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I am still in the middle of my Love Dare however I wanted to share this with you:

I am a member of BzzAgent.  With BzzAgent I am able to test products and give reviews.  I have been able to test many different products and it’s been great.

Last night, my family and I were treated with a special dinner.  We were able to test some of Chili’s Guiltless Grill menu items.  Let me be the first to say YUMMY!!!

We got 4 free certificates, two of which we used last night.  We tried the Grilled Salmon and the Carne Asada.  Both entrees came with veggies.  The steak was extra flavorful!!!  I am not a big fish eater but everyone else is and they thought is was very tasty. 

Since I love veggies, I would have liked a bigger selection of vegetables.  There was only broccoli and shredded carrots on what we were served.  I did like that they were clean (no extra sauces and butter to add to the calories).

It was so nice to be able to have a dinner out that you didn’t feel bad about eating.  And the service was terrific!!!

I hope you get a chance to try them.  I would highly recommend the Steak!!!!

Have a “Yummy” Day!

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I have a confession to make, I love to finish off the bottle!  There is a great feeling when you have the last of it in there, in the evening after the kids are asleep, and you finish it right off. 

What is it you ask?  Anything.  I love finishing it.  Now I am not talking hard booze here.  I am actually talking about lotions, shampoo, chap-stick, deodorant, oil, salad dressing, ETC. 

I hate having these containers around when they have this minuscule amount of product in it.  It takes up room and is just plain annoying.  When I finally get to finish it off, it’s a sigh of relief.  I have finally succeeded.  It is gone! Kaput!  Time for a celebration dance (ok, too much information).

Am I the only one in this strange ritual?  Do you also share in this feeling of accomplishment?

Have a “Finisher Off” Day

As many of you may be aware, one of my New Year’s Resolutions was not to shop at Walmart.  So far so good.  And honestly I have no temptation any more to go there.  Sure it’s a little convenient but it’s too high of a “price”.

Now for those of you who are devote Walmart fans, I use to be one, please stay with me.

Last night on the news, in the midst of all the bad news about our economy, there was the “bright” spot of Walmart sales being up 2.1%.  So my question to those reading is, is this what you want?  Do we want Walmart to get larger while other companies go out of business?  Do we want to bail out WalMart when they start to have financial trouble because we are too dependent upon them? 

If you say where will I buy things, here are a few ideas:

Clothes – Thrift Stores, Resale Shops, Independent Shops

Pet Food– Grocery Store, PetSmart or similar store, Local Feed Store

Groceries– Even when I liked Walmart, I found their grocery prices not any cheaper than my grocery store, try local markets, Corner Grocery Store, Farmers Markets, ETC

Household –  I look for coupons and just shop my grocery store anymore.  It saves me a trip which pays for any additional $$ that I spent.  It’s a wash …hahahaha

Furntiure/Decorative– Again try your local Thrift Store, garage sale, or craigslist.  Or save up for some good quality merchandise that will last longer.  Also, try a model home store.  They purchase the furniture from the model homes and pass the savings onto you.  It’s higher than Walmart but quality is WAY BETTER and will last a lot longer which is better than getting something for a year and tossing it right?

Here are a few other stores to go to – Your local Hardware Store and Office Supply Stores.  And don’t forget about ETSY..handmade stuff is terrific there!

You know, depending on where you live, some of this takes a little more time, but is it worth it?  I believe without a doubt it is!!!!  More local stores creates jobs here, creates communities, fosters creativity and equips those who produce it, less to throw out because you paid for quality, spend/ do with less because you are purchasing something that will last. 

Don’t believe me, I can’t tell you how many times that either myself or someone I know purchase something that was not on our list because it was only $3.98.  And guess what?  Not used, didn’t work, in the closet, no one else wanted it, broke, regret, etc!!  How much have you spent at Walmart doing that?  Go for the long run, shop local!

Please consider where you shop and really do something good for our economy.

Have a “Soapbox” Day 🙂

P.S. – There’s always room for another person on this soapbox.  Join me and just say no to Walmart.

Please tell me you don’t fall for the scam, do you?  You know the over priced chicken at the store labeled boneless skinless chicken breasts.  High way robbery!  I know, I know, you found a sale.  But I have to tell you keep that skin and bones. 

You want proof:

1) Bake the whole chicken or just the chicken breasts with skin and bones and you will save cash first and formost.  For great fall off the bone chicken, take them and throw them in a casserole dish, cover with broth-homemade and covered in foil,  bake at 325 degrees for about 2 hours or until the temp gets to about 175.  YUMMY!

2) Now you will have bones to make our own chicken broth.  EASY!  Take parts of veggies that were gonna go (tops of washed carrots and celery, etc), throw in the bones and such, fill with seasonings and water and tada you have your own broth.  The broth is perfect in the freezer for when you need it.

3) Finally, you have better tasting chicken and you saved some cashola!  The skin helps protect you from the dredded dry chicken dinners we all know about.

So, just say no to boneless, skinless chicken and reach for the cheap pack.  I guarantee, money back, that this is super easy!

Have a “Skin and Bones” Day!

Don’t try to return the chicken breasts that you already have in the fridge.  Supermarkets don’t do well with returns 🙂 hahahaha.  Use them up and say goodbye!

Well It’s been fun but all good things must come to an end.  Tis Better To Give Than To Receive has officially ended or has it?  Of course, Thanksgiving is really “thanksliving” so we can do this all the time even when there is no contest.  But I think my readers already knew that.  What great stories and ideas you have all shared.

The final weeks winner is http://waytmi.wordpress.com/.  All the prizes from this week are going to be yours!!!!

Surviving Motherhood Book from Karen

Discovery Denim Cape

Little Hero Cape - Blue and Cranberry - Lightening Bolt

Chris Sligh CD

And remember to please check out the wonderful products that you have seen during this contest.  This is a great opprtunity to support someone who is creating something (music, books, crafts, etc!!!)  I think they deserve our support!!!!!

Have a “New Begining” Day

I can’t believe the treats that we have seen over the past month.  Such wonderful products made by these amazing people.  Here is another one:

Discovery Denim– ETSY

www.discoverydenim.etsy.com

I watched in bewilderment as my three-year-old ran back and forth holding a dishtowel around his neck. As I sat watching closely and laughing quietly, it became apparent — at one point or another, every child will need a cape.

In all honesty, the first cape I made was not by any means super. Made from extra scraps of light-blue linen, it was just a step above the dishtowel… but at least it stayed on. Luckily, my sewing and design skills heightened, as did my child’s adventures. Soon, his friends took notice of his cool new cape, and the little hero in each of them wanted also to emerge.

Before long, I was watching several caped kids run playfully around, planning daring rescues with their imaginations soaring — all in the boundaries of my living room walls. It was magical! Even the shyest of children could summon courage as a caped crusader. It made me realize that inside each child lays an abundance of strength and courage waiting eagerly for a mission. I saw that capes had the power to bring little heroes to life.

Little Hero Cape - Blue and Cranberry - Lightening Bolt

Is that the cutest thing ever????????? (Discovery Denim will determine which style for the winner.)

What do you need to do to get this?  Two ways.  Check out the ETSY shop and enter my contest!  And what kid wouldn’t want one of these?

1) Answer the question below in my comments. One entry is all I need. You DO NOT need to comment everyday to be eligible…just once.

2) POST about my contest on your blog (but not your answer to my question-I am looking for links to my contest for others to particpate too). I will need the direct link on my blog showing the post on your site.

3) That’s it!!!! Just wait to see if you are a winner of a week’s bounty of prizes. Isn’t the EASY????

Question for Week 4 – What ThanksGIVING traditions do you have? Does your family do something special that gives to others for this Holiday?

Have a “Heroic” Day!

This is your last week to participate in my month long contest – “Tis Better To Give Than to Receive”

Today we will start with a CD from Chris Sligh.  He was one of the wonderful American Idol contestants.  Do you remember him, curly hair?  He is out with a awesome CD and was so wonderful to contribute one to the contest.  I have heard it and it’s terrific!  You will love it!

Here is some more info about where he is at and what’s happening for him:

CHRIS SLIGH HITS ‘IDOL CAMP’ AND GEARS UP FOR HEADLINING BACK TO SCHOOL TOUR
TO APPEAR ON THE 700 CLUB JULY 29TH

NASHVILLE, TN, July 24, 2008….. As his debut CD,”Running Back to You” garners its first top 10 single with “Empty Me,” (#9 R&R AC Monitor – #5 Most Increased song), AMERICAN IDOL finalist Chris Sligh is readying himself to hit the road to support both, as well as his next single, “Arise.” In addition, he will perform live on The 700 Club on Tuesday, July 29th.

Sligh’s first stop before launching his headlining Back to School Tour, will be “Idol Camp” in Southern California. Idol Camp was created for kids who want to be singer/songwriters, and enslists former “Idols” each summer to participate in teaching music classes, host open mic sessions, showcases, as well as extra curricular activities including arts and crafts, motor sports, paintball, soccer, archery, swimming and more.

With a desire to work directly with his friends at Christian radio, Sligh took it upon himself to reach out to stations across the country to partner with him on his Back to School Tour. Hitting about 30 cities, sponsor stations will share in the expense and any spoils directly with Sligh, something rarely done in the music industry on a regular basis. The tour will kick off on August 15th in Austin, TX and hit markets including Atlanta, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Washington D.C. and more. For a full tour listing please see below, and for regular updates go to

http://www.myspace.com/chrissligh.

“From ‘Empty Me’ to ‘Arise,’ we can’t wait to see Chris’ amazing music come to life on stage! WCQR is very thankful to play a part of such an incredible ministry.”  commented Chalmer Harper, PD at WCQR in Johnson City, TN, who is bringing Sligh in on the Back to School tour.

As Sligh’s debut CD,”Running Back to You” became one of the best-selling Christian album on iTunes ®, the project that has wowed critics from USA Today to CCMmagazine.com also had the highest debut on Christian SoundScan in it’s first week as well. Named as one of Entertainment Weekly’s “Best Idol Auditions Ever,” (http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20007164_20008532_20174767,00.html), Sligh auditioned for American Idol more or less on a whim. To his surprise, his performance swept him onto a fast track to the final rounds. His willingness to take chances, his ironic wit, and his startlingly powerful vocals embedded him into the popular imagination, while his distinctive blend of talent, humor, confidence, and unpredictability led to an exchange with Simon Cowell that delighted the other judges, host Ryan Seacrest, and much of America.

An official American Idol commentator for Entertainment Weekly online during this past season, Sligh operated on a three week rotating schedule with two other commentators (Jon Peter Lewis and Nadia Turner), and wrote funny and informative commentaries through the lens of his experiences on American Idol.

For more information on Sligh go to http://www.myspace.com/chrissligh
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About Brash Music
Brash Music is an eclectic independent record label based in Atlanta, Georgia, founded on the belief that the opportunity in the music business lies between a vast, eager talent pool and a need for fresh perspective. We address that need by operating from a set of core values that emphasize our commitment to integrity, transparency with our artists, innovation, efficiency and financial prudence. Our mission is to passionately deliver quality music in a way that is profitable for all involved. For more information about Brash Music, visit http://www.BrashMusic.com http://www.brashmusic.com or contact Steve Jones at (678)-904-4790/steve@brashmusic.com.

CHRIS SLIGH TOUR ITINERARY (all dates subject to change)

Fri-Aug 15, 2008 Kyle TX Hays ISD Performing Arts Center
Sat-Aug 16, 2008 Moore OK First Baptist Church – Moore
Sun-Aug 17, 2008 Ponca City OK First Baptist Church – Ponca City
Thu-Aug 21, 2008 Bowling Green KY Back to School Tour/ Living Hope Baptist Church

Wanna win it? Here’s what to do?

1) Answer the question below in my comments. One entry is all I need. You DO NOT need to comment everyday to be eligible…just once.

2) POST about my contest on your blog (but not your answer to my question-I am looking for links to my contest for others to particpate too). I will need the direct link on my blog showing the post on your site.

3) That’s it!!!! Just wait to see if you are a winner of a week’s bounty of prizes. Isn’t the EASY????

Question for Week 4 – What ThanksGIVING traditions do you have? Does your family do something special that gives to others for this Holiday?

Have a “Running Back To You” Day!

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