4/18/14

Bloggers Wanted - Mother's Day Giveaway Hop

Join us for the
Mother's Day Giveaway Hop
hosted by Planet Weidknecht
from May 1-11, 2014

By adding your blog link below, you agree to:
Post your own dedicated giveaway for this event, from May 1, 2014 at 12:01a.m. until May 11, 2014 at 11:59p.m. Giveaway may be company-sponsored or self-sponsored. Giveaway prize must be worth at least $25.00. Blogs without giveaways posted by 10:00a.m. on May 1 will be removed from the linky list. Signups close on April 29.

You aren't required to post in advance of the giveaway hop, but if you'd like to add the button to your sidebar, please link it to this post so that others may join in too.

Please also join the Weidknecht Events Facebook Group at:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/WeidknechtEvents/
Your giveaway post (on May 1) must include:
Mother's Day Giveaway Hop button
Link to the hosts Planet Weidknecht (http://www.weidknecht.com) and LeahSay's Views (http://leahsaysviews.com/)
Provided linky list of all participating bloggers
Your giveaway and contest form

HTML will be provided a few days before the hop begins, both by email and post in the Weidknecht Events Facebook Group. Questions can be directed to LisaWeidknecht@hotmail.com.

Sign Up Here:

Use ScoreBig for Ticket Savings

Disclosure: I received compensation in exchange for my honest review.
I am so excited about ScoreBig.com! Their website offers discounted tickets to sporting events, Broadway shows, music concerts, live theater, and local attractions. It's so easy to use and you get to bid on your tickets! All you have to do is search for the event you want to attend, in the city where you want to attend, then bid on your tickets. You find out immediately if your bid is accepted and if it's a tad too low, they will offer you the tickets anyway at a super discounted price. You save money on every ticket, guaranteed, with ScoreBig.com.
If you're a sports fanatic, you can find great ticket prices on NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB events. You can save up to 60% when you buy tickets through their site. Once your tickets are secured, the tickets will either arrive in your mailbox, wait for you at "will call" or be emailed so you can print them out and go. The website is very user-friendly and it's a great way to get advance tickets for events especially if you're going to be traveling to another city and want to plan your activities in advance.
It's also a wonderful way to see what music concerts and family shows are coming to your local area. I love to road trip around Texas and I scored big with two tickets to visit Sea World San Antonio at a super discount! I can hardly wait to see the beautiful ocean animals, watch the shows and ride the rides. I wonder if they will let me kiss a whale!
Don't break the bank getting tickets to your next event or attraction. Visit ScoreBig.com today and get your discounted tickets the quick, easy way! Be sure to check out their Last Minute Savings and sign up for emails about upcoming events in your area. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter for even more up-to-date information!

Hapari Swimwear - Review

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Most women don't enjoy shopping for swimwear and that includes me. It's often difficult for me to feel comfortable wearing a swimsuit because I'm a bit intimidated by the many slim, young ladies out there. My confidence level tends to drop a bit whenever I'm faced with shopping for something revealing. I'm so glad I found Hapari.com for swimwear because they have a huge selection for all sizes and shapes!
While browsing the Hapari Swimwear website, I found this beautiful swimwear set that matches my personality and my modesty. Since they offer so many individual pieces, it's easy to find pieces to mix and match. The Kona Sarong Skirt with Swim Bottoms was the first piece that I fell in love with because of the beautiful combination of a warm brown background punctuated with bright turquoise, green and yellow flowers.
The White Eyelet Halter Tankini Top is the perfect complement for the swimskirt and the silky, semi-transparent Turquoise Sarong Wrap gives me an extra pop of color either at my waistline or on my shoulders. The top and bottoms are both made from 80% nylon and 20% spandex, plus the material is UPF 50+ to protect my skin from the sun.
My new swimwear from Hapari is great quality, keeps me well covered, and is extremely comfortable. It gives me great confidence to show myself in public, even in a swimsuit! Plus, Hapari offers fabulous prices and right now, they are even offering free shipping for orders over $25. Their customer service is fantastic and my order arrived just 3 days after I ordered. Hapari.com gets my seal of approval!
Visit www.hapari.com to find the swimwear that is perfect for your body! They offer swimwear fashions for everyone in the family, including men, women and children. Be sure to connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest so you can be first to hear about special promotions and new products. Isn't it about time you bought yourself something you really love to wear to the pool and beach?

Inspired


Free #Disney Coloring Pages - Planes: Fire and Rescue

Download the Coloring Pages HERE!
BONUS!
Download the Maze of Courage HERE
and the Memory Game HERE!

PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE opens in theaters on July 18, 2014!
Like PLANES on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyPlanes
Follow PLANES on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyPictures

4/17/14

Uncorked Ventures Wine Gifts, Baskets, & Clubs - Review

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Uncorked Ventures searches throughout California, Oregon, and Washington to find exceptional wines to share with you. Mark Aselstine and Matt Krause are brothers-in-law and together they tour the wine country's finest proprietors and winemakers, many of whom don't advertise outside of their own region. Their discerning tastes and special connections give them unprecedented access so that they can bring these unforgettable wines to light.
I recently received two bottles of wine through Uncorked Ventures - one white wine and one red wine. The White Wedding wine was fresh and fragrant, with a whole-bodied taste unlike any other I've tasted. The red Dacalier was a rich, bold taste that warmed me to my toes. These are truly extraordinary wines that definitely get my stamp of approval. Uncorked Ventures features an online shop where you can select from their wine gifts, wine baskets, and even join one of three wine clubs that will introduce you to a wide variety of rare tastes.
Visit www.uncorkedventures.com today to place your order for yourself or someone special. Mother's Day is coming up soon and your Mom certainly deserves a delicious bottle of wine. Father's Day isn't far behind and spring weddings are the perfect time to spoil the newlyweds with something they will truly appreciate. Be sure to connect with Uncorked Ventures on Facebook and Twitter too!

Black Bean Potato Skins #Recipe

Black Bean Potato Skins

Ingredients:
2 dozen small brown potatoes
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup shredded cheese
6 jalepenos, sliced
Butter
Sea salt
Sour cream for topping

Directions:
First prepare the potatoes by baking them at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Then slice potatoes in half, scooping out most of the potato from the skin, leaving about 1/4 inch thickness of potato next to the skin. Reserve scooped potatoes for mashed potatoes with chives (see below). Place the sliced potato skins on a cookie sheet, scoop-side down. Brush potato skins with a touch of melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven and flip potato skins over so scoop-side is up. Brush the inside of the potato skins with a touch of melted butter. Fill the potato skins with drained and rinsed black beans, top with some shredded cheese, and place a jalapeno on top of each one. Bake for another 15 minutes and top with sour cream. Makes 24 potato skins. Delicious!

Notes: 
Delicious appetizer or even a meal.
I froze about half the potato skins in a container with wax paper separating the layers, so we could have homemade freezer snacks whenever the desire hits.
Make mashed potatoes with chives from the scooped-out potatoes by adding 1/2 cup milk, 1 tablespoon sour cream, 1 tablespoon butter, and 1 tablespoon fresh chives. Save for another meal.

Print this recipe HERE.
See my other recipes HERE.

Benefits of Third Party Shipping Insurance

#spon

When you are shipping certain types of items, you might want to consider getting parcel and package insurance that will cover the costs of those items if they get lost or stolen during their transit to their destinations. This is especially important if the items that you’re shipping through the mail are of a high value and would pose a significant monetary loss if they didn’t reach their destination. Although most shipping carriers offer insurance with their services, their insurance might not always be the most cost effective insurance routes to take.

Sometimes a third party insurer might offer the best rates for insuring the packages that you want to ship through the mail. There is no rule that requires that you get your packages insured through the shipping carrier that you choose to ship them. Oftentimes, you can ship with a major carrier and get your parcel insured by a third party parcel insurance company at a fraction of the cost that it would cost you to get your parcel insured by the major carrier.

Moreover, just like major shipping carriers have different types of insurance plans to suit different customers’ needs, so do third party insurance companies. If you ship thousands of packages per year, there are plans to accommodate such high volumes of shipments with insurance. However, if you only need insurance for one package, then there are one-time insurance rates to accommodate just the one package. No matter what your shipping insurance needs, you should be able to find an insurance plan that meets your needs through a third party source.

Finding insurance for your packages from a third party source is easier than every nowadays thanks to modern technology and the innovativeness of the Internet. Now, you can find numerous companies online that allow you to purchase the third party insurance that you need for your packages online. Additionally, those companies that allow you to purchase their insurance online will usually allow you file any claims that you need to file online as well. Being able to conduct business online in such a manner oftentimes expedites the process and makes it easier and more convenient for you to take care of your shipping and insurance needs.

Regardless of what you’re shipping, if it’s of any value, it’s a good idea to get it insured. However, if you don’t want to pay the high rates that the major carriers set forth, you can opt to get shipping insurance from a third party company.

4/16/14

JoeShade Sunshade Umbrella - Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Down here in Texas, spring is in full bloom and the heat of summer is on its way. It often reaches 100 degrees during the hottest months and sometimes even higher. Last summer, across the country there were heat alerts everywhere, including the upper northeast. I remember sweating in the hot sun for air shows and sporting events, and then dealing with the painful sunburn afterwards. This year, I'm ready for it all with my new JoeShade, a personal shade umbrella!
When my kids played soccer and baseball, I remember parents lugging along giant pop up shade tents that took several people to assemble, and by the time it was all set up practice was nearly over. JoeShade comes in a matching handy shoulder strap bag, plus I can set it up in less than 2 minutes all by myself. This ingenious shade umbrella is made with special fabric that also blocks harmful UV A and B rays.
There are two main pieces to the JoeShade - the bottom stand and the umbrella post, plus there are three ground stakes included in case its a windy day. I certainly don't want this fabulous sunshade umbrella blowing away! Think of all the wonderful places a JoeShade would come in handy - sporting events, camping trips, local parks, dirt races, beaches, swimming pools, and even your own yard (my backyard has no trees at all)!
The JoeShade is freestanding on its broad-base tripod legs, providing excellent stability. I love the 60" wide umbrella reach because it offers plenty of room for both my husband and me. If you have small children or a baby, it is really important to keep them shaded and cool. JoeShade comes in blue, red, or green so you can even choose a color that complements your favorite team or your beloved lawn chair.
This portable UV sun shade umbrella adjusts from 3 ft. low to 8 ft. high for maximum shade, plus it has a tilt function that allows for protection from multiple angles. JoeShade is also a proud sponsor of the Melanoma Research Foundation! I love when a company supports charity.
The JoeShade also features wind vents to help keep your umbrella right where you want it. I'm amazed at all the attention to detail and I'm even more happy with the ease of use. I'll probably be using mine every single day in my backyard, but I'll also be taking it with me to every outdoor event that I attend. I may end up getting a second JoeShade so I can keep one in the trunk of my car all the time.
You and your family will certainly find plenty of uses for a sunshade umbrella. Even my dog loves the instant shade that JoeShade provides! I highly recommend this product and the company. I love my JoeShade and I know you will too.
Visit www.joeshade.com to order yours for JUST $33.95! Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and watch this quick video to see more about how JoeShade works. Then enter below to win a free JoeShade!
Enter my other giveaways HERE!

Giveaway Link Up - Wednesday Wealth (April 16-22)

Guess what day it is???
Yep, it's Wednesday Wealth Day!
Link up your giveaways so I can share them with all my readers.
Be sure to enter to win something wonderful while you're here!

5 Easy DIY Earth Day Projects from Carter Oosterhouse

Don’t let another Earth Day pass you by! This April 22nd, make sure you are doing your part by considering a greener lifestyle. Don’t know how? Eco-friendly celeb, Carter Oosterhouse offers his top 5 easily mastered DIY projects you can implement around the home to ensure you are eco-covered:
  • Repair leaky faucets around the house. By doing so, you not only help the environment by not being wasteful, but you will also save upwards of 10 percent on the next water bill!
  • Repurposing is a hot trend – instead of throwing away an old door, turn it into a stylish coffee table or headboard. Also, try giving old furniture a fresh coat of paint – the difference will amaze you!
  • Being green is as easy as changing a light bulb. By upgrading 15 inefficient incandescent bulbs in your home to energy efficient you can save upwards of $50 on your utility bill. There are three main types of energy-efficient bulbs carried at your local hardware store: CFLs, LEDs and energy-saving incandescents.
  • Learn to compost at home. Instead of filling our landfills with scraps of food, use them to nourish the soil in your backyard. For easy-indoor composting, I recommend purchasing an indoor composting bin from your local hardware store that sits on top of your counter – not to worry, a properly managed compost bin will not attract pests or rodents and will not smell bad. Composting requires three basic ingredients: Brown – dead leaves, branches and twigs; Greens – grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps and coffee grounds; as well as Water – essential for compost development. NOTE: Animal byproducts should not be used as part of compost.
  • Always remember to RECYCLE and have fun!
For more ways on how you can live a greener lifestyle, please visit Carter Oosterhouse’s website: www.CarterOosterhouse.com

4/15/14

Easter Cakes from Gourmet Gift Baskets - Review

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Now that all my kids are grown and off to college, I no longer have the joy of raiding their Easter baskets after they go to bed. Instead I'm indulging in sweets of another kind - Easter cakes! These darling specialty cakes from GourmetGiftBaskets.com are the perfect treat to follow our traditional Easter dinner. They are moist and incredibly delicious!
Measuring six inches across, the Easter Egg Cake and Easter Chick Cake are created with rich vanilla cake, topped with sweet yellow frosting, then hand decorated on top, and embellished with confetti sprinkles. These cakes would be a wonderful Easter gift to send to family that cannot be home for the holiday. Both of the cakes would also be a wonderful addition to an Easter party. Best of all, no baking required!
Gourmet Gift Baskets also features a large selection of Easter baskets, gift baskets, gift towers, fruits, chocolates, wine and much more. They also do corporate gifts, same day gifts, and care packages! They'll do all the baking, the packaging, and the shipping, while you sit back and enjoy (or collect sincere gratitude from your gift recipients).
Visit www.gourmetgiftbaskets.com today to order for Easter, Mother's Day, birthdays, graduation, or any occasion! Be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest too. You'll be first to hear about new products and special promotions! Which cake would YOU eat first?

4/14/14

Win a Wilton Supreme Cake Decorating Set - Spring Has Sprung Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Spring Has Spring Giveaway Hop Event

From April 15 - May 2, you can visit EACH of the blogs listed below on the linky and enter to win fabulous prizes worth at least $25.00! Maybe you'll be really lucky and win them all!

My prize is a
Wilton Supreme Cake Decorating Set
(2104-2546 / 53 Pieces)
valued at $32.99

Win this and learn to create amazing, mouth-watering desserts!
(Go see my Pupcake)

Learn more about this set HERE.
To enter to win, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. You must be at least 18 years old and reside in the USA. Only the first entry is mandatory; bonus entries will increase your chance to win. Giveaway ends at midnight on 5/2/2014. Good luck!
Enter my other giveaways HERE.

Disney Bears - Free Printable Activity Sheets #DisneynatureBears

Fabulous FREE activity sheets for your kids!
Just click HERE to download them to your computer!

Disneynature’s BEARS opens in theatres Friday, April 18th!

Visit the website!
http://www.facebook.com/Disneynature
http://twitter.com/Disneynature

How to Have a Bad Day on Purpose

Sometimes it seems that people go out of their way to have a bad day. This negativity spreads to others making everyone around the individual miserable. For those that feel like they want to be in such a frame of mind, having a bad day can be quite easy. What can you do to ensure that you'll spread this miserable frame of mind to everyone else in your life?

1. Lack of Sleep - Make sure that you don't get a good sleep the night before. Sleep deprivation can cause everything from mild irritability to severe hallucinations. If you prolong your lack of sleep for a few days, these problems begin to grow exponentially. Every small problem or frustration becomes amplified and situations seem far worse than they really are.

2. Eat Poorly - Not having a balanced diet can also create great irritability. This is especially true in diabetics that don't eat properly. Without the nutrients, vitamins and minerals in healthy foods, you brain doesn't function to the best of its ability. If your brain isn't functioning correctly, your frame of mind is altered as well. The ability to think relies on the health of your brain. This is aside from other physical complications that come from not eating the right foods such as fatigue, pains and spasms.

3. Don't Relax, Ever - Instead of practicing relaxation techniques when you become frustrated with work or family, keep yourself as high strung as possible. You don't need to focus on things such as breathing deeply to help you focus. The increase of oxygen to the brain helps you think more rationally. Proper breathing is one of those things that many adults take for granted. This isn't including ways to relieve tension in the muscles such as yoga or exercise routines.

4. Procrastinate Everything - Putting things off to the last minute could easily compound problems. However, this may need to be done a day or two in advance. Instead of dealing with problems or situations as they occur, you can always just wait until the problem festers. This could increase your stress levels exponentially depending on the circumstances. You may think you are relieving your stress by putting something off until the next day, but you're only creating an increase later on.

5. A Bit of Road Rage to End the Day - After a long exhaustive day while skipping lunch, there is nothing better for putting an end to a bad day than to be stuck in traffic for a few hours. Depending on the area you live in, rush hour traffic may be unavoidable. However, many areas have alternate routes that are less dense with other drivers. Although these routes may seem longer in mileage, many of these paths actually take less time to traverse than common straight-through routes. Since you are trying to ruin your day all-together, there is no reason to use mapping systems such as Google to find alternate ways to get home.

It's not often that people wake up in the morning hoping to have a miserable day. Instead of adapting to common problems that keep perpetuating this type of scenario, these people continue to live the same way day-in and day-out. Instead of learning ways to avoid a bad day, you can continue the same behaviors hoping things will get better.

Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.

Freshen Up Your Bedroom with BrylaneHome Bedding

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
As the Texas Bluebonnet flowers bloom each April, I always get into a "refresh mode" around my house. Yes, there's the dreaded spring cleaning to do, but changing out my home decor for the new season cheers me up every time. Freshening up the beds with new bedding sets is the fastest, easiest way to makeover a bedroom and BrylaneHome has dozens of fabulous new sets!
I joyfully stripped the bed of all the drab winter colors, washed them, and packed them away as soon as this beautiful Funky Floral Oversized Multi-Piece Comforter Set arrived. It comes with a bedskirt, a comforter, two pillow shams, and two throw pillows. I chose the bold orange grey print, but it's also available in a delicate white green print or a glamorous purple grey print.
Available exclusively at BrylaneHome, this gorgeous six-piece set comes in Twin, Full, Queen and King Size. It's made of a cotton/polyester and is machine-washable. The bedskirt has a darling pleat in it on both sides and at the foot of the bed.
The comforter has a silky-soft backside and the edges are trimmed in the solid color for extra flair. The floral print on top makes it perfect for both men and women. My husband hates really flowery stuff, but this funky floral print easily passed his test. It's a nice medium-weight comforter, perfect for spring, and I love an oversized comforter.
The pillow shams match the comforter print and also have a solid bottom with fold-around edges of solid colored material. I checked this entire set all over and didn't find a single dropped stitch anywhere. I love the attention to detail, especially the extra stitching throughout the comforter to ensure the filling stays where it should.
This set also comes with two very fancy throw pillows that finish off the look very professionally. One is rectangular with little folds all down the front of it and the other is square-shaped with a shiny shadow print on it that matches the print on the comforter and pillow shams.
In less than 15 minutes, I gave the bedroom an entirely new look, completely freshened up for spring. It required no painting, no gluing, no power tools, and I did it all by myself. I love the bold colors and this print will be perfect all the way through summer and into late fall.
Doesn't it look spectacular? Check out their entire line of great products for freshening up every room of your home, and even your patio and garage! Visit their website at http://www.brylanehome.com/ often because they are always adding new collections and featuring special promotions. What room do YOU want to makeover this spring?
Like BrylaneHome on Facebook
Follow BrylaneHome on Twitter

Pajama Drama Nouveau Ruffled Set - Review

Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Photo courtesy of Pajama Drama
Sooner or later, you're going to attend an overnight function that requires pajamas, but your husband's faded t-shirt and your old knit shorts with holes just won't do. Let me introduce you to Pajama Drama! They sell the cutest sleepwear that will wow everyone who gets the pleasure of seeing you in them. For me, it was traveling with 39 other bloggers on a four day cruise.
These adorable pajamas are the Nouveau Ruffled Tank and Pants Set. They are made of a soft, lightweight cotton/poly material that moves with me and allows my skin to breathe. The tank top features darling purple ruffles along the armholes and neckline. I was worried the ruffles might be scratchy, but they are very soft and didn't bother me at all.
On the back of the tank top, between the shoulder is a cute little satin bow. This Pajama Drama set is available in two colors - Grape (dark purple and lavender) or Nude (light tan on white) - and can be ordered in small, medium, large, or extra large for just $19.99.
The waistband on the pants is elastic for extra comfort for those nights where just one fancy cruise ship dessert won't do. For extra fanciness, there is also a purple satin bow at the waistline. The wide legs are super comfortable, whether I'm lounging on the patio or snuggling up under the covers.
The waistband, the pants-leg bottoms, and the bottom edge of the tank are all edged with a stitched ruffle too. These pajamas are great fun to wear, look great, and are luxuriously soft. I wore them every night of the cruise and they were even comfortable on the night I went to bed slightly sunburned. I recommend Pajama Drama for all those nights where being cute is as important as being comfortable!
Visit http://www.pjdrama.com/ to see all their styles and shop for the Nouveau Ruffled Set on Amazon! Follow them on Facebook and Twitter to be first to know about new styles and special promotions.