Monday, May 30, 2011

Teeth Update: Introducing Invisalign

Give then I didn't have a lot of followers until somewhat recently, I'm guessing a lot of you missed my T post for the April A to Z Challenge. Assuming that is correct, this update probably is new info for you. Take a moment to read that for the full info. Long story short: I was told in April that I'd need orthodontics. I was not pleased at the idea of braces again – 20 years after I had them the first time ...

Enter Invisalign
In my daily Google Reader browsing, I came across a SITS Girls post about Invisalign. I swear, it was a completely accidental find. If I was walking, I would have stumbled upon it ...

Anyway, I was intrigued, to put it mildly. I was hoping to avoid braces again, and thought this just might be it. I was cautiously optimistic. For one, I was a bit skeptical. Also, I was sure that it wouldn't be available in my area. (We don't always have the best, newest things available to us where we live.) Well, after perusing the site – I probably spent at least an hour there – I decided it just might be for me. So I took the self assessment, which came back telling me I just might be a candidate. (They don't give you a definitive answer, telling you to discuss with an orthodontist, which helped my confidence level quite a bit.) And, thankfully, there are some orthodontists nearby who offer Invisalign.

I have since visited my orthodontist and decided to take the plunge. I have had my initial consultation, and taken the first steps in getting started. I am EXCITED! I cannot wait to get my aligners. In my excitement, I want to share the information with you.

What is Invisalign?
Invisalign (also known as “clear or invisible braces”) are nearly invisible, removable appliances or “aligners” that are used to straighten teeth—alone for comprehensive orthodontic treatment or as a key component of restorative or cosmetic dental work. Invisalign has specific products that are customized for treating both adults and teens.

Why Invisalign?
  • Invisalign can effectively treat many of the same conditions that used to only require metal braces.
  • Invisalign works the same way metal braces do, which is moving teeth by applying pressure over time.
  • The arrival of Invisalign G3 makes it easier for orthodontists/dentists to treat people with complex cases so they can enjoy the benefits of straightening their teeth without the discomfort and embarrassment often associated with metal (or fixed) braces. Such complex cases include: severe misalignment, overbite, underbite, and crossbites.
  • In addition to the aesthetic, emotional and convenience benefits of Invisalign, the functional benefits are hard to argue: easy to maintain good oral hygiene, they are comfortable, affordable and safe for active lifestyles.
Everyone in my orthodontist's office sings the praises of Invisalign, instilling even more confidence in my decision! I even got to speak with one of the receptionists, who is currently undergoing treatment.

I fully plan to post updates as I go through the treatment. Mainly because my teeth are important to me, but also because if I like this as much as I'm thinking I will, I'll want to share it with anyone who'll listen!

This product isn't just for adults. If you have children and suspect they'll need orthodontics at some point – or already KNOW they need it – make sure to explore all of your options.

Invisalign Teen
Teens now have a modern choice for straightening their teeth. No more wires and brackets required – Invisalign Teen, a series of removable and virtually invisible aligners that gradually move teeth over time to help your teen achieve a great smile and proper bite, is the clear alternative to metal braces. It was developed with leading orthodontists who understand the unique treatment and compliance needs of teens as well as their active lifestyles. Invisalign Teen treatment is ideal for busy parents because there are never any emergency appointments caused by broken wires or brackets. And you spend less time at the orthodontist’s office, with fewer appointments and less chair time for uncomfortable tightenings.

Why Invisalign Teen?
  • It gives teens a great smile—Invisalign Teen helps your teen feel confident in their smile and themselves.
  • It fits teens’ busy lives—the aligners are comfortable and durable, so it’s easy for teens to continue their favorite activities, such as playing sports and musical instruments that can be challenging or uncomfortable with traditional metal braces.
  • It’s clear—no metal braces so treatment is inconspicuous, making it easier for teens to “fit in” rather than call attention to their treatment.
  • It’s removable—teens take the aligners out to brush and floss so they can maintain normal, healthy hygiene during treatment, and they can eat what they want.
  • It’s more comfortable than traditional braces—Invisalign Teen aligners are made of lightweight plastic that is custom-fitted to each patient’s teeth. Unlike braces, there are no wires or uncomfortable metal brackets poking or tearing their mouths or gums
Honestly, I have some trepidation about possibly getting this for my kids when they're old enough. I mean, we're talking about teenagers. Not always reliable, and prone to losing things. But the people at Invisalign Teen have thought this through.
  • There is a Blue Dot Wear Indicator on each aligner that provides an approximate gauge of whether the teen has been wearing the aligners consistently, and for the recommended amount of time. The indicators will fade as the time to move to the next set of aligners gets closer.
  • And there's no need to worry if something happens to one of the aligners—accidentally thrown out, broken, or lost. Your Invisalign Teen Provider will give you up to six free replacement aligners.
That takes some of my concern away. Still, we're at least a few years away from needing anything for our kids quite yet – at least I think we are. We have time to make a decision. But, I have a feeling my own experience with my Invisalign aligners will weigh heavily into the decision. Plus, with ways to know if they're being worn as they should, and easy/free replacements, that sweetens the deal! Sounds great to me!

This post was brought to you by Invisalign.
Opinions expressed in this post are my honest thoughts regarding this product.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sunday Stealing: The "You Can't Be Missed" meme, last part

Taken from the-blog-that-encourages-stealing, also known as Sunday Stealing!
46. Would you ever try to quit one of your addictions, or better said: Bad Habits? Yes.

47. Could you ever kill yourself to save someone else? For my kids, yes.

48. Does it matter if break up with someone or have them dump you? Well, being dumped hurts the pride a bit, but I don't really think it matters.

49. Would you rather have a turtle or a frog for a pet? Turtle

50. Would you rather spend a day with Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus? Neither

51. Would you rather learn to play piano or guitar? Both.

52. We're going back to the day. Where did you get your kicks? On Route 66?

53. What Asian country would you like to visit the most? Why? I honestly don't know. I haven't really thought about it much. My "plans" include Hawaii and various parts of Europe.

54. Have you ever thought that a passer-by was the one (think James Blunt, here)? No.

55. Ever told someone that your fake jewelery was really real? Not that I recall.

56. Where are the worst public restrooms? Anywhere that has only Port-a-Potties.

57. What song was the latest one that got overplayed really fast? I have no idea. I don't really listen to the radio all that often.

58. What Friends (American TV show from the 90s) character are you most like? Rachel, I think.

59. When's the last time you had a Popsicle? Probably last summer. With kids, we tend to have them around more.

60. What TV show from way back would you love to see reappear? Wonder Woman.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins

FFI we go!

1. This week I was in denial that school ended on Thursday.

2. I really hope my friend returns my book soon.

3. It's all about love.

4. Fun in the sun.

5. I demand that my hubby bring home some Dr Pepper today – I am OUT! Not good.

6.Careful on the path, it's filled with muddy puddles.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to reading, relaxing, and going to bed early; tomorrow my plans include laundry, working on a sponsored post for this blog, and prepping Proud Book Nerd for the Authors from A to Z Challenge; and Sunday, I want to finish laundry, read, relax, amd enjoy my family!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday Thunks: Back to High School

1. Who was your best friend? Jenni

2. Did you play any sports? I was on the poms squad, not to be confused with cheerleading. no yelling for me. Just dancing at halftime!

3. What kind of car did you drive? My mom's minivan. HATED it!

4. It’s Friday night. Where were you? At a football game (senior year - not sure about other years) or basketball game (for poms).

5. Were you a party animal? no

6. Were you considered hot? Not to my knowledge

7. Were you in the band, orchestra or choir? I was in orchestra my freshman year, but had to quit because of an injury. Then I switched to choir and was in that until I graduated.

8. Were you a nerd? I don't think so, but I wasn't popular, either.

9. Were you ever suspended or expelled? No

10. Can you sing the fight song? LOL No.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tune in Tuesday

This is a weekly feature hosted by GReads! that showcases music. I have always considered music my passion, so this is perfect for me!

The Older I Get by Skillet

Now, before I say anything more, I'll make it clear. I absolutely LOVE Skillet. We're talking my all-time favorite band. Ever. I FINALLY saw them live in 2009, and again last year. And they are SO GOOD! Their music has gotten me through a lot, and has been nothing but a wonderful blessing to me.

So, why this song? Well, GReads is a book blog, and that's how I found this meme – perusing book blogs. (For those who don't know, I also am Proud Book Nerd.) I post this one here simply to keep from completely overcrowding the book stuff.

Oddly, this week, the song actually was chosen because it reminds me of my current read, Love Story by Jennifer Echols. Although it's much more mature than the people in the story ... anyway, that's why I am sharing this one. It's possible I've shared it before, as Skillet is probably my most-shared music group, but oh, well. It works! ;-)

Feel free to get involved with this feature by linking up at the bottom of the latest post!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Stealing: The "You Can't Be Missed" meme, Part 3

Taken from the-blog-that-encourages-stealing, also known as Sunday Stealing!

31. What is your absolute favorite dessert? Absolute favorite. That is a tough choice. I have quite the sweet tooth. Molten chocolate cake, maybe? Or New York style cheesecake.

32. What can someone do to make you smile, no matter what? Remind me how wonderful my children are.

33. What do the hip people think of you? I don't know. I've never been "hip" so I have no idea how they think.

34. What was the last gift you bought someone? A couple of books (love ya, Namine!)

35. What was your favorite class in high school? English or choir

36. How many spouses would be about right? 1

37. What would you say was the most embarrassing moment of your life? You know, I don't keep track. I block them out of my memory so as to cope. ;-)

38. Have you ever donate money to charity? Yep. Every month.

39. Has porn ever had a positive place in a current or recent relationship? Nope.

40. Would you ever dump the one you're with for someone who makes an obvious play and is MUCH hotter? No.

41. Have you ever disowned one of your relatives? No.

42. Would you think it's OK to cheat on someone if they've already cheated on you? It is never OK to cheat. Especially not if you want to work things out.

43. Did you ever consider becoming a teacher? Briefly.

44. Would you ever give a hitch-hiker a ride somewhere? Probably not.

45. Would you ever try fasting for a whole week? I have done it.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

A to Z Challenge: Inspiration

If you are new to this blog, then you probably missed my participation in the A to Z Blogging Challenge in April. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot of things by participating, and I'm glad to have done so.

When I was stuck on a letter (I am thinking it was N, but I might be wrong), I decided to choose something I know well. A book-related post. And so I chose favorite authors that start with that last name. I ended up doing that for a couple of later posts, when nothing else made me happy.

And then I had a thought: I should've done this on my book blog. I mean, how much fun would it be to do an Authors from A to Z thing? But, by that point we were far enough into April that I didn't want to play catch-up.

Then the challenge ended, and I thought maybe next year I'd do it again, but on Proud Book Nerd. Then I could share my favorite authors from all over the alphabet.

And then I realized that a year is a long time to wait ...

And I thought, why couldn't I do that NOW? Create my own blogging challenge in which I challenge myself to share favorite authors for a month.

Then it occurred to me: June is my month off from scheduled reviews. I will have more time and (probably) fewer reviews to post. What a perfect month for an A to Z Authors challenge. Same number of days as April, and the posting every day except Sunday will work out perfectly!

And I have decided to go for it! I present:

the Authors from A to Z Challenge, coming to Proud Book Nerd starting on June 1.  

And I invite you to participate. If you can't think of an author for one of the days – like maybe the X day – you could share your favorite book, story, poem, book blog, or something else that has something to do with books. I even created a button:

Isn't it pretty? (Please say yes! LOL) I need to do a grab box for it, resize it, etc. Look for that coming soon both here and on PBN.

If you wanna join in, please do. I added a Linky at the bottom, and so far I'm the only one who has signed up. (So lonely!) I know at least one other person is participating, and would love it to be a fun party. (And, hey, if any authors wanna participate, drop me a line. We'll talk - hint, hint ...)

Finally, and most importantly, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to the organizers of the April challenge, as without them this never would have come to be.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins

FFI we go!

1. I see London .. I see France ... .

2. When I have an itch, I just have to scratch.

3. They begin at the beginning (imagine that).

4. If only I gained this perspective so many years earlier.

5. This I know:God is love; God is true; God is faithful; Jesus is alive.

6. I have no idea what we'll have for dinner.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to chillin' with the family, tomorrow my plans include another soccer game, reading, and cleaning and Sunday, I want to sleep in!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tune in Tuesday

This is a weekly feature hosted by GReads! that showcases music. I have always considered music my passion, so this is perfect for me! I've been meaning to post this for a while, but just haven't had the time. Now that I have a moment, I'm in! :-) I'm always wanting to share my music. So, hopefully I can find the time to get a post up every week!

Listen to the Sound by Building 429

I recently discovered this song and absolutely LOVE it! I've already downloaded it onto my iPod. I have two of Building 429's CDs and the more I listen to them the more I love them. Anyway, enjoy! :-)

Feel free to get involved with this feature by linking up at the bottom of the latest post!


Monday, May 16, 2011

WINNERS: Dearfoam Slippers

Firstly, thank you to everyone who entered my Dearfoam Slippers giveaway! :-) Your support is appreciated!

And now, the winners are ...

#24: Christine D.



#46: RealtorSD


#146: Laura H.

E-mails are on the way. Winners have 48 hours to respond.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

100 Celebration: Amazon GIVEAWAY

And just like that, I've reached 100 followers! WOW! Thank you to all who are following!

Those of you who are following in order to get an additional entry on my 300 Followers Giveaway over at Proud Book Nerd, THANK YOU. I hope you stick around!

And now the fun part. The giveaway!

I have decide to give away a $10 gift card to It will be delivered electronically to one lucky winner. ***If I make it to 200 followers before the giveaway ends, I'll add a second winner. That means TWO people will get a $10 gift card to Amazon. ***

How to Enter

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment with your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win.

Extra Entries (leave one comment for each entry):
  • Publicly follow me via Google Friend Connect (1 entry ~ leave a comment with your GFC info)
  • Follow me on Twitter (1 entries ~ leave a comment with your Twitter ID)
  • Tweet the following (3 entries ~ leave 3 comments with Tweet URL):
    I wanna #win an Amazon gift card: #giveaway @ham1299
(The maximum number of entries is 6, if you do all of the extras. So, if you do all, you should have 6 comments below.)

The Fine Print: Entries will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. (Central) Tuesday, May 31, 2011. I will send the lucky winner (or winners) an e-mail notification. (It will come from ham1299(at)gmail(dot)com, so make sure to add this address to your safe list or address book to ensure it doesn’t get lost in junk/bulk mail.) If I do not get a response within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to anyone anywhere who can use an Amazon gift card.

***Disclaimer: I do not receive any compensation for my posts. Any products reviewed were either sent to me free of charge in exchange for my honest opinions, or they were purchased by me and I just wanna share.***

Friday, May 13, 2011

Review: Dearfoams Slippers

I have always been a shoe girl. You know, the one who has several pairs of shoes, many of which only match one outfit.

Well, until I had kids, but that's another story.

Now that I'm a homeowner, I generally prefer no one wear shoes in the house. When I hear protests (often from Mr. Ham), my response is to wear slippers.

I love slippers! I especially love fuzzy, soft, fluffy ones. But I have a hard time finding ones I like. Some aren't as fluffy as they seem, others just don't suit my style.

Then I was introduced to Dearfoams slippers. Oh. My. Gosh! Any type of slippers you could possibly want are likely available there! You like ballet slippers? Clogs? Boots? Moccasins? No problem! They're there. The man in your life need slippers? They've got him covered!

But, Heather, you say, summer's almost here! Won't slippers be too warm? Don't you worry, my friend! They have open-toe and thong slippers, too!

And this brings me to my review. I was offered a few styles and colors, and chose a thong style. I figured that with summer fast approaching, I would get more use out of them in the coming months. I chose the Blue Print Floral Thongs. I thought they were so cute with the little flowers, and I just loved the colors.

Aren't they adorable? And don't they look supper fuzzy and soft? I couldn't wait to give them a try!

Here's the info on these particular slippers (from the company's Web site):

Go girly with soft and ladylike floral thong slippers—perfect for showing off your just-painted peeping toes.
  • Upper: Terry
  • Lining: Terry
  • Decorative floral embellishments
  • Indulgent foam cushioning
  • Skid-resistant rubber outsoles
  • Machine washable
Priced at $20, they are a great deal. They offer free shipping every day on orders $45 or more, and standard $6 flat-rate ground shipping for less. Not a bad deal!

My own feet donned in my
new Dearfoams slippers.
My Thoughts: They arrived today, and I've already been wearing them around the house. Yes. They are as soft and fuzzy as they look. Yes, they are very comfortable! I just love the rubber outsoles, as I do tend to wear my slippers onto the front porch (and occasionally out back) when I run out for a minute. I like the idea that they aren't going to wear abnormally (for slippers) because the bottom is sturdy. Plus, no concerns over slipping on our tile bathroom or kitchen floors!

These slippers make my feet very happy, and I think I'll be looking to get a winter-weather pair in the fall. (Maybe I'll ask Mr. Ham for some for Christmas.) I like the idea that they'll likely last a lot longer than my standard slippers, which tend to wear away on the bottom (because of my outside wear, no doubt) well before the fluffiness is gone. Bonus: They are machine-washable. I a house full of kids, cats, and a dog (not to mention the man), that is a HUGE bonus!

That's right! I currently have a giveaway (with THREE winners) of Dearfoams slippers. Hurry, though, as the giveaway ends May 15, 2011.

Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation for this review, although I was sent a free pair for evaluation purposes. The opinions expressed in this post as solely based on my experience with the product and/or company.


Friday Fill-Ins


Sorry this is so late, but as most of you know, Blogger's been down for awhile. we go!

1. I know that no matter what, God always has my back.

2. I want to get out of debt soon, if at all possible.

3. This weather has been great for my daughter's soccer practice/games.

4. Trust me, it is not a problem.

5. I'm really happy I have the ability to read and express myself in words.

6. {{{I have no idea what to say for this one! LMAO}}}, or something to that effect.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to chillaxin' with the family, tomorrow my plans include lots of laundry and reading and Sunday, I want to skip my daughter's Girl Scouts activity and just read, read, read (and finish laundry)!
Wanna play along? Go HERE.


More on Stupid Blogger

This crash (I guess that word'll work) from Blogger was a bit of a royal pain in the ass. I'm sure I'm speaking for most – if not all – Blogger users when I say that.

Oddly, it didn't bother me all that much. You see, my main blog – Proud Book Nerd – was untouched. (By main, I mean the blog I post on several times throughout the week, sometimes even several times in a single day ...) 

Ironically, it was little over a year ago that I moved both blogs to their own sites, switching to Wordpress in the process. Obviously, I have since moved this one back to Blogger (different story I'll touch on in a bit). There are things I love about Blogger – aside from the fact that using it is free. There are things I like about composing messages on Blogger that I think work better than the WP platform. But, I stick with WP for my book blog because it's working. I have 100 percent control over it (well, unless you count that fact that I have a hosting company, but they're awesome), and have had little to no downtime.

Part of my reason for bringing this blog back to Blogger was related to the fact various aspects of composing posts is a lot easier. For one, it's easier to change text size WITHIN a paragraph. WP, not so much. (I still haven't figured out how to do it easily, and that's something I like to do.)

The other part of my reason for bringing this blog back to Blogger was the financial aspect. Simply: It costs money to use a self-hosted Wordpress blog. You gotta pay for hosting and the domain registration ...

I was not using this blog enough to justify those costs. My book blog, however, was generating enough in affiliate sales that it paid for itself. (No extra, unfortunately, though. And the Amazon program has since been canceled for those living in Illinois, so I no longer benefit from that ...)

Anyway, when this whole thing went down, I thought, "Thank God I moved my main blog off Blogger." I was calm, cool, and collected. I didn't once regret that this blog was still on Blogger, though.

Then Blogger came back. And, I had a missing post for most of the day. And, as of my writing this, over half of the entries in my giveaway post here are GONE.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid Blogger.

It's almost enough to make me want to say, "Screw it!" And go back to my domain name (which is mine for a few more weeks), reinstall WP, and go for it.


For now, the convenience, lack of cost, and simplicity of Blogger won out. Plus, I'm really digging the new design editor. (If only design was that simple in WP ...)

I know that you get what you pay for – even in the Blogging world. But, aside from the occasional (but sometimes all-too-frequent) disruptions in service, I'm actually a happy Blogger user.

And, hey! Blogger's price just can't be beat! ;-)


Stupid Blogger

As most of you likely know already, Blogger has been down since yesterday afternoon. Officially, it's back, but they're (supposedly) in the process of restoring what was lost. (For the full story, check out Blogger Buzz.)

Anyway, the point of this is to let you all know that I have a missing post (my review of the Dearfoams Slippers) as well as missing comments. The comments I'm most concerned about are those for the Dearfoams Giveaway. More than half of the ones I had (for the giveaway) last time I checked before it all went to hell in a handbasket are GONE. Hopefully, Blogger will get them restored. But, this giveaway closes this weekend. So, we can't be waiting forever for Blogger to set things right.

If you entered the Dearfoams Slippers GIVEAWAY, please check to see if your comments are still there. If not, please RE-ENTER.

(While I'm writing this out, the review post is back, so there is hope for the comments ...)

Anyway, again, if you do not see your entry comments, PLEASE comment again. I'll worry about duplicates when the giveaway closes to new entries.

As the title says: STUPID BLOGGER.

And I will write more on that in a separate post ...


Friday, May 6, 2011

Giveaway: Dearfoams Slippers

With Mother's Day just about here, Dearfoams would like to celebrate by giving away THREE pairs of Dearfoams slippers to readers of Ramblings & More. So, THREE of you will get your own pair of brand new slippers! How cool is that?

In considering this offer, I checked out their Web site to see what's available. WOW! Not only are there tons of slipper styles and colors, but they all look SUPER comfy and fuzzy! (I will be posting a review as soon as I get my pair, so stay tuned! But, after looking at them and reading about them, I'm confident that I will be nothing but happy!)

Before I go into the specifics of the giveaway, let me give you more info on Dearfoams.
In 1947, Dearfoams pioneered foam-cushioned slippers that delivered the ultimate in comfort.  Over 60 years (and nearly a billion pair) later, people still love the exceptional comfort, style, and quality every pair of Dearfoams provides. It’s easy to explain why people love Dearfoams: Soft, warm fabrics and extra cushioning that provide maximum comfort.  A mix of timeless and fashion-forward designs and colors to fit any personal style.  And premium-quality features to ensure the better comfort fit and durability you expect from a trusted brand like Dearfoams.  Also, we feature the Dearfoams Difference, a multi-density cushioned comfort system with rich quality fabrics that make Dearfoams slippers unlike any other.
With a wide variety of styles and colors, there's bound to be something for everyone.

And now the fun part.


As stated before, there will be three winners. Each gets to choose from the options listed below (pictures in this post are the slippers up for grabs).
  • Everyday Terry Clog: These soft terry clogs have us saying so long to everyday winter drab, hello to amazing comfort in fresh-as-spring fabrics.
    Upper: Terry
    Lining: Terry
    Perfect foam cushioning plus heel wedge
    High profile injection-molded TPR outsole -- maximum rebound and increased flexibility for added comfort
    Machine washable
    Colors: Black Leopard, Cadet Navy Stripe, Oyster Stripe, Pink Berry Stripe
  • Floral Thong: Go girly with soft and ladylike floral thong slippers—perfect for showing off your just-painted peeping toes.
    Upper: Terry
    Lining: Terry
    Decorative floral embellishments
    Indulgent foam cushioning
    Skid-resistant rubber outsoles
    Machine washable
    Colors: Blue Print, Pink Print, White
Don't they look and sound fabulous! I know I can't wait to get mine!

How to Enter

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment telling me which (of those pictured here) you would choose and the size you'd need. **Don't forget your e-mail address!**

Extra Entries (leave one comment for each entry):
  • Publicly follow me via Google Friend Connect (1 entry)
  • Like Dearfoams on Facebook (3 entries ~ leave 3 comments with FB info for verification)
  • Follow Dearfoams on Twitter (3 entries ~ leave 3 comments with your Twitter ID)
  • Tweet the following (3 entries ~ leave 3 comments with Tweet URL):
    Win @Dearfoams slippers ~ 3 winners choose their prize!
    #giveaway @ham1299
The Fine Print: Entries will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. (Central) Sunday, May 15, 2011. Winners will be chosen with the help of I will send the lucky winners an e-mail notification. (It will come from ham1299(at)gmail(dot)com, so make sure to add this address to your safe list or address book to ensure it doesn’t get lost in junk/bulk mail.) If I do not get a response within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen. Unfortunately, this giveaway is only open to readers in the U.S. No P.O. boxes. 

***Disclaimer: I do not receive any compensation for my posts. Any products reviewed were either sent to me free of charge in exchange for my honest opinions, or they were purchased by me and I just wanna share.***


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins

FFI we go!

1. The Good Wife is my favorite TV show (or movie) because it's well-written, and not overly dramatic.

2. Go to page 45 of the book you're reading or of the book closest to you; go to the 6th paragraph and make a sentence out of 7 words from it: Craig remembered to make logs into stone.

3. I am excited – Proud Book Nerd has reached 300 followers.

4. I need to go on long walks.

5. Take some time to smell the lilacs – they're blooming and smell soooo beautiful.

6. The world needs a bit of God's grace.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to seeing a "play" Abby and Natalie apparently wrote, tomorrow my plans include soccer games, reading, and housework and Sunday, I want to go to my favorite brunch for Mother's Day, but we'll see!

Wanna play along? Go HERE.

Monday, May 2, 2011

What's the Bzz: L'Oreal Paris

Before I get started with this post, I just wanted to make it clear that I am a BzzAgent. BzzAgent is a company that helps businesses get the word out about their products. They hook their agents up with products to preview, and then let us loose to share our experiences. BzzAgents are open, honest, and having fun.

I was sent two L'Oreal products for sampling. Before I go into it, let me just tell you that I've never been a big fan of L'Oreal. Not that I was negative about the company. I just wasn't all that into them.

Now, I am sold.

I was sent L'Oreal Paris The One Sweep Eye Shadow and Double Extend Eye Illuminator (mascara). I've always been told that I my eyes are my best feature, and I was excited to have a product that could help me bring them out. And these products do so nicely. Quite nicely – and they are so easy to use. The quickest eye-makeup application ever, at least for me! Prior to this, I wasn't much of a makeup wearer, but I think I'm going to start wearing this eye makeup regularly.
About the eye shadow:
  • One-of-a-kind applicator makes it very easy to apply three complimentary shades to your eyes in one easy step. And it really is super easy. Before this, I never was one to wear more than one shade of eye shadow, simply because I could never get it to look right. Now, I can no problem. It looks great!
  • Shadow colors are coordinated to help enhance your eye color, and come in: Blue, Green/Hazel, and Brown.
  • Suggested retail: $9.95 – and worth every penny!
About the mascara:
  • This is a two-step mascara, and is very easy to use. There is the Black Mascara Basecoat, which has a hint of color, and an Illuminating Topcoat, which is infused with light-reflecting pearls.
  • For an everyday look, apply Topcoat to the tips of eyelashes. For a dramatic look, apply Topcoat from root to tip.
  • Four shades are available: Black Copper for Blue Eyes, Black Bronze for Green/Hazel Eyes, Black Quartz for Brown Eyes, and Black Crystal for All Eyes
  • Ophthalmologist- and allergist-tested, this mascara is safe for both contact lens wearers and those with sensitive eyes.
  • Suggest retail: $10.95
Again, both products are so easy to use, and look awesome. I got compliments from my husband, my son, and even my 13-year-old niece! (I was especially impressed when my niece complimented me!)

The eye shadow is amazing. And there's a small mirror inside the case that is the perfect size for use when applying the eye shadow. And it stays put. I wore it several days in a row (washing it off every night, of course), and it never gathered in the creases of my eyelids or faded during the day. I was quite happy about that. And washing it off is easy-peasy.

The mascara was awesome. I was able to get the curled effect without using an eyelash curler! Let me tell you, that makes me happy! I hate those things! ;-) I also was able to apply it without getting clumps. I had no trouble washing this off, either. And this, too stayed put throughout the day – even after I got caught outside in a rainstorm!

These are fabulous, fabulous products. I have finally found the perfect eye shadow and mascara combination for me! :-)


Sunday, May 1, 2011

A to Z Challenge: Reflections

It is Finished

The A to Z challenge for the month of April is over. It actually was a lot of fun, especially since I'd been kinda lax in my posting lately. It was nice to have something to post about just about every day.

Firstly, this fun event was brought to you by several blogs:
I wish I could say it was a huge success for me. It is in that I actually completed it! It is in that I did gain a few more followers, but it's hardly the success I've seen others reporting in their wrap-up posts. (Sure, there's a tiny bit of blog jealousy, but not much.) Of course, part of the issues could simply be related to the fact that I had to basically start this blog over, and lost most of my followers as a result. (Please, come back!)

Anyway, the stats are decent:
  • I have more than doubled my number of followers since starting this challenge. (That would be much more impressive if my numbers weren't in the single digits back then ...)
  • I had 1,548 pageviews for the month. (That is more than half of my total pageviews.)
  • My top post from this challenge for the month was my H post with 37 pageviews. (Most of my top 10 are NOT from this challenge.)
  • My next most-viewed challenge post was my V post with 15 pageviews.
  • After that, it's my R post with 13 pageviews. (And that's it from the top 10 posts in the month of April.)
I had a lot of fun, even if it didn't generate much interest in my blog. I'm OK with that. I blog for fun, and that means the goal was accomplished!

Things I've learned:
  • Plan ahead. I was a late starter to this challenge, as I didn't even find out about it until April 1 or 2. As such, I didn't really have much time to prepare. Next time, I'll do better.
  • Schedule posts. For most of my posts, I wrote them the night before. Often going into it I knew what I was going to post about, but occasionally I didn't. And I think the quality of the posts suffers as a result. Next time I'll write ahead of time and schedule them so they're ready to go.
  • Monitor blog. Of the few posts I did write ahead and schedule, a few didn't post when I had told Blogger to post them. (So not cool, and so not something that would've happened with Wordpress.) Next time I'll be more vigilant in making sure the posts are visible when they should be.
  • Be creative. I saw a lot of posts that were just fabulous. I really liked them a lot. I was impressed, awed even, by the creativity. I vow to be more like that next time around. (Wish me luck!)
Finally, Elizabeth Mueller kindly created this award and gave it to all participants of the A to Z Challenge. THANK YOU, Elizabeth!

If you would like to read more wrap-up posts, there's a linky over at Tossing It Out.
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