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Review: Ming Wang  

Thursday, December 31, 2009



I love clothing, and although I've gotten a little too big to fit into the clothes that I love and feel comfortable in, I can still appreciate a beautiful outfit and a great pair of heels!

Awhile back, I was sent the cutest Little Black Dress and even though I don't have a photo to share with you I'll share with you the details of the company that I received it from.

Ming Wang has great clothes for women looking to feel their best. Especially right now, with the holidays - they have such a great collection!

Ming Wang's creations are a versatile collection of chic, effortless knitwear designed for the modern woman. They are machine-washable, wrinkle free and color guarded, and women can easily transition from the work day to date night. Ming Wang’s separates pair vibrant colors and bold patterns with fitting timeless neutrals, making it perfect for wardrobe building.

About Ming Wang

Ming Wang is a versatile collection of chic, effortless knitwear for the modern woman. Machine washable, wrinkle-free, and color-guarded, the line is ideal for the active woman dedicated to style and practicality. Founded in 2000, Ming Wang is recognized for its knit separates and bold graphic styling, consistently incorporating the latest color trends with timeless neutrals ideal for wardrobe building. Created by Eddie and Ming Wang from generations of experience in the apparel business, the fashion line is now run by their son Steven Wang. What began as a one-room factory in their home has now evolved into a successful family business, including three distinct fashion lines: Ming Wang, Toula and Allison W. For more information and store locations please visit www.mingwangknits.com.


My thoughts:

I love my Little Black Dress! It's my first one! It's so comfortable and I love that it's machine washable! As for their other items, the colors and styles are beautiful and I hope to get some more!

Disclaimer: I was sent the product named above to review. The opinions expressed above are solely my own and yours may differ. Receiving a product will NEVER influence what I write in any review.





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Review: Mom's Best Naturals  



A couple of months ago, I had won a box of cereal from Mom's Best Naturals on Twitter. I received the Oats and Honey Blend a little while later, and I loved it.

About a month ago, I was contacted to do a review of the cereal. I told my rep that I had won the box of cereal not too long ago and I loved it and I would love to do a review on my blog of the cereal!

About two weeks later, I received FOUR boxes of cereal! I couldn't believe that they had sent me so much cereal but I was thrilled to taste more kinds of Mom's Best Naturals!

The four types of cereal we received were: Honey Nut Toasty O's, Sweetened Wheat-fuls, Mallow-Oats, and Oats and Honey Blend.



We are BIG cereal eaters in my house! Sometimes if I don't want to cook dinner, we'll eat cereal for dinner! The kids, of course, consume most of the cereal in this house and lots of times I don't even get to have some certain kinds of cereal!

When we got this package of Mom's Best Naturals, I immediately went for the Mallow-Oats. I knew that if I didn't try them right away, I might not get my chance! Now, I'm a sucker for marshmallow cereal, even though I don't eat it much. The other brand (I won't name names here) sometimes hurts my teeth with their marshmallows, and in comparison, Mom's Best Naturals didn't have that affect on me at all! The marshmallows were just the right amount of sweetness and I loved the shapes of all of the cereal!

Matter of fact, I just finished the Oats and Honey Blend right before I started this review. My favorite out of all four kinds of the Oats and Honey Blend, and for some reason, when I eat this cereal, I taste coconut! I'm not sure why because it's not on the box, but it's a good flavor! It's very subtle. You may not taste it but I do so I don't know what that flavor is!

Here's some background info on Mom's Best Naturals:

Mom’s Best Naturals is an all natural cereal that is priced well below other natural and organic brands, and just got great new distribution across the U.S. of four varieties.

Beyond the all natural aspects of Mom’s Best, the company is unique in their efforts to reduce their use of natural resources. They do waste recycling and water usage reduction projects. They also support renewable energy development by purchasing 100 percent of the electricity consumed by the production of their cereal from a wind farm. Look on the back of the box, and you’ll find a top 10 list of easy ways to make your life a little greener.


If you're cereal lovers like we are, give Mom's Best a try! Be sure to head to Mom's Best to download a $.75 off coupon!

Disclaimer: I was sent the product named above to review. The opinions expressed above are solely my own and yours may differ. Receiving a product will NEVER influence what I write in any review.





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Out of Office blog from FedEx Office  



There's a new blog in town, and it's brought to you by FedEx. Yes, you read that right! The Out of Office blog is a great blog, with some great ideas for projects, parties, and presents! Plus, you can learn about some of the services that FedEx Office offers!

For example, check out this post called "Great Ideas to Repurpose Kids' Artwork" by Jenny Robertson. She's taken her son's Thanksgiving artwork and will take it to FedEx Office to be laminated to use as covers for notebooks. What a cool idea!

Just like the article I shared above, there are many more tips on what to do with items you have laying around at home! And there's a link to FedEx's Design and Print Center, where you can use templates to create your own business cards, personalized cards, and more!

I also like the Do-it-Yourself Wall Art article, which is a frugal way to provide art for your home!

I really like the Out of Office blog and can't wait for them to add items to the Templates and Tools section of the site!

If you're looking for crafts to do with your children, be sure to stop by the Out of Office blog!


Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of FedEx Office. In addition, Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.





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Allstate Foundation's Safe Teen Driving Initiative  



I don't have any children who are of age to drive YET (Thank God!) but when they get to that age, I'll definitely be stressing about what they're doing on the road when they're driving. Best believe that when they are of age, we will be talking about the dangers of texting while driving! That's why I want to share this information that Mom Central shared with me:

Climbing behind the wheel means freedom and independence for teenagers. Kids everywhere wait impatiently for the day they hit that special age and their parents finally hand them the keys to the family car. But studies by The Allstate Foundation have found that teens are particularly susceptible to dangerous distractions, highlighting the need for parents to sit down early on with their teens to discuss safe driving.

These days, more and more teenagers own up to using their cell phones to text while driving. According to The Allstate Foundation, two thirds of teens admit to texting and instant messaging behind the wheel! Yet nearly 81% of teens rate parents as their number one driving influencers. Knowing this, how can we as Moms not take steps to ensure we set a good example and make safe driving a priority? Especially when recent research by Virginia Tech's Transportation Institute reveals that texting while driving can increase the risk of an accident by 23 times.

Allstate's "X the TXT: Thumbs Up to the Safest Holiday Ever" campaign challenges teens and parents alike to make the pledge not text and drive. By joining the cause at www.causes.com/thumbsup, you're pledging to put your cell phone down behind the wheel. For each person who takes the pledge, Allstate will donate $1 to the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) – a collaborative network of national organizations and federal agencies that serve youth and focus on youth safety and health – for safe teen driving programs.

As part of the campaign, a 30-city "X the TXT," tour kicks off this holiday season during which teens and their families can add their thumbprints to a pledge banner as a public commitment not to text and drive.





Head to Allstate's website to download the Allstate Family Texting Pledge and start the conversation with your family!


Disclaimer: I received no compensation or incentive for sharing this valuable information with my readers.





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Win $5,000 with DOLE's "Share the Goodness" Contest  



How does $5000 sound? Well with Dole's "Share the Goodness" contest, you can win that amount of money plus win the same amount for your local Food Bank!



Through the virtual DOLE mosaic poster, you can easily upload your favorite holiday photo to enter to win the contest. The site also features great recipes using DOLE Canned Fruit to include in holiday and everyday meals. After you register, you can send an eCard to family and friends letting them know about the contest and to gain extra entries. You can also gain multiple entries by uploading up to 20 photos (5 per day) and, if a friend you referred is the grand prize winner, you also win $2,000! Enter for a chance to win through December 31, 2009 by going to www.DoleShares.com.

Disclaimer: I received no compensation or incentive for sharing this contest with my readers.






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New Year's Resolutions  

I'm not one for New Year's Resolutions; they always seem to be a lot of talk and not alot of action, even for myself.

I can't tell you how many years I have said that I was going to quit smoking on January 1st of whatever year. Once I did quit, for only 6 days.

I've also continuously said I was going to get healthier. Now I'm about 50 lbs. heavier than I've ever been.

Apparently resolutions aren't worth the paper they are written on.

But, since it's a new year coming, here are some goals that I have for myself:

1. To think more positive thoughts
2. Get rid of more negative people in my life
3. Pray more
4. Learn more
5. Grow more as a person and as a mother

What are your goals for 2010?





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Thank you to the PR reps who work with me  

This message is a little overdue, but better late than never, right?

This past year has been a great year for A Simple Kinda Life. I started doing product reviews and have worked with quite a few PR reps from a bunch of different companies. I've come to know some more on a personal level and I love to get emails from my reps.

Some even sent me gifts for Christmas! Thank you!

I appreciate each one of you that I have worked with and I look forward to working with you further in 2010! I also hope to work with many more this coming year!

I just have one word of advice for anyone who is looking for a blogger to share your press release, product, or service: remember that we are people too. Also remember that some of us don't sit at the computer all day long, contrary to popular belief. For example, I'm a single mom and I work full time. I work 4 10 hour days and by Thursday night, I'm so tired I can't see straight! If I don't get to respond to your email right away, I'll do my best when I get time.

Here's to another year of growth at A Simple Kinda Life, with you!





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Biological clocks and single women over 30  

I mentioned in my first post of the day about an episode of Dr. Phil, Race to the Altar, that I was watching last night. It featured a woman named Sharon, and she is who I am mostly going to focus on in this post.

I'd like to open a discussion about this episode, along with the "biological clock ticking" stigma that seems to surround women when they hit 30 years old. If you've stumbled on my blog just because of the title, or if you're a regular reader, please jump in on the conversation!

I'm 32 and I'm a single mom. I've been single most of my time since becoming a mom. I've dated, and I've had boyfriends, but to me, it's a little different if you're dating or in a relationship and not married. It's also different if you have children and are not with their father, because mostly you are still a single mother.

I would love to get married again. As humans, most of our common goals in life is to find that person that you want to spend the rest of your life with. Some search for years before finding "the one", some settle just because they think they won't find anyone better, and some still settle because their "clock is ticking" and they are desperate to have someone, anyone to spend their life with.

I don't know the main guest on the show I mentioned above, Sharon. I will probably never meet her. But I saw a few similarities between myself and her. The difference is that the things she was saying at 48, I thought and felt the same way at a MUCH younger age. Sharon acknowledges that her fiance' has flaws, one of them being that he is an alcoholic. When Dr. Phil asked Sharon if he was abusive to her, she pled the fifth. When asked if she had been cheated on by him, the response was that it was none of Dr. Phil's business. Sharon also stated that they were going to counseling to work on the things that are wrong in their relationship prior to getting married. Sharon interrupted everyone on the show, from the guests to the host, and was saying that it was different for everyone there because they were not 48 years of age.

First of all, as we age we get wiser. I've been with men who were complete idiots (hence the reason that I'm a single mom all of these years later), but I've learned along the way. Like, I won't tolerate anyone putting their hands on me. I won't deal with someone who cheats on me. The person I'm dating must have a job. Little things like that - they are non-negotiable.

Now, I've stumbled even in my older & "wiser" age and have accepted and tolerated at least two of the three I mentioned above. (Not abuse because I have experienced that too many times before.) But I have stayed with someone who has cheated on me, and I have bent my "rule" to allow a man in my life that didn't have a job "yet".

But now that I'm 32 and my children are older, it's important to not only find a life partner for myself, but also someone who is a good role model and father figure to my children. I also know that if you need counseling even before you are married, then you definitely don't need to be married!

I'm definitely not searching for someone to be a father for my children - they have their own fathers - but every child needs a positive male role model in their lives. Even though I'm technically a statistic (being a single mother), and I hate those, studies have shown that children have better lives and relationships when they are in a two-parent household.

There were also some men on this episode of the show - and they shared what women do on dates that scare them off. Main thing seeming too desperate to get married because of their biological clock. Another man, a lawyer, who was 47 years old, said that women who have been single a long time get stuck in their ways and have too many "deal-breakers" on their list when looking for a potential mate.

Although I'm not actively dating, I do hope to be sometime soon. The deal-breakers for me are:

1. No abusive tendencies
2. Must have a job
3. Can't live with his parents
4. Must be a Christian
5. No drinking or drugs

Those are absolute deal-breakers for me - non-negotiable.

Now, I do admit that I'm quite picky. I guess I should be more flexible in these because I'm really cutting out men who could be a great partner. Here's a list of things that I AM willing to compromise on:

1. I'm a tall girl at 5'8" and I always have dated men taller than me. I might have to reevaluate that one.
2. I'm partial to black men - I don't know why - there is no exact reason for this but it's just what I like. I think I should be open to other races.
3. Men with children. Yes, I admit, even though I have children, it's hard for me to date a man who has children because there's always some type of "baby mama drama", but I guess as long as he spends time with his children and provides for them, then there should be no problem. Now, I won't compromise on this one: I will NOT date a man with a bunch of children or a bunch of different children's mothers.

That's pretty much it. I've been with abusive men and alcoholics as well as men who had numerous children, so I cannot put myself (or my children) in those situations. Ever.

As for being stuck in my ways, I do feel like I am stuck in my ways. I've lived alone for a long time. My children and I have our quirks, schedules, and in general, life habits and I'm used to it this way. I have found in the past that I'm very independent and stubborn and since I've always been the breadwinner for my family, I feel like that may come in the way of a relationship sometimes.

Since it's a new year, and I'm all about change and evolution of oneself, I will be reevaluating myself and how I am in a relationship, and I will be changing or adjusting what I think can be or needs to be.

Now, I'm opening the floor for your thoughts.





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Buzzed driving is drunk driving  




I was watching TV last night, and I saw two commercials regarding Buzzed driving or drinking and driving. One was for the Ad Council and said exactly "Buzzed driving is drunk driving", and the other was a Maryland Public Service Announcement that informed viewers how law enforcement will be cracking down on drunk drivers.

There's also a sign I drive by pretty regularly, near our local Maryland State Police Barracks, that contains the statistics of people killed in car accidents in my county. It also contains how many were alcohol related. This year was the highest I've seen it in a while. There were 16 deaths at that time (about 3 weeks ago) with 10 being alcohol-related. What a shame! All ten of those people were somebody's mother, father, brother, sister, child, aunt, uncle - all important to someone else! And now they are gone and can't be brought back.

Tonight may very well be THE biggest party night of the year: New Year's Eve. Everyone will be partying in some means - some at home with their families - some out and about watching the fireworks.

Please remember that Buzzed Driving IS Drunk Driving!

Here's the information that I received from Global Influence to share with you about this campaign:

In 2008, nearly 12,000 people in the U.S. were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes - and during the periods around Christmas and New Year's, this number was particularly high, with 316 people killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. In 2007, 162,493 women were arrested for a DUI, an increase of almost 29% since 1998. You can't help but wonder if lives could have been saved if people thought twice before getting behind the wheel. With the holidays approaching, it's important that drivers be reminded about the dangers of buzzed driving. Who knows...it could save a life.

Please listen to Emily's story about how Buzzed Driving changed her life:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DB9WxnfBILU&feature=player_embedded

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) and the Ad Council are asking everyone to drive smart this holiday season and to pledge not to drive buzzed. Help spread this message during the holiday season by posting about the dangers of buzzed driving, sharing a story or experience you might have had with buzzed driving and encouraging readers to follow Buzzed Driving on Twitter (@buzzeddriving) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/buzzeddrivingisdrunkdriving) to get the latest updates and news. You can also visit the Buzzed Driving website where you can sign a pledge to not drive buzzed, play an interactive game which demonstrates the difference between buzzed and drunk, and hear personal stories from people who have driven buzzed.

While at holiday events, it's easy to lose track of a drink here or there - but this can be fatal. This holiday season, keep you and your family safe by spreading this message.

Have a safe and happy New Year, and remember that buzzed driving IS drunk driving.





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Recent updates in my life  

Here it is New Year's Eve day, and I have so much to blog about. Besides my reviews and giveaways that are left over from the Holiday Hoopla, I have so much that I want to share with you! I laid awake for about an hour last night, thinking about what I was going to write about! I didn't lay down until about 3 am, after I went upstairs at 2, but when I turned the TV on, Dr. Phil was on and it was an interesting topic. The topic was "Rushing Down the Aisle" and featured a 48 year old woman whose biological clock was ticking so loudly that she was willing to settle just to be married and have children.

I couldn't help but be shocked by this woman. She was very overbearing and interrupted many people on the show, from a dating expert to other guests. She pled the fifth when Dr. Phil asked her if her fiance' had abused her. Everyone knows that if you answer a question like that, the answer is very obvious.

I'll be writing a post more in depth about that today also - I'm 32 years old and although I have been married and have children, I feel like I can commisserate with where a couple of the women were coming from, and I agree with one of the men who was a guest on the show. I do NOT agree with the 48 year old woman who was "settling" just to be married!

As for me, things here are going pretty well. The children and I had a good Christmas. We all got things we wanted - my daughter got her DSi, my son got his cell phone, and I got the bottle of Armani Code that I wanted so badly!

My health is still driving me crazy. I had a cold about two weeks ago (or so) and am still congested and coughing, sometimes pretty badly. I'm too stubborn to go to the doctor. Two days before Christmas, my tooth that I need to have a Root Canal done in, became infected. Christmas morning there was a bubble in my gum that I thought was going to pop. After some "wrestling" with my boyfriend, the bubble did pop but I guess it popped inward, which had me paranoid. I contacted a friend who had some antibiotics, since I couldn't get to the dentist at least until the Monday following Christmas.

I've been so tired for the past couple of weeks. I've been going to sleep no later than 10 at night, sometimes before that, and still getting up at 4:30 am for work on the days that I work. Some days I even come home and take a little nap after work, but I'm still tired all the time. I'm assuming it's because of the infections that I have.

Yes, I said infections. I have another infection in my right breast. Believe it or not, I have had it for a long time. Problem is, when I last saw the doctor for it, there was no puss that excreted from it when the doctor investigated it. Now the same doctor I owe money, and he's one of the best surgeons in my area. So I have to find a doctor who can help me, because supposedly I'll need surgery to have it removed. I'd been on about 4 different rounds of antibiotics for this infection, but none have helped.

It's scary but I'm one of those people who doesn't like to go to the doctor - plus being a single mom, my healthcare expenses are through the roof. One thing that I agree with regarding universal health care: people should NOT go bankrupt because of medical bills. Soon enough, I'll probably be one of those people.

For now, I'm closing this blog post but be on the lookout for a couple of reviews and giveaways today, as well as my "feature" on biological clocks.

Happy New Year to you!




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Angel Food Ministries: frugal shopping at its best  

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In these current times of economic uncertainty, many families are couponing and looking for ways to cut their budgets.

One way is to utilize various services around you, including churches and food banks.

I'm pretty resourceful - having been a woman on welfare years ago. I learned the ins and outs on how to provide for my family while still maintaining my sense of pride.

I had partaken in Angel Food Ministries' service previously, but not like I should.

I'll tell you right now that I'm going to start doing it again.

Here's why:

You get enough food to feed a family of 4 for approximately a week for just $30. View January's menu here. There are even Senior meals and a fruit and vegetable menu in addition to the regular menu.

As a single mom, I need all of the help I can get!

You can purchase the food with cash, Food Stamps, and money orders, and you can even mail in your payment.

You can even purchase online, if you have a host site close to you. I have eleven host sites near me, so it's no chore to find my "favorite" one and order my food for pick up.

Purchasing the food online and just showing up to pick it up later in the month is incredibly convenient for me. The prices can't be beat and I'm all about shopping on the internet!

The schedule for food pick up depends on your local area and your host site. Be sure to visit Angel Food Ministries for this information.

I'm off to place my order for January!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this post. I simply wanted to share the goodness that is Angel Food Ministries with my readers.





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Submit it Sunday - 12/27/09  

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I'm watching the game so I forgot about this! Link up your giveaways for all of us to enter!


I didn't realize that the field for the giveaway name was so short so I just increased it!



Hope your Christmas was awesome!





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Merry Christmas  

Thursday, December 24, 2009



Photo of our tree this year

Merry Christmas to you and your family! I'm taking some time off of blogging to spend some time with my family over this holiday weekend.







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Wordless Wednesday - Digging Out  

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I mentioned in a previous post about the amount of snow we got here in Maryland over the weekend. Here's the pics to prove it:





Merry Christmas to you and yours! Hoping you get a White Christmas!

*When I scheduled this post MckLinky wasn't working - leave your link in the comments so we all can check out your WW post!





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Latest Winners  

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays!


I'd like to extend a BIG congratulations to the following winners!

The Nancy's Appetizers giveaway ended last night. The winner is: #44: Anne J, who said:
I subscribe by email
ajolly1456@


The BJ's $25 Gift Card giveaway ended last night. The winner is: #25 throuthehaze, who said "follow on twitter @throuthehaze"




Congrats to both of you! I'm emailing you both now. Please respond to my email within 48 hours.

Remember to enter my other giveaways and be on the lookout for more!






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I've been nominated for Web's Top Giveaway Blog Contest  

WTGBbutton


I woke up this morning with full intentions of going to work, but the plow has not been on my street since Saturday morning and the road is horrible! I was going to go back to sleep but I decided to get on the pc and get some things done before I went into work.

I had an email in my inbox telling me that I have been nominated as one of the Web's Top Giveaway Blog Contest over at Giveaways 4 Mommy! This is so cool! I'm honored!

I don't feel right bribing you with extra entries so I won't do that because I want it to be fair - but if you like my blog, please head over there and vote for my blog. The top blog can win a $250 Visa Card! The contest ends on March 1, 2010 at 6pm CST. You have until then to vote for me.

It's one vote per IP address.

Good luck to all nominees!





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Some great giveaways at An Island Life  

I don't know why I never remember to visit Kailani's blog, An Island Life. When I first started discovering blogs about 3 years ago, hers was one of the ones I first visited. Plus we work together on the Family Review Network.

Anyway, I want to share with you some GREAT giveaways that are going on over at An Island Life:

Win a $50 GC to Kohl's.

Win a $100 GC to Best Buy, courtesy of Underwriters Laboratories.

Win a $100 GC to JCPenney's courtesy of JCPenney's Beware of the Doghouse.





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Review: smartwater and Powerade Zero  

Sunday, December 20, 2009



Recently, we were sent some smartwater and some Powerade Zero to review. I've always been big into Powerade and Gatorade, but I'm trying to get better with drinking water. Luckily, I've taught my children better than I do, because my daughter drinks mostly water and my son gets his daily share too.

Did you know that a male aged 9-13 should drink 8 cups of water a day? And girls aged 9-13 should have 7 cups a day? Pretty interesting huh?

Do you know what the symptoms of hydration are?

I do because a job I had about 7 years ago was really big into Safety and we learned about Heat Stress, Heat Exhaustion, and more. I was also CPR and First Aid trained there so I learned this before... But I want to share it with you.

Symptoms of Dehydration:

Dry mouth or tongue
Sunken eyes, cheeks, abdomen, and/or fontanelle
Decreased/dark urination
Irritability
Weak and/or light-headed
No tears when crying
Decreased skin turgor

Did you also know that food provides an additional 19%-25% of daily total water intake?



Powerade Zero is the world’s first-eve zero-calorie sports drink. It contains electrolytes and B vitamins, but without the calories of other sports drinks. Available in three flavors (mixed berry, strawberry and grape)

Smartwater is a vapor-distilled, electrolyte-enhanced water that has an incredibly pure, crisp taste. smartwater is made by vapor distillation, the purification process that simulates the way water is cleansed in nature – the hydrologic cycle. our process separates and purifies the water molecules to their most pristine state. we then add a unique and purposeful combination of electrolytes (calcium, magnesium and potassium). Smartwater just entered a partnership with Susan G Komen for the Cure to support the foundation’s breast cancer research and also create specially marked bottles raising awareness for the cause.

I can't tell you how many times I have used the restroom and I had dark urine. I have tried to get better at drinking water because of this. Powerade is a great way to stay hydrated, without the extra calories! And, smartwater is a great-tasting water! We all enjoyed both of these zero-calorie drinks, and I'm sure your family will too!


Disclaimer: I was sent the products named above to review. The opinions expressed above are solely my own and yours may differ. Receiving a product will NEVER influence what I write in any review.





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Review and Giveaway: CheapCookieCutters.com  



When the holidays come, I turn into Betty Crocker. Well, except for this year. Last year I made 7 different kinds of cookies and gave a bunch away in lieu of Christmas gifts. This year, I've only made a few batches, just to try out the Christmas cookie cutters that I was sent from CheapCookieCutters.com

Would you believe that I've never owned cookie cutters?! I am not sure why - I just haven't!

Now I own some and I love them! I don't have any pictures to share of the cookies we made since they're all gone already! (Sorry!)

I just loved all of the shapes we made, and apparently, so did my kids!

GIVEAWAY


One lucky winner will win a 4-piece set of Christmas cookie cutters from Cheapcookiecutters.com!

To enter to win, go to CheapCookieCutters.com and tell me another type of cookie cutter you'd like to try! (Required entry)

For extra entries, view my Giveaway Rules, updated 12/2/09.

This giveaway will end at midnight on 1/3/10. Thanks for entering, and Good Luck!

Disclaimer: I was sent the product named above to review. The opinions expressed above are solely my own and yours may differ. Receiving a product will NEVER influence what I write in any review.





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Giveaway: Frito-Lay Holiday Party in a Pinch  



Frito-Lay wants to help ensure you never miss a beat during the holidays. With some shortcuts and quick “better for you” recipes coupled with a little flair and presentation, you’ll have your guests asking “how does she do it?”

So, we bring you the “Holiday Party in a Pinch:” A few tips to prepare both the home and the pantry so you’re always ready to be the holiday hostess:”


Ambiance is everything – Keep a playlist of festive music easily accessible or stock the stereo with CDs so it’s ready at the push of a button…literally. Add a few scented candles and presto…instant ambiance!

Let guests add their touch – Keep a box of ornaments on hand and ask your guests to add one to the tree.

No clean-up necessary – Stock-up on a supply of holiday-colored paper plates, napkins and utensils to lessen post-party clean-up. And if the house is tidy before you head out for the day, there’s no scrambling once they arrive!

Stock the pantry – Have some “better for you” Frito-Lay products on hand to lessen the stress of “what to fix?” and allow for more time to visit with your guests. Frito-Lay’s Tostitos Scoops or Baked! Scoops -- with a delicious dip -- are true crowd-pleasers. Serve on a festive platter or dish and presto! ...festive snacks ready to share!

Entertain with ease – Always have several fun board games accessible to keep guests entertained. And a few kid-friendly movies or simple crafts will keep the little ones busy while the adults socialize.

GIVEAWAY


One winner will win the items in the photo above, which is a gift basket assortment of Frito-Lay products, decorative serving bowl and a guide to entertaining guests during the holidays (valued at approximately $40)!

To enter to win, share with me a time you had some guests show up and you wished you had notice so you could have tidied up, prepared a snack, etc. (Required entry)

For extra entries, view my Giveaway Rules, updated 12/2/09.

This giveaway will end at midnight on 1/3/10. Thanks for entering and Good Luck!


Disclaimer: I was sent the product named above to review. The opinions expressed above are solely my own and yours may differ. Receiving a product will NEVER influence what I write in any review.





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Submit it Sunday - 12/20/09  

It's time to link up your giveaways for us all to enter again!



Happy Holidays!





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My Entry For the Kia Sorento Ultimate Road Trip Sweepstakes  



Wow! What a contest! I'm writing this post to win this HUGE prize pack from momlogic:




If I could take my family on a road trip anywhere, where would we go and why?

First, I'd love to drive across the country to visit my family in the Seattle/Tacoma area, for obvious reasons. My family is my heart and I miss them all. My nephews and nieces are growing up without me there! I'd also love to stop off at a few places on the way (since it's a long drive) at the following places:

The Gateway to the West
The Grand Canyon

I have only been off the East Coast once, and that was to Washington for my birth mother's memorial service. I'd love to see everything in between! We can never afford a vacation and this would be great!


What about you?





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Giveaway: Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day  

Saturday, December 19, 2009



From the authors of the groundbreaking Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day comes a new cookbook filled with quick and easy recipes for healthy bread.

Their first book was called "stupendous," "genius," and "the holy grail of bread making." Now, in their much-anticipated second book, Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoë François have taken their super-fast method and adapted it for the health-conscious baker, focusing on whole grains and other healthier ingredients.

The method is still quick and simple, producing professional-quality results with each warm, fragrant, hearty loaf. In just five minutes a day of active preparation time, you can create delectable, healthy treats such as 100% Whole Wheat Bread, Whole Grain Garlic Knots with Parsley and Olive Oil, Black-and-White Braided Pumpernickel and Rye Loaf, Cherry Black Pepper Focaccia, Pumpkin Pie Brioche, Chocolate Tangerine Bars, and a variety of gluten-free breads. And many of the recipes are 100% whole grain.

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day will show you that there is time enough for home-baked bread, and that it can be part of a healthy diet. Calling all bread lovers: Whether you are looking for more whole grains, watching your weight, trying to reduce your cholesterol, or just care about what goes into your body, this book is a must-have.

Author Bios
Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., coauthor of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients, is a physician with twenty years of experience in health care as a practitioner, consultant, and faculty member at the University of Minnesota Medical School. His interest in baking and preventive health sparked a quest to adapt the techniques of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day for healthier ingredients.

Zoë François, coauthor of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients, is passionate about food that is real, healthy, and always delicious. She is a pastry chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America. In addition to teaching baking and pastry courses nationally, she consults to the food industry and is the creator of the recipe blog www.zoebakes.com. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two sons.

The authors answer bread questions at their Web site: www.healthybreadinfive.com.

GIVEAWAY


One lucky reader will win this book. To enter to win, tell me what are you doing to stay healthy? (Required entry)

For extra entries, view my Giveaway Rules, updated 12/2/09.

This giveaway will end on 1/2/10 at midnight EST.

Disclaimer: I was neither paid for this post nor was a I sent this book to review. I'm posting this giveaway purely for my readers.





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Review and Giveaway: The Popcorn Factory  

I really try not to feed my sweet tooth. Matter of fact, I enjoy chips and salty snacks more than sweets but you couldn't tell by looking at me!

Awhile back, I was sent the following sweets to review:



Buttercream Frosted Brownies from Cheryl & Co.




Truffles from Fannie May



and a Big Snow design tin from The Popcorn Factory (which I can't find on the site, but you can see all of the Popcorn tins here.)

First off, I am not (and never been) a truffle person, so I gave those to the kids. They loved them! I hid the brownie for a night when I needed chocolate, and OMG, was it sooo good! The Popcorn of course, has been shared by all three of us. My favorite is the cheddar of course, and so is my kids! Right now we have very little butter popcorn and cheddar popcorn left - and tons of Caramel! I like the caramel but not as much as the cheese, and for some reason, the kids won't eat it!

GIVEAWAY


One of you will win a tin of popcorn from The Popcorn Factory. To enter, visit The Popcorn Factory and tell me another product you'd like to try. (Required entry)

For extra entries, view my Giveaway Rules, updated 12/2/09.

This giveaway will end on 1/2/10 at midnight EST. Thanks for entering, and good luck!

Disclaimer: I was sent the products named above to review. The opinions expressed above are solely my own and yours may differ. Receiving a product will NEVER influence what I write in any review.





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$10,000 Charity Sweepstakes from CBS Films  

"Don't Hope For a Miracle. Make One," is the tagline of CBS films’ upcoming release Extraordinary Measures, starring Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford. It is inspired by the story of John Crowley, a father who defied conventional wisdom and great odds, and risked his family's future to pursue a cure for his children's life- threatening disease.

To celebrate Crowley’s story, we’ve created a wonderful opportunity to get the word about a cause that is close to you, and also possibly win some money for them!
It’s so easy, all you have to do is upload an inspirational video.

·Go to the Inspirational Quilt and click on Upload Your Story

·Once your video is uploaded, you will be entered into the sweepstakes for a chance to designate the charity of your choice to receive $10,000.

·Tell your friends to vote to increase your chances of winning.

Good luck!





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Swagbucks Search & Win!

 

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