Sunday, December 12, 2010

That's What CHRISTmas is all about Charlie Brown

That's What CHRISTmas is all about Charlie BrownSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tell Rayovac How You or Your Mom ROCKS the Holidays for a Chance to Win $1,000!

Does your Mom ROCK the Holidays? Or how about YOU! Then Rayovac's Mom ROCKS Holidays Sweepstakes is a must for you to enter.

Entering is a simple two step process:

  1. “Like” Rayovac on Facebook:
  2. Go to, complete the entry form and at their option, tell Rayovac in 120 words or less how you (or your mom) rocks the holidays.
Grand Prize: Three (3) Lucky winners will win $1,000 cash from Rayovac.

Runner Up Prizes: Twenty (20) First Place Prize winners will receive a Rayovac Jam kit including a Paper Jamz guitar, drum, amp and guitar strap as well as 2 packs of Rayovac Alkaline AAA 24 packs (prize package valued at $90).

Hurry on over to Rayovac's Mom ROCKS Holidays because there's not much time to enter. The sweepstakes ends on December 5th

Disclaimer: Followers who promote the Rayovac Mom Rocks the Holidays Sweepstakes may receive gifts from Rayovac.

Tell Rayovac How You or Your Mom ROCKS the Holidays for a Chance to Win $1,000!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My 5 Tips for Editing and Creating Beautiful Photographs

As you can sort of tell by my blog, I really enjoy photography. I think it all started way back when I was just a young girl taking photos of the Thanksgiving Turkey in the oven. My family thought I was crazy. While I didn't pursue a career in photography, I did end up graduated from college with a degree in Printing Management which I guess was my way of being creative. That meant using applications like Photoshop for color correction, as well as other page layout programs. My way of being artistic. lol

Anyhow, it wasn't until after I had my son and bought my first digital camera, a Canon Powershot G6, that I really wanted to learn more. So I began my journey within my cameras manual and then headed to my local library. At the library I was able to find books of all kinds that taught me how to use light, aperture, shutter speed, deep of field, etc. I got a basic understanding of my camera controls, what they meant, how they worked, and what I could possible achieve. After about 5 years of messing around with my Canon I finally bought my first D-SLR and I'm loving it.

So here are 5 of my tips for editing and creating beautiful photo:

1. Learn your camera, and how to use the controls that are on it. A wonderfully edited photo needs to start from somewhere and that is usually with the original photo that you have taken. So learn your camera, what it can do, what it can't do, and how you can use those little controls to help you get what you want to begin with. A good place to start is with your camera's manual. Then work your way to your local library to read up on techniques, etc. Or take an online photography course or class at your local college.

2. Practice by taking lots of pictures. It doesn't matter where, when, or how. Just go out and shoot. Play around with the controls on your camera. Take the same picture over and over with different settings and even at different times of the day. Get a feel for what changes occur when you change your settings, and what happens during different times in the day. The more photos you take, the more you have to work with later when editing.

3. Find a good editing software program and learn how to use it. Right now, while I would love to own any Photoshop program such as Photoshop Elements, I just can't afford it. So I use GIMP. It's free and gives me the tools that I need to edit my photos in the way I need for now. From the use of layers and blending modes to contrast, sharpening, saturation, etc. It gives me enough control to go from this

 to this

4. Don't be afraid De-saturate. Changing your photos from color to black and white. Black and white photos can make for some really nice pics. When I think of black and white photos I think of shades of grays from dark to light or light to dark. if you look at the photos below you can see how they differ. Changing a photo to black and white may even be the way to go if you can't get the colors to look just right. Or you could choose to use selective coloring like I did to my sons eyes in the first photo below. There is something beautiful about black and white photographs.


5. Don't be afraid to apply a texture or pattern to  your photo. They can really help to add some of your own style to your photos. Textures come from textured images, or from using patterns or paint brushes in your editing program. You can also create your own textured images to use by photographing items like brick, stone, rust, etc. Below are a few examples of photos that I used textures or patterns in.

My sisters hands where in this photo and I needed a way to remove them so I used a textured pattern to remove her hands.

Adding texture to this photo just gave it a little bit of style that I kind of liked. Plus it made the water on the glass door stand out a bit more.

No matter how you choose to edit and create your photos just be yourself. Photos are windows to the soul not only through the people that are in the photos but also through the people who are creating them.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Adobe blogging program, making me eligible to receive a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

My 5 Tips for Editing and Creating Beautiful PhotographsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I'm in Need of Your Vote - Help Me Win a Magic Castle Bounce House for My Sister and Her Family

Hey Everyone,
I was wondering if you wouldn't mind helping me out. Right now Bounce Houses Now is having a 2010 Holiday Photo Contest on Facebook. The photo with the most votes by 12/15/2010 will win a Magic Castle Residential Bounce House.

I really want to win this Bounce House for my sister and her family. She has 5 boys that I know will thoroughly enjoy this prize, including the oldest, but I really need your vote.

The photo I entered is of my nephew, Jacoby. He is actually a Christmas baby and will be 2-years-old this coming Christmas. My sister has no idea that I'm even doing this so if I won it would certainly make for a wonderful blessing and surprise. And I know how much this would mean to her and her family. Your vote would be greatly appreciated.

Voting is a 2-step process:
1. LIKE "Bounce Houses Now" on Facebook
2. LIKE the photo that I entered of my nephew.

 I can't begin to thank you enough. God Bless!

I'm in Need of Your Vote - Help Me Win a Magic Castle Bounce House for My Sister and Her FamilySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

5 Minutes for Mom Christmas Giveaway 2010! Haul Out the Holly!

It's that special time of the year again! Starting on November 8th, 5 Minutes for Mom will be hosting there awesome annual CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY 2010! And as always, this year will be jammed pack with fun and tons of great giveaways. It is definitely an event you do not want to miss.

The Christmas Giveaway 2010 is scheduled to begin on Monday, November 8th and will run all the way through the month of November with all entries closing on Tuesday, November 30th at 8pm EST. With this month long Christmas Giveaway comes loads of giveaways, tons of fun, and plenty of chances for you to win.

The gals at 5 Minutes for Mom will also be sharing some great gift ideas that you can add to your Christmas shopping list. Maybe even get a few of those family members and friends crossed off your list. So if you'd love to hear about some of these great ideas and have a chance at winning some of these great prizes, then make sure you stop by 5M4M to enter! See you there!

Winners will be drawn randomly and will be announced on 5M4M on Friday, December 3rd.  

2010 Giveaways List:  

5 Minutes for Mom Christmas Giveaway 2010! Haul Out the Holly!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama and GameStop are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family?

My wish for my family is that each and every family member near and far would know how loved they truly are. And that this season would remind them that Jesus loves them greatly. And for all those family members who have not received Jesus yet, I pray that they would this Christmas. I also have a special wish for my younger brother. He is heading out today to spend 6 months on the Mission Field in the Ukraine. My wish for him is an abundance of love from the church family there and that he always remembers that we love him and are so very proud of him. And that we are praying for him and the people of the Ukraine that they may come to know the Lord this Christmas season.

2. What is your Christmas morning tradition? 

Since it is just myself and my 8 year old son, I usually get up early (after going to bed late) to make sure that everything is just perfect. To make sure that Santa (wink, wink) has drank at least half of the glass of milk that was left out. And eaten at least one and a half of the yummy cookies. Then I grab my camera and I wait for my son to awake which is usually anywhere between 7:00 am and 8:00 am. We always start out with a big Happy Birthday shout out to Jesus then a Merry Christmas. Then off to the stocking my sons goes. After emptying his stocking, my son then heads to the presents under the tree. I just love watching the joy in his face when he opens his gifts. And most of all the thankfulness to the Lord for this day.

3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?

I could ask Santa for so many decadent things, but this is the season for giving and wishing for others. My decadent wish would be that someone out there in this world would be granted their wish and that through their wish someone else would blessed and so forth and so on. A continuation of blessings being passed on from one individual to the next.

4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?

We bake a birthday cake for Jesus. When we all get together after dinner we sing Happy Birthday. My son and I also love watching Christmas movies. From The Christmas Shoes, which always makes me cry, to A Christmas Story, which always makes me laugh. "You'll shoot your eye out kid". lol. We also love gathering around the fireplace with a warm glass of Hot Cocoa. Nothing like a warm toasty fire on a cool crisp night.

5. What games did you play with your family growing up?

My family were very big on playing games. We loved playing Pac-Man and Donkey Kong on our old Atari game system as well as board games like Scrabble, Candyland, and The Game of Life. Then there was hide-and-go-seek in the house. LOL. I remember the day that my dad tipped the screen playing Pac-Man. That is when you reach the highest score even possible on the game system. I still remember him sitting in the chair in front of the old tube TV and all of us kids watching. LOL I miss you dad.

6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?

Some of the Christmas traditions that we have carried over from my childhood would be hanging stockings, leaving cookies and milk out for Santa, Christmas Eve service, and watching "It's a Wonderful Life".

7. Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip?

I would love to go back home to Boston to visit some of my family that I haven't seen in a very long time. But then again, I would also love to be out on the mission field surrounded by those who do not have the luxuries that we have but have one thing in common. . . the love of Jesus.

8. Check out GameStop and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year? 

The three top items on my GameStop list this year are the Nintendo DSi XL Red Bundle, Kirby's Epic Yarn for the Wii, and Super Mario Galaxy 2

Mama’s Holiday Wish List MemeSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Send Your Name to Mars!

I just thought this was way cool that I had to share! I have an 8 year old who loves the planets, stars, sun, and just outer space in general. He was so excited when I told him.

If you go to the NASA Website and fill in your information, your name will be included with others on a microchip on the Mars Science Laboratory rover heading to Mars in 2011! Pretty neat. And when you complete your information you can even print out a really cool certificate. My son already has his hanging on his wall.

Send Your Name to Mars!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dear Crissy’s Can’t Wait til Christmas Lenovo Laptop Giveaway

I entered Dear Crissy’s Can’t Wait til Christmas Lenovo Laptop Giveaway
and hope to win a $799.00 IdeaPad! 

And I think you should too. I mean come on. Who can pass up the chance to win a brand new Lenovo IdeaPad U460. Not me that's for sure. I have been desiring a laptop for a long time so this would be the most sweetest Christmas present that I will place under my tree just for me. 

Winning this laptop would change the way I do many things when it comes down to my computer time. I could use this baby for work and when I travel. I can surf the internet, and check email in the kitchen while cooking dinner, or while out in the backyard during a beautiful summer night. I could upload my photos after shooting or hang out in the living room with my son and still have access to a computer right at my fingertips. Right now my desktop computer is in my bedroom and I hate being stuck in there when I could be moving around the house with this lovely Lenovo IdeaPad. How about you? You up for the chance. If so, make sure you visit Dear Crissy and get your entry's in. Giveaway ends December 4th at 11pm EST.

Dear Crissy’s Can’t Wait til Christmas Lenovo Laptop GiveawaySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, October 29, 2010

Earn 10 Extra Entries in the “Help for the Holidays” Giveaway Event!!

Want to earn 10 EXTRA ENTRIES 
into this GIVEAWAY event?

A Nation of Moms

Go to A Nation of Moms and pick up the code 
to post on your own blog for your 10 extra entries  
in this fabulous giveaway event.

If you use me as a referral, 
we both receive another 10 bonus entries!

Earn 10 Extra Entries in the “Help for the Holidays” Giveaway Event!!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Protect Your Active Kids from MRSA

With fall sports in full swing, equipment cleanliness and item-sharing on and off the field may get overlooked between carpools, homework and bedtime. But, skin infections like MRSA, a potentially life threatening antibiotic resistant Staph infection, are the cause of 56 percent of all infectious disease outbreaks in competitive sports in the U.S.

It’s important that as parents and coaches we do our part to help prevent the spread of MRSA. You can begin by getting involved in the Equip them Well program through three simple steps – collect, disinfect, donate.

Disclosure: I am a member of the One2One Network. I received no compensation for posting this information about the Equip for Well campaign with the exception of having my name entered into a drawing.

Protect Your Active Kids from MRSASocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - JuJu Bee

Wordless Wednesday - JuJu BeeSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Pumpkins

Wordless Wednesday - PumpkinsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Are you willing to give up your voice for a day for those who will never have a voice?

Are you willing to give up your voice for a day for those who will never have a voice?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Clydesdale

Wordless Wednesday - ClydesdaleSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Pop, Pop, Pop, as I Stroll Through the Park

Wordless Wednesday - Pop, Pop, Pop, as I Stroll Through the ParkSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - One Eyed Barney

Note: The eye on one eyed Barney is on his other side. lol

Wordless Wednesday - One Eyed BarneySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sharing 10 Ways of Making Your Favorite Foods Healthier

What can I say. I love food. But in this day and age with so many processed food items and fast food it can be hard to keep up with the healthy side of eating. And with myself who is overweight I really need to be on top of what I eat and what my son eats. My goal is to be healthier by losing some of these unwanted pounds, and to help my son to maintain a healthy weight. Here are a few of those ways.

1. Chicken - Bake, don't fry. Marinate your chicken breast in your favorite Italian dressing. Then layer the bottom of a casserole dish or baking pan with thick rings of sliced onions. Add about 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the pan and layer the chicken on top of the onions and bake.

2.  Potatoes - Baked is always best. Split your potatoes, I like using red potatoes, almost half way through. Add a bit of sliced onion and a dab of Smart Balance Butter right in between and wrap in aluminum foil. Then poke a few holes in the foil/potato and bake in the oven or cook on the grill. Either way is really good but remember to eat those potatoes in moderation.

3. Green Beans - Healthy raw or cooked. I like to steam mine and add a bit of cooked onion and tomato to make a nice healthy side. Or if you like them raw, you could make a healthy side dip with vanilla yogurt and your favorite low sodium soup mix or roasted vegetables.

4.  French Fries - Skip the fried and make them yourself. There are many types of potatoes to choose from like Yellow, White, Russet, Red, and even Blue. Grab a few that you like and slice them long and thin. Then place them flat on a cookie sheet, spray with a bit of Smart Balance cooking spray and bake. They truly are a great alternative to the fried version. And if you want to make them even better why not try a few sweet potatoes instead. They are so yummy. And don't forget the organic ketchup as a healthier option.

5. Roasted Vegetables - Eggplant, Zucchini, Mushrooms, Peppers (all colors), Garlic, etc. Just slice them thin, toss them in a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil, layer them on a cookie sheet and bake. Perfect as a side, on toasted whole grain bread, or alone as an afternoon snack.

6. Water - I am definitely one who hates drinking plain old water. To mix it up a bit I add a bit of lemon or lime, or even both to give my water a little flavor. Or you could add a single packet of Crystal Light or Propel Fitness packets. Definitely helps me to drink more than I would otherwise.

7.  Organic Skim Milk  - We drink nothing but organic skim milk in our household. The thought of drinking anything else kind of grosses me out. To me whole milk is like drinking cream. Yuck! But if you don't like milk or have other reasons to why you choose not to drink it, then Organic Soy Milk is a great alternative. It not only tastes great straight from a cup, but the almond or vanilla flavors are perfect with your favorite healthy morning cereal.

8. Cheese - A major downfall in my home. We love cheese. But to keep us healthy we use it in moderation. And we choose the most natural cheeses on the market. Kraft has a great line of all natural cheeses. And since Calcium is an important aspect of ones diet, a serving of cheese can actual be good for you. Just stay away from the processed stuff. And go white. The yellow in yellow American cheese is nothing but unnecessary added color.

9. Pasta with Sauce - This is one item I try to limit in my household. Pasta can really add on the pounds. But now-a-days there are many great alternatives to the regular white stuff. There is whole wheat pasta and multi-grain pasta that actually taste great. And if you like to cook, you could make your own pasta sauce. That way you know what's going in and staying out. Make a big pot and freeze some of it. And make sure you add plenty of roasted vegetables to it. They not only add flavor but can help you get in a serving of your daily vegetables. Also, if your kids really dislike their vegetables, chop them fine then add them to your pasta sauce and your kids will never know the difference.

10. Turkey Burger - A great alternative to beef. You can cook it the same way you would cook beef but it is so much leaner and healthier for you. It's great in stuffed cabbage or peppers. It's also wonderful to use for your favorite family meatballs or meatloaf. Or how about an awesome Turkey burger. Yum! If you haven't tried Turkey burger then now is the time to do so. It taste great and you'll be the better for it.

Hopefully some of my ideas and tips will spark your interest. Wishing everyone happy and healthy eating.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and WeightWatchers SmartOnes blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Sharing 10 Ways of Making Your Favorite Foods HealthierSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

5 of My Family's Favorite Family Time Ideas

These are just a few of the things that my son and me like to take part in as a family.

1. Playing Board Games - Whether we are playing together, with friends, or even by ourselves, my family just loves board games.

2. Making S'mores - Nothing beats the fun of roasting marshmallows on a beautiful summer's evening with your family. And then turning them into yummy S'mores. Definitely a perfect way to gather up the family for an sweet evening of stories and fun.

3. Having a Movie Night - On those cold winter nights, my son and I love to cuddle up on the sofa with a cup of warm hot chocolate and a good movie. Even at 8 years old he is always on the go so movie night is special.

4. Building with Lego's - With my son being a huge Lego fan, we love to work together to build the big sets. That way we can accomplish our goal much quicker and what better way to teach teamwork.

5. Camping - We are definitely a family of campers. It certainly is a great way to get away and enjoy the beauty of the nature that surrounds us. Whether it be a family camping trip, a trip with my son's Cub Scout Troop, or just setting up the tent in the backyard, there is just something memorable about camping.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and LEGO blogging program, making me eligible to get a prize pack. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

5 of My Family's Favorite Family Time IdeasSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Helping to Make a Difference with Elmer’s Virtual Bag It Forward

Do you want to be a part of something big. Then why not participate in Elmer’s Virtual Bag It Forward. For every blog post written, Elmer's will donate $10 to Adopt-A-Classroom, up to $10,000.

As a single mom, I know how difficult it can be to provide the things that your child needs for school. So even though this is just a virtual bag of school supplies, I'm donating my bag to Angie over at A Simple Kinda Life. From one single mom to another, I know the struggle. Love ya girlie! : )

HOW CAN YOU JOIN? It’s easy.

  • Participate in the Elmer’s Virtual Bag It Forward and by giving away a virtual bag of school supplies and creating a blog post with specific rules described below.
  • Elmer’s will donate up to $10,000 to Adopt-A-Classroom.
  • You can give as many virtual bags as you want.
  • The Elmer’s Virtual Bag It Forward will officially begin at 12 AM EST on July 22, 2010 and end at 12 PM EST on August 12, 2010. Blog posts submitted to us before or after that time period will not be counted.
  • The blog post link has to be submitted in the comment section below for your participation to be counted.
  • In addition copy and paste the following text into your blog post:


  • Copy and paste these rules into your blog post.
  • Create a blog post giving a “virtual bag of school supplies” to other bloggers or write about your Back to School shopping trip at Walmart.
  • Link back to the person who gave you a bag of school supplies.
  • Let each person you are giving a virtual bag of school supplies know you have given them a bag.
  • Leave your link in the Elmer’s Virtual Bag It Forward comment section. You can also find the official rules of this virtual #bagitforward program there.
  • Elmer’s is donating $10 for each blog participating in the Virtual Bag It Forward Donation to Adopt-A-Classroom (up to total of $10,000 for blog posts written by August 12, 2010).
  • Please note that only one blog post per blog url will count towards the donation.

Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way, shape, or form for this post. Posting to help out and to make a difference in the life of someone else.

Helping to Make a Difference with Elmer’s Virtual Bag It ForwardSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Drinking Solo

I'm in 2nd place for this week. If you'd like to vote me into 1st click here. Thanks! : )

Wordless Wednesday - Drinking SoloSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Enter the "Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest!!!"

National Geographic Ultimate Photo Contest

The 3rd Annual Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest is happening now! Send in your best photos-in categories like Animals/Wildlife, Travel, and Weather-for a chance to win a National Geographic Expeditions trip for two to Greece and a feature in an upcoming issue of National Geographic magazine.

There's no question about one thing:
To get the best shot, you need the best equipment. That's where Energizer comes in. Energizer® Ultimate Lithium AA and AAA batteries are the world's longest lasting batteries in high-tech devices. They last up to eight times longer than Energizer® MAX® in digital cameras (results vary by camera)-which means you can take your mind off your batteries and focus on capturing that winning photo.

National Geographic Ultimate Photo Contest

Enter the "Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest!!!"SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Please Vote for My Solo Photo!

So I entered my first, but not my last, photo into the Solo's Second Annual Online Photo Contest and it won the daily prize. Now I am in 3rd place for the weekly prize and I'm really in need of your votes. If you wouldn't mind voting for my photo that would be great. Just click this link ------> Making Breakfast Happy <------- and it will take you straight to my photo. Then click on the hand button next to the "Vote for My Photo". That's it. Thanks so much for your help.

Wordless Wednesday - Please Vote for My Solo Photo!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

5 Minutes for Mom & Rayovac Powers Your Summer Promotion

Right now Rayovac has an awesome summer promotion going on. The Rayovac Powers Your Summer 30 Day Giveaway. From June 21 through July 20, Rayovac is giving away some really awesome prizes.

To enter, visit the website -------> <---------- and answer the daily question for a chance to win! Let Rayovac know how you will be powering your summer each day for a chance to win prizes ranging from cameras and bikes to camping supplies and a summer supply of Rayovac batteries. It's that simple.

And don't forget to join 5 Minutes for Mom on June 30, 2010 for their Rayovac Powers Your Summer Twitter Event. The Twitter Event will feature more than 20 fun giveaways from Rayovac ranging from a summer supply of Rayovac Batteries to $50 Target Gift Cards.

Rayovac Powers Your Vacation Summer Promotion Twitter Event
Date: Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Time: 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. CST
Location: #rayovac
Follow: @Rayovac_Battery, @5minutesformom, @CirclePRMary

Disclosure: The first 99 bloggers to promote the Rayovac Powers Your Summer Promotion won a prize package from Rayovac.
The first 99 bloggers to promote the Rayovac Powers Your Summer Twitter Event won a prize package from Rayovac.

5 Minutes for Mom & Rayovac Powers Your Summer PromotionSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Solo's Second Annual Online Photo Contest - Grand Prize of $5,000!

Another summer brings another FUN new contest sponsored by Solo! That's right, Solo is back with their Second Annual Online Photo Contest where you could win great prizes like the two runner-up prizes of $1,000, or the Grand Prize of $5,000, just by sharing your Solo photos!

To enter, just register at and upload your favorite photo featuring any of these Solo products:

- Solo Squared Cup, Plate, or Bowl
- SoloGrips Cup
- Solo Ultra Colors Cup
- Solo's Straight-Walled Cup

And just by entering, you'll also have the chance to win the daily prize. . . a coupon for one FREE package Solo product, and the weekly prize. . . a $100 gift card. Pretty cool don't you think. I actually entered last year (one of my photos above) and won a few coupons for FREE Solo products myself. It was so easy and loads of fun.

You have until August 6th to enter. So get out those cameras and snap away. It's time for a celebration! Your photo could just be that $5,000 grand prize winner.

Winners will be announced on August 13, 2010. Click here for Official Rules.

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

Solo's Second Annual Online Photo Contest - Grand Prize of $5,000!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, June 12, 2010

2010 Summer Reading - Kids Can Earn a FREE Book!

If you have a reader or two in your family then you may be interested in participating in these two summer reading programs over the summer. And even if your kids are not avid readers, maybe these two programs with help to encourage them and start them on the road to the love of reading. After all, who wouldn't want to earn a cool FREE book just for participating.

2010 Barnes & Nobles Passport to Summer Reading
with The 39 Clues

This program is based off the 39 Clues Series which I know my son really enjoys. Every child in Grades 1-6 can earn a FREE book, from the B&N's list of eligible paperback titles, just by participating in the program.

All your child needs to do to participate is to read 8 books over the Summer. And to keep track of those books, Barnes & Noble has created the Passport to Summer Reading so that your child can document each book that they have read as well as one of the places that they have visited from within each book. The Passport to Summer Reading can be either downloaded from the internet, or you can pick one up at your local Barnes & Nobles Bookstore.

Once your child has completed the Passport to Summer Reading, just sign it for your child and bring the completed Passport to any Barnes & Nobles Bookstore between May 25, 2010 and September 7, 2010. Your child with then receive a coupon for a FREE book to be chosen from a list of exceptional paperback titles.* The list of eligible paperback titles by grade level are:

Grades 1 & 2
Abraham Lincoln: Lawyer, Leader, Legend
Curious George Cleans Up / Jorge el curioso limpia el reguero
Frog and Toad Are Friends
Last One in is a Rotten Egg
Gorillas: Gentle Giants of the Forest
Thomas Jefferson's Feast
My Trip to the Zoo

Grades 3&4
January Joker
Ramona la chinche
Trouble at the Arcade
Sophie the Awesome
Treasure Fever
Ramona's World
Half-Moon Investigations
The Cricket in Times Square

Grades 5&6
The Calder Game
El SoƱador
The Maze of Bones
The Capture
Jim and Me
The Hero and the Crown
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More
Freckle Juice
Stolen Sapphires: A Samantha Mystery
No Talking
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
My Last Best Friend

*Please Note: Eligible books will be listed on the coupon. Choices must be made from available stock. No special orders. Limit of one (1) form per school-age child (grades 1-6), please. Incomplete form will be ineligible for free books. For more information about this program, please visit Barnes &

Borders 10 Summer Reading Double-Dog Dare

Read 10 books, get 1 FREE!
The Borders Double Dog Dare Summer Reading Program is open to every child 12 or under. All your child needs to do to participate in this program is to read any 10 books - any ones that they like - over the Summer. To keep track of those books, you will need to visit to download and print the Double-Dog Dare form.

Once your child has completed the Double-Dog Dare form, just sign it for your child and bring the completed form to any Borders, Borders Express, or Waldenbooks store by August 26, 2010 for your FREE book. The list of eligible paperback titles* that your child may choose from are:

Ramona the Brave
Miss Daisy is Crazy!
Flat Stanley
Dear Mr. Henshaw
The Ruins of Gorlan
The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Johnny Tremain
The River
Kristy’s Great Idea

*No purchase necessary. Form must be completed and brought to any Borders, Borders Express, or Waldenbooks store by 8/26/10 to redeem coupon. Offer valid in-store only. Valid only on selected titles. While supplies last. Titles and editions subject to change at Borders’ discretion. For more information about this program, please visit

Hope your children enjoy a wonderful summer of
reading and adventure!

2010 Summer Reading - Kids Can Earn a FREE Book!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Favorite Song of this Week

Words can't begin to express the feelings I have for this song. All I know is that the first time that I heard it, God used it to touch the most deepest parts of my soul and spirit. I can't thank the Lord enough for the inspiration He placed in the hearts of song writers Chapin Hartford and Sarah Hart, as well as singer, Amy Grant. Thank you Jesus! You did it again.

Better Than A Hallelujah ~ Amy Grant

God loves a lullaby
In a mothers tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.
God loves the drunkards cry,
The soldiers plea not to let him die
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah.

The woman holding on for life,
The dying man giving up the fight
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes
The tears of shame for what's been done,
The silence when the words won't come
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah
Better than a church bell ringing,
Better than a choir singing out, singing out.

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

Repeat Chorus

My Favorite Song of this WeekSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Tomb is Empty! He is Risen!!

Just wanted to wish all my readers a wonderful, happy and blessed Easter Sunday. Always remember. God Bless!

Matthew 28: 1-20

He Is Risen

1 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. 5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.” 8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.

The Women Worship the Risen Lord

9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

The Soldiers Are Bribed

11 Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. 12 When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

The Great Commission

16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

The Tomb is Empty! He is Risen!!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

BECAUSE HE LIVES: A Compelling Easter Drama

With Easter around the corner, there are so many people in this world seeking for something more in their lives. Some kind of substance or fulfillment. Well the answer is simple. It is Jesus Christ. Friend, Savior, Lord. He has been the answer for me for many, many years now. And He was and still is the answer for many of my family members as well as many of my friends. He is someone I could never live without or want to live or walk without. He saved me.

If you are seeking to know more and/or are looking to establish a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and you live in the Baltimore, MD area, then "Because He Lives" is the Easter Drama for you, your family, and your friends to see. And if you do not live in Baltimore but would still like to see the Easter Drama or just want to know more, then make sure you visit I believe there will be an opportunity at some point throughout the production, or after, to view it online.

Even years before I moved to Baltimore from Massachusetts, which was a little over 7 1/2 years ago, I have been coming to see the Easter Drama's at Greater Grace World Outreach, my home church now. And every year the Easter Drama's have been a testimony to just how good the Lord really is and to how much He truly does love us. Each year the storyline within the drama's change but the conclusion has always remained the same. And that is that we all need a Savior in our lives and that Christ died to be just that for us. I always find myself so moved while watching and listening to each drama unfold. Thanking God for the things He has done for me in my life. I believe it is a moment that everyone should experience.

If anyone is interested in seeing this year's compelling Easter Drama "Because He Lives", well now is your chance.


will be presented live


6025 Moravia Park Drive
Baltimore, MD 21206


March 29 and 30 - 7:30 p.m.

April 1 and 2 - 7:30 p.m.


April 3 - 6:00 p.m.

Admission is FREE

If you'd like directions or more information, please visit It is definitely a drama you do not want to miss. And if you do get a chance to check it out, make sure you stop by and leave me a comment. I'd love to hear from you. Thank you and God Bless.

BECAUSE HE LIVES: A Compelling Easter DramaSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, March 5, 2010

Heads up, Sports Fan!

Dick's Sporting Goods (@dickssportcmo on Twitter) has a new #startinglineup promotion going on, and you can win the chance to try out new sports gear before anyone else and give your opinion to the sports big-wigs! To learn more about the contest, and to enter to win a $50 Dick's Sporting Goods gift card, head over to the giveaway that Angie at 5 Vinez Monkeys is hosting. The contest ends March 31st, so don't delay.

Heads up, Sports Fan!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday ~ Snow Bunny

Wordless Wednesday ~ Snow BunnySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Ten Tips for Creating a Fun Family Vacation Free of Distractions.

I think the best way to keep any vacation fun and distraction free is to be prepared. The more time you spend thinking ahead and being prepared, the less time you spend worrying, and cleaning up the mishaps. This means more time for fun, fun, and more fun.

I'd like to give a shout out to TwitterMoms and Alamo for the opportunity to take part in this contest and to share my Top Ten List. If anyone would like to know more about this contest, visit TwitterMoms Discussion Page for more details. Now on to my Top Ten List. : )

1. Keep a small trash can or bucket in your vehicle because you just never know. I know this may sound crazy but ever since the day my cousin told me about her driving experience with her little girls getting sick while traveling on vacation I have kept a small trash can in my car. And yes, My son who is almost 8 years old has had to use it on many occasions. But I have yet to clean up any vomit off the seats or floors of my vehicle.

2. Pack some Tylenol and a thermometer for your kids. Illnesses do not take a break for vacations. I know this one first hand. Make sure you have the necessary items you would need if your child where to ever fall ill during a family vacation.

3. Fun games to travel by. My family and I love to play games like "I Spy", "The Alphabet Game" and "Can You Guess What I am Thinking". All are fun family friendly games that require no additional space in your vehicle just in your brain. lol. And the entire family can get involved from little to big. These types of brain games really helped us to keep the kids occupied and would have us laughing hysterically the entire way to our destination.

4. Keep plenty of healthy snacks on hand and pack lunch not only for the drive but for the days in between. When kids are hungry they get cranky. Healthy snacks help to keep them not only healthy but happy on a long trip. Some healthy snack ideas include pieces of fruit, raisins, yogurt in the tubes and string cheese. Also fill a small cooler with bottles water and orange juice and anything else that you may need to keep cold and keep in on the floor in the back seat. PB&J sandwiches are always good as well. No cranky kids. More travel time. Sounds great to me.

5. Leave as early in the morning as you can. Like while the kids are still asleep. The less time they are awake the easier the travel will be especially if they are little ones who hate being in their car seats for a long period of time. Plus leaving early usually means less traffic which in turn means less aggravation.

6. Plan each day of your vacation ahead of time. When I say plan I mean know what is going to be around you and have your game plan all ready before your even pack for the trip. That way you can make everyone aware of what you will be doing and the places you will be visiting before you even leave for your vacation. This will lead to less worries and even arguments when trying to decide on where and what you will be doing on each day.

7. Make sure everyone gets plenty of rest during every night of your vacation. No matter where you are going rest is so important because we know that vacation days can make for a long day. Make sure to keep the kids on schedule for bedtime as well as yourself. The more rested everyone is the less crankiness there will be throughout the day which means there is more fun to be had.

8. Bring your camera or video camera and plenty of batteries. You can't take a vacation and not take pictures. Make sure you have plenty of charged batteries on hand as well because it is no fun when the camera dies and you have to wait hours for the battery to charge. You can miss so much in that time.

9. Make a checklist and pack for all types of weather. Trust me, you do not want to forget any necessary items and/or be unprepared for unforeseen weather. Bringing extra's is always better than not having enough.

10. Keep a first aid kit filled with bandages, gauze, etc. in your vehicle. You never know what could happen and a first aid kid always comes in handy. Also make sure if you are camping, or in any wooded area that you always check your kids for ticks at least once every morning.

Travel Tips for Moms & FamiliesReserve Now | Quicksilver | Online Check-in | Pre-pay & Save | Self-Service Kiosk

My Ten Tips for Creating a Fun Family Vacation Free of Distractions.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Did Someone Say SNOW!

And Lots of It!

Did Someone Say SNOW!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, January 30, 2010

KidzEyes - A Great Safe Site for Great Kids!

I'm not sure how many of you have kids between the ages 6-12, but about a year ago I found this great kids panel site called KidzEyes. And we love it. So far my son has earned 5,400 KidzPoints which equals out to $54 dollars. Which by the way, we just redeemed and received a check in the mail.

Every 100 KidzPoints is equal to $1 and you can cash out as early as 1000 KidzPoints which would be $10. My son chose to wait because he wanted the pot to grow so to speak. And of course after redeeming, he was finally able to buy the New Super Mario Brothers game for the Wii which he had been wanting for a while now.

The way he earned the money was for doing simple surveys that are geared toward kids his age. For instance, there was a Lunch Survey, a Sweet Snacks Survey, Food Character Survey, and a Spy Toy Survey just to name a few. The surveys come a few times a month so it's not overwhelming for kids. And some are constructed just for the child, some for the parent or guardian, and some are for both to take part in. Just yesterday I received a survey for myself to do called the Mom Shopping Survey. I like this because this site not only involves my son but myself as well. Also, along with monthly surveys, KidzEyes also sends out its KidzEyes SuperPoll survey every month as well. Taking part in this survey enters your child into the KidzEyes sweepstakes where they could win cool prizes!

As for how the surveys get to my son, well right now, even though he could use his own email address, I have them coming straight to my email. But that is only because he really has no interest in using his own at the moment. But this works out fine for the both of us. This is another benefit I like about KidzEyes because your child does not need to have his or her own email address to join. But if they do use their own, no matter what, KidzEyes will always let you, the parent or guardian, know that your child has just received an email to participate in a survey. So you are ALWAYS in the know. Another benefit about this site is that KidzEyes requires parental consent for your child to join.

KidzEyes is a great safe way for your kids to make a little extra cash while feeling like their opinions count. If you have any questions or concerns about the site you should check out KidzEyes FAQ's. Loads of questions, lots of answers. I highly recommend KidzEyes for your child.

If you'd like to join, here is my son's referral link: Thanks for reading.

KidzEyes Privacy and Safety Policy
KidzEyes Membership Agreement

For those of you with kids between the ages of 13-18, KidzEyes has a sister site called TeensEyes. For more information and how to join, please visit their site at Both KidzEyes and TeenEyes are owned and operated by C&R Research Services, Inc., a marketing research company, located at 500 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL. You can visit their website at

The opinions express in this post are solely my own. KidzEyes did provide me with the referral link to pass on to my friends which I have used throughout this post. For every registration completed using this link my son will receive 250 KidzPoints. If you prefer not to use my sons referral link and still want to join then you can visit KidzEyes at and click on New Members. KidzEyes is a U.S. based panel only.

KidzEyes - A Great Safe Site for Great Kids!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Skin MD Natural's Valentine's Day Giveaway

Skin MD Natural is sponsoring a Valentine's Day Giveaway with a very sweet prize package (valued at $100) just in time for Valentine's Day.

This prize package includes:

This giveaway ends on February 7th. So make sure you get your entry in today. You don't want to miss out on this one.

Note: The winner will be chosen randomly Feb 8 and the winner has 24 hours to reply so shipment will arrive by Feb 13th.

Skin MD Natural's Valentine's Day GiveawaySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, January 22, 2010

Maryland Zoo partners with the B&O Railroad, Maryland Science Center, and Port Discovery for the Months of January and February.

Just wanted to share some great news with my Maryland readers. The Maryland Zoo has partnered with the B&O Railroad Museum, Maryland Science Center, and Port Discovery Children’s Museum for the months of January and February 2010! A maximum of two (2) adults and (2) children, or one (1) adult and three (3) children will be permitted to enter for free on each visit with a valid Maryland Zoo membership card. Any additional members will be asked to pay normal admission. You may visit any or all of the three as often as you like throughout the two months.

In addition, Port Discovery is offering a $5.00 discount to Maryland Zoo members on any and all of their memberships throughout the months of January and February 2010. You must present your valid membership card to receive this discount.

For more information check out The Maryland Zoo's Membership page here. I myself am planning to visit all three. I can't wait!

Maryland Zoo partners with the B&O Railroad, Maryland Science Center, and Port Discovery for the Months of January and February.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

General Mills Reduces Sugar in Kid's Cereals

Way to go General Mills!!

I'm sure many of you have already heard the exciting news. General Mills announced its commitment to further reduce sugar in cereals advertised to kids under 12 to single digit grams of sugar per serving. I know for myself this is great news because my son and I both LOVE General Mills cereals. Not only for breakfast but also for dinner or an afternoon or evening snack. There are days when I get home from work and I'm just too tired to cook. So we pull out that box of General Mills cereal and grab the skim milk for a light & quick meal. It seriously makes my evenings much easier from time to time. And knowing that the sugar in General Mills cereal is being reduced even further makes it even more worth while.

Did you know that ready-to-eat cereal eaters consume less fat, less cholesterol and more fiber than non-cereal eaters? Cereals also deliver important vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients, making cereal a top source of key nutrients in children´s diets.

Other cereal benefits:

  • Ready-to-eat cereals, including presweetened cereals, account for only 5% of sugar in children´s diets.
  • Ready-to-eat cereal is the No. 1 source of whole grains in a child´s diet today.
  • More frequent cereal eaters tend to have healthier body weights and lower Body Mass Index measures.
Studies also demonstrate the benefits of eating breakfast. A 1998 study showed that children who eat breakfast tend to perform better at school. Compared to children who skip breakfast, children who eat breakfast score higher on tests, are less likely to miss class or be tardy, have fewer reported discipline problems, and make fewer trips to the office.

For more information about kids and cereals, please visit Cereal Health and Wellness.

Right now if you visit here you will find a $1 off coupon for one of four General Mills cereals. Being healthy means being happy. So go out and buy yourself a box and get to eating.

*I would like to give a big shout out to General Mills & MyBlogSpark for providing me with this invaluable information, the online coupon link, and 4 VIP coupons for General Mills cereal. Thank you very much!

Please note, personal opinions about this product are solely my own.

General Mills Reduces Sugar in Kid's CerealsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Enter Frigidaire's "Spin & Win" Campaign

Seems Frigidaire and Jennifer Garner are teaming up once again to support Save the Children's U.S. Programs, dedicated to helping children living in poverty in the United States.

With their new Spin & Win game, you are given the opportunity to win all types of wonderful gift cards for both you and your family. Gift cards that can be used for curling up with some new books, starting a craft project or taking in a family flick. They're giving away a prize every day!

Plus, you could also win a brand new Frigidaire Affinity washer and dryer, with time-saving features that give you more time for the important things in life. You even have the chance of earning entries by either tweeting or emailing your friends.

But best of all, every time you play, Frigidaire's Spin & Win game, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children, as part of their $250,000 commitment to support Save the Children's CHANGE program, dedicated to providing nutritious snacks and promoting healthier lifestyles for children living in poverty in the United States.

So for your chance to win and to help support Save the Children, stop by and take your spin today.

Daily Prizes include:
$75 American Express gift card
$200 American Express gift card
$50 American Express gift card
$100 American Express gift card
$100 American Express gift card
$100 Lowe's, Sears or Best Buy gift card
$75 American Express gift card

For more information and details about this promotion, visit Frigidaire Spin & Win Promotion - Official Rules. Contest ends April 25, 2010 at 11:59 PM ET.

I'd also like to send out a big thank you to Mom Select for both the information and an entry to win my very own Frigidaire Affinity Washer & Dryer. Thanks so much!

Enter Frigidaire's "Spin & Win" CampaignSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

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