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A Killer Party

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This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Hampton Hotels. All opinions are 100% mine.

Check out this rockin’ contest from Hampton Hotels! It’s the Hampton Chain of Friends Sweepstakes. How awesome would that be?  Getting an entire hotel for you and 100 of your closest friends?  Cool.  Makes my head dream a bit…(insert the boo-da-doo-da-doo from Wayne’s World)

First, it’s not hard for us to get 100 people together.  Christmas Eve dinner is 30-40 people, and that’s just immediate family!  Where would I take 100 of my closest friends, and what would we do?  Let’s see…

I would have to pick a place that everybody could drive.  Not everybody can afford airfare.  So, at first I thought Cleveland.  Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, some bar hopping in The Flats, some nice dinners…but what about the kids?  Not everybody could get sitters for the weekend (including myself!)  So, then I thought it would be cool to have 100 people go to Williamsburg.  We could take the kids to Busch Gardens.  And Colonial Williamsburg.  The grown ups AND the kids could have fun.  The Hampton Inn & Suites in Williamsburg has an indoor pool AND an outdoor pool.  The kids can swim, the adults can relax.  And we’d be with 100 people that we like.

I’m gonna put it out there to the universe….that’s what I’d love.  OR, you can all enter and invite me for the weekend if you win!  Where would you go?  Let me know…’cuz I’ll need to know what to pack.  Oh, and if it’s a kid-free weekend, I’ll start recruiting babysitters early!

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Visit my sponsor: Chain-of-Friends Grand Prize

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Eat Up!

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Well, yesterday we held the Sloppy Joe Showdown at Downey’s House.  It was fantastic!  It turned out to be a super family friendly event, and we’re going to make it an annual thing.  You can see all of the pictures on our blog, but here are the family photos and stories.

First off, there was a kids jello eating contest.  Becca and Chloe were ready for the action.  Chloe was talking some trash!  She eyed Julia (her cousin) up as her biggest competition.  She told her that she’d be eating her jello “all in one bite.”  Turns out that her other cousin, Rachael, won.  Chloe just very methodically scooped small amounts of jello into her mouth with her hand.  And kept on eating, even after the contest was finished.

Eat the Jello

Now, I didn’t have too much to do with setting this thing up.  Our bartender, Tim really did it all.  So, I didn’t realize until Saturday that my brother planned on competing.  I was a little nervous for him.  Scratch that.  I was nervous for his wife.  I’m sure you can understand.  Anyway, my brother, without any preparation or practice, dove right in there and ate ten sloppy joes in eight minutes.  Third place.  The winner ate fifteen.  I was shocked, impressed, and a little worried.  Here’s his winning grin:


So, mark your calendars for next July…if you have the stomach for it!

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Last Call!

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Hey, today is the last day you can enter to win a 3 month membership to!  Go over to my review post:  I’m Afraid of Summer Vacation.

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I’m Afraid of Summer Vacation

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Obviously, from the title of this post, I’m not a kid any more. Tomorrow is the last day of school for Becca, and I’m not quite sure what we’re going to be doing for the summer. So many things to think about. I did plan one thing, a summer rec program offered through the township we live in. Great deal, four weeks from 9-12 for only $30 for both of the kids. And a bunch of the neighbors are going, too.

Yesterday I had a little chat with my two chickies. I told them they had to make a decision. They could decide to get along for the summer, swim, play and have fun OR they could argue and fight, and spend half of their summer stuck in their rooms. I have a feeling I’ll be having this talk about once a week for the next three months.

The other thing that I’m worried about is whether or not Becca will retain all of the stuff she learned in kindergarten. She really worked hard all year. The school send home an entire folder of activities for her to do over the summer. But you know what it looks like? Homework. I don’t think it will be easy for her to do homework over the summer. Hell, it was hard enough to get her to do it through the school year. And just when my brain started thinking about what I could do with her, I got a request to review a website. It’s exactly what I was looking for.

So, the website is  I had already purchased some JumpStart cd’s for my nieces when they were younger, so I was a little familiar with their other software. It promised to have lots of stuff for Becca’s age, and it delivered.  The first time we logged on, Becca had a blast picking her character’s clothes (and hair color – she chose blue!).  That was pretty much all we did the first time we logged on.  Chloe wasn’t exactly cool with Becca hogging up the computer.

The next time we logged on, Chloe was asleep.  That worked out much better.  It took a while for the website to load (I actually thought it had hung up my computer), but once we got it going it was some fun exploring.  There were some games that were just fun, and there were some incorporated things that she had learned in school.  You could choose different levels of diffuculty, also…which means I actually COULD get Chloe on this site.  The graphics are cool and very 3-D ish.  Becca really enjoyed it, and I think it will be easy to keep her brain working through the summer now.  The only thing she has to practice is using the arrow keys on the keyboard.  Her little fingers just can’t go fast enough with those buttons.  She does a great job with the mouse, though.

Here’s a little snippet of one of the games, Ghost Town Grab:

There’s even a blog for parents, and they have some great ideas (and I also found out that they’re coming out with a game for Wii)  Here’s a great post THEY did about summer brain drain. So, guess what the nice people at did?  They gave me a 3 month membership to the website TO GIVE AWAY TO YOU!!!  It’s my first give away on the blog.  I feel so grown up.

So, if you have younger kids, there are a few ways you can enter my contest!

  • Leave a comment here, and you get an entry
  • Follow me on twitter (twitter/hdowney) Just come on back and leave another comment saying you’re following me!
  • Post a message on twitter or facebook about this give away with a link (again, add a comment)
  • Subscribe to my RSS Feed in a reader.  Put that in another comment, too!

I’ll use a random number generator on June 14th to get a winner (that’s in a week, people!).

I have more posts coming for ya…I think that next up will be about my old grade school. It’s closing and I got to walk through it for one last time.  I’ll fill ya in Tuesday (gotta go to commencements for our nephew tomorrow!)

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Hey…I won!

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Hey, everybody! Well, right now I’m in the middle of school being canceled, a morning of no electricity at the restaurant and a honkin’ messy house. But guess what? I got some good news on Monday night when I found out that I won a t-shirt design contest over at!!! You can see the post announcing that I won here, but I’ve also included a picture of my entry:

I was just tickled pink about winning! So, I get to judge the next contest (and pick the topic – which I have chosen, but Casey hasn’t announced it yet). Such fun! It brightened up this otherwise icy and miserable week!
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