Sunday, September 30, 2012

SPOOKtacular Giveaway Time!

Welcome to the SPOOKtacular Giveaway Hop hosted by The Review Wire and ME - Are You Finished?  With Halloween being only a few shorts weeks away, we decided that a Hop to help you get ready was in order! This event will run from October 1 through October 15, that gives you enough time to hop on down the list and enter all the SPOOKtacular Giveaways for your GHOULS and GOBLINS! Each blogger is giving away prizes valued $25 or more. The Review Wire is hosting the GRAND PRIZE, a $100 Gift Certificate to Halloween Express! Thanks for playing along and Happy Halloween!

I am really excited to participate in this super fun Halloween-themed Hop!  I do my shopping for Halloween goods at a number of different places: Walmart,, Jo-Ann Fabric, and some local shops here in Maine.  I was trying to decide where I would get a gift card, and then I thought - why not let you decide?  You can choose one of the three that I've mentioned, or another place that I can purchase for you online.  

Don't forget to come back daily for additional entries, and check out my other giveaways!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Spooky Ghost costume last year -a great coworker did my makeup. I made the dress with a king size white sheet I bought at a thrift store for $1.00, a pack of cheesecloth I got at Walmart for $3.99. I definitely spent a lot of time at the ol' sewing machine, but I think it was worth it!

SPOOKtacular Halloween Giveaway Hop

1. The Review Wire {Grand Prize $100 : US}  20. Mom in Training {$25 : WW}  
2. How Was Your Day? {$25 : US}  21. Moms & Munchkins {$50 : WW}  
3. Simply Stacie {$25 : US}  22. Dazzling Daily Deals {$50 : US}  
4. roastedBEANZ {$25 : US}  23. With Our Best {$35 : US}  
5. Rita Reviews {$100 : US}  24. Parent Palace {$30 : WW}  
6. BrideBlu {$30 : WW}  25. Are You Finished? {$25 : WW}  
7. Mom's Tried and Tested {$40 : US/CAN}  26. Laughing Vixen Lounge {$27 : WW}  
8. Funtober {$75 : US}  27. Education of a Stay at Home Mom {$30 : US}  
9. Mommy's Moments {$25 : US}  28. Our Share of Crazy {$25 : US}  
10. Cheap Is The *New* Classy {$25 : US}  29. Coupon Queen of Texas {$25 : WW}  
11. Life in The Dollhouse {$50 : US}  30. Dirty Truth Reviews {$55 : US/CAN}  
12. Still Blonde after all these YEARS! {$150 : US}  31. Mom to Bed by 8 {$75 : US}  
13. Holyjeans CHic {$50 : US}  32. Mom Blog Society {$45 : US}  
14. Deal Sharing Aunt  33. Barbara's Beat {$25 : US}  
15. 3 Partners in Shopping  34. Baking Beauty {$30 : US}  
16. Just Say I Told You So! {$25 : WW}  35. Mom Always Finds Out {$50 : US}  
17. My Photopage {$25 : WW}  36. Practical Frugality {$25 : US/CAN}  
18. Emily Reviews {$25 : US}  37. Two Little Cavaliers {$53 : US}  
19. The Family That Laughs Together {$30 : US/CAN}  

Saturday, September 29, 2012


It's nearly the end of September, and I am CHILLY!!!  I definitely prefer a bit chilly over hot and muggy, but, I'm typing this from my day bed, with a down comforter on my lap, and my fleece lined sweatshirt over my PJ top (yes, I am still wearing my PJs at 1:30 pm on a Saturday - it's a SATURDAY).

The thermostat reads 59 degrees in the house, and I have been trying for several hours to motivate my darling daughter to help me take the AC unit out of the window (I don't want to turn the heat on until that's out, as the nice, warm air would just go outside).  While I never would have been able to do it myself because it's monstrously heavy, especially since I had back surgery 2 1/2 months ago, I REALLY don't want to risk it.

I need to take a nice, long bath - I've got a big sisters' night out (Fifi is in town from Alaska and the four of us sister - and others - are hitting the town tonight).  The cold air in the house is making me avoid a nice, hot bath because of the brrrrrrr factor of the air in the house.

My current avoidance is being aided by my viewing pleasure - I finally broke down and rented The Cabin In The Woods on Amazon (I really can't remember what life was like before I had the ability to watch pretty much any movie I wanted via the Roku - I'm a happy lady).  I saw a bit of it a while ago, but hadn't had a chance to finish it. I love pretty much anything Joss Whedon does (who doesn't???).  I guess it's a Joss Whedon week, as we watched The Avengers (in 3D!!!) last night at my sister Sarah's house.  I must say, I'm quite jealous of the whole 3D TV experience.  While I do love a good superhero flick - this tongue-in-cheek horror/comedy is more my style.

Because I was already on Amazon, I ordered the new lip rings for the aforementioned darling daughter (I'm such a nice Mama), from her reports, the ones she has now are a pain to put back in after gym class.

There's one thing I've really been wanting from Amazon for a while now (I saw reviews of it on several blogs, and that's made me want it even more).  It's a tray that goes right across your bathtub, so you can read, or, I don't know - do needlework? For me, it's definitely reading :) - the best looking one I've found so far is the Umbra Aquala Bamboo and Chrome Bathtub Caddy.  The reviews are great, and I think my Kindle would be safe on it.  It's also pretty darn cute.  I'm thinking that I might buy it for myself for Christmas, and then make Azi wrap it up for me under the tree.  I've also got the new Kindle Fire HD 8.9", Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB on my wishlist for Christmas, but I might have to make up a reason to get that for myself a bit early :)

Dang! Zombies just came out of the lake - I'm out for now!  

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Prettiest Season!

While I am more than willing to admit that every season has its merits, I just love Autumn!  A big part of that is due to the fact that I live in Maine, one of the most gorgeous places in the world.  I was driving home from work the other day, and suddenly, the beautiful colors of fall were all around me!  Luckily, it wasn't a busy road, so I was able to pull over and take a picture!  It's still early yet, so there's a lot more color to come, but for now, I'm quite happy with what I have!

Bangor, ME - September 24, 2012

I was looking for pictures I took last fall, but the weather was pretty gnarly, and we never had a real burst of gorgeous foliage color.  The one exception would be the blueberry barrens (blueberry fields for the layperson) - which are the most AMAZING shades of pink, red, and orange!

Blueberry Barrens - Northfield, ME - November, 2011

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Marlboro Chill Off the Grid 2012 - 2013 - Official Rules

I found it entirely frustrating that I had to be logged into the Marlboro website to see the rules, and then only scrolling through a teeny, tiny box, so I was overjoyed to receive a printed copy with the packet of paperwork!

I decided that it might make someone else's life easier to have them all posted here.  While I am not nearly kind enough to have transcribed the entire six pages, I did scan them as image files for you!!

To see the rest of my information about my adventure, go to my Marlboro Ranch - Chill Off the Grid Page!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Win $25 in Pampered Chef Products!

Hello, my name is Jessy, and I'm a Pampered Chef-aholic. Yep, I know, that entire statement is pretty dang tacky. The fact is, I totally love Pampered Chef products.  I'm a huge fan of all things baking/cooking-related (particularly the delicious results of my kitchen experiments).

Every fall, I do a Pampered Chef party.  This year, I'm doing my party online - feel free to browse and place an order:

I decided a fun way to spread the news about my party, and maybe get more orders would be to do a giveaway!  Entering is simple, and no purchase is required.  Just use the Rafflecopter form below.  You will dramatically increase your chances of winning by placing an order.  This giveaway will end on October 14th, that will give me time to connect with you for your address, and the products you choose, which will be shipped directly to you from Pampered Chef.

I'm hooked on the awesome stoneware, all of the different kitchen gadgets, and I LOVE to cook using the different spice blends and rubs.  If you've never tried Pampered Chef before, I REALLY recommend it!

Be sure to come back daily for additional entries!! Sorry out of the country folks, this giveaway is limited to the Continental US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out my other giveaways!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my stop on the Banned Books Week Hop!

2012 is the 30th Anniversary of Banned Books week, an annual event celebrating ALL books, and the rights of authors and readers alike to color outside the lines.  I decided to participate in this event because I am a firm believer that people need to get out of their comfort zones, and often the reason a book will be banned is because of a refusal to do just that.

To prepare for this giveaway, I did some research into what books have been banned. Off the top of my head, the only book I could think of was The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger, one of my faves; like most people who read it in highschool, I saw myself as a modern, female Holden Caulfield.

What surprised me in reviewing a list of the most frequently challenged books from 1990 - 2001 (see the list) was how many of the books I would have listed as some of my childhood favorites and/or the most influential books I'd read.  Before you take a look at the list, make a list of some of your favorite books - you might be surprised how many are on the list!

Some books I would give two (or more if I had them) thumbs up:
There certainly are books that I have no desire to have my thirteen-year-old daughter read, and I can say that after taking a painful course in college on Toni Morrison's writing, I certainly object to me, personally reading any more of her books.  However, I certainly don't feel that I have the right to make decisions about anyone else reading them. It is ridiculous to think that one person should make that type of decision for another.

My prize for this hop is either a $10 gift card, which you can use to pick out your own book, as I feel that anyone literate enough to be reading this is capable of picking out their own reading material.

The Rafflecopter will be available starting September 28th, and will accept entries until October 6th.  After entering, be sure to check out the rest of the sites hosting their own giveaways in the hop.  And check my Giveaways page for more prizes!

Friday, September 21, 2012

You Can't Steal What I don't Have

This morning, what was supposed to be a quick, albeit long overdue, errand, turned into a ridiculous adventure.

I had to register my car.  TECHNICALLY, the registration expired at the end of this past June.  I didn't do it then, because with my back surgery on July 5th, I reasoned that I wasn't going to be driving for quite a while, and then when I was back to driving, I'd have all those days off, and could run to city hall any time.

Of course, when I got around to being cleared to drive, I wasn't working, and our only income was my short term disability, which didn't have a lot of wiggle room for silly extravagances like vehicle registration, and gold bullion.

I normally need to be at work at 8:00 (about a 25 minute drive from the house), but because the office I needed to go to didn't open until 8:00, I got to sleep in a little - what a great way to start my day!  I woke Azi up with some silly songs (Conni gave me a big bunch of helium balloons last night, so I used one to make myself sound like a chipmunk), with the promise that we'd swing by our favorite bakery afterwards, and I'd get her some breakfast before going to work.

Down to City Hall we drove - walked in the door at 8:04, and only had to wait a moment.  I was all organized, had last year's registration, and my current insurance; I'd even written down my mileage (219,657 if you're wondering)!  We got everything all set, she pulled out my new 2013 stickers, and started to print my registration, took my debit card, ran it through, and told me it was declined.


We tried it as Debit, and it was declined again.  I thought that maybe the bank was running behind processing my direct deposit paycheck.  I called the bank, and they said that there was plenty o' money in my account, and they'd check with visa to find out what was up.  The teller tried the card again, and again it was declined.  She suggested I go to an ATM, but I figured if it wasn't working at City Hall, why would it work at an ATM?

I called the bank back, and the lovely teller explained that she'd talked to Visa, and my card had a hold on it (immediately I thought of every single time over the past 15 years that my account has gone negative because of my lack of budgeting abilities, I thought - 'gasp! they've finally cut me off!').

It turns out my financial incompetence is not why I was cut off.  Some person had attempted a $0.00 transaction at "Rap City" (no idea what this is...) - and Visa immediately shut down the card.  I guess that if someone steals your debit/credit card number, the first thing the do is a null transaction to make sure the card is good.  Unfortunately for them, and very fortunately for me, my account had something like $0.46 in it, and they didn't get their criminal claws on my hard earned pennies.

I ended up having to drive to the bank, get out the cash I needed for the registration and for grocery shopping, and apple picking, then going and paying for it in cash.  My new card will arrive within a couple of weeks.

Has this ever happened to you? I've been trying to figure out when someone could have gotten the information.  I use my card CONSTANTLY (you know, unless the balance is in the forty-cent range, then it gets dusty in my wallet until payday), and am wondering who the big bad is.

Fortunately, it takes a heck of a lot more than a stalled debit card to get me down, and I treated myself to an awesome pumpkin latte from Dunkin' Donuts afterward.  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Marlboro Ranch - Chill Off the Grid

I think it would make life easier if everything was in one place!  Here are my posts about my upcoming Marlboro Ranch Trip *New Info* Trip Dates: January 12 - 15, 2013

Best. Letter. Ever!!!!

I am way beyond excited right now - my packet of paperwork arrived from FedEx this morning for my Marlboro trip!!!  I plan to scan it all so I can keep a decent record of everything here, but as I'm at work, I need to keep this short and tidy.

I did take the time to scan in my letter!!!  Read it and weep (with jealousy - or with shared enjoyment if you're going too!).

To read all posts related to this win - go to my Marlboro Ranch Page!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Marlboro Ranch - Chill off the Grid

If you're a regular reader, you most likely saw my post last week about discovering that I won a trip to the Marlboro Ranch for this coming spring.  I've spent a RIDICULOUS amount of time looking up blogs from folks who have gone on these trips in the past, and am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my packet of forms from Marlboro.

Because I'm a bit of a nervous nelly, I have now called twice.  The first time was to give my work address to have the forms delivered; that was last Monday (I received the notification on Saturday), and they hadn't gotten my name in the office yet.  I called again this Monday (yesterday) to verify that they had the correct address, and received a message back that the forms have been FedExed and should arrive by the middle of this week.

In the words of a gal headed out west "YEEEEEE-HAW!!!!"

My sister, Conni, and I have been texting like crazy about our plans for the four days and three nights of awesomeness.  While I used to be a verifiable chain smokin' mama, I now just smoke if there's alcohol involved - which means that I will most likely be chain smoking the whole time we're in Montana, as there's an open bar.

If you're interested in learning more about the trip (including, like me, desperately wanting to know what the "gifts" will be) - here are some of the best sites I've found from people who have already been on the trip!

I PROMISE I'll be doing regular updates about this, as I am SUPER DUPER FLIPPING EXCITED!!!!

I like this one because the folks went on a winter trip, which is what we'll be doing:

This site is great because they have detailed EVERY aspect of the trip, including the paperwork!

Some super cool person out there made a facebook page for the trip!!!

To read all posts related to this win - go to my Marlboro Ranch Page!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Stuck in a Good Book Blog Hop!

With this giveaway hop, each blog is supposed to have a giveaway based around a book they just couldn't put down.  For me, this is simple.  My absolute favorite book in the past ten years or so has to be Into the Forest: A Novel  by Jean Hegland.

If you're a fan of dystopian books, this will be right up your alley.  I don't want to give away anything more than necessary, but the plot revolves around two sisters who are surviving in a world that has fallen apart around them.  Please note: there is a big distinction between surviving and thriving, and these girls are surviving.

This is beautifully written, and really is just an amazing story.  I'd like to give one reader a paperback copy of the book from Amazon (US readers only), OR, you can choose a $10 Amazon gift card, and you can pick out your own book.  You can just let me know when you win!!

To enter, just complete the rafflecopter form below (it will be live starting on September 20th), and be sure to check out some of the other blogs involved in the hop below that! And be sure to check out my other Giveaways!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

12 Days of Gifts Galore 11/25 - 12/6

Hooray for Christmas! I'll be participating in the 12 Days of Gifts Galore Giveaway Hop this November.  I promise I'll come up with an AWESOME prize!!!

If you're interested in participating in this hop, head on over to Mama's Baby Cupcakes and sign your blog up!

If you have recommendations of what I should do for a prize (in the $25+ range) let me know. I was thinking Christmas DVDs or Blu-Rays, but then gift cards are pretty darn swanky, especially for folks when they are buying Christmas presents...

Check out all of my current giveaways!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Marlboro Ranch Trip Winner!

Congratulations to me!!!!  I received notification this weekend that I am a winner in the Marlboro Chill off the Grid contest - my prize?  A trip for two to the Marlboro Ranch in Montana, in January, February, or March of 2013.


I discovered this while checking my email a little after midnight, and FREAKED out!  When I clicked on the "official rules" link in the email, I was a bit confused because it lead to the rules for a different trip (they're doing one to Vegas).  I called my lovely sister Conni, and woke her up shrieking about a trip to Vegas we were taking.  I have virtually no reception inside my house, so we started texting, and soon after I made the connection that this was the trip to the Marlboro Ranch (which, in my opinion, is waaaaaaaay more awesome).

This has the looks of being an UNBELIEVABLE experience - since this is a winter trip - some of the activities we'll get to participate in are Archery, Dogsledding (much debate on whether or not the dogs are smokers has happened so far), Ziplining (always wanted to do that!), Snowmobiling, and Tubing.

I am over the moon about this win, what makes it even more amazing is that I won an incredible trip to California earlier this year - the TNT Armchair Detective Mystery Sweepstakes, we got to go to beautiful Huntington Beach, California in February, which was quite a change from a Maine February!

Obviously, a trip to Montana in the winter is just about the opposite of California, but in no way less awesome - I happen to be a GIGANTIC fan of winter - I love love love playing in the snow!  I think it would be a shame to live in a beautiful state like Maine and not embrace the snow.

Because I don't need all that much sleep, and was way overexcited, I spent a good chunk of the wee hours of Sunday  morning online reading about other folks' experiences going on these trips, and it I have to say it sounds absolutely incredible.

I called Marlboro this morning, and asked them to have the FedEx paperwork sent to me at my office, rather than at home, because I don't want to risk a big ol' delay because of me not being there during the day.

So, now you know why I'm going to be pretty darn distracted over the next few months.  I can't wait!!!!

To read all posts related to this win - go to my Marlboro Ranch Page!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Win a $10 Amazon Gift Card in the Under the Sea Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Under the Sea Giveaway Hop - hosted by  I Am A Reader Not A Writer & The Musings of ALMYBNENR.  My giveaway will start on September 14th, and you'll have the chance to win a $10 Gift Card.

Recently, I won the book "Wake" by Amanda Hocking from a different blog hop, and really enjoyed it.  This book is the first in the Watersong Series.  It's about a girl who has an unexpected connection to the water.  The Kindle version is $9.99, so you could redeem the gift card you win for it!

Be sure to pop over to my Stuck in a Good Book giveaway - where you have the opportunity to win a copy of Jean Hegland's book "Into the Forest" or a $10 Gift Card!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My Daughter is Catching up to Me

Fact: I am nowhere near old enough to have a daughter in eighth grade.  HOWEVER, my lovely girl decided to do just that thing this morning!  She was excited and adorable in her Black High-Top Chuck Taylor All Stars, and fashionably straightened hair.  

Being Quite Excited

She asked me to post on FB asking for local babysitting gigs.  I am obviously nowhere near old enough to have a daughter who babysits.  

This leads me to the conclusion that she is aging faster than me, and may one day overtake me.  It makes sense, right? I should probably have her taken in for tests at the doctor's office so they can figure out how to SLOW DOWN THE AGING process.

On a positive note (the opposite of an "I'm getting old" note) her day was fantastic!

Cozy Up Your Home Giveaway Event

Oh! My Heartsie  and Are You Finished? Are Hosting "Cozy Up Your Home Giveaway"
And thank you to all those that are
participating in helping us to promote
the "Cozy Up Your Home Giveaway" we appreciate all
your efforts!! 

Are You Finished? decided to participate because these are definitely prizes I'd like to win!!

fans can enter for a chance to win a carpet 
Safavieh Home Website,
 Enchanted Candles and 
Gourmet Home

Rug from Safavieh Home Website and will be a Value of
The Enchanted Candle Value will be $39.00 
Country Gourmet Full Meal
Deal Value $20.00 
Total Value for One Winner: $228.00

Event Starts September
5th at 12:01 AM Runs until September 14th at 11:59 PM
is a simple entry just follow the tasks in 
the Rafflecopter, be sure to do all
qualify to be chosen as a winner!  
Good Luck To All!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prizes are shipped by Mommies Point of View and Are You Finished? is not responsible for sponsor who do not fulfill prize shipments. If you have questions you can contact 

LG Smart Magic Bigscreen

The LG Smart Magic Bigscreen Event is hosted by Mom Powered Media.

Prize: LG 42" Smart 1080p Edge-Lit LED HDTV with Wi-Fi and Magic Remote

The event dates: 11/5 - 11/26

Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids Giveaway Event - November 12 - 22

Pretend to be shocked when I tell you I love Christmas.  Come on, it's not that hard - maybe throw a gasp out for me.

I found a great giveaway opportunity with a Christmas Theme through Makobi Scribe (one of my absolute favorite blogs for wonderful articles and giveaways).  They are offering a really fun event this November called the Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids Giveaway Event.  Every participating blog will have a prize with a minimum value of $25, I'm not sure what I'll be doing, but it'll be awesome and very festive!!!

Check it out!

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Are you looking for a giveaway? My open and upcoming giveaways will be listed here:


LG 42" Smart TV Giveaway - Ends November 26


Blog Hops (Lots of different blogs each hosting their own giveaways)

12 Days of Gifts Galore - November 25 - December 6

Have Yourself a Very Merry Christmas - December 1 - 15

Closed Giveaways
SPOOKtacular Giveaway Hop - Congratulations Janet!
Win $25 in Pampered Chef Products - Congratulations Jamye!
Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop - Congratulations Sarah!
Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway Hop - Congratulations Tracey!
Under the Sea Giveaway Hop - Congratulations Michelle!
Back to the Books Blog Hop - Congratulations Christy!
Cozy Up Your Home Giveaway Event - Ended

Saturday, September 1, 2012

SPOOKtacular Giveaway Hop

I just found the opportunity to participate in a pretty fun looking Halloween themed giveaway hop in October.  I'm not quite sure what I want to do as my prize....

Seeing as Halloween is one of my absolute favorite Holidays, I have many fun ideas roaming through my head!!!  Make sure to come back in October for your chance to win!

SPOOKtacular Giveaway Hop

The Review Wire will be hosting the "SPOOKtacular Giveaway Hop", which will run from October 1-15, 2012. Come celebrate Halloween 2012 with a hop filled with Spine Tingling, Bone Chilling, Frightfully Frightful Fun! All giveaways must be related to Halloween in some way. The giveaway can be costumes, candy, halloween make-up, clothes, party decor, gift certs to buy halloween products, hand-made decorations, spooky name it.

 This FREE Event will run October 1-15, 2012 with a Prize Minimum of $25.00. For more details or to sign up visit The Review Wire.