Saturday, March 30, 2013

Balloon Trees - Children's Book Review

Book Synopsis:

Balloons do come from trees—rubber trees. Told in rhyme, the story follows the wide variety of steps involved in making the air-filled decorations we all know and love. Starting with the tapping of the rubber tree, the ship that carries the liquid rubber to the factory, and the manufacturing process itself; readers will learn just how that balloon arrived at his or her house. This delightful, fun-to-read-aloud story is sure to give readers a new appreciation for balloons.

My Review:

A story about balloons and how they're made, Balloon Trees starts out telling how tappers slice bark from rubber trees to retrieve white milky latex.  It then proceeds to tell the process of how the latex is brought into a factory to be shaped and formed into balloons. 

As an adult I found this book to be very interesting. I learned things about balloons that I didn't know before. With cute illustrations and a rhythmical story flow, kids can learn a lot about balloons and rubber trees. The "For Creative Minds" section in the back of the book further enhances education with a balloon sequencing game, a True or False about rubber, and facts about rubber, a natural resource.

Balloon Trees is a Spring 2013 release by Sylvan Dell Publishing. To supplement the story, cross-curricular lesson plans or educational programs are available on the website.

I received book for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

My Treasured Chest - Holy Matrimony

This post is part of the "My Treasured Chest" series where I post about findings from my cedar chest. You can read about how it all began at the My Treasured Chest - The Beginning post.


I'm not quite sure why but I have two marriage certificates from my marriage with Jason.  Maybe one of them is the official one? 

Me and Jason were married in October 2002 at Six Flags St. Louis.  We'd both already done the traditional weddings with previous mates, so we thought nothing of getting married during Fright Fest in a nontraditional way. 

I entered into a radio contest to be one of twenty couples to get married in front of a large crowd at Six Flags.  Lo and behold, I won.  It was one of the best sweepstakes wins ever.

Jason dressed as a mummy and I dressed as a black raven bride, and we stood alongside several other couples to say our vows.  I carried a bouquet of dead flowers and the reception was held inside the park with witches as our cake toppers.  Ten years later and we're still happily married.

Go Beyond Cleaning with LYSOL's Healthing Initiative


I have six kids in my family.  That doesn't make me a supermom but it does mean I have to stay on top of things if I want to keep them from getting sick.  Because rest assured, if one gets sick it's a high probability there will be a domino effect and the rest will catch whatever virus decided to latch on and fight to let go.

LYSOL has introduced the concept of Healthing – a new idea centered on keeping families as healthy as possible, by looking beyond just cleaning and ensuring that the proper steps are taken to stay well. What extra steps do you take to keep your family healthy? Do you have a favorite LYSOL product to help you out?  My favorite is LYSOL Disinfecting Wipes.  I have at least two containers on hand at all times and use them to wipe down toys, countertops, and most surfaces in my home.  They are perfect for small cleanups and they remove allergens, viruses and bacteria from the surfaces I wipe.  Taking it even further, I even use LYSOL Disinfecting Wipes and their other line of products on countertops and surfaces in my camper.  Most recently I learned of a new way to start healthing by spraying Lysol Disinfectant Spray in my reusable shopping bags to help keep them fresh.  It's a simple idea, and one that I now do regularly.


To help spread the word about Healthing, LYSOL and television personality Giuliana Rancic have partnered together to visit YMCAs in select markets across the country to demonstrate Healthing in action. At each YMCA location, LYSOL will provide attendees with hands-on education about the products and steps required to practice improved hygiene habits in their own home, while making the idea fun and relatable to kids. LYSOL will also provide educational information and disinfecting products to the local YMCAs, along with the donation of a one-year membership to a deserving family.  It's an initiative that will inform and educate people the benefits of LYSOL products and motivate people to use the "healthing" movement in all areas of their lives.  Because cleaning may make your surfaces shine and sparkle, but healthing will go deeper than that and combat germs, viruses and bacteria.

Browse these sites to learn more about LYSOL's Healthing Initiative and to take part:

Website:http://www.lysol.com/healthing

Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/Lysol

Guidebook:http://www.lysol.com/healthing/what-is-healthing

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for LYSOL®. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.  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 using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Yay For Twitter Parties and Sweepstakes!


You're invited to the #GoSoup Twitter party, happening on Wednesday, April 3rd at 2pm EST/1pm CST/11am PST.  Join Smiley360 as they chat about living life on the go! With thanks to their party sponsor, Campbell’s Go™ soup, you can win 1 of 6 hilarious Campbell’s Go™ soup gift bags or a grand prize of a $50 gift card.

Tweet your RSVP now, and one person will win the RSVP prize: a $25 gift card!

Party Details:

Date and Time: Wednesday, April 3rd at 2pm EST/1pm CST/11am PST

Duration: 1 hour

Hosted by @Smiley360 (you must be following to win prizes)

Sponsored by Campbell’s Go™ soup

Hashtag: Take part by using #GoSoup in all your tweets

Follow the party on Twitter, TweetChat or on our custom Tweetgrid

Visit the Smiley blog for more details about the party and the prizes!
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Combat® is proud to introduce the $1,000 Giveaway featuring NEW Combat® Ant & Roach Killing Bait Strips!  You can enter to win up to $1,000.   One winner will receive a $1000 gift card, and three winners will receive one $250 gift card each.  Promotion ends June 30th, 2013 and is open to residents of the USA.  After entering, you'll receive a $1 off coupon for Combat Ant or Roach Bait.
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Enter the new $100 Infant/Toddler Photo Contest for WholesaleHalloweenCostumes.com. In this contest, all you have to do to enter is visit their page, log into Facebook, send a picture of your kid in a costume and you'll be entered to win. The winner is determined by number of votes - so DON'T PLAY FAIR! Share it with your friends & family to increase your chances of winning. So, tweet, share and pin away!
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Enter the Vote & Win Your Favorite Pinata Contest (scroll to the bottom) for BirthdayinBox.com. In this contest, all you have to do to enter is like your favorite pinata - A winner will be chosen from among the voters of whichever pinata gets the most votes! So, to increase your chances of winning, share away!  A lucky winner will be drawn on April 8th.  For inquiring minds that want to know, I voted for the shark pinata on page two.
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CostumeSuperCenter.com has launched a new $100 Sweepstakes Contest (at the bottom of the page). In this sweepstakes, all you have to do to enter is like the page on Facebook and enter in your email address (so they can contact you if your selected as the winner).

Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Treasured Chest - Mother & Daughter

This post is part of the "My Treasured Chest" series where I post about findings from my cedar chest. You can read about how it all began at the My Treasured Chest - The Beginning post.

This tshirt was created at a local festival in 1994.  Shelby was just a few months old.  My, what big hair I had!

I think Jason would kill me if he knew I had this shirt.  I'm so glad my husband isn't a snoop.  He's pretty understanding but I'm not so sure he'd get why I still have a tshirt that declares the love between me and my ex.  Terra & Brad was a bad decision but it's still a part of my history.  This tshirt was airbrushed during a Six Flags trip I went on with my ex-husband.  It's one of the few times we didn't fight.

Do you still have any mementos of past times with an ex or do you discard those keepsakes once the relationship is over?

Famous Footwear - March 15% Off Coupon

Famous Footwear - March 15% Off Coupon

15% Off Your Entire Purchase Online or In-Store

Coupon is valid until 3/31/13.

Click "Get Coupon" Button For Coupon To Be Valid.

This post contains an affiliate link. Please do your own research before purchasing product or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

Dial Kids Sweepstakes - Cash and Free Product Prizes

Dial is proud to introduce the Dial Kids Sweepstakes featuring new Dial® Kids Peachy Clean for ages 2+, and Dial® Kids Watery Melon for ages 6+.

One lucky winner will receive $1,000, while 250 second place winners get to try NEW NEW Dial® Kids Body & Hair Wash for free!  Check it out and enter now.

This post contains a referral link.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Live Q And A: Find Out If Your Student Athlete Is At Risk for Sudden Heart Failure‏

DID YOU KNOW?

If defibrillation is administered within one minute of collapse, the survival rate for sudden heart failure goes up 90 percent. “Timing is key to survival. Waiting even 10 minutes to defibrillate drops the chances of survival to 10 percent,” says John Lynn Jefferies, MD.

Join the free, live, on-line Q and A where you can ask questions in real time. It’s a chance to talk to knowledgeable and experienced doctors and get answers right on the spot.

The Q and A takes place April 9th from 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. EST with Jeffrey Towbin, MD and John Lynn Jefferies, MD.

RSVP Here! : http://liveevent.cincinnatichildrensblog.org/events/heart-failure-athletes

Additional Facts:

Top 5 risk factors for sudden heart failure in student athletes:

1. Family history of sudden death.
2. Fainting or family history of fainting.
3. Family history of arrhythmias or heart muscle disease.
4. Participation in sports (particularly sports that require a burst of activity like basketball, hockey and football).
5. Athlete has gone through puberty (an athlete’s body is stronger at this point and has power during the burst of activity).


This post contains an embedded widget. I received no compensation or product for this post. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

Monday, March 25, 2013

March Giveaway Offers and Promo News

Tony Stark needs your help to stop the Mandarin! Answer trivia questions to unlock Tony's armor and send in the reinforcements for a chance to win a trip for two to the IRON MAN 3 world premiere in Los Angeles on April 24th! The sweepstakes started today and runs until this Wednesday.  Each day fans can enter for a chance to win tickets and unlock two suits in Tony's armor. Visit Facebook.com/ironman or http://awe.sm/q0PyB for details.
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Zicam®“Clear the Air, Clear Your Nose” Giveaway

Have your spring allergies…sprung? It’s the sneezin’ season, so enter the Zicam “Clear the Air, Clear Your Nose” Giveaway! They’ll randomly select one winner daily at 12 p.m. EST from April 1 to April 5, 2013, to each win a prize pack that includes a HEPA air purifier and two Zicam nasal products: Zicam® Intense Relief and Zicam® Extreme Congestion Relief. Five winners total! Enter here or visit www.Facebook.com/Zicam.
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Conair® Brush Bash Giveaway

Celebrate the launch of the new Conair® Carbon Smooth Brush line! It uses cool carbon technology to dry hair fast, curb fly-aways, fight static and add shine to hair! This brush bash is so big, they’ll have 100 winners! Enter now, and they'll randomly choose *100 winners* to receive a new Conair Carbon Smooth Brush. Each winner will receive either the Extra-Large Thermal Round Brush, Small Vented Porcupine Round Brush OR the Large Vented Porcupine Round Brush.

Visit  http://bit.ly/15MeMKJ to enter by Friday, April 5th at 12 p.m. EST and learn more about the giveaway. Good luck… and great hair!
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Colief®Colic Awareness Month 'We Time' Giveaway!

LAST CHANCE TO ENTER the Colief® Colic Awareness Month "We Time" Giveaway! Colief Infant Drops is celebrating 'We Time Wednesdays!' They want to make it easier for families to enjoy more “we time” with their little ones and preserve the memories with the Colief Colic Awareness Month “We Time” Giveaway! One final winner will be selected Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 1 p.m. EST to receive a Baby Bjorn infant carrier to encourage more 'we time' together, a keepsake frame and hand/foot print kit as a permanent memento of this precious time and Colief Infant Drops.

Enter now to gain some ‘we time’ by *liking* Colief on Facebook. Don’t forget to *share* with a friend who could use a little more ‘we time’ and a little less colic! Enter at https://www.facebook.com/ColiefInfantDrops/app_163032157099207

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Don't Worry, Be Happy Sweepstakes

In conjunction with the new Soft Scrub® Advanced Surface Insider Kit, Soft Scrub is proud to introduce the Don't Worry, Be Happy Sweepstakes featuring NEW Soft Scrub® Advanced Surface!

One lucky winner will receive $1,000, while 250 second place winners get to try Soft Scrub® Advanced Surface for FREE!  Sweepstakes ends April 19, 2013.

This post contains referral links.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

My Treasured Chest - Telecommunicator Training

This post is part of the "My Treasured Chest" series where I post about findings from my cedar chest. You can read about how it all began at the My Treasured Chest - The Beginning post.

Yes, I'm officially a dork.  I've kept the training binder that I used when I worked at as a telecommunicator at an outbound call center.  Specifically, it was for Supra Telecom.  I could very well be wrong but I don't think the company is in existence anymore.

The Looney Tunes binder has all the manuals and worksheets I needed to do my job.  Training lasted a total of a little over six weeks.  It was actually pretty extensive, all the stuff you had to learn.  I only worked there six months total before being laid off because my job got outsourced overseas. 

I still have the opening line of each call in memory:  "Hello.  This is Terra.  Thank you for calling Supra Telecom.  May I have your telephone number with the area code first please."

It was only six months of my life, but I was fond of the job and actually really liked it. 

Have you ever been laid off?  Have you had a job that you've really enjoyed? 

Biore Combination Skin Balancing Cleanser - Review and Giveaway


Spring is here and with it comes spring cleaning – and not just your home and your closets, but your skin as well. From deep cleansing to complexion clearing and even make-up removing, BiorĂ© products help keep your skin clean and beautiful. Give your jam-packed skincare routine a seasonal cleaning of its own with Biore’s Skin Balancing Cleanser ($7.99), a unique cleanser designed to strip away dirt and impurities without stripping skin’s natural moisture.

Combination Skin Balancing Cleanser lets you treat the oily parts and the dry parts of skin at once, bringing balance. The innovative formula was designed with Skin Purifying Technology, a revolutionary technology comprised of dirt-seeking cleansing molecules to target and cling to impurities. After just one use, the cleanser delivers an all-over clean, lifting oil from the T-Zone while thoroughly cleansing dry areas. After two weeks of use, combination areas feel more balanced.

Out of all the teens, Logan has the biggest problems with combination oily and dry skin.  He also experiences frequent blackheads and acne.  I thought this cleanser would be best for him but the two older girls have also been using it.  The Combination Skin Balancing Cleanser stays in our shower and the older kids use it by wetting their face and letting the cleanser set for a short period of time.  They then rinse their face off.  It's become a daily ritual for one or other of the teenagers to use this cleanser.  Logan has had the most noticeable difference.  His face seems to be slightly clearer and doesn't seem so oily.  The girls particularly like this to help wash off makeup and sweat.  I've used it a couple times myself and like the clean feeling it gives my face after use.
Win It!

Five people will each win Biore Combination Skin Balancing Cleanser.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

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 or using services.   Your opinions and results may differ.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

On the Move: Mass Migrations - Children's Book Review


Book Synopsis:

Imagine seeing hundreds of the same type of animal gathered at the same place and at the same time! Right here in North America many animals gather in huge numbers and can be seen at predictable times and locations. Not all migrations are tied to seasonal food changes—some are tied to life cycles and the need to gather in huge numbers. Certain birds, reptiles, mammals, amphibians, fish, and even insects migrate during spring, summer, fall, or winter. Travel along with them as you learn about what puts these animals On the Move.



My Review:

Snakes, bats, and caribou are just some of the animals featured in On the Move:  Mass Migrations.  The book, with beautiful illustrations, explains different animal migration patterns and behaviors.  In the 'For Creative Minds' section at the back of the book children can learn more detailed explanations about animal migrations.

On the Move: Mass Migrations is a Spring 2013 release by Sylvan Dell Publishing. To supplement the story, cross-curricular lesson plans or educational programs are available on the website.

I received book for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.   Your opinions and results may differ.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

My Treasured Chest - I Have Jesus

This post is part of the "My Treasured Chest" series where I post about findings from my cedar chest. You can read about how it all began at the My Treasured Chest - The Beginning post.

This is a picture of Adam with a paper frame that he colored for me.  I can't remember how old he was in this picture but it makes me smile because I know he still has Jesus in his heart.  Both Adam and Logan are very good about going to church with me every Sunday (or sometimes on Saturdays) without complaint.  Sometimes I'll catch them talking or doing something and I notice it's something they've learned by paying attention at church. 

POND'S Luminous Line - #LuminousEffect Review


I've seen advertisements for POND'S and have seen the skincare products at stores but have never bought them.  There's no real reason why I haven't made a POND'S purchase before but it's a brand I'll definitely consider in the future. 

I received products from POND'S Luminous Line.  Although I haven't used them for a long time, I'm happy with the results that I've had during the short period of time I've tried them on my skin.  Feeling luminous is a confidence booster and I like the responsiveness of my body after doing something that makes me feel luminous.  I also like the clean, fresh feeling that POND'S Luminous Line gives my skin.

There are four products in the POND'S Luminous Line:

Luminous Moisture - This moisturizing formula is made with illuminating minerals known to improve skin’s natural radiance. Plus, it protects your skin against damaging sun rays with broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen.  As soon as I apply the Luminous Moisture to my face, I can instantly feel my skin tightening and firming.  It's almost like my facial skin is undergoing a transformation.  The sunscreen in this formula will be particularly helpful when the sun's rays are out this summer.  It's my favorite product in the line.

Luminous Clean Cream Cleanser - This product gently draws out trapped impurities and makeup to brighten dull skin. It contains soft white Kaolin clay, a natural mineral known to act like a magnet to gently drawn out deep-dwelling impurities.  It also contains effective emollients such as Glycerin which draws moisture from the environment, leaving skin feeling soft and smooth.  This beauty product helps cleanse my skin and I like the way my skin feels softer after application.

Luminous Clean Daily Exfoliating Cleanser - This product is to be used every day to deeply clean and gently exfoliate dull skin. Allure magazine named Luminous Clean™ Daily Exfoliating Cleanser a Best of Beauty award winner.  It also contains soft white Kaolin clay and gentle microbeads.  Although it's recommended to use this product every day, I have been and will keep using it every other day.  That's because I only shower every other day to keep my skin from drying out.  To apply, I put a small amount on my face and let it sit.  After a few minutes, I wash it off with water.  The microbeads help rid dead skin. 

Luminous Clean Wet Cleansing Towelettes - These soft, textured cleansing cloths gently draw out trapped makeup and impurities to instantly revive dull skin. This is the product that I can see myself using most often.  I wear a lot of makeup and it's imperative that it's removed on a daily basis.  The minute I don't, I have breakouts.  The towelettes are convenient because I can just grab one and wipe off all the makeup.  They're moistened with soft white Kaolin clay and moisturizing ingredients.  They effectively remove the grit, sweat and makeup from my face and neck area.  I wouldn't recommend using them around the eye area because the towelettes are soapy and could possibly cause irritation.

As I mentioned, I'm  happy with the results of POND'S Luminous line so far.  They are all hypoallergenic and have a floral, feminine perfumed scent.

POND'S is partnering with supermodel Molly Sims to help women look luminous everyday.  This month, Sims has joined POND'S to help women experience the "luminous effect" that comes with having great skin.  Together, they have launched the "POND'S 30-Day Luminous Photo Challenge," a 30-day photo sweepstakes featuring daily challenges to inspire women to share photos of their happiest, most radiant moments.  Thirty prizes will be awarded.  Up to April 2nd, women can upload pictures to the POND'S Facebook page or share via Twitter or Instagram by using the hashtag #LuminousEffect.

Molly Sims' Tips for Looking Luminous:

Picture Perfect: My secret to feeling and looking camera ready starts with radiant skin. I rely on POND’S® Luminous Moisture™ Day Lotion with SPF 15 to brighten dull skin. The new moisturizer is enriched with illuminating minerals and contains SPF 15 that protects against skin-damaging rays.

Nighttime Ritual: I never go to bed without washing my face. As a busy mom, I go for time savers wherever possible. I like a cleanser that both cleanses and removes makeup in one step. POND’S® Luminous Clean™ Wet Cleansing Towelettes gently draws out trapped impurities and makeup to brighten dull skin.

Feed the Glow: I start the day off with a green juice to kick start my morning. It keeps me energized and does wonders for my complexion.

Feel the Burn: Early morning exercise puts color on my cheeks and improves my whole body circulation. A great workout also helps to enhance my skin color and complexion.

Buff Your Way to Beautiful: For great circulation and even tone skin, I recommend exfoliating your face, body and even your lips. It can leave you looking good and feeling radiant in no time.

Find Your Center: Taming stress is important to help you look your luminous best. I use regular breathing exercises to help keep me calm and centered.

Lights, Camera: Every woman can look luminous from within – but great lighting can help, too. One trick I’ve learned before snapping a photo is to step away from overhead lights to avoid shadows on the face.

Glowing Touch: A highlighter is one of my favorite beauty tricks to instantly look healthier and younger. I apply it anywhere that needs a little radiance: under my eyes to minimize dark circles and on the brow bone to draw attention to my eyes.

Lighten Up: When posing for pictures, I make a point to smile big. Your face will light up and you will instantly look and feel luminous.

What makes you feel luminous?

I participated in this campaign for One2One Network.  By posting, I am eligible for incentive.  I received products for review but was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Purex Natural Elements - Review and Giveaway


I've said it before and I'll say it again, Purex is a preferred brand of laundry detergents and softeners in my family.  That's because it's affordable and works well in getting stains out.  Purex has launched a new fragrance as part of their Natural Elements line.  Exotic fruits like pineapple and coconut combined with distant flowers makes up the new Purex Natural Elements Tropical Splash detergent.

This detergent is made of naturally sourced ingrdients and has a formula gentle enough for sensitive skin.  The biodegradable formula promotes green cleaning practices.  Hypoallergenic and dye-free,  Purex Natural Elements Tropical Splash detergent has the cleaning power of DirtLift Action.

I have mildly sensitive skin but it's not to an extreme, so although I like Purex Natural Elements for being good on sensitive skin, it's not the number one reason why I fancy this detergent.  It's because it has a dye-free formula.  Dyes sometimes will leave residual spots on my clothes when washing them and it's a minor inconvenience.  Purex Natural Elements doesn't cause that problem for me and I'm relieved by that.  The tropical scent of the liquid laundry detergent is very pleasant, with the pineapple fragrance more noticeable than the coconut scent. 

Win It!

One person will win two coupons for free bottles of Purex Natural Elements Tropical Splash detergent.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

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 or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ferdinand Fox's First Summer - Children's Book Review

Book Synopsis:

Follow this young fox as he explores the world around him during the first few months of his life. He’s about a month old when he first comes out of the den. Watch as he explores the world around him, learning how to hunt through play and by using his senses. See the changes as he grows from a young kit to a young fox. After all, by the next summer, he’ll have children of his own! Naturalist photographer and environmental educator Mary Holland has captured Ferdinand’s First Summer in a way that is sure to grab children’s hearts.

My Review:

A book with a realistic look at how a young fox grows up during the first months of his life, Ferdinand Fox's First Summer is informative and interesting.  Children will learn how a fox hunts its prey, leaves its scent trail, and nurses from its mother.  There's a couple of pictures that show the fox with prey in its mouth but they're not real graphic.  After the story is a "For Creative Minds' section in the back of the book to further enhance learning. It includes 'Red Fox Fun Facts and Adaptations', 'Red Fox Life Cycle Sequencing', and 'What Do Red Foxes Eat?'.  I learned a few new things about red foxes myself.  For instance, I was educated that their blue eyes turn brown when they are about two months old. 

Ferdinand Fox's First Summer is a Spring 2013 release by Sylvan Dell Publishing. To supplement the story, cross-curricular lesson plans or educational programs are available on the website.

I received book for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Friday, March 22, 2013

My Treasured Chest - Assorted Cards

This post is part of the "My Treasured Chest" series where I post about findings from my cedar chest. You can read about how it all began at the My Treasured Chest - The Beginning post.


Top Left: handmade Halloween card from my sister - dated 1998

Bottom Left: handmade wedding invitation to ex-husband's brother's wedding in 1998

Bottom Right: Mother's Day card from daughter, Shelby - dated 1997

Top Right: handmade birthday card from all of the kids - dated December 2006

THE HOST Bring Your Baby Matinee

How often do you get the chance to take your baby to the movies and not worry about causing a scene or disturbing the other movie-goers? Well luckily April 2nd could be YOUR chance! AMC Theatres has set up special showings of THE HOST in a baby-friendly zone. THE HOST is an epic love story, based on the novel written by best-selling Twilight author Stephenie Meyer and directed by Andrew Niccol. Come check it out and feel free to bring your children with you!

CHECK OUT the Bring Your Baby Matinee special showings for THE HOST: http://www.amctheatres.com/programs/bring-your-baby

First Tuesday of Every Month at Noon*

Crying babies? Breastfeeding? Stroller parking? All of the above is allowed at these special showings for parents like you. See the movies you want to see in a baby-friendly zone. That means the lights are brighter, the volume is lowered, and poopy diapers are not frowned upon. Plus, you can feel good about having some fun! Part of your ticket purchase will go to the Will Rogers Institute, a nonprofit that provides much-needed equipment to neonatal intensive care units and promotes research, treatment and education on cardio-pulmonary diseases.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at noon


MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sensuality and violence

Running Time: 2 hrs 5 min

SYNOPSIS:

What if everything you love was taken from you in the blink of an eye? "The Host" is the next epic love story from the creator of the "Twilight Saga," worldwide bestselling author, Stephenie Meyer. When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan) will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about — Jared (Max Irons), Ian (Jake Abel), her brother Jamie (Chandler Canterbury) and her Uncle Jeb (William Hurt) , proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world.

THE HOST hits theaters nationwide March 29th, 2013!

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

Kid Got Suspended From School, And I'm Not Even Mad About It

Logan, my butterflies and cotton candy kid, got suspended from school yesterday for two days.  He pummeled a kid to the ground and bloodied his nose.

Mind you, Logan is usually the peacekeeper and tries to stay out of trouble.  The only other time he was irate at school was years ago when kids were telling "Yo Mama" jokes and he thought they were directed towards HIS mama.  Even then, he didn't use his fists to fix the problem.

I'll be the first to say that I don't condone fighting.  If I find my kids are ever bullies to other classmates, they'll feel the wrath of their mother.  And it won't be pretty.  HOWEVER, I refuse to let my kids be bullied.

This particular kid came up to Logan during class break and called Logan a fu**ing coward.  Logan replied that he wasn't scared of the kid.  Mistake on his part, the kid told Logan he was going to kick him in the nuts and then started towards him.  Logan was having no part of it so he took the kid down to the ground and bloodied his nose.  Both got suspended for two days.

This isn't the first time the classmate has harped on Logan or tried to start a fight.  He's also tried to get his digs in on Adam.  (Not comparing the boys, but I'm surprised Adam wasn't the one to take action.)  Both Logan and Adam have put up with this kid's antics for quite some time.  Maybe now he'll know my kids aren't ones to be messed with.

Fighting doesn't solve problems and I don't okay it on a normal basis.  But this wasn't a normal basis and I won't fault my kid for sticking up for himself.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dancing With the Stars Hair Extensions - Giveaway

With the premiere of Dancing with the Stars back, it's time to start the competition. This season's contestants started off the first dance-off with fierce footwork and fiercer hairstyles. Here are top three looks of the night, with steps on how to recreate them at home.


Cheryl Burke's Bangs: Don't have bangs? No problem! Clip your way to non-committal bangs with the Dancing with the Stars Bango Tango Bangs ($22: hairextensions.com), to achieve this look.


Karina Smirnoff's Ponytail: To achieve her bouncy ponytail, add in the Dancing with the Stars Go! Go! Girl Extensions ($49: hairextensions.com) to add in volume. Bring hair up into a ponytail, and curl with the light setting of your curling iron.


Lindsay Arnold's Braid: Braids are a great way to turn any hairstyle into a fun look. After styling hair to your desired look, simply finish it off with a braided headband like the Dancing with the Stars Bellissima Braid Band ($10: hairextensions.com).

Win It!

Two people will each win a Dancing With the Stars Hair Extension.  The winners will receive the hair extension that receives the most comments as the one liked best out of the three by giveaway entrants.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received no product or compensation for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
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Exclusive 10% Discount at Mason Jar Cookie Company

Create and customize an artisanal cookie mix exclusively at the Mason Jar Cookie Company.

How does it work? Go to www.masonjarcookiecompany.com, choose a base (traditional, oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate or gluten free), and then add cookie magic from well over three dozen ingredients. From Fruity Pebbles to blueberries, macadamia nuts to marshmallow, toffee to apricots, the combinations are endless and all tested to work in every batch, every time. The ingredients are carefully hand-packed into classic retro-chic Mason Jars and then hand-labeled with the name you choose and the entire custom blend is sent in a very branded, very personalized package perfect for gifting to friends (or yourself.)

Use the exclusive coupon code heckofabunch6 at checkout at Mason Jar Cookie Company to receive 10% off your order.  This coupn is valid to the first 100 orders/customers who use this exclusive blog code.

I received no product or compensation for this post.  The coupon code is exclusive for my blog.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

A Clean Shave - EdenFantasys Review (18+)

**Are you under the age of 18? Are you easily offended by talk of s*x? If so, leave this post now. Although the images are decent, the links will take you to an adult oriented site. There's your warning.**
EdenFantasys is known for their adult toys, lingerie, and other merchandise of adult nature.  Whether you're into soft and sensual or wild and kinky, EdenFantasys has you covered.  Even if the thought of all that makes you uncomfortable and you'd never imagine visiting a site for those kinds of products, don't rule out EdenFantasys just yet.  What you may not know is that the company also sells makeup, skincare and massage items. 

For instance, the Coochy Protection - Aftershave is a skin-soothing spa formulation that's specially formulated to form a protective barrier between shaven skin and clothing. Botanical ingredients produce a natural, delicate fragrance. The name may make you think it's a product for your coochy, and it can be.  But it can also be used on your legs, underarms, and anywhere else you shave. 

The skin on my legs and underarms isn't usually sensitive after shaving, but I still use the Coochy Protection - Aftershave for a silky feel.  The same can't be said for my bikini line.  I get bumps and irritation from shaving there.  Spraying Coochy Protection on my coochy after shaving has relieved the irritation.  I don't have near the problems I used to and can now have as clean shave there as I do anywhere else.  It has a floral scent and dries fairly quickly.  Due to the name, though, I keep it put away so the kids don't have questions about it.

EdenFantasys is discreet in that all orders are sent to the buyers in a package that does not indicate in any way who it's from. There are many search options to aid in finding what it is you're looking for There are detailed specifications and user reviews for each item they sell. Their toys, books, sexy lingerie, and other products have been chosen to appeal to people of all genders, ages and orientations. A free gift with every order and special promotions are always available.

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 product or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

My Treasured Chest - The Prom & You

This post is part of the "My Treasured Chest" series where I post about findings from my cedar chest. You can read about how it all began at the My Treasured Chest - The Beginning post.

In 8th grade I created a scrapbook of sorts for an English project.  I cut out several pictures of formal wear and prom dresses to show what the fashion trends were.  I'm not a fashionista and don't normally pore over clothing selections but I've always been awed by formal gowns and dresses. 

I did not go to prom my Junior year because I was too busy being pregnant.  But I threatened persuaded my ex to go with me my Senior year.  My mother forked over $330 for my Southern belle style dress.  It was light blue and white, super poofy, and had a beaded choker.  My sister wore the same dress in my first wedding to my husband.

Did you go to prom?  What kind of dress did you wear?  Any special memories about the event?

Soft Scrub Advanced Surface- Review and Giveaway

New Soft Scrub Advanced Surface is the rinse-free gel that cleans and polishes granite and marble countertops, glass cooktops, and stainless steel.  The new formula is both tough on stains and gentle on delicate surfaces.  To use, just apply to the surface and wipe away with a sponge, cloth or paper towel.

I don't have stainless steel in my home so I can't vouch for how well this all purpose cleaner works in that area.  I have, however, tried Soft Scrub Advanced Surface to the cooktop in my kitchen and granite in my bathroom.  I learned not to go overboard when squeezing the bottle.  Although it doesn't hurt if you put a bunch of the gel on the area you want to clean, it's not necessary.  Only a little amount is needed and it wipes up easier than if you were to use a bunch.  After using Soft Scrub Advanced Surface, the surfaces I apply the cleaner to are shiny and clean.  I like that this Soft Scrub cleaner removes smudges, dirt, and food without a lot of effort. 
Win It!

 One person will two coupons for free any Soft Scrub product.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

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 or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
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March Giveaway Winner Madness

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

The winner of the Shutterfly giveaway is #334, Terri M.

The winners of the Women's Day Soap giveaway are #23, Heather! and #43, Latanya T.

The winner of the Dial giveaway are #20, Donna C. and #268, ababe28.

The winner of the Renew Life Probiotic giveaway is #19, Sus L.

The winner of the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese giveaway is #1000, Shebebes.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  Be sure to check out my active giveaways, all 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.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Carmex - Review and Giveaway


As a member of the Carmex Blog Squad, I was given the opportunity to review their Healing Cream and Healing Lotion. Carmex, famous for its lip balms, has been used by my family frequently. The teenage girls like to wear the lip balms on their lips and my husband has even put Original Carmex on the heels of his feet to soften them.

I'm no stranger to Carmex myself.  I have very dry skin, with rough patches in some areas and both products have been beneficial.  Both are specially formulated to heal and repair even the driest skin - no matter what the weather has in store. 

With increased levels of lanolin, Carmex Healing Cream mimics your skin's natural lipid layer to maximize healing, while petrolatum and allantoin soften rough skin and aid in moisturization.  Carmex Healing Lotion is loaded with vitamin E and ultra-concentrated aloe vera to soothe skin and deliver sious hydration, without any greasiness.  The Carmex Healing Lotion, with daily application, helps protect skin and keep dryness away. The rich healing ingredients of Aloe and Vitamin E nourish and moisturize skin. The Carmex Healing Cream has nine healing ingredients that penetrate and help repair very dry, rough, or cracked skin. Neither are greasy and don't leave white residue on your skin when rubbed in.  I don't notice a real difference in either product as far as effectiveness or how each works different than the other.  Both have the same smell and close to the same consistency, but the Healing Cream is in a smaller tube. 


Everyone in my household, from the husband and kids to myself, grab the Carmex Healing Lotion and the Carmex Healing Cream everyday and apply it to our skin. They help keep our skin soft and protect our skin from the cold weather that's present.  When my elbows start to get very rough patches, which they do often, I apply the Healing Cream to them and it helps with the scaliness and dryness.  Both products have the same scent, which I can't quite explain, but it's neither too feminine or too masculine. Since everyone in the household is using the Healing Cream and Healing Lotion, I can safely say that they're well liked in my family.

Win It!

One person will win Carmex Healing Lotion and Carmex Healing Cream.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received products for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
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2nd Annual "Shrimp & Pasta Party!"

What better combination is there than shrimp and pasta? Overwhelmingly chosen as a favorite among shrimp lovers, this dynamic duo can be twirled up with accompaniments ranging from asparagus and artichokes to bok choy and broccoli. By tossing together shrimp – the protein that packs a punch – with any manner of pasta from A to Z, you can serve up a variety of cuisine that’s sure to please everyone at the table. Whether your family craves spicy Szechuan or the creature comforts of Old-World Italian, shrimp and pasta are sure to delight!

The Shrimp Council once again is celebrating this perfect pairing with its second annual “Shrimp & Pasta Party!” which debuted (Feb. 13) on the Eat Shrimp Facebook page and runs through Easter Sunday, March 31. Five winners will be announced April 5, 2013.  Hosted in partnership with OLD BAY Seasoning and McCormick & Company, the promotion this year invites fans to whip up their favorite shrimp-and-pasta recipes for a chance to win one of five $100 gift cards to the grocery store of the winner’s choice, plus some nifty OLD BAY swag, including the famous blend of 18 spices that truly makes shrimp shine!

The promotion features an interactive recipe contest, a place for people to share their favorite things about shrimp, and more. Fans are encouraged to come up with creative pasta-and-shrimp meal options for a chance to win one of five “Party Season” prize packages. Each package includes a $100 gift card – redeemable at the winner’s grocery store of choice – and branded items from OLD BAY, including a T-shirt, a hat and the world-famous and deliciously unique blend of 18 herbs and spices known as OLD BAY® Seasoning.

Consumers are invited to join the party by “liking” Eat Shrimp on Facebook and checking out the Shrimp & Pasta Party! app.

The interactive recipe contest invites fans to create their own shrimp-and-pasta recipes using preselected ingredients from six categories: pasta, protein, sauce, veggies, cheese, and, of course, herbs and seasonings. Each selected ingredient will automatically populate on a plate, ultimately displaying a final “dish” that the contestant submits for judging.

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

Shark Baby - Children's Book Review

Book Synopsis:

"Who am I?" wonders Shark Baby. When his "mermaid's purse" egg case is torn loose in a storm, he finds himself on a journey through different ocean habitats: kelp forests, coral reefs, and seagrass meadows. He learns what kind of shark he isn't, but not what kind he is. He needs to find the “mermaid” to learn where he belongs, but the ocean is big and full of dangers. Will he find out who he is—and what he can do—in time?



My Review:

 A baby shark starts out in an egg case, then breaks free enough to see while being swept away in the ocean to find out what kind of shark he is.  The baby shark encounters other ocean life and other species of shark, and learns from them the differences and why he's not one of them.  The shark baby finally comes across one of his own and realizes just what kind of shark he is. 

There are several species of shark I've heard of but Shark Baby introduced me to some that I'm not sure I knew about.  I even learned about the different kinds of shark egg cases.  Being an adult, this book was interesting and educational to me.  For kids, they can learn why manatees are called mermaids and about species of shark that you don't normally hear about.  After the story is a "For Creative Minds' section in the back of the book to further enhance learning.  There's activities and facts on sharks and egg cases.

Shark Baby is a Spring 2013 release by Sylvan Dell Publishing. To supplement the story, cross-curricular lesson plans or educational programs are available on the website.

I received book for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Nude Lips from Rimmel London - Giveaway

From Katy Perry at the Grammys to Amy Adams at the Oscars, the nude lip is making its debut as the next big red carpet trend for 2013. Recreate the look, whether matte or glossy, with these must-haves from Rimmel London.

Rimmel London Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick by Kate Moss in 113 ($5.49): Inspired by style icon Kate Moss, this runway-ready, ultra-comfortable matte lipstick delivers an ultra-chic velvety finish. The long-lasting, luxe lipstick collection is enriched with an exclusive ruby powder to provide intense color and comfortable wear.

Rimmel London Stay Glossy Lipgloss in Unlimited Gold ($4.99): Stay Glossy saturates lips in rich conditioners that include Soft Silk and Natural Cotton and leaves lips soft, subtle and sexy. The exclusive Soft Extend lip-sculpting wand assures precise definition and expert coverage.

Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick in Crush ($5.20): Rimmel London’s revamped Lasting Finish Intense Wear Lipstick delivers a full-bodied color that leaves lips lush and vibrant all day long. Thanks to a new “Intense-Wear” formula enriched with up to 50% more long-wear color-boost pigments, the lipstick locks in high-shine color for up to eight hours.

Win It!

Three people will each win three lip products from Rimmel London:
Rimmel London Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick by Kate Moss in 113
Rimmel London Stay Glossy Lipgloss in Unlimited Gold
Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick in Crush

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

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