Win Trip to NYC to meet Rachael Ray!

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Enter the GREAT AMERICAN FRESHOVER SWEEPSTAKES

for your chance to win:


A trip to NYC (+ 1 guest) to meet Rachael Ray!

Trip includes flight, hotel, meet-and-greet with Rachael
plus $1,000 spending money.


First place prizes (9) Visa® Gift Card(s)

Second place prizes (9) Rachael Ray Gift Pack


Sweepstakes ends May 2...
please read official rules to enter.



Disclosure:{CMP.ly/0}I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein.

Friday Photos: Vacation Memories

Friday, March 30, 2012

My Family and I had a nice semi-vacation. The real purpose of our trip was to visit a few college campuses, but we were able to see some of the sites like the North Carolina Arboretum and parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
nc arboretum
nc arboretum
blue ridge parkway
It was a nice change being away from the Florida heat, but we are so happy to be home! :)

Spring Flowers & Containers

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Daffodils
[by bhg.com
]


Add spring to your home or patio with these
flowers & containers:




Spring Mix Window Box
[by BirdsAndBlooms.com
]






Spring Cut Blossoms Watering Can
[by MarthaStewart.com]






Bucket Flowers
[by moxieq.com]



Happy Planting!


Disclosure:{CMP.ly/0}I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein.

Showcase Giveaway Link-Up {3/27}

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Giveaway Link-Up

Showcase your giveaways here!

Please use this format for your listing: Giveaway Item ~ (End Date)

*Please make sure that your giveaway link is to the URL of your giveaway post and not to your homepage URL*

Stop back by every Tuesday to link up your giveaways or find great giveaways to enter.


Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Auto-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
For best results, use HTML mode to edit this section of the post.

Strawberries!

Monday, March 26, 2012


It's Strawberry season!

Strawberries are a good source of Folate, Potassium,
Dietary Fiber & Vitamin C.

One serving a day can significantly reduce blood pressure, and reduce the risk of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis,
and enhance memory function.


Here's some Strawberry recipes we found:



Photobucket
[left to right]


1) Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake
by TasteOfHome.com

2) Strawberry Shortcake Cookies
by MarthaStewart.com

3) Strawberry & Banana Muffins
by JoyOfBaking.com

4) Ultimate Strawberry Shortcake
by Food.com


Enjoy!


Disclosure:{CMP.ly/0}I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein.

Win Gain® Products for a Year!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Enter the Family Dollar Gain® Sweepstakes

for your chance to win:


(1) Grand Prize: Gain Product Package consisting of a year’s supply of Gain Dish, Febreze Gain, Gain Laundry detergent,
FE and dryer sheets.
Prize will be awarded in the form of a
Family Dollar gift card valued at $580.00.

Sweepstakes ends April 14...
please read official rules to enter.


Disclosure:{CMP.ly/0}I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein.

Cancer ~ 2 Years Ago Today...

Friday, March 23, 2012


Two years ago today, our son (who was 22 at the time) was undergoing surgery to remove his Testicular Cancer.

To say we were all in fear and shock at the time is an understatement.
[click here to read his story]

This type of cancer is the most-common type of cancer in young men ages 15-45, but can be diagnosed at any age.

Please urge the men in your life to do monthly exams...
it could save their life!


****************************


For more information on signs & symptoms, self-exams, diagnosis, treatment, and how you can help, please visit the
Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation website.



VELVEETA® Recipes & Sweeps

Thursday, March 22, 2012















[all recipes compliments of KraftRecipes.com]



Don't forget to enter the Weeknight Wow! Sweeptakes

for your chance to win:


ONE (1) GRAND PRIZE: $15,000 check

TWENTY (20) WEEKLY PRIZES (1 per Weekly Entry Period):
Winners choice of $1,000 cash or one (1) of the prize packages (valued at $1,000 each) listed on their website.


Sweepstakes ends March 31...
please read official rules to enter.



Disclosure:{CMP.ly/0}I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein.

Showcase Giveaway Link-Up {3/20}

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Giveaway Link-Up

Showcase your giveaways here!

Please use this format for your listing: Giveaway Item ~ (End Date)

*Please make sure that your giveaway link is to the URL of your giveaway post and not to your homepage URL*

Stop back by every Tuesday to link up your giveaways or find great giveaways to enter.


Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Auto-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
For best results, use HTML mode to edit this section of the post.

Happy Spring!

Monday, March 19, 2012


Spring will officially be here at 1:14 a.m. (EDT)
tomorrow morning!

I don't know about you, but my favorite season is most definitely Spring!

It's the time of year when nature seems to be waking from its winter-slumber. The butterflies flutter about, the birds are singing, the squirrels are chasing each other, and the trees and flowers are blooming.

Here in Central Florida, we're having gorgeous weather. It's the perfect time to open our windows and let the warm breeze bellow through. Head outdoors to soak up some sun, get some gardening done or go for a walk.


Happy Spring Y'all!

Sunday Inspiration {3/18} You Matter To Him

Sunday, March 18, 2012



"How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!"

Psalm 139:17, NIV.


"Have you ever had difficulty receiving from God because you thought, “God has better things on His mind,” or “This isn’t that important to Him”? It may be tempting to let your mind wander in that direction, but the truth is that nothing is more important to God than you are! Every detail of your life matters to Him. Scripture tells us that He even counts the very hairs on your head. He bottles your tears and holds them as precious. You are important to Him, and nothing that concerns you is too big or too small for God!

Today, if you’ve had those discouraging thoughts come to mind, replace them by declaring the truth of God’s Word. Declare, “God’s thoughts are precious toward me. I am always on God’s mind. He loves me and I matter to Him.” As you begin to replace the negative thoughts with the truth, your life will begin to change. You will see a transformation in your thinking. You’ll feel His love like you never have before; you will know Him in ways you’ve never known Him before, and you’ll experience His goodness
and grace all the days of your life!"

[compliments of tumblr.com]


Enjoy your Sunday!


Disclosure:{CMP.ly/0}I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein.

Friday Photo Fun {3/16} Epcot®

Friday, March 16, 2012

Photobucket

[My husband and I at Epcot ~ 2011]


It's no secret that I enjoy going to Walt Disney World.

And every year (for the last few years), we've ended up taking vacation and hanging out in Orlando, visiting Epcot.

Fortunately, we only have a little over an hour drive there, and it also just so happens to be their annual

For us, it's become a tradition,
and a great way to kick-off Spring!


Disclosure:{CMP.ly/0}I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein.

2012 Top Spring Break Destinations

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Whether you're a college student or you have
kids in school, it's Spring Break!

What are your plans this year?

Here are the Top 10 Hot Spots for 2012:

[according to studenttravel.about.com]



#1: Cancun

#2: Panama City Beach, Florida

#3: Miami & South Beach, Florida

#4: Europe

#5: Puerto Vallarta

#6: Acapulco

#7: Bahamas & Jamaica

#8: South Padre Island, Texas

#9: Baja (Rosarito Beach, Cabo)

#10: N. American Ski Slopes (Colorado, Jackson Hole)


and another popular place to visit this year:


Las Vegas!


Wherever you decide to go,
we hope you have a fun, safe trip!




Disclosure:{CMP.ly/0}I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein.

Showcase Giveaway Link-Up {3/13}

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Giveaway Link-Up

Showcase your giveaways here!

Please use this format for your listing: Giveaway Item ~ (End Date)

*Please make sure that your giveaway link is to the URL of your giveaway post and not to your homepage URL*

Stop back by every Tuesday to link up your giveaways or find great giveaways to enter.


Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Auto-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
For best results, use HTML mode to edit this section of the post.

Living with MRSA

Monday, March 12, 2012


M.R.S.A.
[Methicillin Resistent Staph Aureus]

According to the Center For Disease Control...


"Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics called beta-lactams. These antibiotics include methicillin and other more common antibiotics such as oxacillin, penicillin, and amoxicillin. In the community, most MRSA infections are skin infections."


For the past week, we've been at 2 hospitals
dealing with my son's foot.

What looked like a muscle-sprain, ended up being an infection. The local E.R. doctored him up, put him on antibiotics and sent him to a Podiatrist.

He immediately admitted my son to the hospital for surgery to remove all of the infection and make sure it wasn't in his bone or his blood.

And it wasn't, thank goodness!

But then a doc specializing in Infectious Diseases came and talked to us explaining that his culture results showed it was a Staph infection. And specifically, MRSA.

That news was totally shocking to us, and very scary!

The thing is, my son didn't have any infectious-looking wounds on his foot. He'd had a spot on the side of his big toe
(that was healing good) from his new work boots.

The pain, redness and swelling was on the top of his foot under his 3 middle toes. When this was first noticed, he went to see his primary care doctor, who did bloodwork and xrays which both came back normal, so he figured my son had gout. When the pain became unbearable, I took him to the E.R.

Most of us have heard only nightmarish stories about MRSA. But because this is our reality, we've had to do some reading and research on it.

It's an exhausting job making sure he, everyone and everything remain germ-free, especially while he recovers.

If you or one of your loved ones has a suspicious-looking wound or bug-bite, please see a doctor as soon as possible.

For more information on symptoms, those at-risk, diagnosis/testing, causes, treatment, and more, visit the cdc.gov website.

Sunday Inspiration {3/11} The Holy Spirit

Sunday, March 11, 2012



This week's inspiration comes from:

"Experiencing the Spirit" by
Henry Blackaby & Mel Blackaby

[Waterbook Multnomah Publishing Group]





"When it comes to serving God, we tend to look at what we’re good at and what we like to do, then serve according to our ability. The result: we don’t need the Holy Spirit because we think we have everything under control. The world therefore sees good people doing good things for their God, but they don’t see the power of God working through His people to accomplish what only He can do.

So here’s a question: will God ever ask you to do something you’re not able to do? The answer is yes—all the time! It must be that way, for God’s glory and kingdom. If we function according to our ability alone, we get the glory; if we function according to the power of the Spirit within us, God gets the glory. He wants to reveal Himself to a watching world.

The purposes of God are based not on our ability, but upon His ability to work through us. Hence, the gift! The Holy Spirit is the indispensable gift God has given to every believer."


Disclosure:{CMP.ly/0}I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein.

Just a Reminder...

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Yah!!

Spring is almost here!


Showcase Book Review: The Maid of Fairbourne Hall

Thursday, March 8, 2012

As part of a Litfuse Blog Tour, I was selected to receive and review The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen. I am a fan of Klassen's work and was thrilled at the opportunity to read and review her latest book.

Description: "To escape a scheme to marry her off to a dishonorable man, Margaret Macy flees London disguised as a housemaid. If she can remain unwed until her next birthday, she will receive an inheritance, and with it, sweet independence. But she never planned on actually working as a servant. And certainly not in the home of Nathaniel and Lewis Upchurch--both former suitors.

As she fumbles through the first real work of her life, Margaret struggles to keep her identity secret when suspicions arise and prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall. Can she avoid a trap meant to force her from hiding?"

Review: When we first get to know Margaret, she is somewhat of a snob which in turn makes her a little unlike-able (remininscent of Jane Austen's Emma). As the story unfolds and she takes on the persona of Nora, a housemaid. She soon begins to change as much emotionally as she does physically - for the better. As a servant she learns how poorly she had actually treated her own servants, how hard they worked and how her actions affected their lives. Margaret changes from being a vain, spoiled, selfish girl to a caring, understanding and humble young woman. How fortunate for her that she was given the chance to become a maid! :)

"The Maid of Fairbourne Hall" is a wonderfully written book full of romance, suspense and a bit of intrigue thrown in! Once you start reading it, you won't want to put it down.

Lesson Learned / Favorite Quote: "People in service are still people." How often do we go out to eat and not really even look at the waiter/waitress? We are often quick to admonish a person in a service position without even thinking of them as humans with feelings. We need to remember that sometimes when we have received what we think is poor customer service, perhaps we are just being poor customers.

Read an excerpt of the book here.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Don't miss the perfect blend of Regency-era romance and mystery in The Maid of Fairbourne Hall! Grab a copy and then be sure to enter Julie's Kindle Fire Giveaway and RSVP for her Author Chat party on Facebook! Swoon.

One fortunate winner will receive:


  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • A Julie Klassen Library (The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Silent Governess)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/14/12. Winner will be announced at Julie's Fairbourne Hall Book Chat Party on 3/15. Julie will be hosting an evening of chat, trivia and a sneak peek of her next book - bring your friends! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books and a Downton Abbey Prize Pack (Seasons 1 and 2)!

So grab your copy of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall and join Julie and friends on the evening of March 15th for a book chat party.


Enter via Twitter Enter via E-mail Enter via Facebook
Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on March 15th!

Disclosure: {CMP.ly/2} I have a material connection because I received a gift or sample of a product for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review period.

When it rains...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The last few days have been crazy for both Cheryl and I.

On Friday, my children and I were in an auto accident after I picked them up from school. Thankfully, no one was physically injured but my 10 year old car was nearly totalled (due to the cost of repairs).

Cheryl's son had emergency surgery on his foot yesterday. What began as a small blister, quickly became seriously infected. The infection was deep and had almost spread to the bone. Fortunately they caught it in time and he should go home from the hospital Thursday or Friday.

We are very thankful to all of our friends for their support, well wishes and prayers!

Showcase Giveaway Link-Up {3/6}

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Giveaway Link-Up

Showcase your giveaways here!

Please use this format for your listing: Giveaway Item ~ (End Date)

*Please make sure that your giveaway link is to the URL of your giveaway post and not to your homepage URL*

Stop back by every Tuesday to link up your giveaways or find great giveaways to enter.


Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Auto-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
For best results, use HTML mode to edit this section of the post.

Crafts for Kids!

Monday, March 5, 2012


Why do crafts with your kids?


According to RaiseSmartKid.com:


* Your kid learns to think creatively, with an open mind

* Your kid learns to observe and describe, analyze and interpret

* Your kid learns to express feelings, with or without words.

* Your kid practices problem-solving skills, critical-thinking skills, dance, music, theater and art-making skills, language and vocabulary of the arts

* Your kid discovers that there is more than one right answer, multiple points of view

* School can be fun – playing can be learning

* Your kid learns to collaborate with other children and with adults

* Arts introduce children to cultures from around the world

* Your kid can blossom and excel in the arts. Even with physical, emotional or learning challenges, can experience success in the arts.

* Arts build confidence. Because there is not just one right way to make art, every child can feel pride in his or her original artistic creations.


Here's some easy, fun craft projects to get you started:
[compliments of MarthaStewart.com]














Disclosure:{CMP.ly/0}I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein.

Sunday Inspiration {3/4} When Troubles Come...

Sunday, March 4, 2012


This week's inspiration comes from:

"Beyond" by Greg Laurie
[Waterbook Multnomah Publishing Co.]




When Troubles Come...


"Often when a hard time hits, when a crisis hits, when a tragedy hits, we want out. We ask God for an airlift out of our problems. But many times God wants us to learn in the midst of those difficulties—and to learn especially about His love for us:

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?…No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. (Romans 8:35, 37 NLT)

Notice that phrase “all these things.” This passage isn’t saying we won’t face some of these struggles, but that in them we’re “more than conquerors.”

If you’re seeking to obey the Lord, expect opposition. Expect obstacles. Expect difficulties. But also expect God to see you through."


— Excerpted from Beyond by Greg Laurie


Enjoy your Sunday!


Disclosure:{CMP.ly/0}I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein

Win One of Four Virginia Vacations!

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Enter the LOVE Aquatic Sweepstakes

for your chance to win

1 of 4 Virginia Vacations:


Grand Prize #1: Drawing on March 16 for
trip for 4 to Norfolk, VA

Grand Prize #2: Drawing on May 11 for
trip for 4 to Roanoke, VA

Grand Prize #3: Drawing on June 15 for
trip for 4 to Richmond, VA

Grand Prize #4: Drawing on August 10 for
trip for 4 to Richmond, VA


Prize winnings vary, check official rules to enter.

Sweepstakes ends August 9, 2012.



Disclosure:{CMP.ly/0}I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein.

Friday Photo Fun {3/2} Cousins

Friday, March 2, 2012


[my niece & daughter 4/2011]

Whenever my niece and daughter get together, they love grabbing the camera and having fun.

It is just like them to goof-off for a picture!

Happy Friday!



March 2012 Awareness

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Awareness Campaigns for March 2012:


*National Nutrition Month
[eatright.org]


*National Problem Gambling Awareness
[npgaw.org]


*National Collegiate Health & Wellness
[bacchusnetwork.org]


*National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness
[poisonprevention.org]


*National Native American HIV/AIDS Awareness
[nnaapc.org]



Disclosure:{CMP.ly/0}I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein.