Saturday, November 3, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: $100 Modern Greetings Gift Card Giveaway!


I admit it, I am one of "THOSE Moms."  I totally brag about my children's accomplishments every day.  I think they are beautiful, smart, handsome, perfect, and I know everyone else will think the same thing.  Of course, they will.  Why wouldn't they?  Sure, sure, they broke another Wii, they make messes, and they always borrow my stuff which is never seen again, but they are awesome.  Naturally, I want to share their pictures with the entire world at Christmas. Yesiree, I am positive that nothing says Christmas more than a Santa Clause Card plastered with my kids faces!

Come on, you know you feel the same about your children, pet, significant other, or just your's truly! Modern Greetings fits the bill for your Christmas cards, Holiday photo cards, photo books, announcements, stationary, and more!  I love that you can choose items with a picture you upload on them, but they also offer great varieties of products that are beautiful as they are! 

I looked through their site for literally a couple of hours before I decided on which card I liked the best.  Don't let that scare you off!  The process is super easy, I just enjoyed window shopping that much.  It's as simple as picking the card you like, uploading your picture, cropping it/situating it the way you want it, adding the text you want, and viola!  It's done and in my hands in less than a week!  

Figuring out how to make my printer scan the card in took longer than the whole card process, so I am  impressed.  The cards are just too cute, and you know I can't finish this post without sharing how super cute they turned out!  Yes, that is mischief you see in those eyes!  They have beautiful cards, whimsical cards, and of course Snowmen!  Demolition Mika really liked the snowman so we picked him!


I would be remiss if I didn't offer you a giveaway of such a great product, so I am thrilled to say that Modern Greetings is offering one of you a $100 Gift Code for use on the website!  Don't forget to give them some love on Facebook and Twitter for this great giveaway!  I know you need Holiday cards, so complete one or more options on the Rafflecopter to enter!

Holiday Gift Guide: Cook'n Recipe Organizer 10 Giveaway 11/15

Raise your hand if your Mama organized her recipes in a little plastic box filled with note cards of Grandma's handwritten recipes!  I see I am not alone. The method works really well, I must admit, but why is it that all the recipes have some sort of unidentified substance cemented on the card?  And why is that substance always on the measurements?  I mean, does that say 1 tsp or 7??  Wait a minute, I forgot the most important part:  what about all of those poor trees that died so that *I* can have a copy of Grandma's recipe?  I say it's time to get with the times and find a solution that is easier, more efficient, and a more eco-friendly way to organize our recipes.
Solution:  Cook'n Recipe Organizer 10.  I am the first to admit I am not a super techie kind of person, yet even I was able to jump right in without reading the directions and figure out how to use this program.  I can do everything from enter my own recipes including pictures, modify the recipes and serving sizes easily, email recipes, and grab favorite recipes from a website with one click.  I can also enter the ingredients I have on hand to browse recipes that fit my criteria, and I can even sync it with my iPhone or Android!

What, you want more?  Sure thing!  How about I can easily calculate the nutrition of my recipe, generate a shopping list by Aisle, and I can even print a whole cookbook for my family and friends.  This software does everything but cook the food!


This product made my Holiday Gift Guide because this is perfect for so many people:  foodies, home cooks, amateurs, occasional bakers, and even professional chefs.  If you think about it, everyone falls into one of those categories!  See?  Perfect!

I hear someone shouting, but Ally, I want one too!  So I will just go ahead and make your day!  I have been given the opportunity to give away one Cook'n Recipe Organizer, ARV $80 to one of my fabulous readers right in time for Christmas! Just complete one or more of the options on the widget to be entered to win!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Keep Sore throats Away with Pine Bros Cough Drops

It's that time of year again.  The weather can't make up it's mind on whether or not it wants to be freezing cold or super hot, and there is no middle ground.  You know what this means:  sore throats.  Perfect, just grab a cough drop, right?  Sure, then right after you eat one the sore throat is back so you pop in another.  It only takes about three cough drops and now your tongue is raw and sore from sucking.  Fabulous.  Now your throat hurts and your tongue is throbbing.  Perfect combination!  Right?  Wrong!

I have a better solution:  Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops.  They were created by a confectioner back in the 1800's because he was trying to make a sore throat remedy his family.  They are made from glycerin so they are softish, and the flavor is more like candy than that awful cough drop taste we all are so familiar with!  Fast forward 140 years and Pine Bros is still using the same recipe, and they are a great way for old and young alike to soothe their sore throats.

They come in several flavors, and I can attest to the Natural Honey and Cherry.  Neither are super sweet which I like, but they aren't medicinal tasting either which is even better.  They are soothing and sort of coat the throat a bit so you can swallow without feeling like you are being cut with razor blades!  They don't cause sore tongues because they are soft, yet they aren't so soft that you can just chew them up immediately. It's a nice combination.  I don't even mind letting the kids use them because I know they don't have anything in them that should make me worry too much, and the kids love the flavors!

I have had a couple of sore throats, but nothing severe yet this season, so I can't wait to see how they work on one of those really bad sore throats I get every year!  You can find Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops at CVS, Harris Teeter, Safeway and many more stores, and you can find out more about their latest promotions on Facebook and Twitter

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Get Your Healthy On with a November Conscious Box!

It's Conscious Box's One year anniversary and to celebrate they are offering one of my readers the chance to win the November box for themselves!  I have shared a couple of giveaways with you in the past from Conscious Box, a monthly subscription box choc full of healthy and eco friendly goodies, and you guys know how much I love healthy goodies!. Because orders for the November Box have to be in by November 6, this is going to be a Flash Giveaway.  Also, I am asking for your mailing address in the widget as mandatory so that I can get the winner's information in time.

The pictures I show here are of past Conscious Box goodies, so you will likely receive different products in the November Box.  However, I want you to see what a great selection of things they offer in each box!

Hurry to reserve your Conscious Box by November 6 to be included in this month's delivery!  I am not sure why I get so excited to receive a box of surprise goodies in the mail, but it's as good as Christmas in my opinion.  I really love that everything I get is healthy and eco friendly since these are priorities in my life.  You can see in the picture below that I was so excited when I got my box that I snapped a quick picture.  I wasn't sure at the time why, but now I know:  So you can see all the great goodies you can potentially get in your box!  


I can't wait to see what is in the  November box, so let's get this contest started!  Just enter one or more options via the widget below!  


A quick nutshell of what is going on with the giveaways. I have had some troubles with my Rafflecopter forms, actually many bloggers have been, so I am trying to find a new solution to make it just as click and go.  However, I am having a lot of trouble with this one it seems.  I don't want to take down the widget at this point of the giveaway so here is what we are going to do!  If your entry goes through just fine, fabulous!  However, if you can't get it to work, then simply do the following things, and then LEAVE ME ONE COMMENT telling me which you did such as Facebook like, follow on Twitter, Tweet (including URL) etc.  Leave it all in one comment.  
Example:   Entered as Allyson 
Liked on Facebook as MyW1ldcrazylife
Followed on Twitter @MyW1ldCrazylife
Pinterest follow
and Tweetted (url)
masugr at yahoo dot com (so I can contact you if you win)

I will use to select a winner with this one  since it is having issues.

Week 12 Nutristystem #NSNation, #Spon

So I have officially been on the Nutrisystem diet for 3 whole months now, and I have been overall pleased.  I have had a really hard 2 weeks which has affected my weight.  This isn't an excuse, this is me admitting I fell off the wagon.  I try very hard to keep my blog a positive place to be, so I haven't mentioned my family dynamics change.  However, to put it simply, my 13.5 year old has decided to go live with his bio dad for a while.  He really misses his dad, and I could be hard-nosed and make it hard on my son, but he loves his dad and my son wants to spend more time with his dad who he has only seen a few times a year before.  However, just because it is what he needed at this time and the right thing to do doesn't mean it didn't make me super sad.

I think I am finally adjusting to our new normal, and I am proud I DIDN'T do a lot of cheating, but because I have been so sad, I just wasn't eating right because I just couldn't.  I would eat maybe one Nutrisystem meal a day and I have retained the food I think.  I am not an expert, but that is what my husband's friend who is a dietitian said.

The bottom line is I had put on 1.5 lbs, but thanks to a great idea my husband had I have lost 1 lb of it.  He suggested that I eat just as soon as I get up in the morning whether I am hungry or not, force myself and to set an alarm for 3 hours later, eat, repeat.  I did this the last two days, and I am pleased with the results.  I still am not hungry, but I really want to keep losing.  I know if I do this diet the way I have been, I will see even greater results.  So, I am back on the wagon!  The only positive is that because I am a mom and so active all the time just being a mom I continued to lose a little in my body stats.

Starting Measurements:
Upper Arms: 15.0
Chest: 49.8
Waist: 54.0
Hips: 59.0
Thighs: 23.6

Current Measurements:

Upper Arms: 13.0
Chest: 44.5
Waist: 48
Hips: 53
Thighs: 18
Want to lose weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem? Join today by calling 1-888-853-4689 or by visiting Nutrisystem

*Nutrisystem is providing me with  free food and support service as part of the Nutrisystem Nation Blogger program. In exchange, I will be posting each week with my progress. All thoughts expressed are my own, and my experience using the system may vary from that of other participants.*  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: Michele's Sweet Shoppe, LLC


Alright, let's face it-Grandma doesn't want or need another tchotche for Christmas.  She has a lot of them already, and while, yes she does hold on to them for sentiment's sake, she wants something different for Christmas. Don't believe me, ask her yourself.  Grandma B. told us 3 years ago to stop buying her presents because she only has so much space, and she has 80 years worth of pretties.  What's a girl to do?  You HAVE to let Grandma know you remembered her by getting her something .  Well, I have an option that is sure to tingle her taste buds.

Michele's Sweet Shoppe, LLC is the solution for both Grandma AND so many other people.  You see, Michele's Sweet Shoppe offers so many varieties of popcorn, and honestly I wouldn't recommend reading the flavors if you are hungry.  You might want to lick the screen.  They are just mouth-watering:  Chocolate Almond Bliss, Chocolate Caramel, White Cheddar, Sweet and Salty, Pizza, and so many more!  I know, I know, you are thinking so what if they look good online, we want to know what they taste like.

I can't speak for all the flavors, but I CAN tell you about the three I tried.  I tried the Peanut Butter, Caramel and the Garlic Rosemary.  I have to admit that I almost didn't share with the kids.  The Peanut Butter Popcorn is like eating a chocolate covered peanut butter cup, except it doesn't have the chocolate which is better in my opinion.  (I like chocolate, and I like peanut butter-not together).  The kids were madly in love with this, and I had to make them save me a serving because I am pretty sure they were going to fight over who was going to lick the bag.  No, I don't let them lick a bag, but it's good, I tell you!


The Caramel was really good too.  It is way better than that trio of popcorn you find in a tin at every store during the Christmas season, and definitely NOT stale.  This one I just tasted and did let the kids eat the rest the following day.  There are four of them, and it's easy to snack away a bag of popcorn.

The kids didn't like the Garlic Rosemary Popcorn, and I have never been happier.  The bag has whole sprigs of Rosemary in it so the popcorn is literally scented with the Rosemary flavor.  If you like focaccia bread, then you are going to love this popcorn.  I have savored it eating only a little at a time, and I still have some left.  It is definitely different than any popcorn I have ever had, but it is very good.  Sure, this popcorn costs more than you are going to pay at the market, but for a splurge or a nice gift for someone special is definitely worth every penny.

You find these and more flavors  at Michele's Sweet Shoppe, LLC, and you can check them out on Facebook to keep up with their latest promotions!

Disclaimer:  I received one or more of the items mentioned above for review purposes only.  I was in no way obligated to write a positive review, and all opinions listed are honest and solely my own.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Easy & Fun Food and Drinks for Halloween!

Skulls and Fingers Kristian Regale Punch  CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE

I tried taking pictures of the punch with the cubes in it, but there was no way possible to capture the picture. All of the bubbles kept distorting the picture, so I am showing you a picture of the cubes which  you add to some Kristian Regale Mocktail Cranberry Spritzer to make a super fun, scary drink!


Scary Eye Balls!

Devilled Eggs, black olives and Green Olives

Devilled Egg Recipe:

Bring 6 eggs to boil in a sauce pan, then turn the heat off and let sit for ten minutes.  Transfer to cold water for two minutes.  Crack and Peel.

Halve Eggs, separate the whites from the yolks, and place the yolks in a bowl.  Mash finely with a fork, add salt and pepper to taste.

Add two heaping tablespoons of Miracle Whip and 1/4 tsp of mustard to egg yolks, and whip with a spoon until a smooth consistency.  Spoon or pipe into the eggs.

Garnish each egg with an olive creating an eyeball effect!  Enjoy



Severed Witches Fingers-Click HERE for Recipe


Sugar Free Whole Wheat Oatmeal Ghost Pancakes-CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE!






Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Print Runner Giveaway 11/14

PrintRunner provides just the types of items I am talking about:  business cards, post cards, stickers and so much more that you need for your business or every day life. is the convenient online printing resource that can handle any promotional need you may have.   They offer everything from business card printing to full color brochure printing to postcard printing . This commitment to high quality products and service is shown in PrintRunner's 75,000 satisfied customers!  After just 10 years it has grown from a simple press and a dream to a household name.

I have worked with Print Runner in the past, and I am proud to share this giveaway with you again.  They have an extremely easy to use service, fair market prices, and high quality products.  Today, I am offering you the opportunity to win 250 business cards with the following specs:

 Business Card Size and Style Business Cards: 2x3.5 (Standard)
Quantity:   250
Colors:    4/4 Color Both Sides
Paper:    14 pt. UV Coating on Front, 14 pt. UV Coating on both sides,
Proof:   NONE
Rounded Corners:   NO
Ready To Ship In:   3 Business Days

This giveaway is open to US Residents only, ages 18 years old and above.  All you have to do to enter is to complete one or more of the entries in the form.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Warm up your Monday with My Homemade Clam Chowder Recipe!

Brrrr!  It has turned frigid here over night!  All of the sudden, it's not only cold, but it is very windy which  makes it feel colder, but is a perfect pampering day.  I  am sitting around the house with my  Nature's Sleep slippers on which are super warm and the softest I have ever owned!  I am drinking one of my favorite splurges: a steaming hot cup of Oregeon Chai, and I am exfoliating my face with my current go to exfoliator:  with Andalou Naturals Grapefruit  +C Exfoliating Peel.  It  seems when the weather turns cold, I have to put a lot of extra work into looking radiant, so why not start today?

Fortunately for me I don't have to cook supper today because I cooked a stock pot of my homemade Clam Chowder yesterday!  I thought I would spread the love so you too can be warm on this frigid day!

Allyson's Clam Chowder

4 cups of skim milk
1 quart of heavy whipping cream
6 potatoes washed and diced
1 large onion, diced
4 slices of diced bacon
2 tbsp parsley
S&P to taste
Butter (optional)
1 Quart of Chopped clams in juice
1.  Render the Diced Bacon in a stock pan on medium heat until crispy, remove from pan

2.  Leave the grease in the pan and caramelize the onion in the same pan you rendered the bacon

3.   When onions are a golden brown,  add in the potatoes and 4 cups of skim milk

4.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, then reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are fork-tender

5  Add in the Heavy Whipping Cream and the Clams, juice and all and simmer until heated through

6.  Toss in the Parsley and heat for about a minute more

7.  Serve with a pat of butter in the middle and extra parsley for garnish if desired