Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Great Blog Giveaways #48

Christmas may be over, but that doesn't mean the gifts can't keep coming in by winning giveaways. Here's a few to enter:

Better Baby Bums is passionate about finding safe, healthy, and practical products for your baby's bum and the rest of baby too. Enter to win a $50 gift certificate to Better Baby Bums at My Wee View. Ends 1/1.

Inscribe-It offers over 200 selections of books that can be personalized for all occasions. Enter to win a $25 gift certificate to Inscribe-It at My Wee View. Ends 1/1.

Seventh Generation is committed to becoming the world's most trusted brand of authentic, safe, and environmentally-responsible products for a healthy home. Enter to win a Healthy Home Kit at Sweeps4Bloggers. Ends 1/1.

1-800-Flowers offers the finest online selection of fresh flowers and bouquets available for delivery to your loved ones for any occasion. Enter to win a $50 gift certificate to 1-800-Flowers at The B Keeps Us Honest. Ends 1/10.

Oompa Toys carries wooden toys, baby toys, soft dolls, play food, and other quality toys. Enter to win a Bajo Wooden Toy Tractor with Open Cart at The B Keeps Us Honest. Ends 1/10.

Keurig is the leader in single-cup coffee brewing technology in the U.S. for both home and office. Enter to win a Keurig Platinum Brewing System at Feisty, Frugal, and Fabulous. Ends 1/11.

ImagiPLAY creates high-quality educational toys that inspire children's imaginations and the desire to explore. Enter to win a PuzzlePlay Dinosaurs set at Mama's Money Savers. Ends 1/11.

StoreHouse Foods specializes in the marketing and selling of the finest storable foods available in today's market place. Enter to win a $25 gift certificate to StoreHouse Foods at Simply Stacie. Ends 1/10.

The SeaPak Shrimp Company is the #1 retail brand within the frozen specialty seafood category. Enter to win a free product coupon for any SeaPak product at Leslie Loves Veggies. Ends 1/5.

Baby Genius is committed to providing music-based products that are entertaining, educational, and beneficial to the well-being of babies and young children. Enter to win a DJ's Sing-A-Long Keyboard at Minnesota Mama's Must Haves. Ends 1/3.

Child to Cherish has a fine offering of children's keepsakes and gifts for memories to last a lifetime. Enter to win a Grandma's Little Baker Suitcase at Annie's Home. Ends 1/5.

Charitable Creations specializes in personalized hand stamped and artisan jewelry. Enter to win a $25 gift certificate to Charitable Creations at Sweeps4Bloggers. Ends 1/3.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Heelys Winner Is...

Out of 214 entries, the winner of the Heelys giveaway is #48, Nancy.

Nancy said... 48
tweeted http://twitter.com/nanceattack/status/6715620039
December 15, 2009 7:48 PM

Congrats to Nancy! I will be emailing her shortly and she will have 48 hrs. to respond or another winner will be drawn.

Thanks to Heelys for sponsoring the giveaway and thanks to those who entered. I have other giveaways going on right now that you can enter to win. They can be found at the right hand side of my blog under "Current Giveaways".

Random Tuesday Thoughts - By Golly, My Kids Will See This Movie!

randomtuesday

It's time for Random Tuesday Thoughts. If you'd like to participate, link up at The Un Mom.

With a family of six kids, it's not often that we go somewhere that costs a lot of money. I'm real good at scouring the newspapers and websites for places to go on the cheap or free. With that said, my 11 year old son tugged at my heartstrings and begged that we all go to the theater to watch Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. After doing some budgeting, I decided we could afford to take the kids. So we all bundled up and headed out into the rainy cold weather to the price gouging theater.

It seems the squirrels are as famous today as they were years ago. We walked in only to be told that the movie was sold out. It seems that people came in droves to see this movie and we didn't get there in time. Although it didn't make up for it totally, we drove across the street to Shopko and bought the new Harry Potter movie, as well as the classic Rudolph movie. On the plus side, we will be attempting again to go see Alvin and the Chipmunks Tuesday afternoon. Tickets are cheaper and popcorn is free on Tuesdays, which will save quite a bit of money.

I'm kind of sad to see Christmas gone. It's nice to have my house back in order, but I enjoyed the festivities of the holidays and wrapping presents. All of the kids were overjoyed with what they got and I liked seeing the excitement on their faces when they opened their gifts.

My husband has been spoiling the lizards like they're newborns. They've been given baths and the iguana has had its nails clipped. They even get the run of the house when he's home. As for the gecko, we're going to hate having to give it back when school starts back up. We've gotten this disease from it, and it's called Attachment!

New Year's Eve is soon upon us. I won't be out and about celebrating. I will be at work that night while my husband stays home with the kids. I have no resolutions that I'm going to make because I lack the willpower to exercise the steps I'd need to take to enforce them.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: All in the Family - Review & Giveaway

There are lots of adjectives to describe my family and normal isn't one of them. The first time my now husband met my family was at a park where there was a gathering. My nephew and mother were playing football, only they were using a shoe as the football and aluminum foil as protective gear. My daughter was there and the first words that came out of her mouth were "I don't need a new step-daddy". You'd think that would be enough to run him off. Instead, he married into the family and delved into our craziness. And for all of the wacky and kooky stuff that makes my family what it is, I wouldn't change it for the world.


After reading Chicken Soup for the Soul: All in the Family: 101 Incredible Stories about our Funny, Quirky, Lovable & "Dysfunctional" Families I was amused at the stories that other families share. My blog profile has had the words "quirky" and "dysfunctional" in it from the get go and I wanted to see how I stacked up against others. I chuckled at some of the stories that were told, relating them to memories of my own family. Other stories showed me that maybe we are fairly normal in a whole. This addition to the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series is one I will be keeping in my collection.

Although she has not gotten to it yet, my teenage daughter has expressed interest in reading this book. I like that I don't have to worry about what she is reading, as these stories are inspiring, uplifting, funny, and sometimes memorable.

Win It!

One person will win a book copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: All In The Family.

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment with another Chicken Soup for the Soul book you'd like to read.

Extra Entries:

Follow Chicken Soup for the Soul on Twitter, chickensoupsoul.

Follow me on Twitter, partymix25.

Tweet about this giveaway, leave a link to the tweet (can be done once daily).

Follow my blog.

Subscribe to my blog by email.

Add my button to your blog.

Blog about this giveaway, leave a link to the post (+3 entries).

Leave a separate comment for each entry and include your email address in your comments. Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. Giveaway ends 1/8/10 at 8 pm CST. Winner will be randomly drawn and will have 48 hrs. to respond to email notification or a new winner will be drawn.

I received book for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products, as your opinion may differ.

Blog Hop - Christmas Pics

This week's blog hop theme is "Christmas Pics". Here are some pics I took on Christmas Eve when the family got together at my sister's house to celebrate. We ate a large meal, exchanged gifts, and played games. Good thing my sister has a large house because there were over 30 of us there.


This is my sister's tree with some of the presents for the day surrounding it. I didn't think we'd ever be done passing out presents. On Thanksgiving we drew names and bought a gift for whose name we drew. Some people bought extras as well to give to loved ones.



This is three of my kids patiently waiting to open their gifts.



This is my teenage daughter and my niece by marriage.



The adults and teenagers played a White Elephant game. It was the first time for us to do it. My niece read The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and we had to pass the presents left or right when certain words were read. There was lots of laughter when the presents were opened. Some of the gifts included used car parts, toilet paper, a broken angel tree topper, used candles, and a Barbie doll. The younger kids got to play a game too where they drew numbers and took turns picking out gifts. Their gifts were new though and they were able to play with them.



My nephew's White Elephant gift he received was a breast pump. After all the time he took figuring out how it operates, he should know how a child is breastfed and fully appreciate all new mothers!


This picture was taken the day after Christmas. My boys built a gingerbread house while they were at their dad's and brought it back to show me. They did a good job for their first time crafting one.

If you'd like to show off your Christmas photos, link up at McLinky's blog hop.


MckLinky Blog Hop

I Want The Second Season Now!

My husband and I didn't have the kids Christmas evening, as they were at their other sets of parents to exchange gifts with them. We had great plans of romanticism and all sorts of ideas ran through our minds as to what we'd do with the house all to ourselves. Yeah, none of that happened!

Instead, we totally vegged out in front of the TV and watched over eight hours of the first season of the HBO original series, True Blood. We started at 6:30 pm Christmas evening and didn't move except to go to the bathroom until 3 am the next morning. Over eight hours! And it was well worth it.

We don't get HBO; I borrowed the DVD set from my niece. I absolutely do not recommend it for anyone under the age of 18. But for the adult variety, I say Go For It! There has never been a show that my both my husband and I agree together is must-see TV. But neither of us could keep our eyes off the screen for True Blood. Vampires, suspense, romance, sarcasm, and all around great writing make for this awesome show.

Now I'm going through withdrawals and want to buy the second season the day it comes out. Tomorrow isn't soon enough. I've looked online and have yet to find a release date for it. In the meantime, I suppose I'll have to get the books and read them.

Are there any shows that you feel is must-see TV, one that you can't get enough of?

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Boy's Store - Review & Giveaway

I have four girls and it's pretty easy to find clothes for them. I can go to a number of stores or online sites and order what I need for my girls. It's a different story with my two boys. They were easy to shop for when they were babies and toddlers. The selection available for those life stages is fairly easy to find. As the boys have gotten older, however, it has been somewhat of a chore trying to find trendy, affordable clothing that can't be found just anywhere. I also need clothes that are made of quality material to last through their roughness.

Imagine my excitement when I found out about an online store that sells clothing and accessories exclusively for boys. Have a newborn boy? They've got clothing for that. A toddler? Clothing for that too. A Preteen? Yep, clothing for them too. The Boy's Store sells boys' clothing and accessories for newborns to size 18 juniors.

I received two shirts for review. One was the Roadie Twofer by Wes and Willy. It is a black and red long sleeve shirt with an appliqued "Roadie" patch. My 10 year old son is a fan of this shirt. Not only is it comfortable, but he also likes the rocker look of it. He says it is one of his favorite shirts now.

My 11 year old son has taken to this bowling shirt that I received. It is no longer in stock at The Boy's Store, but there are lots of other designs and styles available for purchase. The shirts the boys received help keep them warm and they are comfortable against the skin.

The Boy's Store has recently revamped their look. So even if you were a customer or have seen the site before, be sure to check it out again because they've got a whole new look. You can shop by brand, age, organic material, and more. By joining The Boy's Store mailing list you will be entered in a monthly drawing for a $25 gift certificate and find out about the "Monthly Specials".

Win It!
Two people will win a t-shirt (short or long sleeve) of choice from The Boy's Store.

Mandatory Entry:
Leave a comment with which t-shirt you would choose if you were to win.

Extra Entries:
Leave a comment with another item you like from The Boy's Store.
Leave a comment with something you learned from the Shopping Tips.
Sign up for The Boy's Store mailing list.
Follow my blog.
Add my button to your blog.
Subscribe to my blog by email.
Blog about this giveaway, leave a link to the post (+3 entries).
Follow me on Twitter, partymix25.
Tweet about this giveaway, leave a link to the tweet (can be done once daily).

Leave a separate comment for each entry and include your email address in the comments. Giveaway is open to residents of the US. Giveaway ends 1/8/10 at 8 pm CST. Winners will be randomly drawn and will have 48 hrs. to respond to email notification or new winner(s) will be drawn.

I received products for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products, as your opinion may differ.

Friday, December 25, 2009

HyGenie Portable Sanitizer - Review & Giveaway

I do not have any little babies, but I know the importance of keeping things free of germs. Sanitization is especially important for little ones. I've seen many times where a child has a bottle or pacifier in their mouth and it drops to the floor. The thought alone of all the ucky stuff that can be picked up from the floor makes me cringe a little.

The HyGenie Portable Sanitizer from HyGenie USA is a preventative solution for parents who want their baby's pacifiers, bottles, and nipples to be free from germs. Eliminating up to 99% of harmful germs such as E. Coli, Shigella, and Fungus, the HyGenie can sanitize most common types of bottles, nipples and pacifiers, and any other surface that can fit within the sanitization unit.

This photo shows the underside of the lid, where the UV/Ozone lamp is located.

Making the HyGenie so effective is the patented UV/Ozone lamp that uses a duel-mechanism technology to disinfect and sanitize. UV-C rays from the sun act as a natural sterilization system that inhibits the growth and reproduction of biological pollutants while Ozone is a gaseous disinfectant that, essentially, kills germs, fungi, and bacteria by rupturing them at the molecular level. Combined, the one-two-punch of UV and Ozone, will properly sanitize an item with one disinfecting what the other does not.

To use, place the desired item into the HyGenie, light the fluorescent lamp, and the germs will be gone approximately seven minutes later. The HyGenie comes with the option to choose between Wide or Standard sizes by switching out the bottom cover and adaptor.

I received a HyGenie Portable Sanitizer for review. Although I do not have babies, I did thoroughly check it out to get a feel of what this product was about. I also let my friend have a go with it since she has a baby, so she could give her opinion on what she thinks. We both came up with the same consenus of the HyGenie.

The HyGenie would be great to take with you on the go to keep what enters your baby's mouth safe. In this day and age, it is especially important to be particular with sanitation. I like that it accommodates for all sizes of bottles, nipples, and pacifiers. The unit is fairly easy to use. With just the turn of a dial and seven minutes of patience, the products are safe to use again.

There are quite a number of attachments that come with the HyGenie to accommodate for the different sizes of bottles and such. The instructions indicate which attachment is for pacifiers, which is for nipples, and which is for bottles. It would be nice to not have to switch back and forth the attachments, and to just have one full piece that would fit for whatever it is that you are sanitizing.

Win It!
One person will win a HyGenie Portable Sanitizer.
Manatory Entry:
Leave a comment with who you would like to win this for.
Extra Entries:
Follow my blog.
Subscribe to my blog by email.
Blog about this giveaway, leave a link to the post (+3 entries).
Add my button to your blog.
Follow me on Twitter, partymix25.
Tweet about this giveaway, leave a link to the tweet (can be done daily).

Leave a separate comment for each entry and include your email address in the comments. Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. Giveaway ends 1/5/10 at 8 pm CST. Winner will be randomly drawn and will have 48 hrs. to respond to email notification or a new winner will be drawn.

I received product for review from Productivity PR, Inc. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products, as your opinion may differ.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays!



Here's wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season!

I will be taking a few days off from posting to spend time with my family for Christmas. Tonight my husband and I are going to take the kids to the theater to watch the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie. We will be unwrapping our gifts on Christmas eve morning, then going to my sister's to exchange gifts and eat till we hurt. Christmas day will be just my husband and I, as the kids will be spending time with their other sets of parents. We may go to his mother's house for dinner, or we may just stay home and enjoy the quiet time.

I have a few reviews and giveaways coming up after the holidays.

Kmart Bluelight Special Teasers - 12/26 to 12/27

Here are the Kmart Bluelight Special Teasers for this weekend:

Gen Gemstone Earrings - on sale for $9.99 - regular $39.99

Mushabellies - on sale for $7.99 - regular $24.99

Digital Photo Keychain - on sale for $8.99 - regular $19.99

Kmart has extended their shopping hours to 6 am - 12 am on December 23rd and 6 am - 10 pm on December 24th.

I have made a few shopping trips to Kmart for my holiday shopping and have found lots of nice things at great prices.

I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Wordful Wednesday - Leapin' Lizards

My oldest daughter is fostering a leopard gecko during school break. We will be taking care of it for two weeks. I should have seen it coming, but as soon as the gecko arrived my husband started spoiling it and pining for a lizard of his own. He went to the pet store to get sand for the gecko and came home with an iguana. That's what I get for letting him do the shopping!

We already have 3 hermit crabs and a beta fish. My oldest son is getting an ant farm for Christmas, as well as African Dwarf Frogs. I'm starting to run out of room for all these weird creatures. We're not exactly a normal family, so why have normal pets!



This is our newest, the iguana.



My husband comes home straight from work, filthy and all, to immediately start playing with the lizards.




This is the leopard gecko we are fostering.

If you'd like to participate in Wordful Wednesday, link up at 7 Clown Circus.

Great Blog Giveaways #47

Whoot, Whoot! Here's some sweet giveaways going on at other blogs:

Creativity for Kids has lots of craft kits and art supplies for kids. Enter to win a kit of choice at Annie's Home. Ends 12/30. You can also enter to win at Mama's Money Savers. Ends 12/28.

My Little Snuggle Bug is an online organic baby boutique. Enter to win a Kate Quinn Organics Receiving Blanket in your choice of color at Minnesota Mama's Must Haves. Ends 12/26.

Fannie May specializes in gourmet chocolates, candies, and gifts. Enter to win a $50 gift certificate to Fannie May at And Twins Make 5! Ends 1/7.

LeapFrog makes educational toys, interactive books, and electronic games that inspire a love of learning. Enter to win a LeapFrog Tag Junior at The Shopping Mama. Ends 12/29.

Evenflo is one of the nation's leading manufacturers of high quality baby care and juvenile products. Enter to win an Evenflo Jungle Triple Fun Active Learning Center ExerSaucer at Two Of A Kind, Working On A Full House. Ends 12/27. You can also enter to win one at J. Leigh Designz. Ends 12/27.


Knock Knock creates interesting and well-designed gifts and stationery products. Enter to win a Plan-a-Meal Bundle at A Nut In A Nutshell. Ends 12/28.

Misikko has some of the best hair straighteners, ceramic flat irons, hair dryers, and beauty tools in the industry. Enter to win a Superstar Professional Ionic Turbo Hair Dryer at A Daily Dose of Toni. Ends 1/11.

Two Tinas specializes in personalized baby products. Enter to win a "My Name" Receiving Blanket at Mommy Loves Giveaways. Ends 1/2.



Gummy Lump is dedicated to retailing only the highest quality and most unique toys, building blocks, and puzzles available. Enter to win a Slice and Bake Cookies Play Food Set at Seeryus Mama. Ends 12/27.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Hickory Farms - Review


Usually every year at my local mall there is a Hickory Farms store set up during the holidays. I like to shop there and get a few gifts for my loved ones. I have no idea why, but there is no such store at the mall this year. That is disappointing because I like to get a few things for myself while I'm shopping for gifts for others. On the plus side, I can purchase Hickory Farms sausage and cheese gifts, and other delectable food online.



I received the Hickory Farms Party Planner gift box for review. Included was:

7 oz. Beef Summer Sausage
5 oz. Ham Summer Sausage
5 oz. Turkey Summer Sausage
6 oz. Cheddar Cheese Ball
4 oz. Cheddar & Havarti Blend
4 oz. Mission Jack Blend
4 oz. Creamy Swiss Blend
4 oz. Big Barn Cheddar
2 oz. Jalapeno & Cheddar Spread
2 oz. Italian Herb & Cheese Spread
2.5 oz. Cranberry Mustard
2.25 oz. Sweet Hot Mustard

That's a lot of yummy goodness! Some of the stuff I had never tried before, but I wanted to see if it was good as the other Hickory Farms food that I have tasted. I already knew I liked their summer sausages, but I soon learned that their spreads, mustards, and other goodies were just as tasty. Me, my husband, and kids enjoyed making our own creations and tasting the different flavors.



Hickory Farms recently introduced modified packaging and product building that is more environmentally-friendly. When I received my Party Planner gift box in the mail I noticed that the packaging was different than what I was used to seeing from Hickory Farms. Their packaging has been modified to eliminate waste, but I did not see where that took away from the overall design at all. The contents of the package were still presented in a pleasing arrangement.

Hickory Farms has partnered with Share Our Strength, an organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger in America. During the checkout process of your online purchase, you will be given an option to include a $1 donation to help provide meals to hungry individuals.

Hickory Farms has been around for years and it's easy to see why. Their edibles are delicious and the company continually strives to improve.

I received product for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products, as your opinion may differ.

Khet - Game Review



If you want a game that requires skill and concentration while having fun, then Khet is a game for you. It reminds me of Mousetrap in that it needs to be set up certain ways before playing and reminds me of Chess in that you need to strategize and move your pieces to protect the one ultimate piece. Khet is a game like no other that I've seen.

To explain the rules of Khet, it's the game that combines lasers with classic strategy. Players alternate turns moving Egyptian-themed pieces having two, one or no mirrored surfaces. All four types of pieces (pharaoh, obelisk, pyramid and djed column) can either move one square forward, back, left, right, or diagonal, or can stay in the same square and rotate by a quarter twist. Each turn ends by firing one of the lasers built into the board. The laser beam bounces from mirror to mirror; if the beam strikes a non-mirrored surface on any piece, it is immediately removed from play. The ultimate goal is to illuminate your opponent's pharaoh, while shielding yours from harm.



I received the Khet laser game for review. I've got to admit that I was a little indimidated at first simply because it wasn't like any other game I've played and it indicated that the game received a Mensa Select Award as a National Competition Winner. I'm not Mensa material, but that didn't stop me from giving the game a try.

The game indicates it's for ages 9+ and I've got to agree that it's not a game for those any younger than that. A friend and I got together and went over the instructions of Khet and helped each other understand the rules of play. Once we got the gist of it, we played the game.

Khet takes strategy and thinking on your part. What makes it even more fun and challenging is that you cannot test where the laser beam lands just to make sure it does not land on your piece. You have to think the moves through beforehand and predetermine where you think the laser is going to land. There were a few times that I knocked my own pieces out of the game because I did not think it through well enough. After a few trial runs, I was able to more clearly understand what I needed to do to protect my pieces while knocking my opponent's pieces out.


This game has received a good number of awards and there are even world tournaments where players can test their skills against others. Khet can be purchased online and you can even purchase optional expansion packs to further enrich game play.

I received product for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products, as your opinion may differ.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Giveaway Winners

Three of my giveaways have ended and I have randomly drawn the winners.

The winner of the Ouchies bandages giveaway is #3, Laura

Laura said... 3
I'd choose the Mr. Men and Little Miss-Every1 bandaids!

December 5, 2009 11:19 AM

The winner of the I Used To Know That book giveaway is #26, throuthehaze.

throuthehaze said... 26
follow on twitter
December 12, 2009 3:56 PM

The winner of the Sodastream giveaway for a Fountain Jet Soda Lover's Start Up Kit is #176

Dana said... 176
I have your button.http://zebastyandylan.blogspot.com(right side under great sites)

Congrats to the winners and thanks to the sponsors! I will be emailing the winners shortly and they will have 48 hrs. to respond or a new winner will be drawn.

Great Blog Giveaways #46

As a reminder, two of my giveaways end at 8 pm CST tonight, the 20th.
The first one is my I Used To Know That Book giveaway and the other is my Fountain Jet Soda Lover's Start Up Kit giveaway.

Be sure to check out these giveaways currently going on at other blogs:

Creativity for Kids has a large selection of craft kits and art supplies for kids. Enter to win choice of product from their site at A Mom's Balancing Act. Ends 12/21.

Kidorable transforms everyday, functional kids' accessories into objects that excite and enrich. Enter to win an umbrella of choice at The Fabulous Won. Ends 12/30. You can also enter to win at Outnumbered 3 to 1. Ends 12/30.

Head Organics formulates and manufactures professional quality, natural, healthy haircare products. Enter to win 2-in-1 conditioning shampoo, leave-in conditioning spray, and extra hold hair spray at Mom's Focus on Cyber World. Ends 12/30.

Challenge & Fun's goal is to introduce beautiful, natural children's products that are not readily available in the US market. Enter to win a Labyrinth Balance Board at My Silly Monkeys. Ends 12/25.

The Homestead Company offers premium quality skin care products made with the finest, natural ingredients. Enter to win a $40 gift certificate to The Homestead Company at Annie's Home. Ends 12/31.

Wee Squeak offers a great selection of high quality baby shoes. Enter to win a pair of Beibi shoes of choice at The B Keeps Us Honest. Ends 12/26.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Sugarless Plum - Book Review

Diabetes runs in my family. I have some family members who deal with it on a daily basis. I've seen what it can do if left untreated and I've also seen how people are able to control it, without letting it overcome them. The Sugarless Plum is a story that relates how one person went through many stages while dealing with diabetes.

Book Synopsis:

Zippora Karz was a member of the famed New York City Ballet by the age of eighteen. By twenty she was staring as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker.

It was the stuff that dreams are made of until, at the age of twenty-one, Karz became exhausted, dizzy, and excessively thirsty. Heavy pancake makeup covered the sores, but she neglected to go to the doctor. When she finally did, she was diagnosed with diabetes. Her misguided attempts to obtain peak performance on stage while ignoring her diabetes regimen almost became fatal.

After a long and difficult struggle, Karz eventually learned to value her body and work with it, rather than rage at its limitations. In The Sugarless Plum, Karz shares her journey from denial, shame, and miseducation about her illness to how she led an active, balanced, and satisfying life as an insulin-dependent diabetic and soloist with one of the world's most famous ballet companies. Through her story, those struggling with diabetes and other serious illnesses can find encouragement and inspiration, as well as practical advice on achieving physical and emotional wellness.

My Take:

This book is not just for those with diabetes. Although it resonates well with those diagnosed with the disease, it is also a book of hope and perseverence. Karz does a fine job of detailing every step of what she has went through in coping with diabetes. This book made me take a step back and evaluate what steps I need to take to help prevent diabetes and promote well-being in other areas of my life. I felt emotions of shock, sympathy, and compassion for the author as she took me through her ups and downs. This book is a great read.

I received book for review from FSB Associates. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products, as your opinion may differ.

Blog Hop - Giveaways

It's blog hop time to include your giveaways and enter others:


MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, December 17, 2009

TravelKiddy - Review



Keeping kids entertained can be daunting at times. I've sat in doctor offices and other places that require patience with my kids. Although they don't run wild, they have complained of being bored. It's quite understandable; I'm pretty bored during those situations as well. Long car rides are a task in and of themselves because the kids will nitpick at each other if they don't have something to do. TravelKiddy helps alleviate the problem with their activity kits that supply quiet entertainment.

I received the BusyKiddy for review. I saved it for a time when I was going to be on a long car ride with the younger kids. When that time came, I brought the BusyKiddy with me.

Includes

Lime green insulated lunch bag
3 hand wipes
Bandages
Tissues
Jumbo activity pad
Wikki Stix
Eversharp pencil
16 count Crayola crayons in a durable container
6 sheets of stickers
4 sheets of create a scene stickers
2 small animals
Die cast stock car
Stuffed animal - reptile

The BusyKiddy did what it was intended to do. It kept the kids busy and entertained. They liked opening up the bag to see what was inside. I do recommend having one for each kid, as there were a few things that they wanted to play with at the same time.
There are different activity kits available, suited according to need. Even adults can have fun with the BigKiddy. Some things can be played with more than once and some are one time use items, such as the stickers. Refill Kits are available for purchase.
TravelKiddy kits would be nice to have when traveling, when waiting at a doctor's office or restaurant, or even when you need some quiet time to yourself and want to keep the children occupied.

I received product for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products, as your opinion may differ.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Great Blog Giveaways #45

Cool blogs, neat products, great giveaways......Here's a few:

Shade Clothing is a company that makes clothes that help women feel comfortable and happy. Enter to win a $30 gift certificate to Shade Clothing at The Mom Reviews. Ends 12/21.

Creativity for Kids offers craft kits and art supplies for kids. Enter to win a kit of choice at The Mom Reviews. Ends 12/21.

Lavish & Lime has eco-friendly products for green living and giving. Enter to win a $50 gift certificate to Lavish & Lime at My Wee View. Ends 12/18.

Subway is a number one submarine sandwich food chain. Enter to win one of three $25 gift certificates to Subway at Confessions of a Psychotic Housewife. Ends 12/26.


BARBAR offers a line of superior, durable, and eco-friendly hair tools. Enter to win an Eco 8000 Blow Dryer at Mkokopelli. Ends 1/1.
Zutano has lots of cute and unique clothing for babies. Enter to win a $75 gift card to the Zutano Itzy Bitzy Boutique at A Mom's Balancing Act. Ends 12/29.
Shoebuy features a large selection of shoes for men, women, and children in a variety of colors and styles. Enter to win a $50 gift certificate to Shoebuy at Piece of ME. Ends 12/29.
Misikko is your place for professional salon styling and beauty tools. Enter to win a Hana Professional 1.5" Flat Iron in black at Feisty, Frugal, and Fabulous. Ends 12/22.
U*neaks are shoes with side clear panel windows and specially designed socks that allow kids to continuously customize their shoes by simply changing their socks. Enter to win a pair of U*neaks shoes and 2 pairs of socks at Feisty, Frugal, and Fabulous. Ends 12/20.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wordful Wednesday - Cookie/Candy Birthday

Last Sunday, my birthday was celebrated at my sister's house. I received lots of nice presents. We also did our annual Candy/Cookie Day where we exchanged cookies and candies that we've made. Here are some pics from the events:


This is me with my opened gifts. My family always does good with getting me nice things on my birthday. I also received a Dairy Queen ice cream cake and a bunch of helium balloons.



This is my niece holding my mother's rat, um I mean chihuahua. It's only a couple months old.



My great-niece wore an apron. She kept it on all day and was happy to be a part of the festivities.



My nephew and his wife are wrapping up the cookies and candy to take to loved ones. Can you see my nephew's tongue sticking out? He always does that when he's hard in thought.



This is a few of us who put a lot of hard work and time into making the goodies.



My nephew is a huge A Christmas Story fan. He made gingerbread cookies in the shape of the famous leg lamp and the bunny suit. He ices as well as I do!



These are just a few of the goodies we made. The candy overfloweth.

If you'd like to participate in Wordful Wednesday, link up at Seven Clown Circus.

WAT-AAH Winner

My WAT-AAH Prize Pack giveaway had ended and the winner has been randomly drawn. The lucky person is #46:

Nancy said... 46
tweeted http://twitter.com/nanceattack/status/6708959367
December 15, 2009 3:53 PM

Congrats Nancy! I will be emailing you shortly for your mailing info.

Random Tuesday Thoughts - Can I Get Some Sleep For Christmas?

randomtuesday

It's time again for Random Tuesday Thoughts. If you'd like to link up, you can do so at The Un Mom.

I've said it once and I'll say it again....I hate cold weather. If it were possible, I'd pack up and head south. Instead, I'll gorge myself with food and store away the winter fat.

My house is in total shambles. It seems like I've been so busy preparing for the holidays that I've put cleaning house on a hiatus.

My birthday was a couple days ago. I've hit 33. I think I'd like to stay this age for a while. No need to rush the wrinkles. I had a nice get together with my family and they adorned me with awesome presents. A few things I received were snowman decorations, candles, dish towels, clothing, rechargeable batteries, a Snuggie, and a few other things. One of my favorite gifts was a micro plush blanket. Why weren't these thought of before?! It has got to be the softest blanket I've ever wrapped myself in. I sooo will not be sharing this blanket with anyone.

I was sitting on the couch yesterday when I realized I needed to send a text by phone. I started feeling around everywhere for my phone and simply could not find it. I asked my husband to call me so I could hear it ring. Lo and behold, it was sitting in my lap the whole time! Does that have anything to do with being 33? My husband would beg to differ. He says I'm always scatter brained. Said thing is that it's true.

For those of you keeping count, only 10 more days till Christmas. Now get out there and spend, spend, spend.

Heelys - Review & Giveaway



My boys are no pros by any means, but they've had tons of fun with Heelys. Heelys are lightweight athletic skate shoes with a wheel inside the heel. They are the only shoes with a single or double wheel in the heel that allows the wearers to go from walking to rolling simply by shifting their weight to their heels.

I received a pair of Heelys for review. I selected a pair for the boys to try since they both wear the same size. The only prior experience they have with wheeled footwear is when they've been rollerskating. I was curious as to how well they would do. Once we received the skate shoes, we had to flip a coin to see who would go first as both were immediately eager to try them.

Before even trying the shoes, I sat down with my sons and had them go through the informational tips and tricks on what and what not to do. I also printed out and went over the Responsible Skating Agreement with them, and we all signed it after being read.

I first let the boys go onto our street which is level and without any bumps or hills. I wanted them to get a feel for it before they tried any fancy maneuvers. At first, there were some moments when they seemed unbalanced or unsure of what they were doing. But after lots of practice, they are getting the hang of it. They are learning tricks and are becoming more sure of themselves. It's a fun way for them to exercise and it gets them outdoors to play.

Heelys can be worn when not using them as skate shoes. They can also be used as regular walking shoes. I recommend that Heelys not be used where specifically forbidden or where skateboards are not allowed.



Win It!

One person will win a pair of Heelys of choice.

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment with which pair of Heelys you would choose if you are the winner.

Extra Entries:

Leave a comment with something you learned from the FAQ's.

Leave a comment with an online shop or retailer that sells Heelys, found on their Where To Buy page.

Follow Heelys on Twitter, Heelysworldwide.

Follow me on Twitter, partymix25.

Tweet about this giveaway, leave a link to the tweet (can be done daily).

Follow my blog.

Subscribe to my blog by email.

Add my button to your blog.

Blog about this giveaway, leave a link to the post (+3 entries).
Leave a separate comment for each entry. Please include your email address in your comments. Giveaway is open to residents of the US. Giveaway ends 12/29/09 at 8 pm CST. Winner will be randomly drawn and will have 48 hrs. to respond to email notification or a new winner will be drawn.
I received product for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products as your opinion may differ.

Pinecone Research Referral Sign Up Link

PineCone Research has given me the opportunity to invite others to become a member of their research group. PineCone Research is not generally available to the public and it is fairly hard to become a member unless someone has referred you through invitation. Through my experiences with PineCone Research, I have been able to receive and review products before they are available on the market. I've taken surveys which have helped given insight on what I do and don't like about products. I also receive monetary compensation for taking surveys and reviewing products. If you would like to become a member of Pinecone Research, you can sign up here.

If you do sign up, please leave a comment on this post.


I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Kmart Bluelight Special Teasers - 12/19 to 12/20

Here are this weekend's Kmart Bluelight Special teasers for December 19th and 20th:

Boys/Girls Licensed Hoodies - on sale for $8 - regular $18.99

Essential Home 10 pc Sets - on sale for $29.99 - regular $49.99

Rollercade - on sale for $49.99 - regular $79.99

I was not compensated for this post in any way.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sin In Linen - Review

I like things that are unconventional and out of the ordinary. I want designs that can't be found just anywhere. Sin In Linen does that with their bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and apparel line. The name alone draws me in. It makes me think fun, flirty, and of course, sinful.

Sin In Linen was launched by Sandy Glaze in partnership with her mother, Iris. Sin In Linen provides home textile consumers with an array of imaginative designs.

These Flash Ivory pajama pants would be fun to wear while lounging around.

This Flame Shower Curtain would be an interesting piece to add to the bathroom.

I received the Wild Thing "Pink Zebra" duvet cover and pillowcases for review. You may think that I'd let my teenage girls get a hold of this since it may be geared more for them. Wrong! I immediately fell in love with the style and knew it'd look cute in my bedroom. Of course, my husband wasn't too thrilled with pink on the bed. But he did like the overall design. I found them to be easy to sleep on and the fabric was not itchy or scratchy. I've also washed them and they've went through wash and dry just fine.

If you're like me, I did not know what a duvet cover was until I received this one. A duvet cover is like a big pillowcase for your comforter. You can change up the style of your comforter with just a slip of one of these. My regular comforter is brown. With the Pink Zebra duvet cover, I have a whole new design.

There's not a thing at Sin In Linen that I don't like. I'd be thrilled to have my home stocked with all of their items. However, I could see how others may find some of the designs to be a little too risque for their style.

I received product for review from Sin In Linen. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products, as your opinion may vary.

I'm Another Year Older and Bolder


Today is my 33rd birthday! It seems like the years go by faster the older I get. This one has flashed before my eyes. I'm thankful to God that I'm still alive and holding on. I totally stressed on my birthday last year because it seems like I'm getting older faster. But this one isn't bothering me. I'm along for the ride.
I'll be celebrating my birthday with a family get together later this afternoon. I'm sure I'll enjoy all the gifts I receive, but what I'll enjoy the most is the time I get to spend with my loved ones.

Crayon Town - Review



Crayola is a classic. I can't imagine of anyone that hasn't heard of the name. It's been around for years, and with reason. It continues to inspire and engage. Crayola also continues to come up with new products that make coloring fun.

Crayola and Wild Planet have partnered to bring about the Crayon Town activity sets. These activity sets combine coloring, construction, and creative play.


I received the Crayon Town Neighborhood Playset and the Crayon Town Zoo Playset for review. My youngest son got to work with the zoo and my youngest step-daughter played with the neighborhood.

I like Crayon Town because it allows the kids to do more than just color. They've used their imagainations to make up scenarios. When they received the playsets, they both sat at the kitchen table and colored their sets. They then put together the parts that were to be constructed. The pieces to be constructed were easy enough to do but they reinforced them with tape so they wouldn't tear. The figurines included were fun to play with, according to the kids. On some of the pieces, they attached their crayons to them to make the piece complete. For instance, they used a crayon to transform a tall tree trunk.

After coloring and constructing, Adam and Emma put their playsets together and mixed around the pieces. They made their own little world and played in it for quite some time.

The sets are available in five different themes: Neighborhood, Zoo, Construction Site, Horse Ranch, and Airport. It'd be neat to see if they come up with other themed sets. Just because the kids have colored the sheets, it doesn't mean they have to be done. Free coloring sheet refills are available online, so new sheets can be printed to expand each theme.

I received product for review from Wild Planet. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products, as your opinion may differ.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Two Winners of Two Giveaways

Two of my giveaways have ended and I have randomly drawn the winners.

The winner of my Celery Street giveaway for a Good Dog Writing Journal is #15.
Kristy said... 15
I learned that you typically receive an order in 4-7 business days!
December 3, 2009 4:30 PM

The winner of my Hearthsong giveaway to receive a Qwirkle game is #61.
Tara said... 61
I follow you on Twitter

Congrats to the winners. I will be emailing you shortly and you will have 48 hrs. to respond to email notification. If you haven't already, be sure to enter my other giveaways. They can be found on the right hand side of my blog under 'Current Giveaways'.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Great Blog Giveaways #44

Wow, there's so many great blog giveaways! Here are just a few:

TeeWit.com specializes in apparel and gifts with witty and fun slogans and sayings. Enter to win a $30 gift certificate to TeeWit at CoolCanucks Blog. Ends 12/31.



GlammaTOYS is an e-retailer of educational toys, unique specialty toys, games, and gifts. Enter to win a Superstructs Pinklets Fairy Garden at Flying Giggles and Lollipops. Ends 12/14.

Shabby Apple offers a vast selection of dresses for women, girls, and preteens. Enter to win a Daisy Dress at Jamie's Precious Peas. Ends 12/14.

There's nothing better than pancakes drizzled with warm maple syrup. And there's no syrup better than the 100% pure organic syrup of Coombs Family Farms. Want to try it for yourself? Enter to win a prize pack full of Coombs Family Farms maple products at 5 Vinez Monkeys. Ends 12/16.

Jonathan's Wild Cherry Spoons offers a collection of handcrafted cherry wood utensils. Enter to win a Lazy Spoon at Katydid and Kid. Ends 12/13.
Springfree Trampoline brings you a trampoline with a smart, safety-conscious design. Enter to win a Springfree Trampoline at Barefoot Mommies. Ends 12/14.

Wallquotes.com offers a spectacular collection of predesigned lettering, vinyl art, and wall quotes. Enter to win a $35 gift certificate to Wallquotes.com at Jabbering Jessi. Ends 12/13.

A unique line of children's hats, BuddyTops bring warmth and comfort to kids of all ages. Enter to win a BuddyTops of choice at Thanks, Mail Carrier. Two winners. Ends 12/14.

And, of course, don't forget to enter my giveaways, two of which end tomorrow:

Good Dog Writing Journal giveaway - ends 12/12
Qwirkle game giveaway - ends 12/12
WAT-AAH Prize Pack giveaway - ends 12/15
Ouchies bandages giveaway - ends 12/18
I Used To Know That book giveaway - ends 12/20
Fountain Jet Soda Lover's Start Up Kit giveaway - ends 12/20

Blog Hop - Friday Giveaways

Yay! Another list of blog giveaways to enter with McLinky:



MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, December 10, 2009

White Sands - Review



I have limp, dry hair. It is practically impossible for me to just wash my hair and let it go or throw it up in a quick ponytail. I've tried many hair products to get the volume and luster that I want. Some have been a total waste of money and some have helped me achieve my look. White Sands products are in the category of hair products that I find to work as indicated and be worth the money.

White Sands is a family owned corporation that strives to market and distribute the best performing and innovative hair care products in the world. If you're not sure what kind of hair products are best for you, White Sands will make recommendations based on hair type and styling technique.




I received products for review from White Sands. One of the products I tried was ER Fusion. It is a reconstructive hair treatment that restores hair back to its youthful condition. It is to be applied once every 30 days. I've tried it once so far and noticed a difference in how my hair feels and looks. My teenage daughter also tried it and commented that she liked how her hair felt softer and was more manageable.



Another styling aid I've tried is the Stuck Up Mega Hold Hairspray. This hairspray provides maximum hold and volume. Stuck Up Mega Hold Hairspray has been used by hairstylists and celebrities. I was very happy with how this hairspray provided volume for my hair. I do not like my hair limp at any time. With this hairspray, I've been able to get more volume and style it more to my liking. I've learned that you should not use a lot at once because it is mega hold. It's a hairspray that is to be used in small sprays. What I like about this hairspray is that I've been able to achieve styles that I've never been able to before. I've had people ask me what I've been doing to get the added volume in my hair. They assume it is some sort of hair accessory. I've been able to do it with this hairspray and a comb to lightly tease my hair.


The Designer Gel also helps provide maximum volume and staying power. My teenage girls particularly like this styling aid because they are able to wash their hair and run this gel through their hair with their fingers to achieve the scrunched curls look. It isn't sticky and hasn't left flakes in their hair. I like to use it to help get the volume that I want.

The prices are a little bit more than what you'd pay for some hair products; however, the tubes and cans that they come in are of a good size and they are what I consider to be high-quality.

I received products for review from White Sands. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products, as your opinion may differ.