August 15, 2010

The Great Blender Blunder and $150 Visa Gift Card Giveaway! Ends 9/12.

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and The Laughing Cow.

One Saturday morning I was up early getting ready for by 9 year old daughter's belt ceremony for karate. She was going to be receiving her junior black belt and I was pretty excited for her. I decided to wear white capri pants and a black shirt in the spirit of her getting her black belt.

It was getting close to the time that we needed to be out the door, but I figured that I would have enough time to make a quick shake for breakfast. I also thought it might be smart to make two servings so I could keep one in the fridge for a snack later in the day. Not very often, but sometimes I get on a protein shake kick. I just get in a phase where I drink a protein shake for breakfast and dinner and eat a big lunch in between. They are really filling and I just feel better when I eat light in the evening.

I had a blender that was marketed for making smoothies. It had a spout attachment on the bottom of the jug that was used as a "tap" to pour the smoothie into a glass. I never used that attachment, so there was a way you could unscrew that attachment and screw on a tab that would plug up that hole. I just always kept that little tab attachment on.

So, I added my double portion of water, protein powder and ice to the blender and carefully replaced the lid and pressed the "high" button. The blender immediately started to "whirr" and all of a sudden I was being shot in the stomach by a blast of cold, chocolaty water! Someone (probably under 5 feet tall) had not screwed on the tab attachment all the way and it shot off when I pressed the button. I screamed and tried to find the stupid "off" button but I was blinded by the protein shake being sprayed in my face. I finally found the plug and yanked it!

I think the funniest part was my family who witnessed the whole event. When I unplugged the blender, it went silent and it was like they paused to see how I was going to react before they did. I busted out laughing and then they did too. I probably could have cried or yelled, but I'm glad that my first reaction was to laugh!

I had to hurry and change into a new outfit to go to the belt ceremony and my good hubby cleaned up the mess. I found myself laughing at the incident all day. I had seen something similar happen on TV all my life, but never a straight shot into the stomach! I guess that's what I get for trying to eat healthy. :)

Do you have a funny story? Share a funny story, video clip, picture etc. in the comment section and you will be entered to win $150. Please keep your comments G-rated as any profanity or offensive content will automatically disqualify you from sweepstakes entry.

You should also visit The Daily Laugh Hub to read funny content each day. There you will also find 11 other chances to win $150 each month and weekly chances to win $100 at the "Play for Laughs" game. If you share something really funny, we may even use it in The Daily Laugh!

For official rules click here.

August 7, 2010

Novica Review: Gifts From Around the World!

I've got to tell you about a great online store called Novica. I had never heard of Novica until I was approached about doing a review for them. I jumped on the internet to to see what it was all about.

Now this is impressive. Read their mission:

We want to give artists and artisans around the world a global platform to express their true artistic talents and to spur their creativity. And, we want to provide you with access to unique, hard-to-find items at great values that only the Internet infrastructure can allow.

At the deepest essence of our philosophy, we want to create a bridge between you and the many talented artisans across the globe.

We want you to know about who you're buying from. We want you to feel that attachment to the product and to the hands that created it.

In the spirit of the Internet, let us bring you together.

NOVICA. The World is Your Market.

Cool, huh? Doesn't that just make you want to go on and see all the unique jewelry, art, clothing, handbags, rugs, housewares and gifts from all around the globe? They even have corporate gifts section!

So, Novica gave me $100 to spend on their site. I loved the jewelry, so I spent it all there.

Here is what I got:

Sterling silver half hoop earrings, 'Moon in the Forest' for $20.49

Natural orchid gold-plated flower necklace, 'Sublime' for $26.99

Onyx and amethyst beaded necklace, 'Enchantment' for $44.95

Aren't they pretty? And I love that they are not something you would find at the local mall.

The website was so easy to navigate, checkout was a breeze and the shipping price was very reasonable.
My items all came from Thailand about a week after I ordered them. They were each individually encased in a beautiful gift box. Also included in the box was a story card that described the jewelry and also had a quote from the artist. That extra touch made the buying experience so personal.

I just love the jewelry I purchased from, and I love how Novica is giving these artisans from all around the world opportunities that they would not have otherwise.

Go check out and remember them when you have to buy a gift for the person who has everything! Guaranteed, they will appreciate the unique and personal gifts from

(FTC disclosure : In adherence to the recent FTC changes pertaining to blogger product reviews and sponsored postings it is necessary to add when ever I receive any compensation in return for posting about a company or product. I received a gift certificate to shop at NOVICA and share my experience
. No further compensation was received. Even though a GC was received, the opinions were of my own. )

August 5, 2010

The Lunch Date Experiment. Ends 8/25.

This is a sponsored post from BlogHer and Smuckers.

Ahhh lunch. I remember those days as a kid, looking forward to lunch to see what Mom packed for me in my brown paper bag. Usually it was a peanut butter and honey sandwich (still my favorite), chips, a homemade cookie, a piece of fruit and a drink. Sometimes my mom would write me little notes on my napkin that she would put in my lunch bag. I loved that! Some days it was a joke or a riddle and other days it was a quick, "I'm thinking about you. Love you, Mom".

That meant a lot to me. Obviously, because I still remember it. And now that I am a mom, it brings tears to my eyes to realize how it is the little things, the simple notes, hugs and "I love yous" that make the biggest impression in the mind of a child.

I, like many of you out there, am a working mom. I miss eating lunch with my kids all week. I am amazed at how the kids all rush to me when I get home! They miss me and need my attention. I try to give each of them some of my time, but it's so hard when I am exhausted and have work to do around the house.

My husband and I used to go on "dates" with the kids for one on one time. My husband would take one and I would take the other. We pretty much stopped that when our third child came around. Life got too hectic. Can anyone relate?

I'd love to get back to giving that individualized attention to the kids. A weekend lunch date would be so fun. And as my kids are getting older (2, 7, and 9) I think they need that one on one time even more. They need to feel special. They need to be able to speak freely. I have been amazed at the questions I get asked when I am alone with my 9 year old daughter! But I am thankful that she feels she can ask me anything.

So what do you think? Would you be up to trying a little experiment with me?

Let's set a lunch date with our kids or grand kids and see if relationships can be strengthened, confidence can be built and special memories can be made. Lunch can be as simple as a good old peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Think of the child's interests and plan an activity that you can do together.

Now to plan it!

The good people at Smucker's have come up with the cutest idea. You can go to the Smucker's website and custom create an invitation for a lunch date and activity for the special child in your life. It is called a "kidvitation". You can choose the invite's background and font and fill in the blanks with the date, time and what activity you want to do together. Just create and print! It's as simple as that.

There are also some simple and delicious recipes on the Smucker's website as well as ideas for fun activities.

One of my daughter's favorite activities is baking. She loves to create something delicious and let the whole family sample her treats. She also loves music. I've got a ton of old CD's down in the basement. We could listen to some of my favorite songs and she could pick out some CD's to add to her collection. I gave her my Michael Jackson "Thriller" CD and it changed her world! It's been fun to see her grow up and find new interests and talents.

My 7 year old son loves to play basketball. He actually saved up $77 dollars to pay for half (we paid for the other half) of a basketball standard to put up in our front yard. I think he would love to play a few games of H-O-R-S-E and maybe I can teach him some of my moves. :)

The 2 year old boy would love to just wrestle on the floor, play with a big balloon or go for a walk. He is easy. He just wants to play!

None of these activities cost any money, but the value of the time you spend together with those kids is priceless!
Just as that little napkin tucked in my lunch sack at school, it's the small things that mean so much and that are remembered.

So what are you waiting for? Go to the Smucker's website to make a kidvitation and spend some quality time with the kids!

Leave a comment on this post and you will be entered to win a $200 Visa Gift Card. So tell me: What fun activity will you plan for the special child in your life?

Go to the BlogHer/Smucker's round-up page for 9 other chances to win. While you are there, you can also enter to win a $400 Visa gift card!

For official rules, click here.

August 4, 2010

I Heart JMS (Just My Size) $500 Wal-Mart Giftcard Giveaway through 8/31/10

This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Just My Size Sportswear apparel.

Oh, woe is me!

This may be too difficult of a task.

I have to spend $200...on myself....on JMS (Just My Size) Wal-Mart.

I just don't think I can do it!

I guess I'll just have to trudge through and try to show a happy face.

SERIOUSLY.....Are you kidding me? I get to spend $200?!?!? On MYSELF!?!?! On cute JMS clothes?!?!? That actually fit me and look good?!?!?! YES!!!! Sign me up!

This was way too much fun for me. I love clothes. LOVE THEM...but guess what I wear to work everyday. Tan pants and a white polo shirt. YAWN! Can you get any more boring than that? And the sad thing is that my actual day to day wardrobe isn't that much more exciting. I have been buying clothes at Salvation Army and at yard sales. Yes, I am admitting that. I guess I have been caught in the trap that I don't think that I deserve nice clothes. And besides that...who can afford them?

Well, ladies, listen up!

It's time to feel good about the way you look. It is time to try on something unexpected, that you normally wouldn't wear. Bring some color to your life! Buy clothes that fit! It always amazes me how different I feel about myself when I wear something flattering, feminine and FUN! I feel like I am saying something about myself: "I am worthy. I am confident. I feel good!"

Thanks to JMS I have a BUNCH of new clothes that are bright, colorful, feminine, functional, flattering and just downright CUTE!

Let me show you my new outfits.

But first, check this out!

You will be amazed at how many JMS pieces you can buy with $200. Here is what I got:

Knee length denim shorts: $15
Dark wash capris: $16
Dark wash jeans: $17 (clearance)
Light wash jeans: $17 (clearance)
Gray workout pants: $14
Black workout pants: $14
White collared shirt: $9
White Popcorn top: $15
White tunic: $12
White Shirred Tie tunic: $5 (clearance)
Black V-Neck tee: $7
Turquoise V-Neck tee: $7
Pink banded ruffle top: $14
Blue banded ruffle top: $14
Plaid tunic: $14
White lace camisole: $10

Grand Total: $200 and tons of mix and match outfits!

Now for the fashion show. Drum roll please.......

Disclaimer: I am not a model, but I have watched America's Next Top Model and therefore may at some point strike some FIERCE poses. Not please do not laugh at my utter lack of fierceness.

Okay....this is me.

And this is outfit #1
Denim knee length shorts and a white collared shirt

I love the feminine ruffle details.

Outfit #2
Denim knee length shorts, white lace cami and plaid shirt

Fun, huh? I participated in the 90's grunge phase, so I love me some plaid!

Outfit #3
Denim knee length shorts, white "popcorn" shirt

Here is the "popcorn" detail of the shirt. BTW, this is the softest shirt ever!

Outfit #4
Dark denim jeans, white tunic

Check out these details!

No, I don't want a picture of my rear end on the internet, but you gotta love these pockets!

Well, it's out there. So, here's another picture!

I love this shirt. It is so comfortable. You can tie up the bow or just let it hang, like me.

Light wash denim, pink banded ruffle shirt

It looks like I am doing a "serious" pose here. I just wasn't ready for the picture. But I like it!

Okay, now I'm ready.

I love the details of this top!

I feel flirty!

Here's a shot of the pockets. Cute!

Dark denim capris, white shirred tie tunic

I buy a lot of white shirts, don't I?

Strike a pose! I'm getting a little too "into" this!

OK! Last but not least. Outfit #7
Gray workout pants, black v-neck
One of my pet peeves is the utter lack of cute plus size workout clothes! We want to look cute at the gym too!

I love these pants (all the JMS pants in fact) because they are nice and long. I hate when pants are too short!

And look at the cute detail on this shirt. Cute for the gym or for casual wear!

Well, there you go! A special thanks to my husband for helping me "work it " for the camera!

Now, you have got to check out the JMS website. It is so much fun. There is a mix and match feature where you can choose a body type and dress it like a paper doll with the whole JMS Spring line. It is actually really fun. There is also a "off the runway" feature where you can see a short video of the JMS Spring fashion show and see the fashions on REAL women. There is also a blog that gives tips for dressing your body type and other cool tidbits for us plus babes.

Okay, now for the "pick yourself off the floor" awesome news. One of you will win a $500 Wal-Mart gift card to have your own JMS shopping spree!

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and tell me: Which of my new JMS outfits do you like best?

For 1 extra entry: Follow this blog on Google Friend Connect!

Be sure to go to the BlogHer/JMS round-up page for more chances to win!

Keep track of everything JMS. Become a fan on FACEBOOK!

To read the official rules, please click here.