Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mother's Day Gifts From Personal Creations

If you are looking to personalize a gift for Mother's Day, then you should check out the online shopping site Personal Creations. They offer a large selection of gift ideas - everything from jewelry, keepsakes, and apparel, to kitchen and garden items.

Maybe there's a new mom in your life who would enjoy receiving a special piece of birthstone jewelry. Or, perhaps your kids would like to pick out something special for Grandma, such as a personalized sweatshirt or mug. You will find a lot of unique and fun gifts that would be perfect to give for Mother's Day.

I ordered this glass keepsake box and had it personalized with our family initial (there was also an option to have it personalized with your own custom message). It's really pretty and just the right size for storing those few special trinkets or jewelry items. The brushed metal trim and quartz glass gives it somewhat of a vintage look.

I'm very happy with my purchase and can't wait to share it on Mother's Day. I think it makes a cute and special gift! Ordering from Personal Creations was very easy and shipping was very prompt.

I encourage you to visit Personal Creations and shop their mom gifts. Not only will you find lots of great gift ideas, but they also offer gift boxes, gift cards, various shipping options, and a handy, free reminder service (to help you keep up with those special dates/occasions in your life).

Personal Creations provided me with a free shopping code to use on their site. I was not obligated to post a positive review and any opinions expressed in this post are my own.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

A New Job And A Trip

I have some news to share...I'm now officially a working girl! After 14 years of being a stay-at-home mom, today I re-entered the work force (there were some butterflies in my stomach, big time!). I am working in a temporary position at a medical office. My sister works there and they were looking for someone to help them as they transfer all their patient records to electronic medical records. It sure felt strange having to get up and get ready to go to work after all these years. Everyone was very nice and the work will not be overly difficult, just really time-consuming. I think I will be ready for the job to end before the work is completed. Rush-hour traffic and early mornings are just not my thing. But, for now it's okay and probably good for me to get out of my comfort zone for a little bit. And, it's pretty great that I get to work right next to my sister.
Another fun bit of a few days I will be taking a cool trip on behalf of 5 Minutes For Mom. I'll be joining some other mom-bloggers and their children in Florida for The Mother of All Fam Trips! Hilton Sandestin has generously invited us to come and experience their wonderful resort while we have fun in the sun. I'm sure it's going to be a great time and I'll be sure to share more about it when I get back. We will be tweeting with the hashtag #HiltonSandestinMoms if you would like to follow along with our adventures. I'm taking my youngest son (11) and it will be his first time flying - he is so excited!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Kentucky Derby T-Shirt Giveaway

It's officially Kentucky Derby time again! I have a tradition here on my blog at this time of year of giving away a Kentucky Derby T-Shirt. It's just a fun way for me to share a little hometown pride with my readers. Giveaway details can be found below, but first, here's a repeat of a previous post that I did telling you a little bit more about our Derby Festival events...


Being a Kentuckian my entire life, this time of year is always exciting. The Kentucky Derby, and all the great events leading up to it, are a fun and historic tradition around here. Here's a little information about The Kentucky Derby from Wikipedia:

"The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three year-old Thoroughbred horses, held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival and is widely considered the most prestigious horse race in the world. The race is one and a quarter miles (2 km) at Churchill Downs. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (57.2 kg) and fillies 121 pounds (54.9 kg). The race is known in the United States as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" or "The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports" for its approximate duration, and is also called "The Run for the Roses" for the blanket of roses draped over the winner. It is the first leg of the United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing and is followed by the Preakness Stakes then the Belmont Stakes. The attendance at the Kentucky Derby ranks first in North America and usually surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races including the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and the Breeders' Cup."

"In addition to the race itself, a number of traditions play a large role in the Derby atmosphere. The Mint Julep, an iced drink consisting of bourbon, mint and a sugar syrup is the traditional beverage of the race. The historic drink can be served in an ice-frosted silver julep cup but most Churchill Downs patrons sip theirs from a souvenir glass printed with all previous Derby winners. Also, burgoo, a thick stew of beef, chicken, pork and vegetables, is a popular Kentucky dish served at the Derby."

"The infield, a spectator area inside the track, offers general admission prices but little chance of seeing much of the race. Instead, revelers show up in the infield to party with abandon. By contrast, "Millionaire's Row" refers to the expensive box seats that attract the rich, the famous and the well-connected. Women appear in fine outfits lavishly accessorized with large, elaborate hats. As the horses are paraded before the grandstands, the University of Louisville marching band plays Stephen Foster's 'My Old Kentucky Home'."

Check out some of these fun festivities leading up to the Derby:

Chow Wagon on the Waterfront - food feasts and live music on the river
Thunder Over Louisville - huge airshow & fireworks display
Pegasus Parade
Great Balloon Race
The Great Steamboat Race
Run For The Rose'
Great Bed Races
...and much, much more. There are concerts, parties, luncheons, wine fests, and all kinds of celebrations. It's really a terrific time to be in Louisville!

Even though I have lived in or around Louisville all my life, I've only attended The Kentucky Derby once. It was a spectacular experience and watching the horses parade by as they played "My Old Kentucky Home" was truly moving. I tried a mint julep and I have to admit it was one of the worst things I've ever tasted, LOL! But, it was fun to dress up and wear a pretty hat and then get to see it all in person.

If you would like to enter, please leave a comment on this post. Tell me whether or not you will be watching or celebrating the Kentucky Derby in any way. Also, tell me your shirt size (Adult S, M, L, or XL) in your comment. I'll pick a random winner and then choose a cool Kentucky Derby T-Shirt just for you.

*You may earn an extra entry by tweeting about this giveaway (1x daily, leave link to tweet in comment section below)

I entered to win a Kentucky Derby T-Shirt from @alas3lads - Details on #giveaway:

Giveaway will end at 10:00 pm EST on May 1, 2012.
U.S. entries only

*This is not a sponsored giveaway. The T-shirt for giveaway is being supplied by me.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Aloha Friday - Dream Job

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!

I think I've asked this before, but it's always a fun topic...if you could have any type of career that you wanted, what would your dream job be?

I'm very happy being a stay-at-home mom, but if I had to choose a career, I would love to be an author of young-adult books or a concert pianist or violinist.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I Think I'm Finally Cutting The Cord. A Little Bit.

I've mentioned before that I'm somewhat of a control freak and that I tend to micro-manage the people around me. I think it's because I'm a Virgo -- I like things orderly and straight-forward. Check out this excerpt about Virgos from the website Explore Astrology:

If you ever decide to question a Virgo, make sure you know your stuff because it will be hard to convince them they are wrong. A Virgo's thought is so precise that they are not very tolerant of other people's procrastination or lack of common sense. They simply cannot understand why other people cannot function at the same level as they do. Virgos also pride themselves on their excellent memories.

Because Virgos have such clear thought, they may be critical of others. They are perfectionists who despise carelessness and incoherence in others. However, as critical as they are of others, they usually turn that criticism inwards on themselves. They dislike being criticised by others because they already know their own faults.

Oh my gosh. That is me!

Anyway, back to the topic of today's post. I'm a control freak and a micro-manager. Nowhere do I see this more clearly than in the way I parent my children. Instead of teaching my kids to do laundry, I tell myself it's easier to just do it myself so it will be done the right way. Clutter needs to be picked up around the house? I'll do it because it's quicker and I know I'll put things back in the correct spots.

This is not a good thing. In fact, I think I've been doing a great disservice to my children. I'm so busy doing everything the right way that I'm not teaching them to do things for themselves.

Take my oldest son...he is almost 19. He graduated from high school one year ago. School never was his thing so he didn't immediately enroll in college. He decided to work (for that brown company that delivers packages;) and take a little time to decide his path. He's still trying to figure out what the heck he's going to do. One minute he wants to go to community college, the next he wants to move away and go to college. He wants to work. He doesn't want to work. He hates his job. He wants to party. To tell you the truth, it's been driving me crazy, seeing him so lost and aimless. I just want to shake him and fix things and set him on a path.

Operating in my usual M.O., I have spent the last year "micro-managing" things for him. I balanced his checkbook (why should he take the time to write in a checkbook when he can just look up his account online, he says); I call and find out information about colleges for him (surely he won't ask the right questions); I make sure he has clean uniform pants, gas in his car, that he wakes up in time for work, etc. etc. And, you know what I have finally realized? That is ridiculous! He is almost 19 and I cannot control him and manage him into his future. He has to do all of these things (and more) for himself.

So, over the last month or two, I have let it all go. I never look at his checking account balance (if he's overdrawn, that's his problem). If he throws some clothes in the laundry basket, I'll do them. But I will not seek him out and ask him if he has clean clothes to wear. Or gas in his car. Or when the deadline to X-college is. I'm not doing any of that. Nada.

It was scary at first. But, now it feels really good. I have come to terms with the fact that he will do things his way, in his time, and that he will probably make mistakes along the way. I have to bite my tongue and look the other way sometimes. But, I'm dealing.

I guess this means I'm finally starting to get the hang of cutting the cord. Just a little bit anyway.


Movie Trailer Tuesday - Janie Jones

Washed up musician, Ethan, is on tour with his floundering band when a woman from his past pays him a surprise visit. When this woman tells him he's the father of her 13 year old daughter, Janie, he doesn't want to believe it's true. The teenage girl is left in his care and he is forced to take her along on the band tour. Along the way, drinking and fighting among the band members begin to take a toll and everything in Ethan's life starts to crumble. As everyone else walks away from Ethan, will Janie be his saving grace?

I really loved this movie! Ethan is a total mess and a real jerk. But, as he started developing a relationship with his daughter, I liked him more and more. Abigail Breslin is so good as Janie - innocent and scared but also brave and tough. Even though she's constantly dealing with dysfunctional family situations, she keeps trying to make the best of things.

This movie is not rated. There is a lot of language and drinking.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

McDonald's "Happy Meal Chefs" Contest - Plus Giveaway

This Giveaway is closed

Recently, I shared details of a fun contest sponsored by McDonald's -- the "Happy Meal Chef's" contest. If you plan on entering or want more information, hurry! Time is almost up as the deadline to enter is April 18, 2012.

Thanks to the wonderful folks from the McDonald's Family Arches community, I have some FREE Happy Meal coupons to share with my readers. If you would like to enter to win some of the coupons, simply leave a comment below telling me your favorite McDonald's menu item.

*You may earn an extra entry by tweeting about this giveaway (leave link to tweet)

I entered to #win free Happy Meal coupons from @alas3lads and @McDonalds. For details:

-U.S. residents only
-Giveaway ends 12:00 Noon EST on 4-20-12
-Two random winners will be selected and each receive coupons for Two FREE Happy Meals

McDonald's provided me with free Happy Meal coupons to share with my readers in exchange for helping to spread the word about their "Happy Meal Chefs" contest.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Aloha Friday - What Would You Change About Yourself?

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!

If you could change any one thing about yourself, what would it be?

For myself, I would want to be more outgoing, outspoken, and self-confident (I guess that's actually three things but that's what I would want to change).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Details On A Giveaway - $50 Sephora Gift Card

Do you need some fresh new spring makeup or fragrances? I know I do! Head over to BB Product Reviews and enter for your chance to win an awesome $50 Sephora Gift Card. Giveaway ends on 4/29. Good luck!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Dream House

After quitting his job and moving to his dream home to spend more time with his family, Will discovers that, years before, a family was murdered in the house. Not sure why his neighbors seem unwilling to talk to him about the incident, he sets out to solve the mystery of what really happened.

I don't want to give too much away on this's a real psychological thriller with plenty of plot twists and mysteries. I love a movie that keeps me guessing!

Rated PG-13 for violence, terror, some sexuality and brief strong language


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Wishing blessings and Easter greetings to you and your loved ones!

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.


Friday, April 6, 2012

MADD Power of Parents - PowerTalk 21 Handbook

I'm a parent of four kids - three teenagers and a tween. Now, more than ever, it's imperative to feel like we have an open line of communication with one another. I want them to feel safe and comfortable coming to me about any subject. And, I'm always looking for ways to engage them in honest dialog about important issues.

One such issue is underage drinking. The statistics are alarming. Teen alcohol use kills nearly 6000 people per year; more than all other illegal drugs combined. And, car crashes are the number one cause of death for teens, with more than one out of three of those being alcohol-related crashes. This is just simply an issue that we, as parents, must discuss with our children.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is an organization that offers programs and activities to help prevent teenage drinking. If you are looking for ways to get started talking with your kids about this topic, their Power of Parents program, sponsored by Nationwide Insurance, is an excellent resource. To help you get started, they have designated April 21st as PowerTalk 21 Day - a day for parents, kids, and communities to take positive steps to open communications and work together to end underage drinking. MADD has made available a research-based handbook for talking with teens about alcohol. It's free to download and I encourage you to check it out. Let's do all we can to ensure our teens know the dangers of underage drinking and have the skills and knowledge to say no!

In exchange for helping to spread the word about MADD's Power of Parents handbook, I was entered in a drawing to win a VISA gift card. Statistics in this post were provided by MomSelect. Opinions expressed are my own. 


Aloha Friday - Words From Friends

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!

Tell me three words that you think a friend would use to describe you...


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Are You The Swag Mom?

I wanted to let you know about a fantastic new promo that's going to be happening over at Swagbucks. Staring next Tuesday, Swagbucks is looking for The Swag Mom, and it could be you! You'll be able to nominate a friend or yourself, and if you get the most votes, you'll win the Grand Prize: A trip for two to Los Angeles, where you'll board a Private Jet Charter to Las Vegas for a relaxing two night Spa Vacation! Even if you don't win the grand prize, you could win an identical trip for two just for voting! Be sure to check on Tuesday for all the details!

Not yet a member of Swagbucks? Now is the perfect time to sign up. You can start earning Swagbucks, which are easily redeemed for gift cards and other items. And, who might just snag this awesome trip.

My referral link is included in this post. 


Monday, April 2, 2012

APASSIONATA - Coming To Louisville's Freedom Hall April 27-29 (Discount Code)

APASSIONATA is coming to Louisville's Freedom Hall for just 4 shows April 27-29. This European live equestrian entertainment show will thrill audiences with its spectacular equine stunts, beautiful horses, music, and costumes.

Check out this trailer to see what it's all about:

I think APASSIONATA looks amazing! What a fun event out - perfect for families, date night, and/or horse-lovers. The horses are such magnificent animals and those stunts that they perform blow me away. I'm really looking forward to checking out the show.

I am happy to share this discount ticket offer with my readers:

Discount: Family four pack of tickets (buy three tickets get the fourth ticket free). See promo ad below for details.

Don't miss out! Get your discounted family four pack of tickets to APASSIONATA today.

APASSIONATA provided me with free tickets to the show as well as event information and discount ticket offer to share with my readers.