Friday, January 31, 2014

Roller Derby: Latest Update

It's been a couple weeks since I posted how I was doing with roller derby. A lot has changed and a lot has stayed the same:

Because of the instability I was having coupled with the severe pain of the shin splints, I was pulled away from full-on contact for a couple weeks. That basically means I've been off to the side with a couple of the other new girls and learning proper form, stability, proper stops and falls, etc. I feel like it's been very beneficial and by next week (according to coach) I'll be thrown back in the pack for full drills with the rest of the girls.

According to other people on the team, they've seen a huge improvement and advancement since I first joined. I can also see and feel it. I went from being the woman who felt like a failure and contemplated quitting several times to the person who knows that I CAN do this! It's taken some time and it's been brutal hell but I know it will be worth it when I'm on skates during the first bout of the season.

One of the mandatory requirements of passing the minimum skills test is skating 27 laps in five minutes. I've passed several of the other requirements but still need to get that one down. It's freakin' hard! There's only one other 'Skater Tot' who's passed that part and the 'Vets' even have to push it to the maximum to complete it. Basically, it's skating at full-speed ahead without even thinking about stopping (no matter how much you can't breath or how much pain you're in)

During my first try (in the beginning of joining the team), I made 16 laps in 5 minutes. Definitely very short of the goal. Two weeks ago I made it at 19.5 and just last Tuesday I surpassed that and made it to 21 laps. If you do the math, I've made great strides but I still have six laps to gain. It'll happen sooner or later, I have to keep telling myself.

I've had more ups and downs than a bipolar schizo when it comes to roller derby. One day I'm proud of myself for how far I've advanced and the next day I want to call it quits. It's definitely as mentally taxing as it is physically taxing. Just the other day I received some very snide remarks about how I should "just do it" and "suck it up" (not from the girls on the team). I never asked to be coddled and I can take constructive criticism every day of the week, but those remarks, I felt, were meant to be hurtful. It brought me down for a bit. But then I did "suck it up" and decided I'm going to take their hurtful words and spin them into inspiration to push farther and harder. I browbeat myself enough that I don't need other people to help bring me down.

I am only one practice away from being out of 'Skater Tot' status and being a full-fledged derby girl. That'll be one helluva good feeling! My Derby Sister/Mentor is going to host a celebratory dinner once I've transitioned.

I just received word tonight that our team and individual pictures will be taking place in a couple of weeks. It'll be the pictures used on all bout rosters and merchandising material. I'll be breaking out the uniform shirt, bandana, booty shorts, and tights. I still have to think about the stance I want to portray. I'm not quite sure what a 'Pain Dispatcher' looks like!?!

I had no idea that skates required so much maintenance! I got schooled on bearings, wheels, grips, plates, and toe stops real quick! I just purchased a new pair of RX Toe Stops (red) to replace the original factory toe stops already on my skates. Supposedly, they'll help me stop faster and have better grip. Gonna try them out Sunday.

So far I've reached $32 of my goal for the upcoming Polar Plunge. Myself, along with a few of the roller derby girls, are going to plunge into the icy cold waters to help support Illinois Special Olympics. It's going to be a freezin' good time! If you feel so obliged to donate a little bit (shameless plug, every little bit helps) you can learn more at my Polar Plunge fundraiser page. Mucho gracias!

As far as the shin splints situation, it's gotten a lot better. Instead of being in grueling pain for the entire time of practice, it's now only for the first 10-15 minutes. I honestly believe that's what held me back in the beginning. Now that I know the pain won't last forever and I can do most of what is expected of me, I have a much shinier outlook on it all. And for that, I'm glad I've been sticking it out through the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Into You - Book Review and Giveaway

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.


Publisher: Create Space, July 2, 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1478174301
Category: Mystery, Paranormal, New Adult, Young Adult
Available in: Print & ebook, 252 pages

#1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER IN HUMOR, TEEN FICTION, AND MYSTERY!

What if you could know exactly what your friends are thinking? High school student Winter Reynolds can, but there’s a catch…

She can only read people’s thoughts when she’s kissing them.

When a member of the track team is murdered, Winter has an opportunity to use her special ability to find the killer. Trouble is, kissing everyone on the track team isn’t such a good idea when you have a new boyfriend. Talk about complications!

Should Winter persevere using her secret power to catch the murderer still in their midst, even if it means risking her relationship with her one true love?

Mature Content Warning: Mild profanity and a graphic murder scene. Adult situations in a teen setting. While humorous, this book also explores the underbelly of teen life. 16+

About Riley J. Ford:

Riley J. Ford is a graduate of UCLA with a degree in English. After teaching at both the high school and college levels for a number of years, she turned to writing full-time. Her non-fiction books are used in college classrooms around the country, and her essays have been featured on such websites as MSNBC.com.

She is the author of three fiction books, INTO YOU, a young adult mystery, CARPE DiEMILY, a romantic comedy caper, and FIFTY SHADES OF FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, a satire. She enjoys running with the bulls in Pamplona and downhill skiing in her free time.

Riley J. Ford is the WINNER of Blogger Book Fair Reader’s Choice Award, Humor Category

My Review:

On top of normal everyday teenager problems, Winter Reynolds learns she's been gifted (or cursed?) with the power of reading people's minds when she kisses them. It's because of that power that Winter gets caught up in a whirlwind. After a school friend's murder, Winter decides the best way to find the killer is by kissing them. While trying to rule out the suspects, Winter delves into people's minds and finds out all sorts of things about them, including their deepest secrets and desires. To top it off, Winter has to deal with possibly betraying her boyfriend, deal with a secret her best friend carries, and much more.

Although the idea of a "kissing power" may sound silly, the author tells the story in a way that captures the reader. A few twists and turns are thrown in, along with a healthy dose of humor. There is some strong sexuality and vulgarity in the book but, overall, it's a fascinating story and unlike any I've read before. Into You is a mixture of mystery, romance, and humor surrounding the lives of a group of teenagers.
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Baggage Claim - Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Giveaway

I received no product or compensation for this post.  This post is in partnership with PR firm.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.


BAGGAGE CLAIM
Paula Patton leads a hilarious cast in this first-class comedy that’ll keep you laughing and make your heart soar! Flight attendant Montana Moore (Patton) is smart, sexy and sick of being single. She’s determined to get engaged before her younger sister’s wedding, leaving just 30 days to make her connection. Fortunately, her co-worker crew has cooked up a high-flying scheme for Montana to “accidentally” bump into all her ex-boyfriends, leading to hilarious encounters as she attempts to land the perfect guy!

Blu-Ray & DVD Special Features

Behind the scenes with the Director with optional commentary by David E. Talbert
Promotional Featurettes: Fly Girl, Wing Men, The Story, Interview with the cast
Audio Commentary with David E. Talbert
Theatrical Trailer
Release Dates

Available on Blu-ray and DVD February 4

Surprising Compliments That Grab His/ Her Attention
  LaDawn Black

Typical date talk and flirtatious comments can get old. Complimenting the obvious (a great smile, nice car or a fit body) can come off as more of the same. If you want to really catch the attention of a new acquaintance, make your compliments original. Try these eight unexpected ways to compliment and leave a lasting impression:

Notice a Small or Non-flashy Piece of Jewelry
One quick way to impress someone new is to pick an item in their clothing or jewelry that is not screaming for attention. A quirky pair of cuff links, a simple necklace, any antique looking pieces or a well-traveled work bag are all possible great story starters. People choose these small items often more for sentimental reasons and not flash. These items are more about who they are and less about what they have. Noticing the small things shows that you are taking the person in and really interested in getting to know them.

Thing That They Love
Listen closely to what the person loves. Often within the first thirty minutes of talking with someone you can pretty much gain a clear picture of what is absolutely their life fuel – their love. It may turn out that a pet, family, a hobby or even work may come up a bit in the getting to know you conversation. Acknowledge this love and let this new person know in a subtle way that you see what matters most to them and you are okay with it.

Least Obvious Beauty Trait
This one is easy! We all have aspects of our looks that are obvious pulls: height, a great head of hair, a curvy shape, a beautiful smile. Instead of complimenting the obvious take a few minutes and try to find something hot about your date that is not what they lead with. She has a beautiful smile? Don't tell her that first. Maybe you compliment her on the way her eyes light up when she laughs. He is incredibly tall and fit. Don't give him what every woman gives him. Instead, compliment him on his beautiful skin that obviously comes from him living a healthy lifestyle. The trick here is to be genuine and make sure your compliment makes sense and is linked in an unexpected way to a strength that your date already knows he/she has.

Little Known Fact about Company or Alma Mater
In this age of the search engine you should always know a bit about your date before you get there. You wouldn't go on a job interview without researching the company. So, why would you go on a date without knowing a few of the basics on your date? Look up the company, hometown or school of your date and find a little known fact to add to the conversation. Knowing that his hometown is the birthplace of the Snuggie is funny and will definitely stay on his mind long after the kiss good night.

Unique Aspect of Date Location
Go beyond just complimenting the date planners choice. Take the time while out to find something interesting about the place and mention it. Maybe the fact that the first date took place at the aquarium isn't incredibly memorable, but the fact that the aquarium also offers a weekend wine and dine with the dolphins and you would love too check it out one day reinforces the planners good choice and lets them know that you are open to date two.

Unique Point of View
In talking about controversial issues or current events compliment your date on their point of view. There are two universal things in dating we all want to know that you think we are attractive and that you believe we are smart. There is nothing like really taking in a person's view and letting them know that their opinion makes perfect sense to you.

Point Out Grace, Class, Manners & Chivalry
Who doesn't want to feel that they are extremely classy or chivalrous? As much as we talk about the sexes being equal, there is still a strong draw to those that are able to be incredibly modern and still be on their old school manner game. Point out little fine points that will make your date feel like they are the ultimate lady or gentlemen. Good manners still go a long way.

Eclectic Taste in Entertainment
Listen for what is different or off the beaten path in your date and point it out in positive ways. A love for eclectic/ independent music, films, artists or travel destinations are cues as to what a person wants you to know about them and how they live their lives. We all want to be special and unique and often how we reflect our uniqueness is through our choices in entertainment. By listening and complimenting these choices, you are letting your date know that their quirks are fine with you.

  LaDawn Black is a relationship expert, media personality and the author of Let's Get It On: 15 Hot Tips and Tricks to Spice Up Your Sex Life  www.ladawnblack.com



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Seasons of Gray - DVD Review and Giveaway

I received DVD 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.

"Seasons of Gray: A Modern Day Joseph Story" tells the beloved biblical tale of Joseph in a relevant and modern way that reaches all audiences. The compelling story of Brady Gray (played by Andrew Cheney), the favored son of a two-time widower, begins on location at a Texas ranch. After Brady's father lavishes him with accolades and gifts, his half-brothers, fed up with his privileged position, force him off the family ranch with a stern warning to never return.

What lies ahead is a roller coaster of ups and downs as Brady goes from restoring his life in a new town, obtaining a job and developing
a love interest, to being wrongly accused of sexual assault and thrown in jail. Throughout the story, despite questioning his life's purpose and plan, Brady remains devoted to his faith and learns the true meaning of forgiveness.

"Seasons of Gray" is a Christian film that non-believers can also enjoy. Parents can use the film as an educational tool with their high school children, the film is also a valuable tool for churches and pastors to use in reaching their community with relevant and modern content that directly correlates with the Bible.

My Review:

Seasons of Gray tells of a man named Brady who has struggles with his half-brothers. They think he is a goody two-shoes and their father's favorite. The brothers take matters into their own hands and Brady is left for dead. Brady then leaves his family behind and takes off to a different city. His life is going well, until he encounters another major setback. Brady is also gifted (or cursed?) with the ability to decipher dreams. Throughout all his trials and tribulations, Brady questions his plot in life and why certain things happen to him. In the end, Brady learns forgiveness and that God has a plan for Brady.

I faintly remember the story of Joseph as told in the Bible. I think viewers can see how the Bible story echos during scenes in Seasons of Gray. Even if you know nothing about the story of Joseph, I conclude that people will still find a relatable plot and storyline in Seasons of Gray.

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Duck Dynasty Fans: Get Rewarded For Becoming A Duck Scout

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

If you are a fan of Duck Dynasty like I am, you can sign up to become a Duck Scout and win prizes. You can earn points by quacking about Duck Dynasty on your social networks, and completing other tasks.

Once per month, random Duck Scouts who have earned 1000 points or more will receive a Duck Dynasty prize pack. Top recruiters each week will also receive recognition. For instance, at the end of February 20 random Duck Scouts will receive a prize pack including a Talking Duck and Hey Jack mug. The top 10 Duck Scouts with the most points will receive a prize pack including Duck Dynasty Seasons 1-4 on DVD, and a Si Pop Figurine. This makes me happy, happy, happy!

Are you a Duck Dynasty fan? Will you be signing up to become a Duck Scout? Get Quackin'!

Bioré Deep Cleansing Pore Strips and Bioré Make-Up Removing Towelettes - Review

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.


I wear a lot of makeup. It's rare that you'll see me without it and I sometimes apply it several times a day. Because of that, I need a safe and effective product that will remove the makeup and dirt from my face. I don't necessarily mind using products that require me to wash by splashing water on my face but I've found that using Bioré Make-Up Removing Towelettes is easier.
As you can tell from the picture above, I didn't lie when I said I wear a lot of makeup. Bioré Make-Up Removing Towelettes allow me to remove makeup, sweat and dirt off my face easily and without causing skin irritation. The towelettes are pre-moistened. There's no preparation before or after for using them. One towelette cleans my entire face and I don't even have to rinse my face off afterwards. My skin feels real clean and I feel confident that impurities have been removed.

The Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips are intended to lift out stubborn dirt and oil. Tea tree oil cleanses skin and rids pores of bacteria as witch hazel reduces redness and inflammation. Menthol minimizes redness and provides a tingling cooling sensation that signals a deep clean.

The pore strips are odd in a cool sort of way. They are to be applied on the bridge of the nose after you've cleaned your face and it's still wet. When it's applied, the strip feels like a flimsy, thin piece of adhesive. Just ask my husband, it is a little strange to see someone walking around with something that looks like gauze slapped on your nose. But it doesn't make me no mind. Ten minutes is the recommended time for the pore strip to be left on. While it's sitting on your face, it will start to harden like paper mache. It's at that time the strip is ready to be taken off.

It's not an all out hurt, but there is some slight pain when taking the pore strip off. It's comparable to taking a band-aid off the skin. Once you successfully get the strip off, you can see the results by taking a peek at the strip. It's not the grossest of sights but you can see where little tiny hairs, blackheads, and dirt have come off with the strip. The effectiveness is evident.

Bioré products are known for helping keep your skin clean and beautiful. I've tried several of their skincare products and am a satisfied consumer.

Sofia the First: Songs from Enchancia - CD Review and Giveaway

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.

Sofia The First: Songs from Enchancia features songs from the hit Disney Junior TV series Sofia the First. The album includes tracks such as “Good Little Witch” and “Ride of our Lives,” plus 4 instrumental karaoke tracks, so princesses of all ages can sing their favorite Sofia songs!

About the Disney Junior TV Series:

When Sofia’s mom marries the king, she’s whisked off to the castle, where she learns what it means to be a real princess. Sofia discovers empowering lessons about kindness, forgiveness, generosity, and self-respect. Classic Princesses, make special appearances to lend their words of wisdom to Sofia. Through this journey, Sofia discovers that looking like a princess isn’t all that hard, but behaving like one must come from the heart.

The TV series, aimed at kids ages 2-7, features a voice cast that includes Ariel Winter (Modern Family) as Sofia, Wayne Brady (Let's Make a Deal) as Clover and Tim Gunn (Project Runway) as Baileywick.

Sofia the First: Songs from Enchancia track listing:

1. “Sisters and Brothers” Sofia
2. “Merroway Cove” Sven, Oona and Sofia
3. “The Love We Share” Ariel and Sofia
4. “Bigger Is Better” Amber
5. “(You Can Always) Count On Baileywick” Cas
6. “Make It Right” Belle and Sofia
7. “Good Little Witch (Ballad)” Sofia
8. “Good Little Witch” Lucinda and Sofi
9. “The Ride of Your Lives” Jasmine, Sofia and Amber
10. “A Recipe for Adventure” Aunt Tilly and Sofia
11. “Bring My Best Friend Back” Clover and Sofia
12. “The Simple Life” Cast
13. “Make Way for Miss Nettle” Miss Nettle
14. “Enchancia” Ruby, Jade and Sofia Bonus Track
15. “Be Who You Wanna Be” Performed by Jake and Sofia

Bonus Karaoke Instrumentals

16. “Merroway Cove”
17. “Bigger Is Better”
18. “Good Little Witch”
19. “A Recipe for Adventure”

My Review:

Although my kids are too old to view Sofia the First, I have several younger nieces who are big fans of the show on TV. I had a couple of them over to listen to the CD and they delighted in listening to music associated with the TV series. I liked several songs myself, with "Be Who You Wanna Be" as my favorite. A few of the songs have Sofia paired up with other popular characters, such as Ariel of the Little Mermaid and Belle of Beauty and the Beast. Sofia the First is geared mainly towards girls so I'm not sure little lads would be thrilled with the tunes. However, there are a couple songs that may capture boys' attention. The music is entertaining and encouraging.
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Killing Kennedy - Blu-ray Giveaway

I received no product or compensation for this post.  This post is in partnership with PR firm.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Jackie Kennedy: Fashion Icon Ginnifer Goodwin Portrays First Lady In KILLING KENNEDY

Based on the #1 Best-Selling Book by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, the Latest Instalment of the Thrilling Trilogy Debuts on Blu-rayTM and DVD February 11

Produced by Golden Globe® winners* Tony Scott (Unstoppable, Cyrus) and Ridley Scott (Prometheus, American Gangster), Kennedy’s legacy lives on 50 years later as National Geographic’s KILLING KENNEDY arrives on Blu-rayTM and DVD February 11 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment – timed to President’s Day.

Showcasing a phenomenal cast including Rob Lowe as John F. Kennedy, Will Rothhaar as Lee Harvey Oswald, Michelle Trachtenberg as Marina Oswald, and Ginnifer Goodwin as Jackie Kennedy, KILLING KENNEDY is based on The New York Times best-selling novel. The film traces the chilling events leading up to the gunshot heard around the world: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas in 1963.

For the final two decades of her life, Jacqueline Kennedy, later Onassis, had a career as a book editor. She is remembered for her contributions to the arts and preservation of historic architecture, her style, elegance, and grace. She was a fashion icon; her famous ensemble of pink Chanel suit and matching pillbox hat has become symbolic of her husband's assassination and one of the lasting images of the 1960s.

In KILLING KENNEDY, Goodwin brought much warmth and depth to her portrayal of Jackie Kennedy, as well as paid homage to her iconic fashion sense.

Jackie Kennedy’s look was chic, glamorous and elegant. According to historians and fashionistas, she loved wearing clothing and pieces from designers such as Coco Chanel, Christian Dior and Hubert de Givenchy amongst others!

Her look resonated with women because it was sophisticated, unique, and seemed attainable. Many of her outfits went on to inspire designs that were affordable for everyone, thus allowing every girl to have their own Jackie moment!
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Monday, January 27, 2014

Married with Children: Seasons One & Two - DVD Review and Giveaway

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.

Mill Creek Entertainment rings in the New Year with their first collection of TV on DVD releases for 2014. Sure to bring back great memories, this release group includes seasons one and two of The Cosby Show, Bewitched, Married With Children, Just Shoot Me and Good Times along with Charlie’s Angels Season 1, Dilbert – The Complete Series, Highway to Heaven Season 3 and Wings Seasons 3 and 4.

Available for the first time on home video are the original uncut broadcast episodes of season one of The Cosby Show and the original theme song, Love and Marriage by Frank Sinatra, on the Married With Children releases. Many of these TV series aired for more than 5 seasons as well as in syndication and made a significant impact on prime time television and our culture.

These DVDs were released January 21, 2014 for $9.98 SRP for single seasons and $14.98 for the 2 Season Combo Packs. They are available at major online and retail locations everywhere.

Married with Children: Seasons One & Two Combo Pack Synopsis:

The less-than-lovable Bundys are a radical departure from the sweet TV families popular since the days of Father Knows Best. With offbeat humor and unflinching honesty, this series paints a more realistic picture of middle-class existence, warts and all. Al Bundy (Ed O'Neill) is a shoe salesman who is fond of frequently reliving his doubtful 15 seconds of fame on the football field. Al is terrified of the all-too-frequent amorous advances of his ditsy wife Peggy (Katey Sagal), who spends most of Al's wages at the salon and the mall. They have two teenage kids: stunning but superficial party animal Kelly (Christina Applegate) and egocentric Bud (David Faustino). Married for 16 semi-blissful years, Peggy and Al have found that the secret to a happy marriage is to accept one another's idiosyncrasies.

My Review:

With over 13 hours of viewing time, this two-disc set is full of comedy and sarcasm. I loved watching Married with Children back in the day and enjoyed watching Seasons One and Two to relive the funny episodes of a dysfunctional family.

Married with Children stars Al Bundy as a shoe salesman who is miserable in his job and marriage. He has two teenage children, Kelly and Bud. Kelly is dim-witted but popular. Bud tries hard to fit in, and always seems to fail. My favorite is Peggy, the wife. Her main interests are shopping and begging for Al's attention. The entire cast fits together well to offer wisecracks and bursts of laughter.
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Discovery Girls Guide to Growing Up...Everything You Need to Know About Your Changing Body - Review and Giveaway

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.

Book Synopsis:

Discovery Girls’ Guide to Growing Up gives girls reliable facts, clear explanations, and helpful tips about what’s going on inside their bodies and what to expect next… all written in a fun and easy-to-understand way. She’ll also learn how to handle her emotions, have strong self-esteem, and love her body so she’ll be confident, empowered, and ready for all the challenges of puberty. With less wondering and worrying about what’s happening to her body, she’ll have more time to enjoy the changes. Thanks to tens of thousands of girls who were brave enough to share their stories about pimples, periods, bras, body image, emotions, and more in this book, your special girl will know she is not alone.

My Review:

I have four girls in my home so I'm not lost on puberty or "changes". I've been down the road with three of them. However, each kid has been different to how they react to that time in their life. The 11 year-old doesn't like to discuss body issues openly. The Discovery Girls Guide to Growing Up is a wonderful resource for her to learn what she needs to know during this time in her life.

Several issues are discussed in the book, including periods, emotions, skin care and more. At 152 pages, this book talks to tweens and teens in a way they can understand and relate to. Quizzes, quotes, real-life stories, and examples are included. For those who are easily unsettled, they'll want to be aware that there are diagrams of vaginas. Be that as it may, I think the diagrams are helpful in teaching a girl about her body and how it works in the nether regions. The pages of the book are thick and covered with colorful illustrations. I've read the book and think it's full of valuable information. Emma has also read it and says it's helped answer questions she's had.

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One person will win Discovery Girls Guide to Growing Up...Everything You Need to Know About Your Changing Body book.

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Put Me In the Story - Personalized Children's Book Giveaway

I'll be receiving product for review in exchange for this post. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
Just over a year ago, Sourcebooks launched the Put Me In the Story website that allows customers to create personalized books that integrate a child’s name throughout the story, and includes a dedication page with their photo and a special note from you. Since then, they’ve partnered with Sesame Workshop, Berenstain Bears, Nancy Tillman, Hello Kitty and more to add even more books to the Put Me In the Story library.

Put Me In the Story personalized books make perfect gifts for Valentine's Day (who needs candy!?). Kids and parents love these books, and it’s something a child will love and treasure forever.

I just ordered a personalized book from Put Me In the Story. I personalized the Happy Birthday To You! Peraonlized Book and will be gifting it to my great-niece for her birthday in March. The entire process was easy and, although I chose not to, I was given the option to include a photo if I wanted to. I'll be posting the review for my personalized book in a couple weeks. In the meantime, Put Me in The Story would like to offer one of my readers the chance to win a personalized book of their choice. This giveaway will be shorter than normal so the winner can order and receive their book by Valentine's Day if they want to gift it to someone for V-Day.


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One person will win choice of personalized book from Put Me In the Story.

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Free Birds - #FreeBirdsDVD Activity Sheets and Giveaway

I'll be receiving product for review in exchange for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.


From the Academy Award®-Winning producer of Shrek* comes a hilarious animated adventure about two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks who travel back in time in order to keep their species off the Thanksgiving menu. Featuring an all-star voice cast, including Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson and Amy Poehler, Free Birds is loaded with laughs and stuffed with fun for the whole family! Free Birds will be available on Blu-ray and DVD February 4th.
Group Coloring Page

Maze

Word Search

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One person will win Free Birds Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Sing-Along Version of Disney's FROZEN Hits Theatres Nationwide Jan. 31st

I received no product or compensation for this post. This post is in partnership with PR firm. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

My teenage daughter and I watched Frozen the first day it came out in theatres. We didn't intentionally set out to watch that particular movie but Shelby and I had free movie tickets and Frozen seemed like the best show to watch at the time. Wow, were we surprised! Frozen is an amazing movie and the original previews did it no justice. Olaf was my fave character; he definitely delivered on the laughs.

I'm excited to inform you that Frozen audiences are invited to join the act—literally—as more than 1000 theaters nationwide introduce an all-new sing-along version of Disney’s Oscar®-nominated, Golden Globe®-winning big-screen adventure beginning Jan. 31, 2014.

On-screen lyrics and a magical bouncing snowflake will accompany select showings; moviegoers can check local listings for showtimes and theaters. The duration of the sing-along run will vary by theater.

At Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre, the “Frozen” sing-along version includes on-stage appearances from the movie’s Elsa prior to each showing, plus snow flurries inside the theater. Showtimes are at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Have you watched Frozen yet? Are you interested in viewing the sing-along version?

Fame by Lady Gaga - Fragrance Giveaway

I received no product or compensation for this post. This post is in partnership with PR firm. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

After the release of her fourth studio album, ARTPOP, Lady Gaga recently announced she would be going back on tour. This spring, Gaga will bring her new album to life for her fans. Her first single from the album, “Applause,” is her 12th top-ten Billboard Hot 100 single in the United States and is currently in its 11th consecutive week in the top 10. There is no doubt, Gaga’s fans are anxiously waiting for her to hit the stage and to see what excitement the ARTPOP show will bring!

Fame by Lady Gaga is the first ever black Eau de Parfum compounded by LADY GAGA with both floral and fruity notes. The scent is built around three main accords: dark, sensual and light. Enriched with tears of belladonna, a black veil of incense, and pulverized apricot, all of the notes were crafted to work together harmoniously thanks to the complimentary properties of each ingredient, which allow for a true metamorphosis of the scent when worn on skin. Available at Macys and Macys.com.
Win It!

One person will win 3.4 oz Fame by Lady Gaga Eau De Parfum

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

Just Peachy For These January Winners

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 Power Rangers DVD giveaway is #144, Renee G.

The winner of the Tickety Toc DVD giveaway is #264, jakiesmom.

The winners of the Biore Warming Anti-Blackhead Cleanser giveaway are #555, Becca Ann and #334, Susan C.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered. Be sure to enter my currently active giveaways, if you haven't already. There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win. However, please don't take entries for an action you didn't take (i.e., subscribing to my email newsletter, following me via GFC, etc). It's not fair to the honest entrants and chances are, I will find out.

Curel Hand & Cuticle Therapy - Review

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.
I have extremely dry skin and the winter weather doesn't help it at all. I constantly have to put lotion and moisturizer on my skin. It's a neverending battle.

One product that's been worthy of helping keep my skin soft is Curel Hand & Cuticle Therapy. This non-greasy formula is infused with soy milk, monoi oil, and vitamin E. It's formulated to soothe the driest hands and continue to moisturize even through repeated hand washings.

By applying Curel Hand & Cuticle Therapy to my hands and cuticles a few times a day, I can feel a noticeable difference. The lotion is non-greasy and absorbs into the skin quickly. Because my skin is so severaly dry, the softness of the lotion lasts only a few hours before I have to apply more to my skin. I like the soft, refreshing, silky feel of Curel Hand & Cuticle Therapy. Although he won't readily admit it, my husband's even used it from time to time and agrees that his hands are given temporarly relief from roughness.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Let Your Kids Be Kids with Culturelle - Giveaway

I received products in exchange for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Let Your Kids Be Kids with Culturelle.

Whether they're sharing an ice cream cone with the dog or eating gum off the sidewalk, kids can get into "uh oh" situations that can lead to digestive upset or illness. After all, kids will be kids, but isn't that what makes being a kid so much fun? Fortunately, Culturelle has them covered! Culturelle Kids! Probiotic is proven to help reduce occasional digestive upset and support your kids' natural defenses. So kids can have fun while keeping their tummies happy and trouble-free.

Share Your Kids Being Kids!

They go places they shouldn't and pick up things you wish they wouldn't. But we wouldn't have it any other way, would we? We worry about them when they're out of sight, but even under our own nose, they still manage to get into trouble, and we manage to snap a photo or two before picking them up, cleaning them off, and sending them back on their way.

Upload a photo to, http://www.culturellekids.com/meme, and match it with one of the fun captions to create a shareable snapshot of your kid just being a kid. Enter daily for your change to win a box of Culturelle Kids! Probiotic. Contest ends 11:59:59 am 2/21/14.

Only Culturelle Kids! Probiotic contains the #1 most clinically studied probiotic strain, Lactobacillus GG. It is also the #1 Pediatrician recommended probiotic brand and is proven to help reduce digestive upset by restoring the natural balance of good and bad non-beneficial bacteria in the digestive track.

Want to learn more? Just visit http://culturellekids.com/ and see why Dr. Ben, an established pediatrician in the New York Metro area, recommends Culturelle Kids! Probiotics to her patients.
Win It!

One person will win 2 boxes of Culturelle Kids! Probiotic Packets, 2 boxes of Culturelle Kids! Probiotic Chewables, 2 boxes of Culturelle Adult Digestive Health, and 1 Culturelle Kids! Tote Bag.

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

These Fingers Got Mad Skills

Way back when I attended business school and received a diploma in Administrative Assistance. One of the classes was Keyboarding and it's where I learned to use my fingers at lightning speed. I wasn't about to get a failing grade in not knowing how to type fast.

Fast forward several years later. My current job requires me to type but it's not the whole picture of what I do. The minimum is 35 wpm.

Our dispatch center is currently hiring. Applicants have to go through rigorous testing and interviewing. One of the tests is seeing how well applicants can type. For kicks and grins, I decided to see how well my skills compared now to how they did then. I'm happy to say my fingers are still in tip-top shape.

I took two online typing tests, each two minutes a piece. The first (after word errors were deducted) equaled out to 87 wpm and the second to 85 wpm. Yep, that's right, I still got it going on!

It's the little things that amuse me.

SafetyTat Valentine's Day Temporary Tattoos - Giveaway

I received no product or compensation for this post.  This post is in partnership with PR firm.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Here’s a new find for kids this Valentine’s Day! …. A fun line of adorable temporary tattoos featuring hearts, “love bugs” and rocket designs with love themed messages sure to make Valentine’s Day is extra special for boys and girls this year. There are even tattoos with encouraging messages from Mom and Dad.

Non-toxic, latex-free and hypoallergenic, these are perfect to slip into a Valentine card or to give individually as a special treat this Valentine seaso
n.

Available from SafetyTat, the creator of temporary safety tattoos, are Valentine's Day Tats that would be perfect for your child to give out on Valentine's Day or for your child to receive as a token of love.
Win It!

Two people will each win Valentine's Tats - Hearts and Bugs package of 15 Valentine-themed temporary tattoos.

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

Celebrate National Peanut Butter Day With A Tasty Confection - #HormelFamily

I received products in exchange for this post from Hormel Foods.  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.

In honor of National Peanut Butter Day on January 24, Hormel Foods wants to help you celebrate with finger-licking recipes. From festive treats to quick snacks, SKIPPY peanut butter offers recipe ideas for every occasion. Here are a few to get you started:

Buckeyes - This tasty combination of chocolate and peanut butter is always a party favorite.

Apple Bagel Snacks - Apple slices paired with your favorite variety of peanut butter and sprinkled with dry fruit is the perfect partnership of sweet and salty.

Peanut Butter Cookies - You can't go wrong with this classic! Go the traditional route with SKIPPY Natural Creamy or mix it up with SKIPPY Natural Dark Chocolate Spread.

In honor of National Peanut Butter Day, I made up some Peanut Butter Cracker Patties. They are super easy to make and oh-so-delish. I make batches of them around the different holidays and they are well received.

Peanut Butter Cracker Patties

Ingredients:

Vanilla almond bark
Ritz or Townhouse crackers
SKIPPY creamy peanut butter
Pecans or decorative sprinkles

Directions:

Spread peanut butter on a cracker, then put another cracker on top to make a patty. Dip the sandwiched cracker patty in melted almond bark until it's covered completely. Top with decorative sprinkles or pecans. Let cool before serving.

How are you celebrating National Peanut Butter Day? Do you have a favorite peanut butter recipe?

Charlie's Angels: Season 1 - DVD Review and Giveaway

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.

Mill Creek Entertainment rings in the New Year with their first collection of TV on DVD releases for 2014. Sure to bring back great memories, this release group includes seasons one and two of The Cosby Show, Bewitched, Married With Children, Just Shoot Me and Good Times along with Charlie’s Angels Season 1, Dilbert – The Complete Series, Highway to Heaven Season 3 and Wings Seasons 3 and 4.

Available for the first time on home video are the original uncut broadcast episodes of season one of The Cosby Show and the original theme song, Love and Marriage by Frank Sinatra, on the Married With Children releases. Many of these TV series aired for more than 5 seasons as well as in syndication and made a significant impact on prime time television and our culture.

These DVDs were released January 21, 2014 for $9.98 SRP for single seasons and $14.98 for the 2 Season Combo Packs. They are available at major online and retail locations everywhere.

Charlie's Angels: Season 1 Synopsis:

This 4 DVD compilation features the entire First Season with the original Angels - Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith-and all their adventures from one of the most classic shows in television history.

Once upon a time, Jill, Sabrina & Kelly were police officers whose skills were being wasted in menial duties. A mysterious millionaire named Charles Townsend took them away from all that by opening his own private investigation agency and hiring these gorgeous ladies as his operatives with John Bosley acting as their assistant and liaison.

My Review:

Season One of Charlie's Angels is over 19 hours of girl power! Granted, Jill, Sabrina, and Kelly (the three who made up the Charlie's Angels trio) were scantily clad and I'm sure the beauty of the three is what helped with the appeal of the show. With that said, Charlie's Angels brings back memories of a show I'd faithfully watch when I was a teen. Owning Charlie's Angels: Season One on DVD sure brought back fond recollections.

The premis of the show was that the three girls would get a call via speaker phone from Mr. Bosley. They'd be assigned to solve a case while undercover. More likely than not, one of the girls would blow her cover and the other two would rush to save their friend.

Several guest stars make their appearance in the series. It was intriguing to see some of those stars, including Kim Basinger and Diana Muldaur among them, as they performed in their earlier years. Charlie's Angels may not be complex or multiform, but it's a prime show of the past.

Win It!

One person will win Charlie's Angels: Season 1 on DVD.

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

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Check It Out: Getting Crafty with Borax Sweepstakes

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

Get crafty with 20 Team Mule Borax. There are so many ways 20 Mule Team® Borax can help beautify your home. Learn how to get crafty and get entered to WIN $500!

Learn how to get crafty and get entered to win $500 by simply completing these three steps:

1.Create your own Pinterest board titled “Getting Crafty with 20 Mule Team Borax”
2.Pin at least one craft item you’d like to try. (Need a suggestion? Check out the board “Getting Crafty with Borax”)
3.Enter your Board URL at the Getting Crafy with Borax Sweepstakes page.

Sweepstakes ends February 28, 2014.