Friday, November 30, 2012

Monsters University Coming June 2013

How fun is this?!
Here's a first look poster for Monsters University. This animated comedy from DISNEY•PIXAR  is coming to theaters June 21, 2013. 

Also, tickets are now on sale for Monsters, Inc. 3D which opens everywhere on December 19th.

Nutcracker Event in Louisville and Lexington - Dec. 3, 2012

For the first time ever, The Nutcracker will be shown in RealD 3D in select movie theaters nationwide.

In a Special One Night Event, you can view Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker as performed by the Mariinsky Theater. Don't miss your chance to enjoy this classic holiday story and share it with your family on December 3, 2012.

My local friends can check out the show at the following locations:

Tinsel Town Louisville
4400 Towne Center Dr
Stonybrook 20 IMAX 2745 S Hurstbourne Pkwy

Hamburg Pavilions 16
Fayette Mall

Tickets are $12.50 for Adults, $11.50 for seniors and $9.50 for kids. For tickets and theater location information, please visit

Aloha Friday - Musical Prodigy

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; nothing that requires a lengthy answer. Aloha!

If you could be a musical prodigy, what instrument would you want to play?


Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Christmas Gift Wish List

When it comes to gifts of any kind, I don't really get many myself. I'm not trying to sound whiny, that's just the way it is. When you have four kids to buy for and a husband who is not into gift-giving or shopping at all, Mama just falls to the bottom of the gift chain. I've accepted it and it's all good, LOL!

But, if we were going to pretend for a minute that I did get gifts, here's a few that would be at the top of my wish list...

1. Hunter Original Green Boots - I've been lusting after these forever but at $135 they would definitely be a splurge.

2. Sephora Collection Rose Gold Mineral Brush Set - I need some new makeup brushes and these are so pretty and luxurious. I am totally loving all things rose-gold at the moment.

3. Georgia Stainless Steel Watch - Smoke and Rose by Fossil - The rose gold paired with the darker stainless steel is elegant and a little edgy.

4. Vera Bradley Laptop Portfolio - I don't have a laptop bag and as a long-time Vera Bradley fan, this one would be perfect. I love that it has both a handle and a strap.

What about you? What's on your Christmas gift wish list this year?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Bad Puppy Is Still Bad

It's been awhile since I talked our new puppy, Piper. She is now about six months old and I must admit, I still have a love-hate relationship with her...most of the time I strongly dislike her and only every once in awhile I like her (mostly when she is sleeping).

She continues to be hyper and bitey/nippy. The potty training is going okay for the most part, just a few rare accidents here and there. The worst thing about Piper is her destructive nature. I guess that's just part of being a puppy, but she wants to chew on EVERYTHING. I swear, I think she is part beaver the way she can gnaw something down in seconds. We cannot let her out of our sight for more than a few seconds. It's so much work! She will chew just about anything - socks and rocks from our fireplace are among her favorites.

Here are a few pics of things she's chewed and chomped on around the house:

a table leg
a chair leg 
the wooden columns in our foyer
this is the living room carpet where she has chewed all the way down to the backing
I really want to love this dog and have her become a part of our family. But, so far, it just hasn't happened. My husband is furious over all the chewing and is about ready to kick her outside or even find her a new home. She just recently figured out that she can squeeze under our fence and so she's gotten out twice already and took off to the neighbors houses. I'm so scared that she will sneak out and get hit by a car if we leave her in the back yard unattended.
Wish us luck that she will get her act together soon and lose some of those bad puppy behaviors.
Have you ever had a really bad puppy? Any tips or advice?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I'm Using Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips

A smile is one of the first things I notice about a person. That being said, it's important that I put my own best smile forward. Having white teeth make such a difference and help me feel confident with my smile.

Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips are my new secret weapon in helping me to achieve and maintain a great smile.
"If You're Not Whitening, You're Yellowing"
Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips can remove up to 10 years of stains and whiten 25 times better than the leading whitening toothpaste.
I've been using these whitestrips for four days, so far, and I can already see a big difference in my teeth. I drink lots of coffee and tea every day and have to take special care with my oral hygiene routine to make sure that I keep those stains at bay. I've used other whitening strips in the past and hated the gunky, goo-like feeling of the gel that always seeped out of the strips while being worn on my teeth. These Crest 3D Whitestrips have an advanced seal feature that really keep them in place. And, there is absolutely none of that thick, yucky gel that gets in your mouth. They are so easy and comfortable to use - it makes teeth whitening a breeze! Wear them once a day for 30 easy is that!
If you are looking for a quick and easy way to whiten your teeth and improve your smile, check out the Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips. I think you will be very happy with the results they give, just as I have been. *Hint* These would make a great stocking stuffer for your teens or just about anyone.
I received a complimentary box of Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips through Influenster. I was not obligated to write a positive review. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own and may differ from others.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope your day is filled with family, friends, fellowship, laughter, good food, peace, and happiness.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

60 Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Teens

We have four kids - ages 12, 14, 16, and 19. One of their favorite things about Christmas morning has always been seeing what's waiting for them in their stockings. Now that they are teens, it's fun to come up with creative and/or practical little treats and trinkets to give as stocking stuffers.

If you have teens or tweens to shop for, here's a list of stocking stuffer ideas. *A few are gender specific, but most are good for both boys and girls.

1.  Lip Balm/Chapstick
2.  Gum
3.  Sharpies, Highlighters, or other colorful markers/pens
4.  Bookmark
5.  Clip-On Book Light
6.  Earbuds
7.  Candy Bar
8.  Key Chain
9.  Cell Phone Cover
10. iTunes Gift Card
11. Mini Flashlight
12. Car Charger for Cell Phone
13. Post-It Notes
14. Deodorant/Body Spray
15. Scratch-off Lottery Tickets (if you are okay with that)
16. Cash
17. Electric Toothbrush
18. Fast Food Gift Card
19. Movie Theater Gift Card
20. Contact Lens Case
21. Socks
22. Face/Body Wash
23. TicTacs/Breath Mints
24. Teeth Whitening Strips
25. Sunglasses
26. Hair Gel/Hair Spray
27. Beef Jerky (I know this might be weird but my kids love it)
28. Ice Scraper (for teens that drive)
29. Car Air Fresheners (for teens that drive)
30. Gas Gift Card (for teens that drive)
31. Jewelry
32. Nail Polish
33. Makeup
34. Makeup Brushes
35. Makeup Remover Cloths
36. Wallet/Change Purse
37. Hair Clips/Ponytail Holders
38. Lanyards
39. Watch
40. Mechanical Pencils
41. Hand Sanitizer (for backpack, locker, car, etc.)
42. Giant Candy Cane
43. Gummy Bears
44. Reusable Water Bottle
45. USB Flash Drive
46. Concert or Sporting Event Tickets
47. Compact/Pocket Mirror
48. Hand-held Electronic Games
49. Yo-Yo
50. Magic 8 Ball
51. Playing Cards
52. Pocket-size Multi-Tool
53. Personalized Christmas Ornament
54. PEZ Candy Dispenser
55. Flavored Dental Floss (Seriously, you can find such flavors as bacon or cupcake)
56. Swiss Army Knife
57. Magazine Subscription
58. Boxers/Undergarments
59. Batteries (they always need plenty of batteries for their electronics)
60. Gloves/Mittens

Can you think of anything else to add to the list?


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Girl In Progress

Tired of feeling ignored and unwanted, teenager Ansiedad comes up with a plan to fast-track her way to adulthood. Her single mom, Grace, is too consumed with her own life and problems to even notice. While the movie is pretty teeny-boperish, it's still a sweet coming of age story. Eva Mendes gives a good, heart-felt performance as mom Grace.

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements, sexual content including crude references, and drinking - all involving teens


Monday, November 19, 2012

The Pinterest Recipe That Rocked My World

If you're like me, you probably have a gazillion awesome dessert recipes pinned on your Pinterest boards. And, if you're also like me, you probably haven't tried one tenth of those recipes. But, they look yummy and pretty so you keep pinning, hoping that someday you will get around to trying them.

Last week, I had a sudden hankering for something rich, hot, and chocolate-y. (Ladies, you know what I'm talking about...certain times of the month you just gotta have some chocolate ASAP!) But, my cupboard was bare of prepared snack cakes, treats, and such so I set out to find something quick and easy to make on my own. I went to Pinterest and searched "chocolate mug cakes" (a mug and a microwave - what better way to get instant gratification). I came across this gem of a recipe and decided to give it a try.

Easy Microwave Chocolate Cake
It literally took me about 5 minutes to assemble and put together the short list of ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, egg, milk, vegetable oil, vanilla, salt)

Then, another 2 minutes in the microwave and TAH-DAH!

I had a delicious, rich, hot, chocolate cake-in-a-mug. In about 7 minutes.
It pretty much rocked my world!
You can find the full recipe over at The Bitten Word. Check it out and let me know if you make it for yourself.


It's In The Bag Giveaway Hop - Winner Announced

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to enter the giveaway. Also, thanks to our hostesses Life With Two Boys and With Our Best. It was a fun-themed hop with lots of great giveaway prizes.

The randomly selected winner of my $25 Walgreens Gift Card can be found below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 16, 2012

Aloha Friday - What Would It Be?

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 had to give up one thing for the rest of the year, what would it be?


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My 5 Favorite Shows on TV Right Now

I'm a self-proclaimed tv junkie. I'm one of those people who can sit down in front of the tv with the clicker and always find something I want to watch. Since we don't really spend much money going out for our entertainment (who can afford going out very often when you are a family of six?) tv is our entertainment. I cherish our satellite subscription and all it's 250+ channels/movie channels. It's sad, I know.

Anyway, below you will find my list of 5 TV shows that I'm loving right now. Let me know if you agree, disagree, or have others to add to the list...

1) Sons of Anarchy - This FX Channel show is not for the faint of heart. It follows a California biker club as they dabble in gun-trading, drug-running, the porn industry, murder, and more. If that all sounds a little brutal, is. But, there's so much more to the story. These people are bound by strong family ties and loyalty. There's no limit to the lengths they will go to protect each other and their secrets. Katey Sagal (remember her as Peg Bundy) plays the matriarch of this group and she deserves all kinds of awards and accolades for this role. She is amazing! Her character is gritty, ruthless, and 100% bad-ass and she does whatever is needed to keep everyone in line. I love this show. I love all of the characters and the actors. The story is always good, often twisted, but really good.

2) The Walking Dead - This AMC series takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where infected humans die and turn into flesh-eating zombies. It follows a small band of survivors as they try to forge ahead and find a way to live in this dangerous, new world. Besides not getting eaten by zombies, these people are also dealing with love triangles, secrets, and ethical and moral dilemmas. I'm so vested in this story and it's characters. I often find myself talking and even yelling out loud to the characters. And, yes, there is lots of blood and gore.

3) Parenthood -  This popular series is on NBC. I'm not even sure I can convey how much I love this show. It's got so many relevant themes, all of which revolve around a big family (the Bravermans) that are always in each other's business. There are issues dealing with parenting teens, parenting a child with a form of autism, infertility and adoption, infidelity, alcoholism, dating a younger man, starting a new career, bi-racial relationships, sibling rivalry, a cancer diagnosis, and I could go on and on. This is one show that makes me laugh and cry every single time I watch. If I had to recommend one show that you simply must watch, this is it!

4) Homeland - I've long been a fan of actress Claire Danes and in this Showtime series, she is brilliant. She plays Carrie Mathison, a CIA agent who also happens to be bipolar. She is dedicated to protecting the United  States against terrorist attacks. When she meets Nicholas Brody, a newly returned soldier who has been held captive in the Middle East for the last eight years, she suspects that he has been turned and may be plotting a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Even though no one takes her theory about Sgt. Brody seriously, Carrie is convinced that he is involved in something bad. In the meantime, she also happens to fall for him and have a fling with him, despite the fact that he is a married man with children and also a possible jihadist. Homeland is such an intense, intriguing show that keeps me on the edge of my seat.

5) Scandal - In this ABC series, we meet Olivia Pope. She's a former communication director for the President of the United States. She now spends her days "fixing" the problems and indiscretions of the DC elite. She has a staff of happy little helpers that include a slick attorney, a hacker/possible former hit man, and two female investigators. When someone comes to them with a problem, Olivia and her staff will go to any lengths to protect/cover up/take care of whatever it is that they've gotten themselves into. Oh, and I forgot to mention...Olivia and the married President have a thing for each other and had an affair while she was working on his campaign. Even though they have tried to move on, they still harbor feelings for one another. This often creates problems for them both. This show is juicy, mysterious, and full of secrets. The chemistry between the Pres and Olivia (played by Tony Goldwyn and Kerry Washington) is HOT. One really cool thing about Scandal, some of the cast live tweet during the shows. That's always a lot of fun to follow along with.

Also currently on my can't-miss list:
*Grey's Anatomy
*Gossip Girl
*Hawaii Five-O

What about you? Do you watch any of the shows I've mentioned? What tv shows can you simply not miss?


Friday, November 9, 2012

Aloha Friday - Fill in the Blank

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!

Let's do another fill-in-the-blank...

So far today, I've ________________________ and I've ________________________.

My answer: So far today, I've had two cups of coffee and I've folded a load of laundry.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Blog Tour - A Merry Little Christmas by Anita Higman

Welcome to the blog tour for Anita Higman's A Merry Little Christmas.

About the book:
Fall in love with this cozy story about two people from different worlds.

Franny Martin is an Oklahoma farm girl who's preparing to spend the holidays alone...again. Then Charlie Landau shows up one day, all wealth and polish, and offers to buy Franny's farm. Franny has no money to speak of, but she is clever and spirited, and she's more than happy to sell the farm and move to the city.

As Sinatra croons from the radio and Christmas descends upon her charming farm, Franny teaches Charlie the curious and sometimes comical ways of country life. In the process, they unearth some discoveries of the heart-that sometimes love comes when you're least ready for it. Will the holidays bring their most impossible dreams within reach?

About the author:

Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She's been a Barnes & Noble "Author of the Month" for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

To learn more, please visit the Anita Higman website.

Buy the book

Follow the blog tour

My thoughts:
If you are looking for a good, clean, heart-warming story to read for the holidays, this is it! While Frannie and Charlie are from completely different backgrounds, they're both relying on their faith to help shape their futures. Despite their differences, they find themselves instantly connecting and falling in love. I loved Frannie's devotion to her faith and family and how she comes to truly appreciate her legacy, the family farm. And, I had to laugh at Charlie at times, as he enters a brand new environment and tries to make a go at being a farmer. With themes of faith, family, love, and even civil rights, this story is a quick read with a great message.

Litfuse Publicity Group provided me with a free copy of this book for review. I was not obligated to write a positive review. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own and may differ from others.

Monday, November 5, 2012

It's In The Bag Giveaway Hop (11-5-12 thru 11-18-12)


Welcome to the It's in the Bag Giveaway Hop hosted by Life With Two Boys and With Our Best! This is a "what's in your purse?" themed giveaway hop and will feature a variety of products that women find in their purse. Each of the participating blogs has an awesome prize worth at least $25 so after you enter my giveaway be sure to hop around to the rest of the blogs on the linky below.

Thanks to our amazing sponsor, Maggie Bags, we also have a fun Grand Prize for one lucky winner... A stylish Campus Tote and coordinating Key Chain (ARV $104)! Maggie Bags offers fashionable and eco-conscious handbags and accessories that are constructed from genuine automotive seat belt webbing. Ready to make a purchase? Use code: InTheBag for 25% off any Premier Collection purchase.


I'm giving away something that's easy to carry in your bag... a $25 Walgreens Gift Card. Use the gift card to shop for whatever items you like! I am providing this prize myself and this giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Please note that the It's in the Bag hosts and participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prize. We have represented each sponsor with the expectation that they will fulfill their prize in a timely manner. While we are not responsible, we will make every effort to assist the winner in obtaining their prize.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Simone France Body Buff & Body Glow - Review and Giveaway

Giveaway Now Closed
You may remember last year I reviewed the Simone France "Sandwich" facial cleaning collection. Simone France is such a high quality, luxurious line and I'm happy to once again have the chance to try out their products. I received the Body Duo package which consists of the Body Buff (an exfoliating sugar scrub) and the Body Glow (a moisturizing body lotion).

Before I get to my review, let me give you a little information about Simone France...

Just after WW II, Simone France was a teenage girl living in Paris. When a special occasion prompted her to want to look her best, Simone followed some advice she read in a magazine. This led to disastrous results for her skin. She sought help from various medical and beauty experts in Paris, but her problem skin continued to be a problem. She finally met a professional french woman who was able to suggest a simple approach to caring for her skin. Over time, this regimen allowed her skin to completely recover. Because of this experience, Simone made a career out of helping others with skin care. She devoted herself to developing a product line that was simple to use and would provide results. Simone France brought her products to the United States in the 1960's and has developed a cult-following of many celebrities, models, famous makeup artists and hairstylists. Now in her 80's, Simone France has retired from the company. Her classic french skin care approach continues to be highly sought after and praised.

Simone France Body Duo
As I mentioned, I received a complimentary pair of products from Simone France to try out for myself. The Body Duo package includes the Body Buff and the Body Glow. The Body Buff is an exfoliating sugar scrub. I applied this to my body while in the shower, massaging it gently into my skin. I normally don't use a lot of scrubs, as some are too harsh for my skin. The Simone France Body Buff was very gentle and did not irritate my skin whatsoever. It has a pleasant scent - very clean, crisp, and refreshing. After exfoliating with the scrub, I rinsed off the product and washed as usual. (If you want to leave more of a layer of moisturization behind, you can simply rinse off the scrub and skip the soap/wash step). The Body Glow is a moisturizing body lotion that I applied to my dry skin after showering.
My skin felt as soft as butter after using the Body Duo products. The products were quick and easy to use and incorporate into my normal showering routine. I loved the results and truly felt like I had pampered myself with a spa-quality treatment. I also think the Body Duo products would be wonderful to use as a hand or foot treatment - a quick and luxurious addition to your manicure or pedicure.
Simone France has generously offered to give one of my blog readers the same Body Duo pair of products that I have described above. This would make an excellent gift (think holiday gift for any of the ladies in your life) or a nice treat for yourself. The Body Duo package has a $70 value.
To enter the giveaway you may do any or all of the following (leave separate comment for each):
*Comment if you would give this as a gift or keep for yourself
*Follow @simone_france on Twitter (leave username in comment)
*Follow @alas3lads on Twitter (leave username in comment)
*Visit Simone France website and tell me another product you would like to try
*Tweet the following message 1x daily (leave link to your tweet in comment):
Enter to win spa-quality Body Duo package from @ and @. Makes wonderful holiday gift!
This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end at 10:00 pm EST on 11-9-12. At that time, one random winner will be chosen from all eligible entries. Please make sure I have a valid way to contact you in case you are the winner.
Simone France provided me with the complimentary products described in this post. They are also providing the same pair of products to one of my blog readers. I was not obligated to write a positive review. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own and may differ from others.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Aloha Friday - TV Couples

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!

Who is your favorite tv couple from any show, past or present?

Mine would be either Ross and Rachel from Friends, or Doug and Carrie from King of Queens. Love them!