in order to be processed and returned by February 14. Final deadline for winners to submit their videos is January 31, 2013.

To enter the contest, please visit http://www.facebook.com/yesvideo/app_201730886505500

About YesVideo

YesVideo is the global leader in video transferring and sharing. The company’s patented technology allows them to efficiently transfer personal videos at scale. Customers may then view, edit and share their videos in the cloud. YesVideo has unlocked billions of classic family video moments and life events for seven million customers already.

Consumers may drop off their personal film (8mm, 16mm, VHS, Beta, etc), prints, slides and photo albums at one of YesVideo’s 34,000 retail locations, or online at YesVideo.com. All material received by YesVideo go through either the East Coast production facility, located in Norcross, GA or the West Coast production facility, located in Santa Clara, CA.

Army Wives Fans: Win 1 of 2 Kindle Fires!

Are you excited about the premier of Army Wives, Season 6 on Sunday, March 4th at 9/8c?

Kind of gives you the chills, doesn’t it?

Lifetime is offering TWO of my readers each a Kindle Fire (ARV $199) with a branded Army Wives cover.

So. Cool. In fact, I am totally jealous because I don’t own any e-reader or tablet!

Ready for the details on how to enter to win?

You can enter in any or all of the following ways. Leave a separate comment for each entry because I will be choosing at random from the comments:

  • Leave a comment about the show. Suggested topics: to which wife do you relate to best and why? what are you most interested in seeing this new season? what is a favorite moment from the show? (Enter up to once, daily. 14 total possible entries.)
  • Share this contest on any public site where you are allowed to do so. Leave the permalink of your tweet, blog post, etc. in the website field of your comment. (Enter up to once, daily. 14 total possible entries.)
  • Join the Army Wives’ Lives Community (you can use a BlogFrog or Facebook login) and start a new discussion. Leave the title of that discussion in your comment on this post. (Enter up to once, daily. 14 total possible entries.)
  • Comment on someone else’s discussion in the Army Wives’ Lives Community. Leave the title of that discussion in your comment on this post. (Enter up to once, daily. 14 total possible entries.)

Rules: Please leave a separate comment for each of your entries. Giveaway ends 11:59 PM EST on March 14. Prize ships to US addresses only. Prize is provided and shipped by Lifetime. Army Wives’ Lives accepts no liability related to this contest. We reserve the right to reject and delete any entries that are not in the spirit of the giveaway at our sole discretion. Winner is chosen, using random.org, from valid entries.

Enter to Win An Ultimate Fan DVD Prize Pack: Army Wives: Seasons 1-5!

Army Wives: The Complete Fifth Season is available on DVD starting Sept. 27 and I have a giveaway for you courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s ABC TV on DVD!

Army Wives: The Complete Fifth Season (Release Date: September 27)
This exciting DVD debut showcases each emotional moment from the lives of the military families at Fort Marshall, SC in the riveting fifth season. The women’s friendships continue to grow stronger as they band together through their most difficult challenges yet, including life with a newborn, career changes and the tragic loss of a loved one. This collective release allows fans to own every heartfelt episode, plus never-before-seen bonus features.

DVD Bonus Features Include: “Hangin’ At The Hump: A Candid Conversation With The Cast of Army Wives” – The cast of Army Wives participate in a roundtable conversation where they share their thoughts, experiences and the impact the show has had on them, the community and real Army Wives.

Giveaway Prize: One Army Wives Ultimate Fan DVD Prize Pack: Seasons 1-5

To Enter: You may enter any or all of the following ways and you may do so up to once a day for a total of 1-12 possible entries. For each entry, you MUST leave a separate comment on THIS POST as I will be drawing the winner from the comments.

  • Leave a comment on this post letting me know a moment from Army Wives that really spoke to you.
  • Share the giveaway on any social network where you are allowed to do so.

Prize will ship to US only. Giveaway ends September 27, 11:59 PM EST.

Trooppaws Giveaway: A Perfect Deployment Friend for Kids

When Trooppaws contacted me to ask if I could share their sweet stuffed animal plush puppies, sewn from authentic military uniform fabric, I immediately asked if I could offer one to a reader, instead.

My husband was deployed while I was pregnant with our first child. And, as difficult as that was, not sharing that special experience, the stress after hearing of our daughter’s heart condition, and the early colicky weeks, I cannot compare it to telling children that their beloved father will be gone for an entire year.

Nothing can take the place of a parent or other loved one in a child’s life but offering a special, personalized gift can help ease the anxiety of separation.

The creator of Troopaws explains her inspiration: “The courage of family members left behind is so admirable that my hope is that loved ones find strength and comfort in this personalized keepsake. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Folds of Honor Foundation.”

From the website: Each Troop Paws measures 14″ in height and is made of authentic military camouflage. They each are adorned with a gro-grain ribbon bow tie and attached to the neck is a metal logo printed dog tag on a key chain. The filling of the Troop Paws are 100% soft poly hypoallergenic. On the right sleeve is a woven American Flag label. The front of the Troop Paws has a clear pocket which is where the photo of your troop goes. They are proudly made in the USA.

If you would like to enter to win a Trooppaws of your choice, you may enter one or more of the following ways:

1. Leave a comment below with a tip or question about easing deployment fears for family members.
2. Like Troopaws on facebook and Army Wives’ Lives on facebook and leave one, additional, separate comment saying that you did.
3. Share the giveaway on the social network of your choosing. Leave one, additional, separate comment saying that you did and input the URL of what you shared as your website.

Rules/Disclosure: I did not accept any fees or products for offering this giveaway. I am simply choosing to support this small business that supports us. Giveaway ends 11:59 PM EST, July 6, 2011. Winner chosen at random. Prize will ship to US postal addresses, only. Please do not put your e-mail address in the body of your comment. If you leave your address only in the e-mail field, I will be able to see it and spammers will not.

Military Monday Linky AND Army Wives Giveaway!

Army Wives Gym Bag

Welcome to the Military Monday Family Blogger Carnival – March 14, 2011!

Exciting news! This week’s carnival will feature an amazing contest, sponsored by Lifetime!

I’m proud to have joined the LifetimeMoms affiliate network and want to celebrate with you!

Army Wives is back! Watch the exciting new season Sundays at its new time, 9/8c on Lifetime.

One lucky winner will receive from Lifetime: an Army Wives gym bag, Gaiam yoga mat/bag, padlock, dog tag, water canteen, tank top, terry cloth sweat towel, messenger cap, yoga ball and jump rope (ARV $200).

Anyone with a US Shipping Address may enter 1-2 times and bloggers may earn an extra entry.

***CONTEST RULES***

Open Entry 1: Leave a comment on this post (using the regular comment system, please, not the “facebook comments”), letting me know why you enjoy Army Wives on Lifetime!

Open Entry 2: Please visit ANY of the links in the linky below and leave a substantive comment on that blogger’s post. Come back here and let me know on which post you commented.

Extra THIRD Entry for Bloggers: Leave your link in the linky below. Make sure to (A) link back to this post AND (B) leave a comment below that you linked up for your entry to count for the giveaway. If you are having trouble with the linky, please comment with your link and I will add it for you!

Extra FOURTH Entry: If you’ve already commented, please share the post (on Twitter or any publicly available social site) and let me know where you shared in a separate comment. Sample Tweet: @ArmyWivesLives has a great linky 4 MilBloggers & a giveaway from @ArmyWives – http://bit.ly/g1Cirr

Carnival links may be anything that is related to the military family experience. You can post a homecoming photo, share an experience, make a list of resources. It can be ANYTHING military family-related–just try to make it substantive (ie Don’t just post my button and say, “hi”…this is an opportunity to get to know each other and our writing).

Contest ends 11:59 PM EST 3/20. Winner drawn at random from qualifying comments. Prize will ship from the sponsor to US addresses only. Leave a separate comment for each of your entries! We reserve the right to change the rules by altering them on this post, without additional notice.

*** More about the Military Mondays Blog Carnival ***

  • In the “Link Title” field, please place the title of your post, plus the name of your blog and/or your name. (e.g. “Grow Where You Are Planted @Army Wives’ Lives”)
  • In the “URL” field, please place the direct “permalink” to the specific post, not to your main page of your blog. (e.g. “http://armywiveslives.com/2009/10/coping-during-deployment/” NOT “http://ArmyWivesLives.com”)
  • Your post must be relevant to the military family experience. I also retain the right to delete links to any posts that contain hate speech, plans to commit illegal acts, or anything that violates the spirit of this carnival or U.S. law.

Need a reminder that the carnival is up? Subscribe to Army Wives Lives by Email and you will get a digest of posts, no more than once a day (probably more like 1-3 times a week) when I post.

Want MORE Army Wives’ Lives? Fan the facebook page!

Want to share more of the FABULOUSNESS that is you? I accept guest posts and post interviews!

Want to share the carnival? Please feel free to grab the code for the button if you are interested:

military-mondays

<a href="http://armywiveslives.com/category/military-mondays-carnival/" target="_BLANK"><img src="http://armywiveslives.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/military-mondays-300x238.jpg" alt="Military Mondays Family and Spouse Carnival at Army Wives' Lives" border=0 /></a>

Without further ado, let’s get to the posts–I hope you’ll participate and visit these wonderful Military Family Bloggers–and feel free to check out previous editions for more great Military Family Posts!

Military Mondays Carnival – April 26

Welcome to the SIXTH Military Mondays Carnival on Army Wives’ Lives!

Oceans  Between Us Susan Wiggs BOOK COVERAND…we have a PRIZE for the next two carnivals, courtesy of Susan Wiggs, author of The Ocean Between Us!

About The Ocean Between Us:

Steve Bennett is a perfect navy officer with a perfect navy family, and he’s confident that his world is just the way it should be. But his son wants to be an artist instead of attending the U.S. Naval Academy, and his stalwart and capable wife of 20 years, Grace, is tired of being the perfect navy wife. She wants her own home, and she wants her own career. She’s feeling altogether unsettled, but nothing is more unsettling than the secret her husband has hidden from her their entire marriage. Nothing, that is, until the accident on the carrier.

  • One (1) Grand Prize winner will receive a $50 VISA gift card AND a copy of The Ocean Between Us.
  • Two (2) additional winners will receive a copy of the book!

This contest will run for two weeks, and each week, you may earn up to one entry for each of the following, for both weeks, for a total of up to FOUR ENTRIES:

  • Entry Type 1: Add a link in the linky box below to a post where you discuss military family issues (please see carnival rules below*) and then, if you wish to enter this contest, please also leave me a comment.
  • Entry Type 2: Visit at least one of the links in the carnival, leave the blogger a comment about their post (not just, “hi, I’m here”) and then come back here and leave me a separate comment telling me where you visited and commented.

Details and Disclaimers: Contest ends May 2, 11:59 PM EST. Prize offered by Susan Wiggs, author of The Ocean Between Us. ARV of book is $14.95. Open to U.S. mailing addresses, only. This blog and its author(s) have received no compensation. You do not have to be a blogger to enter–anyone can enter by the comment method. Winner will be chosen at random from qualifying entries.

A reminder: April is MONTH OF THE MILITARY CHILD! So, if you need any help thinking about what to post, consider our smallest heroes.

*** The only Military Mondays Blog Carnival rules are: ***

  • In the “Link Title” field, please place the title of your post, plus the name of your blog and/or your name. (e.g. “Grow Where You Are Planted @Army Wives’ Lives”)
  • In the “URL” field, please place the direct “permalink” to the specific post, not to your main page of your blog. (e.g. “http://armywiveslives.com/2009/10/coping-during-deployment/” not “http://ArmyWivesLives.com”)
  • Your post must be relevant to the military family experience. I also retain the right to delete links to any posts that contain hate speech, plans to commit illegal acts, or anything that violates the spirit of this carnival or U.S. law.

Please make this a post from sometime in the last month or so.

Need a reminder that the carnival is up? Subscribe to Army Wives Lives by Email and you will get a digest of posts, no more than once a day (probably more like 1-3 times a week) when I post.

Want MORE Army Wives’ Lives? Fan the facebook page!

Want to share more of the FABULOUSNESS that is you? I accept guest posts and post interviews!

Want to share the carnival? Please feel free to grab the code for the button if you are interested:

military-mondays
<a href="http://armywiveslives.com/category/military-mondays-carnival/" target="_BLANK"><img src="http://armywiveslives.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/military-mondays-300x238.jpg" alt="Military Mondays Family and Spouse Carnival at Army Wives' Lives" border=0 /></a>

Without further ado, let’s get to the posts–I hope you’ll participate and visit these wonderful Military Family Bloggers–and feel free to check out previous editions for more great Military Family Posts!

Military Mondays Carnival – April 19 Edition

Welcome to the FIFTH Military Mondays Carnival on Army Wives’ Lives!

Oceans  Between Us Susan Wiggs BOOK COVERAND…we have a PRIZE for the next two carnivals, courtesy of Susan Wiggs, author of The Ocean Between Us!

***To enter the week of April 26 through May 2, please see the April 26th, Sixth Edition of the Military Mondays Carnival***

About The Ocean Between Us:

Steve Bennett is a perfect navy officer with a perfect navy family, and he’s confident that his world is just the way it should be. But his son wants to be an artist instead of attending the U.S. Naval Academy, and his stalwart and capable wife of 20 years, Grace, is tired of being the perfect navy wife. She wants her own home, and she wants her own career. She’s feeling altogether unsettled, but nothing is more unsettling than the secret her husband has hidden from her their entire marriage. Nothing, that is, until the accident on the carrier.

  • One (1) Grand Prize winner will receive a $50 VISA gift card AND a copy of The Ocean Between Us.
  • Two (2) additional winners will receive a copy of the book!

This contest will run for two weeks, and each week, you may earn up to one entry for each of the following, for both weeks, for a total of up to FOUR ENTRIES:

  • Entry Type 1: Add a link in the linky box below to a post where you discuss military family issues (please see carnival rules below*) and then, if you wish to enter this contest, please also leave me a comment.
  • Entry Type 2: Visit at least one of the links in the carnival, leave the blogger a comment about their post (not just, “hi, I’m here”) and then come back here and leave me a separate comment telling me where you visited and commented.

Details and Disclaimers: Contest ends May 2, 11:59 PM EST.  Prize offered by Susan Wiggs, author of The Ocean Between Us. ARV of book is $14.95.  Open to U.S. mailing addresses, only. This blog and its author(s) have received no compensation. You do not have to be a blogger to enter–anyone can enter by the comment method. Winner will be chosen at random from qualifying entries.

A reminder: April is MONTH OF THE MILITARY CHILD! So, if you need any help thinking about what to post, consider our smallest heroes.

*** The only Military Mondays Blog Carnival rules are: ***

  • In the “Link Title” field, please place the title of your post, plus the name of your blog and/or your name. (e.g. “Grow Where You Are Planted @Army Wives’ Lives”)
  • In the “URL” field, please place the direct “permalink” to the specific post, not to your main page of your blog. (e.g. “http://armywiveslives.com/2009/10/coping-during-deployment/” not “http://ArmyWivesLives.com”)
  • Your post must be relevant to the military family experience. I also retain the right to delete links to any posts that contain hate speech, plans to commit illegal acts, or anything that violates the spirit of this carnival or U.S. law.

Please make this a post from sometime in the last month or so.

Need a reminder that the carnival is up? Subscribe to Army Wives Lives by Email and you will get a digest of posts, no more than once a day (probably more like 1-3 times a week) when I post.

Want MORE Army Wives’ Lives? Fan the facebook page!

Want to share more of the FABULOUSNESS that is you? I accept guest posts and post interviews!

Want to share the carnival? Please feel free to grab the code for the button if you are interested:

military-mondays
<a href="http://armywiveslives.com/category/military-mondays-carnival/" target="_BLANK"><img src="http://armywiveslives.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/military-mondays-300x238.jpg" alt="Military Mondays Family and Spouse Carnival at Army Wives' Lives" border=0 /></a>

Without further ado, let’s get to the posts–I hope you’ll participate and visit these wonderful Military Family Bloggers–and feel free to check out previous editions for more great Military Family Posts!

Port-of-Delight

In a lot of ways, it still feels like a dream.

A few weeks ago, I saw tweets flying back and forth about winning a vacation from Voyage.TV. Normally, I would have just assumed it was either “too good to be true” or that my chances of winning were infinitesimally small. But then I saw that Liz @Mom101 (and Cool Mom Picks editor) had actually won (and gone on) a trip to Barcelona. Wow.

My husband and I used to travel all the time (Rome, Florence, Venice, Sicily, Angkor Wat, Bangkok, the Greek Islands, Prague, Budapest, Romania, Belize, Mexico, Peru, Edinburgh, the Orkneys) but since we’ve had kids we haven’t had the opportunity–the time, energy, or money.

On a lark, I sent out a few tweets and then the one that won:

I found out I won on a Friday. My husband had actually been planning to take the following week off but the demands of work were making our “staycation” dwindle day by day. Since he already had requested the time off, when I won, we decided to see how quickly we could make the vacation happen.

There was also the matter of the kids.

My 1 year old nursling is very attached. So, we decided to take both children and turned the romantic getaway into a family adventure. With Voyage.TV covering airfare for my husband and I and the hotel, we were able to purchase the kids’ tickets and upgrade the hotel room.

By the following Wednesday, we were in New York City picking up expedited passports for the kids and by Thursday we were on an airplane, headed to Lisbon.

And we are so glad we decided to “go for it”.

Watching my daughter dance through Medieval Castles, Gothic Cathedrals, and stone-paved plazas was the memory of a lifetime.

We explored the ramparts of the Castle of São Jorge, rode an elevator to the oddly tranquil open-air nave of the Carmo Convent (the roof collapsed during the 1755 Earthquake), and climbed the seaside Tower of Belem.

We took a day trip to Sintra and Pena Palace, constructed over time in fits and starts of Romanticism so that it looks like a conglomeration of every tale of knights and ladies you’ve ever heard. The approach is through a dark, ethereal forest, completing the fairytale atmosphere.

Our last evening was spent at the end of Europe–the westernmost point.

On the way home, we enjoyed one more bit of luck: a woman with the patience of a saint played with my son during the transatlantic flight.

This Tweet Your Trip contest really helped lift my spirits and recognize all the blessings we enjoy.

Powered by Whrrl

Baby CyberShower for Junior

Some of my FABULOUS online friends are throwing me a baby cybershower on Mamanista. Pamela Kramer of Happy Panda Baby, who also blogs at PMKU, is my hostess with the mostess and our three shower game guest judges are the marvelous: Amy from Crunchy Domestic Goddess, Kristen from Mod*Mom and Christine from Dates to Diapers!

Whether or not you are a blogger, please go join in the fun (play games, say “hi,” and enter to win great prizes), because the guests make a party!

My hostess informs me that people like to see “bump” pics of the mama, so I am going to reveal my HUGE bump (as of this past Friday, 33.5 weeks along). Why do people think it is cute to ask, “Are you carrying twins?” Yes, this second go around I am much larger (and way more swollen) than last time. But still cute, right? ‘Cause pregnant women glow, right?

And to get a little bit of a soundtrack going for the party, during both pregnancies, I had “These Are Days” repeating over and over in my head. Because truly, these are days I’ll remember and carrying a baby is a blessing. Music always sets the mood for me. I actually made different mixes (slow rock, fast rock, slow classical, fast classical, and world music) to bring to my labor so I’d have something that suited my taste at the moment.

Now, let’s play some shower games!

Over at Mamanista, you’ll have an opportunity to play some games and win some prizes, too. Even though of course I’m not entering for prizes (I already got such gorgeous gifts), I will play along right here.

The first is the Most Inspirational Story. My last labor was difficult, and I’m am certainly hoping this next one is easier and more natural…which is part of why I want you all to inspire me with your tales! Maybe some of you will find my labor story inspiring:

My daughter arrived a week and a half early and her father was on his way home for leave from Iraq. In the preceding week, we had discovered she was in the transverse position. So, I started doing handstands in the pool to get her to reposition. Perhaps this led to my water breaking in the early hours of the following morning, or maybe not, but either way she was head down!

The following 24 hours were amazing. Although labor stalled, I accepted pictocin, at about hour 10 I went for the epidural, and I contracted an infection that stalled my contractions, those 24 hours were some of the most empowering of my life.

Each step of the way, I questioned each procedure and made the decision that I believed to be right. I refused the IV when I came in and I fought to keep trying hours after everyone else seemed to have given up. As we started getting closer to 24 hours, I could feel the epidural wearing off and I insisted they let me stand (holding onto the bar) so I could let gravity help.

And then I pushed my beautiful baby into the world and was placed on my chest, making the whole labor more than worth the effort. Her body was the exact temperature of mine and she just felt perfect.

The next game is Most Fabulous Nest. I chose a jungle theme for our last nursery. Although I don’t think it would win most fabulous nest, it was a serene place for me and my first baby. This time, we’re holding off on designing Junior’s space because my little girl didn’t use her room much until she was older. We’ll start him off in the co-sleeper each night and then he can join us in bed if he likes. Once he’s too old for the co-sleeper, he’ll move into his sister’s crib and inherit her room…and she’ll get to choose her own decorations.



The final game is the best/worst/funniest advice for new parents. I think that “nap while the baby sleeps” may qualify for all three. Certainly it is a great idea because new mamas need lots of rest. But who are all these moms who manage to nap with the baby all the time? And how much hired (or family) help do they have?

I think the best advice I’ve heard is to not take everything personally with the baby. You just do your best and then if the baby still cries, you just know that you did what your instincts said was right. That, and get a sling.

Now you go head on over to the CyberShower, play along, and don’t forget to leave a comment!