May 31, 2010

Thank you

I just wanted to say thank you to all the men and women who have offered their lives in service of our country. There are a lot of military families that live in my area, and I am always so impressed by their strength and sacrifice. We have to be reminded that for every service man and woman there is a family that remains behind. Their perseverance in the face of difficulty is an inspiration to me.

On this Memorial Day, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for your service. Families, thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you to the men and women who gave up their lives to make freedom possible.


May 28, 2010

Sex and the City 2 - Soundtrack Review + Win a call from Sarah Jessica Parker

I have to preface this review by admitting I'm probably the only woman in America who has never seen an episode of Sex and the City. The new movie premieres this weekend and has garnered a lot of excitement in women around the world. It seems like everywhere I look people are talking about this new film. Although I'm not very familiar with the characters in the movie, I am a huge fan of "girls night out." The Sex and the City 2 soundtrack was released on May 25th and has a lot of fun girls night anthems. Including a rendition of "I Am Woman" sung by the cast of the movie. 

The album also features songs by grammy winner Alicia Keys, and a duet by Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson and multi-platinum recording artist Leona Lewis.

Several of the songs on the first half of the album definitely have a fun middle-eastern flair. It made me wish I knew how to belly dance.

Liza Minelli's cover of "Single Ladies" sounded a bit like a grandmother singing karaoke. I've heard that she performs the song in the movie. Maybe it's more entertaining when you have the visual to go along with the song. The song by itself is a bit comical, but not what I would call enjoyable listening.

I'm old school. So I was excited by the songs sung by the men's choir. I may not know all the words to "Empire State of Mind, " but by golly I can belt out the words to "If Ever I Would Leave You." I'm an eighty-year-old stuck in a 26 year old's body.

I'll probably skip over the Liza Minnelli songs next time I listen to it, but for the most part it was a fun girls night soundtrack. You can buy a copy for yourself or for a friend here. You can also visit their Facebook fan page.

1. Alicia Keys “Rapture”
2. Dido “Everything to Lose”
3. Cee Lo “Language of Love”
4. Erykah Badu “Window Seat”
5. Natacha Atlas “Kidda”
6. Michael McGregor “Euphrates Dream”
7. Liza Minnelli “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”
8. Ricki-Lee "Can't Touch It"
9. Alicia Keys "Emire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down"
10. Jennifer Hudson and Leona Lewis "Love Is Your Color"
11. Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim  Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon “I Am Woman”
12. Sex and the City Men’s Choir “If Ever I Would Leave You”
13. Sex and the City Men’s Choir “Sunrise, Sunset”
14. Sex and the City Men’s Choir “Till There Was You”
15.  Shayna Steele, Jordan Ballard, Kamilah Marshall “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”
16.  Liza Minnelli with Billy Stritch “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye”
17.  Cyndi Lauper “True Colors”
18.  Aaron Zigman “Divas and Dunes”

Are you a Sex and the City fan? 
You can enter for a chance to win a phone call from Sarah Jessica Parker!


I was provided a complimentary soundtrack to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed are my honest thoughts concerning the product.

May 27, 2010

CEIVAshare Digital Frame Review - Share your favorite photos instantly!

I am notoriously bad about remembering to send pictures to my mom. I always intend to, but somehow it slips my mind. CEIVA's digital picture frame takes the hard work out of it.

The CEIVA digital picture frame has a lot of features that your traditional digital picture frame does not have:
  • The ability to share pictures instantly with friends and family around the world.
  • A digital frame that can communicate wirelessly with your computer.
  • The ability to send pictures from your camera phone or e-mail directly to your picture frame. 
  • Customizable greeting cards and notes can be sent directly to the frame. (You can check out the card I sent to my mom below)
  • Easy hassle free set-up. 

I absolutely love this frame. It is so much fun to play with all the different online features. I've even got a countdown feature that tells me how many days are left in my Total Transformation Tuesday series.

There is also a downloadable  channel from which sends a new recipe to your frame each day. It's perfect for those days when I have no idea what I want to cook. As an added plus, you can order prints of your pictures directly through the CEIVA website.

  • Set up was easy 
  • I love the wireless capability.
  • It is very easy to send photos to the frame.
  • I love the ability to link the frame to Facebook and other online sharing sources.
  • I think the Word of the Day and Recipe Channel is a fantastic idea! I have really enjoyed seeing the new content each day.
  • I (or anyone I choose) can send pictures via e-mail or cell phone directly to my frame.
  • I currently have a year's subscription to the photo delivery service, but once that year is up there is no way to display pictures on the frame unless I renew the subscription. I wish there was a way to use a memory card to display the photos on the frame, but the main draw of the frame is the photo sharing capability, so I guess that is why they have opted not to include that feature. 
  • I had trouble using the new updated uploader while using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome's browser. The Tech support was very helpful and earnestly sought to find a solution to my problem. The basic uploader worked without any problem. My mom didn't have any trouble using the uploader with Internet Explorer.
****UPDATE: I recently got a new computer and did not have any trouble whatsoever with the new uploader. There must have just been a problem with my particular computer (probably related to out of date Java). I've been able to use the uploader without any difficulty. 
    I think this would be a great gift for family and friends to share. The idea is of a photo sharing frame is fantastic. The photo quality is excellent and the features are unique. I look forward to turning on my frame each day to see my new photos. The CEIVAshare automatically delivers 40 pictures each day. The CEIVAPro80 will deliver 60 photos. I love the ability to connect to my Facebook account. I can even add pictures from friend's albums - perfect for sharing photos of family and friends.

    You can purchase a CEIVAshare for $127.99. This includes a one year subscription to the PicturePlan Service (a $99 value). You could also upgrade to a CEIVAPro80 for $147.99 - this also includes a 1 year subscription.  The CEIVAPro80 has a few additional features, including a built-in media server that will let you stream photos over your home network.

    You can check out their entire line of products by visiting CEIVA's website.You can also connect with them through Facebook and Twitter.

    Sarah B. 

    I received a complimentary digital frame to facilitate my review. I was not obligated to give a positive endorsement. The opinions expressed are my own, honest thoughts of the product. 

      Giveaway ending tonight (5/27)

      We have a great giveaway ending tonight. As of this moment there are only 52 entries! The prize . . . two fantastic packs of Boogie Wipes. These gentle saline cloths are perfect for wiping noses and cleaning faces (mommy likes to use them too!)

      Giveaway ends tonight at 11:59 PM (Mountain Time). Get your entry in today!


      May 26, 2010

      Total Transformation Tuesday - Week Two Summary

      I guess today's post should be entitled "Tardy Tuesday" seeing as how it's now Wednesday. Yesterday was just a bit crazy. My sweet little boy has been teething. Yesterday I got a grand total of 3.5 hours of sleep. Needless to say, anything I would have posted on Tuesday would have been the ramblings of a mom zombie. I'm sad to admit I didn't even work out yesterday. I intended to. I was sitting on the couch last night reading a book and I fell asleep. My husband woke me up and I went straight to bed. So . . . there was no workout and no post.

      But now, eight hours of sleep later, I am finally cognizant enough to recap my last week. It was a good one, but a tough one.

      Body: Oh, P90x, you and I have a love/hate relationship. I love that I'm finally starting to see results. I feel like a little kid checking out my muscles in the mirror. Now, they're still baby muscles, but they're starting to show up - especially in my arms . . . I knew there was a reason for all of those push-ups. And, I'm pleased to announce I have lost 1.6 lbs. That feels much better than the ZERO I lost last week. I still find it so hard to be motivated to work out. Most nights I'm not done exercising till 11 PM. I wish there was a way to cram that whole work-out into a 20 minute session. I'm thankful that my online postings and friends help keep me accountable, or else most days I don't know that I would work out.

      Mind: Last week I finished Live Like You Mean It and 5 Ministry Killers and How to Defeat Them. Both were good books and challenging in different ways. I've posted my reviews of the books on this blog. I'm now reading The Anatomy of the Soul. It's written by psychiatrist Dr. Curt Thompson. It explores the connection between new findings in Neuroscience and Christian spirituality. It's one of those "make you think" kind of books so it's taking me a little bit longer to read through it. It definitely sounds interesting, but I'm only on chapter two.  

      Spirit: We're still journeying through the life of David. Last night he faced Goliath. I've learned a lot about the life of King Saul, his predecessor. That guy was plagued by insecurity and an obsession about what others thought about him. His life is a living testimony about how a quest to be great in the eyes of man can result in an obsession-fueled downward spiral. The verse that stood out the most to me was 1 Samuel 15: 23 "Rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry." Here's how Beth Moore describes this verse:
       "The comparison seems puzzling until we consider that rebellion is a means by which we attempt to set the course of our futures, We try to choose our own futures by our independent actions. Divination attempts to foretell or sway the future. In the same verse, God likens arrogance to the evil of idolatry. When we are arrogant, who becomes God in our lives?" 
      Ouch. That hits a little close to home. I'm definitely guilty of attempting to set the course for my future and THEN asking God to bless what I've already planned to do. Instead, I should first find out what God asks of me and then make sure my plans are in line with His. Making ourselves the center of the universe, is essentially the same thing as making ourselves into an idol - something we worship and serve, but has no power to save or bring about change.

      So . . . that's my week in review. I managed to get all six of my workouts in last week. This week is not off to as good of a start. I missed my very first workout yesterday, but I'm confident that there was no physical way I could have done it, and this mission is about over-all health, not die-hard dedication to a workout regimen. One of my college professors always said that "Sleep is spiritual." Resting is an essential part of a healthy body, mind, and spirit. Maybe my next 90 day challenge can involve sleeping . . . . mmmm, I could definitely be committed to that one - if  only my son would take the challenge with me.


      May 25, 2010

      5 Must-have Fashionable Pieces to Pack for Every Weekend Trip

      I'm getting ready to take a trip to my brother's high school graduation next week. I'm always at a loss of what to take with me on my trip. It seems I always pack far more than I actually need. Fortunately, the latest TwitterMoms discussion proves to be a helpful tool for me as I'm planning my trip. Here are the five must-have fashionable pieces to pack for every weekend trip.

      1) A comfortable pair of jeans for traveling. This has become especially important since I've started traveling with a young child. I need a pair of pants that can hold up drool, spilled juice, and other miscellaneous child-related stains.
      2) A nice pair of heels. A good pair of heels makes me feel dressed up, regardless of whether I'm wearing them with a pair of nice jeans or a pretty dress.
      3) My favorite pajamas. Slipping into something "a little more comfortable" usually means my favorite pair of sweatpants and an oversized t-shirt. They may not be considered "fashionable pieces" but they certainly help with my beauty sleep. That's fashionable, right?
      4) A nice button up blouse. It's hard to go wrong with this wardrobe classic. I find they can be very versatile, and can be paired with a nice pair of slacks, a skirt, or my personal favorite - blue jeans.
      5) Pretty accessories. I seldom get to wear earrings anymore. My son likes to use them to practice his hand-eye coordination. Needless to say, a few swift yanks and my earrings have been retired for the time being. 

      Those are my suggestions. You can share your own by participating in the TwitterMoms discussion. I'm sure my suitcase will be overloaded as usual when I leave next week. 

      If you're looking for good deals on your five must-haves you can take advantage of these current discounts from Gap Outlet and Banana Republic Factory Store.

      Gap Outlet Offerings 
      Gap Outlet is offering a doorbuster sale with up to 40% off all adult items and 30% off all kids items from May 25-31, 2010!  THEN, Gap Outlet extends the sale with up to 50% off select styles! Also, Gap Outlet is offering an exclusive coupon code to the TwitterMoms community for an additional 15% discount on all purchases, with a minimum spend of $75. This exclusive additional discount is available to all TwitterMoms friends and family from May 25 - June 7, 2010! 

      Banana Republic Factory Store Offerings
      Banana Republic Factory Store is offering 40% off the ENTIRE STORE from Wednesday 5/26/10 – Monday 5/31/10 ONLY! In addition, Banana Republic Factory Store is offering an exclusive coupon code to the TwitterMoms community for an additional 15% discount on all purchases, with a minimum spend of $75.  This exclusive additional discount is available to all TwitterMoms friends and family from May 25 through June 7, 2010, so hurry to your closest location today.

      Get your coupons today at


      I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Gap Outlet blogging program to be eligible to win a $20 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

      May 24, 2010

      What's my motivation . . .

      I don't like being confined to a schedule. It makes me feel trapped, but I've discovered lately that I need one or else nothing ever gets done. I'm a perpetual procrastinator, despite my efforts to change. That my friends, is why I have four pans piled by my sink and a load of laundry in my washing machine from yesterday.

      It's not that I don't want things to be done. It's not that I don't know how to do them. It's just that I have utterly no motivation, and I don't always use my time well. I guess I feel like I'm entitled to unlimited "me" time to the detriment of my housework. Facebook and e-mail seems monumentally more interesting than scrubbing a toilet or cleaning a diaper pail. I guess I need to put into practice the traits I want my children to have one day - work before play.

      So blogging buddies, I'm off to wash dishes, mop the floors, and clean the toilets before my son wakes up in twenty minutes. Maybe one day I'll get caught up on all my housework and I can kick my feet up and relax. Too bad they haven't perfected those cleaning robots from the Jetsons. I think that would be worth every penny!


      No Throw Winners

      And the Winners of the No Throw tethers are . . . .
      I would pick out green with numbers.

      and the second winner is . . ..
      I subscribe via e-mail 1

      You have 48 hours to respond to the winning e-mail or an alternate winner will be selected. Thanks for entering!


      May 22, 2010

      "5 Ministry Killers and How to Defeat Them" by Charles Stone

      I am married to a minister. I am the daughter of a minister. I am the granddaughter of a minister. To say that I'm familiar with life in the ministry would be a bit of an understatement. In addition to my husband, father, and grandfather; I have two uncles and two great-uncles who also serve as pastors. So, I've been privy to many of the frustrations, struggles, and trials that ministers face on a daily basis. In fact, Focus on the Family estimates that "1,500 pastors leave their assignments each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout or contention within their local congregation." Check out these shocking statistics: 

      • 80% of pastors believe being in pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families 
      • 70% say they have a lower self-image now than when they first started
      • 40% report serious conflict with a parishioner at least once per month 
      • Only 1 of every 10 pastors will actually retire as a minister in some form

      Charles Stone's book 5 Ministry Killers and How to Defeat Them takes an honest look at the top five potential "killers" of a pastor's ability to minister effectively.
        Five Ministry Killers and How to Defeat Them: Help for Frustrated Pastors--Including New Research From the Barna Group
      • A head-in-the-sand mentality that denies problems
      • Emotional investment in the wrong issues
      • Unhealthy responses to ministry frustrations
      • A Lone Ranger mentality that says "God and I can handle this."
      • Attitudes and actions that lead to lonely, hurting spouses.
       Based on new research from the Barna Group, LifeWay Research, and Christianity Today's, Stone uses pastors' own confessions and opinions to draw his conclusions about the practices and ideas that can endanger an effective ministry.

      My own personal experience confirms Stone's conclusions. The first year in our first church was one of the loneliest, most isolating years of my life. I watched my husband struggle through many of the issues Stone mentions in his book. It was encouraging to know that the vast majority of ministers face similar frustrations and challenges. The people who make up congregations are generally great folks, but I don't know that they can totally understand the unique challenges and stresses that ministers and their families face.

      Stone offers practical advice from his own experience as a pastor. Some of the problems ministers face are caused by their own attitudes and mentalities, others are completely beyond their control. I felt the book was an honest look at what life in the ministry looks like and better yet, it offers suggestions that can transform ministry from a burden to a blessing.

      If you're a minister or a minister's spouse, I'm sure you've experienced days when a job at the local Wal-Mart seemed pretty appealing, but hopefully you've also experienced the blessings and personal satisfaction of a ministry that makes a difference in the lives of the congregation you care for and serve. If you're currently struggling, hurting, or on the brink of burnout you may want to check out a ministry called Sonscape. They develop retreats for ministers and their spouses. They were founded as a place to minister to ministers. My husband and I went a few years ago and it was a marriage and ministry saver. I would go back again in a heartbeat.

      If you're a church member, know that your words and actions have the power to build up or tear down your local minister. Pastors (and their families) are people too and are going to make mistakes and let you down - most of the time this is not intentional. A little grace can go a long way. If you're looking for practical ways you can be a blessing to your minister and his family you can check out this resource from Sonscape. (They also have printed copies that can be sent to your local congregation)

      I would encourage you to read 5 Ministry Killers  as a minister, church member, or lay leader. We're all working toward the same purpose and understanding our struggles and how to overcome them can make us all stronger!


      I received a copy of the book to facilitate my review. I was not obligated to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

      May 21, 2010

      "Live Like You Mean It" by TJ Addington - Book Review

      What is your life's purpose? What are your goals, dreams, and ambitions? What were you put on this earth to do? In the book Live Like You Mean It, T.J. Addington guides the reader through ten crucial questions that will enable an individual to "clarify your purpose, live intentionally, and make the most of the rest of your life."

      Live Like You Mean It: The 10 Crucial Questions That Will Help You Clarify Your Purpose / Live Intentionally / Make the Most of the Rest of Your Life
      This book appealed to me as a young mom. So many of my days are spent in survival mode. I don't often take the time to think deeply about my dreams and personal development. Addington emphasizes the importance of thinking through some basic questions in order to better understand who you are and who you could be.

      Here are the questions he works through in the book:
      1. Why Am I Here: Pinpointing Your Purpose
      2. What Is My Sweet Spot: Understanding How You're Wired
      3. What Will I Leave Behind? Looking Toward Your Legacy
      4. What Really Matters? Establishing Clear Priorities
      5. What is my Plan? Determining Effective Ways to Grow and Develop
      6. How do I Best Recharge? Recognizing the Rewards of Refreshment
      7. How Can My Life Have a Ripple Effect? Initiating Ways to Influence and Inspire Others
      8. How Do I Relate to God? Deepening Your Spiritual Connection
      9. Will I Say Yes to God? Responding to the Creator's Call in Good Times and Bad
      10. What Shall I do Next? Creating a Plan for the Years Ahead
      A near-fatal health crisis prompted Addington to re-evaluate his life and write this book. Hopefully the rest of us can learn from these lessons. I found the chapter "What is my Plan" and "What Shall I do Next" to be the most helpful for me. He gives some practical steps for determining your top priorities and incorporating them in your schedule. I love that he encourages us to each have some "margin" in our calendars. The temptation is to cram everything possible into every day. His advice is to allow for some free time. This gives us flexibility should something new come up and it prevents us from burn-out.

      I enjoyed reading the book and found it to be helpful. Now I just need to make the time to write out my goals, priorities, and schedule! The biggest takeaway message of Live Like You Mean It is to live intentionally. A life of purpose will not happen by accident, it happens by intention. Decide where you want to go and take small practical steps to get there.


      Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

      May 20, 2010

      Huggies MomInspired Grant Opportunity

      "Necessity is the mother of invention." Well, if any group of people is aware of children's needs, it's their mothers and caregivers. The folks at Huggies have provided a special grant to help these Momtrepenuers get their businesses started.

      Do you have a product, business, or idea that would make a difference in the lives of children and their families? From now until June 11, you can apply at for a chance to earn a grant to help with the financial costs of getting started or further promoting your mom-based business.
      This program is open to moms who have an idea or already have a product/business and need additional funding to take it to the next level. Please note that the business or idea does not have to be one that fits within the Kimberly-Clark portfolio of products.This is all about helping moms nurture their business ideas and help them grow.
      So, if you're a mom with an idea or a product, but need a little financial help getting to the next level, I encourage you to apply! They are awarding up to $15,000 for mom inspired ideas!

      I am so impressed by these innovative moms! Keep up the great work!


      By posting this information, I am entered into a contest to win a $250 American Express gift card from MomSelect. I did not receive any compensation for this post and thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.


      The winner of the HappyBaby Baby Food giveaway is . . . .

      Comment #4:
      I am an email subscriber #2 entry

      Congratulations Elise! I'm sending you an e-mail. You have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected!


      May 19, 2010

      Playtex Bra Makeover

      I honestly have the hardest time finding a good fitting bra. This challenge has been exacerbated since I've had my son. 95% of my bras don't fit correctly, so I was excited about Playtex's new promotion that provides 10 women with a Bra Makeover! You can enter and learn more about this exciting opportunity by visiting

      Here's what they have to say about the program:
      Do slipping straps, riding up backs, or not enough support have you ready to write a Dear John letter to your old bras? Apply for a Bra Makeover from Playtex! Seven out of 10 women are wearing the wrong size bra, which can result in an ill fit for the rest of their outfit, back and shoulder pain, as well as bruising and digging.

      We know that busy moms don't always have time to update their bras or even check to make sure they are wearing the correct size. That's why we wanted to let you know about this contest from Playtex! Playtex recently launched, a site where women can go to apply for a bra makeover or nominate a friend. If chosen, the winner will be flown to New York to receive a Bra Makeover with style expert Alison Deyette. Deyette is a fashion and trend lifestyle expert who has been featured on Bravo's Millionaire Matchmaker and TLC's Ten Years Younger, as well as in print publications including Good Housekeeping, The Washington Post, and O Magazine. Apply for your chance to win a Playtex Bra Makeover today. The last day to apply is Friday, May 21st, 2010.

      The 10 winners selected for a Bra Makeover will also star in their very own webisode wherein a makeover candidate will receive a fitting with Deyette and walk away with the perfect Playtex products. A new webisode will premier on every two weeks.
       Good luck entering! It would be so neat for one of my readers to win this Bra Makeover. I'm planning on entering it myself!


      By posting this information, I am entered into a contest to win a free bra from Playtex. I did not receive any compensation for this post and thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

      May 18, 2010

      Win it Wednesday - Link up your giveaways!

      Do you have a great giveaway or are you looking for places to win great prizes? Enter your information below!


      Five Fun Family Vacation Activities Your Kids Will Love

      As a child, my summer vacations were spent driving from Texas to Ohio to visit friends and family. That is a loooooooong time to spend in the car, but along the way we managed to have a lot of fun and see a lot of neat sights. Now that I have a family of my own, I've begun brainstorming some fun family vacation ideas. Of course, at the moment, my son is to little to enjoy anything more than a warm bed, good food, and a few colorful books, but one day I hope to create some fun family memories. Here are my top five! You can also share your ideas by joining the discussion hosted by TwitterMoms and Williamsburg Tourism.

      1. Take Me Out to the Ballgame: I want to take my son to a Texas Rangers Baseball game in Arlington, TX. I grew up watching the Rangers and so I have a lot of fond memories.  There are a lot of fun activities in the Arlington area: Six Flags, Hurricane Harbor, The Ballpark in Arlington, and the new Cowboys stadium.
      2. Fun in the Sun: If I ever get in awesome shape (which is my current goal). I plan on hauling my family to the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I would also want to spend a few days in historic Charleston, SC. I've only seen pictures, but I love the history of the town.
      3. Colorado Springs, CO - I am in love with Colorado. In fact, my husband and I have managed to take a trip there every year since we've been married. I love the beauty of the place. Some of my favorite places to visit in the area are Mueller State Park, Garden of the Gods, and Pikes Peak. 
      4. New York City, NY - This trip will have to wait a while as I think it would be much more enjoyable with older children. I would love to travel to NYC with my family. I would definitely do all the fun touristy things - take a stroll in Central Park, see a Broadway show, visit the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.
      5. Tour the 13 original colonies - I know - it sounds educational, but who says educational can't be fun! I would love to visit the landmarks significant to the founding of our nation. There is so much rich history to be explored and discovered. I think history comes to life when you are able to stand where George Washington ate his breakfast or visit the theater were Lincoln was assassinated (that sounds horribly morbid, but it's an important part of history too). I would also want to include a trip to Washington DC so we could check out the Smithsonian, the monuments, the capitol, and the White House.
      What were some of your fondest vacation memories? Do you have fun vacation plans in store for your kids this year? Feel free to share them! I love to hear from you!


      “I wrote this blog post while participating in the Williamsburg Tourism and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

      Total Transformation Tuesday - Week One Done

      Yesterday was so hard. I had to literally force myself to push play on the DVD player. It's not that the workouts are impossible, I would just much rather sit on the couch and read blogs, or watch tv, or read a book, or . . .. well pretty much anything other than exercise.

      I am proud to announce that I managed to stick to the P90x exercise plan for the whole week, which meant six days straight of dvd workouts targeting different areas of the body. The bad news, well more discouraging than bad, is that I have not lost a single OUNCE. Not even one. I keep reminding myself that muscle weighs more than fat, but still - after 7 hours of exercising I hoped the scale would show at least some sign of progress. It probably doesn't help that I've been eating Ghirarddelli chocolates for breakfast the last few days . .  . it was on sale at Wal-Mart, and we all know that I'm a sucker for a good deal - and lets be honest, who doesn't love squares of chocolaty goodness.

      So, all that to say, that progress is slow, but I'm committed to seeing this thing through to the end. I do have to admit that the 90 minute yoga video was the most difficult hour and a half I've spent in a looooong time. If I hear the phrase "plank position" one more time I may be ill. It does bring a sense of accomplishment when you can sit down at the end of a good workout and say - I made it!

      Here's a little background on me in so that you can understand where I'm coming from. I'm not athletic. I don't even pretend to be. The only team I was on in high school was the Academic Decathalon team, and I was the captain. I competed in a science bowl. I tried out for the UIL accounting team. I was president of the National Honor Society. I'm not saying all that to toot my own horn or to out myself as a nerd. I just wanted to let you know that I'm not some hip, in shape, fitness chick. I'm just your average run-of-the mill mom on a mission.

      Here's my week in review:

      • It was tough, but I made it through all six scheduled workouts. It was a definite struggle at times. I have to wait until my son goes to bed before I begin my workout (this girls dreads mornings like a vampire dreads sunlight). There were a couple of night that I didn't finish my workout until 11:30 PM. I did skip one supplemental Ab Ripper routine simple because I didn't want to be up till midnight doing crunches. 
      • If only I enjoyed exercising as much as I enjoyed reading. I love books. I'm an addict. This last week I finished reading Live Like You Mean It. I'll be posting a review of it on the blog this week. The big takeaway message for me was: Live intentionally. I started 5 Ministry Killers and How to Defeat Them a few days ago. It's been an interesting read, especially for those connected to church/Christian ministry. That review should be posted on Sunday. 
      • In the Beth Moore study on the life of David "A Heart Like His," we're covering David's back story - specifically the life of Samuel, the prophet who later anointed David to be king of Israel. Here are the things that stood out to me this last week:
        • God looks at the heart, not the outward appearance. I can look like I've got it all together, but He can see through the charade. 
        • We can't treat God like a good luck charm or a genie in a bottle. He has specific purposes in mind for our lives and it's his will that will be fulfilled, not our wish list. The wonderful thing about God is that even though we may not always get what we want, He is always good (though it may be difficult at times to understand why things don't go the way we planned) and his purposes are always for our ultimate benefit. He will not allow anything into your life that He cannot use for your good if you allow Him to work through it and use it.
      So, that's my Total Transformation week in review.  It has not been easy, but it's been good. I'm looking forward to the journey! We're almost 10% of the way there! Hooray!

      Wondering what this is all about? You can check out my original post where I explain what motivated this 90 day mission.


      May 17, 2010

      Mommy's Ten Tips for being fashionable on a budget. Plus: GAP discount code

      Let's face it, money is tight these days. That's why the folks at Gap and TwitterMoms have joined forces to share their money saving tips with blog readers across the nation. You can join the discussion and share your own ideas!

      1. Shop your friend's closet. See if there are any items you would like to swap. 
      2. Don't be afraid of resale shops! You can find great deals on clothes in great condition.
      3. Garage Sales can be gold mines - ESPECIALLY for children's clothes. 
      4. Check out E-bay or Craigslist for designer items at discounted prices.
      5. Check online for discount codes.
      6. Look in your Sunday Paper for special deals and sales
      7. Take advantage of "Bonus Bucks" programs. Kohls is one of my favorites. Earning $10 on a $50 purchase is the equivalent of an additional 20% off your purchase.
      8. Use discount coupons that come in the mail. Many department stores offer these promotional coupons on a regular basis. 
      9. Pay cash. You're not saving any money if you're paying interest on a credit card. Sure, it may be on sale for 15% off, but you'll actually LOSE a greater percentage if you have a high interest rate of around 20-25%. 
      10. This may sound like a contradiction to #9, but take advantage of any special "card-members" discount programs. THE ONLY REQUIREMENT: pay it off immediately. You can even pay it off right then while you are in the store. That way you still reap the benefits of an additional 15-30% off without the temptation of spending more money than you actually have.
      I hope these tips were helpful to you! I'm always on the lookout for ways to save more money. So if you have any additional ideas I would love for you to leave a comment! I can always learn from your experience and wisdom!

      Here are some current specials running as part of Gap's campaign. Feel free to take advantage of these discounts and keep a little extra cash in your wallet!
      Gap Outlet is offering summer dress and cardigans for $15 and up to 40% off other select items from May 7-24, 2010!  Also, Gap Outlet is offering an exclusive coupon code to the TwitterMoms community for an additional 15% discount on all purchases, with a minimum spend of $75. This exclusive additional discount is available to all TwitterMoms friends and family from May 11-May 24th, 2010! 

      Banana Republic Factory Store's "It's All About Her Sale" offers savings of up to 50% off all women's clothes from April 30th through May 19th!  In addition, Banana Republic Factory Store is offering an exclusive coupon code to the TwitterMoms community for an additional 15% discount on all purchases, with a minimum spend of $75.  This exclusive additional discount is available to all TwitterMoms friends and family from May 11 through May 24, 2010, so hurry to your closest location today. 

      Happy Savings!


      I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Gap Outlet blogging program to be eligible to win a $20 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here

      May 15, 2010

      Intended for Greatness

      Do you ever feel like what you do is not significant? Like maybe you're intended for greatness, but got stuck someplace you never intended to be.

      There is good news. You are intended for greatness. It may not be what you initially imagined greatness would look like, but it's there. The key is discovering what you were made to do and then committing yourself to do it. This doesn't mean you have to change careers or go back to school. It only means figuring out what fills your soul and then being intentional about doing it.

      I believe that God has given each of us a talent, a skill, a personality trait that is specially suited just to us. I think we will only find fulfillment and satisfaction in life when we are actively using those gifts to reach beyond ourselves.

      What do gifts look like? Maybe people come to you for advice. . . that can be a gift. Do you like to help hurting people, bake cookies, pray, talk to someone who seems lonely . . . write random things on the internet to people you've never met (that would be me). Find what energizes you - there's a good chance that could be your gift.

      The surest way to have a bad day will be to focus on yourself . . . I know this from experience. Today I was a grouch. All I could think about was how I couldn't do what I wanted (which in this particular instance was to spend an entire day without having to clean up after people or tend to a teething child). Then I read an article about a mom who gave birth to a baby who only lived two hours. It puts things in perspective. What I complained about, that mom would have given anything for.

      Moral of the story: It's not about you.

      Bonus moral: Even though it's not about you, YOU can make a difference in someone else's life, and in the end, that's what will endure.

      Here's your challenge, should you choose to accept it. For 24 hours, whenever you are tempted to throw yourself a pity party, find a way to be a blessing to someone else. Let me know how it goes. You'll be amazed at how your perspective changes in the process.

      Thanks for listening to this sleepy momma on her soap box.


      May 13, 2010

      Boogie Wipes Review and Giveaway

      Let's face it. No one likes boogers . . . except maybe the Boogie Man. Ok, that's a bad pun. I realize that. (It's amazing how everything seems funny when you're tired - Mommy needs a nap.)

      Does your child run for cover whenever you approach with a tissue in hand? There's a solution to your child's runny nose woes: Boogie Wipes.

      These gentle, saline-infused cloths are soothing to sore and irritated noses. They are free of alcohol, phthalate and paraben which can further dry and irritate little noses. I like that they are hypoallergenic.

      I absolutely love them. I even use them myself. The fresh scent smells really good - in fact my little one tries to eat them while I'm in the process of wiping his nose. They also come in Grape, Magic Menthol, and Unscented.

      I am so impressed by Boogie Wipes. In fact, I use them for more than just wiping my little one's nose. I find they are fantastic for cleaning little faces and hands. The saline is much gentler on his skin than baby wipes.

      These wipes were created by two moms (I think mom inventors are the best!) Here's what motivated them to create Boogie Wipes:

      We invented Boogie Wipes in 2007 as a solution to our kids’ runny, red noses. After trying to use saline spray, bulb syringes and regular dry tissue, we became certain there had to be a better way to soothe our kids stuffy noses. Months of market research resulted in an answer as plain as the nose on our face - a saline-infused moist wipe that comforts chapped, sore noses while dissolving mucus.
      They really do a good job. I have been using them on my nine-month-old and they are effective and gentle. Granted: no kid really likes getting their nose wiped, but with Boogie Wipes you can eliminate the discomfort of cleaning crusty and runny noses. My little one no longer wriggles away when I approach with a cloth in hand.

      Listen to what they have to say about Boogie Wipes:

      Where to find them:
      Boogie Wipes are sold at over 40,000 locations, including Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, Babies R Us, Walgreens, and more. Find a complete list here.

      I give them two thumbs up. Now YOU have a chance to win some for yourself.

      One lucky reader is going to win TWO packs of Boogie Wipes

      Mandatory Entry:
      Visit Boogie Wipes and tell me something you learned or which scent you'd pick.

      Extra Entries:
      • Follow Boogie Wipes on Twitter. (1 entry)
      • "Like" Boogie Wipes on Facebook (1 entry)
      • Join the Boogie Bunch. (1 entry)
      • Follow Mommy's Minute on GFC, Twitter, or Facebook (1 entry EACH)
      • Tweet (1 daily entry - please leave your tweet link): 
        • "Wipe Runny Nose Woes goodbye: #Win Boogie Wipes from Mommy's Minute (5/27)       
      • Enter one of my current giveaways (1 entry each)
      • Subscribe by RSS or e-mail (2 entries)
      • Grab my button (2 entries)
      Open to the US, 18 +. Giveaway ends May 27 at 11:59 PM (MST). Please make sure your e-mail address is visible in your profile or in your comment. Winner will be notified by e-mail and will have 48 hours to respond before an alternate winner is selected.


      I received a package of Boogie Wipes to facilitate my review. 
      The opinions expressed are my own, honest thoughts of the product. 
      All photos and videos are from the Boogie Wipes website:


      And the winners are . . . . .

      The winner of the Munchie Mug is comment
      #23: Tabathia.
      email subscriber #2

       The winner of the "Bad Dreams Go Away Spray and Activity Kit" is
      #4: Debbie. She says: 
      email subscriber #2

      Winners have been notified by e-mail. You have 48 hours to respond to the winning e-mail or a new winner will be selected. Congratulations ladies!

      Didn't win this time? There are more great giveaways listed on the upper right hand side of the blog. Good luck!


      May 11, 2010

      Win it Wednesday - Link up your giveaways!

      Do you have a great giveaway? Enter your link below!

      Mommy's Minute has two giveaways ending tonight!

      * Bad Dreams Go Away Spray and Activity Kit: Help your child conquer their nighttime fears! There are currently only 20 entries!!!!!!

      * Munchie Mug: Tired of picking cereal off the floor? This product is for you!There are currently only 41 entries!!!


      Mommy's Top Ten Tips for an Affordable Vacation

      I stepped outside this afternoon and as I began sweating I realized that summer will soon be upon us. I love summer. I love summer vacations. I do NOT love spending a lot of money. I thought I'd share with you a few of my favorite money saving tips. Hopefully they can help you as your begin to prepare for your own family's summertime adventures.

      1. "My mamma always said, 'You better shop around.'" Never, ever, ever purchase an item without checking to see if you can find it at a better price. Taking an additional five minutes to comparison shop could easily save you 10-15% on your purchase.
      2. Kick the hotel to the curb. If your travel plans involve an overnight stay, consider renting a house, condo, or an apartment instead of dishing out dollars for a hotel room. You can often get double the space for the same price (or less) than a standard hotel room. 
      3. Pick a place with a kitchen: Feeding a family of five at a restaurant can easily suck the money right out of your vacation fund. Plan on taking advantage of lunch specials and cook at home for the higher priced dinner meal. 
      4. Vacation with friends: Not only can you save a lot of money when you split gas and lodging, but you can also have a lot of fun. 
      5. Travel during the off season. My family and I love to travel to Breckenridge and Colorado Springs during the summer. There is no way we could afford to go during the height of ski season, but the off-season discounted rates are fantastic ways to save money.
      6. Bring your own snack foods. Sure $2 for a coke here and there doesn't sound like much, but it sure can add up. Stock up on your favorite snacks before you leave home. Chances are you can get them for much less than you would pay at a convenience store.
      7. Keep the souvenirs to a minimum: To be honest, you probably don't need another snow globe or fluffy topped pencil. Take pictures instead. Ten years from now you probably won't even remember where you put half of that stuff. 
      8. Ask for available discounts. You never know how much you can save by just asking if the attraction offers any special discounts or promotions. I was able to save 50% on a attraction by going on a particular day of the week.
      9. Use online price comparison services like Bing's Travel feature. They do the work of comparing prices for you. They also show the current price trends, which makes it helpful to decide whether or not to buy your ticket or wait a few more days.
      10. Have free fun! Check out the local state parks, hiking trails, and community events. Visit your location's city website to see if there are any free local events taking place during your visit. It can result in a lot of fun and very little money out of pocket. 
      I hope you have a blast planning your summer vacations. Keep in mind that it's not the amount of money that you spend, but the quality of the time spent together. Enjoy and keep on saving! You can check out other mom's money saving ideas by checking out TwitterMom's discussion page here! You can also check out other great info at


      “I wrote this blog post while participating in the Toyota Sienna and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

      Giveaways Ending Tomorrow (5/12)

      There are two fantastic giveaways ending tomorrow. Both have under 50 entries. You have incredible chances to win! Don't miss out on your chance to take home these great products!

      • Munchie Mug: Help keep your kid's cereal in this cup instead of in your carpet! There are currently only 41 entries!!!
      Win one for yourself or to give to a friend! Contests close May 12 at midnight Mountain time.

      Good luck!


      Total Transformation Tuesday - Day 2

      I feel like someone has literally kicked me in the rear. I checked, there is no bruise . . . only some super sore muscles. Yesterday I began my 90 day quest to a better me. Transformation Tuesdays will document my journey to transform body, mind, and spirit.

      Here's what's on the menu:
      Body: P90x Exercise Program
      • Yesterday I did the Core Synergistics dvd. I imagine it would have been very comical to watch me rolling around on the floor like a trained seal. 
      • I'm trying hard to get rid of my mommy-muffin top and the stubborn 5 pounds of baby weight that refuses to go away.
      Mind: Read a book for at least 30 minutes a day.
      • I'm reading "Live Like You Mean It: The 10 Crucial Questions That Will Help You Clarify Your Purpose, Live Intentionally, Make the Most of the Rest of Your Life." It's a looooooong title, but a good thought provoking book to challenge my priorities and perspectives.
      • Today I finished Chapter 5. It involved developing an intentional plan to help enhance your personal growth. It challenged me to get outside my comfort zone in order to grow as a person.
      Spirit: Work through Beth Moore's 90 Days to a Heart Like His - a study on the life of David.
      • I've been reminded that even though man looks at the outside, God looks at the heart. I could spend the next 90 days perfecting my body, but if I neglect what's on the inside, it will have all been in vain. 
      My greatest challenge has been finding the time to exercise. The DVDs are each about an hour long. There is no way on earth I can do them while my son is awake. He has about a five minute attention span and he is on the move. I would hate to accidentally step on him while doing a lunge. That means I either have to wake up at five (I can guarantee that's not going to happen - this girl is NOT a morning person) or I can work out after he goes to bed at 7:00. I hate working out so late, but it's either then or not at all. 

      So . .. that's my update. Two days down. Eighty-eight more to go . . . . that's a lot. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.



      The winner of the Golden Moon Tea giveaway is . . . .
      daily tweet:

      Congratulations Debbie. Check your e-mail and respond in the next 48 hours to claim your prize~!


      May 10, 2010

      Giveaways Ending Soon

      Did you get what you wanted for Mother's Day?

      If not, here's a chance to win some things yourself!

      These giveaways are ending soon:

      # Bad Dreams Go Away Spray kit (5/12)
      # Munchie Mug (5/12)
      # Golden Moon Tea (5/10)**** ENDS TONIGHT!****



      The winner of the L'Bri Giveaway is . . .

      She said:
      May 6, 2010 9:32 PM
      Following you on Twitter

      She won the 10 day supply of L'Bri Skin Care Essentials.

      Congratulations Shellie!


      Happy Mother's Day or should I say MOMday

      I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day. I took the weekend off, but now it's back to business as usual here at Mommy's Minute.

      This was my first official Mother's Day with my little boy, and it was a special day. Of course, he's too small to do much more than slobber on Mommy, but Dad did a great job of making the day a good one.

      We dedicated our son at church on Sunday - what a special way to remember that these precious children are gifts from God.

      The husb picked up some fried chicken and macaroni and cheese for lunch (not exactly health food, but it was oh so tasty!). He then watched our son while I took an undisturbed nap . . . gosh, I love naps. Top off the day with flowers, Chinese take-out, and game night with my man and it was a great Mother's Day.

      Unfortunately, I now have to resume my normal household duties. My sink is overflowing with dishes, my laundry basket overflowing with clothes, and my floors in desperate need of a good cleaning.

      I think there should be more than one day a year to honor moms and all they do. I nominate Mondays. From henceforth, Monday's shall be MOMdays. Sounds good to me .. . now if I only I can find someone to come clean my house for free . . .


      May 6, 2010

      No Throw: Review and Giveaway

      It is a proven fact: Babies love to throw things. Babies aren't picky either. If it's not tethered down, chances are it will be flung to high heaven. That's why the folks at Twin Beginnings created "No Throw."

      This clever little device secures bottles and sippy cups to strollers, car seats, and high chairs. I've found that it also does a great job of holding on to Teething rings and just about any toy that has an opening large enough to thread the strap through.

      I love to go on walks with my son, but he often (whether by accident or on purpose) looses his grip on his sippy cup. If the cup falls on the floor at home I usually do the super quick "wipe-it-off-on-mommy's-shirt" routine. I'm not as crazy about handing my son a cup that has fallen on the street. With the No Throw band the sippy cup never reaches the ground. It simply remains tethered to the side of the stroller.

      This principle also works well for the car. Not only is it dangerous, but it's near impossible to grab a fallen cup from the bottom of the backseat floorboard while SAFELY maneuvering a vehicle. Now, if the child gets the urge to fling their cup. They can't send it too far.

      I think this is a novel and fantastic idea. The velcro strap adjusts to the exact size of your cup or bottle. They are super easy to attach and remove. I give it two hearty thumbs up!

      The kind folks at No Throw have generously offered you a chance to win your own. TWO readers will have a chance to win TWO No Throw bands.

      Can't wait to win one? You can also purchase one for yourself at Walgreens, Bed Bath and Beyond or the No Throw Website.

      How to Enter:

      Mandatory Entry:
      Visit No Throw and tell me which design you would pick AND whether it is for a boy or a girl!

      Extra Entries
      • Follow Mommy's Minute on Google Connect, Facebook, or Twitter (1 entry EACH)
      • Tweet this Giveaway (1 entry, can be done daily)
        • Stop playing fetch with your child! #Win TWO No Throw Bands from Mommy's Minute (5/20) 
      • Subscribe by e-mail or RSS feed - right hand sidebar (2 entries)
      • Grab my button (2 entries)
      ** Make sure to leave a separate comment for each entry. If an entry is worth 2, please leave two comments.

      Giveaway open to the US, 18+. Giveaway ends 5/20 at 11:59 PM (MST). Please leave your e-mail in your comment or make it visible in your profile so that I can contact you if you win! Winner will have 48 hours to respond to the winning e-mail or an alternate winner will be selected. Winner selected through


      I received a complimentary No Throw to facilitate my review. 
      The opinions expressed in this review are my honest thoughts about the product.
      Photos are from the No Throw Website.