Sunday, December 29, 2013

Porche By Design: Seducing Speed - Exhibit at the NC Museum of Art

Thanks to Carolina Parent and the NC Museum of Art, my hubby and I enjoyed the Porche By Design: Seducing Speed exhibit at the NC Museum of Art.

I took these pictures using my favorite iphone app - Hipstamatic.  The app itself is free but you can buy different films and flashes to expand the capabilities of the camera.  You can select the film and/or flash you want to use from those that you own or simply shake your iphone for a randomly selected pairing of film and flash from your collection.

I could not figure out what the graffiti was in a couple of the shots below.  At first I thought my kids added creative text to the photos and then I realized it was probably one of the film set features LOL  My favorite Porche was the Janis Joplin car, shown in the last three photos.

Below my pictures is an embedded video from Motor Show so you can see the cars that I missed taking shots of or so you can get a better view

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Last minute fashionable savings! Review, Giveaway AND Coupon Code

Didn't get everything you wanted for Christmas or Hanukkah?  Make sure to treat yourself to a fun but practical gift. is offering 20% off to my lucky followers. Use promo code "blogdec31". Act quickly on this one folks! The promo code expires 12/31/13

I received a beautiful Hat and Scarf Set for review purposes.  I have received products from before and I have to say that this is one of my favorites.  The quality is exceptional.  The hat and scarf are made with thick yarn and a heavier gauge needle but it is also soft and lightweight.  I really am adoring it and glad that the weather is finally cooling down enough here in the southeast US to be able to wear it.

 Also, while you are here, make sure to enter the giveaway! will offer one randomly selected US winner a free $25 box of surprise Hair Accessories.

Here are some fun links to get you started. When you enter the giveaway, make sure to comment on your favorite product (required) and then fill out the rafflecopter form. Must be a follower to be qualified to enter. Good Luck to All!
Hair Clips
Baby Hats
Baby Headbands
Headband Bandanas
Head Coverings

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I received a product for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own.

After the Holidays Electronics Must Have! Review

You received a nifty electronic gadget for the holidays and love it but do not love how fast it uses up battery power. This is especially critical when it is your cell phone.

 Smartphones tend to quickly drain the battery when used for surfing the net, checking email, etc. When at home this is typically not a problem because you can simply plug in and charge up while at home. This can be a problem when traveling or during outings however. It is not always convenient to get a wall or car charge. How can you make sure that you are able to charge your cell phone up when on the go?

Power up with Powerocks Magicstick
  You’ll never feel powerless when you have the Magicstick 2800mAh rechargeable battery handy. This compact and lightweight mobile charger will quickly become must have for any person on-the-go. The Magicstick 2800mAH is the perfect size for any pocket, purse, or backpack. Never get stuck with a dead phone or other mobile device again. The Magicstick is easy to use and carry. A single USB port and corresponding cable with micro to USB connectionslet you charge a variety of devices seamlessly. This cable can also be used to charge the Magicstick from any high current USB port. A single button illuminates when pressed and shows the power capacity via a colored LED light, so you know at a glance how much charge is left. The Magicstick also features a smooth, brushed aluminum finish available in a variety of colors. An included drawstring carry case keeps it protected and always handy for use. Just grab, go, and get charged up with the Magicstick.

I had a similar device and was devestated when I lost it.  When the opportunity to review this product came up I literally jumped at it.  I cannot even begin to tell you how helpful a portable charger is and what a difference it can make.  If you buy this for yourself or others you will be suprised how

The device I had before was almost identical but this one is even better.... it has one very special feature.  The Magicstick has a very visible blue, green or red neon light that indicates the level of juice that the unit has left.  This is very useful. Red for example indiates a low or non-existant charge which means time to rejuice!

  1. The Magicstick also charges other devices such as Bluetooth headsets, cameras, GPS, e-readers, and more
  2. 2800mAh battery capacity provides up to 2 full charges before needing recharging Lightweight & Powerful: Perfect for work, vacation, and every day on-the-go 
  3. Engineered with smart chip technology to prevent damage or over charging Aluminum housing for durability & safety 
  4. Fun color assortment for personal style expression - Black, Blue, Purple, Red, Silver, Pink , Green and Charcoal 
  5. Charges as fast as a standard wall charger in an electrical outlet 
  6. Check power status with a push of button Easy and intuitive use 
  7. Included carrying pouch
MSRP: $49.99
BATTERY TYPE: Lithium ion
INPUT: 5.0 V / 0.55 A
OUTPUT: 5.0 V / 1 A
PACKAGED WEIGHT: 5.18 oz. SIZE: Length: 3.622” Diameter: 0.866” -

See more 

I have used this when traveling, during work or at scrapbook crops when an outlet was not readily available.  I HIGHLY recommend this product.  It is simple to use, practical, reliable and versatile. The Magicstick is a little on the heavy side but is otherwise small and portable.,  It can easily be slipped into a pant pocket or small clutch.

Thanks to Powerocks, I have a discount code to share with my readers (while available).  Use code Powerblog20 for a 20% discount at  That is a $10 USD savings!  

Disclosure:  I received a product for review purposes   I was not required to write a positive review and did not receive any other form of compensation for this blog post.

Herbal Essences Naked Collection Volume Kit - Giveaway

New Year - New You!  Maybe one of your goals is taking better care of yourself or using products that are better for your hair and for the environment.  Herbal Essences has come out with a new NAKED product line that products that are designed with the "less is more" mantra in mind.

What will your kit contain?
The Naked Collection Volume Kit includes Naked Volume Shampoo, Conditioner, Volumizing Soufflé Styler, and Dry Shampoo.

Shampoos and conditioners with zero heavy residues, dyes and parabens

Dry shampoo instantly absorbs excess oil

Volumizing Souffle weightlessly boosts hair for luscious volume

Naked Collection Volume Kit - Kit includes Naked Volume Shampoo, Conditioner, Volumizing Soufflé, Flexible Hold Spritzer and Dry Shampoo.
- Everything you need for irresistible volume! - Online-only offer.
- Limited-edition kit, available while supplies last.
- Your chance to be the first to try Herbal Essences Naked!

Get it first

Naked Volume Shampoo & Conditioner
- Restores hair’s natural body.
- Made with zero heavy residues, dyes, and parabens.
- Light weight shampoo provides a clean luscious bounce.
- Conditioner keeps hair detangled, nourished, and maintains full volume.

Naked Volume Dry Shampoo
- Great for days when you don’t have time to wash your hair.
- Refreshes your look for lightweight, clean hair — even on days when you don’t wash.
- The natural tapioca formula absorbs excess oil and transforms lifeless, oily hair into fresh hair.
- Delights senses with the crisp essence of citrus and mint.

Naked Volumizing Souffle
- Weightless, volumizing styler gives you a lift for fullness that lasts.
- Delights the senses with a boost of grapefruit and mint.

This set is VERY affordable for 4 full size products.  (The price is closer to what it would cost for 2 - 3 products so it is like getting 1 - 2 for free when buying the kit it).  Click HERE to see how much :)

Ordering was super easy.  I logged into my account, placed the item in my cart and checked out.  I received it 3 days later - wow!   I gave this to my daughter who was  thrilled -  she told me that she had been looking at this online and was going to ask for it.  I cannot wait for us to try the new set. We will be back later with our review.....

Thanks to Herbal Essences and Walmart, I have one $50 gift card to give away to one reader. This can be used towards the purchase of the Herbal Essences Naked Collection Volume Kit .  To enter simply follow the prompts below. Winner to be selected at random. Must be a blog follower to enter. Good Luck to All!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  I received a Walmart gift card to purchase the product for review purposes.  I am not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Stocking Stuffer Gift Idea #1

In many states, the last thing we are thinking about in winter is sun protection.  What most people do not know is that year round sunscreen can slow the aging process and result in younger looking skin.  Although no guarantee, it also is a great way to work towards preventing wrinkles and skin cancer.  Skin protection should also be considered a necessity as in other protective measures for many wintertime outdoor sports such as snowboarding, skiing, skating, etc,

What are some great year round options - A great choice for summer and winter athletes is oil-free BullFrog Sunscreen. Originally invented for surfers, BullFrog goes on clear and offers broad-spectrum sun protection in a durable water-resistant formula. Whether you snow board, ski, or simply toss a few snowballs, Bull Frog is a reliable sunscreen engineered to stay put during sports and outdoor activities. Remember, the sun's damaging rays can harm your skin even during cold winter months and on cloudy days.

 Follow these sun protection tips from BullFrog:
 · Limit sun exposure, particularly between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun's harmful UV rays are the strongest and most damaging to your skin · Use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen with a value of 30 or higher
· Liberally apply sun protection 15 minutes before sun exposure
· Reapply every hour as needed, particularly after swimming or perspiring
· Your lips need protection, too—use an SPF 15 or higher lip balm

My husband was very pleased when we received this for review purposes.  He was familiar with the brand as he loves outdoor athletics.  He also has recently became more involved in bicycling which requires additional sun protection - BullFrog Marathon Mist is perfect for that.

The Bullfrog spray sunscreen is easy to apply, is non greasy and has a light, pleasant scent.  If you are more inclined to select a lotion, Bullfrog makes these varieties also!  Remember, this makes a great, inexpensive stocking stuffer and will show the recipient that you care.  Bullfrog products are available at national retailers, including WalMart, CVS and Walgreen's

Disclosure:  I received a product for review purposes.  I did not receive monetary compensation and was not required to write a positive review.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Betty Crocker Cookie Exchange and Toys for Tots! - Giveaway

I have had a long standing relationship with Betty Crocker®.  The majority of my baking posts have been sponsored by General Mills, Pillsbury or Betty Crocker®.  I was also fortunate enough to be invited as part of a select group of bloggers to "Baking with Betty".  The program included a visit to their facilities for a day of touring the campus and baking in the test kitchens.  I learned quite a bit that I shared with my readers but one thing that I probably did not share enough about was the vast amount of charitable activities and philanthropic efforts that the General Mills corporation participates in and/or leads.   Most recently Betty Crocker has partnered with Toys for Tots.

I have donated to Toys for Tots in the past.   the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation accepts donations at select locations for NEW, unwrapped toys.  The Marines then deliver these toys to more than 3,500 families in need.  This year Toys for Tots has teamed up with Betty Crocker® to encourage Americans to Host Parties to Make a Merry Difference.  Toys for Tots and Betty Crocker®are promoting the idea that holiday party hosts and goers to give back, bake and make a merry difference. To kick  off the celebration, Betty Crocker has donated $50,000 to Toys for Tots to help deliver more than 3,500 toys to families in need!

Now through December 27, individuals can register to host their Toys for Tots Cookie Exchange at In return, the first 1,000 hosts who sign up will receive a special cookie-making kit  from Betty Crocker, including a Toys for Tots train-shaped cookie cutter. Evite® partnered with Toys for Tots and

Betty Crocker to create a custom invitation for cookie exchange hosts to easily spread the word to their guests:
- The not-so-jolly reality is that more than 16 million American children currently live in poverty and may not receive  any toys this holiday season.
- With a goal of 1,000 or more cookie exchange parties hosted, Toys for Tots, Betty  Crocker and Evite are encouraging Americans to help other families make merry memories this holiday season.

“Betty Crocker and Toys for Tots are brands that are synonymous with the Christmas holidays,” Lt. Gen. Pete  Osman, USMC (Ret), President and CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. “We are excited to host the first  annual Toys for Tots Cookie Exchange to help turn holiday parties – something in which we all partake – into an  opportunity to share the magic of Christmas with deserving children by encouraging toy donations.  Thanks to our  new friends at Betty Crocker, everyone can help deliver memories of hope and happiness to children who need it  most by collecting toys and donations at their cookie exchanges”

“We're honored to partner with Toys for Tots this holiday season to help fulfill their important mission," said Laura  Forero, marketing manager with Betty Crocker. "It's our hope that through hosting cookie exchanges to gather donations some added cheer will be brought to thousands of deserving children this holiday season."

See my girls preparing a test batch of xmas cookies thanks to Betty Crocker and Toys for Tots.  I have to reluctantly confess that my girls have surpassed my skill level in baking.  They now do most of the baking.  Here the girls used Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix.  Half of the batch was dyed with green food coloring for a festive touch!  Afterward the girls frosted the cookies and added some sprinkles.  They were TOTALLY delicious.  We... actually they...will be making another batch next week for our cookie exchange :)

It’s easy to host a Toys for Tots Cookie Exchange:

1. Sign Up. The first 1,000 hosts who register will receive the exclusive cookie-making kit from Betty Crocker.  (I am not sure if any kits are available, but hurry and sign up if you are interested!)

2. Invite Your Guests. After you sign up, hosts will have access to free custom Evite invitations that they can personalize and send to their guests.

3. Make a Merry Difference. Each friend and family member are encouraged to bring cookies to share as well as a toy or cash donation to Toys for Tots. Choose to donate online or collect cash and checks at the party. Find a Toys for Tots drop-off location here for the toys you collect.

4. Be Creative. Get cookie recipe ideas from Betty Crocker, as well as cute ways to easily decorate your

5. Share your holiday cookie creations and donation success on social media using #MakeMerry and #TFT hastags.

Need some ideas for your cookie exchange?  Check out some fantastic recipe ideas HERE.

About Marine Toys for Tots Foundation
The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a not for profit organization authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps to provide fundraising and other necessary support for the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Toys  for Tots provides joy and a message of hope to less fortunate children through the gift of a new toy or book during  the Christmas holiday season. Our gifts offer these children hope, recognition, and a positive memory they will  cherish for a lifetime. Many of the books, games, and sports equipment that we provide as gifts make a significant  contribution to the educational, social and physical development of these children. In 2012, Marines distributed  toys to more than 7 million children who might not have otherwise experienced the magic of the Christmas holiday season.

About Betty Crocker
Since her creation in 1921, Betty Crocker has enjoyed a distinguished history as a multimedia superstar. Featured in radio, TV, print, and now online, this cultural icon has rightfully earned her reputation as the “Original First Lady of Food.” Minneapolis is the home of the Betty Crocker Kitchens, where a team of culinary experts develop food ideas that combine trends with consumer needs. is one of the top websites in the food category. Betty Crocker’s Facebook community has over 1.75 million fans that enjoy interacting with the brand, and millions have downloaded Betty Crocker’s  mobile app. Betty Crocker branded products garner more than $1 billion in sales annually. For more information,  visit

About Evite
With over 32 million registered users, Evite ( is the leading digital invitation and social event planning brand. Evite’s free, easy-to-use invitation designs kick off more than 7 million parties and gatherings  every year. With 28,000 invitations sent every hour, and party-planning tools that handle hundreds of millions of RSVPs annually, Evite is responsible for more celebrations than any other online brand. Launched in 1998, Evite is headquartered in Los Angeles and is a wholly-owned operating business of Liberty Interactive Corporation 

Thanks to Betty Crocker, I have one cookie kit available to share with a reader.  Since the holidays are close, this will be a short giveaway.  Please visit THIS LINK and comment on which featured recipe or related recipe (sidebar) you would like to make.  This giveaway will be open until  post by 11:59pm, Monday 12/16/2013.   Simply comment and then fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck to All and Happy Baking!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I received a cookie exchange pack and information from Betty Crocker. One cookie exchange pack will also be supplied directly to one winner. I was not required to write a positive review and I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post.

Congrats Candie!

Congrats to Candie L.!  Her name was randomly selected for both the Blu Ray AND the Carmex giveaways that recently closed. We received quite a few applicants for both giveaways so Candie definitely beat the odds of being chosen as a winner for both!  In the past, I have had other visitors win more than once, (especially regular readers) but not at the same time.  Candie is one very lucky lady indeed.

Please keep coming back for YOUR chance to win!  New giveaways to be posted tomorrow night :)

Last Minute Gift Idea #2 - Anne Taintor Gifts

You may have heard of Anne Taintor or you may already be a fan.  If not, you are in for a treat.  Anne is an artist who specializes in taking vintage images, embellishing and adding a relevant sentiment, usually on the humorous side..

Anne graduated from Harvard in 1977 with a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies. After college, she focused on collage, and her work always incorporated a subtle humor and playfulness. For years, Anne’s art was more of a sideline than a full-time occupation. But in 1985, she was a single mother searching for a way to spend more time at home with her daughter than her job in cartography permitted, and she began to develop a line of collaged pins and magnets. The new collages combined vintage images with Anne’s own interpretation of what these men and women might really be thinking. They were instantly a hit with Anne’s customers, though it took a little longer for her to be brave enough to “quit her day job”.
In 1999, with her daughter away at college, Anne and her husband moved to a tiny town (population 80!) in Northcentral New Mexico.  She spent 12 blissful years in NM balancing growing her business with healthy doses of hiking, swimming & camping.  Anne was elated to return to her home state of Maine in 2011 in order to spend more time with granddaughters and other family and to re-kindle her love of gardening and shoveling snow.  She now lives and works in an eclectic antique house in Portland and continues to cherish making all you smart women and men smile.

Anne's artwork is very unique, humorous and fun.  Take a look at these vintage ladies, gentlemen and children tagged with quirky comments - usually sentimental or funny.

I selected the large melamine tray and the matching mini-trays for review in the "Born To Be Wild" option.  This picture features several women in vintage 40's - 50's era swimsuits laughing and running hand in hand through the water - just another fun day with the girls!  Very cute and a great conversation starter.   The melamine was very sturdy and just the right amount of glossiness.  The colors were vivid but the image was softened for a great vintage feel.  

I used these recently when I entertained.  My kids especially went nuts over these.  I got 101 questions about the dishes - where did they come from, did I know who the ladies were, where were they, etc.  This would be great for your own entertaining, as a hostess gift, white elephant party gift, or as a present to someone that loves something different and/or likes to entertain.  

Anne Taintor also sells numerous other images and products including magnets, note pads, bags, barware, clothing, cards and more.  Make sure to pop by her website and check out her great selection of quirky items.  While you are there make sure to enter the monthly caption contest!

Disclosure - I received products for review purposes.  I did not receive monetary compensation and was not obligated to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed by my own.

Last minute Holiday Gift Idea #1 - Hair Chalk Color Kit

Here is a great gift idea for tweens, teens and young adults (or those who are simply young at heart).  My 12 year old LOVES this stuff!   

If you don't know what Hair Chalk is, then prepare yourself for how awe some it is!  It's a super fun, temporary method to add some serious flair to your hair. These vibrantly colored hair-chalk sticks from Ellore Femme help you to easily paint rainbow hues onto strands. The easy-to-blend dyes are formulated with natural plant pigments, rendering the chalk non-toxic. All 24 colors easily wash out in the shower. 
- Spontaneous hair colorSet with heatBlendable colorsNontoxic, natural plant pigmentsWashes out after one showerUse on wet hair24 vibrant shades

Note:  May transfer onto clothing during application and may cause respiratory irritation if inhaled.  

My Readers save $30 Off Ellore Femme 24 piece Hair Chalk set with promo code BL15

Regular Price: US $44.99
Blog Price: $14.99 (with Promo Code: BL15)

Happy Shopping!

Disclosure:  I received a product for review purposes for sharing this information with my readers

Friday, December 06, 2013

Blu-ray #MovieMagic GIVEAWAY

Are you a movie fan? If so you have probably upgraded to Blu-ray format. We love our two Blu-ray players because both play both DVDs and Blu-ray discs. One is in our family room where we all watch movies and the other is in the loft where the kids gather with friends. We can watch our older DVDs but we can also buy and watch new Blu-rays. My husband prefers the picture quality on Blu-ray so when we invest in a movie now, it is usually in Blu-ray format. Why? Blu-ray lets you to watch your favorite movies with unmatched sound and video that is SIX TIMES the quality of DVDs!
Blu-ray movies make a great gift for any of the people on your shopping lists. Kids movies, hit movies, blockbuster movies, indie films, favorite TV shows, documentaries, etc - all can be found on Blu-ray!

One giveaway entrant will win ONE of the following titles! (randomly selected by sponsor)
• The Little Mermaid - Diamond Edition
• The Lone Ranger
• Monsters University
• Angels Sing
• Rise of The Guardians
• Despicable Me 2
• Turbo
• Grown Ups 2
• Wizard of Oz 3D
• The Wolverine
• Star Trek: Into Darkness
• White House Down
• Fast 6
• Pacific Rim
• After Earth
• Man of Steel
• Red 2
• World War Z
• 2 Guns
• Weeds: The Complete Collection
• Predator 3D

As you finish your holiday shopping, consider picking up a few Blu-rays as last minute gifts or to add to your own growing collection. While you are here, make sure to register to win!
NOTE - Each household (US only) is only eligible to win ONE #MovieMagic Title 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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Limited Edition Carmex Moisture Plus Lip Balm - Review and Giveaway

I have a really great giveaway opportunity for my readers!  As part of the Carmex Blog Squad, I often get the opportunity to review new products or even tried and true favorites.  Recently I was able to review Moisture Plus in limited, special edition packaging.

I love Carmex Moisture Plus lip balms- it is similar to the original Carmex in the small tin container, but it is smother and slicker.  The Moisture Plus Lip Balms also come packaged in a slim tube so it is easy to take on the go and use at any time!  The new Limited Edition Moisture Plus comes in 4 different fun and stylish prints:

Limited Edition Carmex Mositure Plus Chic
This is a bright geometric print - very cute and great for free spirits:

Limited Edition Carmex Moisture Plus® Whimsical The Whimsical stick is inspired by Skye, the free-spirited, nature-lover. Skye is the girl whose ideal weekend is spent camping in the woods, soaking up the beauty of the wilderness. She prefers clothes that allow her to express her creativity, without restraining her from going on a spur-of-the-moment hike. Jeans and a tunic or organic cotton maxi dresses are her everyday favorites. On a Saturday night you’ll likely find her at an outdoor concert or music festival surrounded by like-minded people. 
Name: Skye 
Fashion Icon: Joni Mitchell 
Words to live by: "Reduce, reuse, recycle." 
Her style in one word: Carefree 
Go-to outfit: Patterned maxi dress 
Statement shoes: Flat leather sandals

Limited Edition Carmex Mositure Plus Chic
I love the hounds tooth print so this is my favorite of the four.  This is a classic.

The Chic stick is inspired by Audrey. She’s a modern girl, with classic taste. She detests anything garish or overly-embellished, preferring instead the sophisticated style of black and white patterns with an elegant, high-end aesthetic. On a Saturday night, you can most likely find her at an upscale art gallery opening or attending a theater performance.
Name:  Audrey
Fashion Icon:  Coco Chanel
Words to live by:  "Less is more."
Her style in one word:  Classic
Go-to outfit:  Little black dress
Statement shoes:  Black slingback

Limited Edition Carmex Mositure Plus Fab
This is a cute, modern purple print.  Very fun and girly!

Limited Edition Carmex Moisture Plus® Fab The Fab stick is inspired by Edie, the girl who embodies the spirit of London in the 1960s. She believes the miniskirt is the best invention of the 20th century, and she’d never dream of leaving home without her eyelashes curled to perfection. She loves anything new and of-the-moment, from avant-garde art to the latest buzzworthy band. On a Saturday night, you’ll find her at the newest, most talked about club in town, always surrounded by a circle of über-hip friends.
Name:  Edie
Fashion Icon:  Twiggy
Words to live by:  "It’s all groovy."
Her style in one word:  Mod
Go-to outfit:  Mini-dress
Statement shoes:  Go-go boots

Limited Edition Carmex Mositure Plus Adventurous
A cute cheetah print.  A little on the wild side...

The Adventurous stick gets its up-for-anything attitude from Peggy. She’s the girl who has never turned down a concert ticket most of her stories begin with the phrase "I was at this great show, when…" When it comes to fashion, Peggy believes the wilder the outfit, the better. From leopard print pants to leather jackets, there’s no fashion statement she’s afraid to try. On a Saturday night, you’ll find her in the front row at the most rocking concert in town.
Name: Peggy
Fashion Icon: Debbie Harry
Words to live by: "You only live once."
Her style in one word: Daring
Go-to outfit: Leather pants and a backstage pass
Statement shoes: Platform sandal

My review:  I have reviewed the Moisture Plus before and love it.  The lip balm is medicated with heavy moisturizing qualities but the application is quick, light, and slick.

I love that the packaging is so fashionable.  It also is not juvenile like many lip balms.  This is totally appropriate to have on your desk at work.  I actually hid these from my girls because I knew if they saw these, they would totally disappear.  I am saving one for my desk, one for my purse and one for the house.  I did sneak one to my oldest :)

Which one speaks to you?  Can't choose?  Pick up a few.  Currently available at 
Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Dollar General and other stores across the U.S.
Suggested retail price is $2.99. 

Visit Carmex at OR 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The Accidental Time Traveller - Gift Idea for Middle Schoolers

This was a nice little story appropriate for pre-teens.  I did feel that the story started out slow but the pace improved as the story developed.  Stylistically the author's writing also seemed to grow stronger as the story progressed.

The Accidental Time Traveller is a story about a boy named Saul who stumbles across a girl named Agatha.  Agatha has somewhat accidentally traveled through time and is dismayed to discover that she is stuck in 21st century Scotland - very unfamiliar territory for a girl from Scotland in the 1800's.  It does not take Saul long to believe her account of jumping over 200 years into the future and he resolves to help her return to her own time while helping keep her and her secret safe with a great deal of creativity and with the help of a few trusted friends.

There are several things in Saul's life that young readers will relate to - loving but un-attentive parents (due to the recent births of twin siblings), tight budgets, an annoying teacher, a relentless bully, a motley crew of school friends, lofty wish lists and the desire for recognition.  Saul finds that by relying on those in his life, but especially himself, even the impossible can be possible.

There are several underlying themes that the reader will take away - here are just a few:
- A little creativity can help solve both minor and complex problems
- With drive and passion, great things can be accomplished
- Friends and Family can help you if you let them but you can also manage on your own by being confident and thinking things through
- Things on the surface are not always as they seem
- Sometimes you have to make personal sacrifices in order to do the right thing or help the greater good.
- Do not judge a book by it's cover

A cute story that is appropriate for middle schoolers.

Disclosure:  I received an e-copy of this book for review from NetGalley.  I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  This review also posted to Good Reads and

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Give a gift that gives back!

As you begin your holiday shopping, you may be turned off by a lot of the commercialism. Through the years I have cut back - focusing less on buying and more on the experience. That said, we still do exchange gifts on Christmas and it is also my middle daughter's birthday. I love the idea of buying a gift that also helps contribute to a charitable cause. rel="nofollow"has a charitable gift catalog or simply the means to allow you to donate directly to the cause.

Who is WorldVision?  WorldVision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. Working in nearly 100 countries around the world, they serve all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.

When you purchase from you have several options
- donate directly for Americans
- donate directly where most needed globally
- donate for Emergency Aid
- donate to a specific cause, including Animals (livestock), Clean Water, Housing and Shelter, Education, Hunger, Medical Care, Orphans and Widows.
- Purchase a handcrafted item that goes towards a specific cause.

I received the lovely Colors of Africa Bracelet and Earring Set.

Help where it's needed most ... AND get a gift for yourself or someone you care about! With your gift of $100 or more to where most needed — which provides for the unique needs of children and families worldwide — you will receive this gorgeous Zakale bracelet and earring set from Nairobi. Zakale crafts are made from recycled materials by Kenyan artisans, who received a loan from World Vision to grow their business and lift themselves out of poverty.

Approximate sizes: bracelet 8" long, earrings 2" long. Each is unique - size and color may vary slightly.

When requesting the jewelry set, please note your gift is tax-deductible less the fair market value of $20.

The quality on this set is impressive.  Even more impressive is that you are helping a great cause while giving a gift to a friend or loved one!

I encourage you to take a look at the website to see how you can help!  For more info, please refer to the video below.

Disclosure - I received the set for review purposes.  I did not receive any compensation for this post.


Gorton's Wicked Good Seafood - Review and Giveaway

I was given the opportunity to work with Gorton's Seafood. Gorton's is a household name and one I have been familair with for years. When the girls were little, fish sticks were one of the few foods that they would regularly eat with no fuss so we served them often. Now that they are older, they are open to more foods but they still love fish sticks!

 One time my husband purchased generic fish sticks. All I can say is that we tried them and then discarded the rest of the bag. I am not one of those people who thinks that you always need to buy the "name brand" but I do have a short list of items that I will not eat or use UNLESS it is a name brand. Frozen seafood is now one of the items on that list....

When I received coupons from Gorton's, I went and selected the items I thought the girls would enjoy best.  We ended up with the Fish Sticks and the Crunchy Battered Fish Fillets.  These are so great year round, but for us, especially during the traditional school year when we have after-school activities.   Time for dinner preparation is minimal - what is great about using Gorton's is that it is easy to prepare.  Simply warm up the oven, place on a baking sheet and cook.  My kids, husband and I love this.  We do not have a fryer so bake everything at home.  This is a great way to have a "fish fry" at home.  
My husband loves that if I am unable to cook dinner, he can throw this in the oven and turn out a great dinner in under half an hour. The kids love that they are having a decent dinner :)

Crunchy Battered Fish Fillets:
Flaky, whole white fish fillets in classic crunchy coating made from daily baked bread. A delicious family-pleasing meal ready from the oven in under 20 minutes. Plus, Gorton’s Crunchy Breaded Fish Fillets are available in a stand-up releasable bag for added freshness and convenience! Breadcrumbs made from daily baked bread
- 100% Real Fish, No Fillers
- No MSG, artificial colors or flavors
- Natural Omega-3

This product also offered in 7.6, 11.4, and 64 ounces. Please see specific packages for slight nutritional differences.

Fish Sticks:
A classic family favorite, Gorton’s Fish Sticks are a great way to introduce your kids to eating seafood – and leave them asking for more! The crunchy golden breading makes them perfect for dipping. Try them with ketchup or your favorite sauce. Plus, Gorton’s Crunchy Breaded Fish Sticks are available in a stand-up releasable bag for added freshness and convenience!
- Great for Kids!
- 100% Real Fish
- No Fillers No MSG
- No artificial colors or flavors Natural Omega-3

One winner will win the following:
Three $2 off product coupons, 1 Gorton’s-branded ship wheel keychain, an assortment of Gorton’s recipe cards and beautiful seaside/Gorton’s postcards.

To enter simply comment per the instructions on the rafflecopter form and fill out the form for each entry requirement that you meet.  One randomly selected entrant will win.  Ends next Sunday - Good luck to all!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I received a prize pack for review purposes. All information and products were provided by Gorton's. I did not receive monetary compensation. All opinions expressed are my own.

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