Friday, July 30, 2010

Fridays are Mega Swag Bucks Days

Every Friday is Mega Swag Bucks Day (MSBD), which means better odds of winning BIG Swag Bucks denominations! Simply search naturally, and with a little luck, you'll be winning large bills starting at 20 Swag Bucks and up.

If you are not familiar with, it is an online portal dedicated to helping you earn digital dollars called "Swag Bucks", which can be redeemed for exclusive merchandise. It's free to join and so easy to win. You can earn merchandise, gift cards, or, my favorite, paypal cash! Earn swagbucks by searching the web, taking daily polls, finding swagbucks codes, shopping online, and more. Check out all the details through my referral link - and start earning swagbucks today!

*this post contains my referral link*

Aloha Friday - Time Of Day

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So, on Fridays we can take it easy on blog posting, too.

I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, visit An Island Life where you can link up with your own question and also visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

What's your favorite time of the day?
Do you have a favorite day of the week?

My favorite time of the day is the late evening hours just before bedtime...when the kiddos and my husband are all safely at home and settling down for the day. Things are at a more slow and relaxed pace by then. It makes me feel content.

My favorite day of the week is probably Thursday or Friday.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

GIVEAWAY WINNER - CSN Stores $60 Gift Certificate

Thank you to everyone who entered the CSN Stores $60 Gift Certificate giveaway. The randomly selected winning commenter is:

Katie @ Left Hand Reviews said...
Blogged about the giveaway here:
July 25, 2010 8:17 PM

Congratulations Katie! I'm sure you will have fun shopping at CSN Stores. I will be emailing you shortly.

Thank you to CSN Stores for providing this $60 Gift Certficiate for giveaway on my blog.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I Have Let My House Go By The Wayside

Pig-PenImage via Wikipedia

I'm ashamed to even say how bad I've let things go around the house. Oh, things are picked up and put away, it's not that. I don't really have any big piles of stuff or messes laying around and our beds are always made. I'm talking about the "spring cleaning" type of stuff that I haven't done for about two springs now. The windows all need to be cleaned. All the furniture needs to be moved and the dust-bunnies cleared out from behind, the walls and baseboards ALL need to be wiped down and could use fresh coats of paint (although painting is my husband's department so that will have to wait), the ceiling fans are dusty....I could go on, but, you get the idea. It is a huge source of stress for me, knowing all this cleaning I need to do. But, I just keep putting it off. I always seem to find excuses. Last year, my dad was sick, so I told myself I was too busy helping him out and going to doctor appointments. This summer, with the kids out of school, I told myself I just couldn't get anything accomplished while they were running in and out of the house all day. I did at least clean out our closets this summer. I thought, just maybe, we would win the lottery and I could hire a housekeeper, LOL! Well, it looks like that's not going to happen and no secret-cleaning-fairy is going to come tidy up while we are sleeping. So, I must resign myself to taking care of it once and for all. When the kids start back to school, I'm going to go all Monica Gellar and get down to business. I want to try and tackle one room or area per day and I'm giving myself the entire month of August to get everything done (hey, I work at a slow pace and need lots of blogging breaks). Wish me luck!

What about you? Do you loathe spring cleaning as much as I do? How do you get motivated?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rubbermaid Reveal Spray Mop - Review and Giveaway

~This Giveaway Is Now Closed~

Rubbermaid invited me to try out their new Reveal Spray Mop. The Reveal Mop kit includes the lower and upper mop assembly, 3 microfiber pads, and 2 refillable bottles.

The Rubbermaid Reveal Spray Mop helps the average user save up to $50 per year vs. the leading spray mop. Here's how the mop works and cleans while saving you money:

Save more and waste less
- Wash and reuse the durable microfiber cleaning pad up to 100 times
- With no need for batteries or refills, you'll save money and time with fewer errands

Choose your own solution - it's your floor, clean it your way
- Just mix two TBSP of your favorite cleaning solution with water in the refillable bottle, close the cap, and click it into the mop
- Control the amount of solution you dispense by putting a little or a lot of pressure on the trigger. Spray a little for a small spill and a lot for tougher messes.

Brilliantly clean - microfiber makes the difference
- Microfibers are ultra-thin fibers that grab onto dirt and grime and hold on tight, leaving you an amazingly clean floor
- The wide, thick microfiber pad reaches deep into cracks and crevices to pick up 50% more dirt than traditional sponge mops
- The microfiber pad doesn't just get floors cleaner, it even helps them dry faster so you can get on with your day

My Review
I have to admit that cleaning floors is one of those chores that I really dread. We have hardwood floors and also ceramic tile, so I was anxious to try out this mop on both types of surfaces. I placed two TBSP of my favorite eco-friendly general cleaning cream and hot water in the refillable bottle. I then used the Reveal Spray Mop to clean the hardwood floors in my entry foyer and the ceramic tile in my master bathroom. Honestly, I was very impressed with the job this mop did on both areas.
Here's what I loved:
 - mop was easy to assemble and operate
 - refillable bottles allow me to use cleaning solution of my choice
 - with two bottles, I can have two different cleaning solutions on hand based on what type floor I'm cleaning
 - my floors were clean and streak-free
 - there was no sticky residue left on my floors
 - microfiber pads are a good size, allowing larger area to be mopped w/each swipe
 - my kids thought the mop was "cool" and actually wanted to use it
 - best of all, my floors dried very quickly!
 - There weren't really any cons to this product. The only thing I will mention is you need to use a little caution with the spray trigger. My first couple of sprays were a little too vigorous and I ended up spraying a little bit of the cleaning solution on my wall. This was totally user-error on my part; a lighter finger on the trigger eliminated that problem.

Overall, I'm very pleased with the performance of the Rubbermaid Reveal Spray Mop. It will definitely become a regular tool in my cleaning routine.

The Rubbermaid Reveal Spray mop is currently available for purchase online for $29.99 plus shipping & handling, or, you can find it at The Home Depot. It will also be available at WalMart and Target in August.

Rubbermaid has generously offered to give one of my blog readers their own Rubbermaid Reveal Spray Mop kit. To enter this giveaway, you must be a follower of this blog. Simply comment below telling me that you follow and in what area of your home you would like to use the Reveal Spray Mop.

Extra Entries: You may earn extra entries for doing any or each of the following (leave separate comment for each thing you do)
1) Follow @Rubbermaid on twitter  (comment with your twitter name)
2) Follow Me on twitter (comment with your twitter name)
3) Tweet about this giveaway w/link to this post 1x daily (leave your tweet link)
4) Visit and join their Rubbermaid Club to receive special email/mail offers
5) Subscribe to my blog via email (see sidebar)

You may enter this giveaway until 10:00 PM EST August 3, 2010. A random winner will be chosen from all eligible entries on August 4, 2010. Please make sure I have valid contact information for you in case you are the winner. This giveaway is only open to residents of the U.S. and Canada.

Rubbermaid provided me with a free Reveal Spray Mop Kit for review. They are also providing a Reveal Spray Mop Kit for giveaway to one of my blog readers. Product information used in this post was provided by Rubbermaid. All opinions on this product and it's performance are my own.

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Black Irish

I happened to come across this movie the other day while I was flipping through the tv channels. It's a moving family drama that immediately drew me into the story. Michael Angarano is terrific as teenage Cole McKay - trying to figure out his life while he and his dysfunctional family all struggle with their own problems.

Rated R for some language and brief violence

Monday, July 26, 2010

25 Useless Bits Of Information About Me

1)   I loathe hot weather
2)   I usually drink about 2-5 cups of black coffee per day
3)   When I flip through a magazine or newspaper, I start from the back. I don't know why.
4)   I think dusting is the worst household chore
5)   I have 396 movies in my Netflix queue
6)   Feet gross me out
7)   4 and 7 are my favorite numbers
8)   Gray is my favorite color
9)   I get carsick very easily
10) I love Christmas-time
11) The Sound of Music is one of my very favorite movies
12) I lack patience
13) I regret that I didn't go away to college; I stayed at home & went to community college
14) I love peanut butter pie
15) I think Rick Leventhal of Fox News Channel is the hottest news journalist around
16) When I was young I wanted to be a flight attendant or an archaeologist
17) My middle name is Elizabeth
18) I have my hair colored every 4 weeks
19) I can type very fast
20) I never pumped my own gas until about two years ago
21) I have never cut grass (except for one time my husband made me try cutting just one strip of grass)
22) Yes, I had a somewhat sheltered life
23) I love early American history, especially around the time of the American Revolution
24) I love to listen to conservative talk radio
25) Sometimes I'm lazy

Your turn...tell me some useless bit of information about yourself.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Enter To Win - 3 Month Membership To Weight Watchers

My 365 to a Size 5

I just wanted to let you know about a great giveaway going on over at My 365 To A Size 5 (isn't that a great blog name!).  Head over to her blog and read her Weight Watchers review. Then, enter for a chance to win a 3 month online membership to Weight Watchers Momentum Program. You have until July 29, 2010 to enter. Good luck!

Photo Updates

I thought I would share some of our recent photos...

this is my daughter at her 8th grade graduation (she's the one with the brown & white v-neck sundress)

this is me with our oldest at his JR Class Ring Ceremony

His class ring

me and my daughter about to head out to the midnight premier of Eclipse

4th of July fun

this was the last photo I took with my dad; it was about ten days before he passed away

Friday, July 23, 2010

Aloha Friday - Celebrity Crush

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So, on Fridays we can take it easy on blog posting, too.

I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, visit An Island Life where you can link up with your own question and also visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

Who is your celebrity crush?

I've always had a thing for the "bad boy" rocker types like Anthony Kiedis of The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots (in his earlier days). Something about the tattoos, the poetic lyrics, and running around wildly on stage half-naked....*sigh*

PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 08:  Anthony Kiedis of The...

Then, there are the more classic types that I also love like Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr.

Ok, it's your turn. Fess up, who's your celebrity crush?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

CSN Stores - $60 Gift Certificate GIVEAWAY

-This Giveaway Is Now Closed-

With over 200 stores, CSN Stores is the perfect online shopping source for purchasing anything from a new bedroom vanity

to high-quality name brand cookware

to treadmills

You may remember that I recently had the opportunity to review a product from CSN Stores and was very impressed with their selection and service. They offer hassle free returns and free shipping on many items. You will find so many of the brands you love at CSN Stores, such as Cuisinart, Lego, Pyrex, Moen, Fisher Price, Armstrong, Bissell, Serta, Bowflex, and many more.

Now, CSN Stores has kindly offered a $60 Gift Certificate to one of my lucky blog readers. The winner may use the one-time gift certificate to make a purchase from any of the 200+ stores at

To enter this giveaway simply leave a comment letting me know that you follow my blog via Google Friend Connect. This is mandatory and must be done to enter.

Extra entries: you may earn extra entries for doing any or each of the following (leave a separate comment for each thing you do):

1) Follow me on twitter - you must show your twitter ID in comment
2) Tweet about giveaway 1x daily including link to this post - you must show link to your tweet in comment
3) Subscribe to my blog via email (see sidebar)
4) Visit CSN Stores and tell me what you might choose to buy
5) Blog about this giveaway including link to this post

This giveaway is only open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. Entries will be accepted until 11:00 PM EST on July 27, 2010. A random winner will be chosen from all eligible comments on July 28, 2010. Please make sure I have valid contact information in case you are the winner.

In exchange for me posting a link to their store, CSN Stores is providing a one-time use $60 Gift Certificate to one reader of Alas 3 Lads. I did not receive any compensation for this post and have expressed my own opinions.

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Chocolat

I love this movie! Love it! It's such a great story - sad, sweet, funny, mystical...

Rated PG-13 for a scene of sensuality and some violence.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


This weekend I took a girls trip with my mom and sister. We went to the charming town of Franklin, Tennessee (it was awesome, loads of wonderful shops and restaurants; I will blog more about the trip later). Anyway, we were in Borders Book Store. We were browsing near the front of the store when a gentleman walked in and asked the salesclerk for some assistance.... "where's your psychopath section?" he asked.  I'm not sure what he was looking for exactly, but, that was one of the strangest things I have ever heard.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Aloha Friday - Favorite Cartoon


Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So, on Fridays we can take it easy on blog posting, too.

I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, visit An Island Life where you can link up with your own question and also visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

What's your favorite cartoon that you remember watching as a child?

I loved getting up on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons. It was something I looked forward to all week as a kid. A few of my favorites were The Flinstones, The Jetsons, Pink Panther, and The Smurfs. What about you?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Oh hey, let's shop! - Cool Traveler

Corrin over at Oh hey, what's up? has a fun little feature that she does every week called Oh hey, let's shop! You can go window shopping and share the finds that inspired you. Then, head over to her site to link up your post. This is my first time participating. I think because it's so hot (we may reach 98 today) and I'm too broke to actually go anywhere, I'm dreaming about cool comfy outfits and taking a trip....

Out and AboutFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bacardi U.S.A. And The USO Celebrate The Troops With "Salute to Summer's Best 60 Second Cocktails!"

With backyard parties and picnics in the park in full swing, Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. and the USO encourage Americans to take a moment from their summer entertaining to toast the U.S. troops. Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. and the USO introduce the “Salute to Summer’s Best 60 Second Cocktails” program, which gives consumers simple cocktail and grilling recipes to take the stress out of entertaining. The program also provides American citizens with an easy way to support and remember our military heroes at home and abroad while celebrating this summer.

Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. has committed to donate $75,000 to the USO at the onset of summer, with consumers (21+) able to increase the total donation amount to a maximum of $100,000 through their participation in the program via the “60 Second Cocktails” Facebook fan page. Each time a new fan of the program joins the “60 Second Cocktails” Facebook fan page, Bacardi U.S.A. will increase its donation to the USO by $1. The fan page will host an online copy of the program recipe book, additional recipe information and interactive mixology videos.

Celebrated chef and former soldier John Besh and mixologist and former soldier Bryan Stowe create easy summer entertaining recipes and cocktails that encourage Americans to give back to the troops while celebrating this summer.

Here are two sample 60 Second Cocktail recipes to get you started -

GREY GOOSE® Fresh Berry Lemonade

1 ½ parts GREY GOOSE Vodka
Fresh-squeezed lemonade
5 raspberries
1 tsp. sugar
Directions: In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, muddle raspberries with sugar. Pour into a tall glass over ice. Top with GREY GOOSE vodka and lemonade. Present with raspberries and a lemon.


½ part fresh-squeezed lemon juice
¾ part simple syrup
3 parts club soda
Directions: Pour first three ingredients into a Collins glass with ice and stir. Add more ice, top with club soda and stir well once more. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

It only takes 60 seconds to make a cocktail, 10 minutes to pair it with a gourmet meal and only 1 second to gain access to it all! Show your support for our troops by checking it out and becoming a fan of the “Salute to Summer’s Best 60 Second Cocktail” Facebook page.

No compensation was received for this post. It is a public service message posted to help spread the word about the "Salute To Summer's Best 60 Second Cocktails" program in conjunction with Bacardi U.S.A.,Inc. and The USO.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Movie Trailer Tuesday - An Education

From Netflix:

Jenny's (Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan) Oxford-bound teen life is a bore in 1961 London until she's given a different kind of education after being immersed in the beguiling but hazardous world of much-older David (Peter Sarsgaard). Even Jenny's parents, Jack (Alfred Molina) and Marjorie (Cara Seymour), are intrigued by him, but her unimpressed teacher (Olivia Williams) works to keep Jenny's entire future from crumbling under David's influence.

This was a lovely little story - romantic and clever. The 1960's London setting was so chic and I thought both Peter Sarsgaard and Carey Mulligan played their parts perfectly.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Aloha Friday - Secret Money

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So, on Fridays we can take it easy on blog posting, too.

I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, visit An Island Life where you can link up with your own question and also visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

Yesterday, I was reading an online article on WalletPop called Reasons why you may want to close a bank account or two.  The article itself was interesting enough, but, one statistic that I read really surprised me. It said that a recent survey "found that 15% of married couples will admit they have a bank account that their spouse doesn't know about." I'm not sure where this survey came from or the validity of it, but, it got me thinking - which leads me to this week's questions:

1)Do you have a secret bank account that your spouse or significant other doesn't know about?

2)Would you be upset to discover that your spouse or significant other had a secret bank account that you didn't know about?

I do not have any secret bank accounts. However, we do have an account that we've never really used (it was one of those things that we had to open with a loan or something to get a better rate - my husband never used the account). That's where I put any survey/sweepstakes/rebate or Swagbucks money that I get. At any given time, there's maybe $100-$200 in that account that he technically probably doesn't know about. I mostly use it for emergency cash (ex. gas money, school lunch money, etc). What I really like to do is let it accumulate until the fall, then I take the money and use it for Christmas shopping. So, yes, I have a little secret cash stash, but, I do not use it for any kind of "secret" purposes.

After saying that, I would be very upset if I found out that he had a secret bank account. Even though I have my little secret money stash, I wouldn't want him to have one (I know, I know...that's totally unfair of me, but I'm just being honest). Besides, my husband is notorious for not keeping his checkbook updated and balanced - if he had a secret account, it would probably be a mess.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

If you have a surfer-girl beach-themed room and a Shelby, this is for you

This is probably a long-shot, but, if you happen to have a daughter (or other girl in the family) named Shelby, and she has a surfer-girl/beach-themed room, then you may be able to use these decorative letters.

Years ago, when my daughter was about 4 years old, we did her bedroom in this theme. I custom ordered these letters from someone on ebay. They were hand-painted with cute little beachy-ocean themed pictures and in colors that matched her Pottery Barn Kids bedding. They hung on her wall for a couple years. When we moved, she decided to change her room decor and so the letters were boxed up and have been sitting in my closet for the last several years.

 I think we paid somewhere around $75 for the letters. If they happen to work for anyone, I would sell them to you for $25, including shipping. We just no longer have any use for them. They are so adorable and well-done, I hate for them not to be in use. Send me an email if you are interested (see sidebar for my email). You can click on each picture to see a little more detail.

Flashback 80's Music Video - Something About You

I was in middle and high school during the 1980's. I have such great memories of the music and watching MTV (back when they just played good old school music videos). Here's a flashback - one of my favorites that I still listen to on my iPod today. Who remembers this one?

Something About You
- Level 42

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Man In The Moon

From Netflix:

Setting the scene in a sleepy small town in 1950s Louisiana, this coming-of-age drama follows tomboy Dani Trant (Reese Witherspoon in her film debut) as the 14-year-old tries to cope with her budding sensuality and a rivalry with her older sister, Maureen (Emily Warfield). Trouble begins when the siblings both fall for their dreamy new neighbor, Court (Jason London), who flirts with Dani but has real feelings for Maureen.

Very sweet and tender film. A young Reese Witherspoon gives a great performance. Rated PG-13

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Letter

Dear Hollister stores,

My daughter and I were in one of your stores the other day. It was her birthday and we went shopping to buy her some new summer clothes. Your store fit the bill almost perfectly....very cute clothes, very beautiful people working in your store, and rockin' music to listen to while we shop. But, while we are on the subject of music, can I just ask one tiny favor? Could you turn it down, just a little? I mean, I'm not some fuddy-duddy old lady that doesn't appreciate some rockin' music. As a matter of fact, I really do love the music you play in your store. I've even went so far as to visit your website and check out your play list so that I can put some of the tunes on my iPod. (The Evil Woman remix with Mike Posner rocks!) But, the music in your store was sooo loud that I couldn't even hear what the hot, young sales guy was saying to me. He might have been complimenting my smile or my hair. He might have been asking for my number. I wouldn't know.  I couldn't hear him over the blaring techno beats of your music. So, I just smiled and nodded at him like an idiot.

And, I lied. I'm not only asking for one tiny favor, there's really two.  It's too dark in your store. I'm sure you think that makes your store cool and sexy and mysterious. But, could you add just a little more light, right after you turn down the music? More light means I can better appreciate your cute clothes and beautiful salespeople. And, I won't trip and fall, looking like a dork. Okay? Turn down the music. Add a little light. Otherwise, you're doing a great job!

Have a nice day!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

~Wishing everyone a happy and safe 4th of July weekend~

Share Some Stuff Saturday

I'm dreaming of a Rocky Mountaineer trip. Go to the site and watch the video. The scenery is breath-taking and the food and accommodations look amazing...what a unique adventure it would be! I think they should give my husband and I a complimentary trip for our 20th anniversary next year. I would gladly blog all about it;o)

Have you heard of Gigi's Cupcakes? Maybe you have a franchise near you. We have one in Louisville and they have a wonderful selection of delicious cupcakes - and they are so pretty! The cupcakes are so big (really too big, I can never eat a whole one). It would be great if they sold mini cupcakes. Check out just a sampling of the yummy flavors: Apple Spice & Everything Nice, Chocolate Turtle, Hunka Chunka Banana Love, Key Lime, Pink Lemonade, Spumoni, Texas Milk Chocolate, Tiramisu, and many more. Each day they have a special menu of cupcakes.

You have to see these pictures of a Twilight-themed dinner party, posted over at the Hostess With The Mostess blog. Very neat! I especially love the cake.

Here's a fun and addicting little word game called Eight Letters In Search Of A Word. Perfect for you to play if you're bored or if you are procrastinating from things you should really be doing.

You know the saying "those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones"...or something like that?  Well, here's a real glass house. I hope no one throws stones at it. It's pretty cool looking. I'm just not sure if I could take a bubble bath in a glass house. Just sayin'

Look at these amazing sand sculptures. Wow!

Have a happy Saturday!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Aloha Friday - Best and Worst Qualities

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So, on Fridays we can take it easy on blog posting, too.

I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, visit An Island Life where you can link up with your own question and also visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

Tell me your best quality or character trait....and your worst

My best quality is probably that I'm very considerate and caring. My worst? It's a toss-up - either my lack of patience or that I'm not very assertive.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July weekend!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cougar, Get Away!

The other day, my husband and our 17 yr. old son were in an office building waiting for the elevator. A lady, around 45-55 yrs. old, came up and was also waiting at the elevator. She was going up, my guys were going down. When the elevator doors opened she started to get on the elevator, but paused and looked my son up and down. She then proceeded to say, to my son, "You are sexy! You are SOO sexy!" Then she got on the elevator and went on her way.

My husband said he and my son both looked around, but there was clearly no one else anywhere nearby. She was definitely talking to my son, and she was totally serious. My son was embarrassed. My husband was speechless. That's crazy! All I can say is, "Cougar, get away from my boy!"