Thursday, May 27, 2010

Great Blog Giveaways #85

For the next few days I will be on a staycation, spending time with family at the campground. I'm not sure that I'll be posting anything during that time, but will be back in full force when I return. Until that time, here's a host of giveaways worth entering at other blogs:

Inspired Gifts allows you to create meaningful photo gifts for those you love. Enter to win an 8x8 hard cover children's photo book of choice at Mama's Money Savers. Ends 6/2.

Bad Idea T-Shirts offers more than 1000 tshirt designs in a variety of categories. Enter to win a tshirt of choice at Mass Hole Mommy. Ends 5/29.

Free Spirit is a leading publisher of learning tools that support young people's social-emotional health and educational needs. Enter to win any four books of choice at Fun and Funky Mommy. Ends 6/3.

Pevonia Botanica is an elite spa-exclusive natural skincare brand offered by prestigious spas worldwide. Enter to win Youthful Lip Retinol Serum and Youthful Lip Cream at Born 2 Impress. Ends 6/6.

Starfrit develops and markets innovative kitchen gadgets. Enter to win a Starfrit Gourmet 5" Ceramic Blade Knife with Protective Cover at Outnumbered 3 to 1. Ends 6/1.

Fantasy Jewelry Box is a leading online retailer of celebrity and designer inspired jewelry. Enter to win an item of choice up to $35 at Outnumbered 3 to 1. Ends 5/29.

Sweet Dreams Bamboo is an online store for all of your luxury bamboo linens. Enter to win a 320 Thread Count Duvet Cover Set with Pillow Shams (king size) at Outnumbered 3 to 1. Ends 6/14.
NOVICA offers home decor, jewelry, and gifts by talented artisans worldwide. Enter to win a $75 gift certificate to NOVICA at Optimistic Beauty. Ends 6/7.

Step2 is the largest American manufacturer of preschool and toddler toys. Enter to win a Play Up Double Slide Climber at The Shopping Mama. Ends 6/15.

Bamboobino has absorbent super soft easy-care wear and accessories for baby and toddler. Enter to win a pair of baby socks in choice of size and color at Me And My Boys. Ends 6/7.

Pro Kitchen Equipment is an online leader in kitchen, restaurant, and bar furnishing supplies. Enter to win a $50 gift certificate to Pro Kitchen Equipment at My Four Monkeys. Ends 6/7.

Don't Fret the Sweat with Unilever




It seems like this past year three of my kids have taken a growth spurt. Along with the growth has come other changes, including the need to start wearing deodorant. When my teenage daughters first needed to use it, a big deal wasn't made. It seems a little more difficult this time around because none of the three kids feel comfortable talking about sweat and what can be done to prevent it.

Unilever has helped lighten my load by having resources that parents and tweens can go to for information about how the right deodorant can keep them free from odor, embarrassment, and discomfort. Don't Fret The Swet is not only a catchy name, but it is also a place to go for facts, guidance, and coupons. It has been helpful in allowing my kids to check it out and get answers, then come to me to further discuss what they've learned.


Juliann has tried the Ultimate go fresh Revive Deodorant and go fresh Revive Body Mist from Dove. She has just recently started using products like these, so she is a little hesitant to keep them out for other people to see but she knows the importance of using them daily. She has mentioned that the products help keep her from sweating and she likes the smell of the body mist. I've used similar Dove products myself, with satisfaction.



I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Unilever and received the items necessary to facilitate my review. In addition, Mom Central ssent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate. Please do your own research before purchasing products. Your opinions and results may differ.

Thursday Thunks - In A Limo With A Suitcase on the Way to Hawaii

Once again I am participating in Thursday Thunks, a meme created to start blog conversation around verious topics.



1. Tomorrow you'll be thinking to yourself?
Yessss, I'm off work for the next five days and ready to camp!

2. Where's your picket fence?
Not anywhere near where I live. I have a deck around my camper; does that count?!

3. With a big smile on your face, you do what?
Make you wonder what I've been up to.

4. If I was to walk up to you, you'd do what?
Be prepared for either the conversation or the fight.

5. The list goes on and on. What list?
The millions of lists that I have to remind myself of things that I have to do. If it isn't on a list, it ain't getting done.

6. Does every rose have a thorn or does every thorn have a rose?
I like the positive side of it, so every thorn has a rose.

7. Talk dirty to me. What kind of mop/vacuum/dust thingymabob do you use?
old stained clothes

8. Your Mamma don't _______ and your Daddy don't _______.
My mamma don't let anything get her down and my Daddy don't know how much he's missed.

9. Ever had a suitcase packed by your feet, and if so where were you going?
I have one packed at my feet every weekend. In fact, have more than one of them packed. Always heading to the camper.

10. Have you ever ridden in a limousine?
Nope, can't afford to and don't have friends who've offered the invite to go with them.

11. I went to bed too soon and got up to ____?
realize that I should have went to bed sooner.

12. "And this last mile I travel with you ", to where?
I'd gladly travel to Hawaii with someone.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tooth Fairy DVD and Window Cling Winners

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

The winner of the giveaway for the 20x30 Window Cling from Digital Room is #10, The Prickly Pinecone.

The Prickly Pinecone said... 10
I am a google follower.
May 24, 2010 3:59 PM

The two winners of the Tooth Fairy DVD giveaway are #7, andrea v and #141, Amanda.

andrea v said... 7
my kids would enjoy
May 13, 2010 6:19 AM

Amanda said... 141
I follow on GFC!
May 26, 2010 12:29 PM

Congrats to the winners! I will be emailing you shortly and you will have 48 hrs. to respond to email notification or new winner(s) will be drawn. Thanks to all who entered. My Sugar Free Ring Pops giveaway ends in a few days and has a small amount of entries.

Yoursphere.com - The Spheres

Now that they've become acquainted with Yoursphere.com, my three kids who are members of the social online community now debate over who gets to go there first. Not a lot of time has been spent indoors lately, but the first thing they all want to do when they are indoors is check out the different content at Yoursphere.

One of the many neat things at Yoursphere is the Spheres. The Spheres are centered around different topics and kids can join them to add videos, images, and writing. Each kid has a different favorite Sphere. Juliann's is fashion, Logan's is gaming, and Adam's is academics. They have yet to create a sphere, although there is the option to do so. Right now they have been leaving comments on discussions.

There is still so much to explore at Yoursphere and my kids are still checking out all that's available for them to do.

If you have a teen or tween who would enjoy being a part of this online world, sign up and start connecting using referral code YSMC-0001. Let them know that Heck Of A Bunch sent you.

I wrote this review while participating in the Yoursphere Test Drive program by Mom Central on behalf of Yoursphere. I received a free lifetime Gold membership on Yoursphere.com, Yoursphere t-shirts, and a $50 American Express gift card to facilitate my review.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Seventh Generation - Review & Giveaway



Years ago I was anal about keeping my house clean. Even though I've loosened up on making sure everything is perfect and spotless, I still want my home to look nice. Having six kids and a husband ensures that I'll always have a home to clean! I want products that work effectively and quickly without causing harmful side effects. Seventh Generation is committed to becoming the world's most trusted brand of authentic, safe, and environmentally-responsible products for a healthy home. By using their laundry and household products, I am keeping toxic chemicals out of the environment and saving natural resources.



Seventh Generation was kind enough to send me their Free & Clear Starter Kit to review. Wow, there were enough products to keep every inch of my home clean! With each product received I'm going to detail what I did and/or did not like about them, as well as their benefits.

Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner- This disinfects while you clean and effectively controls odors. I've used this on my countertops and like how it effectively cleans them. The spray comes out of the bottle easily and my countertops are shinier.

Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner - My bathtub has to be cleaned almost daily. My husband works as an auto mechanic and is covered in dust and grime when he gets in the shower. Of course it gets all over the tub when he showers. With the Bathroom Cleaner, I'm able to spray the area after he gets out and wipe it down a few minutes later. It helps on keeping the mess controlled. It also disinfects while you clean.

Disinfecting Wipes - These wipes kill over 99.99% of household germs and are my favorite because no extra rag or cloth is needed. They're also great because the kids can just grab one out of the container and wipe away. It doesn't take extra supervision to make sure they're not using too much. I like how the wipes are thick and soapy because they cleans well. However, because they are so soapy, I sometimes have to use a paper towel to dab on the cleaned areas to wipe off the extra soap.

Laundry Detergent - It is hypoallergenic and free of phosphates and optical brighteners. The main thing I look for in laundry detergents is that they do not leave spots on my clothes after washing them. If the detergent does that, then I'm done with that brand. Thankfully I've not had that problem with the Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent I've used. Another plus is that it takes only a small amount to clean my clothes, maximizing the number of loads I'm able to do per bottle.


Liquid Fabric Softener - This softener is also hypoallergenic and free of toxins. I usually use dryer sheets when doing laundry simply because I'm not the best at remembering to add liquid softener to my final rinse cycle in the wash. I made it a point to keep this on the dryer to remind me it needed to be added. I like how my clothes come out feeling very soft and static-free.

Natural Dish Liquid - This liquid is free of phosphates and is safe for septic systems. I've been using it when washing dishes. Just a little dab in the water is needed to get the right amount of suds. Food came off and my dishes became clean with ease.

Natural All Purpose Cleaner - This cleaner does not create harsh fumes and it is hypoallergenic. I keep it up at camp to clean the golf cart and inside the camper. By spraying and letting it sit for a few minutes, I am able to come back and wipe off the areas with no problem. This has also been used inside my kitchen fridge. When throwing food away one day I noticed that there was a sticky substance on the bottom shelf. I had to spray the cleaner a few times due to the stickiness, but it came clean.

Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Pacs- These are safe for septic systems and biodegradable. This is the only product I have not personally used because I do not have a dishwasher.

Natural Glass & Surface Cleaner - This cleaner is non-toxic and hypoallergenic. My kitchen table has a glass top and has to be cleaned daily due to the liquids and foods that get on it. I use this cleaner almost everyday on my kitchen table and feel good knowing that toxics will not harm us when we sit down to eat at the table. Streaks are very minimal when cleaning with it.

Natural Paper Towels - They are unscented and have no added dyes or fragrances. I'm not real fond of the brown color, but they are thick and have been used to clean and eat with.

Seventh Generation Recycled Bag - This is a roomy brown bag with the Seventh Generation logo. It is large enough to take grocery shopping or to pack a few clothes in. I've been using it to put dirty towels and washcloths in when we are done using them at the camp.



Seventh Generation doesn't hide what is used in their products. All ingredients are disclosed. Not only are they helping the environment, they are also helping to ensure that consumers can safely use their products.

Win It!
One person will win a Seventh Generation Free & Clear Starter Kit (includes all of the products listed above).

Mandatory Entry:
Leave a comment with which Seventh Generation product you'd most like to try.

Extra Entries:
Leave a comment with something you learned in the Seventh Generation FAQ's.
"Like" Seventh Generation on Facebook.
Follow Seventh Generation on Twitter, SeventhGen.
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.
Have my button on your blog.
Have the "Outdoor Adventures" button on 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 the comments. Giveaway is open to residents of the USA. Giveaway ends 6/7/10 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 products for review from Seventh Generation. 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. Your opinions and results may differ.

Monday, May 24, 2010

ThermaCELL May Lantern A Day Giveaway


During my upcoming "Outdoor Adventures" blog event, I will be featuring ThermaCELL, a company that specializes in mosquito repellents. During that time, I will be doing a review and giveaway of the Patio Lantern.

Until that time you can enter to win lanterns through ThermaCELL with the ThermaCELL May Lantern A Day Giveaway. Every day in May they will be giving away a ThermaCELL Outdoor Lantern to one lucky person. At the end of may, each of the 31 daily winners will be entered in a drawing to win the grand prize of ten ThermaCELL appliances and 200 hours of refills.
You can enter daily during the month of May to increase your chances to win. No purchase is necessary. You can also get additional entries into the giveaway and chances to win a Bass Pro Shop gift card for referring friends.

Enter the giveaway here and please use referral code OHIRCD when entering.

I received no compensation for this post. 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. Your opinions and results may differ.

COVERGIRL Blast- Review

Through BzzAgent I was able to review two of COVERGIRL's newest products, the Smoky ShadowBlast and the ShineBlast Lip Gloss.

COVERGIRL is one of my favorite lines of makeup products and I've been determined to get the smoky eye look for what seems like forever. With each tube of the Smoky ShadowBlast there are two colors to create a colorful smoky eye duo. I've tried it a few times and am closer to reaching the smoky eye look. One end has a rounded tip while the other has a contoured tip. I tried the Purple Plume duo. While I like the concept and am able to create a smoky eye look, I've noticed that it creases easily. Because it is a cream eyeshadow, it does not stay in place as it should and the achieved look doesn't stay for long.



I like to wear lip gloss when going out. The shinier, the better. I tried the ShineBlast Lip Gloss in the sparkler color. The dark pink color and the high gloss shine make my lips stand out. I like the angle of the applicator and how it does not feel heavy on my lips. The color stays on my lips for almost two hours, then I need to reapply.



I have two coupons for savings of $2 on any COVERGIRL product. The first two people that leave a comment here will receive a coupon. I will email you for mailing address to send the coupon to.

I received products for review from BzzAgent. 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. Your opinions and results may differ.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

More Sponsors Added to Outdoor Adventures Blog Event

In case you haven't heard yet, I'm hosting an "Outdoor Adventures" blog event June 6th to the 16th featuring companies and products for the outdoors. There will be many reviews and giveaways.

Not too long ago I posted a list of sponsors participating in the event. Here's more that are now included:



Wrap-N-Mat



Yard Games Online



SwimWays



Kelsyus



ThermaCELL

For three extra entries in each giveaway during this event, be sure to add the "Outdoor Adventures" button to your blog. Leave a comment here if you do.


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Great Blog Giveaways #84

Here's an awesome array of giveaways to enter at other blogs:

Sunglass Warehouse offers a large selection of sunglasses. Enter to win a pair of sunglasses of choice at Xmas Dolly. Ends 5/26.

Crazy Dog T-shirts carries a line of funny and unique t-shirts with stylish designs. Enter to win a t-shirt of choice at Chubby Cheeks Thinks. Ends 5/26.

Gaddy Nipper Crayons is an Etsy shop that specializes in recycled crayons in fun shapes. Enter to win a box of Silly Swirl Cupcake Crayons at Chubby Cheeks Thinks. Ends 6/3.

Kidorable transforms everyday, functional kids' accessories into objects that excite and enrich. Enter to win an umbrella of choice at Little Yaya's. Ends 5/28.

Boogie Wipes are gentle saline wipes for stuffy noses. Enter to win two packs of 30 count wipes at Little Yaya's. Ends 5/28.

Baby Genius is committed to providing music-based products that are entertaining, educational, and beneficial to the well-being of babies and young children. One person will win Whack-A-Ball and one person will win Old McVinko Musical Farm at My Wee View. Ends 6/4.

WALLTAT wall decals are the newest alternative for wall and surface finishing. Enter to win a $100 gift certificate to WALLTAT at My Wee View. Ends 5/28.

Through Cahootie's award-winning folded paper products, they aim to deliver an experience of fun, learning, and connection among tweens and their families and friends. Two people will win a Cahootie of choice (excluding the Animal Planet versions) at Night Owl Mama. Ends 6/5.

Bored Inc. creates products that make your everyday life a little cuter with Japanese character art. Enter to win your choice of t-shirt, baby tee, or baby onesie at My Life With Rats and More. Ends 5/29.

Fantasy Jewelry Box is a leading online retailer of celebrity and designer inspired jewelry. Enter to win an item of choice up to $35 at My Life With Rats and More. Ends 5/26. You can also enter to win at The B Keeps Us Honest. Ends 5/28.

Purty Girl Designs is an Etsy shop that features jewelry made with vintage or antique components. Enter to win a piece of jewelry of choice at Jamie's Precious Peas. Ends 6/7.

Sophisticated Baby Gifts is dedicated to bringing you unique and quality baby and shower gifts. Enter to wi na $40 gift certificate to Sophisticated Baby Gifts at Thanks, Mail Carrier. Ends 5/27.

Boon Inc. is committed to creating innovative modern baby products and toddler gear. Enter to win a Boon Oval Animal Bag in pink or green at The Shopping Mama. Ends 5/26.

Zerbert Baby is passionate about designing unique products for babies and toddlers. Enter to win a $50 gift certificate to Zerbert Baby at The Bragging Mommy. Ends 5/29.

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 The Bragging Mommy. Ends 5/27.

Axl's Closet features collections and pieces for kids from the most recognizable labels in the action sports and outdoor industries. Four people will win a $20 gift certificate to Axl's Closet at Piece of Me. Ends 5/28.

Coco Bonbons has taken some of the universal loves of children and brought them to life on coats and separates. Enter to win one garmet of choice at Piece of Me. Ends 5/24.

Tropicana Juicy Rewards - Rescue the Rainforest



Visiting a winery with buy one, get one free admission and getting EA Sports Active for the Wii at a discounted price have been a couple of things I've been able to do by redeeming Tropicana Juicy Rewards.

The latest thing I've done with my rewards is donate some of them to help Rescue the Rainforest. For every three points donated, 100 square ft. of rainforest is rescued. It's easy enough to donate and it feels good to know that I'm helping a good cause.

Be sure to enter your codes found under specially marked Tropicana juice to earn rewards.

I am a Tropicana Juicy Rewards Insider Ambassador, courtesy of MomCentral. I received rewards to facilitate my candid and honest review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Your results and opinions may differ.

Friday, May 21, 2010

EcoSMART - Organic Pesticides Review



Me and my family go camping every weekend. Although we're not necessarily "roughing it", we are still in a wooded area with lots of greenery and bugs. I've been using the Safe Lawn and Outdoor Value Bundle from EcoSMART to help me keep control of the pesticide and weed problems.

EcoSMART is a company whose mission is to create the world's safest, most effective organic pesticides based on natural ingredients. They offer the only complete line of EPA exempt pesticides sold in the USA.


Right now at camp gnats are the worst insects we have to deal with. There are hordes of them and I've had my fair share go in my mouth and nose. Since we've been using EcoSMART's Insect Repellent we've seen a dramatic decrease in the amount of gnats that surround us. The formula for the repellent is made from organic plant oils.

My husband sprayed some of the Insect Repellent last weekend and another camper took notice of the smell. She inquired what it was and he replied that he had sprayed insect repellent on himself. She said she really liked how it smelled and it wasn't an awful odor like some can be.


Although the problem hasn't been near as bad as with the gnats, we've also noticed a couple of wasps in the area of where we camp. We've since sprayed the area with EcoSMART's Wasp & Hornet Killer. We haven't seen any wasps as of lately. Whether it's because they've migrated elsewhere or because the spray is working, I'm just glad to see them gone.


To aid in keeping any creepie crawlies out of our recreational area at camp, we've also sprayed the Lawn Insect Killer around the whole area of our camper. This natural ant killer is used by connecting the bottle to a garden hose and spraying the area. Right after my husband sprayed it on our grass I needed to get to the camper quickly and ran through the grass barefoot. I felt comfortable doing so because I knew this pesticide wouldn't be harmful to me.



The Weed & Grass Killer has come in handy for getting rid of the weeds that pop up in unwanted places around our camper. A few days after spraying the weeds with this, I noticed where they had turned brown and died off. I have yet to see new weeds sprouting in the same areas where I've sprayed.

All in all, I'm pleased with the products I've tried from EcoSMART. Keep your eyes out during the "Outdoor Adventures" blog event because I will be having a giveaway for EcoSMART organic pesticides.

I received products for review from EcoSMART. 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. Your opinions and results may vary.

My First New Friend Friday

It's great getting to know new people and being supported by blog friends. The Girl Creative has a meme called New Friend Friday where you can link up your blog. Here are the rules:

Add a link to your main blog
Visit the blog of the person whose name is above your name in the list and comment on their blog.
Visit as many blogs as you can and leave comments telling them you are visiting from New Friend Friday at The Girl Creative.
There is no obligation to follow everyone who follows you. Please just follow the blogs that are of interest to you. :)

The Girl Creative

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Spill Your Guts Game Winner

I have randomly drawn a winner for the Spill Your Guts Game giveaway. The winner is #90, rubynreba.

rubynreba said... 90
I like the Smart Toss Math Sports Game
May 18, 2010 7:43 PM

Congrats to the winner and thanks to those who entered. I'll be emailing the winner shortly, with 48 hrs. to respond to email notification.

Thursday Thunks - ABCs



This week's Thursday Thunks is based upon the ABCs. To participate, take each letter of the alphabet and describe something in your life.

A - Adam is the name of my youngest son. Allyson is my oldest step-daughter.
B - Blake is Adam's middle name.
C - Camping is something that we do every weekend.
D - I work full-time as a 9-1-1 dispatcher.
E - Emma is my youngest step-daughter's name.
F - Have a beta fish named Larry.
G - We are fostering a leopard gecko for the next three months.
H - My nickname is Helen and I'm often referred to by that name.
I -I'm the owner of an iguana with attitude.
J - Jason is my husband's name and Juliann is one of my step-daughter's names.
K - Kids, have six of 'em.
L - Logan is my oldest son's name.
M- I enjoy my mother's company.
N- I'm a fan of naps and take one at least a couple times a week.
O- I'm overweight!
P- Excited for the campground pool to open in a couple of weeks so we can go swimming.
Q- Quiet I am not.
R- I enjoy reading books. My teenage daughter's room is stacked with them.
S- Shelby is my oldest daughter's name.
T- My name is Terra.
U- I have ugly toes.
V- I'm on the hunt for some ivy vines to decorate the outside of my camper.
W- I despise worms and won't ever touch one.
X- (cheating here) X-tra blessed.
Y- Wishing my youthfulness would come back.
Z- Zany, yep that's me!

Great Blog Giveaways #83

Yippee! Strap on your boots and mosey on over to these great blog giveaways:

Joy Jewelers is a leading online retailer of jewelry. Enter to win a Boys Insignia Ring in White Lazon or a Girls Elegance Ring in White Lazon personalized specially for your student at Frugal Mom Knows Best. Ends 5/27.

Searcey Designs, LLC is a line of jewelry inspired by nature and imagination. Enter to win a birthstone ring at A Mom's Balancing Act. Ends 5/24.

Little Tikes makes indoor and outdoor play toys for girls and boys. Enter to win a Cozy Coupe 30th Anniversary Edition at Baby Loving Mama. Ends 6/1.

Tortoise and Hare Designs is an Etsy shop that specializes in accessories for mom and baby. Enter to win a pair of loafers or ballerina baby shoes in choice of fabric and size at The Candid Reviewer. Ends 5/23.

Shoo-foo is committed to providing good quality products for the modern consumers who care for the environment and live a healthy lifestyle. Enter to win a baby blanket at Born 2 Impress. Ends 5/22.

Peaceable Kingdom Press offers original games, stickers, and birthday cards for kids. Enter to win a sticker pack at Mass Hole Mommy. Ends 5/22.

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 Slice o' Heaven. Ends 5/27.

Kidorable transforms everyday, functional kids' accessories into objects that excite and enrich. Enter to win an umbrella of choice at Slice o' Heaven. Ends 5/24.

Jambu footwear is designed to guide you in style and comfort on your next personal journey. Enter to win a pair of shoes in choice of style at Slice o' Heaven. Ends 5/28.

Frecklebox offers unique, personalized gifts for children at affordable prices. Enter to win a personalized item of choice at Mommy Has To Work. Ends 5/31.

Baby Star is a baby apparel and accessories company that creates products for the design-savvy parent and the texture-loving child. Enter to win a Rock the Tote bag at Katydid and Kid. Ends 5/30.

Hapari makes modest swimwear and tankinis that are stylish and comfortable for all body types. Enter to win a top and bottom of choice at Two Of A Kind, Working On A Full House. Ends 5/31. You can also enter to win a $85 gift certificate to Hapari at Flying Giggles and Lollipops. Ends 6/2.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Yoursphere.com - Registration Process

I mentioned in a post a while back that I was chosen to be a Yoursphere Test Drive Mom. In case you missed that post, Yoursphere is an online social community for your tween and teen to safely interact with others, play games, start discussions, and earn rewards. I'm going to first tell you about the registration process involved.

Yoursphere makes sure that parents are involved in the setup so they are aware of what their child is doing. I set up an account for three of my children, all tweens. I provided information and security info during the registration process, including my own. Once that was done, I was set up to use the Parent Dashboard and my kids were set up to start using Yoursphere.

I can have access to the Parent Dashboard at any time to view how long my children have been online using Yoursphere and to view how often they do it.

An email was sent to me for all three of my children's accounts to verify the setup. This part was sort of a mix up because I set up all three kids' accounts separately and an automatic username and password were to sent to me for all three kids, whereas they could be changed once I verified. When I received the three emails all at once and went to set them up a couple of days later, I accidentally made up a username and password that was intended for my son instead of my daughter. It's no biggie, but she now has a username that was meant to be for him.

At any rate, the kids are now set up and have been checking out the various activities at Yoursphere. So far they seem to really enjoy it and Adam has even said on more than one occasion that "it is awesome". I will keep you updated on the different things the kids do on Yoursphere and how we all feel about this new social online community.

If you have a teen or tween who would enjoy being a part of this online world, sign up and start connecting using referral code YSMC-0001. Let them know that Heck Of A Bunch sent you.

I wrote this review while participating in the Yoursphere Test Drive program by Mom Central on behalf of Yoursphere. I received a free lifetime Gold membership on Yoursphere.com, Yoursphere t-shirts, and a $50 American Express gift card to facilitate my review.

Wednesday Wickedness - Aretha Franklin

Wednesday Wickedness is hosted by Janera Jepson and is based on answering questions from quotes by famous people. This week's quotes are from Aretha Franklin.

1. "Trying to grow up is hurting, you know. You make mistakes. You try to learn from them, and when you don't, it hurts even more.” Do you think you always learn from your mistakes?

Not everyone learns from their mistakes and there's some I still make. However, there's a few that have had big enough of an impact on me that I know never to make them again.

2. “I might be just twenty-six, but I'm an old woman in disguise... twenty-six goin'on sixty-five.” Have you ever felt that you were either older or younger, for your age at that time?

Depends on the day. Some days I feel like I'm headed for a nursing home and others I feel like a kid at heart.

3. “I think the hardest thing is losing weight. That's the hardest thing more than anything else.” Have you had trouble losing weight?

I have no problem losing weight. It's never been lost. I know exactly where it is, sitting around my big ole' belly.

4. "Being a singer is a natural gift." Do you have any natural gifts?

Not sure if it's a gift or a short wire, but I'm quite proficient at verbally spelling words backwards on a whim. I can even say the alphabet backwards as quickly as I can the right way.

5. "I always felt rock and roll was very, very wholesome music." What the most "wholesome" rock artist that you like?

Hard one to answer right now. I'm not sure there's a lot of "wholesome" artists. Regardless, I still like their music.

6. "I sing to the realists; people who accept it like it is." Are you a realist?

I am too much of a realist.

7. "No one loves a party more than I. I am a people person." Do you like to party or are you more of a homebody?

During the winter, I'm like a bear that hibernates. I don't leave home unless necessary. During the other seasons, I come out of my shell and socialize a lot more.

8. "I'm gonna make a gospel record and tell Jesus I cannot bear these burdens alone." Do you feel the need to share your burdens?

Jesus hears my burdens everyday. Along with anyone else who will listen.

9. "I'm the lady next door when I'm not on stage." Do you know the lady next door? (yes, you can pick either side.)

I don't know any of the ladies on either side of me. I don't live in a very neighborly area.

10. "I never felt inferior or less than. I was blessed to grow up in a environment where self-worth was underscored." Do you ever feel inferior?

There's times when I've been knocked down to feel that way, especially during my first marriage. However, I've grown a backbone and know my self-worth. On the flip side, I'm not superior to anyone either. I put my pants on the same as anyone else.

Playtex Bra Makeover



Do you know what size bra you should be wearing? Honestly? I don't. I've never been properly fitted. I've always wondered what my real size is though.

Bras that don't fit properly can cause bruising, digging, back pain, and more. My biggest complaint with bras is digging at the sides. It's rare that I can find one that is ultimately comfortable. I'm sure some of that has to do with wearing the wrong size.

To help women with their bra issues, Playtex has launched a site where women can go to apply for a bra makeover or nominate a friend. If chosen, the winner will be flown to New York to receive a bra makeover with style expert Alison Deyette, a fashion and trend lifestyle expert.

The ten winners selected for a bra makeover will also star in their very own webisode wherein a makeover candidate will receive a fitting with Deyette and walk away with Playtex products. A new webisode will premier at Playtex Bra Makeover every two weeks.

Hurry on over to Playtex Bra Makeover today and apply for a chance to win. The last day to apply is Friday, May 21st.

I received no compensation for this post. In exchange for this post, I am eligible to receive a free Playtex bra. 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. Your opinions and results may differ.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wordful Wednesday - So, I Married A Clown

Wordful Wednesday is for those who like to tell stories with their pictures. If you'd like to participate, link up at Seven Clown Circus.



This weekend's main activity at the campground was jug fishing. It was a first. My husband and another camper drew the short end of the stick (or rather were bribed with beer) and took on the duties of setting the jugs out in the water. Jason dressed up for the event with a beach towel, lei, and floaties.

By the way, he no longer looks this scruffy. I finally talked him into letting me give him a haircut. He said it was fine since "dragon hunting season was now over".


Two grown men on an inflatable boat wearing swimming attire and doing the hula equaled massive amounts of laughter.



The idea of using a leaf blower as a motor didn't work out so well! They finally resorted to using the oars.



This was the biggest fish caught. The camper whose number was on the jug (unfortunately, not me) won a nice chunk of change.



My sister's golf cart has been Wonkafied. That'll guarantee that none of the guys ever take off on it. She, with a tad bit of help from me, custom decorated it with purple and pink Duct tape. That's how we roll!



I was so happy to have gotten mulch and solar lights for Mother's Day. It makes the front of the camper look nicer. I'm going to get a few more decorations to place in that area, but it's a start.


My daughter and sister found a few things at the flea market. I purchased an outdoor decoration and some shirts for my boys.



Sunday we celebrated my brother's 32nd birthday with a small gathering at his home. He loved the poster print I made up for him. I used Picnik to edit the photo and UPrinting to order the poster print. He text me later that night to tell me it is now framed and hanging up in his living room.

Sonicare for Kids - Review



I'll admit, I have bad teeth. Mostly due to the fact that I didn't always brush as well as I should have when I was younger and due to caffeinated beverages. I take better care of them now, but the damage is already done. I don't want any of my kids to suffer the same fate.

I stress to them the importance of dental hygiene. Most understand and take great care of their teeth. There are a couple of kids, however, who need a little extra boost and reminder. My son, Adam, finds toothbrushing boring and will go into the bathroom just to give a quick swipe of the teeth before running back out.

When I received the Sonicare for Kids toothbrush, my first thought came to Adam. Anything that will give him incentive and encouragement to brush his teeth correctly is definitely worth a try.



There are so many cool things about this toothbrush that he and I both like. There is a KidTimer that increases brushing time slowly over ninety days, going up to the recommended time of two minutes. Two different power modes based on age give the proper cleaning power needed. There are sounds that Adam finds fun and he likes hearing them as he brushes his teeth.

If that wasn't enough, there are also interchangeable panels that allow Adam to customize his toothbrush to his liking. He changes the panels to fit his mood for the day. There are two brush sizes included with the toothbrush that adapt to different ages. One brush is for ages 4 and up, while the other brush is for kids who are 7 and older. The toothbrush and extra head sit on the included base.

Adam has found toothbrushing to be much more fun and I've noticed he spends more time taking care of his teeth. The only thing that I see a downside to with the Sonicare for Kids toothbrush is that the smaller brush head does him no good as it is too small for his teeth. I like the idea of a combo package, but would also like to see the toothbrushes packaged with the option for the purchase of two brush heads of the same size to fit the age of the child.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Sonicare and received a free Sonicare for Kids toothbrush to facilitate my 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. Your opinions and results may differ.

Sugar Free Ring Pops - Review & Giveaway




All of my kids get Ring Pops in the shape of a bunny in their Easter baskets every year and it's one of the first things they look forward to eating. I even remember slipping a Ring Pop on my finger and sucking away at the delicious flavors back in the day.


Now Ring Pop has come out with a new version of the ring shaped suckers in sugar-free form. Sugar Free Ring Pop comes in the three flavors of strawberry, watermelon, and blue raspberry. I received a package of the three flavors and saved them for a day when only three of the kids were around (didn't want no fighting!). Allyson, Shelby, and Juliann were more than happy to try them and see if they were as delicious as the original.

Allyson said that they were not as sweet but they tasted great just the same. Shelby and Juliann could not tell a difference. Of course, Shelby had to be the one to point out that the packaging mentioned "excessive intake may cause a laxative effect". I assume that to mean it will happen if you eat a lot of them at once, which is just about the case with almost any food consumption.

New Sugar Free Ring Pops are sweetened with Splenda, has no fat, and has only 30 calories per each pop. They are great for parties, long trips, sporting events, and treats. They passed the girls' flavor test and are something they would definitely enjoy eating again.



Win It!
One person will win a pack of Sugar Free Ring Pops (3-pack of strawberry, watermelon, and blue raspberry).

Mandatory Entry:
Leave a comment with which flavor you're most excited to try.

Extra Entries:
Follow my blog.
Subscribe to my blog by email.
Add my button to your blog.
Add the "Outdoor Adventures" button to your blog.
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 USA. Giveaway ends 5/30/10 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 American Pop Digital. 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. Your opinions and results may differ.

Random Tuesday Thoughts - Will It Help Me Save On My Car Insurance?

For those thoughts that are neither here nor there, link up your Random Tuesday Thoughts at The Un Mom.

randomtuesday


In April my oldest daughter brought home the class gecko for us to babysit during Easter break. He has now returned and we will be fostering it for an entire three months. It was like seeing a long lost friend return. We were all excited to have it back. My husband ran to the pet store the next day and has bought it a hearty meal of crickets and new bedding.

Speaking of being extra nice, my husband surprised me Saturday morning with my Mother's Day gift. Better late than never. I hadn't expected anything from him, but had an awwww moment when he woke me up Saturday morning. He had ran into town from the campground and bought me landscaping strip, mulch, and solar lights to decorate the area in front of the camper. As if that wasn't enough of a "Who Are You and What Did You Do With My Husband?" moment, he also dug through the mud in the rain so the landscaping could be set up.

He's usually very good about giving me money when I need it or letting me do things without complaint, but it's rare that he goes all out on his own and buys me things like that. Shows that he does take notice sometimes.

My son, Adam, received the "Eagles in Action" award at school last week. **Clap, clap, hug, hug** I'm proud of him. "Eagles in Action" is presented to one student each week who shows outstanding behavior and goes above and beyond. His name will be in the local paper and he will receive a t-shirt.

Saturday I went with my sister and my kids to a flea market. It's been many moons since I've been to one, but I found the prices to be a little above what I thought they'd be. Most items were exorbitantly marked. Even the obviously drunk seller at one booth admitted it. I'm more of a garage sale gal I guess. Had fun though and got a new outside decoration for my camper.

For those of you hording the sunshine, I'd sure appreciate if you could send some this way. Being rainy and cold isn't my idea of what I imagined May to be.

My Second Tuesday Tag-Along

Have you noticed yet that I enjoy following blogs and gaining more followers?! For those stopping by my blog for the first time, be sure to check out my current giveaways. The list is located at the top right hand side of my blog. I also have a spectacular "Outdoor Adventures" blog event going on in June with lots of reviews and giveaways.

Tuesday Tag-Along

Tuesday Tag-Along is hosted by Twee Poppets Review & Giveaway. Here are the guidelines:

Add your blog name and the URL of your TTA post to the MckLinky below.

Follow Twee Poppets, the hostess blog listed in the first slot. Twee Poppets will follow you back! (Note: If you want Twee Poppets to follow you back, you MUST leave her a comment saying that you are a new follower and leave a link to your blog!)

If you can, please follow the blogs in the three slots before you (e.g., if you're number 20, follow numbers 19, 18, and 17). This is not mandatory, but it will help ensure that everyone who signs up gets a few new followers!

Follow as many other blogs as you want. The more you follow, the more that will follow you back! Be sure to tell them that you're following from Tuesday Tag-Along! You may also want to leave a link to your blog so they can return your follow more easily.

When you get a new follower through Tuesday Tag-Along, be sure to follow them back! It's just common courtesy. :)


Monday, May 17, 2010

Thank Your Mom and Reunite

I've always been real close to my mother. She has been my rock and support through many life experiences. She has also shown me through her strength and adversity that hard times can be overcome and that family is a top priority. I'm amazed at what my mother has gone through, and yet she prevails.

Luckily, I've not ever lived far from my mother. An hour away is the farthest I've been from her, and that seemed like an entire continent. Now that she lives in the same town as I do, I try to see her at least twice a week.




This photo was taken just a couple of days ago at a birthday party of my oldest daughter with my mother. Ask my mom and she'll tell you that being around her kids and grandkids is the greatest joy in her life.



It's not bragging that I get to see my mother often. It's being blessed. I know that many people don't get to see their mothers often and would love to. Procter & Gamble also knows that and is giving children the chance to reunite with their mothers through their "Thank You Mom Reunions" contest.

Thank You Mom Reunions will bring together 105 moms with their children who are unable to do so on their own. If your mom goes the extra mile, even when she is out of reach, you can enter to win $1000 toward travel expenses to reunite and a portable video camera to record the special event.

To enter, all you have to do is submit a 100 word essay describing why you'd like to be reunited with your mom. Consumers vote for their favorite entries and fifteen winners are chosen every month through November. If you aren't a lucky winner the first time you submit an essay, you can re-enter or submit a new story once a month during the contest.

If you'd like the chance to be reunited with your mom, head over to the Thank You Mom Reunions contest and enter. Or if your mom lives nearby like mine does, be sure to head over there anyway and vote for your favorite entry. Help make someone's wish come true of being with their mom again.

In exchange for this post, I have the chance to win a gift card from One2One Network. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Your opinions and results may differ.

Digital Room - Window Cling Giveaway



My husband does mobile music entertainment as a side job. Advertising his business is important in getting the word out and letting others know what services he offers.

With me being a blogger, I also want people to know about my blog and one way of doing that is by using the online printing services of Digital Room. Digital Room is a online printing company committed to providing a high quality printing experience at affordable prices. Window cling printing is one of many ways to attract attention to your business or blog, or even your next event.

Win It!
One person will win a 20x30 Window Cling.

Mandatory Entry:
Leave a comment with what you would use the window cling for.

Extra Entries:
Leave a comment with another product you'd be interested in trying at Digital Room.
Follow my blog.
Subscribe to my blog by email.
Add my button to your blog.
Add the "Outdoor Adventures" button to your blog.
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 USA 18 years of age or older. Free UPS ground shipping. Giveaway ends 5/26/10 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 will be receiving a blogger appreciation prize from Digital Room for this 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. Your opinions and results may differ.

Marcal and Flicka 2 Winners

The Marcal Small Steps and Flicka 2 giveaways have ended. The winners have been randomly drawn.

The winner of the Marcal Small Steps giveaway is #72, Erin H.

Erin H said... 72
I signed up for email updates from marcal.

May 10, 2010 8:34 AM

The two winners of the Flicka 2 DVD giveaway are #1, Ferret Finds and #24, Anonymous.

Ferret Finds said... 1
I'd like to win this for my best friend's daughter Amelia. She loves these stories and is at the age to really get drawn in.

May 6, 2010 1:03 PM

Anonymous said... 24
My young 9 year old sister LOVED the first flicka! So of course I would win it for her... she's also turning 10 soon so it would make a GREAT birthday present...when she heard the a another one came out she was SO EXCITED!

May 7, 2010 4:32 PM

Congrats to the winners and thanks to the sponsors. I will be emailing the winners shortly and they have 48 hrs. to respond to email notification or new winner(s) will be drawn.

Friday, May 14, 2010

My Fourth Friday Follow

It's Friday Follow time! I'd love if you became a follower of my blog. I have a few giveaways that can be found at the top right hand side of my blog. I also have an Outdoor Adventures blog event coming up in June with lots of reviews and giveaways. It's the weekend and I'm excited to be camping with my family. Hope you have an awesome weekend too!

Friday Follow






Friday Follow is the brainchild of One 2 Tryand Midday Escapes. It's a great way for your blog to be noticed and to take notice of other blogs.

Spring Cleaning: Bathroom First

I've been busy trying to spring clean my home. I have a lot of things that need to be organized, donated, and renovated. I've tackled most of it, but have noticed that my bathroom could use a cosmetic uplift. While looking online for bathroom vanities, I noticed a few that caught my eye. I also found some other things I think would really spruce it up.



Do you think this shower curtain would keep the kids and hubby from piling the towels on the floor? I doubt it too, but I love the aesthetics of it and that there is an option to hang a towel from it if so inclined to do so.



I loooove the way vessel sinks look. They look so futuristic, and yet so simple.




Maybe if I'm extra good this year, Santa will bring me a complete bathroom vanity. Guess I'd better start sucking up now! In fact, I may just spoil myself before then and do a complete overhaul on the bathroom.

I received no compensation for this post. Opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products. Your opinions and results may differ.