Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mama's Holiday Wish List Meme and Gamestop GIVEAWAY Entry

TodaysMama and Gamestop are having a ginormous giveaway! The prizes include an XBOX 360 250 GB with Kinect, a Nintendo Red Wii Bundle, Nintendo Red DSi XL Bundles, plus a ONE THOUSAND DOLLAR Gamestop gift card. Awesome, right? To enter the contest you simply just answer and post Mama's Holiday Wish List Meme on your blog or Facebook and then add your link to the contest linky. Visit Today's Mama to join in.

Here's my Holiday Wish List Meme entry:

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?To have less stress and more happiness in the new year.

2. What is your Christmas morning / Hanukkah Nightly tradition?Our kids usually wake us up around 5 or 6 a.m. and we all gather around the tree to see what Santa left for us. Then we usually have a quick and easy breakfast of muffins or cinnamon rolls. In the afternoon, we head over to have a big Christmas dinner and present-opening at my husband's family's house.

3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?
A brand new dark gray Chevy Tahoe

4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?We have Christmas music playing all the time and let the kids help decorate our home.

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

6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?Not wrapping presents that are from Santa - he simply takes them out of his bag and places them under the tree;o)

7. Where would you go for a Christmas/Hanukkah-away-from-home trip?New York City

8. Check out GameStop and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year?
1. XBOX 360 Wireless Controller
2. XBOX 360 Your Shape Fitness Evolved
3. XBOX 360 Kinectimals

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Chicken Soup for the Soul - Think Positive

I'm a big fan of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. They are always full of uplifting stories. I especially like that these collections of short stories are something that I can pick up and read anytime I have a few extra minutes. The Chicken Soup books never fail to entertain - they make me laugh and cry and fill me with inspiration.

One of the latest in the series is called Think Positive - 101 Inspirational Stories about Counting Your Blessings and Having a Positive Attitude. 

With a foreword from Deborah Norville, you will be introduced to real-life stories by people just like me and you. These stories will help remind you to:
  • make every day a special day
  • incorporate gratitude and joy into your daily life
  • count your blessings and change your outlook
  • simplify and have a more meaningful life
  • learn to find the silver lining in every situation
  • turn adversity into opportunity
  • ...and much more
Pick up a copy for yourself or someone special. The Chicken Soup for the Soul books always make a thoughtful gift and this edition, in particular, would be a great way to kick off the New Year.

Chicken Soup for the Soul provided me with a free copy of this book for review. No other compensation was received besides the free book. All opinions expressed are my own.

World's Best Origami Book Giveaway - WINNER

The randomly selected winner of the World's Best Origami book giveaway is:


I will contact you shortly via email to get your mailing information.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

I Am Thankful

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas Shopping Frenzy

I cannot believe how quickly Christmas-time is approaching. I have spent the last week or so trying to get a bunch of Christmas shopping done, but feel like I still have so much to do. Last night, I had a dream that it was Christmas Eve and we were hosting my family's get-together and right when everyone was about to sit down to open gifts, I suddenly realized I had forgotten to buy presents for anyone. I panicked and told my 17 yr. old son to go to Walgreens and buy gift cards for everyone. He returned with gift cards that were not even activated. Yikes, What a nightmare! I think I need to get down to some serious shopping so that I can mark everyone off my list and take off some of the stress I'm feeling.

Of course, I know the season is not all about the presents. But, I get a lot of joy out of giving to others and it's fun to choose gifts that you think your loved ones will enjoy. This will be our first Christmas without my Dad (he passed away in May) so it's going to be especially difficult. My mom is already having a hard time anticipating Christmas without him. I think she has turned to Christmas shopping as a way to take her mind off her grief. Not only has she finished all her Christmas shopping, but, she's bought some very nice, almost over-the-top gifts. Needless to say, my kids are going to be very surprised at what they unwrap from Grandma this year. On the flip side, I feel like it's going to hit my Mom really hard as soon as the holidays are over and she's probably going to find herself in a very blue mood. Hopefully we can all be there for her and help her through.

What about you? Have you started shopping yet? Do you feel alot of stress about getting your holiday shopping done?  Will you be going out on Black Friday?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Book Review and GIVEAWAY - World's Best Origami by Nick Robinson

Remember folding paper into a hand-held fortune teller, paper airplane or secret note square? Whether a fortune teller novice or a seasoned paper-folding expert, the new book World's Best Origami (Alpha Books, November 2010, $19.95) challenges readers with more than 100 of the most unique and best-loved origami patterns ever created.

Professional origami artist, Nick Robinson, guides readers through the process of folding paper. Projects are rated from beginner to advanced and include everything from the traditional swan and poppy box to truly amazing pieces such as a geodetic tower and a jet plane! Each diagram is clearly displayed with easy-to-understand folding instructions for a perfect outcome every time.

About the Author: Nick Robinson (London, England, UK) is a professional origami artist and author who has been folding paper for 30 years. A member of the British Origami Society who edits its magazine and maintains its website, Nick has written over 30 books on origami, as well as numerous articles, and done several commercial and charitable origami commissions involving origami and paper art over the last 20 years. Nick has created several hundred original designs and teaches origami in schools, arts centers, and many other venues.

We recently had the opportunity to review this book. I knew that it would be a big hit with my 12 yr. old son, who is constantly making paper airplanes. The book is set up in chapters based on such themes as Birds, Animals, Flowers, Containers, People, etc. The beginning section of the book covers Origami Basics. Each project has a difficulty level which ranges from 1-5. The instructions show and tell you step by step how to create each piece. While I found the process to be a little intimidating and difficult, my husband and son were able to follow the directions and make several of the projects. They had fun working on them together and it was nice to see them spending time on such a creative activity.

My favorite project is the Angel (which is a difficulty level 5); it's quite stunning and that's the next project my husband and son are going to tackle. Other projects include an elephant, fancy swan, whales tale, French Fries Bag, 3D Heart, Freising Plane, Star Box, and many, many more cool and fun shapes. I was amazed at how many things could be created by folding paper, from basic shapes to intricate designs. This is such a neat book and I especially think it would make an excellent Christmas gift. It would be appropriate for many people on your list - from your husband to older kids and teens to anyone who enjoys creative arts & crafts.

One lucky reader will win a copy of this book, World's Best Origami by Nick Robinson. Giveaway is open only to U.S. residents. You may enter until 10:00 pm EST November 26, 2010. At that time, one random winner will be chosen from all eligible comments.

To enter - do any or each of the following (leave a separate comment for each thing you do):

1. Follow my blog via GFC (see sidebar)
2. Subscribe to my blog via email (see sidebar)
3. Follow @alas3lads on twitter
4. Tweet this message 1x daily (must leave your tweet link in comment):

Book review and #giveaway - World's Best Origami (great Christmas gift idea!). Visit @alas3lads to enter http://tinyurl.com/27s8b5x


Wilks Communications provided me with a free copy of this book as well as information used in this post. They are also providing a copy of this book for giveaway to one of my blog readers. No other compensation was received besides the free book. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Product Review - Qwik Shower Gym Class Wipes

Let's face it, kids (especially boys) can often get pretty stinky. As a mom to three boys and one girl, I know this first hand. Maybe it's after they've come in from a game of basketball or kickball. Or, maybe it's after they've been rolling around on the floor wrestling with each other. You can often hear me telling my boys, "You need a shower, you have stinky-boy-smell!"  But, often a shower just isn't feasible. So, I was happy to hear about a product called Qwik Shower Gym Class Wipes.

Qwik Shower Gym Class Wipes are individually wrapped body wipes which can be used to clean and refresh the entire body. They are a large 10" x 12" size and made of a resilient cloth-like material. They leave a slight fresh scent and are a quick and easy way to help eliminate embarrassing body odor and grime. Aloe Vera extract protects and revitalizes the skin. The wipes are economical, starting at just 49 cents each.

We were able to try out the Qwik Shower Gym Class Wipes. I like them because they are convenient and portable. Since they are small, individually wrapped packages, we can tuck them in a purse or backpack and take them with us; great for my kids to take to school and use after gym class. The scent was nice, not strong or overpowering at all and the wipes did leave our skin feeling fresh. The wipes are not just for kids. Adults can use them as well. Take them along on a hiking or fishing outing, sports activity, or any outdoor activity where you might not immediately be able to get a shower.

For more information, please visit http://www.qwikshower.com/

About My Kids Stink, LLC

Based in Olney, MD, My Kids Stink, LLC was founded by Harvey Metro, a father of three active boys who loathed smelling the half-dozen stinky and sweaty teens who crammed in his car after school, practices and games. This ongoing problem prompted Harvey to create QwikShower Wipes - an affordable, environmentally friendly portable shower alternative suitable for kids and adults, alike. For more information about QwikShower Wipes visit http://www.qwikshower.com/.

Disclaimer:I received free samples of Qwik Shower Gym Class Wipes to try out with my family. No compensation was received other than the free product. All opinions are my own.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Opposite Day - Family Friendly DVD WINNER

Thanks to all that stopped by to enter the Opposite Day DVD giveaway. The randomly selected winning commenter is...

Marianna said...
I follow you on twitter @mannabsn
November 13, 2010 9:48 PM

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2010-11-15 12:05:43 UTC

Thursday, November 11, 2010

CSN Stores - Product Review Coming Soon

CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find anything you need whether it be cookware, children's luggage or even cute shoes! I have shopped with CSN Stores several times in the past and have always been very happy with my experience. From their vast selection of name-brand products to the free shipping that they offer on most items, CSN Stores is truly a great place to shop.

Once again, CSN Stores has generously invited me to work with them on a blogging promotion. Stay tuned and watch for my upcoming CSN Stores product review. And, if you haven't shopped with CSN Stores before, I encourage you to head over there now and check it out! You're sure to find something that's on your holiday shopping list.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Opposite Day - Family Friendly DVD GIVEAWAY

If you thought Friday was freaky, get ready for…Opposite Day! When a child’s wish collides with a strange science experiment, adults and kids unwittingly swap places, resulting in a chaotic and comical world with no bedtimes, bullies or rules! The hysterical hi-jinks come to life in Opposite Day, a brand-new feature-length film directed by R. Michael Givens and produced by Steven Paul’s Crystal Sky Pictures, starring funnyman Pauly Shore and a top team of talent.

In the side-splitting new comedy, 9-year-old Sammy (Billy Unger) and his 8-year-old sister Carla (Ariel Winter) go on vacation with their grandparents when their overworked parents are unable to take them. Feeling bitter about his mom and dad (Colleen Crabtree and Pauly Shore) not being around, Sammy wishes kids ruled the world – but he soon learns to be careful what you wish for…! When a kooky experiment goes wildly wrong, making Sammy's dream a reality, the kids quickly learn that being in charge is not all child’s play!

Featuring a standout cast, including Dick Van Patten (“Eight Is Enough,” The Santa Trap), Dylan Cash (“General Hospital”), Rico Rodriguez (“Modern Family”), Emily Everhard (Jack and the Beanstalk), with Renee Taylor (“The Nanny”), and French Stewart (“3rd Rock From the Sun”), Opposite Day is a feel-good film that will have kids and parents alike appreciating their respective roles – and each other!

My kids and I had the opportunity to review this DVD. It's a cute story that made us laugh. We all cracked up watching the zany antics of kids parading around as adults and vice versa. I really appreciate that it's a totally family-friendly movie that we were able to enjoy together.

One lucky Alas 3 Lads reader will win a free Opposite Day DVD. Entries accepted until 10:00 pm EST on 11-14-10. One random winner will be chosen from all eligible comments. Giveaway only open to U.S. residents.

To enter, do any or each of the following:
1. Follow my blog via GFC (see sidebar)
2. Subscribe to my blog via email (see sidebar)
3. Follow me on Twitter
4. Tweet the following message (1x daily - must leave link to your tweet)

DVD #giveaway - enter to #win the kid & family friendly movie Opposite Day; visit @alas3lads http://tinyurl.com/2euvqwe 11/14

This post was written in conjunction with Grand Communications. They provided me with a free DVD for review as well as information used in this post. No compensation was received other than the free DVD. They are also providing a DVD for giveaway to one of my blog readers. Opinions expressed are my own.

Movie Trailer Tuesday - The Pacific (HBO)

Some of you may have caught this miniseries when it aired on HBO earlier this year. If not, you can now check it out on DVD. It's an epic drama that follows three World War II marines through battles in Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. This miniseries is based on the memoirs of two of these marines - Eugene Sledge and Robert Leckie. I love period pieces that focus on American history. This particular era in time is one that I don't know a lot about, so, I really learned a lot from watching. It truly makes you appreciate the sacrifices that were made during this time. It's a moving and heart-wrenching series that I highly recommend. And, while the main focus is on the war, that's not all there is. You get a lot of in-depth insight into the personal lives of these young men - their families, their loves, their bond with each other, etc. A must-see for sure!

This movie is NR. There is language, sexual content, and war violence.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I Love SwagBucks

Search & Win

Are you earning Swagbucks? If not, you should be. It's a no-brainer easy way to earn free prizes.

I have talked about Swagbucks before, but, just wanted to take another opportunity to do so again. Swagbucks.com is an online portal dedicated to helping you earn digital dollars called "Swag Bucks", which can be redeemed for exclusive Swagbucks.com merchandise and/or gift cards. Earn Swag Bucks periodically by taking part in easy activities, some of which you already do everyday (such as searching the web, finding Swag codes, shopping online, and more). Earn at your own pace and then redeem your Swag Bucks for free reward items in the Swag Store. Best of all, it's free to join.

I joined Swagbucks earlier this year and have already cashed in swagbucks several times for paypal cash. Some of the popular prizes are Amazon gift cards (it only takes 450 Swagbucks to get a $5 Amazon card - easy!), Starbucks gift cards, iTunes gift cards, and my favorite, Paypal cash (700 Swagbucks = $5 paypal cash).

I only earn swagbucks using the free ways to earn, but, there are special offers that you can sign up for and participate in if you wish. It's all very easy and fun. If you want to learn more, check out my referral link at Swagbucks.com for the details.

*This post contains my Swagbucks referral link

Aloha Friday - I Wouldn't Want To Live Without...

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday, hosted by Kailani over at An Island Life. 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!

Name one food that you love and would never want to live without?

I would have to say cheeseburgers! I know, not the healthiest of choices, but I love 'em. With lots of mustard and pickles.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

10 Random Links That I Have Bookmarked

Sometimes I get bookmarking crazy. What I mean by this is I'll come across a site or article that interests me, but I don't have time to thoroughly check it out right then, so I bookmark it into my Favorites list. Before I know it, my Favorites list is out of control and I never end up going back to actually view those sites that interested me in the first place. Tonight, I decided to delve into my never-ending list of Favorites and see what's there and share some of them with you. Maybe there will be something that peaks your interest, too. Here are 10 of my totally random bookmarked links:

1.   Ever Considered a Roving Dinner Party?  - I always thought this sounded like such a fun idea. I think I was researching it and considering doing this with some neighbors.

2.   List of Great Book Recommendations from Flashlight Worthy - such a vast list!

3.   Adorable, free holiday labels from orange you lucky!

4.   10 Healing Herbs Used In Teas

5.   Free Menu Planning Forms from the project girl

6.   10 Google Video Documentaries You Have To Watch - this is something I REALLY wanted to check out and I forgot all about it because it was buried so deep in my Favorites list

7.   15 Unusual and Creative Bus Stops - I love quirky stuff like this!

8.   Crock Pot Chicken Recipes - I really need to use my crock pot more often

9.   Some Interesting Facts About Iceland

10. Winter Weather Safety

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day

Today, I exercised my right and my privilege to vote! Did you?

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Mercy

From Netflix:
A pessimistic writer who's never known true love struggles to pen a novel that captures that puzzling emotion's all-consuming nature. While hunting for inspiration, the author falls for Mercy (Wendy Glenn), a woman who drastically alters his outlook on life. Scott Caan writes and stars in this enthralling romance that co-stars his father, James Caan, as well as Erika Christensen, Dylan McDermott and Troy Garity.

I'm a big fan of both James Caan and his son, Scott Caan. Despite some of the negative reviews I read on Netflix, I was eager to watch this movie. I thought it was a beautiful, but sad, love story. I liked the way the scenes went back and forth between the past and present, letting you piece things together for yourself. I loved the interactions between the guys; their friendships seemed real and believable. It was a tender story and I loved Scott Caan's performance.

The film is NR. There is language, nudity, and sexual content.