Dec 192014
 

I was sad to see that the original “owner” of the “oh how pinteresting” blog meme, was no longer blogging at all.  However, that doesn’t mean I still can’t share my current favorite pinteresty things.

Today’s edition is “I like to Laugh”………..

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Really this one is for my sister in law.  She and my brother were on their way to my house after a long road trip from Florida.  She called me and said “do you have wine, or fireball or anything?”.   We ended up splitting a 40.  But really it was a Bud Light Strawberita.

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If you don’t understand this reference, I am not sure we can be friends anymore.  To understand, visit this video on YOUTUBE!

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Can I get an Amen?

Happy Friday Ya’ll!

Dec 162014
 

Swagbucks is running a special Holiday-themed Ugly Sweater Team Challenge where you can earn your team points for a variety of activities and get Swag Bucks too! If you haven’t signed up yet, now’s the time! 

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Throughout the Ugly Sweater Party Team Challenge, earn points for your team by winning Swag Bucks in the below categories. Each earning activity equates to a different point value:
  • SwagButton: Contribute 15 pts to your team everyday that you’re logged into the Swagbucks Extension (SwagButton).  Don’t have the SwagButton? Download it now and you’ll never miss out on a valuable SB earning opportunity.
  • Search: Search the web and every time you earn SB you’ll contribute 10 pts to your team! Make Swagbucks Search your preferred search engine and you’ll never miss out on a search win.
  • Answer: Get rewarded for giving your opinions on surveys and you’ll also contribute 10 pts to your team!
  • SBTV Mobile: Download the SBTV mobile apps* and you can earn up to 126 SB a day for watching videos on your phone.  You’ll also contribute 5 pts to your team every time you earn.  That’s 315 possible pts each day! (*This includes SBTV, EntertaiNOW, Moviecli.ps, Lifesytlz.tv, IndyMusic.tv, and Sport.ly apps.)
  • Mobile Special Offers: Download the Swagbucks Mobile App and start earning Swag Bucks for taking part in mobile specific special offers.  Every time you earn SB, you’ll contribute 5 pts to your team!
  • Encrave: Every time you earn SB interacting with Encrave activities you’ll contribute 5 pts to your team!
  • Swag Codes redeemed via SwagButton or Mobile: There are a lot of places where you can redeem a Swag Code, but when you redeem your Swag Codes through the SwagButton or the Swagbucks Mobile App, you’ll contribute 5 pts to your team!
  • Swag Codes redeemed via Desktop: Redeem Swag Codes on your desktop and you’ll contribute 1 pt to your team!
  • Instagram: While you’re shopping through Swagbucks this holiday season or braving the crowds at the mall,  take a picture of an item from one of the stores below (screenshots are allowed), post it on Instagram, hashtag your team name (#snowmenshowmen, #candycanegang, #makingitreindeers), include #holidayshopping, tag the store, and tag @swagbucksofficial.
    • Things Remembered (@thingsremembered)

    • Sears (@sears)

    • Gymboree (@gymboree)

    • Dillards (@dillardsstores)

    • Walgreens (@walgreens)

    • Bed Bath & Beyond (@bedbathandbeyond)

    • Toys R Us (@toysrus)

    • Walmart (@walmart)
  • Everyday by 10am PT/1pm ET we’ll credit each team with points.  The team that has the most hashtags from the previous day will receive 30,000 pts, second most will receive 20,000 pts, and third most will receive 10,000 pts.
  • PLEASE NOTE: You MUST upload a picture to Instagram (commenting on another image with your team hashtag will not count)
Everyone that participates in this team challenge and contributes AT LEAST 50 POINTS to their team’s total will win bonus Swag Bucks! See below for our updated bonus amounts:
  • 1st place: 50 SB
  • 2nd place: 30 SB
  • 3rd place: 15 SB

And finally, the Top 5 Point Contributors from each team will win bonus Swag Bucks as well: 500, 400, 300, 200and 100 respectively.

Good luck!

Dec 162014
 

I have owned many digital cameras in my life, but most all have been Canon’s.  Including my current Canon Powershot.   I have been coveting a Canon Rebel for quite some time, and even harder since my work-bestie Allison took our family photos last month with her Canon Rebel.  The photos turned out amazing – as you would expect from an amazing camera & photographer!  Those photos are coming soon to a blog post near you!  I love taking photos of my kids every chance I can, and preserving those memories for them.  I have so many photos from when I was a child and I hope I can do the same for my kids!   With time however, those images of me as a child fade and some have yellowed with age.  I am hoping that by preserving my childrens photos digitally, I can prevent that from happening.  Having them digitally also allows the kids to have access to the photos at the click of a button should they ever want them!   Also, digitally allows you to save money on printing, by only printing what you need, when you need it!  

I loved all the features Alli had with her camera, to help with lighting & capturing difficult & wiggly subjects (ie; my kids).    The Canon Rebel has so many great features, as well as fun accessories you can go to enhance your experience.  So many lenses, filters and the like!  And did I mention the consistent 5 star reviews?  Currently, 99% of users would recommend this camera to their friends & family.  You can read over the reviews here:  Ratings & Reviews at BestBuy.com

Best Buy is the ultimate destination for the latest cameras to capture your holiday memories. The Canon EOS Rebel T5i is one of the best-selling DSLRs. This camera makes advanced photography easy and fun, and gives you exceptional image quality, along with a host of features to enhance your creative expression.
•      Capture Hollywood caliber full HD video  
•      Continuous autofocus while taking HD video
•      Features an 18.0-megapixel CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 5 image processor to ensure vivid, crystal-clear images.
•      The 3″ vari-angle touch screen simplifies navigation.

Right now, you can save $150 on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i at Best Buy*. Visit Best Buy to learn more.
*Coupon offer valid 12/7-12/20

 

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Disclosure:  I have  been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.  However, all opinions are my own!

 

Dec 152014
 

Are you looking for a last minute stocking stuffer for the hard to buy man in your life, or even a hard to buy for woman?   Sound like a sound-bite from a TV ad?  Well, yes I sound like that, but for a totally good reason.

 A few weeks ago, Johan from ShaveMob contacted me to see if I wanted to try out their razors/blades and I thought “heck yes!”   I was sent the practical 3 blade razor.  It was comparable with my leading name brand razor, and left me with a smooth shave!  Even in the winter, I tend to shave every few days, as it helps my insanely dry eczema prone skin!   There are 2 other levels of women’s razors available “The Perfectionist” and “The Purist”.

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ShaveMob is a “subscription” shaving club for men & women.   You pick your package, the blades ship to you.  You get the whole 2 months, 6 months or 12 months package all at once.  This saves on shipping and you aren’t sitting around waiting for blades every month!

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For the men, they have 3 levels as well.   You can choose from blades called ‘Baby Face” to “Caveman’, depending on your personal needs.  I love that everything is so customizable!

All orders ship for free, which is a HUGE plus in my book.  I hate when a company charges almost as much for shipping as you paid for the item!

These razors would make a great stocking stuffer for any man in your life, or of course – any woman in your life!  Don’t believe me, check out the reviews on their website:  http://shavemob.com/shaving-razor-reviews.html

 

 

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Disclosure:  I was sent a complimentary shave kit by ShaveMOB.  All opinions in this post though are mine!

 

 

Dec 092014
 

The last 2 weeks have been a complete and utter BLUR!  It can only be described by me saying “what the heck just happened?”

Last 2 weeks recap!

Football – Carolina home game versus South Alabama – amazing!  The seats were so high, I thought I would need Xanax, but ya know – those 2 beers I had at 9am worked just fine!  The kids had such a great time playing with my friends kids, and our grad students!

Moving – let me just say, my coworker Alli is a freaking rockstar.  She showed up early, and worked her butt off helping me move all the big furniture.  We did so much with just ourselves, she amazed me!  She even kept my kids packing & occupied so I could go to court for my speeding ticket.  Yes, I got a ticket back in October driving Patricks truck.  Lucky for me, showing up to court and being sweet got my ticket reduced down to $81, the minimum it could go (it was $186).  Below is Alli and I after we got the sleeper sofa in the truck…and then Alli playing with Natalee’s barbie & horse doing a reenactment of Taylor Swift’s latest music video.

 

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Thanksgiving weekend – a little quieter than last year, since we didn’t get up to Walhalla until late on Thursday.  We had Thanksgiving dinner on Friday with our little family, and of course had breakfast with Patrick’s best friend too.  A little Black friday shopping (that evening, not in the morning crazy).  Saturday – more football (meh – we won’t discuss that game) and got to see some friends from Virginia!

First week of December – finished the move out/clean up and got out of the old house.  More unpacking, attempting to cook my first meal in my new house (while still surrounded by boxes and crap!).  Lots of purging.  This move is as much about physically moving, as it is about moving on.  I have purged so much stuff we no longer need.  Clothes that don’t fit the kids anymore – blessed a few families with clothes.  My wedding bouquet – yeah, don’t need it – blessed a bride having a Christmas wedding with it.  Even packed up a box full of items that belong to my ex-husband and he can pick it up.

First weekend of December - Mama & Daddy come to visit, Katie’s school play, unpacking/cleaning and random trips to Greenville.  This week is a little light at work.  Doing inventory with my “girls”, and the December birthday lunch (we are having chili – yum!).

 

 

 

 

Nov 222014
 

As you read this, if you read this on Saturday the kids and I will be having a ball at the last Carolina home football game of the season.  Consequently, it is also the first football game I have gotten to go to this year.  Next year, I WILL have season tickets!   This game is also the military salute, as well as Senior Day.  I am so excited to see all the fanfare and excitement that goes along with gameday at Carolina!

So, I thought a little throwback from last season would be fun!

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~~Patrick & I – Carolina vs. UNC – Home Opener, August 29th, 2013~~
My first college football experience since high school when I went to a game at Navy and at UVA.  Loved it and I loved being able to share it with Patrick.

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~~My College Roommate (and Gator) Lauren & I – Carolina vs. Florida, November 15th, 2013~~
This game was awesome because not only did Lauren & Jimmy come up, but my sister in law and our friend Megan came down from VA, and Patrick’s best friend Tommy came with their friend Steve.  It was a great time, even if I did have too much vodka and took a nap before the game!

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This is the hilarity it was trying to get 4 kids to sit still long enough for me to take their photo.  This is one of about 10 shots I took.  At least in this one, all are looking at the camera!   This was Carolina vs. Coastal Carolina, the next to last game of the 2013 season.  The kids all had a blast!

Nov 212014
 

Black Friday jump starts the holiday shopping (and holiday gifting) season for most people.  When I was a kid, my mom loved giving gifts from a local store that sold items handmade by folks across the world, most in remote, poor villages.  I love the idea that when giving a gift, you are actually giving back to a sole individual who truly needs that income to take care of their family.   I love the idea of giving gifts that give hope.

 

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Macy’s and Full Circle Exchange have partnered to empower artisans and their communities to overcome poverty through special design partnerships, business training, education, health care and sustainable economic opportunities. Our Fair Trade Collection of handcrafted products makes change a possibility by helping to break the cycle of poverty.   By going into communities in Haiti and Rwanda, they are bringing hope to a nation otherwise ravaged by war (Rwanda) and natural disasters (Haiti).  In 1994, Rwanda was torn apart by a brutal and swift genocide—in roughly 100 days, close to one million Rwandan citizens were murdered. In the aftermath, the population of this small African nation was nearly 70% women. Faced with an uncertain future, these women turned to their past and reclaimed their unique heritage of weaving. Drawing strength from this common history and ancient art form, brave women from both sides of the conflict organized groups of weavers, in an effort to rebuild their communities and their lives… together. This July marked the 20 year anniversary of the genocide.   The program gives “trade-not-aid” and in turn gives the women sustainable income to provide for their families.

I was blessed to receive this beautiful sweetgrass bread basket, and I am so excited to be able to display it in my new home (moving next week!).   The sweetgrass basket is handwoven using sweetgrass and raffia and incorporates traditional Rwandan weaving techniques.   The artisans who weave these baskets receive half the wholesale price for each item sold, this truly is giving back!    Each basket is handcrafted, so slight variations in size and coloring will occur.  I was able to use mine the other night at a jewelry party I hosted, lined with a linen napkin, it held chips for dipping!

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Gifts like these not only bless the person who receives them, but they also bless the maker.   This year marks the 10th anniversary of Macy’s partnership with Rwanda Path to Peace collection.    Today, the Path to Peace project is larger than ever, employing over 2,500 weavers and impacting tens of thousands of lives  Focused on trade, not aid, the Rwanda Path to Peace project puts the power of opportunity into the hands of the women of Rwanda, providing not only income but the chance to take an active role in the shaping of their future.

Other beautiful items from the collection include baskets of all shapes & colors, metal wall art and beautiful picture frames to showcase your family photos.  Any of these items would be wonderful gifts for the upcoming holiday.  Perhaps give grandma a photo of the kids in this Heart of Haiti picture frame or give the office Christmas party hostess this beautiful vase.  The possibilities are endless for how you can give and give back this holiday season.

You can find out more about Rwanda Path to Peace and its items by following Heart of Haiti’s social channels at @HeartofHaiti on Twitter and www.facebook.com/heartofhaiti on Facebook. For additional information about how Rwanda Path to Peace is helping entire Rwandan communities, visit this page.

“I am a  member of the Everywhere Society and they provided me with this product for review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.”
Nov 202014
 

This really seemed like an appropriate title for today’s post, even though I’m only moving 7 miles (ish!).    Someone at work asked me the other day how many times I have moved, so I thought it would be a fun blog post.

August 1998 – Moved from Virginia to North Carolina for College!  

December 1999 – Got Married, and moved to the San Diego area in California. (MCAS Miramar)
   - while in California lived in 2 towns – Santee and Ramona.   10 foot moving truck used.

November 2001 – moved back to VA – 20 ft moving truck used.  Dad driving the big yellow Penske truck.

February 2002 – moved to Beaufort, SC (MCAS Beaufort)
   - while in Beaufort, lived in 2 different parts of town, Port Royal & in base housing on Laurel Bay

July 2005 – moved to Newnan, GA, outside of Atlanta  24 foot moving truck – 2 trips (again, big yellow Penske truck)

November 2012 – moved to Lexington, SC – 24 foot  moving truck (two trips), mini van and a truck w/trailer.  Dad driving the big yellow Penske truck.

and just 2 short years later, moving again to another house in Lexington where I hope to stay awhile!   I love the fact I have gotten to live in so many places, but my kids are getting older and the thought of moving them again, moving schools honestly makes that “moving bug” go bu-bye!   It was hard enough moving Katie here to SC part way through 6th grade.   

Our moves have always been grand adventures for us.  When we first got married, we had a little 10 foot Penske moving truck (Penske will become a theme, trust me).  We had all our worldly possessions in it, and all our wedding gifts.   When we moved in November 2001, Matt was already in VA, so it was just my mom, dad, Katie (6 months old) and me.  The adventure there was seeing the country with my mom.  My mom having to climb over the seat repeatedly to hang with my “doesn’t like the dark” baby girl.   We also lost a very prized stuffed animal on the trip.   Now that I am divorced, the last move of coming here to SC was as much moving on as it was moving locations.

Its neat to see the US along the way..although driving 12ish hours each day is also hell on your body.   You see a lot of this…and alot of nothing.  Corn fields, cow pastures and empty open roadway  (photo borrowed from my brothers similar San Diego to east coast move).  

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Every move has also been an adventure because something random always happens.   Moving to Atlanta, we moved during Hurricane Emily and on the way back to Beaufort for the 2nd load, the truck lost all power and they had to power brake it off to the side of the road.  Then had to sit and wait for what our friend Stewart described as the creepiest tow truck driver ever.   Moving from Atlanta here started with unhooking my washer and breaking a pipe in the wall (whoops!), and then on the trip back to Atlanta to get the 2nd load, the gas cap was stuck on and we had to get a police officer to bring a wrench to loosen it.

I love the adventure, but I want this move to be nice to me.  I mean, its only 7 miles – right?

Nov 192014
 

So, in my house my TV is an old “box” TV, that I think weighs roughly 50lbs, and is awkward and hard to handle if you need to move it.  That TV will NOT be moving with us to our new house in a few days, and I am grateful for the flat screen I have in my bedroom.  Takes up such a small amount of space AND is lightweight.   

However, in a recent visit to Best Buy, I noticed an amazingly thin, and lightweight television that is just hitting the market.  This thin, curved screen is beautiful.  Watching a sunset beach video on it, you felt like you were going to be able to just take a step forward onto the sand and watch the sunset in person.    This new technology is absolutely amazing, and I believe overtime will become more mainstream, just like console TV’s where in the early 80′s!   

I encourage you to visit your local Best Buy (find one here!), and check out this new technology for yourself.  

 

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What is OLED TV?

The stunning design of LG OLED TV is only 0.21″ thick at its thinnest point. Picture quality is spectacular, with Infinite Contrast that ranges from the most blazing whites to the deepest blacks. And, LG’s exclusive 4 Color Pixel technology delivers bright, vibrant colors. Learn more here:     LGOLEDatBestbuy.com     The 0.21 thickness, is at its thinnest point more thin than a standard #2 pencil is.  Thats crazy!  

Your first kiss. A baby’s first steps. The majesty of a desert sunset. Some things in life defy all explanation and must be experienced to be believed. Such is the case with LG’s latest display technology. With deeper and richer colors, stunning contrast and ingeniously curved screens, it is unlike any technology you’ve ever seen, and it delivers a picture that exceeds your wildest imagination.

Some of its great features:

·         Infinite contrast ratio and stunning color – delivers more natural, lifelike viewing.

·         4 Color Pixel technology enhances color range and accuracy.

·         Super thin design (consider how to show visually)

·         Find content faster with webOS 

The webOS is great for surfing Netflix, Hulu and even Youtube!   I have a friend who has a smart TV, and I love being able to switch between Netflix and Amazon Prime video.  Makes picking out a movie for family night 10 times easier!   

Again, I encourage you to visit Best Buy to check out the OLED TV for yourself.  Ask for a demo, and see if you can pick one up for yourself as an amazing Christmas gift for your family!

 

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.  All opinions contained herein are her own!

Nov 142014
 

You don’t know me…or maybe you do.  Its possible I only have like 5 blog readers and they actually know me in real life.  Who knows, but in case someone new is here reading, here are some things you may not know about me.

I have an unreasonable, unrealistic fear of bridges.  Patrick thinks this is funny, and will slow down when we go over one.  He says he is trying to get me over this fear. In addition, I don’t like parking garages.  However, I pay $60 a month for a parking garage space that I gladly use everyday, and I park on the 4th floor.  I park there partially out of necessity (darn undergrads grabbing all the lower levels), and partially out of worry that someone will bang my car on a lower level (again, darn undergrads).  This is me saying “suck it” to my parking garage fear.
 
 I am completely obsessed with reruns of Criminal Minds.  Derek Morgan shirtless – enough said….and the way he talks to Penelope Garcia.  I swoon a bit (yes, swoon).

I started shopping for Christmas about 2 months ago.  I love giving gifts, and this year I have had a lot of fun learning about my coworkers to pick the perfect gifts for them!I love road trips.  I have been blessed in the last 2 years to go on many a “road trip” with Patrick.  Even just going to go visit family upstate, I have enjoyed every road trip we have taken.  We play silly car games or just quietly ride holding hands.  It is an amazing feeling to be able to enjoy everything with your best friend.

 As an adult, I have lived in 5 states – California, North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia.  I am finally now “HOME” in South Carolina, where I intend to stay and firmly plant my roots.