Jun 24, 2009

Mix Shake Stir Review & Giveaway *CLOSED*

Full Description from Hachette Book Group:
The bartenders at Danny Meyer's wildly popular restaurants are known for their creative concoctions. Guests at Union Square Café or Gramercy Tavern expect not only the finest cuisine but also Meyer's special brand of hospitality that often begins with a Venetian Spritz or a Cranberry Daiquiri. In MIX SHAKE STIR, Meyer offers all the tips and tools needed to become a masterful mixologist and supplements the cocktail recipes with gourmet takes on bar snacks. There are over 100 recipes of bar classics, signature favorites, and original, refreshing libations--from the Modern's elegant mojito made with champagne and rose water to Tabla's Pomegranate Gimlet. Shaken or stirred, straight up or on the rocks, these cocktails make this collection an invaluable resource for elegant entertaining.
More information and Where to purchase this book here.

My Review:
Mix Shake Stir is a collection of recipes for signature drinks from Danny Meyer's New York restaurants, along with some "cocktail friendly" foods. Starting with favorite classics such as Mojito, Americano, Old-Fashioned, and Pink Lady, with sections titled new classics, inspired flavors, elegant sips, casual libations, and bar fare including Five-Spice Cashews, Fried Green Olives, Crostini with Sweet-Pea Pesto, and Tequila-Lime Shrimp. There are 140 recipes in all. The instructions are simple and easy to follow, and there are lots of great pictures. It would be fun to learn how to make some of the cocktails, then impress your friends at your next get-together. If you like to entertain, or just want to make a special cocktail for your next "date night" this book will inspire you.

The Giveaway:
Thanks to Anna and Hachette Books, I have 3 copies of Mix Shake Stir to give away.
Here's what you need to do to enter:
First Entry (This MUST be done First) Comment with your favorite drink, whether it's a cocktail, soft drink - whatever you like.
For extra entries:
Follow my blog (*See My Sidebar & Tell me in a comment)
Grab my button (Include a link to your blog)
Blog about this Giveaway (Include a link to your blog post)
If you do them all, that's 4 entries. Leave a comment for each entry.

Entries will be accepted until July 7 at 11:59pm. Winners will be chosen and emailed July 8 and will have 48 hours to respond.

Comments that don't follow all guidelines will be deleted.
US and Canadian residents only, please. No P.O. Boxes.

PLEASE include your email either in your comment, or linked to your name. My last book giveaway I had 2 winners who disqualified themselves because I had no way to contact them!
Good Luck!
**UPDATE**If you say that you're Following my blog, please note that I am checking this to confirm, and you will dis-qualify your entries if I can't find you on my Followers list.**Click on "Followers" on my sidebar to sign up. Thanks!

Jun 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Here are a few quotes to celebrate the fathers in our lives.

Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope. ~Bill Cosby

Father! - to God himself we cannot give a holier name. ~William Wordsworth

A father carries pictures where his money used to be. ~Author Unknown

The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get. ~ Tim Russert

By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong. ~Charles Wadsworth

There is probably no more terrible instant of enlightenment than the one in which you discover your father is a man--with human flesh. ~Frank Herbert, Dune

Enjoy your day, Dads!

Jun 18, 2009

Review: GelPro Anti-Fatigue Floor Mat


The Original Gel Filled Anti-Fatigue Floor Mat

An Anti-Fatigue Mat that Looks as Good as It Feels
Millions of people who love to cook experience pain in their feet and back from standing on hard, unforgiving kitchen flooring for extended periods of time. GelPro has solved this ergonomic problem with a line of stylish anti-fatigue floor mats manufactured with a soft, shock-absorbing gel core. The unique properties of the GelPro gel enable GelPro mats to provide the most comfortable surface to stand on, regardless of the type of hard flooring you have in your home.

My Review:

I spend alot of time in the kitchen, much of which is standing at the sink washing dishes, preparing food, etc. Some evenings when my feet ache, I realize it's because I spent more time than usual on my feet in the kitchen. When I read about Gelpro floor mats, I wanted to try one. I entered a few blog contests, hoping to win one, and finally got lucky when goodLife {eats} had a Mother's Day giveaway. I chose the Basketweave style in Hazelnut color which matched my kitchen floor perfectly. When it arrived, I placed it in front of my kitchen sink, took off my shoes and socks, and stepped onto it in my bare feet. It was cushy, but my feet didn't sink in (I had wondered whether such a mat would be too soft) and it felt great. I LOVE my GelPro mat! Now I find myself looking for reasons to stand at my kitchen sink, sometimes even just to stare out the window...

GelPro floor mats come in several designs - Basketweave, Cordoba, Striated, Crocodile, Ostrich, and Rattlesnake, with several color variations for each style. They have all kinds of sizes, from 20"by36" all the way up to 12 feet long! Gelpro floor mats are proudly designed and assembled in the USA.

Jun 9, 2009

Book Review & Giveaway - CLOSED

Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts

The bestselling author of WHERE THE HEART IS returns with a heartrending tale of two children in search of a place to call home. Lutie McFee's history has taught her to avoid attachments...to people, to places, and to almost everything. With her mother long dead and her father long gone to find his fortune in Las Vegas, 15-year-old Lutie lives in the god-forsaken town of Spearfish, South Dakota with her twelve-year-old brother, Fate, and Floy Satterfield, the 300-pound ex-girlfriend of her father. While Lutie shoplifts for kicks, Fate spends most of his time reading, watching weird TV shows and worrying about global warming and the endangerment of pandas. As if their life is not dismal enough, one day, while shopping in their local Wal-Mart, Floy keels over and the two motherless kids are suddenly faced with the choice of becoming wards of the state or hightailing it out of town in Floy's old Pontiac. Choosing the latter, they head off to Las Vegas in search of a father who has no known address, no phone number and, clearly, no interest in the kids he left behind. MADE IN THE U.S.A. is the alternately heartbreaking and life-affirming story of two gutsy children who must discover how cruel, unfair and frightening the world is before they come to a place they can finally call home.
My Review:
Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts kept me up past my bedtime, which is a good indication for me of how good a book is. Lutie and her brother Fale pulled at my heartstrings with their tragic story of loss, sacrifice, and truly tough times. 11 year old Fale was my favorite character in this book. His quirky love of learning facts about everything under the sun made me laugh. Even though he is younger than his sister Lutie, he has a better sense of what they need to do to take care of themselves. It took me awhile to warm up to Lutie, especially since she was, at times, selfish and even cruel toward her younger brother. It seemed as though Lutie would never learn to make the right choices, but eventually she began to let her guard down, and reveal a young woman with hopes and dreams, and the determination to work hard to achieve them. I read this book quickly, because I just had to find out what would happen to these children! I highly recommend Made in the U.S.A.
Thanks to Valerie at Hachette Book Group, I have FIVE copies of Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts to give away!
Rules & How to Enter:

For one entry, comment below
For extra Entries -
Follow my Blog (see my sidebar). If you already follow, tell me in a comment.
Blog about this Giveaway. Include a link to your post in your comment.
*You must include an email address in your comment, or a link to it.*
Comments that don't follow all guidelines will be deleted.
US and Canadian residents only, please. No P.O. Boxes.
Entries will be accepted until June 19th at 11:59pm.
Winners will be chosen and emailed June 20th.
Good Luck!

Jun 4, 2009

Diane Birch "Bible Belt" CD Review

I was recently given the opportunity to review Diane Birch's new CD titled Bible Belt. Her music reminds me of something from the 70's (which is my favorite music era), with a folksy, bluesy, and sometimes gospel feel that brings to mind such artists as Carol King, Carly Simon, and Nora Jones, but with a unique sound all her own. Each time I listen to the CD, I like it more. My favorite song so far is Fire Escape, a sultry song of lost love.

Diane Birch was born in Michigan, but moved to Zimbabwe as a child with her South African-born parents. Her father was a minister whose mission moved his family from Zimbabwe, to South Africa, and Australia. Their family relocated to the U.S. when she was 13, settling in Portland, Oregon. At age 7, she began learning to play the piano using the play-by-ear Suzuki Method. Birch says, “Ever since I was a kid, I have been incredibly fortunate in that I could hear something and then just play it.” As an adult, she had plans to become a film composer, worked as a pianist, and eventually started writing her own songs. She began posting her songs on her MySpace page and as a result, was discovered. She now lives and works in New York.
Click on the Diane Birch widget on my Sidebar to listen to some of the music featured on Bible Belt. There are also links to purchase the CD from iTunes or Amazon, where $1 of the proceeds will be donated the The March of Dimes!
I want to thank the nice people at the One2One network for providing me with the opportunity to review this CD.

Jun 2, 2009

Great song about mother love

Carly Simon - "Love of My Life"

Discover Diane Birch & Donate $1 to charity

Join us TONIGHT on Twitter for Girls Night Out (#gno)!
We're celebrating the release of Diane Birch's debut album Bible Belt and the kick off of a very special charitable program - Discover & Donate!
*Check out the Diane Birch-March of Dimes link on my sidebar>>>>>AND below!*
Diane and her producer Steve Greenberg will be special guests and live tweeting all about the record and the special Discover & Donate campaign kick off!
What: Girl's Night Out (#gno)
When: Tuesday, June 2, 9-11pm (EST)
Where: Tweet Grid (use #gno hashtag)
Who: @dianebirch , @steviegpro
Here's more information on how to join in on #gno on Twitter.
Discover Diane. Donate a Dollar. Win-Win. Discover the critically acclaimed debut album from new artist Diane Birch. Donate $1 to charity. Automatically.

Culture Unplugged Video

This video is very moving. Please watch it. It's about 6 minutes long and well worth your time.

Tomato Extravaganza!

My husband is obsessed! Every year he grows more tomatoes than the last. This year, so far, he has planted 55 tomato plants. Now, there are only the two of us here, so obviously we won't be able to eat them all, so why do we need 55 tomato plants? I've been pondering this for awhile, and I've come up with a couple of theories. We've had an empty nest for over a year now, so maybe he's raising tomatoes because we no longer have our children here to raise? He has always been very involved in their lives, and is a wonderful, caring father. Sometimes I think it has been harder for him to get used to them being gone than it has for me. My other theory is that it is genetic, as my father in law grows even more tomatoes than my husband does. He even rents extra garden space for his tomatoes! Either way, I'll be cooking, canning, drying, and giving away lots of tomatoes again this year. Oh well, I guess I can't complain too much, as he could have a lot worse hobbies. If any of you are in the Central Ohio area, and would like to have some tomatoes, come see us in a couple of months... = )

Jun 1, 2009

Review & Giveaway: New Dove Visibly Smooth-CLOSED

Introducing New Dove® Visibly Smooth anti-perspirant/deodorant, the first anti-perspirant/deodorant formulated to help women feel stubble free for longer! With continuous use, Dove® Visibly Smooth anti-perspirant/deodorant minimizes the visual appearance of hair over time. Incorporating a unique Pro-Epil Complex with natural extracts and Dove ¼ moisturizers, Dove® Visibly Smooth anti-perspirant/deodorant
• conditions underarm skin and hair
• softens underarm stubble
• helps underarm hair look and feel less noticeable

The nice people at Dove sent me a New Dove Visibly Smooth anti-perspirant/deodorant gift kit a few weeks ago and have been using the product every day since. To tell you the truth, I really wasn't expecting to like it. I use an unscented deodorant, whereas the Dove Ultimate Visibly Smooth I received had a fragrance called wild rose, which I expected to be too "flowery" for me. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the fragrance was mild and pleasant. I was also skeptical about whether Dove Ultimate Visible Smooth would make a difference as to how often I have to shave my underarm area. What I discovered was that after using this product for a couple of weeks, the hair growth on my underarms was noticeably more sparse, and less coarse. I still shave as often as I always have, but there is a bit less hair to shave, and it's easier to remove.

The gift kit included 25 share guides, each with 2 - $2 off coupons. I've given a few to friends and family, but I still have some that I'd like to share with you all. (The coupons don't expire until December of 2009.) Here are the Giveaway details:

Prizes: 5 people will win 3 share guides apiece, each with 2 - $2 off coupons.

How to enter: Simply comment, telling me you would like to enter. Include your email in your comment or make sure it's linked to it. That's it!

Entries will be accepted until June 14th at 11:59 pm.

I'll choose 5 winners using Random Number Generator June 15th and email the winners.

Win a Desktop Scanner and more!

5 Minutes for Giveaways is giving away a Desktop Scanner and Digital Filing System. Ends 6/6