Monday, April 11, 2011

A Flirty Apron Review and Giveaway!

I've been aware of an awesome company called Flirty Aprons for awhile now and am pleased to be able to do a review for their new Marilyn line!  In general, Flirty Aprons makes high-quality aprons for women, men, and children.  Since I speak for myself, and I'm a woman, Flirty Aprons makes me feel good about myself when I'm in the kitchen.  When I feel good about myself, I have a tendency to be more motivated to watch what I eat.  I also like it because I can be dressed in my old sweats, looking like I need a good couple days at the spa, but when I put on this apron, I could fool anyone but the most in-the-know person.  Case in point:

The apron that I happen to be wearing is the 'Sugar and Spice from the new Marilyn Line.  I can adjust the ties to fit more snugly or more loosely depending on how I feel. This is adjusted more loosely!  These aprons are the more light-weight aprons with just one layer.  I like it because it will be great for warm weather cooking.  I love the pocket on the side for recipe cards, a phone, glasses, etc.  I also love the triple layer of ruffles on the bottom! I believe that A GAL NEEDS... at least one of these! Pictured here are some other aprons I love.  There are so many more, however, to choose from:
Marilyn Strawberry Shortcake

Kaydee Queen of Everything Apron
 Flirty Apron would like one of you to receive your choice of apron from their new Marilyn Line!  Believe me, you will love it!  All you need to do is first, be a GFC Follower and leave a  comment with a link to your favorite Flirty Apron!

Extra Entries (leave extra comments according to amount listed on the left of entry):
  • +3 Post about this giveaway on Facebook and link it to Flirty Aprons!  Example below:
"Flirty Aprons makes every woman feel great in the kitchen!  Enter the Flirty Aprons Giveaway at A GAL NEEDS... today! 4/25"
  • +1 Tweet this daily (2x each day for one entry each, 1 hour apart please):
"Feel great in the kitchen!  #Win @Melahelen a Marilyn style @FlirtyAprons!  #Cooking #Aprons 4/25"
  • +2 Post my button on your blog and/or put me on your blog list!  (2 entries each, counts if I'm already there!)  Leave me the link! 
  • +3 Enter my Therabreath Giveaway! 
       Many thanks to Flirty Aprons for providing me with an apron to review and also for providing an apron to one of my readers.  This giveaway will end on 4/25/11 and winner will be chosen with and notified by e-mail.  The winner will have a 48 hour window to respond.  This giveaway is open to US residents.                                                                             

      Wednesday, April 6, 2011

      OPI 'Black Shatter' Nail Polish Giveaway!

      Thanks, everyone!  That was a fun one!  I love my Black Shatter and #31 is going to get this delivered to her doorstep really soon!  It is lucky Lauren, who said:
      lauren said...
      Hi! I am a GFC follower, my username is Lvspina01. My current favorite nail color is For Audrey by China Glaze, its the perfect turquoise color and I get so many compliments when I wear it which is always good! Haha! Thanks for giving away such an awesome item! It is very generous of you! I have been wanting to try this polish for the longest! Hope I win :) Thanks again and hope to hear from you soon! Lauren

      Black Shatter, by OPI and inspired by Katy Perry, is flying off of shelves and right now is on back order with very few bottles available for walk-in customers when shipments do arrive!  
       The fashion press started teasing about it before Thanksgiving and it has flown off of store shelves since hitting the Utah market, where I live, in February!  Random checks of beauty supply websites show that supplies are either limited, back ordered or out of stock!  One seller on E-Bay had it listed at $80.50.  Other sellers have it retailing for up to $20!  (It normally retails for $8.50)
      It appeals, like Katy Perry's music, to ages 10 - 30.  But I'm thinking it appeals to a much wider age range than that.  I'm actually way over 30, I'm 40- cough, sneeze, clear throat, and I think it's fab!  (I know, I'm just hip like that anyway!)   It is definitely one of the more unique things to hit the nail industry in a long time.  

      The idea is to paint your nails with a base coat of your favorite shade and then put Black Shatter on top of that.  It separates and gives a random cracked appearance, with the base coat showing through.  It is definitely interesting to say the least!  

       I'm giving a bottle of Black Shatter Nail Polish to one reader on my blog!  This is what you need to do to enter:

      Mandy - Be a GFC Follower and tell me what your current favorite nail color is!

      Extra Entries (Leave each entry done in a comment):   
      • Subscribe to my e-mails
      • Follow me on Twitter and Tweet (Can be done once daily for an entry each day!)
      • Post my button on your blog and leave me the link! (right sidebar)
      • Friend me on Facebook!
      • Blog about it and link it back to this post!
      •  Sign up for My Likes here!  (5 extra entries)
       Optional Tweet!  #Giveaway for Katy Perry's Black Shatter by OPI @Melahelen 4/20

      Giveaway ends on 4/20/11!  Winner will be notified by e-mail (so leave your e-mail in at least one comment) and will have 48 hours to respond!  I will then ship the prize to the winner via US Mail with delivery confirmation.  This giveaway is open to US entrants.  

      Here is a tutorial from You Tube on how to apply Black Shatter! 

      Friday, April 1, 2011

      Ultimate Blog Party 2011

      Ultimate Blog Party 2011

      We were asked to talk a little bit about ourselves during this event. Here is what I said:
      I am the owner of 3 blogs--my personal blog, this one, and my giveaway listings blog!  Thus the name, A GAL NEEDS... at least 2 blogs!  I never would have guessed 3 years ago that I would even be a blogger at all.  So it is quite the surprise to me that I have 3 of them. 

      I'm a Mom of a 22 year old son, who is in the thick of graduating from college and heading for grad school, pretty much on his own.  It's nice, though, that he lives in the same town as us and I can see him quite frequently!  He is an MMA competitor on the side and has been doing well in that arena.  I saw him fight one time and I think that will be the only time I go.  It's quite nerve-racking!

      I also have a 14 year old son, still at home and finishing up his middle school career.  He is really big for a 14 year old.  He's at 6'0 right now, with huge bones and a huge frame.  I don't even know how to feed him sometimes.  Fortunately my husband is a great cook so he helps in that area!

      I am a certified special ed teacher and work in a support role at a remedial high school in a self-contained classroom. Luckily, I have experience with boys because it's an all-boy classroom.  It's never boring and when I get home, I see my other boys.  That's a lot of testosterone and so sometimes I love to get away and ride my bike on the local river trail or take my border collie on walks!

      My husband is the greatest and we enjoy our lives and while he enjoys his 'War Craft' and other recreational online games, I love to blog in my spare time.  My spare time seems to be less and less these days, but I still make time for reviews, giveaways and the occasional snapshot of life.  I enjoy featuring noteworthy news or in other words, news that I feel is of interest to me and other women.  

      Wednesday, March 16, 2011

      Hope For Spina Bifada Babies!

        I am really amazed at what medical breakthroughs are actually coming through!  Who would have thought that babies with spina bifida, which can be determined before birth through tests, now have a chance to be operated on before they are born to correct this birth defect?  It is one of the most common birth defects in the United States, affecting about 1,500 babies each year.  About 10% of these babies die. Those who survive may have lifelong disabilities that include leg weakness or paralysis and loss of bowel and bladder control.  The most severe form of spina bifida is called myelomeningocele, in which the lower backbone and spinal canal do not close before birth. 
         An eight-year trial has just been completed, actually having been ended early because the results were very overwhelming - Children's odds of a good outcome from spina bifida surgery are better if the operation is done before birth, a major clinical trial shows.
         For the trial, 80 mothers were chosen to receive the corrective operation before birth.  "They cut you from hip to hip, and you can imagine having a major surgery, cut twice and have a baby mov(ing) around and kick(ing).  I was in crazy amounts of pain for a long, long time."  But for one mom, it was a sweet sacrifice because at just one week old, an MRI showed her little son's brain malformation, which was a symptom of the spina bifida, completely reversed. 
         For many unborn babies, a diagnosis of spina bifida will result in death by abortion.  For those babies allowed to live, surgery is often performed soon after birth.  But unfortunately, the months spent in utero with the spina bifida untreated can result in leg paralysis, brain damage, or other problems. Hydrocephalus usually requires a shunt to drain the excess fluid and can even result in death.  
          When surgery is performed before birth, doctors have concluded that the operation decreased the need for shunts and reduced the incidence of brain herniation, but increased likelihood of premature delivery.  As these children grow, the doctors will be able to determine if the surgery prevented other effects of spina bifida, such as leg paralysis.
      There is an elevated risk to the mothers, who elect to have this surgery.  It is a major surgery and any subsequent children she gives birth to would need to be done with C-Section.  But for most parents, this is wonderful news and gives hope to the children they so fondly hope to have and to nurture.   
      Sources from articles here, here and here

      Tuesday, March 15, 2011

      Gourmet Gift Basket Snack Classic Giveaway!

      Congratulations to my random draw winner, #8,  leanne_mac! Thanks, everyone, for entering!
         I was ecstatic to be able to review Gourmet Gift Basket's best seller, the snack gift basket classic!  First of all, I have heard so many wonderful reports and read so many great reviews of the company!  Everyone from Oprah to The Today Show has raved about the quality of these baskets, which, by the way, are made by Gourmet Gift Baskets!  Yes, I mean the baskets, themselves!
         To put these snacks to the test, I took it to school with me and let my classroom of unruly, self-contained boys try them.   They were very happy to sample them and rate them!  The overall consensus was thumbs up!  Among my favorites were the :
       And the:
      These were yummy!
         There were many more yummy selections, including key lime white chocolate chip cookies, a peanut roll, an organic coconut roll, and more!

         If you ever have a need to give someone something nice, showing that you care and easy to expedite, give them a gift basket like this snack basket from Gourmet Gift Baskets!
         Gourmet Gift Baskets would like to give one lucky reader a Snack Classic Basket to try for themselves!  Here's what you can do to enter:

      Main Entry - Become a GFC Follower of A GAL NEEDS...(on right side bar) AND visit Gourmet Gift Baskets and tell me a basket you'd love to try!  That's it!  If you would like additional entries, please check out the following extra entries!  Leave as many comments as indicated on the left of each entry!  Thanks!

      +2 Subscribe to my e-mails! (right side bar)
      +3 Blog, Stumble or Facebook this! (leave me the link)
      +3 Follow my giveaway listings blog on GFC 
      +1 Tweet this giveaway daily for one entry per day! You can tweet this:  
      "#Win a Gourmet Gift Basket snack classic @Melahelen and @gmtgiftbaskets - this is their best-selling basket!  4/8"

       +2  Comment on my review for Gourmet Gift Baskets!
      +1  Follow me on Twitter! 
      +1  Like Gourmet Gift Baskets on Facebook and leave them a nice  comment!  (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial for me)

      This giveaway will close on April 8th and the winner will be chosen by and notified through e-mail!  Please respond within 48 hours!  I was provided the product above in exchange for a review and giveaway!  All opinions are authentic and represented by myself only. Thanks so much to Gourmet Gift Basket for letting me share this review and giveaway with my readers.