Saturday, November 30, 2019

Thanksgiving Shopping and Shenanigans


my daughter and great-niece

After attending a large Thanksgiving feast at my niece's home on Thursday, I got together with my three kids, my bestie, son-in-law, and a great-niece for some shopping.  

First we headed to Kohl's where I purchased myself an air fryer.  Can't wait to use it!  Anyone have great tips or recipes to use with one?  

my bestie, Alaina

I told them to get a picture of me in front of the 911 Dispatch photo wall at the mall.  Um, good enough.

Then we headed to Wal-Mart.  I wasn't there for anything in particular but did get a pair of shoes for my son.  I instructed him to take them back to Tennessee and put them under the tree so he'd have a gift.  He's wearing them now.  He never did do well with instructions!  

The mall was our next stop.  Bath & Body Works, FYE, Auntie Anne's, and Claire's were our destinations.  We were out till about 1:30 am before we called it quits.

creating chaos in Wal-Mart

Did you do any Black Friday shopping?  Find any deals?

Lotus Produce Bags - Review and Giveaway


As Christmas is around the corner, shoppers require the ultimate tools to survive holiday shopping, from groceries to toys. Reusable Lotus Trolley Bag and Lotus Produce Bags streamline bagging and can carry all your groceries, while providing versatility for consumers.

green onions stored inside a small Lotus Produce Bag

Lotus Produce Bags are sold as a set of 9 bags.  Consumers receive three of each size.  There's small (12"x8"), medium (12"x14") and large (12"x17").  Their main purpose, if you will, is to store produce.  Rather than putting your produce in one of those thin plastic bags the store provides, you can take one of the Lotus Produce Bags and put your fruits and veggies in there.  Once you get home, you can wash the produce while they're still in the bags, then place in the fridge until ready to use.


 Lotus Produce Bags are made of nylon mesh and can be washed repeatedly.  The bags are double-stitched on the sides, and each one includes a drawstring that comes with a white lock to keep contents secure.  Although they are made of white mesh, you can still see through enough to get a glimpse of what is inside each bag.

Each size bag also has its own tare weight tag.  What it means with these bags is that the tag on the bags shows the weight of them as they are empty.  By subtracting it from the gross weight of the goods carried, the net weight may be determined.

I love using the Lotus Produce Bags for the original purpose, to store produce.  The bags can also be used for almost any reason you'd use a plastic single-use baggie.  For instance, you can use the smaller Lotus Produce Bag to store peanuts or candies.  The bags can be used for medicines and cosmetics.  They're perfect to take when traveling.  You can stuff wet socks, swimsuits, or other clothing in there to keep separate from dry clothes.

Lotus Produce Bags are durable, made well, and are useful for so many purposes.



Win It!

One person will win a set of Lotus Produce Bags (3 small, 3 medium, and 3 large).

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

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Final Winners for November

Photo by Matthew Payne on Unsplash

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

The winner of the Ugly Christmas Sweater giveaway is #43, Abigail.

The winner of the Print Magazine Subscription giveaway is #2, suburban prep.

The winner of the Go Fish DVD giveaway is #14, Lauren Peterson.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  Be sure to keep an eye out and enter the currently active giveaways I've got going on, all listed at the top left hand side of my blog.  There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Precious Moments Black Friday Deals



Black Friday is one of the most popular shopping days! You may be  looking for awesome discounts on precious figurines and gifts, so here are a few from PreciousMoments.com.  All of these offers start 11/29 and end 12/1.

Up to 50% Off Black Friday Weekend Sale
Plus Free Shipping

TGI-Black Friday at PreciousMoments.com! Get up to 50% off select categories plus free shipping all weekend long!

------------------------

10% Off Select 2019 Dated & Annual Series Items
Promo code: SAVE10.
---------------------

15% Off Nativity Advent Calendar
Promo code: SAVE15
-------------------------


35% Off Heirloom Family Musical
Promo code: HEIRLOOM
--------------------------

40% Off Select Ne’Qwa Art Gifts
Promo code: NEQWA40
------------------------------

50% Off Select Holiday Figurines
Promo code: HOLIDAY50
----------------------------

30% Off Merry Moments Holiday Decor
Promo code: MERRYMOMENTS
------------------------------

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

Keep the Season Fresh with Brooklyn Cloth Men and Boys Apparel


my husband sportin' the Flannel Lined Denim Jacket

Guys-- no matter their hobbies or interests, shopping is a pain for them, especially during the holiday season. But Brooklyn Cloth has done the work, choosing gifts for the guy in your life—that he hasn't already gone out and bought for himself.  This Gifting season, it’s all about cozy, bold, bright graphics and comfortable Joggers. The Sherpa Collection, featuring an updated Denim Trucker jackets in both dark and light wash, Cozy Sherpa Hoodies, Updated 90s fleece jackets and hoodies introduced as Original Garment by Brooklyn Cloth will be on everyone’s list.


And the boys? Besides gifting electronics and maybe a new i-Phone, boys always needs clothes. Brooklyn Cloth takes the same dope styles from the men’s line and shrinks them down to mini-me size. The little kid in your life is going to want to wear what his Big Brother, Dad or Uncle is wearing when he gets these gifts, easily mixed and matched and can be worn year round.  Check out the Boys Holiday Gift Guide for inspiration.

Established in 2011, Brooklyn Cloth is a leader in on-trend apparel that enables customers to express their individuality.



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.

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 192


I believe in a God that hears prayers and answers them. I've witnessed the miraculous gift of answered prayer. And, I want to pray for you. I've started weekly Power of Prayer post every Thursday. We are now on week 192. If you are needing prayer in an area of your life, please leave a comment and I'll commit to pray for your need or request. You can be as general or as specific as you like. Whether it be for healing, salvation, finances, emotions, or another area of life, I'd like to lift it up in prayer.

Hope you have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving full of love, happiness, and good food!

For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.
–Hebrews 6:10

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Random Tuesday Thoughts - Holidays and Health

Went to a craft show Saturday
I'll never be too old for a picture with Buddy the Elf and Santa!

It's Tuesday again!  That means another edition of Random Tuesday Thoughts, hosted by Stacy Uncorked.  Come along for the ride and link up your randomness.
---------------------------
For the first time in several years, I'm actually up for Christmas decorating.  The last few years were hard with my mom being gone but I'm making progress.  So much so that I've started decorating before Thanksgiving.  (And, yes, I still plan on stuffing my face full of food on Turkey Day...and being thankful for it!)  What has changed this year is that I won't be buying umpteen gifts for my kids.  They're all older now and it was actually pretty ridiculous with how much I'd buy.  It's a whole new mindset all around this year!


If you browse FB fairly often, I'm sure you've seen the snowflakes made out of hangers.  I took it a step further and made one.  Well, I mean, I showed it to my husband and he made it.  Now everyone's tagging him in hanger crafts.  He's not thanking me so much!


Speaking of projects, my sister and I had a craft day and decorated an old window pane with garland and ornaments.  Now it's proudly displayed in my living room.


And, on another project note, my sister and I decorated mom's gravesite for Christmas.  Wrapped the shepherd's hook in garland and added a wreath.  Even brought her a can of Pepsi.
-----------------------------------

Traci, Donnie, and myself

My mom's birthday would've been last month.  Keeping up with the annual tradition, I took pics with my sister and brother.  None of them turned out "normal".  My mother was a stickler about pics (no cropping of body parts, look straight, smile right) so we'd razz her with going through a ton of goofy ones before we went with the obligatory "normal" one.  Now, since she's passed away, we get together and do the same.  She's slapping us from Heaven!
------------------

I had lab work done the other day.  It was comprehensive enough to require five vials of blood.  It was halfway through the fifth vial that the world started closing in around me and I got super dizzy.  They rushed a reclining chair, orange juice, and fan to my aid before I completely passed out.  First time that ever happened!  
-----------------------
What's your randomness for the week?
Have you started decorating for Christmas yet?

Precious Moments: 60% Off Disney Tinkerbell Birthstone Figurines



Get 60% Off Disney Tinkerbell Birthstone Figurines with code TINKERBELL at PreciousMoments.com. Sale ends 12/15.

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

Check It Out: Savings.com #SaveAtPaperMart Giveaway

Win a $20 Paper Mart e-gift code.

Savings.com is at it again with another giveaway!  This time they are giving away ten $20 Paper Mart e-gift codes.  Giveaway ends Friday, November 29th at 11:59 PM PT.  Paper Mart sells a massive selection of packages for any product or occasion. Find everything from simple boxes and bags to elaborate ribbons and gift wrap for occasion like parties, wedding and showers!

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

Friday, November 22, 2019

Sage and Sausage Stuffing - Recipe



I've posted this recipe before but I think it's worth sharing again, especially for the holidays.  It's a stuffing recipe a friend shared a few years ago and it's become my "go-to" dish to bring to holiday meals.  I just made some last week for a get-together with friends and I'm going to make more this Thursday.

Sausage and Sage Stuffing

Brown 1 lb. Bob Evans Sage Sausage in skillet.  Drain sausage.  Place one stick of butter in same frying pan with 1 medium diced onion and 2-3 stalks of diced celery.  Sautee for approximately 8-10 minutes.  Add 1 tsp. thyme and 1 1/2 tsp. sage.  Add sausage back in and sauté for 2 minutes.

In large bowl, tear Italian or French bread into bite size pieces.  Add sausage mixture.  Pour in one 32 oz. box of chicken stock or broth.  Then mix in one beaten egg.

Spread everything out in a 13x9 greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, 10 minutes.


Face Brush Skin Cleansing System - Review and Giveaway


ToiletTree Products, a family owned and operated company, began its business in 2009 and has focused solely on the manufacturing and marketing of an assortment of bathroom products featuring its signature product, The Fogless Shower Mirror.  I received a Fogless Shower Mirror in 2011 for review and used it for several years until it was no longer operational. 


I have very dry skin, especially during the winter. My elbows, feet, and nose are the worst. I also wear a lot of makeup. Although I remove it daily, there's always a little buildup left. I'm not getting any younger and have been trying to take good care of my skin. I wasn't so diligent back in the day. I received the Face Brush Skin Cleansing System from ToiletTree Products (notice how the company name sounds like 'toiletry'!) and welcomed the opportunity to try it.

The Face Brush Skin Cleansing Sytem comes in six colors and I received blue. It is an advanced daily cleansing tool that's designed to polish away dull skin and exfoliate away impurities. The system includes two face exfoliaters (one for sensitive skin types and one for normal skin types), one body exfoliator and a pumice sphere. Also included are four batteries. Refills are available for separate purchase.  A water-resistant strap is attached for convenient hanging.  I do wish there was a small bag of some sort that came with it to put the extra heads in when not in use.  I found a clear plastic makeup bag and have put them in there.

The first step in using the Professional Skin Care System is inserting the batteries. The next is choosing which brush head you want to use. The heads are easily interchangeable and the rotation of them isn't too harsh on the skin. There's an on/off button to operate the device. With a gentle press of the rotating brush against your skin, work in small circular motions to remove dead skin and impurities.  The Professional Skin Care System can be used in the shower because it it water-resistant, which is exactly where I use it.  

There's no need to press hard on your skin, especially the facial area, because it may cause redness. When I'm done with the Face Brush Skin Cleansing System, I finish off by adding a facial moisturizer. I've been using this on my body three times a week. My skin feels much softer and looks much cleaner after each use. I also feel like more makeup gets removed by using it. The overall appearance of my skin is less dull and more radiant.



One person will win a Face Brush Skin Cleansing System.

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

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FAT CAT The Flockers Dog Toy - Review


PetMate is passionate about pets and their families. As a worldwide leader of solutions and excellence in the pet industry for over 50 years, they’re committed to providing fun, trusted, quality products to enhance the lives of pets.

Just like with children and toddlers, dogs need toys and entertainment too.  Helen is a happy dog when she has dog toys, and I'm happy when she has ones that last more than a day.  From the brand of FAT CAT are The Flockers, dog toys that shake, rattle, and make sound.



Available in two designs, Sheeza and Heeza, The Flockers are designed with a TPR body and durable canvas wings.  When turned on, Flockers shake and rattle and make weird noises.  I liken it to a cross between a drunken squirrel and a baby with hiccups.  The noise gets louder and louder the more intense your dog plays with the toy.  If the noise starts to drive you bonkers, you can turn it off and your dog can still play tug-of-war and fetch with the toy.

Helen gives The Flockers two thumbs paws up!

Visit Petmate.com


I received products for review from Petmate. 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.

Nickelodeon's Blue's Clues & You! Debuts At Number One - #BluesCluesAndYou


NICKELODEON GREENLIGHTS SECOND SEASON
OF BLUE’S CLUES & YOU! AS SERIES DEBUTS AT NUMBER ONE

Beloved puppy Blue will skidoo into season two as Nickelodeon greenlights an additional 20 episodes of its newest series Blue’s Clues & You!, which took the top spot as the number-one preschool show in its first week on air (11/11/19-11/17/19).  New episodes of Blue’s Clues & You! will continue to air weekdays at 11 a.m. ET/PT on Nickelodeon.

The second season of Blue’s Clues & You! will follow Josh (Josh Dela Cruz) and puppy Blue on brand-new adventures with friends old and new.  The new season will also feature special appearances by Steve (Steve Burns), Joe (Donovan Patton), and Josh’s Lola (Carolyn Fe)--his grandmother--along with even more singing and dancing, exploration, celebration, and of course clues that empower preschoolers to help their friends.

Alongside the linear episodes, brand-new Blue’s Clues & You! play-along videos are currently available in Noggin, Nick’s top-ranked interactive learning subscription for preschoolers.  The play-along videos allow users to explore the stories in an immersive way, and engage with live-action host Josh and the animated characters, by tapping, touching or swiping to navigate through enhanced learning experiences.  Preschoolers have the ability to customize elements, like the color of the clues or the creation of birthday cards for Blue, and then see their designs appear throughout the video.  The classic Blue’s Clues library is also available on Noggin and additional Blue’s Clues & You! play-along videos will continue to roll out into next year.

Original short-form content and full-length episodes of Blue’s Clues & You! are available now on NickJr.com and the Nick Jr. App. Episodes are also available on Nick Jr. On Demand and Download-To-Own services.

Blue’s Clues & You! follows Blue as she invites viewers to join her and Josh on a clue-led adventure and solve a puzzle in each episode. With each signature paw print, Blue identifies clues in her animated world that propel the story and inspire the audience to interact with the characters.

The original Blue’s Clues series launched in September 1996 to critical praise from educators, parents, and preschoolers and ran for six groundbreaking seasons.  Created by Traci Paige Johnson, Todd Kessler, and Angela C. Santomero, Blue’s Clues drew acclaim and high ratings for its unique interactivity that helped change the way kids watch television and has remained one of the most popular preschool shows of all time.  The landmark series also raised the bar in preschool television by exploring advanced subject matter such as sign language, geography, physics, emotions, and anatomy. 

I received a screener in exchange for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.  Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB).

Check It Out: Savings.com #SDC12Days Macy's Giveaway

Win a $250 gift card from Macy's!

Savings.com is excited to announce that their 12 Days of Giveaways are back! Every weekday from Thursday, November 7th – Friday, November 22nd, they’ll be giving away one gift card prize, with a value of $250, from one of their partner stores, for a total of $3000 in prizes!

For the last giveaway, they are featuring Macy's.  One winner will receive a $250 gift card.  Macy’s is one of the top department stores in America, and it’s no surprise why. You’ll find everything there, from beauty products to appliances, jewelry and watches to home decor and bed and bath all the way to fine fashion for everyone in your family.

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

Matt-Hat Jerky - Beef Jerky Review


My husband is a big fan of jerky.  He'll eat most kinds and most flavors.  I'm a tad pickier; I don't like it extra spicy or super chewy.  We recently came across Matt-Hat Jerky, and both of us are now big fans.

Matt-Hat Jerky was started by Matthew Kuplack when he was just 11 years of age.  He's not much older now.  Jerky is a part of Matt's family, and the youngster has created his own spin on it.


I received two bags of Matt-Hat Jerky, and it didn't take long for me and Jason to devour it.  There's several things I love about this jerky.  For one, it has just the right kick of spice but it's not overwhelming.  For another, it's not super tough.  It's chewy like jerky is supposed to be but I don't feel like I'm going to yank my teeth out with each bite.  The beef jerky is circular in shape and there's about four large pieces in each package.  Jerky ingredients consist of beef, water, soy sauce, hickory flavoring, and spices.  The package itself is resealable, and there's even a dental floss pick included!

Matt has done an excellent job of creating a great-tasking jerky!

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.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 191


I believe in a God that hears prayers and answers them. I've witnessed the miraculous gift of answered prayer. And, I want to pray for you. I've started weekly Power of Prayer post every Thursday. We are now on week 191. If you are needing prayer in an area of your life, please leave a comment and I'll commit to pray for your need or request. You can be as general or as specific as you like. Whether it be for healing, salvation, finances, emotions, or another area of life, I'd like to lift it up in prayer.

Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.
–Colossians 4:5


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

TV Series Gift Idea - Gotham: The Complete Series


Gotham: The Complete Series – Available Now on Blu-rayTM, DVD and Digital

 Gotham: The Complete Series, which includes all five seasons of the hit Gotham series, is available for fans to own on Blu-ray and DVD for $112.99 / 99.99 SRP. From character origins to the final episodes of the hit DC/WBTV series that lay the foundation for the city’s iconic future, the release is the perfect gift for veteran fans and newcomers alike.

The series features an all-star cast lead by Ben McKenzie (The O.C., Southland), Donal Logue (Grounded for Life, Vikings), David Mazouz (Touch), Sean Pertwee (Elementary), Robin Lord Taylor (The Walking Dead), Erin Richards (The Quiet Ones), Camren Bicondova (Gotham Stories), Cory Michael Smith (Carol) and Chris Chalk (12 Years a Slave). Shane West (A Walk to Remember) is also introduced in the as the iconic DC Super-Villain, Bane for the final season. Developed by Bruno Heller, the series is executive produced by Heller, Danny Cannon and John Stephens. Based on the DC characters, Gotham is produced by Warner Bros. Television.

Witness the evolution of Bruce Wayne’s epic transformation in Gotham: The Complete Series. GCPD Detective Jim Gordon struggles to keep the city he holds dear together while super villains such as Penguin and Poison Ivy vow to take charge. Who will reign over Gotham City? A champion will be named and a hero will emerge in this five season set of Gotham.


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

Write Letter to Santa & Help Grant Life-Changing Wishes for Kids


When you write a letter to Santa at Macy's now through 12/24, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million, to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses all across the country.  Get your Santa letters in now!

I received no 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.

Check It Out: Savings.com #SDC12Days Samsung Giveaway

Win a $250 gift card from Samsung!

Savings.com is excited to announce that their 12 Days of Giveaways are back! Every weekday from Thursday, November 7th – Friday, November 22nd, they’ll be giving away one gift card prize, with a value of $250, from one of their partner stores, for a total of $3000 in prizes!

For today's giveaway, they are featuring Samsung.  One winner will receive a $250 gift card.  Samsung is one of the most recognizable names in electronics manufacturing.

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

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Random Tuesday Thoughts - Bingo and Halloween Clearance

It's been a while since I've linked up with Stacy Uncorked and posted Random Tuesday Thoughts.  Luckily, I can count on her to be there when I'm ready for some randomness.
------------------------------

Green Bean went to the vet the other day for his 2nd set of vaccines.  He now weighs 2.88 pounds.  He may be small in size but he's big in being ornery.  

Halloween clearance didn't fail me!  I found a pair of pet PJs on sale for 74 cents and put them on Green Bean.  I learned he's not a big fan of clothes, but it was the best 74 cents I've ever spent just to get some cute pics!

On another holiday note, I've already purchased my personalized greeting cards.  Guess whose picture is on the front?!  If you guessed Green Bean's, you're right!  
----------------------


Speaking of Halloween clearance, I also purchased this pumpkin face mask.  Looks like I belong in a horror movie!
------------------------------------
Sandy, Traci, and myself

Last Saturday I had a Sister Date with my two sisters.  Traci and I drove 1.5 hours to see Sandy and spend the night.  While there, we at at a Mexican Restaurant then played Bingo for prizes as part of a fundraiser event.  Our table didn't win squat.  The next day we went to Sandy's church, then headed home.  I was supposed to attend a birthday party for my great-niece that Sunday afternoon but slept right through it.  I had slept in the same bed with my sister, Traci, the night before and she kept me awake A.L.L. Night Long.  Between her coughing and sounds of agonal breathing, I got no sleep.  Love her, but never again.

  
No winning numbers in this pile
----------------------------

What's your randomness for the week?
Have you started shopping or decorating for Christmas?