Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lucky Winners!

Congratulations to tristatecruisers!  You are the winner of the Tortuga Giveaway!  Tristatecruisers won with comment #105, "Subscribe via email".  The winner has 48 hours to accept her prize or a new winner will be randomly selected.  Thanks to everyone who entered and a HUGE thank you to Tortuga for offering such a great giveaway!

Congratulations to Cari!  You are the winner of the Scunci Giveaway!  Cari won with comment #26, "blog roll".  Cari has 48 hours to accept her prize or a new winner will be randomly selected.  Thanks to everyone who entered and a HUGE thank you to Scunci for offering such a great giveaway!

Congratulations to ksmom!  You are the winner of the Bake Me A Wish! Giveaway!  ksmom won with comment #429, "I can't decide if I'd rather try the carrot cake or something with brownie."  Ksmom has 48 hours to accept her prize or a new winner will be randomly selected.  Thanks to everyone who entered and a HUGE thank you to Bake Me A Wish! for offering such a great giveaway!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Three Great Giveaways Ending Tonight!

Don't miss your last chance to enter three awesome giveaways!  To enter, simply click on the appropriate link on my right sidebar. The three giveaways end tonight at 10 pm!

Win a 33 oz cake from Tortuga Rum Company!

Win Hair Accessories from Scunci!

Win a delicious cake of choice from Bake Me A Wish!

For 5 bonus entries for any of these three giveaways, please tweet: I nominate @kellymalinowski for Disney Epic Mickey's #EpicMomBlogger!


I believe that all of us keep pieces of ourselves locked away from the rest of the world.  It is a simple way to protect what we fear will be ridiculed.  But why do we have to live with this fear?  Where does it come from?  My belief is that as kids grow up and work their way through the years of school, they begin to build a wall to protect themselves from being different.  To protect themselves from being bullied.

I just finished reading a new book from Karen Kingsbury called Unlocked.  This wonderful story focuses on the struggles faced by a family who have an 18-year-old son suffering from autism.  In the story, "Holden Harris,..., is locked in a prison of autism where he's been since he was a happy, boisterous three-year-old. At school he is bullied by kids who do not understand that despite his quiet ways and quirky behaviors, Holden is very happy and socially normal on the inside, where he lives in a private world all his own".  This novel touches on very important issues and reminded me of how important it is to teach our children that it is okay to be different.  Through the novel, I struggled to read about the bullying that took place in the high school.  It was even harder when you saw the teachers ignoring the issues.  The main main female character of the book, Ella Reynolds, struggled with ignoring the bullying of Holden and other students or standing up for them and being mocked herself.   It made me sit back and think, were there times that I ignored the issue and should have stood up for someone?

Later in the book, one of the students who was continually made fun of and bullied by the jocks, committed suicide.  This completely broke my heart that this child didn't see any other way of coping with the madness he lived through daily.  It was also disheartening to see that the mother didn't even recognize the signs of depression in her son because she was too busy trying to make ends meet.  I know we all have days that we just wish we could be alone and we don't even feel like talking to our family, but I pray that we can always remember to take time out for our children to remind them that they are loved and that they can share their fears and troubles with us.   In, Unlocked, Ella discovers that it is okay to stand up for others and the change in her are seen throughout the school and community.  "The greatest miracle is the change in Holden, himself, and everyone is stunned by the transformation they witness. Ultimately, the community comes to understand that many people walk around in a personal prison and that only by love and faith can the doors become unlocked, the way they dramatically do for Holden Harris".

I would encourage everyone of you to grab a copy of this book and then share it with a friend. It is a story that everyone needs to hear.  After finishing it, I'm sure you will be hooked on Karen Kingsbury.  She has an extraordinary gift and her writings are always inspirational and life-changing.  I've read them all and not a single one disappoints.  Happy reading!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

New Hairstyle

My baby girl was excited with her new hairstyle, that she insisted that I share it on my blog.  "Mommy, they will love it!"   So since you all are going to love it, I just had to share.  Isn't she a cutie?!?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

We Have More Winners!

Congratulations to Ruthhill74!  You are the winner of the Photacular Giveaway!  Ruthhill74 won with comment #59, "Like Photacular on Facebook."  Ruthhill74 has 48 hours to accept her prize or a new winner will be randomly selected.  Thanks to everyone who entered and a HUGE thank you to Photacular for offering such a great giveaway!

Congratulations to manthas24, CathyH, fdigsby, Diane, and Kimberly!  You are the winners of the Bloomsberyy & Co. Giveaway!  The winning comments were (in order): 64,98,127,180, and 9. The winners have 48 hours to accept their prize or a new winner will be randomly selected.  Thanks to everyone who entered and a HUGE thank you to Bloomsberry & Co. for offering such a great giveaway!

Congratulations to Dlori, j.nes, and Tylerpants!  You are the winners of theNeoStrata Giveaway!  The winning comments were (in order): 143, 12, and 113.   The winners have 48 hours to accept their prize or a new winner will be randomly selected.  Thanks to everyone who entered and a HUGE thank you to Michelle from NeoStrata for offering such a great giveaway!

Tea Drinkers Unite

While most of the world enjoys their morning coffee, I start off my day with a hot cup of tea. The sweet aroma and smooth taste helps jumpstart my brain for the busy day ahead. I’ve been a tea drinker for years, but I’ve just recently learned about the added benefits. Perhaps one of the most important reasons you should drink tea is that it is an easy way to get your antioxidants. Antioxidants are important because they help your body fight against the excess free radicals. Clearing out the free radicals can help prevent heart disease and cancer, reduce blood pressure and slow the effects of aging. Besides tea, antioxidants are found in a variety of berries, broccoli, tomatoes, garlic, red grapes, spinach, carrots, and many whole grains.

Tea can also act as Draino for your arteries. Keeping your arteries clear of blood clots will greatly reduce your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. “A 5.6-year study from the Netherlands found a 70 percent lower risk of fatal heart attack in people who drank at least two to three cups of black tea daily compared to non-tea drinkers.” (Lynn Grieger) Tea also helps strengthen your immune system from everyday illnesses.

In the past, I have watched many of my family and friends grow very dependent upon caffeine. Their dependency causes them headaches and even indigestion. By switching to tea, they could still get their much needed caffeine, but in smaller doses. On average, a cup of tea has about 100mg less caffeine than coffee or soda. Too much caffeine can lead to fatigue and dehydration. On the flip side, tea has been proven to aid in hydration. And since it is calorie free, you won’t be wasting your precious daily intake on a drink.

Some of my favorite teas are made by Lipton. If you are a new tea drinker, I would suggest you start with Lipton’s Bavarian Berry. This black tea’s smooth sweet taste will help keep you from adding any unneeded sugar. Other favorites of mine include Lipton’s Mixed Berry Green Tea, Lipton’s Blueberry White Tea, and Twining’s Pomegranate. What are your favorite teas?

Grab a latte (or a cup of tea), put up your feet, and join the discussion!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Our Gingerbread Village

Every year we gather around the kitchen table to create our annual gingerbread house. Every year we have fun.  And every year it turns out great.   However, last year we ran into a few tears because someone didn't get to decorate the exact spot they had their eye on (Just a hint, it wasn't me:).   So this year, I was so excited to find a gingerbread village package.  The package came with 5 buildings, three colors of icing, and tons of candy and sprinkles!  My girls were so excited to decorate their own gingerbread house without any help.  Even my hubby got into it, giving his house a very special touch (any Red Wing Fans?).  
To put our village all together, I cut out a piece of cardboard and covered it with foil.  We then covered it with white icing, shredded coconut, and crystal colored sprinkles to get our Winter Wonderland!  My oldest daughter created North Pole's Candy Shop, my youngest created Santa's Toy Shop, my husband was in charge of the bakery and the reindeer's chalet, and I was lucky enough to decorate Santa's house.   Here are some pictures of the finished product.  Let me know what you think.
Toy Shop


Candy Shop

Santa's and Reindeer Chalet

The Village Holiday Specials and More

A few weeks ago, my darling husband surprised me with an iPad.  I was shocked and excited beyond belief.  The iPad can do so many different things, but that is for a different post.   Today I wanted to tell you about a free app that I downloaded right after I learned how to work it. has a free player that allows you to watch their shows instantly on your iPad.  They are currently including all their Holiday specials too including “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “CMA Country Christmas,” “Prep and Landing,” ABC's first television special produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”  So if you happened to miss one of their festive Holiday specials or just want to watch it again, just click on your app.  

Don’t have an iPad? Don’t worry! Check out the Holiday Channel on for a collection of your favorite holiday specials, holiday-themed episodes of ABC’s hit shows and more.  In addition to the specials available on the iPad,’s Holiday Channel features ‘All Things Merry,’ where your favorite ABC stars from Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy, Cougar Town and more share their favorite holiday memories and traditions.

Explore’s Holiday Channel here:

Monday, December 13, 2010


I love running.  I love running.  I love running. I love running.   Can you tell I'm trying to convince myself that I love running?   I will admit that I do love a morning jog.  Meaning, I love to get in a couple miles each  morning.  But I am beginning to hit some serious mental walls with this marathon training.  After an hour of running, the boredom begins to set in.  It's not that I can't run anymore, it is just that I don't have the motivation.  What I need is a running partner.  Someone to help me pass the time.  Someone to encourage me as I encourage them.   Any takers????

Recipe Corner: Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookie

If you stopped by a few days ago, you may remember that I am trying to choose the cookie that I want to make for our Cookie Exchange.  Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies are by far my favorite cookie!  But one of my other friends is making a cookie using butterscotch so I'm not sure if my favorite recipe will make the cut.  Remember if you like your cookies a little crisper, cook them a few extra minutes longer. 

Do you have a mouthwatering recipe you would like to recommend? Shoot me an email at and I can post it for all to enjoy!

• 3/4 cup butter, softened
• 3/4 cup white sugar
• 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3 cups rolled oats
• 1 2/3 cups butterscotch chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl beat the butter or margarine, white sugar and brown sugar together. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating well.
3. Stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until blended. Stir in the oats and the butterscotch chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges begin to brown.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Softlips Limited Edition Winter Gift Pack Winner!

Congratulations to j.nes!  You are the winner of the Softlips Giveaway!  J.nes won with comment #49, "I follow Between the Lines."  J.nes has 48 hours to accept her prize or a new winner will be randomly selected.  Thanks to everyone who entered and a HUGE thank you to Softlips for offering such a great giveaway!

Silent Sunday

Ripley's Aquarium In North Carolina