As we come to the end of both 2009 and the decade, I’d like to take a moment to wish you all a safe, happy New Year’s Eve. I hope this coming year brings much happiness to you and yours. See you in 2010!
Here’s the latest giveaways that MomStart is hosting:
I want to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas today! Have a wonderful day and a happy New Year!
Well, Contest Corner’s very first Holiday Gift Guide is coming to a close today. I want to thank everyone for making this event so much fun! There are still a few giveaways going on, so be sure to enter for you chance to win a cupcake keychain, MyClyns, and Softlips – the winners will be drawn in January, so there’s something to look forward to after the post-holiday letdown! And if you’re scrambling to finish your shopping today and are running out of ideas for those loved ones that are hard to shop for, don’t fret; you can still browse the gift guide recommendations for inspiration!
Earlier in the gift guide, I recommended Softlips Winter Flavors as a great stocking stuffer for tween girls. But don’t leave mom out of the fun! Softlips have an organic line called PURE that would be a perfect stocking stuffer for the grown-ups on your list. And one lucky Contest Corner reader will win a set of Softlips PURE lip balms, so read on!
About Softlips PURE:
Here’s a little info on the new line that Softlips forwarded me:
“Softlips PURE, the line of premium organic lip conditioners, has launched four new flavors- now available in new Peppermint, Acai Berry, Papaya and Chai Tea. The newest Softlips® PURE flavors, which are 100%-natural and USDA-certified organic, are formulated with the same quality moisturizing ingredients as the original organic flavors –Pomegranate and Honeydew – to condition the lips, helping to keep them soft and healthy naturally.
Softlips PURE is free of synthetic chemicals and harmful ingredients, utilizing only all-natural emollients and conditioners, including organic oils, beeswax, shea butter and vitamin E that are USDA-certified organic. The product line also contains no animal by-products and is not tested on animals. The product is mounted on recyclable packaging that is printed with vegetable-based ink.
Softlips PURE lip conditioners in pomegranate and honeydew are available in mass retail, supermarket and drug stores nationwide for the suggested retail price of $2.99. Look for the newest flavors – Peppermint, Acai Berry, Papaya and Chai Tea – on display in the natural beauty section of select Target stores.”
I love these lip balms – they go on smooth as silk, and the flavor is awesome. I love Chai tea, so I am in love with the Chai lip balm! As you make your rounds and pick up the last few bits and pieces for Christmas, you might want to swing by Target and get a few of these as a last-minute stocking stuffer.
One lucky Contest Corner reader will win a set of the Softlips PURE flavors – Peppermint, Acai Berry, Papaya, Pomegranate and Chai Tea! Giveaway ends January 7th. Here’s how to enter:
1. For your first entry, click here to check out makeup tips from Softlips. Then come back here and let me know which tip you like the best!
This step is required to qualify for the drawing. Be sure to leave an email address with your comment, so that I may notify you in the event that you are the lucky winner!
Want extra entries? Do any of the following, and leave a separate comment for each one:
2. Write a post on your blog linking to this giveaway and Softlips. Then come back here and leave me the link!
3. Write about this on Twitter, then come back and leave me the link to your tweet! One Twitter entry per person.
4. Subscribe to my blog updates by entering your email into the “Subscribe” box in the sidebar. Then come back and leave me the email you subscribed with!
5. Become a follower of my blog by clicking the “Follow” button in my sidebar! Then come back here and let me know in a separate comment!
6. Grab the Holiday Gift Guide badge and put it on your website’s sidebar or links page – just copy and paste the following code, and let me know where you put it:
7. Post my regular button on your website’s sidebar or links page – just copy and paste the following code, and let me know where you put it:
Rules, regulations, and other important stuff: Giveaway ends on January 7th at 11:59 PM, PST. Winner will be chosen the following day via Random.org. Winner has 48 hours to respond to my notification email, or a new winner will be chosen in their place. Giveaway is open to US residents.
I love watching Christmas specials whenever they come on; it always brings back that magic of the holidays from my childhood. We all know the traditional favorites – Peanuts, Rudolph, and so on – but every once in a while a new cartoon comes out that is special. Gotta Catch Santa Claus is a fun filled classic in the making, sure to be enjoyed by children.
William Shatner stars as the voice of Jolly Old St. Nick himself, making a few tongue-in-cheek references to Star Trek as he gives orders to his elves. Santa is being chased by a little boy named Trevor, who is on a mission to find Kris Kringle and prove to his disbelieving friend that Christmas magic really does exist. This was a cute movie, and it was funny watching Trevor’s skeptical friend Veronica listing all the scientific reasons why Santa couldn’t possibly exist. Gotta Find Santa Claus is packed with fun songs, lighthearted humor, and plenty of Christmas magic.
I love Hall and Oates, so this is my Christmas present to myself! Their music makes me happy because it’s so infectious and upbeat, and makes me feel warm and nostalgic. I was delighted to review this box set, because it is such a comprehensive collection. All of our favorite hits are on here – “Private Eyes”, “Maneater”, “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)”, “Out of Touch”, and so much more – but there is also a treasure trove of material that I was unfamiliar with, as well as 16 previously unreleased songs. This four-disc set covers their entire career from 1966 to the present day, and also includes a booklet packed with glossy photos and little known facts. It was fascinating to read their commentary on writing and recording the songs – I loved the story about the making of “Method of Modern Love”, where John Oates explains how they got a percussion sound by banging a water canteen with a mallet and putting it through a Synclavier. If you or someone on your gift list is a Hall & Oates fan, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this as much as I do!
Do What You Want, Be What You Are: The Music of Daryl Hall & John Oates is available wherever music is sold, and can also be found on Amazon for $44.98.
1. Girl I Love You – The Temptones
2. I Need Your Love – The Masters,
3. Say These Words of Love – The Temptones
5. I’m Sorry
6. Fall in Philadelphia
8. Lilly (Are You Happy)
9. Had I Known You Better Then
10. Vegas Turnaround
11. She’s Gone
12. You’re Much Too Soon
13. Is It a Star
14. It’s Uncanny
15. Love You Like a Brother
16. Lady Rain [Live][Previously unreleased]
17. Beanie G. and the Rose Tattoo [Live][Previously unreleased]
18. Better Watch Your Back [Live][Previously unreleased]
19. Abandoned Luncheonette [Live][Previously unreleased]
20. When the Morning Comes [Live][Previously unreleased]
2. Sara Smile
3. Alone Too Long
4. Gino (The Manager) [2009 Remix][Previously unreleased]
5. Ennui on the Mountain
6. Out of Me, Out of You
7. Back Together Again
8. Rich Girl
9. Crazy Eyes
10. Have I Been Away Too Long
11. August Day
12. It’s a Laugh
13. I Don’t Wanna Lose You [7" Remix]
14. Wait for Me
15. Time’s Up (Alone Tonight)
16. Woman Comes and Goes
17. How Does It Feel to Be Back
18. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling
19. Kiss on My List
20. Everytime You Go Away [Live][Previously unreleased]
1. You Make My Dreams
2. Private Eyes
3. Head Above Water
4. Did It in a Minute
5. Your Imagination
6. I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)
7. Don’t Go Out [Previously unreleased]
9. Family Man
10. One on One
11. Go Solo
12. Say It Isn’t So
13. Adult Education
14. Out of Touch [7" Version]
15. Method of Modern Love
16. Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid
17. Possession Obsession
18. The Way You Do the Things You Do/My Girl
1. Everything Your Heart Desires [Video Mix]
2. Missed Opportunity
3. Keep on Pushin’ Love
4. Storm Warning [Previously unreleased]
5. Change of Season
6. Starting All Over Again [Live][Previously unreleased]
7. So Close [Live][Previously unreleased]
8. Do It for Love
9. Forever for You
10. Heartbreak Time
11. All the Way from Philadelphia [Previously unreleased]
12. Have You Ever Been in Love [Previously unreleased][Demo Version]
13. Me and Mrs. Jones [Live]
14. I Want Someone [Live from Daryl's House]
15. Do What You Want Be What You Are [Live 2007][Previously unreleased]
16. Dreamer ['72-'09 Redux, Previously unreleased]
I am the queen of heat wraps. I have an assortment of electric heating pads that I use to treat aches and pains; I love Thermacare wraps; and I have a heat therapy keyboard rest plugged in all day long. So when FuelMyBlog asked if I would like to review Acu-Life Thera Pod thermal relief, naturally I said yes! This wrap comes with a gel pack that can be heated or frozen for both moist heat and cold therapy treatments.
The Thera Pod has an adjustable strap, which makes it extremely versatile: you can wrap it around your back, over your shoulder, around your wrist – wherever you experience pain. The strap affixes with velcro and stays put. I love the fact that I can use it wherever I have discomfort, and don’t have to have a separate product for each ache; I also don’t have to fumble with cords like I do with my electric heating pads. The trade off, of course, is that this isn’t a continuous source of heat like electric pads are, so it will cool off after a while.
This is especially great as a soothing therapy for the RSI pains in my wrist – I’ve used disposable hand warming therapy patches before and they feel great, but I don’t want to spend $5 a day on them. I was wishing there was something reusable – and now there is! The only point of concern that I encountered with the Thera Pod was when I heated the gel pad in the microwave. I followed the instructions and set the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds, but I heard a pop about a minute into it and saw that the gel pack had inflated like a blimp. I quickly turned the microwave off and feared that the pack had burst, especially since the microwave smelt of melting plastic, but after inspecting it I saw that there hadn’t been any leaks, so fortunately I was still able to use it. My microwave is pretty powerful, and I realized that the time was suggested for a lower wattage than what I have – so just be careful of this if you also have a powerful microwave!
I love the bean bag feel of the pad, but my only wish is that it wasn’t so thick – the heat is very subtle because of all the padding, and I prefer a really intense, direct heat. However, they have to design it that way for safety reasons, because it’s very easy to get burns from these type of products; I just happen to be extremely tolerant to heat pads.
I really like this product and I can tell that it is something I will be using a lot. This fills in some of the blanks in my heat therapy routines, so I’m very pleased to have been introduced to it!
Claymation Studio 2.0
“Capture images using a digital camera, webcam or DV camcorder and add background images, audio, and music to create your own stop-motion movies. With honestech Claymation Studio, you can easily create stop motion video.”
This software is so much fun! I used this to create a video entry into a contest last week, and I had a blast doing it. Here’s my silly video:
I would have loved to have something like this when I was a kid, so I think it would make for an awesome gift!
For The Family Historian:
VHS to DVD™ 4.0 Deluxe
“Transfer Video Tape to DVD! – Unlock your memories trapped in old media such as VHS tape, 8MM tape, and Mini-DV from camcorders and VCR by using a smart VHS to DVD™ all-in-one solution.
The Deluxe version of VHS to DVD™ includes the VIDBOX™, a USB 2.0 video capture device for preserving your irreplaceable home videos. No external power needed, making the VIDBOX especially suitable for laptop users.”
This program couldn’t be simpler to use and gives you great results. If you’ve got a dusty box full of family video tapes hanging around, this tool will help you easily preserve them.
For The Budding Film Student:
Easy Video Editor 3.0
“The intuitive user interface makes cutting and merging clips possible with only a few clicks. honestech Easy Video Editor™ 3.0 is a video editing application that allows even novice users to edit video. You can also add intro/ending credits and add various transitions and special effects using the templates.”
If you’re giving someone a camcorder this year, this software would be a great companion piece. Or perhaps your teen is developing an interest in filmmaking? This software will help new users learn how to edit their movies.
“With just a few clicks, you can create spectacular photo slideshows from your digital photos.
Simply insert your SD memory card into the FOTOBOX™ and plug the FOTOBOX™ into the USB port on your PC. The FOTOBOX™ user interface appears on your computer screen to easily create a spectacular slideshow.”
Want to create something special with those treasured photos? Or perhaps make a slideshow for a special event? Then check this out!
For Music Lovers:
Audio Recorder 2.0 Deluxe
“With just a few clicks, convert your analog music into digital formats including MP3s and audio CDs.
Convert all of your music, including cassettes, LPs and 8-track tapes, into MP3s, WAV files, audio CDs or MP3 CDs, and listen to them on your home and portable music players.”
Would you like a simple way to load your vinyl collection onto your iPod? Then Audio Recorder 2.0 might be for you.
Honestech products are available at retailers across the US, from Target to JC Penny – just in time for last-minute shopping! Click here for a full list of stores. You can also purchase these titles online. And be sure to check back, as we have detailed reviews of each of these programs coming soon!