Wednesday, November 17, 2010

...Featuring Norah Jones :: Album Review


I have been given the opportunity through One2One Network to review Norah Jones' new album. ...Featuring.  I have long been in love with the vocal stylings of Ms. Jones and was eager to listen to her newest creation.
When I saw that it was duets, I immediately envisioned a CD full of her songs I already knew with other people singing with her.  I was pleasantly surprised however to find that they were songs I really didn't know, and was introduced to several new artists as well.
...Featuring is a star-studded collection of Norah Jones' collaborations spanning her entire career.  The result serves as a kind of parallel history to her four albums, which have sold over 40 million copies worldwide.
“A lot of the people on this record are people I've worshiped since I was a kid, and some of them are younger and more my contemporaries,” says Norah. “Even though the musicians are so varied, the vibe of the songs makes sense when we put them all together.”  
 While I love most of this CD, there are a few songs that aren't my favorite and will be removed from my playlist.  I am not a fan of Rap music at all, so I was not impressed with the songs featuring OutKast, Q-Tip and Talib Kweli.  But, with 18 songs on the CD, there really is something for everyone.
This CD is the perfect gift for the Norah Jones fan.  Check it out on YouTube, and Facebook. After you do that, I am sure you will want to go buy it and you really should.

*I received this CD from The One2One Network, but all words, opinions and sentiments are mine.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Best of Fest Winner!!!

And the winner is.....

#25, Jana!  Congrats Jana.  Email me with your address and which set you want and I will let the folks at Best of Fest know!

Thanks everyone for entering. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Best of Fest :: Review and Giveaway

In May, I was contacted by Best of Fest and asked if I wanted to review the family and kids packs of DVD's.  I had no idea what Best of Fest was, so I did a little research.

Their tag line is: The Best Films You've Never Seen.
video

Every year there are hundreds of independent films made.  We see only a fraction of the films made come to the theaters.

Best of Fest takes the very best films shown at film festivals and puts them together into DVD sets for us!

I have deliberately waited a bit before doing this review for 1 reason.  My kids get really excited about new movies and then within a couple of weeks the newness wears off and they move on to something else.  I wanted to see what the staying power of these movies were.

Seth had to grow his hair out this summer so he could look like the boy in For All the Marbles (that movie also started a new craze of marble playing in my house).  Seth also decided he needed to have a poncho, mask, holster and cowboy hat like Tommy the Kid and would ride his bike around the neighborhood on the lookout for danger and unsightly hooligans.

Amelia pretends to be Ruby, or one of the girls from the Frog movie.

They love these movies and ask again and again to watch them.  I don't mind letting them either.  Every film shows initiative and makes the kids think.  There is a lesson to learn, a story to tell, and lots of laughs.

I love that these are not the typical cartoons or kid dramas that we see in the theater.  It is something new, something fresh, something to get my kids imaginations going and I adore that.

The great folks at Best of Fest want to give one of my lucky readers a box set of their choice!!!

What you need to do to enter...

1. Comment here (obviously) but tell me which set you'd want to win.
2. Tweet about the contest and include me @prairiemama and @bestoffest in your tweet
3. Comment about it on facebook.
4. Blog about it.
5. Follow Best of Fest on Twitter - @bestoffest
6. Follow Best of Fest on Facebook 

Please be sure to leave a comment for each item you complete.

That's it!  Tell your friends, enter to win and good luck!!!

Contest will end on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 9 PM MST.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tiny Prints Review

Never in a million years would I have thought that as a blogger I would need business cards.  I mean seriously?  This isn't a business, it's a hobby.  For some people I could  see the need, but not me.

Well, last year when I went to Blogher, I was shocked at how many business cards I came home with.  I was glad that I had some with me, but I was not prepared at all for the mass quantities that I needed.

This year, I have 3 Conferences that I am (have) attending; Casual Blogger Conference, Blogher and Type A Mom. With these three conferences, plus an evening at EVO, I knew I needed to be prepared.

When Tiny Prints approached me about doing a review, I was over the moon.  I knew their work.  I had seen my friends and fellow bloggers not only get business and Mommy cards from them, but Holiday cards and Baby Announcements had also graced my mailbox.

I was able to go to their website and check out all the different designs for business cards.  I loved the design process.  It was easy and fun.  Being able to personalize my cards to reflect my personality was awesome!!!

I ordered 2 different designs for conferences...



And 1 for my Etsy Business

I love my Etsy cards, they have my Prairie Mama logo on the back.  With lots of colors and designs to choose from, it was pretty easy to find something that really fit my personality.

Go check them out and have fun designing your cards.  The prices are so affordable and the quality is amazing.  I have gotten cards from places that offered free cards, and the quality between those and these is astounding.

So, weather you want Mommy Cards, Business Cards, Greeting Cards, Holiday Cards, or Baby Announcements, Tiny Prints is the place for you!!  Go check them out today!

*I was given $150 worth of business cards for writing this review, however the words and sentiments are all mine and true.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sarah McLachlan: Laws of Illusion

In 1995 I was a Freshman in College.  I was living an hour away from home and loved my independence.  That year I was introduced to a lot of things, but the one that has stuck with me to this day is Sarah McLachlan. 


My best friend was up visiting for a weekend and put in her very used tape of  Fumbling Toward Ecstasy and I was hooked.  I have been a fan ever since.


When I heard that Sarah had a new album coming out I was thrilled.  Laws of Illusion is her first studio album of new material in 7 years.


I was given the opportunity to get a copy of this CD before it was released and let me tell you, I was am not disappointed!  My children and I listen to this CD while making dinner and they love dancing to her.


In typical Sarah fashion, there are haunting melodies, beautiful harmonies and each song tells a story.


Sarah is co-founder of Lilith Fair and is touring this summer with this amazing group of women.  They will be in my area in July and I am doing what I can to score tickets, because really, I don't want to miss such an amazing opportunity to hear fabulous musicians.  From 1997-1999, Lilith Fair was one of the highest grossing touring festivals in the world, with over 2 million fans in attendance and raising over $10 million dollars for national and local women's charities.  I love getting behind something that supports women, and this does just that.

So, you want to get the album?  Well you should.  Don't take my word for it though, go check out previews of the songs.  You won't be disappointed.

**Thanks to One2One Network for sending me this CD and giving me this opportunity.  They gave me the CD and I have a chance of winning a gift card, but the words are all mine, blah blah blah :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Birthday Winner!

According to Random.org the lucky winner of cake and frosting is....

#6
Jingle said...
I would like to make the Flower Cupcakes! They are so cute!
Email me with your name, address and phone number and I will pass it along to the powers that be!

Congrats!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Firehouse Winner!!!

Oh my goodness friends, I am SO sorry I haven't chosen a winner until today!  I was so busy this week it wasn't even funny!  It wasn't until I was sitting at dinner after the Casual Blogger Conference was over and my dear Ryley asked if I had chosen a winner that I realized that I hadn't done it yet!  EEK!

So...drumroll please......the winner is......random number 16

Kathleen!!!
tinystitches said...
Ahhh, sweet friend! The 3yo would go crazy with the book and the playset. Hard to know which he'd go crazy for more. Have you read Cook-A-Doodle-Doo? Fantastic book. Bear Snores On the books in that little series are also big favorites around these parts.
Email me with your address and I will forward the info on to the great folks at Scholastic.  Thank you everyone for entering and good luck next time!

Oh! And go over to enter to win the birthday giveaway!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Birthday Time

It's almost June and that means I have two birthdays coming up at my house.  I LOOOOOVE Birthdays so much.  I love to have big parties for my kids and love to watch their extreme joy when I hit the nail on the head.

In preparation for the celebrations coming up we have been talking about what they want for their special days.





Since we like to keep things simple, I always make the kids cakes.  We have been checking out Betty Crocker's website and looking at all the great cakes.  

Seth, as you saw in the video, wants a How to Train Your Dragon party.  We couldn't find a dragon cake, but did find the dinosaur cake and I can add one more head to it and then it will be perfect!


Amelia wants a Princess party.  I love how simple this cake is, but how glamorous it looks.

They are both so excited about their birthdays, and now that I have detailed instructions on how to make these cakes, I am too!

The great folks at Betty Crocker want to help you put on a special birthday party too!!  Go over to their site and check out all of the cake options.  Come back here and tell me which cake you would want to make.  They will send 1 lucky winner everything you need to make the cake!

That's all you have to do to win.

Of course if you want another chance to win you can tweet about it too!

Contest will end on May 31 at 9 PM MDT when I choose a winner at random.

Good luck!

*This post is sponsored by My Blog Spark and Betty Crocker.  They sent me a Flip Video Camera (to take those adorable videos of my kiddos), a $100 AMEX Gift Card to do the parties and coupons for free cake mix and frosting.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Firehouse Giveaway!

 love when I get to review kids books because really reading to my kids is one of my favorite things in the world.  I started collecting kids books when I was still in High School.  I just knew that someday I would have a lot of little bookworms just like me.  And guess what?  I do!


Today I get to share with you a really fun new kids book, Firehouse by Mark Teague.
Join Edward and his cousin Judy as they spend a hilarious day learning how to be firefighters. From a fire drill that leads to a slippery slide down a fire pole, to a hysterical battle with an out-of-control fire hose, Edward is in for an action-packed adventure. And when faced with a real emergency, can Edward save the day?
My children love this book.  We have read it repeatedly and they love the silly antics of these Firehouse Dogs.  I love that the pictures are of all kinds of dogs, male and female.  It shows my daughters that they can work in a Firehouse someday too if they want.




You may recognize the illustrations if you have read any of the How Do Dinosaurs books.
Mark Teague is an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator.  His books include Funny Farm, a 2009 Parents’ Choice Silver Award Picture Book; Daer Mrs. Larue, the 2002 Book Sense Illustrated Book of the Year; Detective Larue; Larue for Mayor; and Pigsty.  He is also the illustrator of the New York Times bestselling How Do Dinosaurs series by Jane Yolen.  Mark lives in New York State with his wife and daughters
 This book is perfect for beginning readers, Seth loves to read it to his sisters.  It is also great for just looking at the pictures and laughing, which is something we like to do a lot.

I have a great giveaway for you today!!!   Scholastic is giving away a hard cover edition of Firehouse and a Fisher-Price Firehouse Playset to one of my readers.

How cool is that???  But that is not all, they have also decided to throw in 2 more copies of the book for 2 more of you!  So, you have a pretty good chance at winning here folks!

So, to win here's what you have to do, comment.  I want to know your favorite kids book and why!

For additional entries you can...

1. Tweet it (be sure to include @prairiemama in it so I see it!)
2. Facebook it
3. Blog it.

Contest closes 2 weeks from tonight, May 25 at 9 PM MDT.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Take Part :: Special Earth Day Post

Often I find myself stuck.  Stuck in wanting to help all of the people in the world who need it and not having the financial ability to do it.  Stuck in not knowing what Charities are out there and which ones are credible and will actually help.  Stuck in wanting to help, but not knowing how and not being able to do a lot.


TakePart.com is an independent online community that connects it's members directly to the issues that inspire them to engage, contribute and take action. Through the Members Project, American Express is providing funding to charities, focusing on 5 different areas; Arts & Culture, Community Development, Education, Environment & Wildlife and Health & Wellness.

By joining TakePart.com you will have opportunities to make a difference and to show your passion, in small steps. (That for me is the big part, SMALL STEPS!) 
  • Whether it’s voting for a favorite charity to receive funding from American Express, volunteering time, donating, or telling friends, everyone can take a small step with Members Project and start making a difference.
     
  • Volunteer at charities that American Express helps you find and get Membership Rewards® points for doing so.
  • Vote once per week for the causes American Express should fund.  Members Project is donating $200K to five causes every three months.  This quarter's voting ends May 24, 2010.
  • Donate money or Membership Rewards® points to one of each voting period’s 50 selected charities, or choose from over 1 million other charities.
  • Share your involvement with the program to inspire and encourage others to participate. 
Not too hard huh?  I went over and joined.  I am so excited to see how easy it is to find volunteer opportunities in my area.  We love to take our kids and regularly volunteer to help better our community.  It gives them a better sense of ownership for where they live.

We choose a charity every month where we either donate, or do something for as a family.  This month it is the Food Pantry, next month it will be up to the kids.  But, our little bit we can donate only goes so far.  By voting for a worthy Charity to receive the money, I feel like I am really part of something bigger and doing something more.


It really is that easy.  I hope that on this Earth Day, you will take the first step at doing something for our World.  Go over, check it out, join, find volunteer opportunities in your area.  Then come back here and let me know what you think.

When we all work together, we can do amazing things.


This is a post supporting the Members Project, TakePart.Com and AMEX through the One2One Network.  By posting this I am eligible to win a gift card.  However, I would have written about this with no incentive at all because it is just that cool.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Breast Cancer; We Can Make a Difference.

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and KFC.

Three weeks before I turned 9 my Great-Grandmother died.   She lived a long full life and it came as no surprise when she finally died.  It was hard for all of us though.  She had many names in her lifetime; Cora, Mom, Dear, Grandma, Pockey...the last one was the one I knew her by. 

My Grandma Pockey was a hard woman, but could give the best snuggles.  I have very specific memories of visiting her in the summer.  Planting flowers in her yard, eating Ritz crackers with Easy Cheese and marshmallow Pinwheel cookies.  I loved laying on the bed in the guest room surrounded by sunlight and books and later snuggling in her bed as she would get ready for bed at night, the smell of Noxema thick in the air and watching her take her little pillows from her bra and place them neatly in a drawer.

I didn't know much about those “pillows” except that I would play with them whenever I could.  They were soft and smelled like Pockey.

It wasn't until I was in High School that I put two and two together and realized that my Grandmother was a Breast Cancer survivor.  I realized how strong she must have been and how at ease she was with her body.  It wasn't always that way though.  My Mom was very close to Pockey, she was her grandma after all.  When I asked her about Pockey's cancer, she teared up and shared this with me.

I remember a feeling of helplessness when my grandma, the light of my life and my best friend in a world of parental abuse, was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It felt like someone had punched me with all their might in the pit of my stomach…being a selfish teenager, it was all about me and how her diagnosis would affect my life.  Never did I stop to think about what she might be going through.

Breast cancer…it wasn’t the common cancer in the 60’s that it is now-I hadn’t heard much about it when my grandma was told she was needing a drastic surgery to sustain her life.  In fact, I knew NOBODY who had been affected by breast cancer-I had to read up about it to even understand the implication of that disease.  It was still all about me-how her disease would change my life.  Little did I realize how that diagnosis would impact me…

She had her surgery, a double radical mastectomy, and was hospitalized for three weeks.  Back then, insurance would allow people a relaxing recovery under the supervision of healthcare professionals, much different than today’s surgeries.  Her healing was slower because of her age-she was in her 60’s.  I visited her every day-she was my lifeline to normalcy and I needed her daily.  Never did I think of her life as being in danger-her mortality was never an issue.  She wasn’t going to die…not my grandma.

She came home from the hospital and stayed with our family for another month as she recovered.  That was a wonderful time for me but my mother ‘didn’t care much for’ my special grandma so there was some tension.  I helped her as much as I could but I was in school so the days were long for her.  She never complained, she just rested and tried to heal in preparation for returning to her home and my grandpa.  Why didn’t she recover at home?  I am not sure but they didn’t have a shower in their bathroom and now, years later, I suspect that was the reason.

One memory that has burned itself into my mind and one I remember frequently as I hear of women suffering through this horrible disease occurred one Saturday morning when she asked me if I would help her with a shower.  I was nervous-I hadn’t seen her breasts, or the lack thereof, since her surgery.  What was I getting into?  What would I see?  Should I look?  Should I act nonchalant?

She was in the shower when I entered the bathroom.  I thought she wanted my help?  I was confused but soon realized her goal-to help me to realize the impact of her surgery and ‘break the ice’ between us.  As I walked into the bathroom, she slid the glass door open and there she stood, naked and raw.  As I peered into the shower, she looked back at me with tears rolling down her cheeks and with the wail of a little child, simply said, “look what they have done to me”.  Fully clothed, I reached in, hugged her and we sobbed together.  She was my life!  I loved her more than anyone on the face of the earth and someone had violated her.

She recovered and healed physically but in my opinion, she never healed emotionally.  Back then, the prosthetics weren’t what they are today and she was forever unbalanced.   But she lived!

As I read that I cried for my Grandmother.  This woman who was still so young and yet had lost something so connected to being a woman, her breasts.  I can't imagine the pain, both physical and emotional that she must have felt.  And to be alone in her recovery with only a teenager to turn to had to be equally difficult.

But, like my Mom said, she LIVED!  They caught the cancer early enough that she didn't need chemotherapy.  She was able to see all 5 of her great-grandchildren be born and watched us grow.  She came to Christmases, Easters, plays, recitals, musicals, nothing stopped her.  She came and stayed with our family every summer.  We went to visit her often and she was such a bright spot in all of our lives.

For many years, she was the face of Cancer for me.  Because of that, I thought it was a disease that really only effected older people.  That was until 2 years ago. 

I had recently started working with Desi in our Church work.  She had 1 little boy and was just so beautiful and fun.  A few years younger than me, I thought she had everything going for her.  And then I heard the news, she had breast cancer.  I was floored.  Seriously, this doesn't happen to young people, right?  That is what she thought also.

On April 29th 2008 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I felt like I had just received a death sentence.  How could this be, I was only 26 with a husband and a two year old boy.  I have no history of breast cancer in my family and the very thought of it was something so foreign.  Only old women got cancer, not me.  All I knew about cancer was that those who had it, died.

It all started when I found a lump but because it couldn’t have possibly been anything serious I didn’t do anything about it.  Some months later when my husband and I started thinking about having a 2nd child, at this time I decided to first have this lump looked at as it had become painful.  I went to my gynecologist to have it examined and was referred to a local surgeon.  He, the surgeon, did an immediate biopsy, all I could do was wait.

The next day my life would change forever.  I received the phone call from the surgeon around mid afternoon.  His diagnosis was a shock; I struggled not to cry and used all my strength to simply try to hear the doctor out.  While on the phone my son came into my room, the sight of him and the thought of not being around to watch him grow old and to see him play and be a cute little boy was more than I could bear.  I broke down and started to weep, I told the doctor goodbye and sat and held my son for some time and cried like I hadn’t cried before.

About an hour or so later my husband came home from work.  When I told him I was balling, he was stone cold and could only say “It’s going to be OK.”  I felt angry that he didn’t have a bigger reaction, I realize now that he was trying to be strong for me.  I know that he hurt and felt anguish.  His father had passed away a few years before we met after losing a battle with Leukemia, now the love of his life was entering the same battle.

The surgeon scheduled a lumpectomy for the very next Monday, the next day however he called and explained that after speaking with some colleagues he decided that I should have a mammogram first.  The results indicated that my right breast was full of cancerous lumps, great.  He then recommended that I get an MRI to get a better picture of the cancer and to determine if my left breast was also cancerous.

After waiting for hours and hours, after the MRI,  I was told that they needed a biopsy of my left breast because there were some suspicious areas.  Never before had I been so poorly treated and talked down too.  The doctors were very rough, insensitive and emotionless.  One technician who showed us the MRI images said that the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes, was very serious and acted put out that I was so upset about it.

After the surgeon took a look at the data my cancer was diagnosed, I had DCIS or ductal carcinoma in situ and that it wasn’t present in my left breast.  I had to then find an oncologist to help orchestrate my surgery and all that having cancer entails. 

I was able to get in to meet with my husband's Dad's oncologist, even though she was not accepting any new patients.  She loved his Dad and would do anything for our family.

On our first meeting she was absolutely perfect.  She sat us down and spoke to us on our level.  Spoke about our concerns and fears.  I remember that she gave me a big hug and said that I will have kids again.  This meant the world to me and I’ll always remember her for the hope she gave my family. 

After meeting with them we then arranged my surgery for 6 June 2008 which gave me a month to prepare.  I don’t think I’d ever been so scared in my life.  I feel lucky to live in the world that we do with all the advancements in science that we have.  I really am pretty lucky.

On the big day I underwent a skin sparing mastectomy which removed my right breast but left the outer tissue and skin, they also implanted a tissue expander which would stretch the remaining tissue and muscle and aid in forming a new breast.  The people at the huntsman were great but I won’t lie, I hate being in the hospital.  After a few days stay I was able to leave and start the long recovery process.

The mastectomy revealed that it had NOT spread to my lymph nodes YAY!  What a relief.

Over the next three months I would visit my plastic surgeon weekly for saline injections.  They were gradually filling the tissue expander with fluid to form my new breast.  After it was sized back to normal I had to begin radiation therapy.  So for the next eight weeks I had to go to the hospital every day barring weekends and endure the radiation treatment.  It wasn’t as bad as it sounds until the end when my skin was so burnt that it started to crack and bleed.  It helped that the staff at the clinic were so kind and funny.  What a support.  They told me that they were going to do three things to me that my mother had warned me about never doing.  1) Gave me a tattoos, 2) Took nude pictures 3) and asked me to take my clothes off for a stranger.

When that was all said and done and I had healed a bit I made my appointment with my plastic surgeon, to have the final reconstructive surgery.  On Dec 22nd I had my final surgery and left Cancer behind me in 2008.  It was a fairly easy recovery compared to the mastectomy.  For what I went through the final results were great.  That being said, I’d much rather have my old breasts back, but I’ll take life and what it brings, even if it’s single breasted.

I’m happy to say, that on November 11, 2009 I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.  This is my way of fighting back at cancer and showing it that I’m not afraid.  Life is to be lived.

Cancer can and does hit everyone at some point in their lives.  1 in 8 women in the US will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer in her lifetime.  If you are not diagnosed, you will know someone who is.  This disease doesn't care who you are, how old you are, what you look like, how many children you have or what you have to do tomorrow.  It is hard and cold and will take from you as quickly as it can.  Breast Cancer is the leading cause of death among US women ages 40-59.

I started doing self breast examinations when I was 18.  I was visiting my brother and sister-in-law and saw that she had a self exam card in the shower.  I did one that day.  I have found it easiest to do it on the first of every month.  That way I remember and I get it done.

I will admit that I don't always remember.  When I am pregnant and nursing (like I have been for the last 8 years) it is hard to remember.  But it is so important to know your breasts.  To know what feels normal so that when something doesn't feel normal you can do something about it.

I am so grateful for organizations like the Susan G Komen foundation that is constantly educating women about Breast Cancer.  KFC has teamed up with Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure to raise money to find a cure for this terrible disease.  Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the world's largest, most progressive, non-profit breast cancer organization.  They have invested almost $1.5 billion in breast cancer research and community programs.  You recoginize the pink ribbons, and that is because of Komen.  They have transformed how the world talks about and treats this disease.  They have helped millions become survivors rather than patients.

For every Pink Bucket, KFC makes a 50 cent contribution to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  The Pink buckets will be available in KFC restaurants through May 23rd  KFC has teamed up with Blogher to raise money. BlogHer will donate $1 for every comment left on the blog posts and across the other posts from the Exclusive Offer page at BlogHer.com, up to a total of $1000 for the entire program.

This disease has effected so many women in so many ways.  Whether it is your Mother, Grandmother, sister, friend, daughter, or self, this disease takes so many and changes so many lives.  The survivors I know try to make a difference in other's lives.  They take the second chance they have been given and strive to improve the lives of others.

You can make a difference too by buying a pink bucket of chicken, or going to Buckets for the Cure.

It really can be that simple.  Do your monthly exams, be smart and help others.  Do you want to help?  Leave a comment here and Blogher will automatically donate $1!  It's that easy.  Want to do more?  Go read the other amazing stories of strength and courage, leave a comment and help more women in the race for the cure.


Together we are strong, together we can make a difference.  What do you do to make a difference in the lives of others?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mirra Winner!

Okey dokey folks, here is your winner......

Lucky number 10!


Mama bee said...
Heh. My routine includes a shower every 2-3 days, daily brushing of the hair, and the occasional face washing before bed. Though I do primp far more before a dance performance. Congrats lady!!!  Email me with your address and phone number and I will send along your info to get you your prize pack!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Kroger Winner!

And the winner is Corrin!

Corrin said...
Definitely staples - pasta, rice, canned goods. I've been unemployed for almost two months now, so it's really testing my grocery budgeting skills!
Congratulations lady!!!  Email me with your address and I will submit it to the fabulous sponsors of this contest!

Be sure to go enter the giveaway for Mirra beauty products now :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Mirra Beauty Products Review and Giveaway

When I was single and had more money than I knew what to do with, I spent a lot of it on my hair and facial products.  I have never been a big makeup girl, but I love a good cleanser and moisturizer for sure.

In the last 8 years however, I have had to find the best products for the least amount of money.  Trying to justify why I need expensive shampoo to my  husband who is, ahem, a wee bit hair deficient, was is difficult.

So, I am constantly on the lookout for good products that I can afford.  So, when Global Influence Network gave me the opportunity to try out Mirra Beauty Products, I jumped at the chance.


In addition to its own consumer research, mirra recently conducted an online survey of over 500 women asking a variety of questions about beauty care products and regimens.   Here’s what women said: 
  • 77 percent said products that have both natural ingredients and proven technologies, work best.  Only nine percent said products with all natural ingredients, alone, were best; and 14 percent said the same of science only products.  
  • 71 percent chose “Take 10” as the best description of their beauty style and routine.  They said they don’t have a lot of time and don’t spend a lot of time on their beauty routine – 10 minutes at most.   Other options included “soak and savor,” “60 minutes,” and  “beat the clock.”
  • Their description of a “bad hair day” was evenly split between “flat” (37 percent) and “frizzy” (35 percent).  (15 percent said fly-away; 13 percent said oily).
Launching now, mirra products include shampoos and conditioners; hair styling products; body washes and mists; facial and skin care lotions, cleansers and cleansing cloths; eye firming and age defying creams; and cosmetic brushes.
mirra products are made with natural ingredients, such as olive oil, aloe leaf juice, and cranberry, bamboo, honey and chicory root extracts.  Proven technologies are used for many of the products too.  For example, the revolutionary oleosome emulsion technology is used in skin care products to deliver long lasting moisture that keeps protecting and nourishing skin long after application. 
mirra products can be found in the beauty care aisles exclusively at all stores that are part of the Kroger Co. family. For a limited time, mirra is offering $5 off when you purchase any two mirra products. To download the coupon visit www.kroger.com\coupons.

My package arrived and I excitedly tore into it.  I received Color Care shampoo and conditioner, Bamboo and Honey body wash, face moisturizer, eye cream, ginger and oleosomes lotion and gel.
 
My hair was not colored.  I say was not because how could I do a good review if I didn't even have colored hair?  So, I quickly scheduled an appointment with my favorite hair stylist and went a shade darker and added in some beautiful caramel highlights.
I love this shampoo and conditioner.  It is lightly fragranced and leaves my hair bouncy and shiny.  I will buy this shampoo and conditioner again for sure.  I also love the body wash.  It does a great lather and smells divine.  The day cream is light enough to use all day, yet is rich enough to keep my super dry skin feeling great all day long.  

Those are the things I have actually used.  I am not a huge fan of the smell of the lotion, but I know my Mom will love it.  So, I will be giving it to her when she comes to my house in April.  I also don't use gel, so I haven't used that.  I am just waiting for Amelia to get the idea that she wants to look like Annie and will let me put curlers in her hair.  Then I can use the gel!

Not only are these great products, but they are pretty easy for me to find and afford.  Mirra is sold at Kroger stores.  So for my fellow Utah folks, that's Smith's!  You can also get a coupon for $5 off two products right now.  A great way to try it out.

You want to try it don't you?  Well, The Kroger Company and Global Influence Network want to give one of you a Mirra prize pack!  All you have to do to enter is tell me about your beauty routine.  For extra entries you can:
1. tweet 
2. blog
3. facebook

Pretty simple eh?  This contest will close on my big sister's birthday, March 24 at 8pm MST.  So what are you waiting for???

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Kroger Cart Buster! $25 Giveaway!!

Ok, I am a sucker for a good deal, especially when it comes to groceries.  Right now my favorite grocery store, Smith's, is having a Cart Buster sale. 

What does this mean you ask?  Well, they are having some AWESOME deals.  Yesterday I went and Betty Crocker cake mixes were 10 for $10.  Oh how I love cake and at a dollar a piece?  Oh yeah, sign me up.  I stocked up my food storage with cake mixes.  Cause you know, if there is a natural disaster or something I am going to NEED chocolate!

The fabulous folks at Kroger Family of Stores and General Mills through MyBlogSpark sent me a $25 gift card to any Kroger store.  And guess what?  They want to do the same for you!!!!

To enter, just tell me what you would love to stock up on at the Cart Buster sale.  This is a quickie contest, so it will close on Saturday night, March 13 at 8 pm MST.

*The cart buster sale ends on Saturday, but Kroger stores always  have lots of good deals!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Rainbow Brite

When i was a little girl I loved Rainbow Brite oh so much.  What wasn't to love, a girl dressed in sparkly rainbows with her own horse?  I mean, come on!

Being the Mom to girls, I wanted to share with them the things I loved, Strawberry Shortcake, Rainbow Brite, Cabbage Patch Dolls...the list goes on and on and on.

I was so excited to see that Rainbow Brite has been re-released and now my girls can enjoy her too!

My sweet Amelia loves loves LOVES to color.  So, when I received the Rainbow Brite C.D.'s I immediately had to print off pictures for her.  She loves watching the videos (and I love that they are short), and playing the games, but most of all, she loves the coloring pages.


Mom Select sent me a few of these cd's, so if you have a child who you think would be interested in these, give me a shout out and I'll stick it in the mail for you!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Winners!

Sorry I didn't get this list up last weekend, things got crazy and...well, you know :)

Anyway...
The winners for the Pirate/Princess book packs are........

13 - Paula Michele
20 - The Lewis 4
25 - Love my Levi
15 - Tiffany C.
10 - Lauren Super Mom Central

Email me with your addresses and I will pass them along to the sponsors!

And for the Artistic Sensations' Giveaway....
The winner is Patricia!

Congrats everyone!!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Princess and Pirate Potty Training Books :: Giveaway!

It is no secret that my children LOVE books.  They love books so much that we could sit and read all day long.  They will read any type of book they can find and really don't have any that they don't like.

When the new Scholastic books, Princess Potty and Pirate Potty, came in the mail, I thought that only Amelia would be very interested in them.  She is 3, and is pretty recently potty trained.  What I found instead was that all 3 of my children adore these books!

Seth is all about pirates and he loves the pirate potty!  He wishes that he could get the little hat and stickers to use for himself.  And Amelia is quite the princess, so this book was just up her alley.

Both books provide a helpful, step-by-step story that introduces girls & boys to the concept of toilet training. Pirate Potty is a pirate-themed, toilet-training book that is fit for the little swashbuckler in your life!  Includes a pirate’s hat and reward stickers! Princess Potty follows the same theme…a toilet-training book that is fit for the Royal Highness in your life!  This book includes tiara and reward stickers!

I love these rewards!  It is instant and not candy :)

I have 5 sets of these great books to giveaway!!  If you'd like to win, leave me a comment telling me why and which one you'd like.

To gain an additional entry tweet about this giveaway.  For one more, write about it on facebook.

Leave a comment for each entry.  You can do facebook and twitter entries once a day.

Contest ends February 21 at 8 pm MST.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Artisitc Sensations Review and Giveaway!

I have a new sponsor for my blogs, Artistic Sensations.  I have never been able to really decorate my kids room until we moved into our current house.  We moved in and promptly painted Seth's room green (ok 1 wall, but it is REALLY green!).  Amelia was still in our room, but we knew that they would be sharing a room before long.

Fast forward 2 years and Seth and Amelia share a room.  Since I have a boy and girl in the same room, decorating can be a challenge.  I can't do it up pink and girlie ballerina, and I also can't do it up Star Wars or Baseball.  We have to find our middle ground and go from there.

We are doing bright colors, hence the green wall.  So, when I found Artistic Sensations, I was SO excited.  They have all kinds of room decor, bedding, wall hangings, picture frames, lamps, rugs, mobiles..the list goes on and on and on. 

When they told me I could pick something out from their shop to try I was thrilled.  I looked at everything and tried to find something I knew my kids would love.  I found it.  My kids are constantly making the bottom bunk into a fort.  What this means is that I am constantly dragging out blankets and stuffing them up under the top bunk (over and over and over because the baby pulls them out) and then when they are done I have to fold up all the blankets again and put them away.

This however is such a snap to put up and my kids love it so much they don't ever want it down!


Sticky back velcro goes right on the bunk bed and then you attach the curtain to that.  Easy to take down if it needs to be washed, and so so simple to put up.

But, don't ask me what I think about it.  Let's ask the true experts, my kids!







There you have it folks. The experts have spoken and they LOVE it!!!!

The great folks at Artistic Sensations have offered to give one of you a set just like this PLUS a $50 gift card to their shop!  Pretty awesome isn't it?!?

So, to enter you need to go over to Artistic Sensations and look around.  Come back here and tell me what you love!
For additional entries:
1. Follow @kidsroomdecor on Twitter
2. Become a fan on Facebook
3. Follow this Blog
4. Subscribe to this blog's RSS feed
5. Subscribe to Artistic Sensations' RSS feed
6. Tweet about this contest
7. Blog about this contest

There you have it 8chances to win.  You must leave a comment for each entry. This contest will close on Valentine's day, February 14, at 8 pm MST.  Good luck!!!

This post was sponsored by Artistic Sensations, but the words are mine and my kids and if we found something we didn't like about it we sure would have said so!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sweet Cake Bake Shop Review

In November when I realized I would be going gluten free, I thought it was the end of bread, brownies, cookies, cake...all the things I really LOVE.  Even if I could find a recipe to make these things, 1. there was no guarantee they'd be any good and 2. sometimes you want a giant chocolate chip cookie right now and just don't have time to make it.  My impulse buying for sure was going to have to come to an end or I would be paying for it with my health.

I had accepted my fate and even found a brownie recipe I liked.  And then I got an email from my friend Elise telling me that her cousin was getting ready to open a gluten free bakery in Kaysville, UT.  I live about an hour away from Kaysville, but that is where my brother and sister and their families live.  It is also where Emma is buried, so I get down there at least once a month.  I was so excited!  Then she asked if I'd like to come and sample some goodies and review the shop.  Uh, YEAH!


I pulled up on Saturday morning at 11, right when the shop opens.  I decided to lay low for a minute while I waited for Elise to arrive.  Upon entering the shop I was struck with how homey it feels.



This small shop sports a large display case, which was filling up quickly with many baked goods.



There is a bakers rack with gift boxes and flour mixes.  Yes, you read that right, flour mixes.  You can buy the flour mixture to make your own goodies.  If you have ever had to eat gluten-free, you know what a big deal this is.  Gone are the days of measuring out your cup of all purpose or whole wheat flour.  Most recipes call for at least three different flours, often more than that.  And, the flours are not the common kind of flours you think of.  Instead it is Almond Meal, Teff Flour, Sweet Rice Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Millet Flour...the list goes on.


I digress...back to the shop.  I went in and there were several customers there waiting for the case to finish filling up.  I could see the girls working in the back busy trying to get trays ready for the customers.  One sweet couple drove an hour and a half just to get some goodies.  The lady was so sweet and just couldn't believe these treats wouldn't make her sick.  She had never tasted anything gluten free that was so delicious.







 

If those photos don't entice you, how about this?  There were people there who don't need to eat gluten free, but CHOOSE to go to Sweet Cake Bake Shop because it is just that good.  The chocolate lava cake (pictured above) was my treat for the evening of games with my family.  Oh it was divine, seriously.

I also bought some chocolate chip cookies (HEAVEN), a red velvet cupcake, a chocolate cupcake, a peanut butter bar, a brownie, a package of day old blondies and day old mint brownies.

I was beyond thrilled with everything there.  The prices are great too!  $2.25 for a cupcake, $4.95 for a mini bundt cake (totally worth it!) $2.00 for any brownies or bars and $1.75 for a cookie.

That's not all they do though.  If you are gluten free like me, you might just miss bread.  Every Monday the shop is closed and they make 50 loaves of bread.  With 4 different varieties of bread, you have options!  They make Honey White, Honey Oatmeal, Sweet Sorghum and Cinnamon Raisin.  All bread orders are special order only and the orders are out a couple of weeks at least.  At $7.95 a loaf it is a bit more pricey than I would like, but for a special occasion, I could totally swing it.

If my glowing review isn't enough, why not ask my counterpart who was with me?


mmm...eating..eating...eating...


"Don't tell me I can't have any more!"


Yay!!  Mama said I can have a cookie!

So, for those of us who can not have gluten, there is a great new option!  Sweet Cake Bake Shop!  Located in Kaysville, UT it is easily accessible to those who live on the Wasatch Front.  If you don't live in Utah but still want to try the goodies, why not order online?  I promise, you won't regret it!