Monday, August 30, 2010

CSN Store Winner!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-08-30 23:44:46 UTC

Random Org has picked a winner:

Congratulations to clynsg who said:
I would probably get a 4D Concepts 3 tier plant stand w/slate tops.

Looks like you will be getting a nice plant stand in the future! I am off to email you now, thanks for entering everyone-

For those wondering...

I am heading out the door to work at my FT job today and will be home later tonight and select my CSN Store winner then. School starts this Weds. here in Maine, and tonight is "meet the new teacher" night and my 8 yr old is definitely planning on me going to that. Lots of great entries, it was fun seeing what everyone wanted to buy, and I am happy that for someone it will help them get a great gift or something they need for their household.

So check back this evening and see if ya won! Also, be sure to enter my JumpStart giveaway, not many entries in it yet but I can assure you, your kids will LOVE it! Will be posting a Fantasy Jewelry Box review and giveaway soon as well-so stay tuned!
Have a great Monday everyone :)

CSN Stores $60 GC Giveaway


It's that time again! CSN Stores has sponsored another awesome giveaway on my blog and with their 200+ stores you are bound to find something you enjoy! As a matter of fact, I just ordered the Ginsu knife set above for myself. I've been wanting a nice set of knives for some time now, and this set looked awesome!

There really are so many things to choose from at CSN Stores-I am slowly but surely building up a wishlist of items from several of their stores. I've put several of my favorite things right at the top of this post-to show you all some things I am definitely wanting to get from CSN Stores in the future!

Now, I want to see YOUR wish list! Head over to CSN Stores and tell me something you really, really want to get, and what you would use your $60 GC towards. Perhaps it might be some new dishes, something for the home, or even a new coffee maker for the kitchen.

Giveaway starts tonight 8/9/10 and ends at 11:59 PM EST on 8/29/10. Open to residents of US AND Canada. The code will not cover any international fees, and any balance remaining after the $60 GC will need to be paid with using another accepted form of payment. I will email the winner the code once they respond to my winning email to verify their email address. Winner must respond within 72 hours or I will have to select another winner.

For your FIRST MANDATORY entry I want you to tell me what you want from CSN Stores~

You may also earn extra entries as listed below. Keep in mind that you will need to enter each comment separately, so if it says +5 you need to leave 5 SEPARATE comments.

+1 current blog follower via Google Friend connect
+1 current or new twitter follower (micaela6955)
+1 tweet about giveaway, leave a link to your tweet please! Can do this once daily.
+4 Blog about this giveaway, and leave me a link to your post.
+10 Post this on any giveaway linky and let me know where to find it.
+5 Add my button to your sidebar
+2 Subscribe to my feed or follow me in a reader

DISCLAIMER: I was provided a $60 GC for CSN Stores to either review a product or conduct a giveaway for my readers. I chose to give away the GC to my readers, and did not receive any additional compensation from the sponsor. My opinions on CSN Stores are solely my own based on previous experiences and past orders.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Out with the Negative...

Every time we turn on the TV, read a newspaper, check out a magazine-you name it-it tells us that the world we currently live in is a pretty depressing place. Countries and people just can't get along, jobs are scarce and for every one person that leaves, there are several more waiting to fill that position, new diseases, natural disasters, and people starving right in our own backyards.

The American Dream is slowly fading, as homeowners become homeless and unemployment continues. Reports of corruption, payoffs, theft and dishonesty amongst politicians and corporate leaders surface almost daily, and those in charge are taken off their pedestals and disgraced publicly.

Hearing this on a daily basis, is, well, depressing. It seems so much worse now than when I was younger. Maybe it is, or maybe when I was younger I just wasn't paying attention that much, and now that I'm older I'm more in tune to things. Sure, I remember there were problems back then, just like there are now. But this time around, it all seems so different.

When I get overwhelmed with news and negativity, I tune it out. That means turning off CNN, not reading the papers, and resisting the urge to check out the news on the internet. I then try to focus on the good, the positive. Look around and see the beauty in things, both big and small. Like the butterfly that landed on the wall during our stay in Guatemala. Pictured above, she just flew in and stayed there on the wall, fluttering her wings and visiting us for a good fifteen minutes or so before heading out to gather nectar from the nearby flowers.

When surrounded with the negative, concentrate on the positive. If a negative thing happens, try to focus on a positive reason why it did. The answer may not immediately be known, but in time it will reveal itself. All things do, eventually. Surround yourself with beautiful things, they don't have to be expensive-they can be something as simple as a drawing your child has done to a lovely photo you took while on vacation that holds a special place in your heart. Draw the positive elements from these things and rid yourself of the negative ones that have a grip on you. Enjoy the day, and all the beauty surrounding you.

Wishing all of my readers a week filled with joy, love and happiness!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Izola Shower Curtain Giveaway at the Rolands!

I need to tell you now that I SOOOO... want one of these shower curtains! My absolute fave is the one with the Rio de Janeiro scene-my friends Joao and Regina are from Brazil and I am thinking about giving them one for a housewarming gift since they just bought a new house a few months ago. That way, they can always have a bit of "home" with them in their new home...

Over at the Rolands blog, they are giving away an Izola Shower Curtain! The link is right HERE Good luck! But hurry, it ends the 22nd!

Waiting...Sometimes it's the Hardest Part!

Well, I took the day off from work today to be able to meet my little grandson #2 and he's not even here yet! Mom was induced at 5pm yesterday, they broke her water awhile ago and while she is 8 cm dilated-he's just not ready to come out yet!

So here I sit waiting for him to come out, and hoping he does soon because mom is definitely tired. Hope to have some good news and photos of #2 when he arrives soon, and hoping that my digital camera will be recognized by my computer so I can load the photos onto the PC. (virus issues kept me from doing so the past few weeks-but I THINK I have it cleared up now).

Wishing all my readers a wonderful week!

UPDATE: A little after 6 pm he was born-it was a rough delivery and mom almost needed a C-Section since he got stuck for a bit and got his face bruised up in the process. But here is little Bentley getting his first look at daddy about 15 minutes or so after he was born...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Revisiting JumpStart... Review & Giveaway

It's been a little over a year since I first was introduced to Jump Start online. In the past, when my son was smaller, I purchased the CD's for him and we would play on the computer for hours. I have to say, it really helped him to focus and learn-with ADHD, it wasn't always easy getting him to sit still.

Now, it is my daughter's turn. Unfortunately, with my laptop out of commission and a virus that was persisting for several weeks (I THINK I finally managed to take it off my computer without taking it to the shop)this review and giveaway got off to a rather late start. She started playing online last year, and since then so much has been added!

I love Jump Start because I am able to monitor my daughter's progress-and see exactly what she needs extra help on. With the summer months flying by, she'll be starting 3rd grade at the beginning of September. Keeping her mind active and making sure she still retained what she learned last year was definitely important. With Jump Start, I was able to let her have fun while learning. I don't worry about her safety online when she is on the Jump Start site because I know that my daughter is safe, and happily learning math, reading and critical thinking skills while playing in their 3D virtual worlds. Full of adventure, and lots of fun- your Jumpee (character you create) can interact with dragons, and even Pegasus! My daughter loved hatching her dragons from eggs in the hatchery and watching her dragons grow by playing with them, and interacting with them. By playing games, she earns virtual money (Jumpstart coins) to buy clothes and goods for her dragons. She also enjoys the scavenger hunts, and loves it when she finds what she needs to quickly.

I can tell you that this web site has kept her very occupied at times, she's been spending lots of time with Grandma (who has no internet access) this summer and has been so upset that she can't play while she is at Grandma's. There are however, worlds that you can download right to your computer and play them anywhere. I haven't had the chance to get that done yet, but am planning on doing it this week. She got her older brother's laptop-and I have been removing some of the stuff he had on the PC since it really isn't appropriate for younger eyes. (no, not THAT kind of stuff, but rap videos etc...)

If you hurry, you can even enter their contest for 1000 Jumpstart Coins-and seeing your creation become JumpStart's newest Mythie-have your little one draw a mythical creature and send it in by September 1st. Their artwork just might come to life in the 3D virtual world! That's pretty exciting, Deja definitely thinks so! Entry form and more info can be found on their blog here. A great way to keep in touch with what is going on in the world of Jump Start is by checking out their blog.

Guess what! I've got a 6 month JumpStart full access account giveaway up for grabs! Even with back to school in full swing, it's a great way to keep your child learning while having fun. If your child enjoys JumpStart as much as mine does, I can guarantee they are in for a fun time and you will also enjoy watching them play and learn. (shhh... I even enjoyed the scavenger hunts with my daughter)

Giveaway starts today and ends Sept. 6th at 11:59 PM EST. Open to US residents. Winner selected by and will be emailed. Please leave a way to contact you in your comment or profile. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to winning email before I choose another winner. Good luck!

If you would like to win the 6 month membership-here's what you need to do:

First MANDATORY Entry- Head over to the JumpStart site and tell me one of the awards they have gotten.

You can earn extra entries by doing the following:

Keep in mind that you will need to enter each comment separately, so if it says +5 you need to leave 5 SEPARATE comments.

+2 blog follower via Google Friend connect

+1 twitter follower (micaela6955)

+1 tweet about giveaway, leave a link to your tweet please! Can do this once daily.

+5 Blog about this giveaway, and leave me a link to your post.

+5 Post this on any giveaway linky and let me know where to find it. (no limit)

+3 Add my button to your sidebar

+2 Subscribe to my feed or in a reader and let me know!

Disclosure: I was provided with a JumpStart membership at no cost by Knowledge Adventure in order to test the products’ abilities and give my own personal opinions on it. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but were not influenced by the company or the free product provided.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Flying the Not-So-Friendly Skies

Yes, another post about Steven Slater... the JetBlue employee who quit his job in a blaze of Glory, with a beer in one hand and a rant on the intercom, before leaping (or sliding) off into the wild (Jet) Blue Yonder-after being apparently pissed at a rude passenger.

While what he did was stupid, I mean, the guy is sitting in jail right now and his mother is very sick-I understand where he comes from. When I flew from Boston to Miami and then on to Guatemala City in June and then returned back to the States in July, I saw firsthand how ignorant some passengers can be.

First, they announce (and in SEVERAL languages to boot) that people need to be seated at all times. Yes, that includes the screaming child in seat 11C whose mother allowed him to have run of the plane earlier. The airline plane aisle is narrow enough without having to weave around some child who wants to sit there and pout as you try to make your way to the bathroom because you've had one drink too many. Child gets whacked on the side of the head by another elderly passenger as the plane gets a little bumpy over the Gulf and you'd have thought that someone had just been murdered. Lucky for that kid, I was not on my way to the bathroom-because if I lost my balance and my fat butt had fallen on the kid, it'd have been over. The worst part-the kids mother glaring at the poor elderly woman who walked with a CANE mind you, who had genuinely lost her balance and felt terrible about the whole thing. Um, lady-keep your kid out of the aisle and strapped in the seat. You have no one to blame but yourself.

Then there are the "my electronics don't apply" passengers. You know the type, the ones who, after hearing the announcement AND being told by the attendants are unwilling to get off their cell phone or put away their iPods, iPhones or whatever it is they have and WAIT until we are safely in the air before they pull out their bullshit and do whatever it is they deem so important. Got some advice for you people... BRING A BOOK! There was this one man across the aisle from me-he would NOT get off his cell phone for anything. Let me explain to you all that I am terrified of flying in the first place. I don't want to be on a plane when the pilot's number is up, and I get quite upset to see others not giving a shit if their electronics mess up the pilot's radar or whatever while he is taking off and landing. Heck, when we get to a cruising altitude you can take out your toys and play with them people. Anyways, every time the attendant went by the guy hid his cell phone by his side. I was getting pretty annoyed and nervous. The attendant had asked him one time already to put it away, but he had never disconnected his call. He knew I saw him, and was not pleased with his blatant disregard for rules. I won't repeat to you what I said to him as our plane was taking off, but he got the hint. And shut his phone. The rest of the flight, he just glared at me out of the side of his eye. And I glared back. I will say that my short, but brief conversation with him sounded a bit like what Mr. Slater said to the passenger-I did notice the woman sitting behind him smiling, so I think she agreed with me. :)

And finally, the "I can't wait to get off the plane" people. You know the ones. Before the plane has even stopped rolling they are standing up and taking their luggage from the overhead above your seat. I sit on the outside aisle seat, and have had a couple close calls myself with almost getting whacked in the head by people who can't control their luggage. I am sure we all remember back in grade school they taught us to line up and take our turn, but something happened along the way and these individuals totally forgot how to do that. So they push and shove and reach and grab not caring about anyone but themselves. Maybe they need to go back to Romper Room and learn how to play nice.

The motto "Fly the Friendly Skies" doesn't apply anymore. People have forgotten the basics: respect, courtesy, and listening to others. On a couple of the flights I was on, I observed the attendants a bit stressed and shaking their heads because people just were not listening. Several times they had to tell the same passenger the same thing. People, listen up to what they have to say. And be nice. These people might just save your ass some day if there happens to be an emergency on board. And if you're not nice, you just might be the last one out...

and for those wondering, on the pics above, from our very moisture condensed window, those two dark images are the tops of the volcanoes above the clouds that we saw as we were leaving Guatemala...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

July 4th 2010 in Guatemala

Deja was recently Baptized when we went to Guatemala. Her aunt was her Madrina (Godmother) and although her aunt was in Rhode Island awhile we never got around to baptizing her when she was an infant. By then, her aunt had gone back to Guatemala to care for her own daughters-so we decided to take the plunge and head to Guatemala for the Baptism.

The week prior to the ceremony, the Padrinos (hubby's brother and sister) and hubby and I had to go to a class for 3 hours. When I walked in, it was funny-all heads turned and focused on the Gringa who just walked in the door. The guy who did the class was funny,and made it go by quickly. He also spoke English to me, and I let him for awhile, not telling him I understood everything he was saying in Spanish of course. Plus, I figured he enjoyed his English lesson as well-because he continued speaking to me in English long after he discovered I knew his own language.

On the day of the Mass, we woke up early. It was already hot, and knowing my daughter, she was not going to last long wearing gloves, nylons, a slip and a dress. To make matters worse, as we headed into the church, I noticed there were no ceiling fans. No air conditioning. Nothing. This was NOT good.

Hubby quickly shed his jacket and loosened his tie. I began to look for anything that might be used to fan my daughter and myself. My daughter, in spite of all of her Central American genes, does NOT do well in hot weather. Seeing her cousins run around in long sleeves and jackets in 60 degree weather while she was wearing a tank top and shorts was quite a shock.

As the Mass went on, the sweat started dripping off us. I prayed for a breeze, and miraculously, once in a great while, I would feel a slight breeze from one of the open windows. But it wasn't enough. My daughter managed to survive most of the Mass, but towards the end she told her father she was nauseous and needed to leave NOW. Knowing her as we do, they hurried out and by the time I made it back to my mother-in-laws house down the road, she had already kicked off her hot clothing and changed into something more appropriate.

While it was hot, it was lots of fun. We partied all day and all night, and while Deja didn't want to dance she certainly enjoyed watching everyone else. The best part for her was the pinata and the presents of course... and the cake we got was delicious!

I've put up a few photos of the party, to share with my readers. While they don't celebrate Independence Day in Guatemala until September 15th, our July 4th was just as special with the party, her daddy's birthday and lots of fireworks too!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Terra Chips Giveaway at Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun

If you hurry, you can enter to win a great Terra chips prize pack on Chelsea's blog. I have to admit, I got hungry looking at all the foodie pics she had on her blog. Hurry though, her giveaway ends soon-she'll be choosing a winner tomorrow night! (8/2)