Friday, July 30, 2010

Casio Exilim EX-Z550 Camera Giveaway!

Drumroll please!  The winner of the Casio Exilim EX-Z550 Camera is #2 Sable!  The winner was chosen through a random number generator,, and will be notified with e-mail.  You have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected!  Thank you ALL for participating!
The beautiful Casio Exilim EX-Z550 in pink

I'm SO excited to offer this giveaway to my own followers!  I want to extend this to my followers to show you how much I appreciate that little extra effort when you opt to subscribe to or follow my blog.  No one made you, but you did it anyway.  Thanks so very much!
This camera is absolutely beautiful!  It offers a longer 4X Zoom and intelligent modes that offer versatility and simplify photography!  It can record HD video and has YouTube capability. The retail price is $169.  

As you may be aware, Casio offers a wide array of fine products.  I own several of their calculators, all of which are wonderful.  I now also own this very camera and I love it!
So, let's get to the giveaway!  Casio is extremely kind to offer one of my followers a Casio Exilim EX-Z550 in their choice of color!  Please complete the mandy before all other entries!

Visit this page in Casio's on-line catalog and tell me a feature that you like about this camera.  You must also be a follower on Google Friend!

Additional Entries:

+1 Go here and tell me what color camera you'd like!

+1 Go here to tell me what other products Casio offers and which one you're interested in besides the camera!

+1 Sign up for Casio's newsletter!

+3 Sign up for my e-mail updates!

+1 Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway!  (Good for one entry per day)

+1 Tell me how you found my site!

+1 Enter any of my other giveaways and let me know which ones you entered!

+2 Grab my button and post it on your blog!  Leave me the link

+3 Blog, Facebook, Stumble it or Link it up on a linky!  Leave me the link where you did it!  You can do as many of these methods as you'd like for 3 entries each!

Well, I think that is about enough entries, don't you?  This giveaway will close at 11:59 pm on Friday, August 15th MST.  I hope that you have fun entering this giveaway!  I personally hope that someone who really needs this camera will win!  Thank you Casio for this great giveaway! I was given this camera because of a win on another blog and I really needed it.  Joyce at Casio kindly consented to do a giveaway for my blog as well!  Also, thanks to Shauna at Trying To Stay Calm!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Apricot Escapade At A Utah County Park

My husband and I have noticed for several years that a local park in the area has a couple of trees that get loaded with apricots every summer.  They fall to the ground and get stepped on, making a squishy mess underneath the branches.  This year we decided to help the situation.

Early one morning this week, we snuck over went to this park with a ladder, a tarp, a bucket, a rake and our dog.  We spread the tarp under the branches of the tree and Greg started shaking and hitting them with the rake.  As they fell I gathered them up and put them in the bucket.  We did this for about an hour.  Afterwards, we played frisbee with our border collie, Evee!  It was an all-around good time. 
 The work began the next day.   The apricots were washed, pitted but not peeled (hey, more fiber that way), boiled with pectin and sugar, put in jars, lidded and put in the bath.  Since neither of us are canning experts, we under-estimated the amount of apricots that we needed in order to make 12 jars of jam.  We ended up with 8 jars of jam and some left-over apricots to give to some friends.  I even made a batch of freezer spread with a recipe I got over at Tight Wad In Utah.  I actually like the spread better because there is less sugar.  But for those cold winter mornings, there will be nothing better than hot, buttered toast with a glaze of homemade apricot jam!  I'm glad that hubs likes to do this kind of thing with me.  It makes it more enjoyable!

SafeTPet Collar Giveaway

SafeTPet has a great selection of designer collars, for your dog or cat!  Any cat would love to wear one of the exclusive designer kitty collars!

And any dog would love to sport these yuppie canine collars!
One of their best-selling items are their personalized collars for both cats and dogs!  They are sturdy, high quality, and are responsible for many a happy reunion between owner and pet.  I'm glad that I've got one for my pet.  You can get one for your pet too!  Personalized dog collars are $14.99 and personalized kitty collars are $11.49.   Of course SafeTPets has much more than just collars.  For instance, I love the idea of a food scoop that doubles as a food bag clip!
SafeTPet would like to give away one of their personalized cat or dog collars!  Here is what you can do to get one!

Complete the mandy first: Visit SafeTPet and tell me something they have besides their dog and cat collars.  

Other entries (leave a comment if worth +1, leave multiple comments for entries worth more than one:

+2 Follow me on Twitter! Leave your Tweet handle! 

+1 Tweet out this giveaway! You can copy and paste this: 
#Giveaway for a dog or cat personalized collar w/ your choice of color from @melahelen 8/10/10!   (1 entry each time you tweet.  1X daily)

+1 Do you have a dog or a cat? What do you love about your pet?

+2 Read my review about SafeTPet and leave a comment.  Let me know you did!

+3 Friend me on Facebook and leave me a comment over there! I love those comments!

+3 Grab my button and post it on your blog! 
+2 Follow me on Google Friend (publicly please)!
+2 Follow my RSS Feed with any reader you choose!

This giveaway will close on 8/10/10 at 11:59 pm MST!  Thanks for participating and thanks to SafeTPet for the chance to review and host this giveaway!  The opinions in this blog are mine and are honest and candid.  I was provided a product to sample and review!  Winners are chosen with!  The winner will be announced at the end of the giveaway here on this post!  Check back to see who won!  



Just The Right Fit

Have you ever met my dog, Evee?  Let me introduce you to her!  She is our Border Collie.  We got her from an ad in our local paper for $50.  The owners just couldn't handle her in their small twin home with the tiny backyard.  They had great intentions...but she was just too much dog for them, at 10 months old.  She had developed some horrible habits.  She snarled at anyone who approached her, including me when I met her for the first time.  It really unnerved me and I thought I was a seasoned dog lover.  She chased down anything moving in her field of vision, including bikes, scooters, joggers, walkers, bikes and cars.  And she was so energetic that she was a pest.  She always wanted to play with toys and fetch her squeaky ball. 

After much deliberation and going back and forth, we decided to get her.  She was to be the replacement for our beloved dog, Daisy, who passed away from Lymphoma. See my tribute to her here

Without going into details, we have had Evee now for about 10 months.  She has really come far with her behavior and maturity.  As she approaches the 2 year old mark, we are so glad that we got her.  One of the big problems she had with her former owners, is that she is so very intelligent.  With all that intelligence and no cognitive stimulation or exercise, a dog is bound to get into some really bad habits.  Since I wanted a dog to encourage me to get out of the house and onto the trails, Evee is a perfect match for me.  We get out everyday and run or walk.  I can't, as of yet, take her to crowded places because she still likes to chase things and people.  But she is getting better.  I have taught her how to catch frisbees and she absolutely loves that.  I feel that with time Evee will mature into the ideal dog that Greg and I were looking for.  
 Finally, a word of advice and caution for all those who are looking to bring a new pet into their lives.  Make sure that you have the  right information about the type of dog you want.  If you can't devote a lot of time to your pet, you don't want to get one.  I know of people who have dogs and who never take them out, even to the bathroom.  I feel so sorry for these animals. Animals deserve care and attention, too.
Recently, I was introduced to a company that provides specialized pet products.  I was really impressed with the prices and the high quality of their personalized dog collars.  The company is called SafeTPet!  I ordered a personalized dog collar for Evee that I absolutely love.  It is very high quality and has her name and phone number  sewn onto it.   Most I.D collars have metal buckle type fastners and the end of the nylon collar dangles and frays.  These don't. There is no extra material dangling down.  You provide the exact measurements of your dogs neck and it is made to fit!  The site is simple to navigate and I like the large color selection. These I.D. collars are great for agility dogs because they are not allowed to wear metal or dangling tags in the ring!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tame This Frizz--Tropical Traditions Hair Treatment Giveaway!

Congratulations to #119, Matt4Melis!  You will be contacted with e-mail and if you respond in 48 hours, will receive your gift in the mail from Tropical Traditions!

Everyone needs and wants great hair.  Nutrition has a lot to do with it, as well as hormones, humidity, age and styling choices!  Tropical Traditions has taken advantage of its Pure Virgin Coconut Oil and studies such as the one done in India on 3 types of common natural oils used on hair--sunflower, mineral and coconut. Coconut Oil was the only oil found to reduce protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product!  What does that mean for you and me?  It means that using it will make our hair better!  This is the part where I should add a picture of a gorgeous model swishing her perfect hair around her face in slow motion.  Oops, sorry, couldn't find anything for ya!  But I've got something even better!  Tropical Traditions wants to offer one of you a jar of their pure Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil for Hair Treatment!  (Wow!  That's a long name!  Oh well, as long as the stuff works, right? Trust me, it does!)  But first, let me tell you that everything you order at Tropical Traditions by midnight tonight is Free Shipping!  Also, you can buy 1 get 1 free of their Certified Organic Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil!  That's just one of the great deals going on right now!  Check them out!
For first time purchasers, please use the referral code 5954910.  You will receive a complimentary copy of the book :Virgin Coconut Oil:  How It Has Changed People's Lives And How It Can Change Yours' with your purchase.  This book includes over 85 recipies using coconut oil and research showing the health benefits of coconut oil! 

Now back to the giveaway!  Please complete the mandatory entry before you do any of the other entries!  This giveaway is open to US Residents, Canadian Residents, bloggers and non-bloggers. You must be able to have product mailed to a mailing address other than a P.O. Box and must have a valid e-mail address that I do not have to look high and low for.  Good luck!

MANDY: Visit Tropical Traditions on FACEBOOK and like (friend) them.  Leave me your FB friend first name and last initial in your comment! (Ex: Helena.L)

Other Entries:

  • Read my Review here and leave a comment.  Come back and let me know you did!  (3 entries) 
  • Grab my AGalNeeds...button on the right sidebar and post it on your blog main page!  (3 entries)
  •  Subscribe to my RSS Feed in a Reader of your choice.  (3 entries)
  • Blog, Stumble or Facebook about this giveaway and tell me where you did by leaving me the link!  (5 entries each method) 
  • Follow me on Twitter! (3 entries) 
This giveaway will close on 8/12/10 at 11:59 pm MST!  Thanks for participating and thanks to Tropical Traditions for the chance to review and host this giveaway!  The opinions in this blog are mine and are honest and candid.  I was provided a product to sample and review!  Winners are chosen with!  The winner will be announced at the end of the giveaway here on this post!  Check back to see who won!  



Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fighting Frizz Can Be A Whiz! (Review)

I read in one of my magazines that 54% of women got madder at their hair last month than at their partner!  I know, I'm right there with you and probably more so.  I get so dang mad at my hair!  It is so uncooperative.  I'd love to just get out of bed with my hair looking great. I'm lazy that way.  I don't enjoy having to spend more than 5 minutes on that part of grooming.  
 I've spent time in the southern states and there, my hair becomes more curly and frizzy. I am hard pressed to keep it manageable without using some severe restraining methods, like perming it and then styling it to how I want it.  That is damaging! I now live in Utah, a western desert state and while I no longer have a problem with excessive frizziness, it's now dryness that I battle every day.  When I first moved here, it was like my hair had been singed due to heat.  But it was just the dryness sucking all the moisture out of my skin and hair! (I was also thirsty all the time!)  So I look for moisturizing shampoos and conditioners to help with the problem! 
Having healthy hair can help it be more cooperative and withstand more heat and teasing in the quest to have a beautiful looking do. I've found something that will definitely get your hair more healthy because it delivers what the hair thrives on--protein!  The product is from a company called Tropical Traditions.  Ever heard of it?
I Wish My Hair looked like this when I get out of bed!
Coconut oil has been used for hair treatment in coconut producing countries such as India and the Philippines for thousands of years. Studies in India have been done on how effective various oils are on treating damaged hair. The study compared mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil because these were the three most commonly used oils in hair treatment products used in India. The aim of this study was to cover different treatments, and the effect of these treatments on various hair types using these three oils. Both sunflower and mineral oils do not help at all in reducing the protein loss from hair. This difference in results could arise from the composition of each of these oils. Among three oils, coconut oil was the only oil found to reduce the protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product.
 Tropical Traditions has a Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil specifically For Hair Treatment!  It penetrates the hair shaft to deliver that vital protein so essential to good hair health!  It has a higher protein content than their other Virgin Coconut Oils because it has coconut solids in it. 

 My experience:  I've used this Coconut Oil specifically for my hair and I love how it literally sinks into the hair shaft and keeps it moisturized and manageable.  I feel that my hair is getting healthier and that I won't have to cut it all off because of dryness and damage.  I use it as a pre-wash conditioner and I also use it after I wash my hair, just on the ends to tame the flyaways.  It isn't too oily at all, due to the absorption directly into the hair!  My only suggestion is that I'd like to see more of a practical dispenser for shower and bath.  A wide-mouthed glass jar isn't the most practical for application in the shower or bath.  Other than that, I am most impressed and grateful to have found yet another great product from Tropical Traditions!

(For first time purchasers, please use the referral code 5954910.  You will receive a complimentary copy of the book 'Virgin Coconut Oil:  How It Has Changed People's Lives And How It Can Change Yours' with your purchase.  This book includes over 85 recipes using coconut oil and research showing the health benefits of coconut oil!)

disclaimer:  I was provided product to give a fair and honest review, which I have done!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hiking Mt. Timpanogos #BeUtahful

I've been on a little summer hiatus and much needed blogging break...A Gal Needs that once in a while!  The main reasons being that I was completing my last stint with the 2010 Census and being with my two boys, Eddie the Yettie and Sloppy Jo, doing some fun summer activities before Joseph, 13, had to go back to Virginia, where he lives with his Dad.  I so much miss them and their antics already, but also, glad to get back to blogging, which is a comfort to me, and helps to soothe my achy breaky heart when they are away. 

Thanks so much for sticking with me through this break.

These boys of mine have the closest relationship of any two brothers I know.  Sometimes I get a little bit envious of how close they are.  But not really.  I want them to be able to continue seeing one another and associating with each other long after I am no longer able to be with them.  The last day they were here together they hiked to the top of Mt. Timpanogos, a 19 mile round trip with an elevation gain of about a mile.  Here are some great pics they took on this incredible journey. They even got shots of the elusive mountain goats that wander around up there. I don't think I would have made it, although I'd like to try later on in the summer.  A daunting task, to be sure!  They had to bring a young woman down with a broken ankle.  We were there at the trailhead to meet the boys and saw the rescue squad packing her down on a stretcher. I really don't want to end up like that if I make an attempt....Hugs,  Helena

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Country Time Lemonade and Pitcher Giveaway!

Congratulations to my winner, #2, Beth, who said,  Friend Country Time Lemonade and Kraft Foods on Facebook   Thanks to everyone who entered, and watch for another batch of giveaways soon!
 Summer just wouldn't be the same without lemonade!  One of my favorite childhood memories is how my mother would always have lemonade for us to drink.  I loved it so much!
"Now warm weather is here and nothing makes friends and family smile like lemonade.  Simply put, it's a classic--a staple of the season that you will always enjoy finding in the fridge.  Whether you'll be spending time entertaining in the backyard, in the park or around the kitchen table, keep Country Time Lemonade on hand.  It's available in traditional and pink, and is a delicious blend of sweet and tart that will stir memories of summers past and remind you of what warm weather is really all about!"

 Get Country Time Lemonade at Stores everywhere!
 One person reading this blog will win a cannister of Country Time Lemonade just in time for summer, along with a pitcher to hold it in!  This will come gifted very very nicely, with loads of yellow and pink confetti (like the lemonade)  to cushion it in, so if you like beautiful confetti, that is a bonus!  Here is what I need for you to enter and win:

Mandy:  Write a sentence using the word "lemonade" in it! (Must be done or no other entries count!)

Other Entries:
+1 Friend Country Time Lemonade and Kraft Foods on Facebook!
+1 Follow Kraft Foods on Twitter!  Leave me your link!
+2 Follow AGalNeeds...on Google Friend Connect!  Tell me if you already do!  It still counts!
+2  See what I did with my Country Time on the 4th of July!  What did you do on the 4th?  Make a comment and come back and let me know you did!
+3 Grab my button and post it on your own blog!  
+3 Subscribe to my RSS Feed!
+1 Follow me on Twitter!
+1 Tweet daily about this giveaway for an extra entry per day! 
+3 Blog about this giveaway and link it back to this post!

This giveaway is open to US bloggers and will end on Wednesday, July 21st. The winner will be selected through and will be contacted through e-mail. Thanks so much for stopping by and good luck with this great giveaway!



Monday, July 5, 2010

Our 4th of July Celebration!

My family had a great 4th of July weekend!  We combined it with the birthday of my oldest son, whose birthday always falls on the 4th every year! ;)  We had good food, good times and made some good memories.  Thank you to Laura and Chris for hosting it at their home.  Thank you to
Leland and Alicia for arranging the trip to Lagoon and thanks to all our extended family for helping and being there to enjoy!  Here I am at Lagoon enjoying one of the more tame rides and my personal favorite, the Sky Rider.  So calm and relaxing!  I also went on the Samurai, Wicked and the roller coaster!  Not so calm and relaxing. 

We had a great BBQ with T-Bone Steaks before we all walked to the park to see the fireworks!  Here are some of the fixins':

                This is the punch bowl cake that seems to be a big hit when I make it!

 Harrison, my 4-year-old nephew, was in charge of decorating this cake.  He got help from Aunt Amy!
                                  This salad was awesome!  Made by Harrison's Mom, Laura!

One of the great drinks was Country Time Lemonade, complete with sliced lemons and mint leaves!



Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tropical Traditions Canadian Raw Honey Giveaway and Review

Congratulations to my winner, LAMusing #26, who said:
I follow on GFC (#1)  I will e-mail you as well with the good news!  

 Tropical Traditions has proved once again that it is a company that offers only the highest quality food products.  This Canadian Raw Honey is exquisite!  It is not clear, like many honeys, but creamy and smooth.  The taste is perfect!  It is almost like a rich butter going onto your toast.  Because it is so very good, I don't want to waste it in baking.  I'll go and get a lesser quality honey to disappear into my cooking.  This honey was made for eating straight!  Try it, you'll see what I mean.

 For first time purchasers, please use the referral code 5954910.  You will receive a complimentary copy of the book 'Virgin Coconut Oil:  How It Has Changed People's Lives And How It Can Change Yours' with your purchase.  This book includes over 85 recipes using coconut oil and research showing the health benefits of coconut oil!
 You can purchase Tropical Traditions Canadian Raw Organic Honey (17 oz.) now through July 8th for 50% off!
Tropical Traditions would like to give one of my readers a glass jar of their pure Canadian Raw Honey!  Here is what you can do to win it!

Mandatory: Visit Tropical Traditions and tell me something else about their honey or honey in general!

Extra entries:
+1  Become a Facebook Fan of Tropical Traditions here!  If you are already a fan, mention it in a comment!

+1 Follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter!  Please leave your follower name!

+1 Follow me on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway.  You can do this once daily for extra entries! You can copy and paste this!
"#Win @TropTraditions a 17 oz. glass jar of Canadian Raw Honey  Ends 7/15"  Leave your tweet status!

+5 Blog about this Giveaway.  Leave me the post link!

+3 Grab my Button and post it on your main page! Leave me where you did it!

+2 Follow me on Google Friend!

+2 Subscribe to my RSS Feed!

Open to US and Canada (well, since the honey IS from Canada...;)
Giveaway will run through July 15th at which time the winner will be chosen through and be notified through e-mail.  
Good luck and thanks so much for participating!  

Disclaimer:  I was provided product in exchange for an honest and fair review!