Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Xmas 10

Cool Peppermint Dots Christmas 5x7 folded card
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Enjoy Lighting (flameless candles) Review & Giveaway!

I was really excited to review a set of flameless candles from Enjoy Lighting. Being a mom of little ones and also a firefighter (as well as having transported numerous burn patients before), I'm always a little paranoid about having open flames in the a candle without flames is something very appealing! I have checked out these sorts of "candles" at friends' homes before, and I must say that Enjoy Lighting flameless candles are top of the line. Definitely.
I have no complaints about these candles. They are BEAUTIFUL, look and smell real, and I love, love, LOVE the timer ability that you can use! It's really made my living room feel extra homey and peaceful to see flickering ivory candles and I'm always picking them up to smell the vanilla scent.

My HUSBAND even thinks they are fantastic. His quote is "when you're having mad, passionate sex, you don't have to worry about knocking over a burning candle and burning the house down. Great buy!" Yes, that's the man I married, and yes, this is the first review I've done where he wanted his opinion to also count. So I guess that these candles are not only good for home decor, but are also good for spicing up the ol' marriage bed. Ha!

Features and Benefits
• Available in 3x4”, 3x6”, 3x8”, 4x6”, 4x8”

• Astonishingly realistic 100,000 hour Triple-LED flickering light source.

• Available with Multi-Hour Timer Mode or Dim/Bright Mode.
• 300+ Hour Battery Life

• Requires 4 ‘AA’ Batteries

• Realistic Melted Edge

• Distinct Vanilla Fragrance

Multi-Hour Timer Mode
• Operate manually or set timer to run for 4, 6, or 8 hours

• Candle will automatically turn on each day and the set time and off after the selected number of hours

• Perfect for hard to reach spaces – Set it and forget it!

Buy It! Enjoy Lighting candles are available at a lot of places, including Target, BonTon, and Michael's! I think these make fabulous Christmas gifts and my vote is to through these into someone's stocking this year (gently, of course; they are made from real wax).

Win It! Enjoy Lighting is giving one of my readers a set (3) of her own candles in the Ivory color. To enter, leave me a comment below with a link to your favorite candle(s) from their website. Include your email address and a separate comment for each entry. Contest will end Friday, 12/17/10 at noon, EST.

Extra Entries:
 (after the above is completed --leave a separate comment for each one):

1) Follow Life More Simply on Google Friend Connect

2) Subscribe to Life More Simply via email.

3) "Like" our Facebook page.

4) Follow us on Twitter (LifeMoreSimply).

5) Blog about this contest ---3 entries!

6) After you've "liked"/"friended" Life More Simply on Facebook, put this as your status: " I just entered to win  a set of Flamless Candles from @LifeMoreSimply!! " (my name will come up in BLUE if you did it right). 1 entry/day.

7) Tweet this message (up to two times a day for 1 entry each): Win a set of flameless candles from @LifeMoreSimply! #giveaway #contest #home

8) Spread the word on a parenting forum, message board, or any other way and tell me how you did it with a link!

9) Sign up to Design America's Next Diaper:

10) Take our survey (4 ENTRIES!): click HERE 

Disclaimer: Enjoy Lighting provided me with products for review and giveaway. I received no other compensation and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. Opinions are all mine...and my husbands. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

4 Steps to Increasing Interest in Volunteering

Growing up, it was just expected of us in my family that we were going to volunteer somewhere. At a young age, my mom began plugging my sisters and I into various roles at the local libraries, and then later to volunteer for church groups and other things of our own choosing. The importance of volunteering really stuck with us, and most of use who are over 18 (five now) have been a volunteer firefighter or EMT at one point or another, and have also done short term overseas mission work on a volunteer basis. I think that we can all agree that volunteering is both important for the individual and necessary for the community, yet volunteerism is on a huge downward spiral, and the lowest in NY in particular! I received the article below with an opportunity to repost and at first blew it off because I don't generally post stuff like this, but then I looked at it and decided that if even one person reads this and is motivated to have her family start volunteering, it will be worth it. :-) So read and enjoy!
Here are 4 Steps to getting your family interested in volunteering:

Step 1: Clarify your personal goals and motives for wanting to include your child in volunteer activities. Volunteering is a wonderful way to a share your values with your child. Pick a cause that is meaningful to you and your family rather than one that is simply convenient.

Step 2: Explain the importance of volunteerism and the contribution volunteers can make. A child's favorite question is "why?" Keep your answers simple and concrete. For example, if you are going to volunteer at the food bank, tell your child that "The food bank has lots of food for people who need it, and it will be our job to sort the food so that people are able to find what they need."

Step 3: Choose volunteer activities to do with your children that are age-appropriate. Children as young as three can begin volunteering. At this age they begin to enjoy participation in group activities and are better able to follow directions. Remember that a preschooler's concept of the world is not very large and is usually limited primarily to their home, neighborhood and school; therefore, it is important to keep the activity within the realm of what they can imagine. A few examples:
  • Participate in "clean the park" activities. Be sure to have your child wear gloves.
  • Take recyclables to recycling collection centers.
  • Act as a companion to the elderly in retirement or assisted living homes. Simply listening to their stories and relieving their loneliness provides multiple benefits for the senior citizen and your child.
  • Participate in local races and walks that raise money for a charitable cause that you think is important; most races have a shorter race for children.
  • Sort food at a food bank. Be sure to confirm that children are welcome to volunteer and that it will be a safe environment.
Step 4: Find a child-friendly not-for-profit. Ask the following questions to help you select the volunteer opportunity that is right for your family:
  • Does the organization have experience with and a history of successfully working with children and families? Will the organization provide me with a reference from another family who has volunteered with them?
  • Will the organization staff welcome my child's participation?
  • Is there a specific job that my child can do successfully? Who will show my children what to do?
  • Are there special clothes or supplies needed for my child to volunteer with this organization?
  • Does the organization conduct appropriate background screenings on its staff? Does the organization have insurance if there is an accident while your family is volunteering?
  • Can the organization provide a concrete example that will help your child understand how his or her efforts benefit others?
To find these and other great tips for parents, check out Dr. Zurn's blog at For more information on Primrose Schools, visit  You can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter

Thanks to MomSelect for sending me this article and the chance to win a prize which I can't even remember what it is for reposting this. :-)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Norah Jones "...Featuring" album review

...Featuring is a star-studded collection of Norah Jones' collaborations spanning her entire career.  The result serves as a kind of parallel history to her four albums, which have sold over 40 million copies worldwide.  

“A lot of the people on this record are people I've worshiped since I was a kid, and some of them are younger and more my contemporaries,” says Norah. “Even though the musicians are so varied, the vibe of the songs makes sense when we put them all together.”

Songs on …Featuring range from classics recorded by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, and Roy Orbison to new material by such wide-ranging innovators as Ryan Adams and Q-Tip.

The track listing for …Featuring is as follows:

1. Love Me – The Little Willies 
2. Virginia Moon – The Foo Fighters featuring Norah Jones
3. Turn Them – Sean Bones featuring Norah Jones
4. Baby It's Cold Outside – Willie Nelson featuring Norah Jones
5. Bull Rider – Norah Jones and Sasha Dobson
6. Ruler Of My Heart – Dirty Dozen Brass Band featuring Norah Jones
7. The Best Part – El Madmo 
8. Take Off Your Cool – OutKast featuring Norah Jones
9. Life Is Better – Q-Tip featuring Norah Jones 
10. Soon The New Day – Talib Kweli featuring Norah Jones
11. Little Lou, Prophet Jack, Ugly John – Belle & Sebastian featuring Norah Jones
12. Here We Go Again – Ray Charles featuring Norah Jones
13. Loretta – Norah Jones featuring Gillian Welch and David Rawlings
14. Dear John – Ryan Adams featuring Norah Jones
15. Creepin' In – Norah Jones featuring Dolly Parton
16. Court & Spark – Herbie Hancock featuring Norah Jones
17. More Than This – Charlie Hunter featuring Norah Jones
18. Blue Bayou – Norah Jones featuring M. Ward 

My thoughts...
First off, I love Norah Jones and was really excited when I saw the opportunity to get my hands on this album. Her smooth voice, defined piano name it, I'm in love! Overall, I thought this was a really interesting album. There is a huge array of different styles on it, from the traditional jazz we know and love to rap/hip hop stuff. It's neat to hear how Norah can pull of so many different musical genres, and to think of how she's interacted with the other renown musicians featured on this album. I wasn't so happy with some of the underlying messages of the songs, though. Some have sexual and violent messages woven in which I didn't feel were appropriate for my kids to listen to in the car. So just be ready to fast forward if you need to. :-)

Buy it! Click here to purchase Norah Jones' new album, ...Featuring.

Disclaimer: One2One network provided me with a free album for this review. No other compensation was received and I was under no obligation to write a positive review.