Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Goodbyn Lunchbox Giveaway!!!!!

I am finally starting to get back into the swing of things at work.   One thing I always struggle with is getting my lunch ready ahead of time.  This year I have a great new way to organize my lunch and make it look extra cool. 

Please welcome Goodbyn:

On top of being bpa and lead free and made in the USA with recycled materials, this is a super fun lunch box that will also save you money as there is no need for all those extra baggies and plastic wrap (which also means you are saving the environment... bonus!!!!!).
Most of the lunch boxes come wtih  a matching 8oz water bottle and hundreds of stickers for your kids to get creative, decorate, and make their lunch box extra special.   This is mine:

There are plenty of different sized compartments for all kinds of different snacks and lunch items (and only 1 lid – so no need to spend time searching for lids in the morning).  I am able to fit my fruit, pb & j, chips, and dessert all in one easy to carry container.  And I am the ENVY of the staff at my school.

I also have a bynto for Jack to tote his snacks when we go for a day out, or just out to dinner, he loved putting his stickers on it and even named it Thomas!  As you can see, lots of room for lots of different things.

Goodbyn even sent me some of their amazing ice packs.  The packs fit into the lunchboxes, are recyclable and made with purified water!  Now I don't even need to worry about my lunch going cold...Goodbyn thought of EVERYTHING!

The best thing they thought of, in my opinion is to give away their Strawberry Goodbyn Byntos to 2 my reader!  These have 3 compartments, an 8 oz water bottle and 100's of stickers.  They will be perfect for you or for your little one to tote to school!

{{{to enter...mandatory}}}
1.  Like Goodbyn on Facebook and tell them I sent you.  Come back and let me know you did!

{{{extra entries}}}
1.  Follow Goodbyn on Twitter 
2.  Like Just Another Manic Momday on Facebook
3.  Post about this giveaway on your blog, and let me know!
4.  Follow this blog!

Contest will end Monday September 12th at 11:59 pm.  Winner will be choosen via and posted on this blog.  Winner will have 24 hours to contact me.  Good Luck!

**Goodbyn graciously provided me with the lunchboxes, stickers and ice packs, but all comments are my own. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Boats and Bikes

So with summer winding down, we are trying to get the most out of our weekends.   Today was the perfect weather.  Clear skies, no humidity, and in the 70's......a perfect day to be in the city.

We decided to take Jack to Navy Pier to see the city and go for a boat ride.  Those of you that have not  been to Chicago have to come and see Navy Pier.  Yes it is very touristy and all that, but it is something I love to do once a year.    They have everything you could ask, drinks, music, shopping, and rides.

We took Jack for a ride on the lake, and he loved it.

I love seeing how excited he gets at EVERYTHING.

We also ordered him a bike; but I have a whole post ready about the bike.  In the meantime, he is waiting....wearing his helmet.   Another one if his new obsessions..."driving" our cars.

I hope you had a great weekend, and I would love to hear all about it!  I am off to week two of work and looking forward to an awesome giveaway this week.  Stay tuned, and tell your friends!!!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Do as I say, not as I do.

It's funny, I post my working mom meals...."Easy meals for the busy working mom!"  And they are.  But then there has been me lately.  The super busy working mom.  What kind of meals do those moms make? 

Well  in our house, super busy moms make trips to Culvers, & McDonalds.  Not the types of meals I had in mind.  I know it's just my first week of work, and I hope it will get better, but for now it's kicking my butt.

So I thought maybe my lovely readers would have some helpful advice.  What do you super busy working (or non working)  moms do for dinner?  Share your meal ideas or websites you use to stay organized, sane, and full.

TGIF, and I hope you all have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A New Winner

So the first winner of the Beautifully Elegant Leather Bracelet never contacted me...

the new winner is....#3, Kate!

Kate, contact me at

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Goodbye Summer...what I'll miss..

Just some of the 1,293,381 things I will miss about Summer and Summer break.

1.  Walks around the block.

2.  Morning Starbucks trips.

3.  Pool Days.

4.  Sleeping in (a bit more than during the school year).

5.  Afternoon Popsicles.

6.  Warm Summer Nights

7.  Playing with firetrucks ALL DAY

8.  Doing nothing at all.

What will you miss about Summer?  What are you looking forward with Fall?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Beautifully Elegant Giveaway Winner!

I hope you are all having a great weekend!! I will be back in action more this week, school starts this week so I am a bit sad about summer being over.

I wanted to announce the winner of the Beautifully Elegant bracelet.

#8....Kiranda Mays!!!

Please email me at within 24 hours to claim your prize and congrats!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Calling for September Spons

Yes, I'm doing a call out for September sponsors.  I'm sure you know, but advertising is one of the best ways to promote your blog/site/shop.   What's even better is you can see your pretty little ad every time you visit my blog!!

In case you were wondering, here is a little bit about my blog....

By the numbers:
Monthly Pageviews: 10,000-15,000+
Google Friend Connect: 623
{Public- 521 | Private- 102}
Twitter: 209
Facebook : 104+ { and growing!}

I have 2 large ads left for September for only $10 per month and 4 small ads left for $5 per month.
For more information click the ad/pr button at the top of the page.
Interested?  Contact me at

Have a great weekend..I'll be back, I promise!

p.s. you still have one hour left to enter to win the Beautifully Elegant the link at the top of my page!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I'm begging you!

I hope everyone's week is going well.  I am just starting out my new job so I am sorry for not being around much.

I have been nominated for Chicago's Most Valuable Blogger!   You can vote once a day by clicking here or the image above!  Help a girl out, and have a great Wednesday!

Friday, August 12, 2011

I am baffled...and a winner!!

So I have asked this a few times and I haven't gotten a response, so I thought I would try one more time as now I am starting to take this a little personally.  ; )

I have over 500 followers and ten entries in my last contest, and 1 in my current one!?!?!?   I am in shock.  Are people not reading?  Are people just not interested in contests?  I would love to hear from you.  Because if so, I will stop my giveaways!

Speaking of that.  #2 Jessica, you are the winner of the FABULOUS Pear Tree Greetings $25 gift card!  Just email me at to claim your prize!!!

And everyone else, if you're reading, enter my Beautifully Elegant Giveaway now!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Beautifully Elegant Braided Bracelet Giveaway!

I love jewlery.  To me it is the best way to change any outfit.  You can make an outfit say so much more labout you with a little jewelry.  So when I cam across Nataly's shop Beautifully Elegant, I was in love.  Lucky for me,(and you all) Nataly wanted to have a giveaway for my readers.  I asked Nataly to tell me a little bit about her and how her shop came to be, and isn't she the cutest???  Enjoy!

My name is Nataly. I am a 20-something living in the great state of Texas. I have lived here my whole life. I love it here...even though it gets unbareably hot at times. I think the high yesterday was 110-- too hot! I work in customer service at a small oil & grease company. I am also a jewelry designer, blogger, vintage lover and owl collector.

A little about my shop, Beautifully Elegant: My passion for making jewelry started back in 2006 when I was in college at the University of North Texas. After, taking a jewelry making class my first year in college, I fell in love. I loved being able to create whatever I wanted and quickly realized it was what I wanted to do for a living. Beautifully Elegant didn't come along until a few years later-- thanks in large part to my wonderful boyfriend. Beautifully Elegant start just recently in April 2011. Beautifully Elegant's main focus is unique one-of-a-kind pieces. My etsy boutique currently is selling handmade//vintage accessories inspired by nature and the desire to complete the perfect outfit. I am constantly on the hunt for new ideas and inspiration. I am always brainstorming and sketching. I am happy to talk to new people and find other friends that have the same passion for creativity as I do. I am really interested in DIY projects, baking, and jewelry making! 

4 random facts about me:
* I love gummie bears
* I would rather not wear shoes- to me they are useless (bearfoot is the way to go)
* I live in a tiny apartment with way too much stuff
* I love organizing and making lists

Nataly is graciously giving one of my readers this braided leather bracelet!

Enter to win:
 Main Entry {{mandatory}} be a follower of Just Another Manic Momday and Beautifully Elegant and leave a comment telling me so

Bonus Entries:
1. Visit B.E.'s shop and leave a comment telling me which of her beautiful jewelry is your favorite
2. Blog, tweet, or facebook about this giveaway and leave a comment telling me you did
{{you must leave a seperate comment for each entry}}

Contest ends Friday August 19th at 11:59pm.  Winner will be choosen via and announced on my blog Saturday August 20th.  Good Luck! 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Last week

 I wish I had some Blogher news to share or some great pics from Blogher, but I don't, because I wasn't there.  Maybe next year I'll get some great company to sponsor me and I'll get there. 

This is my last full week off of work so I may not be posting much.  I will be spending as much time with my little guy playing and soaking up the last few days of summer.  I will have a great giveaway for you all, and be sure to enter my Pear Tree Greetings giveaway, which ends tomorrow, just click the link at the top of my page. 

What I do have is a great deal for those of you that may be going back to school. can save you up to 90% when you rent your textbooks through their site.  And we all know that buying books is such a waste, renting is so much better! 

What's even better is that they have partnered with Operation Smile and are donating over 1,000 life saving cleft lip surgeries this year to children in need.  Be sure to check them out if you are heading back to school, and have a great week!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Toasted Lemon Penne


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound penne rigate pasta
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper until smooth. Set aside.
For the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.
In a high-sided skillet, whisk the butter over medium heat until melted. Simmer until foamy. Continue to cook until the butter has a nutty aroma and turns a caramel color, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the pasta, dressing, arugula, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and capers. Toss until coated, adding the reserved pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time to loosen the sauce, if needed. Transfer to a large bowl and serve.

Note: To toast the pine nuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 6 to 8 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool completely before using.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Follow me....

See this?

Follow Me on Pinterest

You can now follow me on one of my favorite places ever, Pinterest.  I also have this button at the top of my blog.  Follow me.  All the cool kids are doing it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wordless(ish) Wednesday ....Summer Walks and Smiles

So I have been working on getting Jack to smile on cue.  We practiced today on our walk.  He is getting pretty good at it.  He loves walks.  He especially loves walking Lenny.  I have also been working on my Photoshop actions...shown in these photos.  One of my goals this summer was to get better with Photoshop, but I haven't found the time.  Maybe this Fall I'll get it done!  Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, August 1, 2011

2 weeks

August 1.  I can't believe it's here already.  This summer has flown by.  Actually it feels like I just finished work yesterday for the Summer.  And now here I am with 2 weeks left until I start my new job and have to leave Jack everyday. 

My heart is beginning to hurt.  Last Summer it hurt too, but this Summer it hurts twice as bad.  I can't even explain how much has changed in a year.  I can have conversations with him now.  He tells me what he wants, and what he wants to do.  He LOVES the park and swimming and the sprinkler parks.  He loves playing with his firetrucks, going to fests, and taking Lenny for walks.  And he even loves time-outs...(something I have to change). He loves running and even says .."on your mark, get set, gooooooooooooo!"

I am hoping to enjoy every single second we have left....because next Summer I am sure I will be saying the same thing and he will be doing so many more things that amaze me.