Tuesday, August 31, 2010

FIRST Giveaway...Bull's Eye BBQ Sauce

Back on June 26th of this year I was selected from House Party to host a Bull's-Eye Regional BBQ Sauce Party. I was sent 8 full size bottles of the new regional bbq sauces which are: Carolina, Kansas City, Memphis, and Texas Style. Being a Carolina girl myself, I was kind of partial to that one, but my hubby liked the Texas style the best. I made chicken wings with each of the four flavors, then I had everyone try at least one of each. They guessed whcih one was which (my smarty-pants hubby got it right) and then decided which one was the favorite.
Also included in my party pack was coupons for free bottles of the Bull's Eye regional BBQ sauce. I was able to pass these out to all the guests but I still had some left over as well. So I decided to have my very first giveaway on my blog!!
I have 4 coupons to give away to 4 readers!! All of them are good for one (1) FREE (up to $2.49) BULL'S-EYE Regional Barbeque Sauce. If you would like to win here is what you do:

For your first Main entry: Tell me if you have tried the Bull's Eye regional sauces. If you have, what is you favorite? If not, what is your favorite BBQ sauce?


After you do the first entry you can do any of these for extra entries:
1) Follow me on twitter 1 entry

2) Tweet this giveaway 1 entry daily

3) Leave a comment on any other post 1 entry for each comment

4) Follow me on Google Friends 1 Entry

Make sure to leave your email address in your comments. This giveaway will end on Friday, 9/10 at noon. The winners will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond.

For more information on the Bull's Eye regional sauces check them out here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Joke of the Week

A magician worked on a cruise ship and did the same tricks each week.

However, there was a problem: the captain's parrot began to understand how the magician did every trick and started shouting out the secrets in the middle of the show.

The magician was furious but couldn't do anything; it was, after all, the captain's parrot.

One day the ship had an accident and sank. The magician found himself, with the parrot, adrift on a piece of wood in the middle of the ocean.

They stared at each other with hatred, but did not utter a word. This went on for a day, then another, and another.

Finally, after a week, the parrot said, "OK, I give up. Where the heck is the boat?!"

Thursday, August 26, 2010

10 Tips for Planning a Unique Baby Shower

Tiny Prints and TwitterMoms are asking blogging moms to share ten of their tips for planning a unique baby shower. As a mother of 2, and someone who loves babies, I wanted to participate and share some of my ideas.

1) If you can pull it off, a surprise shower is a fun idea. This is good for second pregnancies rather than the first because with the first one the mom-to-be is not going to want a surprise cause she is going to be too excited and in need of a lot of items!

2) Decorations play a big part in a baby shower going well. Find out ahead of time, if at all possible, if it is a boy or girl so that you can decorate accordingly.

3) One of the last baby showers I went to, had a really neat idea with the decorations. The mom-to-be was having a girl so her mom took a bunch of pink onesies and hung them up all around the room. This made for a really neat looking decoration and it is something that does not have to be taken down and thrown away.

4) I LOVE those cute diaper cakes...I really wish I was talented enough to make them but unfortunately I am not talented at all. But there are many sites and places that you can go to and get one of these. They make a wonderful decoration and a gift as well.

5) Come up with a theme for the shower. If there is something special that the mom-to-be needs, then don't be afraid to put it in the invitation; but make it a fun instead of a pushy way. This is especially helpful if this is not the first child because they may already have a few things so they may only need the everyday essentials.

6) I went to a shower a couple of years ago that gave away a $50 giftcard to WalMart to one of the guests. The way they did the drawing, was ask everyone to bring a package of diapers and their name would be put into a drawing. This was a good way to get the one thing that you can never have too many of, and it gave the guests an incentive as well.

7) One of my favorite games to play at a baby shower is the clothes pin game. At the beginning of the shower you must tell everyone the "words" that cannot be spoken. The words may be baby, diaper, the baby's name, etc. Be creative and have fun. When someone says one of the words, they lose their clothes pin. At the end, the person with the most pins wins.

8) Another fun game is the one that you take a piece of string and each guest cuts off the amount of string that they believe is the size of the mom-to-be around her belly. Then after everyone has cut their piece of string, they actually measure the string. The person that is closest wins a prize.

9) The prizes for guests can be fun and go along with a theme of the shower. One great gift idea is taking a baby bottle and filling it with body wash. It is great if you can get the one with the color blue or pink!

10) And my last tip but not least of course), is invite everyone you know and HAVE FUN!! Baby showers are not intended to be stressful and they should be fun so let loose and enjoy!

Make your invitations as much fun as the shower too. Get some great ideas and order your invitations from Tiny Prints by going to http://www.tinyprints.com/baby-shower-invitations.htm

What are some of the fun activities that you have had at your baby shower? I would love for you to share some of your thoughts in the comments section.

Disclaimer: “I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a Tiny Prints gift code worth $50, plus 25 FREE Tiny Prints greeting cards—a total gift value of $149.75! For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Five simple things you can do for your child to help keep their smiles healthy and bright

Did you know that each year, more than 51 million school hours are lost as a result of problems related to tooth decay, the most common chronic childhood disease in America [1]? In fact, tooth decay affects approximately half of all second graders and nearly 80 percent of 17-year-olds[2]. That’s why Trident® has partnered with Smiles Across America® to help underprivileged children get the dental care they need.

It’s no surprise that education can play a large role in preventing cavities. Nine in 10 (92%) parents believe cavities in children are preventable, yet a majority of parents (86%) struggle to get a child to take care of their teeth[3]. So how can parents get involved and convince their children to take proper care of his or her teeth? It is no easy task, but there are simple tips and reminders to keep in mind. For instance, clinical studies have shown that chewing sugar free gum, like Trident®, after meals helps fight cavities[4].

[1] Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General, May 2000
[2] National Center for Health Statistics, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III
[3] Trident: Oral Health perception survey, June 2010
[4] Deshpande A, Jadad A. The impact of polyol-containing chewing gums on dental caries: A systematic review of original randomized controlled trials and observational studies. JADA 2008; 139:1602-1614.

I am one of a few bloggers that are teaming up with Trident and TwitterMoms to help share five simple things you can do for your child to keep their smiles healthy and bright. I have to admit that I have not always been one to take care of my teeth or my children's either. In fact, I had to confess to the dentist earlier this year that my daughter (she was 9 at the time) had never been to a dentist. I was embarrassed to say the least, but I did not have dental insurance so it was hard. Now I have AFLAC dental and we have regular visits. I am going to share some tips for you moms that you can use for your kids whether you have insurance or not.

1) Start your kids out young with the brushing. If you wait until they are older then they will already be in the "wrong" kind of habit. I used to give my kids a tooth brush to chew on when they were cutting teeth; it helped to soothe them and it also brushed on their teeth as well.

2) YOU have to be the example!! If your kids do not see you brush your teeth regularly then they are not going to brush either.

3) Encourage them to drink milk. We all know that milk has calcium in it and calcium is good for teeth. If your kids do not like milk, show them other options of calcioum fortified items such as yogurt and cheese.

4) Monitor your kids cugar intake. I know this is hard sometimes to do but if they have a time or day that they have a lot of sugar, have them brush extra that day. This will help them to get into a habit of doing that.

5)All kids love chewing gum, so why not give them some Trident gum that actually helps to fight cavities!

Just remember to always encourage your kids. There are so many kids in the world today that get picked on because of "petty" things and we, as parents, don't want to give them any ammunition. It is fun for the tooth fairy to come, but she quits when it is permanent teeth coming out!

Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Trident blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card. For more information on how you can participate,
click here

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fracture - product review

I have recently learned about a new product for photographers (or moms that love taking pictures). It is a new way to way to print your pictures and frame them. The company is .
Here is a little about the company.
Printing and framing pictures is often a huge hassle and can become really expensive really fast. Between getting your photos printed, finding a suitable frame, and figuring out how to mount them, the frustrations (and dollars) have mounted, and the magic has gone away. However, you now have a contemporary, affordable, and practical way to show off all your favorite family pictures -- Fracture. Fracture is the fastest, easiest, best way to get your pictures from your camera to your wall.

Fracture's introductory product lets you print your digital pictures right onto glass! There's no paper, film or anything involved. Simply ink and glass. We have effectively combined printing, framing, and mounting into one simple process. You upload your photo to FractureMe.com, we print it on glass, and send it on it's way with everything you need to mount and display. It's a one-stop, complete photo decor solution.

Fractures are very safe: all sharp edges are removed, and they are completely okay to touch and handle.
Fractures are durable: the prints are shatter proof (unlike traditional glass frames), and the images will not fade for years beyond average prints.
Fractures are very practical and elegant: you can use them for any occasion, from Christmas and graduation gifts, to simple "Thank You's".
Fractures are for everyone: from avid photographers to snap happy point-and-shoot lovers, anyone can get Fractured!

With the holidays coming up, this is a great gift idea for parents, grandparents, and other family members. Check them out today by clicking here.

I am really excited about this new product and I am hoping that I am one of the first 100 bloggers that will get an opportunity to try it out for free. If I am one of the first 100, I will have a follow-up blog post to tell you just how much I love it!
Check out Fracture online:

Website - www.fractureme.com
Facebook - www.facebook.com/fractureme
Blog - www.fractureme.com/blog
Posterous - fracture.posterous.com

Disclaimer:I wrote this blog post in response to a TwitterMoms RAMBO alert, making me eligible to get a Fracture picture frame for review. You can learn more about Fracture at www.fractureme.com.”

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Joke of the Week

A young man saw an elderly couple sitting down to lunch at a fast food joint. They had ordered one meal. The old man carefully divided the meal in half.

The old man then began to eat, and his wife sat watching, with her hands folded in her lap.

The young man decided to ask if they would allow him to buy another meal for them so that they didn't have to split theirs.

The old gentleman said, "Oh, no. We've been married 50 years, and everything has always been shared, 50/50."

"But why isn't she eating?" the young man asked.

"It's his turn with the teeth," the old man's wife told him.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Five Lessons Every Kid Should Learn

As a mother I know of lots of things that I try to teach my kids about. With the movie Nanny McPhee coming to theaters on August 20th, I have teamed up with TwitterMoms and other bloggers to share "Five Lessons Every Kid Should Learn."
Here are my lessons, and I hope you will share yours as well. I can't wait to read the other lessons from wonderful blog-moms out there.

1) Kids have to learn early that it is not OK to take candy, or other items, from strangers. Unfrtunately, predators and drug dealers are targeting younger kids these days and doing it with candy and other items.

2) Kids also have to learn to not go away with strangers. I have a problem with talking to strangers so it is hard for me to tell my kids not to talk to them, but I do stress that it is one thing to talk to someone in a public place and leaving with someone.

3) One thing I have seen that unfortunately too many kids do not learn is when to be quiet!! I believe that all kids should learn when it is time to just be quiet. But as you look around there are parents that don't practice this concept, so unfortunatly they are not teaching their kids to be quiet either. Then our teachers have to deal with the consequences.

4) Kids MUST learn about good hygiene!! This is something I struggle with my two kids about, but the older they get (and get interested in the pposite sex), I remind them that they need to take more care of their appearance. And I don't mean girls putting on makeup or trying to be someone they are not, but just plain old bathing and taking pride in being clean!

5) All kids (and adults too in some cases) must learn to respect their elders!!! I work in an assisted living facility and it is really sad at how many people call the "old folks" just by their first name only. And in schools (and other public places) you see and hear kids being just plain RUDE! We need to go back to the ole
R-E-S-P-E-C-T song!

What can you add, or even take away from my list?? Please share your thoughts. in the meantime, are you going to take your kids to see Nanny McPhee?

About Nanny McPhee Returns (In Theaters August 20, 2010):

In Nanny McPhee Returns, Oscar®-winning actress and screenwriter Emma Thompson returns to the role of the magical nanny who appears when she’s needed the most and wanted the least in the next chapter of the hilarious and heartwarming fable that has enchanted children around the world.

In the latest installment, Nanny McPhee appears at the door of a harried young mother, Mrs. Isabel Green (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who is trying to run the family farm while her husband is away at war. But once she’s arrived, Nanny McPhee discovers that Mrs. Green’s children are fighting a war of their own against two spoiled city cousins who have just moved in and refuse to leave.

Relying on everything from a flying motorcycle and a statue that comes to life to a tree-climbing piglet and a baby elephant who turns up in the oddest places, Nanny McPhee uses her magic to teach her mischievous charges five new lessons.

Watch the “Nanny McPhee Returns” Trailer: http://www.nannymcphee.com

Join Nanny McPhee Returns on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nannymcpheereturns

Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Nanny McPhee Returns blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card Click here.

Joke of the Week

Four older men stood on the first tee to start off a game of golf. Just as Ralph was about to hit his tee shot, a funeral procession drove by.

Ralph took off his hat and bowed his head until the procession was finished. Once the procession was over, he put his hat back on his head and started to line up his shot.

John and the other guys were astonished.

"Ralph, we've had a standing tee time together for the past 10 years," John said. "And we had no idea you were such a sentimental guy!"

"Well, we were married 25 years," Ralph said. "It's the least I could do."

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ten tips for saving money during the back-to-school season

Back to school time is upon us once again. A few years ago the school district here decided that school would not start before August 25th so every year since then they have started on the 25th, even if it is a Friday. I really hate that for 2 reasons:1) why start school on Friday?? It is crazy!! & 2) my poor son's birthday is no other than August 25th - Happy Birthday to him!
We all know how crazy it can be getting ready for back to school. With all the supplies you have to get, the costs can sky-rocket. So I decided to team up with other Twitter Moms and share some tips for saving money during the back to school season.

1) If your state offers the no-tax weekend, make sure you save up and take advantage of it. This is the perfect opportunity to buy those expensive items.

2) Shop at stores that offer rebates and other special offers such as Staples.

3) Check all of the weekly ads. You can find some really great deals if you look for them and take advantage of them weekly.

4) When you find a really great deal, use the whole family. Most of the time there will be a limit to how many items one person can get, so give the kids some money and let them buy the limit as well.

5) If you can get a good deal, and can get extras, do it and put the extra stuff up for next year. I have a cabinet that we store school supplies in and I cannot tell you how many folders and pencil erasers we have, but we will not need to buy any for a really long time.

6) Use coupons! This is a BIG change that I have made over the last year. If you can combine a sale with a coupon, there will be lots of things that you can get almost free ~~~~ and who doesn't love free stuff?

7) Do you shop at the outlet stores? Sometimes it is worth taking a day trip to the outlet store mall and hunt for the deals there.

8) Some things are worth getting in bulk because you will use more of them. In these cases, it wouldn't hurt to shop at places like Sam's. Sam's is good for after school snacks or lunch snack items.

9) Some communities offer back to school events where they give away school supplies. There is a church near our home that does this every year and we take advantage of it. They send an invitation to everyone in the area and have games, inflatables, food, and of course school supplies for the kids.

10) A friend of mine came up with a really neat idea this year. She is hosting a clothing exchange party. On the invitations, she told the mothers to get all the clothes that were too small and bring to exchange for some clothes that would fit. This is great if you have children of all ages and sizes show up!

So what are some of the ways you too save money? Please share your ideas as well. In fact, if you are a blogger you can do a post like this one and possibly get a $50.00 gift card for Staples. You can find all the information here.

About Staples:

Staples, the world's largest office products company, is committed to making it easy for customers to buy a wide range of office products and services. Our broad selection of office supplies, electronics, technology and office furniture as well as business services, including computer repair and copying and printing, helps our customers run their offices efficiently. With 2009 sales of $24 billion and 91,000 associates worldwide, Staples operates in 26 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia serving businesses of all sizes and consumers. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today ranks second worldwide in e-commerce sales. The company is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) is available at www.staples.com/media.

Staples makes going back-to-school easy for 2010:

Staples provides significant savings, a wide selection of quality products, and a one-stop shop and stress-free shopping experience.

Staples is in-stock throughout the entire season and into the start of the school year.

Staples kicks off the back-to-school season to provide customers with an official start date for back-to-school shopping and a clear roadmap for value throughout the season.

Staples is the expert on back-to-school, with more than 20 years experience.

Staples offers more ways to save from hot buys like penny and dollar deals to savings on technology to reduced low prices on hundreds of core items.

More info: http://www.staples.com

Join Staples on Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/staples

Follow Staples on Twitter: http://twitter.com/staplestweets

Disclaimer: “I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Staples blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Family movie night with Letters to God

Yesterday the new movie Letters to God came out on DVD. I made plans to pick up dinner from Little Caesars and go to Blockbuster to rent the movie, but when I went to WalMart to get my prescription I saw that they had the movie for sale for only $13.00. If you are a movie fanatic like we are you know that is a good deal for a new movie. I knew this was going to be an awesome movie just from seeing the preview. I have to admit that I cried during the preview.

Here is the story line from the web page for the movie:

The Story
A heartfelt tale of inspiration, hope and redemption, Letters to God is the story of what happens when one boy’s walk of faith crosses paths with one man’s search for meaning—the resulting transformational journey touches the lives of everyone around them.

Tyler Doherty (TANNER MAGUIRE) is an extraordinary eight-year-old boy. Surrounded by a loving family and community, and armed with the courage of his faith, he faces his daily battle against cancer with bravery and grace. To Tyler, God is a friend, a teacher and the ultimate pen pal—Tyler’s prayers take the form of letters, which he composes and mails on a daily basis.

The letters find their way into the hands of Brady McDaniels (JEFFREY S.S. JOHNSON), a beleaguered postman standing at a crossroads in his life. At first, he is confused and conflicted over what to do with the letters. Overtime he begins to form a friendship with the Doherty family – getting to know not just Tyler but his tough, tender yet overwhelmed mom (ROBYN LIVELY), stalwart grandmother (MAREE CHEATHAM) and teen brother Ben (MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER BOLTEN) -- who are each trying to stand strong against the doubts that come with the chaotic turn their lives have taken.

Moved by Tyler’s courage, Brady realizes what he must do with the letters, a surprise decision that will transform his heart and uplift his newfound friends and community –in an exhilarating act of testament to the contagious effect of one boy’s unwavering faith against the odds.

Inspired by a true story, Letters to God is an intimate, moving and often funny story about the galvanizing effect one child’s belief can have on his family, friends and community.

My Thoughts
I won't ruin the movie and tell you more than the description above but I will say that this is truly an amazing story about courage, faith, friendship, sacrifice and love. Sometimes people, including Christians, think that God is only working if He performs a miracle. What we fail to realize is that He is always performing miracles but we have to open our eyes and see them. In this true story movie, the letters that this sick, 8-year old boy, Tyler, writes to God inspires a whole community. There are many miracles performed, including Tyler leading a boy in school to Christ. The greatest thing about this particular boy is that he is the "mean" kid at school and picks on Tyler when he comes back to school bald. There are other miracles with Tyler's family, the mailman, and others in the community. I cried through this movie and was touched tremendously! In fact, my 2 kids were a little upset with me when I told them they could not play but instead had to sit with their dad and I to watch this movie. During the movie, though, they did not move at all. As a family we were touched and as an individual I was touched. This will be one of those movies that are showed in churches all around the world and I pray that communities everywhere are touched by the message that God has given to us through the story of Tyler.
Click on the link below to go to the web page and see more on the movie.
The Movie - Letters to God, a Possibility Pictures Production

You can also see the trailer for the movie here.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Geek Dad - Book Review

About the Book
Today's generation of dads grew up more tech-savvy than ever. Rather than joining the Little League team, many grew up playing computer games, Dungeons and Dragons, and watching Star Wars. Now with kids of their own, these digital-age dads are looking for fresh ways to share their love of science and technology, and help their kids develop a passion for learning and discovery.
Enter supergeek and father of two Ken Denmead. An engineer and editor of the incredibly popular "GeekDad" blog, Ken has created the ultimate, idea-packed guide guaranteed to help dads and kids alike enjoy the magic of playtime together and tap into the infinite possibilities of their imaginations. With illustrations throughout, this book offers projects for all ages to suit any time frame or budget. With Denmead's expert guidance, you and your child can:
* Fly a nighttime kite ablaze with lights or launch a video camera with balloons
* Construct the "Best Slip 'N Slide Ever," a guaranteed thrill ride
* Build a working lamp out of LEGO bricks and CDs
* Create a customized comic strip or your own board game
* Transform any room into a spaceship
* Make geeky crafts like cyborg jack-o'-lanterns or Ethernet cuff links
Brimming with endlessly fun and futuristic tidbits on everything from gaming to robots to gadgets, Geek Dad helps every geeky father unleash his inner kid - and nurture the next generation of brainiacs.

About the Author
Ken Denmead is the editor of "GeekDad" , the blog on Wired magazine's Web site. A professional civil engineer, he lives near San Fransisco with his wife, two dogs, and two sons, who are both geeks in training.

My Thoughts
I was really thrilled when I was given the opportunity to receive this book and do a review on it. I am a mother of two very rambunctious children but I am not one that would be considered tech-savvy in any way. My husband is a very great father and husband but he is not one that likes to do "projects", so this book was great for me (the mom) to do projects with the kids. The book is written in a way that it is easy to follow along with. You do not have to be a geek to do these projects. I was going to do a video upload of one of our projects together, but my camera died. But this is going to be a book that will have more reviews to follow. I give the book to the kids and tell them to pick out a project. The book is great because it also gives you an estimate at the beginning of each project of the cost, difficulty (which is very important for someone like me!), duration (how long it will take to complete), and reusability (if it is good for one time only or if it will last forever. It also gives you the concept of the project as well as the tools needed.
With both of my children going into middle school, I am always stressing the science projects and other "projects" that are required. As I looked through Geek Dad, I have found many ideas and will have a more positive outlook as the school year begins again. There are also many other ideas on the "GeekDad" blog, and geekdadbook.com.
As I said previously, my kids and I will be working on some of the projects, and as soon as I can get my camera working again, I will post reviews of the projects along with pictures and/or videos.
One of the first projects my son wanted to try (which was the one I wanted to video), was a classic with a twist. We have all heard of putting Mentos candy inside a bottle of cola and it will explode. Well, in Geek Dad, they tell you how you can put Mentos in ice cubes so that when you put the ice cubes in a glass of cola (preferrable Diet Coke), the "victim" will have no clue anything is wrong until the drink blows. Naturally the surprise affect of this, rather than the expected, is well worth trying it out. Of course I made him take it outside before giving anyone a "drink". I will try this one again when the camera is working and hopefully I can surprise the kids...or even better maybe I will help them get their daddy!
Go ahead and let out the inner geek in you and get your copy of this wonderful book. It is on sale at "Amazon. You can also share some of your ideas for "geeky projects" to the "geek dads" that made this book possible by going to the "GeekDad" blog.

As I read through this book and began to write this review, I was reminded of a commercial that I have seen a few times on t.v. I cannot find the commercial on youtube or anywhere, but you have probably seen it as well; the kids are saying that they get called geek and nerd, but at the end they say something to the affect of one day they will be the boss. I really like that commercial because of how true it is. The kids that are smart get picked on in school, but what the other kids fail to realize is that they are going to be the executives and CEOs one day and the "mean kids" will be working for them.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of review. I was not compensated in any other way and the reviews in this post are strictly mine.