Monday, October 31, 2011

Win $100 Mary Kay basket from BlogHer

 Mary Kay has also teamed up with BlogHer, to show you how to look your beautiful best.  This fall, twelve bloggers are trying some of the fabulous products Mary Kay has to offer.  Get their exclusive product reviews below.  To make things even more exciting, each blogger is giving you a chance to win a Mary Kay gift pack, filled with *$100 worth of fabulous products!  ends 11/18


leigh vs laundry admits that "I felt pretty saucy in my newly made up face. My husband said that he thought I looked cute! The TimeWise Set left me feeling radiant, really, like an inner light came shining through!"
Creating Motherhood shares that "this serum was super light and absorbed into my skin instantly. (my biggest problem is that the scrub made my face so smooth that I kept touching my cheeks to feel the softness)!"
Athena in the Middle loved "the way my skin felt after this easy two-step process.The microdermabrasion beads did not hurt my delicate skin and the replenishing lotion smelled great. My skin feels so soft!"
A Girl and a Boy loves using the exfoliating face wash.  "Generally use exfoliators with bigger, softer beads, so I was surprised by the superfine crystals and how much it felt like they were really scrubbing my skin. Honestly, I was a little afraid I'd turn into a raw and peeling mess...which is another way of saying I loved it. I loved it because I knew it was working!" 
A Few Of My Favorite Things shares  she has never found a mascara "worthy of a pricey purchase. But Mary Kay pulled out the big guns and surprised me with the Lash Love Mascara. Awesome flexible wand. No clumps. Glides on smoothly, and I actually think my lashes looked longer!"  

Pistols and Popcorn  started incorporating the TimeWise set into her skincare routine.  "I tried the Mary Kay Microdermabrasion Set and I must say, hats off, Ms. Mary Kay. Turns out that a good scrub (step one) followed by a rich moisturizing serum (step two) is a nice addition. I will definitely continue to use this set. You should too."
Momma Go Round  adores the Mineral Cheek Color in Cherry Blossom. "I found to be great! I’ve always wondered how to get that fresh, dewy, rosy cheek look. This color is it! It blended great with my foundation and gave great color throughout the day. Definitely a new fav for me!"
Clover Lane divulges that "the step one and step two fancy soap and lotion didn't leave my face tight or dry but feeling soft and smooth (all my wrinkles instantly disappeared it was amazing!-not exactly but it fooled me into thinking so which is just as important), the mascara wasn't clumpy and sticky, but smooth and even."

Whatever shares that "the Mary Kay Compact Mini is so cute!  These colors will be so great for FALL!  It fits in the palm of your hand so it's small enough to take with you anywhere you go. I love that I will be able to have what I need ON THE GO without carrying a bulky makeup bag!'"
Joyful Abode says that she almost never wears mascara either, but "this was really easy to apply and I like the way it made my eyes POP!"

More money for my trip to Patagonia

We're down to only 17 days so a bit more money would come in handy:
Win $200 from Mommy Had Deals ends 10/31

Friday, October 14, 2011

Trick or Tease Hop & Win | Win $100 HalloweenMart GC (US & Can)

Welcome to Trick or Tease Blog Hop hosted by Just Married with Coupons, Sweep Tight, This Lil Piglet, Makobi Scribe and Simply Stacie!

About our sponsor:
“The world’s first online Halloween costume store, HalloweenMart offers the Internet’s widest selection of high-quality costume items and accessories ranging from adult costumes to kids costumes, Halloween costumes of all types, Adult Superhero Costumes, Kids Superhero Costumes, and even sexy costumes and lingerie, all at affordable prices. We offer a huge inventory of over 10,000 of the best made, highest quality, trendiest, and most vivid Halloween costumes available, applying a decade and a half of online experience in Halloween costume selection and sales.”
How to join the fun and enter to win between 10/10 – 10/15
  • Simply Follow all 5 Hosts via GFC (Google Friend Connect)
  • Link Up Your Blog in the embedded linky list on any of our blogs
More Info:
  • Giveaway is open to US/CAN residents, 18+
  • Linky list will close at midnight EST on 10/15
  • Winner will be chosen using random.org on 10/16
  • Make sure your contact info is available on your blog so we can contact you!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Win $100 Mary Kay gift pack from BlogHer & Mary Kay

Mary Kay has also teamed up with BlogHer, to show you how to look your beautiful best. This month, seven Bloggers are trying some of the fabulous products Mary Kay has to offer. Get their exclusive product reviews below. To make things even more exciting, each blogger is giving you a chance to win a Mary Kay gift pack, filled with *$100 worth of fabulous products! *estimated retail value. ends 10/16

PinQue shares that "This is a great addition for my purse or gym bag to keep me looking fresh all day long!
Newlyweds Next Door loves using the exfoliating face wash and then the replenishing serum to prepare for her high school reunion. "The set really made my skin feel fresh, energized, and glowing!"

The Less Than Domestic Goddess started using the TimeWise set a few days ago. "So far, so good. It does an amazing job of gently exfoliating, and my face feels smoother and looks clearer already!"
Raising Colorado confesses that she "couldn’t stop using this Replenish serum, y’all! It made my face soft and seemingly un-35 years old. This is the highest compliment I can give a beauty product." See what else she loves from Mary Kay!
Then Heather Said admists that her favorite product is the was Mary Kay TimeWise Microdermabrasion Set, hands down! "As a matter of fact, the first day I used the set before work, two people in my office commented on how pretty I looked that day! I can definitely see myself using the Mary Kay Time Wise Microdermabrasion Set from here on out!"
Little Miss Momma shares that "the sure fire way I knew this make up is totally awesome…when I walked down the stairs after putting it on and the hubby says,
'Woah, what’s the occasion, hubba hubba!'"
The Daily Julie shares that she's "really impressed with this new generation of Mary Kay products. Those ladies know what’s up and really got me to step outside my makeup comfort zone and try some new colors and products and I love it!"

Win a $50 GC to Drugstore.com from Olay & BlogHer

Enter to win a $50 gift card to Drugstore.com from Olay! ends 11/03

Enter to win a $50 gift card from Olay!

I was recently given the opportunity to try out the Olay Professional Pro-X Clear Line. Since Olay is a name I trust when it comes to caring for my skin, I was excited to try it out. This particular line is specifically designed to control acne, help minimize the appearance of pores, and refine texture in as little as four weeks. Truth? I don't actually deal with much in the way of acne. I didn't deal with much in the way of acne as a teenager, either. Nonetheless, my "normal/combination" skin isn't perfect! I deal with tight dryness if I skip a moi
Olay recently introduced its Olay Professional Pro-X Clear Line and I was given the opportunity to try it! I've tried and reviewed several newer Olay products and have been pleased with them all. Therefore, I had no doubt with this one. I really did notice a smoother texture to my skin! It's a simple three-step process ... I was very happy with it! Read more
I was looking through some old pictures from high school and college and I saw myself in various fun situations with long forgotten friends. Even though those were some wonderful times, I wouldn’t go back to those times for anything. Wait! I lied. It happens quarterly. I actually did want one detail back: MY SKIN! My complexion was to die for. Okay, you may not have laid down your life, but I love hyperbole AND my retro-skin.
"Adult" and "acne" are not two words that belong in the same sentence. Yet they do - and that sentence has been written across my face for twenty years. I have tried every over-the-counter product made. I have gone to several dermatologists and spent the big bucks for prescriptions. I have even mail-ordered products that promised to work miracles.There are no miracle products for adults with acne folks. None at all. Plus, what I have found through the years is that the bulk of products are aimed at teens.

Olay and a giveaway!

I may be getting on in years, but I still have acne. Yes, wrinkles AND acne, SO not fair. I've struggled with acne for many years, I was even on some very powerful medicine at one point. Additionally, over the years the way my acne behaves has changed, and the things that used to help don't always help anymore. My face is very sensitive to medicines and lotions, so I'm wary of trying new things when I've found a routine that works.
Most of the time, red is good. In fact, I love red - it's one of my favorite colors. Red makes you stand out. Red sometimes makes heads turn, it's easily recognizable. Sometimes, though, I have a slightly little problem with red. Especially when it's in my face and there's a medical term associated with it. Like rosacea which I had previously mentioned here. As a photographer, with this kind of 'redness,' I prefer to stay behind the camera.
A couple of months ago I was approached to do a review of a new acne product, the Olay Professional Pro-X Clear Line. My skin is relatively calm but I do get flare-ups every month or so. The reason my skin stays fairly decent outside of the flare-ups is due to a short course of prescription acne medication and now, follow-on maintenance and care. Still, I am always on a quest to find a product that will prevent even the flare-ups.
There is just something uncomfortable about having to shop within THAT row of THAT aisle. While most women my age are moisturizing away wrinkles with lotions in grownup jars I'm over in the teen section looking for something that will kill a monster pimple on my chin. The acne fighting products available on most drugstore shelves are clearly being created and sold to a different generation - I know because I have been buying and using zit cream since I was 13 years old and the hot pink and neon blue boxes are exactly the same.
You know, when a girl reaches a certain age, she should be able to say good-bye to certain things. Zits are at the top of that list. As a girl (girl, ha! I can hardly use that term anymore!) who's never had great skin, to continue to suffer from acne into my 30s is like a kick when I'm already down. While my acne has never been terrible (aside from those early teen years. Ugh.), I really thought that by the time my OWN kids had acne, that I'd be done with it

I really like this skin care system

As I get older, my skin is beginning to revolt. I have more breakouts now at 35 than I did as a teenager. My new personal favorite: Getting a pimple in a wrinkle. Not awesome.  I was recently given the opportunity to try the new Olay Professional Pro-X Clear Line, which is oil-free and specifically designed with the needs of mature skin in mind. It also contains clinically proven fancy face technology to control breakouts PLUS reduce the appearance of pores and refine texture in less than a month.  Read more
A few months ago I wrote a post about my struggles with acne as an adult. I was blown away by the response that I received so I wanted to give you an update on how things are going. Here is some background for newer readers. In late 2010 I began to experience breakouts on my face. I have always had the occasional spot here and there but this has been constant for nine months. I honestly can’t remember the last time that my skin was 100% clear.  Read more

Best Face Forward

The one piece of advice that my mother gave me in my youth, that I actually didn't fight her on, was the need to take care of my skin.  From the time I first flirted with baby blue eyeshadow and matching blue mascara for trips to the roller rink, she took the time to instruct me on the importance of always removing my makeup, and washing and moisturizing my skin both morning and night.  Read more

40-something Skin Care

I have noticed more and more as I creep into my forty-somethings that my skin is undergoing changes. I don't have those horrible acne outbreaks all over my face like I did as a teen - and for the most part I can rejoice that I had a very brief teen acne period - but I have always had the dreaded T zone with my chin, nose and forehead being an oil slick. As I hit the four decade mark I started noticing changes.  Read more

Growing older just like I deserve to.

Your skin will thank you!

I recently had the opportunity to try the new Olay Professional Pro-X Clear Line.  Did you know over half of women in the U.S. between the ages of 25 and 58 have some form of acne?  The past few weeks I’ve been using these products diligently and have definitely noticed smoother skin and my pores seem smaller! 

It's time to embrace my face

I've mentioned before that one of the most annoying parts of getting older is something I never expected - acne. I have more breakouts now than I ever did as a teenager. One of the greatest signs of being kicked out of Eden is that I am combating gray hair and zits simultaneously. It's just not right.  I've spent a lot of time with recently waxed furrowed brows in the acne aisle at a drugstore trying to figure out how to treat it. Because y'all know, just like everything else the skin is not what it was twenty years ago.  Read more
When I was a teenager, I comforted myself with the knowledge that if I had to get old, at least I wouldn't have to deal with pimples anymore.  Yeah. Still laughing about that one.  I was lucky not to have a horrible experience with acne during my adolescence, but I can't say the pimples have gotten much better since then, either. In my twenties, a hot humid climate combined with the makeup I wore on television news every day actually prompted me to get a prescription to deal with the pimples. Once I got out of the TV business, the breakouts went away, at least until recently.

I always want to look my best -- read about it and enter to win!

A solid 9 out of 10!


Win $100 Nordstrom Rack GC from BlogHer

Five bloggers were each given $200 to shop the plus-size department at Nordstrom Rack. Read their blogs to see what they bought and leave them a comment to be entered to win a $100 Nordstrom Rack gift card. Five winners in all! ends 10/31

Read the reviews:

Armloads of Dresses at Nordstrom Rack!

9/14/11 3:43pm by

When the opportunity arose to review Nordstrom Rack, I was a little dubious. To be honest, I didn’t actually know that Nordstrom Rack carried plus sizes. See, I’ve gotten accustomed to all my favorite discount stores (who shall remain nameless) limiting or removing their plus size selection, as so many have done in recent years, so rather than get my hopes up, I tend to presume that I won’t find anything to fit me, and sometimes I get to be pleasantly surprised.

The Dreaded Plus-size Department? Not so!

9/14/11 3:26pm by

When Nordstrom Rack offered to send me on a little shopping trip in their plus size department, I was more than a little skeptical. First, I'm barely standard size, barely plus size, just that awesome marshmallow in the middle of the s'more. Cute and fluffy, but can't decide if I want to hang out with the chocolate or the graham cracker.

Score! 3 New Outfits and a Killer Pair of Shoes!

9/14/11 3:19pm by

I have been known to tell my children that Nordstrom is a holy place. I love it so very much. It has amazing clothing and beauty and the best customer service. I feel good inside of Nordstrom. Enter Nordstrom Rack. I have shopped The Rack once when I was out west for a holiday and I loved it so much. It’s like Nordstrom only half off. Ohio has a store about 2 hours from me. I think it is safer that it is not actually located in Columbus. Read more

Gift Card in Hand, Nordstrom Love in My Heart!

9/14/11 2:51pm by

Armed with a gift card in my hand and Nordstrom love in my heart, I headed to the nearest Nordstrom Rack, in San Leandro, California, to do a little shopping. The first thing I noticed is that Nordstrom Rack does not exactly provide the full Nordstrom Experience. I’ve been to Nordstrom proper many a time, and have had luck finding gorgeous clothes and fancy party dresses. Nordstrom also has impeccable customer service, making it a joy to shop there.

Funky and Just a Little Different

9/14/11 11:55am by

Upon arrival at the Nordstrom Rack Plus department at their Brentwood store in St. Louis, I was instantly surprised at the selection. Normally, when you add the words “Plus Size” to any store you can bet that the choices you’ll find will be the same old tired patterns that plus size styles have had for the last 20 years or so. It’s one of the reasons stylish women who wear anything larger than a size 12 are loath to shop in those sections of a store.

Win $50 GC to Drugstore.com from Covergirl & Blogher

COVERGIRL sent 23 bloggers the NEW COVERGIRL LashPerfection™ Mascara to see how they liked it. This incredible mascara was specially designed to lengthen and lift your lashes for a lightweight, voluminous look - the lash wrap brush perfectly wraps each lash with volume.

Read on to see how the bloggers liked their new mascara. Be sure to click on the links to read their reviews and enter on each blog for the chance to win a $50 gift card to drugstore.com! We've got 23 to giveaway! ends 11/04

Piece N Quilt recently had a really big moment in her life when fantastic makeup helped her look and feel her best -- presenting for the new Moda Bake Shop Book at spring Quilt Market!

Athena in the Middle says, "Two things that help me feel confident: A good hair day and mascara...I never ever leave home without mascara. If I had to choose one makeup product for the rest of my life, it would be mascara. And trust me when I say that I have tried them all.

Surrender Dorothy has been blessed with plenty of thick long lashes but they have blonde tips and disappear without a good mascara. How did she do with the Covergirl LashPerfection Mascara?

According to The Bobby Pin, "Makeup is a funny thing. I feel as though you should be confident enough to not use it, but then there’s a confidence factor that comes with wearing it. And that confidence? It is the prettiest factor a girl can rock."

Creating Motherhood writes, "On the morning of the program, I had my laptop bag packed, my notes outlined, I was prepped and ready to go. My mother looked up from playing with my son and said, “Honey. Aren’t you going to put on makeup?”

Notes from a Cottage Industry wanted to look her best hen she recently got an e-vite to attend her thirty-fifth high school reunion. Gulp.

"This year has been full of events that have required I shed my macaroni-and-cheese-stained mom gear, discard the fluffy hair scrunchy, slip into a pair of heels and take my face to the level of “Girl, You So Fine,” that only makeup can achieve." Read how Kirida felt about Covergirl LashPerfection Mascara.

Peanut Butter Runner says, "I have always loved playing with makeup. This started back in high school, but I will refrain from sharing those pictures with you. Let's just say that it's a good thing that white eyeliner and glitter powder are trends of the past."

After 10 years of workign form her home, Roots and Wings is now venturing out into the outside world and finding it exciting, intimidating, and overwhelming all at the same time.

Sunday Baker writes, "Confidence is a HUGE part of looking good! Sometimes the most plain looking person can come off as gorgeous if they have a confident attitude. When someone has that natural inner glow, suddenly we all want to get to know them better and be around them."

Between her dad’s wedding and gallivanting across the southwest with various long lost friends – Single Infertile Female had plenty of times over 10 days of travel where she wanted to look her best.

Rhoda from Southern Hospitality shares, "Makeup has been a huge part of my life since I was around 13 years old and began experimenting with those lip glosses and blushers from Woolworth's. Oh, how exciting it was to pick up those shiny containers of makeup and start using them on my youthful face."

Lovin' From the Oven writes, "Makeup, with the help of my sister, has the ability to transform me and give me the confidence that I need for that big day."

My Little Life puts it this way, "I step out of the car, smooth my pants, straighten my shirt, take a cursory swipe at my hair for any fly-aways and do one last check in the mirror... yup, makeup's perfect. This gives me the boost of confidence I need to walk into that building and nail the interview."

Ten June may be a DIYer, but she still has to dress professionally and head out into the world looking professional. She sues make-up to ensure that she is looking her best each day.

"As women, we all want to feel good about ourselves, but sometimes we are also our own worst critics. When I have a new outfit to wear, get my hair done, wear new makeup, or a pretty piece of jewelry, I automatically have this sense of “wow I think I look pretty darn good today!” I don’t know why these things make me feel better, but they do." The Branches...

The Daily Julie relies on her morning routine to keep her day on track."Take one piece out of that routine and I feel out of sorts all day long. And honestly, take the hair and makeup part out, and I'd rather stay home. Makeup makes me feel pretty."

Sharyl has been married a long time "and, even after 33 years, I still want to look my very best for him. I love to see his eyes light up when he looks at me… And honestly - I feel better about myself when I know I look my best." The Little Brown House...

Tiffany from The Pifer Family has never been big on caking on layers and layers of makeup. "However, I am defiantly one who wants to wear the basics before I step outside of the house and scare our neighbors with my zombie-ish looks!"

When Then Heather Said is in search of a little extra confidence, she turns to something "that DOES make me feel beautiful; something physical that I can add to my appearance when I think my beauty is hiding."

Wardrobe Oxygen writes, "For me, makeup choices are just as important as my shoe choices or what necklace I paired with an outfit -- makeup is the ultimate accessory. With makeup I feel more polished, I feel my look is complete."

After the birth of her child, The Heir to Blair "realized quickly that the weight would take awhile to melt off. But I could brighten my face up in just a few minutes with my old, trusty friends, the blush stick & mascara wand."

Run To the Finish writes, "I have never been one to wear a lot of makeup. Mama always said “the best makeup is makeup no one knows you are wearing.” Of course she said this when I was in middle school and probably trying to discourage me from putting much on… but the fact of the matter is my style has remained very natural over the years."

Win $100 Visa from Blogher & Jenny Craig

Recently, Jenny Craig offered six bloggers a chance to try out the program and change their lives. The women followed the program for a month and wrote about their experiences throughout. How did they do? Click the links below to find out. Each blogger is also giving away a $100 Visa gift card so be sure to to enter for a chance to win! ends 11/06

Updated 10/24 - Post 3: Bloggers Discuss Their Results and Learnings from Jenny Craig

Meg from whatever learned a lot about herself and weight loss while on the Jenny Craig program. "I think the top five things I have learned with the Jenny Craig program about myself are:
1. Eating every few hours is healthy for your metabolism.
2. Portion size is IMPORTANT.
3. Vegetables are yummy.
4. Drink LOTS and LOTS of water.
5. If you mess up....get back up....don't give up because you had one bad day."
Lorie from Be Different, Act Normal realized that treating weight loss like a long-term investment was the best method for steady progress and lasting success. "Before I started this plan, dieting was always about something coming up.  I want to lose 20 lbs before a wedding in 3 months.  For the first time I am focusing on the end result, not an event.  And because of that I don't feel the need to force myself to the gym every day for 90 minutes, which only makes me feel like I deserve to reward myself with a snack anyways.  Instead I am planning on this taking a while, sort of like paying of a loan or saving money to buy a new house.  Big goals deserve plans and plans take time."
Allison from Confessions of a 20 Something writes that while there's no magic weight loss solution, consistency is the key. "I have learned a lot over this past month.  First, I have learned that it really is not that hard to lose and/or maintain weight. It is a simple formula. Calories in, calories out, exercise yadda yadda. We all know this deep down, it is just the putting your mind to it and DOING it that is half the battle.  I know how to eat right, I just have to DO it! Ha ha. Easier said than done right? Well I feel like Jenny Craig is a great program that teaches you about healthy lifestyle eating.  It is a change you have to make on a daily basis. There is no magic fix, it is a slow, natural process that in time will become a way of eating and living."

Pamela from pyjammy enjoyed adding more fruits and veggies to her diet, even rediscovering a childhood favorite. "But even without a dramatic metamorphosis into rail-thin supermodel, I do feel somewhat transformed.  Let me share some of what I’ve learned in the past month.
Portion Control: I’m watching my portions and am much more aware of them. (Turns out, filling the cereal bowl halfway is the right portion. Who knew?)
Healthy Variety: I’m eating a lot more fruits and vegetables than before. I’ve rediscovered my childhood love of apples and am having fun finding new varieties. (Jazz apples are my current obsession.) I’m eating salads almost every day. This is pretty huge..."
Fiddledeedee found out that her eating sometimes falls victim to unconscious eating habits, but is working to overcome these with her learnings from Jenny Craig. "I’ve been learning a lot about myself and the reasons I may overeat.  I’m a cross between an Emotional Eater and an Unconscious Eater.  I typically crave carbs and sweets when I’m tired or depressed.  And before if I sat down to watch T.V., I would grab something to munch on, even when I wasn’t hungry. Now if I’m craving something, I’ll make a healthier choice that satisfies me without throwing my weight loss success under the bus." 
Lakeitha from Home To Three Duncan Boys discovered that while exercise is great for weight loss, it can also double as a great time for some much needed relaxation and reflection. "One thing that I am proud of about this experience is the fact that I got out and walked! I actually have added walking to my weekly routine. I know that walking is not a big deal to many of you, but I used to do it so much prior to being a mom. And now that I’m doing it again, I realized that I missed that. I missed having time to myself to just clear my mind and breathe!"
Updated 10/17 - Post 2: Bloggers Share Their Weight Loss Challenges & Triumphs

Meg from whatever writes that she was happy with the support she's received through the Jenny Craig program "I have had two calls with my phone consultant, Alexis, and she is super sweet. She helps me talk through problem areas, dealing with eating out, why I eat the way I do, etc. Although it is a little hard to share so openly with her what I did eat or am tempted by...It is so helpful to be held accountable by someone. She has answers to my issues. It reminds me that I am not alone.... I am not the first person that has struggled with the desire to eat chocolate chip cookies."
Lorie from Be Different, Act Normal found an unexpected perk in having to eat lots of veggies as part of the Jenny Craig diet. "You are allowed to have as many non starchy vegetables as you like, so it is easy to dress them up.  Add some broccoli to the pasta and zucchini to the soup.  I really like veggies, but I was shocked at how many they actually have you eat.  I think I averaged 4 to 5 cups of required veggies a day, not counting the free snacks.  I had a complete light bulb moment.  I didn't want to eat two cups of the same veggie at dinner, so I started making a few different veggies, which gave my kids more veggie options.  I used to make only one because fighting over one type of vegetable seemed like enough, but I can actually get them to eat more vegetables overall if they have a choice.."
Allison from Confessions of a 20 Something discovered that while wine presented a big temptation in her very social life she was able to offset these calories with a few tricks she learned. "I do super at following my Jenny Craig menu, that is not the issue. It’s those darn glasses of wine, ha. I know that in life, it is all about moderation, so Kerstin and I talked about how I could offset these indulgences with increased activity. She is so smart ;) . Also, I realized that for me, sometimes it is just about having something in your hand, so I started alternating a glass of wine with a glass of water, or just club soda. You would be surprised how much this helped me to keep it under control! (I also feel a lot better the next day) funny how that works right? ;)"
Pamela from pyjammy found that eating six small meals a day was a great way to keep away hunger. "So here I am, a little more than halfway through my Jenny Craig experience. So far, so good. I’m down a few pounds, and I really do feel like I’m learning something. When I’m not eating the Jenny Craig meals, I find that I am eating smaller portions. And the six small meals means I’m never really starving. It’s kind of amazing. It’s just so hard to move out of the mindset of MEAL-snack-MEAL-snack-MEAL-snack-snack-um-snack. But this works better: meal-meal-meal-meal-meal-meal."
Fiddledeedee was able to conquer her afternoon cravings with the help of her counselor "The most difficult time of day has been about 3 or 4:00 each afternoon.  After a discussion with my weekly consultant, Barbara, we determined that I could save my cup of milk from breakfast, and substitute a 6 ounce plain yogurt to eat later in the afternoon when my blood sugar was low. It worked like a charm.  I even added in a cup of green tea at that time of day to help curb my appetite."
Lakeitha from Home To Three Duncan Boys considered giving up when she realized that she needed to commit fully in order to see results. "You know, what I know for sure is that it really don’t matter what program you’re on (if on one) because if you don’t at least TRY to give it your all, you will fail. I almost gave up my second week in because I felt like I shouldn’t have needed all of this to jump start my weight loss journey. But then I realized, sometimes it doesn’t matter what got you to the point, but more so what you’re willing to do once you get there. After accepting that I didn’t necessarily bring myself to this point, I wanted to make sure that I gave it my all." 
Updated 10/10 - Post 1: First Impressions of Jenny Craig
Meg from whatever loved the convenience and flexibility that Jenny Craig offered.  "The people at Jenny Craig call you for your appointments. There is no office or class or group you attend which works SO WELL for me and my schedule! I couldn't imagine adding in one more place to be in my week. They call you and you pick out the foods you would want off their menu, or you can pick a completely automated package of food choices and a meal plan."
Lorie from Be Different, Act Normal admitted that she was skeptical at first but decided to give Jenny Craig a shot since dieting on her own was not working. "I have never ever EVER tried a structured diet plan before.  Never taken diet pills or gotten shots or gone to meetings or counted points.  I believe that eating right and exercising is the only way to lose weight and keep it off and I figured if I could do it at all then I would be able to do it by myself.  Control freak much? When it comes to dieting I am all or nothing.  I get all gung-ho about exercising and watching what I eat, and when it starts to fall apart in a couple of weeks I just sort of give up and figure I have to start over."
Allison from Confessions of a 20 Something was impressed by how delicious Jenny Craig's food offerings were. "The first week I was SO surprised. I am use to diet food, Lean Cuisines and I go way back. Ohmaword y’all… I am not kidding when I tell you these Jenny meals are phenom. I had no idea they were so good! My favorites were the breakfasts. I am eating French toast and omelets and breakfast scrambles for breakfast every day. Amazing! Totally beat my yogurt I used to eat."
Pamela from pyjammy was glad that the Jenny Craig program focused on a change to lifestyle and not just diet. "So when I was offered the chance to try Jenny Craig for a month, I jumped at it.  I did a little reading up on the Jenny Craig program before we got started, and I was pleased to see that even though they were going to be sending me a ton of food, the program focused on Food, Body, and Mind. So it wasn’t going to be “eat this food and you will lose weight.” That wouldn’t be very sustainable anyway. Like any successful weight loss program, it’s a lifestyle change, not a diet."
Fiddledeedee was inspired to try the program by the success story of a favorite actress she could identify with. "When I was approached to review the Jenny Craig program, I was thrilled. Mostly because I remember well seeing Valerie Bertinelli's weight loss journey, and how incredibly wonderful and healthy she now looks.  We're the same age, and I figured that if she could do it, I could as well."
Lakeitha from Home To Three Duncan Boys was happy that her Jenny Craig consultant knew where she was coming from because she's been there herself. "Sheri was my personal consultant who was there to weigh me and discuss my week.  What I love about her is that she too had a battle with weight.  She shared her pictures with me of what she looked like before she started Jenny Craig and how she is keeping the weight off.  And since she is already on the program herself, she was able to suggest some of her favorite meals like the three cheese ziti!"

Win $100 Visa from Blogher & Unilever

Each blogger is also giving away a $100 Visa gift card and Don’t Fret The Sweat Gift Pack so make sure to share your thoughts to enter. And for even more tips and resources check out Don’t Fret The Sweat on Facebook.
ends 11/04

Lorie from Be Different, Act Normal shared her tip for introducing new routines to her kids. "I had my daughter start wearing deodorant in first grade, when the weather was warmer, and I am sure I will do the same with my youngest. It is easy to introduce new routines when they are young and it makes them feel like they are getting to do something grown-up. This option is much more appealing then waiting until middle school when it might just come out sounding like I was telling them they stink."

Amy from Super Healthy Kids was glad that the opposite sex was so influential when it came to her son's deodorant use. "We ask him often if he remembered to put deodorant on. He had been forgetting a lot, until the last few weeks, as he started Jr. High and apparently likes girls now. Lucky for the world, girls in Jr. High don’t like boys who smell. They have been more influential than I can ever hope to be."

Charlotte from The Great Fitness Experiment was unsure of how to best address personal hygiene with her tween. "Anyhow, I've long appreciated the ability of my kids to make me sweat but until now I'd underestimated their ability to produce it. My oldest son is 9. He is officially a tween, complete with eye-rolling, sarcasm and, oh yes, body odor. But how does one talk to a tween about personal hygiene? Am I allowed to use eye-rolling and sarcasm too? Because if so, I've totally got this one covered."

April from Coal Creek Farms loved it when her son expressed interest in a nice smelling product. “The greatest moment was when he gave me a hug goodbye on his way out the door and said, "Mmm, Mom you smell good. What shampoo did you use?" He actually cared about what product smelled good! Hope springs eternal! They eventually do learn that good hygiene is a way of making life more sweet."

Kristen from Swistle revealed that she favors an unlikely place to talk to her kids about personal hygiene. “Perhaps it's puberty that flips the cleanliness switch, or perhaps it's the feedback their peers will soon start casually flipping their way. I'd like to protect them against that sort of feedback, so for right NOW, what I do is wait until they're buckled into the car and I'm going about 60 down the highway, and then I make them listen to me discuss whether they DID or DID NOT manage to address the SCENT issue that morning...”

Susan from Eat Your Flowers wrote that the beginning of puberty can be quite an adjustment for everyone in the family. “While we can read books, and visit websites to find the proper words, the timing, and tact to use when telling our kids, that they basically “stink” – the truth is, we, as parents, need to get ourselves ready, emotionally, for the fact that our baby is just not a baby anymore.”

Angie from The Homeschool Classroom approached personal hygiene as yet another lesson on the way to adulthood. “When thinking of teaching life skills, it can be easy to let your mind wander to activities like cooking, cleaning, or even changing tires. One vital life skill to teach, however, can be about self-care. While it can be easy to remember to teach about washing their hands after the bathroom and covering their noses when they sneeze when children are young, self-care issues definitely don't end when those early elementary years are over.”

Andrea from Simmons Family Update found the Don’t Fret The Sweat Facebook page to have useful information for her tween. “The Don't Fret The Sweat campaign provides parents with necessary tools to help build confidence in our kids. Kamryn loved the "product matchmaker" that allowed her to answer a few questions to recommend the right deodorant for her. She is an active tween and is constantly on the go, so she wants something that is going to last throughout the day.”

Shauna from ShaunaGlenn.com was amused by how mature her daughter felt after getting to pick out her first deodorant. “We stood in front of what seemed like hundreds of options for antiperspirant/deodorant. She picked out a pink bottle marketed towards teens. It was the first time in her young life she felt like a grownup. I know this because the whole ride home she explained in great detail about how it wouldn’t be long before she had her own apartment. She was nine.”

Sharyn from Live From Tormville explored the Don’t Fret The Sweat Facebook page to find information and tips on talking about hygiene with her tween. “Unilever is the leading manufacturer of deodorant and antiperspirants and the makers of Degree® Men, Degree® Women, Degree® Girl, Dove® AND Suave®. Their goal is to ensure that parents and their kids remain cool and confident throughout the day... AND - Unilever also has a Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/Don'tFretTheSweat where you can find expert tips, tools and real-life stories about how parents are communicating and transitioning their tweens into confident and self-reliant teens.”

Elizabeth from A moon, worn as if it had been a shell shared that her son was not too sensitive when his body odor became a topic of discussion. “The onset of puberty appeared to happen just like that, in a car, running errands, one of those errands becoming a stop at a drugstore to purchase some deodorant for the boy. Surprisingly, telling my son that he smelled bad, which meant that he was growing up, becoming a man, was not a sickening blow to his self-esteem. He was still a little boy in many ways, and there was a certain cachet to smelling bad.”

Carmen from Mom To The Screaming Masses discovered how tween boys preferred to solve the odor problem while employed at her kids' school “In particular, I noticed that the boys were especially, um, fragrant – but it wasn’t just typical (and natural) body odor. No, it was more of a perfume-y odor. Upon investigation, I discovered that the boys knew that they smelled odiferous and so they had begun to pass around several cans of strong smelling body spray in an attempt to both cover the smell and attract the girls. Neither effort was successful.”

Elizabeth from Busy Mom did not need to convince her daughter to start using deodorant. “Awareness of the body odor issue appears to come a little earlier with girls than boys, and we bought her some deodorant as soon as she asked for it. I'm not aware of her having had an issue that prompted it, but it was all the rage with her friends, and I think she felt more independent and grown-up as she incorporated it into her routine.”

Fiddledeedee also found the Don’t Fret The Sweat page a useful resource for herself and her tween daughter. “Also thank goodness for the Don't Fret The Sweat Facebook page, and for the panel of experts who have put together a wonderful resource for moms in my position, looking for guidance and information as we help our kids transition to those all important teenage years.”

Liz from This Full House recalled that her introduction to issues of puberty and hygiene would have been easier if resources like Don’t Fret The Sweat were available. “I, on the other hand, remember being herded out in the middle of health class, with the rest of the girls and learning about (ahem) a woman's menstrual cycle in a very clinical-type film, locked away in a smelly locker room, sometime around 4th grade, I think. My mom and I never spoke about our bodies on such [clears throat] intimate levels -- frankly, not sure if I really would have wanted to...”

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Kindle Fire

Mango Languages, Kindle Fire, Buck Inspire, Retire By 40, Blogoversary Giveaway!

Ever since I first saw this on Amazon, I've been dreaming about owning one. I've read reviews about what it can and can't do. Since I've never owned a tablet I wouldn't miss what it doesn't have and just be glad about what it can do. So I'd like to win one.

Retire by 40 is offering one as a giveaway. ends 11/07

Buck Inspire is offering:   Win a Mango Languages Passport Bundle – All the fun of Mango Passport PLUS the convenient audio versions of Mango Passport On The Go! Use Mango Passport at home or on your laptop, and Mango On The Go! MP3 audio files to help you keep learning when you’re out and about. ends 11/7

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I'll need a good massage when I get back

I'll need a good massage when I get back from Patagonia.

Measuring Flower is giving away a $50 Spa Week Gift Card. ends 10/7

You could win a $100 Gift card from Spa Week (giving 5 away), or you could win the grand prize of a $1000 GC.

Monday, October 3, 2011

!Hola! Stuff for My Trip to Patagonia - Gracias - continuing saga 3

I can now say: I'm going to Chile and Patagonia NEXT MONTH! (in 30 days to be specific)

twoboysonegirlandacrazymom.com is giving away a $50 AMEX card ends 10/20

Pretty Pink Mama is giving away $20 Paypal or Gift card ends 10/18


A Trucker's Wife in GA is giving away a $10 Visa card (every little bit helps). ends 10/15

Trying to Stay Calm is giving away a $50 Visa card. ends 10/4


Found a great restaurant near the hotel we'll be staying in Santiago so this will be good to pay for dinner there.

Need $100 Visa for my trip to Patagonia

Still can use some extra money for my trip NEXT MONTH!!!! 45 days to be specific.

MamaNYC is giving away a $100 Visa Card. ends 10/4

Maybe dinner at a fancy Santiago restaurant with fresh crab and Chilean wine ....