The Holiday Hectic Headache

>> Monday, December 15, 2008

Today, I want to post some musings as a bit of a follow-up to my previous Economic posting. Not only is money tight, but so is time. I think that we all get a little Holiday-Crazy every December and try to live up to what are sometimes unrealistic expectations that we place on ourselves. I live a full and wonderful life with my husband and two kitties. We too many wonderful friends to count. We are always on the go to a concert, dinner, sporting event, whatever. Frankly, life is pretty darn good. Then... come the holidays. I am a big big big Christmas junkie. I love to decorate, find the perfect gift, wrap things creatively, cook, and bake. The problem is, that there is no stretching of the space time continuum during the holidays. Frankly, I think this is not fair of the universe, but I apparently have no real say in the laws of physices, so I am forced to adjust. Too much to do and not enough time and space. Sound familiar? Well, this year, I am subtly rebelling a bit. Finances demand that I cut back on some things, and this has helped me get a clearer picture on how I want to spend my holiday time. As I said in my previous post, it is all about the people in our lives.

This year, I am going to take time to stop and smell the Fraser Firs and sip a little hot cider. The indoor decorations are up, but the outdoor ones just may have to be skipped in honor of curling up on the sofa and watching It's a Wonderful Life for the millionth time. I want to spend this time enjoying the company of my family and friends. Less worrying about it being a perfect Christams... more time appreciating the life I already have.


Economic Ponderings

>> Thursday, December 4, 2008

Money is tight these days. I think that we are all feeling the crunch. The media is whipping us up into a scared frenzy. We are being pushed to buy stuff to "save" the economy, at the same time that we are being advised to watch our pennies because people are losing jobs everywhere. So... I wanted to throw out some ideas that we can all use to save money this season and perhaps in general. Nothing earth-shaking here, just common sense suggestions. Feel free to add some of your own.
Use Coupons
Comparison shop (on-line, advertisements, between stores, etc.)
Search the internet for discount codes or special "members only" specials
Buy online and use free shipping
Map out your route ahead of time when you are running errands
Use "frequent shopper" programs to accumlate discounts and free merchandise
Give baked goods as gifts
Make up "themed" gift baskets of lots of small items. (i.e. travel sizes for someone going on a trip or health foods for a workout buddy)
Don't spend too much on wrappings.
Make a personalized gift (i.e. ornaments, glassware, T-shirt, etc.)
Give to a charity in someone's name (i.e. ASPCA, Red Cross, Salvation Army, World Wildlife Fund)
Make a budget and KEEP TO IT (this is the hardest tip of all)
Search out Sr. Citizen discounts and take your mom and/or dad shopping
Send E-Cards instead of paper cards in the mail (saves stamp money and environmentally friendly)

Anyways, that's all I have for now. I will continue to ponder.

Happy Shopping Everyone! Remember, it is truly the people and not the STUFF that makes the holiday season wonderful.


Let's Play a Game

>> Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hey, go and check out Jo-Jo's Place at she is giving away some fun games to amuse the whole family. The great prize includes a basket with a Nintendo DS, Guitar Hero for DS, Rubiks World for DS, Scrabble 60th Anniversary Edition, and Cranium Family Edition. I have never played Cranium, but it is definitely on my list of family games to try out. While you are there, explore around Jo Jo's place. There's lots to read up on.


Home Improvement Website/Blog

>> Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I know that everyone has about a thousand things that they plan to get done around the house. Here at Casa Jen, we are no different. Having grown up in a "non-handy" household, I often turn to the web to help me learn how to complete home improvement projects. Today, I found this great site at Home Construction Improvement
. There is a wealth of knowledge there to help us do-it-yourselfers and even the pros get their projects done. Even better, they are currently having a contest to give away a $100 Home Depot gift card to help us out. I see some new bathroom vanity lights in my future....


I Won the Contest

>> Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yeah!!! Woo Hooo.... I am going on the road with Pop Evil for the weekend. Thanks to everyone that helped me win. I will report back about the trip after I win.


Hey EVERYONE... Please go to YouTube and watch my video. If I get the most views I win a trip as a Roadie for the Weekend with the band Pop Evil. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go and watch the video. There are three of us competing. This is the biggest prize that I have ever been up for.



Football Season

>> Thursday, September 11, 2008

I know that there are four seasons on the calendar. I understand that they are tied to the movement of the earth around the sun. Yeah... I get all of that, but I still argue that they need to add an additional sub-season to the calendar. Yes folks, IT'S FOOTBALL SEASON!!! For some, this may simply mean that they get to go to the mall on Weekends and have fewer crowds to deal with. For others, it may mean that traffic is crazy on game day near the stadium. For me... well, Football pretty much takes over my free time between August and January. Between the food, drinkees, gatherings with friends, screaming at the T.V., fashions, and fantasy statistics, football keeps me pretty busy. I love this time of year.


Living in a Star Trek World

>> Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Like many kids, I grew up watching Star Trek. I was fascinated by the gizmos, cultures, and general Star Trek universe. I even grew up to be a liberal-techno-geek-archaeologist. Pretty much livin’ the Star Trek way. I was also a fan of Next Generation and Voyager, but I never really liked Deep Space Nine, as it broke the cardinal rule. They rarely went where no Man (or one) has gone before. They stayed on that silly station and fought border wars. It was a little too like the real world and the conflicts in the Mideast for my taste.

Anyway, back to my “point”. I am known to often comment on how much our lives these days are like Star Trek. Beyond my personal techno-anthro-liberal lifestyle, I have noticed how much of our daily life was but a fantasy back in the days of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. Let’s consider a few of the obvious points in common…

1.. The communicator – Flips up, wireless, beeps, and can transmit your location. Sounds a lot like most cell phones with GPS. The Next Generation pin-on communicators look just like Bluetooth headsets!
2. The Tri-corder – These varied in size and shape, but we now have portable heart-rate monitors, breathalyzers, and blood sugar monitors. Medicine is all about the small and portable these days.
3. Data Pads – Amazon Kindle anyone? Laptops? Yeah, they’re everywhere.
4. Holodecks – We have all sorts of virtual worlds to explore these days. Be it with special goggles, giant movie screens, or even your Wii, we are not limited to living in reality anymore. The characters even interact with you just like on the holodeck.
5. Viewscreens – Flat Panel T.V.s work just like them. You can even hook your laptop and webcam up to them and speak to someone across the galaxy… uh well, maybe only the world.
6. Weapons - Nuff said. We can zap anyone anywhere these days.

So… those are my random thoughts of the moment. Feel free to comment or add your own real life parallels to science fiction.

And… if you don’t agree with my points, well, “Damnit Jim, I’m a blogger not editorialist.”


Blood Cancer can touch anyone's life

>> Friday, August 15, 2008

Reading the inspirational stories at the Blogging for Blood Cancer site has really opened my eyes up to how this disease can effect lives. Please go and read the stories of these brave survivors. I love that people rise to the ocassion and fight back. They are not victims, they are survivors. I applaud them and encourage the rest of you to keep spreading the word and awareness.


Food Network Swag at My Wooden Spoon!

>> Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hi, my name is Jennifer, and I am a Food Network addict.
Every year, I wait to see what new shows they are going to launch on the channel o' food. I anxiously watch the "Next Food Network Star" show trying to size up the talent. Well, they have launched two new great shows. One show "Ask Aida" even lets you interact with the host. To help us get in the spirit of the new show one of my favorite websites is hosting a giveaway of some great Food TV swag. Go check out the site and enjoy her great looks at food and kitchen gizmos.


Light the Night for Blood Cancer Awareness

So, I am outa shape like many of you. Kudos to those who have not abandonned their workout regime like I have. But... even with my wonky hip I can walk. Today, I recommend that you go to to learn about how you can participate in a local Light the Night Walk for blood cancer. The site will tell you how to get sponsors, organize your own walk, or join up with a planned walk. Trust me, there is a walk coming to your town soon. Let's raise some money folks!

Oh, and last night I was discussing the wonderful "Blogging for Blood Cancer" even with my husband, and he reminded me that he once helped to diagnose blood cancers. He is a cytotechnologist, meaning, he diagnoses cancer cells for a living. He looks at them under a microscope and determines if they are "sick". When he first started out in this field, he worked at a hospital that was developing it's blood cancer diagnosis unit. I am so proud of him and his work toward saving lives.


The Science and What You Need to Know About Blood Cancer

>> Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I am continuing to educate myself about Blood Cancer. I have been discussing the topic with my co-workers and family. It is amazing how many people know someone who has been personally affected by this disease. Today, I'd like to encourage you to take a look at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's website. There are a lot of great links there that will help us all to understand what we can do to raise awareness as well as learn more about how to live with the disease. The discussion boards look particularly helpful. It is always great to speak to people who have the direct scoop.


Factoids about Blood Cancer

>> Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I am continuing my campaign as part of the Blogging For Blood Cancer event. Below are some factoids that I found interesting and may help you to better understand this disease and the fight against it. I encourage you to do some research of your own and post some factoids to further educate me.

The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 16,600 new cases of myeloma are diagnosed each year in the United States. Bone pain is the most common early symptom of myeloma. Most patients feel pain in their back or ribs, but it can occur in any bone. The pain is usually made worse by movement.

Bone marrow transplants are commonly being used today for the treatment of blood cancers and other maladies, and as the body regenerates its immune system after the process, nutritional needs are more important than ever. What are these needs, you may ask? Head over to The Diet Channel and find out.

Transplants of special cells in the blood stream may be more effective than bone marrow transplants in patients who receive high-dose chemotherapy for blood cancer, according to a large randomized trial reported in the New England Journal of Medicine on January 18, 2001(see the journal abstract).


Blood Cancer Awareness

>> Monday, August 11, 2008

Today is the day... Blogging for Blood Cancer has begun. My frequent readers have noticed the button posted on my blog for a while now, but today I want to actually talk about this cause. I am so impressed by the blogging community for getting involved. Check out the blog at for more info. All forms of cancer are scary, and maybe not fun to talk about, but it is through awareness that our funding dollars and resources get channeled to the researchers who are making a difference. On a personal note, when I was a little girl, I had some bloodwork done to figure out why I kept getting sick. This was back in the early 70's and research has taken leaps and bounds since then. Well, the lab came back with some scary results. The doctor called my mom and told her that I might have Leukemia. Several blood tests later they determined that I did not have this frightening disease, but to this day, I remember how just the possibility was enough to profoundly effect my family. I can only imagine how brave the families of folks with this disease must be. Let's help them out folks. Talk, blog, read, discuss... we have a lot of power by just spreading the word.


Beautiful and Beneficial Salt Lamps

>> Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I have to tell you about these gorgeous lamps that I have been seeing all over the web. They are "Himalayan Salt Lamps". They are giant crystals that give off a beautiful glow. They come in several colors from Solay Wellness at . They increase the negative ions in the air and help people with respiratory problems. I soooo very much want one of these. They are both beautiful and beneficial to your heath. Well... guess what? is giving one away!!! This site has lots of wonderful articles and suggestions and some great giveaway. Sign up for their email newsletter, it is filled with great info. too.


Digital Photo Frame

>> Sunday, August 3, 2008

Yes, I have yet to enter into the world of digital photo frames. Everyone seems to have one. They look sooo cool. Well, over at she is giving away a Sony Digital Photo Frame. this amazing gizmo will hold 1000 photos. Yep, you could watch your life fly by before your eyes every single day. Check out her blog there is a lot of great info. there.


Coach Purses

>> Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A very good friend of mine used to be a secret shopper for Coach. Oh how I envied her. She got lots of free products. Well, head over to for a chance to win your own free Coach Bag. Laurie is running a contest for a beautiful and stylish Hobo bag. Yeah, spreading the word is definitely cutting into my chance of winning, but Laurie's site is cool, so I shall sacrifice my little secret in the name of helping my fellow woman (or I guess some men too).


Fiesta Time

>> Thursday, July 24, 2008

Okay, everyone knows that I love a good party, and as a former California girl and frequent visitor to Mexico, I gotta say that the new contest at is fabulous. She is giving away salsa and party supplies. I didn't know that Pace had come out with a bunch of new flavors of salsa. I would love to give them a try. Yeah... doesn 't a salsa tasting party sound fun? Well, add some cold Negro Modelo's and you have a great time in the making. Go check out the blog at mywoodenspoon and take the time to check out her other recipes and content too.


Something Snappy

>> Monday, July 21, 2008

I just found the blog "Something Snappy" at . She has some reviews of some great little gizmos, as well as links to some other great blogs. Right now, she is giving away a "ClipHanger". This little allows you to hang your cell phone or MP3 player just about anywhere. (i.e. purse, car, belt loop, etc.)

Boy, I need to invent a cool little gizmo. These things all make such sense, and seem so useful.


Bugs Be-Gone with ThisFullHouse

>> Wednesday, July 16, 2008

So, last weekend we had our friends over to grill out on the back deck. The temperature had cooperated and it was really nice out. My huband stood by the grill creating yummy wings. The rest of us waited and anticipated. Then.... they struck. Mosquitos and bugs everywhere. We were chased inside to eat our dinner.

Well, there is hope at . She is holding a great giveaway of some bug repellent and picnic supplies. Sounds like heaven huh?

Take a look around at There is a lot of fun content there!


We should all be so optimistic and inspired.

Please take a look at Aimee's blog at . She has done the coolest thing. She has a list of 101 things that she wants to do in 1001 days. What a great idea. She has updates on her progress. It's a fun blog to read!


Greenification is on the move is a great website that I have found. Browse about this site for lots of wonderful information on how to "green" your home. The suggestions for green-friendly livingroom decor is amazing. I didn't know that so many companies were beginning to make enviro-friendly products. Maybe we are taking a turn for the better here.


Cookie Bouquets and a great blog.

>> Monday, July 14, 2008

Got a new blog for you to check out. Head over to and read the fun info there. While you're at it, she is running a sweep for a free cookie bouquet from "Cookies by Design". These yummy treats look so cute. They have selections for all sorts of occasions. The housewarming baskets would be particularly great for a new neighbor. Just think... you give them cookies, they bake for you later. Reciprocity is wonderful folks!


Movies that are important to see, if not enjoyable...

>> Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Today, I want to point you in the direction of checking out films that lack fluff and frankly are not that fun to watch. Unfortunately, we live in a pretty messed up world. Many of us are shielded from the misery that surrounds us and the only way to learn about the suffering of others is through the media. Since there invention, movies have helped to bring issues and our common humanity to the attention of the public. Movies such as Schindler's List or Hotel Rwanda may not be fun to watch, and/or appropriate for small children, but they are important.

check out the blog at . She is giving away a recent DVD, "Children of God" that is worthy of our attention.


Popcorn, food of the gods.

>> Tuesday, June 17, 2008

This wonderful site is giving away an Orville Rdenbacker’s Popcorn sample kit to two lucky visitors of Fairy Tale Treasure Shop. Each winner will receive a few bags of microwave popcorn, a cute popcorn bowl, and a couple of coupons.

I love to munch on popcorn. It is a healthy and satisfying snack. Isn't microwave popcorn amazing? Times have changed since I was a kid watching out Joe Namath Popocorn popper heat up and pop those kernels. Take a look at this site and enjoy!


Great Skin Care Giveaway

>> Monday, June 16, 2008

Here's another wonderful opportunity for some self-pampering. Check out dkmommyspot at for a chance at $98 worth of L’Occitane Ultra Comforting line! Check out their other products through her link at the site. Again girls, let's pamper ourselves. We can all use it!


Great Travel Gear

>> Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sassyfrazz has a great giveaway going on at her blog... for travel gear from Lug Travel. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love to travel. This particular site has some great products for day trips or over-nighters. I think I need to run away this weekend myself.


Sweepers and Bloggers Unite!

I have a kindred spirit (well lots I suppose, but that's a scary concept...). Please take a look at for a great blog that has a lot of good sweeping information. (no, not the kind with a broom)

Make a new friend.


French Elegance

>> Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wonderful organic products for your mind, body at L’Artisan Parfumeur . dkmommyspot is having a giveaway of these lovely and elegant products. Check out the blog and site. We can all use some pampering sometimes. Treat yourself!


Build A Bear and Island Review

The Island Review is having another great giveaway. Who doesn't love Build-a-Bear Workshop ? Well go and check out for some great blogging and a chance to win a gift card to share with someone special. Hey, make a day of it. Build a little furry friend, take it to the movies, and then go out to eat. Life is fun, and the folks at Island Review definitely understand that.

You only get one shot, have a great time in life!


Kitchenaide Mixe

>> Sunday, June 8, 2008

Take a look at this site. She has great blogs and is currently giving away a wonderful mixer.


A great cause... let's raise some money

>> Friday, June 6, 2008

Please go and check out the blog at . It will give you lots of good information and links about The Race for the Cure. We all need to do our part to help come up with a cure for Breast Cancer. If you aren't in Dallas, check out the events in your own city.

You can even enter a contest to win a pink I-Pod Nano.


come on my cooking buddies!

>> Thursday, June 5, 2008

I love this blog. My woodenspoon has great cooking info. and some great contests.

Check it out! gizmos gizmos gizmos


Art Supplies Giveaway

Check out at the Seven Dogs and a baby blog for a contest that is giving away some great Crayola art supplies.

Stop and take a look around the site it has a lot of great information and links for moms and women in general.


Another great site with a contest

>> Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Kathryne Kennedy - Second Magical Jewel Contest

Check it out!

"Simply delightful!"~Publishers Weekly
Please visit:


Protect a Bed and a take a cruise!

Check out this wonderful product at It will help many a parent to feel more secure and keep precious little babies safe.

Also, take a look at for a contest related to protect-a-bed that is giving away a free cruise. I love metromomma is one of my fav. sites for fun and great information.


Contest for a free DVD

>> Monday, June 2, 2008

Check out her great and amusing blog and get a chance to win Eight-Below on DVD.


A talking first aid kit!

>> Sunday, June 1, 2008

Check this out at ! Great website and what a fun giveaway.



a fun summer read...

>> Thursday, May 29, 2008

Check out this great review of an amusing book entitled... "Skid", by Rene Gutteridge.

Take a look around sassyfrazz and let me know what you think.


I am all about the cooking!

>> Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Check out this site! They are giving away some great Food Network Swag! I dream of being the next Food Network star... or at least beating my husband in an Iron Chef competition!


First Thoughts

I absolutely love any kind of kitchen gadget. Pampered Chef is one of the greatest sources of fun toys for the kitchen.

Check out for a new Pampered Chef site.

Thanks for reading!

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