Thursday, March 31, 2011

Keepin' Company Thursdays - Week 39

Interesting!  If Keepin' Company Thursdays was a pregnancy, it'd be at full term. 




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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 Henry Happened.
 

Henry Happened


If you have a minute, please stop by For The Love Of Blogs and vote for Henry Happened as blog of the month.  She's been nominated and would be super excited if you voted for her.  It's very quick, simple, and painless to do.

Monkey Brains - Review and Giveaway


Monkey Brains is a new collection of hair care that allows you to express yourself. To be fun, be cool and be yourself! With two Gels, two Glues, a Pomade, a Hair Refresher and a Shampoo and Conditioner you will be able to rock whatever hairstyle you're feelin' at that moment.One day you don't feel like getting in the shower and the next you're searching for the hair gel. But you're confident about how you want to look on any given day. Monkey Brains gives you the tools to look cool and have fun doing it.



I've got to say, I'm loving the overall package design of Monkey Brains products.  They appeal to children and have a unique look.  They're not something I could easily dismiss when I saw them on a store shelf.  My kids think the monkey and bright colors are super cool too.  But, as we all know, looks aren't everything.  It's the actual product that matters.  Me and my kiddos put some of the Monkey Brains products to the test. 


Although Monkey Brains hair care products are geared for kids under the age of 14, I have to admit that I tried the products on my own hair as well.  After all, mommy wanted to know exactly what she was putting on her kids' hair.  I have a little secret to tell, I'm more than double the age of 14 and I'd use Monkey Brains products on my own hair any day.



Of all the products I tried on my own hair, my favorite is the Grease Monkey Hair Pomade.  It's a pretty purple color with a grape scent that almost makes me crave some grape candy.  I've used pomades before that work, but require a thorough handwashing because they're so sticky.  This hair pomade isn't sticky and it's not even greasy.  I work it throughout my hair and I'm able to secure some of the curls in my hair.

My boys are particularly fond of the sticky hair glues and gels.  I have to remind them that a little can go a long way.  The gels and glues do a pretty good job of keeping hair in its desired style.  They have a long-lasting hold and I haven't seen any product build-up on any of the kids after using it.  The kids do have to wash their hands after applying the gels and glues because they can get a little sticky, and they need to wash their hair thoroughly to get it all out.

My oldest son, Logan, is in Track & Field after school and always comes home tired and sweaty.  He uses the Gone Bananas Hair Refresher after practices and track meets to keep his hair from stinking.  It has a pleasant scent and helps ward off the sweat smell  until  he's able to take a shower.

Monkey Brains has me and my kids impressed with their innovative packaging and super cool line of hair products. 


Win It!

One person will win Grease Monkey Hair Pomade and Super Sticky Hair Gel.

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment with the product you'd most like to try from Monkey Brains.

Extra Entries:

Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect.

Subscribe to my blog via email.

Have my button on your blog.

Have the Terra's Two Year Blog Bash button on your blog.

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

"Like" Monkey Brains Hair on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter, partymix25.

Follow Monkey Brains on Twitter, monkeybrains4u.

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 and Canada.  Giveaway ends 4/14/11 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 Monkey Brains.  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.

QuestionMoms: A Place for Mothers to Voice Their Opinions

Sign up to participate with QuestionMoms

Not too long ago, I became a panel member of QuestionMoms.com.  It is a site that connects business owners, inventors, and entrepeneurs with moms across the United States and Canada for research and market feedback.  In laymen's terms, it means that you can get paid to answer questionnaires.  When you achieve $20 or more in  your account for answering the questionnaires, you can cash out via PayPal.  So far I've completed a few and currently have $5 in my account. 

■Tell marketers what you like
■Influence new products
■Give direct feedback
■See new products first
■GET PAID!

Like I said, I'm fairly new to QuestionMoms.com but it's become one of my favorites for completing questionnaires.  I receive an email everytime one becomes available and I have the option to complete it or not.  There's not a lot of technicality to this program and it seems an easy way to make just a little extra cash for giving my opinion.

If this is something that interests you, head over and Sign up to participate with QuestionMoms.

This post includes an affiliate link.  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 or receiving services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Lots of Winners Right Here

A few of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn.  Other than the ones who have already been confirmed, the winners will have 48 hrs. to respond to email notification or new winner(s) will be drawn.

The winner of the Pretty Neat book giveaway is #2, Nancy. (confirmed)

Nancy said... 2
I am an e-mail subscriber.

Nancy

March 11, 2011 11:40 AM

The winner of the Yogi Bear DVD giveaway is #94, Jenn S. (confirmed)

Jenn S. said... 94
bear fact: Baby grizzly bears are born at the end of the hibernation
period.

March 23, 2011 11:45 AM

The three winners of the Arthur and the Invisibles 2&3 DVD giveaway are #127, AStarrA and #182, Anonymous and #21, Elaine.

AStarrA said... 127


http://twitter.com/AStarrAMama/status/51019349837889536

March 24, 2011 3:35 PM

Anonymous said... 182


I'd be interesting in watching the upcoming movie, X-Men: First Class because I'd like to see these comic book characters come to life in a new version of the genre.

March 30, 2011 4:56 AM

Elaine said... 21


I subscribe via email

March 14, 2011 12:32 PM

The winner of the Strawberry Shortcake DVD giveaway is #60, Heidi Jane Blankets.

Heidi Jane Blankets said... 60


i get your emails

March 18, 2011 8:45 AM

The winner of the Are We There Yet? DVD giveaway is #50, 3 Giggly Monsters.

3 Giggly Monsters said... 50


I like Are We There Yet on facebook

Alisha K

March 18, 2011 7:46 AM

There were two winners for the Golden Eel giveaway.  The winner for the tshirt of choice is #29, Stacey L.  The winner for the journal of choice is #17, jakiesmom.

Stacey L said... 29


I follow you on twitter

pinky333_4

March 18, 2011 5:57 AM
jakiesmom said... 17


e-mail subscriber

March 16, 2011 12:22 PM

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  Much appreciation also to the sponsors.  As a reminder, you can always find my 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.

I have several more reviews and giveaways coming up.  In addition to the regular ones, I'll have some for the Terra's Two Year Blog Bash.  Having the button up on your blog will get you extra entries into the giveaways.  Read more about it at the announcement post.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Your Mother Must Have Done Something Wrong

This is an open letter to the girl who has harassed and demeaned my daughter for some time now:

Dear Bully,

You've almost succeeded.  My daughter is almost broke down, almost defeated.  She's got that look in her eyes and the tears on her face.  She's exhausted and close to her breaking point. 

She's remained strong up until now, either ignoring the texts and calls or asking them to stop.  But today you almost got to her.  You told her that her mom must have done something wrong.  That made her snap.  She's a lot like me in that respect.  Say what you want about me.  I can let it roll off my shoulders.  Say what you want about my family and you've hit a nerve.  Same with my girl.  We're very protective people, my family. 

As her mother, I can tell you that I'm not offended that you brought me in on the conversation.  I've been called and accused of a lot worse.  What I'm offended by is that you hit on the one thing that almost defeated my daughter.

You see, all you have to do is ask me.  I can tell you that, as her mother, I never did anything wrong by giving her life.  Of course, I don't claim to be a perfect parent.  But I know for a fact that I didn't do anything wrong by bringing my child into this world.  It was one of the most right things I've ever done.

I won't even play naive and say that my daughter is perfect.  She's given me grief from time to time.  But the horrible things you say about her are demeaning and bullying.  My daughter goes to school, gets As and Bs, holds down two jobs, is in two after-school clubs, and is in a committed relationship.  That's a lot on her plate.  Sometimes I think she takes on too much and it wears her down.  I have to remind her to slow down and take a breather.  Tell me, darling bully, what is it that you do?  Anything other than purposefully hurt others?

With all that she already does and deals with, this was the icing on the cake.  Rarely have I seen her so mentally dejected.  But this mom who must have done something wrong did something right today.  I listened to her.  I told her to hold her head high.  I applauded her for going to the school officer about it.  I hugged her.  And it is my hope that by doing those things, I did something right.

Sincerely,
The Mother Who Did Something Wrong

I'm a Crest Pro-Health Invigorating Rinse Test Drive Participant

Whoo hoo!  I've been selected, among others, to participate in the Crest Pro-Health Invigorating Rinse Test Drive.  This means I'll be using this new rinse from Crest and determining how well I like it.  And you, my followers, will get to read all about it.  Stand in a single file line to board the excitement train!

As some of you know, my top teeth are already beyond repair.  In a little over a month, I will be having them replaced with falsies.  Until that time, I'd like to do the best I can to ensure they don't become worse.  I know that sounds weird.  Why care about them when I'm getting them yanked out anyway?!  Because a month is a long time and I don't want them to look any worse. 

Besides that, I'm keeping my bottom teeth.  It's imperative that I do all I can to preserve them.  They are in decent shape and I would honestly like to keep them.  That being said, I'm elated to try the Crest Pro-Health Invigorating Clean Multi-Protection Rinse.  There's nothing I can do about my top teeth, but I'm going to fight like a champ to ensure I have healthy gums and bottom teeth. 

I wasn't always the best at taking care of my teeth and gums.  Within the last couple of years, I've practiced hygiene skills I should've taken up a long time ago.  I brush and floss daily.  I also use mouthwash from time to time.  I've made up my mind, though, that I'm going to use the Crest Pro-Health Invigorating Rinse daily.  Having fresh breath and a clean mouth are things that may not have been important to me years ago, but they're definitely important to me now.

I received the big bottle of rinse in the mail a couple of days ago and have used it twice so far.  My initial impression is that it's not overpowering with an alcohol or minty taste.  Points for that one.  It's dark, dark green in color.  I've never really noticed a rinse in that particular color before, but it's not something that I feel negatively about.  

Here are the six benefits of using the Crest Pro-Health Invigorating Clean Multi-Purpose Rinse:

1.  Kills germs
2.  Helps prevent gingivitis
3.  Freshens breath
4.  Reduces plaque
5.  Keeps teeth cleaner longer
6.  Invigorating sensation

I'll be keeping you updated on the results and my overall opinion of the Crest Pro-Health Invigorating Rinse once I've used it for a while.  Stay tuned.

I wrote this review while participating in a test drive campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Crest and received a sample to facilitate my candid review.  Mom Central Consulting sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.  The opinions within this post are of my own.  Please do your own research before purchasing product.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Wordful Wednesday - A Birthday Celebration

Sunday we celebrated yet another birthday in the family.  If you've noticed, we're some birthday celebratin' fools.  It's always a good time, though, hanging out with friends and family.  This time we celebrated my niece's and her boyfriend's birthday with a gathering at their home.

Ashley and Tyler were the celebrated couple.
Their daughter, Faythe, was all dressed up in a darling tutu outfit.  I miss the days when my daughter would let me dress her up all cute.


My daughter, Shelby, and her boyfriend made an appearance at the party.  Shelby's birthday will be the next to be celebrated.

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

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

UGLee Pen - Ergonomic Pen Review and Giveaway

I tend to be picky about writing utensils. They don't have to be a certain brand or color, but they have to be easy to write with and comfortable to grip. Ask my co-workers and they'll tell you I'm not kidding. I can't start my shift until I have a pen that I'm satisfied with. Since finding out about and trying UGLee Pen, I can say this particular brand has passed by personal test of what I look for in a writing utensil that deems it worthy of using.


I must admit, the name of this particular comfort pen isn't exactly appealing. Although these pens aren't the prettiest I've seen, they're not exactly ugly either. In fact, these pens are not named for their looks, but instead have a meaning behind them. The U stands for Ultimate, the G for Grip, and the L for Lee. Lee is the last name of the doctor who invented this type of ergonomic pen.


There are a few key components that make UGLee Pens different than other pens. For one, the overall shape and the detailed contours are engineered to follow the anatomy of the hand. Also, the UGLee Pen is mated with the smoothest ink system known and it weights only 11 grams. UGLee Pens are sold in packs of three, all in the barrel color of your choice. UGLEE Pens are refillable and ink refills are available in additional colors.


When writing with the UGLee Pens I have, I've been pleased with how well the ink flows and comes out. It doesn't smudge or skip. The soft covering on the pen gives a comfortable grip and helps keep my hand from cramping when writing for an extended period of time. The price for these pens is a little on the up side, but I feel they are of good quality.

Win It!

One person will win a 3-pack of UGLee Pens in color selected by sponsor.

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment with your favorite color of UGLee Pen out of the seven available.

Extra Entries:

Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect.

Subscribe to my blog via email.

Have my button on your blog.

Have the Terra's Two Year Blog Bash button on your blog (also be sure you've left a comment at the announcement post so you can gain extra entries during the event giveaways).

Follow me on Twitter, partymix25.

Follow UGLeePen on Twitter, UGLeePen.

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).

"Like" UGLee Pen 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 4/14/11 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 UGLee Pen.  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, March 27, 2011

Loving Lampposts: Living Autistic - DVD Review

DVD Synopsis:

Today autism affects approximately one out of every one hundred children. In recent years, as autism as exploded into the public's consciousness, two camps have formed: those who believe it is a devastating disease to be cured and those who feel that autism is just a variation of the human brain. First-time director, Todd Drezner, the father of an autistic son, Sam, has shared his personal journey of coming to terms with autism by taking a wide-angle view on the issue and presenting a heartfelt case that acceptance is the better way. Loving Lampposts: Living Autistic will be available on DVD and VOD platforms in the US and Canada on March 29, 2011 from Cinema Libre Studio.

Loving Lampposts: Living Autistic takes a look at two movements: the "recovery movement," which views autism as a tragic epidemic brought on by environmental toxins, and the "neurodiversity movement", which argues that autism should be accepted and that autistic people should be supported. After his son's diagnosis, filmmaker Todd Drezner visits the front lines of the autism wars to learn more about the debate and provide information about a condition that is still difficult to comprehend.

My Review:

When my son, Logan, was younger I was convinced he had autism. He displayed many of the symptoms. I took him to doctors and specialists all over the state of Illinois. Ultimately, he was diagnosed with other disorders but I felt firsthand some of what parents must go through with children who have autism.

After watching Loving Lampposts: Living Austic I became educated on the two major debates of what causes autism. I still don't have a firm opinion one way or another, but hearing the two sides presented educated me on the views and reasons behind them. It's interesting, regardless of which side you're on, to learn that the number of of people diagnosed with autism has skyrocketed throughout the years. Austic children and adults tell their stories and feelings, as do the people who care for them. This film is informative and, at times, heartwarming.

This DVD couldn't be coming out at a better time. April 2nd is UN World Autism Day and Autism Awareness Month occurs during the month of April. Whether you know someone who has been diagnosed with autism or not, this film will open your eyes to debates between what causes autism, how people are trying to treat it, and to people with autism who will touch your heart. It also, ultimately, gives viewers an understanding of autism and the importance of accepting it within our culture.

I received DVD for review from Cinema Libre Studio. 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, March 26, 2011

Socks4Life - Review and Giveaway

I have a minor obsession with socks. My drawer is full of them, ranging in color, style, and pattern. My girls have taken up the obsession as well. The husband and boys don't care as long as the socks fit well and are comfortable.


Socks4Life helps with my obsession by offering the top brands of socks on the market. They are committed to offering you the finest socks at great prices. Even better, they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and hassle free returns. You can search for socks by length, color, style, and gender. To top it off, the prices are affordable. My husband and I were able to try three of the kinds of socks that Socks4Life offers.


American Made Men's Blue Heel and Toe Crew Socks - These men's socks came in a pack of three with a blue heel and toe. My husband wears them for work and everyday use.

American Made Women's Pink Heel and Toe Quarter Socks - These women's socks came in a pack of three with a pink heel and toe. I like to wear these with my tennis shoes.
Chatties Women's Heel & Toe Socks - These black socks came in a package of five with varying heel and toe colors. I usually wear these with jeans or dress slacks.
I particularly like socks with colors on the heels and toes so I can sort and match them up easily. All socks we received are useful and fit comfortably.


Win It!

One person will win a $20 Socks4Life gift certificate.

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment with your favorite pair of athletic socks from Socks4Life.

Extra Entries:

Leave a comment with your favorite pair of knee socks from Socks4Life.

Leave a comment with something you learned from Choosing the Correct Color of Dress Sock.

Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect.

Subscribe to my blog via email.

Have my button on your blog.

Have the Terra's Two Year Blog Bash button on your blog (also be sure you've left a comment at the announcement post to gain extra entries during the event giveaways).

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).

Leave a separate comment for each entry and include your email address in the comments. Giveaway is open to residents of USA and Canada. Giveaway ends 4/10/11 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 Socks4Life. 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.

Join Me For These Super Saturday Blog Hops

Today I am joining in on three blog hops. I like to learn about and follow new blogs and, of course, get more followers. If this is your first time stopping by, I hope you'll come back to read my reviews, learn about my family, and enter giveaways. If you're a regular reader, I appreciate you sticking around.

Super Mega 7 Blog Hop hosted by Luca's Journey with Sensory Processing Disorder.



Spotlight Saturday Blog Hop hosted by Survey Junkie, Between the Lines, and Little Yaya's.

Between the Lines

Smile with Me Saturday Blog Hop hosted by Peach's Reviews.

Black Swan - DVD Review


DVD Synopsis:

Starring Natalie Portman in her Academy Award winning role, Black Swan is a seductive yet haunting film that will leave you breathless. Directed by innovator Darren Aronofsky, this Best Picture nominated film boats a wealth of talent including Portman (Closer) in the performance of her career, as well as Mila Kunis (Date Night), Winony Ryder (Girl, Interrupted) and Vincent Cassel (Ocean's Twelve). Become part of the haunting phenomenon and own Black Swan on Blu-ray or DVD on March 29th from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Black Swan follows the story of Nina (Natalie Portman), a ballerina in the New York City Ballet trying to make it to the top. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth Macintyre (Winona Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But a new dancer, Lily (Mila Kunis), also impresses Leroy and becomes Nina's competition. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly with her innocence and grace, but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan with her fiery personality. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side with a recklessness that threatens to destroy her.

The Black Swan Blu-ray disc contains special features not included on the DVD, including behind-the-scenes looks at the filmmaking process and interviews with the cast and director.


My Review:

Every profession and career has its good sides and its bad sides. Black Swan portrays a dark side of ballet and the pressures it could potentially put on a person. Nina (played by Portman) seems so swept up in perfection and the pressures of her career that she lets it overcome her. Add that on top of her overbearing mother and watch as Nina destroys herself both mentally and physically.

Black Swan is rated R and for good reason. There are several scenes of sexuality, curse words, blood, and rage. My husband and I watch movies like that frequently, but not within eyeshot of the children. There's not much that's tame about Black Swan. A few scenes within the movie reminded me of Showgirls.

Although I feel that Natalie Portman played magnificently in her role, I more enjoyed the carefree and flawless Mila Kunis as her understudy and as the person who helps break Nina out of her shell.

Overall, I felt the movie was well-played with an outstanding cast of characters. I just felt that many questions were left unanswered, particularly as to why Nina did some of the things to herself that she did and what made her finally reach her breaking point.

I received DVD for review on behalf of 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.

ZhuZhu Puppies - Review



If you are a parent, I can almost bet you've heard of ZhuZhu Pets by now. Since the interactive hamsters have become available, they've been a hot hit with kids. The newest and latest release from Cepia, LLC, makers of ZhuZhu Pets, is ZhuZhu Puppies. Like the original ZhuZhu Pets, all ZhuZhu Puppies have their very own unique personality and sounds. They also have their very own selection of playsets, outfits, and accessories.





My children were able to look at and test some items from the newest line of ZhuZhu Puppies. Already familiar with the hamsters, they were elated to see the line branch out with a different animal. ZhuZhu Puppies work along the same concept as its predecessor. Included with each puppy is a small brush. They're cute as can be with their different looks and personalities.
Currently there are a number of ZhuZhu Puppy breeds available ranging from a dalmation and yorkie to a maltese and husky. With so many breeds of dogs, I think ZhuZhu Puppies could go far with the number they bring forth.

The outfits for ZhuZhu Puppies are easy to place on and they stay put. My 8 year old step-daughter seemed the most interested in ZhuZhu Puppies. My boys judged them to be neat as well, but thought they seemed to be more for girls.

There are a handful of playsets available for ZhuZhu Puppies. One is the Bark Park Playset that has a green lawn with bushes, trees, and entrances. With this playset is a blue bridge that extends out and the puppies give new sounds and movements when crossing the bridge. Another playset is the Posh Puppy Playhouse with feminine designs and a circle area for puppies to move around in. Also included is an extended bridge. The playsets can be played with alone or connected together to make it larger.

My only concern with ZhuZhu Puppies, or any ZhuZhu Pet for that matter, is the possibility of becoming tangled in a child's hair. The motorized wheels can cause entanglement if not properly used.

I'm joyed that Cepia, LLC has come out with this new line and can't wait to see what they add to it. The other kids can't either.



I received products for review from BSM Media. 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, March 25, 2011

31 Day Photo and Prompt Challenge - Day 18

Today's challenge by it's gravy, baby! is to post about things we are afraid of.



There are four things in particular I'm afraid of:

1. Dentists - That's part of the reason why my teeth are jacked up. I won't go to the dentist unless absolutely necessary. I had a bad experience as a child and it's traumatized me ever since. I've been going quite a bit lately so I can get dentures in place of my top teeth, but I still have serious anxiety attacks. Nitrous has been my friend through it all.

2. Worms - My fear has waned a little throughout the years. I can now find myself within the same vicinity as the slimy things, but I refuse to touch one. No way, no how! I blame that fear on my sister. She's been deathly afraid of them ever since I can remember and I think that fear passed on to me. I can't blame her for being afraid of them though. Our other sister dumped a bunch of worms down her pants when she was a kid.

3. Freddy Krueger - I love to watch horror movies and thrillers, but this monster has scarred me for life. From the first time a girl on the bus explained the first Nightmare on Elm Street movie to me, I became a slave to sleep. Watching the movie made it even worse. I was so terrified of going to sleep that I would hold on to every ounce of staying awake until my eyelids couldn't take it anymore. Some nights I'd sleep in my brother's room so he'd protect me from the evil Freddy. Other nights I'd surround myself with stuffed animals and a plastic Bible keychain. Anything to keep from dying in my sleep by a maniac wielding razors for fingers. To this day, I cannot even stand to see a picture of Freddy.

4. Death - My religious views lead me to believe I'll be in a better place when I die. However, I'm afraid of leaving behind my children or not seeing them grow up. I'm also fearful of others dying. I've had a lot of loved ones leave me behind and if I think too long about losing others, I become depressed.

What things are you afraid of?

Purex Complete Crystals Softener - Review and Giveaway


I've always used dryer sheets when doing laundry, not liquid fabric softener. It's mainly due to the fact that I didn't want to have to worry about going back to my washing machine to add the liquid softener. I have enough on my plate to remember, without having to remember that step. Purex has made that step easy with their Purex Complete Crystals Softeners. These tiny crystals are added to the start of the wash, along with the laundry detergent.


Purex Complete Crystals Softener was first released in December 2010. It can now be found in major retailers. They can be purchased in three fresh scents of Lavender Blossom, Fresh Spring Waters, and Tropical Splash. I have yet to try Tropical Splash, but have tried the other two scents. The ones I've used have a pleasant smell. Purex Complete Crystals Softeners are 92% natural, so instead of coating fabrics with oil, they work by penetrating the fabric and infusing fibers with freshness that lasts. It is also the first major fabric softener that is 100% safe to use on children's sleepwear as it does not impair flame retardant qualities.


The lid on top of each bottle has measuring guides for how much Purex Complete Crystals Softener is to go in each load. Once you've measured the amount needed, the crystals are dumped into the washing machine. They immediately dissolve once water touches them and infuse your clothes with a fresh scent.

If I had to make a list of top ten household products I absolutely like, this would make the list. I'm thrilled that I can add it in the beginning of my wash and not have to do anything else with it. There's no need to use dryer sheets; this softener works on keeping my clothes static-free and smelling good. A closure that snaps in place ensures that the crystals do not spill if the bottle falls over. The only problem I've had is that sometimes the lid does not always stay on and I have to hunt for it to use it as a measuring guide.





Win It!

Three (3) people will each win a coupon for a free 28 oz. bottle of Purex Complete Crystals Softener.

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment with the scent you'd most like to try - Lavender Blossom, Fresh Spring Waters, or Tropical Splash.

Extra Entries:

Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect.

Subscribe to my blog via email.

Have my button on your blog.

Have the Terra's Two Year Blog Bash button on your blog (also be sure you've left a comment at the announcement post to gain extra entries during the event giveaways).

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

Follow me on Twitter, partymix25.

Follow Purex on Twitter, Purex.

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

Leave a separate comment for each entry. Include your email address in the comments. Giveaway is open to residents of the USA. Giveaway ends 4/10/11 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 product for review from Purex. 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, March 24, 2011

American Heritage Chocolate - Review and Recipe for Chocolate-Chunk Cranberry & Walnut Cookies



Chocolate figures prominently in Early American history. With a rebellion against tea and everything British, our forefathers proudly chose hot chocolate and coffee drinks as symbols of freedom. Thus began chocolate’s uniquely American journey of good taste.

Soon, chocolate found its way into many recipes, including baked goods and early chocolate bars. Using cacao beans ground by the local miller, the bars were often flavored with other exotic tastes, such as chili pepper and mustard, from the spice trade.



Today, MARS, Incorporated manufactures American Heritage Chocolate – an authentic Colonial Chocolate recipe, made only with ingredients available during the 17th century. American Heritage Chocolate offers a selection of authentic products from the days of our ancestors. American Heritage Chocolate is based on historic recipes which included spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, annatto, red pepper, orange, salt and vanilla. You can order the chocolate, cook up some of the historic recipes, or use them in your favorite current recipe. You can find their authentic historical chocolates at historical stores and the gift shops of America’s best-known heritage sites.

American Heritage Chocolate is available in:

Finely Grated Chocolate Drink - Experience the full flavor and consistency of a true chocolate drink and compare to today's hot cocoa mixes. It's also great for bking.

Chocolate Block - Grate or shave the chocolate block on your favorite dessert, or melt and drizzle it on a bowl of ice cream.

Chocolate Sticks - Enjoy as a stand-alone treat, or stir a chocolate stick into your favorite warm beverage for a chocolate kick.


I received the Chocolate Sticks and Chocolate Block for review. I felt like I was taken back in time, learning about how chocolate was made in the 18th century and getting to taste chocolate that's replicated for its period.

With the Chocolate Block, I used it in lieu of semi-sweet baking chocolate for brownies I had a recipe for. I grated it to the desired amount and added it to the recipe. I was able to taste the chocolate in my brownies and it added a nice, rich flavor. Another way I used the Chocolate Block was by melting it for a short time in the microwave and topping it on vanilla ice cream. The ambrosial flavor of the chocolate just added to the treat.

I tasted the Chocolate Sticks as a pleasing entity all on its own. It tasted like dark chocolate with a hint of cinnamon. I was also able to taste a hint of the orange in it. The dark, deep, rich flavors of American Heritage Chocolate and how it's made gave me an enjoyable chocolate experience.



Here is a recipe for Chocolate-Chunk Cranberry & Walnut Cookies, using American Heritage Chocolate:

Chocolate-Chunk Cranberry & Walnut Cookies

Serving Size: 3 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1/4 tsp cardamom, ground
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup walnuts, toasted lightly and chopped
1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1 cup (7 oz) American Heritage Chocolate Block, roughly chopped
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar (not light brown or white)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, preferably canola
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place racks in middle and upper positions. Line two cookie sheets with parchment. If using non-stick cookie sheets, leave unlined.

Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. In a small bowl place oats, walnuts, cranberries and American Heritage Chocolate. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula. Add oil, egg and vanilla and combine. Add flour mixture with mixer set to low. Do not over mix. Add nuts, fruit and chocolate and mix until just combined. Use rubber spatula to ensure even distribution.

Scoop out two tablespoons of cookie dough and place on cookie sheet 1-1/2 inches apart. Place cookie sheets in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Pull out pans and rotate top to bottom and front to back. Bake 6 to 8 minutes longer. Cookies should be lightly browned on edges. Cool cookies on cookie sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack. Cool to room temperature and enjoy. Cookies can be stored for up to two days. Store cookies in an airtight container to retain freshness.

You can find this cookie recipe and other recipes using American Heritage Chocolate on the recipes section of their site.

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.

Keepin' Company Thursdays - Week 38

Keepin' Company Thursdays will now be scheduled to go up at 7 am on Thursday mornings. This will be different than the regular scheduled time of 10:50 on Wednesday nights. I hope that doesn't cause a problem for anyone, but that time is easier for me and my sister.
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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 Ladybird Ln.

Ladybird Ln

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

31 Day Photo and Prompt Challenge - Day 17

Today's prompt from it's gravy, baby! is to post if you were named after anyone.



I was not named after anyone; however, it is my grandmother who named me.

My oldest daughter, Shelby, is named after Julia Robert's character in Steel Magnolias.

My nephew, Ozzy, is named after Ozzy Osbourne.

I have a niece who has the same middle name as me, Lynn. She was given that middle name because my sister said I don't come around very often and at least if she named her daughter with my middle name, she'd get a reminder of who I was. I'm not sure if I should've felt honored or not.

Tell me, are you named after anyone?

Are You A White Swan Or A Black Swan?


Black Swan will be released on DVD March 29th. In anticipation of the DVD release, you can take the Black Swan Experience.

Immerse yourself into the world of dreams and reality. Site users are shown a series of film clips and asked to click on words/phrases that best describe their emotional reaction to that clip. The experience morphs depending on the responses chosen, ultimately leading users to “transform” into the White Swan or Black Swan. The result is a tailored piece of visual poetry, an individual’s emoti-poem, that can be shared with others. All the emoti-poems are also housed in the video gallery to create a collective, evolving experience.

I took the Black Swan Experience and found that I am a White Swan. That made my husband chuckle. When other people tell me how dark I am, I'll remind them that I'm a pure white swan. Think that'll work?!

If you have taken the Black Swan Experience, what did you learn? Are you a Black Swan or a White Swan?

I received no compensation for this post. This post is for informational purposes on behalf of the PR agency. Please do your own research before purchasing services or goods. Your opinions and results may differ.

Get Your Own Rabbit This Easter at EdenFantasys (18+)

**This post is for adults over the age of 18. It is adult in nature, so please do not read this post or click on the links if you are underage or not tolerable of this kind of content. Thanks.**

Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store

Are you preparing for Easter, shopping for candy, bunnies, and toys? In the midst of doing all that, don't forget to take time for yourself and get your own special Rabbit this year.

I'm not talking about the cute, fluffy, hopping animal here. I'm talking about a rabbit vibrator that you can keep and use all to yourself that will bring "hopping" sensations all over your body. After all, who doesn't like a little "me" time.

EdenFantasys has a very large supply of vibrators and other sex toys for your spring adventures. Their toys, books, and other products have been chosen to appeal to people of all genders, ages, and orientations. Whether you like to play it low-key or get wet and wild, EdenFantasys has what you're looking for.




I won't spill my bedroom secrets, but I've used products from EdenFantasys. My packages are always shipped discreetly, with no indication of what I've received. And I've always been pleased (wink, wink) with the products I've used. EdenFantasys isn't just about selling adult items. They allow customers to talk about products, write reviews, and ask questions. They provide education about the topics of healthy and safe sexual activity.

What are you waiting for? "Hop" on over to EdenFantasys and see what they have to offer.

I received compensation for this post on behalf of EdenFantasys. 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.