Friday, January 7, 2011


The first week of 2011 is almost over, and I for one am glad! I've had a ton of stuff going on this week, getting ready for my outpatient surgery today. I hit a little snag that I spent the better part of Thursday afternoon working through, but luckily I got it all taken care of.

There are a lot of giveaways ending this weekend, so I'll be busy trying to get all my entries in. Since I'm on bedrest for the weekend, it'll give me something to do :)

A Mom's Balancing Act has 3 giveaways ending on Friday:

Thanks, Mail Carrier has a couple of giveaways ending Friday that are part of their Checking Our List {Holiday Gift Guide 2010} giveaways, along with A Mom's Balancing Act:

I made sure to enter these on both sites, to double my changes of winning!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ming Wang $336 Little Black Dress Giveaway from Sweeps4Bloggers

Sweeps4Bloggers is hosting a giveaway sponsored by Ming Wang. Two lucky readers will receive a Little Black Dress (sizes range from XS to 3X). I actually need a new LBD so I've got my fingers crossed for this one! I love the styling, and since it's a knit it wears and travels beautifully, which is important to me. I can see this being my go-to dress when I have to travel to NY for work, since it'll be comfortable for the flight, and look great once I arrive at the office.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I gotta go back to work today... winning a giveaway would make my day!

Well, my first day back at work after the long holiday weekend (we were off Friday and Monday, and Thursday was a half day). I'd say I'm looking forward to getting back into my routine... except I'm not. LOL

Lots of great giveaways that launched around the holidays are ending this week:

Sweeps4Bloggers is giving away a $100 gift certificate to Hayneedle. I thought I had an idea of what I wanted from their site, but when I looked today they have a HUGE sale going on. All their fitness equipment is up to 50% off, plus free shipping (using the code they provide)! Their tag line is, "Any routine, any pace, any gear you need." If I won, I could get the recumbent bike I've been wanting for less than $100 bucks - that's INSANE!

Mom to Bed by 8 has a giveaway for an Emile Henry Pizza Stone that ends on Saturday. I used to have a pizza stone and I loved it - but it got broken in the move 2 years ago, and I've not replaced it yet :( did all my baking on it - not just pizza, but bread (OK, so mostly frozen yeast rolls but it's still baking!) and I love the texture of the crust when I baked on one. I like that this has handles, so I can actually also serve it it! It's much more versatile than the pizza stone I used to have.

Latina on a Mission has a giveaway for a George Foreman Evolve Grill that also ends on Saturday. Since I'm trying to eat healthier, this would be great to win! I love that it has removeable plates, as well as a digital timer & temperature control. This makes the grill much easier to use for me, since I can start the chicken, burgers, whatever and set the timer while I put together the rest of the meal, and I don't have to worry about overcooking the food. It also has a deep-dish bake pan and a muffin insert, so you can use it for baking.

Sammi's Blog of Life is giving away a Friis 12 oz Stainless Steel coffee vault canister. I'd love to win this for my mom - she still uses a drip coffee maker and this would ensure that her cofee remains fresh! She's tried putting the opened bag into a ziploc container but this would work much better.

Simply Being Mommy is giving away a Flip UltraHD Video Camera featuring Mr. T to promote Gold Promise. Gold Promise buys your gold and/or platinum items. Unlike a lot of other companies that do the same thing, Gold Promise is a BBB accredited business, and they will make a $1 donation to Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation for each package of gold or jewelry items sent to them.

Lucas' Journey with Sensory Processing Disorder is giving away a $50 IGIGI gift certificate on Sunday. I'm hoping to win this, although I can't decide - do I combine it with a sale to get the Riviera Maxi Dress that I love at a great price (I should be a 22/24 by the summertime), or do I spend it on something I can wear now, like the Claire De Lune Wrap Dress in Teal? That's the only downside to weight loss - I keep shrinking out of clothes that I love :(

Baby Dickey's Giveaways is giving away a $100 Hayneedle gift certificate. Every time I look at their site, I decide I want something different! At the moment, I really like this Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQ Reflector Telescope for my son. It's very highly rated and I know he'd enjoy it. This giveaway ends on Sunday the 9th.

One 2 Try is holding a giveaway sponsored by Plastic Jungle. Two lucky winners will each win a $50 gift certificate to one of Plastic Jungle's merchants (depending on availability). I'm not sure if I'd pick Best Buy, Target, or maybe even Krispy Kreme (free Hot & Now! LOL). Maybe Zumiez - my son wants a watch from their site, I could use it towards that.

Saturday Mornings is giving away 5 prizes, totalling $250! The prizes are cash or gift cards to Hobby Lobby, eBay, Best Buy or Jo-Ann Fabrics. Although the cash would be nice, any of the gift cards would definitely come in handy! They're trying to win Top Blog of 2010, and are currently in the Top 2. To vote for Saturday Mornings, please go to the following link: VOTE HERE. The contest ends Sunday at 9pm PT (midnight ET).

Monday, January 3, 2011

Keurig MINI Plus Brewing System, Hot Apple Cider K-Cups, Coffeemate, Sargento Cheese, Plow and Hearth Giveaways ending today

One lucky reader of Leslie Loves Veggies will win their very own Keurig MINI Plus Brewing System in the winner's choice of color (red, black or plantinum) plus a box of Keurig Hot Apple Cider K-Cups. The total retail value of this prize package is $118.90.

Anyone who knows me knows I love my Keurig, and I hate not being able to drink coffee at work. If I'm lucky enough to win this, it's going in my office, along with a case of Donut Shop coffee and these Hot Apple Cider K-Cups!

I love that this model allows you to brew 6, 8 or 10 ounces so I can vary the strength if I decide to bring other coffees to work. While this model doesn't have a reservior like my Keurig Elite model I have at home, it won't be a problem to add water each time. Plus the smaller size will work better in my office. Oh and in case you were wondering, I'd go with the red one :)
Note: The photo shows this is also available in green or yellow, but the giveaway does not mention either of these colors.

What goes great with coffee? Coffeemate of course! Luckily One 2 Try has that covered with their Coffeemate Coffeehouse at Home Gift Pack giveaway that ends today as well. One lucky reader will win a prize package that includes an iPod Stereo Dock, $10 iTunes GC, Coffeemate brand mug, a coffee scoop and coupons for FREE Coffeemate! This would be PERFECT for those mid-afternoon coffee breaks.... who needs Starbucks if you have all this? I actually use Coffeemate for more than just coffee - the original (plain) Coffeemate works great in mashed potatoes, tomato soup, oatmeal or anything you would use milk in. I made some instant chocolate pudding with the Italian Sweet Creme and it was FABULOUS!

The only thing I love more than coffee is cheese, so it's a good thing that Sammi's Blog of Life is hosting a Sargento string cheese giveaway! One lucky reader will win free product coupons from Sargento. Luckily cheese is one of the snacks I can still enjoy on my diet, and since cheese is an excellent source of protein (while being low in fat) it's my first choice for those mid-afternoon munchies. Sargento has taken string cheese to a new level, offering flavors other than the traditional mozzarella, and also offering reduced sodium and reduced fat varieties. I also like string cheese because it's already portioned - since I struggle with portion sizes, having these on hand means I can indulge my love of cheese, but feel confident that I know exactly how much I'm eating to meet my dietary plan.

Jennifer at Mom Spotted is giving away a $75 gift certificate for Plow and Hearth! I had heard about their company but never really looked at them before this giveaway - now there are several items on my wish list! I love this wreath, which I could hang in the kitchen after the holidays, since it reminds me of bay leaves... or use it as a centerpiece in the spring, with some cascading flowers like wisteria interwoven in it. The practical side of me loves this nylon wood carrier and this coal scuttle with fatwood for my fireplace (or even this two-tier log rack).

At the moment, I think I've settled on a pair of these Mission Solar Post Cap Lights (pictured) for my front porch. Not only are they beautiful and fit the style of my house, but they'll also offer lighting when we come home late at night, and forgotten to leave the front lights on.
Lots of great giveaways are ending today!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My most memorable holiday memory

My most memorable holiday was Christmas, 1997. My son was 8 at the time, and I spent the holidays with my ex and his family in California. I was out there for 3 weeks, so I ended up shipping all my Christmas paraphernalia out there so I could celebrate Christmas the way we had for years. I think my ex and his parents enjoyed it even more than my son did!

My son and I went Christmas tree shopping with my ex's father, and all of us decorated the tree on Christmas Eve. My son also baked Christmas cookies with my ex's mom, and we left cookies and milk for Santa, and carrots for the reindeer. We also decorated my ex's apartment, as well as his parents - I have enough Christmas decorations for a couple of houses!

All day Christmas Eve my son was so worried that Santa wouldn't know we were in California, but I assured him Santa knew. He actually fell asleep at my ex's parent's house on Christmas Eve, and I was worried because the tree was at my ex's house... but my ex wrote my son a letter from Santa, telling him where his presents were. Everyone laughed at me chewing up carrots and spitting them outside in the driveway (reindeer are famously messy eaters, and the carrots get EVERYWHERE!). They also thought it was sweet when I put a little soot on my son's cheek (when Santa kisses you, a little soot from his beard gets on your cheek).

After we'd wrapped all the presents, taken care of the note, the carrots and the cookies and milk, my ex and I sat in the living room with everything turned off except the tree lights, and just talked for hours.

The best part was the next morning when my son came back to my ex's apartment... he saw some skid marks in the driveway right outside the door and was CONVINCED that Santa's sleigh and left those marks (never mind they'd been there the whole time!).

I think what made this holiday so memorable for me was several things - being able to share our family's Christmas and traditions with my ex and his family, the moments my son got to spend with my ex's father picking out the perfect tree, watching my son teach my ex's mom the right cookies to bake (Santa likes sugar cookies), even my ex writing that note, so my son wouldn't be disappointed when he woke up Christmas morning and there were no presents at his parent's house... and the care he took writing the note so my son wouldn't recognize his handwriting. The joy and wonder on my son's face when he saw those skid marks (and all the chewed-up carrots all over the driveway) and he just KNEW the sleigh had left those marks... and how we all got a good laugh out of that later, once my son was out of earshot. Seeing my ex and his parents get into the spirit of the holidays and the magic that I always tried to create, and embracing that made that holiday a magical one for me.

Disclosure: This post was written for an entry into the baby clothes holiday writing contest. One lucky blogger will win a $50 Amazon gift card! For a chance to win see the baby clothes blog for more information.

Lazy Sunday...

I love this SNL digitial short!! Lazy Sunday describes how I feel today. The weather isn't helping; it's been overcast and drizzling all weekend. My son and I were supposed to go to the movies, but he had to work. Since I don't have to work tomorrow (WOOT!) I don't feel the need to do my normal Sunday chores, like laundry. I did manage to clean out the refrigerator this morning, I made myself an AMAZING breakfast: scrambled eggs with spinach and Alouette, sausage (REAL, not turkey - only 2 links though, well browned and drained) and a toasted bagel. I was going to have a mimosa, but my son drank all the orange juice :(

There are a couple of great contests ending today.

Pink Dandy Chatter is giving away an Omaha Steaks Grilling Collection. This prize package is worth $154! It includes a variety of their products:

  • Four (5 oz.) Top Sirloins
  • Four (4 oz.) Boneless Pork Chops
  • Two (4.5 oz.) Stuffed Sole with Scallops and Crabmeat
  • Eight (3 oz.) Gourmet Franks
  • Four (4 oz. approx.) Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • Four (5.75 oz.) Stuffed Baked Potatoes

I've wanted to try Omaha Steaks for awhile now, but I always seem to miss their sales and although I've heard great things about them, I really can't justify the expense on my budget. This would be great to win! Especially since my son goes back to college this week... then I won't have to share! HA!! If you check out their site, and sign up for their email offers, you be entered to win $1,000 of FREE Steaks! You can enter daily, and they pick a winner once a quarter.

The ABCD Diaries is giving away a Tortuga Rum Ltd. 33oz Rum Cake in the winner's choice of flavor! I've tried the Chocolate before and it was AMAZING! It was incredibly flavorful, moist and you could taste the rum but it was smooth - not that sharp bite of alcohol that you'd expect. I think if I won I'd pick Pineapple, although the Key Lime and Blue Mountain Coffee both sound delicious as well. I love that these cakes last 6 months in the pantry, or indefinitely if refrigerated or frozen, since one cake will last me a VERY long time!

Just think, if I won both of these giveaways, the kind of party I could have! LOL