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Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas

So - it's a busy time of year and I'm out of time. Enjoy this picture that LLB took one morning on the way to ring bells...  That's fog.
I'm up to my eyeballs in stuff. I'll see you all next week sometime, k?
Merry Christmas to all....
And to all, a good night.

Mrs. Butterworths Review and Give Away

I was asked to try the Mrs. Butterworth's Syrup in the Limited Edition Holiday Bottle.  It is so cute! Mrs. Butterworth is all dressed up! It sure beats that yellow apron she usually sports with her plain brown bottle.  Not that there is anything wrong with her brown bottle, mind you.

Needless to say, we had a snow day and we ate pancakes and syrup for breakfast. The kids and I enjoyed the syrup very much!  (We enjoyed them so much, that we forgot to take a picture!)  It was nice and thick and buttery tasting. Just like I remember from when I was a kid and Mrs. Butterworth graced my breakfast table.

These bottles are collectible and only available for a limited time.  If you happen to like Mrs. B and her new dress, you can win a bottle here!  Just leave me a comment by December 27th. 



This post was written for Family Review Network & Pinnacle Food Groups who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinions.

Pledge Review and Give Away

I was asked to review Pledge Lemon Clean.
I love the lemon scent of Pledge. It brings back memories of home -- my mother dusted with Pledge and so did my grandmother.  There are actually two websites you can peruse that will tell you about Pledge - The regular Pledge.com site and this one: Mom it Forward.  Check them both out. You'll be glad you did.  I happen to really like the Mom it Forward site because it has interesting articles about family, school, and parenting.

The box arrived and this is what they sent:

I got a basket with a new red dishtowel, some photo coasters, a deck of cards and the Pledge.  The coasters and the deck of cards are so we can sit around and play games with all the time we save using the pledge!  The basket is for the pretzels we'll eat while we play the games and the dishtowel is to make my kitchen look festive.  I love this little basket!!

Anyway, I had a party the other night, so this little gem arrived in the nick of time! I cleaned my fireplace surround with it. I cleaned my piano with it. I cleaned my wood furniture pieces with it. I even cleaned my TV with it.  I will admit that I didn't clean the TV screen with it.  I cleaned and dusted and I have to say, I'm impressed. I cleaned it all and only had to use one cleaner. It saved me a ton of time!!

I like how it cleaned everything and left that yummy lemon scent in the air.
The company says:

About Pledge®:
This holiday season Pledge® is empowering moms to put a new twist on their family’s tried and true traditions. One easy way to do that is to make all areas of your home shine. That’s right – that trusted yellow can under your kitchen sink can be used to dust, shine and protect a variety of household surfaces:
  • Leather
  • Stainless Steel
  • Granite
  • Marble
  • Laminate
  • Wood
I can give a can of Pledge away!! You want one?? I know you do!!
Leave me a comment before January 1st!

This post was written for Family Review Network & Pledge who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest review

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    Pure Silk

    When I was first asked to review Pure Silk, it was a lot warmer out and I was still wearing capris. Well, the Pure Silk arrived at my doorstep a few days ago... It is cold out and to be honest, shaving my legs in the winter is not something I worry about like I do in the summer months.

    Fortunately for, you, my dear reader, and my family, I decided to try this stuff out. It is WONDERFUL!!  It feels nice when you put it on. It feels nice when you shave. My legs felt smooth and silky after I finished. And I have to say, it smells nice, too! 
    When I was finished, I passed it on to LLB to try. She is on the swim team and her legs have been getting very dry and flaky lately.  She was just as impressed as I was. She said her legs felt moisturized when she was done. AND she said that they stayed smooth and silky all day -- even after her time in the pool. Now THAT's sayin' somethin!!

    So - if you've got dry hairy legs - this is your solution!  Try Pure Silk. You'll be glad you did.


    This post was written for Family Review Network & Pure Silk who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest review

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    Pecans in the Cemetary

    On the outskirts of a small town, there was a big, old pecan tree just inside the cemetery fence. One day, two boys filled up a bucketful of nuts and sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing the nuts.
    'One for you, one for me One for you, one for me,' said one boy.
    Several dropped and rolled down toward the fence.
    Another boy came riding along the road on his bicycle. As he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery. He slowed down to investigate.. Sure enough, he heard, 'One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me.'
    He just knew what it was. He jumped back on his bike and rode off.
    Just around the bend he met an old man with a cane, hobbling along.
    'Come here quick,' said the boy, 'you won't believe what I heard! Satan and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing up the souls.'
    The man said, 'Beat it kid, can't you see it's hard for me to walk.' When the boy insisted though, the man hobbled slowly to the cemetery.
    Standing by the fence they heard, 'One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me.
    The old man whispered, 'Boy, you've been tellin' me the truth. Let's see if we can see the Lord.'
    Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence, yet were still unable to see anything. The old man and the boy gripped the wrought iron bars of the fence tighter and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of the Lord.
    At last they heard, 'One for you, one for me. That's all. Now let's go get those nuts by the fence and we'll be done.'
    They say the old man made it back to town a full 5 minutes ahead of the kid on the bike.

    I hope this brought a smile to your face. I found it in my email this morning and just had to share...

    Friday, December 10, 2010

    Cheese, Grommit!

    We LOVE cheese - Almost as much as Wallace and Grommit!

    I was asked to review the newest Cracker Barrel Limited Edition Holiday Reserve Cheddar Cheese.
    It arrived on my porch early yesterday morning. I was SOOO excited! (I know - it doesn't take much.)

    It took all the willpower I had to hold off until 11:30am.  I opened the Limited Edition White Cheddar (which is labeled very very sharp), sliced off a piece, and popped it into my mouth. It was pure heaven.  The taste is phenomenal! It is smooth and sweet, but not too sweet.  So many cheeses these days taste like soap, but not this... this is awesome!  It's a nice sharp cheese and has a bit of a bite to it - just the way I like it. Oh my!  You don't even need a cracker - it's that good.

    If I were to serve this to a crowd, I would pair it with a yummy peppercorn cracker or flat bread and some green seedless grapes. I'd serve it with a lovely white wine... ooohh that sounds really good. (I wonder if I have any grapes and wine in my fridge... let me check...) I didn't find any wine or grapes, but I did come across that cheese and had to have another piece... okay so I had 2... alright... 3 pieces.

    They also sent me the Limited Edition Cheddar which is only very sharp. I loved that, too! I'd pair that with a yummy cracker and maybe some red wine. You know, just to be different.  It would look great on a holiday table with some red grapes or purple grapes and some really yummy white peppercorn crackers.  So festive... so yummy!


    There is only one thing that I don't like about this cheese: It is only available until January 1st. 

    What they said:
    Cracker Barrel Limited Edition Holiday Reserve features flavors to please any palette– from the most notorious cheese snob to the least adventurous eater. No other cheddar cheese within the Cracker Barrel portfolio uses the same unique cultures as
    Limited Edition Holiday Reserve.

    Cheese is a no fuss way to round out a holiday party’s menu. Cracker Barrel Holiday Reserve Aged Cheddar Cheese is delicious and unique enough to serve on its own – or to pair with crackers and accoutrements like dried fruits, chocolate and nuts.


    I really wish this cheese were available all year, as it would be a perfect cheese for polo.  It would go very nicely with my champagne... I'm not kidding... I'm serious!!

    We have a Christmas Party to attend this weekend. I am going to purchase a block of this to take to the party.  I am going to slice it nice and thin - because cheese (and cold cuts for that matter) always tastes best when thin.  I'm sure that there will only be crumbs left on the plate. The first person that tries it will tell their companion how wonderful it is and then... the rest of the guests will be like vultures and when they finally step away from the plate mere seconds later, there will be nothing left.

    Maybe I should buy 2 blocks...


    This post was written for Family Review Network & Kraft Cracker Barrel who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinions.

    Wednesday, December 08, 2010

    The Christmas Letter


    Here is the Christmas letter I wrote to send out this year. So -- if you want to know what's going on around here, read this. If you don't want to know - stop reading now.

    Hello!
    I thought I’d fill you in on our family life this year. Since there is so much to tell and I’m too lazy to write it all down in each and every Christmas card with a pen, you’re getting this note.

    #1 is now 18 and is a high school senior.   How time flies!  And no, I’m not old enough to have a high school senior.  #1’s hard work in school has paid off! He has received a 4-year Army ROTC Scholarship to his first choice school, Virginia Military Institute. He got one to Virginia Tech, as well. (He would really prefer to serve with the Navy or the Air Force, so he is waiting to hear from them in early 2011 about their ROTC Scholarships. Keep your fingers crossed!) He has also been accepted to The Citadel and to Norwich – complete with scholarship monies.  It’s really fun to open a letter from a college and discover that 1 – they want you and 2 – they are giving you money.
    #1 was one of two saxophones selected for The Music Educators National Conference Honor Band in June.  He spent a week under the direction of nationally recognized conductors and he met a lot of really great and talented kids from across the nation. The week culminated with a performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.  It was a phenomenal experience.
    #1 continues to play in the Marching Band at school and is the Woodwind Captain again this year. He is also involved in the Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, Sax Ensemble, and more.  I suspect that #1 will continue to play his Sax in college.  There are jazz bands and marching bands at every school he is interested in attending. 

    LLB is 15 and is a sophomore. How do they grow up so fast?! LLB continues to play the trumpet. She is in Marching Band, Jazz Band, Pep Band, Percussion Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, the Pit Orchestra, and more. She was one of 3 students and the only freshman from our high school to make the District Band last spring – this is quite an accomplishment. This coming January she will be playing at the Shepherd University Honor Ensemble at Shepherd in West Virginia.
    Trumpet is not LLB’s only instrument. She learned how to play the marimba – a xylophone-like instrument – last winter. She really enjoys it and will continue to play it in Percussion Ensemble this year.  LLB also continues to ring handbells. She rings 4 in hand like a pro and can switch to the bass line in the blink of an eye.  Ahhh – youth!
    LLB is also doing very well in school. Her favorite classes are Math and Music Theory. She has doubled up on the Math this year and loves it.  (I find that a bit scary, myself.) LLB continues to be a voracious reader. She and her friends swap books like we used to trade lunches.

    We all like to ski and this year we discovered that our county has a ski club. Who knew?! #1 and LLB enjoy their time on the slopes even though the vertical here in Virginia does not compare to the vertical in New England.  In late March, Mr insisted that they hit the slopes on a beautiful 75o day.  Spring skiing is not something we get much of here, and they just had to take advantage of the day.  There were a few bloody knees thanks to tumbles in the pebble-textured snow, but it was a great time!!

    There is so much more to tell, but I’m running out of space…

    Mr is still at his long time company doing whatever it is he does there. He enjoys sawing fallen trees with his chain saw and mowing our acreage with his tractor in his spare time.  Once a month, he plays bass guitar in the Church Folk and Gospel band.  I direct a handbell choir at a local church and do some substitute teaching at the local middle school.  Mr and I are involved in our Band Parents Organization as well as the Parent Advisory Council and a half dozen other volunteer committees. Basically, we keep busy.   

    If you’re ever in the DC area, shoot us an email. ladybugxing at gmail.com. We’d love to see you.  You can also find me on Facebook - LadyBug Crossing.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Monday, December 06, 2010

    He made it!

    #1 received his Virginia Military Institute acceptance certificate and letter on Saturday.
    We are so proud and he is thrilled! 
    Now we wait on Navy...
    It's all good and as we said before - the boy has options.
    Options are great.

    Sunday, December 05, 2010

    Hickory Farms Picnic Basket


    I got this lovely Hickory Farms Picnic basket to review. The basket itself is terrific! It is a Peterboro basket which is an excellent basket. I am currently using the basket to hold some Christmas hostess gifts, but I'll definitely be using this basket for polo in the summer.

    When I opened the basket, this is what I saw:


    The goodies inside were plenty! There were 3 summer sausages, 2 cheeses, 2 jars of mustard, a box of yummy pepper flat bread, a box of peanut brittle, some mint melt-aways, and some hard candies. I couldn't believe how much yummy goodness they stuffed in there.

    We ate one of the summer sausages and the cheese and crackers at Thanksgiving as our appetizer. The summer sausage was phenomenal - we ate the beef and pork sausage. We topped it with the mustards - one was a honey mustard and the other was a sweet - hot mustard. The consensus of opinion was: They are both terrific. The combination of the two in the basket was perfect because you make everyone happy. They sent a Swiss cheese and a Monterey Jack cheese. Those who like a cheese with a little sharp will enjoy the Swiss and those who like a mild cheese will enjoy the Jack. See? Something for everyone. The pepper flat bread made the experience simply phenomenal! We would get the basket again just to get that flat bread!!

    I took the beef sausage to a friend's house as an appetizer last week. I sliced it very thin and brought some pepper crackers and some cheese along to see what they thought of the sausage. Everyone loved it!! It is really yummy.  I think one of the people who tried it went on-line and bought some after our get-together...

    I have one sausage left, the Turkey. I've not eaten it yet, but if it is anything like the other two, it's simply awesome!

    As for the peanut brittle and the mint melt-aways, they are awesome. Mr. and Grandpa loved the peanut brittle. Both commented that it was delicious and just sweet enough to let the salty through. I happen to be a mint melt-away fan from way back and these simply melted in my mouth with just enough soft minty goodness. I have to say I'll never eat another melt-away that doesn't come from Hickory Farms!!

    If you are looking for a great gift to send some special people in your life, this is it! There is something for everyone. If the picnic basket isn't your thing, fear not! Hickory Farms has many gift boxes to choose from. The prices range from $16 - $100 - so again, something for everyone in every price range! Once again this holiday season, Hickory Farms will donate $5 from each Party Planner Gift Box sold to Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry Campaign, a national nonprofit that is ending childhood hunger in America.

    Hickory Farms provides free military shipping to military APO/FPO addresses on select products, allowing our troops across the globe to share in holiday traditions.

    By the way, the packaging was great. The recycled cardboard box made a great fire starter.  The inner fill inside the basket was a brown paper fill that I also used as kindling in my wood stove. Very eco-friendly and it didn't get everywhere like those starch peanuts seem to do.


    “I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Hickory Farms and received a signature gift box from Hickory Farms to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

    Thursday, December 02, 2010

    Time Keeps On Ticking...

    I cannot believe it's already December 2nd.
    Time sure does fly!  Oh, look at that... I still haven't fixed the date on my watch. I'll get to that - eventually.

    We've had so many good things going on around here, but I haven't really had a chance to tell you all about them. 

    #1 has received a 4 year Army ROTC Scholarship to his first choice school - Virginia Military Institute. We are waiting to hear from them as to whether or not he has been accepted. (I called on Monday and they assured me that he will probably know before Christmas.)  
    #1 has been accepted to The Citadel and Norwich - both excellent military schools - one in the South where it's warm... The other in the North where it's down right cold. Norwich has come through with an academic scholarship so that's kinda cool. They want #1 to visit, so we are thinking that a trip in January might be just the ticket. He'll probably know where he stands with VMI by then.

    #1 also got a 4 year Army ROTC Scholarship to Virginia Tech - we haven't heard from them yet, either.  Tech is a huge school, so I would prefer he choose one of the other smaller institutions, you know?  He does not need to be distracted by all the great things to do and see (ahem) at a large University...
    #1 has been interviewed by our State Rep's office for an appointment to the USNA.  This is a stretch - he's academically and medically qualified, but he is not a top notch athlete. (You can't be good at everything!) Let's see if the State Rep thinks he is a good candidate or not. Either way, our boy has options. 

    LLB was accepted to the Shepherd University Honor Band for a weekend January. She will spend a few days at the college playing her trumpet and learning new stuff. I'm not sure who else tried out, but she is very excited to be going.  She is hoping to make the District Band again this year. I'm sure I'll be hearing a LOT of trumpet this week and next as she gets ready for the audition next weekend.

    Marching season is over except for this weekend's Christmas Parades, and Swim season has started. The first meet is next Friday. The kids have been swimming and running and getting fit. Although, I have to say that to have the kids running for 45 minutes after swimming for an hour does not thrill me.  It is cold out and it's getting dark earlier every day. I'm SURE someone will turn an ankle in the fields before the season is over. I can only hope that the coach stops this running foolishness before someone gets hurt.  That said, #1 found out yesterday that if he can shave 3 seconds off of his backstroke time, he can break the school record. I think all those push-ups he's been doing to get ready for military service are beginning to pay off.  Maybe he IS an athlete after all...

    Percussion Ensemble - also known as Indoor Drum Line or IDL - started this week. LLB wants to play the marimba again and #1 wants to play the tenors - 4 or 5 drums all connected.  I am sure he has forgotten that he will have to carry them and they are not light. LLB's choice was smart - the marimba is on wheels! We will have Indoor Competitions with this group, but the key word with this is Indoor. It will be the first time since #1 was a freshman that this group has been able to do any competitions. It will be fun!! Exhausting, I'm sure, but fun.

    Christmas is right around the corner. If you are in the neighborhood on December 18th, please stop in to our annual Christmas Pot Luck.  The party starts around 6:30 or so.  Bring a dish to share and your instrument if you play one. We will be resurrecting the Ladybug Crossing Christmas Band for Christmas caroling at it's absolute best. If you don't play, bring your voice - we always need carolers.

    Wednesday, December 01, 2010

    Swag Soft Sedo Dog Pic Pic App Review

    I was asked to try out the Sedo Pic Pic App on my iTouch.

    This is what the company says about the app:  Sedo Pic Pic is based on Sedo Dog, a brand new 3D cartoon series (coming soon) about a pack of adorable dogs with super powers fighting in the name of justice. This series has also been licensed to Japan mobile phone companies as interactive mobile mascots! Doodle in different shapes and colors and conveniently resize stamps and photo props with the tips of your fingers.
     
    Features
    -  Ultra uber cute cartoon dogs and Aha the devious cat!
    -  Over 150 different Sedo stamps and picture frames!
    -  Add your own drawings!
    -  Add your own customized text!
    -  Upload your pictures to Facebook!

    All I can say is: It is fun and it's adorable!  I LOVE it!!!

    It's like this:  You take your photographs that are stored in your iTouch or your iPhone and make them even more unique!  You can add frames and stamps to them. You can add words in many different fonts. You can share them on Facebook or Twitter with the touch of a button!

    So - you want to know what I've done.  Well, since I don't post pictures of my family on the internet I had to get creative. I found this little gem and played with it to make it all mine!  I just love this!


    I also played with this one of Zeb. He doesn't like the camera at all, but I think this is adorable!

    There are so many fun things you can do with Sedo Dog Pic Pic!! It's really fun. The interface is intuitive and easy to use. If you make a mistake, you can always delete the item or move it around after you choose it. 


    I will say that when I first downloaded it, I had some crashes. I updated the iTunes software on my iTouch and I've not had a problem since.  I just love this little app.

    Heck, it's 99 cents on iTunes. Get it! It's a bargain and it's fun!


    This post was written for Family Review Network & Swag Soft who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinions.

    Terro Ant and Spider Killer -- Review and Giveaway!

    Fall is the time of year I start to see more spiders and other insect type critters trying to get in to my house. I don't like spiders or other creepy crawlies in my house at any time of year, so when I was asked to review the Terro Ant and Spider killers, I was more than happy to try it all out.  I'd like you all to remember that I live out in the country, so bugs and stuff are the norm around here. I'm not saying I like them, I'm saying that ants and spiders happen -- especially out here. 

    The Ant Killer is in granule form.  You just sprinkle it around the perimeter of the house and amazingly enough, the ants go away. I had a terrible time with ants this year, so the fact that they are gone is a huge relief.  I'm not sure how it works, but I don't much care. They are gone and I am a happy camper. I've got some left to use in the spring when those nasty sugar ants come back... I can't wait! They won't know what hit 'em! Bwahahahaha!!!

    The spider killer comes in spray form. You can either spray the spiders directly or you can spray in any cracks and crevices in which you believe said spiders may be partying with the included crevice straw thingy. The spray is long lasting and residual up to 12 weeks. I sprayed the garage - yes, pretty much the whole thing as it was a party stop for all kinds of the 8 legged critters.  I found that once I sprayed, the number of spiders diminished to the point that I only see one or two now - as opposed to the much larger number I used to have.   Oh and the one or two I see, aren't looking particularly healthy.

    So - if you need to get rid of Ants and or Spiders - Try Terro.  It works.

    They are letting me give away some of this miraculous stuff.  If you live in the continental US and you'd like to try this, leave me a comment by Dec. 10th.  I'll pick a name out of a hat.  You will receive the product directly from the manufacturer.

    This post was written for Family Review Network & Terro who provided the complimentary product for review and giveaway in exchange for my honest review.