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Thursday, January 31, 2013

FREE Blogger Opp ~ Walk the Dinosaur (Etsy) Giveaway

Here's a Blogging Opportunity I found. If you blog, you might want to check it out. 
If you like winning, be sure to check back on February 4 for a chance to win!

Calling all cool, creative, hip, fun and funky-fresh, crafty bloggers. You're not going to want to miss being a part of this one, so hurry before sign-ups close! Right now, you can join us and offer your readers a really cool prize.... A Dragon Hat!!
Don't know what a dragon hat is? Here's a picture of a long tailed one and a short tailed one.

Aren't they just awesome? And they come in all kinds of colors and patterns. Sally over at The Lopsided Frog on Etsy has graciously offered our readers one item of their choice on her shop up to a $75 value! This includes ALL dragon hats. Find her shop here!
Here's the best part. Everyone who enters will get a gift code for 20% off anything in the store! That's right. With this giveaway, EVERYONE is a winner.
Hosted by Visionary Bri, we are delighted to be able to offer all of our awesome readers this prize. The event will run from Febuary 4th to Febuary 18th.

Requirements to Join:
Post an announcement or pay $5 fee
No more than 2 blogs per person allowed
You will have one free link in exchange for posting an announcement. Your choice of Facebook or Twitter. 
Agree to post the giveaway html at least 24 hours after giveaway begins.
Promote this giveaway at least 2 times a week.
Payments accepted:  Paypal accepted -
If you are interested in sponsoring this event or co-hosting: Your blog is included as co-host in event post, first link free and receive your choice of 2nd Link for $10.00 - Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, you name it!
NOTICE - All Facebook links will be on a rafflecopter form - not dry listed as boxes or links.
For any further questions, please feel free to email me at 

Open worldwide!!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Life is not measured 
by the number of breaths we take,
But by the moments
that take our breath away.

My folks celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary in Hawaii.

Congratulations, Mom & Dad!!! I love you!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tips on Tuesday: Lock-downs and the Loss of Innocence

Last week I had my first ever experience with a lock down. And I'm not sure quite how I feel about it.

Every week, I go read with Rebekah's class at school. I like to volunteer, it helps me meet the kids in her room, and lets me have fun with kids--whom I love. I don't really 'do' anything. I listen to them read a story to me--out loud. We go over words they are struggling with and I give them a sticker on their chart. Knowing that I come in every week motivates them practice reading the story during the we 'trick' reluctant readers into practicing reading at home. (Yeah, parents and teachers are sneaky like that...)

Last week, we had just finished up and I had about 15 minutes before they went to recess and lunch. I stayed to help with some mundane things that are hard for our teacher to get done in a day (sorting things, putting things away, etc.) We are working and out of the blue, the intercom beeps and we hear, "Lockdown...teachers, we are in a lockdown." I admit to a bit of panic at those words, but the kids have been trained. They dropped everything where they were and all hustled to the corner behind her desk. They got down, got small and got quiet. The motioned me to join them while the teacher dropped the covering on the window next to the door, locked the door and turned out the lights. Impressive, they were down, hidden and quiet in under 30 seconds. 

Then we wait. Not that long, just about 6-7 minutes. It was some of the longest minutes of my life. The teacher & I look at each other silently communicating, "I hope it's a drill--but I don't know." And when the door rattled when someone checked to see if it was locked, another moment of intense prayer from me. And when it was over, I thought about the teachers in Sandy Hook and how long they had to hide. When a local incident happened a few years ago, kids were in lockdown for up to 3 hours. THREE HOURS--huddled and having to be quiet. 

If 7 minutes felt like an eternity, what was it like for three hours--or 180 minutes? And afterwards, the instruction and correction for the things done right and the things done wrong. Thankfully, it was only a drill. But it cost me some of my innocence. And I feel like my kids (and everyone's kids) are being cheated of some of the innocence of childhood. Their teacher did an amazing job of explaining things in terms that are truthful, but not going to scare the kids. She talked about if a 'bad person' was in the school, we have to stay quiet so the bad person thinks there is nobody in the room and leaves. 

Rebekah doesn't know about Sandy Hook--we had a media gag for a few days and kept the younger two from it as much as possible. Nathan heard snippets so we had a private conversation that some teachers and students had died...and reassured him that's why his school has certain security measures in place to make sure he's safe. 

The worst drill we had when I was a kid was an earthquake drill...when there hasn't been a quake in our region in centuries. This was a little more 'real.' We used to laugh after those drills. We weren't laughing after this drill. 

I refuse to live in fear for myself or my children. I won't let these instances taint my life. Yet, while I'm glad the school practices and the kids do this on auto-pilot...I still feel like we've all been a little bit robbed of some innocence. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sentimental Journey CD Review

I had the opportunity to review Emmy Rossum's new album, Sentimental Journey. I must say, I had no idea she could sing like this!! She has a twelve track album with one song for each month of the year. I'm a little picky when people remake classics so I was a bit stunned to find out how much I liked her version of Sentimental Journey. It's probably my favorite song on the album. I enjoyed the other songs as well, but the first track really grabbed me. I also thought her Autumn Leaves was a wonderful listen. I'm not familiar with that song, but it was sung with such purity of voice that I couldn't help but be drawn to it.

Sentimental Journey will be releasing on January 29, 2013 and it is a collection of classic covers that takes the listener through the American Songbook. I didn't realize that Emmy Rossman could sing like this. I was only aware of her as an actress. 

If you would like to take a listen, check out “These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)” Music Video. You can purchase on iTunes or on Amazon

  1. “Sentimental Journey” (Les Brown, Ben Homer, Arthur Green)
  2. “The Object Of My Affection” (Pinky Tomlin)
  3. “I’m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover “(Mort Dixon, Harry M. Woods)
  4. “These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)” (Eric Maschwitz, Jack Strachey)
  5. “(I’ll Be With You) In Apple Blossom Time” (Albert Von Tilzer, Neville Fleeson)
  6. “Summer Wind” (Heinz Meier, Johnny Mercer)
  7. “Many Tears Ago” (Winfield Scott)
  8. “All I Do Is Dream Of You” (Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur Freed)
  9. “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out” (Jimmy Cox)
  10. “Autumn Leaves” (Joseph Kosma, Jacques PrĂ©vert)
  11. “Things” (Bobby Darin)
  12. “Pretty Paper” (Willie Nelson)

Disclosure: I participated in this campaign for One2One Network. I received a free copy of the CD to facilitate my review. By posting, I am eligible for incentives. All opinions stated are my own.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Life is not measured
by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments
that take our breath away.

Andrew got bored one he turned EVERYTHING on the refrigerator upside down. 
I laughed soooo hard...then made him turn it all back the correct direction. 

Well played, Andrew. Well played.


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for CredLoans. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Have you heard of CredLoans? They offer cash loans that are usually unsecured. The amount of the loan can range from $100 to $1,000. I've often heard of them referred to as paycheck advance loans. CredLoans has an Installment Payday Loan where you can pay in installments. They also have a No Credit Check loan for those with credit ratings that are not conducive for loans.

I have never used a place that does a short term or payday loan. When I looked at this site, they do state their fees upfront. I know these types of loans cost more, but $15 interest for each $100 loaned seemed higher than I would ever want to pay. That's 15% per month which works out to be a staggering percentage if you figure the A.P.R. (annual percentage rate). They suggest paying back this loan first and I would agree that is the prudent decision. So if you need to have this type of loan, you can check out CredLoans. But I would try to find a way to live within your paycheck. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Life is not measured
by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments
that take our breath away.

Three sets of piggies on three sets of feet. 

While the pounding of those feet up and down the stairs like a herd of elephants makes me yell to slow down and be quiet...
I realize that someday I will miss these piggies and these feet pounding up and down my stairs. 

**Thanks to Chelsea Jo Photography for the precious photo!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Enter to win New Year, New You Makeover Sweepstakes

New Year, New You Makeover Sweepstakes

As a part of the Sweepstakes Series, we’re starting 2013 off right with a "New Year, New You Makeover Sweepstakes!" Sign up for a chance to win a makeover and life coaching session with Healthy Living Expert Andrea Metcalf and loads of the top beauty and health products!

We at are here to bring you the best in the industry, including coupons, style tips, parenting tricks, recipes, celebrity gossip, how-to videos, special offers, and more! Sign up for our sweepstakes and have the chance to receive a whole lot more!

Click here to enter the sweepstakes.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Find me At The Fence today...

Today, I'm blessed to be the Meeting Monday featured person At The Fence
I hope you will stop by and say hello. Leave a comment to let me know you were there.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Esio Hot/Cold Beverage Dispenser Review, #EsioParty

I had the opportunity to host a holiday party and share the Esio Beverage Dispenser with friends. I had not heard of Esio before, but I think they are really going to revolutionize the ready to drink beverage system. I've had drinks from hot beverage dispensers, but never a cold dispenser (other than water coolers). But, the Esio provides hot or cold beverages on demand.

Even better, you dial up or down the strength of the beverage. Do you like coffee to be brewed strong or weak? Now you can dial the strength of the brew for each cup. You can have it strong and your friend can have it weak. All in seconds. You don't wait for the water to heat up, it's ready to go. Or, make a cup of hot tea for yourself, a cup of iced tea for your husband, a sports drink for your oldest and a glass of lemonade for your youngest--all in seconds and without mess. 

Esio has "Drop and Drink" Technology. The custom E-Packs are designed for your Esio Beverage Dispenser. You drop in your e-pack, dial the strength desired, then press blue button for a cold drink or red for hot. I got the multi-serve packs which make up to 14 8-oz glasses of your favorite beverages. After you make your drink, switch to the flavor that others want and pour them a glass, too. The e-packs are self sealing and can be used over and over until they are empty. No need to refrigerate the e-packs. They are shelf stable and last for up to one year. 

Esio has beverage packs from many different brands. All are low in calories and low in sugar so you can watch your calorie and sugar intake without losing great taste.  

Here are the many varieties that I received to try. Can you believe all the choices you have? 

Plus, it is name brand beverages, not generics. You can get Esio and the e-packs at Walmart or online at Esio Beverages. I didn't even know that Crystal Light made mock-tails. But the Margarita Crystal Light is AMAZING!!!

Be sure to check out the Esio Hot/Cold Beverage dispenser at Walmart or or on the Esio Beverages website. 

Disclosure: I received an Esio Beverage Dispenser for the purposes of this review. All thoughts are my own. 

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Happy New Year Thoughts

Had to share a quick funny story from our sweet Rebekah. The kids wanted to stay up to ring in the New Year. We played games, ate junk food and Nathan & Rebekah entertained us with a little skit and dance. Those two even made a poster for us to wish everyone a happy new year. 

Well, we let them stay up until the ball dropped in NYC, then sent them to bed. Rebekah insisted she missed the ball drop so we backed up the TV (love that DVR) and watched it again. She cried and said she missed the ball drop. We told her you JUST saw it. 

Here it comes....

She cries, "No, I didn't see it. There were NO balls dropping. Nobody got a ball in the crowd."

We tried not to laugh out loud as we explained the round lit up circle is the 'ball' and it 'drops' down the needle. She was totally unimpressed. A ball drop should include balls dropping little super bouncy balls for everyone to take home as a present. 

So, New York, you'd better get on that for next year. 
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