Thursday, July 30, 2009

Win $5,000 in the "Share Your Solo Photos" Contest in Celebration of the New Solo Squared™ Cup

Right now the Solo Cup Company is giving you a chance to win the grand prize of $5,000 in their "Share Your Solo Photos" Contest. The photo contest is in celebration of their new Solo Squared™ cup!

To enter, register at and upload your favorite photo featuring a Solo Squared™ cup. You have until August 14th to enter. Winners will be announced on August 21, 2009.

And in addition to this phenomenal grand prize, there will also be two $1,000 runner-up prizes awarded at the end of the contest. And just by entering, you'll also have the chance to win daily and weekly prizes of $100 gift cards or free Solo Squared cups. So get out those cameras and fill up those Solo Squared cups. It's time for a celebration! Your photo could just be that $5,000 grand prize winner.

To help you get started, here's a .75 off coupon from Solo.

I'd also like to give a shout out to
Mom Select for both the information
and the opportunity. Thanks so much!

Win $5,000 in the "Share Your Solo Photos" Contest in Celebration of the New Solo Squared™ CupSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Johnsonville's "Create Your Own _VILLE" Needs Your Vote

Hey everyone. I just wanted to let you know that I entered the Johnsonville's "Create Your Own _VILLE" Contest. If you wouldn't mind visiting Johnsonvilles's Create Your Own _Ville to vote for my entry I would be ever so grateful. Any vote would be a blessing to me. This contest has over $23,000 in grilling prizes. And the Grand Prize winner gets $10,000 in CASH and prizes. And their ____VILLE may even become the next Johnsonville advertisement. How cool would that be! The contest ends July 31, 2009 so if you'd like to vote then you need to get your votes in soon. Thanks so much!!

A little bit about my photo choice above. This photo was taken about 3 years ago over Memorial Day weekend. We were all hanging out around the fire pit making smores and my nephew, who was 12 at the time, decided to be silly. He knew I had my camera so he pretended he was sticking his head in the fire. Boys. lol. Well the result of the photo is what you see above. The things that a camera can do. lol.

Thanks again for taking the time out to vote. I really do appreciate it. God Bless!

My Johnsonville's "Create Your Own _VILLE" Needs Your VoteSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Rainforest Cafe was Closed!!

They closed the Rainforest Cafe in the mall closest to me. I am soooooooooo bummed! Yesterday, I went to take my 7-year-old out for a day at the mall. Our trip was to include lunch at the Rainforest Cafe then off to build our very own friend at Build-a-Bear. Well, when I got to the mall, this mall is huge, I parked my car in the parking garage and entered through the entrance that I always enter through. And too my surprise there was no more Rainforest Cafe.

Now this mall has been going through some serious renovations. New wings, new stores & restaurants, larger parking garage including valet parking. So as I walked through the hall I just figured that maybe for some reason I was confused. Maybe on the wrong floor. Or maybe the Rainforest Cafe was down the hall a bit more. Wishful thinking. It was gone. My son and I even looked for it on the mall directory that stood right there where the Rainforest Cafe use to be. It wasn't listed. It was gone. I just couldn't believe it. This fun place to bring the kids to eat was gone. No more giant snakes, crazy monkeys, moving elephants, and lightning storms. I felt a piece of my inner child wither to the ground. There isn't another Rainforest Cafe even remotely nearby. This one was main access to a lot of folks in the surrounding area. Why, would they close? Well, I got my answer.

After lunch, in the mall food court. Ugh! My son and I headed off to Build-a-Bear. I love that store. We do not go too often but when we do we have so much fun. Anyhoot, while there I asked one of their employees if he knew why the Rainforest Cafe had closed. Well, what I basically found out was that since the renovation they had placed some seriously up-scaled stores down in that end of the mall with hopes to bring in some serious business. Mind you that this end of the mall was basically all new. I think they literally extended the back side of the mall to create more selling space. Anyhow, the mall owners figured up-scale stores, high priced items, equals higher rent. Well, that wasn't good for the Rainforest Cafe because even though they were not a up-scaled restaurant, there location just happened to fall within this new high-end wing. Therefore their rent got raised and they unfortunately where forced to close. So no more Rainforest Cafe.

Well based on what I have been told I hear the mall owners are now eating (no pun intended) their poor choice. This Rainforest Cafe was not only a hot spot but because of its uniqueness it brought in a lot of business from much of the surrounding area. After all, it was the only one located within a pretty decent distance for many people. And while the food at this Rainforest Cafe had its up and its downs, and was a little pricey, it was not near as pricey as these up-scaled stores. With the economy today, who has money to spend $1000 on a purse or $3000 for a jacket. I don't know. Not me. But this of course doesn't change the fact that I am still bummed. Good bye Rainforest Cafe. I hold many memories in my heart.

The Rainforest Cafe was Closed!!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Favorite in My Home ~ Blog Hop

I know . . . I am sooooooo bad. lol. This is a recipe that I came up with last year when my son and I entered the Cookie Contest for his Cub Scout's Christmas Party. And yes, they were soooooooo good that we actually won. lol. Hope you like them too!

Double Chocolate Chip Mint Cookies

If you like chocolate and candy canes then these cookies will be a delight to bring to your dessert table this Christmas Season. Eat them warm, right out of the oven, or with a tall glass of milk or hot cocoa and you will definitely be going back for more.

3 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
4 oz. peppermint candy cane, ground into a powder
4 oz. peppermint candy cane, crushed (Save 2 oz. to sprinkle on cookies)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

How to Make:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Start off by grinding the first 4 oz. of peppermint candy cane into a fine powder using a coffee grinder. Then take the other 4 oz. of peppermint candy cane and crush into little pieces using a food chopper/processor. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, candy cane powder, 2 oz. of the crushed candy cane, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to beat well after each egg. Then gradually add in the dry ingredient mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.

5. Place 1 tablespoon of mixture into rows onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 4 minutes then sprinkle a bit of the extra crushed candy cane on top of each cookie and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes or until done. Remove cookie sheet from oven and let cookies cool for at least 2 minutes then place them onto a cooling rack and let cool.

    Come join in on the fun!!
    You don't know what you're missing!!!

    MckLinky Blog Hop

    A Favorite in My Home ~ Blog HopSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

    Saturday, July 18, 2009

    KRAFT Bagel-fuls TASTE-a-monial!! Yum!!

    Need something quick and easy for breakfast in the morning? Or how about something for a quick snack in between meals or later in the evening? Or maybe just something for those days when you just don't have enough time and you're running out the door? Then I highly suggest you try KRAFT Bagel-fuls. I did, thanks to 5 Minutes for Mom & KRAFT Bagel-fuls "Share Your Bagel-fuls TASTE-a-monials" contest. And what a treat it was.

    Not only are KRAFT Bagel-fuls quick and easy to make but they are also sooooooo delicious. All that warm gooey Cream Cheese or Fruit & Cream Cheese wrapped within an airy toasty bagel. Good enough to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Oh Yum!

    And Kraft Bagel-fuls come in a variety of flavors to satisfy any taste:

    • Original (plain bagel with plain cream cheese)
    • Cinnamon (cinnamon and brown sugar bagel with cinnamon cream cheese)
    • Strawberry (plain bagel with strawberry cream cheese)
    • Whole Grain (whole grain bagel with plain cream cheese)
    • Chive (plain bagel with chive cream cheese)
    • Blueberry (blueberry bagel with cream cheese)
    • Strawberry & Cream Cheese (plain bagel with strawberry filling & plain cream cheese)
    • Apple Cinnamon & Cream Cheese (cinnamon & brown sugar bagel with apple filling & plain cream cheese)
    • Cherry & Cream Cheese (plain bagel with cherry filling & plain cream cheese)
    My fave just happens to be the Cherry & Cream Cheese. It's my 7-year old's favorite as well. But I also love the Strawberry, Strawberry & Cream Cheese, and the Chive too. Truly LOVE at first bite! So if you have a moment later on in the day, I highly recommend that you stop by your nearest market and pick-up a box or two. You won't regret it.

    For more product information & a $1 off coupon, visit KRAFT Bagel-fuls. And if you get a moment, also stop by 5 Minutes for Mom to check what other moms (and dads) are saying about KRAFT Bagel-fuls in their TASTE-a-monials. Enjoy!!

    Thank you 5 Minutes for Mom & Kraft Foods for giving me the opportunity to be part of this wonderful TASTE-a-monials contest. It was certainly both a blessing and a pleasure indeed.

    KRAFT Bagel-fuls TASTE-a-monial!! Yum!!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

    Monday, July 13, 2009

    MckLinky Blog Hop ~ 3 Things You Did Not Know About Me ~ July 14, 2009

    1. I use to work in the Print Shop as a co-op job aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2). I worked aboard on 3 different occasions. For my first excursion I actually had to learn how to run a 2-color press because at the time that was the only position available. And since this was an opportunity of a lifetime, I wasn't passing it up. For my second excursion, I worked as a Desktop Publisher. Simple. And for my third and final excursion, I worked as the Chief Printer to help cover for a friend who became seriously ill (his lung collapsed) and needed to take leave.

    2. I was working on board the QE2 when it ran aground back in 1992 off the coast of Nantucket. What an awesome experience that was. . . at least for the crew. I wouldn't say the same for the passengers. lol But all in all, I got to travel to many parts of the world and meet so many people. I went to a wedding in Hawaii, held a Koala and fed the Kangeroo in Australia. I watched the 4th of July Fireworks from the front deck of the ship as they went off by the Statue of Liberty in New York City. I've been to a Lamb Roast in New Zealand, and spent 2-weeks for refit in Hamburg, Germany. And there was so much more. What an amazing experience it was.

    3. I was an Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority sister in college. I was just thinking back to the days of pledging. lol. Talk about memories.
    Thanks everyone for giving me a chance to hop. Have a blessed day.

    MckLinky Blog Hop

    MckLinky Blog Hop ~ 3 Things You Did Not Know About Me ~ July 14, 2009SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

    Sunday, July 12, 2009

    Happy Birthday!!!

    Sending out a Double Birthday Wish to two cuties this month.
    My Nephew Daniel & Little Miss Emma.

    Dear Daniel,
    Wow! Today you are turning 5-years-old. The third child, middle boy, in a family of 5 boys. Not only a little brother but a big brother as well. You're not a little guy anymore. You've gotten so big as I've watched you grow over the years. Big in heart and big in spirit. Learning so much about so much and having so much fun while do so. Your love for the Lord amazes me every day. And your excitement even for the littlest of things always brings a joy to my heart and a smile to my face. You are so loved and I'm so glad to be your Auntie. I wish you the happiest of birthdays ever.

    Dearest Little Miss Emma,
    I remember seeing you in the hospital for the first time. Born 5 weeks early and so small. Now look at you. You're turning 4-years-old. Such a big girl now and a wonderful big sister and friend. I see the Lord shining through you with every smile and every giggle. You are a light that warms my heart. So precious and most beautiful from the inside out. You are also so loved and I'm glad to be called your Auntie. I wish you the sweetest of birthdays ever Little Miss Emma. Sweeter than the frosting on your own birthday cake.

    May the Lord Bless you both on your newest of adventures and journey through life. May He keep you safe and well. And may His love shine through you both always.

    Love you so much,

    Happy Birthday!!!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

    Thursday, July 9, 2009

    Today's List of Freebies & Samples

    Wal-Mart Samples

    Today's List of Freebies & SamplesSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

    Wednesday, July 8, 2009

    Take the 2009 Summer Activities Challenge & Win!!

    With School being out for only a few weeks now, are your kids already complaining that they having nothing to do. Well it's not too late to sign your them up for the 2009 Summer Activities Challenge hosted by

    The basis of the challenge is to help keep our kids excited about learning over the summer, and to help keep us parents involved with our kids' education during summer break. To complete the challenge, all you need to do is Sign Up and complete 20 different Activities.

    With this challenge comes tons and tons of really cool activities for you and your children to do from topics like Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts & Crafts, Literature, Test Prep, Outdoor and more. And all activities can be narrowed down by grade level starting from Kindergarten, all the way to High School. Activities like making Sand Dough, Firework Science, Hula Hoop Times Tables, and Geometry Scavenger Hunt. Who knew learning could be so much fun!!

    And everyone who completes the challenge will receive a personalized certificate of completion and be entered to win a Dell Latitude 2100 Netbook computer or one of 100 Lego Creator Sets.

    So take a minute to sign up your family and have some learning fun with your kids this summer! I did.

    For contest rules, visit 2009 Summer Activities Challenge Contest Rules. And remember, while the contest may end on August 31, 2009, your child's learning will never end. Now that's a win win situation. Take the challenge and win!!

    Take the 2009 Summer Activities Challenge & Win!!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

    Sunday, July 5, 2009

    A Call Out for Prayer for 5-Year Old Kate McRae

    On behalf of the McRae family, whom I have never met but have been so inspired, I am creating this post with the hope that everyone who reads it will join in and pray for little 5-year old Kate McRae.

    The McRae family are an inspiration to me. A family with such amazing love and faith in the Lord. My heart has been so touched by this family. It was just last week that Kate's mom was told that Kate had a massive tumor on the basil ganglia portion of her brain. That's when this family's journey began.

    So with the utmost faith and strength in the Lord, Kate's family are calling upon all people of God everywhere to join them in prayer for their little girl. To pray for a complete healing for little Kate and that their little girl and her story would be a testimony of God's Glory for all the world to see.

    To read more about Kate's Story please visit Kate's Journal at You can also follow Kate's
    Story on Twitter. God Bless.

    A Call Out for Prayer for 5-Year Old Kate McRaeSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

    Friday, July 3, 2009

    My Shiny New Bike & 5 Minutes for Mom Giveaway

    I remember the day I got my Shiny New Bike. I think I was around 8 or 9 years old. It was a day like any other day for me. My Godmother had come over for a visit and I really didn't think anything of it. Afterall, she and my mom where the bestest of friends so her visiting was nothing new.

    Well, it was that afternoon that she had asked me if I could go outside to get something for her from out of her car. Well being the good girl that I was (lol) I headed outside to retrieve whatever it was she needed and I'm sure glad I did because that's when I saw it. My Shiny New Bike. It was parked so beautifully outside in my driveway. I didn't know what to think. I was in shock. It was so beautiful. It was pink I believe with a banana seat and a little white basket with pink, yellow and white plastic flowers on the front. I almost died. I couldn't believe my eyes. When I went back upstairs I didn't know what to say. But I have to say, that day was one of the best memories of my childhood. One that I am truly thankful to remember.

    This post is in response to the 5 Minutes for Mom's "Strider Running Bike Giveaway".

    A running bike or balance bike, like this one by Strider, is basically a little kid size 2-wheel bike with no pedals. This type of bike is used to help teach children, as early as age 18 months up to the age of 5, how to ride a bike. And it's loads of fun. The basic concept of the bike is that it teaches children how to balance themselves while gaining the coordination skills they need to ride a 2-wheel bike. You will never need training wheels ever after your child uses this bike. It is the neatest bike I have ever seen. You've just gotta check it out.

    If you'd like to enter this giveaway, please visit 5MinutesforMom for more information. Thanks 5 Minutes for Mom.

    My Shiny New Bike & 5 Minutes for Mom GiveawaySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009

    Pit Your Luck Sweepstakes & Instant Win Game

    Take your chances in the Speed Stick "Pit Your Luck Sweepstakes & Instant Win Game and you could be the winner of the Grand Prize, a $10,000 Crutchfield gift card to be used towards customizing your own home theater system. Or one of these Instant Win Prizes. . .Best Buy gift card, Netflix subscription for one (1) year, GameStop Gift Card, Wal-Mart gift card, Sports Authority gift card, iTunes® gift card.

    There are 3 ways to enter:
    1. Visit
    2. Click on any banner that is advertising this Promotion on the internet; or
    3. Find a social networking widget that is advertising this Promotion on the internet (such as the one below) and place the widget on your social networking page, then click on the widget.

    See Official Rules for more details.
    Contest ends 9/27/09. You must be 18 or over to enter and win.
    No purchase necessary. Limit: One (1) Instant Win Game prize per person.

    Pit Your Luck Sweepstakes & Instant Win GameSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

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