Monday, August 31, 2015

SPY - #SpyInsiders Blu-ray Giveaway

I will receive product in exchange for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
Queen of Comedy Melissa McCarthy “in her funniest movie yet” (Leonard Maltin, LeonardMaltin.com) embarks on the mission of a lifetime as secret agent Susan Cooper in SPY. The September 29th Blu-ray release will include two versions of the film - Theatrical and never-before-seen Unrated Cut. The DVD will feature the Theatrical version. Both the Theatrical version and Unrated Cut of Spy will also be available on Digital HD September 4th.


McCarthy is armed and hilarious in this “outrageously entertaining” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone) comedy hit from director Paul Feig (The Heat, Bridesmaids). Deskbound CIA analyst Susan Cooper is about to become the world’s newest — and unlikeliest — secret weapon. When her partner (Law) falls off the grid and another top agent (Statham) is compromised, Susan volunteers to go deep undercover and bring down a deadly arms dealer. Loaded with wise-cracking action and adventure, SPY is a mission impossible to resist!
Win It!
 
One person will win SPY on Blu-ray.
 
*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
 
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They Like Me, They Really Like Me - Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

It's been five blog years in the making and I must still capture the attention of y'all.  Or at least some of you.  And, for that, I thank you.

Because, although a person can carry on a blog, it's not any fun if people don't recognize it exists. 

Military Wife & Pug Life recently recognized said existence with an award.  She nominated me to receive a Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.  The rules of the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award are to 1) thank the person who nominated you 2) answer 10 getting to know me questions asked by the person who nominated you; 3) nominate 10 more bloggers by asking your own 10 questions.  I've done a few of these in the past but it's been a while.

For the first part of the award, I'd like to thank Military Wife & Pug Life.  I stumbled across her blog one day within the past couple of months and have been a faithful reader ever since.  Her Lifetime movie recaps are AmazeBalls and her humor almost makes me pee my pants. 

And, now, here are the questions she's asked me to answer:

1) What is one trend, beauty or fashion, you cannot stand?

Honestly, I'm one of the most unfashionable people out there.  I wouldn't know a trend (good, bad, or otherwise) if it hit me in the head.  I wear what I want when I want, and don't pay much mind to what other people choose to put on their bodies.  To each their own.

2) If you could remove all the fat and calories from any food, what would it be and why?

I'd have to go with pasta.  Because I'd love to be able to stuff my face in a big bowl of noodles every day and not think about how many extra miles I'm going to have to jog to burn off the calories. (Who am I kidding, I don't jog.)


via GIPHY

3) What famous person makes you want to puke?

Kanye West is a doo-doo head and his opinions bore me.  His ego is inflated and his common sense is nonexistent. 

 4) What song do you sing (loudly) and dance (obnoxiously) to when you are by yourself?

I can't carry a tune in a bucket but will sing loudly and dance obnoxiously whether I'm by myself or with a crowd of people.  I'm an equal opportunity embarrasser. 

5) What was your favorite Halloween costume you ever wore?

I've had this particular costume for a few years now and it seems to be my go-to. 
 
 6) If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
 
I'd go around stealing people's pasta off their plates.  
 
7) What is the stupidest excuse you've ever used to get out doing something? And did it work?
 
I used to have a good friend who was exceptional in most ways but would try to get me involved in her affairs (literally).  She wanted me to give her sugar daddy a call and find out why he wasn't answering her advances as of late.  I wanted no part of it and tried to tell her so but she was a pushy thing.  So I made up some excuse that I was out of town and super busy so I didn't have time to be making phone calls.  Being the creeper that she was, she showed up at my house!  I had to put on my persistent panties and break it to her that I wanted no part of her nonsense. 
 
 8) What is something that truly grosses you out?
 
Gristle or fat from meat makes me physically ill.  If I accidentally swallow a piece, my gag reflexes go into overdrive.   
 
9) Have you ever re-gifted a gift? What was it and who did you give it to?
 
I'm guilty as charged.  It's rare that I re-gift but will do so if I feel like someone else would appreciate the present more than I do. 
 
10) If you could go back in time and tell your teenage self anything, what would it be and why?
 
I'd tell my teenage self that no guy is worth being in an abusive relationship.  I'd tell myself to grow a set of gonads and stick up for myself.
 
I'm totally not trying to be a cop-out but I'm not going to award anyone in particular with the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.  There are quite a few who are worthy.  Instead, I'd love for you to respond with your answers to any of these questions.  Enquiring minds want to know!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Fight Frizz with Alberto VO5 - Review and Giveaway

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.

With August in full swing (and almost over), people are dealing with hot and humid weather, which means frizz! Did you know that 62% of women indicate frizzy hair as their #1 dreaded hair malfunction? And that 80% of women suffer from frizzy hair?

For the third year running, legendary hair care brand Alberto VO5, trusted by consumers for 60 years, has declared August “National Anti-Frizz Month,” with a mission to help women fight frizz during the dog days with easy-to-follow frizz fighting advice, and savings on frizz-taming products accessible through the brand’s website and social media channels. Known for its Five Essential Vitamin formula and outstanding value, VO5 continues to make strides in the fight against frizz with new, innovative products that make it easier than ever for women to manage unruly hair.

Frizz occurs when moisture from the air’s humidity infiltrates the cuticles on the head causing hair to literally spring out of control. To help fight all that frizz, Alberto VO5 has created an easy and simple 3-step process with products under $5.

1x a week - Hot Oil Treatment ($4.79): Moisturize and condition hair before shampooing from roots to ends with VO5’s iconic Hot Oil Therapy treatment which helps restore shine, strength and silky softness. Use once a week.

•3x a week - Smooth + Sleek Shampoo and Conditioner ($2.49 each): Formulated with a unique smoothing complex that helps manage unruly hair, use the shampoo and conditioner together three times a week for best results in helping eliminate frizz, pronto!

· 7x a week - Shine, Glow and Go Beauty Oil ($4.99): Light, natural oil blend for both hair and body. This new innovative oil that’s mineral oil-free, quickly helps replenish dry hair and skin to help you feel soft, silky and look radiant. Apply once a day.
I have very frizzy hair, especially the longer it gets.  I can totally relate to the frizz frustration.  By using Alberto VO5 products, I've been able to keep some control over my hair.  I can affordably have tamer, shinier hair with Alberto VO5. 

I don't normally use products that are all-in-one, preferring rather to use products specific for certain areas of the body. I've used the Shine, Glow and Go Beauty Oil both on my skin and hair, and have mixed results.   After a few spritzes of the oil on my skin, I can definitely notice it feels softer and doesn't look as rough in places that are calloused. It looks shinier and feels silky. There's no greasy or oily residue. However, I have to be careful not to put a lot of it on my hair.  Although the oil doesn't feel greasy, it seems to leave a greasy look when applied to my hair if I overdo it.  So, personally, it's perfect for my skin but not my hair.

As for my locks, the Alberto VO5 Hot Oil Therapy and the Smooth + Sleek Shampoo and Conditioner have been beneficial.  My hair is much more manageable and a lot less frizzy.  Thanks, Alberto VO5, for helping me tame my tresses at a price I can afford!
Win It!

One person will win Alberto VO5 hair care products that includes:

Hot Oil Treatment
Smooth + Sleek Shampoo
Smooth + Conditioner
Shine, Glow and Go Beauty Oil

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

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Creamy Garlic Alfredo Sauce - Recipe

A few months ago a gal pal from my small group brought homemade Alfredo sauce to a gathering.  I committed gluttony.  I ate so much I made myself ill.
 
It was absolutely the best Alfredo sauce I'd ever consumed.   She was kind enough to share her recipe with me and I immediately went to the store to get the ingredients.  I made up a batch yesterday and, again, I committed gluttony. 
 
I can't believe how such a simple recipe can create such an awesome sauce.  And, with that, here is the recipe:
Creamy Garlic Alfredo Sauce
 
Ingredients:
 
1 Stick Salted Butter
15 oz. Heavy Whipping Cream
2 cups Parmesan Cheese
1 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
 
Directions:
 
Melt butter in a skillet on med-low heat.  Add heavy whipping cream until heated thoroughly.  Add Parmesan cheese and stir until melted.  Stir in garlic, and add salt and pepper as needed.
 
Pour over noodles, chicken, or veggies.  Scarf down until you've hit the fine line between being miserable and wanting just one more bite.

The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Sixth Season & The Originals: The Complete Second Season - #TVD #TheOriginals Giveaway

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

About The Vampire Diaries The Complete Sixth Season

The Vampire Diaries continues its sixth season with more delicious drama to sink your teeth into. In season five, after a passionate summer with Damon, Elena headed to Whitmore College with Caroline, not knowing Bonnie sacrificed her life for Jeremy’s. Meanwhile, Stefan and Caroline’s friendship deepened as they stood up to the Travelers, a nomadic witch tribe driven to strip Mystic Falls of magic and cast out its supernatural residents. In the shocking season finale, Damon, fearing he would lose his loved ones on the crumbling Other Side, made a huge sacrifice to bring them all back — with catastrophic and heartbreaking results. Season six follows the characters’ journey back to each other as they explore the duality of good versus evil inside themselves. Matt Davis reprises his role as Alaric Saltzman, recently returned from The Other Side. Plus, the season will make you misty-eyed as the departure of a major character will turn lives upside down and leave us asking what happened to Mystic Falls.

Own The Vampire Diaries The Complete Sixth Season on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD September 1, 2015 .

Contains All 22 Episodes From The Sixth Season Plus Two Featurettes, An Audio Commentary, The 2014 Comic-Con Panel, Deleted Scenes, And A Gag Reel

The Vampire Diaries on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thevampirediaries

The Vampire Diaries on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cwtvd



About The Originals The Complete Second Season

As Original vampire-werewolf hybrid Klaus Mikaelson returned to the vibrant, supernaturally charged city of New Orleans in season one, he was stunned to learn — along with his siblings Elijah and Rebekah — that Hayley, a werewolf, was pregnant with his child, and his vampire protégé, Marcel, whom the Original siblings had thought long dead, was ruling the French Quarter. Soon, a bloody war escalated between vampires and witches — the stakes raised by powerful teenage witch Davina and by Klaus’s bond with Cami, a student with a painful past — and a ruthless pack of wolves seized the opportunity to stage a violent coup. Now, in season two, a new status quo must be adjusted to, as the newly empowered werewolves control the city. Klaus struggles with weaknesses as Elijah desperately tries to save Hayley — now a hybrid — from a vicious spiral of self-destruction. Meanwhile, with the re-emergence of several Mikaelsons, “family is power” takes on new meaning.



Own The Originals The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD September 1, 2015

Contains All 22 Episodes From The Second Season Plus Never-Before-Seen Featurettes And Much More!

The Originals on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cworiginals

Ask The Originals on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cworiginals



Why you will love The Vampire Diaries and The Originals blog app:

• Take the "Are you Fit for Vampire Life?" Quiz to find out if you have what it takes to be a creature of the night.

• On September 1st come back to take a new "Could You Be a Supernatural Being?" Quiz - the app will be automatically updated with a new quiz experience, so be sure to take both!

• Scroll through all the images from the shows and come back every week for new unlocked content.



Win It!

One person will win either The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Sixth Season or The Originals: The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray. (choice of title randomly selected by sponsor)

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA and Canada. Each household is only eligible to win (1) The Vampire Diaries Season 6 or The Originals Season 2 chosen at random via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.*

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

And, It's More August Winners

A few of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn. 

The winner of the Read and Share 5-Minute Bible Stories giveaway is #2, Jessica B.

The winner of the Grandma Kisses book giveaway is #4, VickeC.

The winner of the Fiber One Cheesecake Bars giveaway is #42, LesleyfromWI.

The winner of the If You Give A Mouse A Cookie Lunch Bag giveaway is #42, Darlene.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  Be sure to check out my active giveaways, listed at the top left hand side of my blog.  There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

BODYARMOR - Natural Sports Drink Review and Giveaway

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.


With fall just around the corner, it’s time for back to school sports, fall marathon training and more activities that require hydration for kids and adults alike.

Four of our kids are fairly active in sports.  Shelby's got roller derby and Emma plays softball.  Juliann is into volleyball.  And Logan is very involved in Cross Country, Track & Field, and basketball.  Keeping properly hydrated is essential, especially during and after a strenuous activity.
I was recently introduced to BODYARMOR, a natural sports drink made with coconut water and no flavors, colors or sweeteners.  BODYARMOUR is high in vitamins and potassium, and low in sodium.  It has more potassium-packed electrolytes than other sports drinks. 
 
Each bottle of BODYARMOR natural sports drink is 16 fl. oz. and there are seven flavors to choose from - Fruit Punch, Strawberry Banana, Orange Mango, Mixed Berry, Grape, Tropical Punch, and Lemon Lime.  Although celebrity endorsements make no influence on my purchasing decisions, there are several high-level pro athletes who drink BODYARMOR.
 
Of my four kids who are involved in sports, Logan is the most particular about what he puts in his body.  I knew that he'd be the most opinionated about his thoughts on BODYARMOR.  The other kids are more about the flavor, while Logan will weigh nutritional factors and other criteria.  BODYARMOR passed his critique.  I'm not much into sports, but would still drink BODYARMOR to keep me hydrated.  The flavors are good, especially Tropical Punch and Mixed Berry.  I didn't care much for the Lemon Lime flavor but I don't normally care for that flavor anyway.  I noticed that BODYARMOR has less sugar and carbs than some other sports drinks on the market.  It also doesn't have that salty taste that sometimes comes from other sports drinks.  There's a minimal coconut taste from the coconut water but it's not overpowering.  My teens find the bottle packaging to be appealing. 

Win It!

One person will win a 6-pack of BODYARMOR natural sports drink.

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

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If Hospitals Were Like Hotels, She'd Have Free Stays

Oh mother dear, oh mother dear, what have you done.
 
Just when I thought things were looking on the up and up, my mom has found herself back at the hospital again.  This go-round, she'll be in there a few days.  It's already been nine, and counting.
 
Of course, being that she's my mom, it concerns me when she's not well.  I post about her as much as I do my kids and husband.  Probably because she also lives with me.  It's not the same without her hanging out in my kitchen all the time.   
 
Recently she was admitted for two days because of a mini Stroke (otherwise known as a TIA).  She came home for two days only have to be put back in a few days later.  Her legs completely quit working.  And I don't mean just a little smidgeon.  I mean she literally can't bear any weight on them.  She couldn't hold herself up to take two steps.
 
For a few days she was on the Oncology floor.  They originally thought her problems were correlated with the lung cancer diagnosis.  Now they believe it's because of the compressed fractures on her spine.  She's since been moved to the Skilled Nursing Unit and will be there for who knows how long. 
 
My mom has been fitted with a Clam Shell Brace to straighten her spine in the hopes that the compression fractures heal and don't cause further nerve damage.  She can bear weight on her legs again, but only for a minimal amount of time.  Compared to her first days, though, she's looking and behaving better. 
 
I tell you what, that woman is a fighter!  It's been one year since her cancer diagnosis and she's been in the hospital many, many times.  She was almost put on hospice once, only to amaze everyone right before the "official" family meeting.
 
I think hospitals should have punch cards or loyalty programs.  Stay nine nights and get the tenth night free.  Just sayin'.
 
If you're a prayer believer, I'd appreciate some for her.  I know she'd appreciate them too.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Orkin Household Pests 101 Back to School - #LearnWithOrkin Giveaway

I will receive products in exchange for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differThis post contains embedded widgets.
It’s back-to-school time and class is in session … Orkin is back with Household Pests 101 – featuring some of Orkin’s scientific knowledge of pests. The Orkin Man is here to help you #LearnWithOrkin so you don’t get schooled by pest problems in your own home.

But Back-To-School doesn’t just mean for the kids. Orkin knows that moms are on the go more than ever and wants to make sure you’re all set when driving the kids to soccer practice, racing to make it to school on time and just maybe getting a minute for yourself!

Back-to-school time is a great time to #LearnWithOrkin about pest prevention. Take the Pest Prevention Pop Quiz to find out if you know how to think like a pest!

Orkin uses the latest technology and unparalleled training to develop an effective treatment that's right for your needs. To learn more about pest control based in science or to schedule an inspection, visit orkin.com or call 1-800-800-ORKIN.

Orkin on Facebook: facebook.com/OrkinPestControl
Ask The Orkin Man® on Twitter: twitter.com/AskTheOrkinMan
Orkin YouTube channel: youtube.com/user/OrkinVideo



Why you love Orkin’s “Household Pests 101” blog app:

• Class is in session! Orkin is back with Household Pests 101 – featuring some of Orkin’s scientific knowledge of pests. The Orkin Man is here to help you #LearnWithOrkin so you don’t get schooled by pest problems in your own home.

• Watch the “Bite Back at Mosquitoes” video, as well as the rest of Orkin’s How-To video series, to get the most up-to-date knowledge on dealing with those pesky home invaders.

• Download the “Protect Your Home” Checklist for valuable tips on keeping pests at bay.

The Orkin Back-To-School Prize Pack includes:

One (1) Silver USB Portable Charger – We know you’re on the go from sun up to sun down and you can’t afford not to be accessible. This emergency charger is small, sleek and can help your phone keep up with your busy lifestyle!

One (1) Double Wall Stainless Steel Travel Mug w/ lid - Your car isn’t the only thing that needs fueling up in the morning … this stainless steel travel mug is a great way to ensure your morning coffee is always within arm’s reach.

One (1) Orkin “Protect Your Home” PDF Checklist - This handy checklist from the experts at Orkin will help you think like a pest in order to help protect your home from pests.



Win It!

One person will win  an Orkin Back-to-School Prize Pack.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.  Each household is only eligible to win Back to School Prize Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.*

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The Sh!t No One Tells You About Toddlers - Book Review

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.

Second in the Sh!t No One Tells You series, in THE SH!T NO ONE TELLS YOU ABOUT TODDLERS: A Guide to Surviving the Toddler Years (Seal Press; September 2015; Paperback; $16.00) Dawn Dais tells it like it is – again – offering real advice for parents of growing children. Filled with tips, encouragement, and a strong dose of humor, THE SH!T NO ONE TELLS YOU ABOUT TODDLERS is a survival handbook for parents on the edge.

About the Author:

Dawn Dais is a freelance writer, designer, and filmmaker from Sacramento, CA. Her three previous books, The Sh!t No One Tells You, The Nonrunner's Marathon Guide for Women and The Noncyclist's Guide to the Century and Other Road Races, were published by Seal Press, have topped Amazon.com best-seller lists, and have been featured by countless TV and print media sources. Her uniquely sarcastic yet inspiring tone has entertained and guided an enthusiastic core of readers towards their various ridiculous parenting and athletic goals.

Dawn lives in Sacramento, CA, with her partner, 3-year-old daughter, Vivian, and 1-year-old son, Daniel. She is tired.

My Review:

In her latest hilarious book of honest, no-holds-barred musings on motherhood, Dawn Dais shares her secrets for achieving a balance in motherhood between being protective and caring, and downright bats**t crazy. She’ll debunk some of the looniest parenting myths and reinforce others; she’ll describe how, through as simple a process as good old trial-and-error, she’s learned to pick and choose what works for her and her family, and tune out the rest.

 Author Dawn Dias' has written a book that lightens up life and parenting. She addresses a variety of topics regarding toddlers.  She enlists other mothers and professionals to give their opinions and stories on the toddler years. 

I will forewarn you that The Sh!t No One Tells You About Toddlers does have a crass, and sometimes sarcastic, tone. This is not a parenting book; it's a book about not taking parenting so seriously. I laughed, laughed, and laughed some more. Dawn sees the lighter side of being a mommy and voices her assessment on making the most out of raising kids, all before going cuckoo for cocoa puffs.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Shay Mitchell: 2015 Teen Choice Awards - Get the Look 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.

Pretty Little Liar’s Star Shay Mitchell looked stunning at the 2015 Teen Choice Awards Sunday night, August 16th in Los Angeles. Shay’s makeup artist Patrick Ta shares the scoop on how to recreate her red carpet look!

INSPIRATION: “Shay and I have been working together for a little bit now and she really trusts me, so I am always able to play”, says Patrick. “We normally do a group chat prior to an award show to talk about the look and what she is going to wear. Shay loves fresh dewy bronze skin, which looks great on her! Tonight, the inspiration for her look came from her dress. It's white, modern and structured - we wanted to play up the eyes to go along with the dress".
GET THE LOOK - Here is Patrick's step-by-step breakdown:

· I love to prep my clients' skin with Bioré Charcoal Pore Minimizer to get deep into pores and draw out dirt and oil. This allows the make up to lay smoothly on the skin. Then, I apply a Bioré Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore Strip on the nose for blackhead removal and to keep shine at bay.

· Once the face was clean, I applied Hourglass Primer Serum to moisturize and help the makeup lay beautifully. Next I lightly used the Armani Designer Lift Foundation to ensure the complexion looked bright without appearing too heavy. Then I contoured the hallows of the cheeks to accentuate the cheekbones with Tom Ford Intensity One Contour Pallet.Next, I used Mac Select Moisturecover in NC30 to highlight and added Mac Cosmetics Golden Bronze to the apples of the cheeks. I then added the Balm Mary-Lou Manizer for additional highlighting. I finished the face off with a Translucent Powder from La Mer to help ensure long wear, and used a setting spray to give the skin a natural luminous finish”.

· To create Shay's eyes, I used a Mac Pigment in Tan on the lid. Then added a dark matte brown hue to the outer crease and bottom lash line for drama and definition. I recommend curling lashes and applying two coats of waterproof mascara for long wear. Finally I added Esqido Lashes for some twinkle.

· To create a thicker brow like Shay's this evening, try an Anastasia Eyebrow Pencil in Brunette.

· To complete the look, I used a Tom Ford bronze nude lipstick called Smoke Sable to compliment the blush.

More About Bioré Charcoal Pore Minimizer ($8.99): With purifying charcoal & polishing micro-crystals, this formula gets deep into pores, to draw out and bind to pore-clogging dirt & oil. Instantly diminishes the appearance of pores in just 30 seconds, and also over time. To use: Just add water and rub. Available at drugstores nationwide - www.biore.com

More About Bioré Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore Strips ($6.49): When you have oily skin, shine prevention is essential. For the first time, the Bioré skincare experts have added natural charcoal powder to the iconic Pore Strips, reducing oil for a full 24 hours. With next generation proprietary c-bond technology and potent charcoal, the strips remove clogs and weeks’ worth of buildup and you’ll see 3x less oil. Containing witch hazel and tea tree oil, the formula refines pores to diminish their appearance over time. Available at drugstores nationwide - www.biore.com
Win It!

One person will win Bioré Charcoal Pore Minimizer.

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 17, 2015

Eagle Rock Candle Co. - Review and Giveaway

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.
Just like anyone else, I like when my home smells pretty.  I have candles and wax warmers in almost every room.  I tend to gravitate towards baked goods and fruity smells.  One company that sells an incredible selection of wax melts is Eagle Rock Candle Co
 
Eagle Rock Candle Co. started their company because they were tired of other companies making
weak candles that did not last long, and discontinuing fragrances too quickly.  They promise to provide the highest quality product at the lowest possible price.  Currently, 89% of their fragrances have been customer suggestions.   
Eagle Rock Candle Co. does not sell candles, as the name might suggest.  However, they do sell a large variety of wax melts.  They carry fragrances to suit almost any mood, from floral and sweet to manly and seasonal. 
 
Eagle Rock Candle Co. promises to never discontinue a fragrance.  I certainly appreciate that.  If there's a scent I like, I want to be able to buy it without fear of discontinuation.  For instance, you can purchase Christmas fragrances right now.  If you like the smell of Elf Sweat, by golly, you can get it any time of the year!

The wax melts are very affordably priced, and there's a description for each fragrance.  The melts are made of 100% natural soy wax.  It only takes one or two at a time in a wax warmer to emit a pleasant odor. 
 
I have purchased wax melts from other companies and I don't necessarily have anything against them.  What really stands out about Eagle Rock Candle Co., though, is that they are economically priced, they don't discontinue fragrances, and there's a lot of fragrances offered that I've not seen anywhere else.  Again, for instance, Elf Sweat! Or ButterBrickle!  Or Muscadine Grape!  If you don't want to venture out of your comfort zone and instead prefer regular, familiar scents, those are available too. 
 
I personally have my favorite scents, with most of them being the ones that smell liked baked goods.  Of the eight wax melts I have from Eagle Rock Candle Co., I've found that they all smell just as the name and descriptions indicate.  As if it couldn't get any better, Eagle Rock Candle Co. offers free shipping on all orders shipped within the U.S.
Win It!
 
One person will win two packs of wax melts from Eagle Rock Candle Co., in scents of choice.
 
*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Adam Turns the Sweet Sixteen!

I love all six of our kids.  I'm amazingly grateful that they've turned out to be responsible, young adults.  But, because they're older, they have their own activities to occupy them.  Of the six, me and Adam have the closest bond at this point in our lives.  He hasn't entered the "too cool to hang with mom" stage yet. 
 
Adam is one of the most responsible, caring, generous teens I know.  I'm his mother and am bias, but receive kind remarks about him often.  It makes my heart swell with joy.
 
Adam hanging out with his uncle Donnie
 
Adam turns 16 years old tomorrow!  Almost makes me want to cry. 
 
He'd like to cry too, but for a different reason.  He gets to spend his birthday going to the first day of school. 
 
For the last four years, me and Jason have taken Adam to Iowa for his birthday.  We spend the weekend at a hotel and spend most of that time in Eddyville watching the World Fuel Altered Nationals.  Our hotel is booked and the tickets are bought.
 
By the grace of God, we'll get to take Adam again this upcoming weekend.  My mother has taken a turn for the worse and is in the hospital right now.  Even if she gets out, I'm not so sure she'll be well enough for us to take a trip three hours away.  Right now we're on the fence about going.  Because Adam is such an understanding kid, I know he won't be mad if we can't go.  And even though it will be out of our control and it's a part of life, I'd still love to be able to continue our birthday tradition.
 
Happy birthday, Adam!  Keep letting your light shine!
 

Stain Rx - Stain Remover 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.
If I locate a stain on my clothing, carpet, or otherwise I tend to become obsessed with it.  If the stain won't come out of the clothes, I'll throw them away.  I can't do the same with my household carpeting, but it drives me bonkers.  I know it's life and it's inevitable, but I'm no fan of stains.
 
One of the biggest stain culprits in my home is my dog.  She has accidents from time to time.  Then there's the fact that no one knows how to take their shoes off, even when they're muddy.  Although I shampoo my carpets from time to time, it's nice to have stain remover that can remedy a specific spot when needed.

I was recently introduced to Stain Rx® stain removal wipes.  Proudly made in the U.S.A., the new Stain Rx® is perfect for barbecues, berry picking, wine tastings, entertaining, travel and more. Although I haven't tried it personally, Stain Rx is also known to clean diamond, gold and platinum jewelry.   The formula contains no bleach, peroxide or phosphates. 
 
Just as with any other stain remover, Stain Rx does not get rid of every stain.  But it does a good job at removing most of the stains I've used it on.  The Wine Stain Remover comes in a spray mist bottle.  I don't drink wine but have found other uses for the stain remover.  The Wine Stain Remover also takes care of other affected, stained areas.  There's also individually packaged wipes that are pre-moistened with Stain Rx.  I like how both work, but prefer the wipes for a smaller area and the spray mist for a larger area.
 
Stain Rx has helped me remove mud, dirt, urine, and ink stains.  And, because of that, I can keep a little bit of my sanity.
Which would you rather use - individual wipes or spray mist bottle?  What kind of stains do you normally encounter?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Random Tuesday Thoughts....Not On A Tuesday

Most every week I look forward to Random Tuesday Thoughts, hosted by Stacy Uncorked.  Due to life, I haven't been able to participate lately.  And, unfortunately, that seems it will be the case for the near future.  Soooo, I decided to post my Random Tuesday Thoughts on a Saturday.  A little weird, I know, but work with me here.
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The kids go back to school next Tuesday, the 18th.  It's starting earlier than it usually does.  Adam's not so happy with that.  It's not like it's his 16th birthday that day.  Actually, it is.
 
Every year we take him to World Fuel Altered Nationals in Iowa for his birthday.  I made a deal that he can skip school Friday to attend if he's a good boy and goes to school on his birthday.  Without throwing a fit.
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I had to take my mom in to the hospital Tuesday.  Of all the things I've had to deal with regarding her, a mini stroke hadn't been one of them.  I'll admit, I completely failed to notice the symptoms until a home health nurse came in and mentioned it'd be a good idea to take mom to the hospital.  She was admitted for a couple of days but is home now and seems to be doing fine.  There was no permanent damage from the mini stroke.  She's bound and determined to keep scaring the bejeesus out of me.
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Yep, that's my man!

I cut my husband's hair the other day.  He knew better.  I knew better.  I did it anyway.  One side looks just fine.  The other, not so much.

Rather than wearing one of the many ball caps he's got laying around the house, his payback to me was to wear a Christmas elf hat in public.  He's lucky I love him.
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I've become a new reader to the Military Wife & Pug Life blog.  She's got some mad writing skills and I love reading her Lifetime Movie Recaps.  She watches Lifetime movies and gives the Down Low so you don't have to spend your time watching them yourself.

Yesterday I seriously dreamed about watching a Lifetime movie and it was one that she had recently recapped.  After the movie dream was over, I woke up in a state of confusion whether I had just read one of her posts, really watched a Lifetime movie, or was just plain crazy.  Darn near put me in a funk the rest of the day.
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http://www.christianbook.com/war-room-bible-study-member-book/stephen-kendrick/9781430040354/pd/040355

I've started meeting with a group of gals on Wednesday nights to go over a War Room Bible Study.  It's based upon a movie that's coming out soon and focuses on payer, accountability, and spiritual growth.  It's some pretty deep stuff.
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A friend and I partner together every year and host a Halloween party for friends and their kids.  We've already started planning the party.  She wants to dress up in a candy corn costume and suggested that I dress up as an apple.  Excuse me, but do I want to don a fruit that resembles my body shape every other day of the year?! Thanks.NoThanks.
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That's all I can think of for now.  Do you watch Lifetime movies?  Are your kids ready for school?  What's your randomness for the week?

Count My Blessings 1-2-3 - Children's Book Review and Giveaway

I received book for review from Thomas Nelson.  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.

From the time they begin to speak, young children are counting almost everything they see. And what better way to teach little ones to count than learning about God’s blessings? Kids will be led to count to ten with Mom and Dad as they see the many different ways God blesses them: with food, clothes, a house, a loving Mommy and Daddy, and more! And this “fit-together” board book features bold, colorful cut-outs on each spread that showcase the blessings in a fun, dynamic way. The cut-outs for each spread “fit” together when the book is closed, creating a fun surprise for kids on every page.

My Review:

It may be a board book with only ten pages, but Count My Blessings 1-2-3 is full of cute illustrations with bright colors and patterns. Raised die-cut shapes make it pop out even more.  Told in rhythmic form, this adorable book for toddlers shows foods, numbers, animals, and more that children are thankful for.   
Win It!
 
One person will win a Count My Blessings 1-2-3 Children's Book.
 
*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Goose Creek Candles - Jar Candle 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 a large family and a dog living under one roof.  So I have to be on top of things to keep my house smelling nice.  When someone walks into my home, I want them to feel comfortable and come across smells that are pleasing to the senses.  Candles are dotted throughout, creating pleasant fragrances.  Although I like different smells, I tend to gravitate towards candles that smell like baked goods.
Goose Creek Candles sent me their Lemon Meringue Large Jar Candle for review.  It sits in my living room and emits a welcoming sweet lemon fragrance that hits the senses as soon as you walk in my home.  The large jar candle has a burn time of 120-150 hours, and has two wicks.  It burns cleanly and the scent is noticeable but not overpowering.  It comes with a clear glass lid.  The particular candle I have is yellow in color and has a label of a lemon meringue pie on front.
I am impressed with the large jar candle, both with fragrance and burn quality.  Goose Creek Candles offers several other varieties and fragrances.  In addition, they sell fragranced plugs and wax melts.  Based on the candle I received, it's a company I recommend for your home fragrance needs.
Have you ever heard of Goose Creek Candles?  What kind of fragrances do you tend to purchase when buying candles?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Go Organically Fruit Snacks - Review and Giveaway

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.
Most anyone with teens knows what it's like to keep food in the house.  As soon as my kids are in the house from school, they are scouring the pantry for a snack.  And then they're back five minutes later for another snack.
 
I'll be honest with you and admit that I keep junk food in my home.  There's not a lot of it, but it's there.  I also have healthy snacks on hand.  And my kids have no problem going to either one.

Go Organically Fruit Snacks are a new brand of GMO-free fruit snacks available in three varieties, all of which are USDA-certified organic, made with real fruit purées and real fruit juices. These treats include 100% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin C and are a good source of Vitamins A and E. Go Organically® Fruit Snacks are also gluten-free, preservative-free and made with natural flavors and colors from natural sources.

Fruit snacks are a favorite among my teens and they were excited to try the new Go Organically Fruit Snacks.  I, too, wanted to see how they tasted compared to other fruit snacks on the market.
There are three varieties of Go Organically Fruit Snacks - Fruit Medley, Tropical, and Mixed Berry.  There are eight individually wrapped snack pouches to a box.  Personally, Mixed Berry was my fave.  But they were all good.  Go Organically Fruit Snacks have a soft texture and don't contain a weird aftertaste.  I appreciate that they are comparable in taste to other brand name fruit snacks, yet are somewhat superior because they are certified organic and made with real juices and purees.  The kids liked them, and I can see myself purchasing some in the future for the times when they want to grab a tasty treat. 


Win It!

One person will win Go Organically Fruit Snacks.

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Three More August Winners

A few of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn.

The winner of the Little Caesars giveaway is #38, Michele P.

The winner of the Strawberry Shortcake DVD giveaway is #36, Brynn.

The winner of the Far From the Madding Crowd Blu-ray giveaway is #2, Debijot.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  Be sure to check out and enter my current active giveaways, listed at the top left hand side of my blog.  There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

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School Savings at Dinkleboo

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

Savings just in time for back to school!  Receive over 65% off personalized sketch books at Dinkleboo!

Get your kid excited over going back to school with a personalized sketch book. With five designs to choose from, it will sure to be a hit with your little one. Just choose a theme they love, add their name, and they are ready to start school in style. Use the code SKETCH to get $16.99 off each sketchbook (shipping not included), valid until the end of August.  OR you can use code AUGBAG15 to receive 50% off library bags, valid until August 18th.

Feed Your Sport - #HormelFamily

I received products as part of the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger Program.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

The back-to-school season means that fall sports will soon be in full throttle! With sports like football, soccer, volleyball, tennis and cross country all starting in August, make sure you’re prepared with energy-packed snacks like HORMEL® REV® Wraps, which have 13 grams of protein or more, to last all game long. If you’re hosting the full team after a “big win” you can also try serving LLOYD'S® Seasoned & Smoked Ribs for an extra satisfying celebration!
Meat is served at almost every meal in my home.  We like our meat.  Cook us some hot dogs, ribs, pork chops, burgers, or steaks and we'll devour it. 
 
Although I love me some good ole' meat, it's got to be just right.  I want it cooked to perfection, well done but not burnt.  And there can be absolutely no fat on it.  If there is, I'll trim all around with a knife until the gristle is gone.  It's my own method of meat madness.
Our family had a "big win" the other night when we ate LLOYD’S® Babyback Pork Ribs for supper.  Oh my goodness gracious, they were good!  These flame-seared dry rub pork ribs use quality cuts of meat.  With a slow-simmered taste and open-fire flavor, they were amazingly delicious. 
My husband slapped two of the Babyback Pork Ribs on the grill and let them heat for a couple of hours.  Once they were cooked, it was "game on"!  The meat fell off the bone; it was that tender.  There was very minimal fat, and the flavor was mouthwatering. 
 
If I could be a cheerleader in the "game" of meat, I'd do cartwheels and backflips for LLOYD'S Babyback Pork Ribs.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Shimmer and Shine - New Nick TV Show 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.
Preschoolers will enter a whimsical genie world full of magic, music and misadventures in Nickelodeon’s brand-new animated series, Shimmer and Shine, premiering Monday, Aug. 24, at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nick and the Nick Jr. channel. The series (20 episodes) follows twin genies-in-training, Shimmer and Shine, who grant wishes for their friend Leah that lead to surprising mishaps--but the trio always figures out a way to make the mistakes turn out great.

In “The Sweetest Thing,” premiering Aug. 24, Leah wishes for the genies’ help in making cupcakes for her school bake sale. Through silly misunderstandings, Leah, Shimmer and Shine find themselves stuck with a giant birthday cake, some farm animals and no wishes left. They must work together to fix their magical mistakes without drawing the attention of Leah’s curious (and hungry) neighbor, Zac.

In Shimmer and Shine, the eponymous twin sisters are Leah’s secret genies. Leah always has a dilemma that she needs her magical friends’ assistance with, and the genies-in-training are happy to grant her a maximum of three wishes a day to help her out. Sometimes they misinterpret what Leah wishes for and accidentally grant her wishes she didn’t even mean to make. Each wrong wish quickly compounds into a crazy adventure. Ultimately, through teamwork, the genies and Leah find a way to fix the problem.
I remember when my kids were little and they'd get obsessed with a television show.  Sometimes, it was pure torture.  Some cartoons and preschool viewings either made no sense or spoke a language that was hard to understand.  Because I'm a mom and that's what I do, I fed into their obsessions and was forced to watch some of those shows over and over.  And over and over.
 
I will say, though, that there were a handful that were tolerable and even downright cute.  After
watching a couple episodes of Shimmer and Shine, I can say that I didn't mind viewing it and would be up for watching the episodes on more than one occasion.  It is my prediction that little girls will want their wishes granted with branded toys and merchandise. 
 
Aimed at younger children - more towards girls than boys - Shimmer and Shine features two genies.  As the title suggests, one genie is Shimmer and the other is Shine.  Both bright-eyed, Shimmer has pink hair and Shine's hair is blue.  They are summoned to grant wishes by a young child named Leah.  She wears a necklace shaped like a bottle to bring forth the genies when she needs them.  She also says a chant.  The genies' bracelets light up and they know that it's time to help.
 
Leah is granted three wishes a day, but not all wishes come true exactly as she imagines.  Which, in turn, is okay because they all work together to solve the problem.
 
Also on the show is a red-haired boy named Zac who is Leah's friend.  He has no idea about the genies and doesn't pay no great mind when situations are awry.  Adding to the cutness is Tala, a pet monkey and Nahal, a pet tiger cub.  Throughout the episode are pop songs with catchy beats.
 
I can see Shimmer and Shine being a very popular TV show for young children. 
Will your child be tuning in to watch Shimmer and Shine?