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Review: Pizza Hut Tuscani Lasagna  

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Everyone in our household has been dealing with and trying to recover from Strep Throat for a little over the past week. So the other night, Thursday, I was exhausted after work, and I fell asleep for a little while after I got home. When I woke up it was about 7 pm so I decided rather than running around trying to find something to cook quickly, that I would call my local Pizza Hut and order their new Tuscani Lasagna.

I am a big fan of lasagna and I must say, I make a mean one! Green peppers, onions, ground beef, Italian sausage, mozzarella, parmesan, and cottage cheese. It's all in there. It's usually 6 layers of cheesy, meaty Italian specialty. I LOVE LASAGNA!

I also read many blogs and have read many reviews for the new lasagna from Pizza Hut. I also have entered a few giveaways for this item.

To be honest, I hope I don't win, and if I do, I WILL NOT be ordering the lasagna from my local Pizza Hut, here in Forest Hill, Maryland. There is another one about 2 miles in the other direction from my house, which is cleaner and newer anyway. From now on I will be ordering my pizza from there. And my pasta, if I choose to order it from Pizza Hut again.

Here's why:
As I mentioned, I was tired, worn out from the strep throat symptoms, and wanted some good food. Quickly and without much effort on my part.

When I walked into Pizza Hut to pick up my carryout order, no one acknowledged me for at least three minutes, and some teenage boy finally came towards me while pulling my order down from the warmer. Then he asked me my name, to verify that that was my order. I confirmed it was, paid for my order with my debit card, and left the establishment.

When I got home, I saw that the lasagna was burnt. Yes, burnt. We were all starving so I cut it up and served it to my children, as their bedtime was in 30 minutes by this point, made my plate, and proceeded to eat. I decided to call while I was eating.

When I called the young lady who took my call sounded as if she could care less that my lasagna was burnt. She told me I could bring the lasagna back and get a credit. I informed her that we were all tired, sick, and hungry in my house and we were eating it anyway. To this she replied, "I'm sorry the lasagna doesn't look the way you think it should."

Hmmm... I'm sorry, from now on when I take my hard earned money to buy take out food, I will expect it to be burnt. That way if it is, I won't be surprised or disappointed, and if it's not, I will be pleasantly surprised.

I meant to call and speak to a manager the next morning, because the staff that was working that night was all teenagers, but I have been pretty busy and keep forgetting. Maybe I'll try tomorrow.

Those of you that have reviewed the lasagna, I'm glad that yours wasn't burnt. I hope no one else gets burnt Tuscani Lasagna from Pizza Hut either.

*I did take photos and will post as soon as I get to a pc*

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Giveaway Updates  

I will be using tomorrow to pick the winner for my Milkshake Prize Pack giveaway! You have until 12 pm EST tonight to enter.

I will also be posting my latest review & giveaway tomorrow.


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Gone, but not Forgotten  

Friday, February 27, 2009

Today marks the day that my Mother would have been 52 years old. If you have read my "Limbo" posts, you know that I didn't have much time with her.

My mother was a gentle, patient, loving woman who was oh so smart. She loved her children & grandchildren in the way that only a mother and grandmother could.

She always listened and shared her experience and would never judge.

It's been a rough almost two years but I know that God had a reason to take her from us so early.

I would post a picture but I am posting this via my mobile and this option is not available at this time. I will try to add a photo tomorrow.

God rest your soul, Mom. I know you watch over us.

Carol Susan James
2/27/57 - 4/14/07

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Family Game Night  

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Did you ever have a Family Game Night when you were growing up? We did, and I loved those days and they are some of my dearest memories. I still love to play games and have a Family Game Night with my children (Fridays). We love Monopoly, Life, Sorry!, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, and Uno. But I'm a fan of all board games, and I even love Chess!

Tonight on Twitter there is a Site Warming Party (learn more about those Here!) for Time To Play, Hosted by the Resourceful Mommy. Be sure to stop by THIS LINK to RSVP and to check out the prizes!

Check out Time to Play here.

Details for the party:

The party starts at 9 pm EST and ends at 10 pm EST but some partygoers may stick around longer.
Use TweetDeck, TweetGrid, or TweetChat to more effectively follow the party. Use the hashtag #timetoplay so others can see your tweets.
Main thing - Make sure you are following @ResourcefulMom, as she will be announcing door prizes & you have to be quick!

See you there!

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My Latest Winnings  

Here's my recent winnings for the week:

First - I received a black hat in the mail from Sirius on Monday. Thanks Sirius!

Then on Monday (I think) I found out that I had won the Scandle giveaway over at The Dirty T-Shirt. Check out The Dirty Tshirt's Review of Scandle! (I'm going to have FUN with this prize!) Thanks, Jennifer!

Last night I got home from work and I had won a Belt Buckle from Marlboro (Thanks Marlboro!) as well as a spray can of Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock Spray (SPF 45)

from Real Simple Magazine. Thanks Real Simple Magazine!

Then I got an email from my buddy Chris over at Week In Rewind that I had won a movie from his site. See the post Here!

Chris - I'm still waiting for you to send me that IPod Touch so handle that, mmmm kkkk???? ;-)


What about you? Have you won anything this week? Comment and share with us!

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The New Adventures of Old Christine  

Have you seen this TV show called The New Adventures of Old Christine? I love this show! It stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Elaine from Seinfeld) as "Old" Christine and Wanda Sykes as her best friend, Barb.

This show is HILARIOUS!!! I've always loved Julia, but add into the mix the incrediby funny Wanda Sykes, and their various antics, and the show has me laughing the whole time I'm watching it!

It centers around Christine, a single mother and an owner of a gym, and her ex-husband and their friendship. (Yes, they're still friends!) I just realized last night while I was watching the show, that Julia is called "Old" Christine because her ex is marrying "New" Christine. And what's also funny (odd) is that "Old" Christine even refers to herself as "Old" and the "New" Christine as "new". (I wouldn't be so nice about it! But that's just me!)

Last night, Christine's ex came to her and asked her for the engagement ring that he gave her, back. Mostly because it was his mother's but also because he was going to give it to "New Christine". At first Christine couldn't find it and was asking her brother if he had seen it (he's her roomate). She stated "It's my prized possession!", while she was rifling around a kitchen drawer looking for it! I thought that was sooo funny!

The show had me laughing, as usual! I think it was a repeat because I can't find it on the site, but I've been watching the show off & on since it came out, and I have always liked it. I don't catch every episode because I can never remember when it comes on! Now that I know, I'm going to DVR it!

It airs at 8 pm EST on CBS. You can view this show's page on CBS by clicking here. If you have an account with CBS, you can even become a fan of the show as I did. (I also shared it on my Facebook page! Cool huh?!)

Here's a snippet of one of the episodes from the site:

Vegas is Older, Episode 14

So - have you seen this show? Do you like it? Are you as big of a fan of Julia's as I am? Leave a comment and let us know!

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I was featured!  

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'm late in posting this as it was posted last week but... I don't get to blog via a pc regularly so I'm taking advantage!!!

I started using Twitter about 4 months ago. Not sure why or how but somewhere along the line either a blog candy contest or blog giveaway offered that as an extra entry and here I am. I'm a Twitter addict. Ask anyone that follows me!

You can find me there, babbling, sometimes helping, and ALWAYS posting cool contest links! That's what I do!

Well, since joining, I met a cool lady named @TheComputerLady (yes! that is her REAL name!!!) She features bloggers on her site Sweeties Sweeps once a week, as well as runs her own contests, and posts awesome sweepstakes for us to enter.

Here's her post about me!

Thanks for the great write up Sweetie!

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Awesome Contest for an even cooler reason!  

Head over to 5 Minutes For Giveaways to win a Windows Vista Ultimate (PRODUCT) RED. There will be two lucky winners!

Also stop by and learn about this great cause: Project RED.

Good Luck!

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Wordless Wednesday - Brotherly Love  

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Achieving Work/Life Balance  

For me, as a single mom, it is so hard to achieve work/life balance.

I have read many articles and taken workshops on the subject and this is the best advice I can give you:

1 - Always take "Me Time". Whether it's just 5 minutes a day, this is crucial to your overall mental health.

How do I do it?
I work 10 hour days. When I come home I speak to the children for a little while and then I retreat to my bedroom to change my clothes and/or relax.

*Please note: my children are older - my youngest is 9 (almost 10), so that makes it easier.

2 - Since I have older children, I put them to work. They are not slaves but they have assigned chores on our refrigerator, and other jobs as I see fit.

Household chores children as young as 6 can do:
Take out the trash
Sweep the kitchen/bathroom
Clean the bathroom sink/counter
Switch out laundry (move from washer to dryer, dryer to basket)
Fold clothes

3 - Find a hobby, something you enjoy. Whether it's blasting the radio for 20 minutes a day and dancing your heart out, to reading a good book, to papercrafting (like me!), these activities stimulate your brain and help you keep your sense of self.

Being a mother is a job in itself. Add to that being a wife and sometimes, an employee, complicates life even further. Single mothers have it worse, because most times there is no relief. Personally, I have no support system. If you've been reading my blog, you will remember my recent post on planning to move to Washington, as well as the fact that I am adopted. My adoptive parents live an hour and a half from me and also work full time. Therefore, they are not there to give me a break when needed. My kids' fathers? Absentee. Sad, yes, but it is what it is and I do what I have to do.

So I take advantage of any opportunity to have a little bit of a break. My kids are older so that means, more freedom: spending the night at a friend's house, sometimes even the weekend, trips to the library unsupervised, etc. (These work best for my 12 yo son, not my 9 yo daughter. The key is to make sure the level of freedom and the activity are in line with the age of the child!) I also am involved with a church, but on top of that, my son attends the Weekend Fuel meetings/church for middle & high school aged children (you can learn more about that in the blogs I follow list). My children also get picked up my a local church's van on Wednesdays and Sundays, for approximately 2 hours each day. But... if they don't want to go (as my son has been lately), I don't make them.

It's all about what fits YOUR life and YOUR situation, and what you allow your children to do/participate in.

I am a firm believer in taking time for oneself. I don't mean being Selfish. Having a sense of self is important and is a vital part of having a healthy self-image as well as self-worth. Too often women get caught up in being everything to everyone else and don't take time for themselves. This can lead to resentment and worse for the family that she is devoting all of herself to. Men have lives outside of the home and their marriage/relationship - why shouldn't we?

Do you have any tips on how to achieve work/life balance? Please share!

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Can I please get some feedback?  

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Honestly... I don't get it. I leave comments on other people's blogs numerous times during the week. And since I'm doing this from my mobile phone, it takes a LONG time. I barely get any comments, but I know people are looking at my blog. Why is this?

Do I bore you? Are you not entertained? Is my blog not pretty enough for you? Are my blue eyes not piercing enough? (just kidding!)

There are many helpful people out there in the Blogosphere. I'm new to this game - I know that - but I'm cool, I promise, and I have TONS of information in this pretty blonde head. (It's not just here for your amusement! LOL)

I've had a few women help me out with some suggestions and I'm indebted. I think it's great that we can nurture and support each other.

Isn't that what this "game" is about - reciprocating the love? Isn't that what we're taught: in order to get more people to visit your blog, leave comments, SHOW LOVE?
I know I've read that at least 3 times in the past week.

I just want to be able to spend more time with my children. That's why you're seeing me everywhere. Plus I want to be famous! (Is that too much to ask?)

Provide some input, please....

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Update on Strep Throat  

Monday, February 23, 2009

So it's official. My daughter, my son, AND I all have strep throat.

And currently, we have no health insurance. But since it's strep, we don't have much of a choice.

Tomorrow at 1015 I will be at my doctor's to get my prescription for antibiotics, and I will call the pediatrics office to get my son an appointment also.

In all of my 31 years, I have never had strep, so I am not too happy about it... but what can I do? None of my children have ever had it either, so we've been lucky.

We'll all be back to 100% soon, and then I will post the review & giveaway I wanted to post this weekend, but I literally have been in the bed since Friday!

Hope you and yours are well.

Off to bed for me...

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Limbo - Part 2  

I realized after I posted my "Limbo" post, that I had failed to fill you in on the background and the reason for my fears.

I was born in 1977, a different time. Those of you who were teens and older then know what I am talking about. (I have only heard about that...)

I was adopted sometme in 1979, before I turned 3. Until then, from what I was told by my adoptive parents, I was in 6 different foster homes, but between those I was with my birth mother.

I don't remember much about that time, except I remembered HER. I loved her and I imagine, I couldn't understand where she was and why she wasn't there anymore.

I was told that I ate out of a trashcan, even after we had dinner...

I never felt a part of my adoptive family; there were numerous factors at work there, most of which I don't wish to pursue at this time, but maybe someday in the future, I will revisit this topic and fill you in. I am sure a lot (if not all) adopted children feel that way.

I went on to run away after we moved to Maryland from West Virginia. That was a rough time for me... I was 14. I had lived in the same area (outside of Pittsburgh) my whole life, near my birth and adoptive families, and all of my friends.

At 16 I got married to get out of my parents' house. And to tell the truth, I wouldn't go back and change that. All of these things made me ME, who I am today. The lessons I learned have shaped who I am today.

My adoptive mother was never supportive of me finding my mother, even though she had my baby book, and I remember, at one time had my original birth certificate. I engraved my birth parents' names to my memory.

So when I was 22, and the mother of 3 children, after searching on the internet and various adoption boards to locate my mother, to no avail, I finally enlisted the help of 1800USSEARCH.COM. Within 3 days I had a listing of possible addresses, previous addresses, and relatives for my mother. I was scared but ecstatic. I proceeded to type up a letter saying who I was and that I was looking for my birth mother. I made a bunch of copies and mailed them out. Within 20 minutes of putting those letters into the mailbox, I decided to call the number that could be my mom's. It was about 10 am my time.

I knew she was in the Seattle area, from a phone call I had made to a relative listed in my baby book when I was 12 years old.

When I made the call, it was 7-something in the morning and I got my mother. We talked and cried for about 3 hours on the phone, and I also got to talk to my sister and brother.

I never made it to Washington to meet my mom. The cost was too much for two children and myself, and my mother had no spare money to come to Maryland either. She mentioned calling talk shows but I told her that I didn't want my business out there for all to see.

In January of 2007, my brother and sister discovered that my mom was hiding something from them. She had a flesh eating bacteria. My sister sent my brother to see my mom because Mom was acting funny, and when my brother walked in, he caught mom trying to hide her wound. He later told me her leg was 36 inches wide.

He told her that she had to go to the hospital and she told him that she didn't want to, that she wanted to die at home. He told me it took almost 2 hours to get her out of there and to the hospital.

For the next 3 months, the doctors did what they could for her, but in the end my mother developed sepsis which made her organs shut down.

That was April 14, 2007.

Just a few days prior to that, I was looking into booking a flight for May 11th, just for the weekend, and I had told my sister I was going to come out, "just in case".

I didn't make it.

Instead I had to make plans to go to our mother's memorial service. I found a friend to keep my kids (I couldn't afford to take all of us) and I planned to leave on April 20th and return April 30th. This would give us time to clea out Mom's apartment and for me to spend time with my family.

While I was there I met my Grandfather, my Great-aunt, Aunt & uncle, cousins, sister and her son, and my brother and his family.

I finally felt like I belonged somewhere.

So for the past almost two years, I have been wanting to go there, to be around them. It is finally time. It is scary, but I feel like I am missing so much. My sister has a 5 year old son and now has another son who just turned 1, and my brother has two daughters who are 2 and 5. My grandfather is 77 and I want to be there for him. I have 3 cousins my age from my Aunt Trisha, and two of them have kids, as well as a few other cousins.

It's scary, but I honestly feel like I belong there. And that feeling is new to me. I have never "belonged".

I just wish I had gotten to see my mom. To get some answers... but I will have those.... someday.

Mom's birthday is February 27th, 1957. She died at the age of 50. Way too young.

Rest in peace, Mommy.
Rest in peace.

They say I am the spitting image of her, and I have seen proof that I am. I feel like I am carrying on her legacy.

She was proud of her children, with good reason. What a smart woman she was! She passed that on to all of us, among other things.

I still rememeber my mommy, the one from my dreams. It was really her, and I never forgot it. I even remember the kitchen. I don't know whose kitchen it was, but I remember it like I was there yesterday.

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Strep Throat  

Friday, February 20, 2009

There I was, at work yesterday, minding my own business, when I saw the number for my daughter's elementary school pop up on the caller ID. My daughter had told me that she wasn't feeling well earlier in the morning that she didn't feel well, but she is one of those kids that goes to the nurse's office for anything. Plus I am a single mom - we need my income, and I only have limited leave. Plus I am my boss' right hand, so I feel bad if I am not there.

The nurse said my daughter was running a 101.1 temperature and that she would give her some Tylenol since I signed the paper authorizing them to do so, but I knew that I would have to leave and pick her up.

I called the doctor even though we don't have health insurance right now (I am waiting for word from the state to see if we are approved, if not I will have to purchase some), and I owed the doctor's office a little bit over $200. They scheduled us for a 1:45 appointment; that gave me an hour to get to her school, stop by my house, and to the doctor.

I was a few minutes late so we waited a long time. Since I don't have insurance, they skipped the throat culture, plus the doc said they had seen 8 kids that had strep just that day... so he prescribed her some antibiotics and off to Giant I went to utilize their free antibiotic promotion. I also picked up some Motrin for her, found some Cookie Crisp for $1.75, used some coupons and got some more soup, and used my free Dole salad coupon that I had won in an instant-win game awhile back. (Which was soooo good, by the way!)

So now I am hoping that my son and myself don't get Strep. This is the first I have ever experienced it, in my almost 15 years of being a parent, so we were lucky (blessed!) for a long time. I have been coughing in my sleep (it's been waking me up!) and right now my throat hurts, so I'm praying. I definitely don't need that right now!

Depending on how she feels this week, I may not be able to get my latest review/giveaway I was going to post on Saturday. I still have to borrow a pc to do those types of posts, so we'll have to play it by ear. I also need to file my taxes so I hope she's doing better by Saturday!

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Better mood, but still a rough day...  

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Happy Hump Day! Today I am in a better mood emotionally, I can only deal with things as they happen, and I know that. So... it is what it is.

That being said I also have a lower backache, a headache, and I had a toothache but thank God - that is gone now.

Right now I'm just laid back in my room with the heating pad under my back, listening to Ghost Hunters, commenting and reading blogs, messaging friends on Facebook, and perusing Twitter a lil bit.

I have a review and a giveaway that I will be posting this weekend, so keep an eye out for that.

Today I ordered some stamps and other stuff from My Favorite Things. (I just love their stuff!) You can find their products here: They had a special going on and I couldn't resist the new Twisted sentiments, paper packs, added bonus for being under a certain order number (which I was! Yay me!), and free shipping! Maybe I can get some cardmaking done this weekend. It's been so long since I stamped, and I have some stamps to ink up still!

Hope you had a good day! Thank God it's my last day of work for the week tomorrow!

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Have you ever felt like you were in limbo?

That's where I am right now. I literally feel as if I am watching someone else's life right now, like I am stuck in a bubble, looking in on my life, my situations, but they don't seem quite real.

Right now I am going through some things that are making me think A LOT. I get sad. I fight tears.

A few slip out every now & then.

I'm going to be 32 soon. I'm a single mom and I have been for most of the past 15 years.

I have a job, but I don't have a career. Yes, I make good money, but is it what I want to do the rest of my life? Surely not.

I have plans, goals, and damn good ones too. I'm smart, resourceful, and driven. You don't have a story like mine and come out a weakling.

What's holding me back? I am not quite sure.

Washington State and the family that resides there are calling me. It's where I feel I belong.

The problem? I live in Maryland, over 2600 miles away.

I just put a lot of money into repairs for my car in the past few months and I can honestly say I'm almost ready to sell most of my stuff in my rented townhouse, pack up the kids & the car, and go.

But... what if something happens on the way out there? What if my car breaks down, or worse?

My mom, God bless her, was a wild spirit, and although I have inherited some of her qualities, I don't have the adventurous gene. I don't mind change but I will analyze a situation before I jump into it. I have learned that I have to analyze everything.

I have nothing here that I wouldn't have in WA. I have no support system here, there I would. And I'm a secretary, and I can do that anywhere. The best part is that I have a Security clearance. I can work on any of the 3 military bases near my family.

Another little known fact about me? I am trained to use a gas mask. If that doesn't scream resilience, I don't know what does.

So soon I will deal with my concerns and make that long (and surely beautiful!) journey to where my heart is telling me I belong.

Because, here, in MD, I feel as though I am wasting away. Just existing.

Not truly living.

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Odd Sleeping Patterns  

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I don't know what is going on with me but... as you can see, it's 430 am. I'm awake. I have been for an hour.

My sleeping keeps getting interrupted. I don't know why.

The other day, I think on Tuesday, I was asleep by 930 since I get up for work at 430. I woke up at 130 and was up... on Twitter, reading blogs, emails, etc. I laid back down at 300. Couldn't sleep, so at 330 I got up. I said F it... the alarm will go off in an hour anyway... so I made my coffee, put some laundry in, and got ready for work.

Yesterday I woke up at 330 again and was up doing the same thing... Twitter, reading blogs, and emails... I got the kids off to school and ran some errands for a couple of hours. By 1130 I was so tired I couldn't take it so I came home and took a nap before my daughter got out of Elementary school early (130). I slept until 330.

Sometimes I think someone is waking me up. My mom passed almost two years ago and you can call me crazy if you want to, but I believe in ghosts. And I think Mom visits us sometimes. I am not alone in this. My siblings have signs of her visiting too. And we are 2600 miles apart. So maybe Mom wants me to wake up?

I don't know... all I know is my sleeping pattern is on the fritz. At least I have until Tuesday before I go back to work. Then I work 3 days and off for 3 more again.

Comments? Suggestions?

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Valentine, Schmalentine!  

*Like my new word?! "Schmalentine"

I am not one of "those" chicks... you know, the one who gets all gaga over Valentine's day...

Know why? Because most of them have sucked!

For example, last year I was recovering from having my gallbladder removed, drain bag and all!

My boyfriend at the time did what he could... he actually did pretty well! He bought me some stuff from Victoria's Secret (which I LOVE but can't afford). But since I had the drain bag and couldn't wear anything CUTE, a date was out of the question.

This year, send me to "He's Just Not That Into You" and call it a day.


My worst Valentine's Day was about 6 or 7 years ago. I was dating this guy for about two months but I had known him for about 5 before that (he was a friend's younger brother). I was starting to see his true colors... he was a major liar.

The morning of V Day, his stepbrother came over and they went to Walmart. I knew they were going there and I knew he was going to do it. I wanted no parts of it.

Well, he did it. He came back with a ring. From Walmart. In a rose ring "box" container thingie.

Before I accepted the ring I asked what it was for. Literally. I didn't want to get roped into an engagement. It just wasn't there. I knew it was going to be over soon (even if he didn't). He told me the ring was a "promise ring".
I was like, ooookkkkaaaayyyyy.... and I did accept the ring and I went to the restroom. I came back and he was on the telephone. He proceeded to tell me that my best friend had called. I knew I didn't hear the phone ring. I lived in a 600 sq. Ft. Apartment. I would have heard the phone ring! So I was immediately skeptical, and, I admit, angry.

I took the phone from him and went into my bedroom where my best friend proceeded to tell me that HE HAD CALLED HER and told her about the ring and asked her if she thought I would marry him.

I was sooo mad! How dare he call my friend?! She didn't even like him like that! Hell... by that point, I didn't either!

It was over within a couple of weeks. That was the last straw.

I hate to admit it, but I am "one of those girls"... if you're going to buy a woman a ring, don't buy it from Walmart and DO put more thought into it than that!! I would rather have a cheap ring from Kay's or Helzberg than an expensive one from Walmart. They're not even in the same caliber.

That's my opinion. So sue me.

Here's hoping this V Day is better. I'm in my 31st year so it's not looking so promising. At least the handmade Valentine's from my kids will be loved!

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Who wants to win a handmade gift from me?!  

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! It will probably be a card because that's what I do!

The catch? Oh, the catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog!

Be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!

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Cards I made....  

I know... I don't post cards I make too much anymore, but that's because I don't have a pc that's connected to the Net at home (currently), so here's some pics of cards I made in the past 3 months:

*This one's wayyy old but I love it so I had to share!*

Thanks for looking!

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Lucky Magazine Winning!  

I received an email about two weeks ago that I won a December contest from Lucky Magazine and I want to share my prizes with you!

Retail value: $120

Product: Big Buddha Denise Bag and Jackson wallet from the Fall 2008 collection that you can view here

The bag is HUGE & the wallet is so cute & tiny!

This is the purse I was using!:

(see the difference in sizes?!)

And the wallet I was using: (which was STUFFED to the brim!)

And I had ALL of this in my purse:

Here's the inside of the new purse and the layout of the new wallet:

So now I have this HUGE bag, I can neatly fit all of my items in my purse, even items you don't see in the photo of stuff that was in my old purse, like my makeup bag (I LOVE makeup!!!), my Digital camera, and my GPS unit, in the box, if I want to carry it, that is!

I started entering contests in November of 2007, and this is my first time winning from Lucky, but believe me, perseverance pays off!

So head over there and see what they're offering up this month:
Click here!

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I love free things!  

You would probably be amazed at the free things I get! No? Well... here's a few pics of free things that I have received in the mail in the past 2 weeks.

*Received from belonging to the HP Communispace Group

Books & Samples

$5 GC that I won that I didn't even know until it arrived

Mimobot USB (not shown) (but LOVE the packaging!!!) that I won from a
Twitter contest

$50 GC from Lipton Tea that I won back in November.

See??? I LOVE free stuff!!!

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Garmin Nuvi 200 Review  

*Posted originally at my other blog*

I won on Garmin nuvi 200 in an instant-win game back in September and imagine my surprise when it came in December finally! I was starting to wonder where it was! I knew it should be coming soon so when it came a week or two later, I was ecstatic!

I have always wanted a GPS system and Garmin is one of the best out there. They have clean, clear maps, and a rather pleasant voice to help you along.

I took the unit out of its package as soon as I got it, I was a little disappointed that it doesn't come with a wall charger, but I can purchase that separately at a later date. I was impressed that it came with a windshield mount and a clip that you can use with or without the mount. It also comes with a car charger. You must charge it prior to use.

I found that the nuvi 200 unit that I got charged very quickly and I was able to use it while it was charging, so that was a nice option to have!

You can choose to start from home or where you are, which is a nice feature. I played with it a little bit at work; I walked around with it to see which direction I was going and thr streets around me.

I used it the other night when my daughter went to a friend's house after school, and even though the unit gave me different directions than the parent did, but it still got me there! I even took a few detours to stop at the store and avoid a busy road, and the nuvi kept right up and recalculated my route! I also noticed that when I was stuck in traffic a few minutes longer than expected, the estimated arrival time automatically adjusted.

This will come in handy when I go visit family in the Pittsburgh area soon, as well as when I move to Washington State.

This unit has an SD card slot, a photo viewer, preloaded street maps, a touch screen, and is small enough that you can carry it with you while you are walking around. You can also look up addresses, points of interest, and choose 2D or 3D maps.

I'm glad I won this so I didn't have to spend money on it! Thank you, Nationwide Bank!

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Warm Me Mouse Win from The Dirty Shirt  

Thanks to Jentifa over at The Dirty Shirt blog
for the WarmMe Mouse! I haven't opened it yet but I will soon!

Be sure to stop by her blog for her great reviews and giveaways!

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Thankful Thursday!  

Happy Thursday to you all! I never get to participate in Wordless Wednesday so I figured I'd put something up for Thankful Thursday!

This is what I'm thankful for:
My handsome, smart son!

And my precious little girl!

Also my brother and sister and their families:

(Rest in peace Mom!)

My newest nephew (my sister's son) who turned 1 on 2/2/09!:

My sister's firstborn:

My brother's daughters:

Grandpa James (here with my brother's daughter)

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Hallmark Customer Service is GREAT!  

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

*Post moved from my old blog to this blog*

Let me share with you why...

On December 19th, I went shopping at my local Rite Aid since they had tons of stuff on sale that I wanted/needed.

One of these things were Christmas cards. Even though I am a papercrafter and I make cards, with all of the things going on in my life the past few months, I was both unable & unmotivated to make cards this year.

Rite Aid had Hallmark Christmas cards, buy 1, get 2 free (of equal or lesser value), so when I was there I found a box that I would get the most bang for my buck (16 for $3.99) that were also cute. I then picked 2 other kinds that were of the same amount and price.

When I got home I pulled out my planner and made a list of family & friends that I wanted to send cards to, and I came up with about 28 people to send them to.

When I got to the 2nd box of cards, I discovered that a few of the cards were blank inside. I double checked the back of the box and saw the quote that should have been on the inside of the cards, so I then got out my Sidekick cell phone and googled Hallmark so that I could call their customer service dept & let them know what happened.

I spoke with a nice lady, who took the UPC on the box, and promised to do something for me "to make this right".

On Christmas Eve, I received a package that had been mailed to me Priority Mail. When I opened it up, I found a box of 36 Hallmark cards, and I must say, that was so unexpected & very appreciated!

So, a big thank you to Hallmark for righting a wrong!

I will definitely tell everyone about this! And always buy Hallmark cards - unless I make them myself, of course!


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Momma in Flip Flops 2 win!  

*This has been moved from my other blog that is being deleted!*

Hi there! A couple of weeks ago I found out that I won a giveaway over at Momma in Flip Flops! See her site here.

I wanted to share a photo of me in the photo! I love it! Thanks Andrea, and Land's End, who shipped the cashmere sweater to me in 2 days!!! YES!!!

Here's a pic of me in the sweater! I love the color sooo much!

Andrea is totally sweet, has great giveaways, and is expecting! So hurry over there and check her out!

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UGH.... I hate Mondays!  

Monday, February 9, 2009

I work full time so it was back to the grind for me today. I'm yawning and ready for sleep!

I work 10 hours a day, and travel about 1 hour each day total, and come home to a mouthy 12 year old son and a 9 year old daughter with ADHD. Wow! My son had me so mad earlier - I was sure THE LOOK was going to burn a hole through him. He's slacking in school (when he's above-average on test scores), getting mouthier, and I am almost at the end of my rope with him.

I'll ground him for life if I have to! No, seriously, that wasn't working so I tried a daily thing/weekly thing and let him hang with his friends depending on behavior. Apparently he doesn't appreciate that, so he's grounded again.

Got any advice?

Ahhh... the life of a single mother.

Woe is me....


Have a good one!

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Random Ramblings  

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Good Sunday morning to you! If you have stumbled on my blog, scroll down to see my two kid-geared giveaways!

I blogged a lot yesterday! I had to use a friend's computer to do so, but she was accomodating and I got a lot done! I even uploaded some photos to my flickr stream!

I had one more post that I wanted to do but I had used her computer for about 3 maybe 4, hours, so I had to get my dd and myself home to meet up with my son and his friend for a sleepover.

Now they're all three downstairs (the two boys just got back from a bike ride) and it's mostly quiet. I can't believe it! (I am sure that will change quickly! And it has... I spoke too soon!)

I have nothing on my agenda today but laundry, clipping and organizing coupons, and preparing for my work week beginning tomorrow.

Yesterday was a pretty good day. Matter of fact, if any of you are "regular" readers of my blog, you might have read about the trials I was going through in December. God has blessed my family (as ALWAYS!) and things are getting better for us. My financial situation has improved dramatically, I am making more money at work due to joining the Union, and I managed to get rid of that high insurance I was paying for. Right now I am waiting for word to see if I have been approved for my 2 children here to get State Medical Assistance (yes, I am a single mother and I qualify), so that I only have to pay for myself and my daughter who lives with her dad's family.

My car went into the shop yesterday to get the remainder of the important work done to it. This time it was to repair the front left wheel bearing. In November and December I put about $900 of work into the car that *had* to be done prior to us getting snow and ice. My front tires were bald and in desperate need of replacing, and I had to replace part of my exhaust system. Those repairs are out of the way and my car is riding so well, I almost don't know how to act!

I have also started clipping coupons and utilizing the blogs that show you how to get deals (and sometimes make money!) at CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreen's. I have posted some of my savings, and thanked the sites that I have been using in earlier posts. Be sure to check them out!

So I figured since I am trying to be more involved in this community, I need to post every day. Most days won't be long like today, since I work from 630 am to 5 pm, and when I get home there are more things to do with the children, but at least for this post, let me tell ya a little more about me.

I am an adult adoptee. I was adopted at 2.5, I found my birth mom at the age of 22, but unfortunately, she passed away almost two years ago, before I was able to meet her in person. I am a single mom to 3 children, I work full time, and I love technology, social media, music, and papercrafting. (If you come here for papercrafting, bear with me! I plan on posting more of my creations soon!)
My 9 yr old dd has ADHD and I am trying to learn more about the condition and how to parent her better.

That's all for me now - I gotta get some laundry started!


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He's Just Not That Into You Widget  

Saturday, February 7, 2009

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NATIONAL GIRLS NIGHT OUT on Saturday, February 14th, 2009  

Interested in a night out and prizes?

Grab your friends, your Mom, sister, neighbor and head out to the movies to see "He's Just Not That Into You". Yes, it's Valentine's Day and isn't that a great night for single women to get together and enjoy a laugh...and a little reflection?

The party will be on Twitter (of course) on Monday night, February 16th from 6pm to 8pm PST. Use the hashtag #notintoyou. We'll be talking about the movie, love lives, and what ever crosses our minds.

Check out this post here for more info!

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Giveaway: Birthday Parties: Best Tips & Ideas for Ages 1-8 by Vicki Lansky  

Have you ever wanted to throw a birthday party for your child and not known exactly what to do, in what order? My giveaway for you today will help you with that!

Here is a great book by Vicki Lansky: Birthday Parties: Best Tips & Ideas for Ages 1-8.

To enter, just leave a comment here by March 7th. I will announce the winner on March 8th. **US only**

For additional entries do any of the following:

1 entry for subscribing to my blog

1 entry for following my blog

1 entry for following me on twitter: @pricousins

1 entry for tweeting about this giveaway using the following link:

1 entry for emailing this giveaway to your friends and cc'ing me: pricousins at gmail dot com

2 entries for blogging about this giveaway

**If you're not a blogger or your profile is private please be sure to include your email in your comment.

And Guess what!?

A second person will get a consolation prize!

"What?!", You ask? a book of coupons from me!

So hurry! Go tell your friends!

Good luck!

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Milkshake Music: Review and a Giveaway!  

I was given the opportunity recently via Twitter to do a review for a band. I couldn't believe it when I got the package and it was from Baltimore and the band is also! (I live about 30 min Northeast of Baltimore!)

Photo by Steve Parke

The Band Milkshake is a children's group from Baltimore. From their site:

Milkshake is a band on a mission: to create great rock music for kids. Led by singer Lisa Mathews and guitarist Mikel Gehl, whose songs for grown-ups have been featured in movies and prime-time television, and whose indie rock group Love Riot garnered critical praise during its 10-year run, Milkshake has won over preschoolers without compromising songcraft, stagecraft or their authentic rock&roll spirit.

From the release of their first CD Happy Songs (inspired by the birth of Lisa’s daughter and Mikel’s son), it was clear that Milkshake was an exciting departure from traditional kids’ music. The band’s songs were added to radio playlists across the country; a second CD, Bottle of Sunshine, earned raves from kids, parents and critics; Noggin enlisted Lisa and Mikel to film two videos for the premiere season of Jack’s Big Music Show; and Milkshake was asked to bring its high-energy stage act to the opening leg of the Jamarama Live! tour.

Milkshake has created original songs and videos for PBS KIDS’ “Share the Earth Day” programming, new songs and videos for Discovery Kids’ preschool hit ToddWorld, the west coast leg of Jamarama Live! and a just-completed 10-song-and-video project for PBS KIDS preschool programming block.

2007 saw the official release of Milkshake's 3rd CD PLAY!, a celebration of every kid’s desire to just have fun. Hook- and harmony-filled, PLAY! covers all the bases, with songs about baseball (featuring a cameo from hometown hero Cal Ripken, Jr.), bowling, pretending, playing music, parades, planting a garden and just plain going wild. As a bonus, the disc includes the three new songs Milkshake created for ToddWorld.

In fall 2008 the band released SCREEN PLAY, a DVD chock full of live-action and computer-animated videos, candid backstage clips and performance footage that showcase their animated, good-humored nature. Bonus tracks include two original videos created for PBS KIDS.

With tuneful, memorable songs that evoke influences from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Lennon-McCartney to The White Stripes, Milkshake continues to create music that appeals to both kids and their parents, even after listening to the same CD five times in a row.

My daughter (who's 9) and I really enjoyed the CD, DVD, and the comic book that we were sent. Not only is it good music, but it's also fun and helps your child learn things.

Please stop by their site to learn more about their music and their tour - click
here for show dates beginning next week! -

I have one copy of the CD, DVD, and Comic Book for one lucky winner!

Between now and February 28th, just leave a comment about who you would give this prize pack to. I will announce a winner soon thereafter.

**For extra entries, do any of the following:

Subscribe to my blog (1 entry)

Follow my blog (1 entry)

Follow me on twitter: @pricousins (1 entry)

Tweet about this giveaway using this link: (1 entry)

Email your friends about this giveaway and copy me: pricousins at gmail dot com (1 entry)

2 extra entries: Blog about this giveaway and link back to here to to Milkshake Music's website

***If you do not have a blog you are still eligible - or if your blog is private - please be sure to leave me an email address in the body of your comment.***

Thank you & good luck! **US only please**

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Review: Yanni Voices  

Courtesy of One2One Network I was sent a copy of the new CD Yanni Voices as well as the DVD.

I must say that I have never listened to any of Yanni's music, not that I'm against it, I just had never had the opportunity. This CD was great! I put this on one early morning when I was sick to relax me, and I was enthralled with the music and the singers contained on the CD.

I really enjoyed the song with Chloe, "Kill Me with Your Love".

This CD is great for Valentine's day or any other day when you would like to "set the mood".

The CD contains songs by Chloe, as well Leslie Mills, Nathan Pacheco, and Ender Thomas. It is a very beautifully sung and produced CD and you will enjoy it very much!

Be on the lookout for the show to come on PBS - click here for the schedule.

Be sure to visit the rest of the links to learn more about the CD, tour, and sample some of the music on the CD!
PBS Airing Schedule
Info on the CD
View a video about the project

Tour Info

Thanks, One2One Network for letting me experience a new type of music!

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