Songs of 2013 That Were Most Played (In My Head) #MusicMonday

It's the last Music Monday of 2013. Soon, we will be watching the ball drop and welcoming in 2014. With the year I've had, 2014 can't come soon enough. There is a lot of 2013, that I would rather never think about again, but, there were also some good things that will stick with me; including these songs that would always get stuck in my head.

So, here you have it, the songs of 2013 that stand out for sticking around. Whether you love them, or hate them, they are tunes that get stuck in your head, and we heard them over and over again in 2013.

I have to start with this song. Not only did it always manage to find it's way into my head on a constant repeat, but when I first heard it at her concert earlier this year, I felt like it could have been written for me, because of things going on in my life at the time. But, many of her songs speak to me that way. So, start off this list with Pink and Nate Ruess from Fun; "Just Give Me a Reason".


No intro needed for Robin Thicke and "Blured Lines" don't worry, this is the clean version.

After a heartbreaking divorce, Katy Perry came back with this uplifting song "Roar" showing that we all have some fight left in us.

I know I've had this song on here a few times this year, but that's just because it was in my head a lot! Here's Thrift Shop.

We can't have a 2013 song list without including Miley! After all, she was this year's master of publicity. Like her or not, she knows how to stick out. Here's Miley Cyrus with the young anthem "We can't Stop"


There you have it, the songs of 2013 that always got stuck in my head. Enjoy
Have a great week and a happy new year!

What songs stood out for you in 2013?

May All Your Days Be Merry and Bright!

No matter what you celebrate, if today is Christmas, or just another Wednesday, I hope you are having a fabulous day, and enjoying the last few days of 2013!

Have a happy day!

Music Monday, Delicious Molasses Cookies and Yuletide Greetings

It's Monday, again, and the last one before Christmas, so of course that means Christmas music on this MusicMonday!

But, first I must tell you about this yummy cookie recipe that I found on Pinterest. I was baking today, many of my usual holiday treats when I decided I wanted something different. Turn to the ever reliable Pinterest, and I found this recipe for Soft Ginger Molasses cookies. They are so so yummy! They have the perfect balance of sweet and spice with a crispy outside and a soft chewy middle. Perfect!

The recipe makes a lot of cookies, even when you don't stick to the perfect 1 inch ball of dough, so I will be sharing some with friends, (but not too many, these are too good to give too many away!) I will definitely be keeping this recipe in the holiday line-up. Thanks to Free Time Frolics for the recipe.

Okay, enough about cookies, let's hear some music! Here, with a quite unique and all too true Christmas song is Dropkick Murphys with Christmas Where I'm From

I hope you have a happy Monday, a great week and for those that celebrate it, in any way, a very happy Christmas! No matter how crazy it is, I hope you love every minute of it!

Happy Yule!

Tropical Chex Mix Recipe, Add Some Tropical to Your Holiday Snacking

I always like trying new recipes, but when General Mills sent me a recipe for Tropical Chex Mix, I wasn't so excited about it. I'm not a big fan of dried fruit, and "Tropical" is a nice description for a vacation resort, but for a snack mix? I wasn't so sure.

But, in a moment of adventure, I figured why not get wild and crazy and make something a little different!

And, I'm glad that I did! I really liked the sweet flavor. I still had to eat around the dried fruit because it's still not my thing, but the Chex and the Macadamias were DELICIOUS! They were sweet with a nice touch of pineapple and coconut.

I took some of it to work and everyone loved it. (Even the dried fruits)

So, if you don't mind dried fruits, or you know people that like dried fruits, give this recipe a try. It's very easy and quite good! If you've been looking for something different to bring to a holiday get together, this could be just the thing.


8cups Rice Chex® cereal
1cup shredded coconut, if desired
1cup dried banana chips
1package (7 oz) dried tropical fruit mix
1jar (3 oz) macadamia nuts
3tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4cup packed brown sugar
1/4cup frozen (thawed) pineapple or orange juice concentrate (I used a pina colada mixer)

In large microwavable bowl, mix cereal, coconut, banana chips, tropical fruit mix and nuts.

In microwavable measuring cup, microwave butter uncovered on High about 30 seconds or until melted. Stir in brown sugar and pineapple juice concentrate. Microwave uncovered on High about 30 seconds or until hot; stir. Pour over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly coated. Microwave uncovered on High 6 to 8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes, until mixture just begins to brown.

Spread on waxed paper or foil to cool. Store in airtight container.

If I make it again I will probably add more macadamia nuts and coconut, and maybe some white chocolate chips, too! Along with being a good snack for holiday parties, you could also make some in small bags for gifts for neighbors, or co-workers.


If you shop at Publix, Don't miss these savings.



11/14—12/31: Save $1.00 off 2 Chex cereals, find coupon in the “All The Trimmings” coupon booklet, available now until 12/31/13 in Publix stores.
12/12—12/18: BOGO on the following Chex cereals:
  • 14.25oz Chocolate Chex
  • 13.75oz Apple Cinn Chex
  • 13.5oz Cinn Chex
  • 14oz Corn Chex
  • 13.8oz Honey Nut Chex
  • 12.8oz Rice Chex
  • 14oz Wheat Chex
  • 13.5oz Vanilla Chex

For more Chex Mix ideas check out chexpartymix.com





disclosure: I received the items to make this recipe for free. All opinions are my own.

Rugged Wireless Speaker May Be the Perfect Gift for an Active Music Lover, HMDX Jam XT Review

When HMDX contacted me to review one of their Jam speakers, I was very happy to do so. Since I had my choice of speakers, I chose the Jam XT Extreme because it is splash proof, and we spend a lot of time by the pool with music.

The HMDX Jam XT Extreme is a Bluetooth wireless speaker. It is wireless up to 30 feet. This means you can steam from your phone, or other bluetooth music device from across the room, or in my case, across the patio. This is nice because you don't have to worry about getting up to change songs or volume, you can just do it from your device without stopping what you're doing, (or not doing, if you're relaxing by the pool). Of course, if you don't have a Bluetooth Device, you can use it with a USB cord.

Enter to Win Svetol Green Coffee Bean Extract! Expired

You know how I love a good sweepstakes, and how I'm all about getting healthier, so how about combining both!

Svetol is a green coffee bean extract that helps you to burn fat so you can get healthier. On their Facebook page, you can enter their sweepstakes. The sweepstakes runs until 12/31/13, and you can enter everyday to increase your odds of winning.

The Grand prize is a year supply of Natural Factors Svetol. First prize wins 6 bottles, Second prize wins 3 bottles, and 4th & 5th each win 1 bottle. This could be a great way to jump start your New Year goals to get healthy and lose weight. Remember, you can't win if you don't enter.

Enter here


disclosure: This post is in exchange for free product. All opinions expressed are my own. The post may contain affiliate links.

Easy Peanut Butter Krispie Treat Recipe with Chocolate and Butterscotch

I think everyone has some special food or treat that brings back sweet memories of childhood. For me, it's "Rice Krispie treats", but not what you may think of as "Rice Krispie treats".

"Rice Krispie treats" were made for me by my Gramma twice a year; my birthday, and Christmas. They were my favorite, and they were the first food I ever learned to make. Helping Gramma to stir the peanut butter and melt the chocolate is one of my great memories of childhood and the holidays. 

Yes, that's right, my "Rice Krispie Treats" have chocolate. I never even knew of the marshmallow "Rice Krispie Treat" until I was married. So, imagine my husband's surprise the first time, I made "Rice Krispie Treats" and they looked like this:


Not exactly what he was expecting! And, Not a bit of marshmallow in them! But, oh are they good!

New Digital Memories Time Capsule Site Offering Free Membership for Beta Testing

I didn't receive any compensation for this, I just think it's a cool concept, kind of like a time capsule. And, you know how much I like freebies, so, I'm sharing!

Right now, Kairos Life is offering a free membership as part of their beta testing program. Just head over to their site to sign up with an e-mail address.



KairosLife.com is a place for families to save digital memories and heirlooms for kids and loved ones. Then digitally deliver those keepsakes to them at a predetermined date in the future, kind of like a digital time capsule or gift.
 
 
 
 

Christmas Mashup Songs #MusicMonday

Happy Music Monday! Can you believe we are already over a week into December?! It's moving so fast! Before you know, Christmas will be here, and then New Years. Phew! Where did 2013 go?

Well, while we have some time left in this year, let's enjoy it with a little music! Since time flies by so fast, let's do 30 Christmas songs in 1 minute. Here goes!


Why not keep the Mashup theme going with this song.  It's an adorable mashup of Hey Ya and Charlie Brown Christmas. You may have seen this before, but I felt it was worth sharing because it is just so cute. And I just love the Charlie Brown dance moves! It's one of my favorite Christmas shows.

Blu-ray #MovieMagic Giveaway, Enter to Win! EXPIRED

I love movies and entering giveaways, so I want to share this with you. I did not receive anything in exchange for hosting this giveaway. I just think it's really cool!

In our house, movies are a big part of our family time. We love watching movies, and we especially love watching them on Blu-ray because of the amazing picture quality and the awesome special features. With the Blu-ray combo packs, you can have a DVD for the kids, and a Blu-ray for you plus a digital copy to take with you.

There is a Fine Line Between Friendly and Obnoxious. or Who's to Say What You Can Do With Thermal Underwear!

Have you ever had that cashier at the store that checks you out and never says a word? I often wonder how that cashier ever got the job. Didn’t he have to speak in the interview? Didn’t the interviewer notice that the cashier had no personality?

I just want to shake the cashier and say “Hello, you’re in customer service, you could at least acknowledge that I’m here. You know, as in service the customer!” “I’m not asking for much; a simple ‘Hello’ will be fine.”

Having a cashier that never acknowledges you is the worst…or…is it?

Yesterday. I went to the store to do a little shopping for the Yuletide Season. After standing in line for a bit, the cashier greeted us with a friendly smile and, “Hi!”

She then rang up an item, stopped to read the label, and asked, “Where’d you get this from?”

Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette Giveaway EXPIRED

Every year Urban Decay is on the top of my Christmas wish list. They are my absolute favorite for eye makeup. I love the vibrant colors, shimmer, and glimmer of their eye shadows. Last year, I got the Vice Palette, and I have had so much fun with it. With the color selection it has been perfect for going to work, shopping, or a night out. This year Urban Decay is back with an equally awesome palette of eye color; Vice 2. 

I am giving away the luxurious and sophisticated Vice 2 Palette from Urban Decay a $59 value. Enjoy:

Free Body Mist, While Supplies Last EXPIRED

I just love a good freebie, it makes me want to sing when I get a good deal. This is a great freebie, that I just have to share with you!

CVS Minute Clinic is giving a free Essence of Beauty Body Mist. Just go to their Facebook page like it, and click the "Get Coupon" link on the offer tab, to print your coupon for your free 2oz Body Mist.

Get your Free coupon here.
Hurry before they are all gone!












Enter to Win a Tassimo T55 in this Great Giveaway #Tassimo EXPIRED

The blog was not compensated in any way for this post.
tassimofinal
 
There's something about the holiday season that just screams for a warm cup of coffee. It's frothy, sweet and creamy, and just so good! I just love to cozy up by the fire with my special cup (the one with the purple skull and crossbones on it,) and enjoy a good book. I can see it now, the dogs curled up at my feet, a soft fuzzy blanket in my lap, and some great holiday music playing; Aaah that's a perfect moment. With Tassimo it's so much easier to enjoy this perfect moment because it takes no time at all to make that cup of coffee, and there are so many flavors to choose from. 

Cyber Monday Shopping Music for #MusicMonday

Happy Music Monday and.......Happy Cyber Monday!

This is one of the best days of the year for us online shoppers. Not only do most stores offer free shipping and big discounts, but Ebates also has huge double cash back deals like 8% on Amazon and 12% at JCPenney. So, when you're doing your online shopping don't forget to get your cash back.

Since we're shopping on this Music Cyber Monday, how about some "shopping" songs?! Here's some songs that mention shopping.

First one, for all us bargain shoppers, Thrift Shop by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis




This song is for the Designer shopper, Labels or Love by Fergie




And, of course, I have to include this song, because it mentions the stores, and Cyber Monday is all about getting the best deals to bring the best smiles on Christmas morning. It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas by Michael Buble.



I hope you find great deals today and everyday this holiday season. Have a happy week!

For more Music Monday, head over to Xmas Dolly.

Enter to Win an Autographed Copy of Ricky Martin's New Children's Book EXPIRED

Ricky Martin won over our hearts with his upbeat dance songs. ♪Living la vida loca♪
Now, he'll be winning over young hearts with his new children's book, Santiago The Dreamer in Land Among the Stars.


This story is about a boy who's dream is to perform on stage, and the support he gets from his dad. It looks like a very inspiring story, and a great gift for any little dreamer.

I think that's one of the reasons I've always likes Ricky Martin, he and his songs always seem so uplifting. You can't help but get up and dance when his songs come on!

LastMom had the chance to meet Ricky, (she says he was warm and friendly, I wouldn't expect anything less,) and get a book autographed for this giveaway. You can enter to win the autographed book in the rafflecopter form below. The winner will be chosen on 12/13, and it will be shipped in time for Christmas gift giving. So, get your entry in!

Make Best Buy Your Holiday Shopping Destination with These Great Coupons

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is shopping. There's just something so exciting about it. Maybe it's the holiday spirit of giving that kicks in with all the holiday colors, music, and the glimmering lights. It also helps that I get a bonus this time of year that helps me stretch my budget a little bit further. I love the thrill of finding that perfect gift, but I also need to find it at the perfect price!

One of the best places to go to get that perfect gift/price thrill is Best Buy. My little brother used to work for the geek squad, so I know how well they treat their employees. How a company treats their employees says a lot about how they will treat their customers, and that's very important to a great shopping experience. I've always had the best shopping experience at Best Buy because they care. One of the things that they do that really makes shopping at Best Buy easy for me is the free store pick-up option. I just shop online, and whatever I order is ready at the pick-up counter. So easy, so great!

Here's some more reasons why Best Buy is a great holiday shopping destination:

Best Buy is the authority and destination for all your technology and appliance product gifting needs this holiday,
The assortment is second to none:
  • Feature more than 100 products sold only at Best Buy this Holiday season.
  • Offer a market-leading selection of the hottest tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles and titles, wearable technology, health and fitness gear, mobile accessories and much more.
Blue Shirts and Geek Squad Agents are passionate, highly trained, knowledgeable and impartial so they can help ensure you get the perfect gifts for your family and friends…and yourself. They know price is important to us, and frankly it’s important to them too. Their Low Price Guarantee will ensure you’re getting the most competitive price possible.
The combination of bestbuy.com and their 1,400 stores offers the ultimate showroom to touch, test, try and buy the latest technology. Technology is evolving quickly and becoming increasingly complex- Best Buy is here to help make it easy for your to choose the products and services that work best for you.
  • Phones: At Best Buy you can see and try all of the phones, carriers, plans and accessories under
    one roof with industry-leading trade-in options
  • Tablets: Best Buy is the only place in America where customers can see all of the latest and greatest tablets. 
  • Computing: Best Buy features the best selection, advise, services and support in computing. They help set the market by working with the industry's tech leaders to develop a highly specialized and innovative assortment of laptops, many of which are only available at Best Buy.
  • Mobile Accessories: Best Buy has one of the largest selections of accessories and wearables this holiday. Bluetooth speakers, smartwatches, health & fitness gear and headphones will truly rule holiday. 
  • Home Theater: Best Buy offers the world's newest technology, best assortment and service in home theater.
  • Appliances: Best Buy is better positioned than ever to bring the latest small appliances and special deals to you.
  • Gaming: Best Buy is THE destination for gaming this holiday. Not only dodo they have the latest Xbox and PlayStation consoles, but the hottest game releases and everything else you need for a great gaming experience.
  • Music/Movies/Musical Instruments: Best Buy offers terrific deals on the best entertainment stocking stuffers.
  • Digital Imaging: Best Buy features the newest selection of cameras, accessories and advise so you can find the perfect gift or capture your own holiday memories.
  • Tech Services: Best Buy is home of the Geek Squad for help installing, repairing, troubleshooting, optimizing and offering all sorts of technical advice from every Best Buy store, in-home, online and by phone
If all this isn't reason enough to shop at Best Buy, here's some great printable coupons valid from 12/1-1/18.
This coupon could get you some great gifts including one that's on my list, the Fitbit. The Fitbit is the perfect gift for anyone in your life that is trying to get healthier through activity.


10% off headphones and portable speakers (excludes Beats, Bose, & Sony)
If you have any music lovers in your life, like me, you'll want to use this coupon to get some great sound.



The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free. 

Juniors Tees Under $3 with FREE SHIPPING!

Black Friday may be over, but there are still many deals to be found. Many stores have started Cyber Monday deals early. This means you can avoid all the crowds and shop from the comfort of your home.

Make sure you also use Ebates to get cash back on all your online purchases.

Kohl's is offering Free shipping with no minimum purchase + an extra 20% off with code CYBERSAVE

Look for clearance items to make the most of this savings. I found these Juniors tees for under $5 shipped.
$4.52 after cash back
$4.52 after cash back
$2.71 after cash back

Happy Thanksgiving!

The turkey has been cooked and eaten, and the leftovers are all put away, now, finally, it's time to sit down and enjoy the day.

I hope you had a fabulous day. Now to put on some holiday music and start planning for some shopping! oh, and maybe, some pie :)


Frozen is in theaters, read my Frozen review.

Disney's Frozen Movie Review, Way Better than I Expected!

Update: Since this initial review of Frozen in theaters, I bought the blu-ray. When I say it was better than I expected, I mean it was way better than expected! I mean way better! I love this movie! And, I can't stop singing ♪Let it go Let it go♪ Love it! Disney is magical!

It's rare that Disney messes up on anything, but this time they messed it up big time!

You're probably wondering 'what could Disney possibly mess up?' Well, I'll tell you...

I've seen various trailers and images for Disney's new movie Frozen for quite a few months now, but I didn't share any of them with anyone. The reason...They did not look good.  I don't know if it was the way they were pieced together, or just the character clips, but it wasn't enticing and I had no interest in seeing the movie. That's where Disney messed up. The Frozen trailers just don't do it justice!

Disney's Frozen is awesome! It is such a fun touching sweet movie. Disney has brought back the old school magic with this one. Even the soundtrack is fabulous, and you know how important music is to me. By the end of the movie, I could hear people in the theater singing along to what will become classic songs. It is truly great, and not at all dumb like the trailers made it seem.

Frozen is based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale story of The Snow Queen. It is the tale of 2 sisters, both princesses, that are the best of friends. One sister has a magic that turns things to ice and snow. She tries to keep this magic hidden until she can no longer do so, and ends up freezing her land in the middle of Summer. The other sister, Anna, must try to save her kingdom and the relationship with her sister.

The story is about friendship, family, responsibility, and love in many forms. It has a cast of great characters including Olaf, the snowman. Olaf was one of the reasons that I didn't want to see the movie when I saw him in the trailer, but he turns out to be a nice little addition to the story. His warmth which is contrary to his icy cold body, is very endearing.

*****possible Spoiler alert******** I don't give it all away, but reading this next paragraph could give you a heads up on what happens in the end.

Finally, a Natural Gum to Meet the Needs of a Healthy Lifestyle

When I decided to try to change my diet to be more clean and healthy. I thought I would just cook more meals on my own. Buy more natural foods, and really just try to avoid all those yucky chemical additives that are in a lot of processed foods. It seemed simple enough. And, in a lot of ways it has been easy, but in other ways I've failed miserably!

There are just so many things that I didn't plan for; things that I really like that can't just be made on my own.

Like, gum...I can't just go whip up a batch of gum in the kitchen!

But, I like gum! I like chewing it after a meal because it freshens my breath. I like chewing it in the middle of the day because it helps keep me from snacking. And, chewing gum is just fun!

Did you know that chewing gum actually burns calories? It does! It burns about 11 calories/per hour. Okay, so it's not a lot, but when you work a desk job like me, you need every extra calorie burn you can get!

So, when PÜR gum contacted me to try their gum, I was super excited to do so. PÜR Gum is vegan, gluten-free, non-gmo, nut-free, diabetic friendly and dairy free. And, it is completely Aspartame free!Now, I can chew gum without feeling guilty about all the chemical additives!

PÜR uses Xylitol, a natural sweetener found in many fruits and vegetables. It's actually good for your teeth, stabilizes insulin and hormone levels, promotes good health and has none of the negative side effects of white sugar or artificial sweeteners.

PÜR sent me all 4 flavors of their gum, peppermint, spearmint, Pomegranate-Mint, and Wintergreen. They all taste good, and I really couldn't tell that they don't have sugar in them. I could tell that it doesn't have aspartame, because it doesn't have any funny aftertaste. The gum doesn't stay soft for quite as long as some other gums, but because it is natural and doesn't have all those horrible chemicals in it; it's a trade-off I'm willing to make. My favorite flavor is the Pomegranate-mint. It has a nice mild fruit flavor with a nice clean mint. I think with all the flavors my mouth was left feeling very clean, and I like that.

PÜR gum is definitely a good option for people with dietary restrictions, or if you're like me, and you just want to put more of the right things in your body.

PÜR gum can be purchased at Amazon



disclosure: This product was provided for the purposes of the review. All opinions expressed are my own. This article may contain affiliate links.

Bing Wants to Give You Free Starbucks Gift Cards With New Rewards Program

Bing wants you to use them to search with and they are willing to reward you for doing so. You're already searching the web so why not get rewards for it!

Just sign up for Bing rewards, then you'll earn points for searching that you can trade for gift cards, from places like Amazon, Starbucks and Sephora, (those are all on my favorites list!) and more!

Try it out.


Music Monday, Thankful for Family and Love #MusicMonday

It's Monday, and that means music! Happy Music Monday!!

With Thanksgiving this week, I'm thinking about many things that I'm thankful for. There are way to many to list, but I have to give big thanks to my family,

It's been a rough year with my health issues. Earlier this year, I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. We have started treatment, but it has been a bit of a roller coaster ride, with some good days, some bad, and some really really bad. Through all of this, my family is so understanding, so caring, and so helpful. I wouldn't be doing as well as I am without them.

I can't thank them enough for all that they do to help me, and to encourage me. With some of my medicines, I have had some bad side effects, and they have been right there to hold my hair and rub my back. They have cooked for me, cleaned up after me, changed plans for me, and some days they have carried me.

But, most importantly, they have loved me. And, I love them more than anything. That is what I am most thankful for in this world. I am thankful for love. I'm thankful that I am loved, and that I'm able to love because as cheesy as it may sound life would be nothing without that magical 4 letter word L.O.V.E.

So, to start off this week's songs...
a little LOVE by Nat King Cole


I'm choosing this song because I can't help but think of my 2 daughters when they were little girls and couldn't get the lyrics right. From the back seat they would sing ♪biscuits, biscuits♪ Ah, I love my girls!!
Here's This Kiss by Faith Hill



I hope you have a fabulously musical week, with a very happy Thanksgiving, and I hope it's full of love!

For others having MusicMonday fun head over to XmasDolly

7 Easy Ways to Start a Giving Back Tradition, plus Cinnamon Box Giveaway- EXPIRED

In a few days, we will sit down to a feast of food to give thanks for the many things we have in our lives. While we're being thankful for all that we have, many of us will talk about how we are lucky because there are so many people that don't have as much as we do. Families around the world and right here in the U.S. are fighting poverty, and there are so many that are in need of help. While we recognize that we have so much to be thankful for compared to others, what we can do to help can be a little bit harder to think about.

After Thanksgiving is over, we will quickly start thinking about gift giving. It's also a good time to think about giving back to the community and helping those in need. By getting your children involved with this, you can teach them the importance of giving to others. Instead of having them write their Christmas lists right away, have them think about children that may not have as much, and ask them how they think we can help. Make a plan to give to others in a way that works for you and what your family is comfortable with. You may be able start a new tradition for you and your family that will bring new meaning to the Season of Giving. Here's some ideas to get you started:
  1. Find a local shelter/ soup kitchen to volunteer your time to cook,  or serve food.
  2. Organize a canned food drive with a local charitable organization.
  3. Have your kids help you shop for toys for a local toy drive.
  4. Replace gift exchanges at work with a group effort to buy needed items for a local shelter.
  5. Check with a local school to see if they have any families in need that you could "adopt" to help provide a happier holiday.
  6. Money can be tight, if you can't afford to donate money, or buy new items, make this the time of year to clean out your closets and donate good used items. Have your children do the same.
  7. When buying gifts, buy from companies that have programs to give back, or benefit small communities.
One organization that I like that has a great program for giving back is WorldVision.org. World Vision has a gift catalog that allows for you to give a unique handcrafted gift to a loved one that will result in a person in poverty receiving a much needed item. The video below explains it much better than I do.

Delivery Man, It's a Surprisingly Good Movie for the Family

Back in July, I was one of 533 bloggers to debut the trailer for Delivery Man, in honor of the 533 children that Vince Vaughn's character fathers as the result of a mix up at the sperm bank.

Delivery Man opens at theaters all over today. I have to say the movie was not really what I expected. I thought it would be a more adult humor kind of comedy given the main story line involving a sperm bank mix up. It certainly had some innuendos and such, but really it was more of a family movie than a hard comedy. That's not a bad thing at all. In fact it was really good.

It was a sweet story about a man that always seems to be getting into some kind of trouble. David Wozniak (Vaughn) is the kind of guy that can't seem to do anything right, but everyone loves him just the same. When he finds out that he is the father of 533 children that are wanting to know who their father is, he is stuck trying to to hide who he is while at the same time trying to discover who his children are. It makes for some funny and tender moments.

Delivery Man is a sweet movie. While it's not the laugh a minute movie I was expecting, it was still quite good. I don't think it will be winning any awards but, it's a good heart warming story with great values. It's worth the trip to the theater, and it might be a good one to see with your older kids.

If nothing else, it'll make you grateful to only have to buy popcorn for your few children. Can you imagine having 533?!




I attended a free screening of this film for the purposes of completing this review.

Local Crafters are Making Unique Sustainable Goods

When I was growing up, I had many older relatives that crocheted and knitted various things from dolls to afghans. I never liked getting gifts from them. I can remember one Christmas eve, getting to open 1 present early, and being so disappointed that it was a gift from my great aunt. Inside was a pair of soft pink cknitted booties. Ugh, that’s no fun…I wanted toys and cool clothes…not a dumb pair of booties! I couldn’t wait until Christmas morning when I would get to open the cool stuff!


Looking back now, it’s hard to believe I ever felt that way because I feel so differently now. I love handmade items that have so much time and care put into making them. We have a couple of local markets that many local crafters and artists gather at to sell their goods. It is one of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday morning; walking around and looking at the many unique items.

I especially like artists that are able to breathe new life into old items. They may take bottle caps and decorate a picture frame, or license plates to make bird houses, I just love seeing the ingenious ideas of people that not only recycle items but they upcycle them. They take it from something old and drab and make it better than it was. They give it style. The biggest issue I have on Saturday mornings at the market is trying to decide which of the fabulous items to get because unfortunately, I don’t have the unlimited funds I would need to buy all the things I like!

 Along with my love of the sheer aesthetics of the craft items, I also like that I can feel good about purchasing from small business. I get so happy seeing the revival of the urban crafter, and local artists. The best part is that we can have local artists making awesome goods of all kind like before the Industrial Revolution, but we still have the technology of the internet to connect with the local artist that may not be local to us.

One company that’s doing some really cool crafting is Rickshaw Bags in San Francisco. According to an article in Inc. Magazine (one of my favorite magazines to find out about up and coming small business,) Rickshaw has found a way to make bags that have sustainability at their core with zero waste. Talk about upcycling; they have created a bag made from fabric that was once water bottles. The CEO of Rickshaw Bagworks, Mark Dwight explains, “we partnered with one of the few remaining upholstery mills in North Carolina to develop a proprietary collection of Rickshaw Performance Tweed: a gorgeous, rugged fabric made from recycled beverage bottles and finished with an eco-friendly, stain-resistant coating. With a little extra effort, we developed a fabric that met our goals for sustainability, style, durability, and affordability.”


 Rickshaw custom makes every bag to order, so you can really get a bag that’s unique to you. You can customize every part of the bag and since they are open to the public, you could even watch the creation of your bag.

I love seeing this type of manufacturing that really honors the timeless tradition of local crafters. It makes me think again about those knitted Christmas booties...I may not have been happy to open them, but I sure wore them a lot, and for a long time, because not only were they uniquely made, but they were also made with handcrafted quality.


The Commuter 2.1 Laptop Briefcase from Rickshaw Bagworks on Vimeo.



disclosure: I was compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Bolthouse Farms Seasonal Drinks, You're Gonna Want These in Your Holiday Cup

Years ago, long before I ever decided to switch to a cleaner, healthier diet, I discovered Bolthouse Farms' delicious drinks. I remember talking to a friend of mine about how I would get too busy working to stop and eat; so I would be starving at dinner time. She told me about Bolthouse Farms. She said they were healthy and had protein so I could at least drink my lunch, since I didn't have time for real food. (Of course, I now know how much these terrible eating habits contributed to my weight problem.)

My first question was, "If they're healthy, do they taste good?"

She assured me they did, but I was still a little hesitant about it. At that time, me and healthy were not friends at all. Healthy and I couldn't even be in the same room together!

But, reluctantly, I tried them and...

OMG! SO SO GOOD! The Vanilla Chai often was my lunch, or even just a treat because I wasn't concerned with calories or proteins, or anything other than just taste.

Now, that I'm more aware of the foods that I put into my body, and I try to eat a healthier cleaner diet, I appreciate Bolthouse Farms even more. I love many of their flavors of juices and coffees, but the Vanilla Chai has remained my favorite. It tastes like a splurge, but has so much good in it.

With my love of Bolthouse Farms, I was super excited to try their new seasonal flavors.


For a limited time, Bolthouse Farms has 3 seasonal flavors available; Holiday Nog, Pumpkin Spice Latte, and Peppermint Mocha. Let me say you are going to want these for your holiday celebrations! My favorite is the Pumpkin which is made with real pumpkin puree, coffee, and spices. The best part is I can trust Bolthouse Farms to put in to their drinks, good things that I want to put into my body. Even though eating healthier and cleaner is very important to me now, my desire to have things that taste good hasn't changed a bit...and these drinks do not disappoint...They are so yummy!!

My oldest daughter is an eggnog fiend, so I'm looking forward to giving her the Holiday Nog when she comes home from college for Thanksgiving. I just know she'll love the taste and I'll love knowing it's so much better for her than other nogs.

Just as much as I like finding good food and drinks, I like finding a good deal. So I like this deal...

Snap a pic of Bolthouse Farms and post it to instagram with #CarrotFarmers and #GotCoupons and you'll receive $1.50 coupon good on any Bolthouse Farms beverage. If you don't have any Bolthouse Farms on hand,(I understand, I can't keep it for more than a day in my house either,) but if you don't have a bottle, just go to their website and snap a pic.

Then, when you get your coupon, run to the store and get that delicious seasonal beverage before they are all gone. I'd tell you to share it with your family for Thanksgiving, but I'm sure you'll want to just keep it for yourself!

If you try it and like it, let them know. Bolthouse Farms is on Twitter and Facebook.

disclosure: I received free product for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are my own.

Music Monday, Relax Now Before the Holiday Rush!

Happy Music Monday! As you can see by the late timing of this post, I'm running a bit behind. It all started when I got sick last week. I went in to work on Thursday, and 2 hours later, I was literally falling asleep at my desk... Yeah, not good they tend to frown on that sort of thing, so...I went to the doctor's office, got some antibiotics, and went home...where...I slept...for 2 days! Yes, I slept for 2 days! I feel better now, but boy am I behind on everything!!

So, I spent the weekend getting caught up on homework, house stuff, and my research paper for my Mass Communications... Boy, am I glad that's done!

Now, some music to chill to! How does some Sheryl Crow sound? Awesome, let's listen to this live performance of Sheryl from 2010. This is My Favorite Mistake which, is one of my favorite Sheryl Crow songs.



I hope you have a relaxing week, because you know as we head into the holidays, it's going to get crazy, so relax while you can!

For more Music Monday songs, go check out Xmas Dolly


Wordless Wednesday, My Instagram Week

I'm joining in on Wordless Wednesday this week with some picture moments from the past week. Here is my Instagram week.

Boredom and candy in Art class results in modern art of my own.

During the day, my cat is nowhere around, but wake up in the night and she is right in my face.

It was cheap, and it was already in the house...EAT!


I turn around to find my dog just chilling on the pool steps.

Playing with the Negative filter for an eerie look to the old shed.

I tried the new Chestnut Praline Latte at Starbucks, Yup, it's YUM!

There you have it, my week in pictures. I know, you're jealous of my the life I live...I's okay, I understand. :) ♪Wouldn't it be nice, if we could wake up♪ (Beach Boys)

Want to see more of my pics? Follow me on Instagram



Music Monday, New Discoveries in Music

Happy Music Monday! I hope you had a great weekend! I certainly did because I discovered some great new music this weekend!

Friday night, we went to the Suicide Girls Burlesque show. It was a lot of fun, and the girls had some great dance moves with some great song choices. They did routines that included Star Wars, Kill Bill, Planet of the Apes, and the Superhero one shown above.

A couple of the songs they danced to were new to me. I really liked this one, so I used my handy Shazam app to discover what the song was. It was this cool song, Supermassive Black Hole by Muse.


Another new song that I discovered was during Walking Dead on Sunday night. Once again Shazam came to the rescue to identify this song. I like it's eerie haunting sound. It was a perfect pairing with the feeling of the week's episode.

This song is Oats in the Water by Ben Howard.



How was your weekend? Did you discover any new music? I'd love to hear about it!


Oh, by the way, if you're a music lover, like me, consider buying my shirt to help pay for my Arthritis Foundation 5k walk coming up in December. More people suffer from arthritis than any other disease, let's help find a cure!


Have a fabulously musical week!




Autumn Fashion For Southern States Doesn't Mean Scarves and Sweaters

With Fall leaves changing colors in the North, and Thanksgiving right around the corner, I got to thinking about Autumn fashion. The stores all have warm winter clothes in them, but I'm still in the shorts of Summer because the warm sun is still shining on us here in the South.

So, we're not quite ready for the warm clothes just yet, but I want to get into the spirit of Autumn and the Thanksgiving holiday...

So, I think it's up to us to bring in the colors of Autumn in our clothing while still being casual and comfortable.

I played with the layout maker of ShopStyle for the first time to put together a few things. What do you think?

New Classics Collection Celebrates the Best of Disney

I just love Disney music, it is so much fun to listen to. Even though my kids are older, we still enjoy listening to the music and watching the movies. I find that many of the Disney songs have just as much to learn as the movies themselves.

One of my favorite Disney movies is Mary Poppins. It's such a great story with a great lesson about taking time out for the little things, or in this case to "fly a kite" ♪let's go fly a kite up where the air is high♪.
Another great song from that movie is ♪a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down♪ This song is a great reminder to us as adults, that even when we have to give bad news or criticism, if we do it n the nicest way, it will go a lot smoother.

My love of music and Disney has me super excited to see that Disney is releasing a boxed set of music CDs on November 12, 2013. This set has over 90 songs on it from movies, television, and theme parks.

Think about the first time you rode, It's a Small World, the little people and different countries are fun, the song is really what holds it all together. And, I'm sure you walked out singing it. If you're like me, you're singing it right now! ♪It's a small world after all♪

Countdown to Black Friday Giveaway, enter to win $1000!

Countdown To Black Friday Giveaway

Organized by Mom Powered Media and the MPM Blogger Network.
Looking for the best contests around this holiday season? Make sure to visit SweepstakesFanatics where you can find the newest sweeps, blog giveaways and even a special section for Canadian giveaways.
Black Friday will be here before we know it, and I can't wait! Black Friday is like the kick off to the Yuletide season for me. I just love the excitement that's in the air as everyone is searching for that perfect gift.

On my wish list this year, (in case anyone is out shopping for me on Black Friday,) is A Purple Kitchenaid stand mixer, a food processor, and a tablet. Also, since I lost so much weight and inches from my switch to a healthier lifestyle, I really need some new clothes, a new fluffy robe, and some shoes, (I always need shoes, don't you?!).

While I'm busy dreaming of all the things I'll buy myself for Black Friday, you can enter to win $1000, so you can get all the things on your Holiday wish list. I'm curious, what would you buy, If you won?

Enter to win in the form below. Good luck!

Thor, The Dark World is a Fast Fun Ride!

I'm sure there's no question in your mind that you want to see Thor, The Dark World. So, I'm here to confirm that you are absolutely correct...you need to see this movie!

I liked this one even better than the first, because it is a non-stop ride from start to finish. I really couldn't believe that the full 2 hours had gone by. It was really that fast moving! Well, okay there is that one part where everything seemed to stop for a moment,and you heard a collective gasp from the ladies in the audience, yes...you guessed it...Thor was shirtless. Oh. My. Gosh. Those Muscles. Sigh

Oh, oops, sorry, back to the rest of the movie.

Daily Bluetooth Performance Headphones Giveaway, Enter to Win!

I've always had a love of the outdoors, whether it's spending time at the beach, in the mountains, or just out in my backyard, I love the fresh air. There is just something very soothing about spending time with nature.

As I've started focusing on living a healthier lifestyle, spending time outdoors has become even more important to me. Because I have psoriatic arthritis, I have to be selective on what activities I do, and have to stick mainly to lower impact that is easier on my joints. One of my favorite activities is hiking. It combines my love of outdoors with the low impact of walking. With the variance in terrain, I'm able to get a great work out by utilizing small muscles for balance along with getting my cardio steps in, and I still get the fulfillment of being with nature.

Another great activity for me is yoga. It is very easy on my joints and helps me to keep myself flexible. It also works smaller muscles as well as my core, and helps me a great stretch that really helps keep my joints from getting stiff.

No matter what I do, I always like to have my music with me, but not everyone around me wants to hear the music, so sometimes I have to wear headphones. Headphones, of course, can be annoying when you're working out because they fall out and the cord gets in your way or comes unplugged from your music device. It can be very frustrating! But, not with this technology...

Disney Releases the Latest Info on Star Wars Episode VII

It's official, Star Wars Fans: Star Wars: Episode VII to Open December 18, 2015!!




StarWars.com has just posted this exciting news.

“We’re very excited to share the official 2015 release date for Star Wars: Episode VII, where it will not only anchor the popular holiday film going season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture,” said Alan Horn, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios.

Fellow music fans will be happy to know that John Williams will be back to score the film. This makes me happy because as much I love the Star Wars action and dialogue, the film just wouldn't have the same feeling without the music.

Shooting on Star Wars Episode VII is expected to begin in the Spring of 2014 with J.J. Abrams in the Directors chair.

I'm excited to see what this new episode will look like and where the storyline will take us, so I'll be following StarWars.com very closely over the next year.





Black Friday Will be Here Soon, Start Planning Your Shopping Trip Now!

I know November just started, but we must start thinking about Christmas shopping now...Black Friday is just around the corner!

I love the excitement of Black Friday. I get up early, get a coffee, and hit the stores with somewhat of a plan. Having a plan is so important to a successful Black Friday shopping day, that's why I'm happy to share with you this sponsored post from Find&Save. Find&Save is a great site to browse sales in your area, and help you prepare for Black Friday.

I'm an Early Bird shopper. I wish I could be one of those Night Owls that is out before 5 AM, because they get a lot more shopping done, but I value my sleep too much. So, I have to do everything I can to make my shopping plans go as smooth as possible.

I usually throw together some kind of plan of where I'm going, but it's not a super organized plan. So, I'm usually telling hubby, "um, there was something I wanted to get at this store." And, then I struggle to remember what it was, or I ruffle through store flyers to try to find it. Okay, so I admit my usual "plan" is more of a theory than an actual strategy.

But, this year will be different!

What's Your Pet's personality? For Each Quiz taken The Humane Society will receive $1!

Pets all have a personality of their own. I have one nervous tattle tale Australian Shepherd mix, 1 extra sensitive class clown Labrador, and a preppy snobby cat. And, for all their craziness, I couldn't imagine life without them.

Help the Humane Society by taking this short quiz to find out your pet's personality. For each quiz taken, $1 will be donated to The Humane Society by Petplan Insurance.

 All you have to do is take a fun quiz, and The Humane Society will get money to help save more pets. What are you waiting for...Go take it! :)

Music Monday, A Look at YouTube Music Awards Winners

It's Music Monday, so let's talk music!

Sunday night, YouTube had it's first ever music awards. There were a lot of music videos recognized. Here are a few of my favorites.

Breakthrough Artist goes to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis


Response of the Year Award goes to: Cover of Radioactive by Lindsay Stirling and Pentatonix



Youtube Phenomenon goes to one of my favorite cover bands (because of how unique their covers are) Walk Off The Earth with I Knew You Were Trouble



Have a happy Music Monday!

Design Your Own T-shirts Print and Sell Them With No Cost to You, Teespring Review

Have you ever had a T-shirt design that you knew everyone would love, if you only had the money to make it?
or
Have you ever needed an easy fundraiser for a club or sports team?

Now you can, with Teespring. Teespring is crowdfunding for custom apparel. You can use it as a fundraiser for your kid's sports team, or club, an event, a family reunion, for your blog, or just to make some extra money.

I really wish I had this when my girls were playing softball, because it is so easy! No more running around getting quotes from different printers, and hoping you get the money back that you fronted to get the shirts made. No more of any of that mess that comes with fundraising!

With Teespring, you just design the shirt using their graphics and lettering, or upload your own design. Then, you set the price you want to sell them for and what the minimum will be that you have to sell in order to have them printed. Finally, you market your shirt in anyway you want.

When the shirts are printed, you keep all the profit, with nothing out of your pocket! It's that easy!

Here's the campaign I did with the tools on their site.

It was really a lot of fun designing the tee, and it was free to do, so there's nothing to lose.

I also have to say that I purchased something from someone else on Teespring, and I had incredible customer service, and I just love the t-shirt!

Now, go buy my shirt. :)
or just check it out at teespring.com/lifemusiclaughter and make your own shirt.



disclosure: I was compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.