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Monday, August 2

Chocolate Chunk Fudge Brownies {Giveaway}

School started today for my oldest.  He's in kindergarten.  It wasn't until this past weekend that it really hit me that with him being in 'regular' school means our lives are gonna change a bit and I need to be as ready as possible and able to roll with the punches.

He's so excited to be going to the 'big kid's school'.

Prince Charming ready for the big K!
As I was getting hit with what it means to have a child in regular school, I immediately started thinking about the Soccer Mom decal I should be putting on the van's back window.  And I further started thinking about all of the last minute possibilities, like...

It's 7pm when your child informs you that they need baked goods to share with the whole class tomorrow.

Sound familiar?  My son isn't even old enough for that to start and I can already see it coming.  Or what about that potluck at work you may have forgot about?  I've dropped that ball a few times.

Last minute baking or cooking of any kind for any size gathering is not fun and quite frankly I would be tempted to say "Oh well" and go empty handed.

Here's where Pillsbury Chocolate Chunk Fudge Brownies come to the rescue!  Found exclusively at Sam's Club!
With a taste as delicious and authentic as if you baked them at home, Pillsbury Chocolate Chunk Fudge Brownies are a blend of 3 types of cocoas with real chocolate syrup and milk chocolate chunks to make a delicious fudgy brownie!  They are the perfect solution when your're pressed for time.  Add personal flair to these already baked brownies with your own decorations, frosting, caramel or powdered sugar!  With a straight-out-of-the-oven flavor with the time OR clean-up.
Now having baked brownies from scratch for years and also using Pillsbury's out of the box short cut from time to time, these are sure to be a hit where ever you take them and coming in at a whopping 4 pounds, and you just might have left-overs.  ;)

Ok, so here's the fun part!  The Giveaway!  And if you been around for any of my giveaways, you know I don't ask for much.

Here's what you'll be getting:
$25 Sam's Gift Card to purchase the Chocolate Chunk Fudge Brownies
1 tub of Chocolate Frosting
1 tub of Cream Cheese Frosting
Brownie Carrier
Decorating Kit

Open to US residents.

This is an exclusive giveaway for Sam's Club.  Meaning, the $25 Gift Card is for Sam's Club as that is where you can get the brownies.  You won't be able to get them unless you are a Sam's Club member, even if you have the Gift Card.  Some location have open to the public days, but you'll have to check with your local store.

You do not need to be a blogger to enter, but you must have a valid email address and be age 18 years or older. If you enter anonymously and do not include a valid email address in your comment entries, I will not be able to notify you should you win this random drawing. 

How to Gain Entries
Like the Pillsbury Facebook Fan Page and let us know what you like most about it.  I'm a sucker for recipes.  ;)  You MUST do this to be eligible for this contest.  Leave a comment that have done so.

Extra Entries
Leave a comment here and share a situation in which the new Pillsbury Chocolate Chunk Fudge Brownies would be a perfect treat.

Share this giveaway on any or all of your social media connections.  Facebook, Twitter, Ning Networks, myspace, etc...
Connect with me on Facebook or Twitter.
Be sure to leave a separate comment with links of where you share to validate your entry and comments when you Fan, Connect or Follow

Tell your friends and followers to comment that you sent 'em here, yep, you guessed it, you'll get another entry!

This giveaway will end Thursday, August 5th and the random winner announced on Friday, August 6th!

Disclosure: I'm honored to be part of the MyBlogSpark Network to be able to bring this giveaway to you.  I received a gift pack as noted above in what the random winner will receive in conjunction with my affiliation with MyBlogSpark and their affiliation with Pillsbury.  Good luck and best wishes to all entrants.


Sunday, June 13

Sex and the City 2 Soundtrack : {a Music Review}

I was so excited when I learned that I was "IN" to participate in the Sex and the City 2 soundtrack project from the One2One Network. I couldn't wait to get my copy, tear into it, wear out my CD player and share my giddy praises.
The soundtrack  features a brand-new duet "Love is Your Color" by Grammy and  Academy Award® winner Jennifer Hudson, along with global superstar, multi-platinum recording artist and three-time Grammy Award nominee Leona Lewis.

A new song by platinum-selling  CeeLo and International superstar Dido also contributes an exclusive new track.

Grammy, Emmy, Golden Globe, Tony and Academy Award® winner Liza Minnelli covers Beyonce’s chart-topper “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”

12-time Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys performs her own extraordinary new version of the Blondie classic “Rapture”.

Featuring the stars of Sex and the City 2, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon, perform the Helen Reddy classic “I Am Woman.” 

First impressions are important and so is reputation.  My first impression was so-so, however, the Sex and the City reputation kept me intrigued and the soundtrack grew on me; of course, I have settled on my favorites.  While I could do without the Sex and the City Men's Choir selections or the Liza Minnelli cover of Beyonce's 'Single Ladies', all in all I love it cause it has some of my fave entertainers in one spot.

If you haven't seen the movie yet, here is one of my fave reviews from a new friend.  A refreshing point of view I bet you won't read anywhere else.  Thank you Mirella.

Go to the soundtrack website to listen to snippets of select songs.

What I love most about Sex and the City is the diversity and fierce loyalty these ladies have to each other.  We should all have friends like this,  I am eternally grateful for mine.

If you haven't already, you can join other SATC2 fans on Facebook.

As a member of the One2One Network, I had the opportunity to sign up and receive a complimentary copy of the Sex and the City 2 movie soundtrack to review and post my thoughts on my personal blog.  I was not further compensated for my time or comments on this product.  However, by submitting my review by June 13, 2010, I will be eligible to win one of six gift cards (1x$75, 2x$50 & 3x$25). Winners will be chosen at random.


Sunday, May 30

One eskimO : {a Music Review}

It's my pleasure to introduce to you One eskimO, lead singer-songwriter Kristian Leontiou with band mates Pete Rinaldi {guitar}, Jamie Sefton {bass, horns} and Adam Falkner {drums}.

Currently, 'Kandi' is the #1 adult alternative, most played song on adult radio.  Take a minute (actually four) to check out the video here or their live performance on Ellen to see what the talk is all about.

Fans of Massive Attack, Snow Patrol, Gomez or Damien Rice will find it hard not to tune into to sounds of One eskimO and hang out and chill.

"...catchy, ambient pop." is what Billboard Magazine calls the sound of One eskimO's self-titled debut album and the LA Times magazine hails the song 'Kandi' "a beautiful, aspirational track."

The album is available in stores now or you can check out the deluxe version available on iTunes right here!  This features a bonus track and pair the album with The Adventures of One eskimO, an animated story set to the music of the entire album.  How cool is that?

Here's the track listing and an opportunity to get a free download of "Astronauts" via Twitter.

Track List

Simple Day
Givin Up
All Balloons
Chosen One

I love the overall low key and chill out sounds of this band.  My favorite song, while not necessarily the acclaimed hit 'Kandi', of all the songs, I'm totally loving 'Chosen One'.  The whole album is pretty mellow and has a pretty good chill out factor.

Now, you may have caught One eskimO opening for Tori Amos last year and will be opening for Michael Franti & Spearhead through their May and June tour.  (All shows except Mountain Jam & Mile High Festival) 

Jun 01     Toronto, ON              The Guvernment
Jun 04     Boston, MA               House of Blues
Jun 05     Essex Junction, VT     Camplain Valley Expo
Jun 06     Hunter, NY                Mountain Jam Festival
Jun 08     Royal Oak, MI           Royal Oak Music Thtr
Jun 09     Grand Rapids, MI      Orbit Room
Jun 12     Memphis, TN            Minglewood Hall
Jun 13     Kansas City, MO       Crossroads
Aug 14    Denver, CO               Mile High Festival

Join over 6,300 fans and "Like" their page on Facebook to stay up to date with this up and coming band.

There you have it, check out some of my links and find out for your self! 

As a memeber of the One2One Network, I had the opportunity to sign up and receive a complimentary copy of One eskimO's debut album to review and post my thoughts on my personal blog.  I was not further compensated for my time or comments on this product.


Wednesday, May 12

Wordless Wednesday ~ Summer

Go visit 5 Minutes for Mom or Wordless Wednesday for more WW fun and if you haven't already stopped by... your WW friends may be talking about their WW over at Tell Me Thursday tomorrow!
Don't forget my Nourish Your Inner Goddess Giveaway is ending tomorrow!!


Thursday, May 6

Nourish Your Inner Goddess with Yoplait Greek {Giveaway}

~~ Congratulations Terry! ~~
You are going to love this Greek Goddess prize pack.  Please get back to my email with your addy, so I can get this sent out to you!

Thank you to everyone for participating and spreading the word about this yummy high protein snack.  Have a great day!  I look forward to chatting with you again soon.  ;)  ~Shanna

Ensuring that we give our bodies all the essential nutrients it needs to function properly is not always an easy task.  Too often we are managing so many things for others and easily forget about ourselves.
With 12 grams of protein - twice that found in leading yogurts - new Yoplait Greek nourishes from the inside out.  Available in four delicious flavors, Strawberry, Blueberry, Honey Vanilla and Plan, the brand's newest offering is a unique thick and creamy texture with the unmatched taste expected of Yoplait.
So why is protein so important to your inner goddess?  It may or may not be easy to understand the importance of protein, but hopefully this will help.

Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

You can click here to download a coupon* and save $0.30 on one cup of Yoplait Greek today.  Hurry while supplies last.

*A note from the sponsor..  This coupon offer for a free cup of Yoplait Greek yogurt is not valid in some states, including California, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota and Tennessee.

Now for the best part!!

{Enter to Win!}

One For {that} Which Matters reader will win a Yoplait Greek "Nourish Your Inner Goddess" gift pack.

Here's how to get your entries!

Mandatory Entry:  Fan Yoplait's Facebook page here.

For additional entries...

**Leave a comment on which flavor you are going to try.
**Share this giveaway on any or all of your social media connections.  Facebook, Twitter, Ning Networks, myspace, etc...
**Connect with me on Facebook or Twitter.
**Be sure to leave links of where you share to validate your entry and comments when you Fan, Connect or Follow
**Be sure to tell your friends and followers to comment that you sent 'em here, yep, you guessed it, you'll get another entry!

This giveaway will end Thursday, May 13th and the winner announced on Friday!  Now go and get your Greek on!

**Giveaway is open to US Residents only**

**Disclosure: Everything that you see here was also given to me from Yoplait and MyBlogSpark.  Visit my Disclosure Policy or contact me if you have any questions or concerns.


Thursday, April 29

What was I thinking?

This morning I get up and it's so brisk and cold, I told myself I could take the day off from working out.  I mean, seriously, since I started the Body by Vi Challenge, following the program, seeing results, I thought I'd give myself a day off.  I deserve it, right?

Then I got to thinking of how many days I've allowed myself to take off cause I didn't feel like working out.  You know, something conveniently comes up and becomes my excuse or scapegoat.  Well today, it was the weather.

By the time I got the Littles to school and on was my way home, I was regretting that I allowed myself to 'take' a day off.

I'm mean, seriously, what was I thinking?

Obviously I forgot that I told myself and many others that I'd be ready for swimsuit season this year and SINCE WHEN does making excuses really get you what you want?  Did I also mention that I live in South Georgia, where even though the temp was chilly this morning, it heats up pretty quick.

Imagine this...  After getting home I would have only further regretted my decision, felt sorry for myself and topped it off by eating unhealthy for the rest of the day.  Sounds like a great plan, right?  I mean, why not take care of two issues all in one day.  Not working out and not eating healthy, at least then I'd be sure to workout and eat healthy other days, what do you think?  Um... No...  Sounds a little like denial to me.  How many days do I have to 'take off' before I realize I'm my worst enemy?  So instead, I pointed the Sedona to the YMCA and did my thing.  Nothing serious, just got my blood pumping briskly walking 2 miles or so and making my arms hurt with push ups, chair lunges and the seated rowing.

Did I mention that I was wearing blue jeans, tshirt, sweatshirt and an nice frilly bra?  Ever try working out in fitting jeans and a frilly bra?  Definitely not your typical workout gear, but hey, I wasn't going to let that be another excuse.  At least I wore tennis shoes.

A day off?  Really?  No, it's a lifestyle, can't take days off just because I don't feel like it.  If I'm taking a day off it's because of something bigger than I don't feel like it.  I deserve better than that!

I don't feel like it?  What was I thinking?

Have something that gets you feeling like you don't feel like it?  I loved to hear about it and what you do to do it anyway!

To our health and success!


Sunday, April 11

Clarity is Priceless

Finally, I have found clarity and confidence looking back at me in the mirror.

I remember in highschool, all athletes that wanted to participate in any sports that following year had to go through a sports physical screening. Volleyball, basketball and softball were my thing. I don't remember much of what information was gathered, but I do remember each of us had to get on the scale and with most of our peers in ear shot, the nurse would call out our stats to another nurse recording them. ... I weighed 171 pounds. Funny thing is, I don't remember anyone else's stats and I'm pretty sure they don't remember mine. Even so, it was an anvil crushing down and compressing everything in my life to that point.

In my early 20s, I hit the gym 4-6 days a week determined to lose weight. I worked out for several hours each day. Many days when the weather cooperated, I would rollerblade 3-4 times around Lake Calhoun in beautiful Minneapolis before I even got to the gym. I always felt great about getting strong and fit, but it wasn't congruent with how I felt about my appearance on the outside.

Fast forward through almost a decade; in the beginning, I get an administrative desk job, move up in the corporate/operational ladder, enlist in the National Guard and eventually get married. I had all three of my babies and and a knee surgery in one year. Oh yes, 2005 was a very busy, joyous and painful year. One that I believe I am finally recovering from.

Needless to say, once job, marriage, family, babies and other commitments starting taking it's toll, the inner me just faded into the background of an unfulfilled life.

Sure, I would enjoy sparks of light and dive into something good for me, just me, here or there, but it would eventually go out. While that moment in highschool isn't the catalyst that really got me here, it's really the only place comfortable/appropriate for me to start.

Running on empty and burning the candle at both ends was something very familial to me. Then in 2008 when I thought the unfulfilled life that I've faded into could not get any worse, it did.

It's taken me almost two years of searching and finding me. Getting back to the basics and becoming grateful for what I did have was a start. While ending it all had always been a tempting, frightening, open door since 5th grade, I refused to give in and completely give up.

Bottom line, I'm still standing, I am here, I'm not fading into the background of an unfulfilled life anymore and I like what I see.  Finally.

Originally posted on My Vi-Net @ 1:01 pm 04/11/10


Saturday, January 16

Moms Secret Weapon - Learning to Say 'No'

Are you suffering from mom burn out? Do you struggle just to make it through each day? Moms everywhere are breaking down because they are too chicken to say, "No".

"No" may be a tiny, two-letter word, but it can be your secret weapon. And you can say it. Here are some ways you can say "no" without feeling guilty about it:

Sorry, I’m taking a break.
The number one reason why you should say, "no" occasionally is simply that you deserve a break. You are chef, chauffeur, dish washer, and more. You job never ends on any given day of the week. You deserve a break. If you feel bad for saying "no", say, "Sorry, I’m taking a break".

My schedule is full.
We tend to jam-pack our schedule full of activities, leaving time for nothing. Cut back on your kids activities. Start a car pool and share driving responsibilities. Do whatever you can to free up some time in your schedule.

I don’t have time.
You’re headed out the door, rushing to the next appointment when the telephone rings. What do you do? Do you come to a screeching halt and answer the phone? Let’s say you do, and it’s a family member, calling to dump their latest woes on you. Do you stand, tapping your foot impatiently while you roll your eyes and listen to the sob story? This is a typical scene for many moms.

I have another commitment that day.
Say it and mean it. Regularly schedule in time with your family or time alone and if someone ask for your help during that time look in your planner and tell them you have another commitment.

Instead of rushing to be everything to everyone, stop. Ask yourself if you truly have time for whatever comes up. If not, say no by walking away, turning off the ringer on the phone, or not answering the knock at your door.

Always remember that you are a mom—not a super hero. When you have to say no, people will understand; if they don’t at first, they will get used to it eventually.

Editor's note: Still having trouble putting your foot down? Sometimes, we just need some extra guidance, a listening ear or a gentle and loving kick in the butt. You might want to give Aurelia Williams' free coaching session a go. She's a life coach and mom of 3 who has adult, teen and school age children so she definitely knows what she's talking about.

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