Thursday, December 30, 2010

Do You Know An Amazingly Energized Woman?

We all have a friend or family member that seems to have it all together.  You know the one.   She has a job, an immaculate house, cooks healthy dinners every night, and loves craft time with the kiddos.  Every time you see her, you're in awe (and a little annoyed), wondering how it is possible to be so perfect.  Personally, I like to tell myself that she's not really as perfect as she seems.  She must have some flaw, right?  Well, now is not the time to look for her flaws.  Now is the time to toot her horn (or your own if you're the person all your friends are in awe of).  Centrum and Molly Shannon are currently searching for America's Most Amazingly Energized Woman.  Between now and January 3, 2011, you can nominate yourself or someone you love that is an example of an amazingly energized woman.
The makers of Centrum® multivitamins are celebrating women who live life and love to the fullest by staying healthy and energized, even during the busiest time of the year. Tell us her (your) secret on maintaining healthy energy levels so she can enjoy the great things the holiday season brings – including friends and family time, giving gifts, hosting parties, and so much more!
The form is short.  Submissions must be 300 words or less.  So, even if you're not the one full of energy, you should be able to find sufficient time to get the essay done.   A panel of judges will select five finalists.  The five finalists will then be voted on by the public to choose a winner (which is why I won't be entering).  The winner will receive a $3000 XPERIENCE DAYS gift certificate.   Each of the four runners up will receive a $400 XPERIENCE DAYS gift certificate.   So, check out the prizes, write an essay, and cross your fingers.  If one of my readers is selected as a finalist, please come back and let me know and I'll be sure to vote for you.  Good Luck!

Disclaimer:  I am a member of One2One Network and this post is part of a member project where I am eligible to win prizing.  I make no claims about Centrum as a product or it's effectiveness. 

Old Navy Coupon Giveaways

Every year around this time, stores have some amazing sales on their winter clothing.  Since Pumpkin and Peanut are fairly young, I can get away with buying clothes now in preparation for next year.   One of my favorite stores to shop for great deals on cute clothes is Old Navy.   Each week, a couple of blogs give away several coupons for $50 off a purchase of $100 or more.  This week, I found two that I'm entering. (If you find any others, I'd appreciate if you'd let me know.)   Here's hoping that I win, or if I don't, that one of my readers does!  Good Luck!

The Charmed Mom

Simply Being Mommy

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Wonderful Winter Sunset

While this might not be the best picture, I absolutely love it.  Even in the Winter, we have the most gorgeous sunsets.  Look at the branches on the trees.  All of the ice crystals make it look like the trees are decorated with Christmas lights.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Holiday Treats from Kroger & Chex - Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to guettel78! selected #228 out of 297 entries for the Holiday Treats from Kroger & Chex - Giveaway.   Thanks to all who entered!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Starbucks Gift Card Winners

Unfortunately, I did not win the ComfySacks contest.  Sadly, I'm not surprised.  The best part about participating and losing is that I can guarantee that I won't waste my time on voting contests for a while.  It usually takes me several months before I forget how much I despise them and give another one a shot.   If I happen to mention on Twitter or Facebook that I'm thinking of entering another, please remind me of Comfy Sacks, Little Tikes Water Slide, or the CSNstores Creative Kids contests to stop me before I regret it.  :o)

Since I didn't win, I am not doubling the value of the gift card from $10 to $20.  However, since I do want to show my appreciation for your votes, I am doubling the number of winners.  Two winners will each receive a $10 Starbucks Gift Card. selected comments #5 and #11 as my winners.  I have verified that both participants did "like" my photo.   Congratulations Guilly and AubreyLaine!  I will be contacting you shortly via email.

Also, since the contest is over and the votes have been counted, please feel free to "unlike" ComfySacks on facebook if you would like.  (I have no affiliation with ComfySacks and have never purchased their products, so I cannot recommend that you either use or avoid them based on experience.)

Thanks again for all your votes!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Did you miss me?

After an amazing (but crazy) Christmas, I am back.

It might take me a while to catch up, especially with the kiddos home from school for the next week, but you will probably see me daily for at least a short post. 

Tomorrow I will draw and the post the winner for my Starbucks Gift Card Giveaway.

I'll see you then!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Carmex Lip Tints Winner & Coupon

I had 37 entries for the Carmex Lip Tints Giveaway. chose #2 as the winner.

Congrats Charro M.  I will be contacting you via email shortly.  For those of you that didn't win, but want to check out the new Carmex Tints, be sure to check out this page for a coupon. 

Also, don't forget to enter my Kroger/Chex Giveaway here and my Starbucks Gift Card Giveaway here

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Treats from Kroger & Chex - Giveaway

With the holidays fast approaching, our house is in a constant state of motion.  From practicing for the Christmas pageant to baking for guests, it feels like we are always busy.  This weekend, we were busy as usual, but it was a good kind.  We were writing out our candy-grams, getting teacher gifts put together, and getting the last of our goodies made for the holiday extravaganza that begins this week.

Wednesday, Peanut will be singing in her Christmas program.  It is expected that both sets of Grandparents will be in attendance as well as Auntie Em.  While it isn't a big crowd by any means, I still have hostess guilt that makes me feel like I have to have homemade goodies for our visitors to enjoy.   You may recall that we did most of our holiday baking over Thanksgiving weekend.  However, MyBlogSpark sent me Chex cereal and a Kroger gift card recently, and I couldn't let that go to waste.  As soon as I saw the recipe for Chex Muddy Buddies on the Rice Chex box, I knew I had to make it with the girls. 

9 cups Corn Chex, Rice Chex, Wheat Chex, or Chocolate Chex Cereal
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  1. Into a large bowl, measure cereal; set aside
  2. In 1-qt microwaveable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on high 1 minute; stir.  Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth.  Stir in vanilla.  Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.  Pour into 2 gallon resealable food storage plastic bag.
  3. Add powdered sugar.  Seal bag; shake until well coated.  Spread on waxed paper to cool.  Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

While this "in progress" picture doesn't do it any justice, I just have to say that the mix is delicious!  Hopefully it lasts until Wednesday.  If not, I'll be heading to Kroger to get more supplies.  Luckily, Chex is on sale at our Kroger until December 25th, so it won't cost me too much to replace it.  (Just an FYI - As soon as I saw this recipe I knew it looked familiar.  It is very similar to a mix we called "People Chow" that was made with Golden Grahams instead of Chex.)

In addition to this recipe Chex has oodles of others as well available on their website.  From Buffalo Chex Mix to Chex Pumpkin Pie Crunch, you're bound to find something you'd like to try.  They have sweet, salty, gluten-free, and 15 minute recipes on the site.

Who wants to win a great prize pack from Chex, Kroger, and MyBlogSpark?  The prize pack will include a Kroger gift card and some Chex to make your own recipes.

Here's what you have to do to win (mandatory):

  1. Look at the Chex website and tell me which recipe you'd most like to try.
For additional entries you can also do the following. Be sure to leave a comment for each additional entry.
  1. Follow me on twitter (leave your twitter name)
  2. Like me on facebook (leave your initials)
  3. Follow me on Google Friend Connect (leave your username)
  4. Tweet about this giveaway. You may do this once daily. Be sure to include @rmgm #myblogspark and a link to this post (leave a link to your tweet)
  • Only open to US residents
  • Winner will be chosen using
  • Giveaway ends 11:59pm ET on December 27, 2010
  • Include your email address in your comment if it is not available on your profile page. If an email address in not in the comment or on your profile page another winner will be chosen. I will not contact you through Twitter or Facebook.
  • Winner will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.
  • Prizes will be sent directly from the sponsor. I am not responsible for prizes that are lost or damaged during shipment. If you win a prize and do not receive it, please let me know.
*Disclaimer - The prize pack is provided by Chex and Kroger through MyBlogSpark. I received the same pack to facilitate my review and giveaway post. The recipe here came from the box of Rice Chex.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I want to win . . . How about you?

I know, I know.

I said I'd never enter one of these voting contests again.

I always work so hard and harass all my friends and family to vote for me, then end up disappointed when I lose.  This time, I mean it.  If I win this contest I will not enter another voting contest ever again (by ever I mean until I can't resist the prize and think my odds are better than zero).

So, here's my beg for votes.

If you wouldn't mind, would you please go to the Comfy Sacks Facebook Page and like it, then go to my picture (I'm contestant #5) and like that as well.

Just because I'm feeling generous (and really want to win), I'm offering another incentive as well.  I have a $10 Starbucks Gift Card that I'm giving away to one of you that likes the picture and leaves a comment here.  If I win, I'll double it.  So, please vote, then post here that you did (with your facebook initials so that I can verify).   Be sure to spread the word and ask your family and friends to vote as well.  Even if you don't want to tell them about this contest, you want them to vote.  Don't forget, if I win, the winner here wins even more.

Thanks so much! 

*Disclaimer - If I win the ComfySacks Contest I will win a Kids Mini Lounger.  I am providing the Starbucks giftcards myself.  There are no sponsors for this giveaway.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  The ComfySacks contest is scheduled to end on 12/19/10 at midnight.  This giveaway will end at the same time.  Please include your email address in your comment if it is not visible in your profile.  Winner will be selected by and contacted via email.  Winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Review - NBC's Community - Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas

I was recently contacted by One2One to participate in a project where I was able to get a sneak peek at this week's Community on NBC. In exchange, I was asked to give my honest review.  To give you a bit of background about myself, I have watched Community in the past and enjoyed it.  However it is not one of my "must-see" shows.  Now, before I give you my review, here's a bit about the episode:

When Abed (Danny Pudi) wakes up in stop-motion animation, he takes it as a sign that he and the group must re-discover the meaning of Christmas. Meanwhile, Jeff (Joel McHale) and Britta (Gillian Jacobs) become growingly concerned about Abed's mental health and enlist the help of Professor Duncan (John Oliver). The group undergoes hypnosis to explore Abed's winter wonderland and soon unravel the truth behind Abed’s madness. Chevy Chase, Yvette Nicole Brown, Donald Glover, and Ken Jeong also star.
To be completely honest, within the first few minutes I was bored and even a little confused.  I didn't really like the intro to the show.  I didn't enjoy or appreciate some of the inappropriate (in my opinion) humor. I didn't like that they described themselves as being in stop-motion.  Having watched the entire program I understand that the explanation was important to the plot.  Only Abed saw them in stop-motion which is why the group sought the help of Professor Duncan.   That being said, by the first commercial break I was hooked.   While I could have done without some of the sarcasm, I just love Shirley in the show.  I found myself laughing out loud during a couple of her lines.  In addition to the humor, I also appreciated the message.  As you may have read here, for me Christmas is about new and old traditions.  It is about family, friends, and opportunities.  The magic of Christmas is not in the gifts, it is in the experiences we all share.  I personally love the idea that no matter what you believe, Christmas can be a time when we all come together to create our own magic!

*Disclaimer - I reviewed this episode through One2One.  I did not receive any compensation in exchange for my review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What do you want for Christmas?

"What do you want for Christmas?"

I might be completely alone in this, but it drives me crazy when people ask my kiddos what they want for Christmas, their birthday, or any other holiday or event.  Honestly, I think it drives other people crazy when my kids don't have an answer.   We don't ask the girls what they want as far as gifts are concerned.  We simply pay attention to things they do and say throughout the year.  We watch which section of toys they are drawn to when we are shopping for others.  (Though admittedly this might become more difficult as they get older.)  My reasons for this are two-fold.  First, I don't want them to think that holidays are all about the presents.  Second, I don't want them to be disappointed.

We live fairly far away from most of our family and friends.  The holidays  are pretty much the only time we have the opportunity to visit with great-grandparents and other extended family.   In addition, our extended family is rather large.  My dad is the oldest of 12 children.  All of whom are married and have kids.  Many of those kids are also married with kids.  This means that there are close to 100 people at the family Christmas party.  Grandma gets everyone a small present, but generally few other gifts are exchanged.  The holidays are simply a time to reconnect with those that have helped us to become what we are today.  They are an opportunity to learn what is going on in the lives of others.  The holidays are a time for relaxation, joy, connection, history, and tradition.

I have an amazing family.  My parents were always (and still are) kind, generous, thoughtful and fun.  I have some great memories from the holidays.  I remember our traditional night out at our favorite Mexican restaurant followed by a drive around looking at Christmas lights while carols played in the car.  I remember going with my dad to pick out the perfect Christmas tree at the farm.  I remember hanging lights with dad and baking and decorating cookies with mom and my sister.   I remember going to Christmas mass together.  I remember the feeling of being safe, secure and loved.  Do you know what I don't remember?  I don't remember a single specific present that I received.   However, I do remember something else.  I remember the feeling of disappointment with my gifts.  It wasn't that I didn't get what I wanted.  I did.  I got what was on my list.  I think with all the magic of the holidays though, I was expecting more.  I was expecting surprises.  I was expecting a perfect something that I hadn't even known I wanted.  I don't think I'm a greedy person.  I don't think that I was ever ungrateful or unappreciative.  It is just that the listed items weren't as exciting or glamorous as they looked on TV.  There wasn't any magic in the "things" I received.

Just the other day I had to rethink my stance on this issue when Peanut came home from school in tears.  They are apparently working on letter writing in school.  She said that she had to write a letter to Santa asking for at least two or three things.   She didn't know what to do since she doesn't make a list for Santa.  "What do I ask for?  I don't make a list, I like surprises." was mumbled through her tears.  (Whether she really likes surprises, or I have just ingrained that into the girls is an entirely different post.)  We talked through it and she did come up with a couple of small items she could write about.  It seemed to appease her for the moment.   After our conversation, I did decide to stick to my guns . . . for a while.  For me, the magic was never in the gifts.  It was always in the experiences.  Hopefully, by focusing on the experiences rather than the gifts we can keep the magic of Christmas alive for just a bit longer. 

General Mills & MyBlogSpark Family Fun Night Giveaway Winner

There were 71 entries for my Family Fun Night Giveaway sponsored by General Mills and MyBlogSpark. selected lucky #13 which was:

13. Doodle741 said... Tweet!

Congrats Doodle741!  I will be contacting you via email shortly.

Thanks to everyone who entered and left comments on my blog.  Don't forget to enter for a Carmex Moisture Plus Lip Tints prize pack.  It ends on 12/13 (as of today there are only 5 entries).  Good luck!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Are your lips getting chapped? (Carmex Review & Giveaway)

I am not a lipstick girl.  In fact, I didn't even wear it on my wedding day.  For some reason, wearing lipstick makes me feel too noticeable.  I'm not really someone that enjoys being the center of attention . . . I actually prefer to blend in a bit.  So, when Carmex sent me their Moisture Plus Lip Tints to review I was a little concerned.   "How am I going to review a product that I wouldn't normally think to try on my own?"  After a little motivation and a day out with a friend, I can now post my thoughts and opinions.  Before I do though, I'll tell you about about this product.
The best of both worlds are coming together with real moisture meeting light, sheer color.  Perfect for any occasion and easy to apply - no mirror required!  Formulated with Vitamin E, Aloe, Shea butter, and SPF, Carmex Moisture Plus tinted lip balm gives you moisture, a hint of shine and color all in one sleek package.   (from the back of the package)
Carmex Moisture Plus Lip Tints are available in two colors, sheer pink and sheer peach.  Both colors have a slant tip, SPF 15, and Vitamin E and aloe moisturizing protection.  Personally, I prefer sheer peach because it is more the natural color of my lips, however neither color is too strong.  While I still prefer traditional Carmex in the jar or the original Moisture Plus, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the Tints.  The slender tube with the slant tip is definitely a plus.  It isn't large and bulky in your pocket or purse, and it is very easy to apply.  I also really like the looks of the tube.  It just looks a little "classier" than a standard lip balm tube.  I don't know if it is just my preconceived notions or not, but the Tints don't seem to last quite as long as the original product did on my lips and don't feel quite as smooth.   I will say that the Carmex Moisture Plus Lip Tints are great for date night (for me).  They give my lips a touch of color without making me feel like I stand out in the crowd.  I plan to stick to my normal Carmex products for regular use, but will definitely pull out the Tints for special occasions.

Want a chance to win some Carmex Moisture Plus Lip Tints of your own? (Winner will receive two Carmex Moisture Plus Lip Tints.)

Here's what you have to do to win (mandatory):

  1. Tell me which color of the Carmex Moisture Plus Lip Tints you'd like to try.  Please leave your email address in the comment if it is not visible in your profile.
For additional entries you can also do the following. Be sure to leave a comment for each additional entry.
  1. Follow Carmex on twitter (leave your twitter name)
  2. Follow me on twitter (leave your twitter name)
  3. Like Carmex on facebook (leave your initials)
  4. Like me on facebook (leave your initials)
  5. Follow me on Google Friend Connect (leave your username)
  6. Tweet about this giveaway. You may do this once daily. Be sure to include @rmgm @CarmexLipBalm  #carmex and a link to this post (leave a link to your tweet)
  • Only open to US residents
  • Winner will be chosen using
  • Giveaway ends 11:59pm ET on December 13, 2010
  • Include your email address in your comment if it is not available on your profile page. If an email address in not in the comment or on your profile page another winner will be chosen. I will not contact you through Twitter or Facebook.
  • Winner will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.
  • I am not responsible for prizes that are lost or damaged during shipment. If you win a prize and do not receive it, please let me know.
*Disclaimer -  Other than receiving the product to facilitate my review, I did not receive any other compensation for this post.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.