Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Bedroom Looks So Much Better! #gliddentesters




My husband and I decided that it was time to add a little life to our bedroom. We went to Walmart picked up some Glidden Testers in three of our favorite colors.  Glidden has so many color choices and it was really hard to narrow it down.  In the end, we went with a blue for James, a purple for me and Peacock Blue because it blew our breath away.  As soon as we got home, we tested these colors on our on the wall above our bed.  The little brush on the testers make it really easy to see what the possibilities are.


It wasn't hard to pick a color once we were able to see how all three look on our wall.  We went with the Peacock Blue because it popped and we could both imagine going to sleep every night and waking up every morning to this gorgeous color.   We got our supplies together and were ready for the task at hand.  It was time to transform our room from dull and boring, into something we could both be proud of.  Our accent wall was about to be born.

James and I were interested to see how easily the paint would cover the squares that we made with the testers. 




I knew that I was going to be happy with our color choice, but I think I'm much more than happy.  I'm downright ecstatic! 


I could not believe how relaxing it was to paint the bedroom wall.  Seeing how bright our bedroom was starting to look, made me really happy.  We ended up doing two coats of paint.  For a moment, I was tempted to paint the entire bedroom but after more thought, I decided that just the accent wall would be better.


I am shocked at how much I love to be in our bedroom now.  I would rather be in there than any other room in the house.


I haven't had a chance to get new bedding yet, but I can't wait to give the bedroom a total makeover.  It is at the top of my to do list!  I am so happy that I want to jump up and down!  Being chosen as part of this campaign is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.  Thank you Glidden!

This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Glidden Testers/Paint #collectivebias. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

$1,000 Giveaway

Survey Junkie

Enter the Boost Your Buzz $1,000 Giveaway! One lucky person is going to win $1000 USD paid via Paypal! 
Gain entries in this giveaway by following YOU WANNA KNOW WHAT I THINK?... on  Facebook, Twitter, and Google Friend Connect
The giveaway starts August 1st 12 am EST  and will run until August 15th 11:59 pm EST and is open worldwide. 
$1,000 CASH prize will be delivered via Paypal after the winner has confirmed. The winner has 48 hours to confirm their winning notification.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours of receipt of the winning email a new winner will them be drawn and so on and so forth.
Boost Your Buzz $1,000 Summer Giveaway can be entered on Survey Junkie,  Simply Stacie or Little Yaya’s (you only have to enter on one of the sites as the forms will be the same on each).

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Live Reading With Author Dr. Tony Youn

Dr. Tony Youn's wrote the book In Stitches, and will be doing a special live reading and Q&A via Livestream.com on Wednesday, Aug 10th at 5:30pm ET.

To ask questions or comment in real time, you can log in through Facebook or Twitter, or just create a Livestream account.  Dr. Youn will read the questions as they pop up on the side bar, and will answer them as they come in.  You can come to this post or go here




Saving Money With Straight Talk 2

This post brought to you by Straight Talk. All opinions are 100% mine.



I don't know what I would do without my cell phone.  I take it with me everywhere and would feel so lost without it.  It is always there when I need it, just like a friend.  When I was in my car accident, I was so thankful that I had my phone and was able to call a friend.  When my husband was in the military, there were times that we were able to use our cell phones to talk to each other.  That means a lot, especially when they are overseas.

Having is cell phone is more affordable than ever.  With Straight Talk 2, you can cut your bill in half!  Just think about what you could do with some extra money in your pocket.  You could save it, spend it, whatever you want.  I would use it to go out to eat.  There are no contracts, no surprise bills and no credit checks. Great nationwide coverage and excellent reception/connectivity.  Straight Talk only uses trusted phone manufacturers like LG, Motorola, Kyocera, Nokia and Samsung.

I use my phone a lot, so I would go with the Unlimited Monthly service for $45, that way I would have to worry about going over.  At only $499 a year, that's a real bargain!   I love that they have free activation, reactivation and no termination fees.  As an added bonus, 411 calls are free!  If you don't need to go with the unlimited plan, you should check out the “All You Need Plan” which has everything you need with 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts and 30 MB of web data.

Do you make a lot of long distance phone calls?  Straight Talk International Long Distance Service is a flexible prepaid calling service that allows you to make international calls from your home, cell or office phone at low rates.

Start out the school year by showing your kid that mom knows best by getting them a reconditioned phone for only $10 that has a camera, mp3 player, mobile web access and is blue-tooth compatible.  They also have smart phones; touch screen phones, and app capable phones with features like voice navigation, camera, video recorder, music player, instant messaging, and Bluetooth available.

All I have to say is hook, line and sinker!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Giveaway: Left Neglected by Lisa Genova






The prize is being provided by Gallery Books.

Blog Tour: Left Neglected by Lisa Genova


Sarah Nickerson, like any other working mom, is busy trying to have it all. One morning while racing to work and distracted by her cell phone, she looks away from the road for one second too long. In that blink of an eye, all the rapidly moving parts of her over-scheduled life come to a screeching halt. After a brain injury steals her awareness of everything on her left side, Sarah must retrain her mind to perceive the world as a whole. In so doing, she also learns how to pay attention to the people and parts of her life that matter most. 

In this powerful and poignant New York Times bestseller, Lisa Genova explores what can happen when we are forced to change our perception of everything around us. Left Neglected is an unforgettable story about finding abundance in the most difficult of circumstances, learning to pay attention to the details, and nourishing what truly matters. 

Left Neglected is a touching read that makes you rethink all of your priorities.  It's so easy to get into a routine and forget that you only have one life and it's up to you to live it right.  I will probably think back to this book for the rest of my life. It definitely leaves a lasting impression.  When you are in the mood to read a book, you really should consider this one.




I received a copy of this book from Gallery Books.

Giveaway: Vanished In The Night by Eileen Carr





The prize is being provided by Gallery Books.

Blog Tour Review: Vanished In The Night by Eileen Carr

She doesn't trust cops . . .

Veronica Osborne has had enough problems with the police, thanks to her volatile father. So when tall, strapping Sergeant Zach McKnight shows up at her door, she's prepared for anything—except the news that her beloved missing brother, Max, has been dead for nearly twenty years . . . ever since he ran away. . . . 

until she meets one who'd risk everything to protect her. 

Appalled when the police suspect her father of Max's murder, Veronica begins her own investigation. But as her surprising role in her brother's disappearance surfaces, so do more bodies. The ghosts of Max's past are working hard to hide the truth, while another, more sinister force will do anything to expose it. How far will a killer go to get revenge? And can Zach stop him before he targets the woman Zach's coming to love?

I just finished this Vanished in the Night. Sometimes when I read a book, I have to write my thoughts down right away (or in this case, type).  Eileens's writing style, along with her vivid description, makes for an excellent read!   I have added her to my favorite author's list and can't wait to see what she publishes next!  Grab a copy of this book, you won't regret it!

I received a copy of this book from Gallery Books.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Giveaway: 18" x 24" Poster From UPrinting

 

When I was a teenager, I used Posters as wall paper in my bedroom. Now that I am an adult, I still have a certain attachment to posters.  The only difference is, I usually upload my own images using Poster templates.  This is a great way to personalize your home because you can choose between several different Poster sizes. Get yourself a nice frame and you can have home decor that no one else does.

 

 





This giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting, no monetary compensation was given and I will receive a poster for hosting. Check out UPrinting.com to see more of their poster, poster sizes and poster templates.

Giveaway: 18" x 24" Poster From UPrinting


When I was a teenager, I used Posters as wall paper in my bedroom. Now that I am an adult, I still have a certain attachment to posters.  The only difference is, I usually upload my own images using Poster templates.  This is a great way to personalize your home because you can choose between several different Poster sizes. Get yourself a nice frame and you can have home decor that no one else does.




This giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting, no monetary compensation was given and I will receive a poster for hosting. Check out UPrinting.com to see more of their poster, poster sizes and poster templates.

Going Looney For Looney Tunes: Part 2

My nephew is still having a blast with the Looney Tunes Scene & Sound Machine. I can't believe how many different fun options you have!  It's definitely one of the best apps I have seen in a long time.

I played around with The Frame Creator and created several different scenes of my own.  My favorite one, of course, was the one that I made of Damien.  I loved being able to choose the design and placing his favorite characters in the picture with him.  He loved the finished product and was showing everyone he could.  He looked so proud, which made me smile.

The Wallpaper part is a lot of fun because you can use the original characters (from back in the day) or the newer versions.  We had a great time making our own Looney Tunes creations.


Download the Looney Tunes Scene & Sound Machine App from the iTunes Store here today: http://bit.ly/lbpx84!

I have been hired by Warner Bros. WBWord division to promote  The Looney Tunes Scene & Sound Machine Application.  

Jewelry

My birthday is next month and everyone has been asking me what I want.  I don't know why but I have so much trouble deciding what to put on my "wish list".  Any other time, I could tell you right off the top of my head what I would like to have.  Why does that happen?

Well, I've been thinking long and hard and I think I would like some designer jewelry. I don't have a lot of jewelry, so this would be a great way to add more pieces to my collection.  I am not your typical girly-girl who is all about hearts, flowers and rainbows.  Don't get me wrong, I think those things are beautiful but they aren't something that I would wear out.  I tend to go for things that are a little more dark and dreary.

I would go nuts if I got the skull and/or fang earrings shown on the left.  They are absolutely gorgeous!  Plus, they would go with the majority of my outfits.  Yes, I'm one of those people who are obsessed with vampires and all things paranormal.  I was into that stuff before it was "cool".  I am really glad that the paranormal genre took off.  It's a lot easier to find jewelry that I like now.  And, of course, it's also easy to find a good book or movie.

I tend to wear earrings more than any other type of jewelry.  I'm trying to branch out and I really like this necklace.  It's so pretty and everything just kind of flows.  It reminds me of Harry Potter, which I am a huge fan of!  I love the books and the movies. 

At least now I won't have to think so hard when someone asks me what I would like as a present.
    
This is a sponsored post.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Coming Up for Air by Patti Callahan Henry


On the coast of Alabama, there is a house cloaked in mystery, a place that reveals the truth and changes lives...
Ellie Calvin is caught in a dying marriage, and she knows this. With her beloved daughter away at college and a growing gap between her and her husband — between her reality and the woman she wants to be — she doesn't quite seem to fit into her own life.

But everything changes after her controlling mother, Lillian, passes away. Ellie's world turns upside down when she sees her ex-boyfriend, Hutch, at her mother's funeral and learns that he is in charge of a documentary that involved Lillian before her death. He wants answers to questions that Ellie's not sure she can face, until, in the painful midst of going through her mother's things, she discovers a hidden diary — and a window onto stories buried long ago.

As Ellie and Hutch start speaking for the first time in years, Ellie's closed heart slowly begins to open. Fighting their feelings, they set out together to dig into Lillian's history. Using both the diary and a trip to the Summer House, a mysterious and seductive bayside home, they gamble that they can work together and not fall in love again. But in piecing together a decades-old unrequited-love story, they just might uncover the secrets in their own hearts...


For more information about this books, please visit us.macmillan.com/ComingUpForAir



Enter For a Chance to Win 1 of 50 copies of Coming Up for Air by Patti Callahan Henry here.

Reading By The Pool


As you all know, I am a readaholic.  I am addicted to books and I am not ashamed of it.  There is something about reading that puts me in a state of relaxation.  This is especially true when I can lay out near a swimming pool.  I prefer to be near a pool because I can get in, cool off, get a little exercise and then get out and read.  Plus, I get a better tan when I'm near the water.

Time seems to be going by super fast this year and I don't like it one bit. Pretty soon it will be time to get out the winter pool covers.  Are you prepared?  If not, check out PC Pools.  They have a wide selection of pool supplies.

This post is brought to you by PC Pools.

Review: Siren Song by Stephanie Draven


When the sexy lead singer of an Annapolis indie band is accused of luring midshipmen to their deaths, she learns she’s not the only one with a killer voice…

No one can resist Chloe Karras when she sings—except for the sexy naval officer who is seemingly immune to her sensual allure. Maybe that’s why Captain Alex Shore is just the man she wants to take home after her performance—until he tells her what she thought were imagined powers are real…and dangerous.

Alexandros knows firsthand how seductive sirens are, as well as their potential to destroy. Yet the former sea soldier feels a powerful attraction to the beautiful rock singer that goes beyond her spell. Can he banish Chloe from the town he’s vowed to protect—or will he be drawn into the siren’s bed?


I haven't really read that many books about sirens, so when I found out about Stephanie Draven's new book, Siren Song, I thought it would be a nice change of pace.  As soon as I started reading it, I was hooked.  I had to read it all in one sitting.  I don't know what I liked more, the spicy romance or the plot.  My advice, read this book and read it all at once because you won't want to take a break.      


Visit Stephanie's website.

Author Guest Post: Stephanie Draven



Second Chances in Romance
by Stephanie Draven

The first time isn’t always magical. Not in love, not in life, and certainly not in literature. When I wrote Siren Song, I didn’t want a hero who had never been in love before. I wanted him to have loved, and lost, and been damn near destroyed by it. That’s how I came up with Captain Alex Shore, instructor of history at the Naval Academy by day, secret guardian of the sea by night. He’s been burned by love before, and badly. The mistakes he made in his very long past have caused him to live as an exile. He’s a hard-ass who isn’t about to cut our heroine any slack.

That she’s a siren doesn’t help matters.

One of the themes I played with during this story was bad first impressions. I’m fascinated by people who overcome genuine hatred, loathing or fear of another person to find love. I confess, I wasn’t too impressed with my own husband’s pick-up line when he first hit on me, so I was bewildered when he turned out to be the man of my dreams. Maybe I’m still working out my confusion in my stories.

I suppose this kind of thing happens to me a lot, and not just with people. Sometimes it happens with books as well. I can list a whole bunch of books that I started, only to put down for lack of interest. But somehow, when I picked them up again, they won me over. One such book is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, which one the RITA for best fiction with romantic elements. It took a while to really grab hold of me, but when it did, it left an impression.

I confess that my interest in J.R.R. Tolkien wasn’t kindled by Lord of the Rings. By Chapter 8 I had met Tom Bombadil and thrown up my hands in despair. But I gave him a second chance with the Hobbit and was won over completely.

What about you? Can you think of a book or author you were slow to warm to, but eventually fell madly in love with?

Girls' Ultimate Pampering Sleepover Pack!



 • Paperback copy of Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes.

• Paperback copy of Anybody Out There? by Marian Keyes.

• Crabtree & Evelyn ® gel eye mask.

• Pair of fuzzy slipper socks. One size fits all. Assorted colors. 98% Polyester 2% spandex.

Get yours now for only $19.99 - click here.

Deal expires on Wednesday 3rd August at 11 pm EST 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Watching A Movie With M&Ms and Orville Redenbacher Pop-Up Bowls #CouchCritics


Have you seen Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules?  If not, here is the synopsis:
 
Greg Heffley, the kid who made “wimpy” cool, is back in this sidesplitting sequel based on the second installment of the best-selling book series! Having rid himself of the Cheese Touch , Greg enters the next grade with his confidence and friendships intact, and an eye on the new girl in town, Holly Hills . But at home, Greg is still at war with his older brother, Rodrick, so their parents have handed down the toughest “punishment” imaginable – forcing the boys to spend quality time with each other.



Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules Online Trailer


I went to Walmart to pick up a few items for my husband and I.  I rented Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules from Redbox while I was there.  We had seen the previews and thought that it would be a cute movie.  The relationship between characters is great.  I expected to like it but it was better than I ever could have guessed.  It's absolutely hilarious!  I loved every minute of it.
 
We enjoyed some Orville Redenbacher's Pop Up Bowls.  It's my favorite way to snack because it tastes great and it's so easy to make!  I don't have to dirty any bowls, which puts a smile on my face.  Plus, you don't have to worry about getting an enormous amount of butter on your hands.  All I had to do was keep a paper towel with me and my fingers didn't get coated in greasy butter.   

I also picked up some M&M candy for us to eat.  I'm addicted to the ones with peanuts.  They are my favorite sweet treat with chocolate. 

We had more fun staying in than we do when we go out.  The best part is that we got to enjoy each others company in the comfort of our own home and we saved money which is always a plus.

Read my Intersect story.

Don't forget to enter the Orville Redenbacher Pop Up & Win Sweepstakes:


Prize Details (cause that's the BEST part)
Retailer gift cards will be given once per week over the course of 6 weeks to one random winner. FOR EVERY FRIEND YOU INVITE THAT ENTERS, YOU'LL RECEIVE AN ADDITIONAL ENTRY! Instructions for Entrants Like the Couch Critics page and tell us at which Walmart you found your Orville Redenbacher's Pop Up Bowls for a chance to win shopping gift cards every week! Store numbers may be found at the bottom of your Walmart receipt or here http://www.walmart.com/cservice/ca_storefinder.gsp Remaiding drawing dates are:
  •   Monday, July 25th
  •   Monday, August 1st
  •   Monday, August 8th
  •   Monday, August 15th
  •   Monday, August 22nd

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Author Guest Post: Steven S. Drachman



 Watt O’Hugh III is an interesting fellow, or so I am told. A 19th century orphan from New York’s desperate Five Points slum; a Wyoming gunman and dime novel hero; a Wild West showman; a Time Roamer, doomed to know the day of his own death. A superstitious, damaged Civil War veteran who believes, rightly or wrongly, that his tremendous skills with a 45 can be explained only by the ghosts who swarm around him, protecting him from harm and guiding his shots (when his cause is just). And a cowboy still desperately and impossibly in love with Lucy Billings, the New York Socialite-with-a-Past that he loved and lost a decade ago, and who’s vanished somewhere in China.

Watt O’Hugh has been on my mind for a long time.

Back in the 1990s, I was a journalist writing about movies for a number of papers, interviewing film stars (and lots of starlets, mostly from Europe for some reason, with the occasional Jackie Chan and Leonardo DiCaprio tossed into the mix), when my agent asked me to try my hand at a fantasy novel. Before long, the two of us dreamed up Watt O’Hugh. For a few months, back then, I found myself living in the 19th century. In 1874, in New York City (a place and time that, by now, I could lead you through with ease), I rode the El, strolled past the junk shops on Chatham Street and lunched at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, the one torn down in 1908; and in Leadville, Colorado, I peered nervously at State Street’s infamous gambling dens. Various personalities of the age lived at our house, from J.P. Morgan to Oscar Wilde! I spoke to Western historians; one suggested the Wyoming Territorial Prison as a place to lock up O’Hugh when his luck went south; another, Elnore L. Frye, taught me how to break out of the same prison and to swim through the icy waters of the Laramie River.

Other than the Magic – the Time roaming, the women of the dark arts, and a dragon or two – the novel I was writing was really very historically accurate.

Two-thirds of the book spilled out of me like a dream, as quickly as I could type. I skipped ahead to the last scene, a sunset-bathed portrait of tired lovers at the edge of a cliff, storm clouds churning overhead. How did they get there, and what did it mean? I didn’t know. A major publisher came calling. So did a Hollywood producer; in Burbank’s CBS commissary, I joined him for turkey tetrazini. (He has since gone on to great things.) I guess life couldn’t have been better. And the turkey tetrazini was actually pretty good.

But fortune has a way of turning. Business relationships crumbled, friendships ended, and I didn’t finish my book. I stopped writing altogether, moved into an office on Wall Street, negotiated some deals. While there was a certain art to that, over the years (decades, actually!)  I couldn’t quite forget about O’Hugh and his great, tragic love for the New York socialite Lucy Billings, the vast Western landscape that threatened always to swallow him alive, and that last romantic scene, with its unanswered questions.

Well, my wife and some friends who had read my unfinished tome over the years sat me down and told me that enough was enough. Just put this thing on Kindle, and print on demand, one said, and at least I will finally get to learn how the damn thing turns out. My little daughters urged me to write them a book. One friend offered to draw the cover art. What he came up with, in my opinion, is both beautiful and haunting. A real book cover. So I took some time off from work, and Watt O’Hugh came back to visit like an old, long-lost friend and told me the rest of his story.

But what, I wondered, is a self-published book, anyway? Is it really a book? Is it really “published”? An old-school publishing guy, I intended to keep my mouth shut and hope no one noticed that I had a book out there. My friends could have their closure, and my daughters could have a strange fantasy/adventure novel, written by their old man and dedicated to them, to put on their bookshelves, to re-read as old women, and to give to their grandkids. But early reaction – especially a gratifying Kirkus rave -- has been ecstatic. Maybe Watt O’Hugh belongs to the world after all? Maybe he was always meant to be a self-published dime novel hero, to live his marvel-filled life without the oversight of a multinational publishing corporation worried about marketing. Maybe his audience will find him?

Anyway, I hope so, and I hope you will enjoy his adventures, and his romance.

Let me know what you think.

Steven S. Drachman’s novel, The Ghosts of Watt O’Hugh, is available in paperback from http://www.Lulu.com, on Kindle from Amazon, and on Nook from BN.com.  You can learn more about his book at http://www.Watt-OHugh.com, and you may email him at StevenDrachman@aol.com.

BENGAY Partners With Dana Torres





The BENGAY® Brand has announced their partnership with twelve-time Olympic medalist, best-selling author and mother Dara Torres!

Dara Torres, the fastest female swimmer and the first American swimmer to compete in five Olympic Games, has won a total of 12 Olympic medals. In 2008 and as a new mother at 41, Dara captured the hearts and minds of people of all ages in her comeback earning a silver medal in 2008 and continues her plans to compete in 2012 for her 6th Olympic Games. Talk about girl power!

As an on-going brand ambassador, Dara will help the brand promote a healthy and active lifestyle and recently assisted in the launch of the brand’s latest product, BENGAY® Cold Therapy, a product that combines the pain relieving power of menthol and the cooling benefits of PRO-COOL™ Technology to directly alleviate pain.

As a busy mom looking to stay fit and healthy, Torres leads an active and energetic lifestyle and act as champions of movement, making her a perfect fit the brand. With this in mind, BENGAY® worked with Dara to create a few lifestyle tips to help encourage and inspire active moms like you!

-                     My ultimate secret to success: I’m often asked what my secret is to maintaining a rigorous training routine and my answer always seems to surprise people – recovery. Being older than most athletes doesn’t mean I have to train harder, but smarter. How do you do this? Conserve your energy. Make the most of your workout and then, let your body rest, disengage your mind and simply relax. It’s also a great excuse to see the latest movie or catch-up on your favorite reality shows.     

-                     Be a champion of movement: Age may just be a number, but pain isn’t. While it is important to push yourself in your fitness routine and everyday life, it is just as important to treat pain properly and appropriately. Rest and stretching are great ways to combat muscle aches. However, when rest isn’t enough, try BENGAY® Cold Therapy, which provides a blast of cold and deep, penetrating relief, or BENGAY® Pain Relief + Massage, which contains unique applicator nubs to target pain directly. Both products will help you go about your day and live life without compromise.

-                     I think therefore I can: Your home is a sanctuary, but it can also be a gym. When squeezing in a workout seems impossible, think again. A favorite trick I share with my fans – use canned vegetables to add extra oomph to arm curls and overhead extensions or, while watching your favorite TV show, challenge yourself to do push-ups, sit-ups and squats during commercials.

I did not receive any form of compensation for this post.