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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

General Mills "Cereal Box Prize" Review and Giveaway

Growing up I remember fighting with my brother over who got the toy in the Cereal Box.  I don't remember how we worked it out but I recall having my fair share of prizes.  

Right now each participating brand of General Mills cereals is offering a free Mega Bloks car with a set of Hello Kitty and Power Rangers stickers and instructions to cut out a pattern to construct a cardboard jump from the cereal box. This car is COMPLETELY customizable.   Let the arguments commence!  

When we received our sample, Miss E. opened the box and found the toy.  At first she was upset because the car was completely bare.  I explained that she could decorate the car - she then noticed the "Hello Kitty" stickers and her eyes lit up.  We are both big fans of Hello Kitty :)  Within minutes we had a completely jazzed up car!

Oh, and a great way to prevent those pesky arguments?  Buy two boxes!

This promotion is running through Monday 12/01.  While you are out holiday shopping this weekend, don't forget to stop for groceries!  Make sure to pick up a box of your favorite General Mills Cereal.

Participating Brands:
- Honey Nut Cheerios
- Reese’s Puffs
- Cocoa Puffs
- Lucky Charms
- Golden Grahams
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch

For a little fun, check out the video below!  General Mills partnered with Maker Dad – Mark Frauenfelder – to rev up the breakfast table with a Rube Goldberg style contraption seen in this video made entirely of General Mills Mega Bloks cereal boxes. 

Thanks to General Mills I have a giveaway for my readers - One lucky, random winner will receive a a $50 Target gift card, an exclusive Mega Bloks collective car kit and participating Mega Bloks cereal boxes. 

If you would like to enter to win, please follow the prompts in the rafflecopter form below:

Disclosure - I was provided with products to review as well as a prize pack for my readers.  I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 21, 2014

Blast From the Past - "American Horror Story"

Due to a technical issue, earlier posts on this blog were deleted. These posts are being re-shared with readers on a daily basis. This blog post was originally published on October 26, 2011

I am so glad a coworker mentioned how fabulous American Horror Story (AHS) was.  I discovered Entertainment on Demand on my DVR, quickly caught up and am already addicted.

A few online critics/commenters expressed concern that true horror fans will probably be turned off by the lack of gore.  Although I love psychological thrillers -  fantasy, suspense or paranormal -   I am NOT a fan of horror or violence.  As such, I actually found the gore to be very graphic and excessive so found it amusing that this was just simply not enough for some.  It was more than enough for me!

From the FOX website / Press Release:
American Horror Story revolves around the Harmons, a family of three who moved from Boston to Los Angeles as a means to reconcile past anguish. The all-star cast features Dylan McDermott as “Ben Harmon,” a psychiatrist; Connie Britton as “Vivien Harmon,” Ben’s wife; Taissa Farmiga as “Violet,” the Harmon’s teenage daughter; Jessica Lange in her first-ever regular series TV role as “Constance,” the Harmon’s neighbor; Evan Peters plays “Tate Langdon,” one of Ben’s patients; and Denis O’Hare as “Larry Harvey.” Guest stars for the series include Frances Conroy as the Harmon’s housekeeper; Alexandra Breckenridge as the Harmon’s housekeeper; and Jamie Brewer as Constance’s daughter. 

The pilot episode of American Horror Story, shot in Los Angeles, was written by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, and it was directed by Murphy. In addition to Murphy and Falchuk, Dante Di Loreto will also serve as Executive Producer of the series. American Horror Story is produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television.

The first thing AHS reminded me of was Carnivale. I googled "American Horror Story" AND "Carnivale" and quickly discovered that many other fans share the same sentiment.     American Horror Story (AHS) has the same creepy but intriguing quality of Carnivale.  Of course this is what will keep me obsessively coming back for more.......   Carnivale and LOST were, up until now at least, my favorite television shows.   Hopefully we will get a full run of AHS for several seasons and not a lackluster ending (LOST) or, worse, no ending at all (Carnivale). 

AHS is definitely more obvious with what the underlying "mystery" - aka "I see dead people -  compared to that of LOST, Carnivale, or other similar psychological, paranormal thrillers.  The more interesting mysteries of AHS are actually slowly revealed through the back stories of previous residents/visitors and in the "uncertainty" of what will ultimately happen to the newest residents of the Murder House.  I am fairly certain however that I can bury any notions of a fairy tale farewell at The End of THIS story.

WARNING- Most of what is featured on is family oriented.  This is an ADULT show and has a MA (mature audiences) rating due to implicit sexuality, violence and numerous other reasons.  It is not at all appropriate for children nor is it appropriate for any adults that are easily offended.  Please watch at your own discretion.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Blast From the Past - "Cheerios® Cheer Giveaway" (ended)

Due to a technical issue, earlier posts on this blog were deleted. These posts are being re-shared with readers on a daily basis.  This blog post was originally published on November 19, 2011

We all need pick me ups.  It is easy to get worn down from day to day responsibilities and pressures.  For the millions of military families manning the fort at home while their loved ones are away serving, a gesture of Cheer is especially welcome. 

When our troops are called to serve, their families are impacted as well.  They must rise to meet the challenges of service as well.  To thank these families, Cheerios® and the USO have partnered in a postcard campaign that spreads Cheer directly to these honorable military families and supports USO programs.

Here´s how it works: Now through November, 2011 at your local grocer, specially-marked boxes of Cheerios cereal will feature Cheer postcards on the front of the box. Consumers can simply cut out the postcard from the Cheerios logo, write a message of thanks on the back, add a stamp and mail the pre-addressed card to the USO. The USO will deliver the Cheer card to military families across the country. For each postcard received through November 2012, Cheerios will make a $1 donation to the USO to help fund programs that support military families. 

To kick off the campaign, Cheerios has already donated $150,000 to the USO and will donate up to an additional $100,000 based upon the number of postcards received from specially marked boxes now through November 30th, 2012. Sending a "Cheer" postcard is a simple way to say thanks and lift the spirits of our country´s military families. So, take a moment out of your day to spread some Cheer and send a message of thanks!

Cherrios wants to spread the word about this program. As a result I will be hosting a fun giveaway to promote Cherrios cheer.


Disclosure: Cheerios cereal, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.   I did receive an identical prize pack from General Mills through MyBlogSpark to thank me for sharing this information. For more information on this blog or on my posting practices, please refer to the disclosure policy below

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

2014 NC State Fair Fun

We came.  We saw.  We conquered.

For the first time in SEVERAL years I attended the North Carolina State Fair (October 2014).  We actually had a great time and I was glad that I was able to document most of it.  Here are some of the highlights.

We marveled at the elaborate balloon display:

We salivated over the fabulous food exhibits:





We oohed and ahhhed over the adorable farm animals:

We went on rides (even me!):

We played games:

 We went "people watching":

We ate YUMMY food:

AND....  dun dun duuuun....  We won Blue Ribbons!
I entered 2 rubber stamping categories in the Novice Category for Rubber Stamping - Card Making.  Next year I will qualify for the "Professional" category if I choose to enter again. 

Novice Category / Rubber Stamping - Embellishments:  First Prize

Framed at for temporary display at home in my craft room / art studio:

Novice Category / Rubber Stamping - Layers:  First Prize AND Best of Show.  The layers and detail were hard to photograph.  I will share the techniques in a later post but I would like to get a better photo so the layers are more visible.  

Until next year....

Key West Health and Beauty - Review Holiday 2014

Recently I was asked by Key West Health and Beauty to review two of their products - Raw Shea Butter and Retinol Face Cream.  I think it is important to try new skin care products so I am usually open to reviewing new items.  As we age, our skin needs change.  I personally have found that my skin is much drier now that I am older, especially in the fall and winter, so I was looking forward to testing these items.

Retinol Night Cream - I was interested in trying this cream because I have problematic skin.  The main thing I have noticed with this cream is that it is very rich and emollient but is also very absorbent.  Some of the benefits per the Key West website

  • Diminishes or removes age spots, hyper-pigmentation, sun damage and more
  • Unclogs and deep cleans pores
  • Restores brighter, more youthful skin
  •  Boosts collagen production which:
     - Firms, plumps and tightens your skin
     - Eliminates fine lines and wrinkles
    -  Diminishes large pores

I have not been using it long enough to determine any long term results but so far I am enjoying the product.  The night cream is what I would consider a higher end / high quality product and has an ARV of $79.99.  It currently (November 2014) can be purchased at 50% off of retail.  At $38 this is an affordable luxury.

Organic Unrefined African Shea Butter - I have reviewed several skincare products through the years.  I have been blogging since 2008 and have been fortunate to work with several companies - small independent brands to large corporations.  I have reviewed a variety of skincare products and always post an honest review but I do not typically compare products.  Obviously some products I will prefer more than others and I do have to say that the African Shea Butter one of the BEST skin care products I have used... ever!.  I love it.  My entire family loves it - even my daughter with super sensitive,m eczema prone skin.   We will be purchasing this body butter regularly.

In the winter my skin does tend to get dry, especially on my legs, hands and feet.  I have used it primarily on my feet and hands - a little more liberally to my feet though.  On my hands I found that just a small dab is enough to moisturize. Too much and it will be a little too oily.

The key to applying is to thoroughly rub between the hands as it is semi-solid out of the tub.  The rubbing motion melts the butter to where it is smoother in consistency and both  easier to apply to the skin and easier for the skin to absorb.

I always wanted to try Shea Butter but did not know much about it outside of hearing how great it moisturizes.  I am embarrassed to admit that I did not even know what Shea Butter was.  Apparently Shea Butter is extracted from the nut of the African Shea Tree.

What do you get?  Close to a full pound of Shea Butter (14 oz).  This is a lot especially as a little bit of shea goes a long way!  This typically retails for $39.95 but can currently be purchased now (November 2014) for only $14.95.  That is SO affordable and such an incredible value.  At this price I really think this would make such a great gift for anyone on your holiday list.

Thank you to Key West Health and Beauty for this wonderful review opportunity!  

Disclosure:  I received a product for review purposes.  I was not required to write a positive review.  For more information on this blog and posting practices, please refer to the disclosure policy at the bottom of this page.  Posted prices are effective the date posted.  Prices are not guaranteed and are subject to change.

Polish Pottery from Artisan Imports - Holiday 2014 Review

I have always loved art glass and various types of pottery.  A recent find at goodwill of a Bristol leaf pitcher from The Wizard of Clay was one of my thrift store success stories.  (I remember touring his studio outside of Bristol NY in the late 80's).    I also love Italian and Polish pottery but it would be a little bit more difficult logistically to tour studios that produce authentic pieces unless I was planning a trip to Europe.  I was recently given the opportunity to review an authentic piece of Polish Pottery of my choice from Polmedia however.....  Polmedia imports goods from overseas - in this case from Poland.

Polmedia is a family owned business that has been in business since the wall came down and free enterprise was allowed (post communism).   You can find out more about the company HERE

What I find most impressive about Polish pottery and what I feel sets it apart from other types of pottery is the intricacy in the designs.  Most Eastern European countries have similar types of design - very detailed and colorful, typically painted in cobalt blue.   You can find out more about Polish Pottery HERE. 

I absolutely love the stoneware plate we received.  It is a little smaller than a salad plate but larger than a saucer.  The detailing on the painted design is wonderful.   Retailing at under $28, this is a great value.  Some ideas:
- Purchase a variety of plates in different patterns and use for your daily dinnerware
- Use for entertaining.  Simple appetizers or a small dessert would look lovely displayed on one of these plates
- Use when preparing food - I have used my plate as a spoon rest or to set small diced veggies during food prep.

With the holidays approaching, this would make a beautiful hostess gift or present for the person who has it all! The selection on the site is immense and there should be a design to accommodate all tastes.  Who would not appreciate a beautiful, unique handmade gift?  This would be a memorable and appreciated gift!   

Thank you to Polmedia for this review opportunity.

Disclosure:  I received product for review purposes.  I did not receive any monetary compensation nor was I required to write a positive review.  For more information on this blog and on my posting practices, please refer to the disclosure policy at the bottom of this page.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Blast From the Past - "Mrs. Renfro Salsa - Review and Giveaway" (ended)

Due to a technical issue, earlier posts on this blog were deleted. These posts are being re-shared with readers on a daily basis. This blog post was originally published on November 6, 2011

We love chips and salsa -   I especially like foods with a twist, so the numerous varieties of salsa were especially appealing.  When the opportunity to review Mrs. Renfro's salsa came up, I jumped. 

All Mrs. Renfro’s Salsas are: ·
 ·  Gluten-free and fat-free

 ·  Made only with natural ingredients

 · Easy to use – every label has a simple and tasty recipe right on the label to give you creative ways of cooking with salsa.  You can also view more recipes on their website.

 · Time- and money savers – a 16-oz jar retails for about $2.89 

 · Readily found in most leading grocery stores in the US, Caribbean, Canada and the UK 

 · A great addition to your next recipe for a great meal 

 · Perfect for time-pressed families looking for healthy, delicious meals while getting the best value for their money.

When you order on their site, you must order in quantities of 4. (4, 8, 12, 16, etc).  I was able to select 4 salsas of my choice and picked the following:

The Mrs Renfro's Salsas arrived quickly and safely - they were packaged securely to minimize the change of breakage during the shipping process. 

So far we have tried the Hot Tomato Relish and the Mango Habanero Salsa.  We LOVED both.  The one thing I have to say is that these are very spicy.  Both my husband and I love spicy foods but agreed that these had an extra spicy kick.  Although I was tempted to try GHOST PEPPER SALSA, I chickened out :)

These salsas and the relish are great!  Our favorite was the Mango Habanero - we both loved the sweet and spiciness.  We both could not stop eating it.  This would definitely make an impression!  I also really liked the tomato relish.  It is very spicy but gave a nice kick to my sandwich.  I also cannot wait to try this in my soups and over beef or chicken.   I have not tried the green salsa yet but the Roasted Salsa is another winner!  This is more traditional but has a rich wonderful fire roasted taste..

Thanks to Renfro Foods, I have one 4 pack to giveaway to one lucky entrant.  Please see the Rafflecopter form for details


Disclosure:  I received the opportunity to provide a prize pack to one of my readers through a PR firm.  I did not receive any compensation for my initial review or for this giveaway.  For more information on this blog or on my posting practices, please refer to the disclosure policy at the bottom of this page

Friday, November 14, 2014

Blast From the Past - "Freschetta is going Pink!"

Due to a technical issue, earlier posts on this blog were deleted. These posts are being re-shared with readers on a daily basis. This blog post was originally published on October 9, 2011

For October Freschetta wants everyone to know that they are proud to support Pink
When you purchase specially-marked FRESCHETTA® products, you’re helping reach the goal of donating $50,000 to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Enter your code at and we will be $1 closer to finding a cure. 

Each week, Freschetta will be giving away an iPod shuffle®* to 50 lucky winners. You can earn extra entries in the sweepstakes by sharing PROUD TO SUPPORT PINK® with your friends and family.  Click HERE to find out more.  In addition you can read survivor stories or share your own. 

If you have not yet tried Freschetta you are missing out.  Freschetta offers many unique, gourmet flavors.  If you have not tried yet, now is an opportune time.  You will be getting a great pizza and helping a great cause.

One Momanthology reader will win a Pink Prize Pack:
- Coupon for Freschetta pizza (12 oz or larger)
- 2 pairs of Freschetta Proud to Support Pink Earbuds (1 for you and one for a friend)

I received a prize pack from Freschetta and was able to share with my readers.  I did not receive any compensation for this post.  


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Blast From the Past "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Natural Soaps" review

Due to a technical issue, earlier posts on this blog were deleted. These posts are being re-shared with readers on a daily basis. This blog post was originally published on November 6, 2011

I was very, very happy when I was contacted about reviewing The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Natural Soaps by Sally Trew and Zonella Gould. I have always been interested in making my own soaps but everytime I tried to research how to do it I felt buried in information.  There are different types of soap, different ways to make soap, different formulations, etc.  and it was overwhelming to figure out where to start, what to buy and what do do.

The very beginning of the book gave a brief overview of how soap is made, and what materials are needed and how to store the finished product.  There was a strong emphasis on safety and what measures are.

The next chapter covered Oils and Butters and what is appropriate for which varieties - some are lathering, others are moisturizing and others have medicinal benefits.  There are also different forms for certain varieties  of oil depending on how refined the material is. 

Chapter 3 covers fragrance oils - not all oils are good for the skin.  Find out which ones are wonderful for your skin and what properties they will bring to your soap. 

The rest of the book focuses on making the soap - learn how to use molds, the difference between hot process and cold process soap making.  From calculations to curing, you can quickly and easily learn the ins and outs (and do's and don'ts).  You can even learn how to make liquid soap or whip up a batch in your slow cooker!

"Soapmaking has always been a popular craft with a dedicated group of followers, but with the explosion of urban homesteading and people looking to go green, noncrafters are now joining in on the fun. Whether it's making natural soap to live greener, give as gifts, save money, or make money, The Complete Idiot's Guide(r) to Making Natural Soaps has everything the new soap maker will need to create organic, natural soaps of all kinds. 

Includes recipes to make a wide array of molded, poured, and liquid soaps"

Part I - The Basics of Natural Soap-Making
1 - Introduction to Soap Making
2 - Oils and Butters
3 - Fragrance and Essential Oils
4 - Hello to Soap Calc
5 - Soap Molds

 Part II - Making Cold and Hot Process Soaps
6 - Cold Process Soap
7 - Hot Process Soap
8 - Cold and Hot Process Soap Recipes
9 - Goat Milk Soap
10 - Liquid Soap

Part III - Getting Creative with your Soap
11 - Coloring Your Soap
12 - Taking Your Soap to the Next Level
13 - Fun with Melt and Pour Soap.

Overall I really love this book and cannot wait to try out natural soap making!  These women are obviously experts and through their trial and error experiences, even beginners can learn what works and what doesn't. 

ARV is listed as $14.95 USD but is is currently on sale for under $10.  This would be a fantastic gift to the crafter, DIYer or eco-conscious recipient on your gift list.  Even better, buy it for yourself and make fabulous soaps for those on your gift list!   Either way this book will be well-loved and well-read :)

Disclosure - I did not receive any compensation for this post.  I did receive a book for review purposes.  For more information on this blog and on my posting practices, please refer to the disclosure policy at the bottom of the page.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Blast From the Past - "Nalgene Fall Giveaway Festival Review and Giveaway" (ended)

Due to a technical issue, earlier posts on this blog were deleted. These posts are being re-shared with readers on a daily basis.  This blog post was originally published on September 16, 2011

Nalgene is a company that promotes living a green and socially conscious lifestyle.  Here are some interesting facts about Nalgene
- Their bottles are BPA Free; click to find out about materials used.
- Nalgene is a partner in Filter for Good and Refill, not Landfill, campaigns encouraging people to switch from disposable, wasteful water bottles to reusable water bottles.
- Nalgene is highlighting America's Least Wasteful Cities on it's website.  Check it out to see if yours made the cut.  Take the test to see how yours fares and you can currently save 15% off of a purchase!

You can find Nalgene on Facebook and Twitter


On The Fly (OTF) bottle:
Multi-Drink bottle:

For our review, we received one Multi-drink bottle and one On The Fly Bottle.  The On The Fly bottle is slim and lightweight.  It is easy to drink with one hand (great for bikers!)  and can fit in most cup holders.  It also uses a push-button technology to open the cap which makes it less likely to slip off, leak, etc.  It actually took me a while to figure out how to open the cap so I would say it is more secure than most water bottles!

The Multi-drink had a wider mouth and was wider and weighed a tad more but it also came with an internal "straw" like drinking mechanism.  There is also a small screw off cap portion if sipping through the straw is not enough to quickly quench your thirst.  This is great for putting in ice or mixing drinks.  My kids loved this one and were arguing over who got to use it.

As part of the Fall Giveaway Festival event, I have a fun giveaway sponsored by Nalgene! One lucky winner will take home 2 of Nalgene's best selling bottles - this individual will win both the Multi-Drink Bottle and the On The Fly Bottle.  The retail value of the Multi-Drink is $14.99 and the retail value of the OTF is $12.99

To register simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below!  Easy Entry!


Disclosure:  I received the opportunity to provide a prize pack to one of my readers through a PR firm.  I did not receive any compensation for my review or for this giveaway.  For more information on this blog or on my posting practices, please refer to the disclosure policy at the bottom of this page



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