Sunday, July 31, 2011

Swag Code Extravaganza on Monday

On Monday, is having a Swag Code Extravaganza! This means multiple swag codes will be offered throughout the entire day. If you are lucky enough to get all the codes, you can snag an extra 50 Swag Bucks.

In case you aren't familiar with the Swagbucks site, it's an online portal dedicated to helping you earn digital dollars called "Swag Bucks", which can be redeemed for exclusive merchandise and gift cards. Swag Codes are strings of text that you can apply for instant Swag Bucks. Swag Codes can appear anywhere, and at any time, throughout the Swag Bucks network. I have been on Swagbucks for over a year now and love it because it's so easy. My favorite thing to redeem my swag bucks for are Amazon gift cards and I've earned many over the last year. Sign up for free at and start earning today!

This post contains my Swagbucks referral link. I was not compensated in any way for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Aloha Friday - Character Trait

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!

What character trait makes you really dislike someone?...

I would say being fake or phoney is a trait that really makes me dislike someone

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I'm Going Under...


Thursday I will be undergoing outpatient surgery to correct my deviated nasal septum (septoplasty). Wish me luck and keep your fingers crossed and all that good stuff because I'm terrified of being put to sleep. I've had nasal congestion and problems breathing through my nose for years. Nighttime is the worst - I have learned to literally fall asleep with my hand pulling at my face to keep my nasal airway more open. (I'm sure this is not what they mean when they say "beauty sleep" but instead will cause me to have premature wrinkles). Anyway, I don't expect it to be anything major and will hopefully be up and at 'em in a day or so. Talk to ya soon!


20th Anniversary

Today is our 20th wedding anniversary! Half of my lifetime has been spent with my husband. To say "20 years" sounds like such a long time but in some ways it also just doesn't seem possible. So many things have happened in those 20 years...we've been blessed with four wonderful kids, owned four houses, we've owned seven different vehicles, had three pets, lost 5 grandparents and 1 parent and 1 pregnancy, we've laughed and cried and fought and loved. I'm truly lucky to have such a giving and caring partner!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Nicholas Nickleby

You know how I love a good Victorian period piece and Charles Dickens' stories are among my favorites. This 2002 version of Nicholas Nickleby is a wonderful adaptation with a terrific ensemble cast (including hottie Charlie Hunnam, who I'm currently loving in Sons of Anarchy on the FX Channel). If you're into these kind of classic tales, then you'll want to check this one out.

Rated PG

Monday, July 25, 2011

Collecting - Vintage Enamel Flower Brooches

I haven't really been a collector of anything since I was young (my mom started a collection of vintage books for me when I was little) and while I still love old books, I stopped collecting them long ago. But, through the years, I've always wanted to find something that inspired me to once again start collecting. One place that I always enjoy "window shopping" is Etsy. I'm particularly drawn to and could spend hours perusing items in the vintage category. I especially love to look at all the vintage jewelry. When I started seeing these colorful, vibrant enamel flower brooches from the 1950's-1960's, I knew I had found my thing.

I've only been at it for a few months, but so far I have six of these gorgeous brooches. I love that they are small and won't take up a lot of space. They're relatively inexpensive (most of these were $20 or less). And, they are so pretty and colorful that they really make a statement when you have a bunch of them displayed together.

I found this really neat jewelry box at Pottery Barn - I just removed the jewelry tray and wah-lah! It became the perfect display case for my brooches. I can't wait to fill it up with more. I seem to be fixated on blue pins thus far, but I do intend on getting some other colored brooches to brighten up my collection.

What about you? Do you have something that you collect? Or, is there something that you would like to start collecting?


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ebates - Where It Pays To Shop Online

For quite awhile, I had been hearing other bloggers talk about Ebates. I wasn't entirely sure what it was, but I knew it involved some kind of shopping reward site. Frankly, I never felt compelled to check it out because it seemed like these type of sites were a dime a dozen. But, one day I was making a purchase online and, on a whim, I visited Ebates to see if I could find any coupon codes to use for my purchase.

I went ahead and signed up at Ebates (it's free) and went through the site to complete my online purchase. Not only did I find a coupon code to use at the store where I was shopping, but, I earned cash-back on the purchase. It was all so easy and so fast; I admit I was pleasantly surprised. I continued to use Ebates for my next couple of online purchases. Soon enough, I received my first cash-back check - for $8.22. Now, I realize that's not much but it's something. And, I only made a couple of purchases during that payment period. So, for someone who shops online frequently, your cash-back rewards could add up very quickly.

It's simple to use. Sign up for free. Then, when shopping online, make sure you go to Ebates first, and complete your online purchase through their site. You can find tons of participating stores, each offering various amounts of cash-back on your purchases (anywhere from 2% up to 25%). You will also often find coupon codes or special cash-back offers as well. Most cash-back rewards are credited to your account within 48 hours and checks are mailed out to you every 3 months. If your account has earned less than $5.01, it's carried over until the next payment period.

I'm now thinking to myself, "why didn't I sign up for Ebates sooner?" It's really a no-brainer, easy way to earn cash-back on your online purchases. Check it out and see why it literally pays to shop online when you use Ebates.
This is not a compensated post but it does contain my Ebates referral links.


Friday, July 22, 2011

DaGeDar - Toy Review

DaGeDar is a hot new toy that we recently had the opportunity to try out at our house. It involves a set of balls, which are supposed to be spirit-like entities driven by a desire to race. The story is that these balls, DaGeDar, reside in Dimension 33, a place previously unknown to humans. DaGeDar enter the earth's dimension to race so that their spirit can break free. Each DaGeDar is driven by personal motivation to race and complete their personal quests.

DaGeDar uses a track set, balls, launchers, and spinners. The object being to let kids propel the balls down the track for racing and/or stunt fun. It's really "house rules" when it comes to DaGeDar - kids can use their own imagination and creativity to decide how to play. Maybe they want to battle it out with another player using the launchers. Or, perhaps they want to use their skills to speed the balls through the track loops without falling out.

Ballers, the name given to the DaGeDar playing community, can also visit for even more fun. On each battle ball, there is a secret code. Enter this code at the DaGeDar website to become a DaGeDar master. This allows you to learn more about the spirit of the ball by checking out it's biography, quest, and tagline.

My boys got together with a few of their friends and we had our own little DaGeDar party. After setting up the track and checking out the DaGeDar balls, they immediately started whipping them through the track, seeing who could go the fastest or send the most balls through with out any of them falling out.

They had a lot of fun with DaGeDar and came up with all kinds of ways to play, with and without the track. They all unanimously agreed that their favorite thing about DaGeDar are the balls themselves. They are colorful little characters with cool graphics on them and as my 10 year old son stated, "they are beast!" They also loved watching the balls zip through the track loop. Entering the DaGeDar balls secret codes also proved to be easy and a lot of fun. The website had a fun, futuristic feel to it. The kids got a kick out of reading the bios of their DaGeDar balls and debating over who had the most fierce character.

My thoughts: I really like that this toy allows for creative play. There's no right or wrong way of doing it, so the kids have to use their own imaginations. It's easy to assemble and easy to pick up and move to other locations if the kids want to try something different. We used the track both on a table as well as on the floor. My only concern was that the track seemed a little flimsy and, at times, we had difficulty getting it to stand up by itself. The kids quickly figured out that if they held on to the top of the track to steady it, it actually helped them out with their speed and control. Overall, I think this is a toy that my boys and their friends will play with often.

Be sure and visit to learn more and see all the DaGeDar products.

DaGeDar and MomSelect provided me with a complimentary DaGeDar kit in exchange for posting a review of the product on my blog. No other compensation besides the free product was received. All opinions stated in my review are my own.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pardon The Dust

If you've stopped by lately, you have probably noticed that my blog design is currently under construction. I still have some kinks to work out and it's taking longer than expected. I'll be back to regular posting as soon as possible. In the meantime, here's a few random things that have been going on during my blogging hiatus:

* we have been having some extreme summer weather and I do not like it. Not one bit! It's been so hot and humid - the heat index made it feel like 114 on Monday. Yuck! I'm not a summer person at all and all I can say is "bring on the winter!"

* I have been suffering from major sinus and allergy problems over the last month. I hate to be a whiner, but, really, it's probably the worst I've ever felt in my life. I have had constant sinus headaches, watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, and nasal congestion. OTC stuff helps, but knocks me out cold. I saw an ENT doc a couple years ago and was told that I could use surgery to correct my deviated septum (but I'm a scaredy cat about anything that requires me to be put to sleep). I'm finally giving in and going in for another doctor appointment next week to get re-evaluated and hear my options.

Enough for some more positive stuff:

* of course, you know I'm a huge tv and movie lover. There's not too many tv shows that escape my attention (I'm usually pretty up on a lot of shows, what they're about, etc.) I had heard of the FX series, Sons of Anarchy, but had never watched it. Something (I don't remember what) led me to check it out on Netflix and Oh My Gosh!!! It's the best show I've ever watched. Ever. I just spent the last four days devouring every episode from seasons 1 and 2. Season 3 will be released next month - I can hardly wait. Now, it's not for the faint of heart or easily offended. There's violence and drugs and drinking and guns and sex and pornography and horrific language...but it's flippin' awesome tv! I think in an alternate universe I'm supposed to be hooked up with a hot, gun-running, outlaw biker guy. Just kidding. Sorta.

* I just finished reading the book Divergent by Veronica Roth. If you like young adult dystopian (which happens to be my favorite genre) you have to read this book. It was fantastic and I'm already anxiously awaiting the second book in the series (which doesn't come out till next year). I love it when I find a book that makes me fall in love with the main character(s) and this one did just that. I tore through the 487 pages in just two days.

* I'm really loving Pinterest. So much pretty eyecandy and inspiration to see there. Have you jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon yet?

* My kids go back to school in just one short month. It's time to start thinking school supplies and back-to-school clothes. It feels like summer just started.

I'll be back soon and feel free to give me any feedback on the new design. As I said, it's still a work in progress.