Monday, February 28, 2011

Discovery Girls March Month of Giveaways



Discovery Girls, a magazine for tween girls, is having giveaways every day during the Month of March. It is their first time for doing something of this magnitude. Anyone can enter. Each day they will be giving away what is listed on the calendar. The winners will be notified the day after each giveaway has ended.



I saw lots of stuff on the calendar that any of my girls would love to win. If you're like me, you'll want to visit Discovery Girls during their Month of Giveaways for the chance to win a prize.

I received no compensation for this post. This is an informational post only on behalf of the company. Please do your own research before purchasing products or entering giveaways. Your opinions and results may differ.

Kim & Scott's Gourmet Pretzels - Review and Giveaway


Soft pretzels are one of my favorite evening snacks. In fact, my whole family likes them. Our preferences may be different (from what flavor we like best to how much we want on it) but the consensus is that soft pretzels are simply delicious and fulfilling.



I discovered Kim & Scott's Gourmet Pretzels in one of our local grocery stores and they looked savory from the look on the package. I was glad to be able to try a few of their pretzels for review recently and found out that they are as savory as they look.

There are different varieties and flavors of Kim & Scott's Gourmet Pretzels available. A few of the flavors was tried in my home by me, my husband, and the six kids. The flavors we had the pleasure (and yes, it was a pleasure to our palates) of trying were:

Pizza Pretzel - Stuffed with freshly shredded mozzarella cheese and homemade pizza sauce. Topped off with cheese and Italian spices. I actually took both of these to work and ate them as a meal.

Grilled Cheese - Stuffed with delicious real cheddar cheese and topped with more freshly cheddar cheese. Both of my boys had one of these as an after-school snack. They liked the taste and that it filled their tummies till suppertime.

Cheddar Jalapeno - Stuffed with real cheddar cheese, chili flakes, cumin, garlic, and chopped jalapenos. Topped with more freshly shredded cheddar cheese and jalapenos. My husband looooves jalapenos so he ate up both of these pretzels. He liked the overall taste of it, but would have liked it spicier.

Spinach Feta Pretzel - Stuffed with fresh chopped spinach, crumbles of feta cheese, and a touch of garlic. For an extra empowered boost, they added ALA Omega-3 from flax. Spinach is not a favorite of mine, but I liked how the flavors blended in this pretzel. I ate these for a small meal at work as well.

Apple Cinnamon - Apple pie with a twist! Stuffed with their made-from-scratch apple pie filling, apples, cane sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Topped with cinnamon sugar crumble. The girls devoured these and said they were a perfect snack.

Chocolate Crumb - Stuffed with smooth, creamy fudge, baked with cocoa and topped with a scrumptious chocolate crumb topping, this sweet treat is heaven. Chocolate and fudge...need I say more!

We were impressed with the flavors we tried. Kim & Scott's has many more, which I will be looking to purchase and taste.

The pretzels can be cooked in the microwave or oven. All of ours were cooked in the microwave. The first pretzel I cooked turned out good, but a little soggy because I had the mistaken belief that they needed to be ran under water before cooking, like some other soft pretzels do. That is not the case. The pretzels take no longer than 30 seconds to cook in the microwave and 2 minutes in the oven. It's important not to overcook them or they may turn hard. It's so simple and convenient that the family can just open the package and cook them.



Kim & Scott's Gourmet Pretzels are twisted by hand and made from scratch. They use all-natural and premium ingredients. Their pretzel products last many months in the freezer, if you can make them last that long!

* All-Natural
* Source of Whole Grains
* Premium Ingredients
* Twisted by hand and made from scratch
* Microwavable
* Made in a nut-free facility
* No Trans Fats
* No hydrogenated oils
* No Preservatives



Win It!

One person will win a prize pack of four randomly selected boxes of Kim & Scott's Gourmet Pretzels.

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment with which flavor of Kim & Scott's Gourmet Pretzels you'd most like to try.

Extra Entries:

Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect.

Subscribe to my blog via email.

Have my button on your blog.

Blog about this giveaway or enter it in a giveaway linky (+3 entries).

Sign up to receive email updates from The Pretzel Club.

Follow me on Twitter, partymix25.

Follow Kim & Scott's on Twitter, kimandscotts.

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

"Like" Kim & Scott's on Facebook.

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 3/14/11 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 Kim & Scott's Gourmet Pretzels. 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.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Latest Blog Giveaway Winners

A few of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn. The winners have been emailed and will have to respond by timeframe deadline or new winner(s) will be drawn.

The two winners of the Southland DVD giveaway are #21, cyndi br and #27, sarah shult (both confirmed).

cyndi br said... 21
I get your emails

February 15, 2011 11:35 AM

sarah shult said... 27
Follow TNT We Know Drama on Twitter @sarahshult

February 15, 2011 1:50 PM

The winner of the UPrinting Postcards giveaway is #17, Nebraska Fillemans (confirmed).

Nebraska Fillemans said... 17
I subscribe!

February 17, 2011 5:06 PM

The winner of the NOVICA giveaway is #123, Domestic Diva (confirmed).

Domestic Diva said... 123
I like all of the drums -- how great to have a handmade drum. Or maybe a chess or mancala set. Wow!

February 12, 2011 12:09 PM

The winner of the Chuggington DVD giveaway is #71, ColleenMarie82 (confirmed).

ColleenMarie82 said... 71
I subscribe via e-mail

February 11, 2011 1:01 PM

The winner of the ToiletTree Fogless Shower Mirror giveaway is #39, aperry.

aperry said... 39
Have my button on your blog.

modernhippy-aperry.blogspot.com

February 11, 2011 1:06 PM

The three winners of the Temptations by JELL-O giveaway are #186 Tylerpants, #107 humanecats and #68 jakiesmom.

Tylerpants said... 186
I'd love to try Double Chocolate Pie!

February 26, 2011 5:26 PM

humanecats said... 107
I'd like the strawberry cheesecake.

February 14, 2011 4:45 PM

jakiesmom said... 68
e-mail subscriber

February 12, 2011 3:49 PM

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered. I have other giveaways listed at the top left hand side of my blog. There's no limit to how many you enter or how many you can win.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Join Me for These Friday Blog Hops

Seriously Mother Nature, another four inches of snow dumped on us?! I can do without any more, thankyouverymuch.

Here are the Friday blog hops I'm participating in this Friday:



Feed Me Friday blog hop hosted by From Chalkboards to Strollers and Oh So Savvy Mom.



Friendly Friday hosted by Thanks, Mail Carrier, The Frugal Novice, and Healthy Home Blog.

A Shine of Rainbows - DVD Review and Giveaway


DVD Synopsis:

Open your heart to an ordinary family's extraordinary journey when A Shine of Rainbows arrives on DVD on March 15th from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. A Heartland Festival "Truly Moving Picture" Award Recipient, A Shine of Rainbows tells the inspiring story of hope, transformation and love while surrounded by the beauty and power of nature.

An orphaned boy named Tomas is adopted by Maire O'Donnell (Connie Nielsen; Gladiator) to live on a whimsical Irish isle filled with new friends, secret caves and a lost baby pup seal stranded on the coast. But when Marie's reluctant husband Alec (Aidan Quinn; Legends of the Fall, Unknown) refuses to accept Tomas as his own son, the boy drifts down a fateful path of adventure and self-discovery, illuminating how rainbows can shine around - and within - us all.

My Review:

Set in beautiful scenery, A Shine of Rainbows tugs at the heartstrings and has you rooting for a family to come together. Tomas, an adopted boy who shows much maturity for his age, yearns for love and belonging. Marie is an adoptive mother who wants her husband to discover love for Tomas and who wants to know what it is to fully be a mother. Alec, the father, feels that the boy's needs are being met just by providing for him and feeding him.

This movie will have you grabbing for the tissues, as you feel the emotions of each character. I only cried once, no twice, no three times. This is a beautiful story of kinship who go through much inner trials within themselves to discover the true meaning of family.

Win It!

Two people will win A Shine of Rainbows on DVD.

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment with the name of a place you'd like to escape to for relaxation or to get away from worries.

Extra Entries:

Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect.

Subscribe to my blog via email.

Have my button on your blog.

Blog about this giveaway or enter it in a giveaway linky (+3 entries).

Follow me on Twitter, partymix25.

Follow Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on Twitter, FoxHomeEnt.

Tweet about this giveaway, leave a link to the tweet (can be done once daily).
Enter to #win A Shine of Rainbows DVD at Heck Of A Bunch @partymix25 Two winners http://tinyurl.com/4kpzj4a @FoxHomeEnt

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 3/14/11 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 DVD for review from Think Jam. 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.

Beyblade: Metal Fusion Vol. 3 - DVD Review



DVD Synopsis:

The battle between good and evil is even more intense and dangerous than ever as Gingka, the courageous hero, faces a villain and his plot to unleash a long forbidden Beyblade in his quest to take over the world.

The fearless hero and his loyal companions return to defend the honor of the Beyblade, spinning on to DVD March 1 from Nelvana Enterprises and Vivendi Entertainment.

My Review:

My 12 year old son became enthralled with Beyblade when he watched Vol. 1 on DVD. Along the same lines of Pokemon and Bakukan, it is a show with anime characters who spin tops called Beyblades and work together to keep villains from taking over the world. I've watched this DVD with my son to ensure it is age-appropriate. I feel that it is proper viewing material for someone his age. Although there are plots where Gingka and his friends face villains, there is no outright violence or anger. I don't know that girls will find much viewing pleasure in this DVD, but I can see the allure for boys. Beyblade: Metal Fusion Vol. 3 includes seven episodes from season one, giving plenty of viewing entertainment.

I received DVD for review from Bender/Helper Impact. 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.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lady in Waiting - Book Review


Book Synopsis:

Content in her comfortable marriage of twenty-two years, Jane Lindsay had never expected to watch her husband, Brad, pack his belongings and walk out the door of their Manhattan home. But when it happens, she feels powerless to stop him and the course of events that follow Brad’s departure.

Jane finds an old ring in a box of relics from a British jumble sale and discovers a Latin inscription in the band along with just one recognizable word: Jane. Feeling an instant connection to the mysterious ring bearing her namesake, Jane begins a journey to learn more about the ring—and perhaps about herself.

~

In the sixteenth-century, Lucy Day becomes the dressmaker to Lady Jane Grey, an innocent young woman whose fate seems to be controlled by a dangerous political and religious climate, one threatening to deny her true love and pursuit of her own interests.

As the stories of both Janes dovetail through the journey of one ring, it becomes clear that each woman has far more influence over her life than she once imagined. It all comes down to the choices each makes despite the realities they face.

My Review:

A story of love and its boundaries, Lady in Waiting by Susan Meissner tells two stories of women named Jane. One is in a modern setting, dealing with the hardships of her husband abruptly declaring that their marriage needs a break. The other is set in past times of queens, kings, and matriarchs.

A ring found by the modern-day Jane takes readers to the British monarchy times of a Jane from the past. It was easier for me to read and understand the story of modern-day Jane. Being that the other Jane's story was held during the time of British monarchy, it was somewhat hard for me to follow along with the different hierarchies and rulers. However, that did not stop me from understanding the different emotions that both Janes went through.

Jane Lindsay's story was told in first person point-of-view while Lady Jane Grey's was told by her dressmaker, Lucy. I, at first, thought that Lady Jane Grey's story should be told firsthand as the other Jane's was. But I had a fond liking for Lucy and how she related to the story.

Both stories intertwined fluidly and reading about the lives and decisions of Jane Lindsay and Lady Jane Grey took me into their world of decisions, choices, and love.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group 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.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Keepin' Company Thursdays - Week 35

Wednesdays are now my must-see TV nights. I don't care who watches what, as long as it's not on Wednesday nights. I'm sucked in to America's Next Top Model on the CW and Face/Off on SyFy. Do you watch either? Who do you think will win?


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If you'd like to participate in Keepin' Company Thursdays, please follow these guidelines:

* Create a Keepin' Company Thursday post. Please include the Keepin' Company Button in your post.

* Follow the first two blogs, which are the hostesses: Heck of a Bunch and Traci66.

* Follow any of the other blogs you choose to and let them know you found them via Keepin' Company Thursday.

* If you get a follow via Keepin' Company Thursday please follow them back.

* Add your blog name and the URL to your Keepin' Company Post to the link below. There is no need to add your link twice. You can do so either on my blog or at Traci66. It will show up at both regardless.

* You can also grab the blog hop code to add to your post if you want the thumbnails to appear in your post.

* If you add the Keepin' Company button to your sidebar and leave either of the hosteses, Heck of a Bunch or Traci66, a comment letting us know where to find it we will randomly draw a blog to be in the #3 spot next week. This week's #3 spot goes to Humble Homemaking.



Skincare Safety During Your Winter Vacation

While you have spent the past couple of months bundled up in countless layers bearing the cold snowy weather, its only normal to start planning your next tropical winter vacation. Though it is time to kick back and relax, make sure you don't let down your guard when it comes to your skin and skin health. While a majority of a person's sun exposure happens before the age of 18, a number of studies have shown that short-term exposure to unusually intense sunlight increases the risk of melanoma, an aggressive and potentially deadly form of skin cancer.

So while Aruba or St. Bart's may be calling, remember to pack some vacation essentials and remember these tips suggested by Dr. Mariwalla, MD, Director of Mohs and Dermatologic Surgery at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital and Beth Israel Medical Center in NYC.

- A broad brimmed hat. Not only for you but for the beachcombing children you may be carrying with you.

- Sunscreen. The closer to the equator you go, the higher the SPF should be.

- Do NOT tan in the salon prior to vacation hoping that it will prevent you from getting a sunburn. Evidence shows that tanning in a tanning bed does not thicken the skin and therefore does not prevent sunburns

- Protect those eyes! If you are going to be on the water, make sure to pack a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the UV rays that kick up off the water's surface

- Remember lips. Lip balm with SPF is essential whether you are going skiing or laying on the beach. Skin cancers and pre-cancers occur frequently in this region because it is a spot often forgotten about.

- If you are going for a ski vacation remember that UV is stronger with increasing altitude and that white blanket of snow serves as a perfect reflector of the sun's rays. Kiehl's sells a freeze-proof sunscreen balm that will not only protect your skin from chapping but also contains SPF to protect it from the sun's rays

- Keep children under 6 months of age in tight-woven cotton clothing (You can test the tightness of the weave by holding the clothing up to the light. The more you can see through it, the looser the weave)

- Children under 6 months should not have sunscreen applied to them. Best to keep them with a hat on and in the shade.

- Pre-wash bathing suits in Rit Sunguard. This will confer an added SPF without the cost.

- If you are jetsetting somewhere for a few days and taking carry on baggage only, don't let the regulations of the TSA prevent you from carrying sunscreen. Bring sunscreen wipes! Available in a number of brands, these easy to carry wipes are safe to carry through airport security and not bulky. They are available for children as well.

Do you have any tips for skincare safety during your winter vacation that you'd like to add? If so, leave a comment below.

I received no compensation for this post. This is an informational post only on behalf of a PR agency. Please do your own research before purchasing products. Your opinions and results may differ.

Spring Cleaning with Fellowes


Identity theft is a scary thing. Knock on formica, it hasn't happened to me. However, I've seen the devastation it's caused others. It's not something that can be fixed overnight. The Identity Theft Resource Center has steps you can take to help keep from being taken and to spring clean your home office:

Begin with the Basics: Sort through the piles of paperwork on your desk and in your office drawers. Place them into two categories: ‘save’ and ‘shred.’

Proper Storage: Organize the "save" pile into labeled folders and be sure to put anything confidential into a fire-proof lock box. The "shred" pile should be properly disposed of with a Cross-Cut shredder, such as a Fellowes P-12C.

Cross-Cut technology is an important feature for a shredder because it provides high security, destroying confidential information into unidentifiable pieces. Equally important are enhanced safety features, such as Fellowes' SafeSense technology, which shuts the machine down when hands come too close to the paper opening, which is so important if you have children.

Get a Digital Makeover: Refresh your home office computer by deleting files you no longer use and backing-up important data onto an external hard drive. Clean out your inbox and change all passwords. Refreshing your computer is a good practice to follow throughout the year as well.

Make Life Easier: Plan ahead by purchasing organizational tools for your desk, such as computer risers or file folder holders. This will help clear clutter from your desk top while keeping things within arms reach.

Freshen Up: Get rid of dust and germs that easily build up on office equipment such as keyboards, telephones and cabinets. You'll feel instantly more productive with a clean workspace.



The Fellowes P-12C paper shredder is a durable, innovative and affordable machine. With Fellowes’ industry-leading technologies, the P-12C provides high-security and is safe for family environments.

* To ensure high-security against identity thieves, the P-12C features Cross-Cut technology, which destroys a single sheet of paper into nearly 399 particles.

* The P-12C also includes Fellowes’ patented SafeSense technology, which disables the shredder when it senses hands or large pets come too close to the paper opening.

* The P-12C can also shred staples, credit cards and paper clips to help speed up your spring cleaning process.

* Its slim profile design allows the P-12C to fit in any office environment, including under desks or in kitchens and other rooms.

The P-12C has a suggested retail price of $89.99 and is available at Target Stores nationwide.

Do you have any other tips to help protect against identity theft or to spring clean a home office? I'd love to hear what tips you have.

In exchange for this post, I will be entered into a giveaway on behalf of One2One Network. The opinions within this post are of my own. Please do your own research before purchasing products. Your opinions and results may differ.

Question About Google Pagerank

I recently lost a review opportunity based on my Google Pagerank. It used to be a 3 but it now shows as 0. I wonder if it's because I recently changed my domain name. Any insight as to what may have caused this and how it can be fixed would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Random Tuesday Thoughts - Nice Weather, You're Such A Tease

Ah, I love Random Tuesday Thoughts. It's during this time that I get to mumble on about a whole lot of random nothingness. If you'd like to participate, link up at The Un Mom.

randomtuesday

I'm not sure I can give out the deets right now, so my lip is zipped. But has any other blogger gotten an invite to go to Orlando next month for an exclusive event? I'm curious to see who else is going. It'll be my first time flying and my first time visiting that area, let alone that state. Super nervous and super excited at the same time. By the way, what's the weather like in Florida this time of year?
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I'm no doctor, but I can play one. It's my perogative.
I don't think I need to pay anyone to tell me I'm SAD. I came to the conclusion that I may quite possibly have Seasonal Affective Disorder. Winter weather puts me in a funk, making me want to hibernate, spin my head in a 360 degree circle, and spit pea soup. The last few days were quite nice and my mood perked right up. Wouldn't you know it, last night the temperature dropped and so did my mood.
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We finally pawned our guinea pig off on someone else. My brother and his family stopped by the house last weekend. With a few happy shrieks and giggles from his 2 year old daughter, he was convinced into believing the furry rodent should become a permanent tenant in his home. I liked the creature itself. I just didn't like the constant REET REET REET that echoed from its voicebox.
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My husband bought a new RC car this week. Ya know, for as expensive as those things are you'd think they'd come pre-assembled. Every little piece had to be put together. He has the patience of a saint because I'm sure that's something else that would've caused my head to spin and start spitting pea soup if I had to do it.
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Valentine's Day was pretty mellow around our house. My husband gave me cash to buy beads so I can make my own jewelry, and my teenage daughter bought us an Applebee's gift card. I think me and Jason are going there tonight to eat.
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During one of the days that the weather was nice last week, me and the hubby headed to the campground to check on our camper. I was looking forward to chillin' on the deck. Instead my deck was one of the spots that the snow didn't melt from. I was knee deep in it. I'll let it slide this time, but come April 1st, I'm camping. NO MATTER WHAT.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Skin MD Natural - Review and Giveaway



Don't ask me what it is because I don't know but I have a spot on my nose that becomes really dry and bumpy. It's not aesthetically pleasing, that's for sure. I've tried different lotions and creams on it to make it go away, but have been unsuccessful until I discovered Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion. Since using the shielding lotion on the dry area of my nose daily, I've noticed that the spot is barely noticeable now. My nose isn't the only part of my body that's been benefitting from Skin MD. My hands, elbows, and legs have become softer and feel smoother. What can I say, I have horribly dry skin. Other lotions have helped in the past, but usually for short-term periods. So far, Skin MD hasn't let me down. The overall texture of this lotion is a little runny. It's not thick or creamy. A little lotion goes a long way and it's not greasy.



I won't go into a long story about why Skin MD Natural is great for your skin or how it works, but I will tell you that it has no greasy residue, no fragrances, no parabens, no petrochemicals, and no dyes. Applying this shielding lotion will help keep your skin hydrated and protected against irritants that cause dry skin. Skin MD Natural utilizes the latest developments in skin care technology as well as the most effective ingredients to restore your outer layer of skin's natural ability to protect against dangerous toxins and irritants, as well as to reduce the loss of natural oils and moistures.



Win It!

One person will win a 4 oz bottle of Skin MD Natural Original Formula lotion.

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment with something you learned about the ingredients in Skin MD Natural.

Extra Entries:

Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect.

Subscribe to my blog via email.

Have my button on your blog.

Follow Skin MD Natural on Twitter, Skinmdnatural.

Follow me on Twitter, partymix25.

Tweet about this giveaway, leave a link to the tweet (can be done once daily).
Enter to #win @skinmdnatural Skin MD Natural Lotion at Heck Of A Bunch @partymix25 http://tinyurl.com/4dmrq6m

Blog about this giveaway or enter it in a giveaway linky (+3 entries).

"Like" Skin MD Natural on Facebook.

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 3/5/11 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. Your opinions and results may differ.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Delicious Drink and Fun Facts for President's Day

President's Day is Monday, February 21st. If your kids are like mine, they will be out of school. Here's a fun way to share a piece of history with your kids on that day:

Unknown to most, Chocolate has had a tangible connection with our forefathers. Prominent figures in Colonial America like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin enjoyed chocolate on a regular basis. It was most commonly consumed as a beverage served during mealtimes, not like candy today. In honor of our past presidents, share a part of history by recreating George Washington’s favorite drink with a recipe from The Historic Division of Mars!

CHOCOLATE DRINK RECIPE (Historic & Modern)

HISTORIC:
Take a Quart of Milk, Chocolate without Sugar four ounces, fine Sugar as much fine Flour, or Starch, half a quarter of an Ounce, a little Salt: mix them, dissolve them, and boil them as before.
MODERN:
Ingredients:

4 oz. whole milk (per serving)


1 oz. American Heritage Finely Grated Chocolate Drink (per serving)

Directions:

Combine both ingredients in a straight-sided one quart sauce pan and bring them to a boil. When the chocolate is melted and well combined, take the pan off the heat.

Using a handheld immersion blender, agitate the hot liquid to achieve a foamy top. Alternately, put the hot mixture into a countertop blender. Press a dry towel down over the cover of a standing blender during mixing to prevent burns or possible injury. Serve immediately.

FUN FACTS:

While residing in Mt. Vernon, George and Martha Washington were well-documented lovers of chocolate. In a letter to his agent, Washington wrote, “She will…thank you to get 20lbs of the shells of Cocoa nuts, if they can be had of the Chocolate makers.” They enjoyed their chocolate in imported white and gold “Save” service and custom cups and saucers.

In 1785, Thomas Jefferson wrote that chocolate would prevail over coffee and tea in terms of American preferences, as it already had in Spain.

In 1794, Benjamin Franklin wrote that chocolate be a part of any provision when going into sea.
He also managed to secure 6 lbs of chocolate for every officer as a special supply during the French and Indian War.

I received no compensation for this post. This post is for informational purposes only, on behalf of the PR agency.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Blog Hops

I don't usually participate in Friday blog hops. No particular reason why. There's a first time for everything. Here's a few that I've decided to join this Friday:


Feed Me Friday blog hop hosted by From Chalkboards to Strollers and Oh So Savvy Mom.

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Weekend Blog Hop hosted by Graphic Design by Tara.

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Follow Me Friday hosted by Still On The Verge.



Friendly Friday hosted by Thanks, Mail Carrier , The Frugal Novice, and Healthy Home Blog.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pillsbury Bake-Off - #MyBlogSpark Giveaway



I make no bones about the fact that I don't cook often. The results are usually disasterous when I do. That's not to say that I don't like to eat though. Those results are pretty obvious.

My husband is the one who dons the apron in my household. He keeps us well-fed with his deliciously prepared meals. Cooking is his main chore, while one of mine is finding recipes for him to make. Sometimes he goes by recipes I find for him from a book or online. Sometimes he makes something up altogether that wows and amazes us.

If you or someone you know has a recipe that wows and amazes, I'd like to inform you that the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off is open for entries. Pillsbury is looking for original recipes that taste and look delicious, are easy to prepare, and that families across America will love to eat. Consumers can submit recipes in one of four recipe categories:

Breakfast & Brunches category - includes casual brunch or weekend family breakfast ideas.

Entertaining Appetizers category - includes appetizers and snacks to serve at casual gatherings with family and friends or for holiday entertaining

Dinner Made Easy category - encourages home cooks to create easy-to-prepare main dishes that will delight your family

Sweet Treats category - includes quick and easy treats for anytime celebrations

Entries are being accepted online between now and April 18, 2011 at www.bakeoff.com . One hundred lucky finalists will compete for a chance at the grand prize during the contest finals, which will take place in March 2012 in Florida. The recipes will be judged for taste, appearance, creativity, and consumer appeal. You'll find contest details, including eligible products, prizes, and the official rules on the web site.

What are you waiting for? If you have a recipe you're sure America will love, submit your entry and take a chance on having your award-winning food be a part of the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off.



Win It!

One person will win a Pillsbury Bake-Off gift pack that includes a Pillsbury Bake-Off apron, pen, and recipe book.

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment with the name of a Bake-Off video recipe you'd be interested in making.

Extra Entries:

Follow Pillsbury on Twitter, Pillsbury.

Follow me on Twitter, partymix25.

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

Blog about this giveaway or enter it in a giveaway linky (+3 entries).

Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect.

Subscribe to my blog via email.

Have my button on your blog.

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 3/5/11 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.

Pillsbury provided me with free products, information, and the giveaway through MyBlogSpark. 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.

UPrinting - 100 Postcards Giveaway



Avoid any hassles of your postcard printing by availing the service of an online printing company. UPrinting.com is a leading online printing company that provides high quality printing at the most affordable prices. I've used the services of UPrinting.com many times before, and have always found the work to be of high quality and the service to be satisfactory.

When we think of postcards, most people's first response is to think of travel souveniers of where we've been. Actually, postcards from UPrinting can be used for a number of reasons. A few ways to customize postcards for your needs are to use them as birthday invitations, as moving notifications, or even as business promos.



Win It!

One person will win 100 5”x7” Postcards from UPrinting.com
14pt Cardstock Gloss on a 2 Business Days Turnaround; Front Only printing.

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment with what you'd use the postcards for.

Extra Entries:

Follow my blog via GFC.

Subscribe to my blog via email.

Have my button on your blog.

Blog about this giveaway or enter it in a giveaway linky (+3 entries).

Follow me on Twitter, partymix25.

Follow UPrinting on Twitter, uprinting.

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

"Like" UPrinting on Facebook.

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. Giveaway ends 2/23/11 at 8 pm CST. Winner will be randomly drawn and will have 24 hrs. to respond to email notification or a new winner will be drawn.

I will be receiving postcards from UPrinting for hosting this giveaway. 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.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Salt Lamp and DVD Winners Announcement

Two of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn. The winners have been emailed and have 48 hrs. to respond to email notification or new winner(s) will be drawn.

The winner of the Himalayan Salt Lamp giveaway is #85, Lois S.

Lois S said... 85
tweet http://twitter.com/#!/ljshores/status/33732621309575168

February 4, 2011 9:45 PM

The winner of the Hoodwinked DVD giveaway is #59, *LLL with Leslie*.

*LLL with Leslie* said... 59
Goldilocks and the 3 Bears

February 9, 2011 9:34 PM

Thanks to all who entered and to the sponsors. Don't forget to check out my other current giveaways going on, listed at the top left hand side of my blog. There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

Keepin' Company Thursdays - Week 34

Ahhh, finally! Some sun and fresh air. The weather here has been in the 50s the past few days. Crossing my fingers that the harsh winter weather is finally gone.


Photobucket>


If you'd like to participate in Keepin' Company Thursdays, please follow these guidelines:

* Create a Keepin' Company Thursday post. Please include the Keepin' Company Button in your post.

* Follow the first two blogs, which are the hostesses: Heck of a Bunch and Traci66.

* Follow any of the other blogs you choose to and let them know you found them via Keepin' Company Thursday.

* If you get a follow via Keepin' Company Thursday please follow them back.

* Add your blog name and the URL to your Keepin' Company Post to the link below. There is no need to add your link twice. You can do so either on my blog or at Traci66. It will show up at both regardless.

* You can also grab the blog hop code to add to your post if you want the thumbnails to appear in your post.

* If you add the Keepin' Company button to your sidebar and leave either of the hosteses, Heck of a Bunch or Traci66, a comment letting us know where to find it we will randomly draw a blog to be in the #3 spot next week. This week's #3 spot goes to Thoughts Of A Working Mom.



BARBAR - Hair Tools Discount Code


Having done a review and giveaway for BARBAR in the past, I'm excited for them that they were featured in this month's People magazine (which I'm a subscriber of) and featured on TMZ.com.



To celebrate being featured, BARBAR would like to offer my readers a 40% discount off your purchase, as well as free shipping by using the code PeopleTMZ at checkout. This code is good until the end of February.

I received no compensation for this post. Please do your own research before purchasing products. Your opinions and results may differ.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wordful Wednesday - Hubby's Birthday

Well, my husband can't say he's younger than me now. He celebrated his 34th birthday today, so we are on an even playing field. His birthday party was held at our home on Sunday with a family and friend gathering.



Everyone ate chili and peanut butter sandwiches at the party. Even though it was his birthday, Jason made the chili. His chili is super dee duper delicious. No one wants to eat my cooking anyway.


Cupcakes sprinkled with red hearts were the birthday dessert.


Jason received some nice gifts including a bunch of t-shirts, a GC to the RC hobby shop, a hat, lots of beer, and some cash.



Jason says he had a great birthday party with his family and friends, including his two girls, Allyson and Juliann.

If you'd like to participate in Wordful Wednesday, link up at Seven Clown Circus and/or Parenting By Dummies. If you'd like to participate in Wordy or Not So Wordy Wednesday, link up at Traci66.

Craft Enthusiasts, Enter To Win A Craft Night

Do you enjoy making crafts? If so, you might be interested in entering to win a Craft Night Party with the girls of The DIY Dish and ten of your friends.



Kim & Kris from "The DIY Dish" want to have a craft night with you and your friends! You get to invite 10 of your friends and EACH ONE OF YOU will win the Epic 6 Cutting & Embossing Tool and Letterpress Combo (each is a $169 value!) as well as accessories, di-cuts, papers, paints, etc. all thanks to Lifestyle Crafts. Catered food and a whole lot of FUN will all be a part of that craft night! All the details on how to enter are can be found at The DIY Dish. Entries will be accepted until February 27, 2011.

I received no compensation for this post. This post is for informational purposes only.

Lights Out - New FX Original Series



FX has a new original series, Lights Out, which airs on Tuesdays at 10 pm.

Holt McCallany (CSI: Miami) stars as LIGHTS LEARY, an aging former heavyweight boxing champion who struggles to find his identity and support his wife and three daughters after retiring from the ring. Financial problems leave him at a perilous crossroads ¬ battling the urge to return to boxing or reluctantly accepting a job as a an intimidating debt collector.

Catherine McCormack (Braveheart) co-stars as THERESA LEARY, Lights’ wife who is finishing her medical residency; Pablo Schreiber (Law & Order) as JOHNNY LEARY, Lights’ brother and business manager whom Lights put through college; and Stacy Keach (Fat City) as POPS, Lights’ father and former trainer who runs the boxing gym owned by Lights.

Discover the show for yourself, and to prepare for the exciting release of LIGHTS OUT, on DVD this Christmas 2011, sit back and enjoy episode 1 & 2 via: http://www.hulu.com/lights-out or download it for free via iTunes.


I received no compensation for this post. It is for informational purposes only.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Congrats To These Lucky Winners

Three of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn. I have emailed the winners and they have 48 hrs. to respond to email notification or new winner(s) will be drawn.

The winner of the A Streetcar Named Desire DVD giveaway is #20, Elaine. (confirmed)

Elaine said... 20
Tweeted!
http://twitter.com/#!/elund323/status/33607624805056513

February 4, 2011 1:28 PM

The winner of the Cleavitz giveaway is #50, ~dab.

~dab said... 50
http://twitter.com/simplydab/status/31946188483727360

January 30, 2011 11:50 PM

The two winner of the Good Night, Little Sea Otter book giveaway are #31, shelly and #111, mframe.

Shelly said... 31
email subscriber

January 28, 2011 12:44 PM

mframe said... 111
I blogged #3- http://flyingthroughlifewiththreepassengers.blogspot.com/2011/02/star-bright-books.html

February 1, 2011 7:07 AM

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered. Thanks to the sponsors as well. I have other current giveaways listed at the top left hand side of my blog. There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

Temptations by JELL-O - Review and Giveaway



Recently I had four upper teeth pulled. It wasn't fun, not at all. It was a long, torturous week afterwards. I was in lots of pain and could only eat very soft foods. And by very soft, I mean it had to almost be the consisency of baby food. My mouth is now healing and I am able to now eat more things. However, I will have to repeat the whole process sometime in March.

Temptations by JELL-O couldn't have come at a better time for me. The new line of layered, indulgent snacks were by my side like a best friend during the healing process. For lunch and supper I'd feast on a bowl of cottage cheese and for snack I'd indulge in a cup of Temptations by JELL-O.



My gums may be almost healed now, but I will not abandon Temptations by JELL-O. Whether I am in the wretchedness of dental work or feeling just fine, Temptations by JELL-O snack cups will now be a fridge staple. These delectable snacks come in single serve, ready-to-eat refrigerated cups and dry packaged mixes. I haven't tried the dry packaged mixes, but I've got to say the refrigerated snack cups are splendid. They are only 150 calories or less per serving. I can usually be satisfied with eating just one at a time, but my husband finds that it takes two to fulfill his craving.



The refrigerated cups of TEMPTATIONS by JELL-O come in six flavors:

Apple Custard Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie
Double Chocolate Pie
French Silk Pie
Raspberry Cheesecake
Strawberry Cheesecake

The Apple Custard Pie and Lemon Meringue Pie flavors consist of rich and creamy pie filling, complemented with a layer of real fruit or light, whipped topping. Double Chocolate Pie and French Silk Pie offer a premium multi-layered chocolate experience. Raspberry Cheesecake and Strawberry Cheesecake, each with an authentic cheesecake taste and texture, are made with real cream and have a layer of fruit topping. There's not one of the six flavors that I did not like, but I have to say Double Chocolate Pie and French Silk Pie were my favorites. My husband liked the Lemon Meringue Pie ones so much that I almost had to fight him to get a taste. Delicious and decadent, Temptations by JELL-O are now a snack must-have for us.



Win It!

3 people will each win a coupon for a free three-pack of Temptations by JELL-O.

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment with which flavor you'd most like to try.

Extra Entries:

Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect.

Subscribe to my blog via email.

Have my button on your blog.

Blog about this giveaway or enter it in a giveaway linky (+3 entries).

Follow me on Twitter, partymix25.

Follow Kraft Foods on Twitter, kraftfoods.

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 2/26/11 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 from PR agency. 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.

Friday, February 11, 2011

ToiletTree Products - Review and Giveaway



Our bathroom sink is weak. In other words, doing anything other than washing our hands or brushing our teeth in it causes it to clog up. Every time my husband tries to shave, his hairs clog up our sink even more. I've tried many products to fix the problem, but that's a whole other story. It's not a solution to the plumbing problem, but the ToiletTree Fogless Shower Mirror has been super helpful in allowing him the opportunity to instead shave in the shower.


Most bathroom gadgets have great potential but fall short in the long run. The Fogless Shower Mirror from ToiletTree has surprised me with its effectiveness and usefulness. I've heard of products promising "fogless" or "sweat-free" before, but this fogless shower mirror keeps its word.


There is an installation and instruction guide included with the ToiletTree Fogless Shower Mirror. I'm no do-it-yourselfer but I figured out how to install it after asking my husband to do it proved fruitless. There's no rocket science to it. Included is silicone adhesive and stickers to ensure the mirror stays in place on your shower wall. On the back are indicators of where the stickers and adhesive go so there's no guesswork to it. Once I placed the sticky stuff to where it needed to go, all I had to do was place the bracket in position in my bathroom. After waiting 24 hrs. to make sure it was going to hold, I attached the mirror by sliding it onto a slot on the bracket.


There's a lot of showers taken in my household, so this mirror has been put to the test many times. The mirror remains fogless because there's a reservoir on the back of the mirror that gets filled with water before each shower. It takes just seconds to slip the mirror off, fill it with shower water, and place it back on the bracket. Once that is done, you can resume with your shower. Now that we have the Fogless Shower Mirror on our wall, my husband shaves his goatee and I make sure that my face is getting clean and makeup is being removed. I also tweeze my eyebrows while in the shower now. Makes things much simpler, doing it all in the shower.

The mirror itself is adjustable. It does make a loud clicking noise when being adjusted which is slightly unpleasant, but tolerable. Even after many adjustments, the bracket has not budged or shown signs of coming loose. A squeegee comes with it so you can clean off any gunk that gets on the mirror, like shaving cream. A small shelf on the bottom holds razors or tweezers.
This is a picture of my mirror on the shower wall.

Features include:
Shatter proof high quality acrylic mirror
Adheres to virtually any wall surface with removable silicon adhesives
Easily adjustable bracket accommodates multiple users and angles
Built in shelf to store your razor, sponge or tweezers
Squeegee included to wipe away excess water drops
Designed not to rust, discolor or damage bathroom surfaces
Measures 6.5in x 8.5in x 1.5in and weighs only 1 pound

ToiletTree Products, a family owned and operated company, began its business in 2009 and has focused solely on the manufacturing and marketing of an assortment of bathroom products featuring its signature product, The Fogless Shower Mirror. ToiletTree Products had a genius idea on their hands when they came up with this fogless shower mirror.

Win It!

One person will win a ToiletTree Fogless Shower Mirror.

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment with a feature you like about this mirror.

Extra Entries:

Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect.

Subscribe to my blog via email.

Have my button on your blog.

Blog about this giveaway or enter it in a giveaway linky (+3 entries).

Follow Toilet Tree Products on Twitter, ToiletTreeProd.

Follow me on Twitter, partymix25.

Tweet about this giveaway, leave a link to the tweet (can be done once daily).
Enter to #win a @ToiletTreeProd Fogless Shower Mirror at Heck Of A Bunch @partymix25 http://tinyurl.com/4hutwgo

"Like" ToiletTree Products on Facebook.

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 2/25/11 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 ToiletTree Products. 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.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dance Your Heart Out with the Primrose Family Dance-Off


Primrose Schools, the leader in educational child care, is helping to fight the childhood obesity epidemic with their second annual Family Dance-Off.Partnering with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, they are promoting physical activity, healthy lifestyle choices, and quality family time.

Childhood obesity is a critical issue for young children in America. Dance is a fun, easy way to introduce physical activity into your family's routine while enjoying quality time together. During the summer, me and the kids like to dance to the bands at camp and during the winter we like to compete in dance-offs on the Playstation 2. Dancing is a release for us, and it keeps us active.

The Primrose Family Dance-off competition is fairly easy to enter and there are great prizes to be won. All you have to do to enter is record a 30-second video of your family's best dance moves, then visit The Family Dance-off site and upload your best take by March 19th. Once you've done that, share your video with your friends via email, Facebook, Twitter etc. View and vote daily (you can place five votes per day) for your favorite family dance video.

Primrose schools is providing prizes for the Family Dance-off, along with $65,000 in donations to local Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

Prizes

Grand Prize: $5,000 and Primrose will make a $30,000 donation to a local Children's Miracle Network Hospital

2nd Prize: $3,000 and Primrose will make a $20,000 donation to a local Children's Miracle Network Hospital

3rd Prize: $1,500 and Primrose will make a $15,000 donation to a local Children's Miracle Network Hospital

All 14 finalists will receive a FLIP camcorder.

Grab your video camera, shake your booty, and enter the Primrose School Family Dance-off.

I was entered for a chance to win a gift card in exchange for this post. No monetary exchange took place. Please do your own research before entering the Dance-off.