Tuesday, December 20, 2011

See ya next year!!

It's that time of year when the holidays take over, the kids are home on winter break, and my brain cells just can't seem to cooperate long enough to put together an entertaining blog post - ha! So it is farewell until 2012 ... I will be back with the new year and ready to start fresh again!! THANK YOU so very much for all your love and support here on dot...dot...dot...!! Blessings for a wonderful Christmas and a safe and happy new year celebration!!

Muah!! xoxo

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A local gem ... Portland Pie

Butter Shortbread Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting ... Chocolate Dipped Butter Shortbread ... Lemon Shortbread ... is your mouth watering yet? Today I would like to introduce you all to a local favorite here in my neck of the woods, Portland Pie. I was just recently introduced to this company by the owner herself and she is happy to share with my wonderful readers the opportunity to win 2 sets of a dozen shortbread cookies!! Yep, TWO WINNERS!! So let's get back to the mouth-watering details of Portland Pie, shall we?

Bourbon Pecan Pie ... Marionberry ... and an award-winning Coconut Cream?!? Sign me up!! Homemade recipes, fresh and local ingredients, and always made fresh to order - you really do have to appreciate when so much love is put into desserts!!
Entering to win is easy, entries count if you are a follower of dot...dot...dot...'s blog and Facebook page (links are in the sidebar to your right).

Next up, hop on over to Portland Pie's website and take a peek around. I know you will want to eat your computer screen, but I don't recommend that. Just come back here and tell me which pie is making you wish that websites had scratch-n-sniff technology!

Need another shot at winning one of those sets of shortbread cookies? Like Portland Pie on Facebook!! There are lots more pictures over there to drool over!

And of course, all your Facebook, Twitter and blog shout-outs are super awesome and loved so dearly! Leave a comment for each post you do!


Monday, December 5, 2011

This is on her Christmas list!

I had a few other opportunities arise for the holiday event, so the fun continues!!
I was contacted by a representative for Misikko.com, an online source for your hair styling needs! Flat irons, curling irons, hair dryers and more ... top-rated, professional tools and products marked at unbelievable prices!

For a review opportunity, I was sent a 1-inch Hana Pro flat iron for straightening. Communication from the representative was outstanding! Upon accepting the offer, I received shipping confirmation within the next day and the package arrived within a week!! Awesome delivery time!

Opening the package, I was amazed at how beautifully this set was put together! I would definitely be happy sending this as a gift, knowing the finest details (such as ribbon and flower petals) were taken care of. Extra goodies (nail files, a hair brush, e.l.f. cosmetics and more!!) were included, as well. I am not sure if that is standard, or was a bonus for this product review, but it was very nice to receive such a nice package.

Now, onto the star of the show!!

Quick Facts:

1-inch ceramic plates

Adjustable heat 140 - 450 degrees F

Safe for damp hair

Floating plates self adjust to hair texture

2 year warranty

8 foot swivel cord

Comes with heat pouch, hot pad and tin case

Top rated, 5-star reviews, and featured by Redbook and Marie Claire!

Hair Before

Washed with shampoo and conditioner, blow dryed, no products.

Hair After
Silky smooth, soft, straight and look at all that SHINE!!
I used the hottest setting (450 degrees), and was so impressed at how quickly start to finish was! The iron heated up instantly, the plates glided smoothly through my hair, and was really lightweight! Flyaways disappeared, layers popped, and my hair was so very soft! My straight locks lasted all day and into the next! LOVE!!

Along with my goodies, I was sent the Hana Shine Shield to try as well. This amazing serum is heat resistance for your hair! It goes on very lightly and smells really pretty!

Hana Shine Shield Features:
Lightweight leave-in conditioning therapy.
Designed to protect and restore both hair and scalp from environmental and styling stress.
Jojoba absorbs quickly without a greasy feel for thorough deep conditioning and naturally dissolves soil, removing build-up from other styling products to leave hair clean & supple.
Jojoba naturally excels at thickening keratin layers, bringing out your hair's natural color overtones, highlights and brilliance.
Periodic use over time is proven to advance the quality of your hair & the health of your scalp.

And one of dot...dot...dot...'s lucky followers will receive a full size, 6 oz bottle of Hana Shine Shield!!
As the rules go, you gotta be a follower here and over on dot...dot...dot...'s Facebook page. Links are in the sidebar to your right. I heart new friends and followers, and appreciate the time y'all take to support my blog! xoxo

To get your entries in, let's show Misikko some love for offering such a generous giveaway (did I forget to mention that this is a $50 value?)!! Hop on over and spend some time checking out their website. When you have your wish list ready, come back here and let me know what you will be asking Santa for!

You can Like Misikko Beauty on Facebook for an extra entry as well ... they will keep you updated on the latest products, special offers and giveaways!! Be sure to add another comment to make your entry count!

And of course, the more peeps you tell about dot...dot...dot...'s fabulous holiday event, the more shots you have at winning! Shout-outs on Facebook, Twitter and blogs all count ... link back here!! Drop another line so I can tally all your entries!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My Go-To Holiday Recipe ... everyone loves this!!

This dessert is the absolute perfect salty-sweet combo and is a hit at any holiday or event!

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

2 cups coarsely crushed pretzels
3/4 cup melted butter

1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese
1 cup sugar
{I like to double this layer for extra cream cheese goodness!}

1 lg pkg (6 ounces) strawberry flavored Jello
2 cups boiling pineapple juice
1 (10oz) package FROZEN strawberries

1 tub of Cool Whip

Preheat oven to 400°. Put first layer in a 9x13 -inch pan. Bake 8 minutes. Remove and cool completely.
Second Layer - Beat sugar into cheese until fluffy. Spread over cooled pretzels.
Third Layer - Mix Jello and boiling pineapple juice until dissolved. Add frozen strawberries and set aside 10 minutes. Pour over cheese mixture. Chill thoroughly until Jello sets.

Top with Cool Whip before serving.


What's your favorite holiday dish?? Please share!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Dozen Eggs equals Uhmazing Cookies!!

Day three of the holiday event continues ...
Fresh baked, sweet smelling, adorably decorated, and the oh-so-yummy taste of vanilla is what this giveaway is all about! I have had the pleasure of doing business with this wonderful company, A Dozen Eggs, who has designed several cookie sets for me over the years. These cookies are so delicious and I can't rave about them enough! I wished I lived in Vermont so I could visit their bake shoppe - the cupcakes and sweet treats that they whip up look so incredible!! This company can work with you on custom order requests for special occasions, can design cookies with your business logo, and has the absolute cutest seasonal designs for their scratch-baked sugar cookies.
Dave and Laura of A Dozen Eggs would like to offer my wonderful readers and friends a chance to win this festive box of 24 holiday cocktail-themed cookies, valued at $60 with shipping!! Oh my goodness ... these little cuties will be a hit for that holiday party you are attending this year!! One lucky winner will receive a fresh batch of 24 hand-iced cookies wrapped up in an eco-friendly box with ribbon.

Obviously, you are a follower of my blog and dot...dot...dot...'s Facebook page, right? Not yet? Links are in the sidebar ... click on them, like me, and then you can enter to win. Some call this annoying, or a form of bribery. I call this sponsorship security. Ha ha!!
Next is simple and so drool-worthy!!
Visit adozeneggs.com
Peek around, then come back here to tell me your favorites!! Shout-outs on Facecook, Twitter and blogs are pretty rad and props are always given due! Just be sure to leave me a separate message for each shout-out.
Hope everyone is having a great week!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day Two ... Second Giveaway!!

Happy Tuesday!! It's day two of my Holiday Event!!

I am so excited to share another fabulous giveaway from an incredibly creative and sweet friend, Meghan from It's Your Party! Let me just tell ya, if you are looking for the perfect stocking stuffer or teacher gift, a special present for a coach, tutor, co-worker or that hard-to-shop-for someone who has everything, then this giveaway is for you!!
Y'all remember last month when I blogged about that cute little Etsy shop that helped make my 5-year-old's pirate birthday party a little more special? Well, It's Your Party is back at it and giving away a 20-ounce, plastic, BPA free tumbler with straw, custom themed of your choice to TWO LUCKY WINNERS!!!

How cute are these cups?? These first two are ones Meghan created for my boys that I will be putting in their stockings this year. Customizing was super simple ... one quick email, described the themes I wanted along with color choices, and wallah!! Meghan is super friendly, easy to work with, is awesome with response time, and is the creative genius behind It's Your Party!

Can you honestly think of a cuter gift to give this year? Church leaders, babysitters, bosses, neighbors ... the list is endless! Tumblers are the new water bottle!! Shoot, I just thought of a couple more I need to order ... and maybe even one for myself!!
Entering to win one of two tumbler cups is easy! If you are already a follower here on dot...dot...dot... and you can be found in that awesome box in my sidebar, then you have the golden ticket to enter!

Next up, click on this banner to visit It's Your Party on Etsy. Check out some of the other crafty items available! Come back here to leave a comment as to who you have in mind that would adore one of these tumblers.

If you want in on extra entries, here's a couple more things to raise your chances to win!

'Like' It's Your Party on Facebook
No spam, just updates on what's new in the shop!

Re-post and link back to this giveaway!
Facebook, Twitter and blogs all count ... when you leave a shout-out, come back here and let me know! No limit on how many entries, so update those statuses every day!!
For those of you who would like to get a jump start on your holiday order, It's Your Party is offering all dot...dot...dot... readers a 10% discount on your total order!! Just enter dotdotdot as your promo code upon checking out!!
This giveaway is running all week, so be sure to spread the word!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Playing catch up!!

Whew! This month seems to be flying by!! It is already the week of Thanksgiving, then we are on to Christmas!! Sometimes I wish life could slow down a bit ... allow for more time to breathe and take it all in. Oh well ... tis' the holiday season, right?!?

So how many of you are bummed about Black Friday this year? It seems as though sales started last week, and more stores are opening up earlier and earlier. Do you think the retail world has put a damper on the highly anticipated event of the year? I hear that you don't even need to get up at 3am anymore to hit up the lines, thanks to the internet. Fortunately, Black Friday was never a big deal to me. I tried it one year, and ended up coming home to shop online instead. I do not have the kind of patience needed for such a crazy shopping spree!
Did everyone see Breaking Dawn yet? This topic definitely needs a post all its own, but for the record, I saw it on Friday night and I l.o.v.e.d it!And speaking of Twilight ... my favorite scent of the moment is Bath and Body's Twilight Woods. I wish it had more lasting power, but it is a great scent! Another one of theirs to try, if you haven't already ... Vanilla Bean Noel. Yum!My family and I will be spending Thanksgiving at the beach house this year. I will be working on my big holiday event all weekend, and it will launch on Monday morning, Nov 28th. I have some great reviews and holiday gift ideas for you, plus a few giveaways to share! You won't wanna miss out! Be sure you are a follower of my blog so you can participate!! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fashion Friday ... from summer to fall!

Had a favorite outfit you rocked in the warmer weather?
Shorts ... Victoria's Secret
Top ... Target
Wedges ... Target
Bracelet ... Blog Swap
Add some leggings and boots for a great fall look!!
Leggings ... Old Navy
Boots ... Aerosoles

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

72 days ... not a Hollywood record!

I am sure you have all heard by now that Kim Kardashian has filed for divorce from Kris Humphries just after a short 72 days of marriage. Speculations that this marriage was a sham from the start and said to be a publicity stunt to cash in on millions of dollars has been circulating the web since the divorce announcement was made official.
My thoughts?
No girl in her right mind would endure such an embarrassment and humiliation when she is already worth millions!! Seriously! I know it is easy to look at all the cash she did earn for her public displays of the relationship, but do you really think someone with Kim Kardashian's Hollywood reputation would need to sink this low to earn a few extra paychecks? Okay, okay. I do remember the infamous sex tape ... I personally think that was the moment she was put on the map, but since then, homegirl had made a name for herself!
I honestly feel like she did love Kris Humphries at one short moment, but really did get "caught up in the hooplah" (as she states) that became the wedding. I think she is like a lot of girls who want to fall in love and live happily ever after with that man of their dreams. Kris was just not that Prince Charming she was meant to be with. And after watching him on TV, I really don't find anything charming about the guy. Just saying.
Honestly, I wish the best for Kim. I know she can recover from this - she has such a strong family base for love and support. In my own opinion, I thought she looked way better on the arm of Reggie Bush! They looked good together and I think they would have made gorgeous babies! Kris and Kim just looked creepy together ... the height difference really bothered me. It looked so un-natural. Again, just saying.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I tried it ... Prime Time Shadow Primer

First off, I am NOT a fan of this cosmetics brand, or any mineral make-up for that matter. I have had in-store makeovers and tried the stuff on my own at home, and I just don't like the way BareMinerals looks or feels on my face. However, my sis-in-law loves this line, and I sat with her a day while she was updating her products with a BareMinerals consultant.

I do not use a lot of make-up products. In fact, I usually only use eye make-up and maybe a gloss or light color on my lips. The one complaint I have is the wearability of my shadows. I mostly use MAC cosmetics, and I always applied Painterly as a base for my shadows. Within hours of applying, my eyelids were faded and creased with an oily look to them. Bleh! Upon telling the BareMinerals consultant my one and only complaint of a rival cosmetics brand, she introduced me to Prime Time, BareMinerals eyelid primer. I took a sample home after telling her how much I was skeptical of this mineral make-up.

Following the consultant's recommendation, I applied the primer with a brush instead of my fingers. Apparently, the oily factor I was experiencing was most likely from my own fingertips. Lesson learned. I did the rest of my eye make-up as usual, a base color, highlight color, liner and mascara. I went about my day, did Zumba that evening at the gym and glanced in the mirror before jumping in the shower. My eye shadow was still in tact! No creasing, no fading, just as I had applied it earlier in the morning! Whoa!

Clean-up is a little tougher ... it definitely takes a little more scrubbing to remove, but to have flawless eye color all.day.long is worth the few extra minutes of wash time.

My sis-in-law got me an eye kit as a gift from BareMinerals and I am kinda impressed with the shadows that came in it. Up close and personal, I think the mineral make-up looks caked on, but from a little distance (and especially in pictures), I think the colors look fantastic! While I am definitely NOT into the foundations and powders, I think I may play around a little more with the shadows.

What shadows are you into and what primer is your favorite for making your colors pop and last all day?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fashion Friday ... It's A Party!!

My youngest son, Sean, turned 5 years old on October 17th.

We celebrated with a pirate-themed party. He loves all things pirates, including Captain Jack Sparrow of The Pirates of the Caribbean.

How cute is his new rain coat and boots?? The line is by Kidorable ... coat was $25 and the boots were $23, both on sale.

He had so much fun at his party and I had fun decorating for the event! I was so excited to add in some special touches to the decorations from a cute little shop on Etsy called It's Your Party! I am aquainted with the talented and creative Meghan, as she was my oldest son's first grade teacher last year, and together we brainstormed some ideas to fit the pirate theme. We came up with cupcake toppers, an adorable banner (that Sean now has up in his bedroom), and treasure map placemats that were personalized for our party guests ... a party favor that will get used over and over!

If you are looking for amazing custom handmade party favors and decor, please check out Meghan's shop! Affordable pricing and a sweet gal to work with!

Check out It's Your Party on Etsy and on Facebook!!

Meghan also has an awesome little blog that is found in my sidebar under my favorites ... check out Teacher Without A Paddle!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Loooong week, but here is Fashion Friday for ya!

Sweater top ... Target ... love the lace backing!
Oatmeal tank top ... Target

Cute details, huh?

Jeans ... AG

Boots ... Target (and only $35!!)

Bracelet ... from my swap buddy!

Busy schedules + not enough sleep = no energy for blogging {insert sad face}

I promise to come up with some good stuff next week ... including a giveaway!!

Have a great weekend!!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Talk Is Cheap

Okay girls ... I need your help!! Hubby and I have some goals we wanna reach within this next year, and that includes saving money. We have set up our family budget, and are focussed on the future. Our mindsets are on track and we are motivated to get these goals achieved! So here's where I need some input ... Our biggest expenditure is definitely on food. We have 6 people in our household and I cook meals for 12 (giving us each 2 servings). I do not buy organic, but meats and veggies are definitely a staple in our home. I try to clip coupons, but they don't seem to be taking a big enough chunk out of the grocery bill. I refuse to be a crazy woman snatching up products simply because they are free or close to it. I am practical and only want items my family uses on a daily basis. Last month, our grocery bill was close to $700, and that did not include eating out. Ouch. I try to do the small things to save a few dollars here and there ... like making my coffee at home and using travel cups when running out the door, instead of stopping at Starbucks. Good ol' Splenda and milk, or flavored creamers taste just as fine to me in my coffee than fancy syrups a barista pumped into a cup. I will also pack lunches for me and my kids when we go out with friends, trying to save a little on the McDonald's costs.
So, how do you save money for your family? What resources do you use to keep your budget on track?

Monday, October 3, 2011

So Cal ... here we come!

I am on vacation this week ... in gorgeous Palm Desert, California! We come down here every year with a timeshare our family has. We love it here!! This is the room we are staying in ... ... and the pools we will be swimming in ...

... and the drinks I will be sippin' on!! Aaah, thank goodness for vacations!!

Have a great week ... peace out, peeps!! xoxo

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fashion Friday

Dress ... Old Navy

Boots ... Target

Earrings ... Old Navy

Headband ... Target

A Fond Farewell ...

Wow! Is December already upon us? Good golly this year has flown right by! I have been a busy girl lately, hence the blog break. Unfortu...