Friday, March 19, 2010

Book Review : Start Here Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are

I'll admit that when I first agreed to review this Christian book, I thought the target audience was, well, ME. Perhaps I didn't read the invitation clearly or PERHAPS there was a bigger meaning behind it.

Let me explain, this book is aimed at the young crowd specifically teens and pre-teens. And in case you haven't noticed... that ain't me.

But, I'm glad I read it. So glad, in fact, that I immediately passed it along to my niece. AND SHE LOVED IT. The premise behind this book is to inspire today's youth to do the hard things, change the world around them and do the extraordinary for God.

The book is chock full of questions and answers, advice and suggestions for it's "Rebelutionaries." It tackles subjects like moving against the "crowd," handling changes that come with big decisions and keeping God in focus. It also contains an appendix filled with 100 real life examples of hard things that young people all over the world have done. If your youngster can't find some inspiration in his own life, then the appendix will help him find his way.

Even though I wasn't the target audience for this particular book, I found myself re-thinking my own choices in life and drawing inspiration from the teens who were profiled.

For more information on Start Here by Alex & Brett Harris, check here. FTC Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of this book for review.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

With Gratitude To Momz Share Supporters!

Momz Share officially launched on March 13th! We had so much fun and the event was wildly successful. (Will link here shortly)

Momz Share would like to thank the companies that came on board to support this endeavor. We are so incredibly grateful!


107 Designs –Designed the Momz Share logo and buttons! 107 Designs also gave one lucky winner a customized Twitter and YouTube background. Twitter: @107designs / Link:

Sisarina – Designed the Momz Share banner and is donating their services towards creating a website for ! Twitter: @sisarina / Link:

Photographer Lisa Helfert – Lisa provided a portrait session valued at $300 for one lucky lady! Twitter: @helfphoto / Link:

e.l.f. Cosmetics– Provided goody bag items and fantastic door prizes! Twitter: @askelf / Link:

Tarara Winery – Provided ALL the wine for this evening’s event and send every lady home with a bottle of their wine! Twitter: @tararawinery / Link:

Seed – Donated amazing lotions for the goody bags! Twitter: @seedpower / Link:

Soge Shirts – Provided four funny Twitter t-shirts for door prizes! Twitter: @sogeshirts / Link:

La Papillion Spa – A luxurious giveaway basket plus samples and chocolates for everyone! Twitter: @lapapillonspa / Link:

Jasmere – Gave one lucky lady $100 shopping spree and each participant a $5 shopping coupon! Twitter: @shopjasmere / Link:

Maryland Ensemble Theatre - Gave each blogger tickets to their FUN Company children's theatre! Twitter: @mdensemble / Link:

Thien Kim – Provided a saucy Passion Parties gift basket! Twitter: @thienkim / Link:

Port Discovery – Donated three huge baskets filled with kid’s goodies and tickets to Port Discovery! Twitter: @portdiscovery / Link

Laura / Amanda – Came through in a pinch to officially take photos for the Momz Share launch party! Twitter: @1momof5 & @thenagainphoto Link: and

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mirra - A New Line Of Natural Products Review & Giveaway!

I've found a new love. Now, before you go calling my husband on me, hear me out. I am in love with a new moisturizer. (Stick with me on this people, there is something in it for you!)

I was given an opportunity to review a new line of beauty products from mirra™. I got to experience the Smoothing shampoo & conditioner, replenishing lotion, strong sculpting gel, replenishing body wash, exfoliating & detoxifying cleanser and micro-remodeling cream.

One of the best things about mirra™ products, besides the wonderful aroma, are the ingredients. These products feature natural ingredients like olive oil, aloe leaf juice, and cranberry, bamboo, honey and chicory root extracts.

Although I was genuinely impressed with all of them (Read: I would buy them again, they were that terrific) my favorites were the exfoliating & detoxifying cleanser and micro-remodeling cream.

LOVED them. Did I mention how great they smell? Mmm...

The cleanser was a great exfoliator that I could feel working it's magic instantly and the cream... well, it was thick and smooth and non-greasy. I am a convert. Which is huge for me because I am strictly a Mary Kay Timewise gal. According to mirra, the micro remodeling cream combines aloe and green tea with MATRIXL 3000 to help reduce wrinkles, provide skin firmness, as well as to sooth and deliver antioxidants. Their study of MATRIXL 3000 proports that in just two months, you will see significantly reduced wrinkle depth, skin roughness and improved skin tone. I've only had these products for a little while but I'll let you know!

Would anybody out there like to give them a try? Then I am going to make this simple! If you would like to win all seven products to try in the comfort of your own home (and I am talking real life sizes here, not tiny ones) then all you have to do is leave a comment after you tweet out the following: "I entered to win a fabulous beauty product giveaway from @mammamania and mirra here:" If you don't have twitter then post about this giveaway with a link on Facebook and I will accept that as long as you give me a link to check it out. :)

If you would like to try them on your own, mirra products can be found in the beauty care aisles exclusively at all stores that are part of the Kroger Co. family. And gals, for a limited time, mirra is offering $5 off when you purchase any two of their products. The coupon is available for download here:\coupons.

This contest closes in one week on March 18th at midnight. Good luck! FTC Disclosure: I received the products courtesy of The Kroger Company for review and giveaway as a part of the Global Influence Network.

ON A SIDE NOTE: If you are a blogger who needs a sponsorship to Blogher2010, check out my contest here. Valid until March 31. Spread the word!

UPDATE: Rebekah from Mom-In-A-Million WON! Woo hoo! She was chosen at random by one of my sons. Yeah, I am all technical like that!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Global Influence - Holiday Guide


Holiday shopping season is here again and the Global Influence network has some great gift ideas for you, tried and tested by real moms. Click on the links to check out what our team of reviewers had to say about each of these gift ideas, and then take a moment to enter our fun giveaway and take a chance at winning some of these fabulous products. Featured Reviews pouchee Pouchees -

Busy moms need all the help they can get to stay organized and keep life as simple as possible. The Pouchee is the perfect solution to keeping all those little things together, putting everything you need, right at your fingertips.

duckhunter Duck Hunter -

Duck Hunter turns the excitement of the hunt into an activity the whole family can enjoy. Launch the duck in the air and try to hunt it down with the toy shooter as it flies freely in the air. A fun choice for those who love outdoor sporting.

cardstore CardStore cards

-Personalized holiday cards are an important item on everyone's to-do list and often a hassle to create and print. has everything from family photo cards to invitations for your big holiday party, simplifying your holiday season.

Great Holiday Gift Ideas Things Remembered Custom Couture Jewelry Just Elfin' Around Card Cubby Harumika By Bandai Harumika Runway Showstopper Harumika Style Starter Baby Alive Whoopsie Doo Strawberry Shortcake Playset Kota Monty Rex Wall to Wall Basketball Nerf Pocket Vortex Busy Ball Popper Talking Chuck Truck Leapfrog My Pal Scout Leapfrog Tag Jr Leapfrog Scribble and Write Animal Planet Polar Land Playset Animal Planet Dinosaur Playmat Onionhead Adult/Teen Feelings Pack OnionHead Children's Feelings Pack Onionhead A-Z Feelings Magnet Set FotoboxPlus MeTime Tees Fun Holiday Giveaway! For this holiday guide, we want to share the love with the blogosphere! Some of our generous sponsors have donated prizes to be given away to lucky readers! To enter to win one of the following fabulous prizes, simply fill out the form here: Prizes include: Things Remembered Custom Couture Jewelry Pouchee Elfing Around Harumika Onionhead Feelings Pack Nerf Wall to Wall Basketball Baby Alive Whoopsie Doo MeTime T-shirt Entries will close on December 6, 2009 at 11:59 PM EST. Winners will be contacted by email after the close of the contest. Global Influence Member Guides Need more ideas for this holiday season? Check out the guides that some of our Global Influence members have put together on their own sites! Thrifty Jinxy, Happy Healthy Hip , And Twins Make Five , Because Two People Fell In Love, Mommy Musings , Lipstick to Crayons , Bargain Briana , Mommy PR , Shop With Me Mama, Santa Picks, Rave and Review, Connected 2 Christ , 3 Boys and a Dog, The Classy Closet , Contest Corner, Lisa Reviews , A Giveaway Every Day, HulaHoopinMom, Spalibrations, High Impact Mom, From Cribs to Car Keys
All reviews listed in the Global Influence gift guide were product provided. Featured positions were purchased by sponsors. Member gift guides are not affiliated with Global Influence.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Twilight, Vampires And Addiction (Giveaway!)

Any Twilight fans out there? I know I am! (Which is sometimes kind of embarrassing to divulge.)

I have to admit, I never really thought twice about the Twilight series and its potential impact on today's culture. I knew that I loved it (read the entire saga in one week) ... and that my nieces loved it. I mean, there are 48 million copies in print... (Plus multiple movie deals.) Somebody loves it, right?

If you are a Christian parent you will definitely be interested in the new book Touched by a Vampire by Beth Felker Jones. Her book actually delves into the hidden messages in the Twilight saga and is the first piece to investigate the themes of Twilight from a Biblical perspective.

A fascinating read to be sure. If you are concerned about Twilight and the message it is sending to your teen, you will definitely want to give this book a look.

GIVEAWAY ALERT!! I have one copy of Touched by a Vampire to give away. (Just in time for the holidays!) Leave a comment below if you would like to be entered. Leave a comment on my main blog Hip As I Wanna Be and you'll get two entries. I will select a winner at random on Saturday, December 5th.


What a surprise this book was for me. Let me just say that I am a huge vampire fiction fan. I mean, I once stood out in the rain for three hours just to meet Anne Rice. Yes, I totally have issues.

So when Thirsty came across my radar screen, I was interested immediately.

As it turns out, it was a completely different storyline that gripped me. You see, the main character Nina Parker, is alcoholic. She is facing intense struggles including an ex-husband she still loves, a shattered relationship with her angry teenage daughter and the fact that she must return to the hometown she abruptly abandoned two decades earlier. Her arrival back in town and the subsequent events that follow ignite the desire of of a two-hundred-fifty-year-old vampire who sets out to claim her.

As I said, it was Nina's struggles with addiction that really moved me. Her story is written in such a compelling and truthful way that I barely put it down. I highly recommend it.

NOTE: These books were provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Mark-My-Time Is A Fun Way To Keep Them Reading!

Dontcha just love it?

My one son is bless with excellent reading ability and yet... he hates it.

My other son has a really difficult time reading and yet... he loves it.

It makes homework and reading time especially difficult to manage. We make our kids read 20-30 minutes each day. Silent or out loud, it does not really matter to me. What does matter to me though, is the constant questioning - "Are we done yet? How long has it been? I feel like I am reading FOREVER!"

THIS IS WHERE TECHNOLOGY COMES IN! I just found these Mark-My-Time digital bookmarks and I adore them! Take it from a mom who's son has an IEP, a tutor and 5 weeks of targeted reading clinics in the summer... these babies are amazing!

It is so helpful to have someone (else) keep the time for you. There is no whining. No complaining and no finishing early. They actually look forward it it now.

It is a small miracle!

Anyone else want to try one of these out? Leave me a comment below and I will select one winner to give a new bookmark too. So simple, eh?
(Dear FTC - I was provided with product for this review.)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Disney on Ice - Magical, Of Course!

One of the perks of "putting it all out there" in a blog is that sometimes people read it. And because of that, sometimes you get a chance to do pretty nice things as a result. Such was the case last night when I got to take my family to see the Disney on Ice show in Baltimore.

It was amazing!

I have to say, I was kinda skeptical about my kid's reactions. I was worried that it would be all princess and love.... which would NOT have gone over well. AT. ALL.

We were so pleasantly surprised! Not that there wasn't princesses and love, because, what kind of Disney show would it be without it? But it had something for all of us.

Halloween villians... eeek!


AND PRINCESSES...Mulan is my personal favorite!

Listen, if you live in or around Baltimore, there is still time to get your tickets... this show is running through Sunday. Check here for more details.

You can still get discounts on tickets. Here are the details:

You can get $4 off per ticket for weekend shows.

Tickets are on sale HERE simply enter the coupon code MOM. (One thing though – This offer is not valid on Rinkside or VIP seating. It also can’t be combined with other offers. Service Charges, Facility & handling fees will apply)