Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Twittering Thursday Twitter Hop #11

Welcome to Twittering Thursdays Twitter Hop!




This week's Co-Hosts are Shana from Organized Chaos and Krystal from Krystal's Kitsch. Please stop by say hi and follow them back!


Are you interesting in Co-Hosting next Thursdays Twitter Hop?  Email Deandra at phillipsdeandra@gmail.com
There is no charge to participate!

Please help spread the news about this TWITTER HOP!
Its only appropriate to TWEET about it!


RULES:

Please follow each hostess.





2. Leave a comment if you are new and want us to return the follow.
3. Grab the button and display it on your sidebar or link it to the post.
4. Have fun and meet new friends!


This post is sponsored by:


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Twittering Thursday Twitter Hop #10

Welcome to Twittering Thursdays Twitter Hop!




This week's Co-Hosts are Samantha from Hooah And Hiccups and Jaime from Moms Test Kitchen. Please stop by say hi and follow them back!


Are you interesting in Co-Hosting next Thursdays Twitter Hop?  Email Deandra at phillipsdeandra@gmail.com
There is no charge to participate!

Please help spread the news about this TWITTER HOP!
Its only appropriate to TWEET about it!


RULES:

Please follow each hostess.





2. Leave a comment if you are new and want us to return the follow.
3. Grab the button and display it on your sidebar or link it to the post.
4. Have fun and meet new friends!


This post is sponsored by:


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Book Review: Safe Haven By Nicholas Sparks


Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing
2010

Format: e-book

First Line(s): As Katie found her way among the tables, a breeze from the Atlantic rippled through her hair.  Carrying three plates in her left hand and another in her right, she wore jeans and a T-shirt that read Ivan's: Try Our Fish Just for the Halibut.  She brought the plates to four men wearing polo shirts; the one closest to her caught her eye and smiled.  Though he tried to act as though he was just a friendly guy, she knew he was watching her as she walked away.  Melody had mentioned the men had come from Wilmington and were scouting locations for a movie.

Synopsis from Goodreads: When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.

But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo’s empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.

My Thoughts:  I was unsure about reading this book.  Nicholas Sparks book inspired movies do not seem like they would be the types of books that would top my "to read" list, but I have a thing about reading books that are turned into movies - not sure why I like them so much - but I thought since most of his books are made into movies, I'd give this one a go.  My first impression was not the same as my last impression.

The beginning of this book - like the beginning of most movies based on books by NS -  was slow.  I had a hard time keeping pace and attention.  I felt it was rather predictable - which I predicted correctly all along - but then again, I believe the author intended for you to.  Girl runs away from husband.  Girl lands in small town.  Girl falls in love.  Husband comes looking for her.  Pretty typical...but then there was a twist that I had not seen coming!

Overall, it actually turned out to be a good book.  The ending is what grabbed me the most.  At one point, I couldn't put the book down.  While most of the book was predictable - and was all the way through - there were some twists at the end that I had not anticipated.  Twists that made this book what it was  - a NS tear jerker.  Although I did not cry while reading the book - I have a feeling that the movie will have a whole other impact - even though I know what is coming.


There was something in this book that just annoyed me to no end.  The way the author portrayed the ex-husband, Kevin.  I know he was supposed to appear as a drunken lunatic, but that doesn't mean that the book needs to make him speak or think like a caveman.  It really irritated me.  This man was a professional; obviously he spoke English somewhat well or people would have questioned his mental state.

As I stated, I enjoyed this book.  After the first few chapters it kept me engaged and I actually started to fall in love with the characters - and was hopeful for where the storyline would go and a happy ending.  The suspense at the end of the book and the "twist" made me need more.  Unfortunately, this book was not a series, and the author leaves the book in a final state ending - but I was glad for that.  Too many books leave you wanting more!

Safe Haven is an enjoyable read.  This book was "fresh air" for me.  The storyline/interest captivation really developed at the end of the book.  I will be checking out the movie next - I'm excited to see that Josh Duhamel is Alex!  He will definitely have my attention!

Safe Haven gets 4.5 stars.




This post is sponsored by:


Thursday, February 14, 2013

I would like to thank the Academy...

Wait - wrong award.  
However, this week I was in fact awarded, not 1, but 2 Liebster Awards!  I was nominated by April at Hearts on Guard and also by Darla at Mom's World.  Thank you ladies for the nominations!
I stole the description of what a Liebster Award was from April:
Sounds pretty fancy schmancy, but basically it's a way to show newbie bloggers some love :) Liebster is German, meaning sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.  It's bestowed on new and upcoming blogs who have fewer than 200 followers.
I started my blog back in September 2008 as a way to journal, write, and vent my frustrations.  At the time I wasn't married nor did I have any children.  Eventually, my "busy" life got in the way and while I still read blogs and kept up with my close friends, I stopped blogging myself.  After I had my son, I found myself subscribing to more and more blogs.  Finally, I decided to start posting again.  And here we are present day, winning 2 newbie blogger awards!
So how does this award thingy work? Here are the rules...
1. You must post 11 random facts about yourself.
2. Answer the questions provided by your nominator.
3. Nominate 11 bloggers (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post. (I actually just hit 200 on Thursday, but I was nominated in advance of this so I'm still accepting my award!  HA!)
4. Create 11 questions for your nominees.
5. Tag back is not required, but leave a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster Award post so I can learn more about you :)

11 22 Random Facts 

(Since I was nominated twice, I decided to supply double the facts!)


1. I figure skated competitively for 13 years and eventually taught lessons. Boy do I miss those days...and those legs.

2. My brother is my best friend. No matter what, hes always there for me and understands me in a way that some of my very close friends never will.

3. I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis at 14. I've had 4 surgeries, but it keeps spreading. I've been dealing with this for over 10 years and I'm at the point that I wish they would just take everything out. 2 more years...wish granted.

4. I'm addicted to teen-fiction-vampire-romance novels.

5. When I was a child, I wanted to be a writer and write books. I'm a very creative writer and love to write whenever I get the chance.

6. Speaking of writing, I am published. My college english/writing teacher published one of my homework assignments. A paper that I wrote for an assignment in a college writing class...a paper that I wrote at 2 am drunk as a skunk. It was a comparative essay titled... Santa Claus vs. The Easter Bunny.

7. In H.S., my best friend Val called me "dumbass" on the way to the dance for leaving the homecoming tickets at home. Guess it kind of stuck, because to this day, she still calls me dumbass....and so does her husband.

8. I'm a pretty good dart player. I've played in leagues since I was 17. I used to be better than I am now...could be better than I am now, but enjoy it more as a hobby than anything.

9. I love Marilyn Monroe & Elvis Presley. The good ones always die so young.

10. One of my favorite movies is Gone with the Wind. My grandma and I watched it as a little girl...how many little girls do you know that could sit through a movie that long? Other favorites is the Cutting Edge, Dirty Dancing, North & South, and Pearl Harbor. I could watch those again and again.

11. I'm married to the guy that I was infatuated with in high school. But he was off limits back then because he dated a friend of mine. I think after 10 years, its ok for me to date a guy that a friend dated briefly in HS.

12. I love cars. But now that I'm a mom - there is not a muscle car in my future any time soon! Maybe one day - although I'm sure we will have a Harley before a Nova...

13. I want to learn how to play the piano. I took lessons as a kid, but hated it. Now I'm at an age to appreciate it.

14. I have a bucket list...a list of things I want to do before I "kick the bucket". I've had this list since I was in high school...although over the years, some things have been marked off and others added. I've never showed it to anyone, nor will I.

15. I am an organized mess. From the looks of things, you would think that I'm a slob, but I'm actually very organized.

16. It is my generation to have triplets. Which thankfully, did not happen!

17. I HATE onions. Its actually the smell I can't stand...but therefore, I cannot eat them. I also hate mushy foods, i.e bananas, beans,etc. etc.

18. I share a birthday with Neil Diamond, Mary Lou Retton, and the great John Belushi.

19. I took swing dancing lessons. I'm not saying I'm good at this type of dancing, but I got some moves...

20. I hate shopping. I'm really not a girly girl. I prefer to shop online...

21. I tried to enlist in the military out of high school...but they wouldn't take be because of my health issues.

22. I can drink gallons of iced tea. It is one of my favorite drinks. No wonder I can't sleep at night!!

Questions from April

1. What is your biggest fear?
Drowning...and a titanic-like experience.
2. How many children do you want to have?
At one point, I wanted 2, a boy and a girl, but after my pregnancy and labor/delivery with Drew, I think I may limit it back to one and done!
3. What did you want to be when you were a kid?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a veternarian.  Until I found up I had to stick my arm up a cows butt, then I decided I wanted to be a writer.
4. What is your favorite book, and how many times have you read it?
I've read so many books over the years.  I don't know that I have a favorite.  If you go with how many times I've read a book, that would have to be Bubbles, Bubbles - I read that to my son every night.  In fact, I've read it so many times I can recite it from start to finish without the book even being in front of me.
5. If you could honeymoon anywhere, where would you choose?
I already took a honeymoon to Punta Cana, if I could go anywhere again, I would choose Tahiti, Greece, Tuscany, Turks & Caicos...the list could go on forever....
6. What would be your dream career?
I would love to be self employed.  And some day I think I will be.  I just have to find my niche that will match my salary I make working for the "man"
7. What is your usual order at Starbucks (or other coffee shop)?
Mocha Frapachino (cold) or peppermint mocha (hot)
8. Favorite restaurant?
I do not have a favorite.  However, I do like crab legs.  So if they are served at a reasonable and customary price, your my new fav.
9. What is number one on your bucket list?
Please see above...I will not tell you my bucket list.  Its for my eyes only.  ;-)
10. If you could have a super power, what would you choose?
Is magic a super power?  I want to be like Mary Poppins where everything puts itself away.
11. Are you a stomach, back, or side sleeper? Or do you mix it up?
Pre-baby I was a stomach sleeper.  Now I'm a back/side sleeper.


Questions from Darla

1.  What is your favorite movie?
Probably Gone with the Wind.  I love that movie!
2.  Do you have any special talents?
I don't know that I would call it a talent, but I can pop my hip in and out of socket.
3.  When did you start your blog and why?
Funny, I had already answered this at the top!  
I started my blog back in September 2008 as a way to journal, write, and vent my frustrations.  At the time I wasn't married nor did I have any children.  Eventually, my "busy" life got in the way and while I still read blogs and kept up with my close friends, I stopped blogging myself.  After I had my son, I found myself subscribing to more and more blogs.  Finally, I decided to start posting again.  And here we are present day, winning 2 newbie blogger awards!
4.  If you only had one food you could survive on, what would it be and why?
Pizza - I could eat pizza daily.
5.  Do you play video games?  If so, what is your favorite game?
Not really, but occasionally, (really when I was pregnant and about to pop) I would play Tiger Woods on XBOX with the hubby.  I do like rock band/guitar hero though!!
6.  Where is one place in the United States you would like to visit and why?
I would like to go to New York.  I've never been there and would love to experience it just once.
7.  If you were another person, would you be friends with you?
Of Course!
8.  Would you ever bungee jump or skydive?
Bungee Jump, maybe.  Sky Dive?  Why would I jump out of a perfectly good airplane?!?!
9.  What did you watch on TV last night?
I watched Thomas the Train, Calliou, Driver Dan, & CSI
10. What do you think of Valentine's Day?
Hallmark Holiday
11. What is your favorite vegetable?
Corn on the Cob


11 Questions for my Nominees

  1. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would do?
  2. SUV or Minivan?  Why?
  3. What is your favorite book?
  4. Are you a fan of reality TV?  If so, what is your favorite show?
  5. Favorite cocktail?
  6. What is your favorite trait about yourself?
  7. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?
  8. What song could you listen to on repeat right now?
  9. If your life could be described on a soundtrack, what are 3 songs that would be included?
  10. What celebrity do you get mistaken for?
  11. Who is your celebrity crush?
Last but Not Least....

My Nominees

  1. Alex @ Good Girl Gone Wife
  2. Jules @ My Mom's a Whack Job
  3. Sarah @ Hot Mess Mommie
  4. Cynthia @ Living in Neverland
  5. Tania @ The Mama Mantras
  6. Becca @ Beginning with Becca
  7. Marci @ Marce Lips
  8. Melissa @ The Real McCoys
  9. Aleisha @ Britches & Boots
  10. Jenn @ My Daily Jenn-ism
  11. Jamie @ Things in You

This post is sponsored by:


GYB Blog Hop ~ I'm a Co-Host!!

Good morning and welcome to the Grow Your Blog (or GYB) blog hop, Valentines Edition! Paula and I are so happy to have you link up with us this week. And we happily welcome any new bloggers to the party! :) How has your week been? Do you have any plans for the weekend? What is the Grow Your Blog Hop all about? NETWORKING! Meeting new bloggers, finding new content to follow, building your readership. Why is blog networking great for you? Simply put, it increases readership and traffic to your blog. How do you network? Visit. Comment. Invite. Communicate. These are key to growing your blog.


growyourblog200a
THIS WEEK'S HOSTS & LOVELY CO-HOSTS!

WHEN YOU LINK UP TO THIS PARTY:
      • Follow your hosts and co-hosts
      • Link up the main page of your blog, not an individual post. You may link up your individual posts to Marvelous Mondays.
      • Visit and follow other bloggers
      • Comment to let them know that you stopped by and how you followed (Email, GFC, Facebook, Bloglovin, etc)
      • Invite them to visit your blog (be sure to leave your blog web address - too many times have i seen bloggers comment and request a visit to their blog without leaving their blog web address)
      • Communicate with them about what you like on their blog. Let them know you are interested in their blog. USE THEIR NAME! A simple "I'm so and so stopping by. I followed you please follow me." just isn't going to interest someone into visiting your blog. Sure, you can request a visit to your blog or a follow along but engage in some type of conversation first.
      • Grab a button and promote the party(you can get the button on This Gal Cooks right here.)

cohosting

This post is sponsored by:


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Twittering Thursday Twitter Hop #9

Welcome to Twittering Thursdays Twitter Hop!




This week's Co-Hosts are Melissa from Tied the Knott and Leila from What I Adore. Please stop by say hi and follow them back!


Are you interesting in Co-Hosting next Thursdays Twitter Hop?  Email Deandra at phillipsdeandra@gmail.com
There is no charge to participate!

Please help spread the news about this TWITTER HOP!
Its only appropriate to TWEET about it!


RULES:

Please follow each hostess.





2. Leave a comment if you are new and want us to return the follow.
3. Grab the button and display it on your sidebar or link it to the post.
4. Have fun and meet new friends!


This post is sponsored by:


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Forrest Gump

I love watching the Grammys - unfortunately, I had a little too much fun this past weekend and was so exhausted by Sunday evening that I couldn't make it through the end.  Last night, while laying in bed, my hubby starts singing these horrible, confusing lyrics...
Forrest Gump, you run my mind boy
Running on my mind boy
Forrest Gump
I was like, WTH??  Super confused...
He proceeded to tell me about the song this guy on the Grammys sang right after I fell asleep.  I had to check it out.  I watched the video on you tube
Again, WTF?

So then I had to check out the lyrics...and I got the giggles.  Partially because of the site that I got the lyrics off of, I'll get to that in a minute.

"Forrest Gump"

I wanna see your pom poms from the stands
Come on, come on

My fingertips, and my lips, they burn
From the cigarettes
Forrest Gump, you run my mind boy
Running on my mind boy
Forrest Gump

I know you Forrest
I know you wouldn't hurt a beetle
But you're so buff, and so strong
I'm nervous Forrest

Forrest Gump
My fingertips, and my lips, they burn
From the cigarettes
Forrest Gump you run my mind boy
Running on my mind boy
Forrest Gump

I saw ya game, Forrest
I was screamin' run 44
But you kept runnin' past the end zone
Oh where'd you go Forrest

Forrest Gump
My fingertips, and my lips, they burn
From the cigarettes
Forrest Gump you run my mind boy
Running on my mind boy
Forrest Gump

Forrest green
Forrest blues
I re-mem-ber you
If this is love, I know it's true
I won't for-get you (you)
(You you, oh you you) It's for you Forrest
(You you, oh you you) It's for you Forrest
Forrest Gump

So - I found the lyrics on rapgenius.com.  This site had me dying laughing for almost an hour after the "Forrest Gump" finding.  I proceeded to look up more songs and see the meanings behind them.  One of my favorites was Little Jon "Get Low".  Tony recorded me reading the "meaning" behind the lyrics because I was laughing so hard he said that made it even funnier.  (I made him delete his recording because it was awful!!).  Anyway - here is a line from one of my favorites:

It amused me for quite some time.  Just thought I would share an excerpt from my evening last night.



This post is sponsored by:


Monday, February 11, 2013

Say hello to my little friends! And enter a Giveaway while your at it!

MY NEW FRIENDS!!

Some are just joining, and some have been hanging out for the last month - its time...I'd like to introduce you to my lovely sponsors and new friends.  Its been a blast partnering with these lovely ladies, learning more about them, following their blogs, and sharing with them.  So, please take a moment to meet each one of these wonderful women and show them some love by swinging by their blog and/or shop.  Make sure you swing by the bottom of this post of an awesome giveaway compliments of my February sponsors and ME!

 Baylee @ The Day I Stopped Making Cents

Hi! I'm Baylee. I'm a lifestyle blogger with a sailors mouth and lots of passion for lots of things. I just recently found out I'm expecting with my fiance Joe. Right now we're parents to a cat named Zappa, dog named Cuba and a tarantula named Bug. I love poetry, board games and (decaf) coffee. I sound boring but I'm not so make sure you stop by. 
For all Chaos, Commotion, Emotion readers I'm offering 50% off all add spots using promo code "chaos"!!!

BLOG

************************************************

Ricki @ Adventures with Rogue Baby

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Hi, I'm Ricki. I am wife to a fantastic man, who happens to be my best friend. I am mama to the world's most amazing little girl. I'm probably biased. ;) I spend my days working in the corporate financial world and in the remaining hours of the day I am owner of The Rogue Baby. I've always loved writing. Adventures with Rogue Baby is my outlet for that passion. On the blog you'll find tutorials, recipes, shop updates, and some family & fitness stuff mixed in too.

BLOG
SHOP

************************************************

Nathan @ Life & Everything Else In-Between
My name is Nathan and I blog about everyday life and all things in between. I live in the northeast with my wife, daughter, and our Labrador retriever. I enjoy blogging, I've been doing it for a few years now and it's really nice being able to meet new people. I use my blog as a way to give back to the community by giving away sponsor proceeds to various charitable organizations. Feel free to stop by and say hello!

BLOG

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Rachel @ Postcards from Rachel

Hi, Everyone! I'm Rachel and I blog over at Postcards from Rachel. I started blogging while living abroad in Scotland to keep my family and friends up-to-date. Now that we're back in the States, I document everyday life and our travels. I'd love for you to stop by and say hello!

BLOG

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Andrea Bai @ Glam Hungry Mom

Hi everyone! My name is Andrea Bai, a football wife and modern mom. Glam Hungry Mom is a lifestyle blog where I share my latest recipes, beauty obsessions, fashion favorites, and a glimpse into my life. I believe makeup and style are art forms, and creating recipes is therapeutic. I love to live a mostly healthy lifestyle and follow the 80/20 rule. However, you will find a few indulgences sure to please in my recipes. Please stop by and say "hi!"

BLOG

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Dawn @ Dawn's Disaster

I am an everyday mommy, who has found a passion for blogging. Between keeping up with the 3 Beanie Babies and the Hubs, I have little time to myself. When I do find a moment, I love to sing and play the piano.

BLOG

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Nicole Pharr @ Pharr Away

Hello, friends! I'm Nicole, and I blog over at Pharr Away (www.pharr-away.com). On my blog I share my thoughts as an engineer turned stay at home mom, who's learning to submit / honor the hubby, raise the kiddo and cook from scratch...you know, "Susie homemaker" type stuff! The journey isn't easy, but it's a whole lot of fun! I hope you'll stop by and share in the ups (and sometimes downs) of my perfectly imperfect life!

BLOG

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Melanie @ Now A Queen

I am a 30 something Graphic Designer, Wife, Mom and wanna-be-professional photographer. My blog, now a queen, is a lifestyle blog about my life and my 2 year olds life, mainly started so family and friends could keep up with us!

BLOG

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Marquis @ Simply Clarke

My name is Marquis and you can normally find me at Simply Clarke. I love being a wife to my wonderful husband Kevin Clarke and I love God with all my heart. I have a passion for Children’s ministry and College Ministry. The bible is my inspiration and I believe that life is breathtakingly beautiful. 
 My blog started from my love to design and create things, as well as, write. I am still learning the ins-and-outs of the blogging world, but have been overwhelmed by the people I have met so far and kindness they have showed me. Simply Clarke is filled with love, inspiration and pretty things! 
 Please stop by and check out my blog – leave a comment, I would love to meet you!

BLOG

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And Now Enter a Giveaway from my sponsors (& ME)!!



Thanks for stopping by!!

This post is sponsored by:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Twittering Thursday Twitter Hop #8

Welcome to Twittering Thursdays Twitter Hop!




This week's Co-Hosts are Courtney from Optimistic Mommy and Marci from Marce Lips. Please stop by say hi and follow them back!


Are you interesting in Co-Hosting next Thursdays Twitter Hop?  Email Deandra at phillipsdeandra@gmail.com
There is no charge to participate!

Please help spread the news about this TWITTER HOP!
Its only appropriate to TWEET about it!


RULES:

Please follow each hostess.





2. Leave a comment if you are new and want us to return the follow.
3. Grab the button and display it on your sidebar or link it to the post.
4. Have fun and meet new friends!


This post is sponsored by:

My Pinterest Reality's 1 Year Giveaway!!

Have you met my friend Kim over at 

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Today marks the 1 year Anniversary of 
My Pinterest Reality!!

It's crazy to thing that in one year I've gone from a couple of friends and family members following my blog to over 450. Your comments, encouragement & inspiration have help keep me going. There have been plenty of days I wanted to give up but as I look back at everything I did with my girls, for myself and for my family I wouldn't change a thing. 

To celebrate this HUGE milestone with you...I'm excited to have a great giveaway.  
  
Thank You to the group of {lovely blogs} who are making this giveaway happen. 

Here are the prizes for 1 Lucky Winner:

Featured Ad Space Spot (250x400)
Chaos, Commotion and Emotion 

1 month of large ad space
The Day I Stopped Making Cents
  
XL (200x200) ad space
Nanny2Mommy
  
Highlight Sponsor Spot--30 day banner ad in the footer (600x100) of each blog post for the month
One sponsor post during the month.
 More Than Mommies
  
Large 200x200 ad space.
A Co-host slot on the Friday Chaos Hop
Oh So Amelia 



 Do Small Things With Love
 
Let Them Eat Cake

a Rafflecopter giveaway