Saturday, March 6, 2010

smArtee Art Prints

I recently was the lucky recipient of a set of 3 beautiful 5 X 7 art prints, all signed by Robin, the owner and mastermind behind the shop on Etsy called smArtee by smArtee.  Thanks so much to Trendy Treehouse and Mommy's Memorandum for the great giveaway.

I was so impressed with the vibrant and rich colors that Robin uses and her talent in general.  I remember looking at these prints and thinking, "Helena, it's not very often that you see artwork and say to yourself, I really love that."  But that time I did, and so I entered the giveaway.  What are the odds I would win twice?  But that's exactly what happened.  And so now, I've got three prints to put up on my wall in a little theme. The top painting is called, 'Two in A Crazy World', and of course I have the two beautiful birds on the bottom.

I think that we're all thrown into a world that is just so fast-paced and full of change. Many times we don't even have the time to think about our decisions and why we're making them. We have to do things basically with our own best judgment because no one before us has ever had to go through some of the things we go through today.  I look at the painting on the top and the kaleidescope of color and I have to think, yes it's crazy, but it's also so beautiful.  If I can even take just a moment to stop and just catch my breath, like these two birds, I think I will be ready to jump back onto the merry-go-round.

I anticipate that I will hear more of Robin and her great work.  I hope you will all go check out her work and give her a thumbs up on Etsy!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Skill of Knowing How To Tick People Off!

You know it's true! We all get annoyed or ticked off by things that people do. But have you ever just wanted to intentionally tick someone off because you feel like being a brat? Sometimes I do, I admit it. That way, I'm not the only one in a bad mood. I know we're all incredibly busy and so really don't have time to worry about ticking others off.  But when you just have that really bad day.........Here are some great ideas to do just that!

  • Specify that your drive-through order is "TO-GO."
  • Insist on keeping your car windshield wipers running in all weather conditions "to keep them tuned up."
  • Reply to everything someone says with "that's what you think."
  • Highlight irrelevant information in scientific papers and "cc" them to your boss.
  • Make beeping noises when a large person backs up
  • Finish all your sentences with the words "in accordance with prophesy."
  • Signal that a conversation is over by clamping your hands over your ears and grimacing.
  • Adjust the tint on your TV so that all the people are green, and insist to others that you "like it that way."
  • Decline to be seated at a restaurant, and simply eat their complimentary mints at the cash register.
  • type only in lowercase.
  • Buy a large quantity of orange traffic cones and reroute whole streets.
  • Ask people what gender they are.
  • While making presentations, occasionally bob your head like a parakeet.
  • Sit in your front yard pointing a hair dryer at passing cars to see if they slow down.
  • Go to a poetry recital and ask why each poem doesn't rhyme.
  • Ask your co-workers mysterious questions and then scribble their answers in a notebook. Mutter something about "psychological profiles."
I hope you enjoyed this list as much as I do.  Do you have anything that is sure to annoy or tick someone off?  Would love to hear!

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Renew Lotion And Body Wash Giveaway! CLOSED

Here it is!  My Renew Lotion and Body Wash Giveaway!  As I have mentioned before, this is the lotion I swear by and haven't found anything yet that compares to it!  See for yourself!  I am giving away a Renew Duo!  Someone will enjoy an 8 oz bottle of Renew and matching body wash, containing the same formulation as the lotion.  You will love it, I promise!  Here's a little bit of background:  Renew Lotion is part of the personal care line of products from one of my favorite companies, Melaleuca!  These are products that are very high-quality with no fillers, harmful chemicals, or poor quality ingredients. All their products are manufactured on site and go through well over 300 individual quality control checks. Renew lotion has been independently tested by a world-renowned clinical laboratory with double-blind tests and the results were amazing.  It was tested against Eucerin, the brand most doctors recommend and Renew's strongest competitor.  The studies took place during harsh winter conditions--an irritant for severely dry skin--in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  The results were quite impressive!  After 24 hours, there was an 88% improvement in visual dryness, 78% improvement in roughness, and similar results in smoother skin, moisture improvement, moisture retention and improvement after 7 days of no use!  Eucerin, by comparison, failed dismally.  Renew has a proprietary list of ingredients like, Malaysian glycerin (a plant form of glycerin, much more gentle on the skin vs. animal-based glycerin which can be irritating), Allantoin (the scientific name for comfrey, a healing herb), and T36-C5 brand Melaleuca oil (an extremely high quality tea tree oil).  Together these ingredients go down under the top layer of your skin to bring healing power from underneath all the way to the top.

The Renew Body Wash contains the same moisturizing technology that powers Renew lotion, plus skin-soothing Vitamin E!  Follow your bath or shower with Renew Lotion and your skin will be amaaaazing!

Get both Renew Lotion and Body was for retail price of $29.99 plus shipping and tax by calling Melaleuca ordering department at 1-800-282-3000.  Please tell them that I referred you and give them my name, Helena Lemon and id # 8014717669.  For a 30%  or more discount, become a Melaleuca Preferred Customer!  Go to my website, click on 'get more information', and mark the box that says 'I Need to improve my overall health and wellness!' I will make sure you are taken care of from there!

Winner will receive one each of Renew lotion and body wash to be delivered to them via UPS.  Available entries are below and should each be listed with a separate comment: 
  • Follow me on Twitter(or on my sidebar-1 entry)
  • Follow me on Networked Blogs (on my sidebar- 1entry)
  • Friend me on Facebook (1 entry)
  • Follow me on Google Friend (on my sidebar - 1 entry)
  • Tweet this giveaway (please include @xocaisgood in your tweet)  You can tweet once per day at one entry per tweet! 
  • Blog about this giveaway and provide a link back to here! (3 extra entries if blogged before 3/07/10, otherwise 1 entry)!
  •  New!  (5 entries) Sign up for My Likes! Please enter a separate comment for each entry!
This contest ends on 3/12/10 at 11:59 AM MST.  A winner will be chosen at random by number generator.  The winner will be e-mailed and asked for mailing info and preferred lip flavors.  Please respond no later than 48 hours after notification or another winner will be chosen!  E-mail address must be available on your blog, profile, or in your comments.  Good luck and thanks for being beautiful bloggers!  

True Random Number Generator 1 59
48 Powered by RANDOM.ORG
The winner of this giveaway is #48  

Monday, February 22, 2010

Weekend Confessions

Oh I wish I could tell you that I had confessions to make.  But unfortunately, my weekend was pretty non-eventful, although I think I can drum up at least 1 activity worth mentioning for Friday, Saturday and Sunday! 

Friday - The hubs and I went out to lunch at Zupa's!  I always order the 'Nuts About Berries' Salad with Maple Vinaigrette dressing and one of their soups. This time I ordered the Crab Bisque. It was delicious! We then proceeded to Costco, where we looked at camera's and actually picked one out. It's a Lumix and has more stuff than my old camera did. For one thing, I needed a larger LCD screen so I can see what I'm taking a picture of.  But I won't be using it until I read the user's manual from cover to cover. 

Saturday - We went and played disc golf.  I think I mentioned this already in another post.  After that we watched all our dvd'd t.v. stuff that we like--Survivor, The Good Wife, Lost, the Olympics, that's about it!

Sunday - I was at my Dad's and I cooked for the family.  I've been benefiting greatly from giveaways lately.  I used the last bit of Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce to make Stuffed Pepper Soup.  They really liked it!  I'm going to be ordering more of that stuff!  I took a few pictures of my son, because he finally got his braces out. He's actually had them in for about 5 years, because of a "jaw problem".  I'm not sure what they even meant.  His jaw always looked fine to me.  But he looks mighty handsome now, I will say!  (Just Mom's opinion!)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Just A Giveaway Thank You!

Before I go and hit the hay, I must mention my fun delivery today of some Ouchies Bandages, courtesy of Girly Girl Giveaways!  Thanks so much!  I heart you!  I know these are for little kids, but since I found a use for them, can I have them for me?  You see, I'm a disc golf player, as I might have mentioned before, because my husband loves to play,and it's our together time as a couple!  Good thing we both really like it! 

The one thing I notice about it is that when I throw the disc, it tends to tear up the end of my middle finger!  So bandages are the perfect thing to protect it!  Here is a picture of me heading out to the course just today, because there was a bit of sun and it was a tropical 40 degrees outside!  I had my ouchies band-aid on too.  Doesn't it look so sporty? Yeah, I know! 

Friday, February 19, 2010

My Trip To Jail Story

A few years ago, my husband and I were not in very good financial condition.  We had both been through divorces that had left each of us penniless.  We just happened to be nice people who got suckered because we truly didn't believe that people we had been married to for years would turn around and do every underhanded thing, both legal and illegal, to leave us in such a horrible position.  We have since recovered and have moved on with our lives, but at the time it was so hard, not only financially, but emotionally, mentally and spiritually as well.  I found that because of the additional stress that had been piled on us, our lives were even more taxed and we didn't always make the best decisions that might help us more speedily recover from our financial woes.

I left my husband in charge of our auto insurance and basically all of our car needs.  We drove my old Toyota Camry and his Ford Explorer.  Well, one day I found that the insurance had lapsed.  I told myself that he would soon pay it and that things would be fine.  I kept driving.  One day I was driving, my mind elsewhere, and I ended up speeding in a school zone.  The cop pulled me over and ticketed me for speeding and for no insurance. Yikes!  I had no choice but to pay it. I was a little late with my payments because I had no extra money for tickets. 

I had the typical Mom responsibilities for my son, who was with us. He was doing after school activities like football, scouts, etc. etc. and I was the chauffeur!  One day, I was going back home after dropping my son off at football practice.  I stopped at a red light.  The light changed to green.  The car in front of me pulled ahead and I, again my mind elsewhere, started out at a brisk pace!  Well, the driver of the car in front of me was a new driver learning to drive a stick shift!  His car totally stalled out without warning and I plowed into his back bumper!  Our big Explorer was totally fine. But I can't say the same for their car.  Someone called a cop, and I called my dear husband.  I told him what had happened and he proceeded to tell me that there was still no insurance on the car!  I just remember telling him that he might want to check the county jail if he didn't hear from me soon.

The ride to the jail was surreal.  My hands were handcuffed behind me and I was looking at the back of the police officer through a barred metal barrier.  This is not how I see myself.  A convict being hauled to jail?  (OK, maybe sometimes) And now I personally know how it feels and it ain't fun!  Luckily, I was soon bailed out and several years later, there is no sign at all of this traumatic experience on my driving record, just on my psyche.

So what have I learned from all of this?  It is this: You may never ever be stopped or ticketed in this life. But the day you go without insurance is the day all hell will break loose!  So to avoid that, I've got one great suggestion!  Always have insurance, if only for liabilities!  

The first and most important aspect of finding auto insurance is to become educated in the different kinds of auto insurance one can purchase.  Do you know the differences between liability, collision, comprehensive, theft policies, or no fault? Make sure that you are insured with at least liability insurance.  That is all.

Photo Credit

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sun Shades Lip Balm Giveaway!

To celebrate my own recent delivery of the cutest Call Me Cards ever by Stuck on You, I thought I'd offer my own giveaway in appreciation! 

Spring is just around the corner, I keep telling myself.  ☻And Spring is actually the time when the sun's rays are most powerful and have the most punch.  The UVB and UVA rays are at their strongest.  Many people are fooled by this because it still feels cool outside and so they neglect to properly protect their skin.

I'd like to share a product line in a company called Melaleuca. Sun Shades is the line that has everything to do with being out in the sun.  They have after-sun care, sunscreen, and SPF 15 lip balm.  The sunscreen uses a unique form of zinc oxide that rubs in clear, so there is no white or colored residue.  It is the best sunscreen I have ever used - not greasy or smelling of chemicals.  My skin stays moist and unburned.

"Experts say the best protection against UVA is a sunscreen that includes zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or avobenzone. Consumers should also look for those that are water-resistant and have an SPF of 30 or better, indicating strong protection against UVB rays, and apply liberally and often."  -Linda Johnson, Associated Press

Another great Sun Shades product is their lip balm. It contains melanin, your natural lip protector.  It also has natural moisturizers like jojoba oil, cocoa butter and beeswax.  There are no fillers or harmful chemicals.  It actually rejuvenates my lips when I use it.  It is a must-have product at my house.  I never get chapped or dry lips when I have Sun Shades lip balm on hand!

--> Lips contain very little melanin—the natural skin pigment that helps screen out the sun’s harmful rays. With SPF 15, Sun Shades lip balms pamper and protect your lips with natural moisturizers like jojoba oil, cocoa butter, and beeswax. Antioxidant vitamin E fights free radicals while T36-C5® Melaleuca Oil penetrates and soothes. These lip-smacking balms “weatherproof ” your lips and help keep them soft.

 Available in Harvest Berry, Mountain Mint, Vanilla Bean, Sugar & Spice and PiƱa Colada flavors, Sun Shades lip balm moisturize and protect your lips for hours

GET IT:  Get a 3-pack at retail cost of $8.50 plus shipping and tax by calling Melaleuca ordering department at 1-800-282-3000.  Please tell them that I referred you and give them my name, Helena Lemon and id # 8014717669.  

Win It:  Winner chooses 3 flavors of their choice to be delivered to them via UPS.  Available entries are below and should each be listed with a separate comment:

  • Tell me what you do take care of your lips
  • Follow me on Twitter (or on my sidebar)
  • Follow me on Networked Blogs (on my sidebar)
  • Friend me on Facebook 
  • Follow me on Google Friend (on my sidebar)
  • Tweet this giveaway (please include @Melahelen in your tweet)  You can tweet once per day! 
  • Blog about this giveaway and provide a link back to here! (3 extra entries if blogged before 2/19/10)

This contest ends on 2/26/10 at 11:59 AM MST.  A winner will be chosen at random by number generator.  The winner will be e-mailed and asked for mailing info and preferred lip flavors.  Please respond no later than 48 hours after notification or another winner will be chosen!  E-mail address must be available on your blog, profile, or in your comments.  Good luck and thanks for being beautiful bloggers!  

This Giveaway is open to US 

Winner - #50! Tessica!

I Wanted To Show Off My Win!

Just wanted to thank MNMSpecial Giveaways and Stuck On You USA for this giveaway win!  The little Call Me Cards I chose are adorable and are durable so they can stay in a purse or pocket without getting bent, wrinkled or faded!  Thanks so much!

Also, I'm in the market for a new camera. The above shot needs some help. Any suggestions for something practical, easy, but high quality?  My Sony Cyber Shot 4.1 Mega Pixels has pretty much fulfilled it's destiny and I'm ready for something new!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Friend Had Babies - 8 of Them!

My friend, Patti, is a Special Ed Teacher.  We went through the Special Ed Certification Program together at BYU.  I was endorsed in Severe/Profound and she was endorsed in Mild/Moderate.  Anyway, long story short, I don't teach at all.  I did one year and decided it wasn't for me. Patti, on the other hand, has been teaching for close to 20 years.  She keeps saying that if she can just hang in there for a few more years...then she can retire. I really can see why.  Don't get me wrong, I love Special Ed.  If it weren't for hoops you have to jump through and the politics and paperwork that I think is so ridiculous I'd be teaching right now!  Because after all of that, where is the time for the student?  Precious little, I'll say.  They have Patti following 3 different bell schedules every week for starters, not to mention the programs she is required to follow and the restrictions that they have her adhere to.  Over the years, I've seen more and more red tape applied to her and her class and I think it is really tying her hands.  For some more about Patti you can go here to my other blog.

So she has a back-up plan.  She bought a cute female Olde English Bulldogge and decided to breed her.  She's had her for about 3 years and hadn't been successful until this year.  Kamie got pregnant this winter and this last Saturday, she had 8 healthy puppies!  She had to take a few days off to make sure everything went well for the puppies.  So while I was there substituting for her, she brought in the 8 little puppies to show the students.  She was on her way to get their tails docked and their shots.  The kids really liked that.  She used to bring in her dogs in for the students to interact with on a regular basis (she also has two little Pomeranians) until that got axed.  But she did get special permission today to show the puppies to her class.  They loved them! So, if you are looking for an Olde English Bulldogge puppy, I think I could arrange something!

Update:  Patti ended up selling all of them for an average price of $800.00 each!  Wow!  Good money!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Country Bob's Sauce Winners!

I've got the two winners of the Country Bob Sauce.  You gals are so lucky! You're gonna be hooked, I tell you.  The first winner is #4, Jennifer, and the second winner is #17, Ashley Elaine.  I will make sure and e-mail you and you can respond back within 48 hours with your mailing info.  Congratulations to you both!  And thanks to those who entered!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Same Recipe, Different Outcomes

This past week, I wanted to try out a cute recipe I found at The Noble Pig.  It's actually a cute brunch idea and the first time I made it with my sister and her kids.  The idea is to take sturdy rolls, cut off the tops, hollow out the middle, put an egg in them and bake them.  Sounds simple, right?  And it was.  My sisters' kids had a ball scooping out the bread, breaking the eggs into them and then putting cheese, cream and herbs on top of them.  They baked for about 20 minutes.  We took them out and realized that we didn't want them that soft, so we baked them for another 5 minutes.  They came out great! Other than the fact that the sturdy rolls came out a little crunchy, they were great!  We served it with asparagus and it made a wonderful brunch that day.

So I decided to do the same thing for my husband at home.  I showed him the beautiful pictures on the website, told him about my first experience, and so he was really quite excited about it.  That's great, because he is an unadventurous sort when it comes to cuisine.  He knows what works for him, so he feels you don't mess it up by trying funky new things.  I'm just the opposite and love trying new recipes and ingredients.

I confidently went to the Super Market to get the rolls and some herbs and cream.  I had a successful trial run under my belt, after all. Well, I live in a different town than my sister, who lives in Sugarhouse, a suburb of SLC.  I live in Provo.  I chose to go to Macey's for my shopping.  Do you think they had nice firm beautiful Batchi rolls?  No, just flimsy dinner rolls, the kind with sesame seeds on them.  So I decided to get them anyway.  Next, the cheese. No fancy cheeses here.  Just the regular chedder and mozarella, etc.  I chose the chedder. Next the herbs.  Well, here is the frugal part of me that belongs right here in this frugal giveaway blogasphere world. There were actually some fresh chives there but jeez, a little fingerful for $3.00?  I just couldn't do it. I needed even less than that and then the rest of them would go to waste!  (Now that is definitely revealing as to what an inexperienced and uncreative kind of a cook I am, not to think of something else to do with some remaining leftover chives, not to mention cheap, but my parents grew up in the depression and wasting food was not tolerated!) I decided to play around with what herbs I already had in my cupboard at home.

Long story short, I came home, put my 'eggs in a basket' and got them out of the oven.  They seemed a little runny so I put them back in for another 2 minutes.  Got them out and served them with asparagus.  Served them to dh, and ugh!  Not a good reaction.  The eggs were still very runny, my herb combination of thyme and basil were horrible with the eggs and chedder.  The rolls were a disaster.  My dh couldn't finish even one of them and he had requested I make 3 for him. I ended up throwing it out.

Moral of story: Use good ingredients and don't cut too many corners b/c you'll end up wasting a lot more than just a few sprigs of chives!

The cut chive