Monday, October 27, 2008

Surpise Giveaway....2 winners- International OK

excuse the spelling: It's supposed to be surprise giveaway, see what happens when it's late and you've looked at a computer too long? This past weekend and this coming weekend I will be hitting the local craft fairs. What does that mean exactly? Well, it means that I will have some stuff to give away of course! But the fun part is, it's a surprise...

You won't know what you're getting because I won't know what I will be buying until I get there. I will give you a hint though, both prizes will include handmade soap from Mrs. T's soaps a local vendor here in Maine (actually right down the road in Oakland where my dad lives) In speaking with her, she has quite a following at our craft fairs and her booth was packed last weekend! I got hubby some nice coconut scented soap and Deja picked out a baby powder bar for herself. She also picked out some other goodies for our winners...

This giveaway runs today to coincide with the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival and will end at 11:59 pm on October 31st. Winners will be picked sometime Saturday and posted later in the day. Please leave an email address in your comment so I can reach you -you don't have to be a blogger to enter, but you must leave your email or have it available in your profile!

To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment, any comment-one entry per person, please. Good luck and let the fun begin! (and yes, I will send internationally) Don't forget to scroll down and enter my book/stuffed toy giveaway too!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sikulu & Harambe Review and Giveaway!

Kindness to others-treating others the way we'd like to be treated... It's something we teach our children when they are young, hoping they will learn from our own actions and also from their own interactions with others.
One very important way to teach them about kindness is to read them the story of Sikulu & Harambe, which is based on an ethnic folk tale and written by Kunle Oguneye.
We loved the wonderful tale of Sikulu the Spider and his friend, Harambe the Hippo as they provided a perfect example of kindness to others when they rescued the village woman's clothing from the fast moving Zambezi River. After asking other animals to help her to rescue her clothes from being washed down the river, the poor old woman asked Sikulu and Harambe to assist her. The other animals were too busy, too preoccupied with their own lives to take the time to stop and be kind. I know I have been guilty myself of this-too busy to stop and help a coworker who maybe needed an extra hand, to help the harried mom or elderly person if their grocery bag broke and spilled the contents all over the parking lot, so many scenarios that I've witnessed but never really taken the time to go the extra mile and help out.
This story made me think about things in a new perspective. In helping others, and being kind-I can actually feel good myself. Plus, in doing so you are setting an example for others, including your children if they are with you. Deja loved the colorful illustrations and together we were able to learn about a different culture, learning new words along the way. Sikulu also showed his bravery, by forgetting about his fear of water and the river and pitching in with Harambe to help someone else- because to him, that was more important than his own fear. This book is first in a series of adventures depicting both Sikulu and Harambe in different parts of Africa. With more wonderful folk tales, beautiful illustrations, and new words and cultures I will be sure to follow their adventures and hope you will too!
Would you like to win a copy of this wonderful book for your family? The sponsor has generously offered to provide one winner with an autographed copy of the book and either a Sikulu the Spider or Harambe the Hippo stuffed toy!
The giveaway begins today and will end on Friday, October 31st and 11:59 pm. We will choose a lucky winner and post the winner's name sometime on Saturday November 1st. Prize will be sent directly from the sponsor, so I need to restrict to US only for this giveaway.
In order to win, head on over to the website and tell me in a comment what you liked-whether it be the games, the story itself, a fact about the author-whatever you enjoyed most when you visited the site. For a second entry, post a link to this giveaway on your own blog and then come back and leave a second comment with a link showing me that you did it and I will enter your name a second time. PLEASE-make sure that you leave an email address with your comment if you are not a blogger or don't have an email listed in your profile, so I can reach you! If you don't win, you can always buy one of the books or one of the cute stuffed animal toys here: With the holidays coming up soon, they'd make a cute gift!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Halloween is coming! Are you ready?

I can't believe it has been a whole week since I last posted. I am so looking forward to Halloween, and we are DEFINITELY ready.

Well, I am still tired-wiped out from whatever virus invaded my system but recovering nevertheless.

Work has been HE.. as I expected when they increased the eligibility guidelines in the program I work in. Great for the clients, more work for me. I can be assured of a long, tiring season and will greatly appreciate my layoff (usually in March) this year. Then come July, it starts all over again :)

This is an old pic of Deja from a couple years ago-she loves dressing up in Princess gowns and pink seems to be the color of choice and has been for several years now. I caught her in mid-curtsy lol...

It promises to be a busy weekend, with a craft fair, chicken BBQ, possible work at the office, laundry and other housework needing to be done-and dealing with a family crisis that may last for several months to come. But I will try to post as often as I can and will have fun reading other blogs to get my mind off things. Hope you all enjoy this nice Fall weekend!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sick, yet again...when does it end?????

Gosh, I feel about as sick as this pumpkin. Yet another cold has arrived, and the Advil Cold & Sinus ain't touchin' it this time folks.

I probably will sleep sitting up, maybe even here by the computer-I mean, it IS next to my bed and all, so if I kind of bend that way I could end up on my bed. Darn it, why did I leave my Vicks Vapor Rub at work on my desk? Even though I spent most of the day shoving that up my nose, which usually works at declogging those nostrils, this time it was not working.

I am thinking of doing a Puking Pumpkin this Halloween. I have seen several pics of them on the net, and with the way I feel, it certainly would fit in. Deja wants to do a puking pumpkin too, don't ask why-she just thinks it's cool. So next weekend we will pick out some pumpkins and have fun with carving and roasting the seeds...

In the meantime, its more OTC meds for me, rest, plenty of fluids and dealing with congestion-ugh. At least I can't smell the skunk odor which is still lingering in the basement, lol. But even that has faded thank goodness. Jose brought home all kinds of refill cans for the automatic sprayers we have in several rooms he found them on clearance someplace and figured we needed them.

So here I am miserable as heck, wondering when this will end. I mean, it just seems like a couple days ago I was sick with a cold. But actually it was a few weeks ago. The weather here has been nuts though, warm and then cold. No one knows how to dress, you are either too darn hot or freezing. Ok, off to read some more blogs and then get some much needed R & R. Wishing everyone a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pepe Le Peeeyewww!

Every year the area under my neighbor's porch is prime real estate for...skunks, raccoons, squirrels, you name it. The man who lived in the house last year chased out a HUGE raccoon male and female who apparently wanted to nest there. They ran across my backyard and my cat sat intently, not moving, watching them while I watched from the back door.

Lately, on garbage nights (like tonight!) I have seen a HUGE fat skunk waddling around the neighborhood. I assume he lives under the porch as well, since I have seen him in that area. The lady who moved in has three cats, two indoor and one outdoor. Her outdoor cat has apparently used a pet door before because we have caught him in our kitchen several times, eating from my cat's dishes while my cats just sit staring at this uninvited dinner guest. The thing is, the pet door is on my basement door, so the cats have to go through my basement pet door, up the stairs and through another pet door to my kitchen. Quite a long trip for some kibble, eh?

Anyways, last night hubby and I were sleeping when we were awakened by this horrific odor. My eyes were watering, throat burning-and all I could think of was that Pepe LePew had found that wonderful kibble in the kitchen and was chowing down when he was interrupted by one of my kitties and let loose a good one. Hubby decided to be brave, and headed to the kitchen-(we have forced hot air heating so air vents from the basement to all the rooms were filled with this noxious odor) no black and white friend in the kitchen. So then he gets really brave and heads down to the basement, making noise loudly as he goes. I guess he figured he'd scare him some more and get him to run out the other pet door. Apparently our friend was in the basement, but left in a hurry. The basement smells horrible. Have you ever driven by a dead skunk and not smelled anything until you got PAST it? Well imagine that in your basement, and in every room in your house. So in the daytime, we are airing out the house and suffering in the cooler evenings. I don't even want to think about adding some heat to the mixture. I came home from lunch today and thought I was going to gag. Tomorrow is payday, and guess what I will be buying? Lots of Glade scented oil warmer refills-to fill my home full of scent-the RIGHT kind.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pepsi or Coke?

Which do you love? My cat, Brujita, is kind of wondering why I am on the Coke rewards site while I have a Diet Pepsi on my desk...
I actually drink both of them equally, sometimes one more than the other if they are having contests or giveaways. This year, I actually won a flip camera and zune from Pepsi! And I have gotten nice free magazine subscriptions, free Coke coupons to support my diet cola habit, and some other goodies from Coke.
Brujita by the way, means little witch in Spanish. We got her around Halloween in 1999, so she is about 9 years old now. She was left abandoned with her mother and litter mates in an apartment for two weeks with no food or water. I happened to visit my friend Gladys and we all went upstairs with the owner as the lights had been shut off a week before and there were cockroaches and smells coming from that apartment. It was in the evening to make matters worse, and we discovered an overflowing litter box, tipped trash, fish that were amazingly still alive (which Gladys took aquarium and all) and a mama cat and 2 babies who did NOT make it. All of a sudden something little and black ran by my leg and we all screamed. We thought it was a rat or something, but nope, one little kitty had survived-HOW we don't know, but she did. And then she came home with me, end of story. Some people should just NOT have pets, period. But as you can see, she is living the good life with me at the house-along with Shadow, who is another rescued cat who is disabled, and Tippy, who was pretty feral when we got him. Brujita thinks she is the QUEEN and does not like hanging with the guys, but Shadow and Tippy don't mind because they often snuggle together and are best buddies. So that is the scoop on my pets-and how I got them. Which have NOTHING to do with Pepsi or Coke, but what the heck, right?!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Circle of Friends-We Love Their Stuff!

I am really impressed with A Circle of Friends-awhile back I won a cute lunchbag and some products from A Wrestling Addicted Mommy's Blog ( in one of her giveaways. A few years back I had found some of their Ana Banana shampoo (which smells VERY good) and their chocolate body lotion in the clearance bin at our local Bath and Body Works so I knew a little about their products and was excited for the prize package to arrive, because it had been several years since I had last tried it on Deja and I had been unable to find it any more in my area.
The package was shipped directly from the company, and when I received it I got the lunch bag and a photo, and a couple of small, individual type samples---not the soap, sponge, and lotion I'd seen on the blog giveaway. I waited a day or two, to see if perhaps the other items were being shipped separately but nothing arrived. In the meantime, I'd gone to their website ( and placed an order for the Lice Free Zone Shampoo and Conditioner since I did NOT want another repeat of these critters in Deja's hair. Also, I thought the yummy smelling Abebi's Safari Detangler would be great to ease those morning tears when brushing her hair.

Lucky for me, I had the email address of the gentleman named Danny over at Circle of Friends and I emailed him letting him know, while grateful for my lunch bag, I was wondering if the rest of the items were indeed included with this blog win and if they would be arriving shortly. Later, while at work, I received a phone call from Danny asking me to confirm what I had received and then telling me he would research it and let me know what was going on. He did mention that he thought that perhaps I'd been shipped one of the free lunch bag promo packages instead, which included just a lunch bag, some samples etc... since it was currently a promo they were running for people that had bought their product and filled out a form to get a freebie lunch bag. Danny also seemed pleased that I had ordered additional products from them, and let me know via email that he was glad I was a new customer.
I was very impressed with his follow through and excellent customer service. I mean, they didn't have to send me anything-this a was a freebie that they had donated as a prize but Danny was determined to make it right. Later that day he sent me an email telling me they were sending me out a brand new package, lunchbag and all-and he told me to keep the other one, so Deja and I could have matching lunch bags if we wanted to! I thought that was really sweet of him, and I am so glad he took care of the problem because we were able to try more awesome products that I know we will be ordering again. Deja loves her mandarin orange bath sponge, and so far, after using the Lice Free Zone products we haven't seen a trace of them. (I was a bit late in starting to use them, so we did have another lice scare the first of the school year) It's a good thing too, because the school just sent out a newsletter last week announcing lice are back in the school. I check Deja religiously now just to be sure, but using the Lice Free Zone products have really made a difference for us and given me piece of mind knowing I am using safe products to prevent these critters from coming back-chemicals just are NOT an option.

If you get a chance, head on over and see if they have something you can use for your kiddos. You would be surprised at how many nice smelling goodies they have over there, making bath time safe and fun. I know I will be back, any company that is willing to fix an error and make it right is OK in my book. Be sure to check their promo page to see what is on special this month, you can get some pretty good deals. Also, sign up for a newsletter if you can---because you just might get an unadvertised code to use on a further discount than what is on the site! I just missed an awesome one by not reading my emails until the item that was discounted was out of stock. So be sure to open those emails and act quickly, before it is too late. I am sure you will find something that you will love at Circle of Friends!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Vanessa has a Twisted Silver Giveaway!

Vanessa over at just started an awesome giveaway of a necklace or bracelet from Twisted Silver in their new Hope design... You have got to go over and check it out, I love Twisted Silver myself and think the jewelry is unique and very pretty. Heck, if you mention it on your blog she will even give you ten extra entries, isn't that great? Head on over and check it out: and GOOD LUCK!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

my tiny star: Update! Nie Nie Auction and GIVEAWAY!

my tiny star: Update! Nie Nie Auction and GIVEAWAY!

It's my 100th post-Let's have a GIVEAWAY! OVER

UPDATE: GIVEAWAY OVER RANDOM CHOSE CHEFDRUCK AS THE WINNAH! CONGRATS WILL BE CONTACTING YOU SOON! (and I WILL hopefully learn how to post the numbers to show who won from Random, because I currently don't know HOW! lol...hey, if ya know can ya tell me?)

100 posts already, I guess time does fly when you are having fun. And fun I have been having, from meeting awesome new people, checking out really cool blogs and trying new recipes, buying some stuff on Etsy, and of course entering and winning some giveaways!

Up here in Maine, the nights are getting colder. Winter is just around the corner and the snow will be flying soon. What better way to start off the day than with a nice, hot Starbucks coffee? Hmm, not winter in your neck of the woods? Then you could try one of their refreshing iced coffees, or any other drink in between---because I have up for grabs one $10 Starbucks gift card!

Ok, here are the rules: US Residents only (since the GC is in USD-but the next time I do a giveaway and I am shipping a product or something I will make it open to all!)
I need to keep this simple so you can get one entry for posting anything you want below. It can be hi, you could tell me what your fave drink at Starbucks is, whatever. I love comments, so will read them all.
If you post about my giveaway on your blog, you get a second entry. To get that second entry you will need to leave me a SECOND comment with a link to your post so I can check it out!
And finally, this giveaway will be open until midnight Saturday October 11th. Deja or will pick a winner sometime on Sunday the 12th.
YOU DO NOT have to be a blogger to enter, however you must leave your email in your comment so that I can reach you. If the original winner does not respond within 72 hours, I will pick another one, so please leave me your email or check back here Monday sometime for the winning announcement. Thanks and good luck!

Halloween Heroes-What Super Costume Do You Like?

Wow! Over at they are giving away some really neat Halloween costumes. The thing is, they can be used for more than just Halloween-your kids and their friends can use them for pretend play and dress up throughout the year.

Check it out: Do you see any that you like? Deja's top picks are the cowgirl: and the pink doctor's outfit : what cute sets, huh? And there are lots more as well. 5minutesformom is giving away several of their costumes in certain sizes to some very lucky kids. But you have to hurry, because they will be drawing the winners on Wednesday, October 8th! And remember, if you don't see any that you like or just don't happen to win this time around, you can still buy the costumes for your little ones in their store! Good Luck!

Sweet Dreams-Bedroom Set Contest!

Deja is getting to be a big girl, and really needs a big girl bed. Unfortunately, she still has the toddler bed from when she was younger but ends up sleeping most nights in our room with me as her daddy works nights and she gets scared with noises, etc...

We love her, but it is time for this big girl to stay in her own room at nighttime, whether she needs plenty of nightlights or a cat with her on the bed to comfort her. Or even, God forbid-the tv on. She's been in our room since she was born, and it is time we had our privacy too. (not that I am going to kick her out if she comes in crying and scared due to a thunderstorm, bad dream, etc...)

Here she is on our bed, fast asleep after her bedtime story. I would love to get her a nice bedroom set, but I fear I will be spending any extra money this year on home heating oil. (and some new windows too) So, I have entered Deja into a contest they are currently having over at 5minutes for mom ( in the hopes that I can send her off to dreamland in style with a brand new Lily Rose bedroom set. This would make me and my little Princess very happy! Once they have voting available, I would love to have your vote-while I can't make promises like our Presidential Candidates are making, I can say that if you ever need my vote for a contest, I would be happy to return the favor.

Monopoly-the McDonald's Way

Ewww... a friend sent me this pic in an email. Um, either someone didn't know how to spell or the G fell off... or someone was just being a smarta$$. I kind of think the last one is correct, though.
It was kinda funny, and I can imagine all the people doing double takes as they drove past the sign. Speaking of McD's-Monopoly starts up again on the 7th. Why, oh why do I subject myself to such torture of large drinks, huge fries, just to get game pieces? I dunno, really. I loved it when they had the Best Buy bucks promotion for a few years, and we could save up those bucks for instore or online purchases. The first year was awesome, people got TONS of expensive electronics for free or very nice discounts. The later years it was offered, there were all kinds of stipulations. But it still wasn't a bad promo. Much better than this 25% off something at Footlocker. You can already get that during a good sale, so why buy a huge drink or fry for that extra gamepiece? Now if they let you combine that coupon with a sale price or something, it might be ok, but still how many things can you get at Footlocker? I wish they had made it to a store where they have tons of stuff, like Target, Walmart, Kmart etc... because then it might be worth my while to buy a bigger size for the coupon. Hear that Corporate America?
It looks like tomorrow will be filled with artery clogging fries and a Diet Coke that will have my bladder full for the whole day. Wish me luck-this goes on for a month. And I doubt I will win a big prize, but you just never know. I bet the prizes I win will be: more McD's food. But there is always the hope that you will walk in a peel off a million dollar winner, so I go in, buy my food, send away for some game pieces too (to save my arteries from clogging completely that month) and win... and if I hit the million? Well, like the rest of America, I will pay off debt. But also set some aside for the liposuction I am gonna need from eating all that food! Hey, if ya won something, let me know-even if it's an apple pie!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Crime in a Third World Country...

Did you know in Guatemala they are killing people for trucks like this? I didn't. This is not the truck that I am going to talk about, but apparently Toyota 4WD pickups are wanted by thieves there. Bad enough to kill for them. The years that are the most prized are usually mid 1980's (1985) to mid 90's. (1995) apparently because they last the longest and the design of the vehicle is before they came out with the rounded style that is prevalent nowadays.
This is actually a truck hubby bought for about a grand, and is sending to Guatemala for a relative. But after today's incident, I know he is going to think twice about it. His brother Mauricio lives and works in the city, as a block mason housebuilder. Last year Jose sent him a truck like this, and Mauricio had it fixed up a bit and installed a good alarm system. Mauricio makes pretty good money, but he needed a truck to transport his crew and materials to the job site.
Today they were in the city building a new house. They had been at work for a few days and saw a strange, white van passing by almost daily. They were cautious, but busy. Today, cousin Raul was outside ripping off siding from an outbuilding when the van slowed, and let out a couple of men. Both were armed. They came towards Raul and tied him up. Shortly thereafter the home owner showed up in his 2007 Lexus to check on the progress. They tied him up. Mauricio, my brother in law, noticing the owner's car outside, but not seeing him come in-had a feeling something was up. He was right. Within minutes the armed men barged in the house and tied up the rest of them. Except for Mauricio. They liked his truck and wanted it NOW. Now he was ready to hand them the keys and be done with it, but there was a problem. On the way out, one of them got a little anxious and tried to open the door. Bad move. The alarm went off. Now this is the type of alarm that locks up the whole vehicle and you CANNOT start it when it goes off, so after trying to get Mauricio to start it while at gunpoint they abandoned that idea and instead told the homeowner to give them the keys to his Lexus. Which he did. And then they took my brother in law with them.
Now I know this is starting to sound like a bad Action movie, but it really did happen to him today, my husband has been on the phone with them nonstop since this morning. I am not liking my phone bill, but it is a pretty serious issue. So they had my brother in law DRIVE them past the big police station (with a gun stuck in his ribs) and once the police saw them, he had to drive at speeds of up to 140mph to escape them. He did end up losing the police, they didn't shoot because they knew a hostage was involved and driving. They instructed him to drive way out into the country, where they opened the door and told him to get out and run into the woods and not turn around-or they would shoot him. So he did as told and was spared. Though I have been told that if they had stolen the truck, my brother in law most likely would have been killed. Hubbys 1st cousin Reginaldo is still missing an uncle and cousin who have never been found, 2 years later-and their truck disappeared along with them.
Now the Lexus owner is apparently some big wig in City government. And he was quite pissed they took his Lexus. So he calls the cops, and files a report. Only thing is besides the report, the cops got a little extra in their pockets. About 20,000 quetzales. More than they make in a year. Well, maybe not a year, but it would take them a long time to get that kind of money nevertheless. (here is the math, it is about 7.5 quetzales for 1 US dollar) The instructions? Bring back the Lexus, in one piece. The thieves? Probably dead by now. Or if not now, they will be soon. Cousin Raul managed to get the license plate of the white van that dropped off the thieves. Last we knew, the police arrived at this man's house to "force" him to give them info. I figure that guy is in deep shit right now. If he is even still alive. See, they will get him to sing like a canary. Then if he won't they will torture it out of him. And even if he does talk, he is dead either way. If the police don't kill him after they have what they want, then the thieves or their gang members/friends/family will do it. My brother in law will be ok, thank God-and the owner has hired guards with machine guns to protect the workers and his property (see, I told ya he has money!) until the work is done. Have any of you ever been to a foreign country and seen stuff like this? Jose and their mom want Mauricio to sell his Toyota and get an old, beat up car like he had before. At least then, his vehicle won't be drawing unnecessary attention from the kind you don't want around. I DO feel bad for the thieves, because being a mother and all, I know they have family that love them and will be upset should something happen to them. Even my brother in law feels badly, because they spared his life but will most likely be losing theirs. Over what? A stupid car. Is your life really worth that?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dreams DO come true!

No, I don't love spiders. I am terrified of them. Last night, well actually this morning, I woke up early (around 4:30 am) and could have sworn there were spiders in the room. I had been dreaming of spiders, crawling on me and the bed.

Needless to say, that was enough and I was up for the morning. There was no heading back into my bed where spiders might be awaiting me. Plus, if there were-I couldn't make a ruckus and scream because I would have scared the bejeebers out of hubby who had just fallen asleep.

This is a wolf spider. I have never seen a big one, but my coworker sees them at her camp all the time. And she keeps threatening to bring one in a jar to work and put it on the desk. My two supervisors and myself are wimps, and usually run to get her to kill a spider we find in the office.

Anyways, after work this evening I came home-and sure enough, right above where I sleep on the ceiling was a spider. Hubby didn't kill him before he left... so now I am staring at him as he walks across the ceiling. I don't think I will be sleeping with the lights off tonight. Being short I can't reach him to smoosh him, and knocking him down is far worse for me than leaving him up there. Because up there, I can SEE him. He has headed back to the spot above my head again...seems he likes it there. Oh it is going to be a long, long night. Wish me luck.