Win a Weekend Getaway to Orlando

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Win One of Two Cars

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WideNeck Diet Day 5 - Menu and Musings

Hallelujah! I lost two more pounds! 
I've now lost 
Am I hungry? Yeah, right before meal time. 
Am I hungry in between? Nope. 
Are I tired? Tons of energy!
How much sleep? Average 7 hours a night.
Do I miss carbs? Sometimes, but I like losing weight more!
Do I miss sugar? Sometimes, but I like losing weight more?
What about alcohol? I miss alcohol too, but whiskey can wait.
Weigh every day? Yes!
The hardest part? Not nibbling when I feed the preschoolers.

Breakfast - Two tomato slices, add one cooked scrambled egg and two cooked slices of bacon, add one slice of cheese, assemble and microwave 20 seconds to melt cheese. One slice of bacon on the side. It's much too messy to pickup but looks pretty like this. I used a knife and fork to cut and eat it. Scrumptious!
Egg and Bacon Breakfast Sandwich
Tip that's helped me make easier and faster meals: A few days ago, I precooked a pound of ground beef, a pound of ground turkey, and a pound of ground pork. After they cooled, I put them in marked containers in the fridge, so all I have to do is choose one and warm it up.

Lunch - Heat up pre-cooked ground turkey with sauerkraut in a saucepan, pour onto plate and top with spicy brown mustard. A delicious German meal! My husband didn't come home for lunch today like he usually does, so I took the opportunity to have sauerkraut (which he hates). By the way, how do you know when sauerkraut goes bad; doesn't it always smell bad?
German Dump Casserole
Dinner - Juicy pork steak and a salad of iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, cucumbers, topped with calorie-free sun-dried tomato dressing. Yummy!!
Pork Steak
Drinks - Coffee, water.

Exercise - Planking 60 sec., 20 High Kicks Right Leg, 20 High Kicks Left Leg, 20 Chair Squats, and 20 Counter Pushups. Brisk 30-minute walk with hubby and doggy.


Win a Trip for Two - Park City Food and Wine Classic in Park City, Utah

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Cool Gel Pillow Helping Fight Breast Cancer

Wish you could sleep better? Wish your pillow was more comfortable? Always looking for the cool side or cool spot on your pillow? Want to help fight breast cancer? Then read on!
Comfort Revolution has created a pillow that is my all-time favorite pillow! This always cool gel pillow is made from memory foam and Hydraluxe gel technology. What that means is I sleep better than I ever have, my pillow is more comfortable than it has ever been, and I always have the cool side of the pillow! Plus, for every Frosted Pink Bubbles Hydraluxe Gel Pillow you buy, they will donate $10 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation!
If you're a lady who is experiencing the joys of menopause, like I am, then you know how awful hot flashes can be. Guess what? My Hydraluxe cool gel pillow helps me sleep through the entire night with dramatically reduced night sweats!!!
I'm normally a side sleeper, but thanks to this pillow, I can now also asleep on my back or stomach comfortably. That allows me a healthier night's sleep because I'm not confined to just one position all night long. I wake up more refreshed than ever before. Can you tell I truly LOVE this pillow??
The pillow comes with its own silky cover and zipper case and everything is made from very high quality materials. I have the standard size and it fits perfectly in my regular pillowcases. That means even my husband will use a pink pillow (if it's in a brown pillowcase too).
Memory foam does NOT mean it keeps the shape of your head after you get up. It means it returns to its normal shape morning after morning so that when you lay down again at night, you will once again sink into the same heavenly comfort.
Hydraluxe Cooling Gel pillows are the perfect gift for anyone. Maybe your mom would love one for Christmas! Get your dad one too (other colors available as well). Purchase one for your child too...did you know that even 27 more minutes of sleep improves a child's behavior at school? 
Do your shopping online at http://www.comfortrevolution.com/ and PINK YOUR SLEEP while you help fight breast cancer! Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter too! 
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

WideNeck Diet Day 4 - Menu and Musings

I certainly paid for the "no exercise" day, sigh. I didn't lose another pound. I did lose about a half a pound, but I'm only counting whole numbers. Six pounds lost in four days. No more exercise breaks for me!

Breakfast - Two eggs over medium, plus pork sausage. I cut up the eggs and mixed it all together in one big pile and ate it with a spoon. I've noticed I have loads more energy than I used to have. Sugars and carbs must have really been slowing me down!
Eggs and Sausage
Lunch - Two egg omelet with ground beef, onion, red pepper, black olives, cilantro, and salsa. Can you tell I love to eat salsa? I've been making a mental list all week long of veggies and meats I want to buy while grocery shopping this weekend. I'll even post my shopping list afterwards.
Mexican Omelet
Dinner - Seasoned shredded chicken breast, Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup, and black olives, topped with sliced cherry tomatoes, and wrapped like a tortilla in iceberg lettuce. I also had a side of brussels sprouts with mine.

Drinks - Coffee, Water, one diet Cola

Exercise - 30 minute brisk walk with hubby and doggy. I'm definitely walking faster each time, so I'm increasing my distance.


evREwares Reusable Fabric Adhesives - Review

Someone has finally made a tie my guys don't mind wearing! evREwares is a creative line of reusable fabric adhesives for kids, teens and adults that includes big guy ties, little guy ties, pockets, sashes, sticky words and much more.
They have so many artistic designs to choose from, so I chose Sticky Ties that represent each one of my guys...a guitar tie for my musical son, a motherboard tie for my computer-geek husband, and  a camo tie for my hunter/fisher son. My husband laughed and said, "You sure put a lot of thought into which one to get for us!"
The products are made from fabric with a special "secret" formula adhesive that is so amazing that the product can be used over and over (with normal wear, although deep sea diving in it is not recommended). It cannot be torn, is weather-resistant, and doesn't leave any residue on clothing.
Actually it's not just for clothing! You can stick it to pretty much anything - mirrors, lockers, walls, furniture, notebooks, suitcases, even your car. evREwares even offers special drink labels, locker decor, and sticky art so can you can design something totally original.
evREwares are also a great way to let your children accessorize their outfits for school in ways that are appropriate, fun, and unique! Check out all the great products at http://evrewares.com/. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter too!
Disclosure: I received these products at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Someone is going to win three evREwares!
To enter you must be at least 18 years old and reside in the USA. Only the first entry is mandatory; bonus entries will increase your chances to win. Winner may choose three (3) single piece wearable fabric stickers. This giveaway ends on 10/30/2012 at midnight ET. Good luck!

New Fundraiser Idea: Young Scientist Club

The Young Scientists Club Presents Its Award-Winning Science Kits For Schools And Clubs To Sell With 20% Cash Back And Free Gifts!
If you live near families with young children, your doorbell rings with eager youngsters selling coupon books, raffle tickets, gift wrap, candles and lots of things that you really don't want, but, it's for a good cause. This season, smart fundraising chairpersons will offer something to really get excited about purchasing: slime, goop and magnets! It's all part of The Young Scientists Club new initiative to give science kits for the holidays while giving back 20% cash to a worthy organization.

With kit names like Sci-ology ($14.99), Microscope Lab ($39.99) and Attracted To Magnificent Magnets ($19.99) parents, grandparents and neighbors can give young children an exciting and educational peek into the world of science that's age-appropriate, even at ages 4 or 5 years because you are never too young to discover the world around you or just your backyard. As part of a fundraising effort for non-profits, schools and groups, the science kit giver is rewarded twice -- not only purchasing a great product but having cash donated back to a favorite cause.

Fundraisers simply follow these four steps:
1. Call 1-800-964-1320 and register to receive a code specifically for your group.
2. Work with The Young Scientists Club to personalize an email to spread the word of this great offer.
3. Invite parents, grandparents, and supporters to shop online using your school/club code. Since they place their order themselves, the group coordinator does not have to manage or collect orders or payments.
4. Anticipate the arrival of The Young Scientist Club shipment, brown shopping bags, and donation check!

Find out more here - FUNDRAISING

Swampy's Underground Adventures Launch

Today, Disney Interactive announced the online launch of the new short form animated video series, Disney Where's My Water? Presents: Swampy's Underground Adventures on Disney.com and Disney’s YouTube channel at Youtube.com/DisneyShows. Swampy's Underground Adventures follows the hilarious and unpredictable adventures of Swampy, Disney’s first original character born on mobile and star of Disney’s #1 mobile franchise Where’s My Water?.

To celebrate the web series launch, 175 Disney Stores across the nation will be hosting Where’s My Water?-themed in-store events from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 20. Families who dive into participating stores will get a sneak peek at two new Swampy’s Underground Adventures episodes, receive free Swampy activity sticker sheets and have the chance to win a Swampy toy plush at 12:30 p.m.!

WideNeck Diet Day Three - Menu and Musings

Six pounds gone! Yeah! 
Hubby's now lost three pounds too!

Breakfast - two scrambled eggs with precooked chicken breast pieces, mushrooms, spinach, salsa, cilantro, and yellow onion, plus a side of 1/2 avocado sliced with diced raw mushrooms. We started to make omelets then at the last minute changed it up a bit since we had one yesterday. We do not want to get bored with our food!
Chicken Veggie Scrambler
Lunch - Honey smoked turkey breast slices wrapped around fat-free mozzarella cheese pieces, plus two dill pickles, and a side salad of iceberg lettuce, avocado slices, spinach, tomato wedges, carrot matchsticks, sliced mushrooms, topped with calorie-free honey dijon dressing. A very filling lunch!
Mozzarella Turkey Wraps
Dinner - Taco Salad with iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, ground beef (cooked with onion), shredded mixed cheeses, and salsa. YUM!
Side note - I had bbq chicken in the crock pot all afternoon for the rest of the family. I had about six bites of boneless, skinless, chicken breast with bbq on it, around 8pm.

Drinks - Coffee, Water, and one diet Cola

Exercise - Stress and chasing daycare kids around all day, plus some general housekeeping duties. No time for a walk since I was entering all the Fall Fashionista giveaways last night after the daycare closed, but hey I won two prizes so far!

Winner of American Apparel Winter Jacket

The winner of the American Apparel Winter Jacket is...

Rosanne Morrison!


More great giveaways HERE!

Amazon Voucher Giveaways

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#Bloggers Wanted for #Step2 #Giveaway

Mom Blog Society, Route249, Mom Does Reviews and Geeky Gamer Mom 
have come together to bring you this awesome event!
Prize: Step2 Deluxe Art Master Desk
Event Dates: Nov 10th - Dec 1st.

Naughty is the New Nice - TShirt Review

As we head into the holiday season, you may be wondering what to get for your guy this year. Sometimes they are really hard to buy a present for! Say goodbye to Traditional Holiday Clothing and hello to the tshirt that even a family man can wear in public. I think a shirt with "Naughty is the New Nice" is appropriate for just about anyone, since being naughty encompasses many situations.
This high-quality tee convincingly lets Santa know that times have changed! Soft and comfortable, this shirt comes in sizes SM through 5XL. My husband said, "I think I have a new favorite shirt now!" and even gave me a naughty look for his modeling shot. He wore it to work and everyone loved it. Sometimes, gift giving can be really simple. Tshirts are always a hit for my husband (and my sons). What gift is always a score in your house?
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Soldiers in the Airport

While walking through the airport last week to catch my flights from Austin to Atlanta and back, I had the opportunity to see many US soldiers in uniform. I absolutely LOVE this opportunity. I always go out of my way to walk up to them, shake their hand, and tell them "THANK YOU for your service!"
I cannot even imagine how difficult a job they have. It actually bothers me that so many people walk right by them without saying anything to them. They are true heroes and I'd rather shake the hand of a US soldier than a movie celebrity any day.
Every single time I thank a soldier, I am greeted with pure gratitude for my acknowledgement of their service. Never has a soldier responded negatively to me approaching them. I'm proud to be an American and I'm even more proud of the US men and women whose boots are on the ground to keep my family and my country free!

Valentina Goldman's Immaculate Confusion Book Blast

About Author Marisol Murano
When she was 18-years-old Marisol Murano moved to the United States to attend school so that afterwards she could return to her native Venezuela to get married and have kids. None of this happened. Instead, she ended up getting a Master’s degree which eventually landed her a boring job in an exciting city: New York.

After a few years running the corporate rat race, Marisol woke up to this one day, "Even if you win the race, you're still a rat." That was the end of her banking career and the birth of her first novel: The Lady, The Chef, and The Courtesan.

Marisol was the first to be surprised when her first novel was named Latino Book of the Year, Original Voices from Border’s and was picked as a BookSense selection. She was further surprised when it was translated into several languages.

A second career detour led her to become a chef and the author of a cookbook, Deliciously Doable Small Plates from Around the World. Between novels, Chef Marisol now travels the world conducting culinary demonstrations on exotic cuisine. In fact, Valentina Goldman's Immaculate Confusion was born at sea in a split-second of confusion when during a culinary demonstration a woman raised her hand to ask: “Did you always know you wanted to be a chef?” Life is stranger than fiction, indeed.
Hipso Media Blog * Facebook * Goodreads

Title: Valentina Goldman's Immaculate Confusion
Author: Marisol Murano
Publisher: Hipso Media
Released: August 1, 2012

Since her arrival in the United States from Venezuela, Valentina Goldman isn’t exactly living the American Dream. She’s living the American Nightmare.

Her late husband, Max, has left her a young widow, a step-daughter whom Valentina didn’t want, and a bi-polar ex-wife. And oh, having given up her dream job in New York, Valentina is also unemployed in Arizona.

Part "Bridget Jones Diary," part "Modern Family," "Valentina Goldman’s Immaculate Confusion" is the story of a woman trying to get a handle on her whacky life in America. In breathless, blog-like snippets, Valentina compares her own story with that of her eccentric sister, Azucena, who has bizarre troubles of her own down in the tropics.

"Valentina Goldman’s Immaculate Confusion" is a funny and moving story about what happens when a passionate South American woman moves to the USA and, like so many of us, ends up with a life she never imagined.

"A funny and quirky mix of anecdotes and life lessons. This is imbued with such a distinct personality -- one that begs you to laugh at nearly every page." ~ Emily from Goodreads


Book Blast Giveaway:
$100 Amazon Gift Card 
or Paypal Cash from Hipso Media
Ends 10/25/12

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here, as well as emailed, and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

New List of Winners

Wow, check out this big list of new winners!
Congratulations to you all.
Thanks to all who entered.

Be sure to enter more of my super giveaways HERE!

Core Bamboo Classic Light Large Bowl - Nikki Marie

My 1Story Book and Plush - Laura Proctor Unger

Birthday Bouquet - Kellie Conklin

Two Awesomely Gross NatGeo Books - Tina Wofford Page

FavorDeal Jewelry - Connie Gruning, Alicia Ponce,
Sania Akbar, and Gramma Joyce

Is Black Friday a Consumer's Pandora Box?

We've pretty much been trained to wait for the starting gun. It either goes off early Friday morning after Thanksgiving and more recently as early as after the last football game is over on Thanksgiving Day itself. Thus begins the pandemonium that is known as Black Friday. It is a consumer’s tradition which is warmly welcomed by retailers, who often find that they make up for their operating losses during the rest the year during those precious three weeks before Christmas. But why the term black, to describe a day of shopping euphoria? Shouldn't it be White Friday? It probably would confuse people with White Christmas, so we'll let that thought go. But one can actually trace the beginning of the term to Philadelphia, somewhere in the yearly 1960s, when local newspapers used the term to describe the massive traffic jams and crowds of people that were going to the malls and retail stores to take advantage of the discounts that merchants were offering. Black Friday as a term really went mainstream about 15 years later and now is both the term and concept is on everyone's lips. It has become the biggest consumer day of the entire year, although it has solidified this position only in the last 10 years. Everybody seems to benefit from this media-induced shopping frenzy. Most consumers get to buy the items they want at potentially the lowest prices of the year, and retailers get to clear their shelves of inventory that they might not otherwise sell.

Under the microscope
Let’s take a look at what all the hubbub is about. The good news is that, even during these challenging economic times, sales for Black Friday 2011 totaled just over $11.5 billion for the day, an increase of 6.6% over the previous year. As most people know, if consumers spend, the economy is on the right track. So this is not only good news for the retailers, who kept their cash registers ringing, but it helps stimulate the economy overall, and in some way, everyone benefits. The real question is what's in it for the consumers? Many studies have been done on Black Friday sales and deals. The conclusion is that almost all of them have reached is that while many items are priced to move, they're usually the lower end models, the ones where sometimes retailers have better margins, and can afford to knock the price down. But if you're looking for the biggest and best flat screen TV, there's a good chance that no store will be offering you the best deal on that day. Many retailers that manufacture some of their own items, generally referred to as house brands, will often sell these at even below manufacturing cost, just in order to get rid of the darn things. This offers a tremendous opportunity to shoppers if that is precisely the item they're looking for.

Elizabeth Kelley Harlepp is a US-based writer covering the latest trends in modern society. She writes on a freelance basis for many of the major blogs.

Bloggers Wanted for Tech Lovers Christmas Event

#VeggieTales Bob and Larry Go Country CD - Review

As a preschool teacher, I love to find music that expands the children's creativity. It is important to provide a variety of nursery rhymes, rock and roll, classical, country music and more. When VeggieTales introduced Bob and Larry Go Country, I knew it would be a great CD. My preschoolers and I already love all the VeggieTales characters, so we couldn't wait to hear them twang out their rendition of God Bless the USA!
We were not disappointed. We love this great collection of ten country songs, performed veggie style! My kids did their own version of the two-step to Achy Breaky Heart and Life Is a Highway. They kicked up their heels for You're Still The One and 9 To 5.
Most charming of all was when two of them started singing along to Jesus Take the Wheel. That brought tears to my eyes! They've asked to hear their Country Veggie Music over and over this week and since it's raining outside, dancing to music is a fabulous way to exercise and burn off energy. It's a fabulous addition to our classroom music library and would be a wonderful car-ride singalong for the whole family. It's a super stocking-stuffer gift!
Hurry quick to http://www.veggietales.com/ to pick up your copy while it's on sale! Be sure you follow them on Facebook and Twitter so you can be first to hear about sales and new releases.
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.


Win a #Frankenweenie Trick or Treat Bag + Shutterfly Photo Book

Win this FREE Frankenweenie Trick or Treat Bag 
PLUS a FREE 20-page 8x8 Shutterfly Photo Book!
Enter on the Rafflecopter form below!

If you're looking for Halloween inspiration, check out the Shutterfly Storytelling tab
They offer everything from photography tips to design ideas: 

DIY Trick-or-Treat Bags: Score loads of sweets on Halloween by creating 
a customized candy sack with a photo, print or child's artwork. 

Halloween Riddle Reveal Plates: Kids will eat their veggies to learn the answer! 

Tips for Taking Pictures at the Pumpkin Patch: A few fun ways to capture the outing. 

Top 10 Halloween Photos to Take: Don't miss any big or little moments 
on the Night of Fright! 
You must be 18 years of age or older and reside in the USA.
Giveaway ends on 10/22/2012 at midnight ET.
Good luck!

WideNeck Diet Day Two - Menu and Musings

So, I lost FIVE POUNDS my first day. YAHOO! Wonder if I can keep that up for a month? HA! Only 55 more pounds to lose. So far, I've survived without my carbs. My husband lost less than a pound yesterday, but he ate some sauteed mushrooms last night at 10pm.

Breakfast - Two egg omelet, with bacon pieces, cilantro, mushrooms, cheddar cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Topped with Salsa and asadro cheese. Very yummy! Not hungry until lunchtime again - YAY!
Bacon Veggie Omelet
Lunch - Salad with iceberg lettuce, spinach, carrots, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, avacado and calorie-free sun-dried tomato dressing. Topped with tuna salad made from tuna, olive oil mayo, sweet pickle relish, spicy brown mustard. Scrumptious! I'm not going to eat between meals; no snacks/no mindless munching/no nibbles, just three solid meals a day. So far, it's been easy.
Tuna Avocado Salad
Dinner - Bacon Cheeseburger wrapped in lettuce, tomato slices and pickle slices, plus a side of brussels sprouts (one of my favorite veggies, yes really). Delicious and very filling! I was almost too full to go on a walk but went anyway and I'm glad I did!
Bacon Cheeseburger Wrap
Drinks - Lots of coffee (of course), Water (never enough, unless you count the hot water poured over coffee grounds).

Exercise - Brisk thirty-minute after dinner walk with the hubby and the dog. The dog is really enjoying our new routine!

Savory Saltine Seasoning - Review

Do you like to eat saltine crackers? I like them and can eat a few at a time with cheese or peanut butter on them, but they just aren't very exciting. Savory Saltine Seasoning is the perfect way to turn a package of budget crackers into a gourmet snack unlike anything you've ever had before. Plus, you'll be amazed at how simple this transformation actually is!
All you need is a package of saltine crackers, canola oil, and a package of The Original Savory Saltine Seasoning (which comes with a 2-gallon zip top bag). The directions on the package are for either one tube of crackers or for four; I chose to make four. I didn't have canola oil, so I used vegetable oil instead; and poured 1 3/4 cups poured into the big zip top bag. I added the packet of Savory Saltine Seasoning and smooshed it all around until it was mixed well.
Then I put four tubes of saltine crackers into the seasoned oil and zipped the bag closed. I gently tossed and turned the bag until the crackers absorbed the seasoned oil. Then I let the crackers sit in the bag overnight. The next day, I opened the bag and poured the crackers into a dish. That's it. Really. That's all there is to it!
First of all, aren't they gorgeous? The crackers look completely different, totally glamorous, and ready to party. Then the taste - Oh my, they are delicious, crispy, zesty, and full of flavor like never before! Savory Saltine Seasoning can also be used on popcorn, peanuts, and other crackers. Plus it can be used in dips, cheeses, salads, and even as a marinade for meats. You must try it! Visit http://www.savoryfinefoods.com to shop, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter for great recipes and ideas!
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

Dale Jr Fans #NASCAR - Your Help is Needed

I've been invited to participate in an exclusive digital press conference with the king of the Dew Crew himself, Dale Earnhardt Jr, at the end of October!!

If YOU could interview Dale Jr what would you ask him? 

I need your help to decide what to ask!

Post your questions for Dale Jr below this blog post by October 22!

If you haven't joined the Dew Crew yet, click below to join up!

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