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Saturday, July 31, 2010

ABC Neckties Review and Giveaway



CONTEST IS CLOSED.

When my husband began his new job in January, he had to begin to wear ties everyday. Since it had been several years since he had worn ties daily, he had gotten rid of most of his ties.
I went tie shopping and discovered ties were expensice! I needed good quality ties at affordable prices. ABC Neckties offers this and more!




I chose this Navy Blue Woven Silk Tie for Bryan. It looks and feels great. He's worn it several times and it has not only held up well, it hasn't gotten any snags or pulls either. (This might only happen in our family.)

ABC Neckties has a wide selection of ties for people who want to express their individuality. There's everything from cartoon ties to Jerry Garcia ties.

They offer a money back guarantee on their products and free shipping on all their orders. Plus, they're having a 15% off Summer Sale!

Buy It!
You can order ABC Neckties online.

Win It!
One person will receive a $25 gift certificate to ABC Neckties!

Contest Rules:
1. Leave a comment with your email address.

Extra Entries:
2. Follow me on GFC.
6. Tweet about this contest. This can be done once daily.
7. A winner will be chosen by random.org on August 13th.
8 Contest is open to US residents.



Please see my disclosure notice here.

The winner of the contest is #23, Darth Mama.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Italian Cream Cake Recipe

Several people have asked for my Italian Cream Cake recipe, so I am sharing. It is actually my Mother in law's award winning recipe. Hope you all enjoy it!


Ingredients for cake
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup shortening
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg whites
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 to 2 cups flaked coconut (depending on taste)
1 to 2 cups chopped pecans (depending on taste)

Frosting Recipe
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup margarine, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans

1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease three 9 inch, round cake pans. Combine soda and buttermilk.
2.Cream sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup oil and shortening. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix buttermilk mixture alternately with flour into creamed mixture. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.
3.Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites. Stir in 1 cup pecans and coconut.
4.Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes,

5.Make the Cream Cheese Frosting:
Beat together cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and confectioners' sugar. Stir in 1 cup chopped pecans.

Interested in more of my  recipes? Please visit here or here.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Blogger Spotlight- Lori at Paisley Passions

After reading Tara at Keeping Up With The Kelly's columns on spotlighting blogs, I thought I might do this occassionally. Here's a new blogger friend who spotlight lots of crafts in her blog.


Hello all of you Mom's Mutterings readers!  I am so happy to be guest posting here today!  I was thrilled when Pam asked me if I would join her on her blog for a guest post.  It is always fun to get to know other people and to find new followers out in blogland.  I really do love it when someone decides to leave me a comment or to follow my little blog.

My name is Lori and my blog is Paisley Passions.  I am a wife.  A mother of five.  A returning college student.  A crafter.  A homemaker.  A wannabe photographer.  A scrapbooker and a wannabe home decorator all rolled into one. 

I have been out and about in blogland for a couple of years now, but I just started my Paisley Passions craft blog the first week of July 2010.  It is so fun to have a place to share all of my creative projects :)

On my blog you will find easy Home Decor projects like this:




A few Sewing Projects like this:



And even some stuff like this:




If you are ever looking for a Fun Blog Hop or a Linky Party to join in.  I also have a Linky Love Library page and a Blog Hop Library page on my blog so that they are easy for people to find and join in the fun!  They are free to use, all I ask is that if you find one that is new to you, that you let the host/hostess know you found them from my blog.  As simple as that! :)

Thanks again to Pam @ Mom's Mutterings for letting me post.  I hope all of you readers of Mom's Mutterings will pop on by my blog and say hi!  It's always fun to make new blog friends :) 




























Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Too Much Education?

I love forcing involving my children in educational opportunities. When we arrived in St. Louis, the kids begged to go to the City Museum.
Naturally, I agreed. When they want to go somewhere that will provide an educational experience, who am I to say no?

However, my daughter wanted to go to the rooftop museum. Then, she wanted to sit in a school bus which was hanging halfway off the building. (Um, no thanks.)


Here's the view from the roof. See the nice safe area around the ball pit? That's where I like to be. The roof was way to educational for me!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Making Friends Monday and Where I've been

This week I'm participating in Making Friends Monday. I am the guest host! Thanks for stopping by. If you follow leave a comment so I will be able to follow you back. Also, be sure to check out the awesome giveaways I have including< For my friends who are wondering where I have been, I am having some difficulty with my computer due to a virus which wiped out the operating system. With only one computer in our house being shared by everyone, I haven't gotten to comment often last weekHopefully the computer will be returned Monday evening.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tropical Traditions Shredded Coconut



Contest is Closed.

I have been impressed with the Tropical Traditions products which I have tried so far. Their organic dried coconut is another winner! It's "100% natural Shredded Coconut made from organic dried coconuts in the Philippines that are grown with no fertilizers or pesticides. It contains no additives or preservatives, is not sweetened, and is not treated with sulfites to keep it white."




As I grow more aware of the risks of using pesticides in my food, I appreciate the organic goodness of this coconut. Because the coconut is packaged in a pail it is easy to keep the coconut moist and fresh. I made Italian Cream cake as a treat. However, Tropical Traditions has all sorts of yummy, healthy coconut recipes. I've found a chocolate coconut smoothie I can't wait to try!



Win It!
One reader will win a gallon of Tropical Traditions Shredded Coconut. The retail value is $22.50.

Contest Rules:
1. Leave a comment with your email address.

Extra Entries
Please leave a separate comment for each entry. I use random.org to determine the winner and if you leave all your entries in one comment it lessens your chances to win.
2. Follow me on GFC.
7. Tweet about this contest. This can be done once daily.
8. A winner will be chosen on August 7th, 2010.


Please see my disclosure notice here.

The winner of the Tropical Traditions Shredded Coconut is #146, Show Me Mama.

Pro Flowers Gift Basket Review


My daughter will be leaving for college next year. She'll be 650 miles from home and I won't be able to see her often. I know I will regularly send her "care packages." Thankfully, I have found Proflowers to help make my job easier.




Proflowers is not just flowers! They have a huge assortment of gift baskets containing all sorts of yummy treats including fruit, cookies, brownies, snacks and more. They also have a large selection of Spa Gift Baskets.

I received the Lemongrass and Ginger Spa Basket for review.



The gift basket was a lovely faux leather tote which could have many practical uses. I plan to use it as a stylish storage container on my dressing table. The basket included:
Bath Tea
6pc. Bath Fizzer
2.11 oz. Lemon Grass and Ginger Scented Bath Caviar
Hand Brush
16 oz. Bath Salts in Fabric Bag
12 oz. Lemon Grass and Ginger Scented Shower Gel
Yellow Bath Mitt


It arrived quickly and was packaged securely. I've received many damaged packages over the years and I liked the effort that was made to keep this spill free.

I was impressed with the quality and the wide variety. I wish I had discovered earlier they had Bonsai giftbaskets! The gift baskets are available in a variety of price ranges to fit most any budget.

Buy It!


Please see my disclosure notice here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Senior Moments

These are not the type in which I wander into a room and spend time glancing around and muttering, "What did I come in here for? (Although these do happen fairly often!)

Today I took my daughter to have her senior portraits taken. Naturally I thought they turned out beautifully. Here's her "offical senior portrait."



Here's the "dressy shot."


They asked her to bring a casual outfit and a "prop" of one of her favorite activities. Guess what she chose? Texting, of course!



Guess which one of these is her favorite!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Piggy Paint Review and Giveaway



CONTEST IS CLOSED.
My daughter loves to experiment with fun colors of nail polish. The problem? Once she gets the polish on her nails she can't get it off. The acetone in commerical nail polish causes her fingers to swell and turn red.
The solution? Piggy Paint all natural nail polish remover! There are no toxic chemicals; it’s free of formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, Bisphenol A, ethyl acetate and acetone. It didn't cause any of the usual side effects when my daughter tested it on her nails.



Piggy Paint nail polish is


•Non-toxic
•Low Odor
•Water-based formula
•Hypoallergenic
•Fun, vibrant colors
•Dries to a hard, durable finish
•Cruelty-free
•Safe for use during Pregnancy!


They have fun colors any tween or teen will love such as Sometimes Sweet or LOL. My daughter proudly gave herself a pedicure and wore her "girls rule" to a pool party to show her friends.


Piggy Paint is so safe it recently won the Excellence Award from Safbaby.com and now proudly use their seal of approval as an approved Vendor of Mom approved-child tested products.

They're ecofriendly too. They use recycled peanuts from their local community in their shipping and never test their products on animals. Another great feature is that they donate a portion of the sales of their Breast Cancer Pail to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Buy It!
You can buy Piggy Paint at several online retailers If you use the code MUTTER10L to receive 10% of any of their products including sale items. The code doesn't expire until September 7th, 2010.

Win It!
One lucky reader will receive a gift code for $15 to use on Piggy Paint items.

Contest Rules:
Leave a comment with your email address.

Extra Entries:
2. Follow me on GFC.

8. Contest is OPEN WORLDWIDE!
9. A random winner will be chosen on August 5th, 2010.

I received a sample to facilitate this review. I was not asked to express anything but my honest opinion.

The winner is #163, Joanne J.

Monday, July 19, 2010

My Mother of the Year Award Goes Down the Tubes

Why?
I had planned on taking my children on a thrilling (not to them) educational adventure to the Cakohia Indian Mounds while we were away.

That was the first reason my kids would never vote me "Mother of the Year", I try to sneak educational events in as fun.

Instead, I took the exit to Cahokia (a small town) and wound up here, the Jefferson Military Barracks.

This is the second reason my kids would never vote me "Mother of the Year", even when we are totally lost, I can find educational places to visit!


I made them pose for a quick picture. Don't they look thrilled?

Third reason my kids don't want me as "Mother of the Year," I make them pose for pictures.

Hopefully my kids will never find out about the Three Strikes and Your Out campaign.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

$25 Amazon Gift Card from GiftZip.com


Contest is CLosed.

If you are like me you often have to buy gifts for picky people. My inlaws and father don't need anything and prefer to buy their own things. Several years ago I began purchasing them gift cards for their birthdays and Christmas. It's less stress on me and they actually get things they want.

Buying gift cards has gotten even easier now with Giftzip.com. You can purchase "egift cards." They are environmentally friendly because they don't use plastic. There are several popular retailers to choose from including iTunes, Amazon, and more.



Plus, in the spirit of keeping your children, friends, or spouse indoors for hours on end this summer, GiftZip.com will be giving away a Nintendo Wii to one lucky winner. You can find the rules and enter here if you are interested.


Contest Rules:
1. Leave a comment with your email address.

Extra entries. Please leave a separate comment for each.
2. Follow me on GFC.
6. Tweet about this contest. This can be done once daily.
7. Contest is open to US residents.
8. A random winner will be chosen on July 31st, 2010.


The winner is Tommy Girl, #377.

Envirosax Review and Giveaway



Contest is Closed.
I used to hate going to the grocery store because I always came home with an excess supply of plastic bags. Sometimes the cashier would only put one item per bag!
I decided to buy a few reusable bags from the grocery store to cut down on waste. This didn't seem to help because after a couple of washes the bags fell apart!
Finally, I found Envirosax. These bags are

•Tested for strength & safety
•Super strong, holds 44lbs
•Fully washable - won't fade
•Super convenient & water-resistant
•Solution to one-use plastic bags

Plus, they are super cute. If you've read my blog for any length of time you know my favorite drink is Mountain Dew. So when I found that Pepsi had teamed up with Envirosax to make a series of bags made from RPET, I knew this was the bag for me. Here's my fun new Pepsi Bag. In case anyone wonders, no one in my family was surprised at my choice!


Now I have a durable good looking bag for shopping. People stop and ask me where I got this bag because it is "so cute." Envirosax has many styles to choose from including kid's bags, organic bags and the green grocer series.
If you don't need bags they sell water bottles and shower timers.



Contest Rules:
1. Leave a comment with your email address.


Extra Entries. Please leave a separate comment for each.

2. Follow me on GFC.
7. Contest is open to US residents.
8. A random winner will be chosen on July 31st.

Disclosure Notice:
I received a sample from Envirosax for review purposes. I was not asked to express anything but my honest opinion.


The winner is #28, JC.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Who's the Mature One here?

I've heard that one must only allow children to go away to college if they "are mature enough to handle it."

Here's my seventeen year old. She maintains a 4.0 GPA while taking all AP or advanced courses. She works 15 hours per week and volunteers one day a week doing hippotherapy with autistic and special needs kids.



Here's me and my cousin when I was seventeen and visiting my cousin's beach house in Florida. Notice how stylin' I am in the happening tunic. (Sadly, I really thought I was. However, I did know the makeup was no good.)



Here's our room--obviously only "slightly" messy.


Don't we look hip? (It's only root beer. We're underage!)


Guess which one of us didn't even get considered to go away to college?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Important Information about Book (and other) Contests--- Please Read

I love hosting contests and providing a chance for everyone to win some neat items.
Lately, it seems that several of my winners (especially from the book contests) have not been receiving their prize.

Because I work with large corporations and publishing companies, I simply host the giveaway and review the item. When the winners are announced I send the information to the publicists or PR contact. Unfortunately, that means I do not know if (or when) your prize has been shipped.

Sometimes the information may "get lost in the cracks" or your prize may get lost in the mail. Sometimes companies simply ship items out s-l-o-w-l-y. If you do not receive your prize within four weeks after sending me your information, please feel free to contact me. I will contact the publicist or PR person and try to make sure you receive your prize.

I have worked with great companies who are truly interested in your satisfaction. They want to make sure you receive your prize and have been eager to assist when an item has not arrived.


Thanks for your patience and understanding!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Are We There Yet?

This is a real "behind the scenes" look at how we spent our recent trip to St. Louis.
Here's me, driving my daughter's car around the city. Yes, we were lost! (Again.)


Here's my daughter looking disgusted with yet another fruitless search for wherever we were going.


Still wandering somewhere....



And my daughter determined to make it back home with no detours! (It didn't work. We got lost anyway.)


Monday, July 12, 2010

How Do You Spend Your Vacation?

We arrive in St. Louis where it is impossible not to find something to do. My kids love to ride the Metro. What did my daughter do?


We visit the Arch. What does my daughter do?



Now imagine photos like this at places all around the city and you can see how my daughter spent her free time. She did decide she is applying to both Washington University (her personal favorite) and St. Louis University. I may spend a lot of my future in St. Louis!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Wild Soccer Bunch by Joachim Masannek


Publisher: Sole Books
Release Date: May 20th, 2010


Contest is Closed.

Just in time to capitalize on World Cup fever, a soccer-centric middle-grade series that’s been making waves abroad is arriving in the U.S. The Wild Soccer Bunch series by Joachim Masannek, illustrated by Jan Birck, follows the adventures of a young, coed soccer team, with each book focusing on a different player. The series was originally published in Germany in 2002 under the name Die Wilden Fußballkerle, growing to 13 books in three years’ time. There are now more than nine million copies of the books in print in 29 countries, yet they hadn’t been translated into English until now. The first book, Kevin, the Star Striker, went on sale in late May from Sole Books, a new Beverly Hills-based venture that is owned by Wild Soccer USA, which has rights to the series in English-language territories, as well as film and merchandising rights. (from Publisher's Weekly)

When the last of the snow has finally melted, soccer season starts!

Kevin the Star Striker and The Wild Bunch rush to their field. They have found that Mickey the bulldozer and his gang, the Unbeatables, have taken over. Kevin and his friends challenge the Unbeatables to the biggest game of their lives.

Can the Wild Bunch defeat the Unbeatables, or lose their field of dreams forever? Can they do what no team has done before?


The Wild Soccer Bunch features a group of unlikely friends (some from the wrong side of the tracks, some rich, etc.) who join together to form a soccer team. I enjoyed the diverse group of characters who band together. I also like that the kids are not perfect. Some are opinionated, some stink at soccer, and some battle impossible odds to play on the team.
On the other hand some of the players are sneaky, conniving, and use some inappropriate language. Overall, I enjoyed the book because I felt that the players learned important life lessons and formed important friendships.
I would advise parents to preview the book first. It would be a great discussion tool for many of the peer pressures kids face today.

Win It!
One reader will receive a copy of the Wild Soccer Bunch.

Contest Rules:

1. Leave a comment with your email address.

Extra Entries: Leave a separate comment for each.

4. Tweet about this contest. This can be done once daily.

5. Contest is open to US and Canada.
6. Winners will be chosen by random.org on July 24th, 2010.


Please see my disclosure notice here.

The winner is #2, wildcat 32.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Old Navy Coupon Contest


Here's a quick contest for you all! Five winners will receive a $50 off $100 purchase.
You only have thirty six hours to enter! I'll announce the winners Saturday morning.
I'm posting this from a McDonald's wi-fi spot in St. Louis!

Get some sporty style that’s fab for summer with the Old Navy Item of the Week: Women’s Racerback Fashion Tanks. Cute colors and cool comfort make these tanks perfect for active days or fun-filled nights. Wear them on their own to look sporty chic or layered for a colorful style. You get so much for so little! They’re just $7, reg. $12.50, 7/9–7/15.

See Women’s Racerback Fashion Tanks at Facebook under the “Weekly Ad” tab. Click the “Barker’s Bones” tab while you’re there and sniff around for this week’s highest value, unlimited coupon: $10 off $50. Play once a week to score super savings. Happy digging!
Here's some contest information:
1. Coupons are valid for a limited time only. Old Navy and M80 cannot replace a coupon that was not redeemed in the correct timeframe.

2.Once the coupon is distributed, bloggers assume full responsibility for any costs associated with their purchases.

3.These are only one-time use coupons. Once redeemed, code is no longer valid and cannot be used again

4. The individual code should not be shared with nor used by multiple users

5. If a Sales Associate advises that code is not working, customer should ask them to key in the alpha-numeric code under the barcode (if the code is valid, and it’s just a question of the barcode reader having issue with the print quality of the code, then keying in should work – unless it’s already been redeemed then it will come up as invalid).



Contest Rules:
1. Leave a comment with your email address.
Extra Entries Leave a separate comment for each:
2. Follow me on GFC.


4. Contest winners will be chosen on Saturday Morning, June 10th.


Normally I post the snapshot of the random.org winners. Unfortunately, as I am out of town. I do not have the software on the computer to do this. I will just be listing the winners today.

The winners are #48, Josee, #19, Soraya, #112, Kristen, #23, Mel, #34, The Canady Family.

Monday, July 5, 2010

On The Road Again....

This is the week that I take three teens to St. Louis for college visits. All. By. Myself. Let's hope they look happier there than my daughter does in this picture.




There's tons of stuff to do in St. Louis. Here's my son trying on hats on our last visit.


But what are they demanding to do? Eat at Fritz's Root beer Company.





Wish me luck. Hopefully, we'll make it further than the end of the driveway on this trip before something bad happens.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

191 Unlimited Review and Giveaway



CONTEST IS CLOSED.
I never realized how fashion concious teen boys could be until I began having teen boys visit my house. They were every bit as stylish as teen girls. When my son became a teenager, he wanted fashionable clothes as well. However, living in the Georgia suburbs doesn't offer a wealth of stylish apparel. 191 Unlimited is the answer to my problems. It's easy to find stylish clothes and have them delivered to my door.

Their collection of men and boys shirts and bottoms would please the most discriminating person. When one of my daughter's extremely fashionable friend came over he asked if he could have my son's new clothes!

My son received the khaki shorts and these shirts. He thinks they are comfortable and fit well. He's received complements whenever he wore them. (Although I think he has hidden them in his closet so my daughter's friend can't find them!)





Win It!
The generous folks at 191 Unlimited have offered to give 5 winners a shirt of their choice!

Contest Rules:

1. Leave a comment with your email address.

Extra entries:
7. Tweet about this giveaway. This can be done once daily.
8. Winners will be chosen by random.org on July 19th, 2010.
9. Contest is open to US residents.

Disclosure Notice:
I received a sample to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed are my own.


The winners are #303, John S. #164,Chacoy, #78, jewelknits #29, Amber and #57 gahome2mom .