Give the Gift of Honeybees

This holiday season, Heifer International is offering shoppers a variety of impactful options - gifts that help end hunger and poverty while caring for the earth. All of the below gifts are sustainable long-term investments that make a substantial impact by helping families rise out of poverty. Families then pass on the gifts they receive, so each gift starts a cycle that helps transforms countless lives.
Through Heifer International’s Gift Catalog, shoppers can select socially-conscious and eco-friendly gifts to dedicate to their loved ones, including:
· Honey Bees ($30): As bees search for nectar they pollinate plants. Placed strategically, beehives can as much as double some fruit! This gift can help provide a family with a package of bees, the box and hive plus training in beekeeping, which can be a livelihood or supplement a family’s income.
· A Flock of Chicks ($20): A flock of chicks can help families add nourishing, life-sustaining eggs to their inadequate diets. The protein in just one egg is a nutritious gift for a hungry child. Protein-packed eggs from even a single chicken can make a life-saving difference.
· A Gardener’s Basket ($20 to $170): Provide an impoverished family with all the tools necessary to start a sustainable farm - tree seedlings, chickens to eat pests, worms and soil for rich compost and a hive of bees to pollinate crops and increase yields.
· A New Beginnings Gift Basket ($120): Renew hope and provide a fresh start of a family in need. This gift includes sheep that provide valuable wool and are a vital source of income in impoverished communities. Wool can provide warmth in chilly temperatures and can be sold at market for additional income.
· A Goat ($120): A dairy goat can supply a family with up to several quarts of nutritious milk a day - a ton of milk a year. Extra milk can be sold or used to make cheese, butter or yogurt. Families also learn to use goat manure to fertilize gardens.

Family and friends will receive a beautiful card in the mail describing the benefits of their gift. Givers and recipients can rest assure that their gift is making an impact as one of Heifer International’s fundamental principles - “Passing on the Gift” - creates a living cycle of sustainability that develops community and enhances self-esteem by allowing gift recipients to become donors.

Guidecraft Magneatos Better Builders - Review

Magneatos Better Builders are building pieces with magnets embedded inside each piece. This extra element to building extends a child's play dramatically. Magnetic toys are always one of the favorites in my daycare classroom and I like to make sure they have several magnet toy choices available.
This 100 piece set comes with curved rods, straight rods, balls, and a canvas storage box. My boys were anxious to start creating. Educational toys from Guidecraft always combine fun with learning and Magnetos are no exception. Children can learn the principles of science (especially the fascinating property of polarity), plus principles of construction and engineering.
Safe for all ages, Magneatos are a perfect toy for cooperative play. Children also learn about gravity and balance, discovering quickly that it takes more than just a row of rods to make Magneatos into stand-up structures.
These two boys played with the pieces for an entire hour, which is amazing considering their span of attention usually hovers around two minutes. They created animals, telephones, microphones, buildings, and many creative structures that had no names.
The canvas storage box is the perfect size for storing all the pieces and makes clean-up time easy and quick. As a preschool teacher, I would definitely recommend Magneatos for families and teachers. You can purchase this 100 piece set HERE and check out all Guidecraft's amazing products at http://guidecraft.com.
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review. 
The following Guidecraft Educators have all posted their reviews of the Magneatos Better Builders at the links below. Be sure to visit each one of them to see what they have to say. Then go enter to win your own set of Magneatos Better Builders at the first link below!

MommyPR - Giveaway and Review
Pre-K Pages - Review
Teach Preschool - Review
Huppie Mama - Review
Mommy Moment - Review
Simply Stacie - Review
Katie's Little Ones Learning Lounge - Review

WideNeck Diet Day 20 - Menu and Musings

Day 20 - I finally lost another pound, for a total loss of 12 pounds! Unfortunately, I was sick all day, spent the day in bed, and couldn't keep anything down. No breakfast or lunch for me. I was able to have some dinner because I definitely needed something to eat.

Dinner - Three scrambled eggs.

Drinks - one cup coffee, several cups of water.

Exercise - too sick to move.

WideNeck Diet Day 19 - Menu and Musings

Day 19 - 11 pounds lost.

Breakfast - Roast Beef slices and a Cheese stick.

Lunch - Grilled chicken and broccoli.

Dinner - Steak and mushrooms.

Drinks - Coffee, water, two diet colas, several shots of whiskey.

Exercise - nothing specific.

Win a $25 Home Depot Gift Card - Spring Cleaning in Autumn Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the 
Spring Cleaning in Autumn Giveaway Hop 
Each blogger on the list below has a giveaway for you with a prize to make your home more organized, clean or pleasant to get ready for the upcoming holidays. Just hop from blog to blog and enter as many as you can. Each blogger's prize is worth at least $20. This hop runs for one week only, November 3rd through November 10th.

Planet Weidknecht is giving away 
a $25 Home Depot Gift Card!
Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win.
You must be at least 18 years old and reside in the USA.
Good luck!


Top Ten Menopause Nightmares

If you are suffering from menopause, you'll understand. If not, you'll probably laugh, but take heart, you'll be suffering from the same nightmares soon and it won't be so freaking funny!
  1. All food is way too salty. I am dying of thirst.
  2. The temperature of the house is too hot! So what if it's 40 degrees.
  3. Sleeping through the night is for young, drunk people. I need to pee again.
  4. My memory is gone. What was I saying?
  5. My clothes don't fit. I haven't eaten in three days and I've gained ten pounds.
  6. I'm so tired. Time for a nap. Yes, I know it's only ten in the morning.
  7. I am not crabby. Shut up, you idiot.
  8. I'm hungry. No I'm not. I'm hungry. No I'm not.
  9. The tv is too loud. I can't hear the tv, turn it up. The tv is too loud.
  10. What was I saying? Oh yeah, be quiet!

WRECK-IT RALPH Opens in Theatres Today

Why are you sitting there at home? Get in your car and go see the newest movie smash, Wreck It Ralph! Still not convinced? Watch this!

More Winners Announced

The two winners of Dollop Gourmet Frosting:
Lisa Li
Linda Kujaca

Winner of evREwares Fabric Stickers:
Barbara Ryan

Winner of $250 BeddingStyle.com Gift Code:
JLin Mei

Thanks to everyone who enters my giveaways!
Enter more giveaways HERE!

WideNeck Diet Day 18 - Menu and Musings

Day 18 and still just 11 pounds down. I think my bathroom scale hates me. I forgot to eat breakfast again. I get up very early to open my home daycare and can't eat so early, but by the time I remember to eat it's nearly lunchtime. I just get so busy with the kids!

Lunch - Crab salad with lettuce, spinach, black olives, mushrooms, cheese, tomatoes, and calorie-free ranch dressing.
Crab Salad
Dinner - Leftovers night! I had the rest of the corned beef and cabbage. When I first opened the storage container, I thought it was spoiled, but then I remembered that cooked cabbage always smells bad. I'm just glad it tastes good!
Corned Beef and Cabbage
Drinks - Coffee, water, one diet cola

Exercise - Brisk 30 minute walk with hubby and doggy.

Thanksgiving Dinner Coupons to Print

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Interview Transcript

As a member of the Dew Crew, I had the opportunity to ask Dale Earnhardt Jr. a few questions in a digital press conference. Unfortunately Google+ hangout somehow kicked me out. Thanks to the moderator, who asked my questions in my place!


Dew Crew Press Conference

Mountain Dew
The Mountain Dew Insiders

Moderator (Tom Stern): Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the 
Diet Mountain Dew Crew Press Conference with Dale Earnhardt Jr.!
Thank you for joining our exclusive Google Hangout today with the
King of the Dew Crew himself! An even bigger thanks goes out to the
most influential 6 Diet Mountain Dew Crew Insiders for participating.
They earned their spot by going above and beyond and showing their
commitment to Dale Jr. and the Diet Mountain Dew Crew.

As members of the Diet Mountain Dew Crew you were able to make
real decisions about the #88 team in addition to being part of an
awesome community of other #88 fans! You blogged, tweeted, and
chatted about everything Dale Jr. and Diet Dew, and got access to some
amazing prizes and gear - best of all you now have the opportunity to
chat with the man himself... Dale Earnhardt Jr. doesn’t really need an
introduction - he’s had your loyalty and passion since day one!

You’ve helped vote Mr. Earnhardt in as NASCAR’s most popular driver
for 9 consecutive seasons. So let’s get started with some questions. First
up is Lisa Weidknecht from Planet Weidknecht.
The first questions we’re going to have is from Lisa, “Dale the interview
and letter from you as a teen about your dad was very inspirational.
Does he come to mind when you're driving?”

Dale: Yeah, I mean I don’t know if I would say he comes to mind while
I’m driving, but I definitely carry the legacy with me and it’s important
for me to carry on the family name and honor the family name. My
father and his father as well, they’ve invested a lot into the name, and it
carries a certain weight around the sport, and I just want to kind of add
my niche to it and not do anything to hurt that or harm that. So yeah, I
think about that when I’m driving and know that the decisions I make
are going to be a reflection on my family and the legacy.

Moderator: Absolutely, the second questions we have from Lisa
is, “What is your favorite track to run and why?”

Dale: It’s hard to pick just one because we run on so many different
race tracks and they’re all really different. There’s something cool about
each one, and each one has its own character. I like short tracks a lot,
Bristol and Richmond are tracks that I enjoy racing. I just like the close
quarters that short tracks provide, there’s always a competitor close-by
to compete with. On the mile and a half tracks we get a little spread out
and it’s kind of difficult to enjoy those races as much because the close-
quarters racing is what I thrive on, you know, what I really enjoy. But
there’s a different mentality and a different way to race at different race
tracks and they all, like I said, have their own character.

BasketPong Tailgating and Party Game - Review

Anyone in your house love basketball? Anyone in your house love to throw stuff? Anyone in your house under age 20? Anyone in your house over the age of 20? Anyone in your house a kid at heart? Then you need a BasketPong game! I will probably be nominated for Mom of the Year because we now have a BasketPong.
BasketPong, which can be played by people of all ages, comes in a lightweight, compact carrying case and can be easily assembled for play within minutes. Similar to a basketball hoop, BasketPong  includes backboard, adjustable stand and base. You provide the cups!
The pole comes in three pieces for three different height options. Using one piece, you can set it up on a tabletop or your truck bed for tailgating games. BasketPong also floats in the swimming pool! Using two pieces, you can set it up so your couch potato can play from the couch; it's also the perfect height for younger kids to play.
Using all three pieces of the pole, you can turn your living room into a BasketPong half-court. Buy two BasketPong games and set up your own competition court! The backboard features eight slots to insert rims and cups in different patterns, so you can play the game at various skill levels. The goal of the game is simple -- to shoot BasketPong balls into each cup.
Four BasketPong balls are included with the game. If you need to transport the game or store the game when you're not playing, everything fits in the base. It's a fabulous idea and we had so much fun playing. Finally, my guys can play ball in the house!
This would be a wonderful Christmas gift! It needs no batteries, is very durable, encourages exercise, and can be played virtually anywhere by nearly anyone. Be the champ in your house!

Order now for Christmas at http://www.basketpong.com/
Be sure to like them on Facebook and Twitter too!
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

Enviro-Log Fire Logs - Review

Few things warm the holidays like a wonderful fire burning in the fireplace! Enviro-Log Fire Logs are an eco-friendly alternative heating product made from recycled waxed cardboard, typically from the boxes used to transport fruit and vegetables. Have a green Christmas!!
Enviro-Log Fire Logs burn cleaner than wood, emitting 30 percent less greenhouse gases, 80 percent less carbon dioxide and 86 percent less creosote. Enviro-Log Fire Logs also burn hotter than wood, providing 50 percent more heat per pound.
I received two Enviro-Log Fire Logs to put to the test. I decided to try one outside in the fire pit and one inside in the fireplace. Each comes in a paper package that is used as the catalyst to get the fire started. Just open the packaging and light one end!
Enviro-Logs look pretty close to a wood log, only you won't find any ants or spiders! That's a huge bonus for me. Enviro-Log Fire Logs are safe to use in fireplaces, fireplace inserts, woodstoves, chimineas, and campfires.
It was a bit windy when we fired up the outdoor fire pit, but the paper wrapper on the Enviro-Log caught fire easily. I worried a bit about embers flying, but I noticed immediately that this product actually produced less flying embers.
It definitely burns cleaner and we didn't have that ugly smoky smell billowing into our faces, even standing down-wind. The Enviro-Log burns more evenly across the log and makes a beautiful fire. A box of these logs would be a very thoughtful, practical Christmas gift and is perfect for a hard-to-buy-for person!
A huge bonus was being able to put out the fire very quickly when we were ready to go inside. A few splashes of water and it was out. It also dried out quickly in the sun the next day and we were able to light it again easily the next evening.
I especially appreciated the characteristics of the Enviro-Log inside my house. In just minutes, we had the perfect fall fireplace going in the family room. One log heated my entire family room on one of the few cold evenings we've had here in Texas (since I'm too cheap to turn on the heat this early in the season).
I think Enviro-Log Fire Logs are a fabulous idea. I love that my warm, inviting fire is reducing demands on landfills. I am switching to Enviro-Log from here on out! Find out more at their website http://www.enviro-log.net/ and purchase Enviro-Log at Home Depot, Kmart, Lowes, True Value, Sears, Whole Foods, Walmart, Dollar General, and many regional retailers. Connect with them on Facebook and Twitter too!
Disclosure: I received these products at no charge in exchange for my honest review.


WideNeck Diet Day 17 - Menu and Musings

Hovering at 11 pounds lost...still.

Breakfast - Forgot to eat again, remembered around 930am, so I grabbed leftover broccoli and cauliflower, melted some swiss cheese on it in the microwave and ate that.
Swiss Veggies
Lunch - Two premium beef hot dogs and three dill pickles. Yes, a very strange lunch but it sounded good. It tasted good too!
Hot Dogs with Pickles
Dinner - Lovingly made (by my dear husband) chicken fajita meat, topped with guacamole, tomato, black olives, and shredded cheddar cheese. Scrumptious! Confession: I ate one mini peanut butter cup out of the trick-or-treat bowl, but just one!
Chicken Fajitas
Drinks - Coffee, Water, two diet lemon-lime sodas. 

Exercise - Brisk 30 minute walk late night after all the goblins went to bed and the streets were quiet again.

Musings - Clothes are fitting better. Wish I could lose weight FASTER! I really wanted to scarf down a whole bunch of candy but I'm glad I didn't (mostly).

FREE Carseat Canopy

Escalate Network wants to give you a promo code for a free carseat canopy (a $49.95 value)!!
The promo code is "ENBABY”

Click on "Shop Now", select any canopy you would like (be sure to go to their sizing page so you can get the right size carrier for you). Once you have selected your size, you will automatically be directed to the "shopping bag" where you can enter the promo code “ENBABY” This promo code will take off 100% of the canopy purchase and all you are required to pay are the shipping fees. You can use the code more than once - you just have to open a new browser/window to do so.

Due to its nature, this offer can't last long so please hurry!

Brand New Coupons to Print - Save Your Money

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“The Schoolhouse Rockin’ Political Party” Airs on SiriusXM

Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) today announced the launch of “The Schoolhouse Rockin’ Political Party,” a fun, one-hour special to help young listeners understand and celebrate the electoral process featuring legendary Schoolhouse Rock songster Bob Dorough.

Pianist, singer and songwriter Bob Dorough performs his classic election-themed tunes-including “Conjunction Junction” and “I’m Just a Bill”- in front of an exclusive studio audience at the SiriusXM studios, and catches up with Kids Place Live’s Absolutely Mindy during the one-hour special aimed at getting out the word on how the President of the United States is elected.

“Many of us grew up on Schoolhouse Rock and it’s a pleasure to welcome Bob to our national airwaves and share his great work with the latest generation of Americans and their parents,” said Jeremy Coleman, Senior Vice President of Talk and Entertainment Programming, SiriusXM. “‘The Schoolhouse Rockin’ Political Party’ might just teach us all a few things about our political process as we prepare for this year’s historic Presidential election.”

The “Schoolhouse Rockin’ Political Party,” which will feature both classic and new performances of the Schoolhouse Rock tunes, airs November 2, 2012 at 9:00 pm; Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:00 am and 5:00 pm; and Sunday, November 4 at 12:00 pm on Kids Place Live channel 78. It will replay on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm. All times are ET.

SiriusXM Kids Place Live is a 24/7 interactive talk and music channel featuring music and talk shows for kids. With live in-house “Rumpus Room” concert events from the biggest names in kids’ music, live hosts standing by to take your song requests, and fun, on-air games, Kids Place Live allows young listeners to play along and celebrate what it means to be a kid!

Visit www.siriusxm.com/kidsplacelive for more information.

Win a $25 Kmart Gift Code - Friends and Family Event

Download the full flyer HERE!

Enter to win a $25 Kmart Gift Code Below!
You must be at least 18 years old and reside in the USA.
Giveaway ends at midnight ET on 11/11/2012.
Gift card provided by Kmart.com.
Good luck!

OZ The Great and Powerful

“Like” OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL on Facebook: 

“Follow” OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL on Twitter: 

Visit the website: 

 lands in theaters everywhere on March 8, 2013!

Cloud 9 Living: Austin Downtown Food Tour - Review

What would you like to do that you've never done before? Drive a race car? Go on a private yacht for a dinner cruise? Fly an airplane? Oh, you've already done all that? Maybe you'd like to give someone the gift of a lifetime! Cloud 9 Living can help you with that! It's so easy to log onto their website and give a gift certificate to someone who deserves something wonderful. 
Your lucky gift recipient will receive your gift, via email or regular mail, and have the opportunity to log onto http://www.cloud9living.com to choose which experience they want and in which city they want to experience it! What a fabulous Christmas gift for your parents, your college graduate, or a special friend. To celebrate my birthday, Cloud 9 Living sent my husband and I on the Austin Downtown Food Tour!
Our tour guide from Austin Eats Food Tours met our tour group in the marketplace downtown. The three hour walking tour took us to some of the "classic" places to taste foods uniquely Austin. He was full of great stories, interesting facts, and wonderful humor. 
We tasted sausage biscuits with gravy in the market, then sampled chocolate beans smothered in chocolate! At each stop we learned a bit about the food, how it's made, and a bit of it's history.
It was a little chilly when we started out at ten in the morning, but it was sunny and warmed up as we walked. Since I'm seldom downtown during the daytime, it was interesting to see the city in a different way.
Austin is well known for being eccentric and the buildings we passed ranged from unique architectural designs to unusual paint jobs (like the asteroid video game design below).
Hut's Hamburgers is one of the oldest buildings in Austin and has been visited by many famous people. We sampled their hamburgers and onion rings, while we listened to interesting stories told by the owner.
At another place, we drank a Moscow Mule and ate a plate of Eggs Benedict. I was starting to get full, but we had many more places to visit. It was a good thing we were walking!
We tasted sweet bread covered in cinnamon at a bakery and I realized I wasn't exactly keeping to my diet, but a Cloud 9 Living experience is something fabulous that you really need to fully immerse yourself into!
I tasted my first ever iced coffee at a hot dog place and although it tasted okay, I decided my husband's special coffee blend is still the best I've ever had. And I prefer hot coffee because iced coffee is just like coffee that sat on my desk too long!
I also had a Pink Licorice Twist, a very sweet vodka drink, which was pretty good. It started out a bit too sweet, but the taste kind of grew on me. It probably helped there was alcohol in it.
We ate Chicago-style hot dogs in the heart of Austin, one dressed up as a chili dog and the other with everything but the kitchen sink (that's what they call it).
What food tour would be complete without chocolate covered bacon?? Apparently not this one! Chocolate covered anything is probably edible. The bacon was just "okay" to me, but the chocolate part was delicious.
The final delight of my Cloud 9 Living experience was the brownie cheesecake bite and the red velvet cupcake. The brownie cheesecake bite is probably the most delicious thing I've eaten in 2012. That alone was worth three hours of walking!
Life is about making memories. You probably won't tell stories to your grandkids about the fancy purse you owned in 2005 or the boots you got for your birthday in 2009, but you will tell them the tales of the wonderful things you've done. Yes, those are grown men in pajamas walking across the street in downtown Austin. I sure hope that part happens just once in my lifetime!
Thanks to Cloud 9 Living for a wonderful birthday gift! Maybe next year, I'll go on a hot air balloon ride or go scuba diving. Go check out all the wonderful things you can experience for yourself and while you're on their website, buy a gift of delightful fun for someone you love!
The 9 Days Of Christmas Contest launched today, November 1, and you can enter to win your own experience HERE
~ Follow Cloud 9 Living ~

Disclosure: I received the Cloud 9 Living experience at no charge in exchange for my honest review.