Thursday, May 31, 2012

Coming This Fall - Frankenweenie

Frankenweenie is a film by director Tim Burton ("Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Alice In Wonderland"). It's the tale of a little boy named Victor who is saddened at the loss of his beloved pet dog, Sparky. So, he decides to use the power of science to try and bring Sparky back to life.

Frankenweenie is a stop-motion animated film. It was filmed in black and white and rendered in 3D. Looks like it's going to be a lot of fun!

"Like" Frankenweenie on Facebook


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Things I've Learned While Raising Teenagers

Our four kids are ages 19, 15, 13, and 11. We are smack-dab in the middle of raising us some teenagers. Here are a few things I've learned along the way:

1) There's no such thing as too much sleep

2) When a boy and girl are dating, they don't refer to it as dating. It's called "going out" - even though as tweens, they often don't actually go anywhere. Right before they start "going out" they are just "talking." If you hear the phrase "hooking up" then you probably have something to worry about. That's when they've reached the intimate phase. OY!

3) Apparently, way back when my husband and I were teens, we sat around in circles, holding hands and singing kum-bah-ya...we have no idea what it's really like to be a teenager nowadays (this according to my 19 yr. old son)

4) A penny saved is a penny earned?....nope! A penny saved is one more penny to spend before it burns a hole in the pocket.

5) It's best to pick your battles. I could probably find something each and every day to rant and fuss about with my teens. But, I've learned that they can start to tune me out if it seems like I'm getting on them all the time. So, sometimes I have to bite my tongue or turn a blind eye over the little things. It's better for me to only go to battle when absolutely necessary.

6) No matter what you do, there are going to be times that your teenager a)thinks you're an idiot  b)is embarrassed to be seen with you or  c)tells you that you have ruined their life. It will hurt, but you have to just take it with a grain of salt and know that they probably won't feel that way for long.

7) I can never have too much food in the house. They will always be hungry and always be rummaging through the pantry or fridge.

Do you have any teenagers? What have you learned about raising teens?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Magazine Junkie

Hello. My name is Kari. I'm addicted to magazines.

I love reading and flipping through magazines. From fashion and shopping magazines, to home decorating, to celebrity gossip magazines. It's my thing. However, it can become a problem when I get behind on my magazine reading. The photo above shows an actual stack of magazines sitting on my dresser at this very moment. These are all the magazines I have bought or received by subscription in the last month or so. And, I haven't had time to pick up a single one. I'm way behind on my magazine fix. I've got to tackle it soon because the stack just keeps growing.

Some of my favorite magazines are InStyle, Lucky, Good Housekeeping, and Real Simple.

What about you? Are you a magazine junkie like me and can't pass through the checkout line without picking up a new one? What's your favorite magazine?


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Little Miss Coppertone Contest

The little Coppertone girl is a familiar image to many of us. She immediately makes me think of summertime fun at the pool and/or beach. This summer, Coppertone is hosting a contest in honor of Little Miss Coppertone. They are looking for a little girl who best personifies the wholesome spirit of Little Miss Coppertone. To enter, submit of photo of your little girl, ages 2-8, by June 22nd. Special guest judge Alison Sweeney will lead the judging team in selecting finalists. Then, starting on July 13th, America will vote to choose the next Little Miss Coppertone! The winner gets a dream family vacation and will be featured in a Coppertone print ad! To enter the contest and read the official rules, visit the Coppertone Facebook page.

No purchase necessary. Contest ends 6-22-12. Click for details.

Sounds like a fun contest with a great prize for the winner. Good luck!

I was entered for a chance to win a gift card in exchange for this post. No monetary exchange took place.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Birthday Girl Wants A Schwinn Bike!

My daughter will be turning 16 this summer. *Sigh*...where does the time go? She's a typical teenage girl. Messy room, clothes all over the floor; she loves to go shopping at the mall; she listens to music and texts 24-7; and she is boy crazy!

Here's a silly photo of us that she snapped on my phone recently...

So, she's turning 16. And, around here, turning 16 means getting your driver's permit. We've already been through one kid learning to drive and let me tell you, it's pretty stressful. I know that she cannot wait to start driving but imagine my surprise when, instead of a car, she asked for a new Schwinn bicycle for her birthday! She has decided that it would be fun and "hipster" (her words not mine) to get a cool retro-looking Schwinn and ride around for some fun and exercise. She even said we should both get new bikes and ride together! (Note to those who have not yet raised teens: if your teenager actually invites you to participate in an activity with her, you better take advantage of it).

We've been doing some window shopping on the Schwinn website and they have the most awesome bikes. I'm partial to this Clairmont Women's model - the bright blue color is hard to resist but I would have to add a basket. We also came across this sweet video from Schwinn and I wanted to share it with you. It's great and I think you'll enjoy it.

What about you? Do you have a bicycle and/or enjoy taking bike rides?

This is not a sponsored post. I'm just sharing what happens to be going on in our little corner of the world at the moment. 


Disney Pixar Summer Movie Weekend at AMC Theatres - May 25-28

It's the Memorial holiday and many of us will enjoy the long weekend while spending time with our families and friends. If you are looking for something to do, you might want to check this  out...AMC Theatres is celebrating Memorial Day weekend with a special showing of four popular Disney Pixar movies. From May 25 through May 28, "Toy Story 3," "Ratatouille," "Up," and "WALL-E" will be playing at AMC locations around the country. Each film will be accompanied by a classic Pixar short film and an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming movie, "Brave."

The Disney Pixar Movie Weekend at AMC Theatres is the perfect activity for all ages -- fun, affordable, and something that the entire family can enjoy!

Ticket prices are only $6 per movie (pricing and schedules may vary). Visit for participating locations and details.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

ProFlowers Gift Code Giveaway

This Giveaway Is Now Closed

Check out these gorgeous lilies I recently ordered from ProFlowers. They were so colorful and big and vibrant! Flowers are always such a thoughtful (and easy) gift to give to just about anyone on your list.

Would you like to treat someone special (or yourself) to a gift of flowers from ProFlowers? I have a $50 Gift Code that's up for grabs. If you would like to enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite flower.

You may earn extra entries by doing the following (leave separate comment for each):
1) Subscribe to my blog via Email (see sidebar)
2) Follow me on Twitter

Giveaway is open only to U.S. residents and will end at 10:00 p.m. EST on Saturday 5-26-12. One winner will be chosen at random from all eligible comments. Please make sure you provide valid contact information in case you are the winner.

ProFlowers via Buttoned Up, Inc. provided this gift code for giveaway.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mommy Blogger Trip To Hilton Sandestin

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Destin, Florida. A small group of mommy bloggers and their kids were invited to the resort for the official "Mother of all Fam Trips" and I went as a representative of 5 Minutes For Mom. This fun-in-the-sun beach getaway was a chance for us to learn more about the Hilton Sandestin Resort and experience all that it has to offer. Be sure and visit 5 Minutes For Mom and look for my blog posts detailing our trip (you can find the direct links at the end of this post).

For the trip, we were invited to bring one of our children, ages 5-12. Our youngest (Zachary is 11) accompanied me on the trip. He was so excited! Not only was it his first time to fly, but we got the chance to spend some quality one-on-one time together (something that doesn't happen that often when you have four kids).

The Hilton Sandestin Resort sits on the Gulf of Mexico in the Panhandle of Florida. The beaches here are known for their stunning emerald-green waters and sugar-white sands. Not only does the resort offer a beautiful beach, but there are also three pools, a huge beach-and-pool-side deck, two whirlpools, one kiddie pool, six restaurants, a luxury spa and fitness center, golf, shopping, gameroom, and many other outdoor activities. Zachary and I stayed in a Junior Deluxe Suite which had the most incredible balcony views. Check it out...

During our trip, we learned about Hilton Sandestin's Kids Krew program - an optional pay service for guests that offers themed programs for children ages 5-12. Zachary was able to take part in several fun activities that included a sand-castle building contest and scavenger hunt.

I was invited to the Hilton Sandestin's Serenity By The Sea Spa for a complimentary treatment. I chose a Serenity Facial and it was one of the most indulgent things I've ever done for myself. The spa is so luxe and inviting...I really didn't want to leave.

We also enjoyed a bike ride around the Sandestin community, some time at the beach and the pool, some evening smores by the beach, and lots of good food. Take a look at what I had for dinner from Seagar's Prime Steaks & Seafood (AAA Four-Diamond Restaurant)...

We loved our vacation getaway at the Hilton Sandestin. The property and amenities were all top notch and we couldn't ask for a more beautiful location. While the prices are on the higher end, it's totally worth it if you are looking for an incredible, all-inclusive beach vacation experience. What really struck me was the service that we received from each and every Hilton Sandestin employee. Everyone we encountered went out of their way to greet us and/or offer to help us in any way. Whether you're looking for a family vacation spot, a girls getaway trip, a romantic trip, a guys golf trip, or just about any other kind of beach vacation experience, I highly recommend Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa.

Don't forget to visit 5 Minutes For Mom to see more photos and read all about our trip. You can find my posts here, here, and here.

Hilton Sandestin invited my son and me to their "Mother of all Fam Trips" mommy blogger getaway. We were treated to a free stay and able to experience many of their resort amenities. I was not obligated to write a positive review and all opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

I'm Lovin It! - McDonald's Unsweetend Tea

You know how some people have to visit their favorite coffee shop every morning for a cup of Joe? How they frequently hit said coffee shop to buy their favorite mocha latte or cappuccino or iced coffee? Well, for me, I love to hit the McDonald's drive-thru and get a large cup of Unsweetened Iced Tea. Seriously, it's one of my favorite things. Whether I zip through the drive-thru or walk there on my lunch break, it's something I get just about every day.

A lot of places assume that everyone drinks only sweet tea (which I loathe, by the way. I just can't do sweet drinks, bleh!). So, to get a refreshing cup of fresh-brewed Unsweetened Iced Tea in a large foam cup for only a buck....that's what I'm talkin' about! Thank you McDonald's! See you tomorrow.

This is not a sponsored post. It's just me singing the praises of one of my favorite places to get my favorite beverage.


A New Clip From Disney/Pixar's BRAVE

BRAVE, a Disney/Pixar film hits theaters this summer (June 22, 2012).

“Brave” follows the heroic journey of Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane). Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric Witch (voice of Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to harness all of her skills and resources – including her clever and mischievous triplet brothers – to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late, discovering the meaning of true bravery.

I'm looking forward to this one, looks like a lot of fun. Here's a new clip to share from the movie:


Friday, May 18, 2012

Aloha Friday - Doughnuts

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's your favorite kind of doughnut from the bakery/doughnut shop?

I like the glazed doughnuts filled with raspberry jelly...yum!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

SwagBucks Carnival and Code Extravaganza

I wanted to let you know about the latest promotion going on with Swag Bucks. The Swagbucks Carnival has started, and it gives you an opportunity to earn bonus Swag Bucks each day just for earning the way you normally would. Check the meter on your homepage and you'll see your daily goal and how close you are to hitting it. Every day you hit the goal, you add to your bonus! As if that wasn't enough, you'll get additional bonuses based on how many days of the Carnival you're able to hit your goal! To top it all, Swagbucks is having a Swag Code extravaganza on Monday - that means lots of codes, lots of Swag Bucks and lots of fun! Don't miss it!

If you are not yet signed up for Swagbucks, what are you waiting for? It's free to join and so easy to earn swag bucks, which can then be traded in for gift cards and other items. I've been using it for a couple years and have earned numerous Amazon gift cards. I'm a casual Swagbucks user and earn an average of 1-2 Amazon gift cards per month. Sign up today, just in time for the Swagbucks Carnival!

*This post contains my Swagbucks referral link*


Things I've Learned Since I Re-Entered The Workforce And Became A Working Girl

You may remember me mentioning that I was getting a new job. For the past few weeks, I have been working in a medical office. It's just a temporary position - I'm working 3-5 days per week, 6 hours per day (I'm still able to get all my kids off to school each morning, which is nice). The medical practice is in the process of transitioning all their patient records over from paper charts to electronic medical records. I'm helping to get the records scanned and placed into the new system. My plan is only to work for about 6-8 weeks, although I could probably work much longer if I chose to do so. The job of getting all the records changed over is a big one and will probably take quite some time.

I have to say, after being out of the workforce for 14 years, it's been quite an adjustment. Back years ago when I worked as a registered nurse, I always worked night shift. Getting up every morning and getting used to this daily "9-5" routine is something new for me. Having to wear nice, grown-up clothes every morning and fight rush hour traffic is definitely something I'm not used to doing.

The job itself is not difficult or overly stressful. It's a pleasant work environment and most everyone in the office is friendly. Oh, and did I mention that I get to work right next to my sister? Yep, she's a long-time employee of the practice and I sit at a work station right next to hers. We have enjoyed chatting and walking downtown to have lunch together. She and a couple of her workmates are also on a big healthy kick - they have been working really hard this year to lose weight and get in shape. I've happily joined in their calorie counting and exercising. We will often hop up from our desks throughout the day and go make a quick trip up and down the 5 flights of stairs to our office. When we walk to lunch, we power walk and burn those calories. I must admit that losing a few pounds has been much easier while working than when I stay at home. I've already lost about 2-3 pounds in the couple weeks I've been there.

There are a few other things I've learned since I re-entered the workforce...

1) Blaring music and belting out loud to my favorite tunes while driving in rush-hour traffic is a good stress-reliever and a fun way to start the day. Some of my most played IPod songs include music by Hall & Oates, Patsy Cline, The Beatles, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

2) I'm not too bad at styling some outfits! My working wardrobe was pretty non-existent before I started this job. But, after buying a few pair of khaki and black pants, I've been able to put together some decent looks by mixing and matching with items already in my closet. It's also been especially nice to wear some jewelry pieces that I don't normally wear. I've even gotten some compliments on several items - a bright gold cardigan sweater, a statement necklace, my lavender Sperry shoes, my hair - that's always a nice confidence booster.

3) I've always had an appreciation for working mothers and thought they had a difficult job. But, after experiencing it for myself, I now truly know just how difficult it is. When I started having babies, I only worked for a short time. I left the workforce to become a stay-at-home mom early on, so my kids have really never known me as a working mom. Juggling kids' activities and schedules, missing school events, and just not being there when they get off the school bus has been a real bummer for me. It's also totally reaffirmed my decision to be a stay-at-home mom and made me appreciate my opportunity to do that. I honestly miss being at home so much already and can't wait to stop working.

4) I feel a sense of pride at earning my own paycheck again. While it's not that much money, it's something that I can feel I'm contributing. My husband has always worked very hard, often at multiple jobs, to provide a good life for us. I love and appreciate him for that and we both have always felt strongly about me staying at home with the kids. I know the few paychecks that I'll earn from this job won't amount to anything extraordinary, but, it's still a good feeling.

5) I've also remembered what terrible handwriting many doctors have....Seriously, why do doctors suck at handwriting?

6) Now that I'm working most weekdays, I've had little to no time for blogging. I have fallen way behind on reading my favorite blogs and writing my own blog posts. I haven't had any time to spend on Twitter (oh, I can feel my Klout score dropping as we speak) and I have missed out on earning my usual amount of Swagbucks. Once I finish working, I plan on kicking things up and re-charging my blog a bit. I have a lot of plans for my blog that I want to accomplish this year so I hope you'll stick around with me through this short period of low activity.

Now, I'm off to enjoy a day off. It's the last day of school for our kiddos and we have 8th grade and 5th grade graduation ceremonies to attend. Talk to ya soon!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Movie Trailer Tuesday - The Odd Life of Timothy Green

I'm really looking forward to this upcoming film. Check out the newly released trailer for The Odd Life Of Timothy Green, hitting theaters August 15, 2012.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Blog Tour - Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan

In the book Crazy Dangerous, we meet Sam Hopkins. He has found himself associating with the wrong crowd, some real thugs who are nothing but trouble. When these so-called friends harass a girl named Jennifer, Sam makes the decision to stick up for her. You could say that Jennifer is different - she has frightening hallucinations that involve the devil and death. After getting to know Jennifer, Sam wonders if these visions might be for real and if they are foretelling something terrible that's about to happen.

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed the book and liked the character Sam. He was smart and a good kid who couldn't help but do the right thing. Jennifer was an interesting character. It's apparent early on that she suffers from some kind of mental disorder. The way the author writes in Jennifer's voice - with her rhyming, sing-song talk - was clever and intriguing. The story kept me guessing for quite a while, trying to decide if super-natural forces were really at work or if there were reasonable explanations for all the events that Jennifer was predicting. The author did a great job at creating a scary, mysterious atmosphere in the book.

About Andrew:

Andrew Klavan was hailed by Stephen King as "the most original novelist of crime and suspense since Cornell Woolrich." He is the recipient of two Edgar Awards and the author of such bestsellers as True Crime and Don't Say a Word.

His books and screenplays have been turned into films directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Michael Douglas, Ed Burns, Michael Caine among others.

Andrew Klavan's Crazy Dangerous $100 Visa Cash Card Giveaway and Author
Chat Party {5/29}

Enter Today - 5/8-5/28!

@AndrewKlavan's Crazy Dangerous $100 Visa Cash Card Giveaway! RSVP for
#Facebook Party {5/29}!

Celebrate with Andrew Klavan by entering his Crazy
giveaway and connecting with him during the Author Chat Party on

One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A $100 Visa Cash Card
  • A copy of Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan for YOU and
    5 of your Friends!
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at
noon on May 28th. Winner will be announced at the "Crazy
Dangerous" Author Chat Facebook Party on 5/29
. Andrew will be hosting an Author Chat, testing your survival trivia skills, giving away books and gift certificates to
iTunes and! Don't miss a second of the "danger"!

Grab your copy of Crazy Dangerous and connect with Andrew on the evening of
5/29/12 for an author chat and lots of giveaways.

Enter via E-mail Enter via Facebook Enter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP
and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see
you on the 24th!

Litfuse Publicity Group provided me with a free copy of this book. Any opinions expressed are my own.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

APASSIONATA - Extended Show Dates in Louisville, Kentucky

Just a quick note to my Kentucky friends...due to the popularity of the classic European horse show APASSIONATA, they have extended their dates in Louisville, Kentucky.

APASSIONATA, Europe’s most successful live entertainment show, featuring more than 40 horses, has altered its performance schedule at Freedom Hall in Louisville and will give one encore performance in celebration of Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13 at 3pm. We have a special offer for the performance we wanted to share with you – four tickets for the price of three! Use code FAMILY when placing your order at the Freedom Hall Ticket Office, at, Ticketmaster outlets or when calling 800.745.3000.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Purex and Oprah Magazine Team Up For Special Deal

Purex and Oprah magazine have teamed up to bring you a special subscription deal. Use the special link below and you can get a 1-year subscription to O magazine for only $10. This normally runs somewhere around $19.99 so it's really a great deal. If you are a magazine junkie like me, or if you know someone who might enjoy this magazine subscription as a gift, take advantage of the special price now. This promotion ends May 25th at 5pm PST so don't miss out.

Use the special link below for a 1-year subscription to O Magazine:

This post contains my referral link. I am eligible to earn gift card rewards when my referral link is used.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Inspiring Words - A Video Share

I recently heard this clip shared on one of our local radio stations. It's a gentleman named Ric Elias talking about his experience aboard Flight 1549 - that's the flight that crash-landed into New York's Hudson River back in 2009. His words are so moving and powerful and I think his message is one that can be a benefit to us all. Check it out and then share your thoughts below...


Mother's Day Gift Ideas from Red Envelope

If you are looking for some gift ideas for Mother's Day, be sure and check out Red Envelope. They are a respected online shopping site that offers a nice assortment of unique and personalized items. You're sure to find something for everyone on your list!

I loved browsing Red Envelope and found a really cool gift. Check out this culinary salsa growing kit. We're big salsa & chips fans in our family so this little item will be a great gift to share on Mother's Day. Won't it be fun to grow the ingredients needed to make our own salsa for family gatherings later this summer? The ceramic planters and wood stand are so attractive - very modern. I think it will make a nice addition to any kitchen and it's both fun and practical. I can already taste the yummy salsa!

(How cute is this? I love that it's such an unexpected and quirky Mother's Day gift)

My order was shipped quickly and if you visit their homepage right now, you will see a promotion code good for 20% off your entire order. So, if you still need to pick up some gifts for mom, remember to visit Red Envelope. I bet you will find just the perfect thing for the special mom in your life.

Red Envelope provided me with a shopping code to use on their site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own.


Shop ProFlowers for Mother's Day

Mother's Day is fast approaching and one of the most thoughtful (and easy) gifts to give is the gift of flowers. ProFlowers is a great source for Mother's Day flower delivery. They offer a large variety of fresh flowers, plants, and even gourmet gift ideas.

Maybe you don't have a lot of time to shop or your loved ones are scattered throughout the country. Shopping ProFlowers is one way you can take care of those Mother's Day gifts quickly and in one place. And, I think just about everyone loves to receive a beautiful bouquet.

I ordered these gorgeous oriental lilies, a favorite flower of my mom, and they are just stunning! They come to you in bud form so that you get to enjoy them as they open up and bloom. The lilies are huge and so vibrant - Really beautiful!

With most of the flowers, you have several vase options. You can even choose to order the flowers with no vase if you plan on using your own. My only complaint is that the vases cost you a little extra -- I think at least one vase option should be included with the flower purchase price. But, it's not that much and it's still such a handy, convenient way to shop for flower delivery. You can also add on chocolates or other little goodies to your order.

Check out ProFlowers for great Mother's Day gift ideas.

ProFlowers provided me with a gift code to use on their site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own.