Current Giveaways

WideNeck Diet Day 11 - Menu and Musings

Day 11 is holding steady at 10 pounds lost. I am happy! My clothes are fitting better, but I have many more to lose, so focus is the one thing I cannot lose.

Breakfast - Once again, I got busy and forgot to eat breakfast until about 10a.m. I grabbed a small plate of summer sausage and baby swiss cheese. While I was in the kitchen I threw away some stuff that was in the fridge, you know the stuff that's obviously not going to be eaten, nearly empty sauces, and a couple expired dressings. I also pulled out the crockpot and threw in some lil smokies with bbq sauce.
Summer Sausage and Swiss Cheese
Lunch - Well, go figure! I had lil smokies with bbq sauce and sweet onion for lunch, plus a couple pickles (so I could throw away that jar too), and a bowl of brussels sprouts with salt and pepper. The bbq sauce was from Aunt Sassy's and it tasted great with the lil smokies.
Sassy Smokies and veggies
Dinner - I guess I'll call it Spaghetti Soup. My son Johnathan wanted to make spaghetti, so when dinner was ready, I grabbed a bowl of sauce and put shredded cheddar on top, and ate it with a spoon. Soup ingredients - diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, mushrooms, black olives, ground beef. Delicious!!
Spaghetti Soup
Drinks - Coffee, Water

Exercise - Too busy. Too lazy. I'll do better tomorrow!

The Invisible Problem

{by Lisa Rivington}

The subject of this post is about an invisible problem that most of us face, but don't know it. And it revolves around one of the most important subjects of our lives: Money. Yes, the subject that seems to be ever-present, ever growing, and able to arouse nearly any emotional state.
For better or worse, money plays a major role in our lives. And when we think about money as it relates to our future, it's a subject most of us probably don't think about enough. Will I have enough for retirement? Is my 401k/IRA/Savings being managed properly? Am I at risk of losing money? So many questions.

Well, here's an interesting tidbit to consider. When our money is being managed properly it often grows at twice the rate as when it's not. Think about that. TWICE. Over the course of a career, that can mean the difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars (sometimes more), just because someone is making a few good (or bad) decisions about their money. And here's the punchline: Most people believe their money is being managed properly, when in reality, it's not.

And why is that the case? It's the case because most good financial advice comes from Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs), and ironically, RIAs charge a lot of money for their advice - which means most of the good advice goes to the wealthy (the people who already have a lot of money!). And because most of us are not wealthy, it means we probably aren't receiving high quality advice, which not only seems unfair, but creates a big problem for us. An invisible problem. And unfortunately, an invisible problem with potentially serious consequences for our retirement, and for our quality of life.

Well, there's a new group of entrepreneurs who are solving this problem. Their mission is to democratize financial advice for everyone so that the average person can receive the same high quality advice as a wealthy person. They've founded a company called Financial Guard, and they've spent the past 3 years building a system that provides people with high quality, personalized financial advice. And most importantly, their mission is to make this advice affordable. Instead of paying thousands of dollars for high quality advice, they're offering it for $10 per month. A new way of doing things indeed. If you're curious to see how it works you can actually receive free advice for the first 14 days by visiting their website: www.FinancialGuard.com. So feel free check it out. It's about time someone started looking out for the rest of us!

Click here for video.


Avant Garden CobraCo Round Bravo Fire Pit - Review

Our weather man announced that today would be our last warm day for a while. It reached 86 degrees today in Pflugerville, Texas, but I was anxiously awaiting the cold front so I could take full advantage of my beautiful new Bravo Fire Pit from Avant Garden. It is a simple and quick assembly with the included tools (and my handy husband, not necessarily included in yours).
He quickly installed the feet and the lid handle and we carried it outside to our rock patio. I set it up with a couple of chairs so we could sit and enjoy our fire together when darkness set in for the night. I envisioned a relaxed, romantic backyard date, with gentle firelight flickering across our faces.
I really love the design of the CobraCo Round Bravo Fire Pit. It sits pretty close to the ground and measures a full 30 inches in diameter. The combination of a circular shape with rectangular side panel openings, plus the cross-topped cover, is a wonderfully balanced design look.
It's made of steel and metal mesh and the full cover keeps the embers from flying out. It even comes with a protective vinyl cover. The only thing I would change about this product would be the vinyl cover, because its shape is a perfect design to create a parachute and I noticed it lifting a bit in the wind. I'm going to add some gathers at the bottom of the cover so it hugs the fire pit tightly.
Once it got dark and the cold front began to blow in, my husband arrived home from helping some friends from church who needed some carpentry work done. He and I headed out to the backyard for our romantic evening. Johnny lit the fire log and it caught quickly and easily. Even with the wind gusting, none of the embers blew out, giving us both a feeling a relief.
Our relaxing, romantic evening lasted all of about ten minutes. Then Johnny was off to help another neighbor who needed a hand with a vehicle repair. He certainly has a servant's heart and I cannot (and do not) complain about it. After all, I get to snuggle with him every night!
The Bravo Fire Pit is awesome and I love it. I look forward to many more opportunities to use it. You can find lots of different styles of fire pits at http://www.avantgardendecor.com. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. They are currently offering fire pits at 20% off so don't miss the sale!
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

VeggieTales The League of Incredible Vegetables DVD - Review

Introducing the League of Incredible Vegetables from VeggieTales! 
They Came! They Thawed! They Conquered! 
Children LOVE heroes! My preschoolers are always playing superheroes and it was such a pleasure to show them this great new DVD of The League of Incredible Vegetables. This empowering story of conquering fear teaches children to trust in God when everything in life seems so big and so scary.
With veggie-style humor and fun, Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato put on their masks and capes, only to realize that fear could put them into deep freeze. Handling fear is something every child needs to learn and VeggieTales friends are wonderful examples of trusting that God is always looking out for them.
My preschoolers were absolutely glued to the screen for The League of Incredible Vegetables! The adorable characters draw them into the story and keep them focused long enough to instill very basic, but very important, virtues of God's love. If you ever only buy one VeggieTales DVD for your child, this should be it!
The children have played SuperVeggies ever since watching this DVD and it's so cute to hear them discussing how "God's always gonna help me be brave!" The League of Incredible Vegetables would make a fabulous Christmas gift for any child. There is even a dedicated website for this DVD at http://veggietales.com/league/ with videos, activities, printables, and downloads, plus a link to purchase it.
Don't miss all the wonderful VeggieTales DVDs and other gifts at http://veggietales.com/. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter and be sure to enter to win a copy of The League of Incredible Vegetables below!
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Enter to win The League of Incredible Vegetables DVD!
To enter, 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; but bonus entries increase your chance of winning. This giveaway ends at midnight ET on 11/5/2012. Good luck!

Timeless Golden Records - Review

In a time where I often overhear children singing things like "I'm Sexy and I Know It" it's so nice to find clean, virtuous music. Timeless Golden Records Volume 1 and 2 are filled with nostalgic childhood songs that sound very cute when sung by youngsters. Fuzzy Wuzzy is a song my mom taught me years ago and whenever I hear it I think of her. Green Grass Grew All Around was one I learned at camp. High Hopes I learned from my older sister, who sang it in her school choir. Boom Boom Ain't It Great to be Crazy was one we sang at summer playground day camp. Those are just four of the forty songs on Volume 1. Memories like these are so precious and I just cringe when I hear young children singing songs that have inappropriate words in them.

As a preschool teacher of 25 years, I've seen how societal changes have affected young children, exposing them to adult things earlier and earlier. I work very hard to provide a totally G-rated atmosphere in my daycare and I'm so thankful for Golden Records! Some of my favorites from Volume 2 include Doggie in the Window, Puff the Magic Dragon, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Be Yourself. Do yourself and your children a favor...download or purchase these 80 wonderful childhood songs and give them precious memories. Wouldn't you rather they listen to these on an mp3 player than contemporary hip hop music with words they shouldn't be hearing?
Disclosure: I received these products at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

Walmart ($5!)

Walmart ($5!)

Smart Living Pays You to Comment on Their Posts

I've personally been a member for a few months 
and I love getting that check every month.
Open to anyone...not just bloggers!

Healthy Helpings Activity Mat for Kids - Review

With Halloween coming up, candy is everywhere. Then comes Thanksgiving, with extra servings of potatoes, stuffing, and pie. After that is Christmas gingerbread houses, decorated cookies, and fancy cakes. How in the world do we find engaging ways to teach children about nutrition, exercise, and being healthy?
Learning Resources has created an activity mat that reflects the current government guidelines for daily nutritional suggestions. The Healthy Helpings Activity Mat teaches children about the food groups - fruits, grains, vegetables, protein, and dairy.
This huge floor mat is a wonderful way for children to interact with foods and learn which foods fit into the different groups. The cards have photos of real foods that children eat and each card allows the child to self-check whether they correctly put the card in the right group, because each group is assigned a color, such as green for veggies, and on the back of each veggie card the word is in green.
The activity mat is made from a heavy-duty vinyl, durable enough for many years of floor play. The cards are made from heavy, glossy cardstock. It's easy to fold up and store in its original box and I keep the cards in a small plastic zipper-top bag in the box too.
There are even exercise cards that encourage children to move their bodies. I bet lots of moms could use the nudge of an excited four year old who wants to exercise! My daycare kids get me moving on a regular basis, dancing, stretching, and doing exercises.
The graphic of the plate on the activity mat even shows desirable proportion sizes of each food group, helping children learn they should eat more veggies than fruits, grains, dairy or proteins. This idea can be extended to meal times by asking if they remember the different food groups.
Using the Healthy Helpings activity mat is a great way to get children interested in foods they haven't tried before or even ones they've refused in the past. Allowing children to interact with educational toys like these often motivate children to try new things. Maybe your child WILL eat brussels sprouts after all!
My preschoolers wanted to use the foods from our home center with the mat and cards too. They matched up food and cards, putting them into the correct section on the plate. Later, at the lunch table, their conversation quickly turned into a discussion about the foods on their plate and which group it fit into on the mat. We even ate our snack on the mat, so we could further apply our new knowledge and since it's vinyl it was easy to clean. You can purchase this amazing learning toy at http://www.learningresources.com/ and enter to win it below!

Win Learning Resources' Healthy Helpings Activity Mat!
To enter, fill in the Rafflecopter form below. You must be at least 18 years old and live in the USA. This giveaway ends on 11/5/2012 at midnight ET. Only the first entry is mandatory; bonus entries increase your chance to win! Good luck!

How to Avoid the Dreaded Cold

No, not winter weather....I'm talking about that nasty cold that sneaks up on you and your family, making you feel like death warmed over. When living and working with kids, even the smallest of colds can get out of control. With the very first sneeze, the tiny virus has the potential to spread from one person to the next, infecting the home and inconveniencing your family for weeks. Cold and flu season is filled with stuffy noses, sleepless nights, and missed school days, so what can you do to keep that cold under control?
Clean Hands Equals No Cold: From school supplies to doorknobs, during the day your little ones have their hands on everything. Make it a routine to wash their palms before the germs spread farther than the tips of their fingers. As soon as they shed their coat and backpack, take a trip to the sink and scrub, scrub, scrub for at least 20 seconds to minimize the germs and the likeliness of your family getting sick. Fun soaps, like Softsoap’s Kids Foam Works, can help encourage healthy hand washing.

Disposable Towels: Now that the kids have the hand washing down, it’s time to move on to drying. Keeping a cloth towel in the bathroom is great for the environment but during cold/flu season it can be the home to thousands of germs. When someone comes home from school with a cold, it’s time to take out the Kleenex Disposable Hand Towels and give your usual bathroom hand towel a break.

Leave Shoes at the Door: You never think about all the germs that you may be tracking in on the bottom of your shoes but with all the places you and your kids go those tiny feet may be dragging in more than just mud. Dr. Myron Wentz, author of The Healthy Home and Founder of USANA Health Sciences mentions in his book that his family leaves a pile of shoes at the front door to “signal to everyone that shoes and their collection of yuck aren’t welcome in our home.”

Disinfecting Your Home: Cold germs don’t only live on children, these viruses can survive on surfaces of your home for hours as well. You can’t run after your kids with a Clorox Wipe all day to stop the germs from spreading, but consider wiping down main areas like tabletops, remote controls, and toys after your children are tucked in for the night.
Be Prepared: You can’t always catch a cold before it hits so it’s important to be extra cautious and prepare yourself for when the sniffles start appearing. Every once in a while, check your medicine cabinet inventory to make sure you’re fully stocked on your favorite cold season supplies. To stop a cold fast keep items like Zinc Lozenges, such as Cold-Eeze, and Vitamin C around to build up your immune system.

Healthy Hydration: As soon as you start seeing those common cold symptoms, it’s not a bad idea to keep an extra bottle of water at hand. With picky kids, hydration can get a little tricky so try naturally flavored water, like HINT, which offers tasty flavors without all the unhealthy additives. Drinking water will help cut down on those uncomfortable symptoms like sore throat and even stuffy noses.

Trick or Treat Hop and Giveaway Coming Soon

Keep an eye out for this amazing event coming up soon!
Planet Weidknecht will also be hosting the giveaway form!

hop button

Halloween Hop With Us on October 30th and October 31st!


We will be hosting a hop on 10/30 to 10/31.

Enter our giveaway where one winner

will take home a prize pack worth over $200.00

Hop Prizes so far:

One bug cards- $12.95 Valley Games

One crow game $29.95 Valley Games

Jack Skelleton necklace $10.50 Fun and Funky Etsy Store

One $50.00 AMC card

Twitter Page Design $50.00 from Blue Ju Ju

Hand made Infused pink necklace and earrings $40.00

Agorables Artist Wallet $10.00

Come have fun and hop on Halloween and Enter the Giveaway!

Ghost and Vampire graphics by Blue JuJu!

Happy Halloween from Frankenweenie

"Like" FRANKENWEENIE on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FrankenweenieMovie FRANKENWEENIE is currently in theaters everywhere!

Winner Announcement

The winner of the 
Golden Records Spooky Halloween Hits CD is...

Amanda Kinder!

Enter more giveaways HERE!

I Said - Protect Your Hearing!

October is National Protect Your Hearing Month

According to the American Academy of Audiology, approximately 12% of all children ages 6-19 have noise-induced hearing loss. In fact, hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States.

The Duracell Hearing Health Council suggests:

- Turn down the volume. Keep music at a manageable level in your car and at home. Ensure your children’s iPods, MP3’s and speakers are not played over a volume which would cause you to shout at them in order to be heard. (85dB)

- Wear hearing protection. Concerts, sporting events and loud festivals are places where these protectors are necessary. Your children should be prepared.

- Reduce your distance to the sound of noise. Encourage your children to walk away from loud environments where decibel levels are high.

Source: Duracell Hearing Health Council

2012 Early Voting Location for Pflugerville, TX

Voting is a privilege, a right, and a responsibility!

It's also by secret ballot, 
so I don't need your political opinion!

(Community Room)
15822 Foothill Farms Loop, Pflugerville, TX

Monday - Saturday: 7am - 7pm
Sunday: Noon - 6pm


Lookin' Good, No Matter What! #KarinaNation

Shopping at the mall can be a nightmare. Since I don't wear a size 7 dress, there usually isn't much to choose from, at least nothing cute. Sure there are a few "chunky lady" stores that have a couple nice outfits, but their styles tend to be too "old-lady-ish" for me. I really got to the point where I hated shopping. Yes, I am a heavier weight than I need to be. Yes, I'm working on losing it. But even though my weight is higher than I want, I have learned a more important lesson over the years. Looking sharp, cute, and sexy really doesn't have anything to do with weight. Sure I'd love to be a size 7, but I'm not and may never be again (but I'm trying for a 10). 
But beauty really does come from the inside and when a woman likes how she looks, she walks like it and she smiles like it. And when she walks like it and she smiles like it, her beauty shines through in a confident way. 
I want to take this opportunity to thank Karina Dresses. Karina's designs look fabulous on every body...from the tiny little college freshman, to the pregnant mom, to the new mom, to the seasoned mom, and even to the fashionable grandmother. Karina has a secret way of creating dresses that help women feel good and look good, no matter what. I get tons of compliments in my Karina Dresses! 
You deserve a new dress! I encourage you to check out KarinaDresses.com and see all the beautiful styles that will make YOU look amazing. Save $30 on any full-price dress when you use this special code - PLANETW30 -  and please send me a photo of you in your Karina Dress! 
~ Karina Dresses ~
On Facebook ~ On Twitter

Disclosure: I received this dress at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

I Lost Ten Pounds in Ten Days

I lost ten pounds in ten days!

No carbs - No sugars
Three meals a day
No snacks

WideNeck Diet Day 10 - Menu and Musings

Breakfast - Two eggs over medium, two slices of bacon. Great start to my day!

Lunch - Five slices of summer sausage, five slices of cheddar cheese; stack cheese on meat then microwave one minute. Salad of iceberg lettuce and golden cherry tomatoes with calorie-free ranch dressing on top. The sausage and cheese was absolutely incredible! I ate it with a knife and fork, while the dog sat on the edge of the kitchen, drooling. I didn't share.

Dinner - Steak on the grill, plus asparagus tips and spears with garlic, sauteed in olive oil. A very delicious dinner! The dog got the gristle and fat from the steak and was quite happy about it. 

Drinks - Coffee, Water, one diet Cola

Exercise - 65 count planking, 25 right high kicks, 25 left high kicks, 25 chair squats, 25 counter pushups, five minutes high-speed biking on the stationary-cycle.

Design Your Own Destiny - Life Planning for the 21st Century

A great new book just came out - Design Your Own Destiny - Life Planning for the 21st Century. It provides a step-by-step, easy to learn methodology that you can use to create your own life plan. It brings you from where you are now to where you want to go. In this book, you learn not only how to create the plan of your dreams but also how to measure the plan and adjust it to your real life as day-to-day events and circumstances unfold. The two key premises of this life planning methodology are: first, that every person’s life is most happy and fruitful when they are in balance - and second, that any life plan must look at the person’s whole being - not just bits and pieces of it. This methodology is different from anything else “out there” because of these two key points.

Check out Design Your Own Destiny on Amazon.

Rosetta Stone October Sweepstakes

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Just Released Printable Coupons - Huge List

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What a Pair - HelloMellow and B4BC

In honor of breast cancer awareness month, I'm excited to tell you about a wonderful partnership between HelloMellow and B4BC. HelloMellow is a fabulous line of natural body products and B4BC is the Boarding for Breast Cancer Survivorship Fund. The fund connects breast cancer survivors with nature-based wellness retreats to help enhance their healing. HelloMellow and B4BC support early detection and regular self-exams. HelloMellow also donates 5% of all Balance product proceeds to B4BC!
HelloMellow body products are vegan, gluten-free, avocado mango butter, super-moisturizing, and cruelty-free. Their packaging is recyclable and even their labels are made from stone (no trees or water used). Plus, their products are handmade with love in the USA.
I received a jar of HelloMellow Balance body butter and it smells so good. It's a thick, creamy avocado mango butter, a blend of bergamot, chamomile, and orange. The scent calms and soothes, balancing the mood. Perfectly safe for babies too! I rubbed it into my hands to warm it up, then rubbed it on both my arms and legs. It's rich but not greasy and left my skin feeling soft even hours later.
The Balance line that helps support B4BC is just one of their many products. You can shop online for fabulous body care gifts for men, women and children at http://hellomellow.com. Perhaps all your Christmas shopping could help support breast cancer survivors! Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter too.
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

Coupon! October is National Spinach Month

Celebrate National Spinach Month with Popeye’s Spinach - a nostalgic family brand of Allens Vegetables! You can receive the exclusive coupon by simply “Liking” Allens on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/AllensVeggies/app_133800330028779