Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ripley's Believe It Or Not: Download the Weird - Review and Giveaway

Ripley's Believe It or Not! has intrigued me since I've known about it.  The oddities and weird facts may not be life learning lessons that I need to know about but they sure are interesting.  Someday I'd love to visit one of Ripley's Believe It or Not! attractions.  Until then, I'll be pacified by reading their publications.
Ripley's Believe It Or Not:  Download the Weird is the latest annual from Ripley Publishing.  It is a hardback book with a holographic foil cover with 256 pages of strange stories, pictures, facts and figures.  What makes Download the Weird new from other Ripley's publications is that readers can use the Ripley's Believe It or Not! app to access a variety of hidden bonus content, including videos and images.  Just download the app (available for Apple or Android), the book bundle and then look for the oddSCAN logos in the book.  Scan the page with a smartphone and watch the stories come to life. 
Me and the kids have engulfed ourselves in this illustrative book. I could immerse myself for hours reading everything in this book and still find new and interesting things the next time I read it.  It's FULL of entertaining facts and information about all sorts of weird happenings, feats, animals and people around the world.  There's photos for almost every story.  The kids love this book as much as I do.  I keep it out on the coffee table and it seems to get picked up every night by one of the kids to scan it and learn even more fascinating stuff.  It definitely sparks conversation and "would you do that" questions.  There are images on a few of the pages that may be disturbing to some people.  I'm immensely pleased with this book and will keep it for years, to read and reread several times.  I dont' have a smartphone so I've not been able to use the Ripley's Believe It or Not! app.  I'm sure it'd further enhance the experience if I had the app but I don't feel like I'm losing out.  The book in itself is entertaining enough.

Win It!

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

I received product for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
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Paid Blog Opp: Holiday CASH Giveaway Bash

Sign Up's for the Holiday CASH Giveaway Bash are now open!

The Holiday CASH Giveaway Bash, with MamaNYC as the main host, is going to run from November 1-15, 2012.  Bloggers participating are going to be giving away a PayPal cash prize worth over $500.00! MamaNYC is also including a bunch of promotional perks for participants, such as Tweets and adding giveaway URLs to the top sweepstakes sites and daily giveaway linkys!

Head on over to MamaNYC and sign up today if you are interested in participating in this cash event!
The deadline for sign up's is October 26, 2012, so don't miss out on another huge event hosted by MamaNYC!


  • DATES: November 1-15, 2012
  • COST:      $4.00/each entry method
    • The total cash prize value will be determined based on participant sign up's, so help spread the word and make this a HUGE cash giveaway!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Terrapin Ridge Farms - Review and Giveaway

More than any other food, me and my husband are most interested in delicious condiments, spices and sauces.  I think it's because we like to add a variety of flavors to our food.  For example, pork chops can be enjoyed in a variety of ways if you dress them up with different tastes and flavor textures.  Terrapin Ridge Farms creates distinctive sauces, dips, and other gourmet condiments and I was able to sample some of their offerings.  Me and my husband were elated to see how we could flavor our foods with Terrapin Ridge Farms products.

Roasted Garlic & Poblano Salsa - Roasted garlic, mild Poblano peppers, tomatoes and spices intermingle to create a zesty salsa, while corn and black beans add just the right texture. This salsa is all natural and gluten free.  Between me and my husband, this salsa didn't last more than a couple days at my house.  It has just the right amount of kick and I really like the corn and black beans mixed in.  We dipped the salsa in tortilla chips and ate it right up.

Sweet Heat Salsa - Fruit and honey harmonize with tomatoes, peppers, onions and spices to bring forth this heavenly salsa. This salsa is also all natural and gluten free.  It has an interesting mixed factor of spice and sweetness.  Again, we ate this salsa with tortilla chips. 

Dulce De Luche - This all natural and gluten free sauces is prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk.  It is super tasty and is best paired with desserts.  I dipped sweet cinnamon soft pretzels in this sauce and it made a terrific savory snack. 

Creamy Horseradish Dip - Also all natural and gluten free, this dip has a sharp zest.  We've used it to dip sliced grilled chicken breast and we've also used it to dip fries in. 

Peach Honey Mustard Pretzel Dip - This was my husband's favorite.  All natural and gluten free, peaches and honey make up ingredients in this honey mustard dip.  It has a tang to it and a wonderfully odd flavor.  Although we've used it to dip pretzels, as the name suggests, we've also used it as a spread on bologna sandwiches and hamburgers. 

Tart Cherry, Apple & Rosemary Glaze - Again, an all natural and gluten free product, this sauce is best used by brushing on meat during cooking. Jason cooked a pork butt on the smoker a few days ago and rubbed this glaze on it.  He put the glaze on it in the beginning and right after cooking.  The taste was amazing and the flavors were savory.  This was my favorite product of them all.

Sea Salt Pita Chips - An all natural food, the Sea Salt Pita Chips are made with a a unique kettle process giving them more flavor, better texture and crunch compared to twice-baked pita chips.  The pita chips are crispy and crunch and taste good on their own but I liked them better when paired with sauces or dips.  The sea salt is subtle and not overpowering.  

Cinnamon & Sugar Pita Chips - Also an all natural food, these pita chips are made with a unique kettle process giving them more flavor, better texture and crunch just as the Sea Salt Pita Chips are.  I liked the crunchiness and texture of these pita chips and they were a good snack when paired with the Dulce De Luche.  I just wish that I would've been able to taste more of the sugar in the pita chips.  I got the hints of cinnamon but not much in the way of sugar.

As you've read in the above descriptions, all of the products are all natural and most are gluten free.  It's been a wonderful feeding experience with the Terrapin Ridge Farms sauces, snacks, and dips we've eaten.  Oh, and I can totally dig the name since it has the word "Terra" in it! Silly, I know, but still a cool factor in my book. 

Win It!

One person will win a Terrapin Ridge Farms Sampler Pack that includes:

Roasted Garlic & Poblano Salsa
Cinnamon & Sugar Pita Chips
Sea Salt Pita Chips
Tart Cherry, Apple & Rosemary Glaze
Peach Honey Mustard Pretzel Dip
Creamy Horseradish Dip
Dulce De Luche
Sweet Heat Salsa

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

I received products for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinios and results may differ.
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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Living Royal - Review and Giveaway

I don't have a huge collection of shot glasses but have a fair share.  I like to collect ones from places I've visited and unusual ones I find while shopping.  I recently received Buckshot Shot Glasses from Living Royal for review and couldn't be happier with the unconventionality of them.

There are four shot glasses in a package.  The packaging is interesting, yielding a westerner with a gun.  Each shot glass is identical and resembles 12-gauge shotgun shells.  Made of plastic, the bottom is gold and the remainder is black with the word "Buckshot" shown on the front.  The shot glasses are made of hard plastic but not cheaply made that they can't be used over and over again.  Me and my girl friends get a kick out of them and enjoy drinking our adult beverages out of them.  They're definitely a conversation piece (the shot glasses, not my girl friends!)

Living Royal is an eclectic mix of apparel, jewelry, gag gifts, and presents.  Their selection of merchandise is wide in range and suitable for everyone, from the urbanite and geek to the fashionista and hippie. 

Win It!

One person will win a $50 e-gift card to Living Royal.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to all residents worldwide.*
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Ornaments With Love - Personalized Ornament Review

I know it's only the end of September but I've already started Christmas shopping for gifts and decorations.  I can't afford to do it all at once and the season really will be here before we know it.  Last year I did a review for Ornaments With Love and was blessed with the opportunity again this year.

Ornaments With Love has been in business for over fifty years and specializes in personalized Christmas ornaments.  Although the majority of ornaments from Ornaments With Love are geared towards Christmas and the holidays, there are several ornaments that would fit well with any time of year and would make a great gift for someone special in your life.

Personalized ornaments are my favorite and the personalized religious Christmas ornament that I received for my tree will add a wonderful touch.  The ornament, made of resin, has a flat back so it will not bulge out on my Chrismas tree.  I had it personalized with the words "Bless The Heck Family" and the year "2012".  Personalization does not cost extra and is included with the price of each ornament.  The manger scene reminds me of the true meaning of Christmas.  The details and coloring of the ornament are splendid.  I can't wait to hang it on my tree this year and for many years to come.

I received product for review from Ornaments With Love.  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.

Bloggers Wanted: FREE Bunzi Giveaway Event!

Attention bloggers! Sign up's are now open for the Kate n' Kaboodle Bunzi Giveaway. This is a free event to join! Prize: Bunzi Balance Trainer Dates: October 8-22 Sign up here.

How To Make Blair Witch Sticks

The Blair Witch Project, released in 1999, is an iconic horror film.  Halloween is my favorite holiday and I'm stoked to decorate my home and yard.  If you've seen The Blair Witch Project, you may be familiar with The Stickman that is found hanging in trees in the woods.  It is said that the figures hanging in the trees represent spirits of the dead being able to travel between earth and the spirit world.

To get in the spirit of Halloween, the first thing me and my husband created were Stickman figures out of
sticks.  They were simple to make and we're going to make more for an even more creepy look in our yard.

I first gathered several sticks out of my yard.  Each Stickman uses four sticks.  The wood I had was a little wet and it worked out fine but I think dry wood would work better.

I used picture references to determine how the sticks should be placed.  I then secured them together with cable ties.  Fishing string was used to hang them up.

So organically creepy!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dark Shadows - #DarkShadows Blu-ray Combo Pack Giveaway

Warner Bros. Pictures is proud to announce the release of Dark Shadows on DVD and Blu-Ray October 2nd 2012.  From the incredible mind of Tim Burton comes the hit film Dark Shadows, based on the classic television series! Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) has been trapped for two centuries by an evil witch (Eva Green) who just happens to be an ex lover. Barnabas now has to struggle with the ever changing 1970s and save his families business! With an all star cast that includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jonny Lee Miller and more, Dark Shadows will be sure to whet your appetite for fun.

Check out the Dark Shadows Blog App for a quiz, trivia, and more:

Are You Creepy Enough Quiz! Do your friends refer to you as a Child of the Night or do you shiver at the thought of a creepy crawly? Take the Are You Creepy Enough quiz to find out.

Barnabas’ Terror Trivia! Are you a Barnabas buff? Take the 3 truths and a lie trivia all about Barnabas Collins and you can unlock clips and downloads from Dark Shadows.

Dark Shadows Horror-Scope! Whether you are a Virgo Vampire or a Transylvanian Taurus, you can get your custom hauntified Horror-Scope.

Win It!

One person will win Dark Shadows (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy Combo Pack).

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

I received no compensation or product for this giveaway.  I'm hosting this giveaway on behalf of Warner Bros.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Viewing Party and DVD Review

I recently had my mother and a family friend over for a viewing party of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  The DVD released on September 18th and is about seven cash-strapped seniors who decide to "outsource" their retirement to a resort in far-off India.  We watched the movie in my home while we sipped on tea and ate chocolate HobNob biscuits.

Having problems of one sort or another, seven English seniors move to India after finding a retirement hotel on the Internet that boasts glorious scenery and amenities.  What the seven seniors discover, however, is that the hotel is far from what they envisioned.  I don't generally watch movies in this genre but was interested in viewing it with my mother and friend.  I'm cheerful that I did because it turned out to be a wonderfully scripted movie with thespians that made you want to watch what unfolds.  My mother and friend said they related to the movie because the actors and actresses were among their age group and were relatable characters.  I agree that the movie isn't for teenagers or the younger crowd, as it is geared more towards older adults, but it is pleasant viewing nonetheless.

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.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Simply Bags - Custom Tote Bag Review

I'd say you'd be surprised by how many bags my family uses but that surprise would go away once you knew that I had six kids and we all have our own array of bags.  We go camping or racing every weekend and have our own bags to carry clothes and toiletries.  Logan has duffel bags for sports equipment and I have tote bags for work papers.  Oh, and let's not forget the backpacks!  Simply Bags is a specialty monogram shop offering personalized tote bags and monogrammed totes. Any type of bag that you could possibly want is available at Simply Bags. Diaper bags, quilted bags, duffel bags, custom tote bags, and cosmetic bags are just a small sampling of the kinds they carry.

Simply Bags was kind enough to send me a lightweight travel tote for review.  With three colors to choose from - orange, green, and turquoise - I chose turquoise.  I then asked to have it monogrammed with my oldest daughter's initials.  With work, college, and traveling between our home to others to spend the night, she's a busy girl and needed a bag that was functional. 

Before I handed the travel tote over to Shelby, I first inspected it myself.  Good thing her initials are on it or I would've latched right on to it!  The bag has an inside zip pocket and snap closure with sturdy black handles.  There are also a couple pockets on the outside.  It is very roomy and holds several things at once.  The outside material of the bag is somewhat wrinkly but, other than that, it's perfect to carry around clothes, books, or papers.  Shelby has used the bag on a few occasions and really seems to like it.  Her favorite part is that it's monogrammed with her initials, making it hers and hers alone.

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.

Become A Progresso Frozen Specialty Sauces & Pastas Ambassador

Have you heard of the new Progresso™ Frozen Specialty Sauces and Pastas? Progresso™ Frozen Specialty Sauces and Pastas are wholesome products bursting with authentic Progresso® flavors and fresh ingredients... creating meals in minutes! This new line includes: Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, White Wine Sauce, Marsala Sauce, Beef Ravioli and Tri-Color Cheese Tortellini - delicious meal solutions for busy parents! Currently, these products are available in Albertsons, Dierbergs and Meijer grocery stores.

Join the Progresso™ Frozen Specialty Sauces and Pastas Ambassador program and access coupons, meal in minute recipes, useful tips and amazing giveaways! Complete the two-minute form to join the Ambassador program (and don't forget to tell them Terra Heck referred you)!

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

Wordful Wednesday - Homecoming

Allyson, a senior, attended her first Homecoming dance this year.  In  years past she refused to go because dresses and heels weren't her thing.  I think her friends convinced her that this is the last opportunity.  She had a wonderful time and looked great all dolled up.

Happy Wordful Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Four Bad Hair Habits Busted

As Hollywood's preeminent hair treatment expert, Philip B. has garnered international praise for his visionary approach to hair, scalp and body care. His award-winning blends are formulated with pure botanical ingredients and potent essential oils in concentrations that were previously unheard of in the industry. Delivering unparalleled results, Philip’s breakthrough formulations have dramatically changed the way the world perceives luxury care for hair and skin.
Here are Philip’s four most unthinkable BAD HAIR HABITS and his advice on how to break them:

1. Brushing wet hair - Your hair is weaker and more elastic when wet, so brushing it can lead to breakage and split ends. Make sure to follow this styling commandment: Comb hair when it's wet and brush when it's dry.

2. Overdrying - If you have color- or chemically-treated hair and flat iron it often, beware! Heat styling tools and chemical treatments burn precious moisture out of your hair. Unless you replace that moisture with frequent botanical oil treatments (2-4 times per week), eventually it will start breaking off. To keep hair healthy, turn down the heat as much as you can and treat your hair to frequent oil treatments. You can use Philip B. Rejuvenating Oil for this, but plain olive oil can work in a pinch.

3. Not protecting bleached hair - While it was tempting to dive in the pool during the hot summer, I’m sure it left your bleached strands looking a lot like greenish straw. Bleach is drying and makes your hair more porous, and chlorinated water also strips moisture from your hair – plus, it contains metals that can seep into your hair and leave a greenish tint. Now that summer is officially over, treat your hair by soaking it in a vinegar-and-water bath to help eliminate some of the remaining chlorine molecules. After that, an oil treatment is key to restoring moisture and shine.

4. Neglecting to brush - A good brushing is an exfoliation treatment for your scalp. It stimulates cell turnover to make your hair stronger and healthier, drags the natural conditioning oils from your scalp to your ends to keep them shiny and moisturized and also buffs the hair cuticle to boost overall glossiness. But forget the old wives’ tale about brushing your hair 100 times each night – it's excessive and might be damaging. Instead, aim for 10-20 strokes, depending on the thickness of your hair. Tip: Use a pure boar bristle brush if you have fine, wispy hair; if your hair is normal to thick, look for a brush that contains a mix of natural boar's hair and nylon bristles. Use Philip B. brushes or find good boar's hair brushes in fine department stores or salons.

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

FRESCHETTA® Pizza Team's THE STRENGTH OF 1™ Campaign

Different forms of cancer have affected friends and family of mine throughout the years.  Although I'm not a pioneer, I am a small advocate in doing what I can in spreading the word and helping find cures for cancer.  Every one of us has the power to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. The makers of Freschetta® pizza want to inspire everyone to realize they can make a difference in some way - big or small - in the fight against breast cancer.

Now through the end of October, 2012, the makers of Freschetta® pizza are helping to promote breast cancer awareness through their new The Strength of 1™ campaign, which includes sponsoring Bright Pink, the only national non-profit organization focusing on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancerin young women, while providing support to high-risk individuals. The mission of this The Strength of 1™ initiative is to inspire everyone to realize they can make a difference in some way in the fight against breast cancer.

Take The Pledge - Join other women and take the pledge to show you have The Strength of 1™ power within you. You can also change your twitter profile picture to The Strength of 1™ badge to show your friends that you have The Strength of 1™.  All this can be done at
You can also support The Strength of 1™ Thunderclap. To do so, visit, click on Explore Thunderclaps, and choose "Cause" in the drop-down menu to find The Strength of 1™ Thunderclap. Click on the "Support with Twitter" or "Support with Facebook" button to help further spread the word about this The Strength of 1™ mission.  I supported by spreading the word on Twitter through Thunderclap and encourage you to do so too.

In exchange for this post, I am entered to win a prize.  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.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Don't Miss Out: Three Giveaways Ending Soon

Three of my giveaways are ending in just a few days and  as of this time, there's a good chance of winning.  There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win. 

8x8 Photo Book giveaway - US and Canada - ends 9/25

Adesso Desk Lamp giveaway - US - ends 9/27

Snoopy Plush giveaway - US - 5 winners - ends 9/27

SUPERPRETZEL Sweet Cinnamon - Review and Giveaway

Original SUPERPRETZEL Soft Pretzels have been a family favorite snack for years.  I purchase a box every couple of months and they don't last long, considering each person in the household likes the soft pretzels they can top with salt.  The newest addition to the SUPERPRETZEL family is SUPERPRETZEL Sweet Cinnamon of which I got the pleasure of trying.

There are six sweet cinnamon soft pretzels per box.  Each pretzel has cinnamon baked into it and cinnamon sugar packets are included to sprinkle on the amount you prefer.  It's as easy as microwaving a pretzel (my preference is 40 seconds) and then sprinkling on the amount of cinnamon sugar you want.  I prefer to eat my pretzels on their own and these pretzels are a tastefully delicious treat.  The kids like to dip the sweet cinnamon soft pretzels in vanilla frosting.  I'll even dare say they are just as good as soft pretzels you purchase at the mall or fairs.  The new SUPERPRETZEL Sweet Cinnamon Pretzels can be found in the frozen snacks section of your local retail store and are available at your local superstore.  My family liked them so much we purchased a couple more boxes just the other day.

Win It!

One person will win three boxes of SUPERPRETZEL Sweet Cinnamon Soft Pretzels.

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

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