Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bzzagent and Trumoo Flavored Milk

       Since joining Bzzagent.com in July, I have been very excited and happy with it. I have been invited to 4 campaigns so far, and couldn't be more pleased with it. One of my latest campaigns was the Trumoo one! I received a coupon for a free 1/2 gallon or full gallon of Trumoo chocolate milk or their limited edition vanilla flavored milk in Halloween orange I really wanted to try out the vanilla but my local grocery store didn't have it. :( My kids were just as happy with the chocolate though.

       I also had the opportunity to enter the Goosebumps Haunted Hollywood sweepstakes, to win a trip to Hollywood!

"Enter to win a trip to Hollywood, for a terrifying behind-the-scenes tour of FOX Studios! Plus, you'll visit old town Pasadena for a frightening special effects experience. Just enter codes found on caps of specially marked Halloween Edition TruMoo® and your family * could be taking a private tour full of haunted Hollywood magic! Plus, receive a printable coupon for any Goosebumps® DVD when you enter."
~Trumoo Facebook Fan Page

       Please feel free to stop by and leave a comment if you love Trumoo as much as my family does! And don't forget to sign up to be a bzzagent. It's totally worth it!

~XoXo Jess


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Nominated For My First Liebster Award!


        Since I started blogging over a year ago, I have connected with some great moms. One of which just nominated me for a Liebster Award! Her name is Charlie and she's an awesome woman, full of wit and humor. Check her blog out here: Charlie Beth's My Life as Mumma Walker

       Now that I've been nominated for a Liebster, I get to do what I love best! Write about myself with the help of some questions asked by Charlie! Here goes:

  1. Where are you from? I am from Atlanta, Georgia in the grand ol'  US of A. Nothing like a southern belle!
  2. Why do you blog? I first started blogging because I felt like my life as a mom was worth sharing with the world. But then it morphed into more than just that. Now I blog for the therapeutic benefits, as well. I have a whole network of supportive moms and friends who I can vent to. I couldn't imagine my life without a blog now.
  3. How long have you been blogging? I have been blogging for a little over a year.
  4. Do you have any tattoos? (details if yes!) Yes! I have my husbands name and zodiac sign on the back of my neck and a "7" behind my left ear to symbolize my fav band of all time: Avenged Sevenfold! My best friend and I have that same one behind the same ear. I used to have my zodiac sign (Scorpio) on my right shoulder but it disappeared! lol
  5. What's the craziest thing you ever did with your hair? Oh lord, I decided I wanted a "shag" hair cut in 9th grade. For some reason, I thought that pulling my hair up in a half ponytail and then cutting that ponytail off would achieve the "shag". WRONG! I had a mullet for 6 months, people.
  6. What is your funniest or favourite blog post? My favorite blog post is the one I did about being sick being the only way a mom gets a vacation.
  7. Have you ever done anything so embarrassing you daren't blog about it? of course tehe
  8. Which social media do you use most? That would have to be a tie between Facebook and Pinterest. I'm nosy (Facebook) and a huge dreamer (Pinterest).
  9. If we went out for lunch together, where would we go and what would you order? We would go to Mama Mia's (an Italian restaurant) and I would order the baked ziti (it comes with an awesome italian salad), a big slab of tiramisu, and a glass of moscato (or two...or three)
  10. What super power do you wish you had? I wish I had SELECTIVE xray vision, the kind where you can see through walls to check on the kids when you're in another room.

       Now for the blogs that I nominate for the Liebster Award!

Life From a Georgia Mom
Blogs and Ideas From a Stay Home Mom and Wife
Anni's Bubble
Baby and Me
Life With 3 Boys There's Never a Dull Moment 

 Here's the rules if you're nominated:

  • Link back to those who nominate you
  • Answer the 10 questions the nominator has for you
  • Nominate 5-11 bloggers with less than 200 followers
  • Create 10 questions for your nominees
  • Be sure to notify your nominees
    -I copied these rules from Charlie's post: http://charliebeth.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/liebster.html

     And the questions are:

    1. If you could marry any celebrity, who would it be?
    2. If you could go back to high school, what would you do differently?
    3. What is your strangest quirk?
    4. What tip did you receive from someone that you actually use in your parenting style?
    5. What is your proudest moment in life?
    6. Who has been your biggest influence?
    7. Is the inside of your car messy or clean?
    8. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
    9. What is your #1 lifetime goal?
    10. What songs are on your ipod/music player right now?

           Have fun with this! I can't wait to read y'alls answers!

    ~XoXo Jess

    Friday, August 16, 2013

    BzzAgent is a Freebie Lover's Dream Come True!

           I have been trying out different sites where you use your influence to gain freebies for review. The first one I joined was Influenster, but after months of being a part of this program and not making much progress, I decided to look for some more sites like this. And I found what I think may be the Holy Grail of survey/freebie sites. (Sorry but I don't know the official name for these sites.) It's called BzzAgent and it's AWESOME! I have only been a BzzAgent for less than a month and have already been invited to 2 "campaigns". A campaign is a product or service that BzzAgent is highlighting. For example... I was invited to the NERF Rebelle campaign. The NERF Rebelle line is NERF products made just for girls! For accepting the invitation, I received a FREE, completely FREE, NERF Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow for my girls to try out. Once you receive it, you just complete the activities that go along with that item, such as posting on Facebook, writing reviews, posting on Twitter, etc. If you do all the activities and you do them well, then you are more apt to get invited to more campaigns. In fact, I got invited to the "Quaker Back-to-School Snack Basket" one just this morning! I'm going to be receiving cereal, cereal bars, cookies, and rice cakes! The freebies you get ain't no joke!

           If you do decide to sign up, all you have to do is fill out surveys. Check your account everyday to see if you have any new ones. The more up-to-date you stay with your survey, the higher your points go up. Their point system is between 0 and 10. The more active you are, the better your chances of being invited to a campaign is. It's totally worth it and it's not intrusive. You can also connect your Kroger card to it to receive some great deals! I really urge all of you to join this site! It's AWESOME!!!!! Here's the link:


           Thanks for stopping by and if you do sign up, I'd love to hear about your experience! Comments and questions are always welcome and appreciated. Oh, and don't forget to click the topmommyblogs.com banner to the right to vote for me! Have a fab weekend!

    ~XoXo Jess

    Sunday, August 11, 2013

    Weight Loss Competition With My Sister

    "The trouble with always trying to preserve the health of the body is that it is so difficult to do without destroying the health of the mind."  ~G.K. Chesterton

           I used to have an awesome body. True story. I was pretty obsessed with being "hot" up until I reached the age of 23. Then I guess I got lazy. I was also 23 when I got married. Coincidence? I don't think so. Tehe Up until that age I weighed 125 pounds, was always exercising and tanning. By baby number 4, I had shot up to over 170 pounds. I'm 5'3". I must say though, I did lose 40 pounds before I found out I was pregnant with Adrian (babe #4). I was very motivated back then, but then I found out I was pregnant AGAIN and just gave up. 4 years later, and I'm back up to 170 pounds. It has really taken a toll on my self-esteem and the way I feel about myself. I feel like me, but when I look in the mirror, I see a stranger. It's a little disheartening. I have tried diets since gaining all this weight but just never had the drive to follow through with them. So, one night while I was on the phone with my sister Crystal (http://www.yayasideas.blogspot.com), we were discussing her weight loss journey. She's had some weight struggles too, but started taking some weight loss pills that her doctor prescribed and has been exercising and eating more sensibly. As we were talking,an idea bagan hatching in my head. We weigh about the same right now, so I thought it would be a great idea to turn this into a friendly competition! I'm SUPER competitive, so turning this into a game seemed to be the perfect motivation. I know, I know, a healthier, thinner me should be motivation enough but honestly, it's not. I just don't have the drive. Until now. She and I started our competition Saturday and we're already s*%t talking! It's fun! Whoever gets down to 125 lbs. first is the winner, and I'm going to make sure it's me! I have been eating good without giving it a second thought. A friend of mine suggested trying out the Scarsdale Medical Diet. It's low carb and low cal and it seems to be a pretty effective diet. The claim is, that you can lose up to 20 pounds in two weeks. (I'm going to Panama City in two weeks so it's perfect timing!) You do the diet for two weeks and then you go off of it for 2 weeks, while maintaining good eating habits, but not as strict. Then if you still want to lose more weight, you just go back to the first phase for another 2 weeks. You can keep alternating this until you are at your ideal weight. Here's the link to the most informative website I've come across for the diet.

    And here's the official website:

           I have also set up a board for all of the good exercise and beauty tips I have found on Pinterest.

           So, I'm going to stick to all of this and hopefully I'll be seeing some results soon. I will keep y'all updated! Now, I am not a doctor or a weight loss specialist, so make sure you do your own research if you decide to try out this diet. What works for one may not work for another, and since I've just started this myself, I'm not even sure if it works for me yet. But it's not like a fat overload like the Atkins diet is. You're eating healthily and that couldn't hurt.

           I'd love to hear your weight loss stories, too! Whether you're just in the "thinking about it" phase or your in the midst of losingweight right now, your posts are welcomed and appreciated! Wish me luck!

    ~XoXo Jess

    Wednesday, August 7, 2013

    Guest Blogger: Author, Luke Murphy ~ "From Professional Hockey Player to Published Novelist"

            From Professional Hockey Player to Published Novelist

    It can almost be said with certainty that I didn’t follow the path of the average writer. As a child, I never dreamed of writing a best-seller, never aspired to write the next classic novel, I wanted to be an NHL superstar…period.

    With the death of my mother in 1992, losing a battle to cancer she had fought so hard against for years, I sensed it was time to get serious about reaching my dreams, and moved away to pursue hockey.

    From 1992-1995, while playing for the Pembroke Lumber Kings in the Central Junior Hockey League, I noticed a shift in the game of hockey and realized that the odds of making it to the NHL were unfavorable for a kid who stood 5’9’’ and weighed 160 pounds. So, my goals shifted. I accepted a hockey scholarship to Rochester Institute of Technology. If I couldn’t make a living playing hockey, at least I could achieve an education and open doors for my future.

    After four rewarding years at College, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, I wasn’t ready to give up on the game I love.

    I attended the Florida Panthers Rookie Camp and played well, playing in four games, as well as scoring the game winning goal against the Ottawa Senators.

    Unfortunately, I broke my hand in an awkward hit in my fourth exhibition game that ended my camp, but my hard work paid off. The Panthers offered me a Minor League contract, $500 a week to play the game I love. I spent six years in the minors and retired in 2006 with no regrets.

    From a family of avid readers, even as a child, I always had a passion for books. Whether it was reading novels on road trips or writing assignments in school, literature was always part of my life.

    In the winter of 2000, after sustaining a season ending eye injury while playing in Oklahoma City, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands, and a new hobby emerged.

    One day, with an idea in mind, I sat down in front of a computer and began writing. I wrote a little every day, around my intense rehabilitation schedule and before I knew it, I had completed my first manuscript.

    I didn’t write with the intention of being published. I wrote for the love of writing, as a hobby. Ever the perfectionist, I didn’t see my novel at the level to compete with best-selling authors across the country. I continued to hobby write through the years, honing my craft, making time between work and family obligations.

    Then I made a decision – I enjoyed writing so much, I decided I wanted to take my interest one step further – write a story with the intention of being published. I realized that I wanted to be like my favorite authors - entertain readers and allow them, like when I read, to escape reality
    and for a moment be in another place and time.

    I’ve never been one to take things lightly or jump in half way. I took a full year off from writing to study the craft. I constantly read, from novels in my favorite genres to books written by experts in the writing field. I continually researched on the internet, reading up on the industry and process. I attended writing conferences and made friends (published and unpublished authors), bombarding them with questions and learning what it took to become successful.

    Feeling that I was finally prepared, in the winter of 2007, with an idea in mind and an outline on paper, I started to write DEAD MAN`S HAND. It took me two years (working around full time jobs) to complete the first draft of my novel.

    I then worked with editors and joined a critique group, doing anything I could to learn, to improve my writing and my novel to point where I could create the best possible novel.

    I sent out hundreds of query letters to agents. After six months of rejections, I pulled my manuscript back and worked on it again. Then in my next round of proposals, I was offered representation by Ms. Jennifer Lyons of the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency.

    After months of work with Jennifer, and more rejections from publishers, my dream was finally realized in April, 2012, when I signed a publishing contract with Imajin Books.

    My one piece of advice for all aspiring hockey players and writers…you need to be persistent, patient and thick-skinned. You’ll get a lot of “no’s” along the way and people trying to bring you down. But remember, it only takes one “yes”. Stick with it. Anything is possible.

    ~  Luke Murphy, August 6, 2013


    Back cover text for DEAD MAN'S HAND

    What happens when the deck is stacked against you…
    From NFL rising-star prospect to wanted fugitive, Calvin Watters is a sadistic African-American Las Vegas debt-collector framed by a murderer who, like the Vegas Police, finds him to be the perfect fallguy.

    …and the cards don't fall your way?
    When the brutal slaying of a prominent casino owner is followed by the murder of a well-known bookie, Detective Dale Dayton is thrown into the middle of a highly political case and leads the largest homicide investigation in Vegas in the last twelve years.

    What if you're dealt a Dead Man's Hand?
    Against his superiors and better judgment, Dayton is willing to give Calvin one last chance. To redeem himself, Calvin must prove his innocence by finding the real killer, while avoiding the LVMPD, as well as protect the woman he loves from a professional assassin hired to silence them.

    Short Bio:

    Luke Murphy lives in Shawville, Quebec with his wife, three daughters and pug.

    He played six years of professional hockey before retiring in 2006. Since then, he’s held a number of jobs, from sports columnist to radio journalist, before earning his Bachelor of Education degree (Magna Cum Laude).

    Murphy`s debut novel, Dead Man`s Hand, was released by Imajin Books on October 20, 2012.

    For more information on Luke and his books, visit: www.authorlukemurphy.com, ‘like’ his Facebook page www.facebook.com/#!/AuthorLukeMurphy and follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/#!/AuthorLMurphy

    Buy Dead Man's Hand here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009OUT2ME/?tag=viewbookat0e-20
    Review Blurbs:

    "You may want to give it the whole night, just to see how it turns out."—William Martin, New York Times bestselling author of Back Bay and The Lincoln Letter

    "Dead Man's Hand is a pleasure, a debut novel that doesn't read like one, but still presents original characters and a fresh new voice."—Thomas Perry, New York Times bestselling author of Poison Flower

    "Part police procedural, part crime fiction, Dead Man's Hand is a fast, gritty ride."—Anne Frasier, USA Today bestselling author of Hush

    Tuesday, August 6, 2013

    Mr. Harlan Coben Told Me to Just Write...

           So, a few days ago I blogged about my dabbling in writing. Honestly, writing for this blog has motivated me even more to delve deeper into that. Now with all the kids in school, I will have more time to explore my options. And hopefully, get some real writing done. I have even reached out to my favorite author Harlan Coben for some advice and he tweeted two simple but powerful words; Just write. I know that doesn't seem like much, but it helped more than he could ever know. That's all I have to do. Write. Don't think about it, don't over-analyze my writing to death, just do it. At least, that's the message I got from it. Plus to have my favorite author acknowledge my passion for writing was really cool!
           Anyway, I have come across an author whom I follow on Twitter and I suggested that he write a guest post for me. He happily obliged! I'm actually really excited because I have never hosted a guest on here and since I'm on my writing kick again, I figured this would be an awesome first guest. So stay tuned!
           Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what your passion is! We moms are so focused on fulfilling our children's dreams, that we tend to forget about ourselves. And if you are just waiting for that last baby to be in school to do it, be patient. It'll be here before you know it and honestly, it's bittersweet. Also, don't forget to subscribe and I'd love for you to click the topmommyblogs.com banner to the right to help me get to the top! Thanks, y'all and I can't wait to hear what drives you.

    ~XoXo Jess

    Friday, August 2, 2013

    Another Round of Fall Decorating: Front porch/entry decor

    "The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many."  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes


           It's hard to believe that I have been blogging for nearly a year! And it's been such a fun and interesting experience. I don't have a single negative thing to say about it.  To be honest, it's the only thing (aside from raising kids and my marriage, haha) that I have stuck to for more than a couple of months. Being such a free-spirit and all. One of my very first posts was about fall home decorating. It is still one of my most popular posts and probably one of my favorite, as well. So I decided to commence my fast-approaching one year anniversary with another Fall Decor post, starting with decor for your front porch or entry way.! I hope y'all enjoy! (Check out the blogs that I have linked the photos to for some more great ideas!)
    New England front porch Fall decorations


    Cozy Home Scenes: Fall Decorating Ideas